Category Reviews


Deadpool- The Merc with a mouth gets a movie made for fans

The best comic book movies have a great respect for the source material, and even build on it. The worst ones all but ignore what made the comics good, altering characters to the point that they’re the character in name only. In one sense, Deadpool is one of the purest comic book movies made, as it remains loyal to Rob Liefeld’s creation. Ultra violence? Check. Sex, foul language, plenty of one liners? Check, check, and check. Breaking the fourth wall? Most definitely check (One scene even has Deadpool remarking how he’s breaking the fourth wall while breaking the fourth wall. “That’s like, 16 walls,” he tells us.). Ryan Reynolds, who played the character before (where he was grossly misused) in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, returns to the character as he should be portrayed...

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Baba Yaga: Temple of the Witch- Lara deals with some spooky goings on

Baba Yaga: Temple of the Witch is the first story driven DLC pack for Rise of the Tomb Raider. The pack gives us a new area to explore, which is accessible from the Soviet installation in the main game, some new enemies, a new boss fight, and of course collectibles to be found. It adds in a supernatural element, something that was prevalent in the 2013 Tomb Raider game but missing from the sequel. The mission has Lara rescuing a girl named Nadia from enemy soldiers at the copper mine. Nadia tells Lara that her grandfather has gone into the Witch’s Vale, a place ruled over by a fearsome witch named Baba Yaga (who is indeed based on Slavic folklore), who moves about in a walking house with giant bird-like legs...

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banner saga

The Banner Saga- A cold tale of Vikings and giants

The Banner Saga made a splash on the PC in 2014, and was well received by gamers and critics alike. Now, two years later, the Viking themed tactical RPG from the three man team at Stoic Studio arrives on the PS4, giving console owners a chance to make decisions guiding caravans across a frigid landscape as they’re being pursued by the demonic Dredge. The game has the look of a Don Bluth animated feature, even though most cut scenes are generally static. The bright art style provides a nice contrast to a bleak story that will see your caravan hounded, hunted, betrayed, and devastated by loss. It’s a game that has you make choices without any clue as to what the outcome will be, and on a first playthrough you’ll often choose with heart in throat, hoping that you’ve chosen wisely...

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bravely default

Bravely Default: A retro review in time for the sequel

Even though Square Enix released Bravely Default onto the Nintendo 3DS on October 11, 2012, I’ve first gotten around to playing the game this year. After spending nearly 110 hours with the game, and since the sequel, Bravely Second: End Layer, hits Europe later this month and North America in April, I felt I’d do a bit of a retro review and share my thoughts on the game. With the game being nearly four years old, some spoilers may follow in my review. If you haven’t played the game (and for the most part, if you enjoy JRPGs, you should) you may wish to stop reading now. If spoilers don’t faze you or you’ve already completed Square Enix’s flawed gem, come along and hear my thoughts.
Bravely Default centers around four characters whose world has been upended when a Great Chasm opens up and d...

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13 hours

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi- Heroism on display through a Call of Duty lens

Director Michael Bay is known for blowing lots of things up in his movies, from drug lord compounds in Bad Boys to giant robots in the Transformers series. Along with the explosions we have also become accustomed to his use of slow motion walking, the American flag waving in the wind, and plenty of military man speak between characters. So, in one sense, who better than Bay to bring Mitchell Zuckoff’s book about the attacks on the US consulate and CIA station in Benghazi, Libya in 2012 to the big screen? The story itself plays right into Bay’s strengths as a filmmaker, allowing him to use all of his typical flourishes and shameless emotion manipulating scenes. Tough talking military guys? Check. Superior officials giving orders to be ignored and proved wrong? Check...

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The Revenant- Brutal, uncompromising, and beautiful

Westerns have long been a staple of Hollywood, and while many have employed beautiful cinematography, few are as uncompromising and brutal as Alejandro G. Inarritu’s The Revenant. Based on the true story of Hugh Glass (based in part on a novel by Michael Punke), the movie takes place in the 1820s during a fur trapping expedition during which glass is attacked and mauled by a female grizzly protecting her cubs. That scene, along with the opening attack on the expedition by a group of Arikara Indians, sets the tone early on in the film, pitting extreme violence against the beautiful scenery.What follows is an incredible tale of survival as Glass, who is left for dead, makes his way back...

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the hateful8

The Hateful Eight- Part western, part mystery, all Tarantino

There are certain things by now one comes to expect from a Quentin Tarantino movie. We expect quirky but well defined characters, entertaining dialogue, homages to other movies, and some violence, which can often be brutal. There are at times even statements about current events and life in general hidden among the satiric comments and pointed conversations. For his eighth feature (counting both volumes of Kill Bill as one movie), The Hateful Eight has all of these things. And once again, Tarantino delivers a movie that is somewhat familiar yet can turn a genre on its head, filled with some very humorous yet pointed diatribes touching on all manner of subjects, including vigilante justice and race relations...

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens- The franchise returns in all its glory

In 1977, George Lucas forever altered the cinematic landscape with his space opera Star Wars. Released then into the theaters without a subtitle (the Episode IV: A New Hope label would come later) people thrilled to the tale set in a galaxy far, far away as good battled evil with laser swords and thrilling space battles. Two sequels, three prequels, three animated series (though one is no longer considered canon) and many novels, comic books, toys, and other merchandise later Star Wars has become a cultural phenomenon that has spread across the globe. Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Han Solo, Chewbacca, R2-D2, C3PO, and Darth Vader have all become icons, their names familiar to millions of fans...

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2015 games

My year in gaming 2015- A banner year, with plenty of hits and a few misfires

2015 saw the current generation of games really coming into their own, with the last generation being slowly nudged out. All three platforms had their share of successes, though Nintendo maintained its lock on leading the handheld market over the Playstation Vita, even releasing the New Nintendo 3DS XL, a souped up version of its best selling handheld with added shoulder buttons and a wider screen. There was certainly no lacking in variety this year, with games coming out to suit every type of gamer. Creative types had levels to build in Super Mario Maker and Disney Infinity 3.0. Those who long for killstreaks in first person shooters had plenty to choose from, with Call of Duty: Black Ops III, Halo 5: Guardians, Star Wars Battlefront, and Rainbow Six Siege hitting store shelves...

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Rise of the Tomb Raider- Plenty of thrills and twists make this action adventure worth exploring

First off, let me say I’m going to try and keep this review as spoiler free as possible, since Microsoft was able to land Rise of the Tomb Raider as a timed exclusive, with the game arriving on PC early in 2016 and on the PS4 during the holiday season next year. So for those who may read this but don’t have the game already and want to know if it will be worth their while once it arrives on the platform of their choice I’m going to keep story details to a bare minimum. Understand there may still be some details given that some may regard as spoilers, but I will do my best. Let me just say this: Buy this game.

Rise of the Tomb Raider picks up a few months after the incident on Yamatai, which was covered in the 2013 reboot of the franchise...

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