Science-Fiction Weekly – Dimension 404, Guardians Of The Galaxy, Ghost In The Shell, Alien
Ghost in the Shell is in theaters, and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hit Blu-Ray and DVD today, but to experience the most intriguing new development in science fiction all you have to do is boot up Hulu right now. Dimension 404 is a new six-episode anthology show that combines the camp of Doctor Who with the intrigue of Twilight Zone. When mankind uncovers another dimension hidden within cyberspace, all hell breaks loose. Our digital exploits are the fuel for each episode. The show features narration from Mark Hamill, and stars Lea Michele, Patton Oswalt, Sarah Hyland, and Joel McHale. The first episode “Matchmaker” is wonderfully odd, and well worth a view.
Now, I’m not saying you shouldn’t purchase Rogue One or go see Ghost in the Shell. You should do both of these things at your earliest convenience, but Dimension 404 is the only truly “new” piece of science-fiction entertainment available this week. I was one of the few people out there who saw Ghost in the Shell over the weekend, and enjoyed roughly 90 percent of it. I didn’t fully understand what happened in the end (and I think it was designed for the audience to make up their own minds), but I thought the film as a whole is a decent adaptation of the manga and anime series. The Neo Port City’s technology-infused vistas are breathtaking, and the world is fully realized. The visuals alone are worth two hours of your time. The framing of the action sequences is also quite the spectacle. Again, don’t expect fireworks from the narrative, but that wasn’t the strength of the original source material, either.
The next big release is Alien: Covenant on May 19. Three new TV spots, cleverly titled “run,” “hide,” and “pray,” give us a brief look at new footage, including xenomorphs on the hunt in darkened hallways. It always has to be a darkened hallway, doesn’t it? Why can’t it be a sunny meadow, or a well-lit basketball court? It always has to be scary as hell. Whether you enjoyed Prometheus or not (I’m in the “thumbs up” camp), I think we can all agree this is the direction we wanted Ridley Scott to take next – a callback to the original.
What’s next for video games? StarBlood Arena launches on PlayStation VR on April 11. The main thrust of this WhiteMoon Dreams developed title is 4v4 aerial skirmishes. Taking a cue from the recent successes of arena shooters, each pilot approaches combat differently, with unique weapon load outs, vehicle attributes, and general maneuverability. The game also features 2- to 4-player cooperative play, should you just want to team-up with friends.
StarBlood Arena will retail for $39.99. My first impression is a comparison to one of my favorite PC series of all time, Descent. I don't know why aerial shooters won't catch on in this day and age, but I keep saying we need more games like Descent, X-Wing vs. TIE-Fighter, and Colony Wars. If StarBlood can bring back that fun, I'm on board. I'll have a full review for you as soon as the game launches.
Shortly after that is the release of Telltale Games’ Guardians of the Galaxy. The first episode “Tangled up in the Blue” pits Starlord’s unlikely band of heroes against Thanos. We don’t know if Big Blue has the Infinity Gauntlet yet, but he’ll likely be more than enough for them to handle without it. Thanos is an odd choice for the first villain, but it should make for a hell of a ride, and likely dozens of “run away!” quick-time events.
I know Telltale is a bit of a sticking point for some people, but I still enjoy most of the studio's games, and think Guardians of the Galaxy is a great fit for their storytelling style. The first episode hits on April 18.
Lego Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures is coming back for a second season, and yes, you should be watching this show. It isn't adding significant new lore to Star Wars' canon, but it is a fun way to experience Star Wars. Check out the trailer below for a tease of what to expect when the series returns on May 4 on Disney XD.
That's it for this week. Over the next couple of week's the focus will likely be on Star Wars. I'll be attending Star Wars Celebration in Orlando, FL on April 13, and should come back with a bevy of great stuff, including what we believe will be our first look at The Last Jedi.