Category Archives: Just My Opinion

The Games Making Us Swap Remotes for Joysticks

Photo by Nuna Cardosa / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
This “atompunk” beauty is one of our favorite games

We’ll admit it! As TV enthusiasts, a video game needs to be pretty special indeed for us to put down the TV remote and pick up a controller instead. As advanced as the video gaming industry has become, with simulations and emulations available in abundance, not every game released manages to hold our attention. There are some games, however, that have interesting stories, engaging content, and compelling characters who keep us tuning in, much like our favorite TV shows. Here’s a rundown, in no particular order, of some of our favorites:
 
Fallout 3

Even though this franchise has been around since the late nineties and contains a total of seven different titled games with another one in the works, the fifth game in the series (confusingly titled Fallout 3) is our top pick from this crop of games.

This post-apocalyptic, “atompunk retrofuturistic” RPG is incredibly vast. It’s an open world game, so you can wander, and wander, and wander – which probably makes it one of the definitive immersive video games. The attention to detail in each environment would make even Stanley Kubrick quake in his boots. Add some special guest voice stars like Heroes’ Mr. Linderman himself, and you have yourself a winner. Released way back in 2008, it’s still so popular that a new mod has even been released for it this year.
 
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Red Dead Redemption

Source: PokerStars.com / Used with Permission
“Ride ’em, Cowboy!”

Before we had Westworld through which to live out our Wild West fantasies, there was Red Dead Redemption. This iconic game had us hooked from the moment we saw the released footage of its gameplay, and with its eagerly-anticipated follow-up, Red Dead Redemption 2, due for release any day now, it’s definitely time to give this one a re-visit.

RDR has drawn critical and cultural acclaim for everything – from its gripping gameplay to immersive, interactive elements, like being able to play Five-Finger-Fillet in a full-on Wild West Saloon. Then there’s all the gunfights, missions, and hours of roaming open plains on horseback that you can enjoy as the lead character John Marston. Despite almost being ten years old, RDR definitely withstands the test of time.
 
 
Super Mario Bros III

Okay, it’s a bit of a retro choice, and if you’re not playing it on an original console, the feeling isn’t quite the same… However, Super Mario Bros III is one of those games that we’ll happily forgo time spent watching the gogglebox for. And if you don’t feel the same after watching this nostalgic clip below, then what are you reading this article for?
 


Source: YouTube
 
Batman: Arkham Franchise

In much the same way we’d never be able to prefer one Game of Thrones season over another, so it’s the same for the Batman: Arkham franchise. Whether it’s trying to stop the mayhem unleashed by the Joker in Arkham Asylum, facing down eight of Gotham’s most deadly assassins in Origins, or dealing with the king of terrifying lunatics, Scarecrow, in Arkham Knight, each of these games based on DC’s most noir of all characters is truly gripping in their own right. If you want to take your Batman: Arkham immersion one step further, check out Rocksteady’s own virtual reality experience, Batman: Arkham VR. Although, we can’t promise that you won’t return with bats on the brain if you do…
 
South Park Stick of Truth

Okay, it’s another slightly retro pick, but since it has only just been given a release date for Nintendo Switch, this hilarious game is a lot more relevant to today’s audience than you might think. From the deranged geniuses Trey Parker and Matt Stone, South Park the television series, the movie, the tie-in album, and yeah, the video game really shouldn’t need much of an introduction!

Why do we love Stick of Truth? Let us count the ways… For starters, it actually has a really simple premise and, despite all the lunacy that unfolds, the characters similar to what we know and love from the TV show. Plus, that 8-bit Canada level will always have us chuckling to ourselves with its Legend of Zelda homage.
 
 
Would you add any games to this list? Let us know your picks in the comments below.

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My Thoughts on Iron Fist Season Two

I have been a harsh critic of Netflix’s Marvel Cinematic Universe shows the last year. Though Defenders was a bit fun, almost nothing has been an end-to-end burner of a season since Daredevil Season 2. One of the worst of them all was season one of Iron Fist, so when they dropped season two a week ago, I was like “meh – this should suck severely.” But I ate my shoe on that one because Iron Fist Season 2 was one of the best MCU shows on Netflix yet!

It revolves around Danny Rand & Coleen Wing of course, but it pits them against two “big bad” frenemies rather than a singular Big Bad. And honestly, it plays much more as a duo show than a solo show for Danny. This is good, though. This is what will have me back for season three if they make it – Coleen Wing is the bomb!! The two villains are long-time Iron Fist enemy Davos and usual Daredevil nemesis, Typhoid Mary.

I won’t spoil too much, but I will promise you the action in the first two episodes pack enough golden glowing fist to make me forget how lame Jessica Jones Season two was. Or the fact I never even put on the second episode of Luke Cage’s second season, because who even cares how many bad guys in Harlem are named after types of snakes? But for cereal, go get on Netflix and binge you some Iron Fist. Season one is a bust. It’s a tone-deaf exposition on “white privilege as a superpower.” The second go is a lottttt better, even if it does get a little sleepy in the middle. But trust in Coleen Wing and enjoy the magnificent Kung Fu in the start and end of this sophomore season.

A night like this with little else on? Maybe try a binge of a show like Iron Fist!

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Exactly How Big Has Game of Thrones Become?

There is no doubt that Game of Thrones has been one of the most spectacular success stories of recent years. According to reports, filming on the eighth series has now ended. Numerous leaks from the filming have led to feverish speculation on sites such as Mashable about what the future holds in store for the residents of Westeros and Essos now.

Yet, as well as looking ahead, this is also a good moment to look back at just how big Game of Thrones has become since first crashing onto our screens back in 2011. Since then, millions of viewers all around the planet have been hooked on this fascinating, violent, and sometimes funny series. So, what has happened so far, and how much of a following does this series now have?

IMAGE SOURCE: Flickr.com

The Story So Far?

You probably already realize that Game of Thrones is based on a series of epic novels by George R.R. Martin called “A Song of Fire and Ice.” The TV show isn’t a straight re-working of these books, though. Instead, it is a loose adaption that is based on the original plots rather than slavishly following them. The success of the TV series has increased interest in these books, with sales now at over 70 million.

The seven seasons that we have seen so far have produced some thrilling moments and a huge amount of talking points. From a horse being beheaded in the first season to Theon Greyjoy’s grisly treatment in season three, and on to Arya killing the Freys in the seventh season, this has been a genuine roller-coaster of a show. The most memorable moments have provoked a great deal of debate and boosted the profile of the show immensely.
 

 
Season seven ended in typically intriguing fashion. This lighthearted recap from Vanity Fair gives you a chance to catch up if you missed this last season. Things are nicely poised for the eighth and final season. How will the drama and intrigue that has captured our imagination for the last few years finally come to an end?

The premiere of season 8 has been confirmed by HBO as arriving to our screens in 2019, so there is a bit longer to wait before seeing what happens next. Meanwhile, a data scientist named Taylor Larkin used a complex algorithm to work out that there is an 83.77% chance of Daenerys Targaryen dying and a 72.91% possibility of Jaime Lannister meeting his end in this series – we’re champing at the bit.
 

Merchandising Galore

The runaway success of Game of Thrones has, unsurprisingly, led to a huge amount of merchandising deals that bring a staggering variety of products to fans who are eager to experience the show in their everyday lives. Some of the most popular items in this vast range have been T-shirts, mugs, masks, figures, coins, and tumblers.

The brand has also appeared in the world of gaming as well. Winterfell and other iconic settings have featured in mobile games, MMO titles, and text-based adventures. Microgaming has also released a slots game described by Betway Casino as an “immersive” take on the theme. Among the many video games are Game of Thrones Ascent and Game of Thrones: Conquest, where players can become a Lord in Westeros.

Special dates such as Mother’s Day tend to see the show’s merchandising heavily marketed, and even Amazon is selling Father’s Day clothing. There is also a Live Concert Experience tour featuring music from composer Ramin Djawadi. Naturally, the Blu-Rays and DVDs have proved to be popular purchases, becoming the UK’s fastest-selling box set in more than 10 years.
 

 

Viewing Figures and Awards for the Television Show to Date

Game of Thrones has received public approval and critical acclaim right from the very start. Viewing figures have risen steadily over the course of each season, as new viewers who have been attracted see what all the fuss is about. The premiere of the first season was watched by over two million people in the US, but by the season finale, the audience had grown to more than three million.

The finale to season 7 drew an incredible 16.5 million viewers, making it the most-watched show in the history of the series. With so many people looking forward eagerly to the final season, it is likely that the eighth installment of the show goes on to break even more records next year. Internationally, it is now shown in more than 170 countries.

In terms of awards, the show has gathered numerous AFI Awards, Directors Guild of America Awards, Emmy Awards, and a host of other prizes from all over the world. As for the actors, Peter Dinklage leads the way with two Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe at the time of writing. It seems certain that the final season will add more trophies to this haul.

The worldwide success of Game of Thrones marks it out as one of the iconic TV shows of this generation. If the final season is as exciting as what has gone before, then we can look forward to plenty of thrills when it hits our screens in 2019.

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Lost Batman Footage Reminds Us Why We Miss Adam West So Much

Those who were lucky enough to be around back in the 1960s will undoubtedly look back on the original live-action Batman series with great fondness. The overtly camp and upbeat nature of the show, coupled with the performance of Adam West, proved to be a huge hit with audiences and led to the airing of 120 episodes between 1966 and 1968.

Sadly, West passed away last June aged 88 after a short battle with leukaemia, and the ensuing outpouring of emotion illustrated the profound effect that the American actor had throughout the television industry and beyond. As well as playing the caped crusader, West was more recently known for voicing himself as the hilarious Mayor or Quahog on the hit cartoon Family Guy. Creator Seth McFarlane led the tributes to West after his passing, stating that, “Family Guy has lost a mayor, and I have lost a friend”, while fellow Batman actors such as Val Kilmer, Ben Affleck, and Kevin Conroy were also keen to highlight that not only was West a fine actor, he was also an exemplary human being.

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Top 5 Super Bowl 2018 Commercials

The 2018 Super Bowl was one of the most highly anticipated televised events of the year, coming is second only to the Winter Olympics. Many fans look forward to the new commercials nearly as much as watching the game. The American public has become used to new and exciting takes on ads for popular products. Millions of dollars go into the production of these often hilarious but always thought-provoking new commercials that keep us on the edges of our seats. Here are the top 5 Super Bowl commercials for 2018.
 
 

 
1. Tide Ad

When viewers saw David Harbour of Stranger Things, there was instant excitement and approval. He just kept appearing throughout the game, and it was a real treat. The series is applauded for its use of nostalgia that relates back to all types of iconic pop culture themes, and the Super Bowl ad was no exception. It was a brilliant execution of the theme of the show that just happened to promote Tide laundry detergent in an amazingly effective way.
 
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