Monday 30 September 2013

Diablo 3

Perfect game”, “Diablo III is amazing”, “Extremely well designed RPG”.
These are a few of the things said about Diablo III, three things that if I reached into the bottom of my soul with a contradiction-glove I wouldn’t be able to disagree with any more than I do.

*Just a shout-out to the developers.*

Sometimes expectations and reality clash and unfortunately when I was set up on a blind date with Blizzard’s new title Diablo III, I didn’t see what my friends and most of the Internet had fussed about. Sure she looked good and was just demanding enough to make it interesting but me and her, you see, just didn’t click.

I had a whole evening planned I’d meet her in a public place, pay for her services up front as is expected in these situations and take her home immediately and give her as much attention as she deserved for hours and hours. Now the box Diablo III came in was like a private personal ad, a slightly coy way of talking round the truth by not technically lying. It promised stunning visuals and other elements of RPG standard, but failed to mention that despite her good looks she was quite simply BORING.

*Yup, pretty much this.*

When I started playing Diablo III I was greeted with a typical ‘choose your class’ screen, nothing particularly exciting here, a standard affair of monks, wizards and barbarian types like in most other RPGs. Nothing wrong with this, sometimes sticking to a formula is the best way and there are only so many different skills a fantasy human being can have.

My hopes peaked when the game started with one of the most beautiful intro cut scenes I have ever seen, beautifully constructed and whetted my RPG appetite, I could not wait to have my pleasure centre massaged by the beauty that awaited. Then suddenly I am dropped into what I could only describe as a free-to-play Facebook game with an ego. I hacked away at enemies and suddenly came on a beautifully designed village, where I was greeted with text-box after text-box after shitting text-box. Between the painfully boring fighting system and the badly organised conversation trees I quickly realised that I would’ve had a more thoroughly enjoyable experience simply reading the Wikipedia article on the plot, the interesting parts of which wouldn’t cover both sides of a lollipop stick.

*Needs more of this, and less shitness.*

I don’t think it’s unfair to say (though I’m sure a lot of you will) that Diablo III is to World of Warcraft fans what every iteration of Call of Duty is to Call of Duty fans - the same bland time-vortex giving you just enough to keep you going but never quite giving you any sort of satisfaction that you were looking for. Like the sensation you get on leaving a strip club. I’m not a fan of Machiavellian game design, because no ending could ever justify the means, when the means are about as appetising as dislodging your ex-girlfriends hair from your plughole and eating the spidery clump on a slice of dry white toast.

The whole premise of the game seems to be nothing more than ‘a quest for loot’, which as a gaming device is replicating the habits of a drunken homeless man picking up discarded chicken nuggets from around the bin behind a McDonalds. From my own experiences and by plundering the depths of the Internet I have discovered that the general way to play the game is the following. Hit stuff, pick up stuff, and sell stuff. Hit more stuff, pick up more stuff, sell more stuff, hit stuff get killed by stuff, swear at television, trade game into CEX for a copy of Lollipop Chainsaw or Spring Breakers, have a guilty creepy wank, go to sleep.

On the bright side it controls very well most of the time, except when I teleported into a wall and got stuck and had to start again, not that it mattered as the missions are so identical that I easily could’ve been playing the same bit over and over anyway. It looks beautiful and it’s expensive so you feel like it has to be better than you think it is and that you are just are a boring minority of people who just don’t get it. Which is quite possibly true.

David Roberts, CeX Lisburn

Diablo 3 at CeX

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Lost Planet 3

“EDN III is a terrifying and hostile world where humans have no business being. The need to work in space to ensure Earth’s survival is a very stereotypical sci-fi concept and one that’s performed admirably here thanks to great story-telling and occasionally enjoyable gameplay.“

Lost Planet 3 continues the series’ intertwined combat mechanics of third-person shooting and mech-driving/brawling. It’s fair to say that while not revolutionary in any manner, Lost Planet 3’s gameplay at times can be very enjoyable, especially after the abysmal experience that was Lost Planet 2.

The third-person element is pretty mundane overall but the mech units spread throughout the game are a whole lot of fun to play with. As a result you’ll find yourself somewhat impatiently playing through the game waiting for these moments of greatness that frustratingly are buried amidst average gameplay.

Lost Planet 3 does boast some pretty impressive boss battles and set-piece elements, but again this is largely due to the mech units being a whole load of fun to wield – so it’s absolutely fair to conclude that from a gameplay perspective, there are moments of magic but just not enough consistency throughout.

The frozen planet of EDN III is the setting for this prequel story in the Lost Planet timeline. Snow effects and environments are impressive but bland because well, everything for the most part is white or grey. That’s not necessarily a fault with the game because that’s just where the game is set, but be ready for a whole load of snow on the screen.

The story is presented really well and is perhaps Lost Planet 3’s strongest feature: a believable main character and villain alike help keep you invested right to the end. Character models on the other hand fall behind the generally high standards set here; thankfully the wide variety of aliens and mech units help keep things looking sweet on your screen. 

If like myself you remember the release of the very first Lost Planet then you will recall the huge anticipation for what looked like the next big thing in third-person shooters. Lost Planet didn’t quite live up to those expectations and after a less than impressive sequel; it seemed the series was all but doomed. 

Lost Planet 3 desperately tries to swing the tide back into the series’ favour but without majorly overhauling the entire franchise and correcting the underlying issues, it’s hard to not see the same issues present themselves once again. Saying that, minor improvements result in an occasionally enjoyable experience, but one that will clearly be overshadowed by better third-person shooters on the market.

Gameplay: 5
Presentation: 6
Replay Value: 5
Verdict: 5.5

Igor Kharin.

Lost Planet 3 at CeX

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Finally released with official English subtitles is Donnie Yen (Ip man, Dragon Tiger Gate) in Dragon!

I’m a relatively unskilled practitioner of Wing Tzun and watching Donnie Yen in action is one of the most satisfying things I can do with my time.  So I suggest if you have even the smallest interest in martial arts films that you get your hands on this one, though if you are a fan of just fights this one is also very artsy in that Chinese cinema kinda way.  But I love it!

Set in the early part of the twentieth century in early republican China Liu Jinxi (Yen) is living with his wife and two sons.  On a day when Liu Jinxi is shopping for his bits in a grocer two very naughty men burst in and try and rob the place.  Despite being a very unskilled martial artist he attempts to apprehend the two men ultimately killing them both.

A man who plays a meek Chinese version of a noir private eye, after analyzing the evidence, thinks that Liu Jinxi was either very very lucky or, more likely, had managed to beat these people by being very subtle with his martial arts.  Now the film stars Donnie Yen, so it’s pretty clear to anyone who has ever seen him before that he is actually a fantastic martial artist and is keeping it secret for some reason.  It turns out that reason is he was once part of an extremely violent gang known as the 72 Demons.  They brutally murdered a butcher’s family and probably undercooked the burgers they stole.  And I’m sure one of them raped a cow carcass… with a goat penis… and a pickled egg.

So eventually the police man guy, after some personal acupuncture decides to try and trick him into revealing himself; sticking a sword in him, asking him if he ever met Bruce Lee, or if he owns any nunchuku and if the teenage mutant ninja turtles really ninja.  None of this fazes Liu Jinxi, and eventually this thorough investigations cause the 72 Demons to attack the village burning it to the ground and ultimately ends in Liu Jinxi losing an arm, followed by a huge one-armed fight.  Quite brilliant.

I’m not sure if any of you have ever seen the one-armed swordsman film collection but the leader of the 72 Demons was prevalent in it and some people thought this was to be a remake of the original due to the lobbed off appendage.  Wouldn’t it be lovely if the American directors paid as much attention to what the fans wanted?  The scriptwriters for Dexter wouldn’t be on my hit list if they had just been on reddit a few times for FUCKS SAKE.  Though that’s a rant for a different time.  God help them when I review season 8.  Anyway back to China.

The fighting in it is ludicrously well choreographed, every single movement seems to have a purpose, no longer are martial arts films about people throwing their limbs with a whip-crack sound just to demonstrate hand to hand violence, but each fight is pieced together almost like a sub plot to carry the film along.

Anyway the film is great, but it is possible that due to it’s subtitles, the fact that it’s a US cut that is shorter than the original and that it is all in all still a martial arts film that it may not be for you.  I enjoyed it though, but just like anal sex if you don’t love it, you’ll probably hate it and call the police. Or maybe just film it then rage out and murder a North Korean Orchestra.  Some people react differently.

David Roberts, CeX Lisburn

Dragon at CeX

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Rayman Legends

“With such a rich heritage the platforming genre has never quite been the same since the golden era of Super Mario World. Rayman Origins teased that not only is platforming still an enjoyable genre, but when done properly, it’s one of the best gaming experiences available. Rayman Legends epitomises this perfectly: it’s well thought out, incredibly fun to play and is a testament to Rayman’s incredible history.“

You run from one side of the map to the other, how dull and boring right? If that’s your view on platforming adventures then you’ve simply not played a game as exquisite as Rayman Legends. While on a very basic level your goal is simply to reach the end of each level, it’s the way every single level, character and sound is presented here that makes this experience so special.

Rayman Legends lasts roughly 12 hours and is full of frantic gameplay. It deftly introduces new, challenging and thought-provoking puzzles, enemies and bosses while the assorted cast keeps you entertained and often laughing out loud as the game plays on new and old puns, gags and gimmicks – a real delight. 

The best thing about Rayman Legends is of course that it’s a 4-player coop experience. Modern multiplayer games typically require you to sit on your own console and play with friends online, but Rayman Legends acknowledges that there’s something special sitting with friends on the same sofa, chowing down on snacks and playing video games. Those of you playing on the Nintendo WiiU will also be able to use the GamePad for a fifth player to help aid the other characters in a way similar to that of New Super Mario Bros. 

If the gameplay wasn’t enough to sway you then Rayman Legends impeccable presentation surely will. No other word than perfect can do this game justice: beautiful colour schemes help bring varied worlds to life in a flurry of vibrant designs. Character models are goofy and fun to look at but more importantly, they really pop out of the screen as they traverse the environments. Finally, the minute details in sound design really help bring this world to life, especially in the over-the-top music levels (check out the demo and you’ll see what I’m talking about).

Whatever console you find yourself playing Rayman Legends on, it’ll be very hard not to have an incredible time. It’s platforming perfection: many people simply didn’t think Legends could live up to the wonder that was Origins, but it delivers and exceeds on all fronts. So if you’re tired of genetic first-person shooters or run of the mill role-play games, then check out Rayman Legends and prepare to be blown away.

Gameplay: 9
Presentation: 10
Replay Value: 10
Verdict: 10

Igor Kharin.

Rayman Legends at CeX

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Finally, India Store 12!

Great news, CeX Surat is now open! Yes, we're ready to buy/trade your unwanted phones, games, films, computers and gadgets. Buy, sell, exchange and dance at CeX. OK, while we're the hottest dancing spot in Surat, you can find the best cash and trade prices for you unwanted stuff and we won't say a word if you want to show off your best dance moves ;).  Find us in at Unit 224C, VR Surat Mall, Dumas Road, Surat, 395007.

Much love to the team who made this possible!

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Saturday 28 September 2013

CeX Opens in Seattle!

Washington State rejoice. Forget Starbucks and Microsoft are based in your back yard. You now have CeX shop, located in Seattle's Northgate Mall (off Interstate 5) near Old Navy. What we lack in Denim Capri pants and jersey thong 3-packs, we more than make up for with an awesome range of phones, games, movies, electronics and computers. We're here for you to buy, sell and exchange, paying way more cash for your unwanted stuff than the other guys. Put us to the test and you won't be disappointed. You can also choose to trade in and exchange what you don't want for something you do.

This young Seattleite knows where the best trade ins are.

Packed with gadgets, games and a very shiny floor.

This is just the start. We've more stores planned across the State opening soon. Find your nearest CeX store here.

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Monday 23 September 2013


You remember Old Boy, or Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance?  Well if you don’t because you haven’t heard of them you should go and watch them immediately, if you don’t because you don’t like foreign films then you are missing out. You also need a lecture on foreign films by an angry, drunk version of me. Or somebody better spoken than me at least. You’d probably do quite well to understand me when I was sober unless you are from Belfast or have a BabelFish in your ear.

Fortunately the creator of these films (Park Chan-wook) has just done his first English Language feature film called Stoker, and yeah it’s pretty good too. It stars Mia Wasikowska, Matthew Goode and Nicole Kidman.

On her 18th birthday, a young girl named India loses her father in a car accident quite a distance from their house. This makes her quite sad as you’d expect and she becomes distant from her mother. Her mother, seemingly a gold digging whore, gets over her husbands death quite immediately as her husbands brother moves in bringing snuggling, canoodling and bamboozling with him. There’s something very off about ‘Uncle Charlie’ – his appearance seems to go hand in hand with the disappearance of interfering busybodies and it’s implied pretty heavily that he murdered them.

There seems to be a lot of sexual tension between Uncle Charlie and his dead brothers wife Evelyn, as well as between him and India. Now, incest is played with a lot by Park Chan-wook and shouldn’t be a surprise, but I don’t know whether to be fearful or grossed out when these things happen. There are a lot of Hitchcock references in tone and theme, the relevant one here being the likeable villain, and he is nice and likeable even if he does strike me as being exactly the same as Ozymandius. From the film Watchmen, also played by Matthew Goode, not the Egyptian king.

It also comes to light that India is very unpopular at school despite all the subtle hints at rape the men in her class give her. There’s one guy of course who looks to be a love interest as he is a nice guy. Well not nice, but the kinda guy that would never do a rape on the first date. Anyway eventually after a mildly traumatic moment she goes and meets this guy everything turns a bit sour as it turns out he does do rapes on the first date and then a whole mega plot twist including a very intense shower masturbation/crying scene unfold in front of you like a chocolate orange in an advert. Plot twist isn’t really accurate as Park Chan-wook is the kind of guy that would give you some magic mushrooms and hand you a cigarette not telling you until the mushrooms were starting to wear off that it wasn’t a cigarette and he actually had his cock in your mouth.

The film was very good indeed, very well paced, and about fifty percent less mind-fucky than his usual stuff though this also meant that it wasn’t as visceral or violent as you’d be used to, but very enjoyable nonetheless. It has the feeling of a series of Dexter directed by Alfred Hitchcock if that helps finalise your decision and I think it’ll be re-watched soon just for the subtle things.

I could see it possible being described as a little slow paced or not quite formulaic enough for some people just wanting to chill in front of the television some night with a Pizza, but if you’re alternating between Hummus and chocolate digestives and your girlfriend doesn’t want to watch martial arts films then you won’t be disappointed - even if you reallllly wanted to watch Dragon with Donnie Yen. Aw well, next time.

David Roberts, CeX Ann Street, Belfast

Stoker at CeX

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Diablo 3

“What happens when one of the most influential PC-based series makes its way over to console gaming? An absolute master-class in role-play adventure. Diablo III is every bit as incredible on home consoles as it was on the PC, bringing captivating role-play adventuring to the masses, this is a game you simply cannot miss.“

Diablo III is a traditional role-play adventure game where you’re expected to choose a class, upgrade it with abilities and armour while constantly wading through hordes of enemies and finding unlimited amounts of tantalising loot.

Blizzard are kings of role-play and all the influential ideas from past Diablo games and their famous MMO World of Warcraft have been implemented here to make this game incredibly entertaining and addictive. Whether you play as the Barbarian, Witch Doctor, Wizard, Monk or Demon Hunter you will come to realise that to truly experience Diablo III, you will eventually need to play as all the available classes. With different abilities and equipment spread evenly across the characters, it’s very difficult to choose a favourite or point your finger on the strongest class.

When a game makes its way from PC to home consoles there is always a group of people holding their breath in anticipation to see whether it’s a smooth transition or an utter travesty. You’ll be happy to know that Diablo III moves over seamlessly and for the most part using a controller to play the game is actually very enjoyable. The game has obviously been streamlined across its menus and gameplay mechanics to support a controller over the traditional mouse and keyboard variant, but it plays very well without any real issues.  

The same can partially be said for Diablo III’s presentation. Porting over a game that can be played using very high grade PC hardware can pose problems for home consoles but it’s fair to say that Diablo III looks good on home consoles and rarely suffers from any frame-rate issues.

Diablo III’s wonderful artistic design doesn’t require absolutely high-end graphics cards, which is partly why the consoles can handle the experience.

Let’s not take anything away from the game itself with all this technical babble – Diablo III is absolutely stunning to look at: every environment is ominous and beautifully crafted while enemies are terrifying and gruesome. Diablo III is truly the type of game you play with the lights turned down and sound turned up.

The best thing about Diablo III hands down is the four-player cooperative mode that can be played on the same console – this is the ultimate friend’s night in, snacks out, beer flowing monster slaying adventure. Diablo III is an unstoppable RPG monster, one that will have you hooked from the word go so don’t hesitate if you’ve never played a Diablo game before, go rally up a group of friends and get yourself a copy right now. 

Gameplay: 9
Presentation: 9
Replay Value: 10
Verdict: 9

Igor Kharin.

Diablo 3 at CeX

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Thursday 19 September 2013


Here comes a review of Deadpool, a relatively new game based on one of the greatest comic book heroes of all time. Deadpool himself in true fourth wall breaking brilliance explains at length just how brilliant the game is going to be while you play it. But is he just talking a load of mad bollocks?

Deadpool’s character history has him created as part of the same program that adamantised Wolverine, this ultimately drove him crazy. How crazy you ask? Miley Cyrus + Amanda Bynes + Olsen Twins dipped in liquid Michael Jackson blood and rolled around in some Fundamentalist Christian sprinkles and served on a plate of Elizabeth Bathory rice.

Pretty crazy right? This manifests as multiple personality disorder and awareness that he is a comic book character. This means he references and parodies comics (and now video games) by breaking the fourth wall frequently and to much hilarity. There’s a moment in the game where he climbs over a river of sewage on the back of his own thought bubbles for example. He is fantastically entertaining and one of the most original ideas in comic book land. So it’s a shame that the game is about as fulfilling as trying to initiate sex with your wife only to find out you aren’t married and you’re performing cunnilingus on a mannequin in a shop window while suffocating a sales assistant with a copy of Fifty Shades of Grey.

The game opens with the opportunity to run around Deadpool’s flat as he considers making a video game, he mocks the artwork of his bookshelf blaming it on a ‘junior artist’ as well as phoning Nolan North to ask him to be the voice actor for him in this game (which he is). This is so much fun and has so much promise that you would be forgiven for disregarding my ramblings about its tedium. Alas once I stepped outside his front door it becomes so repetitive and disappointing that I felt like someone had ordered me an Xbox One instead of a PS4 by mistake. With a big shit on the controller in lieu of a Christmas card.

The control system and gameplay shallow. It didn't really involve more than holding forwards and alternating hits of square and R1 over and over again until I wished that I were dead. Deadpool has a way of mocking me for some reason whenever I can’t find my way or for successfully killing people in the game sometimes. It makes me wish for a Kinect version where I can tell him that it’s his fucking fault and he could apologise to me for being such a boring bastard version of himself. He also kept repeating the same handful of lines at me like a trainee fucking pickup. Instead of feeling that I was playing as Deadool I felt like I was playing as one of the poor fuckers that has to put up with him for some reason. Maybe out of guilt from spending £35 quid on a plastic circle of mild despair.

Randomly throughout the game offered little pockets of joy as fun little apologies. For example the game transformed into an 8-bit version of itself, offered me Final Fantasy VII style dialogue boxes and a Little Big Planet style side-scroller to play with. These bits were actually fun but they seemed like they were afterthoughts as a way to coerce me into playing on with the promise of fun later on. Not very different to when my parents used to tell me to go to church and I realised it was a pointless waste of my energy… until they would bring out Ribena, sandwiches and chocolate as a small indicator of what heaven would be like. But after it would always go back to the singing and I would start scrawling my obituary into the back of the chair in front of me before killing everyone in the room and turning the gun on myself.

I’m being slightly unfair because though Deadpool isn’t the best game in the world (The Last Of Us in case you were wondering) it also isn’t the worst game ever (because that’s Ride to Hell: Retribution). It’s an easy enough game to relax with, Wolverine and Rogue are in it, and some crude but funny jokes and loads of super-villains you haven’t heard of. Here’s what I suggest you do: go for a walk with a loved one and maybe a puppy, and as you are watching the carefree abandon of children playing in the park, the careful plotting eyes of pedophiles and pick-pockets, try and keep an eye on the ground. If you happen to come across a Love Film envelope with a copy of Deadpool in it take it home and give it an hour or so before politely returning it to a letterbox.

David Roberts, CeX Ann Street, Belfast

Deadpool at CeX

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Tuesday 17 September 2013


It’s strange how quickly movies go from Cinema to DVD release these days. It feels like mere weeks ago when a friend and I were stood outside Stratford Westfield’s Vue, debating whether or not Trance would be worth the extortionate ticket, food and drink prices.

My friend simply wanted to gaze at the ever-beautiful Rosario Dawson (perfectly reasonable grounds for a film choice, right?) but after Youtube-ing the advert five (or fifteen) times and still having no clue as to the plot line, it had to be a veto from me. Despite this fact though, the equally vague DVD cover seemed to scream “take me home” when it first came in stock, so I did, and I can’t say I regret it.

Trance – staring James McAvoy, Vincent Cassel and, of course, Rosario Dawson – is a Psychological Thriller directed by Danny Boyle. The plot is a difficult one to explain without giving too much away, as it’s full of enough twists and turns to tie a snake in a bow, but I’ll give it a shot regardless. To put it simply; Simon (McAvoy) is an art auctioneer who works alongside Franck (Cassel) to steal a painting from his own auction house, but it goes wrong. This film is anything but simple, though, so allow me to expand a little.

**Semi-Spoiler Alert**

The plan was simple; all Simon had to do was take the painting down to an agreed area where Franck would hold him up at gunpoint, “forcing” him to hand it over, and nobody would be any the wiser regarding their collaboration. Instead, Simon removed the painting leaving only an empty frame behind, so when Franck tries to check the painting after taking it, Simon intervenes, receives a gun buck to the skull and is rewarded with amnesia. As expected, when Franck eventually discovers the frame is empty, he hunts down and tortures Simon to find out where the painting is stashed, but after realising his amnesia is genuine he turns to hypnotherapy. In other words, Elizabeth (Dawson) is introduced and the real story begins.

From this point onwards, the film is just a whirlpool of puzzle-pieced information designed to suggest that nothing is really as it seems, without truly unveiling anything at all. It also becomes increasingly difficult to discern reality from the character’s dreams, memories and hypnotic excursions. To be honest, you can definitely feel a direct influence from Christopher Nolan’s Inception, especially in the final scene, but I guess any film, which explores the subconscious, now will face the same scrutiny. My brain had to work a little harder than I had initially anticipated and it seemed a little over done at times, but the dramatics became more and more acceptable as the conclusion drew ever near. A conclusion that is far from disappointing, might I add.


My only real problem was the choice to cast James McAvoy. Simon, as a character, is multi-dimensional, full of surprises and McAvoy sure played it well enough… I’m just sick of watching him as the spineless pushover with a ruthless edge, waiting to be unleashed. Maybe I’m biased, or maybe I watched Wanted one too many times, but seeing him in that role, yet again, made Simon just that little bit less authentic for me. The rest of the cast hit the spot though, so I can’t complain too much.

Anyway, personal discriminations aside, it is absolutely worth looking into if you have a spare hour or two… or three or four, ‘cause I’d actually say you should see it twice. The following morning, I watched the intro again and noticed a lot of relevant little details that I’d disregarded the first time; it was almost like seeing the film through a different pair of eyes, an effect most titles don’t seem to produce, and it made me appreciate the technicalities, planning and subtly of the script that little bit more. 

Verdict: 8/10

Shenade, CeX Edmonton

Trance at CeX

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Friday 13 September 2013

Spring Breakers

Spring Breakers just out on blu-ray and dvd.  It’s a film. It’s terrible and if anyone tries to hand you a copy break their hands in half and slap them with it.

This is one of the worst things I have ever seen it was so bad, I didn’t know whether to kick my television to the ground or start self harming until my eyes went blurry.  It’s such a crime against humanity that I’d rather be standing in a Syrian playground taking deep breaths and destroying my gas mask with the skull of a sibling.  The trailer is misleading and beyond trashy, I believe the trailer actually won ‘most sleazy trailer of the year’ award or something to that effect.  The poster for the film was quite simply eight breasts and one tit, namely James Franco, anyone who knows me knows I hate James Franco anyway, but he really seemed to be portraying an accurate depiction of how I imagine him to be in real life.

The film opens at a party during a spring break party, infamously a testosterone and oestrogen sandwich with a side of gonorrhea and cocaine coleslaw. It segues quickly to a handful of girls back at college. Faith (Selena Gomez) Brittany (Ashley Benson), Candy (Vanessa Hudgens) and Cotty (Rachel Korine) are friends in college all set on having ‘the best Spring Break ever bitches!’.  Three of them are illustrated as pure party girls but Faith is a good christian girl who..oh no wait she’s in a church but she’s bored, she’s just slightly less successful at partying like a crazy bitch.

 Promotional posters aren't subtle, they're trying to hide a cold turkey.
Seeing as at least half of the group are (in real life world) arguably ‘child stars’ this film is their first step towards ‘breaking that squeaky-clean image’ so I give it a year before each of them end up on Perez Hiltons website after being caught snorting opiates off the road outside the Viper Room.
The plot evolves to the point where the girls suddenly realise they have saved up just enough money for absolutely bugger all and Brittany, Candy and Cotty rob a restaurant at gun point and they all travel to sandy beaches for spring break, with very little repercussion for their actions.  A sleazy rapper who is really popular despite being physically repulsive, creating music that can only be described as aural-rape and sporting the name Alien bails them out’ve jail after they get caught with drugs.  Faith finds this odd and goes home.  And that’s the end of her part.  She struggles to get here for spring break, yaps about how much she hates her life and whatnot and goes home becoming less important to the films plot-line than the bowl of Weetos I was eating while watching it.  Eventually another one of the girls goes home but I can’t remember which now because the film was causing me to go deaf and slightly blind as a defensive mechanism.

This leaves two girls that end up in a polygamous relationship with Franco after forcing him to perform fellatio on a live firearm.  The climax of the film has something to do with a big gun battle where Franco gets taken out immediately despite being the focal point of the film and the girls don’t get hit once and successfully murder everyone despite wearing nothing but a bikini and a bright pink balaclava.

One last thing the whole film for some reason is peppered with the same audio clip of someone saying ‘Spring break bitches’ over and over again. The only thing I can imagine that would make anyone think this was a good idea was someone who could profit from this film failing horribly at the box office.
The best thing about this Blu-ray is it has a ‘Go to main menu’ button that can make the film go away whenever you want it, and the box is great because it probably has your receipt in it, meaning you could probably return it.
This film is suitable for one kind of person, old lonely chronic masturbators with absolutely no internet access and not enough will power to kill themselves.  A niche target audience but a demographic I would’ve overlooked personally.  Anyway in short, this disc is worth more as a pretend dance floor for gummy bears than a film.

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Monday 9 September 2013

Portlaoise CeX now open!

Great news, CeX Portlaoise is now open! Yes, we're ready with fists full of Euros to buy your unwanted phones, games, films, computers and gadgets. Buy, sell, exchange and dance at CeX. OK, while we're not a top dancing spot, you find the best cash prices for you unwanted stuff and we won't say a word if you want to bend over and shake your tail feather to the music.  Find your new CeX in the Laois Shopping Centre, James Fintan Lalor Ave, Portlaoise.

He's just some of the team who made CeX Portlaoise happen. 
Is someone tickling the man in black, top left? 

As the refection shows, CeX is opposite Dealz.

We'll be opening more stores across Ireland in the coming weeks. Next stops include Stillorgan and Tallaght. Hold tight!

Find your nearest CeX here.

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Tuesday 3 September 2013

Saints Row IV

“On the verge of Grand Theft Auto V’s release it’s nice to revert to Saints Row’s wonderfully whacky and over the top world full of insane characters, amazing abilities and incredibly fun gameplay.”

Saints Row the Third really took the series to a whole different level of insane so when Saints Row IV was announced, I found it difficult to imagine what was next for Steelport City. Needless to say, things have once again been taken to a whole new level.

Saints Row IV resembles its predecessor very closely bar the introduction of one new gameplay mechanic – superpowers. That’s right, if you didn’t think you were already an insane city destroying machine then come check out what you’re capable of doing in Saints Row IV. Leaping across buildings, blowing stuff up with your mind, annihilating hordes of enemies with single moves makes this a chaos-packed experience, but not one without faults. 

Unfortunately what made Saints Row the Third so appealing is missing here because the introduction of superpowers severely impacts on the game’s difficulty and progression. Saints Row IV offers you these amazing abilities then takes them away then brings them back and there’s a real lack of continuity throughout the campaign. It’s also very difficult to ever feel threatened when you’re pretty much unstoppable for almost the entire game. So while this is certainly mindless fun, gamers looking for some substance will find it very difficult to find here. 

Saints Row has never been about stunning graphics, rather what you look for is humour and entertainment, both of which can be found in Saints Row IV. Disappointingly however, Steelport City is a wonderful virtual world (as we found out in Saints Row the Third) but these superpower abilities pretty much prevent you from ever really taking the time to explore or get to feel your surroundings. This lack of connection with your surroundings is a real frustration and seems like a missed opportunity.

The story is typically too outrageous to even consider trying to understand, but it gets some laughs and provides some sort of structure for your chaotic adventuring across Steelport. 

What is wicked fun is the character editor that returns from Saints Row the Third – the whole experience is very easily tailored to how you want to play and who you want to be in Saints Row IV. While nothing revolutionary for the series, it serves to create some sort of connection between the player and game. 

The Verdict:
I can’t help but feel that Saints Row IV has missed a trick and backtracked from the previous success of Saints Row the Third. It’s a shame for the series as a whole that developed some decent momentum with the predecessor. However, that’s not to say the game isn’t a whole load of fun, which it clearly is. I just feel that perhaps Saints Row the Third is a little bit better across the entire board, not by much but marginally a better game overall.

Gameplay: 7
Presentation: 6
Replay Value: 6
Verdict: 6

Igor Kharin

Saints Row IV at CeX

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Disney Infinity

“Interacting with Disney’s various enchanting franchises has not been this much fun since Kingdom Hearts – beautifully designed figurine statues embody the spirit of each character while bringing them to life across varied and intriguing worlds that exude nostalgia and fun. “

Disney Infinity resembles the hugely popular and incredibly successful Skylanders series; players purchase a starter pack that comes with 3 characters, 3 play sets and then have the option of purchasing extra figurines to unlock further content in the game. This content ranges from extra characters in the same worlds (opening new sections of already owned play sets) or new play sets and characters.

The gameplay varies greatly pending on which universe you find yourself in: the starter pack comes with Pirates of the Caribbean, Monsters University and the Incredibles with corresponding characters. The aforementioned plays like a hack’n’slash game while the latter two are stealth and open-world adventures respectively. All three are enjoyable in their own way and there’s plenty of content here despite the inevitable consideration of purchasing further content to what is an already expensive product. 

Figurine games seem to be the new fad with Skylanders, Pokemon RumbleU and now Disney Infinity all opting to use them. Disney Infinity’s figurine quality is absolutely stunning, all of which really capture the personalities of their particular character.

When digitised the characters retain the same charm you’d expect to see in a Disney movie which really brings out a sense of nostalgia. Unfortunately Disney Infinity does emphasise the modern Disney universe but we can always hope for new play sets that involve some classic Disney movies.

Exploring the various worlds you find yourself in is also a wonderful treat. The game doesn’t do character cross-overs, by that I mean only characters from their respective universe can be used in their particular play-set (unless you use the level creator where you can create your own adventure). Again the nostalgia factor is massive but these aren’t simply rip-off clones from the movies; there’s a sense of individual personality here too. 

Fans of Disney and collecting figurines will find a technically efficient and incredibly enjoyable game in Disney Infinity. While not the cheapest hobby, if you’re willing to invest in Disney Infinity, then you will be rewarded with a thoroughly enjoyable package. Saying that, the starter pack itself is brimming with content and even if you choose not to purchase any other characters, you can still get your money’s worth here. 

Editor’s note: The replay value really depends on your commitment to purchasing characters and play sets.

Gameplay: 8
Presentation: 9
Replay Value: 7
Verdict: 8

Igor Kharin

Disney Infinity at CeX

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The Incredible Burt Wonderstone

Out on Blu-Ray and DVD this month is the Incredible Burt Wonderstone, a film about two childhood friends who grew up to be successful magicians due to their inability to make friends with anyone else and their prowess for magical performance.  Eventually Steve Gray, a street magician based on the TV magician Criss Angel, steals their success away from them.

Steve Carrell is Burt Wonderstone who, with his sidekick Anton Marvelton, is part of a pair of very successful magicians. Unfortunately fame and fortune has turned Wonderstone into a cocky egotistical bag of testicles in the shape of a person.  He’s a womaniser and a bad friend; no one would like him in real life.  He’s almost too good at acting like a shallow bastard and somehow, due to some bizzaro script logic, he becomes lovely to Olivia Wilde instead of the realistic thing of staying the massive prick he is.  Rather than being happy for them getting together I felt like I should warn her off him because I know what he’s really like and she’s just a fool that falls in love with all the wrong men.

Eventually a street performer called ‘Steve Gray’ enters the scene and starts stealing away all his customers by doing street magic.  Jim Carey plays Steve Gray, a character based on ‘mindfreak’ Criss Angel and he's nailed it.  

*Interlude about Criss Angel*

I hate Criss Angel, his name, his clothes, his smarmy face and his tedious shitty TV show.  I watched an episode of his show ‘Mindfreak’ recently as some casual passive research on this film before I watched it and in it was a trick where he drove off a cliff and magically appeared in a cage.  The show lasted about half an hour, and an easy twenty minutes of this show was wasted with interviews with him and with obscurely distant relatives like his second cousins who were brought in to clarify that a 4200 feet drop is going to be dangerous.  Twenty-five minutes dedicated to the following things:
  • The T-Rex car
  • The 4200 feet drop
  • The Helicopter
  • The Cage
  • The Cage dangling from the Helicopter
  • The pyrotechnics
  • And mainly how it would be dangerous if all that stuff fell from that distance.  

After ten minutes I realised that I had to watch the whole way to the end despite Criss Angel eliciting a kind of hatred that I usually reserve for kids yelling abuse at old ladies on the bus.  Unfortunately the tedium and his personality beat anything impressive about the stunt out of it.  This left the climax of the show about as engaging as watching an old man fart at a bus stop, it also shows about as much self-shame and artistic merit. I think this comes down to the fact that the tension of a ‘death defying stunt’ comes from you really hoping the person involved doesn’t injure themselves, but when they convince you over thirty minutes that you actually want to watch them burn to death in a fiery mess it’s nothing more than a disappointment. Like buying a second hand colouring book and finding out that it’s already been coloured in.

*Interlude over*

A common complaint about the film, that I would agree with, is that it jumps from tone to tone without ever really settling on anything, it feels like it’s supposed to be one self absorbed narcissistic ball bag versus a borderline hedonistic haircut with a flailing moron dangling from it then suddenly it’s a zero to hero film then a dark comedy, then a children’s film.  

It was worth a watch if you’re stuck for something to watch some weekend with a beer or whatever but if you’re looking for something that’s going to inspire you to quit your dead end job and follow your dreams then this is not it.  Unless you are an undeniable bastard and your dreams are to be a magician in Vegas.  If you are and they are I hope you fail miserably.

David Roberts, CeX Ann Street, Belfast

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone at CeX

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