Tuesday, 29 March 2016

My thoughts on Watership down being shown at Easter

Ok so a few days ago the various online newspapers were full of headlines like the following ''Watership Down: Parents left 'horrified' as Channel 5 airs 'traumatic' film on Easter Sunday'' To put it as basically as possible some parents threw a bloody fit because Channel 5 showed WaterShip Down a film about the struggle undertaken by a group of rabits to escape from almost certain death and find a better way of life. It is a story which covers concepts such as loss, death, betrayel and a kind of rebirth (not of a person but of a society and a way of life) So as far as I am concerned I think its showing at easter was kind of appropriate. We have parents here saying its too bloody, well yes there is a lot of blood, there is to much death, yes death is in it to a fair degree, The film is a complete classic though as is the book it is based off of.

This is not the first time Watership down has caused controversy the very fact a lot of violence is in it and its a kids film with a Universal for everyone rating has caused more complaints to the British Board of Film Clasification than any other film, and I personall believe it needs a PG rating. Lets stop and remember though that while some parents are moaing about this others are telling there children the story of a man betrayed by his people, who is brutally tortured and nailed through his wrists to a wooden cross only to resurrect several days late, some are even taking them to churches to see statues depicting this, compared to this the bunny option doesnt sound to bad, let them deal with the death of a gold fish before you go telling them oh by the way the son of God got bruttaly knocked off.

So why are peole happy to tell there young kids the stories about JC and the sunshine gang? Well its because they believe that the stories have merit to them, they can be used to teach morals  and life lessons. Well I happen to think that the same can be said about Watership down so if your going to apply the above logic that a gory story can still be a good story if it has a purpose if it contains lessons that are worth learning.

I think part of the problem is that people are too easily offended coupled with the fact that everyone is now so used to shows like the X factor that they seem to think they can vote anything they dont like off of TV. Add to that the fact that some people dont seem to feel the need to raise there own children, they want to just throw them in front of the TV and let it do the job for them. I wouldnt be surprised if a lot of the complaint didnt come from parents who had to get off there arse and deal with there child because something in the film upset them. A real parent would be there ready and willing to discuss anything which had a big impact on there child.

The whole thing is just a joke if we banned and censored everything someone had a problem with then there would never be anything on with any real worth, anything that makes a person think will upset someone.

Monday, 28 March 2016

Snes review 103: Unirally/Uniracers

Well I was going to review a Disney based game but then decided to pick the title I have ended up reviewing instead, there is a trivia based connection and I will get to it. So the game I am going to talk about is Uniracers perhaps better known to some of you under the title it was released in Pal regions under the name Unirally.

It was created by DMA Design and Nintendo of America for the SNES and was released in North America in December 1994 and in England on April 27, 1995. For those not in the know DMA was a british video game developer which I suppose first really stepped in to the limelight with the game Lemmings, After developing Unirally for Nintendo, DMA Design was set to most likely become one of their main second-party developers, but this didnt happen largly it is said because of Nintendo's disapproval of Body Harvest. So what did DMA go on to do instead? Well in 1997, DMA released Grand Theft Auto (They are now known as Rockstar North) and I think we all know how that went. So what we have here is a Unicycle racing game made by the future makers of grand theft auto now if that doesnt sound weirly intresting to you then nothing will.

OK another important little bit of trivia here which is relvent to this review Unirally was actually made to test out the ACM (Advanced Computer Modelling) which would be later used in Donkey Kong country which proberbly explains some of this games graphics, it kind of has what I would now consider the looks of a Xbox 360 Xbox live indie title. what do I mean by this? Well, the unicycles all have a great physical 3Dness about them, as do the actual twisting pipes which serve as your racing courses and it all travels at a wonderful smooth and fast rate, in fact it could be argued it is one of the best games on the SNES for giving a real sense of speed to its gameplay. However it needs to be pointed out that a lot of the backgrounds and menus are very bland and don't seem to have had a lot of time or effort pushed into them. I firmly believe that if this son of a bitch wasn't so damn playable then it would have just been left as a interesting little tech demo and thank god it wasn't as I played the living crap out of this as a youngster.

Again I have to both note and congratulate those involved in the speed of this title and in the fact that there is no slowdown. The race tracks have various colourful patterns on them throughout each course, highlighting the fact that a piece of track is covered in oil, is a run-up to a loop-the-loop, or is the final stretch of the race, this means that you are given a visual indication of how to handle your unicyle. This works really well despite the games very rapid pace most likely because there is very little else to distract you. This is not to say that the game is devoid of character though , yes the level might lack it but the Uniracers themselves don't know there are no riders these are strangely sentient cycles that actually have personalities, as you play you will notice that they use there seats as if they were there heads, they throw looks behind them if an opponent is drawing close, the victor does a sort of happy dance after winning and losers either seem to be crying or simply seem to topple over and toss themselves to the ground. This actually kind of led to some issues of its own. Shortly after the game's release, DMA Design was sued by Pixar . Basically Pixar felt that the unicycle design and the characterization of the was copied from their1987 short film Red's Dream. DMA seemed to see it very diffrently with one of there develipers Mike Dailly, stating that "The problem with Pixar was that they seemed to think that any computer generated unicycle was owned by them." . DMA Design actually lost the lawsuit, and as a result, Nintendo had to terminate production of further Unirally cartridges. How do I feel about this? I think well I think its bullshit really, I don't think Pixar should have won the lawsuit because well the idea of humanised vehicles has existed for year and been used by loads of people and I dont think it is enough to warrant a victory in a court of law but oh well it happened.

This game is one of those games were it is a complete victory of gameplay over everything else, the sound is decent but not outstanding, the graphics are in some ways good but in other ways basic but the gameplay is for me at least a solid 10 out of 10, the controls are so simple that anyone can play it and yet there is a real sense of being able to always get a little better a little faster in your times, if you play it with a friend then its a great heated competition. The game simply excels at controlling well, doing everything you tell it to when you tell it to and letting you know that any cock up is completely down to you. I cant help but score this game 10 out of 10 no matter what. I think it is some of the best fun you can have on the snes and there is nothing else quiet like it. A loose cart of it should cost you around the £10 mark and I would recommend you buy this as soon as possible because there is nothing else quiet like it on the system and reviewing this has been one of the highlights of this whole series of reviews.

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Hulk Hogan Wins Lawsuit and more Wrestlers sign up to donate there brains after death

Ok so I have talked about it before but for those who have missed it and have been living under a rock Hulk Hogan was in a leaked Sex tape, a sex tape that as well as having the obvious sex in it (sex with a friends wife) also contained racist language, language which lead to him being fired from the WWE, loosing his legends contract and loosing his place in the hall of fame. Well Hogan took the company responsible for the leak to court and after his successful trail against them (Gawker) he was awarded $55 million for economic injuries and $60 million for emotional distress. The jury ruled that Hogan's privacy was violated by Gawker. This was soon followed by him getting another 25.1 million in punitive damages so in total if he actually gets the cash he will get just over $140 Million more than enough for him to live a darn good life without having to lift a finger. Now I could have just talked about this and left it here because lets face it its a pretty big piece of news not just in realtion to wrestling but in relation to a persons rights to privacy there is deffinetly more than a few blog posts worth to talk about here. Does Hogan deserve the cash, I dont really know id proberbly say no, not that much but I do think he deserved to win because I think it wrong for things like that to be leaked on the net without someones permission and if you disagree then remember your basically saying that things such as revenge porn where a X partner posts naked images they possess of a former partner to harm and humiliate them is alright.

Well a whole bunch of wrestlers seem to have decided to donate there brains to science to help research CTE Chronic Traumatic Enephalopathy. At first it was Kevin Nash's who made the decision to donate his brain after his death and then apparently Jeff Hardy's wife heard about this and talked Jeff Hardy into doing the same. Then apparently Mick Foley who had been considering doing if for a while decided he would follow suit. All three of these wrestlers have taken more than there fair share of bangs to the head during their careers so  their brains could be a lot of use and help us learn how to protect future athletes. I am not going to pretend I am an expert on this but I think that these guys donating there brains is a wonderful thing for them to do and I salute them for it, hopefully something is learned from it which can go on to help others.

Monday, 14 March 2016

So as I like to call it TopGear the Next generation has already caused controversey before it has even hit the air. Some will see this as a bad thing, others will see it as a good thing hopping that the loss of Clarkson and co wont have led to a boring PG show, others simply will not care one bit. I personally want to voice my oppinion on it.

Well to start with I really liked the old Clarkson, May and Hammond team and was sad to see them go, but now especially as they have the Amazon deal its not too bad because we are not loosing them, we are in fact gaining a whole second car show. Did Clarkson say stupid things and make an ass of himself? Yes a lot of the time. Did I agree with everything he said? Certainly not. The three of them togther though they didnt seem like they were  bunch of presenters phoning it in, they seemed like 3 friends having a laugh and as a viewer at home you felt like you were a part of this.

Now when the new line up was announced for me personally it was a little bit hit and miss, it felt like they had drafted in twice as many people as they need just so they can drop a few of them along the way if they dont work well. The only name I was really happy to see was Matt Leblanc, maybe because he was Joey from friends so I am used to seeing him and knowing that I am going to laugh or maybe because it feels like someting new and diffrent to see him in a show like this, so its kind of funny that the new controversy is surrounding a sscene that has been filmed featuring him.

So what has happened that is so horrible it has caused a controversy before it has even been shown? Well basically Matt LeBlanc and a professional driver performed "doughnuts" near the Cenotaph war memorial in London. Now I find it important to mention the following things "The driver of the car was briefed by production prior to filming as to where to drive and to not do any manoeuvres close to the monument, an instruction to which he fully adhered. Top Gear has said that it consulted with the Metropolitan Police film unit and the special events unit of Westminster City Council over the "large-scale, complex shoot, prepared over a period of four months" and that this"required numerous road closures, health and safety regulations to be in place, and also included full disclosure to local residents, including the Treasury and Foreign Office". So it isent like they just shot down there and did what the heck they like.

Apparently though in photos that have been taken the momorial appears closer to the car than people like and therefore a whole bunch of people have got there panties in a bunch saying that this means that the driver Matt and TopGear in general dont appreciate war veterans and have showed poor judgment and how disgusting it is. Now immediatly Co-host Chris Evans apologised for the stunt, the BBC have wanted to distance themselves from it and the council were the memorial is are claiming they didnt know anything was going to be done other than just the car driving past and I am sat here kind of just not believing it all. The last film I saw in the cinema was London has Fallen a film filled with explosions and monumnets blowing up left right and center, it is a darn good film and never once has anyone suggested that seeing all of the Uk's most important capital based buildings explode is disrespectul, if anything it reminded me how many great landmarks we have.

It is just entertainment which has a beautiful backdrop, some people just want to see offense everywere they look, personally Chris Evans is a pillock if he is going to appologise so much so early on all he will do is scare people that the new Top Gear is going to be so straight laced it hurts.They could have shown the footage and then made a stament about the monumnet and what it staands for, it certainly doesnt stand for oppression of expression.

Saturday, 12 March 2016

Desert Island Games.. Xbox (the original).

I am sure everyone is familiar with top 5 and top 10 lists, I can also bet that the majority of people have heard of the basic concept of having to pick 5 records or 5 books or something with which you could survive for a long time on a desert island or another isolated place so here is that but with games.

So what I am going to do is to pick a system every now and then and do a post on it desert island style. I might not pick the best games as I am not thinking about this from a purly critical point of view but more of a mental survival one.. Now I know most desert islands dont come with generators and power supplys so I want you to imagine that for the purpose of this we are talking about being stranded on a desert island with a lost style bunker with its own generator and food supply, yeah You can leave the bunker and scavange for extras or go for a walk but that power aint ever running out nor is the water or food so the real point of the games are to give you something to do to stop you loosing your mind.

I did think about starting with the oldest machine I had used and going from there but instead I thought it would be fun to throw the great wheel of randomisation and start in any old place and just push forward with no regard for sequence.

Ok so the Desert Island consolefor this post will be The Original XBOX.

If you were stuck on a desert island with 5 original xbox games and a machine to run them on what would you go for ? Well despite not being the leading console of its generation the original Xbox did have a heck of a lot going for it and a pretty darn solid libery of games in fact if you count games from all over the world including exclusives then nearly 1000 were released. So to round it down to 5 is not an easy task. I am also taking into account that I am not going to get online with it so I wont be saying oh I will take this so I can talk to people online while playing to fight the lonlyness.

Ok so my first choice for a game would be Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. Now as I am sure most people know this game got absolute rave reviews, and is considerd an all time classic. Sure I have played it a heck of a lot I finished this and the sequel a long time ago but have found myself drifting back to both of them now and then. I would pick it is because with all of the different options there is quiet a bit of replay value, its also a decent length to start with anyways. Its basically a long RPG set in a universe I love and I know it would be good for multiple run throughs, I could try being the most evil character, I could try being  good one, I could baasically play it so many times that I saw the result of every single dialog option and choice, and lets face it in this situation this is a very good thing as if you have no way of getting more games then you want games that take a long time to finish and have a lot of reasons to keep replaying.

Star Wars Republic Commando. I love this game, its a first person shooter set in the starwars world with tactical squad control elements. You play as the boss of a 4man team of clone trooper Commando's. Theres shooting, order giving but its all brought to life by the witty bantter that goes on amongst the team. I cant think of a game which would be better for sort of fooling you that you were not alone. Yes it might be in the same universe as KOTOR which makes it seem like an odd choice but although its set in the same rough place it takes a very diffrent view of things to the point that they might as well be set in tottally diffrent places.

Project Gothem racing 2. Id need a good car game, and I think this was proberbly the best on the system. Yeah Forza was on there but I dont find the original Forza to be good enough, its a little rough around the edges and over demanding, where as PGR2 is just a pure pleasure. It has that arcadey one more go nature to it and if you look at perfecting your racing line and trying to always beat your own times then the milage you could milk out of this game could potentially be almost limitless. Yes I was tempted to go with Forza cause its tough and it takes a lot of effort to be good at it but I think ultimatly Gotham 2 takes just as much effort to be a pro at but its a lot easier to just get racing have some fun and keep slowly improving over, it just feels a lot more like fun than hardwork.

Phantasy Star Online Episodes I & II I know I already kind of have the rpg side of things nailed down with KOTR but I love this game, the fact it takes a crazy long time to see everything this game has to offer really helps, there is always a new gun or sword to find, pus to max your character out takes forever and then there are multiple classes. I know I couldnt go online which is one of the things this game was sold on but I still really enjoy it offline, it takes ages to max out a character and you are always finding some new weapon or armour around every corner

And for the 5th game

Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude—Uncut and Uncensored! Yeah its not the highest rated game and it is a touch silly but that's the point it makes me laugh and it would probably be pretty depressing stuck on a desert island in a lost style bunker on your own eating coconuts and playing on a games console. So this would be my silly game for when it all seemed liked to much. This game would most likly never find itself on a top ten games you must own on the Xbox thread or video and without looking I would assume it has the worst reviews of aanything on here but here I feel it fits, it makes me smile and that is why it creeps on to this list.

Have any issues with my list or find your own to be very diffrent then feel free to let me know in the coments :)

Friday, 11 March 2016

Laptops built to die

So I find myself on a new laptop, is it an upgrade? No in fact you could quiet easily refer to it as a downgrade. So the obvious question is why would I downgrade. Well it wasnt really a choice my old laptoop simply broke and was not reperable, so I went and looked at my fianances and decided what I could spend on a laptop bearing in mind all the bills and expenses I had coming up and went from there.

Laptops in my oppinion are basically made to break, they are screwed togther so tightly and made in a way that if something simple blows it might be so deep inside the machine that the very act of getting to it to even have a look would break your machine. In most cases they are made with no thought put in to how they can be maintained and serviced, quiet simply the companies who make them dont want you to be able to look after them and keep them running. Usually the only parts you can get near or really have any hope of replacing are the the hardrive and the memory but here I am going to make some simple suggestions which would make owning a laptop a lot less of a pain in the behind, I doubt any company will ever do any of these.

1) Place the internal battery under an accesable flap so if it runs out if can be easily replaced

2) Make a removable fan system so that to prevent overheating you can remove and clean the fans

3) Less screw and less complexity inside in case you need to go inside it

4) If anything is going to be connected to the board by wires make these replacable clip into place wires replacments of which can be purchased for a reasonable price

Yes I know all of this is a bit of a pipe dream and that anyone who heavily uses there laptop will proberbly go on having to replace there laptop every few yers most of the time for often very simple stupid reasons but I wanted to just throw some of this out there.

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

This Months retro Video Game purchases: February 2016 (yep its a bit late again)

OK so it is that time of the month again, the time when I am once again late to talk about what I got in the last month of my life retro Video Game wise.

I have brought so little that this hardly qualifies for a blog post at all but still here we go.

I started the months purchases on the 5th of February by picking up Brothers in arms D Day complete for the PSP for £1, not the most impressive of games I admit but I liked the price.

I didn't get anything then until the 23rd of February when I picked up Shining The Holy Ark for the Sega Saturn UK PAL Boxed Complete for £30 (Which was more than I wanted to pay but I cant really complain) and two games I had brought from a friend arrived one was a Japanese kirby 64 N64 cart for £4 and the other Was Dragons Quest VIII complete for the PlayStation 2 for £8 (both prices include the postage)

3 days latter I finished the months Retro purchases by picking up Mysteria The Realms of Lore complete for the Sega Saturn for £20.

I have spent a lot of time this month sorting out the various places I store my games and generally having a tidy up. So I have not wanted to bring to much into my life. I cant claim to have spent more on new games because this would be untrue. I did buy one humble bundle and have grabbed a few other things such as graphical novels but in general its not been a very geeky month. As March contains my daughters birthday I am really rather unlikely to buy much during this time frame either but who knows maybe I will grab one or two things here or there worthy of mentioning.