Robert Kirkman's OUTCAST: NEW Cinemax 30 sec. Promo

     Outcast is a 10 episode Cinemax show based on the Skybound/Image Comics series by Robert Kirkman of The Walking Dead fame.  I'd rather recommend his tremendous comic series Invincible, but that's far less well known, or even his runs on Destroyer or Irredeemable Ant-Man.

     Cinemax has appeared to have given great life to this tale of demonic possession and the toll it takes on those that deal with it for their whole lives.  Outcast is the story of Kyle Barnes (Patrick Fugit) on a journey to live a life of relative normalcy with the aid of Reverend Anderson (Philip Glenister) who is dealing with demons of the personal kind.  There seems to be a lot more to what lies just out of sight from most mortals, and these two may have a hand in keeping them from creeping into this realm.

     As I wrote when the first trailer arrived, the supernatural-horror genre has needed a kick to its ass in recent years, and this show looks to capture the dark roads some must walk quite wonderfully.

     Outcast is set to premiere on Cinemax on June 3rd.


Deus Ex Go, Just Cause Go, and Life is Strange Go Registered Domains!

     Something I've been hoping for since back in October of last year has happened, maybe the Deus Ex costume in Lara Croft Go was indeed Easter Egg I thought it to be- as Deus Ex Go is one of 3 new domains registered.  It's looking good that Square-Enix Montreal might be continuing the path of turn based puzzle games.
     Back in November I had tweeted Square-Enix Montreal and got this as a reply-

     -leaving me hoping for more of their tremendous mobile games.

     Three Square-Enix properties have been registered for domains, Deus Ex GoJust Cause Go, and Life is Strange Go.  These domain registrations have been done through CSC Domain Tools, which Square-Enix has used previously for their domain registrations, making this a much more likely that this is a real thing.  BUT!  Simply registering domains is obviously not a guarantee of game development.  We can only hope that these are all on the way.

     I am actually surprised with the Life is Strange Go.  I would've thought Thief or Murdered: Soul Suspect to be much more appropriate properties to adapt to the Spartan designs of the Go games, with some intriguing mechanics potential that could be used.  Perhaps Life is Strange Go will have a time-warping process included in the turn-based system to keep in line with the main game, possibly working a bit like the dimensional warping in Ghosts of Memories.

     Beginning with Hitman Go, they've followed up with Lara Croft Go and its DLC The Shard of Life, and have kept up a wonderfully elegant and distilled form of gameplay.  And I would genuinely like to see what they can do for these other properties in the Go style.

     Source [ NeoGAF ] via [ Gamespot ]


Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice: Thoughts v Review

     Just in time we for this Easter weekend, we got an Easter Basket.  What I mean about that is the fact that Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice isn't really a movie with a few Easter Eggs, but rather it's a series of Easter Eggs strung together in an attempt to be 2 and a half hour commercial for DC Comics' future films.  I'm not even kidding, the whole film was predicated on setting other films up when it should've rightfully been it's own damn story.

SPOILER ALERT for past the break
     (This is also a long-winded rant warning.)

[ EDIT: I forgot to post this Friday night before I left for the Holiday weekend. ]


Wonder Woman: What's with the Fucking High Heels

     I'll be seeing Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice tonight after work, and with the film's release, Entertainment Weekly has posted an article about the future Wonder Woman film.  The picture itself looks pretty damn great.  I'm still hesitant about Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, but I'll wait to see her in action to make a full judgement on how she does, as some people pull off roles despite not appearing as many believe they should.  Warning: this could get into ramble mode.

     The Amazonian warriors from left to right: Lieutenant Menalippe (Lisa Loven Kongsli), Diana/Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), Diana’s mother Queen Hippolyta (Connie Nielsen), General Antiope (Robin Wright).

     There's something a little disconcerting about the article.  I found the decidedly strange take on the costumes a bit odd.  They want them to be authentic and real, but not like the males?  Interesting, the armor definitely keeps a semi-Grecian vibe, but also looks a little like Viking gear.
     The issue isn't with the clothes, it's with the heels.  Why?  I can see for the cinematic quality it would be ok to a point for the clothing- but why have the fucking high heels?!?  I've bitched about the issue for years, if a person takes action in any combat capacity- do not use heels!  I even raged at the idea of Nolan's version of Catwoman and her idiotic heels.  A cat burglar needs to be stealthy, quiet, and agile, not clacky-sounding as hell and totally impractical for any sort of evasive maneuvering for breaking in and out of places.  Where is this idea of needing heels from?  At least on some boots it serves as a control for stirrups, but here they are useless.
“To me, they shouldn’t be dressed in armor like men,” Jenkins says of the women’s battle wear. “It should be different. It should be authentic and real – and appealing to women.” Jenkins and her costume designer, Lindy Hemming (The Dark Knight), crafted a look that showed off the women’s ripped shoulders and toned legs, in outfits that looked practical but that still featured the tropes of the comic book, in particular the braces on their wrists and, yes, even the high heels
Jenkins defends the impractical footwear. “It’s total wish-fulfillment,” she says, adding that the warriors have flats for heavy fighting. “I, as a woman, want Wonder Woman to be hot as hell, fight badass, and look great at the same time – the same way men want Superman to have huge pecs and an impractically big body. That makes them feel like the hero they want to be. And my hero, in my head, has really long legs.”
     All right, I've written about this topic over and over and over and over and over again.  From a male's perspective, we don't want Superman to look like he's one of those preposterously huge muscle heads, we want someone to look like what they are doing is something they actually could do.  I'd recommend you read the much lengthier post here, but in it I can sum up the image thing with this snippet from it:
     Body types do mean something in these films.  I'm not talking about breast size.  I couldn't care less about that.  This is about a fighter's physique.  There's a reason no one would think of casting DJ Qualls in the role of Batman.  No one would consider hiring a hundred pound actor for Superman.  If Snyder is trying to keep with his own, new versions of these characters- grounded in reality, more gritty and realistic, then she needs to look the part of a hand-to-hand combat warrior.  Think of Lucy Lawless in Xena: Warrior Princess.  Would she have had the same impact if she was a twig?  Not even close. 
     Think about it- would anyone hire Mackenzie Crook as Batman?  No.  He would, however, make a wonderful Scarecrow.  Why is that?  It's the image.  It's because appearance is important, they are archetypal for some roles- most notably in globally recognizable iconic ones at that.  Nobody is going to believe a scrawny Batman will get the job done now.  Michael Keaton worked well back in the late 80's, but now?  He wouldn't work.  If we require the males to be buff and ripped to look their respective roles, so should the ladies.
     Image does mean something, and the high heel came into fashion long after the Greek culture Themyscira is based off of is set in.  I do think the armor looks great, I don't really have an issue with that.  It's the heels, they look quite out of place.  Even for the non-heavy fighting it's just plain stupid.  If there's any fighting, there should be no heels.  Seriously, I can suspend disbelief in most of the powers, and even that the twiggy-sized Gadot can be Wonder Woman, but those god-damned heels are ridiculous.  It's almost worse than the Jurassic World high-heel fiasco- if a T Rex could run at roughly 18mph, there is no way she'd outrun one, let alone outrunning one in a pair of high heels.  It was easily the most outrageous moment in the film.

     On the other hand I must say the fact that Director Patty Jenkins wants "as a woman, Wonder Woman to be hot as hell, fight badass, and look great at the same time."  I really hope this will dispel the notion that beautiful or attractive superheroines are merely a male fantasy.  No male looks at an ugly character, such as Toad from the X-Men comics, and thinks they want to be that dude. No men are lining up to be morbidly obese Blob either.  This is exactly what I was saying with the snippets I took from my old posts- Mackenzie Crook or DJ Qualls would never fly as Batman because they aren't considered attractive male lead material.
     It just seems like a double standard, that somehow males want fantasized muscular men and attractive women, but for some reason women don't?  Attractive heroes, regardless of gender, will always be appreciated over those that are not (how many women went to see Deadpool simply because of Ryan Reynolds?), and it is so damn refreshing to hear a woman admit that she wants a capable and hot heroine.

     Besides, it's about fucking time there's a bad ass superheroine film.  It's been long overdue.  There's a lot riding on this movie, and hopefully it does well enough to start getting some other female lead hero stuff in the mix.  I mean, it's been 5 years since Iron Man 2, and Black Widow hasn't gotten an awesome espionage film yet and Captain Marvel isn't set to release until 2019.

     If you've made it this far I wonder if I should make the joke about Achilles' Heel being a 6 inch stiletto.  But then again, it's only slightly less absurd than seeing it on all the Greek warrior women.

     Wonder Woman is set to hit theaters on June 23rd, 2017.

     Source [ Entertainment Weekly ] via [ Comic Book Resources ]


X-Men: Apocalypse: "Let's go to War" Trailer & Thoughts

     The newest X-Men: Apocalypse trailer has dropped, and I feel somewhat underwhelmed by it.  Once again they're shooting for a global event and the fate of humankind hanging in the balance type story.  Good fucking cripes.  Did Fox learn nothing from Deadpool?!?  Not every X-Men movie needs to be about the world ending.

     Ok- here's a couple things that bothered me.  First off, how the hell does Cyclops MISS hitting Storm with his optic blast?  If he can SEE her hit will HIT her, unless he isn't looking at her.
     Then, I have to say there's a lot of shots that look, as best I can describe it as, empty.  And the arrival shots of the Four Horsemen looks very campy- should I even mentioned that the Quicksilver shot looks extremely off.  Why are his arms not pumping into view?  People don't run with their arms straight down to their sides.
     There's a lot to question about this film.  Psylocke's fight scene looks absurd, Sophie Turner doesn't quite sell me on her portrayal of Jean Grey, and why do Archangel and Nightcrawler have modern hipster hairstyles in the early 80's?  It appears Fox has pushed Mystique into the role of leader to capitalize on Jennifer Lawrence's popularity, instead of utilizing her in the perfect role of subterfuge.  Xavier vanishes for a what looks to be a decent amount of time (granted, he IS stuck in a wheelchair and probably can't attend the big fight in person), and the whole big battle scene feels as empty as much of the trailer itself seems.  At least in Marvel's Avengers films there are people running around in the backgrounds creating the appropriate level of world filler.  The Avengers shows that the world is populated, and you can see it plainly.  Here they are apparently fighting over an abandoned city that gets reduced to ruin.
     Then I'd also like to know why Havok is unleashing his less-cool-version-of-his-own-power-from-First Class inside of Cerebro?  Yes I know it's more focused, but it's also 100 times less visually interesting to see.

     This might be the first new X-Men film that doesn't strike the right chords and has me doubting the franchise again.

     X-Men: Apocalypse hits theaters May 27th.


Marvel Future Fight: Timeline Battles HORRIBLY Imbalanced (and new Black Order patch comments)


     As some of my readers know, I've been generally enjoying the Marvel Future Fight mobile game since it hit devices almost a year ago.  There's been a ton of new characters added, new costumes galore, and just an all around great amount of variance in ways to play the game.  In the new Black Order patch, we get a cool new World Boss Mode related to the cosmic threat of Thanos with Proxima Midnight, Black Dwarf, and Corvus Glaive.
     On other thing they added was increasing a level's biometrics count from 3 to 5 a day.  That is a huge change that will make a lot of people happy.


     However, lately there's been some changes that really took a few steps backwards in the fun factor department, and it has to do with the Timeline Battles.  This part of play pits you against other players' teams and used to have the ability to change who you battled against.  The last major Future Fight patch altered it to the game picking for you based on "score." (Here's the link to Netmarble's official notes post)  This method of matchmaking is damned awful because everyone begins with an even 1000 points.  Which means that players with low levels like the ones I've been playing are pitted against players with fully maxed out teams they literally cannot hope to beat.  Just look at the screen captures I posted below.
     When even a couple levels can mean certain doom, 30 plus level differences is catastrophic giving the player absolutely no way to come out a winner if they are on the low end.  Netmarble claimed they would be fixing this in the new patch and, somehow, it got even worse.  How am I still being put against teams I have no hope of winning?  Even after trying to search for new opponents, I still keep getting placed against max level 60s!  This is ridiculous.  That isn't even taking into account the blatant imbalance between some characters- such as Spider-Man, Loki, and Hulkbuster Iron Man- that are all innately far too powerful against many other characters.

The first patch examples:

The newest patch:

     To top it off with something to make the changes even worse, they've cut off the ability to choose a new opponent unless you pay gold- and as soon as you "search for an opponent" it goes almost directly into the fight with a few mere seconds to stop the process.  This might not be an issue, but if you'd like to earn the daily bonuses you have to participate in 5 Timeline Battles.  Many of us have grown accustomed to logging in and getting crushed for 5 battles because there isn't a way to fairly play with the current system- maybe Netmarble needs to match by levels instead of a score that everyone begins at.

     Seriously Netmarble, this is easily the worst part of the game.  Timelines began all right, but it has progressively gotten worse with each patch, and I'm not even close to the only person that hates this new Timeline system.

     Oh- and I'm still very, VERY displeased with the fact I bought the "subscription" package and got some Carnage biometrics and then used some on other days for other characters, and now I can't choose him with normal biometrics from the Combat selector ones after initially unlocking him.  Meaning if I don't use the subscription for EXCLUSIVELY him, I can't level him later.  Not cool at all.


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan: NEW Boss Battle Trailer & Launch Date!

     Platinum Games' upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan has gotten an IGN exclusive trailer and a release date- May 24th!  It'll be just in time for the theatrical release of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows on June 3rd.
     The new trailer focuses on boss battles showcasing the likes of Bebop, Rocksteady, Karai, Super Shredder and more.  It also gives us some good shots of what certainly appears to be the 4 player co-op we've been waiting for.

     Platinum Games, developer of awesome games such as Bayonetta, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, The Legend of Korra, and the amazing Transformers: Devastation, has a pretty good track record with making entertaining products out of existing properties.  Their TMNT game looks to follow suit with the way they handled the Transformers in that it'll be a great homage to the old combined with the new- a bridge for all fans to enjoy the Ninja Turtles.

     For more of my Turtles related posts [ TMNT ]

     Sources [ IGN ] [ Gamnesia ]


451 Media: Humbug: Issue 4 Review


     Humbug is an interesting revision of the old tale of miserly curmudgeon Ebeneezer Scrooge from the Charles Dickens classic A Christmas Carol.  In this series, he's a spry old man and still curmudgeonly, but he's acting as a sort of supernatural Sherlock and not as the cantankerous, cold-hearted greed-machine of Dickens' tale.

     Acting as the world's first paranormal investigator, Scrooge is joined by a group of Humbuggers, including Tiny Tim, as a team of Victorian era Ghostbusters.  London has come under attack from ghosts and it's up to these guys to figure out how to rid their city of this apparition-filled epidemic.


     The story so far has been quite action-packed with loads of weird and well-designed ghosts with a very neat ghost-capturing technology.  In this issue the netherworld chain links of all the ghosts that have come before are beginning to come together to form a whole.  The spectral incursions are flooding the city in an effort to abduct Scrooge's nephew Ruben.  
     As the city is becoming more overrun with spooks, the Humbuggers need to work overtime to get things under control, leading Scrooge to seek help.  With this need there comes plenty of references to the era's great writers.  There's appearance's by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, H.G. Wells, and Charles Dickens himself in The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn- a group of brilliant thinkers of the time. They meet Scrooge with skepticism forcing him to move on without their aid.
     He diligently forges ahead, taking a case and inadvertently winding up in police custody.  His Humbuggers then are left to find a way to break him out while saving the city and Ruben.

     Finally in the 4th issue, the frequent quote's from Alice's adventures through the looking glass take on a much more sinister significance now to create something very dreadful- adding a completely new layer to exactly which boundary the looking glass divides.  What comes through the glass comes gives us serious problems straight out of The Exorcist, and promises to be an extremely difficult problem to deal with for the Humbuggers.

     It's not all serious though, as there are touches of humor such as the butt grabbing ghost that afflicts a couple ladies while they are fearful of The Ripper, who is name-dropped a couple times but has yet remained an unseen presence.  It has the effect of leaving me wondering if we will actually see the person or if they will stay off screen.  Either way works as it is nice to know some things aren't being dealt with by the main characters and the world is bigger than they are.


     A. J. Gentile's writing and dialogue is a peculiar blend of modern era's and the Dickensian terminology of those days shaped into successful amalgam.  All of this is brought to life by Cosmo White's illustrations (with colors by Jason Cardy and James Statye).  White's unconventional panel layouts provide a very dynamic feel to the world and the coloring is surprisingly bold and bright, avoiding the cliched muted palettes and banal color schemes that most Victorian period pieces gravitate towards.  It goes a very long way in creating a wonderful contrast to the grim and dark nature of the story, establishing a gestalt that works remarkably well with the writing itself.  It's a seemingly incongruent combination that works perfectly here.

     Humbug holds a strange charm to it- it's a little silly, and it's a little serious, but it's also a whole lot of fun- and with only a single issue left, I am truly looking forward to seeing how Scrooge and his Humbuggers handle the dire situation they've found themselves in.  There's a lot of threads that will need to be tied up- will Scrooge get free, will they get Ruben back, what has possessed Mrs. Holywell, and is Vandenberg's dog all right?- but I think the Humbug team is more than up to the task.

     A great advertisement for the comic [ Humbug ]

     For more check out the official site [ 451 Media ]

*Humbug issue 4 review copy provided by 451 Media.  Thank you!


Captain America: Civil War: Trailer 2 is Damned Amazing... Like Spider-Man

     The new Captain America: Civil War trailer is downright spectacular... much like our first glimpse of Spider-Man in the film.  Although I think he looks a little bit "off"- like the cg is strange or something, it's great that we get to see him.  The new suit design is neat but looks a little cartoony considering the more serious looks of all the other characters in the movie.

     We finally get to see the Hawkeye and Ant-Man arrow, real Black Panther hatred towards the Winter Soldier, and Scarlet Witch being a true contender to take down Vision in terms of real power and potential.
     I was hoping that this film would be far better than the ridiculousness that came out of Avengers: Age of Ultron, and it definitely looks like it will be.  Marvel appears to be putting in the actual creative time to craft a story worth watching that isn't just an end of the world scenario loaded with shallow writing and plots and over-the-top action sequences that Hollywood is so intent on using.

  Captain America: Civil War arrives in theaters May 6th.


Huntdown: A Mobile Arcade Shooter in a Crime-Ridden Dystopian Future

     Two Swedish guys, Tommy Gustafsson and Andreas Rehnberg, have taken it upon themselves to create a mobile game reminiscent of the good old days of arcade game shooters.  Their game, Huntdown, is a grand and pixelated cyberpunk world filled with violence and mayhem evocative of the classic sci fi film Blade Runner.  The world presented here is very akin to those of the Shadowrun, Judge Dredd, and Robocop variety.  It's dark, it's gritty, and it's absolutely brimming with bad guys to be gunned down.

In the future, crime is king. Mighty gangs rule the streets while the police desperately lose control. The authorities put their trust in hired guns to do their dirty work. A price is set on all the gang leader´s heads.
It´s time for the Bounty Hunters. 
It´s time to hunt ´em down.
     The creators say they're sick of IAPs and microtransactions for health and weapons and so on creating barriers in mobile gaming.  They wanted to make an old school game that had some challenge, but more importantly- was the type of game they wanted to play- with fun gameplay.

     Huntdown looks to be a glorious homage to classic arcade shooters made by people that actually grew up playing these type of games.  Games like Contra, Rush'n Attack, and the ever-persistent Metal Slug series.  Honestly, this trailer brings me back to the days of playing Blackthorne, Robocop vs Terminator, and Alien 3.  Frankly, it looks amazing.

     Huntdown is expected to release in 2016 for iOS and Android devices.

     Source [ Huntdown ]


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Crossover with Their 1980's Versions in "Trans-Dimensional Turtles"

     On March 27th Nickelodeon's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will be meeting their earlier 1980's animated counterparts in both the 2D and 3D realms in an episode titled "Trans-Dimensional Turtles."

     In this episode the two teams work together to defeat the combined villainy of the 1980's animated Krang who is working with the modern Kraang Sub-Prime

     In an event that appears to be very much like the amazing multi-part 25th anniversary/2009 season finale TMNT Forever in which the Turtles from various dimensions and iterations crossover to battle Krangs.  They are even keeping with the altered art styles (the old 2D animation and the more modern 3D animation) for each of the Turtles as they travel between times.  It's reported that TMNT creator Kevin Eastman's Mirage Studios Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic book series will be appearing as well- just like in TMNT Forever.

     The 1980's Turtles themselves will be voiced by the original cast, as well as Krang's original voice actor Pat Fraley.

     For more of my Turtles related posts [ TMNT ]

     Source [ IGN ]


Venom: A Spider-Man Spin-Off Film is Being Reconsidered & Thoughts

     According to The Hollywood Reporter, Sony is now reconsidering the previous idea of a Venom film.  Spider-Man will be on it's second reboot with Tom Holland in the lead role as Peter Parker, a role held previously by both Toby Maguire and Andrew Garfield who also happens to be crossing studio borders to appear in the role in Marvel's Captain America: Civil War.

I'm hoping for something like this- Ultimate Comics Venom. 
    The Venom film is rumored to be back on track after once being written by Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci- the writers that helped ruin Khan in the new Star Trek film- and even at one time being in the hands of the Deadpool film's writers Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese.  That could've turned out actually awesome.  More so now that R rated comic book films aren't immediately discounted.

     Currently, the one-time Spider-Man villain turned anti-hero Venom is supposedly being penned by Dante Harper as the beginning of a new and separate franchise from everybody's favorite friendly neighborhood hero's.  This might be a good thing, as Harper assisted the screenplay rewrite for the film Edge of Tomorrow.  Outside of the forced happy ending that movie was pretty damned good.

     We currently have no real idea which Venom we'll be seeing, though odds are on it being Flash Thompson.  He was a long-time bully of poor Parker, but he changed his ways and went on to be friends with him.  Serving as the host of the alien symbiote, given to him by the government and adding enough power to go about heroic activities.
     Granted, it could be about the lethal protector Venom, with Eddie Brock as the host, who had a lasting hatred for Spider-Man and an odd affinity for protecting "innocents," though his idea of innocent could be a little vague at times.  That would make an excellent darker film.  Though not nearly as dark as a Mac Gargan Venom would be.  Gargan went from being the villain Scorpion to being a very villainous hero Venom on the Thunderbolts team.  The Thunderbolts had a very grim idea of heroism during his time.

     Hopefully they've learned that people don't want more teen-angst driven garbage as the last couple Amazing Spider-Man films have been.  It doesn't have to be R rated, but it certainly needs to be a more mature film in terms of substance.

     I mean, really, it can't be nearly as terrible as Spider-Man 3's Topher Grace Venom right?

     Source [ The Hollywood Reporter ]

Disney Infinity NEXT: News & Thoughts for 2016

     Disney Infinity is such a great idea, it's finally good to see the developers beginning to listen to the fans.  The new Disney Infinity NEXT show they started on March 1st proves they are at least attempting to listen to us avid fans and supporters.

No 4.0 Edition, Four New Playets, and a Problem

     Right away we know the first 3 playsets will be Marvel Battlegrounds, Finding Dory, and Alice: Through the Looking Glass.  The last set is a guaranteed Star Wars set- maybe Rogue One, perhaps a even a Clone Wars or Rebels set.  We aren't sure.  Although a Rebels set with Hera and Chopper would be cool to go with all the other figures already out.


     The first news I would like to really touch on is the big change of their choice not to release a 4.0 this year, but instead build upon version 3.0's foundation.  This is a grand choice, but I fear their decision to do so may be driven more by preventing data-miners from showing that the games are so damn short because they cram all the material onto the disc in advance and then release the keys (toys and playset pieces) to unlock the stuff later, rather than by generating a larger quantity of material.

     Honestly, every single person I talk to that plays this game absolutely hates the fact every playset is so short.  Ridiculously short.  They can be beaten within a few hours without a struggle.  Granted, they have added some replayability to the sets by allowing for missions to be played over and over- but...
  ...personally, I believe a much better remedy to the issue would be to follow LEGO Dimensions' suit (like all the non-Dimensions games even) and make one huge open world hub filled with randomly generating quests and occurrences.  Seriously, Infinity has nothing even remotely as fun and well created as LEGO Marvel Super Heroes' open New York City area.  If Disney Infinity is truly listening to us like they say they are, this is a necessity to keep the competing toys-to-life games on the ropes.  The content needs to be there- much bigger areas with far more stuff in them.  The playsets feel really small and empty.

     Isn't Disney the place where imagination is supposed to thrive?  Where's the genius level design? Where's our secret levels (I'm thinking something as wonderful as Dark Souls' Painted World of Ariamis)?  We want a game that is fun with actual depth and plenty of room for exploration, not one sixth of a playset because 6 separate games needed to be smooshed onto a single disc with 30 figures.

Marvel Battlegrounds

     Most of my interest in the game is with the Marvel material.  It has a fair amount of issues, such as Green Goblin being shipped without the advertised glider in game, but it also has a lot of opportunity.  That opportunity should rightfully start with its 4 player addition.  Battlegrounds is set to be the first Infinity game with a 4 player option... BUT... it's 4 player co-op on a single screen and not online match making as pretty much every other game made is.
     Sorry Disney Infinity, but making Infinity an online match making game is going to be a must if you want to continue being the "number 1 toys-to-life game."  It's absurd this hasn't happened yet.  Nearly all games have this feature and by not having it, you are losing serious ground.  Not everyone has a pile of controllers, not everyone is able to play with a group and so on.  I read somewhere that the reason they haven't made Battlegrounds online is because then people would expect that to happen in the other toyboxes.  OBVIOUSLY!
     Dear Disney Infinity team, we aren't playing games from a decade ago, nowadays people expect online as a standard feature, especially as the playsets are so sparse to begin with.  Disney is a multi-billion dollar a year company, there should be plenty of budget to fix this (and all the other complaints we are all grumbling about).

     Another issue they have is the figures- Battlegrounds is getting not one, but TWO figures we already have.  To be fair, the Captain America has gotten some new moves and skin, but do we really need another Spider-Man?  No.  I'm genuinely upset that this may become a problem, where instead of new ones we'll get more copies and the like.
     On the bright side of that, "Even more new Marvel characters will be released this year."  (Video @ 9:41)  There's a really good chance we'll finally get a Scarlet Witch (although how that'll work with the Marvel v Fox disputes is beyond me, I mean I want some X-Men characters for sure, but Marvel seems like they are strangling them out of the market in every avenue they can.  Doctor Strange is highly likely as well with a film releasing this fall with possibly a couple toys from the movie.  I wouldn't doubt a Squirrel Girl at some point.  Marvel's been pushing the change of her "not being a mutant" pretty damn hard in the comics, so I'm thinking they've got some things in the works to cash in on (a cartoon?).
     I would like a Darkhawk or Ghost Rider figure myself.  Both of them have multiple in game extras, but no playable characters.  What a tease.  At least I'll be able to play as Ant-Man finally.

The Future

     In an interview with Venture Beat, Disney Infinity VP of Production John Vignocchi said, "At the end of the Battlegrounds section we'll drop an Easter Egg."  The whole article is worth a read, but I just wanted that snippet.  The hint is likely something being prepared for more Marvel related Infinity coming later in the year- Dr. Strange??? - but we'll have to wait until the end of Battlegrounds to see for sure.

     In the end, I hope over the next year the developers learn they definitely need to up their game in terms of content and so on.  Disney Infinity has all the foundations to be something so much more amazing than it is, but that's about all it has, the foundations.  We want and need to see that Disney does indeed have the imagination they claim and put it to use for all of us supporters.

     Sources [ Disney Infinity NEXT Ep. 1 ] [ Infinity Inquirer ]


Dead Island: Definitive Collection Trailer & Retro Revenge

     The Dead Island games had a really rough year in 2015 with the Dead Island 2 first being delayed and then losing developer Yager pushing the game off the release charts completely, and then later the servers for the amazing Dead Island: Epidemic closed down.  Now the franchise looks to be on the mend in 2016, or at least beginning to mend.  

     About a month ago both the Brazilian and Australian ratings boards leaked the ratings of a new Dead Island game subtitled "Retro Revenge."  By new it is actually a collection of Dead Island and Dead Island: Riptide and ALL their respective DLC packs included.  In addition buying the PS4 or Xbox One collection nets you a new beat-em-up game, where the title comes from, Retro Revenge.
     According to Deep Silver Retro Revenge is a "classic side-scrolling/endless runner action game" with leaderboards, achievements, power-ups, super attacks, a combo system, and "plenty of depth."

Dead Island: Retro Revenge
     The Definitive Editions can be purchased for $20 each or $40 for the Collection, and the games will be available on March 31st for PC, PS4, and the XBox One.

     I actually wonder where Escape Dead Island disappeared to...

     Source [ Deep Silver ]


Ghostbusters: NEW Full Trailer & Thoughts

     Just a half hour ago Sony dropped the new Ghostbusters reboot trailer featuring Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, and Chris Hemsworth.

     It definitely looks better than I had been expecting, but...
     ...once again, as so many reboots are likely to do, it seems to hinge on too many of the first film's shots and familiar moments.  That being said, the trailer is only two and a half minutes, so maybe they are using those shots to lure old fans in.
     I'll be seeing this regardless- not only because I've been a fan since the first film and old cartoon series, but because all these ladies are hilarious as hell.  And Paul Feig has been doing pretty well in the director's chair, most notably with Spy.

     In truth I'm worried it'll lack all the nuance and subtlety the first film had.  This trailer seems like they are sacrificing depth of world-building for a slew of one-note jokes and slapstick and in-your-face humor many modern comedies tend to resort to.  If this movie is to do well, I think it'll have to let these women do something great with the roles, and use the first film less as a crutch and more of a jumping off point.

     These leading ladies are more than the typecast roles they seem to always get.  I want to see McCarthy doing something new and different with this role.  Not her typical two-part naive but nice lady or its standard alter ego the hard-ass loudmouth she gets in nearly every movie she's in.  She can do so much more and this is a chance to really do something special.  Wiig can be more than just a quiet nerd scientist.  And so on.  Each one of them is highly talented and should be allowed to let the roles grow and give them some new avenues to pursue other than simple talking or physical comedy.  We want intelligent comedy back, and this is the perfect starting point that can renew that form of smart humor.
     Until it arrives, I'll I can do is cross my fingers that they get it right.

     Ghostbusters hits theaters July 15th.


Overrun: Comic Review (Issues 1-4)

FAQ News

     Overrun is a wonderful new comic series by writers Andi Ewington (creator) and Matt Woodley, and given life with a brilliant and colorful art style by Paul Green.  The art is very reminiscent of artists such as Mike Wieringo or J. Scott Campbell, and the digital colors are damned outstanding.

     Overrun gives us the virtual lives of files in an office's computer world and some heroes taking action to prevent an evil mastermind from CPU Headquarters ruining their virtual city with a virus that corrupts files, turning them into zombies.  It starts with a courier named Cooper unknowingly becoming a trojan horse as his ticket and memories are swiped while on the "POP mail" train to deliver an email.  He winds up being the host of an infection, and that's where things begin to get great.

To Protect the Server

     Upon Cooper's arrival at Arcadia Falls the virus gets out and a totally non-trademark-infringing group of real-life-analog heroes takes it upon themselves to thwart the new found threat.  We get Sarge, a struggling reality TV star (video game character), Red Shogun (a G.I. Joe-esque ninja master), Pepe the French electrician (certainly not an Italian Plumber), Lucy Carter (no Miss Croft here), Dag-Dag (quite similar to some other famous yellow electric rodent), former wrestler Tiny that is totally not Hulk Hogan, and a woman named Faith.  There's also two Government Security Agents, Norton and McAfee, assisting in the adventure.
     Some of the characters feel a little flat at first, but it is more than made up for with sheer fun-factor.  The book begins a bit slowly, but rapidly gains momentum, and once the story picks up the pace, it ramps up quickly and then maintains a breakneck speed all the way to the end.  There's an absurd amount of action, humor, and all around great entertainment crammed into a mere 4 issues, which is becoming a rare thing these days.

Continue Y/N?

     Overrun is a fun-filled comic series absolutely packed with creative uses of things we all know and enjoy.  This book is what Tron should rightly be, with a dash of The Walking Dead thrown in, and a whole lot of homages to video games, technology, and pop-culture.  Where Tron's landscape was barren and dark, the city of Arcadia Falls is vibrant and feels very much alive.  It is full of files and interactivity, the way modern computers really are, and that is completely loaded with stuff.
     This series truly has something special in it, and I really hope the creators return to the world they've created.  The opportunities for future stories are limitless with he way tech changes and grows in these 4 issues have laid the groundwork for some serious potential should they go on to produce more books.

     Overrun is a definitely a series to read, and I look forward to what new stories may be on the way from the city of Arcadia Falls.

     Official Site [ www.weareoverrun.com ]

*Review copies provided by Andi Ewington. Thank you for introducing me to these!

Slashy Souls: Review: Dark Souls' Grotesque Tie-in Kin

     Theoretically, an endless runner in a Dark Souls related universe could've been an intriguing thing.  It sounded all right.  Unfortunately, what we got is a game rife with imbalance, poor controls, and a clunky character all wrapped up in terrible art and sound design.

A nice bug. Stuck playing behind a "You Died" screen- an apt metaphor for the game.
    The randomized levels leave the player at mercy of a clearly thoughtless setup nearly every time you restart- as traps are so close to each other in succession you almost always are forced to take damage.  Jumping barely gets you over obstacles, weapons and spells damage is negligible, and every single thing ticks off the precious little life you are given to start with.  This isn't a case of practiced skill and restraint in gaming tactics that is the foundation of the series.  This is a downright abomination of those principles that made the series great in the first place.
     Adding to this series of compounding problems is the fact the game is riddled with bugs that cause it to crash frequently forcing you to restart the application.  It just isn't worth the time.  No amount of Estus flasks can bring new life to this hollowed game.

     No element of the Dark Souls legacy has been such a despicable enemy in the game as Slashy Souls is in itself.  The torment it provides players is something Souls veterans should be used to, but this is so much worse than anything previously encountered in the series.  Even my first battle with the Capra Demon in Lower Undead Burg was far less painful or frustrating than playing Slashy Souls.

     As a free-to-play title meant to build hype and gather pre-orders for Dark Souls 3, I feel like I should get a rebate for wasting my time playing it.  Was it too much to ask that Bandai Namco to release something more like a small side-scrolling platform-adventure, or Marvel Future Fight instead of this embarrassment?

     There is nothing spectacular or even remotely notable with this tie-in to the Souls games that captured audiences attention and built an avid fandom over the last decade, and after years of From Software's wonderfully developed world, Slashy Souls' amateurish look and awful gameplay is a truly horrendous blight that only tarnishes the Souls namesake.

*I played Slashy Souls on an iPad Mini.