Welcome back! I’m late to the game for D23’s coverage, but it seems like this year’s convention had noteworthy news regarding movies, video games, and content for Disney+. Here are my favorite announcements from D23, 2022. Enjoy!
I was genuinely excited when the new trailer for Andor dropped. My enthusiasm diminished significantly after I watched the first three episodes, but the show has impressive set pieces and it’s nice to see how the Rebel Alliance started. So far, my interpretation of Andor is Game of Thrones in space. Honestly, I didn’t appreciate Game of Thrones either and that might be my biggest issue with the new Star Wars show. I just find the subject matter boring, but there’s plenty of time for the pacing to improve. Regardless, the first season of Andor will have twelve episodes.
It seems like we’ve been waiting an eternity for this show. Ahsoka Tano made a great impression in season 2 of The Mandalorian. Her demeanor is calm yet fierce and she’s a skilled warrior with a lightsaber. I have a feeling her character will be somewhat of a vigilante. Disney hasn’t revealed a solid release date, but Ahsoka is coming in 2023. Expect a decent amount of world building and action scenes. After all, it’s taking quite a while to create this show. Their time is definitely going somewhere.
Avatar: The Way of Water
20th Century still exists and they’re releasing a brand new Avatar film exclusively in theaters on December 16, 2022. It’s been many years since the original Avatar movie blew away audiences with stunning 3D effects. I’ve never been a fan of 3D cinema, but Avatar was an entertaining viewing. The sequel looks pretty decent with a short trailer available online. Personally, I think James Cameron waited way too long to create this film, but you never know. It might be a huge Christmas hit.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
Ryan Coogler had a huge challenge with this movie after Chadwick Boseman tragically passed away. Disney opted not to recast the lead role and it seems like Wakanda Forever might open with T’Challa’s funeral. I assume this film will have criticism because some viewers will find T’Challa’s death ghoulish and exploitative. Personally, I think the promotional material looks really good. It has a strong cast of female characters, emotional depth, and Namor the Submariner looks awesome. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will debut in theaters on November 11, 2022.
Captain America: New World Order
I’m very curious about the new Captain America movie, starring Anthony Mackie instead of Chris Evans. Many fans can’t handle change, but I believe it’s necessary to keep the Marvel juggernaut running. I wasn’t impressed with Falcon and the Winter Soldier, although Sam Wilson seems like a new and exciting version of Captain America. He’s going to have wings and a shield at the same time. Works for me. New World Order is coming to theaters on May 3, 2024. That’s a really long wait.
Daredevil: Born Again
Disney is bringing back Charlie Cox as Daredevil. My brain is going to explode! The Daredevil show on Netflix was excellent and I’m thrilled to see a revival on Disney+, even if the content will be more kid friendly. Charlie Cox is the perfect fit as Daredevil and he should have minimal difficulty adapting to the MCU. For some reason, Disney greenlit eighteen episodes, which is huge for any streaming service. Perhaps, Daredevil will become an important character in future MCU movies. I certainly hope that’s the case. At the moment, Disney is planning to release Daredevil: Born Again next year.
A trailer dropped for Disnenchanted and it was surprisingly funny. I wasn’t a huge fan of the original Enchanted, but it was fine for all intensive purposes. This sequel continues the main story with the original characters while they adapt to suburban life. Yeah, the premise doesn’t sound very exciting, but you should watch the trailer. It’s pretty entertaining. Disenchanted is premiering exclusively on Disney+ Thanksgiving; November 24, 2023.
This video game will probably release in 2023 or 2024 because it’s just a remaster of a 1990s classic. Unlike the modern era, licensed games were pretty good during my childhood. Gargoyles was a good one, although I remember it being quite challenging. Have you ever played the old Aladdin and Lion King games? They’re unforgivingly difficult. Gargoyles isn’t that unbearable, but it’s a strong test of a gamer’s reflexes and platforming skills. Retro gaming is really taking off.
This film was one of my favorite announcements from D23. A reboot of the Haunted Mansion is getting a theatrical release in 2023. It stars Jamie Lee Curtis as Madame Leota and the tone will be considerably darker than the average Disney movie. With that said, it’s still a Disney film, so don’t expect anything ultra scary. Haunted Mansion was delayed at one point, but now it has a solid release date of August 11, 2023. I don’t understand why it’s not coming out for Halloween, although Disney might have other plans for that part of the year.
Hocus Pocus 2
A new trailer was released for Hocus Pocus 2. In my opinion, the original Hocus Pocus is one of the most entertaining films about witches. It’s also a classic viewing on Halloween. The sequel looks quite funny and we’re getting a real treat because it’s debuting on Disney+. I have respect for the theatrical window, but it’s time to bring some variety to the movie viewing experience. Some films don’t need to release in theaters. I’m a little surprised to see a release date for September 30th, 2022. Maybe Disney wanted to give Hocus Pocus 2 plenty of attention through the entire month of October.
This Disney+ show will feature Dominique Thorne as Riri Williams, the titular character. I’m not sure if this is an oversimplification, but Ironheart is basically a young, female version of Iron Man. She’s a very intelligent young lady who creates her own Iron Man suit. In fact, we’ll see this character debut in the upcoming Black Panther film. Again, change is necessary. Robert Downey Jr. is gone from the MCU and everyone needs to accept it. I’m curious to see what happens in Ironheart. Hopefully, it will have better writing than most of the Marvel shows. Barring delays, this show will premiere on Disney+ some time in 2023.
The Mandalorian: Season 3
We finally got a teaser for The Mandalorian: Season 3. Most of the material was old clips from previous seasons, but it’s better than nothing. I assume it will be another solid entry in the Star Wars saga. The Mandalorian remains the best show on Disney+. In fact, I would say it’s one of the best Star Wars projects entirely. Besides, who can resist little Grogu? He’s adorable and hilarious at the same time. The titular Mandalorian is also one of the most developed and intriguing Star Wars characters. Plus, this show always has a lot of actions scenes. It’s just a great recipe for success.
Mufasa: The Lion King
Good things can be worth the wait. Mufasa: The Lion King is a prequel to the original release and it will chronicle Mufasa’s rise to the throne. Can you think of a cooler lion than Mufasa? He’s the best! This original story is releasing on July 5, 2024. That’s a long wait, but it will give Disney plenty of time to make a really good project.
National Treasure: Edge of History
Here’s another IP that deserves a reboot. National Treasure is getting a fresh start as a Disney+ show on December 14th, 2023. The trailer was quite short, so I’m surprised it’s releasing this year. Maybe Disney will show more promotional material for the holiday season. If you’re not familiar with National Treasure, it’s basically the same type of adventure as Indiana Jones. It always features a risk taking scholar who goes on a grand and dangerous journey. Edge of History will feature a brand new cast and it will be a loose spinoff of the original movies.
Percy Jackson and the Olympians
I’m a big fan of the Percy Jackson books and it looks like we’re finally getting a faithful adaptation. Granted, it’s a Disney+ show, so they might take a lot of liberties. The show focuses on a group of children who are the demigod offspring of various Greek Gods. For example, Percy Jackson is a son of Poseidon. It should be a really entertaining adventure show. Disney didn’t give a solid release date and the teaser is very brief, so it’s probably a ways down the pipeline. I seriously doubt it will come out until 2024.
Peter Pan and Wendy
Disney released a title card for Peter Pan and Wendy, one of the upcoming live action remakes. It wasn’t the most exciting news, but this movie is on the horizon for 2023. Peter Pan and Wendy is also going to be a Disney+ exclusive. Right now, Disney isn’t divulging many details, but Jude Law is portraying Captain Hook. I don’t know if he’s a sensible casting choice or not. We’ll find out when the film comes out.
A brief glimpse was given for Skeleton Crew, an upcoming Star Wars show that will feature Jude Law and a group of kids. Maybe it will be like the Lost Boys in space. Disney is being cryptic about the details, so don’t expect a release date any time soon. I would be surprised if this show releases any earlier than 2024. On the plus side, a little bit of material was shown at D23, which means Disney completed some amount of filming. I’m just hoping it will be different than the other Star Wars titles. This franchise needs more variety.
The latest release from Disney Animation will feature an entire family of explorers who embark on a perilous journey to an alien planet. Strange World has a brand new trailer, which looks very exciting. Granted, it also shows too much information. I’m pretty sure the trailer shows almost the whole movie. Regardless, it seems like an entertaining space adventure that’s a little different than Disney’s recent animation. Maybe it will be kind of like Indiana Jones in space. Strange World premieres in theaters on November 23, 2022.
Untitled Black Panther and Captain America Game
This video game doesn’t have a title or release date yet, but I now it’s going to feature Black Panther and Captain America during World War II. Honestly, the setting sounds really weird for a Marvel game and I don’t know why both of these characters are being featured at the same time. Most likely, this game is really far away. I would be surprised if it comes out any earlier than 2024. However, it’s a Marvel game in development and several projects were excellent, including Spider-Man and Guardians of the Galaxy.
I’m probably the only person who’s looking forward to this Disney+ show. Truthfully, I never liked the original Willow movie. I just thought it was really weird. However, the streaming show looks really interesting with a high fantasy setting and a variety of characters. It should have a solid amount of creative world building, lore, and action. The upcoming Willow show is giving me vibes of Lord of the Rings and similar fantasies. It’s coming this Fall on November 30, 2022.
There you go! I hope you found enough news and exciting content from my D23 breakdown. Naturally, I didn’t list everything. Are you looking forward to anything from this post? Did I omit anything that’s on your wish list? Leave a comment. We’re approaching Halloween and the fourth quarter of 2022 shortly. I can’t believe it! Time is flying this year (probably because I’m so busy). Enjoy the remainder of 2022 and come back again for next week’s post. Good night!
Greetings! The past couple months were pretty slow concerning new video games, but I have enough content to review today. 2022 seems to be a year of retro collections, remakes, and nostalgia. It’s not a conventional release schedule, but I’m not complaining either. I think it’s a really good idea to introduce classic games and characters to modern audiences. Let’s take a look at my review list for September.
Gamers can finally play as a cat in a post-apocalyptic adventure game, called Stray. It seems like we’ve been waiting forever. Stray is very unique in terms of concept and gameplay. The level design is mostly linear, although you can participate in side quests. It’s not a complex platformer, giving specific button prompts in front of ledges, boxes, tables, and other items. The protagonist seems like a real cat in terms of agility, playfulness, and overall feline behavior. Sometimes the story is a bit depressing, but it’s also thoughtful, heartwarming, and interesting. The runtime is around five hours, which is perfect for this type of game. Stray has a decent mixture of exploration, puzzles, combat, platforming, and storytelling. I also enjoy the ending, but you’ll have to play the game to learn more.
Stray definitely belongs on my favorites of 2022, despite having some technical issues. Periodically, the controls are unresponsive and I experienced a few hard crashes. I had to restart a chapter more than once because a glitch prevented me from progressing to the next section. Combat is probably this game’s biggest weakness, which is typical of Annapurna. Universally, their combat is really clunky and unrefined. This game is pretty easy most of the time, but a few chase sequences and combat sections are frustrating. However, none of these issues ruin the game.
This game costs $29.99 through digital retailers. A physical edition is also releasing for $39.99 on September 20th. Stray is entirely worth the cost and you can even play it on PlayStation Plus Extra. If you feel skeptical, try it on PlayStation Plus before purchasing the full game.
If you enjoy retro Doom shooters, Dusk follows a similar gameplay style. This game is entertaining with a variety of weapons, including pump action shotguns, automatic rifles, a crossbow, and a rocket launcher. Dusk is a modern game, but the graphics and combat mirror first person shooters from the 1990s. The variety of enemies is vast with cultists, monsters, and various boss fights. This game adds a few modern conventions, such as two shotguns at the same time. The environments are creepy, despite their pixelated appearances, ranging from cornfields, government facilities, alternate dimensions, etc. Dusk also has several difficulty settings to accommodate various types of players.
Eventually, I stopped playing this game because the combat became overwhelming halfway through the story. It’s fun, but the gameplay is frantic with endless hoards of enemies. I also burned a lot of time searching for keys and correct doorways. Milling around lost is a great way to kill my enthusiasm for a game. In general, I would say Dusk is really long for this type of game, running for several hours with super repetitive combat.
Dusk is an interesting experiment that should please fans of the original FPS genre. However, I doubt it will bring younger audiences and casual players to this style of gameplay. A lot of gamers will probably get tired or bored after a while. If you’re a collector, physical preorders are available at Best Buy for the Nintendo Switch.
The remake of PAC-MAN World is available on every platform. I’ve never played the original PAC-MAN World spinoff series, but Re-PAC was definitely a memorable experience. Unfortunately, I don’t mean that in a good way. I found this game quite weak with a lack of entertainment value. The animation is pretty good, but the gameplay is bland and the platforming is imprecise. That means the gameplay is very easy and annoying at the same time. None of the level design is complex, but awkward controls are the most frustrating part. Traversal requires minimal thought, strategy, and concentration, although it’s easy to die continually in specific areas. I can’t identify PAC-MAN World’s target audience. It will be really boring for the majority of adults and irritating for kids.
I’m not recommending this game, even though it only costs $29.99. Several games are much better choices for younger players, such as Kirby and the Forgotten Land, Pokémon Legends: Arceus, and LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga. This game was released during the week of Gamescom and Bandai Namco didn’t bother to promote it. Now I see why they kept a low profile for PAC-MAN World Re-PAC.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection is one of the most impressive retro compilations to date. This collection includes thirteen games from the original TMNT series. The overall franchise holds up incredibly well with challenging combat, quick pacing, influences from the original cartoon series, and grueling boss fights. Timing and patterns are everything, which is a standard in the brawler genre. The Cowabunga Collection has great replay value with a variety of cheats, including accelerated speed, invincibility, extra lives, and higher difficulty settings. Unlike many older games, the TMNT series is surprisingly accessible to modern audiences due to smooth controls and various accessibility options.
Most gamers should enjoy this collection, but I realize some people don’t play brawlers. Just like every game in the genre, this compilation is repetitive and really challenging. In my opinion, the original NES game is downright impossible. Good luck. So, avoid this collection if you dislike 2D side scrollers and brawlers.
Overall, I would say The Cowabunga Collection is a resounding success. It’s a fun way to experience an earlier generation of gaming. I can tell the people who created this collection have a great love and respect for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated series and comic books. It’s also cheaper than most games at $39.99.
How many of you remember the original BloodRayne games? A remaster of BloodRayne, subtitled Revamped on consoles and Terminal Cut on PC, is currently available. I wish this game held up better in the modern era, but it’s simply outdated. The combat is slow and imprecise. It’s very easy to miss targets and the platforming is mind numbingly inaccurate. The basic premise is really interesting and the story is trite, although entertaining. BloodRayne is about a half-blood vampire who’s killing Nazis and monsters. If that idea sound preposterous, you’re probably right, but it’s still fun. The voice acting is predictably bad for the PlayStation 2 era and the camera angles are pretty weird. For example, you can’t look side to side, which makes combat a lot more difficult. On the plus side, the monsters and environments are cool on a visual level for their time period.
In the end, the remaster of BloodRayne won’t make people fall in love this IP. It doesn’t play very well and there’s very little reason to feel nostalgic. Perhaps, we’ll see a brand new BloodRayne game in the future. I think a fresh start is what this franchise needs. For those you who grew up playing the original BloodRayne games, a physical version is coming out on the Nintendo Switch at Best Buy.
You can also play the Revamped version or Terminal Cut of BloodRayne 2. This one is much better on a functional level than the first BloodRayne game. The gameplay has better fluidity, accuracy, and a more impressive list of combos. BloodRayne 2 fixes the camera issues and works pretty well for modern players. For example, you can actually spin around in circles, which is always a perk in modern gaming. No more tank controls! The story is more engaging and gamers will still encounter an unusual cast of monsters. Ultimately, the combat is more entertaining and a vast improvement from the first BloodRayne title.
However, this sequel will still struggle to impress modern players. Some of the mechanics are difficult to master. For example, the acrobatic sections are a nightmare and they appear frequently. Both of the BloodRayne remasters allow cheat codes, but they don’t provide a significant improvement to the experience. The gameplay is repetitive and the environments look dark and generic. I must say, vampire games don’t have a great track record in the industry.
Should you play either of the BloodRayne titles? I suppose it’s fine if they were part of your gaming repertoire in the past. Beyond that, I doubt modern gamers will care about these remasters. If you’re interested in collecting a physical copy, BloodRayne 2: Revamped is available for preorder at Best Buy.
That’s all for now! Some older games and styles hold up better than others. I appreciate certain games and genres, but everyone is different and they connect with a variety of options. What games make you feel nostalgic? Are you still waiting for the revival of your favorite game series? Tell me in the comment section. It might seem like these old games are a waste of time, but they’re filling out the 2022 roster. A lot more games are coming in the Fall of and Winter seasons. In fact, October and November are going to be utterly packed. It’ll be hard to review everything on my wish list. Granted, that’s not a bad problem to endure. Take care of yourselves and game on!
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