Category Archives: Video Games

Square Enix Announces Marvel Partnership

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Behold! Marvel have finally grown some balls and are now grabbing them to get serious about producing AAA games.

Square Enix has announced a multi-game partnership with Marvel. To top it off, Crystal Dynamics will be working in collaboration with Eidos Montreal to produce ‘The Avengers Project’ which is the working title for the first game to be born out of this newly announced partnership.

Square Enix are highly known for the Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts franchise, Crystal Dynamics brought us Tomb Raider and Edios Montreal gave us Deus Ex so, it’s a very good place to be at.

Marvel had made some attempts in the past to create console games but they never really did hit the bar, so they moved their focus to mobile gaming. But now with Marvel Studios dominating the silver screens and TellTale Games producing a Guardians of the Galaxy game, it really is about time Marvel stepped up to the plate and give us gamers what we really want.

All details are very vague at this point, but it’s been announced… let’s celebrate!

 

 

The Evil Within – Impressions (PS3)

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Forget about scares that will make you jump because The Evil Within is a combination of all the fears and dreadful sights that you always pray you’ll never have to experience. This isn’t Resident Evil, and it’s not for the light hearted.

The story follows Detective Sebastian Castellanos, a detective called in to investigate a collection of terrible murders at a local mental hospital. From this the game take a quite calm approach gearing you up for what’s installed in this horrific peice of gaming. In terms of the story, it lacks quite a lot, especially with the main protagonist being quite boring, emotionless and more stiff than a plank of wood, however the environment and disgraceful enemies you have to endure makes up a lot for the negatives. Castellanos isn’t the character you have fun playing with as you do with say Leon Kennedy or Chris Redfield, but the creators have really made The Evil Within into a proper survival horror game.

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The story does go into a good direction but it does take a little while to do so. In terms of managing Castellanos, you barely get any ammo, your health is dreadful, your stamina is no where to be seen, your melee attack is like a punch in the wind so you barely have much to help you survive, but there’s always a way to get around surviving and that’s what makes this game so much fun. Yes it gets annoying at times because we’re so used to having the luxuries of a full clip of ammo in our guns however, it makes you appreciate stealthing and just running for your life when the opportunity arises. Being patient and cautious are two of the best traits you need to have in this game to help you survive.
Visually, the game gives this chilling and scary effect with the lighting, the shadows, the environment and even the fact that it’s filmed in widescreen with a grainy effect, picking out all of the gorey bloodshed that you encounter. The only issue that was found was the way the environment would essentially have to “load” sometimes. It will look all blurry and thencome into focus to pick out the detail. For a game that’s on the next gen consoles, this shouldn’t really be happening.
In all, it’s a great game and definitley takes the horror genre in gaming to the next level. A few hiccups here and there and a bunch of gracefully disgusting enemies and bosses to defeat that will make you feel un-easy at times. The loading times and auto-save spots also gets a little frustrating sometimes. Hopefully this is just a taster of what’s in-store for the next Resident Evil game.

 

 

 

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*NOTE – Visit my Twitter page @GreendotEmo for the competition tweet (ENDS: 20.12.14)

The Good, The Bad and The Bloody Awful

Happy late New Year guys! 2013 has been an incredible year for the world of film and video games, with an even better 2 years ahead of us (from what we know so far). It’s that time where we can reflect on what we’ve seen and played over the past year. It was actually quite difficult putting this post together considering there has been so much greatness in 2013, so forget about a “Top 10” etc, here’s a brief flash back at the cinematic awesomesauce poured over your chips.

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First up, it’s very easy to say that Marvel had a fantastic run, and is still jogging their way to the far far away finishing line smoothly. Iron Man 3 (at the moment currently dubbed as the “last Iron Man”) was fantastic. Everyone had their own opinion on it, but really, it was superb. Getting to see Iron Man stripped down to just Tony Stark with anxiety attacks after New York aka The Avengers Phase one really put the icing on the cake. It was a brilliant way to start off Phase two and it was based around Christmas time (thanks to Shane Black) so there’s an excuse to watch it all year round.

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Second in command, Thor: The Dark World was even better than the first. Based around mostly Greenwich, London and Asgard, Thor became the Thor we all enjoyed from The Avengers (not that we didn’t’ enjoy him in his first solo film, there was just something different) not to mention that devious brother of his, Loki. After his award winning performance, if there was an award just for superheroes, Loki is still the one you want to watch. Patiently, but very impatiently, you wait and can barely contain yourself when Loki is off screen. Saying that, Thor 2 has a really strong and entertaining story that really does grab a hold of you, without pulling you too far into the dark world. Quite frankly, you really wouldn’t want to end up there.

2013 3

Hugh Jackman had returned as our favourite X-Men, Wolverine in… The Wolverine. After the first attempt to give Logan his first solo act in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, it was time to move forward, rather than going back with all the origin stories and get serious. The Wolverine, set mostly in Japan, occurred after X-Men: The Last Stand, where he’s gone off on his own again with Dr Jean Grey stuck in his head, trying to make him feel guilty for killing her off (even though she killed Cyclops and Professor Xavier). This time however, some dude he had saved back in the day wants Logan’s power of not aging so he can live longer, trying to claim that Logan is ready to die and he’s not, oh the nerve! But anyways, it’s super awesome and Wolverine still has his sarcastic spark and don’t care attitude, even though he really does care and we meet this awesome red haired Japanese girl who literally can beat the crap out of you with her eyes closed. It was dubbed as the “Wolverine film we’ve always wanted” and it’s a fact that it really is. To top it all of, the post credit scene is to die for! It’s what connects the whole X-Men series to the next instalment Days of Future Past, out this year.

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Moving away from Marvel and slipping into 5th gear, DC had a pretty good run too without a Batman film in site. RED has personally become one of favourite Bruce Willis films (it could actually be my favourite). With the success of the first, yes a sequel had been made with hope for a third. RED 2 adds Catherine Zeta-Jones and Anthony Hopkins to the mix, with the original crew back for another beating (except Morgan Freeman obviously). The relationship between Mary Louise Parker and Bruce Willis onscreen is just so hilarious but sweet at the same time. She’s the type of girl we wish we could all be.

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Next in line was yet another reboot for Superman hailed The Man of Steel. This was actually a huge surprise because its predecessors were never as good as the Christopher Reeve Superman, nothing had even come close. After saying that, Zack Snyder and Christopher Nolan really hit the nail on the head, hammering it hard with this one. For an origin story, Man of Steel was unbelievably good. The new man with a cape, Henry Cavill donned the Superman closest to Reeve’s version without a doubt. Michael Shannon as General Zod was fantastic; the only downfall with the film was unfortunately Amy Adams. She’s a great actress, but being cast as Louis Lane was a huge disappointment and just did not work at all. It was actually quite awkward watching it. But other than that, one of the best things about Man of Steel were those camera angles used during the fight scenes and just the way it was filmed on a whole. To add to the excitement, at the SDCC (Comic-Con) it was announced that the Man of Steel sequel would have Batman in it, later on notifying us that Batman would be played by Ben Affleck. 2015 guys!

2013 6

It wasn’t just Comic book adaptations that did well this year, Ron Howard’s Rush is definitely a front runner to win some sort of an award this year. The biopic tells the story of 2 F1 race car drivers who’s had this on going feud for years, until one of them gets involved in a life changing accident. The great thing about this film is that it’s not really a racing film; it’s not primarily focused on the races. It’s more about the relationship between the two drivers and you get to watch them grow. It truly is an amazing film.

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Other films that came out for 2013 that were very enjoyable to watch were Now You See Me, World War Z, The Great Gatsby, Disney’s Frozen, Django Unchained (it was technically released in the UK 2013 so ha!), Bad Grandpa, Fast and Furious 6, The Conjuring and to end the year we had The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug which is a must watch for all LOTR fans and The Hunger Games Part 2: Catching Fire. Both films leaving you in a right pickle as their cliff hangers were just too intense. You get the feeling of your eyes welling up thinking “I have to wait a year to know what happens next?” [Insert that Kevin Hart picture that’s been surfing around the net]

2013 8

The worst film without a doubt that was released in 2013 that I’ve seen was Texas Chainsaw. Where could one start with this pile of garbage. It was bloody terrible, honestly, don’t even bother try giving it a go. The story was weak, the performances were boring, there was no need for it to be rated an 18 either, it could have easily passed as a 15. There was just nothing to this film, nothing at all.

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Ending on a high note, video games have had an exceptional year with the release of GTAV, Beyond Two Souls, Tomb Raider, God of War Ascensions, Assassin’s Creed Black Flag to mention a few. GOTY (Game of the year) definitely has to go to The Last of Us. Naughty Dog always produce the best, but The Last of Us just went beyond that. There are no words to describe how amazing the campaign is. The story is so strong, you’ll play it more than once and that’s a guarantee. The mechanics of the game is very easy to manage once you know the controls, the feel of the characters are realistic, the voice acting is incredible, the relationship between the protagonists Joel and Ellie is just mouth watering,  I could literally go on and on. The Multiplayer at the moment is lacking a few more modes etc but they are working on it, so it’s just about being patient, but what there is of the multiplayer is awesome. Everyone is just waiting for that announcement for a Co-op now *wink wink*. Honestly though, if you haven’t played TLOU, it’s definitely worth playing. It truly is a masterpiece.

So that’s 2013! Done and dusted, bring on 2014!

It’s About Time The Oscars Revamped Their Categories

The 85th Academy Awards® will air live on Oscar® Sunday, February 24, 2013.

 

As we are gearing up for the end of 2013, a lot of talk has been going around about one of the best times for film makers and movie goers, Awards Season.

With not much justice, the Oscars will always be the biggest award of the night. Everyone wants to be holding that golden statue giving a speech up on stage and getting rushed off by the sound of music, adding a few tears here and there. But not everyone gets the chance to have this moment, not because they haven’t won, but for the mere fact that the category just doesn’t exist.

The Oscars is a huge event with tonnes of categories, from the biggest on screen, to the smallest behind closed doors, but it’s about time they revamped the categories and not expect the ceremony to just carry itself. Here are 3 categories they are definitely missing that should be added to the line-up…

 

 Best Stunt:

With the light of Jason Statham having a say in a Vanity Fair interview, he’s definitely got it spot on. Stunt men/women and Co-ordinators should be recognised for the hard work they put into making these awesome stunts in film. It is quite unfair how an actor in front of a green screen can win an Oscar for their performance, whilst the stunt men who actually pulled of the stunt lay low on the sideline without a credit. Yes there are some actors who pull of their own stunts so fair enough, they could be nominated too. But those guys out there risking their lives to make the actor look good and give us that breathless feeling when their falling off somewhere really do need more credit for the amazing work they do.

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Best Voice Actor:

We’re living in an age now where CGI is like second nature in a film with non human characters included. Whether it’s an animation of just live action with CGI inserted, voice actors should be getting a bit more attention when it comes to awards. There are already award categories for these special effects etc but to voice over a character does take quite a lot of skill. It’s not as simple as saying a line from a script. It’s just the same as normal acting, if not a bit more difficult because natural body language is absent as we can’t see the person, so why not? Most of the time, it’s the voice of a character that brings it to life rather than the way it looks. With the technology of Motion Capture suits, sometimes it’s the actors actually acting out these characters, quite like video games. So it really is a lot of work and great imagination.

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Best Trailer:

Now for a lot of us, a trailer is the key to whether you go to watch a film or not. It’s the main source of research for a film. Yes there are reviews etc but they all have the reviewer’s opinion, so a trailer is just perfect because it’s neutral. A trailer isn’t just put together by splicing a few bits of a film together; it’s a huge part of the film’s marketing, so it has to engage the audience. There are a lot of trailers out there that deserve an award. Think about the trailers you’ve watched this past year, some even looked better than the film turned out to be, why? Because the editors know what the audiences want to see. But really there are a lot of trailers out there that make you watch it more than once and the people behind these trailers also deserve some credit.

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So what do you think? What categories would you like to see in the Oscars?

 

Exclusive Signing Sesh @GAMEStratford – Batman Arkham Origins

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The third instalment of the Batman Arkham series (Batman Arkham Origins) has been released today and to celebrate, GAME had a special signing session in their store down at Westfield Stratford City. Who was there? None other than the incredibly talented voice actors Troy Baker (The Last of Us) and Roger Craig Smith (Resident Evil franchise). Voicing the Joker and Batman himself, this isn’t the first time the two have worked together. Baker and Smith worked previously on Resident Evil 6 together as Jake Muller and Chris Redfield.

The pair have been touring the world for their new title and you can catch them at the Arkham Origins stand at the MCM Expo this weekend. It was an absolute pleasure meeting the pair in the flesh and hopefully London gave them a warm enough welcome for them to want to visit again some time soon. A huge thanks to GAME for staging a very memorable event.

Check out the photos below of not only the actors, but the free goodies too! Don’t forget to watch the Arkham Origins Comic-Con panel, it’s a real treat.

 

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