Neck Deep’s 4th full studio album is an easy listen with some excellent craftsmanship they have clearly gained over their many years.
The album is their punk rock/ pop rock style and stays within their comfort zone. This is what makes it a well made album. If you’re good at something don’t change.
My favourite from the album is Fall, the second track. It’s a bit darker in its tone but I love the melody. It’s about getting wasted because things might not be great but finding hope when doing so.
A thousand miles doesn’t seem so complicated, across the airwaves, with our connection.
Neck Deep have a way of writing that is great. This album is a story and draws on songs from The Peace and the Panic (excellent btw) and uses them to build a bigger story than the smaller ones we’re used to.
At around 45 minutes and 12 tracks it’s well worth a listen.
I recently finished my play through of Uncharted 4, my first in the series. Its a tremendous game, so here are my thoughts.
I originally was going to start with the Nathan Drake collection as it has been free to play on Playstation but thought I’d first look at 4. Mostly because its the most recent so everything would be at its best technically.
Before going into this game I already knew a few things such as its an action adventure game. Its similar to Lara Croft in that you treasure hunt, has a good story and its linear.
I chose to play on hard as recently I’ve been doing that for all of my games. I’m not the best at games, especially shooters. I fair better at more fantasy RPG like Assassins Creed or Diablo but want to get better and have a challenge.
My first impressions were very positive.
I have to say my first impressions were positive. It puts you right in the middle of a story in a boat getting away from some enemies before bringing you back to a more sombre home life of the main character Nathan Drake.
The story goes through several chapters to really get going and set you off on your adventure.
That adventure is to find the pirate treasure of Henry Avery to help pay off a debt.
It hunting this treasure that this game really starts to really show off why it’s so highly regarded.
This game is hands down one of the best visually and it came out like 4 YEARS AGO.
I was constantly just taking time to look at the beautiful scenery Naughty Dog had created here. Mix that with the great character models and attention to detail it was one of the best all round packages.
Naturally on your adventure you have to run into a few bad guys. I enjoyed the combat, for the most part but I would have had a better time playing on normal difficulty. It felt like I had to be John Wick just to prevent myself from getting overwhelmed.
The enemies are aggressive and towards the end of the game take several headshots to take down. So if you’re not quick, you’re surrounded. Mix that with the low health pool Nathan has and its game over. Often.
In addition to this there’s the stealth. I fucking hate the stealth in this game. I am no stranger to the stealth aspect of games but this one wound me up. There would be occasions where the person that ‘sighted’ me would have their back to me or no line of sight (like a fucking cliff between us dude!).
While I’m ranting about the unlikely, lets talk about the grenades. They just appear next to you. There was an occasion early in the game where the only person left alive was shooting me, but I had a grenade land on my toes. I get it, you want me to change position but make it realistic.
Anyway, back to the good. Which is everything else. I loved the story, its well paced and it’s tense and keeps you hooked. The characters are interesting and you love hearing their little bits of small talk about their lives. The puzzles, they’re not the most challenging but give you something to think about. The mix of things to do such as driving, platforming, combat, sailing and more keep this game feeling fresh. And lore collecting makes you explore more, this game really is a true great.
If this game is on your ‘to do list’ put it to the top. Its not too long to play ~20 hours and is so worth it. I haven’t played through the multiplayer or anything else so there’s more if you want to return.
All in all this is definitely atreasure worth finding / 10.
p.s bonus points for that protagonist being called Nathan. Every time they complained about Nathan, it felt personal as we share the name.
I do just want to take a moment to say, if they’re making a film for this series and it is Tom Holland. I hope they get it right. We’ve had some casualties in that department and this series won’t deserve that treatment.
The core material is good enough to make something worth watching, Lara Croft wasn’t bad but this can be better. Sounds unlikely with the trouble going on with it production.
The Ricky Gervais Netflix original has just aired its second season, so what’s the deal with this emotional telling of grief?
You could be forgiven for hearing that the British comedian and part time actor, known for his sarcastic commentary on this world, has written and directed a new series and you’d rather miss it, thank you very much.
But here’s why maybe, just maybe you should take a (small 12 x 30 minute episodes in total) amount of time to give it a chance.
After Life is a simple concept, how do we cope with grief? It centres around an early 50’s character named Tony that recently lost his wife to Breast Cancer. In a P.S I Love You style she left him a video telling him not to be the, how do I say this, grumpy old man (she uses a not so nice ‘C’ word i’d rather not include), that he inevitably will become.
“It will make you laugh and cry in equal measure”
If you’ve lost anyone or know anyone who’s been through cancer, grab some tissues.
Does he listen? Does he fuck. She asks him to do one thing. Since Lisa departed Tony has taken the opportunity to say whatever he would like because being nice doesn’t get you anywhere. Throughout Tony talks about the want to kill himself and would have, if it weren’t for his dog. He refers to this like a superpower because if he ever went to far, he’d commit suicide and that would be that.
Once we get past the establishment that Tony is played by Ricky Gervais the show begins to let us into his life. We see his job, the regular people he meets and what he’s been not getting up to. The cast are charming and full of people you mostly recognise for one reason or another.
Its an honest as possible take that suits Ricky down to a tee. His comedy works because he explains why ‘its like a superpower‘. You excuse his behaviour, when once you may have found it not so funny or original.
The humour is consistent but not overbearing and its balanced by the emotions Ricky displays when he explains why everything is so painful. The lowest parts come when he is watching his old videos of Lisa, dealing with drugs or alcohol and seeing his Father in a care home. You’re sad for someone that used to be so happy.
“A charming slice of village life”
Tony impacts all the characters he meets and takes several steps of development in grief in season 1.In season 2 he realises its too far and dials back to his comfort zone but is less of a dick to everyone around him.
I wouldn’t expect too much of the other characters or development. They’re likable and we get to know them slightly but not attached. This can be frustrating as throughout season 2 Tony does get ever so slightly tiresome (we get it you’re Ricky Gervais and Tony is sad).
Just as you start to feel this way you’re reminded of why Tony is like this or the show shares another video and charms you in a sad kind of way.
Overall After Life does a very good job of letting you into one mans journey through grief and trying to move on. its a charming slice of a little village life and what loss can do to you and those around you.
It will make you cry and laugh in equal measure.
Definitely going to TV heaven out of 10.
p.s If you’re struggling with anything please, please reach out. We should alltake care of ourselves and each other at all stages of our life. Some people do some great work for example Samaritans or Mind.
What is it about this game that has everyone hooked? A 3rd party perspective.
On March 20 my fiancé was eager to get started with Animal Crossing. In fact soooo many people were but why? I had only heard of it because of this release as if the previous version on the Wii was some stellar experience that needed an update.
But, I did what any fiancé would do and facilitated the purchase of both a Switch Lite and the game. Little did I know the world I just bought a ticket to.
She’s never really played games that much. We would play Skyrim side by side at the start of our relationship and Destiny online together. She played Assassins Creed: Origins because of her love for Egypt but nothing since.
My expectations were pretty low, I thought a few days, maybe a week and she would be over it. How wrong was I, 220 hours later?
No longer was I the main male in her life. Tom fucking Nook had taken over like some weird sugar daddy. Was I complaining? Actually, no (despite the profanity earlier). I could get on with almost anything.
Animal Crossing has tasked her with finding mostly lovable pet like ‘villagers’ homes on the best island possible. Mr Nook finances it and you repay interest free.
To decorate your island you need to find items and crafting ‘recipes’. These are mostly random because ‘how do they have so many things?!’ There is a shop so a lot can be bought.
You make money by collecting just about anything and selling it back to the island. Some things are worth more and the quickest way to get rich is to sell Turnips.
BUT you don’t just sell turnips. Oh no no no. Any ol’ amateur can sell a turnip, but on your island you are the Wolf of Animal Crossing and will conquer the turnip stock exchange. You will bathe in turnip funded riches.
For some however your island is not good enough to be rich so you must explore. Your friends may have good stocks (turnips), maybe a social media follower or even a stranger from the internet. Animal Crossing lets you explore other peoples islands, which is pretty cool.
Going to another Island instantly makes you a exterior and interior designer with years of experience, casting your opinion on others hard gamer hours. Its like going to use someone’s homework and commenting on their handwriting. Everyone’s island is different so you could do this all day. ‘Oooh I like that’, ‘I haven’t got that item’ and ‘there’s too many flowers’ are some of the things you’ll here.
If being a crafty stock market dealer isn’t your thing, maybe you could try tarantulas? fish? fruit? There are so many ways. Tarantulas maybe the most rage inducing as you try to master the run, swivel & catch technique (or set up a trap). However just like any other game, various profanities are shouted if that spider nabs you on the knee.
She’s at the point where villager choice is a thing, It seems that villagers pose you with a choice should they stay or should they go. The right answer depends on your affection for a villager. Nothing would make you happier seeing a villager wear a gift of clothing (this must be a rare chance they appreciate the free rent, food, clothes and friends) but some can rightfully fuck off because I want space for Raymond.
Villagers are like some weird and quite literal Farm Market with a whole host to select from and purchase in the form of Amiibo’s (or from other peoples islands). This absolutely impacts your island life as no one wants to talk to Isabelle everyday.
However all of this cannot be achieved in mere normal people time so what you gonna do? Become a god damn Doctor Who that’s what. Time travel is real and its a moral choice. Some do, some don’t, but who wants to wait till tomorrow, right? Some things like buying clothes, art or special vendors are on a daily refresh by Nintendo so you’re only half a Time Lord really.
All in all, I have so much respect for this game and its simple concept. I’ll never play but I’m glad she does. Her ups, downs and investment are what a good video game is all about. Cheers Tom.
Swinging in with the review of Sony’s entry into the Spider-Man universe on PS4.
I haven’t played a proper Spider-Man game since Spiderman 2 on Playstation becuase, well that is the last relevant one worth playing.
But, after neglecting it for so long, I checked out the PS4 entry. A long line of single player entries have come before it on Playstion (God of War, Last of Us, Uncharted just to name a few). So I was eager to see what this game had in store.
I just want to start with how glorious this game is to look at. In general quality flows throughout this game. Almost every aspect is at a high quality of production and is seamless.
Most of my time was spent swinging around, taking in Manhattan Island. The only time i’ve spent as much time exploring in a video game was Assassins Creed Odyssey.
“…every aspect is at a high quality”
The voice acting for characters is stellar, the collectables are interesting and the combat is super fun in a arcade style kinda way.
After I visited all of Manhattan, on the closest thing i’ll have to a holiday during this Pandemic, I thought, best start playing this game. Probably the greatest compliment I can give the creative team.
I will admit, I was expecting an all out Spider-Man adventure. I had just taken down Fisk to leave a criminal size hole in New York.
And, well, the brakes were truly put on. I started to collect your typical ‘open world’ collectables, earn experience and skill points (everything you expect from an open world rpg). I was saddened that each collectable told me abit about what Spidey had already done before I got there. I had already taken down Rhino, Electro, Scorpion etc.
The story centers around a New York being taken over by a ‘Demon’ gang hell bent on letting loose a bio weapon made at Oscorp. In the meantime Peter is juggling helping Otto and getting back MJ. Every Spider-Man thing you would expect shoved onto a disc or digital downlaod (preference right?).
“Insomniac definitely left it late but got it right.”
The story is unbalanced as I found out when I eventually got to the final 25%. This part, my god, it fucking killed it. Insomniac definitely left it late but got it right. I, however, had kind of got to a ‘is this finished yet’ feeling.
Combat had started to get tedious (gadgets, skills and suits keep it fresh until about the 75% mark). The story and villian (as shown above) were not that interesting until this stage and I had constantly cleared the map.
If the final 25% made up more of the game I would say this is a top 3 Playstation exclusive but alas Spider is still trying to figure out how to crawl past Ellie, Joel, Nathan and Kratos.