The Mouse House: Batman Arkham Knight Review

The Mouse House: Batman Arkham Knight Review

theme song by Richard and Robert Sherman and Buddy Baker and owned by Walt Disney Records

With the massive Game of the Year level success and the open ended nature of Batman Arkham City, fans couldn’t wait to see where the series would go after the shocking events of Arkham City’s conclusion. Unfortunately, fans would have to wait quite a while before seeing that conclusion. In 2013 Warner Brothers Montreal utilizing the same general assets of Arkham City made a prequel game of the Caped Crusader’s second year of crimefighting called Batman Arkham Origins which was met with mixed reactions with massive technical and performance issues as well as a less refined version of Arkham City’s gameplay. The story showcased Batman forming the foundations of his relationships with his villains, but this ground was already tread almost as much as Batman’s origin and in the eyes of many wasn’t built up in any unique way by focusing too much on Joker instead of other villains. Shortly after the release of Origins, primary series developer Rocksteady Studios released a teaser cinematic cg trailer for the true follow up to Arkham City. The trailer featured an updated Batsuit, updated general graphics engine and the implementation of the Batmobile! Originally set for release in the Fall of 2014 Batman Arkham Knight was massively hyped up, but was delayed for more polish and tweaking and was released in the Summer of 2015. Unfortunately, Arkham Knight fell victim to many unfortunate circumstances and controversial creative and business decisions. One was the controversial season pass, as opposed to the standard 20 dollars one would pay for a season pass of DLC, WB was asking for 40 dollars on top of the 60 dollars for the game itself. It was seen as excessive and greedy. Another source of controversy was the terrible PC version of the game. It was so bad that WB actually pulled it off the market and is still unable to be played on PC to this day and that made the gaming community absolutely enraged. Arkham Knight also had many major complaints and flaws from the game content itself. What is my take on this rather controversial game? Is it as bad as other people say? My answer is yes and no. Arkham Knight does a lot of wonderful things, but makes many serious mistakes. Mistakes that really hold back an otherwise excellent experience. Naturally there will be spoilers for Arkham City’s ending.

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The Mouse House: Pirates of the Caribbean Dead Men Tell No Tales Quick Review

The Mouse House: Pirates of the Caribbean Dead Men Tell No Tales Quick Review

theme song by Richard and Robert Sherman and Buddy Baker and owned by Walt Disney Records

I have been burned by Pirates sequels before. I haven’t particularly enjoyed any of them. They have incredible ideas and concepts and the villain choices are fantastic. For the most part the effects are very good. What hasn’t been good are the stories and characterizations. Story getting bogged down by having too many characters involved with their own goals and forming alliances only to break those alliances 10 minutes later. Characters not acting like themselves or becoming hollow shells of their original selves. Pointless scenes that drag WAY too long. I’m looking at you “Jack spends 10 minutes debating whether to jump off a cliff from On Stranger Tides scene”. So when they announced a 5th film I was not enthused. It had been 6 years since the last film in 2011. Who on earth cares about this franchise enough to have it continue? Can’t we just let this franchise go? Still I held out hope that this film by some miracle would actually good. My miracle was half fulfilled. It was better than I thought it was going to be, but many of the same exact problems that plagued the other sequels still exist.

One of the best things about this film is that when it comes to the characters that actually matter (minus one that I’ll talk about later) their motivations and goals are up to snuff and there isn’t any constant backstabbing. The two best characters in the film and the real protagonists of the film are Henry Turner (son of Will and Elizabeth) and Carina Smyth (daughter of Spoiler). Both have similar interests so they would naturally collaborate and that their worldviews compliment the other. Carina being a woman of science and practicality and Henry being well read in science, but applies the mystical and fantastical to that knowledge knowing firsthand the supernatural of the world.

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The Mouse House: Uncharted 3 Drake’s Deception Review

The Mouse House: Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception Review

theme song by Richard and Robert Sherman and Buddy Baker and owned by Walt Disney Records

Uncharted 2 was a monumental success and propelled the action adventure franchise to the forefront of quality in the gaming world. Expectations were sky high for the next installment. Fans and the gaming press were eager to experience setpieces that were several times more complex and stunning than the magnificent train sequence in Uncharted 2. They were ready and excited for the greatest adventure in all of gaming. Perhaps a little too excited. When Uncharted 3 was released in 2011 it was met with universal critical acclaim and praised as the golden standard and crown jewel of the videogame medium. Despite this acclaim, with time and reflection Uncharted 3 is nowhere near as good as its predecessors. The game features many of the same problems as the predecessors, but amplified to an alarming degree. Despite many genuinely good improvements to gameplay and the technology and construction of setpieces the story that makes these great things worthwhile is quite bad. With horrible villains, the worst supernatural element of all, weak presentation of themes and copy pasting/ rearranging of Uncharted 2’s story beats and general scenarios Uncharted 3 Drake’s Deception is a major disappointment despite its acclaim at release.

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The Mouse House: Uncharted 2 Among Thieves Review

The Mouse House: Uncharted 2: Among Thieves Review

 

theme song by Buddy Baker, Richard Sherman, and Robert Sherman owned by Walt Disney Records

Uncharted Drake’s Fortune was a modest success when it came out in 2007. It made enough money and was well reviewed enough to merit a sequel, but Naughty Dog was not comfortable just making a sequel. The development team wanted to pull out all the stops to improve upon the original in every aspect of video game development. This includes everything! Story, writing, characterizations, game mechanics, level design, gameplay polish, art direction, themes, literally everything was vastly improved. It’s hard to describe. It feels better than its predecessor in every way. You feel it in the controller. I wasn’t the only one who thought this either critics were overwhelmed with the level of quality and commitment to excellence the developers displayed and it was a major contender for the title Game of the Year. It is one of my personal favorite games of all time!

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The Mouse House: Uncharted Drake’s Fortune Review

The Mouse House: Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune Review

theme song by Buddy Baker, Richard Sherman and Robert Sherman and owned by Walt Disney Records

During the gaming generation of the Xbox 360, the Playstation 3 and the Nintendo Wii the Playstation 3, according to many, was the big loser. The Wii sold extremely well because of its ability to attract a casual gamer market and had a long and successful lifespan. The Xbox 360 with its gamer centric presentation won the “console wars” of 2006-7. The Playstation 3 had a high price tag and a mediocre interface and an inferior controller with awful trigger buttons (The Playstation 2 controller was considered to be the superior hardware). It took a while for the Playstation 3 to find its footing with having a few advantages. First the Playstation 3 also served as a bluray player and because it could play games it was seen as a more cost effective option for people wanting to experiment with high definition movie viewing. Secondly the internet capability of the PS3console was free and was seen as a major advantage over the Xbox 360 because with the Xbox 360 the player had to pay for internet service separate from their provider (no longer the case today). Another advantage the PS3 had was having a larger number of exclusives compared to the Xbox (while the Xbox had Halo there aren’t many notable exclusives). One of these exclusives was a brand new IP that would bloom into one of the most beloved and critically acclaimed franchises of the previous and in some respects current generation of gaming. Developer Naughty Dog heavily inspired by Indiana Jones wanted to make a contemporary action adventure serial involving their own charming and likeable adventurer. Let’s take a look at the first adventure that players went on with Nathan Drake.

 

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The Mouse House: Top 13 Hardest to Obtain Items in the Kingdom Hearts Series

The Mouse House: Top 13 Hardest to Obtain Items in Kingdom Hearts

 

theme song by Bruce Healey and owned by Walt Disney Records

all images and music are owned by Walt Disney Enterprises, Disney Interactive, Square Enix and Square Enix music, and Walt Disney Records

Most video games love to have various items for the player to obtain throughout the game. Some of these items are collectibles and combat related items, while some function in the gameplay systems or simple bragging rights. This concept is especially true for RPGs like Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts. Some items are very common while others are not and the ones that are not can be extremely rare and frustrating to obtain. The Kingdom Hearts series is no exception and has its fair share of frustrating items. Today I will count down what I believe to be the top 13 items that are the absolute hardest to obtain. Read more

The Mouse House: Top 13 Best Disney Speeches/ Dialogues

The Mouse House: Top 13 Disney Speeches/Dialogues

The Disney films are known for many things. The Disney films have wonderful art direction, timeless stories, and unforgettable characters, but the writing and dialogue has never truly been critically acclaimed by itself. No one has ever really examined the monologues or exchanges that really enhance the films’ themes and characters, so I decided to make a list of the Top 13 Disney Speeches/ Dialogues. Now there are some rules and restrictions. First rule is: films only. If every media was allowed, then the entire list would be nothing but Kingdom Hearts monologues and that’s not fair or interesting. Second rule is: severely limited song choices. I specifically chose this wording because song is very important to the storytelling of Disney films. I could simply say no songs allowed for the same reasons as rule 1, but for this list I follow a principle of “the written/spoken word above all else”. If the lyrics are powerful enough and central to a theme or character enough then that song can be on the list. With the rules in place these are my top 13 Disney Speeches/ Dialogues! Read more

The Mouse House: Let’s Discuss Tomorrowland

The Mouse House: Let’s Discuss Tomorrowland

Tomorrowland. This movie is very difficult to talk about. On one hand it is a mysterious and fascinating movie to showcase all of the futurist and optimistic themes that Walt Disney presented on television in the 1950s and 1960s on the Wonderful World of Color/Disney. On the other it is a very poorly paced film that takes WAY TOO LONG to get to its point with disappointing payoff when the characters actually get to Tomorrowland. The film has trouble with what it wants to be. Does it want to be a social commentary heavily criticizing modern cynicism and be a call to action to use intelligence, imagination, skills, ideas and optimism to make the world a better place? Or does it want to be a mindless by the numbers scifi action movie? The indecisiveness is ultimately what kills the film and any potential greatness it could have achieved.

The first sign of trouble actually came at the beginning where Frank played by George Clooney and the main girl are having a back and forth banter that delays the real beginning of the movie. Once the movie actually begins any Disney fan is going to love the exploration of the recreated 1964 New York World’s Fair. The story of Clooney’s character as a kid is interesting and I wanted to see where it went. Unfortunately, the Clooney story is merely set up (the whole movie in a way is setup).

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I’m Not Dead (Update)

Hello Expressionists. To quote that guy in Monty Python and the Holy Grail “I’m not dead!”

It feels like I haven’t posted in 6 months even though I know it hasn’t been that long, but 2015 was a year where my presence on the site was virtually non existent aside from reposting a lot of old articles, which I still haven’t completed yet. But in the first half of the year I was finishing up school and I needed to take a very time consuming and difficult class during summer school so that took a lot of time and in order to graduate I need at least 600 hours of work experience and at that time I had only put a tiny dent in that so I came home after summer school and immediately got a job so I have been just as busy if not more for the last half of the year. I’ve just been lazy and tired when I get home so the last thing I want to do is write articles.

Also my entertainment world has been severely attacked by my PS4 dying on me for no apparent reason. Since I was not a Playstation Plus member I did not have cloud saving so I LOST EVERYTHING. Hundreds of hours of progress gone! So being the idiot that I am I just bought a new one and I got Playstation Plus to cloud save everything as well. So I am making considerable progress catching up on my games, but right now I’m playing Witcher 3 and if you have played Witcher 3 then you know how HUGE that game is and I am thinking about abandoning the optional areas mainly because i don’t have the time and they don’t offer really any substantial rewards.

So between work and catching up on my games that is where my time is spent and being sick of most of January hasn’t helped my motivation much either. So if and when I get better and i get to a good place in getting my gaming progress back I will try to post more often. Expect a Tomorrowland article before January is over regardless of how I feel.

On a final note yes I did see Star Wars on preview night on the December 17th and I ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT!!!! I ended up seeing it 4 more times! I love practically everything about it! My Star Wars fandom has been rekindled and I haven’t felt like that since before the prequels!

 

 

The Mouse House: Top 13 Sofia the First Songs (OLD POST)

MUSICAL MARCH MADNESS: TOP 13 SOFIA THE FIRST SONGS

theme song by Bruce Healey and owned by Walt Disney Records

 

Sofia the First is one of the best animated series I’ve seen in a long time. While the show excels in all aspects one in particular is its music! These songs are in my opinion the best set of songs that an animated series has ever had period with maybe one exception that I can’t think of at this moment. These songs surpass the ones in The Little Mermaid TAS. Yes I went there. The songs have been unbelievably consistent and I am still amazed at the amount of effort that was put into the songs when they didn’t have to considering the target audience and that says a lot about how the people making the show really respect their audience and put effort forward! So let’s celebrate that effort with my picks for the best Sofia the First Songs!

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The Mouse House: Sofia the First Review (OLD POST)

Sofia the First Review

theme song by Bruce Healey and owned by Walt Disney Records

 

When I first heard of the new Disney Junior show Sofia the First, I like many others snickered and had a complete disinterest or indifferent attitude toward it. I actually also had a cynical attitude claiming it to be a character that was manufactured as an in house creation and groomed by the head of the toy department as a character specifically created to sell toys with no personality and no effort put in to the character, the world or the other characters. In other words a hollow and lifeless shell meant to churn out cheaply made toys by children in Indonesia for.000000047 cents a week. But when I was home this past holiday I was flipping through channels for the first time in months (I don’t actually have any network or cable tv in my apartment just internet and my Playstation2 and 3) and I caught the movie the Floating Palace. My fandom for Ariel had me sit down and watch, but it was everything else that had me stay. I had been proven 110% wrong about this show (I was definitely right about the toy making, but I digress)! There was effort put into it. There were really good and funny characters. While the writing is smaller in scale doesn’t make it any less interesting. The animation while not spectacular is still colorful and has drastically improved over early promo shots I’d seen. If the show was anywhere near as good as this special then I had some watching to do. I have seen most of the episodes. The 1 hour pilot Once Upon a Princess up to the completion of the first season. This is a very good show. The morals are sound, the acting is really good, the writing while not mind blowing is still quite strong and has much more dignity than most shows for the intended audience, and the songs are catchy and well done! Ladies and Gentleman this is Sofia the First! Read more

The Mouse House: DTV Showcase (OLD POST)

The Mouse House: DTV Showcase

theme song by Bruce Healey and owned by Walt Disney Records

 

Ah the 1980s. Even though I was born a little afterwards (born in 1991) I basically grew up with excellent 80s leftovers with classic 80s movies coming out on VHS and classic songs from the period being played on the radio. I also remember the last days of the MTV network actually being good! Showcasing the music videos and showcasing all the latest hit songs and for those that remember was truly wonderful. Well MTV was so popular that even Disney took notice and decided to do something similar to capitalize on the success. They fittingly called it DTV. Now I know that usually when Disney tries to be “hip, modern or current” then it usually means complete failure and disaster. But with this we get a wonderful exception to the rule. DTV is a very short section that would appear to fill in gaps between the 5 minute gaps in between shows on the Disney Channel. These were simple Animated Music Videos taking classic animation from Disney cartoons and films and editing them together to classic songs that range from the doo wop music of the 50s to the classic rock and pop songs of the 80s! Now without any further delay let’s look at some of the best and most prominent of DTV!

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The Mouse House: The Mask of Zorro Review

THE MASK OF ZORRO REVIEW

theme song by Bruce Healey and owned by Walt Disney Records

theme song by Norman Foster and George Bruns and owned by Walt Disney Music

 

DO: It’s hard to imagine a time when the action adventure genre did NOT rely or have CGI and had an emphasis on creating solid stories and characters with good actors to portray these characters as well as make a fun and entertaining film with grand and creative action scenes. The goal was to make an entertaining film yes, but also wanted to have the audience care about the characters and revel in all of the romance, emotion and grandeur the genre had to offer as opposed to marveling at the special effects alone. The Mask of Zorro released by ColumbiaTristar and Amblin Entertainment in 1998 is an example of a film that is one of the last to truly accomplish this(Pirates of the Caribbean 1 is probably the last with The Winter Soldier nailing the hardcore side of the action genre). The film directed by Martin Campbell and written by John Eskow and fittingly enough Pirates franchise screenwriters Ted Elliot and Terry Rossio is an absolutely wonderful film that pays tribute to the old swashbuckler films of old and pays tribute to a Hollywod that unfortunately doesn’t exist anymore. The film has a true understanding of the source material and clearly were fans of the stories and the Disney show! It’s easily one of the top 5 best action adventure films ever made joining the ranks of the Indiana Jones films and its swashbuckling predecessors! Read more

The Mouse House Supports Classic Westerns: Zorro Month Walt Disney’s Zorro Review

THE MOUSE HOUSE SUPPORTS CLASSIC WESTERNS: ZORRO MONTH WALT DISNEY’S ZORRO REVIEW

theme song by Bruce Healey and owned by Walt Disney Records

 

DO: When television entered the lives of the world’s citizens many studios feared it would make movies obsolete and they would lose audiences, but Walt saw it as opportunity. He could use television to tell the stories that he couldn’t tell in a film as well as promote the studio, himself and his most ambitious dream ever Disneyland. Walt had found great success with the Disneyland TV show which promoted the park’s construction as well as with the extremely popular during the 50s western genre. With successes like Davy Crockett Walt felt that he could do something even bigger with a large scale and having a series that he could continue to produce seeing as you can only make a limited franchise with Davy Crockett because well he dies at the Alamo. That answer came in adapting the Johnston McCulley character Zorro to the small screen and I must say THIS IS DISNEY’S BEST LIVE ACTION SHOW EVER!!!! With its memorable characters, massive scope ambition and attention to detail as well as being well written with something for everyone young and old it became a cultural phenomenon. It doesn’t treat your child like a moron and even if it did have a decrease in quality in season 2 it was still good and is still to this day leaps and bounds better than anything Disney puts on television nowadays!

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The Mouse House: Zorro Month Introduction w Special Guest Big Black Hat Man (OLD POST)

Zorro Month: Introduction with Special Guest Big Black Hat Man

Theme Song by Bruce Healey and owned by Walt Disney Records

 

DO: Hello and Welcome to another great event here at The Mouse House where my very special guest Big Black Hat Man and I will take a look at one of the greatest heroes to grace the serials and television: Zorro. However he didn’t truly begin there. Zorro was created by pulp writer Johnston McCulley in 1919. First appearing in the story called “The Curse of Capistrano” and was serialized in 5 parts in the All Story Weekly pulp magazine.

For those unfamiliar with the concept of Zorro it is about a young Spanish nobleman named Diego De la Vega or if you put his title of “Don” (title of wealthy landowner and nobleman) in front his official name by the people he interacts with is Don Diego De la Vega. Diego decides to fight for justice and for the common people by donning a mask and black outfit and ride a black horse and bring peace and justice to Spanish Colonial California. He called this alter ego Zorro which is Spanish for Fox. This story caught the attention of one Douglas Fairbanks and he and his wife who were opening a new studio United Artists decided to bring the character to the silver screen!

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The Mouse House: General Thoughts on the Final Fantasy X HD Remaster

GENERAL THOUGHTS ON THE  FINAL FANTASY X HD REMASTER

theme song by Bruce Healey and owned by Walt Disney Records

theme song by Nobuo Uematsu and owned by Square Enix Music Read more

The Mouse House: Disneyland is Your Land Show Review w/ Special Guest Moviefan12!

DinseyLand/World is Your Land/World Retro Theme Park Show Review

theme song by Bruce Healey and owned by Walt Disney Records Read more

The Mouse House: Top 13 Nat King Cole Songs (OLD POST)

TOP 13 NAT KING COLE SONGS

theme song by Bruce Healey and owned by Walt Disney Records

 

My favorite singer ever is Nat King Cole! With that smooth, clear, and great voice he was able to sing a lot of diverse and wonderful songs, some of which have become classics and famous the world over. He also had such a confidence and a cool and easygoing attitude and his performances were always very relaxed and comfortable as well as inviting. Not only an amazing voice, but great stage presence as well. So I am going to honor the King today by counting down my favorite 13 songs of Nat King Cole! This list will showcase the King’s versatility, his charm, his sincerity in performance, his voice, and just him being awesome and my favorite singer!

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The Mouse House: Remembering Diane Disney Miller 1939-2013 (OLD POST)

Remembering Diane Disney Miller 1933-2013

theme song by Bruce Healey and owned by Walt Disney Records

theme song by Yoko Shimomura and owned by Walt Disney Records and Square Enix Music Read more

The Mouse House: The Last of Us: Left Behind DLC Review

The Last of Us: Left Behind DLC Review

theme song by Bruce Healey and owned by Walt Disney Records

The Last of Us Main Theme by Gustavo Santaolalla

 

The Last of Us is a fantastic game and was my pick tying with Bioshock Infinite as my game and story of 2013! I was looking forward to the DLC story and was curious to see what Ellie’s life was like before she met Joel. While these story questions are answered and answered wonderfully there are various things that took me out of the experience. I’m going to detract from what the mainstream critics are saying and be a lot more critical of this DLC. While the story and characters are excellent I feel as if in the end this story is in the wrong medium and gives the wonderful gameplay featured in the main game of The Last of Us nothing to do. Read more