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Sleeping dogs, Bat-Manga!, Heart

Watch: Sleeping dogs

I’ve always enjoyed different takes on the open-world genre of video games. Sleeping dogs is a game that almost never saw the light of day. There was a series released on PS2 called True crime: Streets of LA which was mildly successful but by no means a ‘must own’ title. Sleeping dogs was meant to be the third entry in the True crime series, but it was dropped during the later stages of development. Square Equinox revived the title and rebranded it as Sleeping dogs.

The story follows Wei Shen, a cop who goes undercover to bring down the Hong Kong triads. Wei’s loyalty is often questioned by both sides, but is represented in a neat gameplay feature for each mission – a cop score and a triad score. Essentially, the more illegal things you do, the lower your cop score, but your illegal activities also raise your triad score. These scores then become experience points, giving you access to upgrades and new moves as you progress through the game.

I’ve invested more than 20 hours into this game and there’s still more to complete. Take all the great elements of Cantonese gangster cinema and throw it into a video game – martial arts street brawls, slow-motion gunfights and high-speed car chases – all in a digital Hong Kong to explore and enjoy. There’s even illegal cock-fighting you can place bets on. Don’t pay too much mind to some of the intentionally cheesy voiceover work.

The game handles quite well, looks a treat and has a relatively approachable learning curve. Give it a crack.

Read: Bat-Manga! The secret history of Batman in Japan

There are two things I love in life – Batman and Japan.

If the title wasn’t enough to draw you in, what else I can say about this wonderful book to attract you? It’s a collection of rare, previously untranslated Japanese Batman comics from the late ’60s, although, unfortunately, not all the stories are complete. Some hilarious Engrish translations, ne’er do-wells with special yoga techniques, wands that can control the weather and even some characters that change appearance between volumes of comics makes for a very entertaining read.

Still not enough? Between the comics, the pages are littered with high quality photos of Japanese Batman paraphernalia for the discerning Batfan. Chip Kidd has done a marvellous job collating all the works and bounding into one extremely slick design.

Listen: Heart – These dreams

Power ballads. That’s the only thing that comes to mind when I decided to start listening to this album. Have you actually ever paid attention to the lyrics of All I wanna do is make love to you outside of the chorus? Do so if you haven’t, you’re in for a treat.

That cracking riff of Magic man, a live version of Barracuda in which lead singer Ann Wilson basically snarls the title, and those wistfully deep lyrics to These dreams all feature on this album.

You may not find out the answer to the question, “how do I get you alone?”, but this is guilty pleasure listening at its best folks.

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