Saturday 30 April 2011

DVD Reviews

Blades of Blood
Starring: Seung-Won Cha, Ji-Hye Han, Jung-Min Hwang
Director: Joon-Ik Lee
Metrodome Distribution

Available from Monday 2nd May - £9.99 (DVD)
Review by Brad Harmer

Set during the 'Grand Alliance' of the Chosun Dynasty, the Alliance's leader Lee dreams of eradicating corruption and becoming king. Yet amidst the onslaught of a bloody invasion by the massed troops of the Japanese empire, legendary blind swordsman Hwang, once Lee's closest comrade who was betrayed by his friend, returns to at last enact the battle the two mighty warriors were destined to fight.

Have you ever seen a kung-fu movie before? You have? Cool, then you don’t need to see Blades of Blood. Move on. Nothing to see here – and that’s the whole of the problem. There are character clichés, a political struggle that it’s virtually impossible to give any kind of a crap, hoot, or toss about, and there’s the usual one-on-one, two-on-one, training montage, mass battle, one-on-one fight formula. It’s cookie cutter and – as a result - very, very boring.

It’s a shame, really, as some of the cinematograpy is very nice, and there’s some really emotional moments between the characters – but even this is scabbed up by the kung-fu being lazy and the hero coming off as a constantly crying douchebag. If you’re really into might be worth a rental. Otherwise, move along, guys, move along.

The Emotionally Fourteen Rating
Lots of kung-fu, sword battles, mass epic battles, and some blood.
Sex/Nudity: Minimal.
Swearing: Minimal.
Summary: The direction is nice, at times, but the kung-fu is too bland and the story too formulaic to make this worth getting excited over. 5/10

Real Ghosts UK
Starring: Patrick McNamara, No Ghosts, Some Fabrications
Director: Mr Incompetent

Available from Monday 2nd May - £17.99 (3 DVD Set)
Review by Brad Harmer

Where to begin with this one?

Well, to start with, it’s the most shameless lie in a title since The Neverending Story. There are no ghosts at any point - none that make their presence known beside a medium saying that they’re there, anyway. What we have here is three DVDs, one for each location, of this Patrick McNamara fellow conducting a séance. And his séances are farcial in their stupidity.

Firstly, he (and the subtitles) point out that none of the manifestations that he or the people witness at the séances show up on film – which is a bit fucking convenient, really. So we basically sit for ninety minutes at a time, watching this unbelievable buffoon pretending to show people ectoplasm, or that a ghost is “clinging to his back”, or that “his face is changing”. Of course, as mentioned earlier, none of this shows up on film.

There is no context to any of the investigations. There are no opening credits save some shots of the local town while some grossly overblown Nox Arcana style music blasts way too loud over the top. We’re just dropped in and expected to make sense of it. The editing appears to have been done with a spoon.

Cutting to the chase because I’ve frankly got better things to do that pontificate on what a fucking dire release this is: Congratulations, Wienerworld. This is the worst DVD ever released in any field on any subject and in any genre. I really hope that was what you set out to achieve, as if I thought for a single second that anyone involved in this project at any point believed that it was suitable for release, my sanity would crack.

The Emotionally Fourteen Rating
Sex/Nudity: None.
Swearing: None.
Summary: Sorry, Absence of Light, but the “Worst DVD Ever Released” Title has changed hands. There’s no excuse for watching this, buying this, and especially not releasing it. Cocking shameful. 1/10

Friday 29 April 2011

Dickass DM

Remember good, old-fashioned gamebooks? They promised all the fun of a role-playing game, with none of the social interaction - what more could a teenage boy desire? The thing is, that while the gamebook became a great gaming experience in its own right, the only RPG it could possibly have simulated was one being GM'd by Satan himself. 90% of decisions led to certain death, and combat was often fatal.

Satan wasn't available, so Brad will be GMing Rob through an RPG based on the classic Tom Sheldon gamebook Big Match Manager. Brad is the DM, and Rob plays his character, Terry Braggables.

Catch up with previous Dickass DM installments here!
Brad: If there is a record for gum-chewing or nail biting, you broke it today...
Standing with your coaching staff in the dugout, you hold your breath and wince as a shot whizzes just wide of the post and sails into the crowd. You can't remember the last time a game was as tense as this; Leslie had put you in the lead in the thirty-fourth minute with a pinpoint header off a corner, but some "enthusiastic" defending from Fry in the box had given Borfield Albion a penalty just after the break.
Does any of this mean anything to you?
Rob: Yes. Should it?
Brad: I hope so.
Their striker had cooly dispatched it to the noisy delight of the home fans, and it's still 1-1 in the eighty-fifth minute!
Rob: Damn it all!
Brad: You can feel the tension in the visitors' stand behind you - three thousand of your loyal fans willing Hardwick City on.
Borfield are in possession in their own half.
Rob: Why is the visitor's stand behind the dugout? This must be a tiny stadium...
Brad: Your budget is £5m, dude...
Rob: That's transfer budget. It's separate from the team's finances.
Brad: Still representative of overall wealth, though, surely?
Rob: Well, yeah, but still..
Brad: A neat passing movement beats Hurley in the central mid-field, and then a lofted ball finds their man on the flank.
"Come on, close him down", you say to yourself through gritted teeth.
Rob: If I mumble everything, I'm a pretty ineffective manager.
Brad: I like the idea of "Gritted Teeth" being a glove puppet that you talk to yourself through.
Rob: As assistant managers go, I've seen less effective.
Brad: But Borfield are moving well and your defence is beaten as the ball falls to their striker who takes it on the half-volley. The ball starts to dip and is flying towards the top left corner of your goal - but Coates jumps high and takes a lightning save! The home fans let out a groan.
Terry Braggables: I almost shat myself with worry!
Brad: The referee is looking at his watch - surely that's got to be the last chance! You wish the ref would just blow the whistle as Coates quickly throws the ball out to Neville, who takes it on the run. A short pass to Duval on the left wing, who flicks it over the heads of the midfield right into the path of your top striker, Danny Knox!
Terry Braggables: Knox it in! See what I did there, Gritted Teeth?
Brad: Borfield over-stretched themselves in that last attack, and they're wide open at the back...
McSpindle: Wa-hey!
Terry Braggables: Who are you?!
McSpindle: Am I not allowed to be in this one, then?
Terry Braggables: Well, I've never met you before, but I could use an assistant manager; my puppet needs a holiday.
McSpindle: Hooray!

Brad: Knox surges forward. Just one defender to beat...Your fans are up on their feet and there's a deathly hush in the dugout as Knox reaches the eighteen yard line.
Rob: The whole stadium's gone silent? That must be incredible.
Brad: He makes to go left, but then dummies and hops neatly over the outstretched boot of the defender, before unleashing a ferocious right-footed shot straight through the keeper's legs and into the back of the net.
Brad: That was the last of the pre-season qualifiers and has seen Hardwick City FC through to the Premier Mini-League.
McSpindle: Is that even a real league? Or is is just sponsored by the local used Mini garage?
Brad: Four years in the job here at the club and you never got bored of the rush of winning. Back home, you went over the 2-1 victory in your mind as the triumphant songs of the fans echoed in your ears:
Knox had been mobbed by the other players after his spectacular goal, and everyone had gone home tired and happy.
"Spectacular" is a word only used in connection with two things: "football" and "a homosexual social life". Just saying.
Rob: And Spider-Man.
Brad: With Danny hitting the top of his form and the squad working well as a unit, you reckon the team could be in with a real chance of taking the title this season. Then the phone rings, bringing the news which will change your life forever.
Higson: (on phone) Good evening.
Rob: Charlie Higson?
Higson: This is Detective Chief Inspector Higson.

Brad: Police never get promoted, really, do they? They just seem to add another rank on the end of the last one.
Rob: DCI is pretty well respected, as I understand it.
Higson: I'm afraid we have a matter of the utmost gravity which requires your immediate co-operation.
Terry Braggables: Will it take long? My players have just invited some teenage female fans to the dressing room, and...well, you know how it is.
Higson: I'm very sorry, but we need you at the station immediately.
Terry Braggales: For fuck's sake...
Brad: You get straight into the car and McSpindle drives you to the station.
McSpindle: Do you think, maybe, he meant "Police Station"?
Terry Braggables: I suppose so...It was a mistake coming to the train depot. Get me a Twix from the shop and we'll be on our way.
Brad: McSpindle drives you to the Police Station. When you arrive, DCI Higson ushers you silently into a bare, grey-walled interview room.
Terry Braggables: Right, I just missed a striker and a defender spit-roasting some eighteen year old named Candice, this had better be worth it!
Higson: [grimly] At nine o'clock this evening, one of our patrols reported an abandoned car.
Terry Braggables: Fucking tragic. What's it got to do with me?
Higson: It had been forced off the road into a ditch, the driver's window had been smashed, and there was evidence of a struggle.
Terry Braggables: Right...I'm still not seeing it.
Higson: We've traced the registration plate, and the vehicle has been confirmed as belonging to an employee of yours. A Mister Daniel Knox.
Brad: Your skin prickes as the words sink in.

Terry Braggables: I wondered where he'd got to. Have you phoned his house?
Higson: Of course. His wife answered. He never arrived home. We're treating this as a kidnap.
Terry Braggables: ...Good call?
Brad: Your mind races, and your first thoughts are with Danny's wife and how awful this must be for her.
McSpindle: I - I can't believe this! Where is he? Who's taken him?
Brad: The Inspector stares at you both with pale grey eyes.
Higson: I'd rather hoped you two could tell me.
Terry Braggables: You are not upstaging me on concern showed! Won't someone please think of the children?!
Brad: Two challenges lie ahead: you must steer Hardwick City to the top of the league, while doing everything in your power to find Danny Knox and bring his assailants to justice.
Do you have what it takes to do both?
Rob: Man, I have enough trouble keeping my teams in the league!
===Friday 14th===
Brad: You are in your office at Hardwick City Football Club. It's 10:30pm, nearly a week now since Danny Knox disappeared, and the police are no closer to finding him. "We're doing our best" is all DCI Higson could tell you, but you know there's almos no chance of getting him safely back in time for tomorrow's match against Lowdham Athletic.
Rob: Well, I'd sort of anticipated that...
Brad: You grab your coat, glove puppet and briefcase, ready to leave for the night. But as you open your office door, you are startled by the desk phone ringing. So late at night...
Rob: I listen carefully whilst the answering machine picks it up.
Brad: You lock the door behind you as the answering machine clicks into life. But you stop dead as you hear a familiar voice on the other end. It's Danny!
Danny: [on phone] Hello? Damn...If you're there, pick up!
Brad: You fumble with the keys in the lock as Danny's breathless voice continues.
Danny: [on phone] I got away - look, I'm in the phonebox on the corner of North Street and River View. He thinks that if he gets to me he can win the league.
Rob: Now, you'd think that my leaving the answerphone to pick up would be a dumb move...
Danny: They said they'll kill me if the police find out! I'm scared...if you can hear this, just come and get me!
Brad: Lunging over the desk, you grab the handset.
Rob: Damn it, why would I do that?
Brad: He's your friend. Jesus, if this was Omer you'd go and rescue him.
Terry Braggables: Danny! Don't worry! I missed the spit roast too! I'm coming for you!
Rob: I meant why would I grab the handset, as opposed to going straight there?
Brad: Before he can reply, you hear the sound of screeching tyres, men's voices, and a sickening thud - then a click as the receiver at the other end is carefully replaced.
Rob: Replay the message.
Brad: There's something about that message...You rewind the tape, turn the volume to maximum, and press play.
Terry Braggables: [on tape] Danny! Don't worry! I missed the spit roast too! I'm coming for you!
Brad: Your own voice on tape booms over the hissing on the cassette. Then the screech of tyres, and again a thud. But this time you can make out two new voices, very faint:
Voice One: He's out col...
Voice Two: Good...ork. Now let' him back to the bef...he...ies to...cape again.
Voice One: Hey - put th...pho...ack. It looks...picious.
Brad: Then the click as the receiver is replaced.
Terry Braggables: Right, I'm looking for an ork...who lives or works out of a warese.

Brad: You bolt from the office, and jump into your car. That call box is only a few minutes away. Maybe if you're quick, you'll make it in time! But when you arrive, the place is deserted.
Rob: Shock horror.
Brad: There's the phonebox, but no sign of a car - or of Danny. You can see tyre marks on the road, and a slick of oil leading away from them and down the road.
Rob: Of those three things, the phonebox was the only thing I was expecting to be there when I got there. I search the phonebox.
Brad: You open the door to the phonebox. Everything seems normal, but suddenly you spot something small and squarish near your foot.
Terry Braggables: SquareMan!
Rob: I pick it up.
Brad: You pick up the object. It's a black wallet, and the leather feels warm in your hand. It's not Danny's...
Inside it is a small amount of cash, some receipts and a torn scrap of paper with some writing on it:
Terry Braggables: On the wages I pay him, it'd be fuller...
Room 2/
The sh\
No 13/
(/'s show where the paper is torn)
Brad: You slip the paper into your pocket. Climbing back into your car, you start the engine and set off home.
Rob: Home? What about the oil?!
Brad: Bite me. Turning the night's events over in your mind, you can hardly sleep. You want to go to the police, but you'd never forgive yourself if Danny came to harm. "He thinks he can win the league", Danny had said. So it's one of the other managers who's at the centre of this.
Rob: Assuming it's from this league. Or indeed country.
Brad: But which one has come up with this evil scheme? You sleep fitfully, and wake early on Saturday morning.


Enter a world of pure imagination this Easter and celebrate the 40th anniversary of the classic childhood film, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, with an extra special copy of the DVD. To celebrate, we’ve five copies of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and the 2005 adaptation, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, up-for-grabs for five lucky readers.

Directed by Mel Stuart and starring the legendary Gene Wilder as the unforgettable and eccentric chocolatier, Willy Wonka, the film has enthused and inspired generations for four decades. Its mischievous and whimsical narrative captured the hearts and minds of audiences worldwide and firmly established the film as a cult classic that all the family can enjoy again and again.

Whichever version you prefer, there’s something to keep the whole family entertained this Easter…and beyond! One lucky winner can also be in with the chance of winning a £10,000 prize with a Golden Ticket to be found in every copy of the DVD purchased in UK DVD outlets throughout April and May.

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory are available on DVD, Blu-ray and to download. To enter our competition, please answer the following question:

Who played the original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory?
a. Gene Wilder
b. Charlie Bucket
c. Mel Stuart

For your chance of winning, send your name, postal address and answer to before midday on Friday 6th May, making sure to put "Willy Wonka" as the subject. The first five entries out of the electronic hat after the competition closes will receive a free copy!

Don't forget to put "Willy Wonka" in the subject line. Incorrectly labelled or blank entries will be discarded.

Entries limited to one per household. Offer open only to postal addresses in the UK and Ireland. ©2011 Warner Bros. Entertainment. All Rights Reserved.

Thursday 28 April 2011

Gaming Reviews

Mortal Kombat
Warner Bros. Interactive/Netherrealms
Available Now - £44.99 (Xbox 360, PS3 – Version Tested)
Review by Rob Wade
Editor’s Note: Due to the outage on the Playstation Network during the week ending 22/04/2011, it was not possible to test the online component of the game.

Mortal Kombat returns - the newest chapter of the iconic fight franchise marks a triumphant return to the series’ mature presentation and a reinvention of its classic 2D fighting mechanic. Driven by an all new graphics engine, the fan favourite Fatality is back and presented in more gory detail than ever before. In addition, Mortal Kombat introduces a number of new gameplay features including tag team and the deepest story mode of any fighting game. Players can choose from an extensive line up of the game’s iconic warriors and challenge their friends in traditional 1 vs. 1, or take on several new game modes.

This game first came onto the radar as a short trailer, mainly showing fatalities without the final blow (in the same way that the TV ads are hilariously having to do so). However, interest was piqued by the fact that Fatalities are back in the game, a welcome change for the fan so disheartened by Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, which suffered from the game’s 12+ age rating. The game trailer also showed off an X-Ray mode in the vein of Romeo Must Die, with bones being broken and crushed in a zoomed-in X-Ray view. It’s safe to say that fans of classic fighting games wet themselves in anticipation, and with good reason; this was something that no other game was offering.

In some ways, this has translated to the full game. The game offers some features that games of similar ilk have not been doing recently, as well as bringing back and modifying some things done well in other competitors’ fighting games. One of those things on the PS3 version is the addition of Kratos of God of War fame, which hearkens to the Soul Calibur philosophy of chucking in someone from another game, particularly when it’s console-specific and can mean the difference between buying it for one console or the other (or even both, if you have that much spare cash to blow). Personally, though I totally get the appeal for the developers and fanboys, I think that sort of thing is frustrating unless the character is someone who can be purchased separately at a later date (of course meaning that Kratos would not be possible to buy, as he’s Sony only). However, the Xbox 360 does sometimes come with a rental of the original Mortal Kombat live-action movie (depending on where you bought it), which isn’t too bad.

Let’s get to the important thing: should you buy this game if you’re a fan of the series? The answer is a nad-kicking YES. The game has been completely updated for the modern-day console generation, adding online play as well as a fuckton of other content. Most pleasingly of these new features, I feel, is a Training arena which allows you to go through the basics of combat as well as practise those all-important fatalities. What’s cool about it as well is that the training arena puts a green bounding box on the floor to show you how far you need to be from the enemy in order to pull off the move. It’s a nice little touch, but it’s stuff like that which makes the difference between a good game and a great game.

It’s the content available that makes this game such good value for money. There are a similar number of fighters available as in previous MK games since UMK3, as well as a couple of new additions like Quan Chi and Kratos. Each character has a varied move set and style of combat, which lends itself well to strategy. Bearing in mind that the Trophy room (in game, rather than accomplishment trophies) includes a list of conditions for each character to unlock additional skills, all of which dictate that you play with each character for 24 hours’ worth of fighting, you won’t be short of incentives to go back to the game. Add-ons also have been included in the form of unlockable bonuses using coins obtained from winning fights and performing combos. With plenty of these to find, which include alternate costumes all the way to alternate Fatalities, you won’t be short of shiny trinkets to chase.

As well as the traditional Tournament bracket mode, where you work your way through ten combatants in order to make your way to Shao Kahn to give him a good kicking, there’s also the Story mode. Now, immediately, this should give a sinking queasy feeling. Fighting games and storylines haven’t traditionally married too well, but MK is breaking the curve in this regard. The story is divided up into chapters which see you switching between characters, and always for contextual reasons which make sense. It’s a good mix of combatants as well, with different styles and moves to learn.

The story itself is undoubtedly one of the best I’ve encountered in a fighting game, all rendered using in-game graphics and switching effortlessly between fight action and storyline cut scene. The game engine looks great, incidentally, and the cut scenes look really good as a result. Models are well-rounded, with a good colourful approach to characters which distinguish them out well from the backdrops. Those, also, look amazing, with a large number of varied backdrops. The Netherrealms, in storyline the stomping grounds of everyone’s favourite fire-breather, Scorpion, look amazing when you’re fighting on them.

The animations are really good-looking, with moves looking suitably brutal. For the perv in you, the female characters’ jugs are also realistic in their movement, even if efforts have clearly been made to sex them up in terms of size (Sonia Blade, for example, has gone up a significant number of cup sizes, which seems to have brought out her inner slut when it comes to outfits – you’ll see what I mean). The Fatalities and X-Ray moves look distinctly bone-crushing, even if some suspension of disbelief as to how someone can get up after having their neck broken three times in the same round. The game also employs a Special Bar which accumulates as you do combos, as well as to a smaller extent as you take damage. When the first bar of three fills, you boost a Signature move. Two bars of three give you a one-off combo break, which can be valuable when timed right. When it builds up to full it allows you to perform the special X-Ray moves. It’s a nice system, especially as even the least experienced player can build up to a move which can swing the momentum slightly, although a certain amount of strategy is necessary in order not to leave you completely exposed.

There are some small complaints, though these are minor things. The difficulty spike is still there in single-player gaming, and matches can go from easy as fuck to absolutely nails in the space of a single match. One particular match, where I faced off against Scorpion and Quan Chi, had me tearing out what little hair remains. The game can also descend into button-bashing at times, especially during the opening few matches where you find yourself pausing the game a fair bit to bring up the moves list. Make no mistake, though, the game is ultimately an absolutely fantastic purchase, and presents some serious value in terms of feature set.

The Emotionally Fourteen Games Rating
Graphics: Looks great, backdrops and characters are really well done.
Sound/Music: More like the older coin-op games, with some really satisfying sounds for bone crunching and so on.
Gameplay: Classic Mortal Kombat gameplay. The learning curve is initially high, but once you get used to it, it’s easy enough to remember the moves.
Lasting Appeal: An absolute ton of content, from story mode to classic Tournament to the 300-room Challenge Tower.
Summary: A welcome return to form for one of the all-time classic fighting games. 9/10


1588: as the Spanish Armada prepares to sail, rumours abound of a doomsday device that, were it to fall into enemy hands, could destroy England and her bastard queen once and for all.

Enter Will Swyfte. He is one of Walsingham’s new breed of spy and his swashbuckling exploits have made him famous. However Swyfte’s public image is a façade, created to give the people of England a hero in their hour of need – and to deflect attention from his real role: fighting a secret war against a foe infinitely more devilish than Spain...

For millennia this unseen enemy has preyed upon humankind, treating honest folk as playthings to be hunted, taken and tormented. But now England is fighting back. Armed with little more than courage, their wits and an array of cunning gadgets created by sorcerer Dr Dee, Will and his colleagues must secure this mysterious device before it is too late. Theirs is a shadowy world of plot and counterplot, deception and betrayal, where no one – and nothing – is quite what they seem. At stake is the very survival of queen and country...

Thanks to our friends at Transworld, we've got two copies of The Sword of Albion AND its sequel The Scar-Crow Men to give away! For your chance of winning, send your name to before midday on Thursday 5th May, making sure to put "The Sword of Albion" as the subject. The first two entries out of the electronic hat after the competition closes will receive a free copy!

Don't forget to put "The Sword of Albion" in the subject line. Incorrectly labelled or blank entries will be discarded.

The Sword of Albion is available from 27th May, priced £12.99. The Scar-Crow Men is available now, priced £12.99.

Entries limited to one per household. Offer open only to postal addresses in the UK and Ireland.

Tuesday 26 April 2011

Book Reviews

Veronica Roth
HarperCollins UK
Available from Tuesday 3rd May - £9.99 (Paperback)
Review by Rob Wade

One choice can transform you. Pass initiation. In sixteen-year-old Beatrice Prior's world, society is divided into five factions - Abnegation (the selfless), Candor (the honest), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent) - each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue, in the attempt to form a "perfect society." At the age of sixteen, teens must choose the faction to which they will devote their lives. On her Choosing Day, Beatrice renames herself Tris, rejects her family's group, and chooses another faction. After surviving a brutal initiation, Tris finds romance, but also discovers unrest and growing conflict in their seemingly "perfect society." To survive and save those they love, they must use their strengths to uncover the truths about their identities, their families, and the order of their society itself.

Veronica Roth is a new author who wrote her debut novel while she was studying a degree in creative writing. In a way, this is very apparent in the novel, which has elements of great dystopia movies and subterfuge plots, while at the same time retaining the accessibility of something like Harry Potter or more family-friendly workings. Indeed, nothing in the book would fail to translate to the big screen, although the film would probably have to be a 12A for various reasons, least of all because the plot is too clever for young people.

From the beginning, the parts of the story which deal with Beatrice’s day to day life are slow, but purposeful, and lead into her induction into her new faction, the majority of which is handled with a considerable increase in speed which is incredibly effective. Once you start understanding the inner workings of the factions, then all becomes clearer and this is where the story is at its strongest. The pacing is outstanding in its final third, and the ramp up in importance comes just at the right time, when you start to think that the story might be at risk of flagging and getting bogged down. The characters are written pretty well, even if they do go a little high-school at times – they are that age, to be fair, so that’s understandable to an extent.

As a novel, this stands on its own, but the strength of it from here will be whether this becomes a franchise. If so, this could be a really strong series which would only improve now that the groundwork has been laid.

The Emotionally Fourteen Rating
Violence: Lots of fistfights and shooting.
Sex/Nudity: None, all kissing and PG stuff.
Swearing: None, which I found surprising.
Summary: A really strong debut, and the start of a really engaging franchise. 8/10
Code Lightfall and the Robot King
Daniel H. Wilson
Bloomsbury UK
Available Now - £5.99 (Paperback)
Review by Rob Wade

When young Code falls down a hole while following a mysterious robotic insect, he lands in a world that defies imagination. Everything in Mekhos is made from metal and circuitry, including the inhabitants. Code immediately sets out to find his way home, but first he'll have to cross Mekhos's bizarre and dangerous landscape to reach the Beam Stalk. There, the legendary Robonomicon - a guide to all robot wisdom - is being by the evil Immortalis, who has plans to destroy Mekhos and invade the human world above. Can Code free the Robonomicon, save the robots of Mekhos from impending doom ...and still get home in time to catch the bus from school? With its dazzling array of robots and futuristic gadgets, this rollicking story will hold special appeal for budding techno-lovers everywhere.

As a character, Code suffers from probably one of the stupidest names in the history of literature. However, this novel is totally worth a read for a couple of reasons. Firstly, and hopefully most obviously to everyone out there, robots are awesome, and entirely underrated. Being as Wilson’s works to date include How to survive a Robot Uprising, it’s a fairly safe bet that he’s a fan as well. Ultimately, if you can get past the kid-friendly appeal, you have a story that shows an undoubtedly high amount of promise as a series. The premise is clever, with a decent amount of thought clearly having gone into it. In addition, the characters are amusing enough and don’t suffer from the traditional issues of adults reading it being pissed off by clearly kid-friendly characters. There’s only one scenario where it’s a little kid-heavy, but even that is so short that you’ll be hard pushed to be annoyed by it.

It’s not a perfect book, by any stretch, and personally my main gripe with it was how much was left out in terms of explanation. For instance, Code finds himself in a robot’s kitchen and eats some stuff that’s made up of circuit boards. What it doesn’t explain is how he does that without, you know…dying. It’s a glib example, but for me it’s little things like that that stop it from being completely accepted by any other than a more youthful crowd.

The Emotionally Fourteen Rating
Violence: Nothing stellar, a few scraps between robots.
Sex/Nudity: None.
Swearing: None.
Summary: Enjoyable enough, but ultimately will probably not appeal to everyone. 7/10

Comics Corner

2000 AD #1731
Available from Wednesday 27th April
Review by Brad Harmer

It's a very strong issue this week - which is something I'd have liked to have been able to say about 2000 AD more often, recently. Glad to see it's getting back on form.

The new Judge Dredd series, California Babylon, looks like it could be a the big story that was hinted at last week. Dredd is setting out into the Cursed Earth, and there's muties, missing Tek, and kidnapped Judges involved. This looks like it could be a really good one.

Flesh seems to have gotten really good this issue, focusing more on the characters and their relationships to each other than just running from various dinosaurs. I don't believe that old Gore-Head is down for the count, though.

The Red Seas is continuing, and there are a couple of new characters thrown in who look like they could be spicing things up.

There's also an extra-long comic (by 2000 AD standards, anyway) thrown in: The Memoirs of Nikolai Dante. Dante's on his way back, so we're trated to this refresher/flashback comic, that manages to cram in all of the backstory so far. It's got me excited about the new series, so I guess it managed its job.

A really strong issue this week, and well worth your money. 9/10


"Wealth dies, kinsmen die, a man himself must likewise die. Only fame never dies." (From the Edda 'Havamal)

Between the 8th and 11th centuries Vikings stormed out of their Scandinavian homelands to raid and loot along the coasts of Europe. In old Norse to 'go viking' meant to take to sea in a long ship for an adventure. Sometimes this was a trading trip, sometimes a piratical raid. Often it was both. Explorers and traders, warriors and poets, they ranged between Byzantium in the south and ventured as far as Iceland and even North America. Their fame lives on.

This entertaining and informative account was written especially for Naxos AudioBooks by David Angus, author of Great Explorers of the World, Great Inventors and other spoken word histories.

Thanks to our friends at Naxos Audiobooks, we've got three downloads of The Vikings to give away! For your chance of winning, send your name to before midday on Tuesday 3rd May, making sure to put "The Vikings" as the subject. The first three entries out of the electronic hat after the competition closes will receive a free copy!

Don't forget to put "The Vikings" in the subject line. Incorrectly labelled or blank entries will be discarded.

Entries limited to one per household. Offer open only to postal addresses in the UK and Ireland.

Monday 25 April 2011

NewsFalsh! Aaaaaaaah!

It's been a quiet few months for crazy news, but finally some stupid people have done some stupid shit, so here we go! I apologise in advance for the fact that some of the writers on the Metro's website write like 12-year-old girls commenting on Livejournals. Apparently just because it's online, 'journalists' think that they can editorialise on...the news. I mean, really, start your own damn blog if you want to do that!

Anyway, rant over. To the Falshes!

'Dead Alien turns out to be stale bread'

Students behind the discovery of an alien's body at a UFO crash site have admitted it was a hoax - made out of stale bread. The bread crumbs were then wrapped in chicken skin. Yes, you read that correctly. The subject of a 6 million strong Youtube video with the message "your government do not want you to see this video" is about a cluster of bread crumbs and chicken skin.

See, I *knew* this would turn out to be a massive fucking hoax, and I had a sneaking suspicion that it would likely be the work of some students. First, my rationale for it being students should be beyond bleeding obvious, if for no other reason than other people having shit to do besides dick around all day. Although it doesn't expressly state what course the two students are doing (though their ages of 18 and 19 indicate that they're in first year - that figures), I'd wager heavily on some sort of drama or art. Don't get me wrong: some drama and art students are ok, I know a few who are alright. However, the majority are just the kind of tosspots who would dream something like this up. Want to know why "Your government do not want you to see this video"? Because they know the depressing effect it will have on the populace to know that these young people may one day run the country.

Secondly, the reason I thought it would very obviously be a massive bloody hoax is simple. Let's assume for a moment that there are extraterrestrial beings out there in the grand scheme of things who are watching us right now. If you ask me (and by reading this, you sort of are), it's worth assuming a few things about aliens that are a given, ok? Here's the list.

1) In order to master space travel, they have to be pretty intelligent.
2) As a result of that intelligence, their civilisation must be far in advance of our own.
3) Super-intelligent beings are almost certainly *not* made up of odds and sods.

Ok, so we've established those things as a given. Now, in order for point 1 to be correct, we would have to assume that they're intelligent enough to...I don't know...not crash their spacecraft in the middle of a heavily populated area. Now, in order for the second point to be true, one would then have to assume that were they to be out piloting their spacecraft, they almost certainly wouldn't be NAKED! The idea of a naked alien flying a plane suggests either a drunk or mentalist, and at no point during the video was there a bottle of Captain Morgan's next to the 'alien' (which we now know is more accurately described as a 'sandwich').

What made me laugh more was how they got caught. Police came round to ask them questions, and found it 'under his bed'! It blows my mind that these guys didn't think of more sensible measures. How about a shed? Or even leaving the alien where they filmed the fucking tape?! Surely once it's gone on Youtube, it's fulfilled its purpose. What, were they going to do a webseries or something? 'Unidentified Flying Object and Me'? 'Two guys and a McChicken Sandwich'? WHat tipped off the police? The seagulls pecking at it in the video? The fact that the film showed them cleaning off their hands with one of those scented wipes immediately after touching it?

See, maybe I'm cynical. Maybe the age we live in, where photoshopping is as common on a self-absorbed girl's desktop background as it is in professional modelling, that makes me think that things like this are just that little bit *too* easy to pull off. As a result, maybe I find myself having to fight that barrier before I can start to believe in things. Maybe so, but at least I'm not claiming to be an expert. The local expert asserts that:

"The body is interesting. The texture is similar to a real biological entity."
*Resists urge to point out obvious biological entity.*

Don't worry though, UFO fans of Russia are on the case. Those maniacal ultra-reliable and always sound of mind fucking numpties visionaries say that "Powerful people in the military just don't want us to see this."

I think they've been bamboozled by a certain Colonel Sanders...

Woman is addicted to eating sofas

From one unusual object made from meals to a meal made from objects, a mother of five from Florida has a suite tooth. Ho. Ho. Ho. She'll munch her way through all sorts of household objects such as elastic bands and rubbers, but her favourite 'food' is the stuffing from her sofa cushions. During the course of her lifetime, Adele Edwards is believe to have eaten eight settees and five chairs. For some reason, that statistic always makes me think of that other stat about eating a certain number of spiders in your lifetime.

Incidentally, people, let's be clear about this going forward: that statistic about eating a certain number of spiders in your lifetime is an average. People don't get told on their deathbed "sorry grampa, but unfortunately the pancreatic cancer is the least of your worries this afternoon, you're also under your spider quota", before having a handful of eight-legged beasties shoved down their throats as they shuffle off this mortal coil.

Apparently doctors have warned that she could die (no shit - though that won't help either), she suffers from a disorder called Pica. However, the definition of the disorder is a little strange to me, as this article defines it as "eating inedible items". They're not inedible then. If someone can eat them, they're edible. Not good for you, by any stretch, but you don't see some invertebrates sporting a spinal column, that's what the 'in' denotes.

On a serious note, this makes for terrifying reading. She's a mother of five at thirty, which means that some guy was quite happy to knock her up five times despite the fact that she's been munching on upholstery since she was ten. When she went to funfairs as a kid, surely eyebrows raised when she replied to the candy floss man's demand for which flavour she'd prefer with 'armchair'. What kind of freak is marrying her, more to the point? Clearly the guy heard the term "more cushion for the pushin'" and thought it was just a metaphor. On the plus side, being as the fate of most American mums with multiple kids is to grow a big fat arse, at least she'll be comfortable on hers. On the downside, her turds must take an eternity to flush.

At least it's not the most unusual craving.

Mother denies biting off boyfriend's testicles

I rest my case.

Oh, you want more? It's not enough to come up with two starkly hilarious satires of real-life news items, I have to do a third? Fine, have it your way.

Man fails to rob shop with Playstation controller

So a man walks into a shop to rob it, using a Playstation controller of all things. It doesn't work out, not surprisingly, as police actually turned up out of the blue in the middle of the robbery and foiled him.

There's something about Florida it seems, what with mums eating sofas. Maybe the fact that there are fewer sofas means that youngsters are trying their hardest to find alternate uses for their videogame controllers, being as they can't use them for gaming anymore. It's also probably a decent way to get some exercise for the people doing it, it gets them outside and interacting with people. All those people who object to videogames should really be happy that the kid is getting some fresh air, and putting those skills of aggressive negotiation that he would have accumulated from things like Mass Effect 2 to good use.

What's great about this story is the omission of detail. What I want to know are the answers to the more important questions. Which iteration of the Playstation controller was it? Was it the Dual Shock 2 controller from the old Playstation 2? (Cheap to get hold of, and most everyone has one lying around - more bizarrely, even those who don't own a PS2) Was it one of the prototype "Boomerang" controllers, in which case was he laughed out of the shop in advance? Was it a Move controller? If so, did he have to 'case the joint' by setting up a PS3 with a Playstation Eye camera behind the till so it wouldn't look completely out of place? Was it, in actual fact, a "Playstation Remote Control" of the very literal Blu-Ray Remote kind?

Never fear, though, because:
"Justin MacGilfrey, 19, ended up in jail. Surprise!"

The surprising thing is that this writer still has a fucking job, considering he's been identified as a 20-year-old early on in the story. Still, it's a free paper, so you get what you pay for.

Saturday 23 April 2011

DVD Reviews

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
Starring: Ben Barnes, Georgie Henley, Simon Pegg
Director: Michael Apted
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

Available Now - £19.99 (DVD) & £24.99 (Blu-ray)
Review by Brad Harmer

While back home in England, Edmund, Lucy, and their cousin Eustace (Will Poulter) are pulled into a magical painting, transporting them back to Narnia for their next great quest. Reunited with King Caspian (Ben Barnes) aboard the mighty, royal ship, the Dawn Treader, Lucy, Edmund, and Eustace set sail toward the islands of the East, battling slave traders, violent storms, sea serpents, and other new dangers at every turn. Despite these perilous obstacles, they stay the course in hopes of vanquishing the evil mist before Narnia is lost forever.

There are action sequences aplenty in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader; and that’s a good thing, because that’s pretty much all it has going for it. The film looks good, and delivers on the adrenaline front, but all too often feels although the crew of the Dawn Treader are just sailing from meaningless set-piece to meaningless set-piece, and there’s no real sense of cohesion tying it all together. I blame the book as much as anything. With Tolkien, there’s a sense that everything ties in, has history and meaning. With Lewis I’m never quite able to escape the feeling that he was making it up as he went along to suit what he needed to do with the story/preach about Jesus. I could go one about the fucking Dufflepuds here, but I really don’t want this to turn into an essay entitled “Oh, Why I Fucking Hate Narnia”.

The movie bumbles into an impressive battle with a sea-monster, which is then fucked up by Aslan turning up like a gazelle munching deus ex machina. A rental will fill up a lazy Sunday afternoon if you’re a fan of the preceding movies, but otherwise, don’t bother.

Enough Narnia now, please, Hollywood.

The Emotionally Fourteen Rating
Sword fighting, spell slinging, explosions, naval combat, and other assorted bits of buckled swash.
Sex/Nudity: None.
Swearing: None.
Summary: The action scenes are good, but there’s no real sense of cohesion. Brainless fun, but ultimately unsatisfying. 6/10
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles Forever
Starring: Wayne Grayson, Sam Riegel, Michael Sinterniklaas
Director: Roy Burdine & Lloyd Goldfine
Best Medicine

Available Now - £12.99 (DVD)
Review by Blake Harmer

Celebrating twenty-five years of turtle power, Turtles Forever is an animated feature-length adventure that throws the current gen Ninja Turtles together with the 90’s Ninja Turtles when the Technodrome unintentionally opens up a trans-dimensional portal to the current gen Ninja Turtles’ universe. However, standing in their way of solving this debacle are Shredder and Ch'rell who have plans to eliminate the turtles once and for all with the aid of the original Shredder, Krang, Bebop, Rocksteady and the Foot Soldiers.

If you loved (or, indeed, still do love) the Turtles, then this film is practically nigh on essential for you. The film combines the more serious aspects of the current Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with the more comical and slightly shonky aspects of 90’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to brilliant effect without either one suffering in any way. A perfect example of this is the 90’s Turtles constantly cracking one liners and breaking the fourth wall whilst fighting, and the current turtles taking things more seriously and finding them annoying. The plot is also compelling and even manages to chuck in the original graphic-novel Turtles in for good measure, which means both old and new fans of TMNT will find something to enjoy.

The only real downside to this film is that it assumes you are a huge fan and that little needs explaining aside from how both universes are thrown together. Aside from this though, this is an excellent piece of fan service to send up and celebrate the last twenty-five years of comics, films and TV series that make up the TMNT universe.

The Emotionally Fourteen Rating
The fast paced action of the current series mixed with the more cartoony violence of the original series done very well.
Sex/Nudity: None.
Swearing: None, unless you include the play on words: “What the shell?”
Summary: Whilst not so easily accessible to casual viewers or newbies to the TMNT universe (or multiverse, as it may seem), this is essential viewing for fans of the franchise over the last twenty-five years. 9/10
Animals United
Starring: James Corden, Stephen Fry, Billie Piper
Director: Reinhard Klooss & Holger Tappe
Entertainment in Video

Available from Monday 25th April - £9.99 (DVD) £24.99 (Blu-ray)
Review by Brad Harmer

A group of animals waiting for the annual flood they rely on for food and water discover that the humans, who have been destroying their habitats have built a dam for a leisure resort. The animals endeavour to save the delta and send a message to the humans not to interfere with nature.

From the opening sequence it’s pretty obvious that Animals United is...not good. The models and skins are okay, but this has to be some of the worst lip-synching I’ve seen outside of an Ashlee Simpson gig. The fact it’s about forty minutes in before the first laugh doesn’t help any either.

The sets are all drab, empty and dull, and the attempts at pathos severely lacking, too. You never feel involved with any of it. It’d woefully pedestrian stuff – and you know what else? The animals aren’t even united.

Not even Stephen Fry can save this. Think about that for a second.

The Emotionally Fourteen Rating
Some gunfire, and hunting.
Sex/Nudity: None. Apart from all the constant nudity.
Swearing: None.
Summary: A wet, wannabe Pixar animation. Suitable for the very young and indiscriminating only. 2/10
Starring: Vincent Cassel, Tchéky Karyo, Monica Bellucci
Director: Jan Kounen
Second Sight

Available from Monday 25th April – £15.99 (DVD)
Review by Rob Wade

Charismatic villain Dobermann leads a gang of depraved henchmen in a world of crime, drugs and endless violence. The gang boldly pull off a blood-soaked Paris bank heist in broad daylight under the noses of police. One renegade cop takes the law into his own hands and makes it his mission to stop Dobermann by any means necessary.

There’s an unwritten rule in cinema: Vincent Cassel is the fucking man. He’s cool, he’s usually pretty funny and he looks like he could snap you in half by looking at you. This is probably the film where it’s most obvious, with Cassel playing a charismatic criminal in the vein of Mickey in Natural Born Killers. The entire cast is effective at what they do, ultimately, which is one of the main strengths of the movie. Of particular awesomeness apart from Cassel is the detective who takes over the case, who goes from one delightful extreme to the other, and is most effective when you think he’s calming down only for him to become even more maniacal.

The movie’s also strong technically for the most part. If I had to make one small criticism, it’s that the camera work can sometimes make it hard to tell what’s going on, owing to jerky movements or strange angles. However, as a general rule, the movie is shot really well, with the colourful setting particularly effective during the film’s penultimate scene in a club. The movie is also pretty smart, though bizarre at times as well – I mean, whoever heard of criminals getting shot? Honestly…

The Emotionally Fourteen Rating
Violence: Guns, explosions, a bloke gets his head blown off by a grenade. You know, the usual.
Sex/Nudity: Tits in a magazine, a sex scene with tits. You see a bloke’s tackle and arse, and he gets a dildo in his mouth.
Swearing: “Fuck”, “Shit”, talk of sex and gays.
Summary: Eccentric, clever and at times funny. 9/10
The Breakfast Club
Starring: Emilio Estevez, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald
Director: John Hughes
Universal Pictures UK

Available Now - £19.99 (Blu-Ray)
Review by Rob Wade

They were five students with nothing in common faced with spending a Saturday detention together in their high-school library. At 7am, they had nothing to say, but by 4pm they had bared their souls to each other and become good friends.

One of the questions I found myself asking when faced with this disc is “Why is this movie being released on Blu-Ray?” Personally, I see the Blu-ray format as a movie format that (for the moment at least, until the prices drop) only interests me for those big cinematic releases that you want to see the detail or colour on. Granted, the option to watch Molly Ringwald’s crotch through pants might have appealed in HD back in the 1980s, but nowadays there are other more explicit films which can satisfy those carnal needs. True, those types of movies existed in the 1980s as well, but you had to go into certain pervy shops to purchase them, rather than just selecting an option on to unhide something. Or however it’s done, I’m not sure.

One thing that struck me while watching this movie was how much of it I’d seen without seeing the movie. One thing that cannot be denied about this movie is that it was the originator of a lot of gags which have subsequently been done to death by TV, movies and even video games. The originator should always be given kudos, and in this case the credit is most definitely due to this movie. However, this left me sitting through a lot of the movie smirking rather than out-loud guffaws.

Don’t get me wrong: it’s not by any means a bad movie. It’s an 80s movie, as Ringwald’s dancing near the end can most certainly demonstrate, but it’s not a bad movie. The problem is that it’s an incredibly slow-paced and ultimately sappy movie at times, and will undoubtedly frustrate a lot of those who would qualify themselves E14. There’s your typical character archetypes: the jock, the nerd, the prom queen, the goth and the scruffy rebel prick (played expertly by Judd Nelson), as well as the gruff-sounding principal who’s actually a soft touch on the inside *sniff*. It’s all a little bit sickly sweet at times, although credit is due to Hughes for making the question of “do we go back to normal on Monday?” a very truthful answer, even if the answer isn’t in the least bit realistic as to what people would say when pressed.

On the other hand, however, the characters are written really well, even if those characters are typical of the 80s cliques. Judd Nelson plays a convincing prick (though I’m sure in real life he’s an absolute doll), Ally Sheedy makes the goth morbidly annoying and Estevez makes the wrestler jock douchebag suitably douchey. All in all, not a bad film, but certainly not worth picking up on Blu-Ray unless the price is right. The transfer to HD has not been kind to the movie, and certainly shows its age in the worst way.

The Emotionally Fourteen Rating
Violence: One short wrestle between Judd Nelson and Emilio Estevez.
Sex/Nudity: Molly Ringwald’s crotch through panties.
Swearing: A fair few uses of the words “shit” and “fuck”.
Summary: One of those movies which defines its time more effectively than any other, but not really one that stands the test of time beyond nostalgia. 7/10

Friday 22 April 2011

Wrestling World of Wrestling

Whilst tidying up the basement of the E14 Office one day, wrestling correspondent Omer Ibrahim and general office layabout Brad Harmer stumbled upon what appeared to be a large gateway, carved out of obsidian or possibly black marble. After dusting it down and playing around for a little while, the boys (with the assistance of their mechanic - E14ie Kelly Prior) managed to figure out what the buggery it was. It was a Time Gate.

The user manual, written in Ancient Helliwigian indicated only three limitations:

1) The Time Gate cannot be used for more than three hours at a time.
2) The Time Gate can only bring people through, and send them back. It cannot send anyone from this end through time.
3) The Time Gate only works on pro-wrestlers.

Faced with their fantastic new discovery, Brad and Omer snuck a wrestling ring, commentator desk, Titantron and television crew into the basement and set out to achieve what anyone else would try and achieve were they in their shoes: to establish a pro-wrestling federation spanning space and time. And to avoid getting found out by Rob. He hates slackers.

Brad: Good evening everybody, this is Wrestling World of Wrestling! I'm Brad Harmer...
Omer: I'm Omer Ibrahim.
Brad: Still?
Omer: Yeah, I haven't changed yet.
Brad: Last time we had an interesting show where The Sixty-Two Million Bagillion Dollar Man Ted DiBiase.
Omer: He's go a flashy suit.
Brad: Yeah, he's got so many dollar signs, he has spare ones just to pin to his suit.
Omer: Do you...can you spend dollar signs? Oh, I don't know...I'm not used to American culture.
Brad: I still think he looks like Noel Edmonds.
Omer: He does look a bit like a rich Noel Edmonds. With longer fingers.
Brad: What?
Omer: No, that was Jeremy Beadle, wasn't it?
Brad: It's okay, we'll cut that bit. So, Ted DiBiase turned up last time saying that he was heralding the arrival of his son.
Omer: That's right. I have looked into it, and I know exactly who his son is.
Brad: Okay.
Omer: Yep.
Brad: Who is it?
Omer: I know exactly who it is.
Brad: Who's that then?
Omer: ...I can't tell you.
Brad: Well, we're about to find comes Ted DiBiase and he's accompanied by...
Omer: Yup...That's his son.
Brad: Is that King from Tekken?
Omer: No...that's Tiger Mask.
Brad: Oh.
Omer: That's his son.
Brad: Are we going on record here as saying that Satoru Sayama aka Tiger Mask is legitimately Ted DiBiase's son?
Omer: Why not?
Brad: Fine.
Omer: It's good that DiBiase is managing him, because I'm pretty sure that Tiger Mask can't speak English.
Brad: Can DiBiase? I mean, he must have earned all that money somehow.
Omer: Yeah, he's not that rich. Ted DiBiase is issuing an open challenge to anyone who wants to come out and fight his son. His son being Tiger Mask.
Brad: I wonder who's going to accept?
*Truck Horn Sound Effect*

Brad & Omer: Dun-dun-dun-dun-dun duh-duh duh-duh! Dun-dun-dun-dun-dun duh-duh duh-duh!
Omer: Kevin Nash is answering the challenge.

Tiger Mask flies over and goes for a backward leg-sweep. Nash reverses and hits a knee-lift. Tiger Mask dodges out of the way, and goes for a high-level German suplex.
Omer: On Kevin Nash? That's insane!
Tiger Mask latches on the cross-face chicken wing. Nash powers himself back up. Tiger Mask bounces off with a Japanese arm-drag.
Brad: What's special about a Japanese arm-drag that makes it different from a normal arm-drag? Is it just smaller and more efficient?
Omer: It's got problems with its nuclear reactors.
Tiger Mask goes for a drop kick, and tries to follow up with a power slam! He succeeds! Kevin Nash is down. Tiger Mask hits a weird-ass flip over the ropes, Nash rolls under the bottom rope to the outside. Tiger Mask drops down after him and whips him into the steel ring-post. He throws Nash back into the ring...
Brad: I wasn't expecting Nash to get squashed here. I was expecting more of a-Tiger Suplex!
Omer: Over to the Japanese commentators!
Akira Nobu: Tigara Suplexu!
Omer: I love Japanese commentators.
Tiger Mask goes for the kicks out!
Brad: Nash isn't taking any of this shit from the small foreign man.
Tiger Mask goes for a brainbuster, but Nash counters, and hits a hip toss. Nash follows up with a series of punches to the face.
Brad: Jesus. Nash is nearly twice the size of Tiger Mask.
Omer: Yeah, we're basically just watching someone do over a small Japanese man by now.
Brad: Tiger Mask is out technically-wrestling him, so brawling is the only option left to him. Belly-to-belly suplex from Kevin Nash!
Omer: He's punching him to death!
Tiger Mask flips out of the corner and hits a brainbuster. Nash gets back up and hits sidewalk Mask kicks out!

Tiger Mask gets hit with as side suplex, followed by a gut-wrench. Nash picks up Tiger Mask and throws him out of the ring. Ted DiBiase helps him back in.

Kevin Nash hits the Big Boot to the face.
Brad: He really hates his face.
Nash goes for a Mask kicks out.

Kevin Nash hits an elbow to the face.
Brad: He really hates his face.
Kevin Nash hits a gutwrench, followed by another Big Boot to the face...
Brad: He really hates his...
Omer: We get it.
Kevin Nash hits the Jackknife Powerbomb! Ted DiBiase goes to interfere, Nash knocks out DiBiase and goes for the!
Brad: That was a truly epic match. This is Wrestling World of Wrestling...all bizarre matchups...all the time.
Omer: Nash has made a strong debut here. We should probably pay him. In women. Kelly? You're sleeping with Kevin Nash tonight!
Brad: It's a strong card tonight! Up next we have Shark Boy taking on Giant Haystacks in a Table Match.
Omer: That's going to be...terrible. Have we even got a table that's big enough for Haystacks to go through?
Brad: Shark Boy may have to layer up more than one table at a time.
Omer: Just...I don't know...a tree, maybe? Can we do a Tree Match?
Brad: That'd confuse the Lumberjacks.
Omer: We also have matches coming up from all our stars.
Brad: Like...Terry Funk and The Iron Sheik teaming up to take on Jushin Liger and Lex Luger?
Omer: Yes. The winning team in that match-up will go through and fight each other in the next stage of our tournament to become the first Wrestling World of Wrestling World Heavyweight Champion of the World.
Brad: Will Funk and Sheik be able to work as a team, do you think?
Omer: Well, they're both great wrestlers, but there's some bad blood at the moment. They're not a happy couple. They've both got some interesting facial hair, so we'll see how that clashes. The Iron Sheik has been very cowardly as far as facing up to Funk goes, recently, and Funk really wants a piece of him.
Brad: How about Liger and Luger as a team?
Omer: It could get weird when the crowd start chanting for one of them and they both turn around. They're very different styles of wrestlers, though. Liger is a lot stronger than you think, and Luger is a lot faster than you think.
Brad: From having enemies as tag-team partners to having tag-team partners as enemies, we've got Kurt Angle taking on Bret "The Hitman" Hart.
Omer: That could be almost pyrotechnic. They've been at each other's throats as tag-team recently, and it could turn into more of a brawl that their technical styles would indicate.
Brad: What do you think of the more violent side of Bret Hart we saw last time, when he essentially cripplerised Giant Baba?
Omer: Two backbreakers in a row, yeah. Andre the Giant is not happy about that.
Brad: Has anyone heard from Andre, or is he...skulking?
Omer: He's filming a movie about...a Princess?
Brad: Conan the Destroyer?
Omer: That's the one.
Brad: Then, we have The Undertaker, who has recruited The Great Muta, will be taking on Sergeant Slaughter.

Omer: Yeah, Slaughter is the surprise entrant in this tournament. He's been a Heavyweight Champion before, and he could be a good contender against The Undertaker.
Brad: How did he get in here, anyway?
Omer: Well, basically, the Time Gate is leaking a bit.
Brad: Leaking?
Omer: Slaughters. They've got eight backstage.
Brad: And, of course, we're crowning the first ever Wrestling World of Wrestling title tonight with the Cruiserweight Title being decided via ladder match between Mistico and "Superfly" Jimmy Snuka.
Omer: Should be interesting. I think Snuka will probably handle the ladder a little better than Mistico.
Brad: You have actually - and this isn't a joke, readers - you have actually wrestled Jimmy Snuka in real life, haven't you?
Omer: I have, yes. He's a very nice man, and a wrestling legend. He's a very tough guy. That Superfly Splash is quite devastating, I can tell you that much. Mistico is much faster, though.
Brad: It's time for the Shark Boy Match!
Omer: Yay!
Brad: Just to give our fans a quick run-down, we use an older, more NWA-inspired version of a Table Match. In this, a wrestler has to be put through a table before he can be pinned.
Omer: Therefore for instance, Shark Boy could go through a table, then pin Haystacks, and it wouldn't count, because Haystacks hasn't gone through a table yet.
Brad: Yeah, two victory conditions: You must put your opponent through a table before they can be pinned.
Omer: Several tables can be broken here.
Brad: How many tables have we...Kelly? Can we get some more tables, please?

Shark Boy opens up with an armringer, Giant Haystacks no-sells like a bitch, and throws Shark Boy into the turnbuckle. Shark Boy ducks out of the way, and Haystacks runs head first into the turnbuckle and collapses. Shark Boy sets up two tables on top of each other in the centre of the ring. He places Giant Haystacks on them, then climbs up the turnbuckle. He jumps off and onto Haystacks.

Haystacks rolls out of the way, and Shark Boy collapses through both tables.
Omer: Does that count?
Brad: Yes, Shark Boy counts as having gone through a table.
Giant Haystacks rolls and drapes an arm over Shark Boy.

One...two...Shark Boy kicks out!
Brad: It could have all been over there!
Omer: That would have been massively disappointing.
Giant Haystacks places a table outside the ring and puts Shark Boy on top of it. He clambers onto the ring apron and jumps off onto Shark Boy. Shark Boy moves out of the way, and Haystacks crashes through!
Omer: Idiots! You're all idiots!
Brad: You're not allowed to wrestle anymore!
Omer: If anyone gets a pin here, it's all over.
Haystacks is dazed and stumbles to his feet, Shark Boy hits a stunning cross body block and goes for a!
Omer: He's got him!
Brad: Ladies and gentlemen, Shark Boy has won a match in WWOW!
Omer: This is retarded...
Brad: that makes up for the overly long match last time. I think it all went wrong when Haystacks tried to set up that table.
Omer: I think it all went wrong when we tried to book this match.
Brad: This is Wrestling World of Wrestling, and we're very, very sorry.
Omer: Yeah...
Brad: Don't forget that - in a few shows time, we have the first Pay-Per-View event for WWOW: King of the Thing. This is where we'll see the final to crown the first ever WWOW World Heavyweight Champion of the World. Our first qualifying match is up now, where Jushin Liger and Lex Luger take on The Iron Sheik and Terry Funk, with the winning team both going through to face each other next time. We're guaranteed that our Champion will either be Terry Funk, The Iron Sheik, Liger, Lex Luger, The Undertaker, Sgt Slaughter, Kurt Angle or Bret Hart.
All of those men are championship material.
Omer: I'm happy so long as it isn't Shark Boy. I'd be happy with Giant Haystacks. They're all previous champions.
Brad: Even Iron Sheik?
Omer: Oh, yes. He's responsible - so he says, and I agree with him - for Hulk Hogan's success.
Brad: That's because you're a big, dirty Turk.
Omer: It's because The Iron Sheik is the man that Hogan won his first World Title from. I think that if he hadn't have beaten the Big-Foreign-Champion, then he would never have been as big as he became.
Brad: Makes sense. Well, we have no female wrestlers in the WWOW at the moment...who would you like to see turn up in the future?
Omer: Well, Mickie James is big at the moment.
Brad: She's fantastic, that's for sure. I'm a big Daffney fan.
Omer: Sunny, Sable, Awesome Kong. Trish Stratus and Lita were big.
Brad: Okay, fans, if there are any women that you'd like to see in the future in WWOW, let us know at the address at the end of the show, and we'll see if we can get the Time Gate to work properly. We're here to put on the matches you want to see.
Omer: I want to see Chyna versus Awesome Kong.
Brad: We're not using Mae Young, are we? I haven't forgiven her for the Royal Rumble incident, yet.
Omer: No. She was always old.
Brad: You're right.
Omer: I saw a match recently of Fabulous Moolah defending her title back in the day, and she was old then.


Brad: The winners of this match will both advance in the tournament to crown WWOW World Heavyweight World Title.
Omer: But they will fight each other in the next round.
Luger and Funk start the match. Funk hits a knife-edge chop, follows up with some punches, knocking Luger down. Funk whips Luger into the ropes, Funk sends him flying with a back-body drop. Luger counters an attempted atomic drop with a solid clothesline. Luger goes for a press slam, but Funk wriggles out and tags in The Iron Sheik.
The Iron Sheik hits a belly-to-belly suplex, Luger tags in Jushin "Thunder" Liger.
Japanese Ring-Announcer: Jushiiin Thunderra Liiga.
Omer: I love that guy.
Liger takes down Sheik with a Shotai palm-strike, and goes for the kicks out.
Brad: It'll take more than that to drop The Iron Sheik.
Liger gets a sleeperhold locked in, Sheik begins to coutner, but Liger locks in an elevated surfboard. Sheik reaches out to tag from Funk, but can't reach. Liger lets go and hits a rolling koppou kick. The Iron Sheik manages to get the tag to Terry Funk, who runs in and hits Liger with an eye-gouge. Funk goes for a!
Omer: He just pinned him with an eye-gouge! What the fuck?
Brad: That was our big hero getting crushed by two old, fat men.
Omer: We'll strike that from the record.
Brad: This is Wrestling World of Wrestling - More Revisionist History Than a WWE Documentary.
Omer: Up next...
Brad: The next round of the tournament - Kurt Angle versus Bret Hart.
Omer: We're joined here at the announce desk by a very special guest.
Brad: Ladies and Gentlemen, the only Frenchman you can't take the piss out of: Andre the Giant!
Andre: Bonjour. Je suis tres grande.
Brad: It was a stroke of luck getting "The Giant" as a surname, really, wasn't it? It'd look silly if you were only 4' tall.
Omer: Wrestling World of Wrestling: All Terrible Jokes, All the Time.
Brad: Well, when Rob's not here, someone has to pick up the slack.

Angle nails Bret with a European uppercut...
Brad: It's already punchier than I was expecting.
Bret manages to hit a snap suplex, and hits a rear-naked choke.
Brad: Why do they call that a "naked" choke?
Omer: I dunno.
Brad: Great. We appreciate your wrestling expertise on this show.
Bret hits an overhead belly-to-belly.

Brad: Shades of Gangrel, there.
Bret comes off the ropes, and Kurt takes him down with a jarring back body drop.
Omer: Follows up with a vertical suplex.
Brad: Yeah, to differentiate from a horizontal suplex. Which would be monstrous.
Kurt Angle hits three German Suplexes, Bret gets straight back up and takes Bret down with a Russian leg-sweep, before locking on the Sharpshooter...Kurt taps out!
Omer: That was a bit of a surpise. Funk, The Iron Sheik...Bret Hart. One of those people could be our new WWOW Champion.
Brad: This is Wrestling World of Wrestling: Oh My Brother, Testify.

Undertaker opens up the match with a throat toss, and follows up with a running clothesline. Slaugheter suffers further at the hands of Undertaker's choke-lift. The Undertaker hits a stalling suplext, followed by a flying clothesline.
Brad: Sergeant Slaughter doesn't seem to know any offensive movies.
The Undertaker hits the Old School, then throws him out of the ring. Undertaker follows him out, and a wild brawl erupts. Taker throws Slaughter back in the ring, and hits a throat chop.
Brad: You've seen Sergeant Slaughter matches before, yeah?
Omer: Yeah.
Brad: Has he ever done a move?
Omer: He has a Cobra Clutch.
Brad: Are we sure this isn't just a suplex dummy wearing a uniform?
Taker hits a Big Boot, followed by a hard head-butt.
Omer: Slaughter keeps getting up.
Taker nails Slaughter with a shoulder tackle, and whips him into the turnbuckle, taking him down with a nerve pinch. Slaughter powers his way back up and hits an axe-handle to the face, then throws 'Taker into a turnbuckle. Slaughter goes for a spear, but Taker hits the Tombstone!
Omer: No-one's surprised by that.
Brad: I can only hope this leads to the creation of an evil Sergeant Slaughter, with lightning power.
Brad: This is Wrestling World of Wrestling, and nothing makes sense.
Omer: Star Wars rules!
Brad: Okay, for our main event, it's a ladder match to crown the WWOW Light Heavyweight Cruiserweight Champion which sees "Superfly" Jimmy Snuka taking on Mistico in a ladder match.
Omer: Can we have a Black Man Only championship?
Brad: What?
Omer: The World of Grappling Championship.
Brad: You want to call it the WOG Championship?


Brad: Mistico wastes no time with a flying body attack!
Omer: He attacks his body with his flies? What's a body attack? Snuka's down, anyway.
Mistico goes for a front facelock, Superfly fights his way out and hits a headbutt.
Brad: What cruiserweight ability we are witness to here.
Mistico hits a tilt-a-whirl-headscissors. Mistico tries to climb up the ladder, but so does Snuka. The ladder falls over, and they both hit the ring hard.

Jimmy Snuka gets up and hits a Knee-Drop on Mistico. Mistico rolls up and hits a hurricunrana, followed by a series of forearms; following up with a standing dropkick, which Snuka ducks, then hits his leapfrog and chop. Snuka capitalises with a backbreaker. Snuka whips Mistico into the ladder! Snuka hits a powerslam on Mistico...Mistico looks in a bad way. Snuka slams the ladder onto Mistico, then climbs the turnbuckle, and hits Mistico and the ladder with the Superfly Splash!

Snuka sets up the ladder to try and capture the belt. Mistico just gets to him in time and pulls him back down. Snuka hits a vicious chop, followed by another Leapfrog and Chop. Snuka smashes Mistico's face into the ladder.

Snuka goes up top and goes for a flying headbutt, but Mistico gets his knees up, and capitalises with a tilt-a-whirl headscissors. Mistico tries to climb the ladder, but Snuka pulls him back down again. Mistico hits a series of standing dropkicks to take the wind out of Snuka's sails, and capitalises with the 619. Mistico runs up the ladder, and tries to reach the belt, but Snuka knocks the ladder over and Mistico bounces off the top rope to the outside of the ring.

Snuka hits the Superfly Leap to Mistico on the outside. Snuka climbs back in and claims the belt!
Omer: Jimmy Snuka is our first WWOW Cruiserweight Light Heavyweight Champion!
Brad: It's been a good match.
Omer: There's not a more deserving champion.
Brad: This has been Wrestling World of Wrestling: All Shark Boy, All the Time!!!

Words: Brad Harmer & Omer Ibrahim. Match results generated using Filsinger Games' Legends of Wrestling game system. This is a work of parody and none of the wrestlers mentioned are involved with or endorse this series.


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