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  • Review: The Walking Dead: Season Two, Episode 1 - "All That Remains" (2013) | SquabbleBox.co.uk - Entertainment Under Attack
    story changing and character driving decision Now let s talk about the episode s story Like the Mass Effect series you have the ability to carry over the previous saved data from the first season when you start a new file and the choices you ve made previously will affect the story considerably More than a year before the events of Season 1 s finale you now play as an older Clementine the companion of the previous season s protagonist Lee This time the series takes what Lee taught Clementine to heart and utilises it to develop her character as she struggles to stay alive As well as carrying over Lee s teachings it also removes her childlike innocence that made her charming the season before which is a very appropriate move since she s seen so much horror for someone so young In this season she lacks her bright idealism being an overall brooding and calculating individual This episode sets out a much more cynical and hopeless tone noted by a very tragic introduction with the death of a main character from the first season In just the first twenty minutes Clementine suffers as she tries to survive from scavengers and the walkers How she develops from her interaction with people to her decisions are completely up to the player s choices You can make her reasonable and calm despite her cynical outlook giving you a glance that she s still a bit hopeful or you can make her resentful and unemotional showing that she has to rely only on herself and will assume that people will likely let her down in the end With a new season there are new locations to go to and a couple of new faces to meet The other characters introduced are not as instantly memorable as the originals from the pilot but they re layered enough to have interesting interactions with It s just the first episode of the season so it s too soon to tell The episode is set primarily deep in the forest a setting that loses its appeal as we spend too much time in it with a cabin and a ransacked campsite being the only notable landmarks On how the episode is told it is akin to Lara Croft s struggle in Tomb Raider 2013 revelling in how much pain Clementine is going through as this is an action packed episode with the majority of the set pieces involving her fighting for her life It s hard to watch a kid getting hurt and you are motivated to save her but these scenes sometimes felt drawn out and unnecessary which slowed down the pacing during those parts Of course the episode also has its share of intense and riveting character interactions showcasing the limited time dialogue system These are almost always the most memorable moments in each of the series episodes and it does not disappoint here They re sombre tense and always full of surprises whether

    Original URL path: http://www.squabblebox.co.uk/2013/12/review-the-walking-dead-season-2-episode-1-all-that-remains-2013/ (2016-04-26)
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  • Review: The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds (2013) | SquabbleBox.co.uk - Entertainment Under Attack
    the very beginning of the game Some familiar items and upgrades can only be obtained in over world or are completely hidden in a dungeon which is where the exploration aspect comes into play With such an unorthodox approach to the usual foundation of Zelda s gameplay progression A Link Between Worlds does not hold your hand It is a fairly challenging game a satisfying one at that and probably the most difficult game in the series since Majora s Mask Dying is not a very good option as rented items will be stripped from you forcing you to rent them back This is especially frustrating if you die in a middle of a dungeon run Thankfully dying will re spawn you to the merchant so you can rent the item straight away and going back to the dungeon will not be a chore if you activated save points which also acts as fast travel It s also helpful that you can buy the items later on in the game but it will cost a lot of rupees Because you can do the dungeons in any order you like there are some problems on how you get to them There is little to no clues or hints on where to go or how to get there with only markings on your map or using the Groucho Marx looking Hint Glasses as your only guidance Of course the lack of direction is also a benefit since it encourages you to explore the land Adventuring through Hyrule is very entertaining thanks to its diverse locales and numerous secrets This gives you the opportunity to find bonus items that will help you in your quest and to gather rupees for buying or renting items The main gameplay mechanic that is introduced is entering walls and becoming a painting This is a very fun element to use and an important factor in over world exploration getting through dungeons and travelling between the two realms of Hyrule and Lorule It is such an enjoyable and clever mechanic as it is always the cause of eureka moments when trying to solve a dungeon puzzle Speaking of the latter these staples are one of the best parts of any Zelda game A Link Between World s dungeons are quite short but they re sweet enough to be intellectually challenging and fun because they are designed so incredibly well being one of the best sets of dungeons in the series so far When doing a run there is never a dull moment as there is so much creativity and secrecy in each of them The only downside to these dungeons is that the bosses are pretty easy but they re still fun to fight against One of the most striking changes this game offers is that the magic meter pretty much determines the majority of your items and abilities Usually you have to replenish it by drinking magic potions but now it just replenishes by itself Disposable items

    Original URL path: http://www.squabblebox.co.uk/2013/11/review-the-legend-of-zelda-a-link-between-worlds-2013/ (2016-04-26)
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  • Review: Pokémon X and Y (2013) | SquabbleBox.co.uk - Entertainment Under Attack
    fun side activities in these games Customisation is a lot more prevalent For the first time instead of having a set look for your character you can finally dress them with different clothes as well as change their hairstyle Another customisation based feature called Trainer PR lets you make a ten second video that shows off your character Unfortunately it doesn t let you personalise your own Pokémon with the exception of one One of the game s visually noticeable touchscreen features called Pokémon Amie is a Nintendogs style game extending the Trainer Pokémon bonding mechanics that HeartGold and SoulSilver introduced It lets you pamper a selected Pokémon by feeding it and petting it It s a really nice feature that shows off the personality of these creatures and it is a really effective tool in terms of emotionally bonding with them Not only that the closer your Pokémon is to you the better they perform in battle With every new generation brand new creatures are added X and Y introduces 68 new Pokémon in an ever growing roster bringing the total number to 718 In comparison to previous games 68 is not a lot and some of the new ones personally don t leave a huge impression on me To compensate for the small number of newbies the game has an incredible mixture of Pokémon from previous generations Not since FireRed and LeafGreen can you get a Pikachu so early on in the game Having such a variety of old and new adds a nostalgic feeling whilst it introduces new players to Pokémon that they ve never seen before The new region of Kalos which is based on France is fun to explore containing European flavoured towns and a variety of environments which are augmented by different methods of exploration like rail grinding or riding certain Pokémon Lumiose City which is similar to Paris is a highlight of the region as it demonstrates the three dimensional perspective of the game making it look like a living breathing city Whist it looks impressive in terms of visuals the lack of camera control can be problematic whenever you are exploring as it can sometimes lead you into unwanted directions Gyms have always been one of the more entertaining parts of any franchise title Taking advantage of X and Y s 3D visuals Kalos gyms have very imaginative interior designs and their own unique navigational puzzles Moving on to the battle aspect of the game the core gameplay hasn t changed much but remains a fun and surprisingly complex combat mechanic At first glance battles look like simple turn based combat but in hindsight there s much more to it Having knowledge of type advantages and disadvantages teaching your Pokémon the correct moves and taking note of their personalities and stats makes battles exciting and rewarding In terms of levelling up there are certain changes in X and Y that make training them much more effortless Experience points are a lot easier to acquire as you can now get them from catching Pokémon instead of just defeating them Experience Share an item that in previous games shares experience points to whichever Pokémon is holding them has become a much more effective item In X and Y it cannot be given but when in use every single Pokémon in your team shares experience points after finishing a battle This allows for less grinding and it makes your team much more balanced If you are familiar with the competitive scene you would probably have heard of Effort Value training or EV for short EV training is an extremely tedious repetitive and not at all fun process of making your Pokémon stronger compared to levelling up normally by training the hidden values of their stats Now there is Super Training another touchscreen feature that allows you to see those hidden values In this feature you can play a mini game that lets you claim them This makes EV training much easier and less tedious Unfortunately it retains the repetitive nature as the mini game doesn t have a lot of variety and it gets boring after playing it over and over just to get as many points as you can Because of the more streamlined nature of Pokémon training thanks to the aforementioned changes and features progression feels a lot quicker and you will find yourself outmatching NPC trainers in battle even if you don t grind I was able to breeze through the gym leaders with no difficulty because my team was five levels above them and I never struggled with the Elite Four which are supposedly the strongest trainers in the game There is an option to turn off Experience Share if you want the more traditional grind but it s hard not to because of how incredibly useful it is One of the newest features of X and Y when it comes to battling is the Mega Evolutions Certain Pokémon can evolve in battle if they are holding an item called a Mega Stone Activating a Mega Evolution changes their appearance increases their stats and depending on the Pokémon can even change their types Though it sounds overpowered it thankfully has its limits If you have a team of Pokémon that can Mega Evolve only one of them can use it and it can only be activated once per battle It is a very cool addition to the combat and has its upsides and downsides A Mega Evolved Pokémon can easily defeat a consecutive amount of NPC trainers which makes the game easier than it is especially if the said Pokémon is in a higher level but at the same time it can be used strategically when you face a much stronger NPC trainer or an actual player and I can see this feature dramatically changing the competitive scene The story in Pokémon games always has the same basic narrative structure usually focusing more on the experience of the journey than the

    Original URL path: http://www.squabblebox.co.uk/2013/10/review-pokemon-x-and-y-2013/ (2016-04-26)
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  • The X-Philes #4: "Duane Barry" / "Ascension" | SquabbleBox.co.uk - Entertainment Under Attack
    When Barry is shot and injured as the hostage crisis comes to an abrupt close an X ray reveals Barry s implants are exactly where he said they would be in his gums sinus and stomach with a ballistic expert telling Scully one of the implants has a microscopic code inscribed on it Soon Barry awakes from his comatose state and somehow manages to escape from hospital just so happening to head straight for Scully s apartment at the same time she s leaving a voicemail message for Mulder Ascension picks up on the cliffhanger continuing with Mulder listening to his voicemail to find that Barry has broken into Scully s home and kidnapped her Going against the recommendation of Assistant Director Walter Skinner Mitch Pileggi Mulder sets off in hot pursuit of Barry and heads to Skyland Mountain the original site of Barry s first alien abduction accompanied with Agent Krycek Hoping to save Scully s life Mulder hops aboard the resort s aerial tramway knowing that Barry and Scully are likely to be at the summit It s at this point that Krycek s dubious motives become clear Since he is working on behalf of the omnipresent Cigarette Smoking Man William B Davis he intentionally sabotages Mulder s transit trapping Mulder in a tram against his knowledge and then starting it up again once he clambers on top of the roof almost risking Mulder falling a thousand feet to his certain death Upon discovering Barry alone standing atop the summit shouting They ve taken her after being blinded by bright lights we realise that Mulder has paid the ultimate price His meddling by investigating government secrets has claimed Scully as a victim quite possibly to deter Mulder from his own personal crusade once again upping the ante for the conspiracy narrative in The X Files to flourish This lends the show an even greater sense of danger After all if they can take Scully they can take anyone Recalling Moonraker the tram scene in Ascension is high octane and unprecedented for a TV show of its time The X Files was truly mastering a near cinematic level of suspenseful action sequences which more than merited the movie spin off it would eventually be granted What remains so original about Ascension is that the ending is so stark it took an admirable level of confidence to leave Scully s fate so unresolved Of course we gather aliens abducted Scully but we also know that Mulder s sister was abducted and never to be seen again for now anyway so the notion of Scully being taken is wholly significant to Mulder In particular Krycek s acts of betrayal during the tram scene show how Scully s absence leaves Mulder at risk in that she was the only person he could truly trust With her disappearance Mulder s fate hangs in the balance Duane Barry and Ascension are both masterful works of high tension and impeccable characterisation showing a growth spurt

    Original URL path: http://www.squabblebox.co.uk/2015/12/the-x-philes-4-duane-barry-ascension/ (2016-04-26)
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  • The X-Philes (The X-Files) | SquabbleBox.co.uk - Entertainment Under Attack
    PHILES 2 Squeeze Tooms October 11 2015 at 4 00 pm The X Philes The X Files TV 0 comments EVERYONE remembers this one The terrifying Tooms makes his entrance in this classic two part case for Mulder and Scully read more THE X PHILES 1 Pilot Deep Throat October 8 2015 at 3 10 pm The X Philes The X Files TV 0 comments Mulder and Scully are finally returning to our screens in January To celebrate X Phile Luke begins a retrospective with the first two episodes read more Movie Squabbles CULT CORNER The Return of the Living Dead 1985 SEQUELISED RoboCop 3 1993 REVIEW The Jungle Book 2016 LICENSE TO THRILL The Mask 1995 SquabbleCast 17 20 Years in Raccoon City Gaming Squabbles GAMING GREATS L A Noire 2011 LICENSE TO THRILL The Mask 1995 SquabbleCast 17 20 Years in Raccoon City GAMING GREATS Super Mario Sunshine 2002 GAMING GREATS The Secret of Monkey Island 1990 Podcast Squabbles TV Squabbles TV GEMS Cockroaches 2015 SquabbleCast 16 Batfan v Superfan TV GEMS Marvel s Daredevil 2015 TV GEMS Columbo 1971 2003 SquabbleCast 14 RETARDIS Search SquabbleBox Music Squabbles REVIEW Babymetal Metal Resistance 2016 AWESOME ALBUMS Gomez In Our

    Original URL path: http://www.squabblebox.co.uk/category/the-x-philes-the-x-files/ (2016-04-26)
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  • What a Wookie: Revisiting The Star Wars Holiday Special | SquabbleBox.co.uk - Entertainment Under Attack
    s worried wife is all wrong and embarrassing to watch it actually reminds me of Hayden Christensen s acting in Attack of the Clones 2002 Fisher tries to keep a straight face and gives it her best shot as Leia even when bursting into song to everyone s surprise Ford and Mayhew have the most screentime and act like the old couple that Han and Chewie always have been That s until Ford s Solo starts hugging and gushes with love for his adoptive Wookie family Indeed it is the Wookies that are the main problem The show is about them but they don t speak English and with no subtitles or human co stars to translate for much of the runtime we are left to listen to the howling and roaring of three bloody Wookies for large stretches relying on body language to get the jist The Holiday Special does have a few plus points however It is an attempt at a Solo Chewbacca adventure something I have always wanted to see If you are able to see past the stock footage shots and cardboard sets the scenes with Han and Chewie in peril at the controls of the Falcon are actually all pretty good Ford is a great physical actor and all of his trademark mannerisms are on show here in abundance There is also the use of previously unseen footage of Mos Eisley spaceport from the 1977 film and during the Bea Arthur Cantina musical sketch we get to see all those alien faces again and some that were not used in A New Hope It is also interesting to see how similar the design of the Wookie homeworld is in The Holiday Special to the final realised version of Kashyyyk seen in Episode III Revenge of the Sith 2005 The main saving grace though is the nine minute animated adventure provided by Canadian studio Nelvana Ltd The cartoon is completely separate from the main show involving the Rebels and their search for a mystical talisman This cartoon is known for being the first official introduction of fan favorite Boba Fett voiced by Don Francks and much like he is in The Empire Strikes Back Fett is an undercover employee of Darth Vader The animation style is quite unique and not the typical kid friendly Hannah Barbera or Disney motif possessing a gritty adult look very much like the 1981 film Heavy Metal Nelvana went on to produce both Star Wars related cartoons Droids and Ewoks in 1985 Overall The Star Wars Holiday Special is pretty damn awful It fails to be amusing at any stage the variety acts are boring the music videos are not appropriate and the whole thing is overly sentimental Director Steve Binder and an uncredited David Acomba could have easily shaved thirty minutes off its ridiculously long running time That being said I have actually seen worse I would rather watch this than the dreadful animated show Droids or the terrible TV

    Original URL path: http://www.squabblebox.co.uk/2015/12/what-a-wookie-revisiting-the-star-wars-holiday-special/ (2016-04-26)
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  • The Who Review: "The Zygon Inversion" / "Sleep No More" | SquabbleBox.co.uk - Entertainment Under Attack
    state as her body walks around looking mean and blowing up airplanes The scene where the two Claras talk to each other was just as well performed by Coleman as Matt Smith s double take in Series 7 s Nightmare in Silver with the good and evil sides fighting against each other for control The reality is The Doctor has been without Clara for three episodes in a row effectively The slow build towards her exit continues to be seeded throughout The Zygon Inversion will be remembered as Capaldi at his absolute best in the role and is an instalment he will find hard to top The episode as a whole rounded off an excellent Zygon adventure and continues the excellent form the team at BBC Wales are on right now Series 9 continues to shine one inversion at a time It had been well reported that Sleep No More would be a so called Found Footage episode This was certainly made clear to us early on as the usual notes of the theme song were missing and replaced by code that spelled out Doctor Who and Clara Oswald amongst other things once again showing that this series is not afraid to mix things up The whole thing was shot in first person despite the crew not having cameras attached to their helmets Even the format of the story was used as a plot device Professor Rassmussen Reece Shearsmith has a sinister plan to get his Sandman virus to remove humanity s need for sleep a twist that was brilliantly delivered by Shearsmith whose performance was excellent At the outset the concept seemed like a great idea so what is wrong with Sleep No More When you base an episode around a found footage gimmick having a character narrate the story to the audience doesn t really gel with the style Rassmussen s inserts take you away from the atmosphere that the rest of the episode is trying to create The story was very complex and dealt with many issues ranging from politics to slave labour to capitalism So much is going on that the inserts are a necessity to hold the hand of family audiences but it just leaves the episode feeling disjointed Found footage has been done better elsewhere and is being rather overdone too A story like this also needs en effective monster In the early stages the enigmatic terrors worked well We could barely see the menace running after the crew as the dark corridors and shaky first person views kept the mystery going That fear turns to laughter when you realise these Sandmen are monsters completely created from sleep dust Yes the dust you wipe away from your eyes after those forty winks With that logic the show could probably make a monster out of the dust Gatiss left after he scraped the barrel on this one Even if you can accept the origin of these monsters they still look horrible when you see them

    Original URL path: http://www.squabblebox.co.uk/2015/11/the-who-review-the-zygon-inversion-sleep-no-more/ (2016-04-26)
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  • TV Gems: Doctor Who: The Movie (1996) | SquabbleBox.co.uk - Entertainment Under Attack
    up rather appropriately as one of The Doctor s best nemeses By the time he dons the villain s signature and ridiculous costume you wish he could guest star in the role again He s so amusingly cheesy and broad and therefore so Doctor Who Elsewhere there s certainly no doubting that this pilot was made by one of the more accomplished production crews Who has ever had Editor Patrick Lussier has worked on everything from Scream to Drive Angry composer John Debney is a valued Hollywood musician with credits including Sin City and Iron Man 2 and director Geoffrey Sax went on to make White Noise and Stormbreaker Whatever you might think of these respective projects they all brought a sure footedness to this unjustly maligned effort This is one of Who s most handsomely produced outings boasting occasionally cinematic photography reasonable special effects which have dated well for a near twenty year effort and a general competence that evaded many of the 80s serials It also has what might be the definitive TARDIS interior No really It s a Gothic mansion with windows of cascading light and an almost cyberpunk control room It looks damned impressive and Sax delights in finding fresh ways to shoot it getting into the nooks and crannies of a familiar machine and truly selling the universe at play This film has problems yes but its never less than well made Yet The Movie has always been worth watching for McGann The Withnail I star never became the success he should have been being relegated to supporting roles in films like Alien 3 but he s an absolutely cracking Doctor He has that otherworldly quality mixed with the gravitas of a classically trained Shakespearian actor and right from the moment he steps out of a morgue locker he slips into The Doc s shoes with ease There is a darkness to this iteration but also a lot of the playful energy that we ve now come to associate with the Time Lord McGann is funny troubled eccentric intelligent and hyperactive nailing the role It s an absolute travesty that the BBC didn t give him an opportunity to carry on restricting him to a series of acclaimed audiobooks especially when his successor Christopher Eccleston has made it clear he no longer cares for Who If this version had gone to series back then I would have been a devotee for life and a lot of that is due to how good McGann is in the role And the story would have ended there if it wasn t for Steven Moffat On a wave of related media in the run up to the 50th anniversary the BBC unveiled a short online prequel called The Night of The Doctor below No one really expected anything special from it but within a minute who steps into frame but friggin Paul McGann Almost two decades after he last played the role on film he returned for a highly

    Original URL path: http://www.squabblebox.co.uk/2015/11/tv-gems-doctor-who-the-movie-1996/ (2016-04-26)
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