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Category Archives: mat langford

Gran Turismo: Sport – Great racing, but feels a bit empty.

One issue I’ve had with Gran Turismo on the whole is that it always felt too serious. You needed to practically BE a race car driver to understand exactly how to win races. Controls were hard to master and I just liked the arcade racers more because my skill level lent itself better to that style.

While that seriousness is still present, Gran Turismo: Sport on Playstation 4 is a really good racing game that is more fun than I remember them ever being. The AI seems to learn and adapt to your style, so that a move you tried passing with on the last lap won’t work on the next one. You have to constantly adapt as well because other cars are actually aggressive and smart. Decorating your car is fun and customizing the look and feel is something that you can lose hours doing.

While there are a lot of cars to choose from and a number of different locations to race in, the game feels a bit…empty. I played GT:6, and the selection and emphasis on car collecting is missing here. Yes, you can collect them, but the sheer volume of 6 just isn’t here. It seems that with the omission of the number 7 after this game’s title, this game was developed as a stop-gap between 6 and 7, and it feels like that: a stripped-down version of something that could have and should have been just, more.

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31 Days of Horror – ‘Stranger Things: The Game’ is a Great Nod to 1980s Gaming

If you’ve ever wanted to explore the town of Hawkins, wait no more. Stranger Things: The Game is a fun new adventure available for both iOS and Android that combines the characters, setting and creepy vibes from the Netflix smash hit series with a simplistic control scheme that makes it easy to learn, but difficult to master.
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‘MLB The Show 17’ Review: Small Improvements Make This Great Game Even Better

Every year when The Show comes out, I follow the same routine: Create a new player from scratch and head into Road to the Show. This year, my mountain-man bearded, 6’4″, 220-pound first baseman from Florida (you can’t select Toronto for some reason) wasn’t doing very well in the showcase games where you get scouted for the upcoming draft. Even though he looked like a bearded hulk, he couldn’t hit water if he fell out of a boat and ended up being projected to go late 2nd/early 3rd round. I wasn’t happy about it, but ended up being drafted late by the Houston Astros. Then something happened. Read the rest of this entry

Can the Switch revitalize Nintendo?

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The recent handheld console market hasn’t been the most successful. Sony’s PSVita was a failure because it lacked the power to deliver on the “home console in your hand” promise. Nintendo’s own WiiU failed because, well, it just wasn’t that great either, offering slightly better graphics than the original Wii, but with the clunky WiiU controller. The outstanding 3DS is an outlier, but mainly because it plays Pokemon and Mario really well, and offers graphics akin to the Super Nintendo, which isn’t exactly stressing the hardware – we don’t expect it to look like a next-gen console.

So when Nintendo finally announced its new home console – the Nintendo Switch – on Thursday, we finally got to see what it was all about. Read the rest of this entry

Biff Bam Pop’s Alien Invasion Goes Gaming with Mat Langford

Alien invasions have been the premise for some of the best – and worst – games of all time. While these games have you primarily saving the world from imminent danger, they often provide the setting for some of the best gaming stories you can play. Here are three of my favorite alien invasion games.

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Sony’s best E3 Conference yet – Exclusives, Reboots, Remasters and VR!

Burns and I got the VIP treatment at the Scotiabank Theater last night in Toronto at the 2016 Playstation E3 Experience, and we couldn’t have asked for a better event. Playstation came out guns blazing, showcasing exclusives, remakes, remasters and VR in a flow that felt more like movie trailers than a conference. Very little talking by execs and almost all video and gameplay – the way a PS4 event should be. Here’s a rundown of some of the bigger announcements. Read the rest of this entry

Biff Bam Pop Remembers Alan Rickman

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Luke Sneyd: Haaaaaaans?? Damn what a lousy week. I’ll miss Alan Rickman, so much genial talent and a class act. I don’t think anyone in the world could say “Potter” with the same degree of total disgust. That caramel voice with its meticulous British diction, he brought incredible personality to so many roles.

My favourite will always be one of the best villains of all time, Bill Clay, aka Hans Gruber. Who else could have made “give me my detonators” one of the most quotable lines in cinematic history? He’s hard to write about because in spite of such indelible roles, he always had an effacing quality. I loved the aggrieved nobility he brought to Dr. Lazarus in Galaxy Quest, again with the beautifully mellifluous reading of “by Grabthar’s hammer.” I always liked Severus Snape, the secret hero of the Harry Potter series. It was a thankless job, hated for the wrong reasons. He came to a tragic end but Harry recognized his extraordinary sacrifice. And for his troubles Snape got to be deliciously, singularly unlikeable.

Alan Rickman’s villains are his best creations, ironic for such a quiet, charming man. May you find yourself in the most English of heavens, Alan. When it came to our attention, you were an exceptional thief.

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Mat Langford: One of my fondest memories of Rickman’s body of work will always be his brooding portrayal of Severus Snape, Harry Potter’s (spoilers!) nemesis-turned-protector throughout the series.

Reading his story arc from Half-Blood Prince to DH2 and imagining his performance of it was one thing, but actually seeing it in the films was so much more powerful and mesmerizing. His love for Lily setting him on a course that would define his life, ultimately ending in a tragic yet redeeming revelation through the pensieve, showing Harry his true intentions…just thinking about it still gives me chills.

His shining body of work is impressive, but this performance will always define Rickman for me. It’s a sad day for fans of the series and film in general. He will be missed!

Marie Gilbert: I was shocked to learn of Alan Rickman’s death, as we all are when a talented person passes from this world. While many people are remembering Alan for his work in film and theatre, I remember him for his beautiful voice and, the way he made the spoken word dance inside my head like butterflies on a warm summer day. It didn’t matter if Alan Rickman was playing a villain or a comedy role, when he spoke, you listened. How could you not? His voice was commanding, as was his personality both on stage and screen and off.  I first heard of Alan Rickman when he appeared as the dastardly Hans Gruber in the first Die Hard film. His voice in Die Hard, which was sometimes hypnotizing, made his acts of terror ever so more frightening.  As Severus Snape in the Harry Potter Franchise, his acting, and I’m sure his way of speaking the King’s English, earned him worldwide recognition, but it was his part as Alexander Dane in the comedy film, Galaxy Quest that made me a loyal follower of Alan Rickman.  R.I.P Mr. Rickman, you have left this world a nicer place with your words.

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Loretta Sisco: It’s been tough for Brits in the entertainment industry of late, with the passing of Lemmy Kilmister of the music group Mötorhead and David Bowie. Today we lost another true talent in actor Alan Rickman.

He was successful on both the stage and screen playing a variety of characters. He was great in any role he was in, making him one of the rare actors you would go see even if you weren’t interested in the film, just because he was in it. His performance alone would make it worthwhile.

Although I enjoyed his wit in Dogma and Galaxy Quest, I will best remember him as Sheriff Nottingham in 1991’s Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. Rickman made the villain one of the most alluring bad guys to ever grace the big screen. I’ve seen this movie too many times to count, always envious of Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio in the role of Marian. Alan Rickman will be missed by fans worldwide.

Tearaway Unfolded – Rebuilt for the PS4

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What made the original Tearaway such a hit was that it was built completely for the Vita and all of it’s different quirky controls – the touch screen, the rear touchpad, etc. It was charming, intuitive, original and ultimately one of the best games ever made for the handheld. Does the PS4 version stack up? Find out after the jump.

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Fan Expo 2015: Gaming, The Vibe, SiriusXM and Mads Mikkelsen, oh my!

The end of summer just wouldn’t be complete without the return of Fan Expo. It’s Canada’s answer to San Diego Comic-Con, including big name celebs, lots to see and do, and lines. Lots of lines.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Over the past two years, under new ownership, Fan Expo has done an excellent job at getting people in and out of the North and South Buildings of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. There were years where convention goers were stuck outside for hours at a time waiting to get in. It was horrible, and certainly not fun for the fans. But those issues became more prominent as the festival continued to get bigger and outgrew utilizing only one building. With two, yes, there’s still throngs of people to navigate through, but the experience is far, far better than it was a few years ago.  Read the rest of this entry

Batman: Arkham Knight – First Impressions

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What time is it? Batman time.

Damn delivery guy.

As I waited in the office yesterday for my copy of Arkham Knight to arrive, I actually caught myself counting the minutes. And then there he was: “Delivery for Mat Langford!”. I took the package and shook it, stating, “This sounds like an Arkham Knight!”.

“You know who the Arkham Knight is right?” the delivery guy asks. I’m not sure if it was simple elation from knowing that my game was here on time – after a bit of a mix-up with Best Buy – or simply not paying attention. But without thinking I blindly…nay, stupidly, asked, “Who?”

Before the word left my mouth, I knew that it was too late.

“__________!”

And there it was. Well, I kind of figured it anyway, but at least I had some shred of mystery there until this moment.

Damn delivery guy. Read the rest of this entry

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