Category Archives: REVIEWS

Jordan Peele: From the happy guy to spread the nightmares of Americans

In 2014, Jordan Peele in an interview answered loudly: “I spent the first half of my career focusing on comedy, but my goal, to be honest, is to write and direct horror movies. . ” The listener scratches his head, they don’t know Peele’s seriousness – a professional comedian half-jokingly – with this statement. At that time, people only knew this colored guy through the ridiculous jokes in Mad TV or Key & Peele.
Five years later, with two Oscar nominations and a series of prestigious film awards, Jordan Peele officially became a scatterer on the screen with horror, cultural and political works.

From “watery” meme owners

As the familiar face of the Mad TV and Key & Peele comedy series, Jordan Peele is no stranger to difficult expressions. One of the moments in history is the scene of a guy being cornered by the question of dislike hobbies while watching “pig movie”. Sweat is like a bath, Peele’s funny face makes netizens make porridge constantly and become “meme to life” on social networks.
Key & Peele’s short episodes on Comedy Central put a name on the popular public actors Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele, on the other hand a way to mock social habits and discrimination. There is a lot of divided America. Key & Peele closed in 2015 with 5 seasons, a Peabody Award and two Primetime Emmy awards. Jordan Peele learned that it was time for him to step back behind the lens to fulfill his dream, to have a look of a filmmaker. That was when the dream named Get Out became a reality.

Until the nightmare “Get Out”

With Peele, Get Out is a longtime dream come true when he is given the right to write and direct. For the audience, this is a 2-hour nightmare on the screen, tearing up the fake coverings of a fair society that flattens straight into American racism. It is the story of a visit to the home of a white girlfriend’s parents ‘parents’ home, from which the cruel history of black people was once again named in the click of a silver spoon on a cup of tea.
Us and Twilight Zone

After making the famous BlacKkKlansman production at the Oscar this year, Jordan Peele did not let public opinion stop talking about him when the upcoming movie horror Us (We) will be released. The director once said, “I look to cinema as a way out of reality. I think one of the things we try to do is create an outlet for the audience – but not allowed to let them indifferent” with what’s happening around “.
Loyal to this principle, Peele continues to exploit the horror of a black family that goes deeper into the fear that the American society is still afraid to mention. It was a terrible confrontation with the Wilson skin color family with four identical clones. To escape the pursuit of four ghostly entities, Wilson’s house had no choice but to stand up and kill themselves.

Black Panther was nominated for “Best Movie” at Oscar 2019

The magnificent sounds of “Wakanda Immortal” echoed from the majestic mountains of Africa to the American Film Academy, marking a new era about to be opened for superhero films after Oscar 2019.

It has been nearly 10 years since the name of late actor Heath Ledger was voiced at the Best Supporting Actor award for his role in the legendary role of The Joker. Along with seven awards in other categories that year, Christopher Nolan’s masterpiece The Dark Knight set a new benchmark for action movies about superheroes, which were always viewed. as pure entertainment and lack of depth of plot.

Nearly a decade has passed, the superhero film series has made strong strides on the silver screen with the rise of Marvel giant and the billion-dollar Avengers brand, as well as the DC universe is gradually wake up when bringing quality blockbusters like Aquaman or Wonder Woman. However, it feels like the prestigious awards platform at the Dolby Opera House is still something that the superhero’s power, no matter how big, cannot be conquered. However, Oscar 2019 will probably be a new milestone for this kind of action – fiction and even the whole film industry. Recently the American Academy of Film and Science announced the nomination list of 27 categories for the 91st Oscar Award. Besides 2 unique artworks Roma and The Fauvorite leading the list of titles The name that most surprised the grave style is Black Panther.

After sweeping the film market worldwide with sales of up to $ 1 billion in 2018, blockbusters from Disney and Marvel Studio studios continue to be the subject of a lot of ink for newspapers in these days. Nominated to 7 categories in the 2019 Oscar Award, including Best Soundtrack, Best Impressive Dress Up, Best British Picture Effect, Best Impressive Production Design, Excellent Sound Editing best and best movie soundtrack with All The Stars through SZA and Kendrick Lamar performances. However, attracting a lot of attention is the Best Picture nomination, which is considered the most prestigious item at the annual Oscar Awards. This is also the topic that brought the most talk and controversy in the past days.
In fact, the Black Panther is not the first superhero comic adaptation to catch the eye of 70 members of the Academy, and it is certainly difficult to be considered the best scenario in the this movie genre. Despite the brand’s success, few people appreciate Black Panther’s ability to participate in the Oscar nomination list 2019. The film is only the fourth major film project that Ryan Coogler – a young director – has been given the opportunity to sit in the chair. Chadwick Boseman was never considered a big name in the acting scene, while Michael B. Jordan at that time was still suffering a lot of bad voices after his lousy role in the film Fanstastic Four. The work is also adapted from Marvel comics. However, the ticket to Oscar 2019 lies in the very story that they have jointly painted in Wakanda. Thereby turning the Black Panther into a work that has brought great spiritual values ​​and not only encapsulated the silver screen for modern society, especially the black community.

With the nomination of “Best Movie” for Black Panther, at Oscar 2019, will the American Film Academy begin to change the look and open the door to superhero movies? Certainly there will still be a lot of conflicting opinions about this new direction of the film world but after all, art has no limits and perhaps only relative, but the values ​​that each movie Leaving as well as its influence on the mass community will surely always last with time.

US Critics Review On ‘Fantastic Beasts 2 – Mysterious Creatures: Grindelwald’s Crime’

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is the sequel to the hit Harry Potter franchise. The movie is set in the early 20th century, when the magical world is fighting against the evil dark mage Gellerd Grindelwald. The protagonist of the film – Newt Scamander is an eccentric young magician who likes animals. While traveling the world to study, he was swept into the grim rebel battle between Grindelwald and Albus Dumbledore – his former master as well as the most talented magician of the magical world.

As the sequel to the hit Harry Potter series, as soon as the first season premieres in 2016, Fantastic Beasts have received a lot of attention from the audience. Following that success, The Crimes of Grindelwald also received much more anticipation, as it not only promised to exploit the war between Dumbledore and Grindelwald, but also contained many details, referring to Harry Potter later.

With such fascinating elements, movie-goers have been extremely waiting for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald. However, the first evaluation from the professionals is not quite positive. For most critics, the film seems to have put too much detail on it but it does not work out for the rest. Therefore, Fantastic Beasts 2 is a rather obscure film, the end does not correspond.
Polygon critic Karen Han: “It turns out, Grindelwald’s biggest crime is to spend time with the audience.” Variety’s Barker, Andrew Baker, said: “This is the noisiest, rhythmic and less cohesive film of the magical world ever.”

Many critics claim that J.K. Rowling, the creator of Harry Potter and the Curse of the Fantastic Beasts, put so many problems in the film that there was no way to unplug it. Manohla Dargis of The New York Times commented, “This film has so many episodes in the audience that it feels like 2 hours is not enough.” “The Crimes Of Grindelwald seems to have enough plotting to fit a four-part series,” The Wrap said in a statement. Newspapers such as The Verge and The Independent share the same view that the film has too many characters, too many content lines, that some of the storylines do not make sense to viewers.
However, in spite of the critique of content, the critics still favor to give praise to Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald on the stage of technique and acting. A young Albus Dumbledore character played by Jude Law, who would later become the respected Harry Potter principal. According to The Wrap: “Jude Law actor has successfully demonstrated a dumbledore quickly, attracted and also something mysterious artificial.” “The Jude Law did not try to imitate the Dumbledore image that was shown in Harry Potter by Michael Gambon and Richard Harris … He gives the character a warm, calm newness.” In addition, the character Leta Lestrange, played by actress Zoe Kravitz also received many compliments. Leta is Newt Scamander’s main character, but is now his girlfriend’s girlfriend – Theseus.

Currently, the famous critically acclaimed Rotten Tomatoes, Fantastic Beasts 2 received only 55%, above average.

ANDREW’S MOST ANTICIPATED TITLES OF 2015: THE MOVIE

Disclaimer…not all games are officially coming out for 2015, but they’re announced and this is me hoping.

2015 so far looks to already be leaning towards a year of incredible releases, as long as the trend of releasing half finished games or delaying the games until 2016 doesn’t continue. Nonetheless, my hopes are held extremely high and I can’t wait for a few games in particular. So why not just jump into that list. This list is in alphabetical order and is not rated by how much I want the game.

1. ) Arkham Knight – If you haven’t played the previous two Batman entries from Rocksteady studios, I don’t know why you’re reading this list, because clearly you don’t love video games. So everyone should know how amazing the first two games were, with tight combat that really put you into the shoes of the Dark Knight as well as solving puzzles to find those damn Riddler trophies and the predator missions, being able to take out a room of guards, never once being seen. That is the stuff that I used to dream about as a kid. With Arkham City, they let you do this, all while exploring an enormous city. While Arkham Origins wasn’t a bad sample to keep us heldover, it wasn’t quite what we’ve been expecting considering how Rocksteady has been spoiling us. Now with even more gorgeous graphics on the next gen consoles and the chance to drive around the city in the batmobile. I can’t wait to don the cowl once again.

  1. Battleborn – Here is one most people probably aren’t going to even know what game I’m talking about. I will admit that I’m a borderlands fanboy through and through and I love those games. I’m also a big MOBA fan. So when I hear that Gearbox is throwing it’s hat into the ring creating a hybrid, MOBA shooter, it’s piqued my interest at least a little bit. Honestly, this game will probably end up like so many other MOBA’s that get thrown at that cash cow. I’m hoping that a studio like Gearbox though, can pull out something creative and memorable.

  1. Bloodborne – I’m so excited for this game that I can barely contain myself even looking at screenshots. I don’t consider myself a good gamer, and I play a lot of games very averagely. So when I play games like Dark Souls and Demon Souls, I find myself dying constantly. Somehow, I can never stop playing them though. From Software as far as I’m concerned has put out some of the greatest titles of the last 10 years, from games dripping with atmosphere, lore, haunting music, insane boss fights and difficulty that never feels unfair rather challenging. Now with the announcement of Bloodborne, Miyazaki is back in control and this game from his description is faster paced with no shielding to hide behind (suck it Havel users), and a terrifying and creepy victorian midnight atmosphere that already has me shitting my pants. Miyazaki….my body is ready.

  1. Cuphead – A game quite frankly, I still don’t know much about. A game though that when Microsoft flashed through a montage of games coming to there system quickly, managed to catch my eye so strongly that I had to find out what it was. Cuphead has one of the most beautiful art styles I’ve seen in a game in a long time harkening back to the old Walt Disney cartoon days. Now I learn it’s a puzzle platformer as well, and this game is on the top of my Steam pick up list, as a non AAA game, the price tag for art couldn’t be cheaper I imagine.

  1. Final Fantasy 15 – While most people after the Final Fantasy Hallway that was 13 are probably not expecting a great game, I like to look at the positive. XIII-2 and Lightning Returns were vast improvements on the original game of the same name. While the story might as well been written by tumblr fanfic’ers in terms of how much I care about it, the gameplay was made to be an incredibly fun experience. And now after the success of Bravely Default, I think Square Enix is once again understanding that gamers don’t just want a beautiful movie (though it’s not too awful), but we want a fun game that can be simple. This game also seems to a decently different game from the series, if riding around in a car with a bunch of weaponed up buddies through a desert is anything to judge. While I still have a my reservations, here’s hoping that Square pulls their heads out of their ass and really does this game justice.

  1. Kingdom Hearts 3 – Call me a fanboy….cause I am. I’ve played every Kingdom Hearts game and am even now playing through 1.5 and 2.5. It’s because as stupid as the plot gets and as childish as it can be because of all the Disney tie ins, what this game does best, is provide you with one hell of a fun game. With surprisingly deep combat considering how simple it seems on the surface, as well as awesome creative worlds, flying around in your gummi ship, to even board games, and fun mini-games (that’s an accomplishment in most games). This game was the reason I bought a ps3, but of course they waited an entire generation. This is the game I’ve been waiting for since I beat KH2 when I was in 8th grade. Now that Disney owns Marvel and Star Wars…I know it’s a long shot, but think of the possibilities. Square Enix has the power to really make my year this year, and they better not screw it up.

  1. Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain – I had never played a Metal Gear Solid game prior to 4. I figured that I was a very unstealthy player and that the games just seemed uninteresting to me. I have never been so wrong about a game in my life. This series is brilliant through and through. If Kojima is good at one thing, it’s blowing your mind to pieces. The story once again, is a little absurd through the series, but the stealth gameplay, the creativity and easter eggs thrown throughout the game. The beautiful hour long cutscenes which provide just enough time to cook and eat dinner, (That’s just considerate). But seriously, this game, I don’t know what to expect, but if ground zeroes is any indication of what we’ll see, I don’t imagine a single fan of the series will even be close to being dissapointed.

  1. Mighty No. 9 – After Mega Man was all but abandoned these last few years by Capcom, Inafune finally said, Peace and left to work on his own projects. So what does he do? He makes a slightly different MegaMan type game. And I’m so happy that he is. I personally am a kickstarter backer for this game. I have never been a great megaman player as the only ones I was ever good at were the Battle Network games. But from the amazing artwork being put into the game and the design feedback that the backers are being allowed to put in, even getting to pick the design of certain characters. It’s going to be coming out on so many different platforms and considering my current love of Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze and Shovel Knight, another 2d platforming masterpiece will be very welcomed.

  1. No Man’s Sky – When I look at this game and hear about it after all this time, I’m still not sure if I’ve ever seen anything like it. While I’m not sure how well it will end up doing, this game may be one of the most creative ambitious games to be put out in recent memory. I need to see this game paired up with Oculus Rift and give you the opportunity to become a space explorer. Traveling to the far corners of the galaxy, and actually naming and finding your very own planets. Manfiest Space Destiny Mother Fuckers!

  1. Nuclear Throne – Now it’s time to play a game called, talk about a game that I’m pretty sure I might be the only one to know about. With the recent explosion in rogue like’s in recent years, this game has followed in those footsteps, though a little later. With the success of games like Rogue’s Legacy and Binding of Issac, incredibly difficult games with randomly generated maps just do something to my brain that I like. I have put too many hours into those games, there is no other way to put it. Nuclear throne has the difference of allowing you to choose one of many wasteland monsters with different powers and then it becomes a bullet hell rogue like with gun play and insane quick levels that leave you breathless at the end. While this game is currently in alpha on steam I believe, the actual release is supposed to be later this year. I for one will be checking this sucka out.

  1. Splatoon – If you had told me at the end of last year, that I’d be excited about a Nintendo multiplayer shooter, I would have straightjacketed you then and there for the horrible memories that Red Steel gave me. But low and behold, Splatoon is just another game on the Wii U’s list on why it’s making a comeback that so many people did not see coming. A shooter that doesn’t primarily focus on taking out other players, but as a combination of area control and shooter with a unique movement mechanic which could lead to all kinds of crazy strategies. I can almost guarantee some 12 year old will find a way to tell me he fucked my mom and that his dad works for Nintendo so he’s going to get me banned, but this game might actually be worth all of that.

  1. Tomb Raider 2 – But Andrew, it’s Rise of the Tomb Raider. No, no it’s not, because that’s a dumb name which sounds like an origin story, but the last game already was the origin story, so no, it’s Tomb Raider 2. That being said, I thought that the original Tomb Raider re-imagining that was released last year was going to be a useless attempt at revitalizing an old game with mediocre success. But I was proven wrong. As soon as I picked up that controller, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Stealth, good shooter mechanics with tight controls and platforming which felt good. Even the atmosphere was perfect for the game. That game may have ripped off the Uncharted Series, but it did so with a spin that made it it’s own, and I’m okay with it. If this game is within even a mile of the original, I will be picking it up as soon as physically possible.

  1. Uncharted 4 – If you know me, I consider myself a fanboy of 3 series. Kingdom Hearts, Zelda, and this masterful series. When Naughty Dog first put me into the shoes of snarky but loveable Nathan Drake, I fell in love with a game that had amazing platforming and fun mechanics, (while being difficult at times), but a script and characters who I genuinely cared about and liked. Then they did what I didn’t think possible. They put out Uncharted 2, and it blew the first game away. When a game almost universally wins Game of the Year and is as gorgeous and fun as a slutty prom queen, people take notice. With the third game, I thought I was seeing the end of one of my favorite series for good. Then without warning, Uncharted 4 was announced and I was ecstatic. Nathan Drake wasn’t going to be the protagonist though. It just didn’t feel right. Clearly, Naughty Dog knows has a connection to my brain, because Nathan Drake is out of retirement for one last ride. I can’t even put into words how much I want this game.

  1. Zelda U – I said that I had 3 series that I was a fanboy for. I couldn’t have picked a better year to be a fanboy with Nintendo completing the trifecta. Though we haven’t seen much about this game and if Tumblr has it’s way, it’ll be called FemZelda U , I couldn’t care less. The vistas are magnificent and the cell shading is spot on. If what’s promised is real the world truly is as large as they say, this puts the great sea to shame and truly puts you on an epic quest like there hasn’t been.

Honorable Mentions: Other games I think you should look forward to in 2015, but I really didn’t have the energy to write about : Evolve, The Order, Witcher 3, Mortal Kombat X, Yoshi’s Wooly World, Scalebound, Xenoblade X, Star Wars Battlefront, Below, Kirby and the Rainbow Curse.

THE ONLY NUREVIEWS TOP 10 GOTY 2014 THAT MATTERS*

Man, what a year, am I right? I mean, I haven’t posted any articles in a year, but if you follow our FaceBook page you’ll have seen we were at least semi-active this year.  But really, all that matters is the last post of the year, the traditional 2014 GOTY Top 10 List.  I’ve played a handful of games over the year, mostly good, some bad, and then there’s Assassin’s Creed Unity, but narrowing down what I could consider my Top 10 was certainly harder than I thought it’d be.  I’ll provide a small insight into the game and why I think it deserves the place on my list for each game, and much like The Octopus from The Spirit, I like to start from the bottom and work my way up.  So let’s start with the metaphorical toes of my Top 10 List, entry number 10.

NUmbeR 10 – South Park: The Stick of Truth


Duh

South Park: The Stick of Truth finds you, the new kid on the block, in the middle of a war of the imaginations between the children of South Park, Colorado.  Initially enlisted alongside Cartman and Butters, you eventually team up with Kyle, Kenny, Stan, and even Jimmy as you fight to try and reclaim the all powerful Stick of Truth, a weapon so powerful that anyone who wields it can bend all of reality to their whim.  Written by the brains behind the show, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, and animated to look just like the show, the game blends wonderful visuals, crude humor, and simple yet solid gameplay mechanics to craft a game worthy of praise.  My biggest complaint with the game, however, is that it’s so short, in just under 12 hours, I was able to complete the main campaign and most, if not all of the side quests. For an RPG, that certainly leaves things lacking.  Some will say that making a 40 hour RPG out of South Park material would be stretching the source too much, and you know, they’re probably right. But I wouldn’t let this issue deter me from recommending people buy the game.  However, if you can’t get it for anything less than $15, I’d highly recommend you hold off on it. That really is the best way to get the most bang for your buck for this otherwise great game.

NUmbeR 9 – Hyrule Warriors


Stupid Sexy Link-senpai

When announced at E3, Hyrule Warriors looked to just be a Dynasty Warriors game with a Zelda skin, which if it were only that, would still have made my list.  But instead, what we got was a game crafted around both the gameplay elements of the two completely separate series, while maintaining the feel that comes with a game that the developers truly loved to make.  The Tecmo Koei people have perfected the Dynasty Warriors gameplay to an art, almost, being able to create these spin-offs of the series while lovingly crafting them around the source material that they’re being based on.  Each of the characters hold weapons that are pulled from the 3D Zelda Games (with the exception of some 8-bit weapons to throw in as a treat to fans), along with giant boss monsters that sometimes invade the field require a bit of easy puzzle solving to do massive damage to them, as it would take with any Zelda game.  Packed with hours of content past just the main story, as well as a gameplay style that doesn’t really get old in my eyes, it’s one of my GOTY titles.  You may be wondering why, with such high praise, it’s so low on my list. Well, the reason is because at its core, it’s still a game from the Dynasty Warriors series, whose games aren’t for everyone.  Many people get tired of the Hack-n-Slash, mow-down-an-entire-army gameplay the series provides, rather quickly.

If you love Zelda, it’s worth the look just for the care that was put into the game. But if you’re not a fan of Dynasty Warriors as a whole, you won’t be able enjoy the game to its full potential.  Also, how can you not include Groose? He demands to be let loose.

NUmbeR 8 – The Evil Within


I really feel you SeaBass

I guess it’s time to admit one of my greater gaming sins: I have never played Resident Evil 4, the last Resident Evil title before the series went, objectively, to the shitter (though I still liked RE5 a little, despite its terrible AI).  When The Evil Within started showing it’s face in the gaming world, I didn’t pay a whole lot of attention. But towards release, I started to get pretty hype by trailers and screens, and post release the hype was intensified by watching other people play. It ended up being one of my better purchases of the year.  Following the story of Detective Sebastian Castellanos, you find yourself in a life or death struggle against crazed, zombie like people and a mad man with mysterious powers called Ruvik.  If you’re wondering why I had to start this by bringing up Resident Evil 4, it’s because anyone who has played the two will tell you of the huge similarities the two games hold.  Even putting aside the fact that they share the same director, gameplay elements and sections, which  The Evil Within seemed to have almost carbon copied from Resident Evil 4 (though they took out the ability to do sick suplexes on stunned enemies, the fools).  The story is a bit of a cluster-fuck and doesn’t explain a whole lot, but the visuals are great and the gameplay is solid.  Despite my terrible skill at the game, I enjoyed every minute I play of this wonderful title.

NUmbeR 7 – Jackbox Party Pack


Shameless ripping of Steve’s image

You’ll start to notice something from this point on, so I’ll give you the heads up now.  Starting with this entry, I really don’t have many negative things to say about the rest of the games on this list.  While clearly all these views are subjective and your thoughts may vary, if I can make a top ten list, and run out of negative things to say by number 7, then I’ve clearly had a good year.  The Jackbox Party Pack is exactly that kind of game. It’s a collection of five games by the developers behind You Don’t Know Jack (which is also included in this collection).  Each title can be played solo with a controller, or with multiple people with each person using a smart phone, tablet, computer, or anything that has a browser as their controller.  Because of this set up, some games are able to support up to eight consecutive players. One game can even supporting up to 100.  It’s a perfect game to have when you have a lot of people over, as none of the games require any real amount of skill. I guarantee that everyone will have a great time playing it.

NUmbeR 6 – Mario Kart 8


So much wasted potential in a single roster, wheres my Rawk Hawk?

What is there really to say about this that’s not already known? If you just read the title of the game, you would know what you’re in for.  Mario Kart 8 brings the classic karting fun the series is known for to the Wii U, in beautiful high definition.  The worlds are lovingly crafted and each race is a load of fun, no matter how good you are at the game.  Another great game to play with your friends, fun for all without as much of the relationship crushing nature that comes with Mario Party.  If I had one complaint for the game, it’d be the waste of character slots (seriously, who thinks putting every Koopa Kid and Pink Gold Peach in was a good idea?), but I’m not going to let that ruin my view of the game.

NUmbeR 5 – Dark Souls 2


I really have nothing clever to put here, but I’m on a roll and won’t stop now

There is so much that can be said about Dark Souls 2, it’s a little hard to think of a place to start.  Even if I started with a rough overview of the story, that in and of itself is complicated.  You play an undead, someone who can not die, who is on a quest to try and find a cure to your condition.  You find yourself in the land of Drangleic, an ancient kingdom that has all but fallen apart, where you are tasked to seek the king of Drangleic, for it is he who will have the answers.  Your quest takes you all around this strange world: from deepest darkness of The Gulch, to the strangely high and seemingly geographically misplaced Iron Keep. As your quest goes on so does your goal.  However, it is not the ideals of the character that changes, it feels more as if the world is just guiding you on your way, and as you continue on, you start to forget why you set out on the journey to begin with.  Featuring the action RPG combat that started way back on the PS3 with Demons Souls, Dark Souls 2 is refined in some matters while faltering in others.  Many will argue on how the game compares to previous entries in the series, but I enjoy it all the same.  Where it falters, its previous entries rise to the challenge, and where they falter, Dark Souls 2 sits high above them.  The inclusion of the DLC is easily the best part of the game, showing design and artistic methods that show what the team is truly capable of.  If you haven’t played this game yet, then I would highly recommend you do, don’t let the claims of its insane difficulty deter you away.  The key to playing any “Souls” game is patience and learning. Keep those in mind, and you can overcome any obstacle in your path.  Dark Souls 2 will be re-released around end of Quarter 1 and beginning of Quarter 2 of 2015, with the Scholar of the First Sin edition, which will include new story elements, NPCs, and gameplay balances.  This edition will be released on PS4, Xbox One, and PC with DirectX11 support, which will include enhanced visuals and alternate enemy placements. So if you’ve been putting off playing the game or are just considering playing it, wait for this definitive edition to be released.

NUmbeR 4 – Kingdom Hearts 2.5 HD Remix


Yes, good, that’s the word.

When I was constructing this list, I found that there were a couple of HD remakes that I played over the year that I considered for the list, but I really couldn’t put any of them above Kingdom Hearts 2.5 HD Remix.  While its close contender, the FFX/X-2 HD Re-master, was an excellent remastering of some excellent games, updating their visuals for more modern systems, I didn’t really get all that much more out of it.  While the editions did come with the extra content from the “International” editions of the game (which were kind of like Final Mix versions of Kingdom Hearts, except only not released in the US), all of that extra content was end-game, so I didn’t see any of it until well into my playthrough.  Kingdom Hearts 2.5 HD Remix brings the Final Mix version of two of the best games of the Kingdom Hearts series stateside for the first time, and these versions are of course the reasoning this has made it so high on my list.  Kingdom Hearts has been my guilty pleasure game since its release. I’ve played every title, save for the Japanese only mobile game, and at one point even imported Kingdom Hearts 2 Final Mix.  To be able to play these enhanced version with new forms, gameplay balances, difficulty levels, cutscenes and secret bosses in a language I understand, is almost like a childish dream come true.  As a fan of the series, there’s no reason for you not to own this game. If you’re looking forward to Kingdom Hearts 3, but don’t quite grasp the story, these HD Remix versions are the best place to start.

NUmbeR 3 – Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc


It’s Un-Bear-able~

Danganronpa: Goodbye Despair is another example of many of why the Vita is actually a handheld worth investing in.  While the number of big named titles doesn’t reach the expectations one might have for it, the sheer force of the niche Japanese titles is what really drives the system.  When I first bought Danganronpa, I didn’t expect to really enjoy it, since I heard it was kind of like Phoenix Wright, but that’s all I had known about it.  What I got was another entry into the small list of Visual Novel-esque titles that have become some of my favorite handheld games.  Danganronpa is about a class of “Ultimates”, students who are the best of the best in their given field, trying to survive imprisoned in the very school they thought they were safe in.  You take on the role of Makoto Maegi, the “Ultimate Lucky Student”, that is to say he has no particular skill of interest, he just got accepted into the school because he won a lotto drawing.  Inside the school you’ll encounter your fellow “classmates”, including the “Ultimate Programmer”, “Ultimate Martial Artist”, “Ultimate Otaku” and more. You’ll be lead by the sadistic, pun throwing, monochromatic mad-bear, Monokuma.  There’s only one rule to surviving this dark situation: Murder your fellow classmates.  The gameplay is split between two different states. There’s what I’ll refer to as the “Peaceful State”, where you spend your days spending time with your classmates, getting to know them and building friendships ala the Persona Series.  And then there’s the “Murder State”, which takes place when ever someone has been murdered.  Your job in the “Murder State” is to find clues as to who committed the murder, and then bring them to justice in a trial.  If you win, the murderer gets punished and you continue playing, however if you pick out the wrong person, everybody but the murderer gets punished, and the murderer gets set free.  The story is full of twists that even I didn’t quite see coming(And I’m pretty good about spotting twists, I figured Vader was Luke’s father a whole minute before he said that line), and the characters are eccentric to the point where you can’t help but feel love for all of them, even the sadistic asshole that is Monokuma.  If you want a game similar to 9 Hours 9 Persons 9 Doors or Virtue’s Last Reward: Zero’s Escape, but with a more light-hearted tone to it, be sure to pick this up.

NUmbeR 2 – Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor


8 out of 10 witty comments isn’t too bad right?

Let’s be frank with each other: franchise games are rarely good.  I’m, of course, not talking about video game franchises. I’m talking about video games based around franchises that pre-existed in other mediums, such as movies or books.  Short of an original story not told in other mediums, or being a LEGO game, franchise games are essentially doomed to be at the bottom of the barrel for eternity.  So it comes as a surprise that Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor, a franchise game that takes gameplay directly from two of the biggest AAA game franchises on the market right now, can do it better than both of them and come so close to my personal GOTY.  The story of Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor follows Talion, a ranger in charge of defending the Black Gate.  All is going well with him and his family, but everything changed when the Fire Nation… I mean… the Black Hand of Sauron attacked.  After watching his family killed before his eyes, Talion himself is killed, but his spirit remains in the world of the living.  An Elvish wraith tells him that his soul is cursed, much like the wraith, and that if they were to team up, they could take down the armies of Sauron, the Black Hand, and then finally reunite with their families.  So begins a quest across the lands of Mordor, slaughtering Uruks and retrieving fragments of the Wraith’s memories to discover his hidden past.  Exploration in Shadow of Mordor is taken almost directly from Assassin’s Creed, with the ability to stealth at will and climb up buildings like a professional climber.  The similarities in this system are so abundant, that sometimes I thought I might have actually been playing an Assassin’s Creed game (which was quickly rectified by the fact that it wasn’t Assassin’s Creed IV and I was having fun).  Meanwhile the combat is a carbon copy of the Batman Arkham games of recent fame.  In combat, you’ll find yourself surrounded by Uruks that will try to attack you one or two at a time. You can press ‘Triangle’ to counter their attacks at the last minute, ‘Square’ to issue strikes, ‘X’ to bound over your enemies, and ‘Circle’ to stun them, which, while stunned, you can issue repetitive blows using the ‘Square’ button.  After you get a high enough combo, you can press a combination of two buttons to perform a finishing move, which does things like knock out a single opponent or stun enemies in a radius around you (seems pretty familiar huh?).  The inclusion of a Bow with a bullet time mechanic allows you to take out a group of enemies swiftly and from a distance.

But the real meat of the game comes from the much acclaimed Nemesis System.  Each Uruk captain is generated to look and sound different, to fight differently, and to have different strengths and weaknesses.  Killing a captain opens up his spot in Sauron’s army, allowing another captain to move up in the ranks.  Combine this with the late game ability to turn Uruks into your own minions, the game quickly becomes finding Uruks you particularly like, beefing them up and turning all of Mordor under your control.  The game is loaded with side challenges to distract you from the very few main quests (only 20 total), so much so in fact that I had completed all the side challenges I could complete in the first half of the game before I was even done with the first half of the story missions.  It never feels like a chore to do these side quests, unless you wait until the end and that’s all you have left to do.  While the story isn’t particularly engaging, the gameplay is almost perfect in all aspects.  If I had two complaints about the game, it’s that you don’t get the ability to control enemies until very late in the game, and that the DLC they added trophies which ruined my 100% completion rating.  I worked very hard for that Level 25 Rune, damn it, and you took away my pride!!

NUmbeR 1 – Shovel Knight


It’s both cozy, and lonely at the top.

Here we are, Numero Uno, The King of Kings, the 100%, Indisputable** 2014 Game of the Year: Shovel Knight.  What a game, where can I even start?  So often Indie games try and pander off their work by giving it that “retro” look, but rarely is a game so expertly crafted as Shovel Knight is.  Taking elements from the classic side scrolling action games of the 8-bit era (see Megaman, Ducktales, etc), Shovel Knight is as much a love letter as it is a stand alone title.  You play Shovel Knight, a once proud Knight of the Spade who, after the loss of his companion Shield Knight, retired to a life of easy digging.  However, after an evil Enchantress started rising to power with the aid of the Knights of No Quarter, Shovel Knight takes it upon himself to bury these evil doers and dig up some Justice!  Starting off fairly weak (classic 3 heart containers), each level sees Shovel Knight traversing the 2D planes, defeating enemies and collecting cash, which he can then use to buy relics and upgrades.  If you die in a level you lose a percentage of the gold you have on you, but similar to games like Dark Souls, if you make it back to the place you died you can reclaim all that lost gold.  While a single playthrough won’t last you too long, the game has a New Game+ feature, which allows you to start again with all your upgrades and stronger enemies.  Attached onto that are a number of challenges and achievements that will have you playing the game for hours on end.

Despite being an 8-bit Indie Game, the difficulty matches and, in some cases, exceeds modern AAA titles.  Enemies make platforming perilous yet fair, and Bosses do large amounts of damage but have fairly predictable move sets.  The game is perfectly balanced to be both fair for those who are possibly new to games, but also challenging and rewarding to the more experienced gamer.  There is nothing I can possibly say wrong about this game, which makes it a one of a kind diamond in the desert that has been 2014 in gaming.

*: NUReviews does not stand by that this is the only GOTY list that matters, there are a lot of lists out there and they are all respectable opinions, NUReviews doesn’t condone the idea that we’re better than everyone***

**: It is completely refutable if Shovel Knight is indeed GOTY because this is based off Brad’s personal preference.

***: Except Kotaku, we’re better than Kotaku