Monthly Archives: August 2013

Xbox Live Indie Games Out This Week

Welcome to the Indie Games Corner! Here I’m going to highlight the newly released indie games on Xbox Live a weekly basis. I will have dabbled and played each game highlighted below, and I’ll give my impressions as well as the final verdict. What’s the final verdict, you ask? The final verdict is simple: Either A) Buy it, B) Try it, or C) Don’t buy it or even try it. So read on to find out below what’s hot and what’s not in the world of independently released videogames!

Dawn Of The Fred (80 MS Points)

By far the best game to come out on the XBLIG this week, but still with that extra little something missing. DOTF – unlike many Indie Games – stays true to its cover art, and is a proper representation of how the game looks. And that’s a good thing, as it not only has created a small identity for itself, but it could also be a proving ground for the developer to work on from here on out. It could’ve done with some music with a faster beat to mesh more with the visuals and fast gameplay, and the repeated sound of the guns became annoying quickly, but Dawn Of The Fred more than warrants a try for fans of the zombie genre.

Final Verdict: Try it

dawn of the fred

Dark Storm Blast 360 (80 MS Points)

It’s games like this that make me question a few things. Why is somebody charging money for somebody to play this? Why do I put myself through the displeasure of playing games like this to then write about them? And how can we have an independent developer like Phil Fish make a great game like Fez, but have independent developers put out crap like this. It’s a twin-stick shooter with graphics that would’ve looked just as bad in the 80s.

Final Verdict: Definitely don’t buy this or try this

Demon Dash (80 MS Points)

demon dash

If there are any poor souls out there who actually spent 80 MS Points on this game, then A) Why? And B) Just.. why? Demon Dash stays true to its name… you have to dash demons all right. Down, A (jump) and X (shoot) is all you need to play Demon Dash, as that’s all there is to it; shoot demons, jump over cars or slide under them. Oh, and all whilst some terrible heavy music is playing in the background.

Final Verdict: Definitely don’t buy it or try it

Word Cheat (80 MS Points)

word cheat

30 seconds in and the game unexpectedly crashed. Twice, in fact. Good thing I didn’t buy it then! So while I can’t tell you what my experience with the game was like, though if the box art is any true representation, then I imagine it’s, for a lack of a better term, boring. 

Final Verdict: Definitely don’t try it or buy it

Space Pilots (240 MS Points)

The Indie Games section on Xbox Live has more than its fair share of space shooters (the most popular genre on the XBLIG, perhaps?) though I’ve yet to come across one that tries to break the tried-and-tested mould, and Space Pilots falls right into the category of generic and been’ there, done that’. Space Pilots has made me pose this question, though: When was the last good space shooter?

Final Verdict: Don’t buy it or try it

space pilots

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Charlie Murder – Review

We can’t have a Summer of Arcade without a 2D Beat ’em up now, can we? Charlie Murder fits the bill perfectly and, in a way, is almost a homage to other beat ’em ups in the same vein such as games like Castle Crashers and Scott Pilgrim that hit the XBLA way back when. Charlie Murder has a dark, moody and twisted tone to it – similar to that of Ska Studio’s previous Dishwasher series – that separates it from the crowd. It’s not all doom and gloom though, as moments of comic relief – mostly via cutscenes – let us know that Charlie Murder isn’t a game that take itself too seriously and is, at the end of the day, supposed to be a fun experience. Which it is in spades; but it’s not without its noticeable imperfections.

If you’ve played the aforementioned Castle Crashers or Scott Pilgrim, then you’ll know the level of enjoyment you’ll get out of them will greatly increase when playing with friends. And exactly the same principle goes for Charlie Murder. I completed the whole game playing alone, and, at times, the constant onslaught of enemies became a bit of a slugfest. Of course the addition of a friend wouldn’t change the gameplay, but it does help to have a buddy with you to even up the numbers and share the experience with. Plus, there’s no “I” in band or Charlie Murder! There is more to Charlie Murder than just a constant barrage of enemies, as the game neatly has light RPG elements that sees you increase your defence, strength, speed and anar-chi (magic) along the way, with a variety of clothes and food to buy to increase your stats, but for the most part you’ll be spending a lot of time tapping that x button to punch, kick and shoot enemies – – which becomes repetitive even from the early stages of the game.

Charlie Murder 1

You start off with only one attack, which does feel limited and somewhat stingy at first, however soon enough you’ll unlock special attacks – that you get by buying tattoos – that are unique to each of the five playable characters. You can switch characters at anytime from the menu during your play through, though it’s not advised as the stats of your current character don’t carry over to another playable character; therefore you’ll be to weak to progress in the latter stages and you’ll, essentially, be starting all over again. Another change-up to the gameplay is the fair few amounts of on-rails segments, which see you on a broom like a wizard, a skateboard and a car. They’re are all fairly basic and similar but they’re fun enough and break up the otherwise repetitive punch and kick gameplay. There’s a few Guitar Hero-esque parts throughout, too, which sees Charlie Murder perform live and usually acts as a segue for story beats.

There’s numerous boss-fights along the way too, with none particularly standing out or outshining the other as they’re all taken down and defeated in a similar fashion — beat them to death. They’re all unique in look and have a different set of attacks, so it’s a real shame they’re all beaten the same generic way as the last. They definitely prove to be the most challenging part of the game though, which is largely due to the large health bar they have. There’s no difficulty option, which, at times, can prove to be a problem. The difficulty does seem to spike somewhat randomly towards the latter end of the game, with some basic enemy attacks almost taking out half of your health. It’s not ‘Dark Souls unfair’ but I imagine even the most skilled of players will probably find themselves having to stock up on beer (health-packs) in order to progress.

charlie murder 2

The story in Charlie Murder is a basic one, but it’s one that I wished had’ve been more fleshed out. The short of it is, Charlie started his own band which didn’t include his old bandmate, to which the old bandmate goes a little bit crazy, gets demonic powers, starts a band of his own, and wants nothing more than to kill Charlie and his bandmates. The story is told via flashbacks as you progress through the game, though there needed to be more cutscenes to take the story to the next level. It’s commendable that I was invested in the short story told even though there was no voice acting or lines of dialogue, though. We see a lot of the rejected bandmate’s side to the story (Lord Mortimer) and we mostly see him act out violently in jealousy and plotting his revenge, though we never see the lead star of the game Charlie’s side to the story.

The sound of Charlie Murder is somewhat diverse, as in some moments there’s no background music and all you’ll be hearing is the groans and battle cry’s of the enemies you’re pounding. In other situations, however, fast-paced rock music will be playing, which fits perfectly with the chaotic combat and post apocalyptic world. There’s not really a whole lot of incentive to replay Charlie Murder after completion, unless you want to try out all of the five playable characters, though the journey’s still going to be the same. The 800 MS Points is more than reasonable enough for you to sink your teeth into the 6-8 hour campaign though, with achievement hunters and completionists looking at – probably – 10-12 hours.

king tepes

Charlie Murder doesn’t reinvent the 2D beat ’em up wheel, but nor does it claim to. It’s not the most enthralling single-player experience and you’re undoubtedly going to get more out of it if you have a few buddy’s to play with, but fans of the beat ’em up genre and fans of rock music will find plenty to love in Charlie Murder.

Score: 7/10

 

Kick-Ass 2 – Review

If you’ve read Kick-Ass 2 the comic book, then you probably know it’s not up to the same high quality of the first. If you didn’t know, it’s mainly due to over-the-top, unnecessary violence. So suffice to say, Kick-Ass 2 doesn’t live up to the heights of the first. Thankfully though, writer Jeff Wadlow manages to include the story from the Hit-Girl miniseries into the film as well, which nicely sees fan favourite Chloë Grace Moretz get plenty of screen time.

chrs mintz plasse

Kick-Ass 2 is really a three-part tale; we see Mindy Macready dealing with the death of Big Daddy, as she hangs up the cape and cowl of Hit-Girl and tries to lead a normal life of a teenage girl. Kick-Ass/Dave Lizewski joins a team of superheroes known as Justice Forever. And we see the villain of the film Chris D’Amico/The Motherfucker seek revenge on Kick-Ass for killing his father, by forming a supervillian team of his own, the aptly named ‘Toxic Mega-Cunts’. Flipping between characters’ stories really keeps the flow of the film going and makes for a grand scale ending when their paths cross. It’s a nice fresh pace for the 103 minute running-time, filled with violence, laughter and melodrama.

 

 

Chloë Grace Moretz’s entrance as Hit-Girl in the original is one that will never be forgotten, though It’s not all violence for her this time, though, as we see get to see more of the teenage girl that is Mindy Macready and how she’s dealing with life after Big Daddy. She’s killed numerous thugs and gangsters in her life but she’s yet to come up against the nasty personas of a particular group of airhead girls at her school. It all culminates in one particular graphic vomiting scene that really feels unrealistic in contrast with the grounded reality of the film and actually feels dam right unnecessary. Although, yes, the film was on a fairly small-scale budget of $28 million, the vomit trick just felt cheap and tacky. Perhaps a little too much time is focused on Mindy and her ‘Mean Girls’ storyline, but she kicks absolute ass when she’s Hit-Girl. A particular standout from her is a fight scene that sees her going toe-to-toe with a worthy adversary.

kick ass and hit girl

Aaron Taylor-Johnson is likeable as ever as Kick-Ass, though my only real gripe is that he’s 24-years-old and looks a little too old on screen to be playing a teenager in high-school. (I don’t know how they’re going to get around this problem in Kick-Ass 3, but that’s one for the writers to figure out!) If you remember from the first film, Dave Lizewski tried so hard to get with his girlfriend Katie, but she’s awkwardly/messily brushed off towards the start of the film, and there’s not a mention of her thereafter. It does make sense in the brunt of things, as Dave finds a new love in a member of Justice Forever. His relationship status with her towards the end of the film isn’t really clarified however, and is a little annoying not to have clarity there.

Christopher Mintz-Plasse is even more demonic and psychotic in his role as the cowardly, spoilt teenager, as he ditches the Red-Mist gimmick and becomes the world’s first super-villain, The Motherfucker. While not a physical specimen in size, his highest paid member of his team, ‘The Mother Russia’ (Olga Kurkulina) more than makes up for that due to her sheer size, strength and domineering presence on screen.

There’s good performances from everyone throughout actually, but it’s Jim Carrey who’s at the top of his game as the born again Christian Colonel Stars and Stripes, who is almost like the second coming of Big Daddy. Although it’s somewhat of a minor role, he’s presence is felt in every scene as he’s funny, charming and domineering in the role. It’s a real shame that he hasn’t taken part in promoting the movie, because it could well be his best performance in years and it goes well against his typecast.

jim carrey

The film all builds up to an end battle between Justice Forever and Toxic Mega-Cunts, which is both an epic and fitting conclusion, to which Director Jeff Wadlow deserves praise for capturing all the madness that unfolds so well. So all in all, Kick-Ass 2 isn’t as memorable or as fun as the first, however it’s still an enjoyable film that can be loved by both comic fans and casual audiences.

A Week in Wrestling

Cena slaps Bryan, Triple H named Special Guest Referee for the WWE Title match at Summerslam, Punk finally gets one up on Lesnar, Summerslam press conference, Hulk Hogan turns 60, and some more consistently good matches on TNA!

I’ll just start off by saying I watched, roughly, 30 seconds of Total Divas this week. It’s a 30 seconds I’m never getting back, but it’s a 30 seconds that taught be a valuable life lesson: To never watch that show ever again. Yep, I’m done. The first episode was watched out of curiosity, the second episode was half-heartedly watched out of wanting to write something about it, but the third time is indeed the charm, as it was, in this instance, the straw that broke the camel’s back. But now that’s out of my system, I can move onto better things… Wrestling!

wwe avengers

Over on WWE’s website they just live-streamed their Summerslam press conference, which was in a small sized room filled with lifeless, soulless, all the lesses you can think of, room full or journalists. I mean I know it’s a formal, business type situation, where all the wrestlers are wearing suits (I don’t know if Punk was actually come to think of it) and most people in attendance either had laptops on their laps or were holding cameras, but when Daniel Bryan starts doing YES! chants, you get up and start doing YES! chants!

Maybe it’s both the mix of unprofessionalism in me and the inner child in me, but had I have been there, I would’ve been marking out if I was sitting mere feet away from the likes of Bryan, Punk, Triple H and John Cena.  Of course Punk, ever the scholar, pointed out the lack of reaction from anybody in attendance, to which no one reacted. I can understand why WWE would be hesitant to let fans in after the recent Randy Orton attack in their overseas tour, but I’d be shocked if any of the journalists in attendance would actually consider themselves ‘hardcore’ WWE fans. Or wrestling fans at all. But anyway, life goes on.

Onto last night’s Raw, which featured the best Miz TV of all time, which is kind of ironic considering The Miz had the least to say and stood in the background for the most part. I don’t know how much of what Bryan and Cena were saying to each other was scripted last night, but both men made it feel very real and intense, to the point of John Cena almost shedding a tear! Yes, the man who said to his girlfriend on Total Divas that it’s hard to talk to her without staring at her boobs or ass.

It was the best promo I think I’ve ever seen Cena cut, and it’s one that will do/should go down in the history books. Before they really got into the nitty gritty, I was still finding Cena’s freakish elbow distracting, and now there’s reports that he could be taking time off to get it repaired, removed or rehabilitated. If the reports are believed to be true, which I believe they are, then more signs point to a Bryan victory. Yes! Yes! Yes! But now with Triple H, Vince, Maddox, Stephanie and Orton all in the mix, anything could go down!

Punk finally got the one up on Lesnar heading into Summerslam, and my biggest question/curiosity about the match is whether or not Punk can lift Lesnar up for the GTS? Not that it really matters in the brunt of things, but I just want to know. The Heyman/Punk match was never going to go down, but again out of curiosity, I’d like to know if Heyman can actually go (wrestle). My guess is that his finisher would be the low blow, though he would aptly name it the ‘late pay-cheque’. Also worth noting is that Lesnar cut a decent promo, albeit a pre-taped one, that first aired on Smackdown, and I only wish we heard more of him talk. Say something stupid, Paul.

RVD won a greatly contested Battle Royal to become the no. 1 contender for the U.S title, which by all intents and purposes should lead to a great match with between Mr. Monday night and Dean Ambrose. I’m fine with it being on the pre-show as there’s no storyline incentive between the two to warrant it being on the main card, but the problem I do have is that there’s two lesser matches on the main card that aren’t PPV worthy and would’ve been better suited on the pre-show. And those two matches are: AJ v Ziggler mixed tag match, and Nikki Bella v Natalya. Nikki v Natalya is literally only on there because of Total Divas, which actually makes me feel a little sick. However, RVD and Ambrose will work a great match regardless.

Speaking of Divas, the ref totally botched a finish somehow last night, which saw Natalya get AJ in the sharpshooter position for the second time to tap out again. And apparently the said ref took to his Facebook page to hit out against those who’ve called him out for his mistake. Still waiting for AJ to tweet about the scenario. story pending.. Anyhow, The Big Show returned after a few delays and, I must say, is looking tiptop. It looks like him and Henry will team up to take on Rollins and Reigns at some point, though not at Summerslam it seems. There’s a lot of noteworthy names on the card at Summerslam actually; Fandango, Caesero, Swagger, Ryback, Henry, Axel, and Reigns and Rollins. Perhaps the biggest blow is the absence of Ryback, who just two months ago was feuding with Cena for the WWE title.

A 30 Years of Wrestlemania mode has been announced for WWE 2K14, which, like last year’s Attitde Era mode, sees you relive and replay classic matches such as Hulk Hogan vs The Rock at Wrestlemania X8. Oh yeah, Hulk Hogan’s, like, in the game somehow even though he’s the GM of TNA. With this mode announcement and the announcement of the Undertaker Phenom Edition, they’re really going all out this year.

Before I get off WWE and move on to TNA, there’s just a few things to quickly roundup.

Sheamus is out 4-6 months…

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WWE spent $5 Million of Tout and have seen a $500k return…

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Summer Rae and Emma had the best dance off all time on NXT, and Dean Ambrose had a one on with Adrian Neville, and people still don’t like Bo Dallas as the champ. Kid’s the next Cena, I’m telling ya!

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Hulk Hogan turned 60 last week and to celebrate – no, no he didn’t record another sex tape – he let slip that a Hulk Hogan biopic is in the works, brother. But who would play Hogan? Would Hogan play Hogan? How would they get around using WWE’s name? Would they even mention his current position in TNA? Who knows, but the world needs more wrestling films and I’m all for it. Onto TNA which saw excellent matches between Hardy and Samoa Joe, Ken Anderson and Magnus, Kazarian vs Daniels, James Storm, Gunner and ODB vs Bro Mans and Mickie James, and the main event of Angle and Sabin vs Team 3D. The Dudley Boyz haven’t lost it one bit.

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Tito Ortiz spoke for about a minute – which is already longer than Rampage Jackson has – and said he doesn’t have a lot of answers at the moment, which is pretty much what Rampage Jackson said too when he debuted. Tito Ortiz got interrupted by his brother Kurt and Kurt said the same thing he said to Rampage, but the only difference in the segment was that Bully Ray got involved as well. Hopefully we’ll actually get to see Rampage wrestle in his first match in the 5 on 5 MEM vs Aces & 8’s match and see what he can do. The 5 on 5 match has been pushed back to a later date, which presumably has to do with Angle’s latest DUI drink-driving charges.

Bobby Roode formed an alliance with Bad Influence, in what I’m calling their stable as ‘Roode Influence’. Oh yeah *puts on sunglasses*. Next week’s Impact is another one of their free-per-view episodes, Hardcore Justice, which is going to see Bully in a World Title rematch against Sabin, a four way ladder match, and a four way tables match. If you’re not watching TNA, then now’s a good a time as ever.

Out This Week

Welcome to another addition of Out This Week, the weekly feature that highlights the week’s new releases in videogames, movies, television and comics in one handy place. So read on below to see what’s out, what’s hot and what’s not.

Videogame of the week – Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons (Xbox 360)

Quite simply, you will have never played a game quite like Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons before. Simultaneously you take control of two brothers, using the left stick and left analog stick for the older brother, and the right trigger and right analog stick for the younger brother. The control scheme feels very alien at first, and it can become very frustrating during particular points, though look past the controls and you have a beautiful world similar to Fable with a mesmerising story to boot. You can read my full review here – https://scottbarkergaming.wordpress.com/tag/brothers-a-tale-of-two-sons/ 

Brothers a tale of two sons

Also out this week:

Tales of Xillia (PS3) – One for the JRPG fanatics out there!

Movie of the Week – Alan partridge Alpha Papa

Alan Partridge, also known as Steve Coogan and Siegeface, makes his way to the big screen for the first time in Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa, which sees him and several hostages held up in a siege at a local radio station after one former radio presenter goes a bit crazy after loosing his job. And that’s the whole premise, really; though in true Partridge fashion, there are plenty of laughs along the way. The simple concept isn’t quite strong enough to warrant the 90 minute running time, and sometimes the plot stretches a bit too thin. However, if you’re looking for a laugh this weekend, then get down to the cinemas for some good old British humour!

Alan Partridge Alpha Papa

Also out this Week:

Percey Jackson: Sea of Monsters – When i first saw the trailer for this film, I actually thought it was a parody of Twilight and The Hunger Games. Turns out it isn’t, but just looks terribly bad.

Grown Ups 2 – It took an absolute beating at the American box office and from critics, and it should come to no surprise to anyone who’s seen the awful trailers.

The Lone Ranger – Johnny Depp, much like Adam Sandler, is taking a bit of a beating from film critics at the moment, after a slur of poorly received and reviewed films. Probably one best suited for the kids I would presume.

TV Show of the Week – Breaking Bad 

Well this is it, folks. Breaking Bad’s coming to an end, starting on Sunday (Monday on Netflix in the UK) with part two of season 5 with its final 8 episodes. We all know what happened in the midseason premiere, don’t we? Spoiler: Hank sort of found out that Walter is Heisenberg. This series has been dark ever since it started, and there’s been many lives lost and many drugs made, but will the man who knocks finally be brought down to his knees?

Breaking Bad season finale

Other shows on TV this week: 

Dexter – Dexter’s still plodding along in its last season, though it’s at a bit of a pitstop in its sixth episode and feels a little like we’ve seen this whole process before. Seven times before, in fact.

Ray Donavon – What I like to call the Grand Theft Auto of TV series, as it’s just as crazy, violent and fun as the popular Rockstar franchise. Like GTA? Then check this show out.

Futurama – Leela gets squidification (transforming her into a squid) in this Jack and the Beanstalk (kind of) homage episode.

Comics – Top Pick: Trillium #1

Having just recently read the whole of Jeff Lemire’s Sweet Tooth series (yeah I know I was late to the party!), and being a regular reader of his current run on Animal Man, I’m always interested in a project Lemire’s involved in. After reading the two separate but connected stories in #1 of Trillium, It’s clear from the offset that this book has big ambitions. Much like the second most recently released Vertigo book The Wake, it poses a lot of questions and doesn’t tell too many answers. That, my friends, is called the hook — aka hooking the readers into buying the next issue to find out more!

trillium #1

Also Hot This Week in Comics 

The Bunker – A time travel series with not robots or lasers but moral conundrum and character at its heart. I’m not the biggest fan of black and white books, but The Bunker’s first issue is this good and only 69p/$1, I cannot complain!

Superior Foes of Spider-man #2 – With superior villains come superior problems, as the bad guys are bailed out in what could be the year’s sleeper hit.

Robocop Last Stand #1 – Frank Miller’s incredible screenplay has been brought to life in this hard-hitting Steven Grant (2 Guns, Punisher: Circle Of Blood) penned adaptation. It’s Robocop’s last stand, as it was always intended to be.

Burn The Orphanage: Born to Lose #1 – Street Fighter in comic book form, folks. If you’ve ever wanted to see old school fighting games have a great story, then Burn The Orphanage is definitely for you.

Respect The Beard: The Top 10 Beards In Wrestling

With Daniel Bryan being WWE’s hottest superstar and charging full steam ahead into his WWE Title match against John Cena at Summerslam next week with his epic beard attached and new “Respect The Beard” t-shirt to boot, now seems about as good a time as ever to highlight wrestling’s most notorious and glorious beards. I’ve been thinking about this one for a while now and it seems WWE beat me to the post(!), as they posted their own ‘Top 20 Beards’ feature! However, their list focused on a lot of old wrestlers; having grown up in the 90s, my beard focus will shift more towards wrestlers of the past two decades or so. So read on, tell me who I missed, and then check out WWE’s list if you’re so inclined – http://www.wwe.com/classics/classic-lists/bryan-20-beards

10) Randy Orton 

He hears voices in his head, they come to him he understands, but are they telling him to keep the beard? A somewhat surprising entry at number 10, as Randy Orton perhaps isn’t the first name you’d associate with the beards of a wrestler, however – as JBL says – if you built a superstar from scratch, he’d look just like Orton (including the beard). While not the most outrageous or eye-catching beard, it does give Randy that edge we all know he has.

randy orton top beard

9) Curtis Axel 

Perf-eee-ccc-t! Curtis Axel’s success is partly to do with being a Paul Heyman guy, though don’t give Heyman all the credit; it was also at the same time the son of Mr. Perfect, Michael Mcgillicutty, grew his beard and made his transition into Curtis Axel onto the main roster. Winning the Intercontinental Championship on Father’s Day, there hasn’t been anyone more perfect to wear the belt around his waist than his father Curt Hennig.

curtis axel 10

8) The Wyatt Family 

All three members of The Wyatt family could’ve quite easily individually made their way onto the beard of fame, though considering they’re new to the WWE universe and they are a faction/family, it felt right to put them on here together. All three of the men’s beards probably means they’re going to be the ones stopped and searched at customs, though the people stopping them are just sheep. Follow the buzzards.

 wyatt family

7) Mark Henry 

Some men were just destined to don the beard, and Mark Henry is one of those guys. It’s injustice to the world and to his beard that he has yet to hold the WWE title, though whether he’s cutting an oscar worthy retirement speech in a pink suit or performing amazing feats of strength, such as pulling multiple eighteen-wheelers, he’s always rocking the beard. You know why? BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT HE DOES!

mark henry that's what I do

6) Damien Sandow 

Silence! Although Sandow can’t swim, his beard is, without a doubt, the most well-groomed beard on the list. In fact, the intellectual saviour of the masses’ beard makes most other people’s facial hair look like mere peasant attempts. Before Sandow turned on Cody Rhodes at Money In The Bank, Team Rhode Scholars almost had a good thing going on with Cody’s moustache (lovestache) and Sandow’s beard, though unfortunately it wasn’t to be. I blame those Ignoramuses on the WWE creative team.

  sandow

5) Chris Jericho 

Now this picture is a nostalgic trip back in time. Back when his rock band Fozzy was starting and when he was the biggest and greatest heel in the business, Jericho’s long hair and sleezebag-like beard summed up his persona perfectly. It’s a very different look to the 2013 clean-shaven, short-haired baby-face Chris Jericho, though luckily for us he’s still just as every bit as good in the ring and on the mic. Come on, baby!

chris jericho beard

4) Macho Man Randy Savage 

Past, present and future, nobody better. Ohhh yeah! The cream of the crop, the Macho Man Randy Savage! Unfortunately I was a little too young to see him during his days in WCW, though of course I’ve watched plenty of the lord and master of the ring’s matches and unforgettable promos online. It was during Macho Man’s nWo days that the beard was put to full effect (I believe), as he dyed it black to perfectly match the black colours of the nWo. R.I.P Macho Man.

macho man nwo

3) Hulk Hogan

That’s right, brother, you wasn’t expecting the list to go on without the inclusion of Hogan was you, Jack? Blonde hair, blonde ‘stache, black beard – not many could pull it off, dude. Despite what you may think of Hogan, he really was – what I would consider – to be the epitome of cool during his nWo days. Undoubtedly one of the most popular and iconic wrestlers of all time, Hogan turned 60 recently, though we all know Hulkamania and his facial hair will live on forever.

 hulk hogan nwo beard

2) CM Punk 

Proving that bigger doesn’t always mean better, and showing real style over substance, CM Punk returned to his hometown of Chicago at Payback against Chris Jericho in June with a Wolverine-like beard. Punk has donned the facial hair in numerous different ways over his career, and luckily enough for him he has the prowess and star power to pull it off. His match with Brock Lesnar at Summerslam is being touted as ‘The Best vs The Beast’, but we all know it’s really Wolverine vs The Hulk. Snikt!

cm punk wolverine

1) Daniel Bryan

 daniel bryan beard 

Yes! Yes! Yes! Come on, was you really expecting somebody else to take the no. 1 spot? After having a beard for the best part of a year with his run as one half of the tag team champions in Team Hell No, it’s now that Bryan’s gone solo that the WWE have capitalised on the epic-ness of the beard and have let him go full wild with it. The beard is here, everybody, and it doesn’t look like it’ll be going away anytime soon. Daniel Bryan has raised the beard-bar from here on out, and it’s going to take a lot of time and manliness to beat it.

Indie Games Out This Week

Welcome to the Indie Games Corner! Here I’m going to highlight the newly released indie games on a weekly basis – that includes Xbox 360, PS3 and PS Vita releases. I will have dabbled and played each game highlighted below, and I’ll give my impressions as well as the final verdict. What’s the final verdict, you ask? The final verdict is simple: Either A) Buy it, B) Try it, or C) Don’t buy it or even try it. So read on to find out below what’s hot and what’s not in the world of independently released videogames!BLOOD&BACON (240 MS Points)

BLOOD&BACON (240 MS Points) 

What will probably garner a little attention due to its ridiculous name, B&B (as I’ve taken to calling it) is true to its name and just as crazy. You have to defend yourself with warthog/pig-like creatures with a temper, in either first person, third person, or from a top-down view – though no matter which way you choose to play, every angle is equally as ugly. Some animal lovers may be offended, but even they must surely laugh in a pitch black farm with killer pigs on the loose.

Final Verdict: (Not for vegetarians) Try it 

blood and bacon

Sexy Island Adventure (80 MS Points)

Wow, just wow. Don’t let the game’s cover art fool you, because it is in no means in any shape or form a representation of what the game looks like. It’s an 8-bit four-sided world, and your goal is to, well, “Your goal is to find and photograph girls throughout the enchanted world to help rescue them”. In the short time I played I didn’t come across any girls, though I did waste my time walking around aimlessly. Fingers crossed It doesn’t get much worse than this.

Final Verdict: Definitely don’t try it or buy it

sexy island adventure

Journey To The Top: QFTLG (80 MS Points) 

If you want to listen to an over the top, tongue firmly in cheek, badly voice-acted intro about dragons and sorcerers, then go ahead and try Journey To The Top. However, if cheesy scrips aren’t your thing, and run-of-the-mill platformers aren’t either, then you may as well stay away from Journey (not the Playstation exclusive Journey). There’s a nice whimsical zelda-esque soundtrack in the opening level, though the game’s floaty controls and fairly hard difficulty make it a nuisance to play.

Final Verdict: Don’t try it or buy it

journey to the top

Magic Racing Rally (80 MS Points)

I’ll just start off by saying that cars don’t interest me, and I can’t think of anything I’d rather not play than racing games that take themselves very seriously (i.e. Gran Turismo and Grid). Magic Racing Rally has the cars and the tracks from around the world that may impress motorheads, but to me there’s nothing magic about them or this game. It’s a top-down Micro Machines-like racer, though it’s lacking the weapons, the ambience, and the charm.

Final Verdict: Don’t buy it or try it (unless you really are a hardcore racing fanatic)

magic racing rally

Tatakai Tank Rush (80 MS Points) 

The game’s cover art may look cartoonish and fun, but the final product is far from it In fact, the cover art is the best thing this game has going for it!. It’s dull, bland and boring, and an experience I want to erase from my mind as soon as possible. It’s got everything you don’t want in a videogame; ugly visuals, uninspired gameplay, a lack of imagination or creativity and, even for the cheap price of 80 MS points is well overpriced.

Final Verdict: Don’t try it or buy it (seriously, don’t waste your time)

Tatakai tank rush

Action Arcade Wrestling 2 (240 MS Points) 

if an Indie wrestling promotion made a videogame, then this is what I’d imagine it would look like and play like. With the only real wrestling videogame out there being the once-a-year annual WWE game, it’s nice to see someone step up and try something different. There’s no commentary and no entrances, though there is a handful of wrestlers and different match-types. The wrestlers range from a Blanka from Street Fighter look-alike, to a face-painted Sting with wolverine claws. The gameplay is as generic as expected, and doesn’t break the mould.

Verdict: Don’t try it or buy it

Action arcade wrestling 2

Gem Chaser 2 (80 MS Points) 

A simple but challenging premise, Gem Chaser 2 sees you collect coloured gems, but only gives you the points if you’re colour matches the gems. It’s Pacman-esque visuals will be its biggest draw, though I found myself with little motivation to continue the game’s one-trick pony gameplay challenge. It actually felt more like a chore having to change colour more than anything, though if you’ve got time on your hands and you’re craving a challenge…

Final Verdict: Try it

gem chaser 2

ZombieMonkeys Out of the Trees (80 MS Points) 

What looks like a flash game and plays like a flash game, unsurprisingly enough… is a flash game! It’s a tower defence game with a spin, as you play as a monkey with an arsenal of weapons and are tasked with defending the temple. It may sound fun, but it becomes boring and repetitive very quickly. With no replay value or incentive to play, it just isn’t the monkey’s week.

Final Verdict: Don’t try it or buy it

zombie monkeys out of the trees