Skewed 'n Reviewed http://sknr.net Movie News and Reviews Thu, 26 Mar 2015 13:00:40 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Grapple http://sknr.net/2015/03/26/grapple/ http://sknr.net/2015/03/26/grapple/#comments Thu, 26 Mar 2015 13:00:40 +0000 http://sknr.net/?p=77539 I love that we’re in a time where companies are trying to pick apart and experiment with just what makes a game interesting. A new RTS, FPS or MMO is lovely, but sometimes all you need to make a game tick is a really interesting gimmick.

Grapple is a 3D platformer with minimal story and a whole lot of… well… grappling. The game begins without much fanfare as you find yourself in control of a sticky blob of goo. This blob coasts along platforms in space, can jump and collect items for points, and can stick to (almost) any surface you dive at. It can also send out a little tendril to grapple at floating platforms to swing Tarzan-style across wide gaps.

There’s a speed run mode, or you can play it level by level. I’m not one for speed running, so I took a spin through the more casual levels and had a nice stroll through space, grappling and swinging throughout the map.

The soundtrack is pretty bumpin’. Electronic thumps and many a synthtastic melody will keep you entertained as you glop and grapple from platform to platform, gunning to reach the end.

The first dozen levels or so will steadily walk you through the different techniques you’ll need to survive each level. While the controls are fairly simple, getting a hang of the physics is where one will need practice. Grappling isn’t enough – you’ll have to hop from floors to ceilings, climb walls, spin around and jump through hoops to avoid getting zapped or falling to your demise in the middle of space.

This is a perfect fit for anyone looking for a 3D puzzler that is simply controlled, but has a really fresh twist. They start to bring the challenges out after about a dozen levels, so be patient if you’re looking for something a little more difficult – you’ll get there.

4/5

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Does The Success Of Bloodborne, And Recent Moves By Sony Put Them Firmly In Control Heading Into E3 and Beyond http://sknr.net/2015/03/26/does-the-success-of-bloodborne-and-recent-moves-by-sony-put-them-firmly-in-control-heading-into-e3-and-beyond/ http://sknr.net/2015/03/26/does-the-success-of-bloodborne-and-recent-moves-by-sony-put-them-firmly-in-control-heading-into-e3-and-beyond/#comments Thu, 26 Mar 2015 12:47:51 +0000 http://sknr.net/?p=77544 This week Sony released their latest exclusive for the Playstation 4 with Bloodborne and once again showed gamers that they have a strong commitment to gaming as well as continuing to push the potential of their system forward.

The release combined with the pending firmware update which will bring many new features such as a way to decrease game load times and more options for external hard drive use will likely be more signs that Sony is just scratching the surface of what they system will eventually offer.

As for Bloodborne, it appears to be an early hit as reports have several online retailers and some stores out of stock for the game as well as it being one of the higher ranked sales items at Amazon.com

While the game is not unique in its premise or gameplay, the combination of the Dark Gothicesque horror and fast paced action appear to be scoring well very early with fans.

Unlike The Order: 1886 which was met with mixed reviews early and currently has a 65 and a 6.7 score from reviewers and critics on Metacritic, Bloodborne is enjoying rave reviews with a 93 average from critics and a solid 9 from gamers.

Sony has set themselves up very well for the coming months as they will likely shift their focus to E3 2015 in June where fans and media from around the world will wait to see what titles and features the company is prepared to announce yet.

The news this week was not all golden for Sony as reports have emerged that a round of layoffs has hit their San Diego studio ahead of the release of MLB 15. The move is likely part of their restructuring which has seen the company enjoy an increase in profits as well as stock price in recent months so while painful for the employees and their family, it does show that the company is focused on the long-term and as such has a clear plan for the PS4 and the future.

It seems that Sony can do no wrong with their fans currently as the PS4 continues to sell and the exclusive titles for the system have been met with strong sales even when reviews were not so kind. Bloodborne is giving Sony a high selling game that is backed by solid reviews and will only help push sales and demand for the system forward.

What Sony will announce at E3 is up to much speculation but based on their past moves and trending success, I would expect something major to be announced as Sony seems determined to press the accelerator down and not let up with the PS4 which as a gamer is not only very exciting, but shows that they are playing for keeps this generation and beyond.

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Bladestorm: Nightmare http://sknr.net/2015/03/26/bladestorm-nightmare/ http://sknr.net/2015/03/26/bladestorm-nightmare/#comments Thu, 26 Mar 2015 12:00:00 +0000 http://sknr.net/?p=77537 ‘Bladestorm: Nightmare is a re-release of the original Bladestorm: The Hundred Years’ War which released for last gen consoles nearly 8 years ago, As someone who is new to Bladestorm I think it does an excellent job of teaching players experiencing the game for the first time.

In BS:N you are able to create multiple heroes or ‘mercenaries’ as they are called in the game, and it’s been far too long since I actually had fun while customizing a character, there are so many choices and options to make your character the way you want only issue I had with the customization was the unbalanced weapon options, however when you start combat it’ll be worth it.

BS:N is a tactical strategic war game where you take over enemy areas in true Dynasty Warriors fashion. As a hero you have a sword °while be it unusable° it makes the evil turn into allies that raise your group to take over more areas. It can get abit repetitive and annoying as there are no running options so you slowly speed walk against the long world map.

The new Nightmare mode is a new story involving a over sexualized Joan of Arc and an evil witch with an army of demons, Demons that you overtime add to your army due to the magic sword. The Hundred Year War plot is also worth a try if you haven’t played it the first time around. I can respect thud aspect of the story for being well written. As for character dialogue it’s about as good as any other Dynasty Warriors game.

As for the cons I do feel as though the graphics could’ve been a lot better in battle however It’s too early too judge as I’ve only been playing the ps4 version I don’t know how the other versions are. During cutscenes are when the graphics really begin to shine, Koei really does have a knack for making cutscenes look glorious.

Anyway to put it short this game is really enjoyable, if you like the strategic value of Dynasty Warriors please give this a try, this game has proven Koei really does know how to keep the DW flow in a whole different franchise.’

4 stars out of 5

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Italian zombie movies deserve more attention. After the success of George A. Romero‘s groundbreaking Night of the Living Dead, Italian directors rushed the scene with a vengeance. Dario Argento’s giallo films had already achieved an international cult following, but zombies? This was new territory to stake. Lucio Fulci, Bruno Mattei and Andrea Bianchi, among others, capitalized on gore in a market that daringly embraced cannibalism, degradation and eroticism — often in the context of the same film…if not the same scene.

 

  1. Hell of the Living Dead (1981)

[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6RUCuLnsLeA]

 

Bruno Mattei’s Hell of the Living Dead was released in the States as Night of the Zombies. The finished product is a patchwork monster of chunks of earlier existing films. The zombie head from Lucio Fulci’s City of the Living Dead poster is reprised. Ample stock footage of an early ’70s Papua New Guinea documentary titled La Vallée was used to pad out Hell‘s running time. Mattei even tapped Goblin, the band known to supply Dario Argento with shock rock for his gruesome scenes, to record the soundtrack for his zombie fest. Hell‘s musical underscore is suspiciously similar to Goblin’s for Dawn of the Dead, which suggests Mattei may have merely swiped it.

 

  1. Burial Ground: The Nights of Terror (1981)

[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VOOwXX-uuso]

 

Andrea Bianchi’s love letter to Romero and Fulci focuses on an ancient unearthed crypt that yields some bad news which translates as the “Prophecy of the Black Spider.” What that really translates to is zombies, of course! Decapitations, maggot-drenched cadavers and Fulci-styled mistreatment of the human eye are on the menu. The gore holds the film together better than the less-than-spectacular cast, which includes an adolescent boy who is portrayed by an actor in his mid-twenties.

 

  1. Zombi 2 (1980)

[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O9JuX__CPYQ]

 

Were the Italians merely imitating? The notion is a commonly trumpeted but erroneous one. Along with Romero’s, Lucio Fulci’s movies remain the benchmark for zombie cinema to this day. Fulci whipped out back-to-back classics in the early 1980s called Zombie (aka Zombi 2) and City of the Living Dead. When Dario Argento released his cut of Dawn of the Dead in Europe as Zombi, Fulci shamelessly retitled his film and marketed it as an unofficial sequel set in New York. It’s no less entertaining. In fact, it ramped up the gore with gratuitous makeup effects and its unflinchingly brutal treatment of the human eyeball. Fulci also pitted an aquatic zombie against a shark, which predated Romero’s bayfront zombies in Land of the Dead by over twenty years.

 

  1. City of the Living Dead (1981)

[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FPOI89uhei4]

 

Fulci’s successor to Zombi 2 is a quasi-epic tribute to H.P. Lovecraft that examines the consequences of a gateway between Hell and Earth opened by a priest’s death in New England in a town called Dunwich. An excellent old school Italian nasty, that you can catch periodically on El Rey’s Friday night “Grindhouse” showcases (here). The bar was again raised thanks to two oft-quoted moments: a man whose head is impaled by a huge mechanical drill, and a woman who regurgitates her own intestinal tract — the actress actually swallowed sausage links in order to perform the scene.

 

  1. Let Sleeping Corpses Lie (1974)

[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-x54TlYs94s]

 

Spanish director Jorge Grau’s Let Sleeping Corpses Lie is something of a curio that beat the others to the punch by a few years. It’s a mystery that moonlights as a horror film by way of zombies. Exterminators experimenting with radiation accidentally raise the dead. It’s a film that takes its sweet time to pick up, but once it does…spilt crimson aplenty. Grau has remained relatively obscure throughout much of his career, but if you enjoy this film, you might also consider viewing the first ABC’s of Death film, which features a segment directed by Grau.

 

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Furious 7 Takes Over Universal Studios http://sknr.net/2015/03/25/furious-7-takes-over-universal-studios/ http://sknr.net/2015/03/25/furious-7-takes-over-universal-studios/#comments Thu, 26 Mar 2015 05:59:57 +0000 http://sknr.net/?p=77542  Screenings of the Highly-Anticipated Furious 7, a Fast & Furious Movie Marathon, a Display of Race Cars from the Film and Original Wardrobe Display

 

Advance Screenings of Furious 7 Begin on Thursday, April 2

 

Universal City, California – March 25, 2015 – Universal CityWalk revs up for a turbo-charged takeover with Universal Pictures’ Furious 7, featuring a flurry of activity in support of the film’s April 3 release, including a Fast & Furious movie marathon at the AMC Theatres, an exclusive first-look at Furious 7’s 1967 Camaro and an original costume display, including attire worn by Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson in the new action thriller.

As the choice L.A. destination to see the latest installment in the Fast & Furious film series, Universal CityWalk’s AMC Theatres will jump-start the excitement with advance screenings of Furious 7 starting at select times every seven minutes after the hour beginning on Thursday, April 2.  The AMC Theatres will also bridge the gap to this latest film with an exciting two-day movie marathon at CityWalk, featuring all previous six Fast & Furious films on Tuesday, March 31 and Thursday, April 2.

For more information and to purchase tickets to the advance screening of Furious 7 and the Fast & Furious movie marathon at the AMC Universal CityWalk Theatres and IMAX, visit www.CityWalkHollywood.com.

The exciting Furious 7 takeover also provides guests with an exclusive opportunity to get up close and personal with genuine artifacts from the new movie, including the 1967 Camaro that character Roman Pearce (Tyrese Gibson) drives Located on CityWalk, outside the AMC Theatre, the grey muscle car—with its 500 horsepower and 4×4 tires—offers fans a picture perfect photo opp through Sunday, April 5.

Authentic wardrobe worn by Dominic “Dom” Toretto (Vin Diesel) and Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) will also be on display exclusively at the AMC Theatres from Friday, March 20 through Friday, April 10.

The non-stop action and charged atmosphere shift into high gear as CityWalk’s state of the art outdoor concert venue, “5 Towers,” celebrates the Furious 7 takeover with a D.J. party spinning songs from the film series’ entire music library, including new sounds from the latest movie soundtrack as part of the opening weekend festivities from Thursday, April 2 through Saturday, April 4.

Universal Studios Hollywood will join in on the takeover as the theme park prepares to introduce its all-original thrill ride “Fast & Furious—Supercharged” on Thursday, June 25.

“Fast & Furious—Supercharged” is a technologically advanced, epic ride that reunites stars from the Fast & Furious series in a groundbreaking mega-attraction, conceived as a new installment to the dynamic Fast & Furious films that can only be experienced at The Entertainment Capital of L.A.  Featuring characters made famous by Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson and Luke Evans, “Fast & Furious—Supercharged” will catapult guests into the high-stakes underground world of fast cars in a harrowing escapade—at perceived speeds in excess of 120 miles per hour—to save one of their own from an international crime cartel.

Located within Universal Plaza, a convergence of original Fast & Furious prop cars will be on display for guests and fans of the film series, including Dom’s 1970 Dodger Charger R/T.  The black, V8-powered car first appeared in The Fast and the Furious and has been a mainstay in every action-packed film since. The grey 1970 Plymouth Roadrunner that Dom first drove in The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift will also be on display, along with the 1970 Plymouth Barracuda that belonged to Letty in Fast & Furious 6.  The car display will be available throughout the summer.

For a behind-the-scenes look at “Fast & Furious—Supercharged,” please click here. The 90-second footage offers insightful perspective on the making of this adrenaline-charged attraction along with interviews with Fast & Furious franchise cast members and stars of the ride, including Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez and Tyrese Gibson.

More information about Universal CityWalk is available at www.CityWalkHollywood.com. Regular updates also can be found on CityWalk’s Twitter @CityWalkLA, Facebook page Universal CityWalk Hollywood and Instagram @CityWalkLA. Join the conversation online using #FastFuriousRide, and for the latest news, ‘Like’ Universal Studios Hollywood on Facebook and follow on Instagram and Twitter at @UniStudios.

Universal Studios Hollywood, The Entertainment Capital of L.A. SM, includes a full-day, movie-based theme park and Studio Tour; the CityWalk  entertainment, shopping and dining complex, the Universal CityWalk Cinemas and the “5 Towers” state-of-the-art outdoor concert venue.  World-class rides and attractions include the incredibly popular 3D Ultra-HD adventure, “Despicable Me Minion Mayhem” and immersive “Super Silly Fun Land,” the critically-acclaimed mega-attraction, “Transformers™:  The Ride-3D,” the intense, award-winning ride, “King Kong 360 3-D” on the behind-the-scenes Studio Tour, “Revenge of the MummySM—The Ride” and “Jurassic Park® —The Ride.” As part of its milestone 50th anniversary celebration in 2015, Universal Studios Hollywood will debut a slate of dynamic new attractions including the electrifying 3D-HD thrill ride, “Fast & Furious—Supercharged” as the grand finale to the famed Studio Tour, “Springfield,” hometown of America’s favorite TV family, adjacent to the award-winning “The Simpsons Ride™” and the “Nighttime Studio Tour,” offering evening tours of the iconic movie backlot every weekend this summer and on select nights.

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BenQ’s Stylish EW2440L Monitor Goes Gold http://sknr.net/2015/03/25/benqs-stylish-ew2440l-monitor-goes-gold/ http://sknr.net/2015/03/25/benqs-stylish-ew2440l-monitor-goes-gold/#comments Wed, 25 Mar 2015 13:19:42 +0000 http://sknr.net/?p=77531 COSTA MESA, Calif. — March 24, 2015 — BenQ America Corp., an internationally renowned provider of visual display solutions, today introduced its newly minted gold version of the popular EW2440L monitor. Loaded with features that take mobile content to the screen, the vertical alignment display boasts mobile high-definition link (MHL®) technology, BenQ’s “Cinema Mode,” and razor-sharp 3000:1 contrast ratios that allow gaming, media streaming, and other external entertainment sources to be easily viewed on the full HD 24-inch screen (1920×1080). Equipped with BenQ’s signature RevolutionEyes™ technology, the display eliminates traditional LED flicker issues and reduces harmful blue light, enabling seamless viewing sessions and increased user comfort. 

The EW2440L is one of BenQ’s standouts in overall design and concept,” said Bob Wudeck, Associate Vice President, Strategy and Business Development at BenQ America Corp. “With options aimed at optimizing picture quality and an attractive gold casing that complements the latest iPhones and MacBooks, consumers can bring cloud-based entertainment right into their home or office via this sleek, feature-rich display.” 

With its new gold casing and stylish edge-to-edge slim bezel design, the EW2440L complements today’s elegant home and office environments. The monitor enables easy notebook PC, cable, console gaming, or smart device connections using HDMI® and MHL technology, allowing users to transfer small-screen content directly to the full HD display from any portable device. With its true-black color and a cinema-class video processor for stunning image quality, the EW2440L is purpose-built to provide today’s cloud-based content consumers with simple, forward-thinking features that take picture quality to a whole new level. 

In “Cinema Mode,” the EW2440L heightens the movie experience via BenQ’s exclusive color engine technology, which dynamically adapts to specific video content and automatically brightens dark scenes without overexposing color levels, thus preserving vital picture details. With BenQ’s “Super Resolution,” the display also simulates high-resolution images in lower-quality video by increasing pixel density — creating an amazing viewing experience regardless of the source. To further enhance online content viewing, the devices’ “Smart Focus” feature highlights selected video windows or screen areas to reduce distractions from other locations on the display. 

To enable a more comfortable viewing experience, the EW2440L comes equipped with BenQ’s RevolutionEyes technology. Since backlight controllers in regular monitors can cause rapid flickering at a rate of 200Hz per second when brightness is reduced from its maximum level, user comfort can be compromised in applications where longer viewing sessions are required. Designed to counter this effect, BenQ’s ZeroFlicker™ technology eliminates traditional LED flicker issues using a direct LED-backlight system that enables users to experience improved visual comfort and reduced eye fatigue. Users can also easily lower the device’s blue light output to further boost viewer comfort simply by using the device’s hotkeys. 

For audio only situations, the EW2440L features a “Speaker Only” mode, which allows users to connect their players directly to the monitors’ speakers without powering on the screen, resulting in a complete audio immersion experience while consuming less power. In line with the series’ attractive design and feature-rich functionality, the monitor sports touch onscreen display and hotkeys, enabling users to switch between settings easily and fully customize their experience.

Available now in stylish gold, the EW2440L retails for $269. More information on the full line of BenQ products is available at www.BenQ.us

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Call Of Duty: Advanced Warfare Ascendance Video http://sknr.net/2015/03/25/call-of-duty-advanced-warfare-ascendance-video/ http://sknr.net/2015/03/25/call-of-duty-advanced-warfare-ascendance-video/#comments Wed, 25 Mar 2015 13:15:19 +0000 http://sknr.net/?p=77528 A preview of Ascendance, the second DLC pack for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is available now. Ascendance includes four new Multiplayer maps, the OHM Multiplayer hybrid weapon and weapon variant, a new Exo Grapple playlist, which utilizes the futuristic grapple capability, as well as Exo Zombies Infection, part two of the Exo Zombies co-op experience starring John Malkovich, Bill Paxton, Rose McGowan and Jon Bernthal.

 

Ascendance will be released March 31st on Xbox LIVE, with other platforms to follow.

 



 

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Harold http://sknr.net/2015/03/25/harold/ http://sknr.net/2015/03/25/harold/#comments Wed, 25 Mar 2015 12:59:04 +0000 http://sknr.net/?p=77524 Harold is a light-hearted single-player sidescrolling runner game with a fun story and (thankfully) a lot of refreshing twists to keep you on your toes. Rather than structure it like an endless runner, the levels in Harold finite and complete, each with their own shortcuts, secrets and traps. The in-game animation is truly fantastic, and the characters are pretty adorable.

The story follows the Guardian Angel Gabe, who is tasked with keeping the scrawny Harold safe as he competes with other racers for glory. Where other angels have been charged with significantly more athletic racers, Gabe is being taught a lesson in humility.

The first thing the player will notice is that Harold is not terribly fit. He is notably slower than most every other runner you’ll try to pass, and his jumping skills leave something to be desired. Where the other runners float through the air like SlamBall players, Harold struggles to get what little lift he can. Luckily, he has a tricky angel on his side.

Gabe has a few tricks up his sleeve. As Harold races through the course, he can collect Wingrings which provide subunits of Puff Power. Each full unit of Puff Power can be expended to give Harold a temporary speed boost, or if he meets an untimely demise, he’ll be saved and given another shot at glory.

I was a little confused about the requirements for a controller to play Harold, but the reasons quickly became clear and amped up the clever design of this seemingly simple game.

Harold needs to avoid traps such as your run-of-the-mill spikes and pits, but Gabe’s powers allow him to mess with traps and platforms to help Harold reach the end of a particular screen – and also to put opponents at a disadvantage. See a runner ahead of you? Shift a platform and watch them fall! Snap a trap and send them flying! Interference might make you feel like you’re not winning a fair fight, but look at the guy. Harold needs all the help he can get!

Bumbling through the courses didn’t prove to be an easy task. Difficulty jumped pretty quickly, but I’m admittedly bad at this style of game. That said, my incessant nose-dives into spiked pits never got frustrating. Different modes are offered for the player, and each course has a practice mode that will show you the optimal path. As stated before, it isn’t as simple as following the shortcuts. You’ve got to mess with your opponents. It’s a weird sort of multitasking that requires a lot of fast reflexes and practice in order to get a great time.

I’d recommend this game for players of all ages who enjoy games with a great, hand-drawn animation style. The gameplay is casual enough, but should sufficiently challenge the perfectionists.

4/5

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Bladestorm :Nightmares Gameplay Videos http://sknr.net/2015/03/24/bladestorm-nightmares-gameplay-videos/ http://sknr.net/2015/03/24/bladestorm-nightmares-gameplay-videos/#comments Tue, 24 Mar 2015 13:01:11 +0000 http://sknr.net/?p=77521 Aside from having issues without getting any sound captured, here are two gameplay videos from the new game Bladestorm: Nightmares

 

 



 



 

 

 

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Skreens: PAX East Video Demonstration http://sknr.net/2015/03/24/skreens-pax-east-video-demonstration/ http://sknr.net/2015/03/24/skreens-pax-east-video-demonstration/#comments Tue, 24 Mar 2015 12:43:06 +0000 http://sknr.net/?p=77518 Imagine being able to show multiple screens on one monitor, television, or device. That is what the folks at Skreens are creating and during our coverage of PAX East 2015, they showed off their latest build to us.

 



 

 

 

 

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