Sunday, 31 December 2017

Review No. 135 The Legend of Korra - PC (12+)

Strong Points:
Great gameplay
You feel overpowered - like the Avatar should feel...
... But the game can still test your skills
Fully voice acted with the original cast from the show
Lots of collectibles
Pro-Bending is fun and offers a variety of gameplay
Easy to pick up and play, especially the earlier levels, which offers quick bursts of elemental action
Lots of Easter Eggs and references to both shows (The Legend of Aang and The Legend of Korra)
Each Bending style feels different and yet works well together
Great music from the show
Graphics are good...
The Bending styles are mostly balanced...
The details are mostly correct and well thought out (such as the various bending animations)...

Weak Points:
... but could be better
... however, Air is a bit overpowered due to the ease of setting up combos
... but some details are wrong/missed out completely - you can Earthbend on wood for Raava's sake!
Rather short
Feels slightly rushed and, so, never quite reaches its potential as a full Avatar game
No Pro-Bending online or local multiplayer
You can't play as either of the other elements (Fire and Earth) in Pro-Bending
The Naga running sequences can get a bit dull and, in the case of chapter 5 on Extreme Mode, frustratingly difficult
You actually have to lower your power in order to get a platinum medal on Casual Mode
No way to change key-bindings
Would be nice to be able to Bend the environment rather than just 'create' elements
The Jill of All Trades achievement is completely missable and requires you to start completely over again in order to earn it
No trophy or record of your wins in the Pro-Bending arena

Rating: 80%

Warning: slight spoilers for both the game and the show ahead

Friday, 29 December 2017

App Review No. 109 Disney: Magic Kingdoms

Strong Points:
Faithful reproductions of characters and places
Has the 'essence' of a Disney Park
Lots to do
Variations to the film's stories add more depth
Pretty good writing
Good pacing
Great animations
Good use of licence
Can get premium currency without purchase with real money
Some event missions are well-incorporated...

Weak Points:
Buildings are too large to allow for proper park set-ups
Too many event-exclusive characters
Some story parts are unlocked with no hints as to how
Voice acting only for the first few characters
Events require quite large inputs of time or money
...Some are not
The characters don't interact cross-franchise enough

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Film Review No. 34 Star Wars: The Last Jedi (12+)

Strong Points:
Subverting the Star Wars tropes...
...Although still definitely Star Wars
Amazing CGI
Great acting from all
Back to puppets for the creatures
Set piece after set piece
Final battle
Visual imagery
Opening battle's tension
Some returning faces
Risk taking
Benicio Del Toro's character
Andy Serkis's character
Tense throughout
The film shows a difference in style to T:FA but is still noticeably Star Wars
Focus on other characters
A conversation in two halves
Transitions between scenes

Weak Points:
A shouty start
Some odd bits of film (either too real or CGI)
Sometimes visual representations were questionable
Not sure if all the comedy will hold up
Death count was sometimes overly large

No spoiler review:
Go see it. Even if you don't really know about Star Wars, go see it. You won't regret it

Spoilers ahead:

Monday, 11 December 2017

Film Review No. 33 Pokémon the Movie: I Choose You!

Strong Points:
References to the original series - with slight adjustments
New companions
Good animation
A noticeable score
Risks are taken with the story
Incorporating the new Pokémon into the old series
Larger scale than the original series
The dream sequence
Sorrel's backstory

Weak Points:
Pikachu speaking
An odd atmosphere
...Except for missing the final battle
Team Rocket could have been in it more
The dream sequence
Marshadow felt tacked on - didn't really understand his allegiances
Verity's backstory needed to be more fleshed out

Some spoilers ahead:

Friday, 1 December 2017

Video Game Character of the Month - December 2017 - E.T. - E.T. the Extra Terrestrial

Video Game Character of the Month
December 2017
E.T. the Extra Terrestrial

If infamy was a measure of success, E.T. the Extra Terrestrial game would be the most successful game of all time. Not only did it start the trend of awful movie tie-in games, it nearly single handedly destroyed the video game industry. But I guess the greatest tragedy is that E.T. never got home... At least he has the Video Game Character of the Month to keep him warm. Sadly, it's not a phone. 
And now some more information on E.T.: 

Friday, 17 November 2017

Film Review No. 32 Thor: Ragnarok (12+)

Strong Points:
Great comedic moments
Amazing special effects
Superb fight scenes
Ties up a load of loose plot threads
Back-references galor
Sets up for Infinity War
The Valkyrie
Jeff Goldblum as the Grandmaster
Hulk’s Toddler-esque speech
Anthony Hopkins as "Loki"
Chris Hemsworth has been allowed some freedom
Luke Hemsworth and Matt Damon’s cameo
Thor’s lighting powers
Dr. Strange

Weak Points:
Some of the jokes are only going to be funny once or twice - rewatch-ers will miss the tension
Lack of tension due to continuous wisecracks
The whole ‘Hulk being all powerful’ scenario is becoming a bit unbelievable as he keeps losing
Are we supporting Loki now or...?
Where’s Jane Foster (and, for that matter, Lady Sif)?
The Warriors Three's end

Spoilers ahead:

Comment: Entertainment Release Times

27th October 2017 and 17th November 2017, two days which will stick in the minds of entertainment writers, businesses and the general public for a while. For these two days had A LOT released, at the same time. On the 27th October, we had the likes of Super Mario Odyssey, Assassin's Creed: Origins and Wolfenstein 2 released, each one vying for the attention of gamers everywhere.

Today has: Pokémon Ultra Sun and Moon, The Sims 4 on console, Justice League, Skyrim for Switch and VR, Star Wars Battlefront 2, again all vying for the attention of the public. Some employee huge marketing campaigns, some focus on nostalgia and even some go for the idea that 'no publicity is bad publicity' (EA's SWB2 lootboxes have to have been a stunt, right?).

Personally, I've only been able to go for one of these at launch and that's Pokémon Ultra Sun and Moon. The choice was simple for me as I'm a massive fan of all things Pokémon (although Skyrim for Switch was pushing me). However, for all the others out there I have to ask, how do you choose what to play or watch with just so much out there now? Does it persuade you to actually buy more or none at all? Would you rather a couple of days a year with everything or a more staggered release? Finally, how much of a backlog do you have of games and movies/shows? Let me know in the comments below!

Thanks for reading, Satamer.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Film Review No. 31 The Meyerowitz Stories (15+)

Strong Points:
Strong ensemble cast
Involving story
Balances drama and comedy nicely...
Nice cameos
Interesting colour correction and filters
Sharp, stilted dialogue works - two conversations are happening at once
Constant back referencing to past conversations really involves the audience
Great uses of music
Use of sharp cuts brings you out of story to focus on another one
Surprisingly emotional by the end

Weak Points:
Slightly too long
...Although sometimes goes too far in trying to get to either end of the spectrum
Emma Thompson's character is underused

Some spoilers ahead:

Friday, 10 November 2017

Review No. 134 Mario Kart 8 Deluxe - Nintendo Switch (3+)

Strong Points:
Works excellently in all Switch modes
Even more characters and karts
Boo and Feather are nice item editions
Purple boost and two item slots are incorporated well
Battle mode has been remade!
Mario Kart on the go is where it's meant to be
Crisp graphics and animations
Online works well

Weak Points:
At least another cup would have been nice (especially for previous DLC owners)
The ability to compare kart setups is still not here
No Mission Mode yet

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Video Game Character of the Month - November 2017 - Waluigi - Mario Series

Video Game Character of the Month
November 2017
Mario Series

Poor Waluigi. Created for the sole purpose of giving Luigi a competitor in sports games, he always believes that the grass is greener for everyone else. Even Nintendo has made him into a comic relief character, but we believe he deserves better. For once he can stand on his own and say 'I am Waluigi, my own person and I am proud!' For he is today, the recipient of the Video Game Character of the Month award! 
Now for some information on Evil Luigi Waluigi:

Monday, 30 October 2017

Film Review No. 30 The Death of Stalin (15+)

Strong Points:
Strong cast
Satire galore
Lovely camera shots
Constant wordplay
General air of tension
Use of deliberately not Soviet accents

Weak Points:
Pacing could have been better
Sometimes confusing
One part was excessively gory

Some spoilers ahead:

Thursday, 12 October 2017

App Review No. 108 Rider

Strong Points:
Strong art style
Lots to collect and do
Drop rate of cars is fair
Nice sense of progression compared to other games in genre

Weak Points:
Fiddly controls
Random difficulty spikes

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Review No. 133 Life is Strange - PC (16+)

Strong Points:
Superb voice acting
Nice art style
Choices that matter, and impact across all episodes
You can see how your choices stack up against others at the end of each chapter
Time travelling mechanics allow for interesting puzzles...
...As well as the chance to correct mistakes
Believable characters who are developed over time
Some surprising twists and turns
Great soundtrack

Weak Points:
Lip sync issues lose immersion
Art style sometimes comes in the way of detail
The pace can be slow
Not all questions are answered
This all happened in a week?

Note: as this game is episodic in nature I will also be giving mini-reviews and ratings to each episode as well as more general points

Spoilers ahead!:

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Film Review No. 29 Kingsman: The Golden Circle (15+)

Strong Points:
More spy references
Strong performances from all
A certain celebrity cameo
Funny - mix of innuendos, clever humour and slapstick
Stylised action worked
The Statesmen
Twists and turns
Evil plot - scary outlook on the world
An almost sympathetic villain

Weak Points:
Less concise and focused than the first film
Villain doesn't have a lot of backstory
Villain's in the background a lot
Some gory sections weren't needed to be repeated!
Sudden removal of people from the first film
Some dodgy values

Some spoilers ahead:

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Video Game Character of the Month - October 2017 - Rabbids - Rayman Raving Rabbids

Video Game Character of the Month
October 2017
Rayman Raving Rabbids

GWAAH! BWAH! FFRAW! *incomprehensible noises carry on for 10 minutes*. I think we're going to need a translator over here. Translation: give us the award or we'll *"£?^&£ destroy you!
Oh... Um... Congratulations to the Raving Rabbids, the newest recipients of the Video Game Character of the Month Award!
And now some information about the Raving Rabbids:

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Film Review No. 28 Spider-Man: Homecoming (12+)

Strong Points:
Some great action sequences
Tom Holland works great as both Spider-Man and Peter Parker
Strong supporting cast
Returning cast members
Home-video opening
Trusting the audience to know the origin story
Cameos from other superheroes

Weak Points:
Could come across as whiny
Lacks the scope of other MCU films
Lacking focus

Spoilers ahead:

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Review No. 132 Rocket League - PS4 (7+)

Strong Points:
Original gameplay idea
Lots of collectables
Microtransactions aren't needed to play the game...
Movement feels good
Skill based instead of power-up based gameplay
The AI is usually competent
Crisp graphics
Variety of game modes
Two camera types
Good music...

Weak Points:
Some difficulty spikes
Difficult to find some game modes
Still, a huge amount of content locked behind paying
Season mode lacks replayability
No local split-screen multiplayer
...If a little repetitive
The handbrake turns can get some getting used to...
...As can aerial shots
Rocket Labs is only available online

Friday, 1 September 2017

Video Game Character of the Month - September 2017 - Death Prophet - Dota 2

Video Game Character of the Month
September 2017
Death Prophet
Dota 2

*At the desk of Satamer* Time to choose the next character to win the prestigious Video Game Character of the Month Award. Let's see, we've had Mario, Pikachu, Sora, Red the Bird, Rico Rodriguez, that ball from Colour Switch... Ooh, how about Overwatch? That's got a lot of heroes. Oh, we've given two of them awards already. What's another game based around heroes? What's Dota 2? Is it popular? 

I have, of course, played Dota 2 (although my measly 26 hours might not constitute as 'playing' to some) and one hero seems to have more luck than any other - Death Prophet. And here's some information about Krobelus:

Monday, 21 August 2017

App Review No. 107 Monument Valley 2

Strong points:
Mind-bending puzzles
Full of character
Great art style
Interesting story
Set pieces have been upped in extravagance since the last game
Atmospheric music

Weak points:
Incredibly short
Some puzzles are frustrating, especially the last one

Friday, 18 August 2017

Rant No. 11 RPG Text Choices Not Actually Saying The Choice

I'm playing The Witcher 2 at the moment. It's a great game, with superior visuals and combat to The Witcher 1 along with a great story and lore. Like the first game, it also has plenty of choices you can make, both in terms of who you side with and how you talk to people. The problem is, however, unlike The Witcher 1 where you see the entire text response you will give before making the decision on how best to sarcastically berate those lesser than you, The Witcher 2 only gives you approximations on the responses Geralt will pick. While the developer is usually pretty good at guessing your most likely responses and making text choices to do with them, sometimes they can think that a different emotion is being used when responding with this answer - honesty instead of keeping your options open, begging instead of sarcasm or accusation instead of questioning. It's this last one which prompted me to write this rant, and if you don't want any spoilers for The Witcher 2 then I give you three options: 'Remark: How Dare You Write Spoilers!', 'Remark: OK, if you say so', 'Remark: OK (actually meaning you're going to anyway).

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Film Review No. 27 Gravity (12+)

Strong Points:
Constant tension
Mind-blowing visuals
A likeable cast
Extremely clever photography
No filler
Only seeing the perspective of the astronauts increased the isolation
Plenty of Chekov's Gun

Weak Points:
Relies on star-power instead of characters
Started to get humorous instead of tense by the end
A bit gruesome
Some character points are almost just thrown in there
Felt real time except for the use of the watch

Some spoilers ahead:

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Film Review No. 26 Arrival (12+)

Strong Points:
Tense atmosphere
Film focussed on sounds instead of camera shots
Great acting
Interesting aliens
Great CGI
Use of wide shots (not focussing on people talking) was unnerving
The alien's language
A talking point

Weak Points:
Difficult to hear some characters
Debatable to say something was achieved by the end
Thrown in at the deep end
A jump between first connection and learning all about the aliens

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Video Game Character of the Month - August 2017 - GLaDOS - Portal

Video Game Character of the Month
August 2017

Well, here comes the test results. You're a great villain. That's what it says. We weren't even testing for that but yes, it turns out you really are just a great villain GLaDOS. It would be a real shame if you weren't rewarded for that. Truly. What if you complete this test? I swear, we have a surprise for you right in the next room... The Video Game Character of the Month Award!
And now for some information on GLaDOS (including spoilers for both Portal and Portal 2:

Thursday, 20 July 2017

App Review No. 106 Word Cookies!

Strong Points:
Intuitive gameplay
Great theme
Good graphics
Lots of levels

Weak Points:
Can get frustrating
Connecting letters can sometimes be fiddly
Obvious words turn out to be extra words a lot of the time
Can get repetitive
Loss of two word answers after a while

Monday, 17 July 2017

App Review No. 105 Infinity Blade

Strong Points:
Strong gameplay
Gorgeous graphics
An interesting story
Addictive, cyclical gameplay
Lots of weapons, armour and magic
Atmospheric music...

Weak Points:
Not always responsive when parrying
Some weapons are so ludicrous they take you out of the immersion
Having to change equipment to level up further, losing out on great passives
...Doesn't change contextually all the time

Friday, 14 July 2017

TV Review No. 66 Doctor Who: The Doctor Falls (S10, Ep12)

Strong Points:
A circular arc
Great acting
The final reveal
More time-travelling 'Inception' ideas
An overwhelming feeling of hopelessness
Nardole's retorts
The Master's and Missy's relationship

Weak Points:
The big reveal of Bill having become a [redacted] lost its impact as we already knew from last week
John Simm's Master was less methodical in his madness
An overwhelming feeling of hopelessness
A little bit of Deus Ex Machina

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

TV Review No. 65 Doctor Who: World Enough and Time (S10, Ep11)

Strong Points:
Some genuinely tense moments
Great acting
Missy acting as The Doctor
Actually going through with some threats
Simultaneously having a lot happening and nothing at the same time
The Mondasian Cybermen played on more human fears

Weak Points:
The BBC advertisements ruined one of the main surprises
Playing with time is always confusing
Sometimes a bit slow paced

Monday, 10 July 2017

Review No. 131 Abzü - PC (7+)

Strong Points:
Amazing art style
Superb orchestration
The water
Fish AI
Good story
Great set pieces

Weak Points:
The mine sections, later on, broke the original atmosphere a bit
Some control and camera issues
Your character doesn't always do what you want it too
Grabbing hold of a fish sometimes doesn't work
Lack of animations when interacting with certain objects

Some spoilers ahead:

Sunday, 9 July 2017

TV Review No. 64 Doctor Who: The Eaters of Light (S10, Ep10)

Strong Points:
Great costumes
The best viewing of the homosexuality of Bill yet...
Great acting
The monster was decent...
More observations from Bill about Doctor Who things
The crows

Weak Points:
The Doctor seems to be jumping to the rashest decisions now
Goes from 'yeah Bill can go off on her own' to 'she's probably died' very quickly
...Although we don't need references to it and race every week
...If a bit shallow

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

TV Review No. 63 Doctor Who: Empress of Mars (S10, Ep9)

Strong Points:
Some great British colony moments
The Ice Warrior's weapons made me uneasy
Pop culture references
Still no setting for wood
Great CGI
Detailed costumes
Nardole and Missy - consequences
Godsacre and Catchlove were good characters

Weak Points:
The constant British jokes could become tiresome
The ending seemed to forget, partly, how many lives were lost
Red shirts in actual red shirts this time
Nardole and Missy - why it happened
The classic accidental shot technique

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Video Game Character of the Month - July 2017 - Doomguy - Doom

Video Game Character of the Month
July 2017

Ah, Doomguy, the quintessential action hero, fearless in peril, staring down hell itself with a look of mild amusement. No one person has done more for the FPS genre than you have. Simply marvel- Oh, sorry, was that too much exposition? See it's difficult to tell, seeming as you don't speak and, and OK I'll stop now. You have the award OK? Why am I glowing?...  
And now for some information on Doomguy:

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

TV Review No. 62 Marvel: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Series 4

Strong Points:
Great character development and payoffs of previous seasons
Three excellent arcs/pods which joined together
Great pacing
The Framework allowing for previous characters to return
What If? scenarios - showed how easy it could've gone the other way
Surprising twists and reveals
Aida/Agnes/Ophelia/Madame Hydra
Radcliffe's moral grey area
Good references to the MCU films
Ghost Rider got better...
Sharp focus...
Superb emotion and tension
Excellent acting
AI questions but with a twist
Pop culture references
Just more of what makes AoS great

Weak Points:
Some villains were underdeveloped
Arc 1 didn't quite live up to the other two
Difficult to keep track of LMD
Some character traits were thrown in randomly for later e.g. Hope
...After lacking some fire in the early seasons
...In the later episodes
No new Inhumans (or mention of Joey)

Note: as with last season, my rating may seem higher than the individual episode's ratings. This is due to AoS being a show where the sum of all parts is a lot greater than the individual stories given the huge story arcs. Also, I'm going to rate each pod as well as the season as a whole, as Season 4 definitely felt more like a collection of mini-series compared to the previous seasons (which had two major arcs each).

Sunday, 25 June 2017

TV Review No. 60 Marvel: Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D.: The Return (S4, Ep21)

Strong Points:
Mallory Jensen
Iain de Caestecker
Some good uses of CGI...
Great action sequences
Mack's still being mentioned
A certain character's back
Mix of genres

Weak Points:
...Some slightly funny looking bits of CGI
Some cheesy dialogue
Slightly changed their own logic with the Framework machines
Took a while to remember what everyone actually knows

Thursday, 22 June 2017

TV Review No. 59 Doctor Who: The Lie Of The Land (S10, Ep8)

Strong Points:
Continuously throwing subliminal messages at us worked
Great acting all round
Interesting take on totalitarian dictatorship
Missy changing
Missy and The Doctor talking

Weak Points:
Felt cheated after a great build up - twice
The ending was messy at best
Monks have slowly been lowered in power throughout the arc
Missy still feels like an added extra

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

TV Review No. 58 Marvel: Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D.: Farewell, Cruel World (S4, Ep20)

Strong Points:
Excellent character moments
The hope of more to come from The Framework
The effects of the framework

Weak Points:
Being thrown back into the real world, to begin with, was a bit disconcerting
Villain's logic when it comes to disposing of someone
We were set up to react in a different way to what might be logical if we knew nothing

Monday, 19 June 2017

App Review No. 104 Ballz

Strong Points:
Rewards calculation
Minimalist graphics
Colours help to show where you should concentrate your fire

Weak Points:
Difficulty spikes
Sometimes ends up about the RNG gods
Cosmetic changes are just colour changes
Can get repetitive
Slow to begin with

Sunday, 18 June 2017

(More) First Impressions: Alien Isolation

My dad played this game in EGX a couple of years ago and we released a first impressions for it. I've finally gotten round to playing it myself and thought I'd do my own first impressions as I wasn't restricted by the impatient line at a gaming convention. So here goes!

Some spoilers ahead:

Saturday, 17 June 2017

TV Review No. 57 Marvel: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: All The Madame's Men (S4, Ep19)

Strong Points:
Matrix style fight scene
Swift use of Daisy's powers
Finally got to see the true nature of Fitz's father
Fitz is really good as a bad guy
Coulson back to being a leader
Bakshi's cameo
Connection to the Ghost Rider storyline

Weak Points:
Fitz is really good as a bad guy
More of a 'setting up' episode
Main bad guys getting the 'special' treatment in fights

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Film Review No. 25 Wonder Woman (12+)

Strong Points:
Some jaw-dropping action sequences and stunts
Great villain
Use of slow-mo
Side characters were all good...
Great costumes and make up
Interesting music choices, at ends with the time period

Weak Points:
Could be seen as more than slightly similar to Captain America: The First Avenger
Some plot conveniences
...If not developed enough
Can be difficult to invest in characters when the film is a flashback
Love plot line wasn't particularly needed, especially as this is a flashback

Some spoilers ahead:

Saturday, 10 June 2017

TV Review No. 56 Doctor Who: The Pyramid at the End of the World (S10, Ep7)

Strong Points:
Twist ending
Use of a mistake instead of war
Erica and The Doctor
Good CGI
Comparison's to breakages throughout - cause and effect

Weak Points:
The Monks are less scary this episode
Would they allow someone that hungover to work on something that dangerous?

Thursday, 8 June 2017

TV Review No. 55 Doctor Who: Extremis (S10, Ep6)

Strong Points:
Use of blindness
Sudden flick between comedy and tragedy was extremely effective
Great acting
Running away from The Monks scene was a great bit of cinematography
Nardole's grown to be a great character
River's Book is back

Weak Points:
Email, really?
Slow to begin
The Doctor and [redacted] scenes seemed slightly out of place

Monday, 5 June 2017

TV Review No. 54 Marvel: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: No Regrets (S4, Ep18)

Strong Points:
Old characters are back
Some great acting ranges
Meaningful deaths
Radcliffe's reactions

Weak Points:
Simmon's constantly breaking the immersion with 'this isn't real' is starting to get annoying - let me get sucked in!
Fitz's father could've been even worse
Starting to get confusing again

Sunday, 4 June 2017

TV Review No. 53 Marvel: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Identity and Change (S4, Ep17)

Strong Points:
Coulson as a clueless teacher works!
Madame Hydra
Everyone's gotten into their new characters well
References to past seasons used but twisted
Political commentary

Weak Points:
Tension wasn't quite there all the time
Fitz's actions could be seen as predictable

Friday, 2 June 2017

TV Review No. 52 Doctor Who: Oxygen (S10, Ep5)

Strong Points:
Diversity and capitalism quips
Star Trek reference
Interesting concept, tied to the theme
Great CGI
Actual and immediate consequences for the Doctor
Chilling look at the corporate world

Weak Points:
Could be seen as a bit heavy handed when delivering the message
Some bits just have to be seen as 'happening'
The final phrase sounded off

Some spoilers ahead:

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Video Game Character of the Month - June 2017 - D.Va - Overwatch

Video Game Character of the Month
June 2017

Hana Song (AKA D.Va) has had no shortage of success in her 19 years of life. At 16 she became the number 1 StarCraft 2 player in the world and held that title for the following three years. She's starred in a movie, 'Hero of my Storm' and become a world class MEKA pilot with a worldwide, online following, sponsorship and an Overwatch membership. And we would expect no less from someone who's signature quote is 'I play to win'. But I think that the prestigious Video Game Character of the Month award tops them all. Congratulations D.Va and 'GG'.
And now for some information on D.Va:

Thursday, 25 May 2017

TV Review No. 51 Doctor Who: Knock Knock (S10, Ep4)

Strong Points:
Some scares and atmosphere of unease
Monster was unsettling
Good acting all round - especially Capaldi, Pearl Mackie and David Suchet
Pretty good costumes and makeup
A homage to horror and ghost story tropes...

Weak Points:
Odd pacing
...although some of them became annoying
Bill's housemates weren't really developed
Dodgy CGI

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

TV Review No. 50 Marvel: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: What If... (S4, Ep16)

Strong Points:
Great remixes of characters
Atmosphere of unease
Inventive repercussions of removing 'regrets'
Interesting colour correction
Great acting from all
References to the first season - Dwarfs

Weak Points:
Can be difficult to invest in characters when they don't exist (which is ironic for a TV show). Or do they?
Can be confusing
Where do The Avengers and the other superhero's fit into this?

Monday, 22 May 2017

TV Review No. 49 Marvel: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Self-Control (S4, Ep15)

Strong Points:
The ending montage
Twists and turns
Great emotion
Rewards for investing in characters
Used character development well - odd ties tied up
Paradox fixing
Great CGI

Weak Points:
Difficult to get your head around parts
They can really mass produce them things can't they
LMD Coulson was a bit robotic - ironically

Some spoilers ahead:

Friday, 19 May 2017

Film Review No. 24 Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (12+)

Strong Points:
Develops the characters
The opening sequence
Easter eggs and 80's references
Very funny
Twists and turns
Stan Lee's cameos
Unexpected emotional depth and development...

Weak Points:
The sheer amount of jokes launched at you can be overwhelming
Sylvester Stallone is underused
Less focused than the original
The Sovereign become annoying
...with some working better than others
Some bits were slightly too gory

Some spoilers ahead:

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

First Impressions: Red Dead Redemption

I picked up Red Dead Redemption last year for about £2, with it being on my list to play for years before, although I'd never gotten round to actually playing it. I decided to jump into it now to give some more flavour to the very RPG based games I've been playing at the moment (Horizon: Zero Dawn, Dark Souls, Pokémon Moon and The Witcher 2) and I'm glad I did, as it has impressed me so far. Here are my first impressions from around 2 hours of game time:

Monday, 15 May 2017

TV Review No. 48 Doctor Who: Thin Ice (S10, Ep3)

Strong Points:
Justification for actions and reactions
Subtly dealt with racism
Twists and turns
Telling the story with no speech
The Doctor's monologue
The paper which can make you part of any organisation

Weak Points:
Some 'off' bits of CGI
The final choice
Still odd reactions from The Doctor to death

Friday, 12 May 2017

Top 5: Video Game Franchises That Deserve The 'Marvel Treatment'

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is one of the greatest cultural phenomena of recent times and is one of the main contributors to the rise of the 'shared universe' template for franchises that consists of many stories told through various mediums such as film, books and TV shows. In order to survive and thrive, the franchise has to have a cast of colourful, interesting and relatable characters and an in-depth setting as well as an enjoyable story arch that can be fleshed out by those who are interested by hidden Easter Eggs and sub-plots while still being basic enough to be glanced over by casual fans. Another important aspect of shared universes, at least to get them off the ground, is to have a well-established bank of lore and fans to provide inspiration for the massive story undertaking that is to take place. This is why shared universes based off of comic books, novels, toys and films have succeeded so well. However, there is one medium that has yet to have the 'Marvel Treatment': video games (Activision's attempts at Call of Duty and Warcraft aside). And, while there is a good reason for this (just think about the quality of video game films over the years) I still think that we should give it another go and make the shared universes of our video game dreams.
And, so, without further ado, welcome to my list of the top five video game franchises that deserve the 'Marvel Treatment':

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Review No. 130 Horizon: Zero Dawn - PS4 (16+)

Strong Points:
Beautiful, varied world design
Awesome combat
Intriguing story with unexpected philosophical depth
Great voice acting
Varied weapons for most play styles
In-depth characters
Great connection between old and new
Bursting with energy
Multiple routes when climbing
Nothing is blocked off - free to specialise or go Jack-Of-All-Trades
Astounding graphics
Photo mode
Ability to find tracks without the Focus (mostly)
Lots of collectables and extras
Interesting change to the 'Tower' quests in open-world games

Weak Points:
Lip-sync problems
Repetition of dialogue
Difficult to estimate how much an attack may damage you
Frustrating having to find that one climbing point
A journal keeping details of the story would be nice
Tutorial quests have to be equipped to progress
The map is packed and could be overwhelming
Can't attack animals in villages - breaks the immersion

Spoilers ahead:

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

TV Review No. 47 Marvel: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: The Man Behind The Shield (S4, Ep14)

Strong Points:
Twists and turns
Pre-Bahrain Coulson and May
Coulson speaking 'Russian'
Mace and Jason O'Mara
The Superior's origins

Weak Points:
The Superior
Is Aida still mimicking?
Lots of LMDs

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

First Impressions: Prey: Opening Hour

Prey's had an odd development history, and I'm not talking about the planned but cancelled sequel to Prey 2006 in which this game bears resemblance in name alone (I never played the original so this didn't really affect me). No, I'm talking about how it was announced last E3 with a pretty awesome reveal trailer, gave off some great Bioshock vibes and then disappeared off the face of the planet for a bit. I then realised about a month before release that it was getting a release and that it was getting a demo. So I downloaded and played it. Then I played it again. Here are my thoughts on the enigma that is Prey's Opening Hour:

Note: spoilers of the opening hour will be present

Thursday, 4 May 2017

TV Review No. 46 Doctor Who: Smile (S10, Ep2)

Strong Points:
Great opening
Creepy robots
Twists and turns
Modern day sensibility to The Doctor Who universe
Politics joke
Emotions on a screen

Weak Points:
Fell flat in the second half
Surely they'll just learn again
I just didn't pity some of the humans
Jumps in logic

Spoilers ahead:

Monday, 1 May 2017

Video Game Character of the Month - May 2017 - Aloy - Horizon: Zero Dawn

Video Game Character of the Month
May 2017
Horizon: Zero Dawn
Do I present this award in data point format, spread it across the world and make you read it with your phones? No? Might be a bit inefficient, so we'll keep it here for now (but who knows, Geocaching these awards may be the future). Anyway, back to the recipient of this award and she's already cemented herself as a mascot of adventure and courage, much like Nathan Drake or Lara Croft before her. And she can ride robot dinosaurs.
And now for a bit of information on Aloy - some spoilers ahead for the game

Thursday, 27 April 2017

TV Review No. 45 Marvel: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Boom (S4, Ep13)

Strong Points:
Cool new Inhuman
Terrigenesis is back
Twists and turns
Similarities between Radcliffe and Coulson - grey areas of moral

Weak Points:
Another one bites the dust
How quickly was that trap made?!
Some characters are more developed than others

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

TV Review No. 44 Marvel: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Hot Potato Soup (S4, Ep12)

Strong Points:
Twists and turns
The return of an old friend
More fleshing out of characters
Radcliffe Bot
Connections to the films

Weak Points:
Have to keep remembering who's an LMD
Please let that not be The Superior
The end of some people

Monday, 24 April 2017

TV Review No. 43 Marvel: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Wake Up (S4, Ep11)

Strong Points:
Twists and turns and more turns
May's almost video game-like experience
The awakening of LMD May
Fleshing out of characters
Mace is still being used, and well
More Yo-Yo action
The ending

Weak Points:
Difficult to keep track with it all!
Little build-up to Mack's reveal

Some spoilers ahead:

Sunday, 23 April 2017

TV Review No. 42 Marvel: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: The Patriot (S4, Ep10)

Strong Points:
Twists and turns
The power of Aida
Daisy is slowly being reintroduced into S.H.I.E.L.D.
More verbal action
Talbot's back
Interrogation techniques
Reflects nicely on the spy genre's shortcomings...

Weak Points:
Can be confusing to keep track of it all!
It's a shame [redacted] isn't the hero we all thought they were
Russian? Check. Ex-KGB? Check. Ex-Hydra? Check.
...While adding more

Some spoilers ahead:

Friday, 21 April 2017

First Impressions: Titanfall 2

A good old impulse buy of my own! I was debating this or Battlefield 1 and as I played Battlefield's beta and couldn't run it at the time (:( ) I opted for Titanfall 2, being a fan of the first one. It's developed by Respawn Entertainment as a sequel to the first Titanfall that died out quite quickly due to the lack of single player mode, not enough progression and a season pass that split the community across different versions of the game. Here are my first impressions of the single player and multiplayer on PC.

Thursday, 20 April 2017

TV Review No. 41 Doctor Who: The Pilot (S10, Ep1)

Strong Points:
Great entry point for new/lost fans
Nice acting
Bill is good as a companion
Easter Eggs
Scary villain
Mostly solid CGI
Twists and turns
Intriguing mystery

Weak Points:
Some CGI parts seemed off
Seen this type of monster before
Didn't call the Daleks evil
Wasn't sure if Heather was possessed or just a moody human at some points

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Film Review No. 23 Eddie The Eagle (PG)

Strong Points:
Strong, uplifting message
Great performances all round
Some genuinely emotional moments
Can be watched without any knowledge of the person...
Great camera shots

Weak Points:
...but don't think you'll come away with a full character study
Clichéd to a point
Hugh Jackman's character felt odd
Some cringey moments

Some spoilers ahead:

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Review No. 129 Spec Ops: The Line - PC (18+)

Strong Points:
Tactical gameplay
Interesting take on the shooter genre
Good voice acting
Intel fills in more of the world
Team AI can do things on their own...
A mature, complex story
Title screen degenerates as you do
Context-specific speaking parts
Loading screens

Weak Points:
Odd pacing
Difficulty spikes
Can be confusing in terms of story and what is a choice
Searching for intel becomes a bit out of character with the game later on
...but they sometimes take a long time to complete an order
You won't feel good while playing

Major spoilers ahead:

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Film Review No. 22 Moana (PG)

Strong Points:
Simply astounding animation
Great voice acting
Disney Magic
Catchy and clever songs
Pork the Pig and HeiHei the Chicken
References to other Disney films

Weak Points:
Some lines felt shoehorned in - I'm not a princess
Felt like fewer songs than normal
Pork the Pig was there and then not
Would Maui have really taken the stone to begin with?

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Film Review No. 21 When Marnie Was There (U)

Strong Points:
Strikingly animated
Excellent voice cast
Emotions running high
Twists and turns
Depth to characters

Weak Points:
Some plot conveniences
Some parts can't be considered OK for a U can they?

Some spoilers ahead:

Saturday, 8 April 2017

TV Review No. 40 Marvel: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Broken Promises (S4, Ep9)

Strong Points:
New opening
References to old robot films
Great acting
Twists and turns
Removal of cliche
More unknown players

Weak Points:
Once we have dramatic irony the characters actions seem forced
Removal of a certain character

Some spoilers ahead:

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

First Impressions: The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings Enhanced Edition

After completing Half-Life a couple of days ago and my thirst for a quick shooter quenched, I set my sights on the final obstacle before being able to play The Witcher 3 - it's predecessor. I'd already enjoyed The Witcher 1 (mostly) and had heard great things about its sequel. And after around 3 hours (and the prologue finished), I'm inclined to agree with them.

Some spoilers about The Witcher 1 and 2 ahead:

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

TV Review No. 39 Marvel: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: The Laws of Inferno Dynamics (S4, Ep8)

Strong Points:
Twists and turns (and then some more)
Great pacing
The start of a villain's backstory
Daisy's happy again
Yo-yo's slo-mo fight
Ghost Rider's ...
Hints to more Ghost Riders
Nice explanation of Eli's powers

Weak Points:
Some more character development would be nice
In dangerous territory of becoming clichéd
Mace's uniform when on the field was a bit at ends with everyone else

Some spoilers ahead:

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Video Game Character of the Month - April 2017 - Sports Managers - All Sports Manager Games

Video Game Character of the Month
April 2017
Sports Managers
All Sports Manager Games
From MLB: The Show to Football Manager and beyond, Sports Manager games have been instrumental in the notion of a person being able to say that a game is bad even with over 3000 hours played and critics being able to copy and paste their reviews each year (it's about as much as the companies do to their games each year). However, I do feel that these games deserve some recognition of their achievements, and by extension all of the managers who get their teams to the top each year. So here's the Video Game Character of the Month award!
And now some information on the numerous Sports Managers:

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Film Review No. 20 Beauty And The Beast (PG)

Strong Points:
Faithful adaptation of the classic, with modern day extensions
Great songs - old and new
Amazing visual effects
Great acting
Nice changes to the story to fill in plot holes
Can stand on its own...

Weak Points:
Singing was sometimes a bit manufactured
But best experienced as a nostalgia trip
Some words were stilted/felt added on

Took me a little while to suspend my disbelief

Some spoilers ahead:

Sunday, 26 March 2017

4th Birthday

Whoops. I seem to have slept in and missed the birthday. I blame British Summer Time. So, four years?! And I still haven't met the blog's parents.

Saturday, 18 March 2017

TV Review No. 38 Marvel: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Deals With Our Devils (S4, Ep7)

Strong Points:
Great effects
Interesting idea with two different POV's
Nice colour correction
Twists and turns
Use of Aida
Some good acting
Good pacing

Weak Points:
Some reactions seemed unjustified (some of which were fixed from alternate POV)
Some acting seemed off
Can Aida really do that if she is an Android?

Sunday, 12 March 2017

TV Review No. 37 Marvel: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: The Good Samaritan (S4, Ep6)

Strong Points:
Left on quite a cliff hanger
Ghost Rider's origin story
Ghost Rider and Mace's fight
Twists and turns
Good acting all round
Good special effects
Removing a certain character...
Daisy working with the team
Interesting transitions between scenes

Weak Points:
Eli's story seemed a bit cliché by comparison
They were getting on my nerves
Not sure about breaking the containment cube
The reaction from the shots was odd

Friday, 3 March 2017

TV Review No. 36 Marvel: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Lockdown (S4, Ep5)

Strong Points:
Nice political battle
Return of the Hand Shield
Simmon's blackmail
Twists and turns
Quick cure means episodes don't get bogged down on the possession each time...
Well-choreographed action
Starting to understand Daisy more...
Shotgun Axe
Icing the guards not shooting them
Interesting situation and location to put Ghost Rider in
Explanations of book slowly starting to appear
Coulson questioning May about what death feels like

Weak Points:
...Mildly trivialises the situation
...She's still having a teenage tantrum
Episodes are starting to meld into one
Some storylines are more interesting than others

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Video Game Character of the Month - March 2017 - AiAi - Super Monkey Ball

Video Game Character of the Month
March 2017
Super Monkey Ball
Super Monkey Ball is a game which involves you tilting the world around a ball with a monkey inside so that it rolls around and collects bananas. The monkey in question is AiAi and he takes his role very seriously. You could say he is bananas for it. You could not. He is, however, our next recipient of the prestigious Video Game Character Of The Month Award. No, it's not a banana AiAi.
Anyway, now for a bit of information on AiAi:

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Rant No. 10 Oscar Nominations

Ah, the Oscars. The pinnacle of the film awards season, and the ceremony which makes the public ask ‘what are these films?’. Your favourite superhero and action films, while good in their own right, are banished to the technical categories unless particularly groundbreaking (The Lord of the Rings is a prime example), destined to be big audience pleasers, but not take home the gold at the end of the day.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

TV Review No. 35 Marvel: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Let Me Stand Next To Your Fire (S4, Ep4)

Strong Points:
Hellfire's reappearance and worthy motives
Ghost Rider's improved
Aida's comedy
Simmon's using her powers
Twists and turns
Car chase...
Everyone's back together

Weak Points:
Could've had more of a fight between Hellfire and Ghost Rider
Daisy needs to just get on with it
...How did it not kill him?

Some spoilers ahead:

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

TV Review No. 34 Marvel: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Uprising (S4, Ep3)

Strong Points:
Metro looter fight scene
Yo-yo's powers in fighting
EMP fighting scenes
May's 'cure' and consequences of it
Connections between arcs in the episodes
Consequences of an EMP
Gabriel's a good addition to the show
Nice throwback to Lincoln
Going public again

Weak Points:
Still not too sure about Robbie Reyes
If you don't want to be identified, don't all have tattoos denoting your faction on your wrists
Going public again

Some spoilers ahead:

Friday, 17 February 2017

TV Review No. 33 Marvel: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Meet The New Boss (S4, Ep2)

Strong Points:
Pacing is up
Great fight sequences
Twists and turns
Ghosty not ghost people
Mack's outburst
'Why can't we go and investigate a well-lit room' line
Political commentary
The Director
Shotgun Axe

Weak Points:
Churning through plot points like there's no tomorrow
Effect of the ghost's powers can be confusing
Ghost Rider is variable

Sunday, 5 February 2017

TV Review No. 32 Marvel: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: The Ghost (S4, Ep1)

Strong Points:
Great camera work
Good acting throughout
Twists and turns
Ghost Rider
Back to Season 1 in terms of organisation gives us a nice insight into S.H.I.E.L.D....
Good CGI

Weak Points:
A tonne of new characters thrown at you - overwhelming
Would that guy really have a mini RPG?
Ghost Rider
...Although you'll sometimes want them to just get on with it!
Some words were missed when talking

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Video Game Character of the Month - February 2017 - Alto - Alto's Adventure

Video Game Character of the Month
February 2017
Alto's Adventure
Does Alto actually like to snowboard? Is he tired of continually going down a mountain which seemingly never ends only to respawn at the top when he meets his unfortunate end? Maybe he enjoys it? We'll never know as, like many of the recipients of this award, he can't speak. 
Anyway, now for a bit of information on Alto:

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Hardware Review: iPhone 7

Strong Points:
Fantastic aluminium build
Solid construction
New and improved camera sensor takes great quality photos
Faster Touch ID sensor
Much larger colour gamut
Optical zoom (7+ only)
Depth effect (7+ only)

Weak Points:
No headphone jack
Weak Lightning to 3.5 mm jack converter
Not bezel-less

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Film Review No. 19 La La Land (12+)

Strong Points:
Amazing cinematography
Superb score
Great musical numbers
A refreshing story
Great acting

Weak Points:
Singing was sometimes not at its strongest
Requires you to at least have some knowledge of the Golden Age of Hollywood to fully appreciate it
Pacing was variable

Some spoilers ahead:

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Review No. 128 Bioshock Remastered Edition - PC (18+)

Strong Points:
Amazing, claustrophobic atmosphere
Great graphics
Superb world
Nice use of music
Great voice-acting
Lots of gameplay additions keep things fresh
Hacking is a fun mini-game
Researching is a nice addition...
Genuinely unsettling
Good pace
Interesting story
Grey morals
Vita-chambers make sure you can beat the game...
Twists and turns

Weak Points:
Some bugs
Some sections go on for a bit too long (if collecting everything)
You'll run out of Plasmid/tonic space quickly
Some ammo types are too rare, some too common
Can't aim Trap Bolt very easily
Ending throws as much as possible at you - can be overwhelming
The Remastered edition doesn't give much in the way of graphics customisability
...Although does become a bit of a chore
Big Daddy fights end up being a case of wearing them down
...Although can make the game a game of attrition

Some spoilers ahead:

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Review No. 127 Warframe - PC (18+)

Strong Points:
Lots of content
Lots of customisation
Varied Warframes
Frequent updates add more to the game
Nice voice acting
Lots of varied weapons
Archwings are fun to play
Deep lore
Everything can be made by grinding...
Frequent events mean that all players will have something to do
Daily rewards
Good controls
Can play solo easily
Mods allow you to make your character truly your own
Varied game modes...

Weak Points:
Frequent updates and overhauls can make the game overwhelming or plain confusing when going back on the game after a while
Solar map can be confusing
...Except for slots for the Warframes and weapons you gain by grinding
Frequent events make it difficult for new/returning players to gain a foothold in the main game
Can be buggy
Customer service is variable
Difficulty spikes
Mods fusion can be overwhelming and not very attractive to do
Syndicates have no way of you balancing them all, but still ask you to
...Some better than others

Updates don't update in Steam

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Review No. 126 The Witcher: Enhanced Edition - PC (18+)

Strong Points:
Addictive one more quest style gameplay
Lots of meaningful choices
A proper sense of progression
Nice, in-depth combat
Some signs are great fun to use...
Characters are fully-fleshed
Great voice acting and sound
End battle is really clever
Lots of quests
3 camera styles
3 styles of attack give a lot of choice on how to play
Dice poker is a nice distraction...

Weak Points:
Run out of inventory space - a lot
Pace is variable
A lot of the same character models
...some aren't used often
You'll suddenly realise that you can't complete a quest and can't backtrack
An odd mix of open-world and linear narrative
Graphics are dated
Alchemy is difficult to do without dedicating time to collecting ingredients - won't get them naturally
Can get repetitive
Can be overwhelming
Can be confusing - read all the notes, and sometimes just go along with it!
A lot of backtracking
Some crashes (save often)
...even if it is luck-based
Can take a little while to switch weapons

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Film Review No. 18 Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (12+)

Strong Points:
Good expansion of the Star Wars universe
Fills up plot holes from the first movie
A nice, varied cast
Great easter eggs from the first film
Amazing visual effects
Grand Moff Tarkin
Darker atmosphere shows another side of Star Wars
Some unpredictability
Awesome action scenes

Weak Points:
Changes to certain characters costumes
The opening scene, while a nod to the original film, lacked the visual finesse
First half had so many cuts to other planets and characters it can be confusing
No scroll-up Star Wars credits!

Some spoilers ahead:

Sunday, 1 January 2017

Video Game Character of the Month - January 2017 - Trevor - Grand Theft Auto V

Video Game Character of the Month
January 2017
Grand Theft Auto V

So, Trevor, it's been decided that you should win this month's Video Game Character of the Month award! No, it's not a conspiracy to get rid of you. No, Brad can't be let out of prison to see you accept the award. No, you can't have *ahem* that for your award ceremony. Now if you would just put the gun down. 
And now for a bit of information on Trevor:

New Year's Resolutions Version 4.0

Well, what a year eh? If you base this year just on the news, it's not been the best, has it? You could say that's been reflected by the blog and YouTube channel, with a dip in content due to exams, and other commitments, however, both the blog and YouTube channel are growing and that's all due to you guys, the readers and our incredible writers, including some guest ones this year. The year has also seen us reach over 80,000 views on the blog, over 27,000 views on the YouTube channel, more reviews than ever, including the launch of our TV reviews and even a new layout to the blog (resolution completed).