Album Review: Ghost – Prequelle

Ghost has become one of the most popular bands in recent years. They have exploded in the rock and heavy metal scene, especially with their 2015 album Meliora. The satanic rock group from Sweden has now released their fourth album Prequelle.

Prequelle is the band’s most diverse and darkest album to date. From dark disco music to your typical songs to expect from the group. The album has a theme of death and overcoming struggles to survive. The topics tackle historical events that overwhelmed humanity with death such as the black plague. The album ties together with current issues while not being overly political. The number of flavors within the record is vast while still maintaining what fans always loved about Ghost.

The starting instrumental track Ashes gives a haunting start to provide the tone of the album. Children can be heard singing and the instruments go to provide a melodic and disturbing start. This leads into the song Rats which goes with the same theme of Ashes. The song follows how much Europe was devastated by the black death. Rats has lyrics such as, “Them filthy rodents are still coming for your souls.” The song is more of a typical Ghost song that can ease their longtime fans into the album. After that, many of the songs get more experimental. From the dark disco track Dance Macabre to the synth and saxophone heavy instrumental song Miasma. As innovative as the album gets with the synthesizers, saxophones, and orchestras, everything works perfectly. I never got the feeling that anything was out of place. It can be scary when a band goes off the wall, but Ghost nails it in every way.

The album is full of heavy and beautifully melodic instrumentation. Rats and Faith are the closest to being the heaviest songs off of the record. With heavy riffs, fast solos, and a bounding bass and drums to give that heavy metal sound. While most of the album has a heavy focus on being more melodic and softer. The beautiful See the Light transitions to the rest of the album that takes a turn in an experimental direction. A highlight of that direction is Dance Macabre. The track has a dark spin on disco music. With lyrics such as “I wanna bewitch you all night,” along with the groove from the disco style should be a fan favorite.

Tobias has spoken about the lyrical content of the album with Blabbermouth in which he says, “What happens without going too political is the populations of all these countries become the children when the parents are fighting. It obviously affects everything — it affects the stock market, it affects the general well-being — so there’s this sort of pre-apocalyptic aura in our thinking. I think in the midst all these threats — either in the deeds of potential terrorists, to actual nations sending bombs overseas — you feel like you’re being attacked, or potentially could become attacked by anyone. If it’s not a warfare situation, it’s someone hijacking your identity,” He continues by saying,  “If you bumped into someone in Berlin in March 1945, he’d probably think that we’re done. It’s over. Same thing if you go to Aleppo, [Syria], you’d probably feel [that] that sort of Armageddon is happening right here. I think that especially if you think about the plague, the Black Death. When it hit Europe in the mid-1300s, it wiped out half of the population. That’s not every other person — it wiped out complete villages, and maybe that one peasant who was a bit too far off or a little bit too secluded, that was the only person that survived. Then you had other villages that miraculously lived, but that created a lot of shifts. After the plague faded out, it also led to a resurgence, and a lot of bloom, basically.” The themes touched on makes sense since the lawsuit filed against Tobias by several of his former bandmates. The survival of the band can be shown here. In the song See the Light the lyric, “Everyday that you feed me with hate, I grow stronger,” rings true to the band’s survival. Everything from the past troubles that the group has faced is behind them with this experimental and powerful record.

An added bonus to the album is the artwork. The style of the art looks similar to a medieval painting. A giant horrific monster is shown demolishing buildings. A man sits upon his throne on top of the beast. The use of color is beautifully done with mostly grey and red being the most prominent throughout the picture. Having an excellent album art does not impact the music, but it is an extra treat to people who already love the record.

Ghost has released their darkest and most unique album. The band has proved that their creativity is still pumping. I felt curious and a little worried when I heard there was a disco track or that I would listen to a saxophone. Knowing Ghost from their past work, I was skeptical. However, all of the changes work while maintaining their identity. This is a classic Ghost album with some changes to show the band has evolved. Ghost fans should come in with an open mind, but I feel confident you will love the album. I will say it here, this is arguably their best album right next to their 2015 record MelioraPrequelle is album of the year material.

Score: 10/10

Buy the album here:

Image via Ghost/Loma Vista Recordings

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Movie Review: Solo: A Star Wars Story

I have finally got a chance to see the underperforming Solo: A Star Wars Story. For those of you who don’t know, the film is doing terrible at the box office. The reviews are all pretty good from critics and fans, but nobody is watching the film. For all of its flaws, Solo is a fun heist movie set in this massive universe that tells the story of the beloved Han Solo.

Reviewing this movie and not talking about the disaster that it went through during production is impossible. The director chair had a switch that saw Ron Howard step in to “fix” this film because Lucasfilm did not like the comedic direction that Solo was heading. We will never know if Ron Howard truly saved this film, or ended up hurting it. From what I can tell, yes and no.

The story starts with Han (Alden Ehrenreich) and his girlfriend Qi’ra (Emilia Clarke) who are scrapping to get some credits to be able to get off of their planet and pay off their debts. The couple’s plans get ruined which splits the two apart. Han joins the Empire to get a ship to fly and save Qi’ra. During his time serving in the military, Han meets Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo), Beckett (Woody Harrelson), Val (Thandie Newton), and Rio (Jon Favreau). They go on a quest that will not only get Han enough to buy a ship but to pay off the debts for Beckett, Val, and Rio. We see these criminals battle and steal their way to hopefully gain their freedom. Along with the story, you will see how Han becomes the man that we all know and love in the Harrison Ford era.

The best part of the film is its characters. Emilia Clarke is as strong and beautiful as she is in Game of Thrones, Woody Harrelson puts on a good performance as usual, and the main villain Dryden (Paul Bettany) is compelling through every scene, but the two characters to talk about the most are Alden’s Han Solo and Donald Glover’s Lando. Alden does well as Han. A lot of people were worried, but he did fine. It would be difficult for anyone to match Harrison Ford’s charisma, but Alden did an excellent job to make this younger Han Solo believable. I would be perfectly happy to see more of him in the future. Donald Glover as Lando could not be more perfect. He stole the entire movie with his charm and his sassy droid sidekick L3-37 (Phoebe Waller-Bridge). Every best scene in the film involved Lando and his droid in some capacity.

Outside of the characters, everything else is fairly plain. The story is fun, but there are no stakes. You can assume almost everything that is going to happen since a lot of these characters you don’t see or hear about in the other films. The building to who Han is from his last name being Solo, meeting Chewie, and obtaining the Millennium Falcon. A few of these moments are interesting and fun, but nothing that mind-blowing of his origin. The development of his character is straightforward and uncreatively done for the most part.

A significant problem with the writing was the humor. This movie had a ton of jokes that were properly placed throughout. Each joke had space between the next with all of the action and drama. However, none of it was funny to me. I liked the jokes in my mind, but the way all of the gags and jokes were executed, none of them put the slightest smile on my face. L3-37 was the funniest character in the movie, but even she could not make me laugh out loud. Maybe one or two jokes made me smile or laugh. Everything else was missing something to give it that power to make me laugh. The best way to describe the failure to the humor is that the film did not feel like there was much heart to it. There was a personality in there, but not enough to give the movie a real beating heart.

Nothing here expands the universe or characters in a way that is mind-blowing or too interesting. We see some new planets and technology that is interesting along with new aliens we have not seen before. Those are interesting, but they are to be expected in a Star Wars movie. All we get is something plain that gives a basic understanding of characters we have known and loved for years.

Solo is far from a bad movie. It is fun in a meaningless way. Seeing how Han meets Chewbacca and Lando is interesting. Seeing how he gets his iconic ship is a major highlight of the film. Along with a cast of new characters who are all great, that is about all Solo has to offer. I recommend watching it in theaters to support the film. I do not think Solo should do poorly at the box office. However, keep your expectations low. This is not a top-tier Star Wars movie, but it is better than a lot of movies that are coming out. I hope Lucasfilm gets a better vision for how they want to expand the universe with future films. With the next few spinoffs being similar stories such as a Boba Fett movie, I am not too confident in the future. Go see it and enjoy the ride for what it is, either in theater or on Netflix.

Score: 6/10

Image via Lucasfilm

Quick News: Fallout 76 Announced, Andrew Lincoln Leaves The Walking Dead, Next Batman Movie Villain? + More!

    • The comic book character Spawn is getting another movie. The last time we saw the character brought to the big screen was in 1997 and was widely hated. Spawn recieved a 34% on Metacritic and an 18% on Rotton Tomatoes. Todd McFarlane is set to make his debut in the director’s chair with his take on the antihero. Just recently Jamie Foxx is set to star as Al Simmons who turns into Spawn after his death. Todd is best known for writing the animated series Spawn and the upcoming Venom movie with Tom Hardy. There is not much more infomration on the film, but keep an eye out as more updates arrive.
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Image via Image Comics

 

      • For the longest time Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) has been the main protagonist for AMC’s The Walking Dead. It has been confirmed that Andrew will exit the show sometime in season 9. Fans can expect him to be in about six more episodes before he is no longer in the show. After being a part of a long running series like TWD, it is not a huge surprise that a main cast member wants out. Another cast member is set to leave too which is Lauren Cohan who plays Maggie. Maggie was introduced in season 2, so she has been around for a long time at this point. With such main cast members leaving, AMC has given Norman Reedus the main leading role to hold up the show for future seasons. The show will need a strong character like the beloved Daryl since the show is planned to last at least 12 seasons. Robert Kirkman, author of the comics, has said back in 2016 that the show will go on well into the 2020s. Even with Andrew and Lauren parting ways with one of the biggest shows on tv, we can expect to see plenty of more zombies in our future.
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Image via AMC

 

      • Bethesda made a huge announcement earlier this week with Fallout 76. Not much is known about this new Fallout. The company had a long stream on Twitch that lasted for hours. Thousands of people came to watch a stream of a dark room with a bobblehead from the games. Eventually creative director Todd Howard came on screen to let everyone know that they are here to announce their latest project. Then a tease trailer for the new entry in the Fallout series played. Not much is known about the new entry, but with the title not being Fallout 5, people are speculating that we are getting something different. A lot of people are guessing this could be an online game similar to Elder Scrolls Online. Based on a clock the date marks the game to take place before the events of the original Fallout game from 1997. Bethesda will have plenty to show at E3 this year such as some more information on this mysterious Fallout game. The conference for Bethesda will start at 6:30pm PT on June 10. You can view the trailer below:

 

      • Ubisoft has announced the next title in the Assassin’s Creed franchise. Well, the company was forced to announce after a leak of a key chain that reveals the next game is called Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey. The game is taking place in ancient Greece. The teaser video shows a Spartan kicking a Persian man with the same style as 300. The game was also leaked by Walmart which leaked many other potential games. That leak was the same that came out before the official announcement of Rage 2. Word has it that some characters from Origins will come out in Oddyssey. More information will come out on the game during Ubisoft’s E3 conference will kick off at 1pm PT on June 11.

 

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Image via Ubisoft

 

 

      • Matt Reeves is making more progress with his untitled Batman solo movie. Rumor has it that he is setting his eyes on the Penguin to feature as the film’s main antagonist. The rumor comes from Variety’s Justin Kroll, who tweeted: “Take this with a grain of salt as things are constantly changing in the DCEU but I’m hearing the Penguin is possibly the choice to play the main villain in THE BATMAN. Sources add even if Reeves decide to go another route the studio could then make him the main villain in BOP (sic)”. Justin has been known to be on point with his reports with film, so this could be credible. Also, what makes Penguin a likely character to face off against our dark hero is the tone of the film. Penguin is just a crime boss with a few quirks that make him a major comic book villain. News broke that Reeves threw out Ben Affleck’s script to write his own. He has publically stated that this will be a noire styled superhero flick. Having Penguin as the antagonist could go with the noire theme that Matt is going for. Even then the script is still being worked on, so we will not be certain who will face Batman in the upcoming movie.

 

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Image via Rocksteady Studios

 

 

That is it for this week’s roundup. A lot is happening in the leadup to E3 which starts in two weeks. What are you looking forward to the most this E3? How do you feel about the possibility of having Penguin be the antagonist of Matt Reeves’ Batman? Comment below what you think about these stories.

Header image via Bethesda.

Opinion: Why Battlefield V Doesn’t Deserve the Outrage

Since the announcement of the next Battlefield game, the internet has exploded with outrage. Whether this outrage is a minority or majority group is hard to determine since the internet always has that loud minority who spews out their anger over anything. Still, no matter how many people there are who are angry, they have made themselves known. There are multiple reasons as to why people are mad over this new entry. The first primary reason is that a woman is on the cover art and the trailer which makes people feel this will be a historically inaccurate representation of World War 2. The other reason is the trailer which looked to over the top with its action. I will discuss my thoughts on both manners, first by the trailer.

Note, I am not trying to dictate how people should view this game or about this current controversy. I want to provide my point of view on the manner. Also, I see a trend of people having a knee-jerk reaction to something such as a woman being in a World War 2 game. I am going to logically look at this with some evidence to assess this situation and formulate an opinion.

The trailer starts off as an action-packed cinematic that transitions into gameplay. All you get is action, a female soldier, a World War 2 confirmation on the setting, and some glimpses as to what changes appear in the gameplay. Nothing about the trailer is impressive, but it is not terrible either. Whether you like the trailer or not is up to you. What needs to be discussed is this is the first look at the game. The purpose was meant to give an announcement to say, “Hey, this is the new game. Look at how beautiful it is and the crazy action you will experience.” When the EA Play event happens June 9-11, we will get a lot more information on the game. We see every developer do this with a trailer then more details at a later date, whether they are showing it at an event like E3 or post about it online when they are ready. We have not seen anything unusual out of this strategy, and there is no real reason to be outraged over the first trailer. Rumors started a while ago that we would go into World War 2 after the successful World War 1 entry that the series made with Battlefield 1. Gamers have a right to be skeptical, not enjoy what they have seen, or love what they have seen so far. What we should do as gamers are to allow EA and DICE to show more of the game before making a definitive opinion on the game before EA Play.

The other major complaint people have is about the female soldier we see in the trailer. People have stated this is historically inaccurate. Yes, female soldiers in World War 2 were not that prominent as male soldiers. However, they were still around and made their impact. The United States had roughly 400,000 women who served in the military. Those were traditional jobs for women, so they did not fight there. Other countries did have women going out into combat.

To take a look at the Russian side of the war, these are some of their strongest females. Some of these women serving had to enlist in the military, while others were more underground in their operations. Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya was a teenager when she had died because of her guerrilla activities, but had managed to do some damage to the Germans. She would set landmines, set fires, and other methods to cut off the Germans. After Zoya’s death, she would receive the title Hero of the Soviet Union, the first of any woman in World War 2. Russia had many well-known sniper women who had high kill counts such as Roza Shanina who had over 50 confirmed kills. Lyudmila Pavlichenko is a common example during the debate about Battlefield V and its historical accuracy. Lyudmila has over 300 confirmed kills and is considered to be one of the greatest snipers ever to live. Then the Soviet Union had Nadezhda Popova, a deadly pilot who took down a lot of German aircraft. She flew over 850 missions in her biplane. Herself and the rest of her squad completed deadly missions at night which granted their team the nickname, “Night Witches.”  Just by 19 she had become a pilot and is known to be one of the best.

Throughout Europe, other women were fighting off Nazi Germany. Nancy Wake was living in France with her husband when the war broke out. She becomes a spy, who ruthlessly killed Nazis, even with her bare hands. Besides killing Nazis, she ran messages for the resistance, helped people flee, and also participated in raids. Pearl Cornioley worked as a courier in France to support the resistance and eventually rose to command 3,000 fighters. She and her soldiers had accomplished a lot by killing 1,000 German troops and making 18,000 surrenders. These women had a mighty hand in the resistance and caused significant damage to the Germans.

From deadly spies to snipers, women made quite the impact during World War 2. Of course, they did not do as much damage as the men in combat due to numbers, but there are plenty of excellent examples of said women. To see a woman in an announcement trailer for Battlefield V then call it historically inaccurate right away is too quick of an adverse reaction.

Above everything, this is a video game. Movies, video games, and books take real-life tragedies into entertainment. Drawing the line properly then there is nothing that should be disrespectful to the real event such as a major war. The need to entertain players comes first so there will be some inaccuracies here and there. We might see too many female soldiers, but if that is the most abhorrent historical inaccuracy, then DICE did not do a bad job at making Battlefield V. DICE’s boss Oskar Gabrielson says, “Our commitment as a studio is to do everything we can to create games that are inclusive and diverse. We always set out to push boundaries and deliver unexpected experiences. But above all, our games must be fun!” You can view his whole tweet thread by clicking below:

The Battlefield franchise has been the more realistic route to go for first-person shooters. This holds true especially when looking at mainstream first-person shooters like Call of Duty. People have a preference on the fast-paced combat from Call of Duty or slow pacing that has an emphasis on sandbox gameplay such as Battlefield. This is a franchise that has been about playing the way you want in either a realistic strategic way or running an ATV that is strapped with C4 to blow up a tank. Video games are meant for fun so some historical inaccuracies will have to take place for the game to work for the players. If a game is too realistic or accurate to a historical event, then that will take away from fun gameplay. Developers are the ones who need to have a clear vision for their game to strike the balance they feel necessary for realism and fun.

Image via DICE

Video Game Review: Detroit: Become Human

PlayStation has been the king of this generation when it comes to their single player exclusives. Just the other month we had God of War, and now we have the new game from Quantic Dream, Detroit: Become Human. The story of androids taking over the world and our advances in AI technology being our downfall has been told so many times. Now we see a different take on the story that we all know to some degree.

The story follows three protagonists: Kara, an android with a single father and his daughter, Markus who serves an old painter to take care of him in his old age, and Connor who helps the police with investigations and other police matters. Each scene of the game will follow one character then the next will switch to the next, and so on. Each character has their own story, but to no surprise, they all connect at some point. Kara tries taking care of Alice, the daughter, to protect her from the abusive father. Markus gets set on a path to lead a revolution to set the androids free from the humans. Connor investigates deviants, the androids who go rogue and go on the path of becoming sentient. That theme of androids wanting to be free and alive is heavily involved and explored with each character.

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Just like other games from Quantic Dream such as Heavy Rain, the game is all about the choices a player makes. The game is an interactive story that has many branching paths. Unlike their other games, this has the most amount of scenarios that can play it. After a scene before leading to the next character, a flowchart that shows all of the branching paths appears. You see what you did and see blank spaces as to where you could have gone. Statistics come up to show what percent of people chose that action. That mechanic is impressive, especially when you think your choice was the majority. I had some moments like that but turned out I was in an 8% minority. You will receive points for the paths which can unlock videos, wallpaper, and other awards to unlock that don’t do a lot but are interesting for people who like those types of prizes. The pacing of the game starts off inconsistent. Some of the stories are exciting right away, but some can be mundane and boring. Markus, in particular, has a great story later on, but starting off things are slow.

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The gameplay can be chosen at a simple level or to go for a more complex experience. The controls will become more elaborate if choosing the more complex difficulty. Just like other Quantic Dream games, the gameplay is centered around QTEs, motion controls, and interacting with the environment. The QTEs are forgivable for the most part since this style lends itself to having a lot of QTEs such as Telltale Games.  However, the controls might not be that responsive at times. Especially for the motion controls. I will always stand that motion controls are the worst idea to have in any game because it never works all that well. I wish the game gave an option to turn motion controls off because it makes for some difficult situations. Some icons to give instructions on how to perform an action are unclear. Using the trackpad on the PS4 controller in some unusual ways leads to some confusing moments. Those are only a few times in the game, but it is worth mentioning. Holding R2 allows you to view the area to see objectives and items to interact with. This is how you will engage with the world, if you are lost to see where to go, and will help gain new options for actions and dialog. Many games similar to Detroit have many items to interact with the world. Most of the time items are worthless and waste your time. Almost everything that can be interacted with has a purpose to the story. Everything you do for the most part moves you forward. The game features dialog choices that will determine how people feel about you and what actions you will take.

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The graphics are stunningly beautiful. The game is full of detail that needs to be given attention. The detail lends itself to the narrative to build the story and characters. A significant portion of the story takes place in rainy weather which offers a particular look to most scenes. The sheen of the water and the lighting makes some pretty moments. We are in an age where we are getting beautiful games nonstop with their own art directions.

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The issues with Detroit comes from all of the other games by Quantic Dream. Their games consistently have issues with controls and the story. Like I said, the motion controls and QTEs sometimes are not responsive that well. That can be damaging to a story that forces the player into a situation that is needed for quick reactions. Another critique is the story. The story and characters are all well written and acted. Especially the acting is quite superb. However, there are a few moments in the narrative that create gaps in the logic of the story. These are only a few moments, but it still hurts immersion and the overall narrative being told. I find it hard to take the game too seriously, even though the story is quite compelling and emotional for the most part. A game that is this story drive and interactive need those points to be almost perfect. The length is left to be desired with the time being around ten hours. The many branching paths can bring a player back for dozens of playthroughs, but the early game is hard to get through regarding the pacing. The issues are not too severe but are quite noticeable.

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Detroit: Become Human is a good game for some people. If you have not liked games like Heavy Rain or any game from Telltale Games, then this is not for you. The story is quite short for only about ten hours, especially for a $60 game. The many playthroughs and options do give replayability, but it is something to keep in mind. The spin on androids rebelling against humans is quite well done. The narrative is enjoyable, and the different options that can happen are amazing. This is one of those games that you will really enjoy or absolutely hate. Detroit is one of the weaker PS4 exclusives in comparison to what we have seen already, but it is still a strong title. Quantic Dream has a particular style, and with Detroit, that style has been refined wonderfully. Seeing a company’s progress as developers is a great thing to see, so expect more games to turn out even better in the future.

Score: 7/10

Images via Quantic Dream and screenshotted on a regular PS4

Buy the game here:

Quick News: PlayStation 5 is Coming? + Jake Gyllenhaal in Spider-Man? + Boba Fett Movie Gets a Director + More!

  • Since the post-credit scene from Spider-Man: Homecoming, fans have speculated that the villain for the next film would be Scorpion. Now it seems Mysterio will be the villain, and a high profile actor is in talks to play the supervillain. Jake Gyllenhaal is currently in talks to play as the iconic antagonist. Mysterio is a man named Quentin Beck, a special effects expert who uses who skills to commit crimes. The upcoming Spider-Man sequel is set to release on July 5, 2019.

 

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Image via Marvel Comics

 

 

  • Resident Evil 7 is being ported to the Nintendo Switch. The catch is that the game is only going to be available in Japan. To make it weirder is that the game is a cloud version that players can rent. The version will come with the base game and the DLC with some added features for the Joy-Cons. Players will only be able to rent the game for 180 days for 2,000 yen. As of writing, it is unknown whether this version for the Switch will appear outside of Japan, so keep an eye out!

 

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Image via Capcom

 

 

  • After weeks of Avengers: Infinity War dominating the box office, Deadpool 2 comes in to have a phenomenal opening weekend. Deadpool 2 won the domestic box office with $125 million in its opening weekend. Worldwide the film earned $176 million to make for a total of $301 million for the foul-mouthed hero. While the first film earned more on its opening weekend with $132 million, Deadpool 2 still manages to have one of the biggest opening weekends for a rated R movie. This trend is happening more and more with rated R movies smashing the box office. Just last year IT dominated the box office domestically one the opening weekend with $123 million and ended up earning $700 million worldwide by the end of its run in theaters.  We can expect to hear more news like this for rated R movies in the future especially when X-Force and It: Chapter 2 are released.

 

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Image via 20th Century Fox

 

 

  • The past few months have been full of rumors about the next PlayStation. Now we are getting some rough details on what the next generation of consoles will look like for Sony. CEO of Sony Interactive, Tsuyoshi “John” Kodera, says, “We will use the next three years to prepare the next step, to crouch down so that we can jump higher in the future.” While the PlayStation 4 has sold incredibly well with over 79 million units, this is the time we see consoles die down a bit. Usually, a console generation lasts about 5-7 years. The last generation was unusually long, but the standard timeline might be going back into place. Of course, the timeframe for console generations is not an exact science and Sony are making a ton of money off of the PlayStation 4. They had previously said that the console is in its last phase, but it appears the last phase will still extend for at least three years. So, there is no need to bury your PS4 yet to get ready for the next console. A focus will be on exclusives until the PS5 becomes a reality.

 

  • Solo just released and Lucasfilm are already discussing the next spin-off movie for Star Wars. The legendary bounty hunter Boba Fett is getting his own movie. Hollywood Reporter has reported that James Mangold will be writing and directing the next film that will release sometime after Episode 9. James Mangold has earned his reputation for a variety of films, but most recently he directed Hugh Jackman’s last film as Wolverine, Logan. Not much is known about the project, but that has not stopped fans from speculating. Currently, people generally think the film will take place before A New Hope. When news comes out about casting or the story is unknown because there was a lack of marketing for Solo. If this approach will continue is unknown, but we can expect the movie to come out around 2020.

 

  • A Las Vegas show for Life of Agony was canceled after a terrorist threat. The band was scheduled to play on May 19 at the Las Vegas’ Beauty Bar. Las Vegas Now reported that the show had to be canceled after a local high school teacher made some threats to go there to shoot and kill as many people as she could. On May 16, Leslie McGourty was arrested after some of her threatening texts were reported. Some of her texts said, “The timing couldn’t be any better and the irony of it all, it’s all perfect. A perfect plan with my favorite song surrounded by a bunch of fucked up misfits like I am. Imagine knowing exactly the moment that you’re going to die. I know exactly that your favorite song will be playing, by your favorite band. It’s just too perfect.” Her friend who was receiving the texts reported the messages right away to the police. The band is safe and concluded the rest of their tour on May 22. You can see any other future shows coming up here.

 

That is it for this week’s news roundup. A lot of people are not excited about a Boba Fett movie, so how do you feel about it? Were you one of the many people, myself included, who saw Deadpool 2 on its opening weekend? What do you think of Jake Gyllenhaal of potentially playing as Mysterio in the next Spider-Man movie? Comment below on any of the stories here that interested you.

Header image via PlayStation/Sony Interactive

10 Games That Could Have Been Amazing, but Were Not

Developing games is incredibly difficult. The process continues to get harder as technology advances, industry changes, and the community of gamers change too. People have different standards regarding what makes a good game compared to twenty years ago. A game can succeed for a variety of reasons, same with reasons for a game to fail.  Here are ten games that could have been amazing, but were not.

#10: Friday the 13th 

A game taking the iconic killer from the cult classic Friday the 13th series is a brilliant idea. Most of the ideas in this game are excellent and well executed. What makes this game fall short of greatness is its clunky gameplay, glitches, lag, and other technical issues. Playing a good match with some friends is some of the most fun that I have ever had in a multiplayer game. Sadly, the game’s bugs and team killing from random players (which got patched thankfully) killed it. While the developers are constantly fixing the game and adding new content, maybe this will be gold in the future. Maybe with a sequel, the developers can start completely fresh and learn from their mistakes. None-the-less I hope them the best because of the positive experiences I have had, despite a lot of negatives aspects.

 

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Image via IllFonic and Gun Media

 

 

#9: Destiny 2

I should lump the first game in here too, but I am going to focus on Destiny 2. The first game was rough at first. I fell off, but the people who stayed ended up with a solid game after many updates. That should not be the case for a game. A game should come out as close as possible to 100%, but that is not the world we live in anymore. Destiny 2 promised so much more including a better story and more content. However, it felt like the beginning of the first game regarding its quality. Players were given a better story, but the campaign ended up being terrible and short. Players are in a constant state of fury over the decisions that Bungie has made. Every few weeks there is a news article about how something new in the game that is causing the players to be furious. Recently the latest DLC is getting reports of reusing assets and overall unoriginal. The multiplayer sci-fi FPS was supposed to be Bungie’s big franchise after they had left Halo, but that does not look like the case. With the series having its whole history so far is in a constant state of tension, the future of Destiny does not look bright.

 

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Image via Bungie

 

 

#8: No Man’s Sky

With all of the hype and the fantastic E3 presentations, No Man’s Sky seemed like it could have been the most ambitious game ever made. If it succeeded, then we could see the game as one of gaming’s biggest achievements. However, we did not get nearly the content that was promised. Questions about whether or not Hello Games were flat out lying or had some internal issue we did not know about. The company had its fair share of problems such as a major flood. They kept pushing forward and looked to be the underdog. Instead, the game killed their credibility as a developer and have embarrassed so many people. The game ended up being less beautiful, almost no content, and the center of the universe mystery ended up being a huge disappointment. After a lot of updating, the game is supposed to be at a solid state of quality. Some fans still play and remain loyal. However, it feels like the damage is done for good. We will have to wait and see how far the damage from No Man’s Sky will last when Hello Games release another game.

 

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Image via Hello Games

 

 

#7: Call of Duty: WWII

Before going into World War 2, the Call of Duty franchise was dead to me. I had not touched the games in a while, but I decided to go back into the series with this one. While I had fun and liked a lot of what they had done, there were many issues. I will cut it short because I do have a review of the game, I need to discuss it here. The gameplay is solid, and the war game mode is incredibly fun. Sadly, not much is different compared to other entries in the series. A lot of new mechanics are just ripped off of other games such as the Destiny like hub world for players to hang out at. The campaign was not the worst we have seen, but it fell flat and lacked much depth. This might be the best game in years for the FPS juggernaut, but that does not mean we have an excellent WW2 shooter.

 

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Image via Sledgehammer Games

 

 

#6: Star Wars Battlefront II

I don’t think there are any games on this list that are this damaging. EA was being talked about by major media outlets that never cover video games. Social media exploded with a fury that took over any site you went on. Microtransactions and past mistakes from the first game are what made Star Wars Battlefront II a complete disaster. The game had its positives and fixed issues from the disappointing first game, they were not able to be free of criticism. If we got a modern version of the classic Battlefront II with extra content, then people would have been happy. Somehow a game that is over a decade old is somehow better than its modern counterpart.

 

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Image via DICE

 

 

#5: The Order: 1886

PlayStation has been on a spree of excellent exclusives. Especially exclusives that are story based on the ability to tell a compelling story while delivering great gameplay. They have had a couple of games fall flat, such as The Order: 1886. A weak story, with weak characters, and a generic third-person shooter style that made this one a forgotten title in the ever-growing catalog on the PS4. The main attraction the game did have that even the haters agreed upon were the game’s stunning graphics. Other than a test to show how beautiful a game can look on the PS4, there is nothing here. A typical shooter that is full of QTE and bland writing.

 

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Image via Ready at Dawn

 

 

#4: Sea of Thieves

Xbox has been criticized for not having good exclusives. Sea of Thieves seemed like a potential console seller to get everyone onboard. What could go wrong with the legendary developer Rare working on an open world pirate game that is mainly online? You get to be a pirate with friends to hunt for treasure, fight monsters, and fight other players. Sadly, the game lacks any content or satisfying rewards. I listed everything to do in the game more or less. Players do not have a lot to look around at when it comes to activities or other players to fight. A common complaint from many people is that they have a ton of fun for a few minutes when finding a treasure chest or fighting another player’s ship, but then it is a long time of sailing around doing nothing. If you have friends, then it might be worth it. Maybe with several updates and added content then perhaps this can come out to be a real gem. We all know Microsoft needs a gem to come up in their catalog.

 

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Image via Rare

 

 

#3: Outlast 2

I don’t think any game on this list makes me angrier. I love the first Outlast. It has its obvious flaws, but it is one of the best horror games around. The terrifying atmosphere, a great story with many hidden elements to discover and learn about, and the game took some basic mechanics to make for a fun game. The sequel builds on nothing new regarding gameplay. The story is incoherent and does not tie in well to the original at all. Most of all, it is boring and uncreative. Besides looking pretty, for the most part, there is nothing positive to say really. The enemies are less impressive, unlike the first title’s antagonists such as Chris Walker. The violence was over-the-top in the least complimentary way, and I will emphasize again how the story makes no sense what so ever. Little is done to explain itself and does not do itself any justice when the story starts to give answers. This game is an insult to fans of the original.

 

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Image via Red Barrels

 

 

#2: Mafia III

Let’s go into another game that broke my heart. The previous entry, Mafia II, was an empty open world game but had its positive qualities. The game had terrific driving and shooting mechanics. Everything had a weight to it that felt great. Sure some of it was clunky, but the game felt good overall. Plus there was such a great story that was told. When the new entry was announced, I was so excited. The gameplay looked more polished and fluid, with an exciting story. The only good thing I can say about Mafia III is it was pretty fun to shoot, driving was not as good but remained fun, and the story was quite good. Sadly, the gameplay felt not as satisfying, and the missions were dull. Every task felt recycled with only a variety of a handful of different missions. With extra content, none of it was creative. The developers made a few things to do then spread them all out across the map to make it feel like there were things to do. It felt cheap and lazy. I have no idea what could have gone wrong to make this such a disappointing sequel. If any game on this list should have been great, it is this one. If they built upon the last game by taking the best parts of it and expanding on those while improving the problems, then this would have been one of the best games of 2016.

 

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Image via Hangar 13

 

 

#1: Dead Rising 4

I don’t know why I expected anything from this game. I love the first Dead Rising even with all of its flaws. If the series kept the positive qualities of that game and improved the weaknesses, then maybe this could be a great franchise. However, the series forgot how to mix drama and comedy with weak gameplay. The gameplay continued to expand on what they had done in the third title. The same old issues from that game are in the fourth entry. The main problem I have is how we were told that they were going back to the roots of Dead Rising. Besides having Frank West in Willamette, there is nothing that will make you feel like you are back in the origins of the series. Even more ridiculous scenarios with laughing “serious” moments. Not only that, but this is a straight up insult to fans. Not just by the gameplay, but the story. SPOILER: Frank dies at the end, and there is even a DLC of him being a zombie. The way he is killed off does not feel right. Once we get to be in his shoes again, he is killed at the end. I have been burned so many times by the Dead Rising games, but this was the final straw.

 

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Image via Capcom Vancouver

 

 

That is it for this list. These were games that I or others had hoped would be good but ended up not being good. Whether they fell flat because of past mistakes, glitches, or microtransactions, they had all failed in the hearts of gamers. Even if you like any game here, it is hard to argue that the game does not need improvements. Be sure to comment what you think of my list here and what games disappointed you.