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End of Year Review 2018

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Good day to you ladies and gents, so 2018 has come to an end and it is once again time for my annual END OF YEAR REVIEW! Now I think the year has been pretty good all things considered, I’ve had an interesting rollercoaster of highs and lows, but the pros have definitely outweighed the cons. As with previous entries, I will talk about the year as a whole from my perspective, break it down into sections and then conclude with a summary. You ready? Cool, let’s go!

Video Games

2018 was a great year for gaming and looking back on everything that was released this year and comparing it to last year, it really is hard to say which year had the better selection of games to play. The games industry has had a lot of dodgy and questionable stuff going on with the ongoing issues related to gambling and microtransactions to the poor PlayStation Classic to Nintendo’s bad online service to Metal Gear Survive to Bethesda and the never-ending dramas of Fallout 76. But I will say that my overall gaming experiences were better last year because I played a lot more, however, the 2018 games that I did will stay with me for a good while. This year I finally gave into the hype and tried out Fortnight and I dabbled for a little while and gave up because I just wasn’t into it haha. I also restarted Zelda: Breath of the Wild and got lost in that world again and good god that game is SO much fun, the exploration and traversal just put me in a good mood especially when you end up playing for a good few hours. Another game  I also bought Rocket League and discovered the joys and frustrations that come with that game, I also played a fair amount of Fallout Shelter and discovered the addictive nature that comes with micromanagement and expansion, and Pokemon Quest was another one of those games that ended up getting way more of my attention than I expected, like 10 plus! 😛 But here’s my top 4 games:

  1. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
  2. Spider-Man PS4
  3. Sonic Mania Plus
  4. Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu
  5. Dragon Ball FighterZ

Oh look Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is my game of the year, who would have guessed? Haha! 😛 But in all seriousness Smash is my everything, it is my favourite gaming franchise and after the E3 reveal I was all in and the game is pretty much everything I wanted. The game mechanics are as fun as ever, the music selection is AMAZING, the amount of characters to mess with is fabulous and World of Light and Classic Mode are very unique and lengthy, though the former gets a little tedious after a while and the CPU difficulty is a hell of a lot harder than before. When it comes to Spider-Man I think it would have been my game of the year if Smash hadn’t come out, I REALLY had a great time playing that game and I’m still annoyed I never reviewed it back in September. The game is best Spidey game so far with its incredible web-slinging and overall movement, the versatile combat, wonderful selection of suits and a story that takes so many wonderful aspects of Spidey’s source material and adaptations and crafts its own unique and beautiful story that’s up there will the best of the Spidey material. Thanks to the Plus DLC, I ended up revisiting Sonic Mania and fell in love again. And while I still haven’t played Encore mode yet to my shame, I did love messing around with Ray and Mighty’s new game mechanics. As for Pokemon Let’s Go I was surprised by how captivated I was for the first few days. After seeing some of the videos and positive word of mouth around the game when it released I caved in and bought the game. I loved the nostalgic feelings the game gave me from seeing the enhanced visuals to the wonderful soundtrack, and on top of that, the seeing Pokemon in the overworld was cool and the new catching mechanics being easy to do for the most part. Alas, the changes to some of the core mechanics of battling and level grinding and a lack of features from later generations meant that my engagement waned. And finally Dragon Ball FighterZ I only played for a little while but it left a really good impression on me, while I wasn’t very good at it due to its technical aspects similar to the Marvel Vs. Capcom games, but I loved the visuals, the attempt at a story mode and attention to detail when it comes to the voice acting and specific finishing attacks.

Films

For me, 2018 was a good time for films and while I didn’t watch as many films as last year, I feel like I saw most of the films that I wanted/needed to. I had a lot of fun, interesting and surprising experiences in the cinema this year but definitely tried to watch more films at home. Also for those who aren’t aware, I’m only counting films released in 2018, films originally released in 2017 that got a UK release this year DOESN’T COUNT! And with that out of the way, these are my favourite films of 2018:

Top 11 Films of 2018

  1. Searching
  2. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
  3. Avengers: Infinity War
  4. A Star Is Born
  5. Annihilation
  6. Crazy Rich Asians
  7. Mission: Impossible – Fallout
  8. Bumblebee
  9. Whitney
  10. Widows
  11. A Silent Place

Honourable Mentions

  • Bird Box 
  • Incredibles 2
  • Bad Times at the El Royale
  • Overlord
  • Creed 2
  • Sorry To Bother You
  • Blackkklasman
  • First Man
  • Black Panther
  • Bohemian Rhapsody
  • Ready Player One

Top 4 Worst/Disappointing Films of 2018

  1. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
  2. The Predator
  3. Tomb Raider
  4. Den of Thieves

Top 5 Surprising Films of 2018

  • Crazy Rich Asians
  • A Star Is Born
  • Bumblebee
  • Solo: A Star Wars Story
  • Deadpool 2

Television

Man, my TV viewing experience for 2018 was a far cry from last year and it’s not because I’m getting bored or not interested in what’s available and more to do with the fact that I just haven’t had the bloody time to watch everything like I used to haha. 😛 That being said I was able to check out a good few shows here and there and I will say that most of them were worth watching. From finishing the super fun Tournament of Power arc in Dragon Ball Super to enjoying the second season of The Tick to really liking the direction of the first half of season 3 of Into the Badlands (which I hope comes back at some point). When it comes to new shows I liked Disenchantment with its weird sense of humour, world and ongoing storyline, I also liked Altered Carbon for its visual design, an interesting cast, and on Amazon, you had Jack Ryan which was quite captivating with its plot, cast and the concise number of episodes. Daredevil season 3 and Bojack Horseman season 5 have been my favourite TV from this year giving just wanted while also providing me with content I didn’t know that I’d love as well. And finally Lucifer‘s season 3 got really good towards the end, and for a little while my show was cancelled, but then Netflix gave us a miracle and picked it up for season 4, sweet!

Top 10 TV Shows

  1. Daredevil (season 3)
  2. Bojack Horseman (season 5)
  3. Altered Carbon (season 1)
  4. Lucifer (season 3)
  5. Jack Ryan (season 1)
  6. Into the Badlands (season 3)
  7. The Tick (season 2)
  8. Disenchantment (season 1)

Music

In 2018 I wasn’t as overly fussed about music as much as last year, there wasn’t much new music that caught my ears, however, there have a been a few new songs that have caught my ears from new and established artists which have made my year quite enjoyable. Interestingly enough a lot my favourite music hasn’t been from mainstream radio but more so from films in the cinema and other places. There have been a good few films with nice film scores from Avengers: Infinity War to Solo to Annihilation to Incredibles 2 and son. But it’s Ludwig Göransson’s score for Black Panther that I’ve remembered with “Wakanda” being my absolute favourite! Firstly there’s the return of Justin Timberlake with his Man of the Woods which was a nice album with a good variety of tracks and a catchy first single with “Filthy“. I’ve also been continuing to listen to SG Lewis and his EP, Dusk has been one of my favourite listening experiences this year with “Aura” being one of my favourite songs of the year. AFI came back with The Missing Man and I really liked that EP especially with the songs “Get Dark” and “Trash Bat“. Also, there’s the Eurovision Song Contest, I haven’t followed this event since 2010 or 2011, but this year had a good number of really good songs, but my favourite was “Dance You Off” by Benjamin Ingrosso, that song was SO catchy! And finally there’s Tee Lopes, crafter of the brilliant Sonic Mania soundtrack who released his debut album Youinverse which is wonderful, but my favourite song is awesome “Gray City Day“.

Favourite Songs

  1. Ludwig Göransson – Wakanda
  2. SG Lewis – Aura
  3. Justin Timberlake – Filthy
  4. AFI – Get Dark
  5. Benjamin Ingrosso – Dance You Off
  6. Tee Lopes – Gray City Day

My Experience

All things considered, 2018 was a pretty decent year and in a lot of ways has been my best year in quite some time just because, looking back on the year as a whole, I dealt with a fair amount of bullshit, but it wasn’t nearly as troublesome or time-consuming as previous years. As for the stuff I got up to, there weren’t as many crazy adventures but I did have some fun here and there and experienced some things for the first time. Firstly there was my trip to the MCM London Expo with my best friend for our 10 year anniversary since we went in 2008, I also gave blood for the first time after talking about doing it for around 5 years haha, I also attended my first hen do and first baby shower which were surreal and delightful experiences. And I also did my annual volunteering for the 5th year and it was just as fun as ever. But on top of that, I feel like I’ve started to find my creative side again with all the drawing and animation stuff I’ve been doing which has been way more than previous years. Plus my mental state of mind I think has gotten to a place where I’m stable and can live with myself and have a good outlook on life which has been great especially in the last few months.

There’s also a lot of stuff that happened in the world, too much to mention, from the ongoing fears and dramas surrounding Brexit to Theresa May and her weir “dancing skills” to the absurd amount of memes we went through from Ugandan Knuckles to Bowsette to the recent Bird Box film. And then there was the death of certain celebrities this year as well, but the main two that hurt me the most was the passing of Jon Schnepp and Stan Lee. Schnepp has been one of my favourite people to watch on AMC and then Collider because he was such a passionate nerd and taught me so much, also her Superman documentary was great and even met him 2015. So his passing just sucked. But then there was Stan Lee’s passing, that felt so surreal and unnatural. I always thought the guy would live forever and it still feels weird to talk about him in the past tense, but I sort of knew he would pass on at some point but I was not prepared at all. I am forever grateful for not only being able to meet him but for all of his creations that made me the person I am today.

Conclusion

In conclusion, this year was a good time, had some good and bad experiences, learnt some life lessons and yeah I don’t have nearly as much to complain about which can only be a good thing right? Well 2018, its been fun but its time to say goodbye, and hello to 2019 because it will be a year of big changes for me which I can’t wait to share in due time. 🙂

Well, thanks for reading. So how was your 2018? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below and finally, have a happy new year and I hope I’ll see ya in again in 2019. Laters! 😀

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Posted by on December 31, 2018 in Films, Life, Media, Music, Reviews, Television, Video Games

 

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QUICK REVIEW: Pokémon the Movie: The Power of Us

Howdy ladies and gents of the internet, its review time once again and today I watched Pokémon the Movie: The Power of Us and I just had to share my thoughts on it so that’s why I’m giving you my review for this film via my podcast, Film Focus.

Now, this the newest Pokémon film in the series which has 21 films so far! It’s crazy that there’s been that many since 2000. Now I wasn’t planning on recording this episode next due to other things being prepped already, however, I found out about its existence within the last week and jumped at the chance to see another new Pokémon film in the cinema, and after watching, I decided an impromptu podcast review was in order. So I hope you enjoy this brief yet fun and unscripted discussion! 😀

Check out my thoughts on the film below:

So have you seen Pokémon the Movie: The Power of Us and if so what did you think of it? Whatever your thoughts are, drop them in the comments below and if you have some spare time check out my podcast, Film Focus on Soundcloud and iTunes. Until next time, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on November 24, 2018 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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QUICK THOUGHTS: Detective Pikachu Trailer

Good day to you ladies and gents, I’m back to give you some thoughts on a recent trailer in the form of the Detective Pikachu film that will be out next summer. Now I have been following this film on and off for a while now just because I thought that it was a little weird to have the first major live-action film based on the Pokemon franchise be adapted from the Nintendo 3DS game that only a handful of people would have played and probably would confuse those who have a casual knowledge of who Pikachu is. However, the first trailer has come out and wow, just wow. I was a little taken back by it yesterday, though, having had to time to watch it again and process it, I think I’m warming up to it.

Check it out the trailer below:

To put it simply, I find this fascinating.

The main that stands out beyond the fact that we have a Pikachu that’s voiced by Ryan Reynolds, is the fact that we have these super realistic Pokemon and it was freaking weird! Now I think any long-term Pokemon can understand where I’m coming from when I say that I know what Pokemon look like, even in the 3D, but to see so many of these classic Pokemon put into live-action with all this extra fur, detail and facial expressions that look better/normal in cartoon form to be given a realistic makeover is a little shocking. If taken out of context and just shown to you, you’d think these were creepy nightmare versions of those of these characters used for a Creepypasta or something. Pikachu’s dark eyes look a little freaky in some of the darker scenes, but alongside Justice Smith, he actually looks not too bad. Now this isn’t the first time Pokemon have had their designs changed up for a more realistic look, just look back to Pokken Tournament, though that game kept the characters looks a little more link their original designs, Bandai Namco did change things up where I’d say it was sort of halfway between this film and the original designs.

But this film does take it to another level, but at the same time it intrigues me, plus I love looking out for all the Pokemon I know. From Charmander and Dodrio to Bulbasaur and Jigglypuff to Psyduck and my boy Greninja, and of course, my favourite Charizard who looks so intense with the new scaly design. And I can not go on without mentioning Mr. Mine, I think that guy has been a bit of a joke character for a while, but here he’s this cross between creepy and funny, his design is probably the most accurate to the original, just with stranger/more realistic facial expressions. I just want to see more Pokemon and what their redesigns will be like.

What stands out to me is the tone of this film, it feels like what Pokemon would be like if westerners implemented their style of visuals, humour and action in only a way a Hollywood film can. I also like the inclusion of Ken Watanabe and Justice Smith, though he pissed me off SO much in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom with all that yelling, I do like him as an actor so I’ll be curious to see how his character’s story pans out. And finally there’s Ryan Reynolds as Pikachu, he wasn’t my first choice, but he’s growing on me. Though, when he speaks all I can hear is Ryan Reynolds or to a more notable degree, DEADPOOL! If Reynolds wasn’t already so well-known for playing Deadpool, then his voice wouldn’t feel so distracting here, but it does and I’m sure I’ll eventually get over it when the film comes out but for the time being, I can’t unhear it.

So to conclude, while I was initially sceptical about this film, I am getting more and more intrigued and dare I say excited just to see how it’ll pan out. As long as it is fun and not too creepy-looking with those Pokemon then I’ll totally down to watch this. Just no creepy Mimikyu, please. 😦

So what did you think of the first trailer for Detective Pikachu? Did like it, hate it or were you confused by it? Also, what do you think of the super realistic-looking Pokemon? Whatever your thoughts are be sure to drop them in the comments section below and I’ll see ya on the next video, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on November 13, 2018 in Films, Media

 

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E3 2018 Recap & Personal Hightlights

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

Press Conferences (Microsoft, Sony, Ubisoft & Nintendo)

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.

Jump Force

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.

Spider-Man

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!

Conclusion

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! 😀

 
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Posted by on June 15, 2018 in Media, Video Games

 

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PODCAST: Film Focus Episode 51 – Double Review – Ready Player One & Pacific Rim Uprising

Howdy ladies and gents of the internet, as some of you may have seen, in 2016 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. And the latest episode features a double review for the Ready Player One and Pacific Rim Uprising.

Anyway here’s the episode 51:

I was going to do a written review for Ready Player One, but I didn’t have the time and since I saw it pretty close to my viewing of Pacific Rim 2 so I decided that my podcast would be an easier and better way to talk about both films. But that’s not all, I have also included my small yet notable thoughts on Annihilation and Isle of Dogs, again films I really wanted t review on this blog, but because of timing I couldn’t do it around the time of release so I added my thoughts to the podcast before getting in the meaty reviews later on.

Here are the time codes:

  • 02:34 Annihilation Mini Review
  • 04:09 Isle of Dogs Mini Review
  • 08:19 Ready Player One Review
  • 23:50 Pacific Rim Uprising Review

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. 🙂

You can find my main site on Soundcloud here: https://soundcloud.com/film_focus

Or if you’re on iTunes subscribe and rate me on there: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/film-focus/id1114233892?mt=2

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 they are fans of film discussion. Also, you have any feedback or if you’d be interested in joining in future episodes be sure to let me know, until next time, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on April 6, 2018 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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PODCAST: Film Focus Episode 50 – Tomb Raider Review

Howdy ladies and gents of the internet, as some of you may have seen, in 2016 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. And the latest episode is a review of the latest video game film, Tomb Raider.

Anyway here’s the episode 50:

I’ve done already done my written review for Tomb Raider, however, as usual, there’s always more for me to say beyond my written material. I basically expand upon my thoughts in terms of what I like and what I don’t, and more specifically how the film relates to the game and what it gets right and what it doesn’t. It was also a fun episode to do because it was my 50th episode so I do get a little crazy at points, but hopefully, that won’t make you want to turn the episode off haha. 😛

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. 🙂

You can find my main site on Soundcloud here: https://soundcloud.com/film_focus

Or if you’re on iTunes subscribe and rate me on there: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/film-focus/id1114233892?mt=2

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 they are fans of film discussion. Also, you have any feedback or if you’d be interested in joining in future episodes be sure to let me know, until next time, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on March 16, 2018 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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Check Out The Impressions In Motion Podcast!

Howdy ladies and gents how’s it going? As some of you may be aware I have my own podcast, Film Focus which I have promoted via this blog since I started it almost two years now. But that is not the only podcast I have been part of. Back in September my best homie Chris and I started a podcast entitled Impressions In Motion; a podcast dedicated to the discussion of film, tv and video games.

I still haven’t made up a proper logo for the podcast yet because I haven’t come up with a fancy enough, but hopefully, I’ll be able to sort something out soon. We’re currently on Soundcloud and YouTube and while we’re getting some views on YouTube, Soundcloud is a little lacking at the moment. So I thought I’d spread the word on here and ask you, my blogging homies to help me out and check out my material.

Here are some of the best episodes:

 

 

 

And here’s the latest episode where my friend and I did our top 10 films of 2017:

 

Doing this podcast is a lot of fun for me and my mate, not only because we like to joke around and say a lot of stupid stuff. But also because we’re lovers of film and anime especially, but our interests are so different, so it is fun to hear my friend’s opinion as it informs me on films or something else I wasn’t previously aware of.

Anyway, if you have some free time and enjoy casual yet in-depth conversation about film, tv, video games and stuff of that nature then please check out our podcast, it is fun little time for sure. 😀

Podcast on Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/impressionsinmotion

Podcast on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1BOjv8CkxiZlJzvgeHHyQw/videos

Podcast on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/impressions-in-motion/id1323236990?mt=2

 
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Posted by on January 9, 2018 in Anime, Films, Life, Media, Reviews, Television

 

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Late End of Year Review 2017

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Howdy ladies and gents, so 2017 is over but there’s no way I can go on without doing my annual END OF YEAR REVIEW! I didn’t have much time to prepare because of awkward work hours and the small window of time I had to record two episodes for my podcast, so forgive me if there is a lack of polish to my material. 😛 Man 2017 had been a pretty crazy adventure filled with highs and lows and once again it is weird that everything has come and gone so quickly haha. As with previous entries, I will talk about the year as a whole from my perspective, break it down into sections and then conclude with a summary. You ready? Cool, let’s go!

Video Games

2017 really was the year I became a gamer again. While in previous years I’ve had my moments here and there, it was mainly thanks to Nintendo and their new games console that I got back into playing games in a big way. As a long-term Nintendo fan, to see the Switch come out and pretty much deliver on its promise of being a portable/home console hybrid was a lot of fun, playing games on there has been addictive as hell and while I miss certain OS features I have on the 3DS and PS4, it is still a good piece of hardware. And the games, bloody hell! At the launch of the Switch we had a handful of games to play, but now we have far too much to play and it is awesome! And just in general, 2017 has been an insane year for gaming just in terms of the releases of quality games and not having the time to play them all. Sure we had some dodgy games here and there and the rise of microtransactions was awful, but overall things worked out for the best in a lot of cases. I wish I had played more PS4 games but what I played on Switch was definitely fun. ARMS was a fun little time, I also got some good nostalgic fun with Ultra Street Fighter 2, that Project Octopath Traveler demo was the best thing ever and I also really liked Blaster Master Zero. But here’s my top 5 games:

  1. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  2. Sonic Mania
  3. Super Mario Odyssey
  4. Steamworld Dig 2
  5. Xenoblade Chronicles 2

I think it is no surprise to people who know that Zelda came out on top, that game made me fall in love with gaming all over again. The sense of joy, discovery, mystery, surprise, the vastness of the world, fun combat, breaking of the usual formula, boss battles and shrines, music, visuals and atmosphere, it just worked for me. Also Sonic Mania, damn, what a fun session. I haven’t played a platforming game that much for a while, it was everything I wanted and more, and while having more new stages would have been great. Going through the game and discovering each of the nostalgic stages along with the new ones with the incredible music, visuals and references to older games was hella fun despite some of the tricky parts. Mario Odyssey was SO MUCH FUN. Much like Zelda, there was a sense of discovery and fun that changed things up from previous games, finding moons, checking out the varied kingdoms and experiencing the crazy gameplay thanks to the hat capturing mechanic was great. Steamworld Dig 2 is a great follow-up to one of my favourite 3DS games, it built on the original game’s mechanics, has a better soundtrack and more noteworthy story too. And Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is a lot of fun, taking in the wonderful art direction and music, going through the vast world and getting good at combat and levelling up is delightful even if the game can feel a tad overwhelming with some of the game mechanics.

Films

For me 2017 was a good year for films, it was a lot more consistent than last year especially in regards to the summer film season, and while there were certainly some stinkers here and there, I did appreciate how many quality films there were in different genres at different points throughout the year. There were some nice experiences to be found in the cinema, and even some extra films to watch on Netflix, and while I missed a good few films I missed, I tried my best to catch up on a few in December. On top of that, I got around to watching a good few films at home for the first time like Ip Man 2 & 3, Gladiator, Mission: Impossible 1-3, Spaceballs, Airplane and Batman: Mask of the Phantasm to name a few. Like last year I was strategic in avoiding most bad films, though I did, unfortunately, catch a few dodgy ones here and there. Anyway, I technically did a top 10 film post already, but for those who haven’t seen it I will list it below and as usual, I’m only counting films released in 2017, films originally released in 2016 that got UK release last year DOESN’T COUNT! And with that out of the way, these are my favourite films of 2017:

Top 10 Films of 2017

  1. Blade Runner 2049
  2. Baby Driver
  3. War For the Planet of the Apes
  4. Star Wars: The Last Jedi
  5. The Big Sick
  6. Spider-Man: Homecoming
  7. Logan
  8. The Villainess
  9. Okja
  10. Detroit

Special Mentions

  • Trainspotting 2
  • Split
  • Get Out
  • John Wick Chapter 2
  • Wonder Woman
  • Molly’s Game
  • Gifted
  • Life

Top 5 Worst/Disappointing Films of 2017

  1. Kingsman: The Golden Circle
  2. Alien: Covenant
  3. Power Rangers
  4. Ghost in the Shell
  5. The Dark Tower
  6. The Circle

Television

TV last year has been a lot of fun as I’ve continued to watch a lot of my favourite on-going shows while also discovering new ones along the way. That being said, with the number of films and video games coming out at certain points in the year, it was difficult to keep up with everything. So what I’ll do is briefly mention a few shows here and there that I have enjoyed. Let’s start with those superhero shows. The latter half Agents of SHIELD‘s 4th season with the LMD, virtual world and Ghost Rider storylines came to a close last year in really fun and interesting ways, and by the end of it, I was very curious to see where the show would end. With the 5th season, I’ve only seen the first two episodes but it is certainly an intriguing plot so far. Amazon’s first six episodes of The Tick was surprisingly fun, quirky, weird and awesome and I’m hyped to see more of it next year. With Arrow, it was on an upwards trajectory since season 5 and so far season 6 has been my favourite of the DC CW material because of the references to the past, the higher stakes and an overall sense of drama and un I haven’t felt since season 2. The Flash has been good, not consistently good, but solid during season 4 and the Crisis on Earth-X crossover was the best Arrowverse episode so far. There was also the Netflix side of the Marvel shows where we got one and a half good shows out of three. Iron Fist was one of the most disappointing and boring shows I’ve ever watched, with a story and characters that were annoying and inconsistent. Also, The Defenders had good chemistry between the characters and some cool ideas, but a weak villain and story that got worse after episode 5. But The Punisher, that was my shit. I knew the show would be good, but what we got was something dark, aggressive, super violent and thought-provoking, they did the character justice and I loved the show… Oh and Inhumans, simply put, it was a waste of time, they done messed up with that one.

After waiting for AGES Master of None season 2 came out and it certainly didn’t disappoint, it offered more exciting, insightful and emotional stories with Dev and his adventures in Italy and America. Game of Thrones came back with the first of its last two seasons and season 7 for me was a hell of a lot of fun, it was swift in pace, had a lot of great moments from glorious action sequences to nice reunions to cool reveals and character exchanges. Lucifer for a little while became my favourite show because of humorous and intriguing plots, great character development and chemistry between the cast, and the ongoing fantastical storylines both in seasons 2 & 3. I also binged season 1 & 2 of Into the Badlands and it was really fun seeing how the show’s come with the world, plot, locations and the delicious/well-choreographed action scenes. Samurai Jack season 5 was dark and unsettling, yet fun and full of nostalgia, and to that show return, last year after so many years meant so much to me.  I also enjoyed Big Mouth, the first season of Lost and having fun watching Star Wars Rebels, Rick and Morty and Dragon Ball Super. And finally Bojack Horseman, a show I dismissed for ages because of the weird art and hype, I gave it a watch it changed my world. That show has so many layers and themes that only got darker, more engaging and uncomfortable as I watched each season, and by the end of season 4, I was an emotional mess.

Top 10 TV Shows

  1. Bojack Horseman (season 4)
  2. Punisher (season 1)
  3. Samurai Jack (season 5)
  4. Master of None (season 2)
  5. Game of Thrones (season 7)
  6. Into the Badlands (season 2)
  7. Lucifer (season 2/3)
  8. Arrow (season 6)
  9. The Tick (season 1)
  10. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (season 4)

Music

Music last year has been a little better than 2016. I mean don’t get me wrong, I have heard some absolutely crap stuff via the radio at work or when I went on nights out with my mates. But there has been a surprising amount of catchy music that’s caught my ears. I did get the return of three of my favourite artists; Jamiroquai, AFI and more recently N*E*R*D*, each of them brought a yet familiar sound with their new albums. My favourite had to be Jamiroquai, that Automaton album had my heart and soul for ages, while AFI’s In the Blood album felt like a continuation of Burials, but with echoes of their sound from the mid-2000’s and N*E*R*D*s’ NO ONE EVER REALLY DIES was interesting as it felt like something new, familiar and very Pharrell (in terms of his recent music), I liked it. The other major surprise was Calvin Harris’ Funk Wav Bounces Vol.1, an album that was different yet felt very much like Harris, I liked the funky and varied jams his crafted with a collection of people he worked with on the album, the best stuff he’s done for years. And finally, somehow Zedd and Alessia Cara came out of nowhere with “Stay” one of the most played songs I heard on the radio last year and eventually became one of my unexpected favourite new songs of last year. So bloody catchy! 😛

Favourite Songs

  1. Jamiroquai – Automaton
  2. Calvin Harris – Feels
  3. Zedd, Alessia Cara – Stay

My Experience

2017 was pretty decent overall and while there was certainly hardships to overcome, I also feel like it was one of my better years. I don’t if that’s just due to me adjusting to the crapper aspects of my life or if I’ve made some changes in life that have made the experience easier. Whatever the case is I feel at ease. And I have a lot to look back on and smile, whether it was my volunteering at the Children’s Media Conference for the fourth year in a row, or hooking up with old friends and discussing potential animation projects or returning to both the London Film & Comic-Con and London MCM Expo for some cool convention shenanigans, or the fact that I got to attend the Boardmasters Festival in Cornwall and check several great musicians including my all-time favourites Jamiroquai! But one of the key things that went down that raised last year to another level was going back to Vancouver, Canada with my sister and cousin for 2 weeks. As someone who has been trying to get back there since 2007, I thought it would be a lot longer before I went back, but luckily I went back and got to catch up with some old faces and meeting some new people, refamiliarising myself with Vancouver’s sights and sounds, eating so much food and trying out all that alcohol haha. It was a wonderful adventure that was over far too soon. Other than that I’ve just been at work, facing the highs and lows of that stuff, enjoying the hang time with my workmates on nights out especially that all-day session in Camden, I had a nice 10 year reunion session with my best friends from college and I also doubled down on my commitment to my podcast, illustration work and ideas behind certain animations I want to make. I’ve also made a number of mistakes, some more painful than others, but I think last year is the first time I’m really looking at my issues and trying to rectify them.

There’s also a lot of stuff that happened in the world in regards to the news and media, from royal wedding plans to dangerous hurricanes to sexual harassment cases all over Hollywood and so much more. Talking about any of these things or more would take too long, but what I did want to mention was the loss of certain celebrities last year that affected me personally. Right near the start of the year wast he passing of Bill Paxton, that took a while to settle in. He was one of my favourite actors from childhood, from Twister to Aliens to more recent appearances in End of Tomorrow and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the guy was everywhere. So funny and charismatic and the fact that I met him at a convention a few years ago really hit home. also, Bruce Forsyth, he’s one of those guys you thought would live forever considering how long he’s been on TV and the number of shows he’s hosted, and yet when I heard of his passing it saddened me. Charlie Murphy’s death got me good, I had only really started to get into his work in recent years after watching Chappell Show and Black Jesus, The passing of Roger Moore and Adam West, two actors great associated with massive franchises James Bond and Batman, was again really sad and was just a shock. But the most painful for me was the passing of Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington. Cornell I’ve loved since I found Audioslave in 2008 and his music has been part of me for years, the same can be said for Chester’s incredible work with Linkin Park, without his passionate vocals, my music world wouldn’t be same. Their contributions to music and my life are hard to put into words and even thinking about it now, it hurts. So let’s just show some love for those we lost in 2017.

Conclusion

In conclusion, 2017 was a good year, not perfect, but still a solid experience. I learned a lot, gained some new connections, had some fun experiences that may make for good stories in the future, and I feel like a lot of my experiences this year have prepared me for whatever happens next year. So goodbye 2017 and hello 2018!

Well, thanks for reading. So how was your 2017? Please be sure to comment below and finally, have a happy new year and I hope I’ll see ya in again 2018. Laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on January 2, 2018 in Films, Life, Media, Music, Reviews, Television, Video Games

 

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London Film & Comic Con 2017 Review

Howdy ladies and gentlemen how’s it going? Well, today I’m doing another review, not of a film review (even though I really should have seen Dunkirk by now haha) but an event review as over the weekend I had the opportunity to revisit London Film & Comic Con for the first time in two years and I just had to talk about it on this blog. And while I was only at the convention for one day I have a fair amount to cover to so let’s get going!

Now for those unaware, this convention is to do with films, TV, comics and video games. But the big focus is primarily on the special guests who attend, most people who go are normally coming to meet the celebrities who are there for talks, photo sessions and autographs signings. Otherwise, you can buy a range of merchandise including, clothes, toys, anime and manga, DVDs, comics, artwork, posters and so on. In addition to that, you can play video games new and old, see writers and artists of comic books or take pictures of cosplayers. So now I shall talk about my experience.

Video Games

Firstly let me cover the games that I played which wasn’t much but it’s still worth mentioning. Can I just say that I was gutted to see how little representation the games side of things got at this convention, not to say that this convention has had a strong gaming presence, however, since 2014 it is like the people who have run the convention have made this element of the convention smaller with each passing year. And that sucks. I did appreciate the variety of games they had on display whether it was the Minecraft stuff, the retro side with stuff like Mario 3, Sonic 2, Mario Kart 64, Super Bomberman 2 and a few others, and they even had a section dedicated to virtual reality games which were cool too. I only played two games though, firstly there was Smash Bros for Wii U and you know I had to play it, so I got into a match with three exceptional players who all gave me a run for my money as we played on random stages with all the stage hazards which made for some proper tense and fun matches. I don’t get to play Smash in a competitive manner much since university so it was cool to do some local multiplayer and get that rush of excitement/adrenaline in my system again even if I won only one out of the four matches I played. So then there was the tournament which I signed up for just for jokes, and though there were only around 10 players, I somehow fought my way to the final and won. It was so surreal and wonderful to win a competition with a game I’m actually good at. 😛 Other than that I played Super Mario World and realised how out of touch I am with the game mechanics and the feel of a Super Nintendo controller haha, I still really love that game but good gravy I suck at it these days. Oh and I have to give mention to the Bomberman tournament, that was so intense stuff man! I have never seen such speed and strategy applied to Bomberman before and it was awesome to watch.

The Cosplayers

Now I LOVE cosplayers mainly because they are dedicated fans who dress up and show their fandom in an upfront manner and if they are the hardcore types then they normally create their costumes themselves and they look so accurate to the source material that it boggles the mind. Since about 2015 I’ve stopped taking pictures of cosplayers because I’m too lazy, that being said, this time around I made a conscious effort to take pictures as some of the costumes were so elaborate, creative and accurate to the source material that it was mental. From all of the Rey and Kylo Ren people to the Rick and Morty’s, I also saw numerous women dressed as Wonder Woman and Harley Quinn. There were plenty of Spider-Men and Deadpools and so much more. The one person that I wish I’d taken a picture of was a guy dressed as Spidey from Spider-Man: Homecoming and his stark Spidey suit were so accurate to the film that it almost hurt my eyes! 😛 Anyway check out my pictures below:

The People I Met

So yeah the main reason I came to this convention was to meet some famous people, like a lot of other people haha. But seriously some of these people are individuals I’ve hoped to see in the flesh for years. So firstly there were two people from the Power Rangers: Time Force series and they were Kevin Kleinberg and Michael Copon who played Trip and Lucas. They are two of my favourite rangers of any PR series and I got to meet them, get their autographs and talk to them too, and they were so nice and kind especially Kleinberg. But then right next door to them was Selwyn Ward who played T.J. in Power Rangers: Turbo and In Space, he’s one of my all-time favourites and getting to talk to him was the best!

Here’s me with Kevin Kleinberg and Selwyn Ward, such amazing dudes!

Next up I met Phil LaMarr and got his autograph and also got to gush about how much I loved his worth and also got to thank him for coming back for Samurai Jack season 5, and he was SO cool and nice and he even shouted “AKUUU!” for me as well which was the best. So much happiness. And later on after standing in many lines I got photos with not only Tricia Helfer but also the Benedict Cumberbatch!

I know I looked silly but I couldn’t help it, I was so happy. 😛

With Tricia Helfer, most people know of her from Battlestar Galactica, but I’ve come to love her from Lucifer and she was SO nice and kind, and I told her that I loved her work on Lucifer, ad she said they have a lot of fun on the show. Ahhhhh! I was so giddy. And then there’s Cumberbatch, my man, I’ve been such a big fan since 2012 when I watched Sherlock, then the second Hobbit film and obviously most recently Doctor Strange, he’s just amazing and getting to meet him in the flesh was a moment in time I’ll treasure forever. “Hey there buddy.” That’s what he said to me and I’ll never forget it. 😛 😀

My Overall Experience

My experience was solid, the lines to get into the building didn’t take nearly as long as they did in 2015, I was in line around 8.30am and was inside the main hall from around 9.15am and I was able to get a feel for the are, learn where certain people and stalls were set up. I also ran into an old friend I hadn’t seen for two years since the last convention we attended so that was great. I also had some cool conversation with some artists who were selling their comics and later on, I ran into two other friends later on who I had seen for ages, was such a nice surprise! For a lot of the day, I was just watching around trying to waste time until my photo sessions later on, whether I was playing games, talking to artists or taking pictures of cosplayers. I would say that the organisation of LFCC was far more efficient that the previous years that I went, lines and places for entry, autographs and photo sessions were much better than before. And the general placement of stuff was solid. That being said, like before I wish there was a better presence of video games with the variety of the games, consoles and bigger and better location for them. It also felt like the illustrators and authors got the short end of the stick as their location felt so separated from the action in the main halls both upstairs and downstairs, I wish there had been more people and a better location for them to stand out. And even though the lines were better than previous years, there was still some confusion and lack of organisation or help when it came to queues and knowing which batches you fell into.

 

In conclusion, London Film & Comic Con was pretty good. After two years it was good to be back in this convention, it has a different feel and vibe to it and thankfully there was so much more room to breathe and chill when compared to this year’s MCM London Expo. While there were certain things I would have changed, it was a solid convention for the one day that I attended, this is certainly a convention that needs a full weekend in order to experience everything on offer and I probably will be back next year hopefully. 🙂

So if you attended London Film & Comic Con this year what did you think? Did you go for one day or the full weekend? And if you didn’t go would you consider going next year? Whatever your thoughts are drop them in the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review. Laters! 😀

 
 

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My Late E3 2017 Highlights!

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

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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.

Spider-Man PS4

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!

Sonic Mania

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.

Anthem

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.

Conclusion

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! 😀

 
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Posted by on June 17, 2017 in Media, Reviews, Video Games

 

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