Rian Johnson confirms he is still working on his Star Wars trilogy…and sets a rare example.

I rarely blog about news and, as usual I’m slow out of the gate but I was so impressed by what I saw recently over this news that could have easily dissolved into fiasco but instead was resolved amicably and professionally.

First off I am so glad to get confirmation that the announced Star Wars trilogy is still going ahead.

After ‘Suberbros Movies’ released the story there was a flurry on the internet about Johnson’s work being cancelled for different reasons.

Johnson eventually had to speak out, but did so giving respect to the news outlet, despite many in the fandom turning on them. With so much negativity on Twitter towards Johnson he did not need to comment at all, much less in such a genteel manner.

What happened next continues to impress. Superbro Movies acted like grownups and issued a retraction and apology to Johnson, emphasising that their story was based on what they believed to be reliable sources and was not born out of any negativity toward Rian.

Despite having cleared the air and being respectful to a rumour that must have at least made his day more challenging Johnson went out of his way to express that he felt no ill will towards them and graciously accepted the apology.

This is such a great example of online interaction to a difficult situation done with integrity and understanding.

I for one think we should all look to this when interacting online.

Still no news on a release for the trilogy but I’m sure it will be worth the wait!!

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The 100: Clans and Factions part 4 – Other Factions

Join me as I look at the factions in The 100 that don’t belong to the coalition. In this video I will be discussing the Nomadic Grounders, Reapers, Mountain Men, Second Dawn and the Eligius mining crew

I hope you’ve enjoyed the Trigedasleng vocabulary. For translations I have used the Slakgedakru online dictionary Telongeda

http://www.slakgedakru.com/telongeda/wiki/Main_Page

It is a really useful resource. Slakgedakru are a community who are interested in the language and are developing their own additional vocabulary to the language. The site is well worth a visit and they even have a Memrise course to help you become fluent!!

Thanks for reading.

Kom folau osa gyon op

 

Sluggish Reaction: Anthem Demo

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I had a brief hands-on with the Anthem Open Demo this weekend and I wanted to share my thoughts on the game. In short it was a lot of fun – I’ve genuinely not smiled as much while playing a game from sheer enjoyment!

Gameplay

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Waiting for that ultimate ability is sooooo worth it!

The gameplay was a lot of fun and, for the most part, fairly intuitive. After a mission briefing I hopped into my Ranger Javelin and was out in the world. On the fly pop up messages got me throwing grenades and unleashing special attacks amid the variety of enemies available to fight.

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The one control I struggled with, at first, was flying. The only control guide that was available took me out of the game and opened up a web browser, which was confusing. So I went back into the game and tried various combinations but ended up just double-jumping assuming I hadn’t unlocked flight yet!

Eventually I figured it out (press/hold left stick) and the game became incredibly fun. Flying is seamless and while I did crash into things…a lot, it was definitely because of me rather than the controls and within a few minutes I had the hang of basic flying.

The Story

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I was prepared for an engaging story from Bioware but what I wasn’t prepared for was just how bonkers the world and story would be!! The mission has you retrieve an artifact for Matthias who turns it on and is immediately split into three versions of himself each with a distinct element of his persona!!

The short time I had with the game managed to take me by surprise in a lot of ways with unexpected moments happening organically as I played.

The World

As much as I was awed by the crazy happenings in cutscenes I was itching to hop back into my Javelin and get back into the world, which is so rich. It’s hard not to compare Anthem to Destiny or to want to be ‘better’. I won’t weigh in on that debate as I enjoy both but Anthem is definitely not the same as Destiny.

For one thing there are more human factions. Freelancers are not the only ones with access to Javelins and powers. One mission got my squad into a rumble with the Dominion, the enemy human faction who want to control the Anthem of Creation. Another sent us to reinforce some Sentinels, the peacekeeping force in Anthem.

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What also makes the world great are all the creatures. They add not only danger but a sense of the unexpected. My first mission I was looking all around to see what enemy was attacking me – I eventually looked up to see three Wyverns (dragons) hovering above me. Later I did my usual practice of throwing a grenade out at random (oh come on, you know you do it too!) and awoke a pack of Anrisaurs (giant crab thingies – see below) who attacked me squad.

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My only complaint was that it was hard to visually distinguish a lot of the enemies who seemed to blend into the background and you had to get suicidally close to get a proper look at anything or see what they were called.

That said Anthem seems to be set up with an excellent lore system, which is BioWare’s forte and I’m sure we’ll get some hi-res shots of all the enemies after launch.

 

Like I said nothing has genuinely made me smile like the fun, crazy dangerous world of Anthem and I can’t wait to get back into my Javelin for the full game

Star Wars for very young kids – part 1

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If you have very young children you may find yourself wishing Star Wars had just a little less…war in it so that you can share it with them. Thankfully we are in a golden age of Star Wars and there is a decent amount of content out there now where no one picks up a blaster or lightsaber, which I’m going to cover here.

Starting this week, I’ve picked out some episodes from Forces of Destiny season 1.

Sands of Jakku

The first episode of season 1 features Rey shortly after meeting BB-8. They encounter the night watcher worm, which might be scary for some children. Rey gets BB-8 back without using violence and then takes pity on the creature, feeding it which sends a positive message

 

The Padawan Path

This episode features Ahsoka who is late for a Jedi Ceremony. She runs late because she stops to help people in need. She does use her lightsabers in the episode but only to safely disable a malfunctioning droid, which she does without destroying it.

 

Beasts of Echo Base

This episode features Leia rescuing Chewie from a Wampa. The wampa is quite scary, though less so than it’s appearance in Empire. Leia puts herself in danger and distracts the wampa so Chewie can escape. No weapons are used.

 

Tracker Trouble

This episode features Rey, Finn, Han and Chewie finding a bomb aboard the Falcon. There’s no violence at all, but the episode is very wordy and not very engaging for younger viewers (or older ones in my personal opinion!)

 

An Imperial Feast

While the episode is technically about Ewoks trying to eat Stormtroopers it is very safe for kids. It features some slapstick humour and the kids will love the Ewoks. It also has a message about resolving conflict peacefully.

 

The Happabore Hazard

This episode features Rey retrieving a Quadjumper. She stops and has compassion on a Happabore (the big beast Finn shares a drinking pool with) who in turn helps her.

Crash Course

This episode is fairly safe, but I felt it was mostly punishing you for not watching Rebels as I had no idea what was going on, which I felt was a problem with the second half of the season. I didn’t have a problem with using Ahsoka and Sabine, but this episode assumed you knew the context of the story as well. If your kids are watching Rebels then you probably don’t need this video!!!

 

Well that’s it for season 1. I’ll post again with selected videos from season 2 soon

Worlds Slowest Gamer: Achievements update January 19

A Happy New Year to you all!

 

Here’s a catchup of the achievements I’ve unlocked playing Halo 5:Guardians recently…ish!

As I said in the video I’ve embedded a guide to get the skull I unlocked in the game. The tutorial comes at the skull from a different angle to what I detailed ( I don’t jump over the pelican) but I realise it’s probably easier to follow as a video. Do check out their channel for more helpful guides

Sluggish Reaction: The Man in the High Castle seasons 1 and 2

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I gave Amazon Prime Video a whirl recently and one of the big draws for me (alongside them getting Marvel’s Cloak and Dagger) was this series. I love Philip K. Dick novels and they are seemingly an unending source of inspiration for  film and television producers as this latest addition shows. This is one of the novels I’ve never got round to reading but it’s Post-WW2 setting had always intrigued me as it stood out from most of Dick’s work which is set in the future. So the chance to see it on screen was very exciting.

The Plot

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I’ll try to avoid spoilers as much as possible going into this. The show is set in 60s in the U.S. a few years after Nazi Germany and Japan won the war by dropping a nuclear bomb on Washington D.C. America has been divided into the Greater Nazi Reich and the Japanese Pacific States with a lawless wasteland dubbed the Neutral Zone in between.

The Plot centres around the Resistance against both Japan and Germany, with tensions in both countries raised due to an ageing and increasingly unstable Fuhrer. But the show has a Sci-Fi twist with the inclusion of the titular character who collects films which show an alternate reality where the Allies won the war.

I respect that the show doesn’t make this a focal point except where it needs to be, the plot is centered on the characters and their struggle and the films are a mystery to most of the characters and the audience.

The Characters

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The show features a range of characters who are all compelling. Unassuming Juliana is drawn into the world of the Resistance by her sister’s death and cannot let go, though it costs her nearly everything even Frank who wants to stay out of it but is compelled to fight back as the consequences of her actions affect him. One of the most intriguing characters is John Smith, devoted family man and the very dangerous leader of the SS in the United States. All the characters have a real humanity and are trying to make their way in the world they find themselves in and you can’t help sympathizing with all of them.

A-Bombs and F-bombs

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The second season in particular builds tension as supposed allies Japan and Germany both contemplate the possibility of nuclear war to secure their foothold and characters on both sides conflict with their loyalty to their leaders when faced with the possibility of mutually assured destruction.

I would mention that the series does have a fair amount of salty language in, which I wasn’t keen on. The obvious argument would be that it builds realism and fits with the darker tone of the show but I personally felt that the series stood well enough on it’s own to not need that. There is also some nudity, which is sparingly used, but again I didn’t feel was at all necessary to the plot.

Verdict

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The show has a great cast and is finely crafted. The first season felt a bit slow in getting going (particularly with the epically long title sequence!!) but it put the building blocks in place and the second season felt stronger because of it.

I know season 3 is out now, but unfortunately for me there wasn’t enough on Prime Video for me to continue subscribing so maybe I’ll pick this up again in the future as well as get around to reading the novel!!

 

Sluggish Reaction: Avengers Endgame trailer

This has been seen and over-analysed by millions so I’m going to keep my thoughts brief.

Yeah Tony’s stranded in space – but we’ve recently seen a trailer for a Superhero who can fly around in space, so I’m just gonna join up those dots and assume him (and presumably Nebula) will be fine!

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At first I thought this was a giant monument to Thanos, but I’ve read that in the comics it’s a scarecrow made from his armour as he lives a life of peace. good luck with that Thanos!!

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Hawkeye’s return was what got me the most excited, even in his new identity as Ronin. He obviously looks like he’s in a dark place post-finger snap but I can’t wait to see him reunited with the gang.

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Ant-Man’s return was your typical Marvel tension-relief but I do wish they’d kept him out of it and kept the suspense after the end-credits scene of Ant Man and the Wasp. Especially as they showed him on the presumed missing screen – way to spoil your own trailer Marvel!!!

Otherwise they’ve done a good job of keeping the plan secret and I can’t wait to see how it unfolds!!

Sluggish Reaction: Anthem Trailer

BioWare recently dropped their Anthem trailer at the game awards as well as an unexpected teaser for a new Dragon Age game – which gives me hope for the future of Mass Effect.

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At first viewing the trailer didn’t seem to offer much we didn’t already know, but the more I’ve watched it the more I’m intrigued. We get additional shots of Javelins taking down various monsters in the world.

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We see some of the faces we’ve already seen, but we start to see some more of their capabilities. I’m still struggling not to see comparisons with Destiny with characters harnessing the power of the Anthem seeming a lot like the Traveler’s light.

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We also glimpsed a few more new characters including this woman, who seems to be a leader of some sort, perhaps of one of the factions in the world.

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I liked the references to ancient civilizations and exploring groups that have come before but been wiped out by the Anthem of the Gods is intriguing and feels very BioWare.

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The idea of a walled city again seems very Destiny but actually seeing the city defend itself in-game is very exciting. I also spotted something interesting on second viewing.

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At first glance I thought these were some giant monsters attacking the city but looking again the vehicle on the left looks a lot like a Strider – the vehicle your character uses to get about in the world when not in their Javelin. Anthem’s world isn’t just ‘one last city’ but a number of human civilizations, who aren’t always at peace.

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And with the we see the Moniutor, the enemy leader of the Dominion – a human faction intent on controlling the Anthem. Realizing this, especially with the trailer literally having an unreliable narrator, makes the game come alive. A world full of monsters but the main enemy is human?! Yes, sign me up now!

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I say human, but some of his followers look pretty freaky, wonder what the power has done to them.

I was already sold on this, but now I can’t wait!!!