Sunday, 21 October 2018

Film Review No. 44 Christopher Robin (PG)

Strong Points:
Amazing CGI
A great message
Funny
Some great bits of cinematography
Euan McGregor plays Christopher Robin excellently
Inspired plenty of more games to play
Pooh's way of speaking
Christopher Robin's neighbour
Great chunks of nostalgia
Little bits of traditional animation
Classic songs make a reappearance

Weak Points:
Some of the animals are left out of most of the film
Christopher Robin's neighbour
The film sometimes relies on nostalgia too much, including with the time period - the entire film feels like a memory
Some of the darker elements

Monday, 1 October 2018

Video Game Character of the Month - October 2018 - Lucina - Fire Emblem

Video Game Character of the Month
October 2018
Lucina
Fire Emblem
Overview:
It is said that Lucina appeared from [REDACTED] in order to save the world. I know this to be false. She actually appeared to receive the prestigious Video Game Character of the Month award. Well, that and to go shopping for some more, truly awful, fashion choices.
And now for a little bit of info on Lucina:
Warning: spoilers ahead:

Monday, 10 September 2018

Review No. 144 Grand Theft Auto IV - PC (18+)

Strong Points:
Strong voice performances
Great animation for cutscenes...
Variety of missions
Niko is well rounded and complete
Strong supporting cast
Great story
Gunplay is tight and versatile
Lots of cars to drive around in, with them behaving mostly like they should
Niko actually questions what's being asked of him...
The detail of the world and dialogue
Plenty of references
Detail of world - being able to skip tolls if you are in an ambulance with sirens on

Weak Points:
...Even with the occasional glitch or pop-in
Seems confused as to whether Niko is the main character or just a vehicle for the player to see the city
...Although doesn't necessarily do anything about it
Dark and gritty city fits the mood but isn't particularly fun to drive around
Constantly jumping between islands can get repetitive
The chronology of the game doesn't necessarily fit with the amount of time you play it for
Constant phone calls
No checkpoints in missions
No quicksave option
Tolls and bottlenecked traffic slow travel down
Some interesting physics with the cars



Some spoilers ahead:

Saturday, 1 September 2018

Video Game Character of the Month - September 2018 - Fox McCloud - Star Fox

Video Game Character of the Month
September 2018
Fox McCloud
Star Fox
Overview:
Star Fox, I mean 'Fox McCloud', is one of the galaxy's best pilots, and certainly one of the best anthropomorphic fox pilots. And, while his main game series may have slipped slightly into obscurity (although Captain Falcon of F-Zero would argue that Star Fox is alive and kicking in comparison), he's certainly still very relevant in Super Smash Bros. tournaments. And, as an original Nintendo mascot, I think it's only fair to say: Fox, 'do a barrel role' and come and collect your Video Game Character of the Month Award!
Now for a little bit of information on Fox McCloud:
Warning: spoilers ahead

Thursday, 30 August 2018

Film Review No. 43 Ant-Man and The Wasp (12+)


Strong Points:
More fun and interesting uses of the Pym Particle powers
A great script
Some brilliant one-liners
Interesting villain powers
More Luis lip-syncing
A better look at the Quantum Realm
Some great costumes
Mid-credit scene
Explains the repercussions of Captain America: Civil War and why Ant-Man wasn’t in Infinity War
Paul Rudd as Michelle Pfeiffer
A nice pallet-cleanser after Infinity War

Weak Points:
Felt like a filler episode before Avengers 4
Very quick pacing – because it has to take place in the same time-frame as Infinity War
Perhaps not to do with Ant-Man and The Wasp enough to justify the title
Some comedic breaks in tension fell flat

Spoiler warning for Ant-Man and the Wasp, Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War

Saturday, 4 August 2018

Film Review No. 42 The Incredibles 2 (PG)

Strong Points:
One of the funniest Pixar movies
The family life details are spot on...
Jack-Jack
Great voice acting from all
Stylish action sequences
Incredibly detailed animation and graphics
Great score
Edna's scene

Weak Points:
Never stops and takes a breath
The villain isn't quite Syndrome
The other heroes aren't really explored
...But the superhero sequences can't quite live up to them
Has some ideas (especially in the monologue) that aren't explored fully
Void's character model seemed off

Nitpick:
Some of the greatest scenes were too short and spoiled in the trailers

Spoilers ahead:

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Video Game Character of the Month - August 2018 - Galen 'Starkiller' Marek - Star Wars: The Force Unleashed

Video Game Character of the Month
July 2018
Galen 'Starkiller' Marek (Starkiller)
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed
Overview:
For completing his final test, making me feel like an all-powerful Sith/Jedi, Galen 'Starkiller' Marek's, has been granted the prestigious Video Game Character of the Month Award. Now only two goals remain for the Star Wars production team: to finish the Force Unleashed Trilogy rather than leaving it as the Half-Life of movie tie-ins, and to grant Chewie his own medal for his role in a New Hope.
And now for a bit of information on Galen 'Starkiller' Marek:
Spoilers ahead:

Monday, 23 July 2018

Review No. 143 Kingdom Hearts 0.2: Birth By Sleep - A Fragmentary Passage - PS4 (12+)

Strong Points:
Beautiful graphics
An interesting development on Aqua's character
Smooth and fluid gameplay
Good pacing
Brilliant soundtrack
Helps to explain odd plot holes from the previous games
And sets up Kingdom Hearts 3 nicely
Customisation surprisingly works
Good voice acting
The animation in cutscenes is top notch
You can straight away see Aqua's power

Weak Points:
Some gameplay elements such as the clock gears were little more than gimmicks
Yearned for more
Ice ramps aren't properly explained and a slight change in environment will affect them




Some spoilers ahead:

Saturday, 14 July 2018

Review No. 142 Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep Final Mix - PS3 (12+)

Strong Points:
Great battle system
Intricate deck building...
A large adventure which demands to be seen as a whole rather than three stories
The Final Mix adds even more story and battles
A nice selection of worlds
Great voice acting from most...
Helps to fill in gaps from the wider KH narrative
Music is brilliant
Mirage Arena is a fun experience
Lots of little collectables...

Weak Points:
...which is slightly at ends with the original portable design of quick play sessions
...Although the three main characters could do with a bit more expression
The three stories mean the overarching narrative isn't filled in until the end, so remember to read up on what you've done before
Slightly barren worlds
Not enough Unversed bosses
...Which aren't really explained as to why they are there
Music sometimes loops too often - Cinderalla's World especially
D-Link takes too long to load

PS4 photo due to sharing option


Friday, 6 July 2018

Film Review No. 41 Ocean's Eight (12+)

Strong Points:
Entertaining and humorous throughout
Tongue-in-cheek...
Didn't rely on raunchy or over the top jokes as many films do when trying to show 'real female characters'
Clever heists
Multiple twists
Some nice references to the previous trilogy...
Low stakes make for an entertaining popcorn flick...

Weak Points:
...sometimes too much so
Slightly too long
James Corden's role wasn't needed
...But was it really needed?
...albeit a forgettable one
Some characters could have had larger, more fleshed out roles

Spoilers ahead:

Sunday, 1 July 2018

Video Game Character of the Month - July 2018 - Merlin - Kingdom Hearts

Video Game Character of the Month
July 2018
Merlin
Kingdom Hearts
Overview:
Ah, Merlin. While you have had many incarnations over the years across a wide spectrum of mediums, it is Kingdom Hearts where you are remembered most fondly by this writer. His bumbling but calm demeanour brought moments of peace to an otherwise frantic game series. He also introduced the series to The Hundred Acre Wood and, as the series progressed, was shown to have a vast array of powers, including the ability to train people in the ways of the Keyblade. For this, and many other reasons, Merlin is being given the Video Game Character of the Month Award today.
And now for some information on Merlin:

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Comment: Satamer's Favourite E3 Reveals 2018

With E3 (and my exams) complete for another year, I thought I'd do a quick post to reflect on my favourite reveals this year. I'm sure to have missed at least one reveal (I couldn't watch all of the showcases) but I'll update the post if I remember any more

Saturday, 23 June 2018

Film Review No. 40 Solo: A Star Wars Story (12+)

Strong Points:
Likeable characters
Easter eggs
Brilliant special effects
Extreme wide shots and almost painting-like backdrops
Great acting by all, especially Paul Bettany and Alden Ehrenreich
Some good laughs
Cameos
Tense action sequences and dialogue
Subtle score references and remixes

Weak Points:
Very busy on screen at the beginning turns an action scene into a swirl of colour
Emotions didn't always continue as you'd believe
Some themes weren't subtle, some too much so
Some characters should have been in the film more

Nit-pick:
Prequels never really allow you to invest in characters who you know must meet their end or disappear in the film to allow the canon to work

Some spoilers ahead:

Friday, 1 June 2018

Video Game Character of the Month - June 2018 - Brigitte Lindholm - Overwatch

Video Game Character of the Month
June 2018
Brigitte Lindholm
Overwatch
Overview:
Ah, Brigitte Lindholm, the faithful and honourable squire. You and Reinhardt may feel that chivalry is its own reward but we here at GamesAppsAndReviews also feel that you deserve to receive the prestigious Video Game Character of the Month Award (to be honest, you deserve it for changing the dive meta and allowing me to rack up some wins on deathmatch - oh, and for the whole protecting the world thing).
And now for a little bit of information on Brigitte Lindholm:

Thursday, 17 May 2018

First Impressions: Trackmania Turbo

Vroom. Start your engines. Ready, set, go! Reverse bay park. Nitros activate. 6 point observation. Big jump ahead! Make sure your wing mirror is adjusted properly. 20th gear. Always wear a seatbelt.

These are all car terms, some more fantastical than others, showing the two ways a racing game can go - realism or arcade. Trackmania Turbo is firmly in the latter, and it loves it.

Monday, 14 May 2018

Review No. 141 Bloodborne - PS4 (16+)

Strong Points:
Makes you keep going back for more
Satisfaction of winning
Intricate level design with plenty of shortcuts
Enemy design
No hand-holding encourages experimentation
Tight controls
More aggressive than Souls series
Great world building...

Weak Points:
Voice acting at ends with the polished game
Can be overwhelming without help
No hand-holding can quickly remove options from the game
Some bosses are plain cruel
...Doesn't constitute a great story



Thursday, 10 May 2018

Review No. 140 Red Dead Redemption - PS3 (18+)

Strong Points:
Great atmosphere and world building
Likeable hero
Varied cast
The language of the Wild West
Horse riding
Shooting gameplay...
Funny
Lots to do
Great voice acting
Classic Rockstar realism and graphics

Weak Points:
Pacing issues
A lot of the same story trends
...Even if it turns into a bit of an auto-lock sometimes
The amount of people you kill is at ends with the story
Run too fast and you can miss story elements



Friday, 4 May 2018

Film Review No. 39 Avengers: Infinity War (12+)

Strong Points:
One of the best Marvel scripts
Balances humour and drama
Great acting from all
Humanising Thanos
The ending
Slick battle sequences
Great cinematography
Superb CGI
Successfully balances cast of characters
New interactions between well-known characters
Doesn't get bogged down
Risk-taking

Weak Points:
Some sound issues - missing one-liners etc.
Some romantic pairings suffered from pacing issues
Other villains don't have the impact - should have been introduced before hand
Mark Ruffalo in the Hulk Buster Armour had some visual effects tearing

Spoilers ahead:

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Video Game Character of the Month - May 2018 - The Wandering Madness - Bloodborne

Video Game Character of the Month
May 2018
The Wandering Madness
Bloodborne
Overview:
The Wandering Madness is one of the smartest enemies in Bloodborne. Not because it will kill you, actually, it's one of the only ones which won't. Instead it runs away as soon as you spot it, disappearing if you can't catch it. This is smart, as if like me, you were frustrated when playing Bloodborne, you won't stop until everything is clear from a room. This means all enemies need to die or disappear. Even if it takes an hour, and multiple tries, most rooms will be cleared at least once. This makes The Wandering Madness clever, as it respects that the player sometimes needs a helping hand, disappearing so as to avoid giving us any more griefs. Take note Great Ones. They get the Video Game Character of the Month Award over any boss in Bloodborne, simply as they didn't raise my anger levels any more than they were already. 
Now for some more information on The Wandering Madness:

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Comment: TV Reviews

As you've probably noticed, Marvel: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. reviews haven't been appearing as and when they should be i.e. before the next episode is released.

Because of time restraints due to exams, getting ready for university and other commitments, I haven't had the time to complete a TV review a week, especially up to a standard I feel comfortable with releasing. Therefore, I've decided to halt the Marvel: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. reviews for the time being. Instead, I will be doing a review round-up when the series finishes, either focusing on each episode with a mini review or focusing on characters/arcs/something else as I have been for the last two seasons.

Hopefully this will allow posts here at GamesAppsandReviews to maintain a high quality throughout. Once the summer's in, posts will be hopefully going back to normal.

Many thanks to everyone for their continued support.
Satamer.

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

App Review No. 110 KiwiQueue

Strong Points:
Clean design
Can watch videos straight from the app
Smaller than the YouTube app

Weak Points:
Some crashes
Not necessary
Takes a while to update subscriptions
Videos sometimes can't be played - restricted by Google Account



Sunday, 1 April 2018

Video Game Character of the Month - April 2018 - Bandana Waddle Dee - Kirby Series

Video Game Character of the Month
April 2018
Bandana Waddle Dee
Kirby Series
Overview:
How do you know a character's important? They either wear a hat when no-one else does, or they don't wear a hat when everyone else does. Either way, they are a trendsetter and Waddle Dee is no different, although is firmly in the former category. 

A regular Waddle Dee he is not, being almost on par with Kirby in terms of raw power. Coming from a devasted, war-torn wasteland, raised by mice and incapable of pronouncing the letter E, Bandana Dee had a difficult upbringing. His cold eyes give away nothing unless you can catch him unawares whereby he can be seen wiping the odd, acid infused tear from his left eye - his right eye, of course, is made of glass... None of this is true. But that doesn't make Bandana Dee any less deserving of the Video Game Character of the Month Award
Now for some more (true) information about Bandana Waddle Dee:

Monday, 26 March 2018

5th Birthday

Half a decade. When this blog was started, way back in 2013, Grand Theft Auto V was starting its hype train. The Last of Us and Frozen were unknown quantities, and my average review was around 200 words. The blog was called Games Reviews and Other Stuff, I had just picked my GCSE choices and Pokémon had just transitioned to the 3DS. A lot has changed in this time, but guess what? We're still here! *party poppers*


Friday, 23 March 2018

Review No. 139 The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings Enhanced Edition - PC (18+)

Strong Points:
References to the original game
Great graphics
Lots of customisation
Lore and story
Great voice acting
Choices in the game have far-reaching consequences
A brilliant array of characters
Dandelion's journal
Great combat when it works...
Preparation is key

Weak Points:
Some frame rate drops in battle
... although a sometimes clunky battle system
Certain difficulty spikes
Some choices are hidden behind dialogue I wouldn't have linked together
Can miss quests if not careful
Stealth
Preparation is key



Some spoilers ahead:

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Film Review No. 38 Lady Bird (15+)

Strong Points:
Weaving plot points into general conversation
Superb acting all round
Great attention to detail
Funny and dramatic at the same time
Little theatre references
Grainy film style
Likeable characters
Excellent pacing

Weak Points:
Takes a while to find a plot
Some characters deserved more time

Some spoilers ahead:

Friday, 16 March 2018

TV Review No. 63 Marvel: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Orientation (S5, Ep1&2)

Strong Points:
A reinvention of the classic AoS formula
References to the past seasons
Some classic Mack lines
A life spent, a life earned - for tension
Great CGI
Action sequences
May can take some hits
Daisy's entrance

Weak Points:
Virgil wasn't in it nearly enough to give the depth of emotion they wanted
If people could just get to the point...
A life spent, a life earned - meaning
Some plot twists were given away before and then repeated

Spoilers ahead:

Sunday, 11 March 2018

Review No. 138 Bravely Default (12+) - 3DS

Strong Points:
A mix of old and new
Great voice acting
Rebuilding Norende was a good past-time
Lots of jobs
Intuitive battle system
Great variety of weapons
Specials are cool to see
Great music
Classic story with some modern themes
Funny
Great cast of characters
Good pacing, for the first half at least

Weak Points:
SP was an unneeded cash-grab
Can't see everything on the map, especially if the menu's up
Voices and mouths don't always match
Some character costumes reduce the dramatic effect of dialogue
Sometimes requires 'cheesing' the battle or be ready for a long fight

Spoilers ahead:



Saturday, 3 March 2018

Film Review No. 37 Black Panther (12+)

Strong Points:
A refreshing new type of Marvel movie
The gadgets
Colour palette - etheral
Great acting from all
Told its own story outside of political and cultural pressures...
...Although treats them with sensitivity as well
The right amount of humour
Wide open fight scenes and small, intimate duels
No CGI army to fight
Impressive CGI
Twists and turns

Weak Points:
Some of Michael B Jordan's lines fell flat
Took me a while to remember the opening was set in the past
Did they fight to kill sometimes?

Some spoilers ahead:

Thursday, 1 March 2018

Video Game Character of the Month - March 2018 - Characters of One-Touch Games - One-Touch Games

Video Game Character of the Month
March 2018
Characters of One-Touch Games
One-Touch Games
Overview:
Tap, tap, tap. Swipe, swipe, swipe. Restart, restart, restart. Delete game, move on to next one. This is generally how it works in the world of One-Touch games, a new breed of games made for phones and short attention spans. Ideal for a bus journey or when waiting for the headteacher, these games are made to be easy to learn but challenging to master, ideally so you can restart a lot and watch more adverts. This means the games have to have easily recognisable controls and characters with about as much personality as the aforementioned headteacher to allow you to relax and play without thought. However, I believe these characters deserve a special place in our gaming history, being halfway between mascots and grunts, and as such deserve this award.
Here's some information of these One-Touch Characters:


Monday, 19 February 2018

Film Review No. 36 The Martian (12+)

Strong Points:
Great acting from all
Realism
Use of music
Simplified enough for science to not be written off as 'mumbo-jumbo'
Tense
Found yourself rooting for the character
Atmosphere of happiness and hope

Weak Points:
Some weak areas in CGI
Could be seen as predictable
Takes a short time to find its feet
Supporting characters were slightly one-dimensional

Some spoilers ahead:

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

First Impressions: Snake Pass

I was going to do a snake joke but I thought that would be sssssily...

Snake Pass first came onto my radar when I saw a couple of YouTubers playing it. I've regained my appetite for bright, colourful 3D platformers in recent months and it looked excellent. I was torn between getting it on the Sssswitch or PC (as with any indie game these days). However, my choice was made for me when I was given the code by Martin (of blog fame) from the Humble Monthly for PC.

Friday, 2 February 2018

Review No. 137 The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild - Nintendo Switch (12+)

Strong Points:
Climbing
Awesome art style
Can play for a short time or a long time
Varied weapons
Surprisingly deep story with dark aspects
Great characters
Good voice acting...
Lots of collectables
Not just a checklist
Map gives just enough information
Will always being contributing to some sort of upgrade
Boss designs
Shrines give varied challenges
Can take any challenge from any angle
Finding a secret is a great feeling
Just enough direction is given
Massive, varied world - while still realistic
Remixed versions of the Hyrule theme
The physics of the world

Weak Points:
No ability to write notes next to your stamps
No ability to keep recipes written down outside of taking a photo
Not enough space in the camera mode
No ability to transfer photos taken to Switch's storage outside of capturing a smaller version
...For the most part
Divine Beast Naboris's puzzles were difficult to picture
The combat's not always as fluid as I would have liked
Can sometimes feel overwhelming

Some spoilers ahead:

Comment: Duel Link Deck Profiles

If you grew up in the early 2000's then you probably remember a 'little' card game and anime called Yu-Gi-Oh. It, and it's sequel Yu-Gi-Oh GX were essential to my childhood, and I remember watching the anime with great fondness, although wasn't quite old enough to play the card game properly. With Duel Links being released on the phones and PC, I have been able to rekindle my love for Yu-Gi-Oh.

Thursday, 1 February 2018

Video Game Character of the Month - February 2018 - Cappy - Mario Series

Video Game Character of the Month
February 2018
Cappy
Mario Series

Overview:
Ah, here we are, the Video Game Character of Month, come to collect its award. But what's that it's wearing? Is that a cap? Oh no, no, he's found me... Cappy, Scourge of the Kingdoms, Master of the Odyssey, Finest Dresser 1988. Run! Run! Save yoursel... Cappy! I... I mean Cappy will now be receiving the Video Game Character of the Month Award. Please ignore my new cap, it's just a fashion statement, not a mark of possession.
Now for a little bit of information on Cappy:

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Review No. 136 Wolfenstein: The New Order - PC (18+)

Strong Points:
Involving story
Great voice acting
Subtitles for the Scottish voices
Good graphics and art style
Lots of guns
Satisfying gameplay
Collectables
Perk system - upgrades what you use not what you think you'll use
Varied levels
Good length of game
Slower paced levels in headquarters allow you to breath
Some great characters...

Weak Points:
Start each level with either no weapons or random assortment
The final boss is cheap and overpowered (in Uber)
Blazkowic's face just looks confused all the time
Maybe a tad too much gore
...Some annoying characters
Wire cutter puzzles can be too sensitive
Journal entries



Some spoilers ahead:

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Film Review No. 35 The Greatest Showman (PG)

Strong Points:
Awesome songs - high energy, powerful and with meaning
Great choreography
Made me want to clap and stand-up at the end of songs
Some twists and turns I didn't guess
Great parallels between two groups
The critic
Good acting all around
Some lovely wide shots
The editing
Understands the effect of acting

Weak Points:
Some slight pacing issues at the beginning
Some jumps in relationships - you understand but it's still slightly off
Not too sure about Queen Victoria

Some spoilers ahead:

Monday, 1 January 2018

New Year's Resolutions Version 5.0

What do you mean it's the end of the year already? I swear we just started... In any case, both the blog and YouTube have kept up their steady pace, with the blog breaking 100,000 views last month (November was also our best month with over 3500 views!) and YouTube nearly breaking 30,000. We also finally finished the Life is Strange let's play series and reviewed Warframe, both a long time coming! With the new year, comes new TV, with the UK finally getting access to the US's Fall season (without the mid-season break) and plenty of more reviews! Thank you to all who have read, shared and contributed to GamesAppsandReviews - it means so much to us and allows us to keep doing what we're doing! A perhaps more tumultuous year approaches, with some of the team going to university etc. but have no fear - we will continue!


Video Game Character of the Month - January 2018 - Spyro the Dragon - Spyro Series

Video Game Character of the Month
January 2018
Spyro the Dragon
Spyro Series

Overview:
In the gaming industry's current quest to reboot all of the 90's gaming mascots (Sonic, Crash Bandicoot, Rachet and Clank etc.), Spyro has been sadly ignored. So, in order to show everyone's favourite purple dragon some love, I have decided to award him with the most prestigious award in all of gamingdom, the Games Apps and Reviews Video Game Character of the Month Award (which, interestingly, is also the holder of The Longest Award Name in Gamingdom Award).
A little bit of information on Spyro: