Thursday, 31 December 2015

My Opinion on George Lucas Commenting on The Force Awakens (Spoiler free)

So George Lucas has just stated that he doesn't really like The Force Awakens and that its not the way he would have gone with things and that he wouldn't have done something so retro, so rehashed and unoriginal. This seems to have caused a certain fuss in some circles of the internet with a mix of pro Disney, Pro Lucas and open minded people arguing it out so I thought I would throw my 2 cents in to it. Now I am not going to spoil the new film, I do agree with Lucas that the new film does to some extent rehash elements of the old films in particular the original Star Wars or as we now refer to it A New Hope, however I dont see this as an issue. There are enough new characters and original ideas that I just find the similarities with the old to not be a problem. If you do then its your opinion and you are of course fully entitled to it.

I think the big thing people forget about Star Wars is that although it began with George Lucas with ideas written down it soon felt the touch of far more people, George didn't design every single prop on his own he didn't build every single set with his own two hands, sure he would have given guidelines but he would also trust people, he would trust that if he gave the job to the right person and let them put there heart and soul into it then he would get something worthwhile out of the other side. The longer Star Wars existed the more people have been involved with it thousands of artists must have been involved with Star Wars when you sit and think about it, first with the original trilogy, then through the Expanded Universe books, the comics the animated shows, the video games.

The main thing Lucas should be given credit with is for starting the ball rolling, he had the ideas which formed the original frame work of the universe, on his own though these ideas would not have given us everything Star Wars related we now have. Lucas was smart enough to allow lots of other people to help shape these ideas into a successful film, then a successful trilogy and finally a very large beloved franchise which spread in to pretty much every possible area. There was a long time between the release of the first and second Star Wars trilogy. I could talk about a great many people who I feel have kept the Star Wars universe relevant and alive between the release of the two trilogies, I could talk about Comic Strip artists or games designers but instead I will focus on one of the individuals who I feel was of the most importance and this is Timothy Zahn.
Timothy Zahn is a science fiction author who happens to be responsible for writing what is known as The Thrawn Trilogy a set of 3 books which served as a new Star Wars Trilogy this time in novel form, the books in this trilogy are Heir to the Empire (1991), Dark Force Rising (1992) and The Last Command (1993). These novels reignited interest in the Star Wars universe and pretty much paved the way for a whole plethora of novels by numerous authors, including some very interesting short story collections. Now we find that most of this stuff has ended up being somewhat pushed to the side and no longer considered cannon, now it all seems to exist under a sort of parallel universe banner called ''Legends''.

In the past George Lucas owned the rights to Star Wars and to at least some extent this meant that he got all of the credit both good & bad for products carrying the Star Wars name, when he sold his company and the rights to Star Wars though this was something that also went with it, now Disney has the ball and they will pass it on to whoever they hire to do a film or carry the legacy on in some other way. Star Wars was always bigger than just George Lucas and even he saw that as can be seen in the following quote"After Star Wars was released, it became apparent that my story—however many films it took to tell—was only one of thousands that could be told about the characters who inhabit its galaxy. But these were not stories I was destined to tell. Instead they would spring from the imagination of other writers, inspired by the glimpse of a galaxy that Star Wars provided. Today it is an amazing, if unexpected, legacy of Star Wars that so many gifted writers are contributing new stories to the Saga."

How is all of the above connected well it shows that others have previously taken hold of the ball and ran without the involvement of George Lucas and done more than a fine Job of handling Star Wars, in fact I think my favourite Star Wars story ever is not one of the films it is the video game Knights of the Old Republic.

You told your story Mr Lucas and now the ball has passed on to another, yes your as free to have an opinion as any of us but remember if they copy elements of some of the previous films, your previous work remember these two points one imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and two there was clearly something worth while in those original films or they wouldn't be as popular and as beloved as they are.

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

This Months retro Video Game purchases:December 2015

OK so it is that time of the month again, the time when one month is pretty much over and a new one is about to begin, so its is once again time look at the retro purchases I have made in the past 30 odd days. To be honest I have been at work more with it being the whole busy Christmas period and again like last month I have brought more new games that were in crazy sales and such. Also for the first time ever I actually have started my Christmas shopping for next year literally straight after Christmas, now no I am not sad enough to fight and punch in all of the boxing day sales but I have grabbed the odd thing while leaving work and began to fill a box which I will reopen towards the end of next year to give me a great headstart on sorting out next years gifts.

I didn't even so much as look at a retro game up until December the 8th. Also to be honest this was a last moment thing, I was on my way home and decided to stop off at a small town which I know sometimes has a market in the town square. I got all of the following off of one store. I got Konami Krazy Racers for the GBA cart only for £2.50, which was cool as I have wanted this for quiet awhile due to the fact many people have talked about it favourably so l cant wait to give it a bash. Then I grabbed both NBA courtside and Pool Paradise both complete for gamecube for £1 each.

The last thing I got from here was a bit of a strange purchase basically its a Modded/Fake Golden Axe 3 pal cart, I really wanted to look inside it and eventually managed to get it open. Looking at the board its very basic so I am going to guess that its a cheap reproduction, it might be in a pal shaped cart but the first thing I noticed was that it wouldn't play on my English Megadrive, it basically came up with a message saying it wasn't intended for this territory so I tried it in my Japanese Megadrive and it worked great, the whole game is there with everything just the same as it would be if this was a real version.

On the 15th I had something I had ordered a few days previously arrive from ebay and that was 
a Japanese copy of Gain Ground boxed but with no manual, this cost me £8 including postage and is something I was very happy to have gotten myself as I love Gain Ground, also the first ever copy of Gain Ground I owned was a Japanese copy (which also strangely had no manual) so its nice to have this again.

Latter in the day I managed to look in a small pawn store I sometimes visit and was very surprised to find a Raiders of the lost Ark Atari 2600 loose cartridge which I got for £3 and a fully complete boxed version of Haunted House for the Atari 2600 for a further £3, was really surprised to see games this old for sale, never expected this pawn store to buy and sell them.

On the 18th I hit a few charity shops and managed to get, Dancing Stage Euro Mix for the playstation(1) complete for 50pence, Tony Hawks Underground for xbox complete for £1, The Sims for ps2 complete for £1, and Mary Kate and Ashley crush course, for playstation(1) case and disc missing manual for 50pence. Yeah I know the last one is a bit of a weird purchase but I mostly just got it as the case was pure almost new looking and my intention is to swap one of my rarer games into it that happens to have a less well maintained case.

On this day I also received a rather cool bit of tech in the post, I got a NES USA to UK converter/Adaptor for £9 including postage. Now there are two reasons this is really cool, one is that usually these cost a lot more, the other is that I happen to own about 10 American NES games and dont own an American NES, one of these games just happens to be Mega Man 2.

On the 23rd I returned to the pawn store which I had gotten the Atari games from and found that they now had a copy of OutLaw for the Atari 2600 cart and manual in good condition and with a very batted box for only £1.99 which I jumped on, after all its kind of cool that there is any box at all when its made of card and the game came out in 1978

Yesterday I managed to pick up Chili Con Carnage for psp complete 75pence and Ape Academy box and UMD (no manual) for psp for 75pence from a diffrent pawn store. I also recieved a Megadrive game in the post I ahd purchased from Amazon but there was an issue here. I had purchased what was supposed to be a copy of RBI baseball 94 and what arrived was a case with the cover for RBI 94 but an RBI Baseball 3 cart and a very rough batterd RBI 3 manual. Yet I cant moan as when I complained I got a full refund including postage costs and got told to do as I please with the game. So I will keep the cart and proberbly use the case for another game as a replacement for a cracked case., or I might even make my Golden Axe 3 cart a case.

Monday, 28 December 2015

Ash Versus Evil Dead Episode 7 reviewed

So this has taken me a lot longer than I intended, thank goodness I didnt decide to review the other 2 shows I have been watching (Dr Who and The Muppets) or I would really have a backlog on my hands here. So I already gave the game away when I reviewed episode 5 and 6 stating that I had watched episode 7 and it was awesome so I might as well get down to business and start talking about why it is awesome. I suppose one more thing needs to be added and that is that these reviews will be very spoiler heavy so if you want to watch the episode without knowing what is going to happen go do that first then come back to this.

Episode 7 Fire In The Hole

Now I have seen Bruce Campbell engage in a little bit of friendly ribbing when it comes to that other very popular horror show ''The Walking Dead''. This episode had a bit of a walking dead feel to it, I saw it sort of as The Evil Dead's answer to The Walking Dead. Now dont get me wrong I enjoy the walking dead, I know I know the graphic novels/comics are better, but the show and the Tell Tale series both are as far as I am concerned both very good on there own merits (just not as a replacement for the graphic novels).Walking Dead at times can be almost as bloody as Evil Dead but its not quiet in the same way, Walking Dead tries to be a little realistic where as the Evil Dead has the whole buckets of blood gushing down the camera to the point its both disgusting and funny.

Now you might think that with Ash Versus Evil Dead being full of both carnage and quips,that this might be all it has going for it and while on the surface it might not feel especially deep there has I believe been a very good effort put into the character development of all the characters on the show. Ash is a brilliant character who Bruce Campbell has always been able to breathe so much life into in a way that many much more higher paid actors could only dream of doing and yet one of the most memorable scenes in this episode comes near the end when Kelly, Pablo and Amanda, have there guns raised, after taking out a Deadite that was threatening the redneck militia. It was on its own merits a pretty darn cool moment but it was also notable for the fact that it did not include Ash, and the fact it let other people take centre stage.

The episode is basically about the Militia not trusting Ash and his team, so they throw a handcuffed Ash and Amanda in to an underground bunker with a dedite on the loose in it, and we end up with a situation where by Ash and Amanda have to think there way out of trouble, while Pablo and Kelly try to both escape from the Militia and try to come back and save Ash. Its cool in how it shows both how Pablo and Kelly cope without Ash present but it also allows for some romantic tension between Ash and Amanda which almost results in a kiss.

At the end of the episode Ash abandons everyone to try and go to the cabin on his own, it is very clearly shown that despite always try to show himself as a loner he has become very attached to those who have been around him, he seems to see Amanda in a romantic light while caring for Pablo and Kelly as friends. I enjoyed this episode a great deal but it also really had me itching to see the cabin again, to return to the start of everything. Every week seems to be getting more exciting than the last and I just cant wait to see where it all leads.

Friday, 25 December 2015

Snes Review 102: The Lawnmower Man.

So it has been a fairly long time since my last SNES review. Some of it is the fact that I got a new job and found myself with less free time than I had before but I guess a big part of it was also because I had review more than 100 games and felt like I had hit some kind of mile stone, it seemed like after reviewing a nice interesting title for review number 100 anything after would be a bit of a step down.  I did consider just letting this whole thing die after all 100 reviews is a lot of reviews and there are other things I wanted to talk about, modern games, the megadrive, politics, philosophy and economics but at the end of the day I said I would review 150 SNES games so I want to review 150 SNES games even if it takes me till this time next year. So here is review 102 and apologies for the long wait.

Now it might have turned up in some of my conversations or in previous blog posts but I am a very big fan of the 1950's Horror comics and beyond that horror in general. This all started with my exposure to several films when young, soon films turned to comics, and comics turned to books and this is how I came to find my self reading the work of several authors including the likes of Richard Matheson and Stephen King. Now days it wouldn't be that huge an issue to find a game being made with the involvement of some kind of horror director or writer but back when I heard that a SNES game was being made based on a film which was apparently based on a sort of horror short which I had read it was actually kind of exciting, sure the very fact it was based on a film should have started my spidey sense tingling but I was less jaded and cynical back then.

The original ''The Lawnmower Man" is a short story which was written by Stephen King and originally published in the May 1975 issue of a US magazine called Cavalier, later it was included in King's 1978 short story collection Night Shift, which is where I found it a good ten years latter. I dont want to spoil it for anyone who hasn't read it but I will simply say this it is a little tale with connections to sort of mythical beings and has no futuristic science to it. Beyond some kind of weird ZX Spectrum game with an RRP of £3.99 or less I dont really see how back then the idea of this story could make a game, at least not a proper game on a 16bit system.

My excitement died pretty much when I saw The Lawnmower Man the film. Sure the film is named after the Stephen King short story of the same name, but it basically has pretty much sod all to do with it. Again I dont want to spoil something you have yet to experience but I will give a brief idea of what the film is about. The film is about a simple minded gardener and a scientist who decides to experiment on him, using a combination of drugs and Virtual Reality exercises/games. The film had some interesting CGI in it and some decent ideas but overall was a very run of the mill average movie. It was no wonder that it was originally titled Stephen King's The Lawnmower Man, but this ended when King managed to successfully sue the producers and have his name removed on the basis that his story and this film basically had sold all in common.

So on the outside of it a man being trained with VR games doesn't sound like a bad set up for a game does it? Well the reviews for it back in the day were kind of all over the place with some claiming it to be absolutely crap while the odd one praised it like it was some kind of proto Mario 64 but I think the general consensus was that it was an incredibly average game.

The game is basically composed of different parts, there is a platformer, then there is a 3-D first-person flying game with a lot of mode 7 thrown into the mix, but there are also some levels where your flying in a sort of ship or driving along on a futuristic bike where it is basically a horizontal or vertical shooter. The main issue is that the platformer is OK if incredibly pedestrian and average where as the 3D mode 7 heavy stuff rather than being the icing on the cake or the jam to separate the layers and mix things up a little is more like the brussel sprouts you were made to eat as a child if you wanted your Christmas pudding, that is if your Christmas pudding was a only just edible none exciting Christmas pudding. The shooter bits are not to bad but nor are they too good, everything is kind of average but you still feel basically grateful that they tried to break things up and mix genres and elements together to keep you entertained.

If you want to know what the platforming bit is like well imagine a sort of amateur run and gun Contra/Turrican kind of thing, you shoot stuff, you jump around, you pick up bigger and better weapons to shoot even more things with

When you first see the mode seven bits you will be a little impressed and be like ''oh wow something different, this doesn't look bad'' but soon this will turn into ''oh great one of these bloody bits again''. These bits basically involve shooting at wire frame enemies avoiding there shots and trying not to crash into stuff, it could potentially be exciting but you realise all to soon that none of the enemies could hit an elephant with a Rocket launcher, there AI is simply more brain dead than almost any you will have faced before, and lets remember in 1977 the Atari 2600 a machine with only a 1.19mhz processor managed to show competitive functional AI in its tanks in the video game cart known as Combat (one of the first 9 games released for that particular system). . Not much of a gameplay rating here, that's for sure. And also, the enemies, even in the last few levels, have the worst AI ever. If anything will get you in these sort of bits its more walls than enemies. I would have scrapped these bits as novel looking as they are and concentrated on doing my best to ensure the other bits were more enjoyable, but I guess they figured this stuff was what would stand out the best when printed in magazines and is what would sell the game.

The sound is pretty basic even if I find the music strangely funky and appealing in a way I cant quiet understand, the controls are decent, there are no real major major bug bears with this game beyond what I have mentioned but the way it feels when you play it you cant find yourself saying anything kinder than either the generic ''yeah its average'' or ''at least they tried something'' So I think it is pretty clear that I would give this game 5 out of 10. Would I recommend a purchase? Only if you can get it for around £5 and really fancy something you dont already own. I have had this knocking around in my collection so long I have no idea when or where I got it but looking online, looking about you can get a cart for around £5 on Amazon and if you like trying new things then give it a shot you might like it more than I do.

Friday, 18 December 2015

Brutal Honesty...School shootings

OK so this is a new piece I am going to do for my blog, its another opinion piece but this time I wont be talking about a current event I will just be taking a statement which is potentially extremely controversial and discussing it. ''You can pretty much understand some school shootings''.

You instantly hear the word school shooting and you presume that it has been done by someone who is an utter ass-hole, when you hear speeches about it you often hear the words ''sick'' ''coward'' and various other phrases being parroted again and again. Now I want you to stop and think back for a moment, think back to when you were at school, think about the behaviour of some of the people who were around you or maybe even think of your own behaviour. Think of all the little click's and all of the people who get pushed to the side, the ones who had to face exclusion and insults maybe even threats of violence or actual physical violence on a daily basis, maybe you were one of these people or maybe you were the one who was bullying someone like this or maybe just maybe you were one of those people who just stood there and watched bully's picking on there victims and you just felt glad that it wasn't you. If you were bullied then you will know that it royally sucks ass, it is not a good thing to put up with whatever form it took, if you were a bully then sincerely Fuck You, I hope you at least feel sorry for it now and have done something to make amends for it to at least some level. If you were one of those people who regularly sat on the outside and watched it happen and did nothing then I guess that the kindest thing I can say is I understand, I have a memory of once doing this when I was young and it still hurts me to this day to realise that I watched when I really knew I should have done something. Now I am not saying that anyone should go sticking there face into everything that's happening around them, sometimes it is not clear if someone is really being bullied or if its just banter, or sometimes the person getting shit has actually done something to warrant the negative attention but you know those times when you know what your seeing is wrong when you can feel that it is deep down inside your gut then bloody do something about it. I am not saying that if you see someone at school or work bullying someone you need to walk up and punch someone in the face or make a huge fuss, but you can still do something, maybe ask the person latter if they are OK. I think the age old saying ''if your not part of the solution your part of the problem is very true.''

Now like it or not every single school both here and in America and heck probably in most of the world is made up of bully's, victims and onlookers and if your really really lucky kids who oppose bullies who dont happen to be victims. Now obviously I am saddened by the news of any childs life ending early but when you see these parents of the children who have died in various shootings they are all ''oh my poor little angel was taken too soon by that vile coward'' every one tends to think there own child is the golden one, the one who never does any wrong, the one who has never said an unkind word or pushed another kid but if we follow my above comments on the make up of a school population we know that this can not be true in every case. When did you ever see a parent come on TV and go ''Yeah my kid got his head blown off, but in fairness he was a cocky little shit who always pushed kids smaller than him and tried to flush there heads in the school toilets'' or ''Yeah my girl might have been my baby but at times she was a real prick, she would always tease this kid or that kid for being gay or black or ginger or something else that was beyond there control''. Now dont get me wrong I am not for one second saying that every school shooter is a prior victim turned avenger or that every kid that gets shot is a bully, if you spray a semi automatic machine gun across the room like rambo to try and take a kid down then your going to hit a lot of others for a start. What I am saying is that before you blame the existence of guns or some shit like Rap music or video games you need to stop and challenge the assumption that children are all pure angels because they are not, some children are in fact horrid little shits, and you know what stop kids being horrid little shits? Good socialisation thats what. You see your son or daughter or niece or nephew being a little cunt then call them out on it tell them why it is wrong, explain to them what it would be like to have the shoe on the other foot to be bullied and persecuted, teach them right from wrong and teach them how to socialise correctly and when school phones you up and says they have proof your kid was being a jack ass well listen to that proof and keep an open mind.

Karma baby maybe some of the people out there need to stop and read the definition, I have heard people who bullied me or who stood by and watched me be bullied practically crying that there little Jonny or Johnnie is being persecuted and bullied and that no one wants to help or to stop and listen, that its so wrong and so unfair, well you know what Yes, Yes it is unfair, its just as unfair as it was when you were doing the shit you were doing way back when, maybe you need to stop and take a good luck at yourself in a fucking mirror before you cry all whoa is me why wont someone help my little angel.

Wanting to hurt those who have hurt you is a pretty normal reaction when you stop and think about it. I never personally would have wanted to shoot up a school but I did want revenge on quiet a few people and I even got it on some in far less violent/ permanent ways. I remember this one kid he was 4 years older than me, real big chap and he always used to call me names but more than that he used to regularly both threaten and hit me, in fact I remember one day he picked me up by the throat against a wall and tried to choke the life out of me. I could feel the pressure getting tighter and tighter and my vision getting darker and darker and in desperation I kicked forward and hit him square in the knackers, he dropped me and he doubled over as his head came forward I uppercutted him square in the face and knocked him out. That wasn't revenge though that was pure survival if he had chocked me that bad the first time if I hadn't knocked him out Id hate to think what he would have done the second time. Revenge came about 7 years latter when I met his then Fiancée in a nightclub and made out with her again and again, sometimes its funny the hands that fate can deal you. Was I right or was I wrong well I guess thats down to personal opinion.

The long and short of it is though that as a world we need to learn more empathy and that we need to do a better job of teaching our young to act in a way which is not only good for them but good for the world and the people around them, this wouldn't end all violence but at least then we would know that that people who had pulled the trigger were just nut balls and not simply victims making even more victims.

You can understand some school shootings because we live in a world were people crap on other people and we all know that every single person out there only has a finite amount of tolerance when it comes to being shit on.

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Alien Storm for the sega Megadrive/Genesis revisited in celebration of my 100th post

My first ever blog post was made on the 16th of June 2009, now due to the site it was on closing down tommorow this will soon no longer exist at least in its original form, I have done a lot of things since that post including making YouTube Videos, publishing my own books and also spending a lot of time online writing in general. Writing stories, reviews, opinion pieces, basically almost everything you can think of.

I have written about films which were banned, new games, old games in fact but it all started with reviewing a Sega MegaDrive/Genesis game Alien Storm. A lot of people probably wonder why I picked this game, after all its not like it was one of those games that everyone is always talking about but that was exactly the reason I picked it, it was a game I had personally loved as a kid, which I didn't think got talked about enough. I wanted my review to stand out as opposed to it being lost in a sea of millions of reviews all saying the exact same thing about a game which everyone knew about but I also wanted to draw attention to the game itself. Well I have decided that as this is my 100th post on my new blog and my old blog is being taken down it was only right to take a look at my first blog post. in this case I guess I will sort of be reviewing my review.

''I remember when Alien storm first came out most people rather unfairly in my opinion referred to it as Golden Axe with aliens. On the surface Alien storm does share quiet a few similarity's with the Axe both made by Sega both basically of the old side scrolling beat em up mold, a choice of 3 different characters 1 of which is a lady.'' I still do remember Alien Storm being referred to as Golden Axe with aliens in it, in fact someone used this term not to long ago, pointing out the things both games had in common and brining in a game people would know is something I feel was a decent way to get people in to the review but when I see that I tried to be funky and referred to Golden Axe as ''the Axe'' ergh it makes me want to regurgitate what made me think that was a good idea?

''Golden Axe and a lot of games like it suffer from the repetitiveness of the genre. You kill identy-kit enemy after enemy then get to the odd boss who is basically a enemy who looks a bit different hits harder and has a longer health bar. Alien storm stood out at the time for me by trying to add some different styles of game play to the mix to reduce the repetitiveness. Firstly you have Operation Wolf (light gun) inspired bits were you go through TV shops and supermarkets blasting aliens and shooting energy and health to collect them. Then you have sections when you are running along and shooting at enemy's trying to reach the end of the level. For a beat em up it seems quite fast really with skilled players diving across the screen from side to side dodging the hordes'' I still feel that everything I noted here is true, Alien Storm really did try hard to throw a few curve-balls in to the mix to help keep the gameplay fresh and exciting, you can note that both this game and Golden Axe 2 came out in the same year and while this game basically tried new things Golden Axe 2 was a more of the same sequel that really didn't offer anything the first hadn't. Yet Golden Axe would go on to get a second sequel in Japan at least in the form of Golden Axe 3 and would eventually get a modern if poor sequel Golden Axe Beast Rider. In contrast Alien Storm had one original game which has to stand on its own. Is this a good or bad thing? Well if your one of those people who always complain when films which stood well on there own get needles sequels then you will probably think its fantastic and I cant help but feel glad that there wasn't a Alien Storm: Laser shooter sat down beside Golden Axe Beast Rider taking a double shit on my childhood. I however really would like to have seen a Alien Storm 2 back on the megadrive or on a handheld or live arcade store now built using the original Alien Storms engine.

''Its not inventive in every way its plot is basic Aliens are trying to invade earth and you have to stop them, you have your typical choice of 3 combatants in this case a Man a Woman and a Robot. There not bad they do the job but its the aliens that are truly worthy of praise there's a reasonable number of different types from little goblinesqe things that claw at you to sludgy things that scrape along the floor and try to swallow you whole but the real beauty of it is when you see them hiding in dustbins or dressed as civilians despite having a huge purple melon for a head. The game does have the cloned baddies who are the same as others in the game but different colours but it is not as bad for this as some games.'' Yes this game had a bit of a typical plot but it was awesome B movie cheese and I wouldn't change it for anything in the world, if anything the plot and graphics of this game have simply got under my skin even more and made me love them, I still have a huge amount of love for the Aliens trying to hide in dustbins or trying to pretend to be human, it adds a good pinch of humour to this game. As for the cloned and recoloured baddies issue, well I have actually seen far more modern games do this a hundred times more than Alien Storm did, so I almost feel as if I was nitpicking to even bring it up at all.

''The games style is a sort of what people in the 50s thought about space men and aliens your wearing a sort of shiny boiler suit with a short distance hand laser connected to a back pack fighting evil hideous aliens while objectives are shot up on the screen at the start of every level like ' SAVE THE PEOPLE' . The game comes across as incredibly camp but in a fun amusing way, its like golden axes kooky but cute younger sister you know she is not as well developed as the older one but she has a spark and a cheeky smile that's all her own.'' Again the style of the game is amazing and I love it all it layers of camp included but what the heck was I going on about with younger sisters and stuff? I must have read something which at the time I thought was all hip and cool and in your face and was trying to channel this in some kind of bid to be popular and win the internet. I guess it really is true the older you get the less you care about this kind of thing as I largly just write what pops into my head without over thinking it.

''The whole point of this review then is to help people decide if its worth downloading or hunting down a cart of Alien storm. My answer is a definite yes; simply put, on the face of it the Final Fight and Streets of Rage games may appear to have held up infinitely better than Alien Storm, what with there higher quality soundtracks and more serious tone. But this game has its own spark. It brakes up the action in interesting ways and in doing so tries to tackle some of the weakness's that caused the genres demise, it has a sense of humour and is different enough to the other games of its type to stand on its own and not be considered just another one of those final fight clone games. Is it a streets of rage beater? No is it better than golden axe? Well I guess that would depend on your choice of poison sci fi or fantasy but for me Alien Storm wins.'' The whole honest truth is that the point of this review was that I was commissioned to write something, this review was supposed to end up in print, there are a few occasions when I have nearly ended up writing for a well known site or getting paid for my review work and it has always fallen through, I started my original blog as I didn't want my work in this case to go to waste. I still do consider Alien Storm as a better game than Golden Axe but the honest truth is that there is plenty of room for both games to sit beside each other, as fun as top 10 games on this or that system list can be no one is ever likely to put a gun to your head and order you to decide which game you need to save and which will be burned at the steak.

''So how has the game aged ? To be honest the game has not aged badly at all its still very playable and the graphics and sound although basic to what is achievable now still have enough character to remain endearing. If  I was to give this game a rating out of 10 stars I would give it 7.5 Its interesting, its different and its fun it will make you smile while your playing it but when its finished and you walk away it wont have changed your life.'' Sod it I actually think it deserves an 8 or even a 9, this was years ago I was saying that it wouldn't change your life and yeah maybe Alien Storm is not going to give you some kind of religious epiphany but if I loved it as a kid and then felt drawn back to it again 6 years ago and now feel myself drawn back and playing and loving it yet again then it is clearly doing something tremendously right.

Monday, 14 December 2015

Lets all go to the lobby to get ourselves a treat...

I used to go to the cinema a lot as a youngster, largely because we had a single screen local cinema in my home town, in fact it was so close it was pretty much a brisk five minute walk from my front door. The prices were quiet cheap when I was young and they never really went up even up till the day it shut its door. They had a little counter from which you brought your ticket and then the cinema itself was up a flight of stairs, a flight of stairs which often had the usual coming soon posters either side of the wall. Yeah they sold sweets in the lobby but we would always take our own sweets and drinks brought from the corner shop across the road from me. There would be adverts before the film then there would be the cinema related adverts the ones with dancing tubs of popcorn reminding you that you could always go down to the lobby to get yourself a treat. Then the lights would dim and you would watch the first half of the film.

When the film was halfway through then the lights would come up a little and they would play that old music off the cornetto add, the Italian sounding one and a usually oldish Lady would make her way down the aisle with a torch and a large box tray that hung from her neck. You would make your way down to her and you pretty much had two options you could have a cornetto or you could get yourself a small tub of vanilla ice cream with a mini plastic spoon. There was also time for a quick run to the toilet for a wee, and maybe five minutes to stand out in the corridor and turn to your friend and give some brief commentary on the film so far, usually about how good or how crap it had been up until that point, sometimes you would try to guess what was going to happen next or you would sort of straighten out what had happened in your mind. Then after this you would find your seat, the lights would dim again and then you would watch the second half of the film.

I actually miss that intermission. For one the lack of it means if I need to pee, I now need to either hold it to the point that upon the moment of the film ending I am now running to the toilet like a man possessed, followed by me peeing like a fire hydrant that has sprung a vicious leak or I need to wait for what seems like the dullest most boring bit of the film were I can guess and hope that nothing of any real merit will happen in the time it takes to creep out of my chair, and then bolt to the toilet and back. Also there is no way I am leaving a film I have paid for to give the cinema more of my money for its sticky treats, whatever I have taken in to the show will have to be enough, it’s as simple as that. The real truth of why I miss the intermission falls down to the way it breaks up some films. I would seriously argue that some films simply seem to be a much better viewing experience when there has been a pause in the middle of them, a chance for your mind to absorb everything that has happened so far, a chance to be left for a few brief moments to think about everything you have seen and the emotions you have felt upon viewing it.

I have seen certain people argue that an intermission breaks the flow of the film and that the desire for one is just a symptom of ever decreasing attention spans and although I feel that these people are entitled to their opinions with the existence of long ‘’epic movies’’ I feel that an intermission is needed even more so now than it once was in order to allow the viewer to catch their breath.

Some would think that with the ever increasing quality and size of home televisions and the ability to pause the film at will that the cinema would be becoming almost obsolete and yet according to figures Cinema attendance in the UK is currently at the highest it has been in the last 7 years. Yet I can’t help but think that the intermission has been abandoned and in its place we have a copious amount of trailers and adverts before the movie, it has become less about trying to help us enjoy and process the movies we want to see and more about gaining extra money through add revenue while trying to have the maximum number of screenings per day for max profit. There is more to it than this though. When I was young the most you could hope for from a lobby was some popcorn of a bag of sweeties, with the option for a cornetto or tub of ice-cream in the middle. Now you can get various different sizes of pop or any number of fancy combinations of designer label ice-cream treats, you can get hot dogs, or nachos dripping in various sauces, popcorn and picker mix sweets. When I was young we would sneak our corner shop treats in but nowadays you can watch people cue in there droves to spend what must amount to a small fortune on the various treats supplied. Maybe with the death of the intermission there has been a birth in the event of the cinema visit, maybe it’s less about the movie and more about the experience but is this a good thing?

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Ash Versus Evil Dead Episodes 5 and 6 reviewed

OK so admittedly this is late even by my standards, I said I would review episodes 5 and 6 before episode 7 hit the air and well I didnt manage it. Yet here I am doing it now better late than never hey? I am going to cover episode 5 and 6 and say what I think about them both. Obviously there will be some spoilers here , the episodes are good enough to watch so Id recommend doing that first and then seeing if you agree or disagree with my opinion on them. I have seen episode 7 I but I will be saving my critic of it for a latter date well except to say that I thought it was awesome.

Episode 5 The Host
The episode starts with Ash tied up and everyone believing that the demon is in him. The truth is that the demon is actually in Kelly and is manipulating everyone in to thinking that he is inside Ash. Brujo plans to basically cut the demon out of Ash, which he explains could get rid of the demon but would make Ash loose the feeling in anything below the waist. The way this is all played is pretty cool, as the viewer you can see how the Demon is manipulating everyone and its like your seeing it all from Ash's perspective. There is still the usual Evil Dead factor to the episode but the set-up allows a few things to be borrowed from the likes of The Exorcist and films of its type with Dana DeLorenzo the actress who plays Kelly doing a great job of playing both the normal and the possessed Kelly. There are also some great moment for Pablo with him both apologising to and getting an apology from Brujo. OK major spoiler but basically this episode sees the end of the demon which has been in the last few episodes but it also see's the death of Brujo, he was a good character but I think a lot was gained by his death in terms of character progression., 
Its not my favourite episode so far but its nice that a good original demon which was made for the show had a good 3 episode arc which not only managed to add to the lore of the Evil Dead but also allowed for a lot of character interaction and growth.

Episode 6 Killer of Killers

In short I can sum this whole episode up with the following, Amanda catches up with Ash at an American diner, only for it all to come to a boil with a real Deadite slaying blood bath.

There are some fantastic little set ups, set pieces and pay off's which just make this probably my favourite episode so far. Now this episode is mostly a blood bath which is focused a lot more on action than real plot development. We see Ash trying to be a little fatherly to Kelly confronting her over her feelings and if she needs to talk and if she is ok while they eat pancakes with her response being on the lines of she doesn't care if she lives or dies she just wants to slaughter as many deadites as nastily as possible. This comes across leaving you wondering how much of this is true and how much is sort of bravado, at least it does right up until the moment latter on when she, attacks a deadite ramming it face first in to a meat slicer and then smashing the back of its head again and again with a hammer in a scene which would rival any scene from any of the Evil Dead films or episodes of the show so far for raw bloodiness. This shows that she is in her own right a legitimate bad ass. Ash gets to show typical blow hard legendary levels of Ashness by trying to come on to the waitress to avoid paying his bill, then we have a kid being mercilessly thrown in to and torn apart by a ceiling fan. We have gun shots chainsaw slashes and the already mentioned meat grinder face kiss. The only real bit bit of plot progression is that at the end of the episode Amanda has come to believe Ash and joins his merry little band.
Its a rip roaring episode though which really shows how much action you can pump into this shows relatively short episodes. All I can say in general is ''More please'' which seeing as the show has been picked up for a second season we are going to get. Its also great to see that Virgin Media in the UK have.picked the show up on there on Demand service even if you have to be on quiet a high level package to have access to it apparently.

Saturday, 12 December 2015

PS4 or Xbox one an Update.

I wrote a piece long before the release of the Playstation 4 and the Xbox one discussing their relative merits and in particular which of the two I was going to buy. Now the long and short of it was that I had sat and weighed up all the positives and negatives I knew about and decided that the PS4 was the machine for me. I followed this up after I found myself getting an Xbox but now it is a lot further down the line so I figured that it would be time to take another look, a third look at the two consoles and what they have to offer.

Originally before the machines launched I might have cared a little bit about there stats how powerful this or that component is but in seeing them both run side by side I have to say that what you see and what you get game wise is close enough for any technical specifications to be nothing but a series of numbers. Each machine has its own exclusive games but when it comes down to the third party games if you owned both machines like I do then I would tell you to simply buy whichever version you could get cheapest or to make your decision on which pad you prefer holding, or on which machine still has some free storage space.

I made the argument that In the early years of a console’s lifespan when even second hand games can be quite expensive, paying a yearly rate for services like PS+/Games for gold seemed like a good idea.I also went on to say that PS+ was better value because you would get more games, well Microsoft have done something to level the playing field a little. Microsoft have introduced backwards compatibility allowing you to play some Xbo 360 games on your Xbox One. They are adding to the number every month an basically any 360 games that end up on games for Gold they are making run on the Xbox One, not only does this make Gold a better prospect than it was its also a nice little touch in itself.

Of course you can also pick up a lot of second hand games for cheap prices now for both systems which helps if your thinking of jumping on board now buying one of these machines and grabing a few games to keep you busy.

I originally said that the 500gig Hard drives that both machines come with were inadequate for anything more than the most casual of gamers, this is something I still stand by. Once you find yourself with anything more than 10 to 15 games on either machine you will find your hard drive space is becoming a real issue, and you really dont want to end up in the dance of having to uninstall and reinstall stuff just to play it. I installed a 2 Terrabyte hard drive in to my PS4 and it is still holding up for the moment, I have about 500gig left. I then added an external 500gig hard drive to my Xbox one, followed by a 2 terrabyte one, I now have about 800gig left. As I have previously stated this is one key area where the Xbox one is at an advantage, it can use up to 2 external hard drives at a time to increase its storage capacity. The PS4 cannot install games to an external hard drive so if you run out of space it is a much larger pain in the behind, basically you will need to buy a bigger hardrive, save all of your game saves to the internet, install the hard drive and re-download/install all of your games and saves. This is something that Sony still has not addressed for whatever reason. My recommendation is that if your planning on some serious gaming if you pick the PS4 then factor in a good sized hard drive you think will last you and buy it alongside the PS4 and install it from the start to save yourself a lot of trouble, as a side note the drive you take out of the PS4 can be blanked clean and used in a PC or other device. If your looking at buying an Xbox One then its a little easier either buy it when you can afford it and worry about storage latter or price up a external hard drive and buy one alongside it if you have the money. Now another important thing to remember is the Xbox One can only use two external drives at a time, but that doesn't mean you couldn't end up with 4 with a label on each letting you know whats on them so you can swap between them.

I still find the pad a little better on the xbox one, but then despite all of the updates both machines have had I do find the PS4 to just run better as a machine, there are a few times when the xbox one has refused to load games somehow having become stuck and I have had to reset it and I do not have any similar issues to report for my PlayStation hardware. This was true on the Xbox One's original OS and its still true with all of the updates, its not something that happens a lot but when it does its annoying.

I still stand by the closing statement I made in my last post on the subject so I will simply quote it here ''In short though I have gotten almost equal enjoyment from both machines, If you haven’t jumped on board this generation yet and are looking for some advice then here it is ‘’Look at the deals you can get for each machine, look at the games currently available on both machines, look at how many second hand games are around in your area and how cheap they are and then make your own informed decision from there, I don’t personally feel there is a wrong or right choice, just the one that’s right for you.’’

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Black Friday and Christmas Sales from the eyes of a Gamer

OK so around about this time last year I did a post about the Black Friday sales that year which I called the''Black Friday crush a prone persons head just to get a flat screen TV award for most franticly desire for a product.''

Last year the scenes which ended up on our TV’s mostly showed people wrestling over television sets in super markets, although things did get stupider than even that as footage leaked to various internet sites showed. For example an approximately size 18 woman punched out a roughly size 6 woman over a pair of panties which couldn't possible of fitted both of them. Well what happend this year? Was there any bloodshed or craziness? Not really. There was this big build up some companies pushed how great there deals would be, then there were build up to Black Friday sales, the typical Amazon lightning deals were not too bad but then ASDA the very people who decided to bring this Sales holiday over here backed out of the whole thing. The two main TV reports I saw included a report on how only one man had turned up for the sales at a particular store and how another store had put on shed loads of staff and opened up at 4AM in the morning ready and waiting for the rush to find that there was no rush, no one turned up till much latter.

The shop I work in had a few Black Friday sales, but even if it got busy it never got scary or dangerous. So did I buy anything on Black Friday? Well not much, I did buy a few games from a Pawn store which took 20% off of all of its games prices, mostly however my stuff came from both Game and Amazons lead up to Black Friday sales. In fact I got Gears of War Ultimate Edition for £15 and Transformers Devastation for £20 from Game in the lead up sale worrying that maybe they would be even cheaper come Black Friday and that I would feel stupid but they actually went up in price with Gears of War Ultimate being £18 in the actual Black Friday sale and Devastation being £23.

So with Black Friday having proved a bit of a bust what about Christmas sales. Well I remember that both Sony and Microsoft had some great sales leading up to Christmas on there digital stores last year and the year before, in fact I remember one year spending about £130 on the Xbox Store, every day there was an irresistible deal, it seemed to start at the beginning of December and carried on all the way up to New Years day with my fallout practically begging for mercy as I brought arcade titles, full retail titles, DLC. Now so far Microsoft had a Black Friday sale in which the digital games were despite being reduced still much more expensive to buy then it would be to order a new sealed copy of the same game on Disc and have it delivered to your house. Sony have started this buy one PS4 game get one free deal but then they have made the games all £44.99 when some of them I have seen for as little as £12.99 on sale. One of these games is Until Dawn which I recently paid £16.50 for from ShopTo in a sale another is Lego Batman 3 which I have seen for £12.99, now even if your not a maths wizard you can easily see adding those two numbers together is a lot less than £44.99 and you have something physical you could if you choose sell when you've finished them.

To be honest it feels like this is how Black Friday will be from now on, its lost its wow factor over here at least but when it comes to the Seasonal sales on Xbox Live and the PlayStation Store maybe things will improve but I guess the important thing is not to see the words Sale and go nuts, slow down take a long hard look around and price up what you want in multiple places, look at both digital and physical prices and unless your absolutely desperate for something dont be afraid to play the waiting game.

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Ash Versus Evil Dead Episodes 3 and 4 reviewed

OK so if you follow this blog you have probably been wondering why I made such a big fuss of the first 2 episodes of Ash Versus Evil Dead and then went silent. Well one of the reasons was just plain being busy another is that with the rather short nature of the episodes I wanted to wait till I had a chunk of stuff to write about. So here I am going to cover tepisode 3 and 4 and what I think about them both. Obviously there will be some spoilers here , the episodes are good enough to watch so Id recommend doing that first and then seeing if you agree or disagree with my opinion on them. Hopefully I will also catch up with 5 and 6 and reviewing them before 7 hits the air.

Episode 3: Books From Beyond
Now this episode is all about an occult bookstore that had been mentioned in the first two episodes. Now kudos where it is due the set design is excellent, there are so many fantastic little props which add detail and character to this shop, its just amazing to see them put so much effort in to a place which we will most likely never see again, it makes the world seem more true, more real.So basically they are there to see if the owner can read the necronomicon and find an undo spell in it which will get rid of all of the deadities, but in short he cant. So Ash being typical ash decides that what they are going to do is use the book to summon a wimpy demon which they can then quiz but of course if you've seen the Evil Dead films you know how well Ash luck and Ash plans usually go and true to form things go from bad to worse. Now I have always loved the fact that Ash essentially is despite being a hero a dumb ass, a blow hard zero brained kind of guy who just goes chasing in to trouble with his boom stick chainsaw and a bag full of one liners.Pablo does stand up to Ash a little and kind of says its a dumb idea but hero worships Ash to much to really push it. The whole uniqueness of this series is that our bunch of heroes are incredibly outclassed and hopeless but they are what we have got.We also got to see a bit more of Lucy Lawless’ character in a scene which showed how good she is at dispatching Deadites. I have seen people go ''oh what is her link to Ash, oh how does she know him why does she want him?'', I wont spoilt it but I will give you the tools to work it out yourself, find her last name either in credits or a press release and then watch the first film again and that will tell you all you need to know. I do think that the future interactions we will get between her and Ash will be the stuff of legends.

So far the slapstick and gratuitous gore has been well mixed with a sense of genuine horror, it seems to be towing the line set by the second Evil Dead film never really getting quite as disturbing as the original movie nor ending up as silly as the third (I dont meen silly as in bad I love Evil Dead 3/Army of Darkness) I think that the demon that was summoned in this episode was well designed and actually a pretty cool and scary character, it kind of shows that the book is not just about zombie like deadite creatures it is so much more than that, so much more dangerous. This episode was all in all pretty darn fantastic.

Episode 4: Brujo

OK so really so far Ash vs. Evil Dead has been all about the witty one liners, the comedy and the gory killing of Deadites, the last episode gave us an interesting demon who I was a bit disappointed didn't get more time, well guess what he does. The tone of this particular episode is a lot different to the early ones but your going to get that when you change directors and this episode is definitely less fast-paced.

“Brujo” is about Ash, Pablo, and Kelly going to see a witch doctor relative of Pablo's who raised him, the reason being that all they seemed to learn from the previous episode is that the answer was inside Ash. So this episode is basically about Ash being taken on what could best be described as a spirit quest. He enters a world inside his own mind and we get to learn more about him as a person, what he likes, what he wants. We learn that his happy place is Jacksonville Florida a place he has an obsession with but has never visited. Apparently he wanted to go there instead of to the original cabin in the wood where all of this started in the first Evil Dead film. However before anything much can be learned it turns out that the demon from the last episode is not gone as they believed it is in fact inside of Kelly.

We also learn that another old enemy of Ash's is still about and is in fact how Lucy Lawless's character is managing to track him, who is this enemy? Well its his own hand which he cut off with a chainsaw after it got possessed. The hand is wrapped in cloth and although not moving around like it was is still twitching and showing signs of life, so maybe just maybe as it gets closer to Ash we will get to see another epic hand against man showdown like in Evil Dead 2.

For me this episode is a dream come true for Evil Dead fans, you get to learn more about Ash as a person how he thinks and feels, what he is like inside, your learn that his hand is still well not alive but well still twitching, still possessed or undead or howver you want to refer to it. You also see that Lucy Lawless's character has a knife not to unlike the one in Evil Dead 2. It might be a bit slower a bit more cerebral than the episodes before it but its the one that proves that this show has some real legs and enough ideas to go the distance.

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Is it bad if a game depicts Violence in a realistic way?

Today I am going to ask and try to answer a few questions ''Is it better or worse when Games depict violence in a realistic way, if it is bad why is it bad and should it be stopped.'' I was playing Sniper Eliter V3 the other day and I made a kill shot a kill shot in which the game showed me the bullet quiet literally entering the victims skull and breaking its way through bone and through flesh, now I know there are people who would say that this is to much, that it is basically violence or gun porn and that it is selling sickness to our children. Well I wont get on to the whole kids thing basically because I am not the kind of stupid moron that does not understand that games are not all made for children. Yes some would argue that while adult games exist children could get a hold of them and play them but by this same logic children could also get there hands on 18 certificate horror or action films, pornography, cigarettes and alcohol or even sit reading Lady Chatterley's Lover or at least they could if there parents clearly didn't give a shit about them or simply cared more about having an easy life by any means possible including allowing your kids to watch what they want play what they want and sacrifice the family dog to the dark lord Satan. When parents value a little peace and quiet and no arguing more than they value the stability and development of there children then this is when shit really does begin to hit the fan.

Now lets assume that we live in a world which is far more perfect than our own, one where the young are not allowed to watch or play anything which they are not yet emotionally and mentally ready for (I say this as opposed to legally allowed as I feel age certificates dont tell the whole picture, what one person can see, understand and process at the age of 12 another might not be ready for until they are 15). I think in this situation you could make an argument that it is in fact better to see more realistic effects of sword slashes and weapons fire compared to simply seeing enemies flash, drop down and then disappear. Going back to Sniper Elite when you see someone die it looks painful at times it has made me cringe and make involuntary noises, it really does hammer home the fact that not only would I not want to be shot and die like this in real life I would not want to do what I am doing to the in game enemies to a real person. Yes you can argue that other people might see this and feel differently you could argue that some might see this level of violence and be attracted to it, that they might in fact feel the desire to replicate it but if you say that and you want to try to use that for as an excuse to try and ban or sanitise something then you need to stop and think about the big picture. Violence has existed longer than Video Games, Video games are not the first medium to depict violence, there was violence in films before and there was violence in literature, in fact lots of classic literature including holy books are absolutely dripping in violence and gore or at the very least the suggestion of it. So surly if you were going to argue for outlawing violence in one form of media then you need to do the same thing with all the others music, film , books.

The honest truth is that the realistic gore in some games is just used as a scape goat , no one wants to be held accountable anymore, parents dont want to admit that there kids have ended up as shitty human beings because they were to busy being selfish and ignoring them. People themselves dont want to be held accountable for committing crimes when they can try to use any old excuse to weasel there way out of it. I am not the first one to notice or comment on this in fact one of my favourite examples of this is South Park and in particular the movie. Look at the lines in the song Blame Canada, after spending the whole song saying how they wouldn't blame this that or the other for the fate and actions of there children and that they instead would blame Canada, now look at the last line ''We must blame them and cause a fuss...Before somebody thinks of blaming us!''. Add to this the moment when Cartman decides that instead of taking responsibility for his actions he will say the following '' That movie warped my fragile little mind.''

If everyone would just take responsibility for there own kids and even more importantly for there own actions then there would be no need to keep talking about this and the world would be a much better place.

Saturday, 5 December 2015

So we are now bombing Syria, and how I feel about it.

So here I am again talking about the current state of our world yet again instead of Video Games and horror movies, but the truth is unfortunatly the world is so bloody dark at the moment that no horror movie could possibly compete with it, and also I am pissed off and need to get some of it out of my system.

So it has been mentioned that David Cameron criticised the Russian bombing of Syria not to long ago because of the fact that it would lead to increased radicalisation, then what did he do, well if you read this blog or even the news in general then you will know that he Voted to bomb Syria a few days ago, that he said that anyone who didn't vote Yes or didn't believe that we should bomb them was a terrorist sympathiser. Then basically we started bombing them as soon as it was possible, right away without a pause. So what incredible vital place did we bomb well we bombed the Omar oil field in Syria and apparently it went tremendously well according to the press here is one particular quote to show how it has been reported “Four Tornados took off from RAF Akrotiri, Cyprus just an hour after MPs voted in favour of launching airstrikes in the war-torn country. The jets struck targets in the Omar oil field in Eastern Syria, dealing a “real blow” to the death cult, also known as Daesh.”

Sounds great doesn't it? We hit a strategic target an oil field which would be providing fuel for the enemy and would be very unlikely to have innocent women and children hanging around it. However there is a bit of a fly in the ointment here and that is that on the 23rd of October it was reported that Russian and American planes had completely destroyed the Omar oil field in Syria. Well if it was totally destroyed back then how was there anything to bomb now? When I picture an Oil field bombed to the point it can be considerd tottally destroyed I remember the fact that oil is flammable and picture nothing left but a chared black stain on the ground, so either it wasn't destroyed as much as people claimed the first time, its remarkably easy to clean up and rebuild destroyed oil fields or the media has bullshited us either back then or now

Here is a quote from the reporting of its distruction back in October“The terrorists’ oil field in eastern Syria was obliterated in a day of bombing conducted by both Russia and the US-led coalition. US operations officer Major Michael Filanowski told reporters in Baghdad the Omar oil field was blitzed, heavily damaging the lucrative funding source for ISIS.”

Now if bombs were free and jet fuel didnt cost anything and you could be certain that not one innocent person was harmed then many people might shrug there shoulders and say so what the same site was bombed twice, even if the first lot of bombs had already destroyed it the second lot wouldn't do any harm, surly it would just make doubly sure that the area is smashed. The problem is Jet Fuel, man power and bombs do cost in fact they cost an awful lot.

OK here I have to admit that I do not know the economic cost of war, yes I can look up how much assets cost and make crude guesses but if someone knows better than me then I am not about to argue with them. According to a little research I did America has used both bombs and missiles to hit Syria, now just One Tomahawk cruise missile (something they have used a number of) costs the equivalent of £850,000. Stop and think about that, £850,000 on one missile. The missile didn't just get itself there either a missile needs to be fired by something, something which needs to be controlled by a professional(s) and got in to position all of which costs even more money. This is happening while our Government is going on about cutting Tax benefits making hard worker families poorer, plunging more of our own children in to poverty. Yet if you look at Syria and a company called Genie Energy and a certain region called the Golan Heights which Israel illegally took from Syria in the 1967 Six Day War you can put two and two together and see the advantages for the rich who are invested in Genie Energy in bombing the region into submission in order to get to the black gold. One of those who holds stock in Genie is Rupert Murdock the founder, chairman and CEO of global media holding company News Corporation, the world's second-largest media conglomerate. So when a man with such a vested interest in this controls the media you can see we are likely to get a heavily biased story if we turn to this same media for our information. Tony Blair turned out to have money invested in oil so it would hardly surprise me to learn the same was true in terms of Cameron or other politicians who have voted for bombing Syria. 

Also lets look at it logically who is likely to suffer from retaliation. Are the politicians who have voted for this likely to be the ones to die in retaliation? I dont think so, its more likely to be normal every day people. In fact its more likely to be normal average people who suffer all around. The terrorists want to die in glorious flames, they want to be martyrs and have a holly war and this from the looks of things is being handed directly to them, where as the civilians over there most likely just want a quiet life, enough food to eat to be left alone. Both Syrian civilians and the average man(woman) on the street here are looking at the possibility of being blown up because of selfish toss-pots who want what they want regardless of its effect on other people. So Cameron and ISIS both have something in Common there selfish tosspots who think they know what is best for a whole bunch of people and feel they have the right to act in other peoples names.

So Cameron when your blowing the shit out of places and people please dont think your doing it in my name you posh elitist money hungry wank shaft, I dont respect you in the slightest, I dont feel protected by you and your actions and I dont believe a word you say and I am pretty darn sure that I am not the only one.

Friday, 4 December 2015

Fallout 4 My completed game of the month

Last month I plain forgot to write a piece on what I had completed, in all honesty all I did finish was Forza 5, I had basically played the heck out of it to start with but then slowed down, not because it was a bad game but because its actually quite long when you look at completing all of the different series's available. So what made me actually finish it? Forza 6 basically. I played a heck of a lot of Forza 3 must have got right near the end but then I got 4 crazy cheap not long after release and never finished 3, never finished 4 either.

I know that its not that uncommon to not finish a game, after all lots of sites have shown using play statistics that lots of people only get part way through lots of games and never see the end of them. So I decided to set myself a restriction, this restriction was that I would not allow myself to buy Forza 6 no matter how cheap it got until I had finished  Forza 5. So this little self set challenge/restriction actually helped me knuckle down and finish every series in the game, my biggest challenge wasn't any of the races it was affording one particular car in order to finish one particular series, still I enjoyed it and I am glad that I made myself finish it.

I cant say that I am glad that I finished the game I actually finished in November though. I finished Fallout 4, which took me about 40 hours, it could have been done much quicker but and I will try not to spoil things too much here but I need to explain a little. Basically there are a bunch of factions in the game and if you fully support one and finish all of the missions for that faction then you finish the game. If you went at this in the most forward way possible, didn't use a guide but didn't allow yourself to become sidetracked at all then I think the game would be about 20 hours long. I did become side tracked though and I sort of followed everyone and tried to keep every faction sweet with me for as long as possible. Now there are different endings I haven't seen which I could either totally replay the game to get or I could even look at one of my slightly earlier saves, one from before I too strongly committed myself to any choices, there is also the option to just carry on and to search the wastelands and to complete small missions I never finished, the option to look for things I didnt find and to keep building up my settlements but I dont think I will invest too much more time in to it. It was a great game while it lasted worth every penny I spent on it and I would advise anyone with even a passing intrest in this sort of thing to get it but after seeing the end credits and finishing the main mission doing these little things kind of feels like cleaning out a scrap paper bin in comparison to the great things I have already accomplished in game.

At the moment I have no idea if I will have finished anything else by the end of December after all there is Christmas to be dealing with and work and at the moment I havent even really settled on something I want to play to that degree. Every time I approach my consoles at the moment I am playing a little bit of this and a little bit of that waiting for something to grab me. I have sampled Transformers Devastation, Dragonball Xenoverse and a few other titles but I am really just waiting for something to suck me in the way Fallout 4 did, oh well it was wonderful while it lasted.

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Are Young people who question the Government or media really extremists?

OK so apparently ''Young people who question the Government or media may be extremists'' according to governmental produced leaflets. Parents and carers have also been advised by a safeguarding board in London that “showing a mistrust of mainstream media reports and a belief in conspiracy theories” could be a sign that children are being groomed by extremists.

Now lets slow down and take this apart, young people who question the media may be extremists, now lets look at this media, and what we mean by the term Media. This very blog is a form of media but we know they don't mean things like this what they really mean is mainstream newspapers and TV reports. Well one of the very reasons I write a blog is that back when I was in college and in University I was taught to ask questions, I was taught to not take things on face value, I was taught to look a little deeper, to ask what paper a piece of news was in, who had written it, who was the editor who had asked for and accepted it and did any of these people have any biases, does the paper itself have an inherent bias. Yet if you look at things on this level by the terms being used by our current Prime Minster you could say I had been radicalised as the colleges and University I attend taught me to not trust what politicians said,and  to not believe everything I see and hear in the Media. Now let me be clear on this I am a White Male Atheist, I don't listen to the words of any god I purely follow my heart and do what it says is the right thing to do, yet my own moral compass tells me that dropping masses of bombs on somewhere in the hope of killing terrorists knowing that you will most likely kill lots of innocent men, women and children is the wrong call to make, yet my own countries Prime Minster (who I didn't vote for I hasten to add) has said that anyone who does not support the dropping of these bombs is a terrorist sympathiser. So I have woke up this morning to learn that someone who I hold in nothing but contempt now would consider me a radicalised terrorist sympathiser.

''Those who forget history are condemned to repeat it'' Now I know there is the old chestnut that if anything is talked about or argued about long enough on the internet then the Nazi's and fascism will be brought up and used but in this case it seems appropriate. We have seen where blindly following a government and not asking questions and just following orders leads. I don't want people to be radicalised in the way I view radicalisation, I don't want people to be led into following a radicalised perverted version of a religion which preaches hatred and destruction which encourages people to strap bombs to themselves or grab guns and kill the innocent but I also view people being brainwashed into following a government without question no matter what it says or what it decides to do, a government which uses bombs and  breeds hate itself as a very bad thing as well, after all both are about stripping away someone's ability to think for themselves, peeling away there individuality and turning them into a puppet.

So what's my message? Well I guess it is dont let anyone brainwash you in to giving up your own mind and your own soul, ask questions never stop, never accept anything on face value, think about who is saying it, why they are saying it and what they have to gain by making people believe there words.

Monday, 30 November 2015

Happy 25th UK Bithday SEGA Megadrive

So one of my favourite consoles of all time the good old Sega Megadrive or as my friends in America would call it the Sega Genesis has just turned 25, now if your my age this is guaranteed to make you feel old.

Yes for those who want to nitpick the Mega Drive was originally released in Japan on October 29, 1988. It took a bit of time for it to arrive here on our shores though first it hit Japan then it launched in North America, as the Sega Genesis, on April 14, 1989. For us in the UK (and Europe) well we had to wait around two years for the console to be released here. The golden date for us here however was November the 30th 1990.

Now I could celebrate this fact by talking about Sega themselves there place in the market, the way in which they chose to aggressively market there console the cheap shots they took at Nintendo or the birth of there mascot Sonic the Hedgehog but instead I might as well talk about the one thing which is the most important when it comes to a console and that is the games.

Now me talking about the Megadrive is not a new thing at all, in fact two times I nearly found myself getting paid to review Megadrive games, the first time I wrote and submitted a review of a favourite of mine Alien Storm, when this fell through I was so proud of the review that I did not want it to go to waste and so I posted this review online as my first ever blog post on my old blog. After this I began to write more reviews and to even make YouTube Videos.

This is my Video Review of Buck Rogers Countdown to Doomsday. Now this might seem a basic game and it is seldom one of the top ten games to be mentioned by people when the genesis but it is one of my top ten games which is a very good showing for it when you consider that I own over 200 megadrive cartridges.

When people talk about the MegaDrive then they will mention Sonic the Hedgehog, Streets of Rage, Mortal Kombat and while they are great games the fact is that the machine had a much wider more diverse library than that this was one of the things that made it the awesome machine it is. Who would believe that there would be a game where you played the part of Michael Jackson dancing criminal and zombies and such literally to death? Well it happened and what's more than that maybe beyond or even because of all the silliness it is one of the most awesome games going.

I could include links to all of the reviews I did, or I could do a top ten Megadrive games that you must own but the truth of that matter is that even if I was to sit and make a top ten list one day I would look back at it and decide that it was in the wrong order that I had missed games off of it and I would literally tear it up and start again, you see that's the thing about the Sega Megadrive there is a whole host of good games for it all of which will appeal to different people that is the beauty of the machine. Instead I will leave things here and see if anyone else wants to leave a message in the comments sharing the name of a game they like or a memory they have which is related to Sega's 16bit Blast Processing machine.

Sunday, 29 November 2015

This Months retro Video Game purchases:November 2015

OK so it is that time of the month again, the time when one month is pretty much over and a new one is about to begin, so its is once again time look at the retro purchases I have made. The honest truth is this is going to be a very short list/post. One of the reasons I haven't really gotten much is that I have been trying to sort Christmas out, then there is the fact that with Black Friday and other related sales I have tended to focus on newer games just because that is where the savings have really been. In general I tend to find myself going through stages of extreme retro purchasing ignoring the modern gaming world and then periods where I reconnect with nowadays games, still back to the retro purchases.

On November the 3rd I got Evil twin cypriens chronicles for playstation 2 complete for £1.50 and Jurassic Park Operation Genesis for PC for £1.50. This is about the 4th time I own Jurassic Park Operation Genesis on PC now, its a good game but I obviously don't need it this many times its just one of those games that I know fetches a decent little amount so I keep my eyes peeled for it (it goes for anywhere from £15 to £35 for the PC Version on sites like ebay which is quiet a lot for an old PC game. These both came from a charity shop which I just tend to check whenever I am walking past it.

On Friday November the 6th I got The Incredable Hulk for Wii boxed but with no manual for £3 and Namco Museum remix for the wii complete for £4 from my local Granger Games. I have heard a lot of good things about hulk but its been like £15 every time ive ran in to a copy in the past, the lack of a manual is a touch annoying but oh well, I guess this is something I need to get used to seeing as nowdays your lucky to even get a scrap of paper with the basic controls written on it when it comes to modern games.

On Friday November the 13th I grabbed a copy of Mario Slam Basketball for the DS Complete for £8 from an indie shop.I have played it quiet a bit in the past and really wanted to own it and this is the cheapest Ive seen it for so was quite happy to make the plunge.

My last retro purchase was on Monday November the 16th I purchased Crimson skies high road to revenge complete for Xbox for 50pence and Zathura complete for xbox for 50pence.

As you can see this slim list was hardly worth a blog post. In the same period of time I have and this is of the top of my head purchased Fallout 4 for Xbox One for £35, Transformers Devastation for Xbox One for £19.99, Disney Infinity 3 with starwars figures for Wii U for £21.50, The walking Dead the escapists for £10, Shovel Knight for PS4 for £10, Freedom Wars for Vita for £10, Chibi Robo 3DS for £10 all new and then a bunch of second hand titles as well Batman Arkham knight for Xbox one for £12.75, Dragon Ball Xenoverse for Xbox one for £15.75, BloodBorne for PS4 for £15.75, Tearaway unfolded for £15. Most of this was due to black friday and lead up to black Friday sales at various different places.

So not a good month for Retro but a decent month for spending on gaming in general.