Category Archives: Jason

The Ahsoka Primer: An Essential List of Episodes


In case you haven’t heard by now Star Wars: The Clone Wars is a fantastic and official part of Disney’s ongoing Star Wars universe that not only brought the battles and struggles of the Clone Wars to life, but introduced Star Wars fans to one of the series best characters: Ahsoka Tano, the Padawan of Anakin Skywalker. Yet despite this fact I still stumble across many Star Wars fans who have yet to watch the show! Now understandably, with six seasons, 121 episodes and a feature length film; the prospect of sitting down to watch Star Wars: The Clone Wars can be more than a little intimidating.

Clocking in at 48 episodes and a feature length film this list of “Essential Ahsoka” episodes should help to streamline the viewing process for newcomers and boil The Clone Wars down to its heart; Padawan Ahsoka Tano and her Jedi Master, Anakin Skywalker.

I will be listing most episodes by their respective story arc and have included two Ahsoka-less arcs to help give context to major events in Ahsoka’s story later on. I will also be EMPHASIZING any secondary characters that are important to Ahsoka’s story as they turn up; that way a quick control+f will let you cruise to any episodes pertinent to the characters you wish to see. As a bonus, each episode contains a hyperlink to its respective episode on Netflix for your easy viewing pleasure! Just remember folks, this is NOT a complete list of all episodes featuring Ahsoka, simply the ones I feel are the most important!

The Clone Wars

Episodes:

Ahsoka’s introduction to audiences and the starting point of her character arc, this is the obvious starting point for the list. That being said, the movie is Clone Wars at its worst; so just keep in mind that everything will only get better from here on. Alongside Ahsoka, viewers are also introduced to ASAJJ VENTRESS.

The Malevolence Arc

Episodes:

While not The Clone Wars best showing, this three part story arc introduces viewers to Jedi Master PLO KOON, the Jedi who brought young Ahsoka into the Jedi fold; and continues building on the relationship seen between Anakin and Ahsoka during the feature film.

Cloak of Darkness

Episodes:

This episode introduces us to Jedi Master LUMINARA UNDULI and sees the return of ASAJJ VENTRESS.

Storm Over Ryloth

Episodes: 

Ahsoka’s first foray into a command position, this episode really stresses the unique teaching style and Master/Padawan relationship that exists between Anakin and Ahsoka. Unfortunately, Ahsoka does not participate in the rest of the Ryloth story arc.

The Holocron Heist Arc

Episodes: 

This arc introduces viewers to Cad Bane, one of the best new additions to Star Wars loreand shows us the lengths Anakin will go to to protect his Padawan. Keen-eyed fans may also recognize Jedi Master Jocasta Nu, the Jedi librarian Obi-wan speaks to during Episode II: Attack of the Clones.

Bounty Hunters

Episodes:

A homage to Seven Samurai, this episode sees a return to Felucia and introduces HONDO OHNAKA to viewers as well as an eclectic assortment of bounty hunters that make brief appearances (big and small) throughout the series.

The Geonosis Arc

Episodes: 

This arc returns viewers to Geonosis, the red planet featured in Episode II: Attack of the Clones; and further delves into the unique Master/Padawan relationship of Ahsoka and Anakin. Introduces viewers to Jedi Padawan BARISS OFFEE and sees the return of Jedi Master LUMINARA UNDULI.

Lightsaber Lost

Episodes:

A smaller episode that sees Ahsoka teaming up with an older Jedi, delving into the slums of Coruscant and learning a lesson. Also, parkour! Jedi Master Jocasta Nu and PLO KOON make brief appearances.

The Boba Fett Arc

Episodes:

While Ahsoka only makes an appearance at the end of this arc, it re-introduces viewers to fan favorite BOBA FETT, who last made an appearance in Episode II: Attack of the Clones. It also introduces viewers to AURRA SING (who briefly appeared during the Pod Race in Episode I: The Phantom Menace)HONDO OHNAKA and Jedi Master PLO KOON makes a return as well.

Assassin

Episodes:

Dealing with premonitions from the Force seems to be something of a right-of-passage for great Jedi; this is Ahsoka’s first brush with the future. AURRA SING returns.

Heroes on Both Sides

Episodes: 

This episodes marks the introduction of Ahsoka’s new “aged” look, and introduces us to LUX BONTERI.

The Nightsisters Arc

Episodes: 

One of two story arcs on this list that don’t include Ahsoka, this arc provides viewers with a look into the darker mysteries of the Force and is an integral part to ASAJJ VENTRESS’s ongoing character arc.

The Mortis Arc

Episodes: 

Perhaps the arc most closely tied to the secrets of the Force and the prophecy of The Chosen One (and written with some heavy input from Lucas himself) this arc marks Ahsoka’s next brush with a potential future. This trilogy is considered by many to be one of the best story arcs in the series, and should not be missed.

The Citadel Arc

Episodes: 

This arc introduces us to a young Captain TARKIN prior to his appearance in Episode IV: A New Hope, and continues to focus on Anakin and Ahsoka’s Master/Padawan relationship. Jedi Master PLO KOON makes a short return.

The Padawan Lost Arc

Episodes: 

The finale of Season 3 marks Ahsoka’s first real foray at being on her own, and serves as a crucial moment in her growth as a character.

The Slaver Arc

Episodes:

This arc gives us a glimpse at where Ahsoka came from, and touches heavily on Anakin’s past as a slave. Jedi Master PLO KOON makes another small return.

A Friend in Need

Episodes:

This episode marks the return of LUX BONTERI, adding some romantic tension to Ahsoka’s life.

The Ventress Arc

Episodes: 

The second Ahsoka-less arc in the list. This one sees the return of ASAJJ VENTRESS and BOBA FETT.

The Rebellion Arc

Episodes:

This arc in centered around Ahsoka leading a group of Rebels, a skill that will eventually become very important to her… Sees the return of LUX BONTERI and HONDO OHNAKA.

The Youngling Arc

Episodes:

This Force-centric arc delves into the traditions of the Jedi and shows Ahsoka in the role of a mentor. Sees the return of HONDO OHNAKA.

The Fugitive Arc

Episodes:

The end of Ahsoka’s character arc and the final episodes in the series proper, this arc sees the return of BARISS OFFEE, Admiral TARKIN and ASAJJ VENTRESS.

[BONUS ROUND] The Yoda Arc

Episodes: 

This Yoda-centric arc serves as precursor to the original trilogy, and fills a number of plot holes present during the prequel trilogy. If the previous arc served as a finale to Ahsoka’s story, this serves as a finale to The Clone Wars as a whole; and delves into the history of both the Jedi, the Sith and the Force.

So there’s the list. If any of you fellows fans or viewers out there feel I’ve missed something or should take something out, just let me know! Sound off in the comments.

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Racism and Disney’s Frozen


It’s finally happened, “How It Should Have Ended” finally tackled last year’s biggest animated hit, Frozen. If you haven’t seen their video yet, feel free to take a second and watch it. Don’t worry, I’ll wait…

Now as humorous as their videos often are, their jab at the opening music in Frozen (titled Vuelie) really irked me. Why? Well I’ll tell you…

Vuelie, despite what HiSHE claims, most certainly fits the musical themes used in Frozen. While it’s true that most of the other songs featured in Frozen are your typical Disney/Musical numbers; both Vuelie and the coronation song (titled Heimr Árnadalr) are beautiful vocal tracks that emphasize the Sami and Old Norse vibes that Frozen does it’s best the channel. There’s a reason the movie’s goto mythological creatures are trolls. (I’ll give you a hint, it’s because trolls originate from Norse Mythology and Scandinavian Folklore!) Say what you will about the two songs; but Frozen’s composer, Chistophe Beck, did a wonderful job at infusing Frozen’s soundtrack with Norwegian and Sami culture.

Entertainingly enough, Heimr Árnadalr is actually an original song written by Christophe Beck in Old Norse. Translated, it ends up as…

Worthy Queen of greatness
The heart of gold shines
We crown thee with hope, love, and faith.
Beautiful, stony land, home Arendelle
Follow the Queen of light.

Beautiful; and very fitting Elsa’s coronation.

Now I’m not sure how many of you are aware of this, but the indigenous people of Africa aren’t the only indigenous people out there. There are, in fact, numerous indigenous cultures all over the world! The Sami people in particular have inhabited the northern reaches of the world for quite some time, existing in what is now the far northern parts of Norway, Sweden, Finland and the Kola Peninsula of Russia.

So while I too love the opening scene/score of The Lion King, anyone who accuses Vuelie of being a copy of The Circle of Life needs to have their privilege (and ears!) checked. Yes, both movies open with vocal parts that draw from the same cultural heritage that the rest of movie also draws from; but that’s where the similarity ends. Heck, there isn’t even a spoken word in Vuelie! Unlike the rather English heavy Circle of Life.

Vuelie is actually a shortened version of the piece Eatnaman Vuelie, a Norwegian and Sami choral song that has nothing to do with lions or Africa. (Fun fact: The opening two lines of The Circle of Life are the phrases “Here comes a lion, Father” and “Oh yes, it’s a lion” in Zulu.) Both versions of Vuelie were composed by Frode Fjellheim, a Norwegian yoiker and musician of Southern Sámi origin. (For those who are wondering, yoiking is a form of traditional Sami folk music and by no means a made up word.)

Now I get it, I do. We live in a day and age where being politically correct is the way to be and everyone and their mother thinks they have a Sociology Degree with which to point out social injustices whenever they see them. Yet often times life just isn’t as simple as Upworthy, Facebook or any of those other people on the internet would claim it to be. Racism isn’t just something that white people do to non-white people. Racism goes beyond skin color, and is a problem pretty much everywhere in the world.

Is Frozen is a movie about two white princesses? Yes. But if the movie’s soundtrack, architecture and clothing choices are to be believed, those two white princesses are probably of Sami decent; or at the very least live in a kingdom influenced by Sami culture. Now were you aware that the Sami people have been discriminated against for centuries? Or that such discrimination exists even to this day? Indeed, three of the six Sami languages which are, or have been, spoken in Norway are now classified as extinct. You know, as in they don’t exist anymore. What’s more, it’s estimated that Sami individuals experience around ten times more discrimination than their ethnically Norwegian neighbors. Not cool.

My point is that people need to stop freaking out every single time their politically correct meter starts waving around. Is it fun to criticize and make fun of terrible (as well as great) movies? You bet it is! But please be sure to do so responsibly; and always make sure to do your homework.

People don’t typically wake up in the morning and ask themselves, “How can I be racist today?” So if you spot something that strikes you as discriminatory, it’s a good bet that somebody did it for a reason other than to be racist. Could they be in the wrong? You bet! People lead blissful lives in ignorance every day. But try to make sure you get their side of the story before you go jumping the gun and tossing prejudice their way; otherwise you just end up looking like the ass.

So be kind, rewind and just remember to be awesome to everybody! No matter what they look like or where they come from. After all, deep down we all just wanna live our lives and have a good time!

"What is love? Baby don't hurt me..."

Frozen: the Highest Grossing Animated Movie of All Time


Well, it’s official, Frozen has now become the highest grossing animated movie of all time, knocking Toy Story 3 out of the top spot. It is now among the top 10 highest grossing movies ever.

Now, I love me some Frozen. In fact I consider it something of a “Second Coming” for Disney, one heralded by Tangled a few years back. But I will say that I think Toy Story 3 was a more artfully told story with more harder hitting feels than Frozen had. That being said, Frozen exists as a testament to just how far Disney has come over the years, with them openly mocking and playing with the tropes they themselves created over the years.

So congrazt Disney! Ya did good. The trick now is to just not F it up with your next Princess movie…

Anyway, here’s some fun (and mildly obscene) Frozen art to celebrate the occasion!

Wallpaper-artwork-disney-frozentumblr_mx5xtvXMKp1qhiczbo1_500tumblr_mxtv3oz5541ruswxho1_r1_500

the_sky_is_awake_by_art_zealot-d6xbfendo_you_wanna_build_a_snowman___by_saad_khan_04-d775jttfrozen_christmas_by_art_zealot-d6zrvv1h8aG6Eatumblr_mzmppy2Rwg1rqmxy5o1_500tumblr_mzmppy2Rwg1rqmxy5o2_500tumblr_mzmppy2Rwg1rqmxy5o3_500

You’ll have to pardon my french…

Loot 2.0 Comes to Diablo 3!


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For those of you who might have missed it’s release this week, the new 2.0 Patch was released this week for Diablo 3!

The 2.0 Patch serves as a segway into the upcoming Reaper of Souls expansion coming out later this month, and introduces a number of the systems that expansion will feature into the core Diablo 3 experience. While Blizzard has put out their own little guide to the new patch, I figured I’d sum up the features for you guys as well.

D3 Loot 2.0

The Loot

Patch 2.0 also brings with it the aptly named “Loot 2.0”. If you’ve played Diablo 3 on one of the consoles you have a general idea of what this entails, but for the rest of you, here are the basics…

  • Loot now takes into account which class you are playing. Meaning that a Wizard (who values the intelligence stat) is FAR more likely to find gear that has intelligence. Likewise, with the new inclusion of Bind on Account items and the upcoming take-down of the Auction House, Blizzard has adjusted the drop rates of all items so that you are far more likely to find better (and even Legendary!) gear for you characters.
  • Class specific items, such as wands for Wizards, will no longer randomly show up with stats like Strength or Dexterity. While I’m sure there is someone out there crying because they LOVED all the armor they were getting from their strength wand, this is a universally better change that makes every class item you find a potentially good one.
  • A number of imbalanced magic properties have been removed from the game. So while I know plenty of people out there loved seeing % based Life Steal on their weapons, it was sorta breaking the game to have the highest damaging characters also be the toughest. Go figure.
  • At the same time, a number of new magic properties have been ADDED to the game. Life on Hit replaces Life Steal and numerous items now provide a specific damage bonus to certain abilities or damage types. For example, +13% Damage on Magic Missle or +15% to Lightning Damage.
  • While technically not a major change, you can also dye Legendary items now. Meaning that your character isn’t forced to look like they’re wearing trash just because you want to have the best gear on.

D3 Difficulty

Difficulty

While arguably a bold move, Blizzard has also done away with the classic difficulty system in favor of a dynamic one. Mean that unlike before, you no longer have to trudge through the game 3-4 different times at different difficulties to reach max level. Now the game will adjust itself on the fly as you grow in power, so that as as soon as you hit that next level, the enemies you face grow as well. Thus making the leveling experience in the game a smoother one.

D3 Cursed Chests

New Events!

Throughout the game players will now find a number of different events, including the entirely new “cursed” shrines and chests. Which ask players to defeat waves of enemies in order to get bonus loot. They are fun and give everyone more of what they love about Diablo; killing and loot. What more could you ask for?

Oh, right, more levels! Everybody loves those; hense the inclusion of Pools of Reflection which provide players with an experience buff until they either die, or reach a particular amount of experience. These pools CAN stack, and even persist when you log out! Thus finally providing Diablo players with a reason NOT to die. As so many of them have so much money at this point, that a repair bill for death is next to meaningless.

D3 Barb Skills

Class Synergy

With the inclusion of new damage based magic properties, the classes have seen a re-balance both in power and in-class synergy. Where as before you would be hard pressed to create a viable Lightning build for a Wizard, there are now MORE than enough Lightning spells to make that possible.

Likewise, classes have seen random and out of place damage types (such as poison for Wizards) removed entirely. Making it much easier to gear your character up because you know what sort of things you can build for. Wizards use Arcane, Lightning, Fire and Cold, for example. While Witch Doctors use Physical, Poison, Fire and Cold. This simplicity also allows you to build, say, a group of heroes that use all Fire damage. Thus promoting added synergy between the classes as well.

D3 Paragon

The Paragon System

Gone are the days of having to mindlessly grind levels simply to have more damage and a better chance at finding better loot. The new Paragon System allows you to place point into a number of different categories that include such things as Movement Speed and +% Gold. Did you find a new item that give you more damage but makes you lose some of that much needed Life on Hit? Well then just reset your points on the fly and give yourself some.

Seeing as players have been requesting adjustable stats from the get go, this seems like a wonderful addition the Diablo 3 that should please everyone*. (*But since this is the internet, I’m sure plenty of people will complain about it.)

D3 Pools

The Bells and Whistles

While those aren’t the only things to be included, Clans are finally a possibility for example; and monsters have a number of new abilities with which to kill you dead. Those are the major updates and changes that players should notice when hopping back into the world of Sanctuary. All in all these changes have made Diablo 3 a FAR superior experience to what it was at launch, and make me all the more excited for the upcoming expansion (Reaper of Souls) later this month!

So what are you waiting for?! Dust off that old Barbarian of yours and get to kill’n! Or if you’ve never played before, pick up a copy of the game and join in on the killing! There are demons to be slain, after all, and we could always use more help keeping them dead.

UPDATE: Blizzard just posted a video summing up these changes as well. It’s quite informative, so check it out!

(All pictures are from Blizzard. Check out their site for more info!)

Persona 5 and Three Other Persona Titles Heading to the West!


PersonaGals

Rejoice everyone! For today is the day that we learned that Persona 5 is officially coming to the West! Now of course this isn’t that surprising, as game companies have a habit of wanting to make money, but it feels good to finally know for sure. The full breakdown via official info is as follows (pardon the Engrish)…

“This is it. The big one. The latest true continuation of the award-winning Personaseries will make its debut in North America on the PlayStation 3 in 2015.”

“Funky Student isn’t funky enough to bust a move with Rise and the rest of thePersona 4 crew in Persona 4: Dancing All Night for the PlayStation®Vita handheld entertainment system. The summer following the events in Persona 4sees Rise return to Inaba after spending the summer back in her old life as an idol. After hearing rumors about the Midnight Stage, she checks a certain website at midnight and sees a mysterious movie clip and, you guessed it, winds up on the “other side.” Worse yet, she finds out her junior idol peers from the group Kanamin Kitchen are missing as well. She has no choice but to send an SOS to the Investigation Team to help rescue the missing idols.

Not even Riddle-senpai could have seen this twist coming: Normal battle tactics don’t work against the Shadows on the Midnight Stage, but dancing does! Rise, the Protagonist, and the rest of the Investigation Team will have to dance their way to victory. 30 pulse-thumping tracks make up the new Persona Sound in this rhythm-based action game. P4DAN is made in collaboration with Dingo Inc., the company behind Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA (PlayStation®Portable).”

“You got Persona in my Etrian! You got Etrian in my Persona! Well, you’re right on both counts. Persona Q is a cross-over for the Nintendo 3DS™ system that brings Persona 3 and 4 characters to the gameplay style of Etrian Odyssey. It also marks the first time the Persona franchise will be available on a Nintendo system.

Characters from Persona 3 and 4 have been given a complete visual overhaul to match the Etrian style and plunged into an alternate world resembling Yasogami High School. Legend has it that listening to the end of the bell chimes of Yasogami High’s clock tower causes people to die, and this time the bell tolls for the Investigation Team and the SEES. Trapped in an other-world filled with Shadows, the protagonists from Persona 3 andPersona 4 each have different events to follow, allowing the player to choose and experience two different plotlines. As both groups seek a way out of the labyrinth, they will run in to two new characters, Rei and Zen, who may hold the secret to this new mystery.”

“Arc System Works is bringing the sequel to the award-winning tournament fighterPersona 4 Arena to the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and Xbox 360® in 2014! A few days after the P-1 Grand Prix concludes in the firstArenatitle, the city of Inaba gets enveloped in a thick red fog and Mitsuru, Akihiko, Fuuka, and Aigis are shown as prisoners on the MidnightChannel. The Investigation Team from Persona 4 and former SEES from Persona 3 must once again fight to their limits in the new P-1 Climax tournament to rescue them and finally uncover the true culprit behind the deadly tournaments.

Persona 4 Arena Ultimax will improve on the award-winning fighting game formula with battle-altering 1-hit special attacks and new characters, including Yukari Takeba and Junpei Iori from Persona 3 and a brand new character, Sho Minazuki. Not a lot is known about Sho other than his goofy nature and being an unstoppable force in both puns and combat. Two swords, two scars on his face, red hair and red mist in Inaba? Surely it can’t be coincidence that he’s standing in the way of the Investigation Team. And to make matters worse, it seems he can control a Persona…”

Honestly? I’m excited to play all four! Obviously Persona 5 will be fantastic, but I’m personally still so attached to the characters from 3 & 4 that I’m glad we’re still getting to spend some time with them before moving on to another Main Title. Besides, who could argue with a dancing Chie?! It’s such a beautiful image… I just might cry!

YuisCrying

But probably not.

What about everyone else? Are you excited?

44 Hours into Bravely Default


Hey everyone! Most of us over here at At the Buzzer are currently questing through Bravely Default, but since I’ve invested the most time into it since it’s release it seemed only fitting that I be the first to post my thought on the game. Now since I’m not really one for writing reviews of games I haven’t finished, this isn’t going to be a full review. Just my impressions as I finish up what is (maybe?) the halfway point of the game.

bravely_default_flying_fairy-600x300

The Good

  • The Job System: With an assortment of jobs to pick from and weapons to arm your characters with, every person’s play-through of  Bravely Default will be different. Likewise, you’re encouraged to experiment and find/change strategies on the fly. I, for example, was having a hard time fighting a particular type of boss recently due to their overwhelming AOE attacks. So I switched everyone in the party to a Ninja and proceeded to epic dodge my way to some easy victories. Changing jobs isn’t just a great strategy, but a great way to customize the characters how you see fit; which can really help you connect with them in a way that other RPG characters may not.
  • The Combat System: Being able to “cash-in” turns ahead of time is a great way to speed up the pace of combat without breaking the system in half. Some fights will require a cool head, while others can be accomplished with brute force and speed. It’s up to you, the player, to decide what’s best and move forward. Very rarely has a turn based system ever felt so fresh in an RPG before.
  • The Characters: Whether it’s the good guys or the bad guys, the unique designs and personalities of the characters in the game are fantastic. Are some of them rather trope-y? Sure. But others will come at you from left field and offer you some truly entertaining events to play through.
  • The Art: The game is beautiful, hands down. While it might take a bit to get used to the exaggerated proportions of the characters and monsters, once you do the painted feel of the scenery and creatures will really rub you the right way. If you know what I mean…

bravely_default_by_hofftits-d712tcd

 

The Bad

  • The Combat System: Yes I know I just spoke highly of it, but you have to understand one thing: The enemies use it just the same as you. So what’s to stop the enemy boss from killing one of you characters before the 4-turn combo you already qued up kills him and forces you to fight him all over again because you don’t want a character to miss out on all that EXP? Nothing. Absolutely NOTHING. Indeed, I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a game with so many vindictive bosses. They seem to make a habit of “beating you” even in defeat, as they strike out with auto-crit attacks or instant kills the very TURN they die. It can be frustrating. You’e been warned.
  • The Back-tracking: For obvious reasons, you’re going to want to grab every extra job as soon as it becomes available. After all, who doesn’t want more options in how they level up their mans? Unfortunately however, a number of the side missions that provide these jobs also require some SERIOUS backtracking. As in, re-visiting every town you’ve been to so far; on foot/boat. No teleporting, no flying. Now this wouldn’t be so bad in and of itself, but it can be rather jarring from a story stand point to be standing in front of the place you need to go only to turn around and go and a week’s journey TO THE PLACE YOU STARTED THE GAME FROM just to talk to some old lady. Context often seem to get tossed out the window for the sake of game mechanics in this regard.
  • Annoying Enemies: Have you ever enjoyed fighting small plants that can paralyze your entire party? How about Succubi who mind control your fighter after you just gave him 4 turns so they can cut your healer to bloody ribbons? These enemies exist, and not in small numbers. They can be a constant source of frustration that can otherwise ruin a perfectly good run through a dungeon with their shenanigans.
  • The Freelancer Job: So this one might just be a personal thing, but it seems really silly to include a class into the game that, as its class talents, has things that other games happily put into their interface. Would you like to know how much health that boss has? WELL TOO BAD, you’d better have a Freelancer in your party if you want to know! Want to know how many chests are in a dungeon? Well then level up that freelancer buddy, cause otherwise you’re SOL. Persona got this one right, leave the User Interface abilities to non-party members (or just put it in the game to begin with). Having to waste skills and abilities on a character just to handle these basic game functions is just silly, and really not a healthy mindset to have when designing a game.

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The Verdict

So far I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time with Bravely Default, and I can’t wait to finish it. I’ve heard the end of the game can get a little rocky, but I haven’t yet reached this point so I cannot say. Despite some minor complaints and some frustrating battles, I’ve enjoyed my 44 or so hours in the game and would highly suggest anyone who’s a fan of Final Fantasy or Turn Based RPGs pick it up. It’s a refreshingly new take on some old-school gameplay, and really shouldn’t be missed!

Why I’m Buying Tomb Raider: The Definitive Edition


Hey everyone! It’s good to be back. That being said, with the upcoming release of Tomb Raider: The Definitive Edition later this month and the recent controversy regarding the FPS (Frames Per Second) difference between the Xbox One and PS4 versions of the game, it seemed like a good time to hop back in the saddle and dish about what was my Game of the Year for 2013.

Tomb Raider Definitive Edition Cover Art

But first things first, let’s talk about the “console war”. I myself have been a longtime owner of the Xbox 360 and have racked up quite a sizable amount of achievements over the past few years. That being said, while I was initially hesitant to switch to the PS4, I was eventually convinced to do so because of their announced support of the PS Vita (a system I own solely to play Persona on it seems). I was more than willing to simply wait on the matter, and let my opinion be swayed after a year or so went by and I got a chance to see what kind of game catalogs both systems had. But when Crystal Dynamic stepped forward and announced the new “Definitive Edition” of Tomb Raider, I just had to get my hands on it. Which is why our household now has a PS4 and not an Xbox One.

Lara blowing stuff up.

As you might imagine, I’m rather found of the new Tomb Raider game. Fun fact about me, the first modern computer games I ever played were Unreal Tournament, Tomb Raider and Starcraft; all of which came on a little demo CD in a MacWorld magazine my mother bought ages ago after we got our first “real” computer (an iMac). I’d played Math Blaster, Wolfenstein 3d and a few other games prior to this, but these were my first real glimpses of what computer video games could offer. While Tomb Raider didn’t capture my imagination or attention span the way Unreal Tournament and Starcraft did, Lara Croft was forever embedded into my collective video gaming memory from that point forward.

Lara slides through a shanty town.

I’m something of a “collector” when it comes to series though, and really dislike playing a game if I haven’t played all previous titles in the series; and since I lacked a PS1 to play any of the original Tomb Raiders, I never really had a chance to jump into the series. So when Tomb Raider got rebooted last year, I was all in. The game was everything I could have hoped for, great characters, great music, great gameplay… Was it perfect? No. But it was close enough for me; and by the close of 2013 I’d purchased both the Xbox 360 version of the game as well as the PC version of it (in what turned out to be a stunning summer sale on Steam).

Lara sneaks up on her prey...

Some might consider me a little crazy for buying the same game three times, but I’d argue that the Definitive Edition isn’t the same game. Oh sure the story and gameplay are all the same, but there is no arguing that this new version is a HUGE graphical step forward; PC fanboys be damned.

I’ll just let these videos do all the explaining…

If you haven’t had a chance to play the new Tomb Raider, the upcoming Definitive Edition is the perfect way to jump into the rebooted franchise. If you don’t own a PS4 or Xbox One, don’t sweat it. Pick up the non-definitive edition and enjoy the game all the same.

The game serves, in my opinion, as a perfect example of all the right directions games should be headed towards. With added emphasis on well-written characters and a turn away from the 1990’s era of boobs and guns galore. Lara Croft was never awesome because she could do flips and had a huge rack, she’s awesome because she’s the Indiana Jones of the video game world (eat your heart out Nathan Drake). She’s as intelligent as she is deadly and she’s one tough cookie to boot. She’s certainly changed over the years, but such is life.

The Many Faces of Lara Croft
Click the picture for a full breakdown of every Lara.

So why am I buying Tomb Raider for a third time and excited to play through it a fourth? Because Lara’s story is one I can’t wait to experience once again. Like a good book, I just don’t want to put it down; and the Definitive Edition is exactly the reason I needed to crack open those pages once more. Only these pages are going to be read in stunning native 1080p resolution and at 60fps on a 50 inch television, or alternatively on my PS Vita via the magic to streaming technology. I mean, what more could you ask for?