All posts by David Motel

What Would You Rank The Transformer Movies?

With Transformers the Last Knight being released June 21, I thought it was a good time to go over my rankings for the Transformers movies as I see them. There’s no critical acclaim here for any of the movies, but the effects and action can be entertaining at times. Lets start with number 5.

5. Transformers: Age of Extinction

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It’s the fourth installment in the franchise, and Michael Bay subtle nuances, if he ever had any, were thrown out the window. Age of Extinction was a loud, effects orgy, while the story and Mark Wahlberg didn’t quite have anything important to say or do in the Transformers mythos it was still a huge success in the over seas market.

4. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

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It’s a long movie (there’s a pattern here), with very little drama, or maybe that’s not the case, by this point I didn’t care much for Shia LaBeouf’s character heading off to college, trying to work it out with the Megan Fox character, but being tempted by the new hot sorority girl, who turned out to be a Transformer. The emotional high and lows were just low. But not low enough to be on the Age of Extinction level.

3. Transformers: Dark of the Moon

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This movie was made for the 3D premiums we paid to go see it in. But like the last 2, the runtime is oppressively long, the action is loud and sometimes hard to follow. But I did enjoy Optimus going toe to toe with Leonard Nimoy’s Sentinel Prime. We did get more back story of Cybertron which I guess was cool, but it’s just a lot of exposition.

2. Transformers

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It was our first foray into Transformers being in real life. The effects were dazzling, although the character design put us off. Shai made a bigger name for himself screaming out ‘No! No! No!’ for 2 hours. It was a fun ride, and honestly the best iteration, even with its many flaws.

1. Transformers: The Movie

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This movie was the top of its class when it came out, the action was great, spoilers, Optimus dies and for real. Well until he’s resurrected in the show once again. But it was the new generation’s time to shine, with Hotrod trying to take charge but being unsure of living up to the Prime. It was dramatic, emotional, and the best Transformers movie to date, and it could be because of Touch by Stan Bush being an excellent choice for the theme song.

What do you guys think of this list? What would be your order? Do you feel the Last Knight is bottom last? Let us know in the comments below!

Marvel’s The Defenders: A Good Defense Is A Great Offense

Marvel’s The Defenders follows Daredevil (Charlie Cox), Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter), Luke Cage (Mike Colter) and Iron Fist (Finn Jones). This foursome is out to save New York City from the evils of Sigourney Weaver. As their lives cross intersect thanks in part to Claire Temple (Rosario Dawson). They realize with a good amount of persuading that they just might be stronger when teamed up together.

When watching the trailer I have got to say my grin was from ear to ear. Daredevil pops in interrupting Misty Knight’s interrogation of Jessica and tells Jessica to “stop talking”. Good luck with that Matt.

Then we transition to Luke Cage trying to figure out what a hero really means with good ole Clair guiding him along the way. He then meets up with Iron Fist who tries to smack Luke down with some fancy kungfu (which I hope is a little better in this show then the Iron Fists own). Then we see the glowing hand of the Iron Fist pop Luke Cage’s top right off. In the end Luke doesn’t understand what being an Immortal Iron Fist means and neither do I really.

Then we’re introduced to the big bad Sigourney Weaver, who with the few lines she has seems to steal the show away for me as the main villain. We get to see an, “unhatched” back from the dead, Elektra (Elodie Yung) fighting with Daredevil, which is going to be fun to watch.

Finally cut to one of my favorite scenes, and a fight which takes place in a hallway. These guys sure do seem to love to fight in hallways. But watching all four of them work with their own unique skills of ass-kickery makes it for some amazing Netflix TV.

I’m excited guys. I want this show to be amazing, especially after all the negatives from Iron Fist. Fortunately, I see a lot of good humor and a great chance for this show to ramp up the danger to our heroes. I’m happy to see these guys together, and see all the chemistry at work. I hope Iron Fist gets some good lines in, but only time will tell if it’s just the writing or maybe Finn Jones just wasn’t the best call. Prove me wrong Defenders, prove me wrong.

Marvel’s The Defenders is a Netflix original series which will launch globally on August 18, 2017.

Did Iron Fist let you down? Are you disappointed it’ll only be an 8 episode run for the series? Let us know what you think of the series in the comments below.

Alien: Covenant – Prologue What Happened After Prometheus?

Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) from the first film Prometheus made the decision to head off into the unknown to continue the search for answers, specifically, what humanities purpose is and who created us. In Prometheus the search for the truth goes awry when the entire crew of the Prometheus is killed with the introduction to the Xenomorph race created by the Engineers. The sole survivors are her and the synthetic named David (Michael Fassbender).

In Alien: Covenant – Prologue: The Crossing, we see a few highly suspect scenes of what happened between Prometheus and Alien: Covenant. David hates humans and yet we see in this short that he has grown to respect Elizabeth for her ability to adapted to challenging circumstances, like I don’t know a squid-like human Xenomorph hybrid that’s forcibly removed from her belly. Or just rolling the the right side as the Prometheus ship is downed after crashing into the escaping Engineers ship.

She puts David back together after lugging him around in a gym bag. They travel the stars until she needs to be put under into cryosleep since it’s a long journey to meet her makers.

It seems that things didn’t go so well with her post-Prometheus mission and David looks to be bombarding the settlement below with the Engineer ship with when the words are uttered in the trailer, “Look on my works ye mighty, and despair.” I’m going to assume he’s got a nest of Xenomorphs he unleashes unto the populous. Either the Engineers had the ship filled with the deadly creations or as we know by now David enjoys experimenting. We do see glimmers of emotions in David’s eyes before he sends down the torrent of destruction. Those Synths have always had emotional issues.

I’m thinking Elizabeth is probably kept none the wiser while this happens. So, when he wakes her up she’ll be devastated to find out the Engineers are no more due to their own creations destroying them. Only to then later find out David was behind the havoc. As to why David might do this? It might be a way of protecting Elizabeth since he does seem to draw some sort of connection to her. She has been the only one who has been kind to him even though he did kill her boyfriend in the first movie.

It’s difficult to say what leads David to his decision at this moment. What I will say however is that the short looks absolutely stunning and I am most definitely looking forward to seeing Alien: Covenant May 18. I wish we could get more of just Elizabeth and David traveling the universe, but I’ll just have to settle for this 2 minute wonder fest.

Alien: Covenant will have Ridley Scott returning to the Alien franchise. Alien: Covenant will center around a colony ship bound for a remote planet on the far side of the galaxy. The crew of the Covenant will discover what they believe to be an uncharted paradise, but in true Alien fashion they find a dark twisted world filled with threats beyond their imagining. They must escape before they end up like the Prometheus.

Would you watch a full length film of David and Elizabeth exploring new worlds and civilizations ala Star Trek? Does this Prologue give you any renewed hope for the continuation of the Alien franchise? Learn more about Jeff Goldblum’s role in Jurassic World 2. And get ready for a live-action Teen Titans movie coming in 2018.

 

Is Severed a cut above the rest?

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Developer Drinkbox Studios has once again brought a vivid art mosaic onto the gaming landscape. In the past, DrinkBox Studios was responsible for such games as Guacamelee and Tales from Space: Mutant Blobs Attack. I haven’t played Mutant Blobs Attack, but Guacamelee is truly a treasure of a game.

Similar to Severed, Guacamelee blends Metroidvania gameplay with a unique art style that’s bound to leave you dazzled. The world of Severed is covered in colorful fungi, eyeballs, and trees that shift from indigo to bright neon purple.

As I mentioned, the animation style of Severed is definitely borrowed from studio predecessors. Unlike games like Guacamelee, though, you’ll find Severed to be full of demonic imagery and endless insanity.

In Severed, you follow a protagonist named Sasha. Sasha is a one-armed young girl turned warrior on a quest to unravel the mysteries of a dark fantasy universe. She’s also looking for her family, but finding them is no easy feat. Fortunately, you have a supremely powerful living sword by your side throughout the harrowing journey.

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The story starts when Sasha is pushed into this insane world when you learn Sasha has lost her arm and her family along with it. A demon informs her that this world isn’t her reality, she’s a long way from home and if she’d ever like to return she must reunite the bodies of her slain family.

Severed is in the style of Legend of Grimrock or the Etrian Odyssey series, maps are laid out in grid format and Sasha must move through them one square at a time. The game is a first-person experience, moving through forests, and dungeons, enemies could just be around the next corner of the map for you to battle them.

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You’re allowed free rein to look in any direction to choose which way to go next, adding depth and awe to the environments when you’re free to look around to plot your way through. It makes the art style come alive and enhancing it by making it look more 3D than it actually is.

There’s a tendency to do backtracking for previously missed goodies, in the same vein as Guacamelee and other games of the Metroidvania style. Unfortunately, the mechanics are limited so the puzzles aren’t all too difficult to solve.

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When in combat Severed is reminiscent of games like Fruit Ninja where you swipe your finger/stylus across the screen and slash whatever is in your way. Although the creatures of this world definitely do not resemble apples and oranges, this I can assure you. I don’t remember any of the fruits in Fruit Ninja blocking my slashes or fighting back.

This mechanic makes the fight feel frantic and engaging like a Fruit Ninja stage, but provides you an opportunity to think how to best take down your enemy. You feel a similar satisfaction with your swipes due to the thoughtful sound design and integrated touch controls.

On the Wii U version, Severed is thankfully played on the tablet portion of the console, and the TV is used to keep track of the map. It’s pretty difficult to go from looking at the tablet then to the TV to get a good sense of what’s happening, so this solves all the problems when your actions and the visual cues you need are all in one place, rather breaking away from the tablet screen to look up at your TV.

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In combat you’ll be faced with multiple enemies or single tough targets to deal with. Each enemy has a health meter and an attack gauge to keep well informed about your next move. You must choose wisely when facing down a tough opponent with his minions and focus on who to attack first. Fortunately, enemies have tells so you know when to strike, the game provides meters at the bottom that fill up with a yellow color indicating when they’re poised to strike back at you.

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The yellow ring surrounds the enemy’s health gauge as well, this makes for an intuitive system for keeping track of the combat pace. And every enemy has a particular area of weakness to exploit, Severed will make demands of you to have precision aim on different enemy types.

As you slash at enemies you have your Severe Time gauge that fills on the top left, the more hits the enemy receives the sooner you can unleash your full power onto them. You then tap onto an enemy that’s stunned and it’ll open the way for your fury to be unleashed in a bullet time sequence where you can dismember your opponent’s limbs and claim items to use as currency for the game’s upgrade system.

You can upgrade your Severe Time, (the slow-mo state you initiate for the hack and slash fun to begin) your health, or damage. It brings it full circle, your arm was cut off, now you get to exact revenge on the mobs of enemies that stand in your way of being reunited with your family.

The only negatives are the handful of monster types, with those few monsters getting only upgraded in the late game. So moving forward the punches of the early game seem to bring less of the same power they packed, a shame but not a deal breaker in the slightest. It just makes me excited for what this indie developer, DrinkBox Studios, can bring out next. Severed shows the impact this game has on me to just want more dungeons and monsters to fight!

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The music of the game is provided by an Indie Canadian group: YAMANTAKA // SONIC TITAN they fuse noise, metal, pop, and folk music into their unique tracks. It provides an additional layer of ambience to the dark fantasy setting. They also have the OST from the game to peruse through.

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DrinkBox Studios has done a remarkable job of making this adventure memorable, through the striking imagery. The character design is genuinely interesting, haunting and beautiful. The combat is fun, frantic, and challenging when dealing with different enemy types all at once. DrinkBox Studios has made a game that the touch based interface is fun to use which by itself is astounding to someone who prefers a control or keyboard and mouse combo. Without touch I would say the mechanics would not be nearly as fun as they are. Hopefully in the future we’ll see more from DrinkBox Studios on the Nintendo Switch platform.

Severed was voted 2016’s iPad game of the year, and is currently available Nintendo eshop. If you buy the game on your linked Nintendo account, you’ll receive a copy on both Wii U and 3DS. You can also buy a copy on the PSVita or download it on iTunes.

Will you be buying the SNES Classic Mini this Christmas?

Although, we can’t buy the NES Classic Mini without giving up an arm and a leg for it at an ebay auction; we can look forward to SNES Classic Mini coming this Christmas.

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This could potentially explain the NES Classic Mini cancellation even though the popularity of the tiny retro console hasn’t died down. Apparently, Nintendo was looking to clear the market out this Christmas for the SNES Classic Mini. As such, Nintendo never intended to keep the NES Classic Mini in stock past last years Christmas.

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I’m pretty jazzed for the SNES Classic Mini, as I grew up loving the SNES games more than NES games. For many, it’s difficult not to look back fondly on some of the best console games ever created on the SNES such as The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Super Mario World, and Chrono Trigger, to name just a few.

Can we really justify the price of the little console when we have the Virtual Console filled with SNES and NES classics? Although, for anyone who hasn’t bought a Nintendo console since the Wii this could be a great way to snag some nostalgic adults with a SNES Classic Mini who want to relive some of their childhood experiences without a high barrier to entry price.

It’s best to pre-order as soon as possible seeing that the NES Classic Mini sold out and became discontinued shortly after. Let’s hope the supplies don’t run dry too soon, but as we already know Nintendo has a bad track record with keeping up with demand.

Do you think Nintendo will give us more than 30 titles for the SNES Classic Mini? What games would you like to see pre-loaded on the tiny nostalgia box?

Is Nothing Sacred? Will Smith As The Genie In Aladdin!

I really enjoyed the Beauty and the Beast remake with Emma Watson. They did a very admirable job by bringing such an iconic story to life and used a great cast to boot, I didn’t even know Sir Ian McKellen played Cogsworth till the end of the film and was blown away.

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For Disney nothing is withheld with these remakes, such as Cinderella (which I believe benefited from the remake), Alice in Wonderland, to now Aladdin. With Guy Ritchie (Sherlock Holmes, Snatch) set to direct, and Will Smith in talks to take the role of Genie I’m having second thoughts.

I’m wondering how they’ll do with the Genie from Aladdin since we don’t have the iconic Robin Williams to play him anymore.  Either the movie will be brilliant and do it well or it’ll turn into a pile of garbage set alight like Kazaam with Shaquille O’Neal playing the titular role. God that movie was something awful yet hilarious if you’re watching the Nostalgia Critic review.

Like Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin will be a live-action musical, but Will Smith is a rapper and not the Broadway Hamilton kind either.

The classic tale of Aladdin hasn’t changed. We still have the story centered around a poor young man who falls in love with a princess. He finds a magical lamp and inadvertently unlocks the genie trapped inside. The genie grants the boy wishes which the boy uses to win over the young princess.

Currently, we don’t know whether Will Smith will actually take the role. Prior to this he was in talks over a Dumbo remake that Tim Burton was set to direct, but it fell through. Aladdin is expected to begin shooting by July in the U.K. which is only a few short months away. Hopefully we’ll get an update soon.

What do you guys think; do you want an Aladdin remake? Did you like any of the previous Disney live-action remakes? Let me know in the comments below.

Are You Interested in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series?

No one really asked for a Guardians of the Galaxy game, but it’s coming. The first episode is due out on April 18th on Xbox One, PS4, Steam, and GOG.

I watched the trailer and I gotta say, it’s not very funny, at least to me their attempts at a couple of jokes fell flat. You’d think they’d get it right since the humor in Tales From the Borderlands is on point. But that’s okay if you can’t have jokes then at least Telltale is known for making games filled to the brim with choices; to be fair most if not all of these choices don’t actually go anywhere significant in terms of the core plot in any of these games.

I hope no one new to the Telltale line up of games falls for that trap like so many of us have in the past.

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I guess I’m just not convinced with this trailer. I mean it’s fun to see the Guardians of the Galaxy square off against Thanos, which they reveal in the trailer, but if it’s anything on par with the Telltale Batman series I think I’ll sit this one out.

If this is the trailer for episode 1 of the series then there definitely isn’t going to be a resolution to that fight anytime soon.

I much rather Telltale focuses on titles such as The Wolf Among Us, or even the next Borderlands series of games. I feel like to preserve quality they should focus on finishing one series before beginning the next one. Although the time to strike the iron is while it’s hot, and with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 set to release May 5th it makes sense financially to pump this out now.

Do you think Telltale has a hit with the Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series? Or should they go back to their other titles that have garnered a lot of success and respect which they haven’t finished with?

Find out more about Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series and more by visiting their site.