Saturday, 31 December 2016

TV Shows #12

Extant (2014-15)
Developed By: Mickey Fisher Starring: Halle Berry, Goran Visnjic, Pierce Gagnon, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Hiroyuki Sanada, Grace Gummer, Michael O'Neill, Tyler Hilton, Camryn Manheim, David Morrissey, Brad Beyer, Jeannetta Arnette

Certificate: 15 Running Time: 40-44 Minutes (per episode)

One trend I've noticed in the last ten years or so is that a lot of film actors/actresses have moved on to the small screen as stars of new TV shows. One of the first instances of this I remember is Kiefer Sutherland in the super-awesome 24 - a casting choice that surprised me a bit in the day, even if Mr. Sutherland was no longer the draw he had once been - but it must have worked as the show was a smash hit with his performances regularly singled out. Soon, other former and current movie actors were doing the same, but one recent example that still surprised me a little when I first saw it advertised was Extant. How on earth did they manage to get an Oscar winning actress like Halle Berry to appear in what was apparently a sci-fi TV show? By giving her an executive producer credit? I'm not sure if that's what did the trick but who cares? It's never exactly a hardship to see the lovely Ms. Berry again, and a new sci-fi show is always welcome around these parts. Surely the two combined will result in a show of true majesty?

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Merry Christmas!

Okay, I'm a bit late this year - I think I usually am actually - but this is just a quick post to wish all my readers, whether occasional or regular, a very Merry Christmas! If you celebrate it, that is, obviously. It's been a challenging year here in RKS Land, and one that has regrettably seen the fewest posts at RP since I started the page back in 2010. I was hoping to at least hit the 100 mark but I have recently started (another) new job which has resulted in quite a bit less free time than before.

Nonetheless, I have a huge backlog of game and film reviews in mind so there will be plenty of new posts here over the coming months - once I get around to writing them of course! So please, continue to drop by and leave comments and feedback, either here or on the various social media platforms I spam my new posts. In the meantime, I hope you have all had a wonderful festive period and year in general. May the next prove as good or perhaps even better. Happy Holidays one and all! :)


Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Top Five Atari 2600 Shmups

When you think of shoot 'em ups, the Atari VCS/2600 probably isn't the first system to enter your mind, but a surprising number of its games tasked you with shooting things. I suppose most videogames did generally back then but even so, I thought it was high time I took a look at some of the best examples available for Atari's iconic console. Many of them were clones of popular arcade machines of the time such as Space Invaders and Galaxians, naturally, but I think I've ended up with a nicely varied list in the end. Here are my choices - did I leave out your favourite?

Games-Related Top Fives Disclaimer: I've traditionally stuck to the games I know and love so far, and these game-related top fives reflect that. One of the purposes of this blog is diversify my gaming experiences, to play games I haven't played before, so I will do new game-related top fives in a few years to see how different they are!

5. Mega Mania (1982)

There are loads of Space Invaders clones on the VCS as you might expect but this one is my favourite I think. As normal, rows of enemies appear above you and your job is to shoot them all down. It doesn't get any more complicated than that. What I like about it, though, is that the enemies move across the screen looping from one side to the next, but even more that you can angle your shots as well. That makes it quite a bit easier to take out moving enemies as you might imagine, but it's still not easy as they can move pretty quickly and change direction regularly. Each stage has a different type of enemy too, with their own movements. Some even loop from the bottom to the top of the screen as well as left or right so it's necessary to dodge them as well as their shots, and you don't get long to take them out as your energy level is slowly falling as well. It is a little repetitive and a background would've been nice, but it's also good fun and very addictive.

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Steam / GOG Downloads #3

Colin McRae Rally (2013)
By: Code Masters Genre: Driving Players: 1 Difficulty: Medium-Hard
Featured Version: PC
Also Available For: Android, iOS

Since the age of the PS1, not only have driving games been far more prevalent but a sizeable portion of them have also been rally games. You might think the title that kick-started this was Sega Rally but as far as I'm concerned it was Colin McRae Rally. The series debuted in 1998 and was a more realistic take on the popular motorsport which in the years prior to the game's release had been dominated by Mr. McRae in his iconic blue Subaru Impreza. It was justifiably a smash hit and led to many sequels which gradually changed names to 'Dirt', presumably due to the tragic and untimely death of the star after whom the series was originally named. But now that original name returns. Does that mean we're in reboot territory? That's what I had assumed prior to playing it at least, but let's see.

Saturday, 10 December 2016

TV Shows #11 - Part 1

Sons of Anarchy (2008-14)
Developed By: Kurt Sutter Starring: Charlie Hunnam, Katey Sagal, Mark Boone Junior, Kim Coates, Tommy Flanagan, Johnny Lewis, Maggie Siff, Ron Perlman, Ryan Hurst, William Lucking, Theo Rossi, Dayton Callie, Jimmy Smits, Drea De Matteo, David Labrava, Niko Nicotera

Certificate: 18 Running Time: Typically around 50 minutes per episode but ranges from 39-90 minutes

Much like many of you I'm sure, the list of shows on my watch list is long. Netflix alone features tons but recently removed from that particular list is this one. It's about a motorcycle gang and is well regarded but that was about the extent of my knowledge prior to watching. Fortunately, that was sufficient. The gang (or 'club', as they apparently prefer) is known as SAMCRO (Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club Redwood Original) and is based in the small fictional Northern Californian town of Charming. There they are involved in various rackets, mostly illegal, but the bulk of their business comes from running guns, supplied by the 'True IRA' based in Belfast and sold to other criminal gangs around the NorCal area. The club was founded in 1967 by John Teller and some of his friends who became know as the 'First 9' but at the start of the show, only club president Clay Morrow (Perlman) and Piney Winstone (Lucking) are left.

Monday, 5 December 2016

Indie Games News/Previews #9

Xydonia by Breaking Bytes (2017) - PC

If there is one type of doujin game that's always guaranteed to grab my attention it's a side-scrolling shooter so you can imagine how pleased I was to stumble upon this one a while ago on Facebook. It's the work of three self-proclaimed arcade junkies from Italy known as Breaking Bytes and has recently been the subject of a Kickstarter campaign which I'm pleased to say was successful. The game is still under development but the alpha has been made freely available and does a great job of showcasing what they've included so far. In fact, it looks more or less finished to my eyes - the presentation is superb, featuring an intro sequence, lots of options, the choice of three pilots, three weapon set-ups, and even assist characters, and the whole thing is really polished already. It isn't quite finished yet though of course - only the first two stages are included here, and they are quite brief, but they're sufficiently splendid to make the game look very promising.