Thursday, 30 June 2011
1. Ollivander has some wise words to impart regarding Harry's quest.
2. "You really don't stand a chance!"
3. It's off to Gringotts Bank to find another Horcrux.
4. What does Bellatrix Lestrange have to hide?
5. Stunning effects will bolster a spectacular escape sequence
6. "I say we jump..." "...Now!"
7. The battle of Hogwarts begins- and by no means will everyone make it out alive.
8. The Chamber of Secrets may yet hold the key to our salvation- or our destruction...
9, "You'll stay with me?" "Until the end."
10. What side will Severus Snape choose in the battle, and what are the consequences?
11. At least three time periods factor into the movie.
12. What part will Neville Longbottom play in the quest to stop Voldemort?
13. You will have seen Harry jump off a cliff with Voldemort in the trailer- can they survive?
14. "Harry Potter- you have fought valiantly. But you have allowed your friends to die for you, rather than face me yourself. On this night, join me- and confront your fate."
15. "Harry Potter- the Boy Who Lived. Come to die."
16. "I never wanted any of you to die for me."
VIRTUA TENNIS 4 (PC)- 8TH JULY 2011
CAPTAIN AMERICA: SUPER SOLDIER (360, PS3, WII, 3DS)- 15TH JULY 2011
CRUSH3D (3DS)- 9TH SEPTEMBER 2011
RISE OF NIGHTMARES (360 KINECT)- SEPTEMBER 2011
SHINOBI (3DS)- SEPTEMBER 2011
HOUSE OF THE DEAD: OVERKILL (PS3)- 28TH OCTOBER 2011
SONIC GENERATIONS (360, PS3, 3DS)- NOVEMBER 2011
ANARCHY REIGNS (360, PS3)- JANUARY 2012
MARIO & SONIC AT THE 2012 OLYMPIC GAMES (3DS, WII)- 2012
BINARY DOMAIN SHOOTER (PS3)- EARLY 2012
ALIENS: COLONIAL MARINES (360, PS3)- SPRING 2012
LONDON 2012 OLYMPICS: THE OFFICIAL GAME (360, PS3)- 2012
THOR: GOD OF THUNDER (3DS)- AUTUMN 2011
VIRTUA TENNIS 4 (PSVITA)- TBC
FILM REVIEWS- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part Two; Captain America The First Avenger; The Green Hornet and many more!
GAME REVIEWS- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part Two; Captain America Super Soldier; Red Faction Battlegrounds and big announcements too!
BOOK REVIEWS- The Death Defying Pepper Roux; The Bride's Farewell; Prisoner of the Inquisition; Spider-Man American Son; Halo Uprising; Carte Blanche; Torchwood First Born and more still to come!
TELEVISION COVERAGE- New episodes of Smallville previewed; the latest instalments of Camelot rated; day-one reviews of Torchwood: Miracle Day's first three episodes plus more to come.
PREVIEWS- Doctor Who Series 6 Part 2; Merlin Series Four; Sherlock Series Two; Super 8 and world exclusive first looks at the Deathly Hallows Part 2 game and LEGO Harry Potter Years 5-7!
FEATURES- How the Halo franchise can improve; what the Autumn of Gaming has to offer; was the Summer of Film a success and what next for the cinema; the Harry Potter retrospective and more!
NEWS- The first trailer for Sherlock Holmes 2?; updates on The Avengers and The Hobbit; more on Pottermore; more details on Halo Combat Evolved Anniversary, Assassin's Creed Revelations, Modern Warfare 3 and Batman Arkham City and plenty more surprising reveals!
Wednesday, 29 June 2011
5. UFC PERSONAL TRAINER- Not one I'll likely review, but UFC Personal Trainer at least looks like a good Wii Fit-esque expansion for Kinect and a decent tie-in to the US fighting network.
4. CAMELOT- We'll be starting to near the end of the first season of this great drama this month, so I look forward to seeing where the compelling story arcs end up and how the legend of Arthur is left by the finale!
3. TORCHWOOD: MIRACLE DAY- That this isn't top of the list shows there is definitely enough to look forward to this month- Torchwood has become a brilliant, unpredictable drama over the course of its first three seasons, so Miracle Day is undoubtedly one to watch when it starts on July 14th.
2. CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER- The conclusion to the Avengers story arc before the big team-up in 2012, Captain America takes us back to World War 2 America, as Steve Rogers takes a special serum and becomes the ultimate Super Soldier. But can he win his first battle against the Red Skull, a manipulative Nazi who takes control of the Cosmic Cube?
1. HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS: PART TWO- I'm already counting down the days (15, in case you were wondering) until this hits cinemas. The Harry Potter films are some of my favourites of recent times, especially Deathly Hallows: Part 1, so I hope the final battle can live up to all of our expectations and make Best Film Of 2011 lists everywhere!
JANUARY 2011- THE KING'S SPEECH
FEBRUARY 2011- MARVEL VS CAPCOM 3
MARCH 2011- ALEX RIDER SCORPIA RISING
APRIL 2011- PORTAL 2/DOCTOR WHO
MAY 2011- LA NOIRE
1. It's time for Clark to tell his secret.
2. "I saw the future."
3. We meet the goddess Isis, albeit in a strange form...
4. The Cat is back!
5. "She's the Blur!"
Smallville: Isis airs on Tuesday July 5th at 9pm on E4.
Tuesday, 28 June 2011
Sunday, 26 June 2011
Strangely, Touched By An Angel is quintessential Doctor Who for all the reasons you wouldn't expect. Yes, there are several chapters based around building up tension for the return of Steven Moffat's classic villains the Weeping Angels, and yes, there is inevitably a final confrontation of wit and stamina where the Doctor must best his foes with all his wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey intelligence, but surprisingly, by no means is this a predictable horror romp. What we get here is in fact the story of a romance seemingly doomed, the tale of Mark Whittaker's lost love Rebecca and his strife to save her from an accident that happened eight years ago. Author Jonathan Morris does a perfect job of replicating Moffat's clever play on the sci-fi genre, really pulling out all the stops to give us a well-rounded read that barely ever stops to take a breath. More than ever, we can really empathise with the tragedy that Whittaker is dealing with, and through the eyes of Amy and Rory especially we can see just why the story's focal character is willing to stretch the timelines to bring his wife back. This is the true crux of the novel, despite what its cover may suggest, and Touched is all the more better for it. The combination of the romance threading its way throughout, the neat scenes of psuedo horror that harken back to the Angels' inception in Blink and the spot-on characterisations by Morris make this perhaps the best release in the New Series Adventures range so far, a gripping read that even newcomers can completely fall in love with!
Saturday, 25 June 2011
1: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two- A sensational preview of what hopefully will be an amazing cinematic finale, the previous doubts I had about the battle-orientated prior previews were cast aside by this very emotional, very Potter trailer. The best trailer I've seen so far this year!
Friday, 24 June 2011
3: Rise of the Planet of the Apes- In the short space of two minutes, this origins reboot went from being just an insanely-titled film which I wouldn't see in a million years to one of my most anticipated watches this Summer. Out in August, this stars James Franco as a doctor experimenting on Caesar, an intelligent ape animated by Andy Serkis (read: Gollum and King Kong). As things start to go awry and Caesar and his primate companions begin to get thinking minds of their own, well...see for yourself.
- Green Hill Zone (Sonic 1)
- Chemical Plant Zone (Sonic 2)
- Sky Sanctuary Zone (Sonic & Knuckles)
- Speed Highway (Sonic Adventure)
- City Escape (Sonic Adventure 2)
- Seaside Hill (Sonic Heroes)
- Crisis City (Sonic The Hedgehog, 2006 next-gen reboot)
- Rooftop Run (Sonic Unleashed)
- Planet Wisp (Sonic Colors)
- Casino Night Zone (Sonic 2, available as DLC)
Thursday, 23 June 2011
- TORCHWOOD: MIRACLE DAY- A bit of a knotty one, this, as currently Episode One is set to air in America on July 8th, but the BBC are seeming to indicate that we'll either have to wait until the 13th or even until the 16th before seeing The New World (Ep 1). More news as it comes...
- THE X FACTOR- The US version of The X Factor starts on September 21st in America, and we may either get it at around the same time or once our version has aired (so by Christmas, or early 2012)
- GLEE- Despite a fairly average season finale, I look forward to seeing what Glee has to offer in Series Three, with some of the students set to start graduating this time around. Sky One are taking the helm from now on, so expect Episode One to premiere near the US airdate of September 20th.
- HOUSE- What has become of Dr Gregory House after his dramatic relocation to an exotic beach? We'll find out sometime around October 3rd!
- THE CLEVELAND SHOW- Fast becoming one of my favourite US comedies, the Family Guy spin-off returns to America on September 25th (watch out on E4 later in the year!)
- SMALLVILLE- Oops...well, we can always hope, can't we?
- A BETTER PAST: While we're all doubtless interested to see how the story of Ezio Auditore da Firenze ends, really none of us care yet what his story in Revelations will entail, instead more interested by how the story of modern protagonist Desmond will develop the overall plot of the franchise. If Ubisoft can make us care more for Ezio and his escapades than they have before, it will make the entire world of this AC more immersive for the player.
- A BALANCED CHALLENGE: This can be a poisoned chalice, but if Ubisoft can master the difficulty level this time there's more chance of the gameplay feeling refined and carrying less shortcomings. Too many times in AC2 and Brotherhood would the player be easily able to best half a dozen fight missions, only to hit a staggeringly hard stealth mission and be forced to play it over and over on a basis of trial and error rather than intelligence. Either make missions like these skippable after a certain number of attempts, or adapt the strength of the AI depending on the skill of the player.
- A VISUAL MASTERPIECE: The E3 demo of Revelations seemed to indicate quite a step up in visual fidelity for the franchise this year, so let's have more action setpieces like the aforementioned explosive boat sequence to show off the better graphics and keep critics' scores of the game high.
- A SATISFACTORY CONCLUSION: Both Assassin's Creed II and Brotherhood ended on cliffhangers- and silly ones, at that, ones which boasted shock factor but certainly never really made us want to see what happened next, especially with a year to wait until they were resolved. Here, if a cliffhanger is in store, at least if we get answers to the vast majority of our questions regarding the series' lore then we can be excited for whatever's hinted at about AC3 rather than annoyed that once again we have at least a year to wait to see if we get answers.
Wednesday, 22 June 2011
Tuesday, 21 June 2011
While Shrek: Forever After seemed to signal the end for the Shrek franchise, to an extent it's set to continue this Winter with the release of spin-off Puss In Boots. Below, you can find the first full trailer for the new film. The plot takes place before the events of Shrek 2, chronicling the rise of the feline hero to the status of bounty hunter. Puss is once more voiced by Antonio Banderas, but Zach Galifinakas and Selina Hayek are amongst loads of new guest stars joining the franchise this time around. See what you think of the trailer; Puss In Boots is out on November 4th.
Marvel VS Capcom 3- A visually stunning fighter, MVC3 featured a host of great characters from both the franchises of the game developer and the comic book publisher, even boasting loads of endings for each contender. Its replay value is somewhat limited past the campaign, but this is one of the best fighting titles I've seen in a long time.
Portal 2- I doubt that we'll see such an innovative, hilarious storyline again this year. Portal 2's single-player campaign was propelled by guest stars like JK Simmons and Steven Merchant as lovable sidekick Wheatley, and on top of a ten-hour strong solo experience we also got a taxing co-op campaign to blast through as well! Some people argued against this being full price, but in my mind £40 gets you one of the best gaming packages for money around.
LA Noire- There's no one now able to deny that Rockstar and Team Bondi's latest has a facial graphics engine to beat them all, one which will perhaps define gaming in the future once the bodies of the characters are sorted out. Despite issues with its tiresome story arc, and a dull final desk of cases (Did we really need three disks? You've seen the best of this game once you've played Homicide), this is an immersive, memorable open-worlder that thoroughly deserves a follow-up one day.
This half of the year has been pretty sparse in terms of big video game releases, so even rounding up the best of the past six months was hard. That said, one title stood out from the rest of the crowd- Portal 2. A true successor to the excellent original, Portal 2 featured some of the most mind-bending puzzles ever, and a genuine sense of satisfaction when they were beaten. But above all, it was the story, full of twists and tear-inducing turns aplenty, that kept the two campaigns running at a colossal pace, and as a result makes this the best game out so far this year. Roll on the Autumn and Winter months to see what can top it...
Monday, 20 June 2011
The King's Speech- A sensational retelling of Prince 'Bertie''s ascencion to the throne and his overcoming of his speech impediment, brought to life incredibly by Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush. One which will be remembered long past 2011.
127 Hours- Perhaps the most unique film on the list, 127 Hours took us on a brutal journey into the depths of America. James Franco gave it his all as Aron Ralston, and the way the narrative flowed so creatively made this a masterpiece.
X-Men: First Class- Only Matthew Vaughn could resurrect the X-Men franchise with such vigour, such calibre, such ease. Yes, the Hellfire Club were generic villains, but that didn't stop this being an intense, emotional thrill ride with some of the best animated action sequences in a long time.
True Grit- Another historical romp, this time with a predictable story structure somehow used to its fullest, making for a neat journey across the Wild West. Slow, but never tediously so. Uneventful, yet Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon and newcomer Hailee Steinfield ensured it felt anything but!
By a slim margin, I'm going with X-Men: First Class. Those who know me well will feel perhaps that was the obvious choice for me to pick as I am a massive fan of the superhero genre, but that isn't the case. What won me over was how this franchise was turned from a dying one known for its repetition into an unforgettable take on historical drama aided by a cast of rising stars who portrayed their mutant characters better than the likes of Hugh Jackman and Hallie Berry ever did. It's not the perfect film, nor can any feature hope to be, and it isn't likely to win the Best Film of 2011 Award overall, yet for now it remains the best flick I've seen this year, and one that you shouldn't hesitate to watch ASAP.
10. FIFA 11
9. DUNGON SIEGE III
8. INFAMOUS 2
7. DIRT 3
6. LEGO PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN
4. LA NOIRE
3. DUKE NUKEM FOREVER
2. THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: OCARINA OF TIME 3D
1. ZUMBA FITNESS
The latest in the extensive range of first-party Xbox 360 titles to get Kinect support is Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, it was revealed today. Microsoft Game Studios vice-president Phil Spencer announced the upcoming remake's compatability with the peripheral in an interview with Gamespot: "As a first party, we believe Kinect will be important to all genres of games, be it racing games like Forza, combat games like Ryse. Even games like Halo Anniversary have Kinect integration." Obviously, we have yet to learn what said integration actually means for Anniversary, but for those of us wanting more hardcore games to be compatible with Kinect, this announcement, along with the reveals of Mass Effect and Ghost Recon supporting it at E3 2011, should be more than satisfactory for now. Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary releases November 18th on Xbox 360.
Sunday, 19 June 2011
NEW FILMS- One of the quietest fronts this week, with just the mediocre-looking Bad Teacher starring Cameron Diaz hitting cinemas, but you can catch The Fighter and I Am Number Four on DVD or watch one of the seven Harry Potter films on the big screen again in the lead-up to the July finale at select ODEON cinemas.
NEW GAMES- There isn't much here either, unless you love movie tie-ins like Transformers: Dark of the Moon or MotionPlus minigame packages like Wii Play Motion...thought not.
NEW TV- The third episode of Smallville featuring the return of Kara Kent airs this Tuesday, Primeval nears its end with its penultimate instalment, and new dangers await King Arthur in Camelot. Plus, James May takes a look at the human body on BBC2 on Monday night, and you can catch up with Waterloo Road and some classic Doctor Who on DVD too with the releases of Series 6 and the Earth Story boxset respectively.
POTTERMORE- To make sure we're not totally lost for excitement, JK Rowling will be announcing the truth behind her Pottermore website- is it a social networking site for Potter fans, or does it hold the key to more stories for the Boy Who Lived? Find out this Thursday at 12pm...
Saturday, 18 June 2011
Previously, when I looked at the most promising games of 2011 in January, I ranked Mass Effect 3 in this place and placed Arkham City one below it. But to be honest, I had an inkling that we were unlikely to see BioWare's epic shooter finale this year (it's now set for release in March of 2012), and thus it gives me no greater pleasure than awarding Batman: Arkham City its rightful pole position on the list. Rocksteady were expected to fail with Arkham Asylum in 2009, however that's exactly the opposite of what they did, instead producing an absolutely outstanding title that won my Game of the Year award and remains one of my favourite video games of all time. You'd think that would leave a lot of pressure on the developer to do better, yet from what we've seen so far there's no reason to suggest anything but a refined and revolutionary experience this Autumn: this time around, you play as the Dark Knight (and Catwoman for 10% of the time!) as Mayor Sharp cordens off an area of Gotham City for the increasing number of criminals in the titular institution to roam and cause as much havoc as they want, provided of course they make no attempt to escape. A strange form of society begins to develop, but soon enough gang leaders like the Joker, Poison Ivy and the Penguin start to battle for control of the city and as Two-Face captures Catwoman in the Wayne Courthouse and Hugo Strange's masterplan strikes fear across Gotham Batman must enter Arkham City and discover the truth behind it. That everything looks so exciting in the gameworld (five times the size of Asylum) in just the first hour of a ten-hour plus game is cause to be on the lookout, but Rocksteady's previous work is enough to ensure that this title is one which cannot come soon enough! Batman: Arkham City is out October 21st.
Friday, 17 June 2011
10. THE RICKY GERVAIS SHOW SERIES THREE
9. GLEE SEASON THREE
7. COME FLY WITH ME SERIES TWO
6. AN IDIOT ABROAD: THE BUCKET LIST
5. MERLIN SERIES FOUR
4. THE SARAH JANE ADVENTURES SERIES FIVE
3. SHERLOCK SERIES TWO
2. TORCHWOOD: MIRACLE DAY
1. DOCTOR WHO SERIES 6.2
10. SUPER 8
9. PUSS IN BOOTS
8. THE TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN PART ONE
7. WAR HORSE
6. MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: GHOST PROTOCOL
5. COWBOYS AND ALIENS
4. TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON
3. CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER
2. SHERLOCK HOLMES: A GAME OF SHADOWS
1. HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS: PART TWO
Catch the reviews of all of these films and many more over the next six months on On-Screen!
- SEPTEMBER: X-Men Destiny
- Gears Of War 3
- Dead Island
- Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine
- StarFox 64 3D
- Resistance 3
- Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure
- OCTOBER: Spider-Man Edge Of Time
- FIFA 12
- NOVEMBER: Uncharted 3 Drake's Deception
- The Elder Scrolls Skyrim
- Saint's Row The Third
- Need for Speed The Run
- Metal Gear Solid HD