Kingsman: The Golden Circle is a spy action comedy film released in North America on September 22nd, 2017. It was directed and written by Matthew Vaugh and stars Taron Egerton (), Colin Firth and Channing Tatum ().
The first Kingsman movie caught me completely by surprise back in 2015, taking me on an unexpected, delightful romp through the biggest tropes of the spy genre. Matthew Vaughn wrote, directed and produced a tailored experience that startled me in the best ways possible. It wasn’t without its flaws, but with a diverse cast, a fun premise and amazing action sequences I was hooked right up to the unfortunately raunchy final scene. And while Vaughn is back to write, direct and produce the sequel it falls quite short of the lovable ridiculousness of the first.
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Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is a superhero comedy film released in North America on May 5th, 2017. It was directed and written by James Gunn () and stars Chris Pratt (), Zoe Saldana () and Kurt Russell.
I’m a huge fan of the first Guardians of the Galaxy. It breathed fresh air into the superhero genre and was a great Hollywood debut for the Parks and Rec beloved Chris Pratt. The soundtrack was in my head for months and I adored the intro scene in the cavern set to Redbone’s “Come and Get Your Love,” which set the fun tone that carried all the way throughout the comedy space romp. But the same cannot be said for the sequel. The first film was so special and perfect in its own way, much like how awesome the first Avengers was, that there’s absolutely no way the sequel could live up. And just like how Avengers: Age of Ultron failed to recapture that original magic, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is a lacklustre sequel that feels messy, forced and, like the film’s five post credit scenes, entirely unnecessary. Continue reading →
For those unfamiliar with Arkane Studio’s upcoming sci-fi thriller Prey, it’s a reboot of the 2006 game of the same name. This time around things are very different, Arkane is focusing on branching story arcs and multiple endings similar to their other series Dishonored. In fact, a great deal of the game is building upon the successes of last year’s Dishonored 2, both mechanically and visually. This is another step in Arkane Studio’s mission to etch out and master a particular style in the AAA game scene that’s unique to them. Similar to how Naughty Dog has dominated the third-person adventure genre with Uncharted and The Last of Us, Arkane Studios has their sights set on dominating first-person adventures where characters, world-building and player choice drive the experience both with their breakout Dishonored games and now Prey. Continue reading →
I used to love Kinda Funny. It was my go-to for video game impressions, podcasts and just general entertainment. I loved listening to “PS I Love You XOXO” every Tuesday and I always tuned into the Kinda Funny Gamescast whenever I could. But then I began to watch with my girlfriend and she pointed some things out. Things that as I better understand some of the major issues with sexism and racism in video games the more I want to stop supporting them and vehemently challenge them. I started to tune into Kinda Funny less and less as I began to realise one particular voice embodied the many issues: Colin Moriarty.
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This time last year I was ecstatic over all the amazing 2016 games showcasing female protagonists. It seemed like things were starting to look up for those who’ve been demanding more diversity from the mainstream, AAA video games. Unfortunately, I realised after this year’s E3 and looking at the Fall to early 2017 lineup I was being a little too optimistic. Not only is there a lack of women, but big games and publishers are actively avoiding putting women in their games. In an industry where more than half of those who play games are women, it’s frustrating that sexism and misogyny keep pushing women to the sides or entirely exclude them from AAA games. From the typical oversexualized portrayal to a more subtle misrepresentation to outright exclusion, there are different ways in which the AAA games in this article (and many others we couldn’t get into here) are a disservice to the potential of video games and the players who love them. Continue reading →
Severed is a first person, touch-based dungeon crawler released for the PlayStation Vita on April 26, 2016. It was developed and published by @DrinkBoxStudios. For more info check out the game’s gorgeous site. Screenshots taken by myself.
First person dungeon crawlers are a rare breed of game. It’s a genre that had its heydey in the late 90s and hasn’t really been heard from since. But the opportunity for immersion that comes with this sort of game is quite high if it’s done right. It’s even rarer to see a game from a high profile studio release exclusively on the slowly dying PlayStation Vita. What’s rarest of all is for one of these types of games release on the Vita AND be an incredible experience from start to finish. This recipe for success is what makes Severed a marvellous game and a must play for Vita owners and fans of the genre. Continue reading →
HEADER IMAGE: MASHABLE/VICKY LETA
There’s a studio in Finland called Housemarque. Founded in 1995, Housemarque has made several outstanding games like Dead Nation, Super Stardust and most recently Alienation. The thing that stands out to me the most about Housemarque is not their roster of outstanding games and excellent design tendencies. It isn’t that they’re the oldest game studio in Finland or that they’ve won countless awards and nominations for their work. It’s that in the year 2016 there is only one female employee in the whole team and she was hired fairly recently. If you watched the credits for Dead Nation (which came out in 2010) you’ll see there’s only one female listed in the entire credits and she’s a voice actress. Sadly this isn’t a situation unique to Housemarque but reflects the industry as a whole. Continue reading →
According to a report from NintendoLife the new Legend of Zelda game for Wii U may finally let players select their character’s gender. Every instalment in the Legend of Zelda series has always starred Link, the green tunic clad elf. But according to a some tweets from Nintendo employees the new game may let players choose the gender of the longtime male series protagonist.
This rumour fits with what seasoned series designer Eiji Anuma has said in previous interviews about the upcoming Wii U exclusive. Anuma has stated that the new Zelda game will shake things up and hopefully prevent the tried and true Zelda formula from becoming stale. In an interview with Famitsu, relayed by Kotaku, Anuma likened the new changes to “going from Japanese food to Western style food.” This is possibly a reference to stepping away from the sparring, desolate worlds traditionally found in Japanese games and moving towards the more dense, populated worlds found in Western RPGs. Western RPGs like Fallout, Elder Scrolls and Mass Effect all let players select their character’s gender. Whether this change Anuma talked about will bring with it the choice to play as someone other than Link remains to be seen. Continue reading →
I realized that I had been using a phrase in my posts that a lot of people are unfamiliar with, so I decided you all deserve an explanation. It’s one of my favourite phrases when discussing characters in video games:”Whitey McStubbly”. I first heard the phrase in an interview with Tomb Raider writer Rhianna Pratchett and started using it immediately. You’ve seen countless of them, but when you really stop to think about the protagonists in popular video games it’s quite startling how many of them are white, middle-aged men with that five-o-clock shadow and a slight scowl. Continue reading →