Weekend Whammy

Weekend Whammy: Christmas Carnage & Virtual Reality

Oh, hello there, weekend! I didn’t see you standing menacingly in the shadows. How are you these fine holidays? What? What’s that? Why have you got that!? No! NO! NOOOOO! Stop stabbing me with a candy cane, you foul beast! ARRRRGGGGHHHHH!

Yes, it’s the weekend once again which means it’s time to ramble! If you haven’t already seen it then go and check out my Top 10 Games of 2018 where I will have undoubtedly annoyed about 50% of everybody who reads it because nothing riles up the Internet like a list and opinions! Still, I’m pretty happy with it. It’s mostly big triple-A titles this year but there’s a couple of smaller games in the mix as well.

Christmas is looming over us all at the moment, so naturally everything has been chaos. For a change I actually did my Christmas shopping at a reasonable time, though, so at least I’m not running around trying to get presents. Are you guys hoping to get any gaming goodies this year?

This week I’ve mostly been playing the crap out of God of War. In all honestly I popped it onto my Top 10 list without being anywhere near finishing, but I think that’s forgivable. And holy hell, what a game! Sony has had a superb year with PS4 exclusives and God of War is the cherry on top of the icing. Maybe I’ll still do a full review, probably depending on how busy the start of 2019 is, but for now I completely love it. The new Kratos is a wonderful evolution of a character who used to be one-note and his relationship with his son is simply captivating. Never before has the word, “boy” had so many meanings, and of course the credit for that goes to actor Christopher Judge who I shall always see as Teal’c from Stargate. Indeed. Anyway, the combat is great fun despite being less smooth and less fast than the original trilogy, and the whole thing looks amazing!

Other than that I wrapped up a few PSVR reviews in the form of Gun Club VR and the fantastic Borderlands 2 VR, which makes a 6-year-old game totally worth playing again. Another PSVR review will be coming, too, this one being Guns ‘n Stories. It’s…okay.

I headed out to the cinema this week to check out Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. As it turns out, it’s freaking awesome. Like, it’s so much better than it has any damn right to be! It has a fascinating art style that uses dot shading and a slight judder that sort of gives it a stop-animation vibe. At first it’s jarring but you quickly get used to it. It makes it look like a comic book that’s being flipped through at high speed. And the action scenes are just lovely to look at thanks to the superb character designs and the speed they play out at.

Of course, it would be nothing without good characters and here the movie does not fail; after Peter Parker dies while trying to stop an experiment a portal is opened that sucks in various other Spider-characters who must team up with Miles Morales to save the day. It’s a cool premise that lets the writers bring in Noir Spider-Man (voiced by Nicholas Cage, who rocks it) as well as Spider-Gwen, Spider-Pig and even the Japanese anime version who fights in a giant robot suit. It’s bonkers but because it’s animation it works, and the writers lean into it fully. The relationship between Miles as the new Spidey and an older version of Peter who is struggling forms the emotional core of the film and is fantastic. Plus, the whole movie is genuinely hilarious from start to finish. It’s amazing. It’s spectacular. It’s superior. Go watch it.

Speaking of movies I also rewatched my favorite Christmas horror movie; Krampus. Directed by the same man who did the excellent Trick ‘R Treat this horror flick sees a kid’s Christmas spirit get crushed by his family, thus summoning the ancient beast known as Krampus. It’s not really a scary film, but it’s a fun romp from start to finish with some beautiful visuals. Plus, you get gingerbread men trying to commit murder, someone being eaten by a freaky jack-in-a-box and a host of other cool scenes. It’s a fun time that I highly recommend.

I finally got around to seeing Venom, too. I wasn’t sure what to think going into it since opinions varied so wildly, but in the end I enjoyed it. I don’t think it’s particularly great, but they did create a fascination dynamic between symbiote Venom and host Eddie Brock. Venom is one of my favorite Spidey villains, so getting to see him brought to life outside of Spider-Man 3 was quite special.

As we come up to Christmas and New Year I’ve been reflecting on how the site has been doing. The first half of the year started so strong, but the second half has seen a pretty big decline in the amount of people stopping by, which in turn makes getting review copies trickier since publishers do love those big numbers! I’ve been trying to figure out the cause. Has my writing got worse? Am I doing something wrong? Not reviewing the games people want to see? I don’t know. Hopefully I’ll figure out because I’d love to break some of my old viewer records, but it’s like I’ve hit a ceiling and can’t break through.

That’s it for today. As always thanks for reading and if you want to help out the site and help fund reviews then click below to donate a few pennies via Paypal.


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