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  1. Watched this on the weekend - had heard good things about it for a while. Okay, so the plot isn't that original (it even jokes about it during the film) as it obviously is influenced by films like groundhog day. Haven't seen a horror try this time loop like this before though. The lead actress (Jessica Rothe) is one to watch out for in the future. Sure, with films like this the looping day can get a bit tired but i think it pulled it off well and kept the running time at a decent 96 minutes. There are some good twists in the film and whilst it is not overly gorey or anything, it works really well. I have heard people call it a teens film and i can kinda agree with that but it was still worth watching.
  2. Yes. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/bubsy/bubsy-paws-on-fire-spicy-extras
  3. https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2018-12-04-those-ubisoft-club-points-youve-been-accumulating-for-the-last-ten-years-will-soon-expire So Ubisoft have decided to start expiring their Ubisoft Club points after 2 years, meaning that all your carefully horded points that are older than than that will be wiped out on April 1st, 2019. I think you have until March 2019 to spend any points that are due to expire. You can see how many points you’ll lose here: https://welcome.club.ubisoft.com/en-US/units Is this a travesty, or a shoulder shrug for people? Personally, I’m going to lose over 900 points according the link above, but I can’t really find anything to spend them on (which is why I have over 1600 points in the first place). Your thoughts?
  4. All of your votes have now been tallied, and this has been hands down one of the greatest years for video games since 1998. Or was it 2001. Actually it might have been 2010… Anyway, what is definitely true is that in the last few years the breadth and variety of games available has been truly exceptional, and despite living in a “games as service” era where many publishers are relying on loot box revenue as their business model, there are just so many great games available that it’s possible to still make an informed choice to avoid it. The big success this year has of course been the Nintendo Switch, with many people returning to the Nintendo fold after the less than successful Wii U saw many a fan pass over it despite the great collection of games. Now with added portability, but in a robust and convenient package, we can finally play all those games re-released again for a mere £50 each. A small price to pay to hide and play Mario Kart on the bog, instead of with your friends and family. In other news, whilst everyone else was busy mortgaging their houses to buy more Switch games, a few power hungry gamers also sold their car as well, to invest in the XboneX, Microsoft’s answer to the ongoing problem of still being able to see pixels if you insist on playing games with your nose pressed against the screen for that added immersion. More graphically capable than anything ever released on the earth, and that’s the truth, because someone who has one told me. Several times. That does leave the humble PS4 and its bigger brother however, who’s expanding library of excellent exclusives has been steadily catching out the unawares, bolstered by a slew of titles for the PSVR platform because it’s probably going to become really popular any day now. Once you’ve spent an afternoon getting it set up and calibrated, those 5 minutes you are in VR before chundering all over your friend’s sofa which is now your home will be the best you’ve ever spent. Oh what’s that? Some good games came out on the PC this year? Sorry I thought PCs were what people used to use for Word processing and stuff before they invented Macbooks. Steam? Oh hundreds of cheap and increasingly brilliant and complex games sounds interesting, how much does a PC for gaming cost nowadays? Uhuh……………... Fuck off. NEXT UPDATE: the top 20 begins.* *final list note: for the top games of 2017 I was originally going to do a top 10, but due to the sheer number of great games 20 seems like the better number to count down from this year, and that means any game that scored at least 10 points in the poll. Don’t worry if some of your favourites don’t make it into the top 20, I will also be honouring other runners up after the main list and other category awards, as there were so many great games in there. I’m just doing them after the main event to preserve some mystery... Quick Links: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Super Mario Odyssey Horizon: Zero Dawn Yakuza 0 Splatoon 2 Prey Persona 5 Nier Automata Divinity: Original Sin 2 Nex Machina What Remains of Edith Finch Resident Evil VII Mario Kart 8: Deluxe Assassin’s Creed: Origins Sonic Mania Arms Player Unknown's Battlegrounds Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age Gran Turismo Sport SteamWorld Dig 2 RUNNERS UP MOST DISAPPOINTING 10-4 MOST DISAPPOINTING 3-1 BEST WRITING BEST AUDIO BEST VISUALS BEST FORMAT, PUBLISHER, AND SUPPORTED GAME BEST CHARACTERS? BONUS
  5. Release date - 1st August 2012. Price - 1200 MS Points "The world has ended. There is no hope. No new beginning. Only the survivors. DEADLIGHT follows the journey of Randall Wayne, a man searching for his family across Seattle during the aftermath of a 1980s event that has decimated life on earth. This visually stunning Cinematic Survival Platformer will challenge you to run, jump, climb, and struggle for your life as you look for answers and the ones you love" Anyone else looking forward to this? I can't wait for it! Looks set to be the best Summer of Arcade game this year (Apart from Dust maybe)
  6. Spoiler-free zone! Please keep all spoilery content for previous games in the 999/VLR thread It's also probably worth keeping away from trailers/plot information for this game if you haven't yet played 999/VLR. Going in blind is the best way to experience those games! Source Announced at Anime Expo 2015, seemingly out of nowhere. Expected Summer 2016 for Playstation Vita and Nintendo 3DS. Following Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors and Virtue's Last Reward, the announcement of the third game in the Zero Escape series is quite a shock. After poor sales of VLR, the series' creator, Kotaro Uchikoshi took to Twitter with a dedicated English-language account to explain the current situation - even looking into Kickstarter, which at the time couldn't be utilised by residents of Japan. Then, silence; Uchikoshi was working on some other products, including the writing credit for an anime ("Punch Line", which seems to revolve around looking at pants - watch it on Crunchyroll! or, don't), and the Zero Escape trail went quiet. One day earlier in the year, this happened - a seemingly-random dump of information that was quickly picked apart. A website (4infinity.co) which contained some snippets hidden in its metadata. A website that now links to the Aksys Twitch channel, where the game was announced. Not much more info to go on, but I'll keep this updated as news rolls in. The only video I could find of the AX reveal is below, but expect a proper trailer soon I guess: You can watch the entire Aksys AX panel . What's a Zero Escape? Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors and Virtue's Last Reward, the first two entries in the Zero Escape series, are visual novel-style room escape adventures*, and are best experienced as spoiler-free as possible. It's generally recommended to play them in order, though I can confirm it's not essential as someone who played VLR first. Both games begin with a protagonist who awakes to find themselves trapped in an unfamiliar location, wearing a strange watch-like device on their wrist. Progress is broadly split into two parts - Room Escape puzzles and Visual Novel segments. For those who haven't played a Room Escape-style game before - put simply, you're trapped in a room, and must solve puzzles to escape, by hunting for clues and interacting with the environment. The Visual Novel segments are what really bring the game to life, though - unravelling the mystery of how you came to be trapped in a mysterious location, discovering the other eight people who share your fate, and seeking a way out. Your choices during these segments will decide your fate, potentially that of your companions, and perhaps even six billion others. Buy the previous games in the series Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors: iOS | Nintendo DS [iOS version has redrawn art assets but no puzzle rooms] Virtue's Last Reward: Nintendo 3DS | Playstation Vita [3DS version has a save bug] Live vicariously through others 999/VLR RLLMUK Megathread [SPOILER HEAVY. You have been warned] *everyone's secret favourite genre
  7. Not a fan at all, but I've always found Morrissey's interviews good value for money and always considered him to be self-aware and at least having a sense of his own ridiculousness. I'm really taken aback by how defensive and unable to take criticism he is in this video. I never thought I'd hear Morrissey, of all people, refer to journalists as "haters", for goodness sake, and his moaning about his record not being played because of some organised conspiracy against him is just pitiful, paranoid and completely off base. The stuff he says about journalists having an agenda against him is simply based on his new record not being very good and his complete lack of relevance to anyone under 40, not some carefully constructed masterplan to undermine him by sending negative messages to his fanbase via the music press. Concluding his miserable little moan with a sickeningly cynical message to the victims of the Manchester bombing completely undermined any credibility he might have had left. Terrible cunt.
  8. Welcome to the future! I know this is being discussed elsewhere, but it's something that definitely needs it's own thread in order to give people the heads-up of which games are being released with them in. Today, and in the future. It seems the vast majority of Xbone First Party have some element of micro-transactions. The most egregious example being Crimson Dragon. Here is a title that should have been a great short arcade experience, packed with re-playability through design. Instead the title has been bloated out and micro-transactions inserted. Forza too has a token-buying system in order for you to perhaps unlock that shiny car a bit quicker. Some people say it is simply a shortcut to eliminate the grind - I say, there should be no grind. Even before this perfectly great arcade games such as Ridge Racer 6, were completely crippled by grind when a short sharp focussed experience would have been far more valuable to all. It's the reason I will replay Plants Vs Zombies, yet never touch Plants Vs Zombies 2. I think the Killer Instinct model is fine, but understanding the nuances of these new systems is something that unfortunately I think we will have to look out for.
  9. So that's that then.
  10. (2D image of Nintendo 3DS game) No official thread on this'un yet, so with the release of a number of trailers and some more info at GamesCom 2011, I thought it was about time. E3 2011 trailer. http://www.gametrailers.com/video/e3-2011-resident-evil/715275 GamesCom 2011 trailer (feat. Conan O'Brien?). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OcsOztnzF-w Gameplay vids from GamesCom 2011. GamesCom 2011 factsheet.
  11. PS5? PS4 Pro 2? Vita 2? PSVR Headset Ver 2.0? (It will almost certainly not be as exciting as any of these options) Cast your bets! I'm going with PS5, coming 2018, World's Most Powerful console. Most likely going to be announced/revealed at Paris Games Week.
  12. Considering this game is due out next week, it seems a case of secret by name, secret by nature. I know top-cat has participated in a few of the beta weekends so hopefully he can chime in with some thoughts and impressions. In a time when fantasy MMOs seem to be dime a dozen, you'd think an MMO that tries to break the mould (in setting, if not gameplay), would stand out from the crowd but it truly seems as though there is next to no buzz at all for this game. Perhaps it's the curse of Funcom; perhaps people have MMO burnout or perhaps the game just hasn't been marketed enough. Whatever the reason, the game's themes and settings have certainly piqued my interest! I love all that creepy monster world behind the human world stuff a la Buffy, Angel, Grimm etc. The Premise Launch Trailer Key Features Choose a side. Join one of three secret societies – the Illuminati, the Dragon or the Templars – and battle with or against other players for world domination. The Illuminati, the Dragon and the Templars – each stand united in their war against the rising darkness, but divided in their pursuit for power. What secret society you choose to join will have profound, long-lasting effects on your gameplay experience. No classes, no levels. Total freedom of play. Experience a game that has no classes or levels. Truly freeform character customization allows you to create the alter-ego that you want to play. Choose from hundreds of different powers for your character without ever having to re-roll, completely eliminating the need to follow a set path of progression throughout the game. Choose the powers, the weapons and the clothing that you want to use. The Secret World does not force you down a set path of progression. You are free to do anything you want at any time. If you ever get tired of doing missions or slaughtering demons, why not return to your secret society and perform tasks for them so you can rise up in their order? Do so, and you will unlock even more powers, weapons, and even unique uniforms. And, of course, untold secrets! Explore stories and locations throughout our own, modern-day world Massively multiplayer online games have traditionally been set in medieval fantasy or science-fiction based worlds. InThe Secret World you get to explore known and unknown locations throughout our own, modern-day world, from bustling metropolises such as London, Seoul and New York, to exotic adventure locations throughout Egypt, Transylvania, New England, and beyond. Battle creatures of myth and legend! Hang out with your friends at a local pub in London, practice your newly acquired powers in the Crucible, and then travel to far-away lands, exploring everything from haunted castles to closed-off military facilities. Along the way you will battle monsters and other creatures of myth and legend, from vampires to werewolves, to gigantic metal golems and undead dinosaurs! A storyline unlike anything seen before in an MMO With the whole world, all its history, all its legends and all its myths to choose from, the developers of The Secret World are creating a story unlike anything you have ever seen before in a massively multiplayer online game. The Secret World features a unique, story-driven gameplay experience that explores the myths, legends and conspiracy theories of the real world. The Secret World brings MMO storytelling to a whole new level by putting you and your friends smack in the middle of an exciting, overarching storyline filled with memorable characters and unique missions never before seen in a game of its kind. Experience missions with a purpose, many of which go beyond the grind quests traditionally seen in massively multiplayer online games. Weapons and Powers The Secret World provides you with hundreds of different options for your character, from different weapons and clothing, to a vast set of different powers. As there are no classes or levels, there are no restrictions as to what to wear. You can pick up new pieces of clothing through missions or battle, or you can visit the shops in London, New York or Seoul and dress up your character any way you like. The powerful progression system allows you to pick and choose whatever powers you want, never restricted by class setups. You can acquire powers within anything from firearms to destructive magic, mix and match anything, or choose to specialize in a certain direction. Regardless of your choices, you will never be at a disadvantage and you can always play together with anyone you want to. Gameplay So, there are no levels? No. Well, kind of. But not exactly. You still have an xp bar. Every 25% you get an action point and every 100% you get a skill point. Action Points Action points go into your action wheel. You pick your weapon type and then spend increasing amounts of points to purchase abilities, which are either active (as in, you press a button to use them) or passive (they're 'always on, but usually only activate when a condition is met, like you critically hit an enemy or something). Each weapon is split into two tiers, the inner tier, which is again split into two groups, and the outer tier, which has more groups. The skill wheel looks like this: You never stop earning action points, but abilities cost more and more the further you delve into a weapon - beginning skills cost 1 point, end skills cost 50. There are 257 active abilities and 243 passive abilities. As mentioned, you never stop earning points, so theoretically you could eventually have all of them. You can only ever equip 7 active and 7 passive at once, for a total of 14 skills, but you can mix and match whatever you want, as long as you have the points to unlock them. One minute you could be a healer, healing a group through a dungeon and then with a couple of clicks you can completely change your build and equipment to become a dps, or a tank, or focus on pvp or whatever. It really is a great system. Skill points are spent improving your chosen weapons and are split into two paths: one is always damage and the other is tied to the weapon type. For example, hammers and blades have damage and survivability paths, since they're seen to be the tanking weapons. Pistols and shotguns have damage and support paths and fists have damage and healing etc. The first point in a skill path costs 1 skill point, the next costs 2, the next 3 and so on, so forth. The skill paths look like this: Decks If you're stuck on what build to go for, you could do a lot worse than opt for one of your faction's 11 pre made decks. These decks are almost like starter builds, to give you an idea of how the synergy between the skills works. Selecting one will highlight where to spend your points to complete the build, though you're not forced to follow this. Upon completion you will be given a very special faction-specific outfit for your troubles, such as those seen below. Please bear in mind that whilst a Templar can build the same deck as the Dragon Warlord, they will not receive the outfit for it. Also worth mentioning is that the deck outfits are classed as 'multislot' outfits in your dressing room, meaning you either equip all of it or none of it - sadly you cannot equip only certain parts. The Illuminati Mercenary The Illuminati Thaumaturge The Illuminati Gunslinger The Dragon Ninja The Dragon Martial Artist The Dragon Wu The Templar Puritan (you too can look like Alan Moore!) The Templar Exorcist The Templar Paladin Once you've unlocked these costumes, you can continue to wear them whenever you want - even if you change builds and weapons. Because of the way the game works, you never stop earning action points, so eventually you could have every single deck and costume at your disposal. Gotta catch em all! The rest of the decks can be seen Here In game shots of the decks can be seen at the links below: Illuminati Templar Dragon How does questing work? Every quest, except main story and investigation ones, can be repeated once every 24 hours. They always award the same amount of xp they did the first time. This means you can group up with anyone at any time and not worry about not being rewarded because everyone earns skill and action points at the same rate, but people who have been playing longer take longer to buy new skills as they cost more, as mentioned above. Let's say you've been playing throughout early access and then your friend starts playing with release tomorrow. You're worried because you've spent points in a tree, you'll be too powerful, right? No worries! Just equip a new type of weapon you've not spent any points in and you've effectively just reset yourself to your friend's level. You'll earn the same amount of xp and points and can spend them in your new weapon and effectively 'level up' all over again, or pool the points to spend in your 'main' set of weapons. All quests are split into tiers, which are effectively stages. For example, tier 1 might be to collect the components to make mines. Tier 2 will be to plant the mines and tier 3 will be to lure enemies into the mines. Each tier updates on the fly - no need to run back to the quest giver at all! Quests come in distinct flavours: Action - these are your typical 'go kill x enemies' quests, but the tiers help make them more varied. Item - these start as your typical 'go collect x items' quests. Sabotage - these are stealth and puzzle based quests that task you with avoiding traps and enemies to complete. Investigation - these are my favourite types: puzzle quests! These are meant to tax your brain and you're given absolutely no ingame help on how to solve them - you're just given clues and have to figure it out yourself. For example, you might be played a message in morse code and it's up to you to research what the message means to figure out the next part of the quest. The game features a fully functional ingame web browser, so you can google and Wikipedia clues to help you find solutions (or the answers, if you want to cheat yourself out of some of the best content the game has to offer). For example, your clue might be a plaque in memory of someone. Googling their name reveals that person used to be a painter, and you remember that you saw some paintings hanging in a building nearby, so you go check them out and discover your next clue, which is a riddle. Solving the riddle reveals a bible reference, so you either google or look through a bible (in the real world, not in game) to find your next clue and so on. They really are fantastic fun and give such a sense of accomplishment when you solve one! Story quests - these are the main story quests that further the plot. They're not meant to be completed all in one go - they cover the entire area so you're meant to do them alongside the other quests. You can only ever have 5 quests at a time and sometimes accepting a new quest will cancel an existing one (the game warns you and asks if you're sure, don't worry). You might think this is shit and you have to start all over again but you don't - the game remembers where you were in the quest chain and you just pick up where you left off! A fantastic feature! But how does gear work? Your gear is split into talismans - wrists, head items, belts, necklaces and rings - which provide stat bonuses (more crit rating, more healing or whatever). This gear doesn't actually show on your character, they're just for stats. Then you have your weapons, which also have stats on them. Gear and weapons are split into quality levels, and you have to have spent into a certain amount of skill points in the tree above in order to use them. This is where the gear progression comes in. As stated above, you can just equip a new weapon type you've not spent any skill or action points in to quest with friends without totally overpowering things. Your clothing - what you actually see your character wearing - is totally cosmetic. You get clothes from quests, dungeons, drops, faction rewards and you can buy them from shops in game or using the real money shop. The game really ties together well. Everything compliments everything else into a really tight, cohesive package. Trailers and Gameplay Vids Previews http://www.computera...as-newest-mmo/# http://uk.pc.ign.com.../1220687p1.html http://www.pcgamer.c...out-compromise/ http://kotaku.com/59...-amusement-park Screenshots So who is playing? The forum server is Arcadia Forum name - Character Name - Society Templar Doctor Shark - Kelsten moosegrinder - Jenfinity Spork: Ojoj idespair - Cypri Illuminati top-cat - Blackdawn Dax - Daxen Cokezero - Raynee SuperMbo - Swearengen Xibxang - MammaTang Fneeb - Fneeb Mogster - Starmix Dragon El Spatula - Indranel Flub - Worldwalker Motivator - Evamortti Here is an awesome shot of some of the Rllmuk team after successfully completing the first game dungeon, 'The Wreck of the Polaris' L-R: MammaTang, Fneeb, Kelsten, Ojoj and Blackdawn.
  13. I've no interest whatsoever in the full 3D horror game Lucius but this demake that's on sale right now caught my eye with it's C64 colour pallette and despite some minor things that wouldn't be able to be done on the C64 (zooms and that font size) I've had a great time playing it so far. It's a little rigid to begin with but it opens up, becoming a little confusing until you understand how the house is laid out. Like it's bigger brother this game is about playing a 70's style demon child, wandering around a house doing chores to appear to be good while setting up situations to kill whichever adult is in your (literal) bad book. So it's like Jack the Nipper crossed with those horror games that CRL released back in the 80's. It plays like one of those 80's style clunky arcade adventure games but if you've missed that sort of thing it's on sale for the next day on Steam.
  14. An esports reality TV show starts tomorrow, with two teams of Counter Strike Global Offensive players competing to win a professional contract while living in the same house. It's got the potential to be profoundly awful, I can't wait.
  15. Speak your mind. (more like NoGAF amirite haha!)
  16. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/686144604/hellhunter I've just backed this on kickstarter after seeing the following gif From the looks of the trailer it seems to involve a Witcher 3 style game loop of investigating clues to discover what type of creature you're hunting, and then picking the right weapon/strategy to get rid of it. It looks unlikely that it'll meet its goal at this point, but I figured it was worth telling people about as it looks fucking superb!
  17. Having played the demo and jumped out of my skin several times I'm not entirely sure why I got this, but I really enjoyed Until Dawn so why not. Just finished the first 3 levels with headphones in and turned up. Actually shaking now. It was fun in the way I assume people find other horror stuff fun (never been a horror fan, normally I nope away immediately ) . Bugger me though if I wasn't jumpy as hell - even when the jumps scares are heavily signposted, the timings and proximity in VR shit me up every time. Also, squealing pigs at that volume can do one. Having a break from it for tonight. Need some happy. So, who else is playing? Need some usernames to lose against on my friends list. (Mine's Monophobian, add me!) Edit: added my psn as it looks like sigs don't appear on mobile.
  18. https://youtu.be/PEi7VX5KAUI Horror comes in various forms, what I may find scary others might find it boring. The scares are even more intensified when watched at four in the morning every morning, with the lights off in the whole house and the factor of fright being the highest it can get. This is what I got down to out of the 29 movies I saw leading up to Halloween.
  19. 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
  20. 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
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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)
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