Month: October 2017

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    Cathode Ray by kevjazz900

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    Considering picking up Dead by Daylight again this time on ps4. Already have on steam but fancy the more relaxed horror.

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    Life is Strange: Before the storm episode 2 (Brave New World)

    Following on from, and topping, a previous instalment of Life Is Strange is always a mean feat to accomplish. However, as with all times previously, the creators have done it again with Before the Storm episode 2.

    Chloe’s path is cracking

    In the opening of episode 1, Chloe Price was still pretty innocent – albeit sneaking out to secret gigs and smoking the odd bit of weed. So it was interesting to see how she is starting to walk that bad path we know her for during episode 2. Through dealing with Frank Bowers and ultimately breaking and entering a student’s dorm room for him, Chloe’s path starts to crack as it leads her forward into her not too distant future.

    The choices I found myself making with Chloe had devastating effects on other characters too. In fact I found myself asking “What do I think Chloe would do?” as opposed to “What would I do?”. I was only interested in trying to secure the future Rachel and Chloe want together, and I was willing to let others hurt for it.

    The relationship deepens

    The episodes of the game are each set within one full day, so time is limited in developing such a close bond. But for me the creators do this with ease through such great use of the scenes that play out. Every interaction, each word spoken, serves to at the very least weave these two characters even closer together.

    Chloe’s and Rachel’s relationship is taken to a whole other level through what is perhaps one of the most beautiful scenes I have ever watched in a game. The scene in question involves the reenactment of Shakespeare’s The Tempest and truly had me close to tears experiencing it.

    Kylie Brown and Rhianna DeVries, who play Rachel and Chloe respectively, absolutely nail their performance throughout this game. A lot of different people go into the making of Life is Strange: Before the Storm – into what makes it great. However, I feel that Kylie and Rhianna carry much of the emotional weight of the story and do so with such grace using their voices alone.

    An ending that takes your breath

    Emotional, cliff-hanger endings are pretty much par for the course in Arcadia Bay. And I’m happy to say episode 2 delivers as I would expect. The only thing with this, is that it is such a great ending that I really don’t want to wait another two months or so for it.

    During what could well be one of the most uncomfortable dinners of either Rachel or Chloe’s life, the cliffhanger ending is revealed and left me completely slack-jawed yet again.

    With episode 1 I felt like I needed a break after the explosive ending that occurred. But with episode 2, with it’s revelation right at the end, it only made me want to immediately know more.

    A raging fire

    Perhaps what I find most moving of all, is related to the fact that we know the ultimate destinies of these characters. This is why I find it very hard to hate David; and why I can’t feel too sorry for Nathan when his Dad is giving him grief. But most of all, it’s why I can’t help feeling almost heart-broken when Rachel and Chloe confess their feelings; their future plans; and share their first kiss. Much like Laura Palmer in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, these girls’ relationship is a raging fire close to being snuffed out.

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    How to easily set a custom redirect in Laravel form requests

    In Laravel you can create custom request classes where you can house the validation for any given route. If that validation then fails, Laravel’s default action is to redirect the visitor back to the previous page. This is commonly used for when a form is submitted incorrectly – The visitor will be redirected back to said form to correct the errors. Sometimes, however, you may wish to redirect the visitor to a different location altogether.

    TL;DR (Too long; didn’t read)

    At the top of your custom request class, add one of the following protected properties and give it your required value. I have given example values to demonstrate:

    protected $redirect = '/custom-page'; // Any URL or path
    protected $redirectRoute = 'pages.custom-page'; // The named route of the page
    protected $redirectAction = 'PagesController@customPage'; // The controller action to use.

    This will then redirect your visitor to that location should they fail any of the validation checks within your custom form request class.


    When you create a request class through the Laravel artisan command, it will create one that extends the base Laravel class Illuminate\Foundation\Http\FormRequest. Within this class the three protected properties listed above are initialised from line 33, but not set to a value.

    Then further down the page of the base class, on line 127 at the time of writing, there is a protected method called getRedirectUrl. This method performs a series of checks for whether or not any of the three redirect properties have actually been set. The first one it finds to be set by you, in the order given above, is the one that will be used as the custom redirect location.

    Here is that getRedirectUrl method for your convenience:

    * Get the URL to redirect to on a validation error.
    * @return string
    protected function getRedirectUrl()
        $url = $this->redirector->getUrlGenerator();
        if ($this->redirect) {
            return $url->to($this->redirect);
        } elseif ($this->redirectRoute) {
            return $url->route($this->redirectRoute);
        } elseif ($this->redirectAction) {
            return $url->action($this->redirectAction);
        return $url->previous();

    Do you have any extra tips to add to this? Let me know in the comments below.


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    It’s been a while

    I’ve not been writing as often as I’d like this last week. Partly this is due to my having done the Birmingham International Marathon last Sunday and being in recovery from a knee injury from that. But I know that’s a pathetic excuse – there’s always my phone that I can write posts on after all.

    That being said I am currently putting together a structure, a strategy if you like, for planning writing and publishing posts at a more consistent rate. Once it is all put together I’ll put together a list of the programs and services I am using for it.

    I had a goal a few weeks back of getting to this site to have 250 published posts in total by Christmas day 2017. This post will be number 182 so I’m not sure if I’ll successfully manage 250 by then. But I will give it a good try.

    Going to be going pumpkin picking tomorrow but don’t know what I’m going to theme my pumpkin on this year. Last year’s was Pinhead from Hellraiser. I’d love to hear some suggestions from you.

    Take care, Dave.

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    I did the Birmingham International Marathon and would really appreciate any donations for the Brum Childrens Hospital –

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    Sometimes the words just don’t flow. Took me two nights to write a little post about a collection of short manga stories.

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    The Last of Us review

    The Last of Us was released in 2013, yet i didn’t get to play it till three years later. But when I did, it quickly became one of my top three games of all time. Its whole world and the characters within have somehow become a part of me. Joel and Ellie have become two of the most important characters in my life.

    What’s The Last of Us about?

    After one of the most emotional game intros I’ve ever experienced, we are placed with our hero, Joel, twenty years into a Post-apocalyptic world. Early on in the game you are entrusted to look after 14-year-old girl, Ellie. This is where it all begins – one of the most important relationships in gaming history starts right here. You are tasked with getting her safely to a group called ‘The Fireflies’, the reasons for which I wont reveal here, and of course it’s not simply a case of walking from A to B.

    Once Ellie is with you, she will follow you wherever you go and you must protect her at all costs. But don’t get mistaken that protecting her means she is helpless; quite the opposite is true in fact. As the game progresses you will find that Ellie is just as tough as Joel, if not more so. They both come to rely on each other for survival.

    You will end up travelling across America in your mission, encountering some interesting and downright terrifying people. The locations too are beautiful to explore, with the suburbs; the University of Eastern Colorado; a snowy lakeside resort; and more. All of which have been subject to the unstoppable spread of both mother nature and the deadly virus. The combination of overgrown flora and fauna, along with the ever-mutating infected, make for some simultaneously beautiful and grotesque imagery.

    Infected everywhere

    The infected that you encounter on your journey can be really tough at times, with all-out gun fights being the worse option to take. The infected people are found at different stages in their individual mutations, with each stage having its own strengths and weaknesses. The most iconic of these stages is probably what are known as ‘Clickers’. These mutated festering people have one of the most iconic sounds I’ve heard – their namesake ‘Clicking’.  They use this as a form of echo location due to their being blind as a bat.

    There’s nothing quite so brutal as the moment a clicker grabs a hold a bites down hard.

    A game of character

    The emotional thread that runs through this game is much stronger than any of the make shift melee weapons that Joel can fashion. The core of The Last of Us is the father/daughter relationship between Joel and Ellie that gets stronger and stronger as time goes on. Although he is initially cold towards her, treating her simply as his current mission, you will see how their bond becomes tighter with each step they take. One of the real great parts of this character development too, is the subtle exchanges of conversation that happen in-game, when you are playing.

    It is hard to talk about the characters in this game without drawing comparisons to The Walking Dead. What both The Walking Dead and The Last of Us do so well, is deal with the conflicts between humans themselves. Even though humans as a species have a common enemy in the viral outbreak, there are still separate factions that arise that will kill one another for control and supplies instead of working together.

    As strong and positive as the relationship between Joel and Ellie is, there is darkness out there that would see them torn apart. This darkness could not have been portrayed any better than by David. The build up through the Winter chapter to its violent conclusion is one of my favourite scenes in gaming. And that’s all I’ll mention of it.

    Multiple playthroughs

    I’d never before finished a game and immediately, after the credits, hit ‘New Game’, but with this one I did. I just couldn’t wait to get back into this world once again. Once I knew the story and where conflicts would occur, I found I could take in more of the environment. I would start looking carefully at every little detail in the world around me, ever-impressed with the level of care.

    When you replay through at the same difficulty you keep all weapon and character enhancements you gained first time through. This made me feel like a bad ass and I actually went looking for fights.

    In Conclusion

    It’s rare that a game, or even a film, that gets such high praise and surrounding hype actually lives up to it, but The Last of Us does. It’ll have you laughing at the funny interactions between the characters; it’ll have you terrified and scared for your life. It may even have you questioning the things that you really hold dear in this world of distractions and excess.

    The Last of Us not only lives up to its reputation, it dwarfs it.

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    Stop worrying about your niche – just write

    Every single regurgitated blog post I see about starting a blog always says the same thing – find a niche and focus on targeting it. This can be a toxic idea as it has the power to both limit you and paralyse you from writing.

    I’m not saying you shouldn’t have a focus in your writing, just don’t let finding a focus stop you from writing.

    My advice to anybody out there wanting to start a blog is this – just open a free account and get writing. I mention WordPress as it is cloud-based, free, and has the ability for you to export your posts when you are ready to move to a self-hosted solution.

    Just start writing.

    Even the process of setting up a self-hosted WordPress site can be danuting for new people, but that’s okay. You shouldn’t need to worry about these steps when you are just starting out.

    I highly recommend that you do have a self-hosted website eventually, just don’t let setting one up hinder you from any writing you could actually be doing.

    You don’t need to feel that you have to publish everything you write either. Just writing for writing’s sake is good for you. Obviously if you can share your thoughts and experiences with the world then that’s all good, just don’t feel you have to.

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    Tropic of Cancer by Roslyn Moore

    Roslyn Moore is back with her second desert opera, Tropic of Cancer.

    I was an immediate fan of Roslyn’s as soon as I first heard her stuff on Soundcloud over a year ago. So the announcement of this new album did get me excited.

    Evolution of the desert opera.

    Tropic of Cancer is the new album by Roslyn Moore, which builds upon the material from her previous album Hazy. Those older songs – some of which have a different sound to them, coupled with 9 new songs – make for a deeper and darker Roslyn Moore experience on this album.

    I’ll first address the elephant in the room. Yes, all of her songs from Hazy are on this new album but what you have to remember is, is that these songs have been available for free on Soundcloud since their release. With this, I tend to think more that she is working out her sound and albums in the public space. Kind of like if a painter uploaded her pictures in stages as she was painting them. The same emotional and ideological core, but each iteration building on the last into a stronger end piece.

    Some hand-picked favourites

    There were a few songs that immediately stuck with me from Tropic of Cancer. These tended to be ones that sounded like she was experimenting with her sound.

    Roslyn Moore

    Starting with the ebbing and flowing of quiet percussion, The Great Escape/15 Rounds was refreshing to hear from Roslyn. The percussion starts and stops with her spoken lyrics continuing, giving it a 50/50 mix of accapella and accompaniment. It gives the song a really interesting sound that is unlike anything Roslyn has done before.

    Speaking of things she hasn’t done before – scaring the hell out of me is one of them. The last quarter of Hazy/Agents At The Ferris Wheel took a complete left turn into what I can only describe as a drug-induced, Industrial nightmare. I was nodding off to her calming vocals and this thing just hit me off guard.

    It scared the absolute living shit out of me. Good job.

    Probably my favourite on the album is a song called Coke&Weed. With its marching-band / jazzy / guitar-kissed infusion, this song has so many interesting parts to it that I keep going back for more. This song would sound so fucking awesome played live in the Road House on Twin Peaks.

    In closing

    You should think of Tropic of Cancer as more of a transformation from her previous album. All of the songs from her previous album, Hazy, are on here – but so too are 9 new songs. Not only that but some of her previous songs sound like they have been redone / remixed.

    I love that Roslyn is still pushing her music forward, experimenting with new ideas, whilst still remaining true to her emotional centre. These songs are still soaked in a dark melancholy, only this time she’s coming at it from new angles and with new styles.