Saturday, March 26, 2016

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice thoughts and spoilers!

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice has finally released to the general audiences and boy has it polarized comic fans and the regular movie going public. With a 30% on Rotten Tomatoes, a 7.3 user review on Metacritic, a 44 on Metacritic's critic review, and a 7.6 IMDB user review it only seems like people loved the movie or hated it. Well, I'm going to let you know up front, I didn't like it all that much. Full disclosure, I am a huge comic book fan but not that much of a DC comic fan. Also, you should know that I think Batman is pretty much overhyped by the internet. With that said, I won't go over every single plot point, nitpick, or spoiler from the film. Instead, it will be a general what I liked, what I didn't like, and final thoughts.

Alright, let's talk about what I liked about Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. I absolutely love the portrayal of Alfred in this movie. Gone are the days that Alfred simply runs Bruce's bath, fetches his tea, or cleans up the bat poop from the Batcave. This Alfred builds gadgets, fixes the Batmobile, and helps Batman in all his preparations. This Alfred is almost a full fledged side-kick and it feels like this should have ben Alfred's role all along. In addition to Alfred's handiness, he provides most of the comedy relief in this ultra serious movie. Another thing that I liked in this movie was Superman winning this first confrontation with almost zero effort. Despite what fanboys and Superman haters will say, in a heads up one on one fight Superman will win each and every time. The last thing I liked about this movie was the way they tried to show you that Batman was around during the events of Superman: Man of Steel even if we never see him in that movie.

Now, we have to talk about what I didn't like about this movie and believe me it is quite a lot. First an foremost was the betrayal, err portrayal of Lex Luthor. Lex Luthor is not some crazed lunatic who happens to have a fortune he inherited from his daddy. Lex is supposed to be as smart as Superman is strong. He is supposed to be a master manipulator and cunning strategist who actually gets elected to president in the comic books. He is not a Joker stand-in he is suppose to be the one villain that Superman can't punch away.

Speaking of things Superman can't simply punch away, Doomsday is very much the one villain that can and should kill Superman. So, if he does that very thing why did I not like it in this movie? Simply put, it is way too early to kill Superman. No one, not the fans of the comics, not the fans of the movies, and certainly not the people within the movie's universe have had any time to feel like Superman was the invincible beacon of hope. This should have been a movie all of it's own five years down the road with everyone in the DC film universe mourning his death and Lex wondering if killing Superman was actually the best thing for the planet. It should have been a huge moment for the DC Movie Universe and yet it felt forced, rushed, and ultimately pointless as you know he won't stay dead for any length of time.

Wonder Woman is another thing that just felt forced. I love the character of Wonder Woman, but this version just felt meh. Gal Gadot is not physically intimidating, she does not exude an air of royalty, superiority, and/or arrogance, and she does not have the acting talent to play a fish out of water Amazonian princess in a man's world while still retaining her aura of power. The action Wonder Woman gets into during this movie is pretty bad ass, but I don't see Gal being able to hold up an entire movie all by herself. Sadly it seems like one of DC's big three is going to be relegated to second string status unless Wonder Woman is recast.

The final major complaint I have with this movie is its lack of exposition. I mean look at the picture above this paragraph, doesn't that just scream "Tell me more about this!" I mean, is that a Robin costume? Is It a Nightwing outfit? Who wore it? Was it Jason Todd, Dick Grayson, someone else? Is this person dead or just crippled? Fans of the comics will instantly know the answers to these questions, but you have to remember this is a movie that is supposed to appeal to a wider audience. Relying on the audience to have prior knowledge or insight into these characters is something this movie does a lot and it detracts from the movie so severely many critics and movie goers are left confused and upset. Ultimately this is what ruins the movie for me above anything else. They say good story telling shows not tells, but this movie does nothing but tease.

My final thoughts on this movie are that it is a decent alternate universe take on DC Comic's biggest properties. We finally get to see an unhinged, bad guy killing, no shit giving Batman on the big screen. We get a more realistically powered Superman. Lex Luthor is actually Lex Jr. which is more or less a new take on Lex's comic book son Alexander Luthor. Even Wonder Woman seems like a slightly else-world take on the character and if you think of things in that way then this movie is awesome! However, despite the critics and most movie goers reactions this movie will make money and there will be more from the DC Film Universe so hopefully they learned from their mistakes and will correct things in the future movies.  Feel free to comment, like, share, or whatever other thing you kids do on your social media these days.

*All images are owned by their respective copyright holders and are used under fair use guidelines.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

5 Ways Cross Platform Gaming Will Heat Up The Console Wars!

With the announcement that Microsoft and Sony might finally be open to cross platform play many are calling it the end of the console wars, however I am here to tell you why that idea is completely and ridiculously wrong! You see, with Microsoft and Sony joining hands things are only going to get hotter between the two. I now present for your reading enjoyment, 5 Ways Cross Platform Gaming Will Heat Up The Console Wars!

#5 Xbox One VS PS4 Call of Duty matches
Image the trash talk and gloating when 5 Xbox One players go up against 5 Playstation 4 players in a team death match! Each side defending their console of choice as bullets fly across the battlefield and noobs are pwned hard!

#4 The best players use ____!
Without a doubt fans of any online game franchise will point to the best players of the game and whatever console they play the most. Now, we can finally see the best Xbox One players go head to head wit the best PS4 players without having to give up their controller of choice. The results will be epic and give one side a ton of bragging rights.

#3 Server troubles now come with extra ridicule
Right now when the Xbox or Playstation servers have trouble you can at least feel good knowing everyone else is having the same problem, but now when one side goes down of experiences slow down the other side is sure to sling every insult in the book at them. Even worse would be a server going down while your opponents all game on the opposite console allowing them to pwn your lagging ass.

#2 Exclusive DLC will still separate players by console
Despite cross console play becoming a reality exclusive DLC or DLC dropped early on one console over the other will still keep some players from ever experiencing this new phenomenon. Sadly I fear console exclusive DLC will become more rampant just like the next reason...

#1 Console exclusives will matter even more now
As it stands now, a lot of players grab the console all the friends decide to play on. However, with cross platform gaming you no longer have to buy and Xbox just because all your buddies own one. No, you can get a PS4 and still game with them no problem at all. That now means people will buy consoles solely based on what exclusive games of content that system is going to have. Gamers rejoice, we just got better games and DLC thanks to cross platform gaming!

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Pure Pwnage Teh Movie Review

Pure Pwnage The Movie has finished making its rounds on its world premiere tour and I am here to let all you noobs who were not able to attend just how much the movie pwned. First off, if it isn't obvious I am a huge Pure Pwnage fan! I own several Pure Pwnage t-shirts, both the FPS Doug and Jeremy Let Speakers, and I even forked over $50 to snag some cool gear at the premier in Chicago. My love for Pure Pwnage runs so deep I've been known to spout a few lines from the show from time to time. The reason this review is coming out now and not almost a month ago when I saw the movie in Chicago is to allow the rose tinted lens to come off and do this review justice. That means this review will not be biased by my Pure Pwnage love, instead it will be a frank look at what was good, what was bad, and what wasn't addressed. Strap in tight kids, we are about to go on a bumpy ride...spoiler free of course!

First things first, lets talk a bit about the plot of the movie. The movie opens with the reason for the movie being made now in quite a meta story telling faction, using this as both a storytelling device and a way to draw us into the film a bit more. With the setup in place we are quickly introduced, or re-introduced if you're a fan already, to the main stars of the film. After some more setup as to what everyone has been up to we get into the film proper as Jeremy decides to once again teach the world that it sucks! What that entails is Jeremy joining a League of Legends Tournament that happens to have a million dollar grand prize. The movie then follows the ups and downs of Jeremy's journey to win the tournament, his struggle to fit into a team after playing solo for so long, the cold reality that Jeremy is older and has been out of gaming for so long, and what it means to be true to yourself and your friends. Its quite a lot deeper than one would expect from a movie about a League of Legends Tournament.

Now, let's talk about what I enjoyed about this movie. All the characters from the web series return with one exception return for this movie and it is great to see them still channel those old roles they used to inhabit. (For those who may have checked out the web series but did not get too deep into the fandom, the actor/comedian who played the character T-Bag, Troy Dixon, passed away in 2008.) The characters are just as outlandish yet relatable as I remember them and it speaks volumes to both the acting abilities of the films stars and the directors spot on direction. The humor in this movie was also fantastic as it had jokes aimed at long time fans as well as many jokes that both fans and non-fans would enjoy. In fact, my wife who is not a fan of the show found the movie quite entertaining. Another thing that I enjoyed in this movie was the subtle nods to the Pure Pwnage TV series which I feel was quite underappreciated by both Pure Pwnage fans and the mainstream Canadian Audience. I also enjoyed that the movie did not feel the need to regress any of these characters, instead they chose to give them a new life journey that pushed them ever forward instead of rehashing old obstacles and life lessons from the web show. Fans of the web series will really enjoy where the characters are at the start of the film and where they are left off at its end. I can't say enough at the brilliantly bold decision to actually age the characters to match the real life time gap between the web show and the movie as long time fans can still relate to their problems yet new fans can hop on board without any baggage holding them back. The Movie also introduces a few new characters that not only expand upon the collection of gamer archetypes in Pure Pwnage but add quite a bit to the movie. If you never felt like you were quite a Jeremy or a Doug, well these new guys might be right up your alley.

Now we need to talk about the bad and the glossed over. Anyone going into this movie that enjoyed the micro battles and Teh Masterer/Gamer Army storyline will be sad to hear that none of it is addressed in the movie. Personally I loved those elements but I realize why they were cut, I had just hoped that there would be a throwaway line or two about it. We don't even find out what happens to Kris from the end of the last episode of the web series. As I said earlier in the review, T-Bag is not in the movie nor is he mentioned. Talking to Jarett after the film he let me in on the reasons behind it and what they may plan on doing with that whole issue. I understand it is a touchy subject and I feel like a dick now as I did at the premiere for even bringing it up. Another thing about the movie that kind of bothered me was the lack of screen time for Tagi. Now, she was never on screen as much as any of the other characters in the web series, but her role in the movie is so small it's almost cameo or special guest star status. Once again I know Miranda Plant, the actress who plays Tagi, lives in New York and probably was only available for filming a certain number of days, but it would still have been nice to get a little more screen time for Tagi. The last negative thing I have to say about the movie involves the way things get wrapped up in the end. Now, throughout the movie there are subtle clues and hints as to how things are going to end up for a pair of certain characters but if you're to focused on the action or comedy in the movie you might miss those clues and left dumbfounded as to how they end up where we do.

Pure Pwnage Teh Movie is a fantastic film that fans of the web series, fans of video gaming, and fans of comedy in general will enjoy. There are plenty of great one liners that you will be spouting for weeks after the film. There are new and old characters that all feel like they are people you could meet in real life and probably have met in real life. The guys behind Pure Pwnage, Jarett Cale and Geoff LaPaire are not a couple of dudes trying to mock or insult gamers instead they are a pair of gamers trying to shine a light on the fact that gamers are real people that come in many different forms yet we come together for our love of the games. I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a good comedy and can't wait until it comes out on DVD. Well that wraps up my review, but if you still want to hear more about Pure Pwnage Teh Movie be sure to check out the two great reviews that fans dropped on YouTube. Feel free to comment, like, share, or whatever other thing you kids do on your social media these days.

The Alex Talionis review
The Phil Up review

*All images are owned by their respective copyright holders and are used under fair use guidelines.

5 Retro games that need a sequel on modern consoles!

The history of video games is littered with many franchises that have fallen by the wayside due to failed companies, bad marketing, or rushed sequels that strayed from the vision of the original. Now this list is not going to be about the five most popular or highest grossing franchises that have sequels set up long before the current game is even past the beta phase. No, this is my look at five games, some part of franchises, that deserve a shot to be made on a modern console for a modern audience. Now before you roll your eyes so far back in your head you can't even finish reading this post, let me say I am not picking these games based on their obscurity or wacky randomness. No, these were games I enjoyed immensely as a child and would love to play new version of them today so that my children could know their joy. So here they are in no particular order, 5 Retro games that need a sequel on modern consoles!

Suikoden is a game franchise with a huge following that is just clamoring for a new main series game in the franchise. Spanning fives main title games and several spin-offs, the Suikoden franchise has made promises of a grand conclusion that so far it has failed to live up to. The fans of this game are so insistent that they want this series to continue they started a Suikoden Revival Movement! With a mix of RPG elements, real time strategy battles, a huge world spanning conflict, and deep personal stories of most of the 108 main characters this game has something for just about everyone. Like most of the games on this list a modern console version of Suikoden would make huge amounts of money and lead to a new generation falling in love with a series so many already hold dear to their hearts. Now I know a lot of executives would tell you turn based battle systems are outdated but I would counter that those people are morons. Turn based RPGs still do very well on handheld consoles and would still do well on home consoles if anyone had the balls to make one! I love Skyrim and Dragon Age just as much as anyone else but it doesn't mean I wouldn't love an old school RPG turn based system and I know thousands of game players who would agree with me.
Harvest Moon: Back to Nature is a game about a young man trying to save his granpa's farm after the passing of said grandpa. More than a simple farming simulator, this game is more of a life simulator. Sure the main focus is growing the farm, but you also have to make friends in the nearby town, possibly fall in love, and even participate in a town event or two. With every action taking up a certain portion of the day's time you have to manage not only your farm but your own play style to squeeze every last drop out of this fantastic game. I can only dream of a modern console Harvest Moon game with hundreds of different crops to choose from, tons of different livestock (I need me some Harvest Moon style pigs), several new and expanded festivals, loads of new recipes, a fuck ton of new people to meet with a possibility of choosing to live in one of several different towns from the franchises history, and a Dragon Age type of Harvest Moon Keep allowing the importation of finished games that add a rival/husband or wife of the character you married, and of course the ability to play as either a boy or girl from the get go. Just thinking about the possibilities makes me all tingly. With Natsume owning the rights to the name Harvest Moon and releasing a PC game Harvest Moon: Seeds of Memories to the disappoint of Harvest Moon fans everywhere and XSeed continuing the franchise as Story of Seasons on the Nintendo 3DS we may never get another console version of Harvest Moon and that is truly a tragedy. With Farmville and all its clones being so damn popular on Facebook you would think a console Harvest Moon would be a no brainer....I mean this could be the franchise to snag those "casual" gamers and bring them onto a modern gaming machine. Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo...wake up and smell the money!

Chakan the Forever Man was one of my favorite Sega Genesis games when I was little. The gameplay was brutal, the atmosphere dark and moody, and the character designs looked like the came out of a H. R. Gigar fever dream. With a premise that Chakan was so bad ass he defeated Death itself in a sword fight and was cursed to walk the Earth until all evils were vanquished how could this game not have a ton of sequels? I imagine a modern console version to be a mix of Skyrim and GTA with Chakan traveling the land destroying evil whenever he happens upon it. With a possibility of time skip DLC moving Chakan forward in time you could literally start off fighting evil kings and wind up taking down a presidential conspiracy! This game has so many possibilities that I'm dumbfounded that no one has picked up this license from obscurity and began work on a new version of it.

Sim-Earth was a quirky little game that had you trying to transform Earth, or one of the other planets in the galaxy, into a place that flora and fauna could thrive while also trying to create an intelligent species capable of traveling the stars. Now it was pretty complicated with a ton of sliders and thins you had to keep track of in order to get the planet just right which is why it probably isn't as fondly remembered as Sim City or other Sim games are. Well I say a modern console version with slimmed down controls, an option to control your animals a la the Sims, and some more precise control over what your planet looks like would go a long way to making this a home run. I mean this game was Spore and No Man's Sky before those games were even an idea floating in someone's head so why not give the originator of the genre a chance to reclaim the throne? Come on, who wouldn't want to create a planet were birds were the intelligent species at the top of the food chain and lived in tree houses that there monkey butlers kept tidy?

Shining Force was a SRPG that told a brilliant story and kept fans entertained with its huge strategic battles. The franchise has a lot of games in it, although only a handful are SRPGs with a lot delving into other RPG genres. Just like turn based battles it seems game executives think SRPGs are outdated and so the decision was made to change this franchise into something fans of the original despise. Just like Suikoden this series has a dedicated fan base still rooting out secrets and posting in forums about their love of all things Shining Force. A modern console version would up the battle count, increase the size of your battle force, add many more characters to recruit, and allow for DLC battles to be added to increase the replay factor.

Well there you have it folks, 5 Retro games that not only need a modern console sequel but fans are demanding it in many cases. Video game executives, if you happen upon this please listen to your customers and make these happen. You'll make a ton of money, we'll get games we want...everyone wins! Feel free to comment, like, share, or whatever other thing you kids do on your social media these days.

*All images are owned by their respective copyright holders and are used under fair use guidelines.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Avengers Age of Ultron: Crazy Theory #1 The Vision Didn't lift Mjølnir, he only made it appear so...

Everyone who has seen Avengers Age of Ultron was blown away by the fact the Vision lifting Thor's hammer Mjølnir with ease. Both fans and characters in the movie have argued as to why or how exactly The Vision was able to pull this feat off, but I am here to reveal the truth. The Vision never lifted Thor's hammer, instead he used the Mind Gem to scan their minds and figure out that such an act would be the only way they would trust him then he used the gem to project the image into their brains! Mind blown!!! All the evidence was right there on the screen but just like the characters in the film The Vision had us under his spell.

Allow me to explain the three biggest reasons why I believe this is fact. First off, the Vision is speaking about not being trusted then he goes and does the one thing that would instantly earn everyone's trust without anyone ever saying that lifting Thor's hammer would earn their trust. In fact, being a newly created being and with Mjølnir's enchantment not being part of Scandinavian mythology their is no way for The Vision to be aware of it unless he scanned their brains with the Mind Gem. To further cement this fact if you look closely at the Mind Gem on the Vision's forehead you will see it glows ever so slightly indicating it is being used.

Secondly, the Vision is not an inanimate object like an elevator. We know that he is made up of part of J.A.R.V.I.S. and part of The Mind Stone with a dash of Ultron tossed in there for good measure. As explained by the Collector in The Guardians of the Galaxy movie the stones are older than the universe itself. Six singularity that were forged into being by the big bang....or six beings killed by the big bang and their souls remade into the Infinity Stones. If what I suspect is true than that means The Vision has a soul, namely the Mind Gem and therefore he is not similar to an elevator or a helicarriar.

Lastly and most importantly we must remember the inscription on Thor's hammer Mjølnir. "Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor."  Now what that means is that if the Vision was in fact worthy and lifted Mjølnir than he should have been bestowed the power of Thor. In the comics when someone was worthy and lifted Mjølnir they became an amalgam of Thor and whoever it was leading to Thor Frog and Storm in a Thor type hat. If you notice, no such thing happens to the Vision which tells us he is not worthy and not actually lifting the hammer up as we are being shown.

So there is my first crazy Age of Ultron theory. Do you think it's plausible? Do you think we have all been fooled by The Vision into thinking that he lifted Mjølnir? Feel free to comment, like, share, or whatever other thing you kids do on your social media these days.

*All images are owned by Marvel Entertainment Group or marvel Comics Inc. and are being used under fair use.

Captain American Civil War Trailer 2 thoughts

By now a lot of you have seen the second trailer for Captain America: Civil War and are having as much trouble as I am getting your jaw off the ground. The action, the drama, the Spider-Man! So much was revealed and so many questions were raised by this trailer I could write an entire series of post about it, but I'll try to keep it all contained into this one post. Now, before I get into the trailer with my thoughts please note that I am not going to pick out every single Easter egg, nor am I going to discuss it frame by frame. If you want that go to another blog here you're just going to get my thoughts on a few key points from the trailer, a bit of speculation, and maybe a few questions that no one has the answers to just yet. Also note I won't be going over things we already learned from the first trailer, so despite new glimpses of the fights in the movie I won't be talking about them. Alright then, let me share with you my thoughts on the second Captain America: Civil War trailer.

Right off the bat this trailer hits us with all the death and destruction caused by the Avengers or because of least that's what public opinion in their universe seems to think. With that said, their doesn't seem to be a big superhero blunder like in the comics version of Civil War. This will probably mean that fans of the movie version will be less likely to side with Iron Man side of the conflict. Sure, one could argue that Ultron was created by Tony Stark and Bruce Banner and therefore they are responsible for the destruction in Sokovia, but unlike the Stamford Incident in the comics where the New Warriors' antics caused the supervillain Nitro to explode and kill 612 people, many small children, the lives lost in Sokovia were not as numerous. Also, unlike the Stamford Incident the Sokovia Tragedy was caused solely by Ultron and only a select few would even know of Iron Man's involvement in his creation. Therefore I feel like we are not being shown something, the true cause for the Superhuman Registration Act and the heart of the Civil War. Will it be a Stamford Incident like event? Will we see the fight between the Hulk and Iron in Avengers Age of Ultron actually be the reason for the Superhuman Registration Act and it is only not being shown during the trailer because the Hulk will not be in the movie?

The next big reveal is The Raft, which as all comic fans know is the superhuman prison built to house those criminals regular prisons just can't hold. Now in the trailer for Captain America: Civil War all we see is an exterior shot of the prison rising up and an interior shot of Tony inside an empty prison but I have to believe we will see one or more of the villains of the movie, Helmut Zemo, Crossbones, and Klaw either wind up in there during the course of the movie or right at the end. With that said I also see the possibility of the Raft being filled up over the course of the movie will a host of B-level villains making cameos at the end of the film, not unlike The Collectors' collection in Guardians of the Galaxy.

The Next big "oh my God" moment for me was the shot of Scarlett Witch taking down The Vision. Now a lot of people might think that this shot, heck this entire idea of Scarlett Witch taking out the Vision is just plain dumb, but I think it is secretly genius. As we know The Vision is powered by the Mind Gem and the Scarlett Witch's powers affect...that is right, the mind! Not only does this scene make perfect sense I believe it holds the key to Thanos' defeat in the upcoming Avengers Infinity War movies. Think of how awesome it is going to be to see Thanos and Scarlett Witch battle on the mental plane as so many characters have done in the comics. This scene also adds another wrinkle to this movie and will lead to the entire reason for another scene in the film... You see everyone thinks that the Vision is super powerful, but if he gets taken down so easily Tony Stark will be forced to call on someone else as his ace in the hole. I think you all know who I mean, but that will wait until later.

As we can see from the above GIF, Crossbones seems to be punching Captain America in some foreign country. With Klaw being in the movie I can easily see this as a battle taking place in Wakanda between Zemo's forces and Captain America. This would make perfect sense as it not only gives the Black Panther a reason to help Captain America, a guy who went out of his way to protect Wakanda, but also help to highlight the need for the Superhuman Registration Act as at least two new superhumans, Crossbones and The Black Panther, would debut during this battle. The only questions I have are will this battle be a rogue operation Captain America undertakes without S.H.I.E.L.D. permission as Wakanda is a sovereign nation or does Iron Man and company also participate?

Now we come to the thing that everyone is talking about....Spider-Man! Now, I am not a huge Spider-Man fan but I was marking out pretty hard for his appearance here. Not only does the costume look more in line with the comics version than any previous attempts, but his eyes adjusted to show emotion. Not only that, but his on. That is the kind of voice, nerdish but with a bit of cockiness, that I hear when I read a Spider-Man comic book. Lastly, the sound of the webs was just so crisp and exactly what I though web shooters would sound like. Now, I am going to speculate a bit here and say this fight and the reveal of Spider-Man takes place near the middle of the film. Spider-Man tipping the scales in favor of Iron Man's side forcing cap to go completely underground. I say this based on War Machine and The Vision still being active which indicates none of the big battles we have been teased have happened yet. Another possibility, since this is an airport battle, that Captain America and crew have just returned from Wakanda or are trying to fly over there and this is Iron Man's attempt to capture or stop them. I want to believe this is midway through the film or earlier to give Spider-Man time to switch sides like he did in the comic books and possibly get that cool Iron Spider costume Stark builds for him in those same comics.

Well folks, those are just my initial thoughts. After I have had some time to really break down the trailer, here other speculation, and dig deeper into set leaks I'll be back with some thoughts on what I want from this movie and what I hope the don't even tease. Feel free to comment, like, share, or whatever other thing you kids do on your social media these days.

*All images are owned by Marvel Entertainment Group and are being used under fair use.