I feel I’ve been neglecting my readers of late and not posting as much as I should.  What can I say, life get’s in the way and yes I have a life.  But apart from that I really do like posting on this blog even if only a handful of people ever read it…those handful are important though!  Anyway I digress.  What I wanted was to give you the heads up about a few things I’ve been doing of late.  There’s been an emphasis on gaming and well, I got myself some games I need to get around to finishing before the big slew of releases leading up the Christmas.  There are too many good games coming out to actually manage to play them all let alone complete – but I have my beady eyes on a few.


For now though two games are on regular rotation, that being Uncharted 4: A Thieves End on PS4, arguably the best looking PS4 game and a rather polished adventure with that as expected Naughty Dog mastery of detail and game design.  I won’t say for such a game it’s grabbed me as much as Rise of the Tomb Raider did, but then that game was more about survival and this game’s more a summer blockbuster.  But I’m enjoying it.  The other game I took a gamble with and downloaded is the much underrated Recore for XB1, like Uncharted an exclusive but nowhere near as well received, which is understandable – Uncharted is clearly a flagship title for PS4 and Sony whereas Recore was under-Recoremarketed and isn’t really meant to be a system seller as much as the forthcoming Gears of War 4 will be.  However what it is is a rather classic throwback to platform shooter / exploration games like Metroid and I’m enjoying it a lot.  I love exploration, puzzle solving and platforming and this does those three things brilliantly.  The surrounding game, it’s story and it’s character design isn’t anything to write home about and it suffers from a few technical issues here and there … but it’s nowhere near as bad as the media will have you believe.  I’d say If you like the sound of it, give it a chance.

I also have Mafia 3 pre-ordered on the XB1 and have asked for Watchdogs 2 on PS4 for my birthday (note for your diaries readers, it’s 14 November lol).  I also would like to dive into the latest expansion that’s been released for Destiny namely ‘Rise of Iron’.  I really like Destiny and it’s world and the upgrading of my character and weapons and exploring etc.  keeps pulling me back far more than The Division seems it ever will.    But to save money and give me a chance of completing those two games above, I’m holding off on taking the leap as of yet.  I can also see even Dishonoured 2, a game I’m particularly excited for being put on the back burner until there are not so many games to play.

Daredevil S2

TV is taking up some of my time too and I’m trying to finish off current seasons of certain shows that I like, such as having just finished Daredevil season 2 (it was great, sometimes amazing, started a little slow but really delivered half way through.  I think I still favour season 1 more though).  Also nearing the end of the current season of Orange is The New Black which I feel has failed to really hit it’s stride this season apart from a strong opening and the return of a favourite character…I just wonder where it’s going.   I’m also watching House of Cards season 2 … yes I’m waaay behind but love it.  Its been pretty strong this season too.   Also enjoying British police drama Luthor…I think I’m on series 3…but I lose track.  Suitably violent and disturbing and well, Idris Elba is fantastic.  I’ve also lined up two more Netflix Marvel shows to get into, Jessica Jones which I keep hearing good things about and the imminent Luke Cage which looks a lot of fun.  I may focus on Jones first as the two shows seems to connect with one another by looks of it.


Now back on topic … for movies I have a few in the pipeline you’ll be seeing reviews of.  I need to get around to watching Everybody Wants Some!  Richard Linklater’s spiritual sequel to one of my all time favourite movies, Dazed & Confused.  Also I’m hoping to see The Magnificent Seven with friends from work next week sometime.  Did I also mention that I have a special edition of Donnie Darko coming?  Look out for an in-depth review of that and how it stacks up on Blu-ray.  Also there’s that final Studio Ghibli movie When Marnie Was There that‘s out soon so I can’t wait to get my paws on that.

I’ve not forgotten about my continuing series My Gaming History which will have a new post in the coming days so look out for that.  But for now that’s what’s going on with me as far as a few of my hobbies, interests and this blog is concerned.


Ori and the Blind Forest – impressions

Ori and the Blind Forest

I’ll admit, the latest blockbuster game over a smaller indie game will normally hold my attention much longer every time.  However recently that has changed, and with the release of the gorgeous old-school platformer ‘Ori and the Blind Forest’, my once feverish love of platforming games, harking back to the glory days of Sonic The Hedgehog, has been restored.

You play as a woodland spirit who after the death of his adoptive mother, he has to fend for himself in a sprawling forest in hope of returning it to it’s former glory.  I can’t say the story is the big pull here, and it’s fairly whimsical and vague at best, but the setting … this ultra-detailed woodland environment is a sheer wonder to behold.  This is certainly the best looking old-school platformer I have ever seen, utilising the graphical power of XB1 (and XB360, this is a Microsoft exclusive, so it’s also on the PC), to create a world that’s really fun to explore.  Now this is no easy children’s game, despite it’s cute looks – there are puzzles, platforming acrobatics and a wealth of abilities to upgrade that make every area fiendishly tricky.  Trick as in, it never feels like I can’t get past an area, it’s just going to take timing, memorization and a bit of skill.  That’s the addictive quality of this game and each new section presents new ways to play and explore and combat enemies.  It’s also a huge game and over 8 hours in I am still finding new places and earning new skills.

from my channel on YouTube

For £15.99 this is a must buy.  It borrows heavily from games such as Metroid and Sonic The Hedgehog and wear’s it’s clichés proudly – it doesn’t do a lot new, but gimmicks in my opinion have ruined many a decent looking platformer in the past, and this just does what it does very well indeed.


Gaming highlights now to the end of the year

As a movie lover, I can also greatly appreciate the atmosphere and interactivity of a videogame, and can get a similar joy from following a story I feel more of a part of than just sitting and watching events unfold on screen (not that I am knocking that).  Between now and Xmas, there are some choice landmarks in gaming coming our way, be you a PS3, XBOX 360 or Nintendo Wii owner….behold!

(Note: release dates are based on UK release only)

SUPER PAPER MARIO  (released 14 September 2007)

Nintendo brings us a unique spin on their cherished platform heritage as pint-sized plumber Mario goes all RPG on us in this story heavy adventure that sees you playing across both 2D and 3D platforming worlds in hope of defeating a maniacle wizard.  So far this has been getting rave reviews across the board!

HALO 3  (released 26 September 2007)

Microsoft’s flagship game for the 360 arrives in late September following massive hype and record breaking pre-orders.  What I have seen so far looks a return to form for the franchise that stalled with Halo 2 being rushed and full of bugs.  Let’s all cross our fingers that this time the campaign matches the quality of the multiplayer!

HALF-LIFE 2: THE ORANGE BOX  (released 19 October 2007)

Acclaimed developer Valve bring us Christmas early in what hopes to be the best value gaming package ever released.  In the box we get the often regarded as best game ever made Half-Life 2, along with the acclaimed follow up Episode One and the hyped Episode Two, not to mention puzzle shooter Portal and online multiplayer-fest Team Fortress 2.  For me this is my big white hope for 2007!

METROID PRIME 3: CORRUPTION  (released 26 October 2007)

Nintendo’s iconic shooter-come-puzzle platformer is given a new lease of life thanks to the Wii’s unique motion sensitivity and series star Samus Aran is once again battling space pirates in an organic, eye catching alien world. What seperates Prime from your usual shooter experience is that everything just comes together so well, the atmospher, the graphics and the action. Bring it on!

ASSASSINS CREED  (released 30 November 2007)

Ubi Soft re-invent the Prince of Persia template with a medievil take on Hitman, with you as a mysterious assassin out to redeem himself.  Very cutting edge crowd dynamics, swordplay and most excting of all, the ability to climb, run and jump across a beautifully realised landscape.  Lets just hope it has the depth and story to go with the visuals!

SUPER MARIO GALAXY  (released 30 November 2007)

Mario returns in this highly anticipated platformer that has our iconic hero jumping from miniature planet to miniature planet in some of the most finely tuned platforming series creator Shigeru Miyamoto has ever designed.  Vibrant, stylish and unmissable Nintendo brilliance!!  The hit for Christmas?  Lets hope so.