December 2018 Free Time

Wow, I’m late with this! I’m getting married tomorrow and writing has taken a backseat. To be more accurate, it’s several rows of seats back. When I started writing this post the sentence was originally: ‘I’m getting married next week’.  But, I’m here now to let you know how my lazy bum whittled away my spare time besides Christmas, work and seemingly endless wedding discussions and meetups. I’m sure you’re all dying to know. Expect this to be a shorter post as like I said, pre-wedding shenanigans have taken most of my time this month and I can’t spend too long on this otherwise my partner will kill me.

Games

super-smash-1153641I promised myself I wouldn’t buy Super Smash Bros Ultimate and a week after its release I crumbled. See, this is why I don’t do drugs or try anything with major addictive qualities, I have no will power. Except for video games. Games are my vice and I was handed a controller when I was 2 years old so I can’t be held accountable for that. I crave games and I craved Smash Bros so I bent the knee to my desires. And, I’m glad I did. Ultimate is a return to form in my opinion, after the disappointing Wii U game. If you’ve played Smash Bros, then you know what Ultimate is. It’s Smash Bros but overflowing with content, characters and modes. I recently completed the World of Light mode which I found very engrossing and fun. I even 100% that and fully enjoyed doing so. It plays well, it sounds amazing and it’s just good old Smash fun. I will say it is the perfect Switch game too. I’m a person who plays docked mode most of the time but the majority of my time with Ultimate has been lying on the couch, Youtube on in the background and the Switch in my greasy mitts. It’s perfect if you want to multitask with your limited time as you don’t need to fully commit your concentration to enjoy it. Gangplank Galleon Remix is awesome as well. I keep listening to this song over and over again. The best song in the game!

tetris effect

Tetris Effect has recently tantalised my mind in a way that I wasn’t expecting. I had heard great things praising its visuals and sound design but I didn’t quite understand it until I bought it. Accompany this game with some headphones and a dimly lit room and you’re in for an experience. The game is essentially Tetris and so if you’ve played Tetris before you know what you’re in for. What makes it stand out though is the surrounding aspects. Tetris Effect has a bunch of levels and each one has a theme or idea it is aiming to achieve. The more lines you clear the more the level evolves and changes before your eyes. When you flip Tetris blocks lights and sounds will happen and the controller will vibrate. It creates this cohesive feeling that I’m really struggling to explain. Great writing, I know but it really is something that plays so much better than what you watch of it. I’m having a blast with it and I’ve never really been a huge lover of Tetris. It’s a classic game, don’t get me wrong but I would always drift away from it after a couple of hours. Tetris Effect keeps drawing me back in even when I’ve seen all the levels it has to offer. The levels pull me back in, I want to experience what I first felt when I played each one. A unique experience meshed with a classic game that I fully recommend trying.

ac odyssey

The Assassin’s Creed series had worn out its welcome for me. I had played 2 and Brotherhood and thoroughly enjoyed Ezio’s journey but when it came to Revelations I couldn’t finish it. It felt so samey. 3 came along and I gave it a go for about 20 minutes and then never returned to the series. Even Black Flag I skipped which is heresy according to some people. When Origins came out people praised its change in design and so I thought I’d give the series another go at some point. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey was my re-entry point to the series and so far, I’m eh about it. It’s a fine game but I don’t see much to it. Currently I’ve put in about 15 hours so I feel I’ve experienced most of what is on offer. I’m not going to write it off just yet as it’s still keeping me entertained for the most part. But it’s that reliable entertained. It’s a game that I put on when I’m tired from work and don’t want anything too taxing or a game that I’m heavily invested in. It’s like a McDonald’s meal. Does the job and it satisfies that itch when we crave something like that. Side note, the voice acting is awful in this game. Characters feel like they don’t know the scene they’re in and so either read their lines monotone or in the completely wrong tone. It’s laughably bad and irritating all in one.

red-dead-redemption-2

Red Dead Redemption 2 is a difficult game for me. Aspects of the game I really enjoy and others infuriate me. Recently, I’ve come back to it after taking a month away from it because of my frustrations. I hoped I could come back to it with a new mindset and so far I am enjoying more than I was at the tail end of my playthrough a month ago but some feelings still remain unchanged. I’m going to keep playing it and I’ll either do a review or a write up on why I feel the way I do about RDR2. There’s a lot I want to discuss about it right now and only time will tell if I feel the same way when I complete it.

Films

halloween 2018

Halloween is an interesting concept, as the events of the film completely erase the original films sequels. It’s a neat idea to return the story back to a basic form as the Halloween franchise has had many sequels with varying peaks and lows in its lore. That brings me to Halloween (2018). Unfortunately, I didn’t really care for it. I found it very forgettable and not scary. Which, for a horror doesn’t bode well. The dialogue was very spotty at times for me with some cringe inducing lines and overall just weak characters. I didn’t hate it, I just didn’t care for it at all. Not Recommended

kubo-and-the-two-strings-

3rd time watching Kubo And The Two Strings. Still love this film. If you’re a fan of the visual style of Coraline, then I highly suggest this. It looks amazing and tells a mature tale that is ideal for both, adults and children. Can’t praise the animation and the work Laika put into this project enough. Absolutely Recommend

Random Recommendation

reynolds-always-sunny

It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia is still one of the ongoing greatest shows. The series follows the exploits of the gang as they try to cheat, lie and steal their way through life, and trust me, there is no truce within the gang regarding that lifestyle. A large portion of why I love this show is because this group of friends are as quick to work on a crazy scheme together, as they are quick to stab each other in the back for minor gain. What I really love about the show is how the characters evolve over the seasons. And with 13 seasons, there is a lot of progression to be seen. From Charlie’s illiteracy to Dennis’s God complex. And sure, like similar shows the characters at times become caricatures of themselves similar to how Homer Simpson became insanely stupid in comparison to his earlier seasons. But, Sunny acknowledges this and its episode repetition as a character trait of the gang and so when doing that, there is some humour to be had. I can’t imagine going 13 seasons without some repetition and so it’s good to see a show adapt that fault into its episodes. All said though, if you want a funny and crass show about a bunch of selfish losers then you can’t do much better than It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia.

Hope you enjoyed reading this post and I’ll be posting more regular content soon. Take it easy.

November 2018 Free Time: Games/Series/Anime

With October out of the way you would think the scary month would be gone. But no! I’m getting married in January and so even though with each passing month my excitement grows, so does my anxiety and stress levels. Most of this month was spent with wedding details but I still managed to cram in hours of games and a few films. So, let’s begin with the games!

Games

Divinity

After months and months, possibly even a year of on and off sessions, I’ve completed Divinity: Original Sin on PS4. I’ll probably do a review at some point so I won’t get too much in depth here. I’ve just started the sequel too so I’m excited to see how it compares. One thing I will say though. I don’t recall playing a game that actually implemented different skill and class aspects as well as this. What I mean by that is, you get quests and you get class specific skills and spells. A lot of the time, the quests are designed so openly that there is a wide range of ways to complete your task. To a fault possibly! A lot of the time I would be doing a quest and I’ll teleport a thing to a place which would then let me progress in the quest. But I would later find a lever or get a key of a dying character that would have opened up the same progression as my teleport trick. Occasionally I would straight up think I broke the game or that I’ve completely gone off the quest path but sure enough I would end up completing the quest by sheer bumbling. The game is a parent on their phone at the park! It gives you the tools such as a bucket and spade and tells you to go and play. Now and again it’ll look up and say you should try doing this or that but for the most part what you achieve with what you’ve got is all depending on your imagination. It’s an interesting game and I’ll do a review in the future if you’re after more details.

Enter The Gungeon

Another game that I’ve had for ages and been on and off with is Enter The Gungeon. The past few days I’ve given it a proper go. I’ve been craving a rogue-lite game lately similar to The Binding Of Isaac and this fits the bill. For those that don’t know what the gameplay is like, it’s essentially a dungeon crawler with bullet hell mechanics. You kill enemies, get currency, find upgrades, kill the floor boss and progress to the next level. It’s randomised each time and certain progression carries over to the following runs. What I love about the game is it fully embraces the gun aesthetic! There are tons of guns to use each with wacky functions or homages to guns of different medias. The enemies are all gun themed, these include walking bullets with guns that fire bullets, bosses like the Gorgun which is essentially Medusa with Uzi’s. Even the loading screen is a revolver loading animation. The game is pretty challenging too! You really need to explore and gather new weapons otherwise the later floors are going to be a real challenge. There’s a huge game here but I love the fact that the game is simple to play though. It doesn’t tell you much about the Gungeon itself, you have to wade through that and find its secrets on your own but the controls are very basic. It’s a simple to pick up but hard to master game and it’s perfect for those quick play sessions that we all need sometimes.

Shadow-of-the-Colossus

I have to stop buying this game. We all have one. The games we keep buying on different systems. And Shadow Of The Colossus is one of those games for me. So far I’ve bought this on PS2, PS3 and PS4. And each time I fall in love with it again. This is one of my all time favourite games. The whole thing is a giant experience. The scale, the awe, the amazing and perfect soundtrack. Shadow of the Colossus is essentially a bunch of boss battles but each one is distinctive and memorable. Even the weakest colossi I remember more than most final boss fights in other games. I can’t praise the game enough. I think it’s unique, I love the near barren world and the little details you’re left to figure out yourself. The fact that each boss is basically a puzzle you have to solve and as you progress through the puzzle the music changes along with you. Just a masterclass in gaming in my opinion. I can’t wait to buy it again! And again! And again!

Series

The_Office_US

I haven’t finished any series in November but I’m still going to mention a few of them. Especially this one since it has 9 seasons and I’m just flitting in and out of it so I’ve no idea when I’ll finish it but The Office (US). My partner loves this show and I’ve not really been that bothered to watch it. I think because I found the UK version really cringey. I know that was the point but I wanted to gouge my eyes out while watching it. So I was pleasantly surprised to see the US version is more comedy than awkwardness. It’s a great show to watch if you want something light while having your tea or in the background. Sometimes, that’s all you need.

barry-ka-1920

A strange one I’m currently watching is Barry starring Bill Hader. I’m only 3 episodes in but so far I’m really enjoying it. It has that Dexter show dark humour about it which I’m a sucker for. Barry follows Barry who is a hit man that gets wrapped up in a job in Los Angeles. Circumstances happen which means Barry has to hang around the area which may not be a bad thing for him. During his hit he has to blend in with a local acting group and suddenly Barry feels something he wasn’t expecting. Has Barry found his true meaning in life on the stage? Again, if you liked Dexter I think you’ll like this. It has similar beats.  Barry lacks a lot of emotions but is an expert at killing. He has a code and believes in killing people who deserve it. And he has to have a fake face which he finds very difficult to achieve. The show has a good grasp on when to be dark and when to be funny. Make no mistake, there is quite a lot of grim violence but it all adds layers to Barry and why he is the way he is. So far, it’s a very interesting show and I’m definitely going to finish it. It also features Henry Winkler AKA one of the best character from Arrested Development so that might twist your arm.

Anime

attack_on_titan_season_2

I’m way behind but I’m closing the gap fast on Attack On Titan. I watched the first season when it came out years ago and I’ve just finished season 2 this week. It’s still a great anime. Got a bit slow at parts and a few characters got a bit too much screen time for my liking as I didn’t really care for their characters but I understand that it was building to something and I completely get it now. The Titans will never not disturb me and even though I got fewer answers than I would have liked, especially how the first season ended, I still appreciate that the plot has progressed and new revelations have come about. There are so many questions raised in this season alone though but I’m eager to watch season 3 and eventually find out some answers. Season 2: Highly Recommend

Jojo Part 5

One of my favourite animes is back, Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, Part 5: Golden Wind! I’ve been eagerly awaiting this since I finished part 4. I needed my Jojo fix and actually read all the parts in their coloured manga form. So even though I’ve read this entire part, I’m still super excited to watch each episode and to see some of my favourite bits come to life on the screen. And come to life it does, it looks fantastic! So bright and colourful! You’ve got to love the Gang Stars too. All the crew are great and their voices perfectly match what they sounded like in my head. Some people put Golden Wind down and I can understand a lot of their complaints. I’m excited for Golden Wind mainly because it gets me closer to the later parts being released in anime form but that’s not to say part 5 is bad. I personally find the main character and his Stand power to be pretty bland in comparison to the other main characters and powers of other parts. Still, part 5 has some of the best Stand battles, the wackiest Stand abilities and I honestly do love the team. Narancia is a highlight for me and I can’t wait to see some of the future fights. Golden Wind: I’ll always recommend Jojo!

Random Recommendation

Super Best Friends

I’ve been following these guys on Youtube for…..I don’t even want to know how long I’ve wasted my time on these scrubs but the Super Best Friends Play are my favourite Youtuber’s and streamers. Matt, Pat, Woolie and the previous member Liam have some of the best gaming content out there. They love their games and if you ever check out their videos where they play series they love or anything with mechas fighting, you can tell how hype they get. They also host a podcast each week which I really recommend checking out. One thing I will say if you try them out, is if you don’t like them straightaway, try to stick them out a bit. The Super Best Friends don’t make it easy on their channel and I love and hate that aspect. There is a lot of inside jokes and references, stuff that I’d get after years of watching them but to newcomers it is just ramblings. Nevertheless though, if you just want a channel that will play through a game and will give their honest opinion of it, they’re perfect. They don’t ham fist it, they don’t scream at the top of their lungs, they don’t shill their content and they very rarely use cameras. It’s just a pure gaming channel. If you interested in trying one of their playthrough’s I highly recommend Beyond: Two Souls or Omikron. They have a massive hate for David Cage games, besides Detroit Being Human. Mostly because they see the potential in his games but they love when the story goes down the toilet or when his twists don’t make sense. It’s a great laugh.  If you’re a lover of fighting games, I also highly recommend their channel. Each Friday night they play a fighting game, both great or terrible games. I also recommend their Subreddit if you  are willing to try them. You will hardly find a better community and fanbase than the TwoBestFriendsPlay Subreddit.

Thank you for reading this post and feel free to comment your views or suggestions for me to try.

 

October 2018 Free Time: Games/Films/Series/Anime

What a terrifying month we’ve had, full of spooky shenanigans but also a fantastic month for games and a particular show I want to talk about. So, here are a few highlights of my month.

Games

yakuza-2-3-1024x576

I completed Yakuza 0! Over 90 hours and according to the end game statistic I hadn’t even completed 70% of the game. It is a meaty game. I’m planning on doing a review soon so if you’re on the fence about it, feel free to check out my review when I release it. I finished it just in time for this month’s big release……

Red-Dead-Redemption-2

Red Dead Redemption 2 has been taking up my time like a lot of gamers lately. I’ve not played a lot of it but it is great so far. I may do a post in the future on it but I just want to say how fantastic it looks. The environment and the small details Rockstar have put into the game really imbue the world with that lived in feel. So far, a great sequel (prequel I guess) to the first one.

Films, Shows and Anime

Incredibles-2-

The Incredibles is one of my favourite Disney/Pixar films. The Incredibles 2 however just couldn’t live up to that for me. This isn’t a bad film, it’s forgettable, it’s definitely not incredible. It sits with Monsters University and Finding Dory for sequels that don’t amaze me but are entertaining to watch. It’s worth a watch and has some very funny moments but it lacks the same level of quality that its predecessor has. My major issue with it is I didn’t have any love the villain. Syndrome in the first one has a great history with and reason for hating Mr.Incredible. Not only that but his motivations are understandable but misguided. A hero is only as good as their villains and when the villain is lacklustre then everything around it is. Other than that the sequel just felt unfocused compared to The Incredibles. Disappointed but still a decent couple of hours. Average

Haunting-Hill-House-Featured

I was blown away by The Haunting of Hill House. A horror show done right. It is a classic haunting story. Family moves into a new house, weird shenanigans occur and then the frights start happening. Classic horror film setup. But by turning the story into a show, all the characters involved get to show their individual trials during and after the haunting. The show takes place in flashbacks and in the present day and does a great job of merging the two. During the early episodes each family member gets an entire episode to themselves and the creators don’t let it go to waste. Each character is fleshed out and honestly, a few of the early episodes were some of the best I’ve seen from a series in a long time. The scares were done very well too. They were sprinkled in just enough. The scares were a variety too. A lot of dread but jump scares too. It had a nice mixture and didn’t rely too heavily on one kind. I am actually sad that the show is over. I can’t praise it enough. Super Recommend

Fullmetal-Alchemist-Brotherhood-Header-001-20160702

Last month I mentioned watching FullMetal Alchemist: Brotherhood and being close to finishing it. Within the next 2 days I watched over 20 episodes. It hit a stride that really gripped me. Safe to say that this is a fantastic anime. The troubles of the Elric brothers, the amazing supporting characters and it’s ability to blend drama with comedy just make it such an intriguing and enjoyable watch. Highly Recommend

erased-featured

Last month on my September article, a blogger by the name of Nerfd recommended me a few anime series to try. Erased was one of them. The concept immediately grabbed my attention. I’m a sucker for minor time travel in any media. The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Timecrimes, Triangle. Anything that has time travel usage in small ways compared to going thousands of years in one direction. Erased, itched that itch sooooo good. First episode spoilers incoming. Our main character recalls of a time when he was a child and a string of children abductions and killings happened. Recent events leads him to believe that the killer is still on the prowl and that a person had been wrongly convicted. The protagonist has the ability to travel back in time to his former self and what follows is him in his school boy body trying to solve the killings with his adult knowledge of what took place those years ago. If he succeeds not only could he save those of the past but also prevent further fatalities in the future. I really enjoyed this show. It’s bleak but it has a nice injection of charm and humour in it. Also, without trying to spoil it, the mum is a top tier mum in anime. I really liked her character and just how she interacts within the story. My only negative is that I felt the last 2-3 episodes were a bit rushed. I would have appreciated another few episodes but that is a minor qualm. Highly Recommend

Random Recommendation

Today I thought I’d mention the book or audiobook, John Dies At The End by David Wong.

john_dies_at_the_end_0

This book is half horror and half dark humour and it blends the two nicely. It follows Dave and John, 2 loser best friends as they experience weird happenings after they are affected by a strange substance they refer to as Soy Sauce. It’s a great read and I’ve read this several times now. Essentially it’s 2 guys who have no business being the main characters getting mixed up in weird, otherworldly stuff in the town of *Undisclosed*. It’s stupidly bizarre and one of the few books that I legitimately laugh at. If you want something sinister and occulty with a good laugh, you can’t go wrong with this.

Anyway, that’ll do it for this month. Feel free to share your views or recommendations in the comments. Thanks for reading.