Saturday, April 17, 2021

Oddworld: Soulstorm Review – A NEGATIVE Batch Of Brew

Playing Oddworld: Soulstorm is as arduous as Abe’s quest to liberate his Mudoken brethren from slavery. Each step is a supreme test of patience as you methodically guide your followers through challenging hazards, sweating over the fact that one slip-up could unravel all your effort. If you enjoy putting up with that old-school challenge, you might love this journey. However, if you’re a newcomer or a fan that believes this style of platformer hasn’t aged very well, turn back now. Soulstorm doesn’t do enough to modernize the series’ tedious gameplay, and a litany of severe technical hiccups spoil Abe’s attempted comeback. A reimagining of Oddworld: Abe's Exoddus, Soulstorm’s gameplay remains largely the same: you recruit and guide followers through 2D platforming stages littered with dangers. As charming as the classic Oddworld games are, they can be frustratingly difficult and that hasn’t changed much in Soulstorm. Most Slig enemies and other hazards mow Abe down instantly, and I was infuriated by how little wiggle room I had to correct course when things went sideways. Abe drops so fast that it makes the health meter seem like a cruel tease. While playing Soulstorm, I often felt like I was walking on eggshells because of that high price of failure, retracing every step, re-recruiting every Mudokon, and carefully guiding them through a gauntlet of foes is soul-crushing when it all falls apart in seconds. Dying to unexpected perils, like being suddenly gunned down by off-screen enemies, feels cheap and happens way too often. A crafting system serves as Soulstorm’s biggest addition, but it doesn’t feel necessary. You must repeatedly gather the same ingredients every time you die (by searching lockers, trash cans, and fallen foes), which wore me down in a hurry after repeatedly replaying certain sections. The crafted tools themselves, like proximity mines, smoke screens, even a flamethrower, do add a welcomed element of flexibility and improvisation to gameplay. Dropping smoke screens to create hiding spots anywhere is nice, but I wished I didn’t have to make these items myself and grew tired of digging around the same spots over and over.   Even when Soulstorm’s difficulty eases up, the gameplay is bland. The action feels largely the same from previous games in the series, and that formula doesn’t evolve significantly beyond the first few hours. Even the more interesting sequences, like facing down a giant mech aboard a speeding train, are far too punishing to be fun. I’m glad that Abe controls better now (he even has a double jump), but the controls still have a mushy unresponsiveness that makes entertaining actions, like possessing Sligs, feel like a hassle. The controls also lead to additional deaths because Abe doesn’t act as swiftly as you need him to, especially during the ill-fitting, overly demanding combat arenas that pit you against waves of baddies while you try to protect fleeing Mudokens. Soulstorm would be a tough recommendation for anyone outside of diehard fans if it performed flawlessly, but I encountered several progress-sabotaging bugs (even after installing the big day-one patch) that should scare off even those players. When I died, Mudokens sometimes failed to respawn alongside me even though my tally indicated they were still alive and under my command. That meant I lost out on turning in followers that I’d spent ages trying to safely liberate, which negatively affected my overall quarma – a vital metric in determining which of the four endings you get.  Abe occasionally gets stuck in environmental geometry, forcing a restart. At one point, I fell into an infinite loop. One escape portal permanently vanished once I reached it, forcing me to abandon followers. A gun in a late-game turret sequence failed to shoot despite working fine in previous segments. After multiple restarts, I randomly discovered that clicking the right stick “fixed” the weapon for some reason, allowing it to fire. I spent over an hour trying to lead a large group of followers through a particularly challenging area, but once I opened the exit door an invisible wall prevented me from moving forward. I was forced to restart this entire, lengthy sequence twice before the exit worked properly. Soulstorm’s gameplay pushed my patience to its limits, but these bugs sent me over the edge and made me nervous every time I started a new level. “What on Earth is going to screw me over this time?” I regularly asked myself. Soulstorm’s faults are a shame because its narrative and presentation brought a smile to my face. Abe and his pals are goofy, delightful underdogs I couldn’t help but root for. The enjoyable story is packed with heart, and the cutscenes look great. I wanted to welcome Abe into a new generation of gaming with open arms, but Soulstorm fails to make a case for why its brand of cinematic platforming works today. In fact, Soulstorm only reaffirmed that Abe’s past adventures are best viewed with rose-colored glasses.
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    Blu-ray & DVD Details Announced for Oscar Nominee Minari!

    Blu-ray & DVD details announced for Oscar nominee Minari!As the film gears up for its turn at the Academy Awards and hopes of taking home some golden statues, Lionsgate and A24 have unveiled the Blu-ray, DVD and digital release date and details for the six-time Oscar-nominated drama Minari! The film will hit shelves on Blu-ray and DVD on May 18!RELATED: The 2021 Academy Awards Nominations Revealed!Blu-ray/DVD Special Features:Deleted ScenesSowing Seeds: Making MinariAudio Commentary with Writer-Director Lee Isaac Chung and Actress Yuh-jung YounClick here to pre-order you Blu-ray or DVD copy of the Golden Globe-winning and Oscar-nominated drama!A tender and sweeping story about what roots us, Minari follows a Korean-American family that moves to an Arkansas farm in search of their own American Dream. The family home changes completely with the arrival of their sly, foul-mouthed, but incredibly loving grandmother. Amidst the instability and challenges of this new life in the rugged Ozarks, Minari shows the undeniable resilience of family and what really makes a home.Written and directed by Lee Isaac Chung (Your Name), the cast for the film includes Steven Yeun (Invincible, The Walking Dead, Burning), Yeri Han (My Unfamiliar Family, Worst Woman), Alan Kim, Noel Kate Cho, Yuh-jung Youn (Sense8, The Bacchus Lady, Beasts Clawing at Straws) and Will Patton (Halloween, Falling Skies, Swamp Thing).RELATED: Minari: Steven Yeun-Led Acclaimed Drama Sets VOD Release DateHolding its world premiere at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, Minari received rave reviews from critics right out of the gate and continued to do so at various other festivals and upon its wide release and was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film and has been nominated for six Oscars including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay for Chung, Best Actor for Yeun, Best Supporting Actress for Youn and Best Original Score for Emile Mosseri (Kajillionaire).

    Amy Adams & A24 Teaming for TV Adaptation of Outlawed

    Adams will produce the series via her Bond Group Entertainment banner The post Amy Adams & A24 Teaming for TV Adaptation of Outlawed appeared first on ComingSoon.net.

    A24’s Saint Maud Lands Theatrical and Streaming Releases!

    A24’s Saint Maud lands theatrical and streaming releases! After another festival screening at last year’s Beyond Fest and the indie powerhouse studio initially pulling the film from its release calendar, A24 has announced that the acclaimed psychological horror pic Saint Maud is finally coming to audiences in select theaters at the end of the month followed by a streaming premiere on Epix! RELATED: [Beyond Fest] Saint Maud Review: A Masterwork in Religious Psychological Horror At last, she is risen. #SaintMaud arrives in select theaters & drive-ins January 29 — available to stream on @epixhd February 12 https://t.co/H6YVbMwKrG pic.twitter.com/3A9cJ43By0 — A24 (@A24) January 12, 2021 Saint Maud is written and directed by Rose Glass in her feature directorial debut with Andrea Cornwell and Oliver Kassman serving as producers and was set to hit theaters in the US on April 3 and the UK on May 1, but amidst global pandemic concerns is now left undated. It made its debut at the Toronto International Film Festival in September to rave reviews, currently maintaining a 93% approval rating form critics on review aggregate Rotten Tomatoes. Saint Maud is a chilling and boldly original vision of faith, madness, and salvation in a fallen world. Maud, a newly devout hospice nurse, becomes obsessed with saving her dying patient’s soul — but sinister forces, and her own sinful past, threaten to put an end to her holy calling. RELATED: Joaquin Phoenix to Star in A24 Drama Written & Directed by Mike Mills The film stars Morfydd Clark as Maud, Jennifer Ehle (The King’s Speech, Zero Dark Thirty) as Amanda, Lily Knight as Joy, Lily Frazer as Carol, Turlough Convery as Christian, Rosie Sansom as Ester, Marcus Hutton as Richard, Carl Prekopp as Pat and Noa Bodner as Hilary.

    Memorial: A24 Acquires Bryan Washington Novel for Its TV Division

    Memorial: A24 Acquires Bryan Washington Novel for Its TV Division A24 has won Bryan Washington’s upcoming novel Memorial for its TV division, according to Deadline. The book, which you can pre-order here, is scheduled to be published by Riverhead Press (an imprint of Penguin Random House) on October 27 and Washington will reportedly adapt his work for A24. https://t.co/4mLgcE1AHa — bryan washington (@brywashing) October 13, 2020 RELATED: A24 Unveils First Trailer & Poster for Lee Isaac Chung’s Minari The novel is described as a “funny and profound story about family in all its strange forms. Benson and Mike are two young guys who live together in Houston. Mike is a Japanese American chef at a Mexican restaurant and Benson’s a Black day care teacher, and they’ve been together for a few years — good years — but now they’re not sure why they’re still a couple. There’s the sex, sure, and the meals Mike cooks for Benson, and, well, they love each other. “But when Mike finds out his estranged father is dying in Osaka just as his acerbic Japanese mother, Mitsuko, arrives in Texas for a visit, Mike picks up and flies across the world to say goodbye. The trip provokes a transformation as he discovers the truth about his family and his past. Back home, Mitsuko and Benson are stuck living together as unconventional roommates, an absurd domestic situation that ends up meaning more to each of them than they ever could have predicted. Without Mike’s immediate pull, Benson begins to push outwards, realizing he might just know what he wants out of life and have the goods to get it.” Purchase Washington’s short story collection Lot! Washington has won the Dylan Thomas Prize, New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award, The Earnest J. Gaines Award for Literary Fiction, A Lambda Literary Awards, and was named by the National Book Awards 5 Under 35. Additionally, he was a finalist for NBCC’s John Leonard Prize, the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize, and the Aspen Words Literary Prize. RELATED: Zendaya in Talks to Star in A24’s Ronnie Spector Biopic Scott Rudin and Eli Bush are attached to produce the adaptation alongside A24.

    A24 Unveils First Trailer & Poster for Lee Isaac Chung’s Minari

    A24 unveils first trailer & poster for Lee Isaac Chung’s Minari After debuting to rave reviews earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival and bringing home two of its most coveted awards, A24 has unveiled the first poster and trailer for Lee Isaac Chung’s latest feature Minari starring Steven Yeun (The Walking Dead). The trailer can be viewed in the player below! RELATED: Lee Isaac Chung Tapped to Write/Direct Live-Action Your Name A tender and sweeping story about what roots us, Minari follows a Korean-American family that moves to a tiny Arkansas farm in search of their own American Dream. The family home changes completely with the arrival of their sly, foul-mouthed, but incredibly loving grandmother. Amidst the instability and challenges of this new life in the rugged Ozarks, Minari shows the undeniable resilience of family and what really makes a home. Alongside Yeun, the cast for the film includes Yeri Han (Illang: The Wolf Brigade), Alan Kim, Noel Kate Cho, Will Patton (Yellowstone, Swamp Thing), Scott Haze (Venom, Zeroville) and Yuh-Jung Youn (Sense8, Dear My Friends). The film is a co-production between Brad Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment and A24, with the Once Upon a Time in Hollywood Oscar winner executive producing the project alongside Yeun and Joshua Bachove (The Little Hours) while Dede Gardner (The Underground Railroad, If Beale Street Could Talk) produces alongside Jeremy Kleiner (The Third Day, Ad Astra) and Christina Oh (The Last Black Man in San Francisco, Ad Astra). RELATED: Borat Sequel Teaser Trailer Released Ahead of Amazon October Premiere Minari held its world premiere this past January at the Sundance Film Festival and brought home the U.S. Dramatic Grand Jury Prize and the U.S. Dramatic Audience Award. 

    Zendaya in Talks to Star in A24’s Ronnie Spector Biopic

    Zendaya in Talks to Star in A24’s Ronnie Spector Biopic Variety brings word that Emmy winner Zendaya (Euphoria, Dune, Spider-Man franchise) is in talks to portray the frontwoman of the musical group The Ronettes, Ronnie Spector, in an upcoming biopic of the musician’s life from A24 and New Regency. The star was apparently picked by Spector to portray her. RELATED: Malcom & Marie: Netflix Nabs Rights to Zendaya-Led Romantic Drama The biopic will reportedly place emphasis on Spector’s early career, particularly on the formation of The Ronettes group and their subsequent singing to Phil Spector’s Philles Records. While at the label, the band recorded their hit “Be My Baby,” and Spector eventually married the record producer. The film will also follow their eventual divorce and Spector’s battle to gain back the rights to her music. Pick up your copy of Be My Baby here! A24 and New Regency have acquired Spector’s life rights, as well as her autobiography, Be My Baby, that was written by Spector along with Vince Waldron. The studios are possibly eyeing Pulitzer-winner Jackie Sibblies Drury to write the screenplay for the biopic. RELATED: Dune Trailer: Arrakis is Reborn in Denis Villeneuve’s Sci-Fi Epic! Marc Platt (The Little Mermaid, Dear Evan Hansen, Wicked) will produce. Spector is attached as an executive producer alongside her manager Jonathan Greenfield and Zendaya.

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