Archive for New Purchases


Return To Arkham

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I held off buying an Xbox One because of the damn Arkham games!

Arkham Knight was available for the Xbox One but I enjoyed playing Arkham Asylum and Arkham City too much to give up my Xbox 360 and make the upgrade.

I was late joining the Arkham party. Arkham Asylum was original released in 2009 but I held off buying an Xbox One until 2011. I’d ummed and ahhed about getting an Xbox for a while and when I eventually bought one, Arkham Asylum was one of the first games I bought. Weirdly enough, I didn’t buy the 360 for Asylum, I bought it for my Tiger Woods games. But after only a few hours of playing Asylum and ‘being the Batman’, I was giving myself a stealth takedown for not buying it sooner. I instantly became addicted!!


Later on that year, Arkham City was released and I was all over it the minute it came out. Oh boy! It was Arkham Asylum but bigger and better.

As much as Arkham City is a ‘free roam’ game, you are basically following one main story from beginning to end. The only diversions are wandering off to collect Riddler’s Trophies. Arkham City brought a whole host of extra sub stories to wander off and complete as well as the main story. This really felt like you were off doing your own thing – solving riddles, rescuing people, taking out groups of thugs etc etc. For me, Arkham City is a true ‘Desert Island Game’ – a game I could be stuck with forever and not get bored playing.


And this brings me on to why I held off buying an Xbox One until late 2015. Arkham Knight had been released but I was still having too much fun replaying Asylum and City over and over again – honing my predator and fighting skills.

I decided to bite the bullet and upgrade to a One, when Backwards Compatibility was made a feature and rumour had it, the original 360 Arkham games would make it to the One. I bought the One and Arkham Knight and got stuck in, temporarily saying goodbye to Asylum and City. Arkham Knight is a phenomenal game! The visuals are stunning and it runs silkily smooth. It is prone to the odd hang and/or crash but generally speaking, its a good game. As much as I enjoy the much larger city, extra stories, side missions and add-ons – it doesn’t tick all the boxes for me. I don’t particular enjoy the driving sections of the game. I do enjoy playing driving games but just not round Gotham City. I would much rather glide from building to building using my cape than smash my way haphazardly round tight corners. As for Riddler Challenges that require you to complete races and time-trials in the Batmobile… WTF?

I understood why Rocksteady (the game developer) introduced the Batmobile – it was the one missing component of Batman canon and is a more natural way of getting around the huge maps. I would imagine most fans enjoy the battle tank challenges but I just found them tedious. I’d much rather stealthily wipe out a bank full of Two-Face’s goons.

All the while I have been keeping my eye out on the release of a remastered Asylum and City. Its been delayed and delayed but eventually it came out midway through October – nearly a entire year since I bought the Xbox One!

Some fans have grumbled about the frame rate, the action not being as smooth as it originally was on the 360, environments being brighter… blah, blah, blah!

Personally, I love the games. They look and feel just like I remember on the 360 and its great to be playing them again. Yes, the map in Arkham is tiny compared to Knight but I love the claustrophobic-esque tightness of this game. The visuals still hold up for me – in fact I feel like they are a massive improvement. Rain drops hitting the tv screen, fog, steam etc. Plus I think the sound is an improvement. Walking through the Asylum can be as creepy as hell.

I’ve not started playing City yet, I’m too busy completing Asylum. Once you have played a game to the end a few times, you fly through on revisits. I remember spending hours looking for Riddler’s Trophies while now, I know where they are and can tick off dozens in one sitting.

Right, enough chatting – I’m off to give a couple of Titan thugs a good kicking!


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Week 33

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Brand spanking new studio with brand spanking new furniture. Just need to fill it with all my books and equipment.

Official moving in day has been postponed due to the freelance booking I have in Manchester running on longer than expected.

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Week 31 Photo(s)

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On the 29th July, I took ownership of my new office. Its small and compact, but there’s more than enough space to set up a couple of Macs and all the shelving I need for my books and equipment.

I’m freelancing in Manchester until the end of the month so I won’t officially be moving in until the beginning of September. Until then, that gives me plenty of time to get all my furniture assembled and my stuff moved over. Watch this space for progress photos.

The new Kreative Bomb head office is located in the Creative Quarter, The Town Hall, Hebden Bridge.

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Week 24 Photo

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The new office is haling up nicely.

See those open windows on the top floor? One of those rooms up there is my new office. If everything goes to plan, I’ll be moving all my stuff across the weekend of the 14th July.

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Week 11 Photo

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It was the wife’s birthday on the 28th March so we had a family ‘whip round’ and bought her an iPad 3.

I’ve got to say, all the hype about the display is totally justified. I compared it side-by-side with my iPad 1 and it truly is gorgeous. So much so, I’m reluctant to go anywhere near it – it’ll make me want one too much.

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Holiday Reading

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Off to sunny Cuba in a couple of weeks – therefore I felt it was only right to stock up on a bit of holiday reading. You know, for the flight and while I’m lying by the pool suppin’ Mojitos.

The Boys Vol 9: The Big Ride and The Boys Vol 10: Butcher, Baker, Candlestickmaker – both published by Dynamite Comics. Batgirl: The Lesson and Red Robin: 7 Days of Death – both published by DC Comics. All purchased from Forbidden Planet.

Categories : Comics, New Purchases
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Week 4 Photo

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Do you agree that the earphones that come bundled with your iPod/iPhone/iPad are utter crap?

For a company that prides itself on the quality of it’s products, it’s a glaring oversight on Apple’s part that they have created probably one of the worse pairs of earphones… ever!

For me, the sound quality isn’t too great but the most annoying thing is getting the bastards to stay in your ears. Fine, if I sit completely motionless and do not attempt to move my head a millimetre in any direction, they just about stay put. But if I should happen to be walking with them in, forget it.

I reckon Apple have some kind of pact with third-party earphone manufacturers. Apple continue to bundle those shitty white earphones, causing customers to invest in an alternative pair from another manufacturer. In return, Apple get a cut of the sale. I could be right.

Anyway, I decided I needed to invest in a decent pair of in-the-ear phones. I love my Bose headphones but they are just too cumbersome to take out with me all the time. They are reserved for listening to tunes in the office when I want to shut out the world.

Getting back to the in-the-ears, if you have happened to take a look at the choice that is out there nowadays it’s astounding! Where to start?

So I did what most people do, I asked the interweb. A couple of sites were saying some good things the SoundMagic E10’s. I wasn’t looking to spend a small fortune but I also didn’t wanted a piece of shit – I already had that with the Apple buds! Now normally you wouldn’t expect £35 to get you much in the way of quality but a couple of the independent reviews I read said they performed much better than earphones more than twice the price. Combining these reviews with actual customer reviews, I thought £35 was worth the gamble. If they turned out shit, I hadn’t broke the bank.

As it turned out, they aren’t shit… far from it. I’m suitable impressed with them.

Can’t fault the sound quality. The bass of my dance music makes my ears bleed and my orchestral film scores are crystal clear. They have passed the Jean Michel Jarre test with flying colours!

The earphones came with EIGHT pair of ‘flanges’ – more than enough to find a comfortable pair that keep the earbuds in and external noise out. I’ve had no problems with them while pounding the streets of Manchester, nor have I needed to crank the music up while sat on the train. All-in-all, I’m pretty chuffed with them.

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Amazon Kindle

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Recently, I’ve been getting more and more involved in producing books, book covers and magazines for the Kindle. I could continue using the excellent Kindle Previewer app on the Mac to view my work before sending to the client, but, you know me, I’m never going to turn down the opportunity to buy a new gadget.

So a couple of weeks ago, I purchased a Kindle 3G from PC World. Originally, I was just going to purchase the £89 base model, but after comparing the specs, I swayed in the direction of it’s bigger brother – packing a keyboard and free 3G. My thinking was that the free 3G would potentially come in handy when not connected to a WiFi network i.e. lying by the pool, sat waiting to board a delayed plane. I did buy the Kindle for work but if the wife and I can get some extra use out of it on holidays, then bonus!

I’m loving how when you connect it to the Mac via USB, it appears on the desktop as an external hard drive which you can just drag and drop files to. No need to add files via an app like the iPad. Take note Apple.

Navigating round the actual Kindle takes a bit of getting used to. Having owned an iPad for almost two years, I’m constantly touching the screen on the Kindle to select items – which obviously doesn’t work. You have to keep reminding yourself to use the scroll pad and buttons.

The only other issue I have with the Kindle is when you flick between pages of a publication. Instead of the black text disappearing and the new text appearing, the screen does this annoying thing of momentarily inverting to white text on a black background while it refreshes itself. Why does it do this? Is this something in the settings you can turn off?

All-in-all I’m quite satisfied with the Kindle. It’s very lightweight, easy to hold, easy to read (in decent light) and came in some lovely packaging.

I don’t think my iPad has anything to worry about. Apart from previewing work and reading the odd book while on holiday, the iPad is still my king-gadget.

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Latest Graphic Novels

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Some light Christmas reading. Batgirl: The Flood, Batman & Robin: Batman vs. Robin, Red Robin: Collision and Red Robin: The Hit List. All published by DC Comics and all purchased from Forbidden Planet.

Gutted that Red Robin: Collision is a second printing. That’ll teach me not to pre-order a graphic novel!

Categories : Comics, New Purchases
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