Lord of the Rings 4
Int. Frodo’s House
Gandalf: Frodo, look here: I’m giving you this ring.
Frodo: Well, that’s very nice, but I don’t really want it.
Gandalf: What? This ring controls the very fate of Middle-Earth!
Frodo: I doubt it. It’s a tacky sovereign ring, and it just spells “Wizzy”.
It’s link round-up time.
First up, my review of that excellent Hold Steady gig I was at last night. MY EARS STILL HURT BUT WORTH IT (Read more…)
I always find it hard to talk about this band without dipping into embarrassing hyperbole, completely shredding any chance of my looking the slightest bit objective, making this whole thing look slightly ridiculous; and a man in my position cannot afford to be made to look ridiculous. Suffice to say, they’re without doubt the most effortlessly energetic handful of middle-aged nerds to put on a brain-creasingly loud rock show in the last week or two. My ears: how they ring with the sound of LOUD ROCK MUSIC. Except not rock music, but instead, tinnitus.
And then there’s my review of Greg Dulli’s acoustic show some months ago. (Read more…)
Despite being somewhat tardy in taking the stage (excellent supporting troubador Ed Harcourt left the stage around 9pm, and the resplendent headliners didn’t get started until after 9.30) it’s hard to argue with the show Dulli and company put on. And not just because a show is incapable of arguing back.
On the games side of things, I looked back at some of my favourite games of 2010, including Mass Effect 2. (Read more…)
The first rule is that PC is best. The second rule is that arguing about Rule 1 will earn you a sound thumping and bursts of derisive laughter from everyone you thought respected you because HA look at you. The third rule is – paradoxically – the most important, and most relevant to this piece: Shepard is a girl.
I hurled some libel in the direction of Mafia 2. (Read more…)
The remaining 98% (I may have somewhat fudged the statistics) consists of cutscenes. Long, damningly frequent custcenes. Or, if not cutscenes, then “click this button to make a 5 minute long in-game action happen” deals. Basically, the game goes out of its way to not let you control it for vast amounts of time. It doesn’t just border on ridiculous – it invades ridiculous’s capital and wrests control of its government. It’s setting up a Ridiculous Empire across the Mediterranean.
I laid down some sick rhymes about entertaining physics puzzler The Ball. (Read more…)
It starts too slow, and ne’er gets frantic, (though the scale grows pleasingly gigantic),
The zombie perhaps appear too often,
But squishing them’s so satisfying, squelching, mulching, pulpifying,
It’s fun to make the cave a zombie coffin
And I investigated the remastered version of Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars. (Read more…)
The main thrust of this being re-released on PC (if we refrain from cynically asusming it’s to cash in as much as possible on the Knights Templar frenzy) is to allow PC gamers the chance to play through all the additional content that’s been added – to wit, an hour or so where you investigate a hidden piece of Nico’s past. This is all neatly tied into the main storyline, of course – one of the main advantages of writing absurd conspiracy-laden storylines is that you can basically tie anything in retrospectively as a cunning retcon. (“Yes, of course George’s grandparents killed Nico’s pet lizard ten years ago. Because Templars.”)
That’s most of the more notionally interesting stuff, anyway. As you were, gents.