About Me: Five Favourite Video Games

I’ve been writing this blog seriously for almost a year now, so maybe its time we got to know each other a little better. So here are some of my favourite video games, as you can probably guess I was a Nintendo child, we didn’t have a Sega in our house and by the time the PS2 came out I had pretty much grown out of video games.

Goldeneye 007 (Nintendo 64)

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Goldeneye is probably my favourite shoot em up of all time, not really a genre I go for, but this one always has a special place in my heart, if only for the fact that it was the only game I could ever seem to win on multiplayer (my secret is that I had memorised where all the rocket launcher ammo was).

Super Mario Bros. 3 (Nintendo Entertainment System)

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The first video game that I ever played, and still one of the best.

Sonic Adventure 2: Battle (Sega Dreamcast/ Nintendo Gamecube)

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We were definitely a Nintendo family in our house, we didn’t have any of the sega’s or a PS1 so when Sega finally folded after the Dreamcast flopped, we got to experience the first Sonic Game on a Nintendo platform and I finally got to see what the kids who had Sega’s were talking about.

The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (Nintendo 64) 

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Ocarina Of Time still remains, to this day, the best of all the Zelda franchise, and it will remain the benchmark that any future points of this series will be judged against, 20 years later, you can’t have a conversation about the Legend of Zelda without mentioning Ocarina of Time.

Pokemon Red (Gameboy Colour)  

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This game (well Pokemon in general-especially the cards) pretty much sums up my life from ages 9-10,  I had both red and blue, but red is where I put all my time and effort in , to this day I am the only person I know to have all 150 Pokemon. My go to team was Charizard, Hitmonchan, Alakazam, Zapdos, Muk and Gyarados, all level 100 (trained to that point I may add, there was no rare candy cheats going on).

Book Review: Frank Sinatra Has A Cold

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Something that I don’t really know about, as a genre or writing style, is the so called new journalism. Its not something that’s ever really appealed to me as a whole, but there are a few pieces that have caught my eye and so therefore have gone on the list of thirty books that I want to read before I’m 30 years old. One of the first pieces that made my list is Gay Talese’s piece Frank Sinatra Has A Cold, a fly on the wall profile of Frank Sinatra a few weeks before his fiftieth birthday and the events surrounding that milestone of birthday.

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New Journalism, as you probably know better than I, uses a more prose like form to convey the focus of the piece, relating anecdotes and often tangential narrative to make its over arching point. What Gay Talese does here is simple, he follows around Frank for a few days and talks to those around him, and just writes what he sees. One of the reasons that I wanted to read this piece is because I have always had a soft spot for the stories of the Rat Pack tearing up New York, L.A and Las Vegas and the special friendships that the patriarchal figure of Sinatra fostered throughout the 50’s and 60’s and that’s just it, Gay Talese talking to and relaying anecdotes from Sinatra’s family and inner circle, all while painting Sinatra as this mercurial, monarchic figure at the centre of his own massive kingdom.

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Its a pretty short read, I managed it in under an hour, but as it was originally in the pages of Esquire Magazine this explains away that, its well written and to the point, but without Talese ever receiving Sinatra’s cooperation, the story was published in April 1966, and while it probably isn’t what Talese originally set out to write about, it is probably the most in depth look at the life of Frank Sinatra ever published in the mans lifetime.

Book Review: The Time Machine

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I love time travel stories. This is the main reason Doctor Who is my favourite TV series. And H G Wells’ 1895 novella was one of the original works to come up with the idea. Whilst it doesn’t really look at the sort of paradoxical and ethical concerns of time travel it does look at the ideas of utopia and dystopia that have since become commonplace in fiction, but wells was one of the first to do it.

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Wells is often heralded as the father of modern science fiction with classics under his belt such as The Island of Doctor Moreau, The Invisible Man, The War of the Worlds, and The First Men In The Moon. Its clear to see that Wells was a man who was blessed with both understanding of science and the workings of academia, as well as being equally blessed with a fantastic imagination. What must it of been like for a victorian to come up with the idea of time travel? To imagine what mankind would be like 800,000 years in the future? You can still smell the victorian ideals printed all over the page, both a spirit of exploration and of repression all rolled into one neat little package, tied up with a big helping of steampunkish industry to finish off the equation and make a fun little foray into the future.

What I would have liked about the book, and this is my only real criticism, is that I would have liked to see a more in depth look into the world of the future, without giving spoilers, I would like to have known how the human race had evolved from victorian values to the state of fearful tyranny between the Eloi and the Morlocks. Other than that the book was well written and the chapters weren’t all that long so it made for good bed time reading, and I’m glad to be able to say that I’ve read it.

 

Book Review: Three Men In A Boat

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Continuing to crack on with the 30 books that I want to read before I’m 30 I delved right into a copy of Jerome K Jerome’s Three Men In A Boat. I’ve written extensively on the works of Jerome K Jerome in the past particularly his Idle Thoughts Of An Idle Fellow.  So reading his most famous work was fairly high on my list.

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The plot of the novel is a fairly simple one three friends (and a dog) decide to go on a lads holiday, on a boat, up the Thames. The story is a fairly slow paced tale where not much happens, but the reader is treated to the delightful witticisms and pertinent insights of Mr Jerome all the way through, and for something that was published in 1889 some of the remarks are still just as true today. Things such as thinking you have every symptom of every disease you read about is still just as true today as it was yesteryear. Other things like the overwhelming urge people have to look at gravestones, I was so glad to find that I’m not the only one who doesn’t get the attraction, I mean it’s morbid and depressing. Jerome is right on the money and he does it in such a way that makes him one of the best, and sadly underrated writers of the victorian age.

I thoroughly enjoyed the book and I’m glad to have crossed it off my list.

About Me: Five Favourite Comics and Graphic Novels

I’ve been writing this blog seriously for almost a year now, so maybe its time we got to know each other a little better. So here are some of my favourite comics and graphic novels:

Watchmen

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Alan Moore’s best known work and what is heralded as the birth of modern comic book industry. Its dark, its gritty and its probably the first american comic that was written for grown ups.

The Boys

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Garth Ennis series that posits the theory that if super powers really did exist, people with them would probably be insufferable cunts. Its rude, its crude and its really powerful, it makes light of the superhero genre and will be a classic for years to come.

Superman and Batman Generations 

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A tale that takes superman and batman back to their origins in the 1930’s and ages them in real time. It looks at their relationships and the strains that their choices put on their lives, and the lives of their families.

Judge Dredd: America

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Judge Dredd is a wholly unrelatable and unsympathetic character, what makes the world of Judge Dredd such an amazing and lasting institution is the characters that surround Dredd, and America is a story about freedom and how people are willing to let go of liberty in exchange for security, and like all good stories is makes you think, think about the important issues, the issues that should be important to us at any rate.

Annihilation

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It kick started Marvel’s space renaissance and gave birth to the modern Guardians of the Galaxy that have now been immortalised on screen. Its a space opera that unites many obscure areas of the Marvel Universe, shakes some up, kills some off and it generally an amazing story.