Ghostbusters (2016) Trailer Reaction

The world finally got to see a trailer for the Ghostbusters reboot by Paul Feig the director of such hits as Spy, Bridesmaids and The Heat. Since the news of a reboot featuring an all female cast and Paul on-board to direct it is safe to say Ghostbusters fans have feared the worst.

Were we right to be worried?

Yes, yes we were..at least for now.

I say this because the tone of the trailer off, it is pure “comedy” which is what the anti Paul Feig people were hoping not to see. The original Ghostbusters while being a comedy took itself seriously as well as having some genuine scares. This combination is what made the spirit of the film and led to such a huge hit. This trailer shows Ghostbusters engaged in pure slapstick, at no point do you feel these are real people living in a real world, it comes across almost like a video game.

The trailer adds to the confusion over whether or not this is a reboot. It directly references the original film and then goes onto talk about a new team. By doing this you are saying it is a sequel but it doesn’t appear to be that, more a “remake” of the original to the point it is virtually recreating scenes. Another gripe is why the new black character has to join the team the same way as Winston did, why not have her be a scientist instead of going to the most generic streetwise angry token black woman you could?

Finally what is wrong with the Ghosts in this movie. Yes I highly expected them to be all CGI because practical effects are a dirty word these days but why is everything so neon in colour? It looks like Tron and Blood Dragon got together and had a baby!

As I said I will reserve judgement until we know more so please for the love of god Sony Pictures / Paul Feig prove me wrong!

Battlefront’s Iconic Recycled DLC

Yesterday EA / DICE finally announced the contents of the first Star Wars Battlefront DLC pack and boy did they deliver. If by deliver you mean let down everyone who had been waiting for this news since last November.

The maps on offer leave little to the imagination and seem to consist of more recycling of existing locations with the exception of Jabba’s Palace interior. In addition to the maps there is a new game mode all be it another variation on attack and defend this time now involving the Rebels having to take cargo from A to B while the Empire try to stop them. 2 new weapons have been added along with 4 new star cards. While all the above is welcome the kick in the nuts for the fans is the reveal of the two “iconic” hero characters they have added.

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Yup, iconic referring to the addition of Greedo and Nein Nunb as playable heroes. The news comes as a bit of a surprise given the amount of characters available to them. Why would you choose a Bounty Hunter that got killed within minutes of being introduced and Lando’s copilot from the attack on the second Death Star. You have Chewbacca, IG-88, Emperor’s Guards, Grand Moff Tarkin, General Veers, Obi Wan Kenobi to name but a few more exciting alternatives from the original Star Wars Trilogy

That said the issue the community has isn’t really down to the fact these two were chosen but that players on the Rebel side already have the option to have their regular characters appear as a generic Rodian or a generic Sullestan which are Greedo’s and Nein’s species.

I’ll be waiting for a price drop on the Season Pass, if this is pack 1 of 4 EA / DICE will really need to pull their collective fingers out beyond recycling elements we already have.  The game is growing stale and only some fresh locations to fight in can truly save it, there are only so many sandy and snowy maps you can churn out.

 

Halloween Horror Nights 25 Flickr Collection

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It took a while to edit and upload but I’ve finally got all of my Halloween Horror Night 25 photos available online.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/blastiel/collections/72157662645424549/

It contains general park and show photos with the bulk being from our Unmasking The Horror lights on tour of 6 of the 9 houses, technically 7 if you included the little sneak peek we got at American Werewolf in London.

TESCO COD Black Ops 3 for £9 Kerfuffle

Thought this might be useful for those wondering if TESCO will honour the £9 copy of Call of Duty Black Ops 3 on XB1 that was lighting up deal sites yesterday.

I’ve spoke to TESCO and the only people getting a single copy for £9 are customers who ordered it for delivery that same day and have had it delivered and either accepted it or refused it due to the increase in price.

If you refused you will need to contact them and arrange to have a £9 copy sent out.

If you accepted the delivery they will refund the difference if you contact them.

It only applies to 1 copy.

Anyone who ordered yesterday for pick up or who had a delivery slot for today onwards is not entitled to a cheap copy.

 

AWOL

WedRing

Our Rings…Yes mine is the R2-D2 one (designed by me)

Apologies for allowing this page to remain without updates. It has been one hell of a busy year from a personal perspective but I am now back in the saddle. I still don’t know what direction to take with this or what to focus on so I’ll just go with the flow for now.

The biggest life event was getting married in October. An utterly amazing day surrounded by our nearest and dearest followed by an equally amazing 3 week honeymoon in Florida and reception party upon our return.

I’ll be throwing a whole bunch of pictures up onto my Flickr account in the near future.

 

 

Guardian Down

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On December 9th 2014 Bungie released the first expansion pack for Destiny and in doing so killed my love for what is still, deep down a fantastic first person shooter.

The Dark Below arrived and in tow came a new faction / vendor, 3 story missions, 2 strikes, a few MP maps and a new raid. Mixed in with this were DLC only weapons and gear as well as a stock replacement of gear for the regular vendors with newer higher level items.

Now myself and @Roscoe182 managed to complete all 3 story missions and the 2 strikes in just under 3 hours. Neither of us was interested in the PvP aspect and to do a raid you need 6 people which isn’t the easiest thing in the world to organise. Certainly not yet justifying that £20 price tag.

The vendor that was added differs in that she can only be levelled up using bounties she offers, she offers 3-5 a day and each give 75 XP. This means she levels up very slowly and offers the same 8-10 bounties on a rotation, none of them are challenging or difficult and can be done in less then half an hour.

With that out of the way it just leaves the raid. The raid is a broken mess. You can solo the first 2 parts thanks to elements of the game acting not as intended. The third part requires some effort and the final part is a joke thanks once again to the game being broken.

As it stands my only goal left in the game is to get from level 31.75 to level 32. To do this I need to do the raid on hard to get the 1 piece of raid gear I need to drop. Once that is done it will be a case of waiting for the next DLC to drop.

I played the game a lot over Christmas and now on reflection I wish I hadn’t. It is an odd game, as a FPS it functions beautifully but as a game it really does just suck. No story, no real player interaction, broken raids and to top it all the whole game still comes down to a roll of the dice no matter what you do. I’d love a Vex Mythoclast from the Vault of Glass but I’m just not going to play that raid on hard any more with all the effort that goes with it to consistently not get it while Johnny first timer gets it on his first play through. I’m not putting any more hours into a game that doesn’t want to reward you for it. This is the big joke of Destiny, it has you repeating the same task for the 50th time in the hope the dice will roll in your favour and it rarely does and this is why people will do anything to keep that grind as short as possible, just go on youtube and search for Destiny Cheese to see what I mean.

From this moment on I will only be venturing back on to Destiny if Xur sells something decent, a friend needs a hand or some new content drops. No more endless grinding. I’ve pushed back to many games over the past few weeks that all want and deserve my time, currently its Dragon Age Inquisition so if you need me I’ll be in the Hinterlands killing Druffalo!

Guardian Down…and Out!

New Year

Thanks to Destiny, Wedding Planning and Annual Leave I neglected this blog. I have since made a resolution to not let this happen again.

That was a public service announcement by me.

Destiny – No Skill Required

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Destiny is a game I was looking forward to for many, many months. I took part in the Alpha and the Beta and was more then happy after all that for my pre-order to stay in place. The journey began on September 9th 2014 and had me hooked for several days until I finished what is essentially the story mode. At this point I was level 18, 2 away from the magic number when the game opened up so for a few sessions I played PvP, moped up missed strikes and took part in some general exploration.

When level 20 hit I was excited to now take part in what most MMO’s would call the end game, in Destiny it is a hunt to find Rare, Legendary and Exotic gear that will increase your light level which in turn increases your attack and defence stack meaning more gameplay options become available to you depending on this light level. All was well until I hit level 24, this was when an un easy feeling began to settle in.

After a week I had barely managed to nudge that little yellow bar a few centimetres forward and it wasn’t for lack of trying. I was having no luck at all when it came to loot from PvP, strikes, weekly strikes, daily heroics or any other modes available to me. I had matched out the amount of marks I could earn in strikes and in the crucible but still nothing of note.

Like many I resorted to checking out the loot cave and other farming locations to secure blue and purple engrams again with little luck. For an entire week all I had drop was a legendary rocket launcher. During this time I have had to buy my own gear to keep my level increasing so that I could keep up and play with my friends in the activities that were open to their level.

It is now almost 3 weeks since launch and it is becoming very apparent that the core mechanic of the game is broken, broken in a way that can be fixed but I am not entirely sure it will. You see the game doesn’t reward you based on activities completed, actions performed or time spent. It wanted to be inclusive of all players, those who have a few hours and those that have days and that is commendable. The problem is the whole process of levelling up in the end game comes down to blind luck. I’ve had friends put in less time and effort handed duplicate exotic weapons, given legendary gear after just hitting 20 and now are sending me invites asking me if I want to go on a raid with them, this I have to decline because I am just to low a level.

I really like Destiny but it does seem to have managed to create a two tier system. Those who are lucky and those that aren’t. For those like me who don’t seem to be favoured by lady luck you don’t have a lot of options beyond grinding activities and keeping your fingers crossed for the item(s) you need dropping.

I’m not sure how much more endless grinding I can do before I just give up. This game revolves around the carrot and stick principle, it keeps dangling the next item for you just within reach until you get it and then it dangles something a little bit better. The problem is certainly for some of us Destiny shows as the carrot but the stick is 4,576 miles long!

Fall of a Franchise

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After MS announced that the 2013 Tomb Raider sequel “Rise of the Tomb Raider” the internet when into meltdown, specifically all the fans of Tomb Raider on any platform other then Microsoft that was now not going to get to play it. Granted it does look like a timed exclusive but still an utterly bizarre choice even for that given the current climate as well as Microsofts current position.

The response from the community was so loud it caused Crystal Dynamics studio head to write a response on the Tomb Raider blog which can be read here : http://tombraider.tumblr.com/post/94529480860/rise-of-the-tomb-raider-update

Below is a copy and paste of the article with my comments in bold:

“Dear Tomb Raider Community,

As you may have seen, we’ve just announced that Rise of the Tomb Raider, coming Holiday 2015, is exclusively on Xbox.

Exclusive meaning not exclusive but timed which is completely different, one implies never and one implies after a pre-determined period of time. 

We consider all of you to be the lifeblood of Tomb Raider and the work we do at Crystal. I’d like to give you some insight into this decision, and why we feel this is the very best thing for the Tomb Raider sequel we’re creating at the studio.

I’m looking forward to this because apparently the decision to deny many millions of gamers access to a title is the best thing for it, especially when that title is a sequel to a freshly rebooted franchise, a reboot whose sales were dubbed “disappointing” by its publisher Square Enix.

Tomb Raider in 2013 was a success due in large part to your continued support.

Here is the breakdown of sales for Tomb Raider and Tomb Raider Definitive Edition by platform:

PS3 = 2.22 million

PS4 = 460,000

XB1 = 170,000

X360 = 1.71 million

PC = 4.82 million

You can safely say that it had a good outing on all platforms, PC leading the way followed by PS then XBOX.

Our goal has always been to deliver something truly special with Rise of the Tomb Raider. Today’s announcement with Microsoft is one step to help us put Tomb Raider on top of action adventure gaming.

The same week this news broke Sony announced it had sold 10 million Playstation 4’s. It’s hard to imagine how MS can help put this game on the top of the pile when it has less then 5 million XB1 owners? Even if you add the sales together it isn’t a stretch to say they would shift more copies on the Playstation and PC formats.

Our friends at Microsoft have always seen huge potential in Tomb Raider and have believed in our vision since our first unveil with them on their stage at E3 2011. We know they will get behind this game more than any support we have had from them in the past – we believe this will be a step to really forging the Tomb Raider brand as one of the biggest in gaming, with the help, belief and backing of a major partner like Microsoft.

How exactly are Microsoft “getting behind” this title beyond paying you not to release it on other platforms until a set amount of time has passed? How can the Tomb Raider brand become greater when its available to less people. Don’t forget this year at E3 every platform was getting this and now a few weeks later suddenly it’s not, you can see now why there is some level of anger at what is clearly an 11th hour smash and grab from Microsoft.

This doesn’t mean that we’re walking away from our fans who only play on PlayStation or on PC. Those are great systems, with great partners, and amazing communities. We have Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris coming to those platforms this December, and Tomb Raider: The Definitive Edition is available on PS4.

Wow, you actual drafted a response to an angry customer base that includes an attempt to sell other games to them. Seriously do you think thats the best way to placate your raging fans by reminding them they can play a digital remaster or an arcade game instead?

We know that there are probably many more questions and concerns. Please do send them to us, and we’ll answer to the best of our ability. Meanwhile we’re going all out to try and make something truly special – the most ambitious Tomb Raider game ever built.

I wish you all the best and look forward to this franchise needing to be rebooted again in 2016.

Thanks,

Darrell Gallagher
Crystal Dynamics Head of Studios”

EA Access – Good or Bad?

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Just reading the posts title means most of you have already made the assumption that what follows will be nothing more then me ripping apart EA’s now out of beta “Access” service. For the most part you would be correct.

Gamers on mass can often be very blinkered when it comes to publishers and parting with money. Time and time again the masses get screwed over by big triple a publishers who continue to partition, with hold and convert to a premium content that at one time was free on the disk you bought from a retailer.

That said I am a big fan of subscription services done properly. For TV and Movies I currently have active subscriptions to NOWTV, WWE Network, Netflix and for my sins Amazon Prime (it came with Prime so cut me some slack!). Between them I have all I have the TV, movies and box sets that I want to watch when I want to watch them on any device I choose to watch them.

It was inevitable that at some point gaming would get in on the act and I for one welcomed it. The first contender to the crown is of course the brilliant Playstation Plus. What started as nothing more then a ploy to start making some of that XBOX LIVE Gold subscription money soon blossomed into the service we have today. For £39.99 (or less) you get 12 months access to 72 games a year. That is 2 games per format (PS3,Ps4, PSVita) every month for a whole year plus you get discounts and offers that are only available to you. XBOX LIVE Gold recently switched to a similar format offering 2/4 games ever month as well as exclusive discounts for the same price, personally I think the quantity and quality of the titles on PS Plus makes it a better product but both are good enough to justify the expenditure.

Yesterday saw the release of EA Access, a game rental service for EA games only. For £3.99 a month or £19.99 a year you get access to a “Vault” of games that will grow over time. In addition EA have stated that once a game is in the vault it is there for good. You will also get 10% of digital EA games, discount on DLC and early access to full games a week early if you pre-order them and access to game demos free of charge.

Sounds good on the face of it but lets break it down. EA Access is only available on XBOX ONE and not because it is exclusive but because Sony didn’t want it as they said it offered poor value for its customers, something I have to agree with. The vault itself currently has 4 games out of a total of 8 currently available that EA have published on XB1.

FIFA 14 which most people got free with an XB1, Madden 25 and Battlefield 4 that the masses will have bought at launch and Peggle 2, something that if I subbed would be the only title worth grabbing.

EA have stated TITANFALL will never hit the vault which only leaves NBA Live 14, Need for Speed Rivals and Plants vs Zombies Garden Warfare. One could argue that the games in the vault have no more pulling power at retail, the people that want them have them and so by giving them away free now they could encourage some DLC sales.

Given that EA is able to dictate some titles will never hit the vault and doesn’t have anything other then the 3 games mentioned above it doesn’t seem likely the vault is going to get bigger any time soon. Down the line I also don’t expect them to be adding games until the sales dry up at retail, for those hoping to save money by “renting’ it seems those dreams have been dashed. You will not be playing Dragon Age, FIFA 15 and other titles coming soon until they have saturated the retail market.

EA like many triple a publishers doesn’t give a shit about you the customer, no matter how hard it tries to convince you it does it will always put its effort into finding new ways to take your money without actually having to deliver anything.

I’m on the fence on this one, nothing is in it I haven’t got on other formats and I can’t see it growing anytime soon. It won’t be a way to play the latest or semi latest titles without paying for them so I am struggling to see any merit in subscribing now if at all. Netflix works because it has access to all the movie studios but imagine if you had to subscribe to a Warner Brothers service and a Sony Pictures one and then a Disney one before you know you have £100+ worth of active subscriptions just to get what you want.

It also seems that the little £3.99 price change we saw on the FIFA 14 XB1 demo that was called an error and coincidently happened at the same time the beta for EA Access went live means that EA are now going to charge non-subscribers to play demos.

Ubisoft, Activision, Take 2… you can bet that all the publishers are keeping a close eye on this if they are not already working on a version of this for themselves. It’s a no from me!