Update


Well it’s been a bit of a quiet week as far as this website’s concerned and I’ve had a few distractions what with life and work etc that has meant I haven’t had the interest to really watch any movies.

On the other hand, I have been playing games and trying to get as much out of my shiny new Xbox One X as I can.  One game I’ve played at length so far is Far Cry 5 – a real showcase for the system, with high quality texture detail, fantastic lighting, bright, sunny vistas, lush forests and quality NPC animation as well as a huge world to explore.  The only real puzzling aspect is the rather bland water (games like Witcher 3 and Sea of Thieves do water so much better).  The gameplay is fairly par of the course for open world games, but is quite engaging, helped by some movie quality shoot-outs and plenty of atmosphere with the ability to approach most tasks however you see fit.  The backdrop of a religious cult taking over a southern community is both topical and intriguing, and something not that explored in other games.  I’ve also dipped in and out of older games in my possession like Gears of War 4 (which looks stunning), Mafia 3 (finally the game runs smoothly!) and Rise of the Tomb Raider (probably the best looking game I’ve played on the X so far).  In addition to these I’ve recently got hold of the five times Bafta award winning Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice which is a different kind of hack and slash game, where the focus is less on combat and instead that of the fragile psyche of the lead character and her journey into a hellish underworld to free her lover’s soul (I think), and explores aspects of mental health quite unlike any game I’ve played.  It’s also gorgeous.  This former PlayStation 4 exclusive looks fantastic on Xbox One X and is another showcase for the system, especially once you start getting further into the game.

Hellblade

Hellblade on Xbox One X

I’d like to blog more about games and am thinking of doing a post on favourite games of all time, although it won’t be a top ten.  I also have much interest in game-graphics and with such boundless power these consoles have now it seems, why do we still see games like Far Cry not have mirrors in bathrooms (usually they’re broken and therefore non-reflective…really?) it’s a pet peeve but I’ve seen them done perfectly in much older games (Max Payne 2 comes to mind) without a hitch.  Mafia 3 attempts them but they are all messed up (even still after the X patch).  Do game developers really struggle with this seemingly simple thing??  By now things like mirrors, realistic weather and convincing water effects should be a given … some games pull it off great (check out the still industry leading rain effects in Watchdogs).  The snow and blizzard effects in The Division are also great, but most games never seem to cover all things to the same level, excelling in some areas but letting themselves down in others.  It’s rarely the complete package.  So are we still a little ways off fully impressive looking games that just simply nail everything as far as realistic effects creating convincing real-world representations?  It’s clearly more about development shortcomings and less about the graphical power at hand.

Below are two examples of great looking graphics,

captured directly from the Xbox One X

Quantum Break   Witcher 3

With Gaming PCs, PS4 Pro and Xbox One X now available, and hints of next-gen around the corner … when will such graphics reach a standard where nothing, and I mean nothing seems out of place and the overall impact is jaw-dropping.  We’re close I know it.  Just not quite there yet.

Craig.

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Ramblings


Well sitting here at my computer, some 90s music blaring out via iTunes, scrolling through various blogs, internet stuff etc, felt like blogging some stuff that’s in my head.

CES has just come and gone, and what’s with these new curved TVs?  Why do we need to watch something on a curved surface?  Is it cool or more a case of technology for technologies sake?  Oh and what about Ultra HD… 4k, OLED etc…. I have a Full HD 1080p 40inch LED television that I think is more that good enough…. but suppose if the technology really takes off, then we’ll all have them … one day.  I like to at least try and keep up with new gadgets, tech but its all moving so fast these days.

samsung-unveiled-giant-4k-oled-tv

I am looking forward to a new Garbage album out this year, and following their touring adventures on Twitter, Facebook has been a joy since they returned from their hiatus.  It’s pretty cool isn’t it, with the internet and everything, that us regular human beings can feel so close to these celebrities, rock stars these days?  So much more than it used to be say in the 80s or 90s.  Oh and talking of 90s, as I write this, Pulp’s Common People is playing … that track is sublime.

Shirley Manson of Garbage

On the gaming front, it’s fun looking forward to some of the new games on the horizon … especially Watchdogs which is due out in the spring, and has been announced as being available in various special editions, including one called Dedsec… that comes with a figurine of the main character and soundtrack, the game in a steelbook, badges, an art book and other shizzle…for £94.99 … yes a bit (ahem) pricey.  Talking of pricey, I have ordered Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition for XB1, for three reasons:  firstly there’s not a lot to play on the new console until at least late February (Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes???) and well it’s a shiny new version of one of my favourite games of last year.  Also it comes out in deluxe packaging, never a bad thing.

I look at this blog and wonder if sometimes I should post more, get my thoughts and feelings out there, probably not get too personal but unleash my annoyances, concerns, feelings out there … for the public to read, puzzle over, laugh and smile at … but I probably wont … I am just a bit more inward than I sometimes think I should be.  That being said to me this blog is an outlet, a place for me to write about what ever I want, even if it isn’t movie related… yes that remains the main subject of the blog, but sometimes I’ll write as today about other things.  This has been a bit of a random post from me and not really for any other reason than to just write about something and get my thoughts down.  Hope you have enjoyed reading, maybe you learnt a little more about me in the process, or maybe not.

But as we begin a new year, thanks to all who take time to read my stuff on here and I promise to keep posting reviews and musings.  Will you join me on this journey?