Best Before Date:

posted in: blog | 1

<<<< Warning: Depressing IRL Post >>>>

My life is going to shit and im beginning to lose all hope of it ever picking up.
A Depressing summary of my current life situation:

– I work 2 seemingly dead end jobs, as an accounts assistant and as a waiter. Shit pay at both
– Live at home, not enough money to move out
– No girlfriend, no hope of getting one because the girls I work with arent my type and I rarely go out
– Rarely go out because my primary friend group are all fucking useless at keeping in contact or doing anything, even playing or chatting online is too much effort for them
– Uni friend group are spread too far and too thin to do anything
– Restaurant friend group are too different (raised on drugs and alcohol rather than books and vidya)
– Can’t find a ‘good’ job, so many applications declined i’ve lost the motivation to continue trying
– Distract myself from how shit life is by playing video games and learning to play the piano, though recently even my online friends seem to be disappearing
– Way worse at Japanese than everyone believes
– Write a blog that nobody ever reads

Lets put it this way, if the mayans are right, fuck yeah.

I need to get my life back on track, I just don’t know quite how ._.

I feel like my time is rapidly running out, nothing seems more pathetic than a 23 year old Biomedical Science graduate (from a National top 5 University) who is working as a fucking Waiter.
If anyone fancies chucking a £20k job and a wife my way, that would be awesome.

ps. Its sort of crazy to think how much this JET programme would change my life around if I got a place, fingers crossed.

The Walking Dead (Video Game)

posted in: Games, Games Review, review | 1

Despite the theoretical ease of it, not many game developers seem keen on bridging the gap between movies/TV and video games, There have been a few good attempts like the (probably) award winning Heavy Rain, and lesser known Farenheit (or Indigo Prophecy, depending on region), as well as a few series from Telltale Games, who have also made the recent Tales from Monkey Island, Sam and Max, and back to the future games.

As one can assume from the name, Telltale games are specialists in storytelling games, and their experience and speciality is starting to show off.
The walking dead video game is incredible, at current, almost half way through November, this is my game of the year, and if im honest, its probably also my ‘media of the year’, because whilst its technically game, it could easily double for a 10 hour long film or TV drama.

This might sting a little…

Gameplay is a mix of old school point and click adventuring with some easy puzzles, and then interactive movie sequences were you pick dialogue or actions, the latter is the star of the show here. As the game begins, it gives a very clear statement summarized as ‘this game series tailors the story to your actions’, what you say or do in episode 1 can easily come back to bite you in the ass, tell a guy you hate him? maybe he’ll be in charge of your life later. This form of storytelling is incredible, even conversation options where you dont pick something in time and abstain from the conversation can be picked up, with other characters recognizing your silence. This combined with certain action and decision sequences will have you quickly roleplaying yourself in the game, what would YOU do? how would YOU react? and so, you get involved in the constantly twisting story that is the walking dead, which in turn gives the game further more impact when someone dies or doublecrosses you.

Don’t ever leave me Clem ;_;

I feel this is a good time to introduce you all to the 8 year old that is going to make you wish you had a child of your own. Don’t have any paternal instinct? You do now!
Clementine is the most lovable character in video game history, by the end of episode 5 you will be apologising profusely to her for your past mistakes, please don’t hate me clem, he had to die! It was all for you! I would shoot every other character in the face if it meant Clementine were to stay safe

tldr; This is the game of the year, Clementine needs you.

The game is currently 50% off in the Steam Autumn Sale, bringing it down to £10.49, approximately £1 per hour of godlike storytelling and dialogue, or £0.50p per tear you will shed.

XCOM : Enemy Unknown

posted in: Games, Games Review | 0

So XCOM Enemy Unknown is apparently a remake of a game from 94 which ive never heard of (although realistically, 94 isnt even THAT old). I was very unimpressed with what I saw at Eurogamer expo, and as such had virtually no urge to play the game, however, a push by a friend made me download it, mostly so I could properly critique how boring the game was (because talking about why games are shit is a fun pasttime for me)

After putting it off for a day or so because I couldnt be bothered to even install it (which i think effectively demonstrates just how much I wanted to play the game), I gave it a go.

Imagine my surprise, when the boring game I anticipated turned out to be an addictive, deep, multilayered experience.
While its presentation could be a little better (mediocre music, graphics and voice acting), the core gameplay elements were all present and the game as a whole is pretty satisfying to play.

XCOM is, at its heart, a turn based strategy game a little similar to chess. Possible other ways to describe the combat gameplay are: “disgaea with only pistol rangers”. “turn based mass effect” or “Company of Heroes without needing to be an RTS god”

Your soldiers have skills and classes, perks and so on, and the game works on a kind of double turn system, where you can move and shoot in a turn, or haul ass – which I rather like.
The cover system is very similar to that in company of heroes, with light and heavy cover, flanking and all that good shit.
Shooting/Combat takes on a typical SRPG percentage to hit thing (always skewed in enemy favour I might add)

Dashing is a double turn move btw, although that alien is pretty well dressed as well.

Pewpew (snipers are overpowered , especially Cynthia here.)

After you do your fighting and progress the story, you go back to base, which then turns the game into a base management sim, building power and facilities, doing research, building fighter planes and weapons and launching satellites to help you track the enemy. It all works and comes together very well, and is likely what will keep you shooting aliens as kills = cash/materials which you can put towards that new exotic plasma sniper rifle.

The base starts to get pretty big after a while

Thats about it for this short rambly review, I would like to add you should definitely play on ironman mode, which is sort of bullshit, but at the same time I feel like that is the way the game was designed to be played. This basically enables permadeath for your soldiers should you fuck up, and will make you play like tom clancy as opposed to just sending your dudes in all ‘come at me bro’, because when your soldiers level up and you name them, you start to develop a strange bond with them, and it can be a little emotional when you make a wrong move, send in a scout who gets molested by an ambush party or so on.

A moment of silence for the dead please.

And a moment of silence for the soon to be dead as well I suppose.

Skyfall (2012)

posted in: films, review | 1

Before I start, im going to go ahead and say Skyfall isnt a bad film.
Its easy when writing reviews to always focus on the things that annoy you about the film and skyfall had these little annoyances by the truckload, but the film itself wasnt bad.

The review also contains spoilers, highlight over them to read.

Infact, i dont think ive ever watched a truly ‘bad’ bond film, some of them arent great, but generally a bond film is a bond film.

My problem with skyfall then, is the plot, which for the most part is simplistic and boring, and then for the other part, riddled with good ideas which werent followed through. Many parts of the film feel like the writers had a really good idea for something and then got halfway and didnt have a clue how to continue the idea or resolve it, leading to it just kind of disappearing without a trace.

Prime examples of this are [ the death of the woman bond meets in the casino, or the counter-hacking-hacking started by Q ]

The main villain in skyfall also doesnt feel very bond like, with his grand scheme simply being to kill M, whatever happened to giant orbital space lasers or plutonium bombs.
Did I mention there are no gadgets in the film either? Did they lose their deal with aston martin or something?

My other massive MASSIVE issue with the film is the lack of intelligence displayed throughout, both by 007 himself and by the baddies, maybe its just because ive been playing Xcom recently, but were these people not trained to fight? to take cover? to not [walk through a field in a horizontal line towards a fortified house without prior knowledge of whats inside the house?], what about that scene with [the sniper, why wait for him to finish shooting and walk into melee range, he was ordered to terminate him afterwards anyway, shoot him in the arms and legs from afar and then interrogate the bastard]

Oh, and don’t even get me fucking started on the ending.

Infact, the more i think about it, the more I am starting to get angry, maybe it WAS a bad film. idk.

It was alright  and infact if it were a standalone film or anything but a James bond film I think I would have enjoyed it more, but it just didn’t feel like a bond film, which was kind of a downer for me.
After looking through some ‘professional’ reviews, seems im not alone in this sentiment, here are some quotes from metacritic

“With gadgets, girls and globe-trotting held to a minimum, Skyfall, could, for long stretches, be mistaken for just another 21st-century thriller, albeit a well-made and intelligent one.”

” Skyfall, in the recent mode of Christopher Nolan’s “Batman” films, is a gloomy, dark action thriller, and almost completely without the cynical playfulness that drew us to the series in the first place.”

ps. I enjoyed the first 10 minutes or so immensely, particularly the opening, which was very slick. (and I dont even like adele or the skyfall theme song)

The Raid : Redemption (2011)

posted in: films, review | 0

So ‘The Raid’ is the sort of action movie made for people like me, people with short attention spans, who probably dont watch films very often, and arent too bothered by a lack of cohesive plot solong as the film is entertaining.
The film ticks all these boxes, it runs about 90 minutes, with the first 15 minutes and last 5 minutes being more or less all of the story – the rest, is all action.
It is an indonesian film before it was brought over to the US, a man with a sharp eye obviously hoping to bring over the next ‘ong-bak’, the US version of the film also features a new soundtrack written mostly by the dude from Linkin Park, and its a good one – a hard hitting electro/DnB/dubstep soundtrack which complements the raw action perfectly.

The jist of the plot is an elite police team are sent into a highrise building to sweep the building of threats and kill the boss at the top floor (which, funnily enough, is basically the final level or two of the original Streets of Rage)
The review then?

The film is fucking raw. They enter the building in stealth, kill some dudes, and then the alarm gets set off… And shit gets real. The guns come out, the snipers assemble, the machetes and knives are unsheathed.
The raid at its heart is about an hour of impressive fight choreography, flitted with guns, knives and folk getting their spines and necks broken.

If you like these sort of martial arts films, you’ll love this, because, like the guy below, its executed very, very well.

Hotline Miami

posted in: Games, Games Review | 0

A fairly out of nowhere indie game which has taken many by surprise.

It caught my eye when I saw it at the eurogamer expo this year, and a week or so ago I finally managed to have some time with it (and finished it today)

Its a fun little game, with simple graphics and concept – the concept being ‘kill everything’, which in itself is probably not a particularly unique concept, but the way in which it is carried out is certainly different and hasn’t been done much.
It plays from a top-down view, and is a little similar to counterstrike2D (if you were old school enough for that), that is to say you aim with the mouse and move your character with WASD. The enemy AI is predictable enough, but this is probably part of the game, as if they were any smarter the player would be completely fucked in most scenarios – as is most enemies are professional sharpshooters and musclemen who will murder you in 1 hit.

The story is sort of complex in a way where most players will not have a clue what the ending is or indeed what they have just spent the past few hours witnessing, this isn’t really helped by a final 4 chapters after you beat the game telling the story from an alternate universe or a different perspective or SOMETHING (i dont even know). I personally had a little google and saw some theories for the story of the game, all of which make more sense than my own – jist of which is that the dude is batshit insane.

The music is probably the standout in the game, and really brings it all together. Loud chiptune tracks which will get your heart going and have you charging into rooms full of armed thugs whilst you yourself are armed with nowt but a metal pole and a giraffe mask.

The game is £7 on steam currently, this is personally probably slightly more than i’d want to pay for the game given the short length of the story and repetitive nature of the game, however there are certainly far worse things you could spend £7 on. I’d price it at £5, a figure almost guaranteed to be offered come Christmas time.

tldr; Hotline Miami is a fun, frantic topdown action game with great music but a confusing plot.