Tag Archives: Review

Need for Speed Review

Whenever I discuss Need for Speed games with anyone, and the topic of my personal favorite comes up, without any hesitation, I always answer Need for Speed Underground 2. That game introduced me personally, to the world of racing. Sure, I've played racing games prior to it, but Underground 2 managed to hook me in with its open world, heavy customization options and slew of various races.

This year's Need for Speed, which EA claims to be a reboot of sorts, feels a lot like Underground 2. From the night-time only racing, the similarities between Bayview and Ventura Bay, the interactions between other racers with your phone, to the various types of races you'll partake in.

Let's check out what's great about this year's Need for Speed, what missed the mark and our final verdict.

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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 'A Most Wanted (Inhu)Man' Review

The president's ATCU (Advanced Threat Containment Unit) begins hunting down inhumans across the country. Meanwhile, Simmons begins her rehabilitation after her extended stay on the alien world.

 

 

SPOILERS AHEAD!

 

 

 

 

A Most Wanted (Inhu)Man starts off pretty fast-paced. We meet back with Lincoln, who is being chased by a small military squadron. They pursue him through the woods until he escapes after creating a blinding wall of sparks via some steel towers. He continues throughout the episode in a similar fashion, having to give the slip from the ATCU using his powers. Eventually, he seeks refuge with his old friend, John, but he ends up turning Lincoln in after seeing a news report falsely exposing him as a fugitive. Despite distrusting Daisy after S.H.I.E.L.D. placed a tracker on him, he was left with no choice, but to call them for help.

 

While Daisy attempts to convince Lincoln to come along, Coulson meets with Rosalind Price. He's attempting to find the reason her task force is hunting inhumans, particularly Lincoln. While her response is inconclusive, Coulson's focus shifts when he informs her that he's aware she knows about Daisy, who happens to also be on her hit list. Realizing neither side will get anywhere if they keep attacking each other, instead of focusing on the bigger struggle at hand, Coulson suggests a temporary partnership with Price.

 

 

May finally decides to team up with Hunter in their mutual pursuit of Grant Ward. They make their way to Boston to meet with an old friend of Hunter's who is in league with a mysterious arms dealer, suspected to be the new Hydra. After a few rousing rounds of lager, Hunter agrees to fight his way up the pecking order…literally. Turning down May's insistence to participate, he engages in an underground fight club meant as a proving ground to meet with the boss. Somehow managing to withstand a pretty hefty beating, he finally decides to go by Hydra's rules to play as dirty as possible, pulls out his knuckle dusters, and reigns in his victory. Barely able to keep himself upright, he's taken to finally face the man he set out to kill.

 

Finally back home, Simmons is having some trouble adjusting to her surroundings. She spent months in an alien atmosphere. The difference in gravity, air supply, etc. is proving very jarring for her body to re-acclimate. Fitz is doing his best to rehabilitate her, but she's startled by any sudden move and slightly audible disturbance. Besides her physical limitations, needless to say, she's suffered some emotional distress. The team assumes its because she was clearly traumatized by her unexpected exile, causing her to break down and withdraw from everyone. When Bobbi finds Simmons still analyzing the fragments of the Monolith, she tries telling her its been completely disabled and she has nothing to fear anymore. Much to Bobbi's surprise, Simmons tells her she's not afraid of being sent back, but for some reason, actually needs to go back.

 

Between the ATCU moving in on Lincoln and Hunter placing himself in a fight club just to get closer to Ward, the episode was pretty entertaining with a decent amount of action. It feels like certain hidden plots about Simmons are starting to come to fruition, particularly that she may be an inhuman. In the last episode, Professor Randolph made it clear the Monolith isn't active at random and in fact needs to be triggered. So far, it has only reacted when any inhuman or being of a higher form has been near it…with the exception of Simmons. Now that Simmons is back, she's expressing some kind of desire to return to the alien world. There's no explanation as to why, but she definitely has some kind of drive to return, even though she claims she was being hunted the whole time. There's a decent amount of evidence to go by, but time will tell if the team ends up with another superpowered ally if Simmons ever meets a greater destiny.

The Flash 'The Fury of Firestorm' Review

Things are starting to heat up in The Flash. I mean this quite literally. In an episode dedicated to everything Firestorm we learned a monumental amount about the character and how exactly the merger of two super-charged molecular beings can create a mammoth of a superhero.

Most of this season we have seen Professor Stein in pretty bad shape. After the atomic blast that hit Central City, and the death of Ronnie, he has been struggling to keep his powers harnessed due to the need for a second being to share them. This week was the search for possible candidates to perform the merge with. After a bit of research, the team at S.T.A.R LABS discovers that there are two potential matches. One of which is Dr. Henry Hewitt. Hewitt is a scientist who is of equal intelligence of Professor Stein, and a huge fan of Stein’s works. For those of you who are not in the know of comics, Hewitt is the guy that eventually becomes Tokamak. The other is Jefferson “Jax” Jackson. Jax is a meta-human who had aspirations of being a college football player, but was hit by the particle accelerator blast, thus ending all of his dreams to attend college on a scholarship. The chip on his shoulder because of the incident is totally understandable. The team approaches both and decides to attempt the merge with Hewitt after Jax denies the request, despite him being the better match.

Caitlin Snow decided to take it upon herself to implement her will on everyone as to who the new Firestorm should be. She’s so forceful with Jax that he walks out of S.T.A.R labs. I get it, your husband was the last one and he was killed. There’s some serious shoes to fill here. However, her need to be right becomes a bit of a problem when the merge with Stein and Hewitt fails. Hewitt later in his own labs becomes a super human and you can see the switch into mega evil as he starts charging up his electric powers and begins to hunt Caitlyn down. Coincidentally, he finds her when she’s apologizing to Jax, and before Hewitt can harm them, Jax throws car parts at him giving Caitlin and Jax time to escape to S.T.A.R labs.

I was a little confused that Jax went so willingly with Caitlin considering a meta-human just tried to murder them while he was screaming “this isn’t what you promised.” Maybe it was the sight of Professor Stein on what looks like a death bed that swayed his decision to merge. When they do, it is a glorious sight to behold. Flames, flight, dual personality, the whole works. Almost immediately after the first merge, Hewitt starts attacking the football field where Jax got hit by the blast, a little ironic. Hewitt uses the stadium lights to charge up his energy while Barry Allen as the Flash and now Jax/Stein as Firestorm rush to save the day.

This battle was really cool. It’s discovered that Hewitt is an egotistical maniac with anger issues. Now knowing this the team discovers that the angrier he gets, the more powerful he gets. They use this as a weapon to get him so fired up that he implodes. At the stadium we get to see Firestorm in action. He’s a little wobbly at first when he gets hit by an electric blast from Hewitt, but regains his composure with the help of the omnipresent voice of Professor Stein. I want a brilliant professor subconscious, that would be pretty fantastic. The team takes Tokamak down and goes on to see another day, with the addition of an awesome new character.

There were a lot of differences in this episode in comparison to others. Barry Allen wasn’t really featured a lot throughout this episode. I really like this dynamic because it proves that the other characters are written strongly enough to hold their own. That being said, there are some plot arcs here that I’m not really feeling. The whole relationship between Barry and Patty is beginning to get old. How much awkward flirting can one really do before someone makes a move? In this episode Patty asks Barry for help on a case that she’s looking into about a half shark, meta-human cyborg. Barry agrees to run some tests on a bag of shark teeth she hands him, and they both decide such a thing couldn’t be real. Oh boy, were they wrong.  Barry was looking for Patty to make a move after a pep talk from Joe and sees her in a coffee shop across the street. The episode ended with the mammoth shark grabbing The Flash.  and is there in time to use her gun to shoot the shark, which has zero effect. OH MY GOD IT’S KING SHARK! The two are saved by a shot dealt from no else than Harrison Wells.

What is going on with Harrison Wells? I need to know! This show keeps throwing his face on the screen for five second clips and it’s the biggest tease in comic show history. Hopefully now because Barry knows his identity, that we can delve more into why he’s back and what he’s doing here.

Another side plot is that Iris’ mother Francine is back. She tells Joe that she’s dying from MacGregor’s disease and she wants Iris back in her life for her final years. Iris’ denies her and discovers through Investigative journalism that she has a bother that she never knew about. WHO COULD IT BE?

This week was a pretty solid episode. There were fantastic cameos and highlighting to characters that prove the depth and awesomeness of this show. This episode was also crucial for setting up Legends of Tomorrow by introducing Jax. He’s the guy to keep an eye out for in the new show, and he looks absolutely awesome. Cisco is having some inner battles about his relatively new discovery of powers. Stein gives him an adorable pep talk about how he can use them for good and that he should embrace them and tell his friends. That whole speech was comic book gold and adorable. Next week is going to be interesting and I can’t wait.

Fun Fact: This episode title was taken from multiple series of Firestorm comics.

Gotham "Knock Knock" Review

For those who are still skeptical about Gotham, I think last night’s episode was the beautiful beginning of putting your woes to rest. The major point of discrepancy in everything I’ve read is that the Penguin has seemingly stolen the focus away from Jim Gordon. It can be argued that Oswald is featured in every episode, even in the most arbitrary of scenes just to feature him. That being said, yesterday proved that not only is he not the only major player in the plot, but he wasn’t even featured.

This episode was chilling. When we were promised the rise of the villains, I don’t think any of us thought of the bloodshed and massacre that would come by the hands of Gotham’s most sinister. Having the episode begin with Theo Galavan (James Frain) using scare tactics to torture the mayor, writers set the tone pretty heavy for the next forty-five minutes of terror. After some shipyard workers are tossed over the roof of the Gotham Gazette in order to make headlines, there is an installation of panic throughout the streets of the city. Gordon pays a visit to Harvey and begs him to come back to the police force, only to be thwarted by Harvey’s wife. The escaped Arkhamites including smiling Jerome Velaska (Cameron Monaghan) and his crew fight over the right to be leader of the squad (see what I did there?). The squad hatches a plan to barbeque a bus of cheerleaders, but fails, and one of their captured members receives a head shot by the hand of Tabitha Galavan before he can talk.

Back at Gotham PD, Barbara Kean (Erin Richards) places a call to Gordon from inside the police station in order to lure him away into the streets where he is promptly beaten senseless. All the while, the entire police station is shot up by the Arkham escapees and the Commissioner is murdered on camera by Jerome. After the massacre, Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue) seamlessly returns to the force with no questions asked. Meanwhile Alfred Pennyworth (Sean Pertwee) destroys a computer found in an underground cave, young Bruce Wayne fires him, then rehires him so long as he can fix the computer. Alfred employs the help of Lucius Fox (Chris Chalk) but not before threatening to string him up like a smoked fish if he betrays them. Phew. That was a lot. Seriously.

Okay, where to begin?  I think it’s interesting that the villains are portraying pure evil with no intentions. Sure, the premise of the maniacal doings is to take over the world, but with no end goal in sight, the group is just wreaking havoc. There is nothing more descriptive of DC comic villains than pure evil. I feel in all comic lines produced by DC, that the heroes are all-powerful and the villains all-evil.

I think we’re all starting to buy in to the fact that Jerome is going to be the joker. The scene in which Gotham PD is massacred, he films the entire murder. Sound a little like what he did to Barbara Gordon in The Killing Joke? I thought so too. Now if only he would start donning a Hawaiian shirt and flat brim hat, I’d be sold. For every Joker there must be a Harley, and Barbara Kean is shaping up to be just that. With a sinister kiss to Gordon and a child-like fit when she’s not included in the barbeque festivities, it’s becoming clear that whether we like it or not these two are Gotham’s representation of these characters.

I’m starting to fall in love with Edward Nygma’s craziness. It’s very difficult for an actor to portray even one character let alone a character that is fighting with himself. Cory Michael Smith is doing an incredible job. You can see with each face of the soon to be Riddler that there is a mastery of understanding of this battle that we all know the ending to.

Can someone explain to me why the Alfred Pennyworth that we all know and love, who is a refined Englishman no less, is suddenly spitting cockney? I did really enjoy his approach of Lucius Fox at the bar. I though his candor and speech about how he deals with disloyal people was the definition of who Alfred is. Plus, a pre-bat gadget developing Fox is going to be an awesome character to watch.

Jim Gordon is still trying to be the voice of moral compass. When the force shows up to the gas-filled truck and school bus that’s about to be torched, the villains start shooting at the cops. With no hesitation Gordon screams “don’t shoot,” at his fellow police force. This is the Gordon we all know. Not afraid to bend the rules, but at the very end of the day, he’s the only one morally sound in Gotham.

The Huntress headshot that kills of one of the villains is proof that she is going to be developed into the absolute mercenary that she is. I literally could not be more excited about this. The scene this week when her and Barbara are having a twisted girl’s night in by torturing the mayor played tribute to both her and Barbara’s characters and how they mean business, but love to have villain style fun.

There are still a lot of characters to sift through, however, if this season keeps on track the way that it has been so far, a small feature of each story line each episode will ensure that the “convoluted” story lines will be straightened out, and furthermore, enjoyable to watch.

Tales of Zestiria Review

To be completely honest, I never played a Tales game before; I've heard plenty of great things about them, but up until now I have never tried one. And with Tales of Zestiria being my first one, I couldn’t be happier. JRPG’s take some sense of commitment, once you start, you know that the ride is going to be a long one.

This is true for Tales of Zestiria, the story, characters and world are beautifully crafted, which makes the game hard to put down, despite its long length. The enormous campaign will have you playing for quite some time, but what is the story around Tales of Zestiria even about you ask?

Without spoiling the story completely, it's about a young boy named Sorey. Earth is filled with malevolence and it is time for the “Shepard” to eradicate it from the world. Sorey and his friends must embark on this massive journey to rid the world of evil.

From the very beginning, Tales of Zestiria catches your attention from the beautiful animated graphics to the intriguing story. However, Zestiria isn't all perfect. Let’s take a deeper look at the positives and negatives.

The Positives / The Negatives

The Verdict

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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 'Devils You Know' Review

S.H.I.E.L.D.'s resources are focused on finding the one murdering inhumans, but the culprit is always a step ahead. Meanwhile, Fitz is realizing Simmons' experience on the alien world may have affected her more greatly than he expected.

SPOILERS AHEAD!

Devils You Know starts with the new ATCU/S.H.I.E.L.D. tag-team (with the help of their former self-replicating ally, Alicia) tracking an inhuman couple believed to be the next target on the mysterious Lash's hit list. Despite having an operative at the ready, Lash makes his move and brutally slaughters the two inhumans, as well as Alicia's replicant. Running low on leads, Daisy discovers some records pointing to a Dwight Frye. Known as Bazooka in the comics, he should have the power to emit explosive blasts from his hands, but having Daisy around probably makes that redundant. Instead, he has the power of detection, acting as a "diving rod" with a painful, negative reaction in the mere proximity of other inhumans. Their attempt to rescue him, however, was all for naught with Lash still making his grand entrance and murdering Dwight, the team helpless to stop it.

Hunter finally gets the encounter he's been waiting for since he held the bleeding, tortured Bobbi in his arms. After all the beatings and initiations, he finds himself in the new Hydra's covert armory and the place Grant Ward has set up shop. His timing, however, could not have been worse considering the warehouse full of armed assassins and Hunter completely on his own. As expected, once he and Ward lock eyes, a shootout ensues, one for which he is hopelessly under-equipped. Luckily, he gets some thrilling heroics courtesy of none other than The Cavalry! May swings into action, but hits an unexpected roadblock when Ward reveals his henchmen have Dr. Garner cornered, ready to attack. Hunter, unwilling to allow Ward to gain the upper hand again, still moves in on him, but is unable to take him out, resulting in Ward's escape.

It's hard to imagine Fitzsimmons incapable of recovering from any turmoil they run into as resilient as they've proven themselves to be, but lately its been nothing but obstacles for the beloved scientists. Despite her best efforts, Simmons is unable to keep the truth from Fitz. Confiding only in Bobbi about her desires to return to the alien world, she was hoping her secret would be safe until she pieces together a method of harnessing a stable wormhole. Unfortunately for her, Fitz happens across her astrological and historical research about the Monolith and has no choice but to not only inform him of her plans, but possibly recruit his help. 

Devils You Know wasn't terrible, but it was nothing too thrilling. We're still just getting bits of info as to what the plan for the season is, but nothing concrete. The only thing new about Lash is that he might be able to take human form. The inevitable showdown between Hunter and Ward was cut short with a hostage situation, despite Ward clearly having the bigger, badder team at his side. There's still no clue as to why Simmons wants to go back so badly, but the inhuman theory still seems pretty viable. During her psych eval with Dr. Garner she says, "I'm not one of your inhuman patients", which could be a classic Joss Whedon red herring. From an optimistic perspective, this season still looks hopeful. There is a running trend for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. to have a slow start every season, so let's hope this one follows suit and starts gaining some momentum if it wants to establish a larger audience.

Doctor Who 'The Girl Who Died' Review

Coming off another harrowing adventure, The Doctor and Clara find themselves arriving in a viking village tormented by a false god. Caught in the midst of an impending siege, they must prepare the good people for a battle with an enemy unlike any they've ever seen.

SPOILERS AHEAD!

We open with The Doctor and Clara wrapping up a previously unseen adventure, this time with Clara floating in space alone…save for the brain-eating alien spider in her space suit! Bringing his wayward companion to the safety of the TARDIS, The Doctor lands in a woodland area of Earth, if only to wipe the spider entrails from the heel of his shoe. Upon their arrival, they are intercepted by a gang of roving vikings, giving us the "where" and "when" of their destination. Once captured and taken to their village, The Doctor attempts to take advantage of the primitive culture and bemuse them with a display of his god-like "power" (namely, whipping out his trusty yo-yo), only to be upstaged by a massive, bearded face materializing in the clouds. The figure claims to be the actual Odin promising the warriors below a soldier's paradise in the mighty banquet halls of Valhalla. As groups of vikings are being teleported away, Clara and a local girl, Ashildr, are taken as well, leaving The Doctor powerless to stop it.

Recognizing immediately that the cold, metallic interior in which they've found themselves is not Valhalla in the slightest, Clara attempts to find an escape. Despite her best efforts, only she and Ashildr manage to find an entrance to the apparent spaceship, unable to prevent the vikings from being vaporized in the trap behind them. Once inside, they encounter this "Odin" who proceeds to drink a vile of green fluid, claiming its the combined essences of the mighty warriors he had just slain. Clara, imploring him to leave in peace now that he has what he sought, is interrupted by Ashildr. Horrified by the slaughter of her people, she demands a fight, to which he accepts and sends them both back to tell her people of his impending siege in 24 hour's time.

The Doctor, now expecting a raid from the warrior race known as the Mire, insists on the villagers fleeing. Naturally, they refuse, leaving him no choice but to train a cowardly platoon of farmers and fishermen the art of combat in the span of a day. One blunderous exercise after another renders the new vikings no closer to victory than when they started. Hope relied squarely on The Doctor falling back on his time-tested strategy: be as ridiculous and unexpected as possible. He hatches a plan to humiliate the Mire; spilling not their blood, but their reputation as mighty invaders. After disabling Odin's soldiers with electric eels (yes, you heard right!), he has Ashildr use the Mire's technology to mentally project a dragon hologram over a wooden puppet, all the while recording Odin's terror so as to threaten him with broadcasting the footage across the universe. Unfortunately, their victory proves hollow. As the titular endeavor promises, Ashildr is overwhelmed by the otherwordly technology and does not survive the process. Devastated by his folly, The Doctor damns the rules he swore to abide, and uses an alien chip implant to actually resurrect her.

The Girl Who Died was definitely a fun episode with a lot of laughs and creative plot devices. The shout-out to Peter Capaldi's initial appearance during the David Tennant era not withstanding, the whole story felt tacked on for the sake of setting up the story they actually want to tell in the second part. Having Game of Thrones regular, Maisie Williams (as Ashildr), was certainly a plus, but its hard not to wonder if having more guest stars is just to distract from their attempt to stretch every plot across two episodes for this entire season. As much as showrunner, Steven Moffat, wants to experiment with the format, some elements should remain intact. Its hard not enjoy seeing a viking walk up to The Doctor…and snap his sonic sunglasses in half! The sonic screwdriver was replaced with the wearable tech no sooner than the first episode, much to the disgust of the general viewership. Now that they're out of commission, we can only hope this was a sly attempt at easing us into an updated sonic screwdriver, should we be so fortunate.

ASTRO A40 TR Headset Review

For someone who isn't a huge audiophile, I end up using a variety of headsets any given year. I mean, sure, at full disclosure, most of them are sent to me for review purposes, so therefore it is my job to wear them and then write about them, but out of the many, there are only a handful I will go back to.

When it comes to headphones or headsets, I'm a big supporter of "less is more." I don't really like over-complicated wiring set ups with mixing boards and all that jazz. The less cables it takes to get me from enjoying my games and being able to chat with an online party, the better. Hence I tend to like wireless headsets or ones that simply plug in with a single USB or 3.5mm jack a lot more. The Astro A40s buck this trend for me.

That's mostly because it can be used in two different ways, the more bulky set up with the mixamp, and then the single-cable solution by simply plugging in a 3.5mm jack into your controller. I really like this, as it allowed me to fiddle around with the mixamp a bit for the review, get a sense of what it can do, how it works, but ultimately go to my simple set up while still enjoying the comfort the A40 TRs provide.

The Astro A40 TRs are first and foremost designed with customization in mind, though comfort surely comes in at a close second. These headphones are completely moddable with kits you can purchase separately. For example, a Black Ops 3 Mod Kit I was sent came with interchangable ear cups, a mic, speaker tags, and a Call of Duty branded strip that fits on the top of the headset. You can then freely change up any of these that you like. For instance, the Black Ops 3 ear cups were leathery, which provided amazing noise cancellation from my surroundings. Seriously, I couldn't hear a thing. But I had to forgo using them since the soft cushions that come standard with the headset are so much more comfortable for extended use. However, your mileage may vary. If you're used to leather ear cushions then investing in a mod pack that includes those might be a good idea, just for that noise cancelling feature alone.

The Mixamp is fairly easy to hook up. The unit I was sent was for the Xbox One, and with just a few cables I was able to hook it up to the console no problem. The Mixamp itself is primarily good for controlling volume as well as mixing game and voice audio in real time. However, it does have an equalizer shortcut as well as a Dolby 7.1 Surround Sound toggle. It's neat that it's there, but I barely used it. Normally, I wouldn't even hook the Mixamp up for personal use, but for the purposes of this review, I had to give it a shot.

It's also important to note that even though this headset was the Xbox One version, it does actually work with the PS4, if you're not using the Mixamp. The Mixamp worked, but for some reason whenever I would talk, everyone would hear me echo. As soon as I took the Mixamp out of the equation and simply plugged the headset into the controller with the 3.5mm jack, it worked like a charm, microphone and all. Likewise, the whole setup also works perfectly on the PC as well. So really, you're getting a versatile headset in a single package.

The sound quality is superb with the Astro A40 TRs, which at this point, sounds like a redundant thing to say about a company's headset that has historically made headsets with great audio. Though I will say a large part of my enjoyment stems not only from how great they sound, but how comfortable they are. A few years ago we've gotten the original A40s in the office and not only did they feel somewhat bulkier, even though I'm sure the build is nearly the same, but the ear cushions were complete sweat producers. I couldn't go for more than 30 minutes without my ears feeling cramped and sweaty. The new softer cushion on the A40 TRs don't have this effect on me. I've timed it and went four and a half straight hours of game time without any sort of discomfort or sweat. Well, maybe just a little sweat.

For those that want their listening experience more tailored and custom made, can download the software which allows users to set up their own EQ presets. Again, not something I personally used as much, but for tinkerers that prefer their sound tailored to their own specific needs, it's an appreciated feature.

Really, it comes down to how much you're willing to spend on a headset. Truth be told, the Astro A40 TRs aren't exactly cheap. The base set that comes with the Mixamp is $250, and $310 if you're planning on buying the base set with a mod kit. To put that in perspective, the Steelseries Wireless H headset that I reviewed two years ago is around the same price, but is free from the shackles of wiring. Or even the Logitech Artemis G633 which just uses a single wire or USB rod, or the G933 which is completely wireless retails for $150 and $200 respectively. However, if you're already a fan of the Astro line, then this iteration is undoubtedly the best, whether I'm talking about sound quality or overall comfort. Also, get the white ones. They're gorgeous!

Doctor Who 'The Zygon Invasion' Review

When the cease-fire between the human race and the shape-shifting Zygons is broken, war breaks out all over Earth. The Doctor must find the means to re-establish peace among the races before they completely annihilate each other.

SPOILERS AHEAD!

The Zygon Invasion acts as the follow-up to the Doctor Who 50th anniversary movie, The Day of the Doctor. We open with the two Osgoods, one human and the other Zygon, as they explain the terms of the Human/Zygon Peace Treaty, known as "Operation: Double". Apparently, 20 million Zygons have made their home amongst the human race in disguise with the intention of blending in and living in harmony. However, they explain that a breach of the treaty would require them to activate a device known as the Osgood Box, given to them by The Doctor in the event of this "nightmare scenario".

Once The Doctor realizes the Zygons are beginning an uprising, he has no choice but to return to UNIT and find out what they know. Director of UNIT, Kate Lethbridge-Stewart, shows The Doctor they've discovered the Zygon high command's secret base in an effort to have him unlock the technology found within and pinpoint their next move. After decrypting their files, he discovers a message containing footage of a Zygon splinter group murdering the old high commanders, taking their place, and calling for a revolution against the treaty, along with the repeating message of "Truth or Consequences". As it turns out, it isn't just a warning; Truth or Consequences is also a city in New Mexico. The Doctor decides to take a UNIT squadron to rescue Osgood, the only one capable of rebuilding peace, while Kate goes to Truth or Consequences to uncover its relevance.

Along with the strike team, The Doctor makes his way to the Zygon occupied village in Turmezistan where Osgood is being held captive. After a very intense standoff between the troops and a battalion of Zygons who have taken the form of their loved ones, the strike team ignores the orders of their commanding officer and is fooled into entering the building in question, where they are executed into piles of smoking ash. The attack prompts the field commander to call an airstrike on the area, leaving The Doctor only minutes to find Osgood and bring her to safety.

Meanwhile, in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, Kate discovers the town is completely barren, save for a lone, terrified local sheriff. She proceeds to tell Kate the trouble started when one of the disguised Zygons revealed themselves accidentally, causing a panic and ultimately leaving everyone in town dead. Unwittingly trusting this sole survivor, the sheriff drops her rouse upon realizing Kate is alone, revealing herself as a Zygon. Taking Kate's form, it establishes complete control of UNIT, the only organization capable of halting their efforts, putting the final stages of their coup d'etat into place.

At long last, the ninth season of Doctor Who delivers an episode well worth a two part installment! The Zygon Invasion is definitely the best of the season so far. The supposed peace treaty established in The Day of the Doctor was never really touched upon again, so we never got to see if it all worked out. All we needed to know at the time was that London wasn't blown into a crater and peace between the two species was possible. Now that the walls are being broken down thanks to a faction of radicals, things are worse than ever, hence the phrase "nightmare scenario". Its been a while since The Doctor had to stop an actual world war from a hostile race outside of the usual invasion tactic, so this was a refreshing change of pace with a lot of dark turns and some pretty intense moments. The cliffhanger left us with Zygon Clara firing a rocket launcher at the plane The Doctor and Osgood are on, so we won't know if (let's face it, "how") they survive, but the momentum of this episode should make for some pretty eventful action in the next episode, The Zygon Inversion.

Divinity: Original Sin Enhanced Edition Review

Last year, both cRPG and Divinity fans were treated to an absolutely stellar experience with Original Sin on PC. The once prominent genre faded into obscurity in the 2000s, but Larian Studios decided to do something about it, and of course, gauge public interest through Kickstarter. Divinity: Original Sin was a fantastic combination of both old and new. It preserved the classic turn-based gameplay that cRPGs were known for, and kept the open ended gameplay of Divinity, while introducing some stellar new companion mechanics, and bringing the once 2D isometric game into a full 3D isometric view, with a fully rotatable camera view.

This year, owners of the original will be getting the Enhanced Version for free while console players will be getting a chance to try out this previously coveted PC-only genre for the first time.

But how does The Original Sin translate to consoles, and is the Enhanced Edition worth checking out?

Let's find out.

*Note: Since we never got around to reviewing The Original Sin when it first came out, we'll be diving into the story as well as the gameplay elements that make this game unique, which would have already been covered in the original review.

The Positives / The Negatives

The Verdict

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