Bat Fit Fam Week 5

This is the last week I had planned to document my self prescribed fitness journey and I am keeping to that. At the end of these five weeks I definitely feel a change for the better. I am excited to continue on and am already eyeing up Darebee‘s “post apocalyptic fitness quest” as it only seems fitting to pair with Zombies, Run!

Day 1 – Ass Effect

It being a lazy kind of Sunday, the first day this week comprised of a workout from Darebee. I did a little search for a full body program and came across Andromeda. It seemed only fitting to do it as the demise of the game had been announced the day before. Some parts were more challenging than others, especially the squat hold side bends. Mass Effect Andromeda itself definitely wasn’t as painful as doing 20 of them in a row, trust me. I was quite confused with the toe taps as I found them a bit too easy. I watched the Darbee supplement video and was still unsure as to where I might have been going wrong. Maybe I am just slowly turning into a woman of steel (hilarious).

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Love Song To Squat Hold Side Bends – The Ting Tings – Shut Up and Let Me Go

Day 2 – Foiled Again

I came home starved from work and devoured a mint chocolate Fulfil bar and half a turkey sandwich before I went out. Bad idea. I was going fine, doing my usual thing and then I got hit with the double zombie chase again. The only difference this time being that I didn’t completely give up. I still got caught by the zombies for not being quick enough.  After this I could feel the sandwich sitting in my stomach which made me feel quite ill. It was not fun. I soldiered on and thankfully the chases all occurred in the first half of my outing so I had time to recover myself. I can feel myself getting less motivated to go outside for runs as my work day is so long. I have entered the Halloween virtual race though so hopefully it’s a momentary lapse. Saying that, I did admire my own persistence in the face of nausea.

Much Needed Motivation – RuPaul – Cover Girl

Day 3 – Croft-fit

I love Tomb Raider so when I found a Croft inspired work out I was 100% ready. After all, if I wouldn’t have the ability to survive what Lara has survived and still climb like a mountain goat then what is point of life? I felt very brave on this day (clearly) so I added a 6kg dumbbell in each hand for the lunges and lost count a few times on things so I definitely did more that I had to. It got rough but like Lara, I got through it. The hardest part were the plank jump-ins, it was work in itself trying to keep my leggings on. I was glad to go to bed after seven sets.

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For Gals Who Need Gains – Grimes – Venus Fly

Day 4 – Clarke Kent-ing It

I didn’t have as much freedom with my days this week as one will be spent packing and another will begin on a plane. I also used a day to attend Odeon’s Screen Unseen for the first time (worth it). So Wednesday was my last opportunity to shove some exercise in. As I had to stay later in work this day I was going to be in no position to go home, eat dinner, go out for a run and still be able to get to bed at my usual hour. I had a light-bulb moment and searched up Darebee to see if there was some sneaky office workout I could complete as I would be alone for the evening. Luckily there were a few to choose from. I opted for the Chair Abs workout and completed 5 sets. It was a lot harder than it looked (especially on a very mobile office chair) and I did not want to obtain B.O. for the commute home. I dabbed some Soap and Glory anti-bacterial gel under my pits just in case. I know I’m gross.

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Sounds To Crunch To – The Soft Hum of Office PCs

T-Shirt of the Week

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I bought this gem in GAME on a trip to London but I’ve seen it in loads of other merch retailers. Charisma was the best perk until Fallout 4 ruined it on me.  Side-note: who needs to iron when you’re suave?

X-Men: Seeing Red Cyclops Hoodie – Merchoid

Today marks the third time I have received an order from Merchoid, which I came across when looking for good quality merch that wouldn’t hit me with horrific customs fees. My first delve into the online store was a Fallout 4: Vault 111 hoodie which I took a chance on when failing to find one with 101 emblazoned on the back. I was extremely impressed with the quality of it and vowed to order from Merchoid once more. The second order came in the form of a Gotham City Police Department T-Shirt for a gift (apparently no longer on site). Again, I was impressed and soon I was itching to treat myself.

I was casually browsing one day and came across a pre-order for an X-Men hoodie that I could not resist (I’m a sucker for nostalgia). I thought it over a little and placed my order on July 30th for an estimated release of September. I didn’t have to wait that long however as it arrived on the 21st of August.

Inside the parcel the hoodie came in Bioworld packaging. I scanned their site really quickly and had to pull myself away, I mean look at this.  Also big thanks to Kristina, I’m sure packing orders is her favourite part of the day.

Unlike the Fallout 4 hoodie I had bought, the site has zero information about the material of this hoodie so I presumed it would be the same or similar (50% cotton 50% polyester). However it is much lighter as it is 100% polyester which on the label means no irons or tumble dryers or washing machines should go near it. It’s a much sportier jacket due to this and I can see myself using it for when I go for a run. The material is slightly shiny also which has caused the old “is this black or navy” conundrum. On the site it appeared black but when I got it I held it up to some of my black clothes for a considerable amount of time to determine that it is very dark navy. This may pose some problems for me as I never buy navy for fear of mixing it with black.

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It’s pretty spot on

So far Merchoid have not disappointed me in the quality of stock that they carry and thankfully I have not had a package go AWOL on me. I’m already being very bold and eyeing up their Christmas jumper selection.

Bat Fit Fam Week 4

I had to stay in work later on multiple days so it was challenging to fit some exercise in this week.  I also had a trip to the cinema and the theatre come up. Still, despite feeling like my eyes were going to fall out of my head due to tiredness, I managed to squeeze in three sessions of exercise. You’ll also be glad to hear that there was no sesh this week so I was neither injuring myself or ruining my hydration levels.

Day 1 – No Butts About It

My knee was still very much oozing from week 3’s fall at this stage so I went to Darebee to find something appropriate to do. Since I did an arm workout the day before, I figured I’d look at my lower half. This brought me to Killer Butt, a workout that focuses on your glutes. I was most scared about the single leg deadlifts because they looked extremely difficult. Shockingly enough I was well able to do them without falling over (there were only a few wobbles). I even did ten on each leg as opposed to the prescribed five. My butt didn’t thank me for it but I felt like a superhero.

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I really enjoyed this one!

Track to pop that leg up to – Charli XCX – Boys

Day 2 – Emer Warrior Princess

I looked to Darebee again on this day because the heavens absolutely lashed out of it. I came home like a drowned rat and was in no mood to go outside for a run. To make up for this I went in search of a full body workout and ended up with The Princess. It promised me “successive exercises that pile up the load with a combination of combat moves and concentric muscle movements.” It definitely delivered. Fair warning: clamshells are deceptively difficult.

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I think butterfly sit-ups are the first sit-ups I’ve managed ever.

I donated to the website for the first time on this day. It really is a great resource and the team do it all ad free and are non-profit!

Track also “designed for the kind of Princess who prefers a sword to a mirror and is better at serving up a knuckle sandwich than embroidery” – Sleigh Bells – Riot Rhythm

Day 3 – Nuclear Apocalypse Meet Zombie Apocalypse

I had to force myself to go out on this day. After being up since 6am I didn’t get to my doorstep until half 7 in the evening with a very empty belly and heavy eyelids. I grabbed something quick to eat and went out with Zombies, Run! I had the genius idea of going the opposite direction this time in order to keep things interesting. I made one wrong turn though and had to double back on a very busy road. To think I got lost on a route familiar to me because I went the opposite way is hilarious. I did an episode for 50 minutes with zombie chases turned up the eight per hour with an 18% increase needed to evade them.  I put on music from Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas for this run. Jingle Jangle Jingle was the first track to greet me and I was living my very best life.

Track to run at sunset to – Frank Sinatra – Blue Moon

T-Shirt of the Week

I bought this from Black Milk Clothing when it was available and was hit with the worst customs charges. Oh well, it’s cool. I’ve learned my lesson.

Bat Fit Fam Week 3

The middle week of my self-prescribed fitness regime has been quite the adventure.

Day 1 – Godkiller, More Like Kill Me

I was so happy when I saw Darebee put up a Wonder Woman inspired workout. The Buttercup workout I used my first week was challenging but manageable so I presumed it would be about the same. I was very wrong. Buttercup is described as “a workout that despite its relatively light load still manages to be tough” and Godkiller? Judge for yourself below.

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It was very tough but they weren’t lying when they said I would feel like I could go toe to toe with Zeus himself. Well, after I spent a good ten minutes sprawled across my bed I did.

Music to kill reps to – Hans Zimmer & Junkie XL – Wonder Woman Theme

Day 2 – Rick Grimes Disapproves

If I were in the middle of a zombie apocalypse on this day I would not have lasted very long. I booted up my Zombies, Run! app and began my journey. When I got a fair bit away from my house my nose started to run and it was all I could focus on. So much so that I nearly got killed by a car coming out of a driveway. Any other day I would have tissues stashed somewhere. I did consider just wiping it in my t-shirt for a millisecond before I thought better of it.  It was also really warm on that day and my poor Irish body nearly went into shock.

Feeling brave I had upped my frequency of zombie chases by one. This made it eight zombie chases per hour while I was doing fifty minutes. Grand, I thought, make it a tiny bit more challenging. I don’t know what I did in a past life to deserve what happened to me on this day. I finished a chase only to have another begin straight after it. It was hell. I had my speed for chases at 18% more than my previous pace so I think the app must have added 18% onto the 18% I had just done. Needless to say I didn’t evade the second hoard of zombies and got caught for the first time. I only lost a pack of  virtual bandages but I don’t think I will ever relax after completing a zombie chase ever again.

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What demon possessed my app and did this to me?

I was so #shook that later on I ended up being passed out by a man, only to have to pass him out in a chase. Then when adjusting my headphones I pulled them out of my phone so I stopped the whole thing for fear of a repeat of multiple chases. He then passed me out again and must have been very confused.

Literal soundtrack of my life on this day – Blondie – War Child

Day 3 – Unremarkable

Day 3 was a struggle, it was the first day I wasn’t really in the mood for anything. I did my fifty minutes of Zombies, Run! anyway and just went with it. Obviously I still had the fear in me after my double chase incident so that energised me a bit. I put the chase frequency down by one again but the app still gave me eight chases. I found myself running slower in the chases on this day but it probably worked out better as I was running for a longer period. Speaking of periods, on returning home I realised that mine had arrived. Mystery of my apathy solved. Do you think they go on tampon/pad runs in the Walking Dead?

“Thought I had enough and now I’m not sure” – Taking Back Sunday – Death Wolf

Day 4 – I’m Still a Mess

To top off what was a messy week of exercise, I tripped walking home after a couple of social drinks and I tore up my knee pretty badly. I wouldn’t mind but I genuinely wasn’t in any state that would warrant falling flat on my face (maybe I’m lying to myself). So to give my poor knee a break I chose an arms and back workout from Darebee. I completed it using 6kg hex dumbbells. I was very impressed with myself for completing it as it was quite tough.

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Get angry at a boy you don’t know for the gains – La Roux – I’m Not Your Toy

T-Shirt of the Week

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Sorry but I got this for €3 in the Men’s section of Penney’s (Primark) last summer, sucks for you.

 

 

 

 

 

Bat Fit Fam Week 2

This week I ended up doing three days instead of last week’s four. All entirely my fault of course. An impromptu sesh on Saturday meant that Sunday was off limits for exercise. Also my phone had a mid-week dip in the toilet so my priorities were slightly skewed (it’s fine btw). I did manage to up my activity on the days I did exercise so all was not completely lost.

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A girl’s gotta live

Day 1 – Doubling Back

After my issues with timing the previous week, I decided to up the zombie chase frequency in the Zombies, Run! app and also moved my workout to 45 minutes from 30. I was now on season 1, episode 3 and had been looking forward going out all day. The change of timing worked out well for the most part. However, I had to run past my house and double back because I gave myself too much time and not enough area to cover. It was awkward but only a minor annoyance. I pulled up my leggings at the start of the run and ended up pulling my underwear with them. Now that was the worst thing about the run for a good 10 minutes.

Track that made me want to punch 100 zombies straight in the gut – Muse – Psycho

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Chases can be tailored to suit all levels

Day 2 – Cyclists, Great!

On day 2 I was rearing to go. I had begun building up my base in the Zombies, Run! app and was hungry for more virtual resources.  I was so ready for this day that I upped my time to 50 minutes and set my speed for chases to 18% more than my normal pace. I would say that day 2 of this week had to be the most nerve wracking. I was very conscious of the probability of zombies. I was so engrossed in this that I spent much of my run thinking of tactics to lessen my chances of coming across a horde around a pedestrian crossing. I felt like a real runner in a zombie apocalypse.

The worst moment involved a mother cycling with her two daughters slowly. My path was eventually going to run out and I had to cross. The mother was cycling on the cycle path which would have been fine if her daughters weren’t spread across the narrow pedestrian path. Luckily for me they turned the corner. Unluckily for me though, a chase soon started and I was met with two slow walkers (real people) and a stretch of road with a very dangerous crossing at the end. I absolutely legged it only to have the chase stop right at the crossing. I changed my route on this day and finally didn’t under or over estimate the distance.

Track that pumped me up – Don Broco – Pretty

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Home Sweet Home

Day 3 – Abs-olutely in Bits

For the last day I went with the abs programme I wrote out for myself. I extended my planking sets to 45 seconds from 30 and added weight to my Russian twists. I had zero motivation and found it boring but got through it. I might look at it again for the next three weeks to change it up a little more.

Track that edged me on – Monsta X – Hero

T-Shirt of the Week

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I bought this from a shop in Brick Lane in London forever ago that has a cat in it. There’s a lot of pictures of the shop with the cat but nobody has named it! I really wish I knew it because this t-shirt is one of my favourites.

 

Bat Fit Fam Week 1

Back when I was fresh out of university (also annoyingly unemployed) my first proper fitness journey began. I joined a local gym. I had guidance from a warrior of a woman who gave me programmes that guaranteed I wouldn’t slack off. It helped immensely that every two weeks she would weigh and measure me and go into detail about what was happening to my body. I never started with the intention of being skinnier so my tailored workouts had the desired result of converting some fat to muscle while keeping me pretty much the same weight. I was in there four times a week while I also attended a level 5 FETAC business course in order to up my job prospects. I felt like I had a tiny bit of the Wonder Woman fantasy in my grasp.

After a year and a bit things started to fall apart. My trainer began to cancel appointments sporadically. Adding onto this, I managed to bag myself a job in retail. Although thankful for the job, my motivation suffered. I was never off the same days in a week and working shifts of 12 hours around Christmas really took it out of me. I tried to go in the evenings but found them far too busy and the atmosphere far too territorial. The nail on the coffin really was when my trainer left. After a while I bit the bullet and asked somebody else to help me but it just wasn’t the same. They didn’t go into half as much detail or put in as much effort as the other trainer. I had it far too good before!

Cut to now and I am long out of the gym scene. I am also (thankfully) a couple of months out of that awful retail job. Unfortunately I have swapped standing for 8 or 12 hours of the day doing physical work for sitting working and commuting for 11 hours. So, I decided a few weeks ago that something had to be done, even if it would only help me to readjust my energy levels. I took the knowledge I picked up while training and made up my own personal 5 week programme.

Like, do you even lift bro if you don’t announce it to the internet?

Day 1 – Ab-ocalypse:

The first day consisted of an ab programme that mimicked one I had previously. The layout of the workout it quite simple, 10 different exercises at 20 reps each. Then you repeat that four times to make that a grand total of only 800 reps.  I will admit that two of the exercises I chose were two types of planks, so I’m not quite doing 800. I got all of my exercise choices from the extremely informative The Women’s Health Big Book of Exercises (Easons €27.99) which also comes in a Men’s Health format. I had my Excel spreadsheet printed out on the wall, ready for sweaty old me to tick off as I finished a set. For my first day back, I definitely set myself a challenge. I was lucky though, the ab cramps didn’t set in until two whole days later.

Track that Spotify gifted to me from the heavens: Dua Lipa – New Rules

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I’m feeling weak looking at this

Day 2 – Actual Apocalypse

I’m no runner but for some reason I paid for the yearly subscription of Zombies, Run! (€27.49) on iOS (the base app is free). It was a very humid day so my aversion to running did not fare well. It was more of a “Zombies, walk really fast until you might do a little running.” Saying that, I had a great time with it. I began with the episode section of the app and found myself completely immersed in the story being relayed to me through my earphones. Hearing that I was picking up items every so often was also very effective in motivating me to carry on. I figured I might be sticking to the intervals of running for the foreseeable future so made the decision to turn on the zombie chases on my next venture. I set the mission for 30 minutes but had not ended up back home at the end so there was a few tweaks I had to make for the next run.

Track that made me walk fast and furious: Ann-Marie – Alarm

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There is still loads of features I have yet to explore

Day 3 – Zombies, Where?

I still hadn’t figured stuff out on my second outing with Zombies, Run!. I set up zombie chases but didn’t pay enough attention to the automatic frequency setting of 3 per hour which of course is terrible for a half hour episode. That meant I spent even more time walking just in case I would have to run away from a horde. It was quite comical really. I went from saving my energy to desperately trying to run sections with pedestrian crossings in case I got devoured while waiting for the lights to change. If anyone around knew what was going on in my head they would judge, harshly. It was an epic outing however, as I got caught in a torrential rain shower. There was no danger of zombies, but I did have to leap over drain covers so I wouldn’t slip and break my neck in real life. I have to give it to the zombie horde though, they showed up just as I stopped my session on the app.

Totally appropriate apocalypse track: Tinie Tempah – Girls Like ft. Zara Larsson

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It is what it is until I sort my stuff out

Day 4 – Buttercup, She’s the Toughest Fighter

For the final day of my programme I looked to one of my favourite websites, Darebee. It is a treasure trove of workouts, meal plans, exercise RPGs (yes you read that) and daily challenges. Best of all, most workouts are equipment free and inspired by everyone’s favourite figures in pop culture. You want to train like Goku? You can train like Goku. With much consideration I went for one of my favourites, Buttercup from the Powerpuff Girls. I really went for it and did the 7 sets which Darebee mark as the hardest difficulty for that workout. I can tell you, 350 knee strikes is no joke.

A Riot Grrrl Spotify playlist saved my life: Le Tigre – Deceptacon 

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All workouts are illustrated as above but there are videos available too!

T-Shirt of the Week

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Available from Qwertee

 

Quick-Take – Valiant Hearts: The Great War

I picked up Valiant Hearts: The Great War back when it was available for free on Xbox Gold back in 2015. It is now 2017 and I have finally made it onto its penultimate chapter. This is definitely not a reflection on the quality of the game. I have just not put much time into sitting down and playing it. After all, it had to take a back seat when games like Fallout 4 or the Witcher 3 commanded my attention. This is purely down to the spare time I have had to play games in the past few years.

Valiant Hearts: The Great War is, as signified by its title, a game full of heart. Set during World War I, it focuses on four characters each with different roles. You get to play as a French man (Emile), an American soldier (Freddie), a German man (Karl) and a nurse from Belgium (Anna). Throughout you get to explore the world as each person but also get the opportunity to complete sections with multiple characters. A big plus to all of this is that a dog named Walt also accompanies you on some of your journey. Everyone loves a canine companion.

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Freddie with other African-American soldiers

Inspired by real life World War I letters, Valiant Hearts gives a history lesson in an interactive and engaging way. As you progress in the game you are rewarded with short bits of information about many aspects of WWI. Of course you can always skip reading these but it really would to a disservice to the game. By providing real life context to its setting, Valiant Hearts packs a truly emotional punch.

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Although a story of love and friendship during wartime, Valiant Hearts makes no easy light of the realities of war.

It is typical of most shorter games, in that it has a strong puzzle element. This is kept fresh as each character has unique abilities on top of the basic pull lever, climb, etc. For example, Emile has a shovel for digging, Freddie can cut barbed wire and Walt is able to climb into small spaces and fetch items. Many sections require you to use all three characters with Walt being the vehicle in which you switch between the human characters.

Sometimes you can figure things out at your leisure but there are also sections in which quick thinking is needed. Often when you are on the battlefield you have to run to avoid missiles and bombs while also clearing a path. The nurse Anna also has a unique segment in which you have to heal the injured through a series of quick time event sections.

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Emile and Walt in the trenches

Overall, Valiant Hearts: The Great War is a superbly engaging game. It keeps you on your toes and also provides you with easy to follow historical facts. As you get to explore the relationships between the characters, it is hard not to feel for their situations. Despite the atrocities of WWI, Valiant Hearts: The Great War is great reminder of how resilient, brave and hopeful the human race can be.

Adventures in Andromeda

I am going to be honest. I know I don't remember the original Mass Effect trilogy with the same voracity as some others do. So forgive me if I can't give the lowdown on how different the shooting was in each game or if I cannot list what lovely RPG goodness was added following on from the first instalment. The point is, I remember the Mass Effect trilogy as a solid space opera with some firearms and biotic powers thrown in for good measure. I laughed, I cried (how predictably feminine of me) and my heart nearly gave out when I heard the bloodcurdling screech of a banshee.

By the time I was happy to wrap up Mass Effect 3, people were already in meltdown over it on the internet. Thankfully I did not see too much of this before I got to experience it myself. It was fine. I had a certain expectation that it would be near impossible to end it in a way that would fully satisfy all individual choices made in the games. However, as people discussed it more, I was left a bad taste in my mouth.

The newest game, Andromeda had no chance. The fandom were hungry and this new part of the Mass Effect universe was meant to fix the betrayal they felt they experienced at the hands of BioWare. Again, I was bombarded with review upon board upon tweet about how Andromeda was the worst thing to happen to humanity (and probably whatever is floating around up in space). Despite this, I paid €69.99 of my own money in order to check it out. I mean, how bad could it really be?

Not that bad actually.

If you don't play a BioWare RPG partly because you get to customise the appearance of your main character (in this case Ryder plus sibling) then we may not have our priorities lined up. I was very happy with how my Ryder turned out. I have to give credit to the best range of female hair options in a BioWare game to date. I did feel that I could not make the face too different from the templates given, but sliders are always awkward when you play on console.

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Customisation is available for your armour also. I had Ryder running around the galaxy in millennial pink. Who needs realism when you might be kissing aliens in space? Other than changing the colour you can build your own armour based on research you acquire exploring around. It took me longer than I would like to get comfortable with this. The development screens were far too fussy. I eventually got there and managed to even craft some interesting weapons. I did like that you had the option of making armour and weapons either from the Milky Way (Ryder's home galaxy) or from new alien tech you discover.

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In terms of plot, Ryder leaves the Milky Way when Commander Shepard of the original trilogy is doing his/her thing. The mission is to find planets viable for life to house the many other volunteers who left along with Ryder. However, you wake up 600 years later and there are big problems. Most of these come in the form of insectoid aliens called the Kett who are determined to make the galaxy a home for just them. In terms of design and overall motive, the Kett are not going to blow you over. They are a familiar villain. Much of the main story also has you go into vaults where you solve a few puzzles and shoot a few things in order to re-calibrate a particular planet's atmosphere. Thankfully they don't take a long time to complete. Many know how soul destroying those Dwarven ruins in Skyrim are…but maybe that was just me.

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Speaking of exploring, Andromeda's open world-ness did not feel too overwhelming. When you were out in the Nomad (your car essentially), quests were marked very clearly and the map had visible pathways to and from most points of interest. Unlike BioWare's other attempt at open world, Inquisition, travelling distances felt more purposeful. Where the game let me down however was when quests were running thin. Believe me, moving from the ship, into the galaxy map, into a cluster, into a planet, then going to the planet, walking to your objective, getting a small dialogue, being told the next part of the quest is on another planet, reversing the steps and then starting them again was not fun. At the beginning this was not an issue because you would to have a few things to complete on one planet which made the journey worthwhile.

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Of course the worst offence Andromeda committed was apparently having more bugs than stars in the galaxy. I did get the famed funny faces albeit quite rarely and a few smaller quests did not complete for me. The latter annoyed me the most because I made the effort and got no rewards for my time. I also experienced some crashing and enemies stuck in walls and all that fun stuff. Luckily since a fateful day when my sister spent many hours working on a house in the Sims only to have her laptop die, I have been a serial saver. Some might construe it as making a game easier but if it meant I didn't have to dive into the galaxy map again, I was going to do it.

Overall do I regret biting the bullet and spending €69.99 on Andromeda? Not at all. I put a lot of time into the game and despite a few annoyances, found myself very entertained. If you are unsure about it still, there is definitely no harm in waiting until it goes down in price. Ryder's story has benefited from the lack of Shepard level fanaticism, spoilers are few and far between.

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As I played Mass Effect Andromeda on the Xbox One, all screenshots here have come from there (if you were curious).

 

Review of Batman: The Telltale Series

I was glad to receive Batman: The Telltale series as a Christmas present.  It had peaked my interest on release, but not enough for me to commit waiting from August to December to finish it. This is because originally the full game was broken into five separate episodes that were each released over the five months, as with all of Telltale’s other series. The format of the game is very different to what most of us are used to playing also. Telltale’s Batman is a point and click game, a sort of choose your own adventure, that moulds its story around the choices you make. At the end of each episode you are given a list of the most important decisions and shown the percentage of players who made the same choices as you. Adding to the pressure, sometimes a nice “she/he will remember that” pops up in the top corner of the screen to remind you that you are changing the story.

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A summary of the kind of hero I was throughout the game

I am a huge fan of other recent Batman games (Arkham Asylum, Arkham City, Arkham Knight) in which you spend stalking criminals as Batman most of the time. What made this game interesting was the fact that you had a chance to explore the persona of Bruce Wayne. Often you are given the choice of dealing with certain characters in your cape or in your business suit. I found myself picking the latter. Being able to navigate the political side of Gotham as Bruce Wayne made the Batman story feel fresh. After all, the rest of the game gives you ample time to beat down on some thugs. As the game is set pretty early on in the life of Batman, Telltale gave themselves a fairly blank slate to work with. This has meant that characters such as reporter Vicki Vale and Oswald Cobblepot have been given new coats of paint, making them more central to this particular Batman story.

You have opportunities throughout to team up with or reject the help of each and every character in the game. The most fun duo to play as was definitely Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle (Catwoman). Unfortunately what starts off as a good representation of the Bruce/Selina dynamic turns extremely cringe-worthy if you pursue a romance with her. I found myself laughing at many serious moments in the game beyond Catwoman also. I do dislike a Batman that takes itself too seriously though, so it did not ruin the game too much.

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A dynamic duo (sometimes)

Gameplay-wise I was not blown away. I played Batman: The Telltale series on Xbox One and as with those who played on PC, I experienced some lagging issues. Especially at the beginning of the final episode. Although not game breaking, it did make fight sequences using quick time events a lot less immersive. I also was excited to use Batman’s arsenal of gadgets to solve crime as the world’s greatest detective. Mainly all you get are CSI type sections where you link correct pieces of evidence together. I found these tedious as by the time Batman talks through everything and tells you the story out loud at the end, you have already figured it out in your own head ten minutes prior.

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A high tech flip phone

Overall it is not a  bad way to entertain oneself, especially if you are looking for something short and simple. The story kept me interested especially since Bruce Wayne had a more active part in the narrative. As I have played some other Telltale series, I thought I had the decision formula down. Batman definitely has a more nuanced decision making system. Although when you are familiar with Batman lore, it can make some decisions  seem pointless.  I was also very glad I played all episodes in a chunk, unlike Telltale’s Walking Dead there was zero emotional connection to the game, so I probably would have grown bored playing one episode a month.