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Archive for September, 2011

Game Overdose 06: Cut Cocktail – How I’d set up the sequel…

Sunday, 25 September, 2011 Leave a comment

This week is spoiler-tastic. Try to stay away from this article unless you’ve played Infamous, Deus Ex: Human Revolution (and most of the deus ex series) to conclusion, or if you don’t care about having their plots spoiled! I’m just going to put across how I’d continue their plots if it was up to me, and some of the explanation as to how.

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Categories: Game Overdose

Van driver to stand trial for RAF Northolt officer’s death

Monday, 19 September, 2011 Leave a comment

The man charged with causing the death of Group Captain Tom Barrett in March this year has been given a trial date.

Gp Capt Tomas Arne Barrett OBE ADC MA RAF. Image via MoD.

Paul Luker, 51, of Beaconsfield Road, Farnham Royal, appeared at Uxbridge Magistrates Court a fortnight ago. His trial will commence on Friday October 14th at Harrow Crown Court.

Gp Capt Barrett was the Station Commander at RAF Northolt and had overall responsibility for the West London airfield and the units based there. He died after a white van reportedly collided with him as he cycled along the A40. The three-lane road runs alongside the station’s southern perimeter.

At the time of his death Gp Capt Barrett was in training for the Eurodash charity fundraiser event which a group of Northolt personnel were organising.

Help save the RAF’s Battle of Britain HQ

Monday, 19 September, 2011 Leave a comment

The Prince of Wales has launched an appeal for £1.8 million to save the historic nerve centre of RAF Fighter Command during World War Two.

RAF Bentley Priory, Stanmore, was closed down and sold to developers in 2008. Funding problems mean that although plans were submitted to the local council to build over the Priory and its 40-acre gardens, nothing has yet happened.

However, a charitable group called the Bentley Priory Battle of Britain Trust has been hard at work behind the scenes to keep the priory itself as a museum. The RAF had preserved several key rooms in their original state, including the operations room from which the Battle of Britain was directed.

Air Chief Marshal Sir Brian Burridge, chairman of the appeal, said: “At the heart of our capital is Trafalgar Square, which commemorates a battle that saved England. But the Battle of Britain saved the world, and that is why this building is so important.

“We are almost at the culmination of six years’ work. Renovation has already started and we now need to ensure that the important stories that Bentley Priory holds within its fabric are exposed to public view.”

Prince Charles, acting through his Prince’s Regeneration Trust, has taken a keen personal interest in the fate of Bentley Priory. Writing in Friday’s Daily Telegraph, the Prince described Bentley Priory as “… a unique blend of wonderful architecture, a rich social history and the compelling effort of men and machines in the face of seemingly overwhelming odds.

“While each of these facets has importance in its own right, together they represent an unparalleled blend of such significance that future generations need to find accessible. Otherwise, they will fade from living memory and our ‘island story’ will be incomplete.”

To donate to the appeal, please visit the Bentley Priory Trust’s website.

Photo via mr_robd_lon, Flickr.

Game Overdose 05: Cut Cocktail (Alice: Madness Returns, Infamous 2)

Monday, 19 September, 2011 Leave a comment

So part of the problem for loving video games is the cost.A bigger problem is the time it tends to take to complete one. Couple this with me wanting to keep things fairly topical (i.e “News”) and then take into consideration that I have no money, which means that I have no time as I’m spending every spare minute looking for some tiny scraping of a job.

My point is really that the only game released recently that I’ve had the oppurtunity to play fully has been Deus Ex: Human Revolution, and as these articles are meant to be “in depth analysis” of games the actual completion of the game takes a lot of time… So I figured I’d do a quick “cocktail” of stuff. Nothing that would constitute a true article, but one that could be either a quick synopsis or even a basic skeletal structure for a future one… So I’m going to take a look at Alice: Madness Returns, Infamous 2 this week, and there might be another one of these for next week. I’ll try to find something more interesting to talk about soon!

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Review: The Eagle (DVD) – Borrow or Buy?

Friday, 16 September, 2011 2 comments

Three Stars: ***

Some people get Celt, but don’t expect any graphic details

There was once a fortified barrier which extended across the Northern frontier of the Roman Empire. It was called Hadrian’s wall and it was a critical life-line for all Romans. To step north of here meant certain death! And in 120AD, Marcus Aquila (Channing Tatum), a Roman legionnaire, plans to do just that with only the company of Esca, his Briton slave (Jamie Bell).

It is a traditional yarn of heroics and betrayal where a gutsy legionnaire valiantly proceeds against all odds into the heart of darkness, Scotland, in order to return the treasured Eagle of the Ninth, the Standard lost to the barren wilderness and its tribes, by his own father.

The very prospect of wandering into the Highlands in order to steal back something of largely sentimental value from a merciless tribe of Celtic warriors, who paint themselves blue and resemble real-life versions of Avatar’s Na’vi, is a compelling one. Much is said of the ancient feuds between Ancient Scot and Roman occupier, and due to an interest in my own family heritage north of The Wall, this was the main draw for me. However, despite the film’s opening with a gripping battle scene, complete with Boudicca style chariots, I was disappointed to find a distinct lack of the visceral grittiness which made Gladiator and the recent Ironclad visually superb!

While the Celts’ hardcore and insane mentality is conveyed well by the director, Kevin MacDonald, I thought his rendition of the Seal people could have been a bit more fearsome. When lost in a labyrinth of glens filled to the brim with 6ft guerrilla warriors, in a literal all-versus-two scenario, you’d expect there to be a greater sense of despair and terror.

In actual fact, the narrative is true to the form of a Boys’ Own adventure, which is no mistake because this film is an adaptation of a children’s book. As a result the antagonist, the Seal Prince, is simply characterised by dumb anger and confrontation, which denies him much depth as a villain. He is only to be feared because he fights with all his mates by his side. To be fair, a simple character is more fitting for a children’s book and I suppose we cannot expect too much of a monster from a 12A.

Tatum’s American accent occasionally slays the authenticity a little too, though this is rescued by Bell’s own acting, as a Briton playing a Briton. The relationship between the two is what the film is really about and their developments drive the story. Expect some twists and turns in the partnership along the way. While The Eagle has much to offer, it fails to soar to the standards of the historical movie greats which adorn the DVD shelf.

Wood Green thief who targeted pensioners jailed

Friday, 16 September, 2011 Leave a comment

Michael Sammie, 44, of Swaythling Close, N18, has been  imprisoned for five and a half years. Between February and May this year he stole from six homes in the South Kensington and Barnet areas between February and May of this year, Wood Green Crown Court heard.

Sammie posed as a member of a gas or electricity company to gain entry into vulnerable people’s homes. Many of his victims had health or mobility problems.

He pretended to befriend the elderly to gain entry into their houses. Once inside the property he asked his victims to go to other rooms to turn on switches while he pretended to test light fittings. When the victim left the room, he stole cash, bank and pension cards, valuables and jewellery.

Officer in the case Davina Cullen said,“This man has a long history of offending. Sammie appears plausible and charming, but in truth he is a ruthless predator of the elderly. He pretends to befriend his victims, but then remorselessly steals their property and savings. The calculated approach to his crimes makes them all the more despicable.

One victim, a 77 year old resident of Finchley, said “Firstly may I pay tribute to the police; if they had not acted so promptly they would never have recovered my jewellery. He stole my grandfather’s signet ring and my mother wedding ring and it meant so much to get these back, it’s not the cost but it’s the sentimental value.

“To prey on vulnerable people is unforgivable and I am so glad he has been caught. I would urge anyone who has a caller at the door to ask for identification, these men are so plausible.”

Harrow man wanted over fatal Watford collision

Friday, 16 September, 2011 Leave a comment

A 22 year old man from Harrow is being sought by police regarding a fatal crash in Watford.

Jason Crane, 40, died when the white van he was travelling in collided with a silver Audi on July 16th in Tylers Way, Watford. Three men allegedly left the scene before emergency services arrived.

Police are also seeking Thoman O’Leary, known as Tommy, of Carmelite Road, Harrow.

Insp Andy Piper, said: “If anyone knows of Thomas’s whereabouts or if anyone has any information about him, I would ask you to get in contact with us as soon as possible.

“This devastating collision has robbed a man of his life and a family of a loving father and husband, and we are determined to bring those responsible to justice.

Two 16 year old boys and an 18 year old man from Harrow have been arrested and bailed, along with a 45 year old from Watford.

Insp Piper added: “Although arrests have been made, we are still looking for people who may
have been involved in the collision and need further information from members of the public to help us in our investigations.”

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