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E3 2018 Recap & Personal Hightlights

Howdy ladies and gents, how’s it going? It is currently June and we’ve just experienced what can be described as the Christmas-like period for al gamers known as E3. And even though I haven’t been feeling up to doing much blogging these days, there was no way I wasn’t going to comment on the recent happenings in video game news and reveals. So what I’ll do is discuss the conferences I saw and enjoyed and talk about the pros and cons, and then highlight my favourite games below. Okay with all that out

Press Conferences (Microsoft, Sony, Ubisoft & Nintendo)

With the press conferences I watched what was relevant to me, so naturally, I skipped EA because why not? I don’t play Bethesda games so I skipped that one (not that I hate them, I just don’t play their games). I’m not a PC guy so I skipped that show and since I knew most of Square Enix’s material would show up in other places I skipped that one too.

Firstly you have Microsoft, the press conference that I didn’t have much hope for, I mean I had a feeling Microsoft would show us something, but I feel like they went far and beyond with the conference just dishing out game after game after game with additional information about Game Pass, new developers they’d acquired and stuff like that. And while not all of the reveals were exclusive, the fact that they even got shown at all was really fun and compelling for the games I wanted to see. I really feel like Microsoft took what Sony did before and just blasted us with games and I loved it. And sure not all of them had immediate release dates, but to know they existed made me happy. Starting off the conference with a look at a new Halo game, Halo Infinite was pretty cool, and from there we were bombarded with game announcements with some of my favourites being the super cool-looking Sekio: Shadows Die Twice, Devil May Cry 5, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, the Cuphead DLC, Jump Force and the gorgeous-looking Ori and the Will of the Wisps. Also seeing stuff like a new Battletoads or another Kingdom Hearts 3 trailer was cool, and Forza Horizon 4 looks absolutely amazing

Ubisoft was also really good, well, for the stuff I liked anyway. The way they started with the Just Dance sequence was strangely interesting at first but then went on for too long and after a while, I was wondering when they were gonna end it. The stuff I liked started with the Mario and Rabbids Donkey Kong DLC which looked really fun and I’m definitely considering picking it up later in the year, seeing Trials Rising was really cool as I really liked playing Trials Fusion a few years ago at uni and Beyond Good and Evil 2 used another cinematic trailer, but it was far more story-driven and cinematic and made me way more interested in the game than I was last year. Starlink: Battle for Atlas was another game I saw last year and liked the look of and the inclusion of Star Fox has only made my interest increase, but the real surprise was Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, I honestly wasn’t expecting the game to be all that intriguing, but I was quite taken back by the visuals, gameplay and story elements. I haven’t played an Assassin’s Creed game yet but I really am curious to see how this one turns out later on in the year.

As for Sony I’m not gonna lie, they disappointed me this year. I understand what they were trying to do with their stylised presentation and wanting to focus on specific major games. But the way it was presented was pretty bad, it just felt clunky, slow and took a little while to get going. That being said, when it did focus on the games we were treated to some good stuff. Last of Us 2 looked very compelling and brutal and Death Stranding still has me with more questions than answers but I enjoyed what I saw. But the two games that really stood out to me was Ghosts of Tsushima and Spider-Man. With Tsushima, we had the cinematic trailer last year but no gameplay, but this year we saw the game in action and it looked gorgeous with such striking camera angles, lighting, beautiful art and interesting story and gameplay elements. I love samurai stuff so to have a big budget game tackle this kind of subject matter has me hooked. And then there’s Spider-Man which has only gotten better each time its been shown and even though the game’s out in September, I still found myself gushing about the new story and gameplay elements. But the real surprise was Resident Evil 2, after hearing about the remake for so long, to see it finally revealed was great.

I thought Nintendo did well, but I have seen online that the reception on the Direct was very mixed, some loved it, while many were disappointed. So let me just say this, I think some people expected a lot and were disappointed by the lack of appearances from certain games like Yoshi and Metroid Prime 4, which were both teased last year but have had no additional details. Animal Crossing fans didn’t get their new game and none of the rumours surrounding the Star Fox racing game, F-Zero and some other stuff didn’t come to light… So yeah if you’re not overly hyped for Smash and some of the other game reveals then I can understand the disappointment. That being said, I LOVE Smash Bros., and while I didn’t expect it to be covered for so long, it’s pretty much the big release of 2018 so I was delighted to see so much of it. The rest of the Direct had some cool stuff especially with Daemon x Machina, Super Mario Party, Fire Emblem: Three Houses and Xenoblade Chronicles 2 DLC, and third-party games in that montage. And while the leaks definitely took away a lot of the surprise, I was still happy to see Dragon Ball FighterZ and Overcooked 2 shown. The Treehouse segment really did well to highlight Pokemon Let’s Go in action and good gravy the nostalgia started to hit me hard when I saw Viridian Forest and Pewter City, the visual enhancements are insane from visual aesthetic to all the minor and major detail in the animation and art direction, but it was really the music that grabbed me, good gravy I need to get this game so I can listen to the music.

My Game Highlights

Now I’m just going to list all of the games that stood out to me or that I am super looking forward to from now until next, and this was a tough list to construct in some ways but I think I have a solid list here.

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

This was easily the first game to jump out at me and grab my interest. I LOVE action adventure games and samurai stuff, and the fact that it is coming from the developers of Dark Souls makes me happy and nervous. I’m excited for the gameplay that looks fast, intense, methodical and satisfying with movement and combat, but because it is coming from FromSoftware, their games are hard as hell and I dunno if I want to jump into that kind of game just to have my ass handed to me on multiple occasions. We’ll see. but the game does look hella cool.

Ori and the Will of the Wisps

I think I recall seeing this game last year and I thought it looked good, but I don’t recall it looking this great. Ori and the Blind Forest is a game I’ve been wanting to play for a few years now, but this game just looks like it’s on another level with its sense of scope, colour scheme, lighting and overall beautiful and atmospheric visuals. I know graphics aren’t everything but those graphics really are stunning and it just looks even better in movement in gameplay with the combat and platforming. I’ll be keeping my eye on this one for sure.

Jump Force

Just a few weeks ago I was talking to my friend about Jump Super Stars and Jump Ultimate Stars on the DS and how I had hoped that they’d make another game, and while this isn’t a 2D Smash Bros-like fighter like the games I just mentioned, it is a crossover fighting game featuring the noteworthy characters from Shonen Jump in an arena-based fighting game and I’m down with the idea. When I saw the trailer and saw Naruto and then the appearance of my boys Luffy, Goku and Frieza I got very giddy. Now so far from what I’ve seen this game has potential with the super over-the-top attacks, scene transitions and fast combat speed, but the movement also looks very choppy and animations needing a lot of refinement. I know this is an E3 build of the game so they have plenty of time to polish things up, I just want something fun to play with some of my favourite anime characters.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider

I’ve only become a fan of the new Tomb Raider games last summer after playing the first game last summer, I still haven’t played Rise yet, but I will. Either way, I really liked what I saw of this new game especially when it comes to the story. To see Lara is such different mindset, so hasty, self-centred and causing chaos in pursuit of her own interests is very intriguing to me. Beyond that, I am curious to explore this new world that is apparently much bigger than the previous games and I really want to try out all those new combat mechanics. I was pretty stealthy when it came to playing the 2013 reboot, but there are so many more options for distraction, camouflage and stealth kills which are so much more brutal than before. I’m very excited about this one.

Kingdom Hearts 3

What can I say about Kingdom Hearts 3 that hasn’t been said already? I want it, I need it, sure it sucks that we have to wait until January 2019 to play it, but with the amount of the game that we’ve seen I think its close completion so we can actually play the bloody thing after all the years of waiting. I didn’t expect there to be multiple trailers released, I watched them all and the game still looks fantastic and crazy with the Keyblade transformations and summon abilities, but it was the new worlds revealed that really caught my eye. With Frozen it was an inevitability that it’d make its way into KH considering how big that film is not only for Disney but just in general. I think the world and characters look great, but I was actually more interested in the return to the Pirates of the Caribbean world with Jack Sparrow and all of those characters look so much prettier and the world having such a great sense of scope.

Resident Evil 2 Remake

I had heard a lot of talk about this remake for a while and I wondered when we’d get around to seeing it, I just didn’t expect that it would drop during Sony’s press conference. The game looks SO good, I don’t even play Resident Evil games, but I’ve appreciated them from afar and have waited for this particular remake for a while and man it is delivering with its modern gameplay aspects, but still keeping the spirit of the original and horror elements intact.

Ghosts of Tsushima

If it wasn’t for two more games below this would be my game of E3. Last year when this game was teased I knew it’d be something to look out for, but I did not expect something on this level of polish and detail. The game looks absolutely stunning with the lighting, camera work and fluid animation and the combat is just how I’d imagine a samurai fight going down with fights that have precision, weight and timing, what they showed in that E3 demo was so beautiful. This is the samurai game I’ve always wanted, and at the same time, it is the one I didn’t know I wanted as well. I watched a panel with some of the developers on the game and it was so insightful and you could see that these people really care about the source material they are drawing from and want to make a deeply captivating and immersive experience that pays homage to Japan and the samurai films it draws from.

Spider-Man

Oh Spider-Man, what can be said that hasn’t been said already? It looks great, the web-slinging looks amazing, the combat looks varied and creative with what you can do upfront or in a stealthy manner. I am seriously digging the E3 trailer that showed off The Raft prison and several of Spidey’s key villains including Shocker, Rhino, Scorpion, Vulture and this mystery guy we couldn’t see off-screen. I am just in love with the game with everything I see and hear about the game, I just need it to be September so I can grab this game already haha.

Fire Emblem: Three Kingdoms

I remember when this game was announced last year and I was really hyped to see what a home console Fire Emblem game would look like after playing Awakening and Fates on 3DS and Three Kingdoms looks really good. It is essentially taking the core mechanics from the 3DS games and upgrading them not only in the visuals but with some cool extra game mechanics. The visuals look lovely and I like the new sense of scope and verticality with the environments that obviously couldn’t be done on 3DS but can be done in HD. I also love how the transition from the grid to watching your attack animations also has multiple soldiers on the battlefield with you enhancing the feeling of your fights feeling like a major battle. And I’m really liking the new squad formation attacks and special moves that you can perform now, oh Spring 2019 can’t come fast enough haha.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Holy crap, like dear god, what even happened when this part of the Direct dropped? I had so many hopes and fears for Smash 5 in terms of the roster, whether it’d be a new game or an enhanced port and what kind of stuff would be shown. And Sakurai and Nintendo just blew my frigging mind. Seeing the game’s new shiny visuals were great, and all the new stages, music, assist trophies, Pokemon, and tweaks to the game mechanics were great. But it was that roster that really got me. When they said everyone was available, I bloody lost it. 😛 I got so giddy to see Snake and Wolf come back, but then there was also Young Link, Ice Climbers, Ryu and Mega Man and more, and they all looked great. And to top it all off they frigging added my girl Daisy and then bloody RIDLEY at the end!!! Good god, it was like every wild dream come to life, fan service overload!!!!! It feels so surreal that it’s real, but all I can say is that December can’t get here quick enough! I NEED SMASH!

Conclusion

All in all, I’d say I had a good E3 viewing experience. The games I wanted to see exceeded my expectations, for the most part, I got what I wanted and while there wasn’t much in the way of surprises, what did catch me off guard was very pleasant. I’d say the future of gaming looks bright for us gamers for the next several months and good gravy by the end of the year my wallet will be destroyed because of all the game I need to buy haha.

But anyway how about you? What did you think of E3 2018? Was it good, bad or indifferent for you? Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comment section below and I’ll see ya on the next blog post, laters! 😀

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Posted by on June 15, 2018 in Media, Video Games

 

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PODCAST: Film Focus Episode 51 – Double Review – Ready Player One & Pacific Rim Uprising

Howdy ladies and gents of the internet, as some of you may have seen, in 2016 I started a film podcast entitled Film Focus and on this podcast, I talk about various topics in film and reviews as well on a biweekly basis. And the latest episode features a double review for the Ready Player One and Pacific Rim Uprising.

Anyway here’s the episode 51:

I was going to do a written review for Ready Player One, but I didn’t have the time and since I saw it pretty close to my viewing of Pacific Rim 2 so I decided that my podcast would be an easier and better way to talk about both films. But that’s not all, I have also included my small yet notable thoughts on Annihilation and Isle of Dogs, again films I really wanted t review on this blog, but because of timing I couldn’t do it around the time of release so I added my thoughts to the podcast before getting in the meaty reviews later on.

Here are the time codes:

  • 02:34 Annihilation Mini Review
  • 04:09 Isle of Dogs Mini Review
  • 08:19 Ready Player One Review
  • 23:50 Pacific Rim Uprising Review

As I mentioned before I’ll cover a different topic or review in each episode and since I don’t have much in the way of listeners or promotion, I’m here to spread the word about my podcast. 🙂

You can find my main site on Soundcloud here: https://soundcloud.com/film_focus

Or if you’re on iTunes subscribe and rate me on there: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/film-focus/id1114233892?mt=2

So if you have some spare time on your hands and would like to listen to the ramblings of a passionate/strange man then please check it out, and share it with your friends if they are fans of film discussion. Also, you have any feedback or if you’d be interested in joining in future episodes be sure to let me know, until next time, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on April 6, 2018 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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PODCAST: Film Focus Episode 50 – Tomb Raider Review

Howdy ladies and gents of the internet, as some of you may have seen, in 2016 I started a film podcast entitled Film Focus and on this podcast, I talk about various topics in film and reviews as well on a biweekly basis. And the latest episode is a review of the latest video game film, Tomb Raider.

Anyway here’s the episode 50:

I’ve done already done my written review for Tomb Raider, however, as usual, there’s always more for me to say beyond my written material. I basically expand upon my thoughts in terms of what I like and what I don’t, and more specifically how the film relates to the game and what it gets right and what it doesn’t. It was also a fun episode to do because it was my 50th episode so I do get a little crazy at points, but hopefully, that won’t make you want to turn the episode off haha. 😛

As I mentioned before I’ll cover a different topic or review in each episode and since I don’t have much in the way of listeners or promotion, I’m here to spread the word about my podcast. 🙂

You can find my main site on Soundcloud here: https://soundcloud.com/film_focus

Or if you’re on iTunes subscribe and rate me on there: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/film-focus/id1114233892?mt=2

So if you have some spare time on your hands and would like to listen to the ramblings of a passionate/strange man then please check it out, and share it with your friends if they are fans of film discussion. Also, you have any feedback or if you’d be interested in joining in future episodes be sure to let me know, until next time, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on March 16, 2018 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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Check Out The Impressions In Motion Podcast!

Howdy ladies and gents how’s it going? As some of you may be aware I have my own podcast, Film Focus which I have promoted via this blog since I started it almost two years now. But that is not the only podcast I have been part of. Back in September my best homie Chris and I started a podcast entitled Impressions In Motion; a podcast dedicated to the discussion of film, tv and video games.

I still haven’t made up a proper logo for the podcast yet because I haven’t come up with a fancy enough, but hopefully, I’ll be able to sort something out soon. We’re currently on Soundcloud and YouTube and while we’re getting some views on YouTube, Soundcloud is a little lacking at the moment. So I thought I’d spread the word on here and ask you, my blogging homies to help me out and check out my material.

Here are some of the best episodes:

 

 

 

And here’s the latest episode where my friend and I did our top 10 films of 2017:

 

Doing this podcast is a lot of fun for me and my mate, not only because we like to joke around and say a lot of stupid stuff. But also because we’re lovers of film and anime especially, but our interests are so different, so it is fun to hear my friend’s opinion as it informs me on films or something else I wasn’t previously aware of.

Anyway, if you have some free time and enjoy casual yet in-depth conversation about film, tv, video games and stuff of that nature then please check out our podcast, it is fun little time for sure. 😀

Podcast on Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/impressionsinmotion

Podcast on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1BOjv8CkxiZlJzvgeHHyQw/videos

Podcast on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/impressions-in-motion/id1323236990?mt=2

 
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Posted by on January 9, 2018 in Anime, Films, Life, Media, Reviews, Television

 

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Late End of Year Review 2017

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Howdy ladies and gents, so 2017 is over but there’s no way I can go on without doing my annual END OF YEAR REVIEW! I didn’t have much time to prepare because of awkward work hours and the small window of time I had to record two episodes for my podcast, so forgive me if there is a lack of polish to my material. 😛 Man 2017 had been a pretty crazy adventure filled with highs and lows and once again it is weird that everything has come and gone so quickly haha. As with previous entries, I will talk about the year as a whole from my perspective, break it down into sections and then conclude with a summary. You ready? Cool, let’s go!

Video Games

2017 really was the year I became a gamer again. While in previous years I’ve had my moments here and there, it was mainly thanks to Nintendo and their new games console that I got back into playing games in a big way. As a long-term Nintendo fan, to see the Switch come out and pretty much deliver on its promise of being a portable/home console hybrid was a lot of fun, playing games on there has been addictive as hell and while I miss certain OS features I have on the 3DS and PS4, it is still a good piece of hardware. And the games, bloody hell! At the launch of the Switch we had a handful of games to play, but now we have far too much to play and it is awesome! And just in general, 2017 has been an insane year for gaming just in terms of the releases of quality games and not having the time to play them all. Sure we had some dodgy games here and there and the rise of microtransactions was awful, but overall things worked out for the best in a lot of cases. I wish I had played more PS4 games but what I played on Switch was definitely fun. ARMS was a fun little time, I also got some good nostalgic fun with Ultra Street Fighter 2, that Project Octopath Traveler demo was the best thing ever and I also really liked Blaster Master Zero. But here’s my top 5 games:

  1. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  2. Sonic Mania
  3. Super Mario Odyssey
  4. Steamworld Dig 2
  5. Xenoblade Chronicles 2

I think it is no surprise to people who know that Zelda came out on top, that game made me fall in love with gaming all over again. The sense of joy, discovery, mystery, surprise, the vastness of the world, fun combat, breaking of the usual formula, boss battles and shrines, music, visuals and atmosphere, it just worked for me. Also Sonic Mania, damn, what a fun session. I haven’t played a platforming game that much for a while, it was everything I wanted and more, and while having more new stages would have been great. Going through the game and discovering each of the nostalgic stages along with the new ones with the incredible music, visuals and references to older games was hella fun despite some of the tricky parts. Mario Odyssey was SO MUCH FUN. Much like Zelda, there was a sense of discovery and fun that changed things up from previous games, finding moons, checking out the varied kingdoms and experiencing the crazy gameplay thanks to the hat capturing mechanic was great. Steamworld Dig 2 is a great follow-up to one of my favourite 3DS games, it built on the original game’s mechanics, has a better soundtrack and more noteworthy story too. And Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is a lot of fun, taking in the wonderful art direction and music, going through the vast world and getting good at combat and levelling up is delightful even if the game can feel a tad overwhelming with some of the game mechanics.

Films

For me 2017 was a good year for films, it was a lot more consistent than last year especially in regards to the summer film season, and while there were certainly some stinkers here and there, I did appreciate how many quality films there were in different genres at different points throughout the year. There were some nice experiences to be found in the cinema, and even some extra films to watch on Netflix, and while I missed a good few films I missed, I tried my best to catch up on a few in December. On top of that, I got around to watching a good few films at home for the first time like Ip Man 2 & 3, Gladiator, Mission: Impossible 1-3, Spaceballs, Airplane and Batman: Mask of the Phantasm to name a few. Like last year I was strategic in avoiding most bad films, though I did, unfortunately, catch a few dodgy ones here and there. Anyway, I technically did a top 10 film post already, but for those who haven’t seen it I will list it below and as usual, I’m only counting films released in 2017, films originally released in 2016 that got UK release last year DOESN’T COUNT! And with that out of the way, these are my favourite films of 2017:

Top 10 Films of 2017

  1. Blade Runner 2049
  2. Baby Driver
  3. War For the Planet of the Apes
  4. Star Wars: The Last Jedi
  5. The Big Sick
  6. Spider-Man: Homecoming
  7. Logan
  8. The Villainess
  9. Okja
  10. Detroit

Special Mentions

  • Trainspotting 2
  • Split
  • Get Out
  • John Wick Chapter 2
  • Wonder Woman
  • Molly’s Game
  • Gifted
  • Life

Top 5 Worst/Disappointing Films of 2017

  1. Kingsman: The Golden Circle
  2. Alien: Covenant
  3. Power Rangers
  4. Ghost in the Shell
  5. The Dark Tower
  6. The Circle

Television

TV last year has been a lot of fun as I’ve continued to watch a lot of my favourite on-going shows while also discovering new ones along the way. That being said, with the number of films and video games coming out at certain points in the year, it was difficult to keep up with everything. So what I’ll do is briefly mention a few shows here and there that I have enjoyed. Let’s start with those superhero shows. The latter half Agents of SHIELD‘s 4th season with the LMD, virtual world and Ghost Rider storylines came to a close last year in really fun and interesting ways, and by the end of it, I was very curious to see where the show would end. With the 5th season, I’ve only seen the first two episodes but it is certainly an intriguing plot so far. Amazon’s first six episodes of The Tick was surprisingly fun, quirky, weird and awesome and I’m hyped to see more of it next year. With Arrow, it was on an upwards trajectory since season 5 and so far season 6 has been my favourite of the DC CW material because of the references to the past, the higher stakes and an overall sense of drama and un I haven’t felt since season 2. The Flash has been good, not consistently good, but solid during season 4 and the Crisis on Earth-X crossover was the best Arrowverse episode so far. There was also the Netflix side of the Marvel shows where we got one and a half good shows out of three. Iron Fist was one of the most disappointing and boring shows I’ve ever watched, with a story and characters that were annoying and inconsistent. Also, The Defenders had good chemistry between the characters and some cool ideas, but a weak villain and story that got worse after episode 5. But The Punisher, that was my shit. I knew the show would be good, but what we got was something dark, aggressive, super violent and thought-provoking, they did the character justice and I loved the show… Oh and Inhumans, simply put, it was a waste of time, they done messed up with that one.

After waiting for AGES Master of None season 2 came out and it certainly didn’t disappoint, it offered more exciting, insightful and emotional stories with Dev and his adventures in Italy and America. Game of Thrones came back with the first of its last two seasons and season 7 for me was a hell of a lot of fun, it was swift in pace, had a lot of great moments from glorious action sequences to nice reunions to cool reveals and character exchanges. Lucifer for a little while became my favourite show because of humorous and intriguing plots, great character development and chemistry between the cast, and the ongoing fantastical storylines both in seasons 2 & 3. I also binged season 1 & 2 of Into the Badlands and it was really fun seeing how the show’s come with the world, plot, locations and the delicious/well-choreographed action scenes. Samurai Jack season 5 was dark and unsettling, yet fun and full of nostalgia, and to that show return, last year after so many years meant so much to me.  I also enjoyed Big Mouth, the first season of Lost and having fun watching Star Wars Rebels, Rick and Morty and Dragon Ball Super. And finally Bojack Horseman, a show I dismissed for ages because of the weird art and hype, I gave it a watch it changed my world. That show has so many layers and themes that only got darker, more engaging and uncomfortable as I watched each season, and by the end of season 4, I was an emotional mess.

Top 10 TV Shows

  1. Bojack Horseman (season 4)
  2. Punisher (season 1)
  3. Samurai Jack (season 5)
  4. Master of None (season 2)
  5. Game of Thrones (season 7)
  6. Into the Badlands (season 2)
  7. Lucifer (season 2/3)
  8. Arrow (season 6)
  9. The Tick (season 1)
  10. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (season 4)

Music

Music last year has been a little better than 2016. I mean don’t get me wrong, I have heard some absolutely crap stuff via the radio at work or when I went on nights out with my mates. But there has been a surprising amount of catchy music that’s caught my ears. I did get the return of three of my favourite artists; Jamiroquai, AFI and more recently N*E*R*D*, each of them brought a yet familiar sound with their new albums. My favourite had to be Jamiroquai, that Automaton album had my heart and soul for ages, while AFI’s In the Blood album felt like a continuation of Burials, but with echoes of their sound from the mid-2000’s and N*E*R*D*s’ NO ONE EVER REALLY DIES was interesting as it felt like something new, familiar and very Pharrell (in terms of his recent music), I liked it. The other major surprise was Calvin Harris’ Funk Wav Bounces Vol.1, an album that was different yet felt very much like Harris, I liked the funky and varied jams his crafted with a collection of people he worked with on the album, the best stuff he’s done for years. And finally, somehow Zedd and Alessia Cara came out of nowhere with “Stay” one of the most played songs I heard on the radio last year and eventually became one of my unexpected favourite new songs of last year. So bloody catchy! 😛

Favourite Songs

  1. Jamiroquai – Automaton
  2. Calvin Harris – Feels
  3. Zedd, Alessia Cara – Stay

My Experience

2017 was pretty decent overall and while there was certainly hardships to overcome, I also feel like it was one of my better years. I don’t if that’s just due to me adjusting to the crapper aspects of my life or if I’ve made some changes in life that have made the experience easier. Whatever the case is I feel at ease. And I have a lot to look back on and smile, whether it was my volunteering at the Children’s Media Conference for the fourth year in a row, or hooking up with old friends and discussing potential animation projects or returning to both the London Film & Comic-Con and London MCM Expo for some cool convention shenanigans, or the fact that I got to attend the Boardmasters Festival in Cornwall and check several great musicians including my all-time favourites Jamiroquai! But one of the key things that went down that raised last year to another level was going back to Vancouver, Canada with my sister and cousin for 2 weeks. As someone who has been trying to get back there since 2007, I thought it would be a lot longer before I went back, but luckily I went back and got to catch up with some old faces and meeting some new people, refamiliarising myself with Vancouver’s sights and sounds, eating so much food and trying out all that alcohol haha. It was a wonderful adventure that was over far too soon. Other than that I’ve just been at work, facing the highs and lows of that stuff, enjoying the hang time with my workmates on nights out especially that all-day session in Camden, I had a nice 10 year reunion session with my best friends from college and I also doubled down on my commitment to my podcast, illustration work and ideas behind certain animations I want to make. I’ve also made a number of mistakes, some more painful than others, but I think last year is the first time I’m really looking at my issues and trying to rectify them.

There’s also a lot of stuff that happened in the world in regards to the news and media, from royal wedding plans to dangerous hurricanes to sexual harassment cases all over Hollywood and so much more. Talking about any of these things or more would take too long, but what I did want to mention was the loss of certain celebrities last year that affected me personally. Right near the start of the year wast he passing of Bill Paxton, that took a while to settle in. He was one of my favourite actors from childhood, from Twister to Aliens to more recent appearances in End of Tomorrow and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the guy was everywhere. So funny and charismatic and the fact that I met him at a convention a few years ago really hit home. also, Bruce Forsyth, he’s one of those guys you thought would live forever considering how long he’s been on TV and the number of shows he’s hosted, and yet when I heard of his passing it saddened me. Charlie Murphy’s death got me good, I had only really started to get into his work in recent years after watching Chappell Show and Black Jesus, The passing of Roger Moore and Adam West, two actors great associated with massive franchises James Bond and Batman, was again really sad and was just a shock. But the most painful for me was the passing of Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington. Cornell I’ve loved since I found Audioslave in 2008 and his music has been part of me for years, the same can be said for Chester’s incredible work with Linkin Park, without his passionate vocals, my music world wouldn’t be same. Their contributions to music and my life are hard to put into words and even thinking about it now, it hurts. So let’s just show some love for those we lost in 2017.

Conclusion

In conclusion, 2017 was a good year, not perfect, but still a solid experience. I learned a lot, gained some new connections, had some fun experiences that may make for good stories in the future, and I feel like a lot of my experiences this year have prepared me for whatever happens next year. So goodbye 2017 and hello 2018!

Well, thanks for reading. So how was your 2017? Please be sure to comment below and finally, have a happy new year and I hope I’ll see ya in again 2018. Laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on January 2, 2018 in Films, Life, Media, Music, Reviews, Television, Video Games

 

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London Film & Comic Con 2017 Review

Howdy ladies and gentlemen how’s it going? Well, today I’m doing another review, not of a film review (even though I really should have seen Dunkirk by now haha) but an event review as over the weekend I had the opportunity to revisit London Film & Comic Con for the first time in two years and I just had to talk about it on this blog. And while I was only at the convention for one day I have a fair amount to cover to so let’s get going!

Now for those unaware, this convention is to do with films, TV, comics and video games. But the big focus is primarily on the special guests who attend, most people who go are normally coming to meet the celebrities who are there for talks, photo sessions and autographs signings. Otherwise, you can buy a range of merchandise including, clothes, toys, anime and manga, DVDs, comics, artwork, posters and so on. In addition to that, you can play video games new and old, see writers and artists of comic books or take pictures of cosplayers. So now I shall talk about my experience.

Video Games

Firstly let me cover the games that I played which wasn’t much but it’s still worth mentioning. Can I just say that I was gutted to see how little representation the games side of things got at this convention, not to say that this convention has had a strong gaming presence, however, since 2014 it is like the people who have run the convention have made this element of the convention smaller with each passing year. And that sucks. I did appreciate the variety of games they had on display whether it was the Minecraft stuff, the retro side with stuff like Mario 3, Sonic 2, Mario Kart 64, Super Bomberman 2 and a few others, and they even had a section dedicated to virtual reality games which were cool too. I only played two games though, firstly there was Smash Bros for Wii U and you know I had to play it, so I got into a match with three exceptional players who all gave me a run for my money as we played on random stages with all the stage hazards which made for some proper tense and fun matches. I don’t get to play Smash in a competitive manner much since university so it was cool to do some local multiplayer and get that rush of excitement/adrenaline in my system again even if I won only one out of the four matches I played. So then there was the tournament which I signed up for just for jokes, and though there were only around 10 players, I somehow fought my way to the final and won. It was so surreal and wonderful to win a competition with a game I’m actually good at. 😛 Other than that I played Super Mario World and realised how out of touch I am with the game mechanics and the feel of a Super Nintendo controller haha, I still really love that game but good gravy I suck at it these days. Oh and I have to give mention to the Bomberman tournament, that was so intense stuff man! I have never seen such speed and strategy applied to Bomberman before and it was awesome to watch.

The Cosplayers

Now I LOVE cosplayers mainly because they are dedicated fans who dress up and show their fandom in an upfront manner and if they are the hardcore types then they normally create their costumes themselves and they look so accurate to the source material that it boggles the mind. Since about 2015 I’ve stopped taking pictures of cosplayers because I’m too lazy, that being said, this time around I made a conscious effort to take pictures as some of the costumes were so elaborate, creative and accurate to the source material that it was mental. From all of the Rey and Kylo Ren people to the Rick and Morty’s, I also saw numerous women dressed as Wonder Woman and Harley Quinn. There were plenty of Spider-Men and Deadpools and so much more. The one person that I wish I’d taken a picture of was a guy dressed as Spidey from Spider-Man: Homecoming and his stark Spidey suit were so accurate to the film that it almost hurt my eyes! 😛 Anyway check out my pictures below:

The People I Met

So yeah the main reason I came to this convention was to meet some famous people, like a lot of other people haha. But seriously some of these people are individuals I’ve hoped to see in the flesh for years. So firstly there were two people from the Power Rangers: Time Force series and they were Kevin Kleinberg and Michael Copon who played Trip and Lucas. They are two of my favourite rangers of any PR series and I got to meet them, get their autographs and talk to them too, and they were so nice and kind especially Kleinberg. But then right next door to them was Selwyn Ward who played T.J. in Power Rangers: Turbo and In Space, he’s one of my all-time favourites and getting to talk to him was the best!

Here’s me with Kevin Kleinberg and Selwyn Ward, such amazing dudes!

Next up I met Phil LaMarr and got his autograph and also got to gush about how much I loved his worth and also got to thank him for coming back for Samurai Jack season 5, and he was SO cool and nice and he even shouted “AKUUU!” for me as well which was the best. So much happiness. And later on after standing in many lines I got photos with not only Tricia Helfer but also the Benedict Cumberbatch!

I know I looked silly but I couldn’t help it, I was so happy. 😛

With Tricia Helfer, most people know of her from Battlestar Galactica, but I’ve come to love her from Lucifer and she was SO nice and kind, and I told her that I loved her work on Lucifer, ad she said they have a lot of fun on the show. Ahhhhh! I was so giddy. And then there’s Cumberbatch, my man, I’ve been such a big fan since 2012 when I watched Sherlock, then the second Hobbit film and obviously most recently Doctor Strange, he’s just amazing and getting to meet him in the flesh was a moment in time I’ll treasure forever. “Hey there buddy.” That’s what he said to me and I’ll never forget it. 😛 😀

My Overall Experience

My experience was solid, the lines to get into the building didn’t take nearly as long as they did in 2015, I was in line around 8.30am and was inside the main hall from around 9.15am and I was able to get a feel for the are, learn where certain people and stalls were set up. I also ran into an old friend I hadn’t seen for two years since the last convention we attended so that was great. I also had some cool conversation with some artists who were selling their comics and later on, I ran into two other friends later on who I had seen for ages, was such a nice surprise! For a lot of the day, I was just watching around trying to waste time until my photo sessions later on, whether I was playing games, talking to artists or taking pictures of cosplayers. I would say that the organisation of LFCC was far more efficient that the previous years that I went, lines and places for entry, autographs and photo sessions were much better than before. And the general placement of stuff was solid. That being said, like before I wish there was a better presence of video games with the variety of the games, consoles and bigger and better location for them. It also felt like the illustrators and authors got the short end of the stick as their location felt so separated from the action in the main halls both upstairs and downstairs, I wish there had been more people and a better location for them to stand out. And even though the lines were better than previous years, there was still some confusion and lack of organisation or help when it came to queues and knowing which batches you fell into.

 

In conclusion, London Film & Comic Con was pretty good. After two years it was good to be back in this convention, it has a different feel and vibe to it and thankfully there was so much more room to breathe and chill when compared to this year’s MCM London Expo. While there were certain things I would have changed, it was a solid convention for the one day that I attended, this is certainly a convention that needs a full weekend in order to experience everything on offer and I probably will be back next year hopefully. 🙂

So if you attended London Film & Comic Con this year what did you think? Did you go for one day or the full weekend? And if you didn’t go would you consider going next year? Whatever your thoughts are drop them in the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review. Laters! 😀

 
 

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My Late E3 2017 Highlights!

So another E3 has come and gone and I am again feeling hollow, but hey at least its time to talk about the games and the convention on a whole. Unlike the last two years I’m currently on holiday so I had to catch all the E3 material erratically as I went out to eat and celebrate birthdays, so that’s why my thoughts are on the late side. But I couldn’t leave this blog without doing so form of wrap-up mini discussion so here we go!

The Press Conferences

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Unlike last year I didn’t get to see all of the main press conferences live, Microsoft and Sony’s conferences I had to watch a good few hours after their main announcements while Ubisoft and Nintendo’s I got to check out on time. As for the press conferences I liked what Microsoft brought in terms of their game selection, but I wouldn’t say it was anything mind-blowing, plus the fact that the Xbox Scorpio just ended up being the Xbox One X felt like such a lazy name. With Sony I thought there were certainly some cool highlights with some of their specific game reveals but it was a far cry from their incredible show from last year, it just felt a little slow and awkward with some of the stuff the presenter was coming out with. Ubisoft was honestly the real surprise, their conference while not mind-blowing, had some solid reveals, moved at a good pace and gave people a bit of what they expected and what they didn’t and think it all worked out well for them. With Nintendo as usual they did their own thing with their digital event and it was solid, most of it was covering games we knew were coming especially for 2017, but their were just a few major surprises that tipped the scales in their favour which I will discuss below. So who won E3? Hard to say because everyone had really cool material, but hardly anything amazing that made one company stand out more than the others, but I feel like Ubisoft and Nintendo did the best with the material they had to offer, but I think that’s just me.

But what’s E3 without talking about the games? While there were some games we’d seen before there were plenty that were new that I hadn’t seen which was great, so now I’m gonna talk about all of my favourites.

Spider-Man PS4

I think the game that really stood out to me was the PS4 Spider-Man game which was unexpected to a degree. Last year when that trailer was revealed I was hyped, and I remember there being a lot of naysayers stating that the game was suing pre-rendered graphics and that the in-game visuals wouldn’t look that good. And yet here we are in 2017 with footage that was just as clean as what we saw last year with seamless transitions between the cut scenes and gameplay and it is pretty frigging awesome. The graphics look super detailed, clean and colourful and the animation with very fluid and slick from the character movements to the all the environmental elements. I like how we got to see a bit of Spidey’s combat, stealth mechanics, web-swinging and the use of quick time events. I like how cinematic the cut scenes are and the combat looks fluid and Spidey’s overall movement feel so kinetic and acrobatic, if this game can keep up this level of quality with a solid story mode, good mission variety and different costumes then I’ll be so happy.

Super Mario Odyssey

I was already obsessed with this game from the first reveal but this just brought the hype to a new level. Having Mario use his magic hat to tak control of so many enemies and objects was pure insanity the first time I watched the trailer. It opens up so many possibilities for the gameplay, exploration and bizarre scenarios. The game just looks mad and I love it, the fact that the game not only looks so gorgeous but also has a lot of gameplay variety and the fact that Mario can wear different suits? Hell yes I’m hyped!

Sonic Mania

This game could almost be my game of E3 thought it had been revealed last July, but I just can’t help it I just really want this game dammit! Haha. Sonic Mania is the 2D Sonic adventure I’ve wanted for years and didn’t know it. The game just looks like a nice balance of the old and new, but with improved art and animation, redesigned levels and brave new ones and absolutely gorgeous music too. The more I’ve seen from the game the more I’ve wanted to shout from the rooftops that this will be the best Sonic game ever, at least that’s what I hope. Each new reveal has gotten me more hyped and with the recent footage of Chemical Plant Zone Acts 1 & 2 and Green Hill Zone Act 2 with the boss battle I’m stupidly hyped now.

Dragon Ball Fighter Z

This game was one of the best surprises from E3 I had no clue this game was a thing until a good few hours after the Microsoft press conference had ended and since then I have watched so much footage and I still can’t get enough. The fact that us fans are getting a DBZ 2D fighting, the first since Burst Limit in 2008 is such a lovely surprise! The game is probably the best-looking and most accurate portrayal of the art style and animation from the original show with such intricate detail that’s gone in the character stances, fighting styles and crazy cinematic special moves, and it is all done the Marvel Vs. Capcom style of gameplay. What’s not to like? The gameplay looks so frantic, fast and intense and I love it, it perfect captures the chaotic nature of the show and I can’t wait to touch this game!

Metroid Prime 4 & Metroid: Samus Returns

This was the defining moment for a lot of people when Nintendo won E3, while watching their Spotlight video I saw their trailer announcement for something and I wasn’t too sure what it was for the first 2 seconds, but as soon as the music dropped I knew it was true and that happiness was coming my way… Frigging Metroid Prime 4! Finally! Thank god! I’m not even hardcore into Metroid but I’ve been waiting for a new game in this series for what seems to be an eternity and finally we know its in development and that was enough to sway me into thinking that Nintendo may have gotten this E3 in the bag. But then after that during the Treehouse stream those crazy people at Nintendo dropped another bomb on us; another frigging Metroid game, in 2D! Damn! Even though the art style was in 3D and this is a remake of the original Game Boy game, just to know we’ll get to play this game makes me so delighted beyond words.

Anthem

This game looks like a lot of fun just for the size and scope of the world alone. Graphically the game looks so beautiful and detailed and I’m curious to learn more and get to play this with friends with the different armour classes. Now normally this kind of game would be my cup of tea but I’m just so intrigued by the world and co-op potential that I’ll have to keep my eye out for it!

Sea of Thieves

It was good to see this game back in action and though like last year it a little cringey due to the narrator trying to deliver jokes that just didn’t land, but otherwise this larger look at the game in regards to swimming underwater and finding treasure underwater, battling enemies on the beach and getting shot out of cannons among other things. It just looks like a lot of fun with the right people.

 

Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle

This game was the first major surprise of E3 in the sense that a lot of people (me included) thought this game would be a joke that no one would want to buy and yet creatively Ubisoft have taken the core foundation of the Mario games and made something special in a turn-based strategy style that has a lot of potential for creative gameplay. Straight from the trailer and game footage I can tell this will be an intriguing  and hilarious session with the Rabbids.

Other Games Worth Mentioning

Firstly there’s Assassin’s Creed Origins which looks kind of different to what’s come before and I like the setting, The Evil Within 2 had a cool trailer, God of War for PS4 still looks great, Xenoblade Chronicles 2 showed off some interesting gameplay but had some horrible English dubbing, South Park: The Fractured But Whole looked great but it was also awesome to see the reveal of South Park: Phone Destroyer was just as delightful. Monster Hunter World, looked like an interest evolution of the series though I don’t know if the new gameplay elements sit well with me, the Shadow of the Colossus PS4 Remaster looked cool and learning that a new Pokemon RPG was in the works for Nintendo Switch was a nice surprise.

Conclusion

In the end E3 2017 was great experience and while it wasn’t as great as last year it had a lot of great reveals and moments that will last for a while to come. I can’t to not only get my hands on those 2017 games but also touch those games that’s on the horizon for 2018, good gravy I’m gonna be out of money for months! Hopefully you all will join me for the next year’s session as well. 😀

So did you watch E3 this year and if so what games are you excited about? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next post, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on June 17, 2017 in Media, Reviews, Video Games

 

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Late End of Year Review 2016

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Howdy ladies and gents, 2016 is technically over and normally at the end of the December I do my  annual END OF YEAR REVIEW, however because of timing issues, work and New Year’s Eve plans I never got around to releasing it on time. And so I’ve debated with myself over the last few days as to whether or not to write it, but after 5 years it felt wrong in my mind not to, so, even though it’s late, my review of 2016 is here now! 2016, was one heck of a year and while there was some good times here and there, it was somewhat of a surprising and melancholy year due to a lot of the events that took place. And while I can’t cover everything I’ll do my best to cover what I remembered. As with previous entries I will talk about the year as a whole from my perspective, break it down into sections and then conclude with a summary. You ready? Cool, let’s go!

Video Games

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I think 2016 was a good year for games, even if I didn’t play too many of the new ones because I didn’t have the console to play them on, initially. Most of my gaming was Nintendo-based again with my 3DS and Wii U getting a lot of play time. I spent a fair amount of time trying to perfect my skills in Super Smash Bros. 4, also played a fair amount of Xenoblade Chronicles X and went back to Xenoblade Chronicles for some level grinding too, Lego Marvel Superheroes got some love and I was even able to fit some time in for Super Metroid, a game I’m not too good at but find a lot of enjoyment in when I’m in the zone. My 3DS got the most play time, I finally finished Fire Emblem: Awakening and was emotionally saddened when I finished it, kept going back to Sonic 2 3D and for a little while Fire Emblem Fates had my love attention, but just didn’t have the engagement level that Awakening did. However, once Pokémon Sun came out I was on lock down, it was easily my most addictive new game of last year, and while the wow factor wasn’t as intense as X & Y, the game was just really fun, accessible and changed so many of the core game mechanics and progression in subtle and great ways. Oh and speaking of Pokémon, Pokémon GO yeah that thing, i was on that hype for around 5 weeks and then fell off, and after the game became incompatible with my phone I was obviously gone for good, but those first 3 weeks were frigging full-on walking, catching and chilling in town at PokéStops haha. Oh and last year I got a PS4, finally. Spent a few days of Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens and then went straight into Final Fantasy XV, the whole reason I got my new console and during 2016 it was very different, and took time to adjust to, and while there were some issues I had with the combat, choice of buttons and game mechanics, it was hella fun and exciting, and the main four characters are some of my favourites in recent gaming memory. I’m really looking forward to gaming in 2017 especially when the Nintendo Switch drops, I need that thing to be good! 😛

Films

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For me 2016 was a solid year for films, and while there was a fair amount of disappointment with a good deal of the popular films, there were some absolute gems that popped up over the course of last year. I had a fair amount of fun in the cinema and did a bit of catching up at home as well with some of the films I didn’t watch when they were released, I also just got around to checking out some films I hadn’t seen or wanted to rewatch like Enter the Dragon, Attack the Block, Stargate and Get On Up. I luckily didn’t watch too many bad films because I was smart enough or lazy enough to stay away, though Ben-Hur, while bad, it wasn’t the worst I watched last year and in some ways I found it quite funny haha. Anyway I technically did a top 10 film post already, but for those who haven’t seen it I will list it below and as usual I’m only counting films released in 2016, films originally released in 2015 that got UK release this year DOESN’T COUNT! And with that out of the way, these are my favourite films of 2016:

Top 10 Films of 2016

  1. Sing Street
  2. Captain America: Civil War
  3. Kubo and the Two Strings
  4. Rogue One
  5. Midnight Special
  6. Jungle Book
  7. Doctor Strange
  8. Zootopia
  9. Hell or High Water
  10. Green Room

Special Mentions

  • Moana
  • Deepwater Horizon
  • The Accountant
  • The Nice Guys
  • Don’t Breathe
  • The Edge of Seventeen
  • Arrival
  • Hunt For the Wilderpeople
  • Ben-Hur (for being unintentionally hilarious)

Top 5 Worst/Disappointing Films of 2016

  1. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2
  2. Suicide Squad
  3. Independence Day Resurgence
  4. Batman V Superman
  5. X-Men: Apocalypse

Television

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TV last year was pretty filthy, I was watching a lot. From the Marvel/Netflix material with the great yet flawed second season of Daredevil and Luke Cage which had a great first half and questionable yet decent second half, but it was Stranger Things that was my favourite show of last year. It was a frigging revelation and I’ve not loved an origin TV show like that show for a long time. I also got around to finishing The Wire (which was awesome, checked out Luther and started Prison Break (better late than never). has been the most crammed one yet with me taking on multiple TV shows, new and old over the course of the year, sometimes overlapping several shows at the same time! One of the most heartbreaking experiences I had this year was seeing the end of Parks and Recreation with season 7. I also got to rewatch Fringe and relive all that awesomeness, and after around 2 years I finally finished the Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Oh and I finally finished Hotel Babylon after all this time.

On top of that in the Fall/Autumn there was a lot of good TV with the first good season of Arrow‘s since season 2, a pretty awesome first half of season 4 of  Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. thanks to Ghost Rider and The Flash’s season 3 which has been good but a little lacking when compared to the previous seasons. Star Wars Rebels was a little up and down but had moments with season 3, Game of Thrones definitely delivered with season 6 when compared to last year, Atlanta was another surprisingly fun show, Preacher while a little patchy at first got better towards the latter half and The Walking Dead’s latest season hasn’t been as terrible as I thought it’d be. But Blindspot and Lucifer were the real surprises of last year, but of those second seasons were much better than expected and featured some really solid character and story material. Still need to finish Mr. Robot and Black Mirror, and finally start Westworld and Ash vs. Evil Dead.

Top 10 TV Shows

  1. Stranger Things (season 1)
  2. Daredevil (season 2)
  3. Game of Thrones (season 6)
  4. Mr. Robot (season 2)
  5. Arrow (season 5)
  6. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (season 4)
  7. Lucifer (season 2)
  8. Luke Cage (season 1)
  9. Blindspot (season 2)
  10. Atlanta

2017 promises a lot for the world of TV but I’m mainly hyped for Iron Fist, The Defenders, and the return of Preacher, Master of None and Stranger Things.

Music

Music this year has been surprisingly decent, I mean overall there’s been a great deal of crap that I’ve been subjected to at certain parties, gatherings and just at work on the radio and stuff, but it is surprising how many songs that have been either genuinely good or absurdly addictive.

Top 6 Songs

  1. Red Hot Chili Peppers – Dark Necessities
  2. SG Lewis – All Night
  3. A Tribe Called Quest – We The People…
  4. Kungs vs Cookin’ on 3 Burners – This Girl
  5. Justin Timberlake – Can’t Stop The Feeling!
  6. Bruno Mars – 24k Magic

My Experience

2016, to be honest hasn’t been too bad of year for myself, I’ve dealt with a lot of shit, but my troubles haven’t been as severe as previous years. I did a lot that I never got around to doing in previous years, had a lot of fun with friends and family and got to have a high school reunion 10 years after I left school in May of 2006, something I thought I’d never get to experience and it was amazing. Also like previous years I returned to the Children’s Media Conference and make new acquaintances, went back London MCM Expo October 2016 Review, attended two wonderful weddings too, and also got finally see Alien Ant Farm live and got to see Red Hot Chili Peppers again too. Another random fact, last year I worked in a total of 4 different places and hopped 3 jobs before I landed the job that I have now, and 5 months on I’m in a much better place than I was before.

In addition to that I obtained my first long-term job that lasted longer than 6 weeks and got back into drawing in a big way for the first time in a while. But the key thing that makes me smile is the fact that I’ve been able to have such great experiences with my family and friends and that’s really helped me deal with some of the regular bullshit. Blogging-wise things were fair messy/lazy and I feel like last year was the worst year I’ve had on WordPress so far, but hell I pushed on and I hope to rectify the lack of content this year. Plus my podcast, while it started out well and I got better at it, there was a lack consistency for sure, so again hopefully I’ll get things sorted this year.

But does need to be noted about all the crazy stuff that went down last year like: 1) America allowed Donald Trump to become president, I knew its happen, I just hoped that it wouldn’t. 2) The UK voted to leave the EU, I also had a feeling this would be the case but again hoped it wouldn’t happen. And 3) Celebrity deaths, holy crap last year was just pure pain for all of the notable musicians, film and TV stars that passed on last year, and while there are too many to mention, for me I’ll miss Muhammad Ali, Ron Glass, Prince, Anton Yelchin and Alan Rickman. But the one’s that hit me hardest were Phife Dawg (because of his contributions to A Tribe Called Quest which affected my life in my late teens/early twenties), David Bowie (who after college I couldn’t imagine life without his music), George Michael (who had music which was part of my childhoo), and Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds (the timing was awful and Carrie’s passing made my heart sink). And while these wonderful people are no longer with us, we gotta show love and continue to celebrate their achievements, RIP peeps of 2016.

Conclusion

In conclusion 2016 wasn’t a complete waste especially on a personal level, but at the same time let’s just all agree that a lot of the bad outweighed the good and I think we’re ready for this year to be over. So goodbye 2016 and let’s hope 2017 is a better year.

Well, thanks for reading. So how was your 2016? Please be sure to comment below and finally, have a happy new year and I hopefully I’ll see ya in again 2016. Laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on January 4, 2017 in Films, Life, Media, Music, Television, Video Games

 

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First Impressions on Pokémon Sun

Howdy ladies and gents, I’m back from the underground to give you my initial impressions on Pokémon Sun, one of the two new Pokémon games recently released for the Nintendo 3DS. Now the game’s been out in the US since last week whereas us here in the UK only got it a few days ago and I wanted to bring myself away from the game just long enough to share with you readers how I feel about the 7th generation of the main series Pokémon games.

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So how’s the game? Well it’s pretty darn good. Here’s the thing, I’m not gonna act like I’m blown away by this game, however there’s a lot of interesting updates and surprises here and there that make this game worth picking up especially for veteran players like myself. I consider Pokémon Sun like a new season in a long-running TV show with this new entry bringing the nostalgia and freshness at the same time.

My Main Thoughts

Pokémon Sun does a lot of cool things, with the new Alola region (influenced by Hawaiian islands) it presents you with a brand new opportunities for a different landscape an interesting sense of style, culture and atmosphere. And of course it changes a few things up with the story, game structure and most importantly the Pokémon themselves.

What I’ve really liked so far is how the core game mechanics are still the same; you run around battling and collecting Pokémon, fight Pokémon in the wild or in battles with trainers and you can assemble a unique crew of Pokémon and level them up. All that stuff I love and enjoy. But there are some newer elements that been brought to the table like:

  • The Interactivity: This game must have the most interactive NPCs in the series so far, most people have something important, funny and informative to say and story-wise I feel like the two previous generations beforehand, this game has characters that accompany you on your quest that feel like they have personality and tell you interesting things mainly relating to the connection between humans and Pokémon and the Alolan culture.
  • Change in Structure: So far I haven’t seen any gyms, instead you have island trials which are a welcomed change and while simple, its different and entertaining. Plus the way you advance from point A to B feels slightly different with the way you gain items and come across trainers, but maybe that’s just me.
  • Exploring: While the game prevents you from going off the main path if key story and character material is going on, you are allowed to look around and you are rewarded for exploring with items on the ground with some that are easy to find and some that are hidden. Also with the Alola region there’s some differences with the route structure, design of the towns and activities to pass time with whether you’re using taking pictures with the Pokémon Finder or messing around with the Festival Plaza, both of which I’ve gotten lost in for a while in the first 4-7 hours.
  • Pokémon Refresh: Basically this was Pokémon Amie from X & Y except expanded, I haven’t played X since 2013 or 2014 so I couldn’t tell you what’s different, but so far I really like Refresh. While its annoying when you accidentally hit your Pokémon instead of petting them, I do enjoy feeding, cleaning and petting my Pokémon. Your connection to them feels more intimate and some of the Pokémon animations are so cute and fun, plus the effects of your close connections really helps in battle when it comes to landing critical hits, evasion and avoiding status ailments.
  • Visual & Audio Presentation: The game looks great, the art and animation are the best the series has seen so far, and because of the varied/dynamic camera angles, you travel through this world seeing all of the beautiful detail from different angles, it feels cinematic and larger in scope than previous games. There’s also minor yet notable updates to Pokémon battle animations, attacks and environments too. Also the music is really good, while not as immediately impressive as X & Y, Sun’s soundtrack is probably the most culturally diverse in the series so far along with familiar-sounding songs too in the vein of generation 6 too, I’m really starting to enjoy some specific songs especially the Evolution music (that sound is beast!).

Up to this point I’m enjoying myself, this game feels a little more personal, versatile and different, while being more of the same that I’ve come to expect from the series. While Sun doesn’t haven’t that wow factor that X did when I started playing that in 2013, this game has easily stolen many hours away from me to the point where I feel bad for not playing it. I’ve literally just started to get lost in this game with all of the new features, level grinding and catching different Pokémon and trust that I spent around 8 hours just doing as little of the story as possible, I didn’t even pass the first trial around 11 and a half hours in! If I have some nitpicks about the game is that it is a little easy in terms of the difficulty, some Pokémon take a little longer than I expected to evolve and with the new Pokédex you’re told exactly where to go whereas in the old games you just found your own way forward, but that’s just the traditionalist in me haha. Honestly I can’t wait to see where this game goes and hopefully I’ll be playing it at least beyond Christmas.

So are you playing Pokémon Sun and Moon and if so 1) Which version do you have? And 2) Are you enjoying it? Be sure to comment below and I’ll see ya on the next blog post, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on November 26, 2016 in Media, Video Games

 

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London MCM Expo October 2016 Review

Howdy ladies and gents, how’s it going? Today I am back on my blog to talk about the London MCM Expo, I missed the convention back in May but decided to give the October one a go and after my session on Saturday I just wanted to share my experience with you all. 🙂

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So for those not in the know, the London MCM Expo is pretty much the most notable UK convention for anime and manga, comic books, films  and video games held two times a year in May and October. And just like last year I attended just for the one day (mainly because I dunno if I could handle all three days), and for the most part it was a good time. And while I’m no longer wowed by a lot what happens at this convention because I’ve been attending this madness since 2008, there’s no denying that MCM is still a good time.

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Now like last year’s review I’m going to talk about what I got up to and separate this review into two halves; what and I liked and what I didn’t.

What I liked

This year’s Expo experience was a little different as I was technically like a tour guide for my mates who had never gone before so it felt weird to have to explain certain things and show off my knowledge haha. But it was nice to be with a group of people who were taking in the energy and had that surprise about seeing all this stuff for the first time like me and my friends had a good few years ago. As usual I enjoyed just being in the Expo hall, walking around, seeing what was new, what was the same and checking out the clothes, artists, toys and games. And there’s the cosplayers, while a lot of them were the usual suspects, but at the same time there was a lot to love with a good people dressed as Rey from The Force Awakens, Spider-Man was in full effect (especially ones from Civil War) and the amount of cool-looking dudes I saw dressed as Deadpool and the BvS Batman was pretty impressive too. As for the games I didn’t dabble in much this year, however, me and my best mate from uni had a few rounds of Dragon Ball Z: Xenoverse 2, and it was surprisingly fun. While I don’t think it’ll ever replace my love for the Tenkaichi series, it is definitely more fun then than a lot of the recent DBZ games I’ve played.

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This man was the best cosplayer I saw all day, I’ve not seen many people dress up as Hagrid at the Expo, but this guy was the best one ever, so accurate! 😀

I also ended up buying some really lovely art, got to talk to some cool artists and got my picture taken with Danny John-Jules who plays Cat from Red Dwarf which was awesome as he’s my favourite character next to Lister and Kryten. And then the night ended with this crazy winner stays on style of lightsaber battles just outside of the Excel Center, it was pretty cool and funny to see different people stepping up and having these fun little duels.

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Meeting Danny John-Jules was great, I was very delighted.

What I disliked

Organisation, or should I say the lack of was fairly evident this year. Now I know this convention gets bigger every year and so it can be hard to accommodate so many people, but considering how many years this convention has been going down you’d think the basics would have been covered and yet there were a few issues when it came to:

  • Lines to get in: Even though there was still organised lines for the people who had general and priority tickets, they got rid of the barriers that helped keep people structured and streamlined. So when me and my friends got to the Excel it took ages to get inside because there was a swarm of people rushing to through the barriers, plus I was very surprised by how little staff there were to check tickets and give out wristbands.
  • Lines for Photo shoots: While it was a little better than last year, this year’s Expo still had problems with lines in terms of placing people and getting the photo shoots with specific celebrities to happen on time.

The only other things that I wanted to note was that this Expo felt a little lacking when compared to previous sessions with the types of guests, the amount of good games and unique stuff to buy.

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In conclusion the MCM Expo in London was a good time. It is great to know after all these years that the Expo is still going strong with so many events, cosplayers, games and so on. While this year’s Expo will probably go down as my least favourite of my convention experiences, there were plenty of unique and memorable elements that made it worth attending. 🙂

So did you go to the recent MCM Expo and if so what did you think? Please be sure to share your thoughts in the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next blog post. Laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on October 31, 2016 in Anime, Films, Life, Media, Reviews, Television, Video Games

 

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