How to Fix: Westworld

This was originally published at Metro on 26th July 2018. 

It can be a touch disheartening to discover that a show you previously enjoyed has, in one way or another, gone off the rails. We’ve all experienced this letdown before: whether it was because a promising sitcom lost its edge (Community); an enticing drama grew too knotty and convoluted to follow (Heroes); or a good miniseries abandoned its integrity for the sake of a hasty sequel (True Detective).

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How to Fix: The Dark Universe

This was originally published at Flickering Myth on 24th June 2017.

Whilst its international take is admittedly surpassing its domestic performance by quite some way, it is still reasonable to suggest that The Mummy hasn’t been the mega-hit that Universal were hoping for. Weighed down by astonishingly clunky exposition, countless instances of tonal whiplash and a certain high profile ego to contend with (not to mention that embarrassing PR blunder with the trailer audio), the film has been the deserving subject of bad word of mouth and a relentless onslaught of critical maulings. Suffice it to say, it has been something of a rocky journey for the first instalment in the fledgling ”Dark Universe”.

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How to Fix: Silent Hill

This was originally published at The Edge SUSU on October 31st.

Anyone who remotely agrees with the sentiment that games are art, owes it to themselves to play the incomparable Silent Hill 2 at least once. A perfect example of how the gaming medium can tell stories in its own way, without having to mimic film, television or literature, Silent Hill 2 takes players on a psychological journey that starts off as a chilling horror story and ends up as a genuinely moving tragedy.

Since then however, the Silent Hill franchise has had its ups and downs.  Continue reading

How to Fix: Resident Evil

This was originally published at The Edge SUSU on August 18th 2015. 

Alongside Silent Hill, Resident Evil is credited as one of the founding fathers of the survival-horror genre. True these games also had their precursors (Clock Tower and Alone in the Dark come to mind) but generally speaking, they’re the ones who made the longest lasting impression on the genre. However horror games are now a dying breed. There’s the occasional flash of a resurgence (hello Alison Road) but the reality is that the field is now considered a niche. Going up against the more market friendly FPS and action based titles, publishers just don’t have the confidence in things like this anymore. Continue reading

How to Fix: Call of Duty

This was originally published at The Edge SUSU on July 21st 2015.

The Call of Duty series has taken its fair share of derision over the last few years, as it seemingly got too popular for its own good. Hating on the franchise is fashionable nowadays and I’ll confess I already started doing it by the time we were at Modern Warfare 2. Still, even I realize that the majority of the games are in no way bad. They actually have a lot going for them. For a start there aren’t many shooters out there that can match the satisfying kick of Call of Duty’s weapons, and the franchise really knows how to pull off the odd inventive set piece when it needs to.

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How to Fix: Video Game Movies

This was originally published at The Edge SUSU on August 8th 2014.

 In terms of cinematic adaptations of beloved source material, no one has a tougher time than gamers. Between all the Super Mario Bros movies and Max Paynes of the world (let’s not even mention Uwe Boll’s ‘Filmography’), you’d think Hollywood would just throw in the towel already. But as long as films like Resident Evil keep raking in money, then they aren’t going to stop. Which is actually not entirely awful. Continue reading