Sunday, 15 April 2012

A belated review of the Rugby World Cup 2011 video game

Only one word can describe this game: shocking. It was a long time ago when i purchased this game, back when i did, i remember hating it, and for some obscure reason i gave it a second chance this Easter, and it remains very, very poor.

I remember my first impression of the Rugby World Cup 2011 being something along the lines of "This is exactly the same as EA Sports Rugby 2006." Indeed, the buttons are the same despite being released 6 years on, and the similarities don't end there: the "special moves" are the same, there are the same old glitches and the same old general fallacy about the whole experience. The thing is, at the time Rugby 2006 was pretty advanced and well informed as a Rugby Game for the PS2. The game was so good in fact i still own it and a PS2 to play it on. For this not to have advanced is disappointing.

Then we come to specific issues within the game. The biggest is the licencing problem. If you bought the official FIFA World Cup video game, you would rather expect Brazil and Lionel Messi to be featured in the game. Alas, in the RWC video game, New Zealand and Australia (two of the best teams of Rugby Union) feature, however with "Fictional" player names because of licencing issues. It is very confusing that the best Rugby team in the World and the hosts of the World Cup are not featured in the tournaments official game. Again, you might hope the official kits for the world cup are there, but this is only the case in the "World Cup" game mode, not for the exhibition match game type.

Again, there is a general issue with squad selection, which were not up to date at the time of the games release, nor is there any downloadable content to update the squads and players. Indeed, England's sensation at the three-quarter position Manu Tuialagi is not in the game, despite featuring in warm up matches.

Gameplay issues swamp the game aswell. In the lineout for example, do not expect to win your own line out too often if you play on the "hard" difficulty, which just seems odd. Earlier today i was pinged for the penalty because "Ball unplayable in ruck" despite the whistle blowing when the ball was in the hands of my Fly-half. Now i'm not a complete expert on the Rules and Regulations of Rugby, however i'm sure a penalty occurs where the infringement happened, not on the half way line from where Rory Jackson took his penalty kick. Penalties in general are awfully designed, with "Dangerous Tackle" awarded every time you make contact with a player off the ball. This incident occurs frequently because of the camera angle used, "side on" is rather one dimensional and hence tackling players is difficult because they move along a different plane to the one the camera is aimed at.

I won't even get started on the awful player design or robotic commentary, all that is left to say is be certain to remember this game is absolutely awful and as a buyer you should not be tempted by it when it is on offer for £15.

Overall 2/10.

Friday, 6 April 2012

The Woman in Black

So, last night i watched the Woman in Black, the cinematic version with Harry Potter. It's fair to say me and my dad don't do horror movies, both of us were left uncomfortable throughout the film, getting all jumpy and watching through half an eyelid during the majority of the film.

In truth my experience of horror movies doesn't stem much further then the Final Destination series and all the Scream's, these serve as humorous gore rather than actual horror hence why this film "shit me up" suitably. I have seen The Orphanage before, a Spanish film quite similar to The Woman in Black (In the The Orphanage an aging woman supernaturally manages to kidnap a kid and kill him), which as a film is just full of thrilling peril.

Indeed, the film was full of the same old tension building moments which as usual climax in a host of loud noises and sudden images which well and truly surprise the viewer. It was quite funny actually, in the cinema screening i was in, everyone jumped and then resorted to a dull chuckling after each "jumpy moment." As if in laughing we somehow collectively brushed off the humiliation that was the grouped fear fest.

As far as the protagonist goes, Harry Potter has not done too badly since Hogwarts, working in a Law firm which requires him to go to a spooky old house "up north" and go through the paperwork of a deceased woman in order to determine the inheritance or the sale of the house. Harry Potter as a person though, hasn't really changed. I'm worried he will never grow out of the dull, the worlds against me, my parents are dead attitude that has plagued his life thus far. Indeed, his child in the film drew a nice picture for him, and had characterised his dad with a frown.

Now, i didn't particularly like the Harry Potter films, all a bit fanciful, that's all wrapped up quite nicely until next term type of sequel film. As a result i have become quite cynical with regards to the characters, saying things like "Why does Harry and his friends have to go looking for trouble? Why can't they just behave? Why don't they just get on with their school lives?!" Well, it's the same old, same old for Harry in this film. A reasonable man, upon hearing some creepy noises/seeing the dead in a creepy old house would bail on it faster than greased lightening. Of course, stupid is as stupid does, and rather than leaving the house and showing the proverbial "fuck you" to his bastard law-firm, instead he decides to probe the issue, and explore the house, opening up every door and every box or trunk in search of god knows what, only to find sudden noises and scary non-beings. Indeed, despite having been well and truly being spooked in his first visit, he decides that he should spend the night at the house in order to get work done! Needless to say, without wanting to reveal spoilers, shit hit the fan, screams and all.

As a film its actually not too bad. The plot as to why there is a "woman in black" is quite interesting, and we learn more and more as the film goes on. However, with about half an hour to go, both dad and i shared a look as the film become a little bit too far fetched for our liking. Harry suggested to the only other sane person in the town that they some how "reunite" the woman in black with her dead son in order to relieve the woman in black of her supernatural pain and suffering. Indeed, what a brilliant mind Potter has to figure that out, rather than do the sane thing and just leave... Of course, this idea results in possibly the most atmospheric 10 minutes of cinema i have ever seen.

The film is set in that era where big creepy houses in the country were the norm. Indeed, you can understand  where these stories came from. Big city writer leaves the city for the country, only to be greeted by strange folk who talk of strange goings on up at the old house.

I'd recommend to be honest, it was a pretty nice change to the usual horror stuff i've seen, even if it did make me awfully frightened.