Welcome to the Apocalypse! (Happy New Year)

Needless to say with Britain’s vote to leave the EU and the election of Donald Trump as President of America, the apocalypse has never seemed so near at hand!  So to help you prepare for our impending doom and organise your scouting trips into the  wasteland, here’s a gift from us to you! Your very own Fallout themed Calendar. Just print it out and begin your transition to Vault life!

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vault-tec-calendar

 

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Is this it, mortals? Is this all the fury you can muster?

warcraft movie text

Thanks to showfilmfirst.com we had the opportunity to run down to Leicester Square Empire, to get an early look at the new Warcraft movie. Now, we can let you know before you drop some cash, from Stormwind to Ironforge what was max-level enjoyment and what was more like an escort quest through Felwood. Plied with free booze and shuffled into the cinema like a horde of the undead the tension was palpable. The fears that have plagued fans of this franchise since the films announcements were heavy in the air some were completely unfounded, some….were not.

The tone and look of the opening minutes are familiar to anyone who has ever watched a Blizzard cinematic. The first sights of iconic Game areas such as Goldshire and realistic interpretations of World of Warcraft area maps initially brought waves of nostalgia. However as the movie progressed it grew into annoyance as the mention of things only recognisable to those of us that played the game became seemingly near constant. The 3D as far as we could establish added no value to the story and in panning or quick moving shots of combat for example were hard to follow and headachey to watch. Especially annoying as these scenes were some of the more interesting visually had they not been hamstrung by the 3D. The score was much of what one could expect from a high fantasy title, appropriately highlighting moments of quiet or tension but nothing to write home about.

cc - WorldofWarcraft.com
– The floating city of dalaran (CC) Warcraftmovie.com

As far as the story goes if your already a World of Warcraft fan You already know this story. If not the feeling of watching seems to be akin to that of watching the Dungeons and Dragons movie(2000). Suddenly you’re thrust into a world you don’t know with rules, characters and institutions that are not explained well by the film. These are not the only similarities to the D&D movie, unfortunately it’s sense of humour or playfulness is not recreated. A story moment that really baffled us came when Orgrim Doomhammer(Robert Kazinsky)openly rebelled against the rule of Gul’Dan (Daniel Wu). Somehow a bunch of random Orcs got the chop instead of him and he conveniently is not to be seen for five minutes, in which time we were like “Did they just…”.

Dominic Cooper, who we here have never been a particular fan of here, plays one of our heroes King Llane Wrynn. While not terrible he did nothing to change our opinion of him in this, probably not helped by his pretty boring dialogue. Ben Schnetzer as Khadgar felt like a more annoying of version of Matthew Broderick’s character in ladyhawke, granted that might be someone’s deal but it wasn’t ours. In contrast Travis Fimmel as Anduin Lothar was very engaging on screen and was probably the only thing to make rooting for the Alliance palatable. Surprisingly the CGI Orcs tallied a lot in the win column, the voice acting was on point and the textures of the wholly unbelievable creatures almost felt real at certain points. Probably one of our biggest fears going in the Orcs were one of our biggest wins coming out. Durotan(Toby Kebbell) and Draka(Anna Galvin) particularly held up well and often out performed real life actors on screen. A surprising failure was the make job upon the character Medivh(Ben Foster) upon his transition to evil. It was just poor and we could not work out why at all.

cc - Warcraftmovie.comOrgrim Doomhammer(Robert Kazinsky) near the Orc War parties Encampment in Azeroth (cc) Warcraftmovie.com

All in all the Warcraft movie was a bit of a Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children. In that it was an excuse for fans of a franchise to see characters from their game do cool things on a movie screen. It was really more a 2 hour World of Warcraft trailer than an epic high fantasy movie worth watching in its own right. But it’s the movie we got and I guess it could have been worse! What we wish we would have gotten was something that took itself alot less seriously, while the moment a guy got *sheeped* was funny it was probably one of three laughs across the entire movie. Our advice for any future venture into Azeroth for movie purposes is go crazy with it. We want a Last Starfigheresque 80’s fest, kid falls into the main character of his favourite videogame and adventure ensues. Definitely take yourself less seriously and be more accesible to people not already fans of the franchise. Let us know what you thought, Do you agree?

cc - WarcraftMovie.com

 

Top 5 Quotes:

– “He wishes to lie with me…You would be injured…You would not be an affective mate”
-“Do i go in?” “I don’t know it’s never done that before”
-*Sheep*
-“Quick thinking slicing it’s head off like that”
-“Aaaaaaagh” *baby thrall*

Anduin Lothar (Travis fimmel) ready

to do battle with the Orc threat!
cc – WarcraftMovie.com

Nerd Xmas Stocking

Shopping basket As nerds we are marked by fanatical love of all sorts of things and how better to express and show off that love than shopping for stuff. Clothes, figurines, toys, tech and art, all sorts of stuff to enrich our lives and enhance one’s nerd cred. But times are tough Christmas is racing towards us and with limited funds where is the best place to fulfill your nerd cravings and spend your cash? Have no fear we are here to help with our suggestions for the best Nerd shopping on the web!

amazon logo I know it should not be worth mentioning an obvious first stop for anyone searching to buy things, but we had to start with amazon. It is especially worth noting the masses of stuff available there second hand at ridiculously cheap costs, as well as a place to find items from other places on this list. Now that’s over with let’s move on to more interesting fair.

http://www.amazon.co.uk

thinkgeek If you are unaware of think geek shame on you although based in the USA, with all the shipping costs that entails, it is a one stop shop for a huge store of nerdy things of every description. Also if you find something you like on their site there is every chance you can find it cheaper elsewhere like our first suggestion above.

http://www.thinkgeek.com

etsy2Etsy is a mixed bag in oh so many ways but it hides treasures a plenty if you’re willing to seek them out. Literally everything you can think of from toys to art to full accurate movie costume replicas. We challenge anyone to spend a few hours on Etsy and not come away with a lighter wallet and arms full of swag. Here are some suggestions we came up with for some of our favourite Etsy stores.

http://www.etsy.com/shop/Hx5Designs (Nerdy Shirts, Mugs etc)

http://www.etsy.com/shop/MovieGunsInc (Movie Guns Prop Replicas)

http://www.etsy.com/shop/AltClick (Nerdy Art)

Dave's geeky jerseys Dave’s Geeky Hockey Jerseys is exactly what it says on the tin. It provides a score of designs of nerdy hockey jersey’s. What Designs are being sold go on a shifting pattern with peoples Interest, so if a particular design catches your eyes tell them so it can be in a future sale.

http://www.geekyjerseys.com/store.php

volante designBasically Volante design make cool Assassin Creed style coats. They do a bunch of designs in a bunch of different colours, to help pull together a Cosplay, look suave or if you just need a place to hide your wrist blades!

http://www.volantedesign.us

udreplicasMotorbike’s are cool and so are super heroes, Bounty hunters etc, UD replicas brings these things together in a explosion of coolness. Selling Motorbike related paraphernalia all with nerd themes. The one thing here is as with any Bike wear, it’s expensive but if you want to push out the boat, I can’t think of a better way.

http://www.udreplicas.com 

Branded shopsIf you’re looking for something from a particular franchise then the best place to stop is it’s own themed web store. Most big franchises, Doctor Who, Star Wars, Star Trek etc. have there own little corner of the web.These themed stores might not always be the cheapest but it is usually the best place for a one stop shop for all kinds of stuff, also chances are they “have the droids you’re looking for”    

Examples                                                                                                     http://www.hbouk.com                                                                http://www.starwars.com/shop/                 http://www.startrekshop.co.uk/default.aspx 

Mothers Basement

Mother’s Basement is a great place to find Figures toys and collectibles. From movies to comic books and TV to gaming. Focused on memorabilia and collectors items. Based in Staffordshire, UK but available worldwide.

http://MothersBasement.com

NerdohLogo

Nerdoh is a original nerd inspired design label providing mostly t shirts but all kinds of clothes. Designs focused on movies, games, computers, comics as well as all the new fangled gadgets and nerdery of today.

http://www.nerdoh.co.uk

GameTeeGameTee is a great place to get rather unique game related clothes, posters and accessories and also a fair few of your favourite YouTuber’s branded gear. On that note another great place to get you favourite YouTuber’s stuff is Rodeo Arcade.

http://www.gametee.co.uk

http://www.rodeoarcade.com

Heruniverse

For the ladies out there, one can find all sorts of asorted ladies geekery at heruniverse.com. They focus specifically on the girl nerd market so a great place for them to shop or to shop for the Nerd/Gamer girl’s in your life. They have a particular focus on Cosplay but mostly sell themed jewelry and clothes.

http://www.heruniverse.com

XmasSignOff

Well that’s our top List of Internet Nerdery and where to find them, any suggestions for places we’ve missed would be very welcome! We hope you have a very merry Christmas and a stocking filled with goodies! Happy Holidays!

PS4 Vs Xbox One, The fight for the souls of Gamers

Xbox vs Playstation

So If you haven’t been living under a rock for the last few months you probably heard about the Playstation 4, coming this holiday season. You might also be aware of the Playstation meeting streamed live to the world where the new console was officially revealed and as of last week so has the new release from Microsoft, Xbox One. So now that the immediate fallout from those presentations is over here’s our two cents, a quick round up for anyone who happened to miss them as well as some general next-gen chat.

So seeing as they “came out” to the world first lets talk about Sony’s Playstation 4. The highly anticipated Playstation meeting started with all that you expect from these type of event’s actually, the same was also true of Microsoft and Xbox as well. Initially plenty of bullshit to swim through (mainly for developers/investors i’m guessing). The inevitable “Come to the dark side we have cookies” speech partnered with plenty of punchy buzz words like “synergy” and “Dynamic” aimed at the industry and the customer as though we were all autistic 12 year old boys, but I digress.

PS4 Banner

The playstation meeting started out with heavy duty pimping out of the PsVita, trying to get people excited with the promise of something new later this year (maybe at E3 ?). They suggested that it will function like WII U remote for the new console, and also allow for swapping games from the television screen to vita and back. But with nothing much more to say than that came across more like, “Please Please buy one!” Then it was on to looking at new controller for PS4 unsurprisingly called the Dualshock 4, equipped with a touch pad, headphone jack, Share button (more on that later) and new integrated movement software like that currently used in the PS3’s move controller. This new addition to the main controller is to work in partner with a new stereo camera which will  track its 3D location, so we get to flail some more in the future, woohoo…

Playstation went on to talk about how digital copies of games will be playable during download and you will be able to power down and power up the console returning to the game at the point of departure. Both seem nothing but good. After that it was onto the industry’s new favourite, social networking. Playstation has new partnerships with facebook and ustream to add to the “community” in gaming, more than anything this made me wonder how bad Twitch TV must feel having missed out on this to ustream. The new PS4 will also allow you to live stream to Youtube, although how long you can share/record footage was unspecific. There is a new functionality which allows you to Jump in to take over other peoples games. This obviously could be helpful for you and me but I think its probably aimed more at Indy developers, twinned with the other function allowing you to watch someone else’s gameplay. 

Finally lets talk about the most important thing, games. Unfortunately PS3 and PS network games will not be transferable to PS4 and if you want to play them on the new console you will have to re-buy copies probably through their cloud system. As disappointing as this is within a year of launch  no one will care about backwards compatibility, and in the mean time why not just hold onto your old console. So on to the new games, we got see footage from Killzone, Infamous, the witness and a new capcom IP deep down(working title). And unlike other people(who will be mentioned later) we got lots of new gameplay footage. All of it looked very pretty particularly the witness and Killzone and Infamous left us gagging to play them more.

Chris Metzen Blizzard

As well as that we got a very interesting presentation by Square Enix who essentially said nothing but “something new is coming at E3” maybe a new final fantasy? But lets not hold our breath after the latest installations of that franchise Square will have to do a lot to bring me back on board. One of the shocking occurrences was the arrival of Chris Metzen from Blizzard, upon who’s arrival the room collectively flipped a shit. However it was to be a disappointment, no project titan or anything new in fact it was, as many had theorised was coming, the announcement of the port to console for Diablo 3. Funnily enough blizzard was to dog us again at pax east with a “new game” announcement, which turned out to be a free to play World of Warcraft card game.

However the biggest shock to me from Playstation was the arrival of representatives from Bungie (Halo developers). Announcing a new IP called “Project Destiny” in partnership with Activision, it is to be a “shared world first person shooter” which will have  exclusive content for Playstation. Sounding close to Halo, one of the few draws for Xbox over Playstation made me feel kinda sorry for Microsoft. The disappointment concerning PS4 would come from the fact that we never (and still haven’t) seen what the console actually looks like, which is more than a little worrying and an uncertain release date of “the holiday season”. But as we will see Playstation was not the only ones peddling some disappointment.

 xbox one

Xbox definitely didn’t have the problem of not showing the console, in fact its large, very  large imagine a VHS player from the 90’s and you get the idea. Also if the opening minutes of the presentation were anything to go by its important to know It’s always watching you…

What was instantly noticeable from Xbox was that they took a very long time to even mention the word game, instead Xbox started clearly with the intention to show off its new functionality. This included a new vocal control system that recognises a user and opens a personalised home screen upon command as well as allowing to do many other things vocally which were formally control based. The aforementioned home screen shows games, music and film you own and supposedly remembers what you last played from that and where you were within them.

Verbal commands supposedly allow you to swap  from live TV to and from any game your playing, or film your watching etc. There was also a cool demonstration of the connect technology allowing you to command the console minority report style with gestures (but i’ll believe it when I see it working for myself). Xbox one is also supposedly capable of running multiple programs alongside each other like a PC, they showed watching a movie alongside a Skype call to demonstrate this. All these features look very swish even sci-fi but how much actually works and wasn’t pre-rendered is unknown. But also all it really demonstrates is lots of functions available elsewhere and seems more like a fancy cable box than a gaming system.

Xbox One specs

Next we were promised game information after the long look at Xbox One Cable box features, but what we got was instead was first a technology rundown(full specs comparison between PS4 and Xbox One can be seen in a table at the bottom). The new Xbox will not only utilise the Connect but it will now be integral to it and will also have “smart glass” technology to utilise Smart Phones and tablets in concert with the console. It will also have a blue ray player and its high end graphics will require a high end television to appreciate, both seemingly money in the back pocket of Sony, but none the less good news.

The new connect 1080p HD camera is supposedly capable of seeing weight disposition, shoulder and wrist rotation, plus other cool stuff. But with the new console never really turning off and it always watching you definitely has an air of Skynet. This fear was not alleviated by the somewhat weird brag that the 300,00 servers for new Xbox live was more computing power than the entire world in 1999. The global map shown of all the servers there seemed like a plan for world domination at the same time as being a laughable statistic that was like “remember a very long time ago, well we’re better than that now.

Now that they were done with the cable box features and the new connect/Skynet camera they would finally start talking about games…well sort of. Starting with the statement “Introducing Andrew Wilson from Electronic Arts” had many gamers reaching for a razor blade and unfortunately Andrew did nothing to alleviate those worries. From the first mention of the new “special relationship” between Xbox and EA  we felt dread reminiscent of when the same term was used to refer to the relationship between the Bush administration in the USA and the Labour party one in the UK. We felt like screaming so your going to ruin Xbox and Star Wars, thanks EA (In case you didn’t know they just bought the rights to Star Wars games from Disney).

The EA presentation went on to show Lots of pre-rendered footage with no actual gameplay even when it was promised on stage. There will be Special Fifa 14 content for Xbox if your a big fan of that franchise, but otherwise nothing of note. The comapny Remedy came in with a new IP called Quantum break. Again there was no gameplay, this time we were to be confused by weird live action footage of a young girl and a ship crashing into a bridge (God know what it’s actually about).Coolest information for me, ironically like at Playstation came from Halo developers. Not a new Halo game but in fact a new live action Halo TV series directed by none other than Steven Spielberg in concert with 343 industries. Which will apparently only be available on Xbox, however I imagine the way the internet is it will be pirated within a second.

Call of Duty Ghost Dog

This was to be followed by an even weirder alliance than that with EA, another “special relationship” with the NFL. That’s right with the National Football League(American football if you didn’t know), What this is about is unknown to me but definitely suggests a target market of the frat douche bag, which explain the lack of gaming talk throughout. Infinity ward came in to seal the deal on the frat house market with the exclusive Xbox release of Call Of Duty Ghosts, with dogs and arm hair according to the again pre-rendered footage with no gameplay.

since the Xbox One presentation it has also come out(although slowly and inefficiently) that Xbox one will have to hook up to the internet at least once a day for a few hours. Although you will still be able to play single player games should your internet die, supposedly. Also no more borrowing or lending of games say Xbox, as you must install all games to the live account and must pay a fee to add to a second account. Clearly an attempt to break the second hand game market and Microsoft will get a nice new cut of any of their used game sales. Apparently retailers will have to agree to Microsoft terms and conditions to sell and when you trade in a game it will be wiped from your Xbox account, part of the must go online every 24 hours functionality no doubt.

Unfortunately the bad news hasn’t stopped there, it appears there will be no self publishing for Xbox one by indy developers a function that seemed key to the PS4(which is good for them as some of the best new games are indy titles). Evidently we were not the only people thoroughly disappointed with Xbox, after the event Microsoft stock dropped 2/3 of a percent and Sony’s went up 9%. This has been followed up by a salvo of Xbox press releases screaming “we’ll do better at E3” which comes as the second most interesting news under the fact that there will be no Nintendo conference at E3 at all this year.

If you want to check out the full conference it’s view able in the list of links below, along with a couple of humorous bits that other people have released concerning the new consoles.

Links :-

Full Xbox One Reveal

Xbox One reveal in a minute

Penny Arcade’s Xbox One strip

Xbox One Gif (Very Funny Warning:May Include Brad Pitt)

PS4/XboxOne specs compare