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Category Archives: Review

Kerbal Space Program

We choose to do these things not because they are easy, but because they are hard.

Kerbal_Space_Program_High_Res_Logo

Kerbal Space Program is a brilliant spaceship builder created by the guys at Squad. It was initially released to the public in 2011 and it was brought to my attention not long after that by a couple of friends. Although the game isn’t even out of alpha yet it has been steadily receiving updates and has been what I would consider a pretty compete game for quite a while. Up until this most recent 0.22 update it has only existed as a sandbox game; you have a huge array of possible parts and you just put them together however you want and see if your creation will fly/make orbit/land on the Mun depending on how ambitious you are. As well as rockets you can also build satellites, construct space stations in orbit and try your hand at space-planes.

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Posted by on October 19, 2013 in Games, Review

 

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Don’ta 2

DOTA2

After about 2 years of beta testing Dota 2 has finally been released to the masses. For those that don’t know Dota 2 is a multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) [1] with a long and complex history that I won’t go into here [2]. The beta testing phase of the game wasn’t as closed as other games, with passes seemingly being handed out left, right and centre however I didn’t bother with trying to play it during beta. Now that it’s been given a full release I decided to give it a go and see what all the fuss was about.

Gameplay consists of two teams of 5 trying to destroy each others bases. The map contains 3 avenues of attack called lanes that are defended by turrets and NPC units for each team. Each player picks a powerful hero unit to control from a list of 46, and the aim is to break through the enemy defences with your NPC helpers finally reaching the opposing team’s base. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on August 5, 2013 in Games, Review

 

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All Female X-men

All Female X-Men

In April a new X-Men comic will be released that features an all female cast. This has been claimed by some to be a step in the right direction with regards to the way women are portrayed in comics. Having this all female team is meant to be progressive and show that the superheroes are not just for boys. I don’t think this is the case, both in terms of it being a step in the right direction and that the comic genre is somehow lacking enough in terms of strong female presences to warrant a team of nothing but women.

I can think of two ways you could arrive at a team of only women. You can ether set out from the start with that in mind or it can arise naturally during the construction process. For me there is a world of difference between setting out to make a team of only A and setting out to make a team that ends up being made of only A.

Without reading the issue I can’t say which camp this falls into, but it seems like the former case, and people are certainly talking about it as if that were the situation. What I’ve found that I don’t agree with is that some people are talking about it being constructed purposefully to be female only as if that were a good thing. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 4, 2013 in Blog, Comics

 

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Still Not Found My Perfect Film Batman

Warning: Here Be Spoilers

I’ve recently seen The Dark Knight Rises (TDKR) and I thought it was a great film and a good continuation of the current run of Batman films. Most of the characters and story were brilliant and Bane stole the show as one of the most imposing and threatening villains I can think of.

Most comic book fans will know that the film version of Bane is different from the comic one; he’s been adapted for the Nolanverse. The core ideals of the character are still there though, he’s strong, he’s smart and he broke the bat [1]. I have no problems with the changes they made to Bane, but the film did bring to light some changes to characters that I do have a problem with, namely Batman and Alfred. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on July 25, 2012 in Films, Review

 

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MMOs Part 1

I’ve always been interested by MMOs, but every time one had come along that looked amazing enough to get me to saddle up ready for an adventure I was always stopped by the first unreasonably large boss, and its name was always Price. But now, armed with my free-to-play sword and my shield of micro-transactions I’ve been able to finally slay the Price demon and begin my quest proper [1].

Champions Online ★★★★☆

Champions Online was the first MMO I played and I got into it because its transition from subscription to free-to-play was advertised heavily on Steam. The main theme of the game is superheroes, and being a huge comic book fan I thought it’d be a good way to get into MMOs and so I gave it a go, and 50+ hours later I’ve not looked back. Rather than having different races like other MMOs, Champions has 10 different classes of powers you can specialise in (with another 12 available for paying members) and along with your costume there is an insane amount of customisation that you can get lost in before you’ve even started playing. You can really go to town on your character and give them the exact look and feel you want. The game itself has a unique visual style that works very well with the comic book inspired theme and the different regions of the game world are detailed and unique. There are lots of missions to do and lots of areas to explore (although some are only available to higher level players), however I have heard that there are only just enough missions to progress, so that eventually you have to do all of them. So far I’ve always had a good surplus of missions but maybe when I get towards the higher levels I’ll find that they start to run out. The only downside to the game is that it can feel quite grindy at times, but I think that’s something you just have to accept with most MMOs. If you’re a fan of comic book superheroes then Champions Online is well worth a try. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on July 6, 2012 in Games, Review

 

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iPad Board Games 1

Over the past year I’ve gotten back into board gaming, having been attending/hosting semi-regular games nights with friends and buying new games for our group to play. However there has always been a hurdle stopping me going game crazy: price. I’m reluctant to spend £25 or over on a game I may end up not liking, for me it’s too much of a risk, but luckily my iPad has offered up an alternative to just buying and hoping. Apps represent a relatively inexpensive way of trying out board games; for less than £5 I get an indication of whether it’s worth me buying the physical version, and a version of said game that I can play on the go. The apps reviewed here will mainly be games I’ve played before or am considering buying the physical versions of, and yes, I realise some of them are not technically board games.

NB: The titles of each app reviewed are links to the app page on iTunes.

Yggdrasil (£3.99) ★★★★☆

If you’ve read my Yggdrasil review then you’ll know that after just a few plays it became my favourite board game, and when I heard that an iOS app was being made I got very excited. I didn’t buy it immediately after it was released as I didn’t know whether it was worth having an iPad version of a game I already own, but I’m glad I finally decided to. Game play wise its the same as the board game, there’s had to be no adjustment of the mechanics or rules in the transition to an app. The app automatically scores your game, something our group has never done when playing before. At first I didn’t think much to the scoring – you either win or you don’t – but as soon as I saw my first victory score the competitive part of my brain kicked in and I knew I had to beat it on my next play. I’m no longer just playing to win, I’m playing to win in the best possible way. With the app I’ve found myself much more willing to play a solo game than I am with the board game, which I think is mainly down to it being a lot less of a hassle to set up for a quick game. The app is not as polished as the Carcassonne one, not all the images are Retina Display quality which, while being a bit annoying, is something you don’t really notice when you’re playing, and there are a few bits of the UI I would do differently. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on May 16, 2012 in Games, Review

 

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Avengers Assemble

I enjoyed going to see Green Lantern at the cinema. The film itself was fun, but not brilliant, but what sent my excitement and enjoyment through the roof was my incredulity at watching a Green Lantern film. The same thing happened with the Thor film (although in this case I thought the film was brilliant). If you had told me a few years ago that that I would, in the near future, be watching blockbuster films about Green Lantern, Thor and now The Avengers I wouldn’t have believed you. Sure there were Batman, Spiderman, Superman and X-Men films out, but theses are the poster heroes of comics that most non comic fans could name. The likelihood that studios would risk making films about less well known heroes, to me, seemed slim.

But here we are. 49 years after first appearing on the pages of a comic book we finally have an Avengers film. And my God was it worth the wait. I can say, without a single hint of hyperbole, that it is the greatest film I’ve ever seen (but I do realise that this is due, in no small part, to me being a huge comic nerd). I was grinning from ear to ear (okay, maybe a bit of hyperbole) throughout the entire film, not only was I watching an Avengers film, but it was an amazing Avengers film. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on May 4, 2012 in Films, Review

 

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