Thursday, 29 December 2011

Blogga's Wall - November '11

Well it's been a while but here's what I stuck up on my wall in the month of November this year.

1) Arkham City

Well I'm posting about this in my video game diary with more to come soon (one of these days I will blog about a video gams AS I play it, hasn't happened yet though!) This game is fantastically varied and the side quests have much more meaning to them this time, giving access to secrets of Arkham City and helping Batman save the victims of the Riddler as well as take down villains liks Zsasz and Deadshot - anyway, more on that later. A great game!

2) The Sounds of Star Wars

I don't much go for 'behind the scenes' stuff with Sci-Fi, I prefer to live in the fantasy rather than know about how it's made, but this book I just had to go for. I've always been fascinated by the rich array of sounds in Star Wars and to know how they are made is just fascinating. I'm still amaxed, reading through the pages as to how they created the iconic sounds we hear, and how so many of them came by Ben Burtt just accidentally creating a sound and recording it. Even better this book has an audio feature meaning you can listen to the sounds that you see described. Best book I've bought in a while!

3) Star Wars: Choices of One

It's great to see Tim Zahn back on form (not that he was ever off-form, just he's still know what I mean!) with a new Star Wars novel. Set between Episodes 4 and 5 it sees the Rebels hunting for a new base of operations and striking a deal with a remote Imperial world only to be drawn into a plot controlled by a rogue warlord from the Unknown regions. Featuring key roles from Mara Jade, Thrawn, Pellaeon and the Hand of Judgement (featured in his last book 'Allegiance') this is a gripping read and is a key insight into the transition of the Rebellion after A New Hope.

And that's me, more soon!

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Doctor Who - New series, new species part 37

Well the Christmas special has just aired on Christmas day in the UK, but as usual I'm playing catch-up, so here are the new aliens we encountered as we bid farewell to The Sarah Jane Adventures.


I quite liked this idea, even though I found the names 'fleshkind and 'metalkind' a little simplistic even for a kids show. But the concept of two races developing differently yet similarly and the tale of how how they drifted into endless war with each other was very well told and it was a good introduction for Sky, the fleshkind weapon who becomes another of Sarah Jane's adopted children.

Felshkind and Metalkind are two related species that diverged significantly in their development, one side (fleshkind) becoming carbon based lifeforms similar in appearance to humans, the other becoming boron based lifefoprms named 'metalkind'. Both species were able to emit powerful energy blasts and signals from their bodies, though whether this is natural or technological is unclear. The child 'Sky' was engineered to contain enough energy to wipe out the metalking in a single blast. While the crisis was averted by Sky's choice to join humanity the war still continues.


I thought this was possibly the rubbishest alien enemy in the series, which is a pity since it was in by far the best episode. Clyde's rejection by his family and friends led to an insightful and engaging portrayal of homelessness that was presented well for it's young audience, being neither overly hopeful nor direly pessimistic but showing the fight for survival that many have on the street. To bad it was ruined by a strange totem pole thing that was defeated by Clyde shouting his name at it with no explanation as to why that destroyed the monster.

Hetocumtek is the Native American name for an alien being that descended to Earth and was capable of wreaking great havokusing psychic abilities that were interpreted as 'curses' by the humans it encountered. The Indians found a way to imprison the being in one of thheir totem poles where it was imprisoned until it touched Clyde Langer. He cursed Clyde, making anyone who heard his name hate him, but Clyde retaliated with the help of his friends and broke the curse, defeating the monster.


I really liked these little guys, at first seeming to be the villains. The story of them being slaves was cool and I absolutely loved their steampunk operating system for the hologram they operated and used to hypnotise people for their master. I really liked the reveal that there is an underground black market in captured aliens as slaves, it would have been a great plot line to follow, and I'm really hoping that some of the cool elements like the Trickster, the Captain and this trade can maybe migrate into the main show and continue.

Skullions are a technologically superior race that have fast space travel capabilities and are able to produce and control detailed holograms. One group came under the control of Serf Industries when their ship crashlanded in Asia and they were picked up and enslaved by a secret organisation that sells captured aliens and their technology to the highest bidder. They were rescued by Sarah Jane and returned to their home planet safely.

And that's it - I'll post the Christmas special soon!!

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

SF at the Movies - December '11

Let's see what Sci-Fi goodness is on our screens this month

The Thing

And that's about it - we've been a bit slow on the Sci-Fi front for a while now - but there is the new Sherlock Holmes and Mission Impossible to keep cinema goers happy at least!

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Blogga's Video Game Diary - 20/12/11

Yes, it's finally time for another game!! I promised myself that this one would actually be a diary, where I posted updates as I got through the game - well, typically, I've finished the main campaign, though there are a few side quests to keep me occupied for a while longer. I'll try not to spoil too much, but if you want to be completely spoiler free then don't read on.


Well I've just told you where I'm up to, but one thing I've been doing is hunting down Easter Eggs and I thought I'd share those with you because they're easily missed in game.

1) Scarecrow

You don't see the villain in game, but you do find his base (confirming he is alive after Asylum) filled with insects for him to use in his experiments of fear along with one hapless Joker goon.

2) Killer Croc

I missed this guy so make sure you listen our for when to find him, you can only find Croc at a specific point. Apparently Croc is living happily in the sewers under Arkham City.

anyway, on with some...

New Stuff

Real Name: Selina Kyle
Occupation: Proffessional Thief

Catwoman is a great addition to the game as DLC that comes free with every new copy of the game. She has her own storyline that complements the story but isn't essential to it. She has her own set of gadgets, which I'll discuss later, and her own moves. She can also use her whip for travelling around the city, and her claws for crawling upside down on ceilings, which adds a nice bit of variety to the game. She has a run-in with Poison Ivy is locked in her own battle with our next new character...

Two Face
Real Name: Harvey Dent
Occupation: Former DA, now proffessional criminal

It was great to see a wider cast of villains in the new game. Dent is the first villain to appear, locked in a battle of wits with Catwoman, who starts the game breaking into his vault to steal a memory card containing vital data. She is captured by Two Face and tried and about to be executed when Batman arrives on the scene and defeats him. He is a powerful figure in Arkham City, having claimed territory from Calendar Man and other villains. His gang wear suits and masks that have been burned on one side to match him. He escapes Batman later on and sets a trap for Catwoman, bombing her apartment and stealing all her possessions. Though she defeated him he left one final insult, instead of keeping her loot he dispersed it among his goons, forcing Catwoman to scour the city to get it back.

New Gadgets

Well I'll stick with Catwoman's gadgets for this post, but of course Batman has plenty of new toys in this game.


It wouldn't be Catwoman if it wasn't for her trademark whip. She can use it in a number of ways, tripping enemies up, sweeping around to stun all nearby enemies or disarming an individual guard. She also uses it as an equivalent to the batclaw for swinging between buildings and pulling guards off ledges etc.


These high speed throwing weapons can be used to knock down enemies at range as well as being used in close combat.


These spiky little gadgets are dropped on the floor causing goons to injure their feet and fall down, very handy in close quarters combat as it can incapacitate a number of goons, reducing the number of enemies you have to fight at once.

And that's it, if you haven't gotten this game yet, I'd really recommend it, it's still keeping me occupied and it hasn't gotten the slightest bit boring!