Archive for January, 2015

Mega Ultra Blast Cast Ep.35 – Hotline Miami and ESports Scene


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The Mega Ultra Blast Cast returns to semi-regular scheduling with a jam-packed episode tackling some big topics! We have an in-depth discussion on the Australian Hotline Miami 2 classification controversy, discuss some co-op games for the first time in ages and discuss what we want to see from the ever-growing ESports scene in Australia and beyond. There’s also some more movie trailer reactions, a lengthy breakdown of the most recent Nintendo Direct broadcast and a bonus dicusion on the nature of Diglett. I also go on about my recent experience with Evolve, a very exciting upcoming game indeed. Enjoy!

If you feel so inclined, go for a run, take a scenic drive, jazz up your afternoon commute or just curl up on the couch and play some games while you listen to the opinions of three dehdrated Sydneysiders.

You can play the whole episode right off this page if you like:


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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-35-hotline-miami-and-esports-scene

(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!

20 Reasons Why 2015 is a Huge Year for Nintendo

So I normally take a break from blogging around this time of year, and I probably still will, but it doesn’t look like Nintendo of Australia is taking time off at all, kicking into their 2015 right away. So I feel like I have to throw out this post right now.

2015 is going to be a pretty special year for videogames, with an impossibly exciting lineup of titles on all platforms slated for release throughout the whole year. And for the first time in a long while, it looks like Nintendo will be mixing it with the best of them consistently throughout the year on both of their primary game consoles. It has been a really long time since we’ve reached the start of a new year with such a clear picture of what that year will look like for Nintendo, and for the Wii U in particular, this one looks absolutely packed with the good stuff. And so it gives me great pleasure to present no less than twenty reasons why being a Nintendo fan is going to rock in 2015:

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1- Captain Toad Treasure Tracker (Wii U)

With Captain Toad‘s January 3rd release, Nintendo is getting out ahead of every other major game publisher in 2015, and it’s honestly a very strong opener to the year. I’ve only played a small percentage of the budget-priced retail game so far (which, admittedly, came out about a month ago in the US), but it’s absolutely adorable and can get deviously challenging when trying to find all the hidden diamonds and constantly-changing optional objectives in its bite-sized “puzzle box” levels. The game is impeccably well designed and a real joy to play.

When will it come out? It already is! Go enjoy this amazing game right now, you lucky things.
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2- Splatoon (Wii U)

I played a few rounds of Nintendo’s first-ever entry into the realm of competitive shooters at the EB Games Expo last year, and I immediately wanted to play more. The choice to emphasise territory gain rather than kills, and then to turn that territory into an actual physical advantage in a firefight (paintfight?) by having it improve your range and speed of movement makes for a deceptively deep competitive experience that is simple to understand but tricky to master. The gameplay flow of Splatoon is hella fresh, and I’m excited to see what its single player component holds to complement it.

When will it come out? It’s slated for the first half of the year in all Western territories, and from what Nintendo has shown it looks mostly done, so my guess is March if not even earlier.
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3- Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate (3DS)

When I was in Japan in late 2013, the super-popular Monster Hunter 4 had just launched, and it just seemed like everyone was playing it – businessmen, old ladies, children, couples, you name it. I’ve experienced firsthand the highly addictive qualities of its 3DS predecessor Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate and have amassed quite a few friends who are ready to dive in to a new monster-slaying, armour-tweaking sinkhole when finally comes west, fairly soon no doubt, in upgraded “Ultimate” form. Brace yourselves.

When will it come out? Something about this one screams “first quarter of the year” to me, but that might just be because the last Monster Hunter game released in March over here.

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Mega Ultra Blast Cast Ep.34 – Best of 2014


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The weather and Shane’s scumbag computer have conspired to delay this episode’s publication, but here it is – the second annual Mega Ultra Blast Cast “Best of” episode! The two part extravaganza is packed with nonsense like some early talk about burgers, a bit of terrible fishing advice, as much awful planning as ever and a reflection on the many, many times Delaney cried in movies during 2014. We also run through our weirdest Playlist in a long time. Then, at about 45 minutes in, it’s on to our 11 end-of-year awards, including our MUBC Game of the Year winner (the answer may surprise you) and a very tough Movie of the Year category. Thank you so much for any amount of time you spent listening to us in 2014!

If you feel so inclined, go for a run, take a scenic drive, jazz up your afternoon commute or just curl up on the couch and play some games while you listen to the opinions of three emotional Sydneysiders.

You can play the whole episode right off this page if you like:


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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-34-best-of-2014

(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!

Best of 2014 Closer

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2015 is off and kicking, already delivering quality movies and videogames right here in Australia less than a week in! It’s going to be an incredible year for entertainment media, but if you missed any of my countdowns wrapping up the year that was 2014, here are the links to every one:

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1. Top 10 Disappointments

2. Top 10 Game Cases

3. Top 15 K-Pop Singles

4. Top 5 Game Consoles

5. Top 10 Movie Characters

6. Top 10 Gaming Moments

7. Top 10 Movie Scenes

8. Top 10 K-Pop Albums

9. Top 10 Games

10. Top 10 Movies

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Best of 2014: Top 10 Movies

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My final list for the year was also by far the hardest for me to order. 2014 was an insanely good year for movies, particularly the big budget ones. It was easily my favourite year for movies overall since I started this blog, because for the first time ever there were so many high quality films from which to choose that I could genuinely ignore all those awkward early year films that technically count as 2013 movies in the United States. All thirteen of the films on this page can be counted worldwide as 2014 releases, and that is just so good.

I have my regrets about 2014 at the movies – I didn’t get to see The Grand Budapest Hotel, Whiplash, Bad Neighbours or 22 Jump Street, didn’t find enough time at the end of the year to watch Snowpiercer, and to be honest I’m kinda bummed I missed 300: Rise of an Empire. But overall I hit a pretty good chunk of my movie targets throughout the year and I stand by this list. I wrote full reviews for the vast majority of these movies, so please check those out via the links provided if you want further information on my thoughts. This has been a lot of fun once again. A happy new year to all!

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VR BEST OF 2014 DISCLAIMER
This list represents my opinion only. I am not asserting any kind of superiority or self-importance by presenting it as I have. My opinion is not fact. If you actually agree with me 100%, that’s spooky. Respectful disagreement is most welcome.
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10. What We Do In the Shadows

If Taika Waititi’s Eagle vs Shark was an indication of his offbeat comedy promise, What We Do in the Shadows is an uproarious confirmation of his talent. The movie has its cake and eats it too as far as vampire movie tropes, cleverly populating its downtown Wellington apartment from hell with vampires from different centuries, each one making use of a different cliche. Jermaine Clemente of Flight of the Conchords fame and newcomer Cori Gonzalez-Macuer are hilarious every time they appear on screen, as is Rhys Darby in a memorable werewolf cameo. Hilarious viewing.
FULL REVIEW: HERE
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Best of 2014: Top 10 Games

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And so it is, on the first day of an impossibly exciting new year, that we arrive at the ‘big two’ to round off the year that was 2014. This is my top ten favourite videogames released in Australia in 2014. For a game to qualify for this list I need to have either finished it or played at least five hours – whichever comes first (yes, that does eliminate a lot of really good games – we aren’t all superhumans). For clarification’s sake, significant game remakes count – “remasters” do not. So no, Final Fantasy X HD doesn’t count, because it’s a beat-for-beat upscaled port of a decade-old game.

I tend to define myself nowadays by playing as many games as possible, even if that means I only get to play a small slice of each title, just so I can have some sort of opinion on them and be part of a wide gaming conversation. Because I live for that stuff. But these are the games I actually played, and I mean really played, in 2014. When your free time dries up and you need to be more selective with where you put it, as mine did in 2014, your tastes as a gamer tend to boil down to a more easily definable quantity. And when I look at this list of ten games, there is an overwhelming pattern that shows up.

With maybe one or two exceptions, every game on this list falls into one of two categories: heavily story-driven playable narratives, and games where multiplayer interaction is the single defining trait. I hadn’t realised it until I wrote up this list, but it seems I am looking for experiences that bring people together above all else these days, and when that can’t happen, I’m drawn to well-written stories. We’ll see if the glorious slate of huge-name 2015 releases changes that. But for now, please enjoy. The platform on which I played each entry is in parentheses.

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VR BEST OF 2014 DISCLAIMER
This list represents my opinion only. I am not asserting any kind of superiority or self-importance by presenting it as I have. My opinion is not fact. If you actually agree with me 100%, that’s spooky. Respectful disagreement is most welcome.
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10. Pokemon Omega Ruby (3DS)

Among other things, 2014 was the year that I finally attempted to quantify my appreciation for Nintendo’s many wonderful franchises, and when the main series Pokemon games ended up on the top of that list, being forced to look at that “number 1” next to its name gave me pause. My lifestyle and priorities have changed recently, as they tend to in, you know, life, leaving me with very little time to devote to the competitive battling scene that has defined the last decade of my Pokemon playing existence. Thus I feared that I would begin Pokemon Omega Ruby and get next to nothing out of the experience, and yet its almost as if Game Freak saw this coming, because the game is amazing, boasting some of the best use of the 3DS’ StreetPass feature I’ve ever seen, giving new playthroughs fresh life with the DexNav and adding just enough extra subtlety to an already half-decent narrative to keep it engaging right up until its genuinely stellar post-game content begins. And of course, it’s still an absolute ball to play with and alongside friends.
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