I Need To Play Mass Effect: Andromeda Now!

I cannot wait until Spring to play this game.  It looks amazing.  I just hope that BioWare learned its lessons from the fan fallout from Mass Effect 3.  The only thing that concerns me are the rumors that the multiplayer will be hooked in to the main story.  I want to be able to play this game by myself.

Hey Remember The Mummy? It Is Back And More Tom Cruise-y And Serious Than Ever!

Remember how The Mummy was fun in an old school campy adventure sort of way?  What if they ditched all that, made it serious, and then added Tom Cruise?  You are in right?  No…  Well, ¯\_(ツ)_/¯, you are getting it anyway!  Man, The Mummy’s brand is already in the drain due to too many poor sequels and spin-offs, so this teaser does nothing to help it.  Maybe the real trailer will interject the fun this series needs so desperately, and for all Tom Cruise’s faults, he is a decent action star.  As of now though I am staying far, far away.

Telltale Batman Episode 4 Is The Episode You Have To Play To Get To Episode 5

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It seems like all Telltale series have to have the ‘setup’ episode.  All they do is serve to set up events so the ending can knock them down, and Batman: The Telltale Series Episode 4 is that episode.  That is not to say there is nothing good in episode 4, there is, and I am very excited to see where all this setup leads, but it seems like it could have all been handled with a cutscene.

Though I will say their version of The Joker is very interesting, and the choices that you have to make in this episode are much less clear.  Which was proved at the end when I got to compare my decisions to everyone else’s because they were all pretty much 50/50.  Other than that though, Batman was spinning his wheels and ignoring pretty obvious clues and character motivations.

Despite Batman: The Telltale Series Episode 4’s flaws, I still enjoyed myself, and it is still one of the best Batman Year 2 stories ever made.  If you are on the fence about Batman: The Telltale Series, you shouldn’t be.  It is a great story that is a lot of fun to play through.  I just hope everything pays off well in Episode 5.

Shmee Takes Titanfall 2’s Single Player For A Ride!

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After the lackluster multiplayer test for Titanfall 2, I was going to hold off getting Titanfall 2 until it was cheap.  Luckily for me (unluckily for Respawn Entertainment) they launched Titanfall 2 within a week of the most anticipated Battlefield game in quite some time, so the prices dropped quickly.  I have not had a chance to play the multiplayer yet, but I have completed the single player campaign, and it is incredible.

The story is has a run a of the mill, young recruit being forced in to heavy action and turning out to be the greatest soldier that ever lived, thread, but what makes the story special is the interaction between Rifleman Jack Cooper and his Titan, BT-7274.  They play off each other so well, and even better they let you pick Cooper’s dialog.  You press up or down deciding how snarky you want to be, so it is not a complex dialog tree, but it does engage you just a little bit more in their tale.

While the story is nice, you play first person shooters for their action, and this is where Titanfall 2 truly shines.  The shooting mechanics are flawless.  The free-running allows you to come up with creative ways to take out the bad guys, and then when you are in BT, you feel completely unstoppable.  Even when you are not shooting, the free-running puzzles are a ton of fun, and the collectable ‘pilot helmets’ are always challenging to find and get, but not overly so.  Also almost of all the of the achievements are for the single player and easy to obtain, so it should help out your Gamerscore.

The only downside to the single player that I have found is that the graphics, while detailed, are not up to the standards set by other games, and worse you can tell the resolution is low and being up-scaled because everything is a little fuzzy.  Thankfully when you are running and gunning as fast as you can you don’t notice these issues all that often, but you do notice them.

Considering you can find this game for $30 or lower these days, Titanfall 2 is worth the price of admission for the single player alone.  I am sure there is some fun to be had with the multiplayer as well, but that is just gravy on top of all the fun I had with the campaign.  This has been a good Holiday season for video games, but a disaster for my wallet.  Though I have been having too much fun to care that I am broke.

Shmee Starts His Tour Of Duty With Battlefield 1’s Multiplayer!

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After thoroughly enjoying Battlefield 1’s single plyer campaign, I have now been able to dip my toes in Battlefield 1’s multiplayer pool, and?  It is still pretty much just Battlefield.  It has been tweaked and the player progression is a bit different, but in the end it is still the massive battles you have come to expect from Battlefield except the weapons are a little different.

When you level up you will now get war bonds.  You use these war bonds to buy guns and equipment.  As you level up while playing different classes, you slowly rank up those classes as well giving you the ability to buy different/better guns.  There are still ‘battlepacks’, but now you get them a whole lot less often, but they generally have better stuff in them.  Pretty simple, but it feels like I am unlocking guns at a much slower rate than in Battlefield 4.

There is a new pigeons mode, but it is pretty much just center-flag/oddball.  Grab the pigeon, hold the pigeon for a set time while not getting shot, and then release the pigeon to score a point.  Though if you release the pigeon when there are a ton of enemies around they can shoot the pigeon down.  A fun twist, but nothing ground breaking.

Another new addition is that when you are playing Conquest and a team is loosing they will get a super weapon to try and turn the tide.  These usually come in the form of a zeppelin or an armored train.  While annoying if you are winning a close game, for the most part they can be ignored while you continue to take and hold points.  Whatever you do, just don’t let a guy who loves to honk the horn drive the train because it is awful to have to listen to for ten minutes straight.  You may help destroy the train even if you are on the same team as him (or her).

It may sound like I am not overly enthused about Battlefield 1’s multiplayer, but that is not the case.  It is very good, and I plan on playing a lot of it.  Just don’t expect it to be a grand departure from what they have done before because it is pretty much a refinement of the games that have come before it.  Very good, but in a tried and true sort of way.  That’s all for now, maybe I will see you on the Battlefield!

Shmee Helps Newt Scamander Find His Fantastic Beasts!

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Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is the first major work in the Potterverse not to feature Harry Potter, and it shows that J.K Rowling’s magical world is bigger than one boy wizard.  Fantastic Beasts is not a perfect film by any stretch, but it does move the universe forward in some interesting ways, and it shows us new aspects of the Wizarding World, while still feeling grounded in Rowling’s universe.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them follows Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) as he lands in America with a case full of creatures and some unknown purpose.  Things quickly get out of control when he looses his case and a few of the creatures escape.  Meanwhile something has been terrorizing the streets of New York, and Newt has to prove it is not one of his beasts and save the city.

The story is fairly basic, which is fine, but it gets kind of muddled with the three or four other things going on at the same time.  This movie does a lot of world building for being the ninth movie in a franchise.  Luckily all that world building is pretty cool and the more we can dig in to the Wizarding World the better, and I was very happy that Fantastic Beasts has a proper ending.  It may have put to neat a bow on everything, but it was nice not to have wait until next time get the rest of the story, and with four more Fantastic Beasts movies in the works, there is a lot of story still coming.

Like all Potterverse films, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them has a great cast.  Eddie Redmayne is charming and fun, and Colin Farrell is dark and obviously villainous in a wonderful way.  Dan Fogler is a perfect stand-in for the audience as the No-Maj (muggle) who is constantly being blown away with everything he is seeing, but loving every second of it.  I don’t think there is one bad casting.

Fantastic Beasts is a visual treat.  1920’s New York looked great, and every magical creature was a wonder to behold.  The spells all were realized wonderfully.  While I don’t think I could ever tell you what David Yates style is, or be able to pick one of his films out of a line-up, he does handle large speciall effects laden films well, and that is a very hard skill to master.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is a great film that buckles a little under all of its world building.  Hopefully future films are a little more focused.  The only other downside I could see is that this Potterverse movie felt a little more grown up, and it may be a little too dark and feature themes (physical abuse for instance) that are hard for younger children to deal with.  Though as for me, I had a blast, and I cannot wait to see where Newt and his gang end up next.

And Now A Movie About A Monster In A Truck!

This is one of those movies that I have no idea how it got green-lit.  Made for TV special? Maybe, but Monster Trucks is a full fledged release, and a misleading one at that since there is only one monster and he is not a truck, he is living in a truck.  It looks like someone in California started smoking weed before it was legal, but hey I am all for more kids adventure movies, so hopefully Monster Trucks pans out.

Shmee Completes His Tour In Battlefield 1’s Campaign!

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Thanks to none of my friends being online when I am, I have only played Battlefield 1’s single player.  Which is odd for me since usually it is the other way around, but I have to say this has been the best single player campaign that EA Dice has ever come up with.  Sadly that is not saying a lot, but it is truly an amazing experience.

The campaign takes place over six different stories that you can complete in whatever order you want (except for the first one that you have to do to start the game).  With each story following a different hero.  They all have a different focus: In one you are a fleet-footed Australian running messages back and forth to the front lines.  In another you are an ace English pilot battling back your German foes.

I love that they are all unique and show you something different about The Great War.  My favorite by far was the stealthy mission across the desert as Lawrence of Arabia’s right hand woman.  The least entertaining was the tank story.  It starts off fun, but then it has you get out of the tank and protect it.  When I am driving the tank it is an unstoppable killing machine.  When the AI is driving the tank it is a useless and motionless box waiting to explode. It does get better again at the end.

The only real negative I have is that it is over way to quickly.  It only took me about five hours to complete, and while I could go back and find all the unlockables, I probably wont.  I just want more stories.  This is the first Battlefield game I have played that I hope the DLC is more single player missions.  I am sure the multiplayer will be fun, and I will give an update on my experiences with that at a later date, but so far the single player in Battlefield 1 has been totally worth the price of admission.

No One Called These Ghostbusters!

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This summer we finally got a new Ghostbusters movie, and audiences largely ignored it.  The losses for this film are an estimated $70 Million dollars.  Was it because the movie was bad?  No it is pretty good in fact, but it was because the movie studio didn’t listen to its fans and made a movie they didn’t want.  A warning other studios would be wise to listen to.

Ghostbusters is a complete reboot of the Ghostbusters franchise.  The equipment, “science”, and setting are largely the same, but the characters are new and have different motivations.  Though in the end they pretty much play gender swapped versions of the original cast, and if you are just going to play different versions of Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, Harold Ramis, and Ernie Hudson that comparison is not going to end well for you.

I think the lack of originality was the main problem with this movie.  You can tell that they wanted to do something different, but then they just kept re-doing things from the older movies, and what we learned from Star Trek Into Darkness is that it is always better to do something original instead of re-doing the classics.  You will never be able to make those classic moments better.

I have kind of been hard on this movie, but Ghostbuster’s saving grace is its fantastic cast.  Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones, and Kate McKinnon are all hilarious.  Especially Kate McKinnon.  Instead of being a bad copy of Egon she decided to go full blown crazed super scientist, and I loved every scene she was in.  She and Leslie Jones provided most of the laughs.  Which kind of left McCarthy and Wiig to be the straight women which is not their strong suits.  They were still good, but I think they all should have followed McKinnon’s lead and found some way to change up their characters.

I laughed a lot with Ghostbusters, but it just couldn’t live up to the original.  Not that I am condoning the sexist things that were said about this movie, but sometimes the fans are right, and maybe this franchise should have been left alone.  Still, if you are looking for a decently funny movie to watch you could do worse than the new Ghostbusters.

The Most Controversial Thing To Happen This Weekend Was A White Woman Playing A Japanese Cartoon!

Okay it wasn’t the most controversial thing to happen this weekend, but Twitter definitely wasn’t happy with it, and honestly I get the backlash.  Scarlett Johansson is playing a Japanese woman in a very Japanese looking movie, and this is the time and age where if you have a Japanese character they should probably be played by a Japanese person.  Though it is easy to see how this happened.  Hollywood is just now getting on board with women leading action movies, so to sell this movie Paramount got the most bankable woman they could find to star in it.  I am not saying it is right, I am just saying this shouldn’t have been a shock.

Hopefully women staring in action flicks becomes more common, so that we will have a larger and more diverse group of ladies to pick from in the near future, and this doesn’t happen so often.  All that being the case this movie looks pretty good, and 2017 is shaping up to be a good one for blockbusters.