Outcast: 'A Darkness Surrounds Him' Review

Robert Kirkman's latest show gets off to a flawed start.

Confirmed: John Boyega to Star in 'Pacific Rim 2'

Boyega joins the sequel hot off the success of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Box Office: Ninja Turtles 2 Suffers in Anti-Sequel Summer

TMNT 2 is the latest sequel to bring in some disappointing numbers.

Review: Eye in the Sky

Gavin Hood's military drama is an impressive achievement.

Monday, 24 December 2012

Life of Pi Review

Life of Pi is a difficult movie to review. It does have a lot going for it, but at the same time I think that each individual person is going to have a slightly differing opinion of it. I've seen many reviewers saying it made them ponder religion, faith, and the meaning of life. I've seen others saying the film's story is actually shallow, and misguided. My opinion falls somewhere between those two. I enjoyed Life of Pi to a certain extent but I do think it is very flawed.

The story behind Life of Pi revolves around Piscine - or Pi - a young man who's parents own a zoo in his home town in India. When his parents make the decision to leave India to live in Canada they board a freighter with the animals on board to set sail for a new life. Then the ship sinks. This leaves Pi stranded in the middle of the ocean on a small raft with nothing but a tiger named "Richard Parker" to keep him company.
The resulting tale tests Pi's faith, and makes him a stronger person - but I'm sad to say it wasn't quite so extraordinary for me.

First of all, the story is seriously slow. Watching Pi overcome his fears and form a sort of bond with the tiger should be an amazing journey, but it just takes so long to actually start that I admit I was genuinely bored. There's a chunk in the film where literally nothing happens and it really tested me and my will to never walk out on a movie.
When things do pick up the story does get more entertaining, however it seems to become too obsessed with trying to force a message on the audience. Desperately trying to give us something meaningful to think about. Evidently, it succeeded with some people but I just didn't understand what it was trying to say. God is real? Never give up? It just left me kind of confused with what the purpose of the movie was.

But, that's not to say this was a movie with no good points because that's just not true. The story may have dragged on and seemed somewhat anti-climatic but there were enjoyable parts along the way. You did feel for Pi at moments, although if I'm honest I found myself feeling more for Richard Parker himself. The tiger had a lot of character and so seeing him in times of struggle was probably more stressful than seeing a member of my own species in that situation.

This brings me onto the stand-out selling point of Life of Pi - the visuals. Richard Parker is totally CGI, and yet not only is he a totally believable tiger, but also he manages to develop a distinct character and charm which is impressive considering he can't talk or really communicate to humans in any way. It is undeniable that the tiger was a huge achievement for the movie.
But the tiger isn't all that's CGI in this movie, in fact almost everything is. The animals, the ocean, Pi is surrounded by CGI for most of the film and yet somehow it never feels obnoxious or in the way. It's incredibly realistic, and necessary to the story.

When you think of just how much CGI is in the movie, it's even more impressive how good a performance is given by Suraj Sharma who plays shipwrecked Pi. With no humans on-screen to interact, or react off of it really must have been a difficult act to pull off. Somehow though he does it and I expect we'll see more of him in the future.
The rest of the cast also give good performances but none had quite the amount of screen time as Sharma. Irrfan Khan was good portraying a wiser, older Pi who also acts as a narrator of the story. He shares the screen with Rafe Spall who is always reliable for a solid performance, however I have to say I haven't seen him do anything particularly impressive just yet.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Man of Steel Trailer Released

Watch the trailer below!
At last, we have a full trailer for the upcoming Superman reboot, Man of Steel! It certainly looks interesting... in fact, I think I'm going to watch it a few more times before I make my mind up on it!

You can watch the trailer below, and be sure to comment after to tell me what you think of it!

Like us on Facebook or Follow us on Twitter for more updates on this movie!

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Shadows of the Fallen: Super Knight #1 Review

Shadows of the Fallen: Super Knight #1 is the second offering from the newly created web-comic creators at Meddling Media. Now while I liked their first issue, I found it a bit overwhelming. There was so much being covered in such a short time that I wondered if I'd be able to keep up with this series going forward, or if I'd ever be able to truly immerse myself in this new universe? Well, if this issue is anything to go by then my fears are unfounded. Super Knight #1 is an enjoyable read and definitely worth checking out.

Where the last issue was clearly more of a catch-up issue than anything else (these comics are a continuation of two novels), this issue sees a story that was much easier to follow, as well as one that I am genuinely interested in seeing develop.
The story revolves around the titular "Super Knight" AKA Alex Piccirillo, who just so happens to be the brother of last issue's protagonist, Thrasher. But where Thrasher is currently locked up in jail with few positive prospects on the horizon, brother Alex is fighting crime on the streets on his behalf as Super Knight. This opening issue sees SK going up against villain, Crimson Thrasher, who is selling illegal guns that have been stolen straight off the assembly line.

The story isn't the most original you will find in the world of comics, but it certainly was a fun read. It was well paced and well written - although there were a few cheesy pieces of dialogue - and to top it off it looked great too. I said in my review of the first issue that there were places where the art looked odd. Nothing really major, but just a limb out of place every now and then that was hard to miss. This issue though I read start to finish without picking up on anything. Now I'm not saying the art is absolutely flawless, however I would say it's an improvement and still quite impressive for a small web-comic.

However, the story still isn't perfect. While I found the comic easy to follow, it would still be nice to get a deeper insight into some characters featured - mainly the villains. Why is Crimson Thrasher out to get Super Knight so much? Why is he a bad guy in the first place? What motivates him to be a villain as opposed to a hero like SK? These questions aren't necessary to enjoy the story, but it would be nice to have an extra insight into this character.
The same could be said for Crimson Thrasher's partner Jackal who looks like an interesting character, and deserves a proper introduction.

Monday, 26 November 2012

UK Top 10 Games: 26th November 2012

Agent 47, you have failed. Despite a big release this week in the form of Hitman: Absolution, Black Ops II has remained at the top spot for the second week running. This leaves Hitman settling for the No. 2 spot which is still a respectable achievement.

The only other new entry in the Top 10 this week is Lego Lord of the Rings which enters the chart at No. 6. The game will no doubt see a rise in sales mid-December though, when the first film in the upcoming The Hobbit series is released.
While there were only 2 new entries in the Top 10 this week, many others entered the chart outside the Top 10 - more specifically, near the bottom of the chart. Indeed, it was an underwhelming debut for three of this week's new games. The first of which was Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two which entered the chart at No. 34. Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse was right behind it at No. 35 and finally, a surprisingly low debut for Sony-Exclusive Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale which entered the chart at No. 38.

Both Epic Mickey 2 and Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse made it onto our list of predictions of 5 games that wouldn't sell this Christmas. To read the list in full click here!

Here's the Top 10 in full (all formats, all prices):

1. (1) Call of Duty: Black Ops II
2. (-) Hitman: Absolution
3. (3) FIFA 13
4. (4) Assassin's Creed III
5. (2) Halo 4
6. (-) Lego Lord of the Rings
7. (7) Just Dance 4
8. (5) Skylanders Giants
9. (6) Need for Speed: Most Wanted
10. (14) Dishonored

That's all for this week! Be sure to come back next week for more! You can Like us on Facebook or Follow us on Twitter to keep updated!

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Shadows of the Fallen: Thrasher #1 Review

Comics are expensive, there's no denying it. It may well be the reason why the industry has had to pull such drastic moves in order to gain customers over the last couple of years - in these tough economical times most people don't have time for comics and the people who do can't afford them.

That's where web comics come in.
Tough times are headed in this new web-comic...
I haven't been a huge follower of web comics over the years, with the only one I've read being the great, but very brief chapters of The Escapist. But after being requested to read this new series from new, independent developer Meddling Media, I thought why not. You can't beat free comics after all.

Shadows of the Fallen: Thrasher #1 is the first comic from Meddling Media and the first part in what seems like a huge story that looks to be taking place in many different MM series'. Now I'll be honest, at first I didn't really know what to make of Thrasher #1. After my first read-through I still wasn't sure I had a good idea of who the key players were or what was happening. Then however, I read through a second time, and began to realise just how much potential this story has.

The story revolves around Tony Piccirillo who wrote a book that became hugely successful, but at the same time got him involved in some dangerous conspiracies. After he prevented his research into alien biotech being stolen by a shady government group he got on the radar of the CIA and began carrying out missions for them.

Now I won't go into any more detail on the plot - partly because that would go into spoiler territory, and partly because I'm still not sure how much I understand it myself. Don't get me wrong, after multiple re-reads I do have an idea of what's going on now, but there are still some blank spots for me. Some of the characters are mentioned but given no background, some presumably huge moments in the story are brushed over in a panel. This doesn't in anyway make the book bad, it just meant that for me, it took a while to get my head round it. 

Part of this is undoubtedly because this comic is a continuation of not one, but two novels from the founder of MM. The comic does try to recap the events of those books, but there's still no denying that you may understand these events more had you have read those. 

Overall though I feel I'm being too negative about this story. I did mean what I said above - there's a lot of potential here. With many heroes soon to be let out of the gates at MM, along with a seemingly apocalyptic threat on the horizon, I am genuinely looking forward to the next instalment in this series. I would prefer a little more clarity in some plot points, but right now that isn't enough to stop the story from bursting with potential greatness. 
Plus, you have to give the writer some credit for coming up with some original characters, and an original story in a world dominated by the same old superheroes.

Considering that many web-comics often have very low budgets, I think Thrasher's art does admirably. There are many really nice looking scenes, and textures and Thrasher does look pretty cool. However, there are some art issues in some places with a couple of panels showing limbs that look a little misplaced. That aside though, I do think the art does a good job at trying to recreate the blockbuster look often seen in modern Marvel and DC comics.

Monday, 19 November 2012

US Box Office Top 10: 19th November 2012

Twilight has returned and as expected has taken the No. 1 spot with a whopping $141 million raked in! Critical reaction is as mixed as it always has been on the final instalment but once again the franchise proves that it will take a lot more than bad reviews to stop this juggernaut. It knocks last week's No. 1 - Skyfall - down one place to No. 2. Click here to read our review of Skyfall!

The only other new entry this week is Steven Spielberg's presidential biopic, Lincoln, which debuts at No. 3 with over $20 million made.

Here's the Top 10 in full:

1. (-) The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2 - $141 million
2. (1) Skyfall - $41.5 million
3. (-) Lincoln - $21 million
4. (2) Wreck-It Ralph - $18.3 million
5. (3) Flight - $8.62 million
6. (4) Argo - $4.07 million
7. (5) Taken 2 - $2.1 million
8. (8) Pitch Perfect - $1.26 million
9. (9) Here Comes the Boom - $1.2 million
10. (10) Hotel Transylvania - $900,000

That's all for this week, come back next week for more!

UK Top 10 Games: 19th November 2012

Call of Duty at No. 1? What a mad world we live in! The latest game in the insanely successful "COD" franchise - Black Ops II - storms in at No. 1 with the biggest game launch of the year and the 4th biggest of all time! The game knocks last week's top game - Halo 4 - down one place to No. 2.

But Black Ops II wasn't the only release this week. This week's other new entries start with The Sims 3: Seasons which debuts at No. 9.

Meanwhile Call of Duty's handheld counterpart, Black Ops II: Declassified on the Playstation Vita makes a surprisingly good debut at No. 16 - making it the second biggest Vita game of the year. Unfortunately for Vita owners the game has actually received very poor reviews, meaning it may not be the system seller that fans and Sony hoped it would be.

This week also saw the first of Sony's "Wonderbooks" for Playstation Move. The first one takes place in the wizarding world of Harry Potter and is titled Book of Spells. It enters the chart at No. 25.
Codemaster's F1 Race Stars is right below at No. 26. It was another game that received disappointing reviews, with many saying the superior kart racer was in fact, Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed. Sadly for that game the good word failed to spread as it makes a disappointing debut at No. 27.

Coincidentally, it was one of the games that featured on our "5 games that won't sell this Christmas" list. To view the full feature click here!

Here's the full Top 10 (All Formats, All Prices):

1. (-) Call of Duty: Black Ops II
2. (1) Halo 4
3. (3) FIFA 13
4. (2) Assassin's Creed III
5. (6) Skylanders Giants
6. (4) Need for Speed: Most Wanted
7. (9) Just Dance 4
8. (8) Borderlands 2
9. (-) The Sims 3: Seasons
10. (5) Football Manager 2013

Come back next week for more Top 10 news!

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Shrek: The Musical Review

Shrek is one of the most successful animated franchises to come out of the last decade, and so of course the logical next step was to turn it into a musical, right? The result is a fun show that manages to be more enjoyable than the last two movies, but still not something that you have to rush out and see. 

One thing that is disappointing about Shrek: The Musical is that essentially its a retelling of the first movie. Now there are some things that give it originality such as the songs themselves which were all written for the show, and some completely original scenes which give an extra insight into the main characters, particularly Lord Farquaad and Shrek himself. But this doesn't change the fact that - assuming you've seen the first Shrek film (which you probably have if your thinking of going to the musical) - you know exactly how everything's going to have gone when the curtain drops.

But let's not be too negative. As I said before there are things that give this show originality, most obvious of which is the fact that it's a musical! The songs vary from OK to great but they're all easy to listen to, with some catchier than others and most filled with funny moments as well. And it's worth saying that, like the early films, there are jokes in this musical for both adults and children which was a relief. The writers knew that adults would be coming to the show with their children and so catered for them too which was a smart move. But then again, moving back to my first point there are some chunks of script that are quite literally lifted straight out of the first movie, which I wasn't expecting to see.

But overall, this doesn't stop the show from being entertaining. The cast were enthusiastic and full of singing talent, and I suppose if your going to recycle a plot it may as well be from one of the most-loved animated films of the last few years! It just seemed like a missed opportunity to tell a truly original tale in the Shrek universe.

Now, I didn't want to talk about the cast too much in this review as in a stage show roles can often switch or be filled in by other talent, but I feel I should say something as the lead cast of Shrek: The Musical really did give great performances. As I said before, the cast were all very enthusiastic putting all their effort into giving the best performances possible. All four of the main cast (Shrek, Fiona, Donkey, Farquaad) sang well and had a great chemistry with each other on stage. I felt that some of the supporting roles didn't hold up quite as well, with both Pinocchio and the Gingerbread Man not singing so much as squeaking their words out -- I know this is a trait for their characters but it still affected how good or even understandable their performances could be.

One member of the cast who really should be applauded though is a certain loveable dragon, portrayed with a magnificent puppet on stage that is handled brilliantly. Yes, you can see the men/women in black skin tight suits pulling the dragon around, but somehow the puppet was still very believable. It really is one of the big triumphs Shrek: The Musical has in bringing the magic of the movies to the stage.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Skyfall Review

Skyfall is the 23rd Bond film, and the third starring Daniel Craig in the lead role. Now where many felt that last film in the series, Quantum of Solace, was a misstep - I'm pleased to say that this movie is a real return to form, and a must-see this Winter!

I'm not going to lie to you - this was my first Bond film. Over the years I've managed to stay away from the series. I've heard good things, but just never had the chance to see one start to finish. At first I was worried this would be a problem, but thankfully I was mistaken. If your a newcomer to this series as I was, then don't be put off -- there is absolutely nothing stopping you from having a blast with Skyfall. You get acquainted to the characters very quickly, leaving nothing stopping you immersing yourself in the epic story -- and it really is epic.

MI6 and its agents are being targeted by a group led by Raoul Silva (played by Javier Bardem). The identities of said agents are being spilled out onto the Internet, which is leading to their assassinations. This was the last thing that a suffering M (Judi Dench) - who was already being pressured into retirement by new guy, Gareth Mallory (Ralph Fiennes) - needed. What doesn't help the grim situation that MI6 face is that at the beginning of the movie, Bond is "killed." This isn't a spoiler, as it tells you that in the trailer, but it does leave 007 feeling a little rusty upon return.

The plot is very, very well done. It gives us a deep insight into Bond's character - even giving us a glimpse into his humble beginnings as an orphan living in Scotland - while also piling on some awesome action sequences that will leave both long-term fans and newcomers on the edge of their seat. This is a spoiler-free review, but I have to mention the ending and the final action sequence which really was breathtaking and beautifully done.

I did have some worries at the beginning of the film, as it does take its time before giving you a proper idea of what's going on. This can end up really hindering a movie if the audience is given no idea until the end. Thankfully, though Skyfall did end up feeding the audience just enough information to keep you excited, while at the same time not revealing too much leaving my fears unfounded.

The story really is fantastic, and so it seems appropriate that the cast would be filled with such fantastic actors as well. Daniel Craig makes his return as the more rugged Bond fans have come to know over the last few years and doesn't disappoint. Craig has the talent to not only provide some great acting in the more close-up moments of a scene, while also holding his own in the action sequences proving that after 6 years he still has more than enough energy to play Britain's most dangerous spy.

Ralph Fiennes also makes a great debut to the franchise as the aforementioned Gareth Mallory. Alongside other newcomer Eve, who really is the Bond girl that people should be interested in this time round - and one I'm sure we'll be seeing a lot more of.
Finally, Ben Whishaw came in to fill the role of series favourite, Q. Unfortunately, I have nothing to compare to having not seen the previous Q, but I don't think long-term fans have anything to worry about. Whishaw gives a strong performance, setting up Q as a likeable character and one I'd definitely want to see back for the next movie. The way Craig and Whishaw play off each other (mainly regarding Q's age) offers up some funny moments as well, which is appreciated when things are looking so bleak for Bond and MI6.

But in my opinion it was Judi Dench and Javier Bardem that really stole the show.
Dench gives a powerful performance in a film that focuses around as much time on her as it does the titular character. This being the first Bond film I've seen, I wasn't expecting to be able to invest so much in a character so quickly, but Dench's M is just impossible not to love played with a charm that deserves applauding. This is shown particularly in her scenes with Bond himself. The two have a mother-son chemistry on-screen which just comes across so genuine and believable.

Meanwhile, Bardem gives a borderline disturbing performance. Playing a character who has obviously lost his mind and yet at some moments almost has a point, a valid reason for his actions. I won't say any more at risk of giving too much away, but he is one of the best, most interesting antagonists I've seen in a film for a very long time.


What did you think of Skyfall? Comment below! What did you think of our new review layout? Let us know and any comments we'll try to take on board!

UK Top 10 Games: 13th November 2012

Much to everyone's surprise, that little game known as Halo 4 managed to storm in at No. 1 this week! It knocks last week's number one - the equally big Assassin's Creed III - down one place to No. 2.

Elsewhere in the Top 10, Borderlands 2 sees a large increase in sales shooting 11 places from No. 19 to No. 8. Meanwhile, it seems as if some bad word of mouth may be spreading as Medal of Honor: Warfighter - previously one of the most-hyped shooters of the year - drops another 4 places this week to No. 10. The game was released to mixed/negative reviews just a few weeks ago.

It seems that few publishers dared to release their games on the same week as Microsoft's giant franchise, meaning there's only one other new entry in this week's chart, which just so happens to be from one of rival company Sony's biggest franchises. LittleBigPlanet Karting received mixed reviews upon release, and it's these reviews along with a general lack of hype that may have caused its underwhelming debut at No. 24.

Here's the Top 10 in full:

1. (-) Halo 4
2. (1) Assassin's Creed III
3. (2) FIFA 13
4. (5) Need For Speed: Most Wanted
5. (4) Football Manager 2013
6. (8) Skylanders Giants
7. (3) WWE' 13
8. (19) Borderlands 2
9. (9) Just Dance 4
10. (6) Medal of Honor: Warfighter

Come back next week for more Top 10 news! You can like us on Facebook or Follow us on Twitter using the buttons to the right of the page to keep updated. For now though, here's a trailer for this week's new No. 1 - Halo 4:

Thursday, 1 November 2012

5 Games that won't sell this Christmas

This time last year, I wrote a feature predicting what games I thought would get lost in the Christmas crowds. There are games released at this time of year which have success guaranteed: Call of Duty, Halo, Assassin's Creed. But then there are the lesser known games that are either good, but lose out on sales due to not being an established brand, or just plain fail to drum up much pre-release anticipation.

Sonic is just one of the heavy hitters on this year's list!
This year I found it a lot harder to make a list, and so I've chosen only 5 games that I think are destined to fail (as opposed to last year's 13). 
Without further delay, let's jump into this year's picks!

Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two

The original Epic Mickey was a much hyped Wii-Exclusive that came out in 2010. Pre-release people were excited about this new take on the famous mouse, with some interesting gameplay mechanics and impressive graphics 'for a Wii game.' This anticipation resulted in disappointment for many fans as, while Epic Mickey wasn't a bad game, it ended up getting mixed reviews.
The game also ended up selling less than expected so the fact that a sequel was announced was surprising for me. But here we are just weeks from release.

So why won't it sell? It has a number at the end of the title, surely that means it will be a success, right? Well, in this case, I think no. At the end of the day it is a sequel, but not to a significantly popular game. Plus, I still don't really know who it's trying to appeal to: Kids? Adults? Both? Kids like Mickey Mouse, sure. But I'm not sure if they're a fan of him in this setting. Plus, the kids game of choice right now seems to be (to my surprise) Skylanders.
So that leaves Adults, but I don't know many who have this at the top of their hyped games list. With a lot of quality titles coming out this year I think this one is really going to struggle to compete in the crowd. The only factor to keep this game from failure is the fact that unlike the original it is multi-platform.

UK Chart Prediction: A peak in the mid-20s, before the game leaves the Top 40 completely.
Sales Predictions: Around 500K max.

Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse

This is a weird one. The game based on the popular Fox-animation was announced early this year, before completely fading away. Then BAM! A release date of November 23rd was announced. But strangely, we still have seen hardly any gameplay from this game bar a couple of screenshots. That's never a good sign.
So if it isn't enough that this game seems to be heading to critical disaster, there's also the bigger problem that does anyone really want a Family Guy videogame?

No Trailer for this one...
This game will release and just exist. I'm sure it will shift a few copies if just because it has the Family Guy name on it, but it won't be a big seller for sure.

UK Chart Prediction: A peak in the early-30s, if that.
Sales Predictions: Around 250K

Marvel Avengers: Battle For Earth

Marvel's The Avengers came out this year to huge commercial success ($1.5 billion to be precise) and some great reviews as well. TEN ourselves gave the movie a perfect 10, being everything comic fans had hoped for while also being  a lot of fun by those who haven't followed these characters before.
Now I'm sure had a tie-in game been released at the same time as the movie it would have done fairly well sales-wise at least. But not only is this game being released at a time when the awesomeness of the film may have worn off for some, but also it is being released for Kinect and Wii U only. WTF?

The game is a fighting game (loosely) based on the Secret Invasion storyline that happened in comics a few years ago. A game where superhero's beat each other up - sounds pretty cool, right? Well, the fact that the game is being released on Kinect should be a warning sign straight away. The sensor's list of releases features very few actually good games, as it has been proven time and time again that it just isn't accurate enough to truly make players a part of the game. Now it's hard to say how the Wii U version will fair as that hardware is still very new, but I don't have high hopes.

But the really sad thing is that even if this game gets great reviews, the truth is that nearly no one is still using their Kinect, and the people buying a Wii U at launch aren't going to reach for this game first.

UK Chart Prediction: Perhaps an appearance in the late 30s before dropping out for good.
Sales Predictions: Around 200K

Sonic and All-Stars Racing Transformed

Now while Sonic is still a force to be reckoned with to be sure, many of the so-called "All-Stars" in this game have been out of use for years and so, while remaining fan-favourites, very few of the current generation are going to know who they are. That may not be a huge problem if you just want a good racing game and don't care about characters. But then why not just play Mario Kart?

Comparisons to Nintendo's hugely popular racing series are unavoidable, but also mean that this game is going to have to be really good in order to justify existing - and while it might be kind of fun, I'm not sure if it's going to manage it. This game will come out and it will probably sell a few copies. After all, 2010s Sonic and Sega All-Stars Racing did OK. But ultimately, I think when this game hits shelves, a huge "Meh." will be heard across the land, as people walk by the game and think, "Maybe I'll get it pre-owned one day."

UK Chart Prediction: Will probably peak at about 18/19
Sales Predictions: 600K max.


Let me make this really clear. I am not saying that the Wii U will be a complete failure. I am not saying that it will never sell. However, what I am predicting is that the launch isn't going to go very well.

The Wii U wasn't unveiled well. People left E3 2011 not knowing exactly whether it was a new controller for the Wii or a new console. Of course, since then all those issues have been cleared up, right? Well yes, for gamers and people who follow new console releases. But ask a member of the general public, perhaps a "casual" gamer who picked up a Wii to get fit, what a Wii U is and they might struggle to tell you. Nintendo has left it very late to enforce their advertising on those who don't know what a Wii U is, and the people who do know what it is are very much split down the middle.

Many fans are left doubting Nintendo for the first time in a while. Some fans think the console is doomed already. Some are simply waiting out to see how the first few months on sale go.
That being said, some fans had their pre-order booked a long time ago.

But generally, I think I can fairly say that many people are cautious about placing their hard-earned cash down for a Wii U, with a launch line-up failing to impress many with games that were available on other consoles months ago, and other new games that haven't quite got the blood pumping of those still sitting on the fence.

As I said before, I'm not saying the Wii U will fail. Although I have a bad feeling that the launch isn't going to be pretty.

So that's my list for 2012. Be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to be kept up to date on more of our features, as well as the latest news, and reviews. Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Star Wars: Episode 7 Announced for 2015 Release

HUGE news today as Disney buys Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion, and announces the long awaited Star Wars: Episode 7! No Roman Numerals, but I'll go with it for now. The move will see Lucasfilm's current co-chair, Kathleen Kennedy, become Lucasfilm's president.

George Lucas himself released a comment following the news saying:

"For the past 35 years, one of my greatest pleasures has been to see Star Wars passed from one generation to the next. It's now time for me to pass Star Wars on to a new generation of filmmakers. I've always believed that Star Wars could live beyond me, and I thought it was important to set up the transition during my lifetime. I'm confident that with Lucasfilm under the leadership of Kathleen Kennedy, and having a new home within the Disney organization, Star Wars will certainly live on and flourish for many generations to come. Disney's reach and experience give Lucasfilm the opportunity to blaze new trails in film, television, interactive media, theme parks, live entertainment, and consumer products."

Arguably the biggest news was that the aforementioned "Star Wars: Episode 7" was announced, and targeted for a 2015 release. A move that will most likely split Star Wars fans down the middle, with some having been looking forward to this moment for some time, and some still having bad memories of The Phantom Menace. No details were given on whether the movie will be a continuation of Luke, Han and Leia's story or feature a whole new line-up of characters.
But that wasn't the only news. Disney also announced that other feature films were also being planned "to continue the Star Wars saga and grow the franchise well into the future".

Will Episode 7 bring a new generation of Skywalkers?
This move could also finally get that Star Wars TV series, Star Wars: Underworld off the ground. The show that was announced earlier this year is to focus on the criminals and the gangs of the Star Wars universe.
But the biggest question really is, with Disney now the owners of Star Wars, and Marvel - How long until The Avengers cross paths with the Jedi Council?

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Sunday, 21 October 2012

Sinister Video Review

Don't make the mistake of watching those creepy murder tapes in your attic! Instead watch our review of Sinister!

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Sinister Review

Halloween is fast approaching and so traditionally there's going to be quite a few horror films in cinemas. Sinister is one of the first of this year's bunch, but if they all turn out this good then we're going to be in for a treat this year.

Sinister revolves around true crime novelist Ellison Oswalt (played by Ethan Hawke) and his family as they move into a house that was once home to a family who were all gruesomely murdered - except for the young daughter of the family who's body was never found. The idea behind the move is so that the struggling author can write a new book based on the events, to propel him back to the top again.
But soon Hawke realises that this wasn't a normal murder, and after finding a box of old "Super 8" tapes in the attic he sees several more murders that he believes are connected somehow.
These films are possibly the scariest part about Sinister - they are so disturbing and uncomfortable to watch, and yet you find yourself unable to look away.

The plot is interesting, and smart and I genuinely enjoyed it. A horror can be terrifying, but if there's no story behind it then it's still doomed to mediocrity. But Sinister offers a disturbing, yet exciting tale that's paced well and full to the brim of scary moments.
My only criticism with the plot would be that towards the end it feels rushed. There was so much tense pacing but then everything comes together and wraps up in the space of around 20 minutes. This isn't a terrible flaw because the ending was brilliant, but I just felt like the big connection between the murders could have been discovered in a better way than it was.

But chances are if you're going to a scary movie at this time in the year, you're going for the scares not the story. Luckily, Sinister has plenty of scares to satisfy you.
I find that sometimes horror movies go for jump scares and not much else, which can be a problem because jump scares only really work once because after, you know what's coming.
While Sinister does have jump scares, a lot of what scared me came from the tense atmosphere that you can feel from start to finish. Not to mention the films antagonist, who is known as Buguul - his face alone is enough to keep you up at night.

Something else that helps Sinister is the cast. While it doesn't feature any huge names, all of the actors on board are talented - even the children. Casting child actors is often difficult, and a bad child actor playing a key role can be a death sentence for a movie. Luckily, Michael Hall D'Addario and Clare Foley are surprisingly good as Trevor and Ashley respectively - the two child leads of the film.
The aforementioned Ethan Hawke also delivers a good performance, especially in scenes with Juliet Rylance, who plays Hawke's wife Tracy in the film.

Sinister is one of the best horrors of the year so far. It has a great cast of characters, and is full of scary moments which are bound to satisfy any horror fan this Halloween. Thankfully, accompanying these scares is an interesting story that will keep your attention until the shocking, albeit somewhat rushed conclusion.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Resident Evil: Retribution Video Review

Because we are a generous folk, we haven't just done a written review, but also a video review of Resident Evil: Retribution! Watch it below!

Monday, 1 October 2012

Hotel Transylvania Beats Looper in the US

This week Adam Sandler's animated comedy, Hotel Transylvania beat out the hyped sci-fi action movie Looper to the US Box Office No. 1 spot, with Looper settling for No. 2.
Sandler's movie made $43 million - double that of Looper - and knocks last week's No. 1, End of Watch, down 2 places to No. 3.

Other new entries this week were musical comedy Pitch Perfect at No. 6, and Won't Back Down at No. 10.
But it seems like Hotel Transylvania and Looper were the two films most wanted to see, as they sit atop the top 10, with significantly higher takings than anything else this week.

Here's the top 10 in full:

1. (-) Hotel Transylvania - $43 million
2. (-) Looper - $21.2 million
3. (1) End of Watch - $8 million
4. (3) Trouble With the Curve - $7.53 million
5. (2) House at the End of the Street - $7.15 million
6. (-) Pitch Perfect - $5.21 million
7. (4) Finding Nemo 3D - $4.1 million
8. (5) Resident Evil: Retribution - $3 million
9. (7) The Master - $2.75 million
10. (-) Won't Back Down - $2.7 million

Come back next for more Box Office news, meanwhile here's a trailer for this week's new No. 1 - Hotel Transylvania:

FIFA 13 Dominates the UK Top 10

To nobody's surprise, FIFA 13 has shot in at No. 1 in the UK Games Charts, selling more than 1 million copies in its opening week. The sporting sim knocks last week's No. 1 - Borderlands 2 - down one place to No. 2.

But FIFA 13 wasn't the only new release this week. World of Warcraft expansion Mists of Pandaria debuts at No. 4, while Ubisoft's Rocksmith - a Guitar Hero-like game that uses a real guitar - enters at No. 7.
Meanwhile outside the top 10, Dead or Alive 5 comes in at No. 11, and Angry Birds comes to home consoles for the first time in Angry Birds Trilogy on XBOX 360, PS3 and 3DS at No. 16.
Finally, Gran Turismo 5: Academy Edition enters the charts at No. 17.

This week was the first busy week for games in quite some time, suggesting that the Christmas period is now on the horizon. Did you buy any games this week? What games are you looking forward to this Winter? Comment below.

Here's the Top 10 in full:

1. (-) FIFA 13
2. (1) Borderlands 2
3. (2) F1 2012
4. (-) World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria
5. (3) Pro Evolution Soccer 2013
6. (4) Sleeping Dogs
7. (-) Rocksmith
8. (13) The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
9. (5) Lego Batman 2: DC Superheroes
10. (7) New Super Mario Bros. 2

Come back next week for more Top 10 news, meanwhile here's a trailer for this week's new No. 1 - FIFA 13:

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Resident Evil: Retribution Review

The Resident Evil film series has received a hostile reception from critics since its birth in 2002, but personally, I haven't had a huge problem with the series. That being said though, even I found little to love in this fifth instalment - which is by far the weakest of the bunch so far.

Resident Evil: Retribution continues to follow the story of Alice and her quest to destroy the evil Umbrella Corporation, who are responsible for releasing a virus on the planet which turns people into zombies and has turned Earth into an apocalyptic wasteland.
The film opens where the last left off with Umbrella attacking the "Arcadia" ship that was supposedly a safe place for survivors, but was in fact an Umbrella trap.

After enjoying the last film I was looking forward to seeing how this film would continue the story, especially considering Afterlife's cliffhanger ending. Unfortunately, the story is where this film really falls short.
Alice is taken captive in an Umbrella facility and has to fight her way out with help from returning character Luther, Leon S. Kennedy (a character from the games making his live-action debut), and a couple of other people who are just there to get killed.
Meanwhile, Jill Valentine (now brainwashed into working for Umbrella), as well as a team of returning characters including Rain, One, and Carlos (who all have died in previous movies, but have been cloned by Umbrella), are tracking Alice and co. down to eliminate them.

Our Video Review

The story is insultingly simple, and by the time the credits are rolling it feels like it has made little difference to the series as a whole. One thing you could say is that this movie is the one that is most like a videogame out of the whole series - It's basically just one boss fight after another. But while these are fun to watch at first, you start to wonder what the point of this movie really was.

The Resident Evil films have always really been about cool fight scenes, but there has been some story and character-work mixed in as well. Not so here - this film is literally fight scene after fight scene, and while the ending - which is another cliffhanger - does set up a cool premise for the sixth (and possibly final) film, you can't help but think that it shouldn't have taken an hour and a half to get to that point.

It turns out sinister looks are all it takes to survive in this universe...
And if it's not enough that the plot is incredibly basic, it's also filled with glaring plot holes. How the hell did Wesker survive the events of the last film. It's never explained, never even touched upon. Not to mention that  the main characters from the last film (Chris and Clare Redfield, K-Mart) are mentioned once, but never seen in this film. Which begs the question, what happened to them?
It just all seems incredibly strange that writer Paul W.S. Anderson would pass up answering such vital questions.

Something that perhaps makes the weak plot even worse is the acting. Now Milla Jovovich has been the driving force of this series not because her character's the coolest, but also because she's actually a talented actor. She continues that trend here, but unfortunately she's practically alone as it seems like nobody else was even trying.
Boris Kodjoe isn't terrible, but doesn't seem to put in as much effort here as he did in Afterlife. On the other hand Bingbing Li and Johann Urb are just awful as Ada Wong and Leon S. Kennedy respectively. The way they deliver there lines is emotionless, and that's really disappointing as these are two characters who are popular in the Resident Evil games.

But lets try to look at the positive now. The aforementioned fight scenes may get boring when there's little to no story attached, but they still deliver some cool moments. The return of the Axemen was a welcome surprise, and the car chase across Moscow was another exciting piece.

Additionally, this is another film in the series to have some cool visual effects. Whether it's a CGI Umbrella monstrosity or the sight of a famous city being destroyed, there are some impressive scenes in this movie.
The use of 3D - despite being gimmicky - was an entertaining addition to this movie as well. Having knives and bullets fly at the screen isn't the most original use of 3D, but it still offers some fun moments.

Overall then if you like cool fight scenes then there is fun to be had here. Just don't go in expecting much of a story, or even any decent scares. If you liked the previous Resident Evil movies chances are you'll enjoy this one too, but its hard to deny just how many flaws the film has, which together make it a big disappointment.
David Craig is the creator of TEN and is already preparing for the real zombie apocalypse which will have significantly less attractive women. He's new to Twitter so follow him here, to find out where he's hiding the weapons and ammunition.

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Doctor Who: "The Angels Take Manhattan" Review

Aside from the opening episode of this series of Doctor Who, I won't lie - I've been disappointed. "Dinosaurs on a Spaceship" was a little too light-hearted for me. Don't get me wrong, I know Doctor Who isn't meant to be serious, but I just found that one a little too far-fetched.
"A Town Called Mercy" was just plain boring, and "The Power of Three" was promising but had a rushed ending.

However, this episode was awesome.

"The Angels Take Manhattan" is the last adventure for Amy and Rory, and so I was worried that it would be an underwhelming end to their time with the Doctor. I really shouldn't have been. This episode is definitely the strongest of the series so far, and is touching farewell to two of the Doctor's most memorable companions yet.

As the title suggests this episode sees the return of the fan-favourite Weeping Angels. Taking place in Manhattan things start off a cheery affair for the Doctor and co. But within the blink of an eye (get it?), things start going from bad to worse for our time travelling friends.

One thing I haven't enjoyed with previous episodes of the new series (again, excluding the first episode), is that the stories have seemed overly simple. So much so that they struggled to keep my attention. Not so here! In this episode writer Steven Moffat really pulled off a smart, emotional tale which kept me on the edge of my seat for the duration.
I was worried that maybe things were getting a little too complicated at one point, and there are a few little things left unanswered like what happened to the guy collecting the statues? Why was the American guy at the opening of the episode significant? But for the most part Moffat tied everything together in the end - kudos for that.

Of course a great script cannot work without some great actors. The regular cast of Matt Smith, Karen Gillan, and Arthur Darvill fill that space - joined by Alex Kingston reprising her role as River Song.
This talented group continue to have great chemistry, and all deliver great performances from start to finish. I'm trying not to spoil the ending if you have not yet seen this episode, but I have to say that they all really did do well at the ending which turned into quite a tear-jerker.

So that's all for Doctor Who until Christmas! Thankfully it went out with a bang. I started this review telling you how disappointed I was with the current series of Who. But I'm finishing saying that this episode alone has got me excited for the rest of the series this Winter. "The Angels Take Manhattan" is a fantastic episode, not only the best of this series, but also one of the best episodes I've seen in a long time.

It's a worthy end to Amy and Rory's adventures and a must see for any Who-fan.
What did you think of this episode? Let us know by commenting below!
David Craig has loved Doctor Who since a child and definitely did not cry at the end of this episode. He's new to Twitter, so follow him here and show him some love.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Borderlands 2 Shoots Down Sleeping Dogs!

Borderlands 2 has knocked Sleeping Dogs from the UK No. 1 spot, pushing it down to No. 4 - while also becoming the biggest game launch of the year so far. While this prestigious title will likely belong to Black Ops 2 by the end of the year - it's still a big deal.
What's even more impressive is that the original Borderlands peaked at No. 7 when it was released in 2009 - the sequel's launch week has outdone the original 4 to 1.

But Borderlands 2 wasn't the only big release this week. With Summer officially over, game publishers have decided to start releasing games again! Other new entries this week include F1 2012 at No. 2, and Pro Evolution Soccer at No. 3. The football sim has struggled against the rival FIFA series for quite some time now, and while this is a strong debut, it seems likely it will be beaten once again this year.

The final new entry this week was LittleBigPlanet Vita. It's the biggest debut for a non-launch week Vita title yet, and according to all sources it's a great game - so if your Vita's gathering dust then this could be for you.

And if your still on the fence about buying a Vita, then check out our in-depth review here!

Planning on buying any of this week's games? Comment below, and let us know.

Here's the top 10 in full (All Formats, All Prices):

1. (-) Borderlands 2
2. (-) F1 2012
3. (-) Pro Evolution Soccer 2013
4. (1) Sleeping Dogs
5. (3) Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes
6. (-) LittleBigPlanet Vita
7. (4) New Super Mario Bros. 2
8. (2) Tekken Tag Tournament 2
9. (7) Guild Wars 2
10. (10) Max Payne 3

Monday, 10 September 2012

Total Recall (2012) Review

Total Recall is a remake of the 1990 Schwarzenegger film of the same name. Before I get into this review, I want to make it clear that I haven't seen the original movie. If you have, your opinion of this remake may slightly differ from mine - but anyway, here's what I thought:

The first thing I want to say about this movie is that it looks great. It's right up there with The Avengers and Prometheus when it comes to films with awesome visual effects. The creators did a good job creating two futuristic cities and I felt like they'd put effort into making it as detailed as possible.

But, visual effects aside, what's the actual movie like? Well it's a mixed bag.

Beckinsale puts in a good performance here
On one hand you've got a surprisingly good cast. I was worried Colin Farrell wouldn't be able to carry an action movie since the last I saw him in was Daredevil, thankfully, he's fine in this. He may not have the build of the Schwarzenegger but he still manages to pull of some cool stunts here.
Then there's the two ladies in Douglas Quaid's (Farrell's character's) life, played by Kate Beckinsale and Jessica Biel. There both good in their roles, but you can't help but notice just how much more badass Beckinsale's character is in comparison to Biel's.

Then there's the setpieces, and there's a lot of cool action in here. Whether it's gunfights, one-on-one combat or car chases - Total Recall is an exciting ride.

But, it is flawed. Firstly, you can tell that sacrifices were made to get this film it's PG-13 (or 12A for UK readers) rating. It's made pretty clear that "shit" is the rudest word you can say when going for that rating, but the writers seemed to think that saying it a few times in nearly every scene would make up for it. Needless to say it ended up getting a little distracting and near comical.

Then there's the fact that no matter what happens to them, the people in the Total Recall universe don't seem to bleed much at all. It's impressive really. These little things aren't major problems, but they're hard to miss when watching the movie.

Something that is more of a problem however is the story itself. The exposition of who Douglas Quaid is, is handled poorly and I found myself with a lot of questions by the end of the movie.
A bigger problem though may be that the story just isn't particularly compelling. Maybe I'm just a heartless monster, but in my opinion the movie just didn't spend enough time explaining the consequences that the "bad guys'" actions might cause. Because of this I found it hard to immerse myself fully in the story, and by the end I wasn't really rooting for anyone which made it a bit less fun to watch.

But, Total Recall isn't bad. For those of you looking for a fun, sci-fi movie in this time period where not much seems to be coming out - this is probably for you. The story may be a bit weak, but there's enough action to keep things entertaining. This is helped along also by the cast.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

The Punisher #15 Review

There's now just one more month until this superb Punisher series ends, with Frank Castle's story finally ending (for now) with Punisher: War Zone - a 5-issue limited series concluding this series' story.

This issue sees the aftermath of The Punisher and Rachel Cole-Alves assassination mission, with The Exchange's Christian Poulsen looking to avenge the death of his partner. The issue is action-packed, with a particularly chaotic finale.
Although I can't help but think that those final few pages would have had a larger impact had they been easier to follow, because I found myself getting lost. After a couple of re-reads I did manage to get a better idea of the events, but by then things just didn't seem quite as awesome.

But this is a minor complaint. Those last few pages aside, this issue is riveting stuff. Helped along not only by Greg Rucka's great writing, but also Marco Checchetto's flawless art. He was truly born to draw this series, as usual his art is beautiful here.

In the end, The Punisher #15 is another great entry into a series that will be very missed. My issues with the final pages aside, there's not much that Rucka and Checchetto do wrong here. I you've been reading the Punisher up until now, this is an issue you don;t want to miss out on.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

US Box Office Top 10: 21st August 2012

This week, the ultimate action hero team storm in at No. 1 in The Expendables 2. The movie made just under $30 million and knocks last week's No. 1, The Bourne Legacy, down one place to No. 2.

News broke this week that an all-female Expendables movie was being made. Find out who we'd cast in it here!

Other new entries this week are creepy kids film, Paranorman at No. 3 making $14 million. Followed by Whitney Houston's last movie, Sparkle at No. 5, and The Odd Life of Timothy Green at No. 7.

Total Recall re-enters the chart after a week out - the movie doesn't seem to have met expectations.

Here's the Top 10 in full:

1. (-) The Expendables 2 - $28.6 million
2. (1) The Bourne Legacy - $17.1 million
3. (-) Paranorman - $14.1 million
4. (2) The Campaign - $13.1 million
5. (-) Sparkle - $11.6 million
6. (3) The Dark Knight Rises - $11 million
7. (-) The Odd Life of Timothy Green - $10.8 million
8. (4) Hope Springs - $9.11 million
9. (5) Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days - $3.83 million
10. (-) Total Recall - $3.47 million

Be sure to come back next week for more box office news. In the meantime, here's a trailer for this week's new No. 1 - The Expendables 2:

UK Top 10 Games: 21st August 2012

This week Square Enix's Sleeping Dogs swooped in at No. 1. The title, once known as True Crime: Hong Kong, became a somewhat unexpected critical success - this and today's strong chart debut may see Sleeping Dogs become a new franchise for Square.

But Sleeping Dogs did have some competition in the form of New Super Mario Bros. 2 for the 3DS. Despite being released on just one platform, the game manages to debut just below Sleeping Dogs at No. 2. These two new entries knock last week's No. 1, London 2012: The Official Video Game down two places to No. 3.

There are no new entries this week, however Lego Harry Potter: Years 5-7 does re-enter the top 10 due to a price cut.

Here's the top 10 in full (All Formats, All Prices):

1. (-) Sleeping Dogs
2. (-) New Super Mario Bros. 2
3. (1) London 2012: The Official Video Game
4. (2) Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes
5. (3) Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games
6. (4) Batman: Arkham City
7. (5) The Amazing Spider-Man
8. (10) Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier
9. (9) Dead Island: GOTY Edition
10. (20) Lego Harry Potter: Years 5-7

That's all for this week, come back next week for more. In the meantime, here's a trailer for this week's new No. 1 - Sleeping Dogs: