Welcome back! I have quite a few games on my shelf and it might be a good idea to talk about some of them. We'll be seeing a new generation of game systems in 2020 or 2021, so I should bang out some game reviews before the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 become obsolete. I spent some time playing a fighting game called Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite and a choose your own adventure style game titled Tales from the Borderlands. These games are very different from each other and I'll tell you all about it. Happy reading!
Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite is a shared universe with the Marvel comics and various characters from the Capcom games. A supervillain named Ultron Sigma wants to use the mystical Infinity Stones and the deadly Sigma Virus to take over the cosmos. A huge variety of heroes from the Marvel and Capcom properties unite to defeat this evil force. The fate of multiple realities is in their hands.
First, I'm going to discuss the game's best elements. It uses many classic gameplay elements from the Marvel vs. Capcom franchise. You can switch between characters, throw together awesome combination attacks, and use turbo charged finishing moves. It's an entertaining fighting game for people who enjoy the genre. If you're a big fan of this particular series, Infinite might be a good choice.
This game has a nice variety of characters. It includes many of my favorite MCU characters, such as Iron Man, Captain America, Black Panther, and others. The game also has classic characters from the Capcom brand, including Ryu, Chun-Li, Chris Redfield, etc. It even added more characters who haven't been in the previous Marvel vs. Capcom games, such as Captain Marvel. Each character is unique and has their own set of moves. A player can spend a lot of time getting to know each character and their best assets.
You get to use the Infinity Stones! It's a really cool addition to the game. Along the way, the characters collect the Infinity Stones and each item has a different ability. For example, one of the stones slows down time. You can pummel opponents quickly while they move very slowly. The Infinity Stones are especially helpful during the most challenging battles.
Unfortunately, I have some criticism for this game. The story is downright nonsensical. It mashes together so many ideas from the various Marvel and Capcom franchises. I guess it's not important for the game to have a strong story, but it doesn't need to be so confusing. The dialogue is awful too.
I have to admit, the gameplay becomes redundant and stale very quickly. It's not a particularly challenging game. In fact, it's one of the easiest games in the Marvel vs. Capcom series. I got bored after a while. Lately, I've been a bigger fan of the Street Fighter games.
The graphics are probably the most disappointing part of this game. They're quite cartoonish and subpar for modern game systems. Most of the characters and background elements look cheap or misshapen. The color schemes are kind of weird as well.
Overall, I'm primarily recommending this game for hardcore fans of the Marvel vs. Capcom series. It's not a bad game for kids either. But I don't think it's worth the money for a lot of gamers. Most players will expect a better challenge and more polished graphics.
Let's move on to Tales from the Borderlands. The story takes place on a chaotic planet called Pandora. The Hyperion corporation is searching for vaults; a form of valuable alien technology. Rhys is a bumbling employee for Hyperion who desperately wants to climb the corporate ladder and he believes the vaults are his ticket to success. Meanwhile, two thieves named Fiona and Sasha are also searching for the vaults to get out of debt. Rhys runs into the troubled sisters and they form an uneasy partnership to find the vaults together. Along the way, they're being hunted by alien creatures, bandits, gangsters, and corporate suits. It's a zany adventure in deep space.
I can't say enough good things about this game. It's insanely entertaining for a graphic adventure. Tales from the Borderlands is funny, violent, exciting, and wacky. There's never a dull moment. It's a nice break from the dark and broody tone of other games.
This game has several interesting and fun characters who undergo significant development through each episode. Most of the characters are roguish, flawed, silly, and still relatable. I became quite attached to some of the characters.
It has good representation across more than one genre, such as space operas, comedy, post-apocalypse, and adventure. The mishmash of elements works really well without being convoluted.
I actually believe this game has a much better story than the other Borderlands installments. It's whimsical, but still pretty substantial with a strong sense of direction. The plot isn't predictable either, so it remains interesting from one episode to the next.
The player's choices are really important. Each decision affects relationships, the overall journey, struggles, enemies, and more. I'll give you an example. One of the supporting characters died because I made a particular decision. Later, that character wasn't in the game to help me. So, the game can have many outcomes and combinations of scenarios.
This game has very few drawbacks. I suppose it's a bit on the short side. It only contains a total of five episodes and they're not super long. However, you can replay the game and receive different outcomes.
Don't expect the gameplay to be like a first person shooter. Some players might not enjoy this game because it's from the Telltale studio. The player doesn't shoot a lot of enemies, collect a bunch of items, solve puzzles, or do anything from typical role-playing games. It's more like a visual book. Even though it's a great game, this style doesn't work for everyone.
What's my verdict? I absolutely recommend this game. Tales from the Borderlands is a clever and refreshing break from the stressfully fast pace of first person shooters. It's a unique gaming experience with a lot of choices and plenty of entertainment value. Give it a shot, even if you're skeptical. Most likely, you won't find this game in stores anymore except the used section at GameStop. But you can probably find new copies on Amazon and Best Buy online.
That's the end of my gaming post. Have you played either of these games yet? What did you think about the experience? Tell me about it in the comment section. I promise to talk about more games in the future. Thanks for visiting and I'll see you next week.
Is Cattlepunk a Real Genre?
Greetings! Periodically, I write posts about the various punk genres. We're being flooded with punk genres in literature, movies, video games, and especially the Internet. Naturally, some of these genres are more reputable and well developed than others. You might have seen the word Cattlepunk floating around the worldwide web and I want to talk about it. Should we take Cattlepunk seriously or is it just a random word that's using the punk idiom? I'll explain below.
Essentially, Cattlepunk is an alternate version of the American Wild West with a big emphasis on science fiction or fantasy elements. It's a pretty sketchy genre, but I suppose a few examples would include HBO's Westworld, Jonah Hex, Cowboys and Aliens, and Stephen King's The Dark Tower. Technically, the Westworld television series is probably the best example because it actually has a lot of punk elements. The series focuses on an adult theme park called Westworld that gives visitors unlimited entertainment and control over human-like robots in a Wild West setting. It's basically a futuristic version of LARPing. Visitors can literally do anything with these robots, ranging from killing them, sleeping with them, and more. Gradually, the robots form an uprising and turn against their human masters. The show is a commentary on cruelty, humanization, loss of identity, marginalization, and other themes.
Jonah Hex is a comic book series and film adaptation that takes place in the American Wild West with supernatural elements. The titular character is a Confederate soldier who was murdered along with his family. A Native American shaman used mystical powers to resurrect Jonah, although his face remained heavily disfigured. Ultimately, the former soldier becomes an antihero and hunted down his family's murderers. John Hex doesn't appear to have supernatural powers, but he seems to have a strong connection with death.
Cowboys and Aliens is another comic book series and movie. The comics and film don't share the same characters, but the basic idea is the same. Aliens ambush a small town in the American Wild West and begin abducting people. The townspeople have to save their city and possibly the entire world from an alien invasion. It's a wacky adventure with a ton of sci-fi elements, including shootouts between cattlemen and alien spaceships.
The Dark Tower is an epic dark fantasy and western by Stephen King. The 2017 film of the same name is loosely based on the book series. A gunslinger from another dimension named Roland Deschain is the protagonist. He's the last remaining member of a knightly order who is searching for the mystical Dark Tower. Along the way, Roland recruits helpers from Earth and other dimensions. They pursue a demonic entity known as the Crimson King and hope to save multiple worlds from his minions. The series has magic, monsters, interdimensional travel, and more.
Do I think Cattlepunk holds up very well? Not at all. I wouldn't say it's a separate genre from dark fantasies, steampunk, or other genres that use Wild West settings. Slapping the word punk on numerous labels seems to be a huge fad. Cattlepunk seems to be missing the punk spirit and other stylistic elements that are important for major genres. Some properties are just sci-fi tales set in the Wild West and that's perfectly fine. Plus, steampunk incorporates the Wild West frequently as well.
Luckily, many punk genres fit very well in pop culture and I'll discuss more of them during the year. Leave a comment if you have anything to say about this post. On a separate note, congratulations to the Rams for punching their ticket to the Super Bowl! I'm looking forward to Super Bowl Sunday. Take care and I'll see you guys next week.
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