The Trailer Briefing

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When was the last time you watched a movie trailer on TV and later found out that many of the scenes depicted in the first trailer or “Teaser Trailer”, not only were some of the best the movie had to offer But also gave away major plot details.

I would consider myself a movie trailer junkie at this point. Im often the friend in my circles asking everyone if they saw the latest trailer released. I have recently had many friends answer politely that they did not plan to watch anymore trailers past the Teaser. And Im beginning to understand why. See now days its common practice for a big blockbuster release to feature a teaser trailer, a full length, and often an extended one closer to release. Thus showing a considerable amount of movie footage over time. At the average trailer time of 2:45mins in 2017, compare this to the 90’s at consistent 1:54 to 2:10 and you can see their is generally 30+ seconds or more per trailer now days.

That being said I decided to challenge myself with future movies, to only watch the initial trailer whether its a teaser or not. Once I have seen the trailer in its entirety I plan to post a brief synopsis of what I saw and how close I am to understanding the story,characters and possible spoilers. To see if blockbuster trailers really are revealing to much information and key scenes best left to the surprise of the viewers.

Lets just call it an experiment, I must admit I have already failed in one regard. I couldn’t stop myself from watching the Star Wars:The Last Jedi one released this past Monday.  But I must say I was quite impressed as it left me with more questions than answers due to the style in which it was edited. I imagine many of the scenes were spiced together to throw us off.

That being said stay tuned as I plan to do my next Article on Star Wars: the Last Jedi.

COMING SOON(1)

Why Does Nintendo hate their Fans!? (Part3)

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In my last update on August 4th regarding the SNES Classic, I was less than enthusiastic regarding the upcoming launch of the retro console. Im happy to report even with the seemingly low amount of consoles that reached our local retailers, I had two opportunities where I could have purchased one. However I Opted to get just one so that one more person would get to experience it. Im happy to report that scalpers don’t appear to be getting much more than retail price. On average most units are selling for $110-125 with free shipping.

So after we put our kid to bed, I made a pallet on the floor in our basement in front of the big TV grabbed two drinks and patiently waited for my wife. I was reminded of my parents doing the very same thing when they would put me to bed and it brought a smile to my face. Modern games have advanced in so many ways over the years, greater narrative, brilliant graphics, and the Multiplayer Experience. But there is something to be said about these early Classics, a certain character and quality that make them so admired and memorable.

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Is the SNES Classic worth the 80 dollar price tag? I want to Start with the Negative and then end on a positive note. (because trust me most of what I have is petty.)

 

-Why 2 Kirby games!? Why not include Chrono Trigger or Donkey Kong Country 2? Im guessing it came down to licencing costs for Nintendo, but I digress I have yet to play a Kirby game so I will reserve judgement.

-Why no Expansion capability? While this console does have many of the greats available why didn’t they include a USB slot and later on introduce themed USB expansions with 10 or more additional games. Seems like based on today’s standards most developers are looking for opportunities to extend the shelf life of a game or console as long as possible.

-Why not manufacture in droves? While Nintendo has addressed the failures of the NES Classic and supposedly ramped up manufacturing for the SNES it remains to be seen. It would be nice to see these things pile up like left over Easter candy at retailers. Thus Ending the scalping hopefully.

-Reset button! I love the extra details that Nintendo got right including functioning buttons. However its kind of annoying to have to get up and hit the Reset button to go back to the home menu to load, save or rewind. I have read that the home button on the Wii Classic controller fixes this but I have yet to test it yet.

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All that I have left is nothing but good things actually,

-Impressive build Quality. from the functioning buttons, to the Controllers and feel. This thing feels great to be so small. I swore the eject button in the middle would have worked based on the looks alone.

-Feature Rich:4 Things I loved.

1)The save state function is well done, each game has 4 save slots and its very easy to load.

2)The Rewind feature also comes in handy and lets you rewind up to a minute of footage letting you drop back into the game at any point. This came in handy when trying to beat a tough boss in Link to the past.

3)The Video Filter gives you the option of remembering what its like to play on a CRT TV. This way you if you no longer have one to enjoy you can get a case of nostalgia.

4)I stumbled into the demo mode while waiting for my wife to play Super Mario World. After 60 seconds of inactivity, Mario and luigi begin jumping across the gui jumping on saved states and loading them up to run autonomously . It also will play intros to the various games including the long one for Final Fantasy 3, and its entertaining to watch.

All-In-All Im very happy with my purchase, yes it would have been cheaper to build a raspberry pie, and it would have far more games BUT this little console was very well thought out has some cool features and was well built. And is well equipped with everything you need out of the box. With the overall commercial success Nintendo has experienced lately with the Switch and now this, they are beginning to show that they care about their heritage and are proud of it. Hopefully they will continue to embrace Retro and who knows maybe we will see a N64 Classic this time next year…

 

 

Why does Nintendo Hate Their Fans? (Update)

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The SNES Classic…Already a name that has become infamous. With nearly two months before being released and its already causing quite a stir. I was unfortunately one of the many surprised fans that received a pre-order message from Walmart a few weeks ago. Only to receive the cancellation notice nearly a week later.  Here I was thinking I was on the Up and Up, me and a few buddies already started to make plans for a old school gaming night.

Now lets be clear, I know this is not Nintendo’s fault. The blame clearly falls on Walmart’s shoulders. And they dont plan on doing anything to try to make this situation better.Nintendo has come out this week and stated that they will be making “Significantly more SNES Classic’s” this time around and continuing production till the end of the Year. Lets hope that this is true, I’d love to see one in every retail store piled high so that scalpers have no way to make dirty money.

In preparation I have signed up for all of the text alerts and the many retail notifications out there. I will chronicling my Journey in trying to retrieve one of them over the next few weeks, Hopefully it will be a short story. I have also taken a small hiatus from writing due to the Summer and all the many things going on, but plan to start a few new series Including “Hidden Gems” and “Games that never were”.

Cheers!

 

Games that will make you feel like a American Patriot!

Happy 241st Birthday America!

I have to say Im proud to be an American and nothing makes me feel more patriotic than these games…Not even Beer and Burgers. For those of you that are not Americans, that’s OK not everyone is perfect(Bad Joke, Sorry Im in #’Merica mode) No but seriously this list of games are some of my favorite games that in one way or another exude patriotism and American Values. So now you too can experience what its like to have piss poor health Insurance and what its like to be made fun of by the Global community.

So without further ado, these are my Favorite games to celebrate this July 4th in the Spirit.

5) BroForce

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Broforce by definition a crafty side scrolling run-and-gun platformer. But man is it so much more. Its described by the developers as a game in which a player Character or “Bro, a hyper masculine action hero-style Commando Is sent into each may to rescue his bro teammates and Prisoners of War.” Essentially you play as a 80’s\90’s American Movie Action Hero as you blow your enemies to hell with each characters special abilities. You Unlock new “bros” as you progress through the game. Action Heroes include, John Rambo, Chuck Norris, Mr.T, Arnold as both Commando and a T-800 from terminater as well as Indiana Jones and JohnMcClane from Diehard. And that barely scratches the Surface on the many Icons you will be able to play as.  This game is definitely best experienced as either a couch coop or online coop. If you havent played it, do your self a favor and pick it up, its available on Microsoft and Sony Consoles as well as PC.

 

4) World in Conflict (PC)

Im a huge fan of Strategy games, especially the Total War and Civ Games. But recently in the last year or so I discovered a game that slipped completely under my radar. World in Conflict was released for PC on Sept 18, 2007. The game takes place during the Cold War in a world where the Berlin Wall never collapsed. Based on a Novel by Larry Bond, the story starts with the Soviets attacking Europe, while simultaneously attacking the US on home soil.

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Its a very popular scenario used in many other Video games and Movies. The game plays like many other RTS’s, it features a fully relized 3d destructible environments and focus’s on battles rather than resource gathering. Surprisingly the graphics hold up rather well considering the age of the game. This one is definitely worth the purchase and is available on Gog.com for purchase.

 

3) Assassins Creed 3 (PS3 , PC, 360)

This one does not need much of an introduction if you’ve ever played any Assassins creed games in the series you have a general idea of whats going on. The game takes place during and after the American Revolution and follows Connor half English, half Mohawk. This game gives you a wonderful feel for what it might have been like to like in and around Boston, New York and the Frontier in the 18th Century. During the main story you will get to meet and assist many of Americas Founding fathers. The game does stay true to the source material and look of the time from what I could tell. Not the best of the series but the Setting and Characters make up for its short comings.

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2) Freedom Fighters (PS2, PC)

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This is one of those games I never heard about prior to picking it up at Block Buster, It features a ever so popular alternate reality similar to World in Conflict. You play a plumber in New York city on a job when he is attacked and his brother taken away by Soviet troops invading the US. You quickly get thrown into a renegade group of Freedom Fighters taking the fight to the Soviets. Its a third person shooter that brings nothing innovative in the game play mechanics but I really enjoyed the Narrative and premise last time I played it. Im not sure its aged very well though to be honest.

 

1) Company of Heroes (PC)

Easily one of the Greatest RTS games of all time, and my Favorite WW2 game. The game features very cinematic historically accurate story beginning with D Day and weaving its way through some of the most important Battles. From a gameplay and Mechanics aspect the developers had built a new feature called  “Advanced squad AI”, this allowed for soldiers to use the environment accurately including taking cover and advanced tactics. The Environments were stunning and everything in the environment is destructible adding another layer of complexity as the environment changed from time to time. If you somehow missed this one, there is a newer version that was released a few years ago  (COH2)that features a Russian Campaign.

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I hope that you enjoyed my list and no matter your nationality, that you get to experience freedom in some regard. If you have your own list share them in the comments below I would be happy to read them. Thanks!

N64 Classic, Future Wish List

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I am SUPER excited about the the SNES Classic, pre-orders should start anytime now and then the madness will begin. I feel like someone at Nintendo decided to read my blog at some point and read that Nintendo fans love retro. Or maybe they just saw the success of the NES Classic as a great opportunity to make some cash flow, whatever the case Im excited.

That being said if Nintendo decides to make this a trend we can expect that a N64 Classic will make an arrival sometime in the next year and a half. So for fun I decided to make my N64 Classic Wishlist of the 10+ games I believe are must haves in no particular order.

10) Resident Evil 2

This was my first entry into the Resident Evil franchise, It was also one of the first Horror games I ever played. Its laughable to look at it now and think it ever spooked me out. This one is definitely a Classic, despite its terrible controls.

9) Star Wars:Rogue Squadron

Not only one of my favorite flight games on the 64 but also one of the best Star Wars games. It was a fantastic Idea that gave me a real sense of what it would be like to drop into a X Wing and take it to the Empire.

 

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8)Mario Kart 64

Truely bigger and better than the SNES version, Mario kart64 was best enjoyed with friends on the couch.

7) Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of time

My 2nd favorite Zelda game and first entry to move to 3D came out swinging. I remember getting this game with my console and I was just amazed by the graphics and scope of the world and its bosses.

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6) Super Smash Bros

Who would have thought that a mash up beat em up of some of Nintendo’s greatest characters could be so fun. This was another couch game that only got more chaotic when a new controller was added. Link and Samus were my go to characters everytime.

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5)Mario Party

Speaking of games best played with 4 players, Mario party was a game that could end friendships and start you down the page of vengeance.

 

4)Golden Eye 007

This game had so much going for it. Attached to a fantastic 007 movie, it was without a doubt the best first person shooter on a console up until that point. The multiplayer would entertain for hours and the Single player missions were well thought out and each one very unique.

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3) Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask

Some people may disagree with me on this but Majoras mask had alot to offer. Many people simply skipped over this title due to the “Rinse, Repeat” repetitiveness of the story. But I think every Zelda fan should play through it. I have several friends that played it for the first time on the 3DS remake and fell in love.

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2)Mario 64

to this day, this game is still one of the best platformer games ever made in my opinion. It transitioned to the 3D mechanic and still managed to retain all of the traits that make a Mario game instant Classics.

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1)StarFox 64

I could hardly believe my eyes playing this for the first time. The improvement in graphics from SNES to N64 was staggering. It had so many secrets that could lead you down various paths to new planets and bosses. Another one of those games you would learn about on the School Bus!

Im Interested to hear what your list would be, sound off in the comments below,

 

Prey, Prey and Prey 2

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Its June 2017, Im sitting on the couch across from my wife about to start a game that shares a name with one I played in similar fashion almost 11 years before. And something seems vaguely familiar, almost like deja Vu.

So lets start with where it all began, Its 2006 on a Friday night, I just got home from renting a new game from Blockbuster called Prey for the Xbox360. Im waiting for my Girlfriend to get to my house so I decide to pop it in and see what it looks like on my Magnavox tube television. Its Important to point out that, at this point in my relationship with my Girlfriend, she was very much still dating my “representative” as a friend of mine calls it. Basically she only knew about the sides of me I wanted her to know about. And me playing a lot of games was not something she knew about me. I didn’t want it to affect my cool points I had amassed over the previous months of dating her. Next thing I know I had been playing for close to 15 mins and my door opens up and my Girl friend waltz’s in. What happened next shocked me, she asked what I was playing and began to watch. So instead of going out to see what kind of trouble we could get into we stayed in my bedroom and played Prey for an Hour or maybe longer. I remember before she left her telling me not to get to far because she wanted to know what happened next in the story.

Now Im happy to report that I lost no cool points that night and 11 years later my Girlfriend is now my amazing wife. And while she is sitting near by she is much less Interested in the new Prey. Let me start by saying I was super bummed when I heard that Prey 2 was officially cancelled. Prey 1 ended with a cliff hanger and a assumption that there would be a sequel. At E3 2011 we were given our first look at what this game would look like in the form of a beautiful CG cut-scene filmed in the same style as Mirrors edge or the first Amazing Spider-man Trailer

I remember being blown away by the notion of being a Space Bounty hunter in the Prey expanded universe. The trailer even connected the dots of the old game and showed the main antagonist would be a character that survived a plane crash into the Sphere from the first game. Even the gameplay appeared to have evolved far past the Doom and Wolfenstein esque style of the first game. From the game-play footage it was described as a Cover based shooter in the open world environment known as Exodus. It featured 20 new gadgets and nearly 40 upgrades to let you customize your Bounty Hunter to your play style. In interviews with former Human Head Studio employees it was revealed to have a very interesting plot with an ending very similar to Bioshock Infinite it terms of scope.

After years in Development Hell, it was revealed by Bethesda Vice president that the game was subsequently canceled citing that, “It was a game we believed in, but we never felt that it got to where it needed to be – we never saw a path to success if we finished it”

Fast Forward to 2017 and here I am playing a spiritual successor to a game that brought me some fond memories. It really feels like this game didn’t try to find a way to ground its self to the already established universe that the original Prey layed out.  And Im actually releaved that they didn’t. It has its take own the ever popular alternate history. Its unique in its story telling, and I loved that they went a completely different direction when dealing with the gameplay and setting. Instead of the bustling cities filled with a wide variety of Alien species you are treated with a seemingly  abandon space station alone with an Alien nemesis that has the ability to morph into inanimate objects.

In alot of ways it reminds me of some older games from last generation, that is in no means a disrespect, Actually if anything its a compliment. It feels like it takes influences from several games like Bioshock, Condemned  series, Dead space and even HalfLife 2. Im currently 6 hours in and absolutely loving it. If you enjoy games that are suspenseful, feature Unique weapons, and exploration then this game is for you. It constantly loves to remind you the that each mission has more than one way to accomplish the objective and that your decisions bear weight on how the game plays out and even help decide what ending your going to get when you do finally beat it.

In any case its been nice to take a trip down memory lane with a game franchise that I hope will be around for many years to come.

 

 

Fighting Games for people who suck at Fighting games

Let me start by saying, I generally suck at fighting games. Whether it’s learning the many move sets, or trying to figure them out without having to look them up. I remember during the 16-bit era fighting games were all the rage. Finally a console could match up to a similar quality you found in an Arcade cabinet. Some of the first games that I can remember playing with my Brothers and friends were the Street Fighter 4 Championship edition and Primal Rage on the Sega Genesis and Mortal Kombat 2 on the SNES.

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On Street Fighter 2 I tended to Gravitate toward the Characters that were nimble or had great reach. That meant that I used Sagat, Vega and of course I spammed Dhalsim like crazy. That’s ok though typically my little brother would pick Blanka and sit in the corner using his electric move defensively every time I pressed the attack. While back then I would scream “Cheater!” and how cheap he was for using it. I see now that he was young and the idea of memorizing moves was not common for either of us. Primal Rage, God help us was an even bigger mess and resulted in a large sum of button mashing and trying to hit the Cave men running around in the background. Neither of us had a single move we knew outside of striking back and forth.

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After that I took somewhat of a long hiatus from fighting games, I remember going to a friend’s house who had gotten a PS1 for Christmas and the game Tekken. I was blown away by the Graphics and the attention to detail in the game. Also it seemed to have a wide variety of character types, even some with weapons!  And while I was no better at this game than one in the past, it felt different like you didn’t have to know Special moves if you figured out how to chain combos and dodge/block. This game I could actually stay somewhat competitive with.

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A few years later another friend of mine received a Sega Dreamcast for his birthday along with two Arcade style fighting games Soul Caliber and Marvel Vs. Capcom 2. Soul Caliber I throughly enjoyed, it had a similar play style to Tekken combined with a focus on using weapons rather than fists and feet. And while I wasn’t good enough to beat my friend, I still really enjoyed it. Marvel vs. Capcom on the other hand I really loved, it had the best cast of characters ever in a fighting game as far as Im concerned. However…I was absolutely horrid at it. I had a hard time beating the CPU most of the time. My friend Chris however was the master of fighting games, he could pop off every move for every character at a moment’s notice. So where did I go wrong, why is it I could just never get the hang of it? For me it came down to a few things I think,

  • I always played the Aggressor, let’s just say I never knew which button was block.
  • I never stuck with a character long enough to learn their strengths and weaknesses and how to cater to those.
  • I got discouraged if I couldn’t pick a controller up and dominate out of the gate, like I could with RTS’s and Shooters.

The last few years I’ve played a lot more fighting games and have discovered that many of them very much now cater to folks that maybe are a lot like me and can’t help but do the things I said above. So these are the games over the years that I’ve played, bought or revisited that are very accessible for fans at any Skill level.

1)Super Smash Brothers (WII)- While not a traditional fighting game, Smash bros brings a lot to the table. It’s the third installment to the series and had the best cast of character’s to date. The Object is to knock your opponent off the screen or at least do enough damage so that something in the environment does. I had a great time playing the Single player or better yet some couch Coop.

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2) Mortal Kombat 9(PS3) Nether Realms did a fantastic job of so many things on this game. It went back to its 2d roots of course using 3D rendering on characters as well as the environments. It was much easier to pull off the unique moves and very easy to perform your fatalities and they were quite imaginative. The X ray mode was pretty a slick addition as well.

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3)Injustice :Gods among Us(PS3)(excited for Injustice2)- I am a hug Comic fan, so when I heard that a game featuring the core Heroes and Villians was coming, and that it was made by Netherrealms I was all in. To date it’s the best Single player story in a fighting game that Ive played.I Can’t wait to play Injustice 2.

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Outside of the Injustice 2 game I’m really excited to play the new remake of Street Fighter 2 on the Nintendo Switch.