Rants, Raves And Reviews

Browsing Posts published in December, 2014

Full playlist of the shutshimi lest play with new video’s added to the playlist as they are released. A fun and frantic action game available for just $1 and coming to steam in the first half of 2015 with extra awesomeness and other unspecified advancements.

Either way the game is a lot of fun and you can get it now from for $1, what more can you ask for? Crazy thumbnails and random babbling? Watch my video’s and you’ll see plenty of that, and the odd hat or two.

Having worked at a number of uk festivals this year I decided to give a roundup of my experiences both as a bar worker and also of the festivals themselves and the acts I got to see during my working process, there has been a delay in putting this video up since filming due to an issue while recording and losing my main audio recording, hence why this video plays with only one audio side and isn’t the best quality audio.

This year’s festival season began at the isle of wight festival where the weather was so ridiculousely hot that being held in the staff campsite for the morning briefing and having not stocked up on water to be able to drink during this, and a rather extended wait of several hours I got a little heat stroke and spent half of the first day recovering, luckily there were no bands playing and I didn’t have to start work at this point so spent most of the day sheltered attempting to recover. Once my shift began however I jumped onto the serving side, avoiding using the MDU machines because I probably would’ve passed out doing all of the heavy lifting after spending the day recovering and still feeling a little whoozy.

The next day was rather a busy day working the entire day and having worked at festivals for a number of years I’ve learnt that if you seem to have been missed a lunch break by a certain hour you’re not getting a lunch break so I ensured after being missed that I got my lunch break, this process continued throughout the next day with missing lunch again and even missing being called for dinner and it being “too busy” for me to be able to leave for a dinner break, because I was working hard and being asked to cover the pop bar during other peoples breaks and also while other people slacked off not working hard or to sneak off and watch bands, it just seemed a little unfair so I moved from the center busy area (which I enjoy working but not to be taken advantage of without getting food and rest breaks as needed) and I took the first advantage to hop off to see the red hot chilli peppers to finish early on the final day, as the only band I got to see the entire festival it was good to be able to see thier only uk performance, and getting to go off with a few people I got on with on the bar it was fun. I wouldn’t mind as much working harder and having less benefits than others if it lead to promotional prospects but usually you get looked over because you work too hard and are too valuable a regular worker.

Then it was off to sonisphere with another agency, which was drafted in last minute by creativevents another company I use to work for until they lost the nec contract and as a result I didn’t have a job to work, some of the managers I recognise and they appear to have moved to london, I wouldnt’ve moved because birmingham is my home and the town that feels right for me, but it was nice to be recognised as a good worker. The event however was severely overstaffed which was unusual considering how last minute they called in other agencies, so there were 5-6 different agencies all with many staff sat around hoping for hours and many staff not even getting any hours and only those who persisted getting any. I got to see quite a few bands here and a couple of the noteworthy bands were babymetal who put on a good show with a cross of metal and jpop stage entertainment telling a story through song. I don’t think much of the audience understood due to how they began cheering along to the soundcheck thinking it was the performance, it was entertaining and the “metal gods” behind the j-pop girls did more than just play smiling and interacting with the audience drawing them into the performance.

Another Early morning performance which drew people in was ghost, where the main performance is around the stage presence of ghost who plays a demonic priest manipulating the band to play and acted the role very well, drawing people in with his heir of dignaty and had the presence of an overlord controlling everything around him. I can’t say I agreed with the lyrics being sung but the melodic nature and the stage act all tied in and it was definately an entertaining act, but possibly one that aids the incorrect negative image people have of metal fans. Sure you get some idiots who are violent sociopaths but you get that with every group, and on the most part metal fans actually tend to be kind natured caring people who just enjoy that music style and are outcast for thier looks and choice of dresscode.

I got stuck on a bar in the back end of nowhere for my actual shifts halfway between the dodgems and silent disco, there were a few customers but for the most part it was a little quiet and you couldn’t even hear the acts on stage from there so I couldn’t enjoy the festival while stuck there. After work there was a staff party, where all the people you’d been working with gathered. I got a sonisphere cup from one of the ladies who did the check in process, I really can’t remember if I promised her something if she got me one I have the feeling I may have promised things and completely forgot at the time (slipping my mind after a slow dragging shift) so if I see her again I’ll have to live up to promises, she didn’t ask but I guess people get shy to ask. Another minor regrett is not saying goodbye to the girl I’d been chatting with most of the time sat in the campsite waiting for work who describes herself as an outgoing doormouse, or something along those lines where she use to be shy but now she’s not afraid to ask for what she wants. She was nice but at the staff party I felt a little spurned when she decided to go off and chat to other people all night leaving me with the slightly offputting guy who attempted to use NLP on absolutely every girl “oh I don’t know why other people don’t think you’re pretty. I think you’re pretty” Who’s been saying that dude, nobody! seriousely don’t use NLP around me it seriousely puts me off you.

Anyway at the end of the party she came to say she was heading off to sleep, I should’ve said goodbye and got her number to stay in touch, but I was a little spurned and did think I’d see her at other events but it seems not as after this event they severely reduced numbers of staff to give people a fairer chance of working.

After this came the Ynot festival a small event with big bands, which this year got upgraded to a “medium” sized festival. I headed to the event a day earlier than the management of the event company I worked for because I would rather set up in the daytime (and travel on the shuttle bus) than arrive first thing in the morning and have to set up in order to work, and considering the travel required to get to the event it just makes it an impossible factor. Anyway having arrived the night before I got to enjoy the pre festivities which included goldie looking chain, usually frequent in the hidden garden of V festival unlisted they instead operated at this festival, and put on a good show drawing in the crowd. There were a few other acts on the first night and it was a fun start to the event.

My second day of the festival however was rather a dull one, considering I got shipped (literally) on to a bar on the side of the saloon bar which they had especially created as an experiment last minute as a shipping crate fast can selling bar, the lady the night before had found it boring on a short shift and I was in there the entire day on my own which was definate torture, a few of the customers came up intregued and thought maybe it was the secret area usually hidden within the festival, I had to point out my thoughts that it was in area 51 due to the layout of that area, still they persisted attempting some secret handshakes and passwords thinking it would get them somewhere, and a couple of leary people trying to steal the communications radio made the shift tougher than it needed to be but I got through.

The next day I insisted I couldn’t do that all weekend as they planned and I got moved onto the main bar where I had a good time and it was nice and busy, also the customers came up chatting to me who’d seen me in the fast can, and I was working alongside my EDS friend. I probably got her to make more drinks than I should’ve but having dated someone with EDS I get the feeling she wouldn’t want special treatment and she chose to operate the pouring of the stout, the next day she was helping in the office instead and I know she’d been to hospital recently for heart operations. I don’t know I’m not the most socially normal and we still chatted away normally and fine so I think everything was fine.

The last day while sat waiting for shifts they were trying to find someone to operate the fast can again, having used a rotating system the previous day and accidentally leaving someone in there on thier own with no stock and no radio unable to leave the till they decided to operate a two person system, I was asked by the manager of the main bar personally and my manager pointed out thats good to be asked personally, social awkwardness kicked in with me thinking “well I’m use to being asked for because I work hard” of course I didn’t say that and just sat with a strange look on my face. Anyway that day consisted of running around to cover every bar at the festival and missing my dinner break, and when I got back to the main bar I got sent on my break, but after finishing serving a customer, which happened to be 5 double spirit mixers, 5 jagerbombs and 2 stouts, so took a long time to pour. After serving this I went out to get my dinner which today was actually a decent cooked meal after an entire weekend of undercooked poorly made food. I got my food from the food vendor sat down and had one bite before being told I had to go back in to help work, needless to say I had a mini episode and probably blew any chance of being given a better role having spent the entire weekend being groomed by the bar managers and chatting and getting on well with thier closed knit group.

On the social side I also got to see a few bands and went off to the backstage area chatting with raggle taggle photography who I see there every year, who’ve still to put up the photo they took of me signing the guitar :-P and this year instead had a book to sign and remembered me well, I can’t say I checked to see if they’d put a photo of me signing the book with all of the bands but hey I don’t expect much after they promised to put up the photo of the guitar (or at least they could’ve sent me a copy if they didn’t wish to display it) and while waiting for my shift the second day I simply sat on the bails of hay on the bar and didn’t even attempt to socialise and made a friend who chatted to me who’s pretty cool.

Next weekend it was off to bloodstock where the staff I got on well with all went down to brighton for an event there while I chose bloodstock because it was closer and convenient and I knew people who would go as customers. I got a fair bit of time off at the event due to the fact that I was working from 8am-3pm so got to see most of the event, and while looking after the bar while the manager was off on lunch break I had uncle gio’s itallian joint came to the bar took plastic cups off the display and said “don’t worry come to me and I’ll give you pizza” after I stated we’re not allowed to giveaway stock. At this point I couldn’t really abandon the bar and it wasn’t worth tacling someone for some plastic cups so I just accepted it, however later when coming to claim the pizza for us all (and having checked with the 4 members of staff we had on the hobgoblin truck that nobody had claimed any pizza) he stated very loudly and harshly that 20 people had claimed pizza’s already and one person had 6 portions all to themselves, and pointing clearly that we were only 4 members of staff on our stand and nobody had claimed any pizza he refused outright to provide any, stating instead he would offer a £1 discount and “they were only plastic cups” which is besides the point, its about the honour and that he stated clearly he’d do a pizza for us in exchange, which in the spirit of trades shows that as a festival trader he and his stall are not to be trusted and you should never make any trades with them. Having emailed the company they state “trades are a regular part of festival work” and made no effor to apologise or put things right instead defending thier worker who clearly wanted to rip people off and probably made trades with other vendors not giving anything in exchange either so as a result are a company never to be trusted and you shouldn’t even purchase food from them due to thier shifty nature.

After this it was off to V festival, which is the one I’ve worked at for the longest, unfortunately due to the time I had to call the event from bloodstock to confirm my shift I ended up on the hidden garden rather than a main bar and ended up stuck on till with a very boring shift indeed. I did get to see some bands with all saints during one of my breaks, having to return and miss pure shores unfortunately, and getting to see the main headliners each day due to the closing time of the hidden garden. I also had a minor fanclub who thought my name was judas because of playing a name guessing game, and they even had pictures and signitures which was rather fun. I also ended up having to constantly shift my change out of the till onto customers due to the fact that they overloaded it with loose change and pound coins for how slow and hidden that particular bar was, which some of the other workers found a bit strange, but it was natural to get a better balance of change and notes for cashing up at the end of the day (and being able to close the till rather than having it overflow with coins)

All in all this year wasn’t as fun as usual but I got to have a good time and meet some new people, and I got a little more abuse than usual due to having put some weight on, but with the nature of people I would assume they would see I could excercise a little and lose the weight, so I plan to once I can sort my circumstances out and get back into shape and looking like me again, and I wouldn’t presume that was the reason I was on worse bars than normal, but we shall see how 2015 goes, and hopefully next year I will be able to get press permission to take footage and photo’s at the actual events to include in my roundup and reviews for next year, where I will more than likely return to seperate reviews because it makes more sense than having this overloaded single article. Time constraints and issues lead to this, and the less than professionally written article but I hope you still enjoyed reading and watching.

Continuing the saga of being fobbed off by the council and after having given them 2 months from my latest application to respond I decided to make this video in a huff after recieving a response that yet again they appeared to have completely lost my application. This is the third time this has happened this year, including one occasion where they stole my driving license which I had to replace, but also feel insecure about because this is an identity document that can be used for criminal activities in many forms and should never have dissappeared in such a location.

The latest application was sent via recorded delivery due to the nature of applications going missing and arrived the very next day shown as delivered, however 2 months later I get the response that they have no record of recieving such documents, which is very dodgy indeed because it was clearly signed for via royal mail recorded delivery. Along with this it should be noted that you cannot electronically submit an application which is rather stupid considering you can download the application form and complete it on your computer, but you are fully required to post the application along with your documents which you could scan in and electronically include. If sent electronically they would not go missing (and I had previousely emailed applications over the past years but these were rejected because you had to send physcial applications in the post from a stable permanent location which until now I have had difficulty in being able to provide.

Now however you require 2 years fully provable via both having bills and other valid provable documents for every single address, which is impossible when you’ve been staying on ex’s and friends sofa’s a lot of that time and as such haven’t had any such bills registered to those addresses, and I am only in this situation because they illegally witheld the housing benefit for 5 months after they already established they should be paying it and a full 2 months after my home was reposessed so I couldn’t even look for work.

Complaints processes throughout this entire period has been pretty impossible to deal with being fobbed off ignored and passed around departments that cannot or refuse to acknowledge the situation because they know they’ve been doing things illegally, and its not a surprise that birmingham may be losing its second city status with how they deal with things, they claim that devolution may help the situation by giving further powers to the area, but this remains to be seen especially when they use the phrase “devolution not revolution” on television and the revolutionary tendancies Ive been feeling lately by being screwwed over when Im a very intelligent and capable individual who just wants a job that can pay bills and support a roof over his head.

Another big issue that seems to be on the political radar is immigration and how they want to reduce immigration from poorer EU countries but at the same times consider it racist that people dare question the sheer number of poorer countries coming to the uk to live and claim benefits. It all seems rather silly how they want to spin the situation that its fine for them to wish to reduce immigration but dare to make direct relevant discussions on the reasons for a need to reduce and control immigration beyond just saying its at far too high levels and needs control you get labelled as racist while other more economically established countries such as america, india and australia have further control over who can move to the country to work, and whom cannot claim benefits until they have lived in the country for at least four years it is not unreasonable to state that EU member countries should have the same controls over the right to move to the country because people living in the country need to be able to have somewhere to live and work and this small country cannot support the whole of europe coming to live here without serious economic repercussions.

Additionally there are plans to increase the working wage as a voting issue when this is clearly something stated in the europa directives of improvements required by the uk before 2020, and I mention that I will cover this and many more issues in an upcoming video and article along with the £1billion we suppoedly owe europe for being so much better off economically (when it only effects the higher wages and those on lower wages are really significantly worse still) and how supposedly germany and france are far worse off that they equally combined will recieve a rebate of £1.1billion, even though on employment percentages they rate on a higher or similar percentile to the uk, so it would be highly questionable why they deserve rebates for being so much worse off as opposed to the uk who supposedly have significantly better economies to owe europe such a payment.

With the steam controller due for release in early 2015 I wanted to have a closer look at what was known about the controller and how it and the steambox with steamOS could impact the marketplace for determining which operating system people choose for thier personal computer systems.

I personally question how the trackpads would operate, because with gaming set up primarilly for use with dual sticks, using swiping actions could become increasingly difficult with many playstyles, and if they have a zone further than the direct center which operates as a click of a button, and how sensitive trackpads are wether this would create further difficulties and alienate players who might get caught up in the action and be a little heavier handed.

One question I forgot to cover is wether or not the pad itself will operate truly as an xbox 360 controller on games which are programmed only to work if they detect an xbox pad directly plugged into the computer, this is a vital question because my previous venom gamepad was on the most part the same control inputs as an xbox 360 gamepad with only one axis on the right stick being incorrect, however this resulted in being unable to play many games as they looked natively for the 360 pad and if this wasn’t present they would not allow the use of a controller in any way shape or form, and you could only then use it via joy2key.

The gamepad itself does come with a native version of joy2key in that it maps to a set of keyboard controls so it can be compatible with games that don’t allow for gamepads and also those with which it wouldn’t be fully compatible, however some games and in particular multiplayer games this could be increasingly problematic, especially if the gamepad does not work in the same way as the xbox controller in that it would port to one of 4 seperate control schemes and wavelengths so everyone had thier own input and could play locally together.

I think it would be a requirement that it enable at least 4 players locally to have thier own control pads for some multiplayer games if it wishes to truly take on other gamepads on the market and be established as a commonly used peripheral. Some paths to the market would be to sell it alongside valve games in the local stores, but considering they haven’t released anything in a while other than free2play content this would be difficult, and wether microsoft games would continue to only support the xbox 360 gamepad when ported to the pc and deliberately alienate the product so it is a useless peripheral or not would cause problems

I hope to be able to get my hands on a steam control pad myself soon so I can put it through some proper testing, and ideally two in order to assess local co-op play also.

Stay tuned to find out.

Also in the video I talk about the steamOS being linux and how this could change the market for operating systems and how the new generation of consoles allow for half life 3 due to the new engines being used to develop games rather than the old source engine most previous valve games were based upon, and how they could also impliment the free2play version of half3life deathmatch in order to continue that monetisation scheme with free to play skins and models for sale and even a plethora of boxes to sell.

Shutshimi is a frantic action packed shooter game from neon deity games, with an emphasis on the crazy, random and surreal. This is just what you want from a game of this style and manages to get the perfect balance of an approachable shooter that remains challenging without simply being a complete bullet hell throwing everything at you on screen while you dodge in pixel perfect fashion to get through the wave (although this could potentially be a very horrible hat you could find in the future, and the action does ramp up to rather extreme levels in the end game and victory laps)

All of the action in the game is split into 10 second(ish) segments including the shop time so you have 10 seconds to choose your item, which is easier said than done when you consider that the flavour text and item picture are completely randomised further adding to the fishes 10 second memory. If you successfully choose a good item finding the appropriate piece of text this can also result in your goldfish getting so excited that he leaves his previous items behind in a giddy rush to escape the shop with what he feels to be a steal (if he didn’t already steal it considering you never have to pay anything for the upgrades)

The dev has mentioned that there will be additional content in the steam release but even as it stands this game is perfectly fun and replayable, if you consider the fact that action continues after you complete the game in victory laps and that potentially steam workshop could introduce additional enemies, bosses and items that the devs even don’t consider (and don’t forget the plethora of fantastic game bending hats) this could be one of the best games you could purchase in 2015 in terms of value and replayability. runs can be fast and frantic so you’ll always be able to find time to jam in “just another run” and try to beat your high score, or that of your friends with potentially online leaderboards.

I think it’s a pretty obvious buy if you enjoy what you see and enjoy games of this nature, if you need further convincing feel free to check out the links to any of the lets plays on the main site to see the action for yourself and how many people are enjoying the game, and it definately gets a glowing radioactive thumbs up from me (not that I give any sort of rating scheme, but its a positive!)

Let go and embrace the crazyness and be a drunk fish on a party rampage for a few minutes recounting the story of how your home was invaded by the entire ocean, sky and cherry cola and how you had no choice but to go on a gun totting rampage eliminating everything in your path. You know you want to.

Just get through is a very fun procedurally generated trap and hazzard avoidance platformer with one very simple aim, to just get through the levels alive. You begin with 10 each of tnt and lives and have to make these last throughout your entire journey through the game, this is easier said than done but can be bolstered by finding extra throughout the world as you progress.

To make life a little easier you get a choice of power-ups throughout the process which can be anything from finding extra tnt/lives in the world or a simple quick 1up now to keep you going.

The game is very inexpensive at £3 and will give you many hours of gameplay, especially if you add the fact that the game includes a built in sandbox mode and also allows you to input user generated levels (which added to the steam workshop community could generate a number of meatboyesque levels which you can sight read and add to the fun)

The game is fairly simple but you can often get the most enjoyment out of the simplest thing, and considering everything is generated fresh every playthrough no two runs will be the same, so everything will stay fresh for longer. If you’re up to the challenge you should check it out for yourself.

Available to purchase now on the developers site, and coming soon to steam.

Tiny keep is a top down dungeon escape game, where the action is proceedurally generated so no two runs are the same, permadeath adds an extra layer of difficulty because although you can begin on later floors when you unlock them you will lose any power-ups and advantages you may have earnt on previous floors.

This leads to a lot of playtime attempting to get good enough powerups to increase your survivability for later. The floors have thier own elements secrets and traps that makes each one unique and different enough that you keep coming back for more and have to implement strategies specific for each floor and ready for the upcoming challenges.

I can guarantee you will get many hours of gameplay out of this game if you like what you see and want a challenge that isn’t impossible but also isn’t a cakewalk. There are many secrets and even a new game + mode which I have yet to even unlock, so there is plenty to discover beyond the basic escape attempt and a number of achievements to obtain whilst the challenge inevitibly ramps up every floor you complete, with more difficult enemies coming at you in even greater numbers it can be a little daunting if you don’t have a strategy to take them on and survive.

I will be continuing how to escape series as I find the game a lot of fun and want to succeed in escaping, and I like how the developers included permission in the title screen itself which is definately something I think more devs should do, if not in the title at least on a noticable tile within the game itself on the options when they actively want people to post lets play video’s.

V1.3 has made the game far easier than in my review video for those who thought the game seemed a little challenging, and although there are 20 unlockable floors you may miss these on your first playthrough if you don’t perform the correct action when you catch up with maggie after floor 8, don’t put the game down at this point there is still plenty more to unlock and secrets to be revealed and achieved including magic and replacement swords.  I will post a special video revealing how to continue past this once I have returned to this point in my main adventure and created the floor guides up to this point with the correct features in place to be able to obtain full victory, wether you want to watch or want to experiment and discover things for yourself don’t assume just because you escaped the tiny keep you were victorious, there are still secrets to be discovered that you will regrett not going back for.

Tiny Keep is available on steam for £10.99

Brawlhalla is a free to play game on steam, taking much of its influence from super smash brothers but available on the steam platform. Lacking the appearances of popluar characters or special abilities it instead focuses on fast paced brawling combat with the aim to gain as many points as possible before time expires.

It can be a little difficult to see how long is left in the match, but as long as you’re playing to win and going for the brawls it won’t matter so much what the score is as hiding to run down the remaining few seconds isn’t necissarily the most fun tactic in the world just for a win.

The item pool is set depending on which character you pick, with community items such as the spike ball, horn, bomb and sticky bomb’s while other items such as the sword, guns, hammer and flying spear are drawn depending on which character you choose. Each character has 2 items in thier pool and it appears to be setup for unlockables and perhaps even paid cosmetic differences in order to support the free to play scale, wether this will be pay to win with stronger items only available for cash purchase or unlockable with in game currency remains to be seen as these features are yet to be available, and wether or not all characters are permanently unlocked or on the usual rolling free schedule with a few available each week and purchasable for permanent unlock also remains to be seen.

There does also appear to be minor differences with the characters too besides just the weapons with thier own stats but essentially this makes little difference in the actual combat, at least none I can notice.

Things may change in future updates as is inevitable in any beta gameplay review, and especially as there is to be the free to play and the paid supported elements yet to be decided, because for the most part free to play games don’t tend to remain completely free with nothing purchasable in any form.

However that said there is no requirement to ever make a purchase, and it is a fun to play game which you have a good chance of joining the beta right now via

If you cannot wait for a response and invite to the beta you can also join now via a purchase of the premium kit via steam, which includes in game items of mammoth coins (inevitably for use with in game purchases) as well as skins and “more” which could be added at any time for the founders pack, available for £9.99