It’s me! Still not dead yet. I know I only seem to pop up for these lists now, but I’m working on some stuff again, but that’s for another time!
There’s a few different things to talk about here… Could go on about my Top 10 games, or films, or TV shows… Hard to narrow it down to be honest.
So I’ll follow in the footsteps of my good mate Adam, you can find his list here.
We’ll work up to number 1, and I’m gonna pick whatever I want.
The Weekly Planet Podcast.
One Monday morning in September 2013 while going to college, I stumbled upon a podcast. It was these two Australian guys talking about the recently announce Batman v Superman film, they sure did know a lot about comics and films and all that stuff I liked. Turns out it was first episode, in fact it was only uploaded that day, and so began a Monday ritual. I would listen in on James “Mr Sunday Movies” Clement and Nick “Maseau” Mason every Monday while riding the bus to college, and that continued while I wasn’t at college… And then when I left college… And it still continues… They’re on episode 300 and something and I’ve been there for every single one, it’s my one of my favourite things, not just of the decade but of all time.
Getting started with PC gaming (again)
I’d grown up playing games on the PC, this big IMB tower my Dad gave me age 5ish, loaded up with (totally legally acquired) NES, SNES, MegaDrive ROMs to play at my leisure. There were some more modern games as well, Spider-Man 2: Enter Electro, Grand Theft Auto III, and some others I can’t remember. I drifted away from the PC when I received my very own PlayStation 2 on my 7th birthday, what a gift.
But in 2012 I made a choice, well Battlefield 3 made that choice for me really, I was going to build a Gaming PC. After some negotiating with my Dad, I got the parts I needed to build a PC. And with the help of Linus Tech Tips, my Dad’s wealth of IT knowledge my very own desktop. It wasn’t anything too flashy, but it was mine.
I basked in the glory of high(er) frame rates and crisp full HD visuals. I was converted!
Until we hit generation 7 and it couldn’t keep up with the titles of the PS4 and Xbox One, so I jumped back to PlayStation.
(I came back though, don’t worry PC players)
The Wonderful World of Video Production.
With a mighty gaming PC (not that first one, it’s second or third incarnation) came the power to edit videos, at speed! In full HD, with fancy high frame rate video! Amazing!
Figured I’d be the next YouTube sensation, didn’t work out though.
No those old videos are long since burned from the internet now, and my hard drives.
But the video editing knowledge I picked up along the way has only grown and developed.
I’m editing short films now, short films I’ve written even! Can see my first release here if you want.
Starting & Finishing College.
Ah college, not American college, British college (16 – 18 college). I went in a boy and left a man-child. Ended up putting in three years at college, got myself two diplomas with something to do with music, I don’t know… I just played guitar a lot, like a lot.
I was a brilliant time, not my peak of course, keeping my fingers crossed that that’s to come. But I did love it, made some amazing friends, learnt a crap ton about the music industry and performance and music technologies.
But that big one is friends. I’ve lost touch with about 98% of everyone now, but the memories are still there, and that’s all you have in the end.
Probably popping up on everyone’s list, but here it is on mine. Of course it is.
I’m a child of Marvel, it would be sacrilege if it wasn’t here. 2011 is really the true kicking off point for the MCU, Nick Fury showing up and telling Tony to get his shit together, Thor bringing some thunder down. Great stuff.
It is probably the most impressive achievement in cinema, a whole coherent universe spread over 20+ films and it’s still going. Amazing.
Leading on from the MCU, Spider-Man, my guy!
The start of the decade had our friendly neighbourhood spider stuck in a web of Sony pish. But our mate Kevin sorted it out, Tom Holland’s Peter Parker in the MCU is fantastic. I never thought we’d see Spider-Man on screen with a wider Marvel Universe but we’ve got it, and it slams hard. Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse slams a touch harder but hey, it’s a win win win for the web head.
It was also a great 10 years for the wall-crawler in comics: the introduction of Miles Morales in the Ultimate run, the Superior Spider-Man series, Spider-Geddon, and capping off the 10s Spider-Man: Life Story.
But we can’t skim over the crowning jewel of Spider-Man in the last ten years, the thing that brought me to this very website.
Insomniac’s Marvel’s Spider-Man, the greatest Spider-Man game so far, it’s this then Spider-Man 2 (PS2, Xbox, GameCube) and then all the other shite.
As great as it is, it isn’t my game of the decade.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.
Hands down the finest game I’ve played in the last 10 years. The Witcher 3 almost passed me by to be honest. I’d attempted the first game years before, but found it a bit… Uhh… Not so hot, for me personally at least.
The second game was a great improvement, but I never got that far into it. I was probably just a bit too young for its game systems, never quite got my head around the combat. And so I nearly let the third entry in the series go on by, but something in my gut said to give it a chance. I watched some of the pre-launch coverage, Conan O’Brien’s look at it, a 45 min gameplay video from GameSpots Danny O’Dwyer, lot of Os. Something about it spoke to me, so on launch day I popped down to my local Tesco and dropped the last £45 I had on me at the time. And boy was that a good idea!
It’s no secret I love this game, if you’ve listened to the OOL podcast when Adam and I hosted you’ll know all about my love for The Witcher.
But I seriously do love it. I’ve played it through three times, once on Xbox, again on PC and again on PS4. I know the most efficient levelling path, I’m familiar enough with the world to go without a mini map, I know who everyone is and what they’re about politically. I lived a breathed it. By GOG’s reckoning, it’s my most played game of all time, a bit over 300 hours combined across platforms.
I don’t regret a second of it.
Specifically series 5 and 10.
It’s well known I adore that oh so daft show, the blue box, the adventures it sweeps us away on. Series 5 remains my personal favourite of the show so far,
though Chris Chibnall isn’t doing much
to challenge that, more on that soon. It was a brilliant soft reset to the great framework setup by Russell T Davies, Steven Moffat was on fine form, our new Doctor in Matt Smith won me over in the first minutes of falling out of his shed crushing TARDIS, and Karen Gillian had my heart on site. Series 5 is by far the strongest offering from Nu-Who, but series 10 isn’t too far behind.
Really I ‘grew up’ with three Doctor’s, and by rights one of them should be my Doctor as the saying goes. But to me Peter Capaldi is THE Doctor, while he was let down by some poor writing at times, he was always pitch perfect with what he was given, the man was born for it.
Series 10 is the perfect culmination of the 12th Doctor, Moffat had finally figured out his character, paired him with an always excellent Matt Lucas and the brilliant Pearl Mackie as the new companion. Series 10 isn’t as smooth through its journey as 5, but it sticks the landing with probably the finest two part finale the show has had since… Ever.
Rattling On with Adam.
A few years ago now, I saw a post in a gaming group I’m in “writers wanted”, it intrigued me. I had a chat with this nice guy, Dave, arranged to send him a sample piece. I sent him a thousand words on why I thought Insomniac’s Spider-Man would be excellent. It went down well, and was posted on the site the next day. And that’s how I ended up here at OOL, I wrote a few other bits here and there, some news posts but not much else. It was a part time gig, and I found myself busy with music work and the like, so writing had to take a bit of a back seat.
Not long after joining the team, Dave pops up, “you want to be on the podcast? spot just opened up.” Yet more intrigue! “Yeah man, sure!” I said, and so it was. A couple of little episodes about specific things, the Ghost Recon: Wildlands Beta, a film episode, and after a couple I get introduced to this guy. This guy who’s name had been mentioned but who I had not yet met, “Adam normally hosts the pod, but he’s been away” I’m told, don’t ask who said it I can’t remember.
And there it was, this smooth Scottish voice on the other end of a microphone, and it was instant. We started chatting away like we were longtime pals! An uncommon thing for sure, but there it was. I quickly became Adam’s No. 2 on podcast hosting duties, and that’s what we did for a while. We’d host the podcast, have a rotating third chair some of the time or just the two of us at other times. Of course there were times when one or both of us weren’t around to record but that’s why there was a team.
After a while we decided to have a go at doing our own thing, not sure why, I know there was a reason we moved away from the OOL Pod… It’ll come to me.
Anyway, Adam and I started our own podcast a couple of years ago. We named it after exactly what we did, we Rattle On. Like a lot, man I can talk. So can he though! And that’s why it works. We were very consistent for a while, but then life came at me and we had a few months off, alright it was nearly a year. But we came back! And then we had to stop again, but we’ll be back!
Of course it’s not really the podcast that the spot is going to, it’s Adam.
This gone decade gave me one of the best mates I’ve ever had, and we haven’t even met in person! Yet…
Can’t wait to get Rattling On again soon.
Going to and then dropping out of Uni, then trying again and transferring…
Boy, this ones a tangled mess.
Straight of college I panic applied to a specialist music university in London, despite my best efforts to be shite in the audition they accepted me. And so followed the worst year or so I’ve experienced in life so far.I loved, no love, London, but the uni itself was Hell on Earth. Tiny corridors stuffed full of the egos of aspiring musicians and the tutors nurturing neurosis, I couldn’t breathe there. I was handed a book showing me what I’d learn over the next three years, all of it stuff I had learned a long time ago.
I was dire, so I dropped out and spent a year trying to figure out some kind of plan.
I had a few jobs, tried starting my own business, sunk into a deep pit of depression and then some other stuff not for a public forum.
And then in 2017 something happened, a friend of mine was going to go a do a media studies degree. “Huh” I thought, I could do that… I was good at media studies in school, and I sure do love me some media. So I went with him. I finished the first year, but something wasn’t sitting right for me. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, until a little voice in the back of my head perked up… I sure do miss acting…
(TL;DR I was a child actor 7 – 14)
I should get back into acting I thought, and then that thought led me to a Drama and Film course at a different but associated university, so on the second week of my second year… I transferred… Into the third week of the second year of a different course in a different university with a whole load of new people, what was I thinking…
But it turns out I’m alright at this acting thing and now I’m about to go into the final term of my third year now… I made friends quickly, I’ve learnt a lot and am learning more.
Maybe I’ll finally get that degree, five years the charm ‘ey.
And that’s that! My Top 10 of the last Decade! I hope you enjoyed my rambl- rattlings, I’ll see you soon.