Saturday 30 January 2010

DVD Reviews

Sorority Row
Stewart Hendler
E1 Entertainment UK

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

Sorority sisters (does anyone in the UK really know what a sorority is, anyway?) Cassidy, Jessica, Claire, Ellie and Megan (played by that one from The Hills who looks a bit like Marilyn Manson) are sworn to trust, secrecy and solidarity, no matter what. But their loyalty is pushed to the limit when a prank at a raucous house party goes fatally wrong...for Megan. Rather than confess to the crime and risk destroying their futures, the girls agree to hide the bloody corpse and their secret forever.

A year on as graduation approaches, the sisters prepare to say goodbye to the house and each other, with one last alcohol-fuelled bash on Sorority Row, confident that their dark secret will remain buried forever. As the party rages in the front yard and spills to the bedrooms and the hot tub, each girl receives a video taken the night of Megan’s murder from an anonymous sender. One by one, the sisters and their unsuspecting boyfriends are stalked by an unseen killer. Has Mega returned from the dead to exact her revenge? Or was their secret discovered by someone else? Someone now determined to make them pay?

Hollywood needs to stop remaking movies. Now. Whilst we’re on the subject, cut out the re-boots. And the sequels. And this bizarre delusion that George Clooney is one of the greatest actors ever.

Incidentally, I use my BlackBerry to update my Facebook page. I just thought I’d slip that in with all the subtlety that Sorority Row displays.

There is one really, really good thing about this movie, and that’s that we get to see Carrie Fisher kicking large amounts of arse with a shotgun. That’s about it.

On the down side, this film is uninspired, slow, poorly edited, and interrupted by shameless bursts BLACKBERRY of product placement. And, it feels too damn, laminated for MTV to be a real slasher movie. The moviemakers need to re-watch Friday the 13th, The Burning and The Texas Chain Saw Massacre – then maybe they’ll realise where they went wrong with this crock BLACKBERRY of crap.

The Emotionally Fourteen Rating:
All the stabberings, blood, gore and deaths you’d associate with a vacuous slasher movie.
Sex/Nudity: Some boobage and some foreplay. One attempted date-rape.
Swearing: Average for the genre.
Summary: A completely flat and unengaging slasher movie that so mass-proBLACKBERRYduced that it feels laminated. A feeble effort. 2/10

Steven Spielberg
Universal Pictures

Available Now - £14.99 (DVD)
Review by Blake Harmer

Regarded as Steven Spielberg’s biggest flop, 1941 finally makes its way to DVD, and to be honest; despite it’s poor reception, is actually a really good comedy and rightly deserves its cult status. It has big comedy names of the time such as John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, John Candy, as well as a great comedy villain in the form of Christopher Lee. Also, with a script from Robert Zemeckis, you won’t be surprised that it is filled to the brim with slapstick and contains some really big laughs.

The plot is centred around wartime America after the attack on Pearl Harbour, and looks at the widespread panic and paranoia that gripped the country, specifically Los Angeles, where a Japanese Submarine with a Nazi commander (Christopher Lee) overlooking the operations attempt to locate and blow up Hollywood.

This film makes for some entertaining viewing with superb slapstick moments and some incredibly big laughs, however, the film does seem to lose it’s way towards the end plot wise, and the film does at time feel like a series of sketches crudely formed into a movie. But, the biggest failing is purely that the big laughs are paced too far apart, leaving you time to sew up your sides before having them split again.

The Emotionally Fourteen Rating
Lots of explosions and slapstick fighting but no death or gory scenes.
Sex/Nudity: A couple of nude moments, but you don’t really see anything as it is mostly done for comedic purposes.
Swearing: A fair amount of swearing and cursing but nothing really over the top for a comedy of its time.
Summary: A good film, which never really got the acclaim it deserved, if you’re a fan of Zemeckis’ work then you won’t be disappointed, and whilst it is well directed, the film contains some bits which feel more like a John Landis film rather than one created by Spielberg. However, despite its flaws, this is worth a watch, even if it is only to see how good a film a box office flop can be. 7/10

Robot Chicken: Season 3
Revolver Entertainment
Available Now - £19.99 (DVD)
Review by Blake Harmer

Seth Green is back with a third series of Robot Chicken taking toys that you knew and loved as a kid and putting them in more bizarre situations, in the vein of cult comic Twisted Toyfare Theatre.

Fans of the show will not be disappointed as the show returns on top form after the already brilliant second series. My favourite sketches include the nerd entering Narnia and thinking it is a LARP, the Defenders of the Earth Neighbourhood Watch, the piss take of the cat in the hat, and the rape ghost. Chuck in more of the great special features that the Robot Chicken DVDs are known for and you have another great package.

However, the only thing that stops this becoming hugely essential is your own geek knowledge of films, superheroes, Saturday morning cartoons and science fiction. Sure Robot Chicken has a sketch that will make anyone laugh, but it really depends on what your interests are to how much you find it funny. So, if you’re Emotionally Fourteen like me, then this is damn near essential, if not you may want to watch a few episodes on TV before you go shelling your money on it.

The Emotionally Fourteen Rating
Comical and over the top violence which does lead to quite a lot of gore and visual death scenes. But it is done in a funny way rather than an attempt to scar you emotionally. Hey, if you like Snarf being accidentally stabbed by Lion-o, only for his most important dying words to “SNNNNNAAAAAARRRRRFFFFFFFF!”, then this is the show for you.
Sex/Nudity: Comical sexual nudity and sex scenes using toys that have no bits.
Swearing: Lots of swear words including the brilliant “Holy F**king A**ecrackers” as a personal favourite.
Summary: This is an excellent box set and continues on the show’s high level of quality from the second series. The majority of the sketches, whilst hit and miss occasionally, are hilarious overall, and the extras are excellent if you are fans of the show. If you loved the previous series, then this is a must. 9/10

Aqua Teen Hunger Force: Season 3
Revolver Entertainment
Available Now - £19.99 (DVD)
Review by Brad Harmer

In case you don’t know, this is how it goes down. Aqua Teen Hunger Force stars Master Shake, a sadistic, lazy milkshake; Frylock, an erudite, floating packet of fries and Meatwad, a simple‐minded, easily‐lead meatball and their corpulent next door neighbour Carl. They live in New Jersey in a less‐than‐salubrious situation. Seriously, you should see their kitchen. There are plenty of badly thought out attempts to score booze, cash, women, and booze. And cash. Guest characters abound, including Frat Aliens, killer robot scorpions, a clown virus, Ozzy Osbourne’s guitarist, and Zakk Wylde.

Like much of the recent wave of animated comedy, the humour of Aqua Teen Hunger Force is strangely hit and miss. Some episodes can have you howling on the couch with laughter, and the others sneering derisively, muttering to yourself about how you could writer better stuff that this.

There is, however, an undeniable charm to the show. Each of the four principal characters is so unique and gets so many good one-liners in, it’s very hard to pick who your favourite is. What’s more, even when the plot of an episode is dying on its arse, there’s usually more than a couple of chuckle moments in there to ease it along.

The Emotionally Fourteen Rating:
Several moments of comedy violence, death and destruction.
Sex/Nudity: A couple of risqué moments – references to S&M.
Swearing: Some comedic and creative language.
Summary: An enjoyable animated sit-com with some quirkly humour that will go over well with fans, but won’t convert anyone. 7/10

Available on DVD from 1st February!

It is a time of swords & sorcery. It is an age of dragons & heroes. In this mythical time comes a magisterial epic, unlike anything you’ve seen before.

The Dark Knight Krill (Brian Thompson - that Alien Bounty Hunter from The X-Files)has summoned the Fire Dragon in a bid to become supreme ruler of this ancient world. As armies maraud through his town, young Arkadi escapes the chaos and murder to the mountains bordering their country and the darkness beyond. With his king dead and the earth of his beloved world scorched and destroyed, Arkadi discovers his destiny is to join with the legendary Maxim (Marc Singer - The FUCKING Beastmaster!)and become ‘The Keeper’.

Together with Maxim and his skilled warrior protégé, the beautiful Katya, this fellowship must find the missing stones of an ancient amulet. They are said to allow its owner to summon the great forces of the Dragon lords to battle and defeat Krill once and for all.

Thanks to our friends at Metrodome Distribution, we've got three copies of Dragonquest to give away! For your chance of winning one, send us an e-mail to with your name and postal address before midday on Saturday 6th February (UK time). The first three names drawn out of the electronic hat will win free copy!

Friday 29 January 2010

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 an 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 Keith Martin Fighting Fantasy gamebook Vault of the Vampire.

Brad is the GM, and Rob plays his character, Abraham Van Bragging.

Brad: Rumours of great wealth and treasure have lured you west of Femphrey in the Old World, to the forbidding land of Mauristatia, home of the unscalable peaks clad in ice and snow, obscured by great swathes of freezing mist. The air is cold and damp, and you are dressed in furs to keep out the chill.
Rob: What kind of furs? Bear? Vole?
Brad: Do you have a particular preference?
Rob: Ferret.
Brad: Hunched in a swaying coach heading north towards Mortvania, you wonder whether any of the rumours you have heard have any truth in them; people hereabouts are poorly fed and clothed, and this hardly seems a place of great riches! Still, perhaps that means that the treasures are still hidden and that the local folk haven't found them...

Van Bragging: Hmm, these people look slightly dull, hopefully the treasures are still buried deep, like these people's latent psychic abilities.

Brad: You are aroused.
Rob: It's the pleats on my trousers, it's an optical illusion.
Brad: from your reverie as the coach creaks to a halt. The coachmen open the doors and begin lowering trunks and bags from the roof.

Van Bragging: I don't even remember packing half this stuff.

Brad: You step out into a murky twilight; a thick winter fog is drawing in round the little coaching village of Leverhelven where you will rest tonight. The tavern is small and hardly luxurious, but the food is hot and the mulled wine is spiced and refreshing.
Rob: Surely the mulled wine would be hot as well?
Brad: But the local people, wary of strangers, talk little; after you enter, the tavern door is barred and the windows are already shuttered. The place has a strange name: The Hart's Blood - but this doesn't look like hunting country, except for those seeking bears or wolves for their pelts.
Rob: Bret "The Hitman" is probably wounded...
Brad: See, that was nice. You could have gone for an Owen gag there, but you showed class.
Rob: Or even Stu. Or Davey-Boy.
Brad: Or Jim The Anvil. No, wait. He's still alive. Although if Bret's bleeding from anywhere, it's from his integrity, right now. You ask the tavern-keeper how the inn got its name, and a deathly hush descends in the room. The tavern-keeper turns away, refusing to speak to you; you wonder how a polite and innocent question can have made him react in such a way. What's more, a man sitting by the fire turns round - and spits at your feet!

Van Bragging: Dude, these shoes are brand new, I bought them for the journey!

Brad: An old woman swathed in shawls and a peasant smock looks over at you.

Old Woman: Furriners don't know no better.

Brad: You take her over a drink and ask her to tell you more - at least she's talking to you, which is more friendly than anyone else in here is. She gulps greedily at the supposedly warm wine.

Old Woman: Tain't no "Hart's Blood", stranger. Were never called that 'til they changed the sign outside. 'Tis the heart's Blood, see, h-e-a-r-t.
Van Bragging: Ahhhh, I see. Was it a Furriner who wrote the sign for you?
Old Woman: That's what too many folk round 'ere has given up, their 'eart's blood!

Brad: The low murmur of voices that had begun once more is completely silenced. Many people are casting fierce looks at you and the old woman and the barman bellows at her to be silent. But her face is flushed with the warmth and the wine, and she says she will not be unheard.

Van Bragging: Yeah, what harm came from listening to a drunk? Pipe down, dickface!
Old Woman: 'Tis the Count, damn his black heart; folk vanish from the village, they do, and are never seen again. The Count takes them up to the castle, to be sure, and there they die a terrible death. Terrible!
Van Bragging: What does he need to be sure of?
Old Woman: There's folk as have heard the screams from the place, screams as from the souls in hell itself. Didn't her take my grand-daugher only yesterday? Didn't we see the coach and the headless horseman in the village?

Van Bragging: Jesus, I understand why you're getting shit-faced.
Old Woman: My poor little Nastassia, such a beautiful, gentle girl, taken by the fiend 'imself, and not a man in this godforsaken place brave enough to go to the castle and save her!

Brad: Embarrassed voices murmer round the room as sparks fly from the fire; the crackling of the burning wood seems to emphasise the old woman's desperate plea.

Old Woman: I beg you, sir, to rescue her. She is only seventeen and she 'as done no harm to anyone..."
Van Bragging: What else...hasn't she done? I'm just thinking that depending on your answer, I may not ask for a reward...Or at least, not a financial one.

Brad: A tall, red-haired man gets up from a table opposite and approaches you; you see he has only one arm, the right sleeve of his tunic being pinned up to his chest.

One Armed Man: Stranger, I take you for a wanderer, a seeker after adventurer. What old Svetlana says is true: the Count is a terrible and evil soul, and Castle Heydrich is a place of horror. I would have tried to slay him myself, but for one obvious reason -
Van Bragging: You're a thief by trade? A one-armed...bandit?
One Armed Man: Will you help us? From my own days as a...bandit...I have some gold put by, and it's yours if you will help.

Brad: The eyes of all present turn to you, imploring your assistance.

Van Bragging: I'll expect a run of three gold bars, Mr One-Armed Bandit. Or at least three lemons.

Brad: You are about to nod your agreement to this proposal when the door of the tavern bursts open.
Rob: The Kool-Aid man? Oh yeaaah!
Brad: The people inside cry out in fear as an icy blast whips through the room. Outside in the mist you can make out a black coach with four jet-black steeds prancing and whinnying, and in the doorway stands a spectral figure.

Van Bragging: I can understand why you pansies haven't gone, if a breeze creeps you...what the fuck is that?!

Brad: Bony fingers extend from black sleeves, and he beckons - you! But he says nothing - how could he? He has no head...You follow the beckoning figure outside into the swirling mists. It leaps up to the driver's seat of the black coach and the carriage's door swings open. The steeds prance expectantly, their breath steaming in the cold air
Rob: I get into the coach.
Brad: What can possibly go wrong, right?
Rob: Well, after that time I almost missed a plot hook in Call of Cthulhu, I'm not taking any chances.
Brad: You clamber into the coach, and the horses set off at a gallop - making no sound as they move! You settle back into a comfortable seat draped in black. Looking through the heavy purple-curtained windows, you see nothing outside but thick swirling fog, but the wolf-howls you hear send shivers down your spine.
Rob: Why is it comfortable? You'd think that someone with no head wouldn't be too concerned by the neck support.
Brad: Suddenly you feel a chill inside the carriage and there, slowly appearing before you, is a ghost!

Van Bragging: I wish I'd brought a change of trousers. I feel they'll be necessary.

Brad: The spectral shape of a tall man with wavy black hair and green eyes, his figure almost covered by a voluminous black and purple cloak sits smiling opposite you.

Ghost (smirking): The count is expecting you, although your stay will be a very short one, I fear.
Van Bragging: Ghosts fear? Bollocks.

Brad: He sits back and continues to smile in a leering, mocking way. Then the carriage lurches abruptly, and the ghostly apparition springs forward at you!

Van Bragging: Ha, Ghosts can fall? Nice.

Brad: The spectral creature lunges at you, but his hands stop short of your neck and he hisses in frustration. Your Faith has protected you from his attack!

Van Bragging: Good thing I believe in Christ.

Brad: You continue your journey safely until the coach stops at the foot of a hill and you descend; the coach races off into the heavy mists and is soon out of site. You walk along as far as the base of a narrow trail which leads up a steep incline, and suddenly you walk out of the fog into a completely clear area. Starkly illuminated by the three-quarter moon stands the brooding Castle Heydrich! Dun-dun dun!
Rob: I’m going to walk around the outside to scope the place out.
Brad: Casing the joint, huh?
Rob: Never know if you might have to loot in a hurry.
Brad: You skirt carefully the round the building. You have approached from the south, and can make out some features of what seems to be a two storey-building. In the south-west and south-east corners are the towers, whose spires loom the slate roofs over the stone walls. Bats flit into and out of the south-west tower belfry. The arrow slits in the towers are too high and narrow to climb in through. Nice try. You can see lights on the ground floor from windows in the west and east sides, but heavy drapes prevent you from seeing anything within the castle itself.
Rob: Fair enough.
Brad: Although there is a quality of indescribable evil about the castle, you can also sense some powerful good in the place. A bit like Darth Vader.
Rob: Huh, that's handy to know if my father turns out to live in the castle.
Brad: From the centre of the north wall there is something - is it magic, perhaps? Since you can't get into this part of the castle directly, you'll have to enter the main gates to find out.
Rob: Okay, let's do that then.
Brad: You put your shoulder to the heavy wooden gates, and they open with a creak that sets your nerves on edge. You walk through a small entrance area into a large courtyard. Facing you, you observe great brass decorated doors across the courtyard and past the entrance to what looks like a family crypt. There are also two doors to the West of you, and a door just round the corner which opens into a southern part of the main building.
Rob: I try the brass doors to the north.
Brad: You push open the brass doors and walk into a well-lit entrance hall which is deserted. Floor mosaics and wall-hangings of plain black and red give the chamber a sombre appearance, and for a moment you think you heard a faint moaning sound...There are three exits from the hall: north, east and west.
Rob: East.
Brad: This is basically a sarcastic text adventure from your point of view, isn't it?
Rob: Essentially, yeah.
Brad: Along the Eastern passageway there is a door to the North, and the passageway turns south just beyond it; there is another door facing you at the junction of the east and south corridors.
Rob: North door.
Brad: You walk through into a lounge, with richly imported carpets of intricate design, sumptuously comfortable armchairs, and tables bearing silverware and lace.
Rob: Looty looty...
Brad: There are three gilt-framed paintings on the east wall, and you decide to go over and look at them. One shows a tall, handsome man with black hair tapering to a peak over his forehead and deep green eyes; the plaque below reads "Count Reiner Heydrich". The second shows a strikingly attractiveyoung woman with flowing curly black hair and the same striking green eyes; she is wearing a black flowing dress and emerald jewellery. The plaque below this picture reads, "Katarina Heydrich”. The third painting has no plaque and has been defaced, although you can see that it once showed an exceptionally tall, smooth-faced blonde man. Unfortunately your gaze dwells too long on the portrait of the Count, and its eyes burn into you, holding you fascinated. The eyes of the portrait turn red and blood begins to seep from the canvas! This is certainly unnerving, but you overcome your fear.
Rob: How odd. Oh, well. I search the room.
Brad: You find a silver bracelet behind a cushion. This worth 3 Gold Pieces.

**Van Bragging has acquired Silver Bracelet**

Brad: You leave the room and return to the corridor outside.
Rob: I open the door at the east end.
Brad: In a cockney voice.
Rob: Luvva duck.
Brad: Opening the door, you hear sizzling and spitting noises. Peering carefully round the half-open door, you see an extraordinary assembly of vessels, jars, containers and instruments of brass, iron and glass standing on tables and shelves. Oil burners keep vessels of cloudy bubbling liquids on the boil, and there is a strange, metallic acid smell. A bit like quim.
Rob: Really? Oil burners and all? I must be doing it wrong.
Brad: Watching you closely is a small, green, winged humanoid creature sitting on a shelf on the wall; it is playing with a small bronze wand which sparkles and crackles.

Van Bragging: Hello there...
Little Creature: Have you come to see my master?
Van Bragging: Let's go with yes.
Little Creature: Well, don't just stand there, go on in!
Van Bragging: “In”?
Little Creature: Hes not too busy - I'm sure the potions will soon be ready.
Van Bragging: "Potions”?

Brad: You realise that this is an alchemist's laboratory, and that the small winged creature is a magical creature - a homunculus.
Rob: I thought he looked gay.
Brad: It gestures you to a door to the south, which you open. You enter a large room filled with all sorts of strange equipment: tables and chairs showing the planets in the heavens, varieties of herbs, rock formations, and lots else besides. All this is strewn over benches and desks, pinned to the walls, and even scattered over the floor!

Van Bragging: Ah, scientists, those notoriously messy beasts.

Rob: Have I taken this homonucleus with me?
Brad: Can you feel him squeezing your butt?
Rob: I'm glad it's him, I was afraid this game was about to get rapey.
Brad: Sitting at one desk is a white haired, tall, thin man with pince-nez glasses perched precariously on his beaked nose; he is poring over some intricate diagrams and muttering to himself.

Old Man: Er, pleased to meet you, I suppose. I am Karl-Heinz Matthaus, Alchemist-In-Residence. Something I can do for you?
Van Bragging: Hello...

Brad: He appears unarmed and looks a kindly old man. He looks back at his work, clearly not interested in you.
Rob: I try and engage him in conversation. I think I could break him by looking at him, so I'm loathe to attack.
Brad: The alchemist says little, although he does tell you that he is employed by Katarina - the Count's sister - to prepare potions and powders which enable her to keep her youthful appearance, together with another treatment, which Karl-Heinz seems deliberately to avoid mentioning.

Karl-Heinz: Katarina looks very young for a woman of seventy six.
Van Bragging: I'd do her.

Brad: You can't really ask about the count and how to kill him (Karl-Heinz might tell someone what you're up to!) and there's little else you can get out of him. You leave through the west door in this room. Back in the corridor, you can open a door on the west side, opposite the Alchemist's room, or go to the far southern end of the passage and open the door there.
Rob: I go through the door opposite his room.
Brad: Think that's his secret stash, huh? You open the door into a suite of rooms that are cluttered with cushions, papers, toys, pictures and all sorts of debris strewn all over the place!
Rob: Toys?
Brad: Marching up and down, clad in an ill-fitting blue military uniform and with a ridiculous tricorn hat is a dishevelled young man with long, flowing black hair and green eyes.
Rob: Hunh...
Brad: He mutters nonsensically to himself, and does not seem to have noticed you enter. He certainly seems rather lacking in his wits.
Rob: I try and talk with him.
Brad: You are in luck. Wilhelm Heydrich, the poor idiot cousin of the Count, is fairly lucid today. He is happy to have a guest and soon you are drinking Analandian sherry as Wilhelm talks about his cousin.

Wilhelm: He won't have a mirror in the place, will he? He's terrified of a silver mirror! I've no idea why.
Van Bragging: Does he have shit hair?
Wilhelm: There's one in the relaxation room just beyond the dining room, and you'll never find Reiner lurking in there, oh no!

Brad: He gulps greedily at the fortified wine.
Rob: Carl Reiner is here?
Brad: Rob.
Rob: Yes?

Wilhelm: And, then, old Siegfried's stuff frightens the living daylights out of him - well, it's not quite the living daylights, is it? The sword, you know, he's especially frightened of that. Hid it himself after he did away with Siegfried, in a book, believe it or not.

Brad: I smell a horcrux...

Wilhelm: Don't know about the armour. But he took the shield up into the tower, down there -

Brad: He points to the corridor. Wilhelm is drinking heavily now and beginning to ramble, so you say goodbye to him and leave. Back in the corridor, you decide to check the tower and the shield Wilhelm mentioned, so you go to the south end of it and open the door on the east side there. Still alive?
Rob: Yeah. Being alive is a little surprising in one of these books
Brad: You open the door and a dark, musty odour of stale air greets you.
Rob: How amazing would it be if the odour ACTUALLY greeted me?
Brad: You must use your lantern to see, and now you realise that you are at the foot of the south-east tower.
Rob: Towers...with feet? This world is bizarre...
Brad: Drifting into the chamber from a grille set into the floor is a smoky, apparitional figure radiating a hideous chilly malice - a Wraith!

Provocative, compelling and underscored with hard-hitting action, the pulse-pounding thriller, The Shinjuku Incident explodes with tension and delivers a career-defining performance from international action-superstar, Jackie Chan.
 Coming to Blu-ray and to DVD as a two-disc Ultimate Edition featuring a host of extras, including behind the scenes featurettes, cast interviews and deleted scenes, this is a must-have for Jackie Chan fans and lovers of action cinema.

Hundreds of Chinese refugees wash up on Japan’s Wakasa Bay. Each has a dream of a better life, but most will encounter only prejudice and oppression. One, a law-abiding farm-worker known as Steelhead (Jackie Chan), has come to find the woman he has loved since childhood, but his quest ends in bitter rejection when he discovers she has married Yakuza underboss, Eguchi.

Heartbroken, his life descends into darkness and petty crime quickly escalates to murder. With blood on his hands, he will risk everything to secure a future for his people, as they face an increasingly brutal onslaught from a criminal empire protected by a secret code. However, ancient traditions will not be broken and his defiance will lead to all-out war as both factions fight for control of the infamous Shinjuku district in the heart of Japan’s greatest city.

Ultimately pursued by forces on both sides of the law, Steelhead must fight for redemption and the survival of those he loves in the darkest night he has ever known...

The Shinjuku Incident is radical, uncompromising cinema with the most unforgettable finale of any Jackie Chan film to date!
SEGA® Europe ltd. and SEGA® of America Inc. today announced that the classic arcade game After Burner™ has now returned for a new generation of gamers. After Burner Climax™ features fast and frantic feats, putting you in the cockpit of the world’s top fighter jets. Players will dodge planes, rockets and bullets while trying to target multiple on-screen enemy aircraft. Built for all skill levels, everyone will be able to take to the air and blaze through a branching storyline with over 20 stages. After Burner Climax will be available for download on Xbox LIVE® Arcade for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft® and on PlayStation® Store for the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system.

Developed by SEGA’s AM2 division, famous for titles such as Virtua Fighter™ and Outrun™, After Burner Climax is based on the latest arcade version in the franchise. Players will square off against a plethora of AI opponents as they dodge, shoot, and barrel roll their way to victory in a variety of the game’s environments. With the Climax Mode, players can activate slow motion, which makes avoiding rockets and bullets easier, and increasing accuracy whilst aiming for those harder to hit targets.

In other news, the classic After Burner: Black Falcon for PlayStation Portable® will be available for download via the PlayStation® Store on the 4th of February. This adaptation is compatible with all PSP versions, including PSP Go. Fly nineteen different real-world officially licensed jets during the course of the game’s 24 supersonic missions, and double the firepower in 2 player co-op mode.

After Burner Climax will be available for download on Xbox LIVE® Arcade and PlayStation® Store in Spring 2010. AfterBurner: Black Falcon is available on PlayStation Store from the 4th of February.

Thursday 28 January 2010

Gaming Reviews

Bad Moon Rising
Judge Dredd Campaign
Mongoose Publishing

Available Now - £15.58 (Paperback) and £11.07 (PDF)
Review by Brad Harmer

It’s a bad day in Sector 13...

Mob War and Block War are brewing. Innocent people are being murdered in Synthi-Caff bars. Mo-pad piracy is on the rise. Someone said they spotted a monster on the roof of Dotty Parker block, and, to cap it all, a dead guy at the wheel of a slabster just tried to ram-raid the main foyer of Sector House 13.

Just what the Grudd is going on? Sector 13 used to be such a nice neighbourhood.

Bad Moon Rising, the latest scenario release for the latest incarnation of the Judge Dredd RPG – sadly now just a Traveller campaign setting – is interesting, complex and downright funny, which is everything that your average Judge Dredd Story should be. What most Judge Dredd RPGs miss is the humour, and this campaign – with its hilarious set-pieces, pop-culture references and parodies of The Sopranos, is the welcome exception.

You’re getting a serious bang for your buck here – most of the material here won’t be used in any one play of the story, so there’ll be plenty of “leftovers” for one-shots to keep any group happy for a significant amount of time.

My only criticism really is that with a plot this complicated, it would have been nice to have some kind of overview, plot-summary or flow-chart available, as keeping track of the many possible permutations in this would prove to be a headache for some GMs.

Summary: An excellent campaign, that really retains the feel of the setting, and gives plenty of replay potential. 9/10

The 80s
The Squared Circle Sourcebook
Day Dreamer Interactive

Available Now - £6.49 (PDF)
Review by Brad Harmer

The Golden Age of wrestling, the 80's saw the rise of modern styled professional wrestling. In this the third sourcebook for The Squared Circle there are rules for wrestler gimmicks, jobbers, advanced tag-team matches, and an enhanced version of the “Run Your Own Promotion” game. As is usual, it also features a fictional wrestling circuit – in this instance, Global Assault Wrestling – for you to play in.

The Squared Circle is a great RPG, and this sourcebook has been highly anticipated amongst its fans. Can it cut it, though?

The setting itself is fantastic, and really calls to mind all those evenings as a kid watching Bret “The Hitman” Hart, “Rowdy” Roddy Piper and The Ultimate “Bat Shit Insane” Warrior. The colourful, over-the-top characters that would never be taken seriously in a modern day wrestling circuit are able to shine again.

An interesting idea was that of making your character/wrestler pick a gimmick from “All American Hero” through to “Supervillain”, with all the oddities from the eighties inbetween. If your gaming group is one of those with a good sense of humour (and, let’s face it, if you’re playing an RPG about pro-wrestling, it probably is), then you’ll have a whale of time – and no doubt someone will knock up a bootleg Gobbledy-Gooker.

There are also rules here for creating jobbers – those useless, white leggings clad guys who would be annihilated in the opening matches of fight cards to make the big guys look unstoppable. If you’re planning on setting your campaign in the 80s or earlier, then these are essential.

Far and away the best part of this sourcebook, however, are the new enhanced tag-matches. The original tag-team rules in the core rulebook are the best I’ve ever seen for the purpose, but now they’re even better, as there’s now stuff for the inactive wrestler to do, whether it’s working the crowd, or sneakily bending the rules.

On the down side, this feels by far the clunkiest of The Squared Circle books so far. There are far too many charts to reference and formulas to calculate – even just to determine if your character is skinny, buff or overweight. Some may like the realism it gives – but wrestling doesn’t need to be realistic. Too many other great sports games have been bogged down and crippled by the maths A-Level required to play them, and it would be a travesty if The Squared Circle were to go in the same direction.

The “Run Your Own Promotion” suffers from a similar flaw – it looks a lot of fun, but with the amount of book-keeping required – Jesus, you could probably just up and set up a real wrestling promotion for all the effort it would take.

Summary: A mixed bag of a sourcebook. Some overcomplications taint what could have been an essential purchase. 7/10

Hah-hah! It's finally on its way!

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, one of the most magical, intensely spectacular epic adventures in motion picture history, can now be seen as never before when all three of Peter Jackson’s visual masterpieces explode onto Blu-ray on April 6th! The nine-disc set will reawaken the awesome connection that fans have to these films through rich, robust colours and crisp sound that home audiences can only experience on Blu-ray.

The Lord of the Rings, the highest grossing adventure film franchise to ever be created, was born with the release of The Fellowship of the Ring, followed by The Two Towers and The Return of the King. The multi-billion dollar franchise is expected to grow significantly as The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy brings together all three treasured films on Blu-ray Disc for the very first time, capturing the enduring Fellowship and ultimate sacrifice while enhancing the chaos and destruction of Middle-earth, delivering a visual feast that will not soon, if ever, find its equal. Of the 30 total Academy Award nominations the three The Lord of the Rings movies received, they won a record 17 Academy Awards®, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay and 8 others for the third film. Based on the best-selling novels by J.R.R. Tolkien, Jackson’s movie trilogy is an epic journey of men, hobbits, elves, dwarves and the rest of Middle-earth’s creatures and cultures.

The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy contains the original theatrical versions of the three films on Blu-ray Disc, with more than seven hours of special features. The Trilogy will be packaged in multi-disc elite packaging inside a premium rigid slipcase and will retail for £74.99.

Extended versions of the films will be released at a later date on Blu-ray Disc.

For Mack McKinley and his team of GhostWalker killing machines, urban warfare is an art. Danger is just another part of the game - but now Mack's come face-to-face with a woman who can play just as tough.

She's Jaimie, a woman with a sapphire stare so potent it can destroy a man. Years ago she and Mack had a history - volatile, erotic and electric. Then she vanished - but now she's walked back into Mack's life again. Against all odds, she's hooking up with him one more time to take on an enemy that could destroy them both - or bring them back together in one hot, no-holds barred adrenaline rush.

Thanks to our friends at Piatkus Books, we've got five copies of Street Game to give away! For your chance of winning one, send us an e-mail to with your name and postal address before midday on Thursday 4th February (UK time). The first five names drawn out of the electronic hat will win free copy!

Wednesday 27 January 2010


Every now and again, some newspaper or some website or some magazine or some TV channel (most likely Channel 4) will do a “Best of X”, and tell you all the movies you should see, books you should read, games you should play, whatever. The fact is, however, that a lot of these things aren't the best of the best. They’re what a bunch of critics think the best are – and most of the time, they’re wrong. Citizen Kane is an okay film, but it’s not the best one ever made – that’s Revenge of the Sith. Sgt Pepper isn’t the best album ever made, that’s blatantly The Varangian Way.

So, here are five things that are frequently over-rated, and their plucky little underdog that you should be rooting for


The Magnificent Seven

I hate this movie. It’s dull, laborious, and a waste of fucking money, sure...but that’s not the reason I hate it. I hate it because this is the point where the Western world decided that they didn’t want to read subtitles, or see nasty foreign types on their screens. They’d just take the story, and do it English...with nice white, American actors...and cowboys!

Because their market research at the time had led them to believe that Cowboys are better than Samurai, presumably.

What follows is one of the most uninspired rip-offs in the history of movie making (with the notable exception of Eragon). Watch the hell out of the original, Akira Kurosawa’s Shichinin No Samurai (Seven Samurai), and the Pixar movie A Bug’s Life, but please don’t worry yourself with this overrated piece of claptrap.

High Plains Drifter

Sure, you’ve heard of High Noon, A Fistful of Dollars, Unforgiven, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Young Guns, Outland – all great movies, right? But chances are that you haven’t seen the first western that Clint Eastwood ever directed, High Plains Drifter. Oppresive, mind-bogglingly violent and a little bit rapey, this should be required viewing for the Emotionally Fourteen.

Unfortunately, it’s one of those movies that I can’t say too much about without it giving the whole bloody thing away. So...just watch it, I guess.

Schwarzenegger Movies

Batman & Robin

Ha! I kid!

Conan the Destroyer

All too easily dismissed out of hand because it wasn’t as sweeping and powerful an epic as its predecessor, Conan the Barbarian, that doesn’t actually stop Conan the Destroyer from being a fun fantasy movie. In fact, in many ways, it captures the essence of the original stories and comics even better than the first movie. There’s magic, wizards, and combat, all told in a rather more episodic format. Considering that Conan was originally episodic and not epic...hey, this is more what Conan is supposed to be!

It’s not as good as the first movie, but it’s just as fun.

Star Trek Movies

Star Trek

Three years ago, someone could say “I like Star Trek”, and I’d say “Okay” or, at most, “What series is your favourite?”. These days I say “When you say that, do you mean you like Star Trek, or that bizarre mish-mash of Star Trek and Star Wars that was released last year?”

Star Trek isn’t a bad movie by a long stretch, but it’s a bad Star Trek movie. It relies way too much on big special effects, explosions, punch-ups and geeky, giggly in-jokes. That’s not what Star Trek is about – that’s what Star Wars is about. There was no character depth, unless you knew the originals anyway, and I could have sworn the Romulans appear to have been Vongformed in this instalment.

Star Trek III: The Search for Spock

Yeah, okay, it’s an odd-numbered one, but it’s the best of the odd-numbered ones. There’s deep characterisation, and a sense of wonder and adventure that’s not there in the truly botched movies, like Number One and Number Five. If you’ve been put off re-watching it because of some stupid thing Simon Pegg said, then don’t do that. What does he know about whether a Star Trek movie’s shit or not?

Star Wars Characters

Boba Fett

There is a fan sub-culture based around Boba Fett and his clan, who call themselves “Fandalorians”. Hah, hilarious! Jesus...

Seriously, why is this guy so popular? His complete list of achievement in the Star Wars movies, in chronological order are:

Does what his dad says. Chuckles “menacingly”. Watches his Dad die. Cries like a girl. Appears in The Star Wars Holiday Special. Stands around. Appears at Cloud City via plot-device. Stands around. Stands around. Stands around. Falls in a hole.

Consider that next time you see someone wearing a Boba Fett shirt.

Princess Leia

Unplug your stupid “Girls...ewww” mentality that seems to surround way too many of the E14, and consider this: Princess Leia is, after Obi-Wan and Vader, the third-hardest character in the Star Wars movies.

Princess Leia is the single greatest shot in the Star Wars movies, hitting with a blaster bolt nine times out of ten. She has the potential to be a Jedi. She can lend a hand fixing the Millenium Falcon.

If that doesn’t work for you consider this. There are only two characters in the movies who choke people to death. The other one is Darth Vader.

John Carpenter Movies


Alledgedly, this movie singlehandedly created the slasher movie genre. Here’s the thing, though. Virtually every other slasher movie franchise (well, the ones of note, anyway), are better. Friday the 13th does it better. A Nightmare on Elm Street does it better.

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and The Hills Have Eyes outdo it, and they were made before it.

What we have here is nothing more than a turgid slasher movie – and not really a very original one either.

Dark Star/Memoirs of an Invisible Man

There are two John Carpenter movies you should see. One of them is the Dan O’Bannon scripted sci-fi comedy Dark Star, and the other is the Chevy Chase/Sam Neill comedy Memoirs of an Invisible Man. It turns out that the master of gore and horror is actually a fucking amazing comedy director! Who knew?

Not the people who've seen They Live, that's for damn sure...

Tuesday 26 January 2010

Ninja Assassin

Ninja Assassin
James MacTeigue
Warner Bros

In Cinemas Now
Review by Blake Harmer

There are a lot of strange things about Ninja Assassin. Such as...why is it so dark in places? Or why is Patrick from Coupling kicking large amounts of ass towards the end of the film? However, these questions pale into insignificance with the strangest thing about Ninja Assassin. Why did I come out of Ninja Assassin loving it, and now consider it to be just another average Kung-Fu action movie?

Ninja Assassin has lots of violence, and most of it ends with the victims having limbs cut off and large buckets of blood being thrown at the screen, which is always awesome in The E14 Handbook. The opening scene deserves special mention for having several triad members being killed in all manner of cool ways, without the assailant being seen. The choreography of the fight scenes are good for the most part as well, despite being a bit too dark at times, but I will get to that later.

Chuck these two factors in together, and you have some great fight scenes that result in lots of ninjas being killed in incredibly cool ways. In fact, I don’t think I’ve seen ninjas being killed in so many cool ways since I first saw Shogun Assassin. The plot is pretty standard for most action films with the lead wanting revenge against his clan of ninjas for killing the love of his life, but it does seem to have been put there as an excuse to string together a load of fight scenes so they can come up with more cool blood shed.

So now you know why I came out loving it. However, it is only after the initial “Wow look there’s legs and heads flying everywhere!” moment had worn off that I started to realise the film had some serious flaws. Firstly, the special effects are terrible, a lot of the blood is computer generated and it can be quite clear at times that it is. Also, the use of special effects to show the use of “ninja skills” shows shadows flitting around rooms or sliding into windows, and to be honest, I think the effects of the Shadow Monsters in Ghost were better than this.

So how do they get around the fact that these effects are quite terrible? They make the scenes dark so that it’s hard to see how bad they are. Whilst this does work occasionally, with one particular scene where a fight leads to the ninjas flitting throughout a darkened room and appearing in different places whilst they were fighting looked pretty cool, the overall use of the dark made things difficult to see at times and thus made a few bits of the film a bit confusing as you couldn’t see what happened.

Secondly, the plot (whilst paper thin) disrupts a large part of the action at the beginning of the film by showing past events leading up to the reason for the revenge story, so it feels like a long time before the action really starts to hit it’s stride. That and some of the Ninja Skills such as being able to heal yourself through meditation is complete rubbish, even if the thought of it sounds cool. But as long as you accept that this is “magic” then it doesn’t interfere too much with the film.

The Emotionally Fourteen Rating
Hundreds of ninjas and soldiers being cut, shot, diced, having limbs removed, or being filled with hundreds of shurikens. In a word, awesome!
Sex/Nudity: None to my recollection, if there was it was very brief…and probably severed in two.
Swearing: Quite a bit of swearing, but the focus was put more on killing ninjas than insulting them.
Summary: An enjoyable gore fest that it’s let down by poor special effects and a paper-thin plot. At the end of the day, the reason I ended up liking this film less and less was that I actually thought about it. If you take your brain out before going to see this film and focus on the endless killing then you will love this film. If you think about how stupid the plot is or how crap the special effects are then you will end up hating it. Just focus on the Hot Ninja Death Rampage and then you’ll probably think that this is the most Emotionally Fourteen film you have seen since Commando. It is because of this E14 factor, that this average film gets a couple of bonus points. 7/10

“Your son Michael is a very disturbed young man...”

Rob Zombie’s 2007 remake of Halloween was a massive success and horror fans embraced the film at box offices around the world to the tune of 80 million dollars. Now, Zombie’s much anticipated and equally terrifying sequel is to be released on rental and retail DVD and Blu-ray by Entertainment In Video on February 1st.

Halloween II sees the return of lead cast members Tyler Mane as the evil Michael Myers, Scout Tyler-Compton who reprises her part as Myers’s sister Laurie Strode and Malcolm McDowell (Tank Girl, Fist of the North Star) who plays the part of Dr. Samuel Loomis.

Picking up where Halloween left off, Laurie Strode is taken to the local hospital after supposedly killing Michael Myers, the man responsible for the deaths of several people in the town of Haddonfield, Illinois. However Michael is very much alive and as the anniversary of the massacres approaches, he returns to Haddonfield once more, with a family reunion planned that Laurie will never forget.

Unleashing a devastating new trail of terror Myers will stop at nothing to bring closure to the secrets of his twisted past but the town has an unlikely new hero …if they can only stay alive long enough to stop the seemingly unstoppable.

Thanks to our friends at Entertainment In Video, we've got two DVD copies of Halloween 2 to give away! For your chance of winning one, send us an e-mail to with your name and postal address before midday on Tuesday 2nd February (UK time). The first two names drawn out of the electronic hat will win free copy!

Monday 25 January 2010

The Worst Games I Ever Played

Firstly, I must assert that this post would have been a lot easier to write if either of the following had been true:

1) My desktop PC had not been subject to what I like to call "Spontaneous power supply combustion". It's been a couple of weeks in coming, but finally I've been able to get hold of my spare and set it all up so that I am back on the Rig of Glory. However, this wouldn't have been so much of a hardship if:
2) My laptop was not five years old, and suffering from what appears to be mechanical memory decay.

"Hey laptop, do you think you could bring up a Google search? I need to do some research for an article."
*Time passes*
"Hey Rob, I found that........information out for you........."
"...It's been three weeks. Believe it or not it was actually quicker to go to the library and look it up in a book."
"Oh. Well, that was pretty........obscure information."
"Yeah, I know, I had to wait a week for the book to be available."
"Hunh............Want to play Solitaire?"
"You mean Patience? I don't think that'd be an appropriate game for me right now."

You know that your laptop is a clapped out piece of crap when you can accurately simulate its working order using the wheelchair-bound kid from Malcolm In The Middle as a template.

So now all is well, Van Halen are playing in my earphones and my keyboard is full-sized. Let's rock.

The subject of today's "Worst Games I Ever Played" is a relatively unknown gem from 1998 that was released for PC and Macintosh, named Knights and Merchants: The Shattered Kingdom.

Incidentally, three things spring instantly to mind. Firstly, is that woman stealing from that stand, despite actually being one of the more presentable specimens in the street? Secondly, is it me or does the guy with the lance blatantly fancy the guy with the box under his arm? Thirdly, is that Fagin from Oliver Twist giving an apple to those kids?

Anyway, I digress. I first saw this CD cover in Staples, the stationery store that, true to its word, has been in the same place since it opened. After perusing the back cover, and having a read of the description, it actually sounded like a game of reasonable quality. Add to this that it was priced at £3, and I thought it would be worth taking a punt.

One thing that anyone who knows me can be sure of is that I'm into my real-time strategy games. While other people were using their "year abroad" for the purposes of "travel" and "enrichment" and all that bollocks, I was about two things: Filling myself with as much caffeine as possible, and playing on my PC. Some people may call that tragic, but I would argue that those people haven't put Aston Villa into the Champion's League and overthrown an evil corporation's genetic experiments on a tropical island within the space of a couple of weeks. Pah, amateurs...

So I took this game home with me and considered that a bargain. That is to say, until I loaded the game up.

Let's get one thing out of the way. By today's standards, these graphics are piss-poor. In 1998...they weren't amazing.

However, I was prepared to look past the graphics, as the game tutorial did have elements that I really enjoyed. For instance, in order to make bread, you had to first get wheat, then make that wheat into flour, then make that flour into bread. It sounds convoluted, but it turns out that this is actually the way bread is made (some steps have obviously been removed as it is, after all, a war game and not a bread-making simulator - it's not called Knights and Morphy Richards for a reason).

Said bread would then feed your army at the local inn, and I was even drawn in by the little sprites actually eating in the inn so you could see them. Not a huge game-breaking step, but a nice little addition that I thought was cool.

Why, then, did this game belong on the list of "Worst Games I Ever Played"? Very simple.

After the tutorial ended, I decided to launch into the game and was presented with a plot the width of an After Eight mint. The long and the short of it was that my village was being attacked, and I would have to go and drive out the invaders. The problem was that the invaders, on their way out, killed all my soldiers and then set up camp just outside of town on a bridge.

Now, this isn't necessarily as big an obstacle as you might think in any other strategy games, as you can generally create more units. In Knights and Merchants, however, you could only create a limited number due to the limited resources you were able to gather. This essentially meant that you sat in a state of absolute stalemate for as long as your patience would take it, for as many times as you were willing to attempt to upset the balance of this otherwise broken game.

In my case, ten minutes each for a total of three times.

As if that wasn't enough, I couldn't even pass the game on to another person via the wonderful site eBay, as the disc wouldn't work with all PCs, and was particularly stubborn with newer machines. As a result, I ended up binning it and hoped that I would never have to tell the tale.

There, happy now?! You made me sad.

Robot Chicken is back! Season 3 of the toy murderin’, attention‐span shatterin’ TV series comes to DVD today!

No cow is too sacred, no star too celestial to escape the Robot Chicken treatment. Created by Seth Green and Matthew Senreich, Robot Chicken Season 3 delivers 20 fifteen‐minute episodes of fastly‐paced sketches featuring an impressive list of vocal talent from creator Seth Green and an impressive cast of Hollywood names.

In its native USA, Robot Chicken has gone on to become Adult Swim’s highest rated original show, winning an Emmy© for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation in 2006 and 2007. It was recently nominated for two more Emmy© awards for the Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode II special.

All of this mayhem started over a love of toys. Having worked throughout the comic book industry, Matthew Senreich rose through the ranks at comic bible Wizard to become editor of their Toy Fare publication. While attending the annual Comic Con in San Diego he ran into actor Seth Green (Rat Race, It) and a friendship blossomed over their mutual love of action figures. An idea was struck to take a knowing swipe at everything from Star Wars to George Bush by animating their beloved toys – every man’s dream right? But where did the obscure title come from? Seth Green explains, “Um, “Robot Chicken” was a dish from the Chinese restaurant where we ordered take‐out.”

Highlights from Robot Chicken Season 3 include Sarah Michelle Geller pedaling a Japanese yeast infection cream; Albert Einstein and his wife have couple’s therapy and Governor Schwarzenegger investigates the illegal immigration issue with Speedy Gonzales and Dora the Explorer.

And then there's Aqua Teen Hunger Force...

In case you don’t know, this is how it goes down. Aqua Teen Hunger Force stars Master Shake, a sadistic, lazy milkshake; Frylock, an erudite, floating packet of fries and Meatwad, a simple‐minded, easily‐lead meatball and their corpulent next door neighbour Carl. They live in New Jersey in a less‐than‐salubrious situation. Seriously, you should see their kitchen. There are plenty of badly thought out attempts to score booze, cash, women, and booze. And cash. Guest characters abound, including Frat Aliens, killer robot scorpions, a clown virus, Ozzy Osbourne’s guitarist, Zack Wylde and, yes, yes y’all, the notorious Mooninites make another appearance. Seriously, it’s great. Tell everyone.

Aqua Teen Hunger Force is written and directed by veteran Adult Swim talents Dave Willis and Matt Maiellaro. Voice talent includes Dave & Matt, Dan Snyder, Carey Means and Atlanta‐based rapper Schoolly D, (who wrote and performs the theme song, and also provides occasional links and commentary). And Zack Wylde voices his own character. If you’re into rock music, you might think that’s quite cool.

Aqua Teen Hunger Force Volume 3 is out on DVD today!

Thanks to our friends at Revolver Entertainment, we've got two Adult Swim bundles containing posters and a t-shirt to give away! For your chance of winning one, send us an e-mail to with your name and postal address before midday on Monday 1st February (UK time). The first two names drawn out of the electronic hat will win a prize bundle!