Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Games Review: Saints Row IV

Until recently, I'd never played any of the Saints Row games. I'd been aware of them, of course, as they've been pretty successful, but the original looked like such an uninspiring Grand Theft Auto rip-off that they just never seemed worth the time. I've become increasingly jaded with the GTA series as time goes by anyway; the games seem increasingly po-faced without actually being clever or interesting about it, and the cathartic charm of trangressive ultra-violence wears off after so many sequels. So what is the attraction in one of it's lesser clones? But I needed a new co-op experience after we'd finished off Borderlands 2, and Saints Row IV had reviewed well, and was starting to turn up on the Steam Sales, so that was that.

Friday, May 9, 2014

DVD of the Week: White House Down

So last year was a year in which Hollywood released not one, but two movies in which terrorists invaded the White House. I mean, what are the chances? After the first time you'd think they'd increase the security! This seems to happen more than simple co-incidence would allow, and it's always fun to compare the two films, especially when they're as similar as the disappointing Olympus Has Fallen and this weeks film, White House Down. Both are basically Die Hard, but in the White House, both are dumb as posts, and both probably think the Bechtel Test is something that you run on your phone line if your internet connection gets slow.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Games Review: Smash Up

We seem to live in an era of pop-culture determined to eat itself. Most of the biggest movies and TV at the moment - at least in terms of generating the sort of heat that means everyone talks about them - are remakes, adaptations and sequels. Geek culture (if there is such a thing) gets particularly excited about the idea, partly, I think, because it can get into a frenzy of anticipation on the one hand, and have a lot of moan about due to change on the other. Probably the ultimate expression of this is the "Mash Up" sub-genre, which has brought us such delights as "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter". Maybe we shouldn't hold that against it though, because the idea of sticking two distinct things together is a fun one and it was only matter of time before someone made a game out it.