Episode 2: #AttackOfTheClones #StarWars novel mini review

R.A.Salvatore has done an excellent job of telling the story of the film Attack Of The Clones in his Star Wars novel. I have a hard time not enjoying novels from the Star Wars universe, but I really was hard pressed to put this one down.

As in the film, the story tells of how the republic, struggling as more and more systems succeed to the separatist movement, grant supreme chancellor Palpatine emergency powers in the Senate who then immediately sanctions the use of an army of the republic; utlizing a clone army conveniently commissioned in secret for the republic by an old Jedi master 10 years dead...

Prior to this, Senator Amidala is leading the debate against the creation of an army for the republic. Her life is in immediate danger by those who would see the motion carried, and the task dutifully falls upon Obi-Wan and his padowan Anakin Skywalker.

Anakin, in this novel was so well portrayed; much better than in the movie. I actually find myself empathizing with him instead of jus…

#StarWars The Approaching Storm mini review

The Approaching Storm is the prequel novel to Attack Of The Clones. The grand republic is crumbling and more and more systems to look succeed from the republic entirely during this period of galactic uncertainty. One such planet is the seemingly insignificant world of Ansion, whose succession would potentially lead to a great number of other systems following suite. 
Ansion is a divided planet, split between the very traditional prairie dwelling nomads and the city residing business folk. Wishing to encroach ever further into the ancestral homes of the nomads    Obi-Wan Kenobi and his adolescent padowan Anakin, together with Luminara Unduli and her padowan Barris Offee are tasked with persuading the secessionist movements that remaining in the republic is beneficial for all those involved. 
The team of Jedi must negotiate with traditionalist nomads to come to an agreement with the city dwellers that can be beneficial for all, to convince the necessary factions to vote remain on this …

#StarWars Outbound Flight Novel Mini Review

Set prior to The Clone Wars in an era of political and economic uncertainty, Outbound Flight is Jedi master C'baoth's pet project of exploration; intending to take a colony of Jedi, force sensitive individuals and colonists to explore worlds in the unknown regions of space.

The story begins with the possibility of the mission perhaps being axed permanently much to C'baoth's disgust, and we are treated to some of the political maneuverings of Senator Palpatine, who even in these early stages in his rise to power is already plotting and manipulating those around him to bring about the demise of the Jedi and solidify his eventual place as ruler of the Empire.

Obi Wan and his just teenager apprentice Anakin Skywalker also make an appearance in Outbound Flight. Following a request from Mace Windu, the pair board the exploration project with the premise of discovering what happened to lost Jedi Vergeer from the story Rogue Planet, but with the secret agenda of monitoring…

The Santa Klaus Murder by Mavis Doriel Hay Mini Review

I wanted to make my last read of 2017 a seasonal one and so opted for The Santa Klaus Murder as a suitable Christmas themed typical murder mystery.

As is tradition, the entire Melbury family plus a few additions are holidaying at Sir Osmond Melbury's country residence of Flaxmere, all in an effort to maintain Sir Osmond's favour in order to stake a claim on whatever piece of the Melbury fortune they may be entitled to. When then, among the festivities, Sir Osmond's murder at the hands of one of the guests, staff or family in a Santa costume comes about, a tale of deceit, deception and disloyalty is told...

And it's told inventively by using accounts of events from different characters; the bulk is accounted for as musings by the chief investigator, but some of the family are tasked with putting their version of events to paper, which is then used to make up sections of the narrative. 

The conclusion, though not too shocking is quite satisfyingly told, and the story do…

Favourites of 2017

Coming up to the new year the internet is ripe with posts about the best releases from the year, but for ordinary humans like us you may only be playing, reading or watching stuff that may have been out for some time already. So, here's a brief collection of my favourites from 2017. Let me know what you think!

Handheld Game
Console Game
TV Series
Board Game
Handheld Game - Metroid: Samus Returns

My favourite handheld game this year has definitely been on my trusty 3DS. Metroid: Samus Returns is a glorious homage to Metroid 2 on the game boy, utilising the same setting and story but with revamped graphics, sound and gameplay. New abilities and equipment keep the tried and tested Metroidvania gameplay fresh, and I found this really easy to dip in and out of after gaps away from playing. It's quite difficult in places especially with my big hands around the smaller form of the regular 3DS.

I also plumped for the collector’s edition with this game, which is an absolut…

SuperPlay #48 Is Definitely Super! #RetroGaming #Nintendo

SuperPlay issue 48 is a collaboration between members of the original SuperPlay writers to mark the arrival of the new Nintendo SNES mini, released with October's issue of Retro Gamer magazine.

Fittingly, the cover is adorned for Fox McCloud from the Star Fox games, as one of the SNES minis oddities that hype was building for is the inclusion of Star Fox 2, originally axed for release on the original hardware due to ongoing changes in the gaming industry as a whole at the time. It's a lovely cover by Will Overton who also did a lot of the original art for the magazine originally.

The magazine goes on to look at the hardware of the SNES mini, and give a review of every title included on the console. Rather than review the games as they're remembered, the writers have reviewed the games from today's benchmarks, for example looking at the original Star Fox now is definitely more jarring an experience than the jaw dropping one it would've been back in '93.

Many th…

Ace Waters arranges Gerudo Valley from Zelda: Ocarina Of Time

Ace Waters is a self-professed geek and a lover of music; specifically, synthesizers. In VGM music #124 Ace has arranged the theme from Gerudo Valley from Ocarina of Time. An ace video for musicians and lovers of Zelda alike. The arrangement is ace, with a mix of synthesizers including the use of the sound chip on the DMG-01 game boy and a moog; some hard rock guitar on a lovely looking PRS and some great additional instrumentation on a trumpet and saxophone. It’s heavy with the use of that distorted guitar yet combines surprisingly well with those electronic drum pad sounds. Excellent stuff.