Tag Archives: Game of Thrones

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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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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5 Big Questions for the Final Season of Thrones

There’s just one season left now, folks – and a short one at that! It seems hard to believe we’re almost out of Thrones stories to talk about. That said, we have at least a year, probably, before the final season actually airs, which means there’s plenty of time for speculation and discussion in the meantime. I for one plan to make the most of that time, so here are my five big questions, at this early stage, for the final season.

Will We Get Cleganebowl?

I can’t believe that this has become the biggest question in Game of Thrones, but it might well be that. Indeed, leading up to the season seven finale, one article looking ahead to the end began with the simple title, “Game of Thrones Fans Are Convinced The Most Hyped Fight Ever Will Happen Tonight.” The interesting thing about that is that those same fans were the ones doing most of the hyping. Sure, there are all kinds of hints that the Hound will want to finish the Mountain off, and it’s a pretty obvious place for one or both of their storylines to end up. But for the most part, this is internet hype run amok. Someone came up with the phrase “Cleganebowl,” and the trendy name for the theory helped to blow it up. Now, it seems as if a final season without said Cleganebowl would be almost as disappointing to people as a final season without dragons, or one in which Jon, Tyrion, and Dany (probably the three most beloved characters) all meet their ends. The question of whether or not we get Cleganebowl has, somehow, become absolutely crucial for this show.

Did Anyone Live At The Wall?

There were two fairly significant characters who appeared to be on the Wall when the Night King and his shiny new ice dragon laid waste to it: Tormund Giantsbane and Beric Dondarrion. The latter, at this point, feels somewhat expendable. Without Thoros by his side, and with plenty of season seven foreshadowing that he was about to die and stay dead for the first time, his end would be fitting. Tormund, however, has become something of a fan favorite. He seems to have a budding, if only semi-serious, love interest in Brienne (and who doesn’t want that to happen?). Fans would like to see him having somehow survived the fall of the Wall. But this question is actually pretty important beyond fan service. If no one survived at the Wall, no one can send a raven ahead to warn the miscellaneous good guys that the Night King resurrected Dany’s dragon. Given that ravens in Westeros seem to travel faster than text messages these days, Tormund could easily send word ahead, if he lived.

Will There Be A Baratheon Factor?

When you really think back on the series, there are four “main” houses: the Starks, the Lannisters, the Targaryens, and the Baratheons. That last house has taken a back seat, but it’s still a core part of the series. In the books, the first chapter narrated by a non-Stark, -Lannister, or -Targaryen figure is “Davos,” who at the time is a representation of Stannis Baratheon’s actions. One of the only lasting Game of Thrones video games, a slot real that stands as one of the game options on casino platforms online, also counts the houses equally. Using house symbolism and icons on a slot reel, it’s all about the Starks, Lannisters, Targaryens, and Baratheons. Indeed, the entire story even exists because three of these houses led a rebellion against the other. The “Game of Thrones” has always been between four competitors. It’ll be interesting, therefore, to see if there’s a Baratheon factor to the final series – which more specifically means wondering if Gendry will play a key role, as he is Robert Baratheon’s bastard heir and was brought back in season seven.

How Serious Was The Jaime-Cersei Breakup?

By the look of things in the finale, Jaime is finally done with his wicked, scheming sister. Much has been made of Tyrion’s occasional assertions that Cersei loves only her children. But if that’s true, she’s also only ever counted on the love of her brother. When he was allegedly the fiercest warrior in the Seven Kingdoms, Jaime gave her a sense of invincibility. Since then he’s still proven to be a loyal and reliable general – if not almost a servant at times. For the first time, she now seems unable to rely on Jaime’s affection or loyalty, however. She threatened him to his face, and he called her bluff and walked out on her. But how serious was it? Are they so done that he really will go to help Tyrion and Daenerys without Cersei’s blessing? Might she send someone after him in anger? Or will we wind up looking at a quick make-up, perhaps on the grounds that she really is pregnant? The answer to this question will do a lot to determine the dynamic in King’s Landing.

Are Direwolves Just Not Important?

Arya’s reunion with Nymeria was somewhat poetic. Nymeria basically chose to have nothing to do with her, and Arya recognized her own personality in the decision, breathing “that’s not you,” having once said “that’s not me” when facing the more traditional life of a lord’s daughter. But the lack of Ghost in season seven rubbed a lot of us the long way. Covering this topic and referring back to season six, one of the producers basically blamed the budget, saying Ghost is very expensive to bring to life. But when we get frequent shots of CGI dragons soaring around in the background, or see a five-minute scene featuring a zombie ice bear, can it really be all about the budget? My biggest question facing the final season is whether Direwolves just aren’t that important in this story, when for so long they seemed destined to play a vital role.
 
 
No date has been set yet for the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones. It will air on HBO in 2018, as far as we can tell. Until then, are there any other questions you’d love to get answers to? Let us know below so we can discuss!

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If We Controlled Your Remote… 7/16/17

Have you ever been at a loss as to what to watch? Too many shows to pick from? We’re here to give you our opinions on what we feel is worth watching. Check it out and then let us know in the comments below what you’re choosing for tonight!

Kyle’s Choice

Tonight, Game of Thrones finally returns to HBO to kick off the short, penultimate season of the series. When we last let off, things were being set in motion toward the series’ ultimate endgame. Daenerys joined forces with Dorne and the Tyrells, and the army set sail for Westeros. Meanwhile, Arya finally learned that she was better off not being a girl with no name, and she, too, was headed for Westeros to cross another name off her list. In the Citadel, Samwell was introduced to the vast library but had to leave Gilly at the door. At the Wall, Bran tapped into a tree and finished his dream, where he learned of Jon’s true lineage. In Winterfell, with Lady Mormont’s backing, Jon Snow claimed the title of King of the North. And finally, in King’s Landing, Cersei reclaimed the Iron Throne after she used the secret stores of green wildfire to blow up the Sept where the High Sparrow, Queen Margaery, and most of the Faith Militant were awaiting her arrival for her trial. Unfortunately, Cersei’s last remaining son, King Tommen, was devastated over the loss of his wife and killed himself, thus fulfilling the prophesy that had been foretold to Cersei.

I am really looking forward to tonight’s premiere. Last season was easily the most exciting yet, and I think that was partially due to the fact that the series had moved past the material from the books, so the writers had a little more freedom. All the pieces seem to finally be coming together as the various parties are ultimately heading toward their clash for the Iron Throne. The series still has two major things to tackle before the end, and I’m not sure which of those we will see this season: How are these people going to defeat the White Walkers, and who will ultimately sit atop the Iron Throne? Also, what does the presumed fact that Jon Snow is both a Stark and a Targaryen mean to this upcoming battle for the throne? It should be another exciting (but too short) season, and I can’t wait to finally get some new episodes!

On tonight’s premiere, “Dragonstone,” Jon organizes the defense of the North; Cersei tries to even the odds; Daenerys comes home.

If you missed any of the 6th season or want to see it again, HBO will be airing a marathon starting at 11:30am ET on HBO2, with the sixth season finale and seventh season premiere airing on HBO.

Don’t miss the long-awaited premiere tonight on HBO at 9/8c.

I’ll also be watching/recording The Strain, Celebrity Family Feud, The $100,000 Pyramid, Big Brother, and Food Network Star.

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If We Controlled Your Remote… 6/14/15

Have you ever been at a loss as to what to watch? Too many shows to pick from? We’re here to give you our opinions on what we feel is worth watching. Check it out and then let us know in the comments below what you’re choosing for tonight!

Kyle’s Choice

gameofthrones614smallYou can’t really go wrong if you just turn on your TV tonight and leave it on HBO… They’ve got such an amazing Sunday lineup!

Last week on Game of Thrones, there were a couple big events. Stannis ordered his own daughter, Princess Shireen, to be burned alive as a sacrifice. In Braavos, Arya decided not to complete her mission of killing the Thin Man and instead followed Meryn Trant to a brothel, where she discovered his proclivity toward young girls. In Dorne, Jamie and Bronn were set free and allowed to take Myrcella back to King’s Landing, but her betrothed was to join them. And the Meereneese fighting pit broke into chaos when the Sons of the Harpy revealed themselves and started attacking Daenerys and her subjects. Just as it looked like all hope was lost, Drogon flew in to save the day, breathing fire on the attackers and letting Daenerys fly away on his back.

Tonight is the season finale, and there are so many storylines to address! Will we see more of King’s Landing? Will King Tommen stop what’s happening to his wife and Cersei, will Jamie get there in time, or is this the end for one or both of them? Will Arya go undercover at the brothel to assassinate Meryn Trant? Will we see more of Jon Snow at the wall? The final episode of the season is usually used for moving around the chess pieces to set things up for the next season, so I doubt we will get the battle for Winterfell tonight. But it’s been an entertaining season, and I look forward to seeing where things are left for next year.

On tonight’s episode, “Mother’s Mercy,” Stannis is on the march in the Season 5 finale. Meanwhile, Cersei seeks forgiveness; Jon faces a new challenge; and Daenerys finds herself surrounded by strangers.

Both of HBO’s Sunday scripted comedies also close out their seasons tonight. Both shows had trials of sorts last week, and tonight we’ll see the fallout of those events. Will the Silicon Valley guys lose Pied Piper now that Richard admitted to using a Hooli computer to test his software? And who will take the blame for all the misdeeds that came to light during the hearing on Veep? Both series have had stellar seasons, and I can’t wait to see how they end!

Catch the entire season finale lineup on HBO starting at 9/8c.

I’ll also be watching/recording American Odyssey, Golan the Insatiable, Food Network Star, Halt and Catch Fire, Nurse Jackie, and Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.

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