Archive for category Review

This Music Really Does Blow

I get a lot of promotional CD’s through the post. 99% of it is garbage and is usually someone who was knocked out of the X Factor at Boot Camp trying to launch their own music career. Trust me. If you haven’t got SyCo helping you out in some shape or form these days you’re kind of screwed. Anyway, 99% of the music I receive is pure craptrap but occasionally I get something like this through the post. I must say I wasn’t expecting to see a CD called Sex, Drugs & Rock’n’roll through the post first thing on a monday morning but I thought I’d check it out and see what’s what.

^(Please find the artwork the example of the suckiness of this CD)

The Destructors present: Sex & Drugs & RockNRoll. Well there are so many things wrong with this before I even removed the plastic film. Firstly, they call themselves The Destructors. I’m not sure what you’re meant to be destructing or how rebelling through music is going to achieve this but it’s really not that threatening. Nor is the album title. I mean Sex & Drugs & RockNRoll is about as hardcore as a child beating you with a Snickers Duo. Overall, before I’d even opened the case I felt as though this album was written by a bunch of teenagers trying to rebel against their 10 o’clock bed time.

Then there was the track listing. I’ll give you a small taste:

1.) Spitroast F.C

2.) I’m in love with a pornstar

3.) She’s a girl

4.) Butt Plug, Gag and Tit Clamp

Oh I’m going to stop there because otherwise this blog will attract the wrong crowd. Is this meant to be funny, rebellious or ironically stupid. Either way, it certainly comes across stupid and the fact we were discussing this album became a joke in itself at work.

But then I listened to it. You know what … it sucked. It really did. I skipped through all 12 double entendre named tracks within about 5 minutes and I wouldn’t give it the time of day again. The music is poor and describing would require me to think about again which gives me about as much thrill as a monorail would.

What I find ironic is that the tagline for the album is “It’ll blow more than your mind”. No The Destructors. It just blows. Anyone who wants to hold it and seem ironically funny, please feel free to take it off my hands.

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Eddie Izzard Visits Brunel

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Today Brunel students had the opportunity to meet and discuss politics and much more with Eddie Izzard as he paid a visit to the Brunel campus in support of the Labour Party and mayoral candidate, Ken Livingstone.

Sitting in a packed out lecture theatre (the first time I’ve seen a room so busy in almost 4 years at Brunel), there was a jovial mood amongst the crowd, with the majority engaging and active politics students wanting an opportunity to quiz Eddie on his views. Not only on politics but on other aspects of his career.

The talk was chaired by Labour Society Chair Kerri Prince, with representatives from Labour, Conservates and even the Lib Dems turned up!

I had the priviledge of being front row as a “member of the press” and a camera in tow and thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon experience.

Whilst I believed that some were there to heckle and cause a bit of trouble, Eddie focused more on engaging students with the voting experience rather than specifically supporting Ken and slating Boris Johnson. This is certainly a credit to him and many people seemed to warm to that. The talk would have become more of a lecture were he to turn up and just throwing abuse at Ken’s opponents.

Questions and answers between himself and the audience included topics such as:

  • Boris Johnson and Ken Livingstone
  • The £9,000 tuition fees
  • LGBT Issues
  • His upcoming fundraising projects
  • Comedy
  • The Monarchy
  • His potential ambitions to run for office in 2020.

Footage of the entire event will soon be available via the Labour Society website at www.brunelstudents.com. I would encourage all to watch, even if you just fancy a giggle!

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Lord Voldermort Likes His Tea And Biscuits

 

And he hates it when you try to take them away. He’s like a child. Then again, so is every single character in this game. It is a child’s game though so maybe I should cut it some slack. Yet if I have to sit through a cut scene where Voldermort throws a hissy fit when Snape ate the last bloody biscuit then I’ll have to avra kadavra someone.

The Lego franchise returns for our video consoles with the second half of the Harry Potter saga – Years 5 to 7, even though the game splits itself over 4 levels and even offering you an achievement for completing year 8. Hoorah for logic. Any who, the game brings its usual puzzle based platform “action” and its usual childish jokes but this game really takes those childish jokes to a new level (which I’ll get onto in a bit).

The game itself is as enjoyable as always and equal as challenging but it doesn’t offer anything new and the problem is it never will. Anyone who has played one Lego game has played them all. Once again, there is no replay value to this game. Once you reach 100%, which won’t take long, you’ll have no desire to play it again. Luckily I learnt from my past and decide to rent this one. I didn’t waste £35 and instead invested in £5.

Now then, the cutscenes. Now I understand that these last films are quite dark and disturbing and that the Lego franchise keeps it light hearted for the kids but this is just silly. In the scene where Voldermort has his pet snake murder Snape in order to become the true master of the Elder Wand, Lego decided to ignore this. Instead, Voldermort was enjoying a well deserved tea break, after killing numerous school children, and was enjoying his break with Snape and Lucious Malfoy. Suddenly, Snape eats the final biscuit and Voldermort gets upset and orders his snake to eat him. There are several cut scenes like this throughout but this final one takes the biscuit.

Hoorah for wordplay!

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Saints Row: The Third Review

Now I’m not sure what is more impressive. This game or the fact I could put the controller down to write this review. I reckon its my perseverance but maybe I’m just kidding myself.

saints row the third screenshot

The third installment of Violation’s Saints Row debuted this week with a startling amount of awesomeness. Ever since the franchise started back in 2006, it has presented itself as the alternative to Grand Theft Auto; with the same manner that Battlefield presents itself as the alternative to Call of Duty. Despite this, Saints Row has always seemed to be getting better praise than GTA even though it doesn’t get the sales it deserves.

Saints Row has always been ridiculous. It has always been stupid, yet the third just takes this to a new level. The people at Violation must have sat down and said “Screw it. Lets just make a game that’s actually fun!” whilst the GTA creators are busy trying to add more realism to their next game. Meanwhile, Saints Row: The Third is a hoot and a half with things you’d never expected. I can honestly say it’s one of the few games I’ve played with a huge smile on my face. This beats Batman: Arkham City which I played with a degree of seriousness.

I’m not sure what the best part of the silliness is. Maybe it’s when you load the menu screen and you see the option for “Whored Mode” (which can only be a good thing) or maybe the fact that the very first mission sticks you in the middle of a bank robbery whilst wearing a mascot costume. That is only the tip of the iceberg. You can purchase a weapon which is essentially a dildo on a stick. You can fly jets with laser flamethrowers on them or whether your best mate is an 11ft tall Russian called Oleg.

In fact, even as I’m writing this, I’m in the middle of a mission where I’m dressed as the Pope whilst I have an unconscious ninja on my shoulder whilst taking out members of the army left, right, and centre.

It is just silly and for that it is one of the best games I have ever played. Yet there must be some sort of reason that this doesn’t do as well as Grand Theft Auto. Maybe it’s because no one really knows about as the press only seems to have a go at GTA. Who knows; maybe my blog will spark some interest seeing as it so hugely popular (…). I’ve always felt though the main reason between the two games comes down to playability. I would happily fork out £40 on the release day for the latest GTA but I would only buy this Saints Row for under £20. Hell the only reason I had it on release was because it was a present.

saints row the third

WHAT A PRESENT! I wouldn’t recommend it for children though (please see my dildo comment before if you’re not sure) but it is one hell of a laugh. The achievements are relatively simple and any decent gamer could bag the full 1000G without too much effort and there isn’t that much of a learning curve.

There are always a few issues with it of course. The game is far too short for what it deserves to be and the fact you HAVE to play side missions during the main campaign is beyond me. Doesn’t that defeat the point of side missions?

Overall though, it is the best game I’ve played in an age but it don’t think it is for the more serious gamers in the world. It is just for larking around when you want to have a bit of fun. Welcome to Gaming 101. Fun.

Oh and once I’m done with the main campaign, I’ll play through it again. This time as a woman with huge knockers and a zombie voice. Because that’s how I roll.

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WWE ’12 Preview

wwe 12 coverFor those who don’t follow wrestling or as they like to refer to it, “sports entertainment”, November is the time of year when the battle for brand supremecy ruins riot in the WWE. Smackdown Vs Raw is always an instant classic with every wrestler or “superstar” claiming the utmost loyalty to their brand. However, it turns out that this utmost loyalty that wrestlers have to their brands really boils down to who signs their checks and thus the brand rivalry has really been played down in recent years.

The idea of having a Smackdown vs Raw game almost seems redundant and WWE/THQ have finally realised that you can’t have a game dedicated to something that doesn’t exist anymore. It’s almost like they want to forget their 2007-2011 titles and relaunch the franchise with WWE ’12. Joining on the bandwagon of games like Fifa and Madden, THQ have clearly gone overboard with the imagination that went into that title. Anyway, with the relaunch of the franchise, are we seeing an entirely new game or just the same old same old that we’ve come to bare with just a new name?

randy orton the miz wwe '12 screenshotWell when you think about it, nothing significant will change. The games engine won’t have changed meaning we’re still going to have to cope with copious amounts of glitches and tons of hilaroius youtube videos to follow. The characters are still going to look superhuman (not compared to WWE All Stars though) and the commentary will still have Michael Cole.

THQ have already announced several new features to try and keep the fans and new gamers happy and interested. For die hard fans, one of the largest rosters ever was announced including our old favourites like John Cena, Randy Orton, The Undertaker and our new favourites The Miz, Alberto Del Rio and Zack Ryder (Woo Woo Woo). THQ are also planning on fixing everything that fans have complained about for years … at last. According to sources, the game will add a new limb targeting system so you can focus your attacks on specific body parts. The AI will also become more intelligent, preventing you from button bashing and repetitive attacks. The game is design to make the experience as real as possible for the gamer, including camera angles and updated graphics.

WWE games are really only appreciated by fans who know the characters and know the storylines. How are fans who know nothing about WWE supposed to know CM Punk is the best in the world? THQ are trying to make the game more open for the casual gamer rather than its diehard fans. Clearly they are in the money making business for a reason. Let us hope that this game is something a little bit different than we’ve seen before and is not just a rehash of Smackdown vs Raw 2011, just a bit better looking.

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The X Factor: New Judges. Same Drama – Review

the x factor 2011The X Factor returned for another series, except branded as “brand new”, “exciting” and “totally different than ever before”. Television doesn’t work in that way unfortunately and the production remained the same, leaving saturday night viewers with the same old, same old X Factor that we have all grown to bare. The X Factor has now become one of those unfortunate occurrences that we simply must deal with, like an eccentric cousin who we have to put up with 2 or 3 times a year. It isn’t going away anytime soon, even when you take away its core, Simon Cowell. So how did the opening episode of X Factor do and was it up to its usual tricks?

The judging panel certainly seems like it was thrown together at the last minute. There was no chemistry, which is to be expected, and hopefully they’ll have some by the time the live auditions come around. Louis Walsh returned as he seemed to have nothing better to do like his former judges so he seemed to take the role of Godfather of the X Factor, which could certainly be true considering how long he has been there. Now enter the new judges. Fuzzy bear Gary Barlow took the role of “evil judge” by rejecting 95% of the acts just for the hell of it. I like to think that he’s thinking to himself: “You could never be in Take That. Get Out.” Tulsa Constantinople joined to fill the hot, sexy, young Cheryl Cole seat and Kelly Rowland, Beyonces mate, joined as the exotic foreigner who has come to judge the British.

The acts themselves were the usual band of the brilliant and the bonkers, with several acts who we could definitely see in the live finals and much much more who couldn’t sing his way out of a paper bag. Ha Ha. Puns. We saw a young Tulisa look-a-like called Janet Devlin who coincidentally had the X Factor production team visit her house, so I imagine we’ll see her in the finals. Otherwise the production team made a big mistake there. We also saw the usual band of “normal” people who look incredibly “normal” and sing very … “badly”. I did find that The Susan Boyle Effect is starting to where off though. Here we see a distinctly “normal” looking woman who then can’t sing. The phrase “Don’t Judge A Book By It’s Cover” is starting to ring true again. I think Susan Boyle may have been a one off. And then we had George.

Unfortunatley, George did nothing to stop the stereotype that young people are stupid and angry after he started to shout at the judging panel for being professional singers and him being a twat. I imagine that a few people watching thought to themselves “He probably did a bit of looting last week”, to which I agree. Also, I feel that the entire incident was showcased to get the public feeling sorry for Tulisa and win her over with the fans. Only time will tell for that one.

Here are some other side notes I thought from the opening episode:

  • Why on earth was Dermot wearing a turtleneck?
  • Apparently it’s quality television to watch a nervous middle aged woman vomited into a bag.
  • Is the battle between Team Cheryl and Team Tulisa beginning?
  • Gary Barlow appears to think that he can pull of a suit jacket over every single outfit he wears.
  • Dermot pointing his finger at George makes me think he’ll one day win”Father Of The Year”.
Overall, I feel that episode did well but was nothing special. It wasn’t better but it certainly wasn’t worse than the old series gone past. It’s a nice breath of fresh air in the world of X Factor and maybe thats what the franchise needs in order to stay alive. I can only see good things for the series ahead and hope that Gary Barlow shocks the world by being a bit nicer to people.
Until next week ….

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Gnomeo And Juliet – Review

gnomeo-julietNow this may seem like a very weirdly timed review seeing as this film came out in cinemas months ago but I had a second opportunity by watching it on DVD. Thank you Blockbuster. Anyway, for this second opportunity, I managed to appreciate the film for what it’s meant to be which is an excellent and original version of the classic Shakespeare play, whereas during the first screening, I just sat there laughing and thinking to myself ‘Ha. They’re gnomes.’ Excellent maturity there.

Gnomeo and Juliet stars a smorgasbord of famous British actors, unseen since Love Actually and brings them together to retell William Shakespeare’s classic tragedy Romeo and Juliet and brings with it a mass amount of gnome based word play. Add copious amounts of humor and a catchy Elton John soundtrack and you get a rather enjoyable film.

Having watched it a second time, I appreciated what a wonderful educational tool the film could be. The only other type of film is Romeo + Juliet starring Leonardo Di Caprio but compared to this, Romeo + Juliet seems just far too adult for an academic syllabus. The film focuses heavily on the rivalry between the Montague and the Capulet families, misses out key characters, such as Mercutio, and rewrites the tragic end, so the plot is very dumbed down and simpler for the younger audience to understand.

The attention to detail is also very well appreciated. Whenever gnomes touch objects or other gnomes, there is a very satisfactory porcelain sound effect, adding a touch of realism to the film. The attention paid to key Shakespearean language is also wonderful as it shows that they don’t ignore the stories roots. For example, the gnomes live on Verona Street and the two houses are 2B and “not” 2B.

At this point, I’m really hoping readers know of the actual Romeo And Juliet story, otherwise all these references are pointless.

The pace of the film is split between the slow, romantic scenes and the high action drama sequences often involving Jason Statham as a daisy wearing Tybalt, making it incredibly engaging.

It’s all the small things that make the film worthwhile and definitely worth a watch. Whether it is an educational tool is another question though. Gnomeo and Juliet is probably better for primary schools and then let them get old enough and hooked on puberty before showing them Romeo + Juliet.

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