Sunday, December 28, 2014

My Top 10 Films of 2014

Indeed.  It's that time of the year once again, but I've been to the cinema so much this year that I decided to do a top 10 rather than bore you with my complete list of viewingness.  (Even so, there were many, many, many films I wanted to see and didn't get around to.)

As ever, expect 2013 entries that I didn't get to see in 2013 because of reasons.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Just who the hell do you think I am?

Continuing a previous post, I'm nearly at the end of Gurren Lagann.  And OH MY GOODNESS you cannot predict what this show will do next.

A few episodes back, I was discussing it with the guy who lent it to me.  I half-jokingly said (spoiler alert!) "I reckon they'll end up having to fight the moon."

and I was right


Still got five episodes to go, mind.  The moon's on their side now.

Maybe they'll fight the sun next?

Wednesday, August 13, 2014


They couldn't even make it twenty-four hours without holding their hands up and saying, "yeah, okay, it's not Xbox One-only forever."


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Blogger's little button that says "Publish" that you click to post a post really should change to "and be damned" when you click it.


I've been watching Gurren Lagann recently.  You should watch it too if you like ridiculous anime that makes no sense and is amazing.

Seriously, it's bonkers even by anime standards.  It's set in the future where weird animal-human hybrids have forced regular humans underground and use "gunmen", which are mecha that are basically giant faces with limbs.  But then the humans work out how to use gunmen and fight back and there are explosions and giant guns and excessive posing and shouting and an aircraft carrier on legs and loads of characters that turn up from out of nowhere and I can never remember anyone's name and the most dangerous weapon in the world is apparently a drill.

It's nuts and I love it.  And I'm only halfway through.  And I've got the theme tune stuck in my head (as lovingly transcribed for this post's title).

I'm predicting that it'll end with the revelation that the entire world is actually a giant robot and then everyone explodes.

Rise of the foolish move

So Rise of the Tomb Raider is Xbox One-exclusive?  Really?  Really?  Does anyone believe that situation'll stay like that?  And why did Square Enix sign an exclusivity deal when 5.3 million copies of the last game in the series shipped in a month (or whatever the stats were) "didn't meet expectations"?  Sheesh.

I follow the game's head writer, Rhianna Pratchett, on Twitter.  Apparently she's been getting grief about it.  Because the head writer is obviously the person in charge of these sorts of decisions.  Oh, internet people.  Why you be so dumb.

(Part of my cynicism comes from fear that it really will stay XO-exclusive.  'Cos I really want to play it and don't want to buy an Xbox One.  In fact, quick memo, Microsoft: you will only get me to buy an Xbox One by announcing Shenmue III as an exclusive title.  And even then I'll wait around a bit to see if a PS4 version materialises.)

(To be fair, Sunset Overdrive looks fun, and a new Crackdown is always welcome.  But I'm sticking to my guns here.)

(Brackets brackets brackets.)

(I like brackets.)

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Top 50 Games - #1

1: NiGHTS into Dreams...
Developer: Sonic Team
Publisher: Sega
Format: Saturn
Year: 1996

Monday, May 05, 2014

Top 50 Games - #2

2: Christmas NiGHTS
Dveloper: Sonic Team
Publisher: Sega
Format: Saturn
Year: 1996

Friday, May 02, 2014

Top 50 Games - #3

3. Panzer Dragoon Saga
Developer: Team Andromeda
Publisher: Sega
Format: Saturn
Year: 1998

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Top 50 Games - #4

4. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker
Developer: Nintendo EAD
Publisher: Nintendo
Format: GameCube
Year: 2003

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Top 50 Games - #5

5. Shining Force III
Developer: Camelot
Publisher: Sega
Format: Saturn
Year: 1998

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Top 50 Games - #6

6. Shenmue
Developer: AM2
Publisher: Sega
Format: Dreamcast
Year:  2000

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Top 50 Games - #7

7. Fallout 3
Developer: Bethesda Softworks
Publisher: Bethesda Game Studios
Format: Xbox 360, PC, PlayStation 3
Year: 2008

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Top 50 Games - #8

8. Resident Evil 4
Developer: Capcom Production Studio 4
Publisher: Capcom
Format: GameCube, PC, PlayStation 2
Year: 2005

Monday, March 03, 2014

Top 50 Games - #9

9. Shenmue II
Developer: AM2
Publisher: Sega
Format: Dreamcast, Xbox
Year: 2001

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Top 50 Games - #10

10. Super Smash Bros. Melee
Developer: HAL Laboratory
Publisher: Nintendo
Format: GameCube
Year: 2002

Monday, February 24, 2014

Top 50 Games - #11

11. Jet Set Radio
Developer: Smilebit
Publisher: Sega
Format: Dreamcast
Year: 2000

Friday, February 21, 2014

Top 50 Games - #12

12. Animal Crossing: Wild World
Developer: Nintendo EAD Group 2
Publisher: Nintendo
Year: 2006
Format: DS

The least gamey game on this list by a long chalk.  Nintendo’s Animal Crossing doesn’t care about high scores or developing skills or solving puzzles or interactive narratives.  It cares about relaxing and having fun in a little virtual town.
   Describing AC to someone who’s never played it makes it sound terrible.  “You move into this little village, yeah?  And you get a mortgage.  And you pay the mortgage off.  Then you make your house bigger and you get another mortgage.  This goes on for a while.  When you’re not trying to pay off your mortgage, you can wander around a bit, to the other villagers.  Do a bit of fishing.  Plant a garden?  Dig up fossils.  Maybe design a dress.  Stargaze.  Just...stuff.  There’s no real goal.  No end.  Just...enjoy yourself.”
   It’s joy.  I played it at least once a day for well over a year, and still pop in occasionally.  Apparently the 3DS version, New Leaf, is the one to get, but Wild World will always be my Animal Crossing.  To switch to another version feels like betrayal, frankly.
MAGIC MOMENT: Blathers, the jolly-good-old-chap-wot-wot type owl that runs the museum.  He’s an endless bundle of delight.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Top 50 Games - #13

13. Portal
Developer: Valve
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Year: 2007
Format: Xbox 360, Mac, PC, PlayStation 3

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Top 50 Games - #14

14. Half-Life
Developer: Valve
Publisher: Sierra
Year: 1998
Format: PC, Mac, Linux, PlayStation 2, Xbox

Monday, February 17, 2014

Top 50 Games - #15

No videos any more, every damn YouTube gameplay video out there has some numpty blathering over the top of it.

15. BioShock
Developer: Irrational Games (as 2K Boston)
Publisher: 2K Games
Year: 2007
Format: Xbox 360, Mac, PC, PlayStation 3

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Let it Go

Well, it may be two months too late but I've found my favourite movie sequence of 2013.  In my defence, I only saw the supplying film, Disney's Frozen, yesterday.

The sequence, as anyone who's already seen Frozen may have guessed, is the "Let it Go" musical number.  It's up on Youtube - I was going to post it here, but it really needs to be seen a) in the context of the whole film and b) on the biggest screen possible (and probably in 3D, unfortunately I could only get to a 2D screening).  It's basically a perfect storm - great song, stunning vocal performance (both technically and emotionally) from Idina Menzel, and some utterly astonishing animation.  And by astonishing animation I don't mean the ice powers (although they're great) - I mean the actions, reactions and emotions of the character Elsa.  Rarely if ever have I seen such a jawdropping example of animated acting.  The moment where she throws her crown away and lets her hair down is just incredible.

The rest of the film has a few flaws (the script feels underdeveloped in places, some of the songs are notably weaker than others) but overall it comes recommended.  Even if you just watch it for that four-minute sequence.