Showing posts from October, 2016

Rise of the Tomb Raider: Blood Ties – Past, present and future mesh in this emotionally powerful DLC

Pre-play musings

Daddy issues.

If you want to dislike Angelina Jolie’s 2001 Tomb Raider film for one reason, it’s that the movie forced parental hang-ups into the franchise mix. Thanks to Hollywood, Lara Croft’s origin story shifted dramatically. And not for the better.

Twenty years ago, Lara Croft was conceptualised as having survived a plane crash in the mountains. The trek back to civilisation profoundly affects her priorities. She promptly abandons her life of aristocratic privilege for one of adventure – which gets her disowned by her parents. It doesn’t matter though; she achieves success by living life on her own terms as a self-made woman.

After the Tomb Raider movie was released, however, aspects of the blockbuster backstory began to surface in the games. With the release of 2006’s Tomb Raider: Legend, Lara was rewritten as a young woman who loses her mother at a young age and is raised alone by her unorthodox archaeologist father. Once her dad is also lost to his obsessive …

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie – campy hit-and-miss nonsense for fans

This review originally appeared at
Long before there were Bridesmaids and Bad Moms, there were two misbehaving, middle-aged Englishwomen always ready for a good time. Never mind that their clumsy, drunken debauchery turned them into social pariahs. If there was bolly to be downed, ciggies to be smoked, ridiculous fashion to be worn and celebrities to be schmoozed, that’s where you’d find Edina Monsoon (Jennifer Saunders) and Patsy Stone (Joanna Lumley).

Well, twenty-four years since the world was first introduced to best friends Eddy and Pats, nothing’s changed. Seriously, nothing. Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie, the first feature film centred on this badly behaving duo, feels exactly like an extended version of the cult TV comedy that started it all. Except with a considerably bigger budget and considerably more celebrity cameos.

So if you enjoyed the series, you’ll thoroughly enjoy Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie. If you didn’t, you’re not going to be converted. And …

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children film review – Rushed and unsatisfying

This review originally appeared at
I admit upfront that this review of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is from the perspective of someone who thoroughly enjoyed the Ransom Riggs novel on which the movie is based. I’ve heard that people unfamiliar with the book have appreciated director Tim Burton’s fantasy adventure a lot more. Regardless, even if viewed solely as a cinematic experience, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is very flawed and unsatisfying.

To outline the plot first: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children centres on teenager Jake (Asa Butterfield), who hasn’t come to terms with the death of his grandfather Abe (Terence Stamp). Jake saw something in the shadows on the night his grandfather died, and this fact, combined with cryptic messages, drives Jake to the tiny Welsh island where Abe lived during World War II. There, thanks to the help of some magical time travel, Jake discovers the children’s home where his grandfather staye…

rAge 2016 report-back: cosplay, VR gaming and more

As you may have seen in a prior post, I was at South Africa's rAge expo last weekend in Johannesburg. I was predominantly attending the event - the country's biggest electronic gaming and geek lifestyle expo - for the cosplay, and to catch up with friends and colleagues.

I had an absolute blast snapping pics of other cosplayers, taking part in a gathering of South African Tomb Raider cosplayers (to coincide with the franchise's 20 year anniversary), chatting to local game developers, getting hands-on with a number of high-profile upcoming releases, and losing my VR virginity.

Check out my public Facebook gallery of cosplay pics here.

I also ended up doing some impromptu games journalism for IGN Africa. You can find my coverage of the event here:
Hands-on with the best games at rAGe Joburg 2016Living in the future with VR gaming at rAge JoburgrAge 2016 Cosplay Gallery

See you at rAge 2016... as South Africa's official Lara Croft

It's a dream come true. I've been selected as an official Tomb Raider cosplay ambassador for this year'srAge electronic gaming expo in Johannesburg, South Africa.

So come and say hi this weekend, 7 - 9 October at the Ticketpro Dome in Northriding.

On Friday, I'll be roaming about in lite cosplay as London Lara.

On Saturday and Sunday, however, you can find me in full, signature Rise dress primarily around the Megarom stand. Megarom is the South African distributor of Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20 Year Celebration edition (available from 11 October), and you'll be able to get hands-on with the game at their stall.

I'll also be taking part in cosplay events over the course of the weekend. Look for updates of my movements on my Twitter account (@pfangirl) or via @MegaromGames.

If you're going to be around for anything, make sure it's the special Tomb Raider cosplay gathering on Saturday afternoon. People are encouraged to dress up like Lara, or any other ch…