2016 – A Year in Review

Image result for 2016

Well wasn’t that a bloody awful year. Jesus Christ we’ve all had to deal with some awful events haven’t we? If it wasn’t bad enough, this article is going to look over some of the many things that happened this past year. Hopefully it reassures you that you’re lucky you survived. Or it’ll just mentally overwhelm you and you’ll start berating people in shopping centres. Either way my job is done.

The main thing that happened this year was death. Mainly celebrities. They’d probably thought they couldn’t be arsed with this year and decided to piss off upstairs to the metaphorical and illogical heaven based area. Out of everyone who died, here’s a list that actually had some impact on myself.

David Bowie
Jo Cox
Ronnie Corbett
Gene Wilder
David Cameron’s Political Career
Caroline Aherne
Carrie Fisher
Alan Rickman
Frank Kelly
The European Union
American Politics
Andrew Sachs
Terry Wogan

Image result for 2016 deaths

Bloody hell, and that’s just one or two names from a very long list of who we lost this year. It is saddening, yes, but just remember, they’re the lucky ones. They wont have to deal with what 2017 has in store for us. Brexit will happen, Trump in power, oh God. We’ll talk about that later.

But that does move me nicely onto my next topic. Politics has been an interesting topic to talk about this year. And by interesting, I mean it’s divided two different countries in half. On one half you have logical, sensible people, on the other half you have people who were quite possibly dropped on their head as a child. The main thing for me and many other UK residents was Brexit. It was about retaking control of our borders! Yeah, that’ll show the people that are qualified to work in this country, you tell ’em Farage! But of course, it was then revealed that border control isn’t something really involved with Brexit. It was a big middle finger to both Leave and Remain.

Not only that, but the figureheads of the leave campaign(s) were so indescribably inept. From Boris Johnson touring the country in a big red bus thinking he was a roadie on tour to Michael Gove just in general being a prick and ruining everything he touches. Brexit also links in with the tragic death of Jo Cox, a pro EU MP who was shot dead by a leave voter. It was the first politician murdered for a politically motivated reason in decades. Nigel Farage had the audacity to say they’d won the campaign without a single shot being fired. People still vote for this man, no godly reason why. It’s probably all those bloody foreigners, coming over here, taking Polish jobs. How dare we function in a society like that.

On a more saddening note, I may as well just quote myself from the article I wrote on Brexit.

I’m quite genuinely fearful, confused, baffled, angered and saddened by the motion to leave the EU, (an organisation that we put very little money into when comparing it to the amount we send to fighting unnecessary wars) and by leaving those that have voted have formed the future of a generation that wasn’t allowed to have their opinion voiced in said votes. By 2019, it’ll be extremely difficult for us to find opportunities outside of England, where there is already too much competition and very little opportunity.

Boom, there we go, I don’t have to write anything for that bit but it increases the word count. Brilliant.

Image result for boris johnson brick

After Brexit collapsed and brought the country down with it, prime minister and everyday tool David Cameron resigned. He probably looked at everything that had transpired, thought “sod that”, and pissed off to enjoy his holiday. But we needed a new prime minister. In the running’s were a number of people:

Theresa May – A walking mannequin that advertises high heels
Liam Fox – Who wasn’t there for very long. Ironic that the Tories killed off Fox’s campaign first, their relationship with fox hunting is ever stronger I suppose
Stephen Crabb – Sort of looked like that bloke from the Hunger Games
Andrea Leadsom – Had to wikipedia who she was when I heard her name and I guess she did too to figure out what she actually did. Shot herself and her campaign in the head when she said she’d be better than Theresa because she has children
Michael Gove – Ruined the education system, ruined Brexit, wanted to ruin the country. Stabbed Boris Johnson in the back so he could run and has now made himself the most untrusted man in politics

Theresa won, she’s useless. But to be fair, if she stays away from all farm animals she’ll do miles better than Cameron.

But that’s not all, the Presidential elections also happened. Trump won, by alienating women, most ethnic groups, the poor, men, children, other countries, basically anyone that wasn’t Russian and called “Vladimir Putin”. Yes in an unsurprising turn of events it turned out that Russia and Putin had stepped in to secure Donald Trump the vote. This is democratic fraud and a revote should happen. But because the world and the people in it are morons, yes, even you reading this article, nothing is going to be done about it.

Image result for donald trump funny

Donald Trump could enter a room, right hook a pensioner, slap the Queen and wipe his arse with a baby and people would still vote for him. Why? Because that’s the sort of thing that kept him relevant. By doing all this crazy shit and saying these horrible things Trump managed to keep the media attention on him. Trump was in the media a lot more than Hillary was because he was more controversial. That’s ultimately what won him the presidency. It’s not his policies or his “charm”, it’s the fact that he says what he wants and doesn’t care about the consequences.

People argued a vote for Donald was a “vote for change”. Yes, I do suppose it’s a change, having someone that isn’t qualified in any way to run the country. “But he’s a businessman”, one that has been bankrupt five times. These are scary times we live in.

But enough about politics, you’ll probably want to know whats happening in the media, I know I do. Movies and games and stuff.

Well, Pokemon Go came out, personally I wish it would Pokemon Go the fuck away. Ironically, it did. Barely anyone is playing it anymore because people realised it’s a pile of shit. Yes apparently pratting around on your phone throwing your balls at animals in a park wasn’t as entertaining as it used to be. It was a lot more fun without a phone if I’m honest.

Image result for leonardo dicaprio oscar

In the movie business, DiCaprio finally won an Oscar. For doing what you may ask? Well, I watched The Revenant and the reason I think he won the Oscar is because the man is willing to do anything for it. He fell off a cliff, nearly drowned, was attacked by a bear, killed several people and got naked so he could sleep in a horse. Personally I would’ve given the Oscar to Bryan Cranston for Trumbo, but you know, you win some you lose some I guess.

Now to a bit more of a dreary topic, terrorism. There were quite a few terrorist attacks this year, an unprecedented amount. Notably, the Russian Ambassador was shot dead, putting strain on an already breaking relationship between Russia and Turkey. Last time something this similar happened, WW1 broke out.

But hey, we have 2017 to look forward too, right? Wrong. Here’s a reminder of a few things that will be happening in 2017:

– Trump will be President of the United States
– We’re all older
– Many more celebrity deaths
– More terrorist attacks
– More ridiculously horrible events will occur

Our only escape is the hope that the sun implodes earlier than expected and wipes out the planet.

Happy new year everyone.

Postal 2 Review

A game released over ten years ago, lets see if it still stands up to this day. It’s time for a retro review.

Postal 2 Review

INTRODUCTION

It’s time for a retro review I think. I’ve been gone a couple times, so now the grouchy hermit of a man I am is back to tear another game to pieces with my bare hands. Well, not my bare hands. A keyboard and mouse actually. Anyway I’m getting off topic.

Postal 2 is an FPS sandbox developed by Running with Scissors and it’s available on Steam for the price of £6.99. Today I’ll be venturing deep into the heart of 2003 (which is when the game was released) and finding out if this retro game is a diamond in the rough or well, just a big old pile of shit. I paid 69p for this about a year ago, I think. Anyways that’s not important, read on!

Wait, hold on. I forgot something. We really need to talk about the controversy this game caused and is still actually causing. Now I may have gotten slightly distracted and discovered a Postal Movie, but I’ve managed to find a few pages on the controversial nature of the game. For one, the game was banned in New Zealand. Completely. No way around it, New Zealand told Postal II to piss off and not come back. Not only that, but in 2006 it was singled out as the shooters favourite game. Not sure why, I mean, it’s not that good of a game. But anyway, that’s the whole controversy stuff talked about, we can get on with the actual review now.

STORY

So in this game you play as The Postal Guy. The aim of the game is extremely simple. You’re given a list of things to do in that day, go and do them. They’re not what you’d expect though. Monday yields the results of cashing your paycheck, withdrawing your money and purchasing milk. The killing is optional, and I think it’s interesting if we look at it as a spectacular experiment into the human mind. Obviously sandbox games are mostly going to provide you with ways to kill, maim and destroy everything around you. Postal 2 does just that, but the story doesn’t depend on that whatsoever.

Your priority is not to kill, but to purchase milk

You can go through the entire game without killing a soul. It’s much more difficult, but it is possible. And I think it’s interesting to see how long it takes someone in this game to say “Right, sod it, lets blow stuff up”. Because the game is much more fun and enjoyable when played as a first person GTA. There I said it, that’s what this is, and I know GTA now has first person but that’s not the point. The story is boring, it’s intentionally boring though. If you follow the story then, well, you’re not playing the game right.

Of course if you do follow the story then you’ll run into a number of different things, such as bank robbers and other unique enemies that will try and hinder your progress. But of course if you don’t follow the story, you won’t see these enemies.

The opening cutscene of the game sets the story for us though. Your wife, referred to as “Postal Dude’s Bitch” has set you a number of tasks to do per day. That’s it. Away you go. But Ewan, the story sounds useless! What’s the point? Well, by progressing through the days, you unlock new areas and weapons to explore and use. It does serve a purpose, however you can have just as much fun playing around in the first level. Obviously I recommend playing through the entire story to unlock these new areas, but it’s completely optional.

GAMEPLAY

The main selling point of the game is its humour. It crosses a line that so many people are afraid to cross, but luckily I’ve got a horrible sense of humour. Unluckily, there honestly isn’t that much funny about the game. Nothing really stands out from when I played it, I can’t remember a specifically funny moment. The game just throws random events that only a maniac could think of at you, such as fighting Gary Coleman, or ninja jihad’s hiding in the back of a supermarket.

I’m not saying the game doesn’t have funny moments, but there isn’t enough to string together a cohesive product. And I know this is an unfair comparison but when compared to today’s humour that’s of a similar nature, the game really pales in comparison. There’s a lot of humorous games of the same spectrum nowadays that could be considered on this games level of humour. One game springing to mind is Deadpool.

But for the sake of playing the game, I did two playthroughs. One where I played through and only did what the game asked of me (the to-do list). The other playthrough was much more fun. I did what I wanted. And here’s a few things I did:

  • Accidentally urinated on someone, they proceeded to pull an M16 out
  • Accidentally set myself on fire, ended up setting the entire town on fire
  • Accidentally set fire to a colony of hidden cats that lived behind a supermarket

Cat inferno

  • Blew up a low rider, in turn setting myself on fire
  • Discovered a secret army of jihad shop workers that lived in a supermarket
  • Smacked a mans head off with a shovel

Shovel decapitation, interestingly effective
And that’s only the icing on the cake. There’s so much exploration to do when playing the game just for fun. It’s full of places to explore that you may miss on your first time round. For example, after only a few minutes of exploring I found a hidden night club. It’s got no purpose, there’s nothing you can do there, but the fact I found it made me feel a sense of achievement that following the “story” couldn’t give me.

If you want to check your progress, well, you can! It’ll give you a list of things you’ve done in the game, for example how many you’ve killed and so on. What I liked about this menu was not the statistics on display, but the fact that some really unfitting, upbeat elevator music played while browsing over the stats. It’s one of the places the game gets humour right. It’s subtle, yet effective, it got a chuckle out of me the first time I heard it.

"Sledges lost in cow's butts"
Obviously you can’t just get away with chopping people up with chainsaws and lobotomising cats, no no. The game has police officers. However they seem to be as useful as a chocolate teapot when it comes to arresting you. You can drop your weapon and allow them to arrest you, but you’ll probably have enough weapons that you can drop your shovel for a second and launch a cat directly into their face. I once escaped custody by walking to a different area, the loading screen somehow took my wanted level away.

Speaking of loading screens, they’re fairly quick. Not too long, but obviously the pace of the game is broken due to the amount of loading screens. But that was the technology of the time, it’s not a big deal.

I will give the game bonus points for having mirrors that actually work. Given that this was 2003 and nowadays mirrors in games don’t work at all I was very impressed. Doesn’t take much to impress me, but apparently standing in front of a mirror is one of them.

For those wondering what buttons you’ll need to play the game, R is the urinate button. Yes, you read that correctly. R is the urinate button. Given that there is a statistic for “gallons of piss pissed”, you’ll probably use that button a lot. I kept hitting R to reload, realised that there was no reload button in this game and instead of firing bullets I’d fire a large stream of piss onto the attackers, thus rendering them a little pissed off. *badum tish*

GRAPHICS AND SOUND

Now luckily for those of you who like to customise every small portion of the game to how you like it there is a large variety of changes you can make. Every little thing can be changed. Not happy with the size of the screen? Change it. Not happy with the sound quality? Change it. There’s so many things to change so you can personalise the game as much as you like to fit your play style.

In my eyes the graphics still stand up to this day, I mean, they’re not perfect graphics but they don’t look terrible.

Spawning in, you'll notice the fairly dated graphics
I’m not saying the graphics aren’t dated, but it doesn’t look too horrible. I’ve seen games released this year that look worse than this, so graphically I’m fine with this.

This has nothing to do with the review, but the yelling people sound really similar to Michael J. Fox in Back to the Future. It’s strange and my mind associated the two things for some reason and I thought that was a bit weird.

Musically, there isn’t any. There’s some on the intro and main menu, but while playing the game there is no music. Not a single piece, there’s some when you enter certain buildings, but other than that not a single sound can be heard. I guess it makes sense to not have music playing but at the same time it was pretty boring just trudging around playing the story and not having anything to listen to. Maybe just a slow/fast beat depending on the carnage you’re causing, literally anything would work.

Bringing it back to graphics for a second, I know I said it’s an old game, but the people look dreadful. Like holy shit they look bad.

Groundbreaking graphics for its time, not anymore
I can see why this is a game where your aim is to kill everyone. God, look at them. Not the best looking things are they? But again, I suppose it’s a matter of working with the graphics available at the time, which of course aren’t the nicest looking things.

OVERALL

Postal II is a sandbox destruction tool. I wish I could say it was more than that, but it really isn’t. It’s a time killer, a fun one yes, but one of little depth. There are some expansion packs to continue on from the story but considering I’ve only played the base game and weekend expansion I can’t confirm or deny anything about the games DLC.

If you can get it on sale then definitely get it, retro games on Steam are often very cheap and this is a fairly fun game if you like destruction and inane killing. A fun game to play if you’re just looking for some silly fun, but if you want something more cohesive then this is not the game for you. While it’s not visually special and lacking story depth, the gameplay should be enough for some people to kill a few hours with. It certainly was for me.

PROS CONS
+ Very fun time (and people) killer – Lacking, almost useless story
+ Wide variety of things to do and places to explore – No real goal to work towards, objectives ignored
+ Graphics still fairly good – Blatantly offensive, may offend some
+ Fun, silly, sandbox destruction – No real depth to anything in the game
+ Humour is good for a black comedy game
SCORE: 7/10

A Quick Update – Postard

I’m now writing for another company again! I’m gonna go ahead and privatise my posts etc and you can find all the rest of my work over there, cheers.

Home

200

Jesus H. Christ this is the 200th post. Started this blog almost a year ago. Well, I started it at the start of the year. I was planning on five articles a week, I sort of stuck to that didn’t I?

Anyway, thanks etc etc whatever. This is a short post to be honest. I just didn’t want my 200th post to be talking about X-Factor. It’s not a spoiler.

Go away.

Ewan does a TMI Questions Thing (and hates himself for it)

Image result for q and a

Lets learn a little about me. 150 Questions about me. All of which I found online on a random website two years ago. First did this on blogger, gonna copy the exact same questions from that. Hopefully you all learn something about me. Even more hopeful that you don’t. Read on. Lots of text ahead, good luck.

Continue reading “Ewan does a TMI Questions Thing (and hates himself for it)”

Ewan talks about the US Presidential Elections

Image result for us election 2016

This article is my opinion and my opinion only

So, now that the “legal” stuff is out the way, I can tell you what I think.

Jesus Christ, we’re all going to die. I’m in England and we’re gonna get blown up or something insane. Right, calm down, breathe. Lets break this down into what it is.

Trump has won. But we’re not going to talk about that yet surprisingly. I want to break down a number of other things first.

Continue reading “Ewan talks about the US Presidential Elections”