Spider-Man (2018) E3 2017 Reaction

Spider-Man is my second favorite superhero. My favorite superhero in Marvel. The ratio of good games that the character has had is low. I did enjoy recent efforts such as Web of Shadows but I really haven’t been excited for one in years. That all changed with the upcoming Marvel’s Spider-Man for Playstation 4. Developed by Insomniac Games, the studio behind Ratchet & Clank franchise. I love that franchise and studio so them being behind this game makes me extra excited.

The gameplay shown is very reminiscent of the Batman: Arkham series. Of course this is with a Spider-Man bent to it as he is a super powered individual and thus moves a lot differently. But you can see the comparisons as well as the differences. The Arkham games are probably the pinnacle of modern day superhero video games so you can’t fault Insomniac Games from taking inspiration from those. But as mentioned previously, this is still a Spider-Man game. You can see Spider-Man just as he uniquely does and takes out bad guys like he should.

Who knows what the plot is? In the gameplay trailer, we see Mister Negative, a relatively new Spider-Man villain. There is also a brief came from Wilson Fisk aka The Kingpin. So a gang war does play a role in the game but Insomniac has gone on the record as saying that there is a lot more to it than this. Is Norman Osborn involved? This game seems to be taking cues from more recent comics where Osborn is much more a behind the scenes puller and doesn’t really suit up as Green Goblin as much.

Either way, the game looks great. It looks to be combine the best bits of actual gameplay and quick time events to help you really make you feel like Spider-Man. Hopefully this is a return to prominence for Spider-Man in video games. Some of the best superhero games have featured Spider-Man. So come 2018, I will be getting my copy on the first day of release.

God of War (PS4) E3 2017 Reaction

It’s no secret that I am a big God of War fan. By the time of God of War: Ascension, I was still a fan of the series but my interest had diminished. So the series has been on a break since then by last year there was the reveal of the new entry in the franchise. This time an older Kratos would now be on adventure with his young son, Atreus, would be accompanying him. No longer steeped in Greek mythology, this time the God of War would be in Norse land.

The details of how exactly Kratos got here are intentionally being left vague at the moment. Considering he seemingly caused the apocalypse at the end of God of War III, it is something that needs to be addressed. In the trailer above, characters make references to his past and so it looks like it is not being forgotten or will be glossed over. Since this is a more world weary Kratos who at the end of III became aware of what a turd he was, Kratos in this game looks to be more calm. No longer constantly screaming and perpetually angry. It also helps that he has his son with him. Brief instances we saw of Kratos and his daughter, showed that he can be a good father when he wants to be.

I also really liked the stranger in a strange land aspect. Kratos is Greek and so does not understand the Norse language. This is where his son comes in handy especially when they confront the Midgard Serpent whom Kratos cannot understand but his son can. It will be interesting to see how the son plays into the game as he is a support character but is there something more to his character. Can we be looking at a Red Dead Redemption type of situation?

The gameplay looks brutal as ever which is not surprising. The series has always prided themselves on this aspect. Since Kratos does not have his Blades of Chaos but this time an axe, I wanna see how he plays differently. No doubt he will be getting more weapons as is the norm for the God of War series. I really prefer not to know much about the story other than the bare minimum. But I am excited to play the game and see the continuing adventures of Kratos and now his son.

Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite Trailer

The Marvel vs. Capcom series has never been one for story. What was the plot of the third one? I have no idea. Admittedly this has never been one of Capcom’s strongest suits when it comes to their fighting games. But it looks to be an interesting new take with the fourth installment in the franchise. Ultron, arguably the Avengers’ greatest enemy, teaming up with Sigma, the perpetual enemy of Mega Man X and Zero. It makes sense considering they are both tech villains with little interest in humanity. It will be interesting to see how well they get into the story with this game. I am a story guy. So I would at least like something.

Resident Evil 7 Review

This game frankly scared the shit out of me. So as the return to its horror roots, Resident Evil 7 achieved that. 

The game is for the most part a complete departure from everything that has come before. Switching from third person to first person is the biggest. This helped amp up the tension as you never quite knew what was behind you. This is especially true in the earlier elements of the game where this is usually one enemy that is perpetually stalking you and you’re never quite sure where they are.

Keeping with the horror elements, everything is reduced. Ethan, the main character, is someone thrust into this situation. When it comes to weapons, his aim is terrible. There are items scattered that improve aim and health but they are rare. I found myself running away from situations that actively fighting. Ammo is also a limited resource (unless there is a boss fight approaching). 

The story is set within Resident Evil canon but is so outside, it would be considered a reboot if not for a few key details. This game details Ethan searching for his missing wife and stumbling upon the Baker estate. The Bakers are to say the least, monsters. They each have their own individual quirks and dangerous in their own unique ways. Special mentions goes out to Lucas Baker as the gameplay takes a unique turn during his section. Other than a somewhat lackluster finale, it is a solid story with some big questions about the franchise left up in the air.

Graphically speaking, this is a gorgeous game. The people do have some of the uncanny valley going on but it is never too much. Sinc the Baker estate is run down, it is absolutely disgusting and in great detail. Just look at the “feast” that they have prepared for Ethan. 

Overall, Resident Evil 7 is a solid game. If it wasn’t for the somewhat lackluster finale, it would be great. It is the kick in the pants that the franchise needed. It will be interesting as to where it goes from here. But that is a statement that hasn’t really been said about Resident Evil in a long time. 

Score: 8/10

2o Years Ago, I Fell In Love With Final Fantasy VII

media_cloud_big

First and foremost, I’m old.

Now 20 years ago, I was introduced to a little game called Final Fantasy VII. Today is the 20th anniversary of the release of the game in Japan. It did not come out in the United States until the latter half of the year. But that being said, the game was still released on January 31, 1997. This is considered to be one of the most important games in the history of video games. Changing the landscape with its then breakthrough graphics and epic scale. This game was on three discs. Square Enix then called Squaresoft became a true behemoth in the video game world. It had the added effect of changing the world of a young seven year old boy.

I would spend my weeks off from school with my Auntie. I would love spending time with her because she had a Sony Playstation while at my home, I only had a Sega Saturn. So when I was over one week, she told me that she had this game called Final Fantasy VII. I knew the term Final Fantasy but never played the other games in the series before. So we started playing the game from the beginning and I was immediately blown away. The graphics blew me away and I had no idea about what I was playing.

The game starts off pretty humorous, despite playing as terrorists, but after a few hours the true story of the game kicks in and things get dark and really quick. As the days continued on, I was always there playing the game with the trusty official guide to help me through the tough spots. Eventually I finished the game and was flabbergasted about what I experienced. At this point in my life, this game took the longest time to beat. The final boss battle actually took me hours to complete. I literally left the house for a few hours and came back to finish it.

If you’ve never played Final Fantasy VII, I won’t go into the specifics in lieu of spoilers. But there are many twists and turns in the story. I’m a story person. If your story does not work then your product will never really work for me. The game is completely different at the end from where it started from. There are themes about identity, lack of identity, self confidence, environmental issues, magic vs. science. The game has many layers to it and leaves enough open for player interpretation. As stated earlier, the main characters are terrorists. Yes they are doing it to save the planet but they do cause civilian casualties.

There are many easter eggs that help flesh out the world and help explain characters’ backstories. I never even heard of optional characters before playing this game. Though the game is a role playing game there are little mini games peppered throughout to help break up the potential sameness. There is a Command & Conquer type of sequence, submarine simulator, motorcycle chase and even Chocobo (giant birds like horses) racing. There are even some horror elements. Let’s just say the introduction of JENOVA is something totally unexpected. Being a young kid at the time, this was like the best of all worlds as I got to experience many different elements which would influence my later video game choices.

Even though it has been 20 years, I still always have some sort of version of Final Fantasy VII. When I got my Playstation 2, I sold my copy of FF7 to help pay for it. Let’s just say I got remorse and bought another copy some time later. When I got my Playstation Portable, I bought a copy for that system. Again this happened with my Playstation 3. Finally the “HD upgrade” (which was actually just the PC version with all the bells and whistles) of 7 was released on Playstation 4 and of course I bought it. Final Fantasy 7 is arguably my favorite video game of all time. I do not think I would be into video games if it wasn’t for the game. I bought the sequel movie Advent Children and the prequel game Crisis Core. The world of Final Fantasy 7 is one I hope continues to be explored through the years. I’m patiently waiting for the complete HD remaster coming…whenever Square figures that out. I will be first in line…figuratively…I preorder my games on Amazon.

Resident Evil 7 Impressions

I have always been a big fan of the Resident Evil franchise. In fact, I am probably one of the few people to defend Resident Evil 6. I can acknowledge that the series had deviated from its more survival horror roots into a more action oriented one. So when Resident Evil 7 was announced and being much more horror oriented than ever. Because let’s be honest, the series was never as horror oriented as some people like to remember. From the first game, you played as an elite police unit who were lured their because they were elite. So now the seventh entry is a first person horror game and you’re seemingly trapped in a house of super powered cannibals.

In the demo, there are hints about the Umbrella Corporation which has has haunted the series from the get go. But what role they play in these events is still unknown. The game is not a reboot of the franchise but a continuation of it. So there’s the big question of how this game will tie into previous events. Since the residents of the house definitely have powers, it is reasonable to expect that they have been infected somehow. Since 5 on, there has been an outbreak of infection throughout the world, so it can be expected to tie into that.

I am cautiously optimistic about this game. I’m really not one who likes horror of any type. Call me a chicken. I remember hearing that there will probably limited gunplay in the game, so it will mostly be horror. There were quite a few jump scares in the demo that I played. I can’t imagine playing a whole game like that without losing my stuff. So as more and more details come out about the game I will keep my eye open for new information. The game will be released in January.

Children of Arkham – What Just Went Down (Batman: The Telltale Series)

The second episode of the Telltale Series has been completed and things got intense really quick. Picking up shortly after the events of the previous episode, Bruce Wayne is on the ropes emotionally as his family legacy is in question. The real kicker is: his family legacy is actually not that grand. Thomas and Martha Wayne were in cahoots with the corruption in the city. A grisly scene featuring Thomas torturing Oswald’s mother just to gain their land so he can build Wayne Enterprises on it. This has shown Telltale is not messing around when it comes to establishing their own Batman mythology. Usually the Wayne’s are depicted as being above all the corruption and upstanding citizens. Their murder being a random act of violence.

Now that no longer stands in this version. Their murder was in fact orchestrated as it was implied that they were trying to accumulate more power than others were comfortable with. Now we are dealing with a Batman who mostly based his legacy on a presumption that his parents were good people and victims of a mugging. So what kind of hero will Batman be going forward? We have already seen the repercussions of the death of his parents as he struggles with an innate violence within him. But this is something that can be played with. But it’s clear that Bruce Wayne will arguably now have to be much more of a hero with the revelation about his parents.

Not just a hero as Batman but as Bruce Wayne as well. The game frequently plays with the fact that he can’t just rely on being Batman to make a difference in the city. That Bruce Wayne may even be a more important figure going forward than Batman. So it will be interesting to see how the developers continue to create their own mythos for Batman now that the revelations about his parents continue to come out. Episode 3 cannot come soon enough.