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Today is the day that burstu visits Eurogamer, stay tuned for early October to find out what we thought!!
Flame Painter 2.0
Those of you who visit frequently may remember that some time ago I wrote a review of Escape Motion's 'Flame Painter' which seemed to, not undeservedly, take on the guise of a thinly veiled wedding proposal; gushing with praise for the software.Now I fear that an affair is begining to sprout, with the new release of 'Flame Painter 2.0' which builds on alot of the features established in the first version, and adds a plethora of new ones.The new release comes in three versions. The first, free, which is accessable through an internet browser and comes with basic tools. The next is the personal version, at a price of $29,99, which comes in the form of an application available for download. It includes a larger range of features and the ability to set a custom resolution, which is useful for designing desktop backgrounds, and editing photos, and finally, there is the professional version, at the price of $59,99, which comes with a commercial lisence for those who are looking to make a profit from their produced artwork. Another new feature also introduced is that of the 'Brush Library'a selection of pre-designed tools that each have multiple uses and applications, and when used in combination can have interesting results.Although, you don't just have to paint from scratch. The software allows you to open pictures and photographs you have already taken. and customise them with trails and create colourful backgrounds to use.If you're interested in seeing the results you can check them out here. Personally, I have garnered alot of enjoyment from the use of flamepainter, and i've never needed to find inspiration to use it, which was the goal of the team behind Flame Painter."The vision was to create an application to show that the tools we use can become an inspiration for creativity. Lack of inspiration is often the reason why people are not creative, but the tools that we use can become the inspiration." The coming weeks also promise the release of a version for the Ipad and Iphone. For more information on flame painter, you can visit the website or the escape motions blog.
You might remember a while ago, I wrote an article introducing you to a new band called "Reap". This indeed was a while ago and I did say it would be a weekly thing. I apologise for the delay. Finding new bands is tougher than you think!However, after a lot of researching, I found a band that had been hiding under my nose this entire time. Introducing: Scholars!! Scholars are one of the brightest new talents to hit the UK. Having supported everyone from Twin Atlantic, to Pure Love, to Hell Is For Heroes and Hundred Reasons, they have played many many shows on the touring circuit and have made big impressions on their path. I unfortunately haven't had the pleasure to see these fellas live yet but from the music I've heard, they are tiptop amazing. My 'first date' with Scholars was in December, through the Radio 1 Review Show, on a Tuesday evening. I regularly listen to, as I get introduced to great new band. This occasion, Mr. Rob Damani, lead vocalist of rising rockdudes "Don Broco" was on. In case you haven't heard of the show before, they play a selection of the most popular songs of the week and listeners vote to say which is the best song of the week. Also, two guests usually appear on the show; a musician and a blogger, who bring in a song they've discovered or want to contribute, to also be in the runnings for the best song. As I was working intently, with the radio in the background, I heard Rob reveal his contribution. It was (guessed it?) Scholars, with their most recent single "Blinda Data". It blew my mind. "These guys must be massive" I though to myself, only to find that they hadn't even released an album yet. However the song stuck in my mind for days on end. If you haven't listened to it, it's here to enjoy! Fast forward a few months on. It's April and it's here. Scholars have finally released their debut album "Always Lead, Never Follow", which landed on the 8th.I bought it through Banquet Records and I have to say, it is one of the most underrated debut albums I have ever heard. Reviewed by Kerrang! as a 4K album and by my mum, saying "That song (Black & Blue) is alright, isn't it?" means that this band are tipped for more success.If you haven't bought their album, a signed copy can be bought through Banquet Records or digitally via iTunes. To conclude, I wish the guys of Scholars well and best of luck for their highly anticipated and well deserved busy year. You might want to be part of their journey, as they are about to take off. 'Always Lead, Never Follow' - out now on Banquet Records.
Frank Turner "Tape Deck Heart" Album Review
Hey guys! This week, I'm going to be reviewing one of the most underrated musicians of the UK. Some of you may have heard of him, if you have, then you'll understand how exciting he is.I am of course, talking about the fantastic...Mr. Frank Turner!"Tape Deck Heart" is the next instalment of his fantastic arsenal of folk rock tunes. This album is essentially a break up one, as the lyrics could be interpreted it as very personal, but also relatable. Rather than just listening to this album, I'd fully recommend you reading the insert sheet of the album, or looking up the lyrics online. Regardless of the potential negative theme, the quality of this album is sky high, like the rest of his work, and won't upset any long term fans.Stand out tracks to me are "Recovery", "Tattoos" and "Undeveloped Films". Some of these tracks only appear to be on the deluxe edition of this album but go and treat yourself, like I did.The fact I'm making is Frank is pleasing to the ear. He has a quality that Ed Sheeran has. He cannot be disliked. "Tape Deck Heart" hit no. 2 in the album charts last weekend and his success is well deserved. Would have loved to see it be number 1, as Frank is one of the hardest working men in the industry.It's interesting to see him hit successes like playing at massive festivals like Reading and Leeds or Download but also headlining events like the Cambridge Folk Festivals. Other successes he had last year was headlining a fully sold out Wembley Arena show in April, launching his own Beer and...wait for it...was the support act...you'll love this...for a tiny get together of...THE LONDON OLYMPIC GAMES OPENING CEREMONY! You won't have seen him on telly though, as it wasn't covered but what an achievement.So what can Frank do to continue the success he had last year? With "Tape Deck Hearts". Can he do it? We'll have to wait and see. My opinion? Get this masterpiece of an album, get the rest of his back catalogue and tell me yourself, you lazy so and so.Album rating: 9/10
Similar to the transition from Runescape classic to Runescape 2; Runescape 3 is a large set of updates for Runescape 2 set to come this summer.Some changes that are rumored to be included are:Multiple Characters per Account.The game becoming more narrative-based, with greater influence on storylines with general gameplay.Large amounts of involvement with the Gods."High risk, high return gameplay to combat gambling." Rework to summoning, including changes to the pet system, general leveling, usefulness of familiars and returns on investments.Updates to agility, changing in relationship between energy, running and agility.Long-term updates to runecrafting, fletching and other skills in relation to players making their own equipment and ammunition.High Fidelity Sound.Graphical updates - Includes increased draw distance, "real skies", weather effects, dynamic shadows, real time reflects, a new water shader, lighting effects & richer colour palette as mentioned in Runescape Behind The Scenes Video 48.Customizable Interfaces.A Clothes editing system, allowing players to dress themselves as they wish. You can play RuneScape here.
Wargame AirLand Battle Beta Review
As I loved European Escalation I was always going to get its sequel AirLand Battle, the 25% off for EE owners and immediate beta access for preordering were icing on the cake. So here's my beta review of one of my most anticipated games of 2013.For a start the graphics are utterly beautiful. The last game was in my opinion the best looking RTS of all time but this one raises the bar even higher. Particularly improved is the map's appearance, the mountains add variety that makes this game's battlespaces far less monotone than the first. But a picture tells a thousand words so I'll let you admire a beautiful new unit the Ka-50.Air combat is a great addition and it requires cat like reflexes. Ground attack jets appear and disappear with such speed that it's near impossible to call in an air-superiority fighter in time to destroy them, you need to have them lay in wait for any prey. Managing your airforce so that you can instantly counter enemy air threats or eliminate a high value unit is crucial. Long range missiles such as the BUK close off entire areas of sky making destroying them a key priority.They've added some great new non-aircraft unit types too, for example heavy armoured command vehicles like the T-80UK giving your frontline CVs all the protection and firepower of a tank, and simple infantry trucks which means you don't have to use expensive APCs and IFVs for your rear defensive units. Giving you a lot more flexibility to fight how you want to.The improvements to urban combat are great and make working your way through a large town - moving Spetznaz forwards flanked by recon units with air support for any pesky armoured vehicles - a fun activity rather than a chore. Rural combat is just as solid in the first game and already has given me a great gaming moment; in a last ditch attempt to resolve a stalemate I flanked helicopters around the side of the map and deployed a tonne of soldiers from them in what I thought was a suicide mission behind enemy lines. Against all odds and to my amazement they succeeded in destroying the enemy command vehicle and regrouped in the woods, turning the fate of the game in our favour.As this is a beta the new deck system where you get extra units for sticking to a certain nation or an earlier timeframe isn't available at the moment (though it will be later in the beta). You are instead given a selection of premade decks such as the USMC battlegroup. The main problem with these premade decks is that they often miss a crucial element of any army, particularly East Germany whose only tanks are T-34s and T-55s, making your only armour options for a war in 1985 tanks made in the 40s. Or Canada who is in dire need of artillery. However this is only a beta issue and I look forward to the new deck system when it is implemented.I'm also not fond of how much they've increased the amount of command points you get through the course of a game, it can make it rather hectic and sometimes makes effective micromanagement impossible. All too often the game descends into who can send out waves the fastest or you find yourself constrained by the arbitrary individual unit limits. This combined with the increased pace of the game and larger maps means it often feels like you're commanding checkers rather than an actual army, you don't often get enough time to zoom in and admire the glorious looking action as you could in the first game.While there are a couple of niggling issues at the moment such as the UI not being as intuitive as the first game (but it does give you far more information once you've learnt how to properly use it) it's better that these are fixed now rather than post release. Overall AirLand Battle is another solid game in the Wargame franchise and I would highly recommend it.
Call Of Duty Box Art Leak
Every heard of that game Call of Duty? If you have it will be no surprise to you that another game is in development. The next game in this long lasting franchise has come to life after a wrongly published image by Tesco; most likely the work experience kid’s fault…The image showed a Playstation 3 version of the next Call of Duty game, named ‘Cally of Duty: Ghosts’. The imaged showed a release date of December 31st, which makes a change from the traditional November launch.Activision still haven’t made an announcement giving us details on this leaked image, which suggests that they are trying to keep this leak on the down-low. According to leaks last month, it seems that this game will be set in the future, much like Black Ops 2. Whilst at this point in time we don't know much about the content, it's likely that the main appeal will be the hugely popular online multiplayer.Although this leak only shows a Playstation 3 version of the game, we can speculate that Activision will not pass on the opportunity to become the first hit game on the next generation of consoles. Therefore the graphics may be prettier for PC than normal, not that this is hugely important as COD never breaks any records on PC.
Bulletstorm 2 News
For those who don’t know, Bulletstorm is a first person shooter (FPS) that was developed by People Can Fly and Epic games. It was published in 2011 by Electronic Arts, and was realeased on the Playstation 3, Xbox 360, and PC. Its reasonably original gameplay proved positively with critics, achieving scores of 8 and above out of 10. Sadly this new gameplay didn't help out with sales accross all platforms and it only sold around 1 million copies.None the less People Can Fly are going to have another go at making this into a successful franchise with the release of Bulletstorm 2. Speaking with Eurogamer, the creative developer of the company said that, "It was gonna be actually more insane in a way", he continued to say that "It's still kinda believable but the pulpiness and the craziness of it was through the roof.".From this small amount of information we have gained from People Can Fly, we can tell that Bulletstorm 2 is in development, however it does leave us wondering, why? Creating a sequel to a game that didn’t do too well is a huge risk, and could result in a huge loss. Personally, I am really looking forward to the next instalment in the series, although the narrative was slightly lacking, I loved the gameplay, with its unique styles, and beautiful nature of the insane ways that you were able to kill enemies.In the words of Adrian Chmielarz, founder of people can fly, this game is a 'big risk!'
New 'Needle-Plaster' inspired by parasite
The problem with plasters, is that they come off.But fear not, wounded and injured people of the world, for a new technology has been in development, that may not only finally solve this issue that has been plaguing those of us suffering paper cuts and needle pricks, but may also hold greater promise in the field of medical science.A new needle-bedded “super” plaster has been created, designed to have an incredibly strong grip with microscopic needles that have been inspired by the most unlikely of sources; a parasitic worm that lives in the guts of fish.The plaster is expected to see use in a number of areas of surgery, from burns patients expecting skin grafts and wishing to avoid the use of staples to those that are requiring delicate surgery that needs to avoid as much tissue damage as possible.The tips of the needle mimic the parasite known as “Pomphorhynchus laevis” which anchors itself to the wet conditions of the host, using micro-needle tips to pierce the surface, and then locks itself tight to the surface once wet, by causing the needles to swell.The designer of the plaster, Dr Jeffrey Karp said:“The unique design allows the needles to stick to soft tissues with minimal damage to the tissues. Moreover, when the time comes to remove the adhesive, there is also less trauma compared to staples, coupled with a lower risk of infection”These new discoveries show promise for the advancement of biotechnology, as well as opening new avenues of research and exploration.Images courtesy of Karp Laboratories