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Friday, 26 September 2014

Review: Destiny

Has Destiny lived up to its hype?
I've been playing Destiny for just under a fortnight now, (it came out later here in the UK), so it's time to review it. I'll be sorting my review into different sections so here it is!

Graphics- I cannot begin to tell you how beautiful the graphics are in this game. It is not an understatement that this is a beautiful game. Each map is well designed and looks great with some nice little features in each section but my favourite map in regards to graphics and little extras has to be the Moon map.
You can see the detail on the Moon just from this image off of the internet
I particularly like how on the Moon map you can see the Earth rotating slightly and the decaying carcass of the ISS floating miles above; some nice detail which makes the game more enriching. Another good map for graphics is the Venus map where the foliage looks so beautifully designed that it feels like I am actually among a forest in the far future. Even the central hub called The Tower where you go in between missions is well detailed and they paid extra attention to making it a look as detailed as possible with you even being able to see ships flying around in the distance if you look carefully.

Gameplay- In regards to gameplay Destiny plays a lot like Halo which makes sense since Bungie made both games and the gameplay is very good in this regards. You can play as three separate classes: Titan, the typical Master Chief style of warrior, Hunter, a stealthy fighter used to sneaking up on opponents and Warlock, a fighter who can use a force-like magic called Light to blast your enemies apart.
The three different classes
Each one plays so differently and adds a whole new way of fighting battles. In my current playthrough I'm the Warlock class and my stepdad is a Titan and both play so differently but work so well in the game. It adds another level to the FPS genre which I thought had long started to become repetitive but Destiny adds extras other than the three classes. You have jets to fly around the map and even a bike that you can summon to blast around which adds further enjoyment. Destiny is a quasi-MMO with a typical campaign mode and a multiplayer mode where you can fight other players but one is much better than the other and I'll talk about that one first. The multiplayer mode is fantastic with it combining the best parts from all the great multiplayer modes of games like Halo, Call of Duty and Battlefield with the gameplay of Destiny. The different class types adds a new level of strategy which keeps you looking out for opponents; my stepdad being caught out by this on one game being repeatedly killed by a Hunter. I'm not a fan of FPS multiplayer but Destiny has captured my attention and I can easily say has the best multiplayer on a FPS since outside of a Battlefield game. It has even made me wonder why I stopped playing multiplayer on FPSs.
Oh yeah that's why
However the campaign mode is a massive let down. When I heard that Destiny was to be a MMO I assumed it would be like Star Wars: The Old Republic where you could have a massive free roam map and just get in a ship and fly to Mars or the Moon whenever you want with people joining in to help you fight a hordes of aliens. Well I got hordes right. On the campaign you just grind and grind your experience points up basically doing the same missions in different settings fighting the same enemies which slowly start to look like rejected enemies from Halo, (if that turns out to be true with Bungie making both games I wouldn't be surprised). Initially when fighting a horde it is challenging as you have to take into account the different enemy types coming at you but after the fourth horde it gets much easier and increasingly dull. Each mission gets repetitive with fighting through an army of aliens followed by a 'boss' fight consisting of fight a horde and a high level enemy, (occasionally at the same time), or do the same while defending your Ghost, (I'll explain in the campaign section). Another gripe with the campaign is how you start off always in the same area and not in different new areas. The game designers had made some beautiful sections and I wondered why they couldn't have just designed a small area for you to teleport into before going into the area where the mission is. Finally I dislike how in the campaign they throw everyone of different levels into the same map. On multiplayer I don't mind this but as enemies level up to the nearest player's level this can be bad if you arrive later to an area. I was level 5 and nearby was a level 14 player and it was virtually impossible to kill the enemy without them taking most of my life in two or three hits.

Storyline- Two words: Wasted opportunity. You start off being woken, or should I say being brought back to life, by a Ghost, a flying prism with the power to open doors, decipher computers and other such things who tells you that you died on Earth in Russia where they built ships to go colonise the solar system centuries ago. Thankfully he is voiced by one of my favourite actors Peter Dinklage.
He must have owed me because a Lannister always pays his debts
Shortly before that scene you get some exposition about centuries ago when humans first went to Mars they found a giant orb in the atmosphere of the red planet called The Traveler which drastically improved the planet's technology allowing humans to terraform planets like Venus and colonise them. Then The Darkness came, (who I don't think believed in a thing called love), who was the enemy of The Traveler who lent its power to alien sects who crushed the human race and made them hide in a few cities scattered across the solar system. You play as a Guardian who must fight the darkness. In this paragraph I have given the entire exposition that the game gives. Well it gives more but you have to go out of the game, onto a website and then read up about the game's lore. I would understand if it was Star Wars or the Witcher who has had an established lore for years so didn't need to have it in the game but this is a new franchise! I've managed to read the lore on the website and it is detailed and enthralling and I just wondered why it isn't in the game. All the great game series that have lore like the Elder Scrolls, Dragon Age and Mass Effect have this in the game so why couldn't Destiny? Also the story is pitifully short at 8 hours, just over the same length as the Red Dead Redemption DLC Undead Nightmare which is disappointing.

Final Thoughts- Despite some glaring issues (such as the removal of the Loot Cave!) Destiny is good but could have some improvements. Well when I say have I mean a lot. Luckily there are plans to add more DLCs, expansions and other extras over a period of ten years but I am worried that Activision who also makes the game will get greedy and charge extortionate prices for these extras on consoles while those lucky to get it on PC later may very well get the full game and extras for much cheaper, which I definitely did not do with Dragon Age: Origins. I am optimistic about the future for the game and with such good gameplay, the best graphics that I have ever seen and the prospect of this being increased in the near future it is time to give it a score. For the multiplayer, graphics and gameplay I am giving Destiny 6.5/10 but with the lack of story and dull missions on campaign mode I cannot give it any higher.

Thanks for reading and leave any comments on the review as well as suggesting future posts. Also if you think I shouldn't do another game review just say, I don't want to annoy people by posting bad/boring/possibly bias reviews.

Friday, 19 September 2014

What If: The Darien Scheme had succeeded?

The original flag of Britain but what if Scotland and England never joined?
As of writing Scotland has just narrowly voted to remain part of the United Kingdom in one of the most tensest referendums in recent history. For just over 300 years there has been a union between England and Scotland after 1707 when the Acts of Union combined the Kingdom of Scotland and the Kingdom of England. However one event caused Scotland, (well its leaders anyway), to join with England so what if that one event went differently? That event was the Darien Scheme and this is one scenario about if the Darien Scheme went differently.

The Darien Scheme- By the end of the 17th century many European nations had gotten into the game of colonialism with the English on the East coast of the modern day United States and Newfoundland, the French in the mouth of the Mississippi and Quebec, the Spanish in Central America and the Portuguese in Brazil although all of them, (substituting the Portuguese for the Dutch), had colonies in the Caribbean. Naturally the trade of coffee, tobacco, sugar and unfortunately slaves made these nations extremely wealthy. A Scottish businessman, who also founded the Bank of England, called William Paterson wanted his home nation of Scotland to benefit from this as Scotland was extremely poor compared to its Southern neighbor such as having virtually no navy, few roads and a weak army so a nice colony would bring trade to Scotland and make Scotland less dependent on England who shared the same monarch since 1603. Paterson chose the Isthmus of Panama, then called Darien, to form New Edinburgh.
A map of the proposed colony in Darien

An alternate Darien Scheme- When the Scottish first settled the area in 1698 the colony failed for three reasons: dysentery and yellow fever wiped out a quarter of the first 1200 settlers, the supply ship for the colonists shipwrecked and the Spanish were already there who the English King William III did not want to upset so told the English and Dutch not to trade with the colony. In this alternate scenario the ship does not sink on course and with how small New Edinburgh was the Spanish leave them be; especially as they would know the long lasting rivalry the Scottish and English had. The small colony of 1200 would not have been much threat to Spain who controlled the almost all of Central America. With little chance of the colony upsetting Spain William III allows the Dutch and English colonies to trade with New Edinburgh but with the ship also giving extra supplies the colony survives. Although many would die of disease it would not be so drastic and the colonists that came after in 1699 in our timeline would not be met with a dysentery ridden colony. The Natives in our timeline even traded with the Scottish colonists so it is easy to see that they would do the same. Although the Spanish would be worried with the growth of the colony they most likely would wait to make sure they had French support, especially as the King Charles II was wary with no heir.
A flag of the Scottish Trading Company
The real life Scottish Trading Company failed to drum up a lot of revenue but with a moderately thriving New Edinburgh in a prime area for Caribbean trading Scotland itself would become like England with its infrastructure like roads improving, a strong navy being built and the Scottish pound challenging the English one. You may be thinking what has this got to do with an English-Scottish Union? Well 50-75% of the Scottish economy went into the Darien Scheme and when in our time the scheme collapsed from Spanish opposition and disease the Scottish economy collapsed so a union with richer England would have alleviated that debt but England also was in debt so wanted a union, even passing the xenophobic Alien Acts to put pressure on Scotland. The reason for this debt will be explained.
The Alternate Spanish War of Succession
 Alternate Spanish War of Succession- By 1707 the English had been fighting the War of Spanish Succession for six years and it had drained the economy so a union with Scotland helped the economy. In this alternate timeline with a vibrant economy the Scottish have less reason to join with England and the Alien Acts only aggravate the Scottish. Although I very doubt they would have stayed neutral. They most likely side with England, Portugal, the Dutch Republic and their allies to expand their colony of New Edinburgh. There was little fighting in the West Indies in regards to naval war, largely privateer battles, and the only invasion of islands took place by the British invading French possessions. The Scottish would battle with the navy but they would use a standing army to invade Spanish Panama and Central America would turn out like our War of Spanish Succession in North America. That is largely colonists using natives as soldiers but with the Natives already shown to like the Scottish in Panama and that the Natives in other areas like Honduras and Mexico would be hostile to the Spanish already the Scottish would have a huge advantage. By 1714 the War would end with the Scottish annexing Panama and possibly southern Costa Rica.

After the War- After the War Scottish independence was definite with the only thing hindering it having a shared monarch with England. Before 1700 the English were worried about the Scottish getting a Catholic monarch but with the Protestant majority the Scottish Parliament would emphasise this so the English would most likely lift the Alien Acts to avoid the Scottish abandoning the shared monarchy. Although for years the situation between Scotland and England would be a rivalry that may have a few spats over trade in the Caribbean and the situation over Ireland. Scotland would most likely aid England in the Napoleonic Wars due to the shared monarchy and although they most likely would remain neutral in the American War of Independence. Maybe around 1848 England and Scotland partition Ireland to avoid arguement with Ulster under Scottish rule. Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries Scottish-English relations would improve and they would work together over Irish independence creating a united Ireland. Scotland would become more of a Commonwealth nation and join in the World Wars. Possibly on this day, (as of writing), Scotland would have a referendum whether to still have a joint monarchy with England.

Thanks for reading and please leave comments, your own views and suggestions for future scenarios.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Was Appeasement justified?

A cartoon by satirist David Low mocking Appeasement
Last week I talked about how a series of events referred to as 'Appeasement' led to World War Two. Many people both today and at the time including Winston Churchill opposed Appeasement saying that it was weak but some contemporaries and some modern day historians believed it was the right thing to do. I will discuss the policy for you to make up your own mind.

The Churchill's Plan- By the time of Hitler's annexation of the Sudetenland in 1938 Winston Churchill had formulated a plan that he continued to say would be the better alternative to Appeasement. In fact he had started to push for the points in his plan to be enacted as soon as Hitler came to power in 1933. This involved rebuilding the arm forces but especially the airforce with focus on the Spitfire, building a Grand Alliance of Britain, the Commonwealth nations, (Australia, New Zealand, Canada and South Africa), France, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Italy, China, Japan, the USA and USSR and finally calling Hitler's bluff and threatening him if he did any expansionist ideas or something which broke the Treaty of Versailles. But to what extent could Churchill's plan have worked?
This quote sums up Churchill's view on Appeasement
Weaknesses of Appeasement- Churchill was at least right in some aspects as if France and Britain had started to build up their armies and airforces since 1933 Hitler most likely would have taken the two nations more seriously in their threats. The only reason why France didn't threaten Hitler after he remilitarised the Rhineland was that the German army was far larger than the French one so naturally if the French had built up an army it could have been a much more formidable foe to the Third Reich. The Battle of Britain also showcased how good the Spitfire was compared to the German Messerschmidt so Britain truly could have done much more serious damage to the Luftwaffe if they had started building up the airforce since 1933 rather than 1936.

In regards to the Grand Alliance it would have made sense to create one to combat Hitler as he would have had most of the world powers against him including one of the largest armies; that of the Soviet Union who was the one who captured Berlin in 1945. France and Britain could have focused all their attention on fighting Germany if the two other main Axis members, Italy and Japan, were not on Hitler's side. In 1936 Italy had even blocked the attempted annexation of Austria so this can be seen as a clear sign that negotiations with Mussolini could have been opened. With Hitler's hatred of communism and democracy it made the USSR and USA respectively natural allies against the Third Reich.

Finally in regards of threatening Hitler every time he broke the Treaty of Versailles or made a land grab it could have possibly worked. When Hitler moved troops into the Rhineland he ordered them to immediately leave if the French showed signs of hostility. Hitler did not wish to go to war against Britain and France so it is doubtful that in the early stages of Appeasement he would have risked war with two countries that had defeated Germany around twenty years prior. Hitler immediately started rearming when he came to power in 1933 which was prohibited by the Treaty of Versailles so if Britain and France had even challenged him then he wouldn't have been a challenge. After the 1938 Munich Crisis Hitler had seized the iron mines of Skoda which gave him even more resources for army so without Appeasement Hitler could have been deprived of these resources.

Neville Chamberlain's 'Peace in Our Time'
Faults with the Alternative- Churchill's alternative to Appeasement had some major holes in it though. For one the British couldn't rearm until 1936. In 1926 the Ten Year Plan had been put in place which made the economy for the next decade assuming there would be no war, keeping in mind Hitler was a little known figure outside Germany, so if the British government was to abandon this plan to rearm it would mean severely reducing the pensions, out of work benefits and other similar things that the poor needed to live by for the sake of rearming to fight an economically bankrupt country. Ironically it was Churchill himself who had put in place this plan while he was Chancellor of the Exchequer! 

In regards to the Grand was a terrible idea. Although looking back it would seem a good idea to form a Grand Alliance at the time it was an impossibility. Japan fought Germany in World War One because the Germans had possessions in the Pacific but these were annexed so Japan and China had little interest in a seemingly only European war, the USSR was lead by Joseph Stalin who was deeply paranoid so there would be no way a lasting alliance could have worked and especially as the USSR was isolationist until after the war. During the Russian Civil War Churchill even wanted to send troops to fight the Soviets which I am sure Stalin didn't forget. The USA was isolationist as well with it even refusing to be a League of Nations member so as it seemed to be a European conflict the USA wouldn't enter unless Congress, the President and the public felt threatened by Hitler. Italy was a likely ally to Germany with both nations being fascist dictatorships and Mussolini only really blocked Hitler's annexation of Austria was because the areas that Hitler wanted to annex wasn't very clear by 1936. Japan also became an increasingly likely ally with militarism growing in popularity in Japan ever since the establishment of the puppet state of Manchuko in 1931. Finally and also quite embarrassingly Hitler was somewhat popular in Britain, France, the USA and South Africa with many people liking his anti-communist views. Even the US hero Charles Lindbergh did have sympathy for Hitler, (to his credit though he did disagree with the Kristallnacht), and the British Union of Fascists under Oswald Mosely was increasingly popular so going to war early on in Appeasement before Hitler had started his increasingly anti-Semitic laws would have been unpopular.

My own opinion- To avoid inflicting my views on others I normally avoid this but for just this once I will give my own opinion. I believe that Appeasement was right until the point it was abandoned although I do believe that the British and French could have been more forceful. It was right not to blindly abandon social spending and blindly threaten a powerful nation that would have led to a war that we most likely would not have won but it was right to declare war to defend Poland as otherwise he would have done the same to the USSR, strengthening Hitler further and although in Mein Kampf he didn't show outward aggression towards Britain and France that doesn't mean a successor would have been reluctant to show aggression. Although I believe that if the British and French had been more forceful during the remilitarisation of the Rhineland and the Munich Crisis Hitler could have been weakened with the Nazi economy going into turmoil at that point making a failure in the Rhineland and Munich the possible end of the Nazi regime.

Your Opinion- What is your opinion on Appeasement? Do you think that I'm talking complete rubbish or do you agree with my view? Do you agree with Churchill, Chamberlain or neither? Please leave your views in the comment section and posts will be every Friday from now on. You can also leave suggestions about possible future posts and decide on the subject on my next post: How did Scotland and England form Great Britain or What if Scotland and England never formed Great Britain, (albeit under English rule). Thanks and have a nice day!

Thursday, 4 September 2014

History in Focus: The Start of World War Two

On September 1st 1939 Nazi Germany declared war on Poland and invaded where two days later Britain, France, New Zealand and Australia declared war on Germany and World War Two began. Canada and South Africa would soon enter the war on the side of the Allies but within five years the warring states increased dramatically in number. But why did Hitler invade Poland and why did Britain and France intervene?

The rise of Hitler- On January 30th 1933 Adolf Hitler was sworn in as Chancellor of Germany. Over the next few years he started to rebuild the German army and navy as well as building up a new airforce, the Luftwaffe. Hitler was a fanatical nationalist who believed that there should be a Greater German Reich, he even declared his regime the Third Reich almost immediately, and that Germany should expand its borders to cover all the German speaking lands, (not necessarily ethnic German lands), as well as land taken from them after the Treaty of Versailles. Many Germans at the time liked this view as their national pride had been dealt a massive blow thanks to the Treaty of Versailles and the 132 billion marks, (US $33billion), imposed on Germany from reparations destroyed the German economy creating widespread unemployment. Naturally rebuilding the army to conquer foreign lands would create jobs from arms production and soldiers. Hitler also had an idea named lebensraum which translates roughly as 'living space' where he wanted to conquer the Ukraine and Western Russia so his 'Aryan race' could have enough land to live on and the native people to be ethnically cleansed.
German soldiers dismantling the barrier to Austria during the Anschluss

Appeasement- Hitler realised that if he was going to achieve his Greater German Reich he would have to go against the Treaty of Versailles which he despised. With Britain and France weak after the Depression, the US uninterested with European affairs, the USSR isolationist and a bond growing with Fascist Italy under Mussolini Hitler decided to do this. As apart of the Treaty of Versailles Germany was forbidden to have troops in the Rhineland so to show his strength one of Hitler's first breaches of the Treaty was placing troops in the Aechen, Trier and Saarbruecken areas of the Rhineland. He was wary to see how France would react as he knew that if France threatened him this early into remilitarisation would destroy his government. However the German army vastly outnumbered that of the French so France let Hitler to ignore the Treaty. This gave Hitler a huge prestige boost and started a process named 'Appeasement'. The next event of Appeasement of the Anschluss of Austria. In 1934 Hitler attempted to annex Austria after the Austrian Nazi party attempted a coup resulting with the Austrian Chancellor Dollfuss being assassinated but Mussolini blocked it. By 1938 Hitler had built up relations with Mussolini, he wanted to annex Austria as it was his homeland but the Treaty of Versailles had forbade it. Hitler continued to put pressure on the Austrian government under Chancellor Schuschnigg to join with Germany; Hitler saying in a speech "The German Reich is no longer willing to tolerate the suppression of ten million Germans across its borders." On March 9th 1938 Schuschnigg desperate to keep Austria independent he organised a plebiscite to determine whether Austria should unite with Germany.
Notice how the 'yes' option is larger than the 'no'
Hitler however ordered the Wehrmacht to invade Austria before the results of the plebiscite could be counted and the Anschluss took place. Austria ceased to exist. After the success of the Anschluss Hitler started to eye the Sudetenland; a German speaking area of Czechoslovakia, (not ethnic German though). Starting the Munich Crisis and is seen as the main failure of appeasement. Although Hitler said that he was defending the German minority of the Sudetenland there was only 3 million speakers in the area, few of them ethnic Germans. With the vast amounts of resources in the area ,such as the mines in Skoda, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, French Prime Minister Édouard Daladier and Mussolini met with Hitler in Munich, hence named the Munich Crisis. Czechoslovakia's President Edvard Beneš was not invited. On the 23rd September 1938 an agreement was passed where the Sudetenland was ceded to Germany, Zaolzie to Poland and all of the Czechoslovakian border with Hungary to Hungary. The result was mixed with many happy that war over the area being avoided and Chamberlain declaring 'peace in our time' whereas others including future Prime Minister Winston Churchill, (who was out of any significant role until 1939 after the blunders he made in the 1920s and upsetting the new King), bitterly opposed it saying that Britain and France was weak. The following year on March 15th 1939 Hitler invaded the rest of the nation and annexed what is now the Czech Republic and set up a puppet Axis-aligned state, the Slovak Republic.

The Poland Question- The annexation of the rest of Czechoslovakia made Chamberlain worried. Now Hitler's Germany was becoming too powerful and was becoming increasingly volatile with the increasing anti-Semitism with the Kristallnacht, (Night of Broken Glass), and the horrid Nuremberg Laws as well as Goering's Four Year Plan causing an economic deficit that could only be lifted by war. Hitler then started eyeing Poland who had former German lands as well as the large track of farmland that Hitler wanted for lebensraum, but more importantly with an annexed Poland there would be an open door to invade the USSR. Then on the 23rd August 1939 the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact was signed. The main two diplomats from Nazi Germany, (Ribbentrop), and the USSR, (Molotov), declared a pact of friendship and were not to attack one another. This was a massive blow to Britain and France. They sensed that war with Hitler was imminent and had turned to Stalin for an alliance who feared Hitler for his virulent anti-communism however Stalin turned to the Nazis for two reasons. For one Britain and France had sent some minor diplomats to build up relations while Hitler had sent the Foreign Secretary himself and two the Pact allowed Hitler to safely annex most of Poland and allowed Stalin to annex the rest of Poland, the Baltic states, Finland and areas of Romania without Nazi invasion. In one final act to deter Hitler France and Britain pledged that they would declare war on Germany if Hitler invaded Poland.
Cartoon by David Low depicting the Nazi-Soviet invasion of Poland
War begins- Hitler believed that Britain and France were bluffing as he thought that they would be unwilling to go to war over Poland. On September 1st 1939 Germany invaded Poland and two days later Britain and France declared war on Germany. On the 17th September Stalin then invaded Poland. Although fighting between Britain, France and Germany until 1940 the war would last until 1945. Many countries would then enter the war including the Commonwealth nations of Canada, New Zealand, Australia and South Africa due to their alliance with Britain, Italy, Japan and their puppets of Manchuko and Ethiopia in 1940 as well as many other nations including the USA, USSR, Norway, Denmark, Turkey and Yugoslavia just to name a few.

Thanks for reading and please leave comments. Next time I'll do a debate about how just Appeasement was as a foreign policy from 1936 to 1939.

Monday, 1 September 2014

Review: Guardians of the Galaxy

Today I went to see the new Marvel comics adaptation Guardians of the Galaxy and cannot wait to review it. When I first heard about an adaptation and saw the trailers I dreaded it because I thought they would put little effort in as Guardians wasn't one of Marvel's flagship characters like the X-Men, Avengers or Spider Man and I thought that they wouldn't be given justice after after seeing other recent Marvel adaptations, (especially after Iron Man 3). Luckily I was proven wrong. Guardians of the Galaxy is easily one of the best Marvel films to come out in recent years along with Captain America 2 and the Avengers.

The plot centers around a ragtag group of people: Peter Quill played by Chris Pratt, Gamora played by Zoe Saldana, Drax the Destroyer played by Dave Bautista, Rocket voiced by Bradley Cooper and Groot voiced by Vin Diesel. The group have to deliver an orb of mystical power to a mysterious buyer for a large amount of money while being hunted by the Nova Corps for breaking out of prison and Yondu's, (Michael Rooker), Ravagers who wants revenge on Quill. At the same time they must stop Ronan the Accuser, (Lee Pace), getting his hands on the orb. Although the best plot points, especially what is inside the orb and the prospective buyer, I won't reveal to avoid spoilers but it is a must see. The plot has a good premise with good pacing which keeps you hooked making it a good family film but the action will keep older viewers entertained for which I am glad of as it allows everyone to enjoy the film. I was even willing to overlook the massive personality change of Peter Quill thanks to my next point. The dialogue is surprisingly good considering other sci-fi comic adaptations out there, (like in Green Lantern), and the film is quite funny. Everyone in the cinema was laughing at the parts to which the writers intended to be funny and each time it hit the mark although I think it mainly was down to the actors who showed exceptional acting. I must give credit to the writers James Gunn and Nicole Perlman for such good dialogue.
  The actors in the film hit the mark each time. You could tell that they enjoyed filming and fit perfectly in the roles so almost always the dialogue didn't seem forced, I particularly enjoyed the scene where Drax misunderstands Quill's and Rocket's metaphors. The characters honestly felt like they were friends and was a realistic exchange which made the film even more enjoyable although at times I thought that they were trying to make Chris Pratt into a new Robert Downey Jr as Tony Stark although this didn't happen too often so can be forgiven.

The setting perfectly captures the mood and themes of the comics and felt that it belonged in the Star Wars or Star Trek universe which was the main inspiration for the comics. Everything fit together so well although I did see a plot hole about why the Kree wouldn't get involved to stop Ronan and I thought the reason why they didn't was too flimsy to be realistic. I also felt that they missed an opportunity to weave in other Marvel races such as the Shi'ar or the Skrulls, not as main races but maybe just little cameos. I even thought that the Kree could have gone to war with the Skrulls and that's why they couldn't stop Ronan. I also had a minor issue about how Chris Pratt's character had a fully functioning cassette player after twenty years and it never explaining if he ever went back to Earth to get new batteries but I'm nitpicking. I liked Stan Lee's cameo as well as a cameo from Lloyd Kaufman, a film director and producer who has worked with the directer James Gunn before.
Here's Kaufman if you want to look out for him
I love Kaufman's Toxic Avenger series so I glad to see him but I thought that a cameo of the series protagonist Toxie could have been done. Also the after credits cameo from a certain Marvel character was well received. I was glad though that they kept Guardians contained in its own little universe so an Avengers crossover would be more optional rather than forced, in fact I only noticed one Avengers reference. Another thing to note which was well received was Zoe Saldana, Lee Pace, Michael Rooker, Dave Bautista and Karen Gillan wearing make-up to create their characters instead of CGI.

For its good dialogue, acting, setting and loyalty to the source material but with one or two minor plot points I would give Guardians of the Galaxy 8.5/10. It is one of the greatest comic adaptations that I have seen which doesn't require prior reading to enjoy as well as being a good family film for all. I hope to see a sequel with maybe a Skrull or two or even better Thanos being the main villain. Now I just hope that Avengers 2 can deliver after such a high standard set by this film.