Best Costumes in Insomniac’s Spider-Man Ranked Worst to Best

Insomniac has nailed it with their latest game, Marvel’s Spider-Man. If you read my review, then you know how much I love this game. After playing through the story and getting every collectible, unlocking the suits grants you quite the variety of Spidey’s most well-known costumes to some of the most obscure. While every outfit is fantastic in its way, pitting them against one another on a list is irresistible. Each suit will rank on the list based on its origins, look, and the time spent wearing that outfit during my time in the game.

Warning some suits in the game might spoil the story or unlocks from completing all challenges.

#28: ESU

Complete every photograph in the game will grant you this suit where Peter will represent his University while he fights crime. The suit lands at the bottom for being basic and no rich history behind it. It is funny to imagine a young Peter Parker fighting Scorpion right before he takes an exam.

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#27: Wrestler

Before his final design in the Ultimate Universe, Peter had a wrestler outfit. The detail is there to show he is on the path to designing his official costume. Out of every homemade style Spidey donned, the wrestler is one of his least intriguing.

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#26: Undies

Completionists will be able to wear their undies for getting 100 percent in every district. Out of every outfit in the game, this is the most hilarious to wear. What would make this rank much higher on the list is if the body was more like Greg Miller from Kinda Funny. At least we get to see him during a costume party so we will settle with that.

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#25: Last Stand

While I am not a fan of the overly casual look, I do love his jacket. The origin comes from Amazing Spider-Man #500 from 2003. In this story, the costume belongs to Spider-Man from Earth-312500. He ends up running from the police after murdering Kraven the Hunter. Our hero dies by the police shooting him. A dark tale that shows Spider-Man has broken his no-kill rule in some bizarre iterations.

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#24: Electrically Insulated

The texture of the suit bothers me. I have no idea why, but I find it to be quite ugly. Mostly with the red parts of the suit, the rest looks fine. Spidey wore the suit when he spent time in the X-Men to fight Electro. The only time the team up occurred that lead to this suit is in Amazing Spider-Man #425 in 1997. Good thing he has not worn this suit until the 2018 game because he has much better choices to wear.

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#23: Fear Itself

Out of every unique color scheme out there for some of Spidey’s more bizarre suits, this takes the cake. A white and teal look covers most of his body with some black padding. Fear Itself #7 is eight years old, making it one of the newest editions on the list. Made out of the same metal as Thor’s hammer, Uru metal, this would have been a powerful piece of tech for difficult battles. The gauntlets would shoot out blades because apparently, Spider-Man needs that type of weapon. The suit would be destroyed before any use could be made due to an order made by Odin.

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#22: Classic

You can never go wrong with a classic, especially for Spider-Man’s iconic costume. The first appearance was in Amazing Fantasy in 1962. The suit has aged like a fine wine with the perfect balance of his colors. Sadly, the later costumes in the game are much more unique and bring something different to the experience.

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#21: Classic (Damaged)

The dirty torn suit looks like the web-slinger just got out of a brutal fight, which he did. After defeating Wilson Fisk, it is time for an upgrade. I love the torn up look because of the gritty feeling that these battles do take a toll on our hero.

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#20: Stealth (Big Time)

In 1999 during the Big Time arc featured in Amazing Spider-Man #650, the hero needed something a bit more powerful than his previous costume. Hobgoblin’s sonic screams were an obstacle until the stealth suit came into play. Small details such as his gloves along with the green lighting are just some of the suit’s unique features that look amazing to look at while swinging through New York. The game’s version would have looked better if we saw it’s coloring change just like in the comic.

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#19: Mk. II Armor

A shortly lived armor that Peter made when he lost his Spider-Sense during Amazing Spider-Man #656. I love every armor we see in the game. Nothing fits better than Peter making armor to battle the Sinister Six. Out of every version we see this is the lesser of the group due to its colors. I am not a fan of the yellow and black; he looks like a bee more than a spider.

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#18: Secret War

Like many suits featured in the game, the Secret War had a short life. In Secret Wars #8 back in 2004, Spidey and other heroes teamed up with Nick Fury to take down Doctor Doom. The black suit has small details in its texture along with some interesting color choices. Red vein like designs is lightly drawn on his head, shoulders, arms, and legs. Blue details are along various parts of his body and make up the iconic spider on his chest. While I am not a fan of the blue streaks, the look is refreshing compared to everything ranked so far.

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#17: Anti-Ock

A handful of costumes in the game are original creations by Insomniac rather than a comic book origin. Once you go in for the final fight with Doc Ock, Peter creates the ultimate armor to fight someone who was once his mentor and friend. The armor has heavy plating that gives an incredible look along with a giant yellow spider that takes up the entirety of his chest. While I was not a fan of the yellow on the Mk II, the coloring and design work much better here.

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#16: Dark

Complete every Black Cat collectible to unlock this demonic-esque suit. The origin is one of the weirdest, but one of the best. From Spider-Man/Deadpool #8 from 2016, we see a pretty long story that will be kept short for our purposes. Deadpool kills Peter Parker then realizes he killed his best friend. Deadpool rescues Peter from Purgatory, and this suit is born. The black material is mostly smooth and does not have many textures. The giant red spider on his chest is in a different design from what you usually see along with some evil looking eyes. A little too plain, but the spider and backstory give this one enough to rank this high on the list so far.

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#15: Advanced Suit

Insomniac had another unique creation, the Advanced Suit that replaces Peter’s torn up classic. The detail in the suit and the explanations behind their choices is brilliant. The developers here understand Spider-Man is an athletic hero, so this inspires this original outfit. The texture and material are made to look like an athlete. The colors each have their purpose such as the white provides extra protection. Zooming in allows small details in the fabric to pop more giving the suit a more realistic aesthetic while keeping the comic book appearance.

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#14: Armor Mk. IV

A classic Spider-Man look mixed with the armor gives a shiny look to a familiar costume. The biggest difference is the spider looks significantly more detailed and glows. Peter wore the suit in Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 4 #1 in 2015, but Superior Octopus demolished the suit.

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#13: Negative

When you want to defeat a supervillain, might as well look like them. Peter made this suit to combat Mister Negative in Spider-Man #90. The costume changed into the black and white color after going into the Negative Zone to rescue three children. The suit looks evil even though Peter is not in control by the power of the Negative Zone. An excellent way to scare any criminals.

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#12: Velocity

Insomniac teamed up with Adi Granov who has designed plenty of work for Marvel in the past. Similar to the Advanced Suit we get a more athletic style to Spidey’s look. The main difference is we get a more futuristic look. While the material looks just as flexible, the vibrant colors and heavier padding makes for a stronger look. The eyes are less animated, but the slits in his mask make for a menacing look when you stare at him directly in the eyes.

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#11: 2099

The origins of the suit here take place in the year 2099 in the Amazing Spider-Man #365. Our web-swinger is not Peter but is Miguel O’Hara who wears a suit made of the same material as the Fantastic Four outfits. Miguel’s influence comes from his background and first wears the unique costume during a Day of the Dead festival. A skull-like look along with other features to make for an intimidating presence for this alternate Spider-Man.

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#10: Mk. III

A more realistic approach to the Spider-Armor, Peter must take down the Sinister Six. This time he creates the Mk. III that gives him various ways of defeating each villain. The suit has been Electro proofed along other devices to aid Peter. The armor looks completely different from the other versions, making for a better identity.

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#9: Scarlet

As someone who never read the comics and is going based on research for the article, I can tell the Scarlet Spider is a bit confusing. Ben Reily is a clone who thinks he is the wall-crawling hero. The rest is a bit convoluted, to say the least, but it is a very popular comic. To make everything simple, this is ranking based on its 90s inspired looks. A sleeveless hoodie with a spider that is slightly at an angle and slightly faded along with his belt and bracelets makes for a distinctive look to this Spider-Man. The red costume has some neat detail that needs a lot of zooming in to appreciate. Insomniac has an eye for the little designs to make these suits pop out.

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#8: Spirit Spider

Imagine Uncle Ben never dies, and Peter never learns a lesson from that loss to make him the hero he should become. In this story from Amazing Spider-Man Annual #38, Peter takes his superhero life down the wrong path, ending with him getting killed. Luckily, he gets a second chance and becomes this Ghost Rider inspired Spider-Man. Spirit Spider might be the scariest variation on the beloved hero.

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#7: Noir

This Spider-Man lives in America during the Great Depression. He is just like the web-slinger we know except for a new suit, and he uses guns. Yeah, he will shoot some bad guys with no problem. His costume is entirely black and stylistically fits the time period. Noir Spidey is one of the most popular in the Spider-Verse and will make his big screen debut in the Into the Spider-Verse movie this December, voiced by Nicolas Cage.

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#6: Iron Spider

Out of every armor that Peter uses, this has to be my favorite. Iron Spider ranks this high mostly because of its debut on film in Avengers: Infinity War. The costume has been around for a bit longer starting from Amazing Spider-Man #529. The comic version of Civil War has Peter in the Iron Spider with red and gold instead of the colors we see in Infinity War.  With a beautiful shine and the ability to use the extra legs during combat, it is hard to hate on the Iron Spider.

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#5: Punk

One of the silliest iterations of the character to ever be established is a punk version of our hero. Debuting in Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 3 #10 in 2004, we see a punk version of the protagonist. Spider-Man of Earth-138, we see Hobie Brown take up the mantle to swing around New York and fight crime. His method is a bit different than the rest of the Spider-Men and women by using the power of punk to stop the tyrannical President Osborn. Sporting a spiked mohawk, battle vest, spiked bracelets, and a pair of high-tops, Spider-Punk is ready to fight crime while rocking out.

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#4: 2099 (White)

In Spider-Man 2099 Vol. 3 #1, Peter is saved by Miguel after being control by Doc Ock. In return, he hires Miguel to work at Parker Industries and creates the white and red version of the 2099 suit. What makes this rank so much higher than the other 2099 costume is the colors; a red and white color scheme looks incredible. Out of every suit, 2099’s white counterpart is in my top five based on how much I played the game while wearing this outfit.

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#3: Vintage

In a superhero game, having a comic book look is always a huge plus. The suit looks straight out of a comic which can be disorienting at times. Once I got used to it, I fell in love. The cel-shaded look against a mostly realistic world made for a comical adventure as Cartoon-Spidey saves the city.

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#2: Homemade

Straight out of Spider-Man: Homecoming, the young, inexperienced Peter Parker, made his suit. With a sweatshirt and other clothing items that can be in just about any household, Peter makes his first suit. While how poor quality it is, I love the absurdity of the whole costume. Plus, he has some of the nifty looking eyes out of anything we have ever seen. Just goggles that make for perfect expressions as he talks.

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#1: Stark Suit

Tony made the ultimate suit for Tom Holland’s debut as the web-swinging superhero in Captain America: Civil War and Spider-Man: Homecoming. In many aspects, it is reminiscent of the classic suit that people tend to know. Made to be as practical as possible for any encounters with the biggest bad guys in New York. Full of a variety of gadgets and most importantly Karen, his AI partner that pre-built into his suit. While Yuri Lowenthal made for a great Peter Parker/Spider-Man in the PS4 exclusive, Tom Holland is Peter Parker/Spider-Man. Getting to wear Tom’s suit while playing was the best part of my experience.

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Out of every list written on this blog, that must have been the hardest. Every suit has its charm and identity in Spider-Man’s long history. I bet many of you strongly disagree with aspects of my rankings, or maybe the entire thing. However you feel, go ahead and comment below which are your favorite or least favorite Spider-Man suits in Insomniac’s game.

 

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Interview: Eric Gynan of Leaving Eden

  1. How did the band come together?

Hey man, it’s a pleasure to talk to you I’m Eric Gynan co-founder of the band Leaving Eden from the Boston Mass area USA. Myself and the lead vocalist Eve co-founded Leaving Eden. We had a bunch of music that we had been recording, and it was really after the first hundred people came up to me told me how great she was, not me but her. It was consistent, and I knew that I needed to do something. The name Leaving Eden came about by looking at this planet being the Garden of Eden so to speak and with all of its deceit and Hate wouldn’t it be nice to go somewhere else. Thus Leaving Eden.

2. What are some of your most memorable moments with the band?

I think touring is probably the most memorable moments because you really get to see the world. You get to meet people everywhere, people who you could never have possibly met with long-lasting relationships.  Leaving Eden has toured the USA Canada and over the pond in Europe, sharing  the stage with hundreds of the biggest national bands in the world including; Lacuna Coil, In This Moment, Black Sabbath (Heaven & Hell), Ronnie James Dio,  Rob Zombie, 5 Finger DeathPunch, Disturbed, Marilyn Manson, Alice Cooper, Lynyrd Skynyrd, ZZTop, Puddle of Mudd, Korn, Killswitch Engage, Buckcherry (Jefferson Starship, Big Brother and The Holding Company, Country Joe, 10 Years After, 40th Anniversary Woodstock) Shinedown, Dropkick Murphy’s,  Alice in Chains, Papa Roach, Bret Michaels, Halestorm,Theory of a Deadman, Avenged Sevenfold, Seether, Hell Yeah, Trapt, Dope, Soil, Fuel,  Queensryche, Saving Abel, Hinder, Damage Plan, Sevendust, Sebastian Bach, SoulFly, Days of the New, NonPoint, DrowningPool, The Misfits, The Butcher Babies, Collective Soul, MushroomHead, Mudvayne, Chevelle, Godsmack, Powerman 5000, 10Years, Taproot, Gin Blossoms, Michael Schenker (UFO, MSG & The Scorpions) Herman Rarebell (The Scorpions), Nicko McBrain (Iron Maiden), Kittie, One eyed doll, Uncle Kracker, Tremonti (Creed/Alterbridge), Lamb of god, Slayer, Stone Sour, Motorhead, Blackstone Cherry, HOOKERS & BLOW Featuring GUNS N’ ROSES, QUIET RIOT, W.A.S.P. Members, Steven Tyler, Ted Nugent, Lita Ford, LA Guns, Trixter, Warrant, Apocalyptic Review (featuring members of Godsmack) Adelitas Way, Scott Stapp (The voice of Creed), Gemini Syndrome, Pop Evil, Ratt, Anthrax, Testament, Napalm Death & many more..

3. When going to one of your concerts, what should people expect?

I think that they should expect lots of energy and a very up close Vibe between the band and the crowd. Eve is incredible at fronting the band and including the crowd completely. I always say that it’s really not about us it’s about that particular night, and everybody’s there for one thing to have a good time, and we like to do it together. Leaving Eden is best seen and heard live. Not only do we plug in and really lay it down but we also do some acoustic stuff somewhere in the middle of a set.

4. Out of every band you have seen live, who are some of your favorites?

I must say we played with Alice Cooper and I was blown away by his stage show where he hung himself on stage. Very theatrical. Playing with Dimebag before he passed away and his brother Vinnie Paul or playing with Ronnie James Dio and Black Sabbath’s Heaven and Hell before he passed away was very cool, and it’s something that can never happen again, so we feel humbled that we had these opportunities.

5. What are some of your biggest influences that have shaped your music? Have you met any of your favorite musicians and what were those experiences like? If you have not met anyone, then who do you want to meet the most?

We’ve met a lot of people. I remember when we played the Woodstock anniversary concert with all the bands that are still here that played in the 60s. So we got to hang out with Jefferson Starship in their families and dine with the Kings. Cuz, after all, that’s where it all started kind of like full circle. We played with Bret Michaels a lot, and he’s so cool and really enjoy hanging out with him.

6. What are some long-term goals you have for the band?

We like to release a new album every year so to continue recording, and we like to tour anywhere we can so we will continue that.  Our motto has always bee that we will play anywhere, anyhow, anyway we can so long as we can. We’re looking at an East Coast USA tour all the way down to Florida in a couple weeks that should be pretty fun. We like playing these bike festivals all over the country you know very cool people down to earth nobody seems to judge anybody it’s just a really nice environment the party.

7. What is the biggest accomplishment you have had so far?

I think getting some songs in movies going to Hollywood yeah man very cool. I enjoy the movies, and we have music in some movies and TV series.  Here’s some links;

Leaving Eden Exclusive Lyric Video

“Out of the Ashes”

(Over 100,000 Views)

Featured in “LOCKDOWN” Movie Director: Massimiliano Cerchi

Leaving Eden Live

“Maniac”

Video from “Out of the Ashes” Album

& From Live DVD “LEAVING EDEN LIVE XTREME ROCKUMENTARY”

(Over 100,000 Views)

Dark Star Records in assoc. w/ Sony Music

LEAVING EDEN

“SKIES OF GREY”

LIVE IN CONCERT AT WALLYS HAMPTON BEACH NH

From Leaving Eden Live DVD & Out of the Ashes Album

Featured in “Maday” Movie Director: Massimiliano Cerchi

(Over 100,000 Views)

Dark Star Records Artist Leaving Eden Song “NO SOUL” is Featured in the Movie/TV Series “Jezebeth” Written/Directed by Damien Dante

Leaving Eden New Album

“Out of the Ashes on Spotify”

 

8. What plans do you have for the rest of the year?

We have a new CD.  We released a single from Thin Lizzy called Jailbreak, (Recorded/mixed By Johnny K. (Disturbed, Pop Evil, Staind, 3 Doors Down,) Mastered by Brad Blackwood (Sevendust, Dave Mathews, Adelitas way, Korn) and Produced by myself reinterpreted by Leaving Eden. Jailbreak is going to be on our new album to be released October 19th, 2018 again called Descending through Dark Star records/Sony music worldwide.  “JAILBREAK”

OFFICIAL LYRIC VIDEO PERFORMED BY LEAVING EDEN, A SONG BY THIN LIZZY

I’m excited about this album because it was recorded and Leaving Eden Studios. We were able to take all the time we needed and really craft This Album to exactly what we wanted it to be. I did a premix on it and sent it off to Bob St John for the Final Mix and Mastering. Bob is a Grammy award-winning engineer and has done bands like Duran Duran, Extreme, Collective Soul, Steven Tyler. Such a great guy to work with too.  MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT: Leaving Eden New Album Descending; Release date 10/19/18

https://darkstarrecords.net/extras/new-releases/

 

https://sglmoviestore.com/documentaries/leaving-eden-live-xtreme-rockumentary/

 

You can find the ban here;  WWW.LEAVINGEDEN.COM

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Video Game Review: Shadow of the Tomb Raider

The 2013 reboot of Tomb Raider was a phenomenal surprise. I have played through the game twice and loved its story, characters, and gameplay. The sequel, Rise of the Tomb Raider was just as excellent with the absence of multiplayer. Now we get the final entry in Lara Croft’s origin story. How can a game with two superior predecessors fail? Well, that is quite the story to go into details in this review. Buckle up for this one.

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Lara and her best friend Jonah are on a race to defeat the evil organization, Trinity. An ancient Mayan prophecy that says the world will end by several catastrophic events. She travels to a hidden city, Paititi to put the pieces of the puzzle together to save the world and stop Trinity.

The story has terrible pacing. A third entry in the series, especially a story about timing to save the world, goes at a snail’s pace. In many moments, you have some far logical leaps that will leave you confused why characters take specific actions or where the story is heading. The ending especially leaves plenty of room for some confusion. For the most part, you spend your time exploring forests, talking to locals in villages, or completing puzzles. Not much of an action-adventure game. When things do pick up, usually it is exciting. Lara must run through buildings that are falling apart or dodge helicopters shooting at her. The “fun” moments short-lived and rare to find at any point during the game’s fifteen or less hour campaign. The game is short and lacks any content in its storytelling that I am shocked that I paid $60.

Characters lack any development. Jonah remains to be the useless best friend. Lara still has the same motivations and has been saying the same things since the 2013 reboot about her parents or ambitions. Other supporting characters are introduced, but I felt there was no reason to care for anyone at all. The only interesting character was Amaru, the central antagonist within Trinity. At times he could be compelling. His Messiah complex made him a more complicated character. He felt he could do good for the city of Paititi, but his flaws made him go down the wrong road.

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Gameplay is relatively consistent, but overall the same from previous games. Crafting weapon upgrades and outfits that give Lara benefits are a central mechanic. The costumes are useless because most of the game requires Lara in certain clothes for story missions that provide zero benefits.  Gather resources from exploring the map is a lot of fun and is rewarding. To help highlight rewards or interactable objects, there is instinct. A vision that highlights items, similar to games like Assassin’s Creed. During puzzles, this can be frustrating because Lara will repeat the same bad hints at you until you make progress. Hunting is still a mechanic, but not much development makes the activity bland. Lara can upgrade by three skill trees: blue for the seeker, red for the warrior, and green for the scavenger. Many of the types of upgrades blend together, so it makes it a bit weird the game divides into three separate trees. Many of the abilities are useful and make you feel like Lara gets significantly stronger.

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Side activities such as tombs and side missions can be fun and often times some of the most rewarding aspects of the game. Side missions give you insight into new characters and the places that they live. The missions are far more interesting than the main story. The tombs are tricky but are worth completing their upgrades and treasure.

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Merchants are introduced for Lara to buy new weapons and equipment from. While it is satisfying to go buy new gear, most of it goes unused throughout the game since most of everything you do is not combat related.

Maneuvering through the game can be frustrating since the controls are often not that responsive or the layout of the map does not work well. Climbing walls with my climbing ax gave me plenty of problems. Lara would be stuck on small parts that were not climbable, leaving me stuck in a place for a moment. I would continuously die because she would not do what I wanted such as grab ledges. An overall unforgiving experience.

Combat feels good but is lacking anywhere in the game. Stealth is the most advanced aspect that gets used a handful of times in short bursts. The heroine can hide in bushes, on top of trees, and cover herself in mud to hide against muddy walls. Gun mechanics are fun but hardly utilized. The bow and arrow supply endless joy and satisfaction using.

The game is full of beautiful environments from claustrophobic caves, lush forests, dilapidated ancient temples, and terrifying heights in the mountains. Each area is vast for exploration and great rewards waiting for a nearby tomb raider to find. The exploration and environments are the game’s most prominent redeeming qualities. For such a pretty game, you do get a photo mode with all of the basic functions: filters, frames, camera positions, and more. If this were a photography game, it would rival many of 2018’s biggest hits. The only issue comes from darker areas. You as the player cannot turn on a flashlight at will. Lara decides when something is too dark for her to turn on the light. I had to turn up the lighting to see through pitch black caves and crypts.

The graphics are for the most part quite stunning. The way the sun shines over trees and reflects off of water is impressive. The caveat is the animations, especially for characters, is often lacking. I felt that there were plenty of times characters lacked any emotion in their faces. Sometimes dialog was not even appropriately synced to their mouths. With plenty of times looking out at the landscape, it is easy to forget the weird facial animations.

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One of the most unique mechanics is in the options menu. Yes, you know I am trying to give this game some positivity when I am talking about how I can change the difficulty or look. The first choice you make is whether you want higher resolution or framerate. I switched between the two to see for myself, and I will recommend you stick to a higher framerate because it feels rough without it. The game’s difficulty has multiple settings. You can choose easy, medium, or hard for exploration, combat, and puzzles. If you want environments to tell you where to go, but a difficult puzzle and combat system then you can make that happen. I wish more games would have this setting for a more customizable experience. A final setting is for characters to speak in their native language for more immersion. While the idea is excellent, it is not immersive. Lara only speaks English to people who live in a hidden city, but everyone can manage to understand one another while speaking different languages. Not just in Paititi, but in other villages, you explore this occurs.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider might be the biggest disappointment of the year. The game has some of the worst pacings I have experienced in years. For an action game, it lacks any combat at all. The few times you get to fight it is short and not sweet. The highs are as high as the mountains you climb. The lows are as low as Lara falling off one of those cliffs to her death. The verdict is that she is definitely deceased after this lackluster adventure that should not be worth $60. The easiest way to say how I feel about Croft’s latest adventure is that it is beyond boring. If you want to play as Lara Croft, killing bad guys and raiding tombs, then go play the other two games.

Score: 4/10

Want the game? Buy it here:

 

Trailer Impressions: Captain Marvel

The next leader of the Avengers is coming in 2019. Yes, Brie Larson as Captain Marvel finally got a trailer. After people being a little let down by Entertainment Weekly for only having pictures and not a full trailer, we finally get a look at the next movie in the MCU.

We are taking a step back from everything going on in the MCU to go into the 90s. You know we are here because one of the first images is a Blockbuster. Our heroine, Carol Danvers aka Captain Marvel is blown up from her ship (or escape pod, it is hard to tell) and lands right through a Blockbuster. As she stands up, we hear Samuel L. Jackson start to speak.

“War is a universal language. I know a renegade soldier when I see one. Never occurred to me that one might come from above,” says a two-eyed, young, Nick Fury with hair. Yes, the man has both his eyes and a full head of hair.

As we get the quick monologue from Nick, we see Captain Marvel walking through a subway full of people. What is notable about this scene is we get a better look at her blue suit that she is wearing when crashing on Earth. Already, this is one of my favorite looks for a hero in the MCU, but we are not even to the point to see her iconic red, gold, and blue costume that looks beautiful.

The most intriguing scene by far is when she scans her thumb on a pad which opens up some doors to an unknown facility. A quick shot shows a man holding a large alien weapon and a scientist examining the corpse of what looks like a Skrull, an alien being that has not been seen in the MCU but mentioned among die-hard comic book fans. Out of pure speculation, this could be a base for S.H.I.E.L.D.

Fury is talking again describing exactly what we see. An alien ship outside of Earth appears and a car chase.

A quick clip shows Captain in action before showing her and Fury meet. He was ready to hang up the badge before he met her. Now we get to see a full head of hair, young, two-eyed Nick Fury. The two of them go on a car ride in which she explains that she is not from around the area. Based on what we see, it appears Nick was a police officer before joining S.H.I.E.L.D. I can tell we might get a duo-origin story about both Fury and Marvel.

We get glimpses of Carol’s past as a child, training in the military, and outside of Earth as Captain Marvel. From the first behind the scenes photo from last year, we saw Brie Larson practicing in a military uniform while standing by a fighter jet, we knew that her character would be serving the U.S. in some capacity. At a point when she falls during a drill, she looks like the powers are setting in for the first time. In one scene we see her in some machine wearing her blue uniform from earlier in the trailer. Piece by piece we get to look at her origins from pilot to the most powerful hero we have seen so far in this universe.

Some flashbacks show our heroine in the suit from before with some aliens wearing the same outfit heading into a ship. The planet they are on must be the reason for her powers. As I am someone who never read the comics, a lot of what I have is pure speculation. I certainly can’t wait to be told by anyone how wrong I am.

Now the action is kicking in. Carol smacks an old lady. She is not hitting your grandmother. The elderly woman must be a Skrull, but it is a hilarious image of our hero beating down old people. Now we get the typical Marvel action scenes we want, outside of beating old women. A giant explosion is shown from what looks like shots from a ship. The structure being blown up is hard to tell what it is by all of the fire and smoke, but it appears to not be on Earth.

Brief images appear showing a variety of characters, the most striking to me is seeing Ronan from Guardians of the Galaxy. How he makes an appearance or how much he is in the story is something I have no idea about, but that might be the most eye-catching moment in the trailer. Seeing him is swift, but I know it is him from preview images released a few weeks ago.

“I’m not what you think I am,” a piece of dialog spoken from Carol as we get a look at her in her iconic suit as she glows from her powers. The images we have seen from Entertainment Weekly is a better image of the costume. The colors, patterns, and material of the suit make it look spectacular. Out of every character in the MCU, she might have the best look of them all.

I am beyond impressed by Captain Marvel and what we see in the trailer. Not much is shown about the story or how she gets her powers, but enough of a glance to get a good idea. Some accident must have occurred to lead Carol down this path. In the comics, she is one of the most popular heroes as of now, which makes me more curious to see her in action. On top of a new exciting character to help lead the Avengers to defeat Thanos and future threats, we are getting her origin story with Nick Fury. How could you go wrong with more Samuel L. Jackson? The answer is that you can never have too much of him.

Captain Marvel arrives on March 8, 2019. You can check out the trailer below:

Image via Marvel Studios

Album Review: Fit for a King – Dark Skies

Christian metalcore band Fit for a King have transformed themselves off of their last record, Deathgrip and have gone further down this road with a new release, Dark Skies. From basic metalcore to a blend of metalcore, deathcore, and some hardcore elements. The band has been able to make the perfect combination of bone breaking breakdowns to sing-along choruses that will be stuck in your head all day.

Dark Skies is a relentless record that starts off with a bang. Engraved and The Price of Agony are your typical songs to expect from the quartet in the best way imaginable. Hooks that will grab you right away along with catchy choruses that will stick with you even if you forget the title of the song. Engraved has some of the most killer bass lines that mix well with the tone of the guitar work to make for some heavy breakdowns.

The band sticks to the metalcore genre except for a few tracks, Backbreaker and Anthem of the Defeated, a more deathcore sound. The two songs are by far some of the heaviest songs in the band’s career. Full of fast riffs, speedy drumming, and heavy bass to make for some skull crushing breakdowns.

Almost any song you decide to listen to, just about everything is single worthy. That makes sense since the band has released so many of the tracks as singles with more music videos to accompany those songs coming soon. The only weaker song of the ten tracks is Debts of the Soul. A song that starts off somber, but goes into a heavy direction that didn’t fit well with the rest of the album. A solid track, but felt unfitting with its second half.

The instrumentation for the band has never been the most impressive. Simple riffs and breakdowns, but the band have matured in this aspect. Jared Easterling (drummer), Bobby Lynge (guitar), and Ryan O’Leary (bass) have been able to make the music sound more distinguishable from other bands in the scene. The band’s earlier material sounded generic in some parts, but now stand out more than ever. Now we still get more of the typical metalcore or deathcore sound, but with one guitar player and quality mixing, the instruments have a cleaner sound.

Ryan Kirby gives some of the best vocal performances in his career. Kirby with developing his cleans and continuing to bring brutal screams helps bring balance to the band’s sound. His most impressive moment is an over twenty-second scream at the end of Backbreaker, it is a must listen.

The band manages to tackle the darkest parts of humanity in their lyrics along with vocals to bring these words to life. Kirby discusses how divided the world is politically in The Price of Agony with powerful lines, “Taught to hate anyone that dare stand in our way / Taught to fight the system that keeps this evil alive and feeds their greed.” One of the heaviest tracks, Backbreaker goes into Kirby’s challenges with social anxiety by screams of this pain, “When your mind is stuck in a cloudy haze / Pressure pushes its way inside / No room to move, nowhere to hide.” The emotional Oblivion is about a fan who confessed a story to the band about his wrongs to his loved ones and wanting forgiveness. The lyrics,  “For so long, I can barely breathe / The grip of the guilt and the scars of my sins live on / They’re choking me,” echo this fan’s emotions.

With nine out of ten single-worthy songs that I would never dare skip, that is a solid listing of songs that can stand on their own. While being “single-worthy” is not the most important thing, it shows how far Fit for a King has come, and I can understand why they decided to make most of the album singles. While improvements could be made instrumentally regarding technicality, a heavy breakdown at the right moment can never be a bad thing. Kirby delves into some of his best lyrics to deliver emotion provoking songs that will pull your heart strings. Metalheads needing something with the right balance of brutal sounding screams and sing-along choruses should have no reason to pass this one up. Although the album had room for more variety, the record is full of high-quality material to headbang at any time.

Score: 8/10

Buy the album:

Image via Solid State Records/Fit for a King

Video Game Review: Marvel’s Spider-Man

Readers, if you have followed me for a while then maybe you read my most anticipated games for this year then you would know Marvel’s Spider-Man was my number one. I had wanted a game like this since Spider-Man 2 back in 2004. Now we have the open world Spidey adventure, and it meets the hype level in every way.

Peter Parker/Spider-Man is quite experienced at this point. He has been the web-slinging hero since 2010, a whole eight years. The journey starts off by defeating Wilson Fisk aka Kingpin, his longtime rival that has taken some time to put behind bars. Now that Kingpin is no longer running the streets; a new threat emerges that are not just the typical gangsters, they are terrorists. Spider-Man goes forward with the help of Yuri Watanabe who works in the police department, his ex-girlfriend M.J., and Miles Morales to discover this new threat. The story is charming, funny, heartfelt, compelling, and feels like something straight out of an MCU movie.

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In this story, you will face seeing some of the most iconic and obscure characters in Peter’s world. His beloved Aunt May is working at a homeless shelter, M.J. making it big time in at the Daily Bugle, and J. Jonah Jameson has his radio show all have a role in Peter’s life in some way. It is not just people supporting Peter/Spider-Man, except for Jameson, but Peter has plenty of villains to face. His most iconic baddies are here from Kingpin, Rhino, Electro, and many more. There are plenty of more obscure characters that casual fans won’t recognize, but the game does a beautiful job of introducing such as Mister Negative. Confusion about a character can happen especially with more obscure characters; you can go into bios of anyone on the menu to give background on everyone in the game. Each character is well developed with some great arcs. The writing has a lot of heart and a wide variety of tones that are well executed. A few jokes fall flat, but most put a smile on my face or more rarely get me to actually laugh.

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Out of any game made about the beloved web-swinger, I have never seen a story like this. Insomniac takes the heart and soul of both Peter and his superhero life, unlike any other video game. Spider-Man feels like an MCU movie that was teamed up with Insomniac by their mix of humor, drama, epic action, and even the soundtrack. Yes, they also have an after credit scene.

Insomniac is known for fluid combat, movement, and a wide variety of fun weapons and gadgets to utilize on the journey. This reputation from their Ratchet and Clank series and Xbox exclusive Sunset Overdrive is visible in Marvel’s Spider-Man. The combat is similar to many action games such as the Batman Arkham series. Basic combos, use of gadgets, similar parrying and dodging mechanics make it feel like an Arkham game with so much more. The fighting and movement are unlike anything that I have played since Sunset Overdrive. Spidey can scan around to see nearby enemies or interactable objects to use as a weapon. Action and traversing build up focus which is used to heal or finish enemies with one hit. Beating on bad guys is full of variety and lets you be as creative in how you tackle threats from the use of gizmos to stealth. Whichever way you tackle gangsters, terrorists, or supervillains, it always feels perfect.

The most significant aspect besides beating down criminals is moving around this giant open world. Web-swinging feels organic enough for me to feel like I am Spider-Man who has been active for eight years. The difficulty comes in slightly for people who want to go faster or be more precise with how they traverse around Manhattan. Traversal is a beautiful mix of ease and some talent for players with different levels of skill.

The gameplay is continually evolving by adding new mechanics in or building upon older ones. Various mini-games such as hacking or finding out about new chemicals are easy enough to do but hard enough to let you think for a few minutes. Every research activity done helps capture Peter’s brilliant mind in the world of science and technology, unlike any other game we have seen with his character.

The open world is full of typical activities such as side missions, randomly occurring crimes, collectibles, challenges, enemy bases, and towers that will unlock the map. While these activities are in every other open world such as the towers to unlock the map are similar to Far Cry, and the collectibles are in every game imaginable, we get something more rewarding. Every challenge, minigame, collectible, base, and crime give you tokens. Redeeming tokens for upgrades, new suits, suit modifications, and more to make Spider-Man stronger. Each activity provides a specific token. If a new suit requires X amount of challenges, crime, and research tokens, then you must complete challenges, crimes, and research minigames to unlock that costume. Collectibles in the game are fun to collect and are rewarding by giving some background on the world along with their tokens. The backpacks specifically are some of my favorite collectibles in any game since you see an item in that backpack that Peter will give some commentary on what you have found. You see some fantastic easter eggs from other Marvel characters or explanations about what has happened in the last eight years during Peter’s time as a superhero.

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The customization is light but satisfying. At any point, you can switch out which costume to wear along with its upgrades. Almost every suit comes with an ability that will enhance you for a limited time during battle or perform a super move to eliminate nearby enemies. With the swapping of skills in and out leaves for anyone to use their favorite costumes along with their preferred abilities. Each outfit is fantastic and got me excited to see what the next costume will be once unlocked. Fan favorite costumes such as his classic suit, Stark suit from Homecoming, and Iron Spider suit from Infinity War are present along with some that are more obscure. Some of the most unusual costumes are the Spider 2099 and Noir suit. I enjoyed every outfit that I would wear one for a while then switch to another. I felt almost overwhelmed with how many I could choose from in the best way possible.

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Everything you do gives you experience points, like just about most other games. You have three skill trees: innovator, defender, and web-slinger. Each will provide you with new abilities to fight, move around the city, or give you a bonus of strength or health. The leveling up system is fun and easy with all of the basics you will find anywhere else.

Manhattan is a massive part of New York you will be able to swing around in and fight crime while feeling like a real city that is being impacted by unnatural people. Instead of hopping from rooftop to rooftop, you can just walk the streets. Civilians will react in a variety of ways. Some may want a high five or to say hello. Others might be hateful towards Spider-Man. Everyone has a different opinion which helps flesh out the world. As you progress in the game, the world changes organically. Due to Spidey and his villains causing issues throughout the city, Jameson’s radio show will pop up briefly in crucial moments in the story that will provide a hilarious insight to how the city is being impacted. His banter about how Spider-Man is the cause of every issue is funny throughout the game but makes for a believable world that has this web-slinging hero as its protector. Later in the story, enemies will be more robust as they gather better weapons and introduce new enemy types. Enemy types and which faction they belong to will determine your strategy. All the way till the final act in the game new mechanics and enemies will demonstrate how the city is affected by the actions of the superbeings within it. The lively city that changes make for one of the most enjoyable open world games that I have played in years.

The game has a unique style to its graphics and animations. Insomniac has blended a realistic approach with a comic book style. Colors pop just like comics or any superhero movie in the MCU would. Details such as facial animations are wonderfully done for the game to have a look of realism. Animations are continually entertaining by how many variations there are. Spider-Man will do a variety of moves as he swings around the city depending on the objects he is maneuvering on. During combat, his movement is changing throughout the fight depending on how he is jumping or what objects he is using to his advantage. New York is filled with enough grit for a realistic look, while still maintaining enough color for a vibrant and interesting looking game.

Photo mode is something no game can go without anymore, especially with how beautiful games can look with the advancement of technology. All the essential functions are available such as filters, frames, emotes, and camera angles. One angle that can be used is a selfie mode, who doesn’t take a good selfie when they can? Those of you who are talented with photo modes then this will be game you cannot pass up.

The issues I have are few and quite small. Dialog repeats way too often. Spidey will have a quip after defeating criminals or as he arrives but tends to replay the same joke every time. If he is at a base, then he will have a set joke for that, or if he is doing a stealth challenge, then there is the witty remark for that situation. Hearing the same wisecracking can be annoying after playing the same missions over and over. The dialog can be easily interrupted, some of which I missed was important, but mostly it was Jameson going on about Spider-Man. If you miss an episode of Jameson, you can go to the menu and listen to it, which is no big deal. Loosing on meaningful dialog during a story mission is more difficult than missing out on Jameson’s banter. Progressing through a mission before a character finishes speaking will go on to a new set of dialog. While the boss battles are fun, sometimes it felt anti-climatic at times. The final critique is that many of the activities are a bit repetitive. What makes this a small criticism to me is the satisfyingly fun gameplay along with how the game progresses allows for new enemy types to change things up. The changes that Manhattan goes through makes the repetitive side activities much more bearable along with the rewards that come after completion.

Superhero games are mostly underwhelming with some that are beloved. Marvel’s Spider-Man will join the cherished crowd of masked heroes whose games have been successful. The game is has a beautiful aesthetic, brilliant voice acting and writing to make for an incredibly Spider-Man/Peter Parker story, fluid gameplay, and immersive open world. The game is smooth as can be with its fantastic traversal and gratifying combat. For the most part, the game leans on an easier difficulty. Puzzles might take a minute to think but are apparent for the most part. Missions as M.J. are stealth missions that require not a ton of skill. The combat is accessible especially with the move list in the menu to help you. I played on medium difficulty and felt it was too easy for the most part. If you want a challenge, then play on medium or hard difficulty. Fans of the web-slinger must play this game. Not only do we have the best game we have seen with the iconic hero, but this is the best superhero game of all time. With its slight flaws, it manages to pick itself up as you progress through its charming story. The game is full of unoriginal ideas with its side activities and certain gameplay elements but manages to refine those aspects into something fresh and enjoyable. Anyone looking for a more heartfelt game with more satisfying gameplay will have a tough time because it is going to be hard to beat Insomniac’s masterpiece.

Score: 9/10

Buy the game here:

Rock on the Range is Ending and Announces a Replacement

After twelve year, one of America’s biggest rock festivals – Columbus, Ohio’s Rock on the Range – is now ending due to a split between the companies Danny Wimmer Presents and AEG Live. The replacement festival will be named the Sonic Temple Art + Music Festival.

The split between the two organizers will direct the festival to a new direction with Danny Wimmer. Danny spoke to Loudwire on September 7 about the changes the festival will be making.

“I feel like Rock on the Range has fallen short on delivering better art installations and better food and drink options. Rock on the Range is the biggest rock festival in America that has no bells and whistles. This show deserves to have better offerings.”

The focus of added art exhibits, better food, and other forms of entertainment besides rock music is heavily influenced by other festivals. Mainstream festivals like Coachella or rock festivals like Knotfest have a wide variety of entertainment outside of their music lineups. Danny later continues by saying:

“We’ve built this to 45,000 fans a day, they deserve to get the art and the secondary entertainment. They deserve the best food options. They deserve to have the stadium look different than it does for normal events. They deserve for this to not be just another stadium parking lot show.”

Currently, there has not been a lineup for next year, but a venue and date have already been booked. People will be able to attend the festival on May 17 – 19, 2019 at the MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus, the venue that Rock on the Range was formerly home to.

Image via Danny Wimmer Presents and AEG Live