Wednesday, 27 January 2016

TEKKEN 7 Finally Gets Interesting (To Me)


Happy new year!

Previous visitors will likely know this, but it takes something pretty significant to actually make me update this blog - or at least finish an update without just leaving it to rot (had a thing on all this year's big movies but couldn't summon enough energy to get all the way through).  They will also know that Nina Williams absolutely falls within the 'something pretty significant' category.

So yesterday's announcement of her long-overdue addition to Tekken 7 - in time for its Fated Retribution update (those subtitles aren't getting any less silly, Namco) - would be pretty much guaranteed to get my brain working, even if there wasn't something immediately obvious to talk about, namely:

...girl, the hell you wearin'?

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Comic Musing: The SECRET WARS Retrospective Post (Updated)

Doom's signalling for the Cosmic RKO!

So!  Secret Wars, then.  Since I finally wrapped up my exhaustive preview blog, Marvel's big summer event lurched into life...and kept lurching, and still is lurching even as summer becomes a hazy memory.  What was once an 8-issue series (not the 12-issue one I somehow thought it was...sorry) has become 9-issues long, and will likely keep rolling through to December at this rate, even as most books reset under the 'All-New All-Different' banner and go back to a non-Battleworld reality.

That said, most of the SW tie-in books have either wrapped up or will do so over the course of October, and given how much time and money I've sunk into them, I feel obliged to share some final thoughts on those I've read.  This post should be considered a work-in-progress, and will be expanded as more series conclude. (Updated on 26/10/15)

Monday, 10 August 2015

Time Capsule: The Matt Smith Era, Part 4

 A deep, dark part of me wishes his hair had stayed this mental
for the rest of his time on the show.

See what happens when I take some time away from work?  All of a sudden I'm overwhelmed with the need to blog.

Time Capsule has been left to linger for a whole year, and while that's quite apt given the name, it does show just how little effort I've been able to put into this site recently.  But there's no time like the present to change that, so let's pick up where we left off with new-Who series 6, a.k.a series 32 in total.  Amy's been pregnant, then not, and has been getting taunted by a lady with an eyepatch who can open catflaps in reality, the Doctor remains unaware of the death he's marching towards, and Rory, well, Rory died again for a hot minute.  It's all getting so exciting!

Click ahead to see how quickly that excitement dies.

Saturday, 8 August 2015


Judge Death anxiously awaits the dawn of 3D comics,
so he can poke out your eyes with his gross fingernails.

Oh hey, it's another infrequent update.  Hiya!  Hope you're keeping well.

Anyways - comics.  Secret Wars, which I've gone over before, is now well-underway, and it's been taking up a considerable chunk of my attention...not to mention my wallet.  But it's not the be-all end-all of my funnybook affections - in particular, I'll always have time for some properly British weirdness from 2000AD, the weekly anthology book/deliverer of Betelguesian THRILL-POWER (delete as apt) which the uninitiated would best recognise as home of Judge Dredd, fascistic future policeman.  The majority of great comic talents from this damp little island, on both the writing and art sides, earned their stripes in 2000AD before applying for work with the big American publishers - and like bands that began underground or pro wrestlers coming from the independent circuit, it's frequently their 2000AD work that shows them at their most ingenious and daring.

...having said that, the creators at play on Dark Justice - a Dredd story first serialised in 2000AD Progs 2015 and 1912 to 1921, and now available as a handsome hardcover collection - don't fit that mould.  John Wagner created Dredd with Carlos Ezquerra back in 1977 and has stuck with that world, and the company that features it, ever since, while Greg Staples has lent his masterfully moody painting many comics publishers, Magic: The Gathering cards, film concept work, you name it.  This isn't the work of developing talent, it's pros at the top of their game.

It is also a story about lisping zombie policemen murdering people on a spaceship.  You need a review beyond that?  Really?  Fine, let's dig into the necrotic flesh a little deeper.

Monday, 15 June 2015

The SPLATOON War Journal

DAY 29

Report filed by 1LT Crawfish 'Craig Macd' MacMackerel

Two rooks fresh out of selection

War.  War has changed after all.

Used to be, I could tell who the enemy was just by looking at their eyes, their flags, their tentacles.  And you knew what you were fighting for.  All those long, sticky days trudging through hostile ink down in the valley, gradually wearing down strongholds until we could take out the Octarians' weapons of mass stainage - oh, they were real.  Very real.  Don't let the limp-suckered media types tell you different.  I lost 3 good men to the Octomaw.  Watched them get swallowed up, struggling to reach past its reinforced teeth before it bit down and, splat.  Gone forever.  Nobody came out of that valley unmarked, but we never doubted the mission.  We were keeping people safe.

These days?  These days I see the same faces on the other side of the field as I do among my own squad.  There are no superweapons to secure, no evil mastermind waiting to be toppled.  Just endless proxy battles between factions, with no high goal than keeping YOUR colour more prosperous than THEIR colour.  All happening out in the streets of our own city.  Somehow I doubt anyone feels 'safe' anymore.

But, I'm a soldier, and this is still a war.  A turf war.  And I'm going to fight.

Monday, 18 May 2015

Opinion Blog: Ranking the POWER RANGERS Theme Songs

Really wish they'd do pics like this for the non-red colours.

After another unexplained absence from blogville (albeit not as long as it looks, given the repeated updates on the Secret Wars post), I feel like I need to do something kinda small and silly to get things going again.  No complex reviews (hence no Age of Ultron reaction post, though suffice to say I enjoyed it a lot) or long nights spent photographing toys.  Just a simple 'here's what I think and why' based on something that's close to hand, and close to my heart.

If I haven't made clear before, Power Rangers?  Very close to my heart.  I was lucky enough to be exactly the right age when the Mighty Morphin' series started - bear in mind, we weren't nearly as inundated with superhero films back in the early-to-mid 90s as we are now, so seeing tights-wearing superpowered types in a context outside of animation on a regular basis felt magical.  And they had huge robots!  And basically everything on the show exploded at some point!  What's not to love?

In more recent years, I've gone back to the somehow-still-ongoing show, and watched its evolutions, even as its production shifted from Saban to Disney to Saban again.  There've been ups and downs - the kind which I think I'll go back to for a future post, time willing - but the principles of the show have remained the same.  Simple moral lessons.  Rubber suit monsters.  Morphing.  Robots.  Martial arts.  Stuff exploding.  Greatness.  Oh, and badass theme songs.  But, not all themes are created equal, so here is my definitive (ish) ranking of all Ranger title themes to date, from Mighty Morphin' to Dino Charge, worst to best.

Friday, 3 April 2015


 In which Capcom get desperate and
recycle the box art from Condemned 2: Bloodshot.

Developed and Published by Capcom.
Released throughout March 2015 (download version), end of March 2015 (disc version)
Available on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360.
Version reviewed:  PlayStation 3 (disc)

It's been pretty difficult to talk about Resident Evil lately.  The more time passes, the less fond memories I seem to have, and there seem to be fewer and fewer people around who actually want to hear about it.  Whatever happened to all the enthusiastic gushing about dogs through windows and tangled conspiracies?

...okay, a succession of duff games on the trot is what happened.  Like most major publishers these days, Capcom couldn't just leave Resident Evil to BE Resident Evil, because succeeding within a niche somehow wasn't enough.  It had to be a shoot-em-up with online components!  And microtransactions!  And a dedicated multiplayer mode!  But don't forget it's meant to be scary, too!  We'll put that somewhere between 'mud physics' and 'protagonist junk size' on the priorities list.

Even so, it wasn't all bad.  Somewhere between the glitchy nonsense of Operation Raccoon City and...the also glitchy nonsense of RE6 came RE Revelations, and it was, mostly, good.  The gunplay was still in the mold of the unloved RE5 but the all-too-human enemies had been swapped out for intimidating bullet-sponge sea monsters, the pacing was slowed down and atmosphere turned up...other than a lack of obtuse door-lock puzzles, it felt like the old days were clawing their way back.

And now here comes Revelations 2.  Is this the promised land?  Do we finally have the game we can point at and say, "yes, THIS is what Resident Evil should be?"  Short version, no, we don't.  But it's not all doom and gloom just yet.