If you saw the Emmy's earlier this week, than you noticed that everyone seems to be obsessed with Game of Thrones. Who am I kidding, I'm most definitely obsessed with it too. It's both gratifying and strange for a geek when the entirety of pop culture suddenly shares the same obsessions as you do. You get so used to people not knowing what the heck you're talking about that when others talk circles around you about the latest episode and theories or predictions therein you freeze up and look like a deer caught in the headlights! The HBO hit has become so popular that it's even gotten it's own video game. You know you've made it when video games are being made of your work.
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Congratulations, good sir!
A company called 'Telltale Games' helmed the Game of Thrones game and, surprise surprise, it became a hit. For those unfamiliar with Telltale, they started back in the early 2000s and are best known for releasing their titles episodically in a similar fashion to television and for the game mechanic of having the players make choices throughout the game that effects what happens and how it ends. They had a so-so start with some great titles as well as some pretty terrible ones.
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Ho hum.
But in recent years they've really come into their stride and it has a lot to do with a little title called The Walking Dead, yet another franchise people are obsessed with. Telltale beautifully crafted a bittersweet story that made it's players care desperately for the protagonists all with the backdrop of a devastating zombie apocalypse. The game took elements both from the TV show most people know about as well as the graphic novel series, from which the TV show is based on. Telltale's greatest strength right now seems to be making interactive fan-fictions from the most famous properties and giving players the opportunity to choose what happens in them.
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Though if I'd really had a 'choice' this annoying asshole would've been dead in five minutes.
What most people seem to forget in their GT and TWD craze is that Telltale has adapted comic books more than once and made a title that was not only well put together but intriguing and fun, heck it got amazing reviews from video game websites across the board! It was a sadly forgotten tale known as 'The Wolf Among Us'.
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'The Wolf Among Us'
The Wolf Among Us was released in October 2013, in between TWD Season One and Season Two, and is a prequel to the main storyline of a graphic novel series called 'Fables'. The basic premise is that all the fairytale characters we know and love have been banished from their own world by an enemy known only as 'The Adversary' and sent to live in our own. Most of the conflict and drama comes from them being stripped of their 'happy endings' and having to deal with the harshness and moral ambiguity of the modern world we live in. Fables is mostly a mystery/action series that follows how the characters we thought we knew live amongst us 'Mundies' (normal humans) as well as with each other, all while fighting 'The Adversary'.

Before I get to the game, I'd like to just quickly say that you should really check out the graphic novels! Not only are the stories fresh and captivating, but the art and character design is spectacular. Check it out when you get the chance.
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Fables Cover
The Wolf Among Us takes place before the events of the first issue of the Fables series, the late 80s in Manhattan. Our protagonist is Bigby Wolf, the sheriff of the fables's community known as 'Fabletown'. He is none other than the Big Bad Wolf from every fairytale you've read, now reformed he has the arduous task of hiding the Fables from the Mundy world as well as keeping fables in line. After saving a fable prostitute from his old, drunken foe The Woodsman, she has a cryptic conversation with him and later that evening Bigby finds the girl's decapitated head on his doorstep.

You play as Bigby in the game, trying to find the prostitute's killer and uncovering what may be a far bigger and more sinister crime involving the whole of Fabletown. Like most of the Telltale games, you make decisions throughout like where to go search for clues first or how to interrogate a suspect. Players will also have to respond to quicktime events for chase scenes and fights that are some of the best, if not THE best, that Telltale has ever developed. Wolf Among Us has all the tropes from the crime mystery genre and pays it's respects to classic noir. It's odd to see such fantastical elements and characters play around in this type of medium, but by God does it work well!
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Screenshot from game.
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Screenshot from game.
The art style of the game takes a different artistic approach than the comics, using much bolder and vibrant color schemes while playing around with shadows and light in a way that I haven't seen in Telltale try before. They still manage to keep the classic comic book style though, it's especially noticeable when you see the faces of the characters up close. You could probably compare this style to what is seen in TWD games, although TWD has a much more subdued color scheme with lots of bright red thrown in. They're in a zombie apocalypse after all.

Wolf got rave reviews when it was released and even won an award, yet TWD and GOT has gotten all the attention. Wolf baits us with a possible sequel at the end, so it's presumed that we haven't seen the last of Bigby, but at the same time, Telltale has yet to announce its production. We know they're giving us another season of Walking Dead, more GOT, some Borderlands (also very good), and a TBA Marvel production, but no word on more Wolf.

I just hope that they haven't ruled out TWAU as a weak contender against their other games. The game does have strong following online and in the gaming community, though the more popular titles draw in newer players who wouldn't be interested otherwise. Don't give up on Bigby, Telltale, please! We need more of the Big Bad Wolf!
 
 
So, it would appear that Dinosaurs > The Avengers. Let's talk about that. (As always: Be warned, here there be spoilers!)
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Cue the John Williams music.
When I was a kid I loved, loved, loved, dinosaurs! Heck, I still love dinosaurs, though I'm really just an overgrown kid, so no surprises there. The very first Jurassic Park movie came out when this love that I harbored was in full bloom, and it instantly became one of my favorite films of all time! It was a movie about a fricking theme park filled with actual, real, live dinosaurs that escape and wreak havoc. Who wouldn't love that!? Plus, it introduced visual effects that blew the audience away at the time. When I watched Jurassic Park for the first time in theaters (I kind of snuck in with my older cousin, sorry, Mom) my kid mind exploded, because I was instantly transported to Isla Nublar where ancient reptilian creatures roam.
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Thanks, George Lucas.
The movie was a huge hit, and became the highest-grossing film worldwide until Titanic was released four years later. Evidently, I wasn't the only kid to be engrossed, and the kid in every adult simply couldn't resist. Nothing seems to have changed as once again, the infamous park has taken the number one spot in box office records beating BOTH Avengers films.
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The world is just a bunch of excitable kids, isn't it? That would explain a lot, actually...
As is the case whenever anything is popular in Hollywood, a sequel has to be made. And the Jurassic Park franchise got to have two before 'Jurassic World', The Lost World: Jurassic Park and Jurassic Park 3. Both films (IMO) were terrible. The second one became too stupid and preachy while the third was filled with the most incredibly moronic characters I'd ever seen. So when I heard about the newest addition to the franchise I was initially skeptical. My thoughts were that if the sequels failed to bring anything new or interesting to the table than why would Jurassic World be any different? Then I saw the trailer...
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And this guy...
Right away I had a good feeling. I was already seeing things I'd never seen before and never realized I'd wanted to see. My mind was made up right there that I'd see the new film and give it a chance. This was what I thought of it.
Earlier, I mentioned that the first Jurassic Park movie managed to actually transport me to the theme park and that I was completely engrossed. Jurassic World did the same. The park they show you is so similar to real theme parks (Think Disneyland or Sea World) but with the awesome inclusion of Dinosaurs. There is a petting zoo filled with baby dinosaurs (some of which kids can ride), a sea life show where the audience gets splashed, an attraction where you can go canoeing with dinosaurs bathing next to you, etc. You even see characters pass a Starbucks and Pandora shop! If a park like this actually existed, the movie shows you exactly what it would be like. And that adds to the 'realism'.
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Oh, why can't this be a real thing!!??
We're also introduced to some new concepts about dinosaur behavior when we meet Chris Pratts' character who is the resident Velociraptor Trainer. Yes, you heard me right. His character trains the deadly killing machines from the first movies by using dead rats and a 'clicker' that's normally used on dogs. This idea, while borderline ludicrous and dangerous, is still incredibly fascinating and watching his character with them in any scene is absolutely captivating. That's the films major strength. It has amazing and unique ideas and knows exactly how to make them entertaining for the audience. It's visually breathtaking and will leave you entranced until the credits roll! All of this being said, it has some problems.
PictureFor instance, this guy never takes his shirt off. :-(
If you're looking for the layered and multi-faceted characters from the first Jurassic Park, stop right now. You're not going to find them. Every single main character is a 'broad stroke' character, meaning that they have one trait they're known for and nothing else. Yes, we see some development with the director of operations (Bryce Dallas Howard) going from cold, business driven aunt to kickass "I'm-gonna-sick-a-T-Rex-on-you-to-save-my-nephews" aunt, but not much else can be said. The nephews may as well be called 'wide-eyed, younger genius brother' and 'teenaged angsty older brother'. At one point the movie gives us a scene where the younger one reveals that their parents are getting a divorce, visually upsetting both kids, and then we never hear about it again. In fact the boys go right back to going on rides and smiling and laughing like nothing is wrong.

The villains are of course interested in making dinosaurs into weapons now that they see you can train them, which is a nice change from 'let's steal them for our own park', but when your villain is a clear cut douche bag from the beginning and tries to reason with a velociraptor by talking to it, there's no way I'll be taking them seriously. And I would bet all of my life's savings that Chris Pratt took his role because his character speaks in nothing but trailer speak and one-liners. That and his character has a scene where he rides a motorcycle next to velociraptors.

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Soooooo COOL!
I'm not going to be too harsh on the plot of the movie being about the incredibly poor decision to make a dinosaur hybrid that will scare their patrons more, because the entire idea of cloning any dinosaur is a pretty poor idea. But still, using cuttlefish DNA? A fish I know about ONLY because of its' ability to blend into surroundings? Really?

While you might think that this would take you out of the movie and ruin the entire film, it strangely doesn't. There's a tongue in cheek tone throughout the film and I couldn't help but wonder if the cliches were intentional. Plus the film never takes itself too seriously, there's no underlying message about animal cruelty or man vs. nature, it's a fun and exciting romp in a dinosaur park and nothing more!

Personally, I think nothing else is really needed.

If there's going to be another installment, I'd like to see the same director and writer(s) work on it. Just think of what else they could cook up and imagine for us! I only ask that they try to make their characters more complicated and less cliched. Then you'd have a classic to last throughout the years, much like the one that started it all.
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Again!
What did you think of the movie? Comment below to let me know!