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Posts tagged “Sony

Review – Spider-Man Homecoming

Cometh the hour, cometh the Spider-Man, right back into the middle of the MCU where he belongs. No backstory, no spider bite – because it has been done – just straight into the life of a teenager irrevocably altered by comicbook logic. Instead we jump in with the Peter Parker straight after the fight in Civil War, hero-worshipping Tony Stark, fully kitted out and ready to get into a fight with someone a little more daunting than the odd bike thief or shoplifter.

After all of the backbiting and corporate petulance between Disney and Sony, it is so good to have Spidey amongst the ranks of the Avengers because without him it all has all seemed a little weird, but here we have a Spider-Man born of the Cinematic Universe, only a child during the New York Incident, and fully immersed in the unique-to-film narratives, lore and history. (more…)


Console Review: PlayStation 4

It’s been out for several years now, but with the PS4 Pro coming out soon, what better time is there to review the existing standard for Sony? Today I’m here to check the console out and scrutinise it for what makes it good and not so good, as well as a bit of information on how the console stands up to a typical PC.

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Meat the Flockers

Available for Linux, OSX and Windows via Humble Bundle and Steam for £14.99, there is also a free PC demo available.

Overview

  • 66 levels (6 hidden)
  • Sheep customisation (17 skins & 6 types of blood)
  • Level editor (PC Only)

A long time ago in a galaxy not so far away there was a team of developers who went by the name of Psygnosis. Psygnosis were well known for producing very beautiful and excellent games like the classic Barbarian (1987) and Shadow Of The Beast (1989). Sometime in 1993 Psygnosis were consumed acquired by the mighty Sony and continued to produce quality products like the fantastic futuristic racing game Wipeout. But let’s not forget one of their biggest games, selling in the region of 15 million copies over multiple platforms and that was called Lemmings. Now, like Timlah I too am a big fan of most of the work that Team 17 put out. It takes a very brave bunch of developers to take on a product that has already sold 15 million copies and especially in today’s market where the focus is leaning towards high impact graphics and open worlds, is there room for a classicly animated A to B puzzle game?

Beginning

Gameplay

Flockers was originally released in 2014 and on first glance there really is not denying the similarity between it and Lemmings. You are put in control of a flock of fluffy sheep that are escaping their diabolical masters (the Worms). The sheep aimless walk from left to right only changing direction when the hit something they cannot overcome. You guide them to safety aiming for the exit along the way solving the various puzzles to get over/around obstacles. Points are awarded for every sheep saved, and by using less of the tools that you acquire, finally awarding you up to a total of total three stars. However very unlike Lemmings you pick up tools along the way rather than be given a set number at the start. Sheep can die in a number of ways, first and foremost is the environment which is littered with nefarious contraptions that are set to squish, impale or slice up your sheep. Another way to reduce the numbers is to let your sheep fall too far, this can be counteracted by giving the sheep a soft landing (another sheep). Of course, you can also loose sheep by destroying them yourself; yes, every now and then you will have to sacrifice the life of one of your fluffy little friends for the good of the flock.

ZoomedOut

Controls

The main method of control is the mouse, simply select the tool you want from the bar at the bottom of the screen and then click a sheep to activate that tool for that sheep. Pressing the right mouse button gives you a much wider cursor which is great when you want to make a lot of sheep do the same thing and not have to click 50 times. You also have the ability to zoom in and out of the scenes so that you can see what is up ahead and try to predict what is going to happen. Team17 have also integrated the keyboard a bit to try and help you quickly switch between one tool and another. Numbers 1-0 will select the tool sitting in that slot, letters Q and E will shift the tool that you are on left or right one. You can speed up the movement of the little sheep by pressing the left shift key which is useful for the impatient.

Towards the exit

Looks & Sounds

Team 17 have a huge pedigree for having a great art style to their games and Flockers is no exception to this. The backgrounds are detailed and moody with great use of lighting, spikes implements are suitably covered in blood and make a quite fun squidgy noise when your innocent little sheep happen to wander onto them. Switches make a satisfying click when activated, it’s the kind of quality that you would expect from a seasoned house such as Team 17. Your little sheep are animated well, and lovable but equally fun to see them burst into streams of blood.

Bloody mess

Moans & Verdict

Well, I would like to say that I had no issue with Flockers at all but that is just not the case. There is a bug (at least on the OSX version) that crashes the game as soon as it tries to load the main menu. It turns out that it’s related to the online link and if you turn off your network so that the game cannot connect to the internet then it’s fine. This small bug nearly ruined the game entirely for me, I hate it when I try to load any game and it just crashes. I would expect it on a game that is older perhaps but not 2014. This then also means that I cannot take advantage of user generated levels because as soon as I switch on the internet it crashes. Another annoyance is the fact that the level editor is only available for Windows. Yeah, I get it I own a Mac I am not allowed to have nice things.

If you put those things aside then you have a perfectly good game. Is it just Lemmings? Well yes and no, there is certainly enough in Flockers for them to of made it their own. It looks, sounds and feels professional which is something you would expect from Team 17 and definitely worth investing in; £14.99 for it feels a bit cheeky though. I picked it up in a recent sale for £1.49 but probably would pay up to £10 for it. It has enough puzzle pieces there to keep you occupied for a few hours the difficulty curve is well balanced. Like any game of this type, there is a degree of frustration but that is half the reason to play; if only to yell at the screen when you complete a level a true sign of enjoyment.


Android Review: Sony Xperia Z3

Android is where my heart is, but sometimes, you have to put down your old model and get an upgrade. For a low price, I managed to get a hold of a Sony Xperia Z3 running Android 6.0, Marshmallow. How good is the software on the Xperia Z3 and how much of an improvement is it over my previous Sony Xperia S? Join Timlah as we look at the Z3 in full detail.

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Review – Deadpool

This is going to be difficult.

Somehow as a reviewer I feel as though I should be providing heavier critique, and maybe that’s just because I’ve read/listened to enough reviews that I feel like a critic should be more… well, critical of films, especially when they’ve had this much hype surrounding them. I don’t actually recall the last time I saw this much hype surrounding a film, and it easily matches the anticipation and drive behind this project, and no one fought harder than the lead actor, Deadpool. (more…)


Sony’s Movie Timetable

Here’s a story that very nearly passed me by. Sony recently released their current timetable for theatre releases over the next four years! It’s one hell of a mixed bag, and I’m curious to hear your opinions.

I’m on holiday at the moment, so don’t expect me to join the conversation quite so readily as usual, but leave your thoughts and opinions on these upcoming releases down below, and I’ll talk to you all soon! (more…)


SDCC Trailers

So another San-Diego Comicon comes and goes, and the lucky few have had their chance to wait in mile after mile of queues to discover what the future of nerd-marketed-media holds, and right now there’s three big titles on everyone’s mind:

Batman vs. Superman

Recently leaked, and even more recently given a full release – because let’s face it, it was never going to stay SDCC exclusive for long – the Dawn of Justice trailer shows a fuller set up for the conflict, and shows us a clear shot of Wonder Woman in action, and even hints at Aquaman’s origins (it’s subtle, but it’s there). We also get a very thorough idea of how Jesse Eisenberg will be playing Lex Luther, and that’s where I want to start:

Jesse is a small bloke, maybe lacking the kind of gravitas that Superman’s greatest enemy usually comes with, but here we see a very different interpretation, one that I regard with the same kind of optimism as Heath Ledger’s Joker. He looks to have a subtle kind of manipulation, insidiously polite and jovial, I can see all kinds of villainy, and he absolutely has my curiosity. I’d also like to say that Jeremy Irons is an excellent casting for Alfred.

That’s about as positive as I can get for BvS: DoJ. Seriously, another Batman origin story is being crammed into this? We have two JLA characters being shoehorned in without an origins film, this is all getting out of hand. We get that you’re trying hard to play catch-up with Marvel, but this is not something you can rush.

In short, I can hardly contain my lack of enthusiasm. I’ve made my opinion of Zack Snyder very clear, but that’s really besides the point. The trailer has enough positive points that I can’t just right this film off. The true tragedy here is that Affleck is going to be playing Batman twice in the same year without nerd approval…

Suicide Squad

Now here’s the first DC project in a long time I’ve actually looked forward to for a while, right up until I saw the Joker. From that point on, everything else I’ve seen has increased my concern that this could be another failure. And yet…

The Joker is the biggest question mark for me. With both the loss of Heath Ledger and Mark Hamill retiring from the role with the completion of Arkham City, whoever takes up the role next is going to have a hard time of it, and Jared Leto has certainly weathered the scrutiny on his design. It has its’ prose and cons, he seems to have a decent voice for the job, but I remain unconvinced.

Harley Quinn and Deadshot are the central roles here, Margot Robbie especially seems to be occupying centre stage which makes sense if the Joker is the major villain. I generally have no problem with that so long as the other villains get a decent look in at the action. There are some big names here: Katana, Killer Croc, and Captain Boomerang.

In short, I’m back on the fence about Suicide Squad, which is a positive, but ultimately mediocre shift. The credentials of the director seem heavy on the low-brow action, but this trailer makes me wonder if he’s finally been given the chance to show what he can do.

Deadpool

Couple of things before you click play: 1) Sony have not given up and released the trailer properly yet so this is still “leaked footage”. Get it while it’s hot! 2) This is the Deadpool movie we asked for, so if you can hear it you’ll be hearing strong language.

Well, this certainly sets the tone! Plenty of fourth-wall breaks, a dig at Green Lantern, and just a whole bunch of cool stuff. Not a lot of story though. Not glimpse of the villains who could well be Ajax and Copycat, who are both cast. Could just as easily be Deadpool himself, let’s rule nothing out here.

This, alone amongst the trailers here is a film I am looking forward to, but this trailer doesn’t give us much except renewed hope, and I can’t say much more than that. Marvel have always played their cards a little closer to their chests, and Sony look to be keeping up the business model. Ryan Reynolds is the real driving force behind this film, he’s a nerd in a position of great power within this production, and after last year he has the burden of countless nerdy hopes on his shoulders.


Rezzed 2015 Gallery

This is a no-nonsense, no chat needed post, showing off the venue, the people, the sights and the merch of Rezzed 2015. If you see yourself in any of these posts, or just want to comment on anything you see, as always put your comments in the section below. Alternatively, chat with us on Facebook or Twitter!

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What Marvel Are Up To

A few weeks back I mentioned in The Week In Geek that Marvel had announced the release dates for all of their films and TV shows for the third phase of their cinematic universe, and it’s shaping up to be five fantastic years of media. Phase two has a lot of content that’s setting up some of the plots we can look forward to, some of the obvious things like Loki sitting the throne in Asgard, a big Thanos appearance, and of course the original plan of putting Ant Man before Age of Ultron (because of course Hank Pimm helped build Ultron in the first place).

There are some rather less noticeable plots afoot, but anyone with access to wikipedia or a friend who knows a thing or two about comics could work it out. I have both!

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Rogue Legacy


Platforms:
Windows, OS X, Linux, Steam, GOG.com, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 4 (Sony PlayStation platforms release date pending)
Price (As of Feb 2014): Steam price (£11.99), GOG.com price ($14.99), official website ($15.00)

Okay, now I’ve gotten some ground basics of what it runs on and how much it is, let’s go into detail as to what is Rogue Legacy, would I recommend it to a friend (You guys!) and pictures.

Note: I’ve already beaten the game and I am on a harder mode, hence it says +2!

Okay, so this is the lovely screen you’re presented with. Now, I enjoy using a good old Xbox 360 USB controller for this (The Afterglow AX.1 is my controller of choice here). Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy using mouse and keyboard on my machine, however sometimes, having a controller means you can just kick back and casually play through a game… and that’s what this game is.

Are you saying this is a casual game?

Nope, this is a proper gamers game. They call this a “Rogue-LITE” rather than a “Roguelike”. To the uninitiated reading this, a roguelike game is basically where you crawl through dungeons, amassing as much stuff as possible, going through progressively harder levels. Level randomisation and perma-death is a very common feature in roguelike games. So, roguelike games are usually no pushover. Further reading on roguelike games can be done here.

Let’s get back to the game! What’s the story?

You are the heir to a legendary hero and you must progress through the castle to avenge the king. Simple story befitting a roguelike.

So here’s what the game looks like:

Me with Sir Kenny IV

So, it looks quite “Old school” in that it’s using 2D sprites, but stylistically, this game is superb. It seems to use types of “filters” though if someone knows the correct term for it, please answer in the post below. You see, this game is unique, in that when you die, your heirs generally have a different, defining trait. Interested in what trait Sir Kenny IV had?

Sir Kenny IV is a fan of the man.

Ahem, level 211 sounds amazing, but actually – that’s how many characters I’ve gone through!! You gain a “Level” every time you die. As you play through the game, you’ll find, especially early on, that you will die. A lot. Get used to it.

But this is a Rogue-LITE. Why is this important? The game (Somewhat) rewards you for your deaths. You see, when you enter the castle, you have to pay Charon’s toll – Your hard earned cash! So, before you enter the castle, your gold is used to purchase better equipment, enchantments, the chance to run in the same castle layout again (More on that in a second) or permanent stat increases.

So, I mentioned you can use your gold to run in the same castle layout again, what do I mean here? The layout is “Procedurally-Generated”… Or, in non-lingo talk, there are a set amount of room layouts of which are placed around randomly. This includes mini-boss rooms, chest rooms, trap rooms and more. The characters are “Randomly Generated” in that you have specific classes (Starting with just the Knight, Mage or Barbarian.)

Once your character (inevitably) dies, you’ll be presented with the “Select your heir” screen, which will look vaguely like this:

Just choose the one that sounds best to you!

You can unlock more and more classes (Like the Spellsword and Assassin pictured above) as well as some secret classes. You need to look around to find those!

All in all

With a fantastic sound track, simple yet difficult game play and all around hack n slash greatness, I’d consider this game a steal at the price.

I cannot stress this enough, this game has gotten it right. It’s multi-platform, so if you’re a Windows user, you won’t be neglected if you ever go over to Linux or OS X. Soon they’ll port the game over to Sony’s PlayStation platforms, so look out for that all you console gamers!

5/5 for this game from me.

And I will leave you all with one of the most awesome songs I’ve heard in a game in a while:

That’s so good…