Posts Tagged ‘Gaming’

quick

So I find myself here writing again in the very few hours of free time I get at the moment, and there is so much I wanted to write about however it has dawned on me that all games I have recently played are old and have been reviewed, all films I have seen will have been reviewed to death and the whole PS4 or XBOX One debate rages on from dawn until dusk right around the globe.

So since I would like to write about things but want to also cram in so much I think I’ll just touch on everything I have played and watched in the next few posts but just give a straight to the point, no babbling opinion rather than a review, first a few good bits, few bad in a sentence and leave it as that. Think of it as reviews for the TL:DR group ūüôā

So here we go.

Monsters University 

muWell it is not proper animation unless it is Pixar animations in my book and MU was no exception. The detail is divine and the  starting short almost had me in tears. The story is well put together and told, characters are loveable and well thought out.  It is arguably not as funny as the previous film however me and my girlfriend enjoyed it so much that we actually found ourselves shouting out at the film at one point.

Little kids or big ones like me? Go see it. It’s not going to write the way we tell stories but what it sets out to do it does very well. Highly recommend.

 

 

Pacific Rim

pacific rimOH Jesus H! What a film. I thought it was amazing, basically because it is a no bullshit film. No pretence that it is anything but a mad CGI filled monster mash. That is the films biggest feature! The sheer cheekiness to throw almost all twist, arching story or any “Oh but it will make it sell” bull shit into the film is an ingenious twist all on its own. ¬†Too many times have I gone to see a film that I need around 4 brain cells to watch, in the hope it will be Pacific Rim and too many times it has trudged through story I don’t give a shit about.

For a day when you just want to watch a ridiculous film with huge set pieces  , go see this, near flawless because it does exactly what it says on the tin.

 

 

This is the End

thisisendA good take on a tried and tested formula from the past. Get a bunch of famous people, put them into a stupidly over the top Scenario ¬†and make them¬†funny. ¬†It is clever at parts, it is daft in others however it goes together well. With a few off bits now and again this is still a solid film and I found myself laughing out loud on more than a few occasions on this film. ¬†If sophisticated humour, class and decency is what you’re looking for then stay well away from this one, if the opposite applies to you then go see it now.

 

 

 

 

Despicable Me 2

disp2An adorable film that is very good to watch. I would not say it is actually that funny but then again I was a little tired when I went to see it. The film does not really link to the first at all, or at least not in may way and I feel this could put some off. Never the less it was an enjoyable film that did make me giggle all the way through. Plus who can’t resist the little minions and their cheeky ways.

 

 

 

 

The Internship 

intershipThis is again is not a film that is going to blow you away. I found its silly houmor good at times however I felt the pacing of the film was just a little slow. I didn’t get bored but felt that at times more could be going on in the film to liven it up just a tad more. Altogether though it is well written and has some very nice touches. It will become apparent that Google paid for 95% of this film by minute 11 of the film however, very heavily advertised throughout, even though the placement in the film is at Google it did see at times if I was being punched in the face with a Google logo.

 

 

 

Now You See Me

nowyouseemeDidn’t know what to make of this film at first and was umm’ing and errr’ing over seeing it. Sat down with am instant scepticism¬†for it and it turned me around. I would love to see this film again with a far more open mind. See if I cannot full give it the go that this film deserves. ¬†The film is clever and intriguing, it draws you in and leaves you wondering how it could be done, just like magic shows themselves. It’s very well put together and expertly told. This film is different, its fresh and I really really enjoyed it.

Give t a go. give it a chance, I don’t think it will disappoint.

 

 

 

Croods

croodsI forgot to mention this before in anything else I have written but it is defiantly worth a mention. It is beautifully made, the visually stunning and the story is quite good. The main reason why I put this up here is simply the fact that not since UP have I cared for an animated character/s so much. I really felt there was peril, love, danger and loss in this film and for an animated film to do that, well it is simply amazing.

Go see it and see if you can stop from gasping or shouting out at the screen ūüôā

 

 

 

Well that kind of concludes my little blog today.  I hope you have enjoyed the simplistic review format and non rant like comments. Tell me if you like things this way or would rather full-blown spoiler ridden rants of a review.

world-war-z1_1

Please be aware that this ranty review of mine does contain spoilers! You have been warned  

Welcome one and all to another exciting new review, this time of the Zombie doomsday film, World War Z.

Now to judge a film based on a book like the one Max Brooks wrote is in my eyes wrong. if you have read the book, which I have and loved by the way, you’ll find that it is a book of many stories, based roughly 10 years after the Zombie war, it portrays the stories of survivors from around the world, rich, poor, lower class or upper and their personal stories spread across several years of the world at war. This set-up would not make sense as a film and therefore I have chosen to separate the book and film when I am reviewing this film as I believe you should when watching it.¬†

 

familyzNow that is out of the way I have to first say that I really enjoyed the film. However there were a few little parts that didn’t quiet gel for me. The family of the main character,¬†Gerry Lane¬†played by Brad Pitt don’t seem to be needed. I found myself not caring if they lived or died. In a scene where Gerry, his wife Karin Lane (Mireille Enos) and their two children, Constance Lane (Sterling Jernis) and Rachel Lane (Abigail Hargrove) are being chased from a friendly families apartment, up the stairs to an awaiting helicopter the shock moment is that the child from the family that gave them refuge is the only survivor and narrowly manages to hop on the helicopter with Gerry’s family, at that point I realised that Gerry’s family were not really important, they didn’t play a role in the film at all, in my opinion the film would have been better off without them, maybe even substitute his family for finding the child alive and saving him, I feel the bond there would have been far greater and given a sense of a small triumph in the face of overwhelming adversity.

Another gripe is the slightly cheap ending, after you see thousands of zombies and normal humans battling around the world from New York to Israel with huge set pieces and explosions the end sequence did seem a little rushed and a tad cheap, saying that however I was enjoying the film at minute one and I was still world-war-z-spoilersenjoying it at the last. 

The film has been criticized for being boring with too many silly or pointless parts. I can see that the phone call from wife Karin to husband Gerry on a satellite phone at a point when Gerry is in zombie infested South Korea is a plot point that should maybe of hit the cutting room floor in favour of something a little more becoming, it was not enough to stop the enjoyment of my viewing at all and actually gave me a little chuckle.

 

frac_08-10_37227_lgOne of the nicest aspects of the film that my girlfriend @Sprinklelight mentioned, is the use of CGI to create the zombie hordes for grand effect but using high-end make up and prosthetics when zombies were close up or few in number, this made for a few jumpy moments, which all adds to the fun.

Overall the film impressed and although it has a few downsides and a family that does not affect the story much, if at all I would rate my experience of watch an 8/10. ¬†A very brave effort to make an epic zombie film and I come away from this wondering that if it didn’t say it was connected to the book and was called a different name if people would still be so harsh.¬† The one thing that comes across from this is that films and books should NEVER be directly compared they are simply two forms of art that are worlds apart.

 

I think the last time I truly loved a game console was back in the days of the PS2, it was small, up to date, beautifully made and just right for what I wanted. I remember being able to buy it after a month of pushing trollies around a Tesco car park, my dad came to pick me up and with mostly all of my pay I rushed into the electrical store, literally grabbed an employees shirt and tugged on it until he got the idea and followed me, standing in front of a shelf I pointed up at the box, a box that seemed to glow like the sun, “That one” I said through slightly shaking lips “I would like one of those please” the excitement growing ever so much inside me as the man bought the console to the till, beep! Went the till as I almost wet myself with at anticipation, the time had almost come, the time I would become the proud owner of a Playstation 2!

The feelings of longing and love for such machines has sadly ebbed away from my life however, it is now being replaced with sighs, groans and lack of interest. Sure the old games were a bit buggy, sure they didn’t look as good as they do now and sure they (for the most part) didn’t go on the Internet or play the next generation of disks, it did what it was meant to do, entertain me!

Now I know what some of you may be thinking, that I am simply getting to old, that I only like the old, now retro games and that I am simply “growing out” of gaming, well don’t be so quick to judge! I am hugely excited about many games, including¬†Borderlands 2 and Command and Conquer Generals 2 to name but a few, I love to game and my passion for gaming has not changed one bit over the years, what has changed is the lack of good choice in gaming. Not me that has changed for the worst, it’s the games industry and especially on consoles.

Let’s take some recent additions to the console market, for instance GoW3 was number one redone again, I found it boring and slow and to quote a friend while playing the first level “Ok so this is a huge monster, where do they go from this?”. He was right, it went nowhere, and nowhere slow, it didn’t hold any sparkle, any love any special qualities for me, like older games used to. BF3 was ok, pathetic single player as all BFs do and the multiplayer, well it looked nice, however never play the PC version then try to go back to the console version as it is day and night in difference, there was FF13 and Fable3 both of which ¬†had previous versions of itself that engaged you in the lives of the games inhabitants but now I now found to be linear bore fests of utter CBA game production, these are just some titles that have pushed me away from this gen of consoles, the other main reason of course is fad, gimmicky bullshit like the PS Move and the Kinect! Really Sony and MS, I know the film industry for the most part has run out of ideas so has turned to 3D but you have no excuse, you can literally create any damn thing you like in a virtual world.

I believe, and I believe in this quiet strongly that gamers expect and put up with less now, yea¬†OK¬†it looks nicer, yea¬†OK¬†it has the HD¬†capabilities¬†but then there is a darn good reason why games like Minecraft and bundles like The Humble Indie Bundle with games such as Super Meat Boy and Amnesia are doing so well, it’s because people want MORE. Throwing all the graphics in the world at people is not going to help a game let down by slow-paced action and/or a lack or story. Now take Thomas was alone for instance, basic graphics, a good basic sound track and not that long, but boy does it draw you into the story of a little square and all his “friends” on an adventure to become more than they are , to strive to¬†greatness, to break free!. ¬†That is what I want, something¬†engaging, something new, something to pour out at me like a well written book being read by Patrick Stewart, not dribble on my shoes like Noddy goes fishing narrated by Droppy the elevator dog!

Now lets not forget that consoles were born out of the ease of use that PC’s of the time didn’t have. With PC’s of old it was a bugger to get things to work, crashes and addons/patches would take some time to download once the internet had arrived, but look at the consoles now, they have lost their ease of use, have lost their edge to PC’s. You substituted graphics and bigger gaming¬†experiences¬†on the PC with a “pay n play” type approach on a console, yea it was a little more¬†expensive¬†but that was¬†OK, now however every single game I have on the 360 is “installed” on the hard drive ¬†and since games companies seem incapable of releasing a game these days without bugs you have to get it patched! ¬†25 mins I waited for a BF3 patch when it first come out, 25 mins I could have spent doing on a PC and at the end have a cheaper game, better graphics and double the¬†on-line¬†people to play with! This is not all the¬†consoles¬†have done to push me steadily away, ow no, it’s that attitude of one¬†on-line¬†pass per player. So¬†OK¬†EA if I buy BF3 then play it, sell the game I am no longer¬†on-line¬†with it, a new person picks up the game second-hand and has to pay AGAIN for the right to go¬†on-line¬†with the very same game? How does that make sense? There was one person using the¬†on-line¬†functionality, which was me, then I sold it so the count went to zero then another person picks it up and the count goes to one. ¬†That does not cost you one penny more to facilitate as there are never more people playing the game when buying second-hand. Just money grabbing at this point. Also the policy of having to pay to go¬†on-line, less of a problem with the PS3 however still a problem to pay anything to go¬†on-line¬†as I pay a phone line bill which enables me to get an internet bill which then enables me to get another bill each year for me to play¬†on-line, that is after the bill for the console itself, the extra controllers, plus the game as well? You¬†think¬†the world is made of money. The money grabbing does not end there, then if you want a DLC it is bought with points on the Xbox360, points which are very carefully manipulated so you never have enough to buy anything of substance, you always have to buy more and of course they are so carefully watched that you’ll always have to pay for more than you need to get the DLC ¬†you require, leaving you with a few¬†hundred¬†points left over so that the weak and foolish will think that they are “so close” to getting something next time with the points they have spare.

I truly hope that the next-gen of consoles realise that there is an ever growing number of people who are finding there is a world of options opening up to us now, from Steam on Linux, OnLive doing deals with Google TV and also the vast amount of interest in Indie games that are cheaper, easier and quicker to obtain than the current mess that is the console industry, it is high time that console manufactures come to terms with the facts that they will either adapt or die.

(Please note that before you read this there is slight use of bad language! All pictures are clean but some text is NSFW, Thank you for reading.)

Hey guys and girls just a little post today on something that annoys me a little and not because it really upsets me, or it affects me anymore than making me a little sad, I am talking about the lack of sportsmanship in computer games now! Obviously I am talking about the real-time strategy and first person shooter elements more than other games, although it is abundantly lacking in MMO’s and in recent weeks my iPad apps that you can play with strangers online!

So what am I babbling on about? Well it’s that lack of maturity maybe, or is it the violent nature of the games I play? Or it is simply people so god damn bored with their lives they need to try to make others the same. What ever it is I can’t help but feel that it is getting way out of hand. Now you start an RTS game and you beat the opponent/s and in return on a number of occasion I am called a cheater, hacker, noob, twat, fucker and far far worse which I will not repeat, this behaviour actually culminated in a threat on my life last night whilst playing Command and Conquer 3 Kane’s wrath! My friend Dai and I were playing a 2 vs 2 map, after around 30 mins of intense fighting in the game, ¬†Dai and I started to get the upper hand and it snowballed, from luck, play style and quite a bit of experience and teamwork we won the game, the second person from the other team then tries to disconnect from the server just before we win ( This is pulling out the Ethernet lead/wifi USB etc) which if done has around a 50/50 chance of causing the game to crash and awarding no one with a win or a loose!

Now I ask you, what on earth is that all about? It has got to such a state just on this game that I actually have a list on the iPad of people we don’t play with anymore! That strikes me as a little odd, ow and as for the person that threatened me, well it was disturbing to say the least. “Your address!” he kept saying, “I will find you and I’ll break your neck” he continued, upon giving the person my address he changed to caps lock and demanded “I die!” A request I am not entirely sure he had thought through completely!

Now this sort of behaviour can be laughed at and ridiculed but I am here to play some games, not to be verbally abused! Does one now expect people to head butt them over the dining room table all because the person opposite won’t sell you Mayfair on Monopoly, or punch your sister as she had better letters than you in scrabble? No it’s¬†absurd!

The massive amounts of “camping” is a clear indication of this too, in an MMO a person’s character will sit it out, waiting for you to re-spawn so that they can kill you instantly again, this can go on for hours if you are silly enough not to just leave the game, it’s the same for first person shooters. I have lost count of the number of times the enemy is camped out in your base, the very place you load back into after death to then shoot you in the back of the head. There is no game in this, you have managed to take the game out of the game, a feat that is quiet extraordinary considering everyone evolved is actually playing a game! A game that has cost all concerned on average ¬£40? ¬£40 for a something you don’t actually use as intended, it’s like having a life raft but deciding to drown instead! Makes no sense.

This behaviour is all the worse when playing with a microphone and headset. Now not only does the person write to you with threats against your life, they now verbally spew them into your ears via the wondrous Internet we all know and *cough* love.

Now what happened to just playing for fun? Just playing to pass the time, playing with some degree of sportsmanship and not flying off the handle because your imaginary tank was blown up. This level of sportsmanship can still be seen in certain sports around the globe, but they tend to be very old games steeped in hundreds of years of tradition, the one that comes to mind is Tennis, I don’t think you will ever see the umpire running for his/her life from a mad man with a tennis racket who is shouting how he is going to insert it up the arse of the one who beat him, in “real life ” these kind of things would be dealt with by the police and you would face serious charges!

So I ask you as gamers to not take it too seriously, I understand the “awwwww” the “arrrrrr WTF that’s rubbish” and also the other frustrations that may come from gaming but really, if you’re ever even getting close to feeling like threatening someone’s life then step away from the console, the PC the iPad, anything you’re playing and calm down. Remember that these games are meant to be for recreational purposes and not a step closer to getting a criminal record.

Hey one and all and welcome back to my blog. ¬†This is a little catch up on me, gaming, things going on in the world and anything else I’ve been up to ūüôā

So we start off this post with the news that I a now completely Linux based now. I found that I was gaming less and less with the so called¬†triple¬†A titles and that indie games along with a few other games worked great on Ubuntu which in my opinion is far¬†superior¬†to Windows 7 that I was using, plus I like the way it simply runs, uses far less sytem resources AND how much¬†quieter¬†my computer is when running it not to mention the fact it installs all it’s updates in one go and that’s it, nothing, nada, no more silly updates that need your computer to be switched off or restarted etc etc.

In other news I find myself wanting to get back into Minecraft after a number of months away from it, hopefully I can get into the Tekkit mod as I have heard it is a fun way to change the game up. Minecraft, and more over it’s community never cease to amaze me, their efforts in modding is¬†superb¬†and really brings a different¬†dimension¬†to the game. ¬†In general Modding communities are awesome anyway. ¬†An example of this is the breathtaking mod “Tiberium Essence” run through Desura for the game Command and Conquer 3 Kanes Wrath, it changes most of the units, looks and even particles in the game giving an old tired game a new lease of life. ¬†If you have an old game you loved but feel it has gone stale then head over to Desura and/or ModDB and see if your game can be brought back into the now with their¬†excellent¬†mods.

Now for a little personal news. As many of you will know I am currently taking my Ex partner to court for the right to see my son. ¬†I am unaware of where he is living and he has not seen me since 2 march 2011, well our first court date was on the 26th of June and we are a step closer to winning. ¬†The court voted in favour of a report to be done by social services which they have to complete by 18th September this year. This¬†decision was in favour of me and¬†against¬†my partners case that I should never, under any circumstances see my son again. ¬†This news, although slightly disapointing is still a step in the right direction and one that is giving me hope for the future. At least now I have a timetable of events that “should” eventually lead up to a happier child with a far more stable up bringing.

Well in this mix-mash of tip bits I bring you to the news that HTC and Apple have finished at least one of their court battles over here in the UK with HTC¬†coming¬†out on top. In the seemingly never ending mobile phone war on patents world wide, HTC’s and Apple’s “slide to unlock feature”, suing and counter suing was finally decided to be basically invalid with HTC coming out as the victor. Out of the 4 patents that Apple claim had been violated 3 where not valid and the forth did not apply to HTC’s devices. ¬†I just hope that this suing culture that the Americans seem to be slowly bringing this way does not stick and judges around the world just stat to use commen sense and start throwing these¬†useless¬†cases of blantent bullshit out and stop wasting time and money on it. Source – BBC News

And I think we shall end on a high (or maybe a slightly scary) note by introducing you to the technology of surrogates for those unable to move! ¬†Yep that’s right robots surrogates have become a little step closer today as scientists have managed to make a robot move via brain waves, also the person could see through the eyes of the robot that he/she was controlling. ¬†Previous attempts to control robots remotely have used joysticks or track pads where as this tech uses a brain being scanned by¬†¬†fMRI (Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging) to monitor blood flow through the brain, this procedure can then pin-point actions such as movement. ¬†Now I am not sure about you but this tech does give me an¬†unsettling¬†feeling in the pit of my stomach although I am sure (at least at first) it will be used to help those in need, and helping those in need is always the right thing to do. Source – BBC News

SO this is a subject that has been plaguing the internet for some time now and I have no idea why we all put up with it, I am of course talking about the amount of abusive and down right disgusting behaviour on the internet.

I know some might say that I don’t have to read the comments, or I don’t have to view a site but that is not the point, I don’t expect that sort of¬†behaviour¬†from what is meant to be the¬†superior¬†species¬†on this planet.¬†¬†Maybe that’s why we have not encountered any alien life if all they can pick up from space is Youtube flame wars over whether a music video is good or not!

It’s not just the way people speak to each other, it is the down right stupidity of it all, take for example a person says they like a music video by Lady Gaga, a perfectly¬†reasonable¬†response¬†for one who likes such music, now I personally do not like that type of music (More of a metal and rock man) so would I start shouting at the person in the street for saying such a thing? Would I be out-of-order if I started comparing them and their love for Gaga as “gay” or shall I simply reference their intellect to that of a¬†piece¬†of dung because I do not¬†approve¬†of their opinion? Would it not be wrong of me to then continue to pester the poor person until they¬†physically¬†leave the area I am in and then to cap it off I do it so many times they then¬†purposefully¬†never visit that area again? Does that sound like an ordinary situation to you? So why is it deemed acceptable online?

The internet creates a shield of anonymity that protects it user from harm, a shield wrongly used in attack rather than its intended purpose of defence. Now what these people or “Trolls” fail to see is that their constant arguing, their petty actions are quickly becoming a problem world-wide and that problem will come to the attention of the nations governments and in time a bill like SOPA¬†or ACTA,will be put into effect. Now ¬†I know these two policies are for the prevention of¬†copyright¬†and for the protection of¬†intellectual¬†property, however how long do you think it will be until “they”, the governments of the world will link cyber bullying and¬†harassment¬†to an act that will bring about a change like SOPA, but for people’s “protection” instead? ¬†When this epidemic of mindless textual bullying becomes so strong and it starts to hurt the internets money-making ability, ¬†you watch how fast massive companies clamp down and start slapping you lot around, but at the same time leave the door wide open for governments to swoop in and take more of all our privacy.

True the above is rather extreme but you’re not doing yourself any favours, you are not adding a single thing to a¬†conversation and are¬†definitely¬†not adding anything to¬†an opinion. So I beg of you mums and dads, please teach your children to not only behave in real life but also in virtual life as well. As for the adults of you that do such a¬†thing, just realise that you’re actually hurting the very place you find liberating and if you continue this place you hold so dear will be slowly taken away from you until it is as controlled as a police state.

Everyone just realise that others have an opinion that may not be in line with your ideas so have a discussion NOT an argument.

So I find myself thinking to myself, “What is that black box next to my TV doing there?” On closer inspection I look around and see that it is some strange magic gaming machine called an Xbox360! ¬†A magic box of time gone past it would seem, a time now almost forgotten by my gaming time.

How did this happen? Well I think the time has passed, I think the black box that gave me such good times, so many hours of enjoyment is now collecting dust in the corner. Switched on every other month to cough and splutter into life, to be greeted by a smiling me, assured in my thoughts that today will be the day I put in that game, start to play and use it for what it was intended, then like a crewel child I take away that pleasure from my machine, change my mind, suddenly realising that what I have awoken is not what I desire, not what I thought it was and hence put the machine back to slumber.

I feel that this machine trying so hard to impress me is now overshadowed by the ease, power and cheapness of my PC, a machine that offers me far more than any console ever could. This monster can handle anything I throw at it. Play, work, casual chatter or full blown discussions of world events all wrapped up in an easily upgraded metal shell of awesomeness.

Now I am not here to hail the praises of PC gaming or to piss off any console gamers but the console market has stagnated, it is full of the same old games with slightly different stories, none of which are appealing to me any more and apart from a few exclusives here and there I miss nothing by leaving consoles behind.

So what to do with this perfectly capable but now seemingly obsolete electrical appliance of the past? Well I guess a little money wouldn’t go a miss.