Thursday, 7 January 2016

my short review of 2015

my 'new years resolution' for 2015 was to watch a film a day for a year and it was very successful.
not at easy as i thought it would be; i was thinking i normally send about 90 minutes after getting home just faffing around so i can replace that with a movie. the main problem was, i would still faff around after getting home! :-)
plus if i decided not to watch one one day i would have to make that up another day.

my stand out new films for 2015 are [in no order] The Martian, Mad Max: Fury Road, and Sicario.
my film diary of 2015:  LETTERBOXD

also my stand out new TV show was Mr Robot which seemed to come out of nowhere and knock my socks off.
it was was quite a sad year for Fannibals as the last season of Hannibal aired [season 3] it wasn't as amazing as season 2 i think, but, still a epic TV show which not enough people got in to


it seems my most played song last year was a tie between Bloc Party's Like Eating Glass, The Prodigy's The Day Is My Enemy and The Chemical Brothers Sometimes I Feel So Deserted each with 14 plays, followed closely by Ed Rush & Optical's The Turnover with 13
looks like from my last.fm account that i have played just over 7500 songs in 2015, which is my second highest since joining the site in 2010. 2012 being the best year.
heres a link to the tracks: LAST.FM
 

best new video games of 2015 would have to be Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions Evolved on the PS Vita and Forza 6 for the X-Box One. its been a bit of a bad year for the Playstation 4 for me, as i didn't play any new games on it.
although i did start Steam PC gaming and my stand out game last year was Assault Android Cactus
 games i played in 2015:  EXOPHASE


for 2016 i'm going to be doing a TV season a month, which will not include the on going TV shows i'm watching at the moment

Monday, 17 August 2015

a badly written review of ‘RESOGUN’





heres how the story goes:

a friend of mine had just got a Playstation 4 with a couple of games including Resogun as it was free on Playstation Plus, and like most people who had played the game he liked it, but had brought a full-price AAA title with the console and forgot about it.
i popped over one evening for another reason, saw the console and he showed me Resogun.....

i liked it, i, really liked it. from its stunning art style to its play mechanics

it reminded me of the games i used to play a little while back on the Super Nintendo [Konami’s Axelay]and Megadrive [Technosoft’s Thunder Force 4] then once more on the Playstation 2 with titles like R-Type Final and Gradius 5 and i realised then that i’d lost touch with a genre i’d once loved but forgotten about in favour of bigger, more mainstream titles which all of my friends where playing.

so, six months later or so when i brought a PS4 i got Resogun, liked the game as i thought i would, and mainly because there was only a couple of bigger titles i really was into on the format at the time i started playing more of it.

and it started drawing me in....

because the game is never truly unfair when you die, you realise its your mistake which coursed your death, and, with just another go you can beat that part of the level, then, the whole level, then, the end level boss. oh there’s four more levels each getting harder, and i only have a few lives, can i get to the end of arcade mode?

mmmmmm.. maybe....

lives don’t increase with score like in most other shooters, you have to get them by saving humans which means doing a little bit more than just shooting everything on the screen so you have to learn how to traverse the level better, which doesn’t offer a start and a finish, its circular. difficult at the start, but it gets easier after you’ve mastered good use of the ships boost and overdrive functions: if you set it up well, flying through loads of enemies and seeing your points fly up with each connected hit never, ever, gets old and if you can time it well enough at the end you could start your ‘overdrive’ which is like a mini nuke going off then a massive concentrated beam of energy ripping through every enemy on screen accompanied with sound FX’s making you feel like a utter god, you can't be killed while in these two modes.... oh its ended.. damn.... it only lasts for a short length of time and you refill your bar by killing more enemies: they leave a green pixelated residue behind after being killed.

if you can master both of these ability’s the game truly opens up

as i said before, the game is never unfair. which is why the survival mode is such fun; when you die its always your fault and you can do just a little bit better next time, just a that little bit further, just that little bit higher score if i only used something at the correct time... lets go again

theres a ship building section never gets boring mainly because you can change your ship stats as well: movement / boost / overdrive. your given 15 points which you can spread around the three sections with each section able to take a maximum of 10 points. your get to know what type of craft you feel comfortable with, but, you soon realise that the ship you like might not be the best one for a good top leaderboard score; most of the ships in the top ten of all the rankings are made with massive overdrives and boosts, but with limited movement, as boosting and overdriving gets you the most score

there are three main weapon types in the game: homing missiles, standard laser and shotgun heavy blast thingie, [nemesis / ferox / phobos] each offers a lovely difference and i prefer the standard laser as it comes out almost constant and fully powered-up all the way it feels like your just ripping through the enemies

[until you die]

dying has never looked so nice in this game weather it be yourself or your foes.
everything explodes into little blocks including the scenery behind you, well it would as everything it made out of little blocks, i’ve included at the bottom some screenshots i took with the in-game photo mode so you can see how utterly amazing to look at the game is.

please don’t think this is a ‘bullet hell’ type of game in the true sense of the word, you have to memorise the level and where enemies come yes, but, its not like Ikuraga or Crimzon Clover where the whole screen is utterly covered with bullets and you have to stick to a small little space to get through it all. in Resogun the screen is yours and its up to you on how you take on the enemies not the other way around.


i hope this ‘review’ kind of makes some sort of sense, this is a game that includes almost everything i personally found i loved in videogaming but for some reason forgot all about [probably because i stopped PC indy gaming for a while i think]
i’ve only scratched the surface of whats now included in the game post release, but my aim was to share my passion with the game and i hope this has shone through my terrible writing :-)


if twenty years ago this came out full-price in a box no one would batter a eyelid.... now though this genre is not taken seriously enough which is a massive shame












Saturday, 30 May 2015

a film a day.....

I am trying this year to watch a film a day, with my overall goal being to watch 365 films in 2015.
at first I thought this would be quite easy as I spend more than that on my computer after I get in from work (2 hours) but, if I miss a day with other things in TV and general life getting in the way I have to make it up quite quickly as as the days tick on the number of films to watch increases day by day. after about a month of being one 'plus one' I quickly went negative and I have only today balanced it out again.
things to watch are not ever going to be a problem as I could go over five years never rewatching the same thing again.
we are not half way through the year yet, but I hope to continue until the year is out, we shall see..

if your interested, here's a link to this years films:

 ultraviolet's films in 2015

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

you can have everything the web has to offer but, you have to use a certain product [My Personal Browser Wars]

Opera, Firefox, Chrome, Chromium, which one do i use? 

every so often i have a change of heart and change my browser.

for a long time i used Opera, well, up to version 12 that is, after that they switched to using the Blink engine [Chromium] and for over a year the browser was a shadow of its former self; with new management came new ideas which didn't go down well with a lot of the old crowd and it seemed their simplified interface was more at home on tablets. because there was no syncing enabled i wasn't really a fan, so, i moved over to chrome and everything was synced up between devices, i loved it.... 

for a while. 

you see, i'm a massive tab whore and and where non-chromium based browsers excel is that most are single process. with twenty or so tabs running in chrome my low-end machines just run out of memory. so, 

over to Firefox then.

everything Firefox does is great; use can sync your settings, add-ons, history, cookies, its not very resource hungry on lower machines, pages load-up fast. all good. 

or, so it seemed. 

running Linux means flash is not being developed any more for the platform and and only way to get a fully updated version is to use chrome, so i disabled flash and everything plays in HTML5, you see i'm a big youtube user and i love my 1080p video playback, which is not available [at time of writing] in the stable release of Firefox, plus the playback is very choppy even in 720p.

guess what?
the best browser for youtube strangely enough is chrome, so, i bit the bullet and started using chrome again and the browser doesn't even use flash for their website its all in HTML5, all was ok then came 1080p60 which my computer doesn't run as it needs faster hardware and quite alot of my subscriptions on the site use it.

so, back to Firefox and a third party youtube player on linux.

then, i heard Netflix was finally streaming HTML5 content and is moving away from silverlight,

great stuff! 

oh, 

the plugins are only available in chrome no other browser, so what we have now online is people using other browsers and being treated like second-class citizens: you can have everything the web has to offer but, you have to use a certain product. and with more people using that product more sites are going cater for it and before long we will have almost a one browser internet. to my limited knowledge we only have three engines right now. which doesn't seem nearly enough for the amount of users and with the massive power of google chrome will probably always stay on top for the casual user as all of google's great web apps like docs, drive, youtube, calendar and keep work best in chrome, just as i would of thought outlook.com works best in explorer, well, they would do wouldn't they :-)

then, just as i was reading about the latest opera release in the opera blog i find out there is a new guy in town; Vivaldi is made my the former CEO of opera [when it was good] and it came out today, lots of functions promised and i'm liking it, a lot. ok its chromium-based, but unlike others this one has lots of functions even in its first testing release, plus doesn't seem to use up to much resoures, shame its only 64bit right now [like opera]

we will see how i feel about this one in a few weeks time

[update]

on the Vivaldi forums someone mentioned the Maxthon browser from China based company Maxthon Ltd, i've now seemed to of found my perfect browser: yes its a chrome-clone, but, it plays HTML5 video far better than Vivaldi does at the moment and its available for 32bit systems. video play-back is noticeably better on slower machines as well. seems to use up a little less memory which is always good 

so i'll stick with this one for now..... well.... until Vivaldi gets a stable release

Monday, 5 January 2015

my short 2014 in review

well, according to my letterboxd.com profile i've only watched 219 films in 2014. which is lower than 2013 [242] and my aim last year was to watch more films than the year before! 

stand out highlights film wise for me have go to: X-Men: Days Of Future Past my most re-watched film. 'The Machine' a great UK low budget Scifi film, and, 'Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning'

i think this is mainly because of binge-watching TV shows more last year, although TV shows are not counted on the website


Music wise my Last.fm account says my top music artists of 2014 where: Nine Inch Nails with 475 plays and Orbital with 451 no surprises there then :-)

joint first place in single tracks most played go to Adam Freeland's 'Borderline' and Stakka & Skynet's Clockwork with 16
second place goes to Resonant Evil's 'Troubleshoot' with 15
joint third with 14 goes to Overseer's 'horndog (dylan rhymes remix)' and Burial's 'Rival Dealer'
i could listen to all of those songs forever. its strange though that my favourite song only got 9 plays last year [Orbital's P.E.T.R.O.L.] weirdness


this year i hope to find some new music, 'new' meaning different bands / DJ's to get into.

plus i would like to watch more films, this is becoming a problem as i might have to start re-watching more as i normally watch everything i'm into as soon as i can, maybe more documentarys like the terrifying one i watched a few months back about Wall Mart 
which has just reminded me i need to pop out after this a get a copy of 'Deliver Us From Evil' which is out today and looks stunning


Video game wise 'Resogun' has been my highlight of the year it might of come out in 2013 but i didn't have a PS4 then, the best arcade shooter i've played in quite a while, love streaming it on Twitch. now that its come to PS3 and PS-Vita on cross-buy i have another chance to play it again. great game

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Yoga and cycling

after doing a few bits of research i find out that the main reason for some of my back problems  has come from my love of cycling.
cycling shortens the ham-string muscles that are directly linked to the back thus making bending over and such like hard work. I thought I was just getting old, but, it turns out I will still forever.
I never thought I would be saying this, but, i've taken up yoga to cure the back stiffness [and I must say right now; I am rubbish at it!] we where rubbish at most things  that we start new, but that never stops us from getting better at it.
After just my first sequence I could feel the improvements .  Just 30 minutes or so every other day is nothing in my day, and is a great come-down after a caffined-highed  late night gaming session.
My very small aim is a be able to touch my toes [legs straight], small steps lead to bigger ones


Thursday, 15 May 2014

"What do you see?" a short badly writen film review




'Sunshine' [2007]
 

This went out in the cinemas at the same time as '300' and with all the hype to that film no one really bothered with it, which is such a shame.

On paper the story sounds like main-stream rubbish, but, its so much more than the sum of its parts. just like Danny Boyle's previous work '28 Days Later' ["just another zombie film right?" nope]
The budget was quite low for a film like this, but every penny is put to good use.
The main character of the film is the sun and it has never, ever looked quite so good as this. totally believable in its visual execution, it just looks simply stunning.light doesn't make any real noise but there's some great sound effects for the sun burning into every part of the ship, almost creating a monster with its sound design alone. your just over-powered by its brilliance of light and sound from the outset and you are humbled by the scale and power of the sun which the film conveys, very much like the crew of the Icarus 2.

Never have I come out of the cinema feeling so 
complete as after watching this, it was perhaps my perfect cinema experience to date.

at home turn up the sound and sit as close as you 
can to the screen and you will be belittled by the sunshine