Bounty hunting is a complicated profession. Don’t you agree? Complicated is definitely how I would describe the life of The Mandalorian after being sent on his most recent job. Now on the run, I don’t blame him for looking for the simple life away from prying eyes so he and his boy can fly under the radar of anyone trying to cash in on the bounty on them.
Given the negativity that has plagued Star Wars since December 2017, it’s very refreshing to see how much praise that The Mandalorian is getting. With every episode, we’re getting converted (or re-converted) fans, praise for The Mandalorian being the best of Star Wars and declarations that each episode of The Mandalorian is the best one yet. We’re only three episodes into the first season of The Mandalorian but this episode sure seems to live up to all of that hype.
The response to The Mandalorian has been overwhelmingly positive. While that’s not a huge surprise for the Disney era of Star Wars, the fact that we’ve gone a week without backlash whiplash is the surprising part. It didn’t take long for people to sour on most things Star Wars since the Mouse bought out George. After all, people eventually soured on The Force Awakens. It didn’t take long for people to turn on The Last Jedi. The latter movie seemed to taint Solo. Fans didn’t give Resistance a chance.
The fact that we’ve got a near consensus positive attitude to The Mandalorian after a couple of episodes is a pretty big deal. After the most recent episode, it sure seams like everyone is on board with Star Wars’ first foray into live-action TV.
Back in 2005, George Lucas floated the idea that Star Wars would be coming to TV as a live-action series. Production on Revenge of the Sith was wrapping up and during his Star Wars Celebration III appearance, George talked about a TV series being part of the future of Star Wars. Over the next years, that idea became Star Wars: Underworld but never actually saw the light of day. Despite having over 50 scripts written, Lucas said that it would have cost too much to produce so the project was shelved by 2010.
Over the last decade, TV production has changed. TV show productions rival movies in terms of budget and quality. With the Disney purchase of LucasFilm and looking to make a splash for the launch of their Disney+ streaming service, Star Wars was chosen as the flagship franchise to lead Disney into the online age. And that brings us to The Mandalorian, a story of a Mandalorian bounty hunter who takes on a lucrative but dangerous job….
With Life is Strange 2 coming this fall and Dontnod moving forward with new characters and a new story in that game, it’s only appropriate that the final episode of Life is Strange with Max, Chloe and Arcadia Bay is called Farewell. As you’d expect from Life is Strange, even the title has some depth to it with this bonus episode being our farewell to Max and Chloe along with Max and Chloe’s farewell to each other. That doesn’t answer the question of whether we needed this episode to close the Life is Strange story.
A prequel story has plenty of challenges associated with it. You have to tell an interesting story that people want to play but you can’t step on the toes of the original while backing into characters, setting and plot that builds into the original story. Fans will want a little fan service but not too much because that would be distracting.
The first two episodes of Deck Nine’s Life is Strange prequel came close to stepping on the toes of the original. At times, it feels like it changes Chloe and forces the relationship between she and Rachel Amber to get us to a particular choice-determinant scene in Life is Strange: Season One. However, when focusing on its own characters and world in Before the Storm, Deck Nine hits the right notes and makes a game that feels like a proper Life is Strange game.
The final episode would have to be the trickiest of all for Deck Nine. They have a three-year gap between Before the Storm and Season One which they need to lay the building blocks for but not seamlessly lead us from one to the other so we can account for the passage of time. Fortunately, they pulled that task off. The rest of the episode might be a bit more contentious.
NASCAR is one of America’s biggest spectator sports in terms of TV viewership and live attendance but you wouldn’t know this based on its video games. While the likes of the NFL and FIFA have massive video game franchises and the NHL and NBA also have reasonably popular games, NASCAR all but disappeared from the gaming after EA dropped its NASCAR license.
After a period where Eutechnyx had the license and the most noteworthy game they released was Ride to Hell: Retribution, 704 Games picked up the license. Partnered with Monster Games of Dirt to Daytona fame, the new NASCAR games has a bigger presence on NASCAR broadcasts and is getting in the hands of big gaming critics. So while it looks like the series is on the right track commercially, is it on the right track when you turn a wheel in anger? Having reviewed Eutechnyx’s last effort in 2015 (and understanding how that company also released Ride to Hell: Retribution), I can definitely say that the on-track product is heading in the right direction too.
One complaint that kept coming up from fans of Haven during the show’s run was that the show had ignored the source material for a large portion of its run. Lip service was paid to the Stephen King novella The Colorado Kid early in the show’s run before The Kid was the focus of Season Three. Then it was ignored for Season Four and Five-A.
However, Just Passing Through, the seventh-to-last episode of Haven, started to pull The Colorado Kid back into the Haven mythology after a lengthy time off.
Has Haven been turned on its head? Well, did last week’s episode turn Haven on its head more than the fog wall, everyone in town getting Troubles, and Duke’s multinational adventure? Probably not. The good news is that this week’s episode might have an even more ridiculous Trouble but it’s starting us on the path to the series finale.
In the year since I reviewed Motorsport Manager on mobile, Christian West went from mobile game development star to management sim superstar. He’s now the founder of PlaySport Games which developed and released Motorsport Manager on PC and used that as the basis for the new Motorsport Manager 2.