Wrestlemania 36: Night Two Review

We’re back!

Night One was eventful and so eventful that I’m grateful we have a night two to look forward to. Another stacked night of marquee matches beckon, so without further ado, let’s dive straight in!

All matches were pre-taped, so Wrestlemania wasn’t live, and it was filmed in the WWE Performance Centre with no crowd.

*All matches rated out of 5-stars.

(Pre-Show) Match 1- Liv Morgan defeated Natalya

Not much to say here, Liv Morgan hasn’t done much since her 15 seconds of fame against Lana on her return. Natalya is a veteran and they both put on a decent match that can hopefully kick-start something for Liv Morgan.

** and a half stars

Match 2- Charlotte Flair defeated Rhea Ripley for the NXT Women’s Championship

This was one of the matches I was chomping at the bit to see, my excitement was with reward with the greatest women’s match ever seen at Wrestlemania.

This was back and forth duel between two excellent wrestlers. It was hard-hitting, almost stiff, there were big moves, outside brawling and close near-falls galore.

In the end, my prediction won. I would truly have loved Rhea to win, but the NXT vs AEW war is a big problem for the WWE. They’re not just getting beat every week, they’re being trounced in the ratings. Charlotte is the greatest female competitor I’ve ever seen (my opinion) and will draw additional numbers, so it’s the right call.

A Wrestlemania Classic.

**** and a half stars

Match 3- Aleister Black defeated Bobby Lashley

Another match added to the card with no build as far as I’m aware, but it was surprisingly enjoyable nevertheless. Just hard-hitting again. They were certainly given enough time and they made the most of it.

The only question was always going to be, how much influence will Lana have? In the end – a lot. She basically cost Lashley who got the Black Mass into obscurity.

Aleister needs to be pushed up the card. Bobby should already eb at the top of the card…but now he can probably enjoy the end of a faux marriage.

***

Match 4- Otis defeated Dolph Ziggler w/ Sonya Deville

Undisputedly the best booked match of Wrestlemania. This sleeper story has rivalled some of the best told tales. Anything other than an Otis win would’ve soured Wrestlemania. To not only win, but get the girl as well; that’s just a happy ending all-around.

The work was solid enough, but the story is what people cared about.

** and a half stars

Match 5- Edge defeated Randy Orton in a Last Man Standing Match

Quite simply, I didn’t enjoy this at all.

I love gimmick matches, especially of the violent variety; but the only thing that could match the pace of this slog was a tortoise, a dead one at that.

It clocked in at around 37 minutes…I mean, what actually happened in that time? Two quick RKOs, a couple of gym spots, Edge busting out his best Spider-Man impression, a DDT on a car, Edge’s flying elbow and the inevitable con-chair-to? This badly needed 15-20 minutes cutting out in the edit.

This was the most personal feud heading into Mania, combined with Edge’s first 1-on-1 match in nine years. Where was the trash-talking? It was just two guys taking a worldwide audience on an all-inclusive excursion of the Performance Centre.

Edge’s acting and selling of the encounter bumps the rating up a bit.

* and a half stars

Match 6- The Street Profits retained the WWE Rag Tag Team Championships against Angel Garza and Austin Theory w/ Zelina Vega

Nothing to shout home about here. I guess it was just supposed to be a cooldown match after the Last Man Standing (Forever) Match. I actually enjoyed it more, which saddens me to say. It was another basic TV tag match with the plus point that Montez Ford didn’t do the pancake splat to the outside again like he did on RAW.

Also, Bianca Belair debuted. Something I’m a huge fan of because I’m a fan of hers. If you need evidence of how good she is, and how highly WWE think of her, go and check-out her Royal Rumble 2020 performance.

** and a half stars

Match 7- Gronk defeated Mojo Rawley for the WWE 24/7 Title

I don’t care. Gronk off.

N/A

Match 8- Bayley retained the WWE Smackdown Women’s Championship against Lacey Evans, Naomi, Sasha Banks and Tamina

A more than serviceable showing from all five women here and it was fuelled by the will she/won’t she Sasha Banks angle. Will we finally get the Bayley vs Sasha feud we’ve been begging for for about four or five years now? Bayley retaining also makes sense.

Nevertheless, the action was solid and could’ve done with five minutes or so being shaved off.

***

Match 9- Bray Wyatt defeated John Cena in a Firefly Fun House Match

The word match, is being used in its loosest possible way here. There was precisely 15-30 seconds of wrestling on display here. It’s inevitable that echoes of the cinematic Boneyard Match from the previous night would be used for comparison, so once again, I’ll keep it short.

This contained much fewer professional wrestling tropes, and was more a introspective dissection of John Cena’s career; for better or worse.

Words cannot describe how much I revelled in its insanity. Creatively speaking it’s a masterpiece and an artistic triumph. The foreshadowing, the callbacks, the references, the easter eggs, the insinuations etc. I could not take my eyes off of it. To casual viewers it might’ve come across as a twisted, complex labyrinth of nonsense; to nerds like me, I loved it.

Also, John Cena has either been murdered or is trapped inside Bray’s Fun House. So we’ll make that casualty number four for Wrestlemania.

Entertainment value: ****

Match 10- Drew McIntyre defeated Brock Lesnar w/Paul Heyman for the WWE Championship

The other world title match, AND it was pretty much the same kind of awful, laboured, repetitive match that so many world title matches have suffered from in the last four years (ARTICLE ON THE WAY ABOUT THIS).

A few F-5’s, Drew kicks out. A few Claymore Kicks, Brock doesn’t kick-out. Drew wins. Yay.

Let’s focus on the key thing here, it may have taken eleven years…but The Chosen One has finally won the big one. The first ever person from the UK to win a WWE World Title, and richly deserved. Drew McIntyre looks like Hercules, he commands a microphone and demands your presence. He is the prototypical WWE superstar and hopefully should be one of the best world champions in years.

Match sucked.

*

Conclusion

Ohhhh I so wanted this to be as good as last night, but it didn’t quite live up to the high standards of night one. We started off very strongly, but it went downhill from there. There wasn’t anything Elias vs Corbin bad, but there wasn’t enough quality to maintain the bar set from last nights success.

Two of the marquee matches for this show earned a collective two and a half stars between them. Edge and Orton just didn’t work and Lesnar/McIntyre could’ve been a brutal, physical fight only worthy of a Colosseum.

– 6 out of 10 –

Overall Conclusion

Despite the scrutiny, the opposition, the pandemic, and the race against time to tape all the matches, WWE pulled a rabbit out of the hat. The two-night format made Wrestlemania a lot more enjoyable and there were plenty of top matches over the two nights; some of which have been inches away from a ***** rating.

Given everything going on in the world, thank you WWE for a fun two nights.

– 7 out of 10 –

Check out the review for night one if you haven’t already!

Resident Evil 3: Remake Review – Some Glaring Oversights Are This Game’s Real Nemesis

By Kain Hunter

Just over a year after the release of the much anticipated, and brilliant, Resident Evil 2, the Resident Evil 3 Remake has dropped.

I have been eagerly awaiting its release ever since I completed my playthrough of the remake of Capcom’s second game, in their now 23 year old franchise, and was quite literally jumping up and down on the spot when I saw the beautiful green button on my steam browser allowing me to download and play the newest remake.

Upon opening the game, you’re treated to a live-action opening showing the sheer scale of the effect of the T-Virus on Raccoon City. It really hypes the player up for the forthcoming pandemonium on the streets and it really giving you an idea on just how things have gone downhill since the ‘Mansion Incident’ of the first game.

RE3 jill

After the brief opening to the game, the player wakes up inside of Jill Valentine’s apartment with a very filmic, noire filter displayed over the first person camera perspective. Slowly making your way over to the bathroom, you come to realise Jill has been racking up a couple of extra dollars to her water bill by leaving her tap on.

Once interacting with said tap, a short sequence plays with Jill mutating into one of the undead monsters. Upon realising the horror that is facing back at her in the mirror, she reaches for her gun, rests the cold barrel to her temple and pulls the trigger…

…And then the game starts.

Yes that’s right, the previous scene was just a dream sequence and offers some great insight into how hard Jill is finding it to deal with the demons of her recent past. It also plants the seeds into the player’s mind that she might be infected too.

It’s a very strong opening to the game no doubt, and I will refrain from spoiling much more of the story as even players of the original will be unfamiliar with some parts of the story to this game – which is sadly one of the big problems I have with this game.

By no means is Resident Evil 3 a bad game. No, in fact it’s a fantastic game. But it does have one or two glaring issues and problems that I just cannot overlook. Maybe because the original Resident Evil 3 is my favourite game of all time or maybe because some of the issues I have with the game make it feel as if it was designed with speedrunners in mind.

The game takes roughly four hours to complete if you focus purely on the story, and a further five to six hours if you also want to go full Indiana Jones and explore the game world for goodies. Now that probably sounds short, because it is, but Resident Evil games have never been sixty hour epics.

Resi 3 graphics

The shortness of the game isn’t what bothers me however, it’s the fact that the game could’ve taken advantage of the beautiful RE engine to bring back some of the classic and unique locations of the third entry. This would’ve provided some much-needed fan service and could’ve quite easily added a bit more enjoyment and valuable minutes to the game.

Just like Capcom redesigned and re-imagined the iconic Raccoon City Police Department in the Resident Evil 2 remake, they could’ve done just the same with Clock Tower that was a pivotal part of the story in the original Resident Evil 3. Instead, the Clock Tower section is condensed down to a very unsatisfying boss battle with no further exploration of it available.

Along with the Clock Tower section being completely omitted from the remake, fans of the original may have also noticed another section of the game that is completely missing… The Gravedigger Worm.

Now this leads me onto another negative, the sheer lack of variety in the boss battles. Two boss battles with Nemesis are exactly the same, both taking place in a circular arena that requires the player to run circles around the leviathan. If they had just included the gigantic Gravedigger Worm, not only would this have added a bit more playtime to the game, but it would have also introduced a different enemy to fight and altered the dynamic for the better.

Resi 3 Nemesis Action Shot

Just to reiterate, this remake is nowhere near being a terrible game – it is fantastic – it’s just the boss battles I have mentioned are like a budget and much easier version of a boss battle that you would see in the Dark Souls franchise.

Also, with Nemesis only really chasing you twice through the downtown Raccoon City sections, it makes the Tyrant from Resident Evil 2 feel more worthy of the “Pursuer” title.

However, this game does shine for the most part, having solid gameplay and no glitches through the five playthroughs I have done of the game. Its gunplay mechanics have been overhauled from its predecessor by introducing a quickstep mechanic. If pulled off perfectly, it allows the player to channel their inner Neo (Matrix, duh) and slow down time to score a perfect a shot on the enemy they just evaded.

In addition, the graphics in this game are pure and simply, disgustingly beautiful. They go the extra mile to capture the visceral detail of Raccoon City and underline just how badly the city has been crippled by the virus. Our big teddy bear, Nemesis, looks amazing and he is a much more frightening prospect than his 1999 counterpart.

Resi 3 PS1

We’ve come a long way since 1999…ain’t that right Nemmy? Yes Nemmy…stars.

Also, another area that usurps the original is the Hospital section of the game. Not only is the section much bigger this time around, but it still manages to capture the dark and claustrophobic atmosphere its corridors created back in 1999. Coupled with being chased by a Hunter Alpha and you’ll definitely feel like you need to change your underwear in this section of the game.

Conclusion

Overall the Resident Evil 3 remake is a fantastic game that I believe everyone should play at least once, but don’t go into it thinking that it will be a sixty hour epic because that’s simply not the case. You will find yourself completing it in between 4 to 6 hours on a first time, moderate playthrough. There a couple of key areas in which I believe Capcom did miss the mark, which is disappointing, but as a Resident Evil game standing on its own two feet, it is definitely still a brilliant game.

Maybe Capcom will release some DLC in the future, perhaps with some separate campaigns, adding in those missing areas and even the much loved mercenaries mode.

We live in hope anyway.

– 7 out of 10 –

Wrestlemania 36: Night One Review

Wrestlemania 36. 18 matches. 2 nights.

“Too big for just one night”…jesus…I can’t wait to hear that 4.6 million times for all of its forthcoming iterations. But yes, the controversial show, that’s go-ahead teetered and tottered until the final few days due to the coronavirus pandemic, happened. So I shall quickly ransack my way through the first night.

All matches were pre-taped, so Wrestlemania wasn’t live, and it was filmed in the WWE Performance Centre with no crowd.

*All matches rated out of 5-stars.

(Pre-Show) Match 1- Cesaro defeated Drew Gulak

A short and sweet affair between two technically gifted athletes. But considering the pre-show was an hour, and this was the only match for night one’s precursor, I will bemoan the fact it was given under 5 minutes. Fun for what it was.

** and a half stars.

Match 2- Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross defeated Asuka and Kairi Sane for the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship

A match that I don’t think many people would’ve been heavily invested in, but was given plenty of time and all four women put in a great amount of effort for the official night one opener. It was a great contest and was a surprisingly entertaining affair to open proceedings. Also, I’m so sad that a pirate-themed Wrestlemania happened and Kairi Sane didn’t get to appear on a pirate ship…

***

Match 3- Elias defeated King Corbin

Elias was so over when I went to Wrestlemania 34 it was untrue, it’s a shame to see how little he’s progressed, if not regressed. As for Corbin, he’s just boring isn’t he? The big angle coming into this match was the attempted murder of Elias barely two weeks prior via Corbin knocking him off of a huge platform to a concrete floor. Elias not only turned up for his match, his Superman-esque metabolism meant he displayed next-to-no injuries from the fall. It was a basic TV match with a roll-up finish. Yawn.

* and a half.

Match 4- Becky Lynch retained the WWE Raw Women’s Championship against Shayna Baszler

Becky has been champion for a year, and her momentum has long since faded. Baszler is a beast. A legitimate beast. She should’ve won here, but I digress. I was frustrated that this went under 10 minutes as the work was really solid. But a cheap, roll-up kind of win for Becky keeps the belt on her and hands Baszler her first main roster defeat. Hopefully the rematch gets longer and the right outcome.

***

Match 5- Sami Zayn w/ Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura retained the WWE Intercontinental Championship against Daniel Bryan w/Drew Gulak

WHAT a disappointment. El Generico vs Bryan Danielson, at Wrestlemania, for the IC Title. Just give them 20 minutes, hell, give them 15 minutes to captivate us with a professional wrestling masterclass. But nope. Our worst fears came true and shenanigans dominated most of the match. This is why we should never get our hopes up.

**

Match 6- John Morrison retained the WWE Smackdown Tag Team Championships against Kofi Kingston and Jimmy Uso in a Triple Threat Ladder Match

Three men, competing for tag titles. We’ll let the WWE off because they’ve had to deal with a myriad of exceptional circumstances for this show.

As for the match itself, what else can I say? Bravo gentlemen. Some of the spots in this match were outrageous and unbelievably dangerous. Even with the occasional edit and piercing sound of ladders due to no crowd, this was so much fun. An absolute must-see spectacle.

P.S WWE, John Morrison is exceptional. Please give him a singles run in the future, the man is so talented.

**** and a half stars.

Bonus Match – Mojo Rawley defeated R-Truth for the WWE 24/7 Title

This title hasn’t been relevant in a long time. It served to give our Wrestlemania host Gronk (former NFL player, Rob Gronkowski) some rare TV time and set-up a segment for night two. Next.

N/A

Match 7- Kevin Owens defeated Seth Rollins

A great backstory coming into this one and the narrative was done justice. The Monday Night Messiah wanted to prove he was a god, Owens wanted to shut him the hell up. They really beat the hell out of each other and a live crowd would’ve eaten this up…until the sudden DQ finish by Rollins. He struck Kevin in the face with the ring bell and I was furious…

…Until Owens suddenly took over booking duties and restarted the match as a No DQ Match. This worked well, and then Kevin Owens got his Wrestlemania moment by probably becoming the only man till the end of time to leap off of the Wrestlemania sign, onto Rollins.

If they’d have just gone with the No DQ stipulation straightaway, this would’ve been even greater.

****

Match 8- Braun Strowman defeated Goldberg for the WWE Universal Championship

First of all, I absolutely have to point out that Strowman WASN’T EVEN BOOKED FOR WRESTLEMANIA. 18 matches, no room for the Monster Among Men.

Secondly, not telling the audience why Roman Reigns was mysteriously omitted from the match is hilarious. Like, what goes through Vince’s mind? Why does he constantly have to treat his audience like garbage?!

But whatever, the match sucked. It was yet another finisher, spam-fest that we’ve seen a million times now. But the right guy won, regardless of the circumstances – Braun Strowman should be champion. His momentum should’ve been capitalised on 3 years ago, so let’s do so now. Or have him lose to Roman in a month or whatever. Goldberg needs to retire ASAP.

DUD

Match 9- The Undertaker defeated AJ Styles in a Boneyard Match

Now, I’ll keep this brief (as I’m going to write a piece on cinematic wrestling), but I loved this to death – ironically.

So entertaining, so captivating, and brilliantly masks the limitations of an ageing Undertaker whilst simultaneously reinventing him. His matches should be like this from now on. He and AJ beat each other up for a solid 20-25 minutes and we saw the following:

Druids, fire/pyro, AJ popping out of a casket, broken shovels, broken windows, blood, broken fences, solid acting/selling, Metallica, teleportation and 3 separate murders.

Even non-wrestling fans should watch this. It’s just entertaining. I’m also all for this new American Phenom persona. I’m also also also intrigued to see how you bring AJ Styles back considering he was quite literally buried alive.

R.I.P AJ Styles

****

Conclusion

This had no right to be as good as it was. WWE PPV’s usually suffer from an overperforming undercard and underperforming main card. The Ladder Match, KO vs Rollins, Strowman getting his moment, and the Boneyard Match was a hot home run.

Even with no crowd, all the performers found a way to overcome this and put on a great show. Clocking in at around 3 hours this was incredibly easy to digest and didn’t drag. Take out Elias/Corbin and add some time to Becky vs Shayna and you seriously have one of the best Wrestlemania shows ever.

– 8 out of 10 –

Check out the review for night two if you haven’t already!

Bethesda E3 Press Conference Review: The Undisputed Star of the Show

They even said it themselves, they consistently have the best rated games, year-in and year-out.

https://www.oneangrygamer.net/2018/02/bethesda-metacritics-top-rated-publisher-2017-thanks-politically-charged-outings/52561/

It turns out that they even know how to claim the E3 glory thanks to a headline-stealing press conference with one stellar announcement after another.

There was a LOT of buzz prior to this showing as we were expecting more information on Fallout 76, Elder Scrolls Online etc. Throw in a hyped-up performance from Andrew W.K and the effortless, comedy stylings of Todd Howard and we’re already on the right track.

But some surprises were hinted at, and who doesn’t like surprises? We’ll get to them in due course.

RAGE 2

One of the victims of the Wallmart leak. What an incredible surprise this would’ve been. Nevertheless, I’m elated that it’s here in all of its psychotic glory.

I don’t even know where to begin with RAGE 2; cue the tedious backstory. I was one of the lucky people who owned the underrated 2011 release. It lacked in certain areas, yes, but the whole was greater than the sum of its parts. It left an imprint on my brain and I saw big potential for a sequel.

However, I never thought I’d see that potential realised…until now. Bethesda finally realised there was a hole in the market for a sadistic, irrational first-person shooter with enough personality and creativity to populate a new planet. It’s like a cocktail of Fallout, Mad Max, Metro, Borderlands and Bulletstorm; but it’s happy hour, so you’re getting double the dose for the price of one. Can you handle the kick?

In the 10 minutes of gameplay footage we were shown, we bore witness to an array of meaty weapons that sounded like individual weapons of mass destruction.

The  shotgun actually sounded like Godzilla throwing a tantrum because his Mum wouldn’t let him go Skyscraper climbing, so he stomps his feet in protest.

The fan-favourite Wingsticks are back and the Authority seem to be the evil figureheads once again.

The vibrant colours, the gorgeous locations; this is such a rich environment to murder in. It’s fast, it’s loud and it’s going to be one hell of a ride.

Elder Scrolls: Legends

With an existing fanbase of 11 million and counting, the mobile card-game has proven to be quite a hit.

Bethesda announced that it would be surfacing on consoles later this year.

Elder Scrolls: Online

Another arc of the Elder Scrolls machine is its online universe. The ever-popular MMO shows no signs of getting tired and is furthering its repertoire by adding 2 brand new expansions packs.

Wolfhunter adds a system of dungeons all connected by the presence of werewolves, whereas Murkmire is a story-based one that will apparently explore the Argonian race and give some deeper insight as to who they really are.

DOOM: Eternal

GET THE F**K IN!!!!!

Now, given that this is my blog, I’m not always inclined to be impartial; this is one of those exceptional circumstances.

DOOM is undisputedly the best first-person shooter for this generation of consoles and my favourite shoot fest since Call of Duty 4.

DOOM was a masterful reboot that ticked all the right boxes. My mouth has slavered and longed for a new DOOM game. I had VFR, but it wasn’t enough.

But the wait is over, it’s been revealed. In the trailer – I spotted the Spider Mastermind, Revenants (doot-doot), Hell Knights with blades for arms? And even new tentacle monsters.

I think we’re getting new enemies and MORE OF THEM.

August 9th. Quake-Con. The wait for more info is HELL.

Quake: Champions

The online, PC-only, arena shooter that was announced last year. If you login this week, then you can get it free. FOREVER. Good deal.

PREY Update

Prey was a reasonably successful title for Bethesda and it’s still receiving support with the help of new, free, DLC called ‘Mooncrash’ and some new modes; mainly survival mode and new game plus.

Wolfenstein: Youngblood

I honestly didn’t expect a new Wolfenstein game so soon. But I guess The New Order was accompanied soon after by The Old Blood.

Youngblood is set many years into the future, B.J is older and is MIA. His twin daughters are grown up now and are on a mission to purge Paris of the Nazi threat, eradicating them once and for all. *scoffs* Yeah right.

Prey + Wolfenstein VR

Some VR support is on the way next as you can kill nasty monsters in virtual reality. Whereas Wolfenstein is going to let you control the big, metal doggies. More, free content is always a good thing.

Skyrim Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious Edition

I’m sorry, I had to put this in. Gags fail 9 times out of 10 at E3, this is probably the funniest sketch we will ever see at E3.

Enjoy.

Fallout 76

So it is online only. That will change many things in the Fallout world. But it also offers a very different Fallout world.

No regular enemies now or even NPC’s, the world is now populated with other players. You can destroy their base, work together with them etc. But no quests or cool side-characters is just weird.

Obviously with Elder Scrolls Online having a large following, there was always the possibility of bringing the concept to the Fallout world; a vision that Bethesda have had for a long time according to Todd Howard.

It looks like it’s reinvented itself with lots of horrible new monsters and weaponry. The crafting system has been greatly upgraded, as it has to be to contend with the ever-looming threat of enemy invasion.

The new concept will certainly divide some people, myself included; but this is still definitely a Fallout game.

Elder Scrolls: Blades

Another mobile-only game, but what a game in prospect. Todd Howard was particularly eager to get across the point that this is console-worthy graphics in phone form.

It did indeed look like a miniature-sized Elder Scrolls to take anywhere and play at your own convenience.

The gameplay utilises the full capabilities of a phone’s touchscreen with precise swipes, anywhere across the screen, directly affecting how you deal damage.

Starfield

Bethesda’s first, new IP in 25 years. People have known about its name for some time now, but nothing about the actual game or what it may entail.

We now know it’s official and it looks to have a sci-fi theme. Stay tuned on that one.

The Elder Scrolls VI

Wow. They could easily have ended this after Starfield or even ES: Blades; this is 15 layers of sweet, sickly icing on top of a big, wobbly Bethesda cake that it’s in danger of collapsing under the weight of its greatness.

Analysis

This baby had it all.

Stunning reveals, welcome new sequels, an adrenaline pumping musical performance, a funny sketch to change up the pace, an entertaining host and a some truly earth-shattering announcements.

It never felt like it dragged on, the games got plenty of time to make an impression and Bethesda proved that they have an extensive catalogue of great games. There’s even the added intrigue of Starfield; will it be another hit? Or will it show that not even Bethesda get it right every time. The hype starts here.

From RAGE to DOOM to Wolfenstein to multiple Elder Scrolls games, there’s something for everyone from this company.

Bethesda have become the must-see conference to watch at E3 every year. It was a pleasure.

P.S…Elder Scrolls VI. Welcome.

Microsoft’s E3 Press Conference: It Wasn’t Good Enough

E3 2018 was a BIG one for Microsoft. There’s still time in this generations ‘console war’ for them to have a lasting impact.

Statistics have shown that the general public have generally favoured Sony’s PS4 hardware, with it boasting nearly double the sales of the Xbox One. That’s an incredible amount considering how much the Xbox 360 dominated the PS3 last decade.

http://www.pushsquare.com/news/2018/05/ps4_is_way_ahead_of_xbox_one_in_total_console_sales_says_new_data

It just shows the power of E3.

Microsoft really shot itself in the foot a few years ago with a few blunders: price tag, lack of third party game use and a permanent internet connection required for the Xbox One.

Nintendo has shown that as long as you’ve got the right hardware, games and attitude; you can still make a difference e.g the Nintendo Switch.

So can Microsoft get some new IP’s out as, late in the game, system-sellers?

Halo Infinite (Exclusive)

As I predicted, a new Halo game has surfaced; albeit very briefly. There was nothing to take from this. There a rhino, Master Chief with his helmet off and the famous, green Halo truck. I’m quite shocked that that’s all we got.

Ori and the Will of the Wisps (Exclusive)

This is probably the best new game to come out of Microsoft’s presentation. A sequel to 2015’s Ori and the Blind Forest. This looks like an adorable, fuzzy game with warm-looking characters in an enchanting adventure. It looks like a solid co-op game boasting an array of colours and creative backdrops in its 2.5D style design. It’s art-style is gorgeous and did I say that Ori is adorable?

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice (Third-party)

Looks like Nioh. That’s my first instinct. My other instinct is that I want this. Made by From Software, it’s the game we thought was going to be Bloodborne 2. We finally got a glimpse at the game, that was revealed last year, and its Samurai action looks frenetic and VERY intense.

Thankfully it’s a multi-platform release, but this would be a sign of things to come from Microsoft’s conference.

Fallout: 76  (Third-party)

Initially there was uproar over Fallout 76. Is it an MMO? Is it going down the same route as Elder Scrolls Online? We still don’t know, but this reveal suggests that it’s not a full-blown MMO, and that resonates with me nicely.

The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit (Third-party)

Set in the Life is Strange universe, one I’m completely unfamiliar with so scold me in the comments section. I can’t comment much here, it looks zany and emotive and if it follows the same ‘Telltale Games’ gameplay, then it will probably sit well with fans of Life is Strange.

Crackdown 3 (Exclusive)

I love it just for Terry Crews’ voice alone. Crackdown games are usually over-the-top, kick as much ass as humanly possible games; in the same vein as the later Saints Row games.

I can’t say it looked all-that impressive, personally. The graphics seemed a bit blocky, and they didn’t sparkle with the modern-day gloss that lots of top AAA games do.

More importantly, the gameplay just didn’t grab my attention. As I’ve alluded to already, if you slapped the ‘Saints Row’ name on this game, then it wouldn’t be amiss.

Metro Exodus (Third-party)

It looks more Fallout than Fallout 76 does. It looks like a true, posy-apocalyptic world with danger lurking around every frickin corner. The pulse-racing desire to achieve survival feels paramount here and could be the sleeper hit of 2018.

Kingdom Hearts 3 (Third-party)

Coming to Xbox. That’s big. But not as big as OLAF! What you prefer Sven? Well you better LET IT GO because I don’t care.

Seriously though, this a great addition for the Microsoft catalogue and KH3 is shaping to be a sequel worth waiting for.

Sea of Thieves DLC (Exclusive)

This is another game that I saw as an opportunity missed. This needed to be released WITH the game on launch, not now. The game didn’t boast a lot of content in the beginning and it still doesn’t. It may be too late for Sea of Thieves.

Battlefield 5 (Third-party)

We already saw this at the EA Conference, kind of. Not much new stuff here.

Forza Horizon 4 (Exclusive)

Leaves! Leaves fell from the ceiling in time to leaves falling in the game. No expense spared, it might wake the audience up. It looks like a really connected and open, driving world with real-time bonding and crashing. Dynamic seasons. It’s your typical Forza Horizon game really and looks beautiful.

We Happy Few (Third-party)

Already seen it plenty. It’s got that extraordinary Bioshock vibe to it which immediately draws me to it.

PlayerUnknowns Battlegrounds (Xbox and PC)

No one clapped for this again, it really feels like the crowd interest is waning significantly. This isn’t a major announcement as it’s just a minor extension of Pubg.

Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition (Third-party)

A 2008 JRPG being remastered for a new generation. Again, another game I didn’t know much about, but it looks like a very good Final Fantasy clone (pre XIII).

The Division 2 (Third-party)

The Division wasn’t a world-beater, and this did nothing to allay my fears about it as it looks to be treading similar ground to its predecessor. The graphics weren’t too impressive, but the arsenal on hand looked fun and it sounded great.

The voice-acting though, sheesh. I’ve yet to confirm whether not that was all pre-recorded, player dialogue, or if it was in-game battle chatter. Either way, it was horrible, cheesy and really undermined the reveal to the point I had to mute it for the final third of it.

 

Fast Track + Game Pass (Exclusive)

‘Fast start’ launches in June for select titles and will make games more accessible, meaning you can jump straight into them.

Plus Crackdown and Forza Horizon 4 will be available on the Game Pass on their release days. It’s cool to see full-price, day-one releases being available on this service. So if you have Xbox Live and the Game Pass, then you have some big, freebies coming your way.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider (Third-party)

Coming this year, it looks to be another fantastic addition to the successfully rebooted Tomb Raider franchise. There’s no timed exclusivity like there was for Rise of the Tomb Raider here either.

The reveal showcases deep storytelling, dramatic set-pieces, challenging puzzles; and Lara camouflaging to evade a big kitty.

The implication runs rife through the trailer that she’s responsible for something bad. Another gritty entry in a series that can do no wrong.

Session (Exclusive or Timed Exclusive?)

It’s not Skate, but it looks as close as you’re going to get to one. Boasting an Eminem-inspired soundtrack for the video, it really does look like a throwback to the great skateboarding games of yore.

But, I have read conflicting reports about the nature of its exclusivity. Some people say it’s an exclusive, whereas some say it’s only timed. For Microsoft’s sake, I’d hoped its an exclusive as this could be big for them. It’s a gap in the market waiting to be claimed due to the disastrous nature of the latest Tony Hawks game.

Black Desert  (Timed Exclusive)

A hugely popular MMORPG in Asia, it’s now coming to Western consoles; yes, plural. Whilst Microsoft announced this as being a console exclusive, I dug a bit deeper and I discovered that it’s another timed one. In an interview with Pearl Abyss’ COO, James Heo, he said that once the deal is over (with Microsoft), they are sure to bring their flagship to other consoles as well.

https://www.spieltimes.com/news/black-desert-xbox-one-timed-exclusive/

Devil May Cry 5 (Third-party)

J-pop. Batsh*t craziness. Fighting demons, big demons, huge, sprawling demons. This looks like everything you could ever want from a DMC game. Old-school Dante is back too as he turns up to the party on his bike, classic hair-do and all.

Cuphead: The Delicious Last Course (Xbox and PC)

Ahh this breaks my heart. Even as a PS4 gamer, I want Microsoft to do well and produce some top quality games, but this is the one that hurts.

I like me a hard game, and this game is hard, overflowing with charm and boasts a unique identity. Cuphead is the best exclusive that Microsoft has produced in years.

So a helping of new bosses and levels will be welcome news to the ears of keen Cuphead enthusiasts. Lucky people with their dancing sunflower.

Tunic (Exclusive)

Another much-needed exclusive for the platform. It’s not a massive AAA title, but it’s another game packed with charm.

You control a small, cute fox and navigate contained, but open levels: fighting nasty monsters, locating treasure and making your way to the next level. It’s got a subtle soundtrack and doesn’t seem as easy as it first appears.

It looks like a nice title that people will hopefully take a chance on.

Jumpforce (Third-party)

A crossover, fighting game featuring characters from Dragon Ball Z, Naruto, One Piece and even Death Note. No more needs to be said.

Although, surely it’s redundant with Light having the Death Note, right?

Dying Light 2 (Third-party)

Wow. I didn’t see this coming. I genuinely hadn’t heard anything about a sequel for Dying Light, and I thoroughly enjoyed Dying Light.

It looked bigger and more expansive; offering greater freedom in terms of being able to traverse from location to location e.g swing ropes etc. Plus, one of the weaker aspects of the first game (story) may be addressed here too with a city in civil war and in-fighting a problem.

It’s good to see that it got a sequel.

Battletoads (Exclusive)

Erm, were people begging for this? I honestly don’t know, I guess the value of this exclusive is based on how keen you are on Battletoads. It’s been over 20 years since the last one and this is rigidly sticking to its roots, retaining 2.5D graphics and gameplay.

Just Cause 4 (Third-party)

A destructive sequel with destructive qualities and a destructive destruction of destructive destruction. Its a series that prides itself on cataclysmic chaos…and destruction.

Just Cause 3 was an absolute blast, packed with explosive gameplay and it kept me grapple hooked.

If number Four can up the ante, then it promises to be dynamite.

Gears of War Triple Header (Xbox and PC)

-Gears Pop: A cartoon game based on the hugely-successful Punko Pop Figures.

-Gears Tactics:  A PC-Only, turn-based combat game that is very much set in the Gears universe.

-Gears 5: Another prediction of mine that inevitably came to fruition. I knew that the fourth game had ended on a proverbial cliffhanger, so a another game was inevitable. I can admit, if I owned an Xbox, I would probably own every game in this franchise.

I had the chance to play Gears of War 4 at Eurogamer in 2016 and it was stunning. The gameplay was so tight and brutal; 5 looks to be a continuation of this, but with a deeper story.

You take control of Kait, who debuted in GOW4, and you take your squad AWOL in attempt to find an answer to Kait’s broken psyche. With a rumoured Battle Royale mode too, GOW5 should be a must-buy.

Cyberpunk 2077 (Third-party)

The audience has noticeably gotten quieter throughout the show. But this woke them up somewhat. A nice little surprise at the end to close proceedings. Just as it seemed the conference was about to go offline, the screens were invaded with a ‘virus’ and malware seemingly took control of everything.

It was the reveal for the long-awaited, hardcore gamers wet dream; Cyberpunk 2077.

A deep-base soundtrack providing the grungy, undertones to this seedy looking city. A place that looks infatuated by all the poisons of its futuristic age. There’s no clear characters here or any defined story, but it’s a beautiful collage showing how this ugly city works; presented in every shade of the colour spectrum.

It doesn’t matter what console you own, this will be a system seller for all formats.

Analysis

This was a fantastic games conference, but an awful Microsoft Conference.

I’d previously reiterated my belief that Microsoft could increased their console sales if they could just pull a few rabbits out of the hat. They for some reason decided to adopt a trilby, filled with concrete…

More than ever, this year moved away from TV, TV, TV and COD, COD, COD. This conference proudly boasted 50 games and 18 exclusives. But outside of the same old ones, what else was there?

Even the audience seemed to lose enthusiasm and energy the more the show went on. I’ve never really known games be shown, and get no reaction from the crowd.

Halo didn’t even tell us anything, Crackdown looks good, but not amazing, Forza will obviously be a superb racing game and Gears will impress, no doubt about it.

But you see the overriding problem here? None of these AAA games are new IP’s. I will absolutely not turn this into a flame war and point out what Sony are doing, I’ll talk about Sony’s success with exclusives during their conference tomorrow.

But the biggest new games are Ori, Tunic and Battletoads. Not exactly reasons to get your phone out and order an Xbox One.

The Fast Track and Game Pass announcements are cool, but that’s mainly for people who already own the console. Otherwise you’re asking people to shell out for a console, Xbox Live and a Monthly Subscription.

Additional DLC for Cuphead, Pubg and Sea of Thieves provide a small boost, but the third party games have really hit this conference hard. The main talk about the conference is primarily about third-party games e.g Battlefield V, Kingdom Hearts III, Sekiro, Fallout, The Division and Tomb Raider.

Next year will have to be a big year for Microsoft, as this didn’t live up to the hype I’m afraid.

Leave a comment, like and follow! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

Greatest Royal Rumble Review

What an utterly bizarre show, and I’m not even talking about the results and what happened, I just mean this event/pay-per-view/glorified house show in general. I’m still struggling to get my head around the idea.

Unless I’m very much mistaken, and I’ve suddenly developed onset amnesia; I’m pretty sure I was at Wrestlemania only a couple of weeks ago? Yet, it’s happened again? Only this time in Saudi Arabia, y’know, because the WWE are always hosting massive events there.

Now, it’s clear that Saudi Arabia are literally feeding Vince all the greasy, oil money they can with sparkly, diamond-encrusted spoons. This is so that WWE will hold this prestigious event in their homeland. The rumour mill suggests that WWE can expect to net anywhere between $100-200 million. Whether you agree with this show or not, you have to applaud the shrewd business that Vince has done here.

If you did actually think that this would be a glorified house show, then just take a look at the card for this event and rub your eyes in wonderment. Absolutely stacked to the rafters and beyond. It’s arguably, on paper, a more dominating card than Wrestlemania 34; at the very least it’s ‘Big Four’ worthy. But it’s still a house show.

KingAbdullahSportsStadium

The stage could easily be mistaken for a Mania set and it’s in the King Abdullah Sports City Stadium, hosting 60, 000 people. It’s got all the same vibes of the biggest event of the year; just with a much different start time, in a much different country on a much different day; a Friday. Just why?!

Either way, with the ongoing controversy surrounding the exclusion of female wrestlers (due to strict Saudi laws) and the fact that WWE has simultaneously been building to two different PPV shows; the Greatest Royal Rumble has a lot of expectation to say the least. On one hand, it feels like a big deal, on the other, it doesn’t, and the only reason it is, is because the WWE would have you believe it is.

Regardless, a potential last-ever meeting between John Cena and HHH, an Undertaker Casket Match, the first-ever 50-man Royal Rumble match, an AJ/Nakamura rematch and an undeserved shot at redemption for Roman Reigns.

Did the Greatest Royal Rumble deliver? Let’s break it down.

HHH vs John Cena

What a way to kick-off the show. Two of the WWE’s biggest names going one-on-one for the first time in eight years. A 16-time world champion versus a 14-time world champion. No build. No story. Feels suspiciously like a live event-type match; a term that may crop up more throughout the night.

But anyway, a classic old-school feel to start things off. They went very traditional with this one, feeling each other out before a good old test of strength to assert dominance.

It built slowly and methodically with HHH staying on top for the first-half of the match. They didn’t really push the boat out with this one as and it was just a case of both future Hall of Famers getting their signature stuff in.

It culminated in a traditional WWE-style ending with both men hitting finishers, before big-match John turned on his legendary superpowers to hit two more AA’s and take the win. It was standard stuff. Although, HHH imitating Cena’s signature taunts was entertaining and Cena winning popped the crowd; it served its purpose.

I feel it was a strange match to open and as you normally expect a high-octane match to get the mood going. Nevertheless, the live crowd ate up everything they did, and it was a serviceable match.

Match Rating: **1/2

Cena then cut a patriotic promo to appeal to the nature of the crowd. 

WWE Cruiserweight Championship

Cedric Alexander (c) vs Kalisto

Now this was fun. Lots of action. Kalisto’s seated Spanish flea, the springboard over the rope to the bottom rope etc. These two really pulled out a great match with lots of great offense. Although I wasn’t a fan of the mid-match, grounded bearhugs from Alexander. In a five-hour show, this is the match that I want to deliver constant action, not rest holds.

I also feel the match was hurt by time constraints, which is a shame as another few minutes more and they could’ve had something special.

I struggled to really get behind the story here too. Mustafa Ali and Cedric Alexander’s Wrestlemania match was one of the best of the ‘205 Live’ era as it had a clear story and you really felt the emotion during that match, not so much here. But Cedric’s facial expressions and overall demeanour in his matches has facilitated some much-needed growth in his character and it was prevalent here too.

Match Rating: ***1/2

WWE RAW Tag Team Championship

Sheamus and Cesaro vs Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt

If the ‘Greatest Royal Rumble’ ring curtain had been replaced with a ‘RAW’ one for this, then it wouldn’t have been a surprise. It was average. Just a by-the-numbers tag team match that ended with the right result.

Matt got worked over for most of the match with Bray getting the hot tag and eventually leading to the win. God, if you’d have told me two months ago that I’d be excited for Bray Wyatt, I’d have probably gone for a voluntary cat scan to check if I was ok. He’s been a revelation alongside Woken Matt. They should have a bright future going forward as tag champions.

Match Rating: ** 1/2

WWE United States Championship

Jeff Hardy(c) vs Jinder

Well it’s official, not even the effervescent Jeff Hardy can get a decent match out of Jinder. The whisper in the wind botch hurt this match BIG time, especially with the commentators trying their hardest to cover for it. Sorry guys, you just can’t cover for Jinder. Apart from that, not much else happened. It wasn’t a long match, and it was your usual boring Jinder offense of strikes and the occasional rest hold.

The home straight was your usual Jinder Mahal match: Sunil Singh interference and Jinder going for the Khalass. But Jeff countered, hit the twist of fate and a Swanton Bomb. 1-2-3. Yawn. Can we PLEASE STOP with Jinder Mahal. I was all for his push a year ago, but he hasn’t progressed, not even one iota. He can’t cut a decent promo and his wrestling ability is still unevolved.

*1/2

Chris Jericho then cut an amusing promo backstage where he put all-manner of people on the list. Jericho is a timeless classic and we need him back asap.

WWE Smackdown Tag Team Championship

The Bludgeon Brothers(c) vs The Usos

WWE has at least made a half-hearted attempt at building this match up in the last couple of weeks. But without any Naomi interference here, it just ended up as an extended squash match.

Straight from the get-go, The Bludgeon Brothers were on the offensive; a staple of their matches. Just powerful, hard-hitting offense with you wondering how long the Usos could survive. It turns out not long. The Usos retain some credibility here and The Bludgeon Brothers are just an unstoppable wrecking force with no foreseeable challengers capable of toppling them…except maybe Sanity?

**

WWE Intercontinental Championship Ladder Match

Seth Rollins vs Finn Balor vs The Miz vs Samoa Joe

The show hasn’t been great so far. It’s in need of some serious pepping up, and this was the match to do it. You had four superb athletes in this match: Samoa Joe with his raw power and animalistic tendencies, The Miz with his technical abilities and desire to reclaim his intercontinental title, and Finn and Seth with their all-around game.

There was plenty of big, hard-hitting moves here; although I don’t think ladders were used nearly as much as they could’ve been. The ladders ended up feeling like more of a gimmick by the time Rollins pulled down the belt, there wasn’t even that many instances of superstars attempting to pull down the belt.

Nevertheless, there was solid in-ring action here with Finn taking some nasty bumps; especially a slam from Joe onto a prone ladder. The Miz had a nice portion of the match too where he ran wild and took out everybody, reminding everyone that he’s more than just ‘Miz TV’.

Considering the people involved here, and the unfortunate expectation of a ladder match being sky-high, thanks to Takeover: New Orleans, I think this could’ve been better.

***1/2.

Following this, we got a cooldown segment where a promo package showed all the Saudi hopefuls who had undergone WWE try-outs. Four of the hopefuls were interviewed in the ring, before being interrupted by Daivari, from 205 Live, and the older Daivari (formerly with Muhammad Hassan), to put down and disrespect the aspiring WWE superstars, they were promptly beaten down. It was a small segment to pop the crowd.

WWE Championship

AJ Styles(c) vs Shinsuke Nakamura

After their hotly anticipated Wrestlemania match didn’t live up to the hype; this was a chance to make amends. Their first effort was way too slow, and never really kicked in to that second gear to push it towards the upper echelons of Wrestlemania classics.

Thankfully things have changed since. The face vs face dynamic just didn’t click at Mania, whereas a clearly defined heel vs face scenario worked much better here. Michael Cole’s best friend here ‘Shin’ had been punching below the belt for the better part of three weeks. There was a meaningful story with Nakamura willing to do anything he could to win the title, leaving his honourable attitude in the dust.

Both men went at each other early on, they took bigger risks and Nakamura really played up to his heelish antics well e.g rolling out the ring to regroup. The pace was quicker and there was a real sense of urgency here.

I was having a great time with this one, but the ending was quite sudden as I’d anticipated a clear-cut winner; instead, we got a double count out with AJ retaining. It was an interesting twist that I don’t think many people saw coming, but it reeked of WWE’s unwillingness to pull a major trigger at this event. It also made the event feel more like a house show sadly, as this just wouldn’t happen at Wrestlemania.

We’ll obviously get the rubber match at Backlash, possibly with a stipulation involved, and this will conclude a mixed-bag of a rivalry. This was better than their Wrestlemania encounter, but it begged for more.

***1/2

Casket

Casket Match

The Undertaker vs Rusev

Another monumental match with absolutely no story and no prior, with the sole purpose to sell-out a stadium. With the casket match stipulation, it begged the question, could Rusev pull off the ultimate upset? A way to make Undertaker still look strong, whilst giving a massive push to one of the most over men n the company.

Bluntly, no he couldn’t. In fairness, the match was about 10 minutes, and Rusev got so much more offense in then any of us could’ve dreamed of. But one chokeslam was enough and that was that.

**

WWE Universal Championship Cage Match

Brock Lesnar(c) vs Roman Reigns

The rematch that nobody wanted. The rematch that Roman Reigns didn’t deserve. They had a simply stunning match at Wrestlemania 31 that was abruptly ended by Seth Rollins. What followed was a 3-year journey that culminated in Brock vs Roman part II, an absolute s***fest at Wrestlemania 34.

To be honest, I really didn’t think they could produce something worse than they did at Wrestlemania 34. They did. This was absolutely dreadful. Abysmal. A WWE Universal Title Match, reduced to nothing more than a few german suplexes, the odd Superman Punch, spears here and there and a sprinkling of F-5’s.

This worked for Goldberg and Lesnar because they did all that in half the time and they were two superheroes. This just felt forced, contrived and was just insulting. I think the only positive was that it didn’t last as long as their Wrestlemania match.

But the abusing of signatures and finishers is just getting old and it’s insulting to the business. Lesnar’s reign has long since overstayed its welcome and everyone is sick of it now.

But the ending…since I was a kid, I was taught that you had to escape with both feet hitting the floor. The spear through the cage was cool, but Reign’s feet clearly hit the floor first. Lesnar hit back first, STILL on top of the cage panel.

Go figure. I hated this so much.

*1/2

50-Man Greatest Royal Rumble Match

I assumed that we would have a big name to start of with, but Daniel Bryan!? That was a shock as he was a favourite to win. He had the perfect starting partner in Dolph Ziggler. Two guys that knew how to go.

Overall, I was bored for the most-part. By having 50 men, that meant you had to have lots of mid-card, lower-card talent to act as filler. For every Braun, you had a Curt Hawkins, Curtis Axel, Goldust and Mojo Rawley.

There wasn’t much excitement, not much happened and even the surprise appearances were a little underwhelming; partly due to WWE’s marketing. I completely understand that they wanted to publicise Jericho and Mysterio’s entries, but it would’ve been cool to keep them as secrets.

We had Hiroki Sumi (a veteran Sumo wrestler), Hornswoggle, Tucker Night, Roderick Strong, Babatunde and Dan Matha as unexpected arrivals. So, we did get a few NXT appearances, but not exciting ones.

There were also a couple of notable botches from Primo botching a jump to the middle rope, to of course, the funniest moment in the history of professional wrestling.

Titus will forever be remembered for “that” slip. I honestly must’ve re-watched that about 6, 242 times.

On the plus, the match really made Elias and Braun look terrific here. Braun also broke Roman’s record for most elimination with 13. Not forgetting Daniel Bryan setting a new record for longest time spent in a Royal Rumble.

Braun winning was the right call and now he owns a trophy bigger than himself, and a hideous green belt that will never be seen again.

Match Rating: **

Overall

This wasn’t the special show it was made out to be. Not to sound like a broken record, but this was just a glorified house show with some unique matches and rare appearances. Nothing of any significance happened here and very little has changed in the grand scheme of things.

The cruiserweight match and AJ/Nakamura are worth checking out, apart from that, you should probably go on YouTube and search for the Titus O’ Neil slip, then keep that on repeat for the 5 hours that you’d have to spend watching this show.

Show rating: **