What is it like Playing the Original Spyro Trilogy 20 Years Later?

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Hopefully you haven’t missed the news that was leaked by Amazon of a HD remake of the original Spyro the Dragon trilogy coming out on 21st September of this year.

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I recently had some time off, so decided to play the original three games before I get my copy of the Reignited Trilogy and it’s gotten me thinking, a lot. Enough to write an article about it.

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I played all 3 games in order (all 3 platinum edition too) on my PS2 and managed to 100% everything (or 117% everything in the case of Year of the Dragon) within 9 days or so. Let’s see how games I played consistently throughout my childhood to my memories of them in adulthood.

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Spyro the Dragon (1998/PS1)

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This is easily the one I dislike most from the trilogy (not the entire series – we’ll get onto that later) because it was the hardest. But it was the paving stone of a great series, so I wouldn’t say I hated the game. I found Spyro a little bit too cocky throughout the cutscenes. I nickname myself the ‘Loot Whore’ of gaming because if there’s anything to collect, I will hunt for it – even if it takes me hours. So naturally, this game was great before I even picked up my controller – crystalized dragons, gems and eggs to collect – what more could a 5-year-old girl ask for? I have the least memories of this game and any that I have are ones of getting frustrated to having to collect gems (mainly).

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Replaying this was not as bad as I thought it would be. OK, it was frustrating at most points (don’t get me started on Wizard Peak – luckily the music from that level kept me sane) and I mostly enjoyed it. The bosses were OK but I felt like there was no real cohesion from them – a tiki warrior, a giant robot, a jack-in-the-box thing and a sheep disguised as a scary, tall man? And the final boss fight with Gnasty Gnorc was a bit of a let-down.

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The game was good, but I just remember future games of the series being much better.

Rating: 8/10


Spyro 2: Gateway to Glimmer (1999/PS1)

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OK, this game came as a bit of a surprise to me when I first played it. The whole game had a huge makeover (graphics-wise) and introduced so much more that made this game much better compared to the first. Granted, there were less hub-worlds but we now had side-quests, more characters and more abilities for Spyro to learn (including a headbash and climbing ladders), as well as power-ups in each level you could activate after defeating a certain amount of enemies. It was still a huge collect-a-thon with gems, talismans and orbs but this game seemed huge compared to the first one. The humour was much better and Spyro was much more fleshed out as a character – actually seeming kind and somewhat caring compared to his previous bratty self (he basically matured, despite not much time passing between the games).

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I really liked the short intros and outros when entering different levels (which sadly to not feature in future games). I feel like much more love and care went into this game from the developers, which in turn made us love it more.

A have some bad memories from this game too (not as bad as the first game) and replaying now, they didn’t seem too hard. This doesn’t mean I didn’t struggle in some places, but I didn’t get overly frustrated like with the first game. When I started up the game, I remember dreading having to go to Fractured Hills in Autumn Plains because of the Alchemist challenge – I really struggled with that one when I was younger. But this time, I managed to do it within a few tries.

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But like with the first game, I didn’t really enjoy the speedway levels as you often couldn’t do them in time by doing everything in order so you had to mix it up sometimes, but even then it felt like a chore. Also, I didn’t really enjoy the first boss battle with Crush but the next two with Gulp and Ripto were much better and more enjoyable.

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I also really liked the fact that once you defeated Ripto, you didn’t have to collect all the gems and orbs in order to ‘complete’ the game – it was more of a reward to go to Dragon Shores and see what it’s like if you do. And even then, I wouldn’t recommend it unless you were a hard-core fan as it’s just a bunch of fairground-themed mini-games afterwards and a theatre where you could watch previous cut scenes. Still, feels good to 100% and not to face a final boss like the previous instalment.

Rating: 10/10


Spyro: Year of the Dragon (2000/PS1)

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Now, this is the game I remember loving so much during my childhood – I never 117% (or a 100% for that matter) until I was much older, but even then I was satisfied with just fighting the Sorceress (for the first time) over and over again purely for that fight (easily one of my Top 10 Boss Fights…maybe I’ll write an article for that someday…).

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This game carried the abilities Spyro learnt from Spyro 2 (a feature I like) but still expanded gameplay with other playable characters – including Sparx, who had his own worlds and gained new abilities after completing.

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However, are playing it again recently, I will say I’m a little disappointed. I think because I was quite underwhelmed. I didn’t get the same feelings I did when I played it way back when (apart from when I started it up) but equally I didn’t get bored, which I kinda did with the other two.

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This game is much easier compared to the other two too, apart from the controls. I found when using vehicles and the like, the controls could be pretty annoying (similar to Spyro 2 – I got hit a lot during the Gulp boss battle when charging around the circle to avoid being squished, but that may have been my own stupidity). And I found myself enjoying the speedway worlds – especially the Hunter challenges. The boss fights were fairly easy (apart from Spike – that was my least liked one out of the five of them) but there were a few side quests I had to redo (especially the Shelia one in Spooky Swamp).

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But overall, with the combination of side quests, playable side characters, great levels and great music (one of my favourites…maybe another article for another day) along with a possible copyright infringement (Tara from Desert Ruins, who largely resembled Lara Croft, which came out around the same time as Spyro, so I think it was an homage really, but regardless, I loved it) and made for a great game. Easily one of my Top 10 Favourite Video Games of All Time (another article maybe?) and one I love replaying.

Still I wish it had kept some things from Spyro 2 like then intros and outros for each level and having power-ups available in very level, but beggars can’t be choosers. But this still my favourite of the trilogy and I can’t wait to see what it’s like remastered.

Rating: 10/10


I did play a lot of other Spyro games such as the Gameboy games (Season of Ice (2001), Season of Flame (2002) and the two crossover games with Crash Bandicoot of Spyro Orange: The Cortex Conspiracy and Crash Bandicoot Purple: Ripto’s Rampage (2004) – they were OK, I guess, but the two Season games were much better) along with one of the DS games (Shadow Legacy (2005)) but there were two games that really let me down, so naturally I decided to replay them.

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The first was Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly (2002/PS2) which I was mega-excited for when I was younger, and did play it a lot. But let’s just say that after capturing around twelve dragonflies and visiting three levels, I called it a day. The storyline is great, but the dialogue, humour and animation (lag-central, seriously. And over-the-top mouth animation) just made it really hard to play and not enjoyable. There are some concepts I liked, e.g. collecting Dragon Runes and returning them to the Spirit Dragon, as well as the new ability of Wing Shield but the fact that there was only one hub-world – despite having multiple hub-worlds in previous installments – and Ripto returning with no explanation of how he survived (along with Crush and Gulp, who can suddenly talk?! And not that I’m not happy about Ripto returning, he’s one of my favourite villains…again, I need to stop giving myself so many ideas for future articles), it was just a heap of trash. As if it was the Tekken 7 of the series – a lot of potential, people excited for it, but ultimately half a game compared to its processors, despite a lack of technology back then, so you expect it to have more and…sorry, I’m ranting.

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I also played Spyro: A Hero’s Tail (PS2/2004) which I liked back when it came out, but was just another disaster for me to realise when I got older and replayed it. Again, like Enter the Dragonfly, I like some of the abilities like the rolling ball thingy and some of the new characters like Blink (as well as playing as Hunter again with his bow and arrow) but the humour didn’t hit (yet again); the level design was OK, the storyline kinda sucked and they changed to control scheme (circle has always been to breathe fire and square to charge, but they swapped it over for this one!) just made me put it down after an hour. That, and Spyro’s stupid prancing when moving around, his dumb new voice actor (Jess Harnell), the ‘love interest’ Ember and Moneybags now suddenly changing his accent (I know he’s have more than one voice actor since Spyro 2) who sells you stuff and is actually useful, just became the game I thought I wanted but didn’t live up to expectations. And I never played the Spyro games where Elijah Wood voiced Spyro (The Legend of Spyro series (2006 -2008)) or Skylanders (2011 – present).

Overall, the original Spyro Trilogy is easily one of my favourite series of games and I’m glad (for once) for a HD remake. Let’s hope with E3 around the corner, we’ll see more footage of the other games and not just the first game.

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There’s also a Pop Vinyl figure coming out on 31st August with will keep my occupied until the Reignited Trilogy.


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Deadpool 2 Review

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OK, so we just had Avengers: Infinity Wars, but so what? I hope there are many people out there – like me – who have waited for Deadpool for so long. And when it finally arrived in the form of Fox and Ryan Reynolds, I was so happy. A little scared, but very excited. And when I watched that film, I was finally sated. At last – a good portrayal of Deadpool, not some stupid final boss in an overused prequel of the main character of X-Men. But when it was announced that there would be a second film – I won’t lie – I was a little apprehensive. More so before the trailer for Deadpool was released. And for one simple reason – the first one was fantastic, so how could the second live up to reputation?

Before I saw the film, I did look at the headlines for reviews of Deadpool 2, which I never do for any films – I like to go in with a clear mind and untainted opinion. So when I heard most reviewers giving it positive reviews, I was happy. But with the statement of “It’s better than the first”, I was worried.

I can confirm this is true though – after the first 20 minutes of the film. Deadpool 2 is better than the first – more references; more action; more humour. So, let’s take an in-depth look at how I found the film.

This review will look at the Plot; What I Liked About the Film; What I Didn’t Like About the Film and my ultimate Conclusion.


Plot

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Deadpool 2 begins sometime after the end of the first. Wade (Ryan Reynolds) has ‘gone international’, killing bad guys and looking fabulous while doing it (seriously, there was one point Deadpool posed as a pole dancer). We fast forward to current day where Wade is taking down a local thug, only for him to escape and Wade make it back to Vanessa (Morena Baccarin) in time for their anniversary. After exchanging gifts (Wade gives Vanessa a softball token, reminiscing their first date while Vanessa reveals she has removed her birth control device so they can begin a family), the local thug that escaped has managed to locate Wade and attacks him. Unfortunately, Vanessa is hit with a bullet and killed.

After Vanessa’s death, Wade goes through a crisis of trying to kill himself (in vain), catching the attention of Colossus (Stefan Kapici). Colossus brings Wade back to the School for the Gifted, where he, Teenage Mega Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand) and her girlfriend Yukio (Shioli Kutsuna) convince Wade to get out of the slump. He eventually agrees and becomes a trainee of X-Men.

During Wade’s first outing as a trainee, they are sent out to deal with Russell Collins AKA Firefist (Julian Dennison), who has the powers of conjuring fire with his fists. He has escaped the orphanage he belonged to and is threatening to kill the Headmaster (Eddie Marsan). Wade is the only one who manages to get close to him and learns that he is being abused by the staff. He manages to kill one staff member and gets arrested, along with Firefist.

The duo is sent to The Ice Box – a prison for mutants. They all wearing collars, meaning they can no longer use their powers. While Firefist thinks of a way to escape, Wade is content in finally being able to die. Despite this, the two become at odds with eachother.

In the distant future, Cable (Josh Brolin) finds his wife and daughter killed and travels back in time (to the film’s present day). He finds The Ice Box and proceeds to rampage through it, trying to find Firefist. Wade does his best to defend the kid (despite the way he’s treated him) and manages to damage his collar, gaining his powers back. He manages to fight Cable off, only for the both of them to be lost outside the prison.

When Wade returns home, with the help of Weasel (T.J. Miller), he bands together a group of other mutants to go after Cable and rescue Firefist. This group consists of Domino (Zazie Beetz); Shatterstar (Lewis Tan); Zeitgeist (Bill Skarsgard); Bedlam (Terry Crews); Vanisher (Brad Pitt) and Peter (Rob Delaney). After discovering that the prisoners of The Ice Box are being moved (due to the damage sustained defending it from Cable), the gang decide to intercept the truck and rescue Firefist before Cable can get to him. Little do they know that Firefist has made friends with the biggest guy from the prison.

Deadpool’s new band of mutants – which he names X-Force – commence by jumping out of a plane, but die before they can reach the truck, apart from Domino. With her power of luck, she manages to overtake the truck as Cable reaches it. Despite her and Deadpool’s efforts, the truck crashes and Firefist escapes with his new friend, Juggernaut (voiced by Ryan Reynolds).

After recovering from the battle involving the truck, Cable reaches out to Wade and asks for his help. It turns out that Firefist is the one who killed his family in the future, so he travelled back in time to prevent it from happening. Cable plans on killing Firefist outright, however Wade manages to convince him that he can talk Firefist out of killing The Headmaster, thus no longer giving him the taste of murder that he will enjoy.

The group, along with Colossus, Warhead and Yukio rescue the other kids from the orphanage and distract Juggernaut as Deadpool and Cable locate Firefist. When they find him, Deadpool does his best to convince him not to kill the Headmaster, however his efforts are in vain as Firefist does not trust him. So, in order for Firefist to trust Wade, he puts on one of the anti-mutant collars and takes the bullet Cable meant for him. After quite a long death scene, Cable decides to travel back in time and gives Wade (unknowingly) the softball token Wade gave Vanessa (Cable stole it from him back at the prison) to protect him. So, when Cable does try to shoot Firefist again, Wade is saved (thus using all his time travelling powers). Cable decides to stick around to prevent the world ‘from turning into shit’ while Firefist joins the X-Men and Wade continues to live on without Vanessa.


What I Liked About the Film

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Immediately into the opening of the film, it begins with Wade smoking around the apartment, making pop tarts (I think), winding up a dead Wolverine music toy (it’s Wolverine posed as how he died in Logan) and complaining about how he managed to get an Oscar before trying to blow himself up. That and the opening credits made this the better opening compared to the first Deadpool film.

The action is definitely more brutal in this one (Deadpool even uses a chainsaw at one point) and the greatest fighting scene is actually a tie for me – it’s between Deadpool and Cable killing the staff members of the orphanage and Colossus vs. Juggernaut, both towards the end of the film.

The best part of this film has to the X-Force. Wade and Weasel actually hold interviews for each mutant to become a member and all of them are in, even Bob who just saw the advert and has no powers of his own. The fact that all but Domino died as well before reaching the truck was tragic but hilarious, especially the ways in which they died (including – but not limited to – a helicopter, a bus and a tree cutter thing). But the most hilarious part of that entire sequence is the Vanisher –  we never see who he is (apart from parachute gear when they’re on the plane) until he dies by flying into live cables and who is he played by? None other than the wonderful Brad Pitt, which was totally unexpected.

The fact that this film also dealt with a theme like the first one did (the first one was Love, this time it was Family) makes me hope that any future films will continue with a theme.

The post-end credits were great as well – it showed Wade going back in time to save Vanessa (with a cheese spreader); killing the blasphemous Deadpool from X-Men Origins: Wolverine and killing Ryan Reynolds when he receives the script for Green Lantern. For some reason, Ryan Reynolds himself didn’t like those scenes apparently, which I find hard to believe.

Speaking of Ryan Reynolds, he also had a big part in writing the movie, which you can tell and I’m glad for. He is basically Deadpool, so for Deadpool to write an another film about Deadpool fits in nicely.

Naturally to have our first showing of a superhero LGBTQ couple is a step in the right direction (despite taking so long) and Yukio is a great addition to the cast, along with Domino.

Lastly, there is a small reference to the X-Force comics towards the end of the movie where Deadpool’s suit gets covered in ash, making it look similar to his grey suit from the comics. Nice touch.


What I Didn’t Like About the Film

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Let’s jump straight to it – I hate the fact that Vanessa was killed off within the first 20 minutes of the film. She is one of the few Marvel women I really like and she and Wade are one of my favourite couples. It felt wrong, especially after the first movie was mainly focussed on saving her from Francis AKA Ajax. Then again, with the post-credits scene of him going back in time, maybe he’s reversed it so Vanessa is alive and well. Let’s hope so for Deadpool 3 (not yet confirmed).

Sadly, there was no Stan Lee appearance this time – and yes, I understand Stan Lee didn’t have much to do with Deadpool and it’s associated with Fox so it makes sense, but still. Would have been nice to see him again.

This is a problem I had with the first film and it’s that a lot of the side characters don’t get a lot of screen time – granted, this time there were a lot more characters beside of X-Force and the fact that it’s a sequel, but I would have liked to have seen more Yukio so she wouldn’t feel like a character just created to show off the first lesbian superhero relationship. That and Dopinder (Karan Soni) is my favourite side character and he was in less scenes, which made me a little sad.


Conclusion

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Overall, this is a great film and certainly lives up to expectations, which is both a good and a bad thing. If there is going to be a Deadpool 3 (fingers crossed), it will have large shoes to follow in. I was worried at first but honestly, I had no reason to be. I can say, hand on heart, that Deadpool 2 is better than the first one. And I say it very rarely that sequels are better than prequels (unless you count video games) because honestly, it doesn’t happen. But this time, it did, and I’m glad it did for Deadpool 2.

This film is must-see and I have no doubt will be talked about for a really long time. Let’s hope that Ryan Reynolds and his team can keep it up.

10/10 stars


My Top 5 Tips when Playing Brigitte in Overwatch

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Brigitte is the 27th Hero of Overwatch but the first ‘hybrid’ character. She is also the youngest daughter of Torbjorn Lindholm, engineer and squire to Wilhelm Reinhardt. Despite Torbjorn’s skills in creating weapons, Brigitte preferred armor and defense systems. 

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Many suspected for Brigitte to continue in her father’s footsteps, however because of her godfather Reinhardt’s tales of his adventures in Overwatch. Despite Overwatch’s fall, Reinhardt refused to go into retirement and continued his quests of justice, Brigitte offered to become his squire. Reinhardt gladly accepted.

During their journeys, Brigitte repaired Reinhardt’s Crusader armor, but soon released that serving as a mechanic was not enough, and so trained to fight and created herself a set of armor. She fought at Reinhardt’s side to protect him, and others.

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Brigitte is a Support hero with a 1 star difficulty.

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 Tip #1 – Not a Rocket Flail

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Brigitte’s main weapon is her Rocket Flail – a melee weapon that can deal up to 35 damage at a 6 m range (and has 2 swings per second, meaning she can deal 70 damage per second). With high damage and long range, it is good to attack a clamp of enemies in one fell swoop. With each hit she deals, she also heals up any allies within in a 20 m radius with Inspire.

Equally, Brigitte is good for 1-vs-1 battles should an enemy stray or solo a point. However, she is susceptible to Turrets, Snipers (due to her larger hit-box because of her Support/Tank hybrid status) and Tanks.


Tip #2 – I will be Your Shield

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Another one of Brigitte’s abilities is her shield – it is smaller than Reinhardt’s (it only really protects her and has 600 HP, compared to Reinhardt’s 2000 HP Barrier Field) but can still block some Ultimates. She is good at protecting single teammates, especially Mercy when she is Resurrecting a fallen teammate. It saves teammates who have been hooked, flashbanged and/or frozen.

When equipping Barrier Shield, she is also able to use a Shield Bash as a ability. This deals 50 damage and stuns enemies at a 6 m range. It can stun enemies using a Ult and be combined with her Rocket Flail and Whip Shot to deal a large amount of damage (approximately 180 damage if timed right and successful). It can also be used to knock enemies off a point and even off cliffs.


Tip #3 – Whip Shot it

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As previously mentioned, another one of her abilities is the Whip Shot – she throws her Rocket Flail a long distance (up to 20 m) and knocks an enemy away from her. Like the Shield Bash, it can knock enemies off points and cliffs. It can also finish off low-health enemies.

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However, Whip Shot does take a few seconds to retract after using it, leaving Brigitte vulnerable, especially against Snipers. A combo to use is: Rocket Flail (2 swings) -> Shield Bash -> Rocket Flail (2 swings) -> Whip Shot (this is especially great to eliminate Tracer).


Tip #4 – Hope you Feel Better Soon!

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Another one of Brigitte’s abilities (she actually has 6 – the most of any Hero) is her Repair Pack. This is used to heal up a teammate (150 health) at a 30 m range, but also give them armor should the ally’s maximum health is filled back up (up to 75 HP armor). However, it only lasts for 5 seconds unless it is destroyed.

Unlike her fellow Support teammates, Brigitte is not to be paired with other Supports, especially Lucio. She is a great substitute for Zenyatta and good for keeping other Healers alive if they are being flanked.


Tip #5 – Rally to Me!

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Brigitte’s Ultimate ability is Rally – it allows her to move faster and provide all teammates within a 8 m radius with armor (up to 150). This, paired with Inspire, creates the ultimate healing/support push a team may need to get to the point or defend it. 

During her Ult, she can still use her Repair Pack, which could buff a Tank to push a point or a Defense Hero defending the point. She can use her other abilities too, making her a great way to push on the point or defend it herself.


  • You can see Brigitte in Reinhardt’s animated short Honor and Glory here.
  • You can watch her Introduction video here.
  • You can watch Brigitte’s origin story here.

Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed. Until next week, take care!

Everything Wrong with Avengers: Infinity War

First of all – sorry for my absence! I have no excuse apart from I just didn’t have the energy to write for a while.

Secondly – sorry that is another Marvel movie review! However, it is slightly different as I’ll be talking about everything I didn’t like about the movie.

Anyways, let’s actually get into it…

[WARNING OF SPOILERS AHEAD. PLEASE DO NOT READ IF YOU ARE PLANNING ON WATCHING THE FILM. OTHERWISE, ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK. THANK YOU]


This is not a negative review – I really enjoyed Infinity War, although it did not live up to my expectations. It is a solid film with action, fantasy and comedy – everything a Marvel move should be and is. And there are so many reviews for this film now, I’ve decided to do something different. Yes, I acknowledge it is one of the highest-grossing films of all time and one of the most ambitious crossovers ever, but this doesn’t mean it did everything right. Here’s what I felt was wrong with the film.

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Ant-Man and Hawkeye did not Appear

Despite the expectation of both of these characters appearing in such an important movie and even having both of them appear in posters, neither of them physically appear in the movie – not even in the post-credits scene. They’re mentioned very briefly and it’s implied they’re on holiday or something. What was the point? Ant-Man would have been great to foil Thanos’ plan.


Stan Lee’s Cameo wasn’t the Best

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For such an important and hyped movie, I really expected Stan Lee’s cameo to be better than a school bus driver for Peter Parker – I think I still argue that Stan’s cameo in Deadpool as a DJ in a stripper club was his best. Still, it’s kinda understandable as, sadly, Stan isn’t getting any younger and the Marvel Studio has reportedly filmed a few Stan Lee cameos for the future.


Star-Lord is a Hot Head

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OK, so fair enough – he might meant to be a hot-headed character regardless and in this particular scene, he did lose the love of his life, but Pete made a really bad move. When they finally have Thanos in their grasp and able to remove the Infinity Gauntlet, Pete ruins it by acting first instead of thinking.


Dr Strange is Stupid

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Going on a tangent about characters acting a bit OCC, this is another scene that disappointed me. So Dr Strange made himself in charge of the Time Stone, so he and Iron Man guard it. But as soon as Tony gets stabbed and potentially dies, Stephen hands it over. Just for one life. Against half of the universe. What? Why? Just why?


A Lot of People Died, but it’ll be Reversed in Part 2

OK, let me get this straight – yes, a lot of characters die, but in different ways. Loki, Heimdall, Gamora and Vision’s deaths were ‘natural’ to a certain extent. Then Thanos builds the complete Infinity Gauntlet so he can destroy half the universe. So who disintegrates? All of those who helped The Avengers who aren’t the original Avengers. Despite this (and making Spider-Man’s ‘death’ a very tearful moment for me), I know it’ll be reversed for Part 2. Otherwise, how will it end? I like that Infinity War gave a bit of a twist by making Thanos the ‘good guy’ because he completed his objective, but there’s no way that half of The Avengers are dead. Spider-Man has a sequel in the works.

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However, I‘d kinda like to think that Loki, Heimdall, Gamora and Vision’s deaths will stay, although I will be mega sad if Gamora doesn’t return. And Vision still has to get the Scarlet Witch ‘magically pregnant’ (seriously, that happens in the comics). And I’d sad not to see Heimdall anymore, but that’s purely for Idris Elba and no other reason.


No Captain America and Iron Man Reunion

So, this film is set straight after Thor: Ragnarok‘s post credit scene (so it’s a must-watch before you see this one, FYI), so while everything was going on with Thor and The Hulk, down in Earth-land, Civil War was happening. So Tony and Steve haven’t seen eachother for years. It would have been nice to see them briefly reunite to save the world, then talk it out afterwards, but sadly they were in different places at different times. And Bruce was the one to contact Steve, despite Tony having the phone.


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I have some other gripes, but they’re only minor (like Thor getting his eye back and Black Widow’s hair). Avengers: Infinity War is a great movie – one that I highly recommend to anyone, but especially if you’re a Marvel fan – and for once, didn’t have me worried about the comedy aspect of it. As I said, it’s a solid movie and I’m glad I saw it but it just bugs me a little. OK, a lot. I’ll be honest, I’m more hyped for Deadpool 2. Then again, I am biased as I would take Deadpool over Steve Rodgers any day.


Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed. I’m hoping now that I’ll be able to get back on track and start writing articles once a week again. So hopefully I’ll see you next week, with a Overwatch Bridigette Character Guide. Until then, take care!

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Black Panther Review

[WARNING OF SPOILERS AHEAD. PLEASE DO NOT READ IF YOU ARE PLANNING ON WATCHING THE FILM. OTHERWISE, ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK. THANK YOU]

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If you follow me on any social media, you’ll know I am a huge fan of Marvel (comic books first, obviously, then the films). And with the anticipated Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 coming out next month (instead of May), there was no second thoughts about seeing this movie – unless you count the time I was planning to see it 2 weeks ago with my boyfriend but couldn’t get a train.

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Was the wait worth it? Absolutely. This is a must-see for any Marvel fan, especially those who watched Civil War and had a very brief glimpse at Black Panther then.

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In this review, I’ll give a Synopsis of the film; What I Did Like About the Film; What I Didn’t Like About the Film and then a Conclusion.

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Synopsis

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Black Panther follows pretty much were T’Challa‘s (Chadwick Boseman) presence in Captain America: Civil War left off. We discover how the power of the Black Panther began (5 centuries ago, a meteorite containing vibranium fell into the nation of Wakanda, giving plants containing ‘heart-shaped orbs’, granting the powers of the Black Panther and reuniting the Jabari tribe) and get a brief flashback of 1992 when T’Challa’s father T’Chaka (John Kani) found out that his own brother N’Jobu (Sterling K. Brown) had been stealing vibranium behind the country’s back and stealing it to black-market arms dealer Ulysses Klaue (Andy Serkis). We’re shifted back to present day, where T’Challa returns home to Wakanda after finding T’Challa’s ex-girlfriend Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) so she can attend the ceremony with his mother Ramonda (Angela Bassett) and younger sister Shuri (Letitia Wright).

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After being crowned the King (despite being challenged by Jabari’s Tribe leader M’Baku (Winston Duke)), Klaue and Erik Stevens (AKA Killmonger, played by Michael B. Jordan) steal a Wakandan artifact, resulting in T’Challa’s friend W’Kabi (Daniel Kaluuya) to plead for him to bring back, dead or alive. The head of Dora Milaje (Wakanda’s special squad made up of women warriors) Okoye (Danai Gurira) discovers that Klaue plans on selling vibranium to an old friend, Everett K. Ross (Martin Freeman) in Busan, South Korea. T’Challa, Okoye and Nakia travel to Busan but walk away empty-handed and with an injured Ross.

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As Ross is healed by Shuri, T’Challa discovers that Erik Stevens is actually his cousin (N’Jobu’s son) from his father’s friend Zuri (Forest Whitaker), despite his own father knowing of his existence. Erik comes to Wakanda with Klaue’s body (after killing him himself) to the Elders, reveals his identity and challenges T’Challa for the throne. Unfortunately, Erik wins the battle and throws T’Challa’s unconscious body off a waterfall. Erik becomes the new king, and plans on sharing Wakanda’s technology (despite being displaced as a Third World Country) with the rest of the world.

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Nakia, Ramonda, Shuri and Ross flee the kingdom and seek help from M’Baku, where they find an unconscious T’Challa. While Erik gained the power of the Black Panther and destroyed the rest of the flowers that grant the powers, Nakia was able to save one and gives it to T’Challa. It saves his life and with the Jabari Army, they attack Erik’s new Wakanda. The two engage in a fight, along with Nakia and Shuri and Ross in a jet (the vehicles in this film are awesome) but despite Erik’s Black Panther skills, T’Challa disables his suit and kills him, once again becoming the rightful heir of Wakanda.


What Did I Like About the Film

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Naturally with any Marvel movie, the action scenes, fighting scenes and humour, are great and reach expectations. The humour had me a little worried about how repetitive and/or predictable it can be, but not as much a Thor: Ragnarok.

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As I briefly touched upon, the vehicles in this film are fricking cool, along with all the other technology of Wakanda. Shuri is a great inventor!

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While this film does celebrate black culture, I feel it also celebrates strong women. Granted, Shuri isn’t much of a fighter but she is a great aid to her people and Okoya is badass. I think I didn’t get annoyed by any female characters (for a change).

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Also, I think Michael B. Jordan can be forgiven with Killmonger for his involvement in Fantastic Four.


What Didn’t I Like About the Film

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Andy Serkis is one of my favourite actors, so naturally I was really happy to see him as a crazy bad guy, but sadly he wasn’t in the film for very long. He would have made a great Marvel villain if he was still alive. And not killed by Killmonger.

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The final battle between T’Challa and Erik stretched out a fair bit and anticlimactic, however the scene before Erik’s death is what really messed with me. After T’Challa stabs Erik in the chest with a spear, Erik tells T’Challa that his father always told him that Wakanda’s sunsets were one of the most beautiful things in the world. So, T’Challa aids Erik out of the tunnel to see the sunset. After seeing it, Erik pulls the spear out of him and immediately dies. Granted, Marvel is not best known for it’s realistic pretenses but I felt it was…unrealistic.


Conclusion

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Black Panther does play into the hype that surrounds it, including being the Biggest Debut from a African-American Director and being the 9th Highest Grossing Film Ever in the US. It’s punchy, action-packed and highly animated. Black Panther is not to be missed, and I’m looking forward to seeing him (and some others) in Infinity War soon.

Rating: 8/10 


Thank you for reading, hope you enjoyed! Until next week, take care!

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Shape of Water Review

[WARNING OF SPOILERS AHEAD. PLEASE DO NOT READ IF YOU ARE PLANNING ON WATCHING THE FILM. OTHERWISE, ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK. THANK YOU]

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Now, as I’m sure you’re aware, last week was Valentine’s Week, so as a natural romance-obsessed geek in a relationship, my boyfriend and I went to see The Shape of Water last weekend. Now, there is something I must reveal – I have never watched Guillermo del Toro film, and I am sorry. I did study him a little at University and know he has a long list in filmography, including the Hell Boy series and the amazing film Pan’s Labyrinth. As a video game nerd, I know he enjoys them and is currently working with the legendary Hideo Kojima on his latest project, Death Stranding. So I went in completely blind and not really knowing much about the film apart from it involving a mute woman who uses sign language and develops a strange bond with a creature resembling something from the Blue Lagoon.

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Despite going in completely blind, I think it helped somewhat. The film is a mixture of darkness, fantasy, slice of life and romance. And that ending – man, I did not see it coming.

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In this review, I’ll give a Synopsis of the film; What I Did Like About the Film; What I Didn’t Like About the Film and then a Conclusion.


Synopsis 

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This tale begins in 1960s Baltimore, USA (more specifically during the Cold War in 1962) with Elisa Esposito (Sally Hawkins), a girl who was orphaned at a young age and mute (you can tell by the scratches on her neck). She works as a janitor at secret government facility (named Occam Aerospace Research) and leads a routine life of living above a old-school theater; looking after her neighbour Giles (Richard Jenkins) who is a closeted and washed-up artist and being consistently yelled at my her co-worked and best friend Zelda (Octavia Spencer). One day, a specimen named The Asset (Doug Jones, also credited as Amphibian Man) is bought in, captured in South America by Colonel Richard Strickland (Michael Shannon). Elisa is utterly fascinated by it, and through her own desire begins to develop of bond of teaching The Asset sign language; dancing, music and boiled eggs. Little does Elisa know that the scientist in charge of The Assest’s care, Dr. Robert Hoffstetler (Michael Stuhlbarg) is a Soviet spy called Dmitri, hoping to smuggle the creature back to his homeland. After witnessing The Asset being tortured and a meeting with the higher-ups, it is decided that the creature should be dissected and studied – as well as euthanized by the Soviets – rather than sent into space. Upon discovering this, Elisa – with the help of Giles, Zelda and Dr. Hoffstetler – plans to set The Asset free.

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Initially upon finding out the film would be 2 hours long, I did not know how the story would fill the time gap while still being interesting, but it manages it. Along with the aspects of Elisa and The Asset creating a relationship between them. 


What I Liked About the Film 

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I’m used to films that are bright and colourful (I’m not the biggest fan of horror films, that’s why I steered clear of Del Toro until now as I thought he was a pure horror director), but this film had very dark lighting (with an exception of a few scenes) and brooding, up it fit the film perfectly. And when there were splashes of colour, it still kept that old but sinister feeling throughout the entire movie.

Sally Hawkins is someone I’d never heard or seen of before Shape of Water, but she played Elisa so brilliantly, and even without speaking a word. She made her a thrill to watch and a character I could somewhat relate to – even though she is happy in her ‘mundane’ life, she still wishes for more and never complains about life throws at her. She brings a cheeky side to such a diverse character, that had me (and the rest of the cinema) laughing. Michael Shannon plays a brilliant bad guy (yet again) and Octavia Spencer brings her strong willed and strong sense of humour out into her character.

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The special effects were brilliant (I especially love the scene where Elisa is on the bus and tracing the rain drops on the window) and the cinematography is true high standard, which is what you expect from a Del Toro film (even someone for me who has never watched his films before). Del Toro’s touch is seen in every scene, particularly the scenes that made me go, “Why is that there? Who is that person?”.

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The music is weirdly wonderful, giving me a bit of French orchestra style and a touch of strange wonder (like the first time I watched The Nightmare Before Christmas). It’s memorable (so much so I’m listening to it as I’m writing this review).


What I Didn’t Like About the Film

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Despite my mistake of thinking Del Toro as a pure horror director, there were still some scenes that were too gory (I actually had to cover my eyes a few times). I want to also point out that this is a 15 rated movie here in the UK, which I do not agree with – along with the gore, there are some ‘sexy’ scenes that even if a child under the age of 15 is present with a parent or guardian, I still wouldn’t want them to watch it.

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I really did enjoy this movie and there was only one scene that I really didn’t like, mainly because it took me out of the movie a little bit. Throughout the movie, it is seen that Elisa and Giles are huge fans of old Hollywood and musical numbers, so such so that they are able to perform dances without standing up. I’m not the biggest fan of musicals, but I do enjoy the odd dancing number every now and then. And The Shape of Water actually had a music/dancing scene – after Elisa rescues The Asset and brings him back to her apartment, there is a scene were they’re eating boiled eggs at the table and Elisa becomes sad because she realizes she will have to let him go, suddenly You’ll Never Know by Renee Fleming begins to play and Elisa starts singing under a spotlight. The scene shifts from the kitchen to a studio used for an old school music video  and now Elisa is dressed amazingly…next to an extra who belongs in Blue Lagoon. I understand that this scene was expressing how Elisa felt, but it felt too out of place for me and took me out of the moment.


Conclusion

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Overall, The Shape of Water is a weird yet wonderful fairytale hybrid of beauty, darkness and untypical circumstances that somehow makes sense and leaves a profound mark on your heart. Or for me at least. It was all I expected from a Del Toro, and more. And it fully deserves all 13 Oscar nominations. 

9/10 stars


  • You can watch a trailer for the film here.
  • You can listen to the OST here as well.

Thank you for reading, hope you enjoyed! There will another review next week, but will it be? Until then, take care!

My Top Tips when Playing Mercy (2.0) in Overwatch

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Mercy AKA Dr. Angela Ziegler, is my main character to play and is equally one of the most played, but also the most nerfed (hence the rewrite of this guide).

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Dr. Ziegler is a well know healer who became the Head of Surgery in her homeland of Switzerland who had a huge break through in regards to nanobiology that improved human health immensely. The break through caught the eye of Overwatch, who offered her a position within their organization. At first, she was opposed to the idea due to her parents having died in war but also knew she could help others on a much larger scale.

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Dr. Ziegler became the Head of Medical Research, in which she developed the Valkyrie Suit – by giving her the appearance of an angel, she is able to increase her speed and even fly. She stuck with Overwatch – despite her being at odds with her superiors often – until it disbanded. Despite the death of the organization, she continued her work helping those affected by war across the world.

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Mercy is a 1 star Support Hero.

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Tip #1 – Only Use the Pistol When You Need to

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Mercy has 2 weapons – her Caduceus Staff and her Caduceus Blaster. You’ll be using the Staff mostly but the Blaster is handy in 1 vs 1 situations. Granted, it has only 20 rounds and only does 20 damage per projectile but it can headshot and also pick off unaware enemies, such as a sniping Widowmaker or a sneaky Sombra.

Mercy is not known for her high attack plays, so don’t go charging in with the Blaster – you will die quickly once the enemy knows your position (which the Blaster doesn’t necessarily give away). It’s also good at destroying the small stuff, such as Widowmaker’s Venom Mine or Symmetra’s Turrets.


Tip #2 – Healing is Good, but so is Boosting

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Mercy’s Caduceus Staff has 2 abilities – the ability to heal and the ability to boost. Granted, this can only be used only  on one person at one  time and you’ll mainly be healing everyone, but don’t forget about boosting. It boosts your teammates’ primary attack, but can be used on Ults (apart from Junkrat’s RIP-Tire, Torbjorn’s Turrent or Symmetra’s Shield Generator or Teleporter). Plan it right, and you could get a long assist kill list!

If I choose Mercy at the beginning of a match, I tend to pick one character to boost at the beginning to get those few first kills before my teammates begin to die. I often choose a Sniper or a Tank. Mercy’s boosting powers are also good when you have a shield and snipe combination – such as Bastion and Reinhardt or Orisa and Widowmaker.

It’s also worth noting that he beam emitting from Mercy’s Caduceus Staff will stay connected, even if you can’t see your teammate. This is good for hiding around corners while healing or boosting and staying out of sight of enemies as Mercy is easily picked off by snipers. This is also good with the shield-and-snipe-combination that I mentioned before.


Tip #3 – Guardian Angel isn’t Just a Title

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One of Mercy’s other abilities is the Guardian Angel which allows her to quickly travel with a low cooldown rate.  You can only really use it when your teammates are in Mercy’s sights but it is also useful when Mercy is falling off a map or enters an area where most or all enemy players are. Much like me spamming spacebar when playing Symmetra and attacking another player, I will often spam the Guardian Angel when I’m in a tight spot.

You can still use the Guardian Angel when using the Caduceus Staff and healing/boosting a teammate – even if you hit a physical obstacle or your teammate is out of sight.


Tip #4 – This is Not your Time

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Mercy 0.1’s Ult was her Resurrect ability – the ability to bring 1 or more allies back to life. Naturally, this was good to use when a large amount of teammates had been wiped out (like with a Ult). However, this had now been changed to a normal ability.

Despite this, it still isn’t quite the same – it has now been changed to a single person resurrection (it used to be 2, but it changed…again) with a cool down of 30 seconds. It isn’t instant either – it takes about 2.25 seconds to cast, meaning Mercy can be an easy target when doing so. The amount of times I’ve been sniped when trying to resurrect a teammate who’s just died – and even if you don’t use it, the cool down still happens! Just think carefully when using it.


Tip #5 – I Will Watch Over You!

On September 19th last year, Mercy’s Ultimate ability was changed – no longer could she resurrect multiple dead allies – now her Ult is Valkyrie. Along with a changed icon, it is a self-buff ability that allows Mercy to fly (not like Pharah – she actually stays in the air for the full 15 seconds); have a faster movement speed; regenerate health (which will be uninterrupted, even when she takes damage); allows her Caduceus Staff longer range (i.e. if she heals or boosts, she can heal multiple targets at one time) and her Caduceus Blaster is given infinite ammo and higher damage, turning her into ‘Battle Mercy’.

Personally, I’m more of a Healing Mercy so I often use Valkyrie in tight spots – when more than one of my allies is low on health. Again – like Resurrect – it’s about timing, rather than just pulling off an Ult for the sake of it (trust me, there have been times when I haven’t used the Ult simply because I didn’t want to waste it at the wrong time).


  • You can watch previews some of Mercy’s abilities, such as Guardian Angel, Caduceus Staff and Angelic Descent in different videos from the links provided.
  • You can read the comic Uprising here, that gives a bit more background to Mercy (and ties in with the event) here.

Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed! I’VE FINALLY FINISHED MY OVERWATCH CHARACTER GUIDES – HOORAY! Back to usual content. Stay tuned for next week!

All my skins for Mercy

My Top 5 Tips when Playing Moira in Overwatch

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Moira O’Deorain is the latest Hero to join Overwatch. Before the Omnic Crisis she published a paper in regards to altering DNA on a cellular level. While it could have been a scientific breakthrough, it was feared for its controversy and actually damaged her reputation. It did not help that other scientists could not produce similar results as she did in regards to experiments – it was even rumoured that Talon was the one helping her behind the scenes.

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She received a lifetime opportunity to join Blackwatch, however her employment was kept a secret. She developed new technologies and weapons for them throughout the years until Overwatch disbanded. She then joined a scientific collective in Oasis and even became a minister. Now, she develops things for herself, hoping to find the secret in rewriting the fundamental  building blocks of life, with Talon by her side.

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Moira is a Support Hero with a 2 star difficulty rating.

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Tip #1 – Bounce

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One of Moira’s abilities is her Biotic Orb in which she can choose to heal allies or deal damage to enemies through an orb of energy that can travel long distances (around 30 m) and even pass through some objects. It can heal 75 HP per second (maximum of 300) or deal 50 damage per second (maximum of 200). Naturally, these can be used to heal allies at long distances or damage far away enemies. This is important to remember as it can help with 1v1 fights, e.g. use a Healing Orb while fighting a Tank 1 on 1, otherwise Moira will not survive (she only has 200 HP).

Whether a player chooses to heal or debuff, it is important to remember that Moira’s Orbs do bounce, so throwing them in enclosed spaces can be beneficial. If using the Damage Orb, it will be hard to dodge/avoid them but if using a Healing orb, it will maximise AOE. In either case, it can effect multiple targets at one time, so it depends on the situation.


Tip #2 – One Hand Gives…

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Moira’s primary weapon is her Biotic Grasp and – once again – like other Heroes, it has 2 different firing modes. Her first one is Regeneration – using her left hand, she can release healing energy at a short distance (up to 15 m). It can heal up to 80 HP per second, however due to the tanks of energy Moira carries on her back, it has a limited supply unless it is left to recharge (which can take up to 45 seconds) or you use Decay (we’ll talk about that in a minute).

However, her healing does not stop when it hits an ally, meaning you can heal multiple targets in tight places. Using a Healing Orb can maximise healing to Moira’s fullest potential.


Tip #3 – …and the Other takes Away

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Moira’s secondary mode is Decay –  this is a beam that latches onto an enemy and drains their life, while healing Moira and replenishing her biotic energy (this recharges Moira’s Regeneration ability). This is a long range attack (it can reach an enemy up to 20 m) and deal 50 damage per second (and heal Moira for 33 per second).

Decay has the same reach of Chain Hook, meaning it can reach enemies from far away. However, if an enemy has a ability to disappear or block, such as Blink or Barrier Shield, it will stop sapping from an enemy.


Tip #4 – Fade Away

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Moira’s last ability is Fade – similar to Wraith Form – it allows Moira to disappear and move away while being invulnerable, however she cannot use any of her other abilities while doing so. It lasts less than 1 second and has a movement speed of 18.75 m/s.

However, with Fade, enemies cannot see a trail to where Moira is moving to, meaning it is best to use when escaping a 1-on-1 battle when she is low on health. She also cannot be harmed during Fade, so it can used to avoid Ults such as RIP-Tire, Self-Destruct, Death Blossom and more. Due to a bug, she can also fade through enemies (and shields).


Tip #5 – Surrender to my Will!

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Moira’s Ultimate ability is Coalscence – a large energy beam that heals allies and drains the health of enemies if they pass through it. The beam is able to pass through barriers and allows Moira to move quickly (9 m/s movement speed). It can heal 140 HP per second and damage enemies for 70 HP per second at a 30 m range, but only lasts 8 seconds.

Her Ultimate is best used as team support (like most Support Hero Ults), so it best used when mass healing is needed rather than dealing a large amount of damage (but it does help). Before casting Coalscence, throw out Heal Orbs to sustain the duration of the Ult as well as targeting as many teammates/enemies as possible, e.g. if you are escorting the payload, it is best to move side to side to heal teammates as well as damage enemies.


  • You can watch Moira’s Introduction video here.
  • You can watch Moira’s Origin video here.

Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed! Next week will be the LAST Overwatch Character Guide (a re-work of Mercy), so until then, take care!

 

My Top 5 Tips when Playing Zenyatta in Overwatch

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Tekhartha Zenyatta joined a group of outcast of omnics many years after the Omnic Crisis and establish a monastery in the Himalayas, where the group lived in peace and spiritual teachings.

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Tekhartha Mondatta, who was assassinated by Widowmaker

After years of meditation, one of the omnics Tekhartha Mondatta, decided that the wounds the Omnic Crisis planted on the world needed to be healed, hoping to bring humans and robots together once more. They sent their message across the world, where it was accepted by millions.

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However, one the monks – Zenyatta – felt that the wounds were too deep to repair and instead left the monastery and travelled the globe. It is said that those who cross his path are never the same again.

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Zenyatta is a Support Hero with a 3 star rating.


Tip #1 – A Chance to Focus, but not too Much

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Zenyatta’s primary weapon is his orbs that are able to switch to either help a ally (healing) or amplify an enemy’s damage take (debuff). Understandably, this is good to help those in need and aid those in defeating the enemy; unfortunately, Zenyatta can only has one target at a time, e.g. he can only heal one ally at one time (until the orb is returned or the target is changed) as well as target one enemy at one time. Therefore in terms of healing, it is good not to focus on just one player (even though it is very tempting with a Tank).

With both the Harmony and Discord orbs, Zenyatta must have a line of sight for his targets, meaning they can be blocked by walls or shields.


Tip #2 – Don’t Underestimate Support

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As Zenyatta is a Support hero, he is often underestimated, when in actual fact he is a deadly threat. Zenyatta has a total of 20 orbs that he can use before reloading, but even then it only takes 2 seconds. Each orb can cause up to 46 damage, in which he can fire 2.5 orbs per second – meaning he can deal around 115 damage per second. And let’s not forget that the orbs can headshot and travel 60 meters in 1 second.


Tip #3 – It’s all about Numbers

As mentioned, it is good for a Zenyatta player not to focus on just one Hero as he has no real ability of healing as a mass group (apart from his Ultimate, but we’ll get onto that later). This means Zenyatta is also good to back up other Supports. It rapidly heals (30 HP per second) and because Zenyatta does not need to be accurate with his shots (due to his line of sight abilities), he can also aid Supports who are far away and focusing on just one teammate. This works best for Mercy as she too can only heal/damage buff one player at a time (unless she uses her Ultimate as well).


Tip #4 – No Spread Please

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As with most Overwatch Heroes, Zenyatta has 2 different firing types of his primary weapon: Singular Orb and Orb Volley. Orb Volley allows Zenyatta to charge his orbs around him (up to 5 for the maximum shot) and fire them all at one time. Again, this can make Zenyatta quite deadly – he can charge 5 orbs within 3 seconds and they can do a maximum of 230 HP (bodyshot). Oh, they can also headshot.

It is advised that single shots of orbs being spammed is better than taking time to charge up multiple shots, however Orb Volley can catch enemies by surprise if charged while going around a corner. Just simply charge them and slowly move around a corner, hoping catching an enemy off guard. Zenyatta has no footsteps either, which will work to your advantage.


Tip #5 – Tranquility Embraces You

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Zenyatta’s Ultimate ability is Transcendence – this allows Zenyatta to enter a high existence and despite not being able to use any of his abilities, he can move faster, becomes immune to damage and heal teammates within a 10 m radius (300 healing per second).

It is advised that players should not use Transcendence when cornered, granted it can help with escaping. It is good to use if players are caught in a enemy’s Ultimate (such as Gravity Surge) or fighting on a choke point, such as capturing points or pushing the payload those last few meters.


  • You can watch an overview of Zenyatta’s abilities here.
  • You can watch some gameplay of Zenyatta here.

Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed! Let me know if I missed anything. We’re finally at the end (although I may rewrite Mercy’s Character Guide as she has been changed so much) as we only have one left – the lastest Hero, Moira. Until then, take care!

My set up for Zenyatta

My Top 5 Tips when Playing Zarya in Overwatch

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Zarya – real name Aleksandra Zaryanova – is known one of the world’s strongest women (she once managed to left 512 kg). She grew up in a small Russian village but was surrounded by the post Ominc war where much of the Russian forces had fought the robots. As Zarya grew up, she focused on weightlifting and bodybuilding, slowly becoming a sports star, eventually entering in championships across the globe. Sadly, on the eve of an important tournament, a another attack commenced in Russia. She dropped out and threw herself onto the front lines to protect those she loves.

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Zarya is a Tank Hero with a 3 star difficulty rating.

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Tip #1 – Zarya Used Energy Beam

Zarya’s weapon is her Particle Cannon –  a huge cannon that, like most other weapons in Overwatch, has 2 different types of fire power. Her primary one is the Energy Beam – a linear beam that can deal up to 190 damage per second with a 15 m range. Her secondary fire is the Explosive Charge – an arching splash projectile of energy that can deal up to 92 damage per shot with a 3 m splash radius (meaning it can self-harm).

Understandably, Energy Beam is best used on enemies at short distance but also for a 1-on-1 battles as it can only focuses on 1 enemy at one time, while the Explosive Charge is  better at long distance to deal more damage on multiple targets. Players can maximize her DPS by using an Explosive Charge then using melee after getting closer to the enemy.


Tip #2 – I Will Shield Me

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One of Zarya’s abilities is the Particle Barrier – a self-emitted barrier that only lasts 2 seconds or until it is destroyed (it has 200 HP) and as you can imagine, it shields Zarya from any oncoming damage. This is extremely useful against turrets as they do not stop shooting her when the shield is activated, meaning she can ‘pop’ back and forth behind a wall or another hiding spot to slowly but surely destroy a turret.


Tip #3 – I Will Shield You

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Another one of Zarya’s abilities is her Projected Barrier – it is the same as her Particle Barrier, only she can shield one of her teammates from a 30 m range. It is worth noting – along with the Particle Barrier – that deploying the shield is all about timing. The shield is good against Ultimates such as Self-Destruct; Pulse Bomb and RIP-Tire and even Deadeye. It can be used to save a teammate in a close combat fight and lower health teammates, such as Mercy in tricky situations.


Tip #4 – Energy is the Key to Victory

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Zarya has a passive ability (i.e. a ability that the player does not need to press a button for as it happens automatically) simply called Energy. It allows Zarya to increase her Particle Cannon by blocking damage. This is particular useful as half of Zarya’s total health (400 HP) is made up by her personal shield – once it is gone, it is very easy to take her out. This makes her very durable as very 3 seconds she does not take damage, she regains her shield, which will regenerate to its maximum. It also means she can physically block teammates if need be.


Tip #5 – Feel the Power of Attraction

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Zarya’s Ultimate ability is Gravational Surge – a gravity bomb that attracts all enemies within a 8 m radius to a particular point while dealing 22 damage. As well as grouping this Ult with others, it is also a good idea for the Zarya player to spam Explosive Charges to deal extra damage, however it only lasts for 4 seconds, so time is of the essence. It is also worth noting that if a enemy character is within radius, they can be trapped from the other side of walls.


  • You can watch a ability overview video here.
  • You can around 10 minutes of Zarya gameplay here.

That’s it for this week, hope you enjoyed. As always, let me know if I missed out any good tips and until next time, take care.

My set up for Zarya