A Note on the Coming Storm…

I wanted to make a note that there may be a delay in posts for next week.  I am currently in the path for some remnant storms from Hurricane Irene so if I am without power, Internet access or time to write, that would explain any delays over the weekend into the first half of next week.  I still plan to get some articles posted for this weekend so stay with me and I give my best wishes to everyone in the storm’s path this weekend.

Thank you…

Marvel’s The Defenders Finale Review (Contains Spoilers)

As the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues its Juggernaut charge through the otherwise-stale box office, the Netflix series have maintained a surprising level of quality.  The four series leading up to Marvel’s The Defenders set the bar for what should have been a pretty-good series, finally building the seamless connection between the Marvel series while attempting to tell a fresh story.  Unfortunately, this new series did not live up to the standard set even by Iron Fist and Luke Cage.

The plot picks up where both Iron Fist and Daredevil’s second season left off, and carried the heavy burden of molding all the chaos of the series’ sub-plots into a form that would have some cohesion and reason.  To me, it felt more-than-a-little forced, but still worked for the most part up to this point.  The action scenes throughout the series were often satisfying and even though it ran a very short eight episodes, Defenders did land some solid excitement if you were able to get past the slog that was its Pilot but it all came to a close in a way that felt like everyone just wanted to get out of this series and on to bigger things.

The Defenders finale sets the stage for the now-united Defenders’ duel with a possessed Elektra (A plotline that carried over from Daredevil’s second season).  The heroes then fight their way into a hidden cave deep below a New York highrise where they split up into groups.  One to take on The Hand who is attempting to use the Iron Fist to achieve their ends of attaining immortality, and one small group to plant explosives to level the building.  That is pretty much it.

I did not have a problem with the simple set up as it carried some plot points from earlier in the season, but this finale was so very, very forgettable.  I suppose this was a problem with the entire series.  It was necessary to re-establish Jessica Jones and Luke Cage to integrate them into the more comic book worlds of Daredevil and Iron Fist (despite them always having taken place in the same New York City) but the way it was done was rushed due to this spinoff’s very short run.  These are the same writers who did Daredevil, yet the entire series of Defenders feels like it’s on a caffeine high, and it culminates in an ending that is far less impactful than it could have been if the creators would have taken their time building things up patiently, allowing for more depth to the story, but it’s difficult to do that in a television series that only runs about six hours in total.

The tone of the finale (simply titled “The Defenders”) is all over the place.  It has a lot of dark undertones, themes of sacrifice, love, friendship and facing the past head-on, but then it ramps up the cheese with overwritten and laughably-bad lines.  On top of that, all of the the characters (including the supporting ones) are forced to face all of the plot points foreshadowed through the first seven episodes in one 48-minute sprint.  It is then blended with hamfisted dialog, bloated action movie cliches, and some truly cringe-worthy scenes, resulting in what is more of a predictable and shallow whimper, as opposed to the promised bang, despite the very literal one at the end.

 

For all of the problems I had with The Defenders leading up to the finale, I was even more disappointed with the conclusion.  It wrapped up safely, not taking any risks, with a predictable closing for all involved characters and the dramatic shift in tone was jarring, at-best.  I can say a lot of this is the bad screenplay but some of the blame could be the result of the episode’s director Farren Blackburn.  This is the only episode directed by Blackburn and it shows with its shift in focus.  The action scenes are all obscured, which is just baffling to me.  One scene with Colleen Wing finally facing her former master is spent with almost the entire fight taking place out-of-focus, in the background, behind a bunch of pipes, while the camera focuses on Claire Temple hiding and talking on a cell phone.  The rest of the action mostly takes place in a dark cave where quick-cuts and identical-looking bad guys fly through the air.  Every scene was so disjointed and ugly and the creators’ decision to obscure the action from the viewer is outright maddening!  I cannot even begin to fathom the series of pitches and ideas that brought the writers and director to make that call.  It is probably the stupidest decision I’ve seen from any of Marvel Studio’s creations to date.

Add to that the fact that two of the main fights the series were building up to barely happened at all (aforementioned Wing v. Bakuto and then Daredevil v. Elektra) and you have a truly upsetting finale.  While Wing and Bakuto’s final duel took place almost entirely off-screen during a phone call, Daredevil and Elektra’s fight was obscured in darkness making the fight barely-visible and was peppered with sappy attempts by Matt Murdock to convince his former love to stop fighting and go back to the way she was before her death.  It was really badly-written, repetitive and very, very long.  It all ends with a CGI building blowing up, and that’s it.  The epilogue involves a long, boring conversation between Foggy Nelson and Karen Page in a church and a tease that there may be a second season of Jessica Jones.  Then it just sort of stops with a single, final reveal that essentially undoes all of the drama of the events that took place during the climax and takes suspension of disbelief and mutates it into an outright rejection of rationality.

For a series that had to rush through its 8-episode run, a big, exciting, engaging finale was absolutely crucial.  This wasn’t a five-chapter season of Sherlock where the individual episode was like a movie, running 90-120 minutes; this was eight episodes running a standard TV hour block (about 44-48 minutes).  There was no room for meandering, laziness and obfuscation of the action.  Zero room!  The choice to close this much-anticipated and hyped series out with such an ugly, dull, lackluster finale is beyond the pale.  It isn’t unusual for a series or even season finale to leave much to be desired, but this isn’t Seinfeld!  There was an underlying story, theme and goal here.  What needed to be done was known.  All they had to do was execute it in a satisfying way.  The Defenders was tolerable at best up to its finale so they could have gone big and at least left an impact, but instead we get what is probably the worst of all of the Marvel series on Netflix, a shell of a series hampered by what I can only assume is utter apathy on the part of the director.

Trying MoviePass… Maybe?

 

On Sunday, the 27th of August, I subscribed to to the service MoviePass.  I downloaded the app, got everything ready, then all I had to do was wait for the arrival of the debit cards in the mail.  Yes.  This is an online service that still requires you to wait for snail mail.  The idea is, you go to the theater, pick your movie and time, then when you are there, MoviePass loads your card with the exact ticket cost for that ticket.  You get one per day per account at $9.95 per month.

There’s just one problem: The cards have not arrived yet.  After nearly two weeks, I’m still waiting on them to show up.  Now I chalk this up to the Labor Day weekend and the surge of storms raging from the Atlantic possibly slowing things down, as well as a known influx of subscribers after it was announced they would be changing format.  I have heard mostly-positive reviews of the service with the primary complaints being getting everything set up can be a pain.  I can empathize already and I haven’t even been able to use the service.  A second complaint about MoviePass subscriptions is it is only one subscription per person.  So, couples, friends, siblings, ect., who want to frequent theaters together will be out of luck.  At this time, MoviePass has not launched a “couples plan” per se.  Instead, if you want to share the movie experience with someone else, they have to have their own, separate paid subscription.  One post from what is presumed to be a MoviePass support agent does clarify that they “hope to add couples and family plans in the future!” (source).  I can only presume this is a delay caused by the change in format and the future addition of this plan will likely rely on the service’s success in the long run.

Now as for having to wait for the debit card to come in, I would say in an age where online transactions are ubiquitous for just about anything, the delay caused by a debit card having to arrive by mail for a service such as this is baffling and can only be explained by MoviePass not getting proper cooperation from the appropriate corporations in order to give subscribers a way to pay for your tickets online as it would require an intermediary like Fandango, for-instance.  I am hoping to see my card arrive by this weekend so I can get some use out of my plan, but I am not going to hold my breath.  Not to say I do not believe they are coming at all, but given it has taken far longer than the 5-7 business days notice, I cannot be certain they will show up in a reasonable time.

I will write up another review of the service after I’ve had the chance to use it a few times.  I don’t want to use it once, have a good or bad experience, then judge the entire service on that one subjective, anecdotal experience.  I would rather give a review of MoviePass based on a longer-term experience.  Maybe after a few weekends of service I will be ready to really judge it for what it is.

Game Deals – Picks for The Week of 09/06/2017

So, I hope to be able to do this pretty regularly.  I will be updating a (mostly) weekly list of game picks that are on sale for numerous platforms.  I will probably feature maybe five or six choices per week.  I will try to diversify my sources as well, so not all of these deals will be from Steam.  Let us begin…

NOTE: All prices are in USD and are subject to change.

Valkyria Revolution (PS4)

  $19.90 $39.99

Amazon
While Valkyria Revolution isn’t the best strategy RPG out there, it is a solid action RPG with strategy elements and a pretty solid evolution of the excellent Valkyria Chronicles.  The only downside I can find is the flux of difficulty between the weak cannon-fodder enemies and the excessively-tough bosses is quite jarring.  However, a quality upgrade system, deep character customization with unique skills and pretty fun gameplay makes this one worth a $20 price.

 


NieR:Automata (PC)

$38.99 $59.99
PC/Steam
A must-have for September is NieR:Automata, a smart and exciting anime action/adventure game from SquareEnix.  If you have not played this combination shooter/hack n’ slasher, you owe it to yourself to give it a play, especially with it being more than $20 off retail!

 

 


SNK Publisher Sale (PC)

Various prices
PC/Steam

For arcade gaming fans like myself, this sale is awesome. Featuring a bevy of excellent King of Fighters and Metal Slug games, it really is a who’s-who of NeoGeo arcade brilliance! I would also check out the fun SHOCK TROOPERS series as well as the competitive, split-screen shooter Twinkle Star Sprites (Yes! That name is for-real) that has rarely seen a US release so far.

 


Dark Souls Series (PS4)

Various prices
Playstation Store
If you like a little punishment, you can always bet on the quality Dark Souls games and Dark Souls II and III as well as DLC and special editions are all on sale this week on the Playstation Store. Get your download on and good luck on the Nameless King!

 

 


God Eater 2 (PS4)

$14.99 $59.99
Playstation Store
For fans of the popular Monster Hunter franchise, God Eater 2 is a welcome change of scenery maintaining many of the core elements of the classic kill-and-craft action.  Effectively, God Eater 2 is a Monster Hunter clone but post-apocalyptic and in a sci-fi setting.  It is quite good though, with interesting classes and skills and some pretty challenging fights right at the start of the game.

 

Logan Lucky (2017) Review

 After the critical success of the thriller Traffic in 2000, Steven Soderbergh went on to direct the divisive Ocean’s Eleven, released the following year, and its subsequent sequels (of progressively-declining quality).  Through the years since the near-bomb Ocean’s Thirteen, Soderbergh has been working steadily, albeit largely under-the-radar.  Enter 2017 and Soderbergh returns to the light heist movie format with Logan Lucky.

The movie stars Channing Tatum as Jimmy Logan, a father and divorcee working for a construction company on contract involving tunneling under the Charlotte Motor Speedway, who is laid off as a liability due to an injury that causes him to limp.  He and his brother, a bartender named Clyde (who lost his arm in the Iraq war), through a series of slightly-contrived circumstances, come to the conclusion to steal money from the speedway.  Their plan is somewhat convenient and absurd, but it works for the plot, which was very-very-loosely based on true events.  They bring on a notorious local criminal named Joe Bang (whom they have to break out of prison by having Clyde break into prison; also convoluted), Jimmy’s oddly-compliant sister, and lastly two hapless “techies” to complete the crew.  Then the team of disjointed rednecks launch their criminal master plan.

Logan Lucky (2017; Trans-Radial Pictures)

While the first half of the movie is utterly absurd and even a little convoluted at times, the movie manages to keep things running pretty smoothly without feeling too slow as it moves along.  Having this much plot in a movie like this can cause some scenes to feel disjointed and out-of-left-field and there are more than a few of moments in Logan Lucky that should have been either edited down or removed entirely, including one where a prison riot used as a distraction for the prison escape culminates in a ridiculous dispute over a fake list of demands.  The dialogue is also very fast and heavy, something Soderbergh drew from his Ocean’s days, and can occasionally slow things to a crawl.  Add to that a few moments that go on far longer than they should and about 15 minutes of filler and you have a 90-minute movie that the director manages to stretch to nearly two hours!  There is no reason for a movie like this to be that long, and while Logan Lucky is entertaining, it would have probably landed even better with me if it weren’t for the intrusive runtime.

I suppose my biggest complaints with Logan Lucky are right along with those I had with Ocean’s Twelve.  It was too convoluted, too silly and way too overwritten.  The script here, written by possibly-pseudonymous Rebecca Blunt, seems to be attempting to recreate the fast-talking styles of some comedies from the 50’s and 60’s but doesn’t really land.  Like Ocean’s Twelve, everything is written to the point where it sounds and feels like everyone is trying too hard to be clever.  This is fine for the comedy elements of the movie executed by the leads, but when even Jimmy’s seven-year-old daughter is reading over-witty lines precociously, it gets a little outlandish.  Still, there are plenty of laughs from the script and the characters are pretty distinct, so it does manage to break the strain of feeling like you’re trapped in a restaurant booth between two loud, arguing family members.

Logan Lucky (2017; Trans-Radial Pictures)

The performances here span the spectrum of quality for a movie like this.  Channing Tatum is generally fine, especially in lighter roles, but here his portrayal of Jimmy Logan is more banal than anything.  He’s suffers the problem of being the “everyman” to the point of being rather boring, especially up against his supporting cast.  Adam Driver (riding the success of Star Wars: The Force Awakens) is awkwardly-funny as Clyde, who is stiff and over-serious and delivers some of the better straight-man lines in the movie.  The bombast comes from Daniel Craig as Joe Bang, who is a loud-mouth bomber criminal who helps the brothers with the more dangerous parts of their heist.  His portrayal of a raucous hillbilly is instantly-funny knowing that he is more well-known for playing the sophisticated, edgy, and very English James Bond.  The reward for “Worst Character” in the movie goes to (surprise, surprise) Seth MacFarlane, who plays an utterly obnoxious energy drink promoter named Max.  His character stops the movie dead for four particular scenes that simply do not need to be in the movie at all and are easily the worst parts of the movie.  There is also a pretty funny appearance late in the movie by Hillary Swank as an intrepid FBI agent investigating the theft and a small role for the declining Katie Holmes as Jimmy’s ex-wife who is given next-to-nothing to do outside being the barrier between Jimmy and his daughter.

Gripes aside, Logan Lucky is an entertaining watch.  It has a lot of laughs and is generally pretty enjoyable.  It didn’t leave a bad taste in my mouth and, in fact, I didn’t have many complaints at all until I had time to reflect on the film.  While I watching it I was enjoying the twisted humor and the willingness of all of the actors to just cut loose.  Craig and Driver take dialogue that is pretty standard for a film like this and sells them through their admirable delivery, elevating the material.  Craig is loud and loquacious and brings energy to his scenes while Adam Driver’s straight-faced, intentionally-stiff Clyde hits funny lines with a sort of sincerity that makes his character very likable and I am glad to see him shaping up to be a pretty good actor on the Hollywood main stage.

I really can’t hate on this movie too much.  A few years ago I probably would have despised it but as I watch more and more cheesy movies and find my cynical film snobbery dissolve away with age, I can honestly recommend Logan Lucky.  I would say pay matinee price, or if you’re willing to wait, check it out On Demand from your platform of choice.  Logan Lucky is a movie I will probably never feel the need to watch again and again, but it works as a funny one-time movie excursion.  It may not be for everyone as it is overlong, overwritten and somewhat cliched at times, but if you just want to check out a fun comedy it gets a pretty solid recommendation.

A Little-Late Game Review: Euro Truck Simulator 2

The simulator genre is one that I have entirely avoided for some time.  There really was no particular reason for this choice of mine outside of the word “simulator” merely being in the title conjuring images of a cheap, poorly-made game that is more-or-less thrown together with ugly pre-made stock assets and the concept of driving a simulated bulldozer never really appealed to me anyway.  However, I did have one simulator in my Steam library: Euro Truck Simulator 2.  I acquired it from a Humble Bundle a while back and it was just sitting there idly; un-played, uninstalled, unappreciated.  It didn’t seem like a big deal but out of the blue I see it pop up on sale in the Steam store.  Clicking on it out of sheer morbid curiosity, I discover an “Overwhelmingly Positive” user rating, so that piqued my interest.  In smokey-eyed indifference I subtly mumble to myself, “Oh well… I own it.  I might as well try it.”  The download was quick and I jumped in.  After the tutorial I looked to the window from whence came sunlight what seemed like moments before, was then shocked to see the sky was black as EA CEO Andrew Wilson’s soul!

So, what happened to those hours?  A few trips to Munich.  A run to Mannheim.  The occasional fender-bender with indestructible Renault Clios… The usual.  I cannot explain how addictive this game is, or why; I can only tell you that I seem to get lost in thought these past few days, imagining what is next on my long-haul agenda!  You would think endless driving through highways and industrial parks would get boring, but this game does something to you!  Something…

First and foremost, this is a simulator, which means you are going to have to get used to the controls.  Fortunately, the game has pretty solid tutorial, multiple control types and a selection of difficulty levels with varying grades of demand and pressure for the player.  As you play there is a fair difficulty curve for deliveries and you can freely choose a quick run that will take about five minutes to a continent-spanning highway odyssey that could take multiple hours!  Fortunately, the game is merciful, allowing you to save mid-mission so you are not required to marathon a journey from Italy to Denmark in one sitting.  The short missions are great for variety, but where the early money really comes rolling in with the longer drives.  

In the longer trips you will also find much of the depth of the game.  Having to stop to refuel, sleep, and even getting repairs at a nearby town or city along the route can be a necessity for lengthy runs and getting to know the roads helps.  The game tiers the world for you as well, focusing a majority of the randomized deliveries available on cities you’ve already visited, with the occasional new destination.  Arriving at these new locations makes these cities appear more frequently, and thus, from these new places you get more distant deliveries spanning more countries.  The roads are vast and there are many routes you can take with stops along the way.  When you accept your delivery contract, you start at the distributor and a friendly GPS maps out the best route to the destination, however you are free to use pins to alter your route if you so choose, but be warned, all missions are timed and you get graded on your promptness and the condition of the products you are carrying.  If you meander or wander off the beaten path too much, you could miss out on rewards at the end of the delivery.  So, you may ask: What’s the point of the open world, then?  Well…

Since you start the game dirt-poor, all you can do is take contract jobs on pre-loaded trucks.  You are stuck doing what you are supposed to, following the rules.  However, once you save up enough funds from the do-boy missions, you can buy your own truck!  At this point, the open road is yours to explore.  The world is an open, massive landscape of thousands of kilometers of highways, back roads and cities to traverse!  Of course, even these open trips cost money.  You have to pay for gas, necessary maintenance, and take the time to rest.  Also, while you aren’t doing deliveries, you are not making money, which means you’re technically losing money, but fear not!  Euro Truck Simulator 2 has you covered there, too!

Not only can you freely drive to any city or town, park at a delivery site and pick up a new delivery mission on the spot, but once the money starts really rolling in you can buy additional garages from all over the continent and then hire more drivers as part of your company to generate yet more revenue.  Expansion is the goal and once you have a steady stream of income, you can further upgrade your garage, buy more trucks, hire more drivers and expand your trucking empire!  The world (continent) is your oyster!

Now, if you are fearful of the long drive getting too boring, the game thankfully scales down the open world so a trip length that reads as two-and-a-half hours will actually only take about 15 minutes.  This is method to help you get the most out of the game quickly, and to incentivize more  exploration.  Towns are truncated as well, focusing entirely on a small industrial section of each location and marking it on the map as you discover it.  This is great, too as it allows you to focus on getting in and out and back on the open road, just remember to obey the speed limit to avoid getting a costly ticket.  However, in town things slow down dramatically.  The rules of the road still apply so you have to wait at red lights, watch for traffic and carefully navigate narrow alleys.  This does give you the opportunity to view the city scenery, though.  Naturally, hitting the highways is an entirely different story with faster speed limits, many lanes to follow and a flow of traffic that does require some concentration, however cruise control helps you safely regulate your speed so you can focus on steering and occasionally enjoying the scenery.

The world is lush and beautiful, too.  A stunning effort was put into making the world in this game seem natural and lived-in.  Small cabins and hamlets scatter the backdrops of the freeway along the countryside, titanic mountains tower over the terrain in the Alps and the Pyrenees, rolling hills create an illusion of depth and wide open fields welcome the wandering eye.  Buildings of many types are situated along the way and it never really feels like the developers lazily just reused assets over and over.  It all just feels natural and realistic, and considering the sheer scale of this world, this is an astonishing achievement.  Add to this natural beauty the dark of night and the pouring of rain and you have one of the most convincing, immersive open worlds I have ever roamed in any game.  While it doesn’t have the polish or deliberate design of something like Farcry or Just Cause, built for pulling off the impossible, it does feel real and so far, I have not been bored of just looking at it as I drive.

There is so much depth in this game that it seems almost insurmountable.  The game tracks the stretches of road you’ve traveled, marking completion of the map, encouraging you to explore every square kilometer of its expansive world!  Inside towns, on your first visit, driving by dealerships and recruiting centers increases your list of possible employees and future truck purchases.  You can even upgrade and customize various mechanical and cosmetic features for both the exterior and interior of your truck from a pretty impressive selection of parts.  Overall, there is so much to see, do and collect in Euro Truck Simulator 2!  I would say it’s almost too much, but if that’s one complaint then that isn’t too bad now is it?  The only other complaint I would have is sometimes the AI of the other drivers on the road is a little… What’s the word..?  Stupid.  Sometimes they will come from behind and drive right into you, occasionally block traffic for no reason and, if you happen to have an unfortunate accident, other vehicles can become ‘stuck’, as if they are unable to determine what they should do.  In a few occasions this has caused me to get trapped in inescapable positions.  The fix for this is using the game’s roadside assistance option to send a tow truck, which will by default bring you to the nearest available service garage.

In all, I would call this one of the best driving games released in the past ten years.  If deep simulation is not your thing, you may get bored, but if you like the Skinner box of rewarding game design, Euro Truck Simulator 2 has you covered.  It isn’t perfect, but it is, in my experience, the closest thing you will find to exploring the open road in such a realistic and immersive fashion.

Game Review: Uncharted: The Lost Legacy

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy (2017; Naughty Dog)

A major problem with video games is sequelitis; the unfortunate trend of a long-running series seeing a steady decline in quality with each entry. Since its introduction on the PS3, the Uncharted series has shown a surprising resistance to this curse by focusing heavily on exciting and inventive level design integrated with captivating (albeit formulaic) stories. Likeable characters deliver well-written dialogue and everything just feels natural. You cannot have a story about people and not make those people relatable. Combine this with solid, consistent and responsive gameplay and bombastic, adrenaline-rush levels and you have a formula for an exciting spectacle!

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy turns the narrative away from Nathan Drake and his band of thieves and puts the focus on the popular anti-hero Chole Frazer, a thief and inspired treasure hunter who isn’t afraid to get her hands a little dirty. She was shockingly-absent in the excellent Uncharted 4 and here makes a welcome return. This time she joins up with Nadine Ross, a villain from Uncharted 4 who runs a powerful and ruthless mercenary company. This new dynamic duo finds themselves trekking across the lush landscapes of India in search of Ganesha’s Tusk, a task inherited by Chloe from her father.

Along the way they cross paths with a warlord named Asav who is attempting to overthrow the legitimate government in India for his own gains and his coup seems dependent on his attainment of the Tusk. If this sounds familiar, then congratulations! You played Uncharted 2! Yep, the plot is pretty much recycled from that game, only with a slightly less cartoonish villain. I actually like Asav, though. He’s a well-written and intimidating character and proves to be one of the most worthy foes in the franchise.

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy (2017; Naughty Dog)

The gameplay is lifted right out of Uncharted 4, polishing some of the rough edges with grabbing some ledges and interacting with objects in the world. Traversing the landscape is still smooth and satisfying and each successful swing from the grappling hook feels like an exhilarating achievement. The shooting mechanics, however, seem a little different. Enemies can absorb an insane amount of bullets before dropping and the one-woman-army idea is thrown out entirely. I would say this is an adjustment to some complaints that Uncharted 4 was a little too easy, but it can be frustrating when you land an obvious headshot with a sniper rifle only to just mildly stagger and annoy the target. I can presume this is an issue of polish on Naughty Dog’s part and hopefully we will see some patching to resolve some of this issue.

The levels are standard fare for the franchise and, while they are gorgeous, can feel quite linear for most of the game. The gunplay areas are more stricter and more confined than many of those in other entries in the series. Still, the open world segment of the game is quite good, although it is only available in one chapter. The various events are scattered throughout the game and while they never reach the level of spectacle seen in its parent series, they are well-made and exciting. They only real complaint I have is that many of the levels and associated events feel like rehashes of things we saw in previous games in the series like climbing and fighting your way along a speeding train and driving a jeep through muddy roads while taking out attacking motorcycles. There is definitely a sign here that they were running out of ideas, a fear that never crossed my mind while playing Uncharted 4.

Overall, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy is a solid entry in the series and a great placeholder until the inevitable release of a game starring Nathan and Elena’s daughter, Cassie. It is much shorter than the other games but at a retail price of just $40, it is worth checking out, especially for fans of the series. There is a lot to enjoy here!

All of the Pop Culture You Care About… But Not Really