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G. Richardson (UK)

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Big Catch: Bass Fishing (Wii)
Big Catch: Bass Fishing (Wii)
Price: £5.41

1.0 out of 5 stars boring and soooo dull, 28 Jun. 2015
Unless you are an avid real life fisherman then this is not for you. Its long, boring and soooo dull! The tutorial bored me so much I couldn't finish it so tried to play it after reading half of it. For the first ten minutes I couldn't catch a fish, then when I did the Wii was shouting at me to move the 'rod' in specific directions to keep the damn fish on the line which I did, but to no avail. This game quickly went back on the shelf where its been ever since.

Andromeda - The Complete Collection [DVD]
Andromeda - The Complete Collection [DVD]
Dvd ~ Kevin Sorbo
Offered by Revelation Films Direct
Price: £59.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Love the series, shame about the quality!, 16 April 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Had an issue with Amazon delivery, they attempted to deliver the package at 6.25pm to a work address which was obviously closed. When I questioned them I was told they can deliver to 9pm to residential addresses, this was even though I had explained the address WASN'T a residential address. They at least refunded the postage.

As for the item itself I love the series and had up to the end of Season 2 on other DVD's but it was cheaper to buy this than the remaining three other seasons. However I am not impressed with the package I received. It is a cheap cardboard case with two cheap plastic containers inside. Seasons 1-3 in one container, and seasons 4-5 in the other. Two DVDs stacked on top of each other to make sure they all fit in the case. When I opened the package that was wrapped in plastic I found no damage to the cardboard outer container, but one of the inner plastic holders had its outer plastic slit open somehow as if by a knife. Inside both containers several discs had come lose and were rattling around. Luckily they seem to have received only light scratching which doesn't seem to have impaired their performance.

The visual quality of these discs when played is not the best by a long shot and as I have watched the first two seasons on my other DVDs I can tell the difference immediately. The visuals are not as sharp or clear, writing is hard to make out at the start of the episodes where you always get a quote whereas as previously on the other DVDs I owned it was crystal clear. This all makes it less than I had hoped for, but doesn't take away to much from watching the series. I had just hoped for better quality.

Doctor Who - Deep Breath [DVD]
Doctor Who - Deep Breath [DVD]
Dvd ~ Peter Capaldi
Price: £5.99

6 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars New, yes. Improved? Not so much., 27 Aug. 2014
Wow, so much amazing feed back for Peter Capaldi's first appearance as the Doctor. Everywhere I look I see the critics in the papers hailing this as a masterpiece of scriptwriting and acting .... were they perchance watching another episode? Luckily it seems the Doctor Who fans are more discerning with their reviews being a mixed bag.

I have watched Doctor Who since the William Hartnell era so feel I have a pretty good take on the whole mythos, but I have to admit considering the sheer mass of hype behind this opening episode I was expecting a hell of a lot more from both story and actors, but to be fair to Capaldi he could only use what was in the script and I feel he did the best he could. I like the guy, he is a class act and I absolutely loved him as Cardinal Richelieu in the Three Musketeers, but here as the Doctor it was like he was trying to shove his new Doctor down everyone's throat. The Doctors confusion after regeneration has been done nearly every single time it happens. We have seen it done from all angles by a multitude of different actors, but none have I watched where he is still going at it full bore more than half way through the episode to the point that I am on Clara's side with not liking this Doctor at all. This wasn't the Doctor, in any form, he was to weird, to out there, to over the top. I could only put it down to the type of regeneration he underwent perhaps, but I am trying to give him a break here by finding excuses. They are all a little hare-brained after a regeneration, but they have all been essentially, our Doctor. This wasn't. Luckily Capaldi managed to drag it back by the time he has to save Clara from the robots pulling an almost Tom Baker style abandonment of his companion only to save her later.

The story was boring, rehashing older plots done better years previously. Tom Baker had to fight a dinosaur in the Thames once, and the clock work robots were done better in David Tennant's 'The girl in the fireplace', much better and they were actually scary in that story. Why would Moffat rehash such a recent story to pad out this episode anyway? I can't think of any good reason at all other than the fact he had written the original so probably felt he had more mileage in it? Thank god for the Paternoster Gang saving the episode otherwise it would have been a total lost cause.

And did it end on a high note we ask ourselves? Not really, Moffat brought back Matt Smith to maybe try to save the episode but only really made us wonder if he felt Capaldi needed a crutch to lean on. Then as Clara leads the Doctor away he seems weak, small, unimposing, like he needs to be hand held. Is that the Doctor we want to watch? I hope to God that both Moffat and Capaldi's need to reinvent the Doctor doesn't implode the entire series. If its not broken, don't fix it guys, its an old saying and still true. Have a slightly different Doctor, have him darker, grittier, that's very cool, but please, don't make him so 'alien' we're left wondering if it really is our Doctor under the new facelift.

Man of Steel [DVD]
Man of Steel [DVD]
Dvd ~ Henry Cavill
Price: £4.08

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Another reboot gone bad, 14 Jun. 2014
This review is from: Man of Steel [DVD] (DVD)
How many times does Hollywood need to reboot a subject before they just let it die. Spiderman being a perfect example, but now Superman has another reboot so soon after the last disastrous effort.

This one at least has a Clark Kent you can bond with. He is a genuinely nice guy trying to do what's right in the world while keeping his secret powers under wrap. I know a lot of negative feed back has been aimed at Costner for his portrayal of Jonathan Kent and his spoken opinion on screen that Clark should have maybe let a bus load of his fellow school kids die rather than use his powers to save them at a young age and so hide his abilities. But you have to remember that when Superman first came into creation in the 1930 sensibilities and society was a lot different. Yes right is right and wrong is wrong no matter what age you live in, but just think for a second, wouldn't any parent who knew their son or daughter had such amazing abilities tell them to keep them under wraps no matter what? No matter the cost? Because lets face it we all know what the Governments of today would do to said kid when they found out.

However that aside this film is 50/50 on good and bad. The first half is pretty good. Russell Crowe is low key, but pitch perfect as Jor-El, Superman's dad and after so many films where he plays larger than life characters it was good to see him flex his acting muscles in a slightly new way and as usual he is excellent. Things start to go a little pear shaped when the bad guys turn up. Supposedly sent to the Phantom Zone for their crimes the destruction of Krypton breaks them free and they start their search for Clark. A short exposition by Zod tells how luckily for the bad guys who were basically sent to the Zone in a huge prison, when they got free they managed to find absolutely everything they needed on abandoned Kryptonian outposts, including a huge terraforming machine. They even manage to hotwire their ships engine so it could do something akin to warp speed and get them to earth. Its all a little to good to be true for them, a lot of coincidence and a little far fetched. Then when they get to earth they manage to almost immediately get control of their new powers in hours where it took Clark years of growing up under the tutelage of his parents!

A lot has been said of the last 20 minutes or so, of the wanton chaos and destruction, and those remarks are all true and deserved. It gets ridiculous after a while as Clark and Zod methodically take apart Metropolis building by building, neither seemingly caring for the deaths they must be causing.

So a promising start with good acting from Cavill, Costner and Crowe, but badly let down by the 'blow it all up to win' ending of the film.

The City
The City
by Stella Gemmell
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.85

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars This is NOT David Gemmell, 7 Jun. 2014
This review is from: The City (Paperback)
Sounds rather obvious doesn't it, this is NOT David Gemmell? Kind of a duh moment, right? Wrong. Lets face it all us David fans are pretty passionate about his work. He deserved the crown of one of the UK's finest, if not THE finest, author of fantasy fiction. Even if you try not to you'll see the name Gemmell plastered across the front cover, know she was David's wife and snatch up the book expecting the work to be as good. Its human nature really. However let me just take a second to mention a couple of reviews I read. One reviewer states that this had all the feel of a David Gemmell work, just with more maturity ... more maturity? So what, your saying David's work wasn't mature enough for you?! A second reviewer has this to say, that The City is slow to get anywhere, just like David's earlier works. Ok, I'm sorry, David's earlier works? You mean like his first novel 'Legend' which is still held up as one of the premier fantasy novels of all time? That kind of earlier work? People cannot say they are fans of David's then give this book 5 stars by slighting his work, that's ridiculous!

Unfortunately Stella can't hold a light to her late husband despite having been his editor. She has obviously not absorbed any of David's skill at writing. This not a slight to her, it would be hard for anyone to match his work and she has done a good job at her first novel, its just not up to David's level of excellence. I know she finished the last of his trilogy on the fall of Troy after his death and it showed in that novel, it was the worst of the three.

Now, back to The City. Unfortunately I can find little good in it really. Its a steady work and will no doubt appeal to some readers. However its probably why all those who gave this book 5 stars left two to three line reviews while those giving 1 - 3 stars left longer opinions. Its slow, boringly slow to pick up any pace, characters come and go and you really do not form any kind of attachment to them. The whole first section of the book is in the city sewers, but after a while you're fed up with reading about the squalid conditions down there. Ok, spend a page, even two, describing it then move on, spend time on the characters maybe? Maybe forming some story arc? Anything but keep depressing us about their environment! This is where David Gemmell shone. From page one he would grip you with his characterisations, how sharp and interesting the terrain, cities, and buildings were, but he didn't take up page space keep smacking us over the head with how dreary a particular persons city was. In fact why spend so much time in the damn sewers anyway? There really was no need if the story pace had been anything close to speedy.

So in closing, characters that do not grip you and for whom you feel nothing even by the end of the book. Far to detailed descriptions that drag down story speed and bore you to tears and send you flicking through pages looking for something interesting to read! As I said for a first time out of the gate novel I suppose its not the worst I have read, but try not to let the name Gemmell influence you, you'll be sorely disappointed if you do.

Captain Nemo
Captain Nemo
by Kevin J Anderson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

2.0 out of 5 stars I LOVE Captain Nemo, shame about the book, 21 Mar. 2014
This review is from: Captain Nemo (Paperback)
It might as well have been called 'Jules Verne' considering the amount of shared story time each character gets. Yes, Jules Verne and Andre Nemo know each other and grew up together in this book. I have no issue with that, although I do agree with a previous reviewer who said it would have helped Anderson's story if he had actually done his homework on the Nemo character first.

Its quite sad really as I love the Nemo character and I like Anderson as a writer, I have many of his Star Wars books, but this book just falls flat in so many areas. I think for me it was just the constant 'mini' adventures Nemo gets into based on Verne's stories, and gets out of in a chapter or less. Its just a constant roll call of Vernes stories, one after the other, just transplanting Nemo into the scenes instead of his literary characters and it gets boring. It makes Nemo himself, his story, come over as cheap.

I would love to read a book purely about the life of Captain Nemo, but this is a contrived and pale offering and not worthy of the name on the cover, either character or author.

Covert Affairs - Season 1 [DVD]
Covert Affairs - Season 1 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Piper Perabo
Price: £7.95

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Good addition to TV spy shows, 12 Jan. 2014
My first reaction having watched the first season of Covert Affairs was 'Hmm, its Alias but with the edge dulled down'. My feelings haven't changed. Alias was an amazing tv show which at least kept its stories mostly outside the USA as is proper for a CIA show. This show however doesn't seem to care about that. It has as many episodes working inside the borders of America as outside. That all said it is fun to watch and I love the two main characters of Annie and Auggie. They really meld well on screen and keep you interested. The other character are pretty hit and miss. The marriage crisis going on between Annie immediate boss and her boss gets a little old. One minute they are ready to tear each other to pieces, the next they are back in bed together, go figure.

Now I am not a CIA agent and have no idea if its inner workings beyond what you can read on Wikipedia, however I am pretty sure the Agency does not have any police powers within the USA. Meaning any information it receives about drug trafficking would go to the DEA. Anything on terrorism goes to the FBI, etc, etc. The department Annie works for is, supposedly, allowed to operate within the USA, but they don't explain how or why, it just is. It is part of the CIA and so shouldn't be able to, so .... It just feels wrong. As if the show runners thought this is a cool idea so we'll ignore real world laws and restrictions and go with it. That's fine, but a minute of extrapolation at the start would have made it more real to viewers who have a little knowledge on American Intelligence agencies.

Another eye sore is Annie. She is beautiful, yes, a great linguist, definitely, but is a little less experienced on other spy work. For example nearly ever fight she gets into she gets beaten and has to be saved by a colleague or by a stroke of luck that distracts her opponent long enough for her to regain the upper hand. Yes she was pulled out of her training early, but not THAT early. In the first episode it is said she has nearly completed her training at the Farm. So the question is do they bother with hand to hand combat training at the CIA? Also if she is that green why keep her in the field? It's mentioned this is done to flush out her old boyfriend but they keep putting her in situations that could kill her. Wouldn't that kind of defeat the purpose of finding her boyfriend?

Another thing is the lack of firearms. She never carries a gun unless she picks one up from a dead/knocked out bad guy. Now I might be wrong here, there may be a rule in the CIA saying its agents can't carry guns on certain missions which is fine if they are trying to be a museum curator for example or they might be searched by bad guys. But when sending an agent into a situation where a fight is more than likely wouldn't it be a good idea to give them something to defend themselves with? Its like they are trying to put across to us viewers how naïve and inexperienced Annie is by ignoring basic common sense stuff.

Also Annie's sister and her family. This could get old real fast. They are trying to show us that CIA agents have lives outside the office, that they have to lie to people they love and I get that, I honestly do. But the angst we get in nearly every episode where Annie worries about lying to her sister is beginning to grow a little tiresome already. Its not as if Annie didn't know she would have to do it when joining the CIA so why is she so beat up about it now she is working in the field? It wasn't a surprise to her after all.

Overall a good, and even great at times, show with a few endearing characters and some interesting and watchable shows. If only these niggles weren't there every show to slow things down.

The Bureau: XCOM Declassified (PC DVD)
The Bureau: XCOM Declassified (PC DVD)
Price: £4.36

2.0 out of 5 stars I huge missed opportunity, 12 Jan. 2014
= Fun:2.0 out of 5 stars 
To begin lets just clear up one thing. This isn't in any shape or form an investigation style game. Its a straight forward FPS. Its Mass Effect but nowhere near as good, in any way. Its story line is clunky, its characters 2 dimensional including the hero, and the ending is a quick wrap up that is so incredibly unconvincing you wonder if the writer was late home for his dinner and just wrote 'The End' half way through his script.

I had heard rumors that originally this was going to be something akin to the X Files. Agents going out into this 1962 America to investigate alien sightings and slowly develop means to fight the invaders. That would have been a gripping and unique game, and so the title of this little review, a huge missed opportunity. Instead we get this by the numbers FPS where you have no room to move and are railroaded along narrow corridors to find, shoot and kill aliens, then follow the narrow road again. Its boring! The aliens are the same four classes right from the start. You get dumped into a huge fight from the beginning, its not even subtle enough to ease you into the conspiracy, it just dumps you straight in the deep end.

It can't even reward you with a decent ending after all your hours of grind to get there. Its such a shame this was turned into a FPS. XCom needs a change of focus. The original was amazing, the reboot Enemy Unknown is a poor successor as its lost half of what made the original great and is now designed for game console players. If they had kept this as an investigation, allowing you to maybe treat sightings like crime scenes, like Project Bluebook maybe, that would have been different, original. Even the backdrop of 1962 America quickly loses your interest. It just becomes the same old same old.

Raising Steam: (Discworld novel 40) (Discworld Novels)
Raising Steam: (Discworld novel 40) (Discworld Novels)
by Terry Pratchett
Edition: Hardcover

28 of 37 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A sad edition to the legacy, 28 Dec. 2013
How on earth this book got so many 5 star ratings is beyond me. I can only imagine these people have never read a Discworld book before, or perhaps, and more likely, its the publishers driving up the ratings on Amazon to sell, sell, sell!

I have been reading and buying Discworld books since The Colour of Magic, the very first story Terry ever wrote in this amazing universe. I have loved each and every one without exception. However, the last couple of books have ... stretched my love of all things Discworld a little and this book breaks it. I was only a few pages in when I began wondering if this was even written by Pratchett. I checked the cover, back and front, for a co-writer name but could see none. I can only assume Sir Terry's illness has finally taken its toll on a great author who has given so much to us over the years.

The plot had great possibilities, it just didn't deliver. Known characters are wheeled out for us to see but none of them are anything like their previous incarnations. Vetinari, Vimes and Moist, the three most well known people in this book and three of the most prominent, are almost totally unrecognisable from before. Read 'Going Postal' then read 'Raising Steam' and see how the character of Moist changes from a vibrant man of action to a faded, limp shadow of himself. Vetinari is a waste of space here. The edge he always had in previous books has gone. Its almost like reading the script of a bad panto performance at times.

There was no coherent thread to the story either. The end, when it came, was so obvious and foreseeable that half way through the book you could guess it. No twists and turns as most of Terry's books have. No intrigue, no page turning excitement. It meanders along with almost no real purpose, no drive, and leaves so many things unsolved. I won't say what here, no spoilers, but I am sure when you read the book, if you want to bother, you will get to the end with the same questions I had.

If a new Discworld book does surface I doubt I will want to buy it based on this title. I fear that Terry has passed the reins of the series to someone else as his illness takes a great man from us. Unfortunately this new author has no clue about the amazing characters and world he has been given free rein to write with and in and does a crap job.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 30, 2013 9:33 AM GMT

Assassin's Creed 3 (PC DVD)
Assassin's Creed 3 (PC DVD)
Offered by rockaway-records
Price: £9.65

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Worst of the series so far, 10 Jan. 2013
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
First I have to admit I haven't finished the game yet, not even half way through, but as games grab you, or not, from the first few minutes of gameplay I hardly think that matters.

The other two main games of the series, Assassins Creed 1 & 2 were amazing. Beautiful graphics, solid intriguing story, easy controls which were fun even though some complain they were overly simplistic. I'll take simplistic over frustrating any day of the week, and that brings me to the third chapter in the Assassins Creed series.

I was the same as everyone else. I wanted this to be so good. The hype made it look amazing, but then don't they always. I couldn't wait to get to grips with it, but from the get go I immediately found frustrating differences to the other two games. The controls were sloppy, hard to get used to and bloody frustrating. Now rather than right click or spacebar to parry or dodge an attack we have to press a particular key. Nowhere near as smooth as the mouse controls. When out in the frontier and attacked by wolves and such you have to now press certain keys in certain patterns in quick succession or you get mauled to death ... why? Why change something that works perfectly and has done for years? How is it the old saying goes, 'If it ain't broken, don't fix it'? Obviously no one at the Ubisoft has heard that saying.

Don't get me wrong, its not all doom and gloom. The graphics are still beautiful, the story interesting and I love the winter settings for some missions. But once again, as has happened with other high profile games recently, XCom immediately springs to mind, the game has suffered from the curse of the games console people. For some, inexplicable reason, game companies now insist on making their games more console friendly than PC friendly. Very few games are now solely PC. No longer will the companies put time into making games work perfectly on both PC and consoles systems. No, now they make one game, and seemingly consoles win out here, and make sure it can easily be ported to PC's with small changes, but the majority still blindly obviously console related.

Also for some reason during a mission the story stops? For example I am chasing a Native American woman as she tries to alude me through the trees, but suddenly she stops, just hanging from a branch. The rest of the game still works, I can move around, fight wolves, etc, etc, but the story stops. I had to restart the game and replay that section to get it to move on. So far thats happened twice to me in different missions. Another annoyance, and this might just be my pet peeve rather than everyone elses, but some of the soldiers you end up fighting with at the start, when you first begin as Conner, are unstoppable. Your counter attack doesn't work, you can't break their defences despite that option being available and they parry all your blows, and if you try to run away they eventually catch up as you seem to run out of breath. I know in Assassins Creed 2 you had those heavy armoured guys who were equally as unstoppable, but at least you could run away from them, not so here.

An oldie but a goodie in the complaint department, and one thing Ubisoft swore they had fixed, is the problem of jumping off high places and dieing when you didn't mean to. Its always been a little hard in this series of games to precisely make your character move where you want him to, but as I mentioned Ubisoft stated it had been fixed here. There is even an in game email from a character stating they have upgraded the Animus so it no longer does that. Sorry, I'm afraid they are lying to us all. It still happens. The only up side from what I can tell is that you seem to be able to fall farther and not die than you could in the other games.

So, I am hoping that as I progress things will get better, or a patch will appear to fix these issues, but so far I am greatly disappointed in what could very well be the last installment of what has been an amazing series of games. Just a shame the programmers felt they had to bow to the XBox and PS3 crowd over us loyal PC gamers.

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