Saturday, 31 October 2009

Wainwright (Thwaites)

Name: WainwrightWainwright
Label: "Exquisitely Lovely Golden Ale - Celebrating the Lake District's most beloved author"
Brewery: Thwaites
ABV: 4.1%

Rating: A refreshing golden beer - should have drank more of it in the summer

Game: It didn't do particularly well in the "proper" reviews but Halo 3: ODST is a fine example of a franchise putting a different spin on a tried and tested formula and coming up with something that is different but instantly familiar. There's no Master Chief hogging all the lime-light this time and the game is better for it. It's been a while since Halo 3 so this has arrived at about the right time. Well worth a look - 8/10

Gentleman Jack (Shepherd Neame)

Gentleman Jack
Name: Gentleman Jack
Label: "A nut brown premium ale with a fruity hop aroma & bitter flavour notes - with a formidable left hook"
Brewery: Shepherd Neame (for Asda)
ABV: 5%

Rating: A malty, hoppy, satisfying ale

Game: There is so much to FIFA 10 that its going to last well into, ooh let's think, the Autumn of 2010? Manager Mode is a lot of fun, trying to get a two star rated Derby County into the Premiership - the Board wants to see at least a top half finish this season so we're well on track. But does FIFA 10 play some part in "fixing" games a bit? It's difficult to tell but sometimes results may vary to say the least. One minute your beating one of the top four 3 - 1. The next game you get beaten 0 - 2 at home to the team at the bottom of the league. Is this down to poor concentration perhaps or football just being a "a funny old game"?  Sometimes its about as easy to be consistent on FIFA 10 as it is for Liverpool FC in real life this season...

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Late Red (Shepherd Neame)

Late RedName: Late Red
Label: "Autumn Hop Ale"
Brewery: Shepherd Neame
ABV: 4.5%

Rating: Less is not more, more is more and I want more

Game: I don't mind games that are purposely difficult or a challenge to master e.g. Guitar Hero, Ninja Gaiden, My Horse and Me 2 (maybe not the last one). That's one of the things that makes games great. However, I do take offence to games that go to great lengths to make the experience unfair or annoying just for the sake of it. Lord of the Rings: Conquest is one of those games. Last level of the campaign playing as the goodies and there is a stage where you have to stop the orcs and trolls from taking over a certain area. Even if you've managed to accrue 100 lives by this point you will still fail the mission if you get overrun and will have to restart the entire level. So, your character can actually be killed in battle and you can respawn over and over again, but if you get overrun you fail the mission outright irrespective of how many lives you have left. The rest of your allies are dead and you are overrun but you don't get the chance to to be a one man orc slaying machine. Booo! A good game if you're a Lord of the Rings fan - dissapointing though  (and the graphics are a bit last-gen) - 6/10

Poacher's Choice (Badger)

Name: Poacher's ChoicePoacher's Choice
Label: "Rich, warm, fruity and deeply satisfying"
Brewery: Badger
ABV: 5.7%

Rating: The clocks have gone back, it's winter, drink this.

Game: FIFA 10 now has my face in it thanks to GameFace (and thanks to my employer for unwittingly providing me with a better spec PC to create it on). But it looks nothing like me! I'm all ugly, yellow looking and boss-eyed. Oh hang on a minute perhaps it is a pretty good likeness actually...

A tip for anyone wanting to get 1000/1000 on Silent Hill Homecoming: complete the game and finish with the "UFO ending". Up the difficulty to Hard and simply zap your way through the bad guys with the laser. With some strategically placed save files, 100% completion will be within sight before you know it.

Another tip (it is National Tip Day.. possibly), for the heads up on great gaming deals check this site out: They're looking for writers as well. I would apply but as can be seen from the quality of this blog, my writing skills are lower than below par so I've applied a self-imposed "need not apply" clause to their advert.

Monday, 26 October 2009

Wychcraft (Wychwood)

Name: Wychcraft
Label: "The four elements combined to create a truly magical brew - blonde beer"
Brewery: Wychwood
ABV: 4.5%

Rating: The elixir of flavour

Game: Heavy metal is alive and well on Xbox 360 thanks to Guitar Hero: Metallica and Brütal Legend. GH: Metallica is a superb collection of some of the highlights from the metal legends vast back catalogue complete with loads of guest artists to keep you shredding. This is the final word on the Guitar Hero franchise - there need be no more Guitar Heros or Rock Bands thank you very much. This is as good as it gets - 9/10.

Brütal Legend is a strange beast, it tries to be many genres wrapped up in one heavily riffed package. It mixes hack 'n slash button mashing with real time strategy with driving amongst other things and does each one admirably but there's always the nagging feeling that other games do their respective genres better than this amalgamation. However, it's got Jack Black in it and "the metal" so it automatically rocks and is great and gets 8/10.  Here's my full review at

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Circlemaster (Wychwood)

CirclemasterName: Circlemaster
Label: "Golden Pale Ale"
Brewery: Wychwood
ABV: 4.7%

Rating: Scarily good.

Game: A shed load of games on the go at the moment. Repurchased Halo 3 (awesome Legendary Edition), FIFA10, started to replay Silent Hill 4: The Room on Xbox original which has inspired a Silent Hill: Homecoming revival. Great game, very "Silent Hill", great soundtrack, great weird kinda distant quirky characters, plus 5 different endings each worth 50 points each means its essential playing, especially in the run up to Halloween. Also giving Need for Speed Shift a whirl. Cockpit view is the best so far of the racing genre and the speed of the cars is almost sickening. Its great trying to play it after ale - a great advert for not drinking and driving. Remember, only complete f*cking ar*eholes drink and drive...

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Oyster Stout (Marston's)

Oyster Stout
Name: Oyster Stout
Label: "Dark - Rich - Smooth"
Brewery: Marston's
ABV: 4.5%

Rating: Ace, shame about the name

Game: Gone a bit Halo mad this week. Rebought Halo: Combat Evolved and Halo 2 for Xbox and rebought Halo 3 (Legendary Edition) on the Xbox 360. Also rebought Halo Wars **must stop selling/trading games**. So whilst waiting for Halo 3 and Master Chief's shiny helmet to arrive, Halo, Halo 2 and Halo Wars are on the platter, also trying to squeeze in some awesome FIFA 10.

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Badger First Gold (Badger)

Name: Badger First Gold
Label: "A noble character - Brewed with First Gold single English Hop - Established 1777"
Brewery: Badger
ABV: 4%

Rating: Literally - World Champion 2005

Game: Another year, another FIFA game. This year its surprisingly called FIFA 10. Released a whole three weeks before PES 2010: Pro Evolution Soccer and now recognised as the best of the genre, FIFA 10 was a must-buy. Plus the word "Soccer" is definitely not to be trusted. Created a team which hopefully other users can sign up to - current squad size is one (me) so take up has been a bit slow thus far. Started Management Mode too and also created me in the game. I did try to use the EA Sports GameFace program on the PC which supposedly would create a true 3D likeness of me in the game, however this needs a PC with 2GB of RAM to work. 2GB?!?  Didn't they land on the moon running software that was about 16kb in size?  The game though is top notch.

Friday, 2 October 2009

Hobgoblin (Wychwood)

Name: Hobgoblin
Label: "Traditionally Crafted Legendary Ruby Beer"
Brewery: Wychwood
ABV: 5.2%

Rating: Ooooh scary zombies!

Game: Decapitating my way through Left 4 Dead on this occasion. Undeterred by the previous nights seemingly unwarranted "Vote to kick Bickle77 out of the session" shenanigans, I again braved online multiplayer.  Managed to get through all the main campaign chapters without too much hassle. One of the problems with this game though is a complete lack of coherent story other than trying to get away from bazillions of zombies. As its multiplayer oriented this is to be expected I suppose. Had a new friend request from a fellow zombie botherer too which was nice. Another player sent me a message that simply said "Bögfan", complete with umlauts.  Presumably it's Welsh or something and a derogatory term but haven't the foggiest idea what it means (Googled it and everything). Anyone know? I blocked their username incase it means something scary anyway.