Marvel’s Spider-Man Launches Today on Playstation 4

Limited Edition Marvel’s Spider-Man PS4 Pro Bundle Available Now

WHAT: PlayStation, in collaboration with Insomniac Games and Marvel Games, announced today the global release of the brand new video game, Marvel’s Spider-Man, available exclusively for PlayStation®4 and PlayStation®4 Pro for $59.99 MSRP.

Marvel’s Spider-Man is a brand-new original, action-packed adventure for the famous web-slinger. Play as an experienced Spider-Man who has spent eight years behind the mask, defeating new threats as they emerge. Using his boundless acrobatic agility and active combat style, Spider-Man has mastered an evolved set of moves. Swinging through Marvel’s New York feels exhilarating, flying past iconic districts and Marvel landmarks.

“We’re deeply privileged to collaborate with PlayStation and Marvel Games. We’ve poured our souls into Marvel’s Spider-Manwith the hope of creating a compelling new take on the iconic wall-crawler that remains authentic to the character’s core,” said Bryan Intihar, Creative Director of Insomniac Games.

“It’s been thrilling to watch our three powerhouses – Marvel, PlayStation, and Insomniac, come together to make the Spider-Man game we’ve always wanted to play,” said Shawn Layden, Chairman of Worldwide Studios, PlayStation. “Today, fans will finally get the chance to jump into this new completely original adventure available only on PlayStation.”

Alongside the game’s release today, the limited edition Marvel’s Spider-Man PS4 Pro bundle is also now available and includes a customized Amazing Red 1TB PS4 Pro console, a matching DualShock 4 wireless controller, and the Marvel’s Spider-Mangame. This bundle is available for $399.99 MSRP.

WHEN:           Launches today, September 7, 2018

WHERE:         Available now at participating retail stores and digitally on PlayStation Store

“Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn” Smashes onto Playstation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and Windows PC Digitally and at Retail on June 5, 2018

MAPLEWOOD, N.J., and WATFORD, United Kingdom – April 5, 2018 – Saber Interactive and Wired Productions have revealed with a new trailer today that Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn will launch globally on the PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch™ and Windows PC on June 5, 2018. The full game will be available for digital download on those platforms for $19.99. Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn will also be bundled as a physical boxed product with unannounced DLC at major retailers for $29.99 on the PlayStation®4 system and Xbox One and $39.99 on Nintendo Switch.

Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn is an action-packed beat ‘em up starring the one and only Big Diesel himself: Shaquille O’Neal. Battle the hordes of Hollywood and hell on a one-man journey to avenge your fallen home and martial arts master. Beat down foes with devastating combos, face off against outlandish celebrity bosses, and unleash your fury with a variety of hard-hitting weapons and power-ups.

Saber has previously announced that anyone who purchased NBA Playgrounds on Nintendo Switch prior to June 10, 2017, will receive a free copy of Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn on Switch upon release. In addition, Saber will share more specifics in the future regarding timing and delivery of rewards for Indiegogo backers of Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborndirectly via the game’s Indiegogo page.

Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn is a co-production of Saber Interactive and Big Deez Productions and published in partnership with Wired Productions and Mad Dog Games. This game is rated T (Teen) by the ESRB.

About Saber Interactive

Based in the U.S., Russia, and Spain, Saber Interactive is an independent developer whose credits include Quake ChampionsHalo: Combat Evolved AnniversaryHalo: Master Chief Collection, and others. Saber’s most recent release, NBA Playgrounds, is one of the best-selling digital console titles of 2017. The company has multiple development studios across the world making great games and bringing fun interactive experiences to life.

About Wired Productions Ltd

Wired Productions is a leading video games publisher based in Watford, UK. Founded in 2008 and shortlisted by MCV for Indie Publish of the Year 2018, Wired have produced and published award-winning titles across all major platforms. Bringing games to market in both physical and digital media, notable launches to date include Super Dungeon Bros, Victor Vran: Overkill Edition, Max: The Curse of Brotherhood and The Town of Light.

For more information, visit http://www.wiredproductions.com, or follow at http://www.facebook.com/WiredPro and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/WiredP.

 

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Playstation 4 Video Game Review “Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes – 2.0 Edition”

Platform: Playstation 4
Developer: Avalanche Software
Publisher: Disney Interactive Studios
Release date: September 23, 2014
Rating: Everyone 10+

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

“Disney Infinity” is back and better for its second edition called “Marvel Super Heroes”. Superheroes have never been bigger and this latest 2.0 edition features 16 Marvel figurines and 40 power discs (82 in total to be released in future wave), so there’s no shortage of options at all. After playing the original “Disney Infinity”, I found myself picking it apart quite a bit. This game really improves on the first games issues and delivers a mush more fun and content filled game. It is still not perfect but it is a blast to play and I have a feeling I will be playing this for many months to come.

“Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes” is split up into different two game modes much like the original. There is the Playset mode and Toybox mode. In the playset mode, you can transport into the world of one of the hit franchises from the game and generally run anywhere between 6–10 hours in length, so they are no incredible long but do back some great content. The Toybox mode still allows players to create their own games and worlds, using items unlocked in Playset mode.

When it comes to figures, we get the following three franchises covered to start including “The Avengers”, “Spider-Man” and “Guardians of the Galaxy”. In the Starter Pack, we get Iron Man, Black Widow and Thor. Captain America, Hawkeye and Hulk are available in single character packs and complete the roster for “The Avengers”. I cannot wait for Wave 2 to come for this franchise since Loki and Falcon have been confirmed!

Next up is “Spider-Man”, only with the web slinger himself, we also have Nova, who is included in the play set. Venom, Iron Fist and Nick Fury are available as single character packs. I am a bit taken back that Nick Fury is seated with Spider-Man. I am sure some young kids aren’t going to make the connection just yet since he is primarily seen with “The Avengers” in the film and TV series.

Lastly and easily my favorite film of the year, we have Guardians of the Galaxy. Included in the playset is Star-Lord and Gamora, while Drax, Groot and Rocket Raccoon are available in single character packs. Future wave 2 release for this series include Ronan and Yondu, so there is plenty of growth and expansion available here as well.

Unlike the first game, you are only able to play specific characters in specific playsets. This new edition allows you to collected “Cross Over Tokens” scattered throughout levels in order to bring character like Nova, Iron Man, Rocket Raccoon and Hulk into more than one playset. This gives the game and entirely new dynamic and I really enjoyed it.

These new figures are really a big improvement over the first game. I really enjoyed the “Guardians of the Galaxy” characters. The abilities were great and really run to play with. My real surprise honestly has to be Nova from “Spider-Man” play set. I really enjoyed him as well. With “The Avengers” each of them are equally amazing. Hulk has a great special move. Iron Man can sort of glide. Captain America has his shield to through around. There are 16 characters and I spent a lot of time just fighting with myself to figure out who I should try first.

Since there are 40 power discs in wave one, I will highly a few of my favorite. S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier Strike is a great ability. Infinity Gauntlet is a rare and very powerful disc. If you are an “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” fan, getting to ride in Lola is a blast. There is also Ability discs that allow Team Up with characters like YOndu, Winter Soldier and Ant-Man. In the toy box, the customization for “Guardians of the Galaxy” is pretty cool with Groot’s View and Groot’s Roots.

Also a very cool expansion feature is that you are able to take all of your original Disney Infinity figures and power discs and they can still be used in the Disney Infinity (2.0 Edition) toy box. You cannot use original play sets though with the 2.0 gam though. This adds a lot more ability to play with this new game and to have original Disney Infinity characters meeting 2.0 edition characters.

The control are a bit tighter in this new edition. I felt that the driving in the first game was absolutely horridenous and this time around it is much smoother. The violence is not too bad but I am honestly not a fan of the ability to turn on civilians in the game. You are able to drive down the street and literally plow down people. I am sorry but this isn’t “Grand Theft Auto”. There isn’t any blood or anything, so it doesn’t seem that bad but still could have been tamed a bit and feels very unnecessary.

November 4th brings us a new wave of Disney Original figures for use in the Toy Box. Included characters in the first batch are Donald Duck, Aladdin, Jasmine, Tinker Bell, Stitch, Hiro Hamada & Baymax from Big Hero 6, Merida and Maleficent. I can’t wait to check these characters out. Hopefully in the the next edition of “Disney Infinity” isn’t to far, far away 😉 Fingers crossed Disney! Cross over to the Dark Side!

Playstation 4 Game Review “Alien: Isolation – Nostromo Edition”

Publisher: SEGA
Developer: The Creative Assembly
Rated: Mature
Release Date: October 7, 2014
Platform: PlayStation 4

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

I am always a sucker for anything spawning out of the “Alien” franchise. “Alien: Isolation” promised to be the best of the recent attempts at a good game in the series. The game puts you in the in control of Amanda Ripley, the daughter of Ellen Ripley, as she searched for her mother. The story takes place 15 years after the events of the first movie and another 42 before she is found in the sequel. What I liked about this game the most is that there is only one Xenomorph that hunts you down. Now even though it is just one doesn’t mean that she is not still one tough bitch. I think literally, I died about 25 times in the first 5 minutes of playing this game. This is it horror fans, if you are looking for a great “Alien” video game adaption, look no further.

Official Premise: “Alien: Isolation” is a first-person survival horror game which captures the fear and tension evoked by Ridley Scott’s 1979 classic film. Players find themselves in an atmosphere of constant dread and mortal danger as an unpredictable, ruthless Xenomorph is stalking and killing deep in the shadows. Underpowered and underprepared, you must scavenge resources, improvise solutions and use your wits, not just to succeed in your mission, but to simply stay alive.

The game play itself is quite impressive. The campaign itself runs a very solid 15 hours, so there is plenty of content included in the primary compaign. There are at least five to seven additional missions planned to be released from now till 2015. So even if you beat the game already, there will be some great new content available to fans. If you are a horror fan, then most importantly, you will be happy that this game definitely scared the shit out of me. There is some great sound design in this game and it really created some great tension when playing, which lead to a few solid jumps as well throughout. The design of the game just looks stunning on the PlayStation 4.

I know there are tons of scary games out there like “F.E.A.R”, “Dead Space” and “Resident Evil” but this game definitely had you pausing and running for a quick change of underwear. What I loved about the Xenomorph is that it is very effective based on your moves and your actions, it responds to you and you need to be able to act very very fast or get ready to start the mission over.  Sega really did a great job here. There are a few small issues like the story is a little light and some of the missions get a bit repetitive but it gets quickly overlooked in my eyes when you find yourself hiding in a locker waiting for the Xenomorph to pass you and hopefully not find you. You better cut your nails before you play because this is a real nail-bitter.

Now if you are excited to get to play a Ripley’s daughter, you are going to love the two bonus missions that were included with pre-ordering the game. In this “Nostromo Edition” of the game it contains the“Crew Expendable” expansion pack, which features the voices and likenesses of movie’s stars like Sigourney Weaver and Tom Skerritt. It allows you to play as either Dallas, Parker or Ellen Ripley from the original film as they try and get rid of the Alien. There is also a second expansion called “Last Survivor”, which was included in “The Ripley Edition” of the game, which again allows you to take control of Ellen Ripley, as she is the last person alive on the Nostromo. There are still a bunch more expansions planned for this game, so stay tuned because the fun (if you call getting the shit scared out of you fun) to be had.

Enter to Win a Blu-ray for “Heavenly Sword”, based on Playstation video game series [ENDED]

To celebrate the release of the movie “Heavenly Sword”, based on the Playstation video game series, Media Mikes is excited to giveaway one (1) copy of the film on Blu-ray to our readers. If you would like to enter for your chance to win one of this prize, please leave us a comment below or send us an email with your favorite character from the series. This giveaway will remain open until September 26th at Noon, Eastern Time. This is open to all of our Media Mikes readers worldwide. One entry per person, per household. All other entries will be considered invalid. Media Mikes will randomly select winners. Winners will be alerted via email.

Nariko’s clan has long protected the “Heavenly Sword,” a god’s blade of immense power that drains its wielder of their life force. A power-hungry ruler known as the evil King Bohan seeks to obtain the sword to gain its devastating power. As the impending apocalypse nears, it remains to be seen how long Nariko can resist the sword’s deadly curse.

Playstation 4 Video Game Review “Destiny”

Format: Playstation 4
Developer: Bungie
Publisher: Activision
Rated: Teen
Release Date: September 9, 2014

Our Score: 3 out of 5 stars

Let me start by pointing out that I am casual gamer. If you are looking for a super in depth review for hardcore gamers, I would suggest heading over to IGN or sites like that. I have been tracking “Destiny” since it was announced and I participated in both the games Alpha and Beta stages over the last few months. This is in no way a complete review, I would consider it a first impression. Since I have played the game in both Alpha and Beta, I already had a decent knowledge of the game by the time it was finally released. Since the final game was released, I have probably put in about 5-7 hours into this. I would like to go over some the games key features along with my reactions and observations so far. Let’s start with the fact that if you love Bungie’s past games like “Halo”, I feel pretty confident saying that you will love this.

The real bulk of “Destiny”, like the “Halo” games, definitely is going to come from the multiplayer game play. If you are into multiplayer games, then this game is pretty awesome for you. I enjoyed what I played so far in the solo campaign, but I just wasn’t really blown away. The story is mediocre and didn’t really pull me in. The visuals are decent but again nothing outstanding. Honestly, I know the game costed $500 million to make and I just expected more of a “wow factor” from that price. To me it looks like a high-def version of any one of the “Halo” games. Like I said though, I still enjoyed it and I am sure that I am going to get a lot of play in the multiplayer setting. A note that you should know that this game does require a crap load of hard drive space in order to play as well as either a premium XBOX Live Gold or in my case PSN membership.

Some times the load screens are pretty brutal but to their credit, they are some really big locations. But that is actually easily fixed (or maybe fixed already by the time I am writing this) with a patch. That is one thing that is good about this game is that the fans are definitely going to be very vocal and Bungie will be listening as well and fixing what they can pretty quick I am sure. This is their baby and they will be nurturing for quite a while. I read that Bungie has big plans for “Destiny” like plans for a new game every other year with an expansion in-between.  Also a new trend is video games is including big names celebs. Kevin Spacey did it with “Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare”. This game has Bill Nighy and Peter Dinklage, so that is definitely a notch on the win side for me!

Here is the basic jist of the game “In Destiny you are a Guardian of the last city on Earth, able to wield incredible power. Explore the ancient ruins of our solar system, from the red dunes of Mars to the lush jungles of Venus. Defeat Earth’s enemies. Reclaim all that we have lost. Become legend.” You have to create your character, which is quite fun then kick some ass and along the way power-up with unique and customizable weapons, gear, and vehicles. There are tons of personalization to be had here. You can then also take your character throughout every mode in the game campaign, multiplayer etc.

There are three different classes of Guardians to choose from. First is Hunter, which is Master of the Frontier. They are known for being quick with a gun and deadly with a blade, as well as cunning and ruthless. Next is Titan, known as Armored Engine of War. They have lightning-charged fists, while their armor and shields make them nearly invincible. Last is Warlock aka Wielder of Arcane Power, who know how to weaponize their curiosity and harness the Traveler’s light in patterns never before imagined and since are capable of incredible acts of devastation. I am sure they will have more classes in future updates.

There are five different game modes to enjoy throughout the game. The first is Crucible mode, which is a very competitive multiplayer, where you can earn you rewards and bragging rights. Explore mode is an on-demand adventure, where you can revisit the worlds to seek out valuable resources in order to upgrade your weapons and gear. Of course there is the Story mode, which is the basic campaign that follows the cinematic story. Strike mode is a cooperative multiplayer, where you can form a Fireteam and kick some ass. Lastly, Tower mode, is a third person social space where you can regroup, rearm, and form new alliances. These modes are explored on four locations including Earth, Mars, Moon and Venus.

Lastly, if you are smart enough to get this game on Playstation 4, you are in luck since we can exclusive content only for PlayStation 4 owners called the Ultimate Destiny Experience. This included the following: Exodus Blue Competitive Multiplayer Map, Dust Palace Strike. There are two new weapons included: Monte Carlo and Hawkmoon. There are three super cool new ships including the Aurora Wake, Outrageous Fortune and Crypt Hammer. Lastly there are three gear sets including Maniford, Argus and Vanir. This is “exclusive” supposedly till Fall 2015 but still a year before anyone else. If you are playing this game too let me know what you think and definitely shoot me your tags, so we can join up in game as well for a multiplayer jam session.

Playstation 4 Video Game Review “Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition”

Platform: Playstation 4
Edition: Standard
Publisher: Square Enix
Developer: Crystal Dynamics
Rated: Mature
Release Date: January 28, 2014

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

Going back to a few years ago, I saw that another “Tomb Raider” was coming out and I definitely rolled my eyes a little. This series was definitely lost its appeal for me and probably many others as well. Well then this amazing new cinematic reboot adventure was released and Lara Croft’s status of queen of video games was rightfully restored. I mean this game was such an improvement over the last in the series and just blew me away. So I thought to myself when I saw about the “Definitive Edition” being released, if it was really going to be worth the upgrade from PS3 to PS4…well, holy cow it feels and looks like a whole new game!

Official Premise: The cinematic action-adventure that forced Lara Croft to grow from an inexperienced young woman into a hardened survivor has been re-built, featuring an obsessively detailed Lara and a stunningly lifelike world. To survive her first adventure and uncover the island’s deadly secret, Lara must endure high-octane combat, customize her weapons and gear, and overcome grueling environments.

First of all, with PS4 you are talking about the game displaying in 1080p Blu ray quality. The game itself isn’t just much crisper looking, the entire game was basically re-engineered with more powerful physics and lighting engines. The visual detail is actually mind-blowing. When I was playing this game on PS3, I thought it looked fantastic. But now going back to PS3, it notice so many difference that I am just more and more impressive with the next-gen version. This game is just beautiful and have never looked better…even on PC.

One of the aspects that really blew me away was the fact that the head and face of Lara Croft were completely rebuilt. It looks like two different people now. The skin is so much more realistic and vibrant. Even to the point that when it gets hot in the environment, Lara sweats. I mean that is just outstanding to me. There is just this overall important in the richness of the colors. I did not think at all that this game could improve as much as a it did. Plus the Definitive Edition allows voice and gesture control (if you have the camera add-on). You can ask for map or name a weapon to equip.

The Definitive Edition also includes all the released DLC for this game like the Tomb of the Lost Adventurer, six outfits for Lara, a digital mini art book, and the digital comic “The Beginning, weapon attachments, multiplayer maps etc. The multiplayer still isn’t super impressive but either way I am more concerned about the single player mode for this game. If you have never played this game, where have you been? I highly recommend this game since it is just such an improvement on PS4 and honestly one of the main reasons, I even purchased the system to be honest.

PlayStation 3 Video Game Review “The Amazing Spider-Man 2”

Platform: Playstation 3
Release Date: April 29, 2014
Genre: Action
Publisher: Activision
Developer: Beenox

Our Score: 2.5 out of 5 stars

Look Out! Here comes the Spider-Man…again. While I enjoyed the film “The Amazing Spider-Man 2”, as any video gamer knows the game adaptations next to always disappoint. Unfortunately, “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” suffers the same fate. The game feels rather lazy and not very exciting. Pretty much feels like the took the last game, tweaked it a little and slapped a “2” on it. Like this film which is fading fast from theaters, I also see myself not going back to revisit this game anytime soon.

“The Amazing Spider-Man 2” allows you to free-roam through New York City web-slinging from here to there. Before the game play even started, I was let down to find that the story doesn’t even follow the movie. It is follows a more generic Spider-Man story that lightly includes the film’s villains and a few other characters that aren’t even in the film. The controls are decent but I found myself continuously referring to the options since there are a ton of different commands for each buttons.

Speaking of generic story, the same goes for the combat. I felt like I was just attacking, blocking and web shooting my way through each battle once I got a hang of the controls. The visuals are decent and probably the best part of the game. Who doesn’t love web-slinging through the city. My wife walked in at one point and said “This is a game?”, so I guess it looked good enough for her. I did keep running into some issues with the video jumping on some cut scenes but nothing major. Overall, I enjoyed this game the first time and less and less thereafter. So unless you are a hardcore Spidey fan, I would probably steer clear.

Playstation 3 Video Game Review “Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Heroes”

Format: Playstation 3
Publisher: Konami
Rated: Mature
Media: Video Game
Release Date: March 18, 2014

Our Score: 3 out of 5 stars

When I told a friend that I was playing the newest “Metal Gear Solid” game, he was like “How did I miss that?” Well if you are wondering the same don’t worry since “Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Heroes” is a prologue to the upcoming full game “Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain”, which is set to be released TBA 2015. This game is meant to get you excited and get your mouth watering. If you are looking to sit back and get immersed in the whole of “MGS” you might want to wait for the full game because this game is real short. I was able to fly through the campaign in nearly two hours. I would have to recommend this to those who are simply foaming at the mouth and can’t wait till next year to get some more Snake action.

Official Premise: World-renowned Kojima Productions showcases the latest masterpiece in the Metal Gear Solid franchise with Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes. Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes (on sale Spring 2014) is the first segment of the ‘Metal Gear Solid V Experience’ and prologue to the larger second segment, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain launching thereafter. MGSV: GZ gives core fans the opportunity to get a taste of the world-class production’s unparalleled visual presentation and gameplay before the release of the main game. It also provides an opportunity for gamers who have never played a Kojima Productions game, and veterans alike, to gain familiarity with the radical new game design and unparalleled style of presentation. The critically acclaimed Metal Gear Solid franchise has entertained fans for decades and revolutionized the gaming industry. Kojima Productions once again raises the bar with the FOX Engine offering incredible graphic fidelity and the introduction of open world game design in the Metal Gear Solid universe. This is the experience that core gamers have been waiting for.

I do have to give the same props for being very visual. In fact during the opening credits cut-scene, my wife walked in the room and said “What movie you watching, Mike?” and didn’t even realize that this was a game. To me that gives a real thumbs up to the game. Now, this was only on Playstation 3, so I cannot even imagine how good it would look on Playstation 4. Stealth is key in this game and definitely not for those who like to run in shoot and ask questions later, but obviously if you are familiar with the series this is no surprise. So whether you play on Normal or Hard, the challenge is very present, which should make hardcore fans happy.

Even though the main campaign is quite short. There is a still some decent replay value to enjoy if you take your time and poke around a bit. There are several side missions, which can be unlocked by finding XOF badges. I also felt that the general plot for this game was much darker than usual for this series, but that wasn’t entirely a bad thing. The game also features a strong voice cast including Kiefer Sutherland (“TV’s “24”) as Snake and Tara Strong (“My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic”) as Paz Ortega Andrade.

The timeline for the game is set in 1975, so it falls between “Peace Walker (1975)” and the original “Metal Gear (1995)” even though is obviously leads into “The Phantom Pain”, which is set in 1985 but I am basing it in terms of released games. This is also the first “Metal Gear Solid” game to explore the option of an open world giving players total freedom on how to play. So for $29.99, it all comes down to how hardcore of a fan are you for this series. Even though I went back and go to explore a little more after the main campaign, I finished this game just feeling a bit unsatisfied and wanting more.

Playstation 3 Game Review “Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2”

Platform: Playstation 3
Players: 1
Developer: MercurySteam
Publisher: Konami
ESRB: Mature
Release Date: February 25, 2014

Our Score: 3 out of 5 stars

Ever since 1986, I have been a huge fan of the “Castlevania” series. I probably got introduced to it too young but it has always been a favorite. It probably also influenced my love for anything horror related. Fast forward nearly 30 years and this franchise still has some steam. In fact speaking of steam, this game is from Developer MercurySteam, who has been behind this entire “Lords of Shadow” trilogy. Don’t let the “2” in the title through you off, the trilogy also includes Nintendo 3DS title “Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate”. It is also crazy to think that this release is actually the 35th Castlevania game. Well as much as I would like to say it is the best I really can’t. It has it’s moments but overall leaves you wanting more from the closing game in the trilogy. Though if you have been following this trilogy it is worth checking out but I see this gathering dust on my shelf in a very short time and then probably ending up on eBay.

“Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2” does some stocked with some really beautiful and very detailed areas and landscapes. I also received “The Art of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2” and it really made me appreciate the work that was done for this game much more. MercurySteam did a great job I might add with the visuals since this game was definitely quite a looker. The character design and development are really sharp and very in depth. In terms of game play though, I can see this game getting old after a while. The control system is interesting since you have the life stealer with the L1 button, which has a certain use and then the shield breaker with R2, so you are constantly changing and it does make things interesting. But I just felt like I was slash, slash, slashing throughout the game throughout my venture.

Official Premise: At the end of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, the origin of Dracula and his legendary connection with the Belmonts was revealed. Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 is the sequel to that 2010 reboot of the Castlevania series for play on Next-Gen game consoles. In it fans can expect thrilling new twists, action, adventure and challenges, as Dracula returns, this time to battle ultimate evil. Yet the dilemma is that he himself is greatly weakened and yearning for release from his immortal bonds. To succeed against the powerful threat he stands against, the vampire lord must reacquire his old powers – and only his castle holds the key. However, the famed Belmont clan also seeks his ultimate destruction in this shocking conclusion to the Lords of Shadow series.

Since this is the last game in this new reboot of the classic Castlevania game series, I am not sure where this series will go now but MercurySteam has said that this was their last go-round with this franchise. I would say that “Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2” is definitely worth playing, it is not terribly long but it is quite challenging in terms of difficulty. But if you are a hardcore “Castlevania” fan, this should come as no surprise. In terms of story, it is a little confusing or just short on details. But I caught on with what I could and just enjoyed the ride. Speaking of story, just a quick note, if you haven’t played the Nintendo 3DS title “Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate” and don’t want it to get spoiled, I would wait on “Lords of Shadow 2” since there’s a 10-minute cut scene that sums up the whole plot. I thought it was a nice tie-in personally of the series. I am sure that this will not be the end of “Castlevania” as like Dracula himself the series is forever. May not be my favorite game of the year but I still stand before this series.

Interview with Brandon Sonnier

Brandon Sonnier is the writer, producer and director of the film “Blues”. “Blues” is his third film and definitely his best effort to date. Movie Mikes had a chance to chat with Brandon about his latest film and also found out how he gets his inspiration for his films.

Click here to purchase Brandon’s movies

Michael Gencarelli: How did you find the task of not only directing but also writing and producing your first film “The Beat”?
Brandon Sonnier: It probably should have been harder but I didn’t know any better at the time. (Laughs) I was about 20 years old when I did that film and actually shot it in between film school semesters. I had a roommate of mine read the script and after he was done he said to me this could be a real movie! Sadly that roommate passed away in a car accident and that was really the driving force behind the movie getting made. I owe a lot to him.

MG: Music seems to be a real inspiration for your films, is it very important to you?
BS: It is. The music on “Blues” I did a little differently than my other two movies. “The Beat” was a very music driven song and we had to have those songs written especially for the film as that is what it’s about. For “Blues” I had to sit down and as I was writing the script I went through all the blues greats such as Muddy Waters and Ella Fitzgerald. At different points in the writing of the script I had various songs in my head along with an idea of where they should be in the movie.

MG: How did you come up with the idea for “Blues”?
BS: The script originated as a project titled “Underground.” It was actually going to be a little bit bigger. I had written a few other movies at the time that I was shopping around town but I hadn’t gotten any bites. I needed to be directing and had the idea of doing something small enough that I could get out there with and actually do it. “Underground” is what I came up with and people really loved it. They all seemed to have the same comment however that it was too small. Well that’s because I did it myself! (Laughs)

MG: I love the way it was shot, sort of like “Pulp Fiction” piecing the story together, what made you choice that format for the story?
BS: Believe it or not the story actual chose how it was going to be shot. When I wrote and shot the film it was very linear. The whole thing really took place in front of the viewer. After shooting I did a full cut of that film and was in fact very linear. It just didn’t feel right because I felt like people would want to see more of what was going on at the same time but with other characters. I thought the way the story was dictated proved that it really needed to be chopped up and placed out of order. It was also done this way in an effort to allow the viewers more time to get to know the characters.

MG: Of the films you have directed is there one film you hold higher?
BS: I think “Blues” is by far my best. Don’t get me wrong I love all my films but if I can’t believe I am getting better with each film then what am I doing? I really think “Blues” is the top in my book.

MG: Was there one that was more challenging?
BS: I would have to say “Blues” also. When I shot “The Beat” I was so young that I was just running around in the streets shooting. I didn’t always have the proper permits and such but I just did it. Then I did “The List” which was a little bit bigger and featured Wayne Brady and Sydney Tamiia Poitier. The size of that movie caused me to have to work inside the system and have all the proper permits and such. I was also dealing with larger cast and crew as well as a studio that was fronting all the money. When it came time to do “Blues” I knew all the right ways to shoot a film. I could shoot it like I did when I was younger or I can follow how things were done on “The List.” Ultimately with “Blues”, I found a middle ground in which I was able to keep the spontaneity and freeness of my first film and combine that with the structure of my second film.

MG: Is it planned that you have worked with the same actors, Steve Connell in “The Beat” & “Blues” and Sydney Tamiia Poitier in “Blues” & “The List”?
BS: When I sat down after deciding to shoot “Blues” on my own I did have those people in mind. I loved working with them and I knew that they knew me and we had a relationship already. This really helped because we shot the movie in 9 days. I was really relying on those actors that I had worked with before. Steve’s role specifically I couldn’t imagine anyone else in that role. We shot his scenes in three and half days due to another project he was working. I wanted him in the film very badly so we made it work.

MG: What do you have coming up next?
BS: I am currently writing a few scripts and shopping those around. I am attached to a project called “Sky” which is a film about a girl who gets caught up in trouble and finds herself being on an undercover task force at a very young age. It’s going to be a very gritty and raw type of film. I also am writing another script called “Down Home” that takes place in rural Louisiana which is where my family is from.

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Interview with Ari Lehman

Ari Lehman is known best in the horror genre as playing the first Jason Voorhees in “Friday the 13th”.  Though Ari real passion has been his music and his band, FIRSTJASON.  Movie Mikes had a chance to chat with Ari about his film and music career.

Click here to purchase the films in the “Friday the 13th” series

MG: What does it feel like to have played the first ever Jason Voorhees…in one word?
AL: Empowering.

MG: How long did it take to apply your makeup?
AL: I worked with the SFX Wizard Tom Savini and his assistant Taso Stavrakos on and off for four weeks to create the original mold for the face. After that, script additions called for the character to appear water damaged. I went back to the studio for a few days before we tried it out on the set.
Each time it took around 4 hours to apply the makeup, so if there was a 7:30 AM call for cast and crew, we would start applying the mask at 3:30.

MG: What why did you leave acting only after “Friday the 13th”?
AL: Rock and Roll is the reason, really. As a young man, I was very intrigued by the entire filmmaking process. Yet, my first love was Music, and my experiences as a performer, even then, were very immediate and gratifying. Being on a film set, and doing SFX skin work, involves A LOT of waiting and down time. I was drawn to the visceral atmosphere of live performance.

MG: Tell us about your music career and your band FIRSTJASON?
AL: FIRSTJASON is a Horror Rock Power Duo, and our recent CD “Jason is Watching!” has received rave reviews and 4.5 out of 5 stars from Dread Central, a major Horror website. We have toured throughout the US, as well as performing at Horror Film Festivals in Spain and Italy. I perform on a Machete-shaped Keytar called the Keychete, created by Brothers Rich FX. FIRSTJASON performs songs about the inner working of the mind of a monster. FIRSTJASON is the voice of the usually silent Jason Voorhees, with titles like “Jason Never Dies”, “You Better Run”, “Sink or Swim”, and “Red Red Red”, FIRSTJASON has captured the imagination of Horror and Metal fans alike, and run with it through the woods to Camp Crystal Lake.

Here is a recent review from College News: “First Jason is amazing. Self produced, and self released, this album hits you over the head with an anvil being swung at 1000 miles an hour by the metal gods. Once hitting play on your CD player, Lehman and crew break out of your speakers in surround-sound, get in your face, flash you the devil horns, and smoke through a 30 minute set that will leave your jaw dragging across the floor.” – (Justin Bozung, College News – October 25 2010)

MG: How did you get involved with composing soundtracks for indie films?
AL: I was asked by Kevin Sean Michaels to compose the Soundtrack for “Vampira: The Movie”, which received The Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Award for Best Independent Film of 2009. I went on to work with Kevin on other film projects, several of which are still in the works, as well as Alex Anastasio’s brilliant “Salome”, an all-female dance version of the tale. Here is the link to the video of the some music I created with Kevin and Bill Moseley for a Vampira: the Movie music video recently made to honor Vampira’s Birthday.

MG: How do you compare working on your music to composing a film?
AL: Admittedly, my forte is performing songs, singing while playing a Machete-shaped Keytar that sounds like lightning and thunder. Composing soundtracks is now becoming more interesting to me though, especially since I have been watching great films as much as possible for inspiration. The difference between writing songs and soundtracks is truly one of texture and time. A song works in one way, and a soundtrack in another. The great Maestro Harry Manfredini, who wrote the soundtrack for “Friday the 13th”, “Wishmaster” and many more films, gave me some insight to the more spacious, linear, and temporal world of soundtrack composition. Abstraction is crucial there. I am hoping to learn more!

MG: What else do you have planned upcoming? .
AL: FIRSTJASON goes back on tour in the US in March, from the Midwest to the East Coast this time, and then it’s off to Germany and Italy in May. There are two Graphic Novels based on FIRSTJASON and myself coming from the EU, one is called “FIRSTJASON Rising” from Germany and the other, “Jason Must Rule”, from Italy. I will be appearing in several Indie Horror films that will be shot in 2011 too, and introducing a the Camp Crystal Lake Machetes. FIRSTJASON was just signed to Dark Star Records in Chicago, and we plan to record and release a new CD this year called A World of Pain”. I want to take this opportunity to thank you and your readers, and to remind you all:

JASON NEVER DIES!!!
MANY THANKS FROM CAMP CRYSTAL LAKE!!! – ARI LEHMAN/JASON#1
http://www.firstjason.com/

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Interview with Seamus Dever

Seamus Dever is known for his role of Kevin Ryan on ABC’s hit show “Castle”. “Castle” is one of the rare shows that actually gets better with each episode and only mid-way through season three the show was already renewed for season four. Movie Mikes had a chance to chat with Seamus about his role in the show and what is planned for the future.

Click here to purchase “Castle” DVD’s & Blu-Ray’s

Mike Gencarelli: You weren’t involved originally in the “Castle” pilot, how did you come on board?
Seamus Dever: After they shot their pilot presentation, which was only 37 minutes long, they did some recasting and I think they wanted someone that would be John’s partner. They liked John but they didn’t have someone who was a match…was the right height…had a similar sensibility. Someone suggested “how about an Irish cop” and when I heard about it I jumped on it and did all I could to get in on it. That’s how it came about. They shot the pilot in New York, four or five months before we started the series. I was working on another project at the time so I didn’t even hear about it. They shot it with a totally different crew, a totally different director of photography. They like to make fun of me some times that I came late to the party…”Oh, you weren’t there for the pilot, you missed such a great time.” But the truth is, there were only seven series regulars, our two executive producers and one of the writers and that’s it! That’s all that were there for the pilot that carried over to the series so I don’t feel like I missed out on too much. The series has become what it is based on the people who work on it out in Los Angeles.

MG: Tell us what draws you to your character Kevin Ryan?
SD: Kevin Ryan is kind of quirky…he’s not too serious. He’s very dry in his sense of humor. I love that we’re allowed to be funny. I’m amazed that some times we make decisions based on what’s funnier. I can’t tell you how many times I ask Nathan or John “what’s funnier, this way or that way?” I love that the character is not so serious that he can’t make fun of his partner or he can’t make fun of Castle or he can’t crack a joke in the middle of a crime scene.

MG: In the last few episodes, your character is getting a little romance. How do you feel about that?
SD: It’s funny because the character of Jenny really emerged in, I think, episode seven of the first season but we didn’t really get to meet her until the second season. There was a long gestation process in that time. I really advocated for my real life wife, Juliana, to play Jenny. But they held out and waited, and Julie held out and waited because she had auditioned for other roles on the show…thank God she didn’t get those parts or she wouldn’t have been available for Jenny. So they brought her on and that’s how that happened. I hope to see a lot more of Jenny. First, it would mean I get to work with my wife but more importantly it means we’re getting a chance to look into Ryan’s personal life.

MG: What is the best part for you working on “Castle”?
SD: Sometimes when you’re working on a scene the best part is the collaboration. Of course, there’s what’s written on the page and most shows do what’s written on the page. But we, as actors, we’re always looking for moments or the thoughts behind the action. Sometimes when we do a scene there will be the four of us and we’ll do a moment that we’ll explore together that turns out so funny because everyone is contributing ideas. Nathan will contribute an idea about my performance or I’ll contribute something for Jon to think about..it’s really like instant theater. Everyone coming up with different ideas and really collaborating. We did a scene that was really fun the other day…one of my favorite scenes in the entire series. We’re looking at a character through a window…a very simple scene of us talking in the break room. We’re just throwing out ideas and then Jon comes in and says “what are you guys looking at?” It’s really funny when that happens because we’re really comfortable with each other. Everyone knows it’s about making a good show. You can’t do a good show and not talk about the process of acting…not talk about ideas. It’s not one of those shows where they tell you to leave the other actors alone…don’t force your opinions on them. With our show we’ve always had this understanding. We all want to contribute because we want to make it interesting. We want to help each other out. And that’s my favorite part…when you get together and you know a scene is going to pop and you know the audience is going to love it. We just have fun doing it. And discovering as an actor just how funny and alive the work is…that’s my favorite part of it too.

MG: Tell us about working with Jon Huertas and such a great cast?
SD: John and I get along really well. He and I have a relationship based on carpentry! We’re always talking about fixing up our homes a lot. We talk about that a lot. And we both enjoy wine…we’ve gone up to the wine country and drank too much! (laughs) John’s really cool. We have such a natural rapport that we fell into, which is great. Everyone thinks we’re constantly in character. They’ll observe a conversation that John and I are having and ask “are you guys playing this out?” And we’re like, “no, that’s just the way we talk. We’re not acting here.” At the beginning they wanted our relationship to be something like a marriage. When you spend that much time with somebody you know the things that annoy them. You know all of their stories. You’ve heard them all at least a thousand times. I can’t tell you how many times John says “hey, did I tell you about the time I was in the Air Force and I met this girl and she did this thing?” We had someone in the car with us the other day and he says “did I tell you the story about the midget,” and I say “John, you’re mixed, you can’t tell the story about the midget!” And he’s like, “oh yeah, right.” It’s a great story but not one for mixed company…especially when he’s wired. We know each other really well. We work together very fast…we have a short hand now for everything. It’s really amazing. We know exactly where to stand, how to do something. It’s a perfect working situation because everybody’s cool and we’re working on quality material. It’s really great.

MG: Congrats on the show being picked up for season four. Did you think this show was going to be this big of a hit?
SD: I think it’s great. Our show has been growing steadily. A lot of shows debut to big numbers and then slowly it’s a kind of attrition with the audience. But our shows audience has been growing and that’s great. This is my first show as a series regular so I was really hoping that my first show wouldn’t be one of those stinkers that people attach your name to for the rest of your career. I know for the rest of my career that I have this quality show called “Castle” attached to me.

MG: What can you tell us for the upcoming episodes?
SD: We’re working on a two-parter right now. We did one last year that was pretty successful. We had Dana Delaney on last year, this year we have Adrian Pasdar. He started the other day. It’s about terrorism. It’s sort of a cool cliffhanger. And hopefully we’ll see more of the serial killer…the 3XK serial killer comes back. I know for sure we’re going to see more of Jenny this year. And of course we’ll see more of Esposito and Lanie. That relationship is fun. Every episode since then we’ve had a conversation about that, where my character is now trying to school Esposito in the ways of romance. There’s all of these possibilities…we talk about all kinds of things…Valentine’s Day, things like that. It’s really funny. And to be honest one of my favorite episodes that we’ve ever shot is coming up this week. It’s called “Knock Down.” It’s a continuation of Beckett’s mothers’ murder and getting back to that story. It’s a great episode, written by Will Beall, who’s one of our best writers. He’s the one who wrote “Sucker Punch” from last year. His dialogue is great and there’s always action and a lot of cool stuff we get to do. It’s going to be good stuff.

Click here to purchase “Castle” DVD’s & Blu-Ray’s

Interview with Wayne Ewing

Wayne Ewing is the man behind some of the best documentaries about the late Hunter S. Thompson, such as “Breakfaster with Hunter”, “When I Die” and his latest film, “Animals, Whores and Dialogue: Breakfast with Hunter, Vol.2”.  Wayne took on maybe roles in his films such as Cinematographer, Director, Editor and Producer.  They are very intimate and really feel like labors of love.   There have been many documentaries about the late Hunter S. Thompson, but Wayne’s films get a chance to get inside of his head directly.  Movie Mikes had a chance to chat with Wayne about his relationship with Hunter and his films.

Click here to read our review of “Animal, Whores and Dialogue: Breakfast with Hunter, Vol.2” DVD
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Mike Gencarelli: Tell us how you originally met Hunter S. Thompson?
Wayne Ewing: In the early 1980’s I found myself living in Woody Creek, Colorado not far from Hunter Thompson, who had always been a hero of mine. I had just finished two films as an independent producer for the PBS series “Frontline” and was looking for a new subject for a film for them. The word was out that Hunter was working in San Francisco as the Night Manager of the Mitchell Brothers’ O’Farrell Theater which seemed a good hook for a film. The Executive Producer of Frontline, David Fanning, encouraged me to pursue the story, at my own expense of course, so I made contact with Hunter’s secretary Deborah Fuller and flew her and myself to San Francisco to meet with Hunter. That weekend at the O’Farrell, a place Hunter called the Carnegie Hall of public sex in America, was more than you can imagine (see my vodcast “The O’Farrell” @ www.HunterThompsonFilms.com/vodcast for the lurid details). However, by the time I returned, David Fanning had chickened out and I realized I would have to make my own film about Hunter – what ultimately became Breakfast with Hunter.

MG: Was he a fascinating person to be around, I never had the chance to meet him?
WE: Hunter was charismatic to be sure, and moreover truly a lot of fun to hang with. His Mother would recall how when he was just five or six years old, all the other young kids in the neighborhood would gather on their front porch and wait, sometimes for an hour or more, for Hunter to come out to play. An invitation to Owl Farm, whether to watch football and gamble or work on a column or book with Hunter was a gift from the literary gods. He ran the best salon and saloon in the West.

MG: Did it take a lot of convincing to get Hunter to do the documentary “Breakfast with Hunter”?
WE: “Breakfast with Hunter” evolved out of that weekend in San Francisco. The next year, 1985, I found financial backing to make a pilot for a television series we were going to call “Breakfast with Hunter” – a parody of morning TV talk shows with a title suggested by Jack Nicholson. We paid Hunter to travel to Key West for the filming. Once again, check out my vodcast for the details. It was quite a trip. But I never sold the pilot or the series and Hunter began asking me to record various political events in Aspen that he was involved in. When cheap digital technology became available in the mid-nineties, I began shooting in earnest, and released Breakfast with Hunter in 2003, and then three other Hunter films, including the latest – Animals, Whores & Dialogue – all of which are exclusively available at www.HunterThompsonFilms.com

MG: Why did you decided to make “Animals, Whores & Dialogue: Breakfast with Hunter, Vol. 2”?
WE: There was so much material left over after I edited Breakfast with Hunter and more that I shot after its release in 2003, that I thought I could make another documentary feature about Hunter concentrating more on his work as a writer and less on his flamboyant lifestyle. Imagine if someone had been able to record Mark Twain in the same way. The film is meant to be a documentary for the ages, and I’ve been gratified to receive quite a few library orders, along with fans who already have the earlier films, and new ones as well.

MG: Was it difficult for you making “When I Die”, I think it is amazing that you were able to share that experience with his fans?
WE: Emotionally, it was quite difficult for me, since I had lost my best friend. But, in the end, like all funerals but even more so in this case, the process of documenting the construction of the monument (which went on for months), the struggle to get the community to accept it, and the blast off itself, gave me quite a bit of closure.

MG: What are your feeling on the film “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas”, are you a fan?
WE: I’m a fan of Johnny Depp’s performance in “Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas”, but not of the film itself, and I think the same was true for Hunter. Ironically, after Hunter got Alex Cox fired as Director for his insistence on using animation that Hunter called “cartoons,” (see the famous scene in “Breakfast with Hunter” where Cox flees the kitchen at Owl Farm) the Producers of the film hired Terry Gilliam, who began his career as a cartoonist. Gilliam was in England, not the US, during the turbulent sixties and prides himself on having never taken drugs, so perhaps he was limited by his own lack of experience.

MG: Have you had a chance to see “The Rum Diary” yet?
WE: No, but I’m looking forward seeing “The Rum Diary”, hopefully sometime in 2011.

MG: Do you have any more plans to make future film about Hunter S. Thompson?
WE: Probably not a feature length documentary like the last four, but look for new, short scenes to be released in the future on our web site – www.HunterThompsonFilms.com – especially about “The Rum Diary”.

Interview with David Walton

David Walton is the star of the new show on NBC’s “Perfect Couples”. David has also appeared in last fall’s “Burlesque” and the upcoming “Friends with Benefits”. Movie Mikes had a chance to chat to David about his new show “Perfect Couples” and his upcoming role.

Mike Gencarelli: Tell us about your new show “Perfect Couples” and your role of Vance?
David Walton: The show premiers January 20th on NBC. It’s a comedy about three very different couples who are all friends. The show is based around the couples trials and tribulations due to being newly married or about to get married. I play Vance who is in love with a character named Amy. They are soul mates but probably would have been better off not ever meeting. Vance is a really passionate character and isn’t afraid to say what he’s thinking.

MG: How did you get involved with the show?
DW: I auditioned in early February of 2010 and I think they saw something in me they liked. It was a really quick and somewhat easy audition process. Within a couple weeks, I had the role and we shot the pilot in April. The show was picked up in May. We started shooting the series in August and shot 13 episodes. Everything has moved really fast.

MG: Tell us about how it has been working with your fellow cast?
DW: (Laughs) everyone gets along really well. I had known most of the cast previously and am friends with a lot of them. It was nice because we all have good chemistry with each other.

MG: How do you think the show will stand out amongst the other comedies?
DW:A lot of the comedies that are on television right now are work place comedies. Our show is a relationship comedy. Our show is very simple and it focuses on small moments in relationships that have happened to a lot of people at one time or another. I think our show is different because it’s smaller and a little more real.

MG: How was it working with Cher & Christina Aguilera on “Burlesque”?
DW: That was great! Christina was very sweet. She always would be humming to herself in between takes so I would try and stick around to hear her sing. There was one scene where I had to be shirtless, so I went into the makeup trailer to make sure I was all set for that role and Stanley Tucci was in there doing the same thing. I don’t know how old that guy really is but he is ripped and huge! I’m 31 and getting totally out done by this older guy. (Laughs) I ended up wearing a blanket for the entire scene of the movie. I was totally embarrassed.

MG: Tell us about working on the upcoming film “Friends with Benefits”?
DW: That’s a role that probably won’t make my mother or grandmother too proud. (Laughs) I have a scene where Mila Kunis walks in and I am on all fours wearing a horse type costume. Patricia Clarkson is dressed up as a fairy princess and is riding me! I play a FedEx pilot that she picked up at the airport. That was really hard to keep everything together while shooting that scene. Leather chaps aren’t as uncomfortable as they seem! (Laughs)