All American Christmas Carol (2013)

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I appreciate what this movie was attempting to do. A modern, trailer park version of the classic Christmas story, a Christmas Carol. Actually expected this to be hilarious. It is basically the three expected ghost visiting a white trash mom that thinks work is for suckers to show her the error of her ways and save her family and Christmas. Honestly it starts off pretty well on its way. One of her kids dads (there are many) is a semi professional paint ball player that dies when he gets shot in the eye playing and not wearing his safety glasses. While this in itself isn’t funny, his funeral is at the paintball range and there is beer in the coffin, but only sixer.

Sadly the movie pretty much fails to ever take off. The humor is all about stereotypes but is never actually funny about it, for example one character is a redneck named rat tail that has, you guessed it, a rat tail. He owns a motorcycle and is a professional wrestler. That is it. Outside of being a semi love interest he serves no actual purpose.

The ghost themselves consist of a girl from high school that died during an accident with a donkey, draw your own conclusion, a dead rock star and the main characters mom, none of which are all that memorable. This movie is best avoided. Best wishes and may the gaming gods bring you glory.

Elite Dangerous in 4k?

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So recently I picked up an Xbox One X and of course we all know how much I love Elite Dangerous. The picture of the Cobra was actually taken in 4K. After having spent some time with the XB One I have to say, unless you are one of the roughly 16% of the American population with the television that can take advantage of the systems power ( luckily I am) just buy a the Xb one S. Also you can read more about my opinion on that here. Is 4k that big of an upgrade?

On to the topic at hand tho, Elite Dangerous gets a nice boost from being on the One X. The following image was taken On my PS4 pro taken just on my standard settings with no HDR or anything like that.

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As you can see there is a noticeable difference. Honestly I will keep playing on my PS4 because I have much more time into the game there and graphically the difference isn’t enough to make me lose that progress. Many however want the best graphics possible, and if you have access to a 4K television and an Xbox one that is where you should go. Having played both tho I will say that admittedly the PS4 does control slightly better. It isn’t game changing better, but I did notice.

The bottom line however is simple, The Xbox One X does have better graphics, but having played both side by side with the enhancements turned on, only the most graphics dedicated person will want to make the switch. Best wishes and may the gaming gods bring you glory.

Empires in Ruins (Preview)

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Empires In Ruins is an upcoming indy title from a small company called Hammer & Raven Games, you can find more info at their website here. www,hammerandravens.com

The game itself is a story driven 4x game. Now I won’t pretend I know what that means, but it sounds impressive. What I do know is that the combat is a fun mix of Tower defense and Real Time  Strategy. Those two are basically made to be together, and any game that is story driven already scores major points with me. The graphics themselves look great, with a hand painted Main map that you can just look at and tell was done with tremendous care.

Some of the other details that make or break a game such as this already exist, plenty of enemies to fight and over 60 technologies to research will make for plenty of options to choose from.

Looking forward I think we will see a fun filled and judging by their Twitter at times humorous experience. Best wishes, and may the gaming gods bring you glory.

Bevontule (Preview)

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Bevontule is an upcoming Turn based combat game from a small indy company called Multithreaded Games. You can find more information about both the game and the company at their website here. www.bevontule.com

Now many of you may be saying “Hey Savior, whats with you hitting all these indy games lately? and honestly it is a fair question. Honestly I just like covering indy stuff. I get to see stuff I didn’t know existed. Up until these guys followed me on Twitter ( thanks guys) I had no clue they even existed. So I checked out their site. What I saw was, well lets have it speak for itself.

Now that as you can see in the corner is Pre-Alpha Footage, and it looks beautiful. The combat system looks fluid and intuitive. I don’t normally play PC games, and I know this isn’t the best looking game in the world. But for a game that is made by a couple of a people at a small company? I am damn excited to see how this comes out. Best wishes and may the gaming gods bring you glory.

The day the Earth Stood Still (1951)

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So I am screwing around on Netflix looking for something to watch and I come across this. Feeling nostalgic around Christmas, maybe because my dad died this year and I used to watch stuff like this with him, or maybe just because I haven’t really had the chance to sit down and watch some classic movies in awhile I popped this one on. I learned a few things. First, it felt weird not watching this on VHS and an old tube television. Second, this movie came out decades before I was born and yet I still enjoyed it more than most modern movies. And possibly last but not least, At least once a week I hear someone say ” I wish people would stop with all the political and social commentary in movies and on television.” Honestly, that has always been there. This movie is about a man from space that shows up with a giant robot. We as humans of course shoot him as soon as he tries to hand us something and his giant robot melts some guns and a tank. Space man gets fixed up and tried to get a meeting with the world and of course the world goes all high school stupid and starts with the if he goes I won’t go stuff.

So what is a space man to do when America locks him in a room and says don’t go anywhere? He leaves to see the city. News of course goes nuts, starts gets people all riled up and scared. See a pattern here? This movie was released in the 1950’s and if you replace the word spaceman with words like “Irish, immigrant, communist, Muslim” or any number of words you can change the year and it would fit the social commentary of a decade. The space man even comments about the media spreading needless fear.

Once we get to the end of the movie we hit another topic of social commentary that could hit any number of decades. Our space man finally gets a meeting, but not with world leaders but with scientist. Whats his message? That giant robot is basically the galaxy police force and they have ultimate power that no one questions or interferes with. They are so feared the rest of galaxy wants to trouble so they simply don’t have weapons. Since earth discovered nuclear energy they will eventually use it in a space ship and join the galactic community. Either do so in peace or the giant robots will destroy the Earth. That is a pretty damn severe message I would say.

All and all I have to say I was surprised by the the amount of social commentary in a movie from the 1950s, but more surprised how much of it actually stands true over 60 years later. Best wishes and  may the gaming gods bring you glory.

 

Are $60 Games Over?

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This seems to be a topic many people have commented on recently. Hell I won’t even hide the fact I have seen a few YouTube videos. Here is one from DreamcasGuy that brings up some valid points.

There are a few others out there, and not even recently talking about things like micro-transactions and day one DLC and all those things that drive many gamers today pretty much insane. Now I am an older guy, not old, but old enough to remember when games would usually cost about $40 and consoles all coming with a game standard not even as a bundle. So at times I have bumped heads with my younger friends that are willing to pay for skins to change a costume then being insulted because I still hold the attitude that I used to get that shit just for playing the game so I refuse to buy it now with a few exceptions.

I however am young enough to recognize that times change. I own something called RPG Maker MV ( RPG maker series more on that here) that I can use to literally make a game easily graphically equal to pretty much any console prior to the PlayStation 1 generation, and for those more tech savvy people you can use the Unity engine available here   to make some pretty impressive stuff. We live in an era where anyone with a decent laptop, the desire to learn, and some time can make a game at home.

Enter the AAA title. These things are now massive undertakings, many times years in the making with thousands of man hours and millions of dollars in cold hard cash to make. At $60 each that is a lot of copies just to break even, with more needed simply to fund the next game. Miro-transactions and DLC help with that, and I have on occasion bought a season pass or some cosmetic things to support a company that makes a game I enjoy. For example this cost me a few bucks because I like Frontier development.

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So I bought a paint job for a space ship in Elite Dangerous. However with the recent screw up by EA and Battlefront 2, and I do mean screw up loot boxes are under heavy scrutiny. Even games like Overwatch that really hasn’t faced to many issues with their system since buying them is completely optional is being looked at by many. See Star Wars was designed from the ground up to force people to spend extra money over the long term. That $60 essentially was the buy in to get started playing, with the loot boxes there to entice you to spend more money on the game. Now while I personally feel this is underhanded and wrong, from a business standpoint it makes sense. Every store you go to is built on this concept. From the colors of Walmart to the layout of your local grocery store almost every detail is designed to get you to spend money.

Until now however this design was hidden. Sure we all knew about it, but it was never thrown in our face so blatantly by a large company with a game we paid for. With that design out in the open and under attack by many, that may lead to the death of the $60 game. Prices may go up now in an attempt to mitigate those potential loses. The worst part however to me, is I think the death of the $60 game won’t get rid of the DLC or the micro-transactions dominated gaming world we now live in. We will simply see an increase in prices and thing will stay the same. Best wishes, and may the gaming gods bring you glory.

Game Preview: Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark

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Fell Seal:Arbiter’s Mark is an upcoming classical tactical RPG, much like Final Fantasy Tactics. The game is created by Developer 6 Eyes Studio based in Orlando Florida. I won’t lie until recently I had never heard of these guys but a blog I follow did a write up that I shared and decided to do some of my own research on that lead me to some more interesting info. Below is one of the trailers for your enjoyment.

As you can see this is a labor of love as they have painstakingly drawn the maps and characters. The game also boast an impressive amount of skills as well as over 20 classes, and many options when it comes character creations. For more information you can see their website here

I can’t lie, for me this game has some huge shoes to fill. As a kid a grew up on games like shining force, Final Fantasy Tactics and Vandal Hearts. These were some of the most amazing games of the genre ever created. With that being said, judging by the effort put into creating this game I feel comfortable saying in 2018 when this game releases it will be on my must play list, and i feel comfortable saying it will be worth the wait. Best wishes and may the gaming gods bring you glory.