Sunday, 23 July 2017

Snes Review 126: Final Fight 2

A very long time ago when I did my 23rd SNES review I decided to review Final Fight saying that I needed to get the game out of the way and that the game was important for a lot of reasons and so now I find myself finally getting around to talking about its sequel Final Fight 2. One of the reasons it has taken me so long is because back when I started reviewing SNES games I didn't actually own Final Fight 2 and I swore when I started all of this that I wouldn't review any game which I did not have on cartridge as I wanted to play every single game on the original hardware and for a fair amount of time before I would review them. Well as I am talking about it now its not hard to guess that I have purchased Final Fight 2, I picked up a Japanese cartridge only copy, the truth is my original copy of Final Fight 2 I had as a youngster was Japanese and in fact every copy I have ever played or seen in real life has been a Japanese one, its just much easier and cheaper to pick this game up.

So with some of these reviews I like to tell the tale of how I originally got the game back when I was young, well I originally got a new complete Japanese version from my local games shop called Games World. I didn't spend much on it at all as basically the owner had purchased an entire crate full of them for some cut down price as a sort of delboy get rich quick scheme. I sold a few of them for him on a commission basis, I also purchased a few copies cheap and sold and traded them in to other game stores, this really led to my local area and the closest big towns shops and markets ending up being super saturated with Japanese copies of Final Fight 2 but my biggest regret was not actually holding on to a complete copy, I have no idea why I didn't I guess it just felt like they'd never run out. I cant complain though as all of the money I made from my dealings with Final Fight 2 funded my purchasing of other SNES games and megadrive games and if it wasn't for stuff like this I wouldn't have played as much as I did back then.

OK so back to the game at hand. Like Final Fight, Final Fight 2 is a side-scrolling beat-'em-up produced by Capcom. The first Final fight started life as an arcade game but unlike that Final Fight 2 was never in the arcades instead it was a Super Nintendo exclusive built from the ground up for the SNES instead of being made for the CPS-1 arcade system board like the original and then just ported. The SNES version suffered a lot due to people comparing it to its arcade big brother so this is obviously a problem the second one does not have right? The answer is kind of, kind of not, obviously people will compare Final Fight 2 to Final Fight both on the SNES and the arcade version but they will also compare it to the Sega Streets of Rage Series so unless I want to pretend I am in some kind of pocket universe I am going to at least touch on where Final Fight 2 stands in comparison to all of these.

The original Final Fight arcade machine was loved by pretty much every games player I knew, it was considered to be one of the best side scrolling beat em up's out there a pinnacle of gaming to hold other games up to for comparison. The SNES version was released and was kind of limited, there was only two selectable characters one from the arcade having been dropped, there was also a level stripped out of the game, and the game had no two player mode. So what about Final Fight 2, well its actually much closer to providing the sort of experience the Original Final Fight arcade game delivered than the original SNES Final Fight did. Final Fight 2 has a two player mode, it has a choice of 3 characters and has 6 stages so is essentially the same length as the Arcade Version of Final Fight.

OK so as far as the story of Final Fight 2 goes basically Mad Gear the gang from the first game have returned they have kidnapped Guy one of the heroes from the first games Fiancee and her father who is also his teacher but weirdly Guy is not even in the game, the only returning g playable character from the original Final Fight  is ass kicking mayor and former wrestler Mike Haggar. Two new player characters are introduced and they are called Carlos and Maki Genryusai. Maki is the sister of Guy's fiancee and kind of plays a little like him, she contacts Haggar for help and Carlos tags along because he says he owes Haggar one and also likes to kick butt. So it basically it becomes a globe trotting butt kicking war against the Mad Gear to try and rescue Maki's relatives.OK so a lot of people complain that Cody and Guy are not in the game and yes I have to admit I really like both of those characters with Cody especially being one of my favourite beat em up heroes of all time but I don't think there absence ruins either the story or the game, I find all of the characters present fun to play with and its also nice to see a female character.

As far as Gamplay goes well this game plays exactly like the first Final Fight you scroll from left to right and you punch people to death until you meet a boss who you then punch to death rinse and repeat. Each of the characters feels different  and you will soon find the one who suite you best and the game is really helped by having a two player mode this time around, in fact I would say that is the standout diffrence between this and the first game. As for the controls well you have a punch button and a jump button and then you can either press these together to perform your super move or assign it to a third button. Add to this that the game has good arcade style graphics, good sound effects and a pretty good soundtrack and you would think that this game is excellent right? Well Yes I love this game I am going to stop and throw down a score here, if you can remember I gave Final Fight an 8 so what am I going to give this game? Well you might be surprised to find that I am only giving it a 8.5, look its a darn fine game but it could be much better. If you want to buy it then your best bet if you can play imports then is to buy a loose Japanese cartridge which you should be able to get for around £15, if you really want a boxed copy then you occasionally see a boxed Japanese version for around £30.  It has to be noted that this game is available on the Nintendo virtual console for around the £7 mark so if you just want to play it and legally pay for it then that's your cheapest route. A pal cart on the few occasions I have seen them in various places have been around the £60 mark with boxed pal versions seldom coming up in listings and demanding pretty steep prices. I would think this one is only going to end up becoming rarer and rarer I wanted to pay less for my copy but I just finally figured I needed to jump on this before it became an even bigger more costly pain to get.

OK so earlier I said I was going to compare Final Fight 2 to the Streets of Rage series and so that's what I want to do here at the end. Now Streets of Rage the original one was sort of Sega's answer to the original Final Fight being on the SNES, Streets had much smaller less detailed sprites but it did have several things that Final Fight didn't 3 selectable characters and a two player mode being the main things. Streets of Rage might not have looked as good as Final Fight but you could play it with a friend which was a big deal. I would argue that Final Fight 2 actually knocks Streets of Rage out cold but I think it is a very different story if you compare Final Fight 2 to Streets of Rage 2. When you look at static screen shots Final Fight 2 has better graphics but Streets of Rage actually has more frames of animation, for example if you leave your character standing still you will see them breathing, yes its not something that's going to change the world but these kinds of touches do make Streets of Rage 2 look a lot better in action than it does in a photo. Add on to this the fact that although Final Fight 2 has a good soundtrack Streets of Rage 2 simply has one of the greatest 16bit soundtracks of all time, there are also 4 selectable characters in Streets of Rage 2 but the most important thing is how many moves there are in Streets of Rage 2. Final fight has 1 special move, your grapples and a basic strike/combo for each character compared to this Streets of Rage 2 has 2 special moves, grapples, a basic strike/combo, a charge move and a backwards attack for each of its characters. The thing that stops me giving Final Fight 2 more than 8.5 is because I think that although it was a great game and did deliver everything Final Fight was lacking in it didn't add enough to keep up with the best of the best in the world of beat em ups at that time.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Talia Jane who she is and why I think she is a hero.

So I want to talk about someone I have a great deal of respect for and its a name most people wont have heard of and thats Talia Jane. Now for those that dont know Talia Jane was a 25 year old who worked for Yelp/Eat24, now what got her known was the fact that she wrote an open letter to the CEO of the company she worked for at the time talking about the poor pay they recieved and some of the dire circumstances some of the people who worked there were in. She was fired almost imediatly but clearly the CEO ecetera realised that she was speaking the truth as the wages were soon increased. Now Talia Jane was slammed for her open letter with lots of people calling her a self intitled Millienial saying she wanted something for nothing, how is working a full time job and just wanting to make enough to not cry yourself to sleep because your so hungry wanting something for nothing? Lots of people will say oh they worked hard and there situation is much better so if Talia had just worked harder then she wouldnt have so much to worry about but anyone with half a brain knows this is bullshit. I am not going to go through her letter and every point she raised as it's still out there and it's easy enough to find but I will say that it definitely touched me.

I am someone who never quite made it despite trying really hard, I nearly made it as a Rugby player but I was hit by a hit and run driver and this ended my career, it really messsed up my leg I had titanium plating put in my leg and I can walk but it was the end of my chance at a sport based career. From here I hit university and tried to make myself more attractive to employers but I got a part time job at a pub. I started to work my way up the ranks and I invested a heavy amount of time and effort in to the job but due to being held hostage in a robbery and having my head smashed open with iron bars I developed PTSD and my epilepsy which I had been born with also took a turn for the worse, I essentially reached the point of Deputy Manager and was on the cusp of more but I simply could not hold myself togther anymore and had a breakdown. I clawed my way up from this and I managed to get a very high qualification in the childcare field but I was unable to secure a job with this because of other peoples prejudice, I would get interview after interview to end up in front of a potential boss who couldnt seem to get past the fact I am a man and would just keep saying but your a man. I dont list all of this to get sympathy in the slighest, I just want to show that sometimes you can try all that you want but circumstances, issues and other peoples problems can get in your way, unfortunatly its not always the person who tries the hardest or who puts the most in that gets the most out of life. I could recount the stories of many others I have known and met who have given it there all but fell short but those are there tales to tell or not tell.

We are constantly bombarded by a media which lets face it is paid for and ran by the rich and it promotes the idea that those who try hard will get, that the cream can not help but rise to the top and that anyone sinking in a first world society like the UK or USA is doing so because there simply not trying hard enough and that anyone who speaks up against this is simply a cry baby.

Well let me spell this out simply Talia Jane was and is not a cry baby, you know why? It's simple a cry baby is someone who is scared and she wasn't scared, read her open letter it wasn't all wish is me she wasn't just crying out about her problem about her situation, she was daring to stand up against what was wrong, to tell the truth and put her name on it. How many people spend there lives crying and bitching saying things need to change and never doing anything about it? I think it took real bravery to write the open letter she wrote and I salute her for it.

Sunday, 16 July 2017

NES bad box art: Ironsword

OK so if you have been following my blog for any length of time then you will have most likly realised that I love looking at cover art, often comparing different art from different regions. In most cases it has been megadrive/Genesis cover art and usually I have been looking at which region provided the best art. Today is a little different as I am looking at a piece of NES box art, it's an Infamous piece of art. As I have obviously posted the above picture then you know I am talking about Ironsword. If you look at the case without having played the game you might wonder what the issue is, well to put it simply they put a famous model Fabio on the front cover dressed as a barbarian the main issue with this is the fact in the game you don't play as a Barbarian you play as a knight.

Here is the games title screen and the in game sprite basically matches this so that basically tells you that the people responsible for the case art had either never either tried the game or been in touch with the creators to get any information on what the game was like beyond its title. It was like someone just really wanted to be around Fabio while he was getting oily barbarian loin cloth photos done, usually he was on the front of romance books so who knows, but the cover certainly didn't fit the game and often when you do hear about the game it's for the infamous cover art as it's a shame as it's quite a cracking little title.

This is the sort of thing I would have made as a front cover for ironsword wizards & warriors 2 for the NES instead of the famous Fabio one, seeing as you play a knight in armour in the game I thought it would be more appropriate to have an armoured figure on the box art. Yeah the armour might not be exactly the same as the one in the game and be a little more realistic but it in my opinion certainly fits the theme more. Maybe if the game had gotten something a little more like this it would be remembered fondly on its own merit as apposed to for its quirky cover.

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

My Oppinion on the Trainspotting 2 Choose Life speach.

So I just watched Trainspotting 2, now the original film came out when I was a teenager and was incredibly popular and I remember there being all kinds of discussions about it both amongst friends but also in the media. This sequel has come around twenty years latter and is also set twenty years latter so is it as good as the original? Well I am not sure if it is as good but it is certainly in my oppinion a darn good film and it is also a brilliant sort of love note to the original movie, they would work amazingly as a double feature.

Now I find that the original Trainspotting is brilliantly summed up by its Choose Life speach deliverd by the character of Renton (Ewan McGregor)
Choose Life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a fucking big television, choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players and electrical tin openers. Choose good health, low cholesterol, and dental insurance. Choose fixed interest mortage repayments. Choose a starter home. Choose your friends. Choose leisurewear and matching luggage. Choose a three-piece suite on hire purchase in a range of fucking fabrics. Choose DIY and wondering who the fuck you are on a Sunday morning. Choose sitting on that couch watching mind-numbing, spirit-crushing game shows, stuffing fucking junk food into your mouth. Choose rotting away at the end of it all, pishing your last in a miserable home, nothing more than an embarrassment to the selfish, fucked up brats you spawned to replace yourself.

Choose your future.

Choose life.

Now for anyone who has seen TrainSpotting they will know that the above quote is followed by Renton saying he chose not to choose life he chose something else, that something else being a herrion addiction. The thing is though the above speach spoke to me, it didnt make me want to go try and be an addict or anything stupid like that but it made me question the way in which the mass majority of people do the same things, they aim for the same goals and find meaning in the same ways, it made me ask do I really want to choose all of those things? The speach to me at least highlights some of the worst aspects of mankind in this country at the time that film was released, the irony is the fact that a junky can look at the way things are, that he can see how screwed up they are and can decided that he doesnt want to choose this he wants to choose something else. I would argue that he saw how screwed up things were and decided he didnt want to be a part of it all, that following the above template was in fact worse than just shooting up. Now I dont agree with the character dont get me wrong but I do think a lot of the critical elements of the speach ring very true and show just how shallow the mass majority of people are. It was an amazing movie moment and it was incredibly quotable both in parts and whole.

So with Trainspotting 2 being a follow up to the original, and with it showing how the characters involved have both changed and grown but also showing how they now cope with the world around  them you might ask if Renton has any simmilar words of wisdom in the sequel and if so what are they? Well here they are

Choose designer lingerie, in the vain hope of kicking some life back into a dead relationship. Choose handbags, choose high-heeled shoes, cashmere and silk, to make yourself feel what passes for happy. Choose an iPhone made in China by a woman who jumped out of a window and stick it in the pocket of your jacket fresh from a South-Asian firetrap. Choose Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and a thousand others ways to spew your bile across people you've never met. Choose updating your profile, tell the world what you had for breakfast and hope that someone, somewhere cares. Choose looking up old flames, desperate to believe that you don't look as bad as they do. Choose live-blogging, from your first wank till your last breath; human interaction reduced to nothing more than data. Choose ten thing you never knew about celebrities who've had surgery. Choose screaming about abortion, choose rape jokes, slut-shaming, revenge porn and an endless tide of depressing misogyny. Choose 9/11 never happened, and if it did, it was the Jews. Choose a zero-hour contract and a two hour journey to work, and choose the same for your kids, only worse, and maybe tell yourself that it's better that they never happened. And then sit back and smother the pain with an unknown dose of an unknown drug made in somebody's​ fucking kitchen. Choose unfulfilled promise and wishing you'd done it all differently. Choose never learning from your own mistakes. Choose watching history repeat itself. Choose the slow reconciliation towards what you can get, rather than what you always hoped for. Settle for less and keep a brave face on it. Choose disappointment and choose losing the ones you love then as they​ fall from view, a piece of you dies with them until you can see​ that one day in the future, piece by piece they will​ be all gone and there will be nothing left of you to call alive or dead. Choose your future, Veronica. Choose life

I have seen other people criticse the above speach and complain that its too long, that it tries to be too clever, that it over explains itself but I see it in a very diffrent light. You need to remember that the original speach in the films story at least is what Renton came up with while a relativly young man with a crippling addiction to drugs, it was deliverd in a sort of monolog format so there was no clear view of who he was really saying it to it was played as if the character was saying it to the audience as a way to explain his outlook on life. In Trainspotting 2 the new speach is said directly to another character to a female character Renton is intrested in to at least some degree, it is also said to a twenty year old wiser more informed person, someone who has seen and experianced diffrent things, someone who has reached a point in there life where some people ask a lot more questions. I see this speach as a massive pub rant, its everything Renton has ponderd and thought about for a long time pushed out partly as a sort of attempt to woo the person he is talking to but also as an outpouring of emotions such as frustration and anger. Renton is older more cynical and is talking to someone younger who to at least some degree he feels he is trying to save, he is trying to impart all of the knowledge he has gained on to her, trying to tell her not to repeat either his mistakes or the mistakes of those around her, those who have already taken the roads she might soon walk. I think most of us have been in this position venting our own frustrations with the world while trying to somehow help those around us, trying to save them from the pain and frustration we have gone through. I dont think the speach is any less impressive than the original, I think it covers a lot of the things wrong with modern society and would make a great starting point for many discussions in various classes, I just think that we are more used to modern life being scrutinised and questioned in our enterainment nowdays so its not quiet as novel as the original was.

I guess there is a fair degree of irony in me covering this very topic being a blog writter when I am putting my oppinion out there spewing my content all over people I have never met but then heck you made the choice to read this and quiet simply writing stuff like this is a part of my life.

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Why you should Watch Batman the Animated Series



Now I am sure I have mentioned in the past that I think Batman is awesome, I have read a lot of Batman Comics, I have played a lot of Batman games (I am currently playing Batman Arkham Knight) One of the things I like the most about Batman is that the character works in a million different ways , for example I loved the old Adam West TV series for the campy wonderful show it was, but then I also loved the Tim Burton Movies staring Michael Keaton for how dark and comic book like they were. Now when I originally heard about Batman: The Animated Series I didn't expect it to be very dark at all it was for kids after all, how surprised I went on to be, the show did have the odd silly moment but it was surprisingly dark and adult at times and dealt with things I really didn't expect it to deal with. The thing is for me the best children's cartoons are the ones that don't treat children like children at all. I for a limited time worked in education and one of the things I was taught that has always stuck with me is that in order to achieve the best from children you need to challenge them, you need to show them dignity and respect and have faith in there ability to comprehend more than people typically give them credit for.

Batman the Animated Series works on multiple levels even if you watch it with very little understanding or attention then it still works as a simple tale of good against evil, one mans quest to make the world around him a safer place for the innocent. Yet pull out pretty much any single episode and there is something much deeper in it. In the episode Nothing To Fear for example the Scarcrow uses his fear toxin on people one of which is Batman, and what does Batman fear, he fears his own dead Father, he fears that he has let him down. This is clearly not the case as Batman has devoted his life to saving people and making the world a better place because of how his parents were murdered but this shows how sometimes our own worst fears are simply figments of our imagination dangerous ideas we have formed, ideas which are unhealthy and have the power to damage us. To me this episode clearly shows not only that sometimes we have to face our own fears but that we also quiet often make our own fears. Now you might say that oh big deal I have come up with this idea while in my 40's but no this is something I thought when I watched the show back when it was first shown in 1992 back when I was around 11, I might be better at articulating the idea now but everything needs to start somewhere. Not only would I argue that the way in which this show treated ideas made it ideal viewing for children back then I would argue that it makes it both just as accessible to children now and watchable for adults.

Here you have a show set in the Batman world which deals with all kinds of situations in an adult maner but also manages to squeeze in a remarkable amount of characters adding layers of depth to there characters which can be very surprising, as the show goes on you feel that you really get to know both the characters and the dynamics they share with each other. The show has some amazing animation but I think that even this is blown out of the water by the sound. The show not only has amazing music but it has some of the best voice acting ever. Kevin Conroy is a fantastic Batman, and of course just about everyone has heard stories about how great Mark Hamil is as the Joker and trust me all of them are true, he has the character absolutely nailed to perfection but it doesn't end with just these two, the show runners seemed to do a brilliant job of knowing just what kind of voice to get for each and every character. One of the things that really surprised me about the show was some of the vocal talent they managed to get, Dick Miller from Gremlins (and other classics) turns up in 2 episodes and David Warner gives an exceptional performance as Ra's al Ghul.

So am I going to suggest a jumping in point or an episode that you simply have to see? Well I would have to say just try and get a hold of the first season and work from there, yes there are a lot of episodes that stand very well on there own but the show also tries to build on itself and parts of it simply work a lot better if you have seen all of the subtle build up to a scene that has happened over the long haul.

Friday, 7 July 2017

The SNES Mini regional diffrences and games I would put on it

Ok so I knew I would be back here talking about the Super NES Classic Edition or the
Nintendo Classic Mini: Super Famicom as the Japanese version is known, well why am I mentioning the Japanese one basically because they get slightly diffrent games. Every version of the SNES mini will contain the  following 16 games:

Contra III: The Alien Wars
Donkey Kong Country
Final Fantasy III
Kirby Super Star
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
Mega Man X
Secret of Mana
Super Ghouls ’n Ghosts
Super Mario Kart
Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
Super Mario World
Super Metroid
Star Fox
Star Fox 2
Yoshi’s Island
I have previously listed all of the games we will be getting in Europe and you might have noticed that we are getting all of the above games as well as the following five titles 

Kirby's Dream Course
Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting
Super Castlevania IV
Super Punch-Out!!

So what are the Japanese getting instead of these 5 well there getting the following 5games

 Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem
 The Legend of the Mystical Ninja
 Panel de Pon
 Super Soccer
 Super Street Fighter II: The New Challengers

So what do I think about what we are getting compared to what there getting? Well personally I would have preferd to have gotten Super Street Fighter 2 over Street Fighter 2 turbo to me that feels like  we got a bit of a bum deal, its not that Turbo is a bad game but if your only going to get one of the Street Fighter SNES games then why not the newest one with the largest selection of characters? So given the chance I would swap them but how do I feel about the rest of the games? Well I do wish that we got The Legend of the Mystical Ninja as it is a great game, which I find incredibly fun in both single and two player mode (2 player co-operative). If I had to loose a game from our list for this I think I would get rid of Kirby's Dream Course, its not that its a bad game its just that I have a lot more fondness for Mystical Ninja. I think we are really fortunate to get both Castlevania 4 and Super Punch out and I really think the Japanese are missing out here so I couldnt imagine wanting to get rid of these games for anything. I wouldnt really be that worried about getting Panel de Pon or Super Soccer at least not at the expense of other games, I am kind of suprised that we didnt get something like Super Soccer or Super Tennis on the SNES mini because sports games like this were very much of the SNES experiance back in the day but its not like they are hard or expensive to trackdown on cartridge. I would if they had translated it have loved to have gotten Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem on our SNES mini but if we had to loose a game to get it I would find it very hard to pick one for the chop, maybe I would say just dont bother giving us a street fighter at all but thats just me personally, I am sure many people are quiet happy to have a version of Street Fighter 2 on the system. I think the important think to note is that although I think its fun to question what should be on the machine I cant really knock the games they have chosen, it certainly could have been a heck of a lot worse.

Just to end this piece though I am going to pretend that someone from Nintendo told me they wanted to up the list of games from 21 per region to 26 and wanted 5 more games to be recomended for this, this is my list of the 5 games I would recomend in no particular order

Sim City
Final Fight 2
Chrono Trigger
Pilot Wings

Pilot Wings was always one of my favourate SNES games and well its just one of the first games I think about when I think about the Super Nintendo, its also so diffrent to everything else on the machine and I think it really shows the machine off well so I was very suprised it didnt make the cut. As for Sim City the SNES Sim City is just so user friendly its my absolute favourate version of Sim City ever and I could spend an absolute age on it making city after city its just a very relaxing game that is very diffrent to the other games on this mini system. I had to say Final Fight 2 because if there is a genre of games thats missing on the Mini SNES then it is the walk along beat em up, they were so popular during the 16bit era its a little strange to not see them represented, I picked the second over the first one because of its two player mode, although I could easily see the 3rd game take its place, I just personally have a little fondness for the second entry as its the one I played the most out of the two. As for Chrono Trigger its just that the SNES was such a great console for RPG's and you just know that adding another one of these adds hours and hours of playability to the machine. As for Actraiser it is just a brilliant and unique game which I wont go into further as well I only just reviewed it, if you want to know more about it then scroll through my posts and find my review.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

News Rant: Girls as young as 9 are having unneeded labiaplasty, why and what can be done about it?

I know that this is usually a blog about Video Games and other forms of entertainment, but every so often I have looked at news or polotics when I feel it is important to do so, if you are only here for the Games etc and want to skip this post out then rfeel free I wont hold it against you, but I just felt this topic was important.

OK so I wanted to take a look at a few things in the news that had made me just stop and feel the need to rant, this was supposed to be a piece where one by one I tackled various pieces of news and the issues I had with them but then I read one piece and I just couldn't write about anything else. I read the news that apparently Girls as young as nine are opting to have surgery on their well for want of a better term private area. Doctors have apparently said that this is because of body insecurities and they have claimed that these insecurities stem from social media and pornography.

Now I know you might think that I found this article in some uninformed rag but I actually read about it in the Independent. Naomi Crouch, a leading adolescent gynaecologist, talked to the BBC and told them that she is concerned GPs are referring young girls for unneeded labiaplasty(This is  an operation where the lips of the vagina are shortened or reshaped). She said that she is yet to see a young girl who needs the operation and feels that they are getting the operation when it is completely unnecessary, this is not just her opinion Paquita de Zulueta, a GP for more than 30 years, agreed with Crouch’s concerns, also mentioning that this was a modern problem, I feel I should include the following quote from her as its important “I'm seeing young girls around 11, 12, 13 thinking there's something wrong with their vulva - that they're the wrong shape, the wrong size, and really expressing almost disgust,”. I dont know about anyone else but I am deeply troubled by the concept of anyone as young as 11, 12 or 13 looking at any part of themselves physical or emotional and feeling disgust. If a person can so easily learn to hate a part of themselves at such an early point in there life then it is utterly terrifying to picture where this individual might end up, how they might feel about themselves when they are another 10 or 20 or even 40 years older. It has been proven that the emotional scars from bullying can last for a horrific amount of time and that's when its people you can potentially escape trying to rip you to pieces, what about when you have been trained to rip yourself apart emotionally and mentally from the inside?

It is believed that this phenomena is down to  pornography and social media leading to girls having an incorrect idea of how things should look, meaning that people are having the operation out of a fear that the bits they have simply look wrong instead of because they have an actual medical abnormality. A lot of people will probably be shocked by this whole news piece for lots of reasons least of which is the fact that girls from as young as 9 are seeing pornography. All of us want to think that children are innocent, we want to see 9 year olds as playing with My Little Pony and we like to think that they don't have to deal with anything serious, we would like to think the most serious question that enters there mind is should they ask for chocolate or strawberry milk but the worlds not like that anymore and maybe it never truly was. You might be able to keep your kid away from things but other kids will see things and then talk to your kid, as a parent you kind of need to be ready to tackle any question or worry your child might have and this can be a very challenging situation with many parents preferring to try to bury there heads in the sand.

In 2015-16, more than 200 girls under 18 had labiaplasty on the NHS, with more than 150 of these girls being under 15. Now several plastic surgeons have come out to try and say that there is nothing wrong with this and people have a right to seek help to change how they look if it makes them feel uncomfortable, but lets face it this sort of thing keeps them in work so there opinion is hardly a none biased one. The biggest issue is that this is most likely just the tip of the iceberg, I don't see this problem going away anytime soon in fact I would expect the figures to get worse and worse.

What can I say other than its just another troubling sign of the way our world is. People are so media saturated now days peoples opinions are shaped by it without them even realising it, there fears are magnified by it. A great many people are simply so brainwashed by a photoshoped celebrity reality that when they look in the mirror no matter how they look they will see something which does not match this glossy image they have been sold. People will buy all manner of face creams, toothpastes and dieting pills to try and match the blueprints they have been given by the media and when this proves futile they will look at even more drastic measures like starvation diets and plastic surgery and this is just made all the more worrying by the fact that children are now exhibiting this behaviour. The real troubling thing is that children seem to be falling even deeper down the rabbit hole, they cant remember a time before the information overloaded world we live in now, the TV, Internet and Magazines brainwash them and they look to us and in a great many cases they see an almost equally brainwashed larger version of themselves uncomfortable in there own skin, crushed by the weight of everything desperate to fit some ever changing concept of perfection.

It is easy to point at problems, to say that something is wrong and that it needs to change, but it is far more complex to actually do something about it. I may hold a degree in Social Science and have a background relating to child development but this does not mean that I hold all of the answers, this is after all a very large and complex problem and I doubt anyone person could wave a magic wand and sort it out, but I do feel that the first few things that need to happen is for awareness of this situation to be raised and for a discourse to get underway, people need to know about it and they need to talk about it only then can we start to look for ways to tackle it.

A few easy points for consideration are that we as individuals need to think about the way we talk about ourselves in front of children. Are you always mentioning your own weight or unhappiness with your looks in front of children? If so then maybe you need to stop and think that you are in fact adding and structurally enhancing a culture of criticism. Now I am not saying that its wrong for you to want to shed a few pounds or to live a healthier life style but you don't want to perpetuate the idea that your looks make you any more or less important as a person, children pick up on far more than most people would imagine, emotionally beating yourself up in front of one can send the message that its OK to do this. I think we also need to start complimenting the youth of today on none physical attributes, for example there compassion for others, or there sense of humour , we need to teach people and teach them from an early age that there is far more to being a person than simply how you look.We have a hard road to walk and many challenges to face if we want society to be less superficial and if we want young people to be free to be who they are without constantly questioning if there normal but if any road is worth walking its this one.