Sunday, 6 December 2015

Final Fantasy VII - First Trailer Analysis

A few months ago Sony dropped massive bomb at their 2015 E3 Press Conference,  and here we are with an early Xmas Gift, the first trailer for the FFVII Remake.

And here's a brief Analysis of what we've seen, and what I've taken from away from some of the more minor details.

What we need from the Final Fantasy VII Remake

So, It's official, the happiest of happy days has come and gone. The day where the Final Fantasy VII Remake has been officially announced. I remember it well, On this day, I had a brief argument with the wife about some general mundane something-or-other, which ended swiftly when I exclaimed to her; "You're spoiling Final Fantasy day!" To my utter delight, this ended the argument outright, she understood how just important this is to me. This is one of the many reason I love her so much.

But now that we know it's coming, what could/should we expect?

Monday, 14 September 2015

What Konami and Kojima should have done with MGS:V (Full Game Spoilers Included)


I've been wrecking my head over this game. To me it has been one of Gamings greatest accomplishments but also one of the biggest personal disappointments.

From a gameplay perspective, I just can't get enough, not only have I had a different play experience to everyone else but every time I play a mission, I have a different experience to the last.

From a story and structure perspective, this game is "OK", the first half of the game is fine. Structurally and narratively speaking, it works and works well. everything is in neat digestible chunks and the story doesn't pause the action for long before you're back into the thick of it. But part 2 is just clunky IMHO. Part 2 has it's own trailer, some parts of which (Paz), aren't even in the story unless you meet her randomly or are guided to her via a post on the internet. The missions in part 2 don't only break the flow of increasing mission difficulty but the narrative attached to book end each of these missions just doesn't sit right, discussing points which you have covered earlier in the game just ruins the narrative. It's not like when you re-play a mission, you go into that expecting the same story beats you had before . But having played mission 46 which is a repeat of the prologue mission and having some "new" story elements to reveal the truth, it's clear that the repeat missions earlier just do not fit in this part of the game.

So what happened and what could Konami and Kojima have done to fix this?

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Friday, 3 July 2015

Games Workshop (16 years later) - Part 3

In Part 1 and Part 2 i covered my memory of Games Workshop in the mid 90's and how the overall Space of 40k and it's models has changed. Now it's time to delve into my favourite part of this hobby and that's the modelling and painting side along with a few other extras that have ben added in this past decade and a half.

There's not enough space for the painters / modellers.

Like the last part, I'm going to start with an immediate observation; Whilst the modelling side has greatly improved, there still doesn't seem to be enough focus on this part of the Hobby at Warhammer World. Perhaps it would be better to say, there hasn't been enough "change" over the time I've missed, when compared to everything else that has. This is something that remains very much the same.

Not me

Back in the day you could nip into any shop, ask for paint tips and even sit down with the guys in store and try out techniques. That's how I learned to paint Jewels, eyes and general highlighting. today it's very much the same. A young-un can walk in, ask to sit and paint and I saw a great moment where a dad watched one of the store staff walk a little girl through painting a space marine. Awwwwww, i honestly cant wait to do that with my daughter, but at the moment she can't even hold a spoon so I'll give her a bit yet before I expect her to have much control with a paint brush.

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Games Workshop (16 years later) - Part 2

As I outlined in my previous post, I recently nipped to Games Workshop's Warhammer World to learn what had changed in the 16 years since I got into these models and (little did I know at the time). Walked out with an incredible drive to start painting them again.

A lot has changed over these 16 years and from what I can see, nothing has changed for the worse, here are a few of the things I have noticed when coming back into the hobby.

There's not enough info for beginners

The first thing I noticed when coming back to this Hobby was that there isn't much space for beginners. The assumption that there would be such a space is more to do with how the world around us has changed than my memories of coming into this space when I was young.

Back then, there was no internet, you found out about everything you knew from Magazines or from your mates (or their stories about what their older brother has done). So there was no real info space for say, a lone beginner for Games Workshop to get some hooks into them.

Today you have the internet, so my first port of call was, expecting some clever web UX designer to have pre-empted the customer journey from all sides. In the space for the beginner, there would surely be a big "START HERE" sign of some kind, leading them down a path of info of what GW is, all their main products, get some hooks into the visitor along the way and purposefully lead them into an obvious purchase. But this isn't there. Instead you are greeted with, what's new this week. which is good for those people who are established in the hobby, but nothing for beginners and returnees.

So for me, I went to the web page and was greeted with a great list of Eldar products and nothing more. the entire page wwas branded with Eldar from the latest releases (that week) to the cover of the latest White Dwarf. Forgive me for thinking that Eldar was the biggest thing GW do now but it turns out, that was just that week. Go there this week and it's all Dark Angels and Ultramarines.

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Games Workshop (16 years later) - Part 1

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to score an interview at Games Workshop's Head office in Nottingham. And although I wasn't successful in getting the job, I did successfully re-invigorate my love for a hobby I left by the wayside over 16 years ago. And a few weeks later, I'm far happier for it, my wife/wallet however, not so much.

It started simply enough, Apply for a job, get awarded an interview, research the company so you know what you're talking about at said interview.

So, I took a trip to Warhammer World on the way home from work one evening and chatted for nearly an hour with a nice chap called James. I just wanted to figure out what had changed in the last 16 years (it turns out, a lot!), instead I managed to talk myself into starting up my hobbying past once again.

For me, the miniature hobby started back in Junior School aged 10, a friend (Alan) brought in a load of stuff his older brother collected. It was all interesting, but the thing that caught my eye was (what I've only now realised is) a Space Crusade Dreadnought. To me it was basically a plastic ED-209 I could own. I looked around for one of these things for years after I originally saw it but we didn't have a "The Internet" back then and I could never figure out what it was.

That night, I begged my mum to take me to this "Games Workshop" place, and after a few weeks she took me to the store in Meadowhall so that I could finally get my hands on some stuff. I remember we spent ages in the store. My interest was taken up by all the box artwork and blister packs of shiny new lead figures (yep, they were all lead back then), my mum was interested in how much this new interest was going to cost her. Especially as I'd given up on every other hobby I'd ever had up to this point. From football and collecting How My Body Works books to playing the keyboard (In case you weren't aware, this is the 90's i'm talking about). And after much deliberation, we finally settled on getting the painting starter set.

I wish I could find a pic of this, but it's so old I'm not even sure "Starter Paint Set" is it's actual name, But it was in a red box, came with 5 or so of the main paints and an elf and I think a goblin.

Edit: Found it, and I was totally wrong (unless there are different versions as I'm certain I had an elf at least), you got 10 paints, a Space Marine, a Chaos Warrior and a Starter Brush (a brush I actually still have, and still use!.........occasionally).