Some of the Black Friday deals coming for gamers

Black Friday is a week away. If you have held out on getting certain games and systems, now may be a good chance to act now for the holidays.   Below are some of the best picks you may want to act on. Make sure you read the fine print as you click the links.

Microsoft – Many stores have taken advantage of the price drop and have bundled the Xbox One and right now it looks like Best Buy has one of the biggest deals out there. 2 Assassin’s Creed games are bundled in this deal for $330!   Click Here.   Microsoft will also have their own sale going on although it looks like they will be matching brick and mortar retailers. Click here for more.     Walmart’s XBone bundle will include Halo Master Chief Collection. Click here

Sony – GameStop is also running the same deal as Best Buy with the Xbone and also the PS4 for $400 with 2 games. GTA V and The Last of Us digital download. Click Here. Walmart will be carrying a GTA V Bundle for $450 and a choice of 2 games. Click here

Nintendo – staying with Gamestop, (and you can also use the link above) GameStop will sell the NES Edition of the 3DS at $199. If you have 100 dollars more, you can nab a Wii U bundle (w/ Super Mario 3D)

A few games and gadgets of note up for sale (Please note these deals can change prior to Friday and quantities are limited)

Disney Infinity Marvel Heroes set

Google Chromecast

McFarlane Toys

The Evil Within

Tomb Raider Definitive Edition

Pop Culture Uncovered #10 – “Would you like to play a game?”

Click here to listen

In this episode, Aitch and company entertain a full house. We start off with our comics reviews and previews but the bulk of this episode we spend looking at the Xbox One and Playstation 4 as we look at how they are holding up one year in.

This week we look at:
Operation HomeFront / Wounded Warrior event
The upcoming VA Comic Con – http://vacomicon.com/

In our Reviews
Fade Out #3
Batman Eternal #32
Lock and Key Slipcase Set TPB
All New Captain America #1
Deep State #1

In our Pull List for November 19, 2014

Loki, Agent of Asgard #8 (Axis)
Injustice: Gods among us #4
Wonder Woman #36
Batman and Robin #36

In our Roundtable, we look at the state of gaming and the next gen consoles. Some of the issues we focus on are:
Major Game releases for 2014
Upcoming Games for 2015
Has the Xbox One and PS4 lived up to their promise
Connectivity issues and server outages
Ubisoft failings
Are exclusives still important
To micro transact and DLC or not?

and so much more…

Catch us at
Popcultureuncovered.com
Email us at Pcupress@gmail.com
Twitter – @PCUncovered
Follow – Femmes in the Fridge and Pete goes to comic con
Listen to us via:
iTunes, Stitcher , and our App on Windows Phone

Dragon Age Inquisition: 1st Impressions

**As I have not had enough time to play this game long enough to give it a full review, this is a 1st impression of the game with the time that I put in so far.**

To start, many reviews are already out and so far they are really glowing with this game and I can see why. This game is a back to basics approach similar to what we got when Dragon Age: Origins first appeared back in 2009.   Looking at this game, it’s hard to not compare it with Skyrim but suffice to say, it feels like it’s enough to keep me busy until at minimum, The Witcher 3 comes along or whatever the next gen Elder Scroll game drops since there is still confusion if the online game is coming to consoles.

Presentation

DA:I starts off a bit bumpy as your character wakes up after a large explosion of some kind kills most of the leadership of Ferelden. It’s confusing because not a lot of that is given via cut scenes as things ‘just happens’. It takes a while for the whole story to come together as your hero and your party explore the land trying to find out how you play a part in the opening of rifts across the land. One thing I do like even though it’s a bit of a mixed bag is, similar to Mass Effect, you have the ability to carry your past games into the present one. Don’t worry if youo played on last gen consoles, because if you have an account online with the Dragon’s Keep you can apply it to the game or even if you haven’t you can jump in and get filled in with the past games as you go. Another part is the character creation screen. With the jump to next gen systems, you have so much more you can do with making your characters but I felt like you were really limited in the types of hair styles you can give your character. Sorry guys, but I have to admit, I was a bit peeved that there was no way I could give my character dreadlocks. One good thing that Bioware has kept up with of course, is that also like the Mass Effect games, your character has spoken dialogue and each choice is vocalized driving the story. If you have played other Bioware titles, then you know how much of the story is driven with your choices via cutscences and it affects how people view you due to your choices.

Gameplay and control

Not a lot I can add here except that it feels like a Bioware game. Early on you are restricted to where you can go and what you can do but as it opens up, there is a bit more freedom to roam unlike the earlier games. Combat is fluid as well and also as noted in a few reviews, you can use a tactical camera to control your party in battle and I also agree with the complaint that in some cases, the camera doesn’t pan out far enough to pick up on enemies just beyond the screen.

Graphics

Maybe I am that one in the minority, but so far the graphics in this game are a bit of a mixed bag. While it’s easy to tell this is a next gen game (running on the Xbox One), a lot of the game looks ‘artificial’ and this is where my comparison of Skyrim comes in. Skyrim’s environment even for it to be a 3 year old game and running on a good PC rig was beautiful to look at and not saying that DA:I isn’t but for some reason, it doesn’t have that same immersive impact that Skyrim has. It’s not a bad looking game, don’t get me wrong, but you just have to see it to believe it.   Depending on how it looks to you, in my opinion, it’s not bad enough to not play the game. I think it’s suffice to say that Bioware has a graphical standard when doing games and Bethesda has another, this the games have a certain look.

Should you get it?

Yes! This is one of the first epic RPGs coming for the new consoles and ever since this game was announced, I was onboard. So far, this game makes up for DA II and gives us RPGS fanatics something to look forward to until other titles make their way to these consoles. You have a large amount of side quests to keep you busy in the early hours, a lot of lore to consume and so much more. It’s going to be difficult to divide time between this, GTA V, Far Cry IV and so many other game releases but trust me, this is the game that you want to play in the cold months coming.

Dragon Age: Inquisition is set to drop on all systems on Tuesday, November 18, 2014…along with GTA V, and Far Cry IV.  Prepare to be broke.

Call of Duty Advanced Warfare Review

By Armand Hill

I have to admit Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare has been one of the games I’ve been looking forward to the most this season. While its being released on last gen and next gen consoles, this will be the second Call of Duty game to be released on next gen systems. Advanced Warfare represents a break from the previous iterations of the franchise (Modern Warfare, Black Ops, and last year’s Ghosts) and a literal jump forward to the future. With a new campaign featuring Kevin Spacy (House of Cards, Usual Suspects, Superman Returns) and a multiplayer mode significantly different from years past, I had high expectations, some of which where met, others unfortunately were not.

Campaign

The campaign story for Call of Duty begins in 2016 with the invasion of South Korea by the North. It’s apparent from the opening minutes that  the major addition to Advanced Warfare is the exoskeleton. Sledgehammer Games took great care in making sure the exoskeleton doesn’t come off like a Halo knock off.  It definitely gives a player a sense of power with features like boost jump and other exo abilities but at no time will you drift into thinking that your playing Destiny, another Activision FPS. Following the death of your best friend in the first mission and the loss of your arm, the player takes a job with Atlas, a incredibly powerful military contractor headed by your friend’s father Jonathan Irons played by Kevin Spacy. The initial antagonist is Hades, leader of the KVA, an anti technology terrorist group. Predictably however the player ends up in conflict with Irons and Atlas who are revealed to have allowed a massive global terrorist attack by the KVA to be successful in order to profit from the aftermath.
Call of Duty has a history of controversial/thought provoking moments in its campaigns.  Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 had the shooting of innocent civilians in a Russian Airport as part of your attempt to infiltrate a terrorist cell. In Advanced Warfare the moment was riding on a transport home following the first mission of the game with the remains of your fellow Marines following the U.S. Military’s efforts to prevent the invasion of South Korea by the North. This part of the game concludes with you tending your best friend’s funeral at Arlington National Cemetery. I haven’t been able to come a a definitive conclusion about whether this was a genuine attempt to expose gamers to the realities of armed conflict or whether the inclusion of this moment is cheap and exploitative. To its credit it made me think, and that at least in my mind is rare for a modern major console release. [Its important for me to note that Call of Duty has a history of supporting veterans, most recently selling Call of Duty limited edition dog tags to place 1,000 veterans in high quality jobs].

I can’t really voice a complaint about the game play but at the same time I wasn’t wowed by it either. The controls were everything that you would expect from a Call of Duty game, accurate and responsive, and the new grenades definitely were a plus. Still the campaign failed to really grab me. It could be that I’ve spend to much time playing previous Call of Duty’s but the campaign mode even with the addition of Kevin Spacy failed to generate a lot of enthusiasm for me. The story is fairly predictable and the exoskeleton while interesting and a nice twist fails to be able to carry the campaign mode all on its own.

Multiplayer

This is not your older brother’s Call of Duty when it comes to the multiplayer. There is an impressive amount of customization from the cosmetic to the essential, players are given the ability to alter just about anything. This marks a major change from Call of Duty Ghosts, which allowed for limited customization based upon your achievements in the multiplayer mode, customization is available to all players from the very beginning.

Another significant change to multiplayer is the exoskeleton itself. Players are genuinely more mobile than any previous version of the game. Seasoned players will have to make the adjustment to having to worry about attacks from above and the overall faster pace of the game. The change in speed isn’t for everyone and I can imagine that some players might find themselves playing Ghosts for a more traditional experience.

At it’s heart the multiplayer is still about your kill to death ratio and making it to the next prestige level as quickly as possible. The new changes do make the grind to level 50 and back again a enjoyable one.

 

Overall

 

Ultimately Call of Duty Advanced Warfare is a good but not great game. I found the story mode in Destiny to be more enjoyable than Advanced Warfare campaign even with Kevin Spacy, which is something that I did not expect. Advanced Warfare isn’t the transcendent FPS title this year the way it has in years past.  This entry in the series is definitely worth playing but something is going to have to be done in order for this franchise to avoid the fate Assassin’s Creed and Madden, where even devoted fans don’t show for every new title and frequently skip years.  For the time being however Advanced Warfare is just advanced enough to merit a purchase.

 

 

Dumb And Dumber To- just to, to, much.

by Joe Thacker

Let me start off by saying that some film reviewers have stated that one year soon there will be almost no original movies produced by the major studios. Everything will be a sequel/prequel/remake or based on a book. I believe this is that year and this picture is no exception.

This continuation of the 1994 movie stays on the same timeline as reality.  Harold and Lloyd have been incommunicado for 20 years. Harold (Jeff Daniels) needs an organ transplant from a blood relative. He also happen not to have checked the mail until recent and discovered he has a daughter. (How that happened?) The only lead they have is a recent picture that upon Lloyd (Jim Carrie) falls hopelessly in lust. When the odds are against him and Harold gets discouraged, Lloyd “selflessly” cheers him to go onward.  Included in this cast of typical Riza Aziz productions is Bill Murray and Kathleen Turner.

Like the original, part of the plot involves the two buddies carrying a package across county and being pursued by someone out to kill them.One of the methods of transportation they use is a Zamboni. I did not know that this vehicle has a horn. Or that it needs one.  The screenwriting gods look favorably towards these knuckleheads with a string of circumstances that they get out of easily.

Most of the other characters, for whatever reason, don’t recognize the lack of intelligence these two have. In fact, several people assume that they are the smartest guys in the room. Either it’s beyond their belief that anyone can be that stupid and survive or they themselves are dumb. Still, it makes good comedy that’s hit or miss.  One of these characters is Penny (Rachel Melvin) The daughter in question. It become obvious that they can be related. My problem is that this perpetuates the myth that a glamorous woman can get by easily on her looks alone.

Here are a few examples of some of the situations these 2 get into:

One sequence has our heroes obtaining hearing aids at a nursing home because Harold lost his aural faculty. From lighting fireworks. In a limo. This all sounds random, but it really moves the plot along.

One of the best sequences is when they arrive in El Paso and get sucked into a TED like event. People there must think that the only types that can also attend must be as intellectual as themselves, if not more so.

All of the gags are new, but the types of jokes are same as the first movie. Mostly crude humor, but you expect that from the Farrelly brothers. One thing that may be considered different is there is a lot of deception; nothing is as it appears. Except you’ll see the two most idiotic guys on screen.

If you like these kinds of movies that offers absolutely no intellectual stimulus,  Then by all means, be dumb and enjoy.

The Review Brew – November 12, 2014

**AS ALWAYS BE MINDFUL THAT THERE WILL BE SLIGHT SPOILERS, READ AT YOUR OWN PERIL!!**

All-New Captain America #1
Writer: Rick Remender
Artist: Stuart Immonen
Inker: Wade Von Grawbadger
Color: Marte Garcia w/ Eduardo Navarro

Reviewer: Brett “He Who Wields the Shield” Israel

To say that I loved Remender’s initial run on Captain America, which immediately preceded this issue, would be an understatement. After years of the Brubaker espionage themed run, one which was also very strong, it was time for something new, something a little more over the top. With the Dimension Z story, Remender brought that to us, and with this new series, he continues the wild Kirby i ride.

Even though I tend to get struck by writing first, with this book I was taken by the art. I’m fairly familiar with Immonen’s work, especially after the great run he had on All-New X-men. When I opened to the first two page spread of this book, I let out an audible “Wow” for the art style. We’ve seen a lot of Immonen’s excellent cartooning style, and his mastery of highlight and shadow, however, in this book, we get a slightly different style, a more heavily rendered style. In no means is this overly rendered, just properly so for a title of this tone. When there are moments that call for a slightly lighter feel, Immonen breaks out the slightly more cartoony, one moment being when we see in a panel of Steve Rodgers on a boat, trying and failing to tell Sam how to approach the situation he finds himself in. Each page, in both layout and content, is incredibly dynamic and well paced, and makes the last page cliffhanger all the more epic (which I don’t want to spoil, just trust me it’s worth it for the image alone).

As previously stated, Remender continues his greatness on this story here. While this is a new number 1 issue, it’s more or less a continuation of the previous Captain America series, yet is completely accessible to new readers. The first page, which is an origin tale of sorts of (SPOILERS but late spoilers) the new Captain America Sam Wilson, is classic Remender at his finest, exploring those moments that pull at your heartstrings. That page along would draw me into the book, but after that, we are immediately thrust into the action of Sam infiltrating a Hydra base. Without getting too much into the issue, we are given the picture of Sam working out the kinks at being the new Captain America, with a great cameo by one of Captain America’s classic rogues, Batroc the Leaper. Remender throws in some hilarious one liners coming from Batroc, making for a fun and engaging action sequence, which doesn’t become one note. Also, the use of the character Nomad, who we know as the child Ian from Dimension Z, is used excellently here as a foil for this new Captain America, and hopefully will become his Falcon.

What made me really happy personally about this issue was the usage of Sam Wilson, and the fact that Remender didn’t harp too much on the fact that he’s African American. One of the big pieces of this change was the race matter in it, and while I have no doubt that it’ll be touched upon at some point, I’m glad we didn’t get thrust into that. This issue proves that Captain America itself is the symbol, and whether it’s Sam or Steve (or even Bucky), the symbol of Captain America and the American way shines through. Much like there is a new person worthy of the hammer of Thor, one of a different gender than Thor Odinson, multiple people can embody the symbol of Cap, and race is no factor there.

This issue is an incredibly solid first issue, and has easily hopped into my most anticipated Marvel title. I can’t wait to see what Remender has in store for Sam Wilson, and as long as Immonen and Von Grawbadger are producing greatness on the art, this book is a no brainer for me.

5 shields out of 5

The Walking Dead #134
Writer: Robert Kirkman
Artist: Charlie Adlard
Reviewer: John “The Zombie Whisperer” Amenta

This issue starts with a touch of terror via the super creepy Whisperers. It ends with a truly horrifying moment from semi creepy Carl. Kirkman understands that the zombies in the book can only be used for scares so much; it’s the breaking points of humanity enacted by our main characters that are most disturbing.

Jesus is knee deep in Whisperers, humans using walker skin too move freely and terrify the living. A brutal fight ensues, further cementing Jesus’ status as a guy you want on your side in a pinch. Back at the Hilltop, Maggie faces challenges to her leadership decisions. In the last act of the book, Carl and Sophia discuss the past when suddenly the present hits them in the face. Or more accurately, in the head with a brick, via the bullies that Carl fought off recently. The Grimes family temper hits its boiling point, and Carl pulls a Rick. Kirkman simultaneously plays on society’s hatred of bullies as you root Carl’s vengeance on, but also makes it clear that a beloved main character is crossing a line.

Charlie Adlard continues to ride the groove he’s been in for the last decade or so. He makes the masked Whisperers extra bizarre through small detail such as the laces on the back of the skin that keep it on the wearer. Every time Carl’s eye wound is shown, it’s still disturbing. This is a book that has been going strong for longer than most books last, and it’s due to Kirkman and Adlard.

Nothing shocking here, another great issue of TWD. It’s kind of almost a pattern at this point.

5 Whisperers of 5

Grindhouse Drive In, Bleed Out #1 (of 8)
Writer: Alex De Campi
Artist: R. M. Guera
Colors: Giulia Brusco
Reviewer: Ray “Gotta get his grind on” Willis

The holidays are the time of year when you spend time with your loved ones, pass around presents from under the tree, and have peace but when that peace is disrupted by psychopaths what do you do?

Slay Ride is a two part story about Mother Wolf, as she seeks revenge against the psychopaths that killed two of her family members on Christmas. The story is crafted really well with the perspective of it coming from Mother Wolf who is stricken with lung cancer I’m assuming and having her interplay with another family member, Shayla that comes into the story. Having the dialogue of the two does shed a little light about them and who they are. Alex De Campi knew what he was going for with this tale of mystery and horror with little information of who are these men and where did they come from. It seems there maybe some supernatural elements at play that reveals some information on Shayla and what she has done in her past.

The art of this first of eight part issues was amazing. R. M. Guera who worked on the comic series “Scalped” visuals are really astounding. The first two pages alone will tell you the tone of the comic and it’s really gruesome in some scenes. A slight spoiler, someone gets their head blown off with a shotgun with a little of the guys face almost hitting the ground, it reminds of the scene from Maniac where Tom Savini’s character gets his blown off with a shotgun in a car. The characters look really great and the line work is superb. Also seeing tree branches shaped as a creepy smiling clown was a nice touch. The art really captures the scenery nicely and has some really great tense scenes that is captured well. The colors from Giulia Brusco are amazing with the emphasis on red with it being that time of year and brown with most of the inside areas of the home is.

I enjoyed this first issue of Grindhouse Drive In, Bleed Out, having a really interesting albeit a bit vague story of what is going or who are these killers that appear out of nowhere. The writing and art really shine in this grim tale in a snowy town. The dialogue of the characters is entertaining and the relationship of the two characters really pulls you in a bit on who they are. The killers that appear in this issue and the supernatural elements brings some chilling scenes in. The colors are really astounding and give life to this dark tale. I cannot wait to to see what happens at the end of this tale.

4 out of 5 Creepy Smiling Clowns

Silver Surfer #7
Artist: Mike Allred
Writer: Dan Slott
Reviewer: Oz Longworth Jr. aka The Other One Who Knocks

The Silver Surfer has been on good, kinda controversial roll. Though Mike Allred’s timeless art style seems to be divisive among readers this time around, Dan Slott’s new direction for the former herald seems to be exploring old ground in a refreshing way. Fortunately, the momentum in this book is still going strong.

This issue is mainly a one shot adventure that should really be called “Dawn’s Really Growing On Me.” As they usually do, the Surfer and his traveling buddy are surfing the spaceways when they come across a mysterious darkness that threatens to consume them both. What ensues is the comic book equivalent to a “montage” episode in a television show where the main character relives all the good times when their counterpart came through in a clutch moment. The book’s lighthearted, fun nature makes this feel less typical as every adventure “relived” reads genuine. The Surfer gives these memories an ironically human voice that you can smile at and enjoy without cynicism. But none of this would really work if it weren’t for Mike Allred’s visuals. Whether you love or hate his style, you have to give the man credit. No two worlds are ever the same, the facial expressions are always clear and deliberate. There’s always a thousand and one things to see in every panel. Naturally, this makes it easy for Slott to give each adventure its own personality as unique as a fingerprint.

Bottom Line: Slott and Allred have a hit on their hands that will be discussed and debated for years to come. This one shot of sorts is a textbook example of every reason why.

4.5 out of 5 surfboards

PCU presents Declassified #3: Wolk this way!!

Click here to listen in

Recorded on 11/12/2014, This episode features special guest Jonathan Wolk, owner and proprietor of Used Future workshop, Member of the 501st and all round nerd. We discuss his growing up with Mego, Lego and all things Kenner. We delve into his love of Star Wars, and how he has the best wife ever. (and we tangent a bit into the DoctorWho Finale). We also chat a bit about comics and our love of Skottie Yound’s Rocket Raccoon. Then our Focus Topics for this week cover our thoughts on the title that was announced for the new Star Wars movie and Jonathan’s experience at Shatterdome con this last weekend. All in all not a ride to be missed!

Declassified is a podcast that uses Adult language and may discuss Adult themes. You have been warned.

Bens contact info:
Twitter: @BobTGoldfish
Stream: twitch.tv/bobtheninjagoldfish
3Drinks2guys1Topic: facebook.com/3Drinks2Guys1Topic

Guest Contact info:
Twitter: @heyevilboy
Facebook: facebook.com/usedfutureworkshop

A place for all things geeky including comics, movies, gaming and more. Contact us at pcupress AT gmail DOT com.

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