Thursday 30 January 2014

E14 Presents: Claymore Division - Omer on the Xbox One

Claymore Division returns for its first episode of Twent-E-14! Ă–mer, the Ancient and Dark Age combat expert, has been flung into the 21st Century with Battlefield 4. How has he taken to it, you may ask? Let's find out!

If you like the show, don't forget to join the Claymore Division Facebook group!

Friday 24 January 2014

Sour Crouch Says: Tarantino Is A Big Ol' Diva

Words: Sour Crouch

I'm going to say it now. Tarantino is a big ol' diva.

Now for those of you that don't know, Quentin has cancelled his next movie "The Hateful Eight" because the script was leaked. Now, fair enough, he gave the first draft to 6 people, one of which he assumed he could trust. Now, one of them has breached that contract of trust. He's very black and white with his sense of betrayal, but I get it. I totally get it. The problem I have is that his response to the whole affair has been very childish. Not only childish, but concerning to boot.

A certain quote in particular got me thinking:

"I’m going to publish it, and that’s it for now," he says. "I give it out to six people and if I can’t trust them to that degree, then I have no desire to make it. I’ll publish it. I’m done. I’ll move on to the next thing. I’ve got ten more where that came from.”

On the surface, it sounds good. He's brushing off the hurt and playing it cool. But, pay attention to "I've got ten more where that came from". It sounds GREAT! More Tarantino. I'm about to eat that shit up - he's just full of stories that everyone loves *apparently*. But then look at it from this perspective. He's irked and had been working on the script until very recently, which means to say that a fair number of hours have gone into carefully crafting what should be another "Tarantino epic". Surely he'd actually give more than two shits about his script being leaked? Not this prepubescent tantrum wherein a massive drama has emerged over something that seemingly happens a lot in the industry. Don't get me wrong, in no way is that meant to suggest justification of the practice itself, but people have certainly handled things like this a damn site better than he.

I'll explain. If he's spent time in creating something why would he let that time go to waste? I wouldn't be this annoyed if someone saw a sketch before I'd coloured it. The artist allows his creation to live in each of its forms. The script is just a skeleton, after all, and the real magic would be seen in the final product. It just looks like he's giving up. It *should* be important to him if it required so much effort. Sure, he'll publish it as a book. Great. I'll undoubtedly read it and judge it on its merits, but it just feels like he held no reverence or respect for his own time.

Why was it so easy for him to just "dump" the film? From his attitude it just seems like he shits stories out without care at all and it really tells, especially in his later works. The popularists among you would argue that he's just really good at what he does. Well, I put to you that he simply doesn't spend a lot of time writing scripts and just banks on the ego masturbation his fans give him to carry his films through the box office. Admittedly this is all speculative in nature yet when he says stuff like that it really sends a mixed message, and in my books makes him rather 'up himself'. Would it be fair to say that that's not a completely baseless opinion?

*Walken Voice* Quastion tihme. Why should we be bothered about his films if he isn't? Is it just me? Am I just grouchy this morning? Any further debate would be interesting...Love me...please...somebody...

Regardless, I for one am not looking forward to his next film.

This has been Sour Crouch.

What do you think? Is Crouch worthy of a place at My Best Friend's Birthday, or is his opinion Pulp Fiction? Tell us what you think in the comments below! (Keep it respectful please, the Internet will be a better place for it)

Monday 20 January 2014

The Crazy Train: Episode 19 - The Temple Of The Eyebrow

Episode 19 of The Crazy Train is now live, and can be found here:

On iTunes
The Crazy Train Page on E14

In this episode:

  • We have some fun with our intros.
  • Spike springs a leak.
  • We talk about Trivial Pursuit.
  • Omer talks about a customer care story he found amusing.
  • Brad talks about his trip to Miami.
  • Spike tells a drunk story.
  • We talk concussions.
  • Blake tells a drunk story.
  • Spike tells more drunk story.
  • Omer tells a story about checking someone for drunkenness - rectally.
  • We talk about people becoming more posh.
  • Brad tells a driving story.
  • Rob tells an accent story
  • We talk actors


Rob Wade, Omer Ibrahim, Blake Harmer, Brad Harmer, Spike Direction & Sour Crouch

Enjoy the show? Sound off in the comments below!

Friday 17 January 2014

E14 Top Tips: Juggling Your Video Gaming (Part 2/2)

Rob Wade

Read Part 1 Here

So yesterday, we saw some beginnings of a Top Tip set, specifically to do with making the most of your video game collection, and playing to whatever advantages you have at your disposal. Here's part two of that list, which we hope you'll enjoy.

Play To Your Mood

Had one of those days at work? You know the kind I mean. The kind of day where everyone's wearing novelty outfits, and you're the prick who came into work wearing a suit because you set a rule on your work email to send all the emails from Tim to the Recycle Bin and he's the one who organised it? It's for charity, and you look like a heartless bastard who ends up paying in money out of guilt, when you didn't even get to wear a bloody outfit. Now you're even more annoyed. You're out of pocket unnecessarily, and the people at work think you're a joyless tool. What's worse, the girl at the coffee shop that you've flirted with for weeks has gone right off you because she misheard something you said and thought it was antisemitic. Brilliant.

Sound familiar? It shouldn't - I was going for a combination of unlikely factors for comedic effect. Nevertheless, if you're in a mood, you want to do one of two things with your gaming. Either it needs to put you in a better mood through being nice and cutesy, or it needs to help you de-stress.

Sandbox open-world games tend to be a great way of relieving stress in the case of the latter, as I've had some fantastic evenings on Xbox Live with friends throwing corpses from the top of a building in Crackdown. Never underestimate, however, the calming effect that a game like Viva Pinata can have on you after a tough day.

Just make sure to avoid Blood Bowl if you're a PC player in a shitty mood. Those dice rolls are horse shit. Ooh, and FTL is probably not a great idea to play in one of those moods, for the simple fact that it's akin to having your balls sandpapered by a horde of angry toddlers.

Similarly, if you're in the kind of mood where you need to talk to a friend over the aforementioned Live, PSN or Skype-style service, probably best to pick a game that you don't need to be heavily focused on (see earlier point regarding variety and the like, the same principles are valid here). Driving games are good in this scenario, I've found, as you tend to find yourself (much like when you're driving in real life) going into somewhat of an auto-pilot mode and enjoying the conversation. Not a literal auto-pilot mode, you understand, otherwise the driving game would stop being fun.

Sample pile:

  • Forza Motorsport 4
  • GTA V
  • Viva Pinata
Have A Co-Op Game On Standby

This is a slightly flexible one in a similar vein to one of the earlier tips, but a very much more specific application of it. I'll use an example from my own gaming life currently. An example gaming pile from my recent playtime includes one game on each of my three main consoles. On Xbox 360, I was enjoying Syndicate, EA and Starbreeze's excellent FPS reboot. On PS3, I used my Playstation Plus membership to enjoy some Remember Me. On Wii U, I had (and still have) New Super Mario U in the drive, so that in the event of stress I can unwind. When it comes to PC, I also have a number of smaller games to dip in and out of (thanks mostly to my sister's boyfriend and his array of extra Humble Bundle codes, which has helped my collection bump up to 210).

However, occasionally, one of my Xbox Live friends will express an interest in playing Mass Effect 3 multiplayer, and why not indeed? It's a great mode. ME3, therefore, sits within easy reach of my gaming setup on the off-chance that said friends will fancy a game one evening. In the past, that extra game has been Borderlands 2, Gears of War 3 or one of the many excellent Halo co-operative experiences on Xbox 360. In every case, however, it'll be a game I have finished on single player.

The advice, therefore, is simple: Mix it up. If you're feeling burned out on The Bureau: XCOM Declassified, ask if anyone fancies a game of Halo 4. If you're completely bored of The Last of Us (although, if you are, get out), ask one of your friends to join you in Uncharted 3 multiplayer or something. Hell, write into us Here, and if I've got a copy of something you want to play, I'll give you a game. Change your routine up along those lines, and you'll find yourself burning out far less quickly on games. What's more, you'll cement some great friendships as you do, as some of my fondest experiences with my friends have resulted from some classic gaming moments.

So there you have it. Over the last few thousand words, you've hopefully gained some insight into my gaming style, which may well help you in your quest to keep your collection fresh and your gaming life enjoyable. Just remember the most important rule of all: gaming is a fun activity, and should be enjoyed as such. Although I've come to the above conclusions from my own experiences and my own personality, I by no means wish to suggest that you should spend too long organising your playtime to the detriment of your actual playtime. That'd be shit.

Agree? Disagree? Got any other tips of your own to add to the mix or debate with Rob? Write to us at or let us know in the comments below!

Thursday 16 January 2014

E14 Top Tips: Juggling Your Video Gaming (Part 1/2)

Rob Wade

The other day, I got approached by a friend with a single question for me:

"How do you do it, Rob?"

I wasn't sure how to respond, so I went with my reflex.

"Are you referring to my ability to successfully juggle a budding career and an increasing knowledge of geek media, all the while cultivating a successful social life leaving me generally well-liked?"

Well, they weren't. They were actually asking about my ability to successfully keep multiple video games on the go without getting confused or frustrated regarding the controls. With that in mind, I figured it might be useful to share some of the methods I use to keep my gaming stress-free, so for the benefits of that person and anyone else who might be interested, here are E14's Top Tips for successful gaming jugglage.

Variety Is The Spice Of Life

Think of this one at a logical level, and it makes a lot of sense that it should especially apply to gaming. How much more difficult (and more importantly, how much less fun) would someone find it to play a First-Person Shooter if all they play is RPGs or driving games? It especially makes sense when you consider that the majority of driving games handle similarly.

Gamers have never had so much choice in my living memory, despite the continual protests of the vocal minority hivemind that seems to think that any gamer not wanting a modern setting FPS is halfway up Shit Creek with their paddle unequipped. The truth is that there is something for anyone in this gaming world, more so now than ever.

The first tip, therefore, is to play a broad range of games, which is good advice generally to anyone wanting to be better informed about the gaming landscape. Here's an example that might help explain this one better.

When I finished Bioshock Infinite (awesome, by the way - I'd write more on it, but I think the rest of the web used up all the superlatives at the time), you know what else I was playing at the time? I was playing God of War HD and LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7. Where's the crossover for getting controls mixed up? One's a First-Person Shooter, one's an action game and one's a more casual action game with magic and bricks and shit.

Besides which, one of them was a game I'd already completed the first time it came out, and the other was a LEGO game. Again, no crossover to be found. It's unlikely that I'm going to get pulled out of Infinite's incredible narrative because the Traveler's Tales take on the Rowling story is engrossing (love the games though I do), particularly as I've read the Potter books multiple times.

So to sum up on the first tip, choose games that don't overlap. Genre, play style, storyline. A good rule of thumb I tend to use is to have one game in your current play pile that you can switch off the audio with, whether to listen to music, audiobooks or even The Crazy Train. That's usually a good sign that you're not likely to get so immersed in it that you mess up your other games. Plus in the case of the latter option, it helps our downloads.

Sample pile:

  • Bioshock Infinite
  • God of War HD
  • LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7
Switch up your consoles (Where appropriate)

This one is a conditional tip, although it's more to do with the level to which it applies. Primarily, as any writer does, I'm drawing from my own experiences. For the purposes of exposition, here is my currently owned consoles:

  • An Xbox 360
  • A PS3
  • A Wii U
  • A 3DS XL
  • An iPod Touch (iOS 5)
  • A good spec laptop
  • An iPad 2
  • A Lumia 925 Windows Phone
  • A Samsung Galaxy Note Tab
If I were to assemble a list of reasons I would rarely consider myself bored, there'd be a few recurring from that list. Now, obviously I'm realistic to the fact that there are readers amongst you that will scoff at what in your eyes is a paltry collection. Just don't laugh at the Windows Phone, that device is the shit.

However, it's also worth bearing in mind that there will be a number who fall under that figure, and that I'm probably an average console owner among games enthusiasts. It's a fairly safe bet, though, that everyone will have a smartphone. Some will have a console, and then some might also have a handheld or a tablet (or both). Thus, the second tip is simple: Make use of your resources.

The one aspect in which all the current generation consoles (some of which have been superceded by the new wave which has recently launched) tend to differ in some way is their control scheme. Whether motion control or a "standard" controller, a Playstation 3 Dual Shock 3 controller is significantly different to a Wii Remote in how it controls, which differs from an iPhone and so on.

When I want a break from whatever I'm currently playing (which at the time of writing was the rather excellent Syndicate on Xbox 360), I switch to my phone and play some sort of puzzle game or I break out the 3DS for some Professor Layton action. Choice is once again your friend, as each system has its own respective mascots with their own distinct games series, which is always nice to shake things up.

Sample pile:

  • Uncharted 2 (PS3)
  • New Super Mario U (Wii U)
  • Borderlands 2 (Xbox 360)
  • Tiny Death Star (Phone)

Save Your Game Sensibly

We've all been there. You've gone for ages trying to get to the big boss or a particularly tough enemy, and you want to save your game just before you take on the challenge on the off-chance that you're unsuccessful and have to go back a bit further and start again. Saving here is a great tool to make you feel that little bit more self-assured before you fight.

Saving just before *that* is even better.

Hear me out. When I load my save for something like, say, Skyrim, I'm out of a combat situation and I've got my default stuff equipped. If I've been out of the game for a while, because I've been following the above advice and switching my games out, I have the benefit of a few extra moments to re-familiarise myself with the controls and go through a few motions before setting off on my quest.

It sounds strange to say, but in reality it works on almost any game now. Sports and driving games save after each race/match, FPS games save at cinematic checkpoints (and in most cases don't stick you into combat for a few seconds after loading), and RPG games allow you to save relatively freely in the overworld of whichever game you happen to be playing. A decent amount of phone games also tend to do quick saves when you come out of the app or lock the device with the game running, and even if they don't the ability to put the device on standby usually applies to the game in progress as well (as I've found to my benefit with the 3DS and folding the console shut).

Sample pile: Not really applicable here, but I give you the Skyrim example above. That's the best example I can think of, as the ability to save freely in that game is especially helpful in making this approach easier to accomplish.

Agree? Disagree? Got any other tips of your own to add to the mix or debate with Rob? Write to us Here or let us know in the comments below!

Look forward to Part 2, coming tomorrow!

Monday 13 January 2014

Sour Crouch And The Xenophobes - The Voices...

Equipment. Sometimes it'll test ye. Test yer resolve, refuse to bend to thy will! The measure of a true musician is how he bears up under the strain of tek-nik-all issues. In this, we can all learn from Sour Crouch, observe...

Sour Crouch And The Xenophobes on Facebook