Friday, 14 December 2018

Wellington Paranormal: Series 1: DVD Review

Wellington Paranormal: Series 1: DVD Review

It's the show that's been a fair few years in the making from Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement, and their New Zealand Documentary Board.
Wellington Paranormal: TV Review

Spun off from What We Do in The Shadows, Wellington Paranormal's mix of mockumentary stylings of Cops and also NZ homebred hit Police Ten 7 gets off to a promising start, with the return of two police officers briefly glimpsed in the orignal film.
Wellington Paranormal: TV ReviewMark Minogue and Karen O'Leary play hapless officers Minogue and O'Leary, who find the start of their shift is impacted by the discovery of a girl projectile vomiting in one of Wellington's most infamous streets.

This is less Hill Street Blues though, more a Hell Street Blues if you will, as they dig deeper in after being co-opted by Sergeant Maaka, played by the Modern Māori Quartet's Maaka Pohatu.

He's the boss of the top-secret Wellington Police Paranormal Unit and who's been looking at the odd for years - though has been dismissed. (To be fair, one of O'Leary's early musings is that Maaka's so-called UFO photo is actually a hubcap).

But things take a turn as the case develops.

Wellington Paranormal's first episode riffs on The Exorcist in terms of story, and also with a famous line coming from the most unexpected of sources (one of the episode's delights).

It's also got that mix of The X-Files creature of the week feel too - and the title sequence feels like a more upbeat rendition of Mark Snow's infamous theme.

And while deadpan and ad-libbing appear to be the show's MO, it's wisely not abandoned its horror elements as well, with some impressive jump scares and a commitment to the mythical elements nicely sown liberally in.

Its lead pair is laconic and laid back and director Jemaine Clement encouraged them to adlib during filming, and it shows - in a good way.

It's tricky to mix genuine scares and humour, but Wellington Paranormal's first ep does it well and there's a lot of buzz abroad about the show, so it does have potential. Clement's clearly got an eye for the humorous behind the camera, as well as the flow for the show, ensuring the drama is never second place to the obvious humour.

A minor nitpick for me iis the two leads referencing Mulder and Scully, which is why it's sometimes hard not to believe they know what was going on, but it'll be interesting to see how this develops as the six episodes play out. And it'll be intriguing to see if the gag runs out - it works well for 30 minute slices, but extended exposure to this could count against it.

Nicely paced, with sight gags never being put aside for the supernatural, and with some riffs on Buffy's Hellmouth, Wellington Paranormal offers up a lot in terms of proffering some universal humour, as well as the ability to satiate the local audiences.

Smartly delivered, and kookily clever, Wellington Paranormal is the cult comedy TV hit that New Zealand's been dying to deliver for years. 

Thursday, 13 December 2018

Destiny 2: The Dawning is back!

Destiny 2: The Dawning is back!

Eva Levante is back in the Tower and this year her oven is roaring to life with baked goods to share. All players of Destiny 2 are invited to join the celebration by going out into the world, gathering ingredients, defeating enemies and completing various activities. The Dawning returns the spirit of togetherness back to the Tower, starting December 12th, 2018 at 6AM NZDT. 

Available now to all Destiny 2 players from December 12 - January 2.

Seasonal event for Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 begins now

Seasonal event for Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 begins now

Good afternoon,

The new community celebration and seasonal event for Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 begins now on PlayStation®4, with other platforms to follow. Titled Operation Absolute Zero, the content drop delivers new content and game updates across all modes, including a new Specialist, new Blackout map location and vehicle, a special holiday-themed event, personalisation items and accessories, new gear and much more.

In addition to the Operation Absolute Zero free content, owners of the Black Ops Pass gain access to their first drop of content, available first on PlayStation®4.

The Black Ops Pass is included in the Digital Deluxe Edition, the Digital Deluxe Enhanced Edition, the Pro Edition, and the Mystery Box Edition of Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, and can also be purchased standalone digitally or at participating retailers.


Available First on PlayStation®4, First Post-Launch Release Delivers Free New Content Drop Across Multiplayer, Blackout and Zombies Modes, Includes Massive Addition of Personalisation Items, Gear and Map Updates

Limited-Time December Event Also Brings Additional Holiday-Themed Items

Black Ops Pass Owners Gain Access to Two New Multiplayer Maps, New Blackout Character Reaper and New Zombies Experience “Dead of the Night” Starring Kiefer Sutherland, Helena Bonham Carter, Charles Dance and Brian Blessed

Dec. 13, 2018 – The new community celebration and seasonal event for Call of DutyÒ: Black Ops 4 begins now on PlayStation®4, with other platforms to follow. Titled Operation Absolute Zero, the content drop delivers new content and game updates across all modes, including a new Specialist, new Blackout map location and vehicle, a special holiday-themed event, personalisation items and accessories, new gear and much more.

Operation Absolute Zero is a giant community celebration and the next wave in our commitment to make Black Ops 4 the most supported game in our studio’s history,” said Dan Bunting, Co-Studio Head, Treyarch. “We’re bringing a ton of new content for the entire community to enjoy with Operation Absolute Zero, and we’re also delivering updates to the game across the board that are directly inspired by community feedback that we’ve received since the game’s launch.”

Operation Absolute Zero includes an exhaustive list of free, new content, including:

  • New Specialist – Players can reprogram the flow of combat with Zero, a new Specialist available in both Multiplayer and Blackout modes. Zero can disrupt and distract enemies with powerful hacking, altering the flow of battle.
  • New Black Market Gear – Operation Absolute Zero brings a brand-new Assault Rifle and fast-firing SMG to the Black Market which players can unlock by playing through Contraband Tiers. Plus, fans can collect new tactical outfits, personalisation accessories, new characters to use in Blackout, and special gift-wrapped melee weapons – all in time for the holidays.
  • New Blackout Location and Updates – Hijacked is the newest destination in Blackout, inspired by the intense classic multiplayer map from Call of DutyÒ: Black Ops IIFans can loot the luxury yacht to gear up for a firefight and battle opponents on their way to the final circle. Also, players can hop into a new armoured vehicle called the ARAV once they’re back on dry land and eliminate enemies with its turret-mounted machine gun.
  • New Festive Holiday Event – After Operation Absolute Zero arrives, the holidays will come to Blackout with special event tiers of seasonal items to unlock, thematic map decorations, and even throwable snowballs in Blackout that allow players to mount a festive assault on their enemies.
  • New Zombies Features – Daily Callings provide new gameplay challenges that reward Zombies players with bonus XP and Nebulium Plasma upon completion, the Black Ops Authenticity Stamp system gives players the ability to verify and share the results of their game online with a personalised code generated at the end of each match, along with Daily Tier Skips for Zombies, which allow players to earn Black Market Tier progression bonuses by playing Zombies each day.

  • New Multiplayer Map, Elevation – A medium-sized map set in a cliffside town in the mountains of Nepal, Elevation features winding streets that snake around vertical positions where players will battle it out through close-quarter interiors and tight alleyways.
  • New Multiplayer Map, Madagascar – A larger map set on a rural plateau in Madagascar, the town sits atop a hill where a medical-relief convoy that has been ambushed, and it is surrounded by flanking routes with diverse, natural environments and powerful cover for players trying to dominate the hill.
  • New Zombies Experience, Dead of the Night – This all-new undead experience is set in 1912 and drops players into a lavish estate owned by the famed relic-hunter Alistair Rhodes, where they’ll step into the role of a new set of characters. As the unlikely crew of heroes bands together, they’ll equip all-new weapons to fight the mysterious force that has taken over the party. Players will also take on a variety of Zombies, including new enemies such as vampires and werewolves, and much more, to survive the nightmarish evening. Dead of the Night stars an iconic cast of actors who lend their voice and likeness to the game: Madame Mirela (Helena Bonham Carter), Gideon Jones (Kiefer Sutherland), “The Brigadier” (Brian Blessed) and the Butler, Godfrey (Charles Dance).
  • New Blackout Character, Reaper – Owners of the Black Ops Pass get instant access to the cyborg mercenary Reaper, a fan-favourite Specialist character from Black Ops III, now coming to Blackout.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 is published by Activision and developed by Treyarch with additional development support from Raven Software and PC development with Beenox. For the latest intel check out:, and follow @CallofDuty and @Treyarch on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.  The game is rated R16 (Violence & Horror).

*Black Ops Pass (BOP) content is not final, is subject to change, and may not include all downloadable content available for the game.  BOP content may not be available in all countries, and pricing and release dates may vary by platform. BOP content should be downloaded from the in-game store only; do not purchase separately, or you will be charged again.  BOP content may be sold separately. 

Shadow of the Tomb Raider - The Pillar DLC Trailer

Shadow of the Tomb Raider - The Pillar DLC Trailer


Take a sneak peek behind the scenes of Shadow of the Tomb Raider before the arrival of The Pillar on December 18th.

Unlock The Pillar with the Season Pass:

GTA Online: Arena War Out Now

GTA Online: Arena War Out Now

GTA Online: Arena War Out Now

Welcome to a new era of entertainment. Time to sit down, strap in, and battle other would-be opponents in the greatest orgy of sports and automotive gladiatorial combat in human history.
The most deranged vehicles! The most brutal weapons! The biggest crowds!
Run your own workshop, craft your own juggernauts of destruction, and track your own carnage-filled career. Live from the Maze Bank Arena, this is Arena War.
You signed up for glory, and it's showtime. Step into destruction derbies, rain fire from strategically placed artillery and wreak havoc from the Spectator Box with EMP Drones, self-destructing RC Cars and much, much more.
No mercy, no disqualification, no safe word. Utilizing a host of new weaponized Bikes, Cars and Trucks specifically engineered for maximum destruction, be the last contender standing in an all-out vehicular brawl under the dome of the Maze Bank Arena.
Two teams, two flags, one objective. The classic capture the flag formula — reworked Arena War style to include enough gasoline-chugging violence to appeal to a mainstream audience.
If you're any good at driving really fast and turning to the left, then you're off to a good start. Sure, it's theoretically possible to win a round of Wreck It by crossing the line first in a fair-and-square lap race. But that's never happened, because the competition, recently departed Spectators and an ever-evolving set of traps and obstacles are conspiring to reduce you to a smoldering heap of scrap metal. Like the old saying goes, if it's not a race to the death, you're just not taking it seriously enough.
Arena War isn't all about ruthless individualism. Sometimes there really is safety in numbers - and in Tag Team you're going to need it. Each team has one player in the arena at a time, and their only objective is to immolate the opposition. Teammates holed up in the Spectator Box have an array of weapons at their disposal to give their partner a destructive edge.
When it comes to brutal arena designs, you can install the most exquisitely hazardous death traps on the market, but there's just no substitute for the sheer ingenuity and sadism of a properly incentivized human being. One team collects checkpoints, the other uses every fiendish tool the Arena has to offer to make their plans go up in smoke. And be sure to hold onto your grudges: after every round, you switch places.
For centuries, gladiatorial fights to the death have brought unbridled joy to the masses. In Here Come the Monsters, one team takes to the arena in monster trucks capable of crushing metal and bone into the same bloody dust. The other guys get compact cars and a dose of anxiety meds - but if even one of them survives, they win. Let the games begin.
Life isn't about holding onto good things, it's about passing them on. Like inherited wealth, or a sense of entitlement. Or a high-explosive device. In Hot Bomb, one player has the bomb, and the only way to get rid of it is by crashing into someone else. Throw in a timer and a baying crowd, and survival of the fittest just got an upgrade.
If you're eliminated from a match, pull up a stool in the greatest spectator lounge ever devised: kick back and get a drink or play the Arena War Wheel to claim a variety of prizes (the only form of roulette that has “take control of a weaponized drone” as a possible outcome).
Step into the Arena this week to receive Double GTA$ & RP across the entire Arena War Series.
While the Arena War Series is open to anyone with a dream and a death wish, those that are serious about a career in automotive violence can invest in an Arena Workshop to begin customizing their own fleet of death machines.
After purchasing your Workshop from the new website, an onsite mechanized warfare specialist can help you strip down and supe up an assortment of vehicles. From fitting steel-shredding Buzz Saws to pelvis-shattering Ram Bars, create a chariot fit for battle and lay waste to any unfortunate bastard foolish enough to get in your way.
Head to the Career Wall in the Arena Workshop office to keep track of your progress. In addition to cash & RP, every Arena event you complete awards Arena Points based on your performance. The more AP you earn, the more rewards you'll unlock such as discounts on specialty attire & Outfits, upgrades, modifications and more. You’ll also earn awards and trophies to adorn your trophy case as you progress through your career.
Head to the website in game to browse listings for all 12 new Arena Contender Vehicles, each available in Future ShockApocalypse and Nightmare styles. Some are ready to go as soon as they’re delivered; some start life as humble road cars, with arena workshop upgrade options that’ll have them ready to burn in no time.
Introducing the Bravado Sasquatch, a Super Heavy-Weight Arena Contender vehicle. Compete and destroy in three styles: Apocalypse, Future Shock and Nightmare.
All GTA Online players who log in now through December 17th will receive the Annis & Bravado T-Shirts.
Step outside the Arena and benefit from up to 35% off the following:
  • Mk II Weapon Upgrades & Customization – 35% off
  • Luxury Finishes – 25% off
  • MG & Combat MG – 25% off
  • Snipers – 25% off
  • SMGs – 25% off
  • Shotguns – 25% off
  • Pistols – 25% off
  • Explosives & Throwables – 25% off
  • Body Armor – 25% off
For more information on all the latest GTA Online bonuses and coming Arena War events, head to the Social Club Events page.

The World of Ashen Comes to Xbox One and Xbox Game Pass

The World of Ashen Comes to Xbox One and Xbox Game Pass

The World of Ashen Comes to Xbox One and Xbox Game Pass

The wait is over! The dark world of Ashen will finally see the light and launch on Xbox One and Xbox Game Pass on December 7… and what a journey it’s been to get here!

To celebrate the upcoming launch of Ashen, the ID@Xbox team recently visited our studios in Wellington, New Zealand to find out more about our open-world, action RPG that Xbox gamers around the globe will soon experience. We’re excited to share a snapshot of that visit here, and a preview of Ashen as we get ready to welcome players to a mystical world to discover, defend, and share with each other.

Thrown into a world of darkness, Ashen follows the story of a fantasy world with no light, that is suddenly reborn with an explosion of sunlight. It is your role to understand and protect this light, fighting the evil and darkness in stamina-based action combat, either independently or with the help of helpful strangers through passive multiplayer gameplay.

Your journey through Ashen will have twists, turns, and magical moments as you discover both the enemies of the light, and the strength of a community that creates amazing moments together. With passive multiplayer in Ashen, you’re only ever alone if you want to be – you’ll never die or battle alone, because you’ll have a helping hand next to you from others in the game…. if you need it.

But that’s not to say you won’t be challenged. Whilst accessibility has been key to our design, players who seek brutal boss fights and challenges will find a wealth of worthy battle sessions in the game.

Our virtual studio tour video above will give you a snapshot of our journey, our partnership with the ID@Xbox team, and the excitement we feel finally bringing this game to launch on Xbox Game Pass and Xbox One and enhanced for Xbox One X. While the game’s first preview at the 2015 Xbox E3 Briefing set us on the path to an exciting trajectory of development and new ambitions in the games design, what’s most exciting is finally getting the game into the hands of players.

We’re excited to welcome you as you join us in Ashen!

Ashen is available December 7 on Xbox One via the Microsoft Store and for Xbox Game Pass members with an active subscription. Ashen is an Xbox One X Enhanced title.

Overwatch League 2019 Regular Season Schedule Revealed; Tickets On-Sale Now!

Overwatch League 2019 Regular Season Schedule Revealed; Tickets On-Sale Now!

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Overwatch League 2019 Regular Season Schedule Revealed; Tickets On-Sale Now!


Mark your calendars! The Overwatch League 2019 regular season kicks off on 15 Feb. 2019 AEDT/NZDT, with opening day featuring a marquee Grand Final rematch between reigning champions, London Spitfire, and runner-up, Philadelphia Fusion.

Fans can now view the full match schedule and buy tickets for all regular season matches played at Blizzard Arena Los Angeles via The complete schedule can be downloaded here:

New to Overwatch League’s 2019 season is the introduction of Homestand Weekend events. Three teams – the Dallas Fuel, Atlanta Reign and Los Angeles Valiant – will host regular season matches in their respective territories, giving more fans their first taste of live professional Overwatch before all teams move into their home venues in the future. Tickets for Homestand Weekend events will be put on sale by the individual teams at a later date.

The 2019 season will also have a revamped playoff structure and end-of-season format. For the 2019 season, the league’s top six teams will automatically qualify for the postseason, with the Atlantic and Pacific Division winners receiving top seeds. Two final playoff spots will be decided via a play-in tournament in August. The tournament will feature teams that finished seventh through twelfth in the overall standings, with the top two teams from this tournament advancing to the postseason. This play-in tournament will replace the Stage Finals at the end of the league’s fourth and final stage.

The prize pool will be increasing from $3.5 million USD to $5 million USD in 2019. Details on prizing, and the map pool for Stage 1, are available now on Specific dates, formats and other information for the All-Star event, playoffs and Grand Finals will be unveiled next year.

Tickets for regular season matches at Blizzard Arena Los Angeles are on-sale now at New this season are team-specific ticket packages that will allow fans to attend player signings and other promotions for each of the league’s 20 teams. Special ticket packages from the 2018 season, including season tickets and more, will continue for the 2019 season.

All matches will be broadcast on, Twitch, and MLG. Select matches will be broadcast in North America on the ESPN / ABC / Disney XD family of networks. The complete regular-season linear broadcast schedule will be announced shortly.

More information on the 2019 season structure, including the All-Star event, Stage Finals, playoffs and more is available here. Keep up with all of the latest Overwatch League news and content on the Overwatch League website, as well as on TwitchTwitterFacebookInstagram, and YouTube.

Don’t forget to sign up to receive the latest news, updates, and special offers from the Overwatch League and its teams.




NIS America is happy to announce that The Princess Guide arrives on Nintendo Switch™ and PlayStation®4 on 5 April for Australia and New Zealand.

About the game:
In a land torn by chaos and war, a new evil rises. Now, four princesses from four different kingdoms must learn how to lead their people to victory. Commence the princess knight training regimen! As an experienced knight, you will choose a princess to become your apprentice. Teach her the art of war, and push back the evil that threatens to take over the land! With your choices directly impacting the way your princess knight fights, The Princess Guide gives military training a whole new meaning!

Key Features:
A Unique Tale Times Four! - Each princess knight has a unique story to tell, and your choice affects how the tale unfolds! Will you train the vengeful Veronica, the gluttonous Liliartie, the chivalrous Monomaria, or the dragon princess Alpana?
Fast-Paced Strategic Battles - The battlefield can get intense! Issue orders to your princess directly on the battlefield, and watch them clash with the enemy forces! Their performance is directly affected by your tutelage!
To Praise or To Scold? - Your princess’s growth depends on you!  During conversations and battles, “Praise” or “Scold” your princess to enhance their abilities on the battlefield!

Look out for more information on The Princess Guide shortly!

Anna and The Apocalypse: Film Review

Anna and The Apocalypse: Film Review

Cast: Ella Hunt, Malcolm Cumming, Sarah Swire, Mark Benton, Paul Kaye
Director: John McPhail

Christmas films are a notoriously tricky beast to negotiate; either they are a syrupy sentimental mix or they're loosely connected to the season and a miss.
Anna and The Apocalypse: Film Review

So it's heartening to report that Anna and The Apocalypse is a mix of horror, High School Musical, Shaun of the Dead and Christmas edges.

A well cast, and down-to-earth Hunt is Anna, a teenager looking to get out of the small Scottish town she lives in. With a plan to take a gap year rather than go to university, but unable to tell her father (Benton) that that's what she wants, Anna's trapped.
Anna and The Apocalypse: Film Review

But she finds her world changed when a pandemic suddenly sweeps her corner of Scotland...

In truth, Anna and The Apocalypse is more a fun that's a light and fluffy genre rejoinder to both horror and the musical. Meshing poppy power ballad songs that follow the usual trick of revealing feelings, some impressive choreography and throwing in pop culture references early on, the film's clearly hellbent on being a Buffy-style musical via John Hughes' sensibilities.

However, it kind of works, with a degree of joie de vivre and Edgar Wright quick cut editing homage carrying it through.

It helps greatly that Hunt's engaging and affable, as she negotiates a moping best friend who's in love with her, an ex who's gone from nice guy to bully and a father who doesn't want to see his daughter go. There's a heart and relatability to her performance that's hard to deny.
Anna and The Apocalypse: Film Review

Occasionally, it lapses close to parody, and silliness, but in terms of the festive season, it sits nicely within the pantheon of Christmas films that are slightly awry from what's expected.

Its goofy edges and self-obsessed teens, wrapped up in their own issues, rather than the global concerns collide nicely to make a charming film that meshes genres to pleasing and surprisingly emotional effect.

Mary Poppins Returns: Film Review

Mary Poppins Returns: Film Review

Cast: Emily Blunt, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ben Whishaw, Emily Mortimer, Julie Walters, Colin Firth
Director: Rob Marshall

How do you solve a problem like Mary Poppins 2?

Mary Poppins Returns: Film ReviewWith the longest gap between sequels ever recorded in cinema history, it seems like the return of the English nanny that so delighted so many decades ago was always bound to be divisive.

So it is with Mary Poppins Returns, a film that is both respectful of its nostalgia and yet also seems to be bound up by it, unsure of its own path to follow.

Set in the Great slump, London is facing a post-war depression with the inhabitants of Cherry Tree Lane in the firing line of the Depression. Newly widowed Michael (Whishaw, in mournful elegaic mode) and sister Jane (Mortimer, perky, but under-used) face losing the family home due to lack of mortgage payments.

With 5 days to find a shares certificate which will give them fiscal freedom, the Banks children and their own children are more in need now of a visit from Emily Blunt's Mary Poppins....

There's a sense of loss pervading lots of Poppins 2; and there's a lot of juggling needed for the tone of the Depression and balancing it with the edges of an old school Hollywood musical. It doesn't always quite work, in all honesty, and the film's blighted with the fact it's barely blessed with some truly memorable songs in the vein of Spoonful of Sugar, Chim Chim Cher-ee et al.

There's one central song that does soar - even if it has Lin-Manuel Miranda's Jack and his lamplighter brigade firing around on bikes like an outtake of a BMX festival - and that's Trip a Little Light Fantastic With Me. This one mixes both the terrible Cockney accent along with a memorable chorus, to produce an ode that gathers speed and is brilliantly translated to the screen.

Blunt's Poppins is a nicely starched character, with moments of eye-twinkling mixed with some sad mournful looks as she realises how far the children have fallen - and how much the London depression has hit.

In many ways, it's easy to see Mary Poppins Returns as a rejoinder to current political climates (the celebration of London, the demonising of the banks, the Depression) within the UK, but the timelessness of the first is what is, at times, missing from this, even if there is a sweet sense of escapism on offer this time around.
Mary Poppins Returns: Film Review

Yet, there is magic within Mary Poppins Returns, as it tries to rekindle an "excess of imagination" in both its subjects and the cinema audiences, who are becoming more enamoured with musicals (La La Land, The Greatest Showman).

"She never explains anything," says Miranda's Lamplighter Jack, a dismissive oneliner which says much about Poppins' appeal and the nonsensical edges of the flights of fantasy within. It's a meta line if ever there was one, and one which applies to Mary Poppins Returns - it may hit a younger audience, but an older audience, brought up in the memories of the first replayed through the years, may find it lacks a killer hook to keep you whistling along afterwards.