Deja News: 10/30/17

Welcome to Deja News, the every Monday article where I talk about the news you already know about, and if you don’t know about it, you’re welcome. And since it’s the first Monday of the month, that means it’s time to start off this week’s Monday article with a little Deja Views, a monthly segment where I pick three movies that are coming out and I give my “quick” opinion on them. Also, if you’re new to the site, Deja News usually isn’t this big BUT between Deja Views and a lot of interesting news happening last week, there’s just a lot to talk about.

Deja Views for November

Since starting Deja Views, a monthly segment where I list the three movies I’m most excited about for the upcoming month, one of those three movies I’m most excited for either ends up being a flat out bomb at the box office like the Jennifer Lawrence film Mother or the movie just ends up being downright awful like The Snowman. We’re now in month 3 of Deja Views and it’s now time to find out if the third time is the charm.

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Thor: Ragnarok

Yes, we have all been talking about this movie for what seems like an eternity now, but I mean WHO’S HONESTLY COMPLAINING?! Since the very first trailer we ever got for Thor: Ragnarok, everyone has been bursting at the seams with excitement. For me personally, I’ve always liked how the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) has handled Thor, but I’ve never been that big of a fan of his stand-alone movies. While they were fun in parts, I never quite felt like the fully delivered. Ragnarok, from everything we’ve seen, doesn’t appear like it’s going to have that problem. With Great visuals, great characters, and what seems to be a great villain (seriously, does anyone remember the name of the villain in Thor The Dark World?) Ragnarok looks like a perfect bookend for the great year Marvel has had with Guardians of the Galaxy 2 and Spiderman Homecoming.

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Murder on The Orient Express

Other than the fact that Murder on The Orient Express is based on a book and that this particular adaptation has an amazing cast, I know absolutely nothing about this movie. According to the trailer and… well, the title of the movie, a murder has been committed inside of a train and a detective must figure out, “who done it.”

And honestly, as lame as this might sound, that’s all I really need. I love mysteries like this and with a cast of nothing but entertaining actors (well, except for Judi Dench, what’s she ever done) I’m completely sold. Not a lot to say about this one, except hopefully I’ll see you on November 10th as I sit in the theater trying to solve the mystery of the murder on the Orient Express… my guess is the butler, with the candlestick.

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As much as it pains me to put this on the list, I must. Trust me, I’d much rather come on here and tell you how excited I am for the LBJ film or Denzel’s upcoming movie, but the truth is, it would all be a lie if The Justice League wasn’t included in my top 3. Will it be bad? There’s a good chance. Will I hate it and be confused why so many like it? There’s a really good chance. That being said, I plan on going into this movie the same way I went into Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad, by keeping my expectations low. Hopefully, if I go into this movie expecting a turd, I’ll end up discovering it was a Baby Ruth all along.

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Mass Effect Andromeda’s DLC Lives… Sort of

I will defend Mass Effect Andromeda until the end of time. No, it is not a perfect game, but that doesn’t mean it’s the worst game of the generation either. So when it was announced that Andromeda wouldn’t be receiving single-player DLC (thanks, EA), I was really bummed. I thought if Andromeda had gotten DLC, that fans of Mass Effect, that didn’t play Andromeda would finally have a reason to come back to the series, and they would see that most of the game’s shortcomings had been resolved. With no DLC though, fans of the game were left wondering what would have been next. Thankfully, in one of the most bittersweet silver linings of all time, fans will no longer have to wonder.

Coming June 26, 2018, is Mass Effect: Annihilation. Annihilation is the tie-in novel that’s connected to Andromeda’s story. Do you see why I said it was bittersweet? Written by award-winning author Catherynne M. Valente, Annihilation will revolve around the missing Quarian Ark, Keelah Si’yah and a dangerous pathogen that’s been set loose on the ark. While it would have been great to see the Quarian’s one last time in Andromeda, it is good to know that their story will be able to continue through this upcoming novel.

 

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Microsoft says the Kinect is Dead

Sadly, the days of being lied to about having a device inside your home that can scan skateboards into a game you own or being able to have full conversations with artificial intelligence in the shape of a little boy named Milo are officially dead. That’s right! Microsoft, the company that acted like a dad forcing his son to play sports, has finally realized that the Kinect, while impressive technology, just isn’t meant for the video game world. But even though the Xbox accessory is now no more, I’m still left thinking about it. I honestly think that the announcement of the Kinect and my eventual move back over to the PlayStation community started around the same time.

It was with the announcement of the Kinect that I started to wonder if the Xbox 360 was for me, and it was with the announcement of the Xbox One that my decision to leave the Xbox community behind was made easy. Oddly enough though, while the Xbox One did flounder in it’s first few years of being on the market, with the company announcing the end of the Kinect, I look over at what Microsoft has been doing with the Xbox One and I can easily say I’m impressed. Is there a connection between me feeling like Xbox is speaking to me as a gamer and their realization that the Kinect just wasn’t the direction they should be going in? I feel pretty confident in saying yes.

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Concept art from The Visceral Star Wars game codenamed “Ragtag.”

Pulling Back The Visceral Curtain:

Kotaku’s Jason Schreier is one of the most talented people in all of gaming journalism. Why? Well, when Visceral Studios was shut down, everyone said the same thing, “let’s wait a little bit and I’m sure Jason Schreier will have the full story for us.” Well, surprise, surprise, he did it. Obviously, I think anyone reading this should go over to Kotaku and read Jason’s article, but for the purposes of Deja News, I will pitch in my two cents. I think Jason’s article can really be boiled down this one paragraph that he has early on in the article.

Over the past week I’ve talked to nearly a dozen former Visceral employees who worked on Ragtag, all of whom spoke anonymously because they did not want to risk damaging their careers. I’ve also spoken to several other developers who are tangentially connected to Visceral. They all share similar stories. Ragtag was a project sunk by many factors, including a lack of resources, a vision that was too ambitious for its budget, a difficult game engine, a director who clashed with staff, a studio located in one of the most expensive cities in the world, a reputation for toxicity, multiple conflicts between Visceral and EA, and what can only be described as the curse of Star Wars.

There’s a lot going on over at EA and from everything I can tell, what we’re seeing from this big studio is a shift in how they want to do business. From an outsider’s perspective, it seems like EA is no longer interested in making the play it once and move on single player style of game. They want the sports games with tons of replay-ability, they want the Destiny style of games that will keep players coming back for more and honestly I don’t think that’s a bad thing. If EA wants to make those kinds of games, that’s fine, but the sad part of what EA’s doing (other than the fact that everyone at Visceral lost their jobs) is that it appears like we’ll never get that great single player Star Wars game that so many of us have wanted for so long. While “Ragtag” wasn’t necessarily cancelled, EA moving the title over to another studio to make dramatic changes to it, tell me that whatever this game ends up being, it will more than likely be a far cry from what it could have been had it remained a Visceral title.

The Wrap Up:

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Well, let’s start things off by asking the obvious. What movies are you most looking forward to this November? Are we on the same page with the three I listed or am I overlooking something, or am I just plain wrong for including one of these movies in my top three?

And what about our news stories? Are you happy about the DLC for Andromeda being turned into a novel or would you just have preferred to see it stay gone forever? And what about the Kinect? Did you own one? Did you want one? How do you feel about Microsoft finally ending the accessory? And for one final time, what do you think about the Visceral Games story? After reading the Kotaku article can you understand why EA did what it did, or do you think they should have doubled down on the game and helped it find it’s way?

Don’t forget guys, Deja News is about the conversation so feel free to leave your thoughts either down below on the site or over on the Facebook page.

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