GregHorrorShow Game Awards 2011

Well I’ve been saying this every Christmas for the past few years but I honestly don’t think there has ever been a better time to be a gamer.

Once again we’ve been spoilt with a wealth of fantastic titles both in terms of first party content and third party.

As well as the big triple A exclusives, the level and standard of DLC and downloadable games has risen – giving gamers even more reason to keep playing older games, or to take a punt on a new downloadable title.

So without further ado – let’s kick things off!

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BEST GAME INNOVATION

WINNER: L.A. Noire – ‘Facial Capture’

I have to say it was pretty tough to pick between these as in their own way they could help move the industry forward. FIFA’s real time physics, while occasionally leading to comedy ‘bundles’, does add another dimension of realism to the game. Fight Night Champion gave us a great, enjoyable story mode *in a sports game*! ‘Operations’ Mode from Killzone 3 brings a touch of co-op style story to main multiplayer (shame there was only a few of them available) but looking back the innovation that stands out as something truly special was Team Bondi’s superb work at facial capture in L.A Noire. Just think, one day maybe faces in all games will look this good.

RUNNERS UP:

‘Operations’ Mode (Killzone 3)

‘Champion Mode’ (Fight Night Champion)

‘Real Physics Engine’ (FIFA 12)

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BEST DLC (CONTENT)

WINNER: Killzone 3 – From The Ashes Map Pack

While the L.A Noire and Mass Effect 2 DLC gave us more content I felt that the job Guerrilla Games did on revisiting the Killzone 2 maps for the third game was outstanding. The maps were recognisable but for the most part completely different – whether it was the crumbling Radec Academy or the overgrown Blood Gracht. Great stuff.

RUNNERS UP:

Mass Effect 2 – Arrival DLC

L.A Noire – Extra Cases

Battlefield 3: Back To Karkand

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BEST DOWNLOADABLE GAME

WINNER: Infamous: Festival Of Blood

Sucker Punch delivered an inspired slice of downloadable goodness with Infamous: Festival Of Blood – a completely stand alone game that requires no knowledge of the Infamous games or indeed no copy of Infamous 2 to play. Infamous’ hero/anti-hero Cole McGrath has been turned into a vampire by Bloody Mary and has until sunrise to save himself. While the main story is pretty short there is enough here to keep you well entertained, especially at the price. Sadly Payday: The Heist was a bit of a disappointment, which may have had more to do with a badly timed delay that meant it’s release slipped even closer to Battlefield 3 and Modern Warfare 3. However if you get the chance definitely check out Stacking, which is a wonderfully charming puzzle game.

RUNNERS UP:

Back To The Future – The Game: Part 1

Payday: The Heist

Stacking

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MOST ANTICIPATED GAME OF 2012

WINNER: Mass Effect 3

This was between Mass Effect 3 and Bioshock Infinite – it was a very close call. While I love the Bioshock games the attachment that formed for my own Shepherd in Mass Effect 2 means that I can’t wait to see her get back into action. Hopefully she’ll be able to avenge those from our team that didn’t make it 😦 as the Reaper’s turn their attention to Earth.

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BEST GAME TRAILER

WINNER: Dead Island

There couldn’t really be a different winner could there? 😆 This trailer came out of nowhere and had one of the biggest, and quickest, en masse responses I’ve ever seen. It’s cleverly made and pulls at the heart strings, while also boasting an amazing piano piece to accompany it. Sadly it didn’t *really* represent the game because from what I’ve seen (I’m yet to pick it up) there isn’t much of an emotional aspect to Dead Island. Nevertheless, one of the best trailers for a while.

RUNNERS UP:

Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception

Assassin’s Creed: Revelations

GTA V

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BEST PSP GAME

WINNER: The 3rd Birthday

There hasn’t been a wealth of new games for the PSP (the fact that one of the nominees was a Mini title says it all) but there was one title in particular that stood out. While The 3rd Birthday is heavily Japanese influenced (crazy story/really hard etc) it’s not too inaccessible and the gunplay itself is very nicely handled. Despite all this I do have say I’m looking forward to the arrival of the dual analogue sticks on the PS Vita!

RUNNERS UP:

Speedball 2 (Mini)

PES 2011

Football Manager 2012

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BEST SPORTS GAME

WINNER: FIFA 12

FIFA takes the title again and this year justifies it more than ever. With a revamped physics engine that means collisions take place in real-time (as opposed to triggering standard animations) and a bold overhaul of the tackling mechanic, EA have taken football games to the next level. Dirt 3 ran this close as it’s a superb game and PES 2012 deserves a mention as it’s a big improvement on last year’s title but FIFA wins this one.

RUNNERS UP:

PES 2012

Dirt 3

Fight Night Champion

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BEST GRAPHICS

WINNER: Battlefield 3

While you’d think (looking at Battlefield’s gorgeous single player and (to a lesser extent) multiplayer) that this would be an easy decision, take a peek at the Runners Up in this category. Killzone 3, Dead Space 2 and Uncharted 3 have some of the best graphics I’ve seen. And that’s not to mention countless others (Batman: Arkham City/Portal 2/L.A. Noire/Resistance 3 and Assassin’s Creed: Revelations to name… well, quite a few actually) that looked great but didn’t make the nominations. However when all is said and done Battlefield 3 impressed me the most. At one stage I found myself ignoring my objective to watch the rain fall on the neon bathed rooftop I was standing on – simply awe inspiring.

RUNNERS UP:

Killzone 3

Dead Space 2

Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception

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BEST STORYLINE

WINNER: Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception

Whereas Uncharted 2: Among Thieves focused mainly on Drake’s relationship with Elena and Chloe, the third instalment in the series shines the spotlight on his bond with Victor ‘Sully’ Sullivan. That’s a plus for me as Sully is probably my favourite character in the game’s universe. In amongst this Drake is, once more, jet setting around the world trying to beat a villianous opponent to the (archeological) punch. With a story packed full of great characters Uncharted 3 continues the high standard of story telling set by the previous titles and I found myself with goosebumps at it’s conclusion.

RUNNERS UP:

Deus Ex: Human Revolution

Killzone 3

Infamous 2

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BEST SOUNDTRACK (SCORE)

WINNER: Killzone 3 – Joris De Man

Joris De Man once again works his magic following the superb Killzone 2 score. Where the second game had the grand scale that accompanied the ISA’s invasion of Helghast, this score – with it’s lamenting strings and intense highs & lows – gives you a feel for the game’s theme of retreat/surrender. Revisiting a couple of pieces from the last game with a different twist is a great touch and really adds to the depth of the music. Special mention to both Uncharted 3 (Greg Edmonson) and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Jeremy Soule) which were both also amazing scores.

RUNNERS UP:

SOCOM 4

Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

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BEST SOUNDTRACK (LICENSED)

WINNER: L.A Noire

While FIFA 12 delivered it’s usual mix of current flavour tracks, Dirt 3 hit some high points with a few great choices and LittleBigPlanet 2 was close to taking this award with it’s whimsical selection, it was Team Bondi’s ill fated (for them unfortunately, they no longer exist – despite the game being a roaring success) Noir project that snags the award. Featuring the awesome talents of legends like Billie Holiday, Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Armstrong and Peggy Lee you were never short of great music to accompany you as you travelled around L.A in the shoes of Cole Phelps.

RUNNERS UP:

Dirt3

LittleBigPlanet 2

FIFA 12

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BEST VOICE ACTING

WINNER: Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception

There just isn’t another series out there like Uncharted when it comes to voice acting. The guys and girls at Naughty Dog do a fantasic job of bringing the best out of the actors involved and as the series has gone on the actors have become more and more comfortable ad libbing and bouncing ideas off of each other. It shows in some of the wonderful moments the characters share. Everyone involved deserves a pat on the back for another job well done – hopefully going forward more and more games will try and bring more characters to life rather than just getting someone to come in a booth and read lines alone.

RUNNERS UP:

Portal 2

Killzone 3

Batman: Arkham City

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SINGLE PLAYER GAME OF THE YEAR

WINNER: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Mass Effect 2 was nailed on to win this right up until the moment I fired up The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, created a character and set off into the massive world Bethesda have made for you to shape your own story. I don’t think I have ever played a game that feels so organic before. Everything you do feels like a part of the story, indeed there is scope here for you to barely touch the main missions and just create a story of your own to play through. If you’re someone that enjoys single player games and is happy to get lost within a game for hours upon end, this was the title for you in 2011. I also have to give a nod to Resistance 3, which had – in my opinion – the best story of the entire series and seems to have be sadly overlooked by the public at large.

RUNNERS UP:

Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception

Resistance 3

Mass Effect 2

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MULTIPLAYER GAME OF THE YEAR

WINNER: Battlefield 3

As much as I’ve loved the online for Uncharted 3 and Killzone 3 the sheer unpredictability of Battlefield 3 sees it secure the award for best multiplayer. Assassin’s Creed: Revelations deserves praise for managing to refine enough from last year to make a positive difference to the gameplay. However, nothing can touch Battlefield 3 at it’s best. When in a squad with friends… rushing the objective under a hail of debris from multiple explosions… as a fighter jet ploughs into the ground alongside you, the resulting ‘bang’ knocking the sound from the game as bullets come from all directions… as you creep up on an unsuspecting opponent and knife him to steal his dog tags… shooting enemies through walls that would be impervious to bullets on other shooters… the list is endless. It’s been a great year for multiplayer games on the PS3 what with Killzone 3, Uncharted 3, Resistance 3, SOCOM 4 and, for some less serious fun, LittleBigPlanet 2.

RUNNERS UP:

Killzone 3

Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception

Assassin’s Creed: Revelations

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GAME OF THE YEAR

WINNER: Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception

As an overall gaming experience I don’t feel Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception can be touched this year. Despite being runner up for both the single player and mulitplayer awards, the combination of the two sides of Uncharted 3 give it the edge. While Skyrim is outstanding as a single player experience I don’t feel it can compare with the variety of gameplay that Uncharted 3 can provide. Sadly for Battlefield 3 it’s campiagn was a let down and in fact it was Killzone 3 that came closest to Uncharted 3 in my opinion. Guerrilla Games third instalment in the futuristic first person shooter, had a great story and an impressive multiplayer. Uncharted 3’s  stellar campaign that, while similar to second game, provided plenty of new exposition and a few new gameplay surprises alongside a vastly improved and much deeper multiplayer offering means that for me that this is the complete gaming package for 2011.

RUNNERS UP:

Killzone 3

Battlefield 3

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

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So there we go – it’s been a challenge to get through enough of the big titles that arrived in October/November to form an opinion but the job was done in the end.

It’s crazy to think of the games that missed out on nominations – Rage, Bulletstorm, Crysis 2, Mortal Kombat, Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and Dragon Age II to name a few. In another year games like Dead Space 2, Batman: Arkham City, Portal 2, Resistance 3 and Infamous 2 would probably have walked away with awards and it’s a testament to the high standard of games this year that they have gone home empty handed.

What are your thoughts? Would be great to hear what your picks for the year were!

Thanks for reading through the year and contributing in the comment sections – it’s always appreciated. See you in 2012! 🙂

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GregHorrorShow TV Awards 2011

We’re closing in on the final few award posts – TV now and then Games to follow shortly.

My biggest disappointment when compiling the TV Awards this year was the lack of great new shows – I only started watching two new programmes in 2011, which is down quite a bit from recent years.

So let’s get going…

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BEST NEW SHOW

WINNER: Bored To Death

Although there haven’t been many new shows ‘Bored To Death’ is one of the better ones to come along in the last few years. A fresh, natural feeling, semi-dark comedy about a struggling writer who becomes a private detective on the side, this is a show full of laughs and awkward moments. With a fantastic supporting cast, including Zach Galifianakis (of The Hangover fame) and Ted Danson, it’s well worth checking out.

RUNNER UP:

Alphas

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BEST COMEDY SHOW

WINNER: The Middle

Well The Middle takes the title of Best Comedy for the second year in a row. Telling the tales of the Heck family in middle America, this is one of those US imports that presses all the right buttons. As I mentioned last year the chemistry between the actors is great and you could easily believe they are a real family. Great stuff. A mention must also go out to Raising Hope, which continues to improve all the time.

RUNNERS UP:

Bored To Death

Raising Hope

How I Met Your Mother

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BEST FACTUAL SHOW

WINNER: Hairy Biker’s ‘Meals On Wheels’

While this programme might not mean much to folks outside of the UK, The Hairy Bikers mission to get our old people some decent, freshly cooked food was a moving and, at times, hilarious show. As they battled on different fronts to things changed for the better, you couldn’t help but wish that they succeed. Very enjoyable and gave a good insight into the issues the older generations can face.

RUNNERS UP:

The Football League Show

An Idiot Abroad 2

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BEST SOUNDTRACK

WINNER: Castle

This was a tough category to choose a winner for and Glee loses it’s title from last year to Castle. Some great use of music with appropriate lyrics relevent to crimes as well as some cool background stuff sees Castle edge it this year.

RUNNERS UP:

The Middle

Raising Hope

Glee

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ACTOR OF THE YEAR

WINNER: Nathan Fillion – ‘Richard Castle’ (Castle)

This is the first year that Philip Glenister of Ashes To Ashes hasn’t been around to scoop the gong but he might’ve been hard pressed to snatch it from Nathan Fillion in 2011. Fillion’s performance as Richard Castle, whether it’s his easy charm or his vulnerable moments, shone through this season. I have to make a special mention to Bored To Death’s Ted Danson though, he really is truly outstanding as stoner magazine editor George Christopher.

RUNNERS UP:

Eric Balfour – ‘Duke Crocker’ (Haven)

Eddie McClintock – ‘Pete Latimer’ (Warehouse 13)

Ted Danson – ‘George Christopher’ (Bored To Death)

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ACTRESS OF THE YEAR

WINNER: Emily Rose – ‘Audrey Parker’ (Haven)

Unfortunately for Haven it started so late in 2010 that I only got a chance to see 3 or 4 episodes before compiling the awards for the year. If we’d seen the entire season Emily Rose (of Uncharted game fame) might have found herself nominated or winning this category then. Not to worry as her performance as Haven’s Audrey Parker is unmatched in 2011. The twist at the end of season 1 saw some brilliant acting and she’s carried it over into the second season as well. Eden Sher deserves a nod for her fantastic portrayal as Sue Heck, her comic timing and expressive mannerisms feel just right for Sue.

RUNNERS UP:

Eden Sher – ‘Sue Heck’ (The Middle)

Joanne Kelly – ‘Myka Bering’ (Warehouse 13)

Stana Katic – ‘Kate Beckett’ (Castle)

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TV SHOW OF THE YEAR

WINNER: Haven

Wow. This was so difficult to call as all of the nominated shows have been fantastic this year. In the end Haven takes the plaudits but it was extremely close. The closest, in fact, it has ever been for these awards. Both Warehouse 13 and Castle were superb but Haven’s supernatural rollercoaster of a ride kept me glued to the screen and wishing I had more episodes stacked up to watch back to back. I’m very happy that new seasons of all of the nominated shows have been confirmed for next year!

RUNNERS UP:

Warehouse 13

Castle

The Middle

So there we go. There were a few shows that I also enjoyed but didn’t make the cut – True Blood and Bones (Season 2) being the most prominent. Those are definitely worth checking out.

As for 2012, well I’m looking forward to more of the same with the addition of The New Girl in January and the return of The Walking Dead as well. Hopefully some more new great shows will pop up or you guys can suggest some stuff I may have missed.

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GregHorrorShow: The Books Of 2011

We move on now to books and I made it through a fair few titles this year – one of which was the biggest book I’ve ever read… More on that later 🙂

As usual these aren’t in order but I’d recommend all of them:

  • ‘Worth Dying For’ – Lee Child
  • ’61 Hours’ – Lee Child
  • ‘Dragon Age: Stolen Throne’ – David Gaider
  • ‘Atlas Shrugged’ – Ayn Rand
  • ‘Killzone Ascendency’ – Sam Bradbury
  • ‘The Fall’ – Chuck Hogan & Guillermo Del Toro
  • ‘Shadow’s Edge’ – Brent Weeks
  • ‘The Girl Who Played With Fire’ – Stieg Larsson
  • ‘An Idiot Abroad’ – Karl Pilkington
  • ‘All Your Base Are Belong To Us’ – Harold Goldberg
The two Jack Reacher novels by Lee Child really moved things up a notch after a couple of good, but not great entries, in the series. ’61 Hours’ was the first part and a real return to form but I felt ‘Worth Dying For’ was superior and one of the best book in the series.

I’m not a massive fan of fantasy style books but I certainly enjoyed the novel based on the Dragon Age game universe by David Gaider, along with the excellent ‘Shadow’s Edge’ by Brent Weeks. Both drew on different areas of the fantasy genre but I thought they were excellent and Brent Weeks does a great job of setting up the reader for the final book in the trilogy.

In terms of factual books I didn’t make it through many but the stand out ones for me were Karl Pilkington’s ‘An Idiot Abroad’ and ‘All Your Base Are Belong To Us’ by Harold Goldberg. The former catalogues Karl’s trips to far flung destinations and the crazy set ups that Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant organize for him. The impact was slightly dulled by having seen the accompanying TV series but it’s worth a read. ‘All Your Base Are Belong To Us’ relays the history of videogames but in a well written, almost anecdotal style. If you’re interested in games there is a lot of great info and interviews on subjects from EA in the 1990’s up to GTA in the 2000’s.

The biggest book I’ve ever read was also among the greatest – ‘Atlas Shrugged’ by Ayn Rand clocked in at well over 1000 pages but I could not stop reading it. Dagny Taggart and all the other characters felt real and alive which is down to Rand’s strong narrative. While I don’t neccessasarily agree with Objectivism in it’s purist form I certainly believe the world could learn a thing or two from this work. I recommend this whole heartedly, it’s the only book I’ve ever read that gave me goosebumps.

After making my way through Ayn Rand‘s masterpiece I felt like reading something a little less classical so plumped for ‘Killzone Ascendency’ by Sam Bradbury, which retells the story of Killzone 3 but fleshes out some parts in terms of what the characters were thinking and a few parts of back story. If you like the game you could do worse than pick this one up.

The second part of the Strain trilogy, ‘The Fall’ by Chuck Hogan & Guillermo Del Toro, arrived midway through the year and once I started it I couldn’t put it down. The story of a vampiric virus is written in such a frantic style that you find yourself reading and reading until you have to stop.

A book that had a slower start was Stieg Larsson’s ‘The Girl Who Played With Fire’, the second title in the Millenium triolgy. Like the first book, things took a while to get going but once the rollercoaster started I didn’t want it to end. While the final few chapters of the book were a little disappointing in terms of some of the choices made, I can’t wait to read the final part soon!

So there we go, a busy year for books – let me know what you’ve all been reading in the comments.

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GregHorrorShow: The Music of 2011

2011 has been a bumper year for music with lots of strong albums and plenty of great tracks.

Here are my recommendations:

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ALBUMS

  • ‘Circuital’ – My Morning Jacket
  • ‘A Creature I Don’t Know’ – Laura Marling
  • ‘Yuck’ – Yuck
  • ‘On A Mission’ – Katy B
  • ‘Welcome Reality’ – Nero
  • ‘Volume 2’ – She and Him
  • ‘A Different Type Of Fix’ – Bombay Bicycle Club

Katy B, who had one of my singles of last year, dropped her album early in the year and what a great one it was. Like taking a trip back to my younger days 🙂 And that trend of old skool 90’s style tunage continued with Nero – although they added a huge dubstep influence as well.

Laura Marling returned again with ‘A Creature I Don’t Know’ which is another wonderful slice of folk. She and Him ‘Volume 2’ arrived last year but I only heard it in the summer so it makes my list (and if you’re feeling festive their Christmas album is great as well).

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TRACKS

  • ‘DJ Ease My Mind’ – Niki And The Dove
  • ‘Goldstar’ – Cashier No.9
  • ‘Old Pine’ – Ben Howard
  • ‘Blue Eyes’ – Ladyhawke
  • ‘Scarlet’ – 2:54
  • ‘Be Your Man’ – Willy Moon
  • ‘Pelican’ – The Maccabees
  • ‘Young Blood’ – Naked And Famous
  • ‘L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N.’ – Noah And The Whale
  • ‘Holdin’ On To Black Metal’ – My Morning Jacket
  • ‘Crush On You’ – Nero
  • ‘Down With The Trumpets’ – Rizzle Kicks

Wow so much awesome stuff to get through – where to start? Well while Ladyhawke is poised to return in 2012 I was lucky enough to hear some new tracks with the stand out for me being ‘Blue Eyes’ – check out this link to see a live performance.

Rizzle Kicks, who were astounding live – definitely check them out, had a smash with ‘Down With The Trumpets’ and Naked and Famous ‘Young Blood’ was everywhere at one stage. Willy Moon looks like one to watch, with his retro, 50’s sound. And check out his dance moves.

In terms of other new bands I’d recommend both Niki and The Dove and Cashier No.9, along with 2:54. My Morning Jacket struck gold in my opinion with ‘Holdin’ Onto Black Metal’ but at the moment I am loving the new Maccabees track ‘Pelican’.

Like last year I’ve put together as many of these tracks as possible on Spotify, so if you have that then head over HERE to have a listen through.

So there we go some tunes for you to check out, as usual throw any recommendations you have my way in the comments.

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GregHorrorShow: The Films Of 2011

So the award/look back season is upon us already!

First up this year is film and in a similar style to 2010 I haven’t really seen a great deal of films. However while the majority of these were on DVD there were some great films in the mix.

So in no particular order here is what I’d recommend from the movies I’ve seen this year:

  • Taken (DVD)
  • Inception (DVD)
  • Expendables (DVD)
  • We Need To Talk About Kevin
  • The Thing (DVD)
  • Cars (DVD)

So pretty far behind the curve on a few of them – especially ‘Cars’, which I really enjoyed. It’s one of those Pixar films that you can watch with your kids and both get it on different levels.

Going back even further was ‘The Thing’, a classic that I’d never seen and it certainly hit the right note – a thoroughly great old skool film with lots of great non-CGI effects. Sure they might look a bit unrealistic at times compared to the super slick stuff we see generated on computer for current day films but for the time they were pretty darn impressive.

Speaking of effects, ‘The Expendables’ was full of spectacular (and real) explosions. While the plot was paper thin this was a massive slice of testosterone that was a great ‘popcorn flick’ as long as you didn’t expect more of it.

The remaining films were the best I saw this year. ‘Inception‘ was a mind bending tour de force which I found thoroughly entertaining, with some great performances – personally I thought Tom Hardy was superb.

Click on the link to read the full review of We Need To Talk about Kevin but it was a film that pulled no punches and I thought Tilda Swinton was amazing. It was nice to see John C Reilly put in a perfomance outside of his ‘Stepbrothers’/’Talledaga Nights’ roles that have become a staple for him.

But the best film I saw was ‘Taken’ – I’d heard it was good but nothing could’ve prepared for me for what is one of the best action films I’ve seen in a long, long time. Liam Neeson shines as the Dad who won’t rest until his daughter is back. Absolutely kick ass 😎

So what did you guys see that was great film-wise? Let me know in the comments so I can get a list of the year’s best to catch up on!

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Modern Warfare 3 – Review (PS3)

Every November I always seem to find myself in the minority of gamers – the guys who play the Call Of Duty titles for the single player campaign.

You often hear the phrase ‘well no-one buys COD for the single player’ bandied about and I am living, breathing proof that it isn’t true.

I enjoyed Black Ops last year and Modern Warfare 2 the year before. I even thought Black Ops online was the most accessible yet.

So having seen the hype train for Modern Warfare 3 roll by, admired it but not climbed aboard – I was looking forward to trying it out.

The campaign wraps up the story of Soap and Price and picks up right where the previous Modern Warfare title left off. You’re still hunting Makarov but this time full scale war has erupted around the world.

The first thing I noticed was, unfortunately, how old the game looked. There is nothing wrong with the graphics, it’s just that I felt like I’d seen everything before. The engine is fairly old and while I appreciate that the implosion of developers Infinity Ward left a bunch of teams to pick up the pieces, Modern Warfare 3 pales in comparison to other recent releases.

Once I got into the game and started playing that issue was soon forgotten. With a snappy auto aim and some satisfying gunplay, Modern Warfare 3 is a game that lays it’s cards on the table and says ‘here you go, shoot guys, explosion, escape, shoot guys, explosion etc.’ This is *not* a bad thing.

As per usual you take in lots of different environments but mixed in with Sierra Leone and exotic locales are major cities: New York, London, Hamburg, Paris. The world is crumbling under the Russian invasion and Makarov is leading you a merry dance across the globe.

The London level was a highlight for me, of course being so familiar but everywhere we went was well detailed and different.

The game still has the same problems as the previous titles (though thankfully nothing as serious as the game breaking issues in Black Ops) in so far as I’d guess almost half the game is spent behind a turret of some kind.

The linear sequence problem (which I mentioned in my Uncharted 3 review) hits again here and to be honest I don’t have an answer for how to fix it… I just know it annoys the hell out of me having to re-do little cut scene type bits over and over.

Online is the same as it ever was, with the main addition being ‘Kill Confirmed’. This is team deathmatch but you have to physically get the dropped dog tags of your enemy to confirm the kill for your team. It’s a nice mechanic but I didn’t feel it added a massive amount to the game.

There is plenty to unlock and rank up, as is the norm for any online experience these days. Modern Warfare 3’s multiplayer will hit the spot for it’s target audience, or for anyone looking for a quick fix of shooting people.

On a personal level it doesn’t suit my style of play. While crouched and making my way slowly along the wall of the building, with a view to scoping out what lies around the corner, I’m usually dead within 5 seconds as someone comes sprinting up behind me and shoots me. I just prefer my shooters a little bit more tactical I guess.

You also have the Spec Op co-op missions where you and a friend take on enemies together online.

The main debate over the last 6 months has been the endless Modern Warfare 3 Vs Battlefield 3 talk and my take on it is as follows.

For the online it’s a matter of choice – the games are completely different so just pick whichever style you prefer and go with it (or if you have the money play both :smile:)

In terms of single player Battlefield 3 looks amazing compared to the recycled Modern Warfare 3 engine but in terms of gameplay and fun I would recommend Modern Warfare 3 every time. I came out of the Battlefield 3 campaign disappointed and came out of the Modern Warfare 3 one with a smile on my face (and no idea what had happened).

I honestly didn’t think that would be the case but of the Call Of Duty campaigns that I have played (Modern Warfare 2 and 3 & Black Ops) this is the best. A testament to the ground work laid by the original Infinity Ward team and the teams that came in to tidy up after them and get the game made.

Rating: 9/10

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