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  1. That's encouraging! At one point it didn't look like I was going to be able to see it (and I had my doubts whether it would be worth it) but something has cancelled so I'm checking it out Saturday 10th. Also really looking forward to seeing Diane Spencer, Glenn Wool and Andrew Lawrence. There seems to be a lot of great sounding stuff on late too - though I can't work out if the Brendon Burns/Colt Cabana thing and the Alternative Comedy Memorial Society are going to go down that well with the group I'm with.
  2. I go in every six to eight weeks to my local comic shop and I'm almost too scared to this time as I don't want to see what Marvel has done to all my favourite titles especially the X-Men after the AvX debacle. And I understand Hellraiser is finishing soon and relaunching with a new No.1 *sob*
  3. I think John Glen gets it right in this interview celebrating the Bond 50 boxset (http://www.denofgeek...-the-big-screen) - in general, people tend to like the Bond films they watched when they were 12 or so (so I have had to get used to the eye-rolling when I say Moore is my favourite Bond though Dalton is the actor playing Bond as I imagine him to be so he's probably my 'best'). Working through the series in order I have got a new-found appreciation for Connery. Dr No and From Russia With Love feel like the anti-Bonds in light of what came next (when the series really picked up the familiar tropes) but they fast run out of steam with Thunderball when it all starts to become a little too ridiculous (the interlude in the Japanese village in You Only Live Twice is rendered completely unnecessary when the operation is moved up!). I know Connery was being paid handsomely for Diamonds Are Forever but even he seems to walk around most of the time wondered what he's got himself into. I thought OHMSS might be in for a critical reappraisal too but no, it's still one of the Bonds I like least. I understand the creative team wanted to put their own stamp on things and they certainly did that but it feels like such an uncomfortable blend and Lazenby never seems to get into the role.
  4. Sounds like I'll have to pick up that Transformers ongoing too (and the Nao of Brown). I always feel slightly dirty asking for teh robotz at my LCS. I tried the IDW stuff at the start but it soon started getting bogged down in spin-offs and minis so I checked out. On a completely unrelated note, is anyone reading the Hellraiser ongoing? I've got a soft spot for the first two films and this title basically ignores everything from 3 onwards and really captures the tone of the earlier efforts. The first few issues were a little sparse, lots of splash pages and gothic architecture but it's found a groove and become good horror comics (Clive Barker supposedly co-writes though I'm not convinced it's anything but a stunt credit). Certainly one of the few books I look forward to when it comes out (I think it might just be this and Saga right now. I really have to steel myself to read anything with a mutant in it, I feel like a horrendous fanboy saying it feels like the X-Men franchise is being driven into the ground. None of the NOW! stuff has any appeal for me at all).
  5. First issue was in 1991 with Snow Brothers on the cover - it had a whole Tips section for The Adventures of Link which I was stuck on but it just didn't seem to make any sense (taking keys from other castles probably didn't help). Stuck with it through the Mark Patterson era (Rise of the Robots getting 92 and 91% for the Megadrive and SNES versions respectively) into the glory of the 32 bit age. I stubbornly held out for an Ultra 64 (which wasn't bad by any stretch but lacked all those Capcom fighters, NiGHTS and Guardian Heroes) so I used to pour over the PlayStation and Saturn pages with a great deal of envy. Years later when I picked up a Saturn second hand, I went back over all those old issues playing catch-up. The sheer relentless enthusiasm for truly great games was just unmatched.
  6. Peter Buckley-Hill was on when I saw Domestic Science and did a frankly bonkers rap about physics - he looked like he was on the verge of a nervous breakdown. It's a shame to read that about Gemma Arrowsmith's show. She and Steve Mould (who does Festival of the Spoken Nerd with one H. Arney) were/are a good double-act. Their last two outings (Sketch Show in Powerpoint and In 3D) were a lot of fun.
  7. Just got back from the Fringe (and I meant to post on rllmuk to see if anyone was about). Rudi's got some of the bases covered: Stewart Lee was on blistering form, absolutely affirming stuff (and a good value ticket too, it's not just an hour) and I also really enjoyed Sad Faces too. The use of an overarching narrative is a real step up and the bags of enthusiasm they have makes it difficult not to enjoy the organised chaos. I also really enjoyed Andrew Lawrence, who delivered yet another excellent hour of dark comedy and by contrast Bec Hill, back with a ridiculously cheerful set. Diane Spencer has perhaps the filthiest show on the Fringe and while it wasn't quite as accomplished as last year's All Pervading Madness, there was some delight in watching the middle-aged American couple in the front row squirming. Two words: Prune. Tip. Anyone with even a passing interest in science should see Helen Arney's Voice of an Angle. Smart comedy from a charismatic performer. Probably the highlight of the trip through was beat-boxer Shlomo doing a late night one-off hour with Michael Winslow. Some mad vocal dexterity going on there, the crowd were completely into it and took the roof off the Udderbelly. The disappointments were Pete Firman (excellent patter but the venue far too big for such small scale tricks) and Andrew O'Neill, which very much felt like more of the same (non-sequiturs, mad bursts of song, being a transvestite).
  8. The release of the GameCube saw off the last vestiges of my student loan and got me through the Summer I graduated from uni. I got mine with WaveRace and Rogue Leader. The former felt hard as nails, with a difficulty curve that made me question the wisdom of putting it out as a launch title while the latter's Death Star trench run was endlessly replayed. And then, the majesty of Monkey Target from Super Monkey Ball 2. While Monkey Fight was a great party game, Target was always intensely competitive, starting with the question 'Are we playing Magnets?' and then it was 6am and we'd been playing hours, warming up with 'Items On' before progressing to the hardcore challenge of making it to the third island on Course 1 and trying to land the 1k without any assists. I still fire this up from time-to-time and it never disappoints. Also much love for REmake (the only Resi game I've ever got into and it still looks gorgeous today) and F-Zero GX. The only shame was the lack of fighting games, Super Smash Bros MELEEEEEE! aside. I had to import two Hori pads to play Capcom Vs SNK2 and beating Ultimate Rugal and Shin Akuma still rank, sadly, as one of the crowning achievements of my gaming history.
  9. And that would explain why Gameplay have it backordered with a dispatch date of next Friday! Better hope that HMV Moorgate has a copy in.
  10. There's a huge stand-up cab at Namco Station in London which looks gorgeous, all neon-lit. It feels like you're about to go on a game show rather than play Pac-Man. It was set to best of three rounds the weekend before last and the whole experience was over far too quickly as a consequence (often with no outright winner). I was familiar with C.E. so I was at an advantage for the first few rounds but everyone soon got into it. It is, perhaps predictably, the only thing besides Outrun 2, worth playing at Namco Station. I remember when the top floor used to be stacked with Capcom fighters.
  11. Got this delivered from Gameplay and forgot to check the price when I pre-ordered - £34.99! FFS. I thought I might not be able to resist but it turns out due to Arkham Asylum and DoDonPachi R and an imminent weekend trip, I can so back it goes. It sounds frankly ridiculous to even suggest it but if anyone really can't wait an extra day and can get to Moorgate Tube by, well, I'll be here until early evening I reckon, it's yours for that ungodly sum (sorry). Only caveat, Rllmuk gets blocked by work at 2.00pm ("Games") so you'll need to PM me by then. Mint, sealed in box, RAR3!!!111 etc.
  12. Can't wait until this drops. I still occasionally play it on Anniversary Collection but have never had the time to seriously get into it (I was too obsessed with Alpha 3 when it originally came out). Having finally used my TE Stick for Marvel Vs Capcom 3 to the point I can't really play the game on a pad anymore, I'm starting this one on the stick too (though if the inputs aren't very forgiving, that should be interesting).
  13. Just back from my annual trip and have a few recommendations: Randy Is Sober: An hour of material from a purple-headed puppet, it was all-too easy to forget there was someone else in charge, Randy felt like a character of his own. Diane Spencer: All-Pervading Madness: I guarantee you will never look at porridge in quite the same way again. Take a prude with you. Andrew Lawrence: Dark humour from a stand-up with no mental checkpoint to vet his material for insensitivity. Haven't seen a bad show from him yet. Totally Tom: the sketch double-act seem to be getting raves and, after having negotiated my way through a hoard of gap-yah students, I can see why. The German piano sketch early on is perfectly timed and more than a little mental. Four Sad Faces: At the Canon's Gait for free each afternoon at 1.15 (after Robin Ince but get there early to see him, the bar allocates tokens), FSF are a sketch troupe with a nice line in surreal sketches and an abundance of enthusiasm. It's a great value way to start the day. I also really enjoyed Dave Gorman's show. I was a little sceptical (bigger names often turn up, re-use old material, charge £25,000 a ticket) but happy to report it's worth your time. Barry & Stuart were something of a disappointment though. They're doing two shows, The Show and The Tell and you need to see the first to see the second. The first is quite safe Fringe magic (especially given their normal high standard), nothing bad but nothing exceptional. The second, in which they spill the secrets of the tricks from The Show, is in a smaller venue and much more fun (and interesting to boot). I'm not sure the experience is worth the cumulative price.
  14. DLNY

    All hail the synth!

    Seconded. I got into them about eight years ago starting with Phaedra and Mysterious Semblance at the Strand of Nightmares and went from there. My favourite album is Exit (though the Near Dark score runs a close second), the title track has synth menace in spades:
  15. Not just me and my brother then - I was always Guile (I didn't know how to pronounce his name so called him 'Gwil' and that name has stuck ever since). That was the second issue of CVG I ever bought - I think it might have had the Ultimate Warrior on the front cover. I found the original machine at an arcade in Croyde, Devon and must have put so much money into the machine trying to complete it. Hugely fond memories of getting SF2 on the SNES - £65 for the cartridge in Comet as a holiday treat - and having mates over every day after school all perfectly content with eight characters (and the Champion Edition cheat). Turbo Hyper Fighting blew our minds, I used to just spam Bison's Psycho Crusher and convince myself I was actually any good.
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