THIEF (2014) - A Review By TheAcidSkull

I've had my eyes on THIEF for quite a long time now, but considering I've been interested in other games I decided to hold myself from buying it, in case something better appeared or I lost interest(which can happen), but a few days ago I decided to give it a go and buy it because despite the negative/mixed reception, It still looked promising. Plus I rarely trust reviewers on youtube, so I still wanted to try it. Now having finished the game, I would like to say that THIEF is the sort of game that deserves mixed receptions, meaning that there are certain aspects about it that are really amazing, and others that just don't simple compare or come close, so essentially it depends on why you buy the game, if it's for gameplay, then you'll get your moneys worth, but if it's for story ONLY, then you're gonna be disappointed.

Anyways, lets talk about some on the weaker aspects so we could end on a high note. From my understanding, this is a reboot, so it has nothing to do with the previous THIEF games, which is perfect for a newcomer like myself, but I have to say that the story was really weak, which is a shame because it did have some pretty interesting concepts. It's not the supernatural elements that bothered me, it's not the PREMISE itself that irked me, but the way they really executed it. What I mean is, the events that take place within the game seem inconsequential, and the fact that I'm saying something like that seems completely baffling because there are some big things that happen in this game, it's just that the characters make it unappealing and dull. So Garrett is sent on a mission, on which he meets up with his ruthless apprentice/"sister", and during the mission they encounter some kind of mystic ritual and as expected shit hits the fan and things quickly go south. Garrett wakes a year later, with his apprentice Erin( believed to be) dead,and tries to understand and find out what the heck has been happening around him. Seems pretty simple right? Well it is, except, you as the player don't seem to care about any of this, because Garret doesn't care either. Now look, I'm not going to bash on the voice actor because he did a pretty good job, it's just that the writing was poor, and it made Garrett's performance dull as a result. Thing is, if this is a reboot we have no idea if Garrett has ever faced anything remotely close to what he is confronted in the game, so when he seems to be completely unfazed by the fact that he can stop time or the fact that he stumbles across some deformed monster zombies, it kind makes you wonder if Garrett actually cares about anything at all.

Boo

I understand that he is a patient master thief, but goddammit show some damn emotion. I'm not saying that he should scream on top of his lungs with pain, but when Erin, someone who is supposed to be Garrett's "Sister", dies, it would be nice to see him actually feel guilty or angry or even sad over it. What I'm saying is that things move to quickly so in turn there is no time left to explore the main character, and he comes off as someone who just doesn't give a crap about anything. Moreover, I'm still considering if the game has an actual villain. The Thief-Taker General came close, but he was basically a Hound who kept chasing you, and that's basically the very limit to which his character is explored. He was just A BAD GUY who understood how Garrett operates because....well... because he's a Thief-Taker, and that's basically it. But that's not really a problem because he wasn't the main antagonist as it turns out, Orion is, who was supposed to save the city from destruction( lol nope). Now see, the problem with this picture is yet again the fact that they choose not to explore what was given. Orion is a pretty boring and flat character, with no depth or development. He's just a villain because the game needs one, which is a damn shame, because the idea that the guy who wanted to SAVE the city actually caused it's destruction is a pretty good one, despite the fact that it wouldn't be the first time this concept would be used. And man, the game has some serious bugs, I don't know if this was just my copy, but the sound/ Audio was completely screwed. I heard multiple guards talking simultaneously, and sometimes they even said that same damn thing. Also, the sound didn't match the performance, either it was really delayed or really early, which made things way worse, obviously.

Zoiks!

On the other hand tho, since that is out of he way, lets talk about some of the good parts of the video game, which essentially were enough to make the experience worthwhile. I've heard a lot of people criticize Theif for not having diverse environments(not kidding), however I can't seem to agree on that front. THIEF is a game about stealth and the exploitation of darkness, so you need a fitting place for that, and I can safely say that the game does a very good job of making an intense and gloomy environment which really creates a dark and gothic atmosphere. Besides, if you were to look over the story and the events taking place within the game, you'd understand that the house accommodates the owner. Also, I understand that LOOK wise the rooms and environments are similar, but the level design is pretty great, because it allows you to plan and keep watch of everyones movement. Speaking of which, the gameplay, as mentioned before is pretty damn amazing. This is at it's core a stealth game and on that front it doesn't disappoint at all. If we were to set aside all the fun little toys you get in the game, you'll see that you'll have to use your brain and wits to actually outsmart and direct the enemy into the the position you want him to be in. The game gives you control, which is actually pretty damn great, because while you aren't invincible, you still feel as if you are steering the whole sequence. Also, as frustrating as it was at times, I'm glad the enemy was too powerful for you. Seriously, if you encountered more than ONE enemy, it was an instant death warrant. That's not to say, however, that the game is unfair, because you had a lot of perks to keep everything balanced. Like for one thing, because of the ritual mentioned above, Garret gets some supernatural powers(one, at the vert least), he can slow down time and actually see the enemies weak points, which allows you to deal with more than one man. However, this doesn't mean that you can barge in like an idiot with waving fists, not at all; this perk is limited, and once you run out of it and find yourself in a circle of three guards, you'll get your nuts rocked.

Well f*ck..

Furthermore, the game is very rewarding, and the more risks you take, the more you'll get out of it. For example, in Thief you have three choices, to be Ghost, an Opportunist, and A Predator. As Ghost, you'll usually escape your enemies and just slip away, as an opportunist, you'll use the environment to your advantage, and as a predator, you'll take enemies down so you can take their money and then buy more gadgets and upgrades. Well most of the time, you can't be one of these classes without crossing into at least one separate territory, because for instance, in order to be a ghost, you'll have to turn of the candles os the enemy won't see you, or you can snap a chandeliers rope and smash it over your enemies head. Suffice to say that Thief as a good game system. As for the gadgets, they are pretty useful in all situations. The game doesn't depend on it tho, you can still get through your opponents if you wait long enough, but truth be told, it's much simpler to put an arrow in a mans head rather than slipping between his legs.

In conclusion, as I said in the beginning, it all depends on why you are interested in THEIF. If it's for the gameplay, which is completely stealth based , then you should love it because it's awesome, however, if it's for the story and characters, then I'm not sure what to tell you, because I, in all honesty, was really disappointed on that aspect. But hey, you might like it more than I did, who knows, right? All I know is that Thief isn't as bad as people say it is, but it's not too good either.

6/10

24 Comments

Edge of Tomorrow- TheAcidSkull's Review

Let me just start by saying that the last movie I saw with Tom Cruise in it was Jack Reacher, and I have to say that it was kind of really mediocre, but I never had anything against the Actor, I think he's good when given a decent script, but Edge of Tomorrow was something I wasn't interested in at all, not with Days of Future past right around the corner. So because of the fact that I had nothing to do, I decided to give it a shot, I mean, it's a block buster so I see no reason why I could not have enjoyed myself watching this movie. ( At the very least on a superficial level). Suffice to say, I was pleasantly surprised.

The first thing you'll notice is the simplicity of the concepts in the movie, I mean, I'm sure the idea of re-living the same day over and over again has been used somewhere else at one point, be it a cartoon, video Game or even some other movie, but what's truly great about it is the execution, you can do this in various ways, but the directions they chose somehow gives you a feel of a linear story progression, which in all honesty is difficult to do, considering the fact that the notion of a reset button me interfere in many instances. Plus having realized the premise, I was kind of worried that that the character development of Cage(the main protagonist) might have been lost or tedious because when you reset his life you kind of have to go through the same events again, only through different means, so I'm glad that the writers managed to avoid that. I have to give them credit for skipping certain scenes and yet still somehow managing to show how Cage went from a pathetic coward to someone who would risk his life for just about any one. Now when I saw SKIP I don't mean that the movie leaves lose ends, I am implying that they successfully incorporate the transition and the repetition of the past events into a 2 hour( I think it was 2 hours? Can't say) long movie.

Moreover, Tom cruise is still a good actor, when given a good script he makes the character believable. Sure he may not have CLAIMED the role to the point where I could see no one replacing him, but he still did a great job and he made a lot of what was happening believable. Same goes for Emily blunt. Look, I haven't seen her in many roles, but I really liked her character here. Tough, rough and over all badass.

Furthermore, the movie knows what it is, and it manages to balance between comedic and serious/darker elements pretty well. I laughed a lot of times throughout the flick but I never thought it went too far, nor did I have the feeling that it was goofy, which would really clash with the films more gritty and serious moments. Oh, and I absolutely loved the alien designs. I really loved the fact that they did seem like a f*cking swarm of destruction; the way the moved, their speed and unity somehow made them much more threatening. Plus thous motherf*ckers were perfectly built for jump scares, which you will encounter a lot of times in the movie.

And Do I have to really mention the action sequences? I mean at this point the fact that i'm praising a summer action movie this much should imply that it has some seriously awesome moments. There are specific scenes which really stood out in my mind too, I won't spoilt them though, But I might as well mention that the design choice for the Alien monsters really helped boost the tension, speed and the fluidity of the clashes. Hell, even the training scenes were cool.

On the other hand, however, there were a couple of nitpicks I'd like to mention, even though they ESSENTIALLY don't get in the way of the enjoyment. I understand that when one re-lives a day again, and again, and again he eventually starts remembering things in great detail, which is all fine and dandy, but some of the information Cage possesses on certain characters is very, very personal, and considering the personality of the characters I'm referring too, I just can't imagine a possible way on how Cage could have acquired this info, so basically I'm saying that there should have been certain implications at the very least. Also, I'm not sure I understand on where the Time-Bar for the reawakening is set. When these creatures gave Cage the ability to re-live each day, both of the times Cage started the day from different points in time, and there is no clear explanation of why that happens. What is more, the ending kind of felt rushed a bit, I'm sure it would not have been a big deal to give Cage and Rita some closure, considering what they've been through. But like I said, these are minor complaints and essentially don't ruin or hinder the enjoyment of the movie. In fact, I'd say that if you can't close an eye on things like this once in a while, you won't be able to enjoy any blogbuster.

In the end I'd say that edge of time is more than you're typical blogbuster. If you go in wanting to see a typical action movie, you'll get more out of it, and you'll be pleasantly surprised like I was. I really enjoyed Edge of time, obviously, and I'd recommend it if you want to have a good time.

9/10

13 Comments

Days of Future Past- Review By TheAcidSkull

Spoilers will Follow obviously, but at this point I'm sure most of you have seen it.

Man, after what feels like an eternity, I finally got the chance to see the movie and understand what the damn fuss was about. Going into this movie though, I kind of tried to be more open-minded rather than excited, because for one thing, I've learned that I can't always trust people online because sometimes things can be blown out of proportions(This is the part where you say "No shit sherlock"), and these X-men movies are largely inconsistent in quality. The first X-men movie was decent, the second one was awesome, the third was horrible, Origins was bad, First class was good, and so on. So having seen this movies, I can safely say the it's one of the most well crafted of the superhero movies, even though it isn't my favorite.( Personal view by the way, doesn't affect the score of the flick).

Before moving on too the characters and performances I'd really like to say a few words about the story itself. Like I said, the X-men franchise or movies has been largely inconsistent, not only quality, but also in continuity as well, so it's understandable that the writers and fox would want to explore new possibilities while not being dragged down by the flaws of the previous installments. In short, Days of Future Past is kinda like a huge retcon, which basically wipes the whole plate clean. From one point of view, this is kinda sad, considering the good aspects of the series, but from another perspective, it's the logical and the better direction, because lets be honest, there has been a lot more bad than good from the X-men movies. This is a tricky job, because tampering with the story-line through time travel(which is basically one huge paradox machine) may result in something horribly stupid or ridiculous, yet Days of Future Past manages to pull this off with minimal continuity errors( but they are still present, which I will explain later on).

Brian Singer really outdid himself here, it's a bit hard to make something like this work and quite honestly it takes a lot of balls to basically irradiate 5 movies.Yet somehow we still get a compelling story with great moments and character development. The movie knows what it is, and it's main goal isn't trying to retcon everything, not at all, it in fact tells it's own tale while at the same time accomplishing the secondary with slight,but mostly negligible gripes. The whole goal of the plot is a pretty simple one but as expected is spirals out of control and grows into something much more complicated and awesome. Moreover, the movie has a pretty good tone as well, it creates an solid atmosphere and maintains it without losing sight of what it wanted to show us. It has great social commentary and some honestly disturbing and brutal scenes, but even so it still manages to somehow make you laugh and smile when the time is appropriate without compromising the general tone of the whole film.

The characters and the developments is where the movie truly stands out. Every single cast member does and outstanding job, and I have to make a shout out to Jackman for somehow reinventing wolverine and managing to show us a different aspect of the character. It really shows us that the guy isn't really limited even when portraying a familiar protagonist. But make no mistake, for thous of you who thought this movie was going to be about wolverine, you are all wrong. Wolverine is the link which combines these two timelines and they give a very good reason for that, but he is a supporting character(a great one by the way), and this movie is strictly about Charles Xavier and his progression into the man who many mutants admire and love. James McAvoy does a terrific job as Charles and he gives us one of the most emotional scenes in the movie. And how can this review be complete without the mention of Michael Fassbender, who portrays a great young and brash magneto who will do mostly anything for his cause. Though I have to admit that the way Mags was written was a bit off in all honesty, I mean, he was kind of quick to make the decision about killing Raven, I mean seriously, I did not see that coming and I honestly felt it was a bit...rushed. Considering the fact that at a time Raven and Erick were close, I would have liked it better if there was more of a build up towards Erick's choice, but I suppose the movie did teach Magneto a lesson so...M'kay. Just saying Though. Oh and I nearly forgot, Quicksilver was absolutely badass here. Sure he was kind of a comic relief kind of guy, which is to be expected as Pietro has always been a snarky smartass, but he really proved to be a great addition to the movie and took part in one of the best and most unique action sequences , just wished they'd show more of him. I mean, he is kind of really powerful, so I'm sure they could have used him for something else, but eh, oh well.

Now, because I don't want to finish on a bad NOTE, I'll kind of get the continuity errors out of the way, because, these things kind of really REALLY bothered me. Sure some were easily forgivable, others were kind of important and needed to be addressed:

  • Character ages - The whole mutant exterminating is taking place in the distant future, and this is extremely visible not only in the technology but also in the fact that wolverine had aged. The guy who lives forever showed signs of aging, so tell me, why were Bobby, Colossus and Kitty still relatively young, sure the actors AGED, but really, they could have made it a BIT more visible. (Minor Gripe)
  • Wolverines Bone claws - Before the retcon, the whole terrible future was still WITHIN the original timeline, so why didn't wolverine have Bone claws? Maybe he healed? There was no answer to this.(Minor Gripe)
  • Charles Xavier- Didn't he die by disintegration? How the F*ck did he come back? This kind of important to know dammit.(Major Gripe)
  • Kitty's Powers - When did she have the ability to allow people to travel back in time mentally? Look I KNOW people will hit me with the "This is the future, so we don't know what happened in between" excuse but it doesn't change the fact that it would have been nice if they mentioned a particular reason. (Minor Gripe)

However, for all my complaining which probably pissed most of you off( good, get angry!), these can still be mostly ignored and it doesn't really make the movie any less enjoyable, because aside from the fact that Xavier survived through unknown means, the rest of these holes can be filled through some thought.

And last but not least, lets talk about the action, which was for the most part pretty damn entertaining. Since the Quicksilver scene was mentioned, I'll just movie straight to the sentinels. I don't think I remember the last time some specific villain gave off such a presence of evil and danger. The sentinels aren't exactly villains either, considering they don't have personalities, but these exterminators really gave off an impression of death and destruction, because they were essentially invulnerable. No matter how hard the mutants fought these creatures still managed to gain the upper hand, considering that when you killed one, two more took it's place. And the uniformity helps too, because they aren't really separate entities, they are the face of annihilation, which is exactly what the sentinels(I assume) invoked in the comics, and I am very glad the movie managed to capture that. So now take everything I've just said, add the fact that these monsters can mimic mutant powers, and put the against a couple of X-men, and you have yourself an awesome action sequence. A special nod to blinks powers too, because the portal 2-type battle was really amazing.

My conclusion, or Verdict would be that while Days of Future past isn't my favorite superhero movie,it's definitely a great one. It took me a bit of time to come to this conclusion, but Brian singer managed to craft a great tale while simultaneously creating a new path for the franchise, which isn't easy to do. Overall, I give this movie a:

9/10.

11 Comments

The Creatures(Frankensteins Monsters) Design-TheAcidSkulls Thoughts

So Penny Dreadful, despite the fact that it has released only 3 episodes(haven't watched the 3rd one) already has me completely excited and fascinated in what will happen next. I honestly haven't seen something this interesting or disturbing released in a while, in terms of horror-shows I mean. And when I realized that a lot of mythical creatures will be appearing, I nearly burst from excitement. What further intrigued me was the fact that the creators or writers were not just using typical monsters and sticking them into the series, they were trying to provide their own, unique interpretations as well as backgrounds for these beings. This not only will appease people who adore these monsters, but will also put them in the dark on what to expect, which of course, obviously makes the show much more suspenseful and interesting.

Now back to the matter at hand, my initial criticism of the first episode, if you can call it that, was that I immensely disliked the design of whom I believed to be frankensteins original monster, whom we've come to love and appreciate. Or better yet, I thought the actor was not well chosen for this particular role. However, when I started watching the second episode, I began to appreciate the new take on this iconic monster because it was the first time in a long while where I saw Victor, the creator, and his creation not at war. They had a very intriguing friendship that had been developed brilliantly throughout the second episode, and I have to give a huge credit to the actor who portrayed the creature because he managed to give him a very child-like, cheerful charm, which to me was very surprising. I at one point forgot that I was watching a horror show(which, considering the scenes Eva Green was involved in, is quite the accomplishment. Yikes!), which was of course, was a huge mistake, because the show tore my heart out with the poor creations death at the hands of the First Son AKA the Original Monster. On the Bright side however(ha! irony), Frankenstein's monster got an amazing entrance. He literarily tore Proteus, the guy who I thought was Victors first born, in half with his bare hands...

So having said all that, lets talk about the design of the Monster, the actual one. I don't like it. Look, I get that the show is trying to do something interesting and unique, but this look gives me a punk/Rockstar vibe, which really annoys me to be honest, because it's not exactly imposing. If they wanted to deviate from the original giant-head, bold-necked version of the monster, they could have done something else, I mean, it wasn't necessary to make a 180 degree shift on the appearance of the monster. Do I hate it? Not at all, but Do I like it? Nope. I really wish they would have done something a bit more scary rather than disturbing,and sure while the face and the scars are definitely cool, the get up and the hair really ruin it. However, I initially complained about Proteuses look as well, saying that he wasn't strong or large enough, but the show managed to make me like him in just about ONE damn episode, that's some quality writing right there, and considering the Original Creatures fantastic emergence, I'm positive they'll craft a great personality for him as well. So my Verdict would be that while the design is essentially not to my liking, if the show manages to give the monster an interesting character, I'd probably forget all about( or even may like it in the end).

12 Comments

DmC:Devil May Cry- Review By TheAcidSkull

Devil May Cry Reboot Review

The New Dante

I've never been a DmC fan, nor was I ever interested enough to pick the previous games up in all honesty. I've played Devil May Cry over at a friends house years ago and to be honest I didn't think it was particularly interesting, just seemed cool and that was about the best rating I could give it at the time. I've seen some footage as well and it never struck me as anything interested, plus I was kinda lazy about playing through all the installments just to pick up the 4th one for a game that I wasn't even that keen on. So a reboot, once I heard there was one of course, seemed like an interesting choice and it did look more intriguing, so after some thought, I decided to give it a shot, and I did not regret my decision.

What I particularly liked about the game were the main characters, and no, before you say anything, I understand that some fans aren't particularly fond of the new versions of the characters, which is understandable, but honestly, in my personal opinion, this is the dante that had actually grabbed my attention. I'm not bashing on the previous version, he seemed cool and fun, but I've seen the older version and I found the DmC incarnation to be particularly interesting, and at times even funny too. Sure it's easy to assume that he's your basic punk asshole who doesn't give a fuck about anything but that aura, or that aspect of the character fades away pretty quickly, I mean, sure from a shallow perspective we see him being jackass but that's to be expected, because the story itself is centered around telling who Dante truly is, which is exactly what happens. Plus he doesn't squeeze in an insult in every single sentence, he only really swears at the Demons, and to be frank the timing is awesome because his remarks made me laugh quite often. I've also become fond of Virgil, though I understand that he's different from what fans are accustomed to. The most common complaint I've heard is the lack honor, however I still enjoyed him as a character, considering that he's the opposite of dante in every sense of the word. He's smart, efficient, patient, balanced and quite honestly awesome. As for the third integral character, Kat, I enjoyed her contribution, though I would have preferred that we could get a bit more insight on her origins, would have made her presence much more compelling, nevertheless she was pretty cool, and I'm glad they didn't rush the ever-so-obvious romance story. It had good moments and by the end of the game, it was stillProgressing, which, by the way, is good because otherwise.

One of the best enemies in the whole game

The story, as I have heard, has never been the core strength of Devil may cry, which fortunately isn't the case with DmC. Look,the idea that people with power are able to control the community through control and propaganda isn't something particularly new, but add a bit of demonic mumbo-jumbo and you've got yourself a pretty interesting story with tons of style and personality. Speaking of which, the level design is absolutely spectacular. Limbo is an awesome idea which really provides a lot of opportunities for the gamer himself. The environments defy every law of physics and the atmosphere really compliments the main protagonist as well as the gameplay. Platforming is mainly based on the reconstruction of as well as the fast-whip traveling around the shattered derbies, This mechanism is applied to boss battles as well, which really engages the players and make the experience even more worthwhile and fun. Which brings me to my next point, while the boss battles might not be particularly revolutionary, in terms of presentation and experience, they are pretty great. Each boss battle, or any other fight in general has this cinematic natural feel to which games rarely provide these days. Every time Dante moves , whether it is landing on the edge of a platform or waving around your sword, Rebellion, it feels completely real. The enemies in the this game aren't particularly THAT diverse , but for the most part they are pretty interesting and cool, considering most of them aren't just fodder, in fact they challenge Dante's abilities to a huge extent.

Looks great but doesn't live up to it gameplay wise

Moreover, the gameplay is one of the games main strengths, however it is not without it's flaws. Before moving on to the negative aspects, lets talk about what the game gets right. Much like Mercurysteams castlevania, Ninja theory makes very good use of what dante can do. His new found abilities are closely tied to him being Nephelim, a hybrid of an angle and a demon. Meaning that NT gives the gamers wide range of power-ups. The game really makes it vital to stay focused when playing the game, this is due to the very specific nature of the controls. You get 4 different weapons, two of which a tied to either the demon or angle side of Dante. The Demonic weapons are heavy, powerful and slow while the angelic ones are weak in comparison though fast and efficient, in fact, they are best used for crowd control. The game i'd say is pretty well rounded too, it's not ridiculously hard nor is it easy, in fact, i'd say it is balanced, because most of the times you can pretty much tell, either by sound or stance when someone is attacking you, which gives you control over what is going on. They also seemed to have toned down the damage your guns do, which is a welcome addition because now they can be mostly used for juggling or staggering some of your enemies rather than imposing serious damage, which would have made things easy. Now since I'm talking about fire arms, I might as well mention one issue I had with the game. It has no lock-on system, which can be pretty annoying when fighting the little flying demons that keep appearing while you're trying to deal with the heavy hitters. I did not mind it to much, but that was probably because I was playing on Demon Hunter difficulty, which is Normal in DmC standards. Something that further annoyed me was the Devil Trigger, because it was kind of disappointing. As soon as you enter your demonic state every enemy is suddenly thrown up into the sky, and most of the time you try reaching them rather than killing them. I suppose they wanted to make things more difficult , but in my opinion, it just made things annoying because something like the Devil Trigger should be useful in dealing with a lot of enemies and not be reduced to a health restoration tactic.

Anyways, aside from these minor complaints, I'm pretty much really satisfied with this game and I really hope that the rumor or whatever about Capcom going back to the original series isn't true, because I really want to see this through, I like the characters and story, both of which were completely apt for the style and tone of the whole game. Not to mention the fact at in the end we reach an important development, which I hope isn't completely abandoned. Ninja Theory has discovered it's voice and it managed to reinvent an older series by giving the game it's own identity. I'd personally recommend this to everyone because it's really fun and enjoyable.

Score: 9/10

30 Comments

Penny Dreadful Pilot- Thoughts/Review

Penny Wonderful I'd Say

Go away! I'm Busy!

After what seemed like a dreadful eternity(no pun inten..nah, It was deliberate), penny dreadful has finally come out. Let me make this very clear before I go on and dissect( yes, another pun) this show, it's been a very long time since I've watched something that can create and atmosphere of horror-related suspense. Now, when I watch these types of movies or TV shows, aside from the Scare Factor, there is a certain category i've imposed myself. If a show and a movies decides to use a specific monster or creature, they should stay true to what these supernatural beings represent, while at the same time cross into some unique territories to provide a more fresh and interesting perspective and lore. Unfortunately, there is only one TV show that has managed to due that in recent memory. The television show called The Originals, which by the way, I recommend wholeheartedly, created an interesting as well as unique universe in which the concept and the origin of vampirism and witchcraft is taken to a whole new level. What further benefits the show IMO, is the fact that the main protagonist is a villain, because in all honesty, the road to redemption is far more interesting that having constant, pathetic love triangles (F*ck you Vampire diaries.) Anyways, I'm getting off track here. So..

What in my opinion is appealing about Penny Dreadful is the aura and atmosphere creates from the very start, because it actually gives a direct message on what the entire show will be like. The tone isn't always dark and suspenseful but there are certain moments where the writing and the settings work and in hand to provide a truly unsettling experience. Often times I knew something was going to jump at me but it's the constant clues that are given which really make you uncomfortable. Aside from actually sticking with the roost of horror, which I truly appreciate, Penny Dreadful, from the very first episode establishes it's own background. Sure it's easy to take vampires and go with the usual blood curses! and piercing of ones heart! ideasbut it's a different ball game to actually take these creatures and provide something new and interesting about them( Love the Nosferatu reference!),which, as you have probably guessed, Dreadful already pulled off. Like I said there are certain concepts that are implanted here and there which really makes you wanna come back for more, because if you're a horror or a monster fan in general, trust me, you'll want to delve deeper into this.

Moreover, the characters are pretty interesting, though from the first couple of minutes they do seem a bit...generic but as the episode goes on you'll see that there is more to these people than meets the eye. I won't say that these protagonists are mind-blowing and unique to the point where your jaw'll drop but they are definitely pretty cool, especially since they are all portrayed by good actors, some of which I know actually( Eva Green and Timothy Dalton, you two are brilliant), but I am unfamiliar with the rest of the cast. Having said that, the impressions they have left on me are pretty damn strong, especially Harry Treadaway, because damn he can play a f*cking amazing Frankenstein. In fact, i'd say that he left the biggest impact on me, which could in fact be the result of my love for the character itself; Nevertheless, Harry's performance was amazing, especially the last few scenes when he meets his creation , which, I have to remark, is absolutely brilliant and disturbingly heartwarming. It's a definite deviation from Merry Shelly's version of Victor but honestly, I didn't really mind, if anything it just further solidifies my argument that this show stands on it's own, and I can't really complain considering all of the aspects they got right about Dr. Frankenstein.

Now for something that kinda bothered me:

I did not like the monsters design, and I don't mean the vampires, I'm talking about Frankensteins monster. I honestly thought that they'd choose someone bigger and more imposing. Victor himself isn't that TALL and the Monster is slightly towering over him, which doesn't really fit the description. Also I was kinda hoping for a more disproportionate look, you know? since victor kind of assembled the monster out of different body parts. Though this is just a personal nit pick and honestly, if the actor is good, which I'm assuming he is, considering all the talent the show hosts(plus, thous last scenes are still pretty vivid in my mind), I wouldn't particularly mind what the monster looks like, it's just something I felt I should mention. Plus, there is so much you can get from a show, right?

That aside, I'd say that in conclusion, Penny Dreadful started with a very good pilot episode, through which the show managed to plant and establish it's identity as well as broaden the interest of the viewer, which is exactly what the initial episode should be like. I look forward to what's next.

Update: Nevermind what I said about Frankenstein! The show kind of answered my question already! And It was awesome!

Recommendation: Sure!

11 Comments

The Amazing Spider-man 2- Review/Thoughts

The Amazing Spider-Man

No Rhino..You don't Belong there

There has been a lot of mixed thoughts on this movie, some say it's the new spider-man 3, others say it's the best adaptation to date. Well I saw the movie, and while it may not be amazing,it's definitely good and solid, which I guess is kinda a shame because the movie did come close to actually becoming spectacular. Anyways, I went into the movie with a bit of skepticism, because while the trailers and advertisements did look cool, I didn't want to get my hopes to up, because last time, that didn't work out so well( F*ck you, 47 Ronin). So without further hindrance, here is my review of the amazing spider-man.

One of the primary aspects I have to mention here is that the movie shifts and changes in a lot of areas, most notably the tone. While The Amazing Spider-man was actually trying to be extremely dark, amazing Spider-man 2 is now much more lighthearted and fun, which in my personal opinion is a much better suited to someone like spider-man. Speaking of which, due to this alteration the humor is pretty well integrated into the film, I actually found myself laughing at the jokes rather than cringing every single time like I did with some of the other recent superhero movies( Iron man 3 and Thor 2). It doesn't compromise the overall tone and ends up being one of the films strengths. Sure it could be considered a shallow aspect but balancing the dark and fun aspects of a movie, as recent evidence suggest, is not as easy as it may look. I'm also happy that we've returned to the more classic spider-man costume as opposed to the previous one, which, while decent, wouldn't really fit the tone of who and what spider-man really is. Plus Andrew really seems like the jokester type of person so it's fun seeing him actually enjoy his time as a superhero.

And on that note, Andrew really nails spider-man in this movie, in fact, I'd got far as to say that his spider-man/peter parker is one of the strongest aspects of the whole film. He works really well with Emma stone and the banter feels natural and fun. Both Peter and Gwen have terrific chemistry and it was definitely interesting to see them deal with some of the developments that took place in the previous movies. Moreover, as hard as it was seeing Jamie Fox as a complete loser after a movie like Django Unchained, i have to say that I really thought he did a good job with whatever he was given, and his electro was pretty interesting too, though I have to say that I was expecting something MUCH worse in all honesty. The trailers kinda showed that once Max was neglected he decided to go nuts and become evil which would have been absolutely goofy and ridiculous( and it came very close to that). I'm glad it was shown how he was severely damaged from his accident and how he saw this incident as an opportunity to go from nobody to somebody. It was pretty much bound that they'd go with a chlice story for elector but I really wish they'd choose another tale for Max, I mean, why make an intimidating villain a fanboy? I mean, not that it's a bad thing but giant electricity-shooting fanboy with attention issues does not a good villain make. Don't get me wrong, he's likable and cool but as an antagonist he isn't that much aside from the power aspect. Though I can't believe anyone criticized his design. Guys, watch the movie, trust me, that's one department you won't have problems with. And as for Dehaans harry Osborn, he I actually loved as a character, though some of the directions the movie goes in is highly unwarranted, but we'll get to that a bit later. Anyways, I don't understand where the complaint comes in that harry was underdeveloped. How was he underdeveloped again? This is a character we saw for the first time, so him being nice to an old friend doesn't make him a great guy in the least. And even if he was, we just saw one of the darkest moments in his life so I'm assuming that somehow that is what contributed to his paranoia and anger. I mean, the guy is considerably young, he saw his father at the bring of a horrible death, and just before his father died he told his son that he was destined to go down the same way. Also, am I the only one who noticed that norman, while using a cain, still looked healthy during the video peter saw? Meaning that Harry's condition was more aggressive. And to add insult to injury he was betrayed by some assh@le business man and was kicked out of his own company. So what's the problem? Harry's development was fine. However, the problem lies in the fact that the Goblins inclusion was completely unnecessary, in fact, I really wish they'd save him for the third film. The fight scene with him was extremely underwhelming and short lived. and did Gwen really have to die? I mean, don't get me wrong it was really emotional but it would have been better if her death had been done in a movie where her killer is the actual main villain of the story. I mean I can understand Rhino's appearance, he was essentially a cameo (Irked me a bit since hew as advertised so much), but for Green Goblin there was simply no room in the movie. For harry? Sure. For Goblin? Nope. Though looking back at it know, and also thanks to a conversation I had with friend of mine( Fade, we miss you), he helped me understand the Green Goblins significance. I see now that after electro was beaten, after Gwen Peter had won the fight, Gwen died only because peter parker was spider-man, and for no other reason. When harry figured out Spider-man's true identity, he felt betrayed, and he wanted to hurt spider-man the best he could, and even though he technically lost, he still won in the end.

Aside from a couple of gripes however, the film was pretty great, especially visually. I mean damn, my jaw dropped during the the spider-man vs Electro fight, it was so well done and it actually felt like a spider-man fight. And in case you didn't know, this means that peter utilizes his power and strength in order to best his foe, so imagine how happy i was every time peter used his perspective and smarts to get something done. The battles itself engage you and makes the audience feel as if they are involved, which really speaks for itself actually.

Overall, is Amazing spider-man 2 amazing? No, but is it great? Pretty much, yeah. The movie does have some problems that it needs to sort out later on but it's a vast improvement over the first film and it does set the stage for the following installments. Plus, it's pretty entertaining and fun and will promise you a very good time. It's been a while since I saw a Georgian audience stand up and applaud the movie, in fact i was a bit surprised, but the adulation was well deserved, because the movie was essentially pretty fun and good. On the other hand though, I'm tired of weak villains, not power wise, character wise, obviously. The movie had two chances of giving us villains and in both cases they were underdeveloped, I wish they correct in the future. But you know what they say, third times the charm! oh wait..never mind.

Score: 8/10

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Prototype 2 Review

A review By TheAcidSkull

Despite the fact that most people kind bashed on prototype due to it's competitor Infamous( You should see what happens on youtube), I always enjoyed Prototype more due to the sheer destruction and fun, plus The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction is one of my favorite games so it's not really surprising that I'd be drawn by a game with similar mechanics. (They were created by the same developers after all). So the announcement of prototype 2 had me really excited, but the shift in character really set me off considering that I really liked Alex Mercer. Still, I assumed that since they did switch the main character maybe they had other plans for Mercer, and they did, however it's not the decision I would have gone with, I also didn't like their portrayal of Heller. Long story short, I was both displeased and pleased with Prototype 2, and here is why:

Visuals and etc.

looks good don't you think?

While I did enjoy the first game, it severely lacked in terms of visuals, especially when it came to the environment itself. Now whilst this did not hinder my enjoyment of the overall experience, I still felt that it was too lackluster and could have been done better. The second one however, not only gives us detailed environments and buildings, but also creates suitable atmospheres in each ZONE created within the game. The red zone has a setting of utter destruction and blood and it really gives you the feeling that the that part of the city has truly gone to sh*t, it even exceeds the first one in terms of creating a suitable outlook for the infection. The Yellow Zone, is vastly different, multiple areas can be found where people are wondering around to find protection because of the already spreading sickness, which gives you a feeling of friction and the death of hope. And last but not least, the green Zone maintains the presence of the virus but yet at the same time still continuous on with life as well as every day activities. I think the developers really did a good job on capturing the setting of the game.

The designs don't fall back either, helicopters and tanks, as well as other forms of weaponry look absolutely spectacular and amazing. The characters looks great as well, especially Mercer and heller, i like the addition of the more tentacle fractured version of the virus's design, it makes it look more like a radioactive infection to be quite honest. Speaking of character looks and design, the game really exceeds the first installment in terms of variety, because while the first one had some engaging fights and boss battles, there were only a few types of mutant breeds: The Hydra, the hunters, and the normal infected people, where as the Prototype 2 had multiple versions of the monster, ranging from the Behemoth to he brawlers and Juggernauts. However at times the game can be all over the place , especially when you're using the claws or any other mutation ability, the structures/frames seem to go through each other and it's really frustrating after some time.

Gameplay

Grotesque isn't it?

Gameplay as you expected is probably the strongest aspect of the entire game, in fact I'd go far as to say that it makes the GAME itself. Now if you've played the first game you'll probably see a lot of similarities between the two installments, however, I have to remark that the second one really improves the structure and the flow of combat with certain much needed tweaks. In the first one, there were cases where you'd find yourself in the midst of a huge battle and the Game was so chaotic that you wouldn't be able to understand where your enemies were attacking from, they just kept knocking you off your feet and it was very, very frustrating. Here though, while the same situation can still come up, you at least have a defense mechanism which allows you to evade or escape from such circumstances.

The game also gives you a verity of enemies, as mentioned before, along with new as well as old abilities which broadens your arsenal, thereby improving your gaming experience. There isn's more to say in all honesty, the gameplay is a lot like that if it's predecessor, only it's more polished and less annoying, that's the shortest way I could sum it up.

Story

If only it could live up to our expectations....

Now here is the real led down of the game, up until this point i've been bashing on the first prototype despite the fact that I like it in order to praise the second one, but now this is where we switch the tables. While prototype DID have graphic and gameplay problems, it was still fun and it had an interesting story of a man seeking his identity as well as trying to due the right thing through harsh means. As I said in the beginning of my review, I immensely disliked the idea of them switching the main character, because I believe that when something like that happens, there should be a logical reason to it, like in Darksiders II. But, seeing as how the decision was made, I still jumped on board because despite it's flaws I believed that prototype was vastly underrated. Prototype 2 kept advertising heller as a sympathetic character, yet for some odd reason any sympathy you might have for the character fades away in about 30 minutes into the game, because Heller becomes a bland, angry asshat who is f*ck sh*t up. I understand why he's angry, but justified anger and just utter destruction and cruelty kind of diminishes my respect of the character. That's not to say that we haven't had any characters who are angry, but guys like Kratos for example are put in different settings and are not advertised as someone who they are not.

Also, why did Mercer suddenly become evil? He was a maniac who wanted to destroy the world and spread the infection even though he put a lot of effort into stopping it? Huh? Wouldn't it make much more sense to try to redeem his actions by trying to chase his PREVIOUS goal of stopping the infection? Should't the fact that he caused it in the first place put some guilt over him? Honestly, some of the decisions the developers take are very lack luster and illogical to me. Also the ending to the game sucked and was not at all satisfying. Suddenly Hellers Daughter becomes the key to everything at the last very moment which JUST HAD TO HAPPEN because heller needed to be even more pissed than he already was in order to fight Mercer?! How F*cking convenient. By the way,how the hell did Heller manage to beat Mercer? He didn't have enough time to become as skilled as him in terms of using the virus. Sure his military training should have come in handy, but mercer absorbed more power right before he fought Heller and he still lost. what the hell?

Conclusion

Now that that's out of the way, I can say that despite the problems this game has with it's story, it improves the prototype franchise in terms of gameplay and design. The game is genuinely really, really fun because it gives you the chance to be absolutely indestructible as you progress though the story, which kind of makes me sad because, overall, this could have been a really great game if the plot and characterization had been any good, sadly however, they just about make every wrong choice I can think of, and they don't even stick with what they tell us, which again is a damn shame. I would still recommend this, because overall, if you just let the story be, it's an absolute blast.

Score: 6/10

9 Comments

Castlevania Lord Of Shadows 2 review

Castlevania Lord Of Shadows 2

I'm a very specific kind of player when it comes to video games, I don't usually follow a lot of different types of video games nor do I have the desire to stick my hand in a lot of different pies, I most likely stick to what I like, and hack-and-slash is one the genre or style that would win my appeal any day of the week. Now I don't usually Review a lot of video games considering that fact that I don't feel that I could offer a lot due to the fact that I don't play a lot of games and I can't be considered a Gamer;Nevertheless, upon finishing this game I really do want to give it a shot so bare with me, because I really enjoyed my experience with this franchise hence why I want to get my thoughts across.

Visuals

Satan

Even if we set everything aside, the game is, as the previous one, visually stunning, though making this actually work was way harder than it was in the previous game, and here is why: In the first game the environments were mostly based on and centered at a Gothic atmosphere, ranging from dark and creepy castles to moss invested ruins, and while I am in no way saying that the first was less stunning that the second in terms of the graphics, making the environments coincide was a bit more difficult here considering that the developers had to merge a modern day/21st century environment with the Gothic-esque past setting. Which in all honesty is a hell of a accomplishment considering that not once through the game did I feel as if the current day version of the city had deviated from the castlevania atmosphere. The city is still very similar in the typical aspects to it's past version, which in case you didn't know, is a quality worth admiring.

Speaking of quality, the character designs are superb, Gabriel Belmont, or better yet Dracula, has never looked better. In my personal opinion the costume or outfit he was given is a good way of re-inventing his previous look and making it seem or appear more sinister so that it can coincide with the character change/evolution. Moving on, every single monster/boss looks absolutely amazing and threatening, there is tremendous amount of detail given to them and it makes the experience way more enjoyable. However, I did feel that the minions were payed less attention too, especially the possessed citizens/mutants, because their design, while good, did fail to compare or live up to the other characters. Still, it's a minor gripe when one looks at the whole picture.

Gameplay

Prepare yourself...

The gameplay was one of the strongest aspects to this game, it combines and gives you a taste of various different abilities which you have to utilize in a very interesting manner. The greatest gift a game can possibly give you is a chance to improvise, and this is exactly where LoS 2 really shines. You have to consider the environments you are in an utilize them to your advantage, I have found specific places where I have been able to get away from a swarm of enemies while still maintaing my reach to distribute my attacks. You have numerous skills which you can combine with arial as well as grounded attacks. But the best part in my opinion is that you have to use these skills and find a specific pattern that works around specific enemies, which in my opinion recaptures that same feeling you had during the very first castlevania game, and I'm not talking about lords of shadow. Remember how during the Gameboy-esque games we had to use specific skills and create a specific rhythmic flow of movement in order to both avoid and dish out attacks? Yeah lords of shadow 2 provides us with just that.

On the other hand, despite the fact that the game has some very unique approaches to boss battles and gives us a great flow of combat/quick time event interaction, it does fall flat in some areas. I feel that the introduction of the stealth system was concept that had potential, but it was executed in the wrong way. For starters, the game has a huge gap of logic in it. Throughout the game you face one of, if not the most powerful forces of evil on earth, and you best every single one of them with our intelligence, improvisation, skill and power, yet for some odd reason, when a huge brute with a big gun comes up, you instantly forget that you slaughtered a 10 feet tall demon and decide that you are no match for this acolyte because Zobek(A character in the game) told you so. And the game doesn't allow you to fight them either, you basically die with two blows when these creatures spot you, which to me is illogical. It would have been much better if we were given another reason, like a huge door locking upon me being spotted or someone dying because of me. Also, it feels repetitive, you don't get a sense that you have much freedom when it comes to these sequences, you just have to throw bats at these monsters or turn into a rat to escape, which is a shame because it could have been a great addition to the games arsenal. However, that being said there is one more quality I forgot to mention when playing this game. It manages to utilizes it's setting and give us plenty of action packed sequences that will engage you deeply.

Story/Plot

Scary!

Before talking and discussing the contents of the games plot there is something I really want to talk about. After opening sequence the game gives us a basic run down of what had happened during the Castlevania lords of Shadow Mirror of Fate game, which is crucial to the games history, and because of this, the player, who has played the first game, might still feel lost. There are specific events which were released either as DLC or as a separate game entirely which sucks because for someone who has only a Xbox or PS3 it could really take away a lot of the key/crucial points of the story. I was hoping they'd pick up where the old game left off, because that way we would have seen Gabriel becoming the Prince of Darkness an defeating the forgotten one as well as witnessing the tale of Simon Belmont and Alucrad firsthand, which as a whole would have made the game a huge epic conclusion. Also, despite all that, it's still crucial to play the first game at least, otherwise Draculas character would not make any sense because his devolution is centered mainly at Gabriels loss of fate and suffering.

Now that that's out of the way, we can move on to more interesting matters. The story does really take time to pick up, because after the opening, just as we are about to get to the good part, the story goes back to the recap of previous events and then Dracula awakes in the present day. It's pretty disheartening and for the most part, the first act is a full of confusion because there are forces that make you ask the question of what the hell is going on. That being said, when it picks up, it becomes and absolute blast. The story explores draculas past as well has his present and interconnects the events in a good way. There are some interesting quotes and the character development is pretty great, though as mentioned before, you have to at least play the first game in order to understand why these events and developments matter, but that aside props to the game for actually giving us a reason to care about Dracula even if you haven't played the first installment.

Anyways, I found the final twist to be excellent, though at the end of the game, we're kind of left with the what just happened moment. It's understandable why we don't fight satan himself, that was already done and it was pretty much shown that a mortal Warrior, Gabriel was already enough to take down the fallen angle, so it's reasonable to think why satan himself would have been more careful with fighting a much stronger and more power vampiric version of the warrior. What I can't forgive is the fact that the ending is inconclusive, because it doesn't end the story. The plot would have been truly resolved had Dracula died at the end of the game, as that was his centuries old goal, yet he completely forgets about it, and we never truly see Gabriel reunited with his true love, which basically means that his suffering doesn't pay off. This is a huge shame because not only is this truly one of the best characterizations for Dracula, but Gabriel himself is one of the best video game characters I've seen in a while.

Conclusion

I'm sure I can safely say that this has been a worthwhile experience because I genuinely had a lot of fun playing this game, it of course isn't perfect and has it's flaws as any other game but overall it's worth it. It breaks my heart a bit because the ending is very disappointing which cheapens the value to an otherwise great game. The combat is fun, the designs are spectacular, the voice acting is terrific, and the game is just a lot of fun in.

Score: 8/10

8 Comments

Grand Hotel Budapest - A Short Review By TheAcidSkull

Grand Hotel Budapest

A couple of days ago, when I went to see 300: Rise of An empire, I saw a trailer with a lot of famous actors, and the tone,style and atmosphere the trailer showed me was far different than anything I had seen before. I'm not really a movie buff, I go only to see what I like or am Interested in, but that doesn't mean that I'm not open to new things, So this week, whilst with my friends, i decided to give this movie a shot because it honestly seemed interesting and unique.

I am really glad I decided to give this a shot, because quite frankly I thought it was absolutely brilliant. I think it's better if I talk about the things we are all familiar with in terms of movies, such as acting. As you can see from the picture above this movie has it's fare share of brilliant actors, and they do not disappoint, sure not all of them go though characters arcs and such but the fun fact is that their performance is set in a specific stereotype. What I mean is that for most of their time on the screen they are basically the same guy, but the script really does a swell job of integrating them into the story.

Speaking of which, the story itself it pretty simple but the turns it takes is really fun and engaging. With out spoiling it, it's basically about the murder of a woman and her wealth, but that's all I'll really say. To be honest tho, It can be a bit boring at times and some parts were slightly slow but overall the movie is a lot of fun and it's a good source of entertainment. But that's not it's true appeal, the movie has very distinctive style of presenting the audience with the visuals. Aside from the fact that is has this cartoony style of showing us what's going us from a side angle, which individually is brilliant on it's own, the movements of the characters, the sounds in the background, the scene progression and the comedy is arranged in perfect harmony, which I personally find very hard to execute. It has this rhythmic appeal to it which demonstrates a unique charm that enhances basically everything about this movie.

In conclusion, I will recommend this movie to everyone, because while it's not revolutionary and jaw dropping, it's a hell of a blast. I went into this movie without knowing what it was going to be about or what it was going to be like and found that I loved almost every second of it. I'd even go as far and say that it's worth watching only for the intriguing style and charm.

Cheers.

Score: 8.5/10

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