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Monthly Archives: February 2012

I Want the Summer Now

Just recently me and my flatmate were having a conversation about the potential fun times we could have in the summer and it’s not the first time. We’ve had many conversations about how we miss the not only the summer sun and its warm weather, but also the fun times and feelings that came with it. I mean back in the first few weeks of university with a lot of that summer-based weather still available to us was incredible, we all chilled outside eating cereal or drinking coffee and talked with the people around our flat’s complex, you could just sit outside and look at the stars and in general there was just a lot more places and opportunities open to you. It was the perfect place, Sheffield kicks ass in the summer time.

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This smiling sun perfectly represents exactly what the summer is about and how I feel about the summer season. Good times all around.

However these days we are still in the what could be described as the later part of the winter season where times are cold, wet, snowy and less fun. I don’t know why but this time of the year tends to be really boring and you really want to get past it and into the much better times ahead. Maybe its just me who feels that way but right now in life things are just dull, with just a few moments of awesomeness sprinkled in to save me from depression haha. And its strange, I never used to be that fussed about this time of the year because I always had something to preoccupy my time like school and college, but since I have so much more free time due to my university schedule I find myself inside hiding away from the world because I have next to nothing to do or there are those moments when you have an urge just to do something productive to pass the time… That is my life nearly all the time; just lazing around or just scrambling for something to do. But I believe that it’s the time of year and the winter season that is truly preventing me from having proper fun and I also believe that if it was the summer then my fun times would return and that I would never be out of things to do. If you’re lucky enough to afford it going on holiday in the summer is usually a recipe for success whether it be with your family or friends, it’s always good stuff! And let’s also not forget that the summer time is the best time for partying as it is just a continuous set of weeks over a few months to go out and party in the clubs and in my experience the summer parties always create the best memories.

Just thinking about the summer makes me so happy, just all of the possibilities could take places just fill my soul with happiness. Me and my friends have talked about going to the park and having football sessions or talking about the prospects of having a barbecue party and then there’s also the fact that we have to move into our new house this year and while we haven’t decided on a place yet, we have been talking about all the stuff we would do and it just makes me so jolly. But unfortunately that point in life is still so far away in the future and February is taking too long so the boredom continues to set it. I can’t see my life getting fun until February ends and March begins because at least at that point it’ll be my time for fun coz it’ll be my birthday!! 😀

 
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Posted by on February 16, 2012 in Life

 

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Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 2 – First Screenshots

Howdy people of WordPress, today I am here to do a blog post on a gaming related subject and this is actually something great for me as it is the first proper look at Sonic 4: Episode 2!

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The screenshots are from the Xbox.com and showcase a number of new locations that look much more detailed, varied and interesting when compared to Sonic 4: Episode 1. Here they are:

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Just from these first four screenshots you can see that the massive contrast in style from the look of the previous episode, whereas Episode 1 was just a clear reworking of previous Sonic levels from the Megadrive/Genesis games. This game looks like it’s taken on a whole new visual identity. Not to knock the look of Sonic 4: Episode 1 because that game did look good, but compared to these early screenshots that old game doesn’t have a chance in hell. And while you can also see some references to other Sonic games like Sonic 2 & 3 this time they look nice and natural rather than forced and dated like in Sonic 4: Episode 1. Looking at pictures 1, 2 & 4 I can see Azure Lake Zone from the multiplayer on Sonic 3 or seeing the piranha robots from Sonic 2 in the 3rd screenshot. Just small references like that make this game seem very nostalgic but also very new at the same time.

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I hate to keep going on about the graphics, but Episode 2 seems to pushing out the boat for the graphics and new art direction. The level of detail is just astounding especially in the snowy Christmas-like level with all the lighting effects and the incredible detail in the background with the northern lights and the buildings in the background. Also one can see that the level has some reference to the Ice Cap Zone from Sonic 3 as does the carnival-like level that’s similar to the Carnival Night Zone also from Sonic 3, but this seems more like a theme park carnival. Even the character models for Sonic, Tails and Metal Sonic seem to look good with good lighting, sharp detail and a much closer resemblance to the modern versions of themselves (that mainly applies to Sonic & Tails as they have a much more similar look to their most recent sonic game outing, Sonic Generations).

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Anyways let’s talk about the potential gameplay aspects that these screenshots represent for Sonic 4: Episode 2. Well from what I can gather it seems like the Co-op aspect of gameplay is back from Sonic 3 with Sonic & Tails being able to interact with each other (etc: Tails carrying Sonic while flying), even in the water! One of the screenshots looks like Tails & Sonic are doing some sort of epic high 5 and I don’t really know what the represents but it looks interesting. We can see that you’ll fight Metal Sonic while chasing after him similar to some previous Robotnik/Eggman battles where you had to chase after him and hit him as the same time. And in this last screenshot we can see a special zone level design similar to that of Sonic 2 with some design elements from Sonic Heroes which is a great thing in my opinion.

Obviously until this game gets a trailer and some gameplay videos we won’t know what to truly expect, but from what I can see here I am proper excited for this game now, the graphical detail is on such an absurd level now than before from the much better-looking character models to the new and interesting locations and detail in the foreground and background. We also see that Metal Sonic will be very-much involved throughout the game and with the new co-op gameplay that comes with the addition of Tails we could have some interesting new gameplay to try out when this game comes out later in this year, I just hope Sega get it right this time.

 
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Posted by on February 15, 2012 in Media, Video Games

 

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Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace 3D Review

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Howdy to all who are reading this blog post and welcome to another film review and today’s review will be on the re-release of the first prequel in the Star Wars series; Star War Episode 1: The Phantom Menace… In 3D!! (not that the 3D part really matters haha)

Oh and before I go into this review I’m going to go into some degree of detail so beware of potential spoilers in the review.

Now when I found out that The Phantom Menace was going to be re-released in the cinema again in 3D I was like “What the hell!?! Why? Does George Lucas really need all that additional money? And doesn’t the majority of fans hate that film? Just why?” And so I investigated online and found out that this was going to be first part of the six films to be released again in the cinema in 3D. So then I was like “Oh good gravy, I should have seen this coming.” I mean with Star Wars being released on home video and DVD like 5 times in different editions with special updates to each one it should come as no surprise that it would find its way back into the cinema considering the potential money-making it could do and not only that, but with the addition of 3D and with the amount that those kind of films take in each year then it would be great for Star Wars to get a quick post-converted image job and then be released to the public. So here we are in 2012 with the first installment in the Star Wars film saga, The Phantom Menace that originally came out back in 1999, so after around 15 years does the film still hold up? Well yes and no in a lot of ways.

I’m not going to bother explaining the plot because most people who have seen Star Wars know what the deal is already, but if I had to summarize The Phantom Menace is basically meant to be the starting point of the entire Star Wars saga, giving us a story of a world set before the original trilogy, explaining the origin of one of the most pivotal characters in all of the films, Anakin Skywalker. This film gives us his origin story as well as an insight into the world of the Jedi before they became next to extinct in the original trilogy and it introduces us to whole new worlds and characters who play a part in setting the events that lead up into A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.

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The story overall is pretty decent for what it is, but as the starting point for a film series as highly regarded as Star Wars its kind of messy in a lot of ways. It deals in a whole lot nonsense that doesn’t really have a place in world of Star Wars like politics and corruption in the world of government-based things, long and dull conversations about things not overly relevant to what’s happening at the current point in time and its these aspects that really bring the film down. This is especially bad for kids watching Star Wars for the first time, they won’t care about all this talking bullshit, they’re just watching for the spectacle. The long-winded conversations and scenes of debate and government will turn them right off. But the rest of the film’s plot is pretty nice, we see how the Jedi get involved in Anakin’s life, we also get to see what the younger life of Obi-Wan Kenobi and see Yoda too in a more active state. We also learn more about the Sith and see how Queen Padmé Amidala’s appearance in the film series establishes a connection with Anakin Skywalker too. We get to visit some familiar locations and characters that fans of the original trilogy would be interested to see like the first appearances of R2-D2 and C-3PO, its like noticing subtle easter eggs lurking around that you spot throughout the film. Anyway as I said before the plot of this is decent, but as the start of a film series like Star Wars it leaves so many questions unanswered like say why the Jedi exist in the first place or why the overall new form of enemies are droids or why there is a Galactic Republic or why the Sith have returned randomly out of nowhere. While some of those points are kind of irrelevant or just nitpicking it does make one wonder about some of those things.

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When it comes to the presentation of The Phantom Menace surprisingly it holds up pretty well and in many ways is the best part about the first prequel film. Say what you will about the story but when it comes to action and audio I believe that The Phantom Menace delivers on many levels of awesomeness. The CGI is still fabulous and works throughout most of the film, from the futuristic setting of Coruscant to the fight against the Federation droid control ship in space to the brutality of the podracing to the Gungan fight against the massive droid army, everything holds up pretty well. even small things like the look of Jedi’s lightsabers looks crisp, sharp and lovely and its pretty surprising considering that this was done back in 1999. But with the picture enhancements that the films have gotten in the last few years and the fact that Industrial Light & Magic worked on this film means that one shouldn’t be too surprised. And in terms of audio, the sound production on this film is pretty cool too showcasing some great sound effects for lasers and explosions and things of that nature, but all of that pales in comparison to the epic soundtrack constructed by John Williams. Good god the soundtrack for this film is so epic, so powerful, so absolutely incredible that it really is beyond words in a lot of ways. The song “Duel of the Fates” is simply incredible and totally orgasmic, yes I will even admit that. When it’s used in the film in the lightsaber fight between Qui-Gon Jinn, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Darth Maul, holy man it just sets my soul on fire and my just mind just explodes!

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Also I don’t think I can mention the presentation of this film without talking about the 3D aspect of the film. Was it good and did it add anything to the film? No, absolutely not. While I didn’t expect that adding another dimension to the film would make any proper difference, the thing is I’m sure I read in an interview that this film’s 3D would make an actual difference to the film’s quality unlike most post-converted 3D films of present. And yet I never really noticed the 3D aspects of the film after the first 10 minutes of the film, in some areas of the film its noticeable but otherwise the 3D in The Phantom Menace is invisible. The best films I saw in 3D have been Avatar and Kung-Fu Panda 2 because the 3D in those films felt like it had a presence, it was actually noticeable and it added depth of field to the picture. However this is not the case with The Phantom Menace, it’s just another film that didn’t need the 3D conversion at all.

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There’s also one other thing to mention and that is new footage and picture quality. Before going to watch the film me and a friend wondered if they were going to show the original version of The Phantom Menace or whether it would have the additions that came with the recent Blu-ray release of all six Star Wars films and funnily enough we got to see The Phantom Menace with all of the enhancements from the Blu-ray release with several additional scenes, better picture quality and the massive addition of the CGI Yoda to replace the puppet original. These changes range from great to completely unnecessary. The new CGI Yoda looks great and now he looks like he fits in the whole of the prequel trilogy, though I can’t help but feel like he looks a little too detailed when compared to his later appearances in Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, plus even though the new Yoda looks good I can’t help but look past it and remember every scene with the original puppet version. And when it come to the new scenes some of them are completely irrelevant like some additional bits in between scenes on Coruscant. Most of the new scenes are noticeable around the point of Anakin’s podrace from the introduction of the riders to additional scenes in the actual podracing itself which are interesting to see but not entirely necessary.

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To be honest I’ve always kind of like The Phantom Menace. While it was one of the first films I remember from my younger days in the cinema, it does have a special place in my memories and has that nostalgic quality that has never left me since I was 9 years old. After the seeing the film recently I realised that my love for this film extends far beyond the nostalgic aspects. The spectacle is still pretty lovely, the Jedi kicked ass (especially Obi-Wan) with their brilliantly choreographed lightsaber duels against Darth Maul who I swear is still one of the coolest Siths ever. As I said before the soundtrack is still incredible with John Williams delivering in every way and the funnily the film was pretty hilarious too, though not for the obvious reasons, like when me and my friends were laughing at aliens from the Trade Federation as their accents are just frigging hilarious or just when we were completely ripping into Jar Jar Binks because he’s such an idiot. Plus my experience of this film was heightened on an epic level because I went to view it with two friends who are Star Wars fanatics like me and we were in our element quoting several moments from the film and we were so in sync about several parts of the film, it was perfect.

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However now after watching the film again in 3D with the knowledge that I have as a media student who studied film beforehand I’ve noticed this film doesn’t hold up as well as it used to. For the most part it was nice for nostalgia’s sake, but there were several moments where I was just bored waiting for something more interesting to happen or where Jar Jar’s comedy antics were just getting on my nerves. But for all its problems I still like in The Phantom Menace, there’s a lot to like, but it’s really down to personal preference; if you like all of the Star Wars films then this’ll be a fun trip down memory lane, but if you’re one of those fans that only like the original trilogy than this film won’t change your mind at all and if you are new to the Star Wars film series than I would say give it a go.

Rating: 8/10

 
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Posted by on February 14, 2012 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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R.I.P. Whitney Houston

I just can’t believe it, this truly is a situation beyond comprehension. Just as I am scanning through the internet in the early hours of the morning I come across a news story which just shocks me beyond believe, the fact that Whitney Houston, R&B, soul and pop singer is actually dead at the age of 48. When I saw this via a link on Facebook I actually kept saying to myself “Oh my god.” Several times in fact, I just couldn’t believe it to be true, so soon.

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So what can be said about Whitney Houston? Well for one she was a brilliant singer, she had a powerful voice, capable of such range and distance and had a unique sound to it that could never be replicated in any way shape or form, Whitney was Whitney and regardless of whatever genre of music she was singing in she rocked it and sounded amazing. From the time her debut album “Whitney Houston” dropped in 1985 she had an incredible presence in the music industry and that only continued with her follow-up album “Whitney” that came out in 1987. While she had a rocky time in her career through the 90s, her albums “I’m Your Baby Tonight” (1990) & “My Love Is Your Love” (1998) sold incredibly well and her work on the soundtracks of the films “The Bodyguard” & “The Preacher’s Wife” were highly regarded also. She was on fire and through the 1980s into the 1990s she created songs that are unforgettable and now cemented in music history. She inspired a new generation of singers currently in the in music industry. However as with many music artists there was a dark side to her career. She had many personal issues including weight loss, being late to music reversals and there was also all of the conflict that came out of her marriage with Bobby Brown. All of that did take its toll on Houston and then there was also her use of drugs which did play a major part the destruction of her music career. Unfortunately in the years that followed after 2000 she started to fall off of the radar and only showed up in the news for all the wrong reasons and slowly her career in music was disappearing from the world and while she did make an admirable attempt to come back to the world of music in 2009 with the release of her album “I Look to You” which was pretty decent, it wasn’t nearly as incredible as her previous work, that coupled in with her live performances that have been less stellar and quite a shadow of the former awesome talent that we knew before, it is was safe to say the Whitney’s career was still in an unstable place.

But never in a million years did I think her life would end so soon.

Here’s where I read the news story: http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/wireStory/whitney-houston-superstar-records-films-dies-15565063#.Tzc-Mfmt0TB

And here’s the BBC News take on the news: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-17001548

Now while I can’t say I was the biggest Whitney Houston fan ever, I knew her music, everyone did. And I enjoyed her music immensely. While I wasn’t a child of the 80s, I did grow up in the 90s and heard several of Whitney’s songs throughout my childhood on the radio, TV and on the CDs that my mum had, so Whitney’s brilliant songs were with me from a young age and do hold quite a level of nostalgia for me as I person. I also really enjoyed her contributions to the Walt Disney Television live-action version of Cinderella which I loved as a child and still have on VHS to this day and still enjoy it very much. She was an incredibly beautiful woman with an incredible history with music from platinum albums to number one songs to Grammy Award-winning material she was great music artist indeed. Whitney Houston to me was an amazing singer, who had talent far beyond that of many women in the world of music, she was legendary in my books and a credit to the music industry. And its funny while a lot of her songs I’m not overly keen on, there were a few that stood out for me. Firstly “I’m Every Woman“, this was probably my favourite song by Whitney, even though it was a cover of the song done by the brilliant Chaka Khan, I think Whitney took the song and jazzed it up a little and made it more reflective of the time period. It perfectly reminds me of my youth, listening to this song on the radio was great when I was young and I think it’s a really energetic dance/pop cover. Love it. Then there was the song “It’s Not Right but It’s Okay“, this song I swear I used to hear so often it was unreal, to the point where I knew all the lyrics by the age of 10 (that is probably no exaggeration). It was a good song and was very addictive and I remember me and my sister singing to this song when we were younger I think.

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Now this next song is probably the oldest in my list of notable songs but its by no means less important, the song “I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)” it’s a song that I have heard so much it is unreal, I’ve been to many parties or nights out in different nightclubs and have heard this song play many times. It’s everywhere, on the radio, on TV, in the clubs, everywhere. And while I was never overly keen on it back in my teenage years probably due to the fact that it was played everywhere to the point where I would get extremely annoyed, I think now at the age of 21 I’ve started to see the appeal of the song. It’s a great pop song that really does have a lovely 80s vibe to it and it does have an epicly happy feeling to it which I really like and appreciate. And lastly, the final song I want to talk about is her last song “Million Dollar Bill“, while I thought it was okay at first, the song over time really did grow one me. It really is a feel-good song that has instant appeal and has a great presence in this modern age of music. While not quite the massive hit like her previous singles, considering the way music is these days (terrible and broken in a lot of ways with very few good points in between) it should be noted as a pretty decent success.

Obviously there are many great songs that she made that aren’t in my list, but again those were just the songs that stood out for me.

It’s a really a great shame that such a talent should be taken away from us so soon. I mean she wasn’t even 50 years old yet. I thought she would live into old age at least. She’s one of those great talents you never expected to disappear off of the face of the earth like Michael Jackson. Now for me Jackson’s death rocked my world in a way I will never forget and his impact of the music industry was so huge that it makes me sad just remembering how he is gone too and I think this same rule applies to Whitney Houston as there will never be another her in his world and I believe with the right encouragement she could have gotten her life in order. And the really strange thing is that I was actually looking up Whitney Houston on the internet on Wikipedia and YouTube one day prior to all of this happening and I find that incredibly eerie.

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Anyway to summarize Whitney Houston you were brilliant, you were beautiful, you were amazing and just like Michael Jackson you were taken from the world before your time. Rest in peace.

 
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Posted by on February 12, 2012 in Life, Media, Music

 

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My Short Chronicle Review

Howdy people of the world and welcome to another blog post, tonight’s is review-based though in a slightly different sense. Indeed it is a review on the film Chronicle that came out I think about a week ago and while I was going to do a massive written review on the film I’ve decided to do a slightly more condensed version in a written format while the video I have done on YouTube provides the majority of my descriptive thoughts on the film.

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Now it seems that every once in a while there is a film that has an interesting idea but from the outset it looks like it could go one of two ways; it could either be brilliant and an unexpected success or it could be an ugly disaster which film audiences will sweep under the carpets of their minds. That was the way I felt about Chronicle before watching it last week Sunday. Now I had seen the trailers on the internet and seen a lot of coverage on the film prior to its release via Facebook and whatnot. But I wasn’t sure whether the film would work out or not. Luckily Chronicle was a pretty damn good film and as my first film of 2012 it has set a pretty decent standard for things to come. The film had a nice and interesting story with a very dark nature to it, and I think that was the key aspect that really made it stand out from other films.

And the other main element that made Chronicle so good was its characters, the main cast members need to be given credit as Dane DeHaan, Michael B. Jordan, and Alex Russell give us a lovely set of performances that are not only likeable but also relatable too.I liked the way they gained super powers and used in a funny and non-heroic fashion and then see where their powers took them once the darker element of the story starts to take place.The presentation of Chronicle was pretty good too, the found footage style of filming actually helped the overall style and quality of the film and the way the technique was used was very nice, the script was pretty well written, the action sequences were well-constructed and the GCI for the most part worked well in the film (though it did look a bit questionable at times breaking the realism effect that the film was going for). While the film is no game-changer in the world of science fiction or superhero films, it definitely feels fresh and more original than most films I’ve seen in recent times.

Rating: 8/10

For my full thoughts on the film check out my video review:

 
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Posted by on February 10, 2012 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Rant 04: I’m Tired of Cold Weather!

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Howdy ladies and gentlemen and welcome to the fourth instalment of my rant-based blog posts. Today I shall be talking about that thing I think most people hate, winter season weather. Now don’t get me wrong, a little variety in terms of weather can be nice from time to time, but most times the winter season brings some of the worst weather from snow to continuous rainy days that go on forever and that make this time of year impossible to do anything fun outdoors. Sure you can just chill inside on those rainy days and it isn’t all that bad sometimes, but for me I like to go outside or sometimes its mandatory like when I go to university or have to go to the shops or go to the cinema or go out partying with me mates and this type of weather doesn’t help. It sucks!

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As fun as the cold weather can be, it can be a troublesome son of a handbag and outlive its welcome…

Most of the time the winter season kicks in around November and continues until around March/April and then by that point there’s a normality that kicks in around May. But I swear its like the cold, wet, snowy days are on the increase and their duration over the course of the year is extending, it never want to leave! While this type of weather is typical of this time of year, it seriously is not helpful and is in a continuous state of shift, some days the sky can’t decide weather it wants rain to fall or gives a blue sky with epically cold winter winds or give us snow in varying amounts, never consistent and completely unpredictable which is not helpful for those us who have places to go or have predetermined plans that get messed up because of the state of weather outside. And when it comes to teenagers and most young adults who love to go out and party or just socialize in general it doesn’t do us any favours, rain makes hanging out outside next to impossible because the amount of places to hang is limited to mainly indoor places or in some worse case scenarios people won’t come out because they don’t want to get wet, period. And I haven’t even gotten into talking about the aspects of cold weather that normally makes sure that most people will never leave the warmth of their houses or how snow is only good for snowball fights, photography & sledging and then it just get boring. So in the end we can’t win, winter weather tends to cripple us to our most fragile forms where options are limited and times are no longer fun.

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Rain, while its nice to have sometimes, in the winter season it’s just terrible and a little depressing.

I know there’s some people who love cold weather and the winter season overall, kids don’t know any better so they get a kick out of it on most occasions, but after you grow up and the troubles of the real world kick in, you realise how troublesome this rain/snow can be. Rain just causes most people to stay inside or walk through it in slow motion as they get drenched. And did I mention how depressing rain can be? Yes, from a lot of the people I’ve talked to rain tends to bring your feelings down a good few levels, times just seem a lot worse off or just boring when rain is added to the mix and that’s never good for a university student. And when it comes to snow, well, I’ve already mentioned my issues with snow and the troubles its given me but let’s recap; its cold, bad for travelling in any way, shape or form and it gives drunk people ammunition to attack you or the windows of your flat/house and that isn’t very helpful at all.

And since coming to uni this kind of weather seems to have made my life feel a lot worse for some reason, in addition to this part of the year being fairly boring and uninspired we also have to put up with the constant amounts of rain and snow that prevent our joyful times outside from happening or make nights out that much more awkward or complicated by the level of cold weather. While you can dress appropriately for the weather conditions, it is a task to have to bring an extra layer of clothing with you that you have to put away in the coat room or have to carry around with you for the majority of the night. As I said before, task. Very tedious indeed. Even now I look outside and it looks so dreadful outside, so dull, so troublesome and that’s nearly everyday for me, it’s so lame! Frigging hell I can’t wait for the summer time to kick in, all of those days of full-on sunshine, warm weather and chill sessions outside taking in the outside world and having early morning cups of coffee and what nots. Anywho time to end this rant before I blow up, until next time people. Laters!

 
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Posted by on February 9, 2012 in Life, Rant

 

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Games I’m Looking Forward to in 2012: Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance

Now out of all of the games I am looking forward to, this happens to be one of, if not the highest in my list. I have been following the Kingdom Hearts series for years and while I haven’t played all of the games due to console availability and lack of funds I can honestly say that I have emotionally invested my time in this series. While my sister is actually the primary player of the games, I have played my fair amount too. Playing the games in a weird order me and my sister started when I bought Kingdom Hearts II, then went back to the first Kingdom Hearts and then in 2010 I played through 358/2 Days on the DS. The games I have missed out on are Chain of Memories (or the remake on the PS2), Birth By Sleep & the remake of coded (Re:coded). So I have missed a few, though again if I could afford all video game consoles and games I wouldn’t have this problem lol. But now we’re going off topic. The reason I made this blog is because I’m totally hyped for Dream Drop Distance.

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When it was announced that this would be a continuation in the series rather than another prequel or bridge between KH1 & 2 I was extremely excited. Finally getting a continuation in the series after so much backtracking is very exciting and makes you ask so many questions as to where the series is going to go with the story and main characters Sora, Riku & Kairi along with all the other Disney characters. And while this new game isn’t quite Kingdom Hearts 3, I wouldn’t expect it to be announced so soon, so Kingdom Hearts for the 3DS is better than nothing, plus with KH3DS tieing into KH3 it makes the new game even more intriguing to play.

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I’ve been following this game for a long time so whenever new screenshots or trailers were released I was super hyped. I think the first debut trailer for KH3DS came out just over a year ago back in January 2011 and left us wanting more for ages. Then some way down the line in 2011 the first gameplay videos showed up showcasing Sora and Riku’s individual fight styles against the new enemies known as Dream Eaters as well as showing off new attacks and stuff of that nature. Then in September 2011 when the Tokyo Game Show came around we got a new cinematic trailer and some gameplay footage that was streamed from the TGS too and the excitement grew. With that trailer we got see so many new gameplay elements like Sora’s ability to bounce from wall to wall, swing on lamp posts or glide on railings and his ability to ride the fat dog-like creatures and use them against other enemies. While on Riku’s side of things he has an ability to charge at enemies while flying (or at least not being on the ground) and deliver some pain. We also saw the confirmation of the new world from The Hunchback of Notre Dame. We also saw something that looked like augmented reality with those Dream Eaters possibly with those AR Cards that’s been used on other games with the 3DS. But the best part was the appearance of Neku from the game The World Ends With You, I was like “Okay this game just got absurdly better just from that one scene!” We also got a little bit of info about the plot of the game too.

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But don’t think it was until just a little while when the 8 minute Jump Fiesta trailer showed up and showcased of the best things about the game so far. So far this game looks really interesting especially from a story standpoint, the new worlds that you’ll be able explore look great, with the world from The Hunchback of Notre Dame already confirmed we were treated to additional worlds rom the films Pinocchio, Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers, Fantasia and very interestingly the digital world of Tron: Legacy. Seeing all of those cut scenes play out looks great especially the recreations from The Hunchback of Notre Dame and of the scenes from Tron: Legacy look pretty epic. The characters all look pretty interesting, we have a lot of returning cast members like our main people Sora, Donald, Goofy & Mickey, along with old enemies like Master Xehanort, Vanitas, Maleficent and Pete. But then there are new appearances from the cast of The World Ends With You and there’s also new faces that comes with new Disney worlds too, one part that stands out for me is the scene where Axel makes an appearance nad I was like “Woah! Holy cow!” Was the most amazing I saw and I got so hyped, obviously if you played KH2 then you know what happened to him, so I’m glad to see him make another appearance in a new KH game.

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There is a lot going on in the world of Kingdom Hearts, it happens to have one of the most intricate storylines set over several games I have ever come across. I have only played 3 of the 6 games out because I’m not one of those rich people who can afford to have multiple consoles to play each new game on, so my knowledge is still fairly fuzzy on this game series, but thanks to Wikipedia and the info my friend gave me I’m filling in holes. Luckily for me KH3DS is coming to a console I should be able to afford and play this year. I’m really excited for this game and I want to play it now, but going from the history of the KH series this game will probably show up in November for Europe and the United States. I just hope when it comes out in March in Japan Famitsu gives the game a great review so it’ll be good indication of what to expect when we obtain the game on western shores.

 
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Posted by on February 7, 2012 in Media, Video Games

 

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The Amazing Spider-Man Trailer 2 Review

Just recently the second trailer for The Amazing Spider-Man film came out and I wanted to offer up my thoughts on it real quick. Now since last year when a lot of the set pictures came out and the plot started to emerge I was really wary of this film and wasn’t sure what to make of it. I know that it was a new story, a new cast and overall it was another interpretation of the origin story of Peter Parker/Spider-Man. And after the first trailer came out last year in the summer it was clear that this film had a different tone to it, it wad darker, grittier and wanted to take Parker’s life in completely different direction than in the Sam Raimi films. Even looking at the way the film is shot and the use of locations gives the film a completely different feel from the original trilogy, though in the first trailer there wasn’t that much of Parker in the new costume and no sign of the Lizard. I know that the trailer was released around the time when the CGI was still rough in production according to the people who saw it at Comic-Con 2011, but this trailer was mainly about setting the tone of Peter Parker’s lonely life as an orphan, an outsider and how it unfolds with Gwen Stacy and Dr. Curt Connors. And of course at the end of the first trailer we had the whole “3D perspective of Spider-Man” thing at the end which looked interesting but undoubtedly very similar to the video game Mirror’s Edge, so at the time that trailer did divide the opinions of many fans.

So now in 2012 a few months down the line we have the second trailer and all I can say is… Damn! What a frigging improvement. This is a good trailer. We get a lot more to look at this time round, we see scenes of Parker interacting with Captain George Stacy and his work on his webshooters, we also see a bit of the bullying element at school come into play and we also get a better understanding of how Peter’s life is connected to Dr. Connors. More impressive is how they’ve incorporated the humour element into this film, Marc Webb said that the film was going to have it, but because of the dark tone the first trailer set it was hard to imagine it. But in this trailer Peter & Spidey are cracking jokes and they are well done (not quite comic book standard, but so far so good). We also get to see some proper scenes with Spider-Man in the suit and he definitely takes some cues from the first trilogy in terms of the way he moves through the air when web slinging, though his movements are a lot faster in this film, also Spidey’s fighting and evasive skills in hose action scenes looks pretty impressive. We even get some glimpses of the Lizard and he looks okay, but for me it doesn’t seem to have the design that I like with the long snout, but so far he looks alright.

And lastly I just wanted to mention that this film looks like it’ll have a pretty massive scale from the way some of the action scenes play out, especially towards the end of the trailer. Reminds me to some degree of Spider-Man 3 and the Transformers films (though with less explosions). Overall there was some very impressive stuff showcased here indeed, The Amazing Spider-Man is definitely looking better than ever before and some of my reservations have been retracted. While I am still wary, I am also dead excited for this film too so here’s hoping when this film comes out in July it’ll be a good one.

Here’s the trailer:

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on February 7, 2012 in Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Friendship is a beautiful thing

It seems like bonds with people can be one of the most important things in the world, at least in my eyes that is true. My ties with my friends are very strong, they keep me intact, pick me up from the depths of depression, but most importantly they make me happy. In my life I tend to go through such turbulent times and even when times are bad, my friends always make things better and it feels so good to know that there are around. Like it says in the title of this blog post, friendship is a beautiful thing, it makes you smile and you get all warm and fuzzy inside when you’re sharing your friendship with someone really important. When you have a great friend you love to be in their company, you always like to communicate with them, you like to meet up and hang out and when you hang out you never want the fun times to end, especially in the summer time when the days are long and the memories last a lifetime. I’ve experienced some of those summers myself, hanging with friends on those sunny days or those funny party nights out, creating unforgettable memories through my childhood and teenage years. I love my friends, they’re beautiful.

While I have always known this to be true about all of my friends, most of this stuff I have started to think about recently due to my hang time with my best friend Chris on Sunday, our hang time is always great and that night after we came from the cinema we headed back to the train station where he was gonna head off. And there happened to be a point where we couldn’t leave each other, we couldn’t just say goodbye because it didn’t feel right, our friendship bond wouldn’t allow us to leave because we enjoy each others company too much. It was at that moment I realised how powerful a friendship is and how beautiful it can be. Sure in a way our situation could be just interpreted as weird, but I found it kind of emotional and meaningful. We even started talking about the length of our friendship so far and how we would have been super MCM London Expo veterans by next year as it would have been 5 years since we started going in May 2008. We’ve been friends for just over 4 years now, soon to be 5 years when September comes around, but it feels like its been so much longer than that. I think its incredible that this bond between us has only gotten stronger since meeting each other in college back in 2007, he’s like one of the most awesome people ever in life. We’re absurdly similar, but obviously with our own differences too. But I find our friendship so fascinating, how it continues to evolve and be in such a lovely place in time. Our high fives are awesome, our quoting is legendary and our hugs are so meaningful. 🙂

So in the end I just wanted to tell you about how much I love my best friend and how much I love the way in which friendship can make your life feel so much better 😀

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on February 6, 2012 in Life

 

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The Avengers Super Bowl Trailer Review

Just wanted to do a quick blog post on the latest trailer of The Avengers and my thoughts on it. Since the first short trailer came out for this film around the time Captain America: The First Avenger came out I was stupidly hyped for this film. Then in September the first full trailer came out and I blew up, I watched it several times and I was so excited that my heart was gonna give out. So then a few months down the line we get the next big trailer thanks to the Super Bowl.

This latest trailer showcases so much more interesting scenes on top of the stuff we’ve already seen. We have some new short awesome shots of Thor, Hawkeye and Iron Man, there’s also a slightly better look at the new enemy (Loki’s army) attacking the city, though not much but clearer than before. There’s also a great short of the whole team together and it looks so frigging sexy, holy man it’s so hot. Then there’s a neat little scene with Loki and Tony Stark and then we get the last piece of awesomeness, the Hulk! It is the best several seconds ever, he looks pretty damn epic. Basically from what I’ve seen I am in love and will probably watch this several more times over the week XD This looks like its going to be one of the best summer movies in 2012, hopefully it is, hopefully this is the film of the century and it makes all comic book fans and casual film audience members cry with tears of happiness. May 4th couldn’t come any sooner!!!

Here’s the trailer below:

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on February 6, 2012 in Films, Media, Reviews

 

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