Tag Archives: Star wars

SBox Soapbox: The Best of E3 2017!

Yesterday was the final day of E3 2017, where after 2 (or in this case 4) days of sitting through developer conferences, witnessing trailer after trailer as you go, you can now recap on the events of the previous days. Many use this day to get their hands on any additional footage, trailers, or information that either either slipped you by or are dropped at the last minute. I decided to do the same so that I could see the best E3 had to offer this year and, as promised, cover some of the standalone news from the show.

That’s why I decided to end E3 week with at least one post that highlighted some of the biggest standout games of the entire convention. I’ve already dedicated 3 posts to covering the Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo conferences, so now is the time to dedicate to absolutely any and everything.

The games I placed in this “Best of” list are simply ones that stood out to me the most and are in no particular order. I obviously won’t be covering every game at the show, and I’ll fully admit that I still haven’t seen every last game that made an appearance at E3. So, there may be quite a few noteworthy games that miss the list. I am still looking into some of the games that appeared at E3, though, and if I find enough games that are worth mentioning, I’ll try and make a Part 2 to this post. If you want my take on a certain game I didn’t mention, write it down in the comments, and I’ll be glad to discuss it with you.

Star Wars Battlefront II

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This was the first big announcement for me at E3. Yes, I have heard of there being a new Battlefront game before, but I was only tentatively excited for it due to what happened with the first game. What was supposed to be the best Star Wars game ever turned into a harsh lesson in how a company should not to handle DLC. However, after watching this year’s EA Play, I now believe Battlefront II is that perfect Star Wars game I wanted 2 years ago. Just the inclusion of a single player campaign is proof enough that this may be the case.

One of my favorite things about this game is how it takes full advantage of the source material. The game benefits from that attention to detail in more ways than one, and the most important of which is gameplay variety. You can shoot on the ground with a bevy of blasters if you want, or you can take the battle into the air and shoot down enemy X-wings. You can be a Stormtrooper, a rebel, a droid, or if you’re really good/lucky you can be a main character. Best of all, the game features characters from all 3 generations of Star Wars and can be on the battlefield at any time. I’m talking Boba Fett vs Captain Phasma. Darth Maul vs Darth Vader. Yoda vs Kylo Ren. It’s like a Star Wars Christmas!

… No not that one! Never that one!

Spider-Man

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This was the last and best thing Sony showed off at this year’s E3 by far. Last year I was so enamored and surprised by this announcement that I couldn’t wait to lay eyes on some gameplay footage. Having seen it, I’m glad to see everything I wanted it to be is coming true. It may not be an entirely unique game (taking a ton of inspiration from the Batman Arkham games), but that’s okay. This is a case where taking from Arkham is a good thing, especially since the Arkham series isn’t around anymore. Plus, they seemed to have customized it enough to fit Spidey’s abilities. Oh, and Miles Morales being there helps matters dramatically.

Super Mario Odyssey

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When I covered Nintendo’s Spotlight event, I mentioned how this could end up being the best 3D Mario game ever. Well, since then I’ve seen a ton of gameplay footage for the game. I don’t know how, but I become more and more in love with this game every time I see it. I love this game. I love the environments, the openness, the nonlinearity, the graphics, and especially the new abilities. Using Mario’s hat to do things like fling at enemies and bounce off it was a great idea. An even better one was using it to possess objects, enemies, and pedestrians. That was extraordinarily clever, especially when you throw T-Rexes into the mix.

Anthem

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I didn’t expect to like this game that much, but that was before I truly gave EA a chance to dazzle me with gameplay footage. On the surface it appears to be Horizon with cool-looking, non-cybernetic monsters and giant mech suits. Nothing too original, I’ll admit. But the way Bioware is implementing the suits’ gameplay is masterful. It’s strong, it’s fast, it’s sturdy, and it can fly. The suits can fly, guys! What more can you ask for?

Assassin’s Creed Origins

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Speaking of games I didn’t think I’d like as much as I did, the new Assassin’s Creed looks pretty damn, fun! It’s good to see the time Ubisoft took off to let the series breathe paid off. Choosing ancient Egypt as your setting was a great way to switch up the combat of the game, and the addition of the hawk was also a great idea for aiding exploration and seeking targets.

Skull & Bones

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This was one announcement I saw late in the convention, but I’m glad I sought it out. Remember when I mentioned in my Microsoft post when I mentioned there aren’t enough games about pirates these days? Well, I think Ubisoft heard me, because soon will be Skull & Bones. Unlike Sea of Thieves’ emphasis on exploration as well as battling, this one looks to be all about the ship battles. You and your fleet of pirates sail the vast online sea, sailing, seeking, and blasting your way to victory against any rival ships that come your way.

Avast, all ye who cross my path. For while I have the aim of a blind guy with no hands, I steer a fine ship!

Sea of Thieves

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Speaking of which, Sea of Thieves looks better this year than ever. I have very high hopes for this game after this year’s E3 than I did the past two ones combined. This gameplay demo showed off the game’s promise, but also its depth, something I admittedly became a bit worried about over time. Showing off how the game functions not only from an online battle perspective but also as an adventure game really made my anticipation for this game much higher.

Days Gone

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Easily my second favorite thing at the show, this is looking to be a great zombie game a la The Last of Us. Again, not the most original looking take on the genre, but what draws me towards it personally is how it takes a creative approach getting around difficult situations. Instead of walking to your next destination, you can take your motorcycle. The devices you have access to make sneaking around enemies much more strategic, though when you can afford to your hands can get plenty done. This game also has zombie bears in it! I’ve always wanted to fight a zombie bear, and now I can.

A Way Out

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Strange how a lot of games I’m looking forward to involve multiplayer or co-op, seeing as I’m a very single-player… player. One of EA’s more creative ventures sees you and a friend/online stranger playing as two inmates who are attempting a prison break. The game is strictly split-screen, too, which means you have to work together in order to pull off your plan and protect each other when you get out. If you skipped EA’s conference and don’t know about this one, I highly suggest looking this one up. Besides, the more people get their hands on this game, the more potential people I have to help me play this game.

Kingdom Hearts III

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Yes, the trailer dropped during E3, so it counts. Strangely, this is the first E3 since its announcement in 2013 (holy crap) to not have this game at a conference. Nonetheless, the new footage and story details look great. I’m still trying to catch up on the series, so I can’t say what looks new about it, but I can say that I’m loving the combat of this game. All those crazy moves look powerful and fun as hell. Seeing Hades again is awesome (even in Japanese), and I like how this story will apparently deal with Sora potentially utilizing the darkness.

There will be another trailer at D23 next week, so I’ll keep my eye on that. (If it doesn’t have a release date, I’ll be furious)!

Sonic Mania

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Both Sonic Forces and Sonic Mania were on the showfloor at E3. And yes, Sonic Forces looks like a ton of fun, and I’m looking forward to it, but have you seen the Sonic Mania footage that came out? I’m quite frankly stunned at how good and fun this game looks, especially for a fan project. The creativity that clearly went into this actual Sonic 4 needs to be seen. Why didn’t I think about those hand cannons to propel Sonic forward? The piano pieces, too, are a great addition as is the level design. This really is turning out to be the 2D Sonic game fans were waiting for.

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus

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As someone who hasn’t played a Wolfenstein game before, I didn’t really get the hype for a while. In fact, I only decided to give the trailer a go this morning and to realize… I’m an idiot! This game looks mad good, has a great story and lead character from what I’ve seen. As you’ve probably gathered from me so far, I love games that let me play with creative/insane weapons or have me face off against insane enemies. I’m pretty sure fighting Nazi robots while riding a giant, mechanical, flamethrowing wildebeest falls perfectly within that range.

Metroid: Samus Returns

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Finally, I wanted to give a little shine to one of Nintendo’s potentially overlooked announcements (seeing that this was unveiled during the Treehouse event and not the actual Spotlight). Huge props to Nintendo for finally giving Metroid the time of day with not one but two games. Now, the reason I’m keeping Metroid Prime 4 off the list is basically due to it being an early announcement with no gameplay. Meanwhile, Samus Returns has tons of footage to lust over and is a 2D sidescroller. As a fan of Super Metroid, this specifically interests me, and I can’t wait to try it out for myself in just 3 months.

Bubsy: The Woolies Strike Back

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Oh, and did I mention this was at E3 this year? Don’t believe me? Well, I’ll just leave this here and… God help us all!


There are a ton of other interesting games that I couldn’t quite cover for time reasons, but these are just a few of the ones I’m especially amped for. Let me know in the comments what your favorite games of E3 were, and what you thought of E3 this year.

For those who joined me in discussing E3 this year, I want to thank you for coming along for the ride with me. If you missed my coverage and are interested in hearing my full thoughts on some of thses games, check the links above for my full conference posts. I plan on making at least one more post about E3, so keep an eye out for that!

I’m SBox180. Thanks for reading!

SBox Soapbox: My Most Anticipated Movies of 2017

If you were to ask me how 2016 stacked up to previous years in terms of films, I’d probably define it as “underwhelming”. It was an odd year for big budget movies, where most of the year’s most anticipated films ended up disappointing audiences, as was the case with Batman v Superman, Ghostbusters, Independence Day 2 and Jason Bourne among others. Meanwhile, the best films of the year existed below the surface, often raking in middling returns and going unnoticed — such is the fate of The Nice Guys and Kubo and the Two Strings. I enjoyed a lot of films in 2016 (as you’ll see in the 2016 Movie Countdown), but for what it’s worth, I’m hoping 2017 is a lot better.

As is tradition here on The Ranting SBox, I start every year with a list of my most anticipated films of the new year. Continue reading SBox Soapbox: My Most Anticipated Movies of 2017

My 2015 Movies: Star Wars – The Force Awakens (#5)

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Star Wars Episode VII, by far the most anticipated film of 2015 and one of the most discussed films of the past few years. With Star Wars comes a lot of hype, debate, speculation and worry. The worry stems from the widely held belief that the prequel films failed to impress upon release. There was a lot riding on this movie to not only surpass the prequels in quality, but also live up to fans’ expectations. Now that the dust has settled since its initial release, hopefully we can now see the film through calmer eyes. Continue reading My 2015 Movies: Star Wars – The Force Awakens (#5)

My Most Anticipated Movies of 2016

I can’t believe it’s time to leave 2015 officially behind. Hard to believe that last year I didn’t see Avengers 2 or Star Wars Episode VII. I can’t believe there was a time I was looking forward to Fantastic Four. Anyway, as is customary at the beginning of a new year, let’s take some time to look toward the future.

Here’s a list of movies I’m looking forward to seeing in the next 12 months of life. Continue reading My Most Anticipated Movies of 2016

SBox Soapbox: Battle of the Sevens (Furious 7 vs. Creed vs. Force Awakens)

2015 brought about a major coincidence in the world of sequels. Three of this year’s biggest movies happened to be the seventh installment of their series: Furious 7, Creed (technically Rocky VII), and The Force Awakens (aka Star Wars: Episode VII).

The best part about this was that all three were really good movies. Each of them are arguably the best in their respective franchise, share the same genre, and were significant films in the context of their respective franchises. Furious 7 was the final film with series mainstay Paul Walker, representing the end of an era for the series. Creed was the spiritual successor to one of the greatest boxing franchises of all-time and will kick off a new potentially awesome series. The Force Awakens was the return to form for the first and greatest space opera ever, bringing Star Wars to a new generation and restoring hope to a franchise that was on a bad foot previously.

I had the privileged of seeing all three this year and thought why not end the year with a fun little comparison. Which film was the best seventh installment of their franchise? Continue reading SBox Soapbox: Battle of the Sevens (Furious 7 vs. Creed vs. Force Awakens)

SBox Recommends: Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens (Non-Spoiler Review)

NOTE: This review is spoiler safe. See link for spoiler discussion below. Enjoy!

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Here we are, folks. The end of the year. December. Christmas time. Winter. Or as I’d like to call it: Star Wars Season? Yeah, that’s what we’ll call it. The point is that Episode VII is finally here.

Quick backstory on me. For those who haven’t been with this blog for very long, I am what you consider a “new” Star Wars fan. I saw my first Star Wars movie at age 15 (three years ago), completed the original trilogy just back in April, and only started the prequels this month. I am a fan of the series, but I have no personal nostalgia toward it. (I go more into this topic here). I’m bringing this up just to give you an idea of my perspective going into this new trilogy.

Three years ago also happened to be the time when Disney first acquired Lucasfilm. I remember being on web forums at the time and hearing friends complain and worry as I sat back listening with a veil of indifference. As I went further into the movies, hype slowly started building around me, and once I finally completed Return of the Jedi I was officially part of the hype train. From there, me and my parents introduced my other siblings to Star Wars through a marathon and made plans to see the new film ASAP.

Now is the moment of truth. Was my hype justified, and was the force as strong with this movie as I was made to believe? Continue reading SBox Recommends: Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens (Non-Spoiler Review)

My Top 5 Favorite Internet Series

It’s September, and you know what that means. The Fall 2015 TV season is here. It’s a wonderful time of year where you’re most excited to turn on your cable boxes. For many of us, we’ll have one season premiere after another after another. Maybe you’ll try to pick up a brand new show which may become the next big thing. Whatever the case, it’s a good time to be be a TV surfer.

With that said, I thought I’d take this opportunity to talk about a different kind of show: web shows. And no, I’m not talking about Netflix or Hulu. I’m talking about independent programs mainly found on YouTube. Continue reading My Top 5 Favorite Internet Series

Newcomer Chronicles: Star Wars (Original Trilogy)

Welcome to the first edition of Newcomer Chronicles, a segment of this blog that records the first impressions of someone getting into a popular series for the first time.


Star Wars is among the single most important entertainment properties in all of geek culture. The episodic space opera of the 1970s goes down in history as one of the most important film franchises ever, and the most influential sci-fi series ever. Everyone by now knows some of the films’ classic lines, charming characters, and timeless themes. It has gotten to the point that, even if you have never seen a Star Wars movie before, you are aware of its existence and can respect it for the impact it has made… I should know. Continue reading Newcomer Chronicles: Star Wars (Original Trilogy)

My Most Anticipated Movies of 2015

The film industry had a very busy and important year in 2014. Major deaths, major hackings, and major headaches a plenty. However, from a quality standpoint, 2014 pulled through. With 2014 being one of the greatest years for major releases, 2015 may seem to be hard to beat. However, there is a lot to look forward to in the coming year.

That’s why I’d like to share some of the movies I’m looking forward to most this year. These are in no particular order:

Continue reading My Most Anticipated Movies of 2015