Sunday, May 22, 2016

Comic Book review: Tokyo Ghost, Volume One: The Atomic Garden

Despite cover art that might evoke thoughts of Akira and Mad Max, Tokyo Ghost falls nearer to the themes explored in Ghost in the Shell, with a presentation that teeters towards Tank Girl and Robocop. It is an extremist vision of a future controlled by one corporation, a world run into the ground with pollution and technological addictions. At the center of this story are Debbie, one of the few citizens of mega-city Los Angeles who has remained clean, and her boyfriend, constable Led Dent, a tech junkie who is known as feared as the most effective of enforcers in L.A.

Led Dent frequently tracks down those who have tried to cheat his employer out of money, or those who seek to upset the twisted dystopian order of the city. And Led carries out many of his jobs with extreme prejudice, destroying mechanical and organic obstacles alike. Debbie, meanwhile, does not think so highly of L.A., nor does she care much for Led’s employer, but she sees the jobs as a necessary evil, a means of escape from this world drowning in its own addictions and misery. While Led’s hulking form and beast of a motorbike play into much of the series visual ‘pop’, Debbie’s bright pink and purple color scheme denotes her livelihood, her hopes for a better tomorrow, and the fact that – even in such a rotten city – her soul is still filled with love for Led.

The series explains that, many years prior, Led Dent was a kid named Teddy. Debbie and Teddy fell in love, but as the world went to hell in a hand basket around them, Teddy felt weak, unable to protect Debbie, or himself, for that matter. Teddy subjected himself to a number of implants in order to become the gargantuan and fearsome Led Dent, but in doing so, sacrificed his soul and much of his free will. Seeing Led constantly jacked in to a series of radio and television feeds as he carries out his missions, Debbie is determined to get him clean, to bring back the boy she fell in love with, by escaping to Japan, rumored to be the last country on the planet devoid of technology.

The environments in Tokyo Ghost display and absurd attention to detail. Many signs and company names can be picked out from any single one of Tokyo Ghost’s cityscape panoramas, while the lush greenery, tranquil waterfalls, and feudal buildings of Japan present a stark contrast. It is a series that rides on the wilder side, with the gore and sex often being gratuitous to further drive home the notion that this future is controlled by selfish individuals whose concerns are not with the common folk. For those who grew up during the boom of cyberpunk anime and films, Tokyo Ghost may be worth a look. This first volume ends on a note that may leave readers a tad puzzled, even caught off guard. With that in mind, I feel it is worth stating that this is but the first act of Tokyo Ghost, and there is plentiful opportunity for the story to be elaborated upon in later volumes.

My rating: 8 (out of 10)

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Anime review: Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt

In similar vein to Gundam OVAs 0080: War in the Pocket and 08th MS Team, Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt presents a small scaled conflict that is but a sample of a widespread war. It spends ample time detailing the life and struggles facing both Federation and Zeon soldiers, with the former hoping that a prototype Gundam and one hotshot, self-absorbed pilot will grant them victory over a ravaged sector of space marked by the debris of abandoned space colonies. The main Zeon forces, meanwhile, stand out from the pack as being almost exclusively amputees, with their main pilot out to prove his worth in beating back the Federation forces, while also looking out for his friends and comrades-in-arms.

Gundam Thunderbolt is a very short watch. Four episodes clock in at less than twenty-five minutes a piece. But the series does not lack polish – following in the footsteps of Unicorn and The Origin, the digital animation nears movie quality, with a decidedly darker atmosphere to many environments, further playing up the desperate measures taken during the One Year War. This visual style is strikingly appropriate, given that Thunderbolt explores the motivations of the two lead pilots in great detail, as well as explores the horrible atrocities both factions carried out in hopes of securing their victory over what is essentially a mole hill compared to the ‘mountains’ of Zeon strongholds like Solomon and A Baoa Qu. If there was ever any doubt that both the Federation and the Zeons could be responsible for some morally questionable, unsettling tactics, you need look no further than Gundam Thunderbolt.

And that’s a large part of what makes Thunderbolt such a worthwhile watch; it packs a hard punch, with mature themes and few real ‘heroes’ in the mix. It also boasts an incredibly catchy, upbeat soundtrack that samples jazz, funk, and love ballads, all of which presents an eerie, yet wonderful contrast to the narrative themes at play. If nothing else, Thunderbolt is worth giving a shot for its Cowboy Bebop-flavored tunes, and worth sticking around for the escalation of power and subsequent devolution of humanity.

My rating: 8 (out of 10)

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Comic Book review: Deadpool vs. X-Force

A prequel of sorts to the original meeting of Deadpool and Cable in the mid-1990s, Deadpool vs. X-Force is a bizarre romp through American history, as the X-Force members seek to course-correct all of the problems Deadpool has left in his wake. Deadpool appears to be working for some mysterious benefactor, and has been assigned particular targets, as per his mercenary title. But he doesn’t seem to mind increasing the body count exponentially, shooting up and cutting down any confused soldier from the American Revolutionary or Civil Wars that gets in his way. Armed with an absurdly large arsenal including modern firearms and futuristic laser weaponry, Deadpool has a clear advantage in practically every scenario.

That is, until the X-Force begin pursuing him through time. And while they too have a host of future-tech and incredible powers at their disposal, their lack of familiarity with Deadpool at this point means that their approach is more cautious, with Cable ordering them to flank around Deadpool’s hiding spot in a manor and adopt a tactical strategy. However, the soldiers caught in the middle of this scuffle are nothing shy of confused and terrified, and so they end up firing upon Cable and the other members of X-Force, adding another layer of chaos to the entire ordeal.

The story moves along at a rather brisk pace, and as a result, the humor is sprinkled in at appropriate junctures or breaks in the action. Readers seeking a constant spout of jokes may not find this release as satisfying. But Deadpool vs. X-Force does well to balance the two portrayals of Deadpool most commonly witnessed in his comics – wacky, self-referential, lovable idiot, and borderline-psychotic murderer who gets a rise out of his bloody line of work. The majority of the jokes that are delivered in this collection are at the expense of Cable, his audience (with Deadpool refusing to offer any recaps on events, and suggesting that readers read the previous issues), and his creators (asking if perhaps they could paint black ‘X’s on the eyes of anyone he’s already killed, to make it easier for him to keep track of who is left standing).

Given its nature as a prequel, Deadpool vs. X-Force does not have much wiggle room with regards to its ending. It’s a conclusion that many will see coming, and despite it not being a wondrous finale, it’s acceptable. It would have been nice to see the other X-Force members be more active participants in this collection – Cannonball and Boom Boom take to the fight for a few key moments, while Warpath has a couple panels worth of fighting, and Domino seems to just be along for the ride. Perhaps my feelings toward Deadpool vs. X-Force would have been more positive had the series run another issue or two in length – it could have helped draw out the pacing a bit, and even added another backdrop or two for Deadpool and Cable to bring their duel to. Still, it’s a decent Deadpool story – certainly not the best outing the merc with the mouth has had, but far from the worst.

My rating: 7 (out of 10)

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Comic Book review: Spider-Man: Anti-Venom

While all-American Flash Thompson was running black ops missions for the U.S. government as the new ‘Agent Venom’, former host of the Venom symbiote Eddie Brock renounced his past life and sought to cleanse hurting individuals of their diseases and addictions. Under the new alias of Anti-Venom, Eddie Brock remains slightly unhinged, seeming to perceive himself and the Anti-Venom as two halves of a whole being. Despite his terrifying and alien visage or his lack of subtlety, Brock hopes to provide aid to those in need, especially when it comes to one young woman named Jenna.

Brock helps to get Jenna clean early on, but then enlists her help in tracking down the local dealers who led her to become a junkie, in the hopes that it will prevent others from heading down the same dangerous path. And while Brock does manage to find some small-time local dealers, he also discovers that the trail leads all the way to another country, where a well-connected drug lord lives. Brock ends up crossing paths with Frank Castle, aka The Punisher, who would similarly like to take down this cartel, but isn’t exactly the most trusting of Brock, being all-to-familiar with his past actions as the former Venom.

In the chaos that erupts between Anti-Venom fighting drug dealers, The Punisher fighting the same thugs, and the two antiheroes fighting one another, young Jenna is taken hostage and transported directly to the head drug lord’s well-guarded estate. Anti-Venom and The Punisher stop their fighting in order to track down this larger target – or at least, Anti-Venom does, as The Punisher still attempts to blast Brock away on a couple of occasions. Anti-Venom is shocked at these attempts on his life by Frank Castle, even frustrated, but he refrains from physically lashing out in anger, which presents some comical back-and-forth interactions between the two.

The pairing of Anti-Venom and The Punisher proves to easily be the highlight of this short-lived series. While Jenna is a central focus throughout, early issues make it seem as though something larger may come of her placing trust in Anti-Venom. Unfortunately, she proves less of a full-fledged character and more of a convenient plot device during the later issues. The pacing is rather slow early on as well, and the thugs lower on the chain prove to be pushovers in the presence of Anti-Venom. Even the final foe is an over-confident fool in the presence of Anti-Venom and The Punisher, which removes any real tension from the conflict, save for the well-being of the antiheroes in the midst of bombastic firefights.

My rating: 6 (out of 10)

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Anime review: Berserk: The Golden Age Arc

A retelling of the 1990s anime, Berserk: The Golden Age Arc consolidates those events into three films to convey the most well-known narrative involving Guts, Griffith, and Casca. It’s the most obvious jumping off-point for newcomers to the Berserk story, and would seem an appropriate first step in setting the stage for everything else within the Berserk storyline, though, until very recently, no plans to adapt the remaining volumes of the manga were apparent. As is sometimes the case with condensing series into a set of films, the pacing is not the same across the board, which might not be a major point of discussion, were it not for the fact that this element significantly impacts the quality of each of the three entries in the Golden Age Arc.

The first film does a solid job of setting the stage and introducing all of the key players. The supporting cast is shown to be a plucky bunch, with a couple of them being young and naïve, and one in particular being a bit more greedy and self-serving, but they all display a great deal of respect towards Griffith, leader of the Band of the Hawk. Due to his legacy having already been established before the first film even begins, Griffith come across as the most well-rounded and interesting character for this first of three chapters. Guts, meanwhile is given just enough development as a strong-willed warrior lacking any real direction in his life to allow viewers to latch on to him as the trilogy’s main hero, though most of his meaningful maturation will follow in the later films. Casca, meanwhile, first appears as something of a snotty spoiled brat, who, like her comrades, is also highly devoted to her comrades, but seems to bear a grudge against Guts from their earliest meeting.

A medieval setting is established, as well as how the Band of the Hawk are effectively mercenaries for hire, though tales of their victories have spread far and wide, and many of the trilogy’s villains recognize their record of success. There are mythical fantasy elements at play in Berserk, though these are not met in full force until the final film in the series. When Guts encounters one such beast at the end of the first film, it provides not only a test of his strength, but also offers an omen of events to come. This is the first in a series of key events, where the darkest of settings and most intimidating of encounters offer Guts greater insight into the nature of the world around him.

The first film does a solid job of putting all of the pieces in their rightful places, and though it does feel like it wanders from the straight and narrow on a couple of occasions, its pacing is overall appropriate – a far cry from the second film, whose bookends offer the only substantial moments of development for Guts, Casca, and Griffith. Mind you, when these events do come to pass, they are of great importance to the larger tale being woven between these three films. But the hour-long battle they sandwich is neither visually exciting, nor of significant importance to the narrative. The second film does well to take a step back from Griffith a bit, in order to better establish Guts’ ideals and ambitions, as well as prove that there is much more to Casca than meets the eye. This second entry ends on a high note for both of these characters, while still allowing them both plenty of development in the third and final entry, but the absurd span of empty fight scenes not only makes it a dull watch, it also leads the third film to feel rushed.

The Golden Age Arc is my first proper viewing of Berserk, though I’ve been familiar with Griffith’s endgame for many years. For those not aware of how the Golden Age Arc concludes, I will warn that some spoilers regarding the film’s most infamous of moments lie ahead.

The final film dives into some very dark territory, and sees Guts and Griffith part ways as anything but comrades and friends. For many years, I was under the impression that Griffith’s actions in the third film resulted from some tragic fall from glory, that he lost sight of who he was as a leader and hero to so many. Instead, it is a simple matter of him becoming upset over Guts trying to choose his own path in life, and Griffith not having complete influence over his actions that leads him to perform some horrendous atrocities. The climax for a character who proved so compelling during the previous two films ends up being an unsatisfying reveal of pathetic motivations.

And therein lies what is perhaps the greatest downfall of the Golden Age Arc – character motivations on the whole are either incredibly poor, unclear, or wholly nonexistent. Casca is the one major exception to this, offering the most human and believable reasons for joining the Band of the Hawk, for allying with Griffith, and for ultimately turning to Guts as her ally and lover. Guts, meanwhile, sees establishment as the main hero of the Berserk saga by the time the third film comes to its conclusion, but nothing beyond that is achieved. This trilogy feels like the first act of something larger, which may be fine for anyone wishing to carry on with the manga thereafter. There are elements of greatness at play in the Golden Age Arc, but the second and third films constantly deny these to become part of a more cohesive experience. The Golden Age Arc lacks any noteworthy resolution, and leaves viewers with an unsatisfying set of hanging plot threads.

Fans of the 1990s anime might not be so greatly bothered by these shortcomings. Guts, Griffith, Casca, and the remaining members of the Band of the Hawk are rendered with strong animation, while environments look equal parts gorgeous and haunting. Cel-shaded 3D models of knights in armor look a tad clunky and dated, but are generally not present outside of battle scenes, so they do not distract from the remaining visual appeal too greatly. If this trilogy is in fact the jumping off point for someone looking to continue indulging in Berserk by reading the manga, they may find decent value here – the films offer a handful of teases of characters and events that play important roles later on. But as a standalone trilogy, they feel like odd shoehorns. The fact that Guts does not fully come into his own as lead protagonist by the trilogy’s conclusion further sours the experience.

My rating: 6 (out of 10)


SUPERHOT is the most innovative shooters I’ve played in years. It relies on a couple of key gimmicks that bolster its success and fun factor, the most obvious being that time slows to a near-standstill each time that you, the player character, stop moving. Enemies freeze mid-jog, thrown objects hang in midair, and bullets push forward at a snail’s pace as you observe your surroundings and prepare your next move. You can attack foes with your fists, throw objects to disarm them and steal their katanas, pistols, shotguns, and rifles, and even make use of a new ability introduced late in the game to really mix up the formula in interesting and creative ways.

The story mode is not particularly long – it will last most players around two hours. There is a narrative thread woven in that, while not too greatly in-depth, reaches a satisfying conclusion within that limited time frame, and does very well to match SUPERHOT’s aesthetic nods to works like The Matrix, Killer7, and a dozen other action films/games. The white backdrops of office cubicles, a narrow alley, bar, mansion staircase, and parking garage all require different approaches, and forcing players to plan out their plans of attack as well as adjust on the fly is refreshing in an era when most shooters would opt for the simple ‘run-and-gun’ formula.

That isn’t to say that SUPERHOT is devoid of any flaws – there are a couple of stages where enemies are so tightly packed that the slightest movement of your character can cause you to end up in their line of fire, resulting in a retry of that stage. And the aforementioned gameplay mechanic that is introduced late in the experience (the nature of which I will not spoil, given how much it turns familiar strategies on their heads), does not see as widespread of use as it probably deserves. Still, predicting enemy movements is fun, gauging the distance between yourself and a red polygonal foe intuitive, and for a first outing, SUPERHOT is fun, responsive, and visually engaging game with its minimalist digital style.

For anyone turned off at the notion of a two hour story mode, fret not – there is plenty more to be explored in SUPERHOT’s additional game modes. Endless mode sends waves of increasingly well-armed foes your way, and asks you to take down as many of them as possible before they overwhelm you. There are variants of this mode that act as a time attack, or simply ask you to execute twenty kills in a row. Challenge mode, meanwhile, requires you to revisit the stages of the story with a specific weapon, like a katana, in hand, and asks that you kill all the foes with only that type of weapon.

Some of SUPERHOT’s stages will be easy to breeze through, others may require you a half-dozen attempts or more, as an unfortunate sidestep from behind a pillar could place you on the receiving end of a buckshot spray. But calculating enemy moves and besting them is a really satisfying feeling, especially when you get to view the real-time playback of your Hollywood bad-assery. There is a strange charm to overcoming a stage, leaving polygon thugs in a heap of shattered red gems, and hearing the repeating words: “SUPER. HOT. SUPER. HOT.”

My rating: 9.25 (out of 10)

Saturday, February 6, 2016

PC review: Lethal League

Lethal League is neither a particularly complicated nor expansive game. But it is a game that knows what it’s all about, and strives to offer an energetic and fun party format that pits players against one another in intense, high-stakes racquetball matches. Drawing its rule set from arcade fighting games and utilizing an experimental technopop soundtrack that would make Jet Set Radio fans proud, Lethal League is truly a one-of-a-kind experience.

The rules are straightforward – players try to smack a ball around a two-dimensional space in order to K.O. one another and be the last man standing. The ball is able to bounce off the walls, floor, and ceiling, and successive hits to the ball will increase its speed, which can reach an absurd velocity. It’s a risk-reward system – jumping in the ball’s path to smack it back at your opponent gives you a chance to knock them out of the ring, but at the cost of placing yourself in the ball’s path of destruction. Multiple hits from a single player will reward them a power move, which varies from character to character, but includes a bounce, the ability to stop the ball and relaunch it at a new trajectory, and even pass through the walls to strike from behind.

Each of the half-dozen playable characters boasts a different degree of mobility, speed, and agility, making the selection process prior to a match more complicated than simple aesthetic appeal. On that note, the characters bear cel-shaded designs with comic book sensibilities, while stages are largely urban, all of which matches well with the aforementioned soundtrack direction. Menus are simple but clean, and character animations on the whole look smooth. Hit detection is about as perfect as anyone could hope for in a game that falls into a such a grey area between genres.

While the default mode pits all four players against one another, there is an option for team-based matches. Lethal League even includes an alternate game mode that requires players to aim for targets instead of one another, though this mode is admittedly less enjoyable than the default scoring system on account of the tense risk aspect being almost wholly removed. A single player mode progresses in strikingly similar fashion to the Classic Mode of the Super Smash Bros. series, while online play is presented for players who do not have opponents readily available to play nearby. Lethal League may not be a very big game, but it knows what it’s aiming for, and – for the most part – hits high notes.

My rating: 8 (out of 10)

Anime review: One Punch Man

An energy-packed twelve-episode run, One Punch Man falls into the action and comedy genres, excelling at its delivery in both.  From the first episode, Saitama – aka, the titular One Punch Man – is shown to have immense, possibly immeasurable strength.  Each and every foe he encounters, from lowly street thugs to world-threatening foes that might as well be ripped right out of a superhero comic or sentai series, can be beaten by a single punch of Saitama’s rocketing fist.  While this might seem like an all-too-convenient trump card that would wipe out all of the series’ threats in no time, it’s Saitama’s outlook on his role as a hero that keeps both him and the larger narrative compelling through the finale.

            Saitama’s incredible strength has left him bored.  Each fight he gets caught up in is a cakewalk, and half the time he doesn’t bother to catch his costumed opponent’s name or really even pay attention to them as they attempt to overwhelm him.  Saitama is a self-proclaimed ‘hero for fun’, and finds it very odd when a young cyborg by the name of Genos wishes to train under him.  Saitama initially dismisses the notion of having a pupil, but is persuaded when Genos promises to help pay for rent and take care of chores around the apartment.  While Saitama’s gains from this partnership initially stem from his being selfish and a tad lazy, the two ultimately grow to trust one another, recognizing the strengths they possess both independently and as a team.  They forge a mutual respect, and Saitama begins to see that maybe there is more to being a hero than simply getting an adrenaline rush, though his quest to find a foe of a comparable strength to his own never ceases.

            Despite first appearing as an inattentive goofball, Saitama has a lot of heart and is willing to make some hard decisions that other heroes might hesitate on.  With regards to the other heroes, there is quite a large community displayed in the series.  Occasionally, other heroes will have a quick cameo, but for the most part, the other heroes return in later episodes.  This helps to make them feel more like rounded characters in a grounded organization, rather than simply being part of the scenery.  The designs of the other heroes do well to appeal to specific genres and eras in anime, without lending their outfits or hairstyles too closely to any particular series.  Though Saitama and Genos are the central duo to One Punch Man, a small collection of high-ranking heroes join in the fray late in the series.  Meanwhile, the C-class bike riding do-gooder known as Mumen Rider brings plenty of laughs to the table with his overconfidence against some of the series’ monstrous villains, though he too has greater character development than one might expect.

            One Punch Man boasts one of the most energetic and rockin’ theme songs from an anime in quite some time, and goes the extra mile in helping to set the tone of the series before Saitama is found staring down a fish man four times his size, an insect woman who spreads thousands of mosquitoes throughout the city to drain the blood from animals and humans alike, and a climactic face-off with an alien invader that gives any one of the major fights in Dragon Ball Z a run for their money.  The animation is great throughout, with the fight sequences proving obvious highlights, while downgrades to cheaper character renderings helps drive the comedic moments home.  The series ends with a satisfying wrap on all the major threats faced thus far, but a few threads are left hanging – a couple of which are introduced within the final couple of episodes, oddly enough.  Still, there is plenty of opportunity to continue exploring these heroes should One Punch Man get picked up for a second season.

My rating: 9 (out of 10)

Sunday, January 31, 2016

PC review: Fallout 4

After their release of the fifth major Elder Scrolls title, Bethesda has returned to the post-apocalyptic setting of the Fallout series, with Fallout 4 being set in the Commonwealth, formerly the area surrounding Boston. Fenway Park has been reorganized into the central hub known as Diamond City, and the cityscape is a hodgepodge of old New England brick buildings with towering paneled steel skyscrapers. Following the example set forth by Obsidian’s Fallout: New Vegas, Fallout 4 effectively allows players to roam freely once the hour-long run of tutorial quests has been cleared.

Prior to the core game taking place, players bear witness to life before the bombs dropped in the small suburb of Sanctuary. Character creation grants a great degree of customization options, including the gender of the protagonist, and for the first time in the series, the main character speaks to allies and enemies alike. After being visited by a Vault-Tec representative and reserving their space in Vault 111, the happy family life is interrupted as news breaks on the television of the first bombs dropping. Grabbing their infant son Shaun, the protagonist and his/her spouse run for Vault 111, and are sealed inside just as a mushroom cloud paints the horizon.

Inside Vault 111, the couple and their baby are ushered into cryostasis pods, where they are frozen in time to outlast the nuclear radiation above ground. However, the protagonist’s sleep is interrupted early after a small band of scientists and a raider crack the seal on their spouse’s pod, and kill them in a struggle to steal their baby. The protagonist is forced to watch helplessly as their child is taken away, and they are left as the only surviving adult in Vault 111, drifting back off to cryostasis-induced sleep for a bit until their pod is finally cracked open, and they are freed to venture forth into the wastes of the Commonwealth in search of their son and the individuals responsible for his kidnapping.

Fallout 4 suffers from a similar problem as The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, in that the main story doesn’t offer a particularly compelling narrative, and that side quests relating to the game’s various major factions are consistently more interesting, more widely varied in their offerings, and generally more challenging. Simply playing the main story missions will not last particularly long, and the ultimate goal of finding one’s lost son pales even in the company of bringing clean water to the people of the Capital Wasteland in Fallout 3. It is far easier to sink hours into establishing the band of regional do-gooders known as the Minutemen, helping human-like Synths who wish to escape their Institute overlords via a new-age Underground Railroad, and uncovering the twisted goals of Vault-Tec in the other regional Vaults.

While the option to roam largely wherever one’s heart desires early on is very much appreciated, the game world, though large, is still much smaller than other open-world contemporaries like Grand Theft Auto V or Xenoblade Chronicles X. Still, the Commonwealth is littered with many locations to discover, and exploration feels rewarding. Leveling up in Fallout 4 proceeds faster than in Fallout 3 or New Vegas, and Fallout 4 technically lacks a level cap. This is partially due to the much broader offerings of the perk system – classics like Bloody Mess, Lady Killer, and Mysterious Stranger make their returns, but a whole slew of new ones round out the list, and all serve comparably useful ends. The V.A.T.S. system, which slows time for players to hone their attacks to specific body parts on enemies, remains effectively unchanged from the last outing.

A core part of the Fallout series’ identity stems from its 1950’s retro-future aesthetic, while the games are also largely recognized for their dark humor. Bethesda has selected many catchy tunes for Diamond City Radio to broadcast, though a good handful of these songs are reused from Fallout 3. The humor in Fallout 4, meanwhile, is split quite evenly between dry, situational humor and the less effective instances of characters taking a none-too-subtle push of exclaiming just how much violence and death can be entertaining in this decayed world. It’s an unfortunate step backwards, as both Fallout 3 and New Vegas excelled at the much more engaging approach of ‘showing over telling’.

Fallout 4 also utilizes a small selection of dialogue options when interacting with quest-specific characters or companions. Generally, two of these options end up resulting in the same responses, while one is a negative response or decline of engaging in conversation, and the fourth and final option is almost always a sarcastic statement. The sarcastic options rarely add anything valuable to the conversation, while the three other options are often vague descriptors for the full sentences that your protagonist will ultimately dish out. Dialogue options that are colored in yellow, orange, or red are persuasive and threatening approaches, and their respective color is dependent on how far you have leveled up their associated perks. Nine times out of ten, though, it feels like the dialogue options serve more to boost your affinity ratings with companion characters than they do to progress whatever quest you are currently undertaking.

In a similar vein, Fallout 4’s quests and indoor environments are more linear in design than those in Fallout 3, New Vegas, or even The Elder Scrolls titles. While they may not be as expansive overall, these locations are much easier to navigate, reducing the likelihood that you will find yourself lost in some deep and winding labyrinth. The wait times as these areas load is longer than one would expect from a game of this generation, and Fallout 4’s bugs and glitches are plentiful. While I never encountered any hiccups that were game-breaking, I did find three or four glitches each time that I fired the game up – whether it was a stray bullet that ricocheted off a car and caused it to fly forward like a Frisbee, NPCs pushing one another around during dialogue sequences, full sentences being skipped for no discernible reason, or Deathclaws clipping through buildings only to launch sky-high and immediately die upon their return to the ground, Fallout 4 lacks a considerable amount of polish in this department.

Conversely, character models look quite good on the whole. Standouts include companion characters like Piper (whose animations are highly expressive), Nick Valentine (with a network of mechanical pieces visible through his cracked facial structure), and the Mr. Handy models (whose eyes are constantly zooming and retracting, while bobbing up and down, independent of one another). In fact, the companion characters are one of the game’s strongest points. While human-friendly Super Mutant Strong and canine pal Dogmeat operate almost exactly the same as their equivalents in previous games, Piper is a reporter determined uncover a Synth conspiracy in Diamond City, Nick Valentine is a slick trenchcoat-wearing private eye with considerable knowledge of the Commonwealth, Deacon is a ‘far-out’ beatnik master of disguise assisting The Railroad in their aims of freeing runaway Synths from the enigmatic Institute, and Curie is a pre-war Miss Nanny robot who fills the role of questioning ‘where do the lines between man and machine blur’ with her insistence on research and finding a way to be inspired beyond her programming. On the whole, Fallout 4’s characters are a nicely varied bunch, with a few being among the best the series has seen to date. Upon reaching maximum affinity levels with each companion, players earn an additional perk specific to that companion’s behavior, while some companions can even be romanced.

Helping NPCs on various quests can unlock new settlements for you to establish and build structures, defenses, workbenches, food, water, and energy. It’s a welcome addition that not only increases the play time value of Fallout 4, but also finally makes use of the various junk items you discover in your journeys. Cans, toy rocket ships, fallen trees, turret switchboards, old cameras, and many other assorted items can be taken to workbenches and broken down into base resources, which can then be recycled for constructing settlement necessities. While this settlement management system is neither the most fleshed-out, nor the most actively rewarding version of such an addition to an open-world game, it does bring something fresh and coherent into the mix.

Additional workbenches can be used to concoct health items, and customize weapons and armor. Pieces of Power Armor can also be repaired here. The iconic Brotherhood of Steel Power Armor functions differently than in previous games, effectively acting as a limited exoskeleton or vehicle, able to take its own damage before you yourself are physically wounded. Power Armor also runs on energy cores than can be gathered from generators scattered across the Commonwealth. The more of these cores in your possession, the longer you can make use of the Power Armor. Pieces of the many versions of the Power Armor can be swapped out and paired with one another, and there are many Power Armor frames in the Commonwealth to scavenge these pieces from. The Power Armor is especially useful for taking on stronger foes like Deathclaws, which appear more frequently in Fallout 4 than in previous games, and can also make short work of Super Mutants or Ghouls, two enemy types which travel in generally larger numbers than before. It is not uncommon for eight or more Ghouls to attempt to overwhelm players, while Super Mutant ranks often include one suicide runner who will attempt to rush players with a Mini Nuke in hand.

As is tradition for the series, Fallout 4 requires you to keep an even eye on your health bar and your radiation level. The higher your radiation level, the greater portion of your health bar it takes up, temporarily reducing the maximum level you are able to heal to until you are either able to find RadAway or pay a doctor NPC with the Commonwealth’s bottlecap currency. By and large, Fallout 4 feels surprisingly less the part of an RPG than its predecessors. It isn’t uncommon to find high level, specialized weaponry during one of your many quests, even during the game’s earliest hours. This sort of negates the need to hold onto common weapons for customization. The wide selection of perks is truly a high point of Fallout 4’s ‘play-as-you-want’ design, but the game feels more like an open-world adventure/survival title with a mild amount of RPG elements thrown in than a proper RPG.

My rating: 7.5 (out of 10)

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Anime Update: Iron-Blooded Orphans and Unbreakable Diamonds

As mentioned in my year-end posts for 2015, I did not complete nearly as many anime series in 2015 as I had hoped, despite my best intentions. However, I intend to make up for that in 2016, and I’ve already hit the ground running, finishing series that I started last year, and doing my best to catch up on as-of-yet-ongoing series.

First out the gate was One Punch Man, and that is almost certain to be the subject of my first anime review of the new year. I also viewed the second film in the Berserk Golden Age trilogy shortly after Christmas, and plan to follow up with the third film before the end of January. I will be reviewing that trilogy as a whole, as opposed to providing three distinct reviews for each individual film. For my first direct exposure to anything from Berserk, it’s proven decently entertaining, though the films are hardly consistent in quality, which is a point that I will cover more in-depth in my full review of the trilogy.

I’ve also devoted some time to the two latest Mobile Suit Gundam series, Iron-Blooded Orphans and the four-episode OVA known as Gundam Thunderbolt. While I only have five episodes of Iron-Blooded Orpahans under my belt, and there has only been a single episode of Thunderbolt released as of yet, I feel both are off to incredibly strong starts, and bring a wonderful mix of ‘something old, something new’ to the table. Meanwhile, I’m itching to get back to Ninja Slayer, as it was one of the most utterly bananas shows I’ve viewed in many years.

In April, the fourth part of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure will see its anime debut with the first episode of Diamond is Unbreakable. Stardust Crusaders crushed the competition in 2015, becoming one of my all-time favorite anime series. I can’t wait to see Okuyasu, Josuke, Koichi, and Kira animated, as David Production has done an absolute knockout job with adapting all of the previous parts of Hirohiko Araki’s long-running action/comedy series.

Other series on the horizon include Bubblegum Crisis: Tokyo 2040, Gundam Reconguista in G, season three of Sgt. Frog, and the original Mobile Suit Gundam. All of these are series that I have watched within the past year, but have simply been watching with a lower priority. But, considering that I am nearly halfway through each of them, and they have proven quite entertaining, by and large, I feel compelled to follow them through to completion.

Perhaps there will be other series that join the pool in 2016 – the Digimon reboot is something that I would like to look into, and Daisuki has proven a strong go-to website for the general variety and quality of anime it is hosting. Depending on the release schedule of Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin, it may also join the ranks of my 2016 reviews. And I have yet to view Tekkon Kinkreet, a movie that I purchased a couple of years back, and have neglected to pop into my DVD player, despite hearing only good things about it.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Top 3 Anime of 2015

While I did manage to start quite a few anime in 2015, I was not able to finish half of them. Part of this was a result of my attempting to juggle too many at a time, part of it was due to personal events outside of the blog that demanded my attention late this year. Despite this setback, I did manage to complete three series that stood as a cut above the rest. I’ve nearly finished two anime properties that I hope will kick my 2016 anime reviews off with a bang. Until then, here are me picks for the three best anime that I viewed in 2015.

#3) Mobile Suit Victory Gundam: Considered by many to be the height of series creator Yoshiyuki Tomino’s ‘kill-‘em-all’ presentations, Victory Gundam carries a melancholy tone - more so that most other Gundam anime projects - which provides a curious but surprisingly effective contrast to the positivity exhibited by young protagonist Uso Evin. The hand-drawn animation still holds up quite well today, and avoids reuse of stock footage whenever possible, only increasing the perceived production quality for its day. The efforts of the League Militaire against the Zanscare Empire mirror the fight that the A.E.U.G. took to the Titans in Zeta Gundam, while also harkening back to the severity of losses during original Mobile Suit Gundam’s One Year War. The mobile suit designs are at their most bizarre for a Universal Century setting in Victory Gundam, with many of the Zanscare Empire’s bearing insect qualities. There are a couple laughable moments of gaps in logic, but on the hole, Victory Gundam still holds up well more than twenty years after its original release.

#2) Lupin III: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine: A return to the flashy and upbeat action the series is known for, The Woman Called Fujiko Mine also displays a sultry, mysterious side befitting of the titular character. Effectively one of the earliest tales in the Lupin III chronology, The Woman Called Fujiko Mine focuses in part on how the classic cast first crossed paths with one another, but also explores Fujiko as a complex individual – the motivations behind her life of thievery, her sexuality, ghosts of her past, and the image others have of her versus how she perceives herself. While it certainly does not skimp on exciting chase sequences and zany humor that the franchise has become known for, The Woman Called Fujiko Mine treads into darker, more serious territory than most of its predecessors, to a mostly-successful payoff.

#1) Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders – Battle in Egypt: Building upon the already-stellar previous half of Stardust Crusaders, Jotaro, Joseph, Avdol, Kakyoin, Polnareff and newcomer Iggy face their toughest challenges yet from Dio’s Nine Egyptian Gods on their journey to defeat the time-stopping vampire. With each new installment in the Jojo’s anime series, the animation improves upon greatness, with wild color palette swaps, intense Stand battle sequences, and tactfully drawn-out scenes of drama and grief. This second half of the Stardust Crusaders anime adaptation wonderfully brings to life some of the most memorable encounters from the grander Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure storyline, balancing its action, humor, and mild horror elements with absolute perfection. Beyond a shadow of a doubt, Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders is the best anime adaptation of the classic manga storyline fans could have hoped for. The absurd attention to detail and labor-of-love conveyed through this series make it easily one of the best anime of the past year, as well as among the most masterfully-executed anime of a generation.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Comic Book Review: Captain America: Castaway in Dimension Z

Penned by Rick Remender, Captain America: Castaway in Dimension Z is a two-part storyline that reintroduces Steve Rogers as part of the Marvel NOW! comic run. Dropped into an alien realm ruled by the maniacal Arnim Zola, Captain America must escape a technological fortress and battle horrific alien tribes if he hopes to survive and make an escape home. Neon blues and purples decorate the bizarre backdrop of Cap’s new surroundings, and, in many ways, it feels like the First Avenger has been dropped into Remender’s other dimension-hopping series, Black Science.

Castaway in Dimension Z opens with a bang, and despite Cap’s ability to escape from Zola’s clutches, he ends up furthering the wrath of the Nazi-turned-robot villain by taking Zola’s artificially-created son with him as he escapes from the facility. The two encounter plenty of challenges over the many years they remain in Dimension Z – the monstrous wildlife is plentiful, and the two are nearly killed by a tribe of rock-like beings, only managing to come to peaceful terms with them thanks to a universal communicator that Cap has on him. But Cap did not escape Zola unscathed – he was infected with a technological virus that haunts him more and more as time passes, and Zola attempts to break Rogers’ mind.

Cap’s decision to take the boy (who he names Ian) from Zola, is brought into question as something of a morally grey action. As is later revealed, Ian was not the only child Zola intended to raise, but he did intend to brainwash both of them to do his bidding. Meanwhile, Zola’s virus torments Steve Rogers with questions of the justification of tearing the boy from his home, teaching him his own values and sense of right and wrong. As readers, we certainly know that Cap’s virtues will always trump those of Zola, but in the eyes of a child who has never known anything beyond this tumultuous and bizarre reality, it’s a lot to take in.

Less compelling to this narrative is Steve Rogers’ out-of-nowhere decision to finally attempt an escape plan after many years spent in this hellish domain, and a full beard grown. Certainly, Zola has many scientific monstrosities at his disposal, and storming his technological fortress is no small feat, but there is practically no explanation as to why Cap decides to wait until Zola’s plans for invading Earth are nearly complete before taking any sort of heroic actions. Visually, it’s an interesting setting to have Cap stranded in, and breaks from the familiar Hydra or A.I.M. bases that the First Avenger so frequently storms. Plot-wise, Castaway in Dimension Z is slow-going, and doesn’t offer many satisfying answers.

My rating: 6.25 (out of 10)

Top 5 Comic Books of 2015

In similar fashion to my year-end ‘Top 5’ lists for video games and anime, the stories detailed below are the five best comic books/graphic novels that I read between January and December of this year. Some of these series may have been released in years prior, but I simply did not get around to reading them until recently. Also, keep in mind that while comic book reviews are one of the newest additions to my blog, having only started in April of this year, that some of the earliest reviews posted here were of comics I read in 2014 or earlier, and are thus ineligible for making this list.

#5) All-New Ghost Rider: Perhaps the strongest debut in the Marvel NOW! launch next to Nova, All-New Ghost Rider sees teenager Robbie Reyes raising his younger, wheelchair-bound brother without parental aid in a rough Los Angeles neighborhood. Surrounded by frequent gang shootings, drug lords, and common school bullies, Robbie works twice as hard to earn money as an underpaid mechanic to afford basic necessities for his brother’s medical care. When he is granted the powers of the Ghost Rider, Robbie decides to try and clean up the town, and hopes to make it a safer place for his brother, himself, and increase the overall quality of living for locals who – whether directly or not – are affected by the criminal goings-on.

#4) X-Men ’92: Exactly as its name implies, X-Men ’92 is a trip down memory lane, as the cartoon counterparts of the classic X-Men team debut in comic book form as part of the 2015 Secret Wars event. An original story that takes place after the Brotherhood of Mutants have been defeated, the miniseries sees Jubilee, Wolverine, Jean Grey, Cyclops, Gambit, Rogue, Beast, and Storm reunited for one more adventure, as they investigate a suspicious rehabilitation facility run by one Cassandra Nova. Other faces drop in as well, such as the X-Force team, while the finale offers plenty of satisfying, slightly goofy homages to the X-Men history, and still manages to successfully tease future storylines, as X-Men ’92 has since been greenlit as an ongoing series post-Secret Wars. X-Men ’92 is strikingly self-aware, occasionally breaking the fourth wall to land a joke about the X-Men arcade game, or the 1990s censorship rules regarding what could or could not be said on a children’s television program

#3) X-Men: Age of Apocalypse: A bold reimagining of the X-Men universe from the mid 1990s, Age of Apocalypse details an expansive ‘what if?’ scenario, where Charles Xavier was killed by his unstable, time-traveling son Legion, leading Magneto to champion all of Charles’ ideals and form his own team of X-Men. As the years pass, Apocalypse rises to power, corralling humans into prisons and pens, only serving to further strain relations between humans and mutants. Despite all this, Magneto and the X-Men strive to help those humans still living in the futuristic dystopia created by Apocalypse and his four horsemen, and intend on striking directly at the villainous conqueror, no matter how greatly the odds may be stacked against them.

#2) Guardians of the Galaxy: The Complete Collection: Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning’s Guardians of the Galaxy run stands as the highest point of the already-superb Marvel cosmic renaissance of the mid 2000s. A broad cast of strange, yet oddly intriguing characters drive a plot that is just complicated enough to suck readers into to these spacey adventures, without getting lost within its own backdrop. This series stands masterfully on its own as the premiere cosmic Marvel storyline, while also acting as an effective bridge between the two Annihilation events and The Thanos Imperative finale.

#1) Black Science: A wild and unrelenting ride into outlandish realms and alternate realities, Black Science is bold; unafraid to mash vastly different scenarios together. Much of the series’ visual spectacle comes from equally fantastical and terrifying backdrops that include of a World War I-era battle between ill-prepared German soldiers squaring off against Native Americans who have repurposed hyper-advanced alien technology for their own needs, a tribal conflict between fish people and frog people on a moving island set on the back of a giant turtle, a society of territorial snow monkeys who are skilled in both clockwork and steam-based mechanicals, and a fallen Roman Empire where troops travel by jetpack while a virus has killed the majority of the populous. The plot, meanwhile, revolves around Grant McKay and his team of scientists, as they are stranded in these increasingly dangerous locales. One of the team members has broken the Pillar, the device that allowed them to make the initial jump through time and space, and as such, the series begins with all of them becoming suspicious and distrusting toward one another. The other significant conflict is Grant attempting to reconcile with his children, who have also been swept up in these events, over years of being emotionally and motivationally absent from their lives, and for causing his marriage to their mother to fall apart due to an affair with one of his co-workers. These interactions between the core characters ground the series in relatable terms, and the character progression therein is surprisingly satisfying. There are a few twists along the way, and the payoff of each proves worthwhile. Though there is still plenty to be explored in future releases, these first three trade paperback volumes do well to cap off what is essentially the first story arc of Black Science.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Top 5 Games of 2015

#5) Shadows of the Damned: Labeled as “a Suda51 trip”, Shadows of the Damned continues Goichi Suda’s legacy of grindhouse style, wacky humor, and exhilarating action. Demon Hunter Garcia Hotspur pursues his girlfriend’s soul after it is taken to the depths of hell, and squares off against a host of sadistic and twisted foes, armed with three different firearms that all handle quite differently but pack an oh-so-satisfying punch. Much of the game’s best banter results from Garcia’s edgy coolness and his transforming weapon/guide/friend Johnson. Shadows of the Damned isn’t afraid to experiment, throwing in bowling and pachinko minigames, a turret sniping section, and a couple of horizontal shoot-‘em-up sequences. Shadows of the Damned also delivers one of the freshest visions of hell seen in a video game in quite some time, with impossible spaces and outlandish visions of locations that could easily appear in the real world, were it not for the fire lake below a rock bridge or the hazy blue and black sky above.

#4) Fast Racing Neo: That hole left by the many years without a new F-Zero-style game has finally been filled, thanks to Fast Racing Neo, one of the most buttery-smooth futuristic arcade racing titles I’ve ever had the pleasure of engaging at blazing speeds. Fast Racing Neo lives up to its name, and doesn’t shy away from throwing a ‘trial by fire’ at players – even the most frustrating series of crashes play into the learning curve. Fast Racing Neo is hardly unfair, shying away from ‘rubber band’ catch up effects with opponent racer A.I., but it does add a welcome spin on the established genre by requiring players to shift between two colors in order to maximize boost strips. This is a game all about course memorization and careful timing of turns and boosts. And what a sight to behold those courses are, as your hovercraft zips by vibrant colors and chrome structures at an almost-always-perfect 60 frames per second. Aside from controlling as wonderfully as anyone could hope of a spiritual successor to F-Zero, the game is easily one of the best looking titles on any console this generation.

#3) Splatoon: The freshest IP on the block this year, Splatoon is a stylish and colorful team-based shooter that opts for cooperation in covering the map in neon shades of orange, green, blue, and pink over racking up kills against opponents. The weapons are wonderfully inventive, and while each player will find their preferred Roller, Charge Rifle, or – yes – even Bucket, each loadout is surprisingly well-balanced. The lack of a voice chat is actually to the game’s benefit, as objectives are straightforward, and maps are never too large to lose track of your relative location. Every inch of this game oozes style, from its downtown Tokyo-inspired hubworld, to its Jet Set Radio-influenced soundtrack. Splatoon is a great game for players new and old to jump into, and it’s easy to sink a few hours at a time, whether it’s the objective-based ranked game types, or standard Turf Wars.

#2) Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain: The final Metal Gear title to be led by Hideo Kojima, The Phantom Pain is set in the 1980s, and fills in some of the last remaining pieces of the series’ lore. Plenty of familiar faces show up, including Ocelot and Kazuhira Miller, while the villainous Skull Face and his powerful Metal Gear stand at the center of all the conflicts Snake and the Mother Base soldiers will take on. The Phantom Pain boasts what is easily the most slick and enjoyable gameplay in the entire series, as well as among the majority of the games released within the past year. The two major maps Snake is left to explore are expansive, and there is plenty of room to experiment with some of the game’s wackier offerings, like Fulton balloon recovery, the prosthetic Rocket Arm, and the less-than-stealthy robotic D-Walker. The story, however sparse it may be, is impactful and tense when it comes into play, and paints a terrifyingly convincing case for how and why Snake and his brothers-in-arms would come to be recognized as villains many years after they were hailed as heroes. Unfortunately, the greatest weakness facing The Phantom Pain is that it is simply an incomplete game – there is one major plot point left hanging that throws a bit of a wrench in the entire series, and while footage has since revealed what was meant to be delivered in this final mission, its absence having been replaced by retreads of previous missions certainly stings.

#1) Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth: One of the best spin-off titles of any well-established series I have encountered to date, Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth is a love letter to fans of the series. It may lack the depth of Persona 3 and 4’s Social Links, and the dungeon-crawling may bear a striking resemblance to the Etrian Odyssey series. Still, Persona Q offers a complex system of fusing new Personas as you level up, as well as a well-rounded cast of characters to build your party. Each dungeon is masterfully crafted, offering greatly varied puzzles, enemies, and aesthetics as the story progresses. The final hours of the game are both challenging and incredibly rewarding, while the 60+ hours you will spend getting there is an absolute joy, and makes Persona Q one of the strongest entries into the 3DS library to date.

2015 Year in Review: Video Games

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD

My rating: 8.5


My rating: 7.5

NES Remix

My rating: 5

Pokemon Shuffle

My rating: 7

Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth

My rating: 9

Forza Horizon 2: Fast and Furious

My rating: 6

(Mario Kart 8)

DLC review – Animal Crossing x Mario Kart 8

My rating: 7.5

Animal Crossing: New Leaf

My rating: 8.5


My rating: 8.75

Shadows of the Damned

My rating: 7.25

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

My rating: 7.75

Metal Gear Solid 3D: Snake Eater

My rating: 8.75

Fast Racing Neo

My rating: 9

2015 Year in Review: Anime

Resident Evil: Damnation

My rating: 7.75

Persona 3: The Movie – #1: Spring of Birth

My rating: 7

Lupin the Third: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine

My rating: 8.25

Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders – Battle in Egypt

My rating: 9.75

Mobile Suit Victory Gundam

My rating: 8.5

2015 Year in Review: Comic Books

Saga (volumes 3-5)

Black Science (volumes 1-3)

My rating: 9

Captain America: Hail Hydra!

My rating: 5.5


My rating: 4.5

Captain Marvel (volumes 1-3)

My rating for volume 1: 8.75
My rating for volume 2: 7

Metal Gear Solid Deluxe Edition

My rating: 7

Doctor Strange: Season One

My rating: 7.75

Guardians of the Galaxy (volumes 3 and 4)

My rating for volume 3: 7
My rating for volume 4: 7

Nova (volume 4)

My rating: 8.5

Moon Knight (volumes 1 and 2)

My rating: 8

Moon Knight: The Death of Marc Spector

My rating: 8

Avengers: Rage of Ultron

My rating: 8.5

Deadpool vs. the Marvel Universe

My rating: 7.5

Guardians of the Galaxy: The Complete Collection (volumes 1 and 2)

My rating: 9.75

Gambit (volumes 1 and 2)

My rating: 6.75

Avengers: Ultron Unbound

My rating: 6.5

Guardians of the Galaxy and X-Men: The Black Vortex

My rating: 6

Divinity (volume 1)

My rating: 6

X-Men: Age of Apocalypse (Prelude, volumes 1-3)

My rating for the Prelude: 9
My rating for volume 1: 7.5
My rating for volume 2: 9
My rating for volume 3: 8.5

Age of Ultron vs. Marvel Zombies

My rating: 7.5

Uncanny Avengers (volume 1)

My rating: 7.25

Angela: Asgard’s Assassin (volume 1)

My rating: 6

X-Men ‘92

My rating: 9

Guardians of Knowhere

My rating: 6.25

All-New Ghost Rider (volume 1)

My rating: 8.75

Inhumans: Attilan Rising

My rating: 8.5

Thanos Rising

My rating: 9

X-Men: Age of Apocalypse (2015)

My rating: 6.5 (out of 10)

Ghost Racers

My rating: 8


My rating: 8.5

Armor Wars (2015)

My rating: 8.25
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