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Top 5 Best Gaming Special Editions

Callum

The current generation of gaming has seen ‘special’ editions go from a genuine rarity to something expected with every big release; the previous generation of consoles had 37 special edition releases, the current has over a whopping 125 (and counting). Cynics would call them nothing more than an effort to part gamers with even more of their hard-earned cash, with some offerings little more than in-game bonuses and DLC, whilst figurines seem to be the current flavour of the month.

Crystal Blue Persuasion: Breaking Down “Breaking Bad”

Max

Malcolm in the Middle’s dad is a crystal meth cook. To be more accurate, the actor Bryan Cranston dons this new career path as Breaking Bad’s Walter White. To watch this Jekyll and Hyde-like character is a master class in acting, and full credit is due to the Emmy Award winner (3 consecutive years nonetheless).

Walt is a fifty year old chemistry teacher (and part-time cashier), a remarkably intelligent man whose life could have been very different, a man trying to support his pregnant wife and disabled son (played by RJ Mitte, who suffers from cerebral palsy in real life), a man who discovers he has lung cancer…

Gaming Sequels: A Developer’s Headache

Callum

Hitman: Absolution has ended a six-year long wait for another sequel in the much-loved stealth franchise. Despite scoring what can be described as very strong scores across most reviews (it’s currently sitting at 81 for Xbox on Metacritic, one less than its predecessor) it has greatly upset some fans of the series due to slightly changing the formulae of the previous four games.

Top 5 Invented Languages For TV and Film

Lyndsay Moir

We have all been there, sat with our nibble of choice and plenty of beers (or soda) chilling in the fridge, ready to watch the newest film that we have been all hyped about, or ready to destroy our way through a huge new TV box set. Well I was doing this just last night, with a cheeky bit of Game of Thrones before bed, and suddenly I was listening to a language I didn’t quite recognise, when they started to speak Dothraki. Then a thought struck me, mid popcorn munch, as to just how many languages have actually been made up for a TV series of Film, and even better, which ones are my favourite? It seems all writers are now going that extra ‘Tolkien’ mile to construct a new language for their stories, so there are so many to choose from!

Here is my list of my all time favourite made up languages

Endless Road – iOS Review

Ruaidhri Walker

I have never made secret my love for Mirror’s Edge, I wrote an entire love letter to it here. It may seem like a bit of a faux pas to start a review for one game by talking about a love of another but for me it’s like telling your friends that your girlfriend/boyfriend looks like Mylene Klass/ David Tennant, the comparison is more praise than anything else you can give. Endless Road is close to aesthetic perfection as Mirror’s Edge.

Pony Trails – iOS Review

Ruaidhri Walker

What is a pony? I genuinely have no idea. Is it a short horse? Or a breed of horse? I am 26 and I have only just come to the realisation that this is a piece of information I am missing from my brain. All I know about ponies is that there are 3 types of people who truly like ponies. The first is little girls, this seems like a given. The average little girl like ponies and kittens and ballet. “Pink stuff” I refer to it as. The second person to like ponies are the middle England upper class that enjoy watching Crufts and fox-hunting. The final person to enjoy ponies are bronies. To explain what a brony is I should first say, they scare the hell out of me. These are generally guys in the mid twenties who watch My Little Pony cartoons in a supposedly ironic way but then also have an undying love for it. They’re weird, really weird, the kind of weird that leads to a hotel room being filled with photos and red string leading from one face to another.

F1 Race Stars – Xbox 360/PS3/PC Review

Ruaidhri Walker

Formula One is something that I’ve never had an interest in. The loud noise and repetitive nature always perplexed and bore me rather than rattle my core and send me into a screaming frenzy. The sight of cars that can go so fast in such a small amount of time being forced to screech to a halt to get round a corner is more of a confusion than titillating. And the process of the drivers doing 70 odd laps was mind numbingly dull. It should be said now that no sport has ever entertained me, I’ve tried with football, I tried rugby and I even tried snooker but each I felt was too long. Being the walking hypocrite and contraction I am I did for a very short time find golf fascinating, not because of the skill or excitement, but because the quiet sound of some birds tweeting, the occasional golf swing and the bright green colours would send me into some sort of serene fugue state.

Gears of War Meccano Toy Review – C.O.G. Centaur Tank

Ruaidhri Walker

When I was about 5 or 6 I remember being at a family friend’s house. Being a petulant child I wanted something to entertain me, when a bright yellow metal briefcase was laid in front of me I finally felt like I was growing up. I was seen as too old to play with Duplo or Lego, I was now moving onto the toy for adults and engineers. Of course the Meccano which was held within the yellow case was too much for me. I was too young and without instructions, I wasn’t able to produce anything more than bolting various metal pieces together in a straight line; to be honest my skill with Meccano was much like that of a relatively bad clown making balloon animals “look kid a snake!”

Assassin’s Creed Hidden Blade Toy Review

Ruaidhri Walker

Oh the fun of Assassin’s Creed, running along roof tops like a fiddler and leaping from great heights just to shiv a guy. Assassin’s Creed is one of many games where I’ve taken the game sub consciously into real life. I’ve been waiting at bus stops and looking at the buildings around thinking “I’d run along there and climb that, jump over there and swing down that pole” all the while tracing a route with my eyes. Of course I can’t do those things, firstly because of the legality of prancing about on other people’s roof tops and secondly because I am a man in his late 20’s who is overweight and with a bum knee.

Is James Bond a Sociopath?

Ruaidhri Walker

Like many people this past week I went to the cinema to see the latest James Bond film Skyfall. I’ve seen all of the Bond films over the years and although I wouldn’t class myself as a true fan of the series there have been elements in each that have entertained me.  There’s high points in the Bond series and low points, Skyfall itself is actually a great film, if only slightly ruined by its’ butt numbing length.

Something has always bugged me about James Bond though, it’s not his smug attitude or his callous killing sprees; it’s the jokes. The jokes that came mainly around the Roger Moore era of Bonds where he would take a man’s life away in the blink of an eye with no remorse and then make a pun about how he dismissed him. This is not the behaviour of a sane man, this is someone who is clearly disturbed on a mental level.

He-Man:The Most Powerful Game In The Universe – iOS Review

Spike

Over the last few years executives all over the world have become acutely aware of the selling power of nostalgia. From live action Transformers to semi-anime Thundercats and everything in between we are choosing more and more to watch/read/and play stuff we liked as a kid. Now i’m certain I watched He-Man as a child but as I came to play this game I realised that I remember almost nothing about the show that inspires it. Which is pretty bad for my own identity as a nerd from the 80’s, but probably a good thing to go in fresh as a reviewer.

Save Them All – iOS Review

Ruaidhri Walker

There’s a question that often enters my balding head, one that in this return to pick up and play/one minute/pooping games is more prevalent than ever: Do games need a point?

Games with plot and characters obviously have motivation and a reason to keep playing but then there’s endless run games like Temple Run, Canabalt and Save Them All which try to maintain player interest through the concept of power ups and score board whoring.

Carmageddon Review – iOS

Ruaidhri Walker

There was a golden age in gaming, a time where copyright and intellectual property laws were hazy for PC games. This time allowed small PC developers to essentially rip off films without any comeuppance and at the same time rise up the ranks in the consumers eyes. During this era we had such classics as Rowdy Roddy Piper’s film They Live get large chunks stolen and put into Duke Nukem 3D “I’m here to chew gum and kick ass, damn I’m all out of gum”. And we also saw Stainless Games lift the concept and point system from the 1970’s film Death Race. Well look who’s back risking law suits with a re-release of Carmageddon on iOS.

50 Shades Of Grey Skin: Unsung Horror Games You Should Play

Spike

So, Resident Evil 6 is out there and I think it’s safe to say that not everyone is overly impressed. The franchise has veered away from its stated genre in the last couple of instalments and is ever edging towards the unit shifter that is action adventure. Now I’m not going to harp on about the death of whatever or the sorry state of this that and the other, instead I’m going to recommend a couple of games that you could, if you wish, play instead of RE6 to scratch that zombie itch. (Because as we all know there are not nearly enough zombie games around these days)

Young Justice: The DC Universe Done Right

Ruaidhri Walker

The concept of a cartoon featuring Superboy, Martian Manhunter’s niece and Aqua Lad is something that would normally make me want to take all my lovely comics and burn them in my garden in a hope that the gods of nerd would somehow see my sacrifice as enough to smite the unholy that came up with this abomination. But then I sat down and watched Young Justice, a cartoon that is currently showing its second series in America and made me realise something; with the right writers and story, that showcases the universe and the characters, this may just work.

One Girl And Her Pig: My Favourite Game And Why You Should Play It

Spike

There are many great things about the internet. Some are already well documented, some will in time no doubt be discussed elsewhere on this fine website, and some should frankly be kept to yourself you filthy people. The thing that I enjoy more than most is the ability of mass awareness. In the past you found out that something was good because the advertising told you it was good or perhaps someone within your circle of friends had played it. Now, thanks to the interwebs, our circle of friends is exponentially bigger and experiences that would previously have past us by are ours to savour. The songs that you would never hear on radio, the straight to DVD movies, that are so bad they’re awesome, and the strange video game at the back of the discount racks staring a photo-journalist and a pig.

Magic The Gathering: Experimentation Retrospective Vol.1

Ruaidhri Walker

I’m not the first to make the observation that schools are just a series of cliques forced into the same room for 45 minute periods of pretending to learn. There are obviously many cliques it’s possible to fall into. The Goths, a breed that I can associate with in as much as I hate sunlight and quite enjoy the moany tones of The Smiths and The Cure. There was the cool kids who at my school seemed to be mainly about people who found farting on each other’s heads and being douche’s hilarious. I fell into neither of these groups, I didn’t even fall in the sporty clique or the nerds, I was a nomad, I had really good friends in each group, but I could never commit to one or the other. This lead to me seeing a lot of things from the outside but never taking part for example; the sporty kids who actually did exercise, something I’ve witnessed on many occasions but never participated in myself.

The nerds was where my interest was really piqued though. They knew things and did things which just fascinated me. There was actually a sub-group within the nerds; nerds means many things to many people, a higher level of intelligence or a fascination with Dragons and Orcs, well our nerds contained both sub-species (smart and fantasy not dragons and orcs). The thing is I wasn’t much better myself; I from an early age had an obsession with computer games, but that was relatively hidden at school, it wasn’t until university I was truly open as to how into games I was. These nerds were open about their interests and not ashamed of it, they would play quick sessions of Dungeons and Dragons on the school field and the collectable card game Magic: The Gathering. I was curious, I went as far as to buy a few packs to be able to build a deck, but short of looking at the pictures, I can’t remember ever actually using the cards.