Ender’s Game (2013)

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There is a fact that should be reiterated every time I write a review of a movie based on a book. This review is solely based on the quality of the film itself; anything missing from the story or the views of the author will not be touched upon.

Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman like taking a lot of risks when they produce movies. On the upside of this fact, they almost always turn out to be more than successful. Ender’s Game is the latest film the duo has produced and if this reaction is typical of all reactions, they won’t be having a hard time finding more work. With cutting edge CGI and incredible acting from the films up and coming cast, this sci-fi action flick is sure to garner much attention. Director Gavin Hood brilliantly creates this world and uses the talent at his disposal to everyone’s full potential.

Years after an attempted alien invasion, Earth has decided it’s line of defense will be the gifted youths of today. Andrew “Ender” Wiggin is a brilliant tactician and is chosen to join a line of trainees in the International Fleet. Groomed for command by Colonel Hyrum Graff, Ender begins rigorous training while at the same time gaining the admiration and ire of fellow classmates. With psychological pressure from his friends, his officers and the mind game he plays in his off hours, he eventually understands what the ultimate sacrifice means for both him and humanity.

It may involve large weapons.

It may involve large weapons.

Set design and CGI compliment the tone of the film. From the militaristic design of the International Fleet Starships to the desert terrain of Eros; the design of the exteriors and interiors complimented the mystical fantasy of the film. The computer generated effects designed to show the battle progress and tactical displays were subtle and effective in the way they were designed. There wasn’t too much going on at once, so the viewer had no issue focusing on what was happening in any battle.

The cast in this film complement each other very well. We have the youthful and strong acting of Asa Butterfield in the title role and the seasoned Academy Award nominee Hailiee Steinfeld as Petra Arkanian, whose performances were perfectly believable as two strangers who gain respect on the field of battle. Rounding out the cast with their impressive veteran acting skills are Harrison Ford, Ben Kingsley and Viola Davis. Playing the top brass of the International Fleet, they add maturity and subtle humour to the film.

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I don’t think they could get anyone better to give that smoulder.

Steve Jablonsky does an excellent score with the rich battle sequences and compliments the film with soft music for the touching sequences between Ender and his family. The score makes a film and it’s always a happy feeling when the music and the film synch up so well.  Dragons Win and Mind Game Part 2 are two of the tracks you’re going to want to keep your ears open for.

Easily one of the top five films of the year; Ender’s Game benefits from a talented ensemble class, an interesting story and pleasing visuals, making it easily one of the top five films of the year. It comes at a point where faiths in movies based on a story are at all –time lows and viewers need something to reaffirm their views of Hollywood. This could be the one that does it.

Final Score: 10/10

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Pokemon X and Y (3DS – 2013)

 

pokemon_boxartEasily the best Pokémon game in the franchise; X and Y break the mold by introducing a plethora of new features, interesting characters and breathtaking 3D scenery to compliment the decade old tradition of catching them all. With a plot that made you care, Pokémon X and Y are the latest games in a long franchise that has captured the hearts and minds of many youths of the nineties and continues this tradition well into the 21st Century.

The game steps away from tradition by introducing your cute little partner through your neighbour rather than the handsome young Pokémon Professor Sycamore. As you travel along in the new Kalos Region, you will find a lot of familiar themes and locales that you can visit and a variety of new places like Hotels and Cafés to satisfy the appetite for both food and battles. Part way through you will encounter Team Flare, a puzzling looking team that is in collection for profit, but their ulterior motives soon shine through their orange suits. As you save different organizations from their Leader’s broad vision, you will become closer with your Pokémon and your friends and perhaps rekindle a friendship that has been lost for thousands of years.

Pay attention to the man who looks like Snow from FFXIII.

Pay attention to the man who looks like Snow from FFXIII.

The new features of the game allow for some interesting play styles to come through.  The most glaring and popular change is the way you EV train your Pokémon. Instead of using spreadsheets and battling specific Pokémon over and over; they have changed it into a terrific mini-game that all of your Pokémon can participate in. Different levels change the amounts of EV you get, so you still have to be careful, but it allows for an alleviation for what use to be a very taxing grind.

The way your Pokémon gain friendship with you and the benefits, change dramatically in this generation. With the introduction of Poké Amie, you can play several mini-games with your characters; Berry Picker, a match game, Head It, a ball hitting game and Tile Puzzle, in which you complete a randomized puzzle of your Pokémon. Giving them Poké Puffs increases their fullness while petting them increases their overall friendship. Each individual Pokémon will like different Poké Puffs and will enjoy being petted in different places. Just keep exploring until they look like they’re enjoying themselves. Increasing friendship rewards you with in battle perks such as instant cures from status afflictions, an increase to the Critical Hit chance and enduring moves that would otherwise K.O. your Pokémon. This is certainly one of the best additions to the game.

Chespin is digging the Pink Poké Puff.

Chespin is digging the Pink Poké Puff.

What people had been craving for has finally arrived. The ability to customize the look of your trainer. You can change clothing and hairstyle, accessories and shoes to create a trainer that is most suited to you. This is done by going into Boutiques inside several of the cities in the game. Once there, daily you will have a selection of clothing that you can purchase. Some of the more interesting items are pricey and if you’re a real player and clothing connoisseur; you will find yourself in some of the most exclusive Boutiques in the Kalos Region.

Another one of the most interesting introductions to the game was the expansion of online function. With Wonder Trade, you choose a random Pokémon to send out and receive a random one back. You have the opportunity to get some of the Generation VI Pokémon you wouldn’t normally get in your game and some people will trade off some Legendary Pokémon, although I can’t imagine why. Imagine trading a Bidoof and receiving a Mewtwo. It doesn’t get much better than that. The robust online capabilities allow for a wide variety of battle styles that will keep you and your opponent on your toes. With opponents that use knowledge of abilities, natures, type advantages and breeding, you won’t know what comes next.

The dynamic settings only go to show the effort put into this game by developer Game Freak. With random wind storms and rain changing the overall look of the areas and the battlefield itself to seeing your breath in the cold; it’s the little things that make the environment a much more realistic world. Traveling along beaches and under overhands changing the camera angles as you travel has made the universe a lot more immersive. It may be taken for granted because it’s not a new thing to gaming, but it is to handheld Pokémon games.

There are few flaws to this generation and they’re minor at best. This generation has seen the introduction of only 69 new Pokémon. Most of these Pokémon were very well designed, but then we have one that has joined the ranks of some ridiculous designs such as Vanilitte, the Ice Cream Cone and Rotom’s turning into house appliances. It is alright to draw inspiration from everyday objects, but a keychain Pokémon? That is some low design value. The new Fairy type has it’s mascot for screwing up the type advantage chart.

This is seriously a Pokémon.

This is seriously a Pokémon.

The other issue is that there is practically no end game content beyond catching them all and The Looker Bureau missions. It has become a lot more difficult to catch them all as currently there are only so many Pokémon available in the game. With the introduction of the Pokémon Cloud in December, Trainers will be able to transfer Pokémon over from the Generation V games (Black, White, Black 2, White 2) which will allow them to transfer Pokémon as far back as Generation II.  Until then, they will have to rely on some of the fun mini-games to keep the game alive.

There is so much to say about this game that is positive that it completely outweighs the negative. A great story mixed with an impressive array of new features just goes to show that they thought of all the concerns from previous generations and improved things you thought impossible to improve upon. Thoroughly impressive, this will be the generation that keeps everyone interested in what happens next. Until then, catch them all!

Final Score: 9.5/10

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Kick-Ass 2 (2013)

Jeff Wadlow bravely helms the slightly lacking, comic-inspired sequel to the big screen. With new faces complimenting the returning actors, we experience a whole new level of action coupled with some misplaced toilet humour.

In the wake of the previous film, we see that superheroes have become more and more common across New York City. Several setbacks and the curiosity for normal life have left Hit-Girl, Mindy Macready, pondering whether her existence lies with Kick-Ass, Dave Lizewski and his allies, or the buzzing clique in her high school. Meanwhile, Red Mist has renamed himself The Motherfucker and bands together every psychotic villain he can find in a bid to take over the city. Only the connections made between the two heroes can save the city.

The film provided some great entertainment with a varied cast and exceptionally crafted action sequences. Returning from the previous films are the recognizable Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Chloe Grace-Moretz and Christopher Mintz-Plasse. The actors that share but dashes in their last names make welcome newcomers Jim Carry as the former ex-mafia enforcer turned superhero Colonel Stars and Stripes, bodybuilder Olga Kurkulina as Mother Russia and John Leguizamo as the right hand man to the D’Amico family, Javier.

Colonel Stars and Stripes (Jim Carrey) and Kick-Ass (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) share strategy on screen.

Colonel Stars and Stripes (Jim Carrey) and Kick-Ass (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) share strategy on screen.

The disadvantage to the film was the suffering plot. It was painful to watch the motivations of the characters change almost as quickly as the film’s setting. The character of Hit Girl haphazardly changes motivations at the will of others showing that her own motivations seldom govern her. This goes the same for the titular character, who backflips on his ideals nearly as much as his partner does physically in the film. When the only character providing a solid threat to New York isn’t even the main villain, then you have issues. The only villain worthwhile to watch was Mother Russia, whose swath of destruction and humourous quips of the character made her screen time the most impressive of all the characters.

It is detrimental that the story was so weak that it had to rely on some terrible rape jokes and toilet humour to make light of it. Some of the quips between Kick-Ass and Hit-Girl were inspired and made this man laugh incredibly hard. When crowd control sticks were used to make several teen girls vomit and shit themselves at the same time, then you know they had nothing better to do than make crappy jokes to fill the time. This shouldn’t be what film has come to with enough source material to make something interesting out of it.

The increased lull in action served to compliment the choreography of the action seen. From the alleyway fight between Kick-Ass and homophobic street thugs to the climactic final battle between the Justice Forever and the Toxic Mega-Cunts. The full on assault makes for an entertaining battle between the public good and chaotic evil as people hit eachother with hammers made of plastic and purses with bricks in them. Solid action saves the film, but at the cost of nearly everything else that makes a film fun and exciting.

Hit-Girl (Chloë Grace Moretz) and Mother Russia (Olga Kurkunlina) grapple in the fight for New York City.

Hit-Girl (Chloë Grace Moretz) and Mother Russia (Olga Kurkunlina) grapple in the fight for New York City.

While lacking some of the charm and consistency of its’ predecessor, Kick-Ass 2 was entertaining, dark and well-cast. Maybe not worth the twelve dollar ticket price, but if it makes it to Netflix sometime, be sure to give it a look.

Final Score: 6/10

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Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)

SERIOUS SPOILERS AHEAD. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

SERIOUS SPOILERS AHEAD. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

I’m going to bring the full brunt of my nerd here, because if there is one thing you don’t mess with it’s my Trek. Star Trek is the newest spectacle from director JJ Abrams and continues to rewrite Trek history in a way that may shock and surprise some fans. While I was very much entertained by the film, it’s plot and visuals; the characters were lacking and there was a jarring sense of incompletion left when the credits start to roll. This review is going to be in depth as I have thought long and hard in the twelve hours since the movie ended.

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan was a brilliant follow up to the original series episode “Space Seed”, in which Khan attempted to wrestle the Enterprise away from Kirk in order to continue his reign, albeit in the future. What worked about the film is, while Khan had been a one shot villain and was expected not to be heard from again, his return was one of pure vengeance against Kirk. The movie didn’t have to be loud and action packed to be effective and the actors didn’t even have to share the screen at the same time to be able to convey emotions.

Where the timeline changes is that Khan had been found by Starfleet Admiral Marcus, who decided to use Khan’s superior intellect as a tool to create ships and weapons designed for a more militaristic Federation. Kirk and Khan meet for the first time as the former is sent to capture the latter after two attacks on Earth kill many Federation citizens and the senior command of Starfleet’s finest vessels. This change understandably changes the relationship between Kirk and Khan. Both regarded each other as puppets in this film, a means to an end. The adversarial relationship was lost.

While I believe Benedit Cumberbatch to be an excellent actor; I believe this role was horribly miscast. We saw from the original series episode that Khan Noonien Singh, born in India, was played by physically fit and imposing Ricardo Montalban, a native of Mexico. Cumberbatch is in no way a physical presence and this lacking feature makes it impossible to believe he could beat battle hardened Klingon warriors into submission so easily. However, I am in no way stating that he did not play an effective villain. I think it would have been more effective if they had kept his name John Harrison and not play with the classics.

Echoed in this film is one of the most iconic scenes in Star Trek history. The sacrifice that was given in order to restore the warp drive before the imminent destruction of the Enterprise. However, in this film, it is Kirk that gives the ultimate sacrifice by taking the dose of radiation inside the warp reactor. While I still believe the original was a better scene, the heart that was portrayed between Alternate Kirk and Spock. It cemented the fact that they were good friends now. Unfortunately the entire scene is rendered completely useless, for they revive Kirk not twenty minutes later. While the emotional impact that cemented Kirk and Spock’s friendship remains, it is significantly lessened by the fact that the sacrifice is undone. If they wanted the impact to stick, Kirk should have remained dead. If they even wanted to animate him again, why did they need Khan’s blood? They have 72 other Khan-like people sitting right next to Kirk’s bed in the med bay.

Expendable

Expendable

The motivations of Section 31 have changed somewhat slightly in this universe. What was once a clandestine and relatively small group of operatives has become a power hungry and militaristic. I enjoyed the original Section 31 as depicted in Deep Space Nine. They were small group of people who were out to protect the Federation from high security threats by using deceit and espionage to complete their tasks. Even in Enterprise, this was founded as one of the earliest and most guarded parts of the Federation. With their inclusion in this universe as a larger and more active role in the Federation, I wonder what they may have in store if used again in the future. That would be a big if indeed.

Where the film excels is in its technical design. You get to see a bit more of the Enterprise’s innards, including the very complex looking warp core; again taking a departure from the clean and tidy look of the series. I very much enjoyed the look of the Dreadnaught class U.S.S. Vengeance, its dark and armoured hull and the bulky edges surrounding the engineering section of the ship. It was another departure from the streamlined vessels and I’ve always enjoyed seeing some of the more boxy looking vessels. Although I’m pretty sure that they just made the Klingon ships out of thrown away Transformer ideas.

Why is this ship such a secret when Admiral Robocop has a model of it on his desk?

Why is this ship such a secret when Admiral Robocop has a model of it on his desk?

I am at odds about the redesign of the Klingons in this one. I feel the look is too far from the original series and The Next Generation at the same time. It was established in Enterprise that generations worth of Klingons would be genetically predisposed to having their ridges removed. However, in the Prime Universe, by the 2280’s, ridge’s had again appeared on Klingons. This might just be an example of prequels retconning certain facts about the universe and causing unintentional continuity errors.  We’re even given strong facts about the established timeline in a quick shot of starship models in Admiral Marcus’ office.

I just don’t know where to put my marker on this one. It was a fast paced action film, which I really enjoy. It’s certainly a JJ-verse Star Trek film, with its lens flare and everything moving so quickly you have no idea what’s going on. However it just falls short as a Star Trek movie. Sure it has the elements of the universe and the characters, but we could really use the feel that was put so delicately into the series franchise. Now that the Enterprise has gone on it’s five year mission, I hope we may see more exploration and less Earth in peril plots, which four out of the last six films in the franchise have had. Until the next one, which I hope has a more original villain.

Final Score: 7/10

P.S. It’s spelt Qo’nos. Get it right!

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Fire Emblem: Awakening (3DS – 2013)

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After my first taste of Fire Emblem in the form of The Sacred Stones on the Gameboy Advance, I was itching for more tales of intrigue from this universe. Fire Emblem: Awakening was a thrill ride to be sure, with believable characters and nods to the legends of the entire franchise. I was in awe about how gripping this installment was. I hadn’t been as compelled by a story since Golden Sun, and we all know how much I love that franchise (minus Dark Dawn). With some enhanced features that both save time and bolster the experience, this game was a perfect addition to the growing array of 3DS games.

While being very similar in gameplay to the originals, there were some features I feel that helped the game along. Some of the battles could be long and drawn out, so with the inclusion of the Dual Strike Support system, you aren’t just getting a stat increase, but you also have a chance for your ally to join in your attack. This can increasingly affect the tide of battle in your favour, as these attacks are usually fatal for the computer’s attackers. Not only can you do this with any character for boosts to your accuracy and avoid, but characters can latch onto each other in a more permanent role in the “Pair Up” feature.

The great inclusion, which I believe brings a lot of heart to the story, is the fact that many of the characters, including your own Avatar, can marry. When you reach Support Level “S”, your characters will enter a cut scene in which one proposes to another, and most are very cute as it follows their equally enjoyable banter through the game. When they pair, they also may unlock certain Paralogue chapters in which they find their children displaced from the future and have them join the party.  For example, I had my Avatar “Yvelle” marry Lissa, sister of the hero Chrom. I found their relationship to be the cutest out of all the ones I had encountered. Virion and Tharja came in a close second with his willingness to be her guinea pig for hexes.

Have you ever wondered what your favourite hero would be like if he picked up a bow instead of a sword? I do. Switching classes is one of the fundamental musts while playing this game. Allowing your characters to grow and learn new abilities and use new weapons allows for you to tailor the combat to your tastes. One of my characters can instantly kill and move again after bringing her potential count to two kills a turn. Mathematically speaking, a number of battles in this game are over in moments. Another gains health from kills and simultaneously always regains and restores health to those nearby.

What I enjoyed about this game is that all characters had well written personalities. I really felt for them during their falls and cheered with them during their triumphs. With the many characters in the roster, it feels like an entire universe of stories. Even your implacable enemies join you eventually and the story gets even more interesting. Even the trusted Lieutenant of the main bad joins you during another Paralogue. He’s a beast to tame, but when you do, my god is he a powerhouse.

Explosive action encompasses this game.

Explosive action encompasses this game.

This game included the first paid DLC in the history of Nintendo-exclusive franchise and it did a poor job of executing it. I didn’t feel the game warranted the DLC until I reached the end of the rich and full main story. When I did get to the end, I wanted the adventure to continue. When I did this, I found out that the DLC doesn’t level with your characters. This ended up making them stupid easy for my already maxed out characters with insanely powerful weapons and abilities. I didn’t even have to look at the screen; I just set the game to auto-battle and won each with ease. Although the stories were interesting and the tasks fun, when you have absolutely no craps to be given because of the ease; it gets boring.

While the in-battle sequences and the manga inspired 3D cut scenes are beautifully executed, they must have cut the funding when making the battlefield and overworld map. They didn’t utilize 3D at all for the sprites and barely with the field. It was a bit disconcerting to switch between the two. The overall execution of the 3D animation in all the battle scenes and cut scenes was nothing short of spectacular. Fluid animations of battle graced the top screen as I watched my characters slice or get diced.

If you can overlook the DLC and the battlefield graphics, then you can easily call this game a shining testament to this franchise’s longevity. I was really happy with the way it turned out. With the game’s heavily customizable characters, brilliant story and a backstory for each main character; Fire Emblem: Awakening is a must for anyone who owns a 3DS. If you can’t find yourself a physical copy due to the rarity and apparently unintentional shortage of copies, it is available to download directly from Nintendo’s eShop.

Final Score: 9/10

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Iron Man 3 (2013)

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After the lackluster Iron Man 2; I was hoping that the new film would provide audiences with a reason to enjoy the series again. Well I’m happy to announce that we’ve been saved by this sequel. This installment was an action packed joy ride that filled the theater with laughter and loud explosions, enough to keep me on the edge of my seat and entertained thoroughly. Including some of the finest names in acting, Iron Man 3 is a great start to the superhero sequel streak that will fill the summer and beyond.

Tony Stark is back and flawed as ever, with his panic attacks running rampant. Spending all his time building Iron Man suits is beginning to take its toll on both him and his relationship with Stark Industries’ CEO Pepper Potts. When an attack by the elusive terrorist mastermind known as “The Mandarin” injures Happy Hogan, Stark issues a taunt; allowing the Mandarin’s forces to find and eliminate him. However with Extremis soldiers on his tale and no Iron suit available, he improvises his way to a final showdown between himself and Extremis’ most powerful soldiers; finding out whom he really is in the process.

Robert Downey Jr. returns to grace the screen as Tony Stark and once again proves that he has returned as the master of his craft. His strong performance coupled with the humour and heart that he portrays makes for a solid scene stealing execution. His talent allowed him to be incredibly humourous, especially when bouncing his relentless asshole banter off child-actor Ty Simpkins; and incredibly serious when dealing with Stark’s increasing imbalance after his experiences with the alien invasion of New York and the increased threat caused by The Mandarin and AIM’s “Extremis” Soldiers. Truly one of the best actors in the industry at this time, and this film showcases all he has.

They really stepped up to the plate and brought the full force of Hollywood talent to the screen. Ben Kingsley was incredible as the Mandarin. His portrayal brought the perfect blend of fear and funny that I was hoping for. As one of the most famous villains in the Iron Man universe, they had to pick someone who would bring their talent full bear, and Kingsley performed admirably. Guy Pearce, who I hate for his character in The Count of Monte Cristo, returns to the screen as an equally hateable villain Aldrich Killian. His purpose to cover up the misdeeds of his Extremis creation by (mumbling spoiler) is clever, and seeing Pearce return to his conniving villain roots was a refresher. Special love to the familiar faces rounding out the cast. Gwyneth Paltrow’s sweet performance allowed her to retain the professionalism of Pepper Potts, and show off some muscle in the movie’s action packed climax.

Master of fear, Mandarin!

Master of fear, Mandarin!

Hey, does anyone remember the 90’s? I think the most fun anyone had out of the movie, besides the whole thing, was when Eiffle 65’s “Blue (Da Ba Dee)” played during the film’s opening flashback sequence. Did anyone else think that was cool? The song was pretty big for a one hit wonder in North America and is very memorable to me and judging by the reactions of people in the audience, it was memorable for them as well.

During the final scene, one thing struck me as pretty damn odd. Apparently the Iron suits are made from cardboard and are easily destructible by super strength. We’ve seen the suit take punishment before, but in a battle involving say 42 Iron suits they seem to be just toys that break apart so easily. We’ve seen it take hits from tank shells, numerous gun fights, electrical whips and fighting another suit. Yet it seems like some extreme heat and a punch can take out most of the suits. They’ve been reduced to the durability of a Battle Droid.

Four out of five of you won't make it.

Four out of five of you won’t make it.

The film was a triumph over the second, but doesn’t live up to the full expectations I had, nor can it reach the original’s legendary status. The inclusion of the veteran all-star cast gave the franchise a fresh feel, while keeping with the spirit. I liked the action, loved the intrigue and enjoyed it immensely. If you liked the original and want redemption for the kick in the ass that was the second film, you’ll want to go see this right away. Seriously, its 7:57 when I’m writing this; get out and see it.

Final Score: 8.5

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Bioshock Infinite (PS3 – 2013)

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Our ruggedly handsome protagonist, Booker DeWitt

Man, Bioshock Infinite was surely one hell of an experience. It was nothing short of a brilliant story, with incredibly written characters of both good and evil affiliations. It was a game that didn’t fear reprisal, and included some themes that you wouldn’t normally find in a first person shooter or video games of any kind for that matter. It tugged at the heartstrings, frightened you and intrigued you every second of gameplay. With favourable combat dynamics, breathtaking visuals and loads and loads to find; Bioshock Infinite is one game you’ll play through again and again.

The main setting of the game is Columbia, a floating city in the sky that has seceded from the United States. I cannot imagine the amount of work that went into creating this setting, but the culmination leads to one of the most stunning locales I’ve ever seen in video game history. From the Comstock Center Rooftops to the Hall of Heroes and leading to the Sea of Doors, you will never tire of the ever changing scenery. Obviously the most intense visuals in the game come when you are hanging from the Skylines in combat, or traveling through different areas. The setting also contains reactive materials such as puddles of water to shock and oil slicks to burn which adds to the already high octane action.

If you like the sights, I’m sure you’ll enjoy the sounds. Surprisingly enough this soundtrack contains recorded versions of songs released in the latter half of the twentieth century. My favourite being “Everybody Wants to Rule the World”, which they have remade into a lovely barbershop along with other hits like “Fortunate Son”, “God Only Knows” and “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”. Along with the edge of your seat combat music, this game couples some interesting covers with an enticing array  of music.

Swapping Plasmids out for Vigors, Bioshock Infinite offers some interesting powers to overcome obsticles and dole out punishment to your enemies. Firery “Devil’s Kiss” grenades, a deadly “Murder of Crows” and a bulletproof shield from “Return to Sender” are among the deadly choices you have in the way of ingested abilities. That isn’t all these provide. For extra combat bonuses, some of these vigors can be used in tandem to create some killer combinations. For example, using the Bucking Bronco alongside Devil’s Kiss causes damage to all those you have suspended in the air or shocking a person in a group being attacked by your Murder of Crows causes the crows to shock and stun the enemy. These combos can be very useful in a pinch.

Infinite_incinerate

Burn baby burn!

Then there is the story and oh man, what a story it is. You are Booker DeWitt, former Pinketon Employee who has become a man in debt, working as a Private Investigator in New York. Your task is to retrieve a young woman, Elizabeth, from the flying city of Columbia. Along the way, you find clues to her mysterious power, your connection with her and the enigmatic religious leader Comstock, and the lives that you and the people of Columbia lead in different universes.

This game introduced themes and touched upon topics you don’t see within gaming frequently. These include blatant racism against multiple cultures and religion. Even some racial slurs appear in the game. This was actually kind of refreshing. I was impressed that this game wasn’t afraid to touch upon some of the more antiquated views of the early 20th century. The heavily Christian tones are incredibly apparent, with numerous references to baptisms, prophets and saviours. Again, something you don’t see, but glad it was in the game.

Each game is not without its problem, but they pale in comparison to the amazing pros. The guns leave nothing to the imagination; they are very simple styled weapons you can find in any first person shooter with the exception of the Skyhook. You have your pistol, rifle, shotgun, sniper rifle. They are very vanilla weapons and I was disappointed as each have their drawbacks and never seem to do much damage near the end of the game causing you to frantically find ammo just to finish an enemy you spent an entire clip on already.

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Ra-tat-tat…

Final Word: Get this. Get this now and enjoy the hell out of it. If you had any interest in playing it even in passing, you have a duty to buy and play this ultimately fulfilling game. It follows in the series of thinking games where your actions have consequences, in a world where you really begin to care about the characters and their personality and plight. Bioshock Infinite was nothing short of amazing.

Final Grade: A

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