Friday 23 June 2017

Comic Con Northern Ireland

MCM Comic Con Northern Ireland - are you coming this weekend? 

If so make sure to visit the CeX pop up shop wonderland. Help yourself to CeX freebies whilst browsing your favourite games, movies and tech! Have your picture taken with of our crazy creatures to be in with a chance of winning a £250, £150 and £50 CeX voucher!

CeX has arrived in style!! Watch the event live RIGHT HERE!

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Nokia 3310 (2017)

The Nokia 3310 (2017) is one of the best feature phones that you can definitely flaunt! Most countries across the world have limited availability which shows even HMD wasn’t sure of the demand this device would generate. Contrary to popular belief, HMD Global is the manufacturer of the Nokia 3310 Reboot handset and not Nokia.They’ve acquired rights to the brand name Nokia from Microsoft for 10 years. Let’s see if the device is actually a “modern classic redesigned”.

Coming out of a tiny square colourful box, the 80gm device is definitely a treat to look at if you’ve been a fan of the Nokia 3310. HMD has gone ahead and given the device 4 colors (Blue, Yellow, Red, Orange) that might appeal to the younger customers and perhaps the first time users.

At only 12mm thick, the Nokia 3310 fits easily in your palm. It definitely feels great holding such a device in times when massive 6” phablets have become the standard. The 2.4” screen has a full fledged numeric keypad below it with a 3.5mm jack at the bottom. At the top edge is the Micro USB port (thank God! You’d find a Leprechaun easier than a thin pin charger in this day!). The edges are smooth and rounded at the removable cover has a matte finish. At the back is the 2MP camera with LED flash and speaker grill right next to it. It’s a dual SIM device that also supports a Micro SD card upto 32GB which will be a must since the internal memory is only 16MB (enough to click 7-8 2MP pictures!). In the box you get a Micro USB charger and a pair of standard earphones.

The phone software runs on Nokia S30 platform which is very easy to use and understand. No fancy fingerprint or Iris scanners here to unlock here. Default is call end/power key + left key and an optional security code. The Home screen is a “menu” that can be brought up by pressing the Home button which also has a 4 axis key/direction pad, each of which can be assigned a shortcut like calendar/ messages etc. Only software features you get here are “Games” and the “Snake” is back! Made by Gameloft it’s nothing like the classic game. This snake is colourful and bendy who eats Apples to get bigger in size. Other game demos include “Asphalt 6’ & “Diamond Twister 2” which can be bought via SMS. There’s a Mobile Store to download other apps and games but it’ll take ages on a 2G network since the phone doesn’t support 3G or Wi-Fi. Browsing on Opera reminds me of the mobile web pages from the 90’s ! You can’t have custom ringtones and there is only FM and a built in MP3 player that does the job if you are running short of power on your primary device.

When you search or type on this keypad, it’ll be a jolt to your memory trying to figure out what was easier, this or the T9 keyboard? But in a few mins, you’ll enjoy the typing. Not for long though when you have to reply to a message. I miss you Swipe keyboard :(

The 2MP camera takes decent pictures in daylight and above average in low light, if you don’t compare it with any other smartphone camera. The photos look good on the phone screen but not on a computer. It does have burst mode & some color filters and the camera takes VGA  videos as well.

The 1200 mAh battery lasts almost 2 days (Hell yeah!) and on standby the promised time is 25 hrs! Charging takes just over 3 hours using the provided 550 mA Micro USB charger. I also managed to drop the phone twice, once from my denims and once from my shirt pocket, besides a few scratches on the body it was as if nothing happened!

There’s really not much you can do here and the Nokia 3310 will only appeal to those who have a nostalgia attached to the classic 3310. For everyone else it can become a secondary “calling only” device with a great battery. Unless you want to live under a rock, give it a miss and look for cheap smartphones in this budget.


Pritesh Khilnani

The NEW Nokia 3310 at CeX

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Wednesday 21 June 2017

CeX Toowoomba Opens Marking Store 21 in Oz

Great news folks, we've opened another CeX store for your buying, selling, exchanging and upgrading pleasure in Queensland at Toowoomba, in the Grand Central Shopping Centre. This marks our 21st in Australia! Here's some photos of the final stage before opening. As you can see CeX Toowoomba is packed with goodies so come on down and see why we're so excited.

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Thursday 15 June 2017

John Wick Chapter 2

Did John Wick really need a sequel? A return of $88m from a $20m budget means that it made good fiscal sense, while it was received well by a majority of critics. The stylised shooter was better than the average action flick, while most could empathise with his road to vengeance. Whether it be his dog or his car, Wick (Keanu Reeves) is most definitely a fan of disproportionate retribution.

Clearly he’s not a man that should be crossed, but it happens once again as somebody who should know better decides to attack him at home. To be fair, Wick does owe a blood debt, and refuses to even hear out an offer that sees his house destroyed in the process. Unsurprisingly, the Boogeyman is awakened once more, although his pet dog survives this time, in a wise decision by the filmmakers.

The imaginatively named sequel continues in the same vein as the first, although it adds meat to the bones in terms of the previously mysterious assassin guild/hotel chain that framed much of the original. We learn more about  the rules of the Continental, whilst a command structure is established for the 12 criminal groups that control the underworld.

More importantly, Wick dispatches countless enemies with his trademark headshots, which makes sense considering the bulletproof suit provided by Peter Serafinowicz. There's no bad acting to be found in this sequel, with slick performances from the assorted mooks and hotel staff that make up the majority of the cast. Neo and Morpheus are reunited once more, as Laurence Fishburne makes his debut as the Bowery King. His network of vagrants add another layer to the criminal network, and its great to see they've lost little chemistry over the years.

The plot of the first is expanded as the film attempts to realistically portray a guild of assassins who operate in plain sight, while Wick continues to battle for both retirement, and the possibility of a quiet life. Neither proves to be possible, but it does make for meaty fighting and gory carnage along the way. There's a clear contrast between the beautiful settings and the violence on show. The blood oath creditor and main antagonist Santino D’Antonio (Riccardo Scamarcio) is undoubtedly slimy under his veneer of civility, but he does have great taste. 

The action is visceral and elongated, although they sometimes lack more punch than in the original. The car chase opener is an example of action done right, with further exchanges sometimes proving to be a little repetitive. Wick ends with 128 confirmed kills. That's a lot of bad guys, and it can feel a little tiresome as he double taps yet another suited guard into submission. There are a few infrequent lulls, though the majority kept me compelled to continue watching.

Stellar moments are frequent, though at times it feels like the film has slightly disappeared up it’s own arse. It’s not convoluted, but there's less of a thrill as it slowly builds after a strong opening. Fans of the first will find more to love, and a third has already been confirmed. The sequel hook at the end seems like it could have been more interesting than the film itself, but that's at least partly because of the buildup of tension over the film, and the way the story is told.

We now have a greater idea of the threat facing our retired assassin, and the immediacy of the situation means a third is likely to continue from close to where we left him. It's a little long-winded at times, but it's worth watching for the scenery porn alone. The gun-fu is generally mesmerising and the humour tends to work, wrapping up into a neat, bloodied package. I personally preferred the original, but I still want to watch the third. With a budget of $40m and a box office return of $166m, you can see why they'd make a third chapter.


James Millin-Ashmore

John Wick Chapter 2 at CeX

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Tekken 7

I used to believe that Heihachi Mishima could take off his shoe, and shove it into an opponent's face in a devastating one-hit KO. Of course, it turned out to be a childish lie formed from the mouth of a bored ten-year-old back in the year 2000, in a time before the internet could dispel bs with a few quick taps on a smartphone.

In any case, I was always fascinated by the King of Iron First Tournament, as it continued to expand and improve with each successive entry. The roster was always interesting, while it never took itself too seriously despite darker moments. Tekken was a key title for the Playstation generation, but it often played second fiddle to the ever popular Street Fighter series. Given SF V’s failure to launch, is it finally time for Tekken to become relevant again?

Fans will be happy to hear that Tekken 7 heralds a return to form for the fighting game, four years after the release of Tag Tournament 2. Even so, there's a few issues that do tarnish the overall package, especially if you're more interested in narrative and additional game modes. The action itself is both snappy and crisp, with meaty attacks from a large returning cast. The fighting is simple enough to get to grips with fairly easily, with a tutorial imbedded in the story mode for newcomers.

As for the roster, there's a few surprises and new additions, (Akuma!) but there's good representation in the form of classic fighters. Each looks detailed, and there's a lot of variety.
There's a story mode, which comprises of the latest goings on at the Mishima Zaibatsu. It's told through the framing device of a nameless reporter, with lazy text portions that are (thankfully) skippable. A number of ‘lesser’ characters don't even get a cinematic ending, which is doubly disappointing considering the story is generally one of the strongest parts of the series.

Personally, I've always been partial to a turn as Paul Phoenix, despite his diminishing returns in canon. (He features in every game, getting progressively stupider). It's a shame that he was left out, and many fans are likely to be unhappy with how their favourite had been handled. The narrative is pretty threadbare in comparison to older titles, and the main story itself is a little flat. What makes it worse is that you can unlock endings from past titles, using in-game currency.

While the story is always important at first, the gameplay is what's likely to keep you playing over the next six months. There's a couple of new additions that do make an overall difference. Rage Arts are like limit breaks that can change the tide of a round, and they're performed with a single button press. They're a decent equaliser if you're being outclassed, especially for noobs like me.

Sidestepping and bouncing opponents off the floor has been nerfed, and slow-mo finishes add to the drama. Experienced players will have no trouble getting used to the changes, while it's surprisingly forgiving for new entrants. The online portions of the game were a little hit and miss, given the difficulties you can have with finding a fair fight in the first place.

Bandai Namco have been working to release a patch in the next few days, but it certainly spoiled my multiplayer experience. It's easy enough to connect to a friend, but that's not really helpful if you don't know anyone else who owns the game. Tekken 7 is a welcome addition to the series, and the new mechanics complement the gameplay. The action looks spectacular, and the balance of power during fights is capable of shifting in no time. However, the lack of meaningful additional modes and lightweight story are disappointing to say the least.


James Millin-Ashmore

Tekken 7 at CeX

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Wednesday 14 June 2017

E3 2017 The Good, the Bad & the Awkward!


  • EA had its share of awkward moments in between showing off some games and dlcs to look forward to. Battlefield 1: In the name of the Tsar. The second set of DLC for the game. The Russian Empire are now a playable faction, new maps, and female soldiers. (Google it. Russian female soldiers were badass during the war)
  • Your usual batch of Yearly updated EA Sports titles. Fifa, Madden and a new NBA Live. Each with their own story mode. I’m sure Fifa will get played a lot at mine. Men in blazers speak on stage, for far too long, in what will be the first of many awkward and unwanted moments from E3.
  • Jesse Wellens, “A Youtube creator”, is next on stage. Gets stage fright, fumbles his lines and then awkwardly introduces Marcus Nellson, Executive producer for Need For Speed: Payback. A Fast and Furious inspired take on NFS with some Burnout looking crashes.

  • A Way Out, from Hazelight studio, got some interest as a couch/online co-op only action adventure game. In which you need to work together to break out of prison and go on the run. The Last half an hour of the show was dedicated to Battlefront 2.

  • Janina Gavankar, the voice actress of Commander Iden Versio in the Campaign mode, easily wins EA’s best host of the night and introduces a two minute trailer for the games single and multiplayer. Battlefront 2 has three times the content of the first and addresses a lot of peoples issues (including my own) with the first. She also announces that all add-ons for the game will be free. A rare bonus from EA! Graphically and gameplay wise, Battlefront 2 looks like one of the most impressive games shown all night. The show concludes with a live demonstration of multiplayer.


  • Microsoft started their night by showing the Scorpio, now renamed - Xbox One X, which, when launched, will be the most powerful console on the market. They’ve clearly failed to notice that the most powerful console has lost, each generation, (N64, Xbox, PS3). Not that we don’t love these consoles for what they are, but Microsoft are trying to take the market share and at £449, not sure that’s happening.

  • MS showed 42 games, 22 of which were “exclusives”, some of these were timed “exclusives” but failed to mention this. The term “World Premiere” was heard a lot. Original Xbox games are to be made backwards compatible, a good reason to dig out Jetset Radio Future.

  • Hope you like racing because Forza is now up to a seventh numbered entry, not counting Horizon spin offs. That’s Mortal Kombat numbers in a third of the time… Dan Greenwalt, Creative director at Turn 10 studios, came out on stage to reveal the new 911 turbo. Please don’t reveal cars during E3… I’m sure someone cares, but taking up five minutes of your games conference to show a car is pretty boring air time.

  • Metro Exodus made up for this by being a stunningly sexy looking open world game. Assassin’s Creed Origin looked like more Assassin’s Creed with some added game mechanics taken from other Ubisoft titles. The combat now looks a bit heavier and closer to For Honour than previous AC games. You have a drone, Ghost Recon style, in the form of a Hawk you can control. Current stream favourite, Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds was announced for Xbox One with a few new additions. State Of Decay 2 looked like it needed some more work, but it’s a long way off so they have the time. The first game was good but very broken. They have a bigger team now, and Microsoft money to fix it. 

  • A new team arena shooter, The Darwin Project, tries to be more exciting than it is by having a shouty commentator pretending this is the next esport. Good luck to them but somehow I don’t think you’re taking that away from Blizzard. Lots of Minecraft! Including 4K textures update for Xbox One X…
  • DragonBall Fighter Z is a new Beat em up, due 2018, by Arc System Works who are best known for making hardcore beat ‘em ups Like Guilty Gear and Blazblue. Black Desert online, the four year old MMO is coming to consoles.

  • A bunch of new indie titles. The Last Night, was one of the more interesting ones. A cyberpunk world with a mix of 3D and nice pixel art. Pirate MMO, Sea of Thieves, had a good reveal. The tone of the voiceover worked well with the game.  At one point there was a fluffy orange tale, my brain went to, “sweet, a new Conker”, to be massively let down by an underwhelming platform game about a fox. Super Lucky’s Tale. Cuphead, September 29th. I’ll leave it at that.

  • Terry Crews did his best Terry Crews impression, to promote Crackdown 3. A shinier looking Crackdown. There was a lack of the building destruction that they’d been promising. Lots of Shadow Of War, if you liked Shadow of Mordor, this is for you. The show wraps up with a long showing of Anthem, from Bioware. A cooperative multiplayer for up to four players. It looks very impressive. If it isn't all lies, it might be quite good. Mass Effect doesn't give me much confidence.


  • Doom VFR... bit weak, You can only move to certain spots. Doom was all about the speed and movement…
  • Fallout VR. Much better, what you'd expect from Fallout. Go anywhere and do what you want.
  • Morrowind trailer for Elder Scrolls Online.
  • Elder scrolls legends (the card game) is out June 29th.
  • Skyrim for switch... aww, cute.
  • Dishonoured 2 DLC. Death of the Outsider. Sept 16th.
  • Quake Champions and the announcement of a $1 million tournament.
  • Evil within 2. Trailer's good (with a weird Duran Duran cover)... but the first game looked good, too. (October 13th).
  • Wolfenstein 2: The new Colossus. 27th October. Continuing where the New Order left off.

Stream goes funny... conference is over.
No elder scrolls 6…


  • Opening with their own cashin version of Minions, to show off Mario and Rabbids: Kingdom Battle. Miyamoto-san’s, Bullet Bill, Megaman arm is the highlight here.

  • A lot that was shown was doubled up during other shows. The interesting things that weren’t, were; The Crew 2…Now with boats. It’s a shame these games use the same driving engine as Watchdogs. Far Cry 5, Set in middle American with crazy cults running the land. At least I Think this is a fictional game. Elijah Wood Is heading a psychological VR game called Transference. Ubisoft Shanghai Took all the sailing and boats out of Assassin’s Creed: Black flag and made it into a whole game just about pirates. Skull and Bones.

  • I’ve wanted Beyond Good and Evil 2 for a long time, although not like this. There’s a massive change in tone. The characters seem really irritating. I don't need monkeys down with the kids ‘n’ tings ‘innit, who swear a lot. Ya get me. Beyond Good and Evil was already good without being 'adult'.... It just seemed more juvenile. Like they mashed the Beyond Good and Evil characters into some other game they were working on. (This is how Assassin’s Creed started, so wouldn’t be a first).


  • Sony open with some nice music and a water feature to reveal Uncharted: Claudia Black Edition. There’re audio issues, so not sure what they’re talking about but it doesn’t matter. Uncharted: The Lost Legacy.
  • An expansion for Horizon is very welcome as The Frozen Wilds is revealed. The audio returns in time for Days Gone, showing off its world and hundreds of zombies. Sneaking around has a Last of Us vibe… and there is a barb wire bear! 
  • Shaun Layden comes to the stage to say some stuff about it being “all about the games”, then leaves the stage hostless for the next hour. I guess that’s Sony’s way of avoiding having awkward hosts.

  • Cult favourite Monster Hunter returns to the Playstation with Monster Hunter: World. Lots of big dinosaur things and lots of big swords, like a hell of a lot.
  • A full on remake of Shadow of the Colossus, not just a HD’d update… set for 2018. Guess I’m buying it again.

  • Marvel Vs Capcom Infinite. Fighty fighty. Sept 19th.
  • Call of Duty: WW2. Shooty shooty. Nov 3rd
  • Skyrim VR…. Makes the Switch version seem a bit silly… Trollolol
  • More VR games. Star Child, The Inpatient, Moss.
  • Monster of the Deep. A VR fishing game set in Final Fantasy 15.
  • Bravo Team made me want a VR Time Crisis, come on Namco.
  • God of War…. Early 2018…. Go find the trailer…
  • Detroit: Become Human. David Cage, Cyberpunk… all I need to know… I’ll follow Marcus.
  • Destiny 2. Sept 6th.

An hour in, Shaun comes back and says “Thanks for coming” and makes a jab about “true” exclusives and proceeds to close the show with a really long look at Spider-Man. Insomniac have done an amazing job, it looks incredible, the fighting is clearly inspired by The Batman Arkham games with added web and acrobatics. The web swinging looks as fun as it was in Spiderman 2 and we see a brief tease of Miles Morales. Spiderwebs everywhere!

Bry Wyatt

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Underworld: Blood Wars

Out now on blu-ray is the presumably final film in the Underworld franchise starring Kate Beckinsale and your man from game of thrones. After her daughter has voluntarily gone missing, Selene (Beckinsale) has been hunted as the blood of her daughter holds a secret strength allowing lycans and vampires alike to gain strengths and benefits the world has never seen. No real reason is given for this, it’s just the way it is damn it. Due to an impending titular war she gets welcomed back into her original coven from whence she came and was previously banished from, having decimated the face of an elder vampire. She is entrusted with the training of all the young vampiric people to deal death to all the lycan people, as she is a death dealer; she deals death… It isn’t unusual for a film to inject a bit of telegraphed conflict at this point and I wasn’t surprised to find that exact thing happen.

What did surprise me is that the film was written in a way that every decision that was made seemed perfectly reasonable. I can’t think of a single moment where it seemed oddly convenient for the plot to move ahead, though the reasons were sometimes a little vague. The conflict in question is that Selene ends up being framed for the murder of a lot of people, as part of a plot to get her blood and to find her daughter, cos the bad guys want her blood for finger painting or something. 

I was surprised to find my video review counterpart on the CEX youtube channel was so wholeheartedly disgusted by the quality of this movie, as I thought it was incredibly well paced.  Sure it covered a lot of the ‘vampire vs werewolves’ generic plot points, but I think it was impressively watchable.  The first film didn’t pretend it wasn’t a Vampire version of the Matrix, and this one doesn’t pretend it isn’t a Vampire version of Game of Thrones. Despite constantly wearing their influences on their tight leathery sleeves, the film surprisingly still found time to have some incredibly fun action sequences, really gruesome in a video game way that made me very happy and sweary.

The lack of imagination in the plot could let it down, and it certainly isn’t winning an oscar for depth despite side stepping a lot of easy bad writing mistakes.  The pace is so incredible in the film, it doesn’t fuck about with melodrama, which sometimes left me feeling that characters were getting over traumas maybe a bit too easily.  While every second of the film had a moment that would’ve left me sitting in a dark room listening to Mad World for a few hours on repeat, the characters shrugged off the death of their recent family and friends with less irritation than you would with a friend that dropped a biscuit on your rug. 

Overall the film reached a point where it felt like Nathan Drake, Ciri and a less strong but still fun Daenerys had a big old lovely massacre to cheer themselves up after being at the wrong end of a forced blood transfusion and massacre of their own.


David Roberts

Underworld: Blood Wars at CeX

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Thursday 8 June 2017

World Of Final Fantasy

Square Enix love a good spin-off game – they’ve made quite a lot already for the ‘Final Fantasy’ franchise, and they’re not stopping yet. ‘World of Final Fantasy’ is the newest game to hit the PS4 and Playstation Vita, but for some reason this one feels less ‘Final Fantasy’ and more a combination between ‘Kingdom Hearts’ and ‘Pokémon’.

Set in Grimoire, a combination of all of the previous ‘Final Fantasy’ locations, the player takes control of twins Lann and Reynn as they travel the world in search of answers to who they really were. Up until now they’d just been regular people in a completely different world, until one fateful day where they discover that it’s not all as it seems and they’re actually part of something much bigger. With no memory of who they really are, the pair must search for clues to work it all out whilst also saving Grimoire and its chibi-like Lilikin inhabitants from the dark forces of the Bahamutian Army.

To celebrate the franchise up until now, ‘World of Final Fantasy’ has gone back to the previous battle style of turn-based, which die-hard fans of the series will love. It’s also borrowed a few ideas from Pokémon (or so it seems) – during these battles you can imprison the creatures that you fight, known as mirages, and train them to aid you in battle. You can keep a certain amount on you whilst you travel, and the rest go into your Prism Case (which is pretty much just Bill’s PC). What makes it different to Pokémon is a really interesting battle mechanic called stacking. Rather than just fight normally you have the option of quite literally stacking different sized creatures on top of Lann and Reynn, which allows you to combine abilities and become stronger. It seems complicated at first, but it adds an interesting element of strategy to the game and saves it from becoming too Pokémon-esque. You also have the ability to switch between your Giant and Lillikin forms, meaning that you can have multiple stacks on the go.

It's not just about battling though – mirages can evolve transfigure into others, and can also learn a whole host of different TMs and HMs abilities that they can use both in battle and during your journey. You can only access your Prism Case at the start of a dungeon, meaning that you must think carefully about what mirages you’ll need to hand before you go rushing into it (or just rush into it anyway and end up only getting halfway before having to turn back to find a mirage that knows Sizzle).

The problem is that the battling becomes tiresome after a while – unlike Pokémon, each mirage starts at level 1, meaning that getting them up to your current level takes some work. Also unlike Pokémon, it’s a lot harder to just get on with it with your one main team, and so maintaining a whole bunch of different mirages just gets too repetitive. Whilst it's exciting and new at the start, the prospect of doing pretty much just that for 80 hours plus is not something that fills me with joy. The constant backwards and forwards was also a tad annoying. You can only buy items from one location on the map (thus far), and it’s the same situation for your Pokédex (sorry, Mirage Manual). For some reason there’s no way of accessing your Prism Case and the mirages in your party at the same time, meaning that choosing your ultimate stack combinations takes way longer than it should.

Whilst the game is beautiful to look at and contains a whole host of interesting characters (throwbacks to older characters are great and Lann and Reynn are both endearing, despite being a little too slapstick at points), there just isn’t a big enough focus on exploration in each area. The dungeons and towns have very set boundaries, and the space for each one is smaller than it could be. There’s loads of paths to follow and secrets to find, but it just doesn’t feel open enough, and certainly doesn’t replicate the exploration of previous games.

That’s probably why the game feels overly linear, although there are extra things such as the Battle Tower Coliseum, a platform for multiplayer battling, and the ability to secretly jump into the battles of other characters to help them out for rewards. There are also side quests available, although not as many as I was hoping for, and again they still feel too purposefully placed. Ultimately the game is a good one, but it’s these little things that just let it down. It’s an interesting and unfathomably adorable homage to the 30 or so years or ‘Final Fantasy’ that have been released so far, but it doesn’t quite do it justice.

Hannah Read

World Of Final Fantasy at CeX

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Tuesday 6 June 2017

The Lego Batman Movie

Remember ‘The Lego Movie’? It seems mad to say it but it really was three whole years ago that it first entered our cinemas and, as the soundtrack suggested, everything about it was awesome. Now comes ‘The Lego Batman Movie’, the well-awaited spin-off moving away from the classic Lego characters such as Emmett and Wyldstyle and moving instead to the crime-drenched city of Gotham.

The Joker (Zach Galifianakis) and his team of usual suspects are back and, as always, Batman (Will Arnett) is hot on his case. Things go slightly differently this time though – Batman tells Joker that he is not, in fact, his greatest enemy after all, and claims that he means nothing to him. Joker, upset by this revelation, hands himself and the rest of them into the new commissioner Barbara (Rosalia Dawson) which effectively renders Batman redundant. 

The focus isn’t all on Batman and Joker’s bromance though, as Batman also finds himself accidentally adopting Dick Grayson (Michael Cera), an orphan who idolises Bruce Wayne and Batman. Alfred (Ralph Fiennes) suggests he use this to get over his fear of being part of a family, and lose his loneliness once and for all. As you can expect it doesn’t all go to plan, and Batman has to face some of his biggest hurdles yet.

What makes a great kids’ film is the ability to appeal to all ages, and ‘The Lego Batman Movie’ does just that. It’s filled with jokes and gags that are funny for adults and children alike, but it’s also incredibly modern and current, as was ‘The Lego Movie’. Not all of the jokes worked (admittedly I found myself laughing less than I did in ‘The Lego Movie’), but it was easy to enjoy even if you’re not particularly a Batman or Lego fan. Don’t be surprised if, like the previous movie, your kids are still quoting this months down the line.

The start was excellent, as was the end, but it was the middle that didn’t work quite so well unfortunately – although the plot was interesting, it was so fast-paced that it felt a little messy at times. I also got the feeling that the idea for the franchise came long before the idea for the story, meaning that there were parts that seemed a tad forced. However, that’s not likely to be picked up on by the kids watching (just us cynical adults), and so wasn’t too much of an issue.

What I loved about it was just how many characters were involved – not only did we get to see a whole host of DC characters such as Bane, Harley Quinn, and a load of lesser-known ones, but we were also treated to a combination of enemies from unrelated franchises like Voldemort, Jaws, and the “British robots” (Daleks, of course). This worked really well but I just wanted more of it; there was so much going on at every point that some of the jokes got lost in the action, and it would have been more effective to have a bit less crazy at times.

Despite that, ‘The Lego Batman Movie’ is still a good film, with an excellent soundtrack and some really funny and silly moments mixed in with some quite emotional and poignant ones. It’s not as good as ‘The Lego Movie’ was, but it’s still got me hoping for another one.


Hannah Read

The Lego Batman Movie at CeX

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Monday 5 June 2017

CeX in The Metro: The modern joy of cheap video games

Those savvy bargain hunters at Metro named CeX when their reader wrote in to celebrate how easy it is to buy video games very very cheaply at CeX .Happy to be of service! Read the article here: The Modern Joy of Cheap Video Games

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Friday 2 June 2017

Assassin's Creed: The Movie

Out now on blu-ray, DVD, and various paid streaming services is Assassin’s Creed. Now, before we start, let me ask you a question, what do the following films have in common: Super Mario Bros, Double Dragon, Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, Tomb Raider, House of the Dead, Alone in the Dark, Doom, Bloodrayne, Postal? Yes ma’am you are correct, they all have one thing in common, they are all, bar none, almost physically painful pieces of shite.  A collection of films, particularly the Uwe Boll ones, seemingly designed in a way, not to entertain but to specifically enrage and annoy fans of the source material.

Starring the genius/bumbling moron that is Michael Fassbender and the usually fantastic Marion Cotillard, Assassin’s Creed is a reimagining of famed historical drama video game series by the same name. It has been a long time coming, and to many it looked as if this may have been the game to break the curse of the terrible movie tie-in.  There have been a few near hits such as Resident Evil and Silent Hill, the perfectly on point Advent Children and the so bad it’s good joy that came from Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter. However, as I’m sure you are aware there has been more good to seep out’ve an infected wound than out’ve the boardroom meetings that talk about video game adaptation. 

Assassin’s Creed, based in the same world as the games but an independent story, is about a prisoner with an interesting past, much more interesting than the story we get incidentally. A man, Callum (Fassbender), who has been all but kidnapped by Marion Cotillard inexplicably. It does seem that she does so in an attempt to  pretend she is consistently winning a Michael Fassbender toy from a Claw Grabber Machine game, with which she has combined with her love of History to form a plan, and weak plot. The motivation behind this is she is absolutely dedicated to unlocking the power of the Apple of Eden with the same chaotic and selfish vigour normally associated with fans of the Apple of iPhone. (Nah, only kidding you’re ok)

I have an incredibly wobbly tooth at the moment and I can say without hyperbole, that I was so bored watching this movie that I decided to rip the tooth out of my face with a pair of nearby pliers. Even oscillating between blinding agony and adrenalin driven euphoria couldn’t elicit any emotion from me regarding this film, and instead I just let the blood roll down my face and went to bed depressed that I still had to write this review, causing me a long term throbbing pain of the psyche that all but rivalled the fresh wound I had caused by accidentally grabbing a chunk of my lower mouth with the pliers. 

I have suffered through this film twice, or should I say that the dialogue was so boring that I fell at the first hurdle, which was the silently, tediously scrolling text.  It’s as if Star Wars started with someone just showing you the opening scrawl written down on a beer mat while lecturing you about 1970s plumbing techniques.  The film isn’t interesting, if anything it’s confusing, I never quite understood the motivation behind any decision being made, and it seemed that the film was designed as a way to show off that someone actually let them make a movie.  

The early games are commonly known as being about a beautiful or fascinating period of history inside the framing device of some stupid sci-fi present day wankery that is basically like trying to get away with the infamous trope of ‘it’s all just a dream’ by telling you at the start.  They are good, most of them, I would almost say all of them if it wasn’t for the third one and incidentally everyone’s most favourite bit wasn’t the bit where you fucked about and literally worked in an office.  So inspired by the fascinating premise of the games, we all wondered with anticipation if we were going to see a brutal film version of Black Flag, or even better, the live action version of the roguish hero that was Ezio Auditore. Instead we got a film that was trying so hard not to be the matrix that it ended up being boring, tedious and as gratifying as if they had dropped Jar Jar Binks into the middle of '13 Reasons Why'.

On the plus side the film is stylish, beautiful even. The feel of the parts in the past perfectly reflect the visual design of the games and really reminded me of a time when I was enjoying myself. Unfortunately, there is nothing good to be said about the film apart from the way it looks, and you can get most of that from the trailer on youtube, so if I were you, and I respect the fact that I am not, I would suggest getting yourself a copy of Leon: The Professional or watching Game of Thrones instead. Otherwise you might find out what it feels like to grab a part of your body and tear it off  as someone urinates all over another of your inevitably broken dreams. 


David Roberts
Assasin's Creed at CeX

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