7 Best Video Games of 2018

2018 had its ups and downs with video games. Disappointing releases sprinkled throughout with some gold shining through the dirt. The year felt lackluster regarding the quantity of excellent games, but enough to make for a solid year for the industry.

#7: Shadow of the Colossus 

Yes, a remaster finds its way on the list of the best games of the year. Bluepoint Games rebuilt this iconic masterpiece for old-school fans and newcomers like myself who were too young and lacked the skill to play. The heart of the best remains the same, but a facelift and new controls fit for the modern landscape of this medium.

Buy now: Shadow of the Colossus

#6: A Way Out 

While I had issues with the feeling of the gameplay, A Way Out stands tall with a compelling narrative that tore my heart out and a unique cooperative mechanic that works wonderfully. The innovative experience and brilliant storytelling make up for the obvious flaws.

Buy now: A Way Out – Xbox One

Buy now: A Way Out – PlayStation 4

#5: Detroit: Become Human

Quantic Dream cannot shake its flaws in storytelling and clunky gameplay, but they grow with each title.

Detroit takes themes that have been beaten to death with a nice twist full of gripping choices and three-dimensional characters. Like their previous game, Heavy Rain, the dynamic of playing three separate androids whose stories weave together brought up some of the hardest choices I have ever had to make. The immense amount of times I had to pause to gather my thoughts for the right choice felt overwhelming but satisfying in the end.

Buy now: Detroit Become Human

#4: Hitman 2

Another bloodbath adventure with the iconic assassin, Agent 47 never disappoints. While feeling more like DLC with its lack of innovation than a fully fleshed out title, the sequel to the 2016 hit still lands on its feet.

No matter how much the series cannot get its storytelling and voice acting to a decent quality, the gameplay continues to be the most crucial aspect. A vastly open area with each level having plenty of diversity, Hitman 2 still provides the perfect playground for murder.

Buy now: Hitman 2 – PlayStation 4

Buy now: Hitman 2 – Xbox One

#3: Marvel’s Spider-Man

Ever since the old Spider-Man 2 released, I have wanted a Spidey game to recapture that magic I had as a kid. Insomniac Games getting the chance to put their stamp on the iconic hero is a match made in heaven.

While Spider-Man suffers from its fun, but redundant side activities, the satisfying gameplay and standout story makes for one of the greatest games ever created. I feel sorry for anyone missing out because they do not own a PlayStation 4.

Buy now: Marvel’s Spider-Man

#2: Red Dead Redemption 2 

Rockstar did not just make a sequel to the masterfully crafted Red Dead Redemption. The company developed a technological masterpiece that outshines every open-world title. The developers know how to blend a wide variety of activities along with its exciting Western story. Nobody can consistently tell some of the best narratives while putting together something that will change the industry forever unless their company is called Rockstar Games.

Buy now: Red Dead Redemption 2 – PlayStation 4

Buy now: Red Dead Redemption 2 – Xbox One

#1: God of War

I cannot believe that God of War outdid Red Dead and Spider-Man. Going into the fourth main title of a long-running series sounds insane, but Sony Santa Monica made the perfect balance for newcomers and longtime fans.

Only a handful of games in my life have made me cry, and God of War is one of them. An emotional journey about a man and his son that ties together with Greek and Norse mythology.

Taking the series away from its Greek roots sounds insane, but what happens is the universe has been built upon. A man going into a foreign land full of threats that can kill him, even if he is Kratos.

The satisfying gameplay and the genius writing to make every “gamey” aspect into something meaningful to the world around the characters makes for an immersive experience that only a few have achieved.

Buy now: God of War

Image via Hazelight Studios/EA, Insomniac Games/Marvel Games/SIE, Sony Santa Monica/SIE

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Ranking the Netflix Marvel Series From Worst to Best

Daredevil has been the latest Netflix Marvel series to get axed. With only The Punisher and Jessica Jones still floating in limbo, waiting for a new season or a cancelation, Netflix’s side of the MCU will die soon enough. The shows have had an unstable quality from excellence to redundant trash. As a send-off for one of the best superhero adaptions, Daredevil, here are the rankings of the series from worst to best.

#11: Jessica Jones (Season 2)

Painfully, the worst of the bunch comes from one of the best characters. Jessica (Krysten Ritter) contains a mix of powerful female superhero and traumatized victim. However, going from one of the best villains in the comic book adaption genre with Killgrave (David Tennant) to a more personal story about Jessica’s mother sounds compelling on paper, until you sit down to watch this god-awful mess.

The story consistently feels bland with one of the most annoying side stories in Netflix/Marvel history. Seriously, Trish (Rachael Taylor) creates unnecessary drama which is bad enough because all of Jessica’s mother drama feels just as bad.

#10: The Defenders (Season 1)

The MCU built up to AvengersAge of UltronCivil War, and Infinity War. Each being the perfect climax as new and old favorites join up to battle evil, with Civil War being in a weird grey area on the “fighting evil” part. Netflix’s version with The Defenders had a lot of promise but ultimately left me with a disgusting taste in my mouth.

The two main aspects that got me an excellent were these heroes coming together and Sigourney Weaver playing the mysterious villain. I won’t say, but I was disappointed in the direction for the antagonist. Then everything between the heroes felt anti-climatic.

While some good came out of it with some great interactions from heroes and supporting cast members, The Defenders feels more on par with Justice League on a smaller scale.

#9: Iron Fist (Season 1)

Critics and fans decimated Iron Fist. Unpopular opinion: the show does not suck that bad. Okay, the first season is not good, but not the worst thing ever (I am looking at you The Defenders).

Danny Rand/Iron Fist (Finn Jones) felt incomplete and childish. His motives were repeated like a child not getting his way. For a man who trained for so long, he did not look like he knew how to fight. That is not the fault of Jones, but the choreography needed to feel real, sadly nobody decided to direct the action differently. Instead, we got slow paced martial arts.

While every storyline with The Hand, the mysterious evil organization that threatens Danny and even The Defenders, felt weak compared to other excellent villains seen in the other series.

If it weren’t for an excellent supporting cast of characters from Colleen Wing (Jessica Henwick), Joy Meachum (Jessica Stroup), and Ward Meachum (Tom Pelphrey), then the show would be an utter disaster.

#8: Luke Cage (Season 1)

Without such a weaker second half with a villain that comes out of nowhere, Luke Cage could have had a spectacular first season. Due to a less enticing few episodes, the series ranks a lot lower than I want.

Each performance shines brightly without anyone being overshadowed. Full of complex bad guys/girls and loveable good guys/girls, the show has some of the best cast of characters out of any of the series on this list.

#7: Iron Fist (Season 2)

A great redemption that I did not see coming. I was quite close to skipping this one, but I am glad I did not. Danny Rand has a personality that leaves behind the whiny little boy, while a charismatic man enters.

The Hand continues to be a titular storyline, but with some new twists to make for a more interesting narrative for an otherwise dull enemy.

What holds the second season so high in quality, yet preventing the show from being in the top five is the ending. On the positive side, Iron Fist has ten episodes, opposed to the normal thirteen that every other series has had. The story feels more concise due to the shorter length; however, the ending comes out of nowhere and tries too hard to set up the next adventure.

#6: Luke Cage (Season 2)

While the second outing with Luke feels more consistent and concise, the pacing kills me at times. Mostly with the musical guests who take put too long of portions of episodes. Some episodes focus several minute long scenes on showing someone playing music with some touches of the narrative moving forward. If the music was placed in the background and keep taking steps forward to get the audience through the season.

#5: Daredevil (Season 2)

Sometimes a mess can be fun, but no matter what, the quality declines to some degree.

The second season of Daredevil splits itself between Frank Castle/The Punisher (John Bernthal) and Elektra (Elodie Yung). The two separate narratives feel out of place and cause the show to spin in too many different directions. Franks’s side of the season explodes with drama and gore that drives ferociously. While Elektra had her compelling side but compared to Frank, she feels in the way and unnecessary.

#4: The Punisher (Season 1)

Why can’t these series get their pacing right? If The Punisher had fewer episodes, the show would reach greatness; instead, we get an inconsistent, but still gripping ride with a man who has nothing to lose. Bernthal captures Frank’s pain and rage so perfectly, it is daunting to watch his suffering.

#3: Jessica Jones (Season 1)

I am a broken record, because if Jessica Jones had two or three fewer episodes then maybe it would grab second place.

Killgrave remains to be one of the most sinister villains from any comic book adaption. Tennant’s portrayal of the mind-controlling antagonist projects fear and brutality throughout the season.

#2: Daredevil (Season 1)

A genius masterpiece of television. The first season of Daredevil shows that these series will not shine with comedy and lightheartedness like the rest of the MCU. Here we see gruesome murders and torture along with a dark narrative.

While Charlies Cox (Daredevil) and his costars have incredible chemistry along with strong characters that stand tall alone, Vincent D’Onofrio’s Kingpin crushes every other villain seen in the MCU, sorry Loki and Thanos. The most complex, sympathetic baddie we have seen so far from Marvel, and sadly he does not show up in any movie.

Please, Marvel, do the world and favor and put Kingpin in the film side of the MCU.

#1: Daredevil (Season 3)

How could the first season get topped? With higher stakes and a relentless beating. Daredevil ends on a bang with its best season. I will miss this show greatly because this season was brilliant.

Image via Netflix/Marvel

25 Best “Game of Thrones” Characters Who are Still Alive

HBO’s massively successful fantasy series Game of Thrones has announced the final season will premier next April. Despite all of the death over the past seven seasons, a lot of people are still alive. The 25 characters listed will vary from heroes, villains, and the morally questionable, one thing they have in common is that they are some of the best the series has to offer.

No, dragons do not count, but they are in my heart just so you know.

Since I am talking about Game of Thrones, be aware of spoilers of that did not occur to you.

#25: Hot Pie

How could I not put the friendly baker on here? I am not some kind of monster, plus his pies look delicious.

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Image via HBO

#24: Podrick Dayne

Sweet Podrick does his best as he has been beside Brienne of Tarth for a while at this point. For someone so sweet and getting pushed down, he has two major surprises in his story so far. One, he manages to stay alive despite being a horrible fighter. Second, he got that orgy with those prostitutes for free. What is his secret? The biggest mystery of the series will never be solved.

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Image via HBO

#23: Night King

A character with little development will remain lower on my list, especially one that has never uttered a word. The Night King is the show’s main threat who has an undead army and ice dragon by his side. Plenty more needs to be discovered to see his full potential because this mysterious being has enough power to wipe out everyone.

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Image via HBO

#22: Daario Naharis

One of the many strong men who stand by Daenerys’ side. A loyal companion who has some of the best kills in the series.

He also manages to be one of the many characters to be recast. One of the few significant issues the show faces.

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Image via HBO

#21: Eddison Tollett

Finding friends in the Night’s Watch can be hard, especially in the early seasons for Jon Snow. Eddison has one of the best hearts of the men who serve the Night’s Watch. A trusty friend who stood by Jon’s side through thick and thin.

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Image via HBO

#20: Lyanna Mormont

One of the few characters to have little screen time and manage to be a fan favorite. Lyanna might be young, but her ferocious dialog shows that nobody should mess with this powerful girl.

Another positive to the character comes from her cousin, Jorah Mormont, one of my favorite characters who will pop up later on in the ranking.

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Image via HBO

#19: Euron Greyjoy

A smug, charismatic, and most of all annoying villain, but I cannot dislike Euron. A great newer addition for the antagonist side of the show along with developing Theon and Yara’s character arcs.

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Image via HBO

#18: Yara Greyjoy

The amount of great female characters in Game of Thrones feels overwhelming to list. Yara has done so much as a standalone character and to the tragic story that follows her younger brother Theon. A tough, fun character who stands out strong against so many incredible personalities.

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Image via HBO

#17: Grey Worm

A seemingly simplistic Unsullied commander for the Mother of Dragons becomes so much more. Due to his horrific past, he is a broken man who feels as if he is just meant to kill and die. The love story between him and Missandei feels organic and worthy. Too many shows push romance unnecessarily, but not here.

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Image via HBO

#16: Bronn

Once he defended Tyrion and now fights next to Jamie. Bronn might not have had the most exciting story arc; that does not stop him from being a charismatic fighter who is enjoyable to watch as he kills or speaks with other characters.

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Image via HBO

#15: Varys

While Little Finger was a snake, Varys matches him in sneaky behavior. One of the most morally questionable characters of the series, he keeps himself alive with diplomacy, working behind the scenes, and knowing the right cards to play at the right time. A brilliant man who after all this time, I have no idea what he is looking to get out of all the drama going around Westeros.

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Image via HBO

#14: Jaqen H’ghar

The assumed identity of one of the men behind the Faceless Men remains to be an overall mystery. While nobody is certain whether we will see the assassin again, his arc was a methodical, intriguing narrative full of closed doors and death.

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Image via HBO

#13: Davos Seaworth

Davos has had quite the adventure. Few characters are further away from where they started then him. Danger lurks around every corner, and I am hoping Davos can survive through all of the armies, undead, and dragons.

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Image via HBO

#12: Samwell Tarly

While I am not a fan of his current narrative, Sam has a lot of potential in the final season. The show loves its slow-moving stories that make you question the purpose. By the end of most arcs, the “ah-ha” moment comes with a payoff that satisfies. I can only hope because Sam continues to bring joy with his kind heart.

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Image via HBO

#11: Theon Greyjoy

If you asked me a few seasons back then, Theon would have been lower on the list. Due to his current story, I have regained my faith in him. Once a loveable friend of the Starks, turning into a backstabbing fiend, to his brutal relationship with Ramsay, and now he faces a Euron who will make or break Theon’s redemption.

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Image via HBO

#10: Cersei Lannister

I love to hate Cersei. One of TV’s most heartless, horrible villains makes for the best threat to the more favorable personalities. The question everyone is thinking, will she win or die? If she dies, please let her be killed by either Jamie, Tyrion, or in a blaze of glory by a dragon. Drogon must be hungry.

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Image via HBO

#9: Tormund Giantsbane

A significant member of the Free Folk, Tormund balances killing machine and a ball of levity in one of the darkest TV shows in history. His crush on Brienne of Tarth might be one of the best bits in the series. The little winks and nods as Brienne look away in disgust brings the kind of humor needed right before depressing scenes where fan favorites are raped, tortured, or killed.

 

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Image via HBO

#8: Arya Stark

Arya’s narrative can be tedious. The Faceless Men story pains me to think about due to its pacing. The payoff ended up being worth it because Arya transformed into one of the most ruthless assassins fans have seen. Her killing Little Finger will go down as one of the best scenes in the entire series.

If rumors end up true that Maisie Williams portrays Ellie in the Last of Us movie then I will be happy with the potential trainwreck of another video game adaption.

 

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Image via HBO

#7: Brienne of Tarth

While plenty of men can hold their own in battle, not many of them stand up against Brienne of Tarth. Her stature will make her enemies tremble. An honorable woman who has looked after the Stark girls the best that she can despite some troubling circumstances. You know she means business if she won a fight with the mighty Hound.

Her relationship with Jamie Lannister is a unique dynamic that I cannot wait to see further develop in the final season. Two great warriors who are now on the same side. Even when they were against each other, there was a mutual respect that shined through the conflict.

 

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Image via HBO

#6: Jon Snow

Unlike most people, I used to not like Jon Snow. He grew on me around the time of his death and resurrection. As he has become as a leader and warrior, I have gained an appreciation for him. His narrative during season seven was some of the best in the series, and I am rooting for him during the final few episodes.

 

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Image via HBO

#5: Jorah Mormont

Despite the falling out between him and Daenerys, he has always fought for her. She pushed him out, and he did what he can to redeem himself to be her loyal companion. The world of Westeros is full of selfish people who will lie, steal, and kill their way to the top. Jorah stands out in this hateful world as a man who has a strong moral compass.

On top of his kind soul, Jorah’s kill count rises continuously and will not stop until he dies. If a battle between the fiercest swordsmen and women were to happen, I might bet on Jorah.

 

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Image via HBO

#4: Sandor Clegan/The Hound

A mean-spirited man who will kill anyone who looked at him wrong. A one-note character turned into one of the most complex personalities in the series. Also, he has one of the best lines spoken in the series, “Fuck the king’s guard, fuck the city, fuck the king.”

 

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Image via HBO

#3: Jamie Lannister

A once vile man turning away from his evil, manipulative sister to fight on the right side of history. Jamie was wrapped around Cersei’s finger for so long, I wondered if he will ever break free. He has had plenty of ups and downs, but not is the time for Jamie to rise up. Will the King Slayer become the Queen Slayer? One can only hope.

#2: Daenerys Targaryen

Being forced into a marriage with a barbaric man then raped and brutalized. Daenerys has become a seemingly unstoppable force. People told stories in the first few seasons of a girl with dragons. People dismissed those stories, and now they could potentially have her as their queen. Daenerys has a lot to face before the throne, but with her track record, the crown could be obtainable.

 

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Image via HBO

#1: Tyrion Lannister

Universally the most beloved character in the books and TV show is Tyrion. A brilliant mind with a great sense of humor will get you a long way with the audience. Comedic relief along with a compelling story makes the joker into a person who is irresistible. Tyrion deserves a happy ending after so much suffering. Knowing Game of Thrones, that will not happen.

 

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Image via HBO

Header image via HBO

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 Best Stan Lee Cameos

The legendary Stan Lee has passed away at 95. The man has brought many joys to the world with Marvel in many forms. From comic books to movies, millions have enjoyed these stories and characters. In memory of Lee, here are 10 of his best cameos.

#10: X-Men: The Last Stand (20th Century Fox/YouTube user ultimate)

Not one of highest quality films on the list, but a solid cameo from the comic book legend. Lee tries his best to water his yard, but those superheroes continuously have to interrupt.

#9: Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (20th Century Fox)

Easily the most atrocious movie on this list. Despite being an abomination in the superhero genre, seeing Lee get rejected from Mr. Fantastic (Ioan Grufford) and the Invisible Woman’s (Jessica Alba) wedding is hilarious. The only good that has come out of any of the awful Fantastic Four adaptions.

No clip was found, but here is a photo.

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#8: Iron Man (Paramount Pictures/YouTube user ultimate)

A quick scene of Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) patting Lee on the back and referring him as Hugh Hefner. Lee sure does have a way with the ladies.

#7: The Amazing Spider-Man (Sony/YouTube user Tim Wesseling)

Lee has a job to do which involves him organizing the school’s library. Spider-Man (Andrew Garfield) fights The Lizard (Rhys Ifans) does not distract him from his work. Spidey and Lizard need to take it outside so the man can listen to classical music and work in peace.

#6: Captain America: The Winter Soldier (Marvel Studios/YouTube user Pigeonfiction)

Lee has had many jobs across his cameos, some work better than others. As a security guard, he discovers the Captain America suit has been stolen. Maybe return to organizing books for a high school.

#5: Captain America: Civil War (Marvel Studios/YouTube user Filmic Box)

An odd final note for the spectacular Civil War by having Lee pop up to deliver a package to Tony. He misreads his name as Stank which lightens up James Rhodes’ (Don Cheadle) day after losing the use of his legs. Even in the darkest of times, Lee will make someone smile.

#4: Deadpool (20th Century Fox)

Seeing the beloved creator working at a strip club is all that needs to be said here.

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#3: Thor: Ragnarok (Marvel Studios/YouTube user Mr. Spoiler)

Thor’s (Chris Hemsworth) beautiful hair gets chopped off none other than the mastermind of comics, Stan Lee. Poor Thor, at least he had the right man to do the (dis)honors.

#2: Avengers: Age of Ultron (Marvel Studios/YouTube user Scopian01)

Avoid taking any alcohol from a God, especially at a party full of other powerful beings. Lee tries to be a big man but ends up getting wasted.

Excelsior!

#1: Marvel’s Spider-Man (Insomniac Games/Marvel/YouTube user SwanyPlaysGames)

The masterpiece game by Insomniac Games does so much to reach the same quality as the Marvel movies. In a surprisingly enjoyable scene, the man himself makes an appearance. The platform does not matter, Lee will pop up somehow.

The surprise factor and how much I enjoy this scene, that is why I rank this to be the best Stan Lee cameo.

Which are some of your favorite cameos from the comic legend? Let’s celebrate his legacy the best way that we can.

RIP Stan Lee (1922-2018)

Header image via Flickr/Gage Skidmore

 

10 Talented Vocalists Who Scream and Clean Sing

Some fans in the heavy metal community find utilizing screams, and clean vocals are controversial, plenty of singers make the two styles work. Often time bands will have the lead singer do one or the other while someone plays an instrument and sings the other method. Not everyone has those limitations. These 10 vocalists in the scene are able to belt out horrifying screams then switch to singing with a beautiful voice that will soothe you into sleeping at night happily.

#10: Randy Blythe (Lamb of God)

Blythe has had a long, successful career being a brutal vocalist in one of the biggest heavy metal bands. His range tends to be in the middle, but he can impress the biggest enthusiasts of screaming with his highs and lows. On the band’s last album, VII: Sturm und Drang, he surprised the whole community by the song Overlord. The long-time screamer jumps on the clean singing train for a majority of the track. If you managed to not hear the legendary singer try out some clean singing, then you will not believe what you are hearing.

#9: Ryan Kirby (Fit for a King)

The metalcore frontman stayed in his seat as the band’s screamer, while letting the bassist Ryan O’Leary take over the lighter vocals. He dabbled with Deathgrip then dove right in with the band’s latest album Dark Skies. While his harsher vocals sound much better, he progresses with this skill. His admirable efforts land him a position on this list.

#8: Caleb Shomo (Beartooth/Ex-Attack Attack)

Shomo remains to be one of the most immensely talented people in modern metal. He manages to do everything in Beartooth, and do it well. His mid-range screams always continue to be enjoyable and emotional. His voice fits the powerful subject manner that remains to be the face of Beartooth’s music. What makes him exceptional happens to be his clean vocals. A variety of tones flow out along with a catchy melody in his choruses, I find it hard to get his voice out of my head.

#7: Chino Moreno (Deftones)

The highly experienced singer manages to have an angelic voice will having such ear-piercing screams that set him apart from the rest of the scene. While everyone has their unique sound, Chino’s style and tone stand out more than most singers.

#6. Chris Motionless (Motionless in White)

The frontman of the gothic industrial metal band has quite the range. Going from a low tone like Marilyn Manson to high pitch singing in their early metalcore work. While his harsher vocal sounds have changed a lot over the years, he is able to belt out ferocious screams. The band’s early work displayed more range with impressive highs to brutal lows.

#5. Alisa White-Gluz (Arch Enemy/Ex-The Agonist)

While Gluz has not utilized her clean vocals since her previous band The Agonist, she has continued some heavy screaming with Arch Enemy. While many women in the metal scene are heard clean singing, Gluz stands out with her beautiful voice while managing to switch to ferocious growls.

#4. Jeremy McKinnon (A Day to Remember)

The diversity in A Day to Remember’s music is impressive. The decision to mix pop-punk and metalcore seems insane but works wonderfully. McKinnon’s catchy vocals in the poppiest of songs can easily stay in a fan’s head all day. While on the flip side his screams are far from the best, but what puts him high on the list is his ability to go in any direction he wants. The band’s heavy music is excellent, while the lighter material stands just as strong.

#3. Spencer Charnas (Ice Nine Kills)

Many tend to think of mixing clean singing and screams sounds like a higher pitched singer blending mid-range screams that adds to no range at all. One of the most definitive vocalists who have a tremendous range with that typical modern metalcore sound is the lead singer of Ice Nine Kills, Spencer Charnas. The vocalist delivers a death metal style to his vocals along with what many tend to hear from metalcore. His cleans are soft and beautiful to give excellent contrast to the heavy music.

#2. Corey Taylor (Slipknot/Stone Sour)

The masked juggernaut continues with unstoppable talent in both his heavy metal outfit in Slipknot and his rock-oriented band Stone Sour. Taylor has the second highest range in the rock and metal world, and he still can surprise people. From catchy rapping, gorgeous acoustic work, and barking out hateful lyrics, the man does anything and everything.

#1. Spencer Sotelo (Periphery)

While it pains me to not put Corey Taylor at number one, I feel my choice is justified by placing the Periphery singer above the legend. Sotelo has excellent range in his screams from going deep, high, and everything in between. What sets him at number one is his angelic voice. I can listen to this man sing all day while still getting my fix for some heavy music. It makes sense that the most talented metalcore band, and one of the most talented groups in modern metal, has one of the best vocalists in the scene.

With all of the amazing singers out there who can switch from nightmare-inducing vocals to a beautiful sound that only an angel can make, plenty is missing from this list. Comment below what you think of my list and who you would rank instead.

Images via Wikimedia/Alice Wiegand, Wikimedia/Luiz Alberto, Flickr/Gage

Five Concerns for Red Dead Redemption II Online

With Red Dead Redemption 2 coming this Friday, the hype train is at full speed. I am aboard the train, but I have my worries. Rockstar makes some of the best single player campaigns in the industry. Online will resemble Grand Theft Auto 5 which concerns me. Their model makes sense, however, there are severe flaws in that business decision for microtransactions and how the experience with other players will be dramatically impacted. Here are some of the problems that I see with the upcoming Western multiplayer that arrives a few weeks after the game is released.

#5: No Singleplayer DLC

I will go on about this more in other parts of the article, but I want to dedicate number five to the potential lack of singleplayer DLC. Red Dead Redemption released one of the best and most surprising singleplayer experiences with Undead Nightmare. Chances of that happening are low due to Rockstar’s actions with GTA V. Plenty of players might want only the lone experience without other players. Sadly, if the online is successful enough, we might not get much more with Arthur once the multiplayer is launched. That puts me (and many other gamers) in a weird predicament. I want the game to succeed in every possible way, but I want add-ons or updates to the campaign for those days of not wanting to play with other people.

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Image via Rockstar Games

#4: Poor Character Customization and Models

While the variety of clothing, tattoos, and other accessories for your character in GTA was phenomenal, while the initial creation of your character is ghastly. Playing with genetics to make a unique person in the online world was a brilliant idea, but the character models came out ugly. Every person I saw would have weird bruises and marks on their body that looked unnatural. I am sure Rockstar has learned a lot in five years of working on GTA, but I can’t help to worry about how RDR2 might turn out due to past mistakes.

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Image via Rockstar Games

#3: False Promises

What burns me the most about GTA are the false promises. Announced DLC that would quietly disappear and features such as animals and the stock market would be forgotten entirely. If a company announces a mechanic and that aspect of the game is missing, then people tend to bring up their pitchforks. Rockstar got some backlash, but a smaller amount than expected. People shouldn’t go after a company too harshly over missing features, but should still call them out to keep the communication between a company and its customers open. If the developers announce something will be in the multiplayer experience, then we better see it at some point.

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Image via Rockstar Games

#2: Broken

Rockstar has said when the online comes out it will be more of a Beta than a full release. Surprisingly, this is excellent news. GTA Online came out as a disaster when fans expected a fully functioning game. The developers are playing it smart by covering themselves before the release of the game. Despite that feeling, I am still worried we won’t get the best quality in multiplayer for months after release. Hopefully, we can get something that will be worth staying for instead of waiting for dozens of updates to play with friends in a world that works correctly.

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Image via Rockstar Games

#1: Microtransactions and Game Currency

We are at the most significant concern many gamers tend to have after their business model with GTA. I won’t point a finger to say they are a greedy corporation. I love the free content updates GTA would receive every few months. I  also can’t blame them for wanting to make money when they can continue to support the game that millions of people still play. However, due to this decision obtaining new content such as cars and other goodies became almost impossible. If you want the new house, business, or car, then you have to play a seemingly endless cycle of heists or other missions to earn enough money to buy new items. If you decide you can’t dedicate a full-time job’s worth of time to play the game for enough cash, then you can buy microtransaction that can drain your wallet to play the game. I don’t want my game to feel like a chore, but I do want enough of a challenge. I hope Rockstar can find their footing to balance the economy of Red Dead Online.

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Image via Rockstar Games

I might be a little hard one of the most anticipated games of the year. I am genuinely excited to play Rockstar’s next masterpiece. However, their decisions on multiplayer in the past have made me not satisfied. I hope they have learned from their mistakes, but we won’t know until the online Beta launches in November. Comment below what you think of my concerns or if you have any of your own.

Red Dead Redemption II releases on October 26 for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The online will be delivered sometime in November.

Pre-order the game here:

13 Horror Games You Must Play During Halloween Season

October is here which means Halloween is around the corner. During this season, fans can come out to play as many scary games and watch movies. To celebrate, we will go over plenty of spooky games and movies in the month. To start off, let’s look at some video games that will give you nightmares.

To note, I did cheat the list by adding games with their sequels to clump them together, so let’s get over that while we are here.

#13/12: Metro: 2033 and Metro: Last Light (4A Games)

While the first game, 2033 feels a bit dated, Last Light holds up wonderfully. The world has ended in a nuclear apocalypse and creatures roam the around. Set in Russia, survivors have set inside of the subway system to avoid monsters and radiation. The games have compelling stories along with a variety of gameplay from stealth to big shootouts. Not only are they a ton of fun, but the atmosphere and survival aspects make for one intense experience. While this is not the scariest game on the list, the sense of constant danger and needing supplies to survive will give you the emotions you want to feel during Halloween.

#11/10: The Evil Within 1/2 (Tango Gameworks/Bethesda)

Bethesda published Tango Gameworks’ The Evil Within and The Evil Within 2. A psychological horror game created by the mind who brought the world Resident Evil, Shinji Mikami. The story stands are the game’s strongest point with a well thought out world with rich lore that will keep you compelled through the series. Exploring trauma and psychology in a way that many games tend to shy away from, The Evil Within is not afraid to tell its story. While the game’s lean more towards action, the horror remains strong through every minute. With elements of psychological manipulation, extreme violence, and disturbing themes, this game utilizes everything creepy to make your skin crawl.

#9: Doki Doki Literature Club! (Team Salvato)

That is right, I am recommending a dating simulator visual novel. If you know of Doki Doki then you know exactly why this game is on the list. For those of you who have never heard of the game then you should go in completely blind. That is the only way to experience Team Salvato’s bizarre visual novel.

Warning: Do not play this game if you have struggled with mental health issues now or in the past. The game can be triggering for those who suffer from depression, anxiety, suicide, and self-harm.

#8: Amnesia: The Dark Descent (Frictional Games)

To the standards of modern gaming, Amnesia: The Dark Descent might feel dated by its graphics and clunky gameplay. For its time, Amnesia was the kind of horror. By many standards for years, gamers would find it difficult to find something more horrific than Frictional Games’ masterpiece. Not putting the game on a list of horror games would be disrespectful to one of the most influential horror games of all time.

#7/6: Dead Space 1/2 (Visceral Games/EA)

The first two Dead Space games are some of the greatest games across any genre. A universe with brilliant lore and storytelling along with excellent combat and genuinely terrifying elements to give you nightmares. The use of violence and atmosphere is to the point of perfection. With the bad taste of the third entry and Visceral Games being shut down, we may never get another adventure with Isaac Clarke.

#5: Bioshock (Irrational Games/2K Games)

A thought-provoking video game is rare, but Bioshock manages to be more than just your average game. A horror game with all of the typical elements with combat, dark atmosphere, and terrifying enemies goes above and beyond to completely shake-up the industry. Some of the most gripping stories are right in Rapture with its main story and the many audiotapes that can be found to make the deceased city seem like it once had a life. Usually, silent protagonists seem out of date to me, but Bioshock managed to be the one exception for me by its execution of having a mute hero.

A message to 2K, please make another entry to this series, even if it is like the less horror-oriented Bioshock: Infinite.

#4: Dead by Daylight (Behaviour Interactive)

The horror multiplayer game delivers a unique experience. You and a few other survivors must start up five generators then escape. Meanwhile, one player is playing as a killer who is hunting you down. From original psychopaths with unique abilities to classic horror film murders such as Freddy Krueger and Michael Myers, there is a wide variety to choose from that will change play styles for both sides. The game is fun and manages to deliver unique experiences each time despite the seemingly repetitive concept. Playing the game with friends makes the game that much better. Grab some friends to survive with, or you can decide to murder them.

The game is getting constant updates such as new survivors, maps, killers, and rewards to keep players going. Go support the developers and give this game a try.

#3: Outlast (Red Barrels)

Yes, I have listed only the first game, not its sequel. Outlast 2 is one of the most disappointing games I have ever played. Let’s focus on the brilliant first game.

Outlast takes many elements from other horror games where you just run away and hide because you can’t defend yourself. What separates Red Barrels’ outstanding game from others is its story and use of lighting. 90 percent of the game is pitch black, so you have a camera with night vision to see what is hiding in the darkness. While the running and using stealth to survive is fun along with its terrifying atmosphere and use of night vision, the story about a secret experiment that explores the human psyche is the strongest element here. The influences and typical tropes are present, but the game manages to make itself as an individual in a crowded genre.

#2: Resident Evil 7 (Capcom)

Who would have thought Resident Evil would make such a comeback into the horror genre? The first-person take on the long-running franchise ended up being the refresher critics and fans needed. Taking inspiration from classic horror movies such as Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Evil Dead along with the well-established world of Resident Evil, you get to experience one of the most disturbing and disgusting video games made in years.

#1: Alien: Isolation (Creative Assembly/Sega)

If I had to make a list of the greatest horror games ever made, Alien: Isolation will be within the top three. Taking place after the first movie, you play as Ripley’s daughter who has to go through dangerous androids, hostile humans, and one big Xenomorph. The balance of stealth and combat is as close as you will find in the genre. Whether you are hiding around from the alien or fighting off people willing to kill anyone in their path to survive, every mechanic works with grace. The quirk that sets Alien apart from many others in the genre is that there is little safety. Of course, there are going to be scripted parts in the story, but for the most part, the Xenomorph is a living creature that will explore the ship, slaughtering everything in the way. Better grab a friend to help you endure a relentless journey full of death and terror.

Now you are set to go into the rest of the month with a nice stack of new/old video games to play for the sake of getting nightmares. Good luck sleeping after playing some of these terrifying games.

What are some of your favorite horror games? Be sure to comment your thoughts.

Buying any game linked will benefit the developers and me, you can just click a link then browse through Amazon to buy anything you want.

Header image via Capcom