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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    Brooklyn Nine-Nine Final Season Begins Production

    Brooklyn Nine-Nine final season begins productionMelissa Fumero took to Instagram to share a new behind-the-scenes photo from the set of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, confirming that production on the upcoming eighth and final season of the hit NBC sitcom has finally begun. Unlike previous seasons, the final season will only be airing ten episodes which are scheduled to premiere sometime this year. Featuring Fumero, Terry Crews and Andre Braugher, you can check out the full set photo below!In response to the unlawful death of George Floyd, the eighth season has redeveloped a few times with the original plan for the season scrapped and reworked in order for the police workplace comedy to address police brutality. In addition, showrunner Dan Goor previously confirmed that the final season will also get to cover the ongoing pandemic. This isn’t the first time that the sitcom didn’t shy away from including serious issues in its episodes as they previously tackled racial profiling, homophobia, discrimination and workplace harassment.RELATED:Allison Janney-Led Sitcom Mom Officially Ending With Season 8In Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Detective Jake Peralta (Andy Samberg), a talented and carefree cop with the best arrest record, has never had to follow the rules too closely or work very hard. That changes when Ray Holt, a man with a lot to prove, becomes the new commanding officer of Brooklyn’s 99th precinct. As Holt reminds Peralta to respect the badge, an extremely competitive colleague — Detective Amy Santiago — starts to close in on the hotshot cop’s arrest record. Other members of the precinct include Sgt. Terry Jeffords, a devoted family man, Detective Charles Boyle, a hard worker who idolizes Jake, and Rosa Diaz, a sexy-yet-intimidating detective. Civilian office manager Gina Linetti is tasked with cleaning up everyone’s mess, while somehow getting involved in everyone’s business.The Golden Globe-winning series stars Andy Samberg, Andre Braugher, Terry Crews, Melissa Fumero, Stephanie Beatriz, Joe Lo Truglio, Chelsea Peretti, Dirk Blocker, and Joel McKinnon Miller. It was created, written, and executive produced by Dan Goor (Parks and Recreation) and Michael Schur (The Good Place), and produced by Universal Television, 3 Arts Entertainment, Fremulon, and Dr. Goor Productions. Goor, Schur, David Miner, and Luke Del Tredici serve as executive producers.RELATED: Ryan Murphy’s FX Drama Pose Ending with Season 3Brooklyn Nine-Nine originally aired on Fox for its first five seasons before being cancelled by the network, only to be swiftly picked up by NBC, Andy Samberg’s previous home during his time on Saturday Night Live, where it thrived in viewership and acclaim, with its most recent season reaching 24 million viewers and averaging 9.5 million in total audience measurement and was NBC’s No. 2-rated program digitally and garnered 74 million official YouTube video views, a 66 percent increase from the previous season’s 44.7 million.

    Da Vinci Code Prequel Series Langdon Shifts From NBC To Peacock

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    This Is Us Season 5 Trailer: The Pearson Family Deals With Timely Issues

    This Is Us Season 5 Trailer: The Pearson Family Deals With Timely Issues NBC has released the first trailer for the upcoming fifth season of their critically-acclaimed family drama This Is Us, featuring the Pearson family as they continue to deal with their own family issues while also facing real world issues including the pandemic and the Black Lives Matter protests. The series is scheduled to make its return with a two-hour premiere on October 27. Check out the video in the player below! RELATED: Norman Lear, NBC & Reba Team for Fried Green Tomatoes Series This Is Us is a refreshingly honest and provocative series that follows a unique ensemble whose paths cross and their life stories intertwine in curious ways. We find several of them share the same birthday, and so much more than anyone would expect. This Is Us is a smart, modern series that will challenge your everyday presumptions about the people you think you know. The cast includes Milo Ventimiglia, Mandy Moore, Justin Hartley, Chrissy Metz, Sterling K. Brown, Susan Kelechi Watson, Chris Sullivan, Michael Angarano, and Ron Cephas Jones. RELATED: NBC Renews This is Us for 3 Additional Seasons! Fogelman serves as writer and executive producer with Don Todd. Jess Rosenthal, Charlie Gogolak and directors Ken Olin, John Requa, and Glenn Ficarra also executive produce. This Is Us is produced by 20th Century Fox Television. Catch up on the show with the box set here. 

    Norman Lear, NBC & Reba Team for Fried Green Tomatoes Series

    Norman Lear, NBC & Reba team for Fried Green Tomatoes series Nearly 30 years after first hitting theaters to rave reviews and roaring box office success, Fannie Flagg’s Fried Green Tomatoes is making another trip to the screen as NBC is teaming with Oscar nominee and Emmy winner Norman Lear and Reba McEntire for a series adaptation of the dramedy novel, according to The Hollywood Reporter. RELATED: Grease Prequel Series Shifting Gears from HBO Max to Paramount+ The series, which is being penned by Jennifer Cecil (Private Practice, One Tree Hill), will take a modern-day approach to the 1987 novel and will explore the lives of the descendants of the novel, centering on a present-day Idgie Threadgoode, who returns to the small town of Whistle Shop, Alabama, after a decade away and must come to terms with a changed town, estranged daughter, struggling cafe and life-changing secret. The role of Idgie was previously portrayed by Mary Stuart Masterson in the film adaptation of the novel. Click here to purchase the 1991 film! Lear will produce the series under his Act III Productions banner alongside producing partner Brent Miller, while the author of the novel and co-writer fo the original film Flagg is set to executive produce with McEntire and Cecil. The 98-year-old celebrated Hollywood producer and writer previously executive produced the 1991 film adaptation of Flagg’s novel. RELATED: Amazon Greenlights I Know What You Did Last Summer Series The original novel and film centered on housewife Evelyn Couch who finds herself unhappy with her life and begins to form a friendship with Ninny Threadgoode, an elderly woman living in a nursing home who tells her stories about her youth in the the town in which her sister-in-law, Idgie, and friend Ruth ran a cafe. The cast for the film included Jessica Tandy (Driving Miss Daisy), Masterson (Daniel Isn’t Real), Kathy Bates (American Horror Story), Mary-Louise Parker (Weeds, Billions) and Cicely Tyson (Sounder, The Help). (Photo Credit: Taylor Hill/Getty Images)

    The Saturday Night Live Season 46 Opener chris Rock to Host

    Chris Rock to Host the Saturday Night Live Season 46 Opener Chris Rock (Fargo) is set to host Saturday Night Live’s Season 46 opener on October 3, marking the Emmy winner’s third appearance as host for the late-night show (via Variety). Megan Thee Stallion will also make her debut as the Saturday Night Live musical guest for the first episode of the season. RELATED: Jim Carrey to Take Over the Role of Joe Biden in SNL Season 46 It was recently announced that Golden Globe winner Jim Carrey (Kidding, Man on the Moon, The Truman Show) is taking over the role of Democratic nominee and former vice president Joe Biden on Season 46, succeeding Jason Sudeikis. Alec Baldwin will also return to SNL as Donald Trump with Maya Rudolph once again set to play Biden’s running mate Kamala Harris. Lauren Holt, Punkie Johnson, and Andrew Dismukes were also added as three new featured players to the cast for the upcoming season. RELATED: Saturday Night Live Returning to Studio 8H in October For Season 46 Season 46 of Saturday Night Live will premiere on Saturday, October 3 on NBC after making its return to Studio 8H with a “limited in-studio audience.” Saturday Night Live is produced in association with Broadway video and is created and executive produced by Lorne Michaels. (Photo by Gary Miller/Getty Images)

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