Joe

Danger Mouse Reboot: “OH CRUMBS DM!”

Does he have to be?

Does he have to be?

Although not born in the time of airing of Danger Mouse I was exposed to it as a child and have always had a strange fascination and love for the characters and series as a whole. Now I’ve never been one to get too sentimental when companies reboot old franchises, I have learned to accept that no one involved with the handling of media can ever have a new idea (I’m pretty sure it’s a prerequisite for the job) and that by “rebooting” old shows and cashing in on people’s nostalgia they feel better about their own existence and convince themselves that they aren’t heartless bastards shredding every last inch of other peoples childhood memories. Okay I lied maybe it does bother me a bit. What’s worse is when they pretend that they’re doing it for “the kids”. “Oh we just think that since we enjoyed this so much as children it would be unfair not to let this generation experience it too.” If you really cared that fucking much then maybe you’d put some goddamn effort in for once and, Oh I don’t know, come up with an original show for them! Also if that is why companies reboot things then why not just show re-runs of the original show? Oh because it seem dated and “kids” might not be able to relate to it, well gosh how rude of the original not to keep up with modern fads, I mean it’s not like it was written for a completely different generation of people or something. Sorry I need to take a minute.

You can guess my shock and horror when I then found out that Danger Mouse, yes the 80’s cartoon series was getting a reboot. My heart sank faster than the Costa Concordia. I started to look a little bit into the plans they had and yes some of the voice actors do look promising and I am happy that they are attempting to diversify the cast with more female characters but a turd covered in glitter still stinks of shit, it just shines a little better under a lamp. Even the news the Stephan Fry was to join the cast couldn’t make me any happier about the project. I mean let’s be honest Danger Mouse isn’t exactly a unique concept, A mouse that’s a spy and goes on adventures, They could have just easily come up with new characters and scenarios based on a similar ideas but then they may have actually had to done some work or you know maybe hired a writer and they aren’t about to let that happen! Also name me one child out there that is excited for this to be a thing? Were there petitions and riots because children just couldn’t take not having a modern Danger Mouse? No! Because none of the little fuckers even know who he is and probably don’t give a shit either. It would be like your mother pulling out an old dusty suit that your grandfather used to wear before he died, brushing it off and making you wear it for the sole reason because your grandad liked to wear it, Yeah grandad also liked to live in houses with lead based paint and asbestos in the ceiling but I don’t see you bringing back either of those any time soon!

I guess it just saddens me that the only gem in the crown of British cartoons has now been cut down and flogged for spare change.

 

-Grand Pickle

 

What show(s) do you hope they never make a reboot/remake for? Or on the flipside are there any shows that you really wish they would make more of? Let me know in the comments and be sure to subscribe for more articles.

If they change any catchphrases I am going to choke a bitch.

If they change any catchphrases I am going to choke a bitch.

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Sid Meier’s Civilization: Beyond Earth – My thoughts.

Hello there! I wholeheartedly apologise for such a lack of content recently and I’m not going to bore you with excuses but I will say that this isn’t so much of a review rather than my thoughts and experiences with the game so let’s just get on with it.

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If you own a computer or are in to strategy games and haven’t heard of the behemoth that is Sid Meier then where the fuck have you been? The strategy game giants have graced us with another instalment to their Civilization series this time however there is a twist. It’s set in the future! Instead of doing the usual business of building a famous empire from the ground up over thousands of years this time we take on the job of setting up a colony on a distant planet. Each Civ is funded by a sponsor so instead of having separate countries you have different corporations. Now for the interests of impartiality I will admit that I am quite the Civilization fan but for the sack of this article I have put aside my preconceptions and tried to play this game with an open mind.

First off I am going to address an issue that I have seen a lot of people have with this game and that is that there is a lack of personality from the A.I. leaders. I don’t really think this is as big a deal as what some are making it out to be. Yes their aren’t as many leaders(as of yet) as there have been in previous games so most playthroughs are similar but you can clearly see patterns in behaviour and individual characteristics of each one. I think the major difference in this game is that none of the names are recognisable as in previous Civ games so we have no previous ideas of what that person is like. I do agree that the level of personality isn’t as high as in previous games but it is undeniably still there. I found myself many times getting angry with how certain factions were acting and even being very spiteful in different playthroughs because of how a leader acted in a different game. Anyway rant over.

The game plays a lot like any other Civ game so if you aren’t a fan of the previous ones then this probably won’t float your boat however if you are a fan of the earlier games or the genre in general then this will be a happy edition to your collection. For most part the game is almost identical to Civ V as they run on the same engine however it is the new setting and tweaks that they have made that make the game feel drastically different. The most notable change is the tech web, previously being a tech tree, allowing for much greater variation in advancements and giving science an even greater level of strategy as it makes each technology you research that little bit more significant. It also separates the different countries/corporations quite drastically as there are now hundreds of different orders to unlocking things like buildings and new units. The next most significant feature is probably the Affinity system. By acting in certain ways or researching certain things you gain affinity points and increasing your chosen affinity will lead to stronger units, new perks and also affect how other Civs react to you. This is a welcome addition however can prove a bit distracting as sometimes you focus on growing your affinity rather than your own Civilization.

There are so many choices to make in this game that it borderlines on the ridiculous. One of the reasons there aren’t that many starting leaders(in this game they are called sponsors) is because after picking which one you want to be there are then three more choices for you to customize your Civ with such as starting bonuses etc. This can be really fun as it really feels like your Civ is your own however as all the A.I. also customize themselves can make it difficult to work out how the opponents will play. The game also runs a quest system helping you to feel like there is a progression to what you are doing and with certain quests you are given a decision to make which will change what certain buildings output or give different buffs again further customizing your Civ.

Level design is a bit lacklustre as most places feel very similar however knowing Firaxis, the company behind the game, they will be releasing a bunch of dlc maps as they normally do. This is cushioned as from day one this game came with steam workshop support so modders have already been hard at work making the game have even more content.

Civilization: Beyond Earth is another good instalment in the franchise and is well worth a play if you are a fan. There are a few things that I think don’t make this a less fun game but do impact replayabillity and so I doubt it will eat up as many hours as say Civ V will/has/is but given the history of these games once a few large expansions have been released I would not be surprised if this game could eat away around 60hours+. Let me know what you guys think and what things you would like to be included in the expansions or made as a mod, thanks for reading!

Civilization: Beyond Earth is out now for PC.

 

-Joe

Cooking and food shopping. Tips for worrying students.

Everyone needs to eat. Im guessing that if you’re reading this you’re probably pretty familiar with eating, what some of you may not be as familiar with is cooking. Now don’t panic, I am here to give you a quick run through of not only some cooking tips that will (hopefully) change your life but also a few tips for eating on a budget.

 

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First things first, what should you eat? Now this part is entirely up to you and I don’t really have time to go through the recipes for every dish every conjured up so instead im going to leave this entire bit to you and your imagination. What I will do though is say that planning your meals for the week in advance can save you a lot of un needed stress. It also allows you to know exactly what to buy when you go shopping  so that you don’t end up spending precious money on unnecessary items. You don’t have to follow the week plan exactly but It doesn’t hurt to think forward a little bit.

Speaking of shopping, here are a few tips:

1) Give yourself plenty of time, there is no point in rushing around the shop trying to get a full weeks shop, you will end up either panic buying or forgetting essential things.

2) Don’t shop when you’re hungry. Trust me on this one your wallet will thank you, shopping on a full stomach allows you to focus on exactly what you need and not get distracted by all the foods that you want in the moment.

3) Be sure to shop around. Different super markets will have different offers and prices so it never hurts to alternate between a few so that you make sure you get the best price.

4) Make sure you know how much fridge and freezer space you have before you shop. There is nothing worse than returning home with bags of shopping to find that you don’t actually have the room.

 

Now to the crux of the issue. Actually cooking. Cooking isn’t something to fear or shy away from, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to make yourself tasty dishes and no one is going to judge you if you occasionally fuck up. The key with cooking is preparation, figure out what the best order is to chop/dice/cut your food and then the best order to cook it. For instance; Making Spaghetti Bolognese  always do the pasta last (It may sound obvious but you’d be surprised) otherwise you end up with burnt pasta as it take the least amount of time to cook. Moving on from actually cooking and eating your food always be sure to clean up after yourself, not just because it will keep your house mates happy but the longer you leave food on a plate/pan etc. the harder it becomes to clean.

To finish off this article I decided I would share with you a few of my favourite cooking tips as well as one or two recipes.

1) When boiling a pan, if you place a wooden spoon over the top it will prevent it from boiling over

2) Quick poached eggs. Boil a pan. Line a cup with cling film and crack in an egg, fold the cling film around and tie it at the end so it looks like a funny egg water balloon. Boil the egginbag for 2-3 mins (make sure water is bubbling). Remove from water and undo the cling film and you’ll have yourself a poached egg. (for a different take, whisk the eggs with a little ham and cheese before placing im cling film to make omelette balls).

3) Making burgers is easy and can be cheaper than buying from a supermarket. Combine a packet of mince(only get lean as a last resort, the fat will hold the burghers together), breadcrumbs (rub a slice of bread between your hands, 2 slices should be enough), an egg and salt and pepper in a bowl. Mix with your hands and form into patties. Should make 8 large burger or 12-14 smaller. Can be frozen. (For added taste add diced onion or anything of your choosing really, I once made a cheese and pickle burger.)

4) Running an onion under a tap before chopping it will prevent it from making you cry.

5) Easy scrambled egg. Combine 2 eggs, a dash of milk(optional) and salt and pepper in a jug and microwave for 3 minutes. Once done remove with a fork while fluffing it and you’ve got yourself scrambled egg.

6) To measure out rice use the method; One mug = One person.

7) For a quick pasta dish; boil water with a bit of salt (and oil if you are so inclined). Then add a handful of pasta (2 hands if you’re really hungry) boil for around 5-10 mins or until the pasta is at the right consistency (a bit soft). Drain and place in a pre heated pan. Mix in a tin of tomatoes, some pepper and a tin of tuna. Stir occasionally for another 5 mins and serve. (For an added treat if you have the time, you can place the dish in a glass tray sprinkle cheese on top and bake for 10 mins for a great pasta bake)

 

Anyway I hope you found this helpful and remember don’t fear cooking, It can save you money and be rather fun. Thanks for reading!

 

-Joe

Guardians Of The Galaxy: Review- Not A Disney Castle In Sight!

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Hey everyone! doing my review a little early this week as for once I am prepared. I know right! bet you’re glad you were sitting down for that bombshell. Anyhoo If you haven’t guessed by the title (Then I’m seriously worried about you. Get some help.) this is a review about the latest Marvel film Guardians Of The Galaxy.

Now I’m a big comic fan boy and even I was surprised when Marvel announced that this film was going to be made especially when there are many other, much more popular, characters just waiting in the wings, *cough* Deadpool *cough*, but the more that emerged about this film the more I started to get really excited. The film looked like it was taking the Marvel universe to new plains and was going to open the gates to all the Sci-Fi story lines and characters Marvel has in its locker. The cast choices, while at first left me confused, were fantastic and after seeing trailer footage I was ready to see what was in store. Then I remembered Disney owned Marvel and I cried a little inside. Yes Avengers was epic and set the standard for the genre but since that first outing I have to be honest Marvel films have been a little hit and miss for me. Cap’ America 2 was decent, nothing to shout from the roof tops but stood its ground well, Thor 2 was a little meh but then again so was the first and Iron Man 3 was like watching a child fail at sport while their overly aggressive parent shouts at them to keep going. I was apprehensive.

Now this movie puts all those others to shame. After the little BSA ticket it’s just like BAM! right into the film. No logos or nothing. After a short set up the Marvel logo flashes and the film carries on and introduces the main character, his name’s Peter Quill(Chris Pratt) by the way, all the while doing the obligatory opening credits of who worked on the film. Luckily they don’t stop what’s going on and shove it in your face who made this movie, instead they put the names in corners and at the bottom of the screen to leave you to enjoy what you’ve paid to see. Now this may seem small but I feel like it sets the tone for a film. It says “Hey! We ain’t fucking around with your fancy pantsy ego boosting shit! We’re here to entertain you so you’re gunna need to pay attention from the get go! Capiche?” and I love it.

Now this is a spoiler free review so I won’t tell you any story specifics but this movie actually has a rather good one. The story is neat and tight and constructed rather well. You’re given enough information that it’s easy to follow but not so much that it becomes overly predictable (granted there are a few clichés dotted here and there but they’re forgivable). The ending to a lot of comic films I feel are where they get let down the most with the majority not having the satisfying feeling that films should have, in particular with final/boss battles. This film, and this is just my opinion, doesn’t suffer from this at all. The finale is just as epic as it should be and the ending is incredibly satisfying! Oh and for all of you that are reading this wanting to know the after credit sequence all I will say is that Guardians takes to the comic book trope like a duck to water.

The acting is some of the best I have seen in a comic book movie and every character feels real and really brought to life. I was most apprehensive about the WWE wrestler Dave Bautista being cast as Drax as wrestlers haven’t exactly made the best actors but He does incredibly well in the role and, other than the fact his arms are the size of my head, you wouldn’t have guessed that acting (don’t start with that wrestling is basically acting crap) wasn’t his first profession. Vin Diesel does incredibly well in the role of Groot with, and this isn’t sarcastic, some well delivered subtle voice acting. Same goes for Bradley Cooper as Rocket(Racoon). Zoe Saldana shows us again that she’s a fantastic actress in her role as Gamora . And not forgetting Chris Pratt who brings it all together in with a performance of the highest calibre.

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A lot of the time during this film I couldn’t help but feel that I was watching this generations Star Wars. God I’m going to get slaughtered for that comparison but its honestly true. The epic scale of everything and the level of detail in the different races and species that feature was very reminiscent of episode 4-6. It has the same strange charm about it as well. The film did something that most films of this genre can and that’s fill the viewer with that sense of wide eyed wonder. Sure super hero films do that for kids but kids get that same sense when they discover that the light in the fridge turns off when the door shuts. I’m talking about that feeling in Adults. Honestly try and think back to the last film that left you with the feeling of amazement. I have to go pretty far back. That makes me sad. The visuals were just brilliant especially(and I can’t believe Im saying this) in 3D. Yeah, really. It genuinely does add a depth to a lot of the action and sequences and there were a few moments where I was just like “3d was made for this kind of shit!”. The CGI was some of the better ones that I’ve seen and the mixture of practical props and CGI really work well.

Guardians Of The Galaxy Is quite possibly my favourite Marvel film to date and is definitely worth the price of a ticket to go and watch. I would give it a solid 8.5/10. It really does entertain but it still can’t shake the knowledge that you’re watching a good comic book movie not just a good movie and for that reason I can’t score it a 9. So very close though.

Oh and the soundtrack is fucking awesome!

 

Thanks for reading!

-Joe

Mario Kart 8- An Overdue Review

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Hello there! I apologise for the lack of content from me for the past few weeks, been a little bit mad. I’ve been meaning to review this game for absolutely ages but every time I sat down to write one up another game just came along and distracted the ever loving shit out of me. But finally I’ve gotten around to it.

 

Mario Kart. Now unless you’ve had your head under a rock for the past decade you will have heard of this franchise and know what its about, so im gunna move swiftly onwards and not treat you like morons by going over the premise. Mario Kart 8 is the reason we’re here folks and Mario Kart 8 is what we’ll get. This game is fucking amazing. Period. It was actually the sole reason that I went out and bought a Wii U and boy oh boy I wasn’t disappointed.

First off let me say that this game is beautiful. Sometimes lost if you play split screen but hugely noticeable when played single player, or in the replays at the end of a race, the detail in every little thing just astonishes me. My personal favourite are the textures for DK and Bowser, It’s just something about their scales and fur that send a shiver through my body and make me go “oooooooh!”. Granted those aren’t great examples of little details as I mentioned earlier but just be patient and let me get to it, after all im just one man! Things like tracks in the sand and clouds (there’s a cloud level in case you were thinking I had gone insane and thought you could drive through the sky, what do you think Im a fucking idiot? what’s the matter with you?) that actually last for quite a while and actually make you feel like you’re driving on said object. The levels themselves are well constructed and an absolute joy to race on, granted a few take a couple of runs to get used to them but that’s the same with any racing game. The new anti-gravity sections of races adds a new element to the game and really make you think about what you’re doing because in these parts if you hit another player instead of bouncing off like a oversized grapefruit, you both get a small speed boost. this may sound like nothing but it really does factor in, say you’re on rainbow road doing some sweet drifts and some schmuck gives you a little nudge when he passes you, instead of just being slowed or both bouncing off each other you fire off like a pre-mature rocket and fall to your horrible death. Yeah not so insignificant now huh.

Babies got back!

Babies got back!

 

 

The character list although extensive I think is rather poor. They got rid of characters like Boo, Dry Bones and even Bowser Jr. and replaced them with all of the Koopalings. Now I don’t have anything against the Koopalings necessarily it’s just they all seem the same to me. I was especially shocked at no Bowser Jr. as this game has more Baby characters than ever. And don’t even get me started on Pink Gold Peach!

The new tracks are memorable and fun and the adjusted “classic tracks” are also incredibly enjoyable. Everything just seems really polished and there isn’t really one level that doesn’t have at least some redeeming part to it. It just really seems like a lot of care and effort went into each and every track. Now I can’t speak about the levels and their design without mentioning the music. this may seem sad but the music in this game is a real high point for me, They just seem to perfectly mirror the atmosphere of the level that they are being used for and give you that sense of real awe and excitement. And boy does this game have a lot of those moments (don’t want to spoil anything so you can feel the same innocent wonder that I felt when seeing these moments for the first time).

Items make an appearance as always and like with every new Mario Kart we have some new additions. The music box item is by far the most useful of the new entries as it’s the only thing that can stop you from being hit by a blue shell, yeah they done went and brung it! Speaking of blue shells they have been slightly modified in this outing, instead of doing a straight beeline for the person in 1st and flying towards them they have since had their wings clipped and now run along the ground like normal shells. Difference is that now if you get in the way of a blue shell they fuck you up too before getting on their merry way to the front runner. My least fave (Other than the god damn coins!) would have to be the piranha plant, which replaces the chain chomp I might add. This item acts in a similar way to chain chomp by eating the other racers but doesn’t do the whole bullet bill thing and drag you around the track really fast. Again doesn’t sound like a big deal but it is, When it does try and eat another driver it drags you in that direction, oh and if no one is around you it just bites at the air randomly, meaning that if you are near an edge or something and it takes a bite towards the edge then you are done! It becomes really annoying.

Overall this game is a must buy for anyone with Wii U and is a perfect game to play with your friends (I have even came up with my own drinking game for it which I will be sure to post at some point If anyone would like to try it out). This game is even so good that I would consider It a console seller and I honestly think this game and the future sales of Super Smash Bros will save the so far failing Wii U console.

Mario Kart 8 gets my highest ever score 10/10.

Subscribe and share! or Luigi will come get ya.

Subscribe and share! or Luigi will come get ya.

 

-Joe

Maleficent-Review, Why is everyone Scottish?!

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Hey guys sorry for the late upload, was planning on doing this for last week but kinda got a little side tracked. Anyhoo I went to see the new Disney film Maleficent and thought I’d share my thoughts on it with all of you!

 

Maleficent, for those who don’t know, Is a film where the well known version of sleeping beauty is taken and told from a different point of view, this being the antagonist in the form of Maleficent (Angelina Jolie). This kind of film has been done before but honestly I don’t think it has ever been done better on the big screen. Angelina Jolie, despite my initial worries, is absolutely brilliant in her role and really helps carry the film. Not to say the supporting actors are bad it’s just no one else really gets explored in terms of character apart from her. The pacing of the film is good although it does seem far shorter than the actual run time suggests, which I take as a positive but others may not see it the same way.

The film has a coherent storyline so those of you that fancy going to see the film without knowing anything about sleeping beauty fret not. One thing I would say though is that although this is a PG rated film and yes there isn’t any swearing, blood, gore or anything along those lines I don’t think I could recommend taking your children to see it. The film is quite gritty and dark and although it makes for a great engaging film for adults I could easily see children finding incredibly boring and then in turn being incredibly annoying as your trying to make them sit there quietly for two hours. So yeah, watch on your own if you can!

Just remember though despite the grittier re-telling this is still a Disney film so of course they have comic relief characters, this time in the form of the three fairy sisters, and moments of slight cheesiness but other than the odd occasion the film does seem much more catered towards adults. The visuals in the film, especially in the introduction bits where everything is bright, are gorgeous and the CGI in the film is incredibly well produced, and without spoiling anything, especially in the fight/action sequences. On the same note with the costumes, they are terrific especially the work that must have gone into Angelina’s horns.

Sharlto Copley does an outstanding job as Stefan and his character progression was one of my personal favourite parts of the film. Another Actor who I have to mention is Sam Riley who plays a very well preformed Diavel, especially the on screen chemistry between him and Angelina Jolie. One strange thing though that my girlfriend pointed out to me after the film had ended was that almost all of the humans in this film had Scottish accents. Now it doesn’t really bother me but it is a little strange as it must have been a conscious choice by the director and writers as Copley was born in Johannesburg so it’s not like it  was a coincidence. But apart from that this is a great film that I thoroughly recommend going to see.

 

Maleficent gets an 8/10 and is highly recomended.

-Joe

X-Men: Days Of Futures Past – Review!

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Hey everyone! I was all ready to do a review today about a game but then I went to see the new X-men film last night and thought that I had to write about it. Now im gunna keep this review no- spoilers  which means I can’t really speak about all aspects of the film in detail so there are gunna be a few points that I really wanted to speak about (and I probably will do at a later date) that I am going to leave out to save you from having the film spoiled. So here goes.

 

First off this film is great and you should go see it. The film itself is well paced and directed and Brian Singer does a great job bringing to life the X-men we all know and love while also showing Brett Ratner how its fucking done! This is up there challenging for the best X-men movie rather easily but I still feel it needed to do a little more. The trouble with a film world this big with so many mutants available to use is that you can’t fit them all into a normal length movie so what the film does is just show you small glimpses of certain characters, rather than setting up actual character development, more in line with a cameo. Now this is a sort of bitter sweet thing because if you’re a fan of the comics and know the characters that they show you’re delighted that they made it into the film and then kinda disappointed that they couldn’t have been in it for longer. but that’s just a nitpick more than anything.

The storyline is tight and well constructed and a lot of the time doesn’t hold your hand the whole way like some comic films do. The story jumps around a lot so you do have to keep track of multiple storylines but it’s not too much of a bother because the film keeps you engaged and interested in what’s happening with the main characters. The film itself is kind of a strange one to place as it seems like it’s trying to take itself more seriously with some much heavier themes but then also contain the wit and humour we’ve grown to expect from marvel films. Personally I like it and I think its pulled off really well in this film but I can see that it might worry a few fans and maybe some parents that take their children to see this thinking it’s a nice family film which is exactly what it seems it’s trying to get away from.

However because of all the jumping around between characters the film feels a little hollow in some places and does leave you wanting more, but not in a good way. Now don’t get me wrong as a comic book movie this is great but as a movie its good. It is taking a step in the right direction where people will think of marvel films as great films rather than just great super hero films. It may not sound like there is difference their but trust me there is a big one.

As I said though you should definitely go see this film and im gunna end the review their before I go into spoiler mode. I give this film a 8/10 and is a must see for any super hero fan.

 

Joe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

spoiler-alert

 

 

 

Spoilers be here! Do not read this final tid bit if you don’t want the ending spoiled in some way, no major details but just sort of in general. So Yeah stop reading if you want to stay pure and innocent.

Sorry I just had to say this one last bit otherwise I’m gunna explode, I think I can speak on behalf of everyone when I say thank fuck that the ending wiped out all events of X-men 3 and Wolverine- Origins (I assume), but after the ecstasy left me that those shitty films are no longer cannon it also made me sad that we have no idea what IS canon anymore, did X-men 1 and 2 even happen? in this new future are Magneto and Charles still frenemies? Ahhh the questions without answers! anyway that’s all that I wanted to say. If you’ve seen the film please let me know what you think, also one last bit before I sign off, how disappointed were you with the whole rogue thing?! Use her in the adverts and then have her for not even 5 seconds at the end! Im not even sure if she says a line! Sorry rant over thanks for reading and im sorry if this bit spoiled anything for anyone but I did warn you.

5 Early-Access games to watch out for (Joe)

For those of you who don’t know Early-Access games are games that aren’t finished or even in beta testing stage that you can buy and play while they are being developed. Some of you are thinking why the hell would I pay full price for an unfinished game? But there are a few perks for instance some developers might give extra incentive and content like concept art or soundtrack downloads etc. while there is still the obvious reason which is to help support the team making the game. Because of the huge growth of the Indie game genre more and more developers are looking to making their game early access to help not only cover cost but to get as much community feedback as possible so that fans can actively take a part in shaping a game.

I have always felt that reviewing early access games is a little unfair because game builds change so often and the developers even admit themselves that their games aren’t finished so instead of reviewing an Early-Access game I’m going to give you a list of 5 of them to keep a watch out for.

*Disclaimer: This isn’t a top 5 or my favourite 5 this is just a short list of potentially good games that I am excited to see when they are finished. I have not personally played/own all of the games listed but have done my fair share of research on each one.

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1)   Prison Architect. Prison architect does exactly what it says on the tin, you build and managed a simulated prison. Simple enough? Nope! There is so much to this game that is continually being added too that you will be kept entertained for hours. Not only re they always adding new features but it is also integrated with the Steam Workshop so there are also lots of mods available from already built prisons to re-skins and community bug fixes. For anyone who enjoys simulator games or management games this is the game for you.

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2)   Overgrowth. Overgrowth is a game that in premise sounds ridiculous but in practice plays amazing. It is currently an open sandbox game where players create their own levels and play and share them but it is scheduled to have a full campaign and many more features added before it is finished. You play as a ninja rabbit, yes a NINJA-RABBIT! Where you can free run, explore and fight either hand to hand or with weapons. Now even though the game is visually very appealing the real gold is in the combat system, it flows brilliantly and the impacts feel weighted and control very fluid.

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3)   Starbound. Now a lot of people have criticised Starbound for just copying Terraria but the game itself is a lot more than just that. The exploration and customization even in such an early stage is very good and I can’t wait to see it once they have fully fleshed out the story and added the features they have gone on record to say they are going to. They are currently overhauling the majority of the farming and building mechanics though so I can’t say that the final game will be anything like the current build but if its anything to go by it could be the next big indie game.

pixel piracy

4)   Pixel Piracy. Re-Logic, the creators of Terraria, are currently helping produce the game which looks set to forever change the face of pirate games. From fully customizable ships, pirate battles and even parrots this game tries to give the player the full pirate experience. With features like perma-death playing a major part in the game it seems reminiscent of other indie games such as FTL and rogue legacy but with a pirate theme. Currently the game is rather bare but still with enough features and content to keep you entertained but the reason this game makes my list is because of the mechanics they are trying to introduce in the future such as being able to find and loot your previous characters ship once they have died.

bro

5)   BroForce. Last but by no means least is the game that is in a rather finished state. BroForce looks to take everything we love about macho action movies and combine it all in to a game. Taking characters from all areas of Bro-dom, such as Brobo-Cop and Indiana Brones, and has players fight together to liberate each level from a devil type villain. Each Bro comes with his own weapons and style and the amount of characters and level of detail put into this game is truly astonishing. This is the kind of game that you and your friends can play while you drink a beer and just bond. It perfectly encapsulates the era of 80’s action movies even down to the kind of campness only the most muscle bound men could pull off.

 

Anyway that was my list of games to watch out for! Thanks for stopping by make sure to like, comment and subscribe and tell me what games you’re keeping an eye out for?

 

-Joe

Our first video review! – Goat simulator 2014!

Check out our very first video review! Everything starts somewhere so where better to start than with Goats?

 

 

-Joe

Teslagrad Game Review: A Norwegian Masterpiece

Teslagrad has been on my radar since its release date 13/12/2013. During the chaos that is the Steam Winter Sale It probably slipped most of you by but there was just something about it that drew me in.

Opening menu flows seamlessly into the game

Opening menu flows seamlessly into the game

Continuing the flow right into the story

Continuing the flow right into the story

After booting up the game I was met with what has to be described as a glorious soundtrack and it really felt in keep with the image the game was creating for itself. Without any time to lose I pressed new game and was on my journey. Now something you should know about Teslagrad is that there is no dialogue, however what the developers over at Rain Games have done is really quite phenomenal and this is me after just playing the opening level. They have clearly spent a huge amount of time weaving this story into the very fabric of the game so that everything you see and interact with helps tell the narrative. As a writer I can be the first to tell you that this is no easy feat.

Most tutorials in the modern day era, and this makes me sad, hold your hand and walk you through every button and action you can do with your character via information signs and sometimes simply just test levels but what Teslagrad does is reminiscent of a time forgotten a time in which the only way to know if something was good or bad was to test your theory, If you die then you were wrong and if you live you’ll know to do more of it from then on. It doesn’t give you any help whatsoever and the game works so much better for it because it really gives you that sense of adventure. Speaking with the producer Peter W. Meldahl he told me that the Metroid games were of a big influence to the games level design and that becomes very clear when you get to the main portion of the game, especially when  you gain a new item in a room it becomes a necessity to understand how to use that item to advance whether it be simply being able to leave the room that you had previously entered or dodging an obstacle you previously thought you couldn’t. there are a few occasions however where it does become a bit difficult and aggravating when you are completely stumped while doing a puzzle or not knowing where to go but the flip side of that is when you do get past that point or figure it out you do feel a greater sense of achievement than if you were just guided through.

"And the lord said let there be light... and magnet gloves!"

“And the lord said let there be light… and magnet gloves!”

I think for me what surprised me the most was the level of immersion I received when playing this game. It draws you in from the very start and doesn’t let you go (that is till you rage quit after dying on a boss fight multiple times until you can calm yourself, pick back up your controller and go again). This is helped by the fact that there are no load screens of any kind. The screen scrolls with you as you move and does stop at a certain point at the edge of an area which in most platformers would be where the level ends or the game loads up the next stage but in Teslagrad it simply takes you straight into the next part without even so much as a pause. This is also the same for dying and checkpoints. There are no clear checkpoints, no sign on the screen or anything you run through they are just placed at different intervals without you knowing which at the start does keep you on edge because you are constantly worried that if you die then you will be teleported way back in the game but this isn’t the case at all as they are quite frequent. The dying screen is another similar thing once you die the screen fades to black and without even so much as a breather you’re back at your last checkpoint. Now some of you are probably thinking it’s strange that this is something i picked up on in such great detail well this is a game where you get used to dying as you will be doing a lot of it! As I mentioned earlier this game gives you next to no hints and a lot of the time you just wait to see if something kills you just so then you have more information to complete the puzzle with. the other thing is the controls sometimes have to be unbelievably precise to actually complete a challenge or puzzle that you assume you must be wrong and try something else then come back to your original idea and realise you had been pressing a button 1/10th of a second early. This is probably the biggest flaw in the game but I feel that if the game wasn’t as hard as balls in certain places then it wouldn’t be any way near as good or satisfying.

I wonder f this thing recycles?

I wonder if this thing recycles?

Now I’ve left this point to the end but it is by far the biggest draw to this game and is what had me hooked from when I saw it had been released and that is the artwork. This game is beautiful! Rarely does a game that is this cheap look this good. At times, especially at the start, you feel as if you are walking through a painting. everything has a hand drawn feel to it and when that becomes coupled with the lighting effects and camera work it culminates into wonderfully done visuals. Even seeing screenshots hadn’t really prepared me for when I actually played the game and I can honestly say that although this is a game made by a small team it is easily worthy of a next gen title.

Punch and Judy have really stepped it up

Punch and Judy have really stepped it up

All in all I would give this game a 8/10 for the game and 10/10 for value.

Teslagrad is available on Linux, Mac and Windows via Steam for £6.99 and will have a download release date some time in 2014 for Wii U, PS3 and PS4 and PSVita. Other platforms are being worked on for release but cannot be confirmed at this date.