The Best of EGX REZZED 2019

Recently, Neale, friend of the site Joey Chilton, and I, were lucky enough to go to this years edition of EGX REZZED at the Tobacco Dock, London. For those not aware, EGX is the name of a long running video game convention that takes place annually, and REZZED is a spinoff dedicated purely to indie games. Whilst this may not seem like something to take note of, the key difference is that developers here appear to take on the feedback that you have about their games as you play them. It’s refreshing to play some hidden gem and say an off-hand comment, then see them write it down because they obviously want to make the best game they can. Although Microsoft, Nintendo & Sony were there, the emphasis was on independently made video games, and here are some of the best ones I happened to see at EGX REZZED 2019.

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The Best Simpsons Video Games

Hello once again, dear reader. Last time we looked at the “Worst Video Games featuring The Simpsons”. We saw shocking skateboarding, a questionable beanstalk and God-awful wrestling. It wasn't all bad, however - for every bad mobile game there could possibly be a good mobile game, it’s not out of the realms of possibility!

So join me as we take a look at some of The Best Simpson Video Games!

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The Worst Simpsons Video Games

One of the biggest television shows since television began is that funny yellow family we all know and love, The Simpsons. They have just recently been renewed for 2 new seasons taking it up to season 32. Through all the seasons we have had a multitude of merch that stems from alarm clocks, soaps (on a rope sometimes), figures, foods, drinks, doormats and even actual real life Duff beer!

Not all of it was good however, especially in the interactive form! Join me on a journey as we go through The Worst Simpson Video Games!

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The Teal Album by Weezer Review

The curious case of an unexpected album release I see! Not only that, it is a cover album I hear! I hope they have covered songs that I know! Oh well might as well just put it on without seeing the tracklist and hope I can sing along. In all seriousness though, despite all my mixed feelings (spoiler) on the album, I would recommend putting this on and being surprised by what they play. Read on to find out more thoughts and feeling on Weezer’s ‘The Teal Album’

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Craig's Favourite Things of The Year

Hello everyone, you join us here for another year in the bag. 2018 somehow went by in a flash and also seemed to take forever to get to the stunning conclusion of the Brexit saga (we definitely aren’t going to hear anything about Brexit in 2019 right?). Whilst the news of the year has been mostly grim as the world’s leaders still deny climate change and it seems we are on the brink of our own extinction, the entertainment industry has had a truly fabulous year to help us forget our somewhat saddening existence.

So join me for my personal “favourite things” of the year (I will spell favourite the way we do in England, sorry Americans). Then join us from Wednesday 26th December for the beginning of the “UDS Sharkies 2018”. What a year it has been.

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Mega Ran at The Surya Centre, London Review

I had seen Mega Ran two years ago at the same venue. At the time I had just been introduced to his music and whilst I knew people used “video game tunes” in their music I must admit I thought it was a fad, like pogs or fidget cubes. That’s not a diss because I enjoyed pogs (at the time they were big) and video game soundtracks make up a good pile of my MP3 collection.

I can safely say Mega Ran however is not a fad. Over the last few years, Mega Ran has shown that hard work and passion can shine through in any profession if you have enough determination. How else would a man that once worked at Toys R Us, now be able to join The WWE Tag Team The New Day in the middle of a wrestling ring?

The support act of this cold London night was SΔMMUS (Sammus in plain old English characters). An unassuming softly spoken woman took to the stage in this darkened basement venue, but soon as she got on the mic she let her songs do the talking for her. I cannot stress how impressive Enongo Lumumba-Kasongo (her birth name) was on the night, with a voice similar to that of Nicki Minaj but with subject matter that has a better appeal (think less songs about big booties/being with boys and more about lounging around the house playing video games). Her specialist subject was rhyming about Mario & Metroid but has a PhD to prove she really is as nerdy as her songs suggest if going around the stage with an arm cannon was not enough proof. Sammus was a spectacle and every song performed gave off a big presence on stage. Listen to her EP The Infusion about life or M’other Brain for a more game based musical adventure.

Sammus & Mega Ran

Mega Ran got onto the stage with Ric Flair’s music playing in the background with an almost deafening applause for such a tiny venue. Performing songs from a variety of places, whether his numerous solo albums or his seemingly 100+ collaborative projects he has created in the past. Of course being the professional and creative type he is, that was not enough. He did his patented audience freestyle in which he creates a completely new song based on items that the audience members give to him. Simply describing it is an injustice, when you are there experiencing the freestyle in person it is a pure delight to witness.

In my previous review for Mega Ran I stated “Never before have I been to a gig where the person on stage wants to share the spotlight with everyone”. Two years on this is still the case, bringing Sammus on stage to sing a song together and bringing the crowd on stage at the end to dance to Sugarhill Gang’s Apache, it truly is for his entertainment as much as it is the audiences. You can see that Mega Ran is a performer that loves audience interaction, he feeds off of the energy. The crazy you are the crazier his set will be.

Over the years his rapping style has gotten tighter, his routine is more polished but not a lot has changed at a Mega Ran performance, which is not a bad thing seeing as it was of such high calibre in the first place. If there is ever a festival or gig with Mega Ran on the bill do yourself a favour and go and see him, you will not regret it.

Bowling For Soup at Brixton Academy Review

“Since Bruce Springsteen, Madonna. Way before Nirvana. There was U2 and Blondie”. Bowling For Soup of course ended with their biggest hit (a cover of SR-71) to a raucous crowd which were lapping up all the shenanigans which had happened before hand. What shenanigans you ask?

The evening started with Army of Freshman. I was not in attendance for them but from what I heard through muffled doors and walls they were definitely a rock band. The Aquabats! took to the stage after and what I can only describe as one of the most unique and confusing musical performances I have been too.

The Aquabats! had many key moments to their bizarreness, for instance the song “The Shark Fighter!” saw two people dressed as sharks take to the stage and run around whilst throwing inflatable sharks, the song “Pizza Day” saw inflatable pizza thrown into the crowd and then “Super Rad!” saw seemingly every inflatable object they could find and throw it into the crowd. At one point a slightly overweight super villain in a Freddie Mercury costume called “Breaddy Mercury” came onto the stage to throw bread into the crowd and try to injure the people who were “Gluten Intolerant”.

For a Ska band who have a kids television show I was not expecting a lot but The Aquabats! were able to put on a performance which was similar to that of a Pixar film, sure the target audience may be kids but it is of such high quality people of any age can enjoy it as long as you are up for having fun and not taking yourself seriously.

A somewhat blurry photo of Bowling for Soup & The Aquabats!

Bowling for Soup were last on the bill at Brixton and played the Drunk Enough to Dance album in full. Which ultimately meant you could learn all the songs to sing along too if you were so inclined. If you have ever been to a Bowling for Soup show you know the rundownof what is going to happen, mostly songs and jokes. The band have had years to hone their improv skills and it came through on that night, to the point they played three songs in a row without talking to the crowd and jokingly stated “we are now exhausted”. They played D.E.T.D in order from front to back so a song like “Girl All The Bad Guys Want” ended up being third in the setlist. After finishing the album play through they made sure to sprinkle a few other crowd favourites like “The Bitch Song” to make sure that people who were not the hardcore had things to keep them occupied.

The encore consisted of “Ohio (Come Back to Texas)” with Army of Freshman playing the third verse so BFS could see what it’s like to see a band play that song, “Star Song” and the previously mentioned “1985”. For the final song they brought on a Polish fan from the crowd to play guitar because he held up a sign saying he wanted to play the song. It was pretty mental. He did a good job keeping up with the rest of the band whilst Jaret was able to have a rare moment off guitar and peruse the stage.

Overall I would recommend The Aquabats! or Bowling For Soup as a go to gig for any fans of rock or anyone who would just like a good time. Sure it’s never going to be something like a Beethoven piece but it’s there for you to have a good time and party and that’s exactly what “The Get Happy Tour” set out to do.