E3 2019 Wishlist: Top 8 Things I Want to See More Than Anything

E3 arrives in a few weeks, and as gamers, we need to get on that hype train for the biggest announcements of the year. Not much has been confirmed, so a lot of speculation circles social media. Some of what I am discussing is doing what gaming Twitter is doing right now, but not all of it is mere guessing, a few titles we know will get shown to a degree. This is what I am looking forward to the most for E3 2019.

Before going in, I should say that PlayStation is not presenting at E3 in case anyone reading did not know. So, don’t expect Ghost of Tsushima or the sequel to my favorite game, The Last of Us 2. Hopefully, at a separate event, we will see Sony give some news about their upcoming exclusives. Until then, we will have to sit and wait in sorrow hoping for some good news.

#8: What is Halo Infinite?

Last year Microsoft surprised my friends and me with this new Halo title. The series went downhill after the third entry and ultimately died in my eyes after the fifth. Based on the teaser trailer, the visuals seem like we are going back to the roots of Xbox’s hit FPS.

This E3 I hope we learn what the game actually is because a lot of rumors have circled around and not many facts.

#7: Rocksteady Reveals New Title

The men and women at Rocksteady changed hand to hand combat in so many action title with their Batman: Arkham series. The last entry came out back in 2015, so surely the developers are working on something new. Rumors come in about a new DC related project, but nothing is for certain. I am crossing my fingers for something from these talented creators.

#6: Square Enix The Avengers Project

Two years of silence from Square Enix on their upcoming Avengers game. Marvel has made a push to conquer the gaming industry with AAA titles based on their iconic heroes. Insomniac’s Spider-Man blew me away, and I need another epic superhero game to play.

Nothing is known about what Square is planning. After not a single mention last year at E3, we could be looking at a gameplay reveal. I doubt that we will get a release date, but one can hope they are gearing up to launch within the next year or two.

#5: Back 4 Blood

Turtle Rock Studios initially created one of the greatest zombie games of all time, Left 4 Dead. Since their quickly fallen monster hunting title Evolve, the studio has not made any releases. A few months ago they announced Back 4 Blood, a zombie PvE FPS. Since Valve has not made Left 4 Dead 3, this could be the spiritual successor that fans need after all.

The developers have not stated how it will differ, but it sounds like they want to go back to their roots while innovating for fresh ideas to the L4D styled new title.

Back 4 Blood is our own brand new, original IP,” Turtle Rock wrote on an FAQ. “You’ll be able to shoot up a lot of zombies like in Left 4 Dead, but there’s a whole lot of new stuff in Back 4 Blood which makes it unique.”

#4: Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

Before E3 kicks off, EA has its own show with EA Play that starts off the week of announcements. Certainly, we will see the new Star Wars title from Respawn, the first game the studio has put together since Titanfall 2.

Respawn is determined to make a singleplayer adventure with an in-depth combat system. Not much is known, but they did promise there will be no microtransactions and no multiplayer. A significant shift from EA’s stance on singleplayer vs. multiplayer experiences.

#3: DOOM Eternal Release Date

The 2016 DOOM reboot relaunched the franchise into new gory heights. After three years of waiting, I need some heavy metal, brutal violence, and excellent gunplay from id Software.

The sequel will expand the universe will providing plenty of new toys for demon slaying. After the energetically violent gameplay reveal from last year, it is time to give the fans what they need with an actual date.

 #2: Borderlands 3

Like many people, I have waited for a new Borderlands for a painful amount of time. A September release date is satisfying enough, but hopefully, Gearbox shows us more of the anticipated looter shooter.

#1: Cyberpunk 2077 Release Date

CD Projekt Red’s sci-fi RPG has been dragged out for a long time with its development. This ambitious title will need a lot of time, but after its extensive gameplay reveal, I was immediately sold. The plan is to release on the current console generation, so I hope to get a date sometime this year while a part of me feels like we will not get our hands on this innovative FPS until next year.

E3 starts June 11 to June 13

What are you looking forward to the most this E3? Comment your thoughts below:

Image via Flickr/Sergey Galyonkin

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39 Genres and Subgenres of Heavy Metal

One thing people often mistake about heavy metal is that the sound is always the same. Sure, just like any other genre, some artists copy others or lack creativity, so they land with a generic sound. In reality, metal comes in all sorts of different sounds with plenty of sharp turns that make some genres standout from others. While I won’t list every style of the darkest and heaviest form of music, I will list off as many as possible with descriptions so you can expand your horizons on all things evil.

For outsiders of the bizarre and dark world of heavy metal, this may get confusing because of the extreme amount of cross over between genres and bands, but this guide will hopefully ease you through this confusing labyrinth.

#39: Heavy Metal

Let’s start off with the basic. Heavy metal involves distortion, intensity, and often times some speed. The early days were not nearly as fast as the bands that come in the 80s to today, but for the time these groups went beyond what was capable of raw heaviness, even if it may seem weak for today’s standards.

Examples: Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden

#38: Thrash Metal

Like any genre, metal started to branch out and evolve. In the 80s, bands started shredding guitars, playing with more speed and aggression unlike the founders of metal.

Examples: Slayer and Metallica

#37: Power Metal

Take thrash metal with a lighter tone and symphonic elements then you pretty much have power metal. This is a much cleaner sound along with high pitched vocals, which says a lot since a lot of metal at this point has plenty of higher pitched singers.

Examples: DragonForce and Helloween

#36: Symphonic Metal

Blend heavy metal with classical music then you end up with symphonic metal. Taking the intensity of metal to combine with the strings and pianos found in symphonic music. This allows for some beautiful sounds to tie together with some that may scare off your grandparents.

Examples: Nightwish and Haggard

#35: Glam Metal

Incorporating some of the theatrics from people like David Bowe and combining the early metal sounds from Black Sabbath then glam metal was born. It has a classic feel to it while having a physical component to the music.

Examples: Alice Cooper and Motley Crue

#34: Black Metal

While the first wave of this new form of extreme metal was necessary, the second wave defined it during a time metal started to evolve rapidly into many different styles. Shrieking vocals, distorted instrumentation, and a focus on atmosphere from classic instruments. Its theatrical aesthetic with corpse paint and lyrical themes that oppose religion and worship Satan set a new movement in the heavy metal world.

Examples: Abbath and Dimmu Borgir

#33: Death Metal

Some would argue bands like Slayer or Deceased are death metal, but we are focusing on the genre-defining groups that shaped the most brutal genre on the planet.

Screaming with incredibly low vocals mixed with high screams get accompanied by distorted guitars and intense drumming. The speed can go to unspeakable levels, it can remain astonishingly slow while keeping up with the heaviness. The lyrical content is what most people think of since most death metal bands focus on writing the most grotesque and gruesome lyrics imaginable.

Examples: Cannibal Corpse and Carcass

#32: Industrial Metal

Take what we have learned so far about distortion and dark lyrical contents to connect a synth sound for something more electric.

Examples: Rammstein and Ministry

#31: Stoner Metal

One of the more obscure styles so far is stoner metal. A psychedelic, blues-influenced genre that is perfect to jam to while smoking that herb. Many bands learn towards rock while still having the elements from heavy metal.

Examples: Queens of a Stone Age and Mastodon

#30: Doom Metal

Linked initially to Black Sabbath and later altered into what it is today, doom metal might be the slowest on the list. A slow tempo with low tuning makes for a dreadful experience, in the best way possible.

Examples: Candlemass and Black Sabbath

#29: Gothic Metal

Continuing the dark look that metal has adopted, gothic metal takes the tone of doom metal and elements from gothic rock to form this atmospheric genre.

Examples: Lacuna Coil and Paradise Lost

#28: Sludge Metal

Adjusting the speed to something faster while still having qualities of doom metal, sludge moves and sounds heavier, faster, and louder while still having the same tone. Compared to other genres, this is still significantly slower than most styles of metal.

Examples: Eyehategod and Crowbar

#27: Metalcore

While punk and metal had its differences, hardcore punk and metal started a relationship that grew into something huge that dominates most of the scene today. Metalcore is one of the biggest genres, that takes hardcore’s riffs while incorporating low tuned guitars and breakdowns as the instrumental foundation. Accompanied by screaming and as bands in the early to mid-2000s come into the game, they start blending clean vocals with the screaming.

Examples: Parkway Drive and Fit for a King

#26: Folk Metal

This is simple, take traditional folk and metal to create this oddly awesome genre. The singing and instrumentation lean heavily into folk music while the lyrics deal with mythology or history.

Examples: Korpiklaani and Ensiferum

#25: Kawaii Metal

“Cute metal” is what this translates to, and this has blown up due to Babymetal. Take the energy and qualities from power metal and the style of J-pop into this fast-paced genre.

Examples: Babymetal and Bridear

#24: Alternative Metal

An experimental genre that fuses alternative rock and heavy metal. Similar to genres like power metal, this takes on a lighter side of metal while distinguishing itself from bands like DragonForce.

Examples: Tool and System of a Down

#23: Funk Metal

Alternative metal knocked up funk to make this jazzy metal genre.

Examples: Faith No More and Rage Against the Machine

#22: Nu-Metal

Any band from the mid-90s or early 2000s got lumped into this genre despite lacking any characteristics. What makes this is the styled rap vocals and often the use of a turntable. Most likely if you think of a band that might fit this style, they are most likely a rock band rather than metal.

Examples: Linkin Park and (early) Slipknot

#21: Viking Metal

A mix of fascination with history, black metal, folk metal, and death metal, Viking metal came to be to infuse the darkest corners of heavy metal to scream about Vikings and Norse mythology. Nothing is more metal than the Viking lifestyle and mythology.

Examples: Amon Amarth and Enslaved

#20: Progressive Metal

Bands on this side of metal experiment by expanding the structure and sound of their music beyond what the average fan can hear. Technical playing and songwriting drive this genre forward with plenty of twists that will not be heard elsewhere.

Examples: Periphery and Meshuggah

#19: Deathcore

The breakdowns of metalcore go in a much heavier direction as it meets the brutality of death metal. The harsh vocals and instrumental styles go together to make for a heavier edition of metalcore for fans looking for that aggression with some different flavors that stray away from Cannibal Corpse or Parkway Drive.

Examples: Whitechapel and Carnifex

#18: Grindcore

How did genres like death metal and other extreme styles come to the world? Grindcore is how. A fusion between heavy metal and hardcore punk, this is one of the fastest paced genres. Bands that founded the new form of music wanted one thing, and that was to be the fastest group in the scene.

Examples: Napalm Death and Terrorizer

#17: Groove Metal

Thrash metal evolved into something slower with more of a mid-tempo which eventually turned itself into groove metal. One of the best-known genres that many metal fans struggle to define since it formed in a weird time alongside the equally odd Nu-metal movement.

Example: Lamb of God

#16: Djent

Primarily just progressive metal, but has a distinct sound and style, mainly in the guitar playing.

The term gets debated all the time whether it is just progressive with a different name or it is distinctive enough from other styles. This one will be left up to the metalheads reading.

Examples: Periphery and Meshuggah

#15: Speed Metal

A genre that formed back in the 70s and transformed in the 80s after the introduction of thrash metal, this style takes many forms. The most crucial aspect here is the speed and its abrasive sound, which makes it one of the most confusing genres for people to identify.

Example: DevilDriver

#14: Space Metal

Some of these are shocking to exist, yet space metal is a thing. Taking inspiration from space rock and progressive metal, this genre with a cosmic theme.

Examples: Vektor and Voivod

#13: Post-Metal

Similar to post-rock with the addition of heavier distortion and an emphasis on evolving the song structure as a track plays through. Also, the instrumentation is the most critical part, while the vocals take the back seat to play a minimal role.

Examples: Russian Circles and Cult of Luna

#12: Neoclassical Metal

The composition from classical music meets heavy metal for a shredding focused genre. Like symphonic metal, this takes instruments from classical music to combine it with traditional instruments found in a metal band.

Example: Yngwie Malmsteen

#11: Latin Metal

Artists in this category can fall under different subgenres of metal, but what makes them still have a foot in Latin metal comes from the Spanish influence. This can stem from vocal styles to the instruments used.

Examples: Nonpoint and III Niño

#10: Deathgrind

Brutal death metal meeting with grindcore for a gruesome combination of instrumental and vocal styles.

Example: Cattle Decapitation

#9: Pirate Metal

Thrash metal and sometimes speed metal, but the main distinction comes from the pirate theme and the use of sea shanties.

Example: Alestorm

#8: Melodic Death Metal

Another easy one because this makes death metal’s instrumentation more melodic heavy than the crushing styles from classic death metal.

Examples: The Black Dahlia Murder and Arch Enemy

#7: Technical Death Metal

Going for the most complex structure and styles, technical death metal challenges the artist more than regular death metal.

Examples: Necrophagist and Obscura

#6: Blackened Death Metal

The themes and aesthetics from black metal meet the brutality of death metal. The vocals and the guitar’s tuning match that of death metal while holding the same musical elements from black metal.

Examples: Behemoth and Goatwhore

#5: Progressive Metalcore

The breakdowns of metalcore and vocal styles collide together with the experimental mindset that follows the progressive genre.

Examples: Erra and Periphery

#4: Melodic Metalcore

While the breakdowns are persistent, this branch of metalcore takes a riff-heavy approach to add more melody to the music. Rather than having clean vocals add this melody, the instrumentation has a stronger role.

Examples: Bullet for My Valentine and Killswitch Engage

#3: Christian Black Metal

Christian genres of metal tend to focus on the lyrical aspects rather than genre-defining instrumentation or vocal styles. This one, in particular, takes the instrumentation and theatrics of black metal, except turn towards worship and taking an opposition against Satan. It is inherently black metal upside down.

The genre is also named unblack metal and is controversial in the black metal fan base.

Examples: Horde and Antestor

#2: Christian Metalcore

Throwing a name in front of the genre just for thematic purposes adds to an abundant population of heavy metal styles, so this will be the last Christian genre of metal. I bring this one up due to the popularity it has within metalcore.

It is this simple; metalcore with Christian themes.

Examples: The Devil Wears Prada and For Today

#1: War Metal

A hybrid between black and death metal, this focuses on aggressive playstyles and themes about war.

Example: Bestial Warlust

As you can see, metal can get complicated quickly. I am sure metalheads will have some issues with my definitions or examples, which I will gladly read up any discussions in the comments.

Image via Fine Chart Labs

5 Things Heavy Metal Haters Don’t Understand

Fans of metal often hear frustrating statements when people try to claim that metal is “evil,” “always angry,” or any of the many other negative things that get said about the genre. The community knows the truth, and we should educate the outside world that is full of pop music, autotune, and a lack of black clothing. Outsiders, read carefully.

#5: The reason behind the negative lyrics stems from releasing out toxic emotions. Music and any form of art are based on emotions. Sure, not all of it is, but a vast majority. Creators get to take their frustration, sorrow, and anger out with their art, and in this case the metal they create.

Some people need positivity to knock out negativity, but some require a negative to cancel out a negative. Everyone deals with life differently, and hearing an ultra-optimistic tune will not succeed in putting some people into a good mood.  Hearing a song like People = Shit by Slipknot relates to pissed off fans so they can positively cope with whatever problems life throws at them.

The same goes for depressing music. Hearing lyrics from your favorite band speaking to you directly helps with loneliness. Another aspect of relating to a song’s words is being able to articulate your feelings. Sometimes it is hard to communicate what is going on in your head, so finding the right song can help unleash those feelings. When listening to a track like Dark Days by Carnifex, plenty of fans will listen and feel better about their situation.

What the negativity comes down to is the taste of music from any individual. Studies have shown that if you like metal, it will make you happy. Nonfans will feel more stress, anger, and frustration when listening to such an aggressive style of music. So, if you despise metal, go listen to what you like and leave us to get hyped about the next Slipknot and Amon Amarth albums in headbanging peace.

#4: Black clothing is a staple that confuses many outside of this scene. I cannot count how many times people ask questions or feel the need to point out about my excessive need to wear black. Every community of any fandom has a culture to the common interest. In this case, wearing all black and other alternative looks is the style that metalheads have chosen.

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Some of the band merch I own. A Disturbed, Amon Amarth, and Slipknot shirt along with a jacket from The Black Dahlia Murder

A lot of themes surround extreme music, one of which is rebellion. Society wants one thing, and some people need to do the opposite. Plenty of which society tells is may be morally right, but often times it is a way to control people. When you look “odd” then people push you away, but in this case, when you get cast out, you find like-minded people to call you a friend.

Shocking the world has been around since the early days of rock and has embedded itself into the punk and metal DNA. Having tattoos, piercings, dyed hair, and wearing all black clothes will undoubtedly get an adverse reaction out of some people. That horror on people’s faces feeds what the rebellious fans want since it proves their point about people’s ignorance and quick judgment towards others.

#3: All metal is Satanic might be one of the worst lies spread about the scene. Certainly, some bands and fans are Satanists, but many are not. This comes from both the shock value from the previous paragraph and the dark nature attracting particular demographics.

A lot of rock back in the 50s, 60s, and 70s had a focus of sexualizing the music and appearances to surprise naysayers then a shift occurred. Metal took the things into something grimmer than men with feminine clothes and talking about sex and drugs.  Violence and Satan were used to make the world fear this genre, and it worked. Satan became a part of the natural evolution of the horror element to the scene.

The rise of Satanism and anti-religious mindsets have other hobbies, so when wanting music that matches those feelings from their views, metal became the perfect candidate. The birth of black metal injected a lot of these themes into the veins of metalheads around the world. The new extreme style has done some good and bad for the community due to murders, racism, and church burnings, but plenty of bands like Behemoth and Satanic rock groups like Ghost are good role models for the big guy downstairs.

#2: Metal is causing people to be more violent simply is not true. Tieing together into other topics I have discussed from earlier, metal does not make people into murders.

Violence in this style of music along with other themes like Satan stem from a lot of what I talked about before and more. For non-fans to understand, think of horror movies. We witness murderers and monsters rip people limb from limb and enjoy it. Think of metal as the horror movies of music. Bands like GWAR and Slipknot look horrifying with their costumes while Cattle Decapitation and Infant Annihilator shock the world with their graphic lyrics.

Quickly going back on how negative music makes metalheads into a more positive headspace, same goes for the brutal side of metal. Studies continue to show that if you like the music, even if the band talks about murder and torture, you will get put into a good mood. Metal haters may forget that if you enjoy something, then you will feel joy, even if that thing might seem disturbing.

#1: How can anyone understand what is being said? Any fan will get asked some variation of this question. Compared to some other wonders that the average person may have, this is one of the most understanding because it is difficult to understand someone screaming extremely low or high sounds then trying to comprehend those words. The answer comes from two main factors, adapting to that style of vocalization and getting used to an individual vocalist.

Genres and subgenres within the realm of heavy metal that incorporate screaming are the least accessible styles of music on the planet, so you need to train your ear. Take baby steps by finding vocalists with midranges that can enunciate clearly. A lot of that can be found in hardcore and metalcore, think of bands like The Ghost Inside or August Burns Red. Once that starts to sound clearer, move towards a group like Whitechapel, especially their last few albums, which will increase the challenge while still being manageable. Keep going heavier until most people sound coherent, but not all will since some people are not clear in their screams, it always depends on the vocalist.

Everyone sounds different, whether you can tell or not, which is why one style of metal may not make the difference in understanding the words being belted out by these singers. Someone can start to understand the lyrics from any death metal band then get stumped by someone as low as George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher from Cannibal Corpse or John Gallagher from Dying Fetus. That is why practice makes perfect if someone wants to get into this style of music since our ears will not usually instantly adapt to these unusual sounds.

Hopefully, this clears things up for non-fans of the darkest genre of music. For the fans, what talking points did I miss? What other things drive you insane that the outside world seems to not understand?

Header image via commons.wikimedia/Morten Jensen

7 Most Emotional Moments in the MCU That Broke Everyone’s Heart

Fans everywhere were devastated after watching Infinity War last year. Since its followup, Endgame arrives in a few weeks, fans like myself are mentally preparing for more heartbreak and a conclusion that can hopefully mend our demolished souls. Marvel has had plenty of crushing blows to their fans (in the best way possible), and it sounds like a good time to go back down on memory lane and cry together as we relive these moments.

#7: Spider-Man Meets the Date’s Dad (Spider-Man: Homecoming)

The ultimate twist happened in Spidey’s first standalone flick in the MCU. When he knocks on the door to take out his crush, Liz, only to see her father open the door and it is his nemesis, the Vulture. The entire scene with them in the home of Spider-Man’s villain and the car ride to the dance was unbearably uncomfortable. This scene hit me hard, and my heart sank, unlike any other feeling I have ever had in my movie watching life. I felt the same way as Peter as he tried to comprehend what just happened.

#6: Best Friends Fighting (Captain America: The Winter Soldier)

The climax of Winter Soldier throws a lot at the audience. Hydra has taken over S.H.I.E.L.D., and now Captain America must face his best friend, who turns out has been brainwashed. His refusal to fight and lets himself get beaten down at the end hurts to watch. A man discovering his friend is alive but turns out he is against him. Hard to get more crushing than that.

#5: Yondu’s Death and Funeral (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2)

The heroes that fly through the cosmos always deliver some heartfelt beats but focus mostly on humor. Having comedy as the centerpiece of any adventure with the Guardians makes it that much more shocking by the ending of their second adventure. Yondu sacrifices himself and the film ends on his funeral. I thought I would leave that theater laughing; instead, my eyes were waterfalls of tears and I was a broken man by the end.

#4: Mantis Discovering Drax’s Pain (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2)

Another scene that ripped my heart out in the second Guardians of the Galaxy was when Mantis and Drax were sitting down, looking over at Ego’s planet. Drax talks about his family and Mantis feels his arm to sense his emotions. She truly feels his pain and the goofy Guardian that we love then realize how much of that pain is carried wherever he goes.

#3: Avengers vs. Avengers (Captain America: Civil War)

Nobody wants their parents to fight, and in this case, those parents are our heroes. Split on political opinions and misinformation from trickery in the background, Earth’s Mightiest Heroes go at each other’s throats. People get severely hurt and the team breaks up due to this conflict, and the world is left a lot less safe when the time comes for the Mad Titan.

#2: Tony Discovers How His Parents Died (Captain America: Civil War)

Marvel really did not pull any punches during Civil War, especially towards the end. Tony discovering Bucky killed his parents was not enough of a painful revelation for fans and Tony alike. Now he fights Bucky and Captain America, which is both one of the most violent fights we have seen and emotional. Seeing two of the leaders of the Avengers almost kill one another never gets easier to watch.

#1: Every Death (Avengers: Infinity War)

The fight finally came with Thanos in Infinity War. From Loki’s death right out of the gate to Gamora’s heartwrenching murder to the snap, this film beats its audience and heroes down until they submit.

Many of the dead will come back in Endgame, but plenty has to happen to keep those consequences and the power that Thanos had over the universe. If Marvel permanently kills off enough people or keeps enough dead from the many kills, then this will always hit hard. If they pull back too much, then this will be a scrape rather than a beating to our emotions.

What are some gut-punching moments for you in the MCU? Comment below on what made you cry when watching Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.

Images and clips via Marvel Studios

5 Villains Who Could Come After Thanos in Phase Four

Thanos’ time runs out shortly later this month with the release of Avengers: Endgame. Since the MCU has built up the Mad Titan for years and gets ready to move on, the big question is who will replace him? A lot of universe shattering or less dramatic Earthling baddies could be the next big threat against Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. These are just a few of those possible enemies.

#5: Sinister Six

Six of Spider-Man’s biggest villains coming together to defeat him would make for the perfect challenge. Since the MCU has focused on more collaborative adventures lately and will continue to do so in the future, then it would be perfect for Spidey to call his friends in the Avengers to help him with this hefty fight.

Some of these criminals who often feature in this diabolical gang in New York has implanted themselves into the MCU already. Vulture featured as the main antagonist in Homecoming with Shocker being a side baddie along with the inclusion of Mac Gargan, who eventually becomes the infamous Scorpion. Now with Far From Home arriving this summer with Mysterio, who appears as a hero with the possibility of turning sides, makes for the fourth character to feature in the Sinister Six. A third film could introduce two more; she which would be easy due to the team of villains having a long history of various members like Kraven the Hunter, Doc Ock, and Green Goblin.

 

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Image via Marvel Comics

#4: Doctor Doom

Fox has already screwed up the most recognizable villain, Victor Von Doom/Doctor Doom with their embarrassing attempts at making Fantastic Four adaptions. Now the acquisition has gone through; Marvel can stick their teeth into the glorious superheroes and supervillains at their disposal.

Many people who have only seen the movies would think of the infamous character as someone who faces the Fantastic Four exclusively, but he has had a history with the Avengers. While it would make for a good move on Marvel’s part to dive into more obscure choices, but fans deserve a quality execution of bringing Doctor Doom to the big screen.

Victor’s arsenal of weapons, super armor, and political and economic power from being the monarch of Latveria, a European country that Doom rules over, he covers all bases of strength that could pose a problem for everyone’s favorite team of heroes.

 

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Image via Marvel Comics

#3: Kang the Conqueror 

Kang is a time traveler who got bored with his utopian home and in his adventures became a conqueror of planets. He has a long history with running into Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. Since the introduction of time travel with the time stone and other cosmic ideas, Marvel could easily introduce Kang. If Endgame does dabble with traveling through time, then this could be the easiest excuse to tease the new antagonist in the after credit scene, which could be unlikely due to the recency of Disney’s acquisition of 20th Century Fox.

 

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Image via Marvel Comics

#2: Magus

Adam Warlock’s tease at the end of Guardians of the Galaxy 2 establishes his future presence, but what if he becomes a villain? That is possible since he has a history of being Magus, essentially his doppelganger. Another time travel oriented opponent who lives in another timeline than the heroic Warlock.

While Thanos has an army of aliens and his children, Magus founded the Universal Church of Truth which gives him more than his cosmic powers, but a legion of followers who will do anything for their master.

Magus has the same powers as Adam with equal strength. His cosmic abilities allow for manipulation of time and reality, strength, and much more. Now Captain Marvel enters the MCU as their most powerful hero; she will be able to help even the odds if Magus makes an appearance.

 

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Image via Marvel Comics

 

#1: Galactus 

Arguably the most dominant cosmic entity in the universe, Galactus. A world-eating behemoth who could crush anyone in seconds. Besides snacking on planets, he has god-like strength and seemingly endless universal energy powers.

If Thanos is Mt. Everest in the eyes of Marvel, they are looking to the sky to bring utter hell to our heroes. While there are reasons to think Marvel will want to turn to someone more grounded like the Sinister Six, but it is most likely it will be needed to find someone more powerful than the Mad Titan, so nobody is a better choice than the oldest entity in the known universe.

 

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Image via Marvel Comics

Avengers: Endgame releases April 26

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9 Crossover Characters Needed in Mortal Kombat 11

NeatherRealm gears up to unleash another gory reveal tomorrow for Mortal Kombat 11. The iconic franchise has plenty of elements that fans cherish, but one of the best aspects that get people talking is its reach beyond the canon to introduce beloved murderous characters from people’s favorite games and movies. Here is my dream list of fighters that will hopefully appear in DLC for the latest release.

#1: Terminator (Terminator)

Playing as the unstoppable Terminator would empower players with its robotic strength. The added bonus would be playing as Arnold Schwarzenegger, would enhance people’s skills even further.

The brute strength and gunplay from the T-800 could lend itself to plenty of violent possibilities for moves and fatalities. Inspiration from the films will certainly give plenty of morbid ideas to the developers over at NetherRealm Studios.

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Image via flickr Insomnia Cured Here/Warner Bros. Pictures

#2: Ripley (Alien)

Mortal Kombat X featured Ripley’s alien nemesis, so why not give her time to shine? Ripley is one of the most powerful ladies in film history. NetherRealm never found an issue when placing strong women in the bloody franchise like Sonya Blade and Kitana.

Ripley’s arsenal of a flamethrower and pulse rifle leads to plenty of ways to kill her foes. If she does get added, let’s all agree that her fatality must include injecting her enemies into space somehow.

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Image via 20th Century Fox

#3: Joel and Ellie (The Last of Us)

Two things Mortal Kombat has done in the past to make this work is their introduction of Kratos from God of War in the 2011 release and having two characters in one with Ferra and Torr in Mortal Kombat X. Replicating Ferra and Torr would make for the perfect love letter to PlayStation fans of Naughty Dog’s masterpiece.

Kratos being a PlayStation exclusive character lets NetherRealm have the freedom to dip its toes in another property from Sony’s vast roster.

The Last of Us is nothing without both of its protagonists so the two would have to come together as they slaughter through each arena. Come on Sony and NetherRealm, get to talking about this idea.

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Image via Naughty Dog/Sony Interactive Entertainment

#4: Master Chief (Halo)

Giving Xbox fans some love, Master Chief would be the ultimate choice for this bloody puncher. He has plenty of skills fighting Covenant and Flood to take on Sub Zero. His vast experience with a wide variety of weapons and vehicles would make Spartan 117 a difficult foe for anyone facing him in the ring.

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Image via 343 Industries/Xbox Game Studios

#5: Doom Slayer (DOOM)

Arguably the most vicious killer in video games is Doom Slayer. The silent protagonist rushes through space and hell to brutalize any demon in his path. The marine has plenty of toys that will dismember and blow up any body part. When going hand to hand, he can deliver some mean punches that will still tear his enemies apart.

Watch out Scorpion, Doom Slayer will make you “get over here,” and it will not be nice.

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Image via id Software/Bethesda Softworks

#6: Any Marvel Superhero/Villain

DC had its turn with the crossover title Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, now let Marvel have its turn with any of its heroes or villains. With the hype coming from the movies, any of the major players in the Avengers films would lead to excellent choices. Spider-Man webbing up his opponents, Thanos snapping everyone to dust, or Iron Man blasting pieces of flesh off his foes would do for the perfect bridge between MK and Marvel.

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Image via Marvel Studios

#7: Jedi/Sith Lord (Star Wars)

Both the Jedi and Sith are powerful enough with their skills in using a lightsaber and the force to gut anyone in their path. Due to the Sith’s grim presence and brutal mindsets, having Darth Vader or any other iconic character on the dark side would be more fitting for the most violent fighting game. The use of laser burns, force lightning, and force push allow for plenty of options for terrifying fatalities.

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Image via Disney/Lucasfilm

#8: John Wick (John Wick)

Keanu Reeves’ action trilogy stands as my favorite action movies for a great reason. The choreography beats out any other film in the genre. Just tell him Baraka ate his dog then he will be on a killing spree. Whether it is with guns, his hands, or a pencil, he will manage to get his target.

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Image via Lionsgate

#9: The Hound (Game of Thrones)

Game of Thrones has a roster of potential fighters suited for the ultraviolent world of Mortal Kombat, but The Hound is one of the most vicious and biggest favorites from Westeros. He has had quite the journey facing plenty of people and white walkers, yet always surviving even when he lost to Brienne of Tarth.

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Image via HBO

Mortal Kombat 11 comes out April 23 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and PC.

 

 

 

5 Best and Worst Aspects of the MCU

Even if you are like me, a person who has an unhealthy obsession with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, you probably still have some issues with Marvel’s approach to some elements of their filmmaking and world building. Where negatives appear, positives can too, it is why so many fans stick around to this superpowered cosmos to see new storylines and their favorite characters save the galaxy. Let’s blend together some of the universe’s brightest ideas that get people to the theater with every release and their biggest duds that makes fans roll their eyes.

Best:

#1: Character Chemistry

The weakest films tend to be the standalone adventures without any interaction from other heroes in the MCU. When our heroes all come together in Avengers, fight against one another in Civil War, or have smaller scale run-ins like Spider-Man: Homecoming and The Winter Soldier, this is what makes everything work so well. The fight choreography always improves when seeing people use their powers alongside someone else’s for that extra punch. This is needed in difficult fights like the ones seen in Infinity War against Thanos (Josh Brolin).

Not everything has to be violent. Captain Marvel sees fun chemistry between fan favorite Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and the MCU’s most powerful hero Captain Marvel (Brie Larson). These relationships feel real through thick and thin. I felt the pain and complicated emotions the Avengers felt during the events of Civil War and its aftermath during Infinity War. In between the fighting, the character-driven moments have substance and don’t feel like it gets in the way of the action.

#2: Memorable Action Scenes

Superhero flicks have plenty of explosions and punches, so filmmakers need to make these scenes memorable for fans, or they become dull. A range of small scale battles with little risk to all-out war breaking out that threatens the lives of millions keeps contrast to combat without everything feeling overly dramatic with world-ending possibilities happening with every film.

One of the most intimate battles occurs during the final act of Civil War where Bucky (Sebastian Stan), Captain America (Chris Evans) must fight off a furious Iron Man who learned the truth behind the death of his parents. Out of the many moments where the Avengers had to go into combat, this remains the most emotional we have been delivered yet.

While those remain satisfying at times, the high stakes conflicts stand as the most exciting to watch, especially on the big screen. The Battle of Wakanda during Infinity War is arguably the greatest bloodshed seen in the superhero genre. Carpet bombing from War Machine (Don Cheadle) devastating hundreds of charging aliens lead by the surviving members of the Mad Snapper’s children is one of the most spectacular explosions from any movie I have seen. Cuts between various heroes teaming up to kill enemies left and right. Bucky picking up Rocket (Bradley Cooper) to go in a circle of gunfire is not only of my favorite moments, it worries me for Bucky that Rocket may steal his arm. Then the other significant moment that gets me pumped up with adrenaline every time is the moment for Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Rocket, and Groot (Vin Diesel) to come down for their piece of the ass-kicking pie.

#3: Balancing Tones

I have cried, laughed, been in awe, and so many more states of emotion due to these movies. Movies that strike many different cords inside their audience go above and beyond to make a captivating connection to viewers. From the Avengers getting torn apart in Civil War, almost every jokes from the Guardians in both of their standalone movies and Infinity War, and the gut punch of a twist in Homecoming. I have felt everything I could imagine watching these 20 (and many more coming) films.

#4: Casting Choices

Whether you look at Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Tom Holland as Spider-Man, or Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, everyone is perfectly suited for their role. Every person as a significant character embodies them in a way that makes it impossible to see anyone else as that hero. Downey captures Tony’s pain while maintaining his snarky attitude, Holland brings Spidey’s youthful energy to life, and Johansson strikes the traumatic past that haunts this agent while being a key component to the Avengers during their darkest days.

Marvel continues to get the perfect people for the job in their villainous roles. Michael Keaton rivals as one of the most compelling and sympathetic criminals to be shown in the MCU. Josh Brolin captured audiences with his performance as Thanos to be the ultimate baddie that defeated Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. While the supervillains tend to be much weaker, plenty of characters still shine as bright as the protagonists.

#5: Connecting a Large Universe

Making a believable and lifelike world takes both grand, elaborate ties along with subtle details to flesh everything out. The MCU goes through great lengths to make this universe feel real for both casual viewers and die-hard fans.

The latest edition of Marvel’s growing cosmos is Captain Marvel. If you read my review, then you may remember me praising how it connects itself to the universe in both critical and minuscule ways. To avoid spoilers, I will look towards some of its predecessors.

Civil War came due to the massive amount of mistakes and tragedies that surround the actions of the Avengers. The Battle of New York (Avengers), Battle of Sokovia (Age of Ultron), and the action scene at the beginning of Civil War brought unwanted consequences that end up dividing the team. It brought something to both the characters and the audience that everything that happens, positive or negative, can have a reaction.

Smaller details from easter eggs and references little every Marvel movie. A nod to one character or a hidden gem that could mean something in the future might take a few times of watching to find, but worth it once found. The Winter Soldier has a scene that names Doctor Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) which meant nothing to me at first until the release of Doctor Strange arrived to blow my tiny mind. Peter Parker’s standalone debut features a generic criminal named Mac Gargan (Michael Mando) who may seem like a random thug, but comic book readers instantly knew he becomes Scorpion, a classic foe for Spidey. Fingers crossed for a Sinister Six in the MCU.

Worst: 

#1: CGI Inconsistencies

When the digital effects of these movies are good, then you get things like the mind-bending visuals from Doctor Strange.  When things look ugly and poorly rendered, then it is too apparent. Almost every entry has a point in which the beauty turns sour with some bad CGI. The final battle from Black Panther has a few moments that are painful to watch.

#2: Retcons

Expanding a universe across over 20 movies, you are going to have some issues with the plot. Plenty of accidents occur in which Marvel retcons or something slips into a film that contradicts something from the past.

Back in the first Thor, we see Thanos’ gauntlet then see him put it on at the end of Age of Ultron. Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige initially stated there were two infinity gloves then after Ragnarok in which Hela (Cate Blanchett) knocks down Odin’s (Anthony Hopkins) version calling it a “fake.” Eventually, Feige would say, “We had an internal Marvel theory that it was fake,” Feige said after Ragnarok‘s release.

The biggest retcon is early on when Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) dies in the first Avengers. He gets brought back to life by alien technology in the TV series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. While fans of the character got something they wanted, it proves the criticism that the MCU lacks any real stakes.

#3: No Identifiable Themesongs

When the Avengers are fighting aliens or Hydra members, the epic score plays to get fans hyped up as they watch their favorite superheroes save the day. For individual characters, nobody gets their own theme song. Having a set track for each person helps deliver more personality to their scenes, especially when having an epic solo moment. Captain Marvel is the only character so far to get her own, so hopefully moving forward we can see some more tunes for each member of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.

#4: Cookie Cutter Formula

While I love these films, the structure tends to blend together, especially for standalone narratives. Some experimentation has been done with the ensemble flicks and some others like Ant-Man and Guardians of the Galaxy. For the most part, most entries don’t deviate from the formula that has been established because it works but could be problematic in another 20 movies.

Thankfully things are changing up in the future. The next phase of the MCU will start to shake things up for some much needed fresh ideas.

#5: Villains

It is impossible to talk about problems within the Marvel’s juggernaut of a franchise without looking towards its villains. Lately, with Vulture, Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan), and Thanos, they have been on a roll with great antagonists. Sadly, those are the few greats that have been put on the big screen. Generic foes like Darren Cross (Corey Stroll) from Ant-Man and Kaecilius (Mads Mikkelsen) from Doctor Strange hurt the quality of the films and the larger universe. With the strong source material, it is a shame this has been a consistent issue.

For fans of Marvel’s giant franchise, what are some of your favorite and least favorite elements from these movies? Comment below what you think.

Videos and Images via Marvel Studios/Filmic Box/Marvel Mifat/FilmClips4K/Movie Nation/MovieClips