Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom Review

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I went into Jurassic world: Fallen Kingdom expecting a B tier monster movie with Chris Pratt and that’s exactly what I got. The Jurassic Park movies have always been monster movies in the same vein as Godzilla and King Kong. They just broke into mainstream much better than any other monster movie and we just accepted a questionable belief in the accuracy of the science and palaeontology presented in the first movie. The dinosaurs in the Jurassic Park movies are not accurate. Actually they are so inaccurate to actual dinosaurs that a mutation like Godzilla or King. Kong is genuinely more scientifically plausible than the dinosaurs in the Jurassic Park films. Growing up as a kid the first Jurassic Park movie was one of my favorite movies of all time. Still is. I watched it so many times that my tape copy stopped working. Those things can only take so many plays and rewinds. I also took the movie seriously at the time just like everyone else did when it came to the science. The internet was nothing like it is today and I didn’t get my first computer for another 7 years or so. Besides I was using that computer to look at much more “extravagant things” than dinosaurs when I got it. I was a dirty little boy and now I’m a big dirty man. But this big dirty man now has the internet and knows better than to expect any sense of realism or accurate science from any movie let alone a series as fantastical as Jurassic Park. They themselves in the films have admitted to the questionable science of the dinosaurs presented. The Indominus Rex was literally a Frankenstein creation. The Indominus Rex and the Indoraptor are just as much an actual dinosaur as I am. Yes, I’m upset I’m not a dinosaur too.

Accepting all that, was Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom good? No not really, but how many monster movies other than the first Jurassic park are actually good movies? This isn’t trying to be the next God Father or Inception. Again taking it back to the beginning of this review, “B tier monster movie with Chris Pratt”. That’s exactly what I got and I didn’t mind. I think the Indo Raptor was cool even though it didn’t really do anything. I think its kind of funny that they redesigned the park just to make it easier for these dinosaurs to escape. Its also kind of funny how their tech is absolute trash. Why do they need to be on the ground to close a gate wirelessly? Also, why is said wireless connection terminated if the tablet that started the closing sequence breaks? I don’t know, It doesn’t make sense but neither does Godzillas atomic breath and Frankenstein coming back to life using electricity from a storm. In Godzillas defence, they at least try to explain it and it only adds onto the interesting lore of the king of monster. Where as here with Jurassic World it feels more like they think everyone watching is an idiot. Which honestly is kind of a safe assumption since a lot of the people going to watch these movies think its scientifically accurate in some way or they have this inner hate towards dinosaurs with feathers. Which I just call dinosaurs. They had feather, get over it. I personally find that to be really cool but that’s just me.

Overall was Chris Pratt a handsome boy and the movie a fun enough viewing? Yes and yes. Is it a good movie? Not at all but I don’t mind. I don’t think most monster movies are classically good movies but I still like a lot of them. Would I watch it again? Yes. It would be a fun film to watch for a Jurassic Park or Monster Movie marathon with friends. I just don’t see myself watching it again sober unironically. Which is kind of a good tip going into this movies if you haven’t seen it already. Have a few drinks before or sneak a few into the theatre with you. It will make the movie better and if it doesn’t at least you will be drunk.

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Yugioh The Darkside of Dimensions

Have any of you seen this? I didn’t even know about it till recently and got to watch it a few days ago. I thought it was a great throwback to the original show and had some epic moments in it. It takes place 6 months after the end of the original show and Yugi finally hit puberty. Kaiba’s even more over the top and bad ass than ever and Yugi was basically a gangster. Told Kaiba straight up to back off and get out of his way because he’s dualing first. He had no chill and I was proud and impressed. The Pharaoh seems to have left him his balls when he left. It was cool to see more character interaction than dualing. They really put the story first here. I recommend giving it a watch if you’re interested in seeing where the team ended up after the show.

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Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire Review

I finished Omega Ruby last night. I didn’t post any progress pictures since I honestly wasn’t feeling this version of the game. It’s been well over a decade since I last beat Pokémon Emerald but I feel it is still the superior version of the Hoenn games. I remember it being genuinely a lot more challenging and getting to see both sides of Team Magma and Team Aqua was nice. Not saying Emerald was this perfect Pokémon game, just in comparison I feel it still stands out for 3rd Gen.

That being said a lot of my issues from the original games make a come back here. The pacing is all over the place. A story focused around climate change and global warming could have been great but was handled very poorly. People will say it’s a Pokémon game so they made it simple for kids but anyone who’s played this can tell you it’s not simple, it just doesn’t make sense. Neither teams reasoning has any sense or backing at all and when they have their change of heart later in the game it’s like…really? No shit it didn’t work as you intended. Now I an 11 year old boys has to go save the region form a literal force of nature, twice. I wish with the chance for a remake they fixed a lot of these issues with the story or reworked it altogether. I mean it’s a whole new timeline. Why not have it make a little sense?

Also IGN was right. Hoenn has too much water. The last 20% of the game or so you spend on your surf Pokémon. I found it annoying in Ruby and then Emerald over a decade ago and I still find it annoying now. I was expecting some sort of quality of life improvements when it came to this but it was how I remembered it. And yes I know Hoenn is An island based region, so is Alola and getting around worked fine there. (Partly because of ride Pokémon) Speaking of ride Pokémon, how much do I miss them? A lot that’s for sure. The amount of HM you need is a bit ridiculous really. Dive and Waterfall are not needed as HMs at all and could have been worked into Surf or worked around very easily. Instead of having to lose 2 more moves. It’s really annoying when trying to do a nuzlocke or a mono type run.

Something I admit I really liked was the very end and I mean the very end. I’m talking after the credits when your rival now borderline girlfriend or boyfriend waits for you and you head back to Littleroot together and have one last battle. Even showing the small pond that keeps coming up in the opening cinematic of the game as the place you first met. My dark frozen heart melted a little with that. Sadly everything before the credits didn’t get any of this quality treatment. It also felt really random since you rarely even interact with your rival through the game. Regardless it is my favourite addition to the original games.

Now onto the Delta episode which I like a good bit more than the main game. Nice to have some sort of a story here that isn’t complete nonsense and a decent tie in to the Mega timeline games. It was a bit too wordy and there was a lot of just going from place to place but overall I didn’t mind it. Flying is for sure better than surfing.

Overall I’m glad to be done with Omega Ruby. It for sure over stayed it’s welcome and I don’t see myself replaying it for at least another decade. That is unless they remake it again which could be great if done right and with some heart like the after credits portion. My final thoughts are, as a Pokémon game it’s just fine. Far from the best and I can’t say if it’s the worst but you know what to expect here if you know Pokémon. For a Pokémon game I would rate it at about a 4 out of 10 for the main game and at about a 6 out of 10 for the Delta Episode.

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Subsurface Circular First Impressions

I had an eye on this game for a few days now on the Switch eShop. When I found out it was a Bithell game I bought it instantly. Mike Bithell and his team are the ones who brought us Tomas Was Alone and Volume. I haven’t played Volume yet but Tomas Was Alone is one of the best puzzle platformers I’ve ever played. It also has some of the best writing and voice acting I’ve herd in a long time. I mean you are playing as a bunch of different colored blocks and the writing sold me on the “characters”. That’s not easy to do. Here we have their newest game Subsurface Circular where you play as a robot detective trying to solve a series of disappearance. You seem to know the cause of the disappearances rides the train you are on. You wait and get into conversations with other robots who get on trying to solve your case. I just started but I’m really enjoying it so far. The writing is up to the standard I expect from the Bithell team. There isn’t any voice acting though so if reading isn’t your thing you probably didn’t get this far on this post anyways. If you did make it this far you probably will enjoy it. It’s short, only a little over 2 hours or so but it’s also cheap at about $7. I recommend it. Always support good indie titles. If you have played it let me know what you think.

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Blizzcon 2017 Thoughts

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World of Warcraft Classic — I’m really surprised they announced this since all the Vanilla WoW kids seemed to have given up a while ago. Once Legion came out most WoW players on the bandwagon stopped caring about Nostalrius since all they wanted was content and the guys who were on the bandwagon just for the hell of it weren’t going to play to begin with. The small fringe groups of Vanilla WoW fans stopped playing WoW altogether or moved onto another private server. Even the ones pushing for Vanilla WoW servers in my group of friends stopped talking about it well over a year ago and they were never really into WoW to begin with. Blizzard didn’t really talk much about this and based on what they said I’m sure it is a fair bit off. Just to be clear I’m all for this I just prefer new content. Everyone looks back at these expansions with rose tinted glasses but every single expansion had its shares of pros and cons. I’ll for sure give it a try when it comes out.

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World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth — I was a little sceptical and still am about this. Anyone who’s been following BlizzCon for a while can tell you the whole “Bringing the War Back to Warcraft” line is a bit cursed. The last time we heard it we got Cataclysm which had its ups but also had a lot of downs and Warlords of Draenor which mostly had downs but some ups. I blame Blizzard for WoD. Not WoDs fault it didn’t have any content and garrisons were a bad idea for the same reasons they didn’t end up putting player housing in Vanilla way back. I’m just saying I’m sceptical of Battle for Azeroth. A really good opening cinematic that got my heart pumping isn’t enough for me to be satisfied. All the following coverage just kind of looked ok to me. Legion has been awesome and I think we will look back at it as one of the best expansions. Compared to that this looks lukewarm so far. That being said I am really liking what they are doing with the amulets which are pretty much replacing our artifact weapons. I still think artifact weapons are far more interesting but I understand the reasoning for cutting down 2 to 4 weapons into one amulet. Even though you lose a lot of epic flavour with it. Little quality of life improvements like this are nice, just the overall epic scale doesn’t seem to be there.

P.S. Only 3 new sub-races per faction? Still no Red Orcs?…sloppy Blizz, sloppy…Upright orcs though, so thanks for that.

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Diablo — ?

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Starcraft 2 — If you’re a consistent fan of the RTS genre or Just Starcraft in general then there seemed to be some good updates to the game. Blizzard is adding in the expected quality of life improvements and it seems to be more accessible to new players. It also looks like they are making the base game free to play which is pretty cool. None of this will get me playing but I can see returning players and new players going back to the game over this.

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Hearthstone — I personally quit Hearthstone a few months back to focus on Magic The Gathering and their upcoming Online CCG. Nothing against Hearthstone, just my TCG/CCG interests are taken up by Magic The Gathering.  I told myself Knights of The Frozen Throne will be my last Hearthstone expansions for the foreseeable future and with Kobolds and Catacombs…that statement hasn’t changed. Lol, that being said I will come back to Hearthstone to play the new single player “Dungeon Run” content. It is this contained adventure where you don’t even have to build a deck till you enter. You don’t have to worry about buying anything and you just have a good time playing. Pick a class, get some cards and build your deck as you play through the Dungeon Run. I see it a lot like you’re a new player in World of Warcraft and you are entering your first dungeon. You always find new solid upgrades as you go through. Great addition to Hearthstone to keep players like me coming back. What do I think of the new Kobolds and Catacombs expansion? My feelings are /shrug ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ couldn’t care less.

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Overwatch — Man what a surprise from my least favourite Blizzard game. I mean it still is my least favourite Blizzard game even though Blizzard seems to want you to hate Diablo the most. But damn does it look good. I don’t like Overwatch from a fundamental gameplay level. I find it remedial compared to almost every other shooter on the market. Which is exactly why it’s popular. You can be trash and still be useful and improve quickly simply by paying attention a little more. I mean I get why people like it. Everything from Blizzcon 2017 makes me get it even more. I mean how cool were some of those maps and the Reinhardt cinematic? I don’t even like the game but that cinematic got me thinking of getting a Reinhardt tattoo. The new hero Moira is a really interesting take on a healer. Her style and gameplay look really fun. She comes off as a more skill capped healer when compared to others like Lucio and Mercy. Cant go AFK and get MVP on Moira. The new Blizzard World map looks amazing. They said that in the world of Overwatch that Blizzard exists but in that universe they naturally have nothing to do with Overwatch itself. So Blizzard World is an Overwatch map but is themed after the other Blizzard games. Might be hard to follow but it’s a great addition regardless. Not bad Overwatch, not bad. Might just have to pop in the disk again sometime.

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Heroes of the Storm — Another surprising turn of events. I have been kind of done with Heroes of the Storm for a few months now but Blizzcon won me back. A whole bunch of new interesting hero’s like Honzo and Alexstrasza, reworks and quality of life improvements. Fine Blizzard fine. It seems I haven’t paid you enough through this game so I’ll give you some more over the coming months. The single thing that got me the most interested was their new ranking system. Its a new take on their current MMR system but instead of wins and loses counting for a large part of your MMR they seem to be focusing more on you and the hero you pick. If you play a difficult hero and play that hero well and also win you will jump up higher in your MMR. Same goes for if you play an easier hero and don’t perform well and lose, you will go down further in MMR. So winning and losing still matters but you can still move up in MMR as long as you are performing the best you can. They also showed how this leads to much fewer matches you need to play to get placed where you belong. This isn’t the exact numbers but it was something like 240 matches down to 190 matches with the new ranked system. They also said that number should go down further after its officially implemented in December.

Blizzcon 2017 MVP — Overwatch followed closely in 2nd by Heroes of the Storm.

Blizzcon 2017 Loser — Diablo (I mean really. Surprised?)

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Fujifilm X100F Review

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I have been playing with my copy of the Fuji X100F since its release on Feb,23,2017. This is the first Fuji camera I’ve owned but not the first one I’ve tried. Fujifilm’s philosophy is something I appreciate and can get behind. Good well-honed products with vintage style and old-school sense. Clean and well thought out with improvements with each new version. Now all that being said these improvements will cost you a really pretty penny. Maybe even 2. I need to say this first, I like the X100F. It’s my daily driver and my go-to camera for my Instagram accounts. I’m going to keep it and I would probably even upgrade to the next model whenever that comes out if the competition doesn’t do anything better. Which I doubt they will since Fuji has this part of the market locked down.

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I just want to get that all out of the way before I say I think it costs too much for most people. I consistently use 3 systems at the moment. Sony a6000, Olympus EM5MKII, and the new Fuji X100F. With all these, I think the X100F is debatably the worst camera in many ways. I would recommend the Sony and the Olympus here over the Fuji with ease. Is the Fuji the most expensive camera here? Yes. It’s as expensive as the Olympus with a 35mm equivalent lens. Maybe even a bit more expensive and it’s easily 2 times the price of the Sony. When it comes to specs and features the Sony clearly loses but hell its half the price. Besides the a6000’s big brothers the a6300 and a6500 are both feature rich and they come in competitively priced vs the X100F. The X100F isn’t even that much more compact than the Olympus and it’s both larger and heavier than the Sony.

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So why? Why would anyone go with the Fuji X100F? For me, it’s not about the specs. I understand how light works, I know how to shoot and I know how to edit in post. If I could get away with it I could do a quality shot on my iPhone. What I’m trying to say is on paper it can be clear what going this way and that. The thing I like about the X100F is its character. It’s spunk. It’s got a little jazz in its soul and a hint of swing in its step. I would say that’s all the stuff you can’t put a price on but Fuji clearly did. Everything on its own with the X100F doesn’t sell it for me. It’s all of it together and in my hands that does it. The X100F can party, I can hang out with the X100F any day and have a good time. A lot of the other cameras now days are just a bit standoffish. It’s all kind of skin deep, no personality. The X100F’s all personality. For work, there’s an endless list of cameras I can name which are better. For play and everything else, my X100F is at the top followed closely behind by my EM5MKII.

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So do I like the Fuji X100F? No, I love it. Do I recommend the Fuji X100F? Well…no, not to most people. You really need to know what you want and know what you’re investing in here. All that “character” can be a little much for a lot of people. There are other very comparable cameras with a good bit of character who will get the job done. If regardless of this you still insist on the Fuji X100F you are going to have a good time. If you are a traveler or street photographer you are going to have an even better time.

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I hope everyone enjoyed my review on the X100F. I know it’s not your standard review but there’s an endless amount of those all saying the same things. I thought I should just be straight with you all and not do the go to upright stern voice review. If you liked this please follow the links down below for more.

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Vainglory Review

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Vainglory is a game that shows how mobile gaming should be taken more seriously.

I’ve been meaning to write a review for Vainglory for months now. From the moment I joined The Cube as the App Store game writer, Vainglory was going to be my swan song to mobile gaming. Sadly it was just one of those things that kept getting pushed back for the right “time” and I also pivoted what I wrote about. Simply put I had my Vainglory review on the back burner. But no more.

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Vainglory is a mobile MOBA/ARTS game which has been “perfected for touch” as they put it. I agree. It takes place on a map called “The Halcyon Fold”. It has a single lane with a jungle bellow the lane. You play as one of 3 hero’s vs a group of another 3 Heroes. Like most MOBAs victory is decided by destroying the opponents “Vain Crystal”. (The namesake of the game but basically the Throne or Nexus.) Something different from most MOBAs is your heroes here have one less ability than usual for a total of 2 normal spells and 1 ultimate ability. Unlike most MOBAs that come out nowadays you still have last hitting and on use items. Which is fairly surprising since those are considered aspects from more “hardcore” MOBAs. It all ends up working really well since they kept some things in while streamlining other parts of the game. Overall it feels great and plays fast.

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Heroes are split into 3 roles. Lane, Jungle, and Roam. Lane and jungle are fairly straightforward to anyone who’s played an MOBA before. Lane is best played by hero’s who can poke from a distance and don’t have to commit as much for last hitting or poking the other laner. Junglers rotate around their jungle and sometimes the enemies depending on how ballsy they are looking for gank opportunities. Roam is a more tricky role and debatably the most skill capped. They are usually the leaders of the group and are expected to make the calls on when to go in or out and decide what’s the most important objective. They are a mix between a bruiser or support style hero depending on who you play.

They have a few game types but their main standard MOBA game type (Halcyon Fold) lasts about 20 mins. A decent amount of time but nothing crazy. They also have a few others which will take less time. The fasted game type being “Blitz” which is emphasized for only being just about 5 mins long or less. This is also their newest game type that was added with the latest patch. I prefer the standard game the most but Blitz is the game type that will see the most play from me when on the go. I’ll have 5 mins on the go far more often than 20 mins. Basically, you have options for how long you want to play and how you want to play them.

The cash shop if you ask me is a bit of a mess. Even after getting used to it I feel confused at times with it. You can buy things with either real money or in-game currency. The real money currency is called ICE. The earned in-game currency is called Glory. On top of that, you can also get Opels which is a separate currency that can get you some skins. These special/seasonal skins can only be bought with Opels and not ICE or Glory. There are other skins you can buy with ICE for a fairly big premium or craft with cards. Yes, that’s right another resource that is specific to skins. If you are confused right now reading this don’t worry because I’m confused writing it. You can make skins using these cards and to get these cards you can buy them with either ICE or Glory or break down other cards for guess what? Yes, that’s right another resource called Essence. I’m not going to go any further but I think you got the idea. Hey, Super Evil Megacorp lets try and get it down to 2 maybe 3 currency’s /resources guys. Honestly its getting a little ridiculous.

Aside from the unnecessarily complicated currency/resource system, you have your usual fair of market content. Heroes, Skins, Chests, Account Boosts and so on.

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The game can be played on Android or iOS cell phones or tablets. It comes with customizable control schemes across the board to tweak to your liking and you can also get scaling options for varying screen sizes.

Overall I am genuinely impressed with this game. From a technical standpoint to a gameplay standpoint they nailed it. It plays smoothly and anyplace with an internet connection becomes a LAN party all of a sudden. They make it easy to stay in contact with your friends with the guild and party system. Alone or with other, if you have 5 mins to 20+ there is something to do on Vainglory. I give Vainglory a 4/5. If they fix their shop it would be an easy 5/5.

Ratting: 4/5

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