Sunday, 28 August 2011
Label: "The Norfolk born hero of real ales - 200th Anniversary - The Battle of Trafalgar 1805 - 2005
Rating: "The rich and floral aromas initially excite the tastebuds. The following burst of combined flavours from the citrus hops and the blend of Norfolk malt confirms that this is indeed a delicious beer. The flavour then develops from the biscuity malt sweetness to a long hop-induced finish."
Game: Reached the first boss battle in Deus Ex, a big badass dude called Barrett. I almost thought at one point that this section had completely ruined the game... yes, it was tough. But then, a moment of inspiration - the old gaming cliche of explosive red barrels! Chuck barrels at Barrett, they go boom, Barrett dies, job done.
Label: "Mischief's afoot - Since 1777 - Legendary"
Rating: Badger have relaunched their beers with new labels so it's only right that I try them all again. On the back label it says that years ago Head Brewer John Woodhouse got up to leave after sampling the ale and "his mischievous companion, believing a walk was imminent, tangled his owner up with the lead and Woodhouse fell upon the perfect name for this new beer". I'm sure this is a different story than the last label but who cares, it's still great. Here's the old version.
Game: It's dead hard being God. I know because I'm currently playing From Dust, an Xbox Live Arcade game. This is where you have to get your tribes to set up villages and capture totems in order to escape the territory and get to the next area. Trouble is there are tsunamis, lava, water and other stuff to hamper your progress. I haven't played a God game since Populous and I'm beginning to remember why they're so great. Because the tribesman are a bunch of good folk, there are no smiting, disease inducing, or locust sending God powers included unfortunately. 8/10
Saturday, 27 August 2011
Label: "A blend of Old Tom and the finest English chocolate - Strong Ale"
Rating: "Developed by Robinson's with the renowned chocolatier, Simon Dunn". As a migraine sufferer whose trigger is chocolate, this has the potential to be pure doom in a bottle. I've not had chocolate for about eighteen months now so this tasted great with really strong, but not overbearing, aromas of chocolate. The morning after brought no tell-tale signs of migrainicity either, so rather than liquid pain this was liquid awesome.
Game: According to Robin Kaminsky, Activision's former executive vice president of publishing, innovation in video games has stalled. I'd wholly disagree. Admittedly some developers choose to just reskin their games each year like *ahem* Activision's Call of Duty. However a lot of devs are making constant innovations in terms of tech, user interaction and approaches to storytelling e.g. Kinect, LA Noire, Deus Ex Human Revolution to name but three. And personally I don't think encouraging "alternative payment approaches" is going to help innovation. That's just another way of saying they are looking to get more cash out of gamers wallets.
Label: "Strong with great Norfolk character - 200th Anniversary - The Battle of Trafalgar 1805 - 2005 - Bottle conditioned real ale"
Rating: "The solid and generous sweet fruit flavours blend intimately with the luscious malted barley creating a complex and extremely satisfying dark chestnut-coloured beer. The combination of malt and the full hop flavour gives a long dry finish. The beer is both wonderfully, and dangerously, drinkable." All of this is true, especially the last bit.
Game: Pre-ordered Deus Ex Human Revolution at the eleventh hour and it arrived on Thursday. Woo! Don't know much about the "IP" (Intellectual Property - business speak for "stuff I invented") but apparently it's quite a popular PC franchise. I fell out with PC gaming a long time ago so missed out on a bunch of stuff. Anyway, it's great and looks like it's going to be an epic sci-fi adventure. Blade Runner meets Mass Effect. I've only played a couple of hours of it and it's getting 89%.
Wednesday, 24 August 2011
Label: "Bottle conditioned strong ale"
Brewery: Shepherd Neame
Rating: This lovely bottle of 1698 now has a sexy new label. Check it out on the right. Here's the old label and original review.
Game: Currently having a blast on Dirt 3. The rallying is great, as is the buggy racing and the drifting stages. The only current fly in the motor oil is the Gymkhana events. Firstly I don't like the name "Gymkhana" - it's stupid. It doesn't involve a gym (thankfully) or a khana. According to Wikipedia the first element of gymkhana comes from gend meaning ball in Hindi/Hindustani/Khariboli. This element is distinct from the English word gym, short for gymnasium and gymnastics which has Greek and Latin roots. The second element, khānā is Indo-Aryan (ख़ाना) for place or compartment and Persian (خانه) term for dwelling, house. So it should be called "Ballcompartment", far more catchy and relevant. Anyway, I'm rubbish at the Gymkhana events so stop talking about them please.
Saturday, 20 August 2011
Label: "Refreshing English beer from the coast - Full of flavour with a touch of wheat to make it sparkle, a Speciality beer from our own Suffolk shores. Spindrift, with its bright, crisp taste, evokes images of sea spray blown off a cresting wave."
Rating: This beer is dry and crisp with aromas of tropical fruits. Every facet of Spindrift is refreshing, from the name to the colour of the bottle!
Game: Been back on Mortal Kombat with a vengeance recently. Played through the game with each of the 27 characters unlocking achievements for fatalities, throws and X-ray moves used for all characters. The only question now is whether to invest in the downloadable content. Four new characters for a bargain 300 Microsoft points each (with the online pass thing). One of the characters is Freddy Krueger. Not sure what Freddy Krueger has got to do with the Mortal Kombat universe but some slashy knifey gloved moves and fatalities can't be anything other than awesome, right?
Friday, 19 August 2011
Label: "Thirst place - Countryside ales - Brewed in Dorset"
Rating: Golden Champion - a headstrong but loyal stallion who enjoys the warm days grazing in the fields. The subtle elderflower aromas of this delicately floral brew are reminiscent of a summer's evening. This divine all-rounder is a great companion for smoky, chargrilled chicken and peppery rocket salad.
Game: Noel Gallagher seems to have added his two penneth into the mix blaming brutal video games for the UK riots. Considering he used to be a nobody from inner-city Manchester (and as such used to have the opinion that if you're not good at music or football then you have no hope in life), you can't help but suspect that had he not found fame and fortune in music, himself and his brothers would have been at the business end of the looting and rioting. I think Noel's rubbish music is to blame for the UK riots anyway. His radio-friendly pop mush is enough to drive anybody to violence.
Thursday, 18 August 2011
Label: "Champion beer of Britain - Bottle conditioned ale"
Rating: A Supreme Champion beer of Britain, Wherry has a fantastic zesty aroma, and an initially crisp and clean floral flavour that evolves into a hop influenced citrus taste and a slightly sweet malt background. Give it the chance to develop and you will appreciate a late hint of grapefruit rind.
Game: Apparently games are "toxic" and rioters are addicted to them. So says Supertit Jo Frost in the latest example of sensationalist knee-jerkery. Considering she bases her career around fixing bad parents, she seems completely oblivious to the fact that bad parenting is a key contributory factor to the recent riots in London and other major cities. Supertit.
Tuesday, 16 August 2011
Label: "Refreshing - serve chilled"
Rating: Summer is great, except this summer it's rained constantly for about three weeks (where's that climate change I ordered)? Anyway, this ale is very refreshing especially when chilled. Pale gold in colour, and brewed with malted wheat, pale malts and Czech Saaz hops for a perfectly refreshing summer beer.
Game: Bargain hunting is great and it generally means cheap games. This time it's Homefront up for inspection for just £9.99. A competent shooter, some excellent set-pieces, some morally ambiguous choices (enemies on fire, shoot them quick or let them burn?). The premis, a unified Korea invades America and you are part of the American resistance. There are some quite poignant cutscenes towards the beginning of the game but why, oh why, did they feel the need to put "Press A to skip" in big letters right across the screen? It's like watching a movie and then seeing "Press >> to fast forward this bit". Totally distracting and spoils any immersion and emotion the cutscene could have had. Apart from that, so far so good.
Tuesday, 9 August 2011
Label: "Deliciously golden and refreshing - Woodforde's Norfolk Ales - Bottle conditioned real ale"
Rating: Subtle golden beer - pale in colour and light on the palate with the distinctive hoppy Woodforde's finish. Fate decreed that the first production of this beer coincided with the revival of the beautiful and mysterious wetland flower of the same name, in the heart of East Anglia, much to the delight of naturalists everywhere. This is a perfect ale to compliment a warm summers evening, or a cold summers evening... or any evening for that matter.
Game: Not played a decent racer in a while so step up Dirt 3. First point of note is that it looks absolutely amazing. The cars, trucks and buggys handle brilliantly too compared to the last racer played which was Need for Speed Hot Pursuit (seriously, the handling seemed totally broken to me on that one). A neat feature of Dirt 3 is you can upload your triumphs and, in my case, epic fails to YouTube. Here are two reasons why this noob ain't a rally driver in real life: reason one, reason two. During the second clip the co-driver, or whatever he is, said something like "It's ok, I think I'm still alive" or words to that effect. Cheers for that.
Friday, 5 August 2011
Label: "Export strength - Bottle conditioned for a truer flavour"
Rating: On the bottle it says that "Daniel Thwaites has broken all the rules with an export strength version of its award winning ale." That Daniel is a complete maverick! His ales are cracking as well!
Game: Just about wrapped up Deadly Premonition now. It seems to veer wildly between spookily gory and horribly farcical. In one chapter a woman has her tongue cut out, is stabbed in the chest and is then strung up ready to be dropped and impaled on a spiky tree shaped sculpture below, and in the next chapter you have to chase a dog around the street Benny Hill style, complete with ridiculous soundtrack. It's strangely addcitive, it's probably a work of genius that will gather a cult following and it's one of those games that will get remade or ported over to next-next-next-gen consoles. I don't know how to rate it, I don't know what score to give it. It's a 2/10 and an 8/10 game all at the same time.
Thursday, 4 August 2011
Label: "Rejoice & enjoy the fruits of our labour & be thankful that the Earth provides - Choicest hopped classic English ale."
Rating: First brewed to celebrate the inauguration of George Reindorp as Bishop of Salisbury, this Wiltshire Strong Ale has a full flavour which is well balanced with hop bitterness for a clean finish.
Game: Two hundredth post today! To celebrate here's a list of the forthcoming games on my "must buy" list. Time to get the pre-orders in...
|Gears of War 3 - 20/09/11|
Rise of Nightmares - 30/09/11
Batman: Arkham City - 21/10/11
Silent Hill: Downpour - 28/10/11
Elder Scrolls v: Skyrim - 11/11/11
| Assassins Creed Revelations - 15/11/11|
Mass Effect 3 - 09/03/12
Aliens: Colonial Marines - 30/03/12
Kinect: Star Wars - ??/??/??
I Am Alive - ??/??/??
Wednesday, 3 August 2011
Label: "Kentish Ale - The Local Hero"
Brewery: Shepherd Neame
Rating: Andrew Jefford describes it as "this amber-russet Kentish ale owes it uniquely invigorating style to a profusion of pungent Kentish hops infusing its mouthwatering base of crystal malts." Anyone who can use the word "pungent" in a positive way is alright by me.
Game: "Death by Xbox" hysterically screeches the headline of bag o' shite rag The Sun this week. The "journalists" involved should take note of David Staniforth's more level headed comments. Considering his comments come just weeks after the death of his son Chris, the chap deserves a medal. Rather than blame gaming, he recommends taking breaks during long gaming sessions. Personally I like to get up every once in a while and get another beer from the fridge. But without wanting to sound flippant, Deep Vein Thrombosis can be a real problem if you're sedentary for several hours at a time. Take a break after a few hours, go for a twenty minute run, have a walk around, anything to get the blood moving. Get UFC Personal Trainer, then you can play games and get fit at the same time! Oh, and one more thing, don't buy the Sun.