Beyond: Two Souls Review

I for one was a huge fan of Heavy Rain, finding the unique gameplay and powerful story to be truly outstanding. Beyond: Two Souls doesn't however live up to that, as despite trying to keep the same level of uniqueness, the overall story and gameplay leaves a lot to be desired.

Rating: 6/10

Check out my full review at Imagination Centre.

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Atlantis Series 1 Episode 2 Review

This review was originally posted on my website Imagination Centre (here).

I was really looking forward to this series before it came out, as having a strong interest in mythology I was hoping for a very fun series to come out of the Atlantis myth, and I wasn't disappointed, as although not that accurate, the first episode was still brilliant being extremely fun and entertaining, showing great promise for the series as a whole.

Plot

As word about Jason's slaying of the Minotaur spread through the city, an old man comes in search of his aid in finding his daughter who's went missing.

Review

This was a very good episode, and a brilliant continuation to the series, as although it wasn't as good as last weeks opening episode, it was still very good. It had some really entertaining and humorous moments throughout, and the character interaction was yet again one of the strongest parts about it. It was however at quite a slower pace compared with the opening episode, also being a slightly laggy, with the story feeling stretched and forced to last the length of the episode. It also lacked a bit in the excitement department, as although it had it's moments I was hoping for a few more than we got. In saying that it was still very enjoyable, and although the myths weren't completely accurate, it was nice to see them added, and the series continues to show a lot of promise, even if this episode didn't deliver as much on that.

The story of the episode revolves around a elderly man asking for Jason, Pythagoras and Hercules' help in finding his daughter, Demetria. I was really happy to see that the events of the opening episode give Jason and the group some notoriety, as it's an easy way of setting up future storylines. On top of this I found the differences in attitude over this possible quest to be rather interesting, and quite amusing, as with them being penniless Hercules is rather reluctant to go on such a trip without being properly paid, and Jason sees it as his duty to do the right thing. I also really enjoyed the interaction between Jason and the old man, and how the old man was so emotional over the possible outcomes of this quest.

During the episode Jason and the group would come across a group known as Maenads, who worship the god Dionysus. They thus believe that this group is where Demetria is, and go through Nysa to find their temple, and rescue her. Now I must admit that I'm not overly familiar with the Maenads, as besides knowing that they worship Dionysus, I don't really know anything else, and thus can't say how accurate their depiction was in this episode. I will however say that I found them to be rather interesting, adding a lot of suspense and tension throughout the episode, with them being the perfect type of villains for this episode.

The Maenads wouldn't be alone in this episode, as they'd have Satyrs to take care of any intruders. Now the Satyrs in this episode weren't like the common ones that you find throughout Greek mythology, as instead of being goat like, they were more like monkeys, as they have been described as at certain periods in time. I personally would have rather they kept closer to the original myths, as although this is technically accurate, it would have felt even more accurate if they'd been goat like. I did however like the way that they reacted to Jason, and how they added a bit of threat to the episode.

Another well known character from Greek mythology would also be introduced in this episode, with Medusa being introduced in this episode, being an unwilling member of the Maenads. I really liked how this episode introduced Medusa to the series, as although she's a part of Perseus' legend rather than Jason's, I felt that she's been used in a brilliant way, allowing the ability to work on her legend throughout the series. I also liked Jason's reaction to Medusa, as having known all the legends that he's read he knows her fate, and wonders how the person he's interacting with can be this same person. I do however look forward to seeing what role she'll have in the future of this series, and hope that I'm not disappointed.

Final Verdict

Although not quite as good as the opening episode this was still a very enjoyable episode, having some very entertaining moments. It also had brilliant character interaction, and was very funny at times. I also loved seeing some more myths shown in this episode, as although there were some inaccuracies it was nice to see them. The story was however slightly slow, being dull and laggy at times, but apart from that I'd highly recommend watching this episode, though I wouldn't judge the series based on this one episode, as the opening episode was brilliant, and the series as a whole shows a lot of promise.

Rating: 7/10

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Atlantis Series 1 Episode 1 Review

This review was originally posted on my website Imagination Centre (here).

This has been a series that I have been looking forward to since I first heard about it, as having a huge interest in any form of mythology as well as having enjoyed Merlin (being slightly upset about it ending) I was really hoping for something just as good to replace it.

Plot

Whilst looking for the remains of his fathers sub, Jason is in a peculiar incident and wakes up in Atlantis.

Review

This was a brilliant opening episode for this new series, and although it was slightly different than I expected it would be, it was still amazing. The episode was very entertaining, having some very humorous moments, whilst also showing the mythological side brilliantly, even if not entirely accurate. I also enjoyed the unique tone that this series has, as although it was something quite different than I originally expected, it was a very nice surprise. I also loved the character interaction in this episode, as it was very lively and entertaining, adding a lot of drama and excitement to the episode. I did however feel that the episode was slightly slow at times, as well as the fact that certain scenes went too quickly, but overall this was a very enjoyable episode and I look forward to seeing more of this series.

With this being the opening episode it was natural that the cast members be introduced, so I thought that I'd take a small amount of time to talk about them here. All three main cast members did a fantastic job, as I really enjoyed Jack Donnelly portrayal of Jason, Robert Emms portrayal of Pythagoras and Mark Addy portrayal of Hercules, as although these may annoy some die hard mythologists I personally loved this different view point on these legends, though if it wasn't Mark Addy as Hercules I'd probably be very upset about this change. The other cast members such as Aiysha Hart as Ariadne, Juliet Stevenson as the Oracle, Sarah Parish as Pasiphaë, and Alexander Siddig as King Minos were also very good, as although some were obviously better than others, they all played their characters well, as although some were slightly inaccurate, their characteristics were brilliantly shown.

ason, Pythagoras and Hercules

I really enjoyed the unique way that this series would start, as having the main protagonist travel to Atlantis from the present was a very interesting way to start the series. I also really enjoyed the change in tone that would happen between Jason's travel, as both felt very unique,adding to the atmosphere. I also really enjoyed how Jason reacted once he realised he was in Atlantis, and even more so given the fact that he knows all the legends and myths behind the city and the people who live there. I also loved actually seeing Atlantis, as although I always expected them to do a great job of showing this place, it was even nicer to see it, and the characters walking through it.

The two characters that Jason meets early on are Pythagoras and his roommate Hercules. Now when I first saw these two characters I thought to myself that they've really went for drama and entertainment over accuracy, but after watching the episode develop I felt that it was actually a very good thing for the series as it made it more unique and entertaining. I also loved how both these characters interacted with each other, as although Jason's reaction and interaction with both the characters was very interesting, given the fact that these characters have known each other longer, their interactions felt more natural and entertaining, and instantly showed that these were old friends. I also enjoyed the fact that the episode laughs about Hercules' changes from a strong muscular character to a fat one, as it made the change much more tolerable and appealing.

The main developing point of this episode would be the fact that it's time for Atlantis to sacrifice seven of it's people to the Minotaur to honour Poseidon. This was a very interesting development for the episode, and would result in some very exciting and entertaining scenes. It was however the Minotaur itself that I was most impressed with, as it looked amazing, and I enjoyed the look of this Minotaur over the ones that have been shown in recent mythological films. I did however feel that the fight between Jason and the Minotaur could have lasted slightly longer, but overall the tone in the scene was perfect, and it was a great way of adding something exciting in the opening episode.

Minotaur

This episode would also introduce the ruling family of Atlantis, with King Minos, his wife Pasiphaë, and their daughter Ariadne all being featured. I was very happy that these characters were involved in this episode, as the prospect of what these characters might get involved in later on in the series really intrigues me, especially given the reputation of their legends. I also loved how the episode clearly showed the differences in each characters characteristics, showing a caring Ariadne, a calm and collected King Minos, and a devoted, passionate, and loyal Pasiphaë. The interaction between these characters also really interested me, and overall I look forward to seeing their development throughout the series.

Final Verdict

This was a very exciting and interesting opening episode and it has me really excited for the next episode. The episode itself was also very exciting, and at times very hilarious, having a brilliant tone. It is also a very unique series having very interesting and entertaining characters. It may however not be for everyone, and people who hate inaccuracies in mythological adaptations may not like it. I would however highly recommend watching this, and especially if you enjoyed BBC's Merlin or Robin Hood series'.

Rating: 8/10

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Arrow Season 1 Review

This review was originally posted on my website Imagination Centre (here).

This was a series that I was really looking forward to watching, but unfortunately couldn't due to not having Sky, the channel that it was aired on in UK. I have thus been even more eager to watch it, and now that the DVD is out I finally have.

Plot

Oliver "Ollie" Queen has returned after being trapped on an island for five years. Now that he's back in Starling City he plans on righting his fathers wrongs and making the city a better place as the vigilante known as the Hood.

Review

This was overall an amazing season, as although the quality was slightly inconsistent throughout the season, it was always enjoyable with the overall tone and concept being phenomenal. Where this season excelled the most however was with it's opening and closing episodes as both these episodes managed to harness all the qualities of the series that made it brilliant, also adding much more excitement and suspense. Besides this however the season managed to have very deep character developments, that managed to make the season that much more interesting and dramatic. These developments did however sometimes slow the season down slightly, but overall I was very impressed with this opening season and can't wait to see the next.

The cast in this series was overall very well chosen, as although I initially questioned some of the choices, for this realistic style I felt that it was a well chosen cast. Stephen Amell was just brilliant as Oliver Queen, managing to show the naive act that he puts on, whilst making the vigilante seem the threatening figure that he should be. I also really enjoyed the performances of Katie Cassidy as Laurel Lance, David Ramsey as John Diggle, Colin Donnell as Tommy Merlyn, Willa Holland as Thea Queen as well as the rest of the cast. I did however also really enjoy Manu Bennett portrayal of Deathstroke (Slade Wilson) in the flashbacks, and although I questioned whether John Barrowman would suit the role of Merlyn, he managed to do it perfectly, showing this character in a new light, whilst also showing his darker side brilliantly.

The Cast

The Green Arrow himself, or the Hood as he's called in this series was obviously the thing that anyone interested in the series was looking forward to. Now I enjoyed the Green Arrow in the Smallville TV series, but this version of Green Arrow was much more interesting, as besides being much more intense, you could see that he's been through a lot, and that he's no longer the person everyone knew before he was trapped on the island. I also loved how much this version is different from the comic version, as although it's not that far away from the current Green Arrow that we see in the comics, he feels more intimidating and empowering in this series, making him a unique character at the same time.

The season would also see flashbacks to Oliver's time on the island, showing the start of his transformation. I personally was extremely interested in these scenes, as although the main plot lines of the season were brilliant and dramatic, this recurring plot line was very mysterious and suspenseful, also being very exciting at times. Another thing that I enjoyed was the difference in tone, as it managed to stand out from the rest of the series very well. I also found the other characters that were involved in these scenes very interesting, and the fact that Deathstroke would become a recurring character really made these scenes more suspenseful and mysterious, and when Manu Bennett portrayed him with the mask off later in the season he got much more interesting.

Lian Yu

Besides Deathstroke this season would see a lot of comic book character make appearances in one form or another, whether by their comic book names or in a more unique concept. This included the likes of Deadshot, Huntress, Firefly, Count Vertigo, Roy Harper, and of course Merlyn, as well as more. I especially enjoyed seeing Huntress and Roy in this season as I loved seeing a character with a similar skill set as Oliver and the fact that we might eventually see Arsenal excites me. I also liked seeing Deadshot, and found the way they changed Firefly and Count Vertigo to suit the series to be very smart. I also really enjoyed Merlyn as well, as having one of Green Arrow's closest villains certainly helped build the atmosphere of this season.

This season would also see somewhat of a love triangle form, as upon returning Ollie learns that his best friend Tommy is in love with his ex-girlfriend Laurel, and that the two have had a relationship whilst he's been gone. This however would get interesting as although Ollie appears to be fine with this it is still obvious that he has feelings for her, and as the season developed this would become very interesting. I did however feel that it was sometimes poorly paced, as although it added great drama at times, there were some development points that either happened too soon or too late in my opinion, and overall I don't think this was developed properly over the season, even though it was overall very interesting.

Final Verdict

This was definitely one of the better opening seasons that I've seen, and especially for a comic book TV series. It was however slightly inconsistent throughout, with some plot developments being poorly paced and developed. In saying that most of the season was extremely interesting, and the way it transitioned from the current events to the flashbacks was very slick. The season also had a lot of depth to it, with brilliant characters and a lot of excitement. Due to all this I'd highly recommend this season as it is simply amazing.

Rating: 8/10

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The Last of Us Review

I've been meaning to start game reviews for a while now, but having never reviewed one have continuously kept putting it off. I have however finally decided to start with a game that I played recently and loved, The Last of Us. Having already played Naughty Dogs Uncharted series I was much looking forward to the game, and wasn't disappointed.

Plot

In a post-apocalyptic America Joel gets tasked with taking a young girl named Ellie (who is immune to a infection that has turned people into zombies) to the Fireflies.

Review

This was a phenomenal game, and easily one of the best that I've ever played, if not the best. I'd already had extremely high hopes for the game for a long time before it's release, as Naughty Dog had already done a brilliant job with the three Uncharted games that they made. They more than surpassed them high hopes though, and it'll take something really special to top that as my favourite game of this year, as although there's still Batman: Arkham Origins, and Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag coming out, with Grand Theft Auto V having just been released, they'll need to be much better than their respective predecessors to surpass this game, and I can confidently say that Naughty Dog has yet another marvellous franchise on their hands.

This game would have a brilliant story to it, as although it wasn't the best thing about the game, it was very exciting, and dramatic. It also was very well paced, having amazing twists, and turns which prevented the game from lagging, or becoming dull. It also was a relatively unique story as although there's nothing new about a zombie apocalypse, the way they went about it was slightly different, not being your usual zombie game which is filled with nothing but gore. The story also had some very deep, and emotional points to it, as the tone was quite different at the end than it was at the start. I also loved how the story managed to keep me as a player hooked, as I'd want to continue playing just to find out what happens next, and although that can drag you into the game a little too much, that is far from a bad thing.

Survival Instincts

The thing I loved most about this game however was the characters, as Naughty Dog have continued to show how well they can create, and develop characters, as just as all the characters were great in the Uncharted games, all the characters from The Last of Us are amazing, and extremely interesting. The main two characters of the game are a young girl named Ellie, who's immune to the infection, and Joel who is tasked with taking her to the Fireflies. Both these characters are brilliant individually, but it's the building relationship between these two throughout the game that makes them as fantastic, as there is a lot of emotions, and changing of attitudes throughout. The other characters that appear throughout the game, such as Tess, Marlene, Henry and Sam, Tommy, and David were all extremely interesting, being outstanding side characters, but it was easily Ellie and Joel that stole this game.

A Building Relationship

This is a third person game with the character taking control of Joel throughout most of the game, only controlling Ellie for a brief time. You are however not on your own all the time, as Ellie will help whenever she can, also being able to defend herself pretty well, though she can still die. The combat is a mixture of melee fighting, and gun fighting, with it being advisable to go into cover during a gun fight. You also have to quietly work your way around zombies as to avoid unnecessary complications. Overall I enjoyed the gameplay in this game as it was very versatile, being a mixture of stealth, and action shooter. I also loved how the game would have a mixture of zombie, and human opponents, not sticking to one or the other for too long a period. I also really enjoyed the crafting of tools, and how this allows a bit of strategy to be utilised, as you don't want to miss/waste materials, or use it unwisely.

Now besides all the amazing feats that The Last of Us has, it also is visually stunning, having phenomenal graphic. Now although I always enjoy good graphics, I can live without them, as although I would be upset if it had ridiculously poor graphics I would be happy enough with fantastic gameplay, and a brilliant story. This game however doesn't seem to want to do anything by halves, as already adding brilliant characters, the outstanding graphics are what make this game simply phenomenal. The designing of the zombies were also brilliant, as I loved all the different types, and how grotesque they were. I also loved how much like a couple of the Uncharted games that The Last of Us would also show some realism, as footprints wouldn't disappear, nor would wounds, or other changes throughout, which was another nice addition.

Beware Clickers

Final Verdict

This was easily one of the best games that I've played in recent years, and it'll take a lot of effort to beat it as the best game of the year. Having brilliant graphics, gameplay, characters, and story, this was truly the full package, not doing anything in half measures. It was also very suspenseful, and dramatic, being more emotional than scary (though it has it's moments). I couldn't recommend this highly enough, as it's a must play game that will be remembered for decades.

Rating: 10/10

This review was originally posted on my website Imagination Centre (here).

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Rush Review

Being a huge Formula One fan I was ecstatic when I first heard about this film, as although I wasn't alive during the brilliant feud that James Hunt and Niki Lauda had, I have a decent knowledge of the history of Formula One.

Plot

From Formula Three to Formula One, James Hunt and Niki Lauda's rivalry would culminated in the 1976 World Championship.

Review

This was an amazing film, and one of the best biopics that I've ever seen. I always had high hopes for the film, but there was a small part of me that was dreading that it'd either not show what really happened, or go too Hollywood by emphasising things to much, as although some things were slightly emphasising, it wasn't to the extent that I dreaded it would. With a director such as Ron Howard it was bound to be good to a certain level, as although I've never really rated him as an actor he is a brilliant director, having directed the likes of Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind, and The Da Vinci Code, all of which were amazing. This however may very well be his best film to date, as he managed to capture the drama, and suspense perfectly, and even the usual slow parts of a biopic were exciting in this film.

The cast was brilliantly chosen for this film, as although some of the background cast members weren't necessarily perfect for their respective role, the actors chosen for the roles of Hunt and Lauda couldn't have been better. Chris Hemsworth has been an actor that I have enjoyed seeing in films for a while now, having given brilliant performances in Thor, Snow White and the Huntsman, and Cabin in the Woods, and although his portrayal of James Hunt was also fantastic, it was the performance of Daniel Brühl as Niki Lauda that stole this film. I don't know much about Brühl's acting history, having only seen him in Inglorious Basterds previously, but his performance in this film couldn't have been better, as besides looking the part of Lauda, he managed to show brilliant emotion as well, both during, and outside of the rivralry with Hunt. Going back to Hemsworth, he also did a perfect job as Hunt, and although the voice wasn't quite perfect, it was close enough, getting his characteristic perfectly.

Hunt and Lauda

Now I've already talked about both Hemsworth, and Brühl's performances as these great F1 racers, but I will now also go into a little more depth about how well I felt they were shown in this film, starting with James Hunt. Now I only know what happened in the career aspect of both Hunt and Lauda, but not everything that happened outside of that. The film got the tension between the two characters perfectly, and I loved how it showed the extent of Hunt's party life, showing how much of a ladies man he really was. Besides this I also enjoyed seeing his life as a married man to Suzy Miller (played by Olivia Wilde), and how he coped with his stardom.

Niki Lauda was also shown brilliantly in this film, as besides the perfect performance by Brühl the film it showed just how brilliant he was at setting up the cars. It also showed his cautious nature perfectly, as although Lauda was always motivated to win, he'd never take life threatening risks with the film stating that he's only willing to take a 20% risk of death, and no more. I also loved how it showed his relationship with Marlene Knaus (played by Alexandra Maria Lara), and how the film would show the contrast in lifestyles between his, and Hunt's. I did however feel that the film showed Lauda and Hunt as more of enemies, as although they were bitter rivals on the track, they were really close friends off the race track.

The cars in this film were perfect, with the replications looking as close to the real thing as possible. The racing itself was also amazing, as although the film would focus more on the lives of Hunt and Lauda off the track it would show some racing, with the 1976 German Grand Prix at the Nürburgring being the main race focused on. The only thing that some F1 fans might not like about the racing was that it was made to look a lot flashier that it really was, with the whole Hollywood style of racing taking over. I personally didn't mind this as it would add plenty of drama, and suspense on top of the excitement. Also not everything works on film if done in a realistic manor, so it's better to get something that was as I said dramatic, than something that didn't work.

The Racing

Now the main historical event that would be shown in this film would be the near-fatal crash that Lauda was involved during the 1976 German Grand Prix, that left him with severe burns, and scarring to his head. The accident itself was replicated perfectly in this film, as besides being visually stunning, it also had great tone, and emotion, as well as brilliant drama, and suspense. It was however the later scenes showing Lauda's recovery in the hospital that I enjoyed more, as they had so much more emotion in it, showing just how much pain that Lauda was in, whilst also showing his drive to get back into the car, and continue his attempt at retaining the Formula One World Championship.

Final Verdict

This was a phenomenal film, and simply a must see for any Formula One fan. Besides having brilliant racing, it would show the rivalry between Hunt and Lauda perfectly. The thing that makes the film as amazing was the tone, and drama in the scenes showing the two off the track, also having brilliant suspense, and excitement throughout. I've already stated that it's a must see for any F1 fan, but I'd also strongly recommend it to anyone else, even if you've never had an interest in F1 in the past.

Rating: 9/10

This review was originally posted on my website Imagination Centre (here).

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