I'm a chatty creative from the UK with a tendency for brutal honesty and a passion for music, games & the written word. Expect game & movie reviews, reflective editorials and the occasional waffle about life in general.
The Matrix: Resurrections Review
It’s interesting watching people respond to the new Matrix movie. The rather critical commentary on social media makes it pretty clear that more than a few fans went in to the cinema expecting more of the same 90’s visuals and over-the-top sci-fi thrills we saw in 1999, and ultimately came out disappointed. But let’s be honest - with such expectation after twenty years, that dissatisfaction was… INEVITABLE.
Dissidia Opera Omnia Act 2, Chapter 3 Released
Opera Omnia's throwing us back to the year 2000 this season with the arrival of some serious fan-service in the form of new story content and event draws. The latest update introduces a fan favourite character and a new EX weapon that’ll get the veterans screaming like groupies at a KISS concert.
'Dissidia NT'—'FFVII's Tifa Lockhart DLC Announced
Whether you’re a long-time Dissidia devotee, or a totally unaffected onlooker, anyone even vaguely clued up on Final Fantasy VII's popularity will likely concur that, following tonight’s announcement that Tifa Lockhart will be joining the NT's roster next week, the turbulent 3-v-3 brawler will see an observable surge in Western attention. Yes folks, the time has come; Final Fantasy VII’s aesthetically questionable, but objectively beloved barmaid-turned-terrorist has been confirmed at long last on Square Enix’s NT livestream!
'Resident Evil 2' Remake Review
For a very many people across the world, modernised remakes of their favourite childhood games are a dream come true. The way things are going, more and more games developers are starting to realise there’s money to be made in the art of recreating old classics for an audience of gamers eating it up like cake.
Why 'Final Fantasy' Should Be the Next MCU
I think I speak for most of the gaming community when I express my pity for anyone who's never experienced a good game or two. Many are the times I've gifted my girlfriend with an in-depth lecture on the ins and outs of the Final Fantasy VII continuity, met every time with cold indifference. Admittedly, I enjoy telling that story far too much to care if anyone’s listening or not, but it’s a tragic shame that so many people can’t get lost in video game storylines that, in all honesty, do a better job of telling stories than most movies I’ve ever seen. Final Fantasy in particular is 30 years of Japanese narrative magic that utterly deserves far more gold screen time than its been allowed thus far, especially considering the state of today's film industry, where writers and filmmakers seem to be so devoid of original ideas that we’ve seen a huge spike in re-emerged franchises from the 80s and 90s just to fill that creative gap. Films like Jurassic Park, Star Wars and Independence Day have spontaneously popped back into our lives like unannounced remnants of an adolescent love affair. If there is a void in Hollywood’s creative works, I can think of a far less exploited source of inspiration.
The Aspartame Conspiracy
Earlier this year, my life was devastated. For years my family has made a big deal out of A.G. Barr’s magical Irn-Bru at Christmas times, and it's been a family tradition for the last 20 years to have our fridge glowing orange all the way through to New Year. As you probably know, Barr was forced, among all other soft drinks manufacturers, to submit to a rather restrictive tax in the UK earlier this year—the sugar tax—which obviously presented a pretty uncomfortable decision to these companies, now forced to choose between boosting the price of their products to balance their profits, or redesigning their recipes so that their drinks contain less sugar content and evade the tax entirely.
'Final Fantasy Dissidia NT' Review
Suffice it to say, I harbour a sentimental attachment to this one. Last year, I was one of 40 Final Fantasy fans invited to attend an exclusive evening in London with Ichiro Hazama, the man at the helm of Dissidia NT’s production team. After the usual Q&A, I was the fool who challenged him to a match of his own game; “You’re going down, son!” I believe were my badly-chosen words. A misguided decision, I thought, as he thoroughly put me in my place and mercilessly secured a clean victory within minutes. From the moment it was announced, I jumped at every opportunity I had to sample Dissidia NT, attending the show-and-tell in London, signing up for PSN beta tests, and even adding the original Dissidia to my digital Playstation library. By the time NT was finally released for PS4, I was already thoroughly familiar with this port of Dissidia’s latest manifestation that, up until NT, was exclusive to Japanese gaming arcades. The day finally came to pass, and all my rampant premonitions of what Square-Enix and Koei had cooked up for us were put to rest, not through nostalgia, but in an ambivalent display of both joy and disappointment.
'Alien: Isolation' Review
I’ve always had to live with the lasting misfortune of not being among the ill-fated many who first saw Alien on a fateful evening in 1979; I dream about being among the unwitting masses who saw that movie in all its fresh, unsaturated glory. But amidst all that regret, the good folks at Sega swooped in with a very suitable emulation—Alien: Isolation is, in no uncertain terms, the best hope millennials like myself have of experiencing the original onslaught of space terror we were so sadly denied. Built from the ground up as an interactive Ridley Scott simulator, Alien: Isolation is a truly uncanny testament to the ambience and tone of the franchise’s thematic origins. Every element from story to setting to lore to music to lighting to props is there, in exactly the right place contributing beautifully to a genuinely authentic Alien experience.
'Final Fantasy XV' - Episode Prompto Review
Now, I’m not going to sit and pretend that I had much hope for this new extension to Final Fantasy XV’s JRPG experience. Following the disappointing performance of Episode Gladiolus, my expectations for Prompto’s solo adventure were set up to shield me from the heartache I felt playing its underwhelming predecessor. I adore the main game; I spent a ludicrous amount of time mingling amongst the beautiful environments of XV’s massively immersive game world, battling fierce wildlife, decorating my BMW with chocobo stickers and dipping a fishing rod into a reservoir of giant giraffe-elephants before retiring to the campsite to whip up some fish and chips with my winnings. Then when I’d finally conquered the titanic storyline, sat at its summit piecing together my heart strings and mentally processing the dramatic emotional hurricane I had just endured, I was desperate for more. Thanks to that hunger, I was guilty of blindly boarding the hype train when the first DLC was announced, and I was summarily punished with a devastatingly short and unfulfilling hour of uninspired content. Having learnt my lesson, I went into Square Enix’s second round of paid add-ons with my trust shattered, prepared for another major knife in my heart. Not long into the duration did I start to realise that Squ-enix have well and truly learnt their lesson having finally cooked up some genuinely satisfying new material that brings a cool new shoot-em-up approach to XV’s combat system and storytelling.
Final Fantasy XV - Episode Gladiolus Review
As far as the latest numbered addition to the historic fantasy JRPG franchise is concerned, revolutionary gameplay is the name of the game… figuratively speaking. Following Final Fantasy XV’s dramatic arrival, older entries to the series are left to age gracefully in their place by XV’s brand spanking new features; features like day and night cycles, real-time in-and-out combat and heavily customizable vehicles; even the conventional expectations of the most high-rolling RPGs on the market are blown inexorably out of the water by XV’s bold and beautiful technical exploration. These new gameplay ventures transform the first two thirds of the game into an immersive road trip simulator, lovingly weaved together by the exceptionally compelling storyline, mind-blowing graphical achievements and the occasional moment taken to admire Cindy’s.... graphics. Satisfying as it may be, reaching the summit of this titanic fantasy escapade leaves you wrestling keenly with a hunger for more pseudo-realistic fantasy goodness, and so loyal fans waited patiently with bated breath for the arrival of Final Fantasy XV’s first DLC. And now, much to the dismay of reviewers everywhere, Squ-enix’s first post-release add-on to the game falls short of the mountainous standards set by its father package in almost every way possible.
The "Finance & Felony" of 'Grand Theft Auto Online'
The single most divisive feature of Grand Theft Auto V isn't in its graphics or its gameplay; it isn't the unforgiving ferocity of the San Andreas law enforcement or the relentless repetition of overplayed pop classics blasting out of passing car stereos; it isn't even the offensive standards of driving among Los Santos' motorist community. The fable of deceit and corruption that forms the game's story portrays a faithful overture to the cold-hearted lust for financial profit that riddles GTA V's online component like a communal illness that just keeps coming back to ruin everyone's day. Grand Theft Auto Online is GTA V's packaged multiplayer mode, which piggybacks off the name of its numbered counterpart before careering into the distance, laughing hysterically as it spirals off on its own power-mad tangent. The veterans amongst Rockstar's audience will remember the good ol' days, when popping open the box of a new instalment of the Grand Theft Auto series would be affectionately accompanied by a complex sequence of button mashes that bestows every locked feature right from the off. A complete turnaround from the glory years, Grand Theft Auto Online treats its players like employees as it tasks you with endless hours of hard work swallowing wayward bullets like pills and completing menial tasks of debilitating repetition before it finally submits to you some slight reprieve, often in the form of some disproportionate new resources that are only marginally superior to what you had before. Grand Theft Auto's latest online manifestation is less like a care-free, socially desensitised RPG treating its players to some irresponsible de-stressing, and more like a sociopathic chairman of a sweatshop dangling food for a starving workforce—it uses a carrot-and-stick method to put you to some serious work.