Wednesday, 30 May 2012
Label: "Nick Stafford's Hambleton Ales - Legend of the White Horse"
Brewery: Hambleton Ales
Rating: "A chestnut coloured ale with an uplifting citrus and berry aroma, balanced by a malty depth of flavour evoking the Yorkshire Wolds on which the barley is grown."
Game: Finished Max Payne 3's single player campaign and then started it again straight away on the harder difficulty setting with "Free Aim". This makes it considerably more difficult as you might suspect. It's been a while since I restarted the same game straight away rather than trading it straight away. Therefore that shows that I like this game. A lot. This post has mostly been about me stating obvious things. Bye.
Saturday, 26 May 2012
Label: "1654 - Belgian Beer - Fruit beer based on wheat beer"
Brewery: Brouwerij Huyghe
Rating: Quite possibly the sweetest beverage in the known multiverse. Imagine alcoholic honey with a hint of beer and you're on the right track. Incredible stuff.
Game: I often get asked to promote stuff on here. I'm not sure why, I only have one reader (why does Googlebot what to read about beer and games anyway?). Usually I can't action the requests as I can't mention them in any meaningful context. This time though the great Gnome of gnomeslair.com fame has asked me to mention Bundle in a Box. The bundle in question contains 7 (seven!) games, they all look like absolute crackers and can currently be purchased for a ridiculously paltry $2.84! Well, there's a pay what you want scheme going on and it's averaging at that price. I loved these types of games when I was a PC gamer and I would snap up the chance to buy these if I had a PC. Unfortunately I'm bereft of PC and have to do everything on my iPad 3, cue sad face time. But enough of my first world problems, go buy those games! The brilliant Elderly Gamer has put together Bundle in A Box: Adventure - Indie Game Bundles The Next Chapter to tell you all about the individual games!
Label: "Delicate hop flavours with hints of toffee & caramel - Delicious & refreshing well balanced amber ale."
Rating: "A lovely golden amber ale with subtle hints of toffee and caramel, beautifully balanced by hoppy notes from the Fuggles, Goldings and Challenger hops." Another from Sainsbury's "Taste the Difference" range. This beer goes great with summer.
Game: The difficulty in Max Payne 3 seems to have ramped up which suggests I'm close to the endgame. I kept dying over and over and was getting mildly frustrated when Catherine suddenly fell into my lap. Not literally, it actually fell onto the floor after being put through the letterbox. Anyway, so far it's full of sexy anime, fiendish block related puzzles and drinking in a bar. Lots of games seems to involve drinking. I might start drinking the same in real life as the character in the game, just for that added level of immersion.
Monday, 21 May 2012
Label: "Light & refreshing - mouthwatering, fresh & zesty - A fruity yet bitter golden pale ale"
Brewery: Shepherd Neame
Rating: "A delicious and refreshing golden ale, ideal for summer drinking. Brewed using the finest English malt with the perfect combination of choicest First Gold, Hersbrucker and Styrian Goldings hops, this ale has a zesty aroma and notes of citrus peel complemented by a bitter twist on the finish." The weather has gone nice, the perfect excuse to drink lots of this beer.
Game: I was describing some of my recent Max Payne 3 exploits to a colleague and realised I probably sounded like a completely deranged psychopath. Basically I mentioned how I was in a stadium and I sniped someone in the bum which triggered the slo-mo cutscene where I could shoot more bullets into my quickly expiring victim. I sent a bullet through the back of his neck and out of the front of his throat (this was in-game by the way, not at my colleague), another entry wound then opened up in the back of his head with accompanying exit wound out of the forehead, a final shot again through the back of the head, and then the metal clang of an empty chamber ended the sequence as blood continued to spurt out of the entry and exit wounds. Completely glorified violence and pretty horrific but somehow it was poetry in motion during the game. I'm a bit conflicted... it's so graphically violent but at the same time so amazingly amazing. And for the record, I'm not a psychopath. Possibly deranged... but definitely not a psychopath.
Sunday, 20 May 2012
Label: "Edinburgh to London - Premium Bitter - The officially licensed Flying Scotsman beer"
Rating: "Specially brewed to celebrate the return of the world's most famous locomotive after a major restoration programme at the National Railway Museum in York. Salute the loco with a glass of this superb beer. Look for a raisin-like spiciness and a superb toasty dryness. First Class refreshment from Edinburgh to London and beyond." I looked and I found! Great beer.
Game: Between Max Payne 3 and the billions of other games I've yet to finish (I believe this is referred to as a "pile of shame") I've been attempting to play Wipeout 2048 on PS Vita. I say 'attempting' because this game makes me feel like I'm the worst ever player at Wipeout. Most of the laps are spent careening from the left side barrier to the right side barrier and back again whilst managing to somehow avoid all of the speed boosts and pickup pads on the track. I seem to have an uncanny ability to miss all of the power ups. Go me. Great game, I'm just rubbish at it.
Friday, 18 May 2012
Label: "Superb premium ruby ale. Robust malt with a splendid bitter note."
Rating: "A premium strength, Ruby ale. Robust and malt-dominated, fired by a spicy but sweet fragrance. Red is an impact beer designed to leave lasting impressions both visually and on the taste buds." The last beer in the Lancaster collection judging by the shop shelves, Red, Blonde, Amber and Black. A veritable beer flavoured rainbow. Not a very colourful rainbow granted, but a tasty rainbow nonetheless.
Game: I wasn't going to get Max Payne 3, but then I remembered that it's a Rockstar game. And Rockstar games rock. So cutting to the chase, the bullet-time effect is copiously bloody, brutal and brilliant. I can't remember a game where you can shoot someone in slo-mo and then continue to empty a clip into their body and/or face before they hit the floor. Maybe Max Payne 2? I don't know, like I say, I can't remember. So far it's guns, blood and action with a healthy dose of alcoholism. This game is definitely not for the faint of heart, or Daily Mail readers.
Thursday, 17 May 2012
Label: "National Award Winning Brewery - Vividly golden beer. Fine hand-crafted pale ale."
Rating: "A vivid golden bitter, Blonde is designed to offer pale beer with real taste and aromatic impact. The initial bitterness is followed by a surprising sweetness culminating with a long dry finish." Great taste but easy to sup, not too strong, perfect for a Thursday evening!
Game: So, having a break from RPGs and playing Crysis 2. Had this for a while but has taken some time to get into. Graphically it's amazing and combat gets quite strategic so overall it's damn good. Max Payne 3 out tomorrow. I'm tempted but Max is a flabby, balding, old bloke now and I can do that in real life, just without the guns.
Wednesday, 16 May 2012
Label: "Purest ingredients - Finest quality - Use bottle opener" Yes the bottle cap really does advise us to use a bottle opener. Shame, I was going to use my eye socket.
Brewery: Sierra Nevada
Rating: "Ruthless Rye IPA is brewed with this rustic grain for refined flavours - combining the peppery spice of rye and the bright citrusy flavors of whole-cone hops to create a complex ale for the tumultuous transition to Spring." I'm reliably informed that these American beers are getting better than our homegrown brews. On this evidence they may not be better but they're definitely as good as. Seek them out!
Game: Like with The Witcher 2, I seem to be playing Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning without any other games getting a look in. For me this is a sure-fire way to getting totally jaded with the current game. I need to mix it up a bit... starting tomorrow. And with Batman Arkham City DLC incoming at the end of May, I'll be forced away from RPG'ing anyway. Bring on Harley Quinn and proper DLC, which isn't just new multiplayer maps or character skins like most DLC seems to be. Three cheers for Rocksteady! Hic, Hic, Hooray!
Saturday, 12 May 2012
Label: "National Award Winning Brewery - Gold award winning stout for the true connoisseur."
Rating: "Complex taste with a rich and full body. Crisp with a full bouquet of spices, fruit and floral aromas. Black is a stout for the true connoisseur." I wouldn't describe myself as a connoisseur (I can barely spell it) but this stout is great. I imagine this is what drinking velvet is like, but without the nasty choking issue that arises when you drink material intended for clothing or furniture.
Game: So, it appears Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is a bit of an RPG cracker. Fable-y style graphics and lots of story with, at first glance, incredibly deep character progression and customisation. The skill trees are a veritable forest (I hereby copyright the term "skill forest" by the way). So far, Amalurve it. Did you see what I did there? Amalur..? Lurve..? Love..? Oh never mind.
Thursday, 10 May 2012
Label: "Lager / IPA Hybrid - Microbrewed for maximum flavour!"
Brewery: Williams Bros Brewing
Rating: "We use the term lager/IPA hybrid because we cold ferment this beer with classic lager yeast. The initial fermentation takes at least 2 weeks, after which we lager (store) the beer at zero degrees for a minimum of 4 weeks, during which period we add a chock load of classic IPA style hops and allow the two to marry - fanfare!" After drinking all these different ales over the years I've begun to think I might know a thing or two about beer, but I didn't even realise the word lager meant "to store" *hangs head in shame*. This hybrid lager/IPA is fantastic though and it's cheered me up a treat.
Game: I have Crysis 2 sat on the shelf looking longingly at my Xbox, but I'm not going to play it because I'm in an RPG mood! So avert your eyes Crysis 2, tonight I'm playing Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. Wasn't sure whether to get this but IGN gave it a whopping 9.0/10. They gave Witcher 2 8.5/10 so I arrived at the crazed conclusion that Reckoning must be in some way marginally superior. And as I've played Witcher 2 constantly for the past fortnight and loved every minute of it, a Reckoning purchase can only end well surely...
Wednesday, 9 May 2012
Label: "Craft beers - Rich roasted stout"
Rating: "This ebony coloured stout was first inspired by an original recipe dating back to 1892 and brought back to life by popular demand. It was originally used for the hourly paid beer allowance most of which had usually been consumed before mid-day! On many occasions the singing coming from the brewery could be heard from miles around. Enjoy the spirit of innovation that comes with Robinsons Craft Beers." Can you imagine being paid an hourly beer allowance? I'd never leave work.
Game: So Inside Xbox has been ditched by Microsoft. Seems a shame as Dan Maher and Andy Farrant did make some really good content accessible from the Xbox dashboard. Pretty much the only thing I watch on Xbox Live was their shows, but the great thing about Inside Xbox was that they genuinely engaged with the community. It may have been a veneer but it definitely gave the impression that Microsoft weren't some faceless capitalist monstrosity out to relieve us of as much money as possible. The lads seemed genuinely enthusiastic and enjoyed being part of the great Xbox community and interacting with us lowly punters (customers). Now it seems they're to be replaced by a "third-party content model". So that's yet more adverts then, right? I'm all for change and freshening things up but this just seems like a cynical ploy to cut costs with a view to further monetising Xbox Live.
Sunday, 6 May 2012
Label: "A rich, dark winter warmer - Deep & smoky with port-wine notes - Rich chocolate & raisin finish - Head brewer Alan Dunn"
Brewery: Brewed for Sainsbury's by Black Sheep Brewery
Rating: "A dark, velvety stout with a complex chocolate and spice finish. Beautifully balanced with sweet raisin notes. Drink with rich venison dishes or chocolate desserts." A dark winter warmer in May? Yes! Because it's still cold outside for some reason. Celebration? Yes! Because it's a bank holiday and there's no work tomorrow!
Game: After one of the longest epilogues ever, The Witcher 2 finally comes to a close. It may sound slightly grandiose, but storytelling finally comes of age on consoles. The Witcher 3 is surely to be released on next-gen consoles and I'm expecting incredible things both graphically and in terms of yarn weaving. But for now it's back to Skyrim for me. Nothing beats going back to Skyrim. It's like putting on a pair of comfy old slippers, your warm woolly jumper or your favourite dragon-bone armour.