Wednesday, 30 September 2015

This Months Video Game purchases:September 2015

OK so it is that time of the month yet again, the time when one month is over and a new has begun so its is once again time look at the retro purchases I have made. At the end of last month I said that I was sure that this month would be a lot less exciting when it came to game purchases partially because of my fiancées birthday and the need to spend money treating her right. Well I am happy to report I took her out for a nice meal the day before her birthday and one on the date of her birthday, I tried to take her to rocky horror live but the cinema failed me on that one, I also brought her a Pandora charm, a Camera one because she loves her cameras and taking pictures, a tinker-belle mug and two stuffed Disney toys she wanted and I feel I got a passing grade there. Don't worry though I still found a bit of cash for a game or two.

I received a copy of Carl Ripken Jr Baseball for the Snes a loose pal region cart which cost me £3 including postage on the 3rd of the month then didn't get or even really look at anything else at all until the 11th. On the 11th I visited an indoor market and from a games trader I got myself a Super Nintendo Super Scope for the nice price of £5, yeah there not usually a fortune to buy but its the first time I have seen one in the flesh for a long time, I have seen them online but usually they've been lacking parts or the person has wanted a fortune in postage so it was just quiet nice to pick this up and take it home. I also picked up a Japanese NTSC Fatal Fury SNES cart for £2.50 and a Japanese Battle Dodgeball SNES cart for another £2.50 Battle Dodge ball has a bit of a language barrier but its fun, Basically your playing Dodgeball with a team of Japanese Manga/Anime robots including Grandizer, Star Avenger, Mazinger and such.

I didnt buy anything retro games wise then until the 17th. This is where I have to give a big shout out to the fiance. Basically I had taken her to town so that she could go do a short shift at work. The shift was infact only a few hours long so I decided that seeing as she was supposed to be coming back to mine to get ready for dinner out and a cinema date latter (the afformentioned Rocky Horror Live) that I would just walk around town, maybe get a coffee and a sandwich or check out a few game shops. This is when I found myself in game. My visits to game don't usually last that long, I look at sales and I look at PSP games they might have kicking around and then leave but on this day I looked down at the Wii games and I noticed that they had a copy of  Xenoblade Chronicles for £15 I dived down on it like a hawk, gave the box a quick once over and headed to the till to buy it. Once I had paid I took a good long look at it, the Box, cover, manual and disc were all pretty darn perfect so I have to say this is my buy of the month, as I have wanted it for a long time (It is now sitting proudly next to my copy of the Last Story, Pandora's tower and Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn).

On the 19th I managed to further add to my list of Wii games I am really happy I own by grabbing Silent Hill: Shattered Memories for £5 from another store in town.

On the 22nd I got myself a nice little pile of games from a charity shop. I got Grand theft Auto Vice city,Grand Theft auto 3 and Age of Empires 2 for the playstation 2. Hunter The Reckoning, Return to castle Wolfienstien ,Mech Assault , Star Wars Jedi Knight Jedi Academy xbox and Sega GT2002 and Jet Set Radio Future on one disc with manual and case but no front cover all for xbox. All of them were £1 each, so £7 in total.

My other half spent £23 on getting me a lot of 4 SNES carts, Claymates, Asterix, Cool spot and Tiny Toon's Wild and Wacky sports.. Happy as I have been wanting Wacky Sports for a long time.She did this as she wanted to treat me for getting a new job. I know how much she spent because she wanted to get something I really wanted and not pay through the nose for it, she likes her games a lot but is far less knowledgeable about retro games and what's worth a lot or a little. What she is though is incredibly supportive of my hobbies.

It was a somewhat hectic month, I had my fiancées birthday to buy for and celebrate, had to attend court as a witness, had a job interview and then started a new job which always seems to mess up my finances and worry me a little as one lot of money stops and another doesn't seem to quiet start at the right time to cover it and obviously the more I am working the less I am routing through second hand shops and such. So I guess now going forward I get to see if my change in schedule leads to me spending more or less either way I leave this month happy that I managed to get myself Xenoblade and that my wonderful supportive Fiancee got me a snes cart I have been wanting for quiet some time.

Tomb Raider: My completed Game of the month.

So I am here again talking about the game I have completed in the month just passed (September) once again  I have  only completed 1 game and yet again it is a game I had already finished before it is Tomb Raider on the Xbox One. I guess what got me playing it was the fact that it was one of the free Games with Gold games, but it was more than that it was the fact that I had enjoyed playing it so much on the PS4 that I wanted to give it another go. OK so  I will be to some degree doing a sort of review of the content but I will also be talking about issues such as  how long I have been playing it for, how hard or easy it was  to complete and if I think I will ever go back to it again. Just so everyone knows this is not the only thing I have been playing, A lot of other things I have been playing though are either really long or pretty much endless, for example I am still playing Forza 5 but that has so many races to it, and I have been playing Mario Maker which as its basically a make your own levels tool kit is endless, well as long as your imagination is.

Tomb Raider Review

I originally got a second hand copy of Tomb Raider for the Xbox 360 on the super cheap, yet I didn't touch it, I guess it was basically because of what I could describe as franchise fatigue. I had enjoyed the first tomb raider but found that largely my enjoyment of the games got a little bit smaller with each game, this was pretty much the case with each game apart from Tomb Raider Legend which I just seemed to really click with. Now dont get me wrong Legend is not technically an amazing game but it just seemed to be fun and at times a little over the top in a good way. Then I remember playing one that started with you on the ocean floor and it just seemed as dull as dishwater. Yet everyone kept going on and on about the new Tomb Raider, not just magazines and websites but other people I knew. In the end it was this word of mouth praise and the fact that I found myself in a pawn store looking at a copy of Tomb Raider in larlgy perfect condition for the PS4 for £15 that finally tipped the scales. Now I could have been sensible and just played my Xbox 360 version but this was the definitive version so things would be better and there would be extra stuff I reasoned but manly I just wanted an excuse to spend some time on the PS4 I had sat in the room begging for a good game. I finished it, I enjoyed it a lot and then months latter it was announced as a Games with Gold game and my first thought was oh well its been awhile since I finished the PS4 one I could go another round with it on Xbox one. I suppose in a way I could almost end on that because after all if you are happy to play a whole game again 6 months down the line that says a lot for it, it says that it is worth going back to, that it is worth playing more than once and when it comes to games you cant say much better than that.

Now a quick one on the differences between versions. I have looked at videos that compare the graphics and the truth is they look slightly different from version to version but in the case of the PS4, Xbox One and PC on max settings the differences are not really a case of better or worse they are all pretty much equal they just show things in slightly different ways, slight difference in shadows textures and lighting but unless you have them side by side your not going to know. As for the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions its little things like Lara's hair being a punch of set pieces which clunkily move compared to on the newer gen machines were every single hair and thread of fibre seems to have its own life, its nice to see the improvements on the newer generation machines but they are not deal breakers or a reason to upgrade if you sitting with a PS3 or Xbox 360 then just buy that version the depth of the story and the action contained within it should be more than enough to stop you worrying about those kinds of things anyway.

I remember when the game was first being shown there was a huge fuss about one enemy insinuating he wanted to rape Lara, now why this was an issue who knows. This game is very adult its about trying to survive despite not only a cult who wants you dead but also wild animals and a hostile environment. The game has a wonderful setting and a story you really care about. It takes Lara back to her beginnings and you get to see a somewhat scared young woman slowly become the tomb raider we all know. The game controls well, both in terms of combat and in terms of making jumps. Some of the old Tomb raiders used to be kind of hit and miss with you wondering what jumps you could and couldn't make, you could cling to one surface but not another identical looking surface. All of this seems to have been thought about and solved now Lara looks and reaches towards the next logical place, all surfaces you can cling to have a certain look to them so leaps of faith and mindless deaths are almost none existent.  There are also a lot more enemies and they rush you it makes for a much more action paced game.

I finished the game after a few days but playing for quiet a few hours at a time, some of this was due to having already finished it on the PS4 and having remembered the solutions to a few problems and having skipped cut scenes I could remember. The game is about average on the difficulty front, the only issues are some parts can take a few retries with your character being rushed by large numbers, also some of the quick time events can at times be annoying but they are not to bad.

I would strongly recommend this game to pretty much anyone especially now that its cheap and easy enough to get a hold of, if you got it as part of  Games for Gold and havent played it yet then jump on it get started.

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

SNES game review 96: Cool Spot

So if I was to say 7UP to you then I imagine most people would quickly think of the soft drink, it might not be as famous as Coca Cola but it did manage to have not one but two mascots. In Europe we got a little guy called Fido Dido while America got Cool Spot. Cool Spot was essentially just a little red dot with arms, legs, a mouth, and sunglasses. British video games developer Virgin Interactive's American studio produced a platform game starring the mascot known as Cool Spot in 1993 for the Super NES and Mega Drive/Genesis (it was also ported by other teams to the Sega Master System, the Sega Game Gear, the Game Boy, the Amiga and DOS in 1994). This was the same studio who would go on to do Disney’s The Lion king and the Earth worm Jim games and some of their DNA can clearly be seen in this game.

If the idea of a Soft drink mascot fronting his own game sounds weird to you then you only need to remember that during this sort of time frame it wasn't all that unusual to have a products mascot appear in a game Colin Quaver, Ronald MacDonald, Chester Cheetah all of them managed to have a game, some of them had multiple games in fact. The funny thing really though was that we still got Cool Spots game despite him not being our mascot over here and with not many European’s having a clue who he was, in fact the European version of the game had most of the references to 7UP removed so we ended up with a game fronted by a Mascot we didn’t know, not really trying to sell a product to us which is sort of weird.

Cool Spot is a single-player platformer where you control Cool Spot, he can jump, and he can attack by throwing soda bubbles, he can also cling to and climb various things. So what is the plot, what is his mission? Well you have to rescue the other spots who happen to look just like you, they have been caught and trapped in cages, cages you will find at the end of every level, in order to free them though you have to collect a certain amount of spot icons which are littered through the levels. You only have so long to do this and of course you have enemies trying to stop you, but there are also plenty of things to help you, for one you can take several hits, your health is monitored by an onscreen image of Cool Spots face that gradually bends forward and eventually falls from its position indicating how close to death you are. The game has check points which are flags which will save your progress through a level if you happen to die but in the old fashioned style of a lot of games there is no save function so you need to set aside some time to do this bad boy in one go. If you collect enough spots though you will enter bonus stages in which you can collect letters to give you continues.

As far as the games graphics go well you’d think that spot wouldn’t be much cop in some ways what with him just being a dot an all, but they must have worried that this would be the case as they have really gone the extra mile trying to put personality in to the little fella. He moves smoothly, he has waiting animations, pain animations, he is quite literally never completely still at least part of him is always in motion, this might just be him snapping his fingers or puling a face but it works wonders. If you like 16 bit games then you will most likely like this. There are lots of varied levels and enemies they clearly put a lot of thought and care in to this far more than you would have maybe originally thought with it being a game based on a soft drink icon.

The sound is also an area this game excels in with a sort of jazzy score, yes it can be a little repetitive if you happen to pause the game but if you’re playing and into the action then it fits the game well
The game is not massive but it is enjoyable, Spot controls quite well. He is responsive,and can be guided to where he has to go with relative ease most of the time. His ability to shoot bubbles is awesome as its not just a fire left or right thing, you can infact fire in absolutely every direction you can push on the pad. The controls aren't totally perfect however though. Instead of being allocated a button to run spot just starts running after a few steps if you keep holding the direction down. Now this is no sonic the hedgehog, you can’t just run through everything, if you try that you’re going to die and you’re going to die fast. So you have to keep being mindful to stop and slow yourself down so that you can use the awesome multi-directional shooting mechanic to take out the enemies before they get you. The jumping can also be a little bit painful at times, it’s just well for example it wants you to jump from balloon string to balloon string but if you’re not lined up pixel perfect then spots not grabbing it for you. This is not that big of an issue it just makes a few jumping sections feel a little more painful than they need to.

Overall I would give Spot a big 7 out of 10, fitting really with him being the mascot of 7up. If you really want to try this game then you’re looking at around £6 to £8 for a cartridge which is more than fair for what it is. There was also a sequel on the megadrive but it never came to the SNES. I could have spent more time comparing this and the megadrive version but they are both very similar games if I was to weigh them both up and recommend one version to you over another then I would say get the Megadrive version in a rare case it has slightly better music and it also plays a little better (I’d give it an 8) but if you don’t have a Megadrive the SNES one is still a good game.

Monday, 28 September 2015

On My Soap Box: #PigGate does it matter?

Yes I am very late to this dance, some may even ask why I am bothering at all. Well I am late mostly because I wrote an article about Corbyn and Cameron the day before this news broke and I didnt want to jump back in to simmilar waters the very next day, after all this is a forum which tries to takle a lot of diffrent subjects and keep things a bit fresh and diffrent so if I barked up the same tree day after day I would be failing at that.

For those under a rock who have crawled out in to the bright light of an LCD screen and seen my blog here is an explanation of what #PigGate is basically about. Its about the allegation made in Lord Ashcroft's unauthorised biography, that, during an initiation ceremony for an exclusive Oxford society David Cammeron our Current Prime Minister stuck his penis into the mouth of a dead Pig. The story goes that basically he did it in order to secure himself a place in the Piers Gaveston Society, a mens only dining club named after the supposed lover of Edward II. A society which is all about debauchery. So basically the usual Sex, drugs, and, apparently performing sweet sweet love to the mouth of a dead farm yard animal. Now the Prime Minister wont comment on it, he is taking the road that if he basically says its to stupid to comment on and ignores it then it will go away. To a degree this is true as recent survey results already show that a large number of people simply don't give a toss if he did or did not do it but then there are also those who are never likely to let it drop.

Does it actually matter though? Does it effect his ability to run the country or in any way undermine his power? Well there are arguments for yes and for no. Look at some of the ways the press have gone mad at Corbyn, he gets criticised for dressing old, or for not wearing a tie, for not singing, its almost literally gotten to the point where the man cant breath so yes clearly even the smallest and stupidest thing can be used as a tool to try and throw doubt on to an individuals ability to do there job, particularly if it is an important one. So the press or parts of it could use this allegation to attack Cameron although in most cases they have let him putting his dodger in a dead pigs mouth drop, this could definitely be seen as a large degree of bias at work.

Now I was a big fan of Bill Clinton, I thought that he was much better than some of the presidents the United States had and have since had so when it came out that he had been getting blow jobs from his my opinion rather attractive plump secretary and had also been playing hide the cigar I thought him ending up loosing his job over all of it was a crock as apart from thinking that he could play space invaders with his sperm and her tonsils I thought pretty much every decision he had made in lines of his work were good ones and I was sad to see him gone for something which had very little to do with the job. So if I was about to start shouting and screaming that David Cameron should be fired over PigGate I would be a darn big hypocrite.

So David Cameron may have stuck his jolly little solider in the mouth of a dead pig during an evening of university society hilarity yet it has to be pointed out that while shagging dead people clearly isn't on because well its just not respectful and its highly illegal and shagging live animals is also a serious no no well when it comes to Dead animals as far as I know as creepy as it might be there is no law against it, is there? Does the dead pig care whether it's head is going to end up sat in the local butchers, thrown on to a police officers car or if it is going to end up as a mixing bowl for various weird university students sex milk?

I hate Cameron, I think he is a giant toff toss pot conservative wank shaft and that is me trying to be polite about him. Yet on the other hand I know a local butchers were they have a competition where they fling dead animals eyes at the wall to see who can make them stick the highest and for the longest. I have seen University students taking it in turns eating bars of chocolate knowing that one in every hundred contained human shit. Lots of people do crazy stupid things to fit in with this club or that club and I am not going to overly judge the man for that, there are already enough reasons I hate him and his polices, so I don't want to see him sacked over PigGate but I am happy to see him have the piss taken out of him. I do think that there are certain areas where it has a little more context though, for example at one stage Cameron was trying to make the sexual act of face sitting illegal, well if the allegation is true how can a man who porks pork really say what is normal or conventional in regards to sexual activity. I think in this regard he would need to back off and if something is between consenting legal adults leave it up to them to come up with there own personal ideals on what is right or wrong other wise he risks being a hypocrite.

I had a look on a leading alternative life style website at the time to see if there was a group of people who loved the feeling of dead pigs mouth around there never regions and well there were groups for people who love to wrestle in jelly, people who liked to eat sushi off of naked ladies but as for the dead pig thing it looks like people don't enjoy it they just do it to get into weird freaky clubs and cults while at university, so if he enjoyed it then David Cameron is on his own.
There were other things mentioned in this biography including drug-taking, including asking KGB agents to score some coke for him I believe and his knowledge of Ashcroft's non-dom tax status which unfortunately probably will get ignored with the dead pig thing having been used as a bit of a joke to take the attention of your average person away from the far more important matters

Now if David Cameron fucked a dead pig, well it didn't hurt anybody did it? However, his party's current policies of slashing various benefits including Disability Living Allowance are really hurting a great deal of vulnerable adults and children right now. It doesn't matter what Cameron did or did not do to fit in at university, that made him who he was then, but it doesn't make him who he is now.
At the end of the day lets face it if your best friend in a moment of drunken stupidity had sex with a dead pigs face you would never let him live it down, Piggy would become his new semi affectionate nick name for the next eight years, you would oink in his face and what's more he would expect it. So I don't think the man should be sacked or there should be an inquest or anything but I do think he should accept that he is going to have to listen to it for a long time and he is going to have to take it how most people take there roast pork, with a pinch of salt.

What is more important than PigGate or how old Corbyn's jumper makes him look is what we do after we all laugh at the various stories or shake our heads. That we take the politics behind the show seriously that we don't let our only involvement with politics to be us looking on from the sidelines when something wacky happens.People need to learn to think about the deeper matters , to look into things and not just take the little slices of information newspapers and the TV give out without thinking about them in more depth. 

It doesn't matter id David Cameron fucked a dead pig but it does matter if we all just laugh and carry on while he fucks the poor and the misfortune by taking away there only life lines.

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Could The Doctor Kill Davros? Does he really have it in him?

I almost wrote a review for the Doctor Who Episode Series 9 opening episode The Magician's Apprentice but I didn't. I firmly wanted Doctor Who to be talked about on here and I actually really enjoyed the episode but I cant write about everything or I just wouldn't have a life. 

Yet when this Autograph fell on my door step the other day it made me really stop and think I need to write something Who related.

There are a couple of ideas I have had for getting some Dr Who in here one idea I had was for writing a piece about how to get fans of new Who in to classic Who then I had an idea for writing a post about mixing up companions and Doctors. So for example if I had to put together a bunch of audio plays, big finish Dr Who stories which all featured a Doctor with someone who was a companion of an earlier or latter version of himself then who do I think would go well with whom. So it might be that I want to hear Captain Jack meet The 4th Doctor (Tom Baker) or I want to go for a double dip of Scottish and put the most recent Doctor (Peter Capaldi) with Jamie the highlander. I wont say anymore or go into it in great depth as this is an idea I might one day return to.

Ok if you haven't watched The Magicians Apprentice you might want to stop reading now as I will be touching on material of a spoiler filled nature. More or less as soon as the episode had finished airing people started saying ''but the Doctor cant and wont kill Davros, we have all ready seen him say he doesn't have the right to use his powers to commit genocide and if he killed Davros then he would be killing the Daleks. Now there are all kinds of business and financially related reasons which make it pretty much concrete that the Daleks will never permanently go away but for the purposes of this blog I am not going to get in to them.

What I want to discuss is the idea that the Doctor is a constantly changing and evolving character. Just because he might do something now he wouldn't as Tom Baker's doctor doesn't make him any less the Doctor. He is much older and suffered a lot more and seen a lot more of what Davros is capable of, he can also change his mind or rethink things. To this end I want to look at all of the Doctors who met Davros or at least have existed after he was introduced.

Tom Baker's Doctor the fourth, had the best chance to kill the Daleks all he had to do was touch two wires together and it would have been the end of the Daleks, but he didn't do it, he didn't feel that he had the right to do it. In truth you can say we knew he wouldn't do it for the fact that your average person looks at the Daleks as the Doctors main enemy, the one everyone remembers. Still in that cliffhanger when Tom Baker Explained that all he had to do was touch the wires, as he questioned if he had the right to or not, he really sold the moment. People tend to look back and just go ''oh yes he said he didn't have the right'' but if you watch it back it isent quiet that plain, the Doctor is asking himself if he has the right he is mulling it over, what will happen if he does it, what will happen if he doesn't and what it will make him.

From here we have the 5th Doctor Peter Davidson, A Doctor who really was one of the most under-confident, unsure and peace loving Doctors we have had and yet he turned up with a laser gun in his hand and told Davros he had arrived as his executioner he didn't quiet manage to pull the trigger but this was partly down to his self doubt and to Davros helping spread enough doubt in the Doctors mind to keep his finger from the trigger long enough.

The 6th Doctor Colin Baker allowed a rival faction of daleks he believed would kill Davros to take Davros prisoner,this Doctor was also shown on camera knocking a man in to acid and kicking someone in the head so they fell down a manhole and broke there neck, he also shot cybermen so I say he could do it. It seems he would prefer for someone else to do the dirty work and keep his concious a little cleaner but I think push come to shove he could have killed Davros.

The 7th Doctor may have started as a bit of a clown but as time went on he proved himself to have both a mind full of plots and somewhat of a dark side. This Doctor reprogrammed the Hand of Omega an interstellar device so that if it was launched by Davros as a weapon it would blow up Skaro knowing full well that the resulting feedback would destroy Davros's ship most likely killing all on board.... when Davros begged for pity the Doctor said he had Pity for him and left him for dead. He escaped but the Doctor didn't know that and was happy enough thinking he was dead. He also logically talked what he believed to be the very last Dalek in existence in to committing suicide. I dont know if he would be able to kill Davros but he certainly would be willing to let another do it or to take actions which would directly result in his death.

The next few Doctors I will be a touch briefer on because some of them never even got to meet Davros at least not on the TV screen.

Paul McGanN Doctor Nine never met him on TV at least but I have to admit I would have a hard time imagining the Doctor we saw in the TV movie wanting to kill him. However there is a big finish audio which shows that when pushed far enough by Davros he does have the ability to sell Davros out to others he believes will get him out of the way. I think the War Doctor would have been able to do it, I also feel with the rage shown at times by 9 without someone there to tell him why he shouldn't I think he could tip over the edge and do it, lets face it without rose he was happy to kill what he thought was the last Dalek, the last of a species. I am sure he would have tortured himself afterwords as this seemed very much to be his thing.

David Tennants Doctor well we saw him try to get Davros to come with him rather than die so I guess that speaks for Ten, he was also somewhat displeased with his half human clone. Matt Smiths Doctor never met him but again I feel he wouldn't have it in him to kill him, yes he was shown as capable of going to War and of calling in favours but look at for example Colonel Runaway. I think this Doctor would want to try to stop Davros without killing him. I do feel that as with all of my other opinions and statements this one is very open to questioning.

So to me that's four Doctors I feel could kill davros, and five I feel couldn't. The current Doctor has all of these inside him and yet is also his own person. The only reason I say he wont do it is because the Davros we see is a child and the BBC are not going to want to see a hero kill a child. Also I do think the above Doctors who happily tried to kill Davros or who got halfway there would have a much harder time with a childhood version of Davros. Personally I would have just saved him in the first place and taken him in to the Tardis with me and taken him somewhere nice , give the kid a nice life in a happy place filled with love and see if he turns out different, worst case take him somewhere where the most destructive thing technology wise he could build would be a catapult. If you did this though there wouldn't be much story but the very fact that people like me can discuss what they would do at any point in the Doctors shoes shows how much we connect with the show and how much it has entertained us and sparks our imagination.

I guess I will find out what happens latter tonight just like everyone else.

Friday, 25 September 2015

My posting might slow down but I am still here.

My posting might slow down but I do not intend to abandon this place, but I thought I would at least let everyone know why and what is going on. I have just gotten myself a new job, it was supposed to be for only 16 hours a week but so far my 3 hour induction day became an 8 hour half induction half work shift and I currently have 28 hours down on my rota for next week due to staff sickness and another person who had been offered a 16 hour position not turning up. If work continues like this then my posting will probably be more of a once or twice a week not every other night sort of thing. I want to continue as an author writing my own books but I also want to have a job for lots of reasons, financial security, so that my daughter gets used to seeing me go to work and come home ,so that this is something normal for her. They always say if your parents work your more likely to work, if your parents attended university they are more likely to do so, so really I just want to stack the deck the best I can in order to make sure she has the best future possible. Also hopefully working hard, being on my feet, lifting and even just not being around the house able to snack whenever I want will help me to loose some weight, as the last few years of my life have left me a little softer and squidgier at the sides than I would like. In all honesty though my first day was good, my boss seems nice, all of the other members of staff seem nice and the job seems good. It was good to be on a till again. My last job was phoning people up trying to push them to donate to charity and it was so terrible that it began to erode my very faith in human kind, the only good thing that came out of it was the core idea for a novella I wrote.

I used to work a lot, in fact I used to work so much that life was nothing more than work. I would wake up and go to work, I would get home and go to bed. I didn't have any time for myself, or for others or for hobbies or even the time to apply for a different job to try and get away from the time sucking soul sucking hole I had found myself in. So what did I do? Well I cut out of the rat race and went back to education. It wasn't like I had not gotten a lot of education in the first place, I had gained a degree but I had never used it, so what I wanted to do was go out there and gain a focused usable qualification. So what did I go and get? I went and got enrolled on a course to gain Early Years Professional Status, this is a course which makes you a very highly trained nursery age child expert. It took two placements inside nurseries and about 30 hours of paper work a week to gain it but it was supposed to be the start of a new life and a new career things were supposed to get easier but they didn't. I was met with sexism, no one would hire me to work with children which was local to me as they viewed it as a female profession which should be filled with women, it was heart breaking and refusal after refusal on the grounds of being a man really left me battered and broken, my ego was bruised. This was what set me on the course of trying to be a writer a course I had dreamed of years ago but never thought I would be able to achieve in my wildest dreams

I haven't shelved these dreams but I do recognise that for the moment I need to find the balance between my family, my job, my writing and my own personal time. I still want to post about horror films, retro games, modern games, wrestling, and my opinions on politics but we will see what time I have and what grabs my attention and makes me feel I need to write..

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

SNES game review 95: Tiny Toons Adventures Buster Busts Loose

For anyone who has lived under a rock for years and doesn’t know what it is Tiny Toon Adventures was an American animated comedy TV show that was broadcasting from September 14, 1990 through October 31, 1994 it was a collaborative effort between Steven Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment and Warner Bros.  Basically it’s about a newer younger generation of Looney Tunes characters who are being taught at a place called Acme Looniversity by the classic Looney Tunes characters of old, Buggs Bunny, Daffy Duck etcetera. I thought it was a great show but that’s not what I am here to talk about I am here to talk about its Video Game adaption Tiny Toons buster busts loose, now buster is a blue rabbit who can basically be thought of a sort of Buggs Bunny Junior type character. Now more than likely some people will have already groaned putting two and two together and having followed the process of thinking oh it’s a licensed game therefore it must be cack, well let me add a few more numbers to this sum which might change your mind the game was both developed and published by Konami.

Ah Konami, forgive me for getting side tracked here but back in those days Konami was a company name and box symbol which brought joy in to the hearts of games, you would see there logo and be pretty darn sure that if you picked that game up you were in for a jolly good time. This is a reputation they had earned by being responsible for a great list of games originally on the NES such as the first three Castlevania games, Contra, and then Turtles Tournament Fighters, Turtles in Time, Lethal Enforcers, Sunset Riders, Zombies Ate My Neighbours, and Legend of the Mystical Ninja. You may or may not be aware but there have been conflicting rumours and articles stating that Konami have possibly cancelled all triple A game development very recently apart from Pro Evolution soccer with indications that there future may lay with Japanese gambling machines and the mobile phone market. I think this makes there past titles even more important because it may well be that looking to the past will be the only way you will be able to sample there best, so is this some of their best?

The whole game basically takes place in a Hollywood studio. Each stage is in its own different movie setting, I actually love this idea because it gives a great sort of plausible idea for the variety of stages a game like this needs to be fun. Fun is something this game certainly tries for at every turn its graphics are not only very good for the time but they are also very true to the cartoon. Every sprite is colourful and brilliantly animated. The game has a humorous charm to it which is infectious especially when you have been playing a lot of modern games and got so used to all of the dull greys you see in a lot of now day’s big money franchises.

In addition to the graphics, the sound and music are also great and help make this game fun. The sound effects such as the running and jumping of Buster Bunny, the noises when you get hurt or fall or die they all feel like cartoon noises they are all the sorts of things you’d expect to hear in a LoonyToons cartoon and this actually helps it to feel like a valid extension to the show as opposed to the cheap cash in some shows and films get. The fact is you can guess that you are in for a real aural treat the second you hear the super title screen rendition of the show’s theme tune full credit here to both Nintendo for the quality of their machines abilities and to Konami for making the most of them. This them sets the mood perfectly and it’s not all the game has going for it, the sound in general is super clear and unlike in a lot of games of this type it doesn’t become overly annoying or repetitive there are no horribly digitised bits of dialog spouted again and again.

If you grew up with the show you should recognize some of the music that is in the game but even if you didn’t you will be able to easily recognise that the theme tune from the start is reworked and made to fit other themes latter in the game, for example in a wild west stage the theme has been given a western feel and then latter there is more wild west inspired music which just fits the level so well you can’t help but smile. In fact every time a tune even gets close to running the risk of getting overly repetitive the game changes up and give you a different one to listen to. This game actually feels like a labour of love, like the people who made it wanted to make something which could stand proudly alongside the show.

I absolutely love this game, I like the sound the graphics, the stages, the bonus stages the atmosphere but it has one big issue I can’t help but mention and that is that as awesome as this title may be, it is very short. There are only Six stages which once you have finished there isn’t much reason to come back t, yes there are multiple difficulties to try but you don’t gain anything for finishing it on any of them. This does affect my final score which is an 8, it’s a brilliant game I highly recommend but you need to know it is not going to last you as long as you might have hoped, if this game was longer I would score it higher, to my knowledge it is definitely the best Loony Toons related game on the system it kicks the stuffing out of Tazmania and Road Runner's Death Valley Rally, at this point I can’t help but think if only the Loony Toons had made some kind of Konami SNES based contract/agreement with Konami making them responsible for all of their games ala the Capcom/Diseny NES situation things might have been a bit better for the toon ones.

Ok so if you want to add the cart to your collection how much is it going to cost you?  Well not much at all, there are loads of cart only pal copies of it out there selling for around £6 to £8, I would highly recommend you give it a bash.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

SNES game review 94: Fatal Fury

Fatal Fury: King of Fighters otherwise known as Garō Densetsu Shukumei no Tatakai which translates to Legend of the Hungry Wolf: The Battle of Destiny is a head-to-head fighting game released by SNK for the Neo Geo arcade and home platforms in 1991. As a youngster I played this in the arcades on one of the red Neo Geo multi slot cabinets and loved it, I brought its megadrive port upon its release in 1993 and eventually for a while a few years later I actually owned a Neo Geo AES home system and this game (along with other 4 games). The important thing to realise is that the Neo Geo AES cart was exactly the same as the arcade machine (Neo Geo Arcade machine carts are referred to as MVS carts but there is no real difference between playing an MVS or AES cart they hold the exact same game one is just made to plug into an arcade system and the other a home system). I didn’t play the SNES version till much latter.

Over the years some people have looked at this game and kind of dismissed it while saying something on the lines of oh sheesh another street fighter 2 wannabe, yet others have loved it, an important thing to remember is that the game was designed by Takashi Nishiyama who was the creator of the original Street Fighter game. Fatal Fury was never a copy of street fighter 2 Nishiyama envisioned it as being a spiritual successor to the original Street Fighter it wasn’t pieced together by copying street fighter 2 as it was in fact being developed at the same point in time as Street Fighter II. So the obvious question everyone will have at this point is, well is it as good as street fighter 2 or what?

Well the gameplay follows the usual formula of one on one fighting games from this time period, basically you play against the computer in a best two-out-of-three contest. You move with your dpad/stick but unlike street fighter 2 and its 6 attack buttons covering 3 different strength versions of punch and kick here you only basically have 3 three attack buttons one punch button, one kick button and a button for throws. Each of the characters in the game has their own special attacks that are performed by inputting specific commands and combinations many of them being the same sort of motions you would find in street fighter 2 however here they are much harder to pull of demanding exact procession.

The main problem with this version lays with the conversion. When you look at street fighter 2 people have called the SNES version a perfect conversion which while it is not true you could see how people would think that it is. Unless you have a SNES and an Arcade machine running side by side it wouldn't be easy to point out any major differences, yet while the home Neo Geo AES version is an exact replica of its arcade counterparts the other ports were no way near so lucky.

If your used to being able to play the arcade/story mode as pretty much anyone in the line up of characters featured in a game then your in for a surprise here as in this mode you only get to pick from one of three fighters Terry Bogard a cocky baseball hat wearing american street fighter out to revenge his fathers death, Andy Bogard his younger brother who has a far more graceful Japanese fighting style and Joe Higashi A Japanese Muay Thai fighter and friend to the Bogard brothers. This in and of itself is not a huge problem although it does cut down on 1 player replay value, it is also true for both the original and this port. The story is also not going to win any awards you are either one of the Bogard brothers or there friend and your entering the martial arts tournament to beat everyone else so that you can face off against the man who killed your father/friends father and that's as complex as it gets. Makes sense for the two brothers after all if someone killed your dad you'd probably want to at least kick there ass and murdering him probably wouldn't be that far from your mind, you can imagine the whole you killed my dad now die speeches that would be made yet Joe's reason feels a little lacking ''erm you yeah I was told you killed my friends dad I am going to kill you'' doesn't sound quiet as epic or likely don't get me wrong I have liked some of my friends dads over the years but id be more likely to buy them a beer and comfort them or phone the police for them than go try to win a whole martial arts tournament and kill a man in cold blood for them maybe I am not as loyal as some or maybe I just don't like the idea of serious prison time and being grabbed in the night during my sleep for a surprise type of naked cuddle by a fellow inmate. Still the point is less playable characters doesn't just mean less playable characters it means less stories, less endings, less variation.

On the Neo Geo this game had an interesting mechanic where there was two lanes of play an upper and a lower, you could switch between them to avoid projectiles and such and this gave the game a unique flavour this however is missing from both the SNES and Megadrive ports which really does the game a disservice. The game looks fine with nice sprites and a wide variety of opponents and decent sounds and music but it is all very forgettable when put by the side of street fighter 2 which is a darn shame. You can find some enjoyment here but it will be limited you'll most likely struggle with the specials, and when you get to the last boss the broken mechanics will have you pulling your hair out as he cheap shots you again and again, still those used to SNK fighters will be a little more used to bosses who seem to have near god like status so will be used to repeatedly having to retry at that point. I feel really bad that I have kept brining up street fighter 2 while discussing this game because I feel the Neo Geo version at least offers something that is very much its own game, however with this SNES version and how things have been cut down it feels a lot worse and it doesn't surprise me that a lot of people would have played it and gone ''ahh its another street fighter 2 knock off''

I do think this game is much better in multiplayer with friends, when both of you have the same handicap of hard to perform specials it just feels a lot more competitive than you struggling to pull of some form of fireball and the computer repeatedly doing them with ease.

I am a big fan of SNK fighters but this is not the place to start a love affair with them, at least not on this console. I find myself having to give this game a 6 out of 10 on the SNES and would only recommend it if you really want a new fighter and have lots of the better ones already. I would also say that if you have more modern systems and just want the game as opposed to a SNES cart for your collection that you look at ways to instead play the Neo version (which I would score as around 7.5). I am sure it has been released on various online stores for more modern machines (PS3 and Wii certainly) and can also be found on the SNK Arcade Classics Vol. 1 compilation which was released for the PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, and Wii. If you need a SNES cart for some reason then the cheapest Pal ones I have seen were around £15 and its also worth noting that Fatal Fury 2 and Fatal Fury special also hit the SNES which I wont be reviewing as I don't own them but I tend to remember them as being much improved.

Sunday, 20 September 2015

On My Soap Box: A rant on UK Politics, Corbyn not singing the national anthem, Cameron's cold war style twitter outburst and on the right to be different.

''The left will never really love this country'' a columnist Philip Collins announced in an online article on September the 18th. He tried to use Jeremy Corbyn not singing the national anthem at the Battle of Britain commemoration in St Paul’s cathedral as proof that Corbyn and by extension the entire labour party are not fond of Britain itself and therefore in short should not rule us.

To further quote the columnist mentioned above ''Corbyn’s petulant refusal to sing the national anthem tells you all you need to know about his true sympathies'' Now although this was said as an attack on Corbyn I believe that it can be taken in many different ways, the man choices to take what he feels he see's or even what he feels he needs in order to write an article from Corbyn's silence. People now days unfortunately seem to buy certain papers or get there news from certain places based on a system of what will best regurgitate there own feelings back at them. So to simplify this idea if you are right wing you are more likely to buy a right wing paper and if your left wing your more likely to buy a left wing paper and then either way you will be able to pat yourself firmly on the back for sharing an opinion being put out by a team of dedicated news people. What I am here to say though is that in doing either of the above you are doing yourself a great disservice. If you only get your news and information from one source then you are taking it in a biased form and most often you are getting only a tiny slice of the reality behind the story. If you really want to know what is happening you should look to multiple sources and read though the bias and hyperbole. 

I love my country but if I for example was to sing the national anthem I would be in an out of tune musical fashion asking a God I do not believe exists to save a Queen I do not believe in and this Ladies and Gentlemen would make me a hypocrite. Yet that aside I too respect the actions and sacrifices made by those involved on behalf of this country in the Battle of Britain, you could argue that if this is true and there is a celebration held to honour them then I should sing any tune I am asked from the frog song, to puff the magic dragon to the national anthem with a smile on my face for there sake and try my hardest to believe in every single word to honour them.  Yet is it not this shut up and do as you are told attitude the very sort of thing they were fighting against? Call me a little internet upstart shit if you like but these brave souls gave everything so that I could have the freedom to be who and what I want to be, free from the tyranny of evil men. 

I also do not believe anyone has the right to tell you how to mourn or how to show respect. Maybe instead of singing he stood there and thought about those brave departed people who had lost there lives in that battle, would that not also be a valid way of honouring there memory. When someone dies and the best way to grieve is mentioned the universal answer is that it is a path which is different for different people and all you can do is what helps you face it, what helps you deal with it, so why does that not apply here? Corbyn came he stood in silence and he did not interrupt anyone else how do we know his feelings and thoughts on the matter were any less respectful or honourable than the person who sang the loudest? 

Maybe it is time that our National anthem was changed to reflect who we are, where we have been and where we are headed as a people. Now I am not all sunshine and rainbows when it comes to our past, sure Britain has done and been involved in things it shouldn't be, for example the crusades where we tried to push our religion on others, or events such as when we shot at and sank a retreating vessel but there are many things our land and our people have accomplished that would be worthy of song. 

What about God and our Anthem? Well David Cameron has tried to call us a Christian country but I don't think this is really the case anymore, sure a lot of our law has a basis in things such as the ten commandments but really we are a melting pot of cultures and religions, According to the census held around 2001 72% of people in England and Wales regarded themselves as Christian with 65% in Scotland saying the same. Even then though there were also other religions including Muslims and there were those who said they were not religious in fact there was nearly eight million of those, there were even 390,000 self-proclaimed Jedi. This was about 14 years ago though and times they be a changing. As a youngster I was sent to a Christian school and I would have been scared to say I was anything but a Christian, whole hoards of us would declare ourselves to be so and would hide our doubts in silence scared that our families would love us less or that our community would be un-accepting. The last figures collected in 2011 would indicate that 59% of people view themselves Christian with 41% either believing in another religion or none at all, that means the current national anthem is forcing these 41% to sing out for a God they do not believe in. A politician is supposed to represent the people, there are lots of different people so there is room for lots of different politicians with different thoughts and feelings, lay them out there for us, let them say what they want to say and the votes will tell the tale at the end of the day.

This leads me to the recent Twitter post and connected videos and statements from our current PM and all I can say is for shame on you David Cameron trying to scare monger and paint a rival as a threat to the country. A politician is a voice for the people a voice people can agree or disagree with and the people show there feelings through there words, through there actions but most importantly through there votes that is the very nature of the political system we live in. For you to try to use fear mongering to try to silence a competitor is a cowards move, do what was done in the Battle of Britain, fight fare and true with honour, use your words to paint a picture of why you are a better representative of the people of why the ideas and policy's you endorse are the right ones to lead us to a better tomorrow and drop the cold war style cloak and dagger act.

Saturday, 19 September 2015

SNES game review 93: Kid Klown Crazy Chase

The game I am going to be looking at today is Kid Klown in Crazy Chase,it is the second title in the Kid Klown series, the first being Kid Klown in Night Major World which was on the NES and I can not really comment on itf its a good or bad game and wether this is a worthy successor or not as I have never played it. The truth is when In 1994, Kemco released this SNES game in 1994 I had no idea that it was a sequel all I knew was that it was a bright sort of childish looking game which seemed to have a very animated style to it. 

The original NES game does have an interesting story to it though which is worth sharing. The game that would come to be known as Kid Klown in Night Mayor world actually started life as a Mickey Mouse game in Japan, it was called Mickey Mouse III: Dream Balloon and came out in Japan in September of 1992 for the Famicom. Due to copyright issues this game apparently couldn't be released in other parts of the world so rather than just shrug and accept a loss in profits it was re-skinned and turned into the tile known as Kid Clown in Night Mayor World and released to the American regions for the NES in 1993. It never got an official release in Europe. This explains why I didn't realise Kid Klown on the SNES was a sequel.

OK so now the partly relevant trivia is out of the way on to the game. The game opens with a slideshow letting you know the story, here it is in brief, Blackjack, the evil space pirate, has kidnapped Princess Honey of Klown Planet. He has decided that he will hold her hostage and that if anyone wants to see her again then they better give the throne over to him. Now for some reason the King determines that Kid Klown is the man to rescue his daughter. Kid Klown sets about doing this by accidentally in slapstick fashion crash landing his ship.

Despite how it might look on the box or when glancing at screenshots Crazy Chase is not your typical 2D platformer it is instead an isometric running game. The levels have you running diagonally from the top-left to the bottom-right of the games screen. Blackjack the main villain has placed a bomb at the end of each stage and it’s your objective to reach the end before the burning fuse runs down. Ok so this sounds easy in theory but in practice not so much. There are all manner of things that have been placed to stop you ranging from spikes on the ground, rocks that drop from the air, axes that appear to be tossed at you from off-screen and all kinds of other environmental hazards that alter from stage to stage.

I very very much wanted to love this game, I found myself instantly falling for its visuals, the bright and colourful cartoon style the awesome sprites, the choice of isometric viewpoint which gives it a 3D appearance that really helps to make it visually a one of a kind game on the system, yet the fact that the characters themselves remained beautiful 2D sprites free from the latter 3D polygon horrors we would bear witness to in true early 3D games. You cant help but feel the level of care and attention that so obviously went into the animations and expressions of Kid Klown, they make you want to like the character and liking him makes you want to like his game.

Certain elements of this game began to remind me more and more of an other game I reviewed what seems like almost a life time ago and that is Bubsy the bobcat in Claws Encounters of the Furred Kind. This is mostly because of the animatons that happen when you come in to contact with different hazards For example if you get Kid to run over a bunch of spikes then he will hop around on one foot in pain, At first these animated reactions come across as refreshing and you could argue that they add more character to the game and are better than simply having your sprite flash but just like bubsy and his death animations they soon start to outstay there welcome as they do as much for breaking down the pace of the game as they do for making you like the characters

The bit that grinds my gears the most when it comes to this game is not only do you have to make it to the end of the level with some health bar intact and ahead of the fuse wire but you also have to collect  four playing-card suit icons (A. Heart, Diamond, Club and Spade), these are found inside balloons, balloons I was originally avoiding as sometimes when you pull them you get some of your life bar refilled and sometimes you get coins or a suit icon but you also get hurt as a balloon turns into a bowling ball and lands on you or lifts you in to the air only to drop you on your ass taking vital life away from you.

While the controls are as simple in principal with  the D-pad controlling where you go and how quickly you do it and pretty much every other button making you jump, does make the game easy just to pick up and have a bash at the isometric  3D appearance makes judging depth and distance a huge pain in the rear end at times, so not only does this lead to frustration as you hit bushes your certain you should have been able to jump it can also make grabbing the balloons which might contain suit icons at times very annoying leading to you having to play the same level again and again in a loop just to grab what you need to finish it. They should have dropped this card collecting idea you might be thinking but the truth is that they only made 5 stages for this game, so if you could blow through them merely by surviving then everyone would have finished this game in there youth long before there fish fingers and chips were on the dinner table.
In conclusion, I really really wanted to like this game not only are the graphics and sound very pleasing it also tries something which at the time was very new and different. Many games then or now fall in to the habit of simply copying what is currently popular so it is always refreshing to see something a little different, to know that there are more than just two or three templates being used to make cookie cutter game after cookie cutter game but unfortunately for all its strengths and difference this is just a mediocre game. I find myself having to award it the middle of the road score of 5. If you really want to play it then you can generally find a UK cartridge for around the £6 to £8 region which is fair but there are better things you could spend your cash on.

Friday, 18 September 2015

What would have been a Rocky Horror Live Review

This was supposed to be a review of the special Rocky Horror show Live one night broadcast in to cinema's but it is not, so instead it is a bit of a story of mine and my fiancées adventure in regards of trying to see it. Its been a busy few days, today is my fiancée's birthday and we have spent it by going out and having a meal and taking her into various shops so she can spend her money she had received for her birthday. The night before was supposed to be the big treat her night, took her for a really nice meal and then we had tickets to go watch a live stream of the Rocky Horror stage show, featuring a whole bunch of celebrity narrators including Richard O'Brian, Anthony Stuart Head, Emma Bunton and others , I got us both a really big ice cream and got her a big frosted slushy drink we sat there with lots of others She was dressed in a fashion similar to Columbia from the film and I had gone for a geeky Brad look, we had done it in a bit of a rush, if I had thought about it in advance there are lots of other bits and pieces I would have liked to have got for us so that we really looked our best but we were decently in the mood enough. The Cinema was really full and some of the customers had gone to extraordinary lengths in order to dress up as various characters, it was awesome just to look around and see how into it so many people had gotten, the atmosphere was outstanding.

Then just as it was about to start we were told that there was some form of temporary fault with the transmission of the signal from the theatre by an employee who came and announced it to us all. Then we waited for further information, well aware that every second was a part of the performance we were missing, everyone sat there for about twenty minutes, it wasn't too bad though people seemed to be talking to each other there was a bit of a sing song here and there but the mood was soon to get worse. Another member of the Cinema's staff was sent to inform us that there would be no Rocky Horror, the transmission was still not working and they had been informed this was not something that was going to change, and that if we all took our tickets and went down to the ticket office then there would be some form of refund and compensation system in place. We were luckily sat right next to stairs which would take you out of the screen we were in, so we quickly exited and cued to find out what we would get, in the end we didn't get a refund instead we ended up with 4 tickets for free admission to any film or event held at any cineworld, this would mean we could see something instead of Rocky horror and another film on top,

Usually I wouldn't mind but this was one of my fiancée's birthday presents from me and it was a special one time one of a kind performance. We didn't have too bad a time in the end, it was the first year since we have been together that I got to spend the whole of the day with her which is something. We have always wanted to spend her birthday together but she has spent the vast majority of our relationship in university working towards first a degree and then a masters, not only this but she has worked as a student ambassador. It has been amazing to have her birthday with her. I am sure that for those who saw it Rocky Horror was great we however ended up with us watching the Lord of The Rings Fellowship of the ring on blue ray.

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Is it right for a UFC fighter to be suspended for cannabis use?

UFC fighter Nick Diaz has been suspended for five years by the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) for marijuana use. The decision was voted on and passed unanimously at a hearing held on Monday September the 14th 2015. You might be asking why am I talking about this? Usually I talk about horror, games and wrestling but the fact is back on my old forum I used to get in to politics and even give my opinion on news events and although this is the first time I am doing it here it is not something I ever intended to leave behind. Now this does not mean that I am going to try to be some kind of news blog, don’t expect to see me commenting on everything that happens in the world but when there are two or three things being said or going on which I feel are worthy of attention, worthy of questioning or debating then when I feel invested in it or interested enough I will share my thoughts and feelings on the matter. This is not a piece on the UFC so don't expect to start seeing any sort of UFC coverage here, in fact I nearly wrote about the UK's Prime minster and his smear campaign against the new leader of the opposition, its just a peice about something that has caught my eye. ( I may well give my opinion on David Cameron in a latter blog post)

What interests me here is that it was a recreational drug not a performance enhancing drug. If he has been caught with steroids running rampant through his blood then my opinion there would be no real story here, 99% of people would be happy for him to be suspended as they would see it as a case of him trying to use chemicals to stack the odds in his favour. A argument could be made that Marijuana could in some way affect him as a fighter, facts could be pulled out by someone that it increases your confidence for example and that this would have a result on the outcome of a fight and if they did I would be very happy to read this but when writing a piece for either a paper or for a blog you cant cover every base or you would simply never stop writing so this is something I am going to largely ignore and leave for others to discuss.

In this case there are a lot of points and counter points to think about and discuss for a start Diaz has a medical marijuana license in his home state of California. Which obviously leads me to wonder why he has one, what is it for and how much effort does it take to get one. Does he really need one is it for a serious reason? As far as I know obtaining a medical marijuana license in California, has long been rumoured to be remarkably easy, so I did some online research to see if this was the case, I was surprised to find on reading articles about it that Medical records are not necessary and you can literally get a license for it after what can best be described as a brief talk and quick physical, you can walk in to a Doctor’s office and tell them that you can’t sleep and think a bit of mary jane would help and after a little bit of inconvenience bobs your uncle. With this in mind I don’t think it matters why he is using it as where he is from you can obviously get it legally with the minimum of effort however marijuana is banned by athletic commissions for anyone who is in competition and Diaz was tested positive for having marijuana in his system during a post-fight drug screening following his main event bout with Anderson Silva at UFC 183 on Jan. 31 in Las Vegas. So it’s not a question of him breaking the law it’s basically a question of him breaking company rules and regulations, in other words it’s a bit like you turning up to work drunk, it’s not strictly speaking illegal but it is against the rules of your employment and a pretty stupid thing to do.

This wasn't the first time though It was the third time Diaz had failed a drug test for marijuana he had already been suspended for six months by the NSAC in 2007 after his fight with Takanori Gomi at PRIDE 33, then was suspended one year in 2012 after his loss to Carlos Condit at UFC 143 and now this. So people might be saying oh but he only took a bit of leaf it’s not like he was on steroids but the truth of the matter is that he knew the rules of what I am going to refer to as his employment, he knew them and broke them and was punished and then broke them again and again. This clearly shows he doesn’t care about the rules and he considers himself above them. Now I am sure all of us have found rules at work that we don’t agree with but the truth is that most sensible people tend to do one or two things in this situation and that is either grin and bear it because you want to work or fight it by using the law and various regulations in a diplomatic manner, observing the rule up until the point you can change things  or if you can’t either learning to live with the rule or moving on to somewhere else where the rules doesn't oppress what you view as your rights and freedoms.

During Monday's hearing, Diaz refused to answer any questions and instead pleaded the fifth. Yet as soon as he came out of it he raved and ranted to Fox sports  "I got into this sport for this exact reason being stuck in a room like that with people like that. First of all, this sport, this commission, they've done everything they can to keep me from being all the way on top where I should be. They've done everything they could to keep me from proving to the world that I'm the best fighter in the world, which I am. They want to have nothing but weak sauce fighters in the sport. Those people are nothing but a bunch of crooks up there." Now I dont know about you but to me the things he said and how he said them clearly smack of paranoia which is a side effect of prolonged cannabis use.

I actually believe in the legalisation of cannabis but I also do not believe in ignoring its effects on the human body, ultimately I believe that if you decide to enter a line of work/ or a professional sports world which chooses to make the presence of cannabis in your blood grounds for suspension or dismissal then they have the right to do that you should either role with it and follow there codes of conduct or find a different profession.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

My review of the Forza 6 Demo

So with Forza 6 out in a handful of days I decided to try the Forza 6 Demo, now I have to admit going in to it I had zero desire to buy the game, why you might ask? Well basically I am still playing and enjoying Forza 5 and Forza Horrizon 2 both feel and look awesome to me and I have got a lot of enjoyment out of them and feel they still both have a lot to give especially as I brought the Storm Island add on for Forza Horrizon 2 in a sale and haven't even touched it yet. So I decided I would play the demo, I would review and see if it made me want the game more or less. After all a demo is meant to sell a game so maybe it will alter my opinion on it, it may help me decide how long I would be willing to wait and the kind of price I would  be willing to pay for it and this might also help other people in a similar position to me.

One of the things I liked about the Forza 5 when I first started playing it was the fact it had the Top Gear guys in it, listening to them introduce aspects of the game really got me pumped to play it and to try different types of event. I was pretty sure that what with all the fuss of Clarkson being fired that they wouldn't be in this game, although I have to admit anyone could be connected to it as I haven't been really paying attention to any news relating to it. There was a lot of speeches in Forza 5 about the nature of speed and man's never ending quest to find the perfect machine it was sometimes in danger of feeling like it was trying to push some kind of artistic merit a little too hard but it always seemed to walk the line very well. So I start the Forza 6 demo up and I am met with a video there are two kids facing each other and one is throwing stones and stuff and a voice begins narrating and talking about why do we race while it sort of flicks back from the kids to cars and well it really drops the soap as this time it doesn't walk the line at all. I have no idea who is talking I just know that is sounds like pretentious bollox, if they couldn't get someone who despite some of his questionable qualities can talk in a way that is passionate without tipping over the line like Clarkson then they just shouldn't have bothered.

After finishing my first race what do I think? Well it controls well and the graphics are beautiful but I don't think its a massive leap forward, it looks a lot shinier and the light seems more realistic than in its predecessor, in some ways it feels like the Forza Horrizon 2 graphics and engine pushed in to the Forza 5 framework which seeing as they are both brilliant games is no bad thing. I think the on-screen HUD parts your spedo, map etc all look much cleaner and stick out better than in Forza 5 which is a nice if minor improvement, I would also say that the menu screens and such have a nicer look to them, it seems to feel a little windows 10 inspired and also reminds me of some of the screen shots I have seen for the Xbox One's next supposed overhaul, so maybe thats what they are going for a sort of overall matching theme that feels friendly and inviting. Its a nice step forward but its not like after playing this I am going to look back at the past entries I still own and go oh I don't think I can play these any more they look so primitive.

As a demo I really have to give credit to Microsoft for Forza 6, I have played some car game demo's in the past where you get about one lap in one car to decide if you like the game or not, but in this game you get to experiance full races in a few diffrent types of car. This means that you will leave this demo. I particularly enjoyed the showcase race it put me in. In this race I was driving an Indy car, now up to this moment I had thought that the game hadnt seemed any faster or more thrilling than Forza 5 but the way the Indy car racing was handled the sense of speed just seemed out of this world, it really thrilled me and to be honest made me even more glad I had traded F1 2015 in because in comparison that feels super pedestrian. My recomendation is to download this demo straight away and give it your all you wont regret it.

So am I now going to run out and buy the actual game straight away? No. I do like it but I want to see more of Forza 5 and Forza Horrizon 2, I will catch this when I see some special deal or cheap second hand version that I simply cant help but buy. I am tight though, I am sure many others will happily jump on this and if I got a winning lottery ticket or a spare little wedge of cash fell from somewhere then I think I would be joining them.

Monday, 14 September 2015

The console wars were not the first great geek civil war.

People talk about the great Console Wars Nintendo Versus Sega, Super Nintendo versus Megadrive (Genesis) but here in the UK there was a great nerd Civil war before most of us had really even woken up to the idea of cartridge based gaming, what was was this you ask? It was Spectrum versus Commodore. Wits, statistics and even fists were some times thrown trying to defend ones side, it was like politics before we were old enough to understand who Labour and the conservatives were, and if you carry on the analogy then that would mean that the BBC was the home computer version of the liberal democrats, third place without much of a chance or many people giving a toss really.

The BBC's biggest disadvantage as an item of coolness was the fact that it was in our classrooms. I can remember classes of thirty children all sat on some god awful itchy carpet our heads almost touching as we all leaned left and right to get a view of the screen. In truth I don't know why we bothered, most of the time all that was on the screen was a bunch of words that our teacher would proceed to read out to us anyway. It would always be something like this ''You are in a large dark cave, the air smells, the ground beneath your feet feels slimy, the witch is coming for you, what do you want to do.'' We would all then shout out stuff to the teacher who would tend to do what the majority said which would be something like ''go north'' and you would be met with either ''you can not go north'' ''you have gone north what now'' or every now and then someone would get the bright idea to shout something along the lines of ''turn around and fuck her to death''. The whole class would laugh even though only a certain percentage of us even had any idea what that meant, the bright spark would be sent out of the room along with anyone who couldn't stop themselves from laughing and the BBC would be turned of and we would go back to book learning. thinking back on it I really should have done that kind of thing less often. Even though the BBC had its own killer title that most of us would have pulled our own teeth out to play (Elite) most of us in my day and age didn't know about that as it wasn't the kind of thing schools would get in. I was lucky as my brother who is about 10 years older than me decided to buy a BBC and Elite and I got to play it, but the BBC was never my machine. Consequently as most of us had only seen text based titles in a school environment the BBC Micro had a real image problem as the sort of grey boring middle class home computer aimed at intellectuals and people who wanted to learn and what we really wanted to do was have lots of fun.

In nearly all my friends either bedrooms or backroom's there was  a Commodore 64 or  a 48k Spectrum. So was I team Commodore or team Clive Sinclair? I was Team Spectrum and you know why? Basically because at the age of two or so I was slapped in front of my brothers with bright characters flashing, encouraged to slap on the buttons. Was this because my parents were awful terrible people looking to have some form of computerised overlord babysit for them? No. The reason was much more mundane and well nice than this. My parents basically figured that the way things were going with technology one day if you couldn't use a computer you would basically be unemployable. They figured if I grew up with computers being an every day thing I had seen and touched more or less from the very moment my memories started then I would be ahead of the pack in some way. They wanted the best for me, they didn't slap me in front of my brothers games and let me shoot things just to keep me quiet no they went out of there way and spent a healthy amount on educational software the one I remember the most stared the Mr Men, it tried to teach you basic things like how to count and how to recognise colours. Eventually when my brothers who were both older than me moved on to other things the spectrum became mine and it was my primary games machine. I also through basically being the biggest gamer in the family also inherited the family Atari 2600 my first cart based machine. While the Atari might have been instant though the spectrum had much more advanced games, they were also much easier to find and cheaper to buy. I was basically lovingly indoctrinated in to the family of the Sinclair Spectrum. I liked it because it was made by a British man who seemed like a bit of a cool mad scientist, I liked it because not only did I get all my brothers games but our local news agent and even our local boots the chemist sold games very cheaply for it, there was also the fact that my very very closest friend had one and this tied us even deeper together as friends with a common cause but the main reason I liked it was because it was all I had, all I could afford and I just plain did not want to believe that something out there I couldn't have was or could be better than what was sat in my bedroom on my glorious black and white 8 inch TV.

I was very young when I had the spectrum, I didn't have the skills at that point and time to sit back and look at the big picture or even to have a rational argument, my fist arguments about the machine were in infant school age 5 after all, an infant school in a small mining town where the language was as dark as the pits. So when a 5 year old boy would tell me that I was scum because I had a Spectrum which was rubbish compared to his Commodore my only real recourse of action was to call him a poof or a spastic with no knowledge of what these words meant only knowing I had heard older people say them and that they were in some way offensive.The playground was often a battlefield with a Spectrum lad kicking a commodore lover and then the resulting retaliation, this was long before comprehensive and the thankfully far more peaceful console wars, back in those days hearts were broken and lunch boxes shattered over kids heads and all in the name of one computer or another which is now painfully underpowered compared to the most basic of phones now days and yet in amongst all of the violence and the arguments there was always a bleeping screaming cassette tape playing computer to go home to.

Sunday, 13 September 2015

SNES game review 92: Nolan Ryans Baseball

Well I know that the last game I reviewed for the SNES was a baseball game and that hitting one again so quickly might seem a little stale but if you just play along here I have my reasons.

The game I am looking at now is Nolan Ryan's Baseball known in Japan as Super Stadium.  Now this game only came out for the American/Canadian market and Japan. The American version is obviously endorsed by the baseball player Nolan Ryan, who I know absolutely nothing about and who I have to add has no real bearing on this game at all. It has no licensing from any Major League Baseball team or Association which means that Nolan Ryan is the only real name you see here. The thing is though once you actually start the game the players can best be described as sort of little cutesy anime type characters so it really doesn’t matter in the slightest, this is something I will come back to though.

The game was made by a company called Affect which you most likely won’t have heard about before largely because they tended to primarily make games for the Japanese market which were released through various different publishers. This was one of their first games apparently with them producing games from 1990 to 2008 at which point they transitioned in to producing web based applications. Romstar Inc. published the game in America they were a video game distribution company based in Torrance, California that started operating in 1984.  Interestingly they were the original American distributors for SNK games (before SNK of America was founded in 1987). They bit the dust in 1992 though with various key members of staff going on to form mobile phone based games companies.

So what brought me to this game now, well the first thing is that it came out the same year as Cal Ripken Jr Baseball so it’s not like one was later in the systems lifespan and had the advantage of improved techniques, both of these games came out at relatively the same time and yet they tackle things in a slightly different way with Cal Ripken trying its best to look as realistic as it can and this game going for a more cartoon based feeling.

Nolan Ryan's Baseball is fairly straightforward to play. When you are the pitcher, you press a button to pitch the ball, the direction you press will affect the type of throw push down to make it go faster, up to make it go slower, and left or right to make it veer to either side. Bating is very simple in that you press a button to swing but its timing that is the key. It is still not easy to hit the ball but it is a heck of a lot better than in the last title I played. The game also seems to run a lot faster with the average game taking half the time, not only does this make it faster to get through games but it makes it more exciting making it more likely that you will play for longer. Unless you’re a baseball game pro you are still likely to lose the majority of the time but they will be much narrower more realistic loses and as such it won’t feel like getting better is an imposable journey. I also found fielding much easier, in this case I even caught the odd batter out which made me feel a lot better.

One almost off topic question that runs through my mind is how much did Nolan Ryan get paid for this, I know a lot of sports games will have the name of some player or manager stapled on to them in the hopes that it is a road to profit but beyond his face on the cart box and start up screen he simply has sod all to do with it at all, making me prefer the Japanese title super stadium. The teams make me laugh as they simply have letter names the first team I picked was called T team and had players such as CHAD, HERB, RON and OLAF set to play but I could swap them for benched players with names like CHUK,KIRK and DOC.

I really like the cutesy graphical style the game has,the more I play it the more it grows on me and added to it is some music which although not amazing is cheery and whimsical, I think it puts you in the right mood especially when you have the nice digital speech that comes with it starting by announcing ‘’lets play ball’’ and then going on to tell you when there had been a strike or when someone is safe.

Ok so I can gave Cal Ripkin Jr Baseball as semi recommendation. Saying that when it was played with a friend it could be good and giving it a 6 out of 10, now I don’t feel like this game is the best thing ever but I have to admit I found it just that bit more fun, it was quicker and I liked its style, it was equally as fun to play in multi-player but was a fair bit better as a one player game. Still I feel like there must be better out there, so all of this considered I give Nolan Ryan's Baseball a 7 out of 10 and at the moment I would call it the one to get.

Ok so if you’re desperate to own this game how much are you looking at paying for it? Well first things first it didn’t get an English release so you need to be looking at well either an American or Japanese import, meaning you will either need a foreign machine , a modified SNES or an adaptor. Bearing that in mind how much should an NTSC cart cost you? Well I couldn’t find any copies for sale over here as far as American carts went but you could buy a loose cart and pay for it to be posted here for about £10, I however did find a Japanese copy online for about £4 selling in this country and being a sports game I don’t think the language barrier would be too much of an issue.
Ok for now that’s it with the baseball titles, but I will come back to them as I am sure I own at least another two.

Saturday, 12 September 2015

A review of Just Before Dawn... and a bit about my horror history.

So what makes me watch or not watch a film? Well my mood is one thing, I need to be in the right mood for that kind of film, if I am in the mood for a B movie then I am in the mood for a B movie, If I want something intelligent then that's the kind of thing I am going to watch etcetera.

Also there is an element of who I am with. My daughter doesn't really like horror films, she will try and tolerate the occasional mild one for me basically out of love, but she really doesn't like them to the degree that I do. Now I love her more than anything and although I like sharing my hobbies and the things I love with her my last intention is to show her something that is actually going to have any lasting effect on her or really unnerve her. I tend to watch more films focused around what she likes when she is around which often tends to be family friendly fantasy for example the Harry Potter movies or something Disney related, I do enjoy these films mostly but this means that when she is not around I watch the horror I couldn't watch around her and save the family friendly fantasy for when we are together.

Some of the modern horror films I can convince my Dad to watch with me, both of us enjoy Sci Fi films so we will kind of take it in turns he will put a Science Fiction flick on and then I will put a horror movie on, but he is a very harsh critic. A horror film has about fifteen minutes to grab him and if it doesn't manage to do that then he will declare it rubbish and walk off and do something else.

So when it comes to low budget, old or extremely gore filled horror I am pretty much on my own, watching it alone in the dark. I don't mind this when I am at home but I cant say I enjoy going to the Cinema alone to watch a horror film, so usually if it is something I am going to watch then I will wait until its released on blue ray/DVD.

I dont tend to feel the need to own that many films though, I am quiet happy to look at what is being shown on the horror channel and record it to watch or just to look at what is available on various online services ranging from Amazon Prime to stuff like You Tube, sure I do own a few horror blue rays, if a film has really really gotten to me and made me need it then I will get it examples being the Exorcist, Hellraiser, HollowMan, the Thing. A lot of forgotten about 80's horror seems to end up on YouTube, a lot of it is stuff which hasn't had a Blue ray release, heck some of it never got any further than VHS, it is stuff that has been pretty much forgotten about and almost abandoned and sometimes it is a crying shame.

I grew up in a small town, it had a one screen cinema and two or three Video Cassette rental stores. Now one of these stores used to charge 50 pence a night to hire there older films. I would go in with about £2 and head to the middle row at the back. Here they had a rack filled with these hard plastic thin containers which has a VHS front cover inside them and a number tag stuck to the outside. I would flick through these looking at what was on offer, there would be things like Critters, Aliens, Nightmare on elm street but sooner or latter I had made my way through everything sort of well known, this is when you would be looking at these films you had never heard of, looking at the cover art, maybe reading the sentence or two on the back which tried to explain the premise of the film. Of course this led to me watching some stinkers and worst of all paying for the privilege but it also had its good side, it meant that I watched a lot of films, I watched things that no one else I knew had and I got to find classics I otherwise would never have known about.

This devil may care give it a go attitude is something that I have kept with me to this day when it comes to films. I am willing to judge them with an open mind, I wont look at a budget or notice that there are no marketable names and dismiss a film. I will pop a film on and if it can grab me it grabs me. If the film is wonderful then that's great, if the film sucks well if it is bad enough then I will have a good laugh at it. I approach a lot of horror films I find now days the same way as I approached the ones in that rack. If a film is on YouTube or Amazon Prime, I will read the short description and maybe look online at its case or poster and from there I will make a quick judgement call if I am going to give it a shot or not. The funny side is now even taking in to account the cost of Amazon Prime I get to watch more films for less money and I never really see any of it as a waste.

So tonight I sat here on my own with everyone else busy so I decided it was time to start trawling through the good old Digital rental racks again. This is when I came upon a film called Just Before Dawn.

Just Before Dawn, was released in 1981 and the rough plot goes like this five campers arrive in the mountains to examine some property that they have purchased,they are warned by a forest ranger that a huge machete-wielding maniac is on the prowl and that its dangerous around these parts right now. However obviously they ignore this warning after all if they didn't it would be a very short film. So you can guess what happens next person after person vanishes. The general premise of it sounded alight and I noticed that George Kennedy was in it. Now I am not his biggest fan but I do have his autograph on my wall. I have a Picture of the CreepShow 2 that's autographed by the Actor George Kennedy, the effects artist legend Tom Savini and another person who I did work out who it was but can no longer remember. Anyways this was enough to sway me and make me decide to watch it


OK so now I am going to talk about the film in more detail so from here on out until I write the conclusion this is going to be spoiler territory, if you want to watch the film first do so now here we go.


So the film starts with two hunters who are out in the woods drinking and exploring an old abandoned church after a successful hunt. It soon transpires though that someone is looking down at them through a hole in the roof. We soon witness a large figure murdering one of the hunters by stabbing him in what is obviously the groan area with the machete. The other hunter see's this figure putting on some of his companions clothes and then bolts for it running away from the murderer. I was quiet surprised to see a killing this early and the machete death kind of put me in the mind of the Friday the 13th films.

The scene soon cuts to what we would call in the scooby doo days ''a gang of youngsters'' who are in a camper heading towards the great out doors to go camping and drinking and all the usual stuff together. On there way they meet forest ranger Roy (George Kennedy) and he can best be described as the ''You don't want to go there'' character who gives them the typical it could be dangerous and I aint coming after you once your in trouble, but at least tell me where you are going speech.

The youngsters meet the hunter who survived he is out of his breath shaking and drinking he tries to warn  the teens and begs them to take him along, saying he will be killed if they don't. The teens however refuse leaving him behind Then you see a human form climb up on to there camper unnoticed by them the hunter see's it though and he begins to laugh a somewhat crazy laugh proberbly part in relief that if the killer is following them he is safe but also probably in a it serves them right for not caring about what happens to him kind of way.  

The youngsters find themselves at a wonderful location a real wonder of nature, trees, crystal clear streams, the soft sound of a waterfall, it seems like its going to be the most amazing time for them and for a bit it is. At first they camp and there is a fake scare where two of them jump out on the others. Then they hike for a bit and cross a rope bridge before seeing a girl who quickly retreats. After this one of the guys goes for a swim with one of the girls at first they are just splashing around and playing and then she pushes him under, this is when she starts to worry and asks him to stop playing around, she is soon relieved to feel a hand touching her all over, thinking that it is him and then she looks at the edge of the water and see's her boyfriend looking back waving, This is when she begins to panic, she makes her way over to him and somewhat hysterically tries to explain that there is someone else there.

 At this point we are almost forty minutes in to the film and so far there has only been one kill, but then we have seen some beautiful cinematography, if I had an area like this near me I would find myself very tempted to get a cheap camera and go out there and try to make something and this backdrop is used very well. I also like how some of the characters have been shown, we have two ladies but they are both very different, one is shown to be an experienced camper and hiker but even when she felt under threat she couldn't bring herself to grab a knife for defence, yet the other girl is much more feminine in many ways yet feels comfortable to grab a knife and use it if needs be. Yes she might have got overwhelmed and panicked when she realised the hand that had been touching her wasn't her boyfriends but then one of the other boys screamed earlier so its not shown as a purely female reaction to fear, also I happen to think I would flip out and loose it if strange hands were grabbing at me from under the water and I am a large fully grown man. At this point I can say if your a lover of gore who wants a stab a minute then this is not the film for you, it has a much slower pace than that.

It is at this point that our drunk surviving hunter makes an appearance again, he has found himself at the rangers house and begins to tell him that there has been a murder but he can only describe the killer as a Demon as being ''tall, bigger than you, built like that mountain up there''. He says that he has seen the kids that they wouldn't listen to him and that it will kill them too.

That night the youngsters are having a party drinking and dancing around there tent and camp fire when a shot from out of nowhere hits there radio and ends the fun. A local old man comes out along with his family holding a shotgun, the girl with him is the one the youngsters had seen earlier. The old man tells them to go and to leave, it comes across as half being a warning and half being a threat
but they pay no heed to the old man's words and continue camping. This is OK but it by now kind of feels like one warning too many, a lot of horror films like this have the sort of idea that the young people are brining there death upon them through there actions and that if they had only stopped and listened to the voice of reason then they would have been spared a painful death via the wrath of a killer or force of nature but in my opinion this film is over doing it.

Next day, Jonathan one of the youngsters becomes the first target of the killer, He see's the young girl in the woods and follows her, soon he steps on to the rope bridge trying to show her its safe once he is on it he almost gets to the other side but finds himself face to face with the killer who cuts his hand and then while he is retreating slices the  ropes on the rope bridge causing Jonathan to fall in the water, we watch as he struggles up the ropes on the other side of the river but he is again met by the killer who simply kicks him back into the water while you wonder how he could have gotten across there without a bridge especially that quickly. So 53 minutes in to the film we  have our second death (although you don't actually see the moment of death).

Soon we see Warren and Constance fishing this is when Jonathan's body comes down a small waterfall and slaps itself in front of them, Warren makes sure he is dead and then they have a debate about whether he has been murdered or not before Constance runs off with Warren following her. 60 minutes of film and so far two deaths, one very bloody, one actually rather tame with the final moment not even being seen, the fall he made was survivable so we can either guess he died from the blood leaving his hand in the water or he somehow drowned or broke his neck while being buffeted by the water in total honesty it is not explained in the slightest.

We cut back to Daniel and Meg they are at the church from the beginning, they are in the grave yard when a figure appears in the distance, at first Daniel presumes it is Jonathan messing around again but as the figure draws closer a machete through the chest proves this to be wrong. Meg runs into the church with the killer trying to follow her but she closes the door on him. It turns out Daniel is not quiet dead, the killer returns to his body and while he is panting and screaming he pulls the machete out of him. Meg watches the killer from inside the church through the window when the question of how the killer can move so quickly is answer by the fact a man the spitting image of the man outside is shown inside the church with her. I have to admit I wasn't that surprised, I was expecting something like this I would have been more disappointed if they had tried to pull of that it was just one guy as well some of what was seen earlier just wouldn't have made sense. Then she notices the person in the church with her and as he closes in on her she screams no again and again and I wait for the money shot which doesn't come.

Its at this point that Warren remembers that Jonathan had the keys to the camper van so decides to go retrieve them along leaving constance alone, it was at this point that I found myself actively shouting at the screen ''oh for darns sake don't split up you stupid son of a bitch, they always get you when you split up, one of you is as good as dead if you do this''. Then I remembered it was a film, they couldn't hear me and that I am not five.

So then we have Warren wandering around in the dark with a lantern pretty much in my opinion looking for death. I know its supposed to be a horror but I couldn't help but laugh when I saw Jonathan in shades stood up against a tree weekend at Bernie's style. As Warren notices Jonathan at first he seems to think he is alive again somehow but when he comes to his senses he begins to search his body for the keys. This is when we cut to the ranger who has gone to the family who shot-gunned the radio, he starts to ask if they have seen the youngsters but despite the daughter trying to say she has he has her mother drags her inside and the father tries to claim they haven't seen no one. Then as the ranger rides off the camera stays outside of the house but we can hear the conversation inside as they tell the girl to never go against the family, and she replies but there killers there the devil you said. This is when we hear the words but there still your brothers. The girl runs off finds the ranger and tells him that she can take him to there camp.

We go back to Constance now just as she hears the whistle blowing, this causes her to get up and decide to investigate, at first she calls out telling Warren not to play games with her. Now I am not being funny, I know some of them were pissing about and scaring each other earlier but after there good friend is dead and as far as they know two other friends are missing and haven't been seen for ages I seriously seriously doubt your boyfriend would be in the mood to try and make you jump at this point in time, he held his dead friend in his arms earlier that night it is hardly the kind of thing that puts you in a chuckle-some mood. Then while she is getting closer to the fire the killer comes and practically sits down next to her before blowing the whistle. This leads to a 10 second running chase followed by her climbing a tree, the killer tries to a machete the tree down while she screams Warren again and again. We cut to see the ranger finding a scared Warren before going back to the girl up a tree. The tree falls and down goes the girl with it an all, but she manages to scramble away with the killer once again giving chase, just as it looks like he is about to swing and kill her he is shot and we see it is the ranger who has done it. The body falls on the girl and she just lays there trembling so Warren goes across to her to make sure she is alive. The ranger inspects the killers body and lets out the cherry ''you keep breeding in the same family so long and something is going to snap, I guess that is what the old man was trying to hide''.

The ranger sends Warren to grab his gear so that him and Constance can get out of there, but what we  the viewer but neither he or the ranger know is that only one of the killers is dead. I will leave it here and not comment on the very end of the film, I will leave that for those interested enough to view it and instead give the conclusion to my review

In Conclusion

The film can be a bit slow at points, but it is also beautiful, there are some good set pieces and it takes great advantage of the environment it was filmed in but I think compared to other films of this type the kills are rather disappointing in general, everyone who is killed by the killer is killed in the same way, I guess I am spoiled by a lot of latter films where an individual way was thought up for everyone who would die. There is some good characters and good ideas here but they never feel fully fleshed out. I guess I would give this film about a 6 out of 10, I think it is better than average but has a lot of issues, I certainly pulled far worse than this out of the rental rack but I don't think I will be in a hurry to watch it again.