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Geek Space

I’ve been writing on this blog, on and off, for about four years now.

Sometimes I’d write about life. Sometimes I’d write about films. Sometimes I’d write about travelling.

But as my life moved in different directions, my usage of this blog changed substantially. During my Masters, in particular, it became less prominent in my life, as I started working on a second blog, New to Comics as part of two of my projects. After I left university, both sites took a bit of a hit. But in recent months, I’ve made an effort to revive N2C, and now it’s this site’s turn.

Rather than just writing anything and everything, and promptly losing steam, I’m going to curate a collection of reviews and just general thoughts, new and old, based around all the nerdy things I love and have loved.

My geek space, if you will.

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Posted by on August 11, 2018 in Life

 

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UNCHARTED 2: AMONG THIEVES | PlayStation 4 Review

It took me a bit longer to get through this game, due to various other things going on in my life, but finally, I’ve finished Uncharted 2, and I’m just going to say up top that it’s a heck of a lot better than the first entry.

RELEASED: October 13th 2009
DEVELOPED BY: Naughty Dog
PUBLISHED BY: Sony Computer Entertainment

I had heard the claims that fans wanted Nathan Fillion to play Nathan Drake in an Uncharted movie, and while I saw some similarities in Drake’s Fortune, it wasn’t until the opening of this game that I really was struck by how similar they look. It’s uncanny, at times. But Tom Holland will be playing him now so I suppose that’s a moot point.

Anyway, Uncharted: Among Thieves picks up with Nathan Drake stranded in an icy tundra, wounded and close to death. From there, he recalls what lead him to this situation; reuniting with questionable former associates Harry Flynn and Chloe Frazer, as they pull him into a quest for the mythical kingdom of Shambhala – where they seek the Cintāmaṇi stone, a gem of great power that is being hunted by the brutal Serbian war criminal Zoran Lazarević. His journey takes him to Istanbul, Borneo and Nepal, bringing in old friends such as Sully and Elena Fisher along the way.

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Straight out the gate, this game plays so much better than the first Uncharted. The controls are much more fluid, and the playstyles more varied, meaning that even when you’re running into waves and waves of gun fights, the different ways you can take them out feels more interesting.

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Posted by on November 6, 2018 in Video-Games

 

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SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY | Blu-Ray Review

When Solo originally hit cinemas, I never got round to writing up a review, and now, five months on, when I found myself in need of taking a break from doing the 31 Days of Horror challenge, I decided I’d sit down and rewatch the film and finally get round to doing my review. Enjoy (and please check out the above link, I need that $$$).

RELEASED: May 25th 2018
DIRECTED BY: Ron Howard (/Phil Lord & Chris Miller)
WRITTEN BY: Jonathan Kasdan & Lawrence Kasdan
PRODUCED BY: Kathleen Kennedy, Allison Shearmur & Simon Emmanuel
MUSIC BY:  John Powell & John Williams
STARRING:
 Alden Ehrenreich, Joonas Suotamo, Emilia Clarke, Woody Harrelson, Donald Glover, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Thandie Newton, Jon Favreau & Paul Bettany

When Solo was first announced, I was one among the many people who questioned the point of this film. Why did we need to know where Han Solo had found his jacket, won the falcon and met Chewbacca when most of these things had already been referenced in previous films. And while the film itself didn’t cover Han picking out a new coat, it did retread important moments in his life such as meeting Chewbacca and Lando, winning the Millennium Falcon and even being given his name, of all things.

Many people take issue with that last one in particular. But you know what? I didn’t mind it. In fact, I quite enjoyed it, and the rest of the film. So much so that although I was initially sceptical, I came out of the movie hoping for more films following Alden Ehrenreich as Han Solo, or at least films about Boba Fett and Lando that used the same characters and had some sort of through line. Unfortunately, it seems that will never happen now. But at very least, we got this highly enjoyable movie before Lucasfilm opted to put their standalone features to rest.

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Posted by on October 24, 2018 in Star Wars

 

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HALLOWEEN | Film Review

RELEASED: October 19th 2018
DIRECTED BY: David Gordon Green
WRITTEN BY: Jeff Fradley, David Gordon Green & Danny McBride
PRODUCED BY: Malek Akkad, Jason Blum & Bill Block
MUSIC BY:  John Carpenter, Cody Carpenter & Daniel Davies
STARRING:
 Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer, Andi Matichak, Will Patton, Virginia Gardner & Nick Castle

I’ve never used to be a fan of horror movies. When I was younger, I didn’t see the appeal, but in more recent years, I’ve tried to catch up for lost time, taking the ’31 Days of Horror’ challenge both this year and last. Through that, I watched the original Halloween for the first time last week. I thought it was fine; Michael Myers was creepy, the story was conventional by today’s standards but interesting in how it spawned multiple slasher tropes.

Jump forward to this week (or forty years later, depending on how you look at it) and Halloween has returned to cinemas for the eleventh time. This new movie ignores the events of every film bar that 1978 original, and sees Michael Myers, having spent those forty years back in captivity, escape once again and return to Haddonfield for another killing spree. Standing in his way is PTSD-ridden ‘Final Girl’ Laurie Strode, who has been training in the interim for a final showdown with ‘the Shape’.

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Posted by on October 19, 2018 in Movies

 

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UNCHARTED: DRAKE’S FORTUNE | PlayStation 4 Review

Spider-Man is out of the way, so now it’s time to move onto some of the classic PlayStation exclusives. Having picked up Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection, today’s review focuses on the first game in that trilogy, Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune

RELEASED: November 19th 2007
DEVELOPED BY: Naughty Dog
PUBLISHED BY: Sony Computer Entertainment

Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune is the first game in the award-winning series, and tells the tale of adventurer Nathan Drake’s quest to find El Dorado. The game plays out not unlike a big blockbuster movie, with Drake seeking riches and adventure, all the while fighting off a gang of armed rogues.

At first, the game is quite fun and exciting, despite it now being over a decade old (although I am playing the remastered edition, so that could have something to do with it). It reminds me of more recent games, like the Tomb Raider series, which no doubt took some inspiration from this game. Throughout the game, you encounter vast open landscapes that look stunning and fill you with hope for what wonders you might encounter. Throughout said landscapes, you find yourself using a range of weapons and tools to navigate Drake’s world, in search of the lost gold of El Dorado. The combat system and controls are fairly simple, meaning the game is easy to get in to and get moving.

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Posted by on October 17, 2018 in Video-Games

 

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VENOM | Film Review

RELEASED: October 5th 2018
DIRECTED BY: Ruben Fleischer
WRITTEN BY: Jeff Pinkler, Scott Rosenberg & Kelly Marcel
PRODUCED BY: Avi Arad, Matt Tolmach & Amy Pascal
MUSIC BY:  Ludwig Göransson
STARRING:
 Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, Riz Ahmed, Scott Haze, Reid Scott & Jenny Slate

I had spectacularly low hopes for Venom, which no doubt helped going into the film. The fact that Sony seemed intent on pushing forward with their own Spider-Man universe despite all evidence suggesting they didn’t know what they were doing was the first worrying sign. Then, the suggestion that this universe wouldn’t actually feature Spider-Man was another mind-boggling factor. Finally, the film’s terrible marketing campaign cemented my thoughts that this would be a bad movie.

I had gone from anticipating a film featuring a character from a franchise I love, to being morbidly curious about how bad this film would actually be.

Venom follows Eddie Brock, a reporter disgraced after asking too many questions about the sinister ‘Life Foundation’, headed up by Carlton Drake (I actually had to look up his name just then, even though I only saw this film the other day. That is a bad sign. But let’s continue…). Having obtained a group of alien life-forms known as symbiotes, Drake recklessly hopes to upgrade humanity so they can one day live off-world. But in trying to out Drake’s schemes, Brock is bonded with one of the aliens, and becomes a monstrous anti-hero. Together, he and his symbiote become determined to stop Drake at all costs, as his unchecked schemes could mean the end of mankind.

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Posted by on October 6, 2018 in Movies

 

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PS4’s SPIDER-MAN: Being Greater

I don’t think I’ve ever 100% completed a game before. There are games that I’ve attempted to do it with, but eventually lost interest in, like the Batman: Arkham games. Not because I stopped caring about the games so much as some of the tasks can eventually become quite tedious.

But having bought Marvel’s Spider-Man at full price, I wanted to get my moneys worth (especially as the only other game I’ve bought full price since games became £40+ is Star Wars Battlefront II, so they have to be pretty special to actually warrant me spending that kind of dough).

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In playing Spider-Man, however, that didn’t seem like a daunting task. The way the game is set out, and the way the various achievements (or Trophies, as they’re known on PlayStation – I personally preferred ‘Achievements’, but whatever) work meant that it was rarely, as I said before, tedious.

So having just completed the game and earned the Platinum ‘Be Greater’ Trophy, I thought I’d go through some of the trophies I’d collected and use them as prompts for things that I may not have covered to a great extent in my review. There will be spoilers.

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Posted by on October 3, 2018 in Video-Games

 

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SPIDER-MAN | PlayStation 4 Review

With Batman: Arkham Knight being one of the first games I played on my Xbox, I figured that it would make sense, having now made the jump from Xbox One to PlayStation 4, to make Spider-Man my first new game, and as such, have spent the past week playing through it in all it’s glory. So now it’s time for my review!

There will be some spoilers for this game. I won’t go all out, but I may mention certain characters who don’t appear in the trailers, for instance.

RELEASED: September 7th 2018
DEVELOPED BY: Insomniac Games
PUBLISHED BY: Sony Interactive Games

When I was younger, one of my favourite games was Spider-Man 2. The feeling of being able to swing around New York City as Spider-Man was unmatched. Since then, while I haven’t played all the Spider-Man games that have been released, the one’s I have played haven’t quite come close to matching that euphoric feeling of being Spider-Man. Off the top of my head, the open-world aspects of Ultimate Spider-Man and Web of Shadows had similarities, but felt lacking in other regards. Similarly, games like Shattered Dimensions didn’t reach the heights set by that original game. Now, of course, Spider-Man 2 wouldn’t hold up quite as well, but that’s no longer an issue, because Marvel and Sony’s new game, the simplistically titled Spider-Man, is everything Spider-Manwas and more.

Featuring an original story from veteran Spider-Man comic-book writers Dan Slott and Christos Gage, alongside Insomniac’s in-house team, Spider-Man sees a twenty-three year old Peter Parker, a college-graduate now working as a laboratory assistant for Otto Octavius, helping him perfect his prosthesis work. Meanwhile, in his ‘other life’ as the ‘Amazing Spider-Man’, Peter has finally managed to bring down Wilson Fisk, the Kingpin of Crime, alongside his police chief ally Yuri Watanabe. But with the Kingpin now locked away, other forces, such as the nefarious Mister Negative, have set their sights on New York, and it’s up to Spider-Man to stop the city from falling into chaos.

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Posted by on September 24, 2018 in Video-Games

 

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