Category Archives: Uncategorized

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1. Trying To Find The Postman 

GOW 2

The hefty price tag of £435 for the PS3 upon its release in the UK in 2006 was off putting, and Microsoft’s new and exclusive IP Gears of War was all the rage upon its release in 2006. Many of the guys in year 8 of Thamesview School (including myself) bought an Xbox 360 solely for the release of Gears (or at least our parents bought it for us.) So two years later and Gears of War 2 has been announced, and never, and I mean never, has there been a more anticipated game than Gears of War 2. So of course me and friends alike pre-order it from Amazon and pay first class in hopes that it arrives a day early, which Amazon has been known to do when delivering games. So it’s Thursday, November 6, 2008 – it’s snowing outside and it’s one day before the release of Gears of War 2. Gears 2 is all I’ve been able to think about and it’s all I’ve been talking about all day. The wait is almost over. But it gets to lunch time and the wait becomes unbearable. Me and my good friend Gibbs decide to bunk the last lessons and go home and play Gears. So we walk to my place, open the door. We look down at the post. There’s no Amazon package. We come to the conclusion that the postman must still have our copies and he hasn’t posted them because we need to sign. So there’s only one thing left to do: We need to find the postman. So we voyage around Riverview in our School uniforms in the snow looking for the postman when we should be in whatever lessons we were supposed to be in. We must’ve been looking for thirty minutes until we found him delivering the post to The Boat (a pub in Riverview) and we sprinted towards him. So we explain the situation to him and basically let him know how important this package is. He must’ve thought we were the biggest squares in the planet because we were anticipating the post so much that we couldn’t wait for him to delver it. Anyway, long story short, he didn’t have the package, and me and Gibbs both went home in dismay. (It did get delivered the next day, though, and it was worth the wait.) 

  2. Getting Up On Stage With Sum 41 

 October 29, 2010. I remember it fondly. I was with my good pal Joe that I grew up with, and we both grew up listening to Sum 41. It was the first time in over three years that Sum 41 were on a UK tour and it was also the first time we managed to secure tickets to see them live, and it also happened to be our first foray into Camden Town. I’d heard stories about Camden. Some rather strange stories. After walking up the steps from the station and entering the town, within minutes I saw a witch riding a bike and I saw the reincarnation of Bob Marley ask me if I wanted any drugs. It was three days before Halloween, though. But anyway, we arrive at the venue rather early and queue up outside  and wait for hours until the doors open. But it was worth the wait as we make our way to the front row. Filled with glee that we’re in the front row, we get talking to the security guard and he tells us that Deryck (the singer) will be letting fans watch the show from the side of the stage. Sure enough, not even one song in and I get invited up on stage. The video tells the rest of the story. 

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rfGWvSOE2sE 

Sum 41

 3. Fandango: Raw, April 22, 2013

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 Fandango was on a hot streak after making his in-ring debut at Wrestlemania 29 and beating Chris Jericho in singles competition. He was over. Big time. it was largely to do with the fact that European fans started what became known as ‘Fandangoing’ during the Monday night Raw the day after WM 29, which involved chanting and throwing your arms up and down during Fandango’s entrance theme. So when I arrived at the 02 arena and looked up on my phone the card for tonight’s event I was disappointed to find out that Fandango wasn’t in London; he was in Belfast working a house show. My hopes and dreams of Fandangoing and getting to see the man who is undefeated at Wrestlemania were crushed. So about halfway through the show and having a good time and accepting the fact that Fandango wasn’t going to be in London, Fandango’s music plays seemingly out of nowhere, and… well… I go bananas. Perhaps bananas is an understatement, but I can’t overstate how much of a fool I can only imagine I made of myself, but Fandango doesn’t only top my list of nerdy moments, it tops the lists of one of the greatest moments of my life. 

 4. Trying To Find Mass Effect 3 In Beacon Woods 

ME3 Space

 In one of the most elaborate video game marketing stunts of all time, EA, from various locations all over the world, launched several copies of Mass Effect 3 into space. February 27, 2012 (almost two years ago from the day I’m writing this) one copy of Mass Effect 3 got launched into space from England’s capital, London at 11AM. Out of all the places in the UK it could’ve landed, just mere hours later it had landed and the tracker located its position to be in Beacon Wood Country Park in Bean. To this day I still can’t quite believe that it landed so close to home, and in all honesty I wasn’t even that jazzed to pick up Mass Effect 3. But upon hearing of the news that it was so close to home, Gibbs, (who you may remember from the Gears of War story from above) my good friend Jack and myself decided to go on a little scavenger hunt in Beacon Woods. Only a handful of problems though: 1) None of us had been to Beacon woods before. 2. It was dark. 3) The woods was huge and it was probably stuck up a tree. But we carried on like troopers in the dark with our torches searching for Mass Effect 3 until an hour or so when we realised we just weren’t going to find it in the dark. So we wake up the next morning and discover that the Mass Effect 3 Space Edition that launched in Beacon Woods has been recovered by someone, and that our journey into the woods was wasted. Not completely wasted, though; because every time I read about Mass Effect it brings me back to Beacon woods on that cold, dark night with my two good friends just innocently trying to find a videogame up a tree. 

 http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2012-02-28-what-happened-to-the-mass-effect-3-space-edition-copies 

5. The Dark Night Rises (At 5AM) 

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If Gears of War 2 was my most anticipated game of all time, then The Dark Knight Rises was my most anticipated movie of all time. Never before have I wanted to see a movie so much and never before have I seen so much media coverage of a movie before its release. Rampant rumours of casting, plot threads and shooting locations were popping up everywhere on the internet, and I read every dam one of them. So when it was announced that Paramount would be showing the first six minutes of TDKR – i.e. “The Bane Prologue” – in front of Mission Impossible IV showings at Imax cinemas, Jack, Gibbs and myself instantly booked tickets for our first ever Imax experience. (Side note: None of us were even that bothered about seeing Mission Impossible IV; we just wanted to see the first six minutes of Batman and we paid over £30 for the privilege. No regrets.) So anyway, the faithful day comes (July 20, 2012) and the first showing is at 5AM. So yes I got up at 4AM in the morning to see The Dark Knight Rises, and no I couldn’t wait like a normal human being to see it at a normal time. But like most other nerdy and somewhat eccentric moments on the list, it was worth getting up so early and I can say it’s the only time I’ve seen a film where there’s been a standing ovation at the end. 

 6. Getting Sharky –  Crazy Bones

  cbones – sharky

There were four huge fads of being a kid in the 90s & early 2000s, and those four are Pokémon, Digimon, Yu Gi Oh and Crazy Bones. All hugely popular in their own right, but out of the four, Crazy Bones seems to be the one that either people forget – which is strange considering they’re still going today. Just what exactly were these Crazy Bones, though? Well, they were these little plastic figures that came in packs of four and cost £1 a pack, and I guess the goal – much like Pokémon’s strap-line – was to collect them all. But it wasn’t my goal and it wasn’t my friends’ goal to collect them all. Our goal was to get the rarest Crazy Bone; the shark, the myth, the legend: Sharky. Sharky was by far the coolest Crazy Bone of the bunch and we all wanted him, though none of us had him and by the way we talked about Sharky on the playground, it seemed about as likely as one of us seeing the lochness monster before ever getting him. However, one day… one day… I got a pack – no different to any other – except for the fact that it had Sharky in it, and I freaking lost it. After calming down after ten minutes or so, I called my friends to tell them the breaking news. Of course they didn’t believe that I had won the Crazy Bones lottery, but they were all in shock and awe the next day at School when I walked up to them and reached into my coat pocket like a total badass and pulled out Sharky. 

  7. Becoming The (Riverview School) Yu Gi Oh Champion

 blue eyes white dragon

The four years I spent at Riverview Primary School (2000-2004) were four of the best years of my life. I met many kids there that remain great friends to this day, almost ten years later. But the one thing I’ll remember the most with my time at Riverview School is Yu Gi Oh. Pokémon was out (sort of), Beyblade had its stint, and Digimon stopped by for a cup of coffee. Yu Gi Oh stuck around right up to 2004, though. And by that time I was the best god dam Yu Gi Oh player on the playground. I was so good that you make an appointment if you wanted to challenge me. Not just any jabroni could walk up to me and challenge to a duel. I looked after my deck of cards (which I still have to this day), I wrote down and practiced strategies at home so my opponents didn’t know what to expect from me, and you had better believe I took every game seriously. So I was the champ, I carried myself as a champ, and everyone knew I was the champ. When that sad day in June of 2004 came (the day I left Primary School for good) I was willing to put my title on the line against the number 2 player, a guy named Ben in the year below. It’s the last day of School and I should’ve been saying bye to people I probably won’t see again, but me and Ben have more pressing matter to attend to in the ‘quiet area’. If he beats me then I pass the torch. Simple as that. No best out of three, no excuses and no regrets. After an exciting, nerve-wrecking and tense game, I beat Ben with my wit, skill and experience. And still to this day nobody has beaten me, so I’m still The Riverview School Yu Gi Oh champion. 

 8. Runescape – Paying Real Money For Fake Money 

 runescape funny 

Two years prior to Gears of War’s launch, years 7 (2004-2005) and 8 (2005-2006) was all about the massive multiplayer online game Runescape. This is the first and only mmo game I’ve ever played and it’s for good reason: their addictive nature. Though I wasn’t alone in being addicted to it, as every time I logged in there were at least ten other kids from School online – and this just added to Runescape’s already addictive nature. Why it proved to be so popular is simple: 1) It was free. 2) Unlike most free games, Runescape was actually a good free game. A very good one, in fact, that developer Jagex Games kept expanding the world and adding new features. But it got to a point after countless man hours and months of playing that leveling up – essentially the goal of the game – was getting harder and money wasn’t as easy to acquire. So instead of leveling up the hard way, some evil geniuses thought it would be a good idea to sell their in-game money for actual, like, real money; and suckers like myself actually paid them. (Looking back though, it wasn’t my money i was spending, it was my parents). 

 9. The Battle For Games Workshop

 warhammer

 I hate Bluewater. I hate the shops and I hate shopping. I hate the fake and pretentious hipsters there. I hate the Z-list celebrities it attracts and how people talk about it like it’s a big deal. I hate when I’m driving home from Dartford that there’s always congestion just before getting on the A2 back to Gravesend because of the amount of twats coming back from Bluewater. I hate that people can’t stick to the fucking left when walking. I hate that there is a restaurant there called ‘Wagamamas’ – that is a stupid fucking name for a restaurant. And Bluewater is a stupid name for a mall. (Lakeside is just as fucking bad but that’s for another day.) One redeeming quality to Bluewater, though, is Games Workshop – even if it is about as out of place as a church in the middle of the Ghetto. But the long of the short of it is this: one day on a Sunday, from midday to 5PM there was an intense five hour game of Warhammer that to the average human being that doesn’t know squat about Warhammer would’ve been like watching five hours of dudes rolling dice and moving plastic figures whilst talking a foreign language. 

  10. Writing a List of Top 10 Nerdy Moments 

  Writing a list of your top ten nerdy moments is a pretty thing to do, right? 

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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.

Picks Of The Week!

Well, it’s been quite a week, hasn’t it? Possibly the greatest ‘nerd week’ of all time? Debatable, I’m sure, but a week that saw the season 3 finale of Game of Thrones, The (official?) start of the next-gen war at E3 2013, the release of The Last of Us and Man of Steel (on the same freakin’ day, no less!), and with three Scott Snyder comic books all released, it will go down in the history books. And as I write this, the week hasn’t even fully commenced. Oh, and Fez 2 just got announced. Amazing news. The best news to come out of E3, in fact. But anyway, I’ll break down this week’s new releases below. Enjoy!

 

Videogame Pick of The Week: The Last of Us

 The Last of Us

Probably most gamers’ most anticipated title of the year, and probably one of the handful of games that could still be garnering attention upon its release the same week as E3. Perfect review scores (almost) across the board, and being hailed as the Playstation 3’s best game. Even with all the critical acclaim and praise it’s been receiving, the demo impressed me above and beyond the bar I had raised for it. Now, I just can’t wait to get my hands on it. Also, if you’ve made it this far without reading any spoilers, then congratulations.

 

Also Out This Week: Animal Crossing: New Leaf 

animal crossing new leaf

I don’t know what’s more foolish: That Animal Crossing is out on E3 week, or that it’s going head-to-head with The Last Of Us’ release. As I said above, unless it’s a behemoth of a game like The Last of Us, then the chances are the game is going to be overlooked – with the Nintendo faithful being the exception, of course. So, no, it wasn’t Nintendo’s smartest move to date. Bur in Ninty’s defence though, It was released on Jun 9 in America. I haven’t had the chance to play it yet, unfortunately, but I can’t wait to see Tom Nook and the crew again.

Movie Pick of The Week: Man Of Steel

 

 Man of Steel 

So you thought life was complete last year when you walked out of that cinema after seeing The Dark Knight Rises, eh? I did, and I could’ve died happy. But Batman is last year, and Superman is stepping up onto the pedestal — without his pants! Superman has always been Batman un-cooler brother it seems, and too vanilla for some, but this time the red trunks are gone and the time for games are over. With Michael Shannon playing Zod – who I’m presuming is going to be this year’s badass version of Hardy/Bane – we’re in for a darker, grittier, visceral treat. Zack Snyder, I salute you.

Also Out This Week: Much Ado About Nothing

 Much ado about nothing 

Anything I had to study in English class at school I’m sureuly not going to want to see at the cinemas. But with Joss Whedon involved – and having filmed the movie in his own home – it just could make me see Shakespeare in a different light. A bright, positive light. Released last year in America, I believe, but only just coming to the UK now. See this if you don’t like superheroes.

T.V. Pick Of The Week: Game Of Thrones “Mhysa” 

GoT Mhysa  

It is known now that episode 9 is the episode where all hell breaks loose in Game of Thrones, and the penultimate episode’s job is to, ultimately, pick up the pieces. Season 3 continued the trend, but not only did it deal with the fallout from The Red Wedding – which quickly made its way around the seven kingdoms – but also, it resolved some story arcs and made some great set ups for next year as well. Jaime finally reunited with Cersei and the Lannisters, Theon’s torturer was revealed, and Dany yet again acquired another group of slaves.

Comic Pick(s) Of The Week: Superman Unchained #1, Batman #21, American Vampire: Long Road to Hell 

Bow at the feet of a comic book-writing God

  Bow at the feet of a comic book-writing God

Any week where a Scott Snyder book is released is a good week for comics. Any week where two Scott Snyder books get released is a great week for comics. But any week where three(!) Scott Snyder books get released.. man, that is a blessing from God (and DC).

Superman Unchained #1: 

 superman unchained

The best Superman yet since the DC debuted The New 52? From what I’ve read, yes. And I’ll be honest: I’ve not read a lot of Superman books before, and nor am I the most knowledgable Superman fan out there. But now seems like a good a time as any to become a bigger fan, and let’s just hope that the media attention for Man of Steel conveys over to Superman Unchained as well. My only regret with this issue: buying it digitally instead of the print edition so I didn’t get the awesome pull-out poster.

Batman #21:

Batman zero year

Sometimes I ask myself: How does Snyder do it? How does Scott Snyder retell a story we already know and have read before but make it feel new, fresh and as if we don’t know the story? By changing and mixing the ingredients to get a different result, it seems. He made Batman’s most iconic villain, The Joker, more psychotic and evil than before in The Death Of The Family arc, and it looks like – aesthetically – he’s doing so again in retelling Bruce Wayne’s origin in Zero Year.

American Vampire: Long Road To Hell

 AV Long road to hell 

Two young lovers, a stolen car and the open road. What could possibly go wrong? Bonnie & Clyde with vampires, that’s what. Usual artist Rafael Albuquerque is still on art duty in this one-shot special, but this time around he’s co-wrote the script with American Vampire alumni Scott Snyder — to great results. For those wary of the price, don’t be; you’ll more than get your £5’s worth with the action-packed 64 pages (roughly the size of 3 average comic books). And the best thing about this book is that it’s completely accessible to new readers. Win!