Lucien’s First Take: MediEvil – Announce Trailer

Something I’ve been really enjoying are these complete remastering of classic games that I grew up with.  The Spyro original trilogy is coming out soon and I can’t wait to play it.  There was the remastering of the original Crash Bandicoot games, which was fun, albeit with some of the same flaws intact.  The dedicating to keeping these games in the spirit of their originals but with visuals that are out of this world has been admirable.  Now it seems that another game that I loved from yesteryear is getting the same treatment- MediEvil.

This is a franchise that I figure a lot of people have forgotten about.  The quirky adventures of the derpy knight Sir Daniel Fortesque, I remember first being exposed to the original in the form of a demo on my cousin’s PS1.  It was so much fun!  Taking a lot of cues from The Nightmare Before Christmas, the aesthetic and gameplay were great.  It has a style all its own, but was forgotten about by gaming, until now.  The remaster has been announced, now let’s see it.

We begin with the upbeat, lively music.  These games were never self-serious, and if you took them that way, you’re doing it wrong.  And nowhere is this more apparent than when our hero makes his entrance.  That derpy face.  It’s adorable.  I love this guy.  The trailer gets right into showing us the action, which is nice.  I prefer trailers with gameplay.  This game is a hack-and-slash, which is conveyed.  The environments are just great.  The aesthetic from the original hasn’t been lost in this remastering.

Next up, we have some great back-to-back shots showing the original versus this version.  It’s glorious!  Just like the remastering of Spyro, I cannot praise the visuals enough.  This game looks fantastic!  Even the puzzle-platforming has gotten a boost in the looks department, which is just fine by me.  A montage of the action, and it finally ends with a cut to the title.  Then we get to hear Sir Daniel’s derpy voice.  I love this guy.  He’s too adorable for words.

I am stoked!  This game has already gone to my list of Top 10 Most Anticipated Games of 2019.  Working on that for the end of the year.  So much to be excited about.  Back to a classic hack-and-slash adventure with one of gaming’s forgotten heroes.  Can’t wait.

Initial Verdict
Arm up, Sir Daniel!

Peace out,

Maverick

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Lucien’s First Take: Aladdin Trailer (2019)

You know what I hate?  Modern Disney.  Modern Disney has lost every ounce of the creativity that old-school Disney had.  Their creativity hit its last peak in the 90’s, and after that it’s all been downhill.  Now, because Disney is so devoid of creativity and desperate for quick bullshit that they can cash in on because they need to get pools of money that they can dive into like Scrooge McDuck, we have live-action remakes of their biggest movies back when they were animated and cool.  And they have, without a SINGLE EXCEPTION, sucked.  Badly.  They are all terrible.  The worst offender among them is the live-action version of Beauty and the Beast.  A film that proved that not only can Emma Watson not act, but she also can’t sing.  Go figure.

Since Disney is out of creativity, they also decided that they should take the time to shit on the legacy of Robin Williams as well, and make a remake of one of their best animated films, where the late actor was able to bring so much to it.  His role as Genie is iconic.  But hey, that’s just how it goes.  I guess Will Smith will get a crack at it.  The idea of having to hear him sing “Never Had a Friend Like Me” makes my cringe muscles go out of control.

However, they have finally released a trailer.  Before this, there was the poster for the film, and I will say that if there is one and only thing that they did right in this, it’s that the lamp looks cool.  That’s it.  Now, let’s watch the trailer for this movie and see what the damage is.

We begin on what is, admittedly, a very cool shot of the Arabian dessert.  Sand dunes are always very beautiful to film.  While the heat and I are not friends, part of me would love to see that scenery in person someday.  But we have this terrible orchestral version of the song that begins the animated film, “Arabian Nights.”  Oh Groj.  Not holding up well and we’re only a few seconds in.

Then we cut to another shot of the dunes, but look!  A CG city in the background!  Oh boy!  Obvious CG is obvious.  It’s not even well integrated.  It looks so out of place in this setting.  We get a closer shot, with CG parrot who I am going to assume is Iago.  It’s a safe assumption.  And just like every CG character in all the live-action versions of these movies, it looks bad.  These films really have hit a high mark in all having consistently terrible CG creations.  That’s almost impressive.  Not a single film stands out in any real way for quality CG characters.  Maybe it’s because I am just so conditioned to this shit and it has gotten to the point that I don’t take this shit seriously anymore.  Oh how I long for the days of practical effects.  Would it have been that hard to train a real parrot to fly around?  I guess they couldn’t do that over a CG environment where everything looks fake.  The bird would get lost in front of a green-screen.

We get to hear the voice of the Cave of Wonders!  Oh boy!  The creepy cave that appears from the dunes because of a weird magic beetle thing.  So how bad is this CG going to look?  The irony is that it was CG in the animated film, and I guarantee that will have looked a million times better.  Wait, what?  It’s a regular cave, but with glowing eyes?  Then how, exactly, has no one gone to get that lamp before?  If this cave is just sitting there waiting, then how has no one gone in there?  The voice-over tells me that only the “diamond in the rough” can enter, but if the place doesn’t open, then that rings hollow.  I’m sure that the cave disappears without some terrible CG effect.  I was right, though.  The Cave of Wonders in the original film, with dated CG, looks better than this.  Can nothing impress me in this trailer?

Oh look!  CG cave!  With CG treasure!  In an entirely CG backdrop without a single bit of an actual set!  Wow!  That’s so fake that the fakeness of it is leaping right off the fucking screen at me.  We get the title in that iconic font, and then we have Arab main character guy reaching for the lamp, which, as I said before, does look cool.  There.  I found one thing that impresses me – the lamp.  Congrats, Disney.  Some underpaid artisan worked really hard on a cool piece to go with a terrible movie.  Kudos to that craftsman.  Whatever you paid them, it wasn’t enough.

This looks so fucking stupid.  This is the next entry in the creatively bankrupt Disney corporation, who is so desperate to just cash in instead of taking risks.  Gotta love.  Of course, these films make bank, so I guess the retarded American public eats this shit up too.  So I get to be in a wonderful minority of people who see all these truly amazing films languish on the vine, while endless dreck like superhero films and whatever cash-grab remake, reboots, sequel, or live-action version has the intellectually-void public paying money for.  This country needs to fucking die.  Not kidding.

Initial Verdict
I’m so sorry, Robin Williams, that Disney wants to shit on your legacy

Peace out,

Maverick

Lucien’s First Take: Cyberpunk 2077 Gameplay Reveal

Here’s a game that I’ve been keeping a cursory eye on, but haven’t really gone into too much because I didn’t know exactly how I felt about it.  I was not the biggest fan of CD Projekt Red’s last game, The Witcher 3.  Not because I thought it was bad.  Far from it.  I just didn’t have much engagement because it’s connected to a franchise with a TON of lore and story baggage that I had no connection with.  So while it objectively was fantastic, I was bored stiff because of that.  However, here we have a new game with a connection to a franchise that has more to do with pen-and-paper RPG games than anything else.  So it’s basically a blank slate, and CD Projekt Red has promised the lore will be flushed out.

Still, it was something of a distant look until I FINALLY got around to watching their REALLY long game-play reveal.  I’m going to be putting the video here so you can follow along, but it’s 48 minutes long.  If you don’t have the time, I understand.  Instead of going through bit by bit, I’m going to talk about the things that really stick out to me.  Let’s get down to it.

We start off with this really cool narrator telling us that we get to customize our character.  I am all about this!  But looking at the character select screen, can we ditch the pixelization over the fun bits, when it is so obvious they are wearing underwear?  I am nine kinds of in love with the aesthetic of this game.  It lives up to its namesake.  The menus all have that retro-futuristic appearance, and that just tickles me pink.  As an hardcore fan of Blade Runner, this warms the cockles of my heart.

It’s also pretty great that we get to set up a ton of stuff in respect to our backstory, and the narrator says that all of this stuff plays a role in how our game plays.  For once, I am almost positive this is on the level.  After all, it’s CD Projekt Red we’re talking about here.  Definitely hoping the customization options are deep.  I want to turn my character into someone wholly unique.  I also love me some scars and some ink, so hopefully I get a ton of those to play with as well.  Kinda hoping we can add more ink as the narrative goes along.  Looking at the stats, I am definitely gonna be a tech person, with a focus on infiltrator stuff rather than combat.  The narrator says there are no pre-selected class systems, so you can choose how you play.  I dig it.

We see our first mission, and get to rescue a woman who is butt-naked from a bathtub filled with ice.  Again, CD Projekt Red, and they have a pedigree of not shying away from the swanky stuff.  They are European, after all.  I say that all devs should be European and Asian.  Americans are too pussy to go the distance like this.  After the first mission, I see our girl waking up with our comrade.  The narrator says that relationships are something you get to make on your own, and I’m glad about that.  Don’t get me wrong, Jackie is a badass bro.  I could do missions and shit with him all day.  But not sure he’s fuckable material.  Also don’t know if he is that guy for male and female character.  Makes me wonder what the differences will be between them in terms of options for relationships.  Is sexuality a set in stone thing, or is that open to character choice?  Lots of things to think about.

This apartment makes my inner cyberpunk nerd squeee a little.  So much yes!  Suddenly wanna hit up Deckard and see if we can find some replicants.  I couldn’t help but notice in the armory in her place that there is a slot for a fucking katana!  I want my katana!  Wanna hack some people up.  Or, because I am really favoring the subtle infiltration style, I wanna be able to silently kill people with it.  Customize the blade a la Metal Gear Rising.

Heading out of the place, the city looks unbelievable.  Some definite inspiration from Dredd, but that is just fine by me too.  The inhalers thing clearly came from that as well.  So many people tagged.  Was really hoping we’d to get see inside the weapon’s shop.  Seemed that dude has a quest to offer us too.  Getting off at the elevator, I see there are a ton of vendors.  Here’s my question – how many of these people can I visit?  There is a guy selling music, and that definitely appeals to me.  Vinyl records.  Love it.  Had a person in my life who has vinyl, as well as a player.  It’s pretty good stuff.  Makes some kinds of music sound more real.  Everything is so processed now.  The narrator talks about how believable the city is, making the team sound very “humble” in the process.  Whatevs.  With how beautiful this game looks, they’ve earned some bragging rights.  Street cred, as the game has it.

As we meet with the provider of our next mission – Dexter DeShawn, I’m seeing that the game has a broad array of groups that we get to interact with.  There are the corporate people, the criminal elite, the smuggling types who are involved with this mission, and since there is a crime scene we walk past, potentially the cops?  One of my favorite parts of Fallout: New Vegas was how many different groups there were that you could get involved with.  All of which changed how the ending played out.  Makes me want to play with the politics of this game and see where that takes me.

We get our job from Dex and go to our ripperdoc to get some cybernetics.  Here is where I am so stoked.  The trailers for this game have had things like a woman who removed her entire jaw while doing her makeup.  How far can I go with this?  I saw a post saying that if you over-cyborg yourself, it does affect you over the course of the game.  Still, eager to find that fine line.  Or at least see what kinda crazy shit I can get.  The narrator says we can get illegal cybernetics that let me do all sorts of bananas shit.  Hell yeah!

The driving in this game can go from third to first-person.  I would probably do third-person, if for no other reason than to take in the gorgeous landscape of this game.  Really itching to see the night cycle.  Narrator said the day and night cycle are dynamic.  Oh how a man can dream.  When we’re negotiating with the corpo bitch, I can’t help but notice that the language in this game is so foul.  Kinda love it.  After all, the word “Punk” is in the name.  Foul language goes with that territory.  Just watch any of the great films in that class.  Not the cyberpunk class, but punk.  Lots of foul-mouthed assholes.

Player gets their job, which results in them heading over to the Maelstrom hide-out.  The first thing to notice about this guys is all the tech integration.  It’s freaky.  The narrator tells you that you can choose how you go about missions.  I am all about that.  I want to be an infiltrator, of sorts, but wouldn’t mind taking the approach of being able to talk my way out of a bad situation.  Though, not sure it’s worth it with the creepy borg people who have all the glowing eyes and shit.  The head dude looks like he ripped out the front of his face to replace it all with tech.  That’s creepy with a capitol C.

We get some stuff showing off cool combat abilities, but that’s just window dressing for me.  Especially since this person isn’t into the whole tech angle the way I want to be.  They are into the engineer side.  Neat, I guess.  After blasting your way through, you get out, only to be met by corpo bitch.  She tells you that this is how it is, and you head over to Dexter DeShawn’s club to make the drop-off of the creepy spider-drone.  Why did we not have the drone assisting us in combat?  That’s so weird.  We took the time to get it up and moving, but not explore how it can help me out?  So weird.

All things considered, this looks awesome.  For a long time, I’ve wanted to feel like I live in the world of Blade Runner, and now I get the opportunity.  We’ll see what happens next.

Initial Verdict
Jack in my brain, ripperdoc!

Peace out,

Maverick

Lucien’s First Take: DOOM Eternal – Phobos Gameplay Reveal

Have I talked about how awesome 2016’s remake of DOOM was?  Because it was!  It was the coolest fucking thing in a VERY long time.  A great meme that I saw on Twitter surmized it like this –

Dark Souls – You’re put in a room with a bunch of demons

Doom – A bunch of demons are put in a room with you

That game is fast-paced, it’s combat is slick, the violence is visceral, and the plot isn’t half-bad.  The way it left on a cliffhanger had everyone wondering what was going to be next.  And we didn’t have to wait long.  Two years later, and Bethesda shows off their next look into this new franchise, and holy fuck is it awesome!  I didn’t cover the trailer at E3, because while that was cool, it didn’t show me much.  And I didn’t cover the first gameplay trailer that had the pretty funny line about not calling the demons by their name, instead calling them “mortally challenged.”  That was cool and all, but it felt like more of the same.  But now we’ve gotten something else, and holy fuck balls!  I love it.  Let’s see the trailer, then we’ll talk about it.

It opens with us seeing Doomguy walking into a room full of people, and everyone who looks upon him seems like they are shitting their pants.  As they should be!  Because getting in Doomguy’s way is a VERY bad idea.  Then we get some poor, scared bastard who has the key to the door in our way.  Yeah, we decide that he’s going to wheel in his chair over to that door, with us dragging him by his neck.  I love it!  Then we have these two guards, one of which is telling me I can’t be here.  Oh yes, I can!  By the way, nice gun.  Mind if I borrow it?  As if we care if he says no.

Then we get into the action.  I couldn’t help but hear the computer say that the “Slayer” has entered the facility.  At first, I thought it meant me, since the original game has the Hell logs calling me the “Doomslayer.”  But I think it’s talking about someone else.  Does this mean there’s someone who can stand toe-to-toe with me?  This intrigues.

This gun is awesome!  My least favorite weapon from the last game was the pulse rifle.  It seemed useless to me.  But this weapon puts that shit to shame!  The pulses from this weapon blows the demons to bits!  Plus, there seems to be an effect on nearby enemies hit with it.  I am liking this more and more.

After blowing some enemies to bits, we get teleported into another room, where there is a Baron of Hell wreaking havoc.  In this battle, we learn some neat things.  For starters, instead of just hitting the guy, we are blowing pieces off him.  Alright.  Plus, his ground pound attacks have a very definitive area of effect, but there is a nice way to counter-act it.  I was sure that I saw earlier Doomguy doing some kind of dash maneuver, and you see it again here.  Makes it look like you can use it as a kind of strafing move as well.  That’s pretty slick.  The speed of the fights is taken to 11 for this game.

Once we get out of that fight, we go back to a weapon that I had as my old stand-by in the first game.  The gauss cannon with the scope attachment was the premier weapon I had for bigger targets.  Seeing it again is nice, but I saw something this time.  It seems that it doesn’t have the same ammo as the pulse rifle.  Yes!  It was so frustrating that so many weapons all had ammo pools shared with other weapons.  If they got rid of that for this game, all the better!  Let me be able to go through my full arsenal before having to rip out the chainsaw and getting an ammo dump.

During this next fight, we get to see that one of the attachments of the regular shotgun is to use it as an assault rifle.  That’s awesome!  I love it!  And when we attacked a Mancubus, we could blow its arm off!  So, does that mean that all enemies have destructable parts?!  Color me impressed!  Bethesda really has gone the extra mile here.  Not to mention, this new integrated flamethrower attachment is really something.  Being able to watch your enemies scream as they burn, with you able to blow off pieces of armor to refuel your own is pretty cool.  Lots of little touches with this new game to make the pace even better.

Finally, we get to the door, and it seems we are introduced to this “Slayer.”  I get that it is meant to be badass, but something about it doesn’t feel that way to me.  To me, it just looks like a more amped up Imp or something.  But there is something that caught my eye – we got the sword back from the original game.  As I remember, when you get to the end of that game, Samuel Hayden takes it from you as he sends you through the portal back to Hell, with a farewell indicating that he knows he will eventually see you again.  That intrigued me then.

It was strange for Samuel to turn on you.  He went through all the trouble of finding you, and bringing you to Mars.  He was almost loving over your sarcophagus, yet turned on you in the end.  But his saying that he knew he would see you again caught my eye.  As did him saying he isn’t the villain of the story.  Was there something he knew about everything?  Part of me is looking forward to seeing him again.  Hopefully the game doesn’t fuck around with some half-assed him already being dead storyline.

Overall, this looks awesome!  The action is faster, the weapons are better.  Do we get that sniper rifle from the last game?  You see the red troopers using it, and it looked pretty sweet.  I was hoping to get a crack with it.  Since the assault rifle still has scope capabilities, probably not.  Bummer.  That thing looked fun.  It has changed up the formula just enough, and knowing that I will be among humans makes me even more stoked to see what happens next.

Initial Verdict
Time to kill some Hellspawn!

Peace out,

Maverick

Lucien’s First Take: A Plague Tale: Innocence – Gamescom 2018 Trailer

Holy shit!  Where has this game been?!  I’m normally pretty on top of nerd culture, but this one totally snuck up on me.  And now that I have seen the unveiling of it, I can’t get enough.  This has sky-rocketed from a game I have never heard about, to me desperately hoping it comes out in 2019.  I know it won’t be this year, since the phrase “Work in Progress” is at the top of this video all the time it’s up, but a man can dream, right?  Much like a lot of the games I have been stoked for, over the years, it begins with us seeing a decent snippet of gameplay.  Going in not having known anything about this, I was giddy to see more.  It kept me enraptured from first to last.

Part of me wishes all games did that – introduce themselves with a long gameplay bit, then have the story trailer and whatnot to get me into the narrative.  If they can find a way to work both in, that’s great.  And for those who want to call foul because of how I said that I like how Kojima has done with his new project, there’s a difference.  I expected what Kojima did.  He likes the secrecy.  And this trailer was in the same vein.  The gameplay was more in depth, but it didn’t spoil the whole experience for me.  It tantalized me enough to want more.  That’s what a good trailer is supposed to do!  There’s a lot to talk about with this, so let’s get into it.

We begin on a boat, with a boy who looks to be in his early teens steering, and an young woman who is holding a young boy.  The lad is sick, and she is concerned.  This companion, introduced as Lucas, seems to be a very knowledgeable sort.  She asks him about the nature of the brother’s disease, and he imparts information from alchemists.  From their conversation, I can gather that the parents of the two passengers are dead, and Lucas is not a family member.  So what is the nature of their relationship?  An interesting question.  Over the course of the trailer, we see that he is quite dedicated to the two.

I’m also curious as to what disease the girl’s brother has.  The title of this game has Plague in it, but I get the feeling that it isn’t The Black Death.  If that were the case, then he’d probably be fucked.  Does take a touch of the realism out when Lucas explains that it can have effects, depending on the person.  As if this is some supernatural thing that will give him super-powers.  I am kind of hoping not, because as this trailer goes on and we see how it looks grounded in realism in a lot of ways, it makes the description of the illness seem far-fetched.  Of course, it may just be that it is a folktale and the kid really does have a very bad illness.  Kind of hoping so.

Once we get past the cutscene into gameplay, we find out that the place they are heading is French.  So this game takes place in Medieval France?!  Alright!  This makes me happy.  Their accents go with it, I suppose.  Lucas knows enough about this kid to know his name – Hugo.  Alright.  This tells me that there is some connection between the two sibling and Lucas.  Enough for him to be very brotherly and it feels natural.  The visuals in this gameplay bit are unbelievable!  It genuinely does feel like I am in Medieval France on a very foggy day.  Getting a sense of place like this is just astounding.  I also caught that we have the Roman numeral V and a title.  So this is the fifth chapter of this story.  That’s interesting as well.

As we journey down the river, I can’t help but notice there is some banter between the girl and Lucas.  She cares for his comfort, and he talks with her like they are close enough to be open about that.  It’s an interesting hint about their dynamic.  Curious to see who Lucas is to the two of them.

Hugo finds himself a British shield and sword, pretending to be a knight, but the girl and Lucas are immediately alarmed.  Why would that be here?  The answer doesn’t take long, as the smell of death greets them.  At the top of the hill, they see the source – a battlefield, full of rotting corpses.  The detail again comes to mind, and you can feel the horror of countless dead bodies, all around.  It’s clear that girl wants to go around this, but Lucas tells her they have no choice, if they want to get to the Chateau.

What follows is a brilliantly told bit of exposition through gameplay.  You can feel their horror, having to climb over the dead to get away from the nightmare.  Hugo feels like a real kid, asking silly questions to the person who is the adult in his life at the moment.  Coming up to the corpse of a horse, the situation goes from bad to worse.  Rats burst out of the rotting carcass, and now they are surrounded.

Then we get to see a gameplay feature.  You can loot the environment, and fashion weapons out of what you find.  It’s a simple crafting mechanic, but it makes sense.  We also see that the girl’s weapon of choice is her sling.  After fashioning some incendiaries, you find you can use them with the sling to fire volleys at flammable targets.  Light keeps the rats away.  Odd, but whatever.  I’ll go with it.  There are also some cool environmental puzzles, like using a trebuchet to assist in lighting more fires.  We also find that the girl, Lucas, and even Hugo are involved in solving these puzzles.  That intrigues me more.

I’ve said before how little touches in these kinds of trailers go a long way for me.  Little signs that the developers show special attention to detail.  One thing I noticed is that your torches burn down, if they are just sticks of wood.  The kind enclosed in metal don’t, but that little touch goes a long way to selling me on the realism.  It’s good stuff.

A human enemy comes into play, and here shows off a couple more mechanics.  Not only can you use long grass to hide in, but she can also use her sling to target either human opponents, or their stuff.  Like when you use it to break the lamp the guard is using to keep the rats away.  Whats follows is, what I’m sure in real life would be absolutely horrifying, the rats tearing him to pieces.  His screams sound real enough.  Lucas finally says her name.  I think it was Alysia?  Correct me if I’m wrong.  It’s also interesting that you can use the rats ripping other enemies to pieces as a way to charge past them.  This game looks so fucking grim!  I love it!

We get more environmental puzzles, this time with siege weapons.  I cannot get over how amazing this looks.  The siege tower is full of arrows.  Looks like it was headed for a wall we can see behind, but never quite made it.  Here we get to see that, since it’s clear she’s not made for battle, when enemies catch sight of you, your best option is to send some stones flying from your sling, straight at their heads.  Naturally, the rats tear their corpses to pieces, giving you an in to get inside the siege tower.

Since stealth definitely seems to be the name of the game, using breakable jars to lure guards away is smart.  Giving you the chance to shatter their lamp and let the rats go to town on them.  It’s such a disgusting way to deal with your enemies.  I genuinely do love it.  After pushing a siege weapon and getting it stuck in the mud, you realize that not only does tall grass factor in, but so do other environmental hazards.  I kinda like that.  Makes you wonder what ways they will integrate that into the narrative.

Alysia gets to have this neat bit where she follows an English soldier who has a torch, in order to get close enough to get one that is on a cart.  That tells me that there is going to be a lot of clever sneaking in this game.  I love it!  Again, little touches like that go a long way.  She’s not a warrior, after all.  The best she can do is use her small size and padded feet to stay silent and move among those who are dangerous.  The game helps you keep track of the positions of her enemies by having a kind of white border on the side they are facing.  I like that too.

There is this other nice way of the game telling you that you can only be stealthy.  Notice the metal helmets that they are wearing?  That’s a nice way for the game to tell you that their heads are protected.  If they find you, you’re fucked.  No ifs, ands, or buts.  And the guy has a torch on top of a pole, which means that you can’t break it.  The only choice you have is to sneak.  The player here is smart, realizing that they have to ditch the torch and head into the tall grass to sneak past.

It seems that even the dead can be of some use, as there is a wonderfully grotesque puzzle of using dead French soldiers as food for the rats to sneak past.  It also gives us a nice little bit with Lucas being very kind and telling Hugo to stay close to his sister.  I like this character more and more.  The trailer ends with a knight who appears to be trapped begging to be helped, only for you to use him as living bait for the rats, so you can escape.

This trailer is DARK!  I cannot love this enough.  I am going to be reading all I can about this game, to learn everything I can about when it will be released and what other media will be put out regarding it.  Sure, it’s easy to make comparisons to this game and titles like The Last of Us, but the setting and character give it all it needs to stand apart.  Not to mention the fact that stealth is the only tool you have.  There is no shanking or fist-fights.  All you can do is hide, use the environment, or the sole weapon you have in order to stay alive.  This looks awesome.

Initial Verdict
Cannot wait to see more!

Peace out,

Maverick

Lucien’s First Take: Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown – E3 2018 Trailer

Here is a number that slipped my radar during E3 this year, and now that I have seen it, I really want to talk about it.  Something to know about me – I loves me some fighter sim games.  The Rogue Squadron games were my jam on previous consoles, save the third entry.  That game had TERRIBLE third-person shooting segments that were just the worst.  The Ace Combat franchise has a dear place in my heart.  It is a game where they set it in an alternate universe so they don’t have to address real-world politics, but in a universe that has fighter jets in the same way that we do.  Both myself and a girly-mate have loved these games.  For her, it is serious wish-fulfillment.  She always wanted to be a fighter jockey, but after a medical issue that has left her unable to speak, she can’t join up.

Now we have a new entry in this franchise, and it seems I am a little late on the bandwagon because they’ve put out other trailers before now.  Well, I’m here now, and this new trailer has me all giddy inside.  Let’s take a look.

We open on some dark, very Soviet-sounding music.  I like it.  We have a brief shot of a skyline with the sun, and it gets my heart pumping.  This is gonna be good!  It then takes us to a series of hangars, each with a different aircraft inside.  This makes me happy for a couple reasons.  For starters, they clearly want to show off how good their birds look, which is just fine by me.  But this makes me wonder – am I gonna get to have a hangar where I can customize my bird?  I really, really want that.  These games are definitely more Air Force, but since I have a girly-mate who is near and dear to me in the Navy, I am hoping to customize my bird to show some Navy love.

Then we’re taken to some amazing shots of the terrain that I’m sure we’ll be fighting in, and a voice-over comes on to tell us about the score that’s coming in this game.  Alright!  Let’s do this!  She says first that the unit we are with is a penal unit.  Interesting.  So, this nation is getting prisoners to fight for them?  That is interesting.  It’s an unusual premise.  Seeing our birds on the move, and we learn that our character is a nameless new prisoner that this woman believes has a lot of potential.  We also get to hear the commander of this squadron telling me how I have a call-sign for the air, and it’s my prisoner number.  A grim situation.  Getting more giddy.  The birds take off, and we get to see them fly!

Some amazing shots of the sky from the cockpit of our bird, along with a kind of aircraft that is different than the ones we’re flying.  A kind of sky fortress.  That’s cool.  I remember the old boss-fights in these games.  This could be interesting.  But we move to what everyone wants to see – gameplay of dog-fighting in the air.  And this looks amazing!  The visuals are so badass, and it feels like you are right in it.  Some of these fights are at higher altitude, some of them are closer to the ground.  The ones closer to the floor are the ones that freak me out.  A place where altitude is a constant worry and you have to be aware of that and your enemy.  Yes!  I like it.

Meanwhile, we have another voice-over telling us that the slashes on the tail are indicative of our crime level, and that we can work them off over time.  So, this nation gets prisoners to fight for them, with the idea being that if you do well enough, you get your freedom.  Cool!  Lots of things to like.  One last shot of the base, and the person in charge telling us that we’re expendable.  I’m in!  Let’s get in there!  As there are rumors that this game is delayed until 2019, I guess we have to wait until Gamescom to see more.  I cannot wait!

This franchise has never been huge, but the following is loyal.  As for me, getting another chance to jump back into the cockpit is just fine.  Let’s do this!

Initial Verdict
So close, yet so far!

Peace out,

Maverick

Lucien’s First Take: TITANS Official Trailer

The edge here is…adorable.  This is the worst.  The absolute worst.  I’ve come to accept that DC’s live-action stuff is never going to aspire to be anything other than a complete shit-show (Wonder Woman being good doesn’t change that.  If anything, it makes it worse because we realize that there is at least ONE person who knew how to do this right, and now they get crushed under the weight of DC’s ineptitude), so I might as well be able to laugh at how bad it is.  A live-action version of Teen Titans?  Okay, let’s see what the damage is.

It’s even worse than I thought.  We start with seeing who I am going to assume is Raven.  And she looks…so not fitting.  I get the feeling she was a character who would be born having resting bitch face all the time.  She was a nice character, but her demeanor is off-putting because she clearly doesn’t like people.  This character, and her TERRIBLE hair dye job, looks derpy.  That’s one Teen Titan that they’ve shit on.  Let’s see more.

Next up, we’re introduced to Robin.  And he is…angsty.  Okay.  Guess he learned his gloomy lessons from Batman.  And yet, when a bunch of thugs ask where Batman is, his response? “Fuck Batman!”  Oh my Groj.  This is every angsty teenager who slits their wrists cross-wise for attention.  Wow.  Plus, I can’t help but notice he is horrible maiming and murdering people.  That’s interesting.  So, are ANY of DC’s character going to not be serial killers?  I guess a moral compass isn’t part of the DCEU’s MO.

We cut to them showing off that Raven has powers, and it looks even worse.  The black eyes effect just makes her look ridiculous.  Is there a reason they couldn’t have gone with her eyes going all white?  I’m genuinely asking here.  Because that eye effect just looks terrible.  I’m gonna be saying that a lot with this post.  It just looks terrible.  Everything looks terrible.  And she’s a scared little bitch.  This bugs me.  Raven was angsty and kinda dark, but she was never this little scaredy-cat character.  I always liked her, growing up.  A character with some depression issues that had cool friends.  It spoke to me as a teenager, after my head injury.  This trailer sucks so bad.

Finally, we get to Beast Boy and Starfire.  The latter is another character with a TERRIBLE hair dye job.  He looks like every Tumblr male feminist I’ve ever seen, except he’s Asian, so I guess he bucked the trend that way.  I only see pathetic white dudes in that role.  But what the HELL have they done to Starfire?!  I had to look this chick who is playing her up.  It is a genuine talent that DC has to be able to take a character who’s hot, and an actress who’s hot, and make them ugly.  That takes talent!  I’m impressed!

Finally, we the big action montage, with the tagline – Inner Demons Will Come Out To Play.  “Why don’t you understand me, mom!”  That’s all I hear when I see shit like this.  This is the worst, and it’s kinda great.  It’s proof of what a flaming shit-show DC has become, and with shit like this, all it will ever be.  But you wanna know what really blows my mind?  DC thinks that people are going to pay a subscription fee to watch this bullshit.  What?!  What moron would pay to watch this garbage?!  DC is being run by delusional idiots who want to cash in on comic book nerds.

The people in the comments saying that this show is gonna be great and all the people who don’t think so are just Marvel fanboys need to shut the fuck up.  This is trash.  This is complete garbage without any redeeming qualities whatsoever.  The effects are laughable.  The character designs are the worst I’ve ever seen.  But more than any of that, it has this adorable edge to it that just tickles me pink.  What a giant pile of shit.

Initial Verdict
DC taking a shit and telling people it’s good

Peace out,

Maverick