First of all – I apologize for being so absent for so long! It’s been the final semester at University, but now it’s coming to an end I have more time to write things for here! And I have quite a few articles in the pipeline, so keep your eyes peeled!

My first returning article though, has to be on Bioshock Infinite. Now I haven’t finished it, so I can’t comment on whether the end point is any good, but I am a decent way through. The game is based on a guy, Booker, who lands on a city in the sky, Columbia, in order to find an interesting girl named Elizabeth for some guys he is in debt to.

This is one addictive game. From the very beginning, the intrigue over the city in the sky, and Elizabeth’s story, carries you from one level to the next. In fact, the whole game seems to be created in a way that demands you keep playing. The quests in general are fairly short, and so you instantly get wrapped up in the “just one more” mindset that stops you putting it away. This is also helped by the handy quest arrow, meaning you can get straight to where you need to be if you felt like it, and the fact that when you die you just pop up back where you were – minus a few pennies.

The dialogue between Booker and Elizabeth as you traverse Columbia keeps enough actual information away from you to force you to continue to find out more about her. Especially as she is the highlight of the game. Her character design is beautiful and her animation makes you fully believe her characterisation – her look fits her voice, and this altogether fits the way she interacts. She is not an annoying AI character, in fact she is rarely in the way and her health packs in particular are handy life savers. Although I may have liked her to do slightly more than lean on walls and reveal cover, that you could find elsewhere. But we’ll come to that later.

Then there are the visuals. The game as a whole is stunning, and the way the whole theme of the game is weaved together makes it beautiful to look at. You really feel like you are seeing this whole new world for the first time like Booker is, and the contrast of this to the gunfights and violence makes an interesting clash, but one that works.

Overall, this game runs a very clever ship. It is a delight to play, and as I say – addictive. But there are problems underneath. The gameplay makes you turn a blind eye to the crux of the game itself – and all it’s lacking. The fighting is repetitive, but the volume of the battles and the change of scenery means you do not realise this. The battles basically revolve, mainly, around plowing enemies with bullets until you either kill them all or die enough times to eventually work your way through them. There is skill involved with the small fry, hiding behind boxes or up balconies and using your vigours (special Booker powers) to help you. But the problem comes with the big fry, like the Patriot robots. These guys basically run like Terminators, coming at you relentlessly with a crank gun, and this is not fun. Handymen and the Firemen work in a similar way – relentlessly pounding you in an unescapably. This creates lack of tactics, where the only thing you can do is fill them with bullets point blank and see who dies first. Which, in most cases, is Booker – but then you just resurrect and continue where you left off.

This in general is the main problem with Infinite. The lack of tactics and thinking things through design wise becomes noticeable the further you get. The skyrail, which sounds like a key game component, basically acts like little more than an elevator taking you from A to B. The vigours, whilst fun and interesting, get to a point where you forget to use them as plowing the bullets is easier. Elizabeth’s tear ability is fascinating and so very intriguing, but is next to useless most of the time, even though you continue to use it. It is not carried into the gameplay the way you initially hope it will. All in all the game makes you lazy.

But it is still immensely addictive and even now I cannot wait to get back on it, and to eventually play the first games in the series. The story alone is strong enough to carry you through, especially paired with the visuals, and the characterisation makes you turn a blind eye to the battle gameplay itself. Well played, Bioshock, well played. I take my hat off to you.


A new reveal trailer has been released for the Deadpool game, being released this year on Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and Wii U. See it here:

I am so excited about this game! I hated what they did to the Merc with a Mouth back in the Wolverine film, and this game looks like they are bringing him back to his psychotic (and hilarious) personality.

The trailer looks great – just enough gameplay to keep us interesting without really revealing anything about what the game story is about. Apart from shooting people and Cable.

But the shining thing in the trailer is certainly Deadpool’s personality, which is as right as it should be. The trailer is cleverly crafted from Deadpool’s point of view, and I love how they included the conversations with himself which is what sets him apart in the actual comic. It also makes a refreshing break from the serious game trailers and the game-sold-as-movie-style-thingy we see so frequently today. A particular highlight for me was the gun noises in the shooting scenes (“pew pew”) and the interaction between weight-of-the-world Cable and Deadpool should be great – and I hope this means other characters might make appearances somewhere.

Seeing as I will be graduated when this comes out, this is a pre-warning for somebody to buy this for me. Seriously.

The first trailer, released last year, is also here:

So I got the results back on this here blog, and I good a nice solid first! It’s the highest mark I’ve ever got in a university module, so I am rather chuffed. And my lecturer even said my writing is “fabulous”. JRR Tolkein, eat your heart out.

But being serious, I did work hard at this blog and I loved every minute of it. Which is why this has given me even more incentive to carry it on further, as I do like to write things… even if I doubt anyone reads it.

To celebrate this news, here a gorgeous drawing of a Vaporeon I am now the proud owner of. It was drawn by third year Illustration student Delyth Thomas at a recent exhibition, and was drawn right there on the day for me. I chose Vaporeon because I’ve always been a huge fan of Eevee, back before her evolutions reached silly numbers. And as a wee girlie, Vaporeon was my favourite. She’s beautiful, just like this drawing! Next up will be a quick post on the MCM Telford, so hang around!

Vaporeon drawing by Delyth Thomas

Vaporeon drawing by Delyth Thomas

First off, I apologize for going a bit MIA the past month! I handed this blog in for assessment as part of my Uni course (haven’t heard back on marks yet though!) and now I can continue this!

As part of my final degree project as a photojournalist student, I have mashed it with my love of all things geek and concentrated it on cosplay. I’m hoping to attend at least 3 (hopefully 4) UK con dates this semester to photograph the beautiful and inspiring costumes I find! (If anyone’s in the Midlands-ish area of the UK and cosplays, or is going to the cons up to April, drop me a line and I’ll shoot you!)

So through my research of this, I watched this video from the New York Comic Con last year. Although the video’s been around for a while now, and is an hour long, it is most definitely worth a watch. Featuring psychologists Robin Rosenberg and Andrea Letamendi, and cosplayers Jill Pantozzi (The Mary Sue), Holly Conrad (Comic-Con Episode IV) and Bill Doran (Punished Props).

Personally, I would absolutely love to get into the cosplay community. I have an idea for a steampunk Harley Quinn in the pipeline (purely to avoid the full body lycra), so that’s a start! Settling on a character is the hardest part I find…

But I found this video fascinating. More people need to be aware of the wonders and beauty of cosplay, and not criticise it as something “weird” or “freaky”. These people put a hell of a lot of time and money into these projects (the video mentions one person who spent 2880 hours on ONE costume), and that needs to be recognized.

So, everyone should watch this insightful video, and contact me if around for a shoot! (Or attending the MCM Expos in Midlands and Birmingham). Get in touch!

Also, any cosplayers out there help Robin out with her survey into cosplay, by filling it out here.

Happy New Year guys! As another year closes, I look forward to 2013 and have compiled this list of the top films in the genre to look out for next year. Which ones are you looking forward to most? Note: some of these are US release dates and therefore not worldwide.

Mama. Jan. 18, Produced by Guillermo Del Toro.

This looks absolutely terrifying. The story centres around two young girls who have survived alone in the wild for five years before being taken in by their aunt and uncle (Jessica Chastain and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), but it seems that just because she’s dead, it does not mean their mother isn’t still around. I would highly recommend going to watch the trailer, creepy young girls are still creepy.

Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters. Jan. 25.

Starring Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton, this film is basically about grown up versions of Hansel and Gretel who now hunt witches full-time. This film looks like really good fun, maybe not the most ground breaking film – but it looks enjoyable nonetheless. Here’s the trailer.

Warm Bodies. Feb. 1.

I’m really looking forward to this film, it looks hilarious in the trailer. Nicolas Hoult plays a zombie in a post-apocalyptic world who falls in love with one of the last humans, and suddenly he starts feeling slightly more human.

Jack the Giant Slayer. March 1.

Nicolas Hoult again stars in a story about a farmhand who accidentally lets giants back into the world through a doorway, and naturally they want to take this world back. Trailer is here.

Oz the Great and Powerful. March. 8.

This film comes courtesy of Sam Raimi and is a prequel to the Wizard of Oz, featuring James Franco as Oz who visits Oz in a balloon and meets all the flying monkeys and witches. The trailer looks gorgeous, and the visuals are stunning. Let’s hope the film stands up to it.

The Host. March 29.

Another book adaption from Twilight creator Stephanie Meyer, where an alien invasion hits earth and parasites begin taking over the humans. Except one girl starts fighting back. Yes, this is a love story but I really loved the book and I hope they don’t play it up to much like Twilight because it is so much better than that. Trailer here.

Iron Man 3.  May 3.

Tony Stark is back after The Avengers with the Mandarin and Aldrich Killian destroying his world, and he is looking for those responsible. Again starring Robert Downey Jr, and the trailer is here.

Star Trek Into Darkness. May 17.

Now, I haven’t watched the first film but I have been informed it is rather good. Kirk and Spock are back with Benedict Cumberbatch as a new villain trying to destroy the Starfleet. Here is the trailer.

Epic. May 24.

This looks…. epic. Go watch the trailer now. It is stunning and features one of my favourite songs. This animated adventure is about a battle between good and evil raging in a tiny hidden forest world – and a teenage girl who gets sucked into the middle of it.

After Earth. June 7.

The earth has been abandoned after a war with aliens, but a father and son crash-land back on the planet and have to survive. Starring Will Smith and his son Jaden, this should be a good’un.

Man of Steel. June 14.

Another Superman film, directed by Zack Snyder and produced by Christopher Nolan. I will admit I am not a Superman fan, but after watching the trailer this looks surprisingly good. Focuses on Superman’s origins and his struggle to get humanity to accept him.

The Wolverine. June 26.

The second film featuring the tough guy Wolverine, focusing on the storyline where he travels to Japan to learn the way of the samurai. As long as they don’t ruin Deadpool again, it should be good – and Hugh Jackman will always be spot on as Wolverine.

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. Aug. 23

I adore these books from Cassandra Clare. Yes, it’s another young adult fiction but this one is worth the time – I just hope it doesn’t get the Twilight treatment. Lily Collins play Clary, who realises she is a Shadowhunter, aka a demon hunter, with a special destiny. Here’s the trailer.

Riddick. Sep. 6.

Vin Diesel is back as Riddick! I thoroughly love these films, so this is one I shall be looking forward to. He is once again being chased by bounty hunters.

Carrie. Oct. 18.

I will admit, I wasn’t a huge fan of the book, by Stephen King. It felt too over the top for me. But I do appreciate the messages of the story, and am a Chloe Grace Moretz fan, so am expecting good things from this remake. Here is the trailer, with suitable fire and blood.

The World’s End. Oct. 25

An end-of-the-world apocalyptic romp, a la Shaun of the Dead, where two friends go on a pub crawl and face the end of the world. Featuring Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Martin Freeman. I’m really looking forward to this, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost make some great films.

Thor: The Dark World. Nov. 8.

The sequel to the first Thor film, he’s back and this time facing some Dark Elves.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Nov. 22.

The second book and film of the series, Catching Fire sees Katniss thrown back into the death ring – this time facing past winners of the game. Another one on my favourites shortlist.

The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug. Dec. 13

This may not be a popular opinion, but The Hobbit was the film of 2012 for me. And this time we finally get to see Smaug as Bilbo Baggins faces the dragon, played by Benedict Cumberbatch.

There you have it! I haven’t included EVERY film of 2013, as it would take up too many pages. This supposed shortlist is quite long as it is, and includes my personal preference. But what are yours? Which films are you most looking forward to, whether they are featured here or not? And what are we least looking forward to? Drop me a line!

Michonne and Rick

Michonne and Rick

I have now officially caught up with The Walking Dead. Now, to begin with I was not really drawn to it, purely because I have begun to get fed up with standard zombies. I can only take so many Resident Evils et al.

However, The Walking Dead is in a purely different league to the films – which is why it works. It’s more based around the pure survival of an apocalypse, and the crazy shizz that goes down with that and how human beings just can’t cope with this… unless you’re Michonne or Daryl of course.

So, watching the programme I felt that it could teach us a few little lessons if the zombie apocalypse hit that fan – or just general survival tips. (These are purely a bit of fun and tongue-in-cheek, I thoroughly enjoyed The Walking Dead and these reasons in no way made me enjoy the show any less. They just make you think…)

1) Zombies don’t kill people. People kill people. I haven’t officially counted the deaths, but I reckon a significant portion of them are down to humans killing each other or their general stupidity getting somebody else killed or hurt. I could probably count on my fingers the amount of times someone was legitimately killed by a zombie they could not have avoided. For example – T-Dog gashing his arm open of his own accord during the first walker herd and then getting blood poisoning. When no walker was in the immediate vicinity.

2) Guns are noisy. The amount of times the team decide not to use them… and then get the guns back out when under attack. And don’t get me started on how easily they learn how to shoot the head every time.

3) Don’t be a mother or a strong independent woman. Lori turns into a useless character who either gets somebody else to do the dangerous work for her or crashes her car in her one rescue attempt. Andrea takes it too far the other way with her determination to have a gun, but then shoots Daryl by accident and suffers a massive mis-judgement of character with the Governor. The women characters are certainly written better as the series progresses, though.

4) Start learning how to use a crossbow or a katana asap.

5)  Don’t be a group leader. Rick ends up losing the faith of his camp for doing the right thing, and is now starting to lose his mind after the death of Lori. Shane, the wannabe leader, becomes psychotic and the Governor is a power-hungry controller. Just fly under the radar, like Glenn and Maggie, or become your own man like Daryl.

6) JUST TRUST PEOPLE SOMETIMES. Or, more precisely, make sure the very couple of people you do end up trusting are the right people. Michonne? She’s a good one. Axel and Oscar? Good ones. The Governor? Not a good one.

But I fully recommend The Walking Dead to anyone. You’ll find that there are some characters who grate on you, but that’s just life. There are also characters who become their own and blossom as the show progresses, and as we’re watching human survival this makes perfect sense. The Walking Dead, certainly in terms of characters, feels real. And that’s what counts.

The best part of Christmas is the presents. But the second best part is Doctor Who. Aliens, time travel and lots of snow… the stuff of dreams.

At first, I felt the pang of nostalgia hit with the snazzy new title credits with a slightly different tune and effect – there are new title credits, which nicely revert back to the electronica sound and feel of the early series’, and a new TARDIS, which is made even better with the larger use of the Gallifreyan symbols. This really was the end of the Ponds. However, as it is Christmas, excitement won me over.

The episode features a Victorian fairy-tale escapade against some scary snowmen, and this was also the introduction of the new companion Clara (Jenna-Louise Coleman), after we last saw her as Oswin the Dalek. Clara returned to the easy banter with the Doctor that won our hearts last time. She’s curious, confident, clever and witty – the perfect mix for any companion. By the time you get to the end of the episode the intrigue writer Steven Moffat has built around her has certainly fully peaked the excitement for the new season. I won’t spoil it but you end up with more questions than when you started the episode, which is saying a lot. Although that is classic Moffat Doctor Who.

The scenery of Victorian england is gorgeous, and fits the Christmas theme beautifully. The new look for the Doctor with his top hat and ragged coat is seamlessly perfect. I am so glad the series is back, and the moment Clara saw the TARDIS for the first time and the theme kicked in – you knew you were home.

There are a few niggles. The snowmen were suitably scary, but overall I felt they didn’t convince me in the larger plot, despite bringing back the Great Intelligence. The creepy Victorian presence of Richard E Grant as the main villain felt underused and could have really been utilised better. The plot also felt a bit too sugary and emotional to the point where it started to feel forced. Normally, this would amount to disappointment but all this I can easily overlook in the name of Christmas spirit – as that is exactly what it is there for.

The Doctor Who christmas special would not be the same without a family’s tears saving the day or the story being a little overlooked in favour of pulling on the heartstrings. And if the chemistry between Clara and the Doctor is anything to go by in this episode, feel free to pull on the heartstrings a bit more.


R2-D2 wishes you a Merry Christmas!

R2-D2 wishes you a Merry Christmas!

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU ALL! This is my first Christmas here as a blogger and it’s all very exciting. Christmas is my favourite time of year and apart from the Carbon Monoxide alarm being set off at 6am it’s been a good day. So, the most important question, what wonderful geekery did everyone get from Santa this year?

I shall share a snippet of my geeky highlights. The main one being a wonderful Bishoujo Harley Quinn statuette, which is gorgeous. There’s also a Hermione string doll, Lego Lord of the Rings console game (which hasn’t arrived yet), an Anne Stokes calendar, 2 fabulous drawings off my brother and a Nintendo 3DS. Which I fully intend to get the latest Pokemon and Kingdom Hearts for.

My Harley Quinn and Hermione

My Harley Quinn and Hermione

And my mum painted me a Doctor Who painting, which she hasn’t finished yet. But here’s a snippet!

Amy Pond and Doctor Who by Michelle Szulc

Amy Pond and Doctor Who by Michelle Szulc

What geeky presents did you get this year? I’d love the hear from you, and probably cry with jealousy.

My presents!

The geeky side of my presents!


Instead of a geek fashion of the week, this bumper edition I decided to do a general Christmas presents list for that last dash of inspiration for all budgets! Whether all you need is a stocking-filler, or you haven’t even started your shopping yet, hopefully this post will inspire your winter spirit.

Christmas Day Outfits:
As this is a recurring fashion themed thing, lets start with planning what you need to have your Christmas day in style – or maybe you just fancy some new inspiration on the another-M&S-jumper-for-that-uncle.

Boba Fett dress from Black Milk Clothing. Approx £84.60

First of all, how about a treat for yourself, or the lady in your life? Black Milk Clothing have a wonderful range of Star Wars dresses and leggings which are stylish, unique AND sexy. I particularly love the R2-D2 and the stormtrooper dresses, but the ewok one is sure to be a hit too! There are also swimsuits which would look gorgeous tucked into a plain skirt. They are a tad expensive and bought in Australian Dollars, but it’s Christmas! Go treat yourself and flaunt that figure.

AT-AT Christmas Jumper! From ebay – £27.95

Now, we all know that one uncle that always gets jumpers. Nice, normally plain blue jumpers from Marks and Sparks. So how about we throw out the wild card and get him this beauty from ebay? It’s a lovely, snuggly Christmas jumper featuring AT-ATs. Now all he would need is a warm toasty fire and mulled wine. It also comes in a varied grey design, if you fancied doing His and Hers with your man – what could be snugglier on Christmas day?

Batman Robe from We Love Fine. Approx £27.16

When opening presents on Christmas morning, I like to do it cosy and in my pyjamas. What better way is there than to have this Batman robe from We Love Fine complete with bat-eared hood? You could pair it with this Batman nightshirt, or even provide a Christmas treat of a different variety with Batgirl and Wonderwoman corsets.

That Big Present
We all have to get at least one big present for at least one person. Here are some of the best, extravagant and slightly expensive presents I found to really show you care for that special person.

TARDIS system from Scan Computers. £935.99

First up we have the biggest splash of all – this glorious (and gloriously expensive) computer tower designed as the TARDIS. It is made from over 45 sheets of aluminium, which is painted in the TARDIS blue, so you know it’s a good quality casing. I especially love how the Police Box sign becomes the disc tray! It is also exclusively made in the UK and licensed by the BBC, so that’s where the money comes in. Now, it is VERY expensive and if I’m honest the specs don’t look brilliant considering that price. However, if you have that cash to spend, or you know someone savvy enough to put together your own tower in this quality, then here is the perfect inspiration.

Poison Ivy statuette. £279.90

This beauty is not released until 15 February 2013, but the Poison Ivy statuette is sure to be something any fan could wait for. If I had the funds, I would not hesitate to purchase this as personally I think it is the best Poison Ivy statue I have seen. The posing and the detailing of the face are an impressive and gorgeous combination. She is hand-painted and stands at 21 inches tall, making her very much worth the money. Or if you fancy something different, I also adore this Batman vs Bane statue as from the Dark Knight Rises film. The detail on it is purely beautiful, and the posing again makes this piece stand out and is sure to be a talking point. This one is £292.46 and stands at 16.5 inches tall.

Star Trek Insignia engagement ring from Etsy. Approx £315.70

Finally, if there are any guys out there who are planning a very special Christmas surprise for that Trekkie girlfriend, then here is a perfect solution. Handmade by VaLaJewellery on Etsy, this ring of the Star Trek insignia contains a white sapphire in 14k white gold and sterling silver. VaLaJewellery also have these beautiful Imperial insignia and Stargate SG-1 inspired designs.

Stocking Fillers:
Now that you have hopefully been inspired a bit more, here are a couple of things from Forbidden Planet to fill in the wee gaps in your present buying, or if you fancy a nice treat for yourself.

Game of Thrones Stein. £12.99

What house are you? There are an excellent range of Game of Thrones steins and mugs featuring the house insignias, this one being the Targaryen insignia. Each design contains the image and the house motto – perfect for laying down the house law on Christmas day, or sorting out house dominance whilst the whole family are gathered.

An interesting alternative is to introduce your present receiver to Magic the Gathering with these intro packs – the wonderful classic card game, or maybe boost up the decks they already have. At that cheap price you could buy yourself a pack and spend Christmas day playing games in style. I will probably post about Magic again at some point, because I absolutely adore this game and everyone should learn it now! Especially girls.

Hope you enjoyed this special edition! Have a merry present hunting, and remember to send in those suggestions and requests!

I have just watched The Hobbit, and it is epic, gorgeous and sheer fun.

Yes, there have been some bad reviews, but I really cannot see why. Peter Jackson has directed a stunning piece, and his masterful story-telling is as engaging and beautiful as always.

Maybe he has tried to stretch out the storyline so it can justify three films – like adding in cameos not in the book and underlying everything with a darker feel – but for me it works. The extra undertone linking to the Necromancer does not majorly detract from the main storyline at any time, and I believe it brings another side to The Hobbit that maybe was missing in the book. Just what did Gandalf get up to most of the time?

There was also the added aspect of the white Orc, but I felt that it was an added extra that worked in tying all the events of the film together in a way that made visual sense, and something I thought was quite a clever device.

The main glory was the characters. Each and every character was perfectly acted and the characters were spot on. In particular Martin Freeman as the bumbling Bilbo, who effortlessly captured the nervousness and twitching aspects that bring Bilbo to life. My favourite line being when Thorin asks him about his fighting history and he replies “I won a game of conkers once”. Genius.

Sir Ian McKellen is once again an effortless Gandalf, and although Thorin was not as I pictured him from the book (I always saw a more quiet but guiding presence) Richard Armitage brought him to life without crossing that annoying arrogant line you so often get in those types of leader characters. The rest of the dwarves react off each other wonderfully and bring their own individual touch to each character. The scene in Bilbo’s house to introduce them really reflects this beautifully.

I do have to address (as with all reviewers) the frame rate. The frame rate is double what is normal for a film, and is said to provide more detail and stunning visuals. I think it worked. At first I was unsure, as in the battle of Erebor my eyes just could not keep up with the movement, although I am not sure if that was down to the frame rate or the 3D. Eventually my eyes must have  got used to it because it never bothered me after that. One thing I will say is the 3D didn’t work for me, but I am overall not a fan of 3D anyway. The film felt less ‘real’ to me because of the added sense of layers and the scenery would have blended together better without it in my opinion.

But despite that, Peter Jackson has done it again. His level of story-telling is beyond most other directors and he has effortlessly weaved the jolly tale of a hobbit on an adventure into something that is a sheer pleasure to watch. He doesn’t need bundles of action going on in the storyline to be able to hook you in and keep you there for nearly three hours – his use of characters, dialogue and cinematography does it for him. The music is also gorgeous, especially the ‘Misty Mountain’ song that sent shivers down my spine. The little hints of the original Lord of the Rings theme was also a nice touch.

The stand out scene to me was the Riddles in the Dark scene with Gollum. It was hilarious, scary and riveting all at once and you found yourself truly feeling sorry for Gollum by the end of it. “I wasn’t talking to you”.

I thoroughly loved every second of it, and the guy sat next to me even clapped at the end of it. That says it all, really.

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