FilmsIf you're looking for up to the minute reviews of the latest cinema releases then look elsewhere - my local Vue hasn't yet provided me with free tickets, childcare and beer. Nope, I'll be reviewing whatever has risen to the top of my LOVEFiLM rental queue this week. Chances are it will be a film with explosions.
- 5 - Excellent. An unmissable film. You will covet the special edition boxset. Examples : The Matrix, The Incredibles, The Lord of the Rings, Serenity, Aliens, Star Wars
- 4 - Good. A film worth watching. You won't want to own it, necessarily, but you'll find it hard to resist watching again while channel hopping late at night. Examples : XXX, Master and Commander, Under Siege, The Island, The Mummy, National Treasure, Return of the Jedi
- 3 - OK. You'll watch it; you'll enjoy it; you'll forget it. Better than endless repeats of Top Gear if you're up through the night. Examples: Gone in 60 Seconds, Batman Begins, Poseidon, S.W.A.T., 16 Blocks, Collateral, The Phantom Menace
- 2 - Poor. You'll wish you'd been watching something else. A film that has its moments but is ultimately drivel. Examples: X-Men 2, Blade, Van Helsing, Constantine, Man on Fire, Training Day, Spider-Man 2, Revenge of the Sith
- 1 - Rubbish. You'll be tempted to watch the second half in fast-forward. Examples: Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, Syriana, Lost in Translation, Final Fantasy VII - Advent Children, Sin City, Attack of the Clones
GamesGames reviews will be more up to date. I've been renting for years and I managed to keep gaming even when small children meant I didn't have time or energy for any other hobbies. I've less catching up to do.
If a game's good then I'll have played it to the finish. If it's bad then I'll have played quite enough thank you. I'm not going to persevere long with a dull game, hoping it will get better. This is harsh but I only get 10 hours a week to play games and that's time I should really be spending sleeping. I'm not going to waste it.
I don't care about multiplayer. I play games for a bit of peace and quiet after a long day running round after wittering children. I can't guarantee when I'm going to be online and for how long, so organising matches with friends is nearly impossible and I'd much rather be quietly playing single-player than smack-talking with random American teenagers. Besides, I'm just rubbish. My six-year-old usually beats me at battle mode in Mario Kart and my four-year-old utterly gubs me at Find Mii. I don't need that kind of embarrassment to go global.
A poor save system can ruin a game for me. I often only have half an hour to play and I sometimes have to switch off without notice at the sound of screaming/wretching/nuclear war from the next room. I need to be able to save regularly.
The rating is not affected by the price of a game. This is partly because I rent rather than buy so the RRP makes no difference to me and partly because a bad game is still a bad game even if it's cheap. Obviously a 2/5 game is a more tempting prospect in the bargain bin than at full price but think carefully: a housedad's time is precious. Wouldn't you rather play one excellent game than two dreadful ones?
- 5 - Excellent. An unmissable game that might even be worth buying a new console for. Examples: Oblivion, Hitman: Blood Money, Canis Canem Edit, Ocarina of Time, Knights of the Old Republic, Paper Mario 2
- 4 - Good. One of the best games in its genre or on a particular system. Examples: Gears of War, Saint's Row, San Andreas, Psychonauts
- 3 - OK. Worth playing if you like the genre and can put up with a few flaws. Examples: Prey, Kameo, Vice City Stories, Dead Rising, Tomb Raider: Legend
- 2 - Poor. Broken in concept, design or execution. Examples: Metal Gear Acid, Primal, Dreamfall, Yakuza, Scrapland, Tony Hawk's Downhill Jam
- 1 - Just awful. Avoid. Examples: Star Trek Legacy, Trapt, (New) Sonic the Hedgehog, Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel
StuffHousedads need plenty of stuff to do their jobs. There's a whole big list of things in the Handbook but some items will get reviewed here.
- 5 - Excellent. Essential Equipment.
- 4 - Good. Useful to have arround.
- 3 - OK. Might come in handy on occasion.
- 2 - Poor. Over-priced or pointless.
- 1 - Rubbish. Over-priced and pointless.