Sunday, 31 May 2020

Must See Blu-Rays

In these times of streaming, many of us fall victim to low resolution and poor quality. There’s nothing quite like owning a piece of movie history and watching it in its full HD glory as the director intended. And if you don’t want to keep hold of them, there is still value in selling them back to us, so you have some extra cash to spend on what you want. So join us and discover some new release as well as cult classics which are a must-have for any collection.

10. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie star in this comedy-drama written and directed by Quentin Tarantino. Set in Hollywood in 1969, film star Rick Dalton (DiCaprio) relies on his stunt double Cliff Booth (Pitt) to make him look good. With his career rapidly failing, Dalton accepts a part in a Spaghetti Western that he believes is beneath him. When actress Sharon Tate (Robbie) moves into the house next door, Dalton sees her as a way back into Hollywood. But after Charles Manson (Damon Herriman) pays them a visit, their plans for the future get put on hold.

9. IT: Chapter Two

Bill SkarsgÄrd returns to star as Pennywise the clown in this supernatural horror sequel based on the novel by Stephen King. 27 years after the events of 'It' (2017), the Losers Club return to Derry, Maine to fulfil their childhood oath when Pennywise resurfaces and continues preying on the town's children. Mike (Isaiah Mustafa), the only member of the group to remain in Derry, informs the others of the monster's return and summons them back to finish what they started. As they prepare to do battle with Pennywise once again, the friends must confront the trauma of their childhood and face their innermost fears.

8. Harry Potter - Complete Collection

Head to Hogwarts for the entire magical journey from start to finish. Featuring ‘The Philosopher's Stone’, ‘The Chamber of Secrets’, ‘The Prisoner of Azkaban’, ‘The Goblet of Fire’, ‘The Order of the Phoenix’, ‘The Half-Blood Prince’, ‘The Deathly Hallows – Part 1’ and ‘The Deathly Hallows – Part 2’. This is the perfect collection for the budding Witch or Wizard in your life (even if that’s you!)

7. Maleficent: Mistress Of Evil

Five years after the events of 'Maleficent' (2014), Aurora (Fanning) accepts Prince Philip (Harris Dickinson)'s marriage proposal, but her fairy godmother Maleficent (Jolie) remains opposed to the idea and clashes with Queen Ingrith (Michelle Pfeiffer) over the young couple's union before fleeing the kingdom. She is rescued by a group of kindred cast aside creatures plotting a resistance against Ingrith's secret plans to start a war and destroy the faeries of the Moors, and joins their fight, placing her relationship with Aurora in jeopardy.

6. Rambo: Last Blood

Almost four decades after he drew first blood, Sylvester Stallone is back as one of the greatest cinematic action legends of all time, John Rambo. Now, Rambo must confront his past and unearth his ruthless combat skills to exact revenge in a climactic and truly personal mission. A thrilling, intense and gritty journey, Rambo: Last Blood presents audiences with the opportunity to see this iconic character and reluctant hero on the big screen for one final war.

5. Avengers: Endgame

Robert Downey Jr, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans and Brie Larson reprise their roles as the Marvel superheroes in this action sequel directed by Anthony and Joe Russo. Following on from 'Avengers: Infinity War' (2018), the surviving Avengers attempt to undo the destruction caused by Thanos (Josh Brolin) and the Infinity Stones.

4. Ad Astra

Brad Pitt stars in this sci-fi thriller from film-maker James Gray. Two decades after his father left for Neptune on an exploratory space mission never to return, Roy McBride (Pitt) sets out to follow in his footsteps and investigate how his mission might have failed. The cast also includes Tommy Lee Jones, Donald Sutherland and Ruth Negga.

3. Gemini Man

Action drama directed by Ang Lee and starring Will Smith as government assassin Henry Brogan who encounters a younger version of himself named Junior (Smith). As Brogan confronts his boss, Clay Varris (Clive Owen), about the clone he learns that Varris is determined to retire Brogan and have Junior take his place. In order to save himself, Brogan must face off against his clone.

2. Star Wars: The Complete Saga

Get the original 6 star-wars films together in one complete package! Featuring ‘The Phantom Menace’, ‘Attack of the Clones’, ‘Revenge of the Sith’, ‘A New Hope’, ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ and ‘Return of the Jedi’ as well as a whole heap of behind the scenes and archived footage. Perfect for any Star Wars Fan!

1. Joker

Joker centres around the iconic arch nemesis and is an original, standalone story not seen before on the big screen. The exploration of Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix), a man disregarded by society, is not only a gritty character study, but also a broader cautionary tale.

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Monday, 25 May 2020

Top PS4 Sports Games

10. Everybody’s Golf 

Everybody’s Golf is truly a sports game that the whole family can enjoy. Although highly accessible, it features deceptively deep golf mechanics. You’ll also get to create your own golfing character from the ground up and explore the open-world golf courses either on foot or in your own little golf cart. That’s right, an open-world golf game! Plenty to keep audiences of all ages entertained. 

9. NBA 2K21 

NBA 2K21 is the latest entry in the basketball sim series, offering fast-paced, accessible gameplay, as well as full career and online modes to keep you slam dunking all year. For this entry, the graphics have been tweaked so that facial animations are a lot more natural, and the ball moves around much more believably. This all makes for arguably the best-looking sports game on the PS4.

8. NHL 21

Hockey might not be as big here as in the States, but that doesn’t mean you should give NHL 21 a miss. It offers solid, fast-paced action, making it a fun experience regardless of if you’re a hardcore hockey fan or not. There’s plenty of depth, particularly with the Be A Pro mode and with a thriving online community, there’s never been a better time to discover your new favourite sport.

7. EA Sports UFC 4

UFC 4 is definitely a case of evolution, rather than revolution. It adds some welcome features and tweaks some of the weaker areas of its predecessor, but broadly speaking, it’s more of the same. That’s not a bad thing, as a thriving online scene and narrative-driven career mode makes it a tempting prospect. If you enjoy mixed martial arts and the previous entries in the series, you’re certain to enjoy this. 

6. WWE 2K Battlegrounds

What’s better than sport? Sports entertainment! After the hot mess that was WWE 2K20, the developers have decided to offer a palette cleanser in the form of 2K Battlegrounds. A much more over the top affair, with arcade-style grappling, cartoony graphics and outlandish weapons, it’s a tonne of fun seeing these larger than life characters looking a little larger than life. Plus you can throw your opponent into the mouth of a waiting crocodile - what more could you want?

5. Madden NFL 21

Madden is the iconic American football game, and often the game doesn’t get the attention it deserves in the UK thanks to our own love of football (soccer if you must). But if you’re a sports fan who never played a Madden game, you’re really missing out. With a deep story mode, various online modes including MyTeam (similar to FIFA’s Ultimate Team) and local multiplayer, there’s something to please all tastes.

4. PGA Tour 2K21

A hardcore experience for hardcore players, if you’re a fan of golf you simply have to play PGA Tour 2K21. The precision it offers means it’s incredibly satisfying when you hit that perfect shot, and a thriving online community gives you every chance to earn bragging rights over your fellow putters. The graphics are also photorealistic, with some of the world’s most popular courses recreated in exquisite detail. And it taught us the difference between an ‘Albatross’ and a ‘Bogey’. Who knew?

3. Gran Turismo Sport

Having always been one of the more serious racing franchises, Gran Turismo more than makes up for a lack of silly fun in simple perfectionism. The graphics are beautiful and the controls are responsive and tight. The online features are fantastic, bringing a new dimension to the series, and a new place to show off your mastery behind the wheel. Truly one of the most polished racing games available. 

2. Fifa 21

FIFA is the pedigree of football (soccer, fine) games and offers by far the most high-quality footie experience in gaming. FIFA 21 takes all the most popular modes from last year’s outing, including career mode, Volta and the immensely popular Ultimate Team and gives everything a welcome finetuning. Players move a lot more realistically, shooting feels more satisfying and the speed of play keeps everything moving along at an exciting pace.

1. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2

You never forget your first. After a few years in the wilderness, the Tony Hawk franchise is back with a full remake of the first two games in the series. With the same ‘easy to learn, hard to master gameplay, online multiplayer and those iconic soundtracks, it’s just as fun as it was two decades ago. An Indy 900 of a game.

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Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Top 10 PS4 Hidden Gems

10. Valkyria Chronicles Remastered

If it passed you by completely the first time around, now is the perfect opportunity to try out Valkyria Chronicles. It’s an ingenious combination of turn-based strategy games and action shooters. Allowing you to make tactical army-wide choices that control the units on your team, but also get stuck into the action, lining up headshots in third-person shooter mode. With gorgeous anime-style graphics and a gripping story to boot, this has always been a treasure. 

9. Dragon Quest Builders

Familiar with the world of the Dragon Quest series? Well, it’s been steamrolled - and it’s up to you to reconstruct it again with stuff you find on your adventures. This series has never had the western acclaim it deserves against bigger AAA titles, but their perfect sidestep into a Minecraft-style builder is so well done you’d think they’d been making this kind of game for years. Gorgeous, loveable, and something to sink a hundred hours into. 

8. Rise of the Tomb Raider

The first in the series of the modern Tomb Raider revamp got a lot of attention - but as the series went on, the buzz subsided. That’s an awful shame because this could be the best of the lot. Strong villains, immersive story, challenging tombs, this game has it all - and it’s satisfying to play as a Lara that has really caught her stride as a confident action hero. 

7. Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning

There’s a strong argument to be made that 2012’s Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is one of the most underrated games of the modern era. Fortunately, it’s been given a second lease on life with Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning. Offering a vibrant, massive open world, charming inhabitants and a nice variety of quests, it’s a wonder why it didn’t spawn a multi-game franchise like it was intended to do. Perhaps the second time’s the charm.

6. Mad Max

Like James Cameron’s Avatar, despite having relative financial and critical success Mad Max the Game vanished from popular culture as quickly as it came. Many know of it, somehow few have played it. A huge shame, because there is no greater way to immerse yourself in the crazy, feral, punk vehicle world of the Mad Max movie series. The maps, the graphics and the combat - all fantastically executed and worthy of putting this game on your bucket list. 

5. NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139

A game that is as complex as it is brilliant, NieR is an action RPG set in a dangerous world reclaimed by nature and populated by dangerous Shades. As Nier, it’s up to you to adventure across this world to save your sister. One of the most successful games series that nobody you ask seems to be playing, NieR has a loyal fanbase who constantly praise the game’s inventive storytelling and commentary on other gaming genres.

4. The Last Guardian

What’s so special about this fantasy action-adventure game is the relationship between the protagonist, and your big feathered monster companion Trico. I would literally die for Trico, and the time you spend with him finding your way through the beautifully told story of this game is something you’ll never forget. The Last Guardian shares a director with Ico and Shadow of the Colossus, so the same melancholy and isolation might feel familiar.

3. Maneater

Hidden in the murky depths of the ocean, you don’t want to miss Maneater! You play as a Bull Shark, on a crusade to avenge your mother, who was cruelly killed by the game’s main antagonist - Scaly Pete. Starting as a mere pup, you’ll have to eat, fight and swim until you’re strong enough to exact your revenge. There’s plenty to sink your teeth into here, with something that could’ve easily been a throwaway title. Sure it might be a bit of a novelty, and its appeal is gonna be more niche than your average title, but we implore you to give it a go.

2. The Evil Within

Many ‘horror’ games fall into the mid-range Resident Evil trap of leaning more into the action and forgetting the terror that made them so great. The Evil Within has a punishing difficulty curve, creating some tense moments that truly scared me. Fighting through the panic and overcoming the difficulty pays off with satisfying gameplay that is great at keeping you hooked. Until suddenly you realise it’s 2am and you’re playing from behind the sofa. 

1. Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin 

Part side-scrolling hack and slash, part farming simulator, Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin dares to be different. You play the role of Princess Sakuna, a spoiled goddess who after getting in trouble with her mother, is banished to Hinoe Island, where she’s charged with eliminating the demon population while looking after the human residents. It takes established video games tropes that on paper shouldn’t work, and somehow manages to combine them into one of the most uniquely enjoyable games of the year.

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