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Three years ago, I wrote a review for Jurassic World Evolution. It’s an awesome game that lets you build your own Jurassic Park. You can find a link for that review at the bottom of this post. JWE isn’t just a simple park builder, it actually feels like a strategy game. Unless you’re playing in sandbox mode, you can’t just plop everything down and release whatever dinos you want. At first you’ll have access to all you need to get started, but you won’t have access to every dino or advanced buildings and upgrades.

To get dinos, you have to send out a dig team to visit sites around the world to gather fossils. These sites are actually the real world sites where these fossils were found. You don’t actually visit those sites, you just send a team there and in time they’ll return with fossils. There are some fossils that you can only sell, but mostly you’re looking for fossils for DNA extraction. This increases the percentage of a genome you have so that you can start incubating dino eggs.

There are plenty of other things to do and three different people will give you different things to do, which will help build your park and make it better. There are five different islands where you can build a park. You’ll have to get a five star rating on each island to unlock the next and each has it’s own special limitations and unique challenges. This archipelago is called “Las Cinco Muertes” or “The Five Deaths.” You’ll recognize a couple islands, which are locations in the Jurassic Park movies. One of the unique challenges on one island is tornadoes that will rip through your park, damaging buildings, and destroy fences, which will set your dinos free to terrorize your guests. Without tornadoes, dinos can also break out of their fences if they’re too stressed out. That’s just a basic description of the game.

A sequel was announced earlier this year and it now has a release date of November 9th. Around when I first learned about JWE, I found a couple of good YouTube channels. There is one in particular I’ve been watching exclusively for JWE (and JWE2) content. That channel is “BestInSlot.” Click the link below to visit his channel. He provides a lot of great content, including news, game play, analysis, and speculation for these games. I’ve been keeping an eye on his channel in recent months when I noticed the announcement of JWE2. I strongly recommend watching his videos. The trailer I’ve embedded comes directly from his channel. It really is the only source of info I’ve been looking at for JWE2 news.

JWE2 includes new dinos, locations, and features. The dinos included in both games are from the movies. JWE2 includes all of that, but seems to include Jurassic World: Dominion related content. That movie comes out next summer. If you’re a fan of the movies, you’ll want to check out info for that. Three of the main (adult) characters from the original movies return.

If you watched Fallen Kingdom, you’ll understand the premise of Dominion. Dinos were brought to the U.S. and have been released into the wild. JWE2 no longer is based on the first game’s islands, but allows you to build parks in different biomes. Most of these may be places in the U.S., but the movie might take place around the world, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see some of those places appear in the game as well.

There are new dinos in JWE2 that we haven’t seen before, it’s possible they will be in Dominion. JWE has 37 species, while JWE2 is supposed to have over 75! While there was an aviary in JWE for Pteranodons, it has been expanded in JWE2 and there are more avian dinos. The aviary was a simple building, but JWE2 lets you customize and expand it. Aquatic dinos weren’t available in JWE, but they are included in JWE2. Two of the most familiar and popular ones are the Mosasaurus and Plesiosaurus, but there are others.

JWE2 also gives players the ability to customize buildings. Some of these buildings are for providing food, shopping, and entertainment for your guests. There are also additional modes for the game. I’ve already mentioned sandbox mode, but there’s also a challenge mode in both games, providing an extra challenge, but there is at least one more in JWE2. There are many new features, so if this interests you, you may want to dive deeper into details to see the new changes.

JWE2 will be released on consoles and PC, but some content will only be available for the new current generation of consoles and PC. You can pre-order the game for $60 or you can pre-order the Deluxe Edition for just $10 more. Pre-ordering the game will give you some extra vehicle skins (which I didn’t like), but the Deluxe Edition not only gives you different extra vehicle skins (which I liked much better), but also gives you extra dinos. Since every dino has unique attributes such as compatibility or incompatibility with certain dinos, I think the Deluxe Edition is worth it.

JWE has DLC, most of which cost some money and I think the inclusion of the Deluxe Edition in JWE2 means that it will probably have future DLC. I’m sure there will be a new DLC based on Dominion when that’s released, since JWE added DLC based on Fallen Kingdom when it was released. JWE has a Deluxe Edition, too. Some of it’s DLC adds new dinos or skins for dinos, but also new campaigns. One memorable campaign has you working with Dr. Wu creating new hybrids like the Spinoraptor. Another DLC is Return to Jurassic Park, which gives JP skins for dinos and JP buildings along with new scenarios. Another is Claire’s Sanctuary, which is based on the events of Fallen Kingdom where you have to rescue dinos from Isla Nublar. I enjoyed all the DLC and they weren’t too expensive, though I did wait to buy many of them when I could get them for a good discount.

If this sounds interesting to you, let me know. Be sure to also let me know if you’ve played it or read my review. Right now JWE2 is the one game I’m most looking forward to and I will most definitely pre-order the Deluxe Edition, it’s totally worth it to me.

My JWE review: https://cheerfulghost.com/GregoPeck/posts/3796/build-your-own-jurassic-park-world

“BestInSlot” on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/BestInSlotGaming

GregoPeck gives this an astounding "Must Play" on the Ghost Scale
This achieves something special, and it would be a shame to miss it.
GregoPeck gives this a "Must Play" on the Ghost Scale
This achieves something special, and it would be a shame to miss it.
Mad Max isn’t new, the first movie came out the same year I was born (1979). The second came out two years later. There is a third, too, which came out in 2015, titled Mad Max: Fury Road. Tom Hardy plays Max in that movie. I think it’s interesting, he doesn’t speak much, but when he does he kind of grunts. The movie also has the creepiest villain I have ever seen!

The game also came out in 2015. I missed a great opportunity to get it for free as one of my tribe mates from Ark offered to give me a key, but I didn’t take him up on the offer. I kind of regret that, but I actually ended up getting it for $4 recently. I really have no idea how or why I was able to get it for that price, it’s definitely worth more than that. Steam is telling me I spent about 81 hours playing it, which to me is a great amount of time for a game (I love long lasting games so long as they’re fun). I completed almost everything, except for the races.

Mad Max is an open world game based in a dystopian world, sort of like Fallout. I don’t exactly have the details about what happened to the world, but the game does drop some hints. I’m pretty sure I saw some where in the game that it had to do with global warming. This made me think that creating such a world that was pretty much desolated by global warming might be a great way to help teach people about global warming and what the planet might look like if we don’t take action now.

Max and his car are inseparable, although it was stolen from him at the beginning of the game. Not long after the beginning, you meet Chumbucket. He’s a “black finger,” which in this world means he’s a really good mechanic. He’s also turned mechanics into a religion. He calls Max “Saint.” You’ll also meet a dog, which becomes really helpful later in detecting mines. Chumbucket works with Max, helping him build a new car. You have to go searching for different parts including the engine, body, and weapons. Probably my favorite weapon is the harpoon. It not only allows you to pull down things like gates, but it also allows you to pull tires off of an enemy car. I also enjoyed targeting snipers and pulling them off of their perches. Many times while playing I told myself, “I will not tolerate snipers!” There’s also an explosive that you can throw. You can also use your shotgun, which is extremely helpful. It becomes nearly vital when an enemy has pretty much destroyed Max’s car so much that Max has to wait outside of it for Chumbucket to repair it. While on foot, enemies will try to run over you, but you can evade them and then turn around and shoot their fuel tanks (these are almost always exposed, providing Max with an easy target). You can also shoot their tires, which will make them stop and exit their vehicles. Then they’ll come to fight you, which I find is a much easier way to deal with them than ramming them with the car (this way your car won’t take damage). Just shooting out a tire on one vehicle will prompt the other drivers to exit their vehicles as well (enemies usually come in groups of three vehicles).

As you progress, you’ll be able to upgrade the car’s various parts, some of which I already mentioned. These upgrades include things like the engine, tires, weapons, exhaust, paint, and more. As much as I liked one of the cool multi-colored body paints, I ended up sticking with the one that’s actually useful. There’s one that has a primer that’s resistant to fire. This can be important as some vehicles can spit fire out the back, some can also shoot fire out the sides. Your car can also do the latter action, but it consumes gas.

Not only can you upgrade the car, but you can also upgrade Max. You can upgrade his shotgun, the clothes he wears (which can provide armor) and the things he can put on his hands to increase his melee damage. Speaking of melee combat, the system is very much like the Batman: Arkham games, so for me, as a fan of those games, this combat system was greatly welcome. It’s pretty simple, really. You press one button to attack, another to counter, and another to evade. You can also pick up melee weapons, but they’ll break eventually. You also carry an amount of shivs and you’ll see opportunities to use them. Max also has other abilities you can upgrade, which will allow him to do things such as not just counter an attack, but if you counter an enemy who’s swinging a melee weapon at you, you can take it from them. You can also counter an attack with a shiv and turn it on the attacker. These abilities are fun.

I think the world of the game is quite similar to Far Cry games, although my experience with Far Cry is limited to Far Cry Primal. However, this game really makes me want to play those other games, so I’m keeping my eye out for a good discount for them on Steam. As such there are plenty of things to do. There are many areas of the world and you won’t know what’s in them until you go to one of the many hot air balloon stations littered across the land. When you find one, just keep holding the ascend button. Eventually you’ll get high enough and the game will take over telling you pretty much that you discovered the area. Then it will allow you to use your binoculars, which lets you look around the area and the game will mark the things on the map you discover while looking around.

Each area has a threat level and there are many ways to reduce it, which will reduce the amount of enemies that are scouting the area, though they’ll never completely disappear. One of the things you can do to reduce the threat level include disarming mines in a minefield (each area seems to have two minefields). There are also these kind of statue structures that you can tear down with the harpoon. There are also various types of camps for you to conquer. One such example is a place where you have to destroy oil pumps. These areas have enemies in them. Each one has a difficulty level. When you look at a camp, it’ll tell you your objective and what that difficulty level is. Although, for me the difficulty level was mostly irrelevant as they were all not bad. Some of them have bosses you have to defeat. Usually all you can do against them is evade their attacks and then attack them while they’re recovering from swinging their huge weapons.

Scrap is the currency in the game and there are different ways you can get it. Scrap is used to purchase upgrades. There are places on the map you can go, called savaging locations. There will be a certain amount of scrap items for you to collect, but there are other things called history relics. These are pretty are photos and they usually have something written on the back of them, which gives the world some lore. Max will often also comment on these once you read that text. Once you collect all the collectibles in the location, the marker on the map will disappear. However, if there is a water source in the location, that will be remain marked on the map.

Speaking of water, water and food is the way to restore Max’s health. Water is more abundant. He has a canteen and there are a couple of different sources for water, usually tanks or a toilet, for you to refill your canteen. One of the things you can upgrade for Max is how much water he gets out of a source. The max you can get is 100% more. So, at first, I think it’s a 1:1 ratio, so if a source is only half full, your empty canteen can only be refilled by the same amount. But, if you max out that upgrade, it doesn’t really matter how much water is in a source, because you’ll still acquire more of it. So, if a source is only half full and your canteen is empty, you’ll probably be able to easily fill up your canteen. As for food, there are maggots, which you can find on some dead bodies. There are also cans of dog food for you to eat. There are also living rats, which you’ll hear. You can chase them down and press a button to kill them, then eat them. Yeah, it’s disgusting, but it tells you the state of the world.

There are a few different strongholds. There are missions that the leader in the stronghold will give you, but the strongholds also have projects. You can find pieces of these projects in those scrap locations I mentioned. When you find enough pieces, you can return to the stronghold to build it. Almost all of these projects are useful, except for the scrap one, because it’s supposed to collect scrap for you while you’re offline, but the online features of the game are no longer available. However, you can find other more useful projects such as the maggot farm, water tank, oil tank, and armorer. After building these, you’ll be able to return to the stronghold to refill your health, water, gas, and ammo. However, you can’t just collect these any time you want. Once you collect them, you’ll have to wait a certain amount of time before they’re available again. The game will tell you how much time remains that you’ll have to wait. However, if you have multiple stongholds unlocked, you can visit different ones to get what you need. So, if the refills aren’t available in one stonghold due to time, you can just visit another.

Fast travel is a feature in the game. There are multiple places you can fast travel too, including those hot air balloon stations and strongholds I mentioned. You’ll also be able to fast travel to the various places for races. During a race here’s a finish time you want to get so that you can be rewarded. One of the rewards you can get are certain tokens, although this is not the only way to acquire these tokens. They allow you to get upgrades for Max, like the one I mentioned where you can upgrade how much water you get from a source. Once you get a token, someone will appear on the map (and the game will tell you this and show you where he is). You’ll have to visit him to get the upgrade. He’s kind of a mystic. He’s mysterious and seems to know Max and is trying to help him get back to who he used to be. Max used to be kind of like a police officer that would chase down criminals, but after the events of the first movie, he’s gone “mad.”

The story was pretty cool. The music wasn’t particularly noteworthy though. Still, I really enjoyed the game. I did everything except all the races, because I found them to be way too frustrating. Just like in the game, enemy cars will try to ram you or destroy you by other means. When you join a race, you have a very limited amount of vehicles to choose from (max amount is four). So, you can’t use your own car. If you win a race with one of the available vehicles, they’ll become available for you to use outside the race. While in a stronghold, you can choose a different vehicle to drive, which is handy, because if you want to disarm minefields, you’ll have to use Chumbucket’s Buggy, which the dog is in. Don’t worry much though, this buggy seems to have really good armor and it’s fast, though the only weapon you’ll have available is your shotgun. Oh and I should also mention that one of the upgrades you can get is the ability to make it so that Chumbucket repairs the car you’re using faster, this is kind of important as you’ll notice it takes too long to do so without these upgrades.

Overall, I think it’s a good game and I think it’s worthy of a full positive Cheerful Ghost rating. If you like open world games, then this one is probably something you’ll be interested in. Check out the embedded "Before You Buy" video to get a good look and review of it.

Let me know what you think of this. Let me know also if you’ve seen any of the movies and what you thought of them.

GregoPeck gives this an astounding "Must Play" on the Ghost Scale
This achieves something special, and it would be a shame to miss it.
GregoPeck gives this a "Must Play" on the Ghost Scale
This achieves something special, and it would be a shame to miss it.
Wow, I can’t believe how long it’s been since FF12 was released and it was on the PS2! Luckily, Square-Enix has decided to remaster some of those now “old” FF games, including FF12. This remaster is called Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age. It’s a bit obvious, but I think the main part of this remaster is the visual upgrade. I was really disappointed with the original, in that it didn’t look so great, so I believe it most definitely needed this upgrade. It looks better now. Take a look at a comparison video and you’ll see how much better it is.

Be aware though, there are other ways in which this version differs from the original, though I didn’t look to see what they all are. However, I noticed in my Internet searches that some things or ways to get things have been changed or removed. So, if you’re playing and you’re looking for info about something, take notice that what you’re looking at applies to this version and not only the original. One example of this that I ran into was how to obtain Ribbons. Ribbons are an accessory, which makes the wearer “immune to status ailments” according to the wiki. These are rare and highly sought after. I wanted to get some, but it looked like they made some changes, so I wasn’t sure exactly which of the original ways to get them had been removed or changed. Ultimately, because of this, I decided not to spend too much time on it and I just skipped over that, even though it would have been beneficial in some side quests. I think I did see that you can use Cheat Engine (a good cheating program I’ve used in other games), but I didn’t bother with that.

In FF12, the combat system is not quite like other FF games before it. Instead of issuing commands for each character once an ATB fills up, characters will act on their own when they’re ready to act. Although, you can still switch between characters and chose an action for them to do, quite simply. This “Gambit” system allows you to select certain commands to occur on certain conditions. For instance, you could set one up that’s “Foe: lowest HP” and then set up the action to “Attack.” You could also use one that’s “Ally: Status KO” and set up the action to use “Phoenix Down” or you could set up another for the same, but have the action as “Rise” or “Arise.” The list of Gambits has a top-priority, so the lines closer to the top get executed first, as long as the condition applies, if not then the line below it is active, continuing until it finds a condition that applies. So, you’ll probably want all of your healing gambits at the top and your attack at the bottom, so you prioritize healing over attacking (it’s not good trying to attack if you’re KO’d). This may take some learning and getting used to, but once you accomplish that then it’s really not a bad system, it kind of “takes your hands off the steering wheel,” giving your characters some autonomy, even if you pre-selected actions. One thing that confused me at first was that there are different tabs where you can set up different gambits for different battles. Your characters will follow whatever page of gambits you leave it on, they don’t follow each tab, only one tab at a time, so you can create different custom gambit lists.

I love Ivalice! There are some major races, many of which are humanoid, but also like an animal. Humes are humans, as you could easily guess. I’ve never seen a male Viera, but according to the wiki, they do exist. Viera are kind of tall and skinny with very tall ears on top of their heads, which look like rabbit ears. I really love the Viera, one of the main characters in the game, Fran, is a Viera and I really love her. Nu mou have an interesting and canine-like description on the wiki. They are smaller than humes, but live three times as long. I didn’t see many of them, in fact I think the ones I did see were part of a side quest. You’ll see a lot more Bangaa, though. They have a lizard-like appearance. There are also Seeq, which look like pigs. They’re a bit shorter and stouter than humes. There are other races in the game, but these are the main ones. Oh and I can’t forget the Moogles! If you don’t know what Moogles are, you haven’t paid attention to Final Fantasy. They are still little, but now skinnier and they have rabbit-like ears, similar to the Viera, but smaller. They have a “red pom-pom” on top of their heads connected by a wire. Often in FF games, this is actually attached as a tail. They don’t talk much and you won’t see many of them there. They seem to be mostly engineers.

The “jobs” or “class” system is back. Some of these you can choose from are typical FF ones like White Mage, Black Mage, Red Battlemage, Time Mage, Archer, and Knight, but there are more. Each “job” is actually called a “license board.” You earn “license points” (LP) after a battle and you use these to activate a tile on a license board, which is called a “license.” These will give you an ability or a stat increase. This is how you become able to wear different armors, accessories, and use different weapons, magics, and skills. Each “job” uses a different weapon, there is one for Ninja Swords and another for Crossbows, just to name a couple. Each character can have two active license boards (or you can think of this as a dual-job). When you fill one up, you can activate a tile that will let you use another board, but you won’t lose the tiles you activated on the previous board. However, if you go talk to Montblanc, he can let you switch boards, but it will refund you all the LP you used and wipe everything clean. After doing, so you can select another board, fill it up, and select the second to fill up. So, you could actually have a character that’s a White and Black Mage. I changed my characters sometimes. I ended up with making everyone a White Mage first, because White Magic is the best (Arise, Esuna, Shell, Protect, etc.) and then something else. It’s really not a complicated thing and eventually you’ll have more LP than you can use. There are other skills you can learn called “Technicks.” Some of these skills include “Gil Toss” and “Steal.” Some of them are limited to certain “jobs”, so one Technick might only be available to a few different “jobs.” There are plenty of these, though I didn’t use many of them.

So, you need to active the “license” on a license board to be able to use a piece of armor, accessory, weapon, magic, technick, etc. But, you also have to find that armor, accessory, weapon, magic, technick, etc. to use. So, if you have a good sword you want to use, you’ll have to unlock it on the license board and it won’t be available to every job (Mages don’t wield swords, though you could have a White Mage/Knight combo to do so). Everything is scattered throughout the game and many of them are hidden.

I mentioned Montblanc, so I should mention clans. You get put in one automatically. Clans don’t necessarily matter, it’s what you can do in a clan. Basically, there are monsters that people want hunted, so they’ll post something on a board in a bar, for instance. You can see the posts, with limited information about the hunt. Once you’ve accepted it, you have to go speak with the person who posted it to get more details. The game will show you (on a map) where that person is, then where the monster is once the person gives you the info. These monsters are usually tougher than regular monsters. You may need to exercise some caution as some of them may be too difficult to deal with at first. After completion, you’ll have to return to the poster and get your reward. Doing these hunts will increase your clan rank. Each time you reach a new rank, Montblanc will give you a reward. You can also get rewards for defeating certain monsters or achieving other conditions. The higher your clan rank, the better things you can buy in the bazaar. I completed most of these, but not all of them.

There are a lot of things to do. As it goes with FF games, this one is also full of side quests. I don’t recall how many or which ones I completed when I first played this game all those years ago when it was released (I pre-ordered it and was even able to buy a FF12 shirt from a GameStop employee). In this play through, I made it to a point that I thought was a bit more difficult that I’d like, so I took some time away from the story to do some side quests. Eventually, I reached a point where I had to continue the story so that certain things were available. Once I returned to (and finished) the story, I found it much easier. Not long after, I reached the point of no return, which is pretty much exactly where you want to stop to do all of your side quests. The game will tell you when you’ve reached this point. So, the difficulty is like most other FF games where you just have to find better gear (including armor, weapons, magics, and abilities) and level up for things to get easier. You do earn experience points and thus levels, but I read something that said gear is more important than levels.

Oh, you might be familiar with “espers,” which is a term used in some other FF games that refers to large beings you can summon. In most games some forms of these are Bahamut and Shiva, however the only ways in which you’ll see many of those familiar summons is as an airship. However, there are others like them with similar abilities. You can summon them and they’ll fight along side the character that summoned them, the rest of your party isn’t there anymore. The esper will use it’s own abilities and you can use yours. However, your esper can get killed. If that happens, or you get killed in the fight, your esper will be “dismissed.” You’ll have some bars under your name, which shows how much power (not sure what it’s called) you have. If it’s full, you can summon an esper or use a “quickening,” if it’s empty, you have to wait. I think Ethers will restore this energy. Quickenings are pretty much what are usually called “limit breaks.” These are special large abilities characters use to attack a foe. Once one character starts using one, you’ll have a brief period of time to press a button next to a different character’s name, if successfully done, another character will do their quickening and you can try to select another character, until you miss or all the quickening/summoning bars are depleted.

I’ve now only played through FF12 twice, the first time with the original and this time. Getting back into it reminded me the two FF: Tactics games (the second was A2). Both are great games and I miss them very much, I wish they’d bring those to Steam (and consoles, I guess).

Oh and there are other, non-visual, enhancements. One of them allows you to increase the speed of the game. This could make traveling around, fighting monsters, or running away from them easier. I should also mention that random encounters aren't so random. You can see each enemy in your view on the screen or the mini-map. So, you can chose to attack or avoid whichever you want. There's no cut between starting a battle and being in it, it all happens in real-time, which is unlike some other FF games. If you defeat all the monsters in an area, usually you can get out of the zone and get back into it for them to respawn.

That might cover all the major things to talk about. Overall, I think if you like FF games, you’ll probably like this one. While it isn’t my favorite, it’s still pretty good. It does have it’s moments of “eh,” but I think overall it’s good. I definitely recommend checking this out, especially if you’re into FF games.

Let me know what you think about FF12 and this remaster. I wasn’t overly excited about it. I even hesitated to buy it for a while, but I found it at a good discount recently and got it. I didn’t think I’d enjoy playing it (again) as much as I did. Feel free to check out the embedded video for another positive review.

GregoPeck gives this a solid "Rad" on the Ghost Scale
This is fun, with very few issues, and is well worth your time.
GregoPeck gives this a "Rad" on the Ghost Scale
This is fun, with very few issues, and is well worth your time.
In Marvel’s Avengers, you get to play as some of the Avengers (duh, right?). Although this is a Marvel title, it is not an MCU title. Characters are not voiced by MCU actors. The voice actors aren’t bad, though. I was most impressed with the voice actor for J.A.R.V.I.S, but I thought the one for Thor was interesting, too. Characters don’t even look like they do in the MCU. That may take some getting used to, but I didn’t think it was bad. One interesting difference from the MCU that I noticed is that Hank Pym is about the same age as most of the other Avengers. He’s also lost the ability to use his Pym Particles, but he’s also not a playable character. Other familiar characters are missing such as Vision, Wanda, Captain Marvel, and Falcon. Black Panther is joining the game in a few weeks (August 17, 2021, see trailer below).

The overall story is separated into different parts. The Hawkeye DLC continues the story from the main campaign. It introduces Kate Bishop and Clint Barton, who both go by the name “Hawkeye,” as playable characters. I was unaware of Kate, but apparently, Clint trained her. They are very similar in the game and I think Kate is coming to the MCU.

As for the main campaign, it introduced me to “Ms. Marvel” Kamala Khan, who is coming to the MCU. She is a teenager and a very big fan of the Avengers. In the beginning of the game, something happens, which makes her an “inhuman.” If you saw Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., you may recognize that term and how they got their powers. Kamala’s powers actually look much like Reed Richards, Mr. Fantastic, but they differ. She’s called a “polymorph,” meaning she can transform her body. She can stretch, like Mr. Fantastic, but she can also make her body (or body parts) bigger or smaller. She can grab enemies at a distance or throw a big fist forward quite a distance to hit an enemy. She seems to have other abilities mentioned in the comics, but not in the game, so look her up if you want more info on her. I honestly think I like to play as her most. I think this is in part, because I got used to playing as her, since you start out as her. I think another reason is because one of her special abilities is that she can heal herself. Throughout the campaign, you’ll meet up with some different Avengers, which will make them available to play.

As an Avenger, you will go on missions. Not all missions are necessary to complete the story, most are optional. Most missions allow “1 to 4 players.” So, there are multiplayer options, but if you opt out of this feature, the AI will control the others. It seems you can chose which Avengers come along with you, but I always left the option open, so it seems random available Avengers came along with me. While on missions, you pretty much “beat up” the “bad guys” using different attacks and combos. The game play reminded me of the Batman Arkham games. Each Avenger has different attacks and abilities. There are three more powerful abilities that can be performed, but these aren’t always available. I can’t explain in detail how to increase the gauges for these as I didn’t dive too deeply into the system. Basically, you get to use them once and then they have to recharge. Enemies do sometimes drop orbs, some of which give you some health back, but there are also ones that add to the special ability gauges.

Above each mission’s icon is a green (positive) or red (negative) number. This number relates to your power level. This gives you an idea about the difficulty of the mission. You can change the difficulty of most missions and there are more than a few options for this, but lowering a difficulty will not guarantee that it’s still “easy.” You can go to missions that show that your power level is low for the mission and that it’s more difficult, but there seems to be some missions that will not allow you to access them if your power level is a lot lower. I can’t explain the power level system in detail as I didn’t get into it very deeply. However, it appears that it’s based on the gear you have.

Each Avenger has a set of gear and each piece can be upgraded. You can get more pieces from chests located in each mission or as rewards for completing missions. These pieces come with randomly generated attributes. It’s kind of like the items you acquire in the Diablo and Borderlands games. You can carry a number of them, but when inventory becomes full, it may be necessary to disassemble ones you don’t want, which will give you resources. These resources can be used to upgrade each piece. You can also find resources in chests or in crates, which you can simply hit to get them.

Your characters will have their own level, which increases when experience points are gained. I believe you get a skill point for leveling up in this way. Skills are pretty much very similar among each character. For instance, one skill you can unlock is a certain combo, which is available for each character. Other skills can increase certain attributes. They don’t seem to be very unique, although they may change how a certain character’s abilities behave.

I didn’t play the multiplayer parts, but it seems the game can do some quick match making. It might be fun to play with friends. I didn’t have much trouble with the AI, though even they sometimes needed to be revived. This is done by standing near to them for a brief period of time. The AI can revive other AI teammates and you as well.

While you can play with a keyboard and mouse, but I think using a controller is probably best. At least, that’s what I decided. I played it with the Xbox One controller I bought exclusively for PC gaming and it worked out well (as usual).

Perhaps the worst part about the game, in my opinion, is the fact that there are numerous cosmetic items you can get, but if you really want them, you’re most likely going to have to pay for them. The game has credits, which can be used to purchase many cosmetic items and the easiest way to get them is to buy them. I find this disappointing and that credits are not easy to get in-game. However, cosmetic items aren’t very important, so this doesn’t really matter too much, unless you see something you want. You can unlock some cosmetic items just by playing the game, but they may not be the ones you want. You can acquire credits in-game, but it takes a lot of effort to acquire a significant amount. Some of the items I saw cost about 2,000 credits and I finished my game with only 100.

Overall, I think it’s a good game. I enjoyed it. I just wish those cosmetic items weren’t something you need to spend money on in order to get. If you like Marvel and the Avengers, you might enjoy this game, especially if it fits the kind of game you’re into. If you’re into multiplayer, then there’s that option, too, though it doesn’t seem necessary. I’m looking forward to the Black Panther DLC (all DLC is free, BTW), but I’m not sure how much more time I’m going to spend in the game. I might go back and try some of those missions there were more difficult and I might also try to get my power level high enough to take them on.

Feel free to let me know what you think about this game if you’re aware of it or have played it. Feel free to also comment on the Marvel characters I mentioned that I was not familiar with or whatever else about the game you’d like to discuss.

Here's a trailer for the free upcoming Wakanda expansion: https://youtu.be/pqaCQk7Xvqs

There's a new trailer for Ghostbusters: Afterlife and it looks awesome! It seems like it's been a long time since we've heard or seen anything about this movie, so it's very refreshing to see a new trailer out now. the movie releases Thanksgiving of this year.

The story revolves around a family, which happens to be related to Ego Spangler, one of the original Ghostbusters. They have inherited a house he lived in and his grandchildren find things he left behind, including Ecto-1!!! We get to see a scene of them going on a joy ride with it, but we also later see them using it while ghostbusting. Ghosts have returned to this town, including some familiar ones from the original movie. There is a ghost that looks like Slimer, but isn't him, instead this ghost is called Muncher.
At the end of the trailer we see a red phone getting answered by Dan Akroyd.

This trailer is slightly different than the first I remember seeing, but it looks good. I think I'd really like to see this. It's been long since I've seen a Ghostbuster movie. I've only seen the first two, but I also did watch the cartoon when I was much younger. I did not see the latest female reboot.

Let me know what you think about this! Are you planning on seeing it? How much of a fan are you of the Ghostbusters and which movies (if any) have you seen? Did you also watch the cartoon?

If you want to see a great trailer breakdown, which includes the name of the new ghost I mentioned along with other Easter eggs, you can see it here at New Rockstars: https://youtu.be/AqcFIsmJDgw

There's now an official trailer for Dune (embedded) and the movie is coming in October. You may recognize many faces as there are some well-known (and maybe not so well-known) actors.

You may be aware of the book titled Dune written by Frank Herbert (or you may not), but it is only the first in a series. I have Dune and at least one (some where) and at least one of the related books, but I've only read Dune. This movie centers on the first half of the first book. There was a previous movie that adapted the book. Patrick Stewart had a part in it, but it seems it wasn't received well. There have been other adaptations of the book.

You may also be aware of some video game adaptations. Dune 2 was among the first strategy games I played around 1995. It was popular among my friends, so I played it and really enjoyed it. It evolved into Command & Conquer, which was also a great strategy game in those days. Since then, there has been at least one attempt to bring that Dune game back. That game was titled Dune 2000 and I've hardly touched it.

Legendary is behind this and they're one of my favorite movie studios. They created the modern Godzilla and Kong movies, which I think were fantastic. They have other titles I really enjoyed as well.

It looks like it's coming to HBO Max. Let me know what you think about this and if you plan on watching it. Let me know if you've read Dune or other books in the series. Also, let me know if you've played any of the games and what you thought of it (or them).

GregoPeck gives this a solid "Rad" on the Ghost Scale
This is fun, with very few issues, and is well worth your time.
GregoPeck gives this a "Rad" on the Ghost Scale
This is fun, with very few issues, and is well worth your time.
I’m a Star Wars fan and if you are, too, I think you’ll enjoy this game as much as I did. The main technical issue I ran into was with two cut scenes that occur on a certain planet (it starts with the letter “K”). One had choppy video and the audio in another was out of sync with the video. I found out that even people with better hardware still experienced this, so you should probably expect this, too, but it’s not a game-breaking issue and there were only two cut scenes with these issues. I also noticed very brief video choppiness while exiting hyperspace twice, but it was very minor. Other than that, the game ran very well for me on Epic settings. I ran it at my default resolution of 1920X1200 and locked at 60FPS w/ VSync.

Part of what makes this game great, is that it lets you experience being a Jedi. You don’t start with all the skills, but you’ll gain experience and be able to spend points towards abilities. In the end, I unlocked all but one of them. There were some things I got to do that felt really awesome. I loved deflecting blaster fire and sending it back to the shooter. This is something you see in Star Wars movies and it’s so fun to be able to do. Cal also has the ability to basically slow time, so when someone shot a rocket at me, I got to slow it down and Force throw it right back. It’s also fun to Force throw enemies off an edge or into another enemy. You can also Force pull an enemy towards you and hit them in a specific way when they’re close enough. I also liked being able to throw the lightsaber. One cool thing you can do with the double light saber is throw it and it spins in a circle around you, which is really good for when you’re surrounded.

Speaking of the double lightsaber, you can get it early in the game. Once you’re done with the first planet, you’ll have two options, one is easier than the other. You’ll want to go to the planet that starts with “D” (remember, no spoilers!). There’s a certain area there where you can get it, so I recommend reading watching a video about how to collect it. You can at any time switch between it an a single lightsaber.

The game is challenging, even on the second (default) setting. You can change the difficulty at any time in the settings options. I decided I was tired of dying, so I changed it to the lowest difficulty and this let me enjoy the game more.

I think the story is good. You may not be aware of Cal, but he was a Padawan of Jedi Master Jaro Tapal. Order 66 was a tragedy for him, to say the least. If you watch The Bad Batch, you’ll briefly see him make a brief appearance. Eventually in the game, you’ll see first hand what happened between the two and why you Cal is on Bracca, the junkyard planet, when you start the game.

The beginning is, interesting. Your droid boss has you and a co-worker go do something, but getting there is dangerous. In doing so, you’ll learn the mechanics for getting around in the game, such as jumping, running, climbing, etc. There’s much of that in the game. It’s not too bad. Eventually you’ll be able to do more things, like climb specific walls and climb faster.

On some planets, you’ll come across places you might not be able to reach until you gain a certain ability. These abilities are not skills you unlock in the skill tree, but they unlock during certain points in the game. Some of these include the ability to run along the side of a wall or being able to jump farther with a flip. Because you don’t start out with all of these abilities, you may want to revisit a planet once you obtain them, because there are many “secrets” hidden throughout each area. One of Cal’s Force abilities is to sense an “echo.” By touching something he can get a sense of something that happened and hear voices. These will add small database entries that add to the lore. You’ll also find boxes you can open, which contain customizations for your lightsaber, outfit, poncho, BD-1, and the Mantis. Some boxes can’t be opened until BD-1 gets an ability. Oh and there are also puzzles, some of which require certain abilities to solve (like being able to Force push).

Speaking of which, BD-1 is your little droid buddy. It’s a really cool droid that becomes Cal’s best friend, you’ll find it at the beginning of the game. It’s a nice little companion that can open those boxes I mentioned, scan areas in the environment, which can contribute to the lore, and also scan enemies, which will give you some information about them. I really love BD-1. As I mentioned, it’ll gain new abilities as you progress, which makes revisiting a planet a good idea.

The Mantis is the starship you’ll be riding in. The customizations you unlock for it are just paint jobs. It’s where Cal lives, pretty much, with others. Initially, there will be two others. You can also find “secret” seeds throughout the game, which Cal can plant. These plants are used by the pilot for food, but that’s just a bit of dialogue stuff and not really important. You will find the star map in the ship, a place to meditate, and a place to customize your lightsaber.

Speaking of meditation, there are spots in areas where you can “meditate.” Basically, this gives you access to the skill tree and allows you to rest, which will not only restore your HP, but also respawn enemies. You don’t have to “rest,” but these points are there so you can save your game.

There’s not much to say about customizing your lightsaber, but you’ll unlock different models of the different parts in those boxes I mentioned. I didn’t find many customizations that I was particularly fond of, but I’m just glad I found the blue paint jobs for BD-1, the Mantis, and lightsaber. I also found a blue poncho, so I was happy with all of that.

This is a first person, action, combat game. There are some cut scenes and some planets to visit. If you’ve watched Star Wars movies and The Clone Wars, you should recognize at least a couple planets.

Overall, I really enjoyed it. I do recommend playing it with a controller. I used the Xbox One controller I specifically bought for PC gaming and it worked well. You can play with the keyboard and mouse, though. Also, if you get the game on Steam, you’ll have to install Origin and sign into (or create) an account. However, it’s still linked to Steam, so you can access the overlay (or web browser) the same way you’re used to or you can do so the Origin way. You’ll unlock achievements in both Origin and Steam.

I got the game recently at a discount and I got the “deluxe edition,” which seems to include some of those customizations I mentioned along with some extra stuff like developer commentary (it’s not devs talking over your game play, just some videos). I think if you like Star Wars, you should definitely get this. I think you’ll enjoy it.

The only reason I’m not giving this an outstanding Cheerful Ghost rating is because of the two issues I had with those cut scenes I mentioned. Overall, I still think it’s a great game and worth playing. You’ll see some cameos, too, so be sure to finish the game!

Marvel's animated show, What If....?, is coming to Disney+ on August 11. The multiverse is the big theme in Marvel these days and this show is clearly part of it. In the trailer, we can see Killmonger saving Tony Stark at the beginning of Iron Man from one of his own Stark Industries weapons. We also get to see Captain Carter, Peggy Carter with the super soldier serum instead of Steve Rogers. Many other well known Marvel characters make an appearance such as Thor, Loki, Doctor Strange, the Guardians of the Galaxy, and T'Challa. There's also a slight glimpse at the zombie Avengers. The show is based on the comic book series of the same name and it looks very interesting. I'm looking forward to it!

Here's some interesting info from the article I found (ok I'm copying most of it):

...we see familiar characters such as Dr. Strange, Spider-Man, and Thor mixing with Howard the Duck and Captain Britain--who, in this case, is the alias of Captain Peggy Carter. T'Challa is now the leader of the Guardians of the Galaxy, and there's a voiceover from the all-seeing Beyonder, played by Westworld's Jeffrey Wright, who teases a "journey to face the unknown."

What If...? features voiceovers from many of the actors from the MCU, including Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Hayley Atwell as Peggy Carter, Josh Brolin as Thanos, Tom Hiddleston as Loki, Dominic Cooper as Howard Stark, Karen Gillan as Nebula, Michael Douglas as Hank Pym, Michael B. Jordan as Killmonger, Jeff Goldblum as Grandmaster, Michael Rooker as Yondu Udonta, Paul Rudd as Scott Lang, Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner, and the late Chadwick Boseman as T'Challa.

Season 1 of What If...? will feature 10 episodes, and there's already a second season in the works. In an interview with Discussing Film in 2019, showrunner Ashley Bradley explained that the show will mix up the events of the movies in unexpected ways. "We will be exploring every movie in a new way, but not every episode is about one movie if that makes sense," he said.

"On the reel [shown at D23 Expo], there is this image of a Star-Lord T'Challa because we wanted to see what if the worlds of Black Panther and the Guardians of the Galaxy collided? That was taking two universes, two to three movies, kind of twisting them in new ways."

Let me know what you think about this. Does it look like something you're into? Are you planning to watch it when it comes out next month?

Source: https://www.gamespot.com/articles/marvels-what-if-releases-august-11-new-trailer-shows-starlord-tchalla-captain-britain-and-more/1100-6493725/

I found out about this a day ago and thought I'd share with you Switch lovers and owners, in case you weren't aware. A new model for the Switch (OLED) is coming on Oct. 8 at the same time the new Metroid game is coming out. The new model includes a bigger screen, improved audio, wider adjustable stand, 64GB of internal memory, and a wired LAN port. It's going to cost $350. While this isn't a 4K model with upgraded hardware like the CPU, it's still a bit of an upgrade and the 4K upgraded model may still be in the Switch's future.

I think the bigger screen sounds nice. It reminds me of when the 3DSXL came out. I really wanted to get it. I finally did buy a 2DSXL, although I've barely used it. I've owned many different iterations of Nintendo's handheld, including the original Gameboy, which I got not too long after it came out. I skipped the Gameboy color, but I got a Gameboy Advance and then the SP model, which I really loved. After that, the DS came out and I bought most of the models that followed it, including the 3DS and it's iterations as well.

I'd also like to mention that I welcome most of the other upgrades. More internal memory is always a plus. I think the wired LAN port is also a good bonus. I remember buying a wired LAN adapter for my Wii. I've always believed that wired was better than wireless, but I've seen how wireless technology has significantly improved and can be just as fast as wired. The improved audio seems to be nice as well. I'm not so sure about the stand, I feel kind of "meh" about that one, but I haven't experienced the current Switch and it's stand, so maybe people who have a Switch will appreciate it.

I think it's still unsure as to how the supply will be since there's still a semiconductor shortage going on. It's been going on for a while now and is a big reason why it's so difficult to get the new XBox and PS5. It's also contributed to PC hardware prices. For example, I paid about $300 for my GTX 1660 Ti (EVGA XC Gaming, which means EVGA overclocked it) on Amazon. I've seen it on Amazon just recently for about double the price I paid. This shortage has made it difficult to find new graphics cards like the RTX 30 series and why they're also very expensive, though it may not be the only reason, because digital currency seems to be affecting the supply and demand as well, which affects prices (Econ 101).

I still don't have a Switch, but I've recently learned (as we've mentioned here) about some games I've added to my mental list of games I'm interested in. I think years ago I became aware of the newer Switch model that had better battery life and that was the model I decided I would get, if I got one. Now, I think I'd probably go for this new model, assuming I could afford it.

This news isn't quite new with regards to Nintendo. Remember how many iterations of handhelds Nintendo released (as I mentioned above), improving on it with each. It looks like the Switch is going through that same evolution (although in my opinion the Switch Lite isn't an improvement and I refused to buy one at a discount when my local GameStop closed).

So, what do you think about this? If you don't have a Switch yet, but are planning on buying one are you going to hold off to get this new model? If you have a Switch, do you think you'll buy it? If so, do you plan to try to sell your current one or keep it around? If you plant to sell it, how do you intend to go about that? Feel free to let me know!

Source: https://www.gamespot.com/articles/nintendo-switch-oled-announced-coming-october-8/1100-6493578/

I was aware of Godzilla Singular Point before it was released, but I had forgotten about it until I wrote about Star Wars Visions. Star Wars Visions is an anime series coming to Disney+ this September (22nd), while Godzilla Singular Point is an anime series currently out on Netflix. Luckily, this was released globally not too long ago (Japan got it first), so my timing was about right.

The series (or first season) is 13 half hour episodes and I “binge watched” them, which I think is a great way to watch many shows. This is a TOHO production, which is the company that created Godzilla along with almost all of the Godzilla movies. They also created many other kaiju movies that didn’t feature Godzilla. I really love TOHO, because I really love Godzilla. I also really love the theme music for Godzilla and Mothra (the benevolent moth seen in some Godzilla movies, though she also stars in her own movies). Godzilla and Mothra’s music are very recognizable and I absolutely love them both. I also really love the sound of Godzilla’s roar, which is pretty much the same as it is in all the other TOHO productions. Godzilla’s roar is different in the recent Legendary movies, which I found disappointing.

Godzilla isn’t the only kaiju featured. In fact, we don’t see Godzilla for a few episodes. Rodan, the pterasaur, is the first kaiju we get to see and hearing it’s roar reminded me of watching the movies in which it appeared. That sound was the same and I really loved it! It appears frequently. Jet Jaguar is a giant robot from Godzilla Vs. Megalon, which is it’s only appearance. It also makes an appearance and is pretty much the star of the show, along with the humans. Jet Jaguar goes through an evolution, though not quite like another star of the show (“spoilers!” so I’ll be nice and not reveal that). There are other kaiju as well including Anguiris, the ankylosaurus-looking kaiju and Manda, the underwater dragon. Another named Salunga appears to be Gabara with a redesign and new name. There is one final character in the post-credits scene, but that is another spoiler I won’t reveal here.

I’ve come to realize that just because Godzilla is in something, doesn’t mean it’s great. I’ve watched and re-watched Godzilla movies and have come to the opinion that some of them are horrible, while others are fantastic. Even if a Godzilla movie isn’t great, the parts that directly feature Godzilla are and kind of make them worth watching. It’s kind of hard to pinpoint how I feel about Godzilla Singular Point. I’m not sure I’d call it fantastic, but I’m not sure I’d call it horrible either. The kaiju parts of it are definitely awesome. I was immediately impressed with the visual fidelity. The first part that really stood out to me was light. It wasn’t just basic cartoon-ish, bland light, but it looked realistic and very well made. However, I think the story was a bit too complex. I think it goes to an extreme to explain how these kaiju have shown up. It’s based on some very complex science including dimensional and temporal physics. Yes, time travel is part of it. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy it. My favorite human character is probably the old man that is the head of the company that built Jet Jaguar. He also pilots Jet Jaguar in the beginning.

While the series did seem to come to a finale at the end, watching the post-credits scene makes me believe that there may be more to come. If there is a season two, I’ll definitely watch it.

I think if you like anime and/or Godzilla, this might be for you. I love Godzilla, so everything Godzilla is for me. I don’t have anything against anime, I’m just not super in to it. Although there is plenty of anime I’ve seen that I love like The Animatrix (watch if you’re a fan of the Matrix), the Dragonball series, Pokemon, some Final Fantasy, and others. I was very glad that they made an English dub as I’m not fond of subtitles. I thought the voice acting was good. One of the voices in the series reminded me of the World of Final Fantasy game, though I have positive and negative feelings about it.

Feel free to let me know if this is something you’re into. Let me know if you’ve seen it and tell me what you thought about it.

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