Monday, November 30

Giving Heavenly Sword One More Go

Hello Ninja Theory,

I have long been interested in your games but have never had opportunity to play them until recently. I have played Ragdoll Kung Fu briefly and I am now playing through Heavenly Sword.

My interest in your games and your company came from reading about your development of Heavenly Sword in Edge magazine, I found the column very interesting and the coverage Edge gave Heavenly Sword and the PS3 really exciting. Due to the fact that I went travelling for a few years I didn't get around to buying a PS3 until last year and I've only just got my hands on Heavenly Sword.

I'm really impressed, the game looks lovely and Nariko is a powerful and well realised protagonist. Fighting with her is an absolute joy and watching her leap and bound down rope or up walls is a thrill.

Andy Serkis as the bad guy is fantastic, also I like two out of three of his henchmen too, you did a great job capturing the performances and it makes a difference (and allows me to forgive the fact that some cutscenes can't be skipped, even on replay).

All that said though, I don't think I'm going to complete this game. You see, it turns out that I'm not very good with a bow and arrow. And master Shen, well not only can he not walk very fast with arrows sticking out of him (something his enemies seem to have no problem with) but he refuses to pick up any of the swords which fall from the hands of the dead around him, no matter how much I scream at him.

It wouldn't be ideal, but I could accept his death as a plot point, sometimes heroes fall and our saviours fail us, right? I would accept his death and it would steel me to fight the evil forces even harder, to not let his death be in vain... but I don't have the choice. The choices presented to me are "try again" or "give up", and I don't want to do either. What would you suggest?

I'm gutted, because there are performances, combos, vistas and bosses that I just won't see and I've waited so long.

Maybe I will give it one more go...


Wednesday, November 25

London Photowalks: Notting Hill

Notting Hill is a really interesting place and shooting it was great fun. A big part of the fun was the company.

My hope for these events is that they create an opportunity for people to be creative, to learn, to meet people who share and encourage their interest, whatever level they're at I hope they can be inspired by the places we visit and the people we meet.

I know that this time round I really was inspired and I'm really looking forward to the next Photowalk.

Red Door Black

I wanted to take a pic of this building, I forget why, but on getting the pic home and then seeing it on my computer I realised that it was really dull! So I changed it up a bit and created something I'm far happier with.


I love this car and wish I had done it more justice, this is the better of three pictures I took.

Blue in Green

I'm really happy with this shot, I had the aperture too wide and was feeling a bit rushed because my model was posing grudgingly, but I'm sure she's as happy with this shot as I am.

Trelick Tower

Trelick Tower... one day I will shoot this from a helicopter, but for now, just an interesting shot from street level would do. Maybe this isn't the shot I wanted.

Grand Union Canal

I'm happy with this one as well, I spent some time in Photoshop with it, making the light stuff darker and the darker stuff lighter. Perhaps I should spend a little more time dotting the i's and crossing the t's... one to revisit.

Tuesday, November 17

A few Spotify Lists

I'm kind of into making music playlists that are centered loosely on a certain theme. These are some Spotify lists which are based on the four seasons, or more accurately on the mood of those seasons.

They're collaborative, so feel free to add your own tracks to them too.

Sunday, November 15

Writing The Fantastic Unknown

Let's write, just for the sake of it let's just tap away at the keys and see where it takes me… and then go back and edit what I've written because let's face it, you and I, this is going to be awful.

So, what to write about? The present, the past, the future? The unknown, the known? The fantastic, the mundane? Each subject is as worthy as the other, and in all honestly I probably know as much about each subject as I do the other (and seeing as The Unknown was a category, well that don't say much for what I know now does it?).

I know! I will talk about an amalgamation of a few of those subjects, I will choose "The Future", "The Unknown" and "The Fantastic", mix that in a bowl and lick the spoon.

So, Stephen from Derby University, who's specialist subject is The Fantastic Unknown Future, the time starts with your first question, and that question is… Whaaa?

Scary ain't it, I suppose that's why most of us only take life a day at a time, and a fair few of us spend most of the our time in the past or ignore the future for the pleasures, pains, trials and tribulations of the present. Spend some time in the Fantastic Unknown however and the possibilities are overwhelming, mind boggling, stupefying.

The expanse of possibilities, of choices and consequences are so many and so varied that most of us will look at the future and reduce it to something simpler, something less abundant, less overwhelming. A simple binary choice maybe… "stop or go", "stay or leave", try or do not try", "speak now or forever hold try peace".

The future, reduced to something so simple as a 'do/do not' choice seems manageable and controllable, but doesn't seem half as fantastic. A binary choice isn't a choice between anything and everything anymore, it's not full of wonder or awe, it's a fork in the road where the consequence of taking either path is a known outcome, each choice as measured and assured as the other.

What if life wasn't just a series of choices, each with a known outcome, each as predictable and controllable as the other? Oh wait… it's not. We may try to reduce the Fantastic Unknown to just that, but that is not what it is… however we try and trivialise the future it will always be fantastic, surprising, worrying and unknown.

So, let's write something, just for the sake of it, just tap away and see what happens. But be careful, because in life there is no going back to edit what you've written, you can only hope that your choice, now, makes sense then, but let's face it, you and I… you just don't know.

Monday, November 9

The OXO Factor

So OXO adverts have changed a bit.

So they were the new ones, shall we look at the old ones?

Example one.

Example two.

Huh... good aren't they.

Saturday, November 7

Film Review: The Spirit

Never read the comic, and never will! And if that was Frank Millers intention, to put a self-confessed comic geek off of an otherwise revered comic… then, well done Frank-my-boy, because that is exactly what you have achieved.

The film starts well, in the vein of pulp detective comics and the hammy acting and style over substance that was evident from the first moments reminded me fondly of the Dick Tracy movie; ‘for kids’ I thought to myself,’ that’s fine’.

But, not even kids would sit through this absolute mess of a movie! It was bad, bad, bad and that is all I have to say about it.

Don’t see it!

Thursday, November 5

Film Review: Australia

Oh no! Australia (the film) is a soppy romance cum western with pretentions of being a movie about race relations in Australia (the country). But one can’t help but wonder why the entire Aboriginal cast play second fiddle to not just the gorgeous (and beautifully photographed) scenery but to every white cast member too. Even the child who the (ridiculous) story centers around has less screen time than the kangaroos, which turn up everywhere by the way.

I enjoyed this film, but only because it was camp, silly and easy going in a matinee movie kind of style. Formulaic, but not to a fault; everyone is a stereotype, each curve of the story arc is familiar, it’s comfortable and unchallenging even when the ugliness of racism raises its head.

Wednesday, November 4


There will be more and more pics of Leytonstone gracing this blog. I live in this wonderful part of London now, right on the edge of Epping Forest. Here are two images that I took using my Nikon FE and messed around with in Photoshop.

The Albert Hitchcock

Alfred HitchCock from The Flats

The Flats and Max


Monday, November 2

The Dead Weather

This is not a music blog, so I won't be reviewing the gig accept to say it was excellent. But here are some pictures I took:

Support Band

Bass Player

Alison Mosshart - The Dead Weather

The Dead Weather

Alison Mosshart - 60ft Tall

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