Power Rangers Review

WARNING SOME MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD, IF YOU DON’T WANT ANY PIECES OF THE FILM SPOILED FEEL FREE TO READ THE SUMMARY AT THE BOTTOM.

They are finally back! Jason and the team from the original Power Rangers TV series are back to take on Rita Repulsa, this time on the big screen. As a lifelong Power Ranger fan I must say I could not wait to get a chance to watch this movie. Here are my thoughts without spoiling major plot points of the story.

The first portion of the film is very awkwardly paced. The first couple of scenes are done pretty well in all honesty, but after that it almost feels like the movie gets sped up to the point where they find the ship and become Power Rangers. What did not help this is that they did all of this without building their main characters. We learn bits and pieces about Jason early on because it is seen through mostly his perspective but not enough to really make audiences connect with him. Although he and Kimberly get the most screen time, or at least it feels like they do, they actually do a better job of building the other three characters and making them feel relatable.

There is a moment in the film that you actually get to see the Rangers all together and talking about their problems in life and when it came to Jason and Kimberly they both avoided talking all together. At least with Kimberly they do eventually have her talk about her past with Jason but Jason never has his moment of releasing all his demons which made him feel a little empty as a character. For much of the film it almost seems like it was leading to some sort of romantic moment between Jason and Kimberly but we never get to see that happen despite the first trailer of the film showing them kissing. This almost makes it feel pointless having so many moments just with Jason and Kimberly together and basically keeping their secrets between the two of them.

The best performances that came out of this movie were from R.J. Cyler who plays Billy/Blue Ranger, and Becky G who plays Trini/Yellow Ranger. They do a great job of making their characters who have real life issues feel genuine and relatable. The performances by these two however get drowned out by Ludi Lin’s Zack who just feels like too much of a wild card character and was not very believable, and the lackluster Jason and Kimberly. That may be my biggest quarrel with the movie is that Dacre Montgomery does not command the screen and feel like much of a leader even though he is the Red Ranger.

The last thing I will bring up is that the film was having trouble distinguishing itself. For parts of the movie it was very serious and had mature, realistic problems and I really enjoyed the fact that they were making the Power Rangers into more than just a kid’s action movie; however, the movie gets dragged down by some juvenile, cliche writing during action sequences.

SUMMARY

It may have not sounded like it with some of the negatives I have throughout this review, but I thoroughly enjoyed Power Rangers. It is a fun movie and has flashes of being a more young adult version of the famed franchise, but it occasionally gets brought back to its cheesy roots. All in all this is a movie that struggles from having an identity crisis. As a fan of the franchise I am hoping an extended version of the film comes out when it gets released for home formats because I would like to see if the film had a stronger identity before the editing process. With that said though, this is a review of the theatrical cut. I give the film a 6.5/10 because it is an fun movie that suffers from a lackluster lead character and struggles between young adult adventure movie and the kids show of it’s origin.

 

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PS4’s 4.5 Update Has Changed More Than We Thought

For the past couple weeks I have been having occasional connection problems with certain games on my PS4 and I thought it was just that the new router we got at my house seeing as that always tends to be the reason behind connectivity issues in my experience, but this time it was different. My internet speeds were doing fine so I knew it had to be something else. Upon looking into the Sony Support Forums, there is a massive thread with over 200 posts on it with people having problems connecting to PSN after the 4.50 system update.

Players have been getting the error code WS-36724-2 and Polygon reached out to Playstation reps and were told that the issue is being looked into. For those afflicted by the bug unfortunately it doesn’t sound like they have an answer quite yet. We will keep you guys updated on this story as we learn more.

Has this network issue been affecting your ability to play Mass Effect or Overwatch all day like me? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or by tweeting us @TheNerdChambers. Don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram as well!

First Impressions of Mass Effect: Andromeda

I am going to start by saying this, I haven’t delved too deep into the game as a whole just yet. These are just my thoughts on the game after spending some time on both the singleplayer and multiplayer. I will continue to progress through the game and once I feel I have a full grasp on the game I will give you guys a full review, but as of now, here is what I think.

From what I have played of the singleplayer, it is that same old Bioware feel we all know and love. Characters that feel meaningful right away, and a big twist in the game right from the start. You will see those themes in just about any Bioware game you play and it continues to draw you in and get you caught up in the world. The game graphically looks very good; environments are detailed and you really get a chance to explore right from the get go and gives you a true sense of the massive scale of the game. Many people have put those comparisons of the first Mass Effect’s graphics and Andromeda’s together saying that the game does not look very advanced graphically, but looking at them closely, I see a huge difference in visuals. The original Mass Effect used very detailed lighting to make everything look smoother  but also to hide the lack of detail in the environments as well, whereas in Andromeda you can see the great detail they put in some of the characters in the game right from the start.

Now I will address this now because it is such a huge topic of discussion with Andromeda; yes, there are animation problems with some of the character models in the game and they do throw you off a bit. When talking to an NPC in the game, her arms were just stretched out for no reason and they were just stuck like that until the conversation ended. This is a big flaw obviously, and disappointing that Bioware was unable to fix this issue before the game launched, but it hasn’t taken me out of the experience completely.

In terms of gameplay, it will feel very similar to previous installments of the Mass Effect series. It is nice to see that players get to skill their character the way they would like in Andromeda and can, eventually, fully spec their character. I have not gotten to see the full extent of the weapon modifications and the different components players will find in containers so the customization will be something to go into depth about in the full review.

The last piece of the game to address is the multiplayer. I played a few rounds of the co-op multiplayer and I have to say it is quite entertaining. Players can randomly queue with 3 other people or start a private game with 3 friends to take on different maps and missions. There is also three difficulties for each mission and will scale the rewards you receive to the difficulty you choose. Players will also get to choose the race and character class they play as and will be able to unlock classes by using in game currency to get different tiered packs. The packs will also include different boosters, weapons, and upgrades for players to use in game.

When in the missions the team of 4 will have to work together to survive the different waves of the mission. Each wave will bring a specific mini mission like survival, assassination, holding a point on the map, among others. The missions, even on the lowest difficulty, are no walk in the park. They really do require teamwork to fight through each mission which was a pleasant surprise. If you have a couple of friends to take on the multiplayer, you will be pleasantly surprised at the experience as it does add another fun dimension to the game.

As a whole, Mass Effect is a very fun experience and a game that RPG fans will thoroughly enjoy. It has impressive visuals and the Biowares ability to tell a compelling story will grab peoples attention. If I had to give a score right now I would give it an 8/10. The only thing holding the game back from making it a personal game of the year contender is the lack of polish but the game is a great fresh start for the Mass Effect series.

What have your guys’ experience with Mass Effect: Andromeda been like so far? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter by tweeting @TheNerdChambers, and don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram!

 

 

 

Lucio Getting Amped Up In PTR Update

In a new PTR update that came out yesterday, Lucio is the next character to be looking at a rebalancing. The Brazilian beat master has started to see a decline in play quite a bit with the rework of Mercy so it is nice to see him getting a Season 4 update as well as I am a big fan of Lucio’s versatility.

Here are the changes being tested out on PC right now:

 

  • Sonic Amplifier
    • Projectile speed increased from 40 to 50
    • Alternate fire now considers vertical orientation when knocking targets back
  • Crossfade
    • Song’s area-of-effect radius decreased from 30 meters to 10 meters
      • A temporary in-game visual has been added to illustrate this radius (it is only visible to Lúcio and his teammates)
    • Heal Song
      • Healing-per-second has been increased by 50% (also applies to Lúcio’s Amp It Up ability)
  • Sound Barrier
    • Radius decreased from 30 meters to 20 meters
  • Wall Ride
    • Movement speed increased by 30% when wall riding
    • Lúcio now receives a burst of speed when leaping off a wall

Overall this is a great rebalance for Lucio, in my opinion. Now, a lot of people are going to look at the decrease in range of his ultimate and healing/speed auras and think this is the end of Lucio but there is a lot more to like here than to be worried about. Starting with the increase in projectile speed, this is going to make his weapon much more viable as his gun can do up to 64 damage per four round burst. Now that the projectiles will be faster, his accuracy will then go up as people will not be able to dodge them as easily.

Although his healing/speed aura is getting a serious nerf on it’s range, it will not hamper his effectiveness. With the strength of Ana’s healing grenades and rifle, Lucio’s healing output was seeming minuscule in comparison, so his 50% increase in his healing output makes him a great option for healing tanks. As of now Lucio’s healing aura has such a low output that most of the time I am trying to heal a tank, I can’t heal him fast enough before the enemy pushes at my team again (this also has a bit to do with the long cooldown on Amp it Up as well, which was disappointing to see that it didn’t get shortened in the update).

It seems the reason they are doing this smaller range is because, with the addition of Orisa, three tank, dive heavy teams are going to be much more viable and scary. What better way to keep a bunch of tanks healed than with a Lucio with an upgrade to his healing? This is why all of these changes to Lucio are fine with me. Orisa is going to bring attacking teams closer together and hitting harder and it seems as though Blizzard is just feeding into this notion with the rebalancing of Lucio.

What do you guys think of the new direction of Lucio? Do you guys like the tank heavy meta it seems Overwatch is heading? Let us know in the the comments below or on Twitter by tweeting @TheNerdChambers and don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram!

 

First Thoughts on Disc Jam

So for fellow PS4 and PS Plus owners, this month has a couple of fine games for you to download for free. Tearaway Unfolded has is a great puzzle game for all ages, but the game I was more interested in this month was the new release Disc Jam. It is seemingly inspired by the Neo Geo title Windjammers but brought into the internet age. Two or four players face off in a dodgeball-like court throwing a disc back and forth. If you get the disc past the opposing player or team, you win the point.

The scoring goes as followed: 10 points for an ace (scoring on a serve with now return), then a minimum of 6 points per rally with each throw in the rally adding a point to the total won (for example if players go on a 7 throw rally the winner of the point gets 13 points), and once a player or team gets to 50 points they win the set. First to win 2 sets is the winner.

The game is pretty fast paced and I actually had to play a game or two before I caught up to the pace of the games. Once you get the hang of it, however, it becomes a game of strategy as players get the option to throw the disc straight, with curve, lob it to a spot on the opposing side in hopes that it falls down for a point, or ricochet it off of the walls of the court. There is also a super throw mechanic to the game and players can select the pattern of their super throw, but there is not a section of the tutorial for super throws so I have yet to figure out how to use it in game (I have played maybe 10 games thus far).

All in all the game is really fun, but you can tell this is still a work in progress. Not to say it is not a good game, it’s just a game that is still very much a working title. There is no stat tracking at the moment and there is only the option to play games online or on local splitscreen.

If I were to give this game a grade right now, I would give it a 6.5/10, but a very hopeful 6.5. Once the game gets competitive modes and leaderboards, this game could potentially see Rocket League-type success as a fun, entertaining, and competitive indie game. This is because after playing this game, one can tell that Disc Jam could be a legitimate esport in the months to come.

Have you tried out Disc Jam yet? If so, let us know what you think by tweeting us @TheNerdChambers and remember to like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram as well!