Until Dawn: Rush of Blood

An on-rails shooter, blended with a survival horror element and the psychology of Until Dawn, it’s a Playstation VR game that actually works!

The PlayStation VR has, for me, been a bit unloved.  It’s not Kinect levels of disappointment, it’s just… there.

I downloaded Until Dawn: Rush of Blood because it was part of the PlayStation Plus offer for November and I’m glad I did.

Sure, the ending is a touch flat, but it does provide an immersive experience, plenty of jump scares and an interesting, if not necessarily fulfilling, storyline.  On rails does limit the expanse of the game, and it’s certainly not Until Dawn, but it’s still a worthwhile experience for PlayStation VR owners.

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South Park: Fractured But Whole

Ostensibly a satire on the superhero franchise frenzy that has consumed box office (and television) for the past few years, South Park: Fractured But Whole sees the characters of South Park split into two teams (Coon and Friends and Freedom Pals), fighting each other, everyone else and the big bad who is orchestrating the fall of South Park.

This game is a role playing game where you can build your character, referred to as New Kid, into a multi-faceted, layered hero in his own right.  There’s grinding elements of it, some of the boss battles are a bit of a challenge, but it’s incredibly easy to get into, more so than most RPGs that I’ve tried before.

The humour is silly and immature, perfect for South Park, and the character models and environment are instantly recognisable.  The plot does wear a little in places, but it doesn’t ever truly get boring.

There’s a variety of points where you feel the game should end, but it keeps going as the mystery deepens.

I’m still playing this one, 20 hours in, which is an achievement for me and RPGs.

Well, it’s been a while

It’s been four months since I updated this, which is a bit of a poor showing from me.

I’ve been up to plenty of entertainment based stuff, it’s just that I’d forgotten to write about it!

Anyway, I’ll be writing more over the coming months, hopefully (unless I forget).

Welcome back, me.

Tracers

Cam runs into trouble, thanks to mounting debts and a run in with a free runner that costs him his bike, limiting his bicycle courier opportunities.  Thankfully, said free-runner happens to be all over Cam and draws him into a dangerous world.

Remember Taylor Lautner, that lad from Twilight, well this was an entry in his ongoing, although infrequent, action career and this film is a vehicle for him to demonstrate his athletic ways, if not his acting prowess. The stunt work certainly gives a sense of danger as Taylor Lautner’s Cam navigates the rocky road of friendship Nikki (Marie Avgeropoulos) and a rivalry with Dylan (Rafi Gavron).

“Look where the car isn’t”

The performances lack weight, it’s like watching an after school drama at times and the action sequences, which features plenty of parkouring all over the shop, aren’t enough to hold the film together.  Of course, as interesting as parkour is, it wouldn’t be very interesting if it was just Cam and company leaping over things for 90 minutes, so we get a thrilling plot, involving taking down a bad guy.

“We do everything we can not to get caught.”

It’s not helped that the script doesn’t have weight.  The dialogue is heavy on exposition at times and the deepest of characters, Miller (Adam Rayner) comes across as a douche zen master, lumbered with clunky nuggets of wisdom, before turning into a criminal mastermind written with two-dimensional depth, which is still significantly more character than Cam and Nikki.

Although it’s difficult to judge time, it doesn’t seem that much time passes between Cam’s run in with the loan sharks, the rapid descent into danger and the gig that will sort it all.  He does, in this time, lose everything, get kicked out of his lodgings and have to go to his new found friends for a new job, as a member of Miller’s criminal group, which all goes well until it doesn’t and Cam has to dig himself out of yet another hole.

For action set pieces, Tracers is a decent film.  That’s pretty much it.

Getting into Kodi

So, I decided it was time to set up an oldish laptop that I had as a video playback solution connected to my TV.  I could stream from my gaming PC, but I’m planning on sending that onto a better home (and the laptop, I feel, is more power efficient and takes up much less space).

First plan, install Kodi.

Second plan, consolidate all the drives containing random videos that I want to watch.

Third plan, configure Kodi to play and record TV from an old Freeview TV stick that I have kicking around.

Of the three plans… plan 1 has happened.

Plan 2 is a bit time consuming.

Plan 3… I hit a hurdle.  I actually don’t know what I’m doing.

I shall come back to this later, once I figure out what I’m doing.

 

13 Reasons Why

Clay Jenkins is unwittingly drawn into the events surrounding the death of Hannah Baker, a friend who could have been more, with emotional, devastating consequences.

Narrated by Hannah Baker, performed beautifully by Katherine Langford, over thirteen episodes (each representing the side of an old-school audio cassette), we follow Clay Jenkins (played by a perfectly cast Dylan Minnette) as the story unfolds and the secrets of those around him intertwine with the stories that lead up to Hannah’s suicide.

Whilst it could be argued that Hannah is an unreliable narrator, the way the story on the tapes ring true for those involved, and their steps at damage limitation, are a crushing weight for Clay and others, especially as the truths get darker.

A large cast does lead to some characters falling to the way side – Jeff and Montgomery – whilst the core characters are so well crafted that it’s impossible not to be drawn into events.  It’s not just the teenagers that feel isolated as the parents of Clay and Hannah have to deal with ones erratic behaviour and the loss of the other, respectively.

A show that has drawn controversy, with some even arguing it is ‘dangerous’, 13 Reasons Why is an exceptional series with an incredibly timely story.  The feelings of isolation and the behaviour of their peers can cast a shadow on the lives of anyone, even if they seem fine on the outside.

A bold series that tackles suicide and its aftermath, rape, drugs, violence and peer pressure, if 13 Reasons Why can do one thing, it should be to start a conversation about the risks and threats, not silence the discussion.