All words presented in this blog are purely opinion, not fact - unless specifically stated otherwise in the post.

Monday, 16 September 2013

Re-make reservations

So as you all know from previous blog posts and podcasts, I'm a huge fan of the Kingdom hearts series. It's probably my favourite game of all time despite my massive love of all things Bioware. I love the way they integrated all of the Square style storytelling and characters with the Disney worlds and characters. I loved the gameplay, loved the story, loved pretty much everything. There were a couple of issues I had, like the controls being a little sloppy, same with the cameras, but overall it worked really well and I've wanted to go back to it again and again.
Sadly a few years ago my PS2 copies of Kingdom Hearts 1 and 2 were stolen when I posted them home from one of my jobs. I considered re-buying them a few times, but with square releasing all the playstation final fantasy games on the PSN and then opening up PS2 store on there I figured Kingdom hearts had to be right around the corner. four years later Kingdom Hearts 1.5 Final Mix is released onto the PS3 as a full retail game with Chain of Memories and 358/2 days along side.
Now I love that they did that, I pre-ordered the limited edition version a year in advance, as soon as I heard and I don't regret it one bit.
However, I don't know that in general it's a good thing to do. Re-creating old things for a little money in order to get a big pay off from nostalgic nerds/geeks. It doesn't add anything to the series, but it does give people a new way to play it.
To be fair Kingdom hearts have done something really good by releasing the two games set between 1 and 2 on the PS3, when previously they were only available on Gameboy advance and Nintendo DS where many players refuse to play. Kingdom Hearts' HD re-release does actually add to it for many players, but many other releases do not.
It gets the publishers paid, sure, but it's nothing new, nothing that progresses anything, not the game, not a story, not even technology and the games industry as a whole. the whole industry of re-makes does nothing but show that we have no imagination anymore. Why not make a Kingdom Hearts 3 for the PS3 instead of just updating half the graphics of KH1 (and by the way, that's all they did. A lot of the graphics are still crappy definition, a lot of the models and textures still look old, but other times they look great. It's like they got halfway through and just decided 'Fuck it, we gave them enough to make a couple trailers, they'll still buy it.'
And... well I did.

I don't know how I feel about re-releases, but I guess if theres a market for them its not too bad. if that's what people want, why not give it to them? beats me. Oh well.

- James

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

The Moon Landing

Not the one you were thinking.
On September the 14th in 1959 (ten years before Apollo eleven landed six men on the moon) the first man made object touched down on the surface of the moon.
Luna 2 was a Soviet spacecraft that was launched to the moon (aptly named, I think you will agree). It was (obviously) the second attempt in the Soviet Luna program, but the first in the series to land on the moon. Not only was it the first in the series, but it was the first man made object to ever land on the surface of the moon or any other celestial body.
On September 14th 1959 at 00:02:24 in Moscow Luna 2 touched down, about 800 kilometres from the centre of the moon's visible side. It took a direct path to the moon with a journey time of roughly 36 hours, taking off while the moon was at it's farthest point.
On impact the craft scattered soviet emblems and ribbons across the surface t omark it as a Russian achievement before, 30 minutes later, making it's own crater on the moon.

In the grand scheme of things this wasn't one of the human races biggest achievements. Since then we've built space stations, landed men on the moon, landed probes on other planets, built great big things, made ungodly technological advances, cured diseases...
But right back at the beginning of it was Luna 2. The first man made object to land on another world. Would the world be the same today if that had never happened?
If it had never spurred the Soviet Union on, would America have put men on the moon? would people have been inspired to create science fiction? would they have been inspired into creating science fact?

I don't know. Nobody can know for sure.

Regardless, I think it's a date worth celebrating.
On the 13th of September until the 15th of September my science fiction short story for Amazon Kindle will be free.

Exile in the UK

Exile in the US

Tubage-the news was funniest
- James

P.S. Yes this entire post was a long promo for my short story being free, but all of it was true regardless. It's well worth celebrating.

P.P.S. I've seen a lot of other blogs do the following, so enjoy.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013


So for the past week and a half I've been trying to get better at drawing and to this end I've been doing a sketch every day, based on a single word. I'm given a word, and then I draw something, I figured I'd share the fruits of my effort, I'm goign to keep it up, but for now heres my first ten

(FYI, im not a very good artist.)

Hopefully I'll get better.

- James

Monday, 2 September 2013

Too many games!

So this month is a bit of a high point for games this year, (at least for me) and it's hurting my wallet, a lot. Not to mention the fact that its my sisters birthday and I have to get her stuff but I also have to save for the company trip to Comicon next year, I have rent and stuff, and lets be honest; I don't get paid that much in the first place.
On top of all that this month I have three pre-orders and a game purchase. So lets take a look at them:

First purchase;
Saints Row IV
For a lot of people this is just a game to keep them going until Grand Theft Auto comes out, but I've been looking forward to this a lot more than I have GTA-V, and so far it doesn't fail to disappoint. As quirky and out of the gate hilarious as SR3, SR4 is as much a grand theft auto clone asBlue Harvest is a Star Wars clone. Yes its a similar setting and the same medium, but one is clearly different from the other.
A long time ago GTA was funny and quirky like Saints row is now - though not so ridiculous I admit - but now GTA is all about gritty realism, which is fine, don't get me wrong, the GTA games are still good, my point is more that Saints Row took the place that they once had, they are not trying to be them now.
Saints row basically opens up and asks 'what is the funniest, funnest things we can do here' and then ignores everyone who says that it doesn't sound realistic. It's fun, its energetic, and who doesn't like the idea of climbing a nuclear missile in flight (aimed at Washington) while Aerosmith blares?!

Rome II Total War
I'm not really sure why I pre-ordered this game, I've owned the last 3 of them but I've never really got heavily into them. I've never completed any of them, so why did I guy this one? I really don't know. I always enjoy them for a few days, but... maybe it'll tide me over until the next game turns up. While I really like Saints row, and that should be able to tide me over I like it as a multiplayer experience and the people I play with aren't always online.
This game is released tomorrow (3rd of September) and I expect it will be pretty intense. by all accounts its an awesome game, well worth playing, I'm just not sure it's going to hold my attention. (that said, I do like the roman empire)

Kingdom Hearts 1.5
I've been anticipating this for years. I have already played and completed this game once a long time ago on the PS2, btu it's seriously such a good game that when my copy was stolen 3 years ago I was devastated. I considered re-buying it several times, but I always figured 'they brought out the final fantasy games on the PSN store, surely Kingdom Hearts is RIGHT around the corner? But it wasn't, not until now. 3 Years later.
If I'm honest I could probably do without a day one purchase here, but I managed to get it limited edition for half price when they made a mistake on the store, so I can't complain too much. I'm really looking forward to this HD re-make/re-deploy, seriously; cannot wait!

Grand Theft Auto V
I really didn't care about GTA V for a long time. I only started caring, for the first time, about a week and a half ago. The multiplayer trailer came out, I had a look at It and I was blown away. I couldn't not buy it. I pre-ordered it pretty much then and there.
Up until then I really couldn't care less, everything I saw I didn't care, it all looked samey, but now, all that same stuff is exciting and I still have 15 days left until it arrives! (17th Sept). Ugh!

So that's me this month, £39.99 for Saints row, £29.99 for Rome 2, £24.19 for Kingdom Hearts and £34.99 for Grand Theft Auto V.
An expensive month.

- James