Thursday, 11 March 2010


hey there, for Unit 10 our assignment is our own brief. There's several options that I'm thinking of exploring. In one i pose the question 'Are games becoming little more than interactive films?'. I believe this would be an intresting topic to explore and relevant to the growing trend of developing games to me more film like concentrating on story and cinematics over game play and immersion. with games like Metal Gear Solid 4 having overly extended cut scenes and Heavy Rain with its 'cinematic quality' game play and heavily laden QTE's. I'd also explore ways that developers are blending the two schools such companies as Bioware when they created Mass Effect which employs immersive game play and interactive cut scenes in which the player selects what the character says. By examining the different methods and mechanics along with how popular each I will be able to better understand what the future of games development could potentially become.

Alice in Underland?

I must confess i was drawn in by the concept of a Tim Burton Alice film but i was kind of disappointed when i found out it was going to be an original story based around the sequel, 'Through the Looking Glass'. After seeing the film I maintain my standing on the subject, there aren't many films based on the sequel and certainly no decent ones from what I've seen so this had the potential to be a great film and fill the niche market that others have failed in. All the ingredients were there for a spectacular visual treat but did it fulfill? Tim Burton has a track record of producing some cinematic greats such as Sleepy Hollow and highly underrated Big Fish but has recently missed par on his newer creations like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory that are visually enjoyable but falls short in other areas. Alice in Wonderland was a less than inspiring re imagining of a classic story that leaves you with a slight feeling of melon-collie the story was confusing and seemed to be re-written for one of Burton's favorite actors, Johnny Depp who stole the screen. The music by Danny Elfman was an enjoyable experience but brought nothing new. Of course the screenplay was written by the ominous Linda Woolverton who has a less than admirable track record. But the real draw to any of Tim Burton films is the visuals, even this though was less than impressive and was pretty much distroyed by the 3D effect. On the whole the film was enjoyable but brought nothing new and was slightly sub par for its rather grand release, worth watching but stay clear of the 3D and dont expect to be blown away.

Monday, 23 November 2009

Steampunk Willie

Sometimes you come across some information that just makes you go 'HOLY FUCK'. I'd like you to now experience one of those moments now....

Disney is set to release a new game as of yet we only know by the codename 'Epic Mickey' for this game the following concept art was released:


sadly the bad news is the game is to be released for Wii and this ( is what theyve done to that beautiful concept art. *weep*

Monday, 2 November 2009

Assassins Creed 2

Well if you read my last review you'll know that I attended this years Eurogamer Expo in Leeds. At the event i was able to get my hands on the new Assassins Creed 2 GDC demo. The new game had dramatically improved graphics the textures and lighting were realistic yet remained stylistic to the theme of the game. AC2 had the wealth of new features we've all been waiting for. Of course the hidden blade returns along with a twin brother, handy for double assassinations. Other new items in your arsenal are smoke bombs and poison your also able to perform assassinations from almost anywhere.

There's also a new weapon system that allows you to use any weapon on the game and your not short of choice. You now have the ability to disarm and use a weapon against your enemy using the much improved fight system sporting a whole variety of deadly moves. No longer will you revert to blocking and countering when fighting large groups of enemies you could even throw a smoke bomb and escape in a flurry of confusion.

A new economy system works using monetary awards for completing assassinations for clients. This of course means you can buy things such as upgrades and supplies, extra smoke bombs and poison but also weapon and costume upgrades including dyes and armor. The game has a new weapon selection menu that pauses the game as it displays a wheel bases menu reminiscent of the Mass Effect. Overall the the gameplay has been improved, feels faster and more natural and promises to be an entertaining game.

Eurogamer Leeds

This week i embarked on a trip to Eurogamer Expo at Leeds, this is the first time a Eurogamer Expo has been at Leeds. The event was more of a demo event of recent and upcoming games than your traditional expo with developer booths. The event was small but got quite packed in the mornings. There were a few games that have been out for a while (Need For Speed: Shift, Batman: Arkham Asylum, Uncharted 2 and Wet to name a few) but many of the games there were still unfinished. Some highlights of the event were the GDC Assassins Creed 2 demo which exceeded in expectation, the inventively controlled Heavy Rain which used QTE's effectively to portray multiple story lines and Tatsunoko vs Capcom: Ultimate All Stars which although only available on the wii shows that 2D can be transferred to 3D/2.5D effectively and without loss of gameplay. A few points about the event though, the size of the of the TVs where inconsistent and uncalibrated. lode to the guy on the 32" uncalibrated Samsung sat next to a spot on 50" 1080p Sony. And then there's the "career fair" that resided in a small area of cubicles inhabited by 3 universities, Ubisoft and Team 17. Overall the event was, i feel was well worth the £6-a-day entry fee. It was enjoyable and there were some good games on show although the career fair was a bit of a wet biscuit it didn't spoil the day.

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

St. Trinian's (2007)

There’s been a lot of bad reviews on the latest St. Tinian's movie and after watching it for myself I can't disagree more. The new movie is a far cry from the 1966 Great Train Robbery I remember fondly from my childhood. Thigh-highs and suspenders set the mood as your pelted with drug references and sexual innuendos. From the Joint smoking Rupert Everett to Stephen Fry on uppers this is St. Trin's for a new generation. The anarchical school is threatened by bankruptcy and foreclosure while The Minister of Education (Colin Firth) wants to expose the school as a corrupt hellhole. The girls decide to save the school by stealing a famous painting and then fencing it off though the loose moraled Flash Harry (Russell Brand). The Film has some great moments and is, in some parts extremely funny. Anyone shouting at the decidedly un-politically correct humor must of had their funny bone surgically removed. Highly Recommended.

Jumper (2008)

The story revolves around David Rice (Hayden Christensen) who has a genetic anomaly close to what we would normally call 'mutants' and 'Paladins' who are trying to kill him and all other like him. After an accident which promotes the onset of his power to 'Jump' or teleport at will, David goes on the run leaving many believing him to be dead. he lives his live robbing banks and jumping wherever he wants. One day he gets found out and has a close encounter with Roland(Samuel L. Jackson). Roland is a high ranking Paladin who's job it is to kill Jumpers, Paladins belong to an ancient cult believe that Jumpers are an abomination and only God should have their power. David goes back home to see his childhood friend and love interest Millie (Rachel Bilson) to find she still lives in the same town and has given up her dreams. He then puts her life in danger by taking her with him to Rome. This is where he he meets Griffin (Jamie Bell) who teaches him about who he his and the history of the war between Paladins and Jumpers. This leads to a predictable climax where the girl is kidnapped and they guys team up to beat Roland. After the first 20 min's or so you think about reaching for the gun to blow your head off but is saved when the story gets going and the acting improves... slightly. The story, although no award winner is entertaining and is well directed. a little dodgy camera work and below par acting is saved by the grace of Jamie Bell and Samuel L. Jackson even if they did seem a little uninterested. On the whole the film is watchable, even enjoyable but don't go expecting another Matrix.