Kakarot

It’s hard for people to expect new things from a series that has been remade countless times before. What they did this time was give us a definitive remake that tailors almost identically to the anime. The difference with Kakarot is that it has a real soft spot for the original Dragon Ball series and you get to meet countless characters from that series and see what they’re up to in Dragon Ball Z. Being a fan of the original series I loved seeing the likes of Nam, Emperor Pilaf, Android Eight and Launch just kicking about in the world.

In my fifty-five hours with Kakarot, I was able to complete the game to completion, which included the PlayStation Platinum trophy. To put this into perspective that’s almost exactly half the amount of time it would take to watch every episode of Dragon Ball Z. The game covers the four main sagas of the series from the Saiyans, to Freezer, to Cell, and finally to Buu. Notably absent is the Garlic Jr. Saga, but was that really a loss? With a season pass in the works, it will be interesting to find out what additional content gets added, my guess is that they will cover the movies.

Kakarot_Vegeta

The gameplay of Kakarot is similar to the fighting style and movement in Dragon Ball Xenoverse. The world is a segmented open world full of Z Orbs to collect, side missions and battles throughout. These can be completed between the main missions, although some side missions will lock you out of them if you progress too far in the story making them irrelevant. While the game’s title is called Kakarot, you will play through the story as Gohan, Vegeta, Piccolo, and Trunks as well. Depending on where the story goes will determine who you play for the most part until the post-game. There are multiple RPG elements that involve you levelling up your main character, while you can also level up bonus stats by using Soul Emblems.

Kakarot_Gohan

The post-game doesn’t have a lot to offer for someone like myself that completed every side quest as they appeared, minus one that I was locked out of. It does let you summon the dragon when you collect the dragon balls to bring back old enemies. There is a Villainous questline that has you tackle very strong enemies that upon finishing lets you tackle a secret boss.

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Every other Dragon Ball Z game has let you relive the epic fights throughout the series in quick succession, but Kakarot allows you to relive the emotion you get gearing up for those epic moments. That difference had me playing this game non-stop. I enjoyed my time with Kakarot and I’m a little sad it’s over. I’ll be sure to check back in when the DLC content releases.

For fans of Dragon Ball Z, this is a must-play, for newcomers, maybe check out some videos of the gameplay first.   

Robert Ring

Available on PS4, XboxOne, and PC

Kakarot_Game_Case

Christopher Robin

Goodbye Christopher Robin was my favorite film of last year, so I was beyond excited to see Christopher Robin. And I’ll get into what I thought…

Christopher Robin begins with a tea party for Christopher as he leaves the 100 Acre Wood for boarding school. Then through montage, we see he loses his father, he marries, he goes to war, and comes home after serving away for years to meet his daughter. Then he settles as a manager overseeing an executive bag making company. This older Christopher (Ewen McGregor) has grown into a self-involved working man. Christopher puts his family second and cancels a weekend trip away so he can work to please his boss. Over in the 100 Acre Wood Winnie awakes to find all his friends are gone and seeks out Christopher Robin after not seeing him since he was a child at the tea party. Christopher stumbles into Winnie, yet Christopher is still more interested in finishing his work but eventually decides to help Winnie find their friends.

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The scenes that focus solely on Christopher Robin without Winnie and friends are boring and derivative. We don’t need to be told the story of a father that loses focus of his family in favor of work, especially here. Another blunder was casting Ewen McGregor, he looks good on the poster, but he didn’t pull it off. There was no Christopher Robin in him, and it wasn’t something that came later as he rediscovered what was important. The scenes involving Winnie were enchanting, yet they were not emotionally moving because Ewen McGregor’s acting was flat. I wanted it to be a bit of a psychological film playing with our minds whether Winnie was real or imaginary, but it was clear they were real as everyone could see them.

Christopher Robin should have taken a lesson from Spielberg’s Hook as he did a phenomenal character study on the reimagining of a beloved character. If Winnie and friends were not so engaging this would have been a terrible film, instead, it evens the film out to be just ok. If you are interested in Winnie the Pooh, go and see Goodbye Christopher Robin.

Robert Ring

Goosebumps Trailer Released!

Goosebumps was a horror series of books, and one of the many highlights of being a 90’s kid. It wasn’t just a few books in a series either, but a new book that was released every month over six years in the original run.  You would consume them over an afternoon and then talk about them with your school friends the next day. As a child you were totally creeped out by these stories you brought to life in your imagination and for many of us including myself they were the first real books you learnt to read on your own.

The trailer is surprisingly better than expected. It works on the premise that the author R.L. Stine, played by Jack Black has written the books to keep the monsters locked up within manuscripts. This appears to have been working fine until the neighbour takes an interest in his daughter and  investigates the author’s house where he accidentally unlocks all the monsters within the Goosebumps universe. There has been plenty of new Goosebumps books written since the original run, however they seem to have opted for the original favourites. This trailer is full of nostalgia for the original books we grew up with and from the trailer I already see A Shocker on Shock Street, Night of the Living Dummy, Monster Blood and many more.

Goosebumps looks like it will be a fun family outing with a Jumanji feeling to it. It looks like the original fans of the books will take their own children to relive the magic. Goosebumps has an October 2015 release date in the USA and a December 2015 release date for Australia.

Does the Goosebumps trailer fill you with nostalgia?

Robert Ring