LEAGUE OF LEGENDS : WORLDS 2017 WEEK 1 HIGHLIGHTS

FeaturedLEAGUE OF LEGENDS : WORLDS 2017 WEEK 1 HIGHLIGHTS

I have been playing this godforsaken game for almost 2 years now[2 years!], even though it seems like only yesterday I started learning the basics with Ashe, feeding my arse off in Co-op vs AI games and soon after in normals. Anyways, I love watching pro players face off against each other in esports, and in League of Legends, nothing beats Worlds in this regard[LCK does come close though]. Let’s jump right into the highlights and surprises of the first week of Worlds, with each team getting 3 Best-of-1 matches against their group opponents.

The SKT T1 Comeback : SKT vs EDG, Group A

Considering they were last year Worlds winners, not to mention 3-time world champions now, it may not be surprising to see SKT topping their Group A standings at 3-0 presently. But it wasn’t an easy road to their destination; the game against EDG was especially difficult, with SKT falling behind by 10K gold at some point between 25-30 minutes, actually. But SKT is world champion for a reason; they held their nerve, let their Twitch ADC scale up gradually alongside Orianna.

SKT Comeback

                                                  Oh, you messed up big time EDG!

One positioning mistake by EDG at the 29-minute mark turned the tide; SKT Wolf on Rakan just flash-ulted 3 of the enemy team members, and this was followed by a 4-man Orianna Shockwave; Faker coming in during clutch situations as always. And nobody could even get close to Bang’s Twitch, who just spray-and-pray-ed the enemy to shreds, resulting in a 4 for 0 trade in SKT’s favor, allowing them to pick up a baron thereafter. This was the beginning of the comeback which allowed them more map control and objectives, and ultimately won them the game.

Level 6 in 5 minutes : GAM vs FNC, Group B

For those who have seen MSI 2017, Gigabyte Marines [GAM] would be one team to look forward to, with their off-meta picks, crazy strategies, chaotic early game and one hell of a jungler in Levi. And Fnatic is a team which has always been something of a crowd favorite on the international stage, which also specializes in some aggressive early-mid game playstyle. So, what happens when the two of them meet? Absolute chaos, of course!

The insanity began right in the team draft phase itself, with GAM locking in Nocturne jungle, a champion who has seen virtually no playtime in competitive play this year. Added to this was the level-1 laneswap initiated by GAM, sending Tristana and Lulu botlane duo top side and Galio to the bot side. Nocturne received the best leash ever, with Archie on Galio leashing for him at raptors, the bottom lane duo doing the same at the red buff, followed by a further Galio leash for all of the botside jungle camps. All of this accelerated the Nocturne jungle clear so much, he ended up hitting level 6 in 5 minutes, which Levi used to great effect, as he managed to kill 3 FNC members in a botside fight where GAM traded 3 kills for 2 deaths. This further snowballed Nocturne, who could now burst down anybody in teamfights whenever his ultimate[Paranoia] was up.

Levi 5-min lvl 6

                                                              Level 6 already?

Meanwhile, Tristana was often left alone and she, with her amazing turret-killing abilities, managed to get turret gold on multiple turrets, not to mention free farm on many an occasion, enabling her to get ahead of the enemy Varus as well. All of this culminated in Tristana[Noway] getting a quadra-kill in a 2v5 fight, with the pentakill being stolen away by scumbag Optimus[on Kassadin] who, along with the other 2 members of GAM, arrived right at the end of the fight, and the game as well. Oh, and by the way, Lulu went heal+ignite this game, forgoing the safer option of Flash, cuz why not, eh?

The Rift Herald Dance : LZ vs FNC, Group B

Longzhu’s toplaner, Khan, is known to be the absolute best top laner in the LCK region right now, overshadowing even KT Smeb and AFS Marin[who was a part of SKT during their Worlds 2015 victory]. Not only that, he’s known to often pull out non-meta picks and win with them as well; for example, he picked Mordekaiser into AFS Marin’s Renekton, pretty crazy considering Mordekaiser not seeing much competitive play in the season[similar to GAM Levi’s Nocturne, in a sense]. This time, he sees FNC sOAZ pick up Maokai, and immediately proceeds to take Nasus, an unconventional pick, to say the least; however it is apparently a great counter to Maokai; I’m not a toplaner so I’m not well acquainted with top lane matchups.

Anyway, this game is one of the most clinical games ever played in competitive play, even; LZ beat FNC with a 5-0 scoreline at the end, in a span of just under 21 minutes, probably the fastest game in Worlds history, especially considering it was minimal on kills and consisted of brilliant map control. The events transpired so fast that LZ got to use the Rift Herald only at the FNC Nexus turrets, and it survived until LZ took down the enemy Nexus. This is the only condition under which  Rift Herald dances, and boy did it dance!

Rift Herald Dance

                                                  Rift Herald dance time!

Reckless [Rekkles] Flash, OH NOOOO! : FNC vs IMT, Group B

Fnatic and IMT are both teams which are pretty aggressive in their playstyles, so it was only inevitable that one would get to see some fireworks in the game as it went into late game; with both teams opting for late-game bot lanes[IMT Cody Sun on Kog’Maw and FNC Rekkles on Twitch], which has been the norm in this Ardent Censer-support meta.

FNC took the lead with an early 4-man dive on botlane, but IMT responded with a 3-man dive on top lane, both dives being successful. The game went back and forth throughout, with FNC sOAZ missing his Cho’Gath Feast on the baron at about the 24-minute mark, alongside the Jayce[IMT Flame] solokilling Lee Sin under a FNC botside turret which gave IMT a good break, offering them a way back into the game. However Rekkles on Twitch was a monster throughout, using his stealth effectively to try making some picks against IMT’s carries. But another botched fight later, IMT get yet another baron at 34:30, helping them to knock down more turrets of FNC.

It wasn’t nearly over, though. FNC Broxah[Lee Sin jungle] managed to steal away the elder dragon from IMT in a Smite battle, bringing the game back to even keel. Rekkles was the biggest threat on FNC, and an Elder Dragon on top of their two Infernals was going to spike their damage up several notches. IMT still manage to put up a good defense during the Elder dragon buff period. But at 49:43 mark, Rekkles seems to get a pick on IMT Pobelter’s Taliyah, and proceeds to all-in her. And then comes the misplay; Taliyah flashes away from Rekkles’ Twitch, and Rekkles flashes in after her. But Taliyah just ends up using her Zhonya’s Hourglass to survive, and her teammates follow up immediately; IMT Cody Sun on his Kog’Maw obliterates the fed Twitch even through a Lulu[FNC Jesiz] ultimate, and they kill the Lulu as well, and “swiftly” close out the 50-minute bloodbath of a game.

Rekkles Flash Misplay

                            Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh Gaaaaaaaawddddddddd!

So, what do we learn from all of this? To watch all the FNC games I guess, at least if you want to watch some crazy stuff; too bad they are stuck 0-3 at the bottom Group B. A final speciality of this Worlds is the Kalista permaban; what with the Ardent Censer-supports keeping the ADC alive throughout the extended fights, no team wanted to risk a situation where a Kalista ult ends up saving her support as well, keeping them both near-unkillable.

Will be back with another post at the end of next week, when the Group stage ends and we finally know which teams will be making it to the knockouts. See you all!

 

 

 

 

 

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GET EVEN

GET EVEN

I have always had something of a love-hate relationship with horror games. For example, I’m always excited to start up a new horror game, but then once I actually get down to playing it, I start getting way too tense and stuff; there have been times I just totally stopped playing a game just because I couldn’t handle the atmosphere; Amnesia : The Dark Descent and Outlast did that to me, among many others. I don’t even know how I managed to get to the end of F.E.A.R as well. So, with some trepidation, I booted up Get Even. Did I manage to complete it? Well, if I didn’t, I wouldn’t be writing this review, now, would I?

We play as the protagonist, Black, with almost no memories at all concerning recent events; the only thing he remembers is trying to save a teenage girl with a bomb strapped to her chest, and failing to rescue her. With a machine called the Pandora fixed to his head, Black tries to get back his memories, and in the process unravel the mystery of the girl. Throughout this journey Black is accompanied by a mysterious entity who calls himself “Red”. Who is this Red guy, and his Pandora tech? What is this abandoned asylum we’re stuck in? Especially considering it isn’t as abandoned as one would like to believe, with creepy, disturbing inmates for company? Lots of questions to start with, and no answers whatsoever. And thus we begin to go down the rabbit hole.

                                                  Goddamn spooky places…

Get Even is a first-person shooter game, so the first thing to deal with would be, how does the gameplay stand up? Well, I’m glad to say it holds up quite well, actually. It starts off as a traditional shooter fare, but with the difficulty ramped up a few notches more than usual. Enemies go down with 1-3 well-placed shots, but so do we. Stealthy gameplay is encouraged, and it is ideal to kill nobody along the way so as not to distort the memories we’re reliving. When we do have to go loud, the shooting mechanics hold up nicely. In addition, Black has a weapon called the CornerGun, one with the ability to, you guessed it, shoot around corners with the aid of a joint at the center of the weapon. With its help, one can chill in cover and still kill the enemies without poking our heads out, as often.

However, Black is more of a detective than a killing machine. For this purpose, he has a smartphone which is way smarter than the normal ones. It is equipped with myriad features such as an IR scanner and a UV device among others. The camera in the phone is also the chief way you get about gathering the required evidence, apart from reading newspaper cutouts and flyers lying around the place. Not just that, though; the camera also locates some irregularities in the memories, and can remove obstacles, put up new ones as cover, or open up shortcuts on the map. It also serves as Black’s gun scope when shooting up people. And at the end of the missions, we get to visit the Evidence Room where we get to view all the evidence we have collected, and this adds an element of replayability for the completionists among us, if they happened to miss some of the evidence during the first playthrough of the mission.

                                       Don’t underestimate this phone, bruh…

The game’s atmosphere is superb. As in, superbly bleak and moody, with dilapidated warehouses, the spooky asylum with the crazy inmates and whatnot. The environment sets up the mood brilliantly, and the soundtrack of the game is just godly. It varies all the way from western classical music to a k-pop type number which kicks in during a mission where stuff begins to go sideways. This soundtrack is quite possibly the best I’ve encountered among the newer games. Added to this, is the choice system in the game. Do you choose to go in guns blazing, or a silent, stealthy approach? Should you let that asylum inmate out of his cell or just leave him in there? These choices make more impact than one would expect.

Not to say that Get Even is completely devoid of flaws, though. First of all, the protagonist Black cannot jump; there are some small obstacles which you think you would easily be able to bypass, but Black can’t vault even the minutest of walls. Also the stealth part of the game could have been executed better; at the very least it could have been improved from being an avoid-the-vision-cones gameplay it ended up being, which seems too barebones in approach to me although it does get the job done.

But when viewed in an overall sense, it is evident that the positives far outweigh the negatives. Pick up Get Even if for nothing, then just to experience the story, which develops in a psychological-thriller style, which totally works for me as I am a hardcore fan of the genre.

RATING : 8.5/10

PROS :
– Great plot and progression
– Nifty plot devices
– Atmosphere and environment
– Godly soundtrack
– Choices dictate outcomes

CONS :
– stealth gameplay is meh
– guy can’t even jump

 

Baby Driver (2017)

Baby Driver (2017)

I don’t often watch movies, and certainly not right on the release date, preferring to instead spend my time gaming, or possibly watching anime or some good TV series. But this movie did rack up some talk, and I was free, even for my standards, so I thought, why not? Well, let’s get right down to the matter, and talk about how Baby Driver fares.

The protagonist’s name is Baby. Yes, you read that right, it’s Baby. So, what does he do? Baby works as a getaway driver for Doc, but is trying to get out of this stressful business. Why doesn’t he, you ask? Well, Baby happened to dump Doc’s merchandise on one occasion, and now Doc’s put him to work as the driver for all the heists he pulls off. Baby’s driving skills happened to be the only thing that saved him from taking a bullet to the head. And Baby comes with his own quirks. He’s always listening to music on his iPod, whether he’s just chilling at home with his foster dad or buying coffee for his heist mates or even during intense car chases where he’s drifting like crazy and pulling off 180-degree turns with a practised ease. Actually, his habit of listening to music started from his childhood itself, and was more of a necessity than anything else. When he was a kid, Baby was involved in an accident in which he lost both his parents and has since then been suffering from tinnitus, a condition in which the patient’s ears constantly ring. He uses music to drown out the noise.

One fine day, Baby meets a waitress at a coffee place and a love story begins between the two of them. And he’s also managed to pay off all that he owed Doc, by working as his driver for a bunch of heists. He now wants to get out of the nasty business he’s been embroiled in for so long, and lead a new life with his lover and his foster dad. But then he’s forced into participating in yet another heist by Doc, and this time round the odds seem a bit too long for the heist to succeed. Can Baby get out, once and for all, from this life of crime?

                                           So, that’s the plan. Baby, what do you think?

The story of Baby Driver is passable and gets the job done, for the most part. However, the plot progression has been achieved pretty well. However the movie drags a bit around the halfway mark, where the romance track kicks in. The action in this film is pretty slick, I must say. Chase scenes of all kinds were impeccably well done, and this is the shining point of Baby Driver. The car stunts are damn good, and makes you think about what The Fast and Furious series could have been, instead of the mindless set-piece montage it seems to have become. Another thing that was amazing, was the soundtrack of the film. It’s on point all the time; not only that, it also does a great job establishing Baby’s character. Watching the other thieves’ consternation at Baby’s seemingly carefree demeanor is always oddly satisfying. the humor is good too; and there is no overdose of it , a trap a lot of movies seem to fall into these days.

The acting in Baby Driver is pretty good, I would say. Ansel Elgort is awesome as the mostly-silent, music-loving Baby. CJ Jones as Baby’s deaf-and-dumb foster dad is good in his role; the silent banter between father and son is entertaining to witness. Kevin Spacey as the heist leader Doc, is witty and satirical, but underneath it all lies a menacing persona. A role he plays to perfection. Jamie Foxx as the volatile Bats is cool, and so are Jon Hamm and Eiza Gonzalez as a pair of lovers robbing their way through the city. Lily James plays Deborah, Baby’s love interest, and does well too. But clearly, the standout performances come from Ansel and Kevin Spacey; it is their show throughout.

If you guys want to see something uber cool but somewhat grounded in reality, Baby Driver would be a good choice, in my opinion. If you happen to be going to the cinemas,better make Baby Driver the reason for this excursion.

RATING : 8.2/10 

PROS :
– Cool action sequences
– Humor is well done
– Ansel Elgort and Kevin Spacey are epic
– Awesome soundtrack

CONS :
– Plot is nothing special
– Film drags a bit during the middle part

 

Bayonetta

Bayonetta

Let me tell you guys in advance that I have been hoping against hope for ages that both the Bayonetta games would eventually release on PC, although the chances for this to happen seemed minuscule all along. But thankfully for me and many others who like hack-and-slash games like Devil May Cry, God of War and Darksiders among many others, this console gem has been released by Sega on PC at long last. So, how does this game, which initially released in 2009, compare to games of the present? And more importantly, is this game fun?

Bayonetta, first up, is the name of the titular character, a witch with some crazy amounts of power. The game begins with a chaotic fight against some angels alongside another witch atop a falling cliff-face. If that still doesn’t tell you about how much the game is filled to the brim with insane, over-the-top moments, fret not. This is just the beginning of Bayonetta, and believe me there’s loads more to witness. So, about the story then. Bayonetta is a leather-clad witch who has resurfaced(literally) from the depths of a lake about 20 years ago, after spending an unknown time in a slumber, of sorts. Presently, she works for some chap called Enzo, who’s basically leeching off of Bayonetta’s abilities to make money, and this is also how Bayonetta meets Rodin, who serves as the arms dealer and more through the duration of the game. basically,  she’s making her living by finishing off members of the angel clan and receiving some sort of payment from the denizens of hell. One day, Enzo comes to Bayonetta with rumors about The Eyes of the World, and that one of them is in a city called Vigrid[the other half is with Bayonetta and is in the form of a ruby-like gem].

To be fair, the story of Bayonetta does feel pretty random, like MGR : Revengeance level random, more so the farther in you go into the game, but this is somehow not a problem at all because of the rich world filled with angels to kill and some small puzzles to solve every now and then. The lore of this world is rich and fleshed out, with the player collecting pages of Antonio’s notebook, simply speaking, a way for the game to introduce to the player the world of Vigrid, the Light and Dark sides and such, around which the game revolves. For a game which came out about 8 years ago, the environments don’t look too dated and are sometimes pretty, even. The occasional excursions from Vigrid to Paradiso are welcome, with Paradiso filled with blooming meadows and clearings amongst flowerbeds, a visual treat.

But come on; nobody buys a hack-and-slash game to stand around and look at building architecture, or trees, god forbid. And that gets us all to the focal point of Bayonetta, which is combat. Basic attacks(punches and kicks) are bound to the two mouse buttons, and combos can be executed by mixing them up in various ways; a simple-seeming but effective way to make the game accessible to people like me who suck at hack-and-slash games. One key for jumps and another for dodging out of enemy attacks. Seems simple still, right? So what is so special about Bayonetta‘s combat? Well, when you dodge out of an incoming attack at the last possible moment, Witch Time is triggered; everything is in slo-mo[except us, of course] for about 3 seconds and one can more or less wreak havoc by executing devastating combos to delete the health-bars of enemies that consist of angels small and large[and larger still]. And later on in the game, one will come across some minor puzzles which involve using Witch Time in creative ways to get to the solution. Later on, Bayonetta also learns to shapeshift into a panther and a crow, which have also been well-incorporated into puzzle-solving. Coming back to combat, fighting for extended periods of time without taking any damage in return will help in filling up the magic gauge; when it is full, one can execute stylish finishers upon the press of a key, personalized for every distinct type of enemy, and god, are they epic. And the Wicked Weave, the most important damage dealer; Bayonetta uses her hair to launch extremely hard-hitting attacks at the end of her combos, and consistently landing these Wicked Weaves helps in depleting the enemies way faster.

                                                         Told you guys she used her hair…

But all of this seems small when compared to Bayonetta’s bossfights. The bosses are humongous in size, but no one is infallible, especially when faced with Bayonetta and her twin pistols. And this is really where the impact of Witch Time really shines through, because the bosses, being bosses, delete chunks of health with every hit they score on you, and in later part of the game you better not get stuck in their combos, because they tend to be somewhat long and take a toll on your health. So better bring your dancing shoes to the ball, and be light on your feet. Even so, you will be scurrying around injecting health-giving shots and sucking on lollipops to buff your damage and magic gauge levels.

The story is random, I would say, but the characters? Not quite. In fact, they are some of the most interesting characters I’ve seen in games in recent times. Bayonetta is equal parts playful and stylish, and even her combat style, filled with elegance and style, fits this perfectly. Like a hand in a glove, if I were to say so myself. Enzo is the kind of scumbag lowlife who often gets stuck in situation too far outside his zone of control, so you do feel sorry for him when the action breaks out, and he’s stuck in the middle with bullets flying left and right all around him. Rodin[pronounced Radin, for whatever reason], is a man who’s made a deal with the devil, or so it seems, and sells us some really good stuff to help us along in our adventures, right from his bar called The Gates of Hell. We later on come into contact with three pivotal characters who I cannot reveal for the sake of preserving the…thrill, I guess? It feels better to experience it rather than me spilling the beans about them, at any rate.

                                                             This boss is nothing…

But the game is not without its weaknesses. This game was made by PlatinumGames, the guys who also made MGR : Revengeance among others, and guess what? Both games have cutscenes the size of bosses which Bayonetta fights. There were times when I would just sit and watch a cutscene unfold over 10-15 minutes, after which I would fight for maybe around 10 minutes, and then back to screen-watching. It thankfully doesn’t get too annoying because of the entertaining characters and their banter; also these cutscenes often tend to go way, way over-the-top; sometimes the dialogues get cheesy in a funny way which also helps. But of course, you’re raring to get back into the fight, aching to show them angels their place, so one will tend to get a tad impatient through them cutscenes. Another niggle I have with the game is the generous littering of Quick Time Events; I’m sure as hell that at least a third of my deaths could have been avoided if not for these QTEs. Well, at least the set-pieces are insanely bombastic.

The game clocks in at 14-16 hours, depending on how good you are at this kind of games; not a short game by any means, either way. Coupled with the fact that you will be having fun every step of the game, I would say this was a time well spent. So, if I happened to be too subtle about my opinion of Bayonetta, let me iterate, once and for all : just play it!

RATING : 9.5/10

PROS :
– Combat system is on point
– Endearing characters
– Witch Time is used brilliantly, for both combat and puzzles
– Finishers are godly
– Epic bossfights
– Crazy end credits!

CONS :
– Long cutscenes
– Too many QTEs

John Wick : Chapter 2

John Wick : Chapter 2

The first iteration in the John Wick franchise was brutal and gory, yet the story was solidly made. John Wick, a retired contract killer, is reluctantly pulled back to his ways of old when the son of a Russian mafia don steals his car[a present from his deceased wife] and kill his dog. And we got to follow Johnny boy’s quest for revenge and oh boy, what a movie it was. So of course, I went in to the theater with high expectations.

The film begins with John Wick cleaning up the last remnants of the Russian boss’ family, and the boss’ cousin makes a truce with John for his life. John returns back home with his car, but then meets a ghost from the past. When John was trying to retire from being an assassin, he made a deal with Santino D’Antonio, one of the big names in the underworld, sort of. Now D’Antonio has returned for the favor he is owed. D’Antonio’s target : his own sister, who was set to inherit the seat among the big fifteen. John respectfully declines, stating he has left the world of killing for good, but D’Antonio doesn’t like that. He blows up John’s home, with him inside it; John barely manages to escape from the ensuing inferno.

But he couldn’t very well skip out on the contract he’s been offered, as he owed D’Antonio the favor, and the Continental guidelines also support the aggressor. Leaving John Wick in a contract which he just couldn’t back out of.  But as complicated as this may be, there are even more complexities in store; D’Antonio has set on John a tail in the form of Ares, a lady with a stare that could punch through you like daggers. Pretty soon the film turns into the good old killfest like in the first film, but this is not mindless, not by a long shot. As John races around from Rome back to his home town, there is only one thing he can be sure of; everyone is after him. As they say, it isn’t paranoia if everyone is out to get you.

                                                      John Wick and the pills guy…

As it was in the first film, John Wick 2‘s strength lies in its action scenes. The hand-to-hand combat scenes and the gunfights are shot with style, and there is an undeniable sense of efficiency in the way John Wick disposes of his would-be killers. This is action at its finest. But it is not just the action; the story is pretty good too, unlike many other action films where the plot takes a back seat, if even that. Also, the main character of John Wick is more fleshed out now in this second iteration. I just love how everyone stands up and takes notice of John whenever he’s around. Acting is decent too; Keanu Reeves does great as John Wick, the reluctant assassin. Ruby Rose as the mute-but-menacing Ares is cool as hell. Also has a Laurence Fishburne doing a cameo, which got half the theatre screaming “Morpheus!”. Importantly, it is not every action movie that has an atmosphere as charged-up as this.

In the end, I’d say this is one of the best action movies to come out in recent times. I like the fact that John Wick 2 doesn’t rely on cheesy CGI and unnecessary explosions to keep the action rolling. And it does the job a sequel should do; improve upon the original in every way. If you happen to like action, then wait till you get a load of this!

RATING : 9.7/10

PROS :
– brilliant action scenes
– solid story
– electrifying atmosphere

CONS :
– extras do a kind of crappy job, sometimes

 

AJIN [SEASON 2]

AJIN [SEASON 2]

The second season of Ajin finished airing just about ten days ago. Those of you who haven’t yet caught up on the anime after the season one cliffhanger, get ready to jump on the hype train! [Spoilers ahead for those who haven’t seen S1]

So the first season ended with Nagai Kei and his new companion Nakano Kou making a break and escaping the clutches of Tosaki and Shimomura. And in the meantime, Satou has issued an ultimatum to the Japanese government to include provisions for ajin to be treated as normal human beings, and to stop using them as guinea pigs for experimentation. The alternative being that Satou and his fellow ajin go after 15 officials who are the main culprits regarding this matter. The second season picks up from there, with Satou beginning to make good on his promise. On the other end, Nagai and Nakano want to stop Satou from executing his master plan, but they are severely lacking on manpower. Nagai comes up with the idea of pairing up with one of the main officials in secret so that this issue ceases to remain an issue anymore. And guess who that is… Tosaki himself!

Image result for ajin satou

                                                                  Way too OP…

The story is pretty fast paced, as it was in the first season. And it doesn’t waste time in pleasantries of any sort. The action keeps moving from Satou’s perspective to that of Nagai and Tosaki, and these switches have been handled well, so that the viewer is not distracted in the least. And as it was in the previous season, the action scenes are amazing; especially the ones where Satou goes berserk in killing people, they are truly badass moments in the show. The characters have been further developed, and some backstory for Tosaki and Shimomura comes in too. Nagai and Co. are great, no doubt about that. But my favorite character would be Satou, as is only to be expected. The guy says so many awesome things in his trademark nonchalant style; the writers did a fantastic job with this particular role. It’s as if he is the anime version of Vaas from FarCry 3. And just in case you don’t know this guy, let’s just say he is still the best villain I’ve seen in a game yet.

The only real issue with Ajin is the same as it was with the first season; the frame rates. I know that the production crew decided to do it the hard way and make it a 3D animated show, and I laud them for it. The actions are remarkably human-like, as a result. But more than occasionally, you’re left trying to see if you can differentiate one frame from another during some of the quieter moments of the show. Other than that, the show is pretty slick.

In conclusion, I would personally recommend Ajin to anyone who watches anime, and have done it on numerous occasions already. If for nothing else, just for the amazingly haunting background score that plays at the beginning and end of each episode…

RATING : 9/10

PROS :
– good plot pacing
– action scenes are even cooler
– amazing background score
– Satou-san OP
– improved 3DCG

CONS :
– frame rate is still a bit unsatisfactory

 

 

 

 

 

The Chaser(2008)

The Chaser(2008)

I have said it before, and I will say it again; Korean films are a blast to watch. Not because they are entertaining or fun; no one who has seen movies like Memories of Murder or Oldboy will say anything contrary to my statement. No, they are a blast because they are really intense pieces of art, which will make you question everything and assume not a single thing. Or maybe it’s just my awesome choice at picking out the cream of the Korean offerings, but anyways. Let’s get into The Chaser now, without further ado.

The film begins with the former Task Force detective-turned-pimp sending out one of his girls for business, if you know what I mean. But the guy is also getting paranoid about his state of affairs, as two of his call girls have quite probably just escaped without giving him any information of their whereabouts. He wants to tighten up his protocol to ensure these incidents do not repeat in the future. Unluckily, the girl who the pimp has just sent out, is also on her way to meet him. I don’t think I will be able to tell you readers any more about the plot, as some key details might be spoilt for those of you who wish to see the film. But I can assure you of one thing; it is pretty twisted and messed-up on a different level.

                                                                           The chase is on!

This is a different kind of film from the normal, as we already know the antagonist at the outset itself. Something I haven’t often seen in the suspense thriller genre. The screenplay ought to be tight, which is a requirement for this type of film, and thankfully the film delivers on that front. Also, this is quite possibly the Korean film with the fastest pacing I’ve seen yet. And the acting is spot-on, I must say. All the characters are fully fleshed out, from the pimp to the antagonist to the call girl and her kid daughter, to the police.  It is as if they are living in their roles. That might seem a bit cliche, but that is god’s honest truth. And the story is based on some real-life events, which honestly does throw up some red flags about the existence of hope in this world. This is some really depressing shit.

Overall, I’d say this: if you have watched a few Korean film, chances are you’ve watched this already. If you haven’t, guess what; it’s time for you to do yourself a favor already. And those of you who don’t[or haven’t yet] watched Korean suspense thrillers yet, this is a great way to initiate yourself into it.

RATING : 9.7/10

PROS :
– top-notch acting
– insane pacing
– pretty dark and disturbing

CONS :
– may be too dark for some