Geekly Review #45

With the launch of Destiny getting ever closer, I’ve found myself lacking enthusiasm for a lot of games recently. This weekend however, my interest perked back up with the release of Minecraft on Xbox One and PS4, and also the inclusion of Need for Speed Rivals, in the EA Access vault.

As Friday night came around we ended up having an impromptu meal out at Pata Negra, Bristols latest tapas restaurant and bar. Now, normally I’m not a huge fan of the tapas setup – I just like my own meal. But Pata Negra changed my mind a little bit, the food was great. However I would still just like my own steak… Anyway, once we got back home, I started to install Minecraft, and had a quick little play before the evening was done.

In the morning I started to install NFS: Rivals. For me it was one of those games that I’ve seen, and have been tempted to play, but I’ve never wanted to really stump up the cash to buy it as I wasn’t sure how much I would enjoy it. I was therefore pretty happy to hear that it was going to be the next game on offer via the EA Access subscription. It was perfect timing too, as I was actually thinking of cancelling it, because I’d got a little bored of FIFA.

Whilst I was waiting for it to install I played some more Minecraft.

I’ve played a fair bit of Minecraft on PC, but never the 360 version. But seeing as the consoles could now basically match the PC version in world size (about 36 times larger than the 360 version apparently) I decided I would give it a proper go. There isn’t really a lot to be said about Minecraft that hasn’t already been talked about for years, so I don’t really want to bore you with what the game is like. I’m sure you already know. But what I will say, is that I feel pretty hooked on it at the moment.

After an hour or so on Minecraft, NFS was installed and ready to play. I quickly switched over, and made my way through the tutorials.

NFSR_KOENIGSEGG

Imagine if all police cars looked like this!

Set in the fictional world of Redview County, Rivals follows a similar kind of setup like Hot Pursuit, whereby you can play as racers or cops. The introduction teaches you the basics of playing on each side, and shows you what kind of events you can tackle. I was impressed with my first minutes of the game, the graphics and car models look really nice, the gameplay is just what you’d expect from a NFS game, arcadey, and easy to pick up.

However I didn’t get much longer on it as we were heading out for some lunch.

Now I’m a big fan of bagels, and there just so happens to be a great bagel place in the City centre ‘Bagel Boy‘, this is where we went for our lunch, and as the weather was surprisingly good, we took our lunch to the local park. After a little potter around town we headed back home.

I spent the rest of my evening between Minecraft and Need for Speed.

Whist on Need for Speed I spent most of my time on the racers side of the game, and it’s good fun. I like that you can start challenges and races pretty much on the fly, just by slowing down near an event, or by interacting with other cars.

I’m not usually much of a driving game fan, so I will wait to see how long this game keeps my interest. Hopefully it will be for a long time though.

So far the EA Access program is shaping up pretty well. Long may it continue.

Sunday was a very lazy day, I watched the F1. It was great to see Hamilton get the win. He’s been getting some pretty bad luck this season, and I maintain that this is the reason why Rosberg is top of the leader board. Had Hamilton’s car been as reliable as Rosbergs he would be ahead of him, as I think he is a far better driver. Anyway, it is what it is, and it’s great to see such a fierce competition this season.

BoB

I also made a start on watching Band of Brothers again, as I got the box set on Blu-ray for my birthday. Band of Brothers is easily one of my favourite series. That’s partly to do with the fact that I’m fascinated with all things WWII, and partly because it’s such a well made series. We only watched the first episode ‘Currahee’ which basically sets up the invasion of Normandy and introduces you to Easy company as they prepare for life in the 101st Airborne Division.

Hey, little fact here, did you know that Currahee appears to be derived from the Cherokee word meaning ‘Stand Alone’, this was also Easy company’s motto. OMG we are learning and having fun! YAY!

Well, I’m off to get excited about Destiny now, see you in Old Russia my friends!

– Will

Hello,

I’m back from Amsterdam and Birthday celebrations! Where to start? Let’s go with the weekend just gone.

So Friday I spent the evening home alone as the wife went out, so I decided to smash some DVD’s that I got for my birthday. I watched World War Z and Pain and Gain. I’d yet to see them before but had heard good things on both. World War Z really kicked into action quick. Within the first 9 minutes the pandemonium starts without really given an explanation as to why, but still a very face paced start to the film. I did enjoy it, as I tend to enjoy majority of Zombie influenced films / games. I’ve not read the book it’s based on, but have been told it’s considerably different as the book is more so a diary of events rather than a plot? again that’s what I’ve been told so don’t shoot the messenger if i’m wrong. As for Pain and Gain… I LOVED it. Michael Bay is very hit and miss, but when he does hit, he can put together a funny action movie, and this was that. Dwayne Johnson being a Christian cocaine addict is just ridiculously funny. Based on a true story, but after reading into it more, this film was changed a lot from the original source material.

Saturday I went to test drive some cars with my wife, I’ve had my car for 5 years, and I’ve only ever owned 2 cars, both of which were Corsa’s so figured it’s time to live a little and look around. A test drive in a Mercedes A Class, and a close look at a Toyota GT86. I’ll be looking to drive the GT86 hopefully this week before making a decision. After that we went to a friend’s house for curry and games, not video games but Dirty Scrabble & Charades.

Sunday I worked on the house, lifting carpet & Sanding things. All very manly, and then I watched the F1. As Will touched upon above, it was great to see Hamilton finally get some good fortune. Bottas continues to be impressive, despite the little wobble at the start of the race. He made a good recovery. I then went on to watch NFL Red Zone… NFL’s back, and I for one am glad of this. A great opening weekend with some big upsets seeing the Patriots, The Bears and the Saints lose. Steelers and Browns was a great match too, unfortunately the Browns couldn’t take it to overtime.

As for Amsterdam. Well it was a brilliant 4 days away. We had a mixed holiday of typical Amsterdam activities including a visit to the red light district and sex shows… to the more cultural side and visiting Anne Frank house and the Van Gogh museum. The Anne Frank house in particular was a highlight. Again as Will mentioned, I’m interested in WWII as-well, and to walk around this place was rather something special. The untouched walls where they kept a height chart, the walls glued with magazine cuttings that Anne decorated the room with to try and brighten the place up. All very eery but fascinating.

photo (6)

A quick visit to the Amsterdamn ArenA to see where some legendary footballers have played for Ajax, such as Patrick Kluivert, Marc Overmars, Edwin Van Der Saar. It was another great day out.

Some amazingly geeky shops there too, in which I could have splashed the majority of the Euro’s but had to stop myself. Still my wife and I walked out with one goody each..

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And with that it’s back to reality, back to work, back to geeking… Hyrule Warriors is almost upon us!

– Murr

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