Category Archives: Entertainment

Entertainment

Quality in games vs. quality in gamers

Is the industry really to blame?
Pessimistic Gamer
Guest Writer

Gamers, developers, and corporations that control it all, oh my!
Recently, it’s become apparent to gamers of all shapes and sizes that games aren’t what they used to be, in good and bad ways, but is it the games or the gamers themselves?
I got the chance to work in the retail end of the gaming industry, seeing how sales and quality of games correspond, and have noticed a few patterns.
Every year, the normal Call of Duty, Assassin’s Creed and Battlefield all launch and all sell out, but almost everyone comes back, and complains about each game.
Now, while I understand that not every game fits every gamer, it seemed strange that, after all of the complaints and drama about why “Call of Duty: Ghosts” was a waste of money, many of those same people came back to reserve a copy of “Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare.”
There is nothing wrong with being loyal to a series of games. I know I have a few that I constantly complain about, but then buy the next game with open arms.
What I’m trying to get at is, who does the blame fall on?
Okay, for example, Destiny. Activision and Bungie’s love child just came out in September. It was a game that although both companies have had shaky track records, that everyone needed to own.
The game turned out okay, but let’s think about what the expectations were.
Amazing.
How did the game turn out?
It’s good. Not amazing, but good.
So many fans were let down by the game not being what they expected it to be. That’s the thing, though. It’s fun. What else does it need to be?
At some point, gamers need to take a step back and remember: what they are playing is meant to be fun, it’s a game.
Understandably, at $63.59 a pop, people want their games to be good, but maybe a little too good.
So what do gamers think? Should games be at the peak of greatness and treated like they’re expected to be that way at launch, or should gamers relax a little and just have fun playing the game?
Email eriesquaregazette@gmail.com to tell us what you think.

Becoming a legend

Activision and Bungie’s Destiny brought the MMO to console
Jenelle Kalaf
Photo Editor

A launch that most wanted to see succeed, but waited for it to fail. And why not? Destiny was doing something that no game had ever done before.
Bringing the elusive massively multiplayer online genre to a whole new audience, correctly.
Destiny, a new game developed by Activision and Bungie, is a massively multiplier online (MMO), a game based on a community and online multiplayer experience, centered on exploring the galaxy and becoming a hero along the way.
Having its release date pushed back multiple times, Destiny became a game only surviving from its own legend.
The game held up.
Bungie, the company that created Combat Evolved: Halo, is known for masterful world creation based around science fiction. Activision, a company known for many of the installments in the Call of Duty franchise, created a standard for multiplayer in video games.
Destiny, a MMO based around science fiction and multiplayer, should be great, right?
It stands as one of the only successful MMOs that received a console launch, even after the disaster Defiance, a television-video game crossover, turned out to be.
Well, that’s if the player always has friends willing to play at any time.
The game gets a little boring if no one can play.
That can be said for most MMOs, but console players aren’t used to that feeling. Most anyone can put Battlefield 4 into the Xbox One and someone is willing to play, so Destiny came as a shock for those thousands of player who needed to call a friend and wait for them to get on.
Many attempts have been made to push the MMO on to consoles, and Destiny’s success in doing so just may be the most impressive accomplishment here.
Destiny became a legend of its own and just may have cracked the code to something that’ll push games for years to come.

Unite!

Is Assassin’s Creed Unity the next big thing?
Tyler smith
Staff writer

Templars, Assassins, a battle for the future, fate, and freedom of mankind. Two groups from world’s history of shadowy secret organizations duke it out in this continuation of an epic game series: Assassin’s Creed Unity.
Battling in the beautiful city of Paris in the midst of the bloody French Revolution, the Assassins try to cleanse the city: day by day, street by street, Templar by Templar.
With the next generation game consoles, also known as Anvil technology, open world gameplay is truly open. Seamless exteriors and interiors give the player a wide array of exploring, along with escaping and hiding options as well. Even the feel of the city becomes more alive with Artificial Intelligence.
With artificial intelligence, also known as AI’s, the player must choose his/her strategy carefully in order of not being detected. The AI’s react to the players’ actions whether it be hostile or passive.
With the independent mind of AI’s, the terrain of the game has become sharper and more real, fog has become fog and not some white transparent form of pixels that goes across your screen. Besides fog, dust and smoke look real, so real that you could touch it if there wasn’t a TV screen in the way.
Even though all this new technology can make imaginary things seem real, there are still weapons. Yes weapons, but not ordinary weapons. Well there are swords and pistols, but Assassin’s Creed most ionic weapon is the hidden blade; a retractable blade that makes an assassin so deadly. I can assure you that Ubisoft kept the hidden blade, because if they didn’t there would riots in the streets.
With the new generation of assassin comes a new weapon, the Phantom Blade. In previous games you are given two long range weapons, a pistol and/or crossbow. With the latest two assassin games they changed the crossbow to a regular bow, then to a blowpipe. With Unity, the designers changed it again to the Phantom Blade, a mini crossbow like weapon that shoots little steel bolts at your target. Steel bolts. What else could be more awesome than steel bolts?
Multiplayer campaign mode is great now, not only do you have to worry about yourself; you have to worry about another player who probably doesn’t know what he is doing. Don’t get me wrong, having a multiplayer campaign mode is awesome, but what if you get in a fight with the guards and your buddy is getting his butt whooped. You are going to have to save his noob ass and risk messing up the mission.
Looking at the game as a whole though, Assassin’s Creed Unity a solid game with some new things mixed with formula and have the public look forward to its release on November 11, 2014.

New Super Smash Brothers

Review by ESG Staff

Promotion photos courtesy of: smashbros.com/us/
Promotion photos courtesy of: smashbros.com/us/

Angie Stoecklin
Editor-in-Chief

A game laced with nostalgia, and really, that’s it.
The new Super Smash Bros. game is really just a handheld version of Super Smash Bros. Melee for the Nintendo GameCube. Which isn’t a bad thing, I guess I was expecting something a little bit more, well, new.
Although I suppose that when it comes to a game like Smash, there really isn’t anything new that you can do with it. Other than add characters and new levels.
But I did find one aspect of the game annoying and frustrating. Why can’t I kill a character when their damage is over 150 percent? In the older games, when your foe gets to that point of damage, it’s just one A-button mash away from flying off the map into a burst of pretty colors. Now, you better jump around a million times and hit with your special attacks before they have a chance to jump back up on the platform. Again, I guess this isn’t a bad thing; it’s just mildly annoying.
Putting the damage issue aside though, I don’t hate this game. It really is the nostalgic Super Smash that so many 90’s kids know and love. The only difference being that this time, you can take it with you.

Nick “Chico” Hernandez
Managing Editor

When I utter “That was cool”, “No, no, no, no, no, no, no!” and “I just got messed up by Entei!” within the same minute, I know I’m in for a crazy ride. Super Smash Bros on the DS was definitely fun, even if I got my butt kicked by the other Mario (my character was Mario as well). The controls could be easier to learn, and jump seems to be implemented in several buttons. Is it enough to make me wanna buy a DS and SSB as well? Nope, but it makes me miss SSB all the same.

Jenelle Kalaf
Photo Editor

Super Smash Brothers for the 3DS is a strange mixer of nostalgia, fun, hands hurting and lack of speed, which isn’t as bad as it sounds.
The game itself is a fantastic step in the series. Good characters, a good look, and still a good ol’ smashing time.
The game is a little slow, though.
The speed became noticeable in Super Smash Brothers Brawl for the Nintendo Wii, due to the addition of Sega’s Sonic the Hedgehog as a character and the much needed control on speed.
They carried this on to the 3DS addition to help with Sonic, and because the 3DS’s processor can handle only a little bit more than the Wii ever could. It’s not bad though, and after a while, hard to notice.
The hands hurting is a strange issue, though.
Super Smash Brothers never had a fantastic reputation in the controls department, but the 3DS just wasn’t meant for this type of game.
Once again, not bad, just something that takes getting used to.
It’s worth picking up.
Just a quick tip, get good at using the Villager from Animal Crossing. It’s unfair how amazing he is.

Yelling About Comics: Wicked + Devine

3901304-$_57Zacchary Penzien
“Guest Writer”

Warning: vague spoilers for the first issue.
Every ninety years, twelve gods reincarnate as teenagers. They are hated, they are loved, they are famous, and then in two years, they are dead. That’s the pitch of writer Kieron Gillen and artist/designer Jamie Mckelvie’s, “The Wicked and the Devine” (Wicked + Devine for short).
The story follows Laura, a teenage girl who gets mixed up with the reincarnation of Lucifer (Lucy for short). The first issue ends on a hell (hey look a pun) of a cliff hanger involving Lucy that sets up what I assume will be the story for the rest of the arch.
Mckelvie and Gillen are at the top of their respective games on this to create a world that is immediately recognizable as our own but with an immensely satisfying touch of fantasy.
Gillen’s set up for this world is a lovely mix of creepy and mysterious. His flair for characterization continues from his run on “Young Avenger” to this book.
Makelvie’s status as one of Marvel’s top costume designers is on full display in this. Every character feels like they have their own style that stands out from the world, but still feels like a natural part of it.
“Wicked + Devine” is a relatively recent title, only having three issues out as of now. The first of which is an oversized issue (a longer than normal issue of a comic). It’s the perfect time to jump on if you are looking for a title that is not based on superheroes.
“Wicked + Devine” is 2.99 and issue and is available for 1.99 on comixology. It is also available as a DRM free PDF on the Publisher website Imagecomics.com.

Cap is back

Captain America: The Winter Soldier stands strong

Gregory Garofalo
Managing Editor

Captain-America-The-Winter-Soldier-Poster
Captain-America-The-Winter-Soldier-Poster

BAM! POW! “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” swings open the gate to summer movies. Reeling in a $96 million opening weekend at the box office. it is one of the strongest Marvel movies to date.
And here’s why:

– It brought back a level of reality to the Marvel universe: Over the past six years, Marvel has introduced their audiences to exciting foes such as Nazi super soldiers, techno-terrorists, radioactive monsters, demi gods and even aliens.
In this Captain America sequel, the high has worn off and the dragons have left. Even though the movie has heavy sci-fi elements, it definitely feels the most grounded out of the Marvel movies. Giving the film a feeling of a fresh start, the audience doesn’t feel burdened by eight previous movies.

– Social commentary was natural and didn’t feel forced: Captain America, both in the comics and in the movies stands as a symbol of freedom and liberty. Marvel and the Russo brothers take complete advantage of this and bring in a lot of modern day national concerns. Primarily the line between security and liberty. One particular memorable quote comes to mind “This isn’t freedom, this is fear… [you’re] holding a gun to the rest of the world and calling it freedom.”

– Strong Characters, and good development of Black Widow and Nick Fury: One thing Marvel has always been adept at is crafting strong characters, this movie is no exception. Now that The Avengers saved the day we’re able to take a look at how Cap has grown as a character, before we saw a man fighting for freedom, and here we see a man fighting to preserve it.
Natasha Romanov, the Black Widow, gets her largest role yet. Before we’ve seen Black Widow the Superhero, and now we see Natasha the woman. Marvel does an excellent job revealing a more human side to the tough as nails heroine seen in Avengers.
Nick Fury is another big name that has been given more defined role, not just a mysterious leader of a secret agency. Audiences are shown just what Nick’s role is and why he keeps the secrets that he does.

– New characters hold their own: Anthony Mackie is a new face to the Cap-verse, playing iconic superhero The Falcon. Mackie does a great job holding his own amidst two Avengers, becoming a character with not only a definite purpose in the film, but is someone you will hope and pray to be in future Captain America and Avenger films.

– Changes to the Marvel Universe, not just the hero: Unlike previous post-Avengers movies which take the hero out of the larger world, The Winter Soldier shakes things up not just for Steve Rogers, but for the whole world Marvel has established that has already affected Marvel’s agents of SHIELD, and will no doubt affect Avengers: Age of Ultron next May.

– Organic special effects: In a world of digital effects swarming the world around us, practical effects can take a back seat (thank you George Lucas and James Cameron.) The Russo brothers bring in a slew of Organic explosions and fight scenes that are so well choreographed you will forget that you have the ability to blink.

Yelling about comics: Atomic Robo

Atomic Robo and other strangeness. volume four
Atomic Robo and other strangeness. volume four

Zack Penzien
Production Editor

 

Not all comic books are based around super-powered white dudes in capes and tights. While that is a larger piece of the pie chart than it should be, it’s not the only slice.
“Atomic Robo” is a comic that embraces the fun and pulpy side of comics that it seems the superhero comics are just remembering its ok to have.
The basics of the story are that Nikola Tesla invented an artificially intelligent robot to fight Nazis in World War 2. The comic chronicles his adventures throughout his life protecting the world from mechs, mutants, and giant ants with the help of his action scientists.
“Atomic Robo” has embraced and took up the mantle of the pulp sci-fi adventure and it is incredible. The pages of “Atomic Robo” are filled with jetpacks, dinosaurs with machine guns, robots, and Steven Hawking being a dick.
Every 5 issue arch is pretty self-contained and you don’t need a whole lot of knowledge from the last story to find out what’s going on. Robo shows up at a place or is called to it, has an adventure, punches a giant monster or robot, then science happens, and were out. It’s a great and versatile formula and it’s just the best.
But what makes this comic different from the main stream stuff is what the creators call “The Promise.” What the promise means is no angst, no cheese cake (sexy for the sake of sexy), no reboots, and no filler. Even the best Marvel and DC offerings are guilty of at least one of those sins.
The book is creator owned, so the same writer and artists who created Robo have been working on the title since its inception. So the quality of the comic has been pretty solid throughout the run.
If you are interested in a sample of what “Atomic Robo” has to offer, they have every free comic book day sample issue at www.Atomic-robo.com/free-comics.

Listen bud, this movie’s got radioactive blood

Amazing Spider-Man 2 swings into theaters

Gregory Garofalo
Managing Editor

Amazing Spiderman 2 poster
Amazing Spiderman 2 poster

Peter Parker’s life is as crazy as ever, and in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Parker faces off three villains while trying to manage his personal life.
Spider-Man 2 swung into theaters May 2, with a great cast, breath taking CGI and a $92M opening weekend box office.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was a sensational opener to summer block buster, and here’s why.
According to MSNentertainment.com Amazing Spider-Man 2 had a 92M box office opening weekend
Those who had any doubts about Andrew Garfield in the last ASM need to fear no longer, this time around ol’ web seems to be taken straight out of his wise-cracking-jokester self. The screenwriters, the director, and Andrew Garfield have done their homework in order to bring audiences the Spider-Man we all know and love.
Of Course Emma Stone is just as brilliant as the last time around, her chemistry with Garfield is something that can’t be beat. She never gives Peter the “you choose Spider-Man, or me,” ultimatum. Instead she insists on being the Bonnie to his Clyde in a way that is believable and adorable at the same time.
Harry Osborn, on the other hand… unfortunately there isn’t a lot to differentiate James Dehan’s portrayal from James Franco other than the fact that the spoiled rich kid angle is highlighted. The motive for his Spider-Man obsession is changed, but it’s still there. However it’s excusable because Harry’s Spidey obsession is a core tenant in his character arch.
Sony is taking mainstream Marvel head on, competing with The Avengers by introducing a larger world. How this spider-verse differs from the mainstream Marvel Universe as Spidey doesn’t have a plethora of heroes that Sony draws from, but rather a plethora of villains.
The wall crawler faces not one, not two, but three villains in this new chapter in Peter’s life: Electro, The Rhino, and an old favorite, The Green Goblin.
Learning from past mistakes (cough, cough, Spider-Man 3) Sony uses Paul Giomatti’s Rhino and The Goblin, whose identity shall remain a secret, in the movie to establish a larger world, however, the characters are strong enough on their own to influence his world in drastic ways.
The narrative becomes a little cluttered at times because it draws from three different stories almost:

1) Peter’s relationship with Gwen and the ghosts of his past
2) Spider-Man protecting the city and balancing peter’s life
3) Peter’s friendship with Harry Osborn

This many plotlines does force the film to stray away from a strict linear format, while this may come to a distaste to some people as it takes away from Jamie Foxx’s Electro a bit, it is done in a skilled manner which doesn’t take away from the larger story.
It is a refresher to see a film that isn’t afraid to take a risk with its narrative.
The movie is a great installment to this new spider-man franchise that is filled with moments that will have you biting your nails and running for the tissue box.

Death has a Sequel

Dark Souls 2 is only out to kill you

Jenelle Kalaf
Staff Writer

Dark Souls 2
Dark Souls 2

Have you ever woken up and thought, “I want to die as many times as possible in a video game and still somehow love it?”
No one else did either, but that didn’t stop From Software, the creators of “Demon Souls” and “Dark Souls,” from supplying the world with another clean, beautiful and terrifyingly hard game for us to all enjoy.
“Dark Souls 2” starts off following cursed woman or man that is trying to find a cure, and that’s it. No help screens, no tutorials, no anything. Go, have fun, and good luck figuring out how to run or swing your sword before you find any enemies.
The main character develops as the game goes on, but only hints tell the story, and at that point, a hint box for the controls would be more helpful.
The game faces you off with enemies that have no “novice level,” just hard monsters that only get stronger. Save points are also impossible to find, no takie-backies.
The game itself is beautiful, though. Nothing breaks a heart more than seeing the most beautiful mountain, and then having a monster come by and commit murder.
The music only makes the death even more fitting with a fantastic soundtrack composed by Mikolai Stroinski, who worked on other projects such as HBO’s “In Treatment” and “Bez Tajemnic.”
The game is solid, fun and enjoyable if dying 30 times before you get past the first monster doesn’t make you too mad.