Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Opinion Blog: Ranking the Tekken Fighters from Worst to Best

Does this look comprehensive to you?
Trust me - it ain't.

Ladies and gentlemen, all is quiet here at the Pillar of Justice.  The recent run of interesting game releases has dried up, in favour of the first few sad spurts of the next gen dribbling out onto the arid desert of consumer apathy.  The local multiplexes are full of those Oscar-baiting dramas that look more like the kind of thing you'd watch on DVD later (then never do).  And your humble host's comics reading has been so scrambled and scattered of late it's difficult to single out any one series for a thorough write-up, though I'm hoping to fix that soon.

But in the meantime, howabout an exhaustive and in-no-way definitive listing of every Tekken character ordered according to the relative merits of my personal favour?  No?  Well, tough, I had to Google all these images and cut half of 'em down for size, and after all that I'm gonna use them for something whether you like it or not.


Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Time Capsule: The Matt Smith Era, Part 1

 The sonic's 762nd function is the JJ Abrams Effector.
Rarely used.

Doctor Who has been far too big a part of my life since its 2005 resurrection for me to ignore it on this blog, and a scathing (but completely accurate) review of a now-forgotten Wii game several years back seems insufficient.  So begins Time Capsule, which is/will be a series of mini-reviews (or capsule reviews) covering a large selection of Who stories (over the course of many years, hence time - see how clever I am with my title choices and weep) since trying to go full-depth with a show that's run this long will keep me busy 'til Doomsday.  Hell, by then I'd barely be up to the actual episode called 'Doomsday'.  Although it might be a gentle relief if the world ended before I had to watch that one again.

Since his time in the TARDIS ended last Christmas - and since I've basically got his whole run on shiny blu-ray for reference - I'm starting out with a look at Doc 11, Matt Smith, him with the bow tie and inexplicable wavy fringe.  Smith's run - especially the latter half of it - got to be very wearying for me, and I know I'm not alone in that, but it's been a while since I've ventured back to the start of his tenure, and I'm very excited to switch off the part of my brain that knows who River Song is and has so many conflicting ideas about the Silence I can't make heads or tails of them anymore.  Off we go then!

(one last note in advance: the series and story numbering I'm using here is cribbed from the Counter-X listing and extended to cover more recent fare, which means it might not fit with some other listings.  I'm also counting any new-Who 2-parters as single stories because, well, they bloody are)

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Toy Review: Play Arts Kai Faora-Ul

 Not a photo of mine.
You can probably guess by the lack of awfulness.

To start, hey look, my first post of 2014!  Hope everyone had a safe New Year's.

Anyway - as time passes, I find myself growing more and more irritated with Man of Steel, as seems to be the prevailing feeling amongst interweb dorks like myself.  This is the big problem with the tone and aesthetic that Christopher Nolan has bequeathed to Warner Bros.' nascent DC cinematic universe: when every character and place is presented as cold, severe and super-duper-serious it prompts the audience's thoughts to linger on the ideas and questions raised by the story rather than just relax and let oneself be moved by the flow of the film.  That's fine if you've got a tight grip on the tale and know exactly what points you want to get across, but if you don't - if the questions you're raising clash with the overall 'point' of the film, or if you're simply not elaborating them well enough - then all you're doing is giving viewers more time to chew over the film's problems.  And hoo boy did MoS have hefty problems delivering its themes.

Despite that, I still bought the damn blu-ray just so I could gawk at Faora-Ul in glorious HD.  That plus the hilarious sight of Michael Shannon's misshapen beanpole body being pushed through military-grade workouts in the special features was worth the asking price.  Thus my Faora crush remains strong, albeit ill-served by the movie's merchandising.  Sadly there's still no sign of a Hot Toys 12" $200+ wallet-killer fig of the lady (I remain hopeful - HT's Roadblock figure still hasn't been released and G.I. Joe 2 came out last March) and Mattel did their usual hopeless job on the main toyline, resulting in this disappointment with its cartoon face, borked joints and oddly squat physique.  Luckily, though, DC's licensing deal with Square Enix covers both comics and movie properties, and so the MoS subline of the Play Arts Kai range has stepped up to fill the void and maybe give Faora the toy she deserves.