Jamboree in Space!

I’ve just listened (live) to the Astronauts on the International Space Station. Ten Young Correspondents from across the World asked 20 questions to Clayton Anderson in the 10 minute window Hylands Park, Chelmsford was in the ISS field of vision.

Continue reading Jamboree in Space!

Film Review: Zathura

Would you like to play a game? Ordinarily a harmless request but this is an extraordinary game. Zathura takes you into the Jumanji universe where board games aren’t just pieces being moved around a board, they’re adventures beyond your wildest imagination.

Although a film targeted at children I found this thoroughly enjoyable; there are plenty of jokes for all ages and a deeper story about how hard it can be for children after a divorce.

The story starts with a father and his 2 sons enjoying their weekend together playing games, intermittent with him finishing preparations for a presentation at work. Typically the boys compete for their father’s attention and in the process raise some minor havoc which leads to one of them being tricked into the basement and discovering a cool looking game.

The discoverer opens it up and starts playing; a card is ejected but being so young he can barely read and asks his slightly perturbed brother what it says. Upon reading, a meteor strikes, devastating the living room. Looking out of the window they are stranded in space with no parents and an apathetic sleeping teenager – what are they going to do?

I thoroughly enjoyed Zathura. Usually there’s an obvious formula to children’s movies meaning you can almost predict what’s going to happen next, but Zathura certainly kept it interesting for me. You expect a big hoohah seeing aliens immediately and then getting back at them but Zathura takes a different approach, withhold seeing them until absolutely necessary. Get the kids thinking of the most disgusting and scary monster alien they can imagine, and just when they can’t bare it any longer they show you and it’s pretty intimidating but nothing a 5 year old can’t handle.
A good film to go and see if you’re looking for some easy entertainment, firm acting from the cast, thoughtful plot and respectable CG effects. Certainly worth the price of a cinema ticket.

Rating: 82%

Happy Winter-een-mas!!

X3 Reunion Game Box

Well actually it started on the 25th so we’re smack bang in the middle of it but still have a happy holiday none-the-less.

What is Winter-een-mass? It’s a fictional holiday created by Tim Buckley for gamers, to celebrate computer games. With the huge sub-culture surrounding games, brought on by the boom of the internet it was only a matter of time.

So what have I been doing to celebrate this Gamers Festivities? I’ve renewed my efforts to keep up my gaming efforts that severely dropped last year, I missed out on the WoW (World of Warcraft) phase which I’m likely to be shamed about for years to come.

I have however picked up a copy of X3 – Reunion another sequel in the mahusive ‘X’ universe. X is the modern day Elite series, most famous of these is the Elite II – Frontier which I’ve played for days straight, weeks even! Its possibly my first favourite Flight Sim RPG game of all time. The universe was huge and you could practically do anything, skim suns, halo drop, fly-bys, trade, steal, pirate, transport and even assassinate.

To make things that little bit more interesting there were 2 prominent advancement systems you could advance in the Sol Federation (that’d be where Earth is) or the Achenar Empire. You could choose one or the other to advance in but both usually got your superiors curious about your loyalties and tried to have you killed by increasing the danger on your missions. I don’t think I ever achieved Admiral or Prince respectively in either but I did get above halfway.

Anyway X3 – Reunion is mightily impressive, stunning visuals but the control system is taking forever to pick up everything, I suppose in the long run its good as you’ll have everything at your fingertips but currently just trying to remember to drop Chaff on incoming missiles is enough.