Tuesday, 31 March 2020

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: DVD Review

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: DVD Review

Cast: Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Carrie Fisher, Anthony Daniels, Billy Dee Williams
Director: JJ Abrams

That the latest Star Wars can't be all things to all fans and non-fans is - and should be - no surprise to any.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: Film Review

But director JJ Abrams has tried his best to neatly tie all the loose ends started with The Force Awakens, reset some decisions from The Last Jedi and provide closure after some 42 years to a saga which started a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.

This time around, Poe (Isaac) and the rest of the Resistance find a new threat - the oldest one around - lurking in a hidden corner. With the possibility of the Final Order arising once and for all, and with an old nemesis pulling the strings, it's one last desperate push for the Rebellion to try and save the day.

But elsewhere, Rey (Ridley, shouldering a lot of the story, and doing so admirably after so much unnecessary criticism was fired her way) has to put the final pieces together to complete her Jedi journey and the mystery of her lineage.

The film starts with a breakneck pace, smashing out plot and exposition at greater than light speed levels before settling into a more relaxed mode. However, the stop/start nature of the start of The Rise Of Skywalker means the choppiness takes a little to get into.

Once it does though, the wave of nostalgia sweeps over, as Abrams brings back the past and swathes it in what you'd want for the grand finale. Evcn if it doesn't stick a landing 42 years in the making.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: Film Review

There are some impressive battle sequences, some patented moments of deliberate fan service and some elements of Abrams' MacGuffins and nonsense babble to service the plot where it's needed.

And while moments like the digital insertion of the late Carrie Fisher as Leia Organa seem awkward and stilted, in truth they're there as a series of generic pieces of dialogue to service a plot and be retrofitted to help with an at times exposition-heavy plot.

There are confused moments in the story which ground The Rise of Skywalker in ways which should not have been - but for every one of those (of which there are sadly many) there are equally as many moments of joy, from the return of Billy Dee Williams' Lando to the crescendo of John Williams' iconic score. (Though depressingly Keri Russell is sidelined and Kelly Marie Tran gets a disgraceful short shrift here).

While the Force may not be narratively as strong with this closing chapter as we'd all hoped, it's pointless to waver on the resistance.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker may not offer all the answers, and may worryingly leave a lot for other filmmakers to rhapsodise on (either on the big or small screen), as well as landing somewhere in the middle of expectation and delivery - but it does prove an entertainment force to be reckoned with - like it or not given how apathetic you may be to the ending.

Monday, 30 March 2020

A fistful of films to catch on Neon TV

A fistful of films to catch on Neon TV

As the world adapts to coronavirus and the fact cinemas are temporarily closed and a lot of movies that were planned have had release dates changed, there's more of a push for streaming content.

Certainly in New Zealand, where there's a complete lockdown for 4 weeks, viewers are turning to either series to binge or films to watch.

One of those with a plethora of different options is Neon TV.

As we approach the end of March, here is a fistful of movie titles from Neon to take in.


Based on the BBC series of the same, and starring Russell Crowe and Ben Affleck, Crowe plays the grizzled jaded newspaper journalist who ends up investigating the death of a research assistant of friend and Congressman Stephen Collins (Ben Affleck).

But as he digs deeper, he discovers a conspiracy which has implications beyond what he imagined.

This version is equally as compelling, complex, intelligent and thrilling. Crowe's part as the journalist is perfect for him - it really shows him acting his chops off - but Crowe's also smart enough to realize he's part of a great ensemble cast.

And what a cast - from Rachel McAdams' young blogger journalist to Helen Mirren's gruff newspaper editor, no one of them puts a foot wrong. The end result is that the film is deeply compelling and immediately engrossing.


Mixing elements of All Is Lost, The Revenant, 127 Hours and every other wilderness survival tale you've seen, director Joe Penna's Arctic benefits from a minimalist turn from Mads Mikkelsen and maximum use of the snowy world around him.

We join Mikkelsen's unnamed man Overgard atop a snowy peak, as he appears to be digging a trench.

But as the camera pulls back, the reveal is that of an SOS carved into the ground.

With time spent on there unknown, but with Mikkelsen's Overgard clearly ensconced in the icy peaks for a while, Arctic wastes no time in showcasing the climate and the measured approach of the leading man.

To say little happens in the sparse Arctic is perhaps an understatement.

But with Mikkelsen throwing everything into the performance, and when it becomes clear that it's not just him to consider, Arctic ramps up into a what would you do approach that's as icy as the climate surrounding it.


Keanu Reeves is 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.
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.

However, it's still worth it for Reeves - and the mindblowing fact that all of this was shot live-action.


Taxi Driver director Paul Schrader's return centres around the loss of faith, and the questioning of our place in the world when disillusionment comes knocking.

A rarely better Ethan Hawke plays country priest Reverend Toller, who preaches in the First Reformed church to no more than a handful of parishoners. The church has been largely abandoned in favour of the bigger flashier mega church Abundant Life nearby (headed up by Cedric the Entertainer's pastor).

Deciding to carry out an experiment of writing a diary for a year under the self-examination of

"When writing about one's self, one should show no mercy", (a form of self-flagellation perhaps?) Toller's world changes when new parishoner Mary (Amanda Seyfried) asks him to counsel her despondent-at-the-state-of-the-world husband.

First Reformed's carefully choreographed descent is a compelling and, at times, unsettling and frightening watch.

Subtleties and nuances point to where the intensity of the story is going, but the shocks when it heads that way are none the less impactful for it. The crisis of faith can not only be confined to Toller, but to many in the world we currently inhabit - Schrader's universal worries are unsettling and frighteningly common.


Criminally overlooked on its big screen release thanks to brevity and over-stuffing of the box office, Teen Titans Go To The Movies is actually one of the best animated films of 2019.

Bestowed with both meta touches and manic edges, it stars the Teen Titans of the DC Universe, who are spearheaded by Robin.

Angered by the fact all the other superheroes in the world have their own movies, and he does not, despite having a great backstory, Robin decides they need their own film. But a movie director, Jade Wilson, reckons they can't do it without a solid arch-nemesis, and because they're a joke to the rest of the superhero world.

Setting out to right both those wrongs, Robin becomes consumed by his misplaced desires....

Teen Titans Go To The Movies is a blast.

Infused with silliness and also some amusing musical numbers, the animation rattles along, mocking superhero tropes and also the movie world. It may occasionally dwell on scatological humour, but its pace and desire to entertain are never lost in the wash.

Making great fist of mocking the superhero world, and the absurdities of the DC Extended Universe, as well as embracing it all at the same time, Teen Titans Go To The Movies is one movie comic book fans shouldn't miss - and those looking for quality family entertainment.

* A Neon TV review code was provided for the purposes of this article.

Sunday, 29 March 2020

Predator: Hunting Grounds: PS4 demo review

Predator: Hunting Grounds: PS4 demo review

Predator: Hunting Grounds is free to play until March 30 NZT

Illfonics' follow up to Friday the 13th sees the studio take on another franchise.
Predator: Hunting Grounds: PS4 demo review

This time it's the 80s classic Predator, and the game throws you deep in the jungle for its tutorial where you play the Predator, hunting out a target and wiping out those who stand in your way.

The demo also involves a multiplayer element, but given no matchmaking's been successful with waits exceeding 15 minutes before frustration sets in, there's no way to honestly gauge what the multiplayer is like.

Illfonics has acknowledged there are matchmaking issues, but don't seem to be remedying it during the trial weekend, which is just problematic for a game that's essentially offering up window shopping.
Predator: Hunting Grounds: PS4 demo review

But to all intents and purposes the thrill of playing as the Predator in the new jungle map titled Overgrowth just about manages to make up for that.  Set in the South American jungles, the map's a nicely dense affair with trees, foliage and height giving you more than enough options to help plot the demise of your enemies.

Given the task of taking out a target from the guerillas infesting the jungle, the Predator uses the usual skills of heat-seeking and leaping through trees, cloaking and targeting missiles to its advantage.

The controls are simple at best, and there are some passing thrills as you execute soldiers and hunt. But it'd be more interesting to see how the game works as a multiplayer, given the 4v1 is the main drawcard here - and no doubt, most will want to play as the Predator rather than the fireteam despatched to take it out.
Predator: Hunting Grounds: PS4 demo review

While the demo offers some promise, it's to be hoped the game irons out the horrendous matchmaking problems which have prevented the beta demo from fully embracing its community and its fans - it feels like it has potential to honour the hunter's legacy, but it's yet to be seen how.

Predator: Hunting Grounds releases on PS4 and PC in April

Saturday, 28 March 2020



The smash hit dino show comes to life in the franchise’s first ever video game. Featuring 1-4 player adventures and racing action for the whole family to enjoy together

BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment Europe, Leading animation entertainment company Cyber Group Studios, worldwide family entertainment publisher Outright Games™ are thrilled to announce that “Gigantosaurus: The Game” is now available to play on Playstation® 4, Nintendo Switch™, Xbox One and Steam.
Families can join in on the fun together, side by side, with 1-4 player action across prehistoric, vibrant worlds, epic racing levels, puzzles and challenges all showcased today in a brand-new launch trailer.
Watch the brand-new launch trailer here:  https://youtu.be/DmSv8Bnhaak
Developed by Wildsphere Studios“Gigantosaurus: The Game” is an all new ROARsome adventure based on the world of the hugely popular CGI animated show “Gigantosaurus”. The series is currently airing its 1st season on Disney Junior worldwide. Season 2 and 3 have been commissioned by The Walt Disney Company, France Télévisions and Super RTL. The first season will also air on Netflix and on major international networks throughout 2020.

“Gigantosaurus: The Game” allows players to explore and race across the vast, prehistoric world of Gigantosaurus in a one-of-a-kind dinosaur adventure. Play as your favourite dino buddies from the show – Rocky, Tiny, Mazu, and Bill – as they discover secrets, solve puzzles and save the day.
“Gigantosaurus” the animated series is based on Jonny Duddle’s bestselling book. Directed by award-winning director Olivier Lelardoux, the series takes preschoolers on exciting comedy-filled adventures as our dino heroes leave their nests and explore the big, wide world beyond. 

Each episode centres around discovering the mystery of “Gigantosaurus” – the biggest, fiercest dinosaur of all. As the inquisitive Mazu, playful Tiny, timid Bill, and courageous Rocky aim to learn more about Gigantosaurus, they face their fears, work together and discover that they each have something to learn from him, too!

“We have always been committed to creating the highest quality video games possible and ensuring they tie-in expertly to the story-world of the source material,” said Terry Malham CEO of Outright Games. “With “Gigantosaurus: The Game” this process has been easier than ever as Cyber Group Studios has been able to create a title that mirrors the world of the books and TV show perfectly.”
“We have had high aspirations for this title from the beginning and wanted to ensure we captured the magic of our premier animated show,” commented Thierry Braille, Vice President Interactive and Videogame Division and Dominique Bourse COO Cyber Group Studios. “Working with Outright Games has allowed us to create something truly special that the whole family can enjoy together at home. With the launch of our first ever video game we now have the opportunity for a brand-new audience to experience the world of Gigantosaurus for the first time ever.”

“Gigantosaurus: The Game” is available now worldwide to buy on Nintendo Switch™, PlayStation®4, (digital) Xbox One (digital)  and Steam (digital).

For more information about the game and other products from BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment Europe please visit: https://www.bandainamcoent.eu, follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/BandaiNamcoEU, or join the conversation at https://www.twitter.com/BandaiNamcoEU.

Friday, 27 March 2020

BioShock, Borderlands & XCOM coming to Nintendo Switch

BioShock, Borderlands & XCOM coming to Nintendo Switch

2K <3 Switch
BioShock®: The CollectionXCOM® 2 Collection and the Borderlands® Legendary Collection Coming to Nintendo Switch™ in May

Confirmed in the Nintendo Direct broadcast, 2K announced that BioShock®: The CollectionXCOM® 2 Collection and the Borderlands® Legendary Collection are coming to Nintendo Switch™ on May 29, 2020.

“We’re thrilled to be bringing some of our biggest franchises to the Nintendo Switch platform,” said Melissa Bell, Senior Vice President & Head of Global Marketing at 2K. “These are some of our most successful games and franchises that have captivated millions of fans around the world, and now bringing them to Nintendo Switch means we add an element of mobility to these experiences while getting them in the hands of even more gamers.”

To view the trailer click the image below

Each collection will include a combination of base games and downloadable expansions. For full details on each, see below:

BIOSHOCK: THE COLLECTION – Available to pre-order for $89.95 in Australia and $99.95 in New Zealand
  • Experience the unforgettable worlds and monumental stories of the award-winning BioShock series with BioShock: The Collection. Journey to the beautiful, ominous cities of Rapture and Columbia across BioShock Remastered, BioShock 2 Remastered, and BioShock Infinite, including all single-player DLC, on the Nintendo Switch. BioShock: The Collection on Nintendo Switch contains:
    • BioShock® Remastered: Winner of the BAFTA Gaming Awards’ Best Game in 2007, players can now experience the critically acclaimed and remastered BioShock experience on Nintendo Switch. Explore the undersea city of Rapture, a haven for society’s greatest minds that has devolved into a dystopian nightmare wrought by one man’s hubris. Add-on content from BioShock Remastered is also included, featuring the ‘Museum of Orphaned Concepts,’ a guided in-game gallery of discarded or reworked development concepts from the making of BioShock, ‘Challenge Rooms,’ a series of areas that test the player’s puzzle-solving and combat abilities, and Director’s Commentary tied to collectibles that unlock 10 episodes of ‘Imagining BioShock’ featuring original series creators Ken Levine and Shawn Robertson;
    • BioShock® 2 Remastered: Eight years have passed since the events of the first BioShock, and Rapture’s denizens have rallied into a collectivist cult. See the undersea city of Rapture through the eyes of a fearsome guardian known as a Big Daddy, racing against the clock to find a missing girl hidden somewhere in the treacherous ruins. Add-on content from BioShock 2 Remastered is included, featuring the add-on campaign ‘Minerva’s Den’ and the combat-centric gauntlets of ‘The Protector Trials’;
    • BioShock® Infinite: The Complete Edition: In the third installment of the BioShock series, players will travel to the flying city of Columbia to rescue Elizabeth, a mysterious girl with the power to tear at the fabric of reality – a power her captor thinks will fulfil his warped vision of the American dream. Add-on content from BioShock Infinite is included, featuring the two-part add-on campaign BioShock Infinite: Burial at Sea, featuring Rapture just before its calamitous downfall, ‘Clash in the Clouds’ combat challenges, and the ‘Columbia’s Finest Pack’ and ‘Early Bird Special Pack’ that give you an edge with bonus gear and weaponry; 
  • The physical game contains an 16GB cartridge including the opening acts of BioShock Remastered, BioShock 2 Remastered, and BioShock Infinite: The Complete Edition. Later game contents and add-ons will need to be downloaded.

XCOM 2 COLLECTION – Available to pre-order for $89.95 in Australia and $99.95 in New Zealand
  • Ignite a global resistance to eliminate the alien threat and save the human race from extinction with the XCOM 2 Collection on Nintendo Switch, which contains:
    • XCOM® 2: Voted ‘Best Strategy Game of 2016’ by PC Gamer and IGN, XCOM 2 is a turn-based strategy game sequel to XCOM: Enemy Unknown. In XCOM 2, Aliens rule Earth, promising a brilliant future for mankind while secretly hiding a sinister agenda. As the leader of a guerrilla force facing impossible odds, players must ignite a global resistance to eliminate the alien threat and save the human race from extinction;
    • Four DLC packs: All four DLC packs from XCOM 2 are included in the XCOM 2 Collection on Nintendo Switch, including the Resistance Warrior Pack, Anarchy’s Children, Alien Hunters and Shen’s Last Gift;
    • XCOM® 2: War of the Chosen: This game-changing expansion makes significant changes and additions to the XCOM 2 campaign. Fight alongside new resistance factions and hero characters as you attempt to eliminate the alien threat on Earth and stop new enemies, known as the Chosen, from recapturing the Commander;
  • The physical game contains an 8GB cartridge that features two base game missions. A  download is required for the rest of the content. Total download size will not exceed 24GB.

BORDERLANDS LEGENDARY COLLECTION – Available to pre-order for $89.95 in Australia and $99.95 in New Zealand
  • Get three times the mayhem, three times the loot and three times the action with the Borderlands Legendary Collection on the Nintendo Switch, which contains: 
    • Borderlands®: Game of the Year Edition: The co-op shooter-looter that started it all, crammed with content and enhancements. Equip bazillions of guns as one of four trigger-happy mercenaries, each with unique RPG skills. Take on the lawless desolate planet Pandora in pursuit of powerful alien technology: The Vault;
    • Borderlands® 2: Play as one of six Vault Hunters attempting to liberate Pandora from evil mastermind and corporate CEO Handsome Jack. Make new friends, arm them with a bazillion weapons and fight alongside them in a relentless quest for revenge and redemption;
    • Borderlands®: The Pre-Sequel: Play as six all-new character classes while carving a path of destructive mayhem across Pandora’s never-before-seen low-gravity moonscapes with all new moves, weapons, and vehicles! Fight alongside future megalomaniacal tyrant Handsome Jack, while preventing the destruction of Pandora and its moon;
    • Play all three games on the go with friends: Each features local two-player split-screen co-op play and support for up to four players online;
  • The physical game contains an 8GB cartridge that features Borderlands: Game of the Year Edition, with a 6.6GB download required. For Borderlands 2 and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel a 35GB download is required

For more information about BioShock: The CollectionXCOM 2 Collection or Borderlands Legendary Collection features and content, please visit 2K.com/nintendoswitch. .

Firaxis Games is a 2K studio. 2K is a wholly owned publishing label of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTWO).

Thursday, 26 March 2020

Doom: Eternal: PS4 Review

Doom Eternal: PS4 Review

Developed by ID
Released by Bethesda
Platform: PS4

The idea of Hell on Earth doesn't seem a far-fetched one at the moment, with the planet ravaged by the coronavirus, and whole nations under siege in lockdown.
Doom Eternal: PS4 Review

Doom Eternal plays a little to that with the Doom Slayer finding himself Earth's only hope as the marauding hordes have taken over the planet, dispatched 60% of the population and are wreaking havoc and it's up to you to dispatch them.

It's a very simple premise, rip and tear, shoot and kill; there's no subtlety to be had here, and that, in some ways, is fine.

Because the main thing about the latest Doom iteration is that even on the most basic levels, the game is punishingly hard, as it sends hordes of creatures after you. Even with some degree of tactics, death is an option you have to pursue a lot, whether you want to or not.
Doom Eternal: PS4 Review

And yet, Doom Eternal's simplicity proves to be the perfect tonic.

Locked in an areas as the dungeon crawler's explode a number of creatures, the game's speed and pace of play makes it a fun companion to pick up and dive down into. Much like Far Cry's despatching of bad guys, there's something visceral about the almost cartoony levels of gore that play
out on the screen.

Glory kills return, and the creatures can look damage distressed as you continue to shoot at them. The game rarely sways from the basics, but it offers more than enough to keep the adrenaline levels alive; it's more than a sureshot, it's the kind of game that after an intense showdown, can see you fist-
pumping the air at your victory.
Doom Eternal: PS4 Review

While the game's design is fairly basic and at times resembles a live-action Iron Maiden album cover, Doom isn't interested in fleshing out areas and giving you the chance to go off the beaten path - but there are little bonuses hidden away in nooks and crannies if you tire of the constant combat (which seems unlikely).

Doom: Eternal may be hollow in some storytelling aspects, but its aesthetics remain true to the original Doom games, and its MO is simple - grab a gun, shoot, kill and move on.

And that, right now, is probably all we need.

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

The Addams Family: DVD Review

The Addams Family: DVD Review

Another do over for the Addams family, albeit in animated form this time around offers varied reasons to exist, but none strong enough to truly stand out in the cinema, proffering more TV bound fare than big screen thrills.

In the latest, when Morticia and Gomez are driven out of town on their wedding night by a pitchfork mob, they take up residence in one of the most hideous places they could ever imagine - New Jersey.

Moving into an abandoned asylum, the Addams' desire for a normal life is shattered when a home renovation TV show sets their sights on their home for a makeover...

The Addams Family: Film Review

Theron and Isaac make a fine lead duo but the ghouls' share of the grins go to Chloe Grace Moretz as Wednesday whose deadpan delivery makes a macabre treat that the script really doesn’t deserve thanks to lazy writing within.

Janney’s ghastly Reno TV mom is a ghoul of her own and adds an OTT counterpoint to the monochrome Addams, but the idea that assimilating into the ordinary and not standing out like the Addams do is not a new - or totally enticing - idea.

Equally Kroll's Fester is a delight but he’d hardly given enough to do and is confined frustratingly to the sidelines.

A few emo gags fly past here but are mostly lost in an animation that’s less than interested in embracing the gallows humour that the Addams Family is famed for and more interested in trying to push the idea that weird is good - something the target audience will already know and probably won't rock their world.

Ultimately, The Addams Family does just about enough to justify its existence, but not enough to sound a horn for a spooky and kooky revival that the series would have wanted.

Tuesday, 24 March 2020



New Playable Character and Fan-Favourite Eclipse Story Arc Revealed

KOEI TECMO Europe and developer GUST Studios announced two huge additions to their upcoming magical JRPG, FAIRY TAIL, boosting the roster to 16 playable characters with the inclusion of Gildarts — “the strongest man in the FAIRY TAIL guild”— while also revealing the first details on the game’s Eclipse story arc. FAIRY TAIL is set to be released across Australia on the 25th June 2020 for the Nintendo Switch™, PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system and Windows PC via Steam®.

One of the most powerful additions to the FAIRY TAIL roster to date, Gildarts is an S-Class Mage who uses “Crush” magic to reduce anything he touches to rubble. Gildarts joins the fight in support of Natsu and other party members, using his overwhelming strength to help swing the odds in the guild’s favor. Throughout the adventure, fans will be able to put together their own dream team of FAIRY TAIL members and their rivals, including everyone from Gildarts to Erza, Gray, and Gajeel. The more characters continue to fight together in the same party, their bonds will gradually strengthen, and as their friendship level increases, special conversations called “Bond Dialogue” will play out, including original dialogue written specifically for the FAIRY TAIL game.

In addition, the first details of the game’s new Eclipse arc have also been revealed. This popular storyline revolves around “Project Eclipse,” an experiment that opens up a gate to the past, unleashing Dragons that lived over 400 years ago into the present timeline. Can Lucy and friends survive a fight against the great dragon Zirconis?

FAIRY TAIL is currently in development for the Nintendo Switch™PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system, and Windows PC via Steam®, and available to pre-order now.

To stay up-to-date with the latest information on FAIRY TAIL, please visit the official site at https://www.fairytailgame.com/, Like us on www.facebook.com/koeitecmogames, and Follow us on Twitter @koeitecmoeurope

Monday, 23 March 2020

Trials of Mana | Demo Out Now

Trials of Mana | Demo Out Now


Take the Personality Quiz to Find Your Perfect Team Ahead of Release

Square Enix Ltd., invites players to start their epic Trials of Mana™ journey in a free playable demo available today for the Nintendo Switch™ system, PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system and STEAM® ahead of the game’s 24th April launch. 

The demo for the upcoming action-RPG lets players be the first to explore the game’s vast fantasy world, selecting their party of three from six unique characters and setting forth on an exciting journey to battle against the forces of evil. Players will be able to try each character by experiencing the beginning of each hero’s story and seeing how their adventures weave together against villainous enemies. Players will also be able to continue their progress made within the demo through to the full game.

To watch the Trials of Mana ‘The Sacred Sword Trailer’, visit: https://youtu.be/82vlUw4cOAA

For fans unsure of which character to choose first within Trials of Mana, a personality quiz is now available to see which hero suits you best. With a strict time limit on each question, users will have to react with their instincts to discover which hero’s personality matches to their own. Square Enix Members who complete the quiz will also receive special character avatar portraits so each user can show their hero in style. To take the Trials of Mana Personality Quiz, visit: https://trialsofmana.square-enix-games.com/en-gb/quiz/

Trials of Mana will be available for Nintendo Switch™ system, PlayStation®4 system and STEAM® on 24th April 2020.

Related Links:
Official Trials of Mana website: www.trialsofmana.com
Twitter: @ManaGame
Instagram: @squareenix  

Sunday, 22 March 2020

NT Live: Fleabag: Film Review

NT Live: Fleabag: Film Review

Phoebe Waller-Bridge's Fleabag show rises and falls a little on how much you know of the TV version.

With the first series essentially being a fleshed out version of the stage play, some of the emotional beats are anticipated and expected.

However, that's not to detract in any shape or form from Waller-Bridge's mesmerising turn on a stage that's essentially just lights and and a chair.

Stripped back to basics, and with occasional voiceover coming from pre-records, it's Waller-Bridge whose subtle shifting of facials and delivery keep you relatively riveted through some of the smut and salaciousness of Fleabag's escapades.
NT Live: Fleabag: Film Review

It's not an intensely physical show, but it is one which shifts on a dime, and turns into more emotionally devastating territory without much warning.

While the basic show delivery means there is nowhere to go but to watch Waller-Bridge, she does more than enough to keep you in her thrall for 90 minutes.

Fleabag's NT Live show won't be for everyone - the mix of content and tone means occasionally it veers dangerously close to the crass to bear, but given its effect and penchant for shocking, that's totally tonally in-keeping with the TV version's edges.

It may have originated with the stage show, and then garnered wider-appeal thanks to the fourth wall-breaking ways of its lead actress, but NT Live Fleabag demonstrates the simple power of a monologue and story delivered with such gusto and conviction by a multi-talented performer.

Saturday, 21 March 2020

The Good Liar: DVD Review

The Good Liar: DVD Review

Based on Nicholas Searle's book, The Good Liar's thrills mainly arrive in the form of watching Sir Ian McKellen and Helen Mirren interact, rather than the central so-called mystery of what's unfolding.
The Good Liar: Film Review

McKellen is Roy Courtnay, a con artist, who thinks he's found his latest mark in the form of Mirren's well-to-do widow Betty McLeish. Ingratiating himself in her life, Courtnay's swindle is under threat thanks to the uncertainty of Betty's grandson, played by Being Human's Russell Tovey.

Will Courtnay get away with a multi-million pound con?

The Good Liar has obvious twists that are relatively signposted from the start.

Not simply content to follow a fairly formulaic and perfunctory story, Condon rarely elevates Searle's story beyond an 80's UK TV thriller, with gradual revelations building to the kind of crescendo a finale would cover, and audiences would lap up.

However, times have changed now, and while the whole thing is nicely presented, the story's crippled by some flashbacks and a final act that feels flat and emotionally lacking, as the puzzle pieces slot neatly into place.

The Good Liar: Film Review

Thankfully, Mirren and McKellen make a masterful pair (and it's good to see Downton Abbey's Jim Carter playing a more contemporary role as Courtnay's partner in crime), but the film's script doesn't quite live up to their brilliance.

It's rare to see a film that relies so heavily on more mature leads, and it greatly deserves to be applauded; every scene with McKellen soars, and the film suffers in comparison when neither are on screen.

But ultimately, The Good Liar doesn't deliver a compelling enough twist or reveal to render any of what's happened previously potent; its final shots may be shocking in some ways, but that's only because of the actors' work.

Far better suited to a short run TV miniseries, The Good Liar may be masterfully shot, perfunctorily plotted and well-acted, but the truth of the matter is it lacks the gut punch to give the mystery the chance to soar, and the audience the chance to be utterly shocked and absorbed.

Friday, 20 March 2020

Borderlands 3 - Out Now on Steam

Borderlands 3 - Out Now on Steam

Borderlands 3 Out Now on Steam, Featuring Innovative PC Cross-Play Functionality

Borderlands 3 is now available on Steam, complete with all updates to date, new PC Cross-Play functionality, and limited-time launch pricing

It’s the day you’ve been waiting for, Vault Hunters! Borderlands 3 is now available on Steam, giving even more PC players the opportunity to shoot and loot their way across the exotic worlds of the Borderlands universe. Better still, Borderlands 3 is available at the following introductory prices on Steam for a limited time*:

Early adopters on Steam can also download the Gold Weapons Skin Pack for free from now until April 1, 2020 by navigating to the Borderlands 3 DLC product page on Steam and adding the pack to their accounts**.

Today also marks the launch of PC Cross-Play between Steam and the Epic Games Launcher. Thanks to some exciting new SHiFT matchmaking functionality, Borderlands 3 PC players can add friends to their Friends Lists, join co-op parties, and play together online regardless of which PC platform each player is using. As mentioned during its PAX East panel, Gearbox also plans to roll out additional PC Cross-Play features – such as the ability to mail weapons between PC platforms – in the coming weeks.

The Steam version of Borderlands 3 includes all of Borderlands 3’s updates and bonus add-on content to date, including Takedown at the Maliwan Blacksite. Those who purchase the Borderlands 3 Season Pass or Super Deluxe Edition can also immediately access the first paid campaign expansion, Moxxi's Heist of The Handsome Jackpot.

Additionally, on March 26, Super Deluxe Edition owners and Season Pass holders across all platforms can dive into Borderlands 3's second paid campaign expansion for a surprisingly dangerous engagement party in Guns, Love, and Tentacles: The Marriage of Wainwright & Hammerlock. This content will also be available for individual purchase as an add-on to the base game.

And of course, all players can look forward to future free content updates and events like Mayhem Mode 2.0 and the Revenge of the Cartels seasonal event, both of which are coming in April. You can read more about those, as well as the next campaign expansion, in greater detail right here. For answers to other frequently asked questions regarding Borderlands 3’s launch on Steam, please refer to this helpful FAQ.

Thursday, 19 March 2020

PlayStation 5 explained

PlayStation 5 explained

Watch the presentation to get a deep dive into PS5's system architecture, how it is designed to benefit developers and the games they create.

Presented by PS5 lead system architect Mark Cerny

Wednesday, 18 March 2020

The Making of FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE: Episode 1

The Making of FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE: Episode 1


Ahead of the 10th April  launch of FINAL FANTASY® VII REMAKESquare Enix Ltd., today unveiled the first in a series of videos which gives viewers an unmissable deep-dive into the creation of one of the most anticipated videogames of all time. 

Bringing together interviews with the game’s creators, artists and developers, the series gives an exclusive look at some of the secrets behind the creation of FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE - from the game’s story, characters, combat and action to its stunning music and spectacular visual design. The first video features interviews with renowned developers including;
  • Yoshinori Kitase (Producer)
  • Tetsuya Nomura (Director & Concept Design)
  • Kazushige Nojima (Story & Scenario)
  • Naoki Hamaguchi (Co-Director – Game Design / Programming)
  • Motomu Toriyama (Co-Director – Scenario Design)

FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE will be available for the PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system on 10th April 2020.

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