As I’m sure anyone who has gone through it can tell you, puberty is not fun. It’s a confusing transitional period. If you’ve never experienced the joys of puberty then you’re either too old or too young and this post likely won’t appeal to you. If you are on the cusp of puberty or suffering through it as we speak then this is for you. I intend to plot a course through this period in your life, year by year with the use of TV, Movies and Books all from my own experiences starting at the age of 13. That means that this isn’t a comprehensive list, nor do I claim to be an expert on this topic.
Touted as the swansong for Hugh Jackman’s iconic Wolverine and Patrick Stewart’s Charles Xavier, Logan really was a film that carried a heavy burden. A burden which, in my opinion, it carried beautifully and all the way.
So, to refresh one’s memory, the X-Men franchise has been hoovering up cinemagoers dollars since the year 2000, and it hasn’t always been smooth sailing for our uncanny heroes. The first two entries, X-Men and X2, are impressive and aesthetically-appealing films that capture the spirit of the comics with ample ability. However, the third movie, Last Stand, took an interesting premise of a mutant ‘cure’ and kind of made a hash of it all, delivering something heavy-handed and full of unneeded twists.
X-Men: First Class represented a wonderful return to from for our hated and feared heroes, however, starring James MacAvoy and Michael Fassbender as fresh-faced versions of Charles Xavier and his eventual nemesis Erik Lensherr, aka Magneto. This was everything the franchise needed, a true update and improvement, and 2014’s Days of Future Past continued to impress. Whilst last year’s X-Men: Apocalypse had a rather bland villain and, in comparison, was a bit soulless, it still left us feeling confident for the film franchises’ future.
In addition to these, however, Wolverine, the team’s ferocious and badass main man, has had a trilogy of solo outings, concluding with this year’s Logan. With Origins: Wolverine being a disappointing outing not equal to the sum of its parts (a brilliant cast and excellent action sequences) and The Wolverine being a pretty good film for the first 75% before dropping off in the climax. And so now, concluding the tenure of a superhero who’s popularity and iconic performance are easily comparable to Robert Downey Jr’s Tony Stark, we have Logan.
DISCLAIMER: I have finished all endings, and anything you say I’ve missed from later branches is probably just me covering up spoilers for people yet to play the game.
The original Nier (which I have written about here in the past) is a game I hold as one of the best examples of the medium in spite of itself. It is a game with a poorly balanced, shallow combat system, graphics many would describe as pig-ugly and a poorly placed quest marker in an early-game mission that caused a number of prominent game reviewers to stop playing right then and there. You may be wondering why I place this game alongside greats like Metal Gear Solid 3 and Super Mario Galaxy. It managed to claw out from its own mediocrity with a storyline and soundtrack somewhat unparalleled in its art form. Despite being cut to pieces (and those cuts really showing) it manages to tell a story that does things only a game could get away with (and even then it didn’t get away with it in the eyes of many), while also managing to have one of the most endearing casts of characters this side of Persona 4. So then, why have I been talking about a different game for nearly 200 words at the start of this review? I simply can’t separate Automata from its predecessor.
In recent years, a stigma around Shonen anime and manga has arisen. The idea is that they are bloated with horrible filler content, poor animation, and stories designed to appeal to little boys. One of the shows that has contributed to this stigma almost more than any other is Masashi Kishimoto’s Naruto. As part of “The Big 3“ Naruto surged in popularity in the early 2000s and along with One Piece and Bleach, did much to ignite the western anime boom of that era and while One Piece went on to be the best-selling manga of all time I feel it is safe to say that Naruto was the best at crossing the barrier to the rest of the world. For examples of this, you need not look farther than many American television shows. There have been almost countless amounts of winks and nods to the series, especially in cartoons. In a brief survey I conducted for this topic I found that 30% of people in my immediate surroundings were at least passingly aware of what Naruto where as One Piece and Bleach both ranked bellow 15 and 10% respectively.
The original Gravity Rush (or Gravity Daze in Japan), a 2012 PS Vita game later released for PS4, was a pretty divisive game, even within the staff of this very site. Some chose to focus on the somewhat sub-par combat and plethora of loose ends left for a sequel that was not looking likely at the time. Others, like myself, chose to focus on the phenomenal environmental design, wonderfully endearing characters and spellbinding musical score that backed up the joy of falling with the game’s one-of-a-kind gravity mechanic to make it feel like a truly unique experience in a sea of games wider than ever.