Donkey Kong – Childhood years relived as a teenager!

When I was younger I didn’t play many video games other than occasional times sat down chilling with my Dad. I’d generally demand one of three games around then, these being Mario, Sonic, and Donkey Kong (Obviously something about side-scrolling gaming interested me as a child!). Back then I don’t think i had much idea as to what was going on other than the general move left to right thing that goes on in all the games, so unfortunately didn’t appreciate the NES version for what it was.. This however changed as the game was released on Gameboy Colour in 2000, a year that saw me frantically mashing buttons to get all of the letters to make up KONG, and swing across vines with precise timings!

With Donkey Kong being a game I’d enjoyed in ways through various points in my life, the announcement that it was being released on the Wii filled me with some joy. The Wii game promises to bring new levels and environments to explore, along with the next gen graphics that would be expected with a Wii release. One new feature that is being brought onto the Wii release is a two player mode that will allow both DK and Diddy to be controlled at the same time, rather than the players needing to switch between the two to progress through the level. The Two player aspect is something I’m personally looking forward to as I love playing through co-op style levels with friends! It’s part of the reason I found myself falling in love with Little Big Planet so much!

The game gets release on December 3rd, and I intend to review the game around then so you can expect a full review and rating on the overall gameplay after i’ve had a bit of time bashing through the levels! My only hope right now is that it maintains some of the roots that made it so popular with me, however this is something I’m not worrying about too much thanks to the E3 footage of the game!

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Been craving more WarioWare?

In the run upto Christmas this year Nintendo will be releasing various treats for fans WarioWare: Do It Yourself. These treats will come in the form of weekly micro-games, available for game owners to download as in-game content over a wifi connection. Additionally, each game will come from a different European Wii/DSiWare Developer giving a better range of gameplay and challenges for people to take on as they play through levels with friends and family, or even alone!

The first game will go live Friday 19th November, with new ones going up weekly from then so make sure you don’t miss out and keep on top of downloading these potentially awesome microgames! I will be downloading them and hope to get a general overview review of them up by the end of the Christmas season (Figuring that’s better than flooding the blog with weekly short reviews!)

 

Is the YouTube Sub box letting content producers down?

For well over a year now it has often been noted that the YouTube sub box has failed; whether it be people saying videos didn’t appear for them, or people getting annoyed at lack of views.  I myself have often blamed the sub box failure on occasion for lack of views, especially with things that I find myself more proud of having made. In a way this blame kind of becomes a safety blanket, the easy excuse for lack of views without considering that maybe people just don’t like your videos anymore..

Of course peoples tastes change, people subscribe and unsubscribe multiple channels on a daily basis, but admittedly that doesnt necesarily explain why channels with 5k+ are only reaching interaction levels around 100. This combined with the fact people who view videos actually curse the sub box for making them miss the videos like just goes to show that perhaps this failure and lack of viewership is down to a problem that’s been long in need of repair. I mean… what were YouTube doing in the first place to break the sub box anyway?! All I know is that it’s been existant for more than a year now, with new glitches arising every now and again.. and no real acknowledgement of an issue from YouTube.

I kind of hoped that when they added the publish percentage to the videos page this would ment it and was their way of forcing it into sub boxes. Unfortunately, even when this did hit 100% I found people subscribed telling me on Twitter od Dailybooth that “It hadnt appeared” in their sub boxes… and now to add to this it would appear this feature is even broken for me as it merrily sits on 0%

I don’t have mutliple tens of thousands of viewers (and in some cases even that doesnt seem to be doing any good!) so when it does fail or my viewship dips i find myself hit hard, as unfortunately for me, it seems to always occur on videos im more proud of and have put more thought into. The only benefit to the failure is the relief it brings in knowing the lack of views and output of video isnt necessarily all to myself. All the same i still find it disheartening at times and just wish YouTube would bother to try and fix it.. after all the subscription box is something that sits at the hub of YouTube.. without it it’d be pure luck of the draw!

Due Date

“The next hangover!”
“Funnier than the hangover”
“Due Date are left-over scraps of Hangover”
“The Hangover 2!”

All of the above, are comments that i’ve seen made about Due Date since its release. It seems that The Hangover is everyones favourite comparison point for this film, possibly due to Zach Galifianakis’ role in both of the films. Either way, I found this set up some high expectations for me as i loved The Hangover and thought Zach was awesome in it! So to see a film with him and Robert Downey Jr. in the leading roles? Pretty exciting concept.

Due Date see’s father to be Peter Highman(Robert Downey Jr) get pushed through a series of unfortunate events as he attempts to make his way to the birth of his child. Each of these events is of course brought along by Ethan Tremblay (Zach Galifianakis), an aspiring “actor” on his way to LA. The film see’s a variety of hurdles get in Peters way from being added to no fly lists, to driving off a bridge in a car, events that all occur as a result of him meeting Ethan.

The film itself was hilarious, I thought that Downey Jr and Galifiankis (I hate typing that name) worked well together in the film. If you like Robert in Iron Man and Zach in The Hangover then you’ll love them in this film as it draws together the best of both worlds in an amazing comedy environment. This combined with the company of a dog, and a pot of human Ashes in a coffee jar just made the film even more amusing!

I don’t think it is anything like The Hangover as i felt it lacked the random unexpected twists that the hangover had, for example with the hangover i didnt have a clue what was going to happen next then BAM! Tiger BAM! Baby! BAM! Crazy asian man! Whereas with this film i found a fair few of the comedy scenes to be a bit predictable, such as getting arrested on a plane and crashing a car.. all things that were bound to happen in a film where he struggles to get to the birth of his child!

Comparisons aside, Due Date was an amazing film and had me laughing throughout. I think that the main cast worked together perfectly and the plotline of the film was one that keeps you wanting to see where they’ll end up next! I just think it’s a shame that it carries an inescapable compairison with another comedy hit!

7/10

The Social Network

Two weeks ago i managed to catch The Social Network as it showed in Bournemouth. I had high expectations for the film following feedback from various friends and the fact i’d been turned away twice that week due to it being sold out – I mean.. anything that sells out frequently, and has Spiderman in it has to be good, right?!

I felt my high expectations were met throughout the film as it kept me transfixed the whole way through.. There was just something about all the code that got me all..Sorry, what? But in all seriousness, the film managed to really interest me and keep me wanting to know more even after it had ended!

The film being based around Facebook gives it a bit of an extra pull point. Pretty much everyone i know (Bar my grandparents..) are on Facebook now! This gives an immediate point of relation within the film for everyone.. which just seemed to add to it. I think this is especially the case when people find themselves on it frequently. HELL, I have a tab open for Facebook right now! Afterall, Facebook appears to be everyones favourite online addiction, something that is if anything made even more appealing after you see this film.

Another pull to the film comes from the computer geek entrepreneur like style of Zuckerburg as he creates Facebook. This  is something that I’ve found seemed to interest guys who watched the film a lot more than girls. This was even mentioned by Greg James a few days ago whilst i was driving home and he mentioned how his girlfriend didnt really say much about the film after they’d watched it. As soon as he said this i found myself thinking about how when i first watched the film the girls with us didnt really say much about it after as much as the guys did!

The Social Network takes on an interesting narrative style as it constantly switches between the present day court trial of Mark Zuckerburg, and the past events described in the trial. The way in which these past events flow in chronological order creates a speed tour through the early days of Facebook for the audience. It also goes to show how something small, yet original grew at a rapid pace to become an international hit,  which was pretty cool as it illustrated all the stresses and problems that can come with creating a site like Facebook. Problems ranging from unpredictable growth speed, people constantly trying to sue you for intellectual property, and the personal choices that come between company and relationships…. Choices that in Zuckerburgs case he appear to frequently favour the company (Something that probably doesnt matter to him.. afterall! “You don’t get to 500 million friends without making a few enemies”)

The films casting….. This picture says a lot! Just look at the likeness! If you’re making a film based on real people you need likeness with how people look… you also need Justin Timberlake apparently.. who looks NOTHING like the real napster man.

Likeness aside i think the casting was pretty solid. When i heard Justin Timberlake was going to be in the film i was a bit cautious, however after watching the film I found myself believing that most of the leading cast deserved oscars for their parts in the film. Of the leading cast, Jesse Eisenburg as Mark Zuckerburg was probably the best cast role. The way he played the role of Zuckerburg made me forget he was an actor at times and believe he really was the creator of Facebook. Apparent personality traits of Zuckerburg were played perfectly and seemed to fit in well with the audiences perception of how a powerful computer geek should be presented!

All in all i found The Social Network to be an exceptional film that kept me hooked throughout! It even managed to give me a web design drive for a few hours immediately after watching it, and you don’t get that often! A film that makes you want to design things and do work… INSANE!

10/10

 

Dance Central – Video Review

Check out Dan’s video review of Kinect!

I’d like to apologise now for our neglect of the RPIReviews channel.. I plan to change that soon and start using it more! (I have 3 videos to film this weekend.. lets see if that happens)

Little Big Planet 2 – Demo Impressions

Little Big Planet is an amazing game! One that i embarrassingly only played for the first time a few months ago… Yes i was slow to jump on that gaming bandwagon… but at least i got around to playing it in the end?! Right?!

So anyway, after making the discovery that Little Big Planet is actually a fairly decent Freaking AWESOME game, I found myself ecstatic as i was told i’d get to play it at Eurogamer expo. I think this excitement showed on the day too, in how i immediately ran over to the game and well… played it! After all that’s what you do with video games… you play them. Unless of course you’re friends with one of those douche bags that sit around playing their consoles whilst you watch and never offer you a go… (I know a lot of people like that…).

Immediately after picking up the controller i was greeted with a familiar pod, customisation view and map view. I liked this as it made things straight forward for me from the start. Besides they were all good features, so why change something that’s already good?!  This i think stands for much of the game as you still see the same style race to the end levels with various obstacles preventing you from reaching the end.  I’m thankful that this didnt change as the mario-esque get to the end style the first game held, combined with its various challenges and need to collect items to further customise, made it more interesting for me.

Since noone has burst through my window at this point I’m assuming I’ve either been forgiven for taking so long to play Little Big Planet, or there’s a sniper waiting for me to step outside of the door… ANYWAY, when demoing the game a lot of focus was put onto the multi-player aspect. The multi-player in Little Big Planet 2 adds a competitive edge to the games, allowing upto four people to bat against eachother as they rush through to complete in the fastest time. This is made a bit more competitive by the ability to grapple onto other players and drag them back with you, preventing them from getting too far ahead. At one point we were literally sat grappling eachother down the same platforms for about 10 minutes…. then one of us actually made it to the end! (Spoiler Alert: It wasn’t me)

The costumes that allow you to customise your sack person are interesting as always! My favourite costume in the demo was probably the pimp suit, which came fully equipped with a hat, cape and PIMP STICK! With something like that in a demo I’m excited to see what crazy things get thrown into the full game!

I will be posting a video with some footage from the game and impressions of me playing over on RPIReviews soon! So keep an eye out there, and if by some crazy chance you’re reading this and work with Media Molecule… I’d love a promo to do a full review on one day! (I can dream…)