Sunday, 23 April 2017

Record Store Day 2017 Haul

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It's that time of the year again, the day we all queue for hours for overpriced records because we don't want to buy them even dearer on ebay. All jokes aside, I love RSD. I think it's a great day that celebrates music, music lovers and, of course, record stores. Many critics say that we should celebrate everyday and not just today, but you can't get an exclusive Bowie live album everyday, can you? And your local record store won't be celebrating with live bands or discounts on standard releases everyday. The first shop I went to this year was Ignite Records inside Oasis in the centre of Birmingham, this is a great little record store, with a friendly owner and a fantastic variety of records. Here is what I got there...

Bastille - Comfort of Strangers (Ltd. to 1000)
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Bastille are one of my favourite bands out there at the moment, their 2016 album 'Wild World' was one of my favourite releases of the past year. It was a great mixture of pop and, in places, contemporary dance. Understandably I was very hyped to pick this up once I saw it on the list. I know this was very expensive, but it is an unreleased song that I'm very excited to listen to, and with the B-side of Warmth performed live at Capitol Studios, which was one of my favourite song son 'Wild World' this is a great selection. Not to mention, it's pressed on white vinyl and the 7" is housed in a slip sleeve mirrorboard that looks very neat.

Blossoms - Blossoms Live from Festival No. 6
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I recently saw Blossoms live and they were phenomenal so on this year of live releases I knew I was going to be getting this. To my knowledge it isn't very rare and I've seen ALOT of people picking this up on Twitter and Instagram, but this is a very pretty picture disc. With a mixture of pink, blue and purple swirls and the bands logo emblazoned across it, it's very pretty and I'm sure it will sound excellent.

Cabbage - Young, Dumb & Full of... (Ltd. to 1000)
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Cabbage are a post-punk band that mix lyrics of humour and politics together expertly, with bashing beats and you get an excellent debut collection of EP's. After seeing the album being released exclusively and on Orange Vinyl I knew this was going to make it onto my list because it's one of my stand out albums this year. The vinyl is incredibly flimsy but I can only put this down to the pressure on pressing plants leading up to RSD. Nonetheless, this is an excellent addition to my collection.

David Bowie - Cracked Actor (Live in LA, 1974)
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David Bowie is one of my favourite artists of all time, and whilst I dont agree with some of his record store day releases, like the No Plan EP, this was definitely something I wanted to pick up. I was umming and arring over the this for weeks because I was expecting it to be incredibly expensive but at £35 I was more than willing to shell out for this. To add to my collection a previously unreleased Bowie Live Album is an incredibly exciting prospect, because I can never afford the Reality tour album. I can't wait to spin this and soak it all in on wax. As far as I know there were lots of these about all over the world so in a few weeks they will probably not be worth a lot on ebay.

That's all I got from Ignite, but it's not all I got. Whilst walking to get breakfast with my girlfriend we decided to go and check the other record store in the middle of Birmingham, Swordfish, a classic record store with a great mixture of new and old records at competitive prices. This is what I got there...

Hudson Mohawke - Watch_Dogs 2 OST
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This was one of the top 3 things I wanted on RSD. The excellent soundtrack to the brilliant Watch_Dogs 2, which was my favourite game of 2016. After I didn't manage to get this at Ignite I was devastated, but Swordfish had 3 copies available and I couldn't purchase it any quicker. If you've played through the game then I definitely recommend trying to get this, it's great electronic music that brings back memories of a great game.

T.I. - I'm Serious
T.I., I'm Serious, serious, hip-hop, rap, hip, hop, rsd, rsd2017, rsd17, record, store, day, record store day, records, vinyl, vinyler, collection, rapper, tip
A classic Hip-Hop album from a rapper that has fell off as late, and tends to focus more on his acting now. But this southern album is one of the best rap albums to come from there, it's got great flows, raptuous beats and is considered by many to be a classic. There were only 500 of these, and it's printed on red and white vinyl. It looks amazing and the fact it's hand numbered makes this even more special!
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That's everything I got from my incredibly successful Record Store Day in Birmingham. Thanks to Ignite and Swordfish for being such good hosts and stocking exactly what I wanted. I'd love to know what you guys got on the day so let me know on Twitter!

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Record Store Day 2017: Must-Haves

Andre 3000 - All Together Now
This cover of a Beatles song was originally only ever available for download because it was part of an old Nike commercial. However, its now available for your purchase on RSD. It's smooth, melodic and I recommend picking this up on wax.

Banks & Steelz (Feat. Florence Welch) - Wild Season
Florence Welch, of Florence & The Machine fame, is one of the most talented singers of this century. Anything she puts her name to I'm very likely to pick up. So when I saw this on the list I knew I was going to pick it up, especially with Wu-Tang Clans RZA attaching his name. Dreamlike.

Bastille - Comfort of Strangers
I remember picking up Bastille's phenomenal Hangin' 7" on RSD last year, so this is a must have this Record Store Day. It contains a previously unreleased song which I'm more than excited to listen to and the track Warmth (Live) on the B-Side.

Blossoms - Blossoms
Blossoms are a band I've only got into recently, but their debut album is definitely one of the stand out releases from the past year. A perfect mixture of sweet melodies, tongue in cheek lyrics and Tom Ogdens great voice. I recently saw them live and they were absolutely amazing. This 10" picture disc looks stunning, and it contains a fully acoustic set as performed at Festival No. 6. I'm incredibly excited to pick this up.

Brother Ali - The Undisputed Truth
One of the most talented and insightful rappers out there at the moment. In honour of the 10th anniversary of this album we will be getting an extra special version on RSD. These are only liited to 3000 and each one is hand numbered AND a bonus LP of unreleased tracks. I'd recommend that any hip hop fan picks this up.

Cabbage - Young, Dumb & Full of...
Cabbage recently released all of their EP's in one full length album. This is that collection on vinyl for the first time and on orange vinyl nonetheless. It's a must have for any fans of bands like Slaves, or any recent punk music. A great album.

Catfish & The Bottlemen - The Balcony
Catfish's first album is one of my favourite albums of all time. It contains bangers, slow songs and perfect music. I've already got this on vinyl but if you don't then i reccomend picking up this on exclusive white vinyl or, you know, pay a third of the price for normal black vinyl.

The Cure - Greatest Hits
The Cure aren't given the credit they deserve in the music scene. Very open, emotional music and sometimes so glaringly depressing that it makes a lot of their music very beautiful. That means this exclusive picture disc of their greatest hits, never before released on vinyl, is something you should be looking to pick up whether you're a fan or not.

Czarface - First Weapon Drawn
This has not just never been released on vinyl. This has NEVER been released. The hip-hop trio including Wu-Tang's Inspectah Deck, are releasing a never before heard album with exclusive comic book artwork and I can't wait to get my hands on this and look at all the art whilst it's spinning. One of my must-haves!

Danny Brown - Ain't it Funny
Ain't It Funny was from 2016's stellar album, Atrocity Exhibition, and this was one of the stand out songs on the album. As it has recently been released as a single it is now getting the picture disc treatment for RSD and I'm perfectly okay with that because it looks really cool.

Every Bowie release
I shouldn't even have to write a description for why you should want these.

Hudson Mohawke - Watch_Dogs 2
Watch_Dogs 2 was one of my favourite games of this past year, so to see the soundtrack that contributed to that game being great appearing on this list I was imediately excited. Hudson Mohawke brought all of his skills in producing dance/house/techno music to the fold here and if you've played through the game you'll still get the rush of every feeling as you played through the game if you listen to this soundtrack.

Slaves - Take Control
This is a phenomenal punk rock album from the duo. It contains a fantastic mixture of gross, amped up bass and in your face lyrics. If you're a an of punk or Slaves then I recommend going out and getting this special gold sleeve version of this album.

Slick Rick - Childrens Story
This is arguably the coolest and most unique release on the day. It's the song Childrens story by Slick Rick on a 7" but it comes with the song's lyrics adapted to a genuine childrens book. This is incredibly cool! I'm sure collectors will be fighting over this on the day.

The Smiths - The Boy With The Thorn in His Side
To be able to get any of the original smiths records you are probably a millionaire or incredibly reckless with your money. But to see one those 7" released again with an alternative cover is pretty cool and as a lifelong smiths fan I will be picking this up for sure.

T.I. - I'm Serious
Limited to only 500, hand numbered, never before released on vinyl, classic hip-hop album. Does it need anymore pro-points to go out and purchase this? it will be heavily priced by those scumbag flippers afterwards so if you're looking to buy this then this is probably your only chance.

Toto - Africa
This is quite hilarious, but it's the song Africa on a 7" and shaped like the continent of Africa. Who thinks of this stuff? I don't know but I want it.

Wiley - Godfather
The self-proclaimed godfather of rap is releasing his album 'Godfather' on a special white label promo. This is probably going to be alot more expensive than the normal version of the album and it probably won't be worth it, however you Wiley fans out there are probably frothing at the mouth for this.

Monday, 13 February 2017

5 Games to LOVE if you're an achievement hunter

xbox, achievements, xbox 360, xbox one

Hopefully you've already my top 5 games to avoid if you're an achievement hunter so I decided to write about what games to play if you love good games and achievements. These games aren't necessarily the easiest 1000G games ever or even very quick to complete, but what they are, are good games where it may take you a while to get all of the achievements but you will never have to exert yourself and you will have one hell of a time doing so.

Fight Night: Round 3

The good old days when people cared more about boxing than MMA, This post Connor McGregor era has spurned a few UFC games that I won't touch with a barge pole because I dont know anything about the sport. I do hwever know about boxing and I miss these games more than anything. There was no better feeling than getting your friends together and knocking each other out, virtually I may add. This game rewards you with 1000G for just playing through the career mode and taking your fighter from the lowly gyms to large stadiums and you will be subject to a hell of a lot of brand placement along the way. Why the hell wouldn't you want to pick this up right away?!

Watch_Dogs 2

If you have read my review of this game then you'll already know that I absolutely loved it! What I didn't really say is that this game has an incredibly easy 1000G! Whilst the online achievements may require some degree of skill it will be easily achievable by the average gamer. Even if you find it very hard to get these achievements you will get at least 900G just from single player. One gripe I do have with the game is the fact that people, including myself, have found unobtainable achievements within the story. So maybe leave it awhile before picking this up but not too long that the servers will be dead,

Assassins Creed II

Ahhhh. How I wish to go back to life Pre-Assassins Creed: Black Flag. I hated that game so much. And Unity was honestly one of the worst, most glitched games I've ever played. BUT this game. This game right here. Was incredible! Games like this are why I game! Assassins Creed II brought Ezio into the frame and he is one of my favourite protagonists in gaming history. And the gameplay, graphics etc... everything about this game was perfect and some do argue that Brotherhood was better and there is even a community who argue that Black Flag is the greatest Assassins Creed and they are entitled to that opinion bu they are so wrong. The game will take you awhile to get all of the achievements but none of them are hard at all, collecting the feathers will be annoying but it shouldn't take more than 25 hours overall.

NBA 2K17: The Prelude

Any free game is good in my books, as long as its not a pay to win free game like Clash of Clans or Star Trek Online. This game introduced you into the world of NBA 2K17 and was a prelude ot the world famous story mode that 2K Games implement into their yearly NBA franchise game. I thoroughly enjoyed this free game and whilst the graphics aren't very good at all I went out and pre ordered the full game. Which you shouldn't do by the way because it is full of unobtainables. However, this game will take you roughly about 1 and a half hours because you only have to play about 5 or 6 games of college NBA before you get thrown into the draft and find out who you are going to play for in the full game.

Life is Strange

This game made me feel so many emotions. I will never forget the experience that this game gave me. Much like the Telltale Games where it's mainly story and you do very little in an episodic adventure but this takes the cartoon graphics away and feels alot more grown up and feels all the more better for it. What this game does is puts you in the shoes of an angst ridden teen as they discover they can turn back time at any point and this only causes many problems in her life. The story of her troubled times with these powers is some of the greatest storytelling, art direction and emotionally charged choice making I have ever seen in gaming or even films and TV. You will need a guide to get the 1000G but that shouldn't be a problem as you only have to take photographs of certain things throughout the episodes.

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Watch_Dogs 2

watch dogs 2, watch, dog, dogs, game, ps4, xbox, one, xb1, xbox exclusive, playstation, playstation exclusive, wstch, digs, dig, marcus holloway, wrench, sakura, gaming, blog, review, kmmr

When Ubisoft announced the new IP that was Watch_Dogs back in the years when we were still so susceptible to their lies, I was hyped and it was a day 1 purchase. It was such an innovative idea with a hacker taking on whole corporations with just a phone basically. But it was so damn boring! It was unanimously panned by critics and fans alike, the graphics were 10x less than impressive than the E3 demo and many thought that was it for the series. But Ubisoft persevered with the franchise, for some reason, possibly due to the amount of money the first one made in the first week. But I am incredibly glad that they did continue with the Watch_Dogs name because this game right here is fantastic.
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Watch_Dogs 2 starts off with someone watching our Protagonist break into the Ctos headquarters to delete his criminal file off their servers. Immediately you'll notice the beautiful scapes and art in this game. The bright colours of San Francisco are everywhere and its stunning when you stop in the game and take a look around at all of your surrounds.The graphics are something that really matter to me in gaming, I couldnt explain why but it just is. And this game is a perfect example of that, with a bright, gleaming city second only to that of GTA 5's Los Santos. Another thing about the city is the fact that it feels so alive, as it takes the mechanic out of the first game with the informaton of each civilian being readily available when you lock your phone onto them, and whilst this has been toned down, it has allowed access to each person in the city having functions such as giving you a much needed boost, or to hack their bank account and take all their money. This is a greater way of utilising the civilians because they are now useful instead of being a block of text for you to read and forget about and then see the same block of text next to another civilian.
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Watch_Dogs 2 has taken it's predecessors multiplayer and gave it a few tweaks to see its imperfections be straightened out, When the game was shipped it was categorically broken and unplayable though, which is never a good start when you are trying to revitalise a franchise. However, when it was fixed its thoroughly enjoyable albeit quite annoying at times. For example, if you are being chased by the police in single player, other players will seamlessly be implemented into your world as bounty hunters and this is a fantastic idea, something that I would love to see Rockstar push into GTA 6 when it's released instead of just GTA online. Another of these modes is that someone enters your game and trys to steal your data by waiting in a circle that slowly closes around you whilst you try and find them. This is incredibly ANNOYING when you are just trying to play the single player and someone jumps in and you can't let them win because you dont want them stealing all your stuff, its such a terrible catch 22.
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The story has been getting alot of criticism in the reviews that I've seen and mostly they make good points, it just seems that these people have no real reason to "stick it to the man" other than they can and they want to. The story does, however, flow well and I was kept very intrigued throughout. It started to go stale towards the end and the lack of any sort of 'boss' fight really suited the style of play. The sections where you have to spin the little circles to make an electric current flow from a source were always interesting parts to me. And I know that alot of people didn't like these sections but they were simple enough puzzle sections that didn't take too long or take away from the main games style. One thing that really annoyed me though are the unobtainable achievements that are littered throughout the game, it seems that people are finding that alot of the story related achievements are not popping after completing the relevant mission. I personally found one of the achievements to be unobtainable and I am left on 960G for the game which is terribly annoying!


Saturday, 21 January 2017

5 Games to Avoid!! (If you're an achievement hunter)

NBA 2K17
Unobtainables are arguably the worst thing that could ever happen to an achievement hunter. It's damn near why I nearly put Watch_Dogs 2 on this list, beacause I have 960G in that game and one of the story mission achievements has glitched so that I probably will never get it and it will always say 96% next to the name on my achievement list which just grinds my gears. NBA 2K17 was obviously developed by someone who had a bad experience with an achievement hunter because this game is just there to annoy those who have played it. The story mode (which is fantastic by the way) is missing parts of it which relate to achievements such as a part where the coach is meant to give you a gift, I never even saw this part and I finished the story mode. This is a common theme throughout. Not only that but if you are looking to 1000G this game then you may aswell give up now because it's going to take an inhuman amount of skill to get all the achievements due to the online achievements being over the top hard.
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Halo: The Masterchief Collection
4000G!! and with DLC 6000G!!! It's enough to make any hunter froth at the mouth but they should look turn away as disappointment ensues. Not only does this contain many achievements that relate back to completing the game on the hardest difficulty, there are ones relating to doing levels with certain scores and a certain time. Not only all this but there is the infamous achievement where you need 3 other friends and to finish a level whilst using only a Ghost ship. Crazy. Absolutely crazy.
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Gears of War 4
If you're a completionist just dont even go anywhere near this game. Seriously 4.0 will absolutely destroy your life, it has nothing to do with a ridiculous amount of kills anymore. No, that was deemed too easy by Coalition. Now you have to do everything there basically is to be done in the game. Including, collecting every ribbon on the game which requires a decent level of skill online, completing horde in one setting on numerous occasions, finishing the campaign on insane. It's just an absolute nightmare of an achievement, this will take 500+ hours just for ONE achievement.
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What happens when you pick up a game from around the launch title of the xbox 360 that was heavily multiplayer focused and developers weren't familar with how achievements work yet? You get Chromehounds. There is only 160G available for offer here because the rest of the G is tied up in multiplayer achievements that are hidden behind closed servers. There to be never unlocked again so if you have gotten any of these achievements then count yourself lucky. And I'm not going to start the whole debate about whether developers should include multiplayer achievements in games that are at some point going to be closed or will never have the player base to gain a decent community online.
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Assassins Creed: Unity
This list isn't all that hard if you're willing to put alot of time towards it. The only problem with this is that you will actually have to play this game in order to unlock any of the achevements and I would recommend that NO ONE goes to play this mess of a game. It's broken, unplayable and boring. Just avoid this game whether you're an achievement hunter or not.
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