Archive for March, 2014

Game Review: Metal Gear Solid V Ground Zeroes

Oh why not? Let’s do another one.

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Platform:
PS3, PS4, 360, XBO
Developer:
Konami
Rating: MA15+
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Big Boss has been through a lot.

Big Boss has been through a LOT by now.

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Entree is served.

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Hideo Kojima’s Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes is the kind of entertainment product that confuses on so many levels, and yet is so rewarding to experience, that it just had to have come out of Japan. A hideously overpriced mini-prequel to the ambitious upcoming game Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Ground Zeroes confounds and delights in near-equal measure, leaving me both eager to experience the full-blown upcoming game and happy to leave this one behind.

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Movie Review: The Raid 2

And so begins a mini-landslide of impossibly exciting movie releases.

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Starring:
Iko Uwais, Julie Estelle, Arifin Putra
Director:
Gareth Evans (Merantau, The Raid)
Rating: R18+
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The limited release of The Raid 2 (full name The Raid 2: Berandal) in Australia and indeed around the world suggests that not enough people saw the first The Raid movie. That’s perfectly understandable; after all it’s an Indonesian language film without any instantly recognisable Hollywood stars. The only probable way you’d have heard about it is if a friend recommended it to you. So if this is the first you’re hearing of it, please, friend, go see that film. If you like action movies for their action sequences above all else, you will be hard pressed to find a better film in recent memory than The Raid. That is the highest and most honest praise I can send its way. It is a brutal, stylishly framed triumph and several Hollywood blockbusters are already attempting to emulate its approach.

Now that I’ve said this, go track down the movie and watch it. When you’re done, come back here and read on.

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Game Review: Infamous Second Son

First PS4 game review! Legit-looking screenshots here I come!

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Platform:
PS4
Developer:
Sucker Punch
Rating: M
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The Delsin beanie you get with this edition is awesome.

The Delsin beanie you get with this edition of the game is awesome.

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Enjoy your powers.

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That’s the name given to the Platinum Trophy of Infamous: Second Son, as well as the mantra that allegedly guided powerhouse Sony developer Sucker Punch while they were making the game. It shows. Not only is the third Infamous title a jaw-dropping visual feast that truly flexes the PS4’s muscle, it’s just a ton of fun to play. It may not break the open world action game mould in any meaningful way, but I had an absolute blast exploring its fluid momentum system and suite of upgradeable powers. This, ladies and gentlemen, is the first disc-based PS4 exclusive for which a console purchase may be justified.

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Wii U eShop Advance!

Very recently Nintendo announced that it would be bringing a bunch of Game Boy Advance titles to the Wii U Virtual Console throughout April. The announcement video is above. Here’s why I think the move is a good idea:
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THE WII U NEEDS GAMES

It’s no secret that the Wii U is struggling to provide a steady stream of games for its audience, especially given the constantly shrinking pool of third party developers interested in supporting the console. The Wii U has very quickly become a console that people buy for Nintendo releases and Nintendo releases only. The company has stood up and answered the call for high quality exclusives, delivering highly polished gems like Pikmin 3, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD and Super Mario 3D World alongside surprises like The Wonderful 101, NES Remix and LEGO City Undercover. But these highlights simply aren’t arriving often enough for people to stay interested in their Wii Us for too long. This deluge of GBA goodness is very, very welcome right now.

Charming.

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999 Reasons to Visit the App Store Right Now

This isn’t a news blog – Vagrant Rant exists primarily as an outlet for my own opinions on entertainment media, as well as my compulsive need to order things into top ten lists. But today, I’m making an exception, because something pretty cool happened on the iOS App Store today and not nearly enough people will be aware of it.

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Former Nintendo DS game Zero Escape: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors, known to its fans as simply 999, was released on the App Store today in “novel” form (a.k.a. with all the puzzles taken out), carrying the Australian price tag of $5.49. The critically acclaimed original version of the game was never released in Australia and only ever printed in limited numbers in the US, but has amassed a pretty vocal following worldwide since its 2010 release. It’s the prequel to Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward, a deviously clever 3DS/PS Vita game that I reviewed on this blog in the middle of last year (I’ve gone back and upgraded that review to reflect this new release).

Without any of its former puzzles the experience takes on a kind of choose-your own-adventure novel structure, with the added bonus of slightly animated visuals (now in HD!), comic book style dialogue and a brand new “flowchart” feature that allows you to rewind the story at a moment’s notice to retry any of the game’s major choices. Being a Japanese game that wasn’t expected to make a big splash in the West, things do get weird throughout the narrative, which can best be described as a thriller/sci-fi mash-up with some heavy themes and a few lashings of oddball comedy. I won’t say anything more about the story, but suffice to say it’s a twisty tale that sticks with you and I highly recommend it.

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Unfortunately, there is no Android version of the novel at the moment, which makes me sad. Hopefully there will be one soon.

So by all means, get out your iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad and happy reading!

Updated PS4 Impressions

Infamous is almost here!

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Not pictured: Game that actually uses 4 controllers.

I’ve already had my PS4 for a tick over three months, which is a little difficult to believe, and have been spending a decent amount of time with it. The console has more games and features than it did when I first wrote about it on this blog and it’s about to get arguably its first bona fide “next-gen” exclusive title, Infamous: Second Son, so here’s how I feel about the console now. Just don’t ask me about the Xbox One, because I’ve barely touched mine since Christmas (outside of the excellent Titanfall beta of course).

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Mega Ultra Blast Cast Ep.17


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Episode 17 of the Mega Ultra Blast Cast introduces a brand new giveaway segment where we read out download codes for the benefit of our lovely listeners! Delaney shows some brief emotion and I try to negotiate the longest playlist the podcast has yet seen. We also answer a listener-submitted question about the gaming worlds in which we would most like to live, talk about the meme centre that was this year’s Oscars ceremony and dissect the Titanfall beta in preparation for the full game’s imminent launch. Enjoy!

If you feel so inclined, go for a run, take a scenic drive or just curl up on the couch and play some games while you listen to the opinions of three Sydneysiders dealing with the city’s terrible muggy weather.

You can play the whole episodes right off this page if that’s what you’re into:


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Or you can go to the Soundcloud site/app and listen from there:
https://soundcloud.com/mega-ultra-blast-cast/mubc-17-longest-playlist-evar

(To download and listen offline, follow the link and then click the download tab)

As always if you enjoy what you hear please share the cast with your friends – Until next time!