Northern Ireland based geekery & nerdisms

Monthly Archives: November 2012

First of all, I am incredibly biased. As a huge fan of the Fable games, perhaps I am not the best choice to try and objectively review a game that I was counting down the days until the release, but I promise you, I shall try my very best.

For example, to show how I can, in fact, find faults in the game, I’ll start with a negative. Not a big one, but it seriously affects my enjoyment of the game…I hate the protagonist. This main character, Gabriel, is so irritating that I occasionally have to mute the game. He is whiny, extremely unfunny and he falls over a lot. He also likes his horse a little more than is natural or normal.

That’s a lot of love.

I haven’t completed the whole thing yet, perhaps I will warm to him. It seems unlikely, mind you.

He’s also a boy. I know, shock horror, but after the gender choice given in both Fable 2 and 3, not having one here seems a tad regressive. I know it’s a stand alone title, that doesn’t follow the story of the Archon bloodline like the others (err…the hero family, in case you don’t follow the games as avidly as I do), but I always appreciate the opportunity to play as a girl. I know it’s extremely limiting in a lot of games, but I don’t know many people who wouldn’t rather play as someone with the same basic anatomy as themselves. It’s something to do with relatability, I’m sure.

Anyway, onward to the actual gameplay. I’ll be quite brief, because it is  Kinect game, after all, and I think we all know what to expect by now. It is quite sensitive, mind you, you don’t have to gesture wildly to do something small, so that’s nice, I guess.

You spend a lot of your time steering a horse and cart through various forests/obstacle courses/villages, and yes, it grows pretty old pretty fast, but it’s broken up nicely with arcade like games.

Mostly, the highlight of the game is the actual spell casting element. You flick your wrist at the screen and THINGS EXPLODE. If you play it for long enough, you forget that you cannot do this in real life, and attempt to explode people you don’t like in the street.

It doesn’t work.

The graphics are much like the other Fable games, there’s a great cartoon-style aspect to the game, which means that nothing is really all that scary. Balverines and The Devourer are likely to make you jump though, but anything you have to run away from is meant to be a little bit spooky, yes?

And yes, Queen of Spookiness Theresa is still floating around.

All in all, most definitely worth a go, if you a fan of Kinect games. If not…well, this game is 100% Kinect, 100% of the time. You move, you shout, you wave your arms about like an idiot. This is the future of gaming, the days of moving nothing but your thumbs and your eyeballs, they are numbered!

This game is such good fun, the story line is strong, and Albion is still recognisable and familiar. Yes, there is physical effort involved and the main character is annoying as hell, but the novelty of throwing fireballs at hobbes – I don’t see that wearing thin too soon.

S.

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Mr Tony Law is a self professed Piking (a mixture of Viking and Pirate). Tony wonders the world with his on-the-spot spirals of endless stories, filled with belly laughs and many giggles. Sharks (painted as salmon fighting bears) in paddling pools, elephants feeling bewildered and ethnically oppressed in and Cartridge the time travelling wonder dog; all this and more await you, when you go to see Mr. Law live.

That is, when he’s not busy with Never Mind the Buzzcocks, Have I Got News For You, 8 Out Of 10 Cats or Russell Howard’s Good News.

Mr. Law performing at the first Comedy Presents gig, at the Edinburgh Fringe.

Tony, as per usual was more than happy to interact with us eager fans, and took some time to answer the following questions.

1. Firstly, how are you, where are you and how’s the weather?

                I am Zephyr lord of the wind!

2. Many moons ago, we saw you on the same bill as Franky Boyle here in Belfast. We where left    wondering, who actually wins that fight between the bear the shark (painted as a salmon)?

     Bear!

            3. What do you make of Belfast and it’s major collection of Game of Thrones extras?

                   Love it. Always have. One if the places that have always loved my brand of bollocks. Mental. And I’ve a lot of mates there who    remind me of my grandparents.

4. At a gig at the Mandela Hall recently, you mentioned Game of Thrones. Do you follow it? Would you go for a part?

Love it. Yes. Bloody would love to do that. But can’t get a look in.  Yet…

5. What are you ‘geeky’ for? (i.e, latest gadgets, comics, movies, etc)

Boardwalk Empire. Mary Beard’s Rome documentaries and anything that Tom Holland the Historian writes or presents.

6.Your known for being very interactive with your fans on both Twitter and Facebook, do you enjoy this electric link we all have now?

Yes.

7. Struck by crazy radiation ray things, Tony Law arises with new powers and a new heroic name…what are they?

Marcus Aurelius. And slam down bullies and sexists.  Ficking prick shit horrible coward morons.

8.What have you got in the pipeline for the future?

This and that.  You will know straight away by twitter if it comes off.

Look forward to be amongst ye.

From all at RefugeekNI we say a huge thank you and good luck!

Tony can be found caressing our ear holes withhis  humour and banter on 17th January, in the Black Box Belfast. Get on down for guaranteed enjoyment and a great night.

Check Tony Law on Facebook and Twitter too, for daily shits and giggles.

KB.


New & shiny! Be on the look out for these in circulation. When I am Queen, they shall be the new currency.


I have mentioned that it was my birthday about ten times between the blog and the Facebook page, so I thought I would be super smug and share with you the marvelous geeky things that were gifted to me over the last week or so.

I turned 23, by the by. Nobody likes you when you’re 23.

First up…graphic novel! Signed, by Gail Simone, the writer. This makes me happier than words can say, and she even spelled my name right. Lovely boyfriend buys lovely presents.

Yes, there is my entire name, all six laters. Please, don’t stalk me.

Onwards, talking Yoda. Self explanatory. Very cute. Says wise and noble things, on which I now intend to model my moral standards.

BATMAN DRESS by Vampire Bunnies. I might save this, and someday wear it as a wedding dress…it’s that cool. And it fits so well, for anyone who was wondering. I know sometimes handmade clothes are a bit uncomfortable and twisty, but this…oh goodness, how I love it.

For those long, cold, winter nights (as if I need an excuse), I actually asked for a particular present from my brother – Fable: The Journey. I am a huge fan of the Fable games (Fable 3 is, in fact, one of my favourite games of all time, even though it was infuriating and the citizens of Albion didn’t seem to understand that they would all die unless they stopped demanding TRIFLING FAVOURS) , so I was psyched to see a new adventure coming my way. A lot of reviews seem to focus on the pitfalls and downsides of using Kinect as a sole controller, but as a gadget junkie, I can’t get enough of connect. If you want your horse, you shout, ‘OI, HORSE’ and it’s freakin’ magical.

The same friend who kindly bestowed the Batman dress to my wardrobe also kitted me out with a little treasure chest of jewellery goodies, all made by herself (I harp on about her and her craftiness a lot, but I assure you, it is well earned! Go check her out at HearHoofBeatsThink Zebras).

I was going to model said jewellery fantasticness myself, but that would’ve meant brushing my hair, and putting on make up to hide the fact I am naturally green. So, Sackboy is doing it instead. Fabulous.

Sackboy makes a marvelous supermodel, yes? Yes. 

I got the standard loveliness as well, of course – pyjamas, lovely notebooks for my genius thoughts, more wine than I could safely consume in a week and a kittycatpompom hat. All in all, ’twas a wonderful birthday, and I thank you sincerely if you were a part of it in any way.

Love.

S.


It may not be so shocking that I am a huge Tim Burton fan. The man is a genius. On my birthday (which was Wednesday, thank you for asking), I finally got round to renting and watching Dark Shadows. I’ll admit, I avoided it for a little while, because the reviews ranged from terrible, to meh. I liked it, but I was always going to like it. I’m that sort of person.

However, I had one little problem with the movie. SPOILERS, and all that. In my opinion, any Tim Burton project is usually recognizable by the unlovable protagonist, who seems doomed to spend their life/eternity/every Halloween, alone. These projects usually wrap up with said protagonist finding love after all, and it’s wonderful.

See? Wonderful.

General theme: The freaks need love, too. As a complete and utter weirdo myself, I always found this reassuring. Like, okay, you wear a lot of eyeliner and you’re a monster, but it’s fine, you still get a soul mate.

(Side note: I’m generalizing. Sometimes, you just find inner peace and pass quietly on, or you are chased into hiding by an angry mob…but those things aren’t as romantic).

To me, Dark Shadows went completely against this. It probably didn’t help that the lady ‘freak’ in this situation is the one of the few women I would definitely and completely flip my sexuality for.

Eva Green, as Angelique Bouchard.

So maybe I’m biased. It just felt to me like Barnabas (cursed vampire) and Angie (evil and devoted witch monster) should have wound up together, instead of the leading man betraying the witch’s love (several times) in order to chase a skinny blonde guppy.

She is a tad guppy like, yes?

I don’t mean to sound bitter, I have never, to my concrete knowledge, been dumped for a skinny blonde guppy, but it just didn’t seem right to me. Yes, she wasn’t 100% normal, but she wasn’t very interesting, either.

Alas, my love for Tim Burton, it endures (much like the Collins family! See what I did there? Obscure movie reference hilarity), and I remain forever a fan of him and his apparent ‘dream team’ of Helena Bonham-Carter and Johnny Depp. I just feel like this movie missed the point, a little. There are many giggles to be had, and a few twists at the end (although a few of these are not surprising, and a few others seem irrelevant), but any movie where I feel the ‘bad guy’ should have won? May have needed a touch more character development.

Either than, or I’m psychotic.

Anyway, I feel I’ve made my point. Here are some more pictures of Eva Green being fabulous.

S.

p.s. Don’t forget to stalk us on Facebook! No podcast this week, because I was busy getting old, but we’ll be back next week to sooth your lonely ear drums.


Occasionally, I remember that I started the blog to keep people up to date with fantastical geekery going on around the country.

Today, I remembered that. So, in the run up to Christmas, here are some things you might want to check out/do/see.

Firstly, and in my opinion, most importantly, the Continental Market starts this Saturday (17th)! Outside Belfast City Hall, and packed with amazing food, fantastic crafts and strangely flavoured beer, I don’t know a single person who doesn’t count down the days to the market every year. It officially marks the start of Christmas…but maybe wait a week or so before you venture down? You might get crushed. Crazy busy.

For anyone from my own precious home town, we get a mini version. Click the picture and find out about the Lisburn Market!

From the 21st to the 25th, the Foyle Film Festival is celebrating 25 years! A must for local movie buffs, the Foyle Film Festival has been known to attract some BIG names, and this year is no exception – feature films, special events, workshops and more, well worth the trip to Londonderry/Derry (don’t yell at me for not picking one, and/or using both, because I DON’T CARE).

Former guests include SIR Kenneth Branagh!

Next up is something I have mentioned before, but it’s still on the go, and well worth a look see. Comic book artist Will Sliney (perhaps best known for his work on the Star Wars comic books) has a temporary exhibition up in W5 (at The Odyssey). I’ve seen some of this guy’s work at a convention a while ago, and he’s fantastic. Go have a nosy.

Finally, my love of St. George’s Market and Christmas have been conveniently bundled together, for their special seasonal market. I know for a fact that every stall holder in the market goes into over-drive at this time of year, so there’s more variety, bigger smiles and more glitter. Sparkle sparkle. I’ve mentioned the assorted geekery of St. George’s Market before, and it only gets better.

Go forth and enjoy. ‘Tis the season.

S.


Apologies for the short hiatus, but I was busy turning 23, and drinking copiously to help me deal with it.

I’m going to do a blog on the awesome and wonderful geeky presents I got, mostly just to make people jealous, and also, to show off how much I am loved.

Modest.

Onwards. So, the bad news is, I am quitting my blog on geekery, because it has come to my attention that I am a girl, and I shouldn’t even like comics! I’m so stupid! I’ve wasted so much time, effort, money and love on building my collection of comic books, graphic novels, figurines and other collectibles, when I should have been buying shoes that I can’t walk in, frilly pink dresses and a whole spectrum of mascara shades.

You may have caught on by now, that I am being sarcastic, but this is in fact the view of the charming Tony Harris; comic artist and complete ass.

Harris recently went off on a nice little rant on his Facebook page, essentially accusing any girl with an interest in comic books, cosplay or video games as manufacturing these ‘fake’ interests (and her entire personality around it) in order to attract the attention of the male ‘geek’ population. He seems to particularly despise when women show their love of these mediums by dressing up as popular characters.

“And here it is, THE REASON WHY ALL THAT, sickens us: BECAUSE YOU DONT KNOW SH*T ABOUT COMICS, BEYOND WHATEVER GOOGLE IMAGE SEARCH YOU DID TO GET REF ON THE MOST MAINSTREAM CHARACTER WITH THE MOST REVEALING COSTUME EVER. And also, if ANY of these guys that you hang on tried to talk to you out of that Con? You wouldnt give them the f**king time of day. Shut up you damned liar, no you would not. Lying, Liar Face. Yer not Comics.”

Right.

I apologize sincerely for my original statement – it’s not that he doesn’t think girls should be into comics and video games and the cosplay that often results from an interest in such, no! He just doesn’t think good looking girls could possibly have a real interest.

Well, that’s okay then.

Scruffy Rebel as Jaina Solo.

(Side note: this is Victoria Schmidt, aka, Scruffy Rebel. I shall call her Exhibit A. She is a beautiful woman, a genuine nerd, and a prolific cosplayer. Yes, okay, she does a few Star Wars outfits that are overtly sexual in nature – Princess Leia in the gold bikini is hard to truly emulate without, well, the gold bikini – but I’ve shown her here in one of the outfits with which she is most associated. A bright orange jumpsuit, not exactly demanding the sexual attentions of every man in the universe, huh? And, as I get to my point – not the most mainstream female Star Wars character, not by a long shot.)

Unfortunately, these ‘fake’ girls do exist. In the minority. I, for one, am sick of the constant debate on whether or not girls can be real nerds. I thought I would, personally, end it, right here and now.

What is the matter with you, men?! Seriously? There are plenty of glorious, girly geeks out there now, it’s 2012 – gaming, comics and cons are so much more accessible to the female sex (teehee) than they have ever been in the past, so, yeah, we are going to grow in numbers.

I couldn’t do a whole blog on the wonders and growth of girl geek-dom without including Felicia Day, at least once.

And, okay, there are some girls who aren’t into comics and games for real, but they still like to cosplay. ONLY SOME. That’s an important point. So what? These hot, creative women want to dress up as your favourite character, and stroll around in public? I don’t see your problem, I truly do not. Harris accuses these women on preying on geeky guys (apparently all of whom are “unconfident” virgins…so, no geek got out of his rant unscathed), but I don’t think this is the case at all. Cosplay is a labour of love, from researching every detail of the character, to spending hours perfecting the costume.

There are easier ways to get men, just sayin’.

I’ll conclude with a warning. Geeks and nerds – we have a bad rap. We are notoriously protective of our characters, games and culture. I’m not saying we shouldn’t be, but we’re putting other people off, and we’re making ourselves look bad.

SHARE. Don’t be bitter that someone else has the same interests as you – enjoy the fact you have someone to talk to/argue with (politely)/play with.

And be secretly, be quietly smug in the knowledge that you know more about whatever it is than they ever will.

S.