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