All Gas No Brakes is YouTube Comedy at its finest

We’ve all had our share of nights of wild partying before. And any of you who have traveled have probably gone to some pretty crazy places. The YouTube series All Gas No Brakes takes that craziness and dials it up to 150. Each episode host Andrew Callaghan goes to an interesting gathering and interviews people there. To say these people are crazy is a bit of an understatement, just check this clip below of him at a Donald Trump Jr book signing.

Yeah, yikes. And this is one of the more mild episodes. Callaghan has gone to places like the MidWest Furrcon and Adult Video Entertainment Expo. The people he interviews are often inebriated and on more than a couple illicit substances. There’s also a lot of anti-semitism sprinkled throughout his guests views too which Andrew handles through gritted teeth.

The laughs come by fast and furious throughout the videos. There’s just something so funny about watching a very high person ramble about alternate dimensions. Fans of cringe comedy will also fall in love with weirdos like the Reverend William, who wants to find a Republican goddess to marry.

All Gas No Brakes is one the best YouTube series out there. If you like watching man on the street interview shows with insanity ratcheted up this is the show for you!

Batman Begins’ is still Amazing 15 Years Later

If you’re a millennial you could probably remember how long it took for decent comic book movies to finally come out. Though there were some successes like the original Superman movie and Tim Burton’s two Batman films, the genre was still very much struggling to figure itself out. X-Men and Spider-Man managed to come out with two successful movies each but those were top-tier properties. After the Joel Schumacher Batman flicks, the Dark Knight’s reputation was in dire straits and interest in a new Batman film was at an all time low.The Joker Origin Movie Is JUST Like Darren Araonofsky's Batman ...

This didn’t stop Warner Bros. from developing a new Batman film though, Darren Aronofsky wrote a hard-R rated script based off of Batman Year One that had Bruce Wayne losing his fortune after his parents were shot and Alfred became “Little Al”, an African-American who runs an auto repair shop (it’s a weird script and if you look hard enough you can find it online). They even considered doing an adaptation of the then-current Batman cartoon Batman Beyond. Warner Bros. ultimately decided to hire Chris Nolan to direct with Nolan and David S. Goyer writing the script together. Nolan’s approach was to finally do a proper origin story of Batman on-screen. Aptly titled Batman Begins, the film would end up becoming one of the most important comic book movies ever made.Batman Begins (2005) - IMDb

A big reason for this is the grounded take Nolan did on the character. The script goes out of the way to properly explain why Bruce Wayne does what he does and how he does it. Why does he dress up as a bat? Because he fell down a well filled with bats and was traumatized by them. When Alfred asks “Why Bats” he responds “Bats scare me.” Bruce takes his fear and inflicts it upon his enemies, it’s a simple concept that audiences can understand. Why does he have all these gadgets? Well his company makes a lot of technology so he repurposes it for himself. The Batmobile becomes a mobile tank and so and so forth.Batman Begins': Redefining the Dark Knight | Animation World Network

Batman Begins also gave some legitimacy to the comic book movie genre. The Spider-Man and X-Men films were also widely praised but the characters in those movies had fantastical powers, the world they lived in was very much not our own. Batman Begins’ Gotham, despite having ninjas from a 1000 year old order that seek destroy it, felt like a real city with its own host of relatable problems such as police corruption.Batman Begins (1995) Cast : Fancast

It also helped that the movie had a massively stacked cast. Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Liam Neeson, Morgan Freeman, Cillian Murphy, Tom Wilkinson…and okay yes Kati Holmes but otherwise look at that stacked cast! Gary Oldman in particular makes Commissioner Gordon, a character that was nothing more than comic relief in the previous four Batman films, into the co-lead of the movie. Liam Neeson also is clearly having a terrific time playing a subversion of the wise mentor archetype that he had been pigeon-holed into.

And also let’s not forget that Batman Begins has the best post credits scene that isn’t a post credits scene. My friend and I went wild when we saw the Joker calling card at the end of the movie. It was the perfect tease to the perfect Batman movie and if this movie came out during the post-MCU era you just know that scene would have been stuck to the end of the credits (in fact I’d be shocked if the upcoming The Batman doesn’t have some form of Joker tease in the end credits).

Batman Begins laid a ton of groundwork for making comic book movies cool. Though The Dark Knight would end up overshadowing it both critically and commercially, it’s still a fantastic film that holds up on rewatch.

 

The Top 5 Nintendo Switch Exclusives

The Nintendo Switch is one of the most exciting game consoles ever. A device that is both portable and can be played on the TV, it perfectly melds Nintendo’s two core pillars into one. The system has no shortage of great games, many of them exclusive to the console thanks to Nintendo’s reliable development teams. So as always here’s a list of the top five Switch exclusives!

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

The first game to launch on the Nintendo Switch is also the best. Breath of the Wild was the first game in the series since Ocarina of Time to switch up the formula. Nintendo’s take on open-world games wisely avoids the constant icons that crowd their maps and instead lets players explore as they please. The game is a speedrunning favourite and for good reasonl, the ability to simply choose which challenges you want to take on whether you’re ready for them or not gives players a ton of freedom. It also helps that the game has one of the best engines out there, letting players interact with objects in fun ways. Breath of the Wild is the best Zelda game AND the best game on Switch

Super Mario Odyssey

Not only did a new Zelda and Mario game both launch in the same year, they both featured some of the boldest changes in directions for their series. Though Odyssey doesn’t re-invent the wheel in quite the same way as Breath of the Wild, it still is a great new spin on the Mario franchise. The worlds are bigger than ever and Mario’s new friend, a talking hat named Cappy, let’s him turn himself into his enemies. The game’s final level is one of the greatest things in Mario’s 35 year history. Odyssey is a journey a fantastic journey with a great destination!

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

The greatest crossover series ever is even better than ever Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. With a roster of 80 characters and counting, this game couldn’t feature a better cast of videogame icons. No other game lets you pit Cloud from Final Fantasy against Princess Zelda after all. With six new fighters still coming via DLC the crossover is only going to get even more epic. Just please give us Master Chief as a character that’s all I ask.

Pokemon Sword and Shield

The first core Pokemon games made specifically for consoles sure take advantage of that. Sword and Shield feature some of the best Pokemon designs in recent memory (I love you Failinks) as well as a surprisingly decent story by franchise standards. The game also has a great battle gimmick in the form of Dynamax, where you can make your Pokemon the size of a skyscraper. Certain Pokemon even change their form when Dynamaxed! Sword and Shield also has a open world location called the Wild Area where you can Pokemon until your hearts content. The game has its share of flaws but it’s still a worth addition to the Switch’s lineup.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

This is Mario Kart, you love Mario Kart, I love Mario Kart, buy Mario Kart.

These are just five of the amazing Switch games you can play. With one of the biggest libraries on a Nintendo platform ever, the Switch is one of those consoles that you will always need to have on you, at least until the Switch 2.

The Top 5 PS4 Exclusives

The Playstation 4 is one of the most successful gaming consoles of all time. After Sony slipped up during the PS3 era they more than bounced back with the PS4, outselling the XboxOne by about 2 to 1. A major part of that reason has been Sony’s success in establishing some great series exclusive to the PS4. Here’s the top five PS4 games!

God of War

Sony’s Santa Monica Studio produced one of the best reboots of a series in recent memory. The God of War trilogy, while praised at the time, had certainly been a bit dated by this point. Protagonist Kratos’ rage-filled massacre of Greek mythology had by this point come across as a bit immature (the recurring threesome minigame didn’t help either…) but game director Cory Barlog and his team managed to pull off a great shift for the series. Kratos has now mellowed out a bit and even has a son. He’s mourning the recent passing of his wife and his goal is simply to spread her ashes atop the highest peak of the nine realms. Things escalate as they always do but God of War manages to balance the epic set pieces with an emotional story about a father and his son. The next game can’t come soon enough.

Marvel’s Spider-Man

The best superhero game since Batman: Arkham City, Marvel’s Spider-Man is one of the most epic Spider-Man things in general. The combat owes a lot to the Arkham games but developer Insomniac puts extra emphasis on Spidey’s mobility. The core conceit is if you’re standing still you will die, Spidey isn’t a brawler after all. The game smartly makes this Peter Parker a more experienced version of the character, having been active for eight years. It lets Insomniac fill the story with loads of villains leading to some epic encounters. But Insomniac isn’t afraid to make some bold changes to the Spider-Man mythos. I can’t say much without spoiling but needless to say even if you’re the biggest Spider-Man fan out there you’ll still be surprised by some of the story choices.

 Yakuza 0

Sega’s Yakuza franchise has had over half a dozen main entries as well as numerous spin-offs so why not start with the beginning? Yakuza 0 is a prequel to the whole story and a great one at that. You play as series mainstay Kiryu Kazuma and also his rival Goro Majima. The Yakuza games are known for their deathly serious main stories as well their absolutely bonkers side quests. One second you’re trying solve a deadly conspiracy, the next you’re playing with remote control cars. All the main Yakuza entries are available on PS4 right now (with another out in the fall) so if you love this game you won’t have to look elsewhere to see the epic tale of Kiryu Kazuma play out.

Bloodborne

The Dark Soul games are legendary for their difficult but rewarding boss battles and Bloodborne (from the creator the Souls series) is no different. The gameplay is engaging as ever as well as the spooky world that FromSoftware has created. Bloodborne can be punishing but also incredibly addictive. The game also has some great DLC to challenge you even further.

Horizon Zero Dawn

Developed the studio that made Killzone, Horizon Zero Dawn couldn’t be farther from that franchise. Set in a post-apocalyptic world where robotic animals rule the world, Horizon puts you in the shoes of a young girl named Aloy. The world building in this game is tremendous as well the crazy fights with the robotic T-Rexes. Really that’s all you need to know about this game, robotic T-Rexes.

The Best Deals of the PSN Spring Sale

If you’ve somehow managed to run out of games to play on your PS4 then look no further to the online Playstation Network Store. There’s over 400 games on sale from now until April 29th. Here’s some highlights!

Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot

Easily one of the best Dragon Ball games in recent memory, DBZ: Kakarot is now just over $50. For a recent release that’s more than pretty good! Enjoy revisiting the Dragon Ball Saga like you’ve never seen it before!

God of War

God of War is only one of the best reviewed games of the generation. A more mature but no less thrilling reboot-quel of the God of War series, this game won just about every game of the year award in 2018, beating out Rockstar Games’ Red Dead Redemption 2. God of War has a come a long way from mindless action brawler to something closer to the Legend of Zelda series. Plus it avoids the cliches you expect from games like this. At only $15 it’s a massive steal!

Kingdom Hearts All-in-One Package

The Kingdom Hearts series is famously convoluted. But if you’re looking to get into it you might as well play every game in order. This collection contains every single game in the series. For only $40 that’s a pretty insane value especially since KH3 alone is worth that. The series isn’t quite the most consistent in quality but the overall package is an amazing deal. Kingdom Hearts combines the worlds of Final Fantasy and Disney into something that works surprisingly well. There’s a reason why this series has such an ardent fan base after all.

A Plague Tale: Innocence

One of the sleeper hits of last year, A Plague Tale: Innocence is a story driven game about two young children being hunted by the French Inquisition. The story has received wide praise for it’s visuals and heartbreaking narrative. It’s only $26 and I plan on picking it up too.

Marvel vs Capcom Infinite: Deluxe Edition

The fourth game in the Marvel vs Capcom franchise, the deluxe edition of this game is just $23 and contains all the DLC characters and costumes. MvCI didn’t quite make as big a dent in the fighting game scene as its previous entries but this game is still great fun to play with friends. Have a few beers with your buds and see who’s stronger, Thanos or Akuma!

These are just five of the over 400 games on sale but they sure stand out among the crowd. There also other games we’ve covered here on Evolution that are also on sale like The Witcher 3. Have fun gaming!

Let the Game Delays Begin

Yesterday Sony announced that the much anticipated The Last of Us Part Two and slightly less anticipated Iron Man VR would not make their May release dates and were delayed indefinitely. In a Twitter statement, Last of Us developer Naughty Dog stated that the delay was not due to the game not being finished but rather due to the difficult logistics of giving the game a worldwide release due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was extra big sting to fans especially since the game had already been delayed from February to May.

Kotaku’s Jason Schreier added that the primary reason for the delay was the challenge of printing, selling, and shipping physical games right now. Though fans suggested that Sony could just release the game digitally (all games are day and date digital now to begin with) Jason responded that with Sony already throttling download speeds because of COVID-19 it would be even worse when millions more players would be trying to download the game at the same time.

Though the games industry seemed to be in better shape than other entertainment industries like say Hollywood (last week’s box office total came to $5000!), the reality is that at least when it comes to the big AAA games it makes little sense to release them when a significant portion of the audience will not have access to these games. Digital releases are certainly catching up with physical but at this point it’s roughly a 50/50 split and for these event sized games first dollar gross is where the majority of sales come from. It’s also easy to forget that for people who don’t live in major cities the internet speed is far lower and downloading a 100 gig game is more than a tall order.

At this point fans should unfortunately expect that major releases like The Avengers and Cyberpunk 2077 will not make their September release dates (they were also delayed from May and April respectively too, game development is hard!). The PS5 and Xbox Series X also seem unlikely to release this year especially since they’re hardware manufactured in China. The silver lining in this however is that smaller games that were always going to be released digitally to begin with with will now have a greater chance of becoming hits. And even if nothing new strikes players we all have that dreaded backlog, now it seems we’ll finally get around to it.

The Enduring Legacy of Paper Mario

You may have heard about the recent rumours of Nintendo re-releasing the 3D Mario games, but what also slipped in that news brief was that a new Paper Mario title was also on the way. And better yet, it would be a return to the series RPG roots. Why is this such a big deal? Well let’s take a look down memory lane and find out!

Paper Mario was one of the last major Nintendo 64 games, released in February of 2001, just 9 months before the Gamecube’s release. The games paper-craft art style made it stand out among the many Mario games as well as its excellent turn-based combat. Paper Mario’s story on paper (HA!) wasn’t too different from your standard Mario game, Bowser kidnaps Princess Peach etc, etc. But it’s combat system which, while turned-based, let you do bonus damage by timing button prompts successfully, was great fun. Adding to the enjoyment was that Mario could recruit up to eight allies during his adventure. These allies were all classic Mario foes like Goombas and Koopa-Troopas which made it even more interesting. Reviews for Paper Mario were excellent, leading to a 93/100 average on Metacritic. Critics considered it to be one of the greatest role-playing games of its era.

So with the success of Paper Mario came a sequel of course. Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door was released in October 2004 for the Nintendo Gamecube. The game had a few new gameplay mechanics but was otherwise very similar to its predecessor. What did make it stand out though was it’s presentation and story. TTYD took complete advantage of the Gamecube’s power and featured some very cool encounters that would have been impossible to do on the N64. The story was also vastly more complex than the first game, with Bowser stepping aside as the villain to make room for the brand new X-Nauts. They’re a weird alien race that gave the game an even more epic scope. On top of that players could play as Bower and Peach in some interstitial sequences. TTYD was reviewed well by critics, although some felt the game played it a bit too safe. Nevertheless the fans have hailed TTYD as one of the best Nintendo RPGs of all time. Unfortunately it has never been re-released on another platform, leaving new players being forced to play it on emulators.

With a new console came a new Paper Mario game of course. But rather than being a regular RPG, Super Paper Mario was actually a 2D platformer like the traditional Mario titles. Though you still gain experience points and the like, all the action is in real time. On top of that the game has the unique mechanic of letting Mario flip the 2D world into 3D. This allows you to complete various puzzles or move around obstacles. The plot of this game is ludicrously over the top, just try reading it on Wikipedia (it’s a struggle) but the writing was praised and it had a lot of hilarious sequences that led to some great memes. Fans were taken aback by this switch in genre but if it was just a one off then it would have been no big deal right?

Well, not quite. Paper Mario Sticker Star for the Nintendo 3DS and Paper Mario Color Splash for the Wii U went in yet another direction. Though turn based, the actions players have are determined by stickers they find in the games overworld. Stickers also don’t replenish so players must constantly find new ones. There are also super powered stickers called “thing stickers” that are real world objects that players can then turn into stickers. These “thing stickers” can be used to solve puzzles and also do massive damage when used in battle. The game received mix reviews, with critics praising the writing (as always, these games have very good writing as you can tell) but bemoaning the frustrating nature of the sticker concept. The Wii U sequel didn’t fare much better and fans were frustrated by yet another game in this format.

So this is where we leave the Paper Mario series, after three games in a row that left the core RPG mechanics behind the excitement for a new traditional game could not be higher. Who knows what sort of interesting gimmicks might be introduced to switch the formula up? All we can hope is that this one pleases old and new fans alike.

The Top Five Amazon Prime Shows

We typically associate Netflix with streaming, but there are in fact other services. As Netflix seeks to overload everyone with content, Amazon Prime has turned to developing their own niche which is high quality prestige. The shows that Amazon has produced wouldn’t last long under Netflix’s guillotine but that’s what makes them shine. Here are the top five shows on Amazon Prime.

Transparant

This was arguably Prime’s first major hit. A groundbreaking, award-winning show about the struggles of a trans woman (played by Jeffrey Tambor), the show made major strides for culture in trans awareness. But the show wasn’t just a preach fest. It’s a human drama about a family with a heck of a lot of hang-ups. Though the show’s end was marred by sexual harassment allegations against Tambor, forcing the show to kill off his character and end early, it’s still one of the smartest dramedies of recent memory.

Undone

Bojack Horseman creator Raphael Bob-Waksburg helped shepherd this show created by Kate Purdy. Rosa Salazar stars as Alma, a young woman whom after a near fatal car accident develops a new sense of reality. This allows her to discover the truth about her father’s death. The rotoscoping animation style adds to the mind-bending nature of the show. But it isn’t all just acid trip antics. Undone is a show about the effects of trauma and how we heal. It’s only eight episodes long and a perfect afternoon binge.

Vinland Saga

One of the best new anime shows of last year, Vinland Saga is an epic story about Vikings. The series is a bit of a slow burn but once it gets going you’re in for some absolutely epic fights. Vinland Saga received critical acclaim and it’s a great sign that Amazon is zeroing in on Netflix’s crown for anime superiority.

Good Omens

Good Omens is an adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s classic novel. With a stacked cast featuring David Tennant and Michael Sheen, it’s one of the most original series in recent memory. An angel and demon strike up a friendship that lasts millennia where they play both sides of the field. But once the anti-christ finally awakens they must do everything in their power to stop the apocalypse. If you’re willing to watch a show that pokes fun at faith then Good Omens will be a delight for you.

Homecoming

Julia Roberts television debut is one for the ages. Produced by Mr.Robot’s Sam Esmail, Roberts plays a social worker who worked at the mysterious Homecoming Transitional Support Center. This facility supposedly helped soldiers transition to civilian life but there is more to the story of course. On top of that, four years later Roberts’ character is now a waitress who has difficulty remembering her time there. It’s a very twisty thriller that bounces between different timelines. The show can be confusing but the pay off is worth.

These are just five great examples of Prime’s programming. Prime might not have the sheer volume of Netflix’s content but as you can see by these five, they certainly have a unique take. So give Prime a shot if you haven’t already.

Retro Recommendation: Super Mario 64

Recently it was reported that Nintendo plans on re-releasing three 3D Mario games on a one disc collection. These titles are Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, and Super Mario Galaxy. And while Sunshine and Galaxy have certainly aged better graphically, they can’t compare to the meteor-sized impact of 1996’s Super Mario 64.Super Mario 64 - Wikipedia

Super Mario 64 spent three years in development, a very long time back in the day when numerous Super Nintendo classics could be finished within 18 months. Though the game is known for it’s revolutionary open world 3D gameplay early on they considered giving the game an isometric viewpoint with fixed camera angles. Elements of this isometric design actually remain in the three Bower levels, the choice being to force players into confrontation rather than exploration.

Super Mario 64 (Nintendo 64) - online game | RetroGames.cz

The open world gameplay paid off in spades, for players unaccustomed to 3D spaces the introductory courtyard was mind blowing. The game even developed a narrative reason for why players could control the 3D camera, with a Mario enemy known as Lakitu playing the role of a cameraman. He could even be seen when the players encountered mirrors, making for a very cool visual detail. Rather than having unique worlds for each level, Mario 64 had 15 different worlds with around 8-10 Stars to collect. Collecting these stars would form the level structure. You’d be playing through the same area but depending on the level different changes would occur. 27 souvenirs du jeu Super Mario 64 | Pèse sur start

Mario 64 was not the first 3D platformer but it was certainly the most successful. The game was smartly paced, with the first level players go through featuring an epic encounter with King Bob-Omb. The encounter isn’t terribly difficult but it’s incredibly fun throwing a massive king around. Other highlights included getting the Wing Cap, letting Mario fly through the air for a limited time. As a child I would just play through levels featuring the cap and fly through the air listening to the exciting music that turned on when Mario equipped it.

Even almost 25 years later Super Mario 64 remains an all-time classic. It still regularly tops the charts of best-of lists and it’s legacy as one of the most important videogames of all time still holds strong. It’s currently unknown whether this re-release will feature a full-on remake of Mario 64, or if it’s just a port but either way it will certainly be a welcome addition to the Switch’s library.

The Five Best Shows You (Probably) Haven’t Seen

“Dude you gotta watch this!” That’s something you’ve probably heard a lot. What with the Golden Age of Television seemingly going on for forever now. With numerous shows such as Breaking Bad, Mad Men, and Game of Thrones (at least until season 8) deemed worthy as the peak of serialized storytelling it can become more than a little difficult to catch up on the hottest programming. So today I’d like to showcase five of the best shows you (probably) haven’t seen.

Hannibal

A TV adaptation of the Hannibal Lecter stories would seem like a ratings smash right? A charismatic serial killer teaming up with an FBI agent certainly seems like an obvious pairing for show that could run endlessly. But Bryan Fuller’s take on the Hannibal mythology proved far too artistic and audacious in the pre-streaming era. Hannibal starts off somewhat conventional but quickly gets off the rails in the most brilliant of ways. Mads Mikkelsen wisely does the opposite of Hopkins iconic performance, portraying Lecter as an almost alien being. Hugh Dancy also does great work as Will Graham, a serial killer profiler who becomes far too involved with Hannibal. The show only lasted three seasons but thankfully managed to adapt the book “Red Dragon” in it’s final arc. Hannibal is a dark and bleak show, but a beautiful one at that.

The Leftovers

If you loved LOST and HBO’s Watchmen then you’ll definitely enjoy this show by the same creator, Damon Lindelof. The Leftovers is set in a world where 2% of the world’s population disappears randomly. What could have been a show that focused all characters trying to figure out what happened instead focuses on people just trying to deal with the trauma of having lost their loved ones in an instant. Justin Theroux and Carrie Coon are remarkable in this show. Season one is a bit too dour but season two is easily one of the greatest seasons of television ever. With a slight sense of humour added to the show, it doubles down on the ridiculous nature of the departure. If you’ve ever wanted to see a character have to sing karaoke to escape the afterlife then this is the show for you. Like Hannibal, it only ran for three seasons but that makes it an even easier recommendation.

The Venture Bros.

The Venture Bros. first debuted in 2003 and is still ongoing. That means there’s a ton of seasons right? Well actually only seven so far. The show’s inconsistent release schedule has definitely made it tough to maintain an audience but those who love it, LOVE it. Centred around Rusty Venture, a former boy adventurer who is now a depressed middle aged man with two sheltered sons. It’s a show that is incredibly dense in pop culture references. With comic books at an all time high of popularity it’s even easier to pick up on what the Venture Bros was poking fun at. The show has a super tight continuity, with random one off characters eventually becoming major ones. This makes binging it even better since you don’t have to remember things from five years ago. If you want to watch an absolutely hilarious show that Rick and Morty borrowed from more than a little, this is the show for you.

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

If you loved Seinfeld than It’s Always is Sunny in Philadelphia is the next best thing. Somehow the characters in Sunny are even more depraved and amoral than Seinfeld’s. It’s criminal that the show somehow isn’t available for streaming in Canada. But if you know where to look you’re in for easily one of the funniest shows of all time. Just please watch this instead of binging The Office or Friends. And if you can’t find the show than just watch some clip compilations like this 45 minute one above. You could waste your time in worse ways.

Review

Review is a show about a critic named Forrest MacNeil. Forrest doesn’t review books or movies but rather life experiences. Like racism or being Batman. Review is a very, very darkly funny show, but if that’s your type of comedy you’re in for something special. The show can be pretty hard to find but I was able to link a full episode of one of the greatest things I’ve ever seen on TV. Pancakes, Divorce, Pancakes is a master class in comedy where things only get worse for Forrest. And that’s just the third episode! Review didn’t last long, two seasons and a three episode third season, but that just makes its comedic density even greater. Five Stars.

These five shows I’ve listed are super underrated but if you take a chance on them you won’t be disappointed. I guarantee it.

Five Games that will get you through Quarantine

Hey, we’ve all got way too much time to sit down right now. So today I’ve got another list. This time it’s five games that will last you an incredibly long time. These games have more than enough content to keep you busy. Let’s go!

Persona 5 Royale

This game literally just came out today! And if you watched the trailer above you’ll see that it’s reviewed pretty darn well too. Persona 5 Royale is an enhanced version of the 2017 hit. Play as a broody teenager who by day lives life like an ordinary Japanese teen but by night joins forces with his friends to steal the hearts of foul evil doers by going into a magical demon realm. Yeah, it’s a bit wacky but it’s also a tremendously fun RPG. The game is like a mix of Pokemon and a sim dating game, where your relationships with friends in the real world power up your abilities in the demon realm. The original game was already 80-100 hours long and this enhanced version adds another 20-30 hours with a brand new extended epilogue. Thus game will steal your heart!

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

If you watched Netflix’s recent adaptation of The Witcher then you’ll already be primed for the videogame. This is the third game of the series but it does a pretty good job in letting new players feel welcome. The Witcher 3 is arguably the most influential game of the PS4/XboxOne era, with its massive attention to detail and well written quests. Better yet, get the Game of the Year edition which includes the DLCs with the game. They’re just as good as the base game and add even more hours to an already massive experience.

Red Dead Redemption 2

Rockstar Games only makes one game a generation at this point but at least it shows. RDR2 is an incredibly detailed game with an equally great story to boot. The teenager-level satire of GTAV is gone and replaced with a soulful story about a man who does some very bad things but tries to redeem himself. It’s Rockstar’s first game where doing evil actions will actually make you feel remorse. And given it’s eight year development cycle the game has more than enough for you to do. With one of the largest landmasses in a game ever, RDR2 will more than last you.

World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth

Yes, the World of Warcraft is still going on, 15 years strong. Battle for Azeroth is the most recent expansion and is just as big as the previous ones. Less revolutionary than the previous update but still just as good, Battle for Azeroth is filled with dungeons and raids to keep you busy. On top of that there are plenty of new races to unlock as well as new cosmetic items to make your character look even fresher. And with the upcoming Shadowlands expansion about to hit in the fall, now is the best time to join in and catch up!

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Breath of the Wild is three years old now, but if you haven’t had the chance to play it (or god forbid don’t own a Switch) then now is a great time to dive in. Breath of the Wild is the boldest Zelda game since Ocarina of Time, with its completely non-linear story. Tackle any challenge in any order, the only thing stopping you is your lack of skill and poor gear. With hundreds of challenges to complete, plus a living world with delightful physics to exploit, Breath of the Wild is easily one of the greatest Nintendo titles ever made!

Well there you go, that’s five games that should last you a fair bit. Happy gaming!

Retro Recommendation: Chrono Trigger

If you’ve been like me during your quarantine period you’ve probably been playing a lot of videogames. And while there’s plenty of great new games still coming out in the next few weeks I’m sure there’s plenty of older games you just haven’t had the chance to play. Today I’d like to recommend one of the greatest role-playing games of all time, Chrono Trigger.The RetroBeat: It's time for a new Chrono Trigger | VentureBeat

Chrono Trigger was released in 1995 for the Super Nintendo. It was one of the last major games for the console and it definitely shows. Chrono Trigger is MASSIVE. Centred around a young lad named Chrono, it is a game that involves him and his pals Marle and Lucca traveling through time in an attempt to stop the world from ending in the far off future of 1999. Along the way they make interesting friends like a legendary swordsman who’s been transformed into a frog, a robot from 2300 named Robo, and a cavewoman from 65 million BC. There’s also a mysterious villain named Magus who can join your party if you make the right choices. The diverse cast is one of many reasons why Chrono Trigger is so beloved.

One of the reasons Chrono Trigger’s cast looks so great is because they were designed by Akira Toriyama, creator of Dragon Ball. As a Dragon Ball Z loving kid who bought the PSOne re-release, the cover art featuring his designs was one of the reasons I was interested in the game. That PSOne re-release also featured new animated scenes that the SNES version couldn’t pull off, like this incredible intro linked above.Hironobu Sakaguchi wanted Chrono Trigger to evolve in a series ...

Chrono Trigger’s story is legendary. You go from locations such as prehistoric times to post apocalyptic landscape, to even the end of time itself. The story bounces back and forth between time periods and it’s super fun putting together the clues of how the end of the world happened and what it takes to stop it. On top of it the game features over 13 endings! It makes replaying the game a ton of fun especially since you can transfer your characters levels through multiple playthroughs, making it possible to beat enemies that you weren’t supposed to yet, resulting in some very cool changes to the ending.Chrono Trigger has been updated with new features to bring it up ...

But the story and characters aren’t the only great part of the game. Chrono Trigger’s battle system is still incredibly fun decades after its release. One of the highlights is that party members can team up and perform combo-attacks. It makes building a party extra complex as you have to consider not just the characters individual strengths but also whether their combo moves gel together.

Chrono Trigger is a classic for a reason. If you haven’t played it then now is the perfect time to do so. The game is available on SNES, PSOne, Steam, iOS and Android, Wii, and the Nintendo DS. The DS version is the preferred one as it has an improved translation and some extras but any way you play it you’ll be in for an incredible experience.

10/10. One of the greatest games of all time.

Five Films that will help you survive the Apocalypse

We’re all in the middle of COVID panic right now. Line-ups at stores have massive queues with social distancing in full effect. Toilet paper is flying off the shelves. And any time someone coughs our eyes dart towards them with fearful glares. But hey, it could be worse. Like in any of these five movies. By watching them you’ll learn some useful tips in surviving the apocalypse.

Shaun of the Dead - Wikipedia

Shaun of the Dead

Edgar Wright’s stunning debut, Shaun of the Dead, is a modern day classic. Shaun, his pal Ed, and his ex Liz (plus some more expendable characters) must survive a zombie uprising in London. Remember, bars are your best bet when it comes to surviving the Walking Dead, especially when that bar has Winchester rifle in handy. But for god’s sake running your zombie bite under a cold tap won’t help at all.

How to watch Contagion: stream the movie online anywhere now ...

Contagion

This star studded film about a deadly virus that Gwyneth Paltrow accidentally spreads hits more than a little close to home. Contagion hits on a lot of concepts that have been brought up during the COIVD pandemic like social distancing. Jude Law also stars as a conspiracy theorist who spreads lies about phoney cures, which is even wilder because the person he’s based off of, Alex Jones of Info Wars fame, ended up doing the same thing just a few weeks ago. Contagion might not make you feel good but it will certainly prepare you for the worst.

Cast Away - Wikipedia

Castaway

If you decide to flee the country to escape than Castaway will give you some great advice on how to live on your own deserted island. Famously the screenwriters were given several random objects and then wrote the survival portions of the film based on how Hank’s character would be forced to use them. This type of ingenuity will be key to your survival.

The Road (2009 film) - Wikipedia

The Road

This film about a father and son trying to survive after an unseen apocalyptic event will test your faith in humanity. During the apocalypse sometimes the only thing worse than the disease are other humans. Viggo Mortensen’s character is put through the paces as he tries to protect his son. This film will give you ideas on the types of scenarios you may find yourself in.

Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome - Wikipedia

Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome

Mel Gibson’s last turn as Mad Max is his most insane. With Max discovering a new civilization that isn’t all that it seems to be, he finds himself in more than a bit of a sticky situation. By watching this you will finally understand what it means when people say “Thunderdome is the law of the land” now.

Netflix’s Tiger King is Your Next Binge

Who wouldn’t want a pet tiger? They’re among the most beloved creatures in the world. Beautiful as they are deadly, they’re the type of creature that seemingly only bond villains can own. And Netflix’s latest documentary, Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness goes all in on the wild world of private tiger zoos.

The lead character of Tiger King is of course the Tiger King himself, Joe Exotic (who’s real name is Joseph Allen Maldonado-Passage) A self described gay, polyamorous, recovering drug addict, who claims to be one of the most prolific tiger breeders in North America. He has also run for President and Governor as well. He is without exaggeration, one of the most insane documentary subjects I’ve ever seen. The documentary tells the story of his spectacular rise and fall.

Joe runs Garold Wayne Exotic Animal Memorial Park, a for-profit tiger reserve. It becomes pretty clear from watching that it is not exactly the best run place. One of their employees for instance lost an arm in an incident. But Joe’s charisma is enough for him to be able to lead an expansive operation even though he is also a rather abusive person (or perhaps because of that). Pretty much everyone in Joe’s orbit is as close to being as crazy as him, from his ex-husband to the man who shot his aborted reality show (even as they try to portray themselves as the sane ones.Tiger King' Star Carole Baskin Slams Netflix Series Over Portrayal ...

The most major player next to Joe Exotic is his arch-enemy Carol Baskin, the founder of Big Cat Rescue. Carol wants to shut Joe down and the war between the two becomes the centrepiece of the series. She starts off as the hero of the story but once they delve into the mysterious disappearance of her ex-husband, things become a little more complicated to say the least.Tiger King on Netflix: How many episodes are in Tiger King on ...

The great thing about Tiger King is that seemingly every player in this show could warrant their own entire documentary series. From Doc Antle, who has been accused of killing tiger cubs before they get too big, to Jeff Lowe, who Joe makes the big mistake of joining forces with.

Tiger King is an absolutely riveting documentary. It’s one of Netflix’s most binge-able series in recent memory. With a wild cast of characters and no real heroes and villains, it’s a show that you’ll be hard pressed to put down.

9.5/10

The Five Most Stress Free Games to Play

The COVID-19 pandemic has been stressful for all of us. With everyone cooped up inside it can feel very claustrophobic. And if you’re stuck inside what else are you going to do but play videogames? So today I’m going to recommend five stress free video games that will put your worries at ease.

Stardew Valley

What better way to spend your days than living off the land. In Stardew Valley you inherit your grandfather’s farm in the countryside. There’s no goals, just living life. You can even get married! Stardew Valley was made by just one person but you wouldn’t notice that with its great fully lived in world.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

We’ve already written about this on Evolution but it bears repeating that the latest Animal Crossing is a great way to spend your day at home. With an island that’s unique to you and only you, you’ll feel a deep personal connection. Just don’t feel bad when your home is less messy than your real world home.

Octodad

Octodad is exactly what it sounds like. You’re an octopus who’s also a dad. Each level you have to solve what should be a basic problem except because you’re an octopus things get a bit more complicated. If you’re looking for a laugh you can’t go wrong with Octodad.

No Man’s Sky

In No Man’s Sky you’re just one person in a vast galaxy. With just your tools and your spaceship, you can explore the galaxy to your hearts content. With procedurally generated planets and creatures, you’ll see the same thing twice. And your creations will persist long after you’ve stopped playing. If you want to make your mark on the galaxy try this out.

Firewatch

Starring Mad Men’s Rich Sommer as Henry, Firewatch is a short narrative-driven game where you play as a man who takes a job as a fire lookout at a campsite in Wyoming. When mysterious things start happening around the camp Henry realizes he got more than he bargained for. Firewatch features choice based dialogue as you select how Henry interacts with the various inhabitants at the camp. If you’re looking for a great narrative driven game you should give Firewatch a shot.

And there’s five peacefu, stress-free games to play. I hope you give even just one of these a shot, you won’t regret it.

A New Nintendo Direct is Finally Unleashed

For Nintendo fans there is nothing more invigorating than Nintendo’s livestream news drops, otherwise known as Nintendo Directs. Since 2012 Nintendo has done these concise videos that showcase new and exciting games. These Directs often come with little warning, usually no more than a days notice, but today’s Direct was actually shadow dropped with little warning, aside from a few journalists teasing it. It was the first Nintendo Direct since September, making it one of the longest waits ever. Was it worth it? Well they referred to it as a Mini-Direct which kept expectations reasonable at least. Here’s the most notable news to come out of it.

Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition

A remake of the classic Wii RPG, Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition was finally given a release date for May 29th. On top of that the Direct announced that the game would have a new epilogue included as well titled “Future Connected”. Speculation has already begun that this will further connect Xenoblade with its sequel, whose ending suggested that the two games took place during the same time but in parallel worlds. RPG fans definitely won’t want to miss out on this game.

Ports, lots of Ports

Three classic game collections from publisher 2K games will be ported over to the Switch. The Borderlands Legendary Collection, The Bioshock Collection, and the X-Com 2 Collection. The Switch’s portable nature makes it the best system to play anything on and if you haven’t played even just one game in these collections it might be worth it especially since they contain all the DLC as well, making them the definitive versions.

A New Smash Fighter is Teased

It wouldn’t be a Nintendo Direct without some Super Smash Bros. news and this one was no different. Though they didn’t reveal a character they did say which franchise the character would be from, the newest Nintendo franchise, Arms. Personally I’m hoping it’s the wacky inflatable dude. At the very least I hope it’s not the basic main characters who are the most generic of Arm’s roster. Gamers who haven’t played Arms can try the game free from now until April 6th as well, so they can fall in love with these new characters.

New Info on Pokemon’s First Expansion

Last but not least, the Direct had some new information on Pokemon Sword and Shield’s Isle of Armor expansion. Players will receive a new Fighting-type legendary Pokemon named Kubfu and be able to choose what form he will evolve into by taking on a challenge at either the Tower of Darkness or the Tower of Waters. After that taking on this challenge Kubfu will evolve into Urshifu and gain either the Dark type or Water type as well as learn a move exclusive to the form. In addition your starter Pokemon from the beginning of the game will finally receive a Gigantamax form and the great power that comes with it. Isle of Armor releases by the end of June.

Well those are the highlights of this week’s Nintendo Direct. But thankfully the wait for the next one won’t quite be as bad as it will be coming in June. In the meantime there are plenty of great Switch games to play.

Wonder Woman Pushed Back to August as COVID-19 Devastates Film Industry

Good news, bad news everyone. The highly anticipated movie, Wonder Woman 1984, has been delayed. This isn’t a huge shock given that every movie from mid-March to May has been pushed back but it still makes more for yet another unfortunate casualty in movie release calendar.

The good news is however, that this delay is relatively minor compared to other movies. Originally expected to be released on June 5th, it will now be in theatres on August 14th. Image result for black widow

Compared to other films this is actually not too bad. The majority of the films pushed due to the COVID-19 outbreak were not given the luxury of having a new release date, rather they have received the ominous designation of being delayed “indefinitely”. Notable releases affected by this include Marvel’s Black Widow and Disney’s Mulan remake, which was supposed to hit theatres this Friday. The latest Fast and Furious was set to open in April and did in fact get a new release date, but it was delayed by an entire year, now due in April 2021.

COVID-19 has devastated the movie industry, with almost all theatres in North America and Europe being forced to close for at least six weeks. Films that had the unfortunate timing to be released during the pandemic have received early releases on streaming and Video-On-Demand. With film productions across the world being forced to shut down the impact will be felt for years to come especially due to the long pre-production of movies.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons is Pure Joy

The Animal Crossing series is one of Nintendo’s most unlikely franchises to hit it big. A game with no real goals, where you simply live in a small town filled with up to ten friendly anthropomorphic animals. You can plant flowers, fish, catch bugs, and sell things you’ve found throughout the town so you can buy furniture or wall paper. The closest thing to a structure is that a capitalist raccoon named Tom Nook will upgrade your house multiple times in exchange for interest-free loans. Animal Crossing is pretty much just a second life. It’s a perfect game for self isolation.

The latest iteration, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, is the first new main-entry in seven years (there were a couple of spin-offs in between). Not only that but it’s the first in twelve years to be released on a home console. Nintendo could have easily just released an entry that didn’t change the formula too much and was simply prettier but New Horizons changes the games in a number of interesting ways.

The most obvious change is the new setting. Instead of being set in a town, the player has an island to call their home. It gives the game a cozy vacation feel and considering that most people’s vacations have been cancelled due to what’s happening in the world, it lends itself to becoming an even more fulfilling fantasy. This island the player gets however isn’t quite a resort yet, there is a lengthy tutorial that goes on for about seven real-world days where the game gradually introduces new concepts and features. It makes the opening of the game a bit slow to say the least. For example in previous games the player had five villagers in their town at the beginning, in New Horizons you only start with two. Key landmarks such as the museum have to be built at first and will not be finished for days.

Speaking of things being built, that’s one of the key new features of the game. Crafting is easily the biggest new feature. Your key items such as your shovel and fishing rod have to be built from scratch and they also have different levels of strength, you start with flimsy graded tools and work your way all the way up to gold-grade. The difference in strength is measured by how quickly your items will break. This is easily the most controversial addition to the franchise and it can definitely be a bummer when your bug catching net breaks right before you catch a rare spider. While the tools breaking is definitely the weakest part of the game, crafting things like furniture is a heck of a lot of fun and it’s super exciting when you come across a new design to add to your crafting kit.

You can also go to other islands, whether it’s your friend’s island through online play, or a randomly generated island that will potentially give you access to new resources and new villagers to join you. Access to these random islands is granted by purchasing a ticket to them by spending “Nook Miles.”

It’s through Nook Miles that Animal Crossing finally becomes more of a goal driven game. Everything you do is tracked through an achievement system that rewards you with Nook Miles for accomplishing tasks. Whether it’s from achieving a milestone in filling your bug journal up or planting X number of trees. Everything you do in this game rewards you in some way. There are also daily challenges that give you even more Nook Miles so there’s always an incentive to turn the game on every day and check in.

And don’t even get me started on how the villagers in this game still manage to be incredibly endearing. With nearly 400 characters each with their own personalities, your island’s neighbourhood will be completely unique to you. It truly makes the game feel special.

I’m only five days into New Horizons and still haven’t unlocked a number of important features such as “terraforming” but I can say that I’ve really enjoyed my time with this game. If you’re looking for a peaceful experience with a massive amount of customization options then Animal Crossing: New Horizons is definitely the game for you.

9/10

Better Call Saul Continues to be TV’s Best Show

It seems crazy that Breaking Bad ended almost seven years ago. One of the most critically acclaimed shows and a herald of the so-called Golden Age of Television, it’s a show that still has maintained a huge cultural footprint long after it’s well received finale. But the show’s off beat version of Albuquerque still lives on in the form of it’s spin-off Better Call Saul, a show that against all odds has someone become equal or even greater than it’s predecessor.

Better Call Saul is both a prequel AND a sequel to Breaking Bad. The show’s season premieres have each opened up with cold opens where Saul Goodman, lawyer to Breaking Bad’s anti-hero, Walter White, has fled Albuquerque and become Gene, manager of a Cinnabon. It’s a far cry from his status as a wealthy attorney to a meth king pin. Following that the show settles into a prequel set in the early 2000s where Saul Goodman is revealed to be in fact a down on his luck lawyer named Jimmy McGill, who lives in the shadow of his older and far more respectable brother, Charles. The series explores how the shifty but ultimately good natured Jimmy becomes the scumbag that appears in Breaking Bad.

The show also has appearances from other Breaking Bad characters like Mike Ehrmantraut, who at the beginning of the series is just a parking attendant but quickly reveals his darker nature, which makes sense given that he’s a drug enforcer by Breaking Bad’s start. Season 3 features the return (or debut I guess) of Breaking Bad’s greatest villain, Gus Fring. Numerous other characters from Breaking Bad, from recurring cast members to one scene players appear as well, making Breaking Bad’s world feel almost as vast as something like the MCU.

Better Call Saul  is a show that could have easily coasted on these returning faces but instead manages to deepen every single character in new and interesting ways. Saul Goodman, a character who was effectively the comic relief has become even more tragic than Walter White. He’s a good person who slips up, but due to other people’s pre-conceived notions of him, he finds the only thing he can do is embrace the perception that they have him. Every time he tries to do things the right and proper way he is shut down, losing his humanity piece by piece. Fans of his grifts on Breaking Bad now wince as he makes the worst possible choices that thanks to the nature of being a prequel, we know will lead to his ruin.

Better Call Saul is currently airing it’s fifth season on AMC. It airs on Mondays at 10PM. The first four seasons are also on Netflix. Don’t miss out on one of TV’s best shows.

Coping with Corona Virus Anxiety

The last week and a bit has been a very stressful time for all of us. With the number of people infected with the Corona Virus rising exponentially each day it’s becoming harder and harder for us to get up in the morning and pretend that things are normal. Our common ways of tuning out like going to the movies and watching sports are no longer present. If you’re like me and a naturally anxious person already then it becomes even more difficult to look on the bright side of things. And while realistically this is going to be the state of things for longer than any of us want there are still some things we can do to make our new lives a little easier. Here’s a few things you can do to cope with Corona related anxiety.

EXERCISE

Exercise has been proven to be one of the best ways to aid depression. Whether it’s going for a run or just doing some basic yoga stretches at home, moving your body will give you a boost of endorphins that can enhance your sense of well being. After all, once this is over wouldn’t it be great if your friends saw you looking better than ever?

CATCHING UP ON READING

Lord knows I have a ton of books I’ve purchased that I still haven’t finished or even cracked up open. And if you’re similar then this a great time to finally get started on your backlog. And if you have a Kindle or even a reading app on your phone or computer than you can get your reading on without having to rely on Amazon delivering to you.

WATCH CLASSIC FILMS

Even the biggest cinephiles have classic movies they still haven’t seen. For me, it’s Titanic (I know I’m the worst). With Netflix and Chill being the law of the land we finally do in fact have the time to fill in those missing pieces. Art has the power to heal and I’m sure there are some cinematic experiences that you’ve missed out on that could potentially hit you straight in the feels.

WRITE

Whether it’s writing a script, poetry, or even just a blog post about your day, writing can be a very therapeutic tool. By letting your creative shine you’ll be able to flex muscles you didn’t know you had.

TALK TO SOMEONE

We’re all in this together and we all cope in different ways. But even though we are practicing social distancing that doesn’t mean you can’t pick up the phone and call a friend or family member and talk through this. It’s incredibly easy to isolate yourself but we all need human connection. And given that we are all going through this I’m sure there’s someone you know who’s willing to listen.

I hope these ideas spark something in you. We are living in difficult times but I do believe we will come out of this stronger. And if we can all do our best to self improve during this period then that’s even better.