Far Cry 4: Valley of the Yetis: Gameplay Trailer

     Far Cry 4's second DLC, Valley of the Yetis, gets a fancy new trailer to back up the curiosity inducing previous images we've seen.  It looks like players will be attempting to uncover mysterious Himalayan secrets while avoiding being killed by some angry abominable snow men.  It also looks to be quite entertaining.
     There is no word yet if this will contain the same perma-death element that the first DLC, Escape from Durgesh Prison, did.

     Valley of the Yetis DLC will be available March 10th for Xbox One, Xbox 360, and PC
          and on Playstation 3 & 4 on March 11th.

     No individual price has been given, but the season pass is still available for $29.99.

The Great and Logical Leonard Nimoy has Died: May Spock Live Long and Prosper Passing into that Final Frontier

     Another great member of the Star Trek's most famous ship, the starship Enterprise has left the bridge today.  Leonard Nimoy has passed away of COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) caused by a decades long habit of smoking.

"Live long and Prosper"
     Many mourn this loss of the half-Vulcan Mr. Spock.  Nimoy has left us with an important and lasting message of peace, logic, and beauty through his last Tweet:

     Full Obituary from the [ NY Times ]


Batman: NEW Arkham Knight Trailer Arrives: "Gotham is Mine"

     Hot on the tails of the news that the game will be rated "M" for mature, making Batman: Arkham Knight the first of the trilogy to receive that rating, we get the new  trailer, and it looks good.  Really good.  Like REALLY good.

     I see we get a lot more stuff hinting towards the actual story, most notably with the "City is under my protection now" and "Over my dead body" lines.  It looks as if the Scarecrow is putting together a band of super villains to finally put an end to the Dark Knight reign of skull-crunching justice.
     It also looks like he might succeed.

     Batman: Arkham Knight will arrive on Playstation 4, X Box One, and PC June 2, 2015.


Ant-Man #1 Review

     With a movie hitting this summer, July 17th, it makes sense that Marvel Comics would like a new Ant-Man series on the way for all the new fans it creates.  Ant-Man has had many versions over the years ranging from diminutive hero, to a giant-sized A-hole, and more recently being a D list Avenger. 

     Hank Pym, the original Ant-Man, is known for being an all-around terrible guy, although he does have some good qualities, as Lang mentions.  He's been a long time impulsive personality- taking risks and being destructive to the point of being a wife-beater and in the comics he was the creator of Ultron.  Eric O'Grady was another less-than-wonderful Ant-Man, so much so his very hilarious comic series by Robert Kirkman (of The Walking Dead fame) was titled The Irredeemable Ant-Man.  A series I fully enjoyed and highly recommend.  Now we get Scott Lang and in this new series, writer Nick Spencer paints Ant-Man as a troubled man simply trying to make life better for those he's let down.  This is the story of a man attempting to get his life in order.

     Scott Lang begins this series in a crappy apartment, interviewing for a job with Iron Man Tony Stark in the poor role of former criminal offering his expertise in security.  This is an incredible interview- Spencer condensed the info dump of Lang's history into this segment in a way that is absolutely befitting of the character.  He even mentions the death and return to life and its inherent problems with humor that keeps us thinking. 

     I think what sets this new Ant-Man issue apart from many other comics is that is focuses more on the human part of being a super human.  Just as Ant-Man shrinks, so the story is taken down to small proportions.  There is no world threatening villain, it is just a man with great power struggling to find work, struggling with his ex-wife, and struggling to be a good father- things real people deal with every day.  The fears and hopes all of us have in our daily lives.  Nick Spencer has made Ant-Man relatable and this first issue is stunning in it's presentation.  Lang is so very human and charming, displaying small acts of kindness and neither wanting nor getting anything in return.  The true mark of a real hero that is constantly looked down on in more ways than one.

     Ramon Rosanas' art is top notch, along with Jordan Boyd's coloring and lettering by Travis Lanham.  It's simple and effective and gives us plenty of clever angles to see Lang in various sizes with a brilliant use of a toy living room set and a phone to make a mini-movie theater. 

     Ant-Man #1 is a classic first issue for anyone to jump on board with this character's reintroduction to the Marvel universe.  It shows that a fantastic single issue debut can make even the smallest hero can have a large future.

     I'll leave you with my favorite part of the issue,

     For related posts [ Ant-Man ]


New "Alien" Confirmed with Neill Blomkamp Helming

     It's been about 2 months since Neill Blomkamp posted some extremely interesting Aliens images on his Instagram feed telling of a project that had fallen through.  The series of images showed a continuation of Ripley and Hicks after the nuked LV-426 and the infested Hadley's Hope terraforming colony.

     Two days ago, 20th Century Fox announced the news that they've closed a deal on an as yet untitled Alien film with Blomkamp in the large Engineer's Pilot seat.  This is good because all the disappointment I had after seeing Ridley Scott return to the series with Prometheus.  It should also be noted this will not be tied to the Prometheus sequel with Ridley Scott has going with Fox.

     Blomkamp has shown a wonderful talent for gritty science fiction with both District 9 and Elysium, then he may prove himself once again capable with the upcoming Chappie.  It'll be great to see him tackling an official Alien film.  This is a tremendous opportunity for him, and a great chance to really reinvigorate the franchise.
     It is currently unclear whether Sigourney Weaver, the badass extraordinaire Ellen Ripley herself, will return.  It is also unknown how they'd work in the previously deceased Corp. Dwayne Hicks (Michael Biehn) may return.  There are plenty of ways around story problems, and if Blomkamp handles them well enough, we might be able to forget some of the lesser films in the series.
     In any case, the images have sold me on this project.

     Oddly, no images of Newt have surfaced, which I find a little bit curious indeed.

     Source [ Variety ]

Batman v Superman: Jason Momoa's Aquaman Revealed (Dawn of Justice)

     Director Zack Snyder has finally released an image of Aquaman for the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice movie.  I have to admit, much like the Gal Gadot Wonder Woman, it's way better than I expected.  It still a little different, but for the DC Film Universe Snyder is creating it looks promising.  Momoa's Aquaman is set to appear in BvS: Dawn of Justice before appearing in the follow up 2-part Justice League films.
     I would also say I like this design far better than any of the comic book variants of Aquaman.

    On a side note does "Unite the Seven" refer to the number of seas, or to the big seven of DC- meaning the Justice League?  It bears questioning because of the "One True King" meaning someone may be vying for top dog billing on Earth... possibly against Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Cyborg, and the Green Lantern.

     I wonder if they toyed with the idea of giving him some scaled skin at some point?  That may have been kind of awesome design addition- I mean why do all the alien characters look so damn human anyway?

Here's some of my other posts on DC Comics:

     [ Wonder Woman ]
     [ Batman ]
     [ Man of Steel ]

      And my favorite creation/post [ Meme of Steel ]


Ducktales Remastered: PS3 Mini Review

     Growing up I wasn't much of a Ducktales fan.  The show didn't really appeal to me, for me it was always Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers.  I'd always preferred Chip 'n Dale over Scrooge McDuck, especially when it came to their games, and I do remember playing them both quite well.  Right alongside other platformers that stand the test of time like the original Super Mario Bros. or Metroid.  They each had a long-lasting impression of games being well-made, not some sloppy mess that quite a few Nintendo games wound up being.

     But now, over 20 years since Ducktales first arrived on the Nintendo (NES) in 1989, Wayforward Technologies has updated the classic.  So without the nostalgia factor tinting my judgement- I played through this, and it was really good.  It's a great call back to the good old days of gaming when things had just the right amount of difficulty and was bound together with a dash of story and wrapped in a heap of good fun.

     Wayforward has given the game an entire overhaul in terms of visuals.  The sprites are outstanding, animations are smooth and clean, and the new cutscenes are tremendous.  They've also redone the music, added new story elements to make it more cohesive, and in a brilliant manouevre- they added voice recordings.  New ones- including many of the original cast and most notably, the original voice of Scrooge McDuck himself, Alan Young.
     Mr. McDuck now gets to trek through the 5 levels in any order you like to unlock a final level where the added story elements pay off.  I mean having the ability to dive into the preposterous coin vault of money hoarding Scrooge is a small dream come true, even for someone that isn't really a fan.

     In the end, I believe Wayforward's Ducktales: Remastered is exactly the type of remaster that retro games of yesteryear deserve.  They put in all the love and fondness from the original, keeping the spirit intact, while adding just the right amount of added things to improve upon our sometimes foggy nostalgia-fueled memories.  Ducktales: Remastered is definitely worth your time if you ever liked the show or the game.

     This actually makes me wonder if we'll get any more remasters with this amount of work and care...


The Last Guardian: "Still in Development" Sony Reassures Us

     After Monday's news that Sony had apparently abandoned The Last Guardian trademark again some people were worried.  I wrote a small piece about it and figured they were possibly renaming it to avoid the long term negativity tied to the title.  But, as they had previously "abandoned" it and revived it, there really wasn't much to worry about.

Still Holding On
     The continually troubled development period The Last Guardian has suffered has been nerve wracking, but Sony has assured us that it is indeed progressing.  Creator Fumito Ueda has said that his part of the game was done long ago, but the game is currently undergoing something in "completely new conditions."  That may have been a hint towards giving the game a complete overhaul and bringing it to the Playstation 4, being a potential change from the 2009 announcement that it would be for the PS3.  This is insinuated from the wonderful way Sony deflects and dodges comments when asked the console question.
     Personally, I think they might have something much better in store for us.

     Source [ Gamespot ]


Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas Coming to Steam

     After watching with great envy as all my iOS phone playing buddies got to enjoy The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker inspired Oceanhorn, I finally get to join in the fun.  Not on my Android, but- even better- on Steam.

     Cornfox & Bros. haven't just ported it to Steam either, they've overhauled the graphics and redesigned the physical controls for use with keyboard and mouse or controller.  It is a real remastered edition.
     "All of the game's graphical assets have been tweaked for the PC platform. We added four times more polygons, sharper textures, normal maps, detail objects and new lighting effects such as dynamic ambient occlusion, soft shadows and realtime reflections to make Oceanhorn look stunning when played in 4K resolution."
     After reading all the iOS reviews, Cornfox & Bros. have also taken it upon themselves to fix or alter some unfair and confusing puzzles in the game- in an attempt to improve the original through player feedback.  Heck, they've even added new items in the shops including a "Second Chance" potion that'll be useful for tough boss encounters.

     Oceanhorn will be available on Steam March 17th.

     Source [ Oceanhorn ]


The Last Guardian: Sony's Trademark Abandoned... Again

     Today, we get some outwardly sad news about Team Ico's long awaited project The Last Guardian.  As of today Sony has let the trademark lapse and they have decided not renew it.  And if I recall correctly, this happened previously in 2009.
     [ Official Trademark Page ]

     Fortunately for us, Sony has made it very clear on numerous occasions that the game is still in the works- according to Sony Worldwide's President Shuhei Yoshida, with the added comment that it is being "re-engineered" and that they are waiting to "re-introduce" it.  Could the reintroduction include a new working title?  I would definitely think so.  Giving the The Last Guardian a new name might be a good idea because of all the issues it has been suffering of for more than the past 6 years.
     Sony must see something still in this long term investment to keep sinking time and effort into it.  After years and years of perpetual delays, and an official "on hiatus," there must be something really magical in there for it to continue.  We also know that Fumito Ueda is still on board in a way and still tied to his created universe.  Speculation is rampant as both parties seem to be elusive and always deflect comments in secretive ways.  I, for one, am eager to see what eventually becomes of this project.

     For more posts [ The Last Guardian ]


Josh News: Bolt Action at The Source Comics & Games: Day 2

     This'll be the second Sunday in a row a few of us got together at The Source for some good World War 2 Bolt Action tabletop gaming.  I think this week went much better as we had much more stuff breaking up combat and forcing movement for progression.
     The next time we have all four of us, we'll actually have the Russian army in addition to the current German and American groups, as well as the added zombie element for some chaotic interference for all players- it'll be adapted for the Bolt Action game so we can see how it goes just for fun.

     Here are some pics for those interested.


Josh News: Fuck the Chikin Nugget

     Today's installment of Josh News is brought to you by a co-workers ingenious child.  They apparently REALLY hate chicken nuggets- particularly McDonald's Mc-nuggets.  The picture on the back shows where they ate.  It also shows what might be an apatosaurus or some similar creature.

     How can kids be so brilliant and hilarious?!?  I wish I could be even half as awesome as this.


Stephen King: Revival: Review

*Mild Spoiler Warning*

     In recent years grand master of horror Stephen King has been bringing us tales of a much more ordinary terror, stories set in more mundane terms.  Joyland was about a small carnival killer book with some ghostly talk (there's a nice reference to it in Revival), Mr. Mercedes was a straight up detective murder mystery, and even Dr. Sleep was a toned down follow up to The Shining.  I would never go as far as to say he's slipping, but he's definitely becoming a little more subtle.  Now that I've said that, I must also say Duma Key is one of my top 3 favorites of his books, following The Dark Tower Book 4: Wizard and Glass and the tie of It and 11/22/63.

Something Happened

"That is not dead which can eternal lie, 
And with strange aeons even death may die."

     Revival is the story of Jamie Morton.  A man that knew the Reverend Charles D. Jacobs since he was a young boy, and has seen his transformation over time.  Jacobs began as a happy, married man and father.  A man of god with a strange fascination with electricity- an obsession really.  After tragedy strikes, Jacobs gives a blasphemous sermon- resulting in his banishment from the church and the loss of faith from some of the parish.  
     Jaime and Jacobs cross paths a few times over the course of 50 years and they become tied together as Jacobs' experiments lead ever closer to his ultimate goal- to see what's after life.  We get to see through Jaime's eyes as Jacobs go from small church preacher to full on healer using his "secret electricity" to almost Frankenstein-ian scientist pushing the boundaries of what is possible.

     What King has done in Revival isn't a fully fair game for the reader- usually things may be accurately speculated with seeded information or hints and in this book's case, I felt it was not truly conveyed (outside of the Lovecraft quote he prefaces the novel with).  For the culmination of the book King doesn't give us a peek beyond the veil by pulling back the curtain, he rips it right off the wall- tearing away our fragile view of the world.  The reason I say this isn't fair to readers is because all the Lovecraft books held a sense of dread, pervading throughout the work, King's Revival did not.  Building tension and that unsettling feeling throughout the whole story and it just wasn't there.

     The tension seemed to be lacking at many points. leaving me with the feeling that something should be happening, but wasn't.  It is a bit frustrating to know that "something happened," and never really get any true indications of what.  No clues to the strange and dark things to come.  Perhaps the supernatural terrors were on lunch break?  Sure, one might chalk it up to thinking it would add to the disorienting nature of the experience to have something this drastic occur in the end, but I really feel that it came off as too large of a stretch.  There needed to be a little more in the way of perceptible dread leading up to the ending where Revival takes a turn for the weird.  The books mentions the slow boil method to cook a frog, but here it goes from a simmer straight to boiling over with no in between.

     As it is, Revival is still a great read, if you are a fan of King in any way, at least.  It has all the typical staples- young love, terrible deeds, manipulation, experiments, and shock value horror.  It's still more than worth a read and I'd still recommend it solely for the descriptions of the "curtain pull" moment at the end with its nice homage carved in basalt.


Josh News: Playing "Bolt Action" at The Source Comics & Games

     Today a few buddies and I got together for a small round of the tabletop World War 2 game Bolt Action.  The terrain in these pics was all assembled with things found at The Source, while all the figures were painted, assembled, and the bases made by my friend Dan.

     I took some pics of the game, apologies for the quality, as I was in a rush.

     Over the last 9 months or so I've been working on a horror-survival iteration of Bolt Action using zombies and skeletons.  The basis of the future version would be a "Dungeon Master-like" party would act as an in-between with things rising from the dead.  I haven't gotten all the specifics down yet- but essentially the zombies are weak as hell, but are able to take monstrous amounts of damage in an attempt to feed on or overrun soldiers on both sides.  Only head-shots kill them, and a single bite causes a soldier to change into a zombie over a few turns.  So far, I've got a ton of small rules worked out and we may be attempting this in like 6 months once it's set down properly.


Mel Brooks Teases Spaceballs 2: The Search for More Money!

     With the upcoming December release of the highly anticipated Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Mel Brooks has hinted towards a possible sequel to the beloved cult classic spoof Spaceballs.  In the original Spaceballs a sequel was already jokingly named Spaceballs 2: The Search for More Money.

Brooks is a true master of comedy.
     The news was broken on Adam Coralla's paid podcast Take a Knee last week and this is wonderful news for fans everywhere.  I've been a lifelong fan and never disliked any of his films, and this is potentially amazing turn of events.  Sure, the film market is over-saturated with reboots and sequels, but we haven't had a Brooks level spoof in years- and this would be a perfect opportunity.

     Brooks mentioned he would be eager to proceed, but only if Rick Moranis (Dark Helmet) would come out of retirement for it.  Other cast members still available are Bill Pullman as Lone Star, Daphne Zuniga as Princess Vespa, and Brooks himself in the dual roles of Yogurt and President Skroob.  Sadly the loss of both John Candy as Barf and Joan Rivers as the voice of Dot would be sorely felt, but a proper spoof can work around it.

     And for one further tease Brooks posted this in response to a beer tweet:

     While we anxiously await future news, "May the Schwartz be with you."

     I would also highly recommend watching Mel Brooks: Make a Noise on Netflix.  It's an interview/documentary that offers a tremendous amount of insight and humor from Brooks himself.

     Source [ Splitsider ]


Jupiter Ascending: A Short Review

Warning: Mild Spoilers

     Jupiter Ascending is an interesting movie, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing.  The Wachowski's haven't given us anything as deep or meaningful as Cloud Atlus, nor something as all around fun as Speed Racer, but instead we are given a very hackneyed science fiction universe.  It seems to be composed of some twist on the gods of Olympus, with some Star Wars, Flash Gordon, Dune, and a dash of Soylent Green thrown in to make it an amalgam of awkward tastes.
     The story is that of lowly toilet cleaning Jupiter Jones (Mila Kunis), a genetic reincarnation of intergalactic royalty, being found by her absurdly rich "family" that wants to harvest the Earth's people for an elixir of life.  Thwarting the elites and helping Jupiter find her new path is Caine Wise (Channing Tatum), a part wolf super soldier bred for battle.  Along the way there's a lot of explosions, robots, some dragon people, and even a Terry Gilliam cameo.
     They didn't even try to mask the mythological elements.  The elixer (bath juice) is called "nectar" and there are numerous statues of the Greek gods seen around the space stations.

     After considering this film for the last four days- it isn't quite fair to say it's a terrible movie.  It has plenty of merits such as decent acting, wonderful visual effects, and plenty of humor.  The entire film's design work is downright stunning.  Unfortunately it is highly predictable and cliched.  In trying to keep this review as short as possible I'll go as far to say that this film is something that will fully entertain people if they go in looking for uncomplicated entertainment.  In that sense, it's a great popcorn film.
     Simply put, the Wachowski's have given us a sci-fi space opera spectacle without the timeless story that should've been at its core.  They have, however, laid the groundwork for a potentially huge future.  The universe they've created here is mentioned by many characters as being far vaster than anything they've shown in the movie.  Perhaps we might someday get to see something much more worthwhile in the future of this new universe.  Something new and groundbreaking to set it apart from the typical sci-fi fair we've been inundated with for years.  Something worthy of the ideas floating around Jupiter Ascending.  As it is, it's a couple of hours of cinematic adventure, and I might even go see it again just for the gorgeous visuals.

     On a side note, maybe they should've called it Jupiter Descending instead, seeing as she spends roughly a quarter of the film in a state of falling from things.


Daredevil: Netflix's First Full Trailer

     This morning saw the release of the upcoming Netflix series featuring Marvel Comics' Daredevil and it looks far better than I had been expecting.  There are a few cliched lines, and lots of darkness, but it also has potential.

     Daredevil/Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox) is just a simple lawyer with a few extra abilities attempting to bring justice to Hell's Kitchen in New York City from the reign of Wilson "The Kingpin" Fisk (Vincent D'Onofrio).  I also saw Karen Page (Deborah Ann Woll), Foggy Nelson (Elden Henson), and Master Stick (Scott Glenn)- all pretty well cast and looking good.  They've even managed to keep in the religious struggle of becoming a guardian devil by the looks of it.

     Personally I was hoping it would have a grittier vibe, like The Black Donnellys had.  It could be there, as the trailer is still only revealing only the barest of story, so we'll just have to wait and see.  Maybe we'll even see him get a costume with a little more armor or protective covering- something like kevlar- light and flexible enough to still move.  I can't imagine an UnderArmour shirt reflecting bullets.

     Marvel's Daredevil Premieres on Netflix on April 10th (The entire series on one day).

LEGO Jurassic World Official Trailer

     Traveller's Tales is at it again with Lego Jurassic World.  It will be comprised of the upcoming Jurassic World film as well as the previous three Jurassic Park movie installments- all brought to you in everyone's favorite plastic building block form.  This first trailer brings us the most iconic dinosaur in a humorous for all ages Lego style and ensuring the hopes of all for the game's future sales.

     Jurassic World arrives in theaters June 12th.

     Lego Jurassic World will be available summer 2015 for Playstation 3, 4, & PS Vita, Xbox One & 360, Nintendo Wii U & 3DS, and PC.


An Open-World Metal Gear Solid is What Kojima Wants

     Hideo Kojima has stated in an interview with Famitsu, when asked if PS4 and Xbox One users would ever get to play the previous Metal Gear games updated for the next gen systems, that he is too busy for that size of a project.

     It is a very understandable answer, but he followed it with something quite interesting,
     That said, he elaborated further, by saying that he’d like to play in an open world Shadow Moses, so he’d like to see a remake of the first game. Unfortunately, no one steps forward to do it.
     Such a production, Kojima continued, would not only need the tools and the engine, but also the workforce, as he thinks everyone would like to play in the first game.

     All right developers out there, here's your chance.  If some group steps up for this project, an open-world Shadow Moses for Metal Gear Solid- you will have the backing of millions of potential Kickstarter donors and the support of the original creator himself.  It's a win-win scenario for whoever takes this up.
     This game was the seminal moment in my renewing of gaming as a major influence for my life.  It cemented the knowledge that games could be so much more than what was currently out there, and pointed towards what could eventually be.  If it gets announced, I'll donate in a heartbeat.

     Source [ DualSHOCKERS ]

Heroes Reborn: Aurora: Thoughts and Ideas

     I see with this new teaser we get our good old friend Mr. Bennett seemingly needing to protect a young, possibly Inuit girl from a suspicious man.  A very brief glimpse into what may be to come.  There really isn't much to go on, but it looks interesting no less.  They've got my attention and curiosity, so I'll be on board.

     If anyone here has been a long time reader, you know I both liked and hated Heroes.  I spent a lot of time writing long winded poorly formatted blog posts full of questions and hopes that never happened in the show.  There was so much potential that took a hell of a downhill slide in later seasons.  The comic series was all right, but the creators hadn't really re-captured the magic of the first season.  Personally I believe that they tried making it too big, some global shift instead of focusing on smaller stories about everyday people with extraordinary abilities.
     With this new series, I wonder if they can pare down the crap and make it great again.  I even thought up a great way to bridge into a new season, with the return of a killer (this was before I knew Zachary Quinto officially declined to return).  It would be an amazing and dangerous threat as Samson Gray would return with a purpose.  [ Click here to read the whole post ]

     Initially, I had thought it up and wanted to pitch it to Dynamite Comics as a 6 issue run, with flashbacks to Samson's younger days set in a type of period piece to mimic his new path as an older serial killer.  Hell I may still pitch it.  Considering I have a few hundred pages of notes outlining a small story.

     To read a slew of my old [ Heroes posts ]

          I see the oldest is from 2008.  It's been a while.