Tag Archives: Mass effect 2

A 2011 interview with me

Since I know no one interesting or famous enough (not that they would agree to do one either) to warrant an interview. So like the arrogant fucker I am, I thought i’d put my 2011 memories in the form of an interview.

1) Best place you visited?
In between my large period of being a hermit writer, I have managed to see some very nice places, I went to London twice. I saw Wembley stadium for the second time but this time with my team leeds rhinos playing. But the best place has to be when I spent the week in Rome, a place I have always wanted to visit. We spent a exhausting 5 days making sure we saw all the sites.

See more of my photos of Rome from my 5 days there here (https://joelhopkins.wordpress.com/extras-rome-photos/)

2. Best book you read?
According my goodsreads account, I read 25 new book last year (plus 2 re reads of books). Not a huge amount, but I managed to fit in a number very good books in there. I managed to finally read all 3 of the Lord of the rings books. The new John Scalzi novel Fuzzy Nation was a great book, I read the 4th dune book. Other book I really enjoyed was flashfoward and the forever series of books.  I read number of other sci-fi, post apocalyptic, fantasy and the odd thriller book in the year. But my favourite would probably have to be Neil Gaiman American Gods, different to anything else I read this year and it is partly the inspiration for the story (more credit should be given to lord of light however) I am currently writing.

3. Best film?
For me it has been a pretty poor year for films, and I would have really struggled coming up with my best film year before last week. I ordered Rise of the planet of apes on sky box office. I really enjoyed the prequel/remake, perhaps I have seen a better a film, but I really can’t think of any off the top of my head.

4. Best TV show?
There has been a few contender’s for this, starting with the last ever episodes of Stargate Universe and in turn the Stargate franchise. However, that is tinged with so much sadness I can’t put it as my best TV show of last year. Walking Dead season 2 (part 1) also aired which carried on from an excellent first series. There was Game of thrones which pretty amazing and the Borgias which I enjoyed as well. The show I enjoyed the most would be the first series of Sherlock, the second series just recently started and it reminded me just how good the show is, and how great those first episode were.

5. Best Game?
Mass effects 2 (see http://wp.me/psL0a-jo)

6. Best Album?
Another thing that I really haven’t kept up with all that much. I got the new Foo Fighters album, along with the long awaited (for me) new Kaiser Chiefs album which I thought was great. However, I found a new group that I really like The Dresden Dolls, and while none of their albums were released this year. I found all their albums were available on the website, for a pay-what-you-like price. So I manage to get 3 albums and a live album for a cheekily cheap sum. The songs have been played over and over again on my I pod and computer so one of their album would probably be the best.

7. Best Moment?
Without a doubt seeing Leeds Rhinos win their 5th grand final in 8 years, from the fifth position.Which was the lowest ever position for a team to win it from, they shocked almost everyone (including me) by winning it, and showed the world that they are true team of champions. I have been lucky enough to see all 5 of those grand finals they won, in them I have seen some magnificent tries. But the two tries that Rob Burrow scored and made were pretty amazing, and will stick in my memory for a long time to come, like the Scot Donald try in 2007.

Best moment

8. Best Gig?
I’ve seen a few good bands this year, Hurts in February was amazing and so was seeing Muse for the second time at Leeds Festival. Though the best gig I went to was seeing Arcade fire for the second time too. They are a interesting band to watch, because they are so many of them. Your eyes move all around, not being sure what to look at next. I give credit to my sister for getting me into them, they have a unique style. And they put on great show.

9. Most important thing that happen you in 2011?
I guess having an almost full time job, while it was only for a little over 6 months, it was an interesting experience living life of almost full time working. It was not my ideal job, and not at all stimulating, but then again I did say I got the experience of a full time job, so what did I expect? Hopefully, a new job will rear its head soon in 2012.

10. What are you looking forward to most in 2012?
Quite a few things, there might be a holiday to American in the making which would be very, very good. I will be going to Italy to see my sister, who is now living there for next 6 months. But most of all I look forward to reading plenty more books, playing more games and getting a lot more writing done this year, a lot more than I did last year. Oh and the new Keane album and tour!

Done.

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Top 5 games of 2011

The last top 5 of the year and the last post of the year. There are only two formats that I am heavily invested in now, that is books and games. Films have taken a back seat, as has new music, and with the fact that stargate is now dead and cold I have not started many new TV shows this year either. This has been a good year for games, however annoyingly most of them seem to be in a series, because original games are getting rarer; or maybe I am not giving the ones that are out there the chance.
So here are the games I’ve been playing the most this year.

5. Dead space 2

The original dead space was a bit of a revelation for myself. I’d never been particularly bothered about horror games, the most i’d played of the genre before was 20 minutes demo of the original silent game that came with Metal Gear Solid. I was 7 at the time, and slightly traumatised at the whole thing, it put me off horror games. But I bought dead space 1 not knowing that it was a horror games, I thought it was just expecting another action adventure game in space, I was wrong. However, I found the experience unlike silent hill to be a enjoyable one. Dead Space 2 takes place soon after the first game, and with a cooler suit. There were some crazy moments, such as being forced to stick a needle in your eye. Some parts are infuriatingly hard, and in a rare moment of gaming courage for myself I completed this game on the hardest difficulty. The story is as good as anything Hollywood can offer (not great), but with the added immersion factor.

4. Portal 2

A spin off from one of my all time favourite game Half-life, albeit loosely. With a story that could only work in a game. It follows a crazy robot or two, who do science and like to test a young woman, who is forced to take part in puzzles using a portal gun. The physics bending puzzles make this a great game in the first place, but add on top, an over the top story line (which works perfectly strangely enough) and you’ve got a game. Most will want to complete in two playthrough, many like me did. It contains the voice acting of Stephen Merchant who works perfectly as both a loveable robot, and a evil though useless villain. A great game that will get you completely engrossed from the get-go.

3. Uncharted 3

One of crowning jewels in the sony crown. A funny, fun, fantastic and action packed game, that adds upon the experience from the first two games. Most games will either, be open world or give you multiple option to complete a game, and if they don’t they will try and mask this to give the illusion of it. Uncharted doesn’t give you options and doesn’t mask masks it, it is is clear you only have choice. However, the developer makes sure the one path it does give you is pretty amazing, filled with twists and cinematic events that flow seamlessly into the gameplay. It is also has a addictive and fun online multiplayer (and co-op), which is much improved from the second game. Also I think the graphics in this game are the best out there.

2. Skyrim

Perhaps this game would have made it in to the number one spot, if it wasn’t for the big framerate issue  that is effecting PS3 users (and in turn me). To be fair to the issue only started to effect my enjoyment of the game 50 or so hours in (many game you don’t play for half that amount) but I still have to completed the main quest plus many more, but the game is unplayable sometimes! It is not all bad though otherwise it wouldn’t be number two. It truly is a epic game, in which you can do so much more than any other game I know, the graphics can take your breath away at times (if they load correctly).  Combat is fun, the story is great, and with me hopeful that a patch will soon fix the issue that plagues me, I am looking forward to playing the game again. Hopefully

1. Mass effect 2

I’ve never been jealous of halo, nor gears or war. There was always a clone of them, which would satisfies my lust for those games. Only Mass Effects ever came close to tempting me to buy the 360 (not out of any fanboyisum, I just don’t have the money). So when I  learned that the killer franchise was coming to my loveable blackbox, I was understandably excited. A good RPG are rare these days (I played two this year with skyrim). And even rarer is one set in space. The other day I looked just how much time I had spent on ME2 it turns out I have played the game for 100+ hours. I said that with slight embarrassment, but  I can honestly say I don’t regret the time I spent on it, as it will just give me more options for when the third game comes out.

Well that is my list complete, hope you all have a great new year, which starts in four hours for me.

The Other lands – Acacia trilogy (book 2) A Review

I’m just sat here listening to music, browsing the internet looking at complete crap and then something made me think of my blog; that i have been ignoring the poor thing. It’s just sat here. I had no plans for a new blog, i was shocked at the realisation. I have been away playing a new game (mass effects 2 (on ps3)) , also getting prepared for a new job that starts soon. I go to look at my favourites to find the next page I should view when I see my blog. I know it has not been an age since my last update, but i normal had a plan for the next blog; however lose the plan. Anyway i sat bored, ass starting to go numb thinking of something to write here. I looked down to a pile of books that was scattered on a pouffe,Ii saw the brilliant cover art for the most the recently read book “the other lands” which is the middle part of Acacia trilogy, it is a epic fantasy book series. I say recently read, i mean it, I read the last 40 odd pages this morning. Hey presto a blog idea so crazy that it would make the man in the padded room squeam, A BOOK REVIEW.

So here it is my first book review on my blog!

The Other lands – Acacia trilogy (book 2) A Review

The other lands, is set I think around 9 years after the first book “War with the Mein”. It follows the three remaining Akaran children, now Queen Corinn, Prince Dariel and Princess Mena. All of the children (now adults) have their separate tales which all interlock with each other in to an epic story of a large force who hail from “the other lands”. I love maps of fictional worlds so when I first opened up the book I spent a good while looking at every location of the known world, and of the other lands. That done I look further in the book to find a very helpful “story so far” section, it had been more than a year since i read the first book; this give a refresher of the story and I’m sure would do the job for a new reader as well. I wish more books had them.

The first book was set in a world where magic had existed in the form of the giver tongue. But by the end of the first novel the now dead Akaran son Aliver brought back some magic to the world, which he used to defeat his enemy. He died though, very sad. The queen Corinn had now learned the givers tongue though. Magic (or whatever) is used lots more in this second book; it’s not used overkill though. The world is not filled with Gandalf’s. It makes the use of magic that much more powerful when she uses it. I don’t read all that much fantasy so not all that much magic is a good thing for me!

A good middle book of trilogy normally will set up the third book, which this did do. It did it too well. As that was more or less all it did it started a story that had no end I am sure it will start in the second book and then move in to the third, seamlessly. I would have liked a little more of a closed story in this book, like the first had. The story though was as epic as ever. Huge distances were traversed (In getting the other lands). The way David Anthony Durham built up the inhabitants of the other lands was great, using small mention in the first book and building such a large mystery around them . I was so happy when Dariel was told he would get the chance to travel to see them and their lands. The answers were all given in this book. I won’t spoil it but it’s a great dark story which  is sending shivers down my spine when thinking back on it. There is no innocents in this book; it’s not black and white, with the good side (the Akaran family) having a have a dark past, which involves giving child slaves to the other land for a drug, the drug that will make the people of the empire more subservient. While not the children (now adults) fault it created an interesting dilemma for the reader; when a rebellion pops up.

In many ways this book is better than the first; darker, not as many unanswered question, a sweet big bird/reptile and it carried on with great characters. I would have liked a little more action; I’m an 18 year old boy after all. The story is well paced; it’s not in a genre I would normally read either so it not being too hard core fantasy helped me a lot. The world is so believable too, a great mix of real life and made up things that make up this world.

The book built up slowly and an epic battle looks to be coming in the third book, which I am sure will amazing. But I can’t help but feel like the third book should have been added to end of the book though. What I mean by that is that when I finished the book it did not feel like I had just finished reading a book. Yeh I know there has to be a bit of a tease and be left open for the third one, while there was a big story twist in the last words of the book, it still just seem to end a little unnatural. That only my own opinion and you know by now that I don’t read much fantasy.

Guess i have to give it a score out of 10 or something along those lines.

SO i will give it a ………………………………………………… 8.8 very good, a must read, i would suggest after you read the 1st book of course.

Want more book reviews? tell me?!