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).

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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

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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!

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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

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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

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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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TheAcidSkull Rants-Creating A Decent Villain Hulk

TheAcidSkull Rants- A Decent Hulk Villain Is Required.

For some time now I've noticed that Marvel has had some trouble creating decent villains for the Jade Giant, and due to the fact that most of his villains have been either killed off or destroyed, we do need some fresh blood for the Hulk. It's really disheartening for me because creating a Hulk villain isn't particularly that hard to be quite honest with you, and many other marvel Now titles have tried creating new antagonist for the well-know heroes, some have succeed(Gorr from Thor God Of Thunder) and some have failed ( Thunderbolts, Indestructible Hulk). Now my issues are directed towards the Indestructible Hulk series, especially the newest arc. Whilst I enjoyed the previous issues, i felt that this new story had been underwhelming, particularly because it didn't have a good villain, which again, really irks me because the opportunity had been pretty great, Waid just didn't seem to take it. ( no disrespect towards the writer, I'm a fan but his last arc was very disappointing and bad).

Before moving on, I'll briefly summarize how to create villain for a specific character. Having just a really bad guy never really amounts to much, the Villain should always somehow be tied to the hero himself. For example, The Leader is perfect for the Hulk because he's a polar opposite to the Hulk in many ways. Samuel sterns use to be pretty dumb before getting dosed with Gamma Radiation, where as Banner was incredibly intelligent, but after the exposure he became a childish brute. This dynamic works well because the generally accepted concept is that "Brain beats Brawn," the funny thing is that Hulk always wins, because essentially he's pure of heart. The fact that a brute manages to defeat one of the most intelligent villains In the MU is what motivates the Leader, which makes for a great dynamic. Sadly the leader is "dead" ( by dead I mean that he was destroyed by Marvel). You can take ONE specific concept about the hulk and make a villain out of it, the new AGENT OF TIME arc had such potential, but it wasn't able to expand on it, therefore the results were quite terrible.

The Chronarchists

Despite the fact that Zarrko was the MAIN villain, these time travelers were meant to be pretty serious, so I'm not sure what went wrong here. The Chronarchists generally seemed like a great idea, but it was absolutely wasted. First and foremost, I understand that they were a team, but why not Give different Characteristics? Each Chronarchist felt absolutely the same personality wise, if it wasn't stated that these were not the same people, I honestly would not have guessed. Visually they looked extremely similar, which isn't that big of a deal but it would have been much better to actually have more visual difference other than some minor tweaks. Take a look at yourself.

you see what I mean?

If these Chronarchists were meant to be this similar why not have ONE specific awesome chronarchist who worked with Zarrko and managed to became an important foe for the Hulk? Which brings me to my next point,I don't mind down to earth villains like the leader, but how can a reader be interested in a villain who is considerably weaker than the hero? And it's not even about power any more, the Chronarchists were absolute weaklings, only the second one managed to put up a fight. Tok was taken out by a gang of kids, and Khotto wasn't even able to KO Bruce Banner. How I am i supposed to believe that these guys stand a chance against Hulk?

Only Valdar managed to use his time powers in order to overpower the Hulk in his own unique way, why couldn't we have more of that? why were we teased with a small squabble only to see the other, and "supposedly" more dangerous Chronarchists be taken out so easily? It just seems like a waste. They didn't even have to be powerful, they could have brought reinforcements from other time periods in order to beat Hulk. Valdar tried that but the fight was was barely more than a panel because the enemies he brought in were merely fodder.

Moving on..

Squared Hulk

You know what? When you don't plan on using a character, why create him in the first place? Squared Hulk was my biggest disappointment in the series, because he could have potentially become one of the most awesome Hulk villain ever.

For a second imagine: both Bruce and Hulk have feared that some day they may become the ultimate engine of destruction, hence they could possibly destroy everything. But this fearwas directed towards self transformation, as in Banner feared that he would one day become this Monster. Thing is though, Hulk is a hero, so he'd always find a way to think rationally. But now you have a mindless, separate, amped version of the Hulk, who can easily walk all over the original one. And due to Khottos' additional element to the Gamma bomb, he could have gained the power to shift through time. With such abilities, he'd be Hulks ultimate physical enemy, or he couldhave been hulks ultimate enemy, had waid taken the opportunity. Hulk Squared had everything, the design, power, and a connection with Banner. He could have been Hulks evil twin, everything he did would have reflected on the Original Hulk. It would have been emotional, epic, and a great addition to Hulks rogues.

HULK would Laterally be his OWN worst enemy!

Unfortunately this opportunity wasn't taken, and Hulk squared got lost in time. Now whether or no he'll come back is a question I don't know the answer to.

CONCLUSION

The point of this thread was to elaborate on how we seriously need a new villain, because frankly i'm worried that if they bring in another well-known hulk villain he will be ruined. If writers want to create a good antagonist to the Hulk, they should try and make him relevant, emotional, or really tough in terms of power( He doesn't have to be STRONG himself, he could have powerful henchmen) . Hulk sin't a street leveler, you don't see superman fighting the Penguin do you? Same principle here.

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Hulk, Ego and Super-Ego

The Hulk, Ego and Super-ego?

Superego, Ego and ID

For some time Now, I've noticed that every time mark Millar Writes the Hulk, it not only differs from the original version, but it is also completely primal and demented. I'm curious if mark Millar has taken inspiration from Sigmund Frued's Id, Ego And Super-Ego concept, because from what i've seen, Hulks mannerisms under Millars Pen seems very similar to the Id psychic apparatus.

The reason I decided to write this blog is because of my conversation with one of the Users here. I was complaining how Millar doesn't have any idea how to write the Hulk because most of the time hulk is really monstrous and savage, which, funnily enough deviates from his character because hulk is in fact a hero. Fade(the User) Suggested that while it may not be the best way to portray the hulk, it was interesting for a Alternative universe story because it was closely tied to Frauds Theoretical constructs, specifically the Id part. I asked him to explain to me what he meant, and so he did. I was intrigued because I never looked at it from this perspective, so i decided to research a bit more on the topic, and I now see what Millar was trying to do, or at least, what he did, intentionally or not.

Now before going into details on why i think Millar associates hulk with The ID concept, I'll explain what these theoretical constructs mean.

ID- The Id is most closely associated with our desires and Needs. It's main driving force is Impulse and immediate gratification of out desires, especially Sexual ones. Thing is, if the Id wasn't held in check, most humans wouldn't be able to wait for anything nor be able to control themselves because they would act based on the "Pleasure Principle", meaning that if one is Hungry, they would have to immediately seek out nourishment. Long story Short, it's when humans turn their morals off.

Ego

- The Ego exists to separate reality from the ID, it works to please or primal urges in a way that would benefit us and not bring us grief. If I had to think of a word for it I'd say that the Ego is the regulator of the ID, because the EGO keeps us from, for instance, grabbing the belongings of others when we get the urge to do so, or maybe resisting the urge to steal food from our neighbors when we are hungry.

Super-Ego- The super-ego can be viewed as our Conscious or Gilt, because it's mostly tied to self-punishment of misbehavior. The Super-ego is what forms our morals, and it's closely tied to our parents because the helped shape these personal rules. It mostly aims for perfection, and it is the exact opposite the Id, because while the Id works for the fulfillment of our desires, the Super-ego makes us do things that are socially acceptable.

(Note: I'm still a bit unfamiliar with these concepts because i had to look at numerous sources, so if you found any mistakes, please, don't hesitate to correct me)

Moving on to the Hulk.

Is Hulk the Id?

Yeah...his smile scares me..

In Mark Millars "Old Man Logan" story, Hulk is the main bad guy, or to be more specific, he is Wolverines final battle. Now there are many ways you can make hulk a Villain, but this...is not one of them. Or so i thought when I initially read the story, because by then i didn't realize why hulk was characterized this way. I'll just say that if something like this happened in the mainstream Universe, i'd be pretty mad, however, since this is an alternative story, it works. Miller likes to show hulk off as the actual evil monster who is locked away deep within our subconscious, and Hulks mannerisms would be described as being perverted and twisted.

If we list down hulks characteristics, you'd see that it basically fits all of the criteria presented in the Id concept. Hulk does basically what he wants with no restriction, if he's hungry, he eats, if his angry, he smashes, if he is horny, he has sex. Hulk even goes so far and sacrifices his own children, lover, and Logans family just because he was bored and wanted to fight a worthy opponent. So i think it's safe to say that Hulk acts on impulse, because he doesn't wait no restricts himself. Although i have to say that THIS particular ID concept is taken to an extreme measure.

Put some Pants on dammit..

The same Thing can be said for Millars Ultimate version of the Hulk. If I remember this correctly, as soon as Banner transforms into the Hulk the first thing is wants to do is "Bang" Betty, because Bruce, the Ego(or Super-Ego) likes her, but due to his personal restrictions he couldn't do such a terrible thing, so when hulk emerged he acted on impulse and wanted to do the first thing that came to mind, which was killing Betty's boyfriend and then having his way with her. Furthermore, Ultimate Hulk is know for being a cannibal, which kinda suggest that Banner always wanted to eat people deep down, but that's clearly an attempt to over hype the " Inner Good Vs Evil" concept, because Banner stats himself that he is a vegetarian. However, it's clear that Mark Millar feels that Hulk is a incarnation of banners repressed urges, which is why in all of his takes on the character, Hulk is shown to be an actual monster rather than a hero. It deviates from the character a lot, but is it actually bad?

My Thoughts

While I initially hated this version,It grew on me as i started looking at it from a different point of view, I would hate if hulk became a monster in the Mainstream universe, but In an alternative world it works really well, and actually has a lot of potential for many interesting stories. Ultimately i really like the idea of hulk being Banners Id, It completely changes what hulk represents while keeping the basics, which essentially is exactly what the alt universe should be about.

The End and Please, Share Your Thoughts.

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The Horsemen(By Joygirl) -TheAcidSkull's Review.

The Horsemen

If This was a Comic Book, this should have been the Art! :D

I'm a Huge Fan of the Horsemen in general, and This was something i wanted(and Promised) to read for a long time now. Honestly, it was not what i was expecting , in fact it turned out to be something completely different from what i expected to be. Is This bad? Nope, absolutely not, in fact it's great fun despite having a huge meaning and point to it.

Let me explain what i mean.

The first thing that i Noticed while reading this are the characters. We all have our views on the horsemen of Apocalypse, but trust me, what you are going to read hear will give them a whole new meaning. This is the first great strength of the story. It successfully Modernizes characters like death, war, etc without changing what their core personalities are about. Won't Spoil anything but the characteristics these Protagonists show would easily be integrated our current society. In fact i can see myself having this type of conversation with someone right now. This would imply that Despite the fact that society and out culture changes, there are some things, that never truly change. (death, War, etc). This is Brilliantly executed here.

Moreover, The descriptions are very vivid too. If you didn't already know the personality of each character, you could easily figure out how they would act and how they look based on how the are described. The Descriptive nature of the writing also gives you a damn good image of how the characters look when they get into their Armors. which in case you didn't know, is pretty great!

You know now that i think about it, if this isn't read with attention someone might confuse this as being offensive. which IMO is totally untrue. yes, it's a deconstruction of some of the concepts in the Bible, but really if you pay attention it actually makes a lot of sense. Many People say that they are die hard Christians, but when the time comes it turns out that they aren't really who they say they were. Here, with a Mix of Dark Humor, it's clearly shown that the people who'd everyone expect to be the most faithful are the one's who are the greatest sinners. It's Dark yes, But it gets the Point across, which is all you really need.

This was a very fun read, it actively discusses very interesting and well known concepts along with providing fun characters and narrative. What i especially enjoyed is that The Main character, the least known horsemen actually personifies the fact that some people forget and escape problems that exist but are periodically dormant in the world. The writing Might surprise you at first since the The Horsemen here are slightly different from what'd you expect( that's a Good Thing Mind You), but it effectively utilizes humor and dark themes to express something meaningful, a lot of writers try and fail to do this, though Joygirl seemed to Do it just fine. ;)

The Horsemen is Can be Purchased on amazon!

Recommendation: Duh. Buy it and Read it!

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