Rogue One: Review

We enjoyed Rogue One more than The Force Awakens, there, we said it.

In fact with that being said we currently have Rogue One sitting as our second favourite Star Wars film in the entire franchise, only just edging out A New Hope (Although this may change over time) and obviously being beaten by Empire Strikes Back.

The film as a whole isn’t perfect; the characterisation of some characters is minute to none-existant and there is one CGI character in particular who we felt really took us out of the moment whenever they were on the screen and they could’ve been left out entirely.

However, the story that is portrayed on screen and the way that it is directed by Gareth Edwards is simply outstanding. As the director of the first ever Star Wars standalone movie, Gareth Edwards has set the bar incredibly high for future films.

The climactic battle scene is the best of any movie to date, it has moments of dread, sorrow and even moments that make you want to punch the air in triumph. There are moments involving AT-AT’s where the CGI seamlessly blends in with the real-life actors who are running around underfoot, helping to draw you into this world.

Furthermore for any hardcore fans of the series (Particularly those who watch the TV shows Star Wars Rebels/The Clone Wars, or have read a number of the canon books) this film is a must-see. There are subtle references (And not so subtle – We’re looking at you Chopper) to a number of characters and events from elsewhere in Star Wars canon and it makes the film all the more enjoyable.

Despite the poor characterisation of the sub-members of her team, Jyn Erso (Played by Felicity Jones) managed to stand out as a strong female protagonist, but in a completely different way to Rey was in The Force Awakens. Much like this film, Jyn is a far edgier heroine and isn’t your stereotypical good guy, which makes her even more relatable. And whilst a little stereotypical, Cassian Andor (Played by Diego Luna) was a fitting companion to Jyn. The two were helped by the fact that Disney and Gareth Edwards decided against a love angle between the two and instead settled for a “brothers-in-arms” kind of affection, which works incredibly well for their situation and characteristics.

Despite a strong female protagonist, it is none other than Darth Vader who manages to steal the entire film in one scene (He appears in 2 in total). We finally see the brutish and menacing side of Darth Vader that has only been explored in canon elsewhere than the films prior to the release of Rogue One. A shout-out also has to be given to K2S0 (Voiced by Alan Tudyk) who provides excellent comic relief throughout the film, and Chirrut Imwe (Played by Donnie Yen) who is easily the most enticing character fighting the good fight, outside the three already mentioned.

So don’t go into Rogue One expecting a perfect film, but if you want to see the first ever Star Wars movie that is actually made as a “war” movie then you are in for one hell of an experience.

Rogue One is a fantastic film that allows you to forgive its flaws because of the emotional journey it has sent you on and the fantastic action sequences that it has allowed you to enjoy.

Final score = 8.5/10

 

Top 5 Most Anticipated Games of 2017

WeAreNiche take a look at our Top 5 most anticipated games of the year!

Welcome back!

As the new year draws ever closer we’re delving both back in time over the past year and looking ahead at what the new year has to bring us. As for today, we’re peering into the looking glass and going through our top 5 most anticipated games of 2017!

Today’s list isn’t in any particular order because quite frankly we can’t choose between these 5 games.

Strap in soldier.

 

Number 5 – Horizon Zero Dawn

Horizon Zero Dawn is a PS4 exclusive that really took the world by storm at E3 2016. After coming out of nowhere the game’s graphics and unique setting really helped to throw fuel onto the hype fire.

Over the past year we’ve been slowly drip fed more gameplay, but the story has for the large part been kept under wraps. Whilst this doesn’t work for some games, the mystery surrounding Zero Dawn’s story is only proving to be another element that is making us want to play the game right now.

Release date: February 28th 2017

 

Number 4 – Resident Evil 7

Whilst installments 4 through 6 have been less than stellar for the series, entry numero 7 promises a startling return to form. After some mystery footage was dropped at E3 2016 (What an E3) it was quickly revealed that the Resident Evil franchise was ditching the 3rd person action movie-esque style and going back to its roots in horror.

Perfectly adapted for a VR experience Resident Evil 7 promises to be a blend of old and new as the grand-daddy of all horror games prepares us to cry like a baby once again.

Release date: 24th January

 

Number 3 – Mass Effect: Andromeda

Holy crap, holy crap, holy crap are we excited for this game. We’re not afraid to say that the Mass Effect trilogy is our favourite ever game series (Crappy ending and all), and any return to the universe that engulfed us so well before was bound to excite us. But with some excellent gameplay being released only a matter of weeks ago, and an excruciatingly long time in between the odd tidbits of information has only served to make us as fans want more and more.

From what we can tell Mass Effect: Andromeda promises to bring everything that we loved about the original series (Except for the Paragon/Renegade options) and at the same time promises to take us in all new and exciting directions.

Whilst we don’t know exactly how many games Bioware has planned in Andromeda, even if it was just the one, we couldn’t be happier about going back.

Release date: TBC

 

Number 2 – South Park: The Fractured But Whole

South Park… THE. FRACTURED. BUT. WHOLE…. Look at that trailer… Need we say more?

Release date: TBC

 

Number 1 – God of War

Another game that debuted at E3 earlier this year is God of War. In a move that no one saw coming, Sony decided to move God of War away from the hack and slash era of old, and in a move that is entirely suiting of modern gaming, made it darker, full of character and with graphics that look more realistic than real life.

The new over the shoulder camera angle, combined with a more grown up father version of Kratos makes the game feel much more brutish. Think The Last of Us with swords… who the hell doesn’t want to play that?

Release date: TBC

 

There we have it folks, our Top 5 most anticipated games of 2017! Hit Follow and stick around as we’ll be bringing you lots more content between now and the end of the year, with plenty of things in store for the channel in the new year.

Twitter – @WeAreNiche

Top 5 Movie Trailers of the Year

The end of the year is nearly upon us, so it’s about damn time the top 5 lists started coming out!

Between now and Christmas we will be publishing a number of Top 5 lists, culminating with our Top Video Games of the Year and then our Top Films of the Year. If we as admins disagree strongly enough there’s even the chance that we may post our own versions of each list, but that will be on an ad-hoc basis.

So sit back, relax and let’s start our recap of a great year of films and video games by taking a look at our five favourite film trailers of the year.

Number 5: La La Land

Let’s start off with something entirely different from everything else on the list. The trailer for La La Land promises a brilliant blend of old and new and with two main stars like Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling you can be sure that the comedy, emotion and general wackiness conveyed in this 2 and a half minute long trailer will carry over into the film.

It may not have the highest budget on the list and it may not be a storied franchise, but this trailer definitely has us wanting to see more.

 

Numer 4: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – Comic-Con trailer

The first teaser trailer for Fantastic Beasts leaned too heavily on the connection with the previous Harry Potter films to make it onto this list. However, the trailer which debuted during Comic-con took us away from that approach and allowed us to invest in the new world we were being presented. By asking us to rely not on our nostalgia for specific characters from the previous franchise, it instead asked us to rely on our nostalgia for magic as a whole.

Once again we were whisked off to a world that had so much left for us still to discover, despite this being the 9th film set in the universe it presents.

 

Number 3: Hacksaw Ridge

This film promises great things and the trailer was the first thing which reaffirmed those feelings. Andrew Garfield is outstanding in this trailer, which makes us incredibly excited to see his performance throughout the entirety of Hacksaw Ridge.

The emotion, tone, and performances in this trailer are picture perfect as they really help to convey to us as an audience exactly what is being felt by each and every character we come across. But I feel that enough isn’t being made about Mel Gibson’s directing, some of the shots and effects seen in this trailer alone are outstanding and that needs to be recognised.

 

Number 2: Star Wars: Rogue One

I mentioned effects in the previous entry so it would be hypocritical of me if I didn’t start off this entry by saying that the trailer in Rogue One has the best effects, practical or otherwise, that I have seen all year. Gareth Edwards has done a fantastic job of portraying warfare in a science fiction setting, and by combining that with his masterful use of effects it has really allowed the scope and gravity of this film to be properly portrayed in only 2 minutes and 37 seconds.

The addition of characters we’re already familiar with such as Saw Gerrera, Mon Mothma and of course Darth Vader is simply icing on an already delicious cake. I feel no shame in admitting that I prefer this trailer to any that The Force Awakens had, but I still couldn’t give it the number one spot.

 

Number 1: Logan

I went back and forth a lot over which of the following two trailers would be Number 1 and number 2. Ultimately I went with Rogue One as Number 2 because it’s expected, everyone looks to Star Wars films and expects high-quality trailers that deliver on all the right aspects. However I expected very little from Logan, the promotional material that had been released shortly before the trailer were the first positive signs, but they were small. Coming off the back of two poor Wolverine stand alone movies, and a poor showing from X-Men: Apocalypse, I don’t think anyone had particularly high hopes.

However, the trailer absolutely nails it. This is Hugh Jackman’s last foray as Wolverine and the trailer really conveys that feeling. The use of “Hurt” by Johnny Cash is a match made in heaven and having gone from low expectations, I will now be going into this film full of hope and expecting a much more sombre X-Men movie that will allow us to say goodbye to Wolverine (And likely the original timeline that was started with the first X-Men movie).

Well done Logan, well done.

 

That was just my opinion though, let us know which trailers you enjoyed most in 2016 and which films you’re looking forward next year! Then be sure to hit follow on Twitter so that you don’t miss any of the latest gaming and movie news.

Until next time

– Mitch