Title: Shadow of the Colossus (Sony, 2005) Format: PS2 Spoilers: mild, gameplay-related
I’ve got the measure of this, I thought naïvely, urging the Link-like adventurer, Wander, and his horse, Agro, on through a narrow uphill path in Shadow of the Colossus. This is a game about atmosphere, sacrifice and wonderment. It’s minimalist because it is totally focused on delivering its narrative – which is shown more than spoken – and gameplay in as graceful a manner as you could wish for back in 2005. Continue reading →
Chronicling stories of how gaming has changed us – one moment at a time I’m about to embark on a journey with this post – and I’ll need your help. This journey will either lead to a honeycomb of new tales and new faces, or it will peter out and be assigned to the graveyard of faded feature ideas. So on that jolly note, here goes.
Real-life story features in game magazines and websites are some of my favourite. They are the ‘My Favourite Game’ articles. The community spotlights that were previously so common on GameSpot and IGN before social media killed forums. The career spotlights in the likes of Develop magazine. Or, occasionally, the one-off posts by guest writers who give you a whole new perspective on a game or genre. Continue reading →
Director Joss Whedon and crew are having so much fun with Avengers: Age of Ultron. And it seems like, from the parade of CG neutron explosions, dismemberments and collateral damage that make up this globe-trotting comic adventure, when faced with the decision of whether they should do something simply because they could – much like Robert Downey Jr’s Tony Stark in the film – their answer every time was an emphatic: “How could we say no?” Continue reading →
2012 was a phenomenal year for music, and, for me at least, British singer-songwriter Lianne La Havas was the crowning jewel. Her debut album, Is Your Love Big Enough?, was a record of astounding colour and emotional depth. So it’s encouraging that La Havas has steadily been refining new songs, and a little under three years later her second album is at last ready to be released. Continue reading →
Some of my previous assertions about Apple products have been, um… mistaken. When the iPhone originally came out, I had no idea what it was or what all the fuss was about. Three-and-a-half years later, I was singing the praises of Apple.
Of course, 11 months before that, I was ready to decry the iPad. Having inherited an iPad 1 in 2012, which I still use for entertainment purposes, work and occasional adventures out and about, I’ve realised the benefits of tablets over laptops in certain situations. In both cases, these products fill needs in the connected age, and can make life simpler (when coupled with self-discipline) in our increasingly busy society.
Stax Records, 1965 Had Otis Redding and his band not been tragically killed in 1967, we can only imagine what head-spinning music they would have made. It’s been said that if Otis and company had let go of their ethos for playing every single show they were booked for, they might have kept their feet on the ground, instead of boarding a plane bound for the storm that claimed their lives. We can’t know that. Their tireless work ethic and commitment to audiences brought about stacks of stirring soul that’s among the greatest examples of music full stop, as this week’s Choice Cut makes clear. Continue reading →
Just when you thought dance music had nowhere left to go after the likes of Disclosure, Gorgon City and Bondax had had their way with it, London duo, Snakehips, has a fresh take. Ripping and reconstituting vintage R&B grooves into warped combinations of boom bap and breakbeat is their game. They’re efforts to date include the cosmic ‘Days with You (feat. Sinead Harnett)’ and the sparky ‘On & On’, which have both been making the rounds on the club scene. Continue reading →
Honest Jon’s / Capitol Records, 2004 Christmas with candy has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? But while overindulging in the sweet stuff will see you spending more time at the dentist the following month, there is one confection you can indulge in all calendar year without guilt: the music of Candi Staton.
This southern-born soul and gospel singer is best known for featuring on the 1986 version of ‘You’ve Got the Love’ by the Source. But it is Staton’s early soul music that will really make you sit up and take notice. UK independent label, Honest Jon’s Records, released a compilation of her music in 2004, making 26 songs from her much-sought after FAME recordings available to new listeners. (You can now get a double-CD, featuring all her master recordings from this era, but the Honest Jon’s CD is a bargain nowadays – got mine for £2. Its vinyl version, however, is almost as pricy as Staton’s classic LPs.)
All of the songs on the simply titled compilation, Candi Staton, are unfettered confessionals that steam with emotion. Continue reading →