Archive for July, 2009

Walkthrough (and try not to run)
July 17, 2009

I’ve been a gamer for a long while, and if there is one thing that irritates me are cheats, and exploits. There’s a certain kind of satisfaction to finishing a game (without being in god-mode the whole time) that never leaves you. If I start to get really frustrated, I’ll glance at a walkthrough…but still enjoy the game. For example, when Hitman: Blood Money came out, I got hold of a walkthrough. Although since it was a recent game, some enthusiast had only written out half of the missions. I admit that I was a bit bummed, although I was equally encouraged to prove that I was far from lazy.

The good news is I did finish the game, and appreciated the fact I was only semi-assisted. You may argue that cheating may be fun…which is only true for the first few attempts. After that you’re forced to toss the game aside and moan about it to your friends. Although, if you choose to be stubborn about it and take your hacks online…you will soon find yourself kicked and/or banned. From then it’s either a hunt for a new channel, or a run from the law.

My point is that trying to be ‘clever’ and do something no one else has in a game is to your own detriment. You will very soon see that buying a new game…is far more fun, and far less effort. (E.g. you get to gaze at the artwork like you would a new girlfriend.)

There’s a feeling about owning an original that never leaves your veins.

PhilosopherPoet

p.s. (H4ck3rs R n00bs) 😛

Torchwood: Children of Earth
July 11, 2009

Torchwood_ChildrenofEarthFirst of all, I have to point out that there are no spoilers here as I realise that many will not have had the opportunity to see this at the time of writing, therefore it is more of a general overview rather than a detailed review. I may go back and add further details later.

For those of you who have not seen Torchwood, it began life as a grittier, adult spin off of Doctor Who which has traditionally been regarded as a ‘children’s’ program. It follows the exploits of a small ‘secret’ organisation who monitor and deal with anything alien or unusual which may fall through a Rift in space and time which is centred in Cardiff, Wales.

I’ve always loved this show and have followed it faithfully through the first two seasons. When I first heard that it would be coming back for only a 5 episode run I was naturally disappointed that we weren’t going to be given the boon of a full 12/13 episode season, however a mini-series was better than nothing at all.

Eventually it was revealed that it would run nightly over one solid week, post-watershed (after 9pm) with a single story arc. As further little nuggets of information and trailers began to appear, it became apparent that this series would be very good and well worth the wait.

Nothing prepared me for just how truly shocking, horrific and outstanding it would be,  elevating this show to a whole new level.

One day all the children of the world stop for a few moments before suddenly continuing on as though nothing had happened. The next time they freeze they all chant the same message – a message terrifying in it’s simplicity. “We are coming.”

From there the scene is set for an unforgettable and gripping fast paced scenario. An intense political drama mixed with action, growing suspense and situations which hit hard on every basic emotional level.

A global problem is made even more frightening by being taken right to our everyday normality outlining  just how vulnerable, gullible and powerless we really can be.

There are times when you find yourself justifying the actions and decisions that the Governments are taking then feel immediate guilt for doing so. As more details are revealed as to why the alien demands are required – you are left reeling with  disgust and horror, wondering who the true monsters are.

It often takes extreme situations to bring out the best (and worst) in people, whether they are high ranking officials or your neighbour down the street and this series deals with this full on. The acting is superb, the writing and direction exceptional, making this all too uncomfortably believable.

A  bleak tale of sacrifice, impossible dilemmas and harsh decisions, this mini-series is not easy to watch in places and heart wrenching in others. Filled with unbearable suspense and brave actions carried out by otherwise ordinary people, I thoroughly recommend it and cannot  praise it highly enough.

Magz