Review – SuperMansion S2 “Virtual Reality Bites”

Crackle’s season première of SuperMansion is here, with The League of Freedom still trying to rebound from the betrayal of Lex and assault from Dr. Devizo the group also has to contend with public demands for their termination as a group.

Given they have chaos in the streets it’s not entirely that shocking the public wouldn’t be entirely happy with The League of Freedom, throw in some human rights violations by illegally storing criminals under the mansion and the massive rebuilding costs and yeah… It’s not like they weren’t already under a bad light from excessive spending issues and rebuilding costs after each battle.

We see Titanium Rex take center stage, he’s trying to get his team in order, fight dissenting public opinion and face down a massive data breach of the mansion. The team in the meantime has their own battles, with Brad dead we see American Ranger help Cooch with her grief and find hope in seeing Brad one day in the afterlife. Saturn goes borderline stalker trying to track down his nemesis and Jewbot stands at the center trying to help Rex bury some dirty laundry.

The episode brings the group back with classic tales of Rex and his endless issues while letting Jewbot settle into his new body and work his magic in a realm he’s more familiar with. The story stays just as wild as ever with American Ranger determined to take on the church to help Cooch break into heaven and Saturn takes his nemesis obsession to new levels trying to fill the void in his world. It’s SuperMansion at its roots essentially.

 

Virtual Reality Bites hasn’t skipped a beat, the props and animation are smooth with detailed scenes. Voice acting from Byran Cranston, Heidi Gardner, Tucker Gilmore and the rest of the team are spot on as their characters settle into their own in the start of the season.

SuperMansion is already setting up an interesting new season so we’ll just have to see where season 2 continues to go and how the team manages to handle all these escaped villains.

Story:★★★★☆ 
Animation:★★★★½ 
Acting:★★★★½ 
Overall:★★★★☆ 

Review -The Walking Dead: All That Remains I PC

  • Genre: Adventure
  • Developer: Telltale Games
  • Publisher: Telltale Games
  • Release Date: Dec 17, 2013

Since its release The Walking dead series has been nothing but an emotional train wreck waiting to happened, and in Telltale first game we followed the story of Clementine and Lee as they tried to survive, and we all fell in love with Clementine as she endured the harsh world they now live in. We became emotionally attach to her and want to see her pull through despite having nothing to hold on too. In season 2 Clementine is a bit older and much more aware of how the world is and how fragile life can be. Writers Nick Breckon and Andrew Grant do an exceptional job with Clementine’s growth from season 1, we see early on that Clementine is not the scared little girl anymore; in fact we see more of her toughness and ability to endure throughout the game, But for most part Clementine is an outsider and is treated as such.

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Clementine sneaking inside

The main focus in “All That Remains” is the new group of survivors Clementine comes across, A cautious and protective group who at first nothing to do with her, but as you play along they slow open up to her. There are plenty of encounters in the game with choices and conversations that will surely play out in the future, so make sure you play close attention to every conversation you have with certain characters. Like I said before Clementine is an outsider so many of the groups members aren’t shy about showing there disapproval of her being around, At one point a wound Clementine is told to sleep inside a shed without given any medical attention and players must sneak in sneak inside the house for medical supplies so she can patch it up; As for the characters in the group none of them really play a huge role on the story for the most part, or at least now they don’t.  But there some interesting conversations with characters like Pete his nephew Nick and Rebecca who seems to be hiding something. You can argue that the story moves a little too quickly which hampers us from getting to know more about the other characters, We do get some info about certain characters, one being Carlos and his strange daughter Sarah.

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Gotta stitch it up!

Developers Telltale Games kept the controls pretty much the same as the last game; players do a lot of quick time/ Time Base events, also dialogue trees that gives you a limited time to choose. Combat isn’t a priority in these games, so if this is your first time playing this game be aware of what I just said, The Writing is what makes this game the success that it is, and with that said Telltale games nailed it again with this opening episode, this series of episodes are sure to be interesting  and more exciting than the last,This is a most get for fans of the franchise.

Review – The Walking Dead: A New Day Episode 1 – Xbox 360

Walking Dead fans get excited. The first installment of Telltale Games, The Walking Dead 5 part game series is here and it’s good! In case you’ve missed all the news, it’s now available on PC, Mac, Xbox 360 and PS3 for the pittance of $5 per episode.

Background

I played The Walking Dead: A New Day on the Xbox 360 and the game took about 2 to 2 ½ hours to complete. You play as Lee Everett, a convicted murder who, because of the recent zombie outbreak, finds himself injured and trying to survive in a world that no longer makes any sense. Lee soon meets a little girl named Clementine, who has been alone for days and is bad ass enough to have survived on her own. They quickly bond and the adventure begins.

Along your travels you meet a bunch of different characters that are new to The Walking Dead cannon in addition to a couple familiar faces. Slowly, you begin to learn some of your character’s back story and get a feel for the other characters in the game.

Graphics

The game itself has both a mix of the T.V. show and the comic book and strikes a really awesome balance between the two. Since some of the people you run into along the way are characters we already know (and love) there is a familiarity with what is going on and the cel-shaded graphics makes the game look like you are right in the middle of the comic book. I love the graphics, there were times throughout the game that I couldn’t get over how close to the comic it really looked which added to the overall experience of the game. The game, like the show and comic book is very character development heavy, which is why I think that they are both as great and compelling as they are. The game does an excellent job really fleshing out the characters and making you either really like them or really hate them. There is one character in particular, Larry, that you meet along the way who really infuriated me. I kept hoping there would be a time somewhere in the game where I would be able to kick his ass.

Gameplay

While there’s not a ton of zombie action (a complaint I hear about all the time in regard to the T.V. show), I think it’s exactly the way it should be. The Walking Dead is about the characters, their coping strategies and if and how they survive through extreme circumstances. These aspects are perfectly captured in the game. The game is dialog and choice heavy, a kind of Choose Your Own Adventure game that is very interactive both in your decisions and with your in-game environment. This format is nice and gives you a good bang for your buck because you can play the game multiple different ways by simply choosing different answers.

Throughout The Walking Dead game you interact with people (and your environment) and are given multiple choices in your conversations. The choices are on a time limit (some seemed longer than others) and the choices you make affect your game play in the future. The characters you interact with remember the things you tell them, so if you lie, you better remember that in future conversations. The choice aspect of the game often times made me feel very tense and anxious, but in a good frantic kind of way. It made me feel like I really needed to think about the answers I was going to give and the choices I was going to make, except I didn’t have much time to think creating situations where I had to make snap decisions.

There were definitely some challenging parts to the game. There are a couple of tasks that you must complete to progress and they proved a little frustrating. After I figured out how to complete them it was a “smack yourself in the head” kind of moment, because they were not actually as difficult as I made them out to be. For the achievement hunters, you get all 8 achievements on the first run through just by completing the story. My only gripe, and it’s a minor one, is that there were a couple of times in the game that the camera angle/control got a little wonky, it didn’t actually affect my game play in any way but it was a little annoying.

Conclusion

It is well worth the $5 and at that price there is no excuse for Walking Dead fans to not get this game. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I can’t wait for the next episode!

Gameplay:★★★★★★★★½☆ 
Story:★★★★★★★★★☆ 
Visuals:★★★★★★★★★½ 
Overall:★★★★★★★★★☆ 

Checked Out web series debut – Zelda Williams Project

It’s a wonderful time to be on the web, today a new series breaks through called Checked Out. The project currently consists of the following team.

  • Zelda Williams (daughter of Robin Williams)
  • Vicki Lewis (News Radio, How I Met Your Mother)
  • Arjun Gupta (Nurse Jackie)
  • David Greenman (Bones, Gilmore Girls, Weeds)

Episode 1 centers around Marissa and Jameson in the break room catching up on the latest drama in the store, Marissa’s hate for hunting down carts spammed around the parking lot and Jameson having a natural talent to avoid labor during shifts at all possible costs. As a debut episode it’s surprisingly well delivered with such a short running span of just 4:24, as a bait it gets personal enough to pull you right up as the credits kick in. Hopefully the momentum keeps up as it takes me back to a Clerks kind of vibe, likely inspired by the use of a market but it’s still enough to get a return visit.

Hopefully there’s a bit more exploration of Trader Jack’s and some highlight customers that we get to see, as a starter it’s hard to dump in a ton of active cast on something like this but expanding the world would help keep it out of just being pure break room gossip.

Catch episode 1 directly at DailyMotion or check it out in the embedded video below.

Review – Spartacus Vengeance Episode 1 – Fugitivus

The fated debut is almost here, we’re ready with a full early review and spoiler tags for those waiting until the last moment to see all the goods.

Taking up after Blood and Sand, Spartacus Vengeance greets us with the struggles of the champion after the slaughter at the House of Batiatus. Viewers pass through a time jump that goes unspecified but see’s Legatus in the Senate trying to distance himself from the ordeal, that is, until a message from Spartacus calls him forward again. It seems the gods have another road in store for his path, he sets his robes aside and ventures back to origin at Batiatus.

In this episode we see a newly freed Spartacus with his people, venturing forward to seek payback in any way he can. The unfortunate part for Spartacus is his lacking forethought to having to tend to the needs of his people who followed him into freedom. Food and support fall secondary to the needs of retribution in this story line and a hard life seems to await all that follow as the Gauls and Spartacus.

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Spartacus demonstrates this lack of focus as his people stand divided, their wishes to escape the city versus the desires of revenge against Legatus.  Spartacus learns the hard way that he has to grow as a leader not just in battle but in survival as not only the blood of Varro rests on his hands but his wife as well from his shortcomings to lead them. Without a proper leader, tension drives his own people and his relations with the Gauls as they all fight for their own ambitions.

The story is only compounded as Legatus and Ilythia embark to take over the House of Batiatus only to find a lost Lucretia wandering in the darkness, mended from her would in the slaughter by a mysterious force.  She stumbles about without a trace of memory to the events that took place over the season, not of the murder, betrayal or violence that took place during the downfall. The new shift brings a twist as this Lucretia marks as a claimed blessing and her actions signify a role as a sage, wishing to devote ritual to the gods. What this means for the likes of the freed slaves or Crixus is unknown, he is visibly shaken when helping to bail out Spartacus in the market though.

Liam McIntyre steps into the role of Spartacus with confidence, attempting to make the role his own while paying respect to the groundwork set up already by Andy Whitman, it’s a tough transition to see but he makes an effort to smooth the experience out by studying the vocals and behaviors. Given this is a transition period as well from the arena to being on the run, it opens the story up for some adjustment and shifts in behavior and appearance. As the series progresses it seems that McIntyre will continue to grow into the role to deliver a Spartacus we all know.

The styling of Vengeance continues to evolve, the experience and techniques improve the presentation and allow Vengeance to technically distance itself from the first episodes, critical stabs and slices are more authentic now than ever before. The rain of blood from each attack loses CG styling and flows with the scene keeping the audience engaged with each frame. To go with the mood of this new story arc, the setting is much darker in every scene, from the tunnels to the general tone of every area. These are dark times for the survivors of Batiatus and we’ll have to wait to see where their fate rests.

We will cover Vengeance through the season so check back often for series updates or special features. Episode 2 coverage will arrive soon.

If you can’t wait for Spartacus Vengeance to kick off, check out the official page on Starz to see Episode 1 early before the debut.

Story:★★★★☆ 
Cinematography:★★★★½ 
Dialog:★★★★☆ 
Overall:★★★★☆