Kingsglaive: The Lone Gamer’s Movie Review

Posted in Action Adventure, Final Fantasy, Final Fantasy XC, Game Advertising, Game to Movies, Game-related Events, Gaming, Movies, My Stuff on September 18th, 2016 by thelonegamer


Well, at least it’s much better than Spirits Within.

As the gaming world counts the weeks to the late November release of the long-in-development Final Fantasy XV, gamers all over have a wide selection of material to occupy their attention before the actual game hits. Of course there’s the anime OVA series, FFXV Brotherhood (nowhere near as good as FMA Brotherhood, I assure you), which is of course made to introduce us to the heroes of the game- Prince Noct of Lucis and his roadies. Kingsglaive, a fully-CG animated film, is another such prologue, though much more immediate to the events within the game.

As the opening seconds of the movie roll in with the familiar voice of Lena Heady (our most beloved mad queen of Westeros) giving narration, we are introduced to the big players- Lucis is the ‘peaceful kingdom of magic’ while opposite them is The Empire of Nifleheim, a militaristic nation powered by Magitek (ah, Magitek, we know you so well). The Empire of course is on the verge of total victory, with the capital city of Insomnia (really? A city is named after a sleeping disorder?) the only remaining bastion of Lucis’ control. After a flashback showing some tragic events that befall Lucis’ former ally, the country of Tenebrae, we get into the thick of action with the Kingsglaive.

The titular Kingsglaive are apparently Lucis’ main (or perhaps only) military force- not sure about how many, but there seem to be not many- certainly nowhere near a hundred strong. The Glaive are ‘mighty warriors’, all of whom are recruited from Lucis’ provinces (all of which are probably now under Empire control or attack) due to their ability to use magic. The magic they wield though comes from one source- the King of Lucis himself, King Regis (voiced by another GoT stalwart, Sean Bean). So who are the Glaive? They look kinda cool- very similar to Assassins from Assassins Creed, but in black and wielding one main weapon- a dagger or short blade which they use primarily to ‘Warp Strike’; as in, they throw the dagger and then can teleport to wherever the weapon goes. While it certainly LOOKS awesome, I find it highly impractical and sorta haphazard. I guess the Glaive are trained to be really good and accurate throwers, but come on- you’re limited by throwing range, the speed of the person’s arm, his accuracy, the fact that they can go wildly out of control (and many do in the course of the action) with a bad throw.

Anyway, in these couple of dozen or so fighters is Lucis’ main defense. What has the enemy got? Oh, aside from armies of certainly a lot more soldiers, both human and mechanical (armed with GUNS), they have Magitek war machines AND apparently controlled monsters (just like in the games!) which range from flying creeps and cannon fodder to larger beasts like a Cerberus (three-headed fire dog) and a smoky demon which also seems to be half mechanical. How a few guys with daggers is able to hold off such a force is beyond me. But well, somehow they do.

Or do they? At the moment of apparent defeat, the Empire withdraws, allowing the Kingsglaive to get a breather. Later on, the court of King Regis is visited by a strange visitor- the shabby but kinda cool-looking Ardyn Izunia, perhaps the first Final Fantasy villain ever to sport a fedora and what seems to be a beak on his right arm (really, WHAT THE HELL IS HE WEARING?). Ardyn brings an offer of peace- well, pretty much an armistice, which offers a stop to the war at the cost of Lucis surrendering all its territories save Insomnia itself. Oh, and the Prince must also marry the Princess Lunafreya, who has been an Imperial captive/ward all this time.

Of course, you just know that the Empire is up to no good, and from there it’s a nice build-up to the day of the treaty signing. In the meantime, we see ugly sides of Lucis, which utterly puzzle me. So the Kingsglaive are all recruited from non-residents of Insomnia… WHY are they regarded by Insomnians with an obvious racist disgust? They are DEFENDING YOU, IDIOTS. The Glaive themselves are not your picture of loyalty or unity either- of course, you have the gung-ho, fearless hero Nyx, his clumsy oaf of a best friend Libertus and the one hot girl, Crow. The rest are either faceless and unimportant or belligerent or smarmy. With their ranks thinned and dissent growing cracks in their resolve, in the Kingsglaive may lie the fate of Lucis as the Imperial plot soon unfolds.

First off, the movie is GORGEOUS. That much can be said readily. There’s a lot of detail in the characters, and its much improved from previous Final Fantasy films. Faces of many characters look great, and at least by this time we don’t really think uncanny valley that much any more. However, there seems to be a slight disjoint between lip syncing- or perhaps the mouths of characters don’t quite seem to jive with the words.

While the first half of the movie up to when the shit hits the fan, the movie is quite engaging. However, after a certain point and we head into an unwieldy final act, it all crumples into a mess of a pursuit/chase, and large scale “Giant Monster’ action and action that’s so zippy and flashy, it can only be described as anime. Things happen to characters that normal humans would not walk away from easily, betraying the CG nature of the actors and the world. And the action in the final battle, while pretty amazing, seems hollow, without weight and ultimately, unsatisfying.

But then, I guess Kingsglaive is not meant to satisfy. It’s here to set the stage- with the bad guys winning or on the upswing, while the heroes are- well, they’re not here. The real heroes are in the upcoming GAME, which you will need to play to get closure. I wonder though how closely they’ll keep this movie to the final game? In that way, I guess that while Kingsglaive has its faults, it was worth seeing and certainly has me stoked into kicking Imperial butt this November on my PS4.

The Extended Uncharted 4 Demo is EFFIN’ GODLIKE!

Posted in Action Adventure, Game to Movies, Game-related Events, Gaming, PS4, Uncharted 4 on July 9th, 2015 by thelonegamer


Better than most any action movie sequence EVER.

This post is a bit delayed, but I felt I had to post it regardless. One of the best things shown at this year’s E3… scratch that… THE Best thing shown at E3 2015 for me was the demo for Naughty Dog’s utterly amazing demo for Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. It was 7 and a half minutes of unrelenting, jaw-dropping action movie awesomeness- easily one of the most impressive cinematic sequences you’ll see in a game yet, or even in any action blockbuster film. The graphics were amazing, the detail unheard of. As I watched Nathan Drake go through a breakneck running and driving battle against an army of thugs, I was on the edge of my seat the whole time, up to the sudden, abrupt, cliffhanging ending.

This was what we all saw during E3. Some time after though, it was revealed that what we saw was only HALF of the freakin’ demo.

The Uncharted demo’s action continues for about another 7 minutes or so, seeing the whole chase sequence/battle to its explosive, rip-roaring conclusion… and to a little epilogue which ironically leaves Nathan in even greater peril (Heh).

This just may be Naughty Dog’s Opus, and perhaps the crown jewel in the PS4 Library. I must admit, I’ve never really been an Uncharted fan, but I just may become one seeing this trailer. This game is now SOLD, a year before launch. I want this game. I need this game. For now though, we have this divine trailer/demo to tide us over. WOW. Just. WOW.

Mortal Kombat X’s Story Trailer Kicks ASS!

Posted in Action Adventure, Fan Service, Fantasy, Fighting Games, Game Advertising, Game to Movies, Game-related Events, Games to Comics, Gaming, Mortal Kombat, Mortal Kombat X, PC Gaming, PS4, Xbox One on February 27th, 2015 by thelonegamer


Netherrealms continues to show everyone how to do the Story Mode…

When the previous Mortal Kombat (MK9) came out a few years ago, it came with something pretty revolutionary- a Story Mode that was actually EPIC. Long but engrossing to watch and having the right balance of watching and playing, MK9 pretty much set the standard that every fighting game would probably need to try and top from there on in. Well, NR raises the bar yet again with the sequel. Just the trailer is pretty much blockbuster movie quality, promising a quite impressively scaled saga starring both returning favorites in the franchise and the new blood descendants and all-new additions to MK’s ever-growing lore. I am really stoked to see what happened at the end of the previous game coming into MKX, how and why previously-deceased fighters like Kitana and Kung Lao are back, and from where the series goes from here. Damn, Ed Boon and company have their act together and then some. I want this movie- er, game, NOW.

New Hitman: Agent 47 Trailer

Posted in Action Adventure, Game Advertising, Game to Movies, Game-related Events, Gaming, Movies on February 12th, 2015 by thelonegamer


Slick and videogame-esque. Perfect!

I have to admit, I kinda liked the first Hitman movie. Timothy Olyphant was an intense 47, and the lovely Olga Kurlyenko was a pleasure to see every second she was onscreen. But I guess there was something missing to it- a bit of stylish, visual panache that would give it a memorable punch. It also kinda gave off a B-movie vibe… but really, that doesn’t prevent me from keeping it on in the background if I catch it on cable.

Well, the new, upcoming film based on the franchise starring a bald, bar-coded assassin, Hitman: Agent 47 looks to fill in the special effects and visual slickness department. It seems to have everything from slow-mo gun-kata, big-budget hi-jinx and glossy high production destruction to spare. In this one, 47 is searching for the daughter of the man who started the ‘Agent Program’ which created him.

Hitman: Agent 47 stars Rupert Friend as Agent 47 and Zachary Quinto as John Smith, his on-screen adversary. The flick is set for release this coming August 2015.

Dead Fantasy’s Monty Oum Passes Away

Posted in Action Adventure, Dead or Alive, Fan Service, Fantasy, Fighting Games, Final Fantasy, Gadgets, Game to Movies, Game-related Events, Gaming, Movies on February 3rd, 2015 by thelonegamer


A Preview of Monty’s Dead Fantasy 8 at AKon22.

You may or may not have heard of the name Monty Oum, but if you surf the web a lot and watch anime, you may have seen some of the earlier work of this late web animator. He became known mostly for his cross-over Machinima videos, featuring characters from different franchises clashing together in battles you’d probably only see otherwise in fan fics or fanboy wet dreams- such as his first work, Haloid (bringing together Halo and Metroid) in 2007.


The Released episodes of the Dead Fantasy Series.

His most popular work is arguably the Dead Fantasy series, which threw together characters from the fighting game Dead or Alive against the heroes of Final Fantasy. It was all done using the actual models from the games, but with fight scenes and an eye for angles and dramatic effect that would do Hong Kong fight choreographers and anime directors proud. The Dead Fantasy series would go on for six episodes in the next few years, until Monty went into a prolonged hiatus, showing only brief previews of upcoming parts afterwards.
When Oum announced his employment with Rooster Teeth as a web series animator, his indie works were put on hold. Ten days ago, he was hospitalized and in a coma following a severe allergic reaction to a routine medical procedure. Despite all efforts including crowd-sourced funding to support him, Monty Oum passed away on Feb. 1, 2015. He was 33.

I don’t really know if the cool videos Monty created were art, but they were definitely entertainment and brought many a fanboy dreams to eye-opening reality. One can only imagine now if only he was given a chance to, at what he could have accomplished with his wonderful eye and imagination for action-fantasy. Thanks for the awesomeness, Monty.

Blizzard Debuts Overwatch

Posted in Action Adventure, Fantasy, Far Cry 3, Game Advertising, Game to Movies, Game-related Events, Gaming, PC Gaming, Shooters on November 10th, 2014 by thelonegamer


Blizzard emulates Pixar in this awesome Cinematic Trailer for their upcoming new shooter.

Late last week at Blizzcon 2014, Blizzard threw down tons of debuts, the biggest of which being their new upcoming multiplayer trailer, Overwatch. While I’m not into this kind of game (and even less into MP), I am totally loving this CG trailer. The 5-minute plus long short film has it all- uber-cool villains and heroes, party-pooping big bros, pesky but cute little brothers and LOTS of action.

Right away I love the characters, the art style, all of which seems to meld looks from the best of Capcom, Image Comics, Joe Madureira and such- which gives the game its distinctly cartoonish but cool aesthetic. Very much like Team Fortress 2 but slicker and more anime or comics. If this game has a Single Player campaign, I just may check it out. Or at least I’ll be collecting the cinematics. For now though, I am watching this so much. Sadly this may impede on my enjoyment of Big Hero 6, which will probably look so understated compared to this…

Guilty Gear Xrd SIGN E3 Stage Demo

Posted in Arcade, Fan Service, Fighting Games, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, Guilty Gear Xrd Sign, PS3, PS4, Streetfighter: Assassin's Fist on June 11th, 2014 by thelonegamer


Frustrating watch for one of my most-wanted games coming this year.

Okay, the video above- Guilty Gear Xrd SIGN’s stage demo feature from Gamespot- is just yet another example of why Japanese fighting games are sadly hamstrung whenever they present on shows like this. The actual guy who knows everything (in this case GG’s creator/game dev Daisuke Ishiwatari) can’t speak a word of Japanese, so half of the time is wasted on him speaking in Japanese and for his translator (whom I think they just sourced externally since she also plainly knows NOTHING about what she’s trying to explain) to try and figure out how to relay his words to a reporter who ALSO knows nothing (I love Cam on the Skyrim Mod series but DAMN he’s out of place here). It’s sheer frustration. Harada of Tekken should really value his English-speaking colleague, Michael Murray.

They barely talk about the game, the story, the modes, any home-only features… they can’t even show more than the series’ two most common ly-seen characters when you have a whole roster of awesome and interesting fighters to show off. DAAAAMN. Such a wasted opportunity.

ANYWAY… Guilty Gear Xrd SIGN features awesome, awesome-looking 3D anime art and graphics, hardcore fighting action, a more expanded Story mode and will feature at least one new character exclusive to the console. It will be out on PS3 and PS4 this Holiday 2014. Can’t freakin’ wait.

The Lone Gamer’s Skyrim Let’s Play Gets a Trailer!

Posted in Action Adventure, Elder Scrolls V Skyrim, Fan Service, Fantasy, Game Advertising, Game to Movies, Game-related Events, Gaming, mods, My Stuff, Open World Games, PC Gaming, RPGs, Skyrim Let's Play, Videogame Comedy on June 6th, 2014 by thelonegamer


Now Showing at my Youtube Channel!

I was just fooling around last night with all the hours and hours of Elder Scrolls V Skyrim PC gameplay footage I’ve already prerecorded for my LP, and well- I hammered out a rough trailer. It’s mainly to have a teaser video on the Youtube channel for non-subscribers, but I think it’s also a bit of a thank you to all the watchers who make doing the series so satisfying.

Of course, Skyrim being so damn cinematic a game- anyone can just take a bunch of clips, set it to the game’s freakin’ godly music and it will probably look amazing. What more if I could actually mod or fool around with the Creation Kit? Sigh.

Anyways, the series is at 30 episodes and still going, with no end in sight. It’s a hobby. Heheh.

Streetfighter: Assassin’s Fist Web-series is Now LIVE!

Posted in Action Adventure, Fan Service, Fighting Games, Game Advertising, Game to Movies, Game-related Events, Gaming, Streetfighter, Streetfighter: Assassin's Fist on May 23rd, 2014 by thelonegamer


It begins here.

It’s been long in the dreaming and the making, but Streetfighter: Assassin’s Fist is FINALLY here. Once just a pipe dream in the minds of friends Joey Ansah and Christian Howard, this amazing endeavor has hurdled over obstacles to become reality- and is now quite possibly the most true-to-the-source and game-accurate live-action adaptation of Capcom’s Streetfighter ever seen. Just from the first ‘Episode Zero’ video above, which is pretty much just a 2 and a half minute fight scene, you can see the respect and adherence to the videogame that spawned this web-series; the performers look as close as they can get to the videogame counterparts. The fighting action is hard-hitting and fierce, and straddles the line between fantasy and real almost perfectly; if I didn’t know any better, I’d really believe these guys are performing freakin’ Fireballs and Hurricane Kicks. The action onscreen is that legit.

Just from this first vid, I am convinced. There’s still of course 12 episodes to go for me to watch, but I think the cast and crew of Assassin’s Fist has done what so many others have failed to do in the past, and that’s create a live-action Streetfighter that’s true to the game. Awesome.

The Entire First Series (which I hope is just the first of many) has been uploaded and ready for watching on Machinima. You can also visit the Assassin’s Fist official site here. If you’re a fighting game fan, you simply cannot miss this. Go and watch it. NOW!

Streetfighter: Assassin’s Fist Trailer and Release Date Revealed!

Posted in Action Adventure, Fan Service, Fighting Games, Game Advertising, Game to Movies, Game-related Events, Gaming, Streetfighter, Streetfighter: Assassin's Fist on May 9th, 2014 by thelonegamer


The most faithful live-action adaptation of the Shoryu-Saga is almost here.

Streetfighter: Assassin’s Fist, the web/TV series adapting the origin story of Ryu and Ken just got a new trailer (seen above) showing off a ton of new footage and intense fight scenes. We also get the release date- the series will be upped on Machinima on May 23, and ala Mortal Kombat Legacy ALL 12 episodes will be available for viewing on the same day (so you can watch everything in one long marathon viewing).

I am thinking though- 12 episodes? How long is each episode? This may be the most extensive telling of the Hadou Origin ever. Hoping it’s really as good and engaging as it looks. I am also hoping this lasts a lot longer and proves more successful than MK Legacy was. We’ll see though, in a couple of weeks.