Monday 29 July 2013

Ireland just got CeXier! New Store in Dundalk!

It seems like only yesterday that CeX was a Central London geek secret just off Tottenham Court Road with a passion for gadgets & games. That was just over 20 years ago, and time flies when you're having fun.

We are proud to announce that Dundalk is joining CeX and growing our awesome Irish Family!

Come on down and check out our treasure trove of goodies you can buy, sell & exchange or just drop by to say "Hi!" and chat about your favourite gadgets, games and films.

You can find us at:
31 Marshes Shopping Centre,

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Y Not Festival

Want to get your festival on this weekend?
Check out Y Not Festival in Derbyshire!

Have you seen the line up? Its a corker! 

Winner "Best Small Festival UK 2012" Y Not Festival put on one hell of a show. 
Multiple bespoke bars, rolling countryside & the best tunes to make Summer 2013 the best ever.

Don't miss it! Y NOT FESTIVAL 

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The Numbers Station

Recently released on blu-ray is the new John Cusack thriller The Numbers Station.  It concerns a CIA black ops agent that has become tired of his job and his only option, short of being murdered for knowing too much, is to guard a young woman called Katherine (Malin Akerman) who works at the Numbers Station.

Emerson Kent (Cusack) is the governments black ops agent of which I speak, the film starts with him going into a bar and talking to an ex-agent who ran away from his career and started working a more subtle under-the-radar job serving beer.  Emerson shoots him dead with a satisfying ‘pyooo’ noise that comes from guns with silencers.  A witness who was in the bar reacts appropriately and legs it out the door to as far away as possible. Unfortunately for him and ultimately his daughter, he leaves his wallet, and therefore address, behind. 

Emerson drives up to their house and ‘pyooo’, then the victims’ daughter appears suddenly and asks Emerson why he did what he was doing.  It felt awkward when she said it, and it turns out to be a plot device as Emerson instantly has a crisis of confidence and lets her live.  Michael Grey, Emerson’s boss, witnesses this and knocks Emerson unconscious and shoots the girl dead in the snow.  It was well tense and all symbolic, innit. Emerson ends up getting offered the opportunity to be murdered or to do a baby sitting job watching over a young woman, Katherine, who reads out cryptic numbers on the radio to agents like him so they know who to kill, or that their tea is ready or who won X-Factor.  I will take this moment for a small real life history lesson.

The whole mythology and possible truth behind the numbers stations is a very interesting and exciting thing.  Ever since the end of World War I there have been reports of women reading out lists of numbers on specific frequencies on radios.  The most popular and plausible theory of what these lists of numbers are for is various governments contacting field agents to give them secret coded information.  The Internet is full of examples of these radio broadcasts in Spanish, Russian, English and many other languages. The one thing they have in common is they are truly emotionless and eerie.  Like looking into the eyes of a Poundland employee.

A YouTube member created a video below but the sounds are as they would be heard on the radio.

Tell me that doesn’t creep you the hell out.  Someone probably died after that was originally broadcast and that freaks me right out.

Anyway. Emerson ends up in quite the sticky situation since someone has found the station and has killed the night shift woman and her bodyguard.  This puts a lot of things at risk including their lives and the governments comfort levels.  Emerson is then asked to kill the innocent Katherine, and you may remember that not wanting to kill innocent women was why he was put here in the first place.  It has many a tense twist, at least one or two turns, sometimes twists AND turns and an unnerving amount of misdirection. 

I’m not sure if you understand the tension levels, so here’s a game we can play. Imagine you have walked in on your father having an affair with another man and your sister, and suddenly the door closes behind you. Your Dad is struggling to talk through his gimp mask and the other two have their mouths full.  Your mother is on the other side of the door asking you to open it because she has made you some cupcakes. You see how tense you would feel?  That’s how tense I felt throughout this film.  Then again my diet is entirely energy drinks and cigarettes, so perhaps that has something to do with it.

The film has been reported by other sources as boring, and by all means it should be boring for many reasons.  For example there is essentially no more than two characters in this film, and their main role in the film is to wait about.  Anyone that has flown with Ryanair during the winter months knows how exciting this isn’t. Could it be that my life is so insanely tedious, and boring already that I failed to realise this? Because I was literally on the edge of my seat the whole time, though this was partly because the television is quite far away and I think I need glasses.  

However you want to look at it, the acting was very good; subtle, gritty and noir. The special effects were cheap feeling but it added to it in a strange way. I think knowing that these numbers stations are actually broadcasting as we speak in real life makes it a wee bit more interesting but that’s me.  Watch it and see what you think.

David Roberts, CeX Ann Street, Belfast

The Numbers Station at CeX

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Saturday 27 July 2013

CeX Online is Moving

Selling to CeX online? With fixed prices and a speedy turnaround you'll be joining millions who have done so already. It's so popular that we're moving to a bigger warehouse so we can handle things faster. Please note our new postal address is now

Unit A
Greycaines House
21 Greycaines Road
WD24 7GP

Artists impression of our new warehouse.

Don't worry if you've sent your stuff to our old address recently, we'll redirect it to our new home. Back to moving those boxes...
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Thursday 25 July 2013

Movie 43

Just released on Blu-ray is the new sketch show come feature film Movie 43. It stars an obscene amount of people you’ve probably heard of including Halle Berry, Gerard Butler, Anna Faris, Hugh Jackman, Johnny Knoxville, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Seann William Scott, Emma Stone, Kristen Bell, and Kate Winslet among others. The film is, as I’ve mentioned, a group of comedy shorts starring people significantly more famous than what you’d see on BBC3. Think a big budget episode of Saturday Night Live.

A bit of research will tell you that practically none of the cast, if any of them, wanted to be in the film and had signed on prematurely and got guilted into it later. Richard Gere did everything he could to get dropped from the film and other actors denied flat out when asked to be involved such as George Clooney who replied with the very direct “No fucking way”. It has been described as “The Citizen Kane of awful” and though I struggle to take peoples advice on what films I should watch based on their merits I am always startlingly intrigued by a film that’s famous for it’s terrible quality. Anyway sketch-by-sketch, here is some of my favourite and more memorable parts of Movie 43.

The Thread
The framing device for the UK version of Movie 43 is one of the weakest parts of the film in which a couple of stoned out morons make a YouTube video which gets an obscene amount of views in a very small period of time. It turns out to be the little brother, who is a tech genius, playing a prank with a fake YouTube page and they get irate. In response they make up a movie and challenge the little genius to find it for them, this is merely a distraction device so they can download a lot of viruses onto the kids’ computer as a revenge tactic. This leads to him ploughing through a collection of ‘banned’ short films. It’s a means to an end and doesn’t overly entertain; unless you play ‘smoke-along-with Calvin and J.J’ then it might be funny.

The Catch
Beth (Kate Winslet) is a woman, who is over worked and under penetrated and her desperation has overflowed until her friends have insisted on setting her up on a blind date with a man so attractive that it seems that coffee tables could get aroused and impregnated just by having him set a mug on them. The gentleman in question is called ‘Davis’ and is played by Hugh Jackman, he is undeniably perfect and for some reason single and Beth can’t believe her luck. She finds fault with him though; as he whips off his scarf a big manscaped set of testicles are revealed to be permanently dangling from his throat and for some reason Beth is the only person noticing them. It’s an okay joke, and seems to end just before it gets over used, when he sets his neck-testicles (or nesticles) onto a baby’s head or into Beths face while posing for a photo, its funny, but in a silly way. It feels like an adult cartoon, the kind of thing South Park would have done at the start of their journey all those years ago.

The Proposition
Sweet and innocent girls don’t sleep with their boyfriends until they are seriously invested in a relationship. In a parody of this traditional rom-com trope, the girl Julie decides she is ready to invite her boyfriend Doug to poop on her as a demonstration of her love for him. He doesn’t seem one hundred percent comfortable with discovering his girlfriend is a coprophiliac, though he decides after some friendly advice, to eat a lot of mexican food and to down a bottle of laxative to help him perform under pressure. She doesn’t appreciate his eagerness, caused by a turd equivalent of premature ejaculation, and she runs out. Chasing after her he gets hit by a car and explodes the contents of his bowels across the street and pulls out a wedding ring and proposes. This sketch is low, degrading, disgusting and childish and for some reason one of my favourites despite most of my viewing time having been spent behind my hands so as not to see any sort of conclusion. It’s the kind of sketch that would’ve been thrown together by an improv group made up of five-year-old boys.

Superhero Speed Dating
This is basically batman and robin speed dating, it seems like an interesting premise, but it felt to me like one of the most tedious and lazy sketches in the whole thing. I didn’t realise how much I hated it until I was in a different room weeping into old issues of DC comics and apologising to them for what I had witnessed. Fast-forward the crap out of this one.

Now the whole film is very hit and miss, just like any sketch show, the only thing it has over a normal sketch show is the budget and the quality of acting, however here are my top three sketches in reverse order of how much shit they weren’t.

Middle-school Date
A young girl, while making out on the sofa with her boyfriend, suddenly gets her period for the first time causing all the men in the house to freak out in different ways. Her boyfriend for example is too young to have attended sex education classes or to have seen the first few scenes of Stephen King’s Carrie and thinks she is dying. It’s funny and awkward and is probably better after a lot of illegal green leaves but was entertaining anyway.

Happy Birthday
This one features Seann William Scott and Johnny Knoxville. The basic premise is that Knoxville’s character Pete has kidnapped a Leprechaun as a present to Seann’s character Brian for his birthday. The reason being that if you capture a Leprechaun he will give you a big pot of gold. Or so the story goes. Eventually the phone rings and another leprechaun has called threatening to do horrible things to Seann and Johnny due to the kidnapping of his brother. Eventually the other one is convinced to come up with the gold in exchange for their tiny prisoner. This turns out to be a trap and involves a lot of over the top silly violence. My favourite bit is the end so I’ll leave that to you to discover as it feels like the punch line to one of those jokes you would’ve been sent as a “Subject:FWD:FWD:FWD:great joke” in the mid nineties and works well, and also the torture scene of a mystical creature has its merits because of how terrifying those little guys are.

Truth or Dare
This is the only real reason to watch this film as it is easily the best sketch wherein Halle Berry and Stephen Merchant are on a date (which could easily be the best joke in the film) and to avoid a stale ‘first date’ vibe they decide to dare each other to do increasingly awful things. The only sketch I laughed out loud at.

The best reason to watch this film is sheer curiosity. It raises a philosophical question ‘Can a film really deserve a positive rating of 4% on, if it’s not directed by Uwe Boll?’ It’s fair to say that I’ve had less fun watching some blockbusters but I’ve also had more fun pulling my fingernails out with a set of Games Workshop pliers, so I’ll leave this up to your personal opinion. I think it’s probably a good one to watch drunk or otherwise inebriated and may become a cult classic.

David Roberts, CeX Ann Street, Belfast

Movie 43 at CeX

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Live in Philadelphia?
Love gaming, anime and cosplay?
If so, rock on down to The Blockley, 3801 Chestnut Street, PA 19104 on Sunday 28th July between 2PM and 12AM and join us at J1-Con2!

Take part in the epic fighting game tournaments, laugh-out-loud during the comedy performance, show off your mad cosplay skills, test your pro card gaming deck or just chill in the casual gaming and movie sections.

$10 at the door, $5 for under 10s and free for under 5s!
With contests, prizes provided by CeX, vendor stalls and panel discussions, there is something for everyone!

For more info on J1Studios and J1-Con2 head here.

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Tuesday 23 July 2013

Oz The Great and Powerful

Oz the Great and Powerful escaped from the cinemas and landed right on Blu-ray and DVD this month. Starring James Franco as ‘Oz’ this is a prequel to the original Wizard of Oz film, and unfortunately was about as respectful and faithful as The Phantom Menace was to Star Wars.

Oz lives in a world were everything is black and white, with a screen ratio of 4:3. Eventually he gets whisked away to a world that is in full blown colour and in lovely 16:9 wide-screen known as Oz. Oz, the guy, begins this film as a small time magician living his life sleazily seducing women and tricking people into giving him money by pretending he is something more than a mediocre performer, a role perfect for James Franco in that respect. After getting caught in a storm while riding in a hot air balloon he crash lands in a pond somewhere and as he disembarks he meets one of the good witches of Oz. She introduces herself as Theodora and tells Oz that he is the famed wizard that all the Ozlings had heard about from a prophecy. She says a wizard would come and save the world from the evil witch and if Oz is the wizard like she believes, he is entitled to a Kingship and infinite wealth. He then uses all his charm and tricks as a failed magician to convince everyone he is in fact a powerful wizard so that he can get his hands on the gold and rubies in the Emerald City.

I didn't like this film. The whole thing felt like it was written with James Franco’s penis instead of a pen. Despite his clearly awful personality and severe lack of a sense of humour every woman on screen falls in love with him for at least a little while, eventually leading directly to the chaos which he allegedly would save them from. The world doesn't feel anything like Oz and any reference to the original film feels like a big James Franco shaped turd curled out onto its legacy. I'm not even a massive fan of the original, but I do like it and this film just makes me want to chisel out my own teeth to give me something fun to do while it’s on. I actually had to watch it over two days because half way through it on the first day I burned my house to the ground in disgust.

Now it’s not all bad, in fact the climax made me question whether I was wrong about the film, then I flicked back through it and realised that yes, it was in fact that bad. I have to say though it looks beautiful, the Emerald City looks great, the yellow brick road is there, and the addition of the little china girl was great, though I get ‘China Girl’ by David Bowie in my head every moment she appears on screen.  She is a genuinely loveable character, really sweet and should have been used much more prominently.

The costumes are great and Sam Raimi basically did a fine job directing, I just think he was handed a dreadful script and story to deal with. Also whoever suggested hiring James Franco should be sacked. I think Jim Carrey or Nathan Fillion could've portrayed a much better ‘cheeky scamp’ character. When Oz inevitably grows a conscience and starts being nice to people, you never feel comfortable, unable to shake the feeling that he has some sort of money or sex influenced plan he’s just dying to execute when the cameras are off.

If you are either a child, someone who has recently ingested magic mushrooms or you have recently had a head injury and find all your pleasures in bright colours, then give this one a watch. Before you watch it for nostalgia reasons though, make sure to interview anyone you know over forty about their feelings on the Star Wars prequel trilogy. There is a similar vibe of pissing on the grave of a genius about this, though ‘Money Grabbing George Lucas’ pissed on the grave of ‘Creative Genius George Lucas’ long before the prequel trilogy came out, but that’s another matter.  If nothing else it looks really nice so take the nieces, nephews, kids you've successfully taken from parks and older relatives who are just happy to be out of the house and go and buy a copy each.

Therefore, if you all end up agreeing with me, you can have a wee bonfire.

David Roberts, CeX Ann Street, Belfast

Oz The Great and Powerful at CeX

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Saturday 20 July 2013

Comic Con Manchester

Thanks to everyone who came to see our pop up CeX shop and hats off to the valiant cosplayers for dressing up in this heatwave. CeX salutes you!

We've uploaded oodles more photos on our Facebook page from the day. Are you in any of them or the photos below? What, you didn't attend the show? Why not dress up and visit your local CeX shop instead ;-) 

CeX at Comic Con Manchester 20 July.

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Thursday 18 July 2013

CeX & BBC Three


Who did UK's BBC Three pick to film a new show in production called 'Hotel of Mum and Dad' to film in?

CeX of course!

They filmed in sunny CeX Brentwood by the Baytree Centre recently. Maybe you were papped by the film crew? They were filming the day in a life of a CeX fan. He wanted to do some work experience in his favourite store where you can recycle your unwanted gadget goodies into a fist full of cash.

Thanks again for being part of the team!

See how much your stuff is worth at and find your local store at

Thanks to everyone involved & CeX Brentwood!

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Tuesday 16 July 2013

Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters

Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters just released this month on Blu-Ray is an action-adventure film about the famous fairytale family, starring Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton. Set a few years after they ate that poor woman’s house then kicked her into an oven, Hansel & Gretel have become somewhat badass and have upgraded from breadcrumbs and kitchen based homicide to great big guns and beheading people into bins. The story, as you know it, unfolds just as you would expect it to, with a few added extras and a slightly darker sense of humour. For example Hansel now has diabetes from being made to eat so much sugar in the gingerbread house as a child.

The film begins with Hansel and Gretel being abandoned in a forest at a young age to avoid being spotted by a witch, then irony steps in and they get kidnapped by a different one immediately.  Years later they enter a village to save an innocent victim of a Salem style witch-hunt, Mina, who is moments away from being burned alive.  This is due to the whole town being in uproar after many of the villagers have carelessly lost their children in the middle of the night and Mina is being held responsible.  Hansel and Gretel have decided to put things right and to hunt down the actual witches involved and save the day!  This comes across as a perfectly acceptable movie for children or teens, which is why I was so surprised the first time people started exploding like eggs in a microwave, and naked breasts (both male and female) were offered up suddenly right in the middle of a scene.

There are three witches (which should make any Macbeth fans feel slightly at home) and they have been kidnapping children so as to make themselves invulnerable to any traditional methods of being murdered. They are primarily concerned with being burned to death whenever they do something naughty or when Yankee Candle is closed and the electric has gone out. After suddenly realising he has been kind of racist or possibly not racist enough, Hansel learns that it’s only the black magic witches that are the bad ones and the white magic witches are all lovely. They then team up with a troll, a white witch witch and a hunter groupie, despite his minor grope of an unconscious Gretel’s bosom, to have a slaughter fest on all the black witches before they can become immortal and give diabetes to everyone.

The film looked great, had some beautiful and interesting costumes and the special effects, particularly the blood levels, were just over-the-top enough to give them an edge.  It’s main weakness was a constant feeling of the director grasping for tone as it alternated between a film that was aimed exclusively to the traditional action fans and a sort of Simon Pegg style satire on teen fantasy films.  To try and understand I will ask you to imagine you have SkyPlus and that you have decided to record an episode of Spongebob Squarepants to watch with your child later that day.  Imagine now as you sit down to watch it with your youngster it turns out you have recorded ten minutes of free soft-core porn starring Spongebob himself completely by accident. The feeling you would get in the first few seconds is very similar to how I felt throughout this film.  

The thing that disappoints me most about the film is that it probably would have made an absolute killing in the latter part of the 20th Century as it reminded me of the original Wesley Snipes film Blade and the like, and easily would’ve been the film that teenagers were sneakily lending to each other hidden inside VHS boxes of David Attenborough documentaries so their mums didn’t find out. However it is perfectly watchable and I would suggest it to anyone for the sole reason that I’d like to know if they also constantly felt like the tone was changing so much as to imply a director with multiple personality disorder. It’s fun, it’s violent, it’s silly and it has Hawkeye from the Avengers in it, so you may as well give it a watch.

David Roberts, CeX Ann Street, Belfast

Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters at CeX

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Project X Zone

"Famous faces from Capcom, Namco Bandai and Sega join forces in this intricate and strategic role-play adventure. Like yourself, these characters may very well be far out of their comfort zones, but they adapt and conquer the battlefield in a completely new manner."

The Gameplay:
Street Fighter, Tekken and Virtua Fighters are not normally franchises associated with role-play and this is exactly why Project X Zone is so interesting. Across three famous franchises mentioned above, characters are selected, paired up and forced into battle utilizing key turn-based role-play elements as well as implementing iconic moves and abilities that every character is known for.

So at first glance it might be a little confusing and difficult to take everything in simply because the gameplay styles you’re used to seeing these characters in are nowhere to be found – but this new role-play adventure they’ve been placed in is interesting, tactical and highly rewarding. Players are forced to use the game’s EX bar to decide whether they want to perform special moves, block, counter attack or use on-map abilities. This alongside seeing iconic moves performed by your favourite characters makes this a very easy game to get sucked into and enjoy. 

It’s fair to say that liking the franchises represented will not necessarily correlate to you enjoying Project X Zone’s gameplay. Fans of RPG games will definitely enjoy it and if you happen to be a fan of the series involved then it’s even better. Knowing the source material absolutely has its perks but Project X Zone caters with the Crosspedia, an information database that helps explain and introduce gamers to characters they have not come across.

The Presentation:

Project X Zone is a stylish 3DS release – one that implements a wonderful artistic direction that makes each and every character look vivid and beautiful. Considering how different some of the art-styles are across these franchises, it’s an absolute testament to the art-team of how well they have merged all these characters together. Whether you’re in gameplay or watching the story unfold you will be marvelled at the beautiful quality Project X Zone portrays from start to finish.

The Verdict: 
Project X Zone reminds me of Pokemon: Conquest in the sense that a franchise with a very clear gameplay direction was taken, flipped on its head and revealed to the masses in a tactical role-play environment. It was brave, quirky, interesting and ultimately paid off. The same can be said for Project X Zone: while the story of how all these characters came together is incredibly confusing, the core gameplay, presentation and replay value is very strong. Definitely check it out and see if catches your attention the same way it did mine.

Gameplay – 8.0
Presentation – 8.0
Replay value – 8.0
Verdict – 8.0

Igor Kharin

Project X Zone at CeX

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The Last Stand

I recently finished off a jar of Nutella and it sat in my cupboard for about a week. It wasn’t until a few days later when I decided to fire a couple of scoops of vanilla ice cream into it and sprinkle it with grated Caramacs that I discovered what angels tasted like and took one more glorious dander towards heart failure and diabetes.

I don’t need to tell you that the best things for you in one way are always bad for you in another. I’m sure there are many people out there insisting that their honey chilli four bean salad followed by their afternoon jog is one of the most exhilarating experiences they’ve had since they got off the toilet for the third time since 9am. I however prefer a small tub of heavenly goodness with Nutella written on its outside and watching a film with practically no moral worth and no logical inspiration.

The Last Stand is a film featuring Arnold Shwarzenegger, and it’s sort of a mixture between a western and a rather low budget version of any cop show you’ve ever seen. The film is about a guy called Gabriel Cortez, a dangerous mexican drug lord who has escaped the custody of the FBI while being transferred to another prison. Gabriel has developed plans to cross the Mexican Border to the warm loving arms of his drugs, cartels and money. I really hope this doesn’t happen half as much in real life as it does in films.

The Governator plays a Sheriff of a small town, home to the smallest gap in the land between America and Mexico. There is no bridge, discouraging most flightless animals from trying to jump it and therefore it is also unguarded by the intense Mexican passport people. Naughty Gabriel’s friends don’t care about this and build a big old bridge anyway. This upsets Arnie who decides to send them all to bed without any supper and also shoots them all dead just to make sure they learn their lesson.

After having recently watched Stallone’s new film, Bullet to the Head, it’s probably fair to say that they are going to be compared to each other at some point. Arnie’s strength comes from his acceptance of his age as an actor. Stallone, while not bad in Bullet to the Head, was telling everyone to forget that he’d aged at all since Rocky and just made another 80s film but in the 2010s, whereas Arnie plays a man who used to do ‘Arnie style things’ all the time but has since become too old to participate, and has semi-retired lest he snaps in two trying to hold a mini gun in one hand.

Johnny Knoxville plays the same character as he always does which is a watered down version of himself, but it would be unfair to say that I didn’t enjoy it. He’s a bit mental in all the fun ways and I’m glad he was in it, an unusual experience for me.

The Last Stand is almost like two different films going on at once, one a rather serious minded cop show, with the lead agent suffering from the same disease that makes Keanu Reeves whisper even when he’s shouting in every film except Bill and Ted. The other film is like Dr. Quinn Medicine woman with Arnie playing Dr. Quinn.  I loved the over the top violence in this particular episode of Dr. Quinn, someone actually explodes until the arms are in different parts of town, and an old lady shoots someone to death in her house very much resulting in my pleasure.

I have two different rating systems when deciding on whether or not I like a film; the traditional star rating system and my infrequently used but preferred ‘Holy Fuck’ system. This only gets carted out if I have actually uncontrollably screamed these two words at the television at some point throughout. Dollhouse Season 2 got a 5 star ‘Holy Fuck’ rating and Law Abiding Citizen got at least 3. I would say this film warrants a 2 or 3 and that’s special.

Arnie’s one-liners rattle away inside you like a nostalgia moth caught in a jar, they are hideously bad and gloriously good at the same time. Like if you stumbled across and original Golden Wonder Pot Noodle in a shop somewhere. His casual disregard of rules to do what needs to be done is always fun to watch as he blatantly ignores Knoxville explaining to him that the massive mini-gun that has just been unveiled before him is about as legal as the copy of the film you are probably downloading.

Twists. Turns. Explosions. Blood. Ridiculous lines. It has everything you’d want from and 80s throwback film and it’s just damn good fun and I heartily suggest it for anyone who loves really great really awful things.

David Roberts, CeX Ann Street, Belfast

The Last Stand at CeX

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Truck Festival

Want to get your festival on this weekend?

Check out TRUCK FESTIVAL in the lovely Oxfordshire countryside!

Our friends are putting on this intimate festival with a corker of a line up.
Headlining Acts - Spiritualized, The Horrors, Ash & many more.  Don't miss it!

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Tuesday 9 July 2013

The Last of Us

The Last of Us, released on PS3 this month is a beautifully wrapped gift courtesy of Naughty Dog. It is a survival horror of sorts, based around your character Joel transporting a young girl called Ellie across America. Set primarily twenty years after a viral outbreak has left the world in a post apocalyptic state, The Last of Us is the greatest thing that has ever happened.

The game begins with you in control of Sarah, Joel’s daughter at the dawn of the viral outbreak. The world starts crumbling down around you, in an obscenely realistic fashion with little details such as news reports on the television and distant explosions really giving you a feeling that you are playing in a real world. The virus in question is a human strain of cordyceps, a sinister, creepy fungus that attacks the brain causing the people involved to go completely mental and start attacking everything. If you truly want to shit yourself, watch this video that inspired it, as it is all very real.

Twenty years later a ragged more world weary version of Joel has to transport Ellie who is seemingly immune to the virus to a place where she can be analysed to see if a vaccine can be backwards engineered. That’s pretty much the plot in a nutshell. The game is outstanding and beyond my ability to write about, you really have to play this game immediately. Play the first twenty minutes of this game and you will be hooked and will probably cry just a little. It really is incomparably brilliant. Honestly, stop reading this and go and buy a PS3 if you don’t have one right now. Sell your shoes if you have to, you will never need to leave the house again so you wont need them.

In the early stages of the game you will find yourself coming in contact with two different kinds of absolute terror. The first are runners, they are essentially angry, fast and violent versions of humans, and they are quite allergic to bullet wounds to the face. The second are clickers, they can’t see because the mushrooms have grown all over their faces but they will click constantly using echolocation to navigate, and are much harder to kill. After an hour or so with those guys the clicking noise becomes a new language of fear. As soon as you hear it, your subconscious understands the clicks as a coded message. This message is interpreted by your heart as a command to stop, your bladder and bowels are commanded to release and your eyes are commanded to weep. Unfortunately this isn’t the half of it.

I remember watching a trailer for it last year and it showed Joel and Ellie simply running forwards climbing over things and then doing that over and over again, and it seemed genuinely uneventful. One thing you can’t grasp from watching someone else play it however is the unbearable tension throughout all of these moments. These moments are constant because of the alternating threat of other humans or of the infected. The human guards or scavengers are usually above ground, the infected are more likely to be underground, though there is no guarantee of this and running into a town or into a sewer is just a new risk. You are never truly safe and you never know what’s about to kill you and there’s a serious feeling that anything could happen at any moment, which really helps make the world feel more real. The second you feel like you’re safe you can relax and enjoy hunting for bullets, or pausing the game and apologising to your neighbours for screaming in terror constantly for the past four hours at three in the morning. This furthers the effect of its realism, the genuine feeling of relief whenever you have cleared a sewer of infected people leaves you praying that you wont come across anymore anytime soon.

Another thing you probably wont get from watching videos is the relationship you as a human being have with Ellie the computer generated fictional character. If you run off and leave her when you are both surrounded by clickers she is definitely going to die by having her tonsils eaten from the outside in. It makes good gaming sense to stay as close to her as possible, but this is not the reason you will do it, you will genuinely start to care about and worry for Ellie’s safety, her wellbeing becomes important to you, and I find myself engaging in optional conversations whenever she seems worried.

The stats upgrade system is great, the customisable weapon systems are great, the crafting section is great, the plot, the characters, the acting, the music is all fantastic. Is there anything bad about this game? This game that I can’t even part with for a minute without wondering if it’s ok? Yeah sure, of course there is the sound cuts out every now and then for no reason, sometimes the AI does silly things. The absolute worst thing that it did to me was end. Yeah sure this isn’t massively critical but I love this game more than anything. I suggest you buy one for everyone you know and love, and if there’s anyone you know and hate, make sure to tell them the ending, break their PS3 or sneak into their house and steal their copy because it is an absolute must play.

There is no flag big enough, no word limit long enough, no internet vast enough for me to describe properly just how brilliant this is. I suppose I could tattoo it on the moon, or I could just do a Santa and sneak into people’s houses and leave it there. I know I’m starting to sound a little like a cult leader here, but I think I know how new fathers feel when they say that they didn’t want kids until they had one now they can’t imagine life without them, because when I first saw the trailer for The Last of Us, I thought it was going to be shit.

But it’s not, it’s great.

Go buy it right now.


David Roberts, CeX Ann Street, Belfast

The Last of US at CeX

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Warm Bodies

Warm Bodies is a film more for the dark fantasy teen crows than well-worn Zombie fans; they even brush over how the apocalypse happened, which initially was a treat but in hindsight felt lazy. This film is not for Zombie movie fans at all, let me explain. Imagine you were talking to a life long friend and they said that their favourite books were ‘I am Legend’, ‘Dracula’ and ‘Salem’s Lot’ and that they really enjoyed the film adaptation of ‘Interview With a Vampire’ and the whole ‘Buffy’ and ‘Angel’ saga. Now imagine the amount of physical and emotional damage that would come at you when you handed them a Twilight boxset assuring them that would love it. This is a very similar reaction as what you could expect when handing Warm Bodies to anyone who enjoys ‘Dawn of The Dead’ or any other genuinely good zombie film.

Need I say more?

I did eventually realise the reason why films like Twilight and Warm Bodies are so successful. It is because watching a film like this is like walking in to the meetinghouse of a dangerous cult. Nothing makes sense, everything you know is pissed upon but they so diligently tell you that what’s going on is perfectly good for you that you eventually give in and love it.

Warm Bodies is, for those completely unaware, a film about a zombie we eventually come to know as ‘R’ who falls madly in love with a girl after witnessing her incandescent beauty blasting out through his mind after he eats her boyfriends brains. A bit like reading some girls diary for a laugh then suddenly realising she is deep, profound and absolutely perfect for you in every way, and then feeling bad about it. The female lead in it, Julie I think it was, is played someone that must’ve answered the following casting call ad.

Are you physically exactly like a blonde Kristen Stewart?
Can you emulate her drab, self obsessed delusional type cast behaviours?
Can you irritate someone so much that their eyelids force themselves closed?
Even without saying anything?
Then call us now at 555- KRISTEN-WAS-BUSY

Apparently all it takes for a zombie apocalypse to be cured is for a semi attractive girl to remind one zombie that under her clothes she is naked, and he will almost instantly become human, infecting every one of the other zombies around him in the process and getting rid of the zombie disease in a vast re-humanising. Now it couldn’t be as simple as that, so of course a zombie ate Julie’s mother, and her dad is now in charge of a whole city of military sent to deal with the removal of zombies.  

John Malkovich is actually pretty great as her dad; everyone else is awful. One of the zombies actually shows better acting and more emotion than any of the cast who are so wooden you could elicit maple syrup from them. The cast of AMCs The Walking Dead would’ve wiped the floor with everyone in this film in the blink of an eye, then probably spent six hours talking about how much it hurt their feelings, but it would’ve been a damn good show. The teenagery-ness makes it what it is whether that be bad or good.

The zombies also have different kinds of zombie chasing them, so there’s now ‘good’ flesh eating murderers and ‘bad’ flesh eating murderers. Zombies don’t deserve to be weakened by teenage dreams, they are supposed to be relentlessly single minded, not victims of their own emotions like ‘R’ in this film. In most zombie films you feel for the main human characters life, but what you really want to see is a massive horde of zombie appearing and tearing apart a city in fifteen minutes. This film suffers from a lack of most things good about zombie films and is only mildly entertaining. I’m very aware of course that these films are not made for the likes of me, and in some respects is just a re-imagining of the Twilight formula. For the audience it’s aimed at I imagine it’s probably very enjoyable, and for the audience it isn’t aimed at there are many more films out there for you, as well you know. 

David Roberts, CeX Ann Street, Belfast

Warm Bodies at CeX

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Friday 5 July 2013

Bullet to the Head

When I was a young lad in the late 80s to early 90s my mother wouldn’t allow me to watch ‘bad men films’ such as Terminator or Rambo and I grew up having missed out on a generation of greatness. Kinda depressing during conversations when people say things like ‘Remember that bit in Commando where…?’ or ‘This is just like that bit in Rocky’. Arnie and Stallone were considered Gods in my school, and I sat there as an action film atheist watching my copy of ‘The Land Before Time’ over and over again.

Mmmm, dat cartoon violence!

Since then I had unintentionally avoided action films and embraced comedys almost exclusively my entire life until last year, when a friend almost disowned me for being such a ‘little bitch’ and insisted I schooled myself. He gave me a list of Arnie and Stallone films, and I proceeded watch Rambo, Terminator and Commando. 

Such apocalyptically so shit-they’re-great-lines made me realise that my love for pure cheese and over emphasised manliness had missed a lot of good stuff. So I watched Bullet to the Head last night in an attempt to feel like the cool kids in my school and though it has a terrible script and a terrible plot, I haven’t been so happy to watch a shit film in years.

*Spoiler time hombre.*

It’s probably fair to say that judging a film like this in the normal way is unfair, as it is intentionally or at last somewhat aware that it is targeting every part of the human brain that has absolutely nothing to do with logic, class or sense. Bring Richard Dawkins and Jesus into a cinema and once they’ve stopped bickering you stick on a film about revenge, car chases, explosions, naked breasts, and shoot outs and you’ll probably see them exchanging numbers on the way out, planning a date to see the next Expendables.

The whole film starts off with Stallone’s hitman-for-hire character ‘Bobo’ ruthlessly murdering some sweet innocent chauvinistic, drug addict in his own hotel room, without even giving the poor man a chance to sexually abuse the prostitute that he paid good money/drugs for. It’s in this instance that you’re shown that Bobo’s character isn’t the total dick you’d expect as he avoids shooting the hooker in the face despite her having witnessed everything.

Even though you would have loved that wouldn’t you? You are a horrible person. 

Afterwards Bobo and Louis, played by the disposable Jon Seda, nip into a bar to drink alcohol, listen to music and to avoid being murdered. Except Louis, he gets murdered… by a guy whose life seems to be about trying to look like Antonio Banderas. This all causes a rampage of sorts. 

Bobo teams up with a cop who is looking into the case and continues his life as a hitman, almost literally dragging the cop behind him, like he’s just there to show how Stallone doesn’t like police officers. He genuinely points out how he could kill him with a bit of an apple. Lots of shouting, shooting and kidnapping later it goes proper Total Recall and everyone gets mutilated one way or another.   

It really is appallingly watchable and even though the bit of me that likes to read poetry and Charles Dickens hates the rest of me, watching Stallone have an axe fight and shoot people in the head makes that part of my brain turn off. A bit like a wife saying ‘If you’re gonna act stupid I’m going to bed’.  The shoot outs and fight choreography are great, the lines are cheesy and make you laugh and wince at the same time. I think Stallone’s character has the most longevity since Rocky and Rambo and the whole film makes you feel like you’ve been mugged but ended up with more money and phones than you started with. 

I’d recommend it to anyone who has a blu ray player, a Tv and at least one eyeball. Cycloptic viewers et al should find something in this film to enjoy, or as in my case startle you and make your rectum jump into your mouth until you are crying brown shitty tears and look like a novelty chocolate fountain.  Right, I better go watch Last Action Hero.

David Roberts, CeX Ann Street, Belfast

Bullet to the Head at CeX

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Animal Crossing: New Leaf

"Brimming with colourful characters and charming gameplay, Animal Crossing: New Leaf encompasses everything Nintendo stand for – carefree, endearing and fun gameplay that just about anyone can enjoy."

The Gameplay:
"What can you not do in Animal Crossing: New Leaf?" that should be the question you first ask. When you first generate your random barren town, it’s hard to believe that eventually this cute little pad of land will become the buzzing heart of your animal-based community. Shops expand, houses grow in size, ornaments begin popping up and your own little town grows in size as you continue your reign as Mayor.

Animal Crossing: New Leaf gives you freedom never seen before in the franchise and consequentially makes the growth of your town even more personable than before. Accomplishments, whether big or small in nature, are celebrated all the same as you continue creating your own perfect fictional world. 
The essence of Animal Crossing: New Leaf is to accumulate the game’s currency (bells) by hording items, whether by fishing, bug catching, digging up fossils or hording fruits. Selling these items for currency then allows you to purchase new equipment, new clothes and new items for your own home and the town. Despite its simplistic nature Animal Crossing: New Leaf becomes very addictive as you strive to purchase that next big thing for your town or find another rare animal for your museum collection. Gamers in need of a clear goal might find the open-nature of Animal Crossing off-putting but those looking to melt into a vibrant world created by your doing will find unlimited things to do in this fun experience.

The Presentation:
In typical Nintendo fashion Animal Crossing: New Leaf is a cute looking game. Your townsfolk are comprised of various animals and communication is nothing more than speech bubbles accompanied by a rather irritating jibberish-like noise of various pitches. That being said, it’s brightly coloured and very pretty to look at. A melodic soundtrack follows your adventure but presentation doesn’t really go any further than that. It’s also worth noting that the 3D mechanic plays absolutely no role in Animal Crossing: New Leaf.

The Verdict: 
Animal Crossing: New Leaf is a very difficult game to review because it can only be recommended to a very specific type of gamer. The best way I can describe it is although it’s a 3 + rated title, like all Nintendo games, it’s important not to be fooled by initial appearance and the first layer presented to you. Much like Pokemon, which is cute and fuzzy on the outside, Animal Crossing: New Leaf is a relatively deep and thoroughly enjoyable experience on the inside if, and only if you let it engross you. The chances are if you don’t like the look of it and have stayed clear of the franchise so far then it’s wise to continue doing so. If it holds initial appeal or you’re a fan of the franchise, then this game is absolutely for you. Just keep in mind, looks can be deceiving. 

Gameplay – 8/10
Presentation – 6/10
Replay Value – 10/10
Verdict – 8/10

Igor Kharin

Animal Crossing: New Leaf at CeX

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Wednesday 3 July 2013

CeX open 4th of July

We wish all our CeX fans a happy 4th of July.
CeX are still open & trading, come on by and say, "Hi!"

Find your local store's 4th July opening hours here:

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