Good day to you ladies and gents, today I am writing a blog post that I hoped I wouldn’t have to write any time soon, but alas, Stan Lee, a legend in the world of comics and entertainment and beloved nerd and creator for many fans across the world unfortunately died yesterday and even now it feels so surreal. So today I just wanted to share my thoughts on what he meant to me and share my respects.
So every once in a while in life, there emerges an individual who goes on to become someone special and Stan’s one of those individuals. To have such an interesting life journey and career from being in the army to writing comic books and then having what you created reach so many people, and have those properties be taken on by new writers and artists for decades to come, and then, of course, have those creations get adapted into various animated and live-action TV shows and films… All that from one guy and his collaborators. It is truly incredible.
Stan Lee is a man who has fascinated me since childhood, and as I’ve gotten older and learnt more about him through research, written and video interviews and so on, I’ve only appreciated him more and more. I’ve always loved hearing the stories about how he created some of his most notable characters like the Fantastic Four or Spider-Man or the X-Men, how he had the knowledge and guts to tell stories about flawed/troubled individuals that made them relatable to the readers. It just shows that this guy was on the ball and perceptive.
But beyond the wonderful characters, stories and worlds he’s given us over the years, he had such a wonderful personality. Stan Lee always looked like he was having the time of his life in a lot of his old photos working at Marvel, he’s always smiling, and through articles and interviews he’s always come across as a sweet, cool and kind man who had time to pass on his knowledge and had great stories to tell. The guy was fantastic and every time I saw him in an interview he’d always make me smile and laugh because he was also quite funny.
But I think where a lot of people have gotten to know Stan from in recent times is through his cameo work in the Marvel Studios films. Now Stan is no stranger to being part of the properties he’s created. He’s narrated for TV shows and video games, made numerous appearances in live-action films going back to the first X-Men film from 2001, he’s made appearances in the cartoons and has been a playable character in games like Amazing Spider-Man 2 or Lego Marvel Superheroes. He’s been all over the place and I’ve always seen him pop up as it always brought joy to my soul.
And now I would like to share some of my favourites that aren’t from the MCU and probably aren’t as well known.
Spider-Man: The Animated Series
This Stan Lee appearance will always hold a special place in my heart. It was probably the first time I sort of got an idea of who Stan was as a kid. I remember being maybe 8, 9 or 10 years old when I first saw this episode and I thought it was hella cool that Stan Lee, the creator of Spider-Man, made an appearance in the 90’s cartoon show. And every time I saw it since it made me so happy. It is a short yet wonderful moment filled with fun, reflection and humour, and seeing Stan get left on the roof without any way to get down and hoping the Fantastic Four would give him a lift, priceless.
This is a small and probably insignificant cameo for most, but I remember watching Spectacular Spider-Man’s second season and just loving this cameo. Here Stan’s just a guy who states the stuff he hates and I think we can relate to that. But it is the line “Are we being punked? I hate that.” Haha. I’ve always loved it.
This one has always stuck out for a number of people and I’d be inclined to agree, it is such a simple yet beautiful bit of dialogue that perfectly sums up Stan’s positivity and then work that Peter had done up to that point. And it is probably the highlight of that entire film really.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
I almost forgot about this cameo until I saw it on my YouTube search. I remember watching Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. during season 1 and thought this was the greatest cameo just because it came out of nowhere and made me laugh so hard. It wasn’t enough that Simmons was giving Coulson a hard time with this fictional story that everyone on the train cart was paying attention to, but for Stan to step in, sympathise with her and then scold Coulson so hard was an incredible moment in time that I’ll never forget. 😛
But of course there are the Stan Lee cameos from the MCU and there are many to pick from, and while a lot of them were just minor appearances, some of them were quite funny and significant. So here are some my favourites:
Thor: When he tried to pull Mjolnir out of the ground with his truck and failed.
Avengers: “Superheroes in New York? Gimme a break.” Love that line.
Guardians of the Galaxy 2: Seeing him hanging out with the Watchers was one of the best nerdiest things I’ve ever seen. 😀
Spider-Man: Homecoming: When Spider-Man gets scolded by a bunch of people and Stan shouts at him from a window, great moment! 😀
Avengers: Infinity War: “What’s the matter with you kids? You never seen a spaceship before?” I frigging loved that line, such a casual thing for an old bus drive to say. 😀 😛
Here’s an epic compilation to check out below:
Anyway, to conclude, Stan Lee, all I can say is thank you for everything that you’ve given me and many fans young and old throughout the many decades that you were with us. And like many I’d like to thank you and Ditko for Spider-Man, he’s one of my favourite characters in fiction and I’ve learnt so much from him and have loved all the heroes, villains and stories that you’ve given Spidey over the years and my life wouldn’t be the same without that character. And also it was an honour to be in your presence in for a moment in time, but meeting you in 2014 was one of my life goals that I never thought I’d get to do and it was one of the best experiences of my life that I will cherish forever.
RIP Stan Lee and thanks for everything. Excelsior!
Howdy ladies and gents, how’s it going? It is currently June and we’ve just experienced what can be described as the Christmas-like period for al gamers known as E3. And even though I haven’t been feeling up to doing much blogging these days, there was no way I wasn’t going to comment on the recent happenings in video game news and reveals. So what I’ll do is discuss the conferences I saw and enjoyed and talk about the pros and cons, and then highlight my favourite games below. Okay with all that out
With the press conferences I watched what was relevant to me, so naturally, I skipped EA because why not? I don’t play Bethesda games so I skipped that one (not that I hate them, I just don’t play their games). I’m not a PC guy so I skipped that show and since I knew most of Square Enix’s material would show up in other places I skipped that one too.
Firstly you have Microsoft, the press conference that I didn’t have much hope for, I mean I had a feeling Microsoft would show us something, but I feel like they went far and beyond with the conference just dishing out game after game after game with additional information about Game Pass, new developers they’d acquired and stuff like that. And while not all of the reveals were exclusive, the fact that they even got shown at all was really fun and compelling for the games I wanted to see. I really feel like Microsoft took what Sony did before and just blasted us with games and I loved it. And sure not all of them had immediate release dates, but to know they existed made me happy. Starting off the conference with a look at a new Halo game, Halo Infinite was pretty cool, and from there we were bombarded with game announcements with some of my favourites being the super cool-looking Sekio: Shadows Die Twice, Devil May Cry 5, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, the Cuphead DLC, Jump Force and the gorgeous-looking Ori and the Will of the Wisps. Also seeing stuff like a new Battletoads or another Kingdom Hearts 3 trailer was cool, and Forza Horizon 4 looks absolutely amazing
Ubisoft was also really good, well, for the stuff I liked anyway. The way they started with the Just Dance sequence was strangely interesting at first but then went on for too long and after a while, I was wondering when they were gonna end it. The stuff I liked started with the Mario and Rabbids Donkey Kong DLC which looked really fun and I’m definitely considering picking it up later in the year, seeing Trials Rising was really cool as I really liked playing Trials Fusion a few years ago at uni and Beyond Good and Evil 2 used another cinematic trailer, but it was far more story-driven and cinematic and made me way more interested in the game than I was last year. Starlink: Battle for Atlas was another game I saw last year and liked the look of and the inclusion of Star Fox has only made my interest increase, but the real surprise was Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, I honestly wasn’t expecting the game to be all that intriguing, but I was quite taken back by the visuals, gameplay and story elements. I haven’t played an Assassin’s Creed game yet but I really am curious to see how this one turns out later on in the year.
As for Sony I’m not gonna lie, they disappointed me this year. I understand what they were trying to do with their stylised presentation and wanting to focus on specific major games. But the way it was presented was pretty bad, it just felt clunky, slow and took a little while to get going. That being said, when it did focus on the games we were treated to some good stuff. Last of Us 2 looked very compelling and brutal and Death Stranding still has me with more questions than answers but I enjoyed what I saw. But the two games that really stood out to me was Ghosts of Tsushima and Spider-Man. With Tsushima, we had the cinematic trailer last year but no gameplay, but this year we saw the game in action and it looked gorgeous with such striking camera angles, lighting, beautiful art and interesting story and gameplay elements. I love samurai stuff so to have a big budget game tackle this kind of subject matter has me hooked. And then there’s Spider-Man which has only gotten better each time its been shown and even though the game’s out in September, I still found myself gushing about the new story and gameplay elements. But the real surprise was Resident Evil 2, after hearing about the remake for so long, to see it finally revealed was great.
I thought Nintendo did well, but I have seen online that the reception on the Direct was very mixed, some loved it, while many were disappointed. So let me just say this, I think some people expected a lot and were disappointed by the lack of appearances from certain games like Yoshi and Metroid Prime 4, which were both teased last year but have had no additional details. Animal Crossing fans didn’t get their new game and none of the rumours surrounding the Star Fox racing game, F-Zero and some other stuff didn’t come to light… So yeah if you’re not overly hyped for Smash and some of the other game reveals then I can understand the disappointment. That being said, I LOVE Smash Bros., and while I didn’t expect it to be covered for so long, it’s pretty much the big release of 2018 so I was delighted to see so much of it. The rest of the Direct had some cool stuff especially with Daemon x Machina, Super Mario Party, Fire Emblem: Three Houses and Xenoblade Chronicles 2 DLC, and third-party games in that montage. And while the leaks definitely took away a lot of the surprise, I was still happy to see Dragon Ball FighterZ and Overcooked 2 shown. The Treehouse segment really did well to highlight Pokemon Let’s Go in action and good gravy the nostalgia started to hit me hard when I saw Viridian Forest and Pewter City, the visual enhancements are insane from visual aesthetic to all the minor and major detail in the animation and art direction, but it was really the music that grabbed me, good gravy I need to get this game so I can listen to the music.
My Game Highlights
Now I’m just going to list all of the games that stood out to me or that I am super looking forward to from now until next, and this was a tough list to construct in some ways but I think I have a solid list here.
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
This was easily the first game to jump out at me and grab my interest. I LOVE action adventure games and samurai stuff, and the fact that it is coming from the developers of Dark Souls makes me happy and nervous. I’m excited for the gameplay that looks fast, intense, methodical and satisfying with movement and combat, but because it is coming from FromSoftware, their games are hard as hell and I dunno if I want to jump into that kind of game just to have my ass handed to me on multiple occasions. We’ll see. but the game does look hella cool.
Ori and the Will of the Wisps
I think I recall seeing this game last year and I thought it looked good, but I don’t recall it looking this great. Ori and the Blind Forest is a game I’ve been wanting to play for a few years now, but this game just looks like it’s on another level with its sense of scope, colour scheme, lighting and overall beautiful and atmospheric visuals. I know graphics aren’t everything but those graphics really are stunning and it just looks even better in movement in gameplay with the combat and platforming. I’ll be keeping my eye on this one for sure.
Just a few weeks ago I was talking to my friend about Jump Super Stars and Jump Ultimate Stars on the DS and how I had hoped that they’d make another game, and while this isn’t a 2D Smash Bros-like fighter like the games I just mentioned, it is a crossover fighting game featuring the noteworthy characters from Shonen Jump in an arena-based fighting game and I’m down with the idea. When I saw the trailer and saw Naruto and then the appearance of my boys Luffy, Goku and Frieza I got very giddy. Now so far from what I’ve seen this game has potential with the super over-the-top attacks, scene transitions and fast combat speed, but the movement also looks very choppy and animations needing a lot of refinement. I know this is an E3 build of the game so they have plenty of time to polish things up, I just want something fun to play with some of my favourite anime characters.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider
I’ve only become a fan of the new Tomb Raider games last summer after playing the first game last summer, I still haven’t played Rise yet, but I will. Either way, I really liked what I saw of this new game especially when it comes to the story. To see Lara is such different mindset, so hasty, self-centred and causing chaos in pursuit of her own interests is very intriguing to me. Beyond that, I am curious to explore this new world that is apparently much bigger than the previous games and I really want to try out all those new combat mechanics. I was pretty stealthy when it came to playing the 2013 reboot, but there are so many more options for distraction, camouflage and stealth kills which are so much more brutal than before. I’m very excited about this one.
Kingdom Hearts 3
What can I say about Kingdom Hearts 3 that hasn’t been said already? I want it, I need it, sure it sucks that we have to wait until January 2019 to play it, but with the amount of the game that we’ve seen I think its close completion so we can actually play the bloody thing after all the years of waiting. I didn’t expect there to be multiple trailers released, I watched them all and the game still looks fantastic and crazy with the Keyblade transformations and summon abilities, but it was the new worlds revealed that really caught my eye. With Frozen it was an inevitability that it’d make its way into KH considering how big that film is not only for Disney but just in general. I think the world and characters look great, but I was actually more interested in the return to the Pirates of the Caribbean world with Jack Sparrow and all of those characters look so much prettier and the world having such a great sense of scope.
Resident Evil 2 Remake
I had heard a lot of talk about this remake for a while and I wondered when we’d get around to seeing it, I just didn’t expect that it would drop during Sony’s press conference. The game looks SO good, I don’t even play Resident Evil games, but I’ve appreciated them from afar and have waited for this particular remake for a while and man it is delivering with its modern gameplay aspects, but still keeping the spirit of the original and horror elements intact.
Ghosts of Tsushima
If it wasn’t for two more games below this would be my game of E3. Last year when this game was teased I knew it’d be something to look out for, but I did not expect something on this level of polish and detail. The game looks absolutely stunning with the lighting, camera work and fluid animation and the combat is just how I’d imagine a samurai fight going down with fights that have precision, weight and timing, what they showed in that E3 demo was so beautiful. This is the samurai game I’ve always wanted, and at the same time, it is the one I didn’t know I wanted as well. I watched a panel with some of the developers on the game and it was so insightful and you could see that these people really care about the source material they are drawing from and want to make a deeply captivating and immersive experience that pays homage to Japan and the samurai films it draws from.
Oh Spider-Man, what can be said that hasn’t been said already? It looks great, the web-slinging looks amazing, the combat looks varied and creative with what you can do upfront or in a stealthy manner. I am seriously digging the E3 trailer that showed off The Raft prison and several of Spidey’s key villains including Shocker, Rhino, Scorpion, Vulture and this mystery guy we couldn’t see off-screen. I am just in love with the game with everything I see and hear about the game, I just need it to be September so I can grab this game already haha.
Fire Emblem: Three Kingdoms
I remember when this game was announced last year and I was really hyped to see what a home console Fire Emblem game would look like after playing Awakening and Fates on 3DS and Three Kingdoms looks really good. It is essentially taking the core mechanics from the 3DS games and upgrading them not only in the visuals but with some cool extra game mechanics. The visuals look lovely and I like the new sense of scope and verticality with the environments that obviously couldn’t be done on 3DS but can be done in HD. I also love how the transition from the grid to watching your attack animations also has multiple soldiers on the battlefield with you enhancing the feeling of your fights feeling like a major battle. And I’m really liking the new squad formation attacks and special moves that you can perform now, oh Spring 2019 can’t come fast enough haha.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Holy crap, like dear god, what even happened when this part of the Direct dropped? I had so many hopes and fears for Smash 5 in terms of the roster, whether it’d be a new game or an enhanced port and what kind of stuff would be shown. And Sakurai and Nintendo just blew my frigging mind. Seeing the game’s new shiny visuals were great, and all the new stages, music, assist trophies, Pokemon, and tweaks to the game mechanics were great. But it was that roster that really got me. When they said everyone was available, I bloody lost it. 😛 I got so giddy to see Snake and Wolf come back, but then there was also Young Link, Ice Climbers, Ryu and Mega Man and more, and they all looked great. And to top it all off they frigging added my girl Daisy and then bloody RIDLEY at the end!!! Good god, it was like every wild dream come to life, fan service overload!!!!! It feels so surreal that it’s real, but all I can say is that December can’t get here quick enough! I NEED SMASH!
All in all, I’d say I had a good E3 viewing experience. The games I wanted to see exceeded my expectations, for the most part, I got what I wanted and while there wasn’t much in the way of surprises, what did catch me off guard was very pleasant. I’d say the future of gaming looks bright for us gamers for the next several months and good gravy by the end of the year my wallet will be destroyed because of all the game I need to buy haha.
But anyway how about you? What did you think of E3 2018? Was it good, bad or indifferent for you? Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comment section below and I’ll see ya on the next blog post, laters! 😀
Howdy ladies and gents of the internet, as some of you may have seen, last year I started a film podcast entitled Film Focus and on this podcast, I talk about various topics in film and reviews as well on a biweekly basis. As for the latest episode, it was actually done a few weeks ago and the topic was on theme songs in superhero films.
Anyway here’s the episode 36:
In this episode, I cover theme songs in superhero films and their importance not only to the characters they represent but also how they enhance the overall film experience when you have memorable themes. So from the John Williams Superman theme to Danny Elfman’s Spider-Man theme to the recent theme from Batman V Superman/Wonder Woman by Junkie XL, I cover some of the most recognisable and less notable themes that I feel should be talked about. Now I should have uploaded this podcast episode weeks ago but I got super busy and then forgot until now. Scheduling around work has become a tad complicated and tedious. Hopefully, the latest episode will be done soon.
As I mentioned before I’ll cover a different topic or review in each episode and since I don’t have much in the way of listeners or promotion, I’m here to spread the word about my podcast. 🙂
So if you have some spare time on your hands and would like to listen to the ramblings of a passionate/strange man then please check it out, and share it with your friends if you can. Also, you have any feedback or if you’d be interested in joining on future episodes be sure to let me know, until next time, laters! 😀
So another E3 has come and gone and I am again feeling hollow, but hey at least its time to talk about the games and the convention on a whole. Unlike the last two years I’m currently on holiday so I had to catch all the E3 material erratically as I went out to eat and celebrate birthdays, so that’s why my thoughts are on the late side. But I couldn’t leave this blog without doing so form of wrap-up mini discussion so here we go!
The Press Conferences
Unlike last year I didn’t get to see all of the main press conferences live, Microsoft and Sony’s conferences I had to watch a good few hours after their main announcements while Ubisoft and Nintendo’s I got to check out on time. As for the press conferences I liked what Microsoft brought in terms of their game selection, but I wouldn’t say it was anything mind-blowing, plus the fact that the Xbox Scorpio just ended up being the Xbox One X felt like such a lazy name. With Sony I thought there were certainly some cool highlights with some of their specific game reveals but it was a far cry from their incredible show from last year, it just felt a little slow and awkward with some of the stuff the presenter was coming out with. Ubisoft was honestly the real surprise, their conference while not mind-blowing, had some solid reveals, moved at a good pace and gave people a bit of what they expected and what they didn’t and think it all worked out well for them. With Nintendo as usual they did their own thing with their digital event and it was solid, most of it was covering games we knew were coming especially for 2017, but their were just a few major surprises that tipped the scales in their favour which I will discuss below. So who won E3? Hard to say because everyone had really cool material, but hardly anything amazing that made one company stand out more than the others, but I feel like Ubisoft and Nintendo did the best with the material they had to offer, but I think that’s just me.
But what’s E3 without talking about the games? While there were some games we’d seen before there were plenty that were new that I hadn’t seen which was great, so now I’m gonna talk about all of my favourites.
I think the game that really stood out to me was the PS4 Spider-Man game which was unexpected to a degree. Last year when that trailer was revealed I was hyped, and I remember there being a lot of naysayers stating that the game was suing pre-rendered graphics and that the in-game visuals wouldn’t look that good. And yet here we are in 2017 with footage that was just as clean as what we saw last year with seamless transitions between the cut scenes and gameplay and it is pretty frigging awesome. The graphics look super detailed, clean and colourful and the animation with very fluid and slick from the character movements to the all the environmental elements. I like how we got to see a bit of Spidey’s combat, stealth mechanics, web-swinging and the use of quick time events. I like how cinematic the cut scenes are and the combat looks fluid and Spidey’s overall movement feel so kinetic and acrobatic, if this game can keep up this level of quality with a solid story mode, good mission variety and different costumes then I’ll be so happy.
Super Mario Odyssey
I was already obsessed with this game from the first reveal but this just brought the hype to a new level. Having Mario use his magic hat to tak control of so many enemies and objects was pure insanity the first time I watched the trailer. It opens up so many possibilities for the gameplay, exploration and bizarre scenarios. The game just looks mad and I love it, the fact that the game not only looks so gorgeous but also has a lot of gameplay variety and the fact that Mario can wear different suits? Hell yes I’m hyped!
This game could almost be my game of E3 thought it had been revealed last July, but I just can’t help it I just really want this game dammit! Haha. Sonic Mania is the 2D Sonic adventure I’ve wanted for years and didn’t know it. The game just looks like a nice balance of the old and new, but with improved art and animation, redesigned levels and brave new ones and absolutely gorgeous music too. The more I’ve seen from the game the more I’ve wanted to shout from the rooftops that this will be the best Sonic game ever, at least that’s what I hope. Each new reveal has gotten me more hyped and with the recent footage of Chemical Plant Zone Acts 1 & 2 and Green Hill Zone Act 2 with the boss battle I’m stupidly hyped now.
Dragon Ball Fighter Z
This game was one of the best surprises from E3 I had no clue this game was a thing until a good few hours after the Microsoft press conference had ended and since then I have watched so much footage and I still can’t get enough. The fact that us fans are getting a DBZ 2D fighting, the first since Burst Limit in 2008 is such a lovely surprise! The game is probably the best-looking and most accurate portrayal of the art style and animation from the original show with such intricate detail that’s gone in the character stances, fighting styles and crazy cinematic special moves, and it is all done the Marvel Vs. Capcom style of gameplay. What’s not to like? The gameplay looks so frantic, fast and intense and I love it, it perfect captures the chaotic nature of the show and I can’t wait to touch this game!
Metroid Prime 4 & Metroid: Samus Returns
This was the defining moment for a lot of people when Nintendo won E3, while watching their Spotlight video I saw their trailer announcement for something and I wasn’t too sure what it was for the first 2 seconds, but as soon as the music dropped I knew it was true and that happiness was coming my way… Frigging Metroid Prime 4! Finally! Thank god! I’m not even hardcore into Metroid but I’ve been waiting for a new game in this series for what seems to be an eternity and finally we know its in development and that was enough to sway me into thinking that Nintendo may have gotten this E3 in the bag. But then after that during the Treehouse stream those crazy people at Nintendo dropped another bomb on us; another frigging Metroid game, in 2D! Damn! Even though the art style was in 3D and this is a remake of the original Game Boy game, just to know we’ll get to play this game makes me so delighted beyond words.
This game looks like a lot of fun just for the size and scope of the world alone. Graphically the game looks so beautiful and detailed and I’m curious to learn more and get to play this with friends with the different armour classes. Now normally this kind of game would be my cup of tea but I’m just so intrigued by the world and co-op potential that I’ll have to keep my eye out for it!
Sea of Thieves
It was good to see this game back in action and though like last year it a little cringey due to the narrator trying to deliver jokes that just didn’t land, but otherwise this larger look at the game in regards to swimming underwater and finding treasure underwater, battling enemies on the beach and getting shot out of cannons among other things. It just looks like a lot of fun with the right people.
Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle
This game was the first major surprise of E3 in the sense that a lot of people (me included) thought this game would be a joke that no one would want to buy and yet creatively Ubisoft have taken the core foundation of the Mario games and made something special in a turn-based strategy style that has a lot of potential for creative gameplay. Straight from the trailer and game footage I can tell this will be an intriguing and hilarious session with the Rabbids.
Other Games Worth Mentioning
Firstly there’s Assassin’s Creed Origins which looks kind of different to what’s come before and I like the setting, The Evil Within 2 had a cool trailer, God of War for PS4 still looks great, Xenoblade Chronicles 2 showed off some interesting gameplay but had some horrible English dubbing, South Park: The Fractured But Whole looked great but it was also awesome to see the reveal of South Park: Phone Destroyer was just as delightful.Monster Hunter World, looked like an interest evolution of the series though I don’t know if the new gameplay elements sit well with me, the Shadow of the Colossus PS4 Remaster looked cool and learning that a new Pokemon RPG was in the works for Nintendo Switch was a nice surprise.
In the end E3 2017 was great experience and while it wasn’t as great as last year it had a lot of great reveals and moments that will last for a while to come. I can’t to not only get my hands on those 2017 games but also touch those games that’s on the horizon for 2018, good gravy I’m gonna be out of money for months! Hopefully you all will join me for the next year’s session as well. 😀
So did you watch E3 this year and if so what games are you excited about? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next post, laters! 😀
So another E3 has come and gone and I am sad. To me there’s always a bit of a hollow/melancholy feeling when the biggest convention in gaming ends, that being said at least we have all these awesome gaming experiences to look forward to in the future. I have to say going into this E3 I was interested, but my hype levels weren’t nearly as high as previous years, but my god I was not prepared for all the awesomeness I was going to experience. This year E3 2016 wasn’t playing around, for the most part everyone brought their A-game and it was just a treat to watch. There’s so much that happened that I’m not even sure where to start but hopefully I’ll be able to cover everything that I saw.
The Press Conferences
I skipped EA because I don’t watch their conferences anymore and since I haven’t played any Bethesda games I skipped their show too. So it was down to Microsoft, Sony and Ubisoft, and while Ubisoft impressed me to a degree, it was Microsoft and Sony that really surprised me. Microsoft’s conference was straightforward and full of a lot of games I never knew I wanted, especially with the VR material, and Ubisoft as usual had some memorable moments with Aisha Tyler, the featurette on the Assassin’s Creed film and those colourful dancing people at the beginning of the show. But it was Sony that won E3 for me, their presentation was slick, moved at a swift pace, always showing new games and even had a live orchestra. You don’t get cooler than that.
But what’s E3 without talking about the games? While there were some games we’d seen before there were plenty that were new that I hadn’t seen which was great, so now I’m gonna talk about all of my favourites.
Forza Horizon 3
This was a game I wasn’t expecting to like because you know after you’ve seen one fancy-looking racing game, you’ve seen them all right? However I have to say the Forza series always has me coming back because the advances the developers make in graphics, gameplay, the types of cars, tracks and weather effects. And this game just looks gorgeous, I’m not even that big into racing games and yet I feel like I need tis game in my life.
Sea of Thieves
This was a big surprise for me as I didn’t know I wanted a game like this until I saw it. At first seeing all the people talking while playing the game was super cringey, but as the trailer went on I saw a game that I’d love to dive into and get lost in. Co-op gameplay in the world of pirates? Looks awesome, from the drinking and blurry vision, to sailing across the sea, to engaging in boat combat and having to make repairs once your boat start to sink. Sign me up yo!
Horizon Zero Dawn
I was really impressed when I saw this game revealed at last year’s E3 with the world, main character and robot enemy designs, but this year we got to see more of the world and some specific gameplay and I have to say I’m loving it. This game looks pretty unique in terms of its approach to combat, enemy behaviour and sense style with the art direction and animation which all looking pretty slick.
God of War PS4
This was the game that proved that you can never truly be sure what expect from a new game in a franchise. I’d heard rumours of a God War game for PS4 but I didn’t care, at this point I was over the franchise and didn’t care if it was revealed or not, but as soon as I saw the gameplay trailer I was sold. This game from a graphical standpoint looks great, but it is the way the game is framed with the third-person perspective and more cinematic camera shots that make it feel more intimate. From what we’ve seen here this will be a more story-driven adventure and the whole fact that Kratos is a father, is rocking a sweet beard and is teaching his son to hunt while also trying to keep him safe, that just feels strange considering what has come before in this series, but it is a very welcome addition. Kratos needs some humanizing and a reason for the players to care about him and this looks like a good start.
South Park: The Fractured But Whole
As much as I’d like another season of South Park at the same time, if we’re getting another RPG game from Matt Stone and Trey Parker and Ubisoft, then screw it I can wait for the TV material as Fracture But Whole looks insanely fun. I’m liking the expanding game mechanics and the theme of superheroes being in a South Park game works so well that its ridiculous. The jokes about the current state of superhero genre and the specific references to the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Phases of film or the whole Marvel vs DC film material was hilarious. I’m looking forward to this game a lot.
This game came out of nowhere, frigging nowhere. I saw this and I’m like what th fuck!?! Where has this game been hiding? A new Spider-Man game made by Insomniac Games? Gimme! Gimme dammit! The game looks incredibly detailed, versatile in terms of the combat and very over-the-top with the kinetic movement and overall presentation. Most Spidey games have sucked since Spider-Man 2 or at least Shattered Dimensions, if the developers can get the combat, open world and main campaign and mission structure right, then we’ll have the best Spidey game ever. 🙂
Another game I didn’t expect to see this year. I guess we have no idea what this game is without further information or a gameplay trailer, but so see Hideo Kojima back in the spotlight at E3 and see Norman Reedus was just delightful! I have no clue what this game will entail but I’m as intrigued as hell!
Now the main reason I’m including this is not because I’m looking forward to the game a great deal, I mean I am, but I’m more interested in the way it was presented. This was Akuma from Street Fighter versus Heihachi from Tekken, I thought at first that this was the Tekken x Street Fighter game fans were promised 6 years ago. It just felt like such a big troll to people who knew about the planned crossover, only for it to be revealed that Akuma had just to be a guest appearance in a new Tekken game, weak. Sorry if I’m a optimistic idiot, but the Street Fighter crossover came out years ago and the Tekken game has yet to be made, I think it’s about time that game came out.
Final Fantasy XV
What can I say bout FFXV that hasn’t been said already? The game looks damn good, very action-packed, with super kinetic combat and large-scale boss fights and most importantly it looks like fun too. I just need September to hurry up so I can grab this game already.
Star Trek: Bridge Crew
Never expected to be interested a VR game, let alone a Star Trek game, however during the Microsoft conference this game stood out and really got me in the mood to step into virtual world of the Enterprise and do some cool Star Trek bridge related activity with some friends. It looks like a very fun, interactive and nostalgic experience and I’m very curious to see more.
Resident Evil 7
I was not expecting this game to be the game that it ended up being once the trailer got to the end, I mean the trailer was very scary, atmospheric and like a real film. The limited view, lighting and lack of sound made me feel so unsettled, and to find out it was a new Resident Evil game? Bloody hell that shocked me, but in the best possible way.
Detroit: Become Human
I liked the trailer for this a lot, it had a great sense of style, art direction and tone, and to see this scenario of an android trying to talk another android from killing a human girl had my attention, but to then be able to play out that scenario several different ways depending on how you approach the situation was what really hooked me. It felt just like Heavy rain when I watched the trailer and my friend told me it was made by Quantic Dream, I was like “That makes so much sense.” I just hope the in-game graphics, story and choices are as captivating as this trailer.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
And finally there’s the game that stole my heart, Zelda Wii U/NX, now dubbed Breath of the Wild. Damn, this game had all nervous going in, I mean I knew it’d be good but I wasn’t expecting to be blown away… How foolish was I? That trailer hit straight away on Nintendo live stream and I was completely taken back by the amount of changes there was the basic Zelda formula. I mean where to start? The looked like a combination of Skyrim, Monster Hunter and Xenoblade Chronicles X. The environments are so much larger and varied, there’s wildlife inhabiting the area, the enemies has a little more variety and everything feels so new, mysterious and compelling in a way I haven’t seen since Zelda on NES or Ocarina of Time. also let’s talk about Link for a second, he has different weapons and armour, he can climb, he can hunt, collect and cook, and he can frigging jump! Oh and that voice over in the beginning, does that confirm full voice acting throughout the game? I really hope so. There’s a lot of ways this new game could suck or be a let down, but for now I’m choosing to believe it’ll be badass. 😀
Other Games Worth Mentioning
Firstly there’s Battlefield 1 which I didn’t think I’d be excited for, but the trailer and gameplay footage from everyone playing during stream looked so incredible and fun that I want to jump in (also shout out to Snoop Dogg haha). Seeing The Last Guardian in action again was great and to have a release date set October made me smile so much! Dead Rising 4 also looked cool with the new graphics and variety of weapons, also Scalebound once again proved to be a game worth playing with the crazy creature designs, interesting combat and multiplayer possibilities.
In the end E3 2016 was an awesome experience, I did not expect to love the games so much this year and now I’m so stupidly giddy about the future. I pray that my wallet will be able to take it and that I’ll have the free time to be playing these games between now and next year. 🙂
So did you watch E3 this year and if so what games are you excited about? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next post, laters! 😀
Howdy ladies and gents, time for another superhero-related post. This is a subject matter I’ve wanted to talk about for almost two years now, With superheroes being one of the most popular genres of film in modern times, the topic of theme songs have come up in discussions in online videos and comment sections I’ve seen across several websites. And there have been discussions about which popular themes are the best or why newer films don’t try harder with to have more memorable main themes. So with all that in mind I wanted to focus on the subject of superhero themes are whether they still have relevance today.
With superheroes, in most adaptations they have a theme song (sometimes referred to as a main theme) which you associate with the hero as much as you do their name, costume or catchphrase. These themes will either play in the opening or ending credits of a film or TV show or will appear during the film in a heroic/iconic moment.
What Are The Popular Themes?
Its should come as no suprise that most notable themes come from the most popular superheroes of all time, Batman and Superman. Besides the fact that they’ll be sharing a film next year (which is still strange to wrap my head around), long before their epic meeting, they had separate films with quite iconic themes that can be recognised even by general film fans. The most famous of the two is the “Theme from Superman (Main Title)” from the godly John Williams and the “Batman Theme” from the amazing Danny Elfman. Just have a listen below:
With the Superman theme I think it transcends the film it is part of, this is honestly one of the most recognisable pieces of music in film and you don’t even need a visual aid to know what it is. I think that is the beauty of John Williams; the fact that he can craft such incredibly, uplifting, beastly and memorable music that can stand the test of time. I hate to gush on about this theme, but it honestly gives me goosebumps because it’s that badass.
When it comes to Batman’s theme, it feels approach for the Dark Knight. It is dark, mysterious, its loud and bombastic, yet soft, quiet and it swells and then explodes. I think the reason why this theme is so popular is because it just feels like it belong within the realm of Batman and has the right tone and gives you something fun, atmospheric and really cool. Elfman creates something so special that feels so perfect, but I think why I appreciate this theme so much is because it was the inspiration for the intro theme for Batman: The Animated Series which is still til this day, one of my all-time favourite themes to anything ever.
But the themes don’t end there. Have look below.
Main Theme From The Dark Knight Trilogy
We also have the main theme from The Dark Knight Trilogy too. Now while this film series doesn’t have an official track that says ‘Main Theme’, the song that’s pretty much the key theme throughout this film series is “Molossus” introduced in Batman Begins. That theme is dramatic, aggressive and so intimidating, its like the badass theme to end all badass themes, and Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard did such a good job.
Main Theme From Man of Steel
And then of course there’s the main theme from Man of Steel known as “What Are You Going To Do When You Are Not Saving The World?” This theme is pretty famous because it was in trailers and pretty much helped sell this new incarnation of Superman. I think it may be the most epic superhero theme in existence as its so quiet and calm, and yet it builds and builds and then explodes into this beastly theme that makes you shiver and get all giddy about the epicness you’re listening to. While I didn’t love Man of Steel, I cannot deny the badassery of this theme.
Ignored Main Themes
Main Theme Spider-Man
Now some may wonder why I’ve put one of the most popular superhero themes in the ignored segment, and it is simple. This theme isn’t talked about or recognised nearly as much as the ones mentioned above. I think it is no mistake that Danny Elfman was brought on to do another superhero theme after what he did with Batman in the late 80’s, here he crafts a theme that is eery, mysterious, heroic and badass. This theme oozes of charisma, beauty and awesomeness in an indescribable manner, and while I prefer the instrumentation of the Spider-Man 2 version, there is no denying the epicness of this song.
Main Theme From The Avengers
Much like Spider-Man’s theme, this theme is pretty awesome and yet doesn’t get nearly as much love as it should. “The Avengers” by Alan Silvestri is the definition of a good theme song. It has a classic sound to it, and it’s so uplifting, magical and heroic, but it is towards the latter half around 1:05 into the song where it turns badass and grows into orchestrated awesomeness. When this theme comes into play in Avengers and the team are seen together for the fist time on-screen it is a special and epic moment and music just elevates it to another level. This track is short but it has a sense of epicness that cannot be denied.
Main Theme From X-Men
While this particular track is pretty long, it has the main theme right at the beginning and towards the very end of the track. John Ottman was the first composer to leave an impression on the X-Men films series and it wasn’t until Henry Jackman came around that I heard another soundtrack that stood out, that being said Ottman’s theme from X-Men 2 still kicks ass. It’s intense, dramatic and awesome, and this theme must be pretty notable as they brought it back for X-Men: Days of Future Past (which made me SO happy).
Main Theme From Iron Man 3
The Iron Man films up until this point hadn’t had an official main theme, but in 2013 we got given “Iron Man 3” by Brian Tyler. Now with Tyler his soundtracks tend to be a bit hit or miss, but this was definitely a hit as he finally gave Iron Man a theme that was dramatic, hard-hitting and epic. The inclusions of the angelic backing vocals and something that sounds like a hammer hitting metal, it is just so beastly. Make no mistake, Iron Man 3 as a film has its problems for sure, but this track really is something special. I will say that I prefer “Can You Dig It“ as it is way more sassy, jazzy and feels like it belongs in a 1960’s spy show.
Main Theme From Ant-Man
Ant-Man may not be universally loved by fans, but I liked it and one of my favourite aspects of the film was the soundtrack by Christophe Beck and “Theme from Ant-Man” is just awesome. This theme is sassy, bombastic and it just has such a nice sense of style and identity. Beck is another one of those composers that’s a bit up and down with his soundtrack compositions but this theme is kick ass.
Main Theme From Batman Forever
I think I may lose a lot of people by including this track, but screw it! Batman Forever may be the starting point for the decline in quality for the Batman films in the 90’s, but Forever, I still kind of like it and the theme song is definitely a big part of that. “Main Titles & Fan Fare” by Elliot Goldenthal has such a sense dramatic flare, charisma, style and its over-the-top but because of the nature of Forever as a film, this theme sounds just right.
So Do Themes Matter?
So now for the big question; do superhero themes matter? I would say yes for sure. It’s always nice to have music to associate with your favourite superheroes and while that’s been available in cartoons and certain live-action shows for a while now, I think it is just as important in films so you have another key aspect that makes your protagonist more memorable. Now for current superhero films they aren’t a requirement as fans and critics aren’t that fussed and will give a pass to a superhero film if the story, characters and presentation are top-notch. That being said, it was around 2012 when some people started saying that the. With big films like Batman V Superman and Captain America: Civil War coming out next year there will need to be theme songs or key tracks in the soundtrack to enhance the action on-screen or I think some fans and critics will feel robbed. And then in the future we’ll see the like of Wonder Woman, Marvel’s Spider-Man, Justice League and Avengers Infinity War parts 1 & 2 and those will be films that will require themes and soundtracks that are interesting, dramatic and memorable or I believe it will be a wasted opportunity.
So that’s my feelings on this subject, hopefully you’ve found this informative and like what I’ve had to say and share. But now I pass it over to you, what do you think of superhero themes in film and do you think they’re still relevant? Please be sure to comment below and let me know. Until next time, laters! 😀
Howdy people of the internet, for the first time in a while I am here to give you some film news and of course its superhero-related! For a while there’s been rumoured and certain amounts of information surrounding the casting of the new Spider-Man film and the new director, but nothing official had been released… Until now! The following information comes from superherohype:
Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios have announced that, following a lengthy casting process, actor Tom Holland (The Impossible, In the Heart of the Sea) will play Peter Parker/Spider-Man in their next Spider-Man film, which is set to hit theaters on July 28. 2017. In addition, director Jon Watts, director of the upcoming thriller Cop Car, will helm the feature.
Marvel and Sony Pictures, and producers Kevin Feige and Amy Pascal conducted an extensive search for both the actor and the director. The studios and producers were impressed by Holland’s performances in The Impossible, “Wolf Hall,” and the upcoming In the Heart of the Sea, and by a series of complex screen tests. Following Marvel’s tradition of working with the brightest next wave of directors, Watts also went through multiple meetings with Feige, Pascal, and the studio, before winning the job.
“It’s a big day here at Sony. Kevin, Amy and their teams have done an incredible job,” Tom Rothman, Sony Pictures Motion Pictures Group Chairman, said. “The Marvel process is very thorough, and that’s why their results are so outstanding. I’m confident Spider-Man will be no exception. I’ve worked with a number of up-and-coming directors who have gone on to be superstars and believe that Jon is just such an outstanding talent. For Spidey himself, we saw many terrific young actors, but Tom’s screen tests were special. All in all, we are off to a roaring start.”
“As with James Gunn, Joss Whedon, and the Russo brothers, we love finding new and exciting voices to bring these characters to life,” Kevin Feige added “We spent a lot of time with Jon and find his take and work inspiring.”
Amy Pascal added, “Sony, Marvel, Kevin and I all knew that for Peter Parker, we had to find a vibrant, talented young actor capable of embodying one of the most well-known characters in the world. With Tom, we’ve found the perfect actor to bring Spider-Man’s story into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.”
So we finally have our new Spider-Man and director, once again, FINALLY! No more rumours, no more speculation, just concrete official announcement online and it’s a nice feeling. With that being said I’m going to give my thoughts on the actor and then the director.
So Tom Holland, while he doesn’t necessarily look like someone I would cast as Peter Parker, that’s all subjective. What Holland does have going for him is that he’s young, talented and has been showing off some acrobatic skills recently too, so there’s that. But in all honesty I like this choice of casting, Holland seems like he has the right kind of body frame and face for a teenage Peter Parker so the school stuff will be believable, also going off of that video, hopefully Holland will be doing his own practical stunts like Andrew Garfield did in The Amazing Spider-Man. I have only seen him in The Impossible he was really good in that film, so that gives me confidence in his skills, looking at his filmography, it seems like he’ll be popping up in a few films and I’m looking forward to what he’ll bring to In the Heart of the Sea.
As for the director Jon Watts, he’s another element altogether. With Marvel’s previous director choices I’ve at least known them by name or seen/heard of their films like the Russo Brothers with Community, James Gunn with Super, Joss Whedon with Buffy and Serenity, Shane Black with Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, etc. And with Sony the same rule applies, I knew about Sam Raimi because of The Evil Dead and Marc Webb because of 500 Days of Summer. But this Watts guy is completely off the radar, he’s done some TV work and has directed a few short films and one feature but he’s really an unknown at this point. Marvel Studios and Sony must have a lot of confidence in him to take on this project. Now I’m not saying that films have to have established directors onboard to take on huge projects, but it does make you curious to know what an unknown talent can bring to the table that a bigger name could not. Either way I say good luck to him, I hope he’s the man for the job.
So what do you think of this news? Are you excited or disgusted about the new actor playing Spidey and are you down with the director or not? Please leave your comments below and I’ll see ya on the next film review, laters! 😀
You when you wake up go online and hope to read something good, but end up seeing something totally unexpected that blows your mind? Well that happened to me today when I went on superherohype and saw the major news relating to Spider-Man and the Marvel Studios film universe. Just read the original article below:
Sony Pictures Entertainment and Marvel Studios officially announced today that Sony is bringing Marvel into the amazing world of Spider-Man! Under a new deal, a new Spider-Man (not Andrew Garfield) will first appear in a currently-unspecified Marvel film within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Sony Pictures will thereafter release the next installment of its $4 billion Spider-Man franchise, on July 28, 2017, in a film that will be co-produced by Kevin Feige and his expert team at Marvel and Amy Pascal, who oversaw the franchise launch for the studio 13 years ago. Together, they will collaborate on a new creative direction for the web slinger. Sony Pictures will continue to finance, distribute, own and have final creative control of the Spider-Man films.
Marvel and Sony Pictures are also exploring opportunities to integrate characters from the MCU into future Spider-Man films.
The new relationship follows a decade of speculation among fans about whether Spider-Man – who has always been an integral and important part of the larger Marvel Universe in the comic books – could become part of the Marvel Universe on the big screen. Spider-Man has more than 50 years of history in Marvel’s world, and with this deal, fans will be able to experience Spider-Man taking his rightful place among other super heroes in the MCU.
“Spider-Man is one of Marvel’s great characters,” says Bob Iger, Chairman and CEO, The Walt Disney Company, “beloved around the world. We’re thrilled to work with Sony Pictures to bring the iconic web-slinger into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which opens up fantastic new opportunities for storytelling and franchise building.”
“We always want to collaborate with the best and most successful filmmakers to grow our franchises and develop our characters. Marvel, Kevin Feige and Amy, who helped orchestrate this deal, are the perfect team to help produce the next chapter of Spider-Man,” said Michael Lynton, Chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment. “This is the right decision for the franchise, for our business, for Marvel, and for the fans.”
“Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios share a love for the characters in the Spider-Man universe and have a long, successful history of working together. This new level of collaboration is the perfect way to take Peter Parker’s story into the future,” added Doug Belgrad, president, Sony Pictures Entertainment Motion Picture Group.
“I am thrilled to team with my friends at Sony Pictures along with Amy Pascal to produce the next Spider-Man movie,” said Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige. “Amy has been deeply involved in the realization on film of one of the world’s most beloved characters. Marvel’s involvement will hopefully deliver the creative continuity and authenticity that fans demand from the MCU. I am equally excited for the opportunity to have Spider-Man appear in the MCU, something which both we at Marvel, and fans alike, have been looking forward to for years.”
Spider-Man, embraced all over the world, is the most successful franchise in the history of Sony Pictures, with the five films having taken in more than $4 billion worldwide.
As a result of the new deal, Thor: Ragnarok will now arrive nearly four months later than planned, moving to November 3, 2017 (from July 28). Black Panther, which previously held that spot, gets delayed eight months, going from that original November 3 date to July 6, 2018. That, in turn, bumps Captain Marvel to November 2, 2018 and moves Inhumans all the way to July 12, 2019. The two-part Avengers: Infinity War, meanwhile, remains set for release May 4, 2018 and May 3, 2019.
Well fuck me! Fuck me sideways! I hate to use such profanity but believe me this kind of news that just requires a little swearing. This is good news. THIS IS FRIGGING GOOD NEWS! The heavens have opened up, there is a god and he has given us Marvel fans what we’ve always wanted. For YEARS people have wanted to see Spider-Man join the MCU especially after the way Marvel Phase One came together and gave us the likes of The Avengers. But since Sony owned the rights to Spidey and the producers seemed to stuck in their old ways to embrace the idea of change or collaboration, we thought we’d never get the chance to see the web head join the likes of the Avengers. However, I believe thanks to the misfortunes of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 that required Sony to revise their approach to the character and the future of his film universe. Now Marvel and Sony have finally come together and have struck a deal for Spidey to join the cool gang of superhero films. Fans across the internet should rejoice because we’ve wanted this for SO long and we finally have one of the best Marvel characters in the shared universe he should have been in all along.
Now obviously because of this deal one can only assume that The Amazing Spider-Man film series and it’s story, characters and universe is done and dusted. I can see at least a few fans of those films being very angry and disappointed by this new deal. I know that there were fans of Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone’s interpretations of Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy, some liked the more realistic take on the origin story, characters and web-slinging and the presentation. However there were problems that could not be ignored like retreading ground with the origin story, undeveloped villains, overcrowded storylines, tonal inconsistencies and dubstep music among some of the common issues. I do feel bad for the people who have been shafted after just two films, however it is Sony who has fucked them over in the first place so yeah I guess it is mainly the fans would will miss them most of all because they became invested in this world.
But now because of this deal, Marvel Studios have had to change a few things up by shifting a few of its film dates around for 2017 and with Thor 3,Black Panther,Captain Marvel and Inhumans all being pushed back a fair bit too. While I am gutted that I have to wait so long for even longer for these films especially when it comes to Black Panther at the same time Marvel Studios will be bringing us a NEW Spider-Man in 2017, sure it’ll be a while before that film gets released, but with someone like Kevin Feige behind it, I can’t help but feel absurdly happy and excited for the new version of Spidey. Now one has to wonder, since Andrew Garfield is out, who will replace him? And will there be another origin story or will we jump into the character being already established. Also will he be in Captain America: Civil War? I mean Spidey was an important part of the comic story and with this deal I find it hard to believe that he wouldn’t be showing up, that being said the film’s already well into development so they would have to squeeze him in pretty quickly.
Anyway that’s my quick thoughts on it, welcome back to the side of justice Spider-Man! Can’t wait to see you kick ass in the MCU. So what do you think of Spidey joining the MCU? Are you happy like me and many other fans across the world or are you sad to see your Amazing Spider-Man film universe fall apart? Please comment below and let me know. Laters!
Howdy ladies and gentlemen, today I’m going to do a review that I’ve been meaning to get off my chest for a while now, I am going to be reviewing the first season of the Ultimate Spider-Man. Now any of you that have followed this blog since 2012 will know that I started watching this show and did reviews up until episode 9. After that I just couldn’t take the show anymore and gave up. Now 2 years later, this show is in its 3rd season and is even more popular than before (how I don’t know). So back in the summer I got curious and decided to give this show another chance, and while it was a painful experience I made it and I was meant to have this review done back in July but I haven’t gotten around to writing it now so please bare with me. So how does this show’s 1st season fare? Well read on and find out.
So the story for this show can summarised up as the following:
Peter Parker has been Spider-Man for a little while now, but then he is recruited by Nick Fury of S.H.I.E.L.D. who offers him the opportunity to become a better superhero. So then Spider-Men joins a team of teenage superheroes, including While Tiger, Nova, Iron Fist and Power Man, and together they must battle villains of varying levels of danger while also trying to bond and become an efficient crime-fighting team.
Let me get this out of the way first, if you’ve started watching this show straight after the brilliance that is The Spectacular Spider-Man, it will seem like a MASSIVE let down. This show in terms of its stories, character development and interaction and just the level of intelligence is astronomically lower in quality and it takes a while to adjust. The main problems I have with this show are high in number, but when it comes to the story, these things come to mind:
There’s a Lack of Interesting Stories & Overarching Plots: For the first half of the show I found incredibly hard to be invested in some the episodic stories because they weren’t terribly interesting, important or cool. And I was waiting for some long-term story to take place over the course of the season, but that kind of storytelling didn’t take place until way down the line.
Too Much Humour & Not Enough Seriousness: This show likes its jokes, a lot, to the point where it can be overbearing and worst part is that most of it isn’t funny at all. Besides a few chuckles or smiles, this show’s humour is juvenile at best, so many cut-aways and not enough time to write actual funny material. So with all that time devoted to humour, there’s no time for moments of seriousness or drama, and when it comes it barely connects because of the humour overload.
The Show Ignores The Best Elements of What Makes Spider-Man Good: Whether it is the emphasis on characters other than Spider-Man or taking aspects of the comics and messing with their origins, it seems like the team behind this show are determined to make a Spider-Man cartoon without some of the key elements that make it good. There’s no sense of drama, relationships with girls, problems with his dual life, actions and consequences and proper lack of Uncle Ben too, all the things that make Peter Parker’s life so engaging.
The Writers Think Spider-Man is For Kids Only: I have watched a number of children’s shows that were educational or had mature/adult themes that were awesome like the 90’s cartoon adaptations of Batman, Spider-Man and X-Men, those were smart and incredibly deep shows with well-thought out stories, characters. This show on the other hand, thinks that there are only children watching so it uses the lowest forms of humour, throws out generic and dull storylines and has little to no educational values at all. Spider-Man has always been about learning life lessons and this show doesn’t seem like it wants to teach anything and when it does the execution is dodgy.
By the end of the show I could see that things had improved somewhat from the beginning, but even then, several of the things I wasn’t keen on still remained by the time the final episode was over.
Somewhat memorable episodes:
Not a Toy
Rise of the Goblin
When it comes to the characters, good gravy, if they aren’t annoying as hell, then they lack common sense, always crack jokes or are just dull. I understand that things can’t stay the same forever and some character traits need to be updated for modern times, but there is updating and then there’s completely changing things for the worst.
Firstly, there’s Peter Parker/Spider-Man, he’s awful. The tried and tested formula of a teenager dealing with the responsibility related to being a superhero while also dealing with school, his job and his friends and family has been replaced with a bumbling buffoon who’s constantly messing up, has no sense of logic and isn’t very cool as a superhero. This iteration of Spider-Man is just painful to watch and it is made so much wore by the whiny voice of Drake Bell. White Tiger is a character it took me a long time to like, she constantly argues with her teammates (especially Spider-Man), she’s always made out to be smarter and more tactical than the boys and when it comes to fights she hardly has anything amazing to add to combat. Then there’s Iron Fist and Power Man, the former of which is the cooler of the two. I like Iron Fist mainly due to his calm demeanor, martial arts moves and interesting sayings and there’s Powerman who is pretty strong, but a little on the dumb side a bit generic as a young black superhero. Both of these characters are decent, but lack their trademark comic book flair and style and never get as much screen time as some of the other members of the team. And then there’s Nova, bloody hell that guy is annoying. He’s a hot head who says and does things without thinking, he’s constantly butting heads with Spidey and bring out the worst him, but worst of all, he’s always talking smack and cracking jokes but he’s not funny or cool. I just don’t like the guy and he has no credibility as a member of the team at all.
The villains don’t fare much better, there’s too many to mention, I mean they butchered so many characters like Doc Ock and Venom, but the one villain they did well with was Sandman, that was kind of cool. I didn’t care much for the Green Goblin because it was the Ultimate version rather than the classic one that I love. The addition of other heroes like Iron Man, Thor, Hulk and Captain America is a bit hit and miss, they best ones were clearly Cap and Iron Man.
Also, Nick Fury wasn’t nearly as cool or badass as he should have been, I felt like he was just there to bitch and moan, but wasn’t some badass leader and man of battle and justice. I wasn’t keen on the treatment of Mary Jane Watson either, I mean I appreciated that she was more active and not just some nice girl who was the object of Peter’s affections, however, she was still in the thick of danger on numerous occasions and constantly kept needing to be saved by Spider-Man because of absurd and illogical decisions. Harry Osborn was alright, but all of the dramatic elements of his character that made me him cool were absent and what they did with his character in terms of making him one oft he most classic villains ever, that just annoyed me. Aunt May she was just horrible, she has no value in this show and never has relevance to any of the stories besides one awkward one involving her and Agent Coulson, I feel like she could be written out of the show and it would have made no difference. Having JK Simmons back as J. Jonah Jameson was nice, but I feel like his character didn’t have the same style an impact that he did in the films. Seeing Agent Coulson in this show with a pretty big supporting role was cool, however sometimes I feel like his character is used too much in the humour department rather than the cool guy we know from the MCU and lastly, the Stan Lee cameos are pretty nice and offer up moments of awesomeness and humour.
At least the visual presentation is up to par as it is the best part of the Ultimate Spider-Man. The animation is fluid, full of detail and has some great use of camera angles and tracking shots, while the art is good for the most part with most characters looking like their comic book counterparts, besides some updated hero and villain designs which really aren’t that cool, some are dull and some rely too heavily on recent live-action films. This is the best spider-Man has ever looked in a cartoon and it is arguably Marvel’s best-looking animated show so far.
In conclusion the first season of Ultimate Spider-Man is a bit a mixed bag, but it has more bad than good. While the art and animation is amazing and the fact that Spidey gets into interact with so many other famous superheroes is cool, it doesn’t make up for the bad jokes, poor character development, unengaging characters and lack of proper storytelling. Hopefully season 2 will improve on the good points of this show.
Rating: 6/10 (It isn’t a complete waste of time, but it is a bumpy ride. Approach with caution)
Hey hey hey people of the internet, time for a bit more news from the world of the web and now I’m gonna talk about a bit of TV news that I feel is relevant relating to Donald Glover and the upcoming third series of Ultimate Spider-Man. The following information comes from superherohype:
Back when Sony was planning on rebooting Spider-Man, actor and comedian Donald Glover started a grassroots campaign online to get cast in the role. Though the part eventually went to Andrew Garfield, many titans of comics and film put their support behind Glover and the movement eventually led to the creation of Miles Morales, the new Ultimate Spider-Man. Now, Glover finally gets his wish and will provide the voice of Morales in an upcoming episode of Disney XD’s “Ultimate Spider-Man: Web Warriors.”
“That’s the great part about the Spider-Man costume: He can be anybody,” Glover tells USA Today. “Spider-Man could be a girl. Spider-Man could be an old man. You don’t know. So I just tried to be as me as possible, because you’re always just going to bring it back to yourself when you watch the show…Spider-Man is the best because you just don’t know who he is, and he’s funny and he’s poor. I understand Spider-Man a lot on that level. He’s just trying to make it.”
The new season of “Ultimate Spider-Man” premieres this Sunday on Disney XD, but Glover’s stint as Morales won’t air until next year. Also, lest you think that Glover is content with settling his “campaign” by providing this voice, he still has hopes to put on the tights some day.
“I still have hopes to do something like that one day. I don’t look at this as second place. Spider-Man, he’s such an icon — you have to do something with him.”
You can check out a clip of Glover as Morales in the player below.
Well this is nice. I mean sure this doesn’t mean that Donald Glover is Spider-Man in a live-action format, but this is some progress. Now Ultimate Spider-Man isn’t exactly the best format to debut such an important character as Miles Morales, but to be honest considering the way the Spider-Man film series is going, this was the only place where he’ll be able to show in for a while. And in a way I’m glad that he’s finally finding his way into the realm of TV, hopefully this will bring more awareness to his character and comic series and maybe even allow him to get his own show down the line. So far from the images it looks like the series has captured Morales’ likeness so well and from the clip above it sounds like Glover fits into this cartoon just fine. Glover sounds like himself and has the right kind of charisma and charm that comes with an actor of his style and talent. I just hope this first encounter isn’t a ‘one and done’ type of deal, Morales’ Spider-Man needs to have more screen time yo.