Nintendo Wii U, 3DS News & Features

Review: All the Delicate Duplicates (PC)

All the Delicate Duplicates is an 'experience' that has highs, but also plenty of not particularly entertaining lows.

Review: 7th Dragon III Code: VFD (Nintendo 3DS)

Hunt down dragons and save the world in the first and only western release of this long running Japanese franchise.

Review: Hidden Folks (PC)

Where's Waldo …and Tom, and Harry, and Helen, and Rosa, and Kiki the monkey, and a little chicken, and so on…?

Review: Nelly Cootalot: The Fowl Fleet (iOS)

Nelly Cootalot is back in action with yet another whimsical adventure, this time in The Fowl Fleet for iOS devices.

Review: Kill the Bad Guy (PlayStation 4)

"I am become Death, destroyer of taste." Get ready to Kill the Bad Guy on PlayStation 4…

Review: World of Van Helsing: Deathtrap (Xbox One)

NeocoreGames is back with a new Van Helsing title - World of Van Helsing: Deathtrap, for Xbox One.

INSiGHT: MyM Magazine: Issue 59 (Review)

With big walls being something of a hot topic at the moment, MyM Magazine gives the cover over to the topic this month. No, not related to President Trump's proposed barrier, but the new crazy blockbuster that sees Matt Damon and Pedro Pascal team up with China's finest to protect the Great Wall of China from hoards of fantastical monsters, unsurprisingly called, The Great Wall. Also, MyM got to speak with the Director and crew about their experiences making the film.

MyM's hot interviews don't end there, though, as legendary scribe Neil Gaiman is finally getting his TV adaptation of American Gods and the team caught up with Mr. Gaiman, along with show-runner Bryan Fuller, to chat about what it's been like to see his creation come to life. Then the Director of John Wick: Chapter 2 takes a call to talk about this new Keanu Reeves-led sequel and some of his future projects.

For the gamers out there, this issue is, as always, packed with content. Just like here at Cubed3, MyM Magazine got to try out the Nintendo Switch at January's UK event and share its view on the upcoming new console. Don't forget to also check out all of Cubed3's hands-on articles with the various games on show at that event. On the reviews front, there are some major releases covered in this issue, including a return to form for survival horror in Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, a mixed bag new title in the long running Tales series, Tales of Berseria, and a prequel to Kazuma Kiryu's story, Yakuza 0.

For the otaku out there, the resident Japan residents show some hot places to lunch in Tokyo, the Pink Heart Station of Harajuku, and the revitalised Square Enix café that has now received a Final Fantasy XV-themed overhaul. Then there are the usual anime reviews, with highlights including Aldnoah Zero Season 2, Claymore, and the first Persona 3 movie, Spring of Birth. There is also a retrospective on Code Geass in time for its 10th anniversary.

There is all of this, along with a visit to the London Toy Fair to see the biggest and best toys of 2017, an inside look at the new X-Men TV show, Legion, with a chat with some of the cast, and, of course, reviews for all the latest movies, comics, manga, anime and more. MyM Magazine, Issue 59, is available now from all good retailers.

Anime Review: Show by Rock!! – Complete Season 1 (Lights, Camera, Action!)

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Show by Rock!! - Complete Season 1 (UK Rating: 15)

Based upon an addictive mobile rhythm game by Geechs, Show by Rock!! follows Cyan, a young girl with a passion for music but lacking the courage to put herself out there to join the school band, and so is limited to staying at home playing the game the show is based on. When she finally manages a new high score, she unlocks a special guitar and is pulled inside her phone to a world within her rhythm game called "Sound World" where bands battle for the hearts of their fans. This complete collection is out 20th February and comes from Funimation via Anime Limited in the UK.

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When Cyan arrives in Midicity, she is transformed into a gothic loli catgirl and part of the audience for a performance by the foxy boy-band Trichronika. Just as the concert ends, though, the band and Cyan are transported to a Tron-like digital world where a huge Oni-looking dark monster attacks. These monsters can take the special Melodesian stones from performers and corrupt them, turning the performer into another dark monster. Cyan saves the day as the special guitar she unlocked - Strawberry Heart - turns out to be a magical device that can talk to her and fight back the dark monster by busting out some Dragonforce-style fretting.

After defeating the monster, a little egg-like creature introduces himself as the President of Banded Rocking Records (BRR) agency and offers to add Cyan to his band of other animal girls. As Cyan joins up with Plasmagica, she grows out of her shell and becomes more confident, along with developing close relationships with her friends and new band mates, who each have a chance to tell their stories over the course of the show. Plasmagica has numerous other bands to compete against for rock dominance, but there is also a shadowy figure lurking in the background that is using the dark monsters and has captured the greatest musician in Sound World to enact a mysterious plot to take over the world.

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The cast is filled with funny and likeable characters. Within Plasmagica there's a strong leader in Chuchu, an older bunny girl who plans to use the band as a launch pad for her own solo career. Then there's Retoree, a Golden Retriever girl who is something of a hikikomori and tsundere, who has quite the crush on Cyan. Finally, there is Moa a sheep girl who happens to secretly be an alien invader on a mission to investigate Sound World and its people. BRR has its president, too, a weird little moustachioed egg guy who likes being disciplined by his secretary. Not to mention the another band on its books, too, called Shingan Crimsons - a visual kei style team of J-Rocker boys who are the centre of some of the funniest moments in the show.

Studio Bones has produced plenty of stunning series over the years and has played with numerous art styles and animation techniques. Its work on Space Dandy, Full Metal Alchemist and, most recently, the insane Mob Psycho 100, showcases the spectacular quality it is capable of. Show by Rock!! looks to be a familiar enough slice of life style when the first episode opens, but when Cyan is sucked into Midicity, suddenly there is a weird 3D CGI-style, which is a little reminiscent of the recent World of Final Fantasy, and it's not particularly enjoyable to be honest. Thankfully, it's not used too often, and Bones gets a little experimental throughout, with some moe moments for a rival chirpy band, and some huge luminous effects here and there.

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The series' music was composed by prolific composer Yasuharu Takanashi, who has previously produced for many big names over the years, including Gantz, Naruto Shippuden, Fairy Tail, Log Horizon and plenty more. His work here is filled to bursting with toe-tapping J-Pop beats and, in an unusual move, the English dub actually translates the songs, too, instead of just including the Japanese versions. Honestly, both the English and Japanese dub are fantastic, with the voice actors on both sides delivering great performances during the show and while singing, as well.

Show by Rock!! is an indisputably original show and a genuinely pleasant surprise. The strange CGI styles are off-putting at first, but they seem to be used less and less as the series goes on, and the regular style art looks delightful. It is definitely worth giving a shot for the great tunes, inventive story, and genuinely funny moments. The show did well enough to justify a second season in Japan and, hopefully, it will receive a UK release soon.

Review: A Magical High School Girl (PC)

No good deed goes unpunished.

Review: For Honor (PC)

Posted by By Ofisil (Ofisil) 0 Number of reads 186 2 Days ago 19:56

Only sheep wait for their slaughter, and sheep don't belong in here, because For Honor will bring forth an age of wolves.

Movie Review: John Wick: Chapter 2 (Lights, Camera, Action!)

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John Wick: Chapter 2 (UK Rating: 15)

From director and The Matrix stunt-double, Chad Stahelski, comes John Wick: Chapter 2, starring Keanu Reeves (The Matrix, Speed), Common (Wanted, Street Kings), and Riccardo Scamarcio (My Brother is an Only Child), among others. You might know gentleman Reeves from the esteemed The Matrix movie series, for which Reeves learned some martial arts. Yes, he has great determination to make the action scenes the best they can be, as he performs the stunts himself. It was even said that he worked eight hours a day to learn the fighting style on display here. On top of that came the choreography. Is it fair to say the action is good? Is it believable? Also, to whom does it try to appeal? Lastly, is there heart behind the action? In other words, do viewers root for Wick, and is there enough drama or suspense?

John Wick: Chapter 2 gets right into some action, with a nice scene of a mobster calling in a favour Wick owed him. Wick refuses with a clearly heavy heart - he knows this man and only wishes him the best, but Wick is retired and seems sick of all the fighting. When he refuses, well… it should no longer be a spoiler that his house is blown up. This time, the dog was somewhere at the back of the house away from the action, and he remains gone. It's a great shame, because the dog is somehow one of the most emotional, sympathetic characters.

Reeves does a good job as a tired, conflicted antihero with little to lose. Ian McShane (forever loved for Lovejoy) shines in every scene as a confident, oddly principled and sympathetic hotel owner. Many of the other actors are simply stuck in one emotion all the time as posturing badasses. When the other characters are not trying to be badasses, they appear mostly apathetic and highfalutin. Some of the characters are stereotypes to the core of their being, with a weapons merchant in a high-class hotel acting like a hackneyed British butler type. Another waits at an art exhibition (another crime trope) as though it makes him look cultured. There's no interesting spin to anything they say. The movie doesn't try hard to have entertaining personas - it's all business.

The business (or action) itself is more of the same. In fact, it's a bit too similar to that of the first instalment. If you have seen the first movie, this is nothing fresh. Wick simply shoots the enemies twice, almost in a robotic way. It's all very efficient and professional, sure, but there is a constant feeling that something is missing. Most of the shooting scenes just feel like stage-setting rather than actual dangerous encounters, with Wick expertly dispatching enemies. Considering these movies' success, most people enjoy that type of action, but there's also plenty who won't.

At some point, the shooting just becomes mind-numbing as it's the same tune over and over again. A few enemies appear from this side, Wick shoots each one twice while they consistently miss Wick, and then somebody decides to fight him mano-a-mano. Wick, of course, gets off mostly scot-free. Apparently, nobody thought it might be a good idea to take him on, within melee range as a group, or possibly to co-ordinate their efforts otherwise. It all just feels too much like a shooting gallery, to the point where many scenes are literally galleries or hallways. The fact that it plays out at breakneck pace is good, but it remains bland.

Other action scenes make matters worse; for example, one with an art exhibit of mirrors fails to provide the kind of exhilarating tactics and/or surprises that might be expected. This trope of a hall of mirrors has been done to death, and this movie only beats its lifeless corpse. There is a scene in which the camera pivots to the (mirrored) ground to show the reflection of Wick and a bodyguard fighting, but nothing interesting happens - they just continue fighting, grabbing each other and whatnot. The pivot serves no purpose, not even an artistic one. It would be understandable if the camera pivoted to the mirror floor in order to obscure something very painful or gory, or to add some sort of artistic charm by showing blood splattered over the image of the two. Unfortunately, it is just awkward and makes it seem like the cameraman was just a bit tired from holding up the camera.

Another scene, with Wick falling off some stairs, could be interpreted as silly, as he actually falls off three sets of (admittedly steep) stairs, and it doesn't look particularly painful. He just rolls off all three in a way that comes across as pre-planned. It's like the choreography of the scene is noticeable, with slight pauses in-between while the characters don't appear to be doing much. After the third set of stairs, the repetition is worth a groan.

All this sounds very negative, but there are scenes that are more original and do have impact. There's one with a certain pencil trick that's gruesome and well-found, and a scene in a crowd at a music performance stands out as stylish and frantic. That said, there is a lack of a sense of danger or a raising of the stakes, yet again. Wick takes enemies out with little effort. In this scene, Wick again just uses a trusty pistol to efficiently dispatch them, and it leaves audiences wanting more - more spice, more brutality, more tactics… more fun.

Why does almost every scene play out indoors (without weather effects) and at melee range? Why is there never any plot twist or an unforeseen twist in the combat situation, requiring him to change tactics? Nothing catches him off guard? When enemies keep coming one by one, often from tactically useless positions, it just gets old. On a more positive note, the fights with Cassian, his rival, are decent, showing not only speed and skill on both characters' part, but also the painful nastiness.

Coming back to the more storyline-related elements, there are quite a few scenes that fail to impress because of how protracted they are, with the characters not saying anything dramatic, emotional, profound, or anything else. Instead, what is left is a character undressing and looking over her shoulder a bit sexily (cliché). The thing is that the movie doesn't put its own stamp on such clichés. It doesn't have much of a specific style, or intelligent writing for its characters. It does make very good use of colours and contrast, providing a nice atmosphere that would have been an excellent setting for a story with intrigue, or simply mind-bogglingly harsh and painful-looking action. However, as said before, the action, while gory, is videogame-like and strangely clinical.

Everybody has their own opinions, and they come out with this flick because it's focused and doesn't cater to everyone. John Wick: Chapter 2 plays it safe, providing the same fist-fights and efficient 'despatching' of enemies as the first instalment. Much of the 'bang bang, you're dead' eventually becomes pedestrian, certainly if the enemies' skills don't come close to Wick's. Some of the actionless scenes can leave viewers wondering what the point was, besides progressing through the plot. Their dearth of emotion (also due to lack of character development and relationships) is bad. The end result is mixed, with some scenes standing out as looking painful and stylish, and some being mediocre but fast-paced action fare. Watch it if you want pure action and little investment.

Review: Bit Dungeon+ (Wii U)

Cubed3 delves into some old-school dungeons. What great treasures will be found down there?

K-Pop Korner - The Best of Korean Music
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