Part 3!

Tudor is churning out the links to our Let’s Play, it’s fun and games all round! Watch, Laugh, Mock!!!!!

Let’s Play Halo 4 – Part 3: Forerunner

Also, to any of you that have played the Walking Dead game, check out the add-on ‘400 Days’ it’s a very clever little DLC that really adds to the whole experience.

Let’s Play!!!!

So I’ve been busy a lot recently, but I did a ‘Let’s Play’ of Halo 4 with my old buddy Tudor for Big Red Barrell, he’s finally uploading them so I’m gonna be posting the links here.

Please keep in mind I’m a super nerd, and in these videos…we’re drinking a lot ūüėõ

Let’s Play Halo 4 – Part 1: Dawn

When There Is No More Room Left In Hell…

Yo!!!!!

Sorry I’ve been quiet awhile, got distracted, lots to do, not enough nerdy stuff in my life. Never fear though, finished The Walking Dead Game…

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Holy Shit! What an amazing game, seriously this damn game made me emotional, stressed, angry, sad, in ways that no other game has before.

Despite the fact I knew I was playing a Walking Dead game it still took me by surprise time and time again, even when I thought there were no more surprises to be had in a particular episode.

WARNING: SPOILERS TO FOLLOW

So you start as Lee, on his way to prison for accidentally (or intentionally, its never made perfectly clear) murdering the man sleeping with his wife. As you’re driving along you’re chatting to the cop driving the car and trying to point out a little backstory, you’re looking out the window every now and then (and I swear I saw someone getting eaten) and just taking in the sights one last time before you get to the prison (which I think might have been the prison from the comics/tv series) when suddenly BAM! you hit a pedestrian and crash horribly in the woods next to the highway. You awake in a daze, still in the car. The controls become clear as a console version of ‘point and click’ and through a series of ‘clicks’ you’re free and outside the car, still handcuffed, you grab the keys, de-cuff, kill the recently zombified cop and run for your fuckin’ life.

The words ‘The Walking Dead’ appear on screen and so it begins. From there you adopt a child called Clementine, kill a zombie babysitter and make new friends on their way to a farm. You have just played 15 minutes of the first episode.¬†

From there it’s a series of encounters with increasingly hostile humans as you try to figure out the rules of conversion, killing¬†methods¬† safe havens and an overall understanding that human beings are monstrous and evil and zombies by comparison¬†aren’t¬†all that bad. See but this is where it all gets bloody fascinating to play this game, there are moments of interaction so intense that I actually forgot about the zombies. You come across a huge selection of people, some of which are strong, loyal and understanding, but to anyone who has ever read the comics or watched the tv show you’ll of course understand that most of the characters you come across have vicious, cruel and sometimes disgusting agendas. Whole sections of the game devoted to saving this person or that person end in tragedy and the best part about this game is the fact that none of those moments feel like a waste of time, they feel like you truly failed and let someone down.

That’s why this game has become one of my favourites of all time. Firstly it’s more an interactive series than actual game, second it makes you feel EVERYTHING! Every single death or disagreement or betrayal or shit situation is dropped on your shoulders so hard that by episode 5 you can barely walk any longer, it’s all your fault and the game makes that abundantly clear.

You’re given the leader position pretty early on, you never ask for it, it’s handed to you without question and you strive to make the right choices for the group (mostly for Clementine really but still). When you try to save Shawn on the farm and he dies anyway, that’s your fault (and Kenny will remember that you didn’t try and save his son instead).When you move from the pharmacy to the Motel and lose Doug, that’s your fault and you’re called stupid and irresponsible. When you find the perfect farm and move everyone there only to find the farm owners are cannibals, that’s your fault again. The game hits you with human cruelty and immorality time and time again and every time it fucks up…your fault. When you’ve finally reached a decent place and plan by episode 4, a character takes you to one side and spells out all your failures up to that point, and no matter how many emotional moments games have thrown at me in the past…I was not prepared for that. See no matter what you do you’re a dick. Can’t please everybody.

Story wise the game is flawless, tugs at the heart strings and all. My only tiny gripe is that most of the character arcs just sorta reached a peak and remained stagnant from there. Lee wants redemption and all his arc consists of is him trying to be the best man he can be. My favourite arc was that of little Clementine, a 9 year old girl who starts out scared shitless, meets a stranger, goes on a quest to find her missing parents, learns horrible truths, sees horrible things, overcomes them and¬†ultimately rises above all that so as to survive,¬†that’s¬†good character story right there.¬†

As I said with the whole ‘still shocks me regardless’ it’s the fifth episode that really blew me away. Episode 4 ends with Clem being kidnapped by a mysterious stranger and Lee going to find her, but in 5 minutes of story Lee is bitten, amputated, beaten, bleeding, and desperate to find Clem. The point of the entire season is that relationship between you as Lee and Clem as your main (and in some regards ONLY) objective, she must live, nothing else matters. So when Lee finally finds her with her kidnapper and the game has you choke the life out of him (one handed!) it makes damn sure you feel the brutality of what you’ve just done,¬†makes¬†you feel the true desperation of your situation. How desperate you need to save her is.

Ultimately it does something I¬†didn’t¬†expect. See I know there’s a season 2 of this game, so naturally I expected to survive well into season 2…boy was I wrong, at the eleventh hour the game kills you, leaving little Clem to fend for herself and flee the city alone. I should’ve remembered The Walking Dead’s creator Robert Kirkman’s words “no one is safe”. He famously stated that in the comics he would never make anyone unkillable or invincible, that if he needed to maim, kill, zombify a character he would not hesitate. The game follows those words flawlessly

This game isn’t an action game, it isn’t a thriller or survival horror. This game is a ‘what if’. What if the world suddenly converted 90% of it’s population in zombies? What would regular people do in that situation? What would YOU do in that situation? It takes our fears, our propensity for mistrust and cruelty and hate and malice and shows it to us, teeth bared. It tugs at your heart strings, it makes you feel like a failure even though you survived. It has taken all the best things about Kirkman’s comic book series and puts you in control of your fate, you are no longer an observer of the Armageddon, you’re a survivor stuck smack dab in the middle of it.

And just to twist the knife it makes damn sure you realise that you aren’t good enough to survive, no matter what you do.

I fuckin’ love this game, bring on Season 2!

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Had I Known

Yo!!!!! 

So here I was thinking the Cosplay community was pretty respected and all the cosplayers were well respected in their own right and no letched over by ignorant photographers.

I know Jessican Nigri is hot, I’m not blind, but she’s a phenomenal cosplayer and from what I’ve hear or read on Twitter she’s a pretty amazing human being. These are people, not porn stars, so when I read an article (link below) about cosplayers being treated like pieces of meat or spoken to like dirt, I was shocked. Worst of all the offending photographer blamed the cosplayer, saying “she dressed sexily”, fuck you dude, what kind of man is proud of saying things like that?¬†

Read for yourself: http://www.geeksaresexy.net/2013/04/04/costumes-are-not-consent-combatting-cosplayer-harassment/ 

Disgusting¬†behaviour¬† you should be ashamed of yourself. Yes these women are beautiful, yes video game women tend to dress in very sexy ways but NO you are not allowed to be an outright sicko about it. Sure you can look, be impressed, swoon a little, but don’t mistreat or insult these women, they didn’t dress like Lara Croft or Jack from Mass Effect to pick up dudes, they did it cos they’re passionate about games, cos it takes serious talent to make these outfits, and cos it’s fun. Compliment the work that went into the outfit, don’t drool like a sicko and make disgusting remarks.

Be a gentleman.

I understand, No disintegrations, but still…

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He has given an awful lot to charity, he defined our childhoods….BUT!

He subsequently ruined them too.

Today I found out Disney (the now total owner of everything nerdy I hold dear) has shut down the Lucasarts game company and, in turn cancelled Star Wars 1313, Battlefront 3 etc.

Which has become the straw that broke the Bantha’s back, cos let’s face it we’ll never get back that feeling, you know the one, that sense of awe and beauty that episodes 4,5 and 6 created, the one that wasn’t diminished by the 1994 re-releases and upgrades, the one that was flat out destroyed by a combination of Anakin’s ghost being replaced by Hayden whatshisface and the bad choice of re-dubbing over Jeremy Bulloch and Jar Jar.

What.The.Fuck? and I ask this not just for me but for any Star Wars fan over the age of about 21. Star Wars rocked the world! Empire Strikes back is the Godfather Part 2 of Sci-Fi films. Anakin’s decline into darkness was easily explained by ghost Obi-Wan, we didn’t need to see it, and certainly not covered in CGI like a badly made ice cream sundae.

Episode One started off really well in my opinion, young Obi-Wan and his badass master Qui Gonn on a diplomatic mission,¬†assassination¬†attempt, droids, quips, escape. Yay awesome! Then: “Mesa Jar Jar Binks” illiterate, moronic, frog alien, sidekick, Followed by dumb plot,¬†immaculately¬†conceived boy, the force being a chemical imbalance, short race, AWESOME¬†villain¬†fight, more bullshit plot, capped off with a fucking brilliant three-way lightsaber duel in which the awesome bad guy DIES? He could’ve been the villain all the way through! Followed by more useless plot crap. WHY DO YOU HATE US LUCAS?!

Episode Two promised to be the start of the greatest war in the Star Wars lore. Any Star Wars fan that knew anything about the extended universe knew that the Clone War was one of the coolest conflicts in the galaxy far far away’s history. They pulled out all the stops, Jango Fett, Samuel L Windu, Christopher Lee! Yoda with a lightsaber! and promptly fucked all that up too. Throwing in wussy Hayden whatshisface to play Anakin as badly as possible, revealing…wait….¬†REVEALING¬†BOBA FETT’S FUCKING IDENTITY! The whole point of the background character that became a fan favourite was that no one actually knew who he really was or what he really looked like, we know now that he looks like (the¬†admittedly¬†awesome) Temuera Morrison. Fuck George, some mystery please…please?! Throw in a bunch of pretty useless and short lived battles where you pretty much gave every alien idea you ever had a robe and a lightsaber and killed them all off. Add one cool battle between Yoda and Dooku, cut Anakin’s hand off, frowned upon marriage, roll credits. Leave Greg sitting in the cinema with his friends going “what the fuck was that?” Where the hell was the war? Oh I have to watch a whole kids cartoon series to see that? Fuck You! I’ll stick with the¬†Genndy Tartakovsky short toons.

Episode three I’ve seen maybe twice, I remember from the¬†beginning¬†of the Anakin vs Obi-Wan mega fight all the way up to the “Noooooooooo” and the credits. So basically I remember the best or most¬†important¬†plot points of that two and a half hour sum up, that’s all episode three was. It’s “oh shit we have one film to connect all the dots up in” so they make Anakin evil in about 20 minutes, they reveal the terribly hidden secret that Palpatine was Emperor Palpatine from episode six (could they at least have hidden the name or something?), kill off Windu (why?!) Bring Chewie in for all of 10 minutes, Yoda runs away to Dagobah, Obi-Wan fucks Anakin up, Emperor makes him Vader,¬†Padme gives birth to Luke and Leia, dies and that last little tacked on “Qui Gonn knows how to be a blue ghost, might be helpful for the next film”, roll credits. Cue an entire¬†community¬†of Star Wars fans going “Fuck You George Mother Fucking Lucas”.

George plans episode seven, we all worry ourselves stupid, George sells to Disney, we worry less or more depending on our opinions of Disney over George, Disney cancels Lucasarts games, Greg starts building his own Death Star/Lightsaber/Clone Army

Thank you George Lucas for Episodes 4,5 and 6 and the joy they brought before you went in and fucked up the little details that made them special to me and millions of others.

As for 1,2 and 3? Thank you for Darth Maul and Mace Windu, you dick.

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Guardians!….Gather…I guess

 

 

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As you all know I am on Media Blackout (and it’s going well so don’t ruin it please) but I was made aware of the Guardians film before my blackout and have some concerns. I took it upon myself to educate myself on the comic book version of the Guardians and their escapades through the galaxy, as a comic book team they are pretty awesome.

But that’s in a comic, where the laws of physics are dictated by whoever wrote the comic at the time. The universe of the¬†Marvel¬†comics is a beautifully backwards universe of men made of silver and laser beams shooting out of a man’s eyes.

Problem is the Marvel Cinematic Universe is based as close to reality as possible, It’s based primarily on the Ultimate Marvel comics which were designed to attract new readers and be more realistic, No retcons, deaths are permanent, science is used as much as possible. Don’t get me wrong there is still a lot of unrealistic events and possibilities but it has to be real enough that you can believe a man in a metal suit can fly or that super soldiers are possible.

I honestly thought the Thor movie would’ve been the disaster of the cinematic series, but they were smart with that, they made Thor a powerful alien, they made Asgard a distant planet and Thor’s ability as more science than magic. Yes they called him a demi god but they kept saying thing akin to “magic is just science we don’t understand yet” Success! That’s a wrap, give Marvel their much deserved applause and money.

I don’t think that’s gonna work so well here. I hope, I really do, that Lord Of the Ring has made the idea of walking, talking, fighting tree people acceptable, but I’m not sure somehow, Ents in¬†space¬†seems too much. The issue isn’t with Star Lord (who has basically the same origin story as DC’s Green Lantern without the ring) or Gamora (badass green chick with a sword, think avatar but better) and Drax (paint Vin Diesel green, make him break things). It’s the two other members, the¬†aforementioned tree man Groot, and Rocket Raccoon. Rocket Raccoon in the comics is fucking awesome, about the size of an ewok, temper like Wolverine and armed to the freaking teeth with massive, powerful guns and hilarious one-liners, but that’s in a comic, by the same¬†company¬†that made¬†Howard¬†the Duck¬†, we all know how he turned out on the¬†big¬†screen…

It’s a fantastic idea and it will have a place in the lore if the rumours of Thanos’ involvement in future projects is to be believed, but can it be done, can an audience that believes in demi-god’s and Scarlett Johansen’s cleavage staying in that cat suit without help also believe in a talking raccoon super soldier from space? Furthermore what about the Ant Man film that is picking up speed in development? Iron Man is awesome, Cap has a renewed sense of cool thanks to Avengers, Mark Ruffalo made Hulk a legend again, but a man who’s only powers are to change his size and control ants? Hank Pym is a great character and a very intelligent Marvel hero, but even in the comics his powers are kinda lame.¬†Ignoring casting or the direction of the brilliant Edgar Wright, can a lame character really be interesting enough for a whole movie of his own? Will he be taken seriously?

I worry because I am a HUGE Marvel fan, these characters were an important part of my childhood, it worries me that this is a mis-step after a hugely successful first Phase of films.

Time will tell