Sunday, 19 May 2019

SEGA Mega Drive Mini announces more titles

SEGA Mega Drive Mini announces more titles

Final 10 games will be announced in June!
Yes, that’s right! Capcom is about to bring the hurt with our next set of games coming to the SEGA Mega Drive Mini. Once exclusive to the SEGA Channel in North America, Mega Man: The Wily Wars, a compilation of the first three Mega Man entries, finds a new home on SEGA Mega Drive Mini! (We said only 40 games, right? Technically, that’s still true!)

The Blue Bomber will have some competition though, because here comes a new challenger—STREET FIGHTER II’: SPECIAL CHAMPION EDITION, one of the greatest fighting games of all time.
Speaking of which, we’re also happy to announce the Retro-Bit® SEGA Mega Drive 6-button controller will be released in late August. This will surely give you the ultimate advantage especially on games like STREET FIGHTER II’: SPECIAL CHAMPION EDITIONComix Zone and Beyond Oasis!
Rounding out the list, we have the notoriously challenging Ghouls ‘n Ghosts. In order to save the souls stolen by the evil Lucifer, the brave knight Arthur must fight off hordes of demons and all that stands between him and certain death is a suit of armour.

The Next 10
  1. Mega Man: The Wily Wars
  3. Ghouls ‘n Ghosts
  4. Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle
  5. Beyond Oasis
  6. Golden Axe
  7. Phantasy Star IV: The End of the Millennium
  8. Sonic the Hedgehog Spinball
  9. Vectorman
  10. Wonder Boy in Monster World

SEGA Mega Drive Mini-FAQ:
Q. When does it launch?
A. 19th September 2019

Q. How many games will be included?
A. 40 games.

Q. Which games will be included?
A. The first 30 titles included with the system, with the rest to be announced intermittently over the coming months, are:

  1. Sonic the Hedgehog
  1. Ecco the Dolphin
  2. Castlevania: Bloodlines
  3. Space Harrier 2
  4. Shining Force
  5. Dr Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine
  6. ToeJam & Earl
  7. Comix Zone
  8. Altered Beast
  9. Gunstar Heroes

  1. Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse
  2. World of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck
  3. Thunder Force III
  4. Super Fantasy Zone
  5. Shinobi III
  6. Streets of Rage 2
  7. Earthworm Jim
  8. Sonic the Hedgehog 2
  9. Contra: Hard Corps
  10. Landstalker

  1. Mega Man: The Wily Wars
  3. Ghouls ‘n Ghosts
  4. Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle
  5. Beyond Oasis
  6. Golden Axe
  7. Phantasy Star IV: The End of the Millennium
  8. Sonic the Hedgehog Spinball
  9. Vectorman
  10. Wonder Boy in Monster World

Q. Which version of the Mega Drive is the Mini based on?
A. It's based on the original Model 1 Mega Drive which launched in Oct. 1988 in Japan, Aug. 1989 in North America, and Nov. 1990 everywhere else.

Q. How big is it in comparison to the original console?
A. It's approximately 55% of the original Model 1 size.

Q. What do you get in the box?
A. The SEGA Mega Drive Mini comes complete with 40 games, Two replica three-button USB Mega Drive controllers, One USB to Micro-B power cable and One HDMI cable.

Q. Who handled the ports?
A. M2 is handling the porting process. They've previously worked on SEGA AGES and SEGA 3D Classics Collection, with a fantastic reputation based on the quality of their emulation projects and their faithfully recreated ports.

Q. Can I use original Mega Drive controllers with the Mini?
A. No, only the provided USB controllers or the Retro-Bit® SEGA Mega Drive 6-button controller.

The Chaperone: Film Review

The Chaperone: Film Review

Cast: Haley Lu Richardson, Elizabeth McGovern
Director: Michael Engler

With touches of a script from Downton Abbey's Julian Fellowes and adapted from a book by Laura Moriarty, The Chaperone is a classy affair.

Set in 1922, when the teenaged Louise Brooks (Richardson, in another impressive performance) was given the chance to go to dance school in New York, The Chaperone's more the story of McGovern's Norma.

Norma is a Wichita native, who yearns to spread her wings. So when she sees the opportunity to accompany Brooks to the big apple, she seizes on the chance. Along the way, there is rediscovery and also challenges for both.
The Chaperone: Film Review

The Chaperone may tread a familiar path in terms of coming-of-age films and social mores, but what it offers up is a chance to revel in the brevity of Richardson's precocious turn as the sparkling Brooks and stay for the more nuanced subtle journey of McGovern's Norma.

The trouble is the film's more obsessed with Norma's story, than Brooks herself.

It's not that McGovern doesn't deliver in a somewhat starched story, but more that it feels like something aimed at the older crowd, rather than a younger generation steeped in the Downton world.

The period detail is wonderfully evocative, and there's much to admire in the visualisation of the Jazz age, but there's a dialled down feel to The Chaperone which suggests a more buttoned up affair than is narratively worth investing in.

Ultimately, The Chaperone walks you through a period of history and a story, rather than letting you experience it. It's not a fatal flaw, granted, but it is one which stops the familiar tropes from soaring and hitting an emotional level you'd want to be more fully engaged.

Saturday, 18 May 2019

Ben Is Back: DVD Review

Ben Is Back: DVD Review

Ben Is Back: Film Review

A film of two halves, very much held together by a career best from Julia Roberts, Peter Hedges' addiction drama Ben Is Back treads some of the same furrows ploughed by Steve Carell and Timothee Chalamet in Beautiful Boy.

Set one Christmas Eve in rural America, Hedges is Ben, who returns without warning from the rehab centre he's been attending. While his mother Holly (played with emotional range and tenacity by Roberts) is ecstatic at his return, the rest of his family is wary, borderline suspicious.

However, over the 24 hour period, both Ben's resolve and Holly's love are tested, stretched to beyond breaking point.

Ben Is Back is a solid drama, that starts in a very familiar place and treads a familiar route before segueing into a different kind of film.

Hedges and Roberts deliver powerhouse performances that don't rely on the showy antics that can usually populate such dramas. And while Roberts' Holly delivers a couple of rants against the system that has pushed the drugs, this slight misstep is forgiven in the overall tableaux of the rest of the film.

Equally, Hedges gives Ben an edge of uncertainty, a feeling of a soul teetering on the edge as various truth bombs are slowly and subtly dropped by the script. While his relationship with Holly skirts around one of a child wanting to reconnect with his family, the film's indelibly exciting and emotionally raw.

Ben Is Back: Film Review

Others get to flirt with this dramatic orbit too, but in the overall wash, Peter Hedges' script is about these two at the core - and consequently some of the later interactions with supporting players (notably Vance's husband Neil) feel less enticing as they could be, as they wallow in the underwritten and slightly cliched mire that's been created.

The second half of the film which switches from suburban angst to an examination of the druggy underbelly of Holly and Ben's home is an odd tonal lurch, feeling akin to Taken than anything else - and it also allows Hedges via Roberts to voice frustrations at drug laws and systems seemingly letting down the public. These moments derail the film and the intimate intentions of what transpires.

Ultimately though, Ben Is Back is a complex portrayal of a self-destructive relationship, an examination of the depths of love, and in Roberts, a sign that this actress continues to deliver a breadth that surprises and enthralls. 

Black Mirror Season 5 will arrive in June

Black Mirror Season 5 will arrive in June

Black Mirror returns with its much-anticipated fifth season on Wednesday, June 5th, exclusively on Netflix.

Five Groundbreaking Seasons.
Three All-New Stories.
One Future We Should Have Seen Coming...
Black Mirror Season 5

Experience three all-new stories from mastermind Charlie Brooker and executive producer Annabel Jones, starring Anthony Mackie, Miley Cyrus, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Topher Grace, Damson Idris, Andrew Scott, Nicole Beharie, Pom Klementieff, Angourie Rice, Madison Davenport and Ludi Lin.

About Black Mirror
Black Mirror is an anthology series that taps into our collective unease with the modern world, with each stand-alone episode a sharp, suspenseful tale exploring themes of contemporary techno-paranoia leading to an unforgettable – and sometimes unsettling – conclusion. Without questioning it, technology has transformed all aspects of our lives; in every home; on every desk; in every palm - a plasma screen; a monitor; a Smartphone – a Black Mirror reflecting our 21st Century existence back at us. The series is created and written by Charlie Brooker, and executive produced by Brooker and Annabel Jones.

NZIFF 2019 first films are....

NZIFF 2019 first films are....

The New Zealand International Film Festival (NZIFF) today revealed five films from the highly anticipated 2019 programme, which will screen in Auckland from 18 July, and in Wellington from 26 July.
High Life

A 59-minute 3D tracking shot, Southern California neo-noir mystery, suicide space mission, Colombian Lord of the Flies style thriller, and a deep dive into our flourishing NZ wine industry feature in the line-up.

 “We’re excited to finally announce our first titles for 2019. A Long Day’s Journey into Night and Under the Silver Lake will make their long-awaited NZ premieres at NZIFF after premiering at Cannes last year. 

"We’ll also be presenting two of the most striking films from the past year,High Life and Monos, which premiered at Toronto and Sundance respectively and the world premiere of David Nash’s NZ wine documentary A Seat at the Table.” NZIFF Programme Manager Michael McDonnell

Titles for NZIFF 2019:
High Life
A forbidding spaceship carrying death row inmates hurtles towards oblivion in Claire Denis’s long-awaited, intensely hypnotic sci-fi opus.

Long Day’s Journey Into Night
Part film noir, part dreamscape, this oneiric love mystery – acclaimed for its hour-long 3D sequence shot in a mesmerising unbroken take – intoxicatingly captures romantic obsession in southern China.

Like Lord of the Flies by way of Yorgos Lanthimos, this bold, bizarro Sundance sensation takes the feral power struggles of youth gone wild to the misty mountains and lush jungles of Colombia.

A Seat at the Table
Savour 100 minutes of eye-popping camera work, picturesque vineyards and gratuitous grape-fondling shots in this glorious toast to the talent and the stories behind New Zealand’s world-famous wine industry.

Under the Silver Lake
Deadbeat slacker Andrew Garfield delves into the labyrinthine mysteries of La La Land on the hunt for a missing girl in David Robert Mitchell’s oddball neo-noir thriller.

Basic Bandicoots Beware – Customisation Coming to Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled

Basic Bandicoots Beware – Customisation Coming to Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled

For the first time, Crash Team Racing fans will have the opportunity to customise their karts and characters in Crash™ Team Racing Nitro-Fueled!

Revealed today in a tricked-out trailer, which you can check out hereCrash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled will offer players a variety of ways to mix and match kart bodies, wheels, paint jobs, stickers, and even add decals to karts.  Now fans – both new and those who first fell in love with the ’90s classic -- can create a sweet looking ride!  What’s more, karts from Crash Tag Team Racing will be available in the new game.

In addition to the ability to customise karts, Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled will also let players customise their racers. Yes, lead developer Beenox is adding N. sane character skins to the remastered game. This will allow players to adorn their characters with a zany sense of swag and personality -
Boo-ya! Also new to the CTR experience are unique podium animations available to certain skins making celebrating victories even more amazing. And if that wasn’t enough, characters from Crash Nitro Kart will be available in the new game.

Players will earn customisation items by playing through the Adventure Mode and also by collecting in-game Wumpa Coins to swag out their kart and characters in the game’s Pit Stop area. What’s morecharacter stats, just as you remember are returning and will include Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced classes. So, whether you are a first-time racer, or a pro eager to put your skills to the test again, the wait is almost over!

Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled launches June 21, 2019. 

RAGE 2 | Available Now

RAGE 2 | Available Now

Let the RAGE-ing commence! RAGE 2 is now available worldwide for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC.

In RAGE 2’s “shooterverse,” you’ll experience classic id Software combat in an insane Avalanche Studios open world as Ranger Walker, the world’s closest thing to a superhero and best hope at overthrowing the tyrannical reign of General Cross and his mutated Authority minions.

    Master your devastating arsenal of flesh-chewing weapons combined with your performance enhancing Nanotrite-infused abilities to help turn your enemies into gelatinous cubes of flesh. From the River Hogs of the swamps, to the Goon Squad of the wastes, to the sewer-dwelling mutants and the samurai-esque Immortal Shrouded, everything in RAGE 2 is out to get you. Make sure you get all of them first.

    Want to learn more about what RAGE 2 brings to the table? Check out the website here to see all the insane videos, community content and more.

    The Division 2's first eight-player raid begins this week

    The Division 2's first eight-player raid begins this week

    The first eight-player raid in franchise history
    “Operation Dark Hours” is playable from this Friday.

    SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA — May 15, 2019 — Ubisoft announced that “Operation Dark Hours”, the first eight-player raid in Tom Clancy’s The Division franchise history will be playable from 3am AEST Friday, 17 May. Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 is available on the Xbox One family of devices including the Xbox One X, PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system and Windows PC.

    With “Operation Dark Hours”, Ubisoft introduces the toughest of all challenges to date. “Operation Dark Hours” will test the teamwork and ability of the most experienced agents who have reached World Tier 5 and defeated Tidal Basin. Operation Dark Hours will bring Agents to Washington National Airport, controlled by the Black Tusks who are using it to fly in even more soldiers and supplies. Capturing the airport will strike a significant blow to their operations. Players will discover that the technology available to the Black Tusk is even more advanced than what they had to face so far.

    Players will take on some of the games’ most challenging bosses yet. In a team of 8 players, agents will have to figure out the fight mechanics and work closely as a team to execute their strategy in order to overcome these tenacious opponents. The Raid will reward players with exclusive loot, such as new gear sets, an exotic weapon as well as other unique rewards.

    Click image below to view trailer.

    The first team to complete “Operation Dark Hours” after it goes live will be forever immortalized in-game by having their team photo and names displayed in The Division 2’s White House for all players to see. All other players that complete “Operation Dark Hours” until May 23 will receive a commemorative Arm Patch, while players who complete the raid after those dates will be rewarded with a clan banner icon and a trophy in their clan space.

    Fans can follow the race to the World First by checking out “Operation Dark Hours: Race to a World First” Twitch Rivals Program at

    Led by Massive Entertainment in collaboration with seven other studios around the world*, Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 is the next evolution in the open-world online shooter RPG genre that the first game helped establish. Set seven months after a deadly virus was released in New York City, Tom Clancy's The Division 2 brings players into a fractured and collapsing Washington D.C. The world is on the brink, its people living through the biggest crisis ever faced in human history. As veteran Division agents, players are the last hope against the complete fall of society as enemy factions vie for control of the city. If Washington D.C. is lost, the entire nation falls. Building upon more than two years of listening to and learnings from The Division community, Tom Clancy's The Division 2 will offer a substantial campaign that organically flows into a robust endgame, to create a cohesive and meaningful experience for all types of players, helping players emphasize their freedom to make strategic choices and hone their own approach.

    For more information on Tom Clancy’s The Division 2, please visit: For the latest news on Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 and all of Ubisoft’s games, visit Ubisoft News:

    Friday, 17 May 2019

    A Kid Like Jake: DVD Review

    A Kid Like Jake: DVD Review

    Wisely steering clear of the hysterics that could come from a drama of trying to place a child in a school that's best for them, director Silas Howard's film version of Daniel Pearle's play is a piece that keeps itself grounded throughout.

    Claire Danes and Jim Parsons play parents Alex and Greg, who seem diametrically opposed to their parenting approach - she's uptight, and almost neurotic in his eyes and he's indifferent and calm, to the point of comatose in hers.

    Issues are further complicated by their son Jake whose desires extend to cross-dressing, a Disney princess obsession and long tresses as well as dresses which is causing problems when trying to pigeon hole him for future schools.

    A Kid Like Jake: NZIFF Review

    Inevitably, conflict arises as the parents find the pull of the familial sending them to places they'd not expected to go.

    Imbued with a degree of WASP-ish indifference, it's hard to care really about the problems these guys face, something which would usually prove fatal to a drama. But by keeping everything grounded, Howard's manipulation of his actors and their commitment to the cause offers up more than just an insight into parenting choice, but also the deepest of human foibles and trivialities.

    As Danes ratchets up the control-freakery, Parsons' laid-back approach threatens to derail everything - this at-times kitchen sink drama does inevitably boil over in one mightily familiar scene to many (parents or otherwise) but rarely, unfortunately, transcends its play-like setting.

    However, it scores highly for its common touch, its exploration of doubt and its desire to avoid throwing the kid Jake into the middle; smartly, this works when it should and only occasionally teeters.

    Thursday, 16 May 2019

    John Wick: Chaper 3 - Parabellum: Film Review

    John Wick: Chaper 3 - Parabellum: Film Review

    Cast: Keanu Reeves, Ian McShane, Halle Berry, Laurence Fishburne, Asia Kate Dillon, Anjelica Huston
    Director: Chad Stahelski

    Keanu's back picking up his besuited assassin John Wick just moments after the end of John Wick 2, where he was declared excommunicado and a multi-million dollar bounty placed on his head.
    John Wick Chapter 3

    With everyone apparently after him, Wick has to try and clear his name, and set the record straight as he deals with the consequences to his actions...

    For the first half of the film, John Wick: Chapter 3- Parabellum is a taut, inventive brawler that finds new ways to breathe life into the genre.

    Its commitment to bone-crunching beat downs delivered with tightly choreographed almost balletic fights are visually and kinetically thrilling.

    But when the film tries to incorporate a mystical and mysterious edge, striving to flesh out the nefarious High Table organisation, it wallows in its pomposity, much to the detriment of why Wick worked before - a man on the run, or a man desperate to get out. It meanders when it should be sleek, and goes for lazy gunplay in one elongated section, when stripped back offers more pleasure.

    In fact the fleshing out of the universe is almost criminal, a wider context not needed within the framework of why these films work.

    Add to that a need to throw in some comedy with potential assassins turning out to be fans of Wick and the film testers dangerously into unwarranted self-knowing, winking territory .

    It’s fatal to the vibe that’s gone previously and does little to stop the script dipping into campy one liners and dialogue delivery.
    John Wick: Chapter 3

    Reeves however excels, his Wick looking beaten, fragile and trapped when needed- but reeves digs deep to allow Wick the physical and emotional heft to fight back.

    John Wick: Chaper 3 - Parabellum isn’t a full disaster. It’s a film of two halves and those involved in future elements would be wise to step back, regroup and reassess why the series was working and to build on those foundations, and stick to the basics, rather than trying to flesh it all out.

    Wednesday, 15 May 2019

    Free Solo: DVD Review

    Free Solo: DVD Review

    Released by Madman Home Ent

    Free Solo: DVD ReviewThere's an inordinate amount of set-up in Free Solo, the documentary that centres around what many would perceive as madness.

    It's the story of Alex Hannold, the climber who's gained fame for going up tall mountains, without support or ropes. This follows him as he prepares for the ascent of El Capitan in Yosemite in 2017.

    The first part of the doco is the usual stock standard character stuff - peppered by some more intriguing and interesting moments. Hannold undergoes an MRI to see if he's wired differently, reveals how much time he spends living in a van - it all goes to provide a portrait of someone who's definitely different to many others.

    But the built up is like an extremely long tease as everyone is really just waiting for the climb itself.

    Which it has to be said, delivers.

    Shot from the bottom up to give the sense of scale for El Capitan and Hannold's actual feat, it's a vertiginous pay-off for what's gone ahead, a true salute to man's achievement.

    It's worth it, also for the growing sense of guilt and unease on the ground - both from Alex's girlfriend but also the camera crew who wonder how complicit they would be should anything happen.

    Ultimately, Free Solo delivers in its last 20 minutes - but like the mountain size itself, it's a big climb to get there.