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  • Fundamental Gaming -Thinking together, playing together-

    6 days ago

    MrEmerald

    I created my YouTube channel with the purpose of having a place to talk about my life and various topics that most people do not commonly discuss. My main series on my channel is called Fundamental Gaming because I began playing games as a way for me to step out of life for a little while and reflect. Even though that is not the sole reason I play games, it is definitely a major part of my personal experience. I do not care too much for views, but it was a great feeling when I was told by people that my videos either helped them think a little more about their own lives and even helped inspire some to discuss their feelings in a way they had not previously considered. That alone is a good example for why I love making these videos. I haven't uploaded for a while now because of life changes, but I do plan to continue very soon.  


    Emerald Radio


  • Why I Am Not A Coach

    1 week ago

    Caofontaine Wizard

    As seen on:

    My Website

    Medium


    *I used to post a lot here. Not sure why I stopped. Maybe it was due to lack of time or I just wasn't reaching an audience to make it worth it. I'm going to try and make a larger effort to do so. I write things that are in my brain and try and share them for no real particular reason other than to just post into the internet void. If you do end up reading, it's much appreciated.*

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    It’s something I’ve never felt I had to write about explaining myself because it is a career path I never considered. Since I am now displaying my life much more in internet writing, I felt this might be something people would want to read. At least for those who know me, it’s possible this is of interest.


    I fell in love with running at age 14, where most high school kids are actually introduced to running by participating in cross country or track & field. I was not a natural athlete by any stretch of the imagination, but I guess I liked being what I thought was a good athlete in these sports. I was average at best, but a contributor in the sense I scored the occasional point in a competition.

    It’s funny because I remember some people in high school in disbelief that I wouldn’t be competing in college. Those are the people who aren’t seeing the real picture. A 4:48 mile doesn’t get you in the door in Division I, it’s almost a charity to let you walk on in Division II with the expectation you’re most likely going to be cut, and you’re probably in the top 7 on a Division III team. I also destroyed my legs to the point I wake up in pain every single morning. Sacrificing that much to be an average athlete in high school (yes, in the grand scheme of things a 4:48 mile is pretty average in high school)? Well, that’s another explanation for another day.


    Now that I’m starting the fourth paragraph, I guess I could explain why coaching has never been in my life view. First off, I work a 9–5, so coaching is unrealistic because you can’t fully invest in your athletes, high school or college level. That’s just the simple, cop out answer though because it’s so easy to say.


    The real answer is this. I’ve talked about how I destroyed my legs in high school to the point that trying to even jog produces unbelievable pain. 2 rounds of PT in a span of 5 years treating a problem that no specialist has any idea to what’s going on was a waste of money. If I can’t keep my own running body healthy, how am I expected to keep the bodies of high school athletes healthy? Now I’ve designed my own coaching philosophy as kind of a “what if”, but I feel I couldn’t go through with it. I have knowledge that could be useful in coaching, but at the end of the day, I have no confidence that I could produce athletes with results and that I’d ultimately break them. They’d never see their true potential due to that. I understand injuries come with sport, but mitigating that is a result of good coaching and smart athletes. Could I coach well? I have no idea and I’ve kept myself out of trying for this very reason. Plus the 9–5 thing too. Scheduling is so unrealistic.


    I will admit, however, during my time volunteering at my high school track team, there is a sense of satisfaction watching athletes do well. Definitely enough to break some of my own rules in order to make coaching happen. Who knows if it’s in the cards for me? Something to really think about as time goes on.


  • Time and cause - Journal #9

    1 month ago

    JohnMirra

    Well. Howdy. Many things can happen over a few days. I say that many things can happen, but to me I'm just an observer, politics, friends, family. 


    What to start with? I guess politics, I used to be so interested in politics, I used to study it in college, I kinda loved it, USA politics has always been more interesting to me, but I dig all countries really. Well this time I honestly did not care, I just observed, I would be lying if I said I did not get a little into the numbers, but I went to bed about halfway through the whole ordeal, I woke up, and boom it was over. Mostly. Haha. Let us see how that pans out. 


    I live at home with one parent. Most university students choose to travel the country or even overseas and live in student accommodation. Well it just feels like I am stuck in a loop at Keele university. I make friends one year or semester and then they end up going home if they are international students or even UK students. It's great when we are together, they are interesting, fun, but it's all just... Temporary.


    I've made a few friends this year, two from overseas, one is going travelling and then going home, the other is moving away for summer. I feel like the song 'Hurt' by NIN or the cover by Johnny Cash. 'Everyone I know goes away. In the end'. It's damn sure a little depressing I know, you probably think what a sob. Well I agree, I have my demons, just like Cash did, the scars to prove it, etc, etc. I'd rather not get into it. I'm not one to feel entitled, but it would be nice for someone to stick around that gets me, just when I feel I am getting to know somebody, they go away. 


    I think I just crave change, it happens to a lot of people, I just feel stuck in life, I feel great when I am somewhere new, even going to Liverpool for the weekend was great. I'm off to London next weekend, I should count my graces I guess. 


    I'm not ungrateful with my life at all. I'm blessed in many ways. I'm just a little sick of seeing friends and old friends moving on with their life while I feel stuck. LOL. 


    It's 2am, I love rambling, this is actually me being quite restricted, I write these for myself mostly.


    Notes

    Wonder Woman was awesomeeeeeeeeeeee

    omg this is my favourite thing about going to the cinema minus the actual movie haha - FAVOURITE

  • The Stickman Reviews : Resident Evil 7 Biohazard.

    1 month ago

    g1TheStickman

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    Resident Evil 7 Biohzard (PS4, Xbox One, PC) Available now at Retail, PSN, Xbox Live and Steam.

    What is it? : After taking a sharp turn into the action shooter genre in 4-6, Resident Evil goes back to its Survival Horror roots in a stripped back soft-reboot of the long-running franchise.

    PS4 version reviewed.


    What's up GANG, it's me again. Here I am, with another B L O G. WOAH. WOO, and so forth. Last time, I gave my verdict on the long anticipated, game-changing latest entry in the Legend of the Zelda series. This time? We're checking out the much anticipated, game-changing return to horror for the Resident Evil franchise, one of my all time favourite game series'. Now, the previous two main instalments were met with heavy division, RE5 due to its horror light, action heavy approach to RE4s formula, and RE6 for...that...but worse. Now, I really like RE5, and enjoyed a reasonable amount of RE6 despite its many flaws, but I was very excited to see the franchise return to survival horror, and actually...potentially be scary for once? Previous RE games have mostly been atmosphere heavy but lacking in actual frights, in my personal opinion. That said, RE7 received a lot of hate from 'hardcore fans' of the franchise upon its surprise reveal at E3 2016 due to the shift into first person gameplay, and the (at the time) seeming lack of expected RE tropes...like guns, monsters and its mostly beloved cast of characters. 


    Well, the game has been out for a while now, most people liked it a lot, and the fan hate seems to have more or less been drowned out but I only recently got a chance to play it myself...so what do I, ME, THE STICKMAN think of Resident Evil 7? LET'S FIND OUT...IN THIS REVIEW...HEEERE WE GOOOOO.

    Oh yeah, and I'll be keeping things pretty much spoiler free, apart from in the well labelled SPOILERS!? category, so if you haven't played the game, feel free to read the main review, just give that part a skip. AIGHT, NOW WE START.




    The Good.


    Visually Detailed, Richly Atmospheric.

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    One thing the Resident Evil franchise has been known for since the very start is providing a high level of visual polish for its respective platforms at the time. It may not seem like it now, but at the time the original Resident Evil looked pretty damn good for a PS1 title, and RE4 pushed the limits of what the Gamecube could achieve visually back in the day. RE7 has switched up the visual style of the franchise this time around, shunning the artistically embellished environments and slightly cartoonishly designed characters for a more photo-realistic approach, and whilst that can be sometimes hit and miss for the character models, it's fair to say that the switch paid off tremendously for the game world itself, because DAMN does it look good. This will become immediately apparent from the moment you take control of main character, Ethan for the first time out in the sunset soaked Louisiana overgrowth, and will become all the more obvious once you enter the dingy, filth-ridden interiors of the Baker plantation. For the first time since the Gamecube remake of the original RE1, this is a Resident Evil game that drips with a rich and deeply unsettling atmosphere, pairing a huge amount of details, both in literal texture resolutions, and little touches that make the world feel all the more lived in...and promptly abandoned, along with exquisitely laid out lighting that makes the already nerve inducing locations all the more engrossing and tense for the player.


    In addition to visual polish, there's a lot of great touches that make the world and its characters more believable, and yes, more unsettling. From a sound design perspective, RE7 is up there with the horror gaming greats, each step you, or any other number of people or creatures take in the dark, claustrophobic corridors comes with a weight and feel in its sound. Creaking wood, squishy mould, crunch of broken glass and the echoing clank of metal as you climb ladders all keep you on edge throughout, and the way each door creaks and the way chairs shuffle against you when caught by your leg certainly won't help you relax either. That's not to mention the ambient sounds surrounding you at all times in addition to your own noises. Hearing an unknown person clunking around upstairs, or a creature of some description screeching off in the distance will frequently give you pause as you make your way through the various, perilous location, in addition to the standard horror tropey sounds of rustling leaves and creaking rocking chairs and the sort. The whole game oozes with atmosphere and tremendously detailed environments from start to finish, which really helps RE7's setting have a huge sense of eerie character, and the first person perspective, paired with the way Ethan's body subtly interacts with the various walls, doors and objects as you explore really makes you feel like you're right in that detailed, unnerving Baker Plantation. One of the most important aspects of a horror game is a setting that feels alive and unsettling, and RE7 succeeds in that goal, and then some.



    Genuinely Tense and Creepy.

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    Atmosphere and visual details are all well and good for a horror game, but you know the MOST important part for a horror game to be? Actually...horror...roror...horror'y. It needs to be scary, don't it? And whilst the concept of fear, and what specific things scare someone varies from person to person, I personally don't feel like the Resident Evil games have ever been especially scary. They have a lot of jump scares, and tense moments due to scarce ammo, and RE3 and 4 came close at times to providing genuine horror scenarios (Nemesis and the Regenerators provide some genuine THRILLS, just not consistently enough), but...yeah, they've not been all that scary, let's face it. Resident Evil 7 is not consistently a balls to the wall horror experience, but for a sizeable chunk of the game, particularly the opening 2 hours? It comes closer than any RE title prior, and maintains an eerie, unsafe atmosphere for the player throughout. It does this by taking a lot of the previously mentioned pro-horror aspects of past Resident Evil games, whilst also taking a lot of inspiration from western horror films, both recent (Found footage and the James Wan catalogue) and old (Texas Chainsaw Massacre springs to mind), grouped with the first person perspective, to offer a mix of scripted, cinematic scares and in-game stalker mechanics that become all the more tense due to the scarcity of ammo and the real-time nature in which you manage your inventory, health and weapons.


    It's a good mix, well blended together in seamless transitions between standard gameplay and more scripted sequences that at times actually offer more agency than you'd think looking over them at face value...not that you have much time to examine a scenario, given how fast-paced and brutal the horror highlights of RE7 are, the photo-realistic approach and current-gen visuals offering some deliciously gruesome gore and hugely entertaining creepy moments that aren't going to go down well with some, particularly if played in VR, I'd imagine. When the game isn't taking you along for a narratively guided spooky ride, it's also providing tense gameplay care of its stalker mechanics, present mostly in the front-end. Once you enter the main bulk of the game, you'll find yourself quickly working against an enemy that's not exactly...killable, and whilst you can temporarily subdue them with ammo, the scarcity of said ammo (This is Survival Horror, after all) will make simply running and hiding a far more profitable, if not tense pursuit. Now, this isn't Alien Isolation, you're not constantly stalked by an intelligent, unstoppable nightmare from practically start to finish, there are areas and sequences where you'll be quite safe from harm, but you certainly won't know that whilst playing, and the mere threat of a dangerous enemy of this nature potentially lurking around each dark corner and through each creaking door makes for an automatically tense and unnerving experience, and that's certainly enough to make this a more genuine horror experience than any RE game prior. Throw in a sweat-inducing boss battle at one point in the game, and a grotesque, aggressive collection of monsters that make sure you'll never be safe for too long, no matter where you are, and you've got one Resident Evil game that lays the horror on thick, and I'm all the happier for it.



    Return to old-school RE design, but with modern improvements.

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    One thing that got the (apparently) hardcore Resident Evil fanbase in a right tizzy at RE7s big E3 2016 reveal was the change in gameplay perspective, and scaling down of location from the global, blockbuster escapades of RE6, to...well...a spooky house. An evil residence, if you will. Despite hearing no end of people desperate for RE to be survival horror again, and aggressively shitting on the legacy RE4 had over the franchise, this pure horror soft-reboot got people REALLY MAD. THIS ISN'T RESIDENT EVIL, THIS IS JUST A P.T. CLONE, BOOOOOO. And sure, the early reveals and divisive 'Beginning Hour' teaser led many to assume this was indeed the case for the game, and led most to believe the majority of what people expected from Resident Evil was being thrown out the window...that really didn't turn out to be the case at all. In fact, RE7 is more akin in design to the original trilogy of franchise titles than anything else, with a whole lot of modern gaming sensibilities blended in to make this an authentic feeling Resident Evil title, that also fixes and streamlines a lot of aspects that simply wouldn't work in a modern game. Less Yooka 'We just did the same shit again except worse' Laylee, in its old-school roots return, basically. Thank fuck for that.


    The RE6 days of running around the globe, shooting giant ostrich soldiers and having high octane motorbike sequences in China are gone, my friends. We're back in a spooky mansion (of sorts) looking for weird keys and solving really elaborate and implausible puzzles to open doors, and having things go bump and BOO in the dark, and that's pretty damn great, I feel. It's been so long since the last Resident Evil game of this style, that it all feels oddly fresh. Manual saves, safe rooms, inventory limits, storage boxes and scrambling around the environment in a desperate search for Shotgun Ammo are all back, yet none of it feels tired or old-fashioned, because the game itself is designed in a way that takes the core feel and concepts of classic Res, and brings them right up to date. There's no door opening loading screens between rooms, but the game replicates that feeling of tension when entering by having you physically push the door open. The game has manual saves which will set you back a chunk of progress if you die whilst exploring, but the game also auto-saves before big sequences, meaning you don't get caught off guard by a sudden giant monster or chainsaw. Your inventory is limited and loosely based on item size, but it's now real time, and has a nice, chunky feel to its use, with weapons mappable to the d-pad, instead of you needing to clumsily open your inventory to fetch your handy pistol. It takes what was good, and what was charming about the classic Resident Evil games, and applies them to a undeniably modern product. When you throw in the richly detailed and memorable setting, full of locked doors, puzzles and tantalising secrets, you really do feel like you've returned to the basics of what made Resident Evil popular in the first place, but all the while feeling like this is an entirely new experience for the franchise. It's an almost perfect blend of old and new, and despite the initial naysaying, it feels authentically Resident Evil from start to finish. Even if it lacks boulder punching or wacky QTEs. SHUCKS. NEVER MIND EH.




    Well paced out.

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    As much as I loved Alien Isolation, the last AAA survival horror game I played, it's fair to say when it came to pacing it wasn't exactly perfect. The game started with a lengthy introduction sequence, which is fine, before shifting into a very lengthy Alien stalker sequence, then a far too long 2nd act of shooting androids, then a finale that was basically a more scripted and slightly annoying variation of the first stalker sequence. At 19 hours of gameplay, it's good to have variety, but in an ideal world you'd mix those varying sequences together to create a nice pause between each type, rather than making what feels like several different games stapled together. Resident Evil 7 is a lot shorter than Alien Isolation, and therefore is already going to fare better in the pacing department because, simply put, there's less content to pace out, but regardless of length, it manages to really nicely blend together a host of different sequences, with stalker mechanics, classic RE exploration, boss fights, narrative segments and more weaved together in a way that means, with possible the exception of a late game portion, no one segment overstays its welcome. What this means is you get a decent amount of respite from the tenser mechanics of the game, namely being chased around by unstoppable enemies, RE7 choosing instead to shake things up quite regularly, whilst still providing the general threat of an unseen, deadly enemy lurking in the next room, meaning whilst you won't spend so much time running from the Baker family that you become numb to the threat, you'll still feel like they could turn back up again at any moment, even if they aren't actually going to.


    Resident Evil 7 also does a good job of rewarding your completion of horror/combat-heavy sequences with some time to breathe and often retrace your steps in order to acquire items you may have missed earlier before you step out into the next area, and whatever unknown terrors await you there. It may be a scarier experience than prior Resi titles, but it's not unrelentingly stressful to the point where you don't want to play it. Similar to RE4, each change in setting provides a new type of challenge for the player, even the main Baker threats vary considerably, both in their method of attack, and also the settings you encounter them within. Whilst you may find yourself running for your life from one, the next may instead offer a more puzzle based ordeal, or at least a different kind of reason to run away and hide. There's also segments which take a break from the Baker...situation entirely, the Moulded enemies tending to fill in for them, providing a similarly vicious opponent, but this time far more manageable and, best of all, killable. All in all, RE7 is a far better paced horror game than we've come to expect, not taking too long to kick things off, and not spending too much time wallowing in any one type of hell before introducing you to an entirely new one. The quality may vary from segment to segment, but the regular changes are more than welcome.



    Isn't afraid to be campy.

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    Resident Evil as a franchise is a lot of things, but one thing it ain't is high-art. It's the cheap and grotty, but delicious burger to (early) Silent Hill's fine dining, and we wouldn't have it any way. Right from the start, and the first game's truly atrocious writing/acting, RE has been, first and foremost, a fun and campy horror romp. Recent games have forgotten that, unfortunately. RE4 was deliciously cheesy, but RE5 took things in a grittier and po-faced direction, the campier moments coming across as unintentionally stupid (I guess much like RE1s acting) rather than genuinely fun hearted, and RE6 being weirdly serious for a game based around weird ostrich zombies with machine guns. There's nothing wrong with serious or sad moments, but a game in the Resident Evil canon shouldn't be afraid to be stupid and fun, and fortunately RE7, despite the realistic approach and dark moments, absolutely embraces the campier aspects of the franchise. Most of that campy fun comes from the Baker family themselves, most of them are pretty threatening as enemies, but provide a lot of goofy lines and silly moments, none of which I really want to spoil for you. Ethan's weirdly nonplus reactions to the unfolding events, intentionally or not, offered me a lot of chuckles, and one later game puzzle sequence based around a candle is deliciously silly, even if the end results are rather grisly. That's RE7 in a nutshell, really. Unafraid to embrace the cheese of the franchise, but also eager to gross you out with its intensely over the top violence, or scare the shit out of you with the very same characters you were previously laughing at. It's no RE4 in the corn factor, but much like a lot of the game, it's a nice return to form for the franchise to dip back into the campy B-movie horror antics that made the earlier entries in the series so oddly charming.





    The Bad.


    Blows its load in the first 90 Minutes.

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    Whilst Resident Evil 7 is a fun game throughout, it's fair to say it hits its peak in the first 90 minutes to two hours, and never quite manages to return to those dizzying highs afterwards. That's not to say what follows isn't good, but it certainly can't hold a candle to how the game so expertly throws you into its world. As with most games of this nature (Namely, on the shorter side), I played RE7 in a series of hour or so sessions, generally completing a key area of the game before saving the next for the following day. Because of that, I played the opening 45 minutes first, which are easily the best horror segments of the entire game, providing an unrelenting, gloriously intense opening sequence that's up there with some of the best game openings of all time, a sequence that had me grinning to myself in bed before sleeping afterwards. The next hour or so of the game introduces the first, and I would say most intense and fun stalker sequence of the game, and also provides some exceptionally classic RE gameplay, before wrapping up with a bombastic and massively entertaining boss fight. End session 2, cue me still riding that glorious high of excellent horror and well crafted gameplay sequences. From that point on, things progressively go downhill, not massively, not rapidly, but downhill all the same. 


    Segment #2 provides another cool setting, but the main threat isn't quite as good this time, and it also dishes out some annoying, mercifully underused enemies, before culminating in a truly sweat-inducing boss battle that again, leaves things on a high note, but maybe not as high a note as before, but you could argue that maybe it's the first 2-3 hours of the game rather than the first 90 minutes that are its peak, for sure. The sequences that follow are all still good, and have a nice mix, but feel a bit more half baked and lacking in ultimate pay-off. They also never reach the same deliciously tense and eerie levels as the opening act, the true horror of RE7 lurking in its beginnings, not in its middle or end, unfortunately. In its final act, the game reaches its lowest points, an odd detour provides the least enjoyable (But still fun) sequence of all, and the ending itself lacks much in the way of punch. It's also strange how the opening hour of the game offers a reasonable level of invisible agency, there are several sequences that will play out differently depending on how you navigate them, they feel like scripted events, but in actuality are optional sequences, which is really cool...but then the game just forgets to do that for the rest of its running time, making me feel like the game was sold and developed around the solid opening foundations, and then awkwardly put together with a lessening degree of developer confidence for the rest. The game for me never ended up being bad, and even the worst part of the game wasn't on the same level of poor as the low-points of other RE games, but it's still a shame that all the creativity and genuine thrills that the opening of RE7 provides couldn't be maintained through the rest of the experience.



    Main Protagonists lack Personality/Conviction.

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    One of the most controversial aspects of RE7 for franchise fans upon its E3 reveal was the announcement that this entry in the franchise would be far more isolated from previous instalments, and you wouldn't be playing as, or meeting any of the much loved (For the most part) Resident Evil character roster. No Chris, or Leon...no Jill or Claire. In their place? Ethan. A man going through hell to save the wife he thought already lost, Mia. Sounds compelling enough, but in the end, Ethan is barely a character at all, and the supporting cast of good guys, Mia and Zoe, fail to leave any lasting impact to the point where you really don't care about their fates at all, which isn't very good, especially for a series that has got such a collection of beloved, memorable characters in previous titles. Ethan is a man of few words, and what little he says fails to convey any sense of character or accuracy for the situation this apparently normal, combat training lacking dude finds himself in. Again, the opening sequence provides some promise, as we're introduced to his motivation, and see him going through a truly harrowing experience with a suitable level of anguish and SCREAAAMINNNG. But from that point it's almost like he's on some sort of mood stabilising medication, reacting to the grotesque and horrific with dry one-liners and the occasional, flatly delivered expletive. We never end up learning much about him, he doesn't really go through any sort of meaningful arc (With one exception that will be covered in the later SPOILERS!? sequence), hell, we don't really even end up seeing what he looks like properly. He's just an avatar for the player to explore the Baker plantation in, which is often the case for first person games, but you expect a lot more from Resident Evil. 


    Mia, the wife Ethan's searching for is the only one to receive a meaty level of development or backstory, but even so said backstory feels contrapuntal to the behaviour/actions of the character we are seeing in the main narrative, to the point where she becomes one of the most uneven aspects of the whole experience. And as for Zoe...Zoe sure is...there. Although again, showing some initial promise in the first act, that's all quickly cast aside to present someone who's just there to push the game forwards and not much else at all. The Baker family are the main stars of the show, predictably, being the most interesting from a design, personality and backstory perspective, but even some of them feel poorly fleshed out, with a lot of the crucial details left to be found in text logs lazily peppered across the maps, rather than as part of the game's narrative itself (I get that this is a staple of the franchise, but some of it should have been made part of the story). Whilst I have no issue with taking the franchise in a new direction and introduction new, less capable characters to make things more tense and personal, the lack of effort on the developers behalf to make these newcomers worth caring about is truly very poor, and you end up caring little for their ultimate fates.




    Main Monsters are dull, annoying to fight.

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    Whilst the Baker family are visually unique, charming and provide different types of experiences for their various segments, the most common, basic enemy of the RE7 is the 'Moulded'. Turning up in the first act of the game, they are an initially eerie and unsettling change of pace from the unrelenting attacks of the first Baker family member, with the initial moments of the basement set introduction to them providing another great moment for the game, dripping with menace and atmosphere. But by the end of that sequence, and for the rest of the game, they become nothing more than tiresome and dull. Feeling suspiciously similar in design, attack and frequency as Resident Evil Revelations' Ooze enemies, the Moulded come in a few different variations, but all end up looking exactly the same, and any threat or horror they may have induced initially quickly fades into annoyance, because these guys? They're a pain in the ass to fight, and will eat up the majority of your health and ammo supplies as a result. For the most part, they're manageable fodder. Give them a few shots to the head and they'll not be bothering you any more. Unfortunately, when they come in numbers, things become less manageable and more annoying. 


    The Moulded have a habit of swaying their entire bodies about, making accurate shots nearly impossible to guarantee, and whilst they seem like they'd be slow and easy to deal with regardless, they're surprisingly quick, and have attacks that not only have a far longer range than seemingly makes any form of sense, they also deal a lot of damage with each hit (There is a defence mechanic, but it's clunky at best). Again, that's all well and good when you're just dealing with the one, but the game often throws 3-4 of them at you, and in the early segments, you'll be encountering them in narrow corridors and cluttered rooms, making keeping a distance from multiple of these lunging enemies a right pain in the ass. More often than not, you can just run past them or close the door on them (They're unable to open unlocked doors that can be just pushed open because reasons) without taking too much damage, but at several points you'll need to actually explore a room or solve a puzzle, and that's when they become a real problem, but not in a fun way. Not only is all of this a pain, but the amount of hits it takes to eliminate these enemies varies way too much. Some can be taken out with a few shots to the head, others will take twice that many bullets, and both pretend to be downed, and also take a while to be confirmed dead, meaning you waste ammo and health on the misleading enemy animations. When you don't know what actual horrors lurk around the corner, and ammo is scarce, you really don't want to be wasting precious bullets on these nuisances, but the game often forces your hand in that respect. Basically these enemies are visually lacklustre, and not fun to fight against. Some actual enemy variety would've been great, this is Resident Evil, after all. When RE6 one-ups you in a key department like this? You've got yourself a problem.



    Insane Loading Times.

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    A brief, technical criticism for sure, but it's as problem all the same. Whilst for the most part, RE7's world takes place in one seamless area, not requiring any loading screens to explore, when the game does need to load? You better strap in, because it's going to be a long wait, at least on the basic PS4 (Presumably it loads better on PS4 Pro). When starting up a save file again from the main menu, you can expect a loading time in the minutes, rather than seconds. I'm pretty sure it almost always takes at least 2 minutes for the game to load itself up at any time or place in the various levels. That's an insanely long loading time, one that's longer than Breath of the Wild loading the entire, vast open world on Wii U. This is a PS4 game with 23GB installation required just to play, it shouldn't take this long to boot up. Even if you play the entire game without closing it once, taking advantage of the PS4s handy-dandy suspend mode for games, which lets most if not all PS4 titles remain paused in the background even when the system is turned off, you'll still have to sit through similarly lengthy loading times for the various VHS tape sequences, to the point where the VHS timer animation on the loading screen will actually loop back because it's taking so long. And even with both of these insane loading times, it still takes a further 20-30 seconds for some of the textures in the game to load after the game finally starts up, which is ridiculous. This may well be a specific to standard PS4 problem, but it's a problem all the same, and whilst I'm aware the game has has a lot to load up, 2 minutes is still a mind-boggling amount of time to wait just to start playing.



    Wastes VHS potential.

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    When RE7 was announced, one of the things that sounded most interesting to me was the introduction of VHS tapes, that aimed to provide separate, found-footage styled experiences featuring a cast of side-characters beyond Ethan himself. The thought of what crazy, horror-filled fun could await me in these various discoverable in-game tapes was far more prominent than my confusion as to why VHS tapes were being so predominantly used in a game set in 2017, and how these recordings were made with modern cameras and then converted to VHS tapes by people who surely had no time to do that and/or were dead (Something RE6 did as well on a smaller scale, oddly). The 'Beginning Hour' demo, despite not being wholly representative of the core RE7 experience, also teased the opportunity for VHS tape sequences to be able to effect the environment for Ethan in the present, offering a wealth of optional secret content, both in discoverable tapes, and time-bending unlocks. And then I played the main game and found out there's only 4 tapes, one of which is the same as Beginning Hour's tape, without the fun time-bending puzzles, and all the tapes are basically mandatory, or right in your face to the point where you can't possibly miss them. WELP.


    That's a pretty disappointing turn out, given the massive potential for inconsequential and fun spooky side-sequences the premise provided, not to mention the ability to present backstory to the player in ways beyond merely typing out some lore to read. But nope, you get 4 tapes, 3 new ones, only one of them providing any kinda of stand-alone horror experience, and only one providing any clever mechanics for the main game. All in all, it's a huge wasted opportunity. And that wasted opportunity becomes all the more suspicious when you realise RE7 came with a season pass baked in from the start. What does the season pass contain? A series of found footage styled, individual sequences that provide unique horror experiences and important backstory for key characters. Oh. So basically, they took all the non-important VHS tapes out of the main game, where they were probably secret collectables, and instead paywall'd them into individual DLC products of varying length and quality to the point where the season pass itself isn't of consistent value because they were clearly not meant to be stand-alone products. Oh. Great. Thanks for ruining a really cool idea for your cool game, Capcom. I guess even when we're doing something the fans want, for once, you'll still find a way to balls it up in some department.



    Doesn't go 'RESSIDDENNT EEEEVVILL' on the menu.

    I meeaan....come ooooonn! Even BLOODY OPERATION RACCOON CITY DID THE 'RESDIDDENETT EEEEVILL' PART, GUYS! I get you wanted to have a soft-reboot for the franchise, but SOME THINGS YOU JUST DON'T MESS WITH, MMM? Even if you didn't have it on the menu, you could've stuck it at the end for a fun ending surprise, but nope! It's just not in the game at all. No RESSSIIDEENNT. No EeEeeEVIL. Clearly, because of this, it's the worst Resident Evil game ever made, sorry guys, it's true. I would never lie to you. It's all over.




    SPOILERS?!


    The Choice, the Ending.

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    We're in spoiler town now, as the SPOILERS?! heading suggests, so if you don't want key parts of RE7 spoiled, please do not read this part. Okay? OKAY. GOOD. So...at the end of the game's 2nd Act, entering into the 3rd and final sequence, the game, oddly, presents you with a choice. After doing battle with Jack Baker for the final time, you end up with only one vial of cure for the moulded infection left, and the game rather abruptly makes you choose between Mia or Zoe. Mia being the wife you'd thought lost, Zoe the girl who helped you get to this point, and make the cure in the first place. Neither of them have had much fleshing out at this stage in the game, Zoe in fact never ends up being fleshed out at all, whilst Mia has spent more time attacking you then anything else up to this point. That said, the obvious choice is Mia, she's the reason you're here in the first place, so you go ahead and cure her. And then...weirdly leave Zoe alone as you sail away, Zoe never being seen again from that point, dead or alive, her story is over, THE END. From that point on, you get attacked by the mould, Ethan gets kidnapped and you play as Mia for a sizeable portion of the 3rd act, fleshing her backstory out and revealing the true mastermind behind the events of the game. But what happens if you give the cure to Zoe instead? You take Zoe with you instead, leave Mia behind ..and then Zoe immediately dies in the same attack, Ethan gets kidnapped again...and then...Mia, for literally no reason is in the same location and the exact same sequence plays out again. Oh. 


    The key difference is in the ending to the Mia sequence, and the game itself. If you cure Mia she just ends up getting infected at the end of the sequence anyway, but she manages to get you to safety before it takes over...and then, at the very end of the game, she's alive and well...and...seemingly cured, and Ethan talks about how great it is that she's back. Woowee. If you don't cure her? She doesn't get you out in time, she turns, and Ethan has to kill her. Cue sad ending where he escapes alone and contemplates his lack of future options. Woo. The issue with all of this is...how odd a choice it is being given to you. The main objective of the entire game is to rescue your wife, and Zoe has had barely any time to make an impression, how many people are going to pick her? And then the ramifications of that action are quickly brushed aside to the point where it doesn't even make sense. If you cure Mia, she gets infected again anyway, if you cure Zoe, she dies immediately and then the game plays out as if you picked Mia in the first place, except this time you hit her with a crowbar a bunch and then have a blub about it at the end. That's it. I'm all for choice and consequence in games when it makes sense, and works. But this choice feels...not even half-baked, it feels like it's not even been put in the oven yet, comes out of nowhere, gets promptly ignored and only has a bearing on about 1 minute of the game. It's stupid.




    Worth Buying?

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    Whether or not RE7 is going to be worth the full price of admission is going to depend on how you establish the worth of a game, on the overall quality of the experience, or the amount of content provided in the package. In terms of the overall quality of the game, as I feel I've laid out in this review, it's a consistently enjoyable, atmospheric and well paced horror title, with a case of gradually diminishing returns after the first 2 hours, with maybe an ending that will leave you wanting. It's not a perfect game, but it offers a lot of great moments, and even in its weaker moments is still a solid and quality product, and a great return to form for the RE franchise. That said, in terms of content provided? It's maybe a little lacking compared to past RE titles. With RE4-6 offering campaign running times in the 12-20 hour marks, compared to RE7s 6-9 hours, with additional content on the side, such as unlockable costumes, additional side-stories (In the case of RE6 and later versions of RE4) and meatiest of all, The Mercenaries (Which is understandably absent in RE7, but still missed), a robust arcadey shooter with multiple characters, settings, enemies and in the case of 5/6, online multiplayer. RE5 and RE6 also offered online co-op for the campaign, and the option to select specific levels to replay in the pursuit of collectables and high scores. RE7 has none of these features, although it does offer some unlockable items depending on the difficulty you beat the game on, and the amount of time it took you to beat it, but these aren't particularly fun unlocks so much as they are useful items for future playthroughs. Other than that, RE7 offers no high score system, no option to replay specific levels and no on disc side-content (Although the game hints at future, free DLC, the situation regarding that is all very much up in the air right now). What it lacks in bonus content or replay value, though, it makes up for in a high quality, well paced campaign, and should you ever have the money to pick up a PSVR headset, the entire game can be played in VR, for added spookyness. The value of RE7 as a purchase is going to depend on if you favour a reasonably lengthy, tightly designed campaign over a wealth of content that may vary in quality considerably, I'm looking at you, RE6. Regardless, at this point in time, it's probably quite easy to get a good deal on RE7, so maybe that won't even matter.




    Conclusion.

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    It makes me really happy to see the Resident Evil franchise return to its survival horror roots, and do so in such a polished, well designed product. I may be in the minority when it comes to really enjoying RE5, and finding enjoyment in the notoriously uneven RE6, but this is easily the best Resident Evil game since 4, and I would personally say it was a better, more Resident Evil'y....Resident Evil game than 4, which changed the game up considerably, and provided a lot of fun in the process, but certainly didn't bring a lot of palpable atmosphere or fear to the table (In my opinion). RE7 isn't perfect, it never manages to rekindle the dizzying heights of the opening acts once they've passed, and the most frequent enemies are also the least enjoyable to encounter. But when it all comes together, it really does sizzle with an energy and quality that's been absent from the franchise for a long time now, and brings the best aspects of the original trilogy of games into the present day whilst adapting it all to feel fresh and modern. I have my issues, but on a whole, I feel this is a great game, and a right change of course for the franchise. I hope they continue down this avenue for the inevitable follow-up, and Resident Evil 8 polishes up the few naggling problems I have to create a truly magnificent product. But for now, Resident Evil 7 is...a....WELCOME addition TO THE FAMILY....aah...SON! AHAH...AHUHUH...AHOOHHH....get it? Cuz...that's a line...in the game. Mmhm...ukay...never mind.





    There we go, another review...reviewed. Or whatever. What did you think of the reviiiew? Have you played the game? What are your thoughts on it? Where does it rank in the series for you? Do you think I'm a fucking idiot for liking RE5? LET ME KNOOOOOW in the comments below, and be sure to ZING this fucker, and share it about if you feel it's worth sharing. Have a good summer, guys and gals, see you soon! LATER GATORS.

  • Transitions Are Hard

    1 month ago

    MackenzieRuth17

    Graduation: April 29th, 2017 with a BS in Human Services, Counseling


    New job: starting sometime in the following weeks


    Two weeks notice: halfway through the first week


    Grad school plan: TBD


    Moving out (not to a college campus): TBD 


    These are all answers to questions I'm asked on an almost daily basis. Monotonous, dull, predictable answers from a recent college graduate that people pretend to be surprised about when given as a response. When asked these questions, I feel as though those questioning are trying to see if I have a plan because they don't. Or maybe, those questioning find comfort in my no knowing what the hell is going on, because if a 20-something can't figure it out right a way then maybe they aren't as bad off as they thought. 


    Although my "season" of transition is more apparent than others, I am learning that we are all in transition. Some have a five-year-plan, some a five-second-plan, and either way we are just trying to make our way through. Transitions, no matter how small, are hard and don't let anyone minimize that for you. You can feel growing pains. You'll never really grow into this life otherwise.

  • The Daily Pack: Introduction

    1 month ago

    Scaramooch

    Hello everybody!


    Check out this new Hearthstone series called "The Daily Pack"! Follow Scaramooch on his journey to collect every Hearthstone card in the game!


    Click here for The Daily Pack: Introduction


    Thank you,


    Scaramooch

  • Road to a YouTuber House - Chapter 1: People, Places and Things

    2 months ago

    DerekE23 DrummerBoy

    I suppose I should clarify my current situation. It's a bit of a challenge in its own and I haven't really even started yet.


    I live in a smallish, kind-of hick town in Florida called Ocala. In no way, shape or form is this town the center of digital media or is it a Silicon Valley 2.0. Not even a 0.5. This place is considered to be the horse racing capital of the world. Farmland and forest for days. 


    We have a mall, so I guess there's that.


    The point I'm trying to get across is that trying to start any form of business or hobby that delves into the great beyond of technology or Internet HERE is practically masochistic. There's no support for that kind of thing. So starting off, that's a huge challenge. Plus, how does one explain to a Floridian landlord we'll be using the place to record podcasts, skits, videos and the such? I can imagine the blank look on their face now.


    The people I have trying to work with me on this don't really help the problem either.


    My friend Michael (if you'd like to get to know him, be sure to watch my GTA videos on my YouTube channel and you'll get a quick idea on what hes about) and I started this idea in the first place. 


    Actually we really wanted to go into game design, went to school for it together and decided it wasn't really for us. Then we started making gameplay videos and enjoyed it so much we wanted to make it a full-time thing. We thought, wouldn't it be cool if we could record all of our gameplay, cameras, and mics under one roof and literally work from home and make entertaining stuff for people instead of having to lug around all of our electronic junk just to make a video or two in a couple hours? We decided to make this our main goal from then on. Kind of over our heads here, but if you have a dream you can't just say no to it. You have to let it happen. 


    We then asked around our personal posse of friends and asked if anyone was interested in starting this up. So we enlisted the help of our friend Kevin, and my girlfriend Anna. I already live with Anna so it was pretty much a sure thing from the get-go. But fact of the matter is she can't deal with Michael. He's a bit of a handful, understandably. Over time, tensions rose between the two and she didn't want in anymore. So then there was three.


    We all three work at the same place, oddly enough. It's okay pay, enough to get where we need I think but with only three people it makes it difficult. How are we supposed to pay for everything house-wise without the financial support of more than three people?..


    Equipment isn't an easy acquisition either. I have a set of equipment for my personal channel (capture card, mic, camera, computer, etc.), but to hit the standards of quality that we're setting for ourselves we really need a set for every person involved.


    It's basically mostly financial issues, personal drama between people and the location of the house. These are the pre-house issues we must overcome if this is to work.


    We have a lot of work to do.

  • Road to a YouTuber House - Chapter 0

    2 months ago

    DerekE23 DrummerBoy

    Hi everyone. 


    Seeing as I don't really have a "blog" and no real other outlet to rant and rave about my ongoings, I think I'll post about this amongst my RT friends. I feel as though you, of all people on this earth, will understand and have a common interest with the topic of the journals that I will be writing here. So here we go!..


    With no exciting introduction, I bring to you my tales of struggles and achievements. My strange, unrealistic path of starting a YouTuber house. 


    (What is a YouTuber house? Well damn good question, friend. Basically it's a commonplace where people live, or not, and come together physically to record, produce and publish Internet video content. You may have seen plenty of examples of this, but most notably, because of their inclusion to the Let's Play family: The Creatures is a great group that do this very thing.)


    Of course, this sounds very complicated, time consuming, and unrealistic. Do I have a large fanbase to boost my chances? No, not at all. Do I have an exorbitant amount of money? Not in the slightest. What I do have is a few great friends whom I love, some equipment, a full time job and a f*cking dream. And I feel that, at this very moment, that's all I'll need to get hyped enough to try. 


    Along the way I'll write here and post updates on what goes on, if any progress is made and how the situation is faring. I hope you enjoy my series of journal entries here. Thank you!


    -DerekE23 (Derek Edgerton)

  • Budgeting and Sickness

    3 months ago

    kirstenxo Miles Luna Fangirl

    This is more of an update than anything. Things I rarely do because I feel I don't have as much of an impact as I'd like to think I have to many people around these parts but hey, I like to write and this is one way to do it.


    On a very warm, spring day in England (precisely the 11th April) I came down with a terrible case of the sniffles. Now, I'm not one to be stopped or put down by the sniffles because I encounter them so often through hay fever that a sneeze or a dribbly nose is nothing. But these sniffles were unlike any sniffles I'd encountered ever before... I went to work the next day with what I thought was a bad cough (at worst a minor case of tonsillitis)... Oh, how I was wrong...


    Throughout the shift I was overcome with coughing fits, sneezing, dizziness and eventually gagging from the smallest things...someone put a milk jug in a glass of water and it mixed together to look like semen and I just couldn't cope. I went home that day and thought to myself, "This is no common cold...this is...THE FLU."


    So, for the past 5 days I've been in and out of consciousness, coughing up phlegm into a bucket because I'm so scared of being sick my body actively rejects the action of it, watching a lot of Pokémon and Pokémon theory videos on some damn cool channels (which if you're interested I'll link below) and procrastinating (but not really because I physically couldn't sit up for a long period of time) my assignment. 


    BUT, I feel better now. Which means I go back to work and college and have to finish the assignment which is actually due Thursday and I've done at best 40% of it hahahahaha I'm crying. What I really wanted to talk about was the most adult of adult-ing things:


    BUDGETING

    Now, Kirsten, why on earth would you want to talk about that? What a ridiculous topic! "No one cares!" they scream from the mountains of youth. "It must be nice being rich," they make remark at Gavin. Oh, sorry. Too soon?


    Because folks, I'm experiencing for the first time in my life an actual time where I have to budget. "Woe is me," the blessed and reasonably lucky woman-child cries as she looks at her bank account with over $100 in, "how on earth will I manage with such low monies?"


    Well, you'd be right with one thing; I am a woman-child.


    But also, yes, I'm pretty lucky. At almost 21-years-old, I still live with my parents. Parents who in fact don't expect me to pay rent or anything towards utility bills, the luckiest of all millennial children, y'see. I love my parents for this but this rule only applies because my brother never paid rent even though my mum wanted him too but my dad was too lenient on the rule so therefore I reap the benefits: second-child perks at their finest.


    However, this does mean I get other benefits. I have more disposable income than others do because all of the money I earn from my job is for me. This isn't always a great thing though as the bills I pay are: phone bill, phone insurance and credit card bills (for those expenses I've made at short notice such as buying a brand new computer at last minute because the last ones motherboard decided to fry, yes, I'm still bitter).


    Even with these factors, I've managed to have all this money due to just saving as a teenager from my parents giving me an "allowance", asking for money at birthdays and Christmas rather than gifts and storing it in my bank account and I really mean since I was about 13-years-old. Really, if you are a teenager and wondering how you can make that £5 or $5-a-week last, just save it! Store it away! If you have that option, I know some people don't but consider ways you can, if you need to get a bus, consider walking? I used to walk EVERYWHERE in my city and when the centre is 45 minutes to an hour away on foot depending on route, you actually end up saving that £1/£3 quite easily.


    Anyway, not the point. I've decided to use all of my savings (which was close to £6k if you want reference for how much I've saved) to go on a trip to Austin for RTX! It literally has put a major dent in my accounts and also this year (spoilers) I've decided to make an addition to my blog that hopefully some of you will be interested in but it requires buying new software. With all these things in mind, someone, it was me, may have forgot about her bills this and next month and this is how I've come to the very adulty thing of BUDGET BUDGET BUDGET


    Don't be me and get slightly comfortable with enough money to survive and actually go on the biggest adventure of your life and then forget that you actually have to pay for your life at home. This isn't to say I'm struggling with money, I really am not. I have enough to pay for my bills comfortably and for any more holiday expenses (which is increasing by the day) easily but it does mean that paying for anything else like games, books or music has to be put to the wayside.


    Adulting is hard even if you're mildly privileged by your own work ethic. Anyway, I hope this didn't sound like an "oh I have so much money" whinge because it wasn't meant to. I'm just lamenting the fact I'm officially an adult with money problems; something I'm lucky to have no experienced until the age of 21.


    So this was a long and a huge update. Check out my blog because I'm about to start (hopefully) posting on it way more now that I'm not sick and not doing as many assignments. I'm in a musical in May which is pretty cool and exciting; it's literally my acting debut lol. And I have an announcement for my blog hopefully soon, maybe? I don't know. I'm more active on here again for a while too so yo.


    Here's those cool Pokémon YouTubers if you're interested:

    Bird Keeper Toby

    Truegreen7


    <3

  • The Stickman Reviews : The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild.

    3 months ago

    g1TheStickman

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    The Legend of Zelda : Breath of the Wild (Wii U, Nintendo Switch) Available now at Retail and on eShop.

    What is it? : After years of waiting, the latest entry in the beloved Zelda franchise arrives, bringing with it a lot of major formula changes that turn the linear objective based RPG into an Open World Adventure game.

    Wii U version reviewed.

    Why hello there, ladies and gentleladies, welcome to another BLOG. It is me once again, The Stickman...obviously...it's my user page, after all.

    Like I said on my last two blogs, I've been planning to review the newest title in the Zelda series since before I'd even got the game in my hands, and after just over a month and 80+ hours worth of immersing myself in this new, expansive iteration of Hyrule, I think it's fair to say I'm now well equipped to deliver my verdict on Breath of the Wild. And that's what I shall be doing in but a moment.

    Zelda games always tend to receive high praise, generally deservingly so, and Breath of the Wild has been no exception...if anything, it's been getting exceptionally higher praise than any Zelda title for quite some time (Read : Ocarina of Time), but it does have its detractors, not necessarily people who hate the game, but people who don't think it's all that hot shit. Those people are generally swiftly executed by fanboys, but it does raise an interesting idea...is Breath of the Wild really one of the best games of all time? Or will it end up like Skyward Sword, a game praised to high heavens at the time of release, but has since become a much loathed dark sheep of the series (And I'm not entirely sure why, it was brilliant, despite some flaws and technical hitches). Does Breath of the Wild have the same fate awaiting it, or is this retooled and reloaded entry in the franchise truly awesome, and maintain that honour 80 hours of gameplay later? LET'S FIND OUT. WOO.




    The Good.



    Huge, detailed, visually stunning world.

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    If there's one thing that will become immediately clear within the first 10 minutes of your BotW experience, it's that the game looks truly gorgeous. Pushing the Wii U seemingly to its absolute limits, it delivers not so much an ultra-realistic world as it does a rich, colourful and detailed work of visual art. The grass blows gently in the wind and shines softly in the sun, the water shimmers, animals frolic through the sun-soaked woods and wafts of smoke and dust trail along the ground all around you. You're soaking in all this atmosphere as you approach the ruins of an ancient temple and enter. That's the start of the game. The first trail in the first corner of the first zone of what's a massive, varied and sprawling open world that delivers a Hyrule like you've never seen or experienced before. Around every corner, down every hill and up every cliff lies something new to explore and soak in, there's no walking up to a invisible door and entering the next part of the world, it's all there in front of you from the very start, Hyrule is yours to explore at your own pace, whenever you want, and it all looks stunning. The visual quality of Breath of the Wild never falters, even when you enter the various shrines and dungeons across the map, or sit through a cutscene, and the various key locations within the environment have a genuine sense of scale and immense satisfaction from discovering, be it an important location like Hyrule Castle, or just a small town by the coast. These places feel alive and brimming with detail, when it rains, the people in the area will run to the nearest Stable to take shelter, when it gets dark, travellers will make camp and start fires, when you run through the vast, beautiful green fields of Hyrule, birds fly away, deer get startled and gallop around, sometimes even turning on you when feeling threatened. There's just so much beauty and detail in Breath of the Wild's world, it's hard to list it all. It provides a living, breathing and extensive world that features the exact sort of things you'd expect Hyrule to feature, but does so in a way that makes seeing them in the distance, climbing mountains and running through forests to get to them, and then exploring these new towns or ruins feel like more of an adventure than anything Nintendo have accomplished in the past. It's one of the best gaming locations committed to disc, and it's almost worth the price of admission by itself.




    Full of things to see/do, and packed with fun characters.

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    Now, it's all well and good having a beautiful and detailed world, but it's not much good if there's nothing to do within it, right? That's true, and quite often the case with some...generally a lot of open world titles. All the time is spent making the world look pretty, and making it big, and then they run out of time to actually have anything to do within it except shoot some people, blow some shit up, or drive off a cliff, with maybe a few time trials along the way. Breath of the Wild has the 'piss about' factor in spades, that's for sure. You can explore the world, find enemy outposts and fuck them up with a multitude of varied weapons or whatever metal boxes or explosive barrels are lying around nearby. You can go hunt deer, blow up a goat and propel yourself across the map on a stasis charged box that sends you hurtling off a cliff to your death. You can do those sorta things, and those are super fun. There's even a few short and sweet time trials dotted around in hidden areas, but beyond those standard sandbox trappings, there's a whole lot more to see and do...a WHOLE lot more. When heading towards your first main objective in the game post-tutorial sequence, you'll quickly learn the true, nefarious time-trap of this game...and that's...THINGS. Things to see, things to do, things to explore and oh so many things wanting to one-hit kill you. Sure, you can set a marker and think you're going to just make it straight from A to B, but that's before you realise there's a whole fucking alphabet of other shit you're going to get distracted by before you get there. 

    Enemy outposts, shrines, stables, towers, ruins, random interesting looking buildings and constructs...a shiny thing or two...rocks that you're just gonna HAVE to pick up and see if there's a little Korok friend underneath....hell, even bug catching or mushroom collecting. There's an infinite amount of distracting shit to do, and most of it is very fun indeed. If you were to ignore everything and go straight to the main objectives, I feel like you'd miss 90% of the game, and be all the worse for it. You're going to want to climb every mountain, jump down every hole, explore every suspicious looking alcove and breakable wall, and most of the time, you're going to be glad you did. Even on the main objective route, you're going to encounter beautiful locations, charming (And apparently really sexy) characters and a slew of side objectives of varying length and reward just whilst being around that specific area. Even on the last day of my playing the game, mopping up the last few scraps of interesting content, after 80 hours of playing, I still managed to find a really fun, secret character in a secluded corner of the map, and also got myself a good piece of 'equipment' within the same stretch of time. Skyward Sword, for all its great qualities, felt like a long time to play. Breath of the Wild? You'll find yourself in a timeless void where you'll decide to play for an hour or two, and end up playing until 3am. Everything from climbing vast mountains to encountering sudden, random, huge scale boss fights, to trying to mix together ingredients to create the best meal for yourself soaks up your time like a sponge in the best possible way. It's the perfect social life killer...and alright, yes, the shark is pretty handsome. You happy now?



    Non-linear, exploration based, flexible difficulty.

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    I'll be honest, when I read the pre-launch, paid critic reviews of Breath of the Wild, and frequently heard that they felt it was the hardest Zelda game since the NES? I was worried, deeply worried. I'm very much a experience over difficulty kinda guy. I'd rather a game held my hand and took me down a hill on a beautiful adventure, then pushed me off a cliff and challenged me not to die. Sure, there's some sense of satisfaction and gained bragging rights for surviving that bumpy, jagged and steep descent off the cliff, but...you didn't really have a fun time getting to that point, did you? The thing is though, a natural sense of challenge, something that can be alleviated through dedicating time to the game, and rewarding my exploration of the world? That's a lot better, it's something I really like about the Metroid franchise, which, with the exception of one or two entries that just really curb-stomp you no matter how much you feel you're prepared, tends to reward your dedication to exploring the world and finding items with a less insurmountable challenge. Breath of the Wild is that kind of game, although...to be honest, I'm not entirely sure it's as hard as the critics have been saying in the first place. The challenge of this game comes from the way in which health and damage is given...and taken. Previous 3D Zelda games tended to have enemies that chipped your hearts away, generally at the same rate, and it was based around you not getting hit, and collecting health through various pots and grass clumps, rather than preparing yourself for a battle prior to it. Breath of the Wild no longer gives you hearts in the environment at all, and enemies can potentially take you out completely in a single swipe if you're unlucky. That sounds annoying, but when you realise surviving a battle...of any scale is based entirely around how prepared you are for it, and if you make sure you're always prepared for these battles, be it through stocking up on ingredients that you turn into food, that gives you health or various boosts in speed/defense/stealth/attack, or equipping stronger armour (Some of which has specific benefits, such as heat resistance of faster swimming) and weapons of varying levels and attributes, all of which you can acquire simply by exploring the world and completing side-objectives? Then you're going to find it's not really all that hard, and that's a great thing indeed. This is a game that both rewards you for exploration and preparedness, and also allows you to decide how hard you're going to want things to be by allowing you to choose how strong your weapons are, or how sturdy your defence is. You could make this the hardest game in the world, or the easiest if you put the time into exploration and experimentation, and when playing a sprawling open world RPG, why wouldn't you put the time in?

    Another great thing is how open and non-linear the whole experience is. Yes, you have main objectives, the same standard of objectives as has been in previous 3D Zeldas...go here, defeat this thing, do a certain number and then you can do the final boss. But once again, you could potentially ignore these objectives and take on the final boss almost immediately after being allowed into the world. I...wouldn't advise it, but it's technically doable. Not only can you ignore any other main objectives and just skip to the end, but you can also do the main objectives in any order you see fit...none of them are mandatory, and none of them are given you to in a specific order. Just do them or don't. Harden yourself up for battle, or fight enemies in your underpants. Tackle the various dungeons, or just jump over to Hyrule Castle and fight Ganon. The choice is yours, and the difficulty of it all is entirely up to you, and that's fucking awesome.



    Dungeons are short, but sweet.

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    Along with various other aspects of the game announced long prior to its release, something that especially rustled my jimmies, as a long-time Zelda fan was the apparent scrapping of the big and varied dungeons that the franchise is well known for, particularly since the jump to 3D. Sure, they weren't always great, and often ended up deeply confusing, but they were big, exciting bookmarks in your adventure, experiencing them for the first time, getting the new item, fighting a big boss. The thought of Zelda without these kinda things? It was genuinely concerning, and whilst I do still sorta miss the old stylie Zelda dungeons, I must admit the new, shorter and punchier style were a blast all the same. The definition of what a Zelda Dungeon is has changed quite a bit in Breath of the Wild, and there's three kinds to see (One of these three being a singular example I'm not going to talk about much cuz spoilers), one of which you'll be seeing a damn sight more than the others. The first, and most common, are Shrines. Shrines are mini-dungeons, essentially, and they're scattered in great number across the Hyrule map ...how many, you ask? 120 of them. Yep. That's a lot of them, and whilst a few too many resort to tedious Test of Combats, which basically mean "Kill the same enemy as the last Combat Test, but this one has another arm, or a higher health bar than the last" that are neither challenging or fun...or just serve to be a one room reward presenter for a shrine objective that took place outside of a shrine rather than in, the ones that actually put the effort in? Of which I'd say about 60-70% do? They provide short, simple but often challenging physics based puzzles structured around your built-in tool set of bombs/magnesis/stasis/ice...nesis, that can often be solved in more than one way, or fudged if you want to CHEAT THE SYSTEM, FUCK THE PO-LICE and what not. Barring the motion control puzzles (We'll get to that shit later), these puzzles are generally a lot of fun, and provide you with both a warp point on the map (Which you're gonna want, trust me) and a Shrine Orb to add to your collection, which at every fourth orb, provide you with either a heart piece or an extension of your stamina bar depending on what you choose to get...or choose not to do so at all, depending on how you want the difficulty to play out (Taking us again back to that flexible difficulty thing the game's got going on). These are plentiful, generally fun, and provide a meaty, rewarding side objective outside of the main ones which we shall now talk about...NOW.

    The second type of dungeons are the ones you're more accustomed to, just with a new flavour. You're tasked with four main objectives soon after starting the game, and these four objectives are....essentially four dungeons. Playing out somewhat like an extended shrine, making this almost the examination to the normal shrines mini-lessons, where you learn new puzzle mechanics that you then have to put into practice in these, with an additional, environment shifting mechanic tied to each of the four main dungeons that activate different things, and allow you access to otherwise hidden corners of the dungeon. You go around, completing mini-objectives within it, finding secrets, then fight a boss and then that's it all done. You can compete each of the main dungeons in less than an hour, quite easily, and whilst that may seem like a bad thing when compared to previous, largescale, sprawling and epic dungeons found in previous 3D Zeldas, it does mean each dungeon is short, sweet and punchy, never outstaying its welcome, whilst also each providing a fun and satisfying experience based entirely around puzzle solving and exploration. The epic nature of these dungeons is provided by their setting and terrain transformational properties, rather than size or labrynthial qualities of older Zelda game dungeons. The jury's out on if they're better or worse, but they're still a lot of fun, and immensely satisfying to complete. Basically, Breath of the Wild has a lot of dungeons to explore, they're just not the dungeons you're accustomed to for the series...but that's not necessarily a bad thing.



    Feels truly epic.

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    All the things I've listed above are great, individual achievements, but what makes Breath of the Wild so staggeringly special is how they all come together as a whole, legitimately epic package. Zelda games, particularly 3D ones have often had epic moments, epic boss battles...or cutscenes, particularly moments in dungeons or feelings of satisfaction from reaching certain places, or solving certain puzzles. Breath of the Wild has all of those, but also has the massive, connected and well scaled world to explore, it has the flexible difficulty, the varying gear and weapons, the massive assortment of side-content to do, random points of interest to explore that could turn out to be hugely important, or just fun little distractions. Moreso than any other Zelda game prior to this, your progress feels earned, the items you collect aren't just found in dungeons as part of a formula, you don't just get the ultimate weapons and gear as part of the story, you have to find it, you have to work out how to get it, and then you have to earn that acquisition. Some of the coolest things you can find in the game, and the most powerful, are entirely optional, and beyond the occasional hints here and there, the game never outright tells you where to find optional content, or how to go about receiving it once you do. Due to the destructibility of weapons/shields, and the limited capacity of which you can carry these things, items have a worth to them, you can break out your flashy fire sword, but you risk breaking it, and not having it available for a bigger battle, some may see that as a bad thing...I certainly had my apprehensions on the concept upon finding out it was part of the game, but it works really well, and means you never use the exact same weapon for too long before needing to change things up, and experiment with different types. The game doesn't hold your hand, it doesn't check up on you if you take too long to reach the next objective, it just unleashes you out onto the world and lets you find your own way. Going on a long journey, fighting off enemies, discovering hidden secrets, and then making it to your objectives feels immensely satisfying, and they almost always come with a sense of awe upon encountering them for the first time. Breath of the Wild has a lot of great aspects, and not only do those stand by themselves as plus points, like in this review, but they all gel together perfectly to create an amazing, beautiful and varied adventure on an epic scale the likes of which the Zelda franchise has never seen. Also, you can slide down hills on your shield. That's pretty neat.




    The Bad.



    Consistent framerate issues.

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    Alas, for all its positive aspects, and there are a lot. No game is perfect, and Breath of the Wild isn't an exception to that rule. Perhaps the main, objectively poor takeaway from the game is just how frequently choppy it can run, at least on the Wii U. I'm aware a patch was released a couple weeks back, which reportedly fixed most of the issues up, but I saw no such joy on my own copy of the game. For a game this vast, detailed and beautiful, it's decidedly odd in which regions the game's framerate suffers the most. Exploring the massive open world, jumping off the top of cliffs, having the whole region on display? Nope. Random, gigantic enemies soaring around or stomping about nearby you? No problem. Going into a closed off town that has a gentle breeze in it? You better believe you can expect a lot of stuttering. Walking through a small woody area? Yep...it's that gentle breeze again. It seems like the system can run the game perfectly fine, but it's the small ambient effects, such as heat ripples, wind effects, or large explosions that cause it to stutter, often heavily so. The above image, showing a enemy outpost full of exploding barrels that you can throw a bomb into and detonate? Should be an immensely satisfying moment, and it sorta is (Although it doesn't outright wipe out the enemies for some reason), but the game splutters and puffs due to the size of the explosion...and yeah...okay it's a big one and stuff's getting smashed and shit, but then at other points the same scale of chaos plays out just fine. Similarly, two of the dungeons take place with a wide, moving view of the outside world, one of them stutters frequently when venturing around the outskirts of the dungeon, the other...which seemingly is rendering even more, runs like a dream. It's strange, you could chalk it down to it being too powerful for the system (Although the Switch has similar issues so, if that's the case RIP), but it's inconsistent in its issues to the point where it just doesn't make sense. One common enemy, a large moblin kinda...dude, has a tendency to freeze the game momentarily upon being hit. Like, that's a common occurrence in the game...and you'd think, 'oh maybe it's just too big an enemy for the system to handle' but then there are VASTLY larger and more animated enemies at other points in the game that work just fine. It's a baffling, but mercifully uncommon (relative to the size of the game) problem, but it's a problem all the same.



    Awful motion controls.

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    AAAaAaGHH. Perhaps even more baffling than the framerate issues is this unwanted and poorly implemented inclusion. Motion Controls. Oh yes, this may be an old school, press buttons to attack kinda Zelda again, but you better believe there's some shoehorned in wiggling horseshit to suffer through. On a basic level, the game lets you move the gamepad around to aim things such as the in-game camera (as in, taking pictures camera) or your bow, and those work fine. But things really take a turn for the sour upon encountering motion control based Shrines. Technically optional, although strongly encouraged to beat due to the many rewards from doing so, the vast majority of Shrines don't feature motion controlling at all. But the ones that do? Hooooo...booy....they sure are awful. The above pictured one is perhaps, the worst offender. On paper it seems simple and somewhat appealing, a motion controlled maze, and a ball to guide through it. Just...guide the ball through the maze, make it to the end, put the thing in the thing...boom. Done. But oh no, that'd be too easy. What this one does is...not work. At all. On multiple levels. For starters the tilt controls are broken as fuck, the maze itself is twitchy as hell, the ball rolls off into oblivion at the slightest sneeze, and...most obscene of all, the angle of which you're shown the maze makes it nearly impossible to work out how to aim the fucking thing to get it onto the other platform and beat the puzzle. I carefully made it to the end, through much frustration and heartbreak, only to find the ball miss the platform completely due to my perspective on it. So...then you just end up cheesing the thing and flipping the bloody maze about until you violently flick and propel the ball to its destination, instead of actually solving the puzzle. There are several other puzzles that involving titling, and the are all janky and awkward to play, but this is by far the worst. You often have to tilt the whole gamepad upside down in order to get some things to work, which is just moronic. Considering the previous Zelda game, Skyward Sword nearly perfectly implemented a heavy amount of motion controlling to its experience, it's baffling to see Nintendo drop the ball so hard...into a shitty maze that you can barely control. Ahuh. See what I did there.

    On a brief additional note, since it's not worth its own singular segment, it's also supremely baffling to see the Wii U gamepad go completely unused in any capacity beyond off-TV play. There's no menu system, or map...or anything. The developers have made the argument having a second screen would detract from the immersion of the main game (Something they made the opposite statement about when trying to sell the Wii U, instead of the Switch), but frankly, that's bullshit, and the only reason the Wii U version lacks any gamepad features is so the Wii U version doesn't have any features the Switch version would then lack, and would then prevent people from wanting to upgrade/invest in a new system. I'm not taking your immersion bullshit, Nintendo, you downscaled the Wii U version's features, we all know it.



    Dodgy voice acting.

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    Now, you could make the argument this is a subjective complaint, which is fair. In the same way some people hated Peter Dinklage's turn as your little robot... thing in Destiny whilst I thought he did a good job, some people have been positive to praising over the voice acting in Breath of the Wild, the first game in the long-running series to feature substantial voice work, by which I mean the first to do more than just go HEY, LISTEN or HEHEHEHEH. Nintendo have tried adding voice acting to their big 3 franchises before, with varying levels of success. Mario Sunshine's VA was atrocious, whilst Metroid Prime 3's was pretty decent...and....we don't talk about Other M's voice acting, we just don't. Breath of the Wild lays somewhere inbetween the two in terms of quality, but given the amount of time they've had to get this voice acting business down, and the ease it generally comes by others to do competent fantasy voice acting in their games...BotW is a poor show, ranging from decent, to downright bad.

    The quality of VA seems to vary depending on the Hyrulian species being given a voice. The VA for the Rito and Zora characters, with the exception of one Zora, are pretty well handled, they don't provide a particularly memorable performance, but it does the job, and the main character in the Rito camp provides the best work in a cocky, arrogant sorta way. Things go downhill from here though, the Gerudo VA is fine too, just not quite as fine as the previous two, but the Goron? Oh god do the Goron voices suck. For the most part, they sound about what you'd expect, the dumb, brutish and loud voices we've likely all given them in our heads whilst playing previous instalments, but...the goofy and cartoonish feel doesn't really suit the tone of what's being portrayed on screen, and goes so far as to take away from any emotional resonance the scenes in question might have had. The other Goron voice? Oh dear, oh dear dear dear...that is just...ooof. Awful. Think whiny anime nerd dubbing voice, and you're about there. The voice does nothing to endear you to the character, and really does quite the opposite. The other vocal work is pretty naff too, the Hylians have a really awful attempt at a 'fantasy British' accent, I'm sure you know the sort, and it's pretty overdone, but even with that, it feels decidedly amateur hour in this particular instance, for what I can only assume are professional actors/actresses. There's another voice who I can't really reveal the origin of due to spoilers, but they seemed to be putting on that fake dramatic voice people do for jokes. Basically...for me the voice acting peaked at serviceable, and sank down to pretty damn poor at times, and no, it's not going to spoil the game for anyone, but it's a decided negative for me, considering the potential of a franchise like Zelda making that leap to vocal performances. Don't give up, Nintendo, just....try a bit better next time?




    Weather/Time specific situations can be frustrating.

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    Beyond the weapon durability, which I don't personally have an issue with, this is definitely the most talked about criticism of Breath of the Wild, at least it is when not taking into account the lack of dog petting available in the game, which...yes, ruined the entire 80 hour experience for me also. One of this game's strong points is its atmosphere and details, and part of that is the day and night cycles, and also the various changes in weather you experience. A lot of the time it's glorious and sunny, sometimes it gets a bit grey and cloudy, and in some regions it might even snow. And then there's rain. Oh yes, rain. On paper, that may not sound like a big deal...if you have weather, you're gonna have rain, and most Zelda games have had rainy sequences, so what's the problem? WELLLLLL...it's the way in which said rain affects your traversal, and it's a pretty big issue that you will absolutely encounter many times throughout your playthrough. You spend a lot of time in Breath of the Wild climbing up things, like I've said before in my positives, part of the fun is scaling mountains, or buildings...places of interest, and finding something cool at the top, or the other side of that cliff-face. Great, right? Oh no, oh look, it's raining, and I forgot to bring a brolly. No matter, I'm the Hero of Time, I can get a bit wet, I'll just climb up here and...oh...I'm slipping. Oh I'm going to keep slipping until I run out of stamina and fall to my death. Great. Yes, any time it rains, and rest assured, it rains a lot, in fact in some regions it rains more than it shines...any time it rains, you can't climb, basically. Small journeys, okay fine, but anything more than a few hops up? You're fucked, it doesn't matter if you've fully upgraded your stamina wheel, doesn't matter if you've given yourself extra stamina, you won't make it. It's designed to stop you from doing so, and sure, climbing in the rain I bet would be pretty hard...but this is a video game, one based largely around exploration, so whose bright idea was it to remove an ability during a common weather occurrence? There's literally nothing you can do at any point in the game to prevent this issue, and more often than not you'll be partway through a lengthy expedition up a mountain when it occurs, meaning you have to actually wait for the rain to stop, because no, you can't start a fire to skip ahead time, because...IT'S RAINING. I get why this is a thing, but it's really annoying and I want whoever decided it should be the case dropped into the bottom of a well in the midst of a monsoon for some ironic punishment.

    Rain is the main offender, but there's a few other annoying weather/time related issues. First up, Blood Moons, the randomly occurring lunar event that causes enemies to respawn. Cool idea, good way of not letting you empty Hyrule of enemies, and it's fun to see the trippy proceedings happen when you're not affected by it. That said, if you're in the middle of a battle, or attempting a sequence of events that you'd much prefer the enemies you just killed not to be around in? One blood moon later and viola, you're fucked. The first time I had a blood moon occur, it was mid-battle with about 5 or 6 enemies, I had low health/armour at the time due to being early in the game, and after the cutscene informing me of the MOONAGE played out, I got killed by a respawned enemy before I could so much as touch a single button on my gamepad. It's not usually a problem, but it's an annoying one when it is. Temperature related issues are abound also, if a place is too cold/too hot, then you can't explore it without losing health unless you've got the correct gear, or have used a time-limited potion to give you access, which is fine...but a bit frustrating also, because this is a game largely about freedom of exploration, and these things inhibit your ability to explore, there's also apparently three kinds of hot in Hyrule, spread across two regions, and one of them leaves you straight fucked no matter how good a gear collection you have. A niggling complaint maybe, but it bugged me when trying to explore, and...the last thing an exploration based game should do is make exploration not fun-impossible at that point in time, I feel.



    Hardest content lacks worthy payoff.

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    Although Breath of the Wild can be a challenging game in general, depending on how you've equipped yourself (As I said earlier), it's fair to say that the hardest parts of the game by far are optional encounters, and not the main game itself. If anything, the main campaign's offerings feel decidedly easier, and I suppose that could be considered a good thing, not making the meat and potatoes of the title inaccessible to a less hardcore audience, whilst still providing challenges to them via the flexible difficulty, and optional side content. That's great, the problem however, is that said extra content, the stuff that offers the most challenge of all, almost always fails to provide a worthy pay-off for its hardships. Having higher difficulty content provide greater rewards is a common trait of any fantasy RPG, particularly one as huge as this. MMORPGs or games like Skyrim offer cool gear, useful weapons, additional side content, a whole plethora of things, and you often know the reward before you go in, that's why you do it. In Breath of the Wild, the side-content that doesn't tell you what you're going to get is almost always something dull, like some rupees or maybe a pair of shoes if you're lucky. If you do know what the reward will be? It's going to be a shrine, which...great, cool, shrines are fun, but the ones at the end of tasks like this are basically just a set of stairs and a pat on the back, with maybe something shiny in a box if you're lucky. Only a handful of the harder Shrine challenges provide a meaningful reward you wouldn't have otherwise, and the reward for beating ALL the Shrines? It's cool, but by that stage in your game will not be useful, and making it useful will turn out to be perhaps a bigger chore than its worth. You get rewarded for doing these tasks, but the rewards are predictable, identical and often not worth the amount of time you put into something.

    Additionally, the random boss encounters you stumble across around the map provide the biggest enemy challenges out of the entire game (Including the final boss), one particular species of which will absolutely destroy you, and fighting them becomes less a case of defeating them as it is outlasting them with the aid of various foodstuffs as you chip away at their immense levels of health. Regardless of which one you're fighting, the payoff is generally the same thing, some monster parts you can only acquire from beating them, perhaps selling for a high price or making a stronger elixer, maybe some other random gubbens, and...a weapon or two that's not so much exciting and unique as it is exactly the same shit you can find anywhere else in the map for none of the trouble. You can make the suggestion that winning the battle itself is reward enough, but bullshit, sorry. These random high level battles aren't particularly interesting in their challenge or conquesting, and whilst you do get rewarded, it's not nearly interesting enough to be worth doing after you've done it once or twice. Having challenging side content is all well and good, but it really lacks the satisfying reward you deserve for taking it on.




    SPOILERS?!


    Narrative Issues.

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    This is major story spoilers, guys. So do not read this part under any circumstances if you haven't played the full game and wish to go in blind. I'm not going to spoil everything, and I won't do so in detail, but I'm going to discuss the specific narrative structure of Breath of the Wild, and give examples of why it's an issue, so there will be spoilers. You are warned!

    One of the main aspects of this particular Zelda game that Nintendo kept heavily under wraps basically until the release of the title, is the story. We knew the basic idea of Link waking up in a room, and something having happened 100 years ago, but we didn't know what exactly he was going to wake up to, and who he'd meet along the way. We did know Princess Zelda was in it, and had a reasonably crucial role...as it turns out, the role is 99% in flashbacks, or...forgotten memories, rather than in the present, and the same goes for basically the entire rest of the game's main characters and plot points, and whilst that's an interesting idea, it does lead to a serious issue, and that's to do with emotional investment. When everything important to Link as a character has been and gone 100 years ago, and you only find out about characters you're supposed to care about through brief flashback sequences, it's really hard to...care about them? Not for lack of trying, but it's just hard to feel invested in something that's already happened. Zelda, for instance, is a character you only encounter in the present day at the very, VERY end of the game, and it's for all of 5 seconds before the credits roll. Every other moment featuring her takes place 100 years ago in brief cutscenes that attempt to show her struggle to become the guardian of Hyrule she wishes to be, and also show how she quietly resents Link for being given responsibilities she herself has strived to assume. That's great and interesting, but you only see it through sequences in the past that at the most are a minute or so long, completely out of sequence due to the way in which you discover these lost memories. It almost feels like you're seeing a clip show from a previous Zelda game you haven't played, meant to remind you that you're supposed to care about her, and whilst some of the scenes are quite good, they never have that resonance.

    Similarly, the four guardians you knew and watched fall 100 years ago lack that connection also, the game tries very hard to make them seem important, but you get snippets of brief time with them, and that's all. The Zora guardian, seen above is supposed to be a love interest for Link, someone he was seemingly going to marry, and provided him with a ceremonial set of Zora armour to solidify that, and...Hylian/Fish romance issues aside, you should care more about a love interest that's died at the hands of the villain. But the relationship is only established in one cutscene and then brought up once or twice after, briefly. If these characters were around in the current timeline, you had moments with them throughout, that established relationships and had coherent story-arcs and not out of sequence clips, and then they fell to Ganon? That would've been far more powerful, and wouldn't leave you feeling detached from the grand narrative of the game. None of what's in Breath of the Wild narratively is bad, and the basic premise of waking up 100 years after a quite literal calamity is good, but it comes at the trade off of caring about characters in the same way you may have done in previous titles, which, given the better presentation, and voice acting at hand, is a bit of a waste.



    Worth Buying?

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    For the past few reviews I've done on here, this has been a point of some contention for me. The 'Worth Buying' section is about whether or not the game is worth the price it costs, regardless of if what you're buying is good. Sometimes it can be really good, but too short to be worth £40-50. Other times it can be hard to recommend a flawed but fun game to people at full price, because there's no telling what side of the spectrum other people will fall in terms of enjoyment. For Breath of the Wild, however...things are really quite simple. For your £40-60 purchase, depending on what version you're picking up, both in platform and in terms of special/collectors edition, you're getting a stupendously high quality game, with a non-speed running/rushing around running time of at the very least 50 hours or so, making around ...10 hours of content for each £10 you spend, if you do the bare minimum of exploration and side content. If you throw in exploration, which is really one of the main selling points of the game, you've probably got another 10 hours right there. Side content and shrines? Probably another 10. If you do what I did, and get every shrine, and do a large majority of the side-missions? My playthrough clocked in at just over 80 hours. If you want to 100% beat the game? You're probably looking at upwards of 90-100 hours. And the best part is that it never feels like a 50-80 hour chore of a game, it sucks away time and absorbs you in its world quite easily. So basically, it's a great game, with a huge amount of bang for your buck. So yes, it's Worth Buying, I think I can say that with some confidence this time...finally. 



    Conclusion.

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    The older you get, and the more games you've played, the harder it becomes to find truly special ones. You lose that sense of wonder you might have once had, and much like watching a lot of horror movies, it becomes harder and harder to be surprised or engaged the same way you might have once been, the more and more things you play. That's not to say you can't enjoy anything ever, far from it, but it becomes harder to be truly spellbound by something. Breath of the Wild is not a perfect game, no game is, let's face it. But it managed to rekindle those senses in me for the first time in a long while whilst playing through it. It's a unique and magical experience, full of freedom and fun on a scale very few games manage without bringing hefty problems and tedium with them. It feels bold and at times jarringly different from other games in the franchise, and yet it still feels very much like the Zelda you know and love where it counts, the personality, iconography and feel of a Zelda title are all still there, but the gameplay and layout feels new and exciting, in a way the franchise hasn't experienced for a long, long time. It shines in both the little details and the grand picture, the gameplay is varied and polished, as is the world itself. The atmosphere and sense of adventure is palpable throughout the entire experience, I was discovering new and exciting things right up to the very end of my long and memorable adventure. No, some things don't work as well as others, and the story. whilst epic in feeling, lacks the same emotional connection as previous entries did, but that's a small price to pay for all the good and great things on offer elsewhere. This gets batted around every time a new instalment is released, but I think I can safely say this is currently my favourite Zelda game I've played, having spent 80 hours truly absorbed in its wonderful world, full of fun characters, epic sequences, entertaining side-content and abundance of beautiful sights to see, and places to explore. And if it's my favourite Zelda, then that no doubt says a lot about how I rate this game in general. It's a must-play for Zelda fans, which goes without saying, but it's also something you owe it to yourself to seek out regardless of interest in the franchise. It took a long time to get here, there were a lot of doubts and concerns along the way, but Breath of the Wild is here, and it was well worth the wait. It's a truly exceptional title, and one of the best games I've played in recent memory.




    Well, there it is! There it goes! WHAT A FUN TIME, did you have FUN? I did. I guess Breath of the Wild is pretty good, huh? Have you played it? Did you pick up a Switch just to play it? What do you think? A solid 7/10 all around I hear. Didn't like it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments, same goes for your thoughts on the review itself. You may well be getting another review a lot sooner than you think, but we'll see about that...for now, y'all behave, have a good Spring, and until next time.........LATERGATORS.

  • New Blog Post

    3 months ago

    Marchant

    Hi all,


    I write a travel blog, giving useful hints and tips to those going abroad. New post is up please check it out:



    https://www.smarchant.com/single-post/2017/04/04/Travel-Tip-Book-in-advance



    Thankyou


    S

  • EVERY Godzilla Film RANKED

    3 months ago

    g1TheStickman


    Wassup my guys and gulls? It's YO BOY STICKMAN HERE WITH ANOTHER HIGH QUALITY BLOG THAT NOBODY WILL READ BECAUSE WHO READS BLOGS ON THIS WEBSITE ANY MORE, WOOOOO.

    Now, with the recent release of KONG : Skull Island in cinemas, and the impending crossover with Godzilla that was teased within it, it's safe to say giant monsters have been on the minds of many, particularly the big G himself. Everyone loves Godzilla, I know I do, but I've never really written a blog about the franchise...until TODAY. HUHHHH.

    That's right, to celebrate the King of the Monsters himself, I've watched EVERY Godzilla film released in the UK, old or new, Toho or other, and we're gonna rank them from best to worst! Yes, that's a big undertaking, there's been a lot of them, but...hey....what's not to enjoy about watching giant monster movies? The only rule for this list is that the film had to be a part of the Godzilla franchise. Skull Island may have referenced him, but he didn't turn up, so that one doesn't count. Everything else? It's ON THE LIST.

    Grab a can of popcorn, kick your hands up, and settle in for a EPIC COUNTDOWN. HERE WE GOOOOO.


    Godzilla (1998).

    A predictable last placer on this ranking of all things Godzilla, although not a film I hate in quite the same regard as others, maybe because it was actually my first introduction to the character of Godzilla, back in 1998 when I was like...5? I probably didn't even get to watch it until a couple years later, shiet man, I dunno. I remember having a toy from it though, where like....a little baby Godzilla was in an egg with a removable plate on the front, and you pressed the back and then the toy broke because it wasn't very high quality. The film was a big deal when it released, but gained very few fans despite some impressive special effects...for the time, and large scale action. The main issue is that Godzilla him...herself is not really Godzilla so much as she is a big CGI iguana who doesn't really do a whole lot aside from dodge missiles that then blow up landmarks that can be shown off in the trailer. They get the character wrong, and everything around the character is your standard, corny 90s disaster movie, a time before 9/11 when you could destroy a city, crush people and generally cause mass chaos, and have a heckin' fun time in the process. The writing is awful, there's lazy stereotype characters coming from all corners of the globe and, as is the case with most Godzilla films it feels, there's just not a whole lot of Godzilla? And then she dies. And then they have a stupid bit with some babies, I dunno. As a kid I quite liked the film, so it gets a bit of an easier ride with me than most, but it's fair to say it's neither a good film, or a good Godzilla film. Oopsy.



    Godzilla (2014).

    Another attempt at an American take on the BIG G that, although faring a lot better in general, still gets a lot of hate from people, particularly fans of the Toho franchise. Much like its semi-prequel, Skull Island, it's hardly a work of high art, and is deeply flawed in a lot of respects, but is still very enjoyable, and beautifully filmed...at least when you can see what's going on, cuz...didn't really notice at the cinema so much but SHIET THIS FILM IS DARK AS FUUUCK. Taking more cues from the original 50s Japanese take on Godzilla than anything else, this is a film that focuses more on the human struggle in the wake of Godzilla's reawakening and consequential disasters then the monster himself. It gets a lot of hate for lacking scenes with Godzilla himself in, which is pretty similar to the 50s film, but then also spends a hell of a lot of time on MUTOs...who are very much your standard post-Cloverfield dangly legged big bug boys, they're cool, but it's called GODZILLA, not MUTO MATING SEASON. On a whole the film is a good time though, with some great special effects, visuals, and a few truly badass moments at the end when Godzilla finally DOES SOMETHING, WoOooOAAAHHH. It set a good, badass heavy standard for the new western take on Godzilla, which will then hopefully be ran with in a broadly more action heavy, visually bright and enjoyable sequel in 2019. It's a good starting point, but not perfect by any means.




    King Kong vs Godzilla (1962).

    In a world with The Room and Nicolas Cage starring Wicker Man remakes in it, the term 'So Bad it's Good' gets a lot of traction these days. Needless to say, a lot of older (Read MUCH older) monster movies fall into that category thanks to their goofy effects, bad acting, cheese factor and just general crumminess, be it a timeless crumminess, or maybe a film that's aged truly awfully. King Kong vs Godzilla, from the early 60s, specifically the US dubbed version is easily one the best in its class when it comes to gloriously terrible old cinema, and I frankly wouldn't want it any other way. A mixture of awfully dubbed Japanese character scenes and hilariously low budget, abysmally scripted US sequences that look like they were filmed in someone's bedroom, and of course, a heap helping of naff looking rubber suits and effects creates a perfect storm of awful that ends up becoming something truly magnificent. The King Kong costume alone is a work of art, looking akin to a decaying toy from another century come to life, and somewhat drunk at that, with Godzilla being on fine, early 60s spine-wobbling form to boot. Nearly every scene has something to laugh about, in reality the only bits that aren't funny are the parts where the film actually tries to be. There's a lot of anticipation for the 2020 King Kong vs Godzilla film, but in all honesty, I'm not sure it can beat the dizzying heights of Kong haphazardly throwing polystyrene rocks at an enraged Godzilla who continuously does a weird dance where he waves his arms up and down, to the point where you can actually hear the rubber suit crumpling each time. It is. GLORIOUS.




    Gojira (1954).

    Time for a complete tonal shift, because DAMN is the first movie, at least the original Japanese version of the first movie, dark as fuck. Made as less of a fun monster battling romp like the previous choices, and more of a chilling parable to the all too recent at the time nuclear atrocities that occurred within Japan during WW2, this film spends less time focusing on the monster itself, and moreso on the despair and anguish suffered by those left in his wake. A nuclear energised ancient being awoken by hydrogen bomb testing off the coast of Japan starts his rampage by seemingly vaporising a troupe of fishing boats (Based on an actual tragedy that occurred) and then proceeding to decimate several other regions of Japan, including Tokyo itself, the film features tortured souls, haunting choirs and just a whole lot of misery. Sure, the special effects on the monster sequences themselves may come across as pretty goofy and amusing, but those are few and far between, and the real focus is on the human impact. It's still a damn effective film to this date, and provides a different experience to what you'd expect, looking on at the iconic characters legacy as a fun smashy bashy monster fighting DUDE.




    And that's it! Every Godzilla film currently released in the UK, RANKED for your entertainment. Thank you for joining me on this long journey through one of cinema's most iconic character's expansive, varied and no doubt entertaining library of works, all of which are available in the UK right now, which is just great, I'd hate to miss any more of these entertaining exploits, that's for sure.

    What's your favourite Godzilla film? What do you think of the placements on this list? Have you ever had sexual fantasies about Godzilla, or any other kaiju for that matter? Did you wish this blog was an actual countdown of the many Godzilla films released in other parts of the world, but no the UK, instead of this somewhat bitter-tasting April Fools blog? LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS BELOW, SEE YOU IN A COUPLE WEEKS FOR AN ACTUAL BLOG, a review of Breath of the Wild? Oh boy, that'll be GOOD, better come back for that, mm? MMM? PLEASE? Cool, later gators.

  • She Returns!

    3 months ago

    kirstenxo Miles Luna Fangirl

    I finally posted a new review but I'm pretty late to the party on a lot of things despite not actually being late to the party so enjoy:

    https://krisselia.wordpress.com/2017/03/26/rev iew-resident-evil-7-biohazard/


    <3

  • Long time no journal!

    3 months ago

    crofteria

    Realized I haven't really posted a proper journal here for a while so I figured I'd keep you a bit up to date on what's happening in my pretty uneventful life, in case people want to know and whatnot.


    --- I'm leaving for Stockholm tonight for the Swedish Championship in Cosplay (also known as Cosplay-SM)! I'm not competing myself, but I have a few friends who are going to, and I also know most people who are performing in the intermissions and who are hosting the entire thing, yadda yadda. It's going to be streamed here tomorrow at 8:30PM CET (2:30PM CDT). I think it'll be in Swedish, but hey, you don't need to understand the language in order to admire the amazing costumes and performances you'll see!


    --- I've been busy the past ten weeks with a game development project at my university. A lot of work and a lot of stress, but it was a super interesting and fun experience to work with an entire team of fellow students to create something together. I'm already looking forward to next year's project! Creating is fun.


    --- Speaking of creating and cosplaying, I haven't been super active when it comes to making new cosplays as of late due to the development project. I have, however, worked a bit on a cosplay that I've been wanting to do for years (ever since before I started cosplaying). Not going to spoil anything yet... but she has a huge friggin' ball dress and I'm super excited for that. (Facebook page for my cosplaying adventures here!)


    --- And on the topic of creativity, I've resumed to my good ol' YouTubing! Well, kinda. I've uploaded a few new videos which is neat since I've been inactive for about a year due to life getting in the way. I will get back to it properly soon, though, so that's going to be fun! (My YouTube can be found here. Cringey content deluxe.)


    How've you been doing, and how are you currently doing? What's going on in your life, you neat person you?

  • Top 10 'Legend of Zelda' Creatures.

    4 months ago

    g1TheStickman


    OH SHIT, HELLO THERE. It's me, The Stickman...back at it again on...the internet? Anyway, howdy, hope you're all doing well. Me? I'm okay, just a little bit EXCITED because there's a brand new Zelda game coming out in a matter of HOOOURS after we've waited...well, we've waiting a very long time. It's looking to be good stuff, and whether you're playing on the all new Nintendo Switch, or the poor unloved bastard that is the Wii U (Which I am doing personally), I hope you have a great time, I'm certainly hoping to have one. As always with these big franchises releases, the build-up to the arrival of the new makes you full of nostalgia for the ones that came before it. And whilst the Zelda franchise may comprise of games that tend to be a bit on the long side to quickly replay in the run-up to a new one, it's certainly fun to think back over the various excellent instalments of the series, and remember your favourite aspects. One of mine? It's the creatures! Goodies, Baddies, standalone unique ones or entire races....they may have been in just one game for just one moment, or maybe they've been with the series since the very start. Whatever it is, we all have our favourites, and that's what this blog is about, it's my 10 favourite Zelda creatures from across all the games I've played. Now, I haven't played all the Zelda games, there's a lot of spin-offs and handheld games and whatnot...and I've also not finished some of the ones I've played for various reasons, so if your obscure favourite from the NES/Game Boy/DS is missing, it's probably because I haven't encountered them...or maybe I just didn't like them! Opinions are CRAAAZY like that.


    Couple of ground rules to set out before we start, if a species has been in multiple instalments, I'm going to specifically talk about my favourite incarnation, with acknowledgement of later/earlier appearances, should they exist. I'm counting different variations of the same creatures across the multiple timelines of the franchise as different creatures because...well, they are, from an evolutionary standpoint. And I'm also not counting bog standard creatures (Sorry Cuckoos and Keys...you're just chickens and bats, let's face it) or creatures from other franchises that turn up in Zelda at some point (The Bowows in Link's Awakening are cute, but c'mon guys, they're Chain Chomps...that's...THAT'S A MARIO, Y'KNOOOW?). Also, you're probably not gonna see a lot of humans/hylians/elves/faries/whatever because...c'mon...they're just like, people I guess? S'kinda booooooring. If your fave isn't on the list, feel free to let me know what they are, in a ciiiivil and respectful way in the comments below, and I can let my thoughts on them be known, let's have some FUN, FOLKS!

    ANYWAY, WITH ALL THAT SAID AND DONE...HEEEEEERE WE GOOOOOO.



    10. Minish (The Minish Cap).

    Also Appeared in : Nothing...that we saw? Hm.

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    Hey, they may have never been on-screen for anything but the GBA gem that is The Legend of Zelda : The Minish Cap, but when they're so dang small, who's to say they haven't been there all along? You probably crushed 100s of them across the 30 years you've been able to explore Hyrule, you horrible, inconsiderate monster. The Minish (Or Picori depending on who you ask) are cute little...mouse people? who live a titchy tiny microscopic life amongst the foliage of of Hyrule unknown to anyone. They're a myth, something the kids enjoy talking about...and there's no proof they're real at all...until Link himself ends up on the same scale thanks to his living hat friend, Ezlo (Who was almost on this list himself) who grants said ability to shrink down. When it comes right down to it, the Minish are regular people on a different scale. They all have different personalities, live normal lives, and are pretty distrusting of strange folk who suddenly turn up in the neighbourhood going HYAH, YAAH, HEEE-AAAAAH. As would you be, I bet. What makes them stand out is pretty obvious. They're tiny, and adorable. They live in little grass houses and have cute faces and just...WHAT AM I TO DO EXCEPT LIKE THEM? It's a shame they haven't appeared in more entries to the series, but...I mean, it'd be tricky to do so I bet. Who knows, maybe Breath of the Wild has some of the little guys hiding around amongst its vast world, that'd be neato.




    9. Schule and Sale : Alligator Friends (Link's Awakening).

    Also Appeared in : Nothing, I know, it's disgusting.

    tumblr_om47wfkTQ81vuwsa7o2_r1_1280.png

    What's that you say? The Minish aren't an obscure enough inclusion? WELLL...here you go, dollface. Have some alligator friends, Schule Donavitch and Sale specifically, from Game Boy title, Link's Awakening. Technically these handsome devils may never have even existed, the island they come from, Koholint Island appears to Link after he gets stranded at sea in a boat crash, and fades away completely after the goal of the game is achieved. Was it all a dream, or was something more magic? Let's hope it was real, because it'd be a crying shame if these FRIENDLY ALLIGATOR BROTHERS never existed. One's an artist, the other's a merchant, both always do their job with smile on their face, and both wear HATS. WOAH. As a reptile and an artist myself, I can certainly relate to Schule, although I must admit I've never done a life drawing of a hippo model before....who's level of ...uhh...breastage? depends on what region you're playing the game in. We're not here to talk about hippo tatas though, we're here to pay tribute to alligator friends who are cute and wear fun hats. Like...that's it. They don't really do anything, and they basically don't exist any more, potentially...but DAMNED IF I CAN RESIST SOME CUTE ALLIGATOR FRIENDS...with hats, remember that. HATS. CRIPES. I can't even handle it. And god knows I wish I could handle these total babes. Y'know?




    8. Light Spirits (Twilight Princess).

    Also Appeared in : Skyward Sword...in name alone.

    Moving on from the clearly very attractive to the unique and badass, now we're talking LIGHT SPIRITS...SAAAY WHAAAT? Appearing exclusively in Twilight Princess, although getting a namedrop of sorts in Skyward Sword, these guardians of the world of light turn up whenever you enter a location corrupted by the Twilght Realm for the first time, firstly tasking you with restoring balance, and then reverting you back to regular ol Link, who at these stages is turning into a WOLF every time he enters these corrupted portions of Hyrule...we might get back to Wolf Link later. The first goes so far as to grant you the iconic green tunic...or heroes garb. That's right, not only can these guys de-furry you, they can also dress you afterwards. That's pretty handy dandy. Basically, these dudes are giant mystical creatures who each incorporate a BIG ball of light into their body in some form...and...well, thank god none of them are Taunikis, let's put it that way. You've got a deer...sorta thing, a monkey, a bird and a sea serpent, each protecting a quadrant of the vast land. They're all badass looking, are encountered in cool locations, and have ominous, EPIC music that sets the tone for one of the more somber entries in the Zelda series. They don't really appear much other than in these specific sequences, but they do pop up at the end and lend a helping hand to a specific character in the game's closing moments....and looks pretty damn BADASS when they're all standing side by side, glowing like a big...shiny....collective...thingy...hmmm. Anyway, they's cool, I LIKE 'EM.





    7. Lizarfos (Ocarina of Time).

    Also Appeared in : Twilight Princess, Skyward Sword, Hyrule Warriors.

    The first entry on this list to really...turn up in more than one title instead of being one hit wonders, they potentially are even turning up in the new Zelda game you maybe have heard is coming out pretty soon, but we'll find that one out for ourselves, hmm? Although they've appeared in several titles, the specific Lizalfos I'm talking about come from that much loved 3D debut classic, Ocarina of Time. You first encounter these bouncy boys in the Dodongo's Cavern, AKA the second dungeon of the game and needless to say they make quite the immediate impression. You enter a big chamber, the doors seal shut, and then these DUDES start bounding up to you, hopping across lava surrounded platforms to stab the shit out of you with their swords. They prove possibly the trickiest foe to fight in the game at that point (Although it's all relative, frankly, game's pretty easy), with their penchant for jumping around and sudden jabs, accompanied by their trademark goofy screams, they truly are FORMIDABLE FOES...I GUESS. They also have quite the dress sense, decked in spiky shoulder pads, vests, and...weirdly enough, in the original game, metal cod pieces making for a gimpy, Mad Max style that I can really get down with. They appear in a couple other sequences, but this is their real moment to shine. There's a similar enemy, called Dinolfos, who appear in other titles, but let's not get bogged down in the specifics of partially armoured, screeching stab reptiles. Needless to say, these HUMANOID FIGHTING REPTILES are not to be trifled with, but I'd certainly like to get a stab or two from these bouncy boys.





    6. Gorons (Ocarina of Time/Majora's Mask).

    Also Appeared in : EVERY game since.

    Now here's a true mainstay of the Zelda bestiary! The Goron made their debut in Ocarina of Time, much like the fellas above, but unlike those, these rock munching bros have more or less appeared in every instalment in the franchise since be it as a recurring race within the games, or sometimes in smaller, cameo based roles such as in Skyward Sword and Wind Waker. They're most known for their debut role in Ocarina of Time, though, and the follow-up Majora's Mask, in which you actually get to play as one via a transformative mask that may or not be turning up later. I'm mainly focusing on Ocarina of Time, though, since they have a larger role in that game. In OoT they make an immediate impression with their shy, dopey...and somewhat stupid ways. Desperate for rocks to eat in a home built out of...and filled with rocks of all shapes and sizes is...pretty damn stupid, but like a cat that just can't quite work out how to pick a piece of ham off the floor, you gotta love the Goron despite their severe cerebral shortcomings and sometimes annoying tendency to barrel into you without warning. That's not to mention their chieftain, who's a total BRO. You first bond over some sick jungle beats, and then later are made an honorary Goron and offered a heap helping of most likely bone crushing hugs from him and his whole GANG OF PALS. They're just a bunch of fun guys to hang out with...and sure, one of them is fucking massive, and rips you off with a shitty sword that takes an entire lifetime to finish making, but what's one bad apple in a crate full of delicious ones that want to hug you? Uh. Well you get the point.




    5. Deku Scrubs (Ocarina of Time/Majora's Mask).

    Also Appeared in : Oracle of Seasons/Ages, Four Swords Adventure.

    tumblr_om47wfkTQ81vuwsa7o3_r1_1280.png

    Long before people were GIT'ing GUD, these scrubs were the OG example of plant based lifeforms that really needed to step their game up in the fight department. One of the first enemies you encounter in Ocarina of Time, appearing on numerous occasions within the Great Deku Tree (First Dungeon) and then numerous times after, their main method of attack is to spit deku seeds at you...which is kinda gross, when you consider they're producing those from their own bodies. These seeds can be a potentially lethal attack for Link at the low level of health he has in the first sequence of the game....that is until you raise your shield and deflect the seed back...at which point, well let's just say they don't have much else to offer in the challenge department. In fact, Deku Scrubs are the only enemies in the game to resort to immediately surrendering when their plans fall apart, even going so far as to try and sell you the very thing they were firing at you moments before as a bargaining chip to stop you from FUCKING MURDERING THEM. Their seeming reluctance to fight, offering of useful advice or ammunition, and general cute appearance/sounds, particularly when they start bouncing around the place in fear, make these Spitty Simon's a memorable encounter, and as with the Gorons, a species you become intimately familiar with in Majora's Mask when you end up becoming one yourself. More on that part later? Ooohh, maaaybe, but for now, these are some scrubs that never managed to git gud, and as someone who has failed at life personally, I can most definitely sympathise with them.




    4. Loftwing (Skyward Sword).

    Also Appeared in : Nothing.

    Whilst Epona, being basically just a horse...even if she is YOUR horse, is forbidden from appearing on this list of Zelda specific creatures, it was unlikely that we'd go the whole list without some kind of mount making the list...and well, what's not to love about these big, doofy beaked birb friends? Loftwings, the main method of transport for the citizens of Skyloft in the most recent mainline Zelda game, Skyward Sword have only appeared in that specific game, and may well never appear in anything again, which would be a damn shame, cuz I love them very much. Your mighty STEED, the Crimson Loftwing especially is a cool customer, proving a faithful and affectionate mount for Link as he embarks on this, the earliest instalment in the Zelda franchise chronologically. In fact you have quite the exercise of faith in your feathered friend demonstrated every time you jump off one of the many floating islands that make up the sky-high portions of the world, your friend always being there to catch you, rather than letting you plummet to your death and turn into the legendary Strawberry Jam of Time on the pavement of whatever long-lost region of Hyrule lurks below, although at least then you and your Loftwing would match colour scheme. Some people may hold a deep contempt for this entry of the series, but I personally loved it, and one of my favourite things to do was soar through the skies on my Loftwing as the epic score played in the background. Loftwings both look cool, are good PALS and offer a hugely practical use within the game itself. They're the complete package, also, you just have to love their goofy cute duck bills. Awww. So pretty.





    3. The Great Valoo (Wind Waker).

    Also Appeared in : Nothing.

    tumblr_om47wfkTQ81vuwsa7o4_r1_1280.png

    I mean...he's a DRAGON? Y'know? How can you not like a dragon? And not just any dragon, a goofy, tubby dragon friend with tiny wings and doofy arms and legs. One who sticks his fat ass in a volcano to keep his colossal buns nice and toasty and makes silly noises when he's grumpy. Presenting...the GREAT VALOOOO from the supreme Zelda title that is Wind Waker. Sure, he may be one of those special creatures that you must, under no circumstances EVER search for on Google Images unless you have a fetish for giant dragon fatties and any other number of niche kinks relating to cartoon dragons, but that doesn't take away from his adorable and goofy charms within the game. Quite literally saving Valoo's ass is your first major task within Wind Waker, the journey to plunder said booty comprising the first dungeon of the game, and there's just something about a tubby dragon sitting atop a volcano that makes a rather good first impression for your shiny new, sea faring Zelda adventure. Beyond briefly turning up to burn the shit out of Ganondorf's stupid pirate lair at the end of the game's first act, Valoo doesn't really...do all that much except sit on his fat ass and enjoy the feeling of volcanic steam shooting up his kaiju sized pucker. And there's something to be truly admired about an ALMIGHTY SKY SPIRIT and PROTECTOR OF THE CITIZENS DRAGON ROOST ISLAND who does naff all, someone who could probably solve the whole Ganondorf problem in 5 seconds flat if he wanted to, but chooses instead to maintain a toasty warmth on his big dragon butt instead. I think we can all relate to a being that has the potential to be so much more than they are, but chooses instead to focus on pleasuring the asshole on a 24/7 basis. Or maybe that's just me. Hmm.



    2. Kikwi (Skyward Sword).

    Also Appeared in : Nothing.

    There's a few one-off little races of creatures in various Zelda games, but the problem is a lot of them tend to be a little...creepy? The Koroks are sorta cute, but the fact their faces our leaves stuck onto stumps...and they make bell sounds when they move about is unsettling to say the least. And as for the Ooccoo in Twilight Princess...aaaaaaaaaaaAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaAAAAGGGHH!!!!! *Ahem* That said, there's one species along those lines, in fact in a lot of ways similar to the Korok, that manages to both be unique and fuckin adorable, and we're of course talking about the Kikwi, these little planty floofballs are something else. Encountered en mass within the Faron Woods in the first below-cloud segment of Skyward Sword, the Kikwi species first appeared, and as of now, have only appeared in said game, and sorta fulfil the role of the Koroks of Wind Waker and, to a smaller extent, the Forest Children from Ocarina of Time in being a tribeslike group of forest dwelling individuals who love a big...tree, and dwell exclusively in the forests. These ones are the best forest dwelling tribe, though, because...well...they're fuckin CUTE, Y'KNOOOW? They look cute, do cute things, and make possibly the cutest sounds out of the entire Zelda canon of creatures by some considerable margin. Some of them even prove to be slightly useful too, even if others are COWARDS...but...awwww...cute cowards. Cute cowards are the best cowards. Also, they've got little plants growing out of their heads! Which is...uhh...slightly disturbing now that I think about it, but...uhh...looks cute at least. Let's pretend they stuck it on with glue, like a little plant hat. Aww, plant hat. Ain't that precious. And a hell of a lot better than the ...MONSTROSISTITITES that are Ooccoo...JESUS, NINTENDO...that's the scariest creature in all of gaming. What were you thinking!?





    1. Link's Fursonas (Link to the Past, Majora's Mask, Twilight Princess).

    Also Appeared in : Others.

    Link, you GOD DAMN FURRY. JESUS. It's all well and good visiting various creatures and critters in the Zelda games and being all like "Oh hey, those are neat", but it's another thing entirely to BECOME one...and no one is more adept at getting themselves turned into Zelda creatures like our boy Link OVER 'EEERE. Across his 30 years of adventuring in the gaming medium, he's undergone all sorts of transformations, he's turned from child to adult in Ocarina of Time, he's been a fairy in Zelda II, he's been a baby, and a tiny boy, along with several ring based physical changes into various enemies of the Zelda universe in the handheld instalments, you name it, Link has turned into it, be it voluntarily or through some curse or spell. But he's perhaps best known for his beastial transformations in Link to the Past, Majora's Mask and Twilight Princess, and it's Link's hands on, playable experiences as various creatures that takes the top spot on this list, because HELL...why admire a creature when you can play as one instead? That's a lot more fun. Both ALTTP and Twilight Princess offer transformations in the form of a curse caused by entering a dark realm. In the SNES classic, Link finds his early journeys into the dark world plagued by fits of...well...being a magic pink bunny with a link hat who's basically FUCKED if anyone decides to fight him. In Twilight Princess things are a bit different, he still gets cursed into another form by dark realms and forces, but this time he can KICK SOME BUTT because he turns into Wolf Link, a powerful canine who, along with the weird nude...imp...who's actually a person who wears clothes normally called Midna straddled atop him, can accomplish all manner of things, eventually even being able to turn into a Wolf at will in order to talk to animals, track scents and solve various puzzles, it's pretty neat. And then, somewhat famously, you have the masks of Majora's Mask. Initially once again cursed into the form of a rather cute Deku Link, who, much like his Deku Scrub BROs is pretty weak but can fight back with spins and spits, before then being returned to normal with the added benefit of being able to turn Deku again care of a mask that causes EXCRUCIATING PAIN upon fusing with the body. He later gains masks that can turn him into a big dopey Goron that can roll around and generally be really annoying to control, and a Zora that can swim real fast and play a sick ...fish guitar...thing. Hm. Basically, with the exception of his bunny adventures, Link owns the fursonas that are often thrust upon him by evil forces, and uses them as a tool to explore a different side to the world he's in, and also fight foes in new and...often more cumbersome ways. This all adds up to Link and his many fursonas being the most memorable creature in the Zelda canon beacuse you get to BE them...y'knooow? And before you say "Oh Bunnies and Wolves are normal animals so they shouldn't be on the list"...MAGIC BUNNIES AND WOLVES THAT ARE ACTUALLY LINK. THANK YOU. GOOD NIGHT.






    And there we have it, another Top 10 done with. What do you think of the picks? Are you too fascinated by the butthole of The Great Valoo? What's your favourite Zelda creature? Was it on the list? Were you REAL MAD it wasn't? Let me know in the comments below. Also, are you picking up Breath of the Wild in the near future? What wacky creatures await us within the confines of THAT game, huh? Who knows, but it's going to be fun finding out. I may even review it down the line, so WATCH THIS SPAAAACE...WooOAAHH.

    Thanks very much for reading, if you enjoyed it...why not leave a comment and ZING the ol thing, eh? And do make sure to spread it around on the social medias if you want others to check it out. Hope y'all have a great March, enjoy the new Zelda if you're getting it...enjoy the Nintendo Switch if you've been brave enough to pick that up during the launch window, stay well, and I'll see you...LATER, GATORS.

  • Sorry for the lack of use! Big ol' Essay

    5 months ago

    ikahme

    Hey, for anyone reading! 


    I set this account up a long time ago with the intention of FINALLY getting involved with the Rooster Teeth community, but (as with all things in life) work got in the way, and I never found myself with the time to properly dedicate to getting to know people on here and building a network of friends. Maybe even collaborators, considering how creative everybody seems to be! 


    I am writing this post with the aim of filling the void of content that this page currently has, but also to anyone that may check out my profile after my London Guardian application. Always meant to give back to Rooster Teeth for the many hours of content I have watched from them, both for free on YouTube and on this site as a paid Sponsor. Never failed to get a laugh out of the Podcast, and I have even used the company as an example in several of my own work pitches, from business plans for a theoretical music label (I went to a strange university) to live video ideas at my last job. RT has had a big impact on me, and I would love to pay that back with working as a guardian at RTX London. 


    For anyone reading that is potentially interested in a collaboration, send me a message on here! I will be adding social media accounts somewhere on this page, but they should go some way towards showing you the kind of things I do and have worked on in the past. I seem to have stretched myself very wide and thin in the creative/media industry, but I wouldn't have it any other way. Music, video, sometimes even acting and animation; nothing is beyond my interests. Hopefully I can end up as rather talented at all of those things, but time will tell! 


    Partly down to RT, I learned a lot about America and always wondered what life would be like if I was ever able to move there. I made this happen, at least for three months, after quitting my last job and immediately buying a one way ticket to New York, via Toronto. I travelled all around the country for three months, including heading to Austin, and I have to say; you guys have one incredible place to call home. America is single handedly the most mixed country I have ever seen, possibly will ever see. As an outsider, the difference from city to city, state to state.. it's unbelievable, and I cannot wait to see it all again. I managed to go through 31 states, staying in 12 and travelling (half was planes!) 18,000 miles. 


    Hopefully that catches whoever might be reading this up on me and what's been going on, and I will endeavour to be a little more active from now, when I can! 

    Thanks! 


    Matt

  • As time goes by.

    5 months ago

    eltoroguaco Dope artist

    I've been spending the last 2 weeks going through Rooster Teeth and what it has to offer and I keep saying to myself; "WOW. This company has really grown since I first found'em!"

    I remember in 2004 when my younger brother showed me the cool Halo series he and a friend of his found while browsing the net a few months ago. I didn't own an Xbox so I'd only ever heard of Halo and tried it at friends places so wasn't at all familiar with it or that people made internet videos with it. He showed it to me on redvsblue.com of course and I was immediately hooked! I remember I kept watching it as new episodes went out and later caught on to RT shorts and Drunk Tank. I loved how fun RvB was and how open its creators were to its fans.


    Years passed and my personal life got bumpy, so I ended up having to take a break from internet series like RvB.

    I mentioned this shortly in an earlier post here that you can read down. It took me about 2 years without RT as I found Death Battle and top 10 on youtube, though I did not know Screw Attack belonged to RT. It was when I saw the Death Battle with Yang I figured it out. They mentioned short what RWBY was about and it looked awesome, so I googled it and stumbled unto roosterteeth.com. I already had an account from 2010, the site had just made some changes since I last logged in; mainly the tabs for their sister productions including Screw Attack. Man I felt like a fool, but alas RT was once again a part of my life. I ended up way more into RWBY than I ever was in RvB and even bought all volumes available in my region on Blu-ray.

    Which leads us to today. I found out RvB was on Netflix and had a lazy week, so I binged it to catch up on what I missed and have now seen all of the animated shorts and are actively paying attention to the podcasts, AH dnd campaigns, Camp Camp and more to come.


    From RvB in 2004 to this metrolopolis with RWBY, Camp Camp, Day 5, Lazer Team (Haven't seen that yet as it's not on here, guess they want to complete all screening before they upload it to a free-access site like RT), animated shorts, Enjoy the Show, On the Spot... the list goes on!

    I am an active first member, originally to see RWBY a day earlier, but now to just support. Because Rooster Teeth, you deserve it!

  • I'm making a thing :D

    5 months ago

    colespock

    Coming this Friday I'm starting a blog!

    &feature=youtu.be

  • The 2016 Gimpy Awards Part 3 : Games/Overall.

    6 months ago

    g1TheStickman

    tumblr_ojl0ohYi301vuwsa7o2_500.gif


    Part 3 : Games/Overall

    Helllllooo, welcome welcome, ladies and gentlemens to this, the FINAL part of the 2016 Gimpy Awards. This week so far we've taken a look at the best and worst of TV, and then Movies in 2016. It's been a fun ride for sure, but all good things must come to an end, and we can't talk nerdy best/worst things without getting right into the thick of things, by giving out the awards for GAMING. Or...the gaming I got to play in 2016, which wasn't very much, given I don't own a PS4, Xbox One, or a decent PC...so...basically, my gaming year comprised of whatever scraps were thrown to me on Wii U, 3DS, PSVita or some PC games. Oh, and a couple mobile titles. It doesn't make for very exciting choices, I suppose, that said, the nominees in these categories are nominees for being good games, they wouldn't be here otherwise, it's just maybe in comparison to the rest of 2016 in gaming, I didn't get the main courses, so much as the side dishes. Tasty, but not the complete package. STILL, makes for a...unique gaming awards, right? Mmhmm..nnn....

    So yeah, don't expect Overwatch, or DOOM, or...any of those sorta things to be on here, I simply haven't played them. And once we're done with the pointless game awards, we'll be handing out the prestigious CUNT OF THE YEAR award, and then the BEST OVERALL THING OF 2016 award, so...I hope you enjoy reading, let me know your thoughts, and picks in the comments below...share it about...and...heEEEEeeeeeEEEEere we GoOoOOoO!




    Best Opening *SPOILERS*

    Firewatch

    Firewatch is perhaps the closest I got to a more normal 2016 gaming experience, this having been something I was very excited to play, having been a big fan of Olly Moss (The guy who designed the visuals for this title) for some time, and really liking what I saw in the various clips and trailers for the game in the long run-up to launch. I went out of my way to be able to play it, using a different computer than my own to do so, and needless to say it did not disappoint. The opening is especially interesting and effective, playing out as a loosely branching choose your own story, chronicling the meeting of Henry and a woman who'd become his girlfriend...then his wife...they get close, closer, start to fall apart a bit, and then work things out. But tragically, his wife developers early on-set dementia and starts to lose herself, whilst a distraught Henry struggles to cope. It tells a tragic love story from meeting to parting in but a few lines of text, with faint hints of background audio adding atmosphere to otherwise nicely designed screens. Inbetween the progressively heartbreaking opening narrative, we play out short scenes of Henry leaving her behind and making his way to the watchtower that will become his home for the duration of the game, only finding out the real reason why at the climax of both interplayed opening sequences. And as such, we start the game off knowing Henry's motivations, backstory, and have the emotional investment and awareness to make dialogue choices relating to the situation from that point on. It tells a lot in a short space of time, and it makes for a very compelling, at times humorous, and ultimately touching opening sequence. Not that I had much competition this year from other games.



    2nd Place - Star Fox Zero

    3rd Place - N/A




    Best Fun Game

    Metroid Prime Federation Force

    OOHHNOOO, THAT WHICH MUST NOT BE SPOKEN OF. Okay, so like I said, slim pickings this year, but genuinely? Federation Force was a lot of fun, and that's coming from a diehard Metroid fan who was just as furious as everyone else when NIntendo sicked this up and ran away back in 2015 in a brief, confusing and then promptly ignored E3 announcement. The game got hated on, Nintendo decided to basically not talk about it at all, it released to no fanfare, mediocre reviews and awful sales...and that was that. The game, once you get past the legacy of hate that preceded it, is a lot of fun though. It's ambitious (For the 3DS), first person arcadey fun with a ton of mission variety, and made even more fun when you have people to play it with...which, if you don't buy it with friends at the same time, let's face it, will be difficult to experience, given it was hard to get a full lobby on launch day in Europe, let alone half a year later. But for when I played it, it was a huge amount of fun, lasted me a solid amount of time, and offered a more engaging, simple, but entertaining package than anyone expected, or wanted to hear about. BoxBoxBoy was fun, but way too similar to the original, and Star Fox Zero mixed the high levels of fun with a bit too much frustration from time to time. Federation Force was a almost entirely enjoyable experience, and one of the less enjoyable parts...we'll talk about later, yo.



    2nd Place - BoxBoxBoy

    3rd Place -Star Fox Zero




    Best Visuals

    Firewatch

    I meaaan, when you consider this was topping the 'best looking' lists on awards from people who actually got to play other games this year? How was Firewatch not going to be the prettiest thing I played in 2016. Oxenfree was the only real competitor with its detailed and unique visual style, and that couldn't hold a candle to this gorgeous work of visual, moving art. As I said earlier, Olly Moss worked on the design for this game, and it really shows, his unique stylings can be seen all over the colour palettes, lighting and use of silhouettes and simplistic, but beautifully used shapes and patterns. When a game comprises of 95% exploring a location and not much else, you really need to make it a place you want to visit, and...as you can see from the video above, every step you take in the world of Firewatch is a treat for the eyeballs, and sometimes you'll just want to take a moment to...soak in the splendour of the world you're inhabiting, much like you would in a real national park, and a feeling that matches the characters themselves as they react to what they see. Truly a unique and artistically rich looking game, Firewatch is at its peak powers when dazzling you with its rich visual design.



    2nd Place - Oxenfree

    3rd Place - N/A





    Best Soundtrack

    Star Fox Zero

    As with a lot of categories this year, I didn't exactly have a great selection of gaming scores to choose between, and whilst I recall Firewatch having a very nice soundtrack indeed, the fact that I can't specifically remember any of it, to me, suggests it probably doesn't deserve a top spot. Meanwhile, Pokemon Sun had some great tunes, it just in general was quite derivative of previous entries in the series, and beyond the opening song of the game, lacked a memorable tune of its own in the same way other main series titles did. Like Pokemon Sun (and Moon, if you want to be a PEDANT), Star Fox Zero's soundtrack in general was derivative of previous entries in the franchise, but on a whole was more exciting and memorable than the former. When you're dogfighting Star Wolf to the above music, you won't be spending much time wondering where the original track came from, let's face it. For all people have said about this game (And there was plenty), you can't deny it's got a killer score, a lot of which it owes to Star Fox 64, but the new tracks, and remakes of older tracks all work wonderfully, and I'll be honest, the credits music got me feeling a bit...emotional? It's an odd reaction, but it was a beautiful song.



    2nd Place - Firewatch

    3rd Place - Pokemon Sun




    Best Game Nobody Played

    Metroid Prime Federation Force 

    I've said it all already, but this game got majorly shafted by the world. Metroid Prime Federation Force was not the game anybody wanted after a 6 year hiatus for the franchise, and next to no love from Nintendo for it in general, new game or not. In the completely ignored 30th Anniversary year for the series (Even Animal Crossing got a tribute video), the only new game we even heard about, let alone received was a weird, genre jumping chibi spin-off nobody had asked for. It was disappointing to receive in lieu of say, a real Metroid Prime game, or even more sorely needed, a new 2D entry in the series, but...that doesn't stop Federation Force from being a surprisingly decent and fun title, that basically nobody chose to experience. Often "Best Game Nobody Played" is relative to the success of other big titles, for instance Rise of the Tomb Raider won last year, it was played and loved by people at the time, it'd just had disappointing sales, and in that respect, was underplayed. This was a genuine disaster, and there are probably more people in the world with the ability to grow wings and fly, then there are owners of Federation Force. Basically, nobody bought it. But I did, and was good. Hence award.




    2nd Place - Star Fox Zero

    3rd Place - BoxBoxBoy






    Best Moment

    The End (Firewatch) *SPOILERS*

    This was a weird one for me. When I played Firewatch for the first time, and experienced the ending, it felt rather disappointing. All throughout the game mysteries had been developing, strange events had occurred, and a chemistry between the two leads had bloomed. There was a lot of things that needed to be wrapped up in the closing hour, and in the end, all the whimsy and wonder of some grand government conspiracy, with hidden caves and mysterious research stations, mad dashes to catch someone breaking into your watchtower, and missing girls all became nothing more than one man's tragic life, and a false alarm. As a forest fire raged on, and both Henry and Delilah are prepped to be evacuated via helicopter, the only lingering thread is the chance for the two to meet and potentially get to know each other better, as people, not just voices. But you turn up, Delilah left before you could get there, and after some choice parting words over a headset, you make your way onto a chopper, and the game closes. It all felt...underwhelming at the time, you wanted more to happen...something grand or exciting...get the girl, or whatever. But with time to let the ending soak in, I realised that that feeling was exactly the point. Henry was trying to escape from reality, from the situation with his slowly forgetting, dying wife, from his responsibilities...just...everything. He wants things to be some crazy adventure, just as much as you do...both him and Delilah, he probably wants to meet her, and fall in love...and leaving his old life behind, but Firewatch doesn't give him, or us, any of that. It's about being an adult, living in the real world, and just...realising that you have to accept that, and try to make the most of it. Delilah tells him they could've never been together, and he needs to go back and be with his wife. The situation sucks, but life sucks sometimes, and much like playing a engrossing game, temporary escapism and faux-ignorance to the situation is not the answer. And in that respect, Firewatch's ending succeeds, and even if it hadn't, it still lingered in my mind for a long time, and gave me a lot to chew over. Initially lacklustre, but once you mull it over, a bold and mature way to finish a great game. Also, nothing else I played this year came even close to that kinda experience. Mr Robot's in-universe mobile game's unique and entertaining premise certainly sizzled strong in its first sequence, but not on the same level as Firewatch's divisive, thought provoking conclusion.




    2nd Place -My First Mission (Mr Robot 1.51exfiltrati0n.apk)

    3rd Place -Dog Fighting with Star Wolf (Star Fox Zero)





    Worst Moment

    The Final Boss (Metroid Prime Federation Force) *SPOILERS*

    OH. DEAR. Soooo, I've been very generous to Federation Force. I gave it the chance to impress me when I bought it, and honestly, it did. It's a good game, despite its shortcomings as a Metroid title worthy of 6 years of waiting. But, there's simply no forgiving this joke of a final boss, which seems to actively exist for the sole purpose of spitting in the faces of all those Metroid fans who've been waiting a long time to see Samus Aran's return to form after the narrative plane crash that was Other M. Samus isn't the focus of this game at all, so it was never going to be this game that redeemed her, or the franchise, let's face it. But she turns up, in brief cameos from time to time, this being a canon sequel to Metroid Prime 3, after all. She goes missing in the last leg of the game, and you next meet her when she's been defeated and held hostage by Space Pirates. Yes. So, already...they've taken one of gamings strongest female characters, a cold hearted badass bounty hunter, and chosen to make her the damsel in distress for a bunch of generic space marine DUUUDES. That's a kick in the teeth, for sure. But what the game does next is kick your teeth in and make you swallow all the sharp bloody fragments. Samus gets turned into a giant by a laser beam, and turned into her morph ball..and then..Samus Aran...as a giant morph ball, is the fucking final boss of this game. Yep. It's not even a good final boss, this game has some great boss battles, this one is a disaster. You push her into some electric fences, and then she shrinks back down, defeated, and gets lost in a pile of collapsing space ship rubble, with the game suggesting she's been killed. Oh. DEAR. Obviously she didn't die, she turns up at the end in her spaceship and saves your group from certain doom, but...that doesn't change what came before that. You could've had her save you at the ending, and a have a completely different, much better boss fight not including her at all, but no. She's the final boss, it's a huge, embarrassing joke and a sign Nintendo as a company really just don't care about how the character is treated any more. It's a good game, but god damn does this bit make for a low moment in the entire franchises history. PTSD over Ridley is one thing...being sad for losing her father figure of which she obeys despite it literally draining her life is another. Turning her into a giant ball and having her be the final boss? That's...ugghhgHGHghgh....




    2nd Place - Getting the fucking thing to work (Pokemon GO)

    3rd Place - Playing it on Xbox 360 (TWD Michonne)





    Worst Game

    Chase : Cold Case Investigations - Distant Memories

    Oooyy...vey. Y'know, in recent years I've swapped "Worst" for "Most Disappointing" because I generally haven't played a game I've considered bad, so much as I've played games that have let me down. Halo 4 is a previous example of a game that, whilst not terrible, didn't live up to the hype for a new Master Chief instalment of the franchise, at least in the campaign (Which had great character moments but was on a whole pretty generic). This year we've flipped back to WORST because...this game, was both a huge disappointment, and also just a bad game in general. Oof. Hotel Dusk : Room 215 is one of my favourite underrated gems, a unique, absorbing DS point-and-click'ish, dialogue heavy noir detective game. It's not perfect in terms of gameplay/visuals, but it's so very oozing with charm and damn good writing, with an absorbing story, memorable characters and a host of awesome tunes. Its sequel, Last Window : Secret of Cape West, was even better from a technical standpoint, and was similarly engrossing as a rich interactive noir novel. Unfortunately, this was to be Cing's last game, and Cape West never even saw a release in anywhere but Europe and Japan. But, news came out this year that the creative minds behind those games were reuniting to work on a new title, one with a detective character visually extremely similar to Kyle Hyde from the previous two games, featuring a dark mystery plot, to be released episodically on 3DS. I was pumped. These games weren't huge in terms of sales or awareness, but they were cult darlings and some of my favourite titles on the Nintendo DS. So, when it came to 3DS, I was stoked as hell to play a new game from the same team. Aaaand it sucked. Yeah. Featuring none of the charm of the original, in terms of pacing, music, narrative or characters, and basically having no gameplay functions to speak of beyond clicking on lines of text and tapping around a screen until something happened, Chase : Cold Case Investigations, a game of which I found so poor I didn't even finish, was a total disaster. The characters are generic and either intensely cliché, or intensely hateable...or both in some instances. The plot was nonsensical and dull, the music matching the story in that instance, and you basically did nothing except read shitty dialogue and remember a couple things for a bare bones gameplay experience. It was a low budget affair, so y'know, I wasn't expecting LA Noire, I wasn't even expecting the gameplay to be on the same level/style as Hotel Dusk, but this is just so inexcusably poor, it might as well just be a book. And it'd be a bad one at that, because one thing you can't forgive, no matter how much money they had, is how poorly its written, and how generally unengaging and unlikeable everyone and everything about Cold Case Investigations is. Take what you loved about Hotel Dusk, throw it in the bin, and make a shit, paltry excuse for a game in its place, and you have yourself Chase : Cold Case Investigations. Proof that you should never get your hopes up for cherished game series' you love returning to you via a low budget indie imitation featuring some of the "talent" of the original team. Basically, it'll make you cry like an anime fan on prom night.



    2nd Place - The Walking Dead : Michonne on Xbox 360

    3rd Place - N/A





    Best Game

    Firewatch

    Yeah, this was pretty obvious, wasn't it? I played a bunch of fun, perfectly good games in 2016, but Firewatch was the only one to pack both a combined narrative, and visual punch, which is generally what I tend to get a boner over. As I've said earlier it looks beautiful, it has a great opening, a great, albeit conflicting ending, the dialogue and narrative is strong, mature and engrossing and I just found myself enjoying every minute I spent absorbed in the richly detailed, artistic and character driven experience that was Firewatch. Mr Robot's mobile spin-off was a very unique and involving experience that only could've been done on a mobile device, as it was basically turns your phone into one from the universe of the show, texting characters from it, in a real time played game, where messages, tasks and opportunities arrive throughout the day for about a week, as opposed to being something you can playthrough in a couple hour-long sittings. Having branching dialogue choices and the task to convince people you don't even know to give up personal details so you can hack them, and in the process learning about each victim's backstory and motivations as you do so was fascinating, and whilst the connections to the show itself were lacking somewhat, as a unique interactive experience it was truly wonderful. Star Fox Zero was a divisive title for sure, the crux of that division stemming from the unique, at times frustrating dual screened motion controls. Personally I had more fun than frustration with those controls, and when they worked, they provided an involving and action packed instalment in the popular, charming franchise. Branching paths, optional content and alternate story branches made for a game that provided a ton of solid fun from start to finish, and some truly awesome boss fights. But these two, in the end, weren't enough to top Firewatch, a game I've unfortunately talked about so many times in these awards, that I've not really got much else to say except that, where so many of these nominees feel a bit like scraps, good scraps, but scraps all the same, in a year full of vastly superior experiences on other platforms, Firewatch is the only one that came close to providing an experience akin to that for me, and left a lasting impression on me, which is what a narrative heavy indie title should do, right? And that's why it's my 2016 GAME OF THE YEAR. WOO. Here's to 2017 actually having more for me to sink my teeth into. 



    2nd Place - Mr Robot 1.51exfiltrati0n.apk

    3rd Place - Star Fox Zero




    Alright, time to chuck video games OUTTA THE WINDOW, here we go for the two general awards, staring wiiIIiiithh....






    Cunt(s) of the Year

    The Angry and Ignorant Masses

    OH DEAR OH DEAR OH NO OH NO OH NO. 2016 may have provided us with some great Movies, TV and Games...but on a whole the year was a total disaster for humanity itself. Celebrity deaths were one thing, an unavoidable part of life is our mortality, after all. But one thing that was avoidable was...just...the trainwreck that we've made of our lives, and politics in general, both here in the UK, and over in the US...which is even now as we speak spreading to other parts of the world in a total meltdown of confidence in the system, and a total lack of knowledge of the terrible alternatives presented, that are being sold to the angry masses with lies and sleaze. First up we had BREXIT, a vote for the UK to leave the European Union, something that had become increasingly demanded by certain groups of IDIOTS over the past few years, made possible as a promise care of David 'Pig Fucker' Cameron, who won an outright control of the country in the general election last year, another disastrous political event fuelled by anger and ignorance that in some ways pales in comparison to 2016, but also caused 2016 to happen the way it did. It was never expected to win, the people who wanted it to happen tended to be the idiotic, racist kind of folk who didn't even understand what leaving the EU meant, and were gleefully chugged along to victory by the lie train of certain, similarly racist Conservative party members and UKIP's very own cunt of the year, Nigel Farrage. Ignorances were taken advantage of, lies were peddled as truth, the actual truth, and the words of people who knew what they were talking about were called "scaremongering" and a relatively tiny majority of people took the whole country skipping along into a flaming pile of shit that caused British politics to collapse, the £ to plummet, and for everyone to realise they actually didn't know what BREXIT was, and now those who aren't so far up their assholes they can feel their own icy heart grinding against their forehead, are regretting falling for the lies and ignorance fuelled flame fanning. GREAT. But, still...it won't happen twice in one year, right? Oh shit, never mind. Donald Trump has been sworn in as President of the USA an hour ago as of this blog posting. Once again, the angry and ignorant masses voted for 'change', not even knowing what the change was, despite everyone with a brain showing them in detail just how terrible an idea it was, but they still voted for a lying, traitorous fraud of a sex offender and got him in power. It's a disaster, and yes...you could say Donald Trump is CUNT of the year...or...Nigel Farrage...you can point the finger at the blithering idiots who found themselves with unexpected victories this year, or...you can point the finger at the infuriatingly ignorant and anger driven masses of cunts who gave the mindless baboons the keys to the kingdom. You don't call a monkey out for flinging shit, of course it's going to fling shit, it's just a stupid fucking monkey. But when you get on your knees, open wide and let it sling shit into your mouth, and then act surprised when you slowly die of a shit-eating induced infection of the stomach...that makes you the person at fault. So yeah, this year...the cunts were the people who let these things happen, not just the people they voted for. Although Donald Trump is still a MASSIVE cunt. Jesus Christ...please someone, go back in time and make these things not happen. AAAAGHH.




    2nd Place - President Donald 'Grab em by the Pussy' Trump

    3rd Place - Telltale 'Port em out the ass' Games






    Best Thing of 2016

    Pokemon GO

    So, you may have noticed this didn't win any awards in the game category. It was up for a few of them, I even had it winning 'Best Fun Game' until I played...or attempted to play it this weekend and was reminded, moreso than ever, just how broken and frequently unplayable a game it actually is. As a product, it falls flat, let's face it. Sure, it's a lot of fun, the concept is awesome, and when it all works, it's great. It has built-in limitations made to make you spend real money, which fucking sucks (And I'll never do, given how easily wasted by glitches things you can spend real money on actually are), but...as a basic application, it's fun but deeply, DEEPLY flawed. Why is it the BEST THING OF 2016 then? Because ...god damn was it an amazing thing to behold over the past 6 months. Released in July in certain regions, the game took the world by storm...and that's an understatement. Sure, Pokemon is big, and it was always going to be popular, but nobody, not even the poor, tiny development team could anticipate it being the universal smash hit of the year. 500 million downloads have been made for this game, and for a period of 4 months, it was king of the world. And honestly, that came with a lot of positives. A ton, in fact. For the first time in, possibly ever, gaming became this global, social, active experience. Sure, there's always been social aspects to games, but this was a whole other beast. People were walking the streets, meeting new friends, exploring their local areas in ways they've never done before thanks to the game. People went for walks, travelled to new places, worked together to battle, and take gyms and lure new Pokemon to their area. There was a time when the above trailer, depicting a crowd of hundreds running through New York to get a Pokemon together seemed absurd, and yet...weeks after launch people stampeded through Central Park, desperate to get their hands on one. Everyone knew what Pokemon GO was, most people were playing it, it brought friends and families together. Personally it's given me something to do with my mum, someone who had no interest in Pokemon prior to GO is now hooked on the game. Yes, it sucks...really...it seems the more time goes by, the more broken it gets, and the fanfare has certainly diminished by now...the inevitable, bubbling internet cynicism of "Only idiots still play that game, I deleted it already, so dumb" has arrived, but...in its prime, across the summer of 2016? It was a glorious shared experience, and a priceless, positive gaming landmark in recent history, something that has become more and more rare in this increasingly hate-fuelled collective of people. For a few months in 2016, we were all Pokemon Trainers together, and it was oh so special, and easily the best thing to happen in 2016. A generally terrible year for humanity otherwise.




    2nd Place - Kubo and the Two Strings

    3rd Place - Daredevil




    So there you have it...2016. Gimpy Awards. It's over for another year, possibly for good, I haven't decided if its worth undertaking again given the reception, but you never know. I hope those few who joined me enjoyed the ride, and had a good time remembering the good, and the bad of the year in entertainment. Here's to 2017 giving us another wonderful assortment of great products to choose between come 2018...which I'm not ready for yet, sorry.

    Let me know what you thought of the winners and losers from this blog, and the other two blogs, in fact. What were your picks? What are you most excited for in 2017? What was your craziest Pokemon GO experience? I'd love to hear from y'all, so stick it in the commments below, and if you enjoyed reading this, and all the Gimpy Awards blogs this year, please do share them around, you support means the world...I'm not sure when I'll next post a blog on here, if ever...but I'm on At the Screwvies every other week for all the latest movie news, reviews and previews, so go and check that out on g1 Features...and...yeah. I'll see you guys around, be well, be good, and...LATER GATORS.

  • The 2016 Gimpy Awards Part 2 : Movies.

    6 months ago

    g1TheStickman

    tumblr_ojl0ohYi301vuwsa7o2_500.gif

    Part 2 : Movies

    Heeeeeyyyy, welcome back, or...just welcome depending on your interest in Television...to the 2016 Gimpy Awards! This here's Part 2, if you want to see what I thought of last year's TV selection, you can check it out, along with an introduction to the awards right here.

    Today we're covering perhaps my biggest passion, and that's the Movies. I love me some media and general nerdyness, but Film is where it's at most of all for me, and I saw a ton of movies last year....probably too many considering the quality of some of them, y'knooow? HMMMM. But having done so, I feel more qualified than any other category in the Gimpy Awards to give you my picks for the best, and worst of what hit the big screen (And any other screen for that matter, providing it was a movie) in 2016...so...as always, this is just my opinion, you're entitled to disagree, just don't be a dick about it, m'kay?

    Alrighty, hereeee we goooo agaaaaaaiiin...




    Best Opening *MAJOR SPOILERS*

    Arrival

    This is an odd one, I'll be honest. Standing by itself, it's a perfectly solid and emotionally engaging opening sequence, something along the lines of the heartbreaking first 10 minutes of UP, except far more predictable and far less endearing due to the generally somber tone and music. What makes it the best opening of the year? Well...big spoilers here, guys and gals, so really don't read this if you have any interest in watching Arrival, which you really should do, it's great...it's showing you the end as the beginning. In a rare twist that actually managed to catch me off guard despite the fact I spend 99% of these kind of movies trying to predict any twists and turns they may or may not have, because I'm sad, the film uses its later revealed premise of non-linear memory and perception of time as a means of opening the film with what then turns out to be the closing moments of the film, the tragic events of the opening, in which we see Amy Adams' linguist lead character give birth to, and raise her daughter, only to then lose her to a terminal illness, are actually events that take place after the events of the movie, but due to the way in which the film is structured, and the means in which memory and time are used as a mechanic towards the end, you don't actually realise this to the end, and find out that, instead of following a single mother who lost her child tragically and then went on to do the events of this film, we find out that these events are set into motion by the events of this film, due to her meeting the EVER HANDSOME Jeremy Renner and falling in love with him, thus ...copulating and giving birth to the child we see live, and die at the start. To make matters even worse, she now perceives her timeline of memories non-linearly, which means she can see her future, and see the child she will love and lose, see her relationship with Jeremy Renner fall apart, see herself lose everything, but still decide to let it all happen because of the love she felt for her daughter, knowing she'll lose her. The opening to Arrival is sad, but only upon finishing the film do you realise both how cleverly placed it was, in terms of emotional resonance and due to the premise, but also how big of a massive emotional suckerpunch it is, when you put the timeline in chronological order. OOF. That's some good cinema. But hey, Hardcore Henry had a cool musical montage with slow motion knife stabbings, so...there's that as well. Something for everyone, really.



    2nd Place - Hardcore Henry

    3rd Place - Doctor Strange




    Best Dumb Film

    Hardcore Henry

    Speakiiiiing of Hardcore Henry, man that was a stupid movie, but also a shit-ton of fun, if I do say so myself. Grotty, dudebro'y cinema at its peak in a lot of ways, the film excels best when it's being the ridiculously over the top, violent, first person action extravaganza the trailers show it being, and...well it is. It's not high cinema by any means, but anyone who enjoys dumb action movies, and can stomach seeing the whole movie from the perspective of someone's head, being not so much a found footage film as it is FIRST PERSON CINEMA. That's not a real thing, but it works really well in the film, mainly because a lot of the stunts are practical, and made possible in this perspective through the use of a whole lot of GoPro cameras and some clever directing. It very much feels like the ultimate video game movie, you've got your mute (Which is explained in the movie), super-powered, seemingly indestructible main character, you've got insanely over the top gun fights, car chases, set piece stunts and outlandish supporting characters, which include a white haired guy with magic powers, a pair of dominatrix assassin bikers, and about 700 incarnations of Sharlto Copley at peak...some would say critical mass Copley. All of which is mostly tongue in cheek and played for comedic effect (With some misplaced attempts at feels at times, admittedly), and very much not even trying to be anything more than dumb fun for action, gore loving nerds, and for that reason, it's a really good time. Insanely stupid, with some embarrassingly dudebro dialogue/set-ups, but also a ton of fun, and easily the best stupid film I've seen this year. The other two? Aren't even that dumb in comparison. I mean....Star Trek's pretty dumb, and Southbound was super goofy, but...Hardcore Henry? Well, let's just say if you've ever wanted to see an entirely Sharlto Copley musical number? This is the film for you.




    2nd Place - Star Trek Beyond

    3rd Place - Southbound




    Best Animated Film

    Kubo and the Two Strings

    There wasn't really any doubt, was there? There were a lot of animated films this year that caught the favour of critics, and paying customers, the likes of Zootopia, Finding Dory and Moana all receiving a glowing reception and huge stacks of dosh, whilst films such as The Secret Life of Pets, Sausage Party and Trolls all being financial successes on varying levels, despite a generally lukewarm reception (Sausage Party for sure was a pile of old shit). Then you had the lesser known films, April and the Extraordinary World and The Little Prince both being smaller in terms of attention or financial gain, but nontheless being highly entertaining. And then there was the Angry Birds Movie. Which....*Ahem*. Anyway, moving on. A lot of these films were great, but for me the one to beat was Kubo and the Two Strings, which easily romps home with my Best Animated Film award. LAIKA are exceptional craftsmen when it comes to their sets, characters and animation, but their films, whilst all 3 previous ones being very charming and perfectly good, vary a lot in just how good they actually are when it comes to a more overall verdict (Paranorman being the standout amongst two other good, but lesser films in the form of Coraline and The Boxtrolls). Kubo is easily their best work to date, providing a beautifully crafted experience both in terms of the physical world and characters painstakingly brought to life one frame at a time, but also as a narrative piece itself, the story, who the characters actually are once you get past the nicely made models, the tone, the humour...just, everything about this one clicks where other LAIKA films have maybe been on more shaky ground. It's surprisingly dark, and more quietly emotional compared to most mainstream animated fare, but it's also really fun at times, with some great action sequences and bursts of humour thanks to a great cast of acting talent bringing their all to the piece. Sadly, this film was one of two animated films I listed not to make any money, the other being my 2nd placement, which just says it all, really.



    2nd Place - April and the Extraordinary World

    3rd Place - The Little Prince




    Best Film Nobody Saw

    Victoria

    WARNING : This video contains flashing imagery.

    So, yeah. I'm in the awkward position of trying to sell a nearly 3 hour long, partially subtitled indie movie nobody's probably heard of without giving you a trailer to look at. The reason why? The less you know about this film the better, the true experience is in just being along for the ride, and unfortunately, the only trailer available to show off this film basically shows you the entire film...which avoids the entire point, hence the opening sequence, in all its epileptic glory shown above. So yeah, Victoria is an exceptional drama, and would be so without its main gimmick, but only excels to even higher levels because of it. What gimmick is that? Well the whole thing was filmed in one take. Not made to look like one take, not featuring a single sequence shot in one take....the whole movie was shot in one uninterrupted take across the early morning streets of Berlin, and if you think that means not much is going to happen in this flick, you would most certainly be wrong. At its heart, Victoria is a character drama, it's dialogue heavy, you spend a lot of time with a core cast of characters as they go about their evening, and yes, it can be considered a slow movie, for sure. But it's such an engrossing and enjoyable one, and so worth the slowish start, which in my opinion, was still really enjoyable, but things certainly get a lot more interesting the further you get into the film. I've never seen anything quite like Victoria, and again, there's more to that than just the obvious, one-shot premise flaunting. It's a really great drama/thriller with likeable, complicated characters, beautifully filmed and done so in a staggeringly risky undertaking of being one continuous sequence. If you can deal with a long, at times slow, subtitled movie? You owe it to yourself to check this one out. It's quite the ride.



    2nd Place - High Rise

    3rd Place - The Nice Guys



    Best Soundtrack

    Batman v Superman : Dawn of Justice

    Let me get this right out of the way. Batman v Superman sucked. It had some cool scenes and a general pleasant novelty of seeing these characters interacting with each other on the big screen, but it sucked. One aspect that reaaaally didn't suck, though? That's the soundtrack. Hans Zimmer is the best musicman I ever did here play the musics, he's done some of the best OSTs of the modern age in my opinion, The Dark Knight trilogy, Inception, Interstellar, Sherlock Holmes, Planet Earth II in fact...as a nice callback to our previous Gimpy Awards Part, he's done some gems. Junkie XL isn't quite as well known, but hit the ground running with his exceptionally energetic and awesome Mad Max Fury Road score, and later...did the Deadpool OST I guess? But Batman V Superman saw Hans Zimmer and Junkie XL teaming up for what is apparently Hans Zimmer's last comic book movie score...and DAMN does it pack a hell of a punch. Setting up the theme tunes for Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman ...lexluthor (Who does have a cool theme, even if he sucked total ass) and the Justice League, as well as scoring the film itself, it feels like everything good the pair of them have done in the past mashed all together into an epic, genre-spanning explosion of musical energy, in a film so woefully lacking in enthusiasm or entertainment. Civil War had an epic, powerful score, and Arrival's score bummed me the fuck out, in a good way, but Batman V Superman? It felt like the culmination of everything I've loved about recent Zimmer scores, with a nitro injection of Junkie XL thrown in just to really set things alight. It's the beeeeeee's knees. Shame about the film, really.




    2nd Place - Captain America : Civil War

    3rd Place - Arrival




    Best Movie Moment

    The Airport Showdown (Captain America : Civil War) 

    Hoooooo wee. The previously detailed, spoiler-tastic reveal in Arrival sucked punched me good, and seeing New York unravel into a LSD nightmare the likes of which we haven't seen since The Beatles were big, was a fantastic sight to see in Doctor Strange, but I meeaaaan....can you beat a huge, colourful comic book smackdown the likes of which cinema has never seen? I don't think so. Let's see...we got...Iron Man, War Machine, Spider-Man, Black Panther, Vision, Scarlet Witch, Black Widow, Hawkeye, Captain America, Falcon, Ant-Man, and maybe someone else I've forgotten all throwing down in an airport...all using their various skills and powers, all smoothly filmed and bursting with cartoonish energy and colour? How could this noooot be the best moment in all of 2016 cinema for a guy like me? Civil War was an outstanding film, but it was a surprisingly dark and emotional payoff to all these years of MCU movies coming together in one dramatic clash for the ages and at times you kinda missed the light hearted fun you tend to expect from Marvel. Thankfully, it was still there, and this sequence brought it in spades, the climax may not have been a barrel of laughs, but the fight itself had me grinning from ear to ear the whole time. There's actually two awesome showdowns in Civil War, you've got this fun, comic book romp about, and then you have the actual showdown which is much grittier and emotional later on. Both are great, but this is just...so much fun, and gave us our first look at the MCU's long awaited Spider-Man in action, in the best way possible, fighting and interacting with the whole cast of heroes...excepthulkandthor, not to mention a chance for characters like Ant-Man to steal the show in bombastic fashion which I won't spoil, although you probably already know because you're all nerds and also there was a LEGO set of it, OOPS. But yeah, this is easily my favourite cinema moment of 2016. Thanks for being fun, even when you're being serious, Marvel. Take notes, DC. Fun. FUN. F U N. YES? NO? Never mind. 



    2nd Place - The Reveal (Arrival)

    3rd Place - New York Psychedelia (Doctor Strange)




    Worst Movie Moment

    The Opening 20 Minutes (Suicide Squad)

    Oh hi DC, what's up? Still failing at making movies? Never mind, eh? 2013's Man of Steel was a major dud, and didn't start the DCEU off with a bang, Batman V Superman, whilst featuring more enjoyable scenes was in general a disaster of a movie in terms of how it was constructed and themed. Suicide Squad? Well that made the last two look like Citizen Kane, and the opening sequence is not only the worst movie moment of 2016, but it's one of the worst 20 minutes of cinema I've ever had to sit through in my entire life. It's absolutely garbage. There's a reason it took 14 films and nearly 10 years to get to a point where Marvel could make Civil War without it being a disaster, and that's because they needed to take time to establish characters, establish worlds, and establish relationships between characters, oh, and have us spend time, and experience events with these characters in order to appreciate what those moments mean, and learn to love, or hate the characters depending on the story they've had play out. Batman V Superman failed in a lot of ways because it tried to establish too many things in one singular film, and in the process failed to do any of them...JUSTICE...AHO! DCEU jokes, nice. Suicide Squad? Well that was even fucking worse. Not only did it need to set up ELEVEN different characters, it had to go on the assumption that you only knew one of them well, and that was the Joker. Unfortunately, crossover movies don't do very well when you have nothing to cross over with them, and...well the first 20 minutes are the film trying to establish 11 different characters, the premise of the film, the villain of the piece, the two jarring tones that were mashed together poorly in post BvS and Deadpool reshoots/edits and also try and be a film at the same time. SPOILERS. None of these things happen. What ensues is a film that doesn't even have a sodding opening, it just...starts, and then after randomly introducing two characters, it then goes on to spend the next 15 minutes+ giving you about eight different musical montages that briefly give you the entire backstory and motivation of every main character, and then introduces a bunch more as a lazy afterthought for no reason immediately afterwards, all whilst seemingly the sound editor had left his sodding iPod on shuffle and accidentally put every musical song ever into the first 20 minutes. It's. Fucking. Hell. Any hope I'd had prior to viewing this film, that maybe it'd be better than Batman v Superman was completely obliterated within 10 minutes of nonsensical pacing, editing and jarring additions of corporate mandated zany. Insert Suicide joke here.




    2nd Place - Batman makes out with Batgirl (Batman : The Killing Joke)

    3rd Place -MARTHA!? (Batman v Superman : Dawn of Justice)




    Most Anticipated Movie of 2017

    KONG : Skull Island

    Ooohhh please be good. Pleaaaaase? A film like this can go either way, let's be honest. Sure it has two great trailers, but the whole point of a trailer is to make you think "Hey, this film looks awesome!" even when it actually isn't, just look at Suicide Squad. Or don't. Look away, children, it's not polite to stare at things like that. Kong : Skull Island could live or die on the premise that it's setting up Kong as a franchise character in a cinematic universe, and not just remaking the classic B&W original yet again, and having the poor ape fall off a building once more. Sure, it's awesome to think this is in the same universe as the underrated 2014 Legendary Godzilla (Which is about all we get Godzilla-wise in the UK, because fuck you, Toho), and knowing the big G and the big K are gonna have a big F (Fight, not Fuck, sorry) in 2020 helps me sleep at night in a world with so few reasons to be joyful these days, but it could also follow in the footsteps of certain OTHER Warner Bros attempts at making expanded universes, and fall completely flat in its attempts at tying them together. That said, from everything I've seen so far, it's going to be a ton of fun, and visually stunning. A post-Vietnam, Apocalypse Now inspired action movie with the biggest Kong ever put to film and an crazy island full of cool monsters? How could I not be excited for that? Throw in the likes of John Goodman, Alison Brie, Sam L Jackson and Tom 'Hiddledy Fiddledy' Hiddleston and just...DAMN. I'm really excited for Skull Island, and I'm going to be really upset if it sucks. Still, The LEGO Batman Movie, although being in the same position of potentially sucking despite being awesome is already making me grin, and Guardians of the Galaxy 2...is...well...Guardians of the Galaxy 2...y'know? I'm ready for that. So ready. Feed it to me, Marvel. And don't let me down with my 1st and 2nd place, WARNER BROS. YOU BIG FRANCHISE RUINER, YOU. FUCCCCKK.



    2nd Place -The LEGO Batman Movie

    3rd Place - Guardians of the Galaxy 2





    Worst Movie

    Suicide Squad

    AaaAAAAAaGhh. What a disaster. I already talked at length about just how jaw-droppingly terrible the opening of Suicide Squad is, but honestly that's merely 20 minutes of an over 2 hour long trainwreck that spends precisely 0 minutes being in any form good or enjoyable. There's three sides to this film, you've got the ADD nightmare that is the opening, you've got the poorly edited disaster that is the 2nd act, and the tonally dissonant generic snore-fest that is the 3rd. Watch and be amazed as a whole host of talented actors playing beloved comic book characters are transformed into shit before your very eyes as their every reason for existing is summed up in disorienting, faux-peppy montages and whince-inducing dialogue, both in writing and delivery. Watch and be astounded as a film that tried to sell itself on being vibrant, punky and original just ends up devolving into another dull, poorly made blockbuster sludge pile with a main plot that is completely cookie cutter and moronic, and a main villain who just sits in a corner, jiggling their hips and smooching people into becoming bubble monsters who's main power is being practically useless in every way, and barely visible in their sequences due to them being entirely black in an almost entirely darkly-lit film. Watch in awe as the film shifts tone like a car slamming on the breaks in the 3rd act, attempting (and failing) to squeeze all emotional relatability into just one sequence in a bar. And then desperately try to fight the urge to slip into a boredom and depression induced coma as the whole thing climaxes in a incoherent, nonsensical final fight that makes you wish DC Comics had never been born. How anyone can tell me this is a film they enjoyed, let alone say it was a great film is beyond me. It's so far beyond me it would take billions of pounds and a team of crack scientists to build the shuttle and invent the cryogenic stasis tubes required for me to travel across the known universe for hundreds of years and find out just what people actually like about this terribly made, poorly acted, boring, stupid, and aggressively unlikeable movie. Three films into the DCEU and things have gotten worse with each progressive entry. Oh dear. How excited are we for Wonder Woman and Justice League? Not at all, actually. Funny, that.



    2nd Place -Batman : The Killing Joke

    3rd Place - Batman v Superman : Dawn of Justice




    Best Movie

    Kubo and the Two Strings

    Thankfully, despite the abundance of terrible movies this year, mainly produced by DC, it seems. There still managed to be a lot of great, in fact, it was hard to choose a favourite out of the 5 lead nominees (The other two being Victoria and 10 Cloverfield Lane) in this category, but in the end, I had to be boring and predictable and go for the outstanding stop motion animation. Sorry. Actually I'm not sorry, because this film deserves the praise it receives, in all honesty. I've already spoken a lot about it above, so I'll keep this final award brief, but Kubo and the Two Strings is just a spectacular piece of cinema, it would have been even if it hadn't been animated, but that devotion and passion LAIKA put into every film of theirs physically, to create beautiful scenery, incredible sequences, detailed and believable characters and breath takingly smooth animation sets it as a high bar for all films in 2016 to try, and ultimately fail to surpass. Arrival was an intelligent, engrossing and original science fiction gem, Civil War was an epic, well crafted and highly entertaining blockbuster that put together all the pieces on the MCU chess board beautifully, but Kubo? Well...it's beautiful, it is. A sombre tale, epic in scale but personal and small in the details, with a ton of heart, great characters, beautiful visuals, a heap of fun moments, insanely ambitious set pieces for the artform, and all these things come together to create an unforgettable experience which you absolutely need to check out if you missed it at the cinema. There's no doubt in my mind that Kubo will be overlooked during awards season in favour of the likes of Zootopia and Moana, but whilst those films highlight the stacks of big budget money behind them, and well worn (But nontheless entertaining) themes and tropes behind every Disney film, polished to a fine, but familiar gem, Kubo is something entirely bold and unique for mainstream animation, a dark, emotional epic adventure that, whilst like every film, isn't perfect by any means, manages to go places and explore concepts that other films may avoid exploring. Also, there's a totally rad monkey 'mom' in it, voiced by Charlize Theron, who uses a samurai sword to fight evil witches on a magic boat. So I mean. There's that, too.




    2nd Place - Arrival

    3rd Place - Captain America : Civil War




    HoOOOo wee, there's Part 2 out of the way! What did you think? Angry at me for dissing Suicide Squad? Well, be civil (war?) in the comments, but feel free to voice your own opinions on the various winners and losers in this blog, be they the ones you agree, or disagree with. What are your thoughts on these films? What were your top and bottom films and moments of 2016? Let me know! I'd love to read it, and HEY, if you liked this, give it a DANG OL ZING, and share it around with folks if you think others totally need to see this one guy's opinion on movies. 

    Part 3 is coming on Friday, and will deal with VIDEO GAMES, WOOOOO...but just the meagre selection of ones I managed to play with only an Xbox 360, 3DS and Wii U to play on, so...that'll be unique, y'know? Also we'll be handing out the Cunt of the Year award, and also finding out which overall thing was the best part of 2016. See you then! LATER GATORS.

  • The Saga Is Over

    6 months ago

    LoZelda RTX PA Team Lead

    It seems that in all the craziness of handling RTCSS and getting ready to move, I never did a final update here on the surgery recovery. Oops! My bad. It went up on Twitter and YouTube, but I know some of you don't go to those places and I don't want to leave you hanging!



  • Inca for DOS review

    6 months ago

    Darkwynd_Portu

    Happy New Year! And let’s just hope it’ll be better than 2016.

    And like I said, we’ll begin with my first request: Inca for DOS.

    Inca is an action-adventure game made by French developer Coktel Vision and published by Sierra On-Line. Originally released in 1992 for DOS in floppy disk format and re-released a year later in CD-ROM format for DOS and CD-i.

    Inca is one of those games that I’ve heard a lot when growing up, but never had an opportunity to play it until recently.

    Click here for the rest of the review

  • Goodbye 2016

    6 months ago

    LoZelda RTX PA Team Lead

    Well this was a hell of a year, huh? Even right up to the end it had to shit on the world continuously. I dunno about you, but I'm excited to move on.