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Saturday, March 25, 2017 - 13:19

I find myself, once again, short of words when it comes to describing Iron Fist as a show but unlike before it is not for good reasons. We are introduced to a homeless Danny Rand as he attempts to return to western society and reintegrate into his family’s company whilst convincing the world that he’s not actually dead. We then learn that in the 15 years since his supposed death he has been training to be the ‘Iron Fist’: a warrior of martial arts who is able to focus his chi and enhance his hand as a weapon. He has returned to use his strengths for good and then things happen. But that’s precisely where Iron Fist falls short as a show: things just happen. It’s not that the show is bad but that it’s also not particularly good either. It lingers in the fuzzy zone which leaves you a feel of “well…that happened” and I feel this for several reasons.

Firstly, plot. As I mentioned, not a huge amount seems to happen and the show seems to lack a focussed plot. That’s not to say that...

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Saturday, March 18, 2017 - 10:20

Well…what can I say about this movie. As short of words I am now I was equally gobsmacked at the start of the credits (and some 30minutes later). The film starts in a not-to-distant future, where mutants have all but died out, with Logan and Xavier on their last legs. Logan’s healing abilities have slowed right down and Xavier is suffering from some sort of dementia combined with seizures. Unexpected events as well as the fate of their kind send them on their last journey together and this was quite simply spectacular for a number of reasons.

Firstly, it provided the perfect ending to a journey which we have been following for some 17 years now. The mentoring-turn-brotherhood relationship of Logan and Xavier has taken them to their very limits. They have now reached a point in that journey where the need for each other continues to develop until their last moments and it was not only very fitting but also incredibly warming to see.

Secondly, whilst it wasn’t really a...

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Tuesday, October 18, 2016 - 10:00

West.

Or rather Westeros.

It will soon be gone.

With only a few episodes left, until the Game of Thrones is won (or lost maybe), HBO looks westward, hoping to capture the lightning again.

So we move to Earth in the future.

America to be precise, or rather a simulation of the old west.

The Game of Thrones comparison is not a coincidence. This show is being touted by the network as the next GOT, even the continuity announcer before the UK Sky Atlantic broadcast referred to it as such.

A lot is riding on this.

So hitch up your saddle and get ready to ride out onto the prairie on your synthetic horse.

For those that may not have seen the original, the 1973 film of the same name is a classic of science fiction, from an age when the genre was dominated by cold-war inspired moody post-apocalyptic dismal-fests.

Essentially it was a theme park with robot attractions that are not supposed to kill the guests. Westworld was...

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Thursday, September 15, 2016 - 18:46

Boom...

Armikrog starts with a bang.

A crazy almost David Bowie-like theme tune kicks in with a real psychodelic feel, that takes you on a trip with it's imagery. This is followed by a clay animated crash landing on a mysterious planet, introducing you to the protaganist 'Tommynaut' and his friendly dead-pan dog aptly named 'Beak-Beak'. The game itself is visually stunning, reminiscent of claymation such as 'Wallace and Gromit'. From a purely artistic standpoint, the game is fascinating, especially when you consider the time and care which must have been dedicated to create both the environments and characters, as well as the painstaking attention to detail to animation throughout the game.

The game lives in a fairly under-represented and somewhat niche genre in current gaming culture. This is of course the point-and-click adventure genre. Story-wise, the game has a few hits and misses. The...

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Friday, July 1, 2016 - 14:00

Having recently enjoyed playing Van Helsing on the Xbone after it was given away for free in the December Games with Gold promotion I was understandably excited to try Van Helsing II. First, a confession, I haven't finished Van Helsing yet. Possibly a bit of a mistake, but more on that shortly.

Van Helsing II is set in the fictional country of Borgovia which has a wondrrful gothic victoriana steampunk feel. It is full of pop culture references and plenty of humour but this only adds to the fun. You get to pick one of three classes for Van Helsing, the classic, Hunter,  the spell slinging Thaumaturge or the gadget based Arcane Mechanic. As in the previous game Van Helsing is accompanied by his ghostly Companion, the Lady Katarina. This provides a great setting for what is a very enjoyable action rpg in the vein of diablo3 and torchlight 1 and 2. All of which I enjoyed immensely and can see myself easily being sucked into Van Helsing II's story.

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Monday, June 20, 2016 - 11:00

If you were to sit in the restaurant equivalent of the Hollywood script industry it would probably go like this.

You are shown to your generic NY diner style booth by a generic waiter and offered a menu that has been through a thousand hands before yours. 

‘Can I interest you in the specials today?’ 

‘Not today’ 

‘Can I get you anything to drink’

‘Yes, I’d like a standard diet cola please.’

‘Coming right up’

A few minutes later the drink arrives in a plastic cup with a lid that has a slot for interchangeable figures on it. Today, a plastic rabbit.

‘Are you ready to order?’

‘Could I get a Minions short to start please?’

‘And for your main?’

‘Yes, could I get a Lost Animal Tries To Get Home please?’

‘Of course…any sides?’

‘No Thanks’

Off scuttles the waiter to the kitchen where a catering college graduate, absent mindedly rooting around one nostril with a wet finger and...

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Sunday, June 5, 2016 - 09:34

Day 2 of the UK Games Expo is done and dusted.  It was a little less manic for me than Day 1, I didn’t really leave the Hilton tournament rooms all day; but I still didn’t get home until gone 1am this morning.  Here are my highlights:

Settlers of Catan UK Championships - This was the big one, with twenty tables set aside for the tournament, and twenty fresh boxes of Catan ready to be opened.  I was first to get seated at my table, and so had the pleasure of preparing the pieces for the first game.  As with popping the seal on a fresh jar of coffee, or getting set loose on a pile of bubble wrap, there is a weird satisfaction that comes with pushing those cardboard game pieces free from their packaging.  To be honest, that was as good as my Catan experience got this year.  I played four matches getting one 3rd place, one 2nd place, and then back to back 4th...

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Saturday, June 4, 2016 - 00:47

Well, Day 1 of the UK Games Expo is in the bag. I’m back home, utterly exhausted, but very very happy.  Here, in no particular order, are my highlights of Day 1, and games to keep an eye out for if you’re heading down over the weekend.

Wotan Games - Stopped by their table at the press previews this morning to check out War of the Nine Realms.  It’s a modular tile based, tactical skirmish style board game, set in the rich setting of norse mythology.  It uses cards rather than miniatures as markers, and is probably going to quickly become a gateway game to those wanting to explore miniature gaming.  The gameplay can be switched between Heroic and Epic, allowing for a basic combat/dominance game, or a more tactical game with special powers and abilities coming in to play, depending on how you want to play.  Brush up on your Norse Mythology for this one.  Check...

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Friday, May 20, 2016 - 14:00

First off, any concerns that the X-Men reboot trilogy would end with a repeat of the disaster that was X3:The Last Stand have been put to bed. Apocalypse is nowhere near that bad, on the contrary in parts it's actually pretty enjoyable; it's also not the end of this run of X-Men films.

Apocalypse, the world's first mutant, reappears on the scene thousands of years after an attack on his followers leaves him buried and forgotten.  He recruits four acolytes and then sets about his master plan to reset the Earth for only the strongest of mutants.  Rivalries, egos and fears all need to be put aside in order to defeat him.  It's a no-brainer popcorn movie at its finest.

As enjoyable as it maybe it does have a few flaws and, like ripping off a plaster, I'll get those out of the way first because there's actually a bit here to be hopeful for,  as far as the future of the franchise is concerned. So, in no particular order... the special effects...

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Thursday, May 19, 2016 - 20:57

About a week before the release of Uncharted 4 the press embargo on reviews was lifted, so those who had received advanced copy of the game could release their opinions to a PS4 community hungry for the lowdown.

I was not one of those reviewers. 

This is a review of game that I purchased last week and have spent the intervening days playing, around my work and home life.

This means a couple of things.

Firstly it is later than the reviews from the members of the press, secondly I have only just finished the game in single player mode on moderate difficulty, which means that thirdly, my thumbs still hurt from all the button mashing, which could mean typos and meaningless gibberish because my hands don't work any more.

There is also a very good reason that I am not reviewing the multiplayer game. I don't like online multiplayer communities. If I’d wanted to have a snotty 12yr old shouting and swearing at me and telling...

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