About Shane Bailey

Your host and fellow addict hails from the Central Coast of Australia, and loves to immerse himself in the world of video games. When he's not playing his Xbox One he's either watching The Newsroom, Mad Men or Legend of Korra. You can find more of his work at doublejump.co and his YouTube channel Gamers Say Thank You.

Ep. 089 – Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt. 1, Far Cry 4, Pokemon, Sunset Overdrive – 29th Nov. 2014

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It’s all about the GAMES this week as Shane, Jason, Jason and Nicole gather around the sacred microphones to perform the reviewing ritual on a variety of highly-anticipated pieces of entertainment. In the first segment the gang kicks it off in the open-world of Kyrat in Far Cry 4. Shane then tells tale of his adventures in the Awesome-pocalypse in Sunset Overdrive. And the boys venture back to the Hoenn region in the remakes, Pokemon: Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire.

And in the second segment, Jason H and Nicole (with a bit of Ben & Terry sprinkled in) provide their thoughts on Jennifer Lawrence in the latest instalment of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt. 1.

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03:38 – Far Cry 4
22:29 – Sunset Overdrive
29:04 – Pokemon
40:05 – Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt. 1

Thanks for listening this week, fellow addicts! Join us next weekend for our reviews of the Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence film Serena and Double Fine’s tactical RPG Massive Chalice!

Ep. 088 – Assassin’s Creed: Unity, Whiplash, Halo: The Master Chief Collection – 22nd Nov. 2014

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This week on The Awesome Addiction, Shane, Jason and Ben welcome newcomer Amy to review the open-world of Paris in Assassin’s Creed: Unity. Shane still hasn’t played Sunset Overdrive, but for good reason: multiplayer in Halo: The Master Chief Collection has been patched which means he’s been playing it!

And in the second segment, the guys sink their teeth into Whiplash, a jazz-infused drama starring Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons. If you haven’t seen it yet, FIX THAT IMMEDIATELY!

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10:40 – Assassin’s Creed: Unity
23:14 – Halo: The Master Chief Collection multiplayer
26:27 – Whiplash

It’s a big name week next week as the guys review Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt. 1, Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire and Far Cry 4.

Assassin’s Creed: Unity Review

The Assassin’s Creed series has established itself among other franchises as a stand out in terms of historical settings and boasting beautifully recreated worlds across the spans of time. Despite this, I was starting to lose interest in the series, not even bothering with Brotherhood and Revelations. If it weren’t for 2013’s Black Flag, I probably wouldn’t even have picked up Unity. Ok, that’s a lie – I would have, simply because it’s a new PlayStation 4 game exclusive to current generation consoles and its promise of a beautifully recreated France during the Revolutionary period of the 1700’s.

Set in Paris, the story follows a young Parisian named Arno Dorian. Following the death of his Assassin father, a family – with ties to the Templar Order, sworn enemies of the Assassins – takes Arno under their wing. Blaming himself when his adoptive father is killed, Arno sets himself out on a quest to bring the killers to justice bringing him into the Brotherhood of Assassins and slowly rising through the ranks. Arno’s love interest is in the form of Elise who is his adoptive father’s daughter and a Templar herself. Much like in previous Assassin’s Creed instalments, the game introduces several historical figures including the likes of Napoléon Bonaparte and The Marquis de Sade.

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The games’ story is somewhat identical to previous instalments, but thankfully, the present day story arc is minimal in this game, giving much more immersion into the finely detailed world that is 1700’s France. Additionally the story has ties to Assassin’s Creed Rogue, the Assassin’s Creed game that was released alongside Unity for the previous generation consoles. While Arno himself is relatively cool, he isn’t at all relatable and he just seems bland and faceless amongst the “getting kind of stale” rivalry between the Assassins and the Templars, making the story seem really thin.

Booting up Unity and immersing oneself for a few moments into the opening levels, you immediately notice that the designers have utilized the power of the current gen consoles as the models and characters look beautifully rendered. With a few more hours of play, you are exposed to an open and immersive recreation of France and I must say – wow! I was so impressed at the immaculate detail of the buildings, alleyways and the entire volatility of the Revolutionary era. Streets are crowded with characters, more than I have ever seen in a game on screen at any particular time, the French flag is strewn in the mud amongst mobs, anarchists and police officers fight openly in the streets, the sounds of the pedestrians and markets are overwhelmingly detailed. Needless to say, my eyes and ears were impressed!

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However, after getting over the initial visual exposure and reveling in how beautiful the game looks, I became frustrated and annoyed about how the game feels. The problems with controlling the main character, Arno, are the same issues I had with Altair, Ezio and Edward from Assassin’s Creed I, II and IV respectively. While the game has a new “free run up” and “free run down” system for ease of traversal, I found a lot of my time was wasted yelling at Arno for climbing onto a ledge that was in the opposite direction in which I pushed the left stick or for hanging outside a window, furiously pressing the L2 button because the game said “push L2 to enter window” only for Arno to either hang there non-chalantly or even shimmy in the opposite direction. Oftentimes, I was frustrated when he was hanging on a building and I would hit X to climb up, only for Arno to stay in place and move slightly, further adding to my frustration.

Combat was another issue altogether. While the animations of Arno’s attacks are quite stunning and akin to a swashbuckling film, the camera always gets in the way of full cohesion and Arno struggles to respond to your commands with dexterity. In fact, so many times did Arno “disagree” with what I was telling him both in combat situations and with world traversal, I was legitimately questioning myself if I was actually this bad of a gamer.

This was exemplified during “stealth” missions. Requiring me to blend in with crowds and avoid detection, I found myself being spotted even when I was certain that I was not in the view of the guards. Sure, there’s a push L2 feature for a “stealth mode” and you can take cover on walls, but most of the time I was either spotted, or I was cursing Arno for going into the wrong direction. Ultimately, the stealth mechanic feels really broken and apart from some key “tutorial” missions at the beginning of the game, if you are spotted you can either throw a smoke bomb and run away or stand by and fight them, so in any regard I felt there was no point and no reward to stealth at all.

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The exploration of Revolutionary era France made up for a lot of control issues I had experienced, including doing side missions like collection heads for Madame Tussaud and uncovering clues to solve murder mysteries, adding more depth to a rather thin story-line. During the story line, the player is given Assassination targets, which I had found rather enjoyable purely because of the free reign you had to accomplish them.

Assassin’s Creed Unity also boasts a variety of customization that I quite enjoyed. As with all games in the series, Unity rewards exploration and I loved spending a bit of time finding chests to earn money so I could update Arno’s look, in turn updating his health, combat and stealth statistics. Making my Arno look like a Musketeer was a very proud moment for me. Doing missions also gives you points to spend on skills to develop Arno into even more of a killing machine, such as giving him the ability to roll after a great fall, or throw coins into public – ok, so not so much of a killer then, at least I still enjoyed unlocking a using these skills. The game also has a very rewarding multiplayer aspect whereby you can join Assassin’s online and complete difficult missions and earn better weapons and gear.

Concluding, I have had quite a bit of fun marveling at the visuals and stunning recreation of France and free running across rooftops and atop Notre Dame, however the clunky controls prove frustrating and take a lot out of the game. The story is very “by the books” and I got very little fulfillment from it but I absolutely loved roaming France, completing murder mysteries and doing random side quests. I would still recommend playing Assassin’s Creed Unity, but I would warn about the frustration the controls gave and the silly glitches the game contains. Ultimately, I feel like the game needed a bit more time before its release as it feels somewhat unfinished.

Ep. 087 – Halo: The Master Chief Collection, John Wick – 15th Nov. 2014

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It’s an action-packed episode this week as Shane, Jason H and Terry take the mics to review the latest and greatest video game compilation, Halo: The Master Chief Collection.

And like a deadly hitman, in the second segment they carefully pick apart the action romp John Wick starring Keanu Reeves. Spoilers: it’s a friggin’ awesome movie!

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02:23 – Halo: The Master Chief Collection
25:35 – John Wick

Thanks for listening, awesome addicts! Join us next week for our reviews of the open-worlds of Sunset Overdrive and Assassin’s Creed: Unity and the Miles Teller film, Whiplash.

Ep. 086 – Interstellar, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, The Evil Within – 8th Nov. 2014

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It’s another blockbuster episode this week as Shane, Jason H, Jason M and Terry orbit the mics to review several games including Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, The Evil Within, Fantasia: Music Evolved and more!

Then buckle in for a discussion of galactic proportions as the guys attempt to review Interstellar, a sci-fi epic that has the crew very divided.

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01:18 – The Evil Within
18:35 – Fantasia: Music Evolved
24:17 – Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare
34:38 – Steamworld Dig
39:43 – Interstellar
01:07:37 – Interstellar SPOILERS

Thanks for listening once again, awesome addicts! Be sure to subscribe to the podcast to catch our thoughts on Halo: The Master Chief Collection, Sunset Overdrive and John Wick.

Ep. 085 – PAX Australia 2014 – 3rd Nov. 2014

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The guys trip it down to Melbourne this week for PAX Australia 2014! Join Shane, Jason H, Jason M, Terry and now-official PAX Correspondent Adam Rida as they discuss the latest and greatest games from the show floor!

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From AAA titles to indie darlings, from console classics to the latest tabletop experiences, the guys spend a whole 3 days covering the whole damn thing! Plus Shane and Jason H interview some Aussie indie devs from the show floor including League of Geeks, Cardboard Keep and Thomas Janson.

Thanks for listing guys! Join us next week for our reviews of Interstellar, Fantasia: Music Evolved, The Evil Within and much more!

Ep. 084 – The Legend of Korra, GamerGate, Fury, Pride – 25th Oct. 2014

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It’s a jam-packed show this week as Shane, Ben, Nicole and Terry discuss a swath of interesting topics.

In the first segment, Shane and Nicole review the Platinum Games-developed Legend of Korra video game while Ben and Terry explain why the mobile app Game of War is so addictive!

Shane also reviews Volume 1 of Dragons: Riders of Berk and Nicole does the same for the first few episodes of Halle Berry’s Extant. Then the crew tackles the heated #GamerGate discussion as best they can.

And to wrap it up in the final two segments, they review the historical dramedy Pride and the WWII action drama Fury starring Brad Pitt.

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01:42 – The Legend of Korra video game
17:42 – Game of War
25:53 – Extant
30:20 – Dragons: Riders of Berk
33:43 – GamerGate discussion
54:00 – Pride
01:50:12 – Fury
01:37:39 – Behind-The-Scenes

Thanks for listening guys. Don’t forget to join us next week for our annual PAX Australia episode from Melbourne!

Ep. 083 – Gone Girl, Shadow of Mordor, Super Smash Bros. – 18th Oct. 2014

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It’s a smashing episode this week as Shane, Jason, Ben and Terry tick all The Awesome Addiction boxes again: games, movies and TV!

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In the first segment, Jason has finally watched Book 1 of The Legend of Korra and the pilot of House of Cards, and Shane couldn’t be happier. Terry and Shane give their thoughts on Super Smash Bros. on 3DS while Shane tells tale of his adventures in Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor. Your host has also dabbled in Diablo 3 on PS4 (thanks to Jason) and he explains why Destiny could learn a lot from Blizzard’s action-RPG.

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And to round it out in the second segment, the guys do their best job to explain just how much and why they love David Fincher’s latest dramatic thriller that’s sweeping the world, Gone Girl.

02:01 – The Legend of Korra
08:18 – House of Cards
10:05 – Super Smash Bros. on 3DS
25:26 – Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor
35:07 – Diablo 3 vs Destiny
44:52 – Gone Girl
01:13:27 – Gone Girl SPOILERS

We hope you enjoyed this week’s episode, fellow addicts! Join us next week for our reviews of The Legend of Korra video game, the historical dramedy Pride starring Bill Nighy, and Brad Pitt and Shia LeBeouf in the WWII action drama Fury.

Ep. 082 – Star Wars Rebels, The Judge, Joe – 13th Oct. 2014

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It’s just like old times this week as your host and co-pilot, Shane and Jason, team up to tackle a wide variety of topics.

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In the first segment they hit up a few games including Wolfenstein: The New Order, Dust: An Elysian Tail and Spelunky. Following this Jason touches upon the dark drama TV show The Strain, while Shane gives his thoughts on the first two episodes of Star Wars Rebels before continuing to gush about The Legend of Korra and the first two episodes of Book 4: Balance.

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Then in the final two segments, the duo review Robert Downey Jr. and Robert Duvall in The Judge and Nicholas Cage’s best film in a long time, 2013′s Joe.

02:54 – Wolfenstein: The New Order
11:32 – Dust: An Elysian Tail
14:31 – Spelunky
17:53 – Star Wars Rebels
23:10 – The Strain
24:56 – The Legend of Korra: Book 4: Balance
29:22 – The Judge
51:13 – Joe

Thanks for listening once again fellow addicts! Join us next week for a smashing show when we review David Fincher’s Gone Girl, Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros. on 3DS and Monolith Productions’ Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor.

Ep. 081 – EB Expo 2014, The Equalizer, Syriana – 6th Oct. 2014

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It’s half about the games and half about the movies this week in this mega-sized 2.5 hour show! In the first two segments, Shane, Jason M and Nicole travel to the EB Expo 2014 at Sydney Olympic Park to see all the latest games! They’re joined by Kim Bender, Will Norman and Chloe San Miguel from Girls That Game and Miggiato.

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The plethora of games they played include Call of Duty: Advance Warfare, Dance Central: Spotlight, Sunset Overdrive, Halo: The Master Chief Collection, Fantasia: Music Evolved, The Evil Within, Evolve, Far Cry 4, Just Dance 2015, Battlefield Hardline, Mortal Kombat X, The Order 1886, Bloodborne, Driveclub, Until Dawn, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, Splatoon and much more!

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Then in the final two segments, Shane is joined by Jason H, Ben and Terry to review Denzel Washington in The Equalizer and they also venture back to 2005 to review George Clooney and Matt Damon in the Academy Award winning Syriana, before wrapping it up with another round of Survival of The Nerdiest and VS.

01:12 – EB Expo
59:16 – The Equalizer
01:32:00 – Syriana
01:50:39 – Survival of The Nerdiest
02:00:56 – VS.
02:20:58 – [Behind The Scenes]

Thanks for allowing us to fill 2.5 hours of your lives this week. Join us on Saturday for our reviews of Super Smash Bros. 3DS, Robert Downey Jr. in The Judge and Nicholas Cage’s Joe.