Warcraft is the highest grossing videogame movie of all time

Despite a steep decline in domestic revenue over the last week, Warcraft has become the highest grossing film adaptation of a videogame of all time – even adjusting for inflation.  Warcraft suffered a 73% drop in ticket sales from its opening weekend to last weekend, when it was up against the dominating force of Pixar’s Finding Dory.  The majority of the film’s ticket sales have come from overseas, with over $200 million of the film’s $377 earnings coming from China alone.  The film had a budget of $160 million and, despite some harsh reviews from critics, has been a success with fans.  Our own review gave the film a 3 / 3 (for a “Good” rank).  Despite the promising numbers, the film is expected to need to hit a $450 million gross to break even when considering the marketing budget, distribution costs, and a smaller cut from overseas markets.

The previous record holder, Prince of Persia, had a total gross of $335 million when its theatrical run finished.

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Chester McChexington and the Flemoids of Ooze

Miss our scheduled broadcast of Andrew trying (and failing pretty horribly) to beat Chex Quest on the hardest difficulty?  No worries!  You can catch the replay below.

Writers needed!

It’s becoming more and more challenging to post regularly as I continuously work on other projects.  PowerUp is still something that I love doing, but I don’t have the time to commit to it that it really deserves… so I need your help.  Entertainment writers, game and film enthusiasts, people with strong opinions… I need you!  If you have any passion for the entertainment industry and are vocal about your passions and opinions, I’d love to hear from you.  Simply send an email with the subject line “Write For PowerUp” to “poweruponline AT outlook DOT com” and I’ll get in touch with you.  I’d like to hear your area of expertise; tell me your favorite movie, game, and band; and provide a brief writing sample in the body of the email.  ABSOLUTELY NO ATTACHMENTS!  Word documents, .pdf files, pictures… none of it.  If there is an attachment, you will not be considered in any capacity.

Please note this is not a paid position.  PowerUp does not have a revenue flow and is entirely for sharing your passions in entertainment.  What I’d really like to see is some more views that differ from my own (I’m primarily an Xbox gamer, I have a Windows Phone, and I’ve got Windows 8.1 running on all of my computers… so, anybody who is outside of that Microsoft loop would be a breath of fresh air for my readers, I’m sure).  I’d like to see PowerUp feature more mobile entries focusing on Apps as well as indie games.  Film and music are also areas of opportunity.

Thanks for your interest, and I look forward to hearing from you!

Andrew T.S. Bedgood

Fable Anniversary Re-Review

Fable Anniversary

It’s hard to think that ten years ago, now, I was taking my first trip to Albion – a curious land that would devour hours of my time and earn my devout allegiance.  Fable has never been known for a lengthy main campaign, but the games have always offered a substantial amount of side content and secrets that encourage players to invest more than the 10 or so hours it would take to just beat the game.  The franchise has been the victim of its own over-hyping, but nonetheless it’s a franchise I hold near and dear to my heart and I’m thrilled that I now have the opportunity to replay the first game, my personal favorite, fully remade.

Fable is an interesting beast.  As a friend of mine has described the games, “It’s very British.”  It’s a cheeky game with some great hit-or-miss humour but all wrapped in a charming package with a great story.  The storytelling in Fable has never been high art or anything of that sort, but the games always have a well-crafted, non-linear plot, something I appreciate.  The Fable universe has been keeping me entertained and intrigued for ten years now, and I’m pleased to say that the re-release more than does the premiere installment justice.

Fable Ann Compare 1I’ve really grown to appreciate how Microsoft handles their remakes.  While you see a ton of “HD” re-releases from the last console generation hitting the market from several other publishers, those games suffer from a severe case of “uprezzing.”  Little more is done with those titles than giving players new high-resolution textures and widescreen support to stare at – the visuals are still relatively unchanged from the initial game release.  Now new character models, no new particle effects, no new lighting, no new audio… it’s the same game but just a bit (and I mean a bit) shinier.

Microsoft Studios, on the other hand, completely remakes the game visually.  The original game content and experience is untouched (aside from maybe some new controller options) while the game’s visuals are rebuilt with maybe a healthy helping of new audio to go along with it (with Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary being a prime example of new audio really lending to the rebuilt experience).  It’s not just a high resolution copy of an already made game, it’s a complete visual reimagining of a world we’re already familiar with.  Perfect Dark and Halo really demonstrated that Microsoft was dedicated to nurturing its properties and giving fans more than just a recycled product.  Fable does the same.

While the gameplay may not hold up as well next to its more modern counterparts, the experience that I loved ten years ago is still there.  The belching, the farting, the questing… it’s still the classic Fable experience that so consumed much of my mid-to-late teen years and every moment I spend in the game is accompanied by a nostalgic high.  I love Fable and this is the game that always comes to mind when I think of revisiting Albion… I’m almost ashamed that it’s been so long since I’ve worked my way through the first game (which, I’ll admit, I haven’t played through since Fable II was released).  I’m not, though.  Playing through Fable Anniversary, in spite of the many, many times I’ve played through the first game, is, amidst the nostalgia, almost a new experience again since it has been so long.  It feels fresh, yet familiar and not just because of the visual update.

The visuals, though, are great.  It’s really nice to see that such a great amount of care went into rebuilding the world of Albion.  It is, however, hindered by the aged and clunky animations of the 2004 game hiding underneath.  While some things feel revamped and fluid, there are those awkward moments where characters will freeze and whip around robotically.  It’s jarring and takes from the experience ever so slightly – but as a whole, the game looks great and the love that went into recreating Albion is apparent in every screen.

Fable Ann Compare 2

I know I may be biased and looking at the game through rose-tinted glasses or whatever, but Fable Anniversary feels great.  Playing the game brings me some kind of gaming bliss and the new visuals should set a new standard for HD remakes – something I also said about Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary.  I feel like the folks working under the Microsoft Studios banner aren’t given enough credit for the work they do on their HD remakes – though that’s a topic for another time, I suppose.

Fable Anniversary is an old game dressed in new game clothing.  It’s as fun as it was ten years ago, but looks substantially better.  Giving loyal Xbox fans achievements to earn is another plus.  Fable is a piece of gaming history and this Anniversary re-release does it justice, it would be hard, even when not considering my bias, to not recommend this game… it’s just too much fun and the budget price makes it even more enticing.

 

Fable Anniversary: 4 out of 5

Microsoft now wholly owns Gears of War

Crimson Omen

Gears of War is a big franchise – one that’s managed to stay exclusive to Microsoft’s Xbox platforms for 8 years due to a close partnership with Epic Games.  Each game in the franchise was published by Microsoft, but the intellectual property still remained in the possession of Epic – meaning that Epic, after fulfilling their agreement with Microsoft, could have potentially brought the franchise to Sony’s platforms.  This has now changed as Microsoft is now the IP owner of the Gears of War franchise – a win for Microsoft who, since the release of the Kinect, has been struggling to boost their library of exclusive titles.

As an avid gamer, I would like to see Microsoft pursue more new franchises, but a Gears game on my Xbox one is mighty tempting.  On the other side, while I have yet to play Judgment, I felt that the third game was a solid conclusion to the franchise.  As much as I love playing Gears of War, I do feel like sometimes it’s okay to let a franchise end – especially when the end pretty well concludes the story.

Next Halo coming to Xbox One in 2014

Halo

Halo for the Xbox one has been confirmed for a 2014 release. The game was announced at this past E3 as simply “Halo” and Microsoft states that the reason we haven’t heard a confirmation regarding a release window for the next entry in the Halo saga is due to the newest game not having an official title just yet – suggesting Microsoft doesn’t want to commit to Halo 5 for the Chief’s next battle.

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Hello Games announces No Man’s Sky

nomanssky

Hello Games, developer of Joe Danger, has announced today on VGX the next gen title No Man’s Sky.  The game will be a science fiction featuring a huge universe that encourages exploration with multiple planets to explore from top to bottom.  The game promises that the stars in the sky are suns featuring planets that can be explored with a “living” persistent world.  It looks like a game with a lot of promise and I’ll be sure to post more regarding this game when more details become available.

Tales from the Borderlands announced

Borderlands

Today is the videogame awar… VGX.  And with that, not only do we get some game of the year winners courtesy of GameTrailers, but also some exciting new game announcements.  With that, the first announcement to come from VGX is Tales from the Borderlands.  The game will be a collaboration between Telltale Games, the fine folks behind The Walking Dead and The Wolf Among Us, and Gearbox Software, the studio behind the Borderlands and Brothers in Arms franchises.  The game will be an episodic adventure, in traditional Telltale fashion.  Stay tuned to PowerUp for more on Tales from the Borderlands.

The Walking Dead: Season 2 trailer is live

The second season of Telltale’s award winning The Walking Dead is coming to consoles, PC, and mobile soon and to drum up some excitement for what is sure to be a heavily emotional experience, they’ve released this brief teaser.  The first season was easily some of the finest adventure gaming I’ve ever experienced with some incredibly heavy moments (the season finale was just brutal), so I’m really looking forward to what this next season has to offer.