If a cruel twist of fate landed you in prison and your family resorted to extreme measures just to get by, would you risk everything to fix what had been broken, no matter the cost?
That is exactly what Russell Baze (Christian Bale) has to decide in Out Of the Furnace, a gripping thriller from epic director Ridley Scott. He and his brother Rodney (Casey Affleck) have never led brilliant lives, but they’ve always had enough to get by. But when Rodney starts borrowing money from John Petty (Willem Dafoe) he can’t keep up repayments, so turns to street boxing in order to fix fights and win Petty his money back. However, when Rodney gets ahead of himself and goes to fight in one of the most violent crime rings in the Northeast, he ends up in a world he can find no way out of, and it’s down to big brother Russell to take care of him.
Continue reading Review – Out of the Furnace
[Note: When I first published this piece shortly after the release of Mortal Kombat, it somehow found its way onto N4G and caused a lot of people to cry their eyes out because I wasn’t sucking Sub-Zero’s cock. Look, this is sarcastic – I like Mortal Kombat a lot, and primarily because it’s a fun game without feeling the need to be an artistic statement or a commentary on something. It’s just fun because smacking ninjas around is fun and sometimes that’s all we need.]
In order to enjoy Mortal Kombat 9 (or should I say Mortal Kombat, because this iteration of the series has the exact same title as the original for no adequately explained reason) there are certain preparatory steps you need to undertake before you really commit to it.
In the interest of providing people with a fair starting point, I thought it would be useful to construct this handy step-by-step tutorial in order to give people some idea of the sacrifices they’re going to need to make in order to have fun with what is, at its heart, a very solid fighting game.
So, without further ado:
Continue reading 5 Steps to Enjoying Mortal Kombat
[This post is part of the Completionist series. Check out the other entries here.]
Is there any genre of video game which ages as gracefully as fighters? That’s a rhetorical question, by the way. Of course there isn’t. And you only need to play a game like Virtua Fighter 2, a rereleased (and slightly tweaked) version of Sega AM2’s arcade classic, for proof of that. It isn’t just the shock of seeing a game released in 1994 look and animate so smoothly over twenty years later, although that’s certainly a part of it. More impressive is how satisfyingly deep and complex the game still feels; as much, if not more so, than any contemporary genre fare. For once, it has nothing to do with achievements (for the record they are very easy here, which is a good incentive to check it out, though you should really do that for the game’s own merits) and everything to do with history.
Continue reading Completionist – Virtua Fighter 2
For Honor imagines an alternate Middle Ages in which medieval knights, Vikings and samurai all live within about five minutes of each other, which funnily enough is the kind of world I’ve imagined for so long that I feel as though I should be getting royalties from this. I’d be doing pretty well for myself, too. For Honor has shifted a remarkable number of copies considering it’s a multiplayer-focused duelling simulator. I suppose even for adults there’s an implicit desire to find out which of your favourite historical warriors are the hardest. It’s a timeless argument that has its roots somewhere in kids insisting that their dad can beat their mate’s dad in a straight fight. That idea has a lot of legs. For Honor is a franchise waiting to happen, really. Maybe the sequel will explain where all the pirates went.
One of the first things For Honor asks you to do is choose which faction to belong to. I selected the Vikings because I feel as though my life has a lot less raping and pillaging than I’d like, but it turns out the choice only applies to multiplayer, and that regardless of who you choose to align with you can play as whoever you like, thus rendering the choice utterly meaningless. I’m glad I agonised over it for half an hour, because it isn’t as though I have anything else to be doing.
Continue reading Review – For Honor (Story Mode)