Five Favourite... Disney Pixar Films


I really enjoyed thinking about what I was going to choose for this weeks post. In the end, I think I've been nice in selecting our favourite Disney Pixar films! I see Pixar films a bit like the modern day fairy tales as there's usually a good moral to be learnt from the movies.

1) Toy Story (1995) - The first feature length computer animated movie, it's the buddy film about the life of Andy's toys and how his favourite toy Woody comes to terms with the arrival of Buzz Lightyear. They have to work together with the assistance of Andy's other toys to evade Sid and then follow Andy's family to their new home.

Released in 1995, it has set the bar for so many that have followed, featuring plenty of star names and comedy that drew in parents.

Toy Story Poster

2) Monsters Inc. (2001) - The story focus' on two best friend monsters, who work at Monsters Incorporated to generate power from scaring children, even though they are scared of their human prey. When a child follows them back, they work together to return her.

It's a fun film with great voice actors, teaching the younger audience that it's better to make people laugh rather than scare them.

Monsters, Inc. Poster

3) Cars (2005) - This film revolves around Lightning McQueen in his attempt to win the Piston Cup. Having finish in a three way tie in the final race of the championship, McQueen travels across America to get to a tiebreaker race only to fall off the back of his transporter and ends up in Radiator Springs. Before heading off to the grand finale.

In typical Pixar fashion, the story isn't exactly original, but it's a nice spin on the 'over confident upstart challenging their values'.

Cars Poster

4) WALL-E (2008) - After mankind has ruined earth, a small robot goes around collecting and tidying the planet.  He comes into contact with EVE and so develops a love story across space.

Although there's very little dialogue in the movie, the way the director and animators draw you into the story is amazing (I wish I had their way with storytelling!).

WALL·E Poster

5) Up (2009) - Having lost his soulmate, Carl Fredricksen encounters a boy scout called Russell.  They end up going on an adventure, trying to find Paradise Falls where Carl plans to settle.
Another feel-good film, this time it's the relationship that develops between Carl, Russell and number of other animals then come across that make the story.


Up Poster

My honourable mentions for this week are:

The Incredibles - Someone explained that this is what the Fantastic Four movie(s) should be like, which made me smile.  It's the story of the everyday life of a family of superheroes and how Mr Incredible feels the need to return to saving the world.
Finding Nemo - Having fallen asleep watching this the first time I tried to watch it (I was travelling back from Australia at the time!) I recently watched the entire film, for the benefit of my little boy, and it's definitely one that I'll watch again.
Ratatouille - I recall seeing this a couple of times at the cinema, the story of how a rat becomes one of the top chefs in Paris.

As always, you can read my partners Five Favourite Friday post here.

The last week (19/09/2016)

 


This week went so quickly again, but it was nice to get out at the weekend, even it wasn't to where we planned.
 
Monday - A delayed return home meant I should have spent less time with my little boy, however he was fast asleep when I got back. Whilst I was chatting with my partner, he woke up in tears due to his teething. My partner when to get him some Calpol, which had a dual effect on my evening. I got to spend an extra 10 minutes with my son which was great but it meant I was very late leaving for five-a-side.
 
On a more positive note, I felt a lot better playing five-a-side than I have done for the past couple of weeks. I only got one goal, but I was much happier with the rest of my play. I even got praised for a couple of other players so I must have been doing something right!
 
Thankfully, my son was more like himself when I got back and even got a decent nights sleep, all things being considered.
 
Tuesday - Back to train commuting for the first time in over a fortnight was a bit of a shock to the system. In the evening, we had dinner with my parents to spend some time with my mum following her return to Britain from Australia, she had gone there to meet her great niece, born earlier this year.
 
On the downside, my little boy continued to suffer with his teething, waking up sporadically through the night.
 
Wednesday - I didn't sleep well, which I've attributed to my son waking regularly during the night coupled with a bit of anxiety for a meeting at work (which I needn't have worried about in the end). In the evening we spent time watching YouTube and a bit of gaming on Terraria.
 
Thursday - Relatively quiet evening at home catching up on the Great British Bake Off, not much to report after that in truth.
 
Friday - A quiet night in playing with my little boy until his bedtime and then spent some time relaxing with my partner.
 
Saturday - After my little boys morning nap, we went to the National Trust location, Carding Mill Valley, just outside Church Stratton, to let my little boy try out his new wellington's in the stream. We grabbed some lunch whilst we were there, before plenty of splashing about as my partner paddled with my son.  In the evening I managed to catch most of the Arsenal-Chelsea match, with Arsenal running out to a convincing 3-0 victory.
 
Sunday - We planned to take a walk around Haughmond Hill, just outside Shrewsbury but it was busy. Instead we tried another National Trust property, Attingham Park, as we arrived it started to rain so we decided to try somewhere else. We finally ended up going around Telford town centre, not exactly what we had planned but at least we were dry.
 

Five Favourite... iOS Apps




After my choice of topic for last weeks Five Favourite post, my partner has chosen this weeks and she has gone with 'iOS Apps' (I'm sure it has something to do with the release of iOS 10 last week). I'm taking this to be, which apps do I find useful on my Apple devices and I use the most. I'm excluding games from this list because I've got a sneaking suspicion that this may be a future topic for a Five Favourite post.

1) Camera - For my first App, I've selected the default Camera app that comes installed on the Apple as it so easy to access, even more so now in iOS 10 with the swipe to the right from the lock screen. It's so handy to be able to quickly access a camera to take snaps when I'm out and about.  My iPhone is the camera I use most due to the fact I've always got my phone with me. This app may not offer some of the functions included in other photography Apps, but the accessibility is a massive plus for it!


2) Google Maps - Makes navigating your world faster and easier. Find the best places in town and the information that you need to get there (apparently)

Although I have no objections to the Apple Maps app, I prefer to use Google interface and the inclusion of Google street view make places easier to find. When travelling, my phone becomes my best companion, helping me find my way around new areas.




3) National Rail Enquiries - Plan, book and keep up to date with all your train travel in one easy app. Manage your journeys with My Travel, plan new routes with our comprehensive journey planner and receive real time travel updates. Personalised to you, you can set up travel alerts, track your train, save your favourite journeys and buy tickets anytime anywhere (apparently).

My daily routine involves traveling to and from work by train, so the National Rail Enquiries app is invaluable as I generally leave the office without checking if my train is on time so I know how quickly I've got to move to make sure I get to the station and catch the train.



4) IMDB - The world's most popular and authoritative source for movie, TV and celebrity content (apparently).
 
My phone has become an essential part of my setup when I'm watching films or TV. When I'm watching average programme, I've found myself looking a the trivia and goofs help keep me interested in the show. It's also helped me keep track of what I've watched, I can never remember if I've seen films so being able to record what I've seen and my rating (out of 10) appeals to me.


5) BBC iPlayer - Keep up with BBC TV on the go (apparently).

To me, iPlayer is one of the original streaming services, allowing at least UK residents the chance to catch up on BBC programming from the previous week.  Now you can download things to your devices, the iPlayer app is my saviour when I'm travelling.




This weeks Honourable Mentions could have go on and on, but I've narrowed it down to 4:
Fitbit - The new interface has improved Fitbit no end and it's easy to track my steps each day.
My Banking app - I won't promote my bank but being able to see all how much/little money I've got.
Facebook - I spend a lot of time looking at Facebook so that means I use the app quite a bit.

My first ever Special Mention for the App Store, without this app, I wouldn't have any of the other apps.
I'm wondering what my partner has chosen in her Five Favourite post, you can find out her choices here.  Next week, it's back to me to choose the subject of our Five Favourite post, if you've got anything you'd like to be covered, drop me a comment.
 

The last week (12/09/2016)




A bit of a break from the norm this week as I took a trip to Newcastle for work, anyway on with a quick overview of the past week.

Monday - Another fast turn around seeing my little boy after work before heading out to play five-a-side football. I felt much better playing this week, probably down to the fact I was able to get some shots off and scored a goal!

Tuesday - I spent the afternoon travelling to Newcastle-upon-Tyne for a work's meeting on Wednesday. Typical of my luck, just as I went to leave the heavens opened and a storm hit. Luckily, the weather wasn't too bad once I got moving and had cleared up by the time I got near Manchester. It's a long old drive to the north east from Shropshire, so I was glad to be able to sit down and tuck into a burger at 'The Fat Hippo', a recommendation from a colleague. I had a Gastro burger, two 4oz patties, topped with Parma ham, rocket and pesto mayo, very tasty and looking forward to going back on my next trip to Newcastle! A late night getting to sleep followed as I struggled with a caffeine rush, induced by drinking too much cola on the journey north.

Wednesday - Not much to report from Wednesday as I travelled back from Newcastle, but I was lucky enough to watch the sunset on my journey home, I tried to take a photo of it, but by the time I could pull in to some services, the sun had disappeared. I was glad to get home and see my little boy (even if he was sleeping) upon my return.

Thursday - A quiet night in recovering from the previous 2 days of travel, watching YouTube and catching up with my partner and son.

Friday - I had fish 'n' chips with my Dad, partner and son in the evening followed by some frantic investigations to discover my five favourite cover songs and get a blog post ready for publishing.

Saturday - I spent the morning watching TV with my partner catching up on the Great British Bake Off (Batter week) and playing on the Xbox whilst my son napped. In the afternoon I went to the football as Shrewsbury Town hosted Scunthorpe United, Town seemed to play better than they have done in recent games but they still lost 0-1. A lot of the chatter on Facebook was calling for the head of anyone concerned with the club. Although I like Micky Mellon, the manager, sometimes losing the fans can lead to the managers position becoming untenable. Hopefully he can turn it around and soon!

Sunday - I spent the morning playing on Terraria (for what seemed to be the first time in forever). In the afternoon we when to see some friends and let our children run about and have some fun.
Hopefully you had a good week too, I've not got much planned for the upcoming week but we'll see how it turns out.

Five Favourite... Cover Songs



This week it's my choice of subject for the Five Favourite Friday post, and I've gone with 'Cover Songs'. I love music and have a wide and varied collection on my computer, covering all sorts of genres from acapella to heavy metal. I went through a phase a few years jago of tracking down punk covers of songs which meant I not only discovered new bands, like Me First And The Gimme Gimmes, but also some of the songs covered were new to me.
For this list, I've tried to not include more than one song from a particular genre. Anyway on to my Five Favourite Cover Songs.
1) Israel 'Iz' Kamakawiwoʻole - Somewhere Over the Rainbow / What a Wonderful World (originally by Judy Garland / Louis Armstrong)
I was shown the video to this song by my partner and I was instantly hooked into the song. Iz provides one of my favourite songs to just chill out to, covering classics by Judy Garland and Lois Armstrong. There is a beautiful scene in the video where you see hundreds of surfers taking part in Iz's funeral, paddling out to sea.

2) Pet Shop Boys - Always On My Mind (originally by Elvis Presley)
One of the Pet Shop Boys most iconic songs is a cover of a Elvis Presley classic. There's a 'matter of fact'-ness to Neil Tennant's delivery of the song, but there's still a passion in his voice. As the song starts, you instantly recognise the song. It also helps that I love the video, in particular the delivery of lines from the song by the passenger in the taxi.

3) Nothing Compares 2 U - Sinéad O'Connor (originally by The Family/Prince)
A very simple but powerful song about how a lover feels after being left by the subject of their affection. Another great video showing Sinéad singing down the camera and an iconic shot of a single tear falling.

4) Feeling Good -  Muse (originally by Nina Simone)
Another cover that takes the original in a new direction, Muse give a haunting creepiness to Nina Simone's Feeling Good.  In particular I enjoy the distorted voice as the song progresses past the half way point.

5) Express Yourself  - NWA (originally by Charles Wright & the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band)
Not exactly a full on cover, but I love the NWA take on this song. There's an attack and aggression to the song which appeals to me, also there's a nice juxtaposition to some of the other songs that make up this list. I've also got memories of playing on Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4 game on my PS2 and this was the only song I would allow on the playlist.

My honourable mentions this week could easily have made it on to this weeks list, but just missed out:
Johnny Cash - Hurt (originally by Nine Inch Nails) - This song pulls at my heart strings, I'm not really sure why, but I think it's because I associate the song with Johnny's passing and it just adds to the aura surrounding the song
The White Stripes - Jolene (originally by Dolly Parton) - I'm a huge fan of The White Stripes, I think they generate quite a primitive sound, not in a negative way however. In the live version, heavy drumming and guitars, coupled with Jack White's voice provide a impassioned cover of Dolly Parton's classic. I think this version makes you feel the pain that Jolene is causing to the individual laying their soul bare.
You Got The Love - Florence + The Machine (originally by Candi Staton) - Another great cover, but it sounds too much like the original to warrant being included on my list.
Are there any songs that you think I should have included on my list?  If you fancy seeing what my partner has included in her list, you can check them out on her new website - www.justaroundtheriverbend.co.uk.  My partner will be making the next selection, I cant wait to see what she's going to choose!
 

The Last week (05/09/2016)

The past week has felt fairly uneventful but it was nice to have a fairly peaceful weekend when we got there.

Monday - First thing in the morning, I struggled to locate my football kit before going for work, which meant I was late leaving the house. When I got to work, I realised I'd left my laptop at home so had to go back to pick it up, only for it to become apparent that it had been left on all weekend and the battery was flat. Not the best start to the week!

A whirlwind visit home to pick up my football kit and spend a few minutes with my son, before heading to play 5-a-side. For some reason I didn't play particularly well, no goals scored and I conceded quite a few when I was in goal summed up my day! I'm blaming it on the long walk to the park on the previous day.

Tuesday - A funny moment as I woke up, I couldn't remember what day it was so I asked myself questions (is it the weekend? Did I go to work yesterday? Do my legs hurt because I played football last night?) until I realised it was Tuesday.

A fairly uneventful day followed, culminating in a quiet evening in playing with my son by pretending to be asleep and then waking up suddenly, then some gaming on Minecraft when he had gone to bed.

Wednesday - Spent the evening watching the Apple Keynote Speech revealing the iPhone 7/7 Plus and preparing a blog post. You can read the post here.


Thursday - my partner explained to me what our Five Favourite Friday post would be about, so a night of scouring the Internet for inspiration for me, followed by some preparatory work on the blog post.

Unfortunately my little boy didn't have a great night sleep, which invariably led to mum and dad also having a bad night.

Friday - I spent lots of time playing with my son with his mother & his grandfather in the evening and then we all had fish & chips.

Saturday - Lots of play time with my little boy, some time on Minecraft whilst he napped, then we all sat down to watch the CBeebies Prom. In the evening we watched The Jungle Book (2016 film), it even grabbed my little boys attention. I thought it was a good film, the CGI was amazing, but I didn't feel like some of the voice actors fitted their roles and they could have brought something more to the film - Idris Elba sounded a bit cockney as Shere Khan and Scarlett Johansson just seemed to be shoehorned in to the film. (7/10).

Sunday - We visited my partners parents on Saturday, when we normally go round on a Sunday, so today felt like a bonus day for the weekend. A bit of shopping in the morning and then round to see some friends in the afternoon. After that we popped to a local recreational park for our son to have a go on the swings and slide, but some annoying children were being loud and swearing (children should be seen and not heard I'm told!) so we didn't stay too long. The evening was a mad dash to ensure we had the appropriate clothes for the week ahead.

Next week I've got a trip to Newcastle with work which should be interesting and Shrewsbury Town play Scunthorpe United on Saturday. When I get back from Newcastle, I'm hoping the initial surge for iOS 10 downloads will have subsided a bit and I'll be able to update my phone to a new operating system. Other than that not much else planned so we'll see what the rest of the week brings.

Five Favourites... Nostalgic Kids TV Shows


This week is the turn of my partner to select the subject for our Five Favourite Friday, she's chosen Nostalgic Kids TV Shows!

1) Fun House - They don't make shows like this any more! Hosted by Pat Sharp, two teams of two children competed over three rounds, followed by the teams battling it out in go-karts to get to go around the Fun House in their final round to win.

2) Count Duckula - I love Count Duckula, I love the animation style, the characters just evoke great memories and the catchphrases are clear as day in my mind (Nanny: Cooie! Duckie-poos!). When looking up some programs for inspiration, I found out that Count Duckula was a spin-off of Danger Mouse, where he was a villain alongside Silas Greenback (who knew!).

3) How2 - This was a follow up to a previous show called 'How' which focused on science, maths and puzzles (yes, I've chosen an educational show!) all based on the simple question, How? I seem to recall that the presenters would take a question, examine the premise and explain how to solve the question. How2 was one of my absolute favourite TV shows, when I was a child I was interested as to how things worked, so this show really appealed to me.

4) Blue Peter - A classic kids to show that most people in Britain will have watched on BBC One when growing up, and everyone will have their own favourite presenter line-up (1993 was probably my favourite, '97 was also quite strong). It became a staple of my after school TV line-up, covering everything children are interested in, from crafting useful items (sticky-back plastic + empty washing up liquid bottles + glue, water and paper = a stunning Tracy Island replica!) to tending to the Blue Peter garden. And who didn't want to be the proud owner of a Blue Peter badge! Hopefully, we'll be able to work together to earn my little boy one.

5) Going Live - This was the first Saturday morning program I can remember, it was a magazine programme aimed at children and was a forerunner of the other great British Saturday morning shows. It ran various segments from humorous skits to dial-in interviews with celebrities. I think I went to Coalbrookdale to see an outside broadcast featuring Wet Wet Wet in the late eighties that appeared in the show.

As always I've got some honourable mentions and I am aware I've probably missed other great shows that I've totally forgotten about:
Biker Mice from Mars - I can remember seeing one of the first episodes on Channel 4 before going to school in the morning and I got hooked. I'm not even sure why I remember the show so fondly, but it was a show I looked forward to each episode.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - I was such a fan of TMNT that I made my parents record (on VHS) every episode each Saturday (I think we've still got them 🤔). I think my fond memories are based on the whole experience, as my parents bought me nearly all of the toys / action figures so I was able to make up my own adventures.
Bananaman - Everyone loves Eric, for when Eric eats a banana, an amazing transformation occurs. Eric is Bananaman. Ever alert for the call to action! (If I only liked bananas). As I've been looking for inspiration, It's been great evoking memories and finding out facts about the shows that I loved as a child (who knew the Goodies were behind Bananaman?).

My partner has put up her favourite shows on her blog as well, who's list do you think is better?

Anyway, it's my turn to pick the subject for next weeks post, leave any suggestions in the comments below.

iPhone 7/7 Plus Announcement

Yesterday (7/9) Apple announced the latest models of their iPhones, 7 and 7 Plus, alongside iOS 10.

I've used iPhones pretty much exclusively since my iPhone 3G, progressing through the 4, 5 and, my current phone, the 6 Plus. Every two years in early September I get a bit excited to see what my new iPhone is likely to be. I'm usually a little bit disappointed, thinking that more could have been done, but I've found in recent years there are features I like that aren't mentioned in the keynote speech. As is the norm, once you've put to one side all the spin and gloss place on the announcement, there wasn't much to get too excited about, but Apple kept telling their audience that this is the best ever iPhone (if your latest model isn't the best ever then why are you releasing it 🤔).

Probably the features I keep a keen eye on most is what's happening to the inbuilt camera. A larger aperture, some optical zoom, an improved flash and better low light shots all sound like the sort of improvements I would be looking for and the depth effect on the iPhone 7 Plus are really intriguing, I hope it works as well for consumers as it appears in the promotional material.

It's a shame that Apple have done away with the 3.5 audio jack in the new phones, I'm not sure that I trust wireless headphone connections just yet, but I'm willing to be converted. I just hope that the earphones shipped with the phones are comfortable

Although the the AirPods look sleek and futuristic, I don't think I'll be picking a pair up straight away. Again, I'm happy to be convinced otherwise, but knowing me I'd end up losing one of them!

On a positive note the fact the iPhone 7/7 Plus has been made dust and water resistant is a bonus, if nothing else being caught in a heavy downpour won't result in me being concerned if my phone gets a bit damp.

If things go to plan, I think I'm going to get myself an iPhone 7 Plus, 128gb in Jet Black. I didn't see much on the standard iPhone 7 to persuade me to go for one, but the 7 Plus... Being an photography enthusiast, if the camera meets my expectations I will be a very happy Apple aficionado.

I'll cover off iOS 10 when I get my hands on it, but what are your thoughts on yesterday's announcements?

The Last Week (29/08/2016)

The last week was a break from the norm, being that I had a couple of days away from the office and got to spend plenty of time with my son.

Monday - A bank holiday in Britain meant that I had the day off work and got to spend plenty of time with my little boy. We had some friends round for the day and in the afternoon the Dads took the children to a local play park. It was nice to see my son toddling round the park.

Tuesday - My partner was taken to Harry Potter Studios by her sister for the day, so I got to spend another day with my little boy. Lots of playing with toys was the order of the day. In the evening, I attended the EFL Trophy match against Cambridge United. A low turnout due to some unpopular changes to the format, gave the match a preseason vibe and I'm sure this rubbed off on the players, losing (for the third time in the space of a week) 0-1.
 
 
Wednesday - Back to work after an extended weekend. As my Mum is off to Australia to see the latest additon to our extended family for two weeks, we went out for a meal in the evening.
 
Thursday - A quiet night in, preparing some blog posts.
 
Friday - Another quiet night in, gaming on Terraria and started playing 'Ark: Survival Evolved'.
 
Saturday - Started off by watching 'Guardians of the Galaxy', followed by a bit of a chill out day. Played a bit more Ark and spent some time in my Minecraft creative world building a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse!
 
Sunday - Spent the morning playing Ark whilst my son was napping, then round to my partners parents for traditional Sunday lunch (beef if you're interested). We went for a walk in the afternoon along the river to feed the ducks and then on to the town centre playground. My son had a great time and spent about an hour playing on the slide. Somehow I managed to catch some of the Italian Grand Prix and the England Vs Slovakia World Cup qualifier match. Busy, busy, busy!
 

Five Favourite... Video Games




Each Friday I'm hoping to post my favourite five things from a particular topic. To start things off I thought I'd go with a relatively easy subject, video games. 

1) Terraria - Terraria is a 2D action/adventure sandbox game where you are encouraged to go exploring through various layers (all the way down to the underworld), collecting materials to create new weapons and armours to beat stronger mobs and bosses.

It was a close call as to whether I'd include Terraria or Minecraft, but in the end I prefer that Terraria feels bigger, even if the maps are smaller. There seems to be more to items to craft and there's a definite game progression, where as I find in Minecraft you could go straight to the end boss very quickly after starting a new game.

There are two new Terraria games in the works which I'm really looking forward to, Terraria 2 and Terraria: Otherworld.
 



2) Lego Series - The Lego games are a series of action/adventure platform games, covering a variety of franchises. The aim is to collect Lego studs to allow you to buy new characters, with new abilities to unlock new areas in levels and reveal new bonuses. There have been a number of franchises that I've played, including Marvel, DC Superheroes, Indiana Jones, Star Wars, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Pirates Of the Caribbean and Jurassic World. I really enjoy all the games so I've included them under a single banner so I don't have to pick an individual game to include.


When I bought my Nintendo Wii it came with the first instalment of the Indiana Jones games. After playing this I got into other franchises as they came out, it was such a relief when independent screens for co-op was introduced it stopped me and my partner bickering as to which way we should go in the level. One downside however is that I found it strange playing the games before seeing the film (I'm looking at you Pirates of the Caribbean!).
The games are very family friendly and I'm looking forward to playing them with my son when the time comes.


3) Mario Kart Wii - Mario Kart is a fun racing game featuring everyone's favourite plumber. The games feature a variety of characters from the Mario games, each with their own attributes that affect the acceleration and top speed. Racers pick up random items that can be used to either attack the other competitors or defend against incoming attacks.

I remember playing on the original Mario Kart on my SNES, definitely one of my favourite games and I'd lose hours playing it. When I picked up the Wii version and it took me right back. It's amazing how competitive people get playing Mario Kart and all friendships are put on hold for the races - people happy to end up at the back of the grid just to get a blue shell just to stop someone winning the race!


4) Gears of War 2 - Gears Of War is a third person shooter based in the fictional planet Sera in the middle of a war against the Locust.
Back in 2008 my partner and I visited Australia, but she kept mentioning that a new game was being released whilst we were away and that she wanted someone to pick up a copy for her so we could play it upon our return. This game was Gears of War 2.

Although I struggled initially with the game, I soon felt more confident and then began to enjoy it. I love that we could play it in co-op on such a good game, and playing on different difficulty levels at the same time meant that we were able to play to the level we wanted to. The biggest issue I have is on the multiplayer games. I really hate the Gnasher dash people do, whereby people are able to run up using the shotgun and can generally 'one-shot' their opponent.




5) Batman Arkham City - Batman Arkham City is the sequel to the Arkham Asylum game. In it you place Batman rounding up Gotham's most wanted following a break out from prison. The game incorporates stealth, detection, combat and, of course, bat-gizmos.
I'm a huge batman fan, so I was looking forward to playing the batman and it doesn't disappoint. The combat is fluid and the open nature of the game really appeals to me, you can chose what to next whether it's going after some gangs causing trouble, doing side missions or continuing the story.

As with most games I struggle with flying, I just don't seem to be able to master descending using the cape, but that's more about me rather than the dynamics of the game. My only other grumble is that it's only a single player, it would be great if my partner could join in when I play.

I feel that I should include some honourable mentions as there are so many games that I enjoy:
Minecraft - Such a massive game, whether it be the worlds that are generated or the cultural impact it's had. I love that someone has created Denmark in Minecraft and some of the creations I've seen online are truly inspiring.
FIFA - I've played Fifa games from right at the beginning (FIFA International on the SNES) and I've stuck by them which ever console I've been playing on. The biggest issue I've got with them is that they don't seem to have step change improvements in recent years, so I struggle to justify buying a new copy every year now.
Call of Duty - I never played the early games, but I ended up playing Modern Warfare and Black Ops due to others telling me I should play them. I enjoy playing the online modes, the story modes have been quite short and felt more like they are a justification for the multiplayer maps.
So there they are my favourite five video games. Have I missed any you think should be included or are there some games you recommend that I try out? Leave them in a comment below.
Also be sure to check out my partner's Five Favourite Friday blog post, she's going to set the topic for next week.