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.
NBA 2K17, nba 2017, basketball, bball, videogame, 2k, xbox one, paul george, michael b jordan, story mode, be a pro

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.
Halo, the masterchief collection, masterchief, xbox one, covenant, hard achievements, g, chievo, cheevo, chief, halos

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.
gears of war 4, gow, marcus fenix, dom, jd, xbox one, achievements, seriously 4.0, review, gaming, 1000 degree knife

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.
chromehounds, xbox, 360, xbox 360, exclusive, online, multiplayer, hardest game, gaming, achievements

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.
assassins creed, unity, assassins creed unity, worst game ever, french revolution, france, francais, french, secrets, secret knife, online, multiplayer

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Fifa 17

fifa 17. marco reus, borussia dortmund, xbox one, ps4, soccer, national football, rolls reus, ea sports

It's been so many years and alot of complaining from online communities, but EA Sports finally implemented the one thing people have been waiting for: A story mode. And it's truly, incredibly boring. The whole story is just completely cliche and predictable and not to mention that the characters are utterly unlikable. You take control of the new hot young prospect in football, Alex Hunter. He was discarded from trials as a kid and now has a chance to shine in the exit trials. Which of course you take control of and absolutely smash it, mainly due to the fact it automatically put me on beginner, and then you are offered a role at every single premier league club because that would obviously happen. You are offered different wages at every club (which do not influence anything at all) and the depth/talent of players at each squad will not hinder/help your chances. This is due to the fact that no matter what decisions you make the story will continue to follow exactly the same path. You will have a decent pre-season (I scored over 30 goals, due to the difficulty), then you will be told that first team chances will be slim and your friend is ahead of you in the pecking order, you get sent out on loan no matter what, the game will act like you impressed on loan even if you didn't, you get recalled because Gareth Walker leaves to your rivals and then win the FA Cup against Gareth Walker. It's exactly the same no matter what you say or what you do. One thing that truly put holes in the story of this game was the fact that I joined Leicester and obviously Gareth Walker left to our closest rival in the premier league which is West Brom. On my save Leicester won the league easily and West Brom got relegated with 5 games to spare. Which begs the question why he would ever leave them for that. Overall, its a nice addition to the game and a decent first attempt by EA but it needs ALOT of work if it's to follow the cliffhanger at the end of the game.
Fifa 17, the hunter, alex hunter, the journey, new game mode, leicester city, premier league, premiership, gareth walker

Another new addition to the game is the competitive Ultimate Team mode 'FUT Champs'. This is a great addition to Ultimate Team with the player having to play 40 games over a weekend and the amount of wins they get is relative to an in game reward with those getting 30+ wins receiving receiving free informs and a ridiculous amount of coins. Not to mention at the end of every month it adds up your weekend results and you get further rewards, it truly is a great addition that rewards those who are great at the game as they deserve. Ultimate Team has received another upgrade in the form of 'Squad Building Challenges' aswell. What these essentially do is you create a team of players to match the requirements that EA set and then it discards that team and gives you the allocated reward. I, initially, was very excited for this addition to the game but all it has done has resulted in the extinction of alot of cards and greatly increased the prices of some cards, especially when you HAVE to use them for a challenge. (Heres looking at you FUTMAS Aubameyang.
fifa 17. marco reus, borussia dortmund, xbox one, ps4, soccer, national football, rolls reus, ea sports

Overall, the gameplay has not changed all that much but it does feel incredibly slicker and more streamlined. Taking out the pace aspect to a certain degree is a welcome addition, although there are still players who desperately need to be nerfed (Smalling, Bailly, Luke Shaw, Kyle Walker and the incredibly annoying Butland). The defence has received a massive upgrade this year, meaning it requires that little bit more of extra skill to get beyond defenders and get chances on goal which makes for much more thrilling games, especially when you know that the chances you crate must result in games sometimes!


Wednesday, 11 January 2017

My Top 10 Albums of 2016

2016, widely described as the worst year ever. Personally, it might have been one of the best years of my life. Musically, it was very... merh. There was a lot of great music this year, but there was a lot of very poor or disappointing music released. But I have managed to compile my list of favourites together, this is only my personal list, so if you disagree with this or I missed out your favourite album then I'd love to hear it because I'm always open to hearing new music.

10. Take Control - Slaves
slaves, take, control, punk, rock, album, slave, take control, album cover, art

It's 2016 and punks not dead. The duo from Kent made a stellar debut with the album 'Are You Satisfied?' so there was alot of hype surrounding this project, in my eyes especially. The album did not disappoint with tracks such as Consume or Be Consumed, Angela and Steer Clear in many ways this trumps their first album and in many ways it doesn't. Not to mention I was lucky enough to catch these on tour twice this year and it was incredible both times they are funny, full of energy and great performers. A must see for anyone who is a fan of live music.

9. Mind of Mine - ZAYN
mind of mine, one direction, zayn malik, directioners, album art,

I never thought this album would make it. I went into this album thinking it was going to be awful, I listened to the leaked demos from the sessions with Naughty Boy and I honestly hated them. I thought they were very bland, obvious attempts at tongue in cheek RnB. So when I pressed play on this album I was expecting the same. I was so very wrong. Mind of Mine is a phenomenal pop/RnB mix with a mixture of dark, brooding vocals by Zayn and catchy, in your face, sexed up Pop. A great debut from the ex 1D singer. 

8. Run The Jewels 3 - Run The Jewels

run the jewels 3, elp, el-p, killer mike, rtj, rtj3, album art, album cover, rap, album of the year, 2016
Picture this, it's christmas morning. You wake up, one of your favourite artists has dropped an album with the tag "Merry F*cking Xmas". Imagine my ecstasy, and imagine the further happiness when the album turns out to be absolutely incredible. Now this is better than RTJ1, without a doubt, but it does not quite reach the standards of RTJ2's greatness. The production on this album is truly phenomenal, and the rapping is utterly up to that par. Killer Mike and El-P bounce of each others verses with such ease that it almost seems unfair on other MC's that they are allowed to release RTJ albums on a yearly basis, and even better than that. FOR FREE!

7.100 - The Hunna
100, hundred, one hundred, hunna, the hunna, indie, rock, album, album art, cover, album cover

I'd never heard of The Hunna before July, and yet here they stand at number 6 on my top 10 albums of the year. That is simply because of their brilliant Indie Rock, great riffs and amazing voice. This album never lets up throughout and creates an amazing album with songs that fit together perfectly, with a great flow. Songs such as 'Bonfire' and 'She's Casual' are personal highlights of the album, especially the latter of those 2 songs which is in my top 10 songs of the year.

6. I Like it When You Sleep - The 1975
I like it when you sleep for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it - the 1975, indie, matt, matty, truman black, synth, 80's, album cover, album, art

This album is LONG. I was contemplating not putting it in the list at all because of songs like 'I Like it When You Sleep' and 'Paris' which are low points on the album that could have easily been left off. But when the album kicks into gear it really hits new heights and brings out the personality of frontman, Matt Healy, it almost feels like he poured his soul into this album at times with songs such as 'Somebody Else' and 'The Ballad of Me and My Brain'. Not to mention tracks like 'The Sound' and 'Love Me' take all the best bits of 80's synth pop and pump it out so loud you can't help but adore it.

5. Everything You've Come To Expect - The Last Shadow Puppets
eycte, tlsp, the last shadow puppets, alex turner, miles kane, arctic monkeys, tina turner, album cover, album art

If this list would have been made a month ago, this album wouldn't have got anywhere near this list, because I liked it but it just wasn't top 10 in my opinion. But this past month I've been listening to this album a ridiculous amount and it just hasn't gotten old. Tracks like 'Sweet Dreams, TN' and 'Dracula Teeth' are incredibly written songs by Alex Turner and they really emphasis his love of poetry because that is mainly what he has exerted his power of on this album, words. Alex Turners songwriting has reached a new level right here on this album and it has truly paid dividends throughout. And placed it top 5 on this list, which I'm sure Alex Turner will be buzzing about when he finds out.

4. The Ride - Catfish & the Bottlemen
the ride, catfish and the bottlemen, catfish, the balcony, indie rock, welsh rockers, van mccan, bottlemen

What would a list by me be without my favourite band at the moment, Catifsh & The Bottlemen, their first album was a true classic in my eyes and this album follows suit. The mixture of acoustic tracks and straight up Indie Rock songs leave you with the greatness of Van McCans singing whilst proving that they can play guitar and drums with the best of them. Not to mention, much like Alex Turner, Van's songwriting skills really were emphasised on this album and songs like 'Heathrow' and 'Emily' really bring that to the forefront. Also, I love the fact that they kept the tracklisting and album cover in sync with the first album.

3. Lemonade - Beyonce
lemonade, beyonce, jay z, becky, album cover, album art, solange, jack white, album of the year, 2016

I've never been a fan of Beyonce, I do like some of her songs but her projects as a whole have never been that appeasing to me. But this album! the concept behind it: I loved. The production: I loved. The switching up of song styles to match the story: I adored. Throughout this album, I was hooked on the story and much like the rest of the world I still want to know who Becky is, and what sort of hair products she uses that makes Queen B think she has good hair. There are at least 5 different genres of music within this album and it really worked because it brought out the rollercoaster of emotions throughout the tumultuous story of her cheating husband. A must listen for any fan of music at all, this album truly was incredible.

2. WALLS - Kings of Leon
WALLS, Mechanical bull, only by the night, come around sundown, kings of leon, kol, album art, caleb followill, jared followill, album cover, eads, reverand, reverend, around the world

I've always been a fan of Kings of Leon, I've never been a die hard stan of them but I enjoy their music. What I feel like theyve always been missing is that one stellar album that puts them up there as a band I love, THIS is that album. WALLS is an incredibly cohesive and finished album. I can put on every single song on this album and enjoy it, out of these 10 songs I've seen a different, slower, more vulnerable side to the band from Tennessee. Stand out tracks have to be WALLS, Reverend and Over. I thoroughly look forward to hearing this live in February!

1. The Life of Pablo - Kanye West
kanye west, the life of pablo, tlop, kw, kkw, kim kardashian, young thug, msg, yeezy, yeezus, kanye, 2016, aoty, album of the year

Anyone who knows me knows that I love Kanye West, but that hasn't automatically made this album number 1 on my list. If anything, that makes me harsher on Kanye as a critic because I know he's the greatest and that's all I ever expect from him. This album opens beautifully with the soul sampling, gospel singing 'Ultra Light Beam' which is one of my top 5 songs of the year and then it's followed up with both parts of 'Father Stretch My Hands' and it soon becomes evident that Kanye's ear for a beat and incredibly significant production is as poignant and perfect as ever. The album is a bit of a mess as a whole and the version of Wolves before the fix was arguably better but this album is absolutely phenomenal and thoroughly deserves its place atop anybody's year end list of music. If you haven't listened to it then go and listen to it.

Friday, 6 May 2016

Beyonce - Lemonade

beyonce, lemonade, album cover, album, 6th album, bey, queen b, new album, HBO

Beyonce surprised us all with the release of her album Lemonade on the 24th of April, well it wasn't a surprise to all because she had booked a whole hour-long slot on HBO simply titled Lemonade which many fans speculated but there wasn't really any way of knowing. The hour long special contained every song on the album along with alot of poetry related to the songs, it's a really good watch if you like Beyonce I recommend getting the Tidal free trial for it (If you didn't already get it for The Life of Pablo). This album follows on from the album Beyonce, the 2013 release was probably my favourite Bey release to date because it contained fun, seriousness and overall good music, it set a path about for Beyonce to create music as she grows older and her music matures, however this album took an unforeseen swerve after the release of Formation I was effectively expecting Beyonce part 2, this isn't what we got, not in the slightest. What we got was, as I'm sure you've heard by now, an album about infidelity, feminism and power struggles.

The album opens with the slow and haunting Pray You Catch Me, this album contains a James Blake credit for song writing and it's evident in the music, it's intense and it's like those parts in blockbuster films where they're hiding in the closet, she sings 'pray you catch me listening' it's the whole she's too scared to confront him but she wants him to find out for himself that she knows. The song is slow but in many  ways exhilarating, like I said before you can almost imagine Beyonce hiding away listening in on the phone conversations of her estranged lover (We'll steer clear of the Jay-Z accusations for the purpose of this review, and the fact it's not ENTIRELY confirmed that is about him). The album then takes a completely different swerve as it slides into the joyful and Jamaican-esque Hold Up, now in the HBO special Beyonce is seen wandering the streets with a baseball bat smashing things up with a smile on her face, it's not the most clear sign of happiness but the Diplo enticed beat to this song creates that vibe despite the threatening lyrics to her lovers side chick. You would hardly know that this is a Diplo beat, it's extremely different to all the things I've heard of him and I love this new direction for him, it's joyful, it's not over-produced and that's something that I've always found with his music. Now, song wise this is one of the weakest songs on the album, mainly due to the fact that it sounds like a Rihanna reject, and once I thought that I could not help but picture that when listening to it, especially after the woeful Anti album. 
Beyonce, lemonade, hold up, visual album, hbo special, cheating allegations, album, bey, queen b

Don't Hurt Yourself is by far and away the best song, it is basically a Jack White song with Beyonce showing off a synthed out White type vocal throughout the song, she has anger, passion and ultimately harmony in her voice. Not to mention that White's riffs in this song are amazing and hark back to the sounds of High Ball Stepper and Black Bat Liquorice on the amazing 2014 album Lazaretto, his feature is little more than a fleeting pass by but this does not mean that he has no influence on this song because like I said this is basically a Jack White song. Beyonce's brashness continues throughout the song threatening "Who the f*ck do you think you're playing" it's a side to Beyonce that I have never seen and what is effectively a rock song is something I never expected to hear from Beyonce, who always seems to hark back to her Destiny's Child days with slow, emotional songs like Best Thing I never Had on 4. This song climaxes with something that finally got people wondering about THOSE Jay Z rumours when she threateningly warbles "Try this sh*t again, you gon' lose your wife". After an exceptionally great you expect Beyonce to carry on with that style and evolve the album. No, she doesn't do this. She goes back to a boring ass song called Sorry where she says she isn't sorry at least a million times, it's just an album filler that is basically there to put in the line about "Becky with the good hair", I have absolutely no love for this song, it takes up the position where Formation should be, but more on that later. Although, this song does a good job of continuing the story of a wronged woman which I enjoyed exploring that part of this song, with the confusion of wanting to leave but then having to stay because she loves him, it's the exact emotions you would expect her to go through.
Beyonce, Serena williams, sorry, gif, album, lemoande, lemonade, dance, tennis, tmz, bey, queen b, song, album

6 inch is probably the biggest waste of a feature this year, The Weeknd lends his vocals to this disturbed track about the life of a prostitute in the red light district but he doesn't really add anything that Beyonce couldn't have done herself, it's sort of like he's there to take in some of that Weeknd hype that has been rolling around since the release of Can't Feel My Face. However, the change into this dark subject matter by Queen B is a welcome change because it shows off the lyrical delivery of Mrs Carter and it is a beat that hits hard and is darkly entertaining, something that would not be expected on any album by her. We're then thrown into a country track called Daddy Lessons, it's a soft ballad that shows a deep, emotional side and it brings about an aura of softness, with subject matter about families and obviously specifically focusing how she doesn't want her estranged lover to become like her father did when he mistreated her mother. It's an evolution into the grief stage, of reflection on what has happened in her newly demolished world. It's an exceptionally beautiful song but it's once again out of place and it's becoming a regular occurrence on the album, it darts all over the place at times and in a way that is something I love about it, because it's an attention to detail of the state of mind of this wronged woman, her mind shoots all over the place, it races from one thought to another and whether this intentional is yet to be seen but with such an experienced and well critiqued artist I'm sure this is something that she meant when making the album.

The end of the album is little more than mediocre until we reach the exceptional final track, it brings the whole experience together as a whole. All Night coincides perfectly to become a finale that rally's this album up to a climax then lets it down smoothly. It's a beautifully written and produced song, with a line such as "I've seen your scars and kissed your crimes" it's almost poetry that echoes the poet-lauriette pieces that were read in her HBO special. Overall, this an addictive song and definitely one of my favourites on the album, it really brings it to that point where she is trying to move on from this whole debauchery and forgive her husband. A perfect end to a brilliantly written album. EXCEPT this isn't the goddamn end, Formation is tagged on to the end of this album for whatever ridiculous reason and it just ruins the ending of the album, even the HBO special finished on All Night and then after the credits had rolled tagged on the video for Formation. Now don't get me wrong, I absolutely love this song and when it was released I could not stop listening to it but I really grew to love the story of this album to then be satisfied with what I thought was the closer and then for this to be on the end, it should have been put after Don't Hurt Yourself, there it would have fitted perfectly. Not lyrically but sonically.

Overall, the album is absolutely fantastic, the story and the evolution of the mindset of this cheated woman is a simplistic, yet terribly emotional story that I thoroughly enjoyed from start to finish. Once, you throw some Diplo produced songs in there and a Jack White feature that really amplifies the opening of the album. This is arguably my favourite Bey project yet, with a cool mix of slow songs and hype bangers it comes together in an album full of switches and turns but in a way that is artistically acceptable considering the subject matter. Well done Beyonce, and for Jay Z's sake I really hope that he isn't who this album is about. Sensational album.


Sunday, 1 May 2016

The Last Shadow Puppets - Everything You've Come To Expect

The Last Shadow Puppets - Everythin You've Come To Expect Album Art, tina turner, alex turner, miles kane, arctic monkeys, review, album, 2016, vinyl, records, collection

The Last Shadow Puppets are back after 8 years, the duo made up of the Arctic Monkeys superstar Alex Turner and ex The Rascals frontman Miles Kane. The first album was somewhat average in my opinion but I was still excited for this album because I know the meta music that these two can make separately. As Arctic Monkeys are one of my favourite bands, and I consider Alex Turner as one of the best songwriters out there at the moment, with amazing songs dating back to the days of Whatever People Say I Am in 2006, not to mention Miles Kane's solo albums are extremely good albums full of toe tappers and stadium fillers, when I saw him live 2 years ago he put on an incredible performance which marked one of the best shows I've been to simply for the vibe and performance from Mr Kane himself. 

Now the record opens up with the incredible 'Aviation', this song blends the mix of their completely different voice performances perfectly, it's slow but ups the temp for the chorus perfectly. There's also a clear mix of Kane's guitar skills with some Monkeys-esque drumming in there aswell. This song has pretty much been on constant repeat since I first heard it back just before the albums release. Now the second song on the album, Miracle Aligner, is by far and away the highlight of the album. It contains some really soulful singing from Alex Turner, a theme of this album, with a toned down Miles Kane which is also a theme on this album. Now, this song right here will never leave your head once it gets stuck in there, it's been stuck in mine for days now and the same applies to Bad Habits which really sets this album up there the more and more you listen to it.

The first single off the album, Bad Habits, never really stuck with me mainly due tot he fact that the guitars seem kind of lazy and although it's more up tempo than the rest of the album it never really gets anywhere and after a while it just becomes annoying and really skippable on the album. Not to mention, the fact that the rest of the album is really mellow and chilled out and the hard hitting guitars and high hats on this album make it just intrude on the feeling and the vibe of the album. The title track of the album is really something that also stands out, I believe this was released as a single merely days before the release of the album on April 1st. This song just really hits that slow vibe that is commonplace and it hits it well, mainly due to the soft and soothing vocals of Alex Turner and basically the complete lack of any overbearing instrumentation, with incredibly shy guitars and slow drum beats. 

And this is something that becomes apparent throughout the album, Alex Turner had a lot more creative control over this than Miles Kane did, because this album could easily fit in with Humbug era Arctic Monkeys and a few songs hark back to AM in 2013 but it bears no representation of any of Miles Kane's solo music and on some of the songs you would do well to pick out the parts where he comes in and out because ultimately Alex Turner is the driving force behind this and Miles Kane merely plays a passing part every now and then. Also, the album really follows through with the softness of both artists here, and although that isn't particularly a bad side, it's not a very exciting one and at the end of the day, even though I didn't like the song, I would of liked more songs like Bad Habits towards the end of the album just to perk it up to get it over the finish line, because ultimately you can actually forget that this album is on, and the last few tracks just merge into one, and become extremely forgettable.

The album has its ups and it has its downs, song like Miracle Aligner, Everything You've Come To Expect and Dracula Teeth really pose some incredible musical moments on this album but after the first half it really starts to fall off, now don't let the score fool you, I recommend that you listen to it because I can see others loving this album from start to finish but I can guarantee that you will finish the album realising that the first half received a lot more effort than the second half.