Monthly Archives: September 2015

GoGameYourself Versus Rainbow Six

Check out our friends over at GoGameYourself doing a lot better than we have on the Rainbow Six Beta! Our own thoughts will follow shortly as soon as James stops dying so easily!!

Broken Sword V: The Serpents Curse

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Finally out now on Ps4 is the popular kickstarter project ‘Broken Sword V : The Serpents Curse’, at a tasty cheap £24.99 anyone who has ever played or desired to play a ‘point-and-click’ game from recent years this is a perfect time to do it.

I was raised in a blessed house, my parents owned a record shop and an alternative clothing and gift shop, this allowed me to grow up with a great taste in music and more importantly it allowed my parents to buy everything from a Dragon 32 to an Amiga 1200. The Amiga 500, 500+ and 1200 where, to me, the home of many incredible point and click adventure games. Most of the games will at some point have you tying a string to a magnet, and all of them will have you scrolling over every millimetre with the mouse cursor trying to find something you can pick up after hours of being stuck. Monkey Island, Hook, Simon The Sorcerer, Discworld, Sam and Max…each of these games had a beautiful flair for story telling and great humour and frustration. A game that you could technically complete in thirty minutes could take you months if you just hadn’t thought to combine two seemingly useless items like a digestive and a kite which you would then use to make a serving tray to distract a pirate with so you could steal his mushrooms.

Somehow I completely missed out on Broken Sword until a couple of years ago when I came across the iPod version which was gloriously reinvented with a whole new Nico P.O.V story that hadn’t, as far as I’m aware, been in the original. I had never been so enraptured by a game (particularly one with no trophies or achievements) for such a long time. The feeling of Broken Sword was somehow a perfect blend of python-esque comedy and dark 50’s Noir movies. I haven’t played any of the sequels until this one arrived through my door.

Nico and George find themselves together again in an art gallery which is quickly robbed resulting in the shooting and possible death of the owner. The painting, apart from the opening scene, seems unimportant and couldn’t possibly lead to a fabulous turn of events that unfolds an engaging story line that had me play (and replay) the game in a very small period of time.

The game looks like a crisp version of the original, aside from the rougher graphics in the original you would be forgiven for thinking these games were made in the same day. The tone of the original game is all over this, the essence of what makes for great point-and-click, (though in this circumstance it’s analog stick and press) has been perfectly captured. The game will kindly slow down and make a click noise when you cover something important with your ‘cursor’ letting you know you are onto something. In relation to the Vita version or the iOS/Android version, the major differences are additional animations in the background and the fact that voice calls in the game come through the speaker in your DS4 controller.

For people new to the genre or series this game is perfect and has the feeling of a great amount of love for these kinds of games. For people who are long time fans Broken Sword V is a respectful seamless transition from the originals and will please everyone who picks it up, except for people who hate story lines and prefer action to ripping their hair out trying to figure out how to escape from a burning building with a bottle of coke.

4/5

 

By Dave Roberts

The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials

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The Maze Runner

 

Hitting your screens this week is The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials. The latest in the young adult post-apocalyptic dystopian science fiction genre (yes that is a thing now). This is the second movie in a trilogy based on the novels of James Dashner, the last of which supposedly due out next year.  Unless of course they split it into two uneven half stories which is the norm for adaptations now. Plus there’s some prequels they’ll probably throw together as well.

The first film was a Sci-Fi mystery thriller, opening with our main character Thomas awakening in an unfamiliar elevator, to emerge to a strange wasteland where the only inhabitants are teenage boys and the only resources seem to be hair gel and presumably some kung-fu manuals. Facing amnesia and being the only person who seems to want to know what the frak is going on, he rallies the boys to his side, falls for the only girl in the village and convinces them to escape the eponymous maze. Once they do, they discover that an evil company called WCKD (pronounced wicked, clever right?) put them down there to test how their minds work. Which is apparently the key to uncovering why they are unaffected by a disease that has left the world in ruin. Anyway that’s the best I can sum it up.

So away from the intriguing set up of the original we are basically left with the leads on a less than original fugitive like escape. With much of the mystery uncovered after the last movie and very early on in this one we have more time to concentrate on the characters. Which are unfortunately uninteresting and two dimensional at best. Their character development is minimal and the dialogue abysmal. Most of the film is just sequence after sequence of someone screaming “GO GO GO!!!” Signalling in cliché manner that “there’s no time to explain!” In fact the main crux of the narrative is made up nearly entirely of exposition dumps used to get the important info out of the way so they can hurry along to the next action scene. Which is the main appeal of this film.

The action scenes are quick paced and exciting. Resolved on very quick thinking and fluid action that is supposedly the attributes these characters possess over the mostly evil adults. Cue some metaphor over the children being our future blah blah blah take away the cell phones! Goddamn millennials! Anyway couple this with zombies that are introduced in some genuinely original and creepy ways plus the recurring threat of the WCKD soldiers and we are treated to some dread filled horror scenes culminated in fast paced and frantic action.

The sad part is that neither the story nor the characters’ compliment these scenes and we are left with failures of character development 101. Or maybe this is just the standard for teenage boy fantasy. We have boring male lead lacking personality who would be more suited to being a blank avatar in a first person shooter. In a video game we would at least be able to say he’s characterless so that the audience can implant themselves into the role but for a movie/novel we just have an uninteresting blank face nobody who doesn’t utter a single memorable line of dialogue. Perhaps he was better developed in the novels through the use of a first person narrative. Then we have Jojen Reed from Game of Thrones. You know who I’m talking about the blond dude who plays the teenager in every film even though he is actually older than me.! He is simply there to be the devil’s advocate disagreeing with everything the protagonist says yet blindly following him on everything he does. We have the likable (and I use that word in its barest sense) side characters who try their best at providing comic relief in this sparsely written teen action movie while also providing much of the action which is mostly concentrated on running. A lot of running. Which the title suggests. Then the love interest, a Kirsten Stewart look-alike with (and I can’t believe I’m saying) less personality. She barely strings two sentences together in the duration of the entire movie and yet we’re meant to accept her as a viable love interest? A hangover from being on ‘all boy island’ too long I guess. You’ll notice that I don’t remember a single one of these characters names. A testament to just how little an impression they leave.

Basically what I’m trying to say is don’t go see The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials. Unless of course you are a fan of the books which I would assume to be a small audience, but obviously not small enough if they were able to convince the Hollywood elite to fund the damn sequel. Other than hard-core fans I don’t see it working for any audience other than people looking their Hunger Games fix and couples who decided to give the Netflix and chilling a break. Just enough good looking men to keep her sated and just enough action scenes to keep him awake.

A supremely average film with some decent action but lack of character. Also quite nice visually at times and the 3D doesn’t detract from the image but doesn’t really add much either.  Do keep an eye out for some TV favourites though! Little Finger and the baddie from Breaking Bad turn up and there’s a nice turn from the geek god Alan Tudyk, filling a darker role than we’re used to seeing him play.

3/5

 

By James Ward