Gotham: Mr. Freeze: Victor & Nora Fries Cast & Thoughts on the Show

Thoughts on Freeze

     Nathan Darrow is pretty decent on House of Cards, and they can't do any worse than what DC Comics did to my Mr. Freeze than they did with his New 52 incarnation.  They took a compelling villain and made him mundane.  Hopefully my taste for Gotham as a series will return (more on that below), so I can return to this show and fully enjoy my favorite Bat-villain again.
     At least they kept his story sound according to Bleeding Cool News:
     "Victor begins as one of Gotham’s preeminent cryogenics engineers. Though ferociously smart and eminently capable in his work, Victor struggles to make meaningful connections with others. The one exception is his wife, Nora, who has tragically fallen ill with a terminal disease. Victor’s love for Nora knows no bounds, and as her condition worsens, he goes to extreme measures to figure out a way to freeze her before she dies."
     As much as it will be awesome to see Mr. Freeze on television again, I think the show needs to cut back on the ever-growing cast size.  I think it would've been cool to have him be a small consultant doctor on a case for Gordon.  Nothing super overt, just a guy doing his job, placed in a role for the fans to spot as an Easter Egg.

     UPDATE: Today marks the announcement of two additional new cast members.  The first is the awesome B.D. Wong (Jurassic Park and Jurassic World) as Hugo Strange, and Kristen Hager (Being Human) as the tragically-fated Nora Fries.

     At least she's going to have a compelling story (via Comicbook):
     "Thanks to her smarts, sincerity and a lighthearted sensibility, she’s the only person who’s managed to connect with the otherwise emotionally cold cryogenicist. As her condition worsens and her husband becomes more desperate to save her life, Nora must make the ultimate choice: play the willing participant in Victor’s mad plan or sacrifice herself to stop the monster inside of him." 

Thoughts on Gotham

     I've been a less than thrilled with Gotham.  Before it aired they were touting it as the story of a crime-riddled Gotham City long before Batman with Jim Gordon working against the odds.  What we got was an angsty show overloaded with all the people that we know from the 'now" all crammed into an impossibly connected world.

     It really bothers me that all these backstories are so conveniently tied to each other.  Why couldn't they make it a tightly knit story of a handful of crime families and the police force interwoven in a way that when someone weird does come along it signals something big?  Nope.  Of course they need to make everything tied together.  We have to deal with constant reminders of all the future criminals when they are young and are being force-fed their origin stories.

     It would make more sense, and in my mind a much better tale, that when Batman finally starts showing up, there's wouldn't be much in the way of strange super villains.  His appearance would serve as a beacon to draw the evil oddities out of the woodwork and bring them to Gotham City.  Hell they could even play it so you never see him in the very last season.  Keep him as a legend in the shadows, and only leave his rumors to be told by those that have encountered him.

     Think about how awesome it would be if a young Bruce Wayne only appeared maybe twice.  And then leave him away, he has his own story that comes much later in life, in a more interesting time of his life.  We don't need his whole damn childhood, and we don't need a kiddie Catwoman, or pint-sized Poison Ivy- Gotham would be much better as a straightforward crime series.  Maybe having the merest weird things, like a precursor to Black Mask with the Sionis family, along with Cobblepot and the Falcones.  I think a smaller story would do wonders instead of smashing together every damn character possible into one mess of an origin story.


Star Wars: The Old Republic: Knights of the Fallen Empire Launch Trailer

     Bioware's unparalleled Star Wars game, the MMORPG The Old Republic, has released it's fifth and newest expansion's trailer- the narrative heavy Knight's of the Fallen Empire.

     Players get to take part in a new non-canon story in the Outer Rim facing Sith Emperor Valkorion and his Eternal Empire.  As a continuation of their Knights of the Old Republic, anyone that enjoys gaming and Star Wars should check this game out.  Bioware has made a great name in creating content worth player's time.  They've built a an in-game Star Wars Universe that has great depth with plenty of room to get even bigger.
Jump straight into a deep and personal BioWare-style story where you’ll travel to the Outer Rim of the galaxy to come face-to-face with a new threat, Emperor Valkorion and his Eternal Empire. Your character will start its journey to becoming the Outlander, a veteran of the Great Galactic War, as you discover that the Eternal Emperor’s dark destiny is tied to your own. 
Choose your path, recruit Companions into your Alliance, and make choices that have power to change destinies, all at the center of your own personal STAR WARS™ saga!
Best of all, Knights of the Fallen Empire is free to all Subscribers and every Subscriber also receives a free Level 60 character.

     Knight's of the Fallen Empire is out today.  It has raised the level cap from 60 to 65, with the nice bonus of giving current subscribers a level 60 character as a thank you for the support.

     To Play [ Star Wars: The Old Republic ]


Gravity Rush 2: New Combat Information & Trailer!

     During their Paris Games Week presentation Sony has given us a nice new chunk of information for the highly anticipated sequel to the single greatest PS Vita game created, Gravity Rush.

     What we get in this trailer is to see the world will now have 2 alternate modes of combat to expand her normal gravity altering fighting ability.  Lunar Style, making Kat lighter and swifter, and then Jupiter Style increasing her weight and subsequently her attack power.  There's also a nice tease towards the tag-team play with the AI controlled secondary character.
     The creative team has really been putting a lot of effort into giving players new options for the action portion of the game.  Apparently there's more than one way to combat skinning a gravity defying cat.

     Gravity Rush 2 will be out some time in 2016 exclusively on PS4.

     Gravity Rush Remastered will be available Feb. 9th in North America
          (Exclusively via the Playstation Store for $29.99)

     Source [ Playstation Blog ]


Suicide Squad: Empire's Jared Leto Joker Cover

     There's been quite a controversy over Jared Leto's Joker in the months since they released the first images of his physical appearance for the David Ayer directed Suicide Squad.  Much of the criticism has been about the ridiculous tattoos all over his body.  And I have a feeling this new cover image for Empire Magazine is going to relight some of those fires.

     Leto said of his portrayal, "I always get the sense that The Joker may be much older than people think. It's something different. If you don't break rules, you're not going to strike new ground. I think I'll be cooling down for the rest of my life."
     And Ayers explained about the way Leto's version will differ from other portrayals of the Clown Prince of Crime, "The Joker is the third rail of comic book movies. There's a power to that character, and by some freaking miracle, through the incredible things Jared has done and the photography and all the other millions of things that went into it, we've cooked up something transcendent. He's scary."

     To be fair, his acting- in the brief trailer moments- is spot on, but that look that he has seems to be off kilter.  He's what I imagine a bunch of goth-hipsters working in a Hot Topic might design him to look like.  Arkham sweatpants (patient bottoms), barefoot, with a leather coat and cane.  That dichotomy seems to really push the opposing forces and idea of insanity in his mind, and it isn't even the strange choice of wardrobe that still bothers me- it's those damn tattoos.

     This is one of those times where I feel that he is definitely playing a Red Hood/Jason Todd in the role of the Joker, and the torture scene from the trailer might be Harley Quinn.  It feels a lot like a cheap ploy.  Granted, it could very well be a completely new take on the iconic Joker, but it still appears like something is "wrong" with him as a character.  At least with Ledger, everyone that complained about him shut the hell up when they saw him in make up and costume, that is not the case here.  The only image I don't hear any complaints about is the one where he's sitting in a straight-jacket with Harley.  I'll have to wait and see as more information comes in.

    Source [ ComicBookMovie ]

Star Wars: Cancelled Darth Maul Game May be Re-Awakened

     In a recent Reddit AMA Red Fly Studios CEO/Owner Dan Borth has said that they are hoping to "resurrect" the game from it's cancellation from LucasArts' closing its doors.  To do so the studio is working in their off time on a next gen demo to showcase the Sith Lord's abilities. (The video below is from the old gen systems)

     The game is described as taking place in Maul's pre-Phantom Menace time and would give us a great example of the path to the Dark Side through our own actions as Maul.
Young Maul age 9 or 11 to right before Episode 1.
We wanted to show what he went through to become a Sith. Showcase the torture the Emperor put him through. Show how you as the player would have made the same mistakes and ended up a Sith.
The Jedi are incredibly flawed in their opinions on not getting involved but getting involved and spying on people and using their abilities to get what they want. They are just like the Sith but don't admit it - the Sith admit it.
      With all the Star Wars stuff flooding the market, we could use a game like this.  The card game is boring, Uprising was alright, and the new update for Knights of the Old Republic looks great, plus Battlefront will be out soon enough, but we need something more along the lines of The Force Unleashed- so hopefully EA will see the merits of a game like this and support it.  Maybe they'll also consider bringing Star Wars: 1313 back into production as well.  I don't really want a Boba Fett game, but it'd sell and I'd sure as hell buy it.

     As a fallback plan, Borth mentioned, "Hopefully EA will see the value in us re-skinning our combat mechanic to be more in line with what they are thinking for Star Wars if they are not interested in Maul."  The fans want some in-depth 3rd person action games, and this makes sense as Maul has been confirmed to still be alive.  They could even cut in portions of his post Obi-Wan fight, and up to the more modern times to explain how he survived.

     To show our support Borth has asked us to go on Red Fly's Twitter (and other social media outlets) and let Disney and EA know we want this with the hashtag #WeWantMaul.


Jessica Jones: New Official Full-Length Trailer

     In the second of many Marvel and Netflix team ups, Jessica Jones' new trailer gives us a ton of great information.  We see the limits of Jones' powers, her alcoholism, the way she struggles with the torment Killgrave inflicted, and even the extent of how awful of a person he can be.

     Jessica Jones will premiere in entirety on Netflix November 20th.


The Last Witch Hunter: Review

     The Last Witch Hunter is soaked in convenience and cliche, but the visuals and fun factor keep it together just enough to allow it to remain enjoyable entertainment.  Vin Diesel stars as the titular witch hunter, cursed with immortality and currently protecting the regular humans from those that might do them harm with magic.

     All the actors struggle to make the roles work, even the great Michael Caine is left in a role that was wanting.  Vin Diesel plays his usual one-dimensional self, with no emotional range- in a tonally flat performance.  Rose Leslie plays a young witch/love interest complaining of the plight of her people (despite most witches here living in much better standards than damn near any of the regular humans in the film) who just so happens to have a hidden power to help the quest along, and Elijah Wood is a priest tasked with taking over the chronicles of Diesel's character.

     What the film has going for it is the visuals.  Not the CGI exactly, because there are times when it is laughable, you'll know it when you see it.  The Sentinel is the one magical creature that looks super alien and creepy and could've used more screen time.  The magic looks very spectacular at times, in particular there's a scene with a bunch of magical butterflies that is quite neat and the flaming sword was very cool.
     The set design is also tremendous, from the swanky witch nightclubs to the plague tree, they are all interesting locations and offer an oddly large feel to this cinematic world.  Of course, the pace of the movie is so great it doesn't matter as you'll be pulled right from one place to another.  Unfortunately, the camera work at times is so shaky, combined with consistently choppy editing, that it becomes a huge annoyance to track what's happening and it ruins the magic of those scenes.

     An unoriginal, but potentially interesting idea isn't enough to save The Last Witch Hunter.  The plot and story are dismal, supported by equally appalling dialogue in an effort to merge an ancient fantasy with the modern day world in a way that just doesn't fit right here.  Everything is telegraphed so far in advance that the trailer should be enough to accurately guess the end.
     In the hands of a better team of writers and directors, this could've been a truly amazing film with some real depth.  There are genuine moments that really do work, but they are few and far between.  As it is, it's merely an amusing modern day equivalent of a B movie- it feels like a film made by children trying to mix old genres and emulate the best of the old masters of fantasy and horror to create something new and interesting, and what resulted was this jumbled mess instead.  They have all the right pieces, it's just haphazardly piled together.

*I saw and reviewed this movie with screener tickets.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens: Thoughts on the Evil Luke Skywalker & Kylo Ren Theory

     I keep seeing these stupid posts concerning Luke Skywalker from The Force Awakens claiming Kylo Ren is actually Luke Skywalker. (1, 2, 3, etc.)  Seriously?  This is demonstrably untrue!  Luke IS in the trailer, and he has a whole voice-over in a nice calm voice.  Sure, he is wearing the dark outer cloak, but the under cloak appears to be the typical old Jedi garb that his own mentor, Obi-Wan Kenobi, wore.  And it might take place with his, or Han and Leia's possible children- but I think it's Rey and Finn he is talking to, but I can't discount the fact Kylo might be a child hearing it from him either if it is from the past.

     Should I also mention the fact there's been plenty of pics of Kylo Ren without his helmet, showing Adam Driver's visage?  And for the people thinking Luke might be evil because he isn't on the poster forget that Obi-Wan was NOT included on the A New Hope posters.

     I can't say that he won't be a villain in some capacity, but he is certainly NOT Kylo Ren.  Personally, I think Kylo Ren is of the Skywalker bloodline, more probably a Solo, being Han and Leia's child. (also note the first part of his name Kylo- S-KY-walker + So-LO... just saying...)  It would make sense in the Star Wars film saga being a chronicle of the Skywalker legacy to have him be one.  I mean, I also think that Rey might even be a Solo as well, but that's another story.

     Back to Luke- I think he has gone into self imposed exile as a way to preserve the Jedi.  Following in Kenobi's footsteps, maybe he's gone to guard something.  Or I've also thought that maybe, being the only true remaining Jedi as well as being the son of the most powerful Jedi that ever lived, he may have gone into hiding to protect others from an almost uncontrollable amount of Force power.  (Note: Disney scrapped the Expanded Universe, and in Aftermath Luke is mentioned as being possibly the only one left)

     As for Kylo, he clearly is following in the path of Vader.  He's already trying to imitate him with the mask and suit, but what training does he have?  Pretty much nothing.  What if Ren is a wanna-be Sith?  He doesn't have anything other than the stories of Vader to go from.  No master to follow.  He has a small grasp of the Force and built his lightsaber to emulate Vader's- Or from Vader's dropped lightsaber, as my friend suggested- to which I responded that would be a great mirror to seeing Luke's old saber (also from Vader/Anakin) from the trailer as well- but it looks like it might not be quite right and he hasn't got an instructor to guide him.  It has a weird unstable appearance, which makes me wonder if the hilt is actually an exhaust of some sort.  Like Ren couldn't get it to work properly and made due.

     However...  with those ideas, I don't discount the idea that Luke may have turned towards the Dark Side.  That is always a possibility, no matter how doubtful it may be.  Though, I also think that if Luke and Kylo fought each other, I fully believe Luke would crush Ren without a problem.  Ren appears to use fear to his advantage, whereas Luke at the end of Jedi was not only a competent Force user, but a confident Jedi Master and would see Ren as a minor threat.  The equivalent of Luke from A New Hope going up against Vader right away in the first film- it wouldn't even be a close fight.

     Overall, I think Luke is the new Obi-Wan, serving as a mentor to Rey and Finn, to combat Kylo Ren.  He may even become the new Yoda- the teacher for a future generation of Jedi.  Which might be a very important thing here.  These new Force users have no teachers outside of Luke, either good or bad.

     Sorry this is very rambling, but you get the gist of it.  

Back to the Future 2: Today is the Day Marty & Doc Arrive in the Future...

     It's been 30 years since I saw the first movie as a kid, and since then I've hit 88 mph, visited the past, eliminated the need for roads to arrive in the future, and now I'm waiting to see some of the "serious shit" Doc Brown was talking about.  
     I've seen the good things from the series, like the very well done video game- and the amazing relief from the news that there will be no remakes- and can only hope the creators keep the Back to the Future franchise on good grounds with the new IDW comic book series.  The fact it launches on the the exact day Marty arrives is quite a nice marketing tie-in.  Well played IDW, well played.

     As a life-long fan of the series, I've never thought the vision of the future was going to be realistic, albeit it is one I'd hoped might create hoverboards or flying cars in.  I mean, I've put a LOT of thought into the flying cars issue- and it is honestly a great thing we don't have them.  Considering the fact there is still well over 30,000 vehicle-related deaths annually in the us, it's a tremendous feat to keep that number lower.  Adding a third dimension (as opposed to the regular side-to-side and forward/backward of normal cars) to an increasing number of highly-distractable drivers' awareness field might result in a huge increase in fatalities.  But then, I suppose we'd need to create a pilot's license specifically for "flying cars."

     Anyways, until we have self drying coats, self-tying shoes, and hoverboards- Marty McFly's future of 2015 will always remain a future to me in some other parallel world.  The series opened the idea of time-travel possibilities for me, and will remain a pivotal mark in cinematic history.  Regardless of the accuracy of the future it thought might come or not.  Somewhere right now, a Marty McFly is walking around wondering what the hell happened to us between his departure from the past and today.  Perhaps Biff Tannen has something to do with the current ridiculousness the world finds itself in...


Hocus: An Escher-esque Puzzle-Solving Short Review

     Hocus immediately grabs players' attention due to its extremely minimalist design using impossible geometry of the M.C. Escher variety.  It's presented in primarily grays creating a stark contrast with the only two colored items in the game, which are the red cube you maneuver and red goal you must reach, creating an easy visual cue for where to begin and where to end.  That is the whole game, you start the game, solve 50 (currently) puzzles, and then you are done.

     The game is a great in attempting to navigate the illusionary pathways forcing players to adapt to perceptually connect planes that could never do so in physical 3 dimensional reality.  The game gives players a wonderful perspective-warping path to finding solutions equivalent to traverse a Penrose Triangle.  Unlike games such as Monument Valley or Echochrome, the puzzles in Hocus are static.  You can't rotate or alter them to find another solution.

     Music in Hocus is a sublime set of strange chimes that really give off an ethereal ambiance to the game's paradoxical architecture.  The gradually increasing difficulty offers a mediocre challenge to go with the soothing sounds and aesthetically pleasing visuals making the game feel almost like an achievement in zen gaming.

     The game truly focuses on combining the simple mechanics, spacial reasoning, and relaxing sounds in a way that is so well done that it is more than enough to make Hocus a great purchase, and subsequently it offers a brief respite from the more action oriented titles that fill the app stores nowadays with a small dose of tranquility through its gameplay.


Star Wars: The Force Awakens: Second Official Trailer!

     Two and a half minutes of Star Wars: The Force Awakens has just appeared online for all of us that don't watch football.  Plenty of new bits for us fans to drool over and even more to speculation fodder has been given.  It looks stunning.

     I'm quite greatful that Abrams has kept the trailers to a minimum to avoid massive spoilers like he did with Star Trek: Into Darkness.  This looks to be about 1,000 times better.

     The Force Awakens on December 18th.


Star Wars: The Force Awakens: Teaser for the New Trailer

     The restraint in marketing Star Wars: The Force Awakens has been keeping is quite insane.  Scheduled for tomorrow night during Monday Night Football, the brand new trailer for the highly anticipated Episode VII will air.
     Right now, we get 15 glorious new seconds of tease for it!

    Star Wars: Episode VII: The Force Awakens hits theaters this December 18th.


Marvel Inhumans: Vin Diesel as Black Bolt?

     Am I the only person that thinks that Diesel is completely wrong for the role?  I've been reading the Inhumans for a very long time, before the exceedingly well done Paul Jenkins and Jae Lee series, which is a must read for anyone even remotely interested in the Inhumans.

"..." - Black Bolt.
     The way I figure it, Black Bolt needs to be a regal and imposing figure, he is the King of the Inhumans after all.  Diesel can do imposing but I don't think he can do the regal.  I have extremely large doubts that Diesel could portray someone with as much aristocratic ability as Blackagar Boltagon.  Besides, if you've seen any films he's acted in, not just voiced, his physical acting is too clunky.  He comes across as a slab of beef that clobbers his way through life.  It'd be akin to using a machete when a scalpel is the far more appropriate tool.  Black Bolt is a very complex character, one that needs acting skills much keener than Diesel's awful display of pantomime from IGN's "Black Bolt Audition" video below.

     This is a case where Marvel should go a different route.  I think they should make him very alien in his look, like the Black Bolt of the Earth X Universe (pictured below), and make him a CG character that is motion captured by an actor of Andy Serkis' caliber, or even someone like insanely talented actor Doug Jones.  Jones once said about working in heavy suits, prosthetics, and makeup, "I have to make that a part of my being and my physicality and again, acting is a full body experience and that's a part of it when you're doing a costumed character."
     This is where Diesel has, so far, failed quite spectacularly.  He has never shown the subtlety or nuance necessary for a role without speaking like this.  Black Bolt is a role that absolutely requires a perfect capture of someone that can emote with only the most minute facial expressions and body language.  It's a character we must believe can inspire his people just by being there and sending them a message with the merest nod.  Diesel's ham-handed skills have never given the impression that he can handle such delicate work like this.  Granted, I could be wrong, and Diesel may have gotten much, much better as an actor, but we'll have to wait and see.

     Inhumans is slated for a July 12th, 2019 release.

Dead Island: Epidemic: The Servers Officially Shut Down

     Not mowing the lawns...

     It's always sad to see a good game get shut down, and the free-to-play Dead Island: Epidemic was a great game.  On September 15th Team Dead Island: Epidemic announced they would shut down a month later, and now- the game servers have just officially just shut down.

     Team DI:E had taken the franchise and gave it a hell of a makeover and a ton of new and wonderful characters.  Every corner of the game was full of small details that filled the world and gave it depth.  Those little things added so much to the game's style it would be hard to deny its brilliance.  Even the loading screens had something to entertain, all my yellow-colored headers in this post are statements that popped up between matches.  They include nods to other zombie IPs, strange explanations, and even things the developers were doing to prepare the game.
     They went above and beyond in creating something you could tell they loved.  I mean look at the interesting way they used text in the pictures below (numbers 3 and 4).  They moved in perspective as you shifted position around them, like small hovering walls.  DI:E was a work made by a team that wanted to make something they really cared about, and it definitely showed.

     Loading a lot...

     Developer Deep Silver has been having a tough time recently with the Dead Island franchise, and the only good thing in the last couple years was this MOBA.  After the fallout with Yager being eliminated from Dead Island 2's development after monstrous delays (although Techland has offered to take up the reigns again) and the fumbled mess that was Escape Dead Island- which could've been handled so much better. I had hoped some good news would come out for the series I enjoyed so much. Escape Dead Island had so much potential going for it and they really dropped the ball big-time on the chance to expand on a tremendously fun zombie series.

     Turning Daryl...

     What makes this so awful is that the game was an absolutely amazing MOBA.  Epidemic had beautiful graphics, amazing sound and music design, and most importantly, it had damn fun gameplay.  I started playing it myself in December 2014, and over the course of playing there were numerous improvements and graphics overhauls- as you can see from the pictures (the newest on top, to the oldest at the bottom of the page)- and they always made things better with each new addition.  And there were constant additions to the game, be it new characters, weapons, or whatever.  There was plenty of content to keep players busy.

     Reading Zombie Survival Guides...

     Deep Silver put a lot of effort into this game and the team directly responsible made something special.  I can only hope that they use what they've made to create a Diablo-esque story mode game we can purchase and play to support them.  In my opinion, an iOS and Android mobile version of a single player campaign could be created with Epidemic as its foundation and potentially marketed quite well if they really wanted to.  Maybe Deep Silver can put the game to use in the ever-expanding mobile games area.

     So in saying goodbye to Dead Island: Epidemic, I leave you with my favorite small bit of humor in the background of one of the levels that always made me laugh...

 ...a zombie that died photocopying its ass on a xerox machine.

     The Epidemic has ended.


Ghosts of Memories: Review: A Beautiful Interdimensional Puzzle-Adventure

     Ghosts of Memories is a beautiful 2.5D isometric puzzle-adventure game that looks like a combination of Journey and Lara Croft GO, with a mysterious landscapes full of strange architecture.

     The art designs and overall aesthetic evoke a magical wonder wandering through the ruins of the ancient worlds as players navigate the dimensions as a lone wanderer that has come across a voice trapped in a scepter.  With the scepter granting you magical powers, you may travel between dimensions and manipulate the environment to solve puzzles, all the while unlocking parts of the story piece by piece.

     When it comes to the puzzles themselves, they are fairly straightforward.  Sliding tiles to bridge fragmented platforms, rotating obelisks with illuminated glyphs, and even temple statues that spin to alter the floors all around you.  Finding pathways between dimensions and shifting structures to solve the problems never gets too perplexing.  Ghosts of Memories maintains an oddly amicable sensibility when it comes to difficulty.  It's never too easy, but never too taxing at any point- it hits just the right note between the two perfectly.

     The music is peaceful, subtle, and alluring providing players with a grand score making the game quite a relaxing endeavor.  The soothing sounds and chimes filling these worlds are truly sublime.  Even the voice in the staff that narrates the traveler's quest is equally compelling in its otherworldly sound, offering its esoteric knowledge whenever possible.  Each of these elements together really add to the effect of feeling like you are in another enchanted world abandoned to a kind of forgotten serenity, and not simply roaming the floating ruins of a lost civilization.

     In the end, Paplus Games' Ghosts of Memories is a delightful puzzle game set in a captivating world with a satisfying story.  If you have an appreciation for isometric puzzle games such as Monument Valley, or for enthralling tales reminiscent of Ico, I can't recommend this enough.  It's an enjoyable and impressive game with a uniquely tranquil way of unraveling its story, and I genuinely look forward to whatever games they make after this.

     Ghosts of Memories ] will be available on iOS and Android devices Oct. 16th.

*This game was reviewed with a copy provided by the developer.


Disney Infinity 3.0: Ant-Man, Black Panther, and Vision Leaked!

     Someone over at Amazon has accidentally leaked some of the future Marvel characters for Disney Infinity 3.0.  We are getting Vision, Black Panther, and Ant-Man.  And they all look amazing.  I see there are a bunch of 2.0 figures as well as the Black Spider-Man and the new Captain America that is to be packed with the Marvel Battlegrounds Infinity playset.

     Normally I don't like to do this, but as a huge fan of both Marvel and Disney Infinity, this is something I would want to see.  I mean, really, I've been complaining about how we aren't getting much in the way of Marvel figures announced, and then this happens.  A lucky day indeed.

     On a side note, is this looks a lot like some serious build up for the first part of the Captain America: Civil War movie.

     Source [ Infinity Inquirer ]

The X-Files: Ask Yourself: A Brilliant & Stylized Teaser

     "They've re-opened the X-Files."

     With this simple quote, FOX has created a wonderfully minimalist teaser trailer.

     The X-Files will return with a 2-part premiere on Sunday, Jan. 24, 2016 at 10pm ET, and continue on Monday the 25th at 9pm ET on FOX.


Daredevil Season 2: Official Footage

     Afte rhte leaked footage ran this weekend from the New York Comic Con, we knew the rest of us wouldn't have to wait too long for the high quality stuff to drop.  Here it is, the good Daredevil Season 2 footage (starts at the 1:30 mark in the video).

    The best parts are clearly the anticipated teases of Bernthal's Punisher and Yung's Elektra.

     Daredevil Season 2 will arrive in its entirety on Netflix in 2016.

Disney Infinity 3.0: Star Wars: The Force Awakens: Playset & Figures Revealed and Release Date Announced

    The Disney Infinity team has finally released Star Wars: Episode VII: The Force Awakens' list of related merchandise, and it looks good.  I just hope Finn plays like Luke Skywalker, with a blaster and a lightsaber.

     "In Star Wars: The Force Awakens Play Set, players will travel to a galaxy far, far away alongside new heroes and old friends in search for a much-needed ally. Playable characters include Finn, a soldier on a path to adventure and danger, and Rey, a true survivor who is resourceful and capable. Both will join Poe Dameron, the trusted pilot of the Resistance who uses his expert flying skills to travel the galaxy, and Kylo Ren, an enforcer for the First Order who terrorizes the galaxy with devious acts."

     Star Wars: The Force Awakens Playset (Includes Finn and Rey figures):
Return to a galaxy far, far away alongside new heroes and old friends as they search for a much needed ally. 
A soldier on a path to adventure and danger. 
A true survivor who is resourceful and capable.
     Poe Dameron: 
Trusted pilot of the Resistance uses his expert flying skills to travel the galaxy.
     Kylo Ren:
Enforcer for the First Order terrorizes the galaxy with devious acts.
     Force Awakens Power Disc Pack (Includes 4 Power Discs):

     Disney Infinity 3.0: Star Wars: The Force Awakens playset and figures will be available on December 18th.

     Source [ Infinity Inquirer ]


LEGO Marvel's Avengers: New Trailer from NYCC

     After the huge launch of LEGO Dimennsions recently, some fans have been eager for an update for the next non-Dimensions related game, LEGO Marvel's Avengers.  We finally get a full trailer from the New York Comic Convention.

     The new game features not just scenes and story from The Avengers and Age of Ultron, but will also include LEGO-ized versions of Captain America and its sequel The Winter Soldier, Thor: The Dark World, and Iron Man 3.

     LEGO Marvel's Avengers will be available January 26th, 2016.


Disney Infinity 3.0: Marvel Battlegrounds Update & Captain America: The First Avenger

     The newest Disney Infinity 3.0 announcement has dropped.  Along with a new trailer, we get a new figure.  Kind of.

     Coming in March 2016, Marvel Battlegrounds will provide a new story as well as new dimensions of gameplay for the Disney Infinity Marvel players:
     "In the original storyline, Ultron teams up with Loki in an effort to steal Asgard’s immensely powerful Infinity Stone. To accomplish this, Ultron and Loki create robotic replicas of the famed Marvel Super Heroes and turn them against each other in an effort to distract them while they commit their crime. The Marvel Super Heroes duplicates battle each other in iconic environments such as a wrecked Brooklyn train yard, Wakanda and S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Lunar Base, culminating in a universe-shaking battle against Ultron."
     Sadly the new 4 player co-op can't mask my disappointment the of the 4 officially known Marvel Infinity characters, 2 of the figures are just costume swaps and not really new.  Black suit Spider-Man and Cap are merely new costumes, while Hulkbuster Iron Man and Ultron are at least totally new characters.  Although they have yet to officially announce Ant-Man since their teaser months ago.

     Source [ Infinity Inquirer ]


Marvel Heroes 2015: All New, All Different Costumes Coming This Week

     Coinciding with Marvel comics' "All New, All Different" (and All Women) relaunches this week, Marvel Heroes 2015, easily the best free-to-play MMO game around, is getting a wave of new costumes.  This is great thing, as the game needs more everything!

     There will be a new Scarlet Witch, Thor, Captain Marvel, and X-23 costumes, as well as a Spider-Gwen Team-up, which is slated to arrive as an Enhanced Costume for Spider-Man next month.  That means essentially a reworking of an old character with new animations, a new voiceover (by Ashley Johnson of The Last of Us), and so on.
    All of these All New, All Different items will be hitting the game this Friday.

     Personally, I've been waiting for Spider-Gwen for quite a while and have avoided using Spider-Man so I could save the character for use when her Enhanced Costume arrives.  And I'll also be picking up the new Thor costume, and possibly the new Captain Marvel as well.  My Earth X Thor will be swapped out for a time to make room for the new suit.

     In other MH2015 news, Blade has shown up in the forums for discussion (I hope he has a bleed/health steal build), and I'm really disappointed that the Trail of Tears Ghost Rider Enhanced Costume will not be making it out this year.  But I can wait, there's plenty of characters to play as.  Seriously, there's currently 51 playable characters with Kitty "Shadowcat" Pryde being the newest.

     Gazillion Employee @Lord gave us a nice little quote here:
"Unfortunately, we will not have Ghost Rider on a Horse this year.
I would check out any upcoming comic-con's for other possible Ghost Rider news though."
     So, while it makes me sad that one of my favorite characters won't be getting what could easily be one of the best MH2015 costumes ever, there is that wonderful little tease about potential news coming up.  Even better that the possibility the news might occur in the next few days at New York Comic Con has me very pumped.

     If you haven't given this game a try, and are either a video game fan, or a Marvel fan, Marvel Heroes 2015 is well worth the time.

     [ Marvel Heroes 2015 ]

     Source [ IGN ]

Red Amazon: A Micro Game Review

     I came across Red Amazon in some random searches at GameJolt, and it proved to be quite an intriguing 5 minute game.
     Red Amazon drops you in a cabin in the woods with no explanations, and allows you to piece together the story for yourself.  Due to the game's mere few minutes of play there will be spoilers in below.


     The official description:
Note: You can die/lose/win.
Another note: Its not a horror game.
     What makes Red Amazon such an interesting piece is the fact that there's just enough material to allow the player to piece together a small story as to what is going on.  There's no hand holding, no guidance, and no hints whatsoever.  Once the game ends, die, lose, or win- you are left without any concrete answers, leaving you to question what really happened.  That is something I really appreciate here.
     You are dropped into a cabin in the woods and through searching you find a few bullets, a gun, and a hidden cache of money.  Over the course of the game you can be shot, shoot the man that arrives in the red car, and possibly more.  If I don't immediately shoot him but shove my gun in his face, will he lower his gun and allow me to lead him to the loot?  Whatever you decide to do, you never get full resolution in the end.  Did you win by killing the man?  Will you discover why there is a tent in the woods or where the money came from?

     The game has oddly appropriate graphics with some nice shading.  Simple and bleak- evoking a spartan world where no one can help you except yourself.  The music and sound effects, however, really makes this game stand out.  There are small triggers like passing a small burnt area in the woods prompts the sound of a car driving up.  There's also a gunshot in the distance that is notable in the quiet woods.  Fallen trees, animal skulls, and a remote location all add to the feel of seclusion of the character.  For such a small game, it undoubtedly goes above and beyond in creating a unique experience.
     Red Amazon sets a distinct tone that is very reminiscent of a crime thriller like No Country for Old Men and leaves the story ambiguous enough to leave you wanting more.

     To download and play [ Red Amazon ] from GameJolt.

Sherlock: New Holiday Special Full Trailer

     Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman return in their roles as famed detective Sherlock Holmes and John Watson.  Only now it's back to a time when the iconic 221b Baker Street was cobbled.  The special is set to be a standalone period piece one-shot set in the Victorian era, placing the modern characters into a classic setting befitting a true Sir Arthur Conan Doyle adventure tale.

     The Sherlock Special will be coming soon.  Very soon.


Far Cry Primal: Announcement Trailer

     At first I thought this was a joke, but apparently the creators of the Far Cry series are taking us all the way back to the Stone Age for our first-person survival enjoyment in a new prehistoric open-world sandbox with Far Cry Primal.  I should've guessed it with Ubisoft running a cave painting teaser on all their streams yesterday.

     This new installment of the series brings us to a time of danger and savagery in Oros, a land filled with lumbering mammoths and deadly sabretooth tigers.  Humans are far from the top of the food chain here, and we will no longer have machine guns, mortars, or any other high-powered weaponry to assist us in our efforts just to keep from being devoured by hungry predators.

     Here's some of the features:
You will play as Takkar, a seasoned hunter and the last surviving member of your group. You have one goal: survival in a world where you are the prey.

This isn’t the Stone Age you thought you knew. This is the Stone Age with irreverence and mayhem. This is the Stone Age by Far Cry.

After the last Ice Age, the glaciers retreated to leave behind a land blooming with nature and resources where humans and animals alike can thrive – provided they have what it takes to prove their dominance.
     With such an interesting take, I wonder why we don't get the long rumored Far Cry with dinosaurs?  Perhaps we may still get some- this time period might not be close enough to the Ice Age era- but that doesn't mean the creators won't have a dino-filled lost world somewhere in the game.  Think of how strange and amazing Far Cry: Blood Dragon was, and now apply that DLC logic to Primal and the possibility then remains that we could indeed see such marvelous beasts.  I mean, they do say, as noted above, this is "the Stone Age by Far Cry."

     Far Cry Primal is set for a February 23rd, 2016 release on PSS4 and XBox One
          And a PC version to follow shortly after in March.

Jessica Jones: Another NEW Trailer: Evening Stroll

     Jessica Jones shows off another power in the newest teaser trailer.  While out on a nice walk in the streets of Hell's Kitchen, Jones shows off her ability to jump really, really far.  Batroc The Leaper might be a little bit jealous after seeing this.

     All episodes will be available on Netflix November 20th.


Blade of the Immortal: Film to be Directed by Takashi Miike

     Hiroaki Samura's Blade of the Immortal began in 1993 and has had 30 (31 in America available through Dark Horse Comics) volumes of gory, blood-filled spectacle following the path of fuedal Japan's ronin warrior Manji.  He was cursed with bloodworms and is forced to be immortal until he kills 1,000 evil men.

     As Dark Horse's description says:
     "To end his eternal suffering, he must slay one thousand enemies!" Manji, a ronin warrior of feudal Japan, has been cursed with immortality. 
     To rid himself of this curse and end his life of misery, he must slay one thousand evil men! His quest begins when a young girl seeks his help in taking revenge on her parents' killers . . . and his quest won't end until the blood of a thousand has spilled!"

     In 2008 a lackluster animated series was created, but now we get much better news.  Director Takashi Miike, who adapted Ichi the Killer, and directed Audition- has been chosen to helm the live action film adaptation of Blade of the Immortal.  This is tremendous news, as Miike knows how to handle horror and the strange aspects of human darkness, so he should be able to pull this off wonderfully.

     Blade of the Immortal is slated for a 2017 release with actor and pop-idol member of SMAP Takuya Kimura in the lead role.

     Source [ Crunchyroll ]

TMNT: Spelunky Creator Derek Yu has an Idea for a NES Inspired Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Game

     Destructoid's Jonathan Holmes spotted some interesting Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles pixel art on Twitter by Spelunky Creator Derek Yu and decided to inquire what he'd do with it given the chance.

     Yu's responses to Holmes' question are still better than a majority of the last couple decades worth of TMNT related games:
"Top-down stealth game that switches between city and sewers, changes to free-scrolling beat 'em up when you enter a mission.
Regular missions are randomly-generated, special missions are unlocked when you win enough territory back from the Foot Clan.
Getting spotted too many times in the top-down part will force you back to the sewer for a time and let the Foot gain territory.
 And some kind of sewer skateboarding minigame like the special stages in Sonic 2: (Link)." -Derek Yu
     Dear Activision, if you are still in control of the video game rights, please make this happen.  Danger of the Ooze was mediocre at best, the newest TMNT movie tie-in was all right, the mobile movie tie-in was pretty good, and Out of the Shadows was a poorly done game with a ton of potential.  A combination of the side-scrolling beat-em-ups from the Konami years, with the old school Nintendo TMNT could be what the franchise needs for a video game revival.
     There's even a really interesting fan made game I've got on deck to review, although only the first 4 levels are currently testable.  The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles deserve a game worthy of their fans.  Yu's proposal above could be what we are looking for.  There's a plethora of material to draw from, and his pixel art game could be marketed to the ever-expanding mobile audience with an insane amount of consumers to back it.

     There is so much potential in a proper TMNT game.  The best games I've found recently are the Nickelodeon free browser-based web games Donnie Saves a Princess and Turtle Tactics 3D.  Where's all the games that fans have been clamoring for?

     Seriously, Activision, I've said it for years- either go retro for the fans, or create a game that is 4 person multiplayer open world like a combination of the Lego Marvel Super Heroes game and Skyrim?  Think of the possibilities, you can have New York, Dimension X, and even all the different eras in history from Turtles in Time- all in a vast open world with consistent random spawning enemies, that fight among each other like the Batman Arkham series.  I can see all the proper elements being hinted at and begun in Out of the Shadows and the 3D Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Nickelodeon cartoon tie-in, but they were never fully realized.
     Imagine how great a 3rd person TMNT game could be, even a Lego TMNT would be great.  Give players the chance to play as more than just the 4 turtles.  Maybe make April O'Neil, Casey Jones, Splinter, Slash, and Metal Head would be unlockable for play.  Heck, if they really want to make things interesting, open up the villains for play to allow for more PvP action.  There's really unlimited potential and these types of games can start with Derek Yu's vision and expand from there.

     It's time to take up the reigns and let people that know what they're doing make games for the fans.  Take chances and make something new and interesting while maintaining the multiplayer fun of the old school days.  This is a true gold mine of opportunity.

     Source [ Destructoid ]

     For more related posts [ TMNT ]

No Man's Sky: Update & Info with Stephen Colbert

     The upcoming, and immensely anticipated game No Man's Sky has been talked about for some time now.  It is a sci fi game returning to the exploratory roots of the genre.  New information is trickling out, and there is still no set release date.  The rumors are that it is soon, according to Colbert's guess in the clip with Hello Games' Sean Murray.

     In this clip of No Man's Sky from The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Colbert is impressed at the sheer size of the game they've created.  The fact that we'll all be dead long before everything is discovered is astounding, with something like a 5 billion years to fully explore the game.  But, more to the comedic effect of Colbert's show, the best part of the video is the "Mine!" the Colbert naming gun says when naming things, second only to the hilarious names newly discovered creatures get, such as the Colbison, Molebert, and the Stephenus Rex.

     No Man's Sky looks to potentially bve the exploration game of a lifetime.


Patrick Rothfuss' Kingkiller Chronicles Being Adapted into Video Games

     Well, actually the Rothfuss and Lionsgate deal will be a multi-platform deal- encompassing adaptations into movies, video games, and television shows.  I recall hearing about this quite a while back, and it was apparently being discussed way back in July of 2013.

     The story of Kvothe as a man that cannot live up to his legend any longer in the world of Temerant.  If you've ever been a fan of fantasy books, and would like what can only be called a writer's writer of fantasy, Rothfuss' 2007 debut book The Name of the Wind is a must read.  The second book in the trilogy, The Wise Man's Fear, is every bit as amazing a follow up as it could possibly have been.  And as we wait for the final installment of the series (Doors of Stone), there are 3 novellas to keep readers going.  The Slow Regard of Silent Things in particular should be read by anyone invested in the series as I feel it is the linchpin of the Kingkiller Chronicles, or at least the key to unlocking this "thrice-locked chest" of a trilogy.

     “Honestly, I've never been very interested in a straight-up movie deal, but Lionsgate was willing to work out something different, a multiplatform deal where they develop the films, TV series, and games simultaneously. That will give us the screen time to develop the characters and show off the world. What's more, through this whole process, they've treated me with amazing respect. I never thought a studio would approach me as a creative partner who understands how stories work." - Patrick Rothfuss
     Lionsgate President of Interactive Adventures & Games, Peter Levin, is going to head the production of the Kingkiller Chronicles videogame adaptation.  Levin was behind the John Wick videogame that was published by Starbreeze Studios, noted for fan-loved games The Darkness, Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay, and Payday 2.

   There aren't many details yet about this, but I'll be posting as I hear them.  In addition, on the chance that Rothfuss announces the date of the Doors of Stone at Nerdcon, I'll be reporting that instantly as I'll be in attendance next Friday.

     Source [ The Hollywood Reporter ] via [ GameInformer ]