It's been almost a month since my last blog. Since then, Comic-Con brought some new movie trailers, Jurassic World became one of the biggest movies of all-time, one of the most anticipated second seasons of a TV series premiered, Batman: Arkham Knight has finally been released into the wild, and I bought my first PS Vita game. I'll break them down and then likely disappear for another month. :P
So Comic-Con has come and passed and honestly, I was left a bit underwhelmed. The lack of Marvel Studios didn't bother me (in fact I almost found it refreshing) and I think there's a lot to be excited about by DC Comics upcoming movies. Hell, I even think Fox impressed with Deadpool and X-Men: Apocalypse with the very little that was publicly shown or captured with a shaky bootleg camera. Honestly, I just disappointed with the comic book news. I rarely buy comics today compared to my usual monthly checklist of around 6 comics. They are expensive to collect and read when you count everything up. Plus, I'm getting tired of DC killing off all of my favorite characters at the most random times just for shock value attention before they revive them months later and re-brand characters. The only comic series that I try to keep up with these days is Scott Snyder/Greg Capullo's Batman run. I only have a couple issues missing in my almost complete collection from issue #1. I'm proud of it, but I think I'll stop at #50 unless things get interesting. Back on topic, nothing really caught my eye in terms of comic books at Comic-Con. Lastly, I was yet again disappointed with the severe lack of animated series. With the brilliant Legend of Korra over (even if you don't like Avatar: TLA, I highly recommend giving this series a shot) and Cartoon Network completely screwing over their once excellent DC animated lineup, there isn't an American animated series to be excited about besides Star Wars: Rebels, which had a great season two premiere episode/special by the way.
The two highlights of Comic-Con for me this year were DC Comics' two full-length movie trailers for "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" and "Suicide Squad." I'm not one to judge movies by their trailer. For example, Cloud Atlas had an awesome trailer but the movie disappointed while Dawn of the Planet of the Apes had a weak trailer but went on to become one of my favorite movies in a year full of greats. I thought that Batman v Superman had a great trailer that offered plenty of fan service. I've always supported Ben Affleck as Batman/Bruce Wayne and now I'm not looking like an idiot for doing so. I think Affleck looks like he's going to own both roles. I personally enjoyed Man of Steel quite a bit, and I'm glad this movie is maintaining the same dark, consequential tone. I think it's a perfect contrast to Marvel's universe of action/comedy hybrids that rarely move their overarching story forward. That's not to say that one is better than the other, I'm just saying that if DC Comics movies were cheery and bright with one-liners sprinkled about, I'd be upset. But not only would I be upset, I would be bored.
Speaking on Suicide Squad, I was always on the fence about this movie leading into Comic-Con. On one hand, I thought that the casting was interesting and the director choice of David Ayer made perfect sense for a movie focused on an ensemble cast. The trailer didn't 100% sell me (in terms of hype, don't get me wrong, I'll see this movie almost no matter what), but I am more excited for this movie then I was going into SDCC. It's incredibly dark, character-driven, and features some awesome shots that fit well with the overlapping music.
I finally got around to seeing Jurassic World just yesterday. I really, really enjoyed this movie. I don't think it's near being perfect, but what it was was a completely entertaining popcorn flick. The special effects were some of the best I've seen since Rise of the Planet of the Apes thanks to a ton of practical use. The story of brothers bonding was a surprising treat that made it easy to relate to. Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, and Jake Johnson played their roles well and brought some laughs to the movie that I think will age well with the movie. The true star of this movie was the dinosaurs however. It's so cool to see dinosaurs popular again. Overall, I'd give it an 8/10. This movie deserves its success. A lot of care was put into it.
Batman: Arkham Knight
After taking my time with the main story, I've finally completed the main story and all of the side missions except for The Riddler. Man, I just don't know what to think of this game. I'll try to bullet the pros and cons:
+ The main story is one of the best Batman stories told.
+ The game rarely had straight-up cutscenes. The story was experienced through cinematic gameplay which made it immersive. A huge plus.
+ Some characters stole the spotlight. Written and voiced perfectly.
+ This game is by far the most technically sound PS4 game I have played yet. It works almost perfectly. The framerate is steady, the graphics are scarily good, and the gameplay is smooth.
+ Gotham City is incredibly detailed and well realized.
+ Batmobile. Chasing vehicles around the streets of Gotham is a thrill.
- Tankmobile. Holy **** does this game rely on the Tankmobile. The tank shoot-em-up gameplay is rarely fun.
- The lack of boss fights is strange and ultimately disappointing, leaving for some underwhelming conclusions. Colin Moriarty of Kinda Funny put it perfectly, it makes sense that Batman doesn't have a boss fight with all of his enemies because he is significantly better at combat than most villains. Catching a certain villain and having that be that makes sense. But with the Arkham series' pedigree of boss fights heading into this game, it's bizarre that it hardly has one.
- The total number of villains was underwhelmingly compact. I was left waiting for certain villains to show up. They didn't. And the villains they did include weren't well incorporated into the main story as Arkham City's were.
Overall, I'd give the game a 9/10. It was amazing with what it did right. I just wish that the Tankmobile was used significantly less and that more villains popped up. It's tough to rank Rocksteady's trilogy but I would say that Arkham Knight is the worst, which isn't to say that it's anywhere near bad. Arkham Asylum was probably the best game but had a major flaw with its ending. I like its isolated nature. Arkham City was flawless but just entirely different. Arkham Knight controls and looks the best and might have the best story, but has its deep flaws.
True Detective Season Two
It's ok. Well put together, nothing special. People who are saying that it's bad must not watch NBC or CBS very often.
Persona 4 Golden
When I bought my PS Vita for $200, I had a plan of never buying one game. With more than a year's worth of "free" PS Plus games saved and ready to download (and the collection steadily grows), I never really feel the need to go out and actually buy a game. But there is one game I've had my eye on for a while: Persona 4 Golden. I've never played a game in the series before but I've heard that it's one of the best JRPG's ever made and by far the best game the Vita has to offer. I saw it for $20 new at Gamespot and just had to pick it up. I'm five hours in and I already love it. Like, where has this game been in my life? It's like the opening of almost any JRPG (Kingdom Hearts II, Final Fantasy IX, Legend of Legaia, Ni no Kuni) but all the time. In some ways. It might be weird to say this, but I can already tell that it's going to be one of my favorite games. The music, the characters, the turn based combat, the exploration, the mystery. This game just the game I've been looking for for a long time. I can't stop playing it.
That's all for now. I don't know how much longer I'll be on the sight. Maybe I'm in a slump or maybe I'm just losing interest in blogging, but I'm at a loss of creativity right now. That, and I've been busy. We'll see. I've always wanted to end my long Gamespot journey with one last blog series followed by a goodbye. I'm just wondering what that blog series is going to be. We will see. Until then, thanks for reading and please comment :)