Skewed 'n Reviewed http://sknr.net Movie News and Reviews Fri, 29 Aug 2014 05:09:39 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Sunset Overdrive Bus Rocks PAX Prime http://sknr.net/2014/08/28/sunset-overdrive-bus-rocks-pax-prime/ http://sknr.net/2014/08/28/sunset-overdrive-bus-rocks-pax-prime/#comments Fri, 29 Aug 2014 04:56:33 +0000 http://sknr.net/?p=75567 The doors do not open until tomorrow, but Microsoft is wasting no time promoting their hot upcoming game Sunset Overdrive. While they will have it on the floor of the show, they have a special Sunset Overdrive bus complete with Roadkill to bus attendees to the Microsoft campus to play the game. They had the bus lined up outside the ticket window, so those in attendance could pick up their badges and head over for a taste before the doors open.

uploaduploaduploadMedia line for PAX Prime badges.

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First Look At The Rebels From The Hunger Games: Mockingjay http://sknr.net/2014/08/28/first-look-rebels-hunger-games-mockingjay/ http://sknr.net/2014/08/28/first-look-rebels-hunger-games-mockingjay/#comments Thu, 28 Aug 2014 16:55:04 +0000 http://sknr.net/?p=75562 Here to save the day for Peeta and Katniss, here are the Rebels. What do you think?

FIN06_Seashore_1Sht_Rebels_Gale_VFFIN05_Seashore_1Sht_Rebels_Pollux_VFFIN05_Seashore_1Sht_Rebels_Messalla_VFFIN05_Seashore_1Sht_Rebels_Cressida_VF
FIN05_Seashore_1Sht_Rebels_Boggs_VFFIN04_Seashore_1Sht_Rebels_Castor_VF

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The November Man http://sknr.net/2014/08/27/november-man/ http://sknr.net/2014/08/27/november-man/#comments Wed, 27 Aug 2014 13:00:19 +0000 http://sknr.net/?p=75557 Review by Angele Colageo

Pierce Brosnan returns to the spy action thriller genre; this time as Devereaux, the ex-CIA ops agent from the November Man series by Bill Granger. Brosnan brings his elegant demeanor to this incarnation of trained killer sans tux, tie and gadgetry of his previous roles.

The film opens with him mid-operation, training his protégé Mason (Luke Bracey) on the finer points of being an ops agent. Here, we are given a glimpse of the relationship between Devereaux and Mason. As a mentor, he teaches the inexperienced agent how to gauge and assess situations. At times, comes off as a father figure, scolding the younger agent for his missteps when we are shown Mason’s impulsive nature and how the lessons from his mentor apply as the story unfolds.
Flash forward five years after and Devereaux is retired, now living a gentler life as the owner of a small café. He is re-activated by Hanley (Bill Smitrovich), his longtime handler, to extract a deep cover asset. At the same time, the CIA head of the operation, Perry Weinstein (Will Patton) sets a team on retrieving the information that the asset holds. The asset, Natalia, puts Devereaux on the trail of the critical information which could change the political climate of Russia and impact the world order. This assignment brings him face to face with Mason (this time as his adversary) and introduces us to Alice Fournier (Olga Kuriyenko).

Fournier is a social worker that works with refugees from Chechen war. This has put her in the position of interest to many parties looking for information on a missing young woman. The young woman, Mila could be the lynchpin that brings down the Russian Presidency and time is running out for her as many are on the search for her and the information she holds.
We are taken on a ride through Belgrade as Devereaux and Fournier get closer to the truth while dodging Alexa, the Russian assassin and the CIA team with Mason at the helm. There are moments of suspense in the story where the tension is tightly drawn, leading one to anticipate a predictable resolution but then be surprised by the unexpected.

Brosnan is great to watch in action as he moves through the city working his spy game. Bracey (Another Aussie import, thank you Australia!) looks like he just has game with the ladies.

Directed by Roger Donaldson (The Bank Job & The Recruit), we are taken on a fast paced run that holds your attention to the very last shot. Filmed in Belgrade and Montenegro, the city provides the twisting maze for hunt and chase action film.

4 stars out of 5

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Space Engineers http://sknr.net/2014/08/27/space-engineers/ http://sknr.net/2014/08/27/space-engineers/#comments Wed, 27 Aug 2014 12:30:03 +0000 http://sknr.net/?p=75548 If you’ve ever played Minecraft or Garry’s Mod, you probably know what to expect from the indie sandbox title Space Engineers. It’s fairly standard as far as sandbox games go. Just, as the title suggests, it’s set in space. The space setting affords some interesting gameplay features other sandboxes do not – such as gravity and fully functioning starships and space stations.
It’s still fairly early on, so at the moment your experience in Space Engineers amounts mostly to just building ships. People have come up with extremely impressive ship designs and almost anything you can think of from a sci-fi IP has been recreated by the community and shared through the Workshop. You can put turrets and guns on your creations and duke out with your friends, but the ship controlling can be difficult and the netcode is prone to lagging in large firefights.

That said, the developer is continually improving the title and adding features. I have heard that other modes will be added at some point, and I imagine more building blocks for ship/base building will be added as well to increase diversity in player creations. The maps are, well, space. There are asteroids throughout, but as of right now it’s mostly just a large empty canvas that you would expect from just space. I would like to see more diversity in setting, from debris fields to nebula to planets. It would be cool to have an entire star system as your playground, fit with NPC alien critters and places to explore. As a ‘Minecraft’ clone, it’s that aspect that Space Engineers lacks. Exploration. Space can be the most potentially awesome place to explore, and to do so in your own player-crafted ships would be amazing.

So, as of right now, if you’re very interested in space ship crafting a la Minecraft then this is a great title for you. The tools are easy to use and it is full of interesting features that would only be present in a space-only game such as localized gravity and actual physics. You can build the ships you want with ease and duke out against your friends’ ships and/or bases. But, right now that’s it. That’s where the game ends pretty much. It has the potential to truly be an amazing space sandbox if it added things like planets to explore and life to discover.
There’s nothing wrong with building the ship you want in a sandbox whose tools are very easy to learn. It’s just that after you build your ship there’s not a whole lot you can do with it afterwards.

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Sega Unveils Their PAX Prime Lineup http://sknr.net/2014/08/26/sega-unveils-their-pax-prime-lineup/ http://sknr.net/2014/08/26/sega-unveils-their-pax-prime-lineup/#comments Wed, 27 Aug 2014 00:10:51 +0000 http://sknr.net/?p=75553 Game Demos, Exclusive Trailers, Prized Competitions and More Take Center Stage at
the West Coast Video Game Festival

SAN FRANCISCO (August 26, 2014) – SEGA(r) of America, Inc. is heading to 2014 PAX
Prime in Seattle with its fall lineup in tow and ready to unleash on all in
attendance. Gamers will be given the chance for hands-on demos of Alien:
Isolation(tm), Sonic Boom(tm): Rise of Lyric, Sonic Boom(tm): Shattered Crystal and
Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA(tm) F 2nd, creating a unique experience for fans as they
get a detailed look at the hottest games of the year.

Coming off the heels of its national debut at San Diego Comic-Con, Alien: Isolation
will be showcased in amazing, spine-tingling fashion at Booth #232 with game demos
in a custom-designed, giant-sized Alien egg pod. The pod creates a self-contained,
fear-inducing, immersive gaming experience for the newest title of the Alien(tm)
franchise. As gamers tremble in fear, the Alien: Isolation booth will have a live
on-site stream feeding on-lookers and fans the POV gaming perspective, prepping
gamers for the intense experience before they enter one of several gaming stations.

To help extend the demo experience onsite, SEGA will host a “Survive the Demo
Competition,” giving gamers the chance to win exclusive limited edition Alien
jackets (while supplies last). Alien: Isolation is available worldwide on October 7,
2014 for Xbox One, the all-in-one games and entertainment system from Microsoft,
PlayStation(r)4 computer entertainment system, Windows PC, Xbox 360 games and
entertainment system from Microsoft and PlayStation(r)3 computer entertainment
system.

When it comes to SEGA’s iconic Blue Blur, Sonic the Hedgehog will be racing into PAX
at top speeds in Sonic Boom, a brand-new extension of the Sonic Universe. Touching
down at Booth #652, fans will get an exclusive first-look at the brand new
multiplayer capabilities of Sonic’s newest adventures Sonic Boom(tm): Rise of Lyric.
The new games Sonic Boom(tm): Rise of Lyric for the Wii U system, developed by Los
Angeles-based Big Red Button, and Sonic Boom(tm): Shattered Crystal for the Nintendo
3DS hand-held system, from San Francisco-based Sanzaru Games, will introduce two
unique and epic adventures as Sonic and team work together to stop the evil villain-
Lyric! Play as multiple characters, each with their own abilities, as you explore,
fight and speed through an undiscovered land. Each game features its own individual
story and gameplay features. As an added extra for Hedgehog fanatics at PAX, SEGA
will also preview the upcoming toys from TOMY(r) and the newest trailer for Sonic
Boom(tm): Shattered Crystal. Be sure to tune into Sonic’s first-ever CG-animated
television series debuting on Cartoon Network this fall.

Sonic Boom(tm): Shattered Crystal for the Nintendo 3DS hand-held system will be
available on November 11th, and Sonic Boom(tm): Rise of Lyric for the Wii U system
will be available on November 18th. All those who pre-order one of the upcoming
Sonic Boom video games from Gamestop will get an exclusive Sonic Boom figure by
TOMY, featuring Sonic the Hedgehog with the Ancients’ Crystal! Anyone who pre-orders
Sonic Boom(tm): Rise of Lyric for the Wii U system from Amazon will get an exclusive
luminous Sonic Boom character costume pack that can be used in the game. Attendees
can also pre-order the games at the booth.

Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA F 2nd, the sequel to the ultimate rhythm game featuring
the world’s most popular virtual singer, produced by Crypton Future Media, INC, will
also be available for show goers and fans at Booth #652. Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA
F 2nd features 20 classic songs from the previously Japan-only PSP games making
their first debut in the West and 20 brand new songs to the Project DVIA series.
SEGA will be showcasing the recently announced English lyrics for the eagerly
awaited title, launching on November 18, 2014 on PlayStation(r)3 computer
entertainment system, PlayStation(r)Vita handheld entertainment system and via
digital download on PlayStation(r)Network.

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Call of Duty Endowment and Xbox Live To Raise Funds For Vets http://sknr.net/2014/08/26/call-of-duty-endowment-and-xbox-live-to-raise-funds-for-vets/ http://sknr.net/2014/08/26/call-of-duty-endowment-and-xbox-live-to-raise-funds-for-vets/#comments Wed, 27 Aug 2014 00:03:04 +0000 http://sknr.net/?p=75551 CALL OF DUTY ENDOWMENT AND XBOX LIVE TO LAUNCH LABOR DAY FUNDRAISING CAMPAIGN,
BEGINNING
MONDAY, AUGUST 25

Gamers Donate to Get Special Theme and Support the Effort to Help Military Veterans
Find Meaningful Jobs

SANTA MONICA, CA – AUGUST 26, 2014 – The Call of Duty Endowment and Microsoft
today announced a special Xbox Live Labor Day fundraising campaign, launching on
August 26, that will give gamers the opportunity to access a unique Xbox 360 theme
by making a donation to the Endowment and, in the process, helping military veterans
find meaningful jobs.

The special theme, designed by artist Jason Heuser and featuring George Washington
will be available on the Xbox Live Marketplace dashboard by making a donation in
one of several denominations to directly support the Call of Duty Endowment. The
Endowment funds and advises the most effective non-profit organizations connecting
military veterans with high-value career opportunities. To date, the Endowment
has funded the placement of over 5,400 veterans into good jobs. To purchase the
special theme and to make a donation, head to the following link:

http://www.xbox.com/en-US/Search?q=call%20of%20duty%20endowment#Games

“Thanks to Microsoft and Xbox, we have an incredible opportunity to not only raise
money for the Endowment, but also to engage millions of gamers in the cause of giving
veterans access to high quality careers,” said Dan Goldenberg, executive director
of the Call of Duty Endowment. “This campaign is going to help put veterans to work.”

About the Call of Duty Endowment:

The Call of Duty Endowment is a non-profit, public benefit corporation conceived
by Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard. The organization seeks to help veterans
find high quality careers by supporting groups that prepare them for the job market
and by raising awareness of the value vets bring to the workplace. For more information
about the Call of Duty Endowment, please visit www.callofdutyendowment.org.

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The Western Washington Fair 2014 http://sknr.net/2014/08/26/the-western-washington-fair-2014/ http://sknr.net/2014/08/26/the-western-washington-fair-2014/#comments Tue, 26 Aug 2014 19:57:11 +0000 http://sknr.net/?p=75544 Traditionally the Puyallup Fair, or as it is now known the Washington State Fair, is in many ways an iconic part of the year for Northwest residents.  By this I mean for many, the arrival of the fair signals the end of summer and the pending arrival of fall as not only have kids return to school, but cooler weather and rain becomes more and more common.  Is anybody who’s attended the spacious vendor areas will tell you, fireplaces, saunas, and hot tubs, are amongst the many items available for purchase at fair.  I fondly recalled school trips to the fair for the younger students and during my college years, it was common for us to take a half day to attend the great festivities and to take part in the unlimited right bracelets that were offered during the week.

 

For me the fair is much more than a collection of rides, animals, vendors, and food, it is a Northwest tradition that allows family and friends a fantastic gathering place to relive memories of old and create new ones.  The fair attracts upwards of 1.2 million guests a year which makes it one of the largest and most successful in the world.  I can tell you after setting up our second office in the Phoenix area, how disappointed I was with tears in the area as for the past 30 years the Puyallup had been my basis for comparison.

As such, we endeavor to make the pilgrimage North to include fair coverage every year since it coincides very well with an annual gaming convention we attend.

 

More than simply for nostalgic purposes, the fair offers one of the finest and most varied forms of entertainment that you will find anywhere.

My nieces and nephews definitely enjoy seeing the animals as who hasn’t taken a trip to the dairy barn during a visit to the fair?  However as they get older the rides become the draw as even when the rain falls, the midway is often packed with thrill seekers have a good time or taking in a game as they attempt to win a prize.

 

I will admit that for me, rides, concerts, and food or always a big draw, but walking around the fairgrounds was also a thrill as there were plenty of entertainment options and I can honestly say that I always did browse all of the vendor areas even if it was simply out of curiosity as there was always an ample and varied selection of products to browse.

 

In 2014 the fair is offering a three-day admission press which allows increased access at a reduced price and as always, there are plenty of transportation options available via mass transit.  Entertainment wise aside from the rodeo, the fair always has an impressive lineup of top notch concert performers and this year is no exception.  Artists such as Chicago, Amy Grant, Keith Urban, Clay Walker, Toby Keith, and many more highlight the impressive concert series.  I can tell you some of my fondest memories would be of attending the fair during the week and after a dazzling array of rides and food, taking in a show before hitting the midway for one last run.  We would often use weekend visits this time to look around at the numerous other offerings the fair offered as the midway was often packed.  This made it a great time to visit with younger children as well is older or more mobility challenged guests.  For me it’s impossible to even mention the fair without getting twinges of nostalgia as I can remember back to numerous visits with family and friends as well as taking one of my first dates with my now wife at the fair.

Regardless of your reasons, it is safe to say that the fair will offer countless opportunities for new memories as it just keeps getting better and proving once again why it is not only an absolute treasure of the Northwest, but one of the greatest players in the world.

You can obtain more information at

 

The Fair

 

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The Evil Within Lands An Epic Voice Cast http://sknr.net/2014/08/26/the-evil-within-lands-an-epic-voice-cast/ http://sknr.net/2014/08/26/the-evil-within-lands-an-epic-voice-cast/#comments Tue, 26 Aug 2014 18:48:40 +0000 http://sknr.net/?p=75542 August 26, 2014 (Rockville, MD) Bethesda Softworks®, a ZeniMax® Media company, today revealed the talented cast lending their voices to The Evil Within™, a survival horror game developed at Tango Gameworks under the direction of legendary game designer and studio head, Shinji Mikami. The Evil Within cast includes Academy Award nominee Jackie Earle Haley (“Lincoln,” “Watchmen,” “A Nightmare on Elm Street”), Screen Actors Guild Award nominee Jennifer Carpenter (“Dexter,” “Quarantine,” “The Exorcism of Emily Rose”), and film and television star Anson Mount (“Hell on Wheels,” “Safe”).

 

The Evil Within, out October 14th in North America, embodies the meaning of pure survival horror.Highly-crafted environments, horrifying anxiety, and an intricate story are combined to create an immersive world that will bring players to the height of tension. With limited resources at their disposal, players will fight for survival and experience profound fear in this perfect blend of horror and action.

 

Academy Award nominee Jackie Earle Haley, who is no stranger to horror, having recently played Freddy Krueger in the remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street, lends his voice to The Evil Within’s main antagonist, Ruvik.  Making his video game debut, Anson Mount, best known for his role as Cullen Bohannon in AMC’s Hell on Wheels, assumes the role of lead protagonist Sebastian Castellanos. Players assume the role of Sebastian, a veteran police detective, throughout the game in their terrifying struggle for survival.

 

Rounding out the cast is Jennifer Carpenter, well-known for her role as Debra Morgan in the hit Showtime series Dexter, who plays Juli Kidman, Sebastian’s Junior Detective partner. As part of recently announced Season Pass plans, players will be able to assume the role of Juli Kidman in post-launch content to experience The Evil Within from an entirely new perspective.

 

“One of the most crucial elements to any successful survival horror game is the setting and sound, which includes the depth and authenticity of the voice acting,” said Mikami. “We brought together a great cast of experienced actors to help ensure that players really believe our characters’ emotions and the tension they feel in every scene.”

 

In The Evil Within,Detective Sebastian Castellanos and his partners are called in to investigate a gruesome mass murder. After seeing the slaughter of fellow officers, Sebastian is ambushed and knocked unconscious. When he awakens, he finds himself in a deranged world where hideous creatures wander among the dead. Facing unimaginable terror, and fighting for survival, Sebastian embarks on a frightening journey to unravel what’s behind this evil force.

 

Slated for release on October 14th in North America (October 16th in Australia and October 17th across Europe), The Evil Within is in development for the Xbox One®, the all-in-one games and entertainment system from Microsoft, Xbox 360, PlayStation® 4 computer entertainment system, PlayStation 3, and PC. For more details on The Evil Within please visit the official site at http://theevilwithin.com/.

 

The Evil Within has been rated M for Mature by the ESRB.

 



 

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Plantronics 7.1 Rig Surround http://sknr.net/2014/08/26/plantronics-7-1-rig-surround/ http://sknr.net/2014/08/26/plantronics-7-1-rig-surround/#comments Tue, 26 Aug 2014 13:00:13 +0000 http://sknr.net/?p=75538 In our line of work we test a lot of hardware products and get to evaluate their performance with games and movies as well as standard desktop applications. Many times companies give you a snazzy looking piece of hardware but far too often lacks in comfort, quality, or ease-of-use. I’m happy to say that in recent years we’ve had a fairly solid run of good fortune with our hardware reviews and that trend thankfully continues with the Plantronics 7.1 Rig Surrond.

The unit is lightweight and comfortable and offers7.1 surround sound in a USB gaming headset power by 40mm drivers. When playing a video game I prefer a headset that doesn’t require me to do much more than adjust the volume level as in game I want my focus to be on gameplay. As such it was a bit leery with the amp and audio mixer that the unit features which consists of a circular unit and a flip switch and dials. The flip switch toggles between computer and mobile devices and has a red cord that allows you to plug the device into your portable devices to enjoy your headset on the go. PC users. They connected via a USB port and unlike many headsets I’m happy to say that the cable offers more than adequate length she do not feel constricted at your desktop. Working to dials includes a mute switch and an option to handle phone calls as well as the master volume control and other mixing features that allow you to choose between improved voice clarity, bass and midrange boost, and more based with out the distortion.

For me I use the menu music with Call of Duty: Ghosts as well as some music videos in order to set what I consider to be an acceptable level and Max although I do have the option to adjust that as I see fit.

While some may look at this is micromanagement I prefer to accept it as getting a degree of customization that suits me and my needs and can adapt depending on what I’m listing to rather than essentially being told this is the level that you’re going to get if you want to make any changes adjust it in Windows or accept it.

The sound quality was solid but did not blow me away to the level that I had initially expected to. There are drivers available that are currently in the beta stage that will improve the performance and do greatly enhance your gameplay and enjoyment options.

While I found the headset be very durable and well constructed, I did find the fact that the microphone is fixed in place to be a bit offputting as I’m used to either a retractable mic or one that I can swivel up out of position one not needed. While some may say this is a minor detraction, I’m simply stating what I found based on my own personal preferences and use. The microphone is angled at a proper distance downward and away from my mouth that it does not interfere with my line of sight but still I do notice that it is there.

Setup was very easy and it comes with a one-year warranty so I do not expect users to have any issues with the device as it set up quickly and I was immediately able to use it for all of my desktop and gaming needs.

Priced at an attractive $99, the Rig Surround does offer a very solid and versatile option for users and the ability to switch between your PC and mobile device on-the-fly is a definite plus for the device. Aside from the driver and microphone issues I have to say that it is an impressive unit and therefore shows once again the Plantronics is making serious strides into the audio gaming market using the technology and expertise that made them a dominant force in the home and office medications department.

I expect with more drivers in the future, the sound quality will only improve which is very impressive considering it’s quite solid as it currently stands.

4 stars out of 5

 

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MotoGP 14 Trailer http://sknr.net/2014/08/25/motogp-14-trailer/ http://sknr.net/2014/08/25/motogp-14-trailer/#comments Mon, 25 Aug 2014 18:37:02 +0000 http://sknr.net/?p=75531  

BANDAI NAMCO Games America and Milestone S.r.L have just released the teaser trailer for the upcoming motorcycle racing title MotoGP 14, which will be available at retailers in the Americas on November 4 for PS4, PS3 and Xbox 360, and available as a digital download on PS Vita and PC. Developed by Milestone s.r.l., one of the most recognized racing videogame developers and publishers, MotoGP14 will feature more than 100 available riders, all the official manufacturers, all racing classes and 18 tracks in a brand new racing chapter based on the Official MotoGP World Championship. The teaser trailer gives you a glimpse into the improvements in MotoGP 14 that make it the most refined entry in the series.

 

 

 

 



 

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