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The gadget show live returned to the NEC for 2016 and I received tickets and decided to take an unofficial review of the event along with trying a more on the go style of recording footage.

This year there were a number of record breaking attempts along with the usual gadget show live experience, and the plethora of stalls with all of your gadgety needs available to purchase. New to this year however there was also a yogscast special event, which it was lead to believe would be through the friday ticket but turned out to require it’s own ticket so while I would have attended it seemed I was unable to as a result of the ticket type I had been provided.

There were some new games on show and available to play both in regular form as well as a variety of 3d methods ranging from simple headsets utilizing your smartphone, through a unidirectional treadmill used to traverse a van gogh experience to the advanced 3d experience of the vive which allows you to interact while moving fully around your own room. I did have a press session with esper2 booked which I will be bringing you a review of separately later.

There were some other interesting events going on around the hall with a “robot wars” clone with competition to pit the other competitors as opposed to dismembering their robots.

I felt there weren’t as many items which were featured on the show to see around the halls and it felt simply like an excuse to sell gadgets, even if it was a range of products which had been tested during john bentleys trials it would have been something more associated with the show. There were some unique things available to buy such as getting your own 3d printed model made at the show however this would really be something to know in advance so you can ensure you would look as you wish for the model whereas if you show up not ready for a model then you’re not going to wish to purchase one as they aren’t inexpensive.

Previous years had featured a chance to queue to get something signed by the gadget show crew however this year there was no such stall, as I had stated in previous years the security had been pretty terrible telling you not to queue early telling you to come back at X time then when you came back the queue was “full” so I missed out meeting the crew and getting things signed on my birthday because of that useless security guard ruining the day, so that get’s removed by removing the chance to get anything signed entirely but it also removes another step of the actual event being related to the gadget show as you would have to attend the live session in the hall with tickets to such in order to see the presenters whatsoever, while in the hall you could queue for the yogscast to meet them and have things signed it seemed more like the yogscast were the main draw for many attendees on the day I visited.

The day was enjoyable and if you wanted to attend it would be recommended that you purchase the supertheatre tickets in order to get your moneys-worth out of the experience, other previous benefits have included discounts on products for show attendees and special competitions which only attendees could participate in, there were very few of these with most stalls being full retail and offering little in special variety or discount over online purchase, but most of the stalls were things to participate in with the likes of the gaming section, and a very large creativity section encouraging youngsters to learn about engineering and creativity through paperwork, and another large section with driving experiences from learning to drive and be driven in a small circle in a tesla motor car, for a ridiculously long queue and a rather fun remote controlled vehicle race section with prizes, unfortunately I played in the session directly after the finals for that day and won my race which would have placed me in the finals to win the trophy had I been able to play and it would have been good to try out for the trophy but I played too late.

I felt something was lacking during the experience and it was hard to put my finger on exactly what was wrong, but I think there was a distinct lack of upcoming technology or anything particularly special, sure there were a lot of vr experiences but it seemed that the show had been downgraded for a much younger audience as opposed to providing a variety of products to try and buy, also looking for active noise cancelling headphones in any of the audio sections proved rather difficult and I was only able to find one pair at a ridiculously expensive price, however this provides ample ground to learn for next year’s event, to provide a wider range of products, more from the show, and perhaps a better chance to interact with the presenters on the show floor, as they would be the main draw for any attendee.

Check out the gadget show live website for more details about upcoming events www.gadgetshowlive.net

Human fall flat is currently in alpha but is already a very playable and fun game, if you are familiar with gang beasts the character movement is very similar to that game however rather than being a multiplayer combat based experience this game focuses around the puzzles that occur in the life of a human.

Your human much like in real life can be painted and dressed in any way your imagination see’s fit, of course in the alpha he is naturally drawn to the cap bearing lifestyle, and this may remain the fact throughout the full release of course but you can still paint said cap in any fashion you see fit, and perhaps even disguise it as a flattened egon spengler do?

Humans start out in this world struggling to stand up and walk, and this may be the case in the game as your human tends to be a little unsteady on his feet, perhaps the result of heavy drinking, but this adds to the challenge of keeping your human straight without falling off the ledge as you look around, this of course is essential as orienting your human revolves around the control gained from looking around, and each arm can be moved easily using said feature to grab items and move them to solve puzzles (or perhaps even trash a certain room within the game)

In the alpha the game begins with humorous tutorialisation video’s hidden throughout the levels with remote controls and witty comments as you solve puzzles such as pushing a button to open a door, the game does get a little more complicated as the puzzles step up from box to pad to open door puzzles into complex find a way to get that part of the scenery loose to swing across this chasm in order to progress further into the game. I would presume the final release would continue the witty humour later into the game and provide more objects to interact with, it has been stated that there will definitely be at least one further area to play around in.

The levels themselves begin rather linear however there are hidden secrets even in the early levels before things really open up to allow multiple paths and solutions to the puzzles and that’s where the replayability comes in, as there is plenty around to mess about with and find hidden secrets you never knew existed as you explore further and play around with objects you didn’t think would do anything.

The game was quickly greenlit and will be coming to steam soon but if you can’t wait you can purchase the alpha directly from the developers on their website. When the game is fully released I will do an update and show what is new to the game and a proper review video.

If you enjoyed the look of the game go buy a copy for yourself and do remember there will more features and at least one extra level in the full steam release!

Go vote on the steam greenlight page this game’s great https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=556443937 human fall flat greenlight.

Find out more about human fall flat at http://www.nobrakesgames.com/human/

I received a voucher to try products from the tesco finest party food selection for review, and along with a 3 for 2 discount I got a major price reduction on the food selected to try.

The tesco finest party food range was all designed to cook at the same temperature and be easy to heat up with minimal effort for party food over the seasonal christmas holidays and parties in general. Located on the shelves next to tesco’s regular range of party food in very similar packages it perhaps wasn’t ideal for choosing items in the same discounted range but for a shopper wishing to choose their party food for the holidays the entire selection was available in one convenient location.

Although there was a selection noted on the website to try I found the range in store had other products not mentioned whilst also finding it impossible to seek out some of those nicer products which were stated to be in the range.

•Tesco finest* Posh Pigs in Blankets
A pork sausage with cinnamon and ginger coated in a port and cranberry glaze, wrapped crispy bacon.*
•Tesco finest* Bourbon Beef Waffles
8 mini Belgium waffles topped with shredded Aberdeen Angus beef, Bourbon BBQ sauce and medium Cheddar cheese*
•Tesco finest* Mini Steak Pies*
Mini pies with beef and a cornish ale gravy in crispy pastry.*
•Tesco finest* Butterfly Prawn Selection with a Mango Dipping Sauce
King prawns coated in coconut and black & white sesame seed crumbs.*
•Tesco finest* Thai Chicken Curry Pastries
Pastry pockets filled with green Thai chicken curry, or Panang chicken curry with lemongrass.*
•Tesco finest* Oriental Selection
A selection of ready to eat oriental snacks, prawn and coconut spring rolls, chicken satay cones and Mussaman crouton bites.*
•Tesco finest* Mini Strawberry Trifles
Strawberry sauce, diced strawberry, sponge cubes with vanilla mousse topped with freeze dried strawberry*
•Tesco finest* Lemon Sherbet bites
Mini cheesecake with biscuit base, lemon cheesecake topped with sherbert dust.*
•Tesco finest* Swiss Chocolate Truffle profiteroles
Swiss chocolate truffle mousse in choux pastry, topped with a swiss chocolate sauce with “gold sparkled” butterscotch pieces.*

The majority of this list was impossible to find in store, especially the frozen and sweet treats, only finding the pigs in blankets, a selection of differing prawn based products, the oriental selection, an indian selection pack and some crispy chicken skewers.

Obviously there were some products I would have tried had I been able to find then however the variation in the finest range in the store I visited was lacking choosing to only have traditional party fare along with the oriental and indian selections lacking the choices in varied party foods, this could be a sign of the area however being stagnant full of old people set in their ways unwilling to try new and different food styles and only including the oriental and indian selections for natives in the area.

The products I took were very tasty although the indian party food seemed to be rather toned down unless you dipped the products in the included sauce which doesn’t seem very indian as usually all of their food is filled to the brim with flavours and sensations, and for the most part the combination required the sauces in order to get the full indian flavour. The chicken skewers I took also had a very good crispy coating far beyond what you would find in most fried chicken and with the ease of cooking is a definite recommendation and would be perfect to dip into any of your usual dipping sauces you could include with a party selection or to eat separately on their own.

Now ideally as this was purchased to be used as party food where it would provide something of extra sustenance rather than the usual selection of cheese and crackers, sweets, crisps and nuts and even provide something warm and satisfying as a variation. I would even state that these would be fine to eat cooled down after cooking however my mother set in her ways didn’t wish to have these on the christmas table after everything instead choosing to just lay out a selection of the usual cold snacks, so I had these on a separate occasion, but it’s the thought that counts right? I personally thought these were an ideal small nibble selection to put out on the table for those who want a little warm treat and something more wholesome than simple snacks and something very tasty that would fit perfectly on a party selection table, this is also the reason I didn’t take the oriental selection even though it looked tasty I wanted to go for something which would be warmed and offer variation, not that if I’dve taken those they would’ve been included as they were too different for my mother to include on the table.

All in all the party food range is very tasty and ideal for party situations and with 3 for 2 often better in price than the regular party food, or competitors counterparts which will be lower in quality and flavour.

Parts of this video are pre christmas where the deadline stated 5 days (with the same number of days til christmas) however visiting the next day while still preparing this it stated 34 days so priorities got reshuffled, apologies to the lateness of the review being that christmas is over, however these are ideal for any party, including the chinese new year, birthdays or even easter, any excuse for a party.

* All product names and descriptions adapted from tesco orchard as they are relevant to the review, to show the range stated and products which could not be found, their direct descriptions are not used as they desire to hold the “marketed” terms under federal trade commission regulations and as a result the products are described but without using their buzz terms. As this is used in a review this fulfills fair use statutes.

Insomnia LAN Gaming Festival returned for it’s 56th incarnation at the NEC in Birmingham for the first time through the 11th-14th of December. Established as the uk’s biggest gaming festival many attend for the tournaments and social LAN gaming elements, but many do not realize that there is also a gaming expo associated with the event.

The expo hall had a good variety of content, from an indie games section, more established franchises like dark souls and halo, as well as competitive zones for those who didn’t bring their own computers such as the smash bro’s and minecraft zones. On top of this there were two main stages featuring a plethora of youtube and gaming personalities over the weeekend as well as a cosplay section showcasing various tools of the trade with cosplayers available for advice and tutorials.

I visited on the friday so unfortunately was not able to delve into the main competitions and talk to those taking part as these had not yet began, but I did get a glimpse of the true silver champion hearthstone trophy which was very impressive indeed, so much that I would consider beginning playing so as to get the possibility to win such a trophy someday.

Comparing the expo to EGX the hall is smaller, as EGX spread through 3 halls and this event was contained to one, with a seperate hall for the LAN arena and another for tents (it is a true festival after all, and does not require you to purchase a hotel, although camp fires would not be advised nor barbeques unless you wished to take them outside onto the car park. Saying this at one third of the size the number of visitors and the queue sizes were significantly smaller, this lead to a more chilled and relaxed atmosphere, attendants were accustomed to the friendly and social aspect of LAN gaming and the event, so when there were queue’s these were very small; literally waiting for the current time period to finish then play. While waiting in any queue everyone struck up conversations with each other and the entire event was very chilled out, much like the ice and winter theme of the expo.

While at the event I decided to take part in the super smash bro’s tournament mostly because I was asked by the pretty lady on the stall and I figured why not, I got through a couple of rounds but ultimately failed by picking little mac and flailing off the edge in over ambitious attacks attempting to counter my opponents ryu game where he could be hit blazing to the edge and off the screen yet still come back, so verticallity for victory seemed ideal with a well timed uppercut. For the most part we tied on percentages and I only failed by my own ineptitude.

There were a number of stalls to purchase all sorts of geeky goodies too, from plushies to t-shirts and even knitted winter jumpers with geeky styles. And for the dedicated gamers there was a GAME stand selling not only electronics you may require for the lan (new keyboards, mice etc should yours break) but also some discounted special edition games and even tickets to the next insomnia festival at a discounted rate.

Some of the indie games I will attempt to bring to you on the main gaming channel with their own reviews, still awaiting confirmation. One game I wouldn’t be able to but was fun was a game called unbox, taking the irony of “unboxing” to a new level you play as a cardboard box in a variety of mini games from races to downright elimination of the other cardboard companions. The game was very fun however the local multiplayer only element of the game may make this difficult for some, and would be the reason I couldn’t take it on at present, perhaps I should’ve asked to record at the event gameplay as the games were very fun and I enjoyed playing with who I presume was the developer of the game and would recommend a purchase should you be able to get people together to play.

The latest halo game was also available to play with an ironic queue for photographs with two spartans yet no queue for the main game itself, a little out of practice the level of the demo threw a horde of enemies upon you with very powerful tank like minions who could down you in one go and your AI companions would then rush in to pick you up getting downed themselves proving a rather difficult challenge indeed, at least I assumed they were AI the potential is that they were interconnected machines and it was the other demo participants also getting downed by the fiend either way it shows that halo is not a casual shooter in any respect (at least on the difficulty the machines were set to)

From this I went on to play dark souls 3, noticing the demo at present lacks any leveling system as I rested at the campfire after dispatching a few enemies hoping to up my defense a little due to the difficulty of some of the enemies. I notice that things are a lot more linear in this incarnation of the franchise, not to state that there aren’t other paths as there were two distinct ways to progress interwoven through the level, I focused on taking down the extra tough minion up the stairs on the left who seemed to raise the dead as he was tougher than the other enemies hoping to get some decent loot but alas to no avail, from this I progressed the main way finding secret windows to progress through leading down to the dragon. The dragon was very apt at setting fire to your path if you didn’t use cunning, it is entirely possible to chug estus constantly and rush through it however the smart amongst you would note that you could taunt the dragon to go one path then double back up to his origonal position and through the safety of the building before the next area you would require to race the flame once more. Having spent my time exploring and trying different things and paths I ran out of playtime unfortunately, but would hope to be able to bring a demo play to you should I be able to get hold of a copy.

Other experiences around the event included a racing simulator which you had to pay £5 for, which unsurprisingly remained unused considering people had paid to enter the event such a game was not very well received, especially as another driving game with steering wheel and (loose floppy) pedals was available for free in the center of the event. Also there were a few 3d experiences, knowing that I missed out the vive at EGX I immediately signed up and got to play on this, where the games were very impressive, there was an underwater experience watching a whale get close, a 3D drawing game where of course you have to draw something of an immature and penile nature… In 3D! then the real games began and there was a 3D western zombie shooter which I unfortunately forget the name of but was very fun and showed just how responsive and accurate the controls were, and of course I completed it flawlessly! Finally there was an aperture science 3d experience with GLaDos and the co-op robots which contained the usual portal humour but also some intimidation with GLaDos towering over you, and the floor beneath you giving way before finally you get crushed out of existence. The vive will be coming soon with development kits going out in january, and an estimated release around april. You can find more details at www.htcvr.com and I would love to bring more should HTC desire to send me a version and some demo’s ;-)

The vive was very much off the rails, so you were’nt constrained to following a set path or a rollercoaster as many existing 3D experiences tend to be, you were free to move around fully up to virtual walls, which represent by honeycomb shapes when you get too close (imagine a star trek holodeck saying hey the wall’s here don’t walk into me) and I can imagine the software and games developed for such a system could be very inspirational indeed.

There was also a Merge VR for the lower budget which converts Iphone’s into a 3d Experience, obviously lacking compared to the vive as there aren’t the handheld controllers which get sensed regardless of where you leave them, and lacks the native room based intelligence, but was a reasonable on the rails experience.

The final main game I played was battleborn which is an online first person shooting moba style game, with a variety of champions to choose from and an in game leveling system to keep ahead of the competition. Playing the game it was very fun and seemed promising, currently in beta I would have to keep up to date to see how things progress and hope that the game doesn’t get a toxic community like super monday night combat did as a game like this is very dependent upon the community and I would hope it would remain fun and fair.

There were a number of giveaways at the event itself, along with freebies to collect. One competition I took part in was with #gamestate a unique game development method where the game will entirely be designed as to the whim’s of the website’s members giving everything a choice and open to forum suggestions. I took part in the competition because I was told that the prize was a cap, a pair of headphones and a rugged looking backpack, all on display at the event and needing a new set of headphones which were decent I decided to enter. I sat around during the drawing process where a few names were selected but as they were not there to claim prizes these got dismissed, finally they narrowed it to the three of us that were there and my name was selected, I got excited thinking I would be getting all of the prizes but instead was given the snapback hat with blocks to put on it, the only thing I wouldn’t ever use. Being a community based game design where the users get a choice if you ignore the fact that I was mislead to believe that all of the items were the prize I would have chosen either the headphones or the rugged backpack, both of which I would use constantly as I carry a backpack everywhere and a rugged strong one would be very useful, and the headphones would be good for recording and playing games, the cap I would never wear as it is not my style let alone the childish brick part of the cap. So sadly although I won this was very dissappointing.

Other freebies I received included the battleborn t-shirt, a sonic hat which I am more likely to wear as a novelty than the stupid cap, and some in game dlc. I’m sure there would have been more freebies on offer but I don’t tend to ask but when provided I happily accept.

The expo also had two stages which a variety of content could be seen throughout the show, from competitive gameplay to youtubers putting on a live “lets play” and even talk panel shows with live audience Q&A sessions. I sat down and watched gassy mexican and daithidenogla play a couple of sessions of keep talking and nobody explodes, as a live setting it was very interesting to see them shouting instructions across the stage from each other in an attempt to diffuse the bomb, both having their own style of play, gassy listening to daithi but ultimately never having played before not knowing in some of the more difficult puzzles what was required due to unclear instruction, and daithi’s style on the bomb was to often ignore gassy and just panic cutting wires and exploding the bomb immediately. As this was a live show it would have added further entertainment if there was a penalty for exploding the bomb (like a water bomb to the face or something) but either way was very entertaining to watch.

Ultimately as a comparison on an expo level I would recommend visiting I56 for the shorter queue’s (and often non existent queue’s) and for the more relaxed atmosphere, perhaps taking advantage of the indie games at EGX and saving the hefty queue’d games for a visit to I56 where you could play the titles such as rise of the tomb raider, halo, assassins creed syndiccate etc with absolutely no queue where at EGX the wait time had been in the 1 hour plus frame. Furthermore if you wanted to get really social and play in the lan tournaments you should definitely get a BYOC ticket and camp at the event in style (or at least your tent) I would say if you’re a gamer you should check out an insomnia event for yourself and get the full experience.

The next insomnia will be held 25th to 28th of march with full details at insomniagamingfestival.com whether you choose to only visit the expo or take part in the lan gaming festival you won’t regret your visit.

The christmas special of dr who is nearly upon us and with the season finale of dr who promises were made that the dr would be different, where previous seasons the dr had been focused on clara and had been noted by many as the worst dr of all time thing weren’t looking great when the season consisted of two parters where everyone was dead or dying one week and saved and alive the next week through increasingly absurd plot lines.

The terrible plot’s didn’t end there with the doctor increasingly breaking the fourth wall to explain plots and subtext directly to the audience in order to make the episode feasible. This was of course made worse when there was a special episode consisting of a character telling a story to the audience of sleep based creatures outside of the dr who universe being a pure work of fiction from a one time character, things were looking bad for the series and it was looking like the entire franchise was about to be ruined.

The dead/not dead plot lines continued in varying forms even revolving around the doctor dying over and over in a never ending cycle through time until he was on gallifrey at the end of time itself having gone the long way around, using up “lives” being reborn by a special technology which reset itself including his teleporter signal yet ignored the final room where he was able to chip away diamonds until the end of time quoting a parable to explain how through persistence a raven could chip away a mountain until the end of time. One major plot fault is if everything reset within the dial of the castle surely that room too would reset.

The story then began to revolve around a “hybrid” who would destroy the universe, where the doctor believed himself to be this hybrid refusing to reveal it to the timelords there have been previous hybrids throughout the series with no mention of this “prophecy” at any point, including dalek sec, the hybrid human timelord daleks, davros himself, and more that shall not be named. The problem is however that dalek caan was voiced by the same lady on gallifrey who was also in a similar prophetic role as the insane dalek who saved the daleks from the very same point of the time war as the doctor did, not to mention the problems that would ensue with the fact that both factions of the war are separately saved throughout time somewhere, this also makes the possibility that caan and the lady are bound and one with the prophecy as the cause of destruction, furthermore the story continues to the shielder maisie williams who now goes by “me” being the last survivor of the universe having traveled the long way around also, having lived every day yet maintaining human form unlike the face of bo: jack harkness who of course failed his form and eventually died.

The shielder theorized that together the prophecy of the hybrid may also be that the end of the timelords and time may not be simply one person but a hybrid of multiple people working together whether intentional or not throughout time that causes the prophecy. Of course having traveled the long way around, past even the timelords where she could have existed on gallifrey at the time and also even given birth to timelords themselves (or the doctor or even the master) she may have knowledge beyond the doctors as to exactly what happened.

While on gallifrey the doctor of course enacted the prophecy in some form, bringing back clara from the point of death freezing her in time but alive under the promise to return her to the point of death and prevent the catastrophe that would ensue by keeping her out of time. Together the shielder takes clara herself on their newly stolen tardis to travel throughout time keeping clara both dead and not dead at the same time which forgives some of the terrible plots as a hint as to clara’s inevitable condition, this even allows for further points where clara has been experienced in history without the doctors knowledge, where the doctor had been obsessed with why clara appeared throughout multiple timelines having taken her on his travels he has slowly put her into those positions, pairing with a daleks mind inside, and continuing to propagate at points in time and now travelling with the shielder dead but alive with no life signs she can return to the beginning and die (or pretend to) at the point the doctor knew her to die, and forgetting the paradoxes of the shielder existing twice in any timeline she visits due to having travelled the long way it could be any instance we see her in the future.

The ending however redeemed a lot of the series and even the terrible doctor, with him being the doctor to piss off most of the universe and wreck things through that simple action, yet being saved in the series through forgetting clara and in that instance clicking his fingers to close the tardis doors as if to show that he is the doctor to be with river song (the christmas special where this didn’t need any hint beyond the finger click) and having the chalkboard state be the doctor showing he should be more like the doctor of past and not the terrible doctor that he had been written to be in the seasons thus far of this actor; this was furthered by getting a new sonic screwdriver rather than the sonic douche glasses as though to say he is now the doctor again and not a douche.

Things yet to happen would be to save river song by giving her the sonic screwdriver with the saving facilities intact on it, the major worry is that upon giving this to her he would return to douche glasses and not have another sonic screwdriver, as terrible as the worry he would have a new tardis he could disguise as something else (maybe a blue portaloo) However he would have to meet river and her not know who he is, this would show to him it would be the last time he is alive in this form and soon to die, which would be the time for him to give her the sonic under the plan to use his regeneration energy knowing he is about to die and save everyone from the computer by using this energy to give everyone form once more including river song his fellow timelord and bring everyone back to life.

Of course this is all theory on how things would seem to play out in the universe should they not add rather silly or unusual reasons for things, and the actual plot may play out differently as I have no insider knowledge but this would be a sensible way for the series to progress with the doctor now on track and able to get viewers back under an air of a fresh start.

The Insomnia gaming festival returns this weekend with I56, renowned for its 24 hour lan gaming competitions and E sports you might want to plan your sleeping schedule to at least get a little sleep over the 3 days if you plan to attend.

With a convention showing featuring playable games and talks from game developers, sessions and talk panels with youtubers, and the well known BYOC (bring your own computer/console) tournaments there is a little something for every gamer here.

The known playable games are as follows:
· City of the Shroud, Abyssal Arts
· DiscStorm, XMPT Games
· Flight of Light, Crystalline Green Ltd.
· Gang Beasts, Boneloaf
· GRIP, Caged Element
· Havenrise, Pixel Balloon
· Help: Real War is Not a Game, Sheena Bourke (War Child)
· Jump Stars, Pixel Blimp
· Lifespeed, Wee Man Studios
· Natures Zombie Apocalypse, Aniode
· Networm , Cuddly Zombie Games
· Perpetual Night, Studio Genkan
· Spectra, Gateway Interactive
· Super Rude Bear Resurrection, Alex Rose Games
· The Mists of Audazzle, Audazzle
· Cuphead, Studio MDHR
· SUPERHOT, Superhot.
· Aaero, Mad Fellows
· Beyond Flesh and Blood, Pixel Bomb
· Gear Gauntlet, Drop Dead Interactive
· Jump Stars, Pixel Blimp
· Kingdom, Noio and Licorice & Raw Fury
· Raging Justice, Makin Games
· Spectra, Gateway Interactive
· Super Dungeon Bros, Wired Productions & React Games
· Unbox, Prospect Games
· ElemenTales, Total Monkery
· Kaiju Panic, Mechabit
· Pure Space, Gateway Interactive

I will be attending the event and giving you more information about what is available and what you could see on the friday, but for now I would suggest if you’re into gaming and wish to take part in the competitions or even play any of the games listed you should definitely attend.

There are still details yet to be confirmed including evening entertainment, but if you wish to find out more and see a full list of youtubers you can see around the event and holding panels check out the insomnia website for full details.

Get your tickets to insomia now while you still can. http://insomniagamingfestival.com

I was sent a sample of the new 007 Seven fragrance to sample and provide my opinions on, other than the cool bottle and interesting spray mechanism the product itself is rather generic.

Men’s aftershave and fragrances do tend to be strong and overpowering and this at least holds back to be a more sophisticated and subtle scent but still have the usual and fairly generic male fragrance scent where you would expect a fragrance suitable for james bond to stand out and be bold.

Being a spy who is often approached and gets all of the ladies in the films you would want a unique scent perhaps more fitting to the theme, with 007 being famed for martini’s, money and cars I would expect a scent that is reminiscent of these or perhaps some of the exotic locations that bond visits in various guises. Obviously not knowing the upcoming film in depth I cannot say if it fits spectre or even attempts to, but as a fragrance for men for me it is a little generic.

Perhaps they decided to play it safe in order to appeal to the most people, with a familiar scent that wouldn’t scare people from trying it, but that isn’t bond. Bond is never one to play it safe, he always takes the risks and comes out on top and that is what I think the fragrance with his name should do.

So all in all the fragrance is pleasant enough to use, but nobody would ever smell it on you and know it was 007 seven, it could be any fragrance to someone smelling it, and as a result makes itself replaceable in purchase for any other mens fragrance in my personal opinion.

Dr who returned to our screens with season 9, and of course everyones “favourite” doctor, peter capaldi who has been commented by many people as reasons they have stopped watching the show. On top of his breaking of the fourth wall to explain a plot last season, and constantly insisting he’s cool and things he does are cool just like a dad trying to insist to his children he’s actually cool he has now gone on to break one of the majorly established elements of being a doctor.

The doctor has always had his big blue box, the tardis trapped in the guise of an old telephone box despite the fact that this is irrelevant pretty much everywhere in the universe and space time. However he has also had for some time, and especially through every incarnation of the new season his sonic screwdriver in various forms, changing this to another form of sonic was acceptable however removing the screwdriver aspect and turning them into a pair of sunglasses is about as cool as those pathetic slatted sunglasses or wearing 3d glasses in the 80/90′s and also breaks one of the main characteristics of being the doctor, changing from a sonic screwdriver is essentially the same as changing the form of the tardis from an old telephone box, especially to something as stupid and douchey as a pair of sunglasses, it’s almost as though he’s trying too hard to insist he’s cool when sunglasses aren’t really cool fashion and haven’t been for a long time, sure they’re effective for blocking the suns rays and good for helping you see in bright light, but as a fashion accessory they’re rather stupid and as a sonic tool quite stupid considering how much harder it is to put on a pair of sunglasses in order to activate something.

Perhaps had he simply kept them as an additional tool for seeing things possibly it would have been fine, but to remove the screwdriver because he doesn’t want to be seen waving a magic wand essentially around is just silly in my opinion. Let’s face it holding out the sonic screwdriver and pointing it at something or holding it up like a sword ready to use at enemies is far more impressive visually than someone putting glasses on and putting their hand to their head.

This isn’t the only fault with season 9 however, additional problems come on the fundamental plot-lines which are reminiscent of 60′s batman serials, where every episode is essentially a two parter, and for the majority either the doctor or his companions, or in the case of last week pretty much the entire of the uk were dead, and stay tuned for next week to see how what happened at the end of the episode or in the teaser doesn’t actually happen and how he’s actually alive, the world is safe and nobody was actually ever in any danger as expressed in the end scenes.

The world is currently in jeopardy, the uk has been replaced with an army of shape-shifting aliens, which actually may have turned the humans into their form as they are constantly requesting for the truth to come out and for them to have their planet and their life back (whoops is that potential spoilers, I’m no insider but that’s the obvious solution, with the feared box perhaps being the key to the transformations and to put everything right) Will it be down to the doctor escaping from a plane about to be exploded by a heat seeking missile, probably using teleportation technology held by the dr who fangirl who wears nods to his past live’s outfits and keeps photo’s of them within unit on the walls as easter eggs to see.

Maisie williams was introduced as a new immortal in the only episode to not have anyone dead at the end, sure masie died but he implanted her with a chip to make her live forever much like captain jack harkness, and the teaser there was that she would live to see the annihilation of the entire world with what appeared to be a nuclear explosion behind her. This would hint along with word that was spread that torchwood would be returned that she may be the new leader of a torchwood team for her own series, put this together with the world jeopardy and unit being destroyed the perfect opportunity for her to step in from her established position of watching over the doctor (shown during a photograph in the end of an episode with her watching behind him in a previous plot)

With the doctors sidekick deemed to be cocooned, although she could easily be infiltrating pretending to be the alien in order to foil their plot and the doctor in trouble it could come down to masie to save the day with torchwood, possibly saving the doctor then stepping in to help take back the world and prepare to launch a season of torchwood during the doctor who season break. If they do not bring masie in to do torchwood it does feel like a missed opportunity having established her as a pseudo jack, another immortal to live forever but follow the timeline never to time travel and be stuck on earth in the perfect position to defend them, having established this would prevent her going insane in her previous plotlines.

I personally think the whole everyone’s dead, oh wait they’re not dead, oh we broke the established rules of what happens when the tardis explodes but that didn’t happen, on next weeks episode we never really destroyed it bullshit rather boring and predictable and seemingly inflating deliberately false plotlines. All of this is so old fashioned and pathetic and likely to destroy the entire franchise, I would like it to go back to how it had been, with intricate well woven plots along with individual episodes that wouldn’t necessarily tie together and never having this falsely implied death principle repeating over and over every single time.

Using it on the first episode fine, but now it’s been used 4 times over this season it’s dead and buried, and don’t bring it back alive next week this is one thing you should leave dead in the ground and get on with actually writing some good episodes before you kill the entire franchise. Also get rid of the sonic sunglasses they’re as offensive as if you change the tardis to a portaloo, he might as well be flying around space time in a turdis with his douche glasses and a sonic e-cigarette with weed in to provide all the aliens a sonic e-toke and mellow them out so the only thing they wish to exterminate is the contents of the fridge… in their stomach. At least an E-spliff would be more impressive than sonic sunglasses.

I like dr who a lot, and I gave the new doctor his chance but he’s gotten progressively worse, I know it’s established he’s meant to become the enemy of the universe, but that’s meant to be in show, he’s not meant to be destroyer of the franchise, just destroyer of worlds.

I was sent a voucher to get £4 of fish from the tesco orchard, and decided to use it only on the fresh fish counter although I could have used it on any fish in the store, and see what the counter had to offer and just how fresh the produce was.

My idea initially was to find fish to use to create sushi with some sushi wrappers to make your own which you could purchase in store, however it was quickly established by the counter operative that the fish was not fresh enough for this purpose (and you could see that even though it was stored on ice obviously it was not freshly cut to order or of a suitably fresh standard) I then decided to see if they had some sashimi grade salmon, although usually served raw is ideal for lightly toasting, however having a number of varieties of salmon this was sadly lacking from the counter.

Instead I decided to them look what was on offer, along with the usual cod, haddock, several types of salmon I opted instead for the more unusual varieties, firstly trying some manta ray fin, and secondly taking a piece of rainbow trout, where there were two colours white and yellow and I opted for the yellow fleshed variety.

The manta ray fin was very large and essentially came with two portions per fin, although on bones the bones were very large and once cooked easily separated to serve a boneless and tasty white fish, not only was the fish very tasty it also had a very creamy texture while maintaining a familiar white fish cod like flavour. I think this would be a good option for battering and deep frying as not only would it taste a lot like cod but also the creamy texture would lead to a higher flavour retention against the oils coming in during the cooking process and make a very delicious fried fish option which may even be healthier as it would likely minimize the oils being absorbed.

The rainbow trout variety I chose surprised me quite a bit as it tasted like a high quality cooked salmon, which is usually hard to get to this standard even with a high quality cut. As a result this would be an option for anyone wishing to have the high quality salmon flavour with little effort and would also save a lot of money, sure you would have to deal with some bones and a softer flesh which breaks apart easier, but for the convenience and ease of cooking for the same flavour I believe this is a suitable compromise to make

Over all I think it is a little disappointing that the counter isn’t as fresh as it might put accross, had I not asked the counter operative I would have assumed that any fish purchased would have been suitably fresh to make sushi with and possibly risked food poisoning as a result, and the varieties on offer were average, but you can understand that most people would be seeking the “usual range” of cod and haddock and salmons that were displayed, as opposed to seeking something different or special, but there was the manta fin as a little excitement and something different so it also caters a little towards that. I just wish that there was the option to get a truly fresh product if requested, that the fishmonger could cut a fresh fish right then and there suitable for creating sushi with, or freshly cut upon request for those who want a freshly cut slice of fish, while leaving the display for those who wish it and don’t have the truly fresh requirements.

Other than the “fresh” issues the counter is a nice option and good to go to if you want some advice or to try something a little new, and perhaps may be fresher than the shelved produce. Either way you can have a free garlic or chilli butter to cook your fish with so there are bonuses to visiting, and if you like fish I think you should consider looking at the fresh counter first in case something catches your eye.

Albedo: Eyes from outer space is a first person puzzle based horror game themed around the old cheesy B-Movies and space opera’s of early television production, the game immerses you into such an experience with the authentic old sounds used along with a typical style of inherent threat coming from the tentacle clad eye’s which are an immediate threat from the outset.

The gameplay itself involves object hunting around the rooms while trying to find out how to use those particular items (or maybe some you’ve missed in previous rooms) to traverse to the next location all the time trying to avoid becoming a victim of the eyes which have come from outer space.

The puzzles can often be obscure and sometimes frustrating if you believe you’ve found the solution or checked everything, but sometimes things will require a closer look or a re-visit after you have set up previous steps, but as puzzle games go this one isn’t designed to simply walk you through and feel good about yourself for completing highly signposted routes, instead you feel a part of the scene actually trawling through everything fighting to find your way out, and perhaps feeling more rewarded for persisting and finding the hard solution. Progress may be slow but you’ll feel like you’ve definitely earnt your escape when you do make it out.

Get albedo: eyes from outer space on steam now
http://store.steampowered.com/app/277520
Also available on green man gaming
http://www.greenmangaming.com/s/gb/en/pc/games/shooter/albedo-eyes-outer-space/
Courtesy of Merge Games.
www.mergegames.com