Lucien’s First Take: The New Mutants Official Trailer

Twentieth Century Fox has really shown that they are willing to take insane risks with their properties.  First it was with Deadpool, then it was with Logan.  The first was a very light-hearted and violent film that never went too hard-R.  The second was a grisly and very grim film that went insanely hard-R and didn’t shy back from the violence.  I really like that.  This new film has decided to take another strange turn, into an avenue that I honestly never saw a Marvel film taking before now, and I am so desperately hoping it is financially successful, so other films can learn from this example.  Now they are going straight-up horror.  I find this fascinating.  There’s a lot to unpack here, so let’s get into it.

We begin by seeing shots of a dark establishment.  There are lots of gravestones with code numbers that are very reminiscent of the ones the kids had in Logan.  We have “We Don’t Need No Education” playing in the background.  Is the idea that this place is a school?  An odd choice, but I’ll go with it.  There is a woman grilling a small child, asking if she has ever noticed strange things happening.  Then the question comes up – have you ever heard of mutants?

This leads me into wondering where in the timeline this film takes place.  Part of me figures that it takes place in the same universe and timeline as Logan.  It fits.  After all, how else would you explain the fact that no one seems to know what a mutant is?  Society has forgotten about them.  They’ve been dead for a generation and now we have new mutants coming along.  Lots of cool implications there.

It cuts to the doctor talking to a new kid about the fact that baby rattlesnakes are more dangerous than adults because they can have more deadly bites.  Interesting.  A metaphor for the fact that children are more dangerous than adults?  Neat thought process there.  Get to meet a couple more mutants, including a blonde girl.  The doctor says that these children are dangerous, which leads to one of the kids hearing noises come from a washing machine.  The kid gets closer, until a hand slams onto the door and flames come out.  Okay.  Lots of questions.  Why was that kid in there?  Why are flames coming out?  This is weird.

Then it gets to the montage of stuff, and this is where it got my attention.  The aforementioned doctor is all cut up.  Okay.  One of the mutant kids has blood on her finger and then faces start meshing through the walls.  Interesting.  A kid describes this place as not a hospital, but a haunted house.  That line is kind of dumb, but at least it informs the idea that this place is painted as a place of healing, even though it’s much more likely that it’s some kind of Weapon X type facility.  There’s someone in a weird mask.  Horror movie trope #1,000,000.

We see more and more chaos surrounding these mutants.  What interests me is the idea that if it’s the kids themselves or something outside them.  So maybe this film takes place before any of the mutants from other films are discovered?  Like, these are some of the originals and now we’re seeing the chaos they are able to cause because no one knows how to stop it?  Lots of interesting questions here.

Here’s the thing – a comic book themed horror film is a fantastic idea.  That’s what Ghost Rider should have been.  I genuinely believe this idea could work.  The thing is that this trailer doesn’t tell us much.  Especially if the film wants to go hard-R.  Please tell me it does!  You know what this film needs – a Red Band trailer.  We need to know if it’s going as twisted and dark as its predecessors have.  Please tell me does.  Please let this be a film that takes all the balls 20th Century Fox has gotten with their darker superhero films and runs with it.

But my worry is that because this film doesn’t have the name recognition that Deadpool or Logan did that people will ignore it.  They’re releasing this in April.  What a random time.  I for one mean to see it.  I need to know.  Hopefully all of you do too.  Let’s not let a potentially interesting idea languish on the vine.

Initial Verdict
Intriguing

Peace out,

Maverick

Advertisements

Lucien’s First Take: Left Alive – First Gameplay Trailer (2018)

What do you get when you take some of the creative minds behind the Metal Gear franchise and team them up with Square Enix?  You get a game that is set in another game’s universe, and seems to combine action, survival, and mechs.  The concept behind this game is “action survival,” a unique premise that has a lot of potential.  The world looks grim and depressing, set in a kind of alternate universe Croatia, with multiple EU’s battle for supremacy using mechs.  Not much is known about this game from the trailer, but it’s got me intrigued.  And I guess I won’t have to wait too long.  For just now debuting this game, they aren’t making players wait long.  Hopefully that means some cool trailers in the not too distant future to see what kind of game this is.  Let’s talk about it.

We start off with a quote from Fyodor Dostoevsky.  He’s written many times about the nature of war and man, with the implication always being that we are violent animals and that hope is a fool’s errand.  Nice.  We see this quote is well-used, as we see a violent battle taking place in a snow-filled Eastern European nation.  A giant mech with giant bullet casing falling to the ground is blasting apart a target while a soldier in armor is on foot by its foot.  The text seems to implicate that humanity is nearing its end because we have learned nothing and continue the endless cycle of killing.

From a mech we see a character who definitely looks the part of a haggard Russian stumbling out.  Is this a protagonist?  An antagonist?  Who can say.  The details are spare here.  They definitely seem to be dismayed as they look upon all the destruction around them, only to look up and see helicopters carrying mechs ahead, looking to continue the battle.  Alright, so we got some grim imagery and themes at play about war and the nature of mankind.  You can see the Metal Gear influence here.  I am digging this.  Especially as Konami has decided to have their flagship series now have unicorn zombies.  What a fucking joke.

Then we see what little gameplay footage there is.  A lot of darkness, hiding, and sneaking.  I get the feeling being a tiny human opening fire on a mech is a bad idea.  This is very interesting stuff.  If people who have worked on the Metal Gear franchise are using that sort of gameplay in a game about mech warfare, that can only lead to good things.  Very excited to see what comes out next about the game.  We shall see.

Initial Verdict
Intriued

Peace out,

Maverick

SIONR/Lucien’s First Take: Sky – Teaser Trailer (thatgamecompany)

My favorite Indie game of all time is Journey.  It was made by thatgamecompany.  They’re a company with a penchant for doing unorthodox things with the medium.  They prefer artistry and unique control schemes.  Whether it be the abstract yet undersea quality of flOw, the pure visual poetry that was Flower, or the absolute narrative and visual perfection that was Journey, this company has shown that they will take good concepts and run with them in strange ways.  I’ve been waiting to see what their next big game was going to be.  Well, the wait is over.  They’ve released a trailer.  Let’s take a look!

Alright, so we got this character who looks a lot like the hooded nameless character in Journey.  They seem infinitely more spry and happy than him.  Alright!  So where does this game take place?  You open up and see this massive island in the sky!  Oh hell yes!  The visuals on this game are a cut above. Our character glides down, and there are others!  Lots of others.  So I’m guessing a multiplayer component much like that in Journey, on this time with more people.  That’s cool.  It’s pretty clear that this game is taking a lot of cues from its predecessor, but that’s not at all a bad thing.  After all, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

They take off from a platform and we have flying mechanics!  Oh hell yes!  But the trailer’s over?!  That’s not cool!  I wanna see more!  They totally got me salivating.  Alright, let’s watch to the end and see if they have a release date.  Since this company has been pretty tight with Sony up ’til now, I’m not worried about being able to get it on my PS4.  So when will it be coming out?!

I’m sorry, maybe I didn’t see that right.  “Coming Soon to Apple iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV.”  Are you fucking kidding me?!  What the fuck is this shit?!  Not only are they making it exclusive, but it’s exclusive to shitty Apple products?  It’s not even specific to a console, but their shitty mobile products?!  What the fuck is this shit?!  I’m seeing articles by Polygon where they’re saying it will come to Apple first.  Where is the basis for first?  I looked on the website and on statements by the devs.  Everything points to this being exclusive to those outlets alone.  I’m not seeing anything about a wider release.  This is bullshit!

Look, I get the idea of exclusives.  I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I’ll never get to play Cuphead on my PS4, even though it looks absolutely fantastic.  That’s just how it goes.  But why the fuck is it exclusive to this crap?  What if I don’t want to fork over the money for this?!  What if I don’t want to have to shell out hundreds of dollars for crappy Apple products to play a game from my favorite company?  I’m sure that Apple paid BIG dollars for this neat little scam.  Well fuck.  I guess I’m not going to get to play this game then.  Because I don’t want Apple’s overpriced devices or their fucking overpriced TV.

I’m kinda curious what happened between thatgamecompany and Sony.  They always seemed to be tight.  I wonder if there was a falling out.  Maybe Apple offered more money?  If that’s the case, then I bet my bottom dollar that the games they make for the foreseeable future will be exclusive to their mobile garbage too.  Well fuck you, Apple!  You won’t sucker me into buying your second-rate phones or TV that will break and I have to shell out even more money for a replacement.  Nope!  It genuinely hurts to see this be how my time with thatgamecompany ends.

Initial Verdict
Fuck Apple

Peace out,

Maverick

Lucien’s First Take: Tingle Trailer Pre Alpha

There are days, growing in number, when I think that the real failure of GamerGate was that we gave a platform to the stupidest and most corrupt part of video games.  After all, the disgusting, amoral horse-face known as Brianna Wu is running for Congress.  Can’t wait to watch her get destroyed in debates.  We also gave the talentless hacks like Zoe Quinn a platform as a “game developer.”  Because if her choose-your-own-adventure “game” Depression Quest didn’t show you what a great talent she is, then the fact that she has a new Kickstarter project that has over 2,000 people who have donated should give you pause.  What is this project for, you ask?  Well, why should I tell you, when I can show you instead.  The phrase cringe-worthy is so overused these days, but it’s so fucking fitting.  Get ready to cringe until you have no capacity left to cringe.

Let me put this in context for you – 2,000 people have donated to this.  That’s right, at least 2,000 people wanted to see this.  That is assuming Quinn didn’t use sock puppet accounts to make it look better than it is.  We learned that she will use sock puppet accounts to get what she wants.  Like during that very mature fight she had with Candace Owens.  However, let’s give this madness the benefit of the doubt and assume that over 2,000 people actually saw this and were like, “yeah, this seems like a worthwhile cause.”

What will they be getting for their money?  Well, I’ll tell you – this insane bullshit!  A full-motion game that didn’t learn from the fact that full-motion games were universally terrible.  And what is this game about?  Well, as we learn from the opening scene, it’s about pounding ass!  That’s right, this game apparently is about the “Tingleverse” where gay sex abounds and I’m assuming Tom Cruise is working at a fudge factory packing fudge.

I, I don’t get this.  Who is this appealing to?  Who thinks this is funny?  What’s the joke?  That you can draw dicks?  Okay, I guess.  That we have people in weird costumes being gay together?  That we can get talentless hacks like Mara Wilson, Jim Sterling, and Willy Wheaton to be in this?  Wait, is that Dante fucking Basco?!  How far you can fall from Avatar: The Last Airbender to this insipid crap that has gotten thousands of dollars raised.  I think it was over $80,000 as of my last checking the Kickstarter page.

And it’s gay erotica?  Is the idea here that all these people just decided that they would do something stupid just for the fuck of it?  If that’s the case, why would 2,000 people decide this was worth giving their money to?  Fuck it, I’m calling it, this is Zoe Quinn with sock-puppet accounts.  I’m sure Willy and his succubus wife gave sizable donations, but I think the bulk of the small-time donations are from Quinn using sock-puppets to falsely inflate this product.

Maybe the goal here is to get on gamers nerves so she can say, “look at those losers!  They’re all mad over this stupid thing?!”  I’m not mad, Zoe.  I’m…what was this made for?  I don’t get it.  Who finds this funny?  What was the funny part?  Mara Wilson being in a chair talking about gay sex?  That’s not funny.  Why didn’t they get Gail Chord Schuler to do it?  She’s shown to be pretty damn good making gay sex funny as fuck.  Look up her book “Jesus the Eternal Bridegroom.”  Her reads of that book is the greatest thing ever.  Still have fond memories of that on the Drunken Peasants.

Nothing in there is funny.  I half-expected to see Steve Shives in this.  I guess this is where the talentless’ careers go to die.  We have washed-up celebrities like Wesley from Star Trek, Mara Wilson, and Chris Kluwe.  And I am fucking shocked that they got Dante Basco to do this.  Did his career suddenly die off as well?  Did he peak with his last role in cartoons and now is just playing out the string?  We already knew that Jim Sterling sides with the sex SJWs, so him supplying the voice to a monkey isn’t the shocking.

I’m just trying to understand what the goal was here.  To see how many idiots and their money could be parted?  Did they want in on that piece of Anita Sarkeesian pie?  Why wasn’t she helping out with this?  Actually, scratch that.  My opinion of her has immediately improved because she has more self-respect than to join in with this crap.

Nope.  I give up.  This is the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen.  It will never get dumber than this.  The SJWs will think they made me mad or are hoping for some gamer to get their knickers in a twist.  They haven’t.  It’s like they decided to make something about gay sex in the hopes of getting people riled up so they can say, “They can’t take a joke!”  Didn’t work.  I’m not riled up.  Why?  Because I honestly can’t understand the motivations here.  If I understood what they were going for, maybe then I’d be mad.  But I don’t, so I’m not.  Wow, what a complete waste of my time.

Initial Verdict
“You’re in a fudge factory packing fudge.  You’re a fudge-packer.”

Peace out,

Maverick

Lucien’s First Take: BioMutant: Gameplay Trailer

I first heard about this the other day, when a leaked image showed a one-eyed cat person holding a sword.  And immediately I wanted to know more.  2017 has been kind of a slow year for gaming, but it’s clear that the best is yet to come.  2018 already has some big things in its roster.  There’s the God of War reboot, Insomniac’s Spider-Man game, and now we have a game which is being advertised as a kung fu game with furry creatures, guns, and mechs.  All of these things sound good to me.  And this trailer, while definitely leaving me wondering a lot of things, has at least got me intrigued.  Let’s take a look.

We begin seeing a little robot grasshopper.  That’s kinda cute.  It hops away to its master, a furry creature waving its hand over a pool of what looks like nuclear waste.  I’m assuming the title ties in to that.  What is the story with this universe?  I’m hearing that it’s some kind of post-apocalyptic sorta place, but that doesn’t jive.  There are places in this game’s world that look like real world dilapidated places.  Is the story here that the mutant ooze turned animals into kung fu furries?  You know…I can dig it.  This game clearly is meant to make little sense, so let’s go with it.

Our little furry friend then has a giant furry monster show up looking to mess up his day.  Pulls out a pistol, but that doesn’t help.  Then we see him whip out a katana and charge it up.  Game on!  But really, the gameplay section is the part that got my attention more.

There are good parts, and there are bad parts.  The good parts are the environment.  This is definitely not maximum fidelity, but you know what, that’s fine by me.  I kind of miss the undercooked look of RPGs from back in the day.  Has it really been so long.  And it won’t be too demanding on my hardware.  Still got the first generation PS4.  I also know that high fidelity doesn’t always mean great content.  My favorite game of this year is perfectly capable of running on the PS3 (which it was also released on) and was damn-near flawless.  I’m willing to give this game a chance.  But the water looks amusingly low-tech, not gonna lie.  Oh well, the sunsets are glorious.  Plus, seeing how you get around is very fun.  You can fly in giant dirigibles, use gliders that remind me of the one Aang had, or even board a jet-ski!  Very nice.

I love this little section where you have your furry friend inside a mechanical hand walking around and then transforming into a finger pistol and shooting things.  It’s a sign that this game isn’t going to take itself too seriously.  Have mechanics that are silly and maybe a little stupid.  After all, is the finger robot wind-up?  That looks like a wind-up thing on its back.  Cute.  As is how some of the little furry friends you come across method of speech.  Seems they are taking cues from 90’s platformers, like Banjo Kazooie.  Interesting.

Something that does make me wonder is the combat.  How is this going to work?  What are the mechanics?  They are saying this game will use martial-arts, gunplay, mech combat, and customizable weapons.  That’s am ambitious roster to have.  I honestly wonder how that will pan out.  Is there a HUD?  If this game is trying to hang its hat on deep combat, getting to see more of how that worked would have been nice.

All-in-all, I’m curious.  An open-world RPG with furry creatures fighting with katanas, guns, and mechs has all the ingredients for one hell of a game.  Apparently the studio making this is THQ Nordic.  Didn’t THQ go under?  Someone let me know what the story of this is in the Comments.  I’m gonna wait for reviews, but I think this game is going on my Most Anticipated Game of 2018 list, when it comes out.

Initial Verdict
Promising

Peace out,

Maverick

Lucien’s First Take: Marvel’s Spider-Man 2017 E3 Gameplay

I meant to talk about this months ago, but I am finally getting around to it, because there is a lot to unpack.  Here’s the thing about probably 95% of superhero games – they suck, or are really mediocre.  Especially the ones licensed to films.  Licensed games are the worst thing under the sun.  After the SNES and Sega Genesis, they were all nothing but crap.  So when I heard that Insomniac is making a Spider-Man game that is officially licensed by Marvel, I was groaning.  I mean, Insomniac games are awesome.  They made the Ratchet and Clank games, which are awesome.  But a superhero game to come directly from Marvel?  This has bad idea written all over it.  This year at E3, however, they released a gameplay trailer that has taken all my skepticism and destroyed it.  It looks awesome, so let’s take a look at it now.

Right out of the game, the visuals for this game are amazing.  The level of detail is just perfect.  It’s pretty standard, for a modern console game, but you know what, it’s great.  Definitely hoping we can either customize or get new suits for the web-slinger, but I do like this suit.  Not too worried about that.  Switchable suits has been a standard for Spider-Man games since their inception, so it’s all good.

The control scheme for this game looks pretty simple.  I can clearly tell that almost all of it will be about staying above your targets.  The stealth elements look absolutely phenomenal.  One of the things I always thought was kinda dumb about Spider-Man games is that they don’t take advantage of the elements of getting enemies from above.  Sure, his suit ain’t exactly made to sneak, but you can still hit an enemy from above without them seeing you coming.  Since Spider-Man never kills his foes, we don’t have to worry about non-lethal runs of the game.  Exciting stuff.  The controls for getting back up to beams or on top of objects are taken right out of the Arkham games.  No problem with that whatsoever.  It’s totally fitting for our friendly neighborhood hero.

We also get to see some potential gadget stuff in this game.  Another thing I am digging that seems to have come straight out of the Arkham games.  Desperately hoping that they don’t just copy that formula beat-for-beat though and give you some freedom to customize the stuff you use and be able to craft specialty stuff.  Really wondering how the leveling up system is going to work.  You also can use the environment to fuck up enemies!  That’s awesome!  I love it.  Later on we get to see that done even in combat scenarios.  Manipulating the environment in active combat and not just for stealth is a break from the mold they clearly are going off of, and I think that’s a great one.  But the stealth aspect of this game is really something.  Not gonna lie, the more potential I have to be stealthy, the happier I’ll be.  It’s my favorite way to play a game, and it looks like I get to scratch my itch here.

Then we get our first peek into the combat.  Now here’s something where I want to elaborate on how this game is using the Arkham formula.  A lot of people are saying that that’s unoriginal, but you know what, I think it’s goddamn brilliant.  There’s a reason why.  When you fight, it’s clear that you are using the same kind of system they used in Arkham to dodge enemy attacks before they happen.  To me, this formula makes even more sense for Spider-Man than it did for Batman.  Why?  Because of the Spider Sense.  That talent gives him the ability to see what’s about to happen when danger is close.  He gets an almost perfect ability to perceive incoming problems and react to them.  So the indicator system from the aforementioned series is perfect for that!  It also lets you dodge machine gun fire, which, for those who read the comics, is something that Spider-Man could do when he’s at his best.  Since this game isn’t attached to any film or thing like that, keeping it true to the comics is kind of awesome.

From there we get some stuff with a helicopter that shows this game is also taking cues from the old God of War games with quicktime events.  Not gonna complain about that either.  Clearly they are doing the concept right.  Kinda curious to see what all this “HEX” stuff in that clearly is some kind of energy.  This should be interesting.

This game went from being something I figured wouldn’t be worth my time, to one of my most-anticipated games of 2018.  That’s pretty awesome.  Let me know what you all think down below.

Initial Verdict:
Hyped!

Peace out,

Maverick

Lucien’s First Take: Westworld Season 2: Comic-Con Trailer

My friend Maddie got me into this show just recently.  I got HBO Now on my phone because I refuse to miss the latest season of Game of Thrones.  I figure paying $15 for a month is worth it.  I will be paying $15 again when I reactivate it for this.  Westworld is awesome.  Such a compelling narrative, dark science fiction, a world that is both intriguing and horrifying.  And there are so many unanswered questions about the nature of the universe that series takes place in.  Like, where is this park located?  They talk about orbital launches in the series, so is this in some kind of space station?  I refuse to believe that they were able to clear out some massive part of the midwest in America for this astronomically-huge park.  Or if they did, I want to know how.  With all the unanswered questions at the end of the first season, as well as a climax that took me completely by surprise, it’s time to go back in to see what happens next.  And it just so happens that HBO gave me a lot to think about with their latest trailer.

Just so you know, I am going to go into MAJOR spoilers for the last season, so if you haven’t seen it, I cannot stress enough – stop reading here!  Go watch it, then come back.  Trust me, you won’t regret it.

We begin with the iconic piano of the series.  But now the paper that made the music play has blood all over it.  It cuts to Bernard, standing by a river looking down at something.  It has the stripes of a tiger, but maybe I’m just seeing things but it looks like it has the face of a bear.  What is up with that?  A strange shot to include in the trailer.  Perhaps a sign of things getting out that they were experimenting on?  I have some thoughts about that, but let’s keep going.

Next there’s some dude hanging by his feet from a tree, swinging back and forth desperately trying to reach a gun on the ground.  Is that one of the guests from the end of last season?  I’m assuming so, as the entire robot staff had been brought back to life to exact some truly psychotic revenge on them.

Then it cuts to a shot of the facility’s control center.  It seems that absolutely everyone is dead here.  We see the pussy-ass British guy and my least-favorite character, Maeve, going through the mess.  Is the implication that she is the one who killed everyone?  That’s weird.  The only two Hosts who were free in here were dead by the end of the last season.  But since it’s been established that they have Hosts working in there, perhaps they decided to rebel with the rest.

Back to the world of the park, we see some of the Guests from the end of the last season on the run, with some of the Hosts running them down and killing them.  Evan Rachel Wood is back in her Wyatt persona, seeming to take great delight in making short work of the Guests.  More carnage inside the saloon at Pariah.

The last thing we see, though, is what really interests me.  A couple of vehicles dispatched by what I am assuming is security for the park, with Bernard driving with them!  So, is he siding with the Guests in this conflict?  That genuinely interests me, considering he had as much reason to hate them as any of the other Hosts.  That one shot has gotten me hooked more than anything, and I cannot wait to see the answers to what will happen next.

Lastly, a shock-moment – Ed Harris’ character is still alive!  HOW?!  I would have thought that Dolores/Wyatt would have ripped him to pieces for what he did.  How many Hosts are there that have been itching to have a piece of him?  Despite being a twisted fuck underneath it all, I did kind of like this character, once his motivations are fully explored.  Seeing him still breathing just amazes me.  He’s covered in blood, but alive.  Man am I stoked!  At the end he even appears to be starting to smile.  Whatever is pleasing this twisted bastard must be amazing.

What are your thoughts?

Initial Verdict
8 out of 10

Peace out,

Maverick