The Mid:Week Do Rar -

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Wednesday, 6 February 2013

The Mid:Week Do Rar

It's that time where I write words that reveal what I've been up to. You may read them in the voice of your choosing.

 Top Gear: "Series 19, Episode 2" 

Top Gear, whether you like cars or not; is awesome. Easily the best pre-watershed entertainment show on earth. Ever. This weeks episode sees the team heading to the United States in three front-engine supercars; the £340,000 Lexus LFA, £75,000 SRT Dodge Viper and the new £190,000 Aston Martin Vanquish. Taking part in drag races, turning the cars into a game of Laser Quest where the cars are fitted with a sensor, then chased and shot at by two Italian Marchetti aircraft fighters at Willow Springs race track. They also stop for fuel.
The guest in the reasonably priced car is Mick Fleetwood, drummer from the ever famous Fleetwood Mac. A band so famous, my fiancée had never heard of them

 When: BBC2 HD, Sunday, 8:00pm 


 Arrow: Episode 12 - "Vertigo" 

Arrow is my favourite show on TV at the moment, being a comic book nerd, it's nice to see a rather 'unknown' comic book character make it's way to the small screen; and even more refreshing that its' actually a pretty good show. On this weeks episode, after crashing her car whilst on the new 'hip' drug Vertigo, Thea attends her arraignment and attempts to enter into a plea bargain with the district attorney, which the judge dismisses and orders the charges brought to trial in an attempt to send a message to the Vertigo drug dealers by making an example of Thea.
In an attempt to help Thea, like the brooding big brother he is, Oliver begins working on tracking down the supplier; who he learns goes by the name "The Count" and and through his contacts with the Russian mob, he arranges a meeting. As all good plans involving drugs, Russian mobsters and hooded vigilantes do, the meeting is interrupted up by the police, and during the escape, the Count injects Oliver with a concentrated dose of Vertigo via a ridiculous looking double barrel needle.

While overdosing, Oliver has flashbacks to the island, and Yao Fei pretending to kill him in front of Fyers to help old Ollie escape captivity. Back in the non-flashback world, Diggle
(aka beefed up Alfred), takes Oliver back to his hideout and uses medicinal herbs Oliver brought back with him from the island to fight the drug overdose, which, shockingly, is a success! Oliver has Emily analyse the drug and uses the ingredients to tack the location of the Count.
As the Hood, Oliver confronts the Count and injects him with his own dirty medicine just as the police arrive, again, like the gatecrashers they are.
Laurel persuades her father to pull some strings and get Thea 2 years of probation and 500 hours of community service, which she begins serving at Laurel's legal office. At the end of the of the episode, Felicity shows Oliver the book with a list of names that Walter discovered, and informs him that they came from his mother. DUN DUN DUN!

 When: Mondays, Sky1 HD, 8:00pm 

 The Following: Episode 3 - "The Poet's Fire" 

So I actually started watching The Following after my Fiancée made me (I say 'made', by that I mean I wasn't doing anything when she watched it, so I looked at the TV) and I now see that this is in fact, my second favourite new series.
In this episode, a group of people watch some guy in a Poe mask reciting some of 'The Raven' before he packs up his things and reveals a cannister full of gasoline. He then walks across the street as a random civilian buys something from a street vendor and suddenly, he sets alight the poor schmuck as the crowd looks on in horror (but no one actually helps him?!). Mr Kevin Bacon and his super high up EE team obtain video footage (probably thanks to the super fast speeds of EE) of the incident and he recognises the man as a literary critic who gave some other guys book a bad review, leading Bacon to believe the author (who I now know is named Joe Carroll) is killing those he holds a grudge against. Bacon takes a cue from Arrow and has flashbacks that trail back to his first encounter with Caroll, who apparently seduced him with words. And Scotch.

I'll be honest, I didn't really feel the same shock as my fiancée as things unfolded, as I haven't caught up with the first two episodes, but, after I've watched them, I'll then update this episode and be all like "OMG! I can't believe that! WOW! That was so unexpected!" Which will be odd, as I will expect it, as I've seen it already.

 When: Tuesday, Sky Atlantic HD, 10:00pm 

 Dead Space 3 
So after being totally 100% positive I wasn't going to like Dead Space 3, I was wrong. I only 'kind of' hated it. It seems like it's going to be a pretty good game. Graphics are nice and crisp, with Visceral Games’ highly modified Godfather engine handily rendering everything in glistening, crystalline clarity. The new addition of co-op moves the franchise from core survival horror onto the mainstream stage of action thriller, which is where I stop liking. Dead Space 1 & 2 had the feeling of highly claustrophobic areas and the knowing that it was just 
you and the Necromorph horrors. The addition of co-op removes the frantic feeling you got when cornered by hideous creatures, for you can rely on the help of a buddy to aid in your misery. The story is also horribly forced and generic, and, to a degree, very confusing (Isaac has gone solo, turned his back on the fight against the Markers, but then sets off to find Ellie when she’s in trouble? Choosing now, and not the other bazillions of times prior when she called and left messages for him, seems odd).

Overall, Dead Space 3 as a game is great; stunning graphics, great sound, superb voice acting and great action sequences. As a Dead Space game? Not so much.

 On: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC || When: Now  


The Cave

Ron Gilbert (the genius behind Monkey Island and Maniac Mansion) brings us the dark and hilarious new puzzler, The Cave, in which you control seven characters (three at a time) and guise them through the mysterious and magical cave. Very much like Gilbert’s past works, The Cave's puzzles walk the line between being challenging and frustrating, so much to the point I felt super smart when I solved them, but infuriatingly angry when I couldn't. But then super smart when I eventually did.
Unfortunately, switching between characters to solve the puzzles can be mind numbing at the least. There's a lot of platforming jumping to do, which is fine; if the jumping wasn't so floaty. When jumping is involved, put simply; if I can easily reach my destination via a jump, I expect it to happen with no quarrels. 

Poor jumping aside, the nature of The Cave is brilliant, with all the characters (A Monk, an Adventurer, a Hillbilly, a Scientist, some Twins, a Knight and a Time Traveller) having their own back-stories and abilities, the hilarious and dry wit of the narrator, it makes the game far more enjoyable than your standard puzzle/platformer.

On: PlayStation 3, PC, Xbox 360, Wii U || When: Now

 Metal Gear Rising Revengeance (Demo) 

Revengeance takes place four years after the Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots and Raiden has joined a peace keeping group called Maverick. While on a protection mission, Raiden runs into another cyborg who takes Raiden's left arm and eye. He receives upgrades and heads out on a new mission. 

As ever, a stupid tutorial system ruins everything, but, as I've learnt the hard way (damn you 6 day hunting!) tutorials can be important. During this intrusion, you are shown Blade Mode which is a first-person, over-the-shoulder view where you can use your sword to cut through anything that stands your way. There are two ways to do this. The first being a boring affair holding L-Trigger while mashing other buttons, whilst the way more fun second way takes away the button mashing, replacing it with the right analogue stick, where you can perform a more precise cut to an enemy (like literally cut him in half, then again, and again).

I decided to test this out, by proceeding to cut every stone column I could find, causing rooftops to fall under the now lack of support, I then cut through cars and a tree. The slicing is so precise and fun that it makes swords irresistibly cool.

Although brief, the demo was pretty stellar, whilst keeping the MGS feeling, Revengeance manages to make a mark of it's own and, while I'm not normally a Hack 'N Slash fan, it seems to have a much deeper depth of control than that of Devil May Cry. 

Which sucked donkey ass.

*Note: Slicing is not fun, swords are dangerous and not irresistible.

**Note: Okay, I lied - slicing is super fun and swords are the greatest.

On: Playstation 3, Xbox 360 || When: Demo - Now || Release February 22

 Langley Shivers 

So, as I start the third entry in the series, I though I'd share a mock up of the design of the next cover, which, just for reference, the name isn't finalised yet:

Click Image For Hi-Res View


 1-Up Max 
I update my web-comic, 1-Up Max most weeks, sometimes more than once. If you'd like to check it out, then head here and if it's your first visit, then simply click "First". Easy. 
Also, all the updates are put on the page for 1-Up Max on here, so just click it up there on the nav bar. Again, easy.

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