Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Bahubali 2 (2017) - An Epic Grandeur

Those who are yet to see or have already seen will confidently agree, Bahubali 2 is a visual treat. However, among all the gala extravaganza, it’s absolute strength lies beneath its story which makes this colossal feat a striking experience. Director S.S. Rajamouli has crafted an Indian epic which is going to captivate generation for ages.

Plot : Story centers around the feud between two brothers over the throne of Mahishmati Kingdom, coupled with love, sacrifice, treachery & epic scale battle.

Not many movies are there which can boast about a worthy sequel, Bahubali 2: The Conclusion not only has a well-crafted script but a well-balanced story with cinematography of grandeur scale. We see the return of the cast from the original outing, Ramya Krishnan as Sivagami, Prabhas as Amarendra Bahubali & Rana Daggubati as Bhallaladeva gives stellar performance worthy of all the admiration they are being showered with.
I usually don’t prefer songs used within Indian movies as they take away the tone of the story, however its surprising to see how well the soundtrack has been imbued making it not only enjoyable but a necessity, at the end it will make you hum on the tune.

It is the first time where the VFX - Visual Effects have been used extensively, perhaps the first Indian movie, Ra.One does not quite fit the mark, as its effects were quite obnoxious, whereas both the Bahubali movies were successful in putting them to good use, of course there were times where you could easily make out the effects as CGI but they were in no way overdone; I do hope they do some remastering before releasing for home editions just like what George Lucas has done with Star Wars franchise

Bahubali rejuvenates the fantasy genre within Indian pop-culture & opens up the likelihood for the making of India’s greatest epic Ramayana & Mahabharata which have been delayed for several decades.
In short, this movie is a cinematic experience which commands to be enjoyed on big screen. 

My Verdict : Highly Recommended

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Some Are Soldiers, We Are Ghosts : Wildlands

Over the years, ghost recon as a franchise has grown as one of the most realistic military tactical shooters, but what made it so alluring has been its customization features & its nature of game-play. So, after a break of five years, we again get chance to live the life of these legendary undercover operatives. Unlike its predecessor Future Soldier, Wildlands has returned from its futuristic cache & returned to its original core play of tactical shooting, a subtle way of homecoming.

Campaign Plot: Ghosts are back, this time its war with Santa Blanca, a Bolivian based Drug trafficking organization whose influence has spread across borders causing mayhem within social spectrum. When one DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) agent gets abducted & tortured to death, United States Government gets concerned & starts rallying its special force assets to put an end to the narco-state’s ever growing activities by aiding local rebel outfits.

How different is it from Future Soldier?

Core mechanics of game-play remains the same, however this time it’s an open world & believe me it’s massive. Player gets to choose his/her way to complete the story, depending upon the style & mode of selected difficulty, fifty to sixty straight campaign hours will be a rough estimate, provided the number of side ops/missions gets completed on way for weapons & skill upgrade. If you are into micro-management, you would love the Gunsmith & battle gear feature. Only change this time has been how skill points gained over time gets its usage for unlocking much needed special abilities & item features. 

Some issues are however noted while dealing with its vehicles, at least in PS4 the flight controls are not that lucid, I do hope Ubisoft finds out some way to fix it. 

Graphics is more or like other widespread titles like Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End or Grand Theft Auto V, however the Bolivian world’s flora & fauna is overwhelming. At times, the game-play gets taxing if played without meticulous planning, still it succeeds in upholding the Ghost Recon legacy, a worthy successor to the ever-growing charter.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Video Games - An Evolving Wonder

Video games have been around us since early ‘70s, however in the last decade we have seen an enormous transition, both in the form of gaming mechanics & visual effects rendering. My first acquaintance to gaming verse had been with Wolfenstein 3D which was released by id Software back in early ‘90s. It gave me the flavor of what a first-person shooter based game would be like, thus becoming the forefather of today’s cohort shooter games. Well, it is not just about shooter games but all other genre which are made accessible for people to experience at home or at public forum.

Gaming has become a cohesive part of the modern mainstream society. Over years gaming industries have evolved to much more solemn platform, giving rise to a new trend of thought process which has made many to commence gaming as an alternate profession or career. Of-course not everybody can be a Pro-gamer. The idea of contesting as pro-gamer itself has been very lucrative, perhaps many gamers’ dream but making into the cut has been one of the grimmest aspect. Not to mention few thousand hours’ investment into serious gaming.

If I go with the online collective statistics, as of 2015, the top 100 highest paid professional gamers have made $250,000 with global competition alone, without even considering the sponsorship deals & streaming live feed on practice gaming on services like YouTube or Twitch.

For those who are new to gaming or simply not aware, today’s game designing life-cycle is like making of Hollywood blockbusters, not just in term of sheer amount of time capitalized for development but in every other aspect. In short, lead designers will make the outline of the game’s concept which might include core character’s initial drawing followed by coders to outline a typical prototype leading to pre-production & production phase where the game’s tools & graphics system will aid software engineers to build the definite game engine to rig models for animation. After testing for quality assurance, the game will be released worldwide post ‘Beta’ period where some selected gamers will be invited to play. Post release if problems are noted related to gaming or performance, developers will ensure to issue patches for fixing.

Games has been classified under diverse genre viz. action-adventure, role-playing, real time strategy, first person shooters, simulation, sports & massively multiplayer online (widely known as MMO); depending on own’s personal liking, various titles are available from which you can handpick. It also depends on which platform you are going to play. There are certain titles which are specific to certain platform, games like Uncharted Series, The Last of US are PS4 & PS4 Pro exclusive, similarly titles like Gears of War, Halo 3 are meant for Xbox 360 & so forth.

Past few years, the evolution within gaming arena has been staggering, with each added year developers have made our experience even more riveting. There has been numerous debate on its influence on younger generation however that would be a different topic for discussion; recent scientific studies have revealed that gaming can enhance human cognitive skills.

Gaming is here to stay whether we agree or not, perhaps its rapid integration in today’s society will give a different vibe on how it gets perceived, to me it has one of the very fabric which defines human ingenuity, whether we survive the next century, the aspect of game designing would always remain as the technology & art wonder of 21st century.

If you are still not convinced, try out some of my all time favorite titles, it might seriously change your perception on how games can impact tomorrow's innovation.

1. Crysis