Doctor Who: Season 11 – Season Review Episode 1-5

In a breezy garage at TheSuffolkRam house, He and Middlemiester meet up in order to discuss how the season has been so far and where they feel the season is heading

We kick off with ‘The Woman who fell to earth’ looking at what we think of the new Doctor and the advantage and disadvantage of having lots of companions, the pronunciation of tongue and the filming format.

Next Up is ‘The Ghost Monument’, a different kind of episode featuring vicious cloth and the first look at the new TARDIS.

Then we look at the first historical episode of the season with ‘Rosa’. We talk about how the episode showed the harsh reality of segregation in the US but how it also crossed the line into preaching occasionally, we also talk about how good British people are at American accident

We then talk about our fear of spiders as we move onto ‘Arachnids in the UK’. We discuss how we feel about companions families are dealt with in the series, also are we going to see some Moffet monsters. We also talk about Christ North and how annoying Yasmin’s mum is.

Finally we move on the most recent broadcast episode: ‘The Tsuranga Conundrum’ we talk about the happy monster and the lack of ‘threat’ in the episode. We also talk about one of Ram’s favorite style of episode and if we are going to get a series ark.

Doctor Who: Season 10 – Episode 9 “Empress of Mars” – Review

Welcome to TheSuffolkRam’s review of Doctor Who Series 10, Episode 9 – “Empress of Mars”.

The Doctor, Bill and Nadole visit NASA just as they find a message on Mars written in English from the late 1800s. The Gang head to Mars to find out why, and in doing so run into there old enemy/alias the Ice Warriors.

He discuss the B-Movie vibe of the episode, how well he was engaged with the story and his dislike of Ice Warriors.

Freedom Planet – Review

Earlier in the year the indie gaming scene was graced with a charming title that harked back to an era many of us hold dear, that of the Nintendo Entertainment System. Shovel Knight from Yacht Club Games delighted retro gamers and newcomers alike with its classic NES like charm, wonderful retro soundtrack and cleverly constructed levels, polished off with a unique art style that celebrates games of the late 80s. Now it seems that it’s the early 90s turn to shine with Freedom Planet, a title from indie developer Galaxy Trail that harks back to the era of a console I hold very dear, the Sega Megadrive (otherwise known as the Genesis in the US).

Freedom Planet clearly takes great inspiration from many Sega Megadrive games, most notably Sonic The Hedgehog which the bulk of its gameplay elements seem to mimic. It also evokes memories of Treasure’s fantastic platform shooter Gunstar Heroes with much of its design and there are even elements of Capcom’s Mega Man X series, so there’s a little bit of Super Nintendo love in there somewhere too. The 90s nostalgia doesn’t stop there either, Freedom Planet’s art style and story is reminiscent of early 90s cartoons such as Bucky ‘O Hare with its tale of anthropomorphic freedom fighters taking on a militaristic threat to the galaxy, this time in the form of intergalactic overlord Brevon, an insectoid tyrant with dreams of absolute, intergalactic domination. This cartoon like feel is further captured in the way the story is told as it follows the three protagonists, Lilac (an anthropomorphic dragon), Carol (an anthropomorphic cat) and Milla (an anthropomorphic rabbit) who are portrayed as innocent, adolescent characters finding themselves thrust into a dangerous war that their sense of right forces them to engage.

The gameplay of Freedom Planet flows beautifully. Much like the Sonic series it pays homage to, much of the game involves racing around levels collecting gems and smashing your way through enemies at high speeds. Level designs are colourful and large ranging from a lush rainforest shrouding trap filled Aztec ruins to a bustling Chinese styled city in the middle of a celebratory festival, each level boasts new and interesting mechanics to get to grips with and a nice variety of enemies to fight. Boss battles too are cleverly thought out, a joy to look at and offer a significant, fast paced challenge that really gets the adrenaline pumping. The games three protagonists control somewhat differently, Lilac feels very much like a Sonic character with her ability to pinball around levels whereas Carol feels more like a Mega Man character with her ability to wall jump, she also has a Chun Li style kick attack that gives her more of a fighter like feel, Carol also has a motorbike that she can use upon finding gas cans scattered about the various levels, making her much faster than before and changing up her abilities slightly. Milla is a little more unique, she has the ability to create energy cubes that she can throw as projectiles, she can also create a small energy shield and has the ability to flap her ears to execute a type of double jump. Of the three main characters Lilac definitely feels like her play style fits the flow of the game best.

The soundtrack to Freedom Planet is definitely deserving of a mention, the music is absolutely phenomenal and with a whopping two hour OST (no small feat for such a small Indie project) you’re going to hear a number of great tunes that you’ll want to listen to again and again that really set the tone for every stage and situation. The voice acting is also great for such a small title, some of the actors are noticeably better than others, however the bulk of the voice acting is top notch, Lilac, Carol and Milla sound especially convincing and carry the tone of the story across well.

All in all for £10.99 (the games price on Steam as of the time of this review) you really can’t go wrong with Galaxy Trail’s Freedom Planet, especially if, like me, you’re a retro, platform fanatic who grew up during the Sega Megadrive era. If this sounds like you then this nostalgic trip down memory lane is definitely a game worth looking into.

– Bard

Bioshock Infinite: Burial at Sea Episode 2 – Review

NOTE: this review will be as spoiler free as possible, but may hint at the ending to the previous episode and plot lines from the main game. Consider yourself warned!

2014-05-08_00001The game starts nice enough

So we come to the final part of Booker and Elizabeth story. Burial at sea gives three for the price of one by concluding Bioshock infinite, Burial at Sea a few gaps in the original Bioshock story line. So don’t play this unless you want all those games spoiled. It starts simply enough, you in Paris, playing as Elizabeth, you know this as within a few seconds an artist shows you a portrait of you with your name on it, and also most NPC talks to you by name.

2014-05-08_00003 #
You know it Paris cause there an artist…

2014-05-08_00004 …and accordions….

2014-05-08_00005 …and freaky clowns….

2014-05-08_00006 …and a silly dog, all we need is a guy on a bike with onions and we have every French cliché in one section

But within a short space of time your back in rapture shortly after the event of the previous game. And running into another familiar face in the form of atlas. And due to another convoluted set of actions you end up working for him. I cant say any more about the story without spoiling it. But I can say its good and does give a proper conclusion to what was started in infinite.

2014-05-08_00014 Atlas, way and more of a dick in this game.

Gameplay wise, its wants to be played as a stealth game, but it can be run a gunned if you really want to. Enemy’s now have icons above their head showing their alert status, similar to Dishonoured, allowing you to sneak around quite effectively. You can also do sneak attacks on unaware enemys (although you could do that somewhat in the first games). Dispite this being tacked on it does work quite well and i managed to make my way around the levels pretty easly.

2014-05-08_00023The bars fill up as guards become more aware of you

You also get some new tools and toys the add to the new gameplay. The crossbow returns, this time loaded with tranquilliser darts (but it can also take different types) which allows you to quietly take down enemy’s from a distance. You also have a chance to retrieve the arrows off fallen enemy’s so it actually quite hard to run out of ammo, I rarely had to re-buy new darts, which is a nice touch.

2014-05-08_00018 Every game should have crossbows in it

There are a couple new plasmids, one I found useful, one I barely used. The first is the peeping tom plasmid and basically ties in with the whole stealth system. Just using it allows you to see enemy’s through the walls, and holding it allows you to turn invisible. Initially it does not last to long, but soon after you get an upgrade (which are now found in canisters instead of being brought, this does mean if you miss one and go to a different level you lose it forever), this allow you to see enemy’s and remain invisible indefinitely using no eve as long as you don’t move. This does make the game a bit of a cakewalk but allows you to be a proper stealth predator. It very similar to the gene tonic you get from researching Houdini splicers from the first game.

2014-05-08_00027The peeping tom plasmid really helps with stealth

2014-05-08_00028 Plasmids are now upgraded using canisters

there is the new lock picking game. It pretty simple. A cutaway shows you the inside of the lock, your pick moves randomly across all the pins, the goal is to hit the blue or the white pins, doing so will unlock the door, and if you hit a blue pin you’ll get a noise maker arrow for your crossbow. A red pin will set an alarm off alerting enemy’s to your position, but nicely the door will still unlock meaning you cant waist lock picks and get stuck.

2014-05-08_00016 The new mini games is one of the better lockpicking game I’ve played

Combat is pretty similar to the previous game, there are no more of the silly pneumo-lines from the episode 1 that turned rapture into Columbia. you also some across a few places where enemy will fight each other representing the start of rapture civil war. A few guns return from the previous episode, but I found myself sneaking my way through most combat and not having to run and gun. but overall it still fun and a lot of the environments and really interesting to fight over.

overall, Episode 2 is an excellent ending to the bioshock series (and it does semi end the series). if you’ve played the other part then I would differently purchase this.


Thief – Review

Oh Edios Montreal, how I had faith in you, you took one of my beloved franchises in the form of Deus Ex, and created a fantastic prequel, which deservedly received critical acclaim. You updated it but kept the core of what made Deus Ex a great game and enhanced it. How I had great faith when I heard you were going to applying that same skill to another one of my beloved franchises in Thief, only for it to turn into a complete disappointment.

2014-02-28_00017Not taking any hints from Dishonoured

Looking at Thief in two ways, as a Thief game it fails utterly, it loses the spirit and core of the series. As a stealth game it is mediocre, the stealth is far too easy, and one tool you can buy early on breaks the game.

2014-02-28_00005 It is however very pretty

Before talking about were its all gone wrong, lets me explain why the previous thief games were great, (incidentally you can pick up all the proper games from Steam, here, here and here). A thief game cast you as a pretty normal man, Garret, just living his life in a fantasy world. He never tried to be a hero, most of his inclination was to simply look out for himself. Often his motivation to commit crimes would be just to get enough money to pay the rent. As the game went on he would be drawn reluctantly into saving the world. Each mission (generally) would place you outside a building or area with perhaps a very simple objective. You could if you want go in through the front door (although you would almost certainly be killed by the guards) or more likely try and find a sneaky way in. Once in you would have to explore the world find clues about the location your objective and how to perform it (no objective markers here to guide you). Overcoming puzzles, guards and tasks as you came across them. There were no real boss battles, nor any scripted screens where you where force to be caught and had to escape (before anyone comments about the mechanist tower level from thief 2, where you go into an office and set off an alarm, it possible to actually disable it before going in and not get any guards after you). Freedom was name of the game, you were encourage to try a different way of taking each level, often coming across secrets as a rewards

Thief 4 pretty much drops all of that.

Where to begin? Well I’ll try to be as spoiler free as possible, but having said that I will spoil the first prequel section of the game, but if you’ve seen any of the trailers you will have had that done already

I was worried from the start, Garrets voiceover artist, while better than in the original trailers, still sounds more like a Chicago hit man then a thief. He still has a cynical side, but otherwise sounds like any game protagonist you heard before, but a greater sin comes when you meet his temporary sidekick in the form of Erin (Amusingly i had a sheep called Aeyrn, spelt differently but pronounced the same, which meant I kept visualising her every time Erin name was said)




I know who I rather have as a companion

Erin is a cocky, reckless, annoying young companion, constantly talks about how much better she is then you, while you go on about how much she has to learn. So, sounds like pretty much any modern female sidekick show in any modern game. She ends up falling to her apparent death (although I’m writing this before I’ve completed the game, so I’m certain she turn out to not be dead) and gives Garret a sense of angst he really does not need. Garret himself has been taking lessons from the Game protagonist book of cliché and become simply another cookie cutter mould character like you get in most games. As such his home base has to be is a Clock tower, not some little dingy apartment, but a ruddy great big clock tower in the middle of Stonemarket!

2014-03-09_00003Just the place for a man who want to keep a low profile

Continuing with the Fluff issues, the story feel like a cheap dishonoured rip off, you have a city with a plague going round, and a baron using it somewhat to his own ends. The writing is pretty bad, and sopme of the scripts are cringeworthy. At one point a group of guard have a discussing about a cock ring!

2014-03-01_00002 The new look Basso, and a example of non atmosphere breaking dialog

Game play wise things are not much better, you now have an action button for most athletic interactions, want to climb up somewhere? Action button, want to jump down (you can’t just walk off edges)? Action button, want to vault over something? Action button, want to… you get the idea. This can and indeed does cause problems, I was once running from some guards and saw some boxes next to a roof, thinking quickly I planned to climber up and get onto the roof, but as I was running when I approached I instead vaulted over them. The game also starts to place limits on where you can use your ability to prevent you from having fun and trying something diffrent. In one of the early level you can get onto roofs, but to stop from trying to jump into the buildings, the top of the roof has a 30cm tall metal fence around it which makes it impossible for Garret to cross. Later on I was in the building and wanted to jump down from my spot, I tried and tried for a few moments before realising I has to run and jump down. This lack of consistency makes a ok system frustrating and had me swearing at it times.

Another new feature Garret has is called ‘Swooping’, it allow you to move from place to place rapidly over a short distance and seems to be a response to Dishonoured Blink mechanic. It actually a fun system control and work very well, Just a pity it also tied to the action button.

The game also introduces mechanics only for it to then have to limit what you can and can’t do. For example at ome point you have to climb an outside of a building (the game goes into an immersion breaking third person view to do this) at some stage doing this climb you move from one set of pipes to the another set above, later on doing a similar section you can’t move from pipes to pipe even though the set up is the same, and you end up having to button mash everywhere to try and find how to move. The game also gives you tools and limits them, Rope arrows have to be shot into convneant placed sticking out beams, except the ones you’re not allows to shot rope arrows into, in which case they’ll hit but do nothing and you waist a rope arrow

2014-03-01_00004 A climbing section, or guess which way the game want you to go section

The actual stealth mechanic feel rather primitive compared to older thief games, your light gem returns, but seem to have two setting, light or dark, with the stages in-between hardly making any noticeable effect. Guard have a mixture of good and poor AI, they’ll notice a door move from open to close, even if they don’t see you do it. They will also notice you putting out light and will eventually relight them. But will only really search around the local area, and not investigate other rooms nearby to try and find you. This makes avoiding them trivially easy. Also early on you can by a wrench tool that allows you to open up vents and climb in. The AI has no way to deal with this, even if they see you go in, they’ll act like you disappeared in front of there eyes.

2014-03-01_00003 Behold, the place where no guard believes exsits

Between each level you get to explore the city, this a fairly large and spawning area, but feels somewhat dead, apart from beggars and guards there are not a lot of people to interact with and does not feel like an actually place. The levels themselves early on are fairly liner, and set up in a way so you can only progress through and not backtrack. Once you get to chapter 3-6 they do get better, only to revert back to form in the later chapters This make the buildings you visit feel more like, well, levels instead of a place that actually exists. Ironically the side missions are closer to the original thief levels in terms of design.

Some good things about thief, the game look beautiful, and the animation/motioncapture in the cutsecens and in game are excellent. The game is very visual, you get to see garrets hands almost all of the time. When you feel for a hidden buttons around a picture you see Garrets hands grab it and have to move them with your mouse to fell around the edge till you find it, and you actually see his hand grab loot and pickpocket people which is really nice. Likewise lockpicking is also fun, but functially the same as looking for hidden buttons

2014-02-28_00016 looking for a hidden button

2014-02-28_00008what’s yours is mine, what’s mine is mine

One nice feature is the ability to customise your game difficulty settings you can switch off thing like the focus mode (which has the benefit of saving you quite a bit of money as you don’t have to buy upgrades for it.) and other things like moving more slowly, this is a pretty nice feature, and I would love to see more games making use of this.

Overall Thief 4 feels like someone took the design document for Dishonoured (an excellent stealth game), put it through dozen of focus groups removing any and all unique and interesting features and then built a poor stealth system on top. I would strongly recommend getting Dishonoured GOTY edition over this, or better yet buy the original games and enjoy a proper stealth game.

Professional farmer 2014 – Review

Just when you through the desktop farming community was properly satisfied with one game about replicating agriculture, another one come along. Professional Farmer 2014 is a replacement for the companies previous (has to be said, quite buggy) Agricultural Simulator, and brings alone some improvements, boasting a new engine leased from a polish developer Silden. It would be unfair to compare this game to its main rival, Farming Simulator 2013, so I’ll keep that for another post. Instead I’ll talk the game on it own merits.


So what good? Well for started you have the vehicles have properly simulated cabs. Most of the cabs have a displays showing, revs, gears, fill level, fuel and time. You could easily use the cockpit to drive without the HUD, unfortunately you cannot switch off the HUD so most of the time it’s taking up valuable screen space. The game also simulates the gear boxes correctly for tractors, you have a multiple of gears split into ranges (for those who don’t know, tractors come with gears, usually 6, which then goes through a second gear box split into ‘ranges’, for example 4, this effectively mulplies the gears, so in the example above you would have 24 effective gears, 6 gears X 4 ranges). You also have to specficly select reverse to go backwards and still use the accelarted pedal, no arcade driving controls here. I do have an issue with the driving, the game is meant to have cruse controls options for CVT gear boxes to maintain speed. But this never worked when I played it, however I believe this is an issue with my steering wheel.


The game features simulated cabs, shame you can’t switch the HUD off

Speaking of steering wheels, when you load up the game you can select which device you want to drive the vehicles with, and it worked immensely with my steering wheel. I did have a few issues. Firstly, I had to inverse my pedal arrangement as the game insisted on using my break pedal for accelerate, secondly, the game had no native support for the buttons on my wheel. I ended up having to use Pinnacle game profiler in order to use any of my steering wheel buttons.

Another disappointment is the lack of Livestock choices, the only options in the game are chicken, ducks and cows. And generally all the simulation boils down to getting money generated each game turn. To be fair, this tends to be the case with most agricultural sims. The focus is usually on the arable side of the farming. I can to an extent understand this. It is easier to simulate ploughing, cultivating, sowing and harvesting. But lots of the things you do to livestock (no jokes please) would not be easy to simulate or devolve down into mini-games. But as a man who loves livestock (still no jokes, please) I always feel disheartened about the non-interactive nature often demonstrated in these games.


Vehicles in the game world are well detailed

The game itself is split into turns, representing stages of the year (early spring, late spring etc) you carry out all the task for one turn before moving onto the next. Its a neat idea getting away from rapidly growing crops shown in other games and making the game feel more realistic. You have to contend with weather in later seasons making some task more difficult. It also removes a lot of the time pressure involved to get things done.
You’ll also get side missions in the form of doing contract work for other farmers. I did discover that these involve to no more then ensuring a % of a field was ploughed, cultivated etc. Quality did of the job does not matter and long as you hit the % target you’ll complete it. A Partically stupid example, after I did some harvesting, I was informed I had complted the task and told to head for home. I had an 80% full grain tank, and rather take it to the trailer to dump it correctly I simply empited the grain onto the field (which means its effective lost) I recived no pentily for this as I had simply hit my % target.

2013-12-01_00007Fear me, for I am the reaper of wheat

The world is excellently detailed. The way sunlight lights up the cab realistically make it a beautiful game to drive around in. You wont find any NPC apart form driving vehicles which make town feel a bit empity. Talking about the engine, the only thing I’m not sure about is how easy the game is to mod for, looking at the game files I can’t see an easy way for fans to create customer content. But I’ll hold judgement on that.


You get a baler at the start allowing to earn more money from your left over straw.

There are a few other annoying issues. You have constant background music that sounds like what the developer believes all American rednecks must listen too. And there aren’t that many songs so you get quite a bit of repeat, lucky the music can be switched off. Also there is now way to quit back to the main menu, you can only quit the whole game and re start it if you wish to return to another mode. Along the same lines you can only ever have one save game running. It does auto save when you quit, which is nice, but if you want to multiple farms on the go, forget it.

if you looking to get into digital farming, Professional Farmer 2014 would not be a bad start, it’s one of the more realistic takes on farming I’ve played and is only £14.99 at the moment on steam for the basic edition. If you’re not into farming, this is probably not for you.



Bioshock Infinite: Burial at Sea – Review

NOTE: I will do my best to endeavor to avoid spoilers in this review, but at some part i may have to refer to events from all the Bioshock series of games, you have been warned!

First thing I need to say about Burial at Sea, is you need to have completed Bioshock: infinite. If you don’t, prepare to have key plot points ruined by the DLC. BaS is set the day of the new years eve attack by Atlas and his rebels. As such you have the opportunity to explore parts of rapture before the fall. you get to see what the city like and hear the residents talking about life, while at the same time feeling slightly creeped out by the fact no-one bats an eye to the little sisters and big daddy’s wandering around. It’s a nice touch, giving you an atmosphere as to how life was in the original game and mirrors the opening to BS:I, a calm before the storm. This section takes about the first hour of the game, the end of which you’ll meet an old ‘Friend’ form BS1 before being plunged into the the combat heavy section.


Not a good day to be in Rapture


Seems familiar


Little sisters make a creepy return


Cohen, still obsessed with rabbits and proof that he was mad before splicing

Combat is identical to BS:I, Vigor’s and Salts have been renamed Plasmids and Eve to keep in theme with the Rapture setting, of which you’ll have Possession and Devil Kiss right from the start. later on you’ll pick a few old favorites form BS:I and a new one call Old Man Winter. weapon selection is also similar, with a pistol, Tommy gun, carbine and shotgun. you also get to play with the new Radar Range, this is rapture answer to mcrowave ovens and and excellent at crowd control. it a pity you get it so late in the game as you don’t really have a chance to use it before the final showdown. Elizabeth reprises her role as combat support, throwing you health and eve as needed during combat, and the skyline system makes a return, although Rapture cramped conditions don’t really lends themselves using it the same as BS:I.


Splicers look in a worst state then in the first Bioshock


Old weapons return, but with an art-deco edge.


You still get the opportunity to do gruesome finishing moves, Elizabeth doesn’t mind this time.


Elizabeth still has her lock-picking ability.

The storyline is good, and fits reasonably well with the BS1 and BS:I storyline, however unless you’ve played both, you may find some of the references hard to get. The ending is also something I was not expecting and generally surprise me, just like the BS:I ending. The only thing I would like to have seen more was for the renaming of weapons and plasmids/vigors to match BS1, given that a lot of these had counterparts in the first game this would not have been a hard thing to do and would have tied in nicely with the series. My only major grip with the DLC as a whole is it is very short, on my first play through it took me less then 3 hours to complete, and that was with getting stuck on a puzzle, and I do feel £11.99 is a bit overpriced for such a game. considering you payed a similar price for the dishonored DLC and they gave you double the playtime. So my advice, either buy the season pass or wait for a sale before getting the game.

Reviewing System Explained

Hi All

As we’re now going to start doing reviews, it worth explaining how our reviewing rating system will work. The whole point of the system is not to give a definitive score, it to give a guideline on what we think about the games we’re playing. The rating is simply an insight into our opinion on them. The guide below will explain what the rating means.


A game not worth playing, and does not deserve to grace your hard drive with a single single byte of data. This is reserved for the worst of the worst, the games where we wounder how the developers sleep at night knowingly they released this monstrosity into the world.

Install – Minimum

A game which may provide some minimal entertainment. The game will probably find a cult following, but overall is pretty bad. perhaps worth picking up if found in a bargin bin

Install – Recommended

An excellent game, that just misses out of true greatness. Fans of the genre should definitely pick up this game and it is an excellent addition to their collection.

Install – Complete

Buy it! Buy it now! This is an excellent game and should grace everyone’s hard-drive, even if you not a normal fan of the genre. You will not be disappointed with the game.

Hopefully this post explains and makes its clear to understand how our system works, you be seeing these ratings in all of our future reviews.

Cheers all

Nick and Luke