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  1. I don't know if you folks are aware of Shudder but it has just launched in the UK. It is a streaming service just like Netflix but dedicated solely to the horror genre. I've been using the service for about a week now and love it, I just thought I would post this here as a heads-up to anyone who might be interested but not aware of it, you can sign up for a seven day trial, perfect for some halloween viewing at the very least. https://www.shudder.com/ How Shudder choose what they stream - http://www.denofgeek.com/uk/other/shudder/44558/shudder-colin-geddes-and-sam-zimmerman-interview
  2. http://www.sonicretro.org/2015/06/sonic-boom-fire-ice-announced/ Well, the 3DS version of Boom wasn't completely broken at least, to their...credit? DAY ONE
  3. I don't get to watch many movies these days. Over the last few months, I have occasionally managed to watch a couple of films on Netflix, generally over the course of a few nights after my kid has gone to bed. At this time of night I actively avoid anything I think will be too deep or interesting, and gravitate towards mindless fare. I don't have the energy to properly enjoy anything that's actually good. As a result, I've watched Creed (pretty good, a generally satisfying reboot of the Rocky franchise with a lot of heart and a sackfull of lovely cliches, but completely forgettable) Captain America The Winter Soldier (competent superhero movie, feels weirdly lopsided and it's very obvious that it needs to keep moving fast to outrun the plot-holes) and X-Men Days of Future Past (bewildering nonsense, but again fairly enjoyable as long as you're not trying to follow what's happening and ignore some strange logical leaps. Also, Jennifer Lawrence is really good as Mystique, managing to give a character which had previously been little more than a pair of blue-painted boobs some actual humanity.) However, the film I want to review today is one I am much more familiar with, having watched it several dozen times over the past few weeks. It is the modern masterpiece Thomas And The Great Race. As I type this, the end credits have just finished rolling, and the movie is being restarted from the beginning by my home's resident three-foot-tall curator of culture. For the uninitiated, The Great Race is not a remake of the Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis movie of the same name, which I believe spawned the Wacky Races cartoon. It is in fact the tale of a great railway show which attracts talking engines from around the world, including Thomas the Tank Engine and his friends from the island of Sodor. A word of warning: This review will contain spoilers, as I intend to discuss specific plot-points, so if you are keen to avoid spoilers, you should watch the movie before reading this piece. There's a lot that could be written about the world of Thomas and Friends. Not just about why the engines can talk, but also how they are created (are they made or born?) the role of the humans, the pollution that must be destroying Sodor, and the appalling safety record of the Fat Controller's railway. The level of sentience and autonomy of the engines is wildly inconsistent. Early on, The engines were definitely controlled by their drivers - in an early episode Thomas sets off without his driver, and as a result is out of control and can't stop. There are also early examples of the humans asserting their dominance in other ways. For example, one engine is famously bricked-up in a tunnel as a punishment for refusing to work in the rain. Just think about that. Another time, an unreliable engine that bumps about too much on the track is turned into a stationary generator, left forgotten behind a shed near a closed-down quarry. More recently, the engines seem to be in control, and are certainly making decisions for themselves over where they go, braking and accelleration, and that sort of thing. However they still have drivers. What is their role? Presumably they are mindless thralls, doomed to serve their engine masters. At one point Thomas jumps over an opening moving bridge, something that must surely have been incredibly dangerous, and much much more dangerous for the humans on board than Thomas himself. Steam engines don't have airbags, so I shudder to consider the mess inside the cab. This is glossed-over in the movie. There are at least some humans in Thomas and Friends that retain their autonomy. It's not quite as bleak as the terrifying dystopian vision presented in Chuggington. In that show, which I think is a bit dark for children, the engines have completely taken over the world and covered virtually every inch of it in train tracks. There is no suggestion that the Chuggington trains even transport humans around - they simply carry out the eternal charade of "training" to be passanger trains. As far as I can tell, there is only one human left in Chuggington world, the one who washes the engines. Presumably he sold out humanity for the promise that he would be allowed to live, and was given that demeaning role in the post-revolutionary world, despised by the engines, and trapped by the crippling knowledge that his treachery doomed his own people. But this isn't the place for speculating over the lich-like mind control powers of the engines over their enslaved humans, or the mating habits of 50-tonne industrial machines, or why some cars and other machines have sentience and others don't, or whether the whole thing is a delusion dreamed up by a deranged Fat Controller as he sits dribbling in a secure facility. We're here to talk about The Great Race. Thomas first finds out about the great railway show when fellow engine Gordon's brother turns up to boast about his participation. Gordon's brother is real-world famous engine The Flying Scotsman, and looks a bit like Henry Cavill. All the engines immediately want to be selected for the show, which leads to a number of excellent musical numbers. Resident bad engine Diesil contributes a particularly memorable song, complete with some genuinely funny couplets. (They used to call me devious / because I had a bit of previous) Thomas' song, Streamlinin' is a take on Greased Lightning from Grease but without the swearing. (There really is swearing in Greased Lightning! Google the lyrics if you don't believe me.) The Gilbert and Sullivan-esque Will You Won't You Take Me To The Railway Show isn't as strong, consisting mainly of an excuse to get as many of the multitudinous cast of the TV show in the film without having to give them each an individual cameo scene. Just as tensions are running high over the railway show, things are ramped up a notch when all the show engines accidentally arrive on the island. I feel I should take the time here to point out something that is very much to the film's credit - the vague message of mulitculturalism, and the idea that engines from other cultures are just like the ones from Sodor, and their foreign nature only makes them exotic and interesting. Unbelievably, there was some Daily Mail/Gamergate outrage about the movie thrusting multiculturalism down our throats. Seriously. The film doesn't make a big deal of this, it simply assumes that engines (and perhaps therefore people) from all over the world can get along well and be friends. Some people saw this as insidious. Isn't the modern world brilliant? Anyway, the show engines carry on to the main land, accidentally leaving one behind on Sodor. This new arrival is the brightly-painted and disturbingly sexy engine from India, Ashima. Thomas immediately takes against her, so you know they're going to get it on by the end of the movie. Also, I should mention that I'm not joking about her being disturbingly sexy. She's hot. I wouldn't normally admit to being sexually attracted to mechanised transport, but hoooo-boy I would definitely buff her funnel. Is that metaphor the wrong way around? Lets move on. This is where the movie's other message comes into play. Thomas spends the middle part of the movie trying to change himself into something he is not, whether that be a faster engine capable of competing in the great race, or one that is beautifully decorated to participate in the parade. He becomes more and more disatisfied with himself, culminating in a bleak duet between him and Ashima, You Can Only Be You. Thomas wrestles with depression over such lines as, Why do I have to be me? Is this what I'm really meant to be? Break me, Shake me Take me all apart And find a better place to start He complains about his stumpy funnel, boiler and dome while Ashima tries to reassure him that he doesn't need to be bigger or stronger: "You think if you were just a little longer / You'd have more railway show appeal" Interestingly, this is the second Thomas movie in a row that features a song with the central message that size isn't important, after The Lost Treasure of Sodor's classic tune Never Overlook a Little Engine. Sample lyrics: "If you think that bigger's better / Then you're making a mistake / The ocean isn't wetter than a tiny little lake / A cherry might be tastier than a great big cake" Ashima is unable to talk Thomas out of his suicidal musings and ends up telling him to be quiet, and that he must accept who he is, as there isn't any alternative anyway. It's unclear whether the message is to accept who you are, or simply an ode to mediocrity and the futility of any attempts at self-improvement. Nice tune though. In the end, Thomas misses out on selection for the show, but ends up gatecrashing it anyway, as he rushes to deliver a vital safety part to Gordon, who is competing in the race. The show section is pretty spectacular, with lots of trains, and some hijinks and funny scenes involving Phillip the tram engine and Vinny the big engine from New York who tries to kill him. It sounds grim, but it is funny! There's a nice running gag as the Fat Controller repeatedly fails to notice that Thomas is at the show, instead getting distracted by his reflection in the trophy, or his hat blowing off. The culmination is Thomas competing in the shunting competition against Ashima. I won't spoil the dramatic ending! Suffice to say, no-one dies. Except presumably Thomas' driver in the bridge jump. I've watched all the Thomas and Friends movies a number of times, and in my opinion this one is top of the pile. The songs are great, the jokes are funny, and the message is a good one. Plus Ashima is really sexy, as I might have mentioned. Other childrens movies try to straddle the divide between entertaining the children and the adults, but few do it succesfully. Pixar only really made two genuine kids films - Cars and Cars 2. The likes of Monsters Inc and Up aren't for kids, they're animated adult films. Not adult films in that way you monster. The Cars films aren't even that great as kids films - they're too cheesy, not funny enough, and the main character is odious and doesn't really learn his lesson. The first one is a boring remake of Doc Hollywood, and the second has a far-too-dense spy plot. The Great Race doesn't bother trying to give the adults anything (apart from sexy Ashima and the song about wanting a cosmetic enlargement) and instead concentrates on being a great kids film. It pulls it off so well that it becomes an entertaining watch for adults as well just by virtue of being such a high-quality piece of family entertainment. I can report that it stands up to repeated viewings. Many, many repeated viewings. It's just being started again. Third time today.
  4. This is an actual video game launching September 14th on the Xbox One All In One Entertainment system. I...dunno what to say really. The Giant Bomb Quick Look should be pure gold.
  5. From Nintendolife: Wii U eShop TAP TAP ARCADE 2 (RCMADIAX, €2.99 / £2.69) - This second mini collection includes SKEASY and also a new arrival called VOLCANO. We gave the former a modest recommendation in our review, and we'll see whether its companion in this bundle is red hot or rather dormant in fun. Sudoku and Permudoku (Diplodocus Games, €0.99 / £0.89) – Well, it's all in the name, with the classic number puzzles joined by a colour-based variation. There are 1000 puzzles, 500 of each with five difficulty settings, and we thought this was a competent effort in our Sudoku and Permudoku review. Cube Life: Island Survival (Cypronia, €9.99 / £7.99) - This game has been out for some time, so its inclusion in Nintendo's list likely points to a major update being on the way (we'll leave this one out of the poll for that very reason). Wii U eShop Temporary Discounts Splatoon (Nintendo, €29.99 / £25.99 until 21st July, normally €39.99 / £34.99) Steel Rivals (nuGAME, €4.99 / £4.49 until 21st July, normally €6.99 / £5.99) Wii U eShop Permanent Discounts Nova-111 (Curve Digital, €9.99 / £7.99, was €14.99 / £11.99) Barbie and Her Sisters Puppy Rescue (Little Orbit, €19.99 / £17.99, was €29.99/ £24.99) Kung Fu Panda: Showdown of Legendary Legends (Little Orbit, €19.99 / £17.99, was €29.99/ £24.99) Monster High: New Ghoul in School (Little Orbit, €19.99 / £17.99, was €29.99/ £24.99) 3DS Downloadable Video Professor Layton and the Eternal Diva (Viz Media, €3.99 / £3.59) - Professor Layton, true English gentleman and the world's greatest amateur super sleuth embarks on his most daring adventure yet when he receives a letter from his old student, the famous opera diva Janice Quatlane. She is to perform at the legendary Crown Petone Opera House and invites him to attend as her special guest. Meanwhile, a spate of disappearances hits London. Two young school girls are the latest victims and the Professor suspects it's related to the mysterious occurrences at the theatre. The Professor and his loyal assistant Luke travel to the Opera House to solve their toughest puzzle yet, the mystery of Eternal Life! 3DS DLC Fire Emblem Fates: Ballistician Blitz (Nintendo, €1.99 / £1.79 or part of Map Pack 1) - You might remember the general layout of Ballistician Blitz from "The Wooden Cavalry" stage in Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon. Nowhere is safe from their relentless volleys, so speed is the key! The prize here is either a Sighting Lens or a Witch's Mark. Fire Emblem Fates: A Gift from Anna (Nintendo, free) 3DS eShop Temporary Discounts Dan McFox: Head Hunter (Lightwood Games, €1.99 / £1.49 until 21st July, normally €2.49 / £1.99) Castle Conqueror Defender (CIRCLE Entertainment, €3.49 / £2.79 until 28th July, normally €4.99 / £3.99) Glory of Generals: The Pacific (CIRCLE Entertainment, €3.99 / £3.29 until 28th July, normally €6.99 / £5.59) Karous - The Beast Of Re:Eden- (CIRCLE Entertainment, €3.99 / £3.29 until 28th July, normally €5.99 / £4.79) Mercenaries Saga 2 (CIRCLE Entertainment, €3.99 / £3.19 until 28th July, normally €4.99 / £3.99) Fantasy Pirates (EnjoyUp Games, €0.99 / £0.99 until 4th August, normally €4.50 / £4.50) RV-7 My Drone (EnjoyUp Games, €1.99 / £1.99 until 4th August, normally €2.99 / £2.99) Toys Vs. Monsters (EnjoyUp Games, €0.99 / £0.99 until 4th August, normally €3.99 / £3.99) Van Helsing sniper Zx100 (EnjoyUp Games, €2.99 / £2.99 until 4th August, normally €6.66 / £6.66) 3DS HOME Themes 2D Dream Fever PolyphonicBranch (DWANGO, €1.99 / £1.79) Happy Synthesizer/EasyPop (DWANGO, €1.99 / £1.79) Love Trial/40mP (DWANGO, €1.99 / £1.79) Senbonzakura/Kurousa (DWANGO, €1.99 / £1.79) Hello Kitty Bicycle Love (Sanrio, €0.99 / £0.89) Hello Kitty Café (Sanrio, €0.99 / £0.89) Hello Kitty London Calling (Sanrio, €0.99 / £0.89) Row, Row Hello Kitty (Sanrio, €0.99 / £0.89) Winx Magic Summer (Rainbow, €1.99 / £1.79)
  6. Nintendo's first 'non-wearable' is a sleep-tracking device How this will do them any good is beyond me. The next morning it will just say "Stop playing games before you go to bed". No one will ever buy a Wii U any more! Oh wait...
  7. @tim: JUST IN: Activision Blizzard is buying Candy Crush maker King Digital for $5.9bn https://t.co/VMhSNRthuf https://twitter.com/kadhimshubber/status/661387133618286592 BREAKING: Activision Blizzard to acquire Candy Crush maker King Digital in $5.9B deal. $ATVI $KING https://twitter.com/kadhimshubber/status/661387986861469696
  8. An online survival game like Evolve where a team take on a much stronger foe, but in this case the foe is none other than Jason frikin' Voorhees. This sounds great. I'm not one to generally go for kickstatrer projects, but as a huge Friday the 13th fan I couldn't help myself. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/613356213/friday-the-13th-the-game?ref=category_newest ​
  9. It's EDIT: somewhat, kind of, fucked isn't it. Football games (two out of two, no less) have been behind their console counterparts since forever, PC ports tend to release long after the initial console release (and we're not talking about small budget titles here) and when they do finally arrive on time they're riddled with bugs and performance issues. It's almost as if the industry is saying "buy our dedicated gaming machines please" because apparently coding for PC is tricky business, even in 2015! Discuss. And don't forget to vote and subscribe.
  10. As far as I'm concerned, Bloodborne 2 has just been announced and I'm well hype. The only problem I have is that this is my first experience of From DLC, and I have no idea whether: a) to get started on a new character now in order to be ready for the fresh challenges that await, b) to wait until DLC hits so I can start a new character and take advantage of the shiny new tricks, but possibly be at a disadvantage for DLC-level content, or c) to use my NG+2 character, at the risk of it making The Old Hunters too easy What are you going to do?
  11. It's a valid question worth thinking about. In my case I'd need a friend to get in touch ASAP as the folks would have no clue what anything is worth. (to sell off on ebay or whatever) I'd probably inform of a few select titles be sent to specific friends. Still kind of pointless, but you know. ... Hey guys WE'RE GONNA DIE
  12. Holy shitballs, friends. Look the fuck at this! Resident Evil? For children! Evil Within? LIKE RAINBOW. Clocktower? Cbeebies, mate. Five Nights at Freddy's? Five shites more like. Get yourself a comforting cushion and inject your eyeballs with THIS. Controls that don't work! Baddies that spawn on top of you! Doors that won't open! Baddies that can kill you through walls! Terrible music and sound effects! No way to adjust the brightness! Checklist which doesn't update properly! BEST. And the AMAZING bit? It's 19p on Steam. I've already made that back with the trading cards I got from it.
  13. Are there any? I was a console lad for my entire childhood and as such didn't see much of these kinds of games, be they games that merely feature live-action FMV in part, or are totally comprised of FMV, like D. but I must say that most of them I've quite enjoyed. I've never completed one, I don't think, but that was due to various circumstances; I played the Daedalus Encounter at school, my PC blew up when playing Burn:Cycle, and my playthrough of Gabriel Knight 2 was knackered by a bug. It's like something was trying to tell me something. I don't even mind D. It was slow and clunky, but even now, in the age of things like P.T. and Amnesia, there's something oddly futuristic to me about exploring a haunted building in total FMV. I'd be interested in learning about more of this kind of FMV game in particular. Out of the lot I think I enjoyed Gabriel Knight 2 the best. Genuinely good point and click gameplay mixed with accidental comedy thanks to the awkwardness of the situations (meeting the camp chap with the brandy, saying hello, sitting down, making eye contact, then just choosing "Well I'd best get going", heh) I really need to play The 7th Guest properly also.
  14. :omg: It is confirmed to be 90mins length. Would go to cinema to see that, at least if the humor stays as consistent as that. Or just make it Eggman the movie.
  15. http://www.sonicretro.org/2015/07/sonic-dash-2-sonic-boom-stealth-released/ :omg: :omg:
  16. I can see this dumb trading cards thing getting popular as more people hop on board the beta, and I think it'll end up clogging the Steam thread in a very annoying way for the people who don't care about it. I propose we use this thread as a separate place to post any trading requests, wants and haves, and also to beg/offer beta access. Hopefully everyone is OK with this? I'll get the ball rolling. Have: DOTA2: Tiny Want: DOTA2: Bounty Hunter
  17. http://www.sonicstadium.org/2014/02/new-sonic-game-coming-2015-for-wii-u-ps4-xbox-one/ CAN'T WAIT!
  18. New DS coming out. Bullet points: -It looks like a doorstop -Can't be folded -One stick -Screen size same as regular 3DS http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2013-09-28-Nintendo-2DS-hands-on
  19. The voting service is now offline. To those of you who participated, thank you for voting in this year's Unofficial RLLMUK Awards. Your votes will be tallied and the results posted within the month, with some commentary added. Please do not seek to amend your votes in this time, as any such requests will be cruelly ignored. If you failed to vote within the time period allotted, know only that your opinion will for evermore be discounted when considering the relative quality of the games of 2014. The original post follows.
  20. Just spits out the game without warning and googling shows that it's common enough that Sony stuck a video on how to solve it. So now it works but is this a one off or am I going to need to sort out a replacement soon?
  21. http://www.sonicretro.org/2014/12/sonic-runners-confirmed-to-officially-exist/ :omg: :omg:
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