dylan417's Hall of Game:
- GoldenEye 007
- Spyro the Dragon
- Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage
- Spyro: Year of the Dragon
- Pokemon Red/Blue/Yellow
- Pokemon Silver/Crystal
- Pokemon Ruby
- The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
- Final Fantasy IX
- Grand Theft Auto III
- Jak & Daxter: The Precursor Legacy
- Jak II
- Jak 3
- Kingdom Hearts
- Kingdom Hearts II
- Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days
- Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3
- Tony Hawk's Underground
- Ape Escape 2
- Star Wars: Battlefront II
- Marvel: Ultimate Alliance
- Uncharted: Drake's Fortune
- Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
- Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception
- Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
- Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
- Fallout 3
- Fallout: New Vegas
- Bioshock Infinite
- Battlefield: Bad Company
- Battlefield: Bad Company 2
- Assassin's Creed II
- inFamous 2
- Batman: Arkham Asylum
- Batman: Arkham City
- Heavy Rain
- Red Dead Redemption
- Mass Effect 2
- LA Noire
Well, as a gamer, it's been an up-and-down last few days. As I mourned in my previous blog, my 60 GB PlayStation 3 that I bought back in 2007 bit the dust. Call if overheating, wear-and-tear, yellow light of death, whatever; it's gone and was past the point of saving. Rather than shipping it to Sony for over $100 and waiting weeks (ain't nobody got time for that!), I decided to purchase a new PS3 that would hopefully last me forever. After some research and tracking down, I bought a 'God of War Legacy Bundle' 500 GB PlayStation 3. It cost $300 (ouch, I know), has a sexy, red color, and includes the following:
- God of War, God of War II, God of War III, God of War: Chains of Olympus, God of War: Ghost of Sparta, & God of War: Ascension
- One month of PlayStation Plus (I plan to extend to a years' worth due to the PS4 requirement that will carry over)
- Basic cables
- The Last of Us demo (downloading now)
- A matching red DualShock 3
I've set up the system and it looks great. It's quieter, cooler, faster, smaller, and easier to power on/off. The one thing that I am upset with however, is the God of War games. I've never played more than a few hours of the first one and I'm excited to play more, but I am disappointed with how the games are packaged. God of War III, Ascension, and the first HD collection each came packaged in cardboard slips, while the Origins Collection is a voucher. I consider myself a bit of a collector and enjoy displaying my games collection on a shelf in alphabetical order. It also hurts the chance to trade them in in the future. But hey, for 6 games bundled at a relatively cheap price, I guess I can't really complain.
Like I said in my previous blog, my purchase of another PS3 certainly dashes my hopes of owning a Wii U or a PS Vita any time soon, considering that the PS4 is only a handful of months away. I'll also need to cut back on the amount of games I buy leading up to the PS4 launch. Super bummer :/
Losing my old, faithful PS3 was certainly the low point of the last few days. The high point? One of the most exciting E3s that I have followed. No, I didn't physically attend the conference in San Diego (living in New York has something to do with that). But I did spend way too much time online, following all of the coverage on IGN and here on Gamespot. As most of you would agree, I thought that Sony won E3. The PS4's strong lineup of diverse games, exciting handful of exclusives, affordable price of $399, consumer-friendly specifics regarding online connection and sharing/trading games, and powerful under-the-hood specs clearly tower anything Microsoft had to offer at their conference.
I could sit here and type about the PS4 or the Wii U or the VCR for the rest of this blog, but let's be honest: E3 is always about the games. Here are my top fifteen games at E3:
*All games included must have had a certain amount of visible gameplay, thus knocking out Star Wars: Battlefront, The Order 1886, and Kingdom Hearts III, which all had me giddy.
15. Mario Kart 8 - It's the Mario Kart that the world has been waiting for: HD, no gimmicks, and fantastic course design. Revolutionary? Nope, but it still looked very fun.
14. Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag - All streaming technical difficulties aside, the latest AC game had me impressed. The pirate theme looks well realized, the protagonist looks fun, and the gameplay looks tight. I still want to see if it corrected some of ACIII's issues before I devote my $60, but for now, it's looking good.
13. The Crew - Racing simulators are not my thing, so I was less interested in Forza 5. I think that DriveClub has some neat ideas, but I need to see more. Need for Speed Rivals looks been-there-drove that. It was Ubisoft's The Crew that had me excited about a driving game the most with its fresh concepts and exciting gameplay.
12. Donkey Kong Country Returns: Tropical Freeze - While Retro isn't working on a new IP or a new Metroid Prime as many had hoped, their follow up to the excellent DKCR looked great. I liked what I saw in terms of platforming level designs and I was impressed with how Retro is making it feel nostalgic and fresh at the same time. And how about that title?
11. Knack - While XBOX One's exclusive lineup consists mostly of violence and killing (which I don't have a problem with personally), it was nice to see that one of the PS4 launch title exclusives was light-hearted and fun. As a 90's baby, I grew up playing 3D platformers with cartoonish characters like Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon on the PS1. On the PS2, Jak & Daxter, Sly Cooper, and Ape Escape were some of my favorites. This genre was relatively MIA on the PS3 despite a a couple Ratchet & Clank games and Sly 4 (which I haven't yet played). So it was nice to see a game that is trying to resurrect that fallen genre. Knack looks inspired, creative, accessible, and fun!
10. X - For anyone doubting the graphical power of the Wii U? X wants to have a word with you. This Wii U exclusive looked great and was a highlight of the Nintendo Direct. While we don't know much about the game, I think it's exactly the type of game that the Wii U needs right now, an open world RPG with some power behind it.
9. Killzone: Shadow Fall - Just when I thought that the Killzone series was running on a treadmill, Guerrilla Games reinvented it to a point where I can hardly tell it's a follow up to Killzone 2 & 3. It looks more of an open action adventure than a linear run and gun. The main character is making action stunts, exploring bright levels, and executing missions in any order that the player wants. This PS4 launch title might as well be bundled with a PS4 come Holiday season.
8. Destiny - Remember when Bungie changed the video games world forever with a game called Halo: Combat Evolved? Well, I think that they are back at it again with Destiny. It's an MMOish open world set in a futuristic Earth dystopia. You team up with friends (or ride solo) and set across the massive game world to make of it what you want. Now I'm not sure how players will fit into the game world (crowded all at once or multiple game worlds for different groups), but I do know that we have never seen a game with the size and depth of Fallout or World of Warcraft and the visual presentation and tight gameplay of Killzone or Halo. It's a combination that I think Bungie can ace.
7. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain - MGS4 is one of my favorite PS3 titles. That said, I thought that the game series had come to a conclusive end given the many years without a main series title starring Snake. I was wrong in thinking that and boy, am I glad I was. The latest game in the incredible MGS series is open world, features interesting characters both new and old, and is visually stunning. While I can't figure out where Kojima is going with this game yet, I am absolutely pumped to find out. !
6. Final Fantasy XV - Final Fantasy Versus XIII exists! Renamed as XV (which I do not like), the game is finally back with a lot to show and new platforms. Graphically, you can tell that the game wouldn't work on PS3/360 (I'm fine with it being on a Microsoft platform as with KHIII). Gameplay-wise, you can't tell that it is a Final Fantasy game, which is wear some hardcore FF fans are hesitant about. But if they remember correctly, Versus XIII was supposed to be something entirely different from what previous FF had to offer. I am fine with this. While I loved the turn-based gameplay in old-school games like Final Fantasy IX, I don't think it made the right transition to HD consoles. I doubt that this Kingdom Hearts-like gameplay is a sign of what's to come in future FF games, it's certainly welcome in XV for me. And it also looks like Square Enix has an interesting story to tell.
* This blog is taking much longer than I anticipated *
5. Batman: Arkham Origins - Familiar to Arkham City? Yes. Is that a good thing? Well considering that Batman: Arkham City is one of the best games ever created and that it never gets cold to dish justice with Batman, the answer is also yes. A new studio from Warner Bros. with an impressive team behind it was given the task any rookie developer would jump at: A copy and paste of one of the most structurally sound games ever with the opportunity to tell a new Batman story in a larger world with more characters and gameplay spices. It looks fantastic so far and I can't wait to put on the cape and cowl again. Knightfall and Adam West costumes exclusively for the PS3? Winning.
4. Watch Dogs - Another damn fine showing at E3 as Ubisoft gives us another look at the game on next-gen consoles. This time, we learn how to interact with the open world and we meet some new characters. This is a game I want for the PS4 now. I'm sold.
3. Battlefield 4 - While I skipped out on BF3 after burning out with the military FPS genre, the people at EA DICE have officially rekindled my love for the genre with the EA conference showing of the multiplayer. Might I add 64 player multiplayer with the ability to parachute out of a skyscraper and then watch it crumble to the ground? Holy sh**. I was laughing with excitement.
2. The Division - It's hard to explain why I think so highly of the newest Tom Clancy title from Ubisoft. Maybe it's because I watched the gameplay demo at the Ubi conference thinking it was an open world third-person shooter with RPG elements single player game until the end, when I found out that it was online. Similar to Destiny, The Division proves why a generation jump was necessary. And hurray for another new IP! That makes 6 on this list with the mysterious 'The Order: 1886' as well.
1. inFamous: Second Son - At the top of the list is the game that clinched my immediate PS4 purchase and the game that truly made me realize that we are months away from the future of gaming. Watching the gameplay demo in 1080i on my laptop had me floored. The gameplay looked like that of cinematic trailers. The textures, clarity, facial expressions, rendering, had me in disbelief. Not only does inFamous: Second Son look the prettiest out of all the games I saw during E3, it also looked like the most fun at E3. The main character, Delsin Rowe, has the ability to obtain multiple 'super-powers' in an otherwise realistic, open world Seattle. These powers (we only know of smoke right now) look like they can lead to some very fun gameplay experiences. On top of that, the game also boasts the most interesting story and character. After the events of inFamous 2, conduits (super-powered people like Delsin) are condemned and are being hunted by a mysterious government agency called the DUP. Instead of feeling reluctant about his powers as Cole MacGrath did in the first two inFamous games, Delsin loves his dangerous new powers and wants to exploit them (it's also worth noting that Delsin did not have these powers until recently). So yeah, inFamous: Second Son has a lot going for it and as the absence of the number '3' suggests, it is a perfect time for new players to board the inFamous series.
Boom. Done. Massive blog over. Time to play my new PS3. Look for part two of my Top 25 Animated Movies soon as I can now move along with that countdown. Thanks for reading and please comment with your favorite games from E3 this year
In horrific irony, my 6 year old PlayStation 3 died today between E3 conferences. While playing LittleBigPlanet, my original launch PlayStation 3 suddenly powered off. After a worried "WTF?", I attempted to reboot my PS3 without any luck. Green light, yellow light, blinking red light. I bought my fat PS3 early 2007 and it has been through and endured so much since then, that I was in pure denial. It died about an hour ago and it's still settling in that I can no longer play it. Well, unless I take a chance at a $100 (+tax) repair. But I figure that given my model's age and my expectation that the PS3 as a whole will be relevant to me for years to come, buying a brand new model is the way to go. Maybe I'll get lucky and Sony will announce a new bundle for the PS3 (The Last of Us + PlayStation Plus perhaps?).
Spending $250+ isn't a huge deal to me and I do have a lot of data backed up on a flashdrive. I'm also lucky that it happened now, when I'm not knee deep in a new game (crashing halfway through The Last of Us would have been devastating). The number one thing that upsets me about my PS3's crash was the loss of my Mass Effect save data. I recently finish it, but I was really looking forward to porting that data into Mass Effect 2 and 3. My MLB 13: The Show season is also gone (only three games away from finishing a 29-game season.), but I could honestly care less as I was just about to sell it. But like I said, most of my data (Fallout included) is backed up. Still, on a day that gamers are celebrating, my inner gamer is deflated. Hopefully Sony's conference cheers me up.
In memorium to my PS3, here are some of the greatest experiences my PS3 offered:
RIP, you fat, old beauty of a console.
I'll likely be offline until the weekend, when I buy a new PS3 and a copy of The Last of Us. But for now, back to E3.
I'm holding back on Part II of my Top 30 Animated Movies countdown until after E3 (likely late next week). For now, I figured I'd post a quick rundown of all the games I hope/expect to see at E3 starting Monday, June 10th at Noon ET. From the comfort of my home located on the opposite United Stated coast of where E3 is taking place. My plan is to watch livestream conferences of Microsoft, Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, and Sony on the 10th. I have no idea what Nintendo is going to be up to, but I will be sure to keep tabs on them as well. While I'm excited to find out what more the PS4 can do and more of what the Xbox One can't, I'll be watching E3 mostly for the games. Here are the games that I'm excited to see at E3 this year:
- Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag - ACIII was 2012 Game of the Year, though I was slightly disappointed by it. I'm hoping that the pirate theme takes the many great things from ACIII while correcting its flaws. I'd like to have many options as to how to assassinate a target; I do NOT want to be told what to do and how to do it. I expect this game to be the main attraction at Ubisoft's conference with a live demo.
- Batman: Arkham Origins - From one Game of the Year follow-up to another. I LOVED Batman: Arkham City as a big Batman fan and as a gamer. It's truly one of the best games I've ever played. That said, I hope that Arkham Origins plays it safe. With a new developer and the same engine, I'm not expecting this game to be better than Arkham City. However, if the new development team sees what made BAC so damn good and decides to simply offer more of the same while maintaining the same quality, Arkham Origins could wind up being similar to Fallout: New Vegas (which would be excellent). I expect a huge gameplay reveal at either Sony or Microsoft's conference. I also want to see a floor demo of the 3DS/Vita spin-off Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate.
- Battlefield 4 & Call of Duty: Ghosts - I did not pick up Battlefield 3 or Black Ops II. After the excellent Battlefield: Bad Company 2 and the awful Modern Warfare 3, I found myself very tired of military shooters and online gaming in general. In fact, I've probably only played near 4 hours of multiplayer since the start of 2012. I want that to change; I miss quality online multiplayer dearly. When I purchase my PlayStation 4 at launch, I want to buy one of these two games with it. Similar to 2011's MW3 vs BF3, they will fight for my $60 (I hope its $60). I expect live demos from both but I'd be really interested if either show off their multiplayer.
- Beyond: Two Souls - With Sony's focus obviously on the upcoming PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita, I do expect them to show some love for the PlayStation 3 and how "they have big plans for the PS3 moving forward" and all that crap. While I already pre-ordered the game and want to see as little as possible, I do want to finally see the game in action.
- Destiny - I'm not sure what to make of this game. It's an incredibly ambitious idea from Bungie, but I fear that it will be lost in between the two generations. I want to know more about it. I hate MMOs, so if it does turn out to be just that, I will probably not be interested. However, I do know that Bungie is a trendsetter in the gaming world and believe that this game could have some really unique ideas. I'm interested to see just what the hell this game actually is aside from some concept art.
- DriveClub - I've recently spent a lot of time with Need for Speed: Most Wanted, which somewhat rekindled my love for racing games. I might be open to the idea of purchasing a racing game with my purchase of a PS4. With DriveClub, I know that the developer behind them (of MotorStorm fame) is very talented and capable of creating one spectacular racing game. I do not know much more else about it and I do want to know more. I expect a gameplay demo and a slew of information about it.
- Grand Theft Auto V - Can we please get some gameplay?
- Killzone: Shadow Fall - I never played Killzone, I played and enjoyed Killzone 2, and I have Killzone 3 in my backlog. The reason why I haven't yet played KZ3 is because it just looks very generic and similar to Killzone 2. I'll get to it eventually (hopefully it will prove me wrong), but from what I've seen of Shadow Fall, the game looks very, very different from what the franchise has been in the past. It looks less linear and it looks like an Uncharted-esque adventure game with some platforming included. We know that it will launch with the PS4, but we do not know much about the plot. I expect to see a lot of this game at E3.
- Knack - From the team behind the Ape Escape series (which was sadly absent from the PS3), comes a very intriguing platforming game that I couldn't be more excited about. Aside from Sly 4 and two Ratchet & Clank games, the PS4 completely ignored a genre that was so successful on the PS3: 3D platforming with cartoonish characters. From the gameplay and overall details revealed at the PS4 Reveal Event, it looks refreshing and intriguing. I need to see more of this at E3.
- Madden NFL 25 - Hate all you want, I'm a massive American football fanatic (Go Bills!) and I buy Madden every year. After a slew of sub-par editions from 2006 to 2011, Madden NFL 13 finally tried to introduce some new ideas and features. It turned out to be somewhat of a "bitten off more than they could chew" situation (while not completely failing). It wasn't great, but it was a step in the right direction. If they can correct some of the issues with the new physics engine while adding the impressive, new gameplay engine showed at the VCR reveal, we could finally have a decent Madden on our hands for the first time in nearly a decade. I expect EA's conference to focus heavily on their robust sports lineup of NHL, Madden, FIFA, NCAA Football, UFC, and NBA Live.
- Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain - Before I start, allow to me brag about being 100% accurate about the game's title. Seriously hough, I am extremely excited for the follow-up to MGS4, which is still one of the best games available on the PS3. I want to see everything about this game, I'm that excited. I want to know more about it, I want to see it in action, and I want to see how Ground Zeroes is related to it. Konami's Pre E3 event revealed that David Hayter is indeed not returning to voice Snake, but that Kiefer Sutherland did the performance capture and voice. This is causing all sorts of uproar, but I am completely okay with it. Konami is obviously trying to make the game visually stunning by going for a performance capture similar to L.A. Noire and Beyond: Two Souls. David Hayter does not fit that bill, Kiefer does. Moving on.
- Pokemon X/Y - Gotta catch 'em all, this time in 3D! Gamefreak is completely overhauling the Pokemon series with 3D gameplay instead of the classic grid-walking. I'll no doubt miss walking in perfect squares, but I am very excited to finally see Pokemon taking a bold step. I want to know more about the new region, new Pokemon, and I am interested to see if they incorporate an interesting plot similar to Ruby/Sapphire and White/Black.
- Super Mario U & Super Smash Bros. U - It's do or die for Nintendo. They need a new 3D Mario and Super Smash Bros. and they need them to be exciting, high-quality, and fast. This triangle of needs is always an interesting complex for video games. Very few games have all three, but if there's one company who can do it, it's Nintendo. They need these two games to sell Wii U units to avoid it becoming niche. I'd hate to say it, but it's becoming a scary possibility that they could become a games-only company similar to Sega. Expect both of these games to come out swinging.
- Watch Dogs - The game looks incredible and I can't wait to see more at Ubisoft's conference.
- The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - I never played either of the Witcher games and it has been assured that that will not be a problem for new players. From what I read in the GameInformer reveal, I'm pretty damn excited to see the game the has what it takes to put Skyrim to shame.
- The Witness - An indie game that caught my eye at the PS4 reveal event. I really want to see more at Sony's conference and it seems to be a huge possibility given Sony's massive support for indie games with the PS4.
- inFamous: Second Son - Last but first, in that this is the #1 game I am most looking forward to see at E3 this year. I loved all three inFamous games on the PS3 and I am certain that Second Son will be just as good and offer plenty of new and exciting features. The new protagonist, near-future Seattle setting, smoke powers, and distopian concept are all very, very interesting details that I would love to know more about. But I also want to know how the game relates to Cole's adventures, which other powers the protagonist channels, if player choice will remain a huge aspect, and I want to know more about the antagonist(s). It's THE game of E3 for me and THE game that will certainly put a dumb smile on my face when the lights dim.
Now for the games that I am (again) getting my hopes up for without talking about them. These are the games that will put a tear in my eye if they are revealed:
- Fallout 4
- Jak & Daxter 4
- Kingdom Hearts III
- Red Dead 3
Expect a Post-E3 blog with my top 10 games of E3. Thanks for reading and please comment with which games you are excited to see at E3 this year
It's been about a year and a half since I counted down my 30 favorite animated movies. Looking back on that list, I honestly couldn't believe some of my picks. So I've decided to do the list over again with many new additions while also going more in depth with each movie on the list. Before I start, let me inform you that this countdown is my top thirty favorite animated movies; this is NOT me telling you which 30 animated movies are the best. I do however think very highly of each movie on the list and believe that they are all well worth watching. With that disclaimer in mind, I'll start the countdown:
30. A Christmas Carol
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Starring: Jim Carrey, Colin Firth, and Gary Oldman
Rotten Tomatoes: 54%
My personal favorite adaptation of Charles Dickens' classic novel. Since its release in 2009, this version of A Christmas Carol has been a holiday classic that I try to watch every year. Not only does it stay faithful to the source material, but it does so by adding a few fun twists that are anchored by Jim Carrey's great mo-cap performances as Scrooge and the Ghosts of Christmas Past. The animation is impressive, but it's Jim Carrey's multiple performances that makes the movie one of my animated favorites.
Fun Fact: Gary Oldman and Lesley Manville (who played the roles of Mr. and Mrs. Cratchit, respectively) were briefly married.
29. Kung Fu Panda 2
Director: Jennifer Yuh Nelson
Starring: Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman, Gary Oldman, Seth Rogen, Lucy Liu, Jackie Chan, David Cross, Dannie McBride, and JCVD
Rotten Tomatoes: 83%
Awards: Best Animated Feature Oscar Nomination
This sequel to Kung Fu Panda (which is also very enjoyable), simply does everything better as a sequel should. It has more laughs, bigger action scenes, better animation and art direction, and makes better use of its all-star cast. It's one of those animated movies that everyone can watch and enjoy thanks to its broad comedy.
Fun Fact: Kung Fu Panda 2 is currently the highest grossing movie that was directed by a woman.
Directors: Chris Buck & Kevin Lima
Starring: Tony Goldwyn, Minnie Driver, and Rosie O'Donnell
Rotten Tomatoes: 88%
Awards: Phil Collins won an Oscar, Golden Globe, and a Grammy for his work on the soundtrack.
Tarzan is a childhood favorite that I'll always hold near. It was the very first DVD that I owned (back when they were $40) and I still watch it from time to time. The classic story of Tarzan, the boy who was raised by a family of apes, is at its best in this animated Disney film as the studio conveys laughter, fun moments, and emotion at a perfect pace. Phil Collins' soundtrack instantly turns this very good movie into a classic, it is just that good. In my opinion, Tarzan was the last great Disney animated movie.
Fun Fact: Many easter eggs can be found in the background if you look carefully, including references to Mulan and Beauty and the Beast.
27. Batman: The Dark Knight Returns
Director: Jay Oliva
Starring: Peter Weller, Ariel Winter, and Michael Emerson
Studios: Warner Bros. & DC Comics
Rotten Tomatoes: 100%
Based on Frank Miller's classic graphic novel, the two features remain faithful to the brilliant source material. Both features push its PG-13 rating to the limit by maintaining the graphic novel's dark tone and relentless violence. I was really impressed by how well done the action scenes were done. Since TDKR doesn't show much of the action between Batman and Superman, the film does a great job of pitting the two super heroes against each other in spectacular fashion. Also worthy of praise is Christopher Drake's score. Overall, the two features combine to what should make Frank Miller proud. And how about
Fun Fact: Conan O'Brien voices Talk Show Host David Endochrine in Part 2.
26. A Bug's Life
Director: John Lasseter
Starring: Dave Foley, Kevin Spacey, and Denis Leary
Rotten Tomatoes: 92%
Awards: Golden Globe & Oscar nominations for score; 2 Grammy nominations for soundtrack, won one of them
Very few movies have a better sense of grand adventure than A Bug's Life. Like Toy Story before it, Pixar expands our imagination with personification again by going inside the lives of bugs. It's another childhood favorite with a cast of unforgettable characters. Here's hoping that Pixar grants it a sequel (since they are really into that sort of thing nowadays).
Fun Fact: John Lasseter and Andrew Stanton have voice cameos.
Thus concludes part one of my Top 30 Animated Movies countdown. Thanks for reading and please comment with your feedback
Over the last two weeks, I've finished up watching a lot of TV seasons/series. Some ended naturally with the Winter/Spring TV season ending, others I watched on Netflix at my own pace, and one marathon run due to a Netflix expiration. Here they are:
- Avatar: The Last Airbender season 2 - Before earlier this week, I was watching Avatar on Netflix very slowly. I think I started watching the series on Netflix over a year ago. Other shows got in the way so I put it on the back burner for quite some time, watching an episode here and there. Then came some awful news: Netflix's streaming rights of Avatar: TLA were coming to an expiration. So I had three days to finish watching the second half of season two and watch season three marathon style. Anyways, I'm very glad I decided to stick with this animated series after season two's slow start because the second half was just great. Team Avatar's adventure continued at a fun pace while Prince Zuko and Uncle Iroh's story really picked up. Through excellent animation, writing, and voice work, season two's second half was a blast. Plenty of laughs, a ton of deep character development, and the progression of one of TV's greatest adventures all combine to make a strong season. 9.4/10
- Avatar: The Last Airbender season 3 - This is exactly how to end a great TV series. It came to a perfect ending without sacrificing anything that made the series so great in the first place, the characters and their relationships with one another. There's plenty of fun to be found in the final season while the tone gets more serious and dark as the characters deal with conflicts both external and internal. The story of Aang, Katara, Sokka, Toph, Momo, Appa, Zuko, Iroh, and the supporting cast comes to an ending that is as perfect as a fan could ask for. 9.8/10
- Avatar: The Last Airbender - In my opinion, Avatar: TLA stands in an elite class of five nearly perfect American animated series with Spider-Man (90's), Batman: The Animated Series, Batman Beyond, and Samurai Jack. It handles action, story-telling, character development, creative animation, voice acting, humor, emotion, and adventure like no other animated series. It does have its weak moments, but when the show is great, it's unlike any other. My favorite part of the series was Prince Zuko and Uncle Iroh's journey, plenty of great moments combine to make the characters two of my favorites. Overall, I'm really pleased that I finally experienced Avatar: The Last Airbender after a few of you recommended it over a year ago. It's a series that grew on me to a point where I already miss it. Time to catch up on Korra! 9.7/10
- The Office season 9 - Speaking about shows that grew on me, The Office finally ended after 201 episodes. While the Michael Scott seasons were so much better than the non-Michael seasons, the series always promised laughs every Thursday since 2005. It also handled emotion better than most TV series (I know I teared up a few times). Anyway, season 9 was a huge improvement from season 8. It was a proper goodbye for an outstanding TV series that I will miss dearly. The finale episode was just perfect. 9.3/10
- The Office - My favorite comedy TV series by far, especially looking back to the first seven seasons. 9.7/10
- Saturday Night Live season 38 - SNL has seen better days, but it still packs plenty of laughs. This season saw plenty of great hosts and musical guests, Seth MacFarlane/Frank Ocean being my favorite. It also had a few hosts/guests that were totally off, as usual. It seems as if nowadays on SNL that every sketch has a 60% chance of being funny, which is an all-time low. For every 'Puppet Class' and 'Darrell's House', there's a 'Californians' and a sketch with Fred Armisen cross-dressing. A fair season overall. It was sad to see Fred Armisen, Jason Sudekis, Seth Myers, and Bill Hader leave. I have no idea where they go from here. 7.2/10.
- Bates Motel season 1 - Could have been awful turned out being unique and dramatic that kept me coming back every Monday. Strong acting performances from a great cast. Excited for season two. 8.2/10.
- Survivor season whatever - Another year, two more Survivor seasons. This year was a good rebound after a few bad seasons. No more Redemption Island, favorites and newcomers were both interesting and good contestants, and someone deserving finally wins. A good season that proves that this show still has it. 7.9/10.
- Portlandia - From Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein comes a unique, up-beat sketch comedy series that had me laughing over its six episode season. After Arrested Development's season four, I'll be watching season two for even more laughs. Highly recommend watching it on Netflix. 8.5/10.
So yeah, I've been watching some serious TV Here are some long overdue comic book reviews:
- Batman, Incorporated #8 - Wanted to read this issue to understand how Damian Wayne died. I've never read Grant Morrison's BI series, so I can't really judge this series too much. But I hope it was good enough to end of the best characters in comics, screwing over my second favorite series. I will never understand why comic book characters' deaths are purposely spoiled ahead of time, it really hurts the story. Good artwork. 7.0/10.
- Batman #18 - As Batman mourns the death of his son, the book focuses again on Harper Row, a young lady who takes care of her troubled brother on her own while helping Batman through technology against his wishes. I could read an entire series about Harper, she's one of my favorite characters in comics. The relationship between her and Batman is perfectly unique. Not as good as her debut issue (which might be my favorite comic book ever), but certainly a stellar issue from the amazing Snyder/Cappulo team. 9.8/10
- Batman & Robin #18 - Batman mourns his son's death through violence and emotion. While not really saying a word, B&R is a perfect book for again capturing the relationship Bruce has with his son, even after his death. It's a shame that Tomasi didn't have more time with the characters. It's a powerful, emotional book that is truly perfect. 10/10.
- Nightwing #18 - I've been a huge fan of Kyle Higgins' Nightwing run as it takes the TV series-esque story telling. The art has been inconsistant for sometime and this book is probably the worst the art has been. The art team should be fired and replaced with Eddie Barrows again. I'm not sure if I like where the series is heading either. The book is saved by a good few pages of Dick's mourning of Damian with a powerful callback. 7.0/10
I've also watched a few movies:
- Kill Bill Volume 1 - Fantastic writing, visual style, acting, and action, but the story is quite muddled. If you take it as a cheesy action movie, it's quite amazing, any more and you start to notice flaws. Not QT's best, not his worst. Still really entertaining. 4/5
- Wedding Crashers - One of my favorite comedies. Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson are perfect while the supporting cast adds plenty of laughs as well. The comedy also does better tan most others by not only relying on laughs, but some emotion as well. 4/5
- Moonrise Kingdom - Wes Anderson's at his absolute best. I really enjoyed the story, the performances, soundtrack, and the artistic style. Such an enjoyable movie that had me glued until the very end. It's right up there with The Goonies and Stand By Me. 4/5
Lastly, I stopped to a few yard sales on my way home from work and came home with some excellent pick-ups. Here's what $11 got me:
- Alfred Hitchcock DVD collection of his first 20 black/white movies
- Blade Runner DVD
- Hellboy DVD
- 5 vintage X-Men comics in mint condition (one is valued at $52)
- Dave Matthews Band CD
- Gran Turismo 2 on PS1
- The Girl Who Played With Fire book
Getting addicted to Mass Effect. Off to play it and perhaps see Fast 6 or Star Trek Into Darkness tonight. Next blog is the start of a countdown Thanks for reading and please comment.
I thought the reveal was awful. Here are 12 points why:
1. It doesn't look like the Xbox One is focused on gamers or developers at all. It took 30 minutes for Microsoft to talk about games.
2. When Microsoft finally started to talk about games, they only showcased two games: Forza Motorsport 5 and Quantum Break (a game we know nothing about besides a freight ship crashing into a bridge and a mother talking to her daughter). Now, both games do look interesting, but they were only showcases. No details, no developer explanation, and no gameplay.
3. Too much time was spent on non-exclusive games that will also be available on the PlayStation 4. Madden, NBA Live, FIFA, UFC, and Call of Duty have all been confirmed for PS4. I'm not trying to be a fanboy here, but wasn't the reveal supposed to be reasons why you should buy an Xbox One and not just a next generation console?
4. Is TV that important? 1/3 of the reveal was all about TV and how the Xbox One can serve as a TV service. Why should people step away from DirecTv, Dish, or Time Warner? Especially when we don't know if AMC, FX, MTV, Cartoon Network, etc. will be available. I also don't think people understand that this will cost money. It's not a free feature (even with Xbox Live) but presumably an app that will cost monthly fees. No word on DVR either.
5. It didn't do anything to appeal to kids. No kid-friendly games at all. That's a huge market to avoid completely.
6. The console looks ugly. Not that it really matters but wow, how uninspired and ugly can a console design get? Many were quick to point out that it looks like a VCR to a point where "VCR" was trending on Twitter.
7. Xbox "One"? Did Microsoft pay any attention to Nintendo and the Wii "U"? While marketing might inform more people that the Xbox One is a brand new console rather than an upgrade, it will no doubt cause confusion. Microsoft wanted to avoid the cheesy "Xbox 720" and they did. But at what cost?
8. The fact that is very hidden under the hype at the moment is how Xbox One will charge a fee if you play a used game. It's unknown exacly how the fee will be incorporated, but it is a fee nonetheless. Is the Xbox One going to be that big for customers to give up Gamestop?
9. No free internet access. I've talked to a lot of people who said that if the next Xbox charges a fee for online access that they would jump ship to PlayStation's free online access. I think that this will be a big deal if people come to their senses and realize that they've paid over $300 for Xbox Live if they purchased a 360 at launch with a subscription.
10. I think that the voice controls could lead to disaster. I'm not sure how Kinect functions (I've never cared to try it out), but voice activation is surely not advanced enough to avoid potential bugs http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-GKVyBb-KI
11. How corny was it to see celebrities like Steven Spielberg, JJ Abrams, Roger Goodell, Bill Gates, Robert Griffin III, and Roger Goodell (all of whom probably have zero experience with the console) say how great the Xbox One is...
12. No pizza apps?
Overall, I can't see how anyone could have been even remotely excited from the Xbox One reveal. I think that Microsoft completely dropped the ball and that they are heading in the wrong direction. People buy a video game console to play video games.
The sad thing is, I think that the XBOX name is too powerfull at this point that their usual customers will flock to the Xbox One no matter what. Microsoft knows that, that's why they are making millions off of Xbox Live subscriptions. But if Sony markets the PlayStation 4 strongly with game-centered promotion and a competitive price, they could dominate the next generation.
I watched the Xbox reveal as a loyal, lifelong PlayStation and Nintendo owner. I already knew that I was purchasing a PS4 at launch (and a Wii U at some point) before the reveal livestream. But I was worried however that the next Xbox could have some features that could potentially knock the PS4 out of the ring and bury the Wii U even further into the ground. Fortunatly, that is not the case with the Xbox One.
No one console is in the lead, no one console is dead last. But given how the Wii U, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One are all running in completely directions, there will be clear-cut winners and losers by the time the next, next generation of consoles is being talked about.
Again, I've always been a loyal PlayStation and Nintendo owner. Call me a fanboy all you want, but I've made my points (both by fact and opinion) and I'll stick to them until E3. Thanks for reading and please comment with your thoughts on the Xbox One reveal
Over the past month, I've seen some movies, bought some DVDs/blu-rays, finished some games, bought some games, and purchased/listened to an album. Between all of this, finishing up my first college semester, working my part-time job, and all my other daily activities that you probably don't care about, I've been a bit busy. Only now have I truly had the time to blog in the past two weeks (and even now I'm procrastinating about mowing my backyard lawn). Anyway, here's kind of an update:
- Bourne Trilogy DVD Collection - Saw the excellent Bourne tirilogy, decided to add it to my library of movies that I own. Overall, the original trilogy is fantastic. It's a smart action thriller that only gets better with every installment. Bourne Legacy is quite good in my opinion, but it doesn't touch the Matt Damon trilogy.
- Lawless blu-ray - Lawless was one of my favorite 2012 movies. The all-star cast did a great job and the story was well told and emotional. For a shocking $6 price, I just had to pick it up.
- The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - I hate that it was compared to Lord of the Rings. It has an entirely different feel to it for a reason, The Hobbit, to me, has always been more of a light-hearted adventure while LOTR is a dark epic of battles, both physically and emotionally. Picked it up for a decent $12 price.
- Django Unchained steelcase blu-ray - In my opinion, Django Unchained should have won Best Picture at the Academy Awards. It's truly an amazing movie that adds to Tarantino's collection of masterpieces. Its story is carefully told, it's brilliantly acted, it has excellent action; the entire movie is powerful. Christoph Waltz deserves his Oscar, but I think that Leonardo DiCaprio and Samuel L. Jackson did just as good with their roles, if not better. An excellent blu-ray with a badass limited edition steelcase. 5/5
- Kid Cudi - Indicud - Kid Cudi is my favorite artist today. His Man on the Moon albums helped me through a very tough time in my life. I consider them both masterpieces while his WZRD album from last year was altogether decent with a few great songs and a slew of boring songs alongside them. WZRD was pretty good, but it lacked that style that only Kid Cudi has. Indicud brings that back in full force and offers some of his best songs yet. The album shows off his maturity as an artist while having a lot of fun along the way. It's an upbeat album without any radio hits, which I think is perfect. Featured artists such as kendrick Lamar, Michael Bolton (yes, that one), A$ap Rocky, RZA, Too $hort, King Chip, and Haim fit right in and make the album better. If you are a fan of Kid Cudi, it has all you could ask for. 5/5
- Mass Effect Trilogy - I was about two hours away from beating Mass Effect 2 before my PlayStation 3's data crashed last April, leaving me with only save files of games I played four months ago from then. That meant that my Mass Effect 2, Jak Collection, Sly 1 & 2, some Fallout 3, and a lot of Fallout New Vegas were gone. While I was done with Jak & Sly and the Fallout data was easily replayed, losing my Mass Effect 2 data hurt. I refused to start again and sold it. It was certainly one of my favorite PS3 games and I knew that if I were to replay it instantly, it would lose its appeal. When the Mass Effect trilogy was announced, I was already knee deep in some games (AC3, Madden 13, & FC3) and decided to put it on the back burner. Well, now I own the trilogy and I am currently playing Mass Effect 1 for the first time. For $40, it was a great purchase, especially with the awesome packaging.
- Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon - I also finally bought Luigi's Mansion 2 over the weekend. I enjoyed the first game ages ago and my 3DS needed some love. Haven't started it yet.
- Scooby-Doo: Night of 100 Frights - Just when I thought that I was done spending money for a while, I decided to stop at a yard sale on my way home from college (always a great place to find cheap retro games). I came across a PS2 game that I adored a decade ago growing up: Scooby-Doo: Night of 100 Frights. My PS2 still works so I paid $2 for it. I have fond memories of it and figured I'd have some nostalgic fun. I dug up my old PS2 and sure enough, the game works. Didn't play too much, don't know if I will. Some things are better left as memories after all.
- Dragon Ball Z: Lord Slug - Speaking of nostalgia, I'm five seasons and five movies in on collecting and re-watching my childhood's favorite anime series, Dragon Ball Z. Lord Slug is the fourth DBZ movie out of thirteen, and is the second last movie in the five-pack that I bought months back. It's always been my second favorite DBZ movie behind Cooler's Revenge. It has classic DBZ action, a good selection of characters, and Lord Slug makes for a great villain. 4/5
- Ice Age 4: Continental Drift - The Ice Age series has dropped in terms of quality since Ice Age 2: The Meltdown. Ice Age 4 is no exception, it's the worst Ice Age movie yet. There are far too many characters and not enough laughs. The best thing about the first one was the chemistry between Diego, Sid, and Manny. Since then, more characters have been added to a point where the focus is thrown off of them. I found the latest Ice Age boring, off-paced, and just not funny. Not even the Scrat shorts were funny. The animation is well done and the guest stars are somewhat fun, other than that, I hated Ice Age 4 and I can't imagine how a family could find it fun. 2/5
- Argo - I found it entertaining, suspenseful, well made, but also forgettable. Is it good movie that I recommend? Certainly. Is it Best Picture material? No. 4/5
- Zero Dark Thirty - The first third of the movie? Intriguing. The second third? Boring. The final third? Excellent. 4/5
- Iron Man - My favorite movie from the Avengers chronology. RDJ was born to play Tony Stark while the supporting cast of Terrance Howard, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Jeff Bridges is quite excellent. I liked how it was more realistic science fiction than fantasy the first time around. It had a serious tone that was relieved by humor at all the right moments. 5/5
- The Avengers - While the story is generic and filled with plot holes, it's still a fun, exciting blockbuster that made history by combining characters from multiple movies. The writing was good, all of the jokes hit, the action was well done, and the fact that we actually got to see Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Hulk, Hawkeye, Black Widow, Nick Fury, and Loki in the same awesome movie was surreal. I have issues with The Avengers, but they are all voided by its awesomeness. 5/5
- Iron Man 3 - I enjoyed Iron Man 3 and thought it was really good, but I also thought that it could have been so much better. The action was amazing and the jokes were lol-worthy, but the story, pace, timing, and use of talent were all questionable. I'm not going to spoil anything, but I do wish that the infamous plot twist wasn't so. I also wish that it somehow tied into The Avengers. Don't get me wrong though, it was a total crowd pleaser. 4/5
- Inglorious Basterds - Not Tarantino's best, but it is a very well made movie with strong performances across the stellar cast. 4/5
- L.A. Confidential - Why did it take me this long to watch this masterpiece of a movie?! Loved everything about it. 5/5
- The Campaign - What a missed opportunity. Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis (?) star as rivals in an election and this was the best they could come up with? All of the laughs were spoiled in promotion and the ending was oddly feel good. 2/5
- LEGO Harry Potter Years 5-7 - Finally finished up the last year a couple of weeks ago. While I enjoyed Years 1-4 more, Years 5-7 still offers a lot of content that leaves both kids and Potter fans with much to enjoy. As with Years 1-4 though, the story would be impossible to follow along with for people who haven't read the books or watched the movies. The later years' much darker tone also raises some questions as well. Don't expect the series best moment, Snape's Tears, at all. Still, the game is great for kids and Potter fans alike. 8.0/10
- Bioshock Infinite - The combat is fun, the level design is perfect, the environment is interesting to explore, and the story is one of the best that I've experienced in any form of media. Many moments stick out to make it the best game I've played since 2011's Batman: Arkham City. 9.5/10.
- Grand Theft Auto IV - I know I'm not going to be popular by saying this, but I think that GTA IV is the most overrated game of this generation. I didn't really enjoy it (it took me two years to beat, nothing kept me coming back to it). It lacks the fun of the PS2 classics, it has awful controls when not locked on, Liberty City was dull, and the graphics are ugly. There were countless things that pissed me off about it. While I enjoyed the story and voice over work, I just didn't find it any fun. I'm really hoping that GTA V brings the fun back with controls that match its ambitious mission structure. 10/10 Gamespot? Really? 7.0/10
I pre-ordered Kingdom Hearts 1.5 Remix HD Collection, Beyond: Two Souls, and Grand Theft Auto V as well. Off to play some more Mass Effect, loving it. Thanks for reading and please comment
I know that I got into May blockbusters in my last blog, but this blog is more about the summer of massive blockbusters and how they cannot all win. There will be glorious winners. There will also be failures. Some movies are going to be great and everyone sees them (2012's The Avengers). Some are going to be great and nobody sees them (2010's Scott Pilgrim vs The World). Some are going to be awful and yet everyone sees them (2011's Transformers: Dark of the Moon). Some are going to be complete disasters and nobody sees them (2011's Green Lantern). So how is the summer box office going to turn out? Allow me to place some predictions.
Here's my projected top ten highest grossing Summer 2013 movies:
1. Iron Man 3 - It's pretty much a fact. It blew up overseas, had a huge opening day, has great promotion, everyone loves super hero flicks right now, it has positive reviews, it has a great cast, and the merchandise is hot on shelves. The clear winner of not only the summer, but 2013 as a whole. Will it be good? I think so, but a few friends of mine who saw it on Thursday night have said otherwise.
2. Man of Steel - While DC's heavy hitter doesnt have the luxury of following up massive success for the past 5 years, I'm positive it will join Iorn Man 3 to the $1 billion club. Will it be good? I've never been more sure of a movie than I am with Man of Steel. It looks great, it will be great.
3. Monsters University - The time will be right for a family friendly animated movie to hit the theaters upon its release. It certainly helps that its predecessor was a massive success that only got more popular a decade later (I feel old). Will it be good? The latest trailer looked awful. But I have some faith that it will put Pixar back on their horse in terms of quality, SOME faith.
4. The Hangover Part III - Along with Ted, The Hangover movies were massive successes for R-rated comedies. I can't imagine this one will be any different. Will it be good? Can't be worse than the last one.
5. Pacific Rim - A bold prediction, but I think audiences will flock to this Transformers-like original movie from del Toro. I still can't believe that this is finally coming out. Will it be good? Unlike Transformers, I'm thinking yes.
6. Fast & Furious 6 - Fast 5 was huge, this one could have been even bigger. But despite its Hangover III, Iron Man 3, and Star Trek Into Darkness competition, it will have to settle for less. Will it be good? I loved Fast Five and think that the sequel will carry over all the right elements.
7. Star Trek Into Darkness - It will be swallowed up by Iron Man 3 in its third week but it will still gather a good audience at the #2 spot in its opening week. Will it be good? It certainly looks great and I'm pretty excited to see it in theaters, I think it will be more action packed than the first, which would be a good thing.
8. Elysium - Being released late in the summer, I think this under the radar sci-fi will have a pretty big opening. Will it be good? Hell yes, the trailer looks awesome.
9. Despicable Me 2 - While I didn't exactly enjoy the first one, it seems that everybody else did. Though Monsters University will cost it some tickets. Not because it will still be rocking in its third week (though it could), but because will families really want to go to the theaters again so soon? I think yes, but it will not be a massive success as Nickelodeon hopes. Will it be good? It looks like a lifeless cash grab, but I'd love to be proved wrong.
10. The Great Gatsby - While one might think that Iron Man 3 and Star Trek Into Darkness would crush the life out of this, I tend to differ. Its audience will be different. Will it be good? I think it could be a powerhouse at the Academy Awards from the clips and trailers that I've seen. I'm psyched to see it for its style, cast, and director.
While all of these movies and their respective studios will be swimming in the cash, there will also be losers crying in the bathroom stall. Here are my predictions for which Summer 2013 movies will bust:
- After Earth - He Who Must Not Be Named has an awful track record and I doubt this will do anything to change it. It's stacked competition will crush it. Will it be good? There's little chance.
- World War Z - It's been in production for a very, very long time. That means that it must be a booming success for it turn a profit. While I think that zombies are more popular than ever, I have serious doubts that it will find a role in this summer's box office. Killing Them Softly proved that Brad Pitt alone isn't enough to sell a ticket anymore. Will it be good? It looks awful.
- The Wolverine - I'll be shocked if three superhero blockbusters will be successful. I also think that the special effects and tone of the story look pretty bad. I'm just hoping that it doesn't do bad enough to hinder production of X-Men: Days of Future's Past. Will it be good? Maybe, but the special effects look like crap and the story looks depressing.
- The Lone Ranger - Behold, the biggest bomb of Summer 2013. Will it be good? I highly, highly doubt it.
There you have it, my Summer 2013 box office predictions. Thanks for reading and please comment with whether you agree or disagree
*Edit* I have a new blog header
It's been over 19 days since my last blog, a bit longer of a break than usual. I've been very busy over the past few weeks. I had to write three research papers for three out of my four college courses. One was on the critically endangered Iberian lynx, another on the War of 1812, and one on the perception of violent video games. Thankfully, I was able to pick my own topic for each paper (all three topics are very interesting to me), so it wasn't that bad. I also had to spend 12 hours volunteering at a Civil War re-enactment over this past weekend. It sounds fun right? Well, not really. All I really did was direct parking/traffic. But hey, it wasn't that bad. My semester is quickly coming to an end, which means it's been hammer-time in all four of my courses. I have high B's and A's in all of my classes, so I'm quite proud of myself. I find college to be much easier and more enjoyable than high school, for whatever reason. As my semester is coming to an end in just a few days, I'm starting to look towards the summer. More specifically, I'm really looking forward to the month of May. Here are some reasons why:
May 3rd - Iron Man 3
I've been quite skeptical of the upcoming Marvel movie. I originally thought that it looked pretty bad, not exactly sure why. But as the first part of The Avengers: Phase Two approaches, it's looking better and better. The reviews are glowing and unlike most blockbusters, Marvel isn't promoting it to death with x-amount of clips, trailers, and TV spots. *cough*The Amazing Spider-Man*cough* It looks pretty kick-ass yet very mysterious. I still have no idea what it's going to be about, which is a good thing.
May 10th - The Great Gatsby
I'm a big fan of Leonardo DiCaprio, Baz Luhrmann, Tobey Maguire, Carey Mulligan, and pretty much everyone involved with this upcoming film adaptation of the classic novel that I have never read. The style and tone of this movie just begs to be seen in theaters. I've been waiting a while for its release. Can't wait to see it.
May 15th - Star Trek Into Darkness
I've only recently watched J.J.'s first Star Trek movie. I've just never been a fan of Star Trek at all; I'm much more of a Star Wars fan. When I did finally see it, I really enjoyed it. So much that I'm willing to see its upcoming sequel in theaters. The fact that Sherlock's Benedict Cumberbatch plays the part of the villain only solidifies the fact that I'll be seeing three movies in theaters in the month of May. Which is surprising, because I haven't been to the theater at all since December of 2012, when I saw The Hobbit. There just hasn't been one 2013 movie that looked like it deserved my money until now. And now there's three of them. Hell, I would be going to see Fast & Furious 6 if this month wasn't so packed. The Hangover Part III and After Earth also come out in May, though I could really care less.
May 14th - Metro: Last Light
I was once very excited for this game. Then it fell off the grid after being delayed numerous times. That, and when Deep Silver purchased it from THQ, it seemed as if all promotion halted. I haven't heard any news or seen any promotion since the THQ firesale. However, I'm still really interested in it and I'm still considering purchasing it. Though I have been itching to finally buy either Ni no Kuni, the Mass Effect Trilogy, or Injustice: Gods Among Us. The last of which is on sale for only $35 at Toys R Us this week!
May 26th - Arrested Development season 4
The Bluths are back! The fourth season of one of my all-time favorite TV series is coming back for another season via Netflix streaming. It's the funniest show I've watched and I can't wait to have some good laughs. "Take a look at banner, Michael!"
I've recently beat both Bioshock Infinite and LEGO Harry Potter Years 5-7, so expect some mini-reviews soon for both. Not sure what I'm going to go after next from my queue. There's:
- Fallout 3 - Three DLC missions and free roam.
- Bioshock 2 - Only an hour in.
- GTA IV & Episodes - Can't beat the mission on the boat, the checkpoints piss me off!
- Ratchet & Clank Collection - Have only played 30 minutes of the first game, likely next.
- Sly 3 - I am not enjoying this game much, just got to the Panda hub.
- Borderlands - Haven't scratched the surface yet. Might restart.
- Killzone 3 - Haven't started yet.
- Spec Ops: The Line - About halfway through, lost interest.
- L.A. Noire - I need to replay it and 5-star every case for the platinum. Love this game, want the platinum so badly.
That's it, I have no idea which game I should go after next! Let me know in the comments with which one you recommend. Thanks for reading and please comment
The upcoming cover story for the upcoming GameInformer issue has been announced. It's a Batman Arkham game, but not the one most of us expected. As rumored, it's titled Batman: Arkham Origins, obviously focusing on Batman's early days in Gotham City. Here's the odd part: it's not being developed by Rocksteady, the acclaimed developer of the two previous Arkham games. Warner Bros. Montreal will be developing it, while Rocksteady sort of looks over the project, helping the new developer team with only technical aspects. I haven't read the issue yet but from what I have read online, the story centers around Black Mask hiring eight assassins to target and kill Batman. Many villains are sure to show up, though I've only heard about Black Mask, Deathstroke (!!!), and a pre-glass-bottle-to-the-eye Penguin. The game is set in the same 'Arkhamverse' that Rocksteady created, though set years before the first two games in Gotham City with no restrictions. This means earlier versions of Arkham City (Crime Alley, Amusement Mile) and previously unexplored areas. It has been stated that the map size will be more than twice the size of Arkham City's. To better traverse the massive open world, there will be fast travel points via the Batwing.
If you read my last blog, you know that I thought the prequel rumors were false. While Rocksteady very well could be hard at work on an Arkham City sequel similar to the one I fantasized about over the last couple blogs, the rumors turned out to be accurate. Many folks are concerned about the new developer, as they should be; it's a scary, risky transition. However, I'm not too worried about it. If Rocksteady is indeed looking over the technical aspects, I'm sure the game will turn out very well. Look at Halo 4, Fallout: New Vegas, Call of Duty: World at War, Bioshock 2, etc. Developer transitions have worked out fantastic in the past. I am curious though, as to whether or not the core voice cast is still on board (Kevin Conroy, Mark Hamill, Nolan North, Wally Wingert, etc.) It's important that the majority of the original cast stays on to maintain the tone of the series. As for the game's new locations, I hope to see Wayne Manor, an indoor look at Ace Chemicals, the Batcave, Wayne Industries, and maybe even Blackgate Prison. Speaking of Blackgate, I am interested in the 2D spin-off from the developers of Metroid Prime on the 3DS/Vita, set in Blackgate Prison. Overall, I am quite excited about the news and can't wait to receive my copy of GI in the mail. Add one more game I'm pumped to see at E3 as welll.
My old HP laptop bit the dust a couple weeks ago (I've been using my father's work computer since). Anyway, I bought a new one yesterday at Best Buy, a Dell Inspiron (or something like that). It has Windows 8, a touch screen, a decent sized screen, a DVD player, HD monitor, etc. I picked it up for a sweet deal of just under $300, after a promotion discount. It's not a fancy gaming computer with face-melting speed or any of that jazz, but it's very modern and suits my needs. It also helps that a buddy of mine is hooking me up with all sorts of software such as Office free of charge, legally, and 100% safe. My hardrive data is being transferred over night, so I will have it tomorrow. I'm pretty excited.
Believe it or not, it's been almost a year and a half since my Top 30 Animated Movies countdown. Since then, I've re-watched some classics, caught up on some hidden gems, watched all the recent hits. By doing so, I've been enlightened. Looking back at my previous list is almost embarrassing, especially my 30-20 ranks. Beowulf? Pokemon 2000? Yikes. Anyway, I thought I'd redo the list top to bottom. I'll show drops, jumps, and additions, among a lot of other fun changes. It should be a pretty fun blog series that you can feel free to check out later this month. I have a lot of cool blog ideas coming up, so as always, keep an eye out if you're interested.
Land of the Lost - A cult Will Ferrell comedy that can be hilarious if you watch it with your guard down. Not his best comedy, still mad funny. 3/5
Assassin's Creed III: The Tyranny of Kin Washington Episode 1 - A rip-off of a DLC. Takes none of the elements from AC3 that made it my GOTY 2012, but takes all of the issues that made AC3 my worst GOTY ever. It's extremely short, confusing, glitch-packed, and just not fun at all. It does not make good use of its awesome premise. Other than the wolf super powers, I hated it. 5.0/10.
Arrested Development season 3 - One of the funniest shows that will ever be. Excellent use of comedic talent, great writing, laugh-out-loud humor. 9.6/10
Game of Thrones season 1 - The boldest show I've ever watched is also one of the greatest I have watched. The performances, writing, story, characters, set design, CGI, intense moments, huge consequences, etc. all adds up to one great television series. Season one is my favorite. 9.9/10
Game of Thrones season 2 - Not as good as season 1, but still epic. A great follow-up to season one with bigger consequences and more CGI. Many shocking moments fuel the season. 9.6/10
Wreck-It Ralph - Not very original, however, it's better than the other animated movies with the same plot. I laughed a lot and I was impressed with the animation. A very enjoyable movie that could wind up on my Top 30 Animated Movies countdown. The Paperman animated short after the credits is even better. 4/5
The Bourne Legacy blu-ray - It doesn't touch the Damn trilogy, but this spin-off stands its ground as a good action-thriller. Plenty of intense moments with clever writing. Just very boring in the middle. 3/5
Lincoln blu-ray - Wow. Daniel Day-Lewis's performance as Abe Lincoln is legendary. As a fan of American history, I was very interested throughout the entire film. Fantastic supporting performances from Tommy Lee Jones, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Sally Field, James Spader, Jackie Earle Haley, and Jared Harris. My one grudge with this otherwise masterpiece is the very ending. There was no need to show Lincoln dead. If it ended with him walking into the theater, it would have been much better. Still, an outstanding film. 5/5
Taxi Driver - I respect it as a classic film that was brilliantly crafted and acted, but I just wasn't that interested with it. And that's coming from somebody whose eyes are glued to the screen of 2001, Butch/Sundance, The Godfather, and other classics. I see why it's ranked so high on many list, but I just can't declare it any better than a 4/5.
Whew, that was a long blog. Time to perhaps finish Bioshock Infinite, which I can not stop praising. Highly recommend playing it and its attached Bioshock. Thanks for reading and please comment
Continuing from my blog last week, I'm having some fun predicting the characters that could appear in the unannounced Batman: Arkham City follow up, as well as what the said character could be up to.
In case you missed the first part (in which case, this blog might not make much sense), feel free to check that out here: http://www.gamespot.com/users/dylan417/show_blog_entry.php?topic_id=m-100-26018063
SPOILERS FOR ARKHAM ASYLUM & ARKHAM CITY AHEAD
Batman: Arkham 3 Characters Part II - Returning Villains
Harley Quinn - The Harley Quinn's Revenge DLC was just the tip of the iceberg. Harley is past mourning her beloved Joker, and is now 100% focused on avenging his death by ruining Batman. Most of Joker's henchmen have jumped ship to other major villains and crime bosses. But she still has a small, but loyal crew that takes her seriously.
Killer Croc - One of my favorite villains from Arkham Asylum was held back to only a cameo appearance in Arkham City, but I expect Croc to be back more deadly than ever, lurking about in the sewers of either Bluhaven or Gotham City.
The Riddler - More challenges are a must; the Riddler challenges added over 10 hours of content in the past two games combined. This time, I hope the final challenge/encounter is much better.
Quincy Sharp - What ever happened to Quincy Sharp being the spirit of Amadeus Arkham? The next Arkham game needs to clarify that.
Ra's al Ghul - Once again, Ra's al Ghul's corpse is missing after the credits. His League of Assassins will restore him again, making him even more deadly and insane. Instead of being a late reveal, I'd like Batman's second greatest villain to be the center villain this time. Perhaps bringing a mind-altered-by-Lazarus-Pit Talia al Ghul back could be in the cards. Maybe an eight-year-old Damian Wayne could be introduced? The possibilities are endless.
Two Face - In Arkham City, Harvey was limited to more of a Catwoman villain, rather than a Batman villain. I'd like that to change in the next Arkham game. Two Batman games in, and the major villain hasn't seen proper use yet. I always imagine Two Face as a slightly insane crime boss with a ton of muscle. Maybe his origin can be explored with a flashback sequence.
Mad Hatter - The Mad Hatter encounter was one of the brightest highlights in Arkham City. Like Scarecrow in Arkham Asylum, Batman was drugged by Hatter, resulting in a trippy boss fight. More of that, please.
Black Mask - Roman Sionis aka the Black Mask is one of Gotham's biggest crime bosses. While the Falcone and Maroni families are at war in Bludhaven, Black Mask is jumping at the opportunity to control crime in the "safe part" of Gotham City while the dangerous part of Gotham that was Arkham City is under restoration. As Batman bounces between Gotham and Bludhaven, he's never without a crime boss in prominence to worry about.
Hush - The foreshadowing by Hush in Arkham City was no idle threat. Hush knows Batman's identity and is aiming to sabotage Bruce's life. A key side story in the Gotham City hub.
Calendar Man - Listening to Calendar Man's sick stories in a Silence of the Lambs-esque fashion every month was certainly memorable. He might not have the center stage in this game, but I'd love to see a side arc dealing with a few of his holiday killings in action.
Talia al Ghul - As I stated above, I want Ra's al Ghul to be the main villain after he is yet again resurrected by the Lazarus Pit. How cool would it be if he has his dead daughter also resurrected, resulting in a bitter boss fight as Talia is mentally unstable and dangerous, similar to how Jason Todd was.
Scarecrow - Last, but certainly not least, the doctor of fear himself. The three Scarecrow encounters in Arkham Asylum are my favorite moments from this generation of video games. With only a few awesome easter eggs in Arkham City, I expect to see some more insane encounters for sure.
I'm still in the shallow water in Bioshock Infinite (I don't want to blast through it), only about 4 hours in. It's amazing. Exploring and admiring atmospheres is my favorite thing about video games. Bioshock did it extraordinarily well. Infinite takes it to another level. Every corner of Columbia is remarkably interesting and the graphics are literally breath-taking. Bioshock Infinite is level design at its best. I'm signing off to go play some more right now. Thanks for reading and please comment
Ladies and gentlemen, the news that I am about to report may seem like a dirty April Fool's joke, but rest assured that it is not.
Ever wish you could instantly watch your favorite cartoons and animated series that made up your childhood? Well, now that Netflix has added over 30 Cartoon Network shows, you can for just $8 a month! Old favorites such as Samurai Jack and Powerpuff Girls are now streaming, along with current hits such as Adventure Time and (the admittedly hilarious) Regular Show. Rejoice! I have just added a huge list to my instant queue and I can't wait to watch them!
Here are a list of cartoons and animated series that I've added to my instant queue, and I would recommend you all to do the same (though note that some titles do not have all episodes available at this time, more episodes are likely to come after a short time if Netflix's Nickelodeon streaming series are any indication).
My favorite animated series of all time, hands down. Batman Beyond is about an old, retired Bruce Wayne and his protege in training, Terry McGinnis. Terry takes up the cowl and cape in a futuristic Gotham City to rid the city of crime. The late 90s animated series is known to be one of the darkest to air on a children-oriented network with a lot of violence and mature themes, as well as its dark overall tone. It's intended to be taken seriously, and with its mature writing, it gets away with it. Highly recommend to everyone. All 52 episodes are available now.
Like Batman Beyond, Samurai Jack is a pretty dark animated series that can be taken seriously at times. The show is about a samurai who is trapped in the future after facing his arch nemesis, Aku. The animated series gets away with sword violence since most of his enemies are robots, monsters, bugs, etc. I'd compare it to Avatar: The Last Airbender, because it has both serious and funny themes. I'm surprised to see that this series, along with Batman Beyond, made it to Netflix. But awesome! One of my all-time favorites that I can not wait to watch tonight. The first of four seasons is available now.
Justice League & Justice League Unlimited
From the makers of Batman: The Animated Series and Superman: The Animated Series, comes the ultimate team-up of Batman, Superman, Green Lantern John Stewart, Hawkgirl, Martian Manhunter, Flash, and Wonder Woman. They take on all the DC baddies for two seasons before recruiting every DC hero you could think of to join them. An awesome animated series that deserves any superhero/comic book fan's time. All four seasons are available now.
Dexter, a red-headed boy genius, has a secret laboratory in his parents' basement that leads to wacky, fun adventures. His sister, Dee-Dee, constantly disrupts him in his lab, causing all sorts of problems, hilarity ensues. Overall, a funny Saturday morning cartoon worth some nostalgia. Highly recommend to everyone. Btw, anyone remember the Father's Day episode with the golf scene? Two seasons are available now.
A pure laugh-out-loud classic that adults and children alike can watch for some nostalgic laughs. I crack up just thinking about it! Two seasons are available now.
Ed, Edd 'n' Eddy
A trio of friends scam their neighborhood, which is strangely absent of adults. A funny cast of ensemble characters like Jimmy and Rolph lead to some good laughs. One of my childhood favorites that has humor anyone can enjoy. Two season are available now.
Chances are, you've heard of the Powerpuff Girls. Sugar, spice, and everything nice leads to a doctor's creation of three superhero girls he takes in as his children. Don't forget about Mojo Jojo, their arch nemesis monkey. I have heard that Cartoon Network will be airing new episodes soon. A pretty funny cartoon worth some nostalgia. If you obviously take it with a grain of salt, it can actually be pretty cool. Well, from what I remember. Two seasons are available now.
Courage the Cowardly Dog
By far the creepiest show I have ever watched on television. Yes, a child-oriented cartoon will seriously freak you out with all sorts of dark themes surrounding a purple dog, who lives in the middle of nowhere with an old couple. Very funny too, lots of laughs. But seriously, don't watch this s*** in the dark... ... Two seasons are available now.
Other Notables: Codename Kids Next Door, Adventure Time, Regular Show, The Grim Adventures of Bill & Mandy, Regular Show, and Scooby Doo: Mystery Inc.
Notable Missing Shows (But I am honestly not complaining): Dragon Ball, DBZ, DBGT, YuYu Hakusho, Rurouni Kenshin, both Clone Wars series, Teen Titans, Young Justice, Green Lantern: The Animated Series, Batman: TAS, Superman: TAS, and early/pre 90s shows such as Flintstones, Scooby-Doo Where Are You?, Jetsons, etc.
Awesome right?!? And ironically enough, none of this is an April Fool's joke! One could be slightly disappointed with some of the aforementioned absent series, but it is 100% understandable by me. Star Wars is owned by Disney now, Funimation owns the anime, CN is rebooting Teen Titans in a very different way, CN recently cancelled YJ and GL, and the older shows would not appeal to the main target audience. But again, I am not complaining at all. At least we got Justice League, Batman Beyond, and Samurai Jack. All of which I was certain were not going to stream. So yeah, awesome. Time for nostalgia!
Another side note, I bought Bioshock Infinite over the weekend and DAMN, it is GREAT! Two hours in and I can say that it has 10/10 potential. Thanks for reading and please comment with which series you plan on watching
The third game in Rocksteady's Batman: Arkham series is extremely likely to be in development. 2011's Batman: Arkham City went over tremendously well in both reviews and sales, even non-Batman fans played and enjoyed it. There are rumours that the next game could be a Silver Age prequel, focusing on the Joker's origin and the formation of the Justice League, but I honestly can't see that happening. BAC hinted strongly at events to take place after the game. Plus, who wouldn't want to see where Rocksteady takes Batman next after Arkham City's chaotic ending. I strongly believe that the next Arkham game will take place after the events of Arkham City and I also believe that the game will hit shelves in 2014 for the PS4, 720, Wii U, and PC.
So I thought I'd have some fun and predict/fantasize about the upcoming game's cast of characters before any news of the game has surfaced. Batman is known to have a strong list of supporting characters, from allies such as Nightwing, to villains such as The Riddler, as well as neutral characters like Vicki Vale. So I am going to spread this casting into at least four blogs to capitalize on the fun. Parts I and II focus on the characters returning from previous Arkham games. First up, the returning characters:
SPOILERS FOR ARKHAM ASYLUM AND ARKHAM CITY AHEAD
Batman: Arkham 3 Characters Part One - Returning Heroes
In Arkham City, Bludhaven was referenced a lot. With the criminal part of Gotham City blocked off for the failed Arkham City, it was referenced that Gotham's crime bosses went to Bludhaven as well. I think that Gotham City and Arkham Island are off limits, so Bludhaven (Nightwing's base of operations) would make perfect sense. Maybe Sal Maroni and Carmine Falcone are the main villains, with henchmen from both families wandering Bludhaven, replacing the Tyger guards. The increased crime proves to be too much for Nightwing, so Batman leaves Gotham to help the former Robin flush out the crime families. Flexing their muscle, the families recruit Batman's foes, while others appear for their own reasons, since Bludhaven is quickly becoming the new Gotham City. Gotham City on the other hand, has its own problems, including Hush, who is hellbent on sabotaging Bruce Wayne's reputation. As Batman, you hop between Gotham City and Bludhaven in different acts (by the Bat perhaps?) similar to Deus Ex: Human Revolution and any Assassin's Creed. The two cities act as hub worlds, which are both 100% open for exploration at any time. However, it will not be in one giant, impossible night, like the previous Arkham games. Side missions and collectibles do not expire as acts pass over the course of a week, think of each night as its own act. You play the majority of the game as Batman (in both cities), while you also play as Nightwing at times, similar to Catwoman in Arkham City.
Batman/Bruce Wayne - A year after the night at Arkham City, Bruce is still haunted by The Joker and Talia's deaths. He's not at all happy with how he handled Arkham City. Batman would of course be the main character in Arkham 3, as his limits will be further pushed.
Nightwing/Dick Grayson - While Nightwing wasn't in Arkham City's story, he was a unique playable character in the challenge maps. I expect Nightwing to replace Catwoman as the secondary character. Overlooking Bludhaven since he gave up the Robin tights, Nightwing would play a big role if the game does take place in Bludhaven.
Robin/Tim Drake - How cool would it be to fight alongside Robin in Gotham City as either AI or co-op !?! It would allow for insane henchmen crowds to pummel your way through with. It would also finally give Arkham City the multiplayer they have been looking for. In any case, Robin would be limited to a minor role, but perhaps a bit larger than his in Arkham City.
Oracle/Barbara Gordon - The parapelegic Barbara Gordon has made for a perfect guide in the past two games, she could aid Batman and Nightwing in this game as well.
Catwoman/Selina Kyle - Though not playable outside of challenge maps, Catwoman could easily play a role as an anti-hero or love interest for Batman. Like Arkham City, Bludhaven is a happening place, meaning Catwoman would find her way over there for her own reasons.
Comissioner Gordon - Limited to the Gotham City hub world (the other half of Gotham not affected by Arkham City), Gordon would be a crucial ally for Batman. Imagine some Bat-symbol meetings!
Azrael - The most mysterious character from Arkham City hinted to an apocalyptic event for Gotham City, maybe that could be the surprise final act, similar to Ra's al Ghul in Arkham City. Azrael wouldn't exactly be a 'hero' or a 'villain', but he would be a big player if the story went that way.
Alfred - Making his appearance debut, Alfred would of course reside at Wayne Manor/the Batcave. Here, you can view collectibles, explore, and view all of the cool souveniers Batman's collected over the years. In fact, it would be awesome if the Batcave acted as a start screen, where you would load your game by hopping in the Bat or Batmobile. Two Batman games in, and we have yet to see the Batcave in the story. The Batcave and Alfred are musts for Arkham 3.
I'm sure Rocksteady has something even better in mind It's all for fun though, I hope you enjoyed part one. If you did, look for part two, focusing on returning villains and their plots, later on this week. Now I'm in the mood for some Arkham City random justice. Thanks for reading and please comment
I've watched a few movies, read a lot of New 52 comics, wrapped up watching two TV seasons, and finished one awesome game. I'd like to talk (type?) about all of them briefly in some mini-reviews while I prepare a cool blog that should be up this weekend. Here are 17 mini-reviews:
Deus Ex: Human Revolution - 9.0/10
Finished up DXHR on Tuesday with about 50% trophies. Wow, what an experience! I take my hat off to the young studio, Edios Montreal. It is perhaps the best written game I've ever had the pleasure of playing while also great in the gameplay department, which consists of exploring, investigating, sneaking, shooting, or whatever you want to do to finish the game. The level of choice makes it very unique, you can go through the entire game only killing in the boss fights, which are some of the best that this generation has to offer. You can go stealth mode or guns blazing, I found a place in between. I felt a heavy Metal Gear Solid influence too, which is awesome. Almost everything works out perfect in this game, especially the level design, visuals, and writing. My only beef with Deus Ex: HR is the lacking ending. You make a huge choice at the very end, yet you can't really see its effect play out. Still, DXHR is a fantastic game that I recommend to everybody with a PS3, 360, PC, or Wii U.
Skyfall - 5/5
Bought it on blu-ray the other day and finally watched it for the first time. Wow. The best Bond yet, by far. It ranks in my top five action movies ever. There isn't a dull moment with 007's latest adventure, my eyes were super glued to the screen throughout. I especially liked the chaotic ending, holy s***! Sam Mendes proves himself as a great director, while Daniel Craig makes a strong case for the title 'Best James Bond', and Javier Bardem again proves to be a brilliant actor. How he wasn't nominated for an Oscar is beyond me. Loved the movie, it deserves all of its $1 billion success.
Taken 2 - 2/5
From 2012's best action movie to perhaps 2012's worst action movie. Taken 2 is a completely uncalled for sequel that failed to carry over any of the first movie's badass thriller feel. The plot is beyond stupid and filled with facepalm-worthy plot holes. If you enjoyed the first movie, do not watch its ugly sequel.
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Part 2 - 5/5
A perfect adaptation of a perfect graphic novel. WB successfully transfers the writing and art from Frank Miller's classic into its best animated feature yet. The animation and action scenes are fantastic! The ending fight scene (no spoilers) is as memorable and epic as it was in the paper version, while the Joker's killing spree is even better in motion. I'm very surprised that this wasn't rated R, it gets extremely violent and dark, holding zero punches back. Michael Emerson (and the rest of the voice cast too) pulled off a phenomenal performance as The Joker.
Project X - 3/5
Fun, crazy movie with a few laughs. Wasn't expecting much more. Pretty good movie for what it's worth.
2 TV Seasons
American Horror Story: Asylum - 7.8/10
The second season of AHS had its highs and lows. Some very creepy, well-done episodes with great acting, while others were unfocused and lacking. One thing it did well was balance characters and provide good endings for all of them.
Workaholics: Season 4 - 7.0/10
A surprisingly short season that didn't bring nearly as many laughs as seasons past. Still, a pretty funny show worth its time.
10 Comic Books
Batman #14-17 - 9.9/10
Scott Snyder is the best writer in the business and Greg Capullo is certainly in the top three best artists. Together, they are pulling off one of the best Batman runs in the history of comics. Following Court of Owls and a brilliant single-issue story, the creative team went after the high task of The Joker. They did it perfectly. One of the greatest Joker stories in any media. I highly suggest picking up some back issues and reading.
Batman & Robin #17 - 7.5/10
A pretty boring filler book, to be honest. Nothing bad about it, but nothing that good either. Coming off Snyder's two crossovers and before Grant Morrison's 'event', Peter Tomasi couldn't really do anything. I feel that the writer has been walked all over during his B&R New 52 run, constantly having to bounce between crossovers and events by other Batman writers. Which is a shame, because his solo work is amazing. He gets the dynamic between Batman and his son, Damian perfect. Now (no spoilers), he might not have a chance to spread his wings. I did love the last page though.
Nightwing #16 & 17 - 9.0/10
Behind Snyder's Batman, Kyle Higgins's Nightwing New 52 run might be my second favorite series right now. It feels like a TV series, with many arcs all connecting back to the firt issue. It's concentrated on Dick Grayson's life, as both Nightwing and himself. The past two books were game changers for the character; the Joker really did a number on his life. Dick is in a dark place right now and it will be interesting to see where Higgins takes the character. The art is somewhat lacking though.
Justice League #15-17 - 7.0/10
I'm not an Aquaman reader. However good the series may be, I just refuse to buy issues outside of a series simply because they crossover into a series that I am reading. I get that it is a great way for series to gain readers. However, if I read a trio of books from a specific series in a row, I should know what's going on. With Justice League's Throne of Atlantis arc, that is not the case. Two Aquaman books are set between three Justice League books. That means I had no idea what the hell was going on half of the time. I felt scammed. The art is great though, there is no denying that. Overall, the arc seemed interesting, but by not reading the Aquaman books, it was an empty experience I regret buying. I might drop the series because I see this happening again.
BioShock Infinite comes out in a few days, can't wait! I think I'll finish playing LEGO Harry Potter Years 5-7 until then. Thanks for reading and please comment
The PlayStation 4 looks awesome and I am confident that Sony will release it later this year with a decent price and a great lineup of launch titles. However, I will still be stuck on the PlayStation 3. Nobody can deny that the PS3 has a massive library of games available to play, exclusive or not. I've played a lot of them, the good, the bad and the ugly. But even after hundreds of hours plugged into my original launch PS3, I still have a ton of its games to play! Games that were released already that I haven't got around to buying and playing, games that I bought and haven't finished or even started yet, games that I want to replay, and games that are yet to be released. Here's why I'm not yet ready to lay to rest my PS3:
Yet To Be Released
Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag - I've played and enjoyed all the other AC games, now the sixth game in the series is going to be about pirates and it looks awesome! Already pre-ordered.
Beyond: Two Souls - Heavy Rain is one of my favorite PS3 games. The developer, Quantic Dream, is hard at work on an unrelated, supernatural thriller that follows the main character throughout her hectic life. It looks awesome and it looks like it is similar to Heavy Rain in a lot of ways, which is great!
BioShock: Infinite - My favorite First Person Shooter is finally getting its true sequel that is set in the air. It looks unique and it looks great. The early Game of the Year favorite.
Grand Theft Auto V - Come on, it's GTA. Every time a GTA game launches, it is a major gaming event like no other. Rockstar's latest looks bold and will no doubt push modern consoles to their fullest extent.
Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix - We are spoiled! Not only do we get a ton of new awesome games every year, but we are also getting some of our favorite games from the last generation in shiny new packaging complete with HD up-scaling and trophies. Kingdom Hearts is one of my games, I have always adored the series since 2002 and I am really looking forward to Kingdom Hearts III next generation. But before that, Square Enix is re-telling the story so far in collections. First up is Kingdom Hearts 1 and Chain of Memories, along with 358/2 Days cutscenes. It was just released in Japan with huge success and is now heading west later in the year. It is likely that Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 Remix will hit later this year in Japan first, with Kingdom Hearts II and Birth By Sleep, along with Coded and Dream Drop Distance cutscenes. Anyway, KH HD 1.5 Remix is one of my most anticipated games of 2013 for sure.
The Last of Us - Naughty Dog split into two groups last year and the one group is set to release the zombie apocalypse action/adventure in June. It looks fantastic and I'm extremely excited for it. In fact, I named it my Most Anticipated Game of 2013 last month in my 2012 Awards blog series and I recently pre-ordered it.
Metro: Last Light - Meet the 2013 version of Rage. Delay after delay for the once promising First Person Shooter along with a publisher change could have an awful impact on sales and overall quality. Like Rage, it is long overdue but has the potential to be wicked awesome. But will its potential be reached? We'll see in May.
Young Justice: Legacy - An action RPG based on the Cartoon Network animated series that was recently cancelled along with Green Lantern and The Clone Wars. Don't even get me started on the trio being cancelled, it hurts. Anyway, the game is set to come out on a variety of platforms and the trailer looks cool. Think a DC version of Marvel: Ultimate Alliance, which I loved. It's a wait-and-see purchase for me.
Madden NFL 25 - Laugh all you want, but I am an American football nut. Huge Buffalo Bills fan. The cover vote is under way (Vote for CJ Spiller!) and it's said to take the series to bold new heights. But really? Not likely. Another year, another Madden, another sure purchase for me.
Other Notables: Remember Me, Deadpool, Injustice: Gods Among Us, Call of Duty 10, Lost Planet 3.
Already Released, Still Need to Own
Mass Effect Trilogy - After playing 90% of Mass Effect 2, my PS3's data corrupted. While I had saved most of my save files, ME2 was gone Refusing to start over, I sold it for a shameful $6 and made plans to buy the entire trilogy in the badass collection released last year at $60. While the deal is sure to be worth it and I while I loved ME2, others games got in the way. Anyway, I refuse to buy a PS4 until I play the ME Trilogy start to finish.
Ni no Kuni - The reviews are great and I've had at least four people here on GameSpot recommend it. I haven't played a JRPG in years and this game is sure to break. I do hear that it requires a ton of time, so it will likely be my purchase during the summer gaming drought.
That's really it. There are a few other games I might want to pick up, but none that I feel I have to play. I'm almost caught up! Here are those "maybe" other notables: Black Ops II, Dishonored, DBZ Budokai Collection, Sly 4, Tomb Raider.
Already Own, Still Need to Play/Resume
BioShock 2 - As most of you know, I loved the first game. Two hours into the sequel, I quickly lost interest. Planning to resume playing it before Infinite.
Borderlands: GOTY Edition - Bought it when Borderlands 2 came out, played a good amount, stopped for Assassin's Creed III. Still need to return to Pandora.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution - Currently playing, should finish up this weekend. Awesome game!
Fallout 3: GOTY Edition - As much as I love Fallout, I still have three DLC quests to play and I still want to explore some areas. I play Fallout in bursts.
Fallout: New Vegas - When my PS3's data corrupted, I lost about 6 hours of progress in FONV. I've been scared to boot the game up again and see how far back I am. Must beat FO3's DLC first.
GTA IV: Complete Edition - About seven missions away from finishing the main story, still have to crack open the DLC stories. Next up on the queue.
Killzone 3 - Recently purchased in a great deal.
Spec Ops: The Line - Currently playing, about half-way through. Great story, lacking gameplay.
LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 - I'm a big Potter nerd. The LEGO games a great way to explore the world of Harry Potter and collect stuff. Currently playing, almost done with Year 6.
MLB 13: The Show - Most recent purchase, currently playing at 6-0 in my Franchise mode as the Yankees.
Need for Speed: Most Wanted - Got for Christmas, played about 7 hours of it. Addicting when I'm in the need... for speed. Highly recommend for all you racing fans.
Ratchet & Clank Collection - Got it for Christmas, only played an hour of it. It's aged well and the nostalgia makes it fun. Just need the time.
Sly 3 - Loved the first Sly game in the collection, liked the second, but the third is just okay. I've been playing this one in short bursts for months now.
There it is. My PS3 Bucket List before the PS4. It looks like a lot, and it is, but I think it is managable in a year and a half. I plan on buying a PS4 day one, but that doesn't mean my PS3 gets thrown in the trash. Both will sit equally under my TV and over my PlayStation 2 as one big, happy family. So to answer my blog title's question: No, I am not ready for the PS4. Not yet. But I will be come Holiday 2013. Thanks for reading and please comment
It's time to finish off my Top 15 Favorite First Person Shooters Countdown. Again, this is NOT a list conveying my opinion of the genre's best. I'm simply throwing together a list counting down my favorite First Person Shooter video games that I've played. I've never owned an X-Box and I've never used my PC for gaming (yet) outside of The Sims. That means no Halo, no Valve. Now that the disclaimers are out of the way, time to count down my top five favorite First Person Shooters. Here's the list:
15. Killzone 2
14. Medal of Honor; Frontline
12. Battlefield 1943
11. Far Cry 3
10. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
9. Deus Ex: Human Revolution
8. Call of Duty: World at War
7. Battlefield: Bad Company
6. Battlefield: Bad Company 2
5. Fallout: New Vegas
I feel like I might be cheating here, seeing how you can optionally play in either a first person or third person point of view. But not including Fallout on the list would have been the real crime. I love Fallout. You are given a massive post-apocalypse environment, filled to the brim with interesting characters, dangerous mutant creatures, plenty to collect, and plenty of easter eggs, and it's completely up to you to decide what you want to do with it. You can play the savior of the Wasteland role, the anti-hero "kill all who step in my way" role, or the villainous role, preying off the weak with no goal in you mind but to watch the Wasteland continue to burn. I always play the good guy, I also have to explore every last inch of the massive map and collect everything. Which, of course, means that I am still not done with either Fallout game. FONV is in some ways better than FO3. The actual FPS gameplay is better and the characters and landscape are more interesting. However, there are more glitches and the main story isn't nearly as good as FO3. Still, I've learned to accept the bugs in Fallout (not Skyrim though) and continue to explore the Wasteland with the goal of seeing everything it has to offer. Fallout is all about player choice and exploration, both are some of my favorite aspects of video games.
4. GoldenEye 007
No, not the Wii version. I'm talking about the grandfather of all modern first person shooters and their corresponding multiplayer components. GoldenEye puts you in the suit and tie of Agent 007 himself, James Bond, on a campaign that roughly translates the movie of the same name. Unlike most movie games, GoldenEye innovates and it turns out great. I'm not saying that GoldenEye is the first first person shooter or the first game with multiplayer, but it as hell is the first one of each that would inspire great games long after its release. The campaign was neat and full of cool moments and great level design, but it was the multiplayer that made GoldenEye legendary. We all have fond memories of picking a level, fighting over who gets Oddjob, hunting for ammo, and challenging our friends in the classic multiplayer mode. GoldenEye is an inspiration, fond memory, and a great game that still stands the test of time.
3. Fallout 3
Again, I feel like I'm cheating by placing Fallout on the list, but you can play the entire game in first person and it is an icredible gaming experience. Fallout 3 is my favorite game on the list, but the next two games are First Person Shooters to the core and deserve the one and two spots. Regardless, everything I said about New Vegas applies here for twice the value. Why? There was nothing like Fallout 3 before it. Even the PC Fallout games weren't as huge and interesting as FO3. Exploration and interaction are what I enjoy most about video games, and no video game does that better than Fallout 3.
2. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
Its legacy is clouded by five sequels (and counting) that ultimately failed to bring any innovation to the series. Some of those sequels are great, two of them are on the list, but Call of Duty has become more of a piece of pop culture rather than a once great video game series. But let's focus on the magnificent game and its one piece of DLC (Imagine that, a Call of Duty game with only one piece of DLC!) Modern Warfare revolutionized multiplayer the same way GoldenEye did by innovating. The custom loadouts, the kill streaks, the multiple game modes, the match-making, the challenges, the leveling system, the perks, attachments, etc. The multiplayer was unlike anything out there, and everyone was playing it who had a PS3, PC, or 360. The game was huge for its time. I have so many memories of playing the multiplayer. Memories that make me miss playing Call of Duty. If Activision looked at the previous COD games and fixed up the hell of glitches that lifeless trolls hacked into the perfect multiplayer experiences, I would be playing COD4 right now. Anyone who says that there is a better COD out there obviously jumped on the bandwagon late. Don't forget about the campaign either! It was fueled by crazy, well-designed, memorable missions such as "All Ghillied Up".
10 years from now, when I look back at this generation, a few games will stick out and define the age of the PlayStation 3 and X-Box 360. BioShock will be one of those games. It's the most unique take on a first person shooter that I've seen and its also my favorite. I would even argue that BioShock is the best FPS. It has a haunting but beautiful atmosphere full of interesting characters, wicked fun and deep FPS gameplay, and, in my opinion, the best story a video game has to offer with plot twists that will blow your mind. I don't want to give anything else away because I went in with little information a few years ago and it is now on of my favorite video games. I encourage all who haven't played it yet to go to your local GameStop and buy it for under $10. It's well worth it.
There it is, folks. My top 15 favorite First Person Shooter video games. I recommend all of them. Thanks for reading and please comment with your favorite FPSs
The Bullet List:
- I bought MLB 13: The Show on Tuesday. I'm three Season games and I can already tell that it is definitely an improvement from last year's version. It's easier and more fun to play, the presentation is fantastic, and the controls are finally perfected. A near perfect baseball sim so far.
- Good Will Hunting - A great story backed up by fantastic acting performances from Damon, Williams, Affleck, Skarsgard, and others. 5/5
- My Neighbor Totoro - My first time watching this animated classic in well over 10 years. It raised some long forgotten childhood memories, which makes it special. The animation, story, creativity, and dubbing is all perfect. 5/5
- Cars 2 - It's been called the Pixar film by far, but I say that Brave is twice as bad. Cars 2 is mediocre on Pixar standards, but it is still enjoyable to watch at least. 3/5
- GoodFellas - If there is one movie that is perfect, standing above all other, I would argue that GoodFellas is that movie. There's just so much to love about it on many levels. 5/5
- Dragon Ball Z season 4 - Flew through this season, which had its share of ups and downs. The Garlic Jr. Saga is notably boring despite some badass background music and the return of Frieza could have been stretched out a bit more, because it is awesome. Throw in a few memorable filler episodes and a great introduction to the Android/Cell saga, you have a great series of episodes of the most explosive anime there is. I have season 5 on deck and I plan to watch it soon. 9.0/10
Time for part two of my Top 15 Favorite First Person Shooters. Here's the list so far:
15. Killzone 2
14. Medal of Honor; Frontline
12. Battlefield 1943
11. Far Cry 3
10. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
Sure, MW2 may have been the turning point in Call of Duty where quality started to drop dramatically in every aspect of the game, but there is no denying the record-breaker of its insane, memorable campaign, its well-crafted multiplayer maps, and its addictive and deep multiplayer experience. Don't expect any post-MW2 Call of Duty games on the list. But you can expect a few prior games
9. Deus Ex: Human Revolution
This is a funky pick since you can go through the entire game without "shoot"ing a damn thing. That's part of its beauty though. The level of choice makes the open world sci-fi thriller a rich experience unlike any other. The augmented power-ups, the stealth, the great story, amazing graphics, perfect level design, and so much more all combine to create the most underrated game of this generation. It's a great video game, folks.
8. Call of Duty: World at War
I wish I could place this one higher, but the top nine is packed with great FPS games. Not to be overlooked by any of them on this list, is Treyarch's Call of Duty: World at War. After Activision captured the world of gaming with COD4, it was up to Activision's "B-Team" to live up to the massive hype. Instead of making another modern game, Treyarch decided to give the video game-abused World War II a final goodbye. The result was (and still is) outstanding. It's gritty campaign with an awesome story was only the beginning of the WaW experience. Using WW2 weapons such as the M1 in huge, open maps perfect for all player types is priceless. It's perhaps the most difficult COD multiplayer out there and that's what I love about it. It's a hardcore multiplayer experience with plenty to offer. Just when you thought the game as a whole couldn't get any better, you discover the Nazi Zombies mode. Pardon the language, but this was the sh*t in 2008. Teaming up with a group of friends (or strangers) and defending your fort from blood-thirsty Nazi zombies, armed with limited weapons led to some of my favorite video game moments. Who could forget being the last one alive in a group of four, all of whom are down, and it's up to you to rid the level of the remaining zombies so you and your teammates could continue the carnage? Such a rush! Man, I miss this game.
7. Battlefield: Bad Company
First off, if you picked up up the game just for its great multiplayer, completely ignoring the campaign, you did it wrong. The BFBC campaign is perhaps my favorite from any other military FPS. A group of misfit soldiers are stuck together fighting the war when they stumble upon a fortune of gold left behind by the mercenaries they have been fighting. They go AWOL and search for the gold, killing mercs along the way. But unlike most video games, the game has a wicked sense of laugh-out-loud humor from start to finish. I highly recommend BFBC for its campaign alone. Then, of course, is the refreshing multiplayer that is highly addicting. The maps are huge, I mean HUGE. Perfect for vehicular warfare, a destructible environment, squad-based teamwork, and objective based multiplayer. None of that team deathmatch crap. It's such a fun experience that is only matched by its sequel.
6. Battlefield: Bad Company 2
While BFBC1 is fun and refreshing, its sequel perfects the fun formula by making the game bigger, more destructible, more violent, more varied, and just overall better in every way. I played this game A LOT. Besides maybe Fallout 3 or COD4, this is my most played game. After achieving the very hard platinum and the days of gameplay that goes along with it, I still had a strong desire to play it. In fact, I still do. The large multiplayer maps are the perfect playgrounds for you and your squad. I say squad, because this multiplayer strives on teamwork like not other. Apart from that, the campaign is just as great, if not better, than the original game. It's still funny, but this time, it has a serious side as well that kind of kicks ass. Many memorable moments in both multiplayer and campaign have led me to hoping EA and DICE will make a sequel someday. But no, I guess COD clones with twice the amount of DLC is better... I hate EA...
There are only five spots left, check back later on in the week to see what those five magnificent FPSs are. Thanks for reading and please comment
The Bullet List:
- It was revealed that the next Assassin's Creed game, titled Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flags, is set to release later this year on both current and next-gen consoles. It will feature a brand new gritty, womanizing character named Edward Kenway in a South American/Caribbean setting. Edward is a descendant of Haythem and Connor from Assassin's Creed III, in a world set many years after ACIII. Unlike Connor, Edward is much more gritty, reckless, and um, sociable. Oh, and here's the best part: he's a pirate! Yes, there will finally be a pirate game worth checking out if Assassin's Creed III is any indication. The game will have a 40% focus on the seas, building heavily on ACII's naval gameplay. There's a CGI trailer, screenshots, and plenty of leaked information about it out right now. I suggest you all look into it; it looks pretty cool. I have no problem with Assassin's Creed being an annual series, so long as Ubisoft continues to be as bold as they have, making significant changes and improvements along the way. As long as there are interesting historical settings to explore, I'm all in. I'm sure we will get more information at E3 coming up in a few months, but until then, color me excited. I've always been asking for a decent pirate game, now we will get one. Hopefully.
- Finished watching Star Wars: The Clone Wars season five on Cartoon Network. Last season brought a heavier, darker tone for the series (while also having a couple kid-friendly arcs as well). This season continued that, to some degree. There were some neat story arcs this season, like the Darth Maul/Death Watch one and the final arc, about a rogue Jedi set on framing innocent deaths on Ahsoka, leading her to her ultimate fate. However, there were also some very long, boring, and useless arcs that took up most of the season. The droid arc and the student Jedi arcs, in particular. They were just awful. Darth Maul was somewhat disappointing as well, I was really hoping for a spotlight on him. What also pissed me off a bit, was the exclusion of so many characters. Padme, General Grievous, Count Dooku, Cad Bane, and the entire Clone Army. This show should not last any longer than six seasons, which is likely to be the case anyway. There are still a lot of questions I'd like answered as well as some fun stuff. Ultimately, I felt like this season was very disappointing and a waste of time. The one redeeming factor of the season was the final arc (the season finale, to be more exact). It was masterfully done in every way possible. It was pretty emotional and well executed. Overall, the season gets a 7.4/10.
It's time for another one of my infamous countdown lists! I don't exactly have an obsession with FPSs, as many do nowadays. The genre over-saturated for me a few years ago. I used to play Call of Duty or Battlefield every day for at least an hour. Now, the genre just feels beaten to death with a few exceptions. In fact, I've never really considered played Battlefield 3 or Black Ops II. Also, I've never owned an XBOX and I don't use my PC for gaming. So don't expect to see any Halo or Valve games. I also think it's unfair for me to list many classics like Doom or Wolfenstein either, since I've only played them nearly two decades after they first released. In short, I'm not a FPS buff by any means. But I can say that I've played 15 first great person games. This is that list.
A couple more quick disclaimers. One, games that switch between first and third person are eligible. And two, it is a list of my favorites, NOT a list of my opinion of the best First Person Games.
15. Killzone 2
Killzone has been Sony's tried answer to Microsoft's Halo for years now. The first KZ was met with little attention on the PS2 and the PSP spin-off wasn't even a FPS, although it was quite good to be fair. In 2009, Sony and Guerrilla Games released Killzone 2 and it was a massive success. It had the best graphics on consoles at the time, it sold very well for an exclusive, and the multiplayer was of high quality. I bought KZ2 on launch day and I had a lot of fun with it. While the campaign was a little slow and uninteresting, it had great graphics as well as some memorable set pieces. But it was the multiplayer that stood out. The ever-changing playlist of game modes kept things fresh, the maps were well thought out, the weapons were evenly powered, and teamwork was encouraged. A fantastic multiplayer experience is the highlight of Killzone 2, as well as its great sequel. With Killzone: Shadow Fall set as a PS4 launch title, complete with stunning graphics and fresh, action-packed gameplay as well as a promising Vita game, Killzone could very well be Sony's go-to FPS franchise for years to come.
14. Medal of Honor: Frontline
Out of all the PS2 World War II games, MOH: Frontline stands out as the best. Storming the beach of Normandy at the very start of the game was much like a Call of Duty or Uncharted scripted set piece that will always stick with me as a gaming memory. I must have replayed that mission at least 60 times. The game itself is complete with a great campaign full of more memorable moments and some of the finest gameplay seen in a FPS from last generation. Playing it over again on the Limited Edition of 2010's Medal of Honor was pretty cool too.
Borderlands is one of those games that will be remembered as a cult favorite for years to come. It stole many Game of the Year awards in 2009 and spawned a sequel that I hear is twice as better. Anyway, Borderlands is all about teaming up with buddies and looting across the wasteland, killing all sorts of enemies along the way. The game has a rare sense of humor and some beautiful, cel-shaded graphics. I still have to really dive into it (looking for some co-op partners), but the decent amount of time I have spent in Pandora was pretty damn fun.
12. Battlefield 1943
As a $15 downloadable game consisting of four huge maps, you can't go wrong with BF1943. Set in the Pacific Campaign of World War II, BF1943 was the bite-sized sequel fans longed for. Many memorable moments were created in this online-only FPS, that acted as a final goodbye to the World War II games. One underrated aspect of the game was the flying. There was a map, if I'm not mistaken, where you could only fly fighter planes. You would man a plane and duke it out in the air. It was pretty original and quite fun. The game overall is underrated and will be long forgotten when this generation is looked back upon. Which is a shame.
11. Far Cry 3
What does somebody usually look for in a FPS? Multiplayer. Well, FC3 is all about the campaign. Though it does have awful co-op and competitive multiplayer, Far Cry 3 won over critics and consumers with its reboot of a shooter where the main character and his friends are kidnapped while on vacation on an exotic island that is a war ground for pirates and a mysterious tribe. The main story involves you tracking down and rescuing your friends, while siding with this mysterious tribe to take down the pirates savaging the island. You meet many interesting characters, hunt dangerous animals, explore an amazing open world, drive crazy vehicles, skydive from incredible heights, and liberate pirate outposts along the way. All of which, with great FPS gameplay mechanics as a backbone, adds up to one crazy campaign with many "holy &$%#" moments. Most importantly, it brings up that old school sense of challenge that so many games lack this generation.
That's all for part one. Be sure to stop by later in the week for part two. MLB 13: The Show comes out today! Can't wait to get my hands on it, I'm in need of a pick-up and play game recently. It looks great from the previews I've seen. Plus my favorite player, Andrew McCutchen is on the cover. Go Bucs! Thanks for reading and please comment
The Bullet List:
- My laptop is down until further notice. It's an HP Pavilion that I got in 2008, so I think an update is in order. Lately, the computer has been getting very hot with the fan blowing loudly. Last week, the screen went blank and the keyboard lights were blinking in intervals of six. After some research, I figured out that the BIOS and battery need to be replaced, at least. The minimum cost for a repair would be around $300. So I figure it would a wise move to just buy another laptop (under $400, it doesn't need to be all hardcore and what not) and transfer the data (if possible). So if I'm on less than I usually am, you know why.
- I downloaded the Assassin's Creed III Tyranny of George Washington DLC. I can't say I enjoyed any of it to be honest. It's clunkier than the original and the friendly AI is awful beyond words. And how about the randomly spawning enemies in masses of near 20? Impossible. For $30 ($10 per episode), I can't see a way where I'd be happy with my purchase. So I will not be buying the other two episodes and I'm not sure if I even want to finish the first one. An awful, greedy excuse of DLC for my 2012 Game of the Year. I guess I'll just wait for the upcoming pirate game, which sounds awesome.
- Started playing Spec Ops: The Line. I haven't played a military shooter since MW3 (and before that, Bad Company 2). It's nice to return to the abused genre. Why? Spec Ops is unlike any other game in the genre. It focuses on story and consequence, which is quite gripping. Five chapters in, I really like it, even if the graphics are outdated.
- Watched Spider-Man 2.1 for the first time. My brother bought it for me for my birthday a while back. I love Spider-Man 2. In my opinion, it is the third best Marvel movie to date (behind First Class and Iron Man 1). The extended edition just makes it better with plenty of laughs while also adding to the drama. 5/5
- Watched Justice League: Frontier. Don't let the Silver Age costumes fool you, this is one of the darkest animated feature DC has to offer. First-person suicide, burning bodies, point blank shootings, blood splattering galore, and evil cults sacrificing a child. While the dark tone, animation, and Silver Age costumes are fresh and exciting, everything else is pretty bad. The pacing is rushed, the voice-work is bad, and the villain isn't interesting at all. Still pretty good though. 3/5
- I'm re-watching the first two seasons of Game of Thrones on HBO Go in preparation for season three. The new trailer is out and damn is it awesome! Winter is coming.
Oscar Predictions Results
A few blogs back, I posted my third annual Oscar Predictions. I can say that I correctly predicted 13 out of 24 categories. My correct predictions were:
- Argo, Best Picture
- Daniel Day-Lewis, Best Lead Actor
- Christoph Waltz, Supporting Actor
- Brave, Animated Feature
- Life of Pi, Cinema.
- Ang Lee, Director
- Amour, Foreign Film
- "Skyfall", Original Song
- Skyfall, Sound Editing
- Les Miserables, Sound Mixing
- Life of Pi, Special Effects
- Argo, Original Screenplay
- Django Unchained, Original Screenplay
13/24 is an improvement from 8/24 and 11/25. If I would have made less bold predictions for the Actress awards, I would have done really well. Overall, I thought I did good for a guy who has only seen a small handful of the nominated films. I thought the Oscars were nicely distributed among the talent. I was happy to see Affleck, Waltz, DDL, Tarantino, Hathaway, Lawrence, and Ang Lee win. But the nominations were awful, so I still hold my grudges.
I think it's time to kiss my Nightwing theme goodbye. I started a month ago, by making a new banner and I'm getting sick of looking at my avatar, sig, and header. I think I'll ditch my sig completely (I'm absent from forums these days) and change my header ASAP. I might hold on to my avatar though, I've had it since 2009 after all (with some red thrown in to adapt to Nightwing's New 52 look). I know it's almost an identity after all this time, so I might just keep it after all. I just want to shift my blogs to a more movies and games focus, with comics, sports, and TV featured here and there.
Return of the Lists
For those of you have followed me for over a year (thank you for doing so, it's cool for my thoughts to convey to others who know where they are coming from to some degree), you know that I did a lot of countdown lists. After months and months without a big Top 30 countdown, I feel like doing some more. I have fun doing them and they seem to gather the most attention to my blog. I have three in mind right now, but none of which are ready to start. I'm planning on running a countdown for my top favorite war movies, animated movies, and favorite PS3 games. Like I said, none of which are ready to go yet. I want to watch about 10-15 war/animated movies before I feel like I have a strong say in the matter and I'm waiting until the PlayStation 4 is very near until I finish of a final version of my most-played-console-ever's ultimate list. I also have a character countdown in mind as well, but I'm not sure how to specify it. I also want to give my favorite PS3 games (Batman Arkham(s), Bad Company(s), Red Dead Redemption, Fallout(s), Heavy Rain, BioShock, Uncharted, etc.) their own, spoilerific goodbyes apart from my Top PS3 Games countdown. All of which should be fun, so keep an eye out for them among my usual blog entries.
I have a lot of cool stuff planned for blogs coming up, including my next blog. Thanks for reading and please comment
The Bullet List:
- I've been playing a mix of Sly 3 and Deus Ex: Human Revolution lately, more so the latter. Deus Ex: HR is becoming one of my favorite PS3 games; I love the stealth, level of choice, customization, exploring, and music the game offers. Sly 3 is okay, I can't seem to get into it, much like Sly 2. But it is still a solid platformer and quite fun at times.
- Nightwing #15 - A strong tie-in to the Death of the Family arc spanning across the Batverse. Some major plot lines involved here that will affect the Nightwing series forever. The series has consistently impressed me with its art and writing, it feels more like a TV series than any other comic book series out there because it is all connected with arcs. This book is especially good. 9.0/10
- Batman & Robin #16 - Robin fights Batman, only not. There are a ton of spoilerific plot holes in this book and nothing in the book justifies them. A below average book for such a great series. 6.0/10
- Batman & Robin Annual #1 - Now THIS is what the Batman & Robin series should and is (usually) about. Father-son bonding and lessons between Batman and the current Robin, his son Damian. Robin sends Bruce on an emotional scavenger hunt across the globe while he patrols Gotham solo. A near perfect book with flawless art and a memorable story. I loved it. 9.8/10
- Dragon Ball Z season 5 came in the mail! While I'm still watching season 4, Amazon had an amazing deal on all Dragon Ball sets. Can't wait for Cell! My nostalgia continues to flow.
- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone & Chamber of Secrets - I'm currently re-reading the Harry Potter book series over again. After each book I finish, I watch the related movie on blu-ray. If I don't have it on blu-ray, I go out and buy it (I now have all but 3&4, which I have on DVD). I then re-watch the movie series from movie one on to the book I just finished. Anyway, I just finished reading book two, so I bought the movie version on blu-ray and watched both Sorcerer's Stone and Chamber of Secrets. The former of the two is better than the latter, but the series as a whole is my favorite. Growing up with Harry Potter, the series will always be special to me. 5/5 for both.
- Die Hard 2 - A pretty good action sequel even tough its start is very slow. Some awesome stunts are to be found in Die Hard 2, even if they are outlandish and not as memorable as those from Die Hard 1. 4/5
- Catch Me If You Can - DiCaprio, Tom Hanks, Amy Adams, Christopher Walken, and Martin Sheen are all fantastic in an exciting and interesting story about a check-forging criminal teenager. One of my favorites. 5/5
Well it is 5:00 PM on the east coast of the United States. That means that the PlayStation 4 is only an hour away before being announced! I'm hoping to see the console itself, prices, specs, info about the PSN, and some games, of course. It's all so very exciting and I can't wait.
So naturally, to waste some time until then, I'm counting down my top 13 anticipated movies of 2013:
13. Monsters University
Monsters, Inc. is one of my favorite animated movies. It's becoming a classic next to the likes of Toy Story and The Lion King. That said, I'm not sure a prequel was the right decision. I think this is a safe move for Pixar following their two worst animations, Cars 2 and Brave. I love the characters of Mike & Sully and the world they live in. It should be a fun movie.
12. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
I was surprised with how much I enjoyed The Hunger Games last year. With a bigger budget and an established world, the sequel should be even better. The one thing that needs to improve is the chemistry between Pita? and Katniss?. Their romance was poorly acted (if it was real, and not a plot to gain sponsors). Anyway, I'm excited to see where the sequel takes us.
11. Fast Six
After three bad sequels, the Fast & Furious series seemed dead. Then came Fast Five, perhaps the best movie in the series. The whole collective cast united against The Rock and it was pretty awesome with great action scenes. An even bigger action sequel should be just as cool.
10. The Place Beyond the Pines
I'm a Ryan Gosling fan. I think he's great in everything he has been in, from Drive to Lars and the Real Girl to Half Nelson to Crazy Stupid Love. His latest film, a thriller about Gosling's character providing for his son through means of bank robbery on a street bike. Similar to Drive, yes, but who's complaining?
9. Kick-Ass 2
I liked the first Kick-Ass movie a lot. It was realistic, badass, funny, and well-acted. With the main cast returning along with Jim Carrey, the sequel could be even better. I've heard that the graphic novel it's based on is insanely graphic and intense.
8. The Wolverine
Hugh Jackman as Wolverine always wins. His latest solo film takes him to Japan where he fights samurai... Hell yes!
7. Star Trek Into Darkness
I've only recently watched JJ Abramms' sci-fi adventure. It turned my belief that Star Trek was boring and dull around to a point where I'm counting down the days until its sequel hits theaters. A big reason why I'm excited is because of the casting of Benedict Cumberbatch, from BBC's Sherlock, as the main villain. Before JJ moves on to Star Wars (!), I'm excited for his Star Trek sequel.
6. The Great Gatsby
Based on the classic novel, Leo DiCaprio, Tobey McGuire, Joel Edgerton, Carey Mulligan, and more star in one of my most anticipated non-sequels or non-super hero movies in years. The style in the film looks outstanding. Can't wait for it!
5. Anchorman 2
Will Ferrell, Paul Rudd, Steve Carell, and all the original cast members reunite for its long-overdue sequel. The original is perhaps my favorite comedy and the teasers had me laughing a lot. It's kind of a big deal.
4. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
The criticism of the first fantasy epic was so uncalled for. It was a lot of fun, and that's all that really matters. Having read the book, I know that Part II will be even more fun. Can't wait for some Smaug!
3. Thor: The Dark World
Thor was awesome. That doesn't mean it didn't have its flaws; there was too much time spent on Earth and not enough time on Asgard. In good news, the majority of this film will be set on Asgard, fighting the Dark Elves. With a Game of Thrones veteran director taking over the director's chair, this sequel should be darker and more action-packed.
2. Iron Man 3
New director, new suit, new villain, new dark tone. The trailer looked cool, but was more of a teaser than an actual trailer. We know that Tony Stark's world is crumbling down at the hands of the Mandarin, played by Sir Ben Kingsley. I'm pretty excited and hoping it will be more like Iron Man 1 than 2.
1. Man of Steel
Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy is over. Now Zach Snyder is now taking Superman, once the face of DC Comics, to the same dark, realistic direction. It will be an origin story, it will have awesome cinematography and style, an incredible cast, and most importantly, a director who truly understands and cares for the character. All future DC Comics movies' fates are hanging on the success of Man of Steel. The studio can not handle another Green Lantern *shutters*. Anyway, General Zod is the villain and I am excited.
Off to watch the PlayStation 2013 livestream on IGN. Thanks for reading and please comment