Friday, 31 May 2019

Win A Copy Of Mortal Kombat 11 By Following Reflect On Twitch!


Want to get your hands on a copy of Mortal Kombat for PS4, Xbox One or Nintendo Switch?

Follow these simple steps to get yourself entered.


Step 1: Head to twitch.tv/reflectexpo and follow the page.

Step 2: Head to bit.ly/reflecttwitch and fill out the entry form, letting us know what platform you would like the game on.

Step 3: Good Luck!


Due to the age-restricted prize, this competition is for entrants over the age of 18 only.

Full terms and conditions can be found HERE.

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Reflect, in conjunction with CeX and ESL, is the hottest new eSports tournament on 15th-16th June at  Novotel London West.

With a prize pot in excess of £10,000, Reflect will showcase the greatest talent from the International Fighting Games scene, battling it out on Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Tekken 7, Mortal Kombat 11, Street Fighter V, Dragonball FighterZ, Guilty Gear Xrd Rev 2, Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike and Super Street Fighter II: Turbo.

Follow the hype & spread the word on TWITTER, TWITCH, YOUTUBE, FACEBOOK, and INSTAGRAM.
More info @ reflectexpo.com

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Pet Sematary 2019 ★★★☆☆


We live in fruitful and exciting times for Stephen King fans, but there is a risk of too much of a good thing. We’ve had countless remakes, reboots and fresh adaptations of his work over the past few years including new takes on It, The Dark Tower, Gerald’s Game, 1922, Cell, Carrie…The list goes on. We’ve also had TV adaptations of 11.22.63, Mr. Mercedes and The Mist, and of course the stunning Castle Rock series. 2019 promises 3 more big-screen King outings in the form of It: Chapter 2, In The Tall Grass and the long-awaited Shining sequel Doctor Sleep. Are we beginning to suffer from King fatigue?


2019 has also given us a new adaptation of King’s iconic novel Pet Sematary, previously adapted for the big screen 30 years ago back in 1989. Despite the earlier incarnation being a little dated now and certainly not without flaws, it hold a special place in many people’s hearts and so the news of a remake/reboot/re-adaptation/whatever was met with a little concern from film fans – especially as the trailer didn’t inspire a huge amount of confidence, marketing itself as merely a jump-scare riot with little substance and certainly not much of that slow-burning Stephen King dread. Thankfully, the final product is actually a pretty good piece of horror entertainment and an interesting adaptation of the book, doing enough to distance itself from the previous adaptation and stand on its own two rotting feet. 

For those who don’t know, the story of Pet Sematary follows Dr Louis Creed (Jason Clarke) and his wife (Amy Seimetz), as they relocate from Boston to rural Maine with their two young children. The couple soon discover a mysterious burial ground – the Pet Sematary - hidden deep in the woods near their new home. When the family cat dies, it is buried in this spooky location which inexplicably revives the cat and returns it to the family, but it returns aggressive and different. When tragedy strikes the family again, a perilous chain reaction unleashes an unspeakable evil with horrific consequences – despite warnings that “sometimes dead is better”.

It’s a fascinating and unique tale, well told and presented with a suitably dark and often harrowing atmosphere. The film is often uncomfortable viewing and it does deal with some very complex themes of loss, grief and family tragedy. But unfortunately, there is – unsurprisingly, it being a recent horror after all – an over-reliance on jump scares that cheapens proceedings considerably. The terrifying plot of this film could’ve easily worked a slow-burner of dread and horror – as indeed, brief portions of the film do. But no, Hollywood had to stuff it with cliché and remove the power from King’s original novel. And incidentally, some questionable changes are made to the source material here that will have die-hard fans scratching their heads and furiously tweeting their disgust.


Now, big-screen book adaptations are never better than the book. That’s a given. But is this 2019 incarnation of Pet Sematary at least better than the 1989 adaptation? Of course, it is – but it’s not really a fair comparison when you consider the larger budget, bigger names and generally better technology available to filmmakers today. Pet Sematary doesn’t hit the highs of the recent It adaptation and certainly will never stand in the same league as the early King adaptations – Christine, The Shining, Misery, etc. – but it’s a decent little horror and worth a look for fans of the genre.

★★★☆☆
Sam Love



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Thursday, 30 May 2019

Shazam! ★★★☆☆


We live in a Marvel world. Marvel’s slate for 2019 includes Captain Marvel, Avengers: Endgame, Spider-Man: Far From Home and more. Each of these films promise critical acclaim, enormous success at the box office and a general level of quality that no other superhero films can ever reach. You know what I mean? A Marvel film is announced, we can be safe in the knowledge it’ll be great. A DC film however…that’s a little harder to predict. When DC rears it’s oft-ugly head, there’s a chance it’ll be good, sure – but also an equal chance that it’ll be abysmal.


2013 birthed DC’s answer to Marvel’s cinematic universe with the DCEU (DC Extended Universe) with Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel. From there, we were given Batman v Superman, Suicide Squad, Wonder Woman, Justice League and Aquaman. How many of those can you argue are genuinely good films? 1, 2 tops? Well, here’s another one for you to debate. David F. Sandberg’s Shazam!

The film supposes that we all have a superhero inside of us, and it just takes a bit of magic to bring it out. In 14-year-old Billy Batson's (Asher Angel) case, all he needs to do is shout out one word to transform into the adult superhero Shazam (Zachary Levi). Still a kid at heart, Shazam revels in the new version of himself by doing what any other teen would do -- have fun while testing out his newfound powers. But he'll need to master them quickly before the evil Dr Thaddeus Sivana (everyone’s favourite bad guy Mark Strong) can get his hands on Shazam's magical abilities.

Shazam very accurately captures and portrays the childlike wonder in all of us when it comes to superheroes. While DC has often been accused of being entirely too dark with films like Batman v Superman, the same criticism simply cannot be extended to this colourful laugh-fest. Sure, there is darkness here – but it’s certainly a far more entertaining old-school romp than previous DC efforts. Thanks mainly to Angel and Levi who portray Billy Batson/Shazam respectively, there’s a heck of a lot of heart in Shazam and it is evident throughout.


There’s not a huge amount else worth saying about Shazam. It certainly isn’t particularly fresh or original with regards to its plot – an ordinary guy gains incredible powers and must escape the clutches of an evil doctor and learn to harness his powers for good, yadda yadda yadda. The main thing to take away from Shazam is the tonal difference to previous entries in the cinematic universe! This film is FUN and light-hearted. It doesn’t leave you feeling f***ing depressed like Zack Snyder’s attempts. It’s entertaining and enjoyable as superhero movies should be. Strong visuals and a simple plot make the film a nice, easy watch and a hearty slice of escapism from the shit of this world.

But on the whole, it’s no masterpiece. It’s no Infinity War. This is not a film that is going to stand the test of time and certainly continues to prove that DC are no match for the behemoth that is Marvel. DC really need to step their game up if they’re ever going to have a chance to compete. Shazam is good, light-hearted, wholesome fun. 

★★★☆☆
Sam Love



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Wednesday, 29 May 2019

RAGE 2 ★★☆☆☆


‘Rage 2’, the sequel to ‘Rage’, is the latest game to have been published by Bethesda and was developed jointly by Id (creators of ‘Doom’) and Avalanche Games, who created ‘Mad Max’. It’s yet another open-world first-person shooter, this time set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. You play as Walker, the last surviving ranger who must stay alive amidst the mutants (noted as having cleft-lips and cleft palates as one of their main features, which there has been some controversy over).


You can see immediately from playing that Id took much inspiration from ‘Doom’, with many of the gameplay aspects shooting-wise feeling very similar, with just a few extra abilities. There are abilities from double jump to ground pounds and they are all fully upgradable to suit your personal style. The weapons have upgrade trees however they are quite small and linear.

Avalanche developed the open world for the game and unfortunately, this is where the game falls short, especially when competing with open worlds like ‘Red Dead Redemption 2’ and ‘Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey’. The problem with making a post-apocalyptic wasteland is that it will always tend to be rather dead and lifeless (think brown, with various shades of brown and occasionally some more brown) and I got the feeling that Avalanche just ran out of ideas of what to populate the world with.

Sure, there are many activities littered all over the map to discover, which you can do by yourself or by getting tips in the various towns. But these activities are quite limited in type, being mainly exploration areas or some sort of combat encounter with one of the factions in the game. What I’m getting at is that the game gets fairly repetitive and, because the main story is quite short for a game of this genre, a lot of your time will be spent doing these side activities.  I’m sure others will agree that there is only so many times you can shoot the same 2 - 3 bandit character models in the head before it gets a bit tedious.

While you are travelling through the world you will certainly notice that there are some breath-taking scenes, and graphically it is very advanced as you would expect on the Id engine. The developers try to add some colour within its town and so on but it just seems a bit off in this world and doesn’t fit with what a rage game should be.

All of the above might not matter if Id and Avalanche delivered on a story with the excellent writing of the original consoles but again it just falls flat. The main character of the game is unlikeable and not relatable at all, making terrible jokes while slaughtering hundreds of bandits and mutants. I found Walker to be overly arrogant, which made me completely apathetic to his cause. The story is sub-par with a villain straight out of a sci-fi movie from the 90s, and the payoff at the end of the game was really not worth going through all of the tedious activities beforehand. If I’m honest, I felt like I could have spent my time doing much better things.


I loved ‘Rage’ when it came out in 2011.  It felt so ambitious despite a couple of issues, but the game had heart and was a labour of love. ‘Rage 2’ feels like a hollow world and a bit of a mess, so should be bought on sale at the very earliest (or second-hand, of course) if you’re considering buying it.  The moment to moment gameplay is so fun but it is let down by almost everything else in the game.

★★☆☆☆
Hannah Read


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Tuesday, 28 May 2019

Mortal Kombat 11 ★★★★★


Twenty seven years old, violent and beautiful can completely describe the ex-girlfriend that cheated on me all the time, but it also describes Mortal Kombat. As a youth, I remember sitting in school with a copy of GamesMaster looking at an article called Ice and Lemon about the then-upcoming Mortal Kombat 2 and focused on Scorpion and Sub-Zero. As a nine year old boy, I was friends with rich psychopaths, people who saved and ate nose pickings under the desk and one weird girl that collected Magic Trolls. We would argue over whether or not Knuckles was male or female, whether or not Nintendo or Sega was better, and whether or not Mortal Kombat or Street Fighter the fighting game to play. That day the imagery of Scorpion and Subzero ripping people's spines apart was the most exciting thing Duane had ever seen since he got a two-inch booger safely stored in his lunch box lid in lieu of an actual lunch.


Mortal Kombat 11 is the third game in the retconned trilogy of Mortal Kombat games. They have introduced such a heavy time travel element into it now that they have absolutely killed dead any sort've dramatic tension in the story. Well done there. It's a very contrived way to put all the dead characters that people love back into the story. Though people who play Mortal Kombat for the story probably buy cereal for the cardboard. 

Mortal Kombat 11 has been slightly slowed down from Mortal Kombat X, don't panic it's better if I was ever to have sex someday I'm sure I would be told that sometimes it's better to take it a little slower. The pacing is much better and allows you to feel like you're improving in a shorter period of time. The tutorials are one of the most impressive in a fighting game I've seen. Normally tutorials feel like they are there because the company demanded an 'extra mode', nothing more than painting the wall behind the picture frame. However this is so detailed it really teaches you what Mortal Kombat experts know, it's a great motivator for when you decide to leap online. You will still get your absolute shit kicked in, but you'll understand why.


The Krypt, a mini-game for unlocking things using money you've earned in the other modes. In MK11 it has become incredibly complicated and gives you an obscene amount of uninteresting and useless shit, which is just a completionist nightmare. The story is a web of time travel continuity issues and everything is crowbarred into place. The addition of Shiva and a couple of others in the game, but not in the character select feels like Netherrealm reminding me to save money for a season pass. 

Overall it's probably the best Mortal Kombat game. I have enjoyed playing it, I felt like I was constantly getting better, or could adapt easily. The fatalities and brutalities are daft and gory as usual and it's a great stupid bloody time. 


★★★★★
David Roberts



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Monday, 27 May 2019

Titans ★★☆☆☆


Do we really need another superhero TV series? The answer, obviously, is a resounding no. We don’t. It seems like every year we are getting more and more of the bloody things – The Flash, Arrow, Iron Fist, Daredevil, Luke Cage, Supergirl, Agents of SHIELD, Gotham, The Punisher, Black Lightning, Runaways, Inhumans…ugh. Who on Earth has time to consume all of this? And who in their right mind would want to? The problem is there have been a few great efforts – Netflix’s output, in particular, is of very high quality – so absolutely everybody wants a nibble. And everybody knows when Marvel does something well, DC tries to replicate it…


So we find ourselves in the company of DC’s Titans, a TV series following a team of young superheroes led by Nightwing (formerly Batman's first Robin) forming to combat evil and other perils. The series follows young heroes from across the DC Universe as they come of age and find belonging in a supposedly ‘gritty’ take on the classic Teen Titans franchise. Gritty it is. Teen Titans Go this ain’t, as we are now in a violent and frightening world with these characters. But that’s not to say it’s all darkness and shadows – there is actually a lot of humour here once the show finds its footing later into the season. And therein actually lies an issue with the show, and that’s the time it takes to find confidence.

The show has a very slow and tedious climb to quality and starts out pretty rocky – those expecting Netflix/Marvel collaboration quality will have to be very patient as it doesn’t get off to a particularly great start, thanks to some weak writing and some pretty heavy-handed exposition and introduction of characters while the team assembles. Once everyone is together and the chemistry begins flowing, it becomes a pretty entertaining albeit dark viewing experience. It’s clearly trying to replicate the tone of Netflix’s Daredevil with very mixed results – starting out as something of a tribute act. 

The show doesn’t feel to be of particularly high quality, either. CGI is pretty uncomfortably shoe-horned in, and the acting isn’t particularly striking either. The cast all suffer predominantly from being given some pretty mediocre scripts, though, and I can’t fault them on that. Even Robert De Niro couldn’t make some of this shit fly. Unfortunately, the show feels like a 90s B movie a lot of the time with a pretty poor feeling of desperation across the board. But it does occasionally hit a stride and show the potential of what it could be – especially later when the show finds a comfortable tonal balance. But on the whole, it’s a bit of a disaster.


But hey, a second season has been ordered, so perhaps the show will really respond to the criticism of its first season and find a strong footing this year. Time will tell. But until then, there’s not really much reason to recommend Titans. If it stays at this level of quality and ultimately goes out on a disappointing second season (which I suspect it will), there’s no point even bothering with this introductory season. Wait until the reviews of season 2. 

★★☆☆☆
Sam Love



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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:


Doorstep Service Request Form:








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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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