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Movie Review:- IT Chapter Two

Twenty-seven years after their first encounter with the terrifying Pennywise, the Losers Club have grown up and moved away, until a devastating phone call brings them back.

 

 

The last decade of cinema has been saturated with sequels; many have proven to be a waste of time, while a small minority have shone through and wowed audiences. IT Chapter Two is certainly one of those welcomed sequels that certainly doesn’t disappoint.

 

We left the first film with the Losers’ Club making a pact to return to their home town of Derry if Pennywise (Bill Skarsgård) ever returns. 27 years later and Mike (Isaiah Mustafa) is the only member of the Losers’ Club still in Derry. After hearing about a brutal murder in the town, Mike’s suspicions are triggered, so calls on the rest of the club to come back to help him follow his plan to bring down Pennywise for good.

 

 

The club return to Derry and after a drink-fuelled reunion, they soon witness the reality of Pennywise’s return as children are no longer his only target. While trying to unite their strengths, they all experience their own fears and demons both in life and in Pennywise’s mission to defeat them all.

 

At nearly 3 hours long, it’s a lot to take in, but it’s worth every minute. If you’ve read the Stephen King novel (or actually seen a physical copy of the 1,138-page monster), you’ll understand why both films are so long. You could argue that one or two sub-stories could have been cut such as the aftermath of Henry Bowers, who killed his father in the first chapter. Having said that, this story along with everything else still add to the suspense just as much as any other scene.

 

 

The biggest praise I have for Chapter 2 goes to the casting. I can’t recall a film that cast adult and child counterparts as successfully as this film does. James Ransone as adult Eddie is a particular highlight as he continues on from Jack Dylan Grazer’s younger portrayal as if they really were the same person. The similarity both in appearance and mannerisms is scarily accurate. In addition, casting Molly Atkinson as his wife was a genius choice as she also plays his overbearing mother in both films. It’s a Freudian slip that worked beautifully and is just one of many examples of the comedic quality the film demonstrates. This doesn’t take away from the rest of the adult cast who were excellent choices and gave fantastic performances (James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain, Bill Hader, Jay Ryan, Andy Bean and Ransone). Their own backstories of growing up and moving on tackled various real-life issues, from domestic violence to lost love.

 

 

Bill Skarsgard’s Pennywise was even more disturbing than the first. I’m not normally scared by horror films, but Chapter 2 completely unnerved me through most of the film thanks to his incredible performance and, frankly, Stephen King’s imagination. King’s appearance as the grouchy shopkeeper was a nice touch that held him with the same regard as the late Stan Lee’s iconic cameos.

 

 

My only complaint is that there were some poorly explained parts to the story, one being the origin of Pennywise as told by Mike. He has spent many years in Derry researching the source and purpose of the clown in their home town and how to defeat him. When the Losers’ Club become divided on whether to stick to their promise, Mike explains separately to Bill (McAvoy) what his research revealed. I may find rewatching the scene would clarify everything, but the deep explanation from Mike with flashbacks, intense CGI and Bill tripping balls on a spiked drink just left me feeling very distracted.

 

 

Despite the slight storyline issues, this was a fantastic sequel and finale with the perfect cast, a psychotic mix of terror and comedy, and the cinematic quality that horrors rarely get any more. I believe both films are the most iconic horrors we’ve had in a very, very long time, so go and see it!

 

 

A scary 9/10 from me.
~Gemma


October 24th, 2019 by Gemma
Posted in General, Movie Review | No Comments »

PC Early Access Preview:- Encased

Encased is a tribute to “Roadside Picnic” and the original Fallout games. Fight enemies, explore anomalous wasteland, level up your character, join one of the forces in the ruined world in this new apocalyptic turn-based RPG.

 

 

Greetings inmates and true believers, this is Darsch again, and this time I bring you Encased: A Sci-Fi Post-Apocalyptic RPG developed by Dark Crystal Games and published by Black Tower Entertainment and currently in early access on steam. Encased is a tribute to “Roadside Picnic” and the original Fallout games and it shows from the turn based combat system similar to  the original fallout to the abundant dialogue options with npcs and event dialogue choices, some of which can kill you.

 

 

The very first thing you will notice in Encased is the deep character creation from choosing your color coded faction, tag skills, attributes all the way to your appearance. It’s deep, robust, and a real treat if you liked the character creation and level up systems of Baldur’s Gate, Neverwinter Nights, Fallouts 1 through 3 and New Vegas. Make no mistake, this is a very customizable build heavy rpg and that is always a good thing. For my first play through I decided to join the white, a scientific faction and focus on high tech weapons like lasers, the tutorial if you go white gives you a laser pistol for your troubles that does decent damage.

 

 

I dumped my muscle to 3, which is physical strength which affects carry weight and melee damage, guts to a 2, which is your health, brains is a 9, which is, as you might guess intelligence, luck is a 6 and works like you would expect with a small effect on everything in the game, Perception is 9 which is your character’s awareness of their surroundings, charisma is a 2 and is pretty self explanatory, it’s how well people like you, deftness is 9, which is a measure of your dexterity and reaction time, and psyche is a 1 which is your ability with psionics and resistance to psionics which currently are not implemented in game. There are too many skills for me to list off the rest of the build but I focused on all the science and tech gun savvy stuff with The idea being a big brainy laser gun hero. What I got was that but he dies in one hit,  so my next build won’t skimp on the guts or the muscle to be sure.

 

 

The art lends itself well to a late 70’s era futuristic post apocalyptic setting, similar to how Fallout’s art was inspired by the 50’s and 60’s. The story is pretty interesting, it’s the late 70’s and a mysterious dome has showed up, and you are a member of cronus the group investigating the dome for scientific gain. your choice of white, black, silver, orange, or blue determines just where in the hierarchical ladder you sit within cronus. There are plenty of social interactions with npcs and events like an elevator breaking down for you to explore through well written dialogue choices.

 

 

Actual combat is a nice fun turn-based affair with you spending action points to move or attack or take cover, or you can bank them to save some for the next turn, its is satisfying and there are special abilities you can unlock through attribute point allocation, skillpoint allocation, and ability points based on your chosen weapon or play style.

 

 

Encased is going to be a title to watch, so far every second of it has been a blast, just the rpg i been hoping to get for sometime now and the game is still a good ways off from being finished, about half the abilities are not implemented yet but I expect great things, If I had to rate this I would give it an 8 out of 10.

 

Encased is available now on STEAM Early Access, available here


October 11th, 2019 by Darsch
Posted in Game Review, Gaming, General, Multiplatform, PC, Playstation, Real Time Strategy, Xbox | No Comments »

PC Game Early Access First Look :- Phoenix Point (Backer Build 5)

Phoenix Point is a turn-based tactics and 4X grand-strategy game that puts you in command of a global battle against a terrifying alien menace able to mutate and evolve to adapt to your choices and actions. Phoenix Point gives players a huge variety of challenges on its procedural battlefield, as well as endless surprises in the strategic game. Research and develop new technologies and techniques, plan operations, build alliances to unite the planet or destroy your rivals, and deploy your customizable, upgradeable squad into conflict zones, featuring dynamic objectives and destructible environments.

 

 

Greetings, true believers! Darsch Pugs here with a sneak peek at Phoenix Point by Snapshot Games. Phoenix point is a strategy game with a tactical turn-based combat system from the creator of the original XCOM series. Everything I am about to discuss is subject to change.

 

 

The game features many of the same mechanics and concepts as XCOM, some of which have been expanded upon. Units all have specific armour unique to them for quick identification. You target enemy body parts through the scope of your units’ weapons in a first-person camera now to shoot off an alien arm holding a weapon to disable it. Your units have an inventory and loadout that can be set up before a mission and you can then modify equipped items like grenades during the mission from the unit’s inventory, adding an extra layer of strategy to your choices.

 

 

The overworld map is where you choose your missions, select your base and build it and its upgrades, build your gear and conduct research and perform diplomacy with the various factions of the game, and there are a few to choose from to ally yourself with to get their research shared with you, or you could just steal it.

 

 

Missions can be challenging if you do not think critically and plan ahead, sometimes they can be impossible without the right mix of units and loadouts, you need to experiment with your tactics and plan your moves as a team and not individual units to be successful.

 

 

Phoenix Point looks good, plays good, sounds good, and is just great fun if you like this style of game, and is a good jumping-on point for the genre if you have never played a game like this before. The best way to describe phoenix point is a more refined version of XCOM.

 

 

Phoenix Point will release in December 2019 on PC (Epic Games) and XBox One, for more info and to preorder the game, head over to the games website now!


September 30th, 2019 by Darsch
Posted in Gaming, General, Multiplatform, PC, Real Time Strategy, Xbox | No Comments »

#GameOfTheMonth Multiplatform Game Review:- Age of Wonders: Planetfall

Age of Wonders: Planetfall is the new strategy game from Triumph Studios, creators of the critically acclaimed Age of Wonders series, bringing all the exciting tactical turn-based combat and in-depth empire building of its predecessors to space in an all-new, sci-fi setting.

 

 

Planetfall is another 4 X game like civilization, where you explore, expand, exploit, and exterminate your way to victory, either peacefully or through war. This entry in the genre though mixes things up by giving you tactical turn based battles like X-Com. You can fit your units with special mods and weapons, and level up heroes and commanders with special skills.

 

 

The core gameplay loop is the same as most 4x titles, you set your production, move units, set your research, and then end your turn, ad nauseam, until you reach victory or defeat, and while that might seem like a slow paced snooze fest, I found myself losing track of time and having a blast with each and every time I played the game. Thanks to the ability to customize the look and skills of my commander I found myself more invested in the fate of my faction and its colonies.

 

 

The single player campaign is your typical generic fair, and an entirely forgettable experience. The story is bland at best most times and I found myself not really caring about it, and wound up ultimately abandoning it and just focusing on the free for all skirmish/scenario mode where you just go head to head against AI or other players. honestly 4x games excel when it comes to the multiplayer experience and Planetfall is no exception. Strategy and planning are key to victory in multiplayer and it’s a blast to see all your hard work pay off when you eliminate a rival.

 

 

The factions of Age of wonders can be broken down into various sub races of humans, and one alien insectoid race, which was my favorite. Each faction has its own gimmick and special units, the amazons are all female and ride alien dinosaurs and are one with nature, the Syndicate is a shadowy criminal nobility like faction, with lots of cloak and dagger style abilities and gameplay.

 

 

The vanguard are your baseline typical humans and one of two factions that can enter overwatch, they will be the most familiar and recognized as they feel the most like units from xcom, The kir’Ko are my favorite, they are psionic insect people that vomit acid and use psionic guns and are the second faction that can enter overwatch.The assembly are basically undead cyborg people out to get everyone else’s organs, and then finally we have the Dvar, the russian space dwarves of industrial steamrolling inevitability, these guys are all about softening the enemy up them ramming into them for the kill.

 

 

If you love 4X titles you will love Age of Wonders Planetfall, but if you find them to not be your thing then I’d avoid this title like the plague. while it is a great entry in the genre, it does not stray far from the typical 4x formulae which is both to its benefit and its detriment.

 

 

Age of Wonders: Planetfall is available now from Triumph Studios & Paradox Interactive, on PC, XBox One and Playstation 4, for more info or to buy, head over to their website here!

 

I give Age of Wonders: Planetfall a strong 8 out of 10 for great visuals, a great soundtrack, and being a great 4x title I could completely lose myself in.

~Darsch

 


September 18th, 2019 by Darsch
Posted in Gaming, General, Multiplatform, PC, Playstation, Real Time Strategy, Xbox | No Comments »

#GameOfTheMonth Multiplatform Game Review: The Elder Scrolls Online: Elsweyr

Dragons return to Tamriel in The Elder Scrolls Online: Elsweyr, part of the Season of the Dragon year-long adventure! Explore the savannahs and canyons of Elsweyr, defend the home of the Khajiit from an ancient evil, and command the undead with the Necromancer class.

 

 

Elsweyr is here, and it’s amazing. Elsweyr is Elder Scrolls Online’s newest chapter and takes place in the arid homeland of the khajit, Elsweyr. The main storyline centers around dragons returning and running amok in Elsweyr, Thanks to Abnur Tharn making a mistake again in his efforts to do what he feels is best for the empire. This chapter includes the amazing necromancer class and the beautiful desert zone of Elsweyr. Instead of dark anchors or abyssal geysers this time, Zenimax Online Studios decided to give us dragon invasions, random world bosses that take the place of dolmens and geysers. You’ll also stumble across some exceptional side quests with great characters. The chapter as a whole is something more than just the sum of its parts.

 

 

Elsweyr adds many new and interesting npcs such as Sarazi a Khajit hunter who wants to be the greatest khajiti hunter with the best shining fur coat and the most epic bulging muscles, or Sereyne the drunk mage with an eye patch and superb voice acting you recruit for a heist who is one of the Alfiq, talking house cats. Sereyne will at one point even barf due to the aftershocks from her wild bender from the night before while casting a spell that should drop the player and some friends behind enemy lines. Instead, it almost drops you right in the thick of them. She does feel bad about it though. The weirdness don’t stop here though, there is everything from emo necromancers to dragons that insult you while Fus Ro Dah’ing your ass to death.

 

 

Elsweyr itself is a joy to explore, the desert region sets itself apart from other desert regions in the game with unique landmarks such as the aqueducts and different flora and fauna all view-able from amazing vistas. Beautiful rocky night skylines and sunny stretches of sandy plains are abundant.

 

 

The new necromancer class is a blast to play whether you play tank, heals, or damage. The skeletal minions are not permanent pets like the sorcerer’s daedra pets but instead rotational abilities that do their thing then despawn leaving behind a corpse which can be interacted with by other necromancer abilities. They are gods of self healing and sustain and can be a nightmare in pvp with the right build and gear and fill all the pve roles very well.

 

 

New content this time includes several new delves, a new trial that pits you against dragons and undead that is a bit more new player friendly in terms of requirements to run it, and new skyshards to find, and new public dungeons. John Cleese even returns to voice cadwell for the main storyline of Elsweyr.

 

 

Elsweyr is best looked at and taken as a whole instead of focusing just on each individual part. It’s a blast to throw skulls at dragons as a necromancer and then forget you can’t summon undead in town or the guards will smite you. The Khajiit culture is on display in full and gives us a close look at these mysterious cat folk.

 

It’s a joy to be able to once again cover an ESO chapter release a year to the day after my very first review which was summerset.

 

The Elder Scrolls Online: Elsweyr is available now on PC, XBox One and PLaystation 4, for more information and to buy it, head over to the games website!

 

 

Elsweyr is a solid 10 out of 10 and I can’t imagine being elsewhere other than Elsweyr.

~Darsch


September 10th, 2019 by Darsch
Posted in Gaming, General, Massive Multiplayer Online, Multiplatform, PC, Playstation, Xbox | No Comments »

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