Archive for 143 Challenge

143 Word Challenge – 143 Word Challenge

Courtesy of Reconnections

Today is the final 143 Word review. It can be  said that the idea, originally thought up by Sinan, has been a resounding success. I’ve produced some of my best work of the year and in a postmodern twist, my final 143 Word review will be on the 143 Word Challenge.

143 simple words, flowing in fragmented fashion to create an impression of a product. A cultural icon. An expression of mindless entertainment.  A thought, an opinion, a lingering viewpoint that refuses to leave our consciousness. It must be penned, shared, discussed, commented – it must sit eternal on the internet until someone switches off the world wide web.

That thought process of creation – a penning of the soul will never match another person’s in the world. It’s alone, unique, innovative, drained and repetitive. It uses everything in the English Language to talk about what it wants to. Then it stops, it ends. It never continues past the intended point. Nothing more than, nothing less that. Perfectly defined – for that is prose, critique and artistic wallowing.

One hundred and forty single small words. You write it, I read. It has a mind of its own.

Previous 143 Words Reviews:


Battle: Los Angeles – 143 Word Challenge

Courtesy of The Guardian and Copyright: Richard Cartwright/AP

Sorry for the break in One A Day blogging (and 143 Word Reviews as a result). I return  with a film review – new sci-fi marine-recruitment film, Battle: LA for number 6. Sinan has done some excellent entries since; Crackdown 2 and Blood Stone 007.

Will Smith punched an alien in the face once complete with humorous quip, “Welcome to earth.” Then him and a nerd pilot a commandeered alien craft, jack in a USB drive to an alien mainframe and upload a virus. Defences lowered, a jet fighter squadron headed by the US President take the fight to the scummy outer-earthers before one plucky drunk ex-crop-duster flies an F22 into the arse of a mega laser to save the world.

Battle: Los Angeles is simpler; one laser guided missile halts the water-sucking-ETs. Characters? Some throw away grunts; an old timer carrying guilt; one token Nigerian, redneck, woman and avenging brother accompany some civilians to an evac-point.  The audience follows the invasion from ground-level with shaky-cam quick cuts. It’s Black Hawk Independence, without any of the magnificence or grit of its source material.

Mindless Marines with UFOs. Hoo-Rah.

Note: I have no idea if it’s an F22, it could be an F16 or some other jet fighter. I do not know these things. (It’s a F15 Eagle, thanks Will)

Previous 143 Words Reviews:


Big Red Racing – 143 Word Challenge

Courtesy of ForceForGood

We’re approaching the end of the week of 143 Word Reviews. Sinan knocked it out the park today with such a perfect example of what the experiment is about (Demon Souls on the PS3 if you’re interested). I went with Big Red Racing, a PC title that you’ve never heard of. It means a lot – more than words can convey. I tried anyway.

MS-DOS – now that’s going back a few years. Big Red Racing was the definitive ‘first-game-I-ever-played.’ Released in ’96, I don’t remember anything about it. Developed and published by unknown studios that have since vanished into the history books, it wasn’t iconic. This review isn’t even about the game, but rather what it’s come to represent. A tentative step into gaming at the tender age of 8 – a discovery that virtual play could fulfil a need I never knew I had.

It had cars and it was a video game – that’s all that mattered. That alone places it as the most influential video game that there ever was and will be. Games have come and gone – they’ve outclassed, out-visualised and out-played Big Red Racing, yet for all its obscurity, it manages to hold something that no other computer game will ever manage again.


My thoughts and condolences go to those affected by the Japanese earthquake and Tsunami today. I’m due to visit the country in just over 6 weeks and it’s a reminder just how insignificant humans really are.

Previous 143 Words Reviews:


Half Life 2 – 143 Word Challenge

Courtesy of Techworld

Day 4 of the 143 Word Challenge and it’s going rather well. Today is Half Life 2, my favourite game and what I consider to be the greatest game that’s ever been. It’d be great if Valve could get their act together and release Episode 3. Or Half Life 3. Or whatever it is they’ll call it. Sinan continued his challenge with Heavy Rain today – another eloquent mini review that puts mine to shame.

The right man, in the wrong place, at the right time. Again. Half Life 2 is the culmination of FPS narrative – an emotional rollercoaster of headcrabs, explosive barrels and crowbars. From coastal crumbling to Dystopian City 17, the world’s most iconic scientist leads us through a vision of stark creation.

It defined a generation. It mightn’t rewrite the rulebook, but it flows with such excellence and pacing that it’s innovation is irrelevant. It spawned a folklore; it pushed DLC before it was even possible and its delivery platform, Steam, changed the games industry.

The greatest game there has been and ever will be. Praise be to Freeman: the man without a voice, a hero without a purpose. HL2 is a story within a story. It’s a grand exploration of corporate America. It’s a zombie game. It’s gravity bending. It’s Half Life 2.

Previous 143 Words Reviews:

True Grit – 143 Word Challenge

Courtesy of Collider

It’s day 3 of the 143 Word Challenge – days 1 and 2 can be found elsewhere. The idea (that Sinan came up with) is to review games/films/whatever within print-constrictions of 143 words. I’ve already done Counter Strike Source and Baldur’s Gate II, so to mix it up I’m doing a film review today. It’s True Grit, the Coen Brothers remake of the John Wayne film which sees a young girl accompany a rugged US Marshall across the West.

Girl’s father is murdered. Girl seeks retribution. Odd Couple Meets Cowboys. Stellar acting shows just what a strong year it was at the Oscars.

Getting drunk, shooting outlaws, riding horses with your teeth – that’s True Grit. Jeff Bridges has a revolver full; Matt Damon? A Stetson brimming with it. But it’s the young Hailee Steinfield who undoubtedly steals the show – a humorous, traditional Coen romp through the sweeping Western hills of the US. Period Drama this isn’t – it’s the quirky envisioning that overlooks Wayne’s original Oscar winning film.

A gentle piano score and terrific cinematography fill in the gaps. It might be a little slow paced in the opening twenty minutes; but compared to the original, it gallops forward into the horizon.

It’s your traditional boy meets girl in every way, except it’s not. As a result, the Coens have yet again triumphed.

Unrelated note: latest content on Faces of London – Metro Street Photography Winners and Lumix: A City Exposed.


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