Category Archives: Blog

Amy Movie Review: Sad glimpse at what could have been

“It’s all so boring without any drugs.” If any film in 2015 manages to come up with any line that’s sadder than that, I’ll be shocked and almost certainly reaching for some bleach to drink. Because hearing a friend describe Amy Winehouse’s reaction to winning a Grammy while struggling with (relative) sobriety is one of many gut-punches that make Amy a compelling documentary on the horror of celebrity.

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Red Hoodwinked: What Rocksteady Can Do To Give Arkham Knight’s DLC Purpose

I’ve got some massive spoilers for Arkham Knight and it’s DLC lined up, so best to avoid all the words underneath if you prefer not to know what goes on in it.

Last week, the latest bits of Batman DLC rolled in the thoroughly underwhelming Under The Red Hood and Harley Quinn level packs. Offered as pre-order incentives to begin with, players who somehow managed to find a copy of the game without these included have the chance to squeeze a bit more out of Arkham Knight by stumping up some cash. Well, a bit more is an exaggeration, as combined they offer 35 minutes worth of gameplay. That’s less than an episode of Gotham or a head-scratching Riddler challenge.

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Pictured: Something better than Under The Red Hood

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Hannibal’s cancelled, but is there hope for another course?

Hannibal’s surprisingly swift cancellation should come as very bad news for TV lovers who prefer it when great shows get to stay on our screens. It’s also sad news for the fannibals of Mads Mikkleson’s perfect cheekbones. However, news of NBC giving up on the relatively cheap-to-produce show could mean Hannibal will become the latest beloved cult entry on the merry-go-wheel of revived TV shows. Here is some – major – speculation of potential saviours for everyone’s favourite questionable chef.

I mean you could cut a man's liver on them cheekbones!

I mean you could cut a man’s liver on them cheekbones!

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Un-Welfare State

Sorry if you came here for the usual drivel about games, today I’m angrily bumbling my way through politics. 

Finally, a junior minister has come up with a new way to make the work-shy sofa lovers of England drag themselves to the job centre! The brainwave: turn Job Seeker’s Allowance into a  quasi-loan. That’s from a new book by Conservative MP Kwasi Kwarteng – who the BBC describes as a “rising star of the right” and it’s exactly the sort of big society thinking that we’ve come to dread from the party of the privileged. While it is not a government policy – merely a recommendation – it yet again highlights the callous vein that runs throughout our government when it comes to welfare

Honestly, it sounds like it was written by someone who’s never been unemployed and – more importantly – doesn’t understand there’s more to unemployment than money. This government loves to talk about the welfare state as if it’s a giant lottery for the slovenly unemployed or – even worse – work dodging young adults.

jobcentre-plus

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Peggle 2 is Pure Evil.

What is true horror? Is it the heart palpitations as the Alien breaths into the locker you’re sinking into? How about the the sweaty palms and laboured breathing that accompanies any trip to Outlast’s Asylum? Some purists might even argue true terror is the roar of a chainsaw as it gobbles up Leon Kennedy’s neck. All those are incorrect. You’re yet to know true mind-destroying terror until you have tumbled into the twisted evil that is Peggle 2.

Yes, the bright and cheery puzzler with unicorns, primary colours and Ode To Joy. Book a trip into a nice padded room, because a trip through Peggle’s madness will alter your soul.

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Videogames, Parents and Neglect: Why Mainstream Media Needs To Catch Up

If you let your child play inappropriate videogames, you could be reported for neglect. That’s the message coming from the Nantwich Education Partnership according to the BBC. As someone who has sold games for a living since 2008 and been writing about them for just as long, it’s hard not to be a little bit conflicted about this well intentioned piece of news.

A part of me thinks it’s a step in the right direction and the reason for that is my time in sales. I worked at a chain who sell games from 2008 to 2010 and I recently joined again last year. Any retail job has a long list of problems, but my biggest issue throughout all the hours spent behind tills and on the shop floor was ignorant parents.

Where the parents, ey? Get it together stock photo kid.

Where the parents, ey? Get it together stock photo kid.

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Community is on UK Netflix: Why that’s the best thing to happen in 2015.

If you have even a faint interest in laughing, then you’ll be ecstatic to know that Community is now streaming on UK Netflix. What does this mean for you, dear reader? Well it means you should probably buckle up for the comedy that demands to be binged…

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Lord of the Pictures: Why Shadows of Mordor’s Picture Mode Is Genius.

Shadows of Mordor is the latest — and surprisingly decent — attempt to keep milking Tolkien’s estate for all it’s worth. Fortunately, there’s nary a Hobbit in sight as the action is firmly focused on invented character Talion and he’s journey to personally examine the inside of every orc — sorry WB legal department, Uruk — by introducing them to his excessive amount of weaponry. More specifically, the pointy ends of said weaponry.

The game’s main talking point is the nemesis system, which you’ve probably heard far too much about, so I won’t add to the hand-clapping for it. If you haven’t heard of it — how?– well here’s a lovely link for you to find out more. Instead, today I’m giving the games actual best feature some overdue praise. The photo mode. Yes, I’m aware that this Shadow of Mordor and not DriveClub I’m talking about. Death has rarely looked this good and I’ve gathered a few photos that I think get across some of the awesome shots you can get in the game. I suggest you get up the Lord of the Rings theme as mood appropriate music.

 

This orc is clearly very excited to see some pictures.

The dangers of excessive weed consumption.

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What Should Be On The Latest Tony Hawk’s Soundtrack?

The news of a new Tony Hawk’s game in 2015 is cause for celebration for the nature averse thirteen year old inside of me. My formative years and beginnings of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome shaped by spending hours of popping ollies I couldn’t replicate in real life and somehow finding Bam Magera funny. Soundtracked by music that I listened to obsessively when failing at nailing high score challenges, it left an imprint on my musical education and was what I turned to when I was shoving headphones in my ear holes to ignore people on the bus to school.

Here’s a quick memory prod for ya.

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Splicing games together to make super games!

How many times have you been playing a game and found yourself quietly wishing you could swap certain aspects? The gameplay may be fantastic, but it’s attached to a story you couldn’t give a flying hoot about. Or perhaps it possess an amazing sandbox world, but you just wish the driving was a tonne smoother (get it together, GTA IV). I’ve got far too much time on my hands and thought what games would go together like milk with cereal or Everton and boss footballers.

Recently I’ve been sketching out some ideas that takes two games and crossbreeds. I’m basically an evil scientist, just without the white coat and questionable lack of ethics. Here’s the result of mad tinkering/bored daydreams.

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