― Edmund Burke
So this was widely reported in the news yesterday and upon seeing the news i wrote a little rant that i thought you all might enjoy.
Interesting, i knew those killed in the camps was close to 11 million, that’s 6 millions Jews and 5 million other political opponents but now this? honestly i can believe this as there has been a huge disconnect about the true extent of the holocaust for many years. Were allowed to talk about the 6 million Jewish deaths but try to mention the homosexuals, Russian prisoners of war or the disabled and people look at you with a confused look on their faces. Not to mention the millions of people from Ukraine, Poland and the rest of the Baltic states that go completely ignored by mass media, These people were killed without discrimination and buried in mass graves but because they weren’t killed in Auschwitz their deaths means less. Many believe that the holocaust was purely about the destruction of the Jews but it was about so much more than that, history is written by the victors as they say but very often history is written to help fuel a political idea and is used purely as a source of mass propaganda, the history of victory will very often ignore true facts because it focuses on one side of the story and only through looking at a problem from all angles can we truly start to understand the true impact, repercussions of any event, weather that be the holocaust or any other atrocity committed in the name of one group of people. He who controls history controls life, He who controls information controls you.
This news is not that surprising, The thing that is most disgusting about the holocaust is how much the western powers knew and were unwilling to stop it and in many way were complicate in the actions of the Nazi’s. the thing that really shocks me about this though is that although this is considered one of the worse moments in human history, 65/70 years later we still don’t know the true extent of the horrors committed and i have to ask my self why? Why is this information being kept from us? why are the politicians drip feeding us this information in the hope that we wont notice?
One of the great things that the x-men films have given us a truly ambiguous villain in magneto, we get that magneto is a very bad man and will do anything to further his cause while at the same time you can understand his motives. Magneto like much of the marvel universe was born in WW2 but unlike many of Marvel’s other heroes he was not born on the battle fields of western Europe or the pacific, No Magneto was born in the far more destructive part of WW2 and that was the holocaust.
This story Explores Magnetos early life as a Jew in Germany, we see the Nazi’s coming to power slowly and how his ordinary life was changing and best of all we see it through the eyes of this young and quiet innocent boy. We see how the Nazi’s slowly and methodically persecuted the Jewish people in all areas of life, This also explores Magnetos family life, We see his father a proud German veteran who would not bow down to anyone else (a trait that his son was to inherit), naturally as well as looking at the wider issue of German nazification we also get the aspect of his everyday life, His love interest who I personally think served absolutely no purpose to the book and was only there to make the ending have more gravitas, His school life which for Magnus wasn’t a problem with bad grades, It was more a problem of being a very gifted Jewish child in Nazi Germany, Which if any of you know your history isn’t the the best thing especially when Magneto took great pleasure in showing up his Aryan Classmates.
This book deals the holocaust far more sympathetically than some scholars normally I have read, The way it tows the line between being a accurate representation of the time and being a story of fiction is wonderfully done, To show that they respected the era of this book they even offer a reading list so that readers can see where they got there information from, As a history nerd I like this approach, You get to enjoy the story and if it interested you can out and read more about it, This is especially good for those younger readers who wont know as much as us veterans.
The art is OK, Nothing to write home about but lucky for the art it doesn’t need to be, Some comics hide behind good art to hide a mediocre story, This book does it right, It hides mediocre art behind a fantastic story. The artist choose to use a pencil design to give it a real aged look and I think it suits the style of story but I have seen it done so much better in many other places. Despite this the art did is not that bad, It doesn’t make the book unreadable which can be a problem for many graphic novels of the day but it doesn’t enhance the story like it should.
In conclusion the story is amazing, It manages to stay true to the source and does a real good job of showing the horrors of the holocaust without diminishing it in any way. I also liked the duality of magneto, I understand how he became magneto but I also saw the ruthlessness that would come to colour his character. The ruthlessness of a man that would do anything to survive and come out on top. This gave me a real insight to this character and the world that he grew up in, This is a must for anyone fascinated by this period of history or any Magneto fan alike.
I’m so with the times that I’m going to review a 6 year old game that was developed by criterion the publisher behind the quite brilliant burnout series. The history of this developer can be clearly seen in this game with its over top style and sheer amount of destruction.
The gameplay in black is not going to set the world of gaming on its head, it is a very typical generic first person shooter, you run, you gun, you hide behind things and you destroy a never ending amount of enemy one after another with little regard for the human blood you are creating. Every single first person cliché is on display here even down to the typical sniper levels that every first person shooter feels the need to have right in the middle of it games. So what separates black from the rest of the competition and like most games i play not much but its just enough to put a huge smile on my face. Like the burnout games the sheer amount of destruction that can be seen in this game is staggering, one grenade can bring down a whole building and decimate a large proportion of the map at the same time. This is amazing and it gives you such a satisfying felling, it makes me feel slightly god like when reeking down all mighty destruction on those i deem not worthy of me. The destruction unfortunately is not quite enough enough to distract from the very generic nature of this game and most certainly isn’t enough to distract you from the broken weapons (but more on that later).
The story was billed as Hollywood level story and this is true, it has b movie tripe written over it. Its the usual military operation goes wrong and as a result a conspiracy is discovered within the military, so original it hurts. Again this just leads to more hearty laughing inducing clichés. although the story leaves a lot to be desired and just becomes a throw away thing that you don’t real play attention to. I must admit that i do like the semi realistic cut scenes. I like the way they take place in the a interview style this brings a rather personal view to the whole proceeding and i love the way the interviewer is always obscured by dark it just seems to add to the threat but even these lack originality.
The graphics on this game are dated by todays standards but in terms of what’s available on the Xbox they are simply stunning. This was a game that was released towards the end of the original Xbox’s life and as a result it has some of the best graphics on the system. After seeing what this game had in terms of graphics i find myself wondering if the 360 actually gave us any great leap in graphics performance other than HD of course. This is one of the things were it looks like the like the developers took a lot of time unlike many other areas of this game.
Although the gameplay is nothing new and the main plot of this game is rather throw away i couldn’t help but enjoy this game. i loved the sheer destruction and the overall polish of this game. This is the burnout of shooters its shallow and fun. This will not be considered the greatest game of all time by any stretch of the imagination but you will enjoy playing it and revelling in the sheer destruction you can cause with a single grenade.
Despite the polish there are few niggles that i have with this game, The first of these is the shotgun. I’m used to powerful shotguns but in this game there just unbelievable, there range is massive even coming close to the range of some handguns in the game and they kill instantly this takes the fun away from using it somewhat. The grenades were also a source of much frustration for me, for the reason that can be best sumed up in the quote most six year old boys in say “you throw like a girl”. By this i mean the grenade will just bounce aimlessly 2 feet in feet of you. The the grenade situation will frustrate the life out of you and you will blow your self up more times than the bad guys but i found not using them is a far better solution to that problem.
but if the price is right and by that i mean if you find it in a bargain bin somewhere for like a 10 pounds pick it up for a bit of harmless fun.