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#StarWars Outbound Flight Novel Mini Review

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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

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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

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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
Album
Film
TV Series
Book
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

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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

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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.



Why Handheld Zelda Beats Console Zelda - #RetroGaming #TwoGuysPlayingZelda

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Handheld Zelda games are better than console Zelda games. It's just true. The immense scale of a grand and epic adventure typical of a Zelda game, squashed down into just as an exciting jaunt that fits in your pocket (almost, looking at you DMG-01) for you to play whenever you damn well please - how could this not be better than the equivalent half an hour bursts of game play you get after the inevitable family argument for control of the TV... 

Of course, the games are absolutely stellar quality too. And I don't mean 'for handheld games' but as video games in their own rights! Often, developers strip back the quality and features in a portable title due to a number of factors; maybe budget, hardware restrictions or simply time constraints during production. Nintendo never seem to do that, devoting just as sufficient resources to their mobile output as they do their home system catalog. Often, the fact that the games are releasing on a handheld give the developer a ch…

#Contact by Carl Sagan

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The movie contact is a much beloved Sci-Fi film of mine and I've been eager to read the fiction behind it for some time.

The premise is of the notion of Earth's first 'Contact' with intelligent life from out there within the cosmos. Doctor Arroway is our leading character, an intelligent yet modest female scientist stationed at a radio telescope lab, of which some of her time is devoted to SETI - the search for extra terrestrial intelligence.

Upon breaking down the received signal they find a message. Whilst a lengthy search for a primer embedded within the message itself that holds the key to decryption, a swathe of political, scientific and religious debates continue regarding how humanity should react to the message.

As the message becomes clearer, they find within it instructions and blueprints, meticulously written, for some sort of transportation device. Requiring new materials, processes and a level of science currently unknown to mankind, further debate ensues…