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Showing posts from November, 2015

Wolf By Wolf - Review

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"I want the next one."

That's what I said immediately after finishing Ryan Graudin's latest, stellar effort. I want the next book, right now, in my hands, please.

Ok, that might be a bit of a strong opening. Let me back up.

Wolf By Wolf tells an alternate history story where the Nazis win World War II, folding in aspects of Inglourious Basterds, The Hunger Games and, fittingly, The Motorcycle Diaries.Yael is a young Jewish girl who, years earlier, suffered genetic experiments at the hands of a crazy German scientist. The experiments left her with the ability to shapeshift into anyone she sees, enabling her a quick escape to join the resistance against Hitler's new, glorious nation of Germania. After witnessing a young German woman bluff her way into a mens-only cross-continent motorcycle race, then subsequently win it and get the chance to dance with the reclusive and paranoid Hitler at the victory celebration, Yael and the resistance forge a plan: mimic the Germ…

READ, WATCH, PLAY! EPISODE TWELVE: HAPPY (AND NOT SO HAPPY) ENDINGS

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It's that time of the month again. 
Freshly picked from the bullshit tree it's the latest instalment of our bi-monthly podcast, Geek of Oz presents: Read, Watch, Play!
Lots to talk about this week. With Christmas season quickly looming upon us like a hungry drifter in a back alley we are getting spoiled with a whole bunch of new games, comics and shows all vying for our attention. Also Star Wars.
Billy talks new Tomb raider, Chris and I give you our thoughts on Star Wars Battlefront and Stu gives you his take on a whole bunch of movies. Real original Stu, real original.  
As always it would make our day if you could take a couple of minutes to rate and review us on iTunes or drop us some feedback below! Really keen to have your input in the show. WE CRAVE YOUR VALIDATION!!!!
-Christof

This week's discussion topic: Endings! We discuss some our favourite and least favourite endings. 

Get it from Podomatic here
Get it from Itunes here


Billy (@aqualec, billy@geekofoz.com Read: Dr St…

Star Wars Battlefront: Twilight Company - Review

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DISCLAIMER: This review uses images from the upcoming Star Wars: Battlefront video game. This book is also technically not part of the Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens series, but given its proximity to the film it may as well be.

That said, this review will contain NO SPOILERS for Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

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Remember The Force Unleashed video game? Remember that godawful tie-in book that was launched to help promote it as Star Wars' new transmedia project?

Yeah, I try to forget about it, too.

The problem with game tie-in novels is that, with rare exception, they fall into one of two categories. They're either blatant marketing and advertising exercises, designed to sell you on how great the story could be if you were a direct part of it (which affects books from Assassin's Creed, Gears of War and most of the Halo novels), or they're excellent stories which would see much wider readershi…

Fallout 4 (PS4) Review

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THE SHORT VERSION
To borrow the shorthand of another, more British games critic: "Yeah, it's pretty good."


STORYAs nuclear bombs start to fall on a futuristic America, you and your spouse are shepherded to Vault 111 in Boston, one of the few underground bastions of safety left for the common people. Inside the Vault, you're cryogenically frozen in a stasis pod to awaken when the US isn't covered in nuclear waste and dead bodies. Your stay in the Vault is meant to be short-term.

Unfortunately, your pod is cracked open over two centuries later, after you witness your spouse get murdered and your infant son get kidnapped by a creepy bald guy. Vowing to recover your son and avenge your spouse's death, you leave the Vault and discover the thriving post-apocalyptic community of the Boston Commonwealth. Along the way you'll meet a host of fascinating side characters and get bogged down in more sidequests than an adventuring swamp monster.

As it happens, story i…

The Wheel of Time Companion - Review

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The world lost a writing legend in 2011, when author Robert Jordan - born James Oliver Rigney, Jr. - passed away from amyloidosis, midway through penning the final volume of his decades-long The Wheel of Time series. While the story was eventually finished by Brandon Sanderson it was a bittersweet thing, especially since Jordan did not to live to see the end of his magnum opus.

Whatever The Wheel of Time's flaws - and believe me, there are a few - it was still a formative series for me when I was beginning to get into reading fantasy doorstoppers. I first read The Eye of the World at the age of 13; though the beginning was a slog, I eventually grew to love the world of Rand, Mat, Perrin, Egwene and all the others. It's the kind of narrative that has stayed with me even as I've explored the likes of Sanderson, Joe Abercrombie, Patrick Rothfuss and others who've built upon what Jordan started. Even though I tapered off the series a little towards the end - e…

The Subjects - Review

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The Subjects, from director Robert Mond (Rendition), attempts to bring something new to the burgeoning superhero genre but ultimately falls short of the mark. The film is severely hampered by its overly explanatory script and diminutive running time (78 minutes!).
Eight strangers are brought together for a clinical trial of a new pharmaceutical drug. They're confined to a sound-proofed recording studio for 8 hours, but as soon as they take the drug, they start experiencing strange superpowers. One by one, they must learn to harness their new powers. AND of course everything is not as it seems ...
Much like their comic-book counterparts, the cinematic superhero genre is dominated by goliath franchises producing consistently entertaining films. Unfortunately, this puts a considerable and possibly unfair pressure on smaller films like The Subjects, which, given the relative restrictions of budget, talent and production, find it virtually impossible to compete. This film looks cheap…

Millennium's Rule: Angel of Storms - Review

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A powerful, worlds-walking sorcerer called the Raen, long thought dead, has returned. His sudden reappearance affects our two protagonists; Tyen Ironsmelter, a magic teacher at an academy on one world, and Rielle Lazuli, a weaver and latent magical prodigy on another. Tyen is forced to leave the academy when it shuts down, taking with him Vella, a woman for whom he is seeking a cure for her condition, on account of the fact that she's been turned into a book. Rielle, meanwhile, escapes a brush with death in order to file in with the Travellers, a group of nomads who are able to magically transport themselves between worlds. On separate trajectories, both characters will need to find ways to face both the Raen and their own changing natures.
That last bit may sound like a bit of a weak ending to the above paragraph, but part of the problem of reviewing Angel of Storms comes from its plot shifts. Note that I said 'shifts' rather than 'twists' (though there are still …

READ, WATCH, PLAY! EPISODE ElEVEN: SPOILED ROTTEN

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It's been a big week. We got our first taste of the Warcraft trailer, heard that there is going to be a new Star Trek series, plus we got our first look at AMC's Preacher. Also I finally figured out what that strange rash on my upper thigh was, but that's neither here nor there.

For all our thoughts on the pop-culture week that was plus what we have been reading, watching and playing get episode eleven of Read, Watch,Play! in your ears. Plus we are joined by special guest and frequent listener Mitchell Hall.

As always it would make our day if you could take a couple of minutes to rate and review us on iTunes or drop us some feedback below! Really keen to have your input in the show.

Well that's enough out of me, enjoy!

-Christof

This week's discussion topic: Spoilers!

Get it from Podomatic here

Get it from Itunes here

Christof (@weeklygeek, christof@geekofoz.com)
Read:Skull Kickers treasure trove volume 3 Watch: Underworld, Men in black trilogy Play: The Witcher 3: hearts…

A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms - Review

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Man, this book is fun.

I just want to get that out of the way early on. It's true, as a story set in Westeros, that there's still violence, the occasional swearing and corrupt political machinations, but overall A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms is a thoroughly enjoyable, delightful, really bloody fun book. Well, it's actually three thoroughly enjoyable, delightful, really bloody fun novellas put together into one book, but you get the idea.

Set over a century before A Game of Thrones, the story follows the exploits of hedge knight Duncan - nicknamed Dunk - and his young squire Egg. They're basically walking the earth, offering their services to whomever needs them and meeting an interesting cross-section of Westerosi inhabitants both noble and nefarious. The only thing is that Egg is actually Aegon Targaryen, future King of Westeros and child of the country's most powerful House, who follows Dunk around as a way of learning more about the world that he'll one day…

Wasteland 2: Director's Cut (PS4) Review

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THE SHORT VERSION
I used to play a ton of Baldur's Gate back in the day, as well as the original Fallout. I've always been a fan of top-down tactical RPGs, but Baldur's Gate was the game that always stuck with me years after I first played it. I loved that the decision-making had distinct, visible consequences, that there was rarely an easy answer to resolving NPC dilemmas, and that the combat's nature felt more involved and strategic than the regular RPG fare of just shooting/smacking the problem in the face.

While I've not played the game from which this sequel spawned, Wasteland 2 is as close a gaming experience I've had to playing Baldur's Gate in at least the last decade. It's a nuanced, involved, excellently-written and immersive tactical RPG, and, despite the issues the console version suffers from, I most wholeheartedly recommend it for those who feel like reliving the golden days of top-down RPG gameplay.

Oh, and yes, it does bear similarities…

D4VE2: Ryan Ferrier Interview

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Last weekend I had a chance to interview Ryan Ferrier about his new series D4VE2, a sequel to his smash hit sci-fi comedy series D4VE from IDW Comics. We talked about the creation of series, and little about what's to come next. Enjoy.


Billy Tournas: Hi Ryan, thanks for taking the time out for this interview.I cannot explain how excited I was to hear the news about another D4VE series! 

Since we last spoke (July 2014) D4VE was re-released in print form through IDW, and now has a sequel! Can you tell me a little about how all this came about?

Ryan Ferrier: Thank you! I was incredibly excited when the opportunity first came up, to say the least. It was actually really quite quick and simple: the response and reaction to D4VE's single issue IDW releases was pretty great, and IDW believed in the series, so they floated the idea of continuing the story past Valentin and I. Little did they know that we had an outline for a second series stashed away. We pretty much went to work right…