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Hatchie - Keepsake Music Album Reviews

Hatchie's platonic ideal of dream pop goes down a bit too easy, like another rewatch of a John Hughes film.
Shoegaze offers the perfect place to bury bad feelings; there is a storied legacy of groups like Slowdive and Mazzy Star sinking Tory conservatism and post-breakup remorse into hazy swirls of distortion. Harriette Pilbeam uses Hatchie as an outlet for more quotidian concerns — friendships, romances, nostalgia. On her EP Sugar & Spice, Pilbeam offered glassy guitars, long sighs, and some bright choruses, but there was nothing darker beneath the surface to reward your close, ongoing attention. She promised a broader palette for her debut, but Keepsake feels hemmed in by the same lack of depth. Pillbeam's platonic ideal of dream pop goes down a bit too easy, like another rewatch of a John Hughes film.





Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga Preview

We've seen The Skywalker Saga at E3 2019 and it's clear that this isn't just another Lego Star Wars game. Our preview explains how this brings much needed upgrades, while keeping what we've always loved at the heart.

Should I Buy The Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga?
If you've enjoyed previous Lego games, especially the Star Wars editions, then we're pretty confident you're going to love this.

And if you've never played any of them before, we're also pretty confident you will love this.

Price When Reviewed
  • $59.99
You might argue that the Lego games are a little bit samey, like a mould that gets used for each franchise. But that’s history with the biggest update and overhaul to date. Find out how in our Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga preview.

It’s a little bit hard to believe that the first Lego Star Wars game came out nearly 15 years ago. The Skywalker Saga is the seventh in the series but there have also been plenty of other Lego video games from Lord of the Rings, to Harry Potter, to Avengers.

As much as we’ve loved many of the Lego games over the years, the franchise had really reached a point when you pretty much knew what you were going to get once you put the disc in (or downloaded it). Sometimes we even felt like we were playing on auto-pilot not really paying much attention.

This all changes with The Skywalker Saga because Warner Bros had gone to town on the gameplay and the world of Lego Star Wars here. And we’re grateful because it brings fresh life to something potentially getting a bit monotonous.

Note that the demo we saw at E3 2019 was hands-off so we saw one of the developers take us through the game.

It wouldn’t be a Lego game without some fun and humour so that’s still there gladly, along with collecting bits and all the elements that make a Lego game what it is. Serious innovation in the way the game works is what is exciting here.

For starters, you can play the worlds (all nine films), in any order you like for the first time - from the off. So can nerd out with chronological order, the order the films were released, completely random or whatever you like.
The world’s will adapt correctly to where you are in the time-line so visit Tatooine in different episodes and the characters you meet will be different. It’s open-world so you can go where you like and even explore planets, getting into random dog fights on the way.

What’s more important is that the world of Lego Star Wars has had a serious upgrade. A complete refresh if you like. Things might look similar at first but look closely and there are layers of extra detail.

The Lego has scuff marks and walk around in some sand and you’ll get covered in the stuff. There are new movements and interactions and you can do fun things like break someone in half, moving around without legs.

Everything looks stunning in the demo we were shown and feels very new. The camera is also closer in so the action feels more real.

There are hundreds of playable characters (with optional co-op), more than ever, and there will also be random interactions rather than scripted ones. Any Lego you come across is breakable and you can also drive any vehicle you find, and that includes beasts.
Combat has also been upgraded and is much more complex, with numbers flying off bad guys as health bars are reduced. You can shoot enemies in different parts of their bodies and weapons are no longer locked on so aiming is more skillful.

Melee fighting is also reinvented so you can create your own combos as you fight. You’ll get style points for coming up with good ones. Gone are the days of spamming one button to defeat your foes.

One of the reasons we had a hands-off look at the game is because Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga isn’t arriving until 2020 (The Rise of Skywalker film arrives in December) so you’ll have to play some other games in the meantime.

When it does launch, it will be on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC and Nintendo Switch.

Also check out our previews for Luigi's Mansion 3, Pokémon Sword and Shield, Zelda: Link's Awakening, Gears 5, DOOM Eternal, Watch Dogs Legion and Ghost Recon Breakpoint.

Early Verdict
We may have only seen someone else play for a while but Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga looks to be the refresh that the franchise needed.

This is all the good bits that made the series so popular, with huge upgrades to all the bits that have become a bit stale and repetitive.

We love the open-world feel, with the ability to play the episodes in any order. Then there’s the way the whole game works in terms of the characters, vehicles and combat that makes it very exciting.

This looks like one for those who have played previous games but also anyone who hasn’t played any, too.

View my Flipboard Magazine.



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