Sam Smith, James Bond and the benefits of a hit theme song

Sam Smith - Writing's on the Wall, single (960x540)The James Bond series’ legacy casts a long shadow. And we felt that shadow last Friday when Sam Smith’s theme song, ‘Writing’s on the Wall’, for the forthcoming 007 film, Spectre, premiered on BBC Radio 1, and instantly garnered responses of delight and derision from listeners.

No modern James Bond film has appeared without a babble of disagreement over its accompanying theme song. Though some, including Sir Roger Moore, have praised Smith’s song, others have labelled it “bland”, “excruciatingly wimpy”, and suggested it “doesn’t seem to fit the possible theme of the film”.

Whether Smith’s (over)emotional outpouring makes it to number one or not, a hit theme song can do wonders for the life of a film, and the singer who performs it. Continue reading

Moments We Remember: Barry Nugent on Metal Gear Solid

Chronicling stories of how gaming has changed us – one moment at a timeMetal GearSolid, PS1, 041, Psycho Mantis (1600x900)Title: Metal Gear Solid (Konami, 1998)
Format: PC, PS1
Spoilers: mild, gameplay-related

Today we’ve got a reflection on Metal Gear Solid, which is still recognised as one of the most ground-breaking titles in interactive entertainment bar none, from sci-fi and fantasy aficionado and co-host of the Geek Syndicate podcast, Barry Nugent.

The first 3D outing for the Metal Gear series, on the original PlayStation, is one that lives long in the memory of those who played it in the late 90s. Nugent’s recount of Solid Snake’s battle with the mind-reading Psycho Mantis is particularly special because game creator, Hideo Kojima, and his team, were pulling tricks that extended outside of the game, right into your hands and the hardware in front of you. Continue reading

Introducing Moments We Remember

Chronicling stories of how gaming has changed us – one moment at a time
Gaming at home, Aug 15, 2009, by Maria Morri (1920x1080)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