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About Benny

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  1. You warned her that you'll be warning her you're watching it later?
  2. Game of Thrones for Dummies

    I love the Lord of the Rings, but Game of Thrones leaves me cold at times. I appreciate it for what it does, but the whole experience can often feel extremely horrible. Like watching a better written Eastenders with swords or something. And more literal tits. Lord of the Rings generally feels like a more wholesome and life affirming journey with characters you can come to care much more about, and with a range of emotions and motivations that can touch upon altruism and genuine friendship that doesn't feel like it's going to be betrayed at a moment's notice. GoT often feels like it's contemptuous of the viewer and doesn't much care for always having satisfying character arcs. It's more like an adventure playground where little pieces are being shifted around a map and "stuff" happens. Which is part of the appeal obviously. I still find it enjoyable, but I wouldn't say I automatically like it because it's also a mainstream fantasy. It's an entirely different experience for me.
  3. I also don't get this fashion of treating genre tropes as being bad in of themselves. It isn't inherently bad to have established tropes within a story, it's more important how they are executed if they exist.
  4. There are quite a few games that were on the top 100 games list last year that were released the same year that I hadn't got around to playing, so happily some of those that were voted for in the games of the year lists were ones I actually got around to playing and can now do reviews for. Yakuza 0 being one. So, onto the top 3, who's taking the Bronze? It was close at the top... And Yakuza nearly got 3rd...
  5. All things Yakuza!

    Head over to the top games of 2017 for my thoughts on Yakuza 0:
  6. Game of Thrones for Dummies

    Worst "I'm a fantasy nerd but have a girlfriend" post ever.
  7. 4. Yakuza 0 There is a lot to be said for video games being able to act as windows into another time. We can watch American films from the 80s and feel ourselves immersed in the era of terrible clothing, war crime haircuts, and synths in your soup - but it’s not the same as being able to truly “live” another time and place. The beauty of interactive media having the ability to create this illusion, when done well, is that it allows many of us to newly experience other cultures at one point frozen in time, and share in the collective unconscious memory of that time shared across the globe. Yakuza 0 is not really trying to do this. What it does do however, is take you on a wonderfully period set rip roaring journey of the Japanese underworld, with brutal street fighting, some stuff about honour and loyalty, and lots and lots of over the top screaming. The story twists and turns and is acted out with real gusto by the leading cast, and is paced just perfectly if you wish to follow it through in a direct fashion, without stopping off to enjoy any of Yakuza’s other delights, and for that alone it could be ranked as a resounding success. However, the joy of Yakuza 0 does not just lie in its pulpy and engagingly operatic narrative. No, the real joy of Yakuza is what you get up to on your time off… Wander the streets of Yakuza’s specific little but densely packed slice of Tokyo, and you will no doubt be accosted by one of its many denizens. These unassuming citizens usually seem harmless, but don’t be fooled: each encounter will soon see you embroiled in one increasingly absurd and hilarious situation after another. Before you know it you’ll be catching fish for your favourite restaurant, racing RC cars to wipe the floor with children, becoming a whiskey expert, discovering Japanese Chess is actually better than regular Chess, getting shafted by real estate, feeling grubby at attempted phone sex, trashing cult leaders, saving small animals, dancing very badly in difficult mini games, getting addicted to Space Harrier instead of finishing the story, having muzak stuck in your head for days, and playing endless, endless karaoke. Yakuza 0 is a treasure trove of sheer madness. Instead of a vast open world where you can get lost and spend days actually achieving very little, here is a small one packed with possibilities, encounters, activities and an unbridled sense of fun. When it is all over, and you finally feel like you’ve seen all the game has to offer, you realise, perhaps with a tinge of sadness, that Yakuza 0 might not really have been exactly like a place or time in the real world, but it was a weird and wacky place you will now miss.
  8. Game of Thrones for Dummies

    Except GoT is absolutely nothing like LotR. Other than being in the fantasy genre perhaps.
  9. Those YouTube thumbnails always seem to capture a feel that is the exact opposite of the actual game.
  10. Resident Evil 4 - Revisited

    And then even when you are finally bored of playing through the single player for the twelfth time there is the absolute genius that is the Mercenaries mini game which you can sink countless hours into. Hunk is the best. Hunk is life.
  11. 5. Splatoon 2 Another thing I love about Nintendo, is their ability to take an established concept and turn it on its head, simultaneously making one of the best games in the genre. In the case of Splatoon, it was the turn of the online shooter. With the sequel come to Switch, it can now be enjoyed by more than just the dozen or so Wii U owners left. Give me paint guns and crazy squid people over Call of Duty every day, any day, and forever anon. Jolly is quite obsessed: "Fair play to Nintendo for showing the restraint to not take Ian from Marketings advice and name this “Spla2n”, something which sounds like it should work but it definitely doesn’t Ian; have a word with yourself. But the strengths of this sequel go way beyond adherence to alphanumeric norms, and what we have here is a glorious expansion of the rulebook-ruining original. An online team shooter that’s almost belligerent in the way it tries to differentiate itself from other games in the genre, Splatoon replaces each bored, old convention with something brave and unique. “I’m tired of everyone picking the same maps over and over” says Todd CoD, “you’re going to play just these two maps on rotation for the next hour and you’re going to bloody well enjoy it” says Vidal Splatoon. “God, I hate having to make my way back into the fi…”, “way ahead of you Todd. Each time you respawn you can jump straight back into it”. “Everyone is a bit of an arsehole online aren’t they?”, “You’re right Todd; from henceforth the only method of communication between players will be the phrase ‘booyah'”. “I hate campers and the…” “Jesus Christ Todd, I’ve got it, alright? It’s all fine, I’ve fixed it all. Just fucking play it mate. Trust me.” But you know Vidal, he ain’t happy with just fixing what’s broke. He wants to put his own sparkle on proceedings, and there’s perhaps no greater example of this than the magnificent Splatfests. On the occasional weekend, just irregular and infrequent enough to make them feel wonderfully special, Splatoon asks you to pick a side in an ancient conflict and then transforms the set dressing, stages and music in the game to make it feel like a proper event. The summer’s inaugural battle between mayonnaise and ketchup will surely go down in history as one of gaming’s bloodiest battles, beating all other candidates to become the most divisive and fiercely contested democratic decision of recent times. That the endlessly imaginative single player or the addition of the captivating Salmon Run mode (think of a horde mode in any other shooter and then make it immeasurably less shit by cutting out the boring, fifteen minute ‘warm up’ period) feel like nonchalant afterthoughts only go to prove what an fantastically generous package this is. But perhaps Splatoon’s greatest achievement is that it takes the famously toxic environment of online battling and makes it so bloody nice that it’s welcoming to both five year olds and the cripplingly shy alike. Both my children and I can play this without being subjected to the dark, diseased heart of collective humanity. And I’ll be honest; I quite like that in a video game." dreamylittledream also: "Its no exaggeration to say Nintendo have really been kicking it out of the park this year. But they really have. The sequel to their first new IP in years didn't need too much really. Tidying up the graphics, making it playable in portable mode would have done. But no they added a really fab little campaign mode, dabbled with a horde mode and nailed it first time. And you can actually play Turf War in bed. And Turfy War is brilliant. And then they kept drip feeding new maps, new modes, Splatfests (everyone loves Splatfests right). An online shooter a kid can enjoy without being wiped out of the park, actually strike that an online shooter I can enjoy without being made to feel Mr ultra Newb. Oh and no guns, only ink. Magnificent." And strawdonkey: "The game that sold me a Switch is the sequel to the game that sold me a Wii U. I've not spent much time playing a shooter since Halo 3, but something about Splatoon just ticks all my boxes - unsure if it's the unconventional weaponry, the unorthodox strategy, customisation of kit, or maybe even just that the rounds last between three and five minutes depending on mode. It looks like an explosion in a sweet factory, sounds like a nervous breakdown for anyone over the age of 21 and yet is full of charm. Stepping into the plaza feels so welcoming and taking part in the battles feels like it's supposed to be fun. Splatfests have been a constant source of unintentional amusement too - nothing quite like planting your flag when it comes to important issues like which way you hang the toilet roll.” But these were probably not the Arms HarMGM was looking for: “I really wish I got on with this as much as everybody else got. I adored the first one on Wii U but this one just hasn’t grabbed me. Perhaps it’s the single-player. A fun diversion but one that feels a bit slight in comparison to the ever great multi-player. Perhaps it’s Salmon Run, a fabulous mode ruined by not allowing you to play whenever you want. Or perhaps it’s just the fact that there still isn’t any same-screen local multiplayer. Come on you bastards! I want to share this with people who don’t have a Switch or who don’t know how great your shooter series is. Stupid dolts.”
  12. Game of Thrones for Dummies

    You have to earn that shit.
  13. What are you playing?

    For me the appeal of Gloomhaven lies in the combat, and it's a gameplay loop I find very satisfying. I think it's better to think of it as a tactical strategy RPG with campaign and story elements, rather than the other way round. Like Chaos or something but with a bit of story.

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