Bit of a hefty title, I know. But I actually saw Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse like a week ago, and after seeing it wasn’t sure I really had anything to say that others hadn’t said already. But now, I’m finally ready to jot down my thoughts in what is mostly a review, but also my opinion of the character of Miles Morales across the various mediums.
RELEASED: December 14th 2018 DIRECTED BY: Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey & Rodney Rothman WRITTEN BY: Phil Lord & Rodney Rothman PRODUCED BY: Avi Arad, Amy Pascal, Phil Lord, Christopher Miller & Christina Steinberg MUSIC BY: Daniel Pemberton
STARRING: Shameik Moore, Jake Johnson, Hailee Steinfeld, Mahershala Ali, Brian Tyree Henry, Lily Tomlin, Luna Lauren Velez, Zoë Kravitz, John Mulaney, Kimiko Glenn, Nicholas Cage, Kathryn Hahn, Liev Schreiber & Chris Pine
When this movie was announced, I wasn’t particularly looking forward to it. Sure, I love Spider-Man, and I’m always down for a solidly animated movie, and heck – I’ve yet to see a Lord & Miller joint that I didn’t dig. But there was still one glaring problem slap-bang in the middle of that trailer that stopped me from getting invested: Miles Morales.
With the release of Justice League, Warner Bros. ended the first ‘phase’ of movies in their cinematic universe. Now, a year on, it’s time to take a look at the first film in ‘phase two’ of the rebranded ‘Worlds of DC’…
RELEASED: December 12th 2018 DIRECTED BY: James Wan WRITTEN BY: James Wan, Geoff Johns, Will Beall & David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick PRODUCED BY: Peter Safran & Rob Cowan MUSIC BY: Rupert Gregson-Williams
STARRING: Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, Willem Dafoe, Patrick Wilson, Dolph Lundgren, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Temuera Morrison & Nicole Kidman
In an age where comic book adaptations are in part rated on how much of that magically zany comic tone they can cram in, Aquaman may not just be King of the Oceans, but King of the Comic Book Movies too.
The film follows Arthur Curry, the son of a lighthouse keeper and the Queen of Atlantis, who is called upon by his ally Mera to help depose his half-brother, King Orm, who hopes to unite the remaining undersea kingdoms and wage war on the surface world.
We’ve covered Star Wars and movies, we’ve covered Marvel, DC and comic-books. But out of my trifecta of favourite things, one has been conspicuously missing, until now…
RELEASED: October 7th 2018 – December 9th 2018 SHOWRUNNER: Chris Chibnall WRITTEN BY: Chris Chibnall, Malorie Blackman, Vinay Patel, Pete McTighe, Joy Wilkinson & Ed Hime DIRECTED BY: Jamie Childs, Mark Tonderai, Sallie Aprahamian & Jennifer Perrott MUSIC BY: Segun Akinola
STARRING: Jodie Whittaker, Bradley Walsh, Tosin Cole, Mandip Gill, Sharon D. Clarke & Samuel Oatley
I love Doctor Who, and although, like many other fans of the series, I can be a bit skeptical when a new Doctor comes on board, generally speaking, I have thus far enjoyed each Doctor more than the last (more or less – but that’s probably a post for another time – or maybe not since I essentially just said how it was going to go down). So when it was revealed that Jodie Whittaker was coming on board, with the creator of Broadchurch, no less (an excellent series), I was quite excited.
Tuning in to the first episode, I was wowed by the seemingly fresh take on the show, the beautiful new production design, the epic new score, the interesting through-line of the Doctor’s TARDIS having escaped her, and three likeable new companions – something that hasn’t really happened since Classic Who. Bradley Walsh instantly stood out, as I knew he would, as a highlight; something which continued throughout the series. Furthermore, as the series went on, I was amazed that there were seemingly no terrible episodes. No In The Forest of the Night or Kill The Moons, the likes of which had unfortunately plagued the run of my beloved Twelfth Doctor.
A year on from the game’s release, and the excitement in the fanbase has been restored somewhat. At EA’s conference earlier in the year, it was revealed that Battlefront was to get several new content drops around the years end. These new additions would include the planet of Geonosis, the heroes Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker and the villains General Grievous and Count Dooku, as well as a new game mode (Conquest).
In the lead up to these drops, EA continued to show seeming incompetence at the handling of the property, as the drops were continually pushed back, despite the fact Grievous, for one, had been being worked on since launch. As you can see from the ‘released’ section at the start of this DLC review, ‘Winter’ was the timeframe of release, with Anakin Skywalker later revealed to be being released in February of 2019. Many were contemplating taping out, as it seemed that after this final, drawn out push, the game would finally die.
And that may still be the case. But the first two updates of this ‘season’ have been released as of the time of writing, and so far, they are enjoyable enough to warrant sticking around to see how things play out.
General Grievous is a menacing force in the game, and very popular, I’ve noticed, despite the fact that on release his abilities didn’t all work (this is a common reoccurring theme with this game – new content or fixes are released, and two other things break as a result). But his fix came around quickly, along with Obi-Wan Kenobi, who may be my new personal favourite hero; the perfect mix of Jedi defensive powers and offensive force attacks.
Similarly, Geonosis, like Crait before it, is a welcome addition to the game. It’s vast, expansive and has another unique take on the Battlefront experience. The addition of free roaming AT-TE’s is very cool, and the fact that the battlefield is essentially just open plains makes it feel more like an actual war and less like an awkward tactical strike on a city.
I’m excited to see Anakin and Dooku enter the game, and from the way the developers are talking about things currently, the various new content drops that are to be released next year. I won’t hold out too much hope though, just in case this really is the end.
All-in-all, as of November 2018, I give Battlefront II + the Clone Wars ‘Season’:
Half a year after release, while there had been some content drops, such as bug fixes, an overhauled progression system and the ‘Night on Endor’ update that introduced Ewok Hunt into the game, Battlefront II was starting to feel rather lacking. Crait had been introduced so close to the original release date that it may as well have been part of the base game, and since then there had been no new maps or heroes.
Part of that changed with the Solo Season. While there were still no new heroes, the Solo Season pushed forward with new skins and the map Kessel, as featured in Solo: A Star Wars Story. Kessel was a fun map, but unfortunately only worked on three modes, the newly introduced Hero Deathmatch (one of my favourite modes at the time), Heroes vs. Villains and Extraction. Extraction had the opportunity to breathe new life into the game, but unfortunately was only available on Kessel and Jabba’s Palace, which had been ported over from Battelfront ’15. As such, that mode, like the rest of the game, quickly became quite stale, especially since the main game mode, Galactic Assault, was still not being catered to.
On the plus side, the new skins were a welcome addition in this otherwise sparse content drop. It was fun, fresh off of seeing Solo: A Star Wars Story to play as the Alden Ehrenreich and Donald Glover variants of Han Solo and Lando Calrissian. To my mind, even though Han and Lando’s prequel adventures take place ten years after the events of Revenge of the Sith, my headcanon in the game allowed them to be substitutes for the missing prequel-era heroes.
It was thoughts like that that made it obvious how disappointing Battlefront had become by this point. Ten years ago, LucasArts would drop two or three games a year, and under EA’s reign, we’ve had two games total. That will change next year, but it showed atrocious management of the property and made a lot of the remaining fanbase quite bitter. The remainers, like myself, were still playing, but my passion for the game was definitely starting to peter out, and I could easily go weeks at a time without picking up my controller.
All-in-all, as of May 2018, I give Battlefront II + The Solo Season: