A mini-review of Destiny, multiple Marvel releases, the best comedy of the year and more! Shop Amazon newness and support Laser Time…
Back again with our new release highlights. FINALLY there’s lots of great stuff coming out, so we encourage you to pick your geekly goodies up by using our links below and any time on the right-hand sidebar. Even if you don’t want the specific items showcased, simply using the links to go into Amazon and shop for what you do want (during that visit) is the easiest possible way to support your pals at Laser Time while getting what you want, usually at the cheapest possible price from the world’s most trusted online retailer. You’ll also find comic recommendations, upcoming pre-order bonuses, and LOOK AT THAT a mini-review of Destiny. Thank you and happy shopping!
Let’s get this out of the way, because for the first time in a fucking while, I don’t have to refer to anyone else’s thoughts on a newly releases game. I played a shitload of Destiny’s beta on Xbone and PS4, and wouldn’t you know it? Bungie’s latest and greatest finally pushed me into the magical realm of being a PlayStation 4 owner (Check out the Glacial White PS4 here.) It was not a smart decision, but I’m still happy I did it, because it’s clearly where the majority of you guys are playing it, I had a ton of fun streaming the game with you yesterday, and I’m now Level 12 – THANK YOU! I don’t bother reading a ton of reviews anymore so I have no idea what the pros are saying, but I’m enjoying it immensely. Although, obviously, with so much hype and so much anticipation, there are ample things to nitpick. I’m more in it for the Campaign/Co-op stuff, so it’s probably gotta be said that there’s not a whole lot of variety in the missions or enemy types. Head to a gorgeous location, reach the end, Peter Dinklage’s Ghost slaps a Nickelodeon Guts Aggro Crag button, and swarms of enemies come running in. Repeat. A LOT! That said, I’m totally fine with that. The mechanics are outstandingly solid, riding speeder bikes across the moon practically makes me hard, and the real gameplay seems to be in leveling up, exploring the enormity of areas and options, unlocking new stuff, and yeah, advancing “the story” (which could be great, I just don’t care enough to pay attention.) Perhaps it’s the Monster Hunter/EDF fan in me, but I’m perfectly okay with grinding through the same shit over and over (Gameplay > Story, IMO) as long as the difficulty ramps up in synchronicity with my character becoming more powerful in the direction of my choosing.
Destiny is not rocket science, but it more than proves its next-gen worth (for example, the only other big game out this week is asking the same price and strives to do a helluva lot less.) I’ve even warmed a little to the multiplayer a bit, but almost solely as a means of leveling my character up to tackle tougher single player missions. Which brings me to my only real complaints about the game. First, some of the bigger bosses are just bullet sponges with easily identifiable patterns. I don’t mind “hard missions” but if you had unlimited ammo and didn’t need to reload, it’s like these crescendo bosses only real weaknesses is firing into them for ten straight minutes. In order to mask that reality, swarms of familiar enemies are called out to distract/overwhelm you, and it often feels unfair, kinda lazy, and can get tiresome unless your level doesn’t at least slightly exceed that of the mission. Second, with this essentially being console’s first true FPS MMO, and the Tower hub location crawling with real live players from around the world, Fireteams (co-op groups) being maxed at THREE PLAYERS is an incredible disappointment. I haven’t had so many people in my friends list playing the same game in forever, so it’s a fucking shame a dramatic increase in hardware power and a rather fantastic matchmaking UI has resulted in fewer cooperative options than five years ago. Can that change? I certainly fucking hope so! Bungie has long crowed it has a 10-year plan for Destiny, and while I’m loving it for now, it absolutely feels like they’re holding something back.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
THIS FUCKING MOVIE RIGHT HERE! Hey, I know we’re all still wrapped in the warm embrace of Guardians of the Galaxy, but it was Winter Soldier that first, and arguably better proves that the Marvel Cinematic Universe is well worth paying attention to. And for reasons beyond your previously established interest in their comics and characters. Rather than make a straightforward sequel in its established timeline, it tears its universe down. Rather than make a straightforward adaptation of Captain America’s most famous, and arguably best storyline, it cherry picks the important parts and coats it in a shell of a 1970s political thriller. Guardians was beautiful and fun, but I still consider Winter Soldier to be Marvel’s best movie thus far. Just as Ed Brubaker did valiantly in its comics, this movie further solidifies why Cap is the truly most heroic hero in the MCU, and even better still, also giving characters like Sam Jackson’s Nick Fury and Scarlett Johansson’ Black Widow immensely entertaining moments to shine. Seriously, I know feminist-leaning comic fans have long demanded a Black Widow standalone movie, but Winter Soldier provides the most concrete evidence of why there absolutely should be one outside of just wanting one to exist.
Good God help me, I love this movie. From a former, now-rekindled crush on Christina Ricci, to a slightly embarrassing love of Harvey comics, I am very much a Casper fan. However, if I were sitting with a therapist (on my to-do list, people – DONATE!) the real reason I love this movie has to do with a troubled childhood. Puberty hit my little ass like a ton of emotional-charged bricks, and constant problems in school and arguments with my parents caused me to “runaway” frequently. Rarely did I disappear for more than a day, and more often than not, I’d take a two hour walk to my local movie theater, buy a single ticket, and just hang there all day. Casper was my first runaway movie. I believe I watched it twice in a row. Damn… did I just have a breakthrough?!
It’s easy to criticize Destiny for the things it doesn’t do, but if you need further proof that it’s a bold step towards gaming’s future, you need look no further than another annual EA release. Outside of last-gen ports and low-priced indie fare, slightly enhanced versions of tried and true franchises are almost all early adopters of Xbones and PS4s have had to look forward to, and NHL 15 is yet another underwhelming example of something it’s hard to get excited about. Man… was that too harsh? I don’t know from hockey/hockey games. Man, I’m actually starting to feel sorry for NHL 15, but hey, I didn’t choose to release it up against Destiny now did I?!
They Came Together
This is fucking great. If you’re a fan of The State, or one of the cool comedy kids who’s well aware of the greatness of Wet Hot American Summer, you really need to check out They Came Together. Better than just a whip-smart parody of the over-abundant romantic comedy formula, They Came Together is just a fucking awesome comedy. The absurd, go-for-broke kind that doesn’t get made often enough (without the participation of Will Ferrel.) This is David Wain/Michael Showalter’s first collaborative screenwriting effort since Wet Hot, and it breaks my heart to know that their fucking astonishing 80s summer camp parody took over a decade to be anointed a TRUE CLASSIC and thus build up enough interest in executives to fund another film. Seriously, be sure to see this so we don’t have to wait so long next time.
Agents of SHIELD: The Complete First Season
As you may remember, we made available several commentaries for this show when it first premiered, which you can still get on our Bandcamp page. Perhaps it was due to that obligation, making watching the show feel like work, I was pretty underwhelmed by Marvel’s TV series, and didn’t watch much after that. Of course I had faith the show would eventually find its legs, which I’ve been told it absolutely does, but I wasn’t truly interested in diving back in until the events that unfolded in Winter Soldier rippled into Agents of SHIELD less than a week later (I ain’t gonna spoil it, but if you’ve seen the movie you know what I’m talking about.) More than just MCU character cameos, that sets a fucking crazy intriguing bar towards a dedication to story, and shows that SHIELD is committed to an authentic comic book cohesion within the MCU, and that’s exactly what I thought the show sorely lacked in the beginning. And just when I became interested, ABC began pulling the show’s availability from streaming sites making it damn near impossible to catch up. Until now!
Okay, this is fucking bizarre. I’m firmly on record as a lover of Ninja Theory (developers of DmC, Enslaved) and have long proclaimed that they were trailblazing the future of gaming with their dedication to motion-capture in order to attain realistic characters and performances. It not only sets their games apart from all of the last-gen’s shiny anthropomorphic bags of triangles, those game also managed to avoid the uncanny valley of mo-capped animation people like Robert Zemeckis couldn’t in his failed crop of would-be blockbusters (Beowulf, Polar Express, Mars Needs Moms.) So with that in mind, somebody had the bright idea to take the comparatively better cutscenes from Heavenly Sword and shoehorn them into “a movie.” From what I hear, they’ve added new scenes too, however, also idiotically omitted the performance of Andy Serkis, the undisputed Master of Mo-Cap (the actor behind Gollum and Planet of the Apes’ Caesar). I have no idea who this is for… kids too young to have owned a PS3 but love blood and violence? Either way, you’re better off playing the game, which you should probably pick up ASAP if you haven’t already. If they couldn’t shell out the dough to keep Serkis’ performance for a direct-to-video film, it’s unlikely the games will be getting rereleased anytime soon.
I’ve never seen Pumpkinhead, and I sincerely mean no offense to the film when I say I fondly remember passing it up in the my local video store during my horror-obsessed youth in the 80s. “I’m gonna pass on Pumpkinhead for now… tonight is the night for Monkey Shines!” Yes, yes, I always meant to get to it, but more importantly, it’s Collector’s Edition release reminds me that Halloween season is nearly upon us, and that’s a great fucking time to be alive. Not even sure if Pumpkinhead will make it into a screening for me, but seeing it out this week feels like an omen of more awesomeness to come!
CAPE CRISIS RECOMMENDS:
UPCOMING VIDEO GAME PRE-ORDER BONUSES
listed roughly in order of release date
-Pre-order for early Beta Access
Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Curtain Call *LAST CHANCE*
-Pre-order for free upgrade to Limited Edition version which also includes a 5-track CD sampler of THEATRHYTHM remixes in exclusive alternative packaging
Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Evolution – Day 1 Edition *LAST CHANCE*
–Day 1 costume DLC, mecha Naruto card and bonus anime
-AMAZON EXCLUSIVE: Free Samurai Armor DLC pack
Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor
-Pre-order and receive access to The Dark Ranger
Super Smash Bros. 3DS *NEW*
-Contains Super Smash Bros
The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Warriors *NEW*
-Pre-order Hyrule Warriors to receive a code to download EXCLUSIVE Twilight Princess costumes for Link and Zelda
Dragon Age: Inquisition
-Deluxe Edition includes Flames of Inquisition Armor, Weapons Arsenal and Armored Mount
Aliens Isolation *NEW*
-Pre-order for free upgrade to the Nostromo Edition, which includes the bonus content“Crew Expendable”, + an exclusive digital graphic novel
Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel
-Pre-order and receive the Shock Drop Slaughter Pit FREE
Far Cry 4
-Free Limited Edition upgrade includes Hurk’s Redemption, a series of three-action packed single-player missions. You’ll embark on an epic quest to find a rare artifact while using “The Impaler” harpoon gun
-Amazon-Exclusive pre-order bonus, the Elephant Double-Barrel Rifle
Call of Duty: Advanced War Fighter
-Free Day Zero Edition Upgrade: 24 Hour Early Access with Double XP
– two custom weapons, the AK-12G Assault Rifle and CROSSBOW-B2
-Advanced Arsenal Bullet Brass exoskeleton and EM1 Quantum directed energy weapon
Halo: The Master Chief Collection *NEW*
-Receive FREE Pinata Skull (enemies will drop plasma grenade with every melee)
Assassin’s Creed: Unity
-Every single week through launch, Assassin’s Creed is giving away incredible prizes.
–The Chemical Revolution Mission: Experience an explosive extra mission that involves a genius chemist, a secret formula and a plot for revenge!
–The Armor Splitter Axe: Carve through the thickest armor with ease
DriveClub – PS4
-Pre-order for Amazon exclusive instant access to the high-powered Mercedes supercar, access to the RUF RT12 R super car, and a driver level boost
-Pre-order for free Monster Expansion Pack
Batman: Arkham Knight
–Pre-order to play as Harley Quinn. Utilize her unique weapons, gadgets, and abilities. Plus, contains 4 Exclusive Challenge Maps