Magic: The Gathering – Explorers of Ixalan

The first question I had when I saw this box was “what the hell is this?”. Well, it’s a big box with 4 pre-built Magic: The Gathering (MTG) decks and a bunch of cardboard hexes. The game within is standard 2-4 player free-for-all MTG with the addition of a simple (but effective) exploration module. My second question was “who is this for?” and, it turns out, it’s been designed specifically for me. This box is aimed at anyone who knows how to play MTGand likes it–but doesn’t actually own any MTG cards. This is a small niche, to be sure, but it’s one that’s inhabited by most of my friends. We love Explorers of Ixalan, but it’s easy to understand why it has struggled to find an audience. Continue reading


Remember Me

Box Art

Nilin, the game’s protagonist.

I finished Remember Me a couple of weeks ago, but I started it in May. Part of the reason it took me so long is that the game didn’t pull me back in the early stages when I had Rocket League or Street Fighter available. It becomes more compulsive towards the end and ultimately I’m glad I finished it, but the game doesn’t make itself easy to like. It’s on the edge of excellence. Remember Me is a game that needs to be better at almost everything, few aspects worthy of praise without caveat. It’s an ambitious game full of great ideas and I admire much of what it accomplishes, but its execution is so lacking that it undermines itself constantly. Continue reading

Backlog 2015 #2: Batman: Arkham Origins: Blackgate: Deluxe Edition

Blackgate cover

I like to imagine that’s Batman looking at the people responsible for this nonsense.

I want to make this brief so I don’t waste too much more of my time on this game, but if you’re reading this I’m wasting your time with a messy article. Blame Batman. The most enjoyable moment I had was it enabling me to sincerely type B:AO:B:DE in a text to a friend. I was excited about this Metroidvania game due to a long time love of the Metroid series. Metroid + Batman; sign me up. But it’s a bad cover band. Continue reading

Anarchy Reigns (The Achievements note that the title makes no sense)

Manarchy-reigns-15437-1920x1200y friends and I bought Anarchy Reigns cheap recently for something different to play multiplayer. It’s certainly different. We haven’t really played much of it yet and all I do is complain about how much damage I’m taking when I play it (#maturity). It’s enjoyably baffling, obviously bonkers but pretty frustrating. In an attempt to get to grips with the controls and systems better I played through the campaign. Here’s what I thought.

Anarchy Reigns is a sequel/prequel/interquel to MadWorld on the Wii (I have it waiting to play so I haven’t looked up the connection) so for a lot of the story I couldn’t tell if I was missing information because I hadn’t played MadWorld or because it wasn’t given to me. But it’s a Platinum Games game (<3) so honestly it could be either. The storyline is some balls about two different characters that are trying to catch up to a third character for reasons that are never fully explained and with fantastically unearned high-emotion scenes. The whole tone of the campaign is like a 12yo who’s still young enough to play with action figures but whose older brother has shown him Robocop and Die Hard. And, as with so many Platinum Games, I can’t tell if they realise this or not. Continue reading

Ghosts of Girlfriends Past Review

This is a review that I wrote as an audition for a place at a larger University-wide newspaper.  There was a strict word limit, which is why it is terser than my other posts.  I tried to present an even-handed critique of a bad romantic comedy I’d been brought to by my then-girlfriend.  The response from the committee was that I should have savaged it.  Damn you, Matthew McConaughey!  This is the last time you receive mercy from me.

Director: Mark Waters ; Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Garner, Michael Douglas, Robert Forster ; Running Time: 100 mins ; Certificate: 12A

Ghosts of Girlfriends Past is a reworking of the classic “A Christmas Carol” formula in which self-centred  womaniser Connor Mead (McConaughey) is visited by three spectres who lead him through his past, present and future relationships in a bid to show him the error of his ways and win the heart of true love Jenny Perotti (Garner). Continue reading

Wanted Review

Director: Timur Bekmambetov ; Starring: James MacAvoy, Angelina Jolie, Morgan Freeman ; Running Time: 110mins

Wanted, based on the Mark Millar comic series of the same name, tells the story of Wesley Gibson, a nobody in a dead-end job, and how his life changes forever when a fraternity of assassins makes contact with him and unlocks his hidden talents.  With his new abilities Wesley then sets out to avenge the death of his father, a fellow assassin, who left him as a newborn.

Spoilers Continue reading

Slumdog Millionaire Review

Director: Danny Boyle ; Stars: Dev Pattel, Freida Pinto, Madhur Mittal ; RunningTime: 120 minutes ; Certificate: 15

 Slumdog Millionaire begins with Jamal Malik (Pattel) poised to win the maximum possible sum of money on the Indian Who Wants to be a Millionaire?  Due to an underprivileged background he is accused of cheating and interrogated by the authorities.  We are then told how Jamal has reached this point through heart-breaking flashbacks of a story of love, loyalty and hardship and how these events have led him to the answers he has given in the game show.  He must convince the police that he is playing honestly before he can attempt the final question and win the money and everything else he is playing for. Continue reading