Jun 102014

Ah, E3. That magical time of year when we all run around in happy circles upon learning of small changes to our favorite gaming genres and franchises, then promptly turn around and accuse everything else of being the same as last year. A time when gauntlets are thrown, promises are made, and forums light up with an extra level of bitter fanboy rivalry.

For Xbox One gamers, particularly those of us with race fuel running in our veins, this year’s E3 is the stage for a battle for our attention, which will become a battle for our wallets this fall. Forza Horizon 2, the sequel to Forza Motorsport’s likable open-world cousin, finds itself at odds with Project CARS, the latest challenger in the driving simulator genre. Both promise to be A-list titles, which can only mean one thing: IT’S AN E3 SHOWDOWN!


IN THE RED CORNER: The console exclusive! The open-world wonder! Forza Horizon 2! The latest member of the Forza empire promises a genuine next-gen experience, dropping the technical prowess of its Motorsport sibling into a virtual Southern Europe, complete with changing weather (finally), a day/night cycle, and seamless transitions between solo driving and multiplayer racing. Also, it’s got a shiny new Lamborghini as its four-wheeled cover model.

FH2 looks to expand on the best parts of its Xbox 360 predecessor. The world is bigger and offers more freedom of exploration. The hidden barn finds promise to include cars entirely new to the franchise. The Horizon music festival is back, along with a wider range of DJ-curated music to drive to. Best of all, the insane car-vs-not-a-car races look to be even more delightfully over the top than before, with stunt planes leaving colored smoke trails overhead. Did I mention we finally get to play Forza in the rain?

IN THE BLUE CORNER: The multi-platform challenger! The super simulation! Project CARS! Already the pre-release darling of racing-wheel-owning PC gamers, CARS aims to shake up the racing sim world and become the newest big hitter on a variety of platforms. With a strong lineup of GT, open-wheel, and endurance prototype cars, it looks to bring a professional motorsport attitude to a variety of iconic tracks.

Project CARS appeals to the perfectionist inside every racing gamer. Without car upgrades or modifications, it shifts the focus to an elaborate tuning and setup system that will leave virtual mechanics forever chasing the perfect combination of settings. The focus on racing circuits over open-world exploration will have serious drivers pursuing the perfect timed lap or come-from-behind race win. If you enjoy trying to get things exactly right, Project CARS appears to be, for lack of a better term, the perfect game.

Hang on a minute. I’m not sure these two games need to compete at all. They’re different enough in their approaches that they might just offer complementary experiences. FH2 looks to embody production car culture and open-road improvisation, while CARS focuses on professional-level motorsport and precise circuit racing. I hate to say this as an analyst in search of conflict, but might there be a place for both in Xbox gamers’ hearts? Instead of splitting into opposing camps and holding bitter Internet debates, is it possible to take a step back and hope for both games to succeed? Maybe, just maybe, there could be space on our shelves and our hard drives for two driving games.

Oh, who am I kidding? The Internet hates peaceful coexistence. Fight! Fight! Fight!


Pit Box One is written by Paul Jensen. You can follow his thoughts on video games and motor racing on Twitter. Check back every other Monday for new articles.

Jun 102014

It’s the debate I hear every year. It has become so big that Spike, the CNN of game journalism, opened up their E3 coverage depicting the keynotes between the top video game companies as a war that has yet to be finished. The question: who “won” E3 2014?

Well, this year I’m not answering by saying Microsoft, Sony, or Nintendo. No, I’m not answering with the names Ubisoft or EA either. My answer?

Nobody “won” E3.


I first realized this watching the very beginning of Microsoft’s press conference. There was Phil Spencer, wearing a t-shirt under his blazer to look “casual,” telling us about how we, the gamers, shaped the future of the Xbox One.

No, Phil. No, we didn’t. Rather, the lackluster sales numbers shaped how you market the Xbox One. This can be proved further by your press conference yesterday. The focus for 90 minutes of my Monday afternoon was on games and nothing but, where before the Xbox One was labeled as an all-in-one media hub for your living room. You listened to our complaints, sure, but only after you were unsatisfied with the sales. Why else would a new Xbox One sans-Kinect come out now and not sooner?


Sony behaved very similarly at their keynote, particularly by riding off of last year’s E3 conference by shoving your mouth full of PlayStation 4-exclusive titles and features. Believe me, after watching that two-hour keynote that word, “exclusive,” sure sticks with you, because they never stop using it. And they presented much of their new (EXCLUSIVE!) games with a message: you wanted this. There was quite an interesting segment when Sony presented “letters from fans” stating the kinds of games they wanted before revealing them in trailers. I will forever maintain my belief that those letters were from the “fans” in Sony’s PR department.


Let’s move on to EA’s lovely panel. New Sims game. New installments in every EA Sports game ever. More teases for Star Wars Battlefront and Mirror’s Edge 2. New Battlefield… Sound familiar? It was pretty much the same keynote they gave last year, pitching the same games with a bit more spit and polish. But why did they market new iterations of the same game again? They sell, a lot. Both Madden and Battlefield have consistently been EA’s top moneymakers in the United States. Overseas, FIFA is a huge hit year after year. Just throw in some flashing lights, a dramatic reveal of some PlayStations behind a curtain, Oz-style, and a few dance moves on Bruce Lee’s grave and you’ve got another winning marketing strategy. Ubisoft did not fare much better; their keynote was yet another flashy presentation shoving you games you’ve already seen at the Microsoft keynote (Don’t forget about Tom Clancy’s The Division! Oh, and did you see Assassin’s Creed Unity yet??).

I want you to look at this. This is Microsoft’s E3 keynote from ten years ago, at E3 2004. Sure it can be a little corny at times, but it amazes me how different things were at E3 one decade ago. This conference put innovation at the forefront, not new installments in game franchises getting shoved in your face. They announced the original version of Xbox Live, and features like video chatting that were amazing at the time. They even took pride in making classic games available for installation. It was still a sales pitch, sure, but it was a sales pitch that felt more genuine, a sales pitch that made the simplest of innovations into technological marvels. It didn’t need an elaborate stage or CNN-like coverage from Spike to get you excited for the next year in gaming technology. Back then, executives put passion into gaming, and shared that passion with the industry’s most dedicated fans.

There is little to no passion in E3 presentations anymore, and little to no innovation. There is only flash and show, and lots of corporate executives hocking this year’s installment of a generic franchise at you. All while showing footage of overworked video game developers at their desks toiling over code all to say “Us guys at the top… Yeah, us… We’re gamers, JUST LIKE YOU!”

We all lose E3. Game companies lose for turning a once-great celebration of innovation in the gaming industry into a media and marketing frenzy.

And we lose for accepting it, year after year.


The Minus World is written by Steven Brasley. You can keep up with his thoughts on gaming via Twitter. Check back every Tuesday for new articles.

Jun 052014

Welcome to this week’s edition of Channel Chaser! Continuing from where we left off two weeks ago, I’d like to again pick up the topic of DC Comics and its recent strides in the television business.

With shows like Arrow already in production and more solid-looking series like The Flash, Gotham, and Constantine to come, DC is so far doing a very good job of constructing its own universe on TV, much like Marvel has done with its movies. The fact that characters such as the Green Arrow and the Flash will move in and out of each other’s own small stories to form a bigger picture really intrigues and excites me. It’s not something that TV has been able to do very successfully in the past, but with the quality of the shows already out there, I have hope that that will change with the new installments.

Without further ado, I’d like to dive into a subject of speculation that I find fascinating, but that I’ve never done before in this column. Rather than telling you what I think about shows that are already out there, I’m going to indulge my creative writing urges and put forth some ideas for where I think DC could go with an expanded TV universe.

Just for clarification, none of these ideas, as far as I know, have been considered for production. These are some of the various comic book characters that I think could make compelling subjects for serialized television drama.


1. The Blue Beetle


As a fan of all things sci-fi and that involve aliens, the Blue Beetle is my personal first choice for a new-wave DC TV series. Since the Beetle is a pretty obscure hero, I’ll give you the cliff-notes version. Texas teen Jaime Reyes becomes an unwitting hero when an extraterrestrial scarab bonds with him and gives him a suit of super-powered alien armor. With this weapon, Reyes takes on all kinds of criminals, from mobsters to monsters from other worlds.

The most intriguing bit of the story, however, is that the scarab itself is a potential bad guy. It was created by a race of conquerors called the Reach to enter other planets by infiltration and eventually turn its host against their own kind. Watching Jaime struggling to stay free of alien influence and stop the darkness inside him from taking over seems to me like a great source of potential conflict.


2. The Question


This is another pretty obscure pick, but one that really appeals to me as a journalist by training. Vic Sage, an investigative reporter for a hard-hitting newspaper, is constantly frustrated by the limitations of his professional code of ethics and the fact that despite his best efforts, all the scum of his city seem to get away from justice scot-free. This leads to his donning a mask to hide his face and training in martial arts to become The Question, a vigilante alter-ego that allows Vic to hunt down the powerful and corrupt and get the answers that his civilian self never could.

We already know from years of Batman works that watching honest men, like Gotham’s Jim Gordon, struggling to get by in a vice-ridden city, is an extremely effective emotional tool for a story to use. Personally, I think the moral issues that could be raised in a series about Vic Sage’s moonlighting as a crime-fighter versus his journalistic integrity and personal relationships could be just as compelling. The Question also has never had much screen-time in existing DC media, making him the perfect character to explore further.


3. Animal Man


I don’t really know much about Animal Man, but above anything else, I think a show based around Buddy Baker and his ability to channel the powers of animals could be interesting just for the potential to connect with other DC shows. As devoted fans may know, the re-launch of Animal Man by DC Comics started a massive crossover series called “Rotworld” about the conflict between the forces of the Red (primal animal energy) and the Green (the world of plants and growing things) against the Rot, a force of death and decay that wants to destroy both. The series has included other well-known DC characters including villain Brother Blood and Animal Man’s Green counterpart, Swamp Thing. Crossovers galore!

As I understand it, another primary factor driving Animal Man is his family matters, as he struggles to accept that fact that his daughter is destined to become champion of the Red after him and is therefore targeted by all those who despise him. This sounds like something that could lay the groundwork for a pretty successful series, but I guess only time will tell on that one.


4. Aquaman


Okay, I know you’re all probably rolling your eyes and laughing at me right now, but just think about it for a second. In comic book history, no character has been the target of satire more than the Atlantean hero Aquaman, whose famously ineffectual power to command marine life has garnered mockery the world over. But DC has done a lot since its re-launch to show that Aquaman is actually a legitimate hero. In one comic, he walks into a restaurant and orders fish before lecturing the horrified customers that they, contrary to popular belief, are not his “friends” as their brains are too small for him to have an intelligent conversation with one even if he wanted to.

Like it or not, Aquaman is a critical part of DC combined stories like the Justice League (if that’s ever going to be a thing), and his villains like Black Manta are given just as much page or screen time as any other enemies. The series could be especially compelling if set during Aquaman’s childhood as an exile from Atlantis, growing up on the surface and gradually discovering his powers and ancestry. It’s so unconventional and out of the box, it might just be worth a shot.

Hope you liked my peek into what the DC TV universe could be like. If you want to take a look back and hear about what’s actually coming up, you can read Part One of this article here.


Channel Chaser is written by Kyle Robertson. You can check out more of his work on his website. Check back every Friday for new articles.

Jun 042014

It’s been around half a year since the anime simulcast website Crunchyroll expanded into the realm of digital manga distribution. In that time, the company’s stable of titles has slowly grown to include several dozen titles from a variety of genres. Now that the program has had some time to expand and refine itself, it seems as good a time as any to dive into that catalog and see what’s worth reading. Here, then, are five series that deserve an afternoon (or more) of binge reading.


For the mecha fan: Arpeggio of Blue Steel


Arpeggio of Blue Steel has everything a sci-fi action series needs to succeed: a post-apocalyptic setting, a colorful group of heroes, impressive battle scenes, and a bunch of sentient AI ladies bent on kicking humanity’s ass. As the source material for the anime series of the same name, Blue Steel follows the same “killer battleship girls” premise, but offers a richer world and more compelling characters. (Seriously, it’s so much better that I wrote an entire article about the differences between the two versions.) If you like your science fiction served with a side of intense naval combat, or if you’re just into the whole KanColle phenomenon, give it a read. Come for the ship girls, stay for the sci-fi.


For the school comedy fan: Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches


The basic premise of Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches is fairly standard as far as the genre goes. Tough guy meets smart girl, supernatural plot device forces them to work together, they end up falling in love while unraveling the school’s magical secrets with a supporting cast of goofballs. Seven Witches may use plenty of tried-and-true elements, but it uses them well. The jokes are funny, the witch powers are clever, and the occasional bits of drama ring true. While some members of the ever-expanding cast can be a bit irritating, the series does a good job of exploring what would happen if you gave a bunch of awkward teenagers supernatural abilities. Seven Witches also gets bonus points for having all of its hundred-plus chapters up and ready to be read. I’m looking at you, as-yet-untranslated chapters of Arpeggio of Blue Steel.


For the (slightly) older reader: Space Brothers


Plucky teenage heroes are fine, but those of us old enough to buy our own beer occasionally yearn for a story with characters closer to our own age. Enter Space Brothers, one of my favorite manga and anime series in recent memory. The ensemble cast of astronauts, engineers, and instructors spans a wide age range, as does the series’ appeal. Plenty of manga creators set their work in space, but few treat it with the same sort of reverence that you see in each chapter of Space Brothers. It brings you into the everyday work that goes into space exploration, simultaneously making it all seem both relatable and extraordinary. I don’t even care that the main character has gone over two hundred chapters without making it off of Earth. Each story Space Brothers has told has been both intellectually stimulating and emotionally powerful. I cannot recommend this series highly enough. Go read it.


For the teenage drama fan: A Silent Voice


One of Crunchyroll’s newer acquisitions, A Silent Voice is the kind of series that makes no attempt to be restrained or subtle in its presentation. Instead, it walks right up and punches you in the face with its characters’ emotions. The lead character is a high school student faced with the ongoing consequences of some pretty terrible past decisions. We learn how he bullied a deaf classmate in grade school, and how his reputation has left him ostracized by everyone around him. His guilt and desire to atone lead him to track down his former victim, launching a story that hits hard and often on an emotional level. A Silent Voice presents us with some very compelling, very flawed characters and challenges us to follow their journeys of redemption and forgiveness. It’s not always an easy read, but it is perhaps an important one.


For the artsy-fartsy manga snob (Hey, that’s me!): Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru


You know it’s an unusual series when the publishers don’t bother to use an English version of the title. Frequently translated as And Yet the Town Moves, this series has stubbornly defied my every attempt at placing it into a single genre. It takes the quirky employees of a sleepy maid café, adds in their friends and acquaintances from around town, and then proceeds to do WHATEVER THE HELL IT WANTS. One chapter will have the heroine visiting the afterlife during a near-death experience, and the next will have her making a late-night trip to a convenience store with her little brother. Slow-paced musings on everyday life mingle freely with stories that wouldn’t be out of place in The Twilight Zone, and somehow it all works. SoreMachi is clever, observant, and completely bonkers. If you’re looking for a change of pace from whatever you’re currently reading, I guarantee it fits the bill.


Kawaii Overthink is written by Paul Jensen. You can follow his ramblings about anime and manga on Twitter. Check back every Wednesday for new articles.

Jun 022014

Not to jump to immediate conclusions, but with the release of Mario Kart 8 on the Wii U it looks as if Nintendo proved they could save the console with a single highly anticipated game. Wii U sales increased dramatically this past weekend due to the release of this next installment in gaming’s most famous kart racing series. And while it may not feel too different to veteran Mario Kart fans, Mario Kart 8 still packs enough of a punch to be this year’s first headlining game for the Wii U.


The format is still very much the same for Mario Kart 8 as it has been for previous games in the franchise: eight Grand Prix races, four tracks in each, with difficulty ranging from the slow and tame 50cc to the every-second-counts thrills of 150cc and Mirror Mode. Features from previous Mario Kart games all make a return: drifting, stunting, and the gliding mechanic, which debuted just recently in Mario Kart 7. The new mechanics in Mario Kart 8 are subtle but help to further polish up Mario Kart’s already dazzling gameplay. Three new items are incorporated in this game: the Boomerang, which gives the player three shots with a boomerang that returns to your kart after being thrown a distance; the Piranha Plant, which chomps at anything within close range of your Kart from items to other racers; and the Super Horn, a loud horn that is capable of blocking the most infamous of Mario Kart items, the Spiny Shell. All of these items are great additions to your arsenal of shells and banana peels, and really do help to add more balance to the game, whether you are in first or last place.

The biggest addition to the Mario Kart franchise in Mario Kart 8, of course, is the use of antigravity on the tracks. This changes both the gameplay and the track design for Mario Kart significantly, but surprisingly does not detract from the core aspects of the game. While in antigravity mode, bumping into other racers or glowing obstacles will bump your Kart a bit and make you spin, resulting in a slight speed boost.  This forces the player to consider two different physics setups when strategizing to outrun opponents: the traditional physics on wheels and tar, and the more “floaty” physics of antigravity mode. Transitions between the two modes on the tracks are surprisingly seamless, and there are even times when you can stunt across the dividing line to gain a speed boost, in similar style to the Transform Boosts in Sonic and All-Stars Racing Transformed.


The aspect of Mario Kart 8 that antigravity affects the most, however, are the tracks themselves. Mario Kart 8’s new tracks take advantage of antigravity to make tracks that simply were not possible in previous installments. In Mario Kart 8 you climb a massive vertical waterfall, cross the steep edge of a dam, and even race on a giant Möbius strip. Some classic tracks also get the antigravity treatment, with portions of the tracks raised vertically providing a new twist to some old favorites. And seeing all of these well-designed tracks in the Wii U’s high-definition graphics makes Mario Kart 8 the most gorgeous-looking installment in the franchise yet.

While there are some impressive racetracks in the game, one thing Mario Kart 8 surprisingly lacks is Battle Mode courses. In this game, eight regular racetracks are used for Battle Mode, which may be disappointing to long-time fans of the game. Some tracks, like Yoshi Valley, fit pretty well in Battle Mode, but it’s certainly no Block Fort. It’s possible the change was made to incorporate more racers (there are now 12 racers in Battle Mode), but that also could have easily been done with some larger Battle Mode-designed stages that maintain balance in terms of level design.

Despite this hiccup, multiplayer in Mario Kart 8 is simply excellent. In particular, the game offers what is probably the best online multiplayer Nintendo has designed yet. Racing in parties of 12 online runs very smoothly, no matter what physical distance there is between players. The voting system for choosing the next track is also quite fair and works very well. There is limited chat functionality (you’re limited to a few pre-written family-friendly phrases, which is probably a good thing), but in the grand scheme of things it’s not a huge issue, because you’re online to race!


Other nice touches Nintendo put on Mario Kart 8 help to serve every kind of player: the game is easy at the 50cc level for new players, and is still challenging at 150cc for the Kart veterans. There are also tons of options for play style. You can choose to play with a Wiimote and Wii Wheel, a Wiimote and Nunchuck, or the Wii U Gamepad with or without motion steering. Whether going for accurate driving simulation or the classic controls you’re used to, Mario Kart 8 can cater to your style.

FINAL VERDICT: Mario Kart 8 may not be anything too impressive; it is simply more kart racing across the Mushroom Kingdom. But there’s nothing wrong with that. The game makes just enough changes to keep the series feeling fresh while still offering the classic gameplay and overall experience that has made Mario Kart a lasting franchise with Nintendo fans around the world. New and old fans alike will enjoy the new tracks, and the more nostalgic fans may particularly enjoy the well-selected roster of returning classic tracks. If you’re still on the fence about buying a Wii U, now may just be the time to pick one up, with this game to hold you over until the release of Super Smash Bros. later this year.


The Minus World is written by Steven Brasley. You can keep up with his thoughts on gaming via Twitter. Check back every Tuesday for new articles.

Jun 022014

I won’t lie; this past week, I went to see X-Men: Days of Future Past with pretty big expectations. After its predecessor X-Men: First Class did so much to revitalize the once-great franchise that was in danger of falling apart after several awful installments like The Last Stand and Origins: Wolverine, I think we can all agree that 20th Century Fox needed to deliver another hit pretty quickly if it was going to convince viewers that X-Men was indeed back in style.

Fortunately for me, Fox, and everyone else, I’m here to tell you that Days of Future Past didn’t disappoint.


From the trailers, it was pretty obvious that veteran X-Men director Bryan Singer was setting the bar extraordinarily high for himself with this movie. Putting together two entirely different casts from two different time periods in the same movie, with multiple characters effectively playing each other, would be a lot for any film runner to handle, not to mention the audience.

Singer, however, pulls this seemingly impossible feat off in only the best ways. All the characters we’ve come to love, even the more minor X-Men, are back and just as awesome as they’ve ever been. A couple really well done new mutants also added to the stellar star line-up.

For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, I’ll attempt to sum up the plot in a few sentences. The whole thing starts in the future, far after the events of any X-Men movie we’ve seen before, in which the robotic Sentinels, who have systematically exterminated all mutants and those who aid them, now dominate the world. Professor X and Wolverine lead a rag-tag band of mutant survivors and freedom fighters of all stripes, including their former archenemy Magneto, and come up with a plan to send Wolverine back in time to stop the assassination of industrialist Bolivar Trask (Peter Dinklage!) in the 1970s. Trask’s death, at the hands of Mystique, no less, is apparently the tipping point that leads to the end of mutant-kind. Once back in the past, Wolverine has to reunite the young Charles Xavier, who has rejected his powers and society, with his bitter enemy Eric Lensherr and all the X-Men in order to change the future for the better. Of course, it’s not that simple when Eric decides to take matters into his own hands and betrays the group once again in order to rule the world; surprise, surprise.


I’ll be quick about the highlights. The entire cast performs typically well, with old hands Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, and Hugh Jackman showing they’ve still got all the guts and grit it takes to be X-Men. I’d particularly like to single out Jennifer Lawrence for an amazing performance as the conflicted character Mystique; her emotional and sympathetic portrayal of the villain is a far cry from her cold, calculating future self in the original trilogy. It’s especially important since she is arguably the main character of the film, with the entire plot, from the assassination to the secrets of the Sentinels, pretty much revolving around her. This movie just goes to show why I love Jennifer Lawrence so much.

The pacing and story were pretty much perfect, with just enough action and emotional moments to keep the movie rolling, and the new characters were overall very well handled. As expected, super-fast mutant and fan-favorite character Quicksilver, played by the charmingly hyperactive and mischievous Evan Peters, steals the show with his brief but powerful guest appearance. There’s especially one scene, where Quicksilver listens to the Jim Croche classic “Time in a Bottle” while systematically saving the other X-Men and disarming an entire room of guards in slow motion, that is just a work of art and a treat to watch.

As always, there were a few things that I thought could have been handled better. For example, how in God’s name did Professor X manage to come back from the dead after being apparently disintegrated by Phoenix in X-Men 3? Frustratingly, the movie doesn’t provide much elaboration on this point. Also, does somebody want to explain to me how Kitty Pryde’s intangibility powers translate into time travel?

Most disappointingly, I was sad to see that Peter Dinklage’s role in the film was pretty minor and unimportant. I love Peter Dinklage, mostly from his work on Game of Thrones, and was very excited to see him put his own personal touch on Bolivar Trask to make the character an interesting villain. Unfortunately, such a moment never really materializes and Trask remains mostly just a plot fixture, overshadowed by his giant robotic minions. They don’t even explain why he hates mutants, for crying out loud! I guess my main point is that pretty much anybody could have played the role of Trask, and it seemed like a very similar case to Bryan Cranston in Godzilla where the only reason the actor was in the film was so the trailers could brag, “Oh, look at how great we are! We got Peter Dinklage for this movie!”


In the end, though, I have to say that if these are my only criticisms, the movie must have been pretty amazing. And it was. I’m actually more interested, however, in talking about the implications of this movie for the franchise in general. So I guess its time for me to go into conspiracy-theory mode.

By the logic of this movie, Wolverine and company completely change the past and the history of human-mutant relations, leading to a future that seems totally idyllic and, more importantly, where dead characters like Scott Summers and Jean Gray are alive again. This quite clearly suggests that because of the differences in history, the events of the entire original trilogy, and more than likely those of Origins and The Wolverine as well, never actually happened; or at least, not in the way that we remember them. Even the ending of the movie, where Wolverine is salvaged from the Potomac by Mystique disguised as his future creator William Stryker, implies that history will now be radically different from established canon.

As my title suggests, this brings me to the real reason that I believe Days of Future Past was made, and that is to provide a plot back door of sorts for 20th Century Fox to launch a full-scale reboot of the X-Men series, using the new, younger cast of First Class as the stars. Now that the original-cast movies have essentially been thrown out the window, the gap between the seemingly perfect future Wolverine experiences and the 1970s drama is totally open to re-interpretation.


The ending of Days of Future Past was intended as a nice final send-off to the original cast that righted all the wrongs of past movies; now that Professor X, Summers and Gray are all alive and back where they belong, Fox probably believes that fans will be ready to move on and will more readily accept a total reboot. In all honestly, Jackman, Stewart, McKellen, and the rest of the old heads probably don’t have that many movies left in them anyway. I’m not saying the reboot idea is bad, but just fascinating to think about. Well played, Fox. Very well played.

Furthermore, the after-credits scene featuring X-Men arch nemesis Apocalypse building the Great Pyramids hints at what could be in the future for the franchise. Perhaps an Age of Apocalypse movie starring McAvoy, Fassbender and company? I suppose we’ll just have to wait and see on that one.

FINAL VERDICT: Basically, go and see X-Men: Days of Future Past. You won’t be disappointed. All implications for the future of the franchise aside, it is a very, very good movie, and probably the best X-Men film to come out yet. Even if you’ve never seen an X-Men film in your life, viewers of all ages will find something to enjoy about it. And that’s all you can really ask for out of a movie.


Review by Kyle Robertson.