Batman: Arkham Origins – PC Review

posted in: Games, Games Review | 0

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The third game in the Batman Arkham Series, though this one is made by Warner Bros. instead of Rocksteady who developed the last 2 games, the result of this is a game which comes across as media which is almost trying to imitate itself.

Right off the bat here, i’ll say that Arkham Origins feels like Arkham City, in pretty much every sense, the combat is virtually untouched, the city feels familiar, probably half of the game assets are straight up taken from the previous game, and all of the core gameplay mechanics are the same.
Arkham Origins almost begins to have a Zelda feel to it, completing essentially the same tasks game after game, yet at least Zelda put a new lick of paint and a new spin on it before sending you into the gauntlet of dungeons and bosses.

The game is beautiful at least, this isn't running at mid-high settings
The game is beautiful at least, this isn’t running at mid-high settings

And therein lies the problem, many review websites are slaughtering Arkham Origins because it lacks any original content other than the story (and really, the story is nothing to be celebrated), this seems unfair however as the game is still solid, the predator segments are entertaining, the free-flow combat is fun and the graphics are brilliant.

Unfortunately, Origins somehow manages to go backwards in several aspects…
Once past a certain point in the game, you get the shock gloves, which essentially trivialize most fights by turning batman into a complete monster.
The hub world is equal parts barren and completely nonsensical, Arkham city was supposed to be an enclosed city for inmates, Arkham Asylum was.. an asylum, why then is there no life aside from thugs and corrupt cops in the hub world in this game?
And unlike Arkham City, you wont even really want to explore any of the world anyway, gone are the clever riddles, and replaced with boring collectibles scattered around randomly, few of which actually seem that challenging to collect as long as you have the correct equipment.
The game is also significantly more buggy/glitchy than previous titles, In my playthrough I had to reload checkpoints 3 times because I would run into game-breaking bugs, examples: unable to climb into vent, unable to interrogate enemy as he was floating, batman refusing to move…

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I could go on and on, but it would all come back to the same main point…

Verdict:

Batman: Arkham Origins is a solid game, but it fails to live up to its predecessor and instead feels like a step backwards. It’s by no means bad, but gives scary vibes towards a Call of Duty or Assassins Creed style serialization with little innovation.

Approximate Game Length :  10-15 hours for main story and some extras
Actual Worth / Steam Price:  £25  / £39 = 0.625
Should you play it : No, If you’ve played the previous 2 games, this is more of the same, if you havent played the previous 2 games, you should probably go play those instead.

Rating: 4/5

BatmanOrigins 2013-10-26 20-43-43-58

 

Life – October 2013

posted in: blog, work | 0

Wow. Coming towards the end of October already?

It’s been over a month since I started my new job, and the past month has just flown by.
I had been assigned to the boots till upgrade, which involves changing out the base unit (pc), monitor and printer of tills. Other jobs (the ones with more waiting around) involved fitting what is essentially a backup control server thing to control the EPOS systems should the main fail, that one was like 30 mins of swapping shit out and then sticking a disk in and waiting for 2 hours or so – a great opportunity for me to play Mario and Luigi Dream Team (which I have almost solely been playing ‘at work’ and am about 12 hours in now).

I’ve been about the country going from store to store for these upgrades, from central london, to kent, oxford, epping, basildon, dartford as well as down to near exeter and as far up as leeds.
The travelling is really the worst part of the job, yet sadly a necessary one. I’ve clocked around 2k miles since I started last month.

I was informed today however that the boots project was nearing its end,  and that I would be switched over to the Morrisons project which is starting up soon…
More surprising than that however, is that I would be one of the few that are leading the Morrisons project which is starting up soon.
Me, leading, the guy that has been with the company barely over 1 month.
The jist of this next project is that across the country, we need to replace 6000 till base units, these are, again, pretty much small PC’s, so we just need to go in and swap stuff out. There is a little tinkering around inside with the motherboard, but nothing too serious.

For anyone interested in what the inside of a supermarket till PC looks like. The old one is on the right, so it looks like they are getting a rather nice upgrade - check dem copper heatpipes on the heatsink. Aww ye.
For anyone interested in what the inside of a supermarket till PC looks like.
The old one is on the right, so it looks like they are getting a rather nice upgrade – check dem copper heatpipes on the heatsink. Aww ye.

EU63 KYO

posted in: blog | 0

A short story about a forbidden love between two vehicles.

~~~~~

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Dear Kyo,

We met on the A1, on a dark stretch, you overtook me with your bright headlights.
I gave chase of course, and kept up with ridiculous speeding, your full beam scanning for speed cameras. We travelled for hundreds of miles (or well, around one hundred), with you leading the way for most of the journey.
At times, I was sure you had caught wind of my following, that time you slowed down to 60 comes to mind, we played chicken for a while, til’ I overtook you and sped off.
I thought I might have seen the last of you, but of course, 5 minutes later, those bright headlights of yours found me in the darkness again, as you once again overtook and tried to leave me behind in the dark.
Remember that time you panicked when you almost overtook that police van? and then a few minutes later we both realised it wasn’t actually a police van, that was funny.
I overtook you one more time, and said my goodbyes in my head, you disappeared for 10 miles or so… and then suddenly, as I turned off the motorway to head into the suburbs, who else would shoot past me but you.
From the lonely darkness of the midlands, to the warmth of my hometown, you were there to keep me from going insane on my long journey home. Thank you.
I’m just sad I never got to give a proper goodbye.

ps. Chill out with the speeding, you’re going to kill yourself.

What you should be watching this season (Autumn 2013)

posted in: Anime, WYSBW | 0

wysbw

There is a TON of new shows airing this season, however as usual, around 80% of these are a waste of your time and bandwidth.
With this being the last season before the end of the year, it would seem 2013 has not been a very good year for anime at all aside from a few standout shows (but we’ll cross that bridge later in the year when I do my 2013 Best Of series)

As Usual, all of these shows have been judged only on the first 2 episodes (or if its been THAT traumatizing, the first episode only). If it aint on this list at all, I didn’t watch it.

‘I actually Look forward to these shows’ Tier

Kill La Kill

KillLaKill

I already touched on this one a week or so back and after watching the second episode, I am only more pumped to see more. The art style is fantastic, and the episodes are fast, action packed, and insane. The humour in the show is also great, though I can’t help but wish the show on the whole didn’t have so much fanservice.

Yowamushi Pedal

Yowamushi Pedal

A surprise for me, AniDB didn’t actually have a whole lot of information on this one so I went in blind and was rewarded by an interesting tale of a nerd with a natural gift for biking, who meets with a cycling enthusiast. It’s set to be another zero to hero anime so somewhat cliche, but it’s been so long since I’ve seen a good one, I am happy to go along for the ride.

Ace of the Diamond

ace of the diamond

Speaking of Zero to Hero, Ace of the Diamond looks keen to replace Major as my sports show, I’m not entirely sure how I keep getting sucked into these baseball anime, maybe I just can’t dislike a good underdog story. The story is again, a cliche one, with our hero being scouted for his natural gift for pitching, he goes off to a new elite baseball school where I assume he’ll aim to go for nationals. It won’t be for everyone, but I loved all 6 seasons of Major so this is right up my alley.

Log Horizon

log horizon

Log Horizon is Sword Art Online but without the drama, where SAO made a big deal out of players being sucked into the universe and held hostage, Log Horizon’s players just fucking deal with it.
The main attraction for Log Horizon for me, is that it tries its best to stay true to what it would actually probably be like to be trapped in an MMORPG, there’s talk of classes, class specific skills, raid gear, even specification trees. It’s all somewhat fascinating to watch, and i’ll be keeping track of this one to see what else their universe holds.

‘I’ve already watched 3 hours of Running Man and need to waste more time’ Tier

Unbreakable Machine-Doll
Its ‘OK’, people fight using dolls and magical puppetry and he’s trying to get revenge or something.. idk.

Samurai Flamenco
Can be very quickly summarized by calling it ‘the anime version of Kick-Ass’, some guy wants to make a difference in the world and so dons a superhero costume to do vigilante work and promptly gets the shit kicked out of him. I’m interested in seeing where the story goes from here.

Kyokai No Kanata (Beyond the Boundary)
A story about demons in the real world and wardens or some shit. Im not sure. Made by kyoani so its kind of weird because you have this ‘serious’ fantasty story and then moeblob k-on characters.

Outbreak Company
Anime Nerd in the real world gets taken to a fantasy alternate universe to teach them all the wonders of manga and anime. Featuring tsundere ojou-sama princess and a maid. As the tier suggests, its watchable, but not particularly fantastic.

Galilei Donna
3 Sisters under attack from a mysterious organization, but why? Seems interesting but again, will have to wait and see..

‘Not bad, But certainly not good’ Tier

Golden Time
Love triangle story, its meh but at the same time more interesting than the other 2 shows in this tier. I might keep watching this one if i’m really bored.

Nagi no Asukara
Nice animation and art, but the story (a romance love triangle tale between mermaid and surface dwellers) is boring and actually irritating to watch.

White Album 2
A romance story which had a strong first episode ending, but very mediocre and somewhat boring 2nd episode, as a result im not sure where to put it…

Sequels Tier

If you’ve seen the previous seasons, then this is to let you know that they have a new season, you’ll already know what they are, so I wont bother talking about them much.

Hajime no Ippo: The Fighting! – Rising
Off to a weak start for now, but I have faith that Ippo and crew will show us a good fight.

IS: Infinite Stratos 2

Now with even more service than before. Who knew it was possible.

‘Who is greenlighting this shit’ Tier

Coppelion

Walkure Romanze

Yuushibu (Yuusha ni Narenakatta Ore wa Shibushibu Shuushoku o Ketsui Shimashita.)

BlazBlue: Alter Memory

The Stanley Parable Demonstration

posted in: Games | 0

http://store.steampowered.com/app/221910/
Scroll Down a little, click ‘Download Demo’ or ‘Click here to play the demo’.

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The Stanley Parable Demonstration is, in my opinion, better than the original Stanley Parable mod, it is easily the best video game demo I have ever played, and the fact that it actually reveals nothing about the game it is supposed to be advertising is even better.

This demo could easily win awards on its own, and as a video game experience, it is up there with other great moments like the fall of GlaDos, the twists in Hotline Miami, or the end of Telltales Walking Dead.

Play it, don’t quit until it quits for you.

SERIOUSLY GUYZ IF YOU HAVE 25 MINS SPARE PLAY THIS DEMO ITS COOL.

The Wolf Among us (Episode 1) Review

posted in: Games, Games Review | 0

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The Wolf Among Us is another episodic story adventure game by Telltale, a studio which, having developed one of the best games of last year, seem to now understand what exactly makes a good adventure game.

TWAU is based on a comic book series called Fables, which can probably be quickly summarised as ‘Fairy tales in New York’ with a dark and gritty twist on the affair, the story here focuses on Bigby Wolf (aka. Big B Wolf) who is the sheriff of fabletown, a murder occurs and you end up playing detective to get to the bottom of it all.
This was my first look into the ‘fables’ universe, and I have to say I found it very interesting, going through and seeing all of the characters and how they are portrayed in this alternate world is really cool and definitely something that will probably attract people both to the game, and to the original source material.

Apparently one of the 'little' piggies that Bigby made homeless crashes on his couch.
Apparently one of the ‘little’ piggies that Bigby made homeless crashes on his couch.

It feels like a pretty big departure from the Walking Dead games, in that this feels like significantly more of a solo affair, similarly there seems to be less focus on interaction with other characters and more on interaction with the world and the story itself.
What do I mean by that? Well other than the obvious clicking on the environment to examine stuff and pick up clues, there are also segments in the game which are super obvious black or white style ‘this is going to massively impact the story’ – something which I would LOVE to talk more about, but will refrain from doing in order to not spoil any of the story.
There are a lot of action sequences in TWAU, from brawling quicktime events, to chasing people in segments which feel funnily similar to Shenmue.

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The first episode runs around 2 hours, and has its fair share of twists and turns in itself, however judging by the ‘next episode’ segment at the end of the episode, we are definitely in for a ride.

Verdict:

The first episode in what will almost certainly be another fantastic series from Telltale, think LA noire meets Telltale, set in an amazing looking comicbook universe.

Approximate Game Length :  ~2 hours for this episode
Actual Worth / Steam Price:  £??  / £19 =
Should you play it : Yes

I wont be rating anything or assigning worth until all the episodes are out, but episode 1 alone was probably around a 4/5. The pricing seems possibly a little high, but if TWD is anything to go by, there will be a crapton of sales down the line, which will almost certainly bring it to a good purchase.

TheWolfAmongUs 2013-10-12 19-35-34-95

Electronic Super joy (PC) – Review

posted in: Games, Games Review | 0

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Electronic Super joy is platforming heaven.. or maybe hell.. depending on how you look at it.

ESJ knows what it wants to be, and what it wants to do, and sets out to accomplish it in its own unique way, the game puts a real emphasis on content over anything else.

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ESJ is a ridiculously hard platformer game, it has just under 50 levels including a few boss/arena style fights, and is best described as Super Meat Boy on LSD. Why LSD? The art style for starters, is a mix of minimalistic pixel stuff and bright pulsing neon colours, and then there’s the soundtrack – which consists entirely of heavy dance/club music, heres a taste of what you’ll be listening to as you’re jumping over pits and dodging lasers – Fire Frost – and heres one more – If you are into that sort of the music, the game might well be worth trying just for the soundtrack alone.

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The actual platforming itself is simple in nature, but thrown towards the extreme end in terms of difficulty, you’ll be able to get double jumps and ground slams and all that normal stuff, but the level design is where the game really shines, with the game throwing all sorts of ridiculous obstacles at you, ESJ is actually probably slightly TOO hard if anything, I enjoy a good challenge, and am no stranger to difficult platformer games but some of the levels in ESJ are unfair and require a ton of retries (thankfully, doing so is easy thanks to checkpoints and quick respawns).

Verdict:

Clearly geared towards masochist thrillseekers, Electronic Super Joy won’t be for everyone, but if you are looking for a challenge and enjoy yourself some obnoxious dance music, you can’t go wrong with this.

Approximate Game Length :  Short assuming you can complete the levels quickly (<4 Hours)
Actual Worth / Steam Price:  £5 / £5.49 = 0.91
Should you play it : Yes, hardcore gamers only though, casuals won’t make it past world 1.

Rating: 4/5

ElectronicSuperJoy 2013-10-06 19-40-24-72

Unholy Heights

posted in: Games, Games Review | 0

Fresh on steam, and at the budget price of £3, Unholy heights is an indie strategy/simulation/rpg which puts you in charge of an apartment complex for monsters.

The game quickly turns into a mix of simulation style management of apartments and their tenants, and strategy RPG style choosing which tenants you actually want to have, and then using them to fight off invading enemies.

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Gameplay itself is verrry simple, but then at the £3 price point, you wouldn’t really be expecting too much anyway, the game also seems to lack much direction or goal other than expansion of your accommodation and having all of the strongest monsters living in it.
Graphics are also very simple, but manage to convey the situation clearly enough. Music is fairly minimal with some plain BGM’s playing, and then a kind of bizarre hatsune miku-esque battle music song.

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I spent a few hours playing it whilst doing some other stuff, whilst its not a bad game, it doesn’t really do enough to grab your attention for very long. You’ll also very quickly get tired of the repetitive nature of it, as there isnt enough depth in the core gameplay.

Verdict:

Even for a budget title, Unholy Heights really doesn’t offer enough fun or depth in its gameplay to be playable for extended periods of time.

Approximate Game Length :  As long as your attention will last (20m – 4 Hours)
Actual Worth / Steam Price:  £1.50 / £3 = 0.5
Should you play it : No,  though there are still worse games out there.

Rating: 2/5

Anime Spotlight: Kill La Kill

posted in: Anime | 0

Only the first episode of Kill La Kill is out so far, but one episode is all it needs to convince you that this show is going to be a hilarious ride.

From the same director as Panty and Stocking, Dead Leaves and Gurren Lagaan, and the first few minutes will confirm that this show has taken the best parts of all of those series and rolled it into one show.

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Note however, that this is not a show for people that are looking for something intelligent to watch, because it’s not. Just about everything about the show is stupid, but i’d have it no other way.
The comedy style in particular is incredible.

http://www.nyaa.se/?page=download&tid=479419

Perfume Level 3 Album

posted in: music | 0

Quick post just to say that:

1. The new album is amazing

2. Party Maker is one of the most bizarre perfume songs ive ever heard, it is SO heavy to the extent where im not even sure if it’s something which should be on a Perfume album, but then again it seems Nakata has been on his game trying to put more dance/trance on the album.
Give it a listen below, its bizarre how it cuts between typical jpop and…some other entirely different beast.
http://www.mengsbizarreadventure.com/uploads/07.%20Party%20Maker.mp3