Wonder Woman Versus Rotten Tomatoes

Wonder Woman is a great movie. A really great movie! It seems like 2017 truly is the year of good superhero movies with Logan, Guardians Of The Galaxy 2 already getting off to a good start, Wonder Woman now joins the pile of awesome movies in the genre.

But it wasn’t worthy of a 93% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Wonderwoman rotten tomatoes.png

93%? Really? Was this movie good? Yes, very. Was this movie 7% short of being a perfect movie? No! Of course it wasn’t! As good as the film was and as much as is deserves praise, it doesn’t deserve this!

And I know the critics over at Rotten Tomatoes don’t represent critics everywhere or everyone as a whole; No critic does. But they are still a respected source of ratings for movies and, particularly, superhero movies.

I’m going to make a very bold statement right now. I cannot prove it is true. I cannot factually back this up. But I genuinely think this movie got a near perfect score because every other movie in the DCEU has received incredibly low ratings. Now, before you call me a Marvel fan boy, hear me out. I’m going to be objective and fair about this.

Look at all these ratings:

 

 

Suicide Squad rotten tomatoesBVS rotten tomatoesMan of steel rotten tomatoes

 

 

The score for these DC movies has progressively got worse from Man Of Steel (2013), to Suicide Squad (2016). But it’s not the history of low scores that I think prompted these critics to exaggerate how much they liked Wonder Woman. No, it’s something far more idiotic.

It’s because of idiots on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and all kinds of media that preach that these movies are master pieces. These people are fan boys and they are a plague on the Earth. The sooner they go extinct the better. They don’t seem to realise it is possible to like these movies without being a fan boy because, well, anyone can like what they want. So let me distinguish between normal people who like these films and fan boys before I take a dump on them.

What Is A Normal Person Who Likes These Movies?
A normal person who likes these movies is just that- A normal person; A person who can confidently say “I liked Man Of Steel, Batman Versus Superman and Suicide Squad. But if you don’t like it, I don’t mind.” These are rational people. They may offer arguments to defend their opinion on the film and discuss the nature of the films reasonably.

But a fan boy? No. You can’t do this with them.

So…

What Is A Fan Boy?
A fan boy is an immature, child-like, insecure obsessive human being, who’s sole purpose in life is to validate their own opinions by putting others down. A fan boy is a person so insecure about their own opinion that they start a petition to get Rotten Tomatoes taken down because they disagree with their opinions… Oh that actually happened by the way: A group of fan boys started a petition to get Rotten Tomatoes shut down for negatively rating DC films. Here’s proof:

 

Idiots on change.org.png
Here’s a link to it: https://www.change.org/p/dceu-fans-shut-down-rotten-tomatoes

These people are so stupid. How did this get 188 supporters? I just- I want to sleep forever after seeing this. Just look at it! Look at how it’s written! “I’m pretty sure they don’t know shit about the comics“, it reads. Okay so lets think about this: Critics don’t give a shit about the comics. All critics want is a good movie. If you want some amazing frame-by-frame comic book adaptation then I have some news for you… It won’t happen. And it’s not like the film makers care about the comics either since superman literally directs the battles he’s in into occupied towns and cities (Shots fired)!

Rotten Tomatoes is really being nasty“. Okay, let me stop right there because I can already tell this was written by a child. Anyone that uses words like “nasty” or “mean” to describe a company, organisation or any other lager entity is clearly in need of going back to pre-school.

Normal people who like these movies probably agree that the reviews on Rotten Tomatoes are bad but, at the same time, they aren’t insecure idiots who want to shut it down for having a differing opinion… Because they’re normal! Oh, and they’re also not offended by people with other perspectives! But these fan boys… These- These fan boys are out of control!

That being said I would agree Man Of Steel, Batman Versus Superman and Suicide Squad sucked. Man of Steel not so much. I’d give it like 60% or 65%; I think 55% is a bit harsh. But the other two movies fully deserve their awful ratings.

Wonder Woman is, in comparison to these movies, worthy of a 93% rating. But in comparison to other films also reviewed on this site and just other films in general, it is not worthy. It doesn’t come close. Just off of the top of my head I would probably give it a solid rating between 68% and 72%. This film is not near perfect at all, it has plenty of flaws. Let’s just compare what the critics seem to think this film is equivalent to…

Star Wars Rotten Tomatoes.png Just look: Wonder Woman isn’t as good as the original Star Wars. Wonder Woman did not inspire a generation. Wonder Woman isn’t an art piece. Wonder Woman doesn’t have an impactful message. It’s a dumb, fun superhero movie; Which is good, because that’s all it had to be to succeed. It mixed some dumb, fun stuff with some semi-serious tones and conveyed its darker themes through dialogue that wasn’t condescending or too dark- It knew what it was doing. It’s a smart movie, but it’s not intelligent or sophisticated. Nothing about it screams or even whispers “near perfect”. It’s not worth 93%.

These obsessive, insecure, easily offended fan boys have, I believe driven Rotten Tomatoes to exaggerate their score. Don’t get me wrong, I believe that the critics genuinely did like this movie. I am not accusing them of faking their rating; I am suggesting they may have been driven to simply blow their good opinions way out of proportion.

To finish this I just want to cover my ass and say that Wonder Woman isn’t the only superhero movie to be blown out of proportion by critics. Captain America Civil War, while being my favourite Marvel film, is not worth the 90% it has been given. It is probably around 78% or 79%. It’s great… but at the same time it’s just a fun superhero movie.

These movies aren’t going to the Oscars so, fan boys, chill out and just like the movies for what they are and stop taking these things so seriously.

 

 

What on Earth Were Telltale Thinking?

So I just finished the Walking Dead A New Frontier.

It’s shit.

“Why is it shit?”, I hear you ask. The answer is simple: It builds really well; Episodes 1 through to 4 with competence, and then episode five takes a massive turd on the whole thing. In this look back at the game I’d like to give criticism on what I think went wrong and also point out the things I enjoyed because, as I said above, the last episode is the one that ruined the whole season, not the others.

First I have to be honest with you though; I have only got one of the games endings. I got the ending where Javier’s family survives, except for David, and then they all go on to lead Richmond to a brighter, better future. I have read other small reviews praising alternative events that take place in the game, which I didn’t get, and they seem to think this game is good because of that. But let me be clear, while it is inevitable that some endings will always be better than other endings, whether it’s a fact like one ending to Life Is Strange is distinguishably better than the other, or whether it’s subjective like the multiple endings to season 2 of The Walking Dead, that doesn’t mean any of the endings should metaphorically resemble raw sewage… Like my ending did, in comparison to what I’ve seen and heard about others.

No one died in my ending. Everyone lived. I guess it’s good, but it’s not emotional at all. The thrill of season 1 was no matter how hard you try to keep everyone alive or as a member of the group, someone would die and someone would be forced to leave. It was a hard realism. Even Lee, the players character, has a send off despite the fact his choices may have led him to become the most favoured member of the group by everyone, he still dies. In season 2 someone has to die. It’s about whether the player thinks Kenny’s time is up or whether what Jane did with AJ, to manipulate Kenny, is reason enough to let her be the one to die. Or you could kill them both. But in A New Frontier everything is wrapped up in a bow in what is considered the “good ending”, whereas the other seasons didn’t have a “good ending”, they just had something that could maybe be considered a “good ending”.

In my play through Jesus hated me because I basically an asshole to anyone that wasn’t Kate or Clementine. I shot Conrad, helped a depressed doctor kill himself, treated Gabe like dirt, treated David like he meant less than nothing (and also had a fight with him on two occasions that I had the opportunity too), told David Kate wanted to leave him, kept smashing the baseballs in the flashback to make David feel bad, destroyed badgers skull, executed Max myself and tried to leave with Kate because I didn’t care about Richmond… at all. David and his cause could go to hell as far as I was concerned- And so could Gabe, he was an asshole the whole time. I saved him from Conrad and he repays me by outing me killing Conrad to the others, then wonders why I’m mad at him and let him have no part in any of our plans. It’s whatever; It’s how I played the game. I enjoyed making these choices, these are the bits I loved. I was free to be an asshole if I wanted to, and I was. So props to them for that… but episode 5 just kind of ripped the whole game down, like none of that mattered.

Episode 5… God… Where to begin?

The following are a list of Telltale games I have played: The Wolf Among us (10/10), The Walking Dead Season 1 (8/10), The Walking Dead Season 2 (9/10), Tales From The Borderlands (10/10). As you can tell… I am a Telltale fan boy when it comes to these choice games. I know they’re probably not this good in most people’s eyes but I just want to show you how I see them so that when I say, “Episode 5 of A New Frontier is literally the worst piece of content I’ve ever played in a Telltale game”, you understand just how much I mean it. Here’s why:

I chose to save Tripp in episode 4 which, of course, ends up in Tripp dying and Ava surviving instead. I felt sad Tripp died. When Ava survived I was enjoying it because it was dynamic and unexpected, highlighting how good a villain Joan could be by taking our control of choice in the game in a way that didn’t make the choice making element useless. But then episode 5 makes this choice useless anyway! Because Ava dies abruptly, randomly within three seconds and after only one conversation with her by falling to her death with a walker. It is not telegraphed, which is good, but there is no minor set up either. There is no danger or tension in the scene she dies in and, also, no emotion. It’s literally random. Look it up on YouTube… It’s stupid. Then, in the next scene, David cares for about 2 seconds an then everybody forgets it happened. (Also Tripp, despite being Dead, can be seen in the background of one of the shots after this, which means this episode was maybe rushed out).

Wait. Un-bracket that. This episode was DEFINETLY rushed out. Ava’s death is nothing but bad writing. The writers were clearly sitting down like “Well Ava has nothing to contribute to this episode so, instead of making her relevant to the story, we will ruin the previous episodes pivotal choice by killing her in the most absolutely idiotic way possible.” Did a two year old write Ava’s death? Would Tripp have died the same way if I had chose to save Ava and Tripp had lived? I don’t know, but the thought is stupid and idiotic in of itself. Someone needs to get fired for writing Ava’s death, along with whoever confirmed with that person that it was a good idea and should be left in the final product. I mean I’m okay with her dying… but not like that!

Then, later in the game, David and Gabe leave the group because David gets mad that Javier and Kate are hooking up, and Gabe is all like “I love my psychotic dad who’s never once been there for me, so I’m going with him.” I didn’t give a damn because, as I said before, I hated Gabe for being a whiney little useless child and I hated David for- for just being himself, I guess. So I chose to, instead of chasing David and Gabe, to help Kate save Richmond. I mean I said before I didn’t care about Richmond, but I liked it and what had happened within it more than both David and Gabe, so it only seemed logical. Anyway… Jesus shows up and is really friendly with me… This was especially weird because he hated me with a burning, fiery passion the last time I saw him. And there’s this really boring sequence on a big digger where Javier and Kate mow through zombies without facing a single hint of danger and have nothing close to resembling a close call, and effectively save the town without putting in a single inkling of effort because Jesus basically does all of the challenging stuff.

It is then revealed, when Clementine returns with Gabe, that David died OFF SCREEN to a walker and Gabe had to shoot him. And she says it so casually like “Yo I saved Gabe! Also your brother died, and also a walker did it, and also Gabe had to shoot him, and also, also, also, also… Hey look, I saved Gabe.” This is another indicator to me the game was rushed out. I mean I know I chose not to chase David but did it never occur to the developers that his DEATH to the hands of his own SON might be something the player would want to see? I’m sure there’s an alternate ending where you do see it, I have no doubt. There’s probably endings where Kate dies and where even Gabe dies, but if David is going to die we should see it in all the endings, I think, as he has become such a pivotal character to Javier’s character after coming to Richmond. Considering I reluctantly saved his settlement from a walker invasion, and hated the man, I’d have relished so much is rubbing my achievements in his face (Again) as he died… Just like I did when I was smashing those baseballs (Which, I might add, is one of the parts of the game that I think was very well written because your choices really did feel impactful even though it was only something as small as hitting a baseball).

I swear I’m not an asshole in real life by the way, but in these types of games I have a tendency to go nuts and murder anyone I can

So David dying off screen pissed me off. But not as much as how bad Clementine’s expositional rant about it was. It was probably the point in the game where I would have felt no guilt or remorse for brutally murdering her.

So then we simply transitioned a few days or weeks ahead to Richmond being rebuilt. This is where it gets stupid. Jesus encouraged me to lead Richmond… despite being in possession of the knowledge that I have been a cold-hearted murderer and have acted like a selfish asshole towards any character that wasn’t Clementine or Kate. He doesn’t even mention the fact he might have forgiven me because of how I chose to save Richmond, he just sort of pretends like he didn’t witness me execute another human being right in front of him a couple of days or weeks before.

For some reason Gabe is cool. I don’t know why. It took Clementine two games to get over killing Lee, and there are still subtle references to Lee in this season, but Gabe is chill about shooting his dad in the face already. Then again, Clementine is more emotional about Lee than her own parents so maybe it’s just a thing that people don’t like their parents in this universe.

It’s just- I don’t know how to communicate this to you.

This review is probably more a of a personal dislike for the events of the game than it is a objective. My review of Life Is Strange, I feel, was objective because I didn’t feel utterly betrayed by it. But episode 5 of A New Frontier is a betrayal. Don’t get me wrong, episode 1, 2, 3 and 4 all have flaws too; They’re not perfect. But they’re good and entertaining, and well written enough to keep me hooked, like most Telltale games are, in my opinion. So why did episode 5 feel so bad? Because it literally felt as if the developers stopped caring about the game. Like they didn’t care what happened, they just wanted it over. It makes no sense.

But, like I said, I have only experienced one ending and my views are probably more personal and emotional than logical and objective, so take my highly negative review with a grain of salt. This episode was, however, bad enough for me to think it ruined the game as a whole because, rather than have a dramatic finale between either David and Javier or the two united against the walkers, I got an off screen death with some condescending exposition.

You could blame my bad experience on the choices I made. But just because some choices will always be better than others doesn’t mean the player should be punished for choosing one over the other.  That’s how I felt about this game. I felt punished by the end. I felt punished because it built up this exciting adventure, but ended on a less that satisfactory note.

What on Earth were Telltale thinking?

 

How Bad Are Quick-Time Events In Games?

We live in a time where technology is becoming absolutely amazing with the things it can accomplish; Planning Mars missions, building AI’s like SIRI into our devices and, most importantly, the capability to create bigger and better video games.

As games have developed so have the stories behind them. What was once “Mario save the Princess” became “Mario save the Princess from Bowser”, became “Mario save the Princess from Bowser in space n 3D planets because you’re our saviour”, finally became *Insert cut scene of storytelling here*. It’s truly remarkable how games have come from moving left and right to blow up spaceships to moving left and right and forwards, and backwards to blow up spaceships because you are someone of importance to the galaxy. Thanks to technology we now have games that craft stories to give them more purpose and for them to deliver their purpose onto us, the players, for us to fulfil.

However… In an attempt to merge story and gameplay, the infamous “quick time event” was created. But are quick time events bad?

This is a question I’m going to answer. The short answer is yes, depending on the level of how cinematic they are and for what reason they are cinematic. Let me now give you the long answer, so you might understand what I mean.

Games that are too cinematic often suffer from poor gameplay or levels. Not always, but sometimes. Take, for example, Call Of Duty Advanced Warfare. “Press F To Pay Respects”. Was a button really needed for this? Was it important to the gameplay or story? No. If you wanted an emotional funeral moment then allowing the player to walk around the funeral and discover Kevin Spacey for ourselves would have been far more immersive and effective. Now take Halo 4 as another example. “Press RB to plant grenade” (Or RT to fire machine gun if you play the MCC). Halo 4 built up the power of its primary villain, the Didact, to a level unparalleled by any single person, even the player… But he’s killed by the worst grenade in the game… In a quick time event.

In my Halo 4 example, rather than having an awesome one on one fight with the Didact, in which the player defeats him by getting through his various stages and health bars, the player is stripped of all freedom and told exactly what to do and when to do it in order to complete the game. In Advanced Warfare the player is forced to pay respects to some dead guy we knew for five minutes who’s death was emotionless, because we also saw five hundred other soldiers on our side get ploughed down in the very same battle, in the previous level.

This is my gripe with quick time events; They take away the players freedom for the sake of a “cool” cinematic moment. Halo 4 wants us to think “Wow how cool was that grenade kill” instead of “I wish I could have killed the bad guy my own way”, and Advanced Warfare wants us to think “Aw, I’m so sad that what’s-his-face died”, instead of “who’s funeral am I at again?” They put the player on rails with no control. The player has no option other than to do what the quick time event tells them or they fail.

But not all quick time events are bad in games. Some games do them perfectly. Take Ryse: Son of Rome. In Ryse you can execute enemies by performing quick time events. But whether you get the buttons right or wrong doesn’t effect the animation; You get the kill even if you miss every button. However if you get all the buttons right, and in short time, you receive extra points and health regeneration for the kill. This type of quick time event does not limit the players freedom because the player has chosen to enter the event and the event does not impact the over all story of the game. Furthermore it compliments the gameplay because, if the player is quick at hitting the buttons and gets them all correct, they receive health and bonus points. Most importantly it doesn’t put you on rails. Can you see how unlike the examples I used from Halo 4 and Advanced Warfare, Ryse is able to use cinematic quick time events without sucking the players freedom away? This is because the quick time events in Ryse compliment the gameplay rather than pandering to the story.

There are some quick time events, however, I can excuse in games that are bad by my definition. The way I described bad quick time events could lead you to believe  I think games like The Walking Dead, The Wolf Among Us or various other choice based games are bad, but that’s not what I think. This is because, I would argue, the core gameplay of those games revolves around the in-game choices we make as we play the story and that the quick time events are just filler so we don’t get bored by overwhelming amounts of dialogue. However, I will admit that in TellTale’s latest release, Guardians Of The Galaxy, I would have preferred to (SPOILERS) fight and kill Thanes myself rather than quick time him to death.

So though quick time events may not be inherently bad, there are definetly right and wrong ways to go about implementing them into games. Some games do them better than others and others fall flat on their faces… *Cough* Advanced Warfare *cough*. Despite my bias hatred for them in general, I do have fond memories of kicking ass in God Of War. Even so, I do think games should stick to letting the player maintain their freedom to do whatever they want, even if it means sacrificing a cinematic moment because gameplay is more important that a brief, momentary spectacle.

 

Why DOOM’s Reviews Are Unfair

Unlike most people who bought the game I feel like I was one of few who bought Doom with no prior knowledge of the original games. When I bought this game all I knew of the original was that it essentially laid down the basic fundamental foundation for what most new FPS’s (releasing after it) would follow. But I had never played any of the originals so I wasn’t sure what all the hype was about.

But after buying Doom 2016 and playing it for a respectful amount of time, I can honestly say this game is criminally under-rated. This is strange to me because all I hear, from the majority of people at least, is how amazing this game is; I hear how fun the campaign is, how diverse the enemies, weapons and locations are. But, for some reason, this games online community seems to be nearing death and the game has only been out a year, at the time of me writing this.

I think this is mostly due to the negative reviews critics gave the multiplayer. Doom’s multiplayer was heavily criticised for being new enough. A GameSpot review says the following, “By far you won’t find much in Doom’s multiplayer that hasn’t been done before” and , “There is very little new in Doom’s multiplayer”.  The link to this review is provided here. https://www.gamespot.com/reviews/doom-review/1900-6416432/

But I think there is more to it than that because what these reviewers don’t realise is that Doom was, at the time, one of the only Triple A multiplayer games offering a unique experience. Previously released before Doom in earlier years were games such as Halo 4 and Battlefield Hardline were criticised for their multiplayer mimicking Call Of Duty by some fans and reviewers. Though the formula of these games remained faithful to their respectful predecessors the inclusion lower skill gaps to accommodate new players and tropes associated with Call Of Duty, such as kill streaks, put both of these games in the firing line for some fans, though not all of them.

Yet when Doom comes out as the first Triple A first person shooter in decades to use a classic arena setting for its multiplayer and sets itself apart from the crowd by removing regenerating health, it gets reviews telling us it isn’t new enough. And yes, arguably, this game is just updating an old style of multiplayer games that everyone seems to have moved on from. But within the current market, even now, Doom’s multiplayer is unique.

Here is why:

This game has a big skill gap. If you come onto this game straight off of Call of Duty, Halo 5 or Star Wars Battlefront you will, most likely, get your ass kicked a whole bunch before you start doing anything helpful for your team. The game is incredibly fast paced; More fast paced than Call Of Duty’s maps forcing you into encounters, Halo 5’s new armour abilities and sprint, and Star Wars Battlefronts massive battles.

The reason for this is because your health doesn’t regenerate. So as you’re killing the enemy and playing the objective, you’re also on a constant scavenger hunt for health, armour and ammo. Because of this you’re not only battling the enemy for kills or objective points, but also for health, armour, ammo and more powerful weapons. As a result map control becomes an important aspect of every game because whichever team controls the map has more access to all of these things and is therefore, of course, more likely to get the infamous demon rune to gain the advantage with.

I am reminded of games like Halo 2 or the original Star Wars Battlefront games, which both emphasised map control because the more of the map your team held, the better weapons and vehicles your team had access too. Both of those games were received well. But Doom 2016’s multiplayer… Not so much.

What was received well regarding Doom’s multiplayer was the Snap Map mode, and rightfully so; The scripting and map building the game gives players access too is amazing. But, with all the creativity of Snap Map set aside, I think why this mode was better received was because it was easier. Very few multiplayer versus maps were made in Snap Map; Most were fun mini-games, mazes, obstacle courses and missions against the AI demons. These are all things that are, while incredibly fun, a lot easier than juggling your health, armour, ammo and demon rune spawns.

So what am I saying? I am saying that because this game offers a unique, challenging experience in an age where the majority of FPS’s have a low time to kill, small skill gap and no steep learning curve, that Doom’s multiplayer was unfairly given a bad review because it is hard. It’s a theory. I, of course, cannot prove it as definite fact. But I can try to get you to see things as I do.

Look at it from this angle… How can critics say this game offers not much new and, on that basis, give the multiplayer a negative review when a game like Call Of Duty has been farting out the most repetitive multiplayer of all time with very little changes with each release? I think it’s because games like Call Of Duty are easy. When Call Of Duty changes something in its multiplayer, it is to add something like an ability or kills streak, or gun that is over powered enough to allow you, the player, to kill more things faster.

Even games like Halo have been seeing changes that make them easier. Halo 3, for example, had a high skill gap and some-what reasonable learning curve but, as more games like Reach and Halo 4 (and now Halo 5) came out the games got progressively easier. Halo Reach killed the MLG scene for Halo, for a while, and Halo 4 decreased the time to kill and added sprint. Halo 5 introduced armour abilities; and all of these things make the game easier because they introduce an element of randomness into the game that allow new players to get kills.

Doom doesn’t do that, however. Doom does not offer new players free kills so they don’t get mad. Doom makes you learn. And I strongly believe that because of how easy the FPS scene has been recently, that Doom’s multiplayer was negatively reviewed because it made the critics who reviewed use their brains a little too much, and they couldn’t handle it. They had been conditioned to games that hold their hands and couldn’t comprehend the idea that a game would want them to learn how to play by themselves.

But I am in no way saying Doom’s multiplayer is perfect. In my opinion some of the demon types are overpowered and so are some of the weapons and equipment; Not game breakingly so, but enough to justify some concern. What I’m saying is that Doom’s multiplayer is good, even now when there are larger games, like Battlefield 1, out on the market, and that is was unfairly judged. This game doesn’t deserve to be dying.

Doom’s multiplayer is awkward to play upon pickup. You may find yourself playing and waiting for your health to regenerate before realising that isn’t going to be happening any time soon. But Doom is its own style of FPS. It’s old and new. It is heavily inspired and influenced by old arcade style shooters, but it is something fresh amongst the current line up of almost every major FPS title.

Doom is about speed, manoeuvring and out-manoeuvring your enemy depending on the weapon you’re wielding and grenade you have in your pocket, or by the amount of health or armour you have in comparison to your enemy. Your play style changes on the fly depending on how much health, armour and ammo you have scavenged. This game demands your attention. It pulls you in. It’s exciting, fun, engaging and thrilling.

Need something more stimulating than ninety percent of FPS’s on the market (Or Minecraft)? Play Doom.
Miss the ice-cream truck and got mad? Play Doom.
Recently broke up with a long-term partner over some cheeky banter? Play Doom.
Bored? Play Doom.

Not only will you be stimulated and having fun, but you’ll be learning and experiencing a different type of FPS.

 

Charming Movies: Going In Style

I have to admit, when I went to see Going In Style in cinemas I was expecting, not a bad movie, but a movie that would simply serve to pass the time while giving a few laughs. Instead I found very charming movie with that, along with serving laughs, had a message and something to say. I found something charming and enjoyable. This review will contain spoilers, but you can skip down to the last two paragraphs of the review for a brief summary that won’t spoil anything, if you want to decide whether you want to see it or not.

Going In Style stars Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman and Alan Arkin. All of them, being aging actors, play three old men, who are all best friends, that want to rob a bank. ‘Why’, I hear you ask; Because the company they have worked for, for forty years, has cancelled their pension money for all their employees in order to pay off other debts. This leaves our main characters in the least favourable financial place possible.

It’s worth mentioning now that what I like about this movie is that it isn’t just silliness. And this movie is a comedy, so of course it is fun and stimulating, but it also explores serious themes. The first half of this movie is quite serious and emotional as it tells us Joe (Michael Caine) is going to be evicted from his home, which would mean he, his daughter and grand daughter would all essentially be homeless. We see Albert (Alan Arkin) struggling to accept company in his life or change, as he rejects any advances anyone makes on him. Finally we gain sight that Willie (Morgan Freeman) has some kind of kidney failure and that he’s going to die. To make things worse, the hospital is struggling to find other kidneys for him to have, so it’s not looking good.

With nothing else left to loose, after witnessing a bank robbery himself, Joe decides that robbing a bank is the best course of action. Can you see what I mean? The film uses a silly concept to explore some real issues, and I can respect that as it does it well.

Once Willie and Albert are on board, the three practice their thieving skills in the local super market. This leads to one of the funniest things I have, personally, seen in cinemas for a while now. The sight of Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman stealing entire cartons of eggs, large pork-chops and chickens while Alan Arkin is unable to help, because a shop assistant won’t stop flirting with him, is funny as all hell. Also watching Michael Caine steal an old lady’s mobility scooter, with Morgan Freeman riding in the front basket as they drive through traffic to escape shop security, is also something worth seeing.

The three get caught and decide they need professional help… To rob the bank that is. After Joe talks to a few contacts he finds a “low-life” who will help train them to rob the bank. After putting together alibis, getting gear and practicing the timing of everything the three are ready and rob the place. Willie, however, finds it hard to breathe under his mask due to his health issues and collapses. He is saved, however, when a little girl removes his mask slightly (up to his mouth) to allow him to breathe. Willie thanks the man and they all leave.

This leads to one of the many scenes that make this film so charming.

The three are put in a  line up by the police and the little girl who saw Willie’s face is asked to identify who was involved in the robbery. The girl recognises Willie but doesn’t tell the police he was involved, because Willie had told her about missing his granddaughter and family during the robbery. Instead she says she didn’t recognise any suspects. The emotion behind the scene is hard to express through writing and, of course, how you connect to a film or any piece of media is subjective to how much you, as an individual, are enjoying it. To try and summaries it, there is just something inherently nice about watching a little girl refusing to give up information because she wants the suspect, Willie, to be able to see his family. And there are many charming scenes in this film revolving around family, relationships, health and friendship, but I think this one takes the cake because of how connected I became, as a viewer, to these characters. It is silly, I know. No little girl would withhold this information in real, if they recognised a suspect. But in the context of the film, this scene was just so warm and nice, and kind that I think it takes the cake as the most charming moment.

After the three are removed as possible suspects to the crime and have the money back from the heist, the issue of Willie’s health is raised again as he collapses publicly. This leads to, perhaps, the second most charming and warm moment in the film. Albert decides to donate his kidney to Willie, saving his life, and the two are just lying their on the hospital beds making jokes. This scene of them doing this can summarise the film; Real issues being explored through the use of humour.

Anyway, the film ends with Willie’s life being saved, Joe being able to keep his house and family and Albert getting married to a shop assistant. A happy ending.

So now I have to summarise the film… This film is nothing short of a feel-good film. If you’ve lost your faith in humanity and feel like everyone on Earth is a jack-ass, then this film will make you regain your faith in the human race. It will lay out why humanity sucks and then how friendship and family can help solve the problem. None of it is corny. None of it will make you cringe. Everything in this film is explored reasonably. The silly jokes and funny moments of the film and properly placed, so that the tone of the film is consistent (There’s nothing worse than watching a film that hops from serious-talk to oblivious silliness poorly; But this film does it perfectly by not being too silly, nor too serious). I guess all I have to say now is that this film will make you smile, laugh and connect to the lead characters. It is enjoyable and will be worth your money.

Please go and see this film. I have a feeling that this film won’t do well, despite how well-made it is, because of how stimulated people are with the bombardment of Superhero and action films we have been getting in recent years. I feel like people are going to look at this film and think “this movie stars all old people, not enjoyable”, because every film nowadays is about Hollywood-hunks punching each other. But this film is much better than a solid eighty percent of those punching films because it is funny, witty and actually has a message that goes beyond “Blowing up foreign countries is wrong (Instantly blows up the Kremlin).” And that isn’t to say that these action films don’t have messages, but Going In Style has a more relevant message, and a better one. Please spare some time to watch this film and go to see something different.

 

Why “Life Is Strange” Is A Bad Game

For those of us who enjoy choice games, in which the narrative of the game bends to the decisions we make, leading to an ending our every action has help to create, we know Life Is Strange is very highly praised, amongst the majority, as an incredible game within the genre. But not for me. This is a controversial opinion, I think, as almost every person I’ve seen play-through it has given it a positive review, so I want to offer my two cents and give an alternative opinion. And no; This review is not one-sided. As with all games and products, this game has its ups and downs, so I will be acknowledging things I like as well as the things I don’t.

So, why does this game suck?

Nothing you do matters or impacts the narrative in any meaningful way.

Yes, you read that right. Not a single choice you make in this game matters.

For now though, here is an example of a choice that made no sense. It is, in fact, the very first big decision you are allowed to make. Your two options are to either report Nathan Prescott for having a gun in school, or to keep the information to yourself. If you choose to report Nathan, your ever-so caring Principle chooses to do nothing. He simply tells you Nathan belongs to the richest family in town and that he’s scared of saying anything. It is presumed something happened behind the scenes, however, as you will later get messages from Nathan’s father threatening to get lawyers involved, but they lead nowhere. If you choose to keep the information to yourself you get told off for looking suspicious and not going outside quicker, because the fire alarm had gone-off. The only difference between the two choices is that Nathan’s big scary daddy doesn’t message you. But because Nathan is such a dick, the likelihood is that you’ll piss him off eventually anyway, and at some point Nathan’s dad will message you. His messages mean nothing by the way, they go nowhere.

What also goes nowhere are the further encounters with Nathan. Every single time you meet Nathan throughout the game will play out in exactly the same way regardless of the choice you made. Whether you reported him or not, nothing changes and every conflict boils down to you thinking, “Oh gosh, Nathan is a big mean bully”. You get perhaps one or two lines of dialogue extra if you choose to report him because Nathan is annoyed at you, but they don’t effect the outcome of the encounters because, as I stated before, the outcomes are the same regardless of the choice you make. Warren will always get a head-butt and you will always get in the car with Chloe. Nathan will always phone you to warn you about Mister Jefferson, regardless of how much you’ve dicked him over.

Another choice that means absolutely nothing is saving Kate from committing suicide. This is presented as perhaps the most devastating moment in the game, but regardless of if you manage to save Kate, or if she jumps to her death, the rest of the game plays as normal. The only difference between saving Kate and not saving Kate is how depressed people in the school will be after it happens. Sure, it affects the NPC’s, but the plot will continue to progress and the story will continue to unfold in almost exactly the same way regardless of if Kate lives or dies. There is one small change in the story… One small, minor change. If Kate lives, you go to her to get some information about Nathan Prescott, Mister Jefferson and the Dark Room… But if she dies you just discover it yourself anyway in the same amount of time as it takes to talk to Kate. So it ultimately doesn’t matter. Kate’s life is insignificant to the plot because if you save her she helps you, but if she dies you figure it out yourself anyway. You could argue that it helps develop your character and affects how you, playing as Max, make choices in the future… But the truth is it doesn’t. If she dies, so what? You’re still going to play the game the exact same way, whether it be by saving everyone else possible as the game goes on or by letting them die. And Max as a character doesn’t really develop because she is you. She isn’t making choices based off of information she’s learnt, you’re making the choices, most likely, based on what you want to do in your play through.

Don’t even get me started on the ending. I’ve seen the endings to this game be praised repeatedly and I can’t understand why. You essentially get a the choice of sacrificing everyone in town to save Chloe, or sacrificing Chloe to save everyone in the town. If you choose to save Chloe there is some depressing music, the town dies and then you drive through town… But there are no bodies, the roads are clear and there are sunny skies… The town was just hit by a tornado created from the manipulation of time! Where’s the damage!? This ending cut scene lasts about twenty seconds; It’s disappointing as hell. There’s no dialogue or anything, it’s just anti-climactic.

The other ending, the one which has almost universally been recognised as awesome, is actually… Okay, it is awesome. If you have enjoyed playing, this ending is satisfying. It’s emotional to sacrifice Chloe and watch her die. But if that’s the case, then why do I still dislike the ending?

It’s because no matter what choices you make, who you side with or what paths you go down, you always get the same two choices at the end. Every thing leads to the same choice: Kill Chloe or don’t kill Chloe. You might be saying that a lot of choice games do this and lead to one ultimate end choice, and you would be right for the most part. I guess it’s a flaw with this genre of games as a whole, but let me compare this ending to the ending of the Walking Dead Season 2 to try and change your perspective.

Where as in Life Is Strange your choice is kill Chloe or don’t kill Chloe, there are so many other choices to be made in the Walking Dead Season 2. You can end the game on your own with a baby, AJ. You can end the game with baby AJ and your partner, Jane. You can end the game with baby AJ and your partner Kenny. You see, baby AJ is lost by Jane and Kenny gets pissed off and attacks her. Unable to break them up you, the player, can either let Kenny kill Jane or save Jane by killing Kenny. Killing Kenny allows you to end the game with Jane… But the kicker is that she didn’t lose baby AJ, but hid him intentionally so she could kill Kenny. Then you get the badass choice to tell Jane to leave you, for lying to you in order to kill Kenny,  and never come back or allow her to stay. Depending on what you choose you either end the game alone or with Jane. But if you allow Kenny to kill Jane, you get the choice afterwards, a second time, to kill Kenny… and he tells you to, “just do it”. If you kill Kenny you end the game on your own. If you spare Kenny, you and him go to another settlement. Here you get ANOTHER choice. The settlement won’t let you in because there isn’t enough room, but they will let you without Kenny because you have a baby. You can either choose to leave Kenny and go into the settlement with baby AJ or stay with Kenny and take some small amount of supplies from the settlement to survive outside on your own with him. Depending on what you choose you get the ending with you, baby AJ and your partner, Kenny or you on your own with baby AJ inside a settlement.

Can you see how much potential a choice game can have? The Walking Dead Season 2 has four endings: Alone with baby AJ, with baby AJ and Kenny, with baby AJ and Jane and alone with baby AJ inside a settlement. All of these endings have multiple ways of getting too; For example you may let Kenny kill Jane but, thinking Kenny did wrong, kill him anyway afterwards and end up alone. Or you could kill Kenny before he kills Jane and then tell Jane to leave you and never come back, after discovering her betrayal, thus being alone with baby AJ.

Can you see how something like this, with well thought out, meaningful and impactful choices can be an effective means of telling an emotional story? It really contrasts to the linear, on the rails story of Life Is Strange.

I guess if I were to conclude this review I would say that, while Life Is Strange has a decent story and is emotional if you become invested (both positive things). But it holds your hand too much. The choices aren’t hard to make; There are very obvious right and wrong choices and they don’t really matter or get you anywhere different. It’s all well and good having a good story, but if the gameplay doesn’t pan out then what makes it a good game? A game is about gameplay, not story, and the weak gameplay here is in the choices that define the game. Here’s a nice metaphor; A story is just a nice bonus. If a game is a bun and the gameplay is the burger between the bun, the main thing you’re experiencing, then the story is all the salad and cheese around the burger; A happy bonus, but the burger is the key element. Life Is Strange isn’t a burger though, it’s just the salad and cheese.

 

Three Older Games You Should Go Back And Play

In this age of triple A games, ridiculous and spontaneous advanced mobility shooters, RPG’s with lacklustre dialogue wheels and companies like EA and Activision price gouging products wherever they see fit, we forget about the time where the gaming industry seemed very different, even if it wasn’t under the surface. Anyone on YouTube following channels that critique games, or blogs that do the same, will know many people are beginning to get disappointed with the state of today’s gaming industry. But rather than comment on that myself, I thought I’d group up three games from the good ol’ days, which you should go back and replay to take your mind off of the negativity. And who knows; Maybe you’ll find a game here you haven’t played before, and you’ll have a brand new experience to enjoy.

So, here are three games you should go back and play.

Number three: Serious Sam 2
Serious Sam 2 is a charming and violent, arcade-styled first person shooter released in 2005. The game comes with a mix of childish humour, with a few hidden jokes for adults thrown in every now and again, and a lot of enemies that explode into chunks of meaty, bloody flesh when you blow them up. The premise of the game is simple; Travel to other planets with an arsenal of weapons and save villagers from aliens, monsters and barbaric creatures. There are a vast variety of enemies, encounters and weapons, which gives us gameplay reminiscent of DOOM, Quake and other old-school arena shooters. On Steam the game, at the time of writing this, costs £6.99, though I obtained it in a sale for only £0.69. I played this game as a child and have happy memories. What’s even better is that the game was just as good as I had always remembered it being when I revisited it recently. Though it is needless to say that any and all multiplayer is dead, I find the single player experience to be fun enough to carry the game for its current price easily.

Number two: Fallout
I’m not talking about Fallout 3 or Fallout 4, or even Fallout New Vegas. I’m talking about the original Fallout, the very first; The one, the only and, in my opinion, the best. You play as the Vault Dweller and, of course, are able to customise your character and all his or her skills before entering the game. Your goal, without spoiling the game, is to save your Vault from danger and the Wasteland from Super Mutants. It sounds simple, and it is, but there are so many various ways to go about your journey that the possibilities are endless.
If you have played the new Fallout games, you will be aware that the games present you with choices in your adventures; Like sacrificing yourself or Lyons in the end of Fallout 3, for example… Or deciding to enslave the Wasteland instead of freeing it in New Vegas. And this game is no different. Choices regarding your quests are everywhere, many of them are ethical and some things you do in the world will have consequences you won’t even realise about until you re-visit an area. Some choices make you may feel guilty about and they may make you want to re-play a section to fix. Others will leave you satisfied and rewarded.
But make no mistake, this game is difficult and very, very unforgiving for new players. It takes some adjustment, especially if you’re someone who’s only ever played the first-person Fallout games. While it is hard to master as a new player, once you’ve figured it out, you’ll be a pro in no time. Side note: What I love most about this game is that it doesn’t hold your hand. You have no quest markers, only directions and instructions from NPC’s. If you get a fetch quest you have to actually find what you’re looking for, there isn’t just a marker on it to tell you where it is… Believe it or not you actually have to do something for yourself. This is good. This is good because it makes everything you do feel more rewarding.
The possibilities in this game are endless and, considering this game was released in 1997, it is a very impressive masterpiece. This game is a must-play for fans of classic RPG’s, and for people looking for another view on the Fallout world.

Number one: Rome Total War
Before, in my personal opinion, Creative Assembly drove the Total War franchise into the depths of hell, by seemingly trying to deliberately sabotage it, there were incredibly addictive games in the franchise. These were games such as Shogun, Medieval and Medieval 2 Total War… But the one that stood out from the crowd was Rome Total War.
If you are fan of turn based or real time strategy, Rome Total War is a must-play. Released in 2004, this game walks the absolute perfect line between being to complicated and too simplistic. The game has an in-depth enough political system, in the campaign, to engage long term players of these games, but it is also simple enough that it perfectly accommodates new players. The best part is that you can apply what I just said to every part of the game. In battle you can deploy your troops in either your own custom formations, which you make up on the fly, or use pre-made formations if you’re feeling more relaxed and casual.
Every unit type has strengths and weaknesses; Phalanxes can’t be beat from the front but are easily flanked, cavalry can’t fight spearmen but are experts at attacking archers and skirmishers, legionaries are heavily armoured but suffer a from lower damage output. Within each category of unit, there are different types. Some legionaries inspire nearby troops, increasing their morale, some barbarians can perform a war-cry to increase their skills in combat before they charge. Every unit serves a purpose and is valuable. Nothing feels useless in this game… Except for peasants because they’re only good for matching against war elephants.
This game is addictive; It is the Civilisation V of the Total War franchise. The Campaign lasts for hours and hours, and hours… and hours. Be prepared to get lost in a massive journey as you expand your huge empire. I cannot sell this game enough, it is one of my favourite games of all time. Give it a go, if you’re into strategy. You’ll love it, I guarantee it; its graphics still stand up, the units are responsive, the interface is easy to use and the controls are easy to learn. Everything is seemingly perfect. So just go for it.

Mean Movies: Expelled

 

Mean Movies. Mean Movies is a term I made up myself, which refers to films so awful that they make your brain hurt, your stomach turn and your bowels open. One such movie, for example, is the 2014 movie named Expelled. Let this post serve as a review; A monument to how horrible this film is.

I found this movie on Netflix with my girlfriend, with the description reading it was about a prankster pulling pranks on people at his school and, in all fairness, it sounded interesting… Boy, were we wrong. The main character, Felix O’neil (Played by Cameron Dallas), is the prankster. He is expelled from the school in the first scene of the movie and, immediately afterwards, I knew I was going to be in for one hell of a ride trying to comprehend why this film was made. The actor portraying our “hero”, Cameron Dallas, is a twenty year old man (at least he was when the movie was made) who plays the role of a sixteen or seventeen year old in high school. He doesn’t look the age of the character, which is a little distracting. But honestly that’s a light criticism in comparison to what’s to come.

This movie is formatted like a YouTube video. If any of you have seen the FRED movie, or its sequels, you’ll know what I mean. For those of you that don’t, I mean that the main character, Felix, spends a good thirty percent of the movie talking to the audience, directly into the camera, while all the other characters are unable to do so. It’s as if everyone else is aware they are in a movie, but he is someone constantly breaking the fourth wall because he thinks he’s in some teen Vlog. This is another distracting element of the film because he’ll be stood side-by-side with his friends, talking to the camera, but his friends won’t be looking at the camera, because they’re unaware of us, and then Felix will turn to continue talking to them and the conversation will progress as if Felix totally didn’t stop to inform the audience on what the hell is going on. Again… This is a light criticism in comparison to what’s to come.

The whole reason why this movie is formatted like a YouTube video probably stems from the fact that this movies main cast is comprised of Vine stars and people who have been on YouTube. Cameron Dallas, for example, has an IMDB page that essentially consists of two paragraphs of how he blew up on social media, and literally two or four sentences about his life.

It gives us a clear statement about how interesting he must be.

But this whole YouTube format doesn’t work in movies, because it doesn’t immerse the audience. When we watch a film we want to be engaged as if we’re actually there, but if someone is constantly talking at us, it reminds us we are not there and that we are just passively watching. You might argue that Deadpool talks to his audience, and that’s a good engaging movie, and you would be right. But the difference between Deadpool and Expelled is that when Deadpool talks to us, it is to tell a joke or make us laugh for the sake of comedy, but when Felix O’neil talks to us, it is to give us exposition on stuff they were either too lazy to show us, or simply didn’t want too; It’s pure exposition, and not excitement. Thus, it ruins immersion. Not that this movie is anything to get excited about… Like, at all.

Anyway, Felix gets expelled from school and then him and his friends have a “whacky” and “fun” adventure about trying to keep his parents from finding out he was expelled. Felix does this by using his incredible superpowers of:

 

  1) Lying to his parents about literally everything.
2) Housing his brother, who escaped from some prison, in his attic until he is found.
3) Breaking into the school at night to forge his grades and then running away from the police, before having the audacity to suggest he is totally in the right.
4) Hacking into the school computers at least three to four times to find his grades, attendance and sort out any stuff his parents could potentially find out about.
5) Blackmailing the Dean of the school into enrolling him again, because he found out the Dean stole ten thousand dollars from the school to fuel his online gambling addiction.

Now you know why I previously used the word “hero” in quotation marks.

None of what I have listed above is an exaggeration. This character, Felix, is depicted to us as a hypocritical lying asshole. He lies to his parents… He later tells generic love interest he wants to stop lying… He then, in the finale, blackmails the Dean into lying to his parents for him. For the entire movie, he takes advantage of his friend by having him hack into the schools systems. In fact, he only ever speaks to this friend when he wants something and never for a cheeky bit of banter. This leads to them falling out. Felix apologises… But then immediately asks him to hack into the school again, seconds after the apology.

This character is an asshole; An unlikeable dick who bullies people when he doesn’t get his own way. When his ex-girlfriend refuses to help him, he embarrasses her in the school play by interrupting her solo song and flying around on a rope on the stage, resulting in props all falling over. For some reason he is proud and we are meant to find it funny, so the whole incident is treated like a normal thing.

Felix deserves literally everything bad that ever happens to him… He has his brother, who has escaped a prison-school hybrid, shoot a knock-out dart into the leg of his chemistry teacher so he can’t attend a parent-teacher conference. What the hell? We’re supposed to be rooting for this guy? We’re supposed to be rooting for someone who will cause physical harm to others and commit crimes to keep up a lie?

Yeah, um, no thanks.

There is no character ark. He is an asshole in the beginning and an asshole by the end. The only change is that he has a generic girlfriend who gives him a little kiss at the end. Remember the Dean who stole money from the school, who Felix had hard evidence on? Felix didn’t even turn him in. Neither our lacklustre “hero” or thieving Dean faced any consequences for the crimes they have committed. For a movie aimed at kids and young teens, you would assume some kind of message would have to be attached to this product. But there isn’t. Nothing bad that happens is met by consequences, only by possible solutions; And all of those solutions solve the problem, conveniently for our main characters. Are they trying to tell the young audience this is how the world works? Because if they are, the audience is in for one hell of a surprise.

You might be sitting there thinking “This movie is rated 12 (PG-13 in America), so why did he say its primarily targeted at kids and young teens?” Good question. I’m here now to answer it.

You see, every joke in this movie is about buttholes, cheap tricks, silly pranks and whacky antics. The whole film is child friendly… Or so it seems. You see I found a very dark(ish) joke in there… A hidden joke… A dark(ish) joke masked by the smiling face of a Viner and a handful of childish remarks to drown it. When conspiring to break into the school, Felix suggests his friend should first steal the janitors keys. His friend disagrees and says, “No way, the guy looks like Jeffery Dahmer.”

If you don’t know who Jeffery Dahmer is, look him up and then ask yourself, “Why is this joke in a kids movie?”

Look, I think I’m contracting a terminal illness by simply recalling this film, so I’m going to wrap it up. This film is awful. The acting is awful, as none of the lead cast are actually actors but instead Viner’s and YouTubers. The plot is dumb, nonsensical and fragile, even by lower-budget kids movie standards. Finally, every character in this film except for the generic love interest, the teachers and Felix’s parents is an asshole… It begs the question why anyone loves him. But since this film has a whole section of Cameron Dallas walking around shirtless, constantly facing the camera in mid-shots to show off them abs, we can only assume that the twisted mind of whoever thought this movie was a good idea to make, thinks that pretty people get a pass from being assholes. One out of ten, not IGN, would not watch again.

 

Halo Wars 2: Uppsy Daisy, Whoopsy Daisy

So Halo is my favourite ever video game franchise, I’ve played them all, done them all and grinded my gears through all of them legendary campaigns, though I did, admittedly, pass on that Spartan Assault game. It looked awful, what else can I say? Anyway, as a long term fan of the franchise I had to buy Halo Wars 2, even though Halo 5 Guardians has been on my uninstalled for a very, very long time now as I wasn’t much of a fan of that game as I was of the previous titles.

After completing the campaign and playing a decent amount of multiplayer, I can safely say that this game kicks ass. It’s a super fun game and, for an RTS (Real Time Strategy), has a decent story. For people who have played Halo before, the story was not as emotional as Halo 4’s or as gripping as Halo 2’s or 3’s, but it still kept me playing and I guess that’s what counts with video games. If the story compels me then I want to see it through.

Minor spoiler warning here, for those who are interested in playing it but haven’t yet, as I go through specifics of what made it good and, after that, what I didn’t like about it. The campaign starts off slow but builds up at a well paced speed. Not only do you enemies get more powerful as the game goes on, but so do you as you unlock new abilities and upgrades for your units. In the first mission of the game there are no enemies, but as you scout around the area of the mission you encounter Atriox, the main protagonist, in a cutscene. He kicks the ever-living crap out of Spartan Red Team and you’re all like, “Damn, I should not have come here”. The pace then ramps up as you are forced to flee from a massive number of enemies, all of which are more powerful than you, which really hypes up the rest of the campaign. This is essentially how the whole thing plays out, only in missions after this you are, of course, required to fight back rather than flee. The ending the campaign also links in happily to Halo 5, so that this game isn’t completely isolated from the main series, leaving me to speculate if the Spirit Of Fire will unite and fight alongside the Infinity in Halo 6. I sure hope so.

But it’s not all good. The story, as I said above, is well paced, but sometimes the gameplay isn’t. One minute you’re cleaning house, kicking ass and knocking guys down left, right and centre, but then the next minute you’re sitting down idly watching your supply counter go up because you lost half of your units. It’s not so much a problem on the multilayer, because this is what makes it fun; managing supplies to spend them effectively and efficiently to counter your opponent. But in the campaign it sometimes, though not always, leads to periods of nothing happening as you sit there farting out marines, warthogs and hornets in preparation for a battle they’ll all probably die in anyway. These are distracting sections of the game, but aren’t intrusive in a way that completely kills the mood. Luckily you still feel like what you’re doing means something and will accomplish a goal, so these periods won’t have you completely bored, only a little bored. This is probably a symptom of the genre of RTS, which is hard to design a good campaign for, rather than bad game design. So, though it is an issue, it is an understandable one.

The multiplayer, while unbalanced as hell at the time of my writing this, is incredibly fun. You never know what you’re getting into as every game is different. Sometimes you get in a game that’s slow with neither team doing much fighting until the end where massive armies collide after you’ve built up masses of recourses. Other games will be fighting non-stop with a mixture of small-scale and large-scale conflicts happening throughout the game. Though there is a disappointingly small number of maps in the game, the fact most games play differently depending on your opponent and the leaders each team has chosen does switch things up enough for it to be some-what forgivable.

But, like I said, it’s unbalanced as hell. As of now, anyone can pick up Anders, spam sentinels and essentially be an immortal god as long as they don’t stop producing them. Forge can poop out supply pads and power pads to his heart’s content because he has half price on all of that stuff. The less powerful leaders are useful, but only if the enemy hasn’t picked these other overpowered leaders. There definetly needs to be a nerf to these leaders and certain units.

Another negative is that a recent patch was released to address players concerns regarding lag in multiplayer, but I never experienced it myself, and after the patch I have not been able to connect to the Halo Wars 2 servers for any online play. So again 343 has launched a game without sending Bob the tech-guy to even test if the servers work, which is disappointing. Not everyone is affected though, I notice, as I have friends who can still connect fine, but I and a few others in the community, from what I’ve seen on the game hub, can’t connect to the servers. This needs to be fixed now because I enjoy this game and want it to be top-notch again. I don’t want another MCC with a dead multiplayer.

So would I recommend this game? Yes I would, once the servers sort themselves out. Because, though the campaign is very good, the game is not worth the price tag for just the campaign alone, you need the multiplayer to get your money’s worth. This ain’t no Halo 3, but it’s something.

 

 

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