Thursday, 24 January 2013

Hitman: Absolution - Review

Hitman: Absolution has been out for quite some time now, so what's my view on it?

Originally the Hitman series came from IO Interactive, however this one comes straight from Square Enix -creators of Final Fantasy, Kingdom Hearts, World Ends With You-, don't get me wrong I love Square Enix but making a game of this nature I'll admit it I was a bit skeptical at first, but those soon vanished as I began.

Rewarding players with patience and strategic thinking, Hitman is very satisfying as waiting for the perfect opportunity never felt so good when it finally comes up. Rewarding you for experimenting with your surroundings and good old trial and error this game gives you plenty of chances to take out your targets, some involve making it seem like a freak accident, natural death to just plain assassinate them, then hide from assailants, get disguises and so on.

Exploring the vast levels will give you plenty of insights into what method you think would be most appropriate as a befitting death for your target. This game takes alot of time, so if you want fast paced games with quick kills you'd best keep looking. 

Certain aspects have also improved one thing I noticed right away was the fibre wire killing felt much more natural, in Blood Money it was difficult and usual resulted in the person turning round and me being caught, in Absolution that frustration is thankfully gone, it's much easier to do meaning I don't need to keep restarting to get a clean kill, although I prefer to kill only those who need to die.

You no longer chose your weapons for each level, you start the level with the given weapons, if you want others you will have to scout the area for them. 

A cover system is also introduced, in the originals if caught you would have to run left to right, dodging the bullets, now though we can cover, wait for the moment and go for the shot, shooting too has made a change it can now include point shooting where it slows time as you pin point where you want to shoot then carry it out automatically, you don't need to do this however you can manually shoot if you prefer but it's nice to have the option there. The cover system can also work to be stealth like also, stay hidden, wait for a target to pass by then go after them. Instinct mode is added, this will tell you where people are, and where they are going, useful if your in an area where enemies patrol and need to know if one is coming.

That is just a few of the changes but I will not point them all out. 

So what did I think?

Compared to the other Hitman games, this is the best I think, I love the large levels that rewards exploration and concise plans, the various methods of killing are very creative and enjoyable to suss out all of them, for example attaching a live wire to a wire fence is rewarding as a build up of adrenaline surges through you as you sit back and watch your target come ever so closer to their demise, possibility of being caught is another adrenaline fueled experience as sneaking by enemies will have your heart pounding and palms sweating as you pray for them not to turn around and notice you.


+ Immense replay value
+ Huge levels
+ Powerful emotions through playing
+ Can create your own missions
- May get stressful if you are a perfectionist


Monday, 14 January 2013

My Mad Fat Diary Review

With much advertisement and hype "My Mad Fat Diary" is here.

We go back to the nineties to follow sixteen year old Rachael (Rae), who having been released from a psychiatric hospital, -due to mental health issues- attempts to fit back into society despite having to deal with an eccentric mother and having self-image issues, now free she sets off into the world and tries to be socially accepted through the use of drinking, sex, music, giving in to peer pressure and other normal teenager rituals.

So what was the opening episode like?

In a nutshell.
It starts with Rae talking with her counseller about her life since she left the institute and then follows what was done in the past few days since, she describes and introduces points with her inner voice that she dares not to voice out into the open but has expressed those thoughts detailed in her diary, it starts rough as her mom is late to pick her up, has gotten an illegal-immigrant boyfriend while she was being medicated, not being able to sleep due to their loud sex, hanging out with her friends and going to their pool party afraid to be wearing a bikini but realizing she is not see as monstrous as she perceives herself to be, it then ends with the aftermath between her and her counseller as he tries to make her see that there is a wide spectrum of what is considered normal by societies standards if you find the right people.

Rae seems like a normal person, in front of her former and new friends the dialogue is very realistic and befitting for Rae as it paints a very vivid picture of her traits, personality and so on, her dialogue is pitched both outspoken and inner monologues to provide a voice over, it is through these voice overs that she provides and when she is alone that we see her as a troubled teenager. One other thing that is usually parallel with the voice overs is that it has moments where the video is paused, and using the voice over child-like images are drawn to illustrate her point more clearly, if you have seen the likes of "Moone Boy" then you will know exactly what I mean.

This show is a good gateway for troubled teenagers who suffer mild mental health issues as it is possible for some viewers to associate themselves with Rae and through the use of serious issues being complemented by humor, this honest drama is very touching and was an enjoyable viewing experience.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

My Favorite Films

Everyone has favorite films, it can be brought on by use of plot, characters, style, colour, the list really is quite endless, below is a small list I have complied on what my favorite films are:

Black Swan (2010)

The story follows Nina, a young ballet dancer who plays both roles in "Swan Lake", Odette the white swan which is very much like herself, and Odile the black swan, which is the person she begins to slowly change into throughout the film.
This film is a real thought-provoker as we come to learn all that can go wrong with each and every one of us.

Clockwork Orange, A (1971)

Set in a dystopian future we follow Alex a young criminal jailed for his crimes, upon hearing of the chance for an early release he opts in for an experimental procedure where his free will is altered and anything that is violent or sexual based will force-ably make him feel ill at ease.
With high violent and sexual scene "A, Clockwork Orange" was a revolutionary film in it's time and has since became a cult classic.

Donnie Darko (2001)

A little bit of a mind trip, okay a huge mind trip, "Donnie Darko" is about a teenager who, after surviving a bizzare accident is introduced to a man wearing a bunny costume known as Frank, who tells Donnie the date and time that the world will end, and it is up to Donnie to figure out what to do.
This film, with a complex storyline, is another cult classic through it's subtle and vague explanations and its use of exploration of the mind.

Evil Dead (1981)

Evil dead is about a group of friends who discover the book of the dead and unleash demons that possess them. Sure the plot is a little basic but this film is a cult classic beloved by all who have seen it, it gave us a new definition of horror through the use of unsettling scenes (tree scene -you know what I'm talking about-)

Hot Fuzz (2007)

The second film in the blood and ice cream trilogy follows Nicholas a police officer who has been relocated to the country side, however the peaceful village it was defined as has a dark secret as people are being murdered and disguised as accidents.
With a cast of dis-functioning characters  and a cleverly written script, "Hot Fuzz" shows us how brilliant British films can be and what potential it has.

Labyrinth (1986)

"Labyrinth" is a family film brought to us by the creator of the "Muppets" the story follows Sarah, a young girl who wished that her step-brother would be taken away by the goblin king, having her wish granted she begs the king to give him back, he agrees under the condition that she solves his labyrinth within a set amount of time.
With memorable music numbers and a creative cast "Labyrinth" surely is one for the ages.

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010)

Based on the hit manga, we follow Scott in his attempt to woo his crush Ramona, but in order to get with her he must defeat her 7 ex's who have teamed up to stop him from being with her.
Taking a retro video game aspect to it "Scott Pilgrim" is a unique film experience that any game lover should watch at least once.

Series of Unfortunate Events., A (2004)

It tried to be the rival of the "Harry Potter" films, however it did not gain enough attention or awareness in order to succeed and as a result it has been often been called a hidden gem. The film follows three orphans who start life anew with their uncle, however he only takes them in so he can claim their fortune for himself, being rumbled the children move and stay with another family member however Count Olaf tracks them down and is persistent in being their legal guardian.

Shaun of the Dead (2004)

The first in the blood and ice cream trilogy, "Shaun of the Dead" tells us the story of an unmotivated man who is stuck in a rut, where upon he finds himself taking leader in his group after the city turns zombie infested, from this he gathers his friends and family and attempts to find a safe haven to stay until help arrives. 
The horror/comedy collaboration works perfectly in this film with many memorable moments and easter eggs, "Shaun of the Dead" has since became a modern classic.

Spirited Away (2001)

Spirited Away is like a fairy-tail gone horrible wrong, a young girl through terrible circumstances is forced to work for a witch at a bath house for the Gods and spirits, it is here where she meets interesting and eccentric people through which she befriends as they help her towards going back home. 
This animation is really one for all ages as it is touching as it is visually beautiful.

Suspiria (1977)

When it comes to horror films most of them use low lighting and dark tones, "Suspiria" however goes against this, full of light and colour this Italian horror flick tells the story of Suzy Banyon an American ballet being transferred to a new ballet school located in Germany upon arriving bizarre incidents and deaths begin to occur, leading her to believe that something else is at work within the school.