Category Archives: Konsole Kontrast

It’s My Time of the Month Again…

It’s that time of the month again where I bring you another song of the month, and this time we have yet another doozy from this side of the pond. Hailing from Cardiff, Wales we have The Dirty Youth, an upcoming new band that are reminiscent of Paramore with a more metallic twist. Their new single “Fight” is about to be released on September 5th and is already receiving reviews all over the internet, showcasing yet another of the UK’s soon to be hottest acts.it’s time to welcome The Dirty Youth as September’s band of the month, who right noware following in the footsteps of Alexa De Strange and their awesome track Babydoll (which has spent the last three weeks on the top sopt of SI Radio’s listener charts) Check The Dirty Youth out here at their Facebook page and check out a snippet of their single here.

The Dirty Youth-Hear their single "Fight" throughout September on my shows

Like what you see and hear here? Check out The Dirty Youth on each of my shows throughout September on Split Infinity Radio

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Games, Games and More Games!

Something that strikes, me, possibly  you and the rest of the gaming world as a little odd is that as a DJ who presents a gaming show all about games and the playing thereof I really haven’t blogged much about them so thought it might be a good idea to well, actually do that.

First up, I do a show every week (Monday 5pm UK/12pm Eastern) called Konsole Kontrast where I bring you gaming news across all the formats, say mean things about Nintendo and even meaner things about certain games. And one thing that is really taking up my time in the gaming world is Rockstar’s LA Noire. Yes, I know it’s been out for quite a while, I know it’s gotten itself some well deserved positive reviews all over the place and has been a general hit with gamers and the gaming media all across the world, quite frankly with good cause too. The game is a true benchmark for the gaming medium offering fun gameplay, an engaging story (even if it does all end oddly and slightly disjointed) and a nice change from driving, shooting and swearing in the usual manner. Yes, the game does include all of the above but in a way just different enough to be unique, yet familiar enough to not be alien. I’m on my second playthrough of the game and it’s seriously eating into my Deus Ex playing even now, 3 months after release.

It’s not often a game has this effect on me, so it must be something special, right?

Now, my other gaming obsessions are starting to rear their ugly heads, last week’s release of Deus Ex (which I got for free) is currently sitting in my XBOX begging me to play. Something I’m sure I’ll do before the night is over, especially as I’ve only put in about an hour so far and not augmented anything yet. Also, this week’s release of Driver San Fransisco is nothing short of potentially silly gaming joy with a daft storyline, fast cars, shooting and not quite funny yet still amusing wisecracks that will entertain me over the coming weeks. I can’t wait. It’s a sure fire sign that winter is coming and much fun will be had.

The fun doesn’t stop there, there’s Dead Island, Warhammer 40K Space Marine, Gears of War 3 and FIFA 12 all due out over the next month, all with their beady eyes firmly on my overdraft, existing purely to piss my bank manager off. But hey, winter is coming and the outside world is scary, so I guess I’ll be playing those too. Which brings me to the last video of today’s little foray into gaming. The opening scene from Gears of War 3 was unleashed on the public recently, and it made my brain cry a little knowing it’s still a good few weeks away….

Gears of War 3 was a game I was lucky enough to beta test, and I’m still reeling from it’s amazing seamless gameplay. This one just can’t come soon enough.

Anyway, that’s my dip into gaming for now, expect proper reviews on some of these games as they get played by yours truly.

Oh and for those of you who missed my shameless plug earlier…that gaming show? Konsole Kontrast, every Monday 5pm UK/12pm EST only on Split Infinity Radio

Villan’s Time of the Month

Yes, it’s that time of the month where I like to grab my hot water bottle and Cookie Monster pyjamas and sit around on my fat arse eating chocolate, drinking tea and….hang on, this is pretty much an average day for me isn’t it?

But, yes I have torn myself away from my XBOX for more than five minutes to reveal August’s Song of the Month.

This month we have the UK’s very own Alexa De Strange, a band that are not only unique and tuneful, but also a band that have a great image that makes burlesque not only sexier than sexy, but also gives it a dark twist that creates something worth seeing and hearing by all.

Alexa De Strange, unique and well worth a listen

Musically they’re a lot of things, hard to put a finger on and shoehorn into one specific genre, so judge for yourselves the song and video, Babydoll from Alexa De Strange.

Enjoy!

For more info you can check Alexa De Strange, or to give them their full name Alexa De Strange and the Sisters of Seduction at the Paranoise Records site here or on their Facebook here.

Babydoll will be played on my shows throughout August, and if you do take time to visit, tell them who sent you, I like the attention 😀

In an addition to this Babydoll has stormed the SI Radio Charts, number 1 this week and many daily number 1’s from listener votes. Check this song out on http://www.siradio.fm and bask in it’s awesomeness!

Civ 5 Review

I liked this game too, it’s not often I say nice things about two different things in one day…

This week I’ve seen a rather ugly side to my personality, a vicious unrelenting side, a horrible power hungry side that would make even the likes of Hitler feel uncomfortable. I’ve been corrupted by greed, hatred, xenophobia and even picked fights with poor victims purely because their name starts with the letter F. Yes, a very ugly, nasty unpleasant side, and you know what? I’m loving every second of it.
So, what’s causing this level of insanity in my life? It’s Civilization 5, the new instalment in Sid Miers’ turn based strategy series that right now all the cool kids seem to be playing. And to put a fine point on it 2K Games has excelled itself in ways I didn’t think imaginable.
I’ve not played a Civ game since Civilization 2, so for me a whole lot has changed, the UI is more intuitive, graphics are prettier, world leaders seem to have something resembling a real live personality, in fact the only thing that hasn’t changed is my desire to punch Napoleon in his stupid, round, moon shaped face.
For me, Civilization 5 is a welcome departure for the usual zombie slaying, gangster toting, swords sorcery and World of Warcraft shenanigans I usually get up to in gaming. It’s different, it’s fresh and most importantly it’s fun. There certainly is something to be said for invading countries, destroying cultures and like I said earlier declaring war on somebody purely because their name begins with a letter I decide I don’t like before the game starts.
As expected, there are the usual bargaining tools in game where you can sign treaties, help out allies, trade luxury resources and all of those wonderful things the board game has. In fact it’s better than the board game for the simple reason it plays pretty much exactly the same without the clearing up afterwards.
In game advisors will let you know how your attacks are likely to go, there’s an in depth “civlopedia” that gives you the heads up on pretty much any situation which is a great idea as the game will hold your hand and walk you through just as much as you want or need it to.
Turn based combat in game is fun to watch with all the right animations and sound effects, and it really does feel good when all of those things combine into that victory that expands your little empire.
One thing I also really liked in the game was the fact that you can end the game on any number of diplomatic, trade related or just plain bloodthirsty methods but the fun doesn’t stop there, you may have won the game when the game is supposed to end at 2050 say, by being nice and peaceful, or by getting your technology all the way to the top tier first. Then you can (if you wish) take the world and destroy everyone else purely for your own amusement.
In short, Civilization 5 is a wonderful trip through history, you can shape your own world and put right what the Romans once did wrong, or you can just be a horrible egotistical, xenophobic greedy warlord hell bent on conquering every tile on the planet just like me.
The game is available from Steam and there is even a 100 turn demo available on there, so it’s definitely more than worth checking out.

Terminator Salvation Review

More gaming reviews will come, but again another old one, this time a game I disliked intensely.

Back in the summer of 1991 I was a small sickly weedy 15 year old who had undergone massive and painful spinal surgery, not once, but twice. And after a long and quite frankly crappy recovery period I decided to treat myself to a night out. So my friend Bryan and I went to see Terminator 2 at the local Odeon Cinema in Birmingham. It was a great film. The acting was great, the effects were stunning for the time, and still look pretty good now if a little dated maybe. There were also popcorn, M&M’s and hot dogs involved. It was everything a great cinema experience should be. Well it was the perfect cinema experience until until that fateful bus ride home. My friend and I were set upon by what can only be described as a clearly overly drunken overly chemical intoxicated cowardly nasty piece of work who took exception to my long hair and proceeded to drag us off the bus in front of witnesses who did nothing and then kick the living crap out of us both.

This complete animal took our jackets and a grand total of 17p in loose change. Bryan managed to get away after being ordered to leave by the assailant where he managed to alert the police.

He had no choice but to leave me alone for his own safety and mine really and I suffered a lot of nasty injuries including hair pulled from my scalp, a very swollen blackened eye, a wrist that turned jet black from a hideous sprain a swollen jaw, what I’m sure was a broken nose and various other bruises all over my torso. It was quite literally the nastiest experience of my life and let’s say the injuries weren’t just physical they were psychological too. And as you can imagine I wasn’t all that keen on the Terminator franchise any more. You could say my love for that particular film had been terminated.

Fast forward 18 years, by now I’ve warmed to Terminator, T2 is now one of my favourite films, it was actually the first film I bought on DVD and I’ve watched and enjoyed it many many times. I’ve even seen T3. I didn’t enjoy that one so much but it was fun, had a hot Terminatrix and didn’t take itself too seriously and I’m still waiting to see Terminator Salvation which I’ve heard mixed reviews on. You’re probably wondering what all this has to do with the Terminator Salvation video game, and now you’re about to find out.

After the nightmarish and true scenario I just told you about I’m re-evaluating my life. For most people they re-evaluate their lives after reading a profound work of genius fiction or watching a film so gut wrenchingly beautiful with powerful acting and a story designed to make the most hardened action fan weep. Maybe listening to the sweeping melodies of a majestic masterpiece of song or reading that hard hitting prose that seems to speak to its reader in ways nobody else can understand or appreciate are cause for life affirming re-evaluation. But in my case it’s a video game.

Yes, Terminator Salvation has made me re-evaluate my life, look at my existence and realize what is important in life, made me realize that some people have it a lot harder than me in my story. And how has it done that you may ask. Well I’ll tell you.

It’s done that by giving me a new “worst experience of my life.”

Yes the Terminator series has ruined my life again. I can’t even call Terminator Salvation a game. It is probably the biggest waste of an epic film license since ET on the Atari, probably the most inappropriate piece of video game/movie crossover insensitivity since I dreamed up Schindler’s List- The Video Game one drunken night.

The game itself promised so much, it opened quite promisingly with an on-rails type section. After all being chased in a speeding car shooting evil robots sounds like fun, should be fun but in this case just isn’t. It’s generic, uninspiring it’s the gaming equivalent of a Robbie Williams album, actually no. It’s so unprofessionally done and unfinished feeling it’s the equivalent of a Robbie Williams album mixed by a 4 year old, who’s been sent to bed early. And the whole game feels like this, even the on foot bits. They’re so linear they may as well be on-rails.

Not only is Terminator Salvation the game so linear and generic, it’s less interesting than watching grass grow. And brown grass at that. I’ve never seen so much brown in a game. To be honest I’ve seen less brown in the toilet after a dodgy curry and a belly full of beer. And if that wasn’t bad enough the shades of the same colour seem to do the impossible and clash. Horribly.

Add to this repetitive gameplay and horribly predictable A.I and ugly character models for both the people in the game and the unvaried Terminator types and you pretty much have little more than a 9 level demo, well I say little more, it’s probably not even that good.

I mentioned unvaried Terminator types, there were 6. Yes 6! There was a motorbike one, a spider one, 2 flying ones and 2 walking ones that weren’t that much different from each other. So in the interests of common decency I’ll take back that 6. There were 5 and a half different badguys.

Weaponry in the game packed little more than a punch struggling with a wet paper bag. A choice of 2 assault rifles, pipe bombs, grenades, a rocket launcher, a shotgun and a grenade launcher are about it really. The only changes here were the odd mounted machine gun here and there and weapons on board vehicles in the on-rails sections.

The game did try to redeem itself by allowing you to shoot at nondescript things and turrets from a Terminator Tank, all this in reality did was turn the screen red and add another yawnsome on-rails section to a game that already leads you around like a guide dog with OCD.

There isn’t even a real bad guy at the end, no surprises, just a few more Terminators that I’d already shot countless numbers of and the chance to run to a helicopter and escape to live another day.

I played the XBOX 360 version of the “game” and although there is a desperate attempt to add longevity to the experience with a co-op mode, you really wouldn’t want to bother and it just feels tacked on like a whole load of extra “and’s” in a naughty schoolchild’s essay that needs padding out just to get even a D-.

So, to cap it all up, Terminator Salvation, is ugly, repetitive, flawed, boring, unimaginative and probably every reason to stand under a nuclear bomb if one drops, just in case this is what will happen, not to mention very very brown.

I’m just grateful I rented this tedious over expensive not even good enough to be a coaster disc. It’s sure to end up in a rental bin with Barbie’s Horse Adventure, and given the choice, I’d seriously suggest the galloping plastic blonde. Add to the drudgery lazy achievements for completing levels that seem to get shorter as the game goes onand you have a wholly incomplete package you wouldn’t even inflict on the most perverted of video game masochists. This game really is 5 hours of torture and probably should only ever be used to extract information from criminals who actually like the St. Anger album.

Also, if a certain street robbing scumbag is reading this, your efforts have now been downgraded.