Greetings! I saw Maleficent: Mistress of Evil this weekend and it's quite the conundrum. Some elements were very enjoyable and other components rubbed me the wrong way. Allow me to explain.
The story takes place some time after the first Maleficent film ended. Philip proposes to Aurora and she accepts. Their union will bring the human and fairy realms together, but their families don't get along particularly well. In fact, Philip's mother, Queen Ingrith, is planning to wage a war against Maleficent and the other magical creatures. Will everyone sort out their differences or will a bloodbath occur on the moors?
It's always a good idea to begin with some positive elements. The lead characters and the actors who portray them are quite strong. Angelina Jolie is a great fit for the titular lead. She has a lot of range and brings out significant complexity in Maleficent's antihero character. Maleficent is creepy and somehow very likeable. It's very clear that she cares about Aurora sincerely and has her best interest in mind. Elle Fanning reprised her role as Aurora and she plays the ingenue princess fittingly. Aurora seems a little more mature and she's ready to make adult decisions, like running a kingdom and getting married. Sometimes she's a damsel in distress, but it's not an unusual situation for the Sleeping Beauty property. Harris Dickinson portrayed Prince Phillip and he was a quintessential charming prince. Both Phillip and Aurora are very traditional prince and princess characters, which is fine because conventions were broken in other ways. Michelle Pfeiffer was diabolical as Queen Ingrith. I can't reveal many details about her wicked plans because it would spoil the movie, but she's a dark and twisted villain. She seems harmless on the outside, but don't underestimate her. Apparently, everyone's biological parents have to be evil in this franchise. I actually find it kind of amusing. There's a decent number of supporting characters and I believe the actors filled out their roles nicely. The characters weren't the problem.
I'll give this film credit for being entertaining. It's not boring and also quite daring on a creative level. I think the filmmakers swung too hard, but that's how it goes sometimes. There weren't any obvious pacing issues and you can count on a huge amount of fantasy elements. Mistress of Evil adds some new mythological elements to the franchise as well. It's kind of fun and interesting.
Well, I definitely like the first Maleficent film better. Truthfully, the script is pretty bad. The tone is erratic, the mythology doesn't make a lot of sense, most of the dialogue is lousy, it's convoluted, and the plot contradicts many elements from the first movie. I feel like the actors were given a huge disservice because the storytelling was poor.
The visual effects are disappointing as well. Actually, I thought the CGI was better in the original Maleficent film. Everything is unpolished and cartoonish. That's a problem because almost everything in the movie is CGI. The actors have practical effects and there's a little bit of production design. Otherwise, gigantic amounts of the world building and environment are VFX.
Let's talk about death for a moment. Many characters die in this movie. That shouldn't be a huge shock because you can see a war in the theatrical trailer. However, it seems kind of brutal and mean spirited. Bunches of characters die in the final battle, which is somewhat appalling for a kids movie. The first Maleficent film doesn't hold a candle to this one. Little kids are going to cry if they see this movie. I'm sure you can imagine how children will handle dozens of dead fairies and magical creatures. But this situation is part of a bigger problem. Who's the target audience? Many scenes and elements specifically cater to children. Yet this film is too violent for younger audiences. I don't understand how this movie earned a PG rating. It definitely needed to be PG-13. It's not gruesome and the death scenes are just glorified animation, but I didn't expect so much violence.
This film didn't work for me, but 2019 hasn't been a great year for cinema anyway. Should you see Mistress of Evil in theaters? I would say most people could wait for streaming and Blu-ray if they're interested in Sleeping Beauty or Maleficent. If you're super curious, try a matinee. Don't bother with expensive deluxe screens because the VFX aren't good anyway. I didn't hate this film, but it was somewhat disappointing.
What do you think? Should Disney focus more on original properties or continue these remakes and sequels? Leave a comment. I'm curious to hear your thoughts. Thanks a lot for visiting. I haven't figured out next week's topic yet, but it will be interesting. Take care and I'll see you guys next week.
Welcome back, my fellow gamers! I played three games a while ago and still haven't talked about my experience yet. Today seems like a good time to review Resident Evil: Revelations, Mad Max, and Prey. None of these games are new, but I'm sure some of them will become classics down the road. Did I enjoy these games or did they leave me feeling disappointed? Keep reading to find out.
Resident Evil: Revelations takes place on a Mediterranean ocean liner called the Queen Zenobia. Jill Valentine and her new partner named Parker are responding to a crisis that occurred on the massive ship. Initially, the ocean liner seems deserted, but it doesn't take long for them to encounter grotesque creatures that were once the inhabitants of the ocean liner. A terrorist organization known as Il Veltro were responsible for the destruction of an aquatic city called Terragrigia and the Queen Zenobia may have been part of their work as well. Jill and Parker have to prevent an aquatic virus from spreading to the mainland while they defeat Il Veltro. It's a difficult task for two BSAA agents, but they might find unlikely help along the way.
First, I'll cover the game's strengths. Revelations is a solid survival horror game with scary monsters, a creepy environment, and plenty of jump scares. Unlike some of the recent Resident Evil games, this one feels like it fits in the franchise really well. The ocean liner has many similarities with the original mansion and the gameplay is more like true survival horror than action-adventure. This game kept me alert because monsters popped up randomly and many of them were difficult to kill.
I like the controls much better than Resident Evil 5. They work great on the Xbox One, which is very important when a lot of enemies are present. The gameplay is quite easy to learn and fluid. I heard Revelations had a clunky transition from the Nintendo 3DS to Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, but the developers probably worked out some issues. If you're using an Xbox One or PlayStation 4, the controls won't be clunky anymore.
The graphics are quite impressive. The Queen Zenobia is very dark, ominous, and spooky, yet it's also quite vibrant and beautiful. I can tell the creators put a lot of detail in the environment. Actually, I expected the graphics to look worse because it was adapted from a less advanced game system.
I hope you like monsters because game has tons of horrors. All of the creatures have oceanic qualities, including the zombies. It's just like classic Resident Evil with an aquatic twist. The player fights humanoid sharks, mutated fish, a crab-like abomination, and even a hideous whale. I find the enemies really cool and unique.
The story is okay too, even though it's a little bit confusing. Overall, the plot is entertaining with a few decent twists and turns. It's a solid entry in the Resident Evil series and more well crafted than some of its predecessors. Honestly, it would be a good film adaptation. I think it would be much better than the films with Milla Jovovich.
This game doesn't have a lot of problems, but I'll mention a couple of things. The boss fights are insanely difficult compared to the rest of the gameplay. It's incredibly frustrating and you'll burn through huge amounts of ammo. Be prepared to die a dozen times or more. The boss fights require a lot of patience, accuracy, and persistence.
Like most survival horror games, ammunition can be an issue. Actually, I found quite a bit of ammo through the game, but it goes down very quickly. Make sure you aim carefully and get a lot of head shots. Granted, that's not an easy task when a bunch of monsters are chasing you. Most of the creatures take more than one head shot anyway, but that's the best way to eliminate them.
Overall, Revelations can be challenging, but it's a great survival horror game and a fun addition to the Resident Evil franchise. I think hardcore Resident Evil fans will be satisfied. It has a nice linear structure that works perfectly for single players. If you need a break from multiplayer campaigns and open world environments, give this game a shot.
Let's talk about the Mad Max game. Our grizzled protagonist is still fighting for survival in the post-apocalyptic outback. Mad Max lost his prized muscle car to a ruthless band of thugs. He quickly picks up another ride from a scrapper named Chumbucket and goes on various missions to upgrade his car, fend off bandits, and simply survive on the barren wasteland.
I had a blast with Mad Max's new muscle car called the Mangum Opus. Normally, I'm not a fan of racing games, but this one is different. This game combines racing mechanics with brutal combat. The Magnum Opus is weaponized and it can dish out huge amounts of damage. Throughout the story, the player can also upgrade the car's engine for extra speed. You can add a harpoon gun, a torch, buzz saws, a sniper rifle, and all kinds of crazy weapons. This car is such a guilty pleasure.
The open world environment is very impressive. It's massive with various colonies, enemies, resources, etc. You can find valuable necessities in the most obscure and remote locations. There are many opportunities for exploration and side quests. The environment is a desert wasteland and some people might not enjoy that type of world building, but I'm a fan of it.
This game has pretty good skill trees for both Mad Max and the Magnum Opus. Along the way, you can give Mad Max increased health, better fighting skills, the ability to carry more items, etc. The Magnum Opus has a great skill tree that can increase speed, take less damage, add weapons, and more. Fortunately, the game becomes a lot easier when the player's skill trees get bigger.
I have to admit, there's something satisfying about playing with Mad Max. He's tough, brutal, dirty, and the combat is pretty decent. Our protagonist doesn't have a lot of personality, but he's a true survivor. If you're in a bad mood, play this game and kick some digital butt.
So, I enjoy some elements, but this game has quite a few issues. The gameplay becomes repetitive and it's also somewhat convoluted. I find the controls a bit on the clunky side and it's easy to forget important elements. For example, I forgot how to use the weapons on my car and it was a big problem. Even though the gameplay is awkward, everything starts to look the same after a while. There's very little variation in the gameplay, enemies, racing, and exploration. Some gamers might feel bored after a while.
Resources are frustratingly scarce, which is both realistic and infuriating. It's really difficult to find water, food, ammunition, gasoline, and other valuable resources. I literally ran out of gas in the middle of nowhere and walked for a long distance to find gasoline. That also means I had to walk a long distance back to my car and fill up the tank. Can you imagine doing such tasks all the time? It might scare away some gamers.
Side missions are an important part of the game and it can be excessive. I enjoyed some of the side missions, but others were tedious, long, boring, or downright hard. Several side missions felt like busy work instead of a valuable part of the story and gameplay. It was a good way to level up my skill trees, but I wanted the game to move along.
In general, Mad Max is a middle of the road game with some pros and cons. I'm sure many gamers will enjoy the experience, but others might not like it all. By the way, don't expect amazing storytelling either. If you're looking for an interesting plot, try something like BioShock, the Arkham games, or Red Dead Redemption 2. I recommend playing Mad Max if you're curious. It's the only way to know if you'll like the game.
Prey is the final game on this post. It's a survival horror game that takes place on a space ship called Talos I through the eyes of a character named Morgan. The player also chooses Morgan's gender. One day, the protagonist wakes up and finds the space station overrun with bizarre extraterrestrials. Morgan appears to be the sole survivor on the space station and fights through countless shapeshifting aliens. Ultimately, Morgan has to discover what happened to the space station and uncover his or her true identity.
I don't like this game very much, even though it's a spiritual successor to BioShock and System Shock. However, it has a few decent elements. The plot is quite interesting and it doesn't seem to be a total copy of either BioShock or System Shock. If anything, it has a tonal similarity to the Ridley Scott's Alien. The story is like a spooky mystery that takes place in space. Each piece of the story unfolds as the player progresses through the game. It was fascinating enough to keep me engaged.
Fortunately, gamers have a lot of options. You can pick a stealth approach or straight forward violence. Finding key cards can help the player uncover hidden passageways. Picking up audio clips and listening to them can help the player solve important puzzles. Morgan's skill tree has a lot of options as well. Perhaps, you'll upgrade computer hacking skills. Alternatively, you can focus on combat skills instead. Basically, the player has endless options to upgrade their character and play the game.
Also, the environment is really cool. Talos I is lovely, although creepy, with very detailed world building. It definitely reminded me of BioShock and System Shock. The space station is almost like a fallen utopia with a history of immoral activities. Talos I is a really fun map to explore and you'll find all kinds of goodies along with terrors. I'll give the game makers some credit for creativity.
Sadly, the gameplay is terribly awkward and difficult to master. Even the simplest combat is challenging. There doesn't seem to be a way to target enemies, so you're probably going to waste a lot of ammo. It doesn't get any better when you're using a knife or blunt object. You're still going to miss the target half of the time. Juggling weapons and supplies is also a tedious task that hinders the player when enemies strike. The game has a stealth system, but I can't make it work very well. Unfortunately, the controls are super clunky.
Prey isn't the scariest game either. It's supposed to be a survival horror game, but there's very little variety in enemies and the gameplay is repetitive. The game has some jump scares, but they're usually predictable. Personally, I like scary games, but this one is underwhelming.
The awkward gameplay also hurts the player's skill tree. Don't bother leveling up stealth attributes or most of the combat skills. Instead, spend your points on health, repairing things, computer hacking, and other forms of craftsmanship. It actually makes the game a lot easier.
Be prepared to have limited space for inventory. Picking and choosing the right items can be tricky. I had to throw away a lot of items, even though they could be useful at some point. Use health packs frequently, get rid of duplicate weapons, and recycle less important items. You'll only have enough space for the bare essentials.
I wish the game had more monsters too. The creatures are an alien race known as the Typhon and they're completely one dimensional. Once in a while, the player will encounter a bigger and stronger Typhon, but the game doesn't have a big variety. Most of them look like Venom in his symbiote form. I wish the developers had more ideas for the creatures.
Here's my verdict. Prey is the least impressive game on this post. Clunky gameplay and repetition ruins the experience. This game has an interesting concept, but it seems like a missed opportunity. Fans of the BioShock games will probably feel the most disappointed of all. Don't bother playing this game unless you're super curious.
That's the end of my triple feature review. I had mixed reactions to these games, but that's how it works. Have you played any of these games yet? If so, leave a comment. At some point, I'm going to add more platformers to my blog. Lately, I've been focusing on open world games and survival horror. On a separate note, I'm looking forward to Maleficent: Mistress of Evil. I'm planning to post a review at the end of next week. My upcoming event is the Fall Dapper Day Expo at the Disneyland Hotel. Wish me luck. I couldn't attend the Long Beach Comic Con because I caught the stomach flu. Thanks a lot for reading my blog. I really appreciate your support and check in again next week. Have a good night!
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.