Berserk and The Band Of The Hawk PS4 [REVIEW] #musoumay

Even if i reviewed (or re-reviewed, since i did already cover this one in 2017 on my older Italian blog) this one before of Miura’s passing, i would have told a tale of sadness, woe and disappointment.

But i won’t deny that with Kentaro Miura spiralling out of this mortail coil just over a year ago… there’s an extra serving of melancholy to the subject, which it’s ironically fitting in its own way.

As you would expect, there was some expectations at the time, even more since Koei Tecmo teased it and made a big deal about one this being one of more bloody and violent Warriors games ever…. and in hindsight it’s very telling, as they also did this lip service for Warriors Of Troy. Oh boy.

That aside, you would expect the Berserk musou to be pretty bloody and gory regardless, and it definitely delivered on that, can’t take it away from the game. I can though laugh at the fuckin localized english title they went with for this game, Berserk’s main character has a name, and a pretty not-generic one, you know?

He’s called Gatsu/Guts, just so you know.

Though that it’s not completely random, as the game starts from the Golden Age arc and covers up to the Hawk of the Millennium Empire Arc, with them boarding the ship after fighting Ganisha serving as the closing chapter.

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants In Manhattan PS4 [REVIEW] | Not Very Neat

Since i did mention the game in my impressions on the Babylon’s Fall demo, and there’s a huge compilation of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles games (most of the ones done by Konami) being released soon, i’d figured why not, let’s talk about this disappointing as heck turtle excretion, which pretty much killed any potential for more videogames based on beloved nostalgic cartoon series by Platinum Games, after their shortish but really good take on Transformers (the older ones, known as “Generation 1”, or “G-1”) with Transformers Devastation.

I mean, at least this one can still be found around in physical form, unlike other Turtles game, for example the TMNT: Out Of The Shadows one (don’t expect a review of that).

Or the similarly crappy Legend Of Korra game Platinum Games also developed, also deslisted after Activision didn’t wanna renew the license for, BUT i happen to have bought the PS3 version and i still have it, so that i might review, in order to proper understand how Platinum as a studio it’s capable of both incredible height and shitty lows that spoil the studio’s reputation, still.

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[EXPRESSO] Morbius (2022) | Dr. Acula, MD

The “Sony” side of the Marvel movies now moves from fairly popular and well know Venom to a lot more obscure one, Morbius. General audiences sure aren’t familiar with him, myself i barely know of him as a saw a high quality collectable statue as an upcoming item years ago.

Which is good, makes sense to make movie about lesser known characters from the huge roster of Marvel’s back catalogue (with beloved popular actor Jared Leto in the lead to also ensure huge turn-out) and this one if nothing else follows the trail of the two Venom movies, as in it’s an anti-hero, the doctor Michael Morbius, plagued by a rare blood disease and wanting to save everyone with his illness, Morbius takes a desperate gamble in a remote cave with bats.

What seems to be the long awaited cure turns out to be also a curse, as he start developing a craving for human blood and powers akin to a vampire bat.

If Venom was a reminder that superheroes movies could be sketchy but still entertain despite having a lot of problems, Morbius it’s a throwback to the early to mid-2000s era of the genre, as in, despite a lot of money in effects and a fun premise, they often turned out irremediably boring as shit, lifeless despite the fantastical elements, and a pile of hot garbage overall.

Formulaic, tiresome, boring everything, from plot to characters to themes, even the shitty fights way too overreliant on FXs (complete with an underwhelming final confrontation), Morbius has it all, takes itself seriously, and sequelbaits hard to boot.

You don’t always need to be good or perfect, but when everything it’s so shoddy, trite and not very interesting, at least you could be entertaining.

This is sadly just boring garbage. Pity. 😦

[EXPRESSO] The Batman (2022) | Nigma Notions

After fighting the dreaded villain known as COVID19-Man, Batman is back to the silver screen, now being played by Robert Pattinson in what it’s essentially another “reboot” of sorts, since the plot of The Batman goes back to basics, depicting the reasons why millionarie Bruce Wayne uses his wealth to moonlight as the masked vigilante of the “Batman”, his encounter with Selina Kyle (aka Catwoman), and has him face the villain known as The Riddler.

The main difference is that this time Bruce Wayne’s past (including e his legacy as a Wayne) plays a bigger role, as we were lead to think by the trailers and promo materials, but thankfully this re-establishes the character without being an origin story, and depicts Batman as a more tragic and frail force of justice, as now his family’s legacy comes into play into the corrupt nature of Gotham itself.

The good: Gotham’s depiction is amazing, the brooding and even more dark tone is perfect, the mood overall it’s great and matches the more grounded approach (which of course reminds one of Nolan’s work on the caped crusader), the cast is stellar and giving out great performances, with Pattinson making for a really convincing and more obsessive Batman.

Shame that the narrative ultimately suffers not being as strong as it could, thanks in part to the kinda messy script that falls victim to overstuffing, with ¾ climaxes and the movie being pretty much 3 hours long. It’s not boring, actually it’s fairly captivating, but it feels like they crammed almost 2 scripts into 1 because superhero movies are expected to be very long these days.

I still recommend it, despite the aforementioned flawas, because it’s refreshing to a superhero movie done with vision in mind more than a spreedsheet of pre-made and rounded-edged lego blocks.

Vampire Girl VS Frankenstein Girl (2009) [REVIEW] | Draculina VS Kabukistein’s Daughter

Ah, yes the other kind of “Vlad Love”, not the comedy extravaganza by beloved author Mamoru Oshii, but the vampire biting, the wrist cutting, the blood spurting like geyers after each and every bizarre mutilation, which in some cases will enable flight, this the kind of love we’re talking about today!

While i could have reworded the truth as an excuse to review Tokyo Gore Police (it is after all the love story between blades and mutant flesh, a lot of both, etc.), i think the occasion just fits another japanese horror gore-o-rama from director Yoshihiro Nishimura (the aforementioned Tokyo Gore Police, Helldiver, Meatball Machine, Mutant Girls Squad), co-directing here alongside a another famous name in the “pink eiga”and horror genre, Naoyuki Tomomatsu, better known for his zombie comedy horror Stacy from 2001, also known as Stacy: Attack Of The Schoolgirl Zombies.

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Shintaro Kago Artbook ARTBOOK REVIEW

Given my adoration for the ero-guro master that is Shintaro Kago, i was gonna jump immediatly at the chance of adding an artbook of his to my collection (which it’s quite extensive, if i say so myself)… and i did. Had to import it, since it was gonna be handled by french publisher The Mansion Press, instead of the many italian and international publishers who usually publish his works (including underground – and fellow italians – firms like the excellent Hollow Press).

Not that it mattered, since The Mansion Press ships worlwide, it’s an artbook, and it happens to be localized in english.

“Localized” in the sense the publishing credits and the few titles-thems of the pieces are translated in english. It’s absolutely 100 % import friendly, so worry not on this regard.

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One Punch Man: A Hero Nobody Knows PS4 [REVIEW] | Anonimity Force

Worry not, Namco isn’t removing this from sale this February like Jump Force, just shutting down the online servers for it.. already (game came out in 2020), but i’ve played this this past month, so enjoy this extra anime fighter review of One Punch Man: A Hero Nobody Knows, it’s on the house!

On a conceptual level, i feel pity towards a game like this, based on a popular shonen series that turned heads at the time because of it’s modern attitudine and unique premise of an overpowered superhero that defies his goofy look and can literally one-shot any foe he meets with a single punch.

One Punch Man is also more than a gimmick, but the premise was ripe to do something quite different with it in terms of a videogame adaptations… and instead Namco Bandai did exactly the most obvious, lazy and low effort thing they could with the license, another 3D arena anime fighter, in an overpopulated sea of the buggers, mostly all released by Namco Bandai anyway.

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Jump Force PS4 [REVIEW- FUNERAL] | To The Digital Graveyard With You!

One might wonder why review Jump Force now, as it got “internet spanked” quite enough when it came out in 2019. Aside the fact i don’t need a reason to do so… Namco Bandai gave me a big one, by announcing they would remove the game from digital storefronts, alongside the 2 season passes, the DLCs characters and content by february 8th 2022, with online functionalities and features shutting down entirely by August 24th 2022, this on all platforms.

Now, i know this would be reason for joy to many, but i’m an archivist at heart, and while i won’t miss the microtransaction laden bullshit, i find it silly that they didn’t even managed to make a complete edition of it with all the content on disc, only the Deluxe Edition on Switch with the Season Pass 1 content baked in the cart.

So years in the future you won’t be able to play the Season Pass 2 characters at all, which isn’t exactly a loss given the game wasn’t good to begin with, but it’s even more soon-to-be legally lost content. The loss of the online functionalities was inevitable, to a point, but the rest not so much.

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[EXPRESSO] The King’s Man (2021) | Tonal Clash Service

I quite liked the first Kingsman movie, even enjoyed the second one (even if it was uber cheesy, with the robodogs and Elton John and all), but i feel that maybe it would have been best if this didn’t became a series, as we are already going for the “origins of” storyline, but whatever.

The film – as you would expect – it’s about the foundation of the Kingsman’s intelligence agency, borne in Britain during the events of WW I by elite warriors that woved to silently defend humanity from its from villains and tyrants, which puts them against Grigori Rasputin and other conspirators led by a mysterious figure, intent in making Germany overwhelm Britain in the conflict.

This is not a bad movie, mind you, nor bad movies. I do feel like they had scripts for two different movies set in the Kingsman universe, and – maybe – afraid that with the current situation of theathers they couldn’t get another chance (also due to hypotethical series fatigue) at it, so here you go, you get the story of Orlando Oxford’s son wanting to enlist in the war to prove his worth, with a fairly serious war movie tone, and the over the top comic book style spy action fights that you’d expect from a Kingsman movie.

Both are quite decent and entertaining in themselves, which is laudable, but the tone (and the themes, honestly) doesn’t really match between the events on the WW I trenches and a delightfully excessive Grigori Rasputin using his mystical powers (which are somehow real) to cure a wound by licking it frantically, to say nothing of the charicatural characterization of the kaiser, czar and most of the villains.

Despite this, it’s definitely not a slog, cast it’s pretty good and overall it’s decent fun.

[EXPRESSO] Diabolik (2021) | Pulp Noir

My final EXPRESSO review of the year, and – unless something unexpected happens, or the COVID shit gets worse here – my last cinema experience till next year, and it happens to be a movie that likely won’t mean or say much to anyone outside of Italy, as in a new cinematic adaptation of italian comic book series Diabolik, a pulp fiction tale written by the Giussani Sisters, set in the fictional city of Clerville that follows the titular Diabolik, a brilliant and ruthless master thief, aided by his partner & lover femme fatale Eva Kant, and pursued by police inspector Ginko.

While it’s one of the most popular and well known italian comic series ever, i feel most people remember the older 1968 adaptation by Mario Bava… but this new one it’s nothing like that, at all.

This new adaptation actually it’s more faithful to the earlier stories of the Diabolik series, as it depicts Diabolik itself as incredibly ruthless criminal, murdering everyone he can get away with in order to get what it wants and needs to pull off incredible heists, while continuosly slipping away from the grasp of the police and inspector Ginko, in what sounds like a Lupin III-esque dynamic but quite isn’t.

The plot isn’t an origin story but works quite well as an introduction the series as a whole, as it features Diabolik’s soon-to-be lover & partner Eva Kant. And while it’s a good adaptation, the acting its great and the style is good, the story itself leaves something to be desired (not that interesting) and the script it’s a bit bloated.

Still, even if flawed, it’s a realized adaptation by the Manetti Bros, who stuck to an actual vision they had, instead of trying to chase trends and ape modern comic book movies.