My Top 10 Games of the PS3/360 Generation (Sorry Nintendo)

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These are my top 10 games of the PS3/Xbox360 generation, just like the title says. I’ll give a little description next to each, explaining why I felt that way and why it ranks where it does for me. I tried to stick with games that changed the way I thought about games, and effected me in a way no other game had not, whether that be on an emotional level, or the game was just a load of fun.

Here goes!

1.) The Last of Us (2013):

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I don’t think I’m alone in naming this as the number one game of the generation, in fact I know I’m not. The Last of Us took me beyond the initial zombie outbreak that so many other mediums put me in, and made me consider life after the end of civilization. The game took me on a journey with a man who was hardened by the things that make his world a living hell, and a teenage girl who had never experienced outside of them.

This game could have very easily turned into a 20 hour escort mission where your teenage partner is both helpless and useless, but instead it helped to craft one of, if not the most, touching and heart wrenching stories to every be told in a video game. Ellie turned out to be one of the strongest female characters in gaming history, and Joel turned out to be more than just a gruff anti-hero with a chip on his shoulder. I won’t spoil any more, but anyone who has played this game knows that I could go on about it for hours on end. Plus, you know, Pittsburgh!

If you haven’t yet picked this up, DO IT. The game will be remastered and re-released this summer for PS4 as well, so your list of excuses gets even shorter.

2.) Telltale’s The Walking Dead: Season 1 (2012):

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I’m a MASSIVE fan of all things zombies, and an even bigger fan of The Walking Dead. This game fell just short of #1 only due to some technical glitches here and there, an a few loose ends that have still yet to be tied up in season two, but never the less, it offers a story that rivals The Last of Us.

The story in this game is arguably better than the ones told in both The Walking Dead comic and television show, and gives us the opportunity to experience the end of the world from a different point of view.

This is another game that easily could have left us with a stereotypical anti-hero and helpless child to care for, but instead it gave us one of the more lovable, albeit flawed, protagonists in Lee and definitely the strongest female character in gaming in a long, long time in Clementine.

What’s more is that this game rarely does what you’d expect it to. You must make choices that can alter your outcomes, and tear jerking moments come by the boatload, but still, you’re given plenty of reasons to be hopeful for the characters you meet along the way.

Fan of the franchise or not, The Walking Dead: Season 1 is not to be missed.

3.) Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (2009):

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The Uncharted series is often saddled with the nick name “Duderaider” which I feel is unfair. Sure, the series draws largely from the likes of Tomb Raider and Indiana Jones, but also holds it’s own in terms of story. A story which many consider to be better than either of its inspirations.

This was the game that made me buy a PS3. In 2009 I had only owned an Xbox 360, but after watching a friend play through a few high altitude, high stakes levels of Uncharted 2, I was sold. The game’s story and graphics are top notch, and still largely unrivaled in the adventure game realm. Pair that with tight platforming mechanics and challenging gunfights and you have yourself one of the best games of the generation.

I tend to love the second installments in trilogies due to the challenges they present the hero, and their largely bleak outlook (looking at you The Empire Strikes Back). This game proved no different, and is a clear standout in a series I adore.

If you have a PS3 and haven’t played any of the Uncharted games, especially this one, you’re cheating yourself. Plus they all can be had for around $10 now, so you literally have no excuse. DO IT.

4.) L.A. Noire (2011):

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L.A. Noire was my first real look into the 1940’s and the culture of the time period. Many had recently returned from war, and even more were caught somewhere between the traditional lifestyles of having a family and white picket fence, and the temptations and glamour of a booming celebrity culture. L.A. Noire effectively dabbles in all three of these themes as you maneuver your ways through the ranks of the LAPD, as the clean cut Cole Phelps.

The game does a great job of mixing in both fictional and real historical crimes. It also features an interesting, albeit linear, search and interrogate system that much of the game employs. Those features combines with some groundbreaking facial tracking technology, strong performances from real actors, and Grand Theft Auto style gameplay makes a thrilling romp as a gumshoe detective in yesteryear.

The story, while it has its flaws, is fairly unpredictable, and in the end you’re left with an ending that is both unsettling and appropriate. If you enjoy open-world shooters and want to take a tour of the past, I can’t suggest this game enough. Think Mad Men meets GTA.

5.) South Park: The Stick of Truth (2014):

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I honestly don’t have a ton to say about this game, but that’s fitting, considering the game speaks for itself in so many ways.

If you love South Park, and even sort of, kind of like RPGs, this game is for you. For the first time ever you really feel like you’re in an episode of  TV series and not just toying around in the universe.

The game is simple, to the point, and only about 12 hours, but it’s 100% worth it. If you’re a fan, you owe it to yourself to take this for a spin.

6.) MLB The Show 13 (2013):

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As a huge fan of baseball, I spent the early days of this past console generation resenting PlayStation gamers for the top notch experience they got with the Show franchise, while I was stuck on Xbox playing crappy rendition after crappy rendition of the 2K series. After buying a PS3, I never looked back.

Everything I loved about the Show franchise culminated in their 2013 iteration. All of the features I wanted were there and all of the glitches of the past had been repaired. Andrew McCutchen, the face of my beloved Pirates, was even on the cover to boot. Not to mention the fact that he pretty much did the opposite of the “Madden Curse” and propelled both his team and himself into long lost lands, ending a twenty year losing streak and playoff drought for the city, and taking home the National League MVP.

Sorry, I’m getting off subject…

7.) Mafia II (2010):

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Mafia II is almost the exact opposite of L.A. Noire as far as the story goes. Returning from war, you play as Vito Scaletta, who instead of turning to law enforcement, turns to crime.

Under a guise of what may seem like GTA in the 40s, you’re told a mob story of friendship and redemption, and it connected with me deeply. I picked this game up on whim for $20 one weekend, and was floored by it. The time period intrigued me, the vehicles were plentiful, and the characters were fleshed out very well. On top of this, the game has good looking graphics and a really neat seasonal system that changes throughout the story.

If you love gangster flicks, GTA, or the tales of yesteryear, you shouldn’t miss this gem. Plus, it’s dirt cheap these days.

8.) Catherine (2011):

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Catherine is a weird ass game. No, seriously. It’s strange. Even to those who are familiar with anime and the work that Atlus puts out might find this game a bit off-beat, but that’s a beautiful thing.

Throughout the game, you experience something between dating sim and puzzle game, acting as protagonist Vincent during the day, and a horned, half sheep Vincent at night. The night sections play through Vincents dreams as the weight of adulthood, monogamy, and faithfulness press down on him. All the while, an intriguing mystery is unfolding as many men in the area are suddenly dying their sleep.

If you want to pick something up that is truly different, grab Catherine. It completely changed my opinion on what a game should be.

9.) Heavy Rain (2010):

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David Cage’s Quantic Dream has a history of making interestingly different games, many of which follow a mystery. Heavy Rain is no different, but it plays unlike anything I had ever tried before. The story is much more interactive movie than video game, but that’s okay. Not unlike Catherine, this game changed the way I viewed the medium.

I won’t really say too much more, as even the tiniest detail beyond the overall description can ruin the experience, but a series of murders connects four different characters with four different perspectives on the situation. This story is not for the faint of heart, as there are many uncomfortable moments. The story can be utterly depressing at times, but it’s definitely worth the time if you’re up for it.

In addition, the DLC for this game scared the living hell out of me. Something a game hadn’t done for quite awhile.

If you played Indigo Prophecy or Beyond: Two Souls, I suggest you pick this game up. It is the superior of the three in many ways, and even if you don’t end up digging it, it can be had for pennies on the dollar at this point.

10.) Halo 3 (2007):

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Halo 3 was one of the first games I picked up for my Xbox 360, and one of the only games I played religiously in my first few years of college. Halo 3 ended up being the sole reason I started and continued my Xbox Live subscription, and heralded some great moments with friends in our dorm rooms freshman year.

Halo 3 was also my first step into the franchise, and while I never really connected with the story as deeply as I did with say, Mass Effect, it was enough to encourage me to keep up with the series as time went on.

The online multiplayer was the real key for me though, as my roommate and I spent hours on end playing online, eventually leading us to having two consoles and two TVs in our freshman dorm room.

Just like the other games on this list, Halo 3 changed the way I viewed gaming. Before it, I saw online gaming as a novelty, a neat option. Since, it’s an absolute necessity. To this day, I’d rather pick up a controller and play as a Spartan than an uber-realistic mercenary or soldier.

Honorable Mentions: Spec Ops: The Line, Super Mario Galaxy, Red Dead Redemption, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, and Mass Effect 2

And there you have it, my top ten for last gen. Let me know what you think in the comments below, or hit me up on Twitter for more insights and commentary.

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MLB: The Show 14 – Wild But Effective

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As you may or may not know, the PS4 version of MLB: The Show 14 was delayed for about a month after the release of its PS3 counterpart, presumably for Sony’s San Diego Studios to get all of their ducks in a row for the much anticipated jump to next gen.

I, being the huge baseball fan I am, couldn’t wait… literally… so I went out and picked up the show for PS3 when it launched at the beginning of April. Quite a few new features were added like a draft showcase for the Road to the Show mode, as well as Player Lock, which, you guessed it, locks onto a specific player on the team, allowing you to only focus on their appearances, and Quick Counts, a feature that gives every batter a randomly generated count to speed up gameplay.

Now, I don’t really play Road to the Show, so the new Draft Showcase, however cool, didn’t really excite me. Player lock is pretty useless to me as well, as taking at-bats and plays as one singular player just seems boring to me… another reason why I don’t do RTTS. I also don’t care for quick counts. The possibility of starting an at-bat 0-2 just seems lazy and infuriating. Apparently it speeds up the game a lot, but with the possibility to shorten seasons and save in-game, I don’t see the point. If you’re looking for quick games, you’re picking the wrong sport.

So what was I most excited for outside of obligatory roster update? The jump to next gen. We literally got no information on the PS4 version of the game leading up to its release outside of a developer diary and a screenshot or two (which all looked amazing), so I was expecting something huge going into it. Unfortunately, I’m pretty disappointed.

*sigh*

*sigh*

I am happy though that I didn’t pay full price to go from one version to the other. Gamestop was offering a $20 trade up promotion from PS3 to PS4 for fans who wanted to play it early, exploiting an oversight on Sony’s part. It would have been awesome had they offered the $10 upgrade the way they did with Call of Duty Ghosts, Battlefield 4 and Assassins Creed IV.

One of my largest complaints about the PS3 version of the game was that load times were eternal, even with the optional install. That hasn’t changed with the PS4 version, mandatory install be damned. This is largely the same game as it’s counterpart, just with a better lighting engine and a few new animations. I even had issues with transferring my save from one to the other, a feature that is supposed to be seamless, resulting in me just restarting my franchise.

In addition, the controls just seem touchier this year, resulting in a ton of throwing errors each game, and I even over ran a few ground balls here and there. That coupled with the fact that not only do higher difficulties feel cheap at times, but they also make bugs more visible, left me wanting to smash my controller when playing a few games consecutively.

 

But man, do those beard physics look great!

But man, do those beard physics look great!

So far, the biggest bonus for me has been the ability to play the game on the Dual Shock 4, but you can even do that on PS3 so long as the controller is connected via USB.

All in all, I wouldn’t suggest the upgrade from PS3 to PS4 if you already own the last-gen version of the game. Outside of the Gamestop promotion, which requires you to have purchased your original copy from one of their stores, the money just isn’t worth it. That really upsets me to admit, but it’s the truth.

If you don’t already have the game, the PS4 version is the definitive version, but not by much. Be prepared for prettier lighting, but have your phone or tablet handy to kill time during the excessive load times.

I don’t think I’ll do a proper review of the game, but if I had to rate it right now, I’d give it a 7.5/10. The game is still great at it’s core, but the jump to next-gen isn’t nearly as graceful as it could have been. Ultimately the game is weighed down by unfair difficulty spikes, touchy controls, and bugs that crop up at the worst times.

 

Why Miles Morales Needs to be in a Marvel Movie

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I really thought an opportunity was missed when they didn’t introduce Morales as the little boy in the film, even as just a nod to fans.

Great points being made here, and I wonder if Marvel Studios could use the rights to Morales’ character…

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Over the weekend, The Amazing Spider-Man 2′s $92 million opening — despite a middling reception from critics and comics fans, alike — has all but guaranteed that the powers-that-be at Sony Pictures have got the green light to launch their own foray into superhero mega-franchise-dom and build their Spidey-verse over the course of several movies. What isn’t certain, though, is how many of those coming movies will continue to star Andrew Garfield. Of Sony’s slate of yet-to-come Spidey themed flicks — Sinister Six, Amazing 3, and Venom — Garfield is only contracted to appear in the threequel, and that’s it. So what is Sony Pictures going to do without their lead?

In a recent interview with Comic Book Resources, Garfield himself had some ideas:

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Mad Men Episode 7.4: The Monolith Summary/Review

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“Do the work, Don.”

*WARNING: FULL EPISODE SPOILERS TO FOLLOW*

If you haven’t been watching the final season of Mad Men, you’re missing out. So far in season 7, the show has moved quickly and covered a lot of ground. We’ve seen Don and Megan continue to have issues from afar. Dawn has begun to ascend the ladder at Sterling Cooper & Associates. We’ve experienced a surprising amount of development from Bobby (FINALLY!) and Sally. Hell, we’ve even seen Freddie Rumsen go straight. But, most importantly of all, we saw Don Draper make his not-so-triumphant return to SC&A last week.

That’s pretty much where we lead off with Sunday’s episode. Don is back, and it ain’t pretty. He’s now shoved into Lane’s old office — right next to Peggy I might add– and thanks to Jim Cutler’s aggressive suggestion to finally get Harry Crane a computer,  he’s seated right in the middle of a construction zone. (Also, is anyone else uncomfortable with Don being in the office where a former partner who got himself into trouble ended it all? I don’t like the very overtly ominous vibe coming from that.)

As if being situated next to Peggy wasn’t awkward enough, Peggy is given a promotion of sorts by Lou, who also gives her the Burger Chef account that Pete has acquired in California, also finding out his former father-in-law has had a heart attack. With that account comes new responsibilities, like having a duo of copywriters report to her. Copywriters like Don Draper. This, of course, is not to Don’s liking. He outwardly refuses to participate, opting to play solitaire in his office instead.

Don is still having trouble to adjust to his neutered stature within the company.

Don is still having trouble to adjust to his neutered stature within the company.

Don then has an impromptu encounter with former IBM employee turned computer entrepreneur, Lloyd, who owns the company installing Harry’s new computer. While the computer is the subject of much debate in the office, especially with the creative team… namely Ginsberg, Don sees this as an opportunity to get the firm into new business withing a growing market. Don forms this idea after speaking to Lloyd for a few minutes, after Lloyd approaches him with some curiosities about advertising. However, when Don takes the idea to Bert Cooper, Bert makes it very clear that Don wasn’t wanted back and definitely isn’t being counted on for any new business. This sends Don into a fit, and after lifting a bottle from Roger’s office, things only get worse. Don drunkenly bails out of work to catch a Mets game, and after and awkward encounter with Lloyd, we’re flashed forward to Don passing out at home after Freddie drags him back home.

Lloyd's computer company could have big potential, but Bert and drunk Don may have just thrown it away.

Lloyd’s computer company could have big potential, but Bert and drunk Don may have just thrown it away.

The next morning, after some debate, Freddie straightens Don out, telling him to get it together. He then utters one of my favorite lines of the episode, “Do the work, Don.”

While all of this is happening with Don, we also get some entertaining moments with Roger. Roger’s daughter, Margaret, has gone missing, and has presumably run off to a commune of hippies. After sending his son-in-law after her fails miserably, Roger must head out to finder her himself with his ex-wife, Mona, along for the ride.

When they finally get to the commune, Mona can’t stand what’s become of her daughter, but Roger seems to be more accepting. Roger lets Mona leave with his car, and decides to spend the night. Here we see Roger actively participate in the commune, peeling potatoes and offering to get fire wood. He appears to actually be enjoying himself, which isn’t a surprise really with his recent experimentation with “free love” and hallucinogenics.

Mona and Margaret couldn't be more opposite at this point.

Mona and Margaret couldn’t be more opposite at this point.

In the middle of the night, after some touching dialogue back and forth between Margaret (now going by Marigold) and Roger, Margaret sneaks off with a guy and Roger suddenly changes his mind. The next morning Roger tries to carry Margaret away, but he falls in the mud and ends up all but disowned by his daughter.

During their argument, Roger tells Margaret that she has a toddler at home who needs a mother, and she needs to step up and be a parent. Margaret then retorts, pointing out that Roger was never much a father himself. Roger then leaves on his own will, in a mud covered suit, disgruntled, with no transport in sight. Is it possible that we’ll see Roger begin to repent for his past wrong doings from here on out? I hope so.

Will Roger learn the error of his ways?

Will Roger learn the error of his ways?

The episode ends with Peggy walking into Don’s office the following day, and Don tells her she’ll have her work by lunch, and continues hammering away on his typewriter.

All in all, it’s both jarring and fascinating to see Don at the bottom of the totem pole, answering to a boss who he helped get to where she is. It’s pretty awesome to see where the oft-unappreciated women of Mad Men have ended up, while the men who they often have to play nanny to flounder. Roger not only at the commune, but also interacting with his family was nothing short of great as well. Usually when Roger is involved you can expect a high quality episode. Always great to see Freddie Rumsen having it all together too. The cinematics so far this season have been top notch as well.

On a lesser note, there were some great quotes in this episode too, which Ginsberg’s “The other one is full of old farts” not being the least of them.

I did have a few issues though that hampered the episode. Pete’s uber-convenient run in with George from Burger Chef, formerly Vicks, seemed a little contrived. As mentioned above, I don’t really like the idea of Don in Lane’s office either, but that’s more of a personal preference. Also, is it just me or has Bert Cooper become a real dick lately? And finally, the passage of time has been blurred a little, which made the episode hard to follow at a few points.

This weeks episode was overall a pretty good one, and it’d hard to believe that we only have three episodes left this year due to the plan to split one season over two different years.That’s an idea that I think is pretty stupid even if it’s to emphasize the passage of time and worked for Breaking Bad.

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Here’s the rundown:

+ Harry Crane finally gets something.

+ Don working so closely with Peggy is great TV.

+Seeing Don at the bottom, or close to it, is still new to viewers and is fun to watch.

+ Freddie Rumsen as the straight man.

+ Roger and his dynamic with his family and the commune. More Roger is always a good thing.

+ Good episodes for cinematics and quotes

+Nice, understated cameo from The Walking Dead’s Josh McDermitt as George

– Pete’s super-coincidence.

– Don in Lane’s office.

– Bert Cooper is a dick.

– Passage of time is getting confusing.

Overall Score: 8.0 – The episode was good, but not ground breaking. Seeing the new dynamic at SC&A is great, but the episode needed a little more than Don’s work issues and Roger’s family dilemma to push it over the top.

First Trailer for Fox’s Gotham Premieres

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To be honest, I haven’t been following this show very much, and I didn’t realize it was this far along in production. It looks really good though, and has laid some of fears of the show to rest.

Check it out:

 

Ben McKenzie looks to be a great fit for a young Jim Gordon. Starting to hop aboard the hype train for this.

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I tweet sometimes.

These Walking Dead Japanese Promos are Solid Gold

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I absolutely love the Walking Dead. I’m downright obsessive over it. Unfortunately the show is currently on break between seasons, and author Robert Kirkman and artist Charlie Adlard can only churn out one issue of the comic a month.

These promos from Japan however, are just the thing I needed. Flawless.

Enjoy:

 

 

Incredible, right?

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The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is Ultimately Spectacular — (See what I did there?)

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*WARNING– VERY MINOR PLOT SPOILERS TO FOLLOW*

To be 100% honest, I was skeptical going into this film. Early reviews for the film were coming back as simply average, and coming off the heels of the mega hit Captain America: The Winter Soldier, that was to be expected.

In addition to that, back in 2012, the original entry had big shoes to fill from the previous success of Spider-Man flicks. Unfortunately we were largely left with an origin story that had already been told with only a few interesting plot points that were different than what we had seen before.

Those plot points were who are Peter’s parents, and why did they leave in such a rush? How is Peter connected to Oscorp? And finally, will Peter be able to keep his promise to Captain Stacy?

All of those questions are answered in the latest installment, the former of the two being answered rather quickly. We learn who Peter’s Parents are, and why they were in such a hurry right off the bat. We also find out that Peter is connected to Oscorp in many ways, one being childhood best friend, Harry Osborne the heir to mega corporation.

Peter and Harry's friendship feels natural and is a nice addition.

Peter and Harry’s friendship feels natural and is a nice addition.

To begin, we find our hero in a rather interesting place, loving his role as Spider-Man, but struggling as Peter Parker. It’s almost immediately apparent that Peter has grown into his role as Spider-Man and is becoming a sensation with the citizens of New York, save for J. Jonah Jameson (who we only get to interact with via email, unfortunately). All the while, Peter is clearly haunted by his promise to Captain Stacy, and it is making his relationship with Gwen rather turbulent.

As to be expected, the excellent on-screen chemistry between Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield returns to an almost immersive degree. The two are absolutely stellar together and the way they portray their affection makes the audience feel like they’re just as much a part of the relationship as Gwen or Pete. This is still just as welcome as it was in the first installment, as not only was Gwen under-utilized in the Raimi trilogy, but Tobey Maguire’s Peter and Kirsten Dunst as love interest Mary Jane were as stiff as card board, and just about as interesting.

Easily the best thing The Amazing Spider-Man films have going for them thus far is the  amount of chemistry between Stone and Garfield.

The best thing The Amazing Spider-Man films have going for them is easily the amount of chemistry between Stone and Garfield.

We also see a disillusion Max Dillon transform from an average joe, and rather obsessive Spider-Man fan, to Electro, a now menacing outcast due to accident and misunderstanding.

To be perfectly honest, Jamie Foxx’s talents weren’t 100% percent utilized in the role, and the film could have went on without him. None the less, we’re presented with a conflicted, albeit a bit rushed, antagonist who hadn’t been recreated on film yet. Foxx handles the role relatively well, and while many critics have complained a bout the few cringe-worthy one-liners he spouts off, it truly does fit the character.

While Foxx's talents weren't exactly necessary, they aren't particularly wasted either.

While Foxx’s talents weren’t exactly necessary, they aren’t particularly wasted either.

In addition, we also get introduced to Harry Osborn, who quickly reunites with old friend Peter Parker after returning to New York to replace his ailing father as head of Oscorp. Harry’s motivation for hunting down Spider-Man becomes apparent, and conveniently intertwines with Electro’s interests. This leads to some incredibly awesome scenes of the two pairing together to obtain what they want.

Dane DeHaan is absolutely incredible in his role, presenting us with a much darker and brooding Harry than the one we had seen with James Franco previously. DeHaan shows shades of Leonardo DiCaprio in his role and owns the character in a way that had yet to be seen in any Spider-Man medium to date. All the while, Harry’s transition into the Goblin did seem a bit forced, and is only present as so for a short amount of time. However, his role as antagonist is crucial to both the film and the series as a whole.

Dark, brooding, and a welcome addition to the cast, DeHaan kills in in his Spider-Man debut.

Dark, brooding, and a welcome addition to the cast, DeHaan kills it in his Spider-Man debut.

Unfortunately, we really don’t see to much of the Rhino in the film. The character serves as a soft introduction for future installments and could have been replaced with anyone really. Paul Giamatti pretty cringe-worthy in the role to be honest, serving as nothing more than a caricature of a great villain. So far it seems that Aleksei Sytsevich, the man in the Rhino suit, is little else than a bad Russian stereotype and doesn’t feature any of the better qualities the character exudes in the comics or even the man animated series’. Here’s to hoping that gets rectified in future installments.

The less said about this guy, the better.

The less said about this guy, the better.

As far as large positives go, the film as a whole does a great job of instilling hope, taking it away, and then restoring it. For me there were a ton of high notes in the story, including an awesome chase/fight scene between Spidey and Electro that’s reminiscent of a video game boss battle.There’s also one moment in particular that fans of the lore may be expecting, and having that in the back of your mind makes this film heartbreaking at times, maybe even more so than not anticipating it at all.

On the down side, the symbolism is heavy throughout the film, and quite frankly it wore on me the entire two and a half hours of the film until it’s all brought full circle at the end. On top of that, there was a particular scene where some licensed music felt a bit forced and out of place, but to its credit, the lyrics of the song resonate with the plot of the film in a way that is almost eerie. The only other real negative that stood out to me is the mishandling of Aunt May. You almost get the feeling that there were more scenes with her that were left on the cutting room floor, leaving you scratching your head as to why she gets screen time on her own during the climax of the film while so many more important things are going on.

Overall, the emotional roller coaster that is this film is a fun ride, but may not be one that sticks with viewers who aren’t fans of the series. For those that are though, you’re in for a hell of a romp. While I don’t consider myself an outwardly emotional person, I was brought close to tears on more than one occasion. By the conclusion of the film the franchise is thrusted in a new direction with plenty of interesting places it could go from here.

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Long story short, here’s the rundown:

+ Stone and Garfield’s onscreen chemistry is electrifying.

+ Spidey and Electro’s video game-esque battle.

+Dane freakin’ DeHaan, man.

+Eventually everything comes full circle, leaving the franchise in a new, interesting place.

– The Rhino

– Aunt May’s solo scenes

– Symbolism is heavy-handed at times.

– No J. Jonah (C’mon!)

OVERALL SCORE: 9.0 – While there are a fair share of negatives, the positives of the film make them easy to forget. This is honestly the Spider-Man film fans have been pining for for decades.