Tag Archive: origins

I had a chance to at E3 2017 to take on one of the new features in Assassin’s Creed Origins–The Gladiator Arena. After two waves of enemies I then got to take on a hulking brute called The Slaver. In this video you can see some of the new combat in the game. Enjoy.

Originally Published: January 24, 2011, on youtube.com/CGRUndertow

As a part of CGR Undertow, I reviewed Dragon Age: Origins from EA for the Xbox 360.

Originally Published: December 17, 2010, on Youtube.com/CGRUndertow

As a part of CGR Undertow, I reviewed X-Men Origins: Wolverine for the Xbox 360 from Activision.

Originally Published: October 21, 2010, on ClassicGameRoom.com

As a part of CGR Undertow, I reviewed Dragon Age Origins: Awakening for the Xbox 360 from Bioware.

Originally Published: February 1, 2010, on Lundberg.me and SportsRev.TV

I reviewed MAG for PS3 and Wolverine Origins #44 from Marvel. I also featured Nicole Bahls as my hot chick pick of the week and revealed the exclusive footage of Kiefer Sutherland flipping out on me and Brad Blanks of 95.5 WPLJ-FM at a NYC Red Carpet.

Originally Published: January 11, 2010, on Lundberg.me and Sportsrev.tv

This week I looked at Dragon Age: Origins from EA and Cable #22 from Marvel. I also introduced a new segment with my Hot Chick Pick of the Week. This week I melted down while featuring Leysi Suarez from Peru.

Adamantium Abound!

Originally Published: May 6, 2009, on 1050ESPN.com (now ESPNNewYork.com) and Lundberg.me

This year’s summer blockbuster movie season is geared more towards geeks than any other in recent memory: G.I. JOE in August, Transformers 2 in June, and Terminator: Salvation and Star Trek later in May. Of course, most have corresponding video games as well so our first double review, to kick off the summer blockbuster season with a feral roar, is X-Men Origins: Wolverine. To hear my initial movie review on The Seth Everett Show this past Friday, you can

Be sure to tune in to Seth’s show every weeknight from 7PM-10PM right here on 1050 ESPN and be listening this Friday when Seth and I talk about Star Trek.

Now that the obligatory plug has been sufficed, on with the review. Geeks have been salivating for years since this movie was announced as Wolverine is the most popular comic character in history (as per Wizard magazine last year). Would the movie live up to the unparalleled hype? What changes would be made to the story to fit the original trilogy?

Well, after seeing the movie, I can decree that this was easily the biggest disappointment to start the movie season in a long time. Classic characters like Deadpool and the Blob were destroyed and the unnecessary need to tie every character in with each other was annoying and inaccurate to the original stories. And if there was one more shot of Wolverine screaming at the sky a la Shatner from the original Star Trek, Gene Roddenberry would have crawled out of his grave and sued for copyright infringement. The basics of the original plot were there, but the discrepancies were abundant.

Young James Howlett was a sickly Canadian from a well-to-do family who saw his father slaughtered and his mutant power emerged from the trauma. In this movie, it also wielded the first change in the story as a young Victor Creed was revealed as Howlett’s half brother. Immediately I knew bad things were coming for this movie.

After an entertaining montage of Howlett and Creed over the years through war after war and how their mutant abilities served them over and over again in bloody combat, the mutants were imprisoned in Vietnam after failing to obey orders.

Freed by Col. William Stryker after James and Victor’s healing factors allowed them to survive a firing squad, they were offered them a deal they couldn’t refuse and the events were set in motion that would change mutant history.

James and Victor join Team X along with fellow mutants Wade Wilson (later Deadpool), Fred Dukes (known in the comics as Blob), John Wraith, Bradley (known in the comics as Bolt), and Agent Zero (better known as Maverick), a group of military trained mutants that handle missions that only their special talents could pull off. After some misgivings on an African mission, James, now called Wolverine, leaves Team X, much to the dismay of Victor, now Sabertooth.

Team X also had the second obvious inaccuracy as Bradley is never given his codename and Maverick was depicted as Agent Zero and an Asian dude. In the comics, he was only Agent Zero after being brainwashed and he was as German as a blitzkrieg. Christoph Nord doesn’t sound very Asian to me. I’ll let that slide and remain more furious over the Agent Zero codename.

After leaving Team X, Wolverine goes off to marry a Native American woman named Silver Fox and become a lumberjack. Sabertooth kills Silver Fox in cold blood to, supposedly, try to force Wolverine to embrace his feral side. This is a self-explanatory sequence and was relatively accurate to the comics.

The next big disappointment in the movie though came with the ENTIRE Weapon X sequence. Wolverine doesn’t have his memories erased here like in the comics, he doesn’t kill anyone when he escapes, (him going “berserk” in the comics is an understatement and one of comics’ most classic moments) and the entire sequence seems as a weak plot tool to give him the adamantium and give a gratuitous butt shot to Hugh Jackman instead of the major character changing moment it was in the comics. This lack of respect to the character and the blasphemy of changing a major portion of his history turned my stomach.

Then the story begins to really get ridiculous (even more so for a comics movie). He kills Agent Zero, which is a major no-no if it wasn’t done in the comics (and it wasn’t) and then tracks down Wraith for help. In order to get the info he is looking for, Wraith tells Wolverine he will have to beat it out of Fred Dukes. Only after a misunderstanding is Dukes even referred to as Blob, which in and of itself made me just shake my head in disbelief, but then they explained this as an eating disorder. In the comics, Blob was always a big guy who was proud of his bulk and had a secondary mutation to make him even more massive. This cheesy write off of his appearance made me feel like they were trying to be politically correct or trying to say “Come on fat people! You can fight back just like Fred Dukes!” This turn of events was beyond depressing because what would have been an epic battle in the comics was anti-climatic in the movie as it was in a boxing ring in the hopes of helping Dukes shed a few pounds. Gym trainers everywhere rejoiced.

The lead that Blob gives to Wolverine an hour and fifteen minutes into the movie was that a mutant named Gambit knows where to find Sabertooth. FINALLY. Aside from Deadpool and Blob, Gambit was a mutant that fans were clamoring to see on the big screen and this was one of the few times it did not disappoint in terms of the character. However, the way he was used in the plot, again this movie falls short. Instead of a major battle or drawn out exposition, he is simply another tool used to further a mediocre script.

Gambit leads Wolverine to “The Island”, the secret facility where Sabertooth is, before conveniently disappearing during the climax of the movie. At “The Island”, we find Stryker, Sabertooth, and Silver Fox (who faked her death) are all working together to round up mutants to allow Stryker to do tests for his most insane experiment yet, Deadpool. After stealing the opening scenes, you hoped to see Ryan Reynolds as the disfigured “Merc with a Mouth” in the red suit. Instead, his mouth is removed by Stryker so he could be the perfect weapon and the worst depiction over the character’s 20-year history. Deadpool is given several mutants’ powers, including Cyclops’, which again, was nothing more than a flashy special effect and simply another way to tie everyone in the entire X-Men universe together, and ultimately is the undoing of Stryker.

Before he gets away though, Stryker shoots an adamantium bullet through Wolverine’s skull to destroy his memory. (Since when has Wolverine been a vampire or werewolf?) With his memory destroyed, he only knows his name due to his dog tags that say “Logan” on one side and “Wolverine” on the other.

The action sequences were great. I’m not taking away from the pure action that the movie had and the acting from all involved was amazing. Liev Schriebrer did the character of Sabertooth credit and Hugh Jackman was great as Wolverine as usual. Everyone involved did really well considering it looks like the script writer was fired after the first 30 minutes of the movie and a kindergartener was hired in his place.

Professor Xavier, Cyclops, and Emma Frost all making cameos was beyond ridiculous and having Silver Fox conspire against Wolverine and work willingly with Stryker because Emma is supposed to be Silver Fox’s sister doesn’t make any sense and is beyond comic continuity comprehension.

The movie did mostly keep with the continuity of the original trilogy, but this is right on X-Men 3‘s level of competency in terms of justice to the comics. It gave people a lot of what they wanted to see, but in the entirely wrong context and it destroyed the spirit of the characters from the original comics.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine kicks off the summer movie season to a disappointing 2 out of 5.

When a movie is as bad as X-Men Origins: Wolverine, you don’t expect much from the game, but the corresponding video game was actually good, borderline great.

The same basic storyline from the movie serves as the plot here except the entire game is told in flashback as if from Wolverine’s memories. The only problem with this is that if he lost his memories at the end of the flashback, then how can he remember the story to tell it?

Aside from this obvious flaw, the video game is chock full of action and goes far more in-depth with the Weapon X program than the movie. Along with this, a few continuity surprises along the way make this game a far superior product to the movie.

The game is graphically beautiful. Wolverine takes real-time damage and heals as he runs around. You can see straight down to his skeleton and Activision even took the time to make sure that in the flashbacks to Africa he doesn’t have adamantium claws. At least they follow that part of the continuity and wait till he actually receives the adamantium at Alkali Lake.

The beautiful graphics and bountiful amount of enemies for Wolverine to rip to shreds does cause some lag in the gameplay though, but aside from this and the overly linear levels, the game is as technically sound as it can be. With hundreds of ways to tear your enemies apart, you truly feel like your character is a living weapon.

The music is taken straight from the movie and having Hugh Jackman, Liev Schrieber, and Will I Am reprise their movie roles for the game was superb and anything less would never have worked. No Ryan Reynolds though meant not having any Deadpool until the final confrontation and this was a bit disappointing because I was really looking forward to his original wit, but I blame this more on the movie script writing (or lack there of).

The addition of the right characters from Wolverine’s past into the game that weren’t in the movie and some of the best battles in recent gaming history, including a battle with Wolverine taking on a full-sized 50ft. Sentinel (yes, Sentinels were worked into the video game story and it made more sense than anything from the movie), and you have one of the best action gaming experiences out there if you can look past the sub-par movie plot at its heart.

Ratings are based on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the highest.

Graphics: 9.0: Aside from a few glitches, this game is beautiful. From the lush jungles of Africa to the frozen shores of Alkali Lake, to Wolverine’s real-time battle damage and tearing enemies to shreds, this game is gorgeous.

Audio: 8.5: There is nothing too special in terms of sound. Great voice acting from all those involved, especially the three big stars from the film and proper sound effects whenever necessary. Just hearing the SNIKT! of Wolverine’s claws though in a video game is enough to bump up the score.

Plot/Plot Development: 5.0: I expressed my displeasure with the plot in the movie review and do not need to compound my frustration by repeating myself here. The game does slightly better than the movie because of additions made by Activision in order to flesh the game out some.

Gameplay: 8.0: Glitchy at times due to the amount of enemies and detailed surroundings on screen at one time, but everything else came out solid. The fighting mechanics and physics were effective and I enjoyed the fact that the game had friendly fire so that some enemies could take each other out if they missed you. A little more open-endedness would have been appreciated, but I can’t fault Activision too much for making it as linear as they did.

Replay Value: 5.0: The game really falters here because after you beat it once, there just isn’t enough to bring you back for more. You could try to find extra collectibles to unlock classic costumes or max out Wolverine’s stats, but after that, the game is over and this will end up probably sitting on your shelf until the next movie comes out and you need a refresher.

Overall: 8.5 (not an average): Epic boss battles, great gameplay, and classic comic characters brought to life is enough to warrant a buy from this game more than a ticket to see the movie. A lack of replay value and the proper comic plot knocks some points off, but at the end of the day you still feel like Wolverine and it feels good to be the best there is at what you do, even if it isn’t very nice.

-Ray Carsillo