Saturday, 27 December 2008

Guitar Hero III

Not normally my cup of tea
I can't say that I'm too fond of its current incarnation (my living room is not big enough), but this version has enough charm to be a good play.

It wasn't meant for me, originally
I bought for the Xbox 360 as a present for my fiancé this Christmas. Currently we can't put the wireless control down.

Normal playing habits
I tend to play a lot of games, but most of them have a story. Now this version of Guitar Hero (my only real experience of the series) does some nice little bits put in, mostly with still pictures that are quite comic book-esque in style. The two tutors in the training modes also add a nice air to the piece, but are the only characters that have any depth in the game.

Room for improvement
Personally, I think the game's career mode (that has the comic book thing going on) would have been better with cut scenes similar to what can be found in Tony Hawk's Underground (THUG) 1 & 2. In fact, this would be quite doable, seeing as how both series are made by Neversoft.

Dexterity issues
As to playing this game, it's pretty well made, and admittedly I've only have the dexterity to play on Easy mode. To get quite good at this game, you've got to have a lot of free time on hand.

I want a second guitar
The most annoying thing about this game is that unless you have a second guitar controller you can't really play co-op career mode or battle mode against a friend. So you need to fork out for another controller.

Party game
I do recommend this game however, it's a lot of fun to play. Definitely a party game.

Related links
Official Guitar Hero site
Neversoft's web site

Monday, 8 December 2008


Originally, I had low expectations

So last night I watched a DVD copy of Juno. I had no expectations for the film, but I had been previously disappointed by Napoleon Dynamite (another flick that Fox Searchlight Pictures had picked up), so I was perhaps a little apprehensive of another film looking at teenage life in America that failed to deal with the issues put forward in the film itself.

I enjoyed the film
I found the film amazing. The film wasn't a straightforward comedy, but a comedy drama. You are presented with the very serious subject of teenage pregnancy, but the film is not all doom and gloom. Actually it was nice to watch a media text that dealt with teen pregnancy that was not entirely negative about the subject.

Last word
In all, Juno is a film that is really life affirming. Oh, and if you're wondering why Juno didn't get an abortion, well it's represented quite clearly just how unnerving she found the abortion clinic.

Related link
Official Juno site

Ways to Live Forever

I chose to read it

I picked up Ways to Live Forever, by Sally Nicholls, sometime last month. I knew that this children's/young adult's novel would probably make me cry, and despite having this foresight I was unable to stop the tears for quite some time when I got to the end.

Waterstone's made this their winner of their 2008 Children's Book Prize.

This novel follows a boy called Sam in his final months as he slowly dies from leukaemia. We're not treated to some third person narration, but a first person narrative that Nicholls has obviously carefully constructed from interviews and research she has done on the issue. The insights the reader gains into the feelings of the character's around Sam, such as his parents and little sister, also shows the level of research that Nicholls has put into the piece. It's all tastefully done.

The novel features some extremely thought provoking sections where there are inclusions of notes made by the character Sam (titled: 'Questions Nobody Answers'), these sections ask such things as 'Why does God make kids get ill?'

Related link
Official site for the novel