My Pick For The Eurovision Song Contest.

29 05 2010

Tonight is The Eurovision Song Contest and 25 countries will be performing for your vote. Now as a fan of the contest I  have been looking at previews of the countries performing tonight, I saw bits of the 2 semi-finals and voted in the second one (it was the only one the UK could vote in). Both Semi-finals were interesting. there was a mix of different genres and styles of music.

I am not the only person looking into this. there are rumours circulating over 2 performances who are said to be the favourites of this years contest. They are Azerbaijan and Germany. Germany is a member of the Big Four. Four countries that pay money and get instant places in the Final. These countries are, Great Britain, France, Spain and Germany. Also because Norway is hosting this year their performance is already in the final. Out of these 5 countries songs, Germany’s is the better one in my opinion.

I have voted since the 2004 contest and during that time I have voted for 2 countries that went on to win it. The Ukraine in 2004 and Finland in 2006. I have also voted for 2 other countries that received place’s in the top ten. Switzerland in 2005 and Bulgaria in 2007. I know what a good song is. Some songs I dont for because I usually only vote once apart from 2007 where I voted for both Bulgaria and Finland. But some songs I like a lot but dont vote for. 2009 was hard to vote because the country I wanted to vote for wasnt even in the final. Belarus had the best song in 2009 and didnt make it to the final, so I voted for the next best song, and for the fourth year running, Finland.

What I like to see is Rock, Metal music, things like Lordi from 2006, Vanilla Ninja from 2005 and Terasbetoni from 2008. But I also like songs with an interesting sound, things like Hanna Pakarinen in 2007, Elitsa Todorova & Stoyan Yankoulov from 2007 and Ruslana in 2004.

The favourites may be Azerbaijan and Germany but in my opinion the favourites for tonight are either, Turkey, Albania, Denmark, Boznia and Herzegovina, Moldova and Germany.

It would be hard for me to choose one specifically so I am going to wait until the Contest before I make my Descision.


Sam’s Rant – 2009 Video Games, Part 3

18 05 2010

Sam’s Rant

2009 Video Games

July wasn’t much of a month for video games. The only good one and one of my favourite games of 2009 was Wii Sports Resort. With its new Motion Plus controller the game worked really well and is a lot of FUN. An absolute must buy.

August arrived and something bad happened to the PS3. It froze while playing Smackdown vs Raw 2008. I tried turning it off, it eventually did but as it was taking a while I thought the safest idea was to turn it off at the plug. This did turn it off and it was still working when I turned it back on again apart from the fact that it wouldn’t play games anymore. Because I was going on holiday for almost 4 weeks I decided to wait until I got back to fix the problem. I took it back to game in September and they gave me a whole new one. This was good but I was pretty annoyed that on exactly the same day the new much more powerful and much cheaper PS3 Slim came out. Annoying but I am happy that my console now works.

During August you were able to bring the boringness of the Ashes to your video games with Ashes Cricket 2009, How boring is that. G,I, Joe, oh what’s the point. Another piece of Nostalgia was released in the form of Wolfenstein. Metroid Prime Trilogy was released for the Wii. All Metroid Prime games with Wii controls (the first 2 came out on the Game Cube). August finished off with one of the years biggest releases (well not for me, I wasn’t really looking forward to it) was released, Batman Arkham Asylum. This was apparently very good even though no one really explained why it was good when I asked them if it was good or not.

Video Game TV shows changed around again with Playr getting replaced with Game Face on Bravo. What I want to know is when GAME DAMAGE is getting a series. A trailer for the new series was posted up in October on WWW.GAMEDAMAGE.NET but there hasn’t been much more news since. Remember that’s GAME DAMAGE, A New show Featuring YUG, Matt and Yahtzee, The Top Gear of Video Games.

September started off with the 8th game in the Guitar Hero series, Guitar Hero 5 (you may be confused but this is the 8th game in the series for home consoles. Once again Guitar Hero  came out and showed us once again how it is totally different to all its previous games, NOT; WHAT MAKES THIS ONE ANY DIFFERENT FROM THE PREVIOUS GAMES, ITS THE SAME FORMULA OVER AND OVER AGAIN, WHY NOT JUST HAVE ONE GAME AND MAKE IT BIGGER BY JUST ADDING SONGS THROUGH DOWNLOADABLE CONTENT INSTEAD OF RELEASING GAMES TO FILL THOSE GAPS IN.

Section 8 looked quite interesting as well as Colin McRae: Dirt 2. One of the games I was most interested in arrived in September, Mini Ninjas. This actually looked quite FUN. Maybe I might play it one day. Need for Speed returned with Need for Speed Shift. That actually looked quite good in my opinion the only problem was that if I bought it I would lose most races if not all because in racing games I don’t use the brake.

Oh dear, one of the worst bands in history got a video game. The Beatles Rock Band. Wet was released. Halo 3 (which came out 2 years ago) was revived with Halo 3 ODST. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were given their own Beat-Em Up game in the form of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Smash Up. Overlord 2 was released and Dead Space Extraction arrived on Wii. Ok September wasn’t really all that big for Video Games.

But something good happened, Charlie Brooker (The UK’s number one Columnist) presented Gameswipe. The show follows the same format as his previous shows Screenwipe and Newswipe but this time it looked at games. The show was very good as well as very funny. Cant wait for a full series.

October started off with the release of Wii Fit Plus. The game contains more games than the original and you don’t have to pay for the Balance Board. Mario and Sonic at the Winter Olympic Games was released for the Wii. Its actually a lot better than the original and is a lot of FUN. Borderlands was released, don’t know much about it so lets just move on. Uncharted 2 was released for the PS3. A game with amazing effects and eventually wins the Spike TV Video Game Awards for 2009 Best Game of 2009 Award. I am not going to buy it though.

Forza Motorsport 3 was released. I have actually had a go with this. Its ok Not great but its quite FUN. TEKKEN 6 was finally released and I actually had a go at this at the Eurogamer Expo. Its quite good and its actually pretty easy to pick up.

One of the Best Looking games of October was also one of the Best looking games of 2009. Brutal Legend. A game which mixes Story Telling, Hack and Slash Action, Adventure style and Real Time Strategy Elements. Not only that but the game was about ROCK and ROLL and HEAVY METAL and HOT RODS and GUITARS and many more COOL and AWESOME STUFF. I really want to play this game.

At the end of October I went to the Eurogamer Expo in Leeds with some friends with college. There I got to play some games that hadn’t been released yet. Some of the games included Red Steel 2, Left 4 Dead 2, New Super Mario Bros Wii, Tekken 6 and MAG. It was a very good day out and I also got to have a first proper look at MAG before it got released.

November started off with the release of Rabbids Go Home and Backbreaker. Need for Speed Nitro was released for the Wii, a Need for Speed game mixed with some cartoony elements. Lego Rock Band and Band Hero. Dragon Age Origins was released and went on to becoming a highly successful game, I haven’t played it.

During November I played Call of Duty Modern Warfare for the first time. The Friday after I completed it I went to GAME and bought Modern Warfare 2 for the PS3. Modern Warfare 2 is an amazing game with some really clever levels including the Invasion of America and a huge battle erupting in Washington DC. However the CO-OP is not all that great. If the CO-OP included full levels then the game would have been improved a lot better. I haven’t given the other multiplayer pieces a try yet but Modern Warfare 2 is an Amazing game. Modern Warfare finally arrived on the Wii 2 years after it was released onto the other consoles. New Super Mario Bros Wii was released for the Wii. The game incorporates 4 player CO-OP and is a lot of FUN especially with friends. I actually received this game for Christmas. Left 4 Dead 2 was released followed shortly by Assassins Creed 2, another pretty good looking game.

December rolled in with the release of AVATAR a game based on the Film AVATAR. Now I do admit I saw the film very late (second to last day of showing) but I did like the film. The effects were pretty amazing. The games effects weren’t. I mean COME ON, you have a fil hear which is a symbol of good film effects but if you are not going to show the same about of care for the game I don’t think you should even bother. The Legend of Zelda Spirit Tracks was released as well.

Well what can we expect for 2010. Well MAG is looking pretty good (its already been released I am writing this in April, I am currently a Senior Dragoon). Red Steel 2 will get released. Gran Turismo 5 will still not get released. God of War 3 will come out and make XCube 720 Players, oh wait Xbox 360 Players jealous over the fact that they don’t have the PS3. RTS (Real Time Strategy) Games  are going to be back on the rise after a long time of being over shadowed by Shooters and RPG’s. Many RTS games coming out including Command and Conquer 4 and R.U.S.E. The game I am most looking forward to is an RTS, Supreme Commander 2 for the PC (once again is already out and is run on Steam making it incredibly annoying).

As for 2009 what is my Favourite game of 2009. Thats a difficult one but overall I would have to say its KILLZONE 2. An absolutely FANTASTIC game and if you are a First Person Shooter Fan it is a Must Play for you as well as the Best game of 2009, this may change depending on what I Think of Brutal Legend but for now KILLZONE 2 is my Favourite game of 2009.


Sam’s Rant – 2009 Video Games, Part 2

10 05 2010

Sam’s Rant

2009 Video Games

Hurray March arrived with the release of Empire Total War, another game in the Total War series. That’s all I know about it. Sonic returned to fight Batman, Oh wait sorry, not the Dark Knight, The Black Knight. Sorry no Batman. Sonic and the Black Knight featured Sonic with a sword. Almost like Shadow the Hedgehog (the game not the character even though it starred the character) where Shadow the Hedgehog (Obviously) had a gun. This game is similar but with Sonic (the Hedgehog) and a sword instead of a gun. When are sonic games going to get good again, they haven’t been the same since after Sonic Adventure 2 Battle (the best in the series).

Tom Clancy brought out another game (in his extremely large series of games) in the form of Tom Clancy’s HAWX. HAWX (bad spelling, it should be HAWKS) involves the player fighting in air combat. I wouldn’t mind having a go at this but is it going to be harder than Heat Seeker. An expansion pack (remember those) came out for one of 2007’s biggest games, World in Conflict, Soviet Assault. Actually I would quite like to play World in Conflict to be honest. Another game was released for the SIMS in SIMS Party, moving on. Another game I wouldn’t mind playing was released in the form of MAD WORLD. One of the most controversial games of 2009 due to its violent content. Grey’s Anatomy. Another Expansion was released for Command and Conquer 3.

One of the biggest games of 2009 arrived in March. Resident Evil 5, I actually played the first level of this and I wasn’t very good at it. In the end I almost resorted to running up to the giant guy with the massive weapon and punching him. This game also had a review on Zero Punctuation and was one of the Funniest Zero Punctuation reviews of 2009. GTA (Grand Theft Auto) arrived on a Nintendo console for the first time with GTA Chinatown Wars for the Nintendo DS. Pokémon Platinum expanding the series ever more, not that there is anything wrong with Pokémon. Battle forge was also released in March.

WWE Games came back (AGAIN) with WWE Legends of Wrestlemania. To tell you the truth I have had enough of WWE Games especially the Smackdown vs. Raw series. The best wrestling game by far is still WWE Day of Reckoning on the Game Cube. That worked unlike the Smackdown vs. Raw games. March rounded off quite nicely with the release of Guitar Hero Metallica. OK I didn’t play it because I don’t like Guitar Hero but it’s nice to see some DECENT BANDS on the game for the first time.

April started with the release of The Godfather part 2 and The Chronicles of Riddick Assault on Dark Athena. One game I was quite looking forward too which I still haven’t played came out, DEMIGOD; created by legendary game designer Chris Taylor (creator of Dungeon Siege, Total Annihilation and Supreme Commander) this looked pretty amazing. One of the most looked forward to games of the year came out for the Nintendo Wii in the form of Little Kings Story. An amazing Adventure RTS (Real Time Strategy) which is absolutely brilliant and a must buy. Velvet Assassin was released (haven’t we all had enough of World War 2) and rounding April off was the release of the EPIC GAME Stalin vs. Martians.

Another Movie game was released (yet again, you can almost sense when they will come out) in May in the form of Wolverines Origins. Now I would like to play a game based on X-MEN Characters but not ones based on films. I mean COME ON, why not base them on the cartoons. I wouldn’t mind playing X-MEN Legends but I have never come round to buying them. You know how I just said in brackets (These()Things) that you can sense when the movie games come out, well Night at the Museum was released in the form of a game, moving on. Not only the previous 2 Movie Games but also in May saw the release of Terminator Salvation. When will it ever end.

HURRAY WE CAN STILL PLAY EPIC WW2 GAMES (I am being sarcastic). Yes the war is officially not over with the release of Battlestations Pacific, Who Cares. For those wanting Nostalgia May saw the release of new versions of 2 Retro games with Punch Out on Wii and Bionic Commando for thePS3 and the other major console, oh what is it called, it begins with an X, X Cube, X Square, X Quadrilateral, Oh Yeah that’s right the Xbox 360. UFC decide to join the band wagon along with WWE with UFC 2009 Undisputed. Infamous was released, that fizzled out quickly. Boom Blox Bash Party was released on the Wii, A game created by Hollywood Director Steven Spielberg. This is another game I wouldn’t mind playing, It looks like FUN.

May finished nicely with me finally buying my PlayStation 3. With it I got Killzone 2 and Far Cry 2. Both of which are a lot of Fun. More on the PS3 Later.

June arrived and started off with the release of The Sims 3, Yes it’s just like Sims 2 with a higher value of number on the end. Red Faction Guerrilla was released along with a viral Marketing Campaign. I didn’t take much interest in it to be honest but apparently its good, well thats what people have told me at least. Fuel was released (a racing game). My Sims racing was released (another racing game), why cant the mysims games go back to being like the first 2 in the series. Prototype was released (a game not a prototype of a game).

E3 Returned and went back to its original form. Many games were shown to the world including Crack Down 2, Forza Motorsport 3, Modern Warfare 2, Left 4 Dead 2, Wii Sports Resort, Wii Fit Plus, Super Mario Galaxy 2, Legend of Zelda Spirit Tracks, Scribblenauts, New Super Mario Bros Wii, Mafia 2, APB, Agent, Final Fantasy 13 (oh hurray another one can’t wait, NOT), MAG, Heavy Rain, Assassins Creed 2, Gran Turismo 5 (if it ever comes out), God of War 3, Crysis 2 and Supreme Commander 2. New technologies were also revealed including the Wii Vitality Sensor and Sony and Microsofts own Motion Sensing controls with PlayStation Move and Project Natal (Pronounced NERTAAAL).

My Birthday returned and for my birthday I received Motor Storm Pacific Rift for the PS3. A very good racing game.

Now people were really excited about this release but you can easily expect it to be bad seeing as it was based on a film. Yes Ghost Busters the game, moving on. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen the game was released. I didn’t play this but the film was Amazingly Fantastic. Another Movie game came out with Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.

One of my Most anticipated games of 2009 was released in June with The Conduit. I still haven’t played this but it looks FUN. Call of Juarez made the Wild West cool again.


Sam’s Analysis – Election Special

5 05 2010

Sam’s Analysis

Election Special

Who To Vote For

Let me just point out I am not telling you who to vote for.

 That decision is yours and yours alone

Tomorrow is the general election and all of you who are old enough will be going out to vote for whichever party you think is best to run the country. Of course not everyone old enough to vote will vote. One part of this could be you are not interested in politics, the other and most likely is that you have no idea who to vote for, I can understand that.

Over the past few weeks there have been 3 TV debates with the leaders of the top 3 parties. Now if you were going to vote in the election it was probably a good idea to watch at least one of these debates. However I didn’t because they looked pretty boring. But because I didn’t watch it the decision is harder for me. Bu it is also easier.

The problem with leadership debates is that leader A (that’s not his real name but an example) will say something and both leader B and leader C will say exactly the same thing or say something similar that sound the same to you. The problem is that they need to say what they are going to do if they are elected but need to explain so they use really complex sentences which to normal people may require a dictionary.

If you didn’t watch any of the debates you could go on the web and look up the parties, but there are so many parties to chose from (49 roughly). With that many parties it is going to take a long while to read any information. Even if you just look at the top 3 there must be close to 500 pages of basic information of what the parties want to do.

I suppose you could watch the party political broadcasts. They are short and easy (potentially) to watch and get the idea with. But because they are usually no more than about 5 minutes long; you don’t get the whole information of what the parties plan to do.

The best coverage of the election in my opinion has been in the form of comedy. Over the last few weeks the Vote Now Show has been going on to BBC Radio 4 at 11:00 pm. These broadcasts have been really helpful. They have also had an in-depth look into how elections are done. One interesting piece they did featured film reviewer Mark Kermode and he kind of reviewed the party broadcasts like films. This was really interesting as well as funny.

Failing all of those your last hope is to look at the leaflets that are piling up at your front door. These are pretty useful because they are small easy to read leaflets, well at least the conservative one was.

The major issue with the leaflets are they don’t really explain much. What we need is a leaflet with easy to read information about everything the parties are planning to do if elected. But keep it small say no more than 2 sides of A4. I think that is pretty reasonable. But because that doesn’t exist (YET) we need to go off and get as much information as we can in such a small amount of time. We’re bound to miss something.


Q. Did you like this analysis, would you like to see more of these, would it work for a film review or game review and can you think of a good name for it please.

Sam’s Rant 2009 Video Games Part 2 will be back on Monday.

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