Indelacio.co.uk

Rants, Raves And Reviews

Clocker is a puzzle game set in two universes essentially as after receiving a mysterious broken watch to repair a father jumps to save his daughters life further breaking the watch and as a result both knocking himself out of time but also his daughter into a completely separate and phased timestream, and as a result of this puzzles must be solved in order to progress through the game through the manipulation of individuals by simply playing out and rewinding their timestreams causing interactions with the objects and individuals around them being altered by events as they currently stand. Furthermore these events continue to playout after solving the puzzles in the daughters timeframe where time passes as normal in close proximity to her, but passes slower the further away from her it gets in a doppler like effect.

The puzzle element of the game involves rewinding and fast forwarding the individual timestreams of individuals one at a time in order to create an outcome in the world that allows you to traverse to missing pieces of the clock which have been scattered around the world while you are stuck in a dome like structure unable to progress outside of a very narrow part of the city, and through solving these puzzles and collecting all of the pieces you’re able to progress to the next area. There are a number of puzzles in each zone which require solving and whilst your actions may appear limited it’s rather surprising how much of a difference things can make by having certain events playout in a slightly different order or position.

The interactions are said to have some very complex AI mechanics behind them and this is apparent due to the fact that not only must interactions between all of the elements be recognised within the dads timeframe in order to solve the puzzles, but also the effects of time passing in the daughters timestream afterwards as time continues to progress is rather difficult to picture as time continues passing onwards, and characters and events passing by depending on who encounters what and how fast things are travelling is a requirement in order to ensure things progress as you hope they will in her timestream.

There were at the time of my review being recorded only 3 area’s to the game, and there was around 2 hours of gameplay for me from beginning to “end” however this is a single playthrough without fulfilling the true ending which is clearly designed to be returned through and play out other outcomes and investigate thoroughly in order to find the solution for a true ending. On top of this they have also since added additional content to the game since my playthrough so actual playtime may vary especially if you have a more difficult time than me in solving some of the puzzles which is easily possible. The third area however was essentially a prologue and there was little to it at the time of my review, I know they’ve published changelogs showing additional content since so who can confirm how much there is should more content be added again, but saying that playing through different solutions and trying to gain the true ending would add even further gameplay time to the game.

The story and narrative of the game were very fun and entertaining and the puzzles presented a challenge in solving and took more thought than a cursory glance in order to achieve so I would recommend a purchase especially as the mechanics and interactivity between both time universes in order to solve the puzzles provides an interesting and unique problem solving nature you’d struggle to find elsewhere and as a result I think the game is definitely worth purchasing and playing through.

Get clocker for yourself on steam now at https://store.steampowered.com/app/916050

Booksmart is a coming of age comedy movie revolving around the exploits of two American high school girls coming to the end of their final year having dedicated their entire lives to studying and furthering their path forward to their dream careers ahead of them. Whilst the film opens up with some highly caricatured stereotypes from the overtly rich daddy’s boy to the significantly overdramatic gay guys in drama club, and though this might seem a little over the top you will realise later into the movie why certain individuals have been portrayed in these ways for the sake of the unveiling comedy ahead.

The film blossoms once the main character overhears other students slagging her off for dedicating her life to her studies which causes her to attempt to rub it in their faces that she’s going off to yale while they’re going to have terrible futures ahead of them (which lets face it as millennials the struggles are real) However it turns out that not only is one of them also going to yale but they all have bright futures ahead, including the seemingly dimmest who’s been hired by google due to his specialist skills, and causes her to have a breakdown and start asking literally everyone in the school and it turns out everyone has lived a full life of partying but also managed to study so well that they’re also all going to fantastic and renowned colleges and universities as well.

As a result of hearing this the lead character decides to make changes, and whilst the camera angle and cinematography suggest she’s going to become a serial killer and have a psychotic break the movie takes a more comedic turn following previously successful movies such as dude where’s my car, Harold & Kumar as well as even the hangover all of which follow a formulaic structure of a single night of calamity moving from one event to the next as everything doesn’t quite go to plan but leads to the hilarity resulting from the misadventures.

Without spoiling the movie essentially the plot follows the two girls as they attempt to make their way to the graduation party all of the students are posting clips having fun at, determined to live the full experience and have some significant memorable event and having been to a party before graduating to make up for having neglected that part of their lives in favour of their studies and gained nothing extra out of the sacrifice, and whilst they think they’re heading to the big party they end up going from one minor party to another through misunderstandings and people wanting them at their party rather than the main one.

There are plenty of laughs to be had throughout the series of calamities which unfold as well as a few emotional moments towards the end as the jokes build up and escalate as the girls make their disastrous night one to be remembered and cherished, and at the end of the movie you feel that everyone is a more rounded filled out character beyond their caricatures, and I had a good time laughing out loud at several points throughout the movie, and feeling emotional towards some of the events towards the end of the movie even if they were obvious to spot coming and as a result I would recommend going to see the movie if you’re looking to be entertained and have a good laugh. There are some adult jokes and adult natures (well a fair few) but that’s what you have to expect in a coming of age sort of movie right? Either way the comedy vibed well with me and I would recommend going to see it when the movie comes out near you.

Find out more details about booksmart at http://www.booksmart.movie/

Lucius 3 is the final part of the movie inspired horror adventure trilogy where Lucius has to return to his home island to fulfil 7 prophecies in order to open the gateway to hell and potentially bring an end to the world. Featuring an open world layout it’s up to you to explore the world and try to piece together the clues from the scroll in order to enact specific pre-ordained acts of violence against people in order to bring forth the four horsemen of the apocalypse.

Whilst the open world nature adds more freedom to explore the world there are a few issues that result from the way things are done, as whilst some games like the old silent hill games would lock off area’s with finding specific keys prompting you to return to specific area’s this game relies upon activating specific cutscenes and triggers in order to allow access to certain area’s prompting that you’re not allowed to enter yet if you try to go to key area’s too soon. Whilst this prevents solving certain puzzles early it does create issues that mean if you hear one trigger hint and go to a certain area before hitting another specific prompt you’re going to end up stuck pretty early on and presuming you’re locked out of doing a certain action to get into the mayors house, and this lead me to go on a wild adventure lost unable to progress for a long time in my gameplay.

This isn’t the worst thing that could happen however as there are a number of side plots you can pursue along the way if you go off the rails from the main track with special events to eliminate the townspeople in a variety of ways some of which add further nods to horror movies with easter eggs. I tried to avoid this on my playthrough though as there’s a big theme throughout the game where Gabriel is constantly telling you it’s not too late to turn things around and abandon the path of evil, so I was trying to make my playthrough a chaotic good playthrough (with some accidents happening) and embrace the side of light only taking out those who really were evil and deserved it.

Spoilers, it’s hard not to go into a specific part of the game where later on events occur however I feel the spoiler is actually something that will free you up in your gameplay allowing you to go explore further and pursue the alternate elimination plots. Obviously I stated that I was trying to save as many of the townspeople as possible only pursuing those who deserved to be taken out, whilst accidentally flinging someone off a fort and perhaps ending someone’s life trying to open a portal to another dimension. The spoiler is that none of this matters, whilst I did seem to get a bug that jumped one of the prophecies straight into the church confrontation by wearing the white clothes too early (again from a clear hint in game to do so) there’s a scene where everyone in the town have decided they have to take you out in order to stop bad things happening in town.

At that point you’ve got to start literally vaporising everyone as they rush you down and whilst it’s an interesting minigame trying to catch out the people sneaking around the edges you do end up with regrets for deciding not to eliminate other people or pursue and search out those plotlines when you’ve been presented the opportunity. Taking them out would make this scene easier but that’s not the point, it’s the disappointment to miss out on all of the special scenes and sidelines that really hit you as you’re going to get a lot of enjoyment from pursuing those storylines and seeing all of the movie based easter eggs revolving around them.

I focused on following the plotline directly after the initial problems caused by getting sidetracked, though I don’t think there’s much of an issue after the first incident and even after you move on through the chapters of the game you’re going to be fine to explore the island for additional plotlines is going to add a lot more length to the game as well as enjoyment, without effecting the outcome for the end of the game and the ultimate decision over good and evil.

The game took me around 7 hours to get through however you have to account for getting lost in the first act due to events being locked off from activation and then looking over them repeatedly, but balance that with rushing through the rest of the chapters you could get more playtime exploring and looking for all of the additional actions you can do throughout the game and for the price of the game you’re getting a decent horror narrative adventure with some interesting puzzle mechanics. Whilst I feel that some of the progress related boundaries can cause some issues they’re relatively minor and I did get a funny bug where all of the towns people started sinking through the ground into hell perhaps because I took too long or maybe because of finding some drugs in a bag in the game but these are easily overlooked and not majorly gamebreaking.

If you’re looking for a new adventure game and enjoy horror movies this is a pretty good game for you as it’s crammed with references from a number of classics as well as being an enjoyable game. I would recommend giving the game a try.

Get Lucius 3 for yourself on steam now at https://store.steampowered.com/app/513290/Lucius_III

Battle princess Madelyn is a retro inspired action platformer inspired by one of the developers daughters as well as being written by a professional childrens author.  The game itself comes in two game modes and whilst the regular gamer might believe story mode is the preliminary game mode it seems arcade mode is actually something quite different and the designed primary mode.  Where arcade mode comes across 10 worlds of 5 levels each (according to the steam page but seems 2 and a boss), where weapon drops come from the sacks of enemies permanently replacing your main weapon until you find another, whereas the story mode is very different with actually shorter and different world levels all tied together with an exploration factor and unlocks involved which I played through believing this to be the primary mode and arcade simply being a level select of these and not a completely different entity which plays entirely differently.

There has been a huge patch to the game which has made some significant changes to the story mode through a number of issues experienced throughout by players, and at the time of print of this review there are some other issues I will bring up which would really change the quality of life of the game mode as well as one significant bug with fritzy which I will bring up with the aim of these being fixed in a further update and perhaps never being experienced by yourselves should you decide to go ahead and purchase the game.

Gameplay

Levels in the game involve a variety of enemies each with their own unique attack and movement mechanics spawning at various points in waves whilst you take them down with the arsenal of weapons you’ve collected attempting to traverse through the platforming challenges the area’s offer trying to find the boss keys and possibly finding secrets and additional powers along the way.

In story mode you have to complete side quests or defeat certain bosses in order to obtain additional weapons and powers like a double jump and whilst the area’s have been changed to be more linear initially and avoid a large number of very difficult challenges at the start there are a few additional balance changes which could be implemented to make progression feel a bit more natural.  For example you find a quest to obtain a hammer for the blacksmith so you can upgrade your weapon and armour however by the time you finally collect this half way through the game you can fully upgrade everything, whereas if you were offered this opportunity earlier in the game and naturally slowly level things up the quality of life and pace of the game would feel far more appropriate, and whilst you have the opportunity to press a button in the menu to unlock everything at the beginning this is cheating and defeats the purpose of the mode, in which case again it feels like arcade mode is the way the game should have perhaps been played and released.

Another major bug in the story mode is that your companion fritzy lacks his powers until you obtain the pogo ability which is if played linearly 80% through the game, and if not at least over 50% of the game and it feels like this should have been unlocked from the very beginning and not tied to the pogo ability (which also grants you a wand weapon and no explanation that you must use down attacks on enemies to bounce of their heads at time of review and I had to ask the developers about how to use the ability thinking it was bugged and I hadn’t been provided the ability)

Some other gameplay bugs have been fixed and as stated earlier the developers do care and are trying to make the story mode as tight as it should be, and whilst they’ve made the earlier levels more approachable they also fixed actual bugs from sidequests which had prevented you from being able to even fight certain bosses.  This shows that the developers are addressing issues with the game mode, so perhaps expect in the future that fritzy’s powers might actually work from the beginning of the game as expected, and if you could unlock some armour levels sooner in the game incrementally it would make quality of life so much better, so whislt there are bugs at the time of review I do expect these to be resolved.

Even with these bugs the game is very playable and enjoyable, in story mode you have a compressed taste of the levels with the challenge of having to find all of the unlocks and keys in order to fight the bosses.  Boss fights are well thought out holding onto that retro feel with learnable boss patterns and a variety of mechanics involved in taking down the bosses as you progress so they all have their own ways of being defeated rather than just dodge and attack where possible often subtleties are involved to get the best patterns to avoid getting defeated in order to progress.

The story mode has an interesting way of subverting expectations as you expect the game to be coming to an end through the building of stitchbot actually you unlock the second half of the game and additional area’s to explore previously inaccessible offering a pleasant surprise with additional gameplay.  (Which also allows you to finally complete some of the earlier side quests previously impossible to achieve should you desire a 100% completion rate)  Collectible stuffed toys are provided to you as you complete the game, which I initially confused for some form of monsterpedia type thing, and whilst the game begins with some of your collection already filled out (which if you read descriptions suggests you’ve already encountered them) I feel it would have been better to collect everything from an empty state to avoid confusion, and this doesn’t even have to be through side quests it could have been achieved through defeating the first of these enemy types or additional drops from existing quests/chests/bosses.

Overall Impressions

At the end of the day for the price you’re paying you’re getting a pretty fun action platformer for the price, and while the arcade mode is the definitive version with all of the polish you would expect from the game they are making efforts to polish the story mode to ensure that there aren’t major bugs and gameplay issues and giving it a more progressive arc into the gameplay showing that they do care about the title and want it to be the best that it can be. The game would have been good enough value with the arcade mode alone, and the fact that you have additional modes as well as the story mode there is plenty of gameplay to be experienced, and depending on whether you want to battle through waves of enemies and challenging platformers or explore to complete quests in order to get to the bosses there’s a game mode for you. The bosses also offer plenty of variety as opposed to simply learning their patterns some often involve some extra aspect in order to be defeated adding a greater challenge and more interesting factors to the gameplay.

If you’re looking for a good retro inspired action platformer this is the game for you. Check out battle princess Madelyn for yourself on steam now at https://store.steampowered.com/app/603930/Battle_Princess_Madelyn/

Metamorphosis is a play based upon the franz kafka novella of the same name and is a story of transformation both of gregor from travelling salesman to insectoid creature, but also of the transformation of his family and their behaviour and attitudes towards him and their family roles as they all cope and adapt around his transformations as they progress.

The Old Rep Theatre

This was my first time visiting the old rep theatre and it’s located in the area’s behind Birmingham new street central, whilst previously in a part of the city rarely visited due to the layout of the town it now benefits from the newly opened nature of the train station and perhaps might become a bigger venue as this side of the town gets regenerated with businesses taking advantage of the expansion to this area.

Inside the venue itself it is essentially a single production establishment with a small side café, the view of the stage is ensured through the chair layout so you’re able to take in the show without distractions. The lighting and fog effects of the venue made it a very atmospheric show, and if it wasn’t for the occasional eye contact with the actors on stage you could compare it to a close up experience of a movie at the cinema, except with true 3D because actually it’s a stage show for those who have never been to a play themselves.

The Metamorphosis


The show opens with a little transitional white noise and flickering of lights as the actors scurry into position, this is both a moody way of establishing time passing but also a convenient way of masking scenery and actor changing transitions as well as maybe establishing something isn’t quite right and this effect is used throughout the show to great effect. I do believe there’s one point later where perhaps the transition was missed or should have been there during the performance I saw however that’s probably the only gripe I would have with the show as overall the actors put on a great performance and it was a very enjoyable show.

All of the actors portrayed their character roles very well putting across suitable emotional levels for each stage of the performance in both their voices and mannerisms and in particular the main character of gregor was well performed throughout his transitions from self sacrificing brother through to his insectoid nature and inner thoughts grasping onto his humanity until the end all of which were acted out expertly from his insect like slight buzzing and struggling to his voice through to his final transformation with shoulder blades sticking out in very insect like manners and creeping around cautiously like an insect trying not to get spotted as he desired to hear his sister sing one last time, something he always loved as a human and had actively sacrificed his life to ensure he could afford to send her to the conservatoire; a famous and renowned school for the performing arts. Clearly showing that even at the end he was still grasping onto his humanity and simply wanted to hear her singing voice closer and be closer to what was the core part of his humanity.

Transformation is a key part of this play and whilst you might presume that the show alone is about gregor and his transition into an insectoid creature there are many more transformations to consider throughout the show. Whilst initially I presumed he was transforming into some sort of corporate individual as the actor who portrayed the face of many roles wore a white face with black eyeliner in a style I would associate with “we happy few” which may indeed be Kafkaesque but I may be unfamiliar with or perhaps even be theatre commonality for someone who would be playing many roles, however this was put to rest pretty soon as the boss with this makeup visited gregor at his home stating he would need to see a doctor about the matter.

During his transformation process gregor loses his job, perhaps as a result of his illness or perhaps resulting from being late to work one single time when he had an illness who is to say for sure, however this leads to his family having to take over his responsibilities to earn money as he had essentially giving his life working non stop to ensure they could live the lives they deserved, wishing to fund his sister to pursue her dreams, and ensuring his parents could enjoy their retirement without worry and providing additional funds for them in case of emergencies all without ever complaining despite only getting 4 hours of sleep per night.

Initially his sister looks after him as he’s stuck in his room making sure he gets enough food to eat, and even ensuring it’s something he can enjoy as his tastes change during his illness. Throughout the play however this changes over time through fear and concern to an unwanted chore looking after what she considers an unwanted monster who has destroyed her brother believing there’s nothing left of him inside and wanting this reminder of what she believes to have killed her brother to just be gone from the house and to stop being a financial burden holding her family back from living the life she desires. Obviously there are a lot of subtle subtexts to read throughout the show from him only wanting the best for her and a lot to watch out for as the relationships between the two evolve.

The father has to take up the mantle of main producer for the family after gregor loses his job and whilst initially he takes up the mantle of gregor’s former position as travelling salesman he quickly becomes bitter about having to work non stop and never having any form of life only going to work and returning home to eat and sleep, and whilst this might fuel his rage towards gregor for letting him down by circumstances outside his control it also shows just how unappreciative his family are for what he had done up until now, having lived this job and life for 5 years prior to this transformation without ever a word of complaint and actually happy that he could ensure his family lived a good and simple life, yet having to do this himself for a short time the father instead blames gregor for what has happened and for not being able to retire and spend time with his family. This leads him to resort to leasing out a spare room to a tenant who demands further transformations to the house, leading to gregor being treated like a locked in animal stored with the unwanted trash of the house.

All of these transformations are well acted and well portrayed by the cast, and the pacing of the story feels pretty good along with suitable time wipe transitions showing events progressing, as well as the creature like hiding under the bed being used to good effect to allow the actor to escape off stage to apply further makeup and change into his next transition of the illness. Whilst I do believe there may have been more the family could have done throughout the story, from sending him to an uncaring doctor who seemed to care more about observing the novelty of the transformations than actually curing the condition along with his family keeping him locked up and treating him like a caged animal throughout rather than attempting to maintain his humanity. I’m sure that his family only acted this way initially out of fear and refusing to face the truth as they all avoided him as much as possible.

I do feel like the end of the story portrayed the family being quite cold about the whole situation without any residual care that gregor had died, instead being glad that they could move on with life and get out of the place though I am sure this is because in their hearts they felt he had died long ago and they were simply custodians of some form of unwanted creature I do feel like there could have been a little care or remorse there, perhaps some sort of emotional release, though this is down to the way kafka wrote the story as opposed to the portrayal of the actors.

Overall Impressions

From beginning to end the story and portrayal is very intriguing, and though there are some comedic characters like the doctors assistant for the most part it’s a gripping emotional story revolving around how the family cope with this unexpected transformation nobody was prepared for. As I have stated the actors convey this very well behaving as you would expect a family to behave through a range of emotions transitioning from shock and concern into being burdened by a problem everyone including gregor just wishes was over. And while there are deeper seeded subtleties to watch out for like gregor holding onto his humanity as much as possible unnoticed by his sister and family and their desperation for any sign of humanity from him along with not realising just how much he had looked after them and perhaps what was supposed to be a revelation that gregor had been saving up for his sister to study at the conservatoire throughout his job but had never mentioned (even though it was hinted at early and I had already caught on before the transformation even occurred.) the plot and acting are both very good and gripping and I would definitely recommend going to see the performance if you were considering it, and to go see for yourself the story unfold and make your own assumptions and impressions of what is going on and how the family are reacting to the situation unfolding.

Metamorphosis is on now at the old rep theatre in Birmingham and you can find out more about it at https://www.oldreptheatre.co.uk/calendar/?calid=2,3,4,5,7,8,9,10,11,1,12&pid=3&viewid=1&event=97 and beginning a uk theatre tour which may be available in your area soon.

I’ve gone through a lot over the years and the quality and output of this site has been effected by a number of events throughout the time and I wanted to take the time to thank those of you who have stuck with me through all of the problems and changes, and while I expected getting rehomed to be a fresh start I’ve had a significant number of issues which have got between me and outputting the content at the quality I would like, from computer’s breaking to windows 10 updates becoming a nemesis breaking a number of settings and destroying quality of output in new and creative ways I have to work around (not always successfully) as well as the unending nightmare of being sleep deprived by my upstairs neighbour and the paper thin ceiling as they stomp and bang around all night in a drunker stupor never allowing me to sleep.

Thankyou for sticking with me as I’ve been through everything here and I’m working to resolve a lot of the problems, and while I can’t fix the problem with stream window size with whatever the windows 10 update did in November last year ruining my ability to stream directly off the gaming pc being beyond my ability to solve I have been working through streaming off my secondary recording pc, which only has 1gb graphics card and as it’s a budget motherboard despite being powerful it might not handle a graphics card upgrade directly on that so there are some issues with this out of my capability short of yet another upgrade which I’m not in the state of mind to go through all of the hassle for again at this time. You will notice that there was a time where the frame rate started to stutter which I failed to notice having only checked one video and it seeming reasonable I had to change from mp4 recordings to flv due to this update and I can’t preview these before uploading so it went unnoticed that actually most of the recordings weren’t great quality and while I have a backlog I’ve made some changes that should at least resolve this quality issue in the future.

I aim to get back to writing good reviews for this site as well as the well edited lets highlight video’s to fit the content I’m talking about from my playthrough of the games, and have been putting this off for a number of reasons mostly being sleep deprivation and not being in a good state of mind to write content in the quality I would like as well as spending a lot of time and effort to fight against this problem unsuccessfully, though adding webcam footage to my video’s has made this job also even more difficult needing to essentially edit the footage to fit around without showing the webcam.

This obviously is a time intensive process as I not only have to edit the footage together to look good I have to sift through all of my gameplay to find the appropriate moments I’m referring to and still have a decent output of a product, as well as all of the processing and time spent writing the article in a meaningful and appropriate manner without forgetting things or being so sleep deprived you’re not in a good mood to write a happy article and this has not been possible during these times, and especially when I was in my last job overworked and underappreciated essentially spending my entire life in that restaurant or travelling to and from it and never really having the free time I needed to spend on the site and as a result content did drop off entirely.

Throughout the years obviously the site has evolved from simply being written articles to attempting to switch to video content alone through a partnership with blip.tv and realising that most of my readership were more into reading articles than viewing video’s to ending up on the hybrid content we have today.

Problems with life began in 2011 when my benefits were being illegally withheld and this lead to me losing my home and floating around often without internet between locations attempting to get rehomed and the 4+ years of nonsense I had to deal with tyring to get rehomed and it was supposed to be a new beginning and new hope to get here, yet I’ve had more problems than anticipated which have stood between me and the output of quality I’m aiming to achieve.

Upgrades have occurred through the years as we’ve moved from the old VHS tapes I use to record on (an artistic choice) to the 4k video I’m able to record on today (though youtube seems to just downscale it annoyingly) though changing all of the sites embeds from blip video’sto youtube after they shed all of their content creators was a bit of a pain and rebuilding a subscriber base on there after years of hiatus quality is hopefully getting back to the level I hope to achieve, as I’ve said though windows 10 update seems determined to be my enemy, having broken my ability to use my sony bravia tv resulting in a tiny screen being used until I find a replacement but putting it off to avoid stress as I’m going through enough and on a short tether with sleep deprivation anyway, to sound being broken in another update not noticed for 2 weeks of recordings along with the months of video quality suffering after having changed to flv trying to defeat current issues caused by updates.

Ideally I would be able to make enough money to fund a solution to all of my problems and fully upgrade my recording setup to match my gaming setup and have two top quality rigs so no issues would be experienced and output would definitely be of the quality expected and maybe even record separate gameplay footage without webcam and microphone so I an isolate the gameplay footage and use that in edited reviews with sound but without my VO. Another good thing would be I would be able to buy a home and get away from this nightmare of being tortured all night kept awake by a horrible neighbour who refuses to sleep at night often having loud conversations all night long directly above my bed as well as slamming around in what I recently discovered was an alcoholic stupor which explained a lot but doesn’t make things better.

Effort will be made to start getting the reviews back up in a timely manner, although I still want to maintain the quality of actually playing through the games to a significant enough standard to give a well rounded and considered review of the game perhaps along with an expected length and replayability standard, along with due consideration of other products and events I will be reviewing all with the quality standards I aim to achieve.

Obviously during my homeless nature without the capabilities of recording and editing to the standards I wanted to it was difficult to achieve reviews of a lot of events I wanted to put out, and after getting rehomed and going through all of these current issues I’ve put off attending any events and not attempted to put out any content for these even as press releases with information about the event, however I’m definitely going to start making efforts into getting back into this.

I have a small backlog of events I attended over the xmas period close together I have recorded video’s for and uploaded, not in the full expo style with editing and scenes from around the event as these were music events I wouldn’t have permission to record music footage at, but nonetheless I’ve got my views and I aim to give a written output on these events, and I’m also planning on attending some future events in the coming year including visiting insomnia64 in april and putting up some content around this on the site.

So while I have been ignoring and putting off a lot of issues and neglecting the site to avoid stress as I’ve had a hard enough time dealing with my antisocial neighbours and the nightmare in attempting to get anything done about this, along with the stress of rebuilding my life and putting a home together and getting any compensation above £20 for the years of suffering I was put through and the fact that I lost everything in my life has been very difficult to cope with. I feel like I’m ready to start pulling things together again here now I’ve got a bit more free time and attempting to solve some of the problems again (until inevitably another windows 10 update breaks everything again and I have another nightmare to deal with) so I would like to thank you for sticking with me through all of this as I hope to resolve even more of the problems, and while I know there are still things not as I would like it to be I have to take things one step at a time to avoid being overloaded with stress and get so depressed I’m not able to function.

You can look forward to at least 6 lets highlights coming very soon once I’ve edited them together and reviewed them as well as around 4 gig reviews I need to write the articles for as well as the upcoming events I’m going to be attending over the coming year and stepping back into.

Once again I apologise for neglecting the site and you whilst I’ve been going through all of this and I’m glad a number of you have stuck with me through this time and I aim to output content at the quality and level you deserve though it may be a process to get there fully due to things beyond my control or ability to fund I do aim to keep things up and get back into updating the site regularly, without lazy playlist posting and short written reviews rather than a decently edited and considered video review.

Deadbeat heroes is a frantic action game from some of the developers behind the marvellous miss take, except rather than stealth and puzzle solving to complete the levels this game it’s all about effectively taking down criminals in the most stylish way possible preferably without getting hit, except you aren’t the typical superhero, no you’re just some deadbeat with a special engine attachment on his arm granting you abilities beyond the basic human allowing you to take on crime in the name of a retired superhero.

You can see some similarities with the level designs between this and the aforementioned marvellous miss take, however the gameplay features of this game definitely leave it feeling a very different experience as you have to defeat waves of enemies in a variety of rooms whilst also potentially rescuing hostages for bonus points, though this isn’t essential to complete the levels it may help as it’s stylish to save the hostage right?

Your handheld engine has an additional special feature that allows you to clone supervillains powers which grants you time limited additional skills from freezing enemies to teleporting around the map and a wide range of skills between, some of which are more useful than others but do add variety to the gameplay of the levels and give you a fun way of taking down the plethora of enemies coming to get you.

Bonuses can be awarded for dispatching justice in a room without getting injured, while if you do get injured you’re rewarded with a health pickup to give you a better chance of taking down the next room. The true skill comes in combining running across walls and poles and diving from the skies to take down the villains preferably without getting hit, which is easier said than done when enemies can have turrets, rocket launchers and submachine guns all firing at you at once and while hiding could provide an easier way to win you’re not really doing it in a stylish way unless you’re doing it quick and chaining together those takedowns.

It took me 6 hours to complete the game from beginning to end playing just to unlock all the levels and defeat the final boss, where there are 35 levels all based around an old school London theme with typical british humour injected into the mix as you progress through the story taking down the 10 villainous area bosses along the way all with their own superpowers for you to use against them, and it’s not a true win unless you hit them before they even start speaking… Well that’s not entirely true but that’s a challenge I set for myself for humour and fun purposes.

The game itself can be single or a two player experience and can even be integrated with twitch so anyone chatting in your stream can become one of the hired thugs attempting to take you down along your path to dispense justice on the villainous prime sinister who has taken out every one of the city’s superheroes on his rise to power, just don’t question why it might look like he has the same sort of engine attached to his fist as you… I’m sure that there’s nothing deeper to that lore and that perhaps there might not be a spinoff story potential of what really happened with his rise to power and taking down all the superheroes, and don’t question your retired superhero bosses reasons for this quest and how he’s the creator of your fist engine….

Style is definitely a big part of this game and while it’s a gameplay mechanic it’s also very noticeable in the artwork and soundtrack of the game as it has an old school feel along with it’s cell shaded pseudo comic book aesthetic, it’s definitely a fun and interesting experience and even after you complete the game there’s scope for further replayability trying to get the highest ranks and scores across all of the levels and playing through with your newly unlocked character now out of retirement the only superhero remaining in the city. All of the characters play the same essentially being reskins so choice of character isn’t a limiting factor and unlocks are purely cosmetic, and while they could have given them different skills and added further gameplay mechanics as such I do like that instead they’ve made the powerups drop from dispatched villains in the levels so you can play through and perhaps compete over who gets to collect the powerup on the levels if you’re playing co-op and allow you to go through the entire game with your favourite hero.

I had a lot of fun bashing through the enemies in the frantic action levels and would recommend the game if you’re looking for a casual action brawler with a dash of british humour, or even if you’re just looking for a way to beat up your twitch chat viewers every now and then ;-) There’s plenty of silliness and the action gameplay is on the right level not being too easy whilst also being fun and giving you that feeling of wanting to keep retrying until you get through the game, and the boss powers do add variety between the area’s giving you more mechanics to play with whilst keeping the core game feeling, along with area’s becoming more difficult adding further and harder challenges the further you get into the game so I would definitely recommend the game as a purchase.

Get deadbeat heroes for yourself now on steam at https://store.steampowered.com/app/614090/Deadbeat_Heroes/

Happy valentines day, and for those of you not with someone hiding your feelings away too scared to make a move, life’s too short so why wait forever hoping that one day they’ll notice you or be more than just friends. If you’ve got deep feelings for someone and you want something more then take the risk and let them know how you feel, if they’re a good friend it won’t matter as you’ll still be able to be good friends but if they’re feeling things for you too you might just get what you’ve always dreamed of.

You might ask yourself why certain people get the girl while you don’t and how some people bat way out of their league, it’s not magic it’s not trickery or “super seducer” nonsense, the simple fact is they’re at ease with themselves and not afraid to make a move, chances are you’d hit it off with that girl you’ve always liked from afar if you just talk to her, if you’ve got things in common that make you like them then they’d probably like those things in you and often it’s these connections that lead to better relationships than physical attraction as looks change over the years. Obviously you would like someone who’s attractive to you but attractiveness is always subjective and different people find different looks and styles attractive so don’t rule yourself out whether you’re ultra thin or plump and round, the most manly of men or androgynous there are people that like different things and I’m sure there’s someone that meets what you’re looking for who’d be in to you too so don’t rule yourself out if you’re not out there and trying to find your perfect partner.

The other valentines tradition is that it’s said to be the one day girls can ask out guys, I find this a bit silly in 2019 where the world is supposed to be even and not sexist sure it’s a tradition but you’re ruling yourself out of all of the days of the year you could ask out that guy you’re interested in and rather than waiting for him when perhaps he’s unsure if you’re in a relationship or remotely interested to put a move on you it might be an idea for you to make the first move, if you’ve got feelings for them you’re free to start making moves and ask them out on a date to see if there’s a future there.

Don’t think about what could have been and wish while keeping your feelings secret forever, if there’s someone you want to be spending valentines day with go let them know, even if it is getting them a card as if you’re extra shy leaving a card can be a good way to communicate your feelings without having to get nervous or scared. Just don’t leave it anonymous that doesn’t help anyone.

I have stayed out of the discussion on epic games deciding to spread out into becoming a fully fledged store and having their own exclusives trying to compete with the success of the steam store by valve being the primary marketplace for maintaining your game library on the pc, however with the latest news on metro exodus actively removing their game from the steam store despite having had it up for pre-orders for some time and even word of physical store copies including steam codes but removing all of this last minute to have it’s own exodus over to the epic games store

This move however goes to show that my feelings on the matter were right all along and far from the rhetoric of this being a great thing for the consumer providing further choice in where to purchase your games and increased competition bringing prices down instead it goes to prove that it’s just an attempt to cash in on the marketplace by epic games using the billions they’ve earned through their free to play game fortnite to invest in building their own store and paying off developers to have their games exclusive on their marketplace trying to run steam out of the business and paying off consumers in some forms by providing a vast number of free games at periods throughout the year as an incentive to change to their platform.

Epic games have been stated to offer developers 88% share vs steam offering devs only 70% and many have claimed that this would provide the opportunity for prices to be offered cheaper however in my opinion it just means that actually developers would simply just make larger profits selling on their platform and in actuality prices would remain stagnant as the developers choose the pricing structure and knowing customers are happy to pay X for the game they would simply choose to gain larger profits as opposed to offer any savings to the customers.

Obviously there are many reasons a developer would choose to offer a game on steam as opposed to epic mostly being the increased customer usage base and how many users like to have their entire game library under one DRM giant, and having been using steam for years they would have loyalty and wish for their games to be accessible on steam, some might even pay a premium to keep their titles all under the steam umbrella. However this move by metro having their game removed from the store despite being up for pre purchase for a while goes to show that this isn’t about offering greater consumer choice it’s about greed as not only have the metro devs been paid to be exclusive on the epic launcher but also they will get a greater share of the cut. Rumours are that the US price has dropped slightly however the UK price seems to remain the same between the pre release steam and the epic store price.

This move shows that this isn’t about end user customers or about providing more consumer options for purchase as if this was the case the devs would still list the game on the steam store and the choice would be offered for those wishing to make a purchase which platform they would rather play it on and keep their library under. However this clearly shows that epic store are actively trying to take down steam and clearly this has resonated with gamers who are actively boycotting metro and epic games because of this move. Sure they are claiming that those who purchased in advance will still get updates on the game and be able to play through steam it’s just that it’s no longer available for purchase on the store, but this just highlights that this is indeed active moves to invest the profits from fortnite scales into attempts to take on and take down the gaming giant, and people aren’t going to be happy about their primary marketplace for games coming under threat in any sense.

Desura is a platform which use to exist in the gaming marketplace and was pretty large in itself offering a publishing platform for any game that wished to list itself there and was considered a competitor to steam however this company went out of business suffering problems with their company and operating in the marketplace, since this went under steam itself went through some changes with developers demanding the ability to publish their games and this lead to the steam greenlight process which was eventually removed due to lack of use and abuse of the system and now any dev can publish directly to steam by simply paying the fee and this has lead to vast releases of shovelware and basic game clones along with some controversy over bitcoin miners and viruses being released on the platform as well as the barely cobbled together youtuber bait shovelled out to get a profit.

Steam has implemented some methods of adding additional monetisation to the platform itself with it’s innovative idea of offering steam trading cards, emote icons and profile backgrounds which are essentially just artificial digital content collectibles that can be traded on the steam marketplace for digital currency to spend on the steam store (or to buy further collectibles) and this is a clever move to keep an income stream from providing a sales platform for these games especially where developers might be giving away vast numbers of keys for free and using valves servers in a less than agreeable way. This was a clever move by the platform taking a percentage of the sale of the digital goods whilst also providing a percentage to the devs and the rest going to the user selling them on the platform and this has created it’s own digital marketplace which as with all things some people abuse the system both on devs and user ends though I can see how this does a good job of mitigating risk providing a platform for these small devs to publish their games on the platform.

This adds further reasons why people might want to be able to purchase on steam also, having collectable trading cards for their games as well as the achievement tracking system and steam profiles and the interesting things steam does during it’s more increasingly than semi annual sales now, though the summer and winter sales often have special events, though to a lesser degree since the steam coal collectable scandal of 2011 where steam users could earn a prize for performing steam achievements in game especially created for the winter sale, some far more difficult to achieve than others. Of course this system was abused by many who not only used cheat engines to get all the achievements but also multi accounted to get the prizes from very cheap and free to play games and farm for the coal. Why did they do this you ask? Because coal wasn’t the only thing on offer there were also games as prizes and other digital content including big discounts off already discounted games, and 7 lumps of coal could be refined into games as well so there was a large potential for free games and greedy people abused the system heavily which ruined things for those legitimately putting the time and effort into getting the achievements properly, and having the fun of playing and trying to earn these in the attempt of getting a reward with a chance of a game but mostly ending up with consolation coal.

Further sales since then have had lesser abuse heavy systems with a fair way of gaining the rewards for all, often involving trading cards or going through clicker based mini games they’ve specially launched for the sales in an attempt to keep the fun aspect of doing something special for the sales but in a fair way that isn’t abused by many. This also goes to show how much effort steam make in keeping their platform the top of the leaderboards and first choice for consumers when they wish to purchase their games by going above and beyond expectations and being very generous at seasonal sale times when many would have in the past cashed in on the full retail price knowing people are trying to get them as gifts during these times and has lead to an industry wide sales time for all following steam’s example.

This move has clearly alienated a lot of customers both from metro but also the epic store itself as loyalty to steam by many customers goes a long way, and it’s hard to say how this will effect the industry and what steam will do to combat this move, as in the past where some indie devs with popular and good games were going over to epic for their launches was an initial step in taking on the giant as they have some interesting games like ashen and super meatboy forever coming out on their platform and not steam, but actively stealing larger developers titles already listed in the steam marketplace for exclusives both taking metro exodus and also the walking dead’s final season from steam despite telltale going under the final episode of the final season of the very popular walking dead title migrated to epic alone despite having sales on steam and this is a worrying sign that all of the money made from fortnites success is being used to migrate popular titles over to the epic platform.

With the case of the walking dead it could be seen as a generous influx of funds to try and save the developer and provide them as a platform in exchange, however the metro move can only be seen as greed and also taints other migrations to the platform as well as the exclusivity of the other indie games as this is not a wise move. Had metro exodus never been offered or provided on steam this would have a very different public perception however both epic and the developers of metro must appreciate the public backlash by the move they have performed here and how this will effect their reputations and the reputations of all developers choosing to go exclusive on the epic games platform.

If this was indeed offering further customer choice then new games such as metro exodus would be also available on the steam store, and epic could compete by offering better prices if that was indeed the case and this was additional competition allowing savings to the end user customer it’s just that these actions seem to show otherwise and that this is all about taking down steam and denying them the ability to sell big titles boasting instead exclusivity on their platform having paid them off to make the move.

I am very interested to see how this story progresses because steam surely won’t take this move lying down and I expect them to perhaps offer secret better rates to larger developers in order to keep good titles coming over to steam, and perhaps they might invent some new incentives or other special unthought of methods much like steam trading cards was an unthinkable thing in the past but has proved a great success for themselves and also the developers using them as additional cash streams (and lets face it you would have to consider the income streams from steam trading cards in the balance of a fixed sales percentage being better in the calculation too because long term marketplace of these trading cards could provide far more income than the additional percentage cut of the initial sale) It is worth noting that sales already finalised on steam of metro exodus are stated to be held up and will include future updates however I still feel this doesn’t make up for the fact that they have essentially been paid to boycott steam in favour of epic.

I would expect steam to be coming out with some response to this in their platform in order to remain the industry leader in choice of gaming platform, and never forget that platforms like these aren’t too big to fail as many state and I would be heartbroken to see steam go under so of course in the battle I choose the side of steam and I hope you would too, so I can understand why many are boycotting epic games as a result of this move along with the metro developers. I like you will just have to stay tuned as this drama escalates and I don’t think this is the end of it, officially the DRM platform wars have begun.

I had the opportunity over the xmas period to go to the fireball fuelling the fire tour at the o2 academy Birmingham having received a promotional ticket, this wasn’t the first time I’ve been to the o2 having seen live shows and gone to their subculture nighclub like events in the past.

The fuelling the fire tour consisted of 4 bands touring the country for a variety of events and opening with a local band to the area selected from a competition for the chance to perform on stage. Being an event with several bands playing at the start there were only a handful of people scattered around the room with most people only turning up for the headliners later, and this had some factors over the performance and shaping my impression of some of the bands which played. Please note that in my video I reference the bands with the incorrect names as the band order I used for reference was incorrect, however the order stated in this article are correct along with the cards associated on each band in the video.

Wood and Nails

Wood and nails are a local band that were selected to play on stage through winning a competition and being selected as the best band to play, queueing outside in the press and guests line I was speaking to one of the band members girlfriends who told me how they’d won the chance to perform and they were very good, and as opening bands went they did come out strong, and I know it’s a little controversial for some people but I would describe them as an emo punk band, and having gone to nights out including new years where many people were getting up and dancing to the old emo classics I think the days are gone where hating on emo music is the done thing. They played strong with some very good tunes that all had their own things going on and didn’t sound the same and did a good job at lifting up the room into the spirit for the event and the audience seemed to be appreciating their style of music too. I couldn’t help but think how the lead singer of the band had similarities with looking like a content creator called uberhaxornova and I wonder if the singer knows how close his image looks.

You can find out more about wood and nails at https://woodandnails.bandcamp.com/

Lost In Stereo

~The second band on stage were lost in stereo and they were introduced as being the highlight of the hosts tour and as them being the band selected as the upcoming band and were granted some recognition for being a really good band, however at this stage the room was still pretty empty and people were coming in, they did look familiar and I think I may have seen them on smaller stages at some events I’ve worked at in the past perhaps at a festival, the big guy up front and the drummer with their smiles and faces they made seemed very familiar. They did however have a little offputting stance on demanding that the audience join in on the songs which perhaps they don’t know especially at such an early spot and did lose the audience a bit making these demands even when people were already joining in, they kept asking and threatened to stop performing if people didn’t join in which was a little bad. Perhaps it’s a punkish attitude and being a punk show it’s supposed to pull in the audience but I found that it was putting people back a bit from the upbeat mood they’d gained from the first band, and perhaps with a later spot with more people in the room they wouldn’t've had such issues however early on with very few people in the room it was a little much to be making such demands and felt a little awkward when the audience got quieter and quieter the more demands he made. Their music was fine though and they played well, they just needed to read the room a little better.

You can find out more about lost in stereo at https://www.facebook.com/lostinstereouk

Face To Face

The third band on stage were face to face they came on with some traditional pop punk music with some pretty strong guitar riffs and decent tunes all very danceable and enjoyable. At this point the audience was starting to fill up and there were a lot more people in the room, they did ask the audience to join in on one song with something very easy to join along with, which was a better way of doing it than demanding repeatedly through your performance and getting in a huff when not everyone joins in which had poisoned the audience and these guys did a good job at bringing everyone back into a good mood and bringing the show back together, this was the first time I’d heard of them and I was surprised they weren’t a lot more popular because they did have songs that would compete with many pop punk bands of the past which have reached number one or topped the charts and I feel these guys could do very well themselves, perhaps they just weren’t as well known this side of the pond and perhaps have had great success in America, either way I expect them to be able to reach big heights.

You can find out more about face to face at www.facetofacemusic.com

The Bronx

The penultimate band on stage were the Bronx, they were on the heavier side of punk and with a multi band show it’s good to have a breakup in the tempo and getting a little heavier and harder was a good way to progress the night, at this point the audience was getting pretty full and pretty rowdy and having a front spot at the stage I was getting bodyslammed into the metal railings pretty hard repeatedly with people at the front either not caring or deliberately ramming as hard as they could into people along the front, as the bands performance progressed the lead singer decided to go into the audience and perform in a ring of death around him, essentially performing while everyone around him moshed in a circle and he passed through the entire audience essentially vacuuming all the people up who were into the rowdiness and then deposited them on the other side of the room which made the night enjoyable again without getting slammed into a barrier, I could have gone further back to enjoy the show without the risk of that but it was worth putting up with at the time so I didn’t mind. They once again had a good variety in the tunes in a heavier format so maintained a good set variety.

You can find out more about the Bronx at https://twitter.com/the_bronx

Flogging Molly

The final performance were flogging molly the headline act, a 7 piece irish American band playing a variety of different instroments with an irish punk twist. They had recently suffered a loss though I’m not sure if it was a band member or a family member however I noticed that throughout their performance people were being told they’re not allowed to take pictures so I assume it was a band member and I can understand them not wanting pictures taken to honour the lost band member and they had acknowledged through the night and dedicated things to his honour. The tunes they played were very upbeat fast tempo’d punk rock style and the additional instruments like violin’s and harpsicord (or whatever the wearable wind powered keyboard is called) definitely added to the celtic vibe and feel of the performance. The lead singer had a very vibrant and outgoing attitude and definitely showed off his star qualities elevating the performance beyond simply being music played on stage to turning it into a true stage show and his charismatic attitude definitely made the performance a step beyond anything else in the night showing why they were the headliners and as popular as they were.

You can find out more about flogging molly at https://www.floggingmolly.com

Overall Impressions

The event on the whole was pretty good and they varied up the styles of punk music available throughout the night so it was a good blend and an interesting mix of the variety available in punk music, from emo through traditional along to hard rock styles and folk celtic punk styles. The night was of course sponsored by fireball whiskey so they provided samples around through the night with 1/3rd shots and of course it’s a tasty whiskey and it’s a good way to get the audience mellowed out a little. For your entry ticket you got to see 5 band and they all played good music and you also had the opportunity to stay for free entry to the subculture night which stayed open afterwards so all in all it’s a pretty decent bargain for the going ticket price, and if future years offer the same variety in punk styles and as good a night out I would definitely recommend going yourself.

The fireball fuelling the fire tour is sponsored by fireball whisky https://fireballwhisky.com/