Sunday, 19 May 2019

Super Dragon Ball Heroes: World Mission ★★★☆☆


Super Dragon Ball Heroes World Mission is a typically insanely long title for a brand new card game on Nintendo Switch featuring more stats, cards, references and sub-par graphics than you could wave a telescopic stick at. (You know, like Goku had as a child, remember?) 

Super Dragon Ball Heroes, was a DS game that has been moved onto the Switch and is a pretty solid card game, which I find frustrating, addictive and I'm confused about whether or not I enjoy.  I think I've spent about an hour or two in tutorials feeling like I was learning to play Numberwang… and yet I keep going.


The hero of the game is called Dave, in my version, but is essentially nameless and you can call him Jeff or Chimp Lasher for that matter. Dave is the protagonist of my story, and he has found himself in the middle of a card battle tournament, but all the characters in the card game, based on the 'real life' events of Dragon Ball, have started coming into the 'real world' attacking everyone they can see. This is a bit odd, considering the characters such as Radditz, Cooler, Frieza etc. are intergalactic terrorists, meaning this is the equivalent of us having a card game featuring Saddam Hussein, Pol Pot, and that douche that stole the last table in Starbucks before ordering anything. 

The game is packed full of lovely Dragon Ball nostalgia as you would imagine, and each card game resembles a contrived RPG mechanic more than a strict card game like Gwent or that awesome one from Final Fantasy IX. Unfortunately, the graphics look like I've drawn them on my lap in the street because there were no free tables left in Starbucks. 

The story is compelling, and the exciting energy of Dragon Ball is here as much as it could be in a card game, which unfortunately goes hand in hand with an intensely steep learning curve at the start of the game, I have no idea why I'm winning, but I assume I should just keep doing what I'm doing. The music is great, and the cards are really awesomely designed. However, here is my main problem. This is a card game. This is, at the time of writing, the same price as a AAA title! You could fly to Spain with a pack of cards, get tipsy in a bar and play with some nerds for roughly the same amount of money. There just isn't enough in the game to warrant the price tag, especially with so many other high-quality games floating about at the moment.


If you get a free copy of it, or you see it on sale and you love Dragon Ball, it's certainly worth playing, but I'd hold off for a while. I'll tell you what, if you are a government employee that can pass a law that means you aren't allowed to sit down in a Starbucks without previously ordering something, I'll give you my copy.

★★★☆☆
David Roberts



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Saturday, 18 May 2019

Detective Pikachu ★★★★☆


What is it about Pokémon that makes people just love them all, all the time. The original Gameboy games, card game and anime were more important to me than exam results, eating food or developing enough social skills that the highlight of my 30s isn't a Pokémon movie.  I've such strong memories of the first time I chose my starter (Charmander) and that terrible time when I accidentally transferred my EXP Share to Pete on Pokémon Emerald. I went to see the original movie the day it came out and got a special shiny Pikachu, and now 20 years later, I went to see Detective Pikachu starring Ryan Reynolds.


Tim's father has been found dead after an accident that we see is due to famed ventriloquist Mewtwo escaping from a sphere and doing a massive Mewpoo all over the place. Tim, a failed Pokémon trainer who had about as much luck with building a connection with Pokémon as I did with women at the same age, almost gets his ass handed to him by a Cubone.  Tim gets a phone call on a phone that looks like a DS Lite, and has to go and clear out his newly dead Dad's effects from his apartment, and therein meets Detective Pikachu. Pikachu has amnesia, a relatable coffee addiction, and is convinced Tim's Dad, is still alive and wants to help him solve the case.  Imagine a very talkative small, yellow and furry Humphrey Bogart with ADHD, I bet off camera Pikachu is smoking all the time. 

Justice Smith (Tim) and Kathryn Newton (Lucy) do a solid job at having that anime protagonist team vibe, that is very reminiscent of Ash and Misty respectively. Lucy even has a thick as shit Psyduck that's ready to have a catastrophic headache at any moment.  They take a little weight off the little yellow shoulders of Ryan Reynolds so he isn't carrying the whole movie, which he easily could. Reynolds is incredibly..Ryan Reynolds, so much so that the film feels like it could easily be a PG dream that Deadpool is having somewhere between executions.


The first gen fan service, especially in relation to the original TV show, is all over the place in a good way. It's a solid movie for anyone who enjoys simple kids movies with relatively predictable plots, but if you go in as an OG Pokémon fan, you'll be eating up every ounce of every scene. The only thing that's a bit missing, is the climax feels like there is about to be a Dragonball Z level fight and it just never quite happens, which sucks, as a city-destroying explosive battle reminiscent of the end of Endgame (spoiler alert) would have been outstanding. 

Mewtwo is back, Charmanders are all over the place, Bulbasaurs are adorable and a very brief Pokémon battle between Magikarp and Charizard will have you clapping your hands with glee. It's a must-see for Pokémon fans, and I am blinded by my fandom, so I've no idea if it's watchable if you don't know anything about the franchise, but I think it's pretty solid for kids and any man/woman/other that has a nostalgia gland that needs rubbed off. 

★★★★☆
David Roberts



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Friday, 17 May 2019

Mary Poppins Returns ★★★★☆


Mary Poppins is perhaps one of the most iconic and beloved films in Disney’s entire back catalogue. It’s become so ingrained in the public’s consciousness that you’d be hard pushed to find someone who doesn’t know of the word ‘supercalifragilisticexpialidocious‘, Dick Van Dyke’s awful cockney accent, or the significance of feeding pigeons on the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral. 

So it’s a brave move on Disney’s part for them, fifty-four years down the line, to release a sequel to their classic (well...brave, or cash-grabbing, anyway. Going by the theme of their latest releases, perhaps it’s more of the latter...but that’s not for me to judge). But release it they did, and actually - surprisingly - it’s quite a fantastic film.


Smartly, writer David Magee, along with John DeLuca and director Rob Marshall, take steps to distance themselves narratively from the original story, setting their sequel twenty-four years after Mary Poppins first visited the Banks family to remind them all of the joy of childhood. Michael Banks (Ben Wishaw), now a struggling artist with three children of his own, is desperately trying to cobble together a living with his sister (Emily Mortimer) in the house they grew up in after the death of his wife. Having taken out a loan from the Fidelity Fiduciary Bank and now unable to pay it back, the Banks family receive a visit from two of the bank’s associates who notify Michael that unless they pay the sum back in full, their house will be repossessed. With only two weeks to find the money before they lose their home, the siblings remember that their father left them shares in the bank which would cover the amount they owed...providing they could find the share certificate to prove it. And, with the family at their emotional lowest, who should arrive from the clouds to help them along but everyone’s favourite nanny, Mary Poppins.

As with any iconic character, it’s often hard to separate the role from the actor, and let’s be honest; Julie Andrews left some massive shoes to fill. So what a relief it was that Emily Blunt has some...equally massive feet? I don’t know, that idiom got away with me a little bit. Anyway, Emily Blunt’s casting is practically perfect in every way; true, her Mary Poppins is a slightly different beast to the one we know and love, but the film is all the better for it. She's somehow managed to be simultaneously both sterner and more joyful than her previous iteration, and she’s a delight to watch.

‘But what about the music?’, I hear you cry. ‘With the original film sporting so many classic and iconic songs, how do Mary Poppins Returns’ tunes hold up in comparison?’ Well...not quite so well, unfortunately. Don’t get me wrong; they are excellent - some even will go down among the ranks of the likes of Chim-Chim-Cheree and A Spoonful of Sugar - but for the most part, they’re not quite as instantly memorable as those that appeared in the 1964 film, sadly. It’s also hard not to be reminded of songs and sequences from songs and sequences from the original when listening to the soundtrack of this film. Let me put it this way; imagine a scene in which Poppins and the family go on gravity-defying hijinks with a relative. Now is that ‘I Love to Laugh’, or ‘Turning Turtle’? What about a semi-nonsensical song in which our protagonists interact with cartoon characters? Is that ‘A Cover is Not the Book’, or ‘Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’? A bittersweet song to help the children fall asleep…’ Stay Awake’, or ‘Where the Lost Things Go’?  You get my point. Now again, this is not to belittle the songs in Mary Poppins Returns; they are all excellent. But the bar was set incredibly high by the Sherman Brothers back in 1964, and Marc Shaiman, whilst doing an incredibly admirable job of it, doesn’t quite reach those heady heights.


That said though, Mary Poppins Returns is a wonderfully charming film and a worthy successor to its predecessor. Marshall has clearly made a conscious effort to craft a film - actually defying Disney’s wishes in the process - that draws on the magic and wonder of the original. It is incredibly well-cast (a special nod to Ben Wishaw, as well as musical maestro and well known Very Nice Person Lin-Manuel Miranda as Bert’s proxy, the lamplighter Jack), the music is super catchy, and it has imagination by the bucketload. A film well worth watching for kids and grown-up kids alike.

★★★★☆
Phil Taberner



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Monday, 13 May 2019

Avengers: Endgame ★★★★★


It's been eleven years since Tony Stark first announced the the world the iconic phrase "I am Iron Man", and we have finally been greeted in 2019 with the movie that attempts to tie up everything that has happened since. Endgame's plan is to take into their hands the emotional equivalent of your testicles and alternately massage and punch them into a paste. (Feel free to swap out testicles for a tender area of choice). 

Concerning spoilers: I am going to do everything I can to mention nothing that happens outside of the trailers you've already seen, as I was quietly threatened by a big-eared mouse with a high pitched voice on the way into the cinema, and I could've sworn I saw Walt himself fashioning a shivs red felt-tip pens in the shadows. However, there will be major Infinity War spoilers throughout.


Endgame picks up just after the world-altering catastrophe of Avengers Infinity War, wherein a big horrible purple man called Thanos killed fifty per cent of all living creatures in the universe and our surprise he even made the film end just after this trauma, causing us all to have PTSD (Pretty Terrible Sleep, Disney).

Aside from a brief moment at the end of Ant-man and The Wasp, we have been all very much left in the dark about what The Avengers are planning to do to fix the much lighter world they now live in.  The brief after-credits scene featuring Captain Marvel in her eponymous movie was to my surprise a prequel scene, based moments before the start of Avengers: Endgame, and unfortunately has almost as much Captain Marvel screen time as all of Endgame.

I haven't seen a comic book movie before, that felt so much like what makes comic books great as opposed to just being a structured story with superheroes. The writing and directing in Endgame is outstanding, on more than one occasion everyone in the audience gasped loudly or clapped their hands with firm primal joy. Throwbacks and fan-servicey moments are in abundance, I won't detail them here for your emotional safety.  There is one sequence in the movie that is destined to be the new benchmark for war scenes, that makes The Lord of The Rings battles, looks like the Lego Lord of The Rings battles and is the most IMAX worthy thing I have ever seen.

 The Russo brothers, the directors of most of the best MCU movies, have been quoted previously, saying that this film would be more of an emotional rollercoaster and much more of a tearjerker than Infinity War and I would be inclined to agree. You will need tissues. You will be emotional. I have heard the phrase 'Not a dry eye in the house' but this was the first time I have heard everyone in the cinema audibly weeping for at least 90 minutes.


I'm sure on hearing how wonderful this movie has been, you now find yourself wondering whether or not there is an opportunity to pee throughout the 181 minutes. The short answer? No, there absolutely is not. The pacing is so jam-packed I wouldn't be surprised to find out the original cut was over five hours long, and the film is so compelling I would have rather, all hyperbole aside, peed in my pants than moved. Contrary to the Marvel standard, there are NO after credits scenes or mid-credits scenes this time which will give those of us with more expressive bladders an escape.

Marvel has done something incredible these past eleven years, and to say it was worth the wait is an understatement.  The only thing I would say about it in a negative light is that if you haven't been watching the MCU movies up to this point, you will have absolutely no idea what the hell is going on. Every line is an in-joke or a reference to a previous movie and you will be lost. Aside from that, this is the most complex and impressive thing I have ever seen from an action movie/comic book movie standpoint, and you will not be disappointed. A fitting end to the Infinity Stone Saga. Bring tissues. 

★★★★★
David Roberts



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Friday, 10 May 2019

WIN Gaming Tournament Tickets!



Reflect is London's newest fighting game tournament proudly powered by CeX!

For more info about Reflect visit reflectexpo.com

We also have 5 pairs of tickets up for grabs! For your chance to be a part of the hottest new FGC tournament in London, visit our Instagram Page and solve our riddle!


SEE YOU THERE!


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Thursday, 9 May 2019

CeX at your Doorstep!


Want cash for your old phones, games and gadgets? Feeling lazy? We now serve at your doorstep! 

You can now buy, sell or exchange gadgets and games from the comfort of your home or office! A dedicated staff member will drive to your location at a time that suits you, test your item at your door and pay you via direct bank transfer or CeX voucher. You can also buy from us and pay via cash, card, CeX voucher or Paytm.

Fill up the form below and we will contact you or just call us on the below numbers and we’ll come to you:


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Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Google I/O May 19


For a Google event, that was pretty uneventful; but it did contain a few nuggets of interesting updates for both hardware and app software implementations.

The Google Pixel 3A and 3A XL were the main showcases. Two cheaper phone models, for those of us not willing to throw a grand down on a phone, without too much compromisation to the practicality or even the performance of the devices. The standard Pixel 3A comes in at £399, with a 5.6" screen and the Pixel 3A XL at £470 with a 6" screen. They both house the same guts. A Qualcomm Snapdragon 670 processor, 64 GB of storage, 4 GB of RAM and 12mp front, 8mp back cameras. They both contain an adaptive battery, for faster, longer lasting and more efficient charges. Obviously, they're not the power of the Pixel 3, but for the price range, it's a ridiculously good phone that debatably destroys the performance of the latest iPhones, especially their camera and photo software algorithms. The 3A and 3A XL are available from today in Just-Black, Clearly-White and Purple-ish.

The Nest Hub Max is the latest revision to the Home Hub, which now includes a wide-angle camera capable of tracking and detecting movement. Which could be useful for security reasons and for location tracking during video calls. The facial recognition of the camera can also allow the device to personalise responses and results for individual users. If you're worried it's all getting a little too Hal9000, and impersonal, there are two ways of deactivating the camera and listening software.


The Android Q beta rolls out with some interesting advances. A dark mode, to stop eye strain and potentially keep your battery alive a bit longer. A Parental stalker mode, that allows the user to link accounts, to help monitor your kid's activities and limit what they can see or do and what apps they can use. One I found most interesting (and potentially useful) was Live Caption - you can now add subtitles to any video played on the device, not just in apps but video calls, in real time, too. Not only would this be handy for those of use watching videos whilst we should be working but excellent for deaf and hard of hearing folk.

Google search will soon incorporate 3D models into search results. With the ability to then display the results through Augmented Reality, so you could see what a new pair of trainers would look like sitting on your floor or what a supercar would look like in your driveway. I look forward to being able to study a dinosaur from my bed.

The Google Lens also has a bunch of augmented updates. Google Maps will now display arrows in Street view, showing you the route, in real time so you never miss a turn. It can read menus in restaurants, and give recommendations based on reviews from other users and foreign text can also be translated by simply holding the camera up to it, and then even read it back to you. 

In what seems like a response to Apple's heart monitoring tech, Google are using their own AI's deep learning for early detection of things such as lung cancer. It was all a bunch of "if"s and "could"s but the potential is amazing. The example given was that it could analyze CT scans and potentially detect lung malignancies a year ahead of trained doctors, increasing the chances of survival by 40%. Anything that helps find and fight cancer is good by me.

Come back tomorrow to find out more!


Bry Wyatt



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Tuesday, 7 May 2019

Power Rangers Battle Of The Grid ★★☆☆☆


‘Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid’ is the first video game from the franchise since ‘Power Rangers: Super Legends’ came out in 2007, which I think is quite surprising considering that it’s been back on our screens properly for a while. The game is a 3-on-3 tag fighter with a four-button combat system, and now involves online play where you can either go solo or create teams with friends.

At its core, without thinking about anything else, the combat in the game feels quite good to play. All of the combos and special moves are easy to pull off, so the barrier for entry you would usually have in these sorts of games is much lower, allowing for enjoyment from a much larger audience.


The problem with ‘Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid’ is that everything else in the game is unfortunately very limited and mediocre. It’s generally expected within these types of fighting games to have loads of different play modes.  Even older games have this – you’ll remember that the ‘Tekken’ series even from the beginning had Arcade, Time Attack, Vs, Story, and eventually Bowling and other modes. With games like ‘Mortal Kombat’ coming out with countless modes and a deeply fleshed out story, ‘Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid’ unfortunately has hardly any modes in the game, with it being pretty much focused around Arcade and Training. This could be forgiven being that it costs the bargain price of around £20, however it did leave me feeling like it could have been so much more and I felt myself getting bored after a while.

The biggest problem is that this not only shortcoming. There are less than 10 fighters to play and not much variety within the stages.  There’s just not that much to do, giving another reason as to why I felt bored, and without an expansive list of characters to unlock I just didn’t feel motivated to keep playing. The Vs. mode should be where the entertainment really kicks in but it wasn’t as encompassing as other online games which are out at the moment, and with so many to choose from there really needs to be something that sets the online mode apart if the developers want to gain a lot of players.

Graphically the game isn’t great to look at, and I wouldn't blame you if you compared it to a free to play mobile game.  The U.I looks like something that is more suited to a couple of generations ago and the general style of the game feels a bit stale – I certainly wasn’t drawn to it like I have been by other games out recently.


If I’m truly being honest, I'm just not sure who this game is aimed at – it seems too simple and easy for hardcore fighting game fans (and even the not so hardcore ones), so is probably better suited to kids. I’m sure it would take some time and skill to truly master it, but the question I’d pose is whether anyone would actually stick with it that long in order to do so. It’s also managed to come out in the same year as ‘Mortal Kombat 11’, ‘Super Smash Bros’, and ‘Dragon Ball Fighter Z’, giving these fans of the genre plenty of other options to choose from. 

The main ideas and mechanics of the fighting are quite good but the game really needed a bigger budget and more scope to fully achieve what it’s trying to accomplish. Get it in a sale or second-hand if you’re that big a fan, but it’s probably not worth it at full price. 

★★☆☆☆
Hannah Read



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Monday, 6 May 2019

April Phones Video Round UP!


Have you watched our April Phone review yet?


6 CAMERAS, who needs 6 cameras?! Nokia seems to believe that's the way forward for smartphones these days... Join Lewis, as he looks and the latest and greatest April has to offer when it comes to phones! On this instalment, we have:

Nokia 9 PureView / Samsung M20 / Huawei P30 Pro

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Sunday, 5 May 2019

April Tech Video Round UP


Have you watched our April Tech review yet?


April brings us some exciting new tech. Join Lewis as he covers the must-haves of the month! In this issue we will cover:

Adobe Gemini \ Acer Predator Triton 500 \ Razer Ripsaw HD

Enjoy!

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Saturday, 4 May 2019

April Nintendo Switch Video Round UP

Have you watched our April Switch review yet?


Our amazing April roundups continue with a list of the great games Nintendo had to offer this month! Tom will be looking at:

Mortal Kombat 11 / Darksiders Warmastered Edition / Nintendo LABO VR  / Final Fantasy X / X2

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Friday, 3 May 2019

April TV / Movie Video Round UP


Have you watched our April  TV / Movie review yet?


All we have to say for April is... Go and watch Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse! Sam looks at the silver screen magic that Marvel delivered with this gem, as well as:

Aquaman / Mary Poppins Returns / Ralph Breaks the Internet

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Thursday, 2 May 2019

April PlayStation Video Round UP

Have you watched our April PlayStation review yet?

Oh boy, what a month April was! MK 11 graced our consoles with amazing new graphics and gruesome new fatalities! Speaking of which, we have 2 new zombie games for you as well as the long-awaited arrival of Phoenix Wright to the PS4! This month Jake will be covering:

Mortal Kombat 11 / Days Gone / Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy / World War Z

Which was your favourite game this April?

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Wednesday, 1 May 2019

FF12: The Zodiac Age ★★★★★


Final Fantasy 12: The Zodiac Age Review Version Tested: Xbox One X Time doesn’t heal all wounds, but the years have been kind to Final Fantasy XII. Arguably the last great FF game, XII is the latest in the series to get an HD re-release, and it’s finally available on the Xbox One and the Switch. The original came hot on the heels of Final Fantasy X, widely regarded as one of the best RPG’s ever to grace the PlayStation 2. How could you improve on the FMV laden bonanza, packed with Chocobo’s and mini-games galore?


 Square decided to go in a completely different direction for FF12, in what they likely saw as a natural progression for their biggest franchise. Changes to the turn-based fighting system and general direction caused stalwart fans to complain, and everything from a lacklustre main character to the toned-down story were compared to its predecessor in a poor light. There’s no Blitzball, but The Zodiac Age does a lot of things better than FFX, and even the later Final Fantasy XIII. The game incorporates the job system from FF: Tactics, adding depth to Ivalice as you can split job roles, (and respective abilities) between characters to have more customisation than ever before. Your party members start off with basic stats and a sphere grid of your choosing, allowing you to dump points into almost any ability you want at your own pace. 

 The “Gambit” system is one of the best you’ll find in any strategic RPG, allowing you to sit back and relax while user-created scripts work to (Blind) any foe with (Under 50% health), along with healing anyone who takes the slightest bit of damage automatically. It takes some getting used to, but mastery will alleviate most headaches, and you’ll ease past the majority of difficulty spikes without needing to spend time levelling up. The re-release also has a number of quality of life improvements, with the best being the ability to speed up the game whenever you want. It’s a lifesaver if you want to farm enemies for materials, and it speeds up the story when you’re forced to backtrack during the beginning. The options are 2x and 4x speed, ensuring that it won’t take long to get back to a quest-giver located two towns away. You can still spend countless hours completing hunts, collecting items, and earning new stats and abilities through the job system.


 In hindsight, it’s easy to recognise a range of features that were carried over to FF XIII. Luckily, it’s nowhere near as linear, with large areas to explore that are packed with enemies and items to find, along with heaps of extra content. The story is reasonably intriguing if you can deal with political waffle, and it’s made easier to swallow since you can play at double speed. (The running animation is also hilarious when you’re moving twice as fast.) The HD remaster looks as good as you’d expect given its origin, but they still can’t get rid of all of the jankiness. The older tech is especially noticeable with some of the stilted animations and dialogue, but it’s still breathtaking when a giant boss launches a special attack towards you, or when you take in the scale of a city for the first time.

 FF12 is one of the best RPG’s you’ll find on the Switch, and there isn’t much like it on the Xbox One. The game isn’t built to be played in 10-minute increments, but it’s ideal if you’re looking for a meaty old-school experience.

★★★★★
James Millin-Ashmore



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