Top 5 Most Anticipated Games Of 2015

I know we’re already almost 5 months in, but I feel I can knock this out now, and still be classified as a most anticipated list.

Phantom Pain

Number 5 – Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

This would be higher on the list, but due to Guns Of The Patriots being such a chore with its odd install choices and days worth of exposition told only in cinematic, I don’t have as high of hopes as many do. Not to mention Ground Zeroes being a glorified demo being sold at near triple A game prices, is sickening. So what if you sit there and go after collectibles for hours on end, if the main story is barely 2 hours long, it’s not worth the price tag. If I wanted something that short, I’d go for an indie title, with stories being shorter, graphics being good and more substance to them overall. Even though Kojima and Konami have promised it will be more open world and less movie, I still don’t believe it will be as good as everyone is hoping.

The Division

Number 4 – Tom Clancy’s The Division

Even though the post-apocalyptic world has been done to death, this game looks very interesting, combining squad based tactics of Tom Clancy games, in a new setting for the franchise, dealing with survival being the primary key. Sure the trailers have pre-loaded actors talking, it still a great atmosphere to get immersed in. Not to mention I tend to enjoy most of the Tom Clancy games out there, so it has that going for it.

No Mans Sky

Number 3 – No Man’s Sky

This game I’m really interested in, even though we only know that it may come out this year. With the game’s procedurally generated worlds and seamless transitions between the surface of one world, into the atmosphere, and into space, before finding another world and setting down. Whether or not it proves to be a huge seller, remains to be seen, but I for one am still willing to see what its like when it launches.

Mortal Kombat X

Number 2 – Mortal Kombat X

I know what you’re thinking, “Why is MKX on here, it’s already out!?” Well yes, it is out, but I have not yet picked it up for monetary reasons. That and I’m waiting for Goro to be released as DLC and the first Kombat Pack to arrive with Predator and the Dillon/Carl Weathers Skin for Jax. I’m getting it on PS4, as I’ve seen the game played on it and really want the game. For me, when it comes to fighting games, I prefer a controller, and the ability to have local multiplayer. As PC versions tends to strip that out. Not to mention PC MKX is totally broken right now, even though it is being fixed.

Batman Arkham Knight - Batmobile

Number 1 – Batman: Arkham Knight

Being a huge Batman and Arkham game fan, how am I not going to get excited for this game? It’s going to be one hell of a ride, being Rocksteady’s final game for Batman in their Trilogy. Keywords there “Their Trilogy.” Some may get confused and think “Wait, there’s 3 other Arkham games out, so this is 4…” Well yes, Origins is in the series, however it has nothing to do with the Rocksteady games, other than the map is being re-used from Arkham City. Arkham Origins was developed internally at Warner Brothers, and not by Rocksteady. Hence why it was underwhelming for some, including me. Sure there are some stand out performances from Deathstroke and The Joker, the game feels incomplete in areas and the early launch glitches broke the game for some.

I ended up picking it up on sale on steam and found it riddled with glitches, from Batman’s cape wrapping itself around his head, to enemies falling through the map. Something that Rocksteady did their utmost to keep out of Arkham Asylum and City. Sure some people did find the odd bug, but Origins has a lot more. However it only gives me hope after seeing the Officer Down trailer for Arkham Knight, that the new one will not only push the graphics to an almost PC level, but give us the Batmobile, as promised by Rocksteady. Also I’m eagerly awaiting a new trailer that’s been listed as being put up this week.

Honorable Mentions: 

gta-5

Grand Theft Auto V PC 

Being that I’ve been advocating a PC version for sometime, I pre-ordered the game, something that is considered a Taboo in 2015. I did not regret it, after getting the Day 1 patch, I was able to get the game up and running smoothly, and enjoying all the new goodies in the game. As I also have the PS3 version, which feels stripped out compared to the PC version. Not to mention 1.5 million of in-game currency helps. I’m able to heist now, and have gotten a supercar in the game. As such, I may post a few videos on it over the coming weeks/month.

dragon-ball-xenoverse1

Dragon Ball Xenoverse

This came as a surprise hit for many, and I really want it, but again money isn’t easy to come by in this giant hole everyone is in. I’ve seen bits and pieces of the game played and really want to get it, and it’s definitely worth the wait, as the servers for multiplayer are slowly being patched. Although it’ll be a PC game for me, as the PC version is the most stable, and a lot of my friends already have the PC version.

With that I’ll sign off, look for the Furious Seven review tomorrow, or maybe later tonight. It depends on how much I feel like writing it tonight.

My love/hate relationship with Gotham

Gotham

Alright, so let’s get the elephant out of the room quickly. Yes, I’ve been absent and neglecting my obligation to myself to continue writing or posting things to this blog. My bad on that, but I had been feeling less and less of a drive to write, and starting a soul-crushing office job didn’t help. Although with that job now gone, I can move on and get back to writing.

As the title says, I have a love/hate relationship with this show. There are parts I am really liking, especially the way Jim Gordon is being handled, both in terms of his portrayal by Ben McKenzie, and the way he’s being written. Another good point to mention, is the storylines with the mob. Granted yes Penguin is pretty much there for fan-service, but he’s being used effectively for the most part. Harvey Bullock is being used effectively, and the way Donal Logue is playing him is awesome. What I’m being annoyed about is all (Excuse the language here) of Batman’s f***ing rogues gallery keeps showing up, and I’m sorry, but Fox knows jack and sh** about proper execution of fan service and how to properly weave beginnings. Some of the writers should be shot, not killed, just given a reminder about what proper execution of ideas looks like.

Some of the most irritating things that is annoying me about the series is Batman’s Rogues gallery showing WAY too soon in the city. I get in certain cases, like Penguin, where he’s very young and Batman doesn’t tangle with him until he’s probably 40 or so. It’s just that Edward Nygma is technically a very avid technical personality that focuses on well technology. With how young they’re making him seem, he should be in college or university working on a computer sciences degree, not doing forensic work for the GCPD. I’m sorry but there is no justification for having Nygma even in Gotham at this point. Then there’s Harvey Dent, which they’re just barely scraping together enough material to make it even work.

He’s the Assistant DA in Gotham, which to me screams “We desperately want him in the show, even though he’s technically supposed to be in another city or perhaps law school still.” As while Penguin kind of makes sense to have in the mob, the same reasoning can’t be applied to Harvey, as in most storylines for Batman, Harvey is roughly the same age as Bruce. Maybe a smidge over, but by the time Batman shows up in this continuity, Harvey would be pushing his mid to late 40’s before he becomes Two-face. Not to mention is borderline psychotic nature they’ve shown in the show, kind of makes me think they really want him to be two-face much earlier than he’s supposed to.

Another of the Rogues that really doesn’t fit, but they’re trying so hard to keep in, is Selina Kyle. She is on the right path, but she doesn’t need to be in the show. She should be growing up in a different city, as Bruce technically doesn’t meet her until he’s an adult. I really find she just doesn’t fit within the parameters of the show, but being that Fox doesn’t really fit in the picture much either, I can muddle through it as best as they can. Now with Selina mentioned, I have to talk about Ivy. Is it just me, or is Fox really pushing for her to be the kid version of Dr. Pamela Isley? They couldn’t justify putting Pamela in the show, so they called her Ivy Pepper and as a subtle hint to reinforce it, She often wears green and has the usual red hair of Pam Isley.

At least in some cases, the Rogues Gallery is working. As I mentioned with Penguin, so to with Victor Zsasz. He’s still the psychotic killer we all know, granted he prefers a gun and works as a hired hitman/bodyguard for Falcone. Another of the Rogues that I find is being handled at least somewhat well is Scarecrow. They didn’t make it Jonathan, but did tie him to the Scarecrow of this time period, since its loosely centered in the 90’s, even though the cellphones look like they’re from early 2000. Dr. Gerald Crane, Jonathan’s father is taking up the monocle of Scarecrow, and is doing so quite well, and without a fear toxin. Not to mention having being played by Julian Sands is a nice touch.

One thing about the Venom drug being introduced, I find it be a slight cop-out. Granted yes I complain about having too many of Batman’s Rogues showing up, but having Venom in the show with no Bane is kind of pointless. They would’ve been better off-putting an early form of Joker’s laughing gas to get the same if not better point across.

Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, I can finally end off this blog/rant I have about the show. I wish they’d focus more on Gordon, his cases and the mob. Leave Batman’s rogues out of it, and the show will do fine. Not to mention they could introduce new villains that Gordon could tackle, that aren’t necessarily from Batman’s rogues gallery. It would give the show new depth and a fresh perspective. Otherwise we’ll end up with Batman when Bruce is 15 and in season 2 or 3 of the show. The whole point of said concept was to have a show without Batman. Again, its kind of why the idea was pitched to DC in the first place. Which makes Arrow and The Flash much better TV show adaptations of their characters to me.

Anyway, with that I’ll sign off. Look forward to some reviews coming of movies I’ve been watching recently, including The Hobbit Part 3.

The Dark Knight Rises… and some news.

The Dark Knight Rises

TDKR Poster

Sorry this took me a while to get out, been busy with stuff around the new house and just got back from a convention, which I will talk about in another blog. Not to mention, getting distracted with TV shows returning and catching old favourites, like Digimon Tamers, haha.

So, on the Tuesday after its Premiere, I saw TDKR, and to be honest, now looking back, it’s a great flick, it’s just not what I expected.

Character Portrayals: (Note: Only of those joining the existing cast.)

Bane – Tom Hardy does a fantastic job, he is a very believable Bane, even though it’s not the Bane we know and remember. Despite the voice mask making him sound a little like a dark Sean Connery. He is the embodiment of a Bane-esque terrorist in this movie.

Selina Kyle/Catwoman – Anne Hathaway does an excellent job portraying the character, granted we didn’t see enough of the character itself in the movie, all the parts we did see of her, were excellently portrayed, and all sequences of cat-like agility are spot on.

Blake – Joseph Gordon-Levitt does a very good job in a more serious role than I’ve ever seen him in, besides Inception. If this was not the last of Nolan’s movies, I would’ve loved to see more of this character in future stories. I don’t want to spoil the movie, but Nolan takes back something he said previously. One word for this character which is a spoiler, sorry, Robin.

Miranda – Marion Cotillard plays her character extremely well. I can’t say too much on the character as it would be a spoiler to the movie.

Daggett – Ben Mendelsohn does a great job, his flair makes the character his own, as I’ve seen Daggett in many other Batman stories, as he is a regular in the Batman universe.

Stryver – Burn Gorman, wow what a difference in characters I’ve seen him play previously, especially that of Torchwood. As Stryver, he’s cold, ruthless, almost as if he is a trained assassin, but not quite. As Daggett’s right hand man, he is very much like an assassin by basically carrying out Daggett’s dirty work with underlings and loose ends. Gorman does a fantastic job making the character come out and not just be in the background.

Special Effects – As usual, all the special effects and gadget work are phenomenal with Nolan’s movies, this movie is no different in its execution.

Sound – Effects are done practical, every crunch, every hit is very natural sounding, even if it’s the armour of Batman’s suit, or bullets firing in the sky. Music, as usual with Hans Zimmer, fantastic work, some of my favourite themes and movements from the previous movies, and some new ones to compliment the movie. Granted, not as much quantity of songs as The Dark Knight, as that was a group effort, but still amazing work as always.

Technicals – Editing, Filming, Direction – Nolan does some of his best film work in this flick, however, even though the movie is 2 and a half hours long, it kind of feels it needs more to help explain certain pieces of the story that are missing, more on the story a little later.

Writing/Story – Oh my, this is where the film shows most of its cracks, as much as I love this Batman trilogy, this movie feels as if it was pieced together and needed more movies to finish off the story. It feels short to me, as if the book adaptation will be like the first films book, where there is more explained in the novel. Unlike The Dark Knight, where everything in the movie, is in the novel, with very little added. The story is a bit haphazard in some ways, especially between Miranda and Bruce, and Bane, as much as this Bane is very realistic, it’s not the Bane we know. It also feels as if the story/movie isn’t taking the same risks with characters as previous ones.

Sure Bane is different, but no one else really changes, at least in personality, but you can tell that everyone knows what’s going to happen. Granted yes, I knew beforehand that certain instances would happen at different points in the movie, since I’m such a huge fan of Batman and being a writer, I know plot devices when I see them. I don’t want to spoil the movie, but one of the key plot points is a bomb, yes a bomb. Unlike Joker’s bombs which were common, and very useful, this one just seems like a cop-out in some ways, especially with its disposal.

Batman felt like he was kind of shoed in with the primary calamity, being the bomb, as that device has been used many times before, and made him feel generic. The film to me, is a good, but slightly flawed adaptation of 2 comic lines, The Dark Knight Returns, which for those who don’t know is Frank Miller’s epic where Bruce dawns the cape and cowl after pushing 60, as he feels he’s needed yet again. The other is that of Knightfall, which DC used to “Spoiler” cripple and therefore kill the Bruce Wayne Batman, so that his story could end as the cape crusader and move on with his life, while another could continue his work. A lot of Batman stories go to the Knightfall storyline when talking about Bruce’s end with being Batman.

While at first, the ending would’ve left me sad, to almost shed a tear had it continued down its first path, but the twist while nice to see with this story line, kinda feels as if Nolan wanted to continue, but due to DC wanting to get Justice League Of America started, can’t, which saddens me due to how the movie ends. I won’t spoil it, so you’ll have to go see the movie, as it’s still in Theatres and I expect it to be in there until late August, early September, depending on ticket sales. Also, Nolan even said that he wanted to finish his Batman off, because he didn’t want to include him in JLA, as other sources are saying it was DC not wanting this dark, and realistic Batman being in JLA. Personally  I agree that this Batman wouldn’t fit, especially if they get Ryan Reynolds’ Green Lantern in the movie, as his movie was a mess, more on that in my review.

Trailers – The Man Of Steel teaser was shown, while it will hopefully do well with Nolan helping on the writing, and Zack Snyder working on the direction, should do well, the film’s cinematography just from the trailer, looks amazing, but because it’s a weird take on Clark’s story, it’ll definitely be different, it almost feels as if they’re trying to make him more realistic, which is fine, but something bugs me about the trailer. Hopefully it does well, as I like Superman, he’s bad ass in the DC Universe Online trailer/intro movie. I’d like to see Nolan and Snyder bring that badassery back to Clark.

With that, I’ll end this off here. Look for my Con Bravo coverage blog later on, *With Photos*. My friend Brent and I went to a convention in Burlington, it has turned into an annual event, as last year, he and I went with a friend to it before.  Also, I’ve been drawn into Game Of Thrones from people who have seen the show and read the books, so look for a future blog about the series, as I get caught up and a separate one on the books, when I get the chance to read them.