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J. Cooper "my heart bleeds Tel!" (UK/Australia)
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cod with Codpieces!!! Original and suprisingly deeeeeeep., 25 Oct 2012
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
Very worthwhile multiplayer only, medieval slash and twang. The perfect antedote to modern fps overload.

I took the plunge and acquired this game digitally and have not been disppointed. Its a really novel take on multiplayer conquest and tdm with respect that executing a decent blow requires more skill than line up and press or should I say "point in general direction of enemy and hose them down".

The game revolves currently around tdm and conquest with up to 64p. In a nutshell melee combat is handled with a mouse click and slight movement to initiate a swing/stab/chop depending on the direction the mouse and a slight delay on releasing the mouse button adds a bit of heft as opposed to a quick slice. The same orientation rules apply to parrying and therein lies a really deep and complex melee system thats relatively simple to access (there's offline training modes)but will vary enormously depending on your playstyle, movement, loadout, perks (yup-this is the cod connection) character class and indeed terrain (e.g. take a huge swing in a narrow corridor and you'll be redecorating rather than winning).
Skill plays a big part, and spam will rarely win out. What can help is the chaos of battle to level the odds.
Character classes range from footsoldiers (ranging from light skirmishers and pikemen to heavily armoured two handed sword swingers), longbowmen, crossbowmen and cavalary who also get to fight on foot when someone(inevitably) puts Dobbin down. Ranged and lance combat also have their subtleties that will allow you to pick up the basics quickly but have extensive possibilities for refinement. Be assured that there's enough opportunities to acquire xp and gold as a n00b to allow some progression. You may not get loads of kills at the start but reviving and damaging opponents will richly reward enough for progression to occur.
Graphics are decent enough, I'm not sure of requirements or benchmarks but I'm running a 965 @ stock with a 6870gpu and it runs smooth as silk @1080p on low medium settings. Of course it is a little rough round the edges visually and you may find the occassional glitch but as a multiplayer experience there is alot of fun and indeed many laughs to be had. Plenty of extra content is on the way and I'm happy to support an original, quirky and fun game thats not a point and click twitchathon for a change (I'm suffering from BF3 overload)
On a final note this is not a kids game. The graphic nature with which you can execute opponents is definitely not something you'll see in Glee or Skylanders. Morality wise you get more points for reviving teammates than offing bad guys but ultimately crushing someones throat with your shield or repeatedly stabbing them in the throat and face with a dagger does have a shock value that puts this game in perspective.
In summary Cod-like in terms of fun, upgrades and unlocks, and plain LOL fun
Not cod-like in terms of much greater depth, tactics and skill required to really master it.

The only thing missing is an armoured Brian Blessed SHOUTING ALOT WHENEVER HE SAYS ANYTHING!!!


Asrock Socket AM3+ 970 Extreme4 5200MT/S Motherboard
Asrock Socket AM3+ 970 Extreme4 5200MT/S Motherboard
Offered by cS-eT Computer Shop
Price: 69.90

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars alot of mobo for your money..., 27 Jan 2012
I built a budget PC back in October and so this is 4 months down the line.
I'm happy with it, its a solid board with enough options for most builders. I managed to get a dirt cheap phenom II 965 cpu but if you want to update the bios for bulldozer there are 3 ways to do it that the previous reviewer just didn't do....a quick google will reveal all.
I bought this one to allow the possibility of crossfire (x8 x8)which I won't be going for anyway just now, maybe later in 2012....the third slot would be an x4 so I wouldn't bother tri-fire, and ayway I use that slot for a Asus Dx soundcard..the onboard sound is great and totally adequate but I needed the dolby digital live capabilities of the dx.
Be aware that because of the layout of the board there are restrictions on what fabster Ram cards you can use...the Kingston Hyperx were one of only two (the other is ciel?) for an 2x4gb setup, but it's awesome ram so no worries there!
I have it running an xfx 6870 gpu , originally in a borrowed sonata 3 case but now in my own df-85.
If you want to really start OCing this board has capabilities but you really would want a higher end board if you are going for an epeen/1337 setup. For anyone building a decent amd based budget rig be aware that you will need to update the biosfor an am3+ setup but I'm happy.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 30, 2012 10:39 PM BST


Creative HS-1100 Sound Blaster Arena USB Gaming Headset with Detachable Noise-Cancelling Microphone
Creative HS-1100 Sound Blaster Arena USB Gaming Headset with Detachable Noise-Cancelling Microphone

4.0 out of 5 stars Best implementation of "surround" on a headset., 1 Jan 2011
I've been using Turtle Beach x41s hooked up to my pc for online gaming with friends, but missed the digital surround that the x41s reproduce from the xbox360 AND wanted to free myself of all the extra usb ports and cables required to marry the x41s to the pc (basically LOTS).
So began a long search for a headset for the pc with "surround" capability for fps games. My friends from online and lans have used plantronics, megalodons, g35s amongst others but nothing really set the world on fire as far as pinpoint sound was concerned, or there were worrying compatibility issues. Another mate had the steel series 5hv2 or whatever that boosts frequencies relating to gunfire/footsteps and that did help location/orientation but sounded kinda odd and not to my taste.
After some research I came upon these and am so glad I made this selection.

Pros
Very good inbuilt soundcard, massive improvement over basic on board cards (I have an Asus G71 and the realtek sound was the ONLY weak point)
Frankly the best "surround" sound stage I have heard on a headset, sure its not real 5.1/7.1 but its almost as good as the digital surround on the x41s. It works well and does allow better pinpoint location in fps. There really is a better impression of front and back as well as left right. It's subtle but its does work. and yes Vista/Windows 7 64 just recognises it as a stereo device but tweak the setup in windows to "full speakers" and got twork with the software and you will get to a nice sound for gaming (and even music albeit a bit coloured- fine for electronica/post rock, not so fine for classical/jazz etc)
Nice clear, customisable sound.
Mic works well, voice coms clear and audible.
Lightweight

Cons
Set up is fiddly to get right, these are NOT plugin and play out of the box...the software allows large amount of customisation which will take an hour of fiddling with to get right.(My advice switch everything off apart from the 3d effect AND use the graphic equalizer to tame the bass and brighten the treble.)
You need to tame the bass, it easily becomes overpowering.
Get a usb extension lead to protect the usb connector...from all accounts the headphones aren't robust to yanking/bashing.
My peanut head does get a little sore after 4 hours non-stop but not terribly and my head is XXXL!!.

Bit expensive (hence 4 stars) but ultimately Amazon is a no risk purchase.

Recommended.


Walkers Crisp Pickled Onion 32.5g Bags (box of 48)
Walkers Crisp Pickled Onion 32.5g Bags (box of 48)
Offered by shaina's shop
Price: 22.55

14 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Monster Munch trail-blazed! And they said it couldn't be done..., 6 Aug 2010
So many skeptics doubted the onioness of crisps could be outdone; that onion was forever bound in union with that of "cheese" in all its caeso-glory. "tis the only form of onion that will ever grace our crisps" they scoffed.

But out of the blue came monster-munch, lighting the sky of corn-starch based snackery with a battery of degustations, and most triumphantly that of "pickled onion"-of course championed by the green furry monoped!

Forever inspired, see it now before you! Consider your onions Pickled!

ps comes in a nice box
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 9, 2010 12:34 AM BST


Walkers Crisps Worcester Sauce 34.5 g (Pack of 48)
Walkers Crisps Worcester Sauce 34.5 g (Pack of 48)

14 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Much worcestery niceness in quasi 2D form, 6 Aug 2010
From the moment your lips tingle to the classic zing of the king of sauces, you'll know this is the epitomy of fried potato snack sumptiousness...
Know the joy and elation of the delicate crisps yeilding to your determined mastication, forming a joyous cud of spud!
Know your crisps and embrace the freedom.
There can be only one!

ps came in a really nice box


Zalman FG1000 Gaming Mouse
Zalman FG1000 Gaming Mouse
Offered by PreisCompany
Price: 22.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars making a change from console fps to pc? Gonna need a mouse.., 23 Jun 2010
I've been playing games since 82, but pc fps ended for me with doom. After that pc was for strategy, whilst N64 Goldeneye cemented consoles as the fps medium. 15 years or so later I find myself joining mates on a private pC network. I'm used to gamepads but mouse play on PC is essential (and better...)...
This has been such a happy medium. The grip is so much more intuitive than mouse (come on you need a gun grip for fps)as it translates both sideways and twisting movements in lateral movements, meaning natural reactive movements line you up nicely.
The two thumbs buttons work well for me with nades, and the two trigger buttons are nicely laid out.
Its a solid mouse but after two months the layer of rubber for the palm grip has come off...just cosmetic really but surely they could of stuck it on enough to cope with six hour cod sessions? Thus not quite 5 stars.
Function wise though its great...get yourself a good size mouse mat with a smooth surface (e.goliathus speed) and get fragging...Personally I coupled this with a g13 for the thumbstick for movement...works a dream

Oh yes, it does double as a normal mouse too for mundane stuff...


Fallout 3 - Game Of The Year Edition (Xbox 360)
Fallout 3 - Game Of The Year Edition (Xbox 360)
Offered by Gameseek
Price: 19.74

5.0 out of 5 stars Equally cerebral and visceral...But defo not for kids (they won't get it), 23 Mar 2010
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
If, like me, you haven't really bothered with this game before I would sincerely like to recommend it to anyone looking for something truly immersive. The game is amazingly polished; it achieves an atmosphere within a gameworld with as much scale and freedom as I have ever seen. It plays out very much like a pc fps/rpg, so whilst it might not be as smooth as modern warfare gunplay-wise there is the v.a.t.s. system which is probably the most calculating violent de-stress toy imagineable. Wanna cleave an arm off and watch in John Woo-esque bullet time? No problem.
There are too many weapons to count, but you have limitless possibilities with the weapons you make yourself...(wanna launch a toy train into someones face, or nail their arm to a wall? best get busy with that workbench!)

The gameworld is set in a post apocalyptic ( those Commies!) alternate America in the future (GammaWorld anyone?)...sort of future tech but stuck in 1950s MacArthurian Paranoia with all the cultural trimmings. Its bleak, sometimes scary, and utterly beautifully brought to life, with ALOT of humour.

I could go on but there's too much to say...100hours in and you still will not have seen everything (and to think some people repeat play!!!???) an absolute bargain at this price. Experience a game that is truely a work of love...then club someones head in with a large stick with a nail through it.

Jaw Droppingly Good!!! Play it like a saint, or be a complete bar steward, its up to you...but there are many long-reaching consequences of any action....and inaction is an option too ! Can't diffuse a Civillian strapped with explosives in time? Watch them run off before nebulising into a chunky,red-mist.......ooops! My Bad! Checkout clips on youtube for vats silliness...


Burnout Paradise - The Ultimate Box (Xbox 360)
Burnout Paradise - The Ultimate Box (Xbox 360)
Offered by STOCKTASTIC
Price: 39.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars under 15squid for ALOT of fun..., 26 Feb 2010
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
If, like me you are emerging from an overdose of online bullet-festivals looking for some uncomplicated fun then I cannot recommend this enough. The graphics are slightly old-school reflecting the games heritage BUT they move at a totally BLISTERING pace. Crashing, racing , stunts are still all here, but ultimately for me RoadRages (where you have to stuff your opponents into walls, buildings, off cliffs, into other traffic)are worth the price alone. Stupid, Fast, Cathartic Fun. Have it!
If you are somewhat underwhelmed by all the time-devouring fps/rpgs coming out on xbox and are looking for simple FUN and want change from 15squid you cannot go wrong. I haven't tried online but then I'm enjoying some off-line downtime.
NB if you are lacking HD space or if you have a download limit (like me and everyone else in Australia) remember the extras on this are a good 1.3GB.

In a word...Fun... Like it used to be...


Turtle Beach Wireless Headset Ear Force X41 (Xbox 360)
Turtle Beach Wireless Headset Ear Force X41 (Xbox 360)
Offered by aardvark-games
Price: 119.99

16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I'm lovin it! Have these been revised by Turtle Beach?, 30 Jan 2010
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
My x41s have worked great and been hassle free. No glitches, popping, echo, voice coms are fine....maybe not quite as clear as before but still eligible and I can monitor my own voice, which keeps these very "wife/girlfriend" friendly.

Just wanted to make 3 points.

1) I hate ipods. They sound like poo. Running an ipod through these puppies though is quite pleasant, and the prologic 2 makes the tinny-squeaky apple fashion gimmicks sound OK. Sure its coloured sound but the optional extra bass will keep doof-doof music lovers happy.
(but you still want a better player- ipods are for mugs)

2) The endless techno/audiophile war continues with the heresy of suggesting 7.1 is possible on headphones. Frankly I say WHATEVER! These sound great...whether the gizmo manages to pull off the surround effect with psychoacoustics or notch-filters doesn't matter, the surround WORKS! To put it in context, I have been playing a 360 running some old seinnheiser(sp?) earphones that allow me to wear the headset on top as they didn't noise cancel and were fairly flush. This gave a really good stereo image and allowed for good location of sounds, but was a little awkward. The x41s give enough detail to totally pinpoint the sound in relation to yourself accurately enough for even a lagging, lame non-sniper like myself to pop up and get multiple snap headshots on mw2 on first use, guided almost entirely by just the sound. The sound is VERY detailed, at times overwhelmingly so. It won't make you an Uber Gamer (they're all called Gerald anyway)but it will make your games more immersive, and gets you a little more "in the zone"...nuff said.

3) You don't need these...no one does. They are really an indulgence, justified only by fairly flimsy excuses to those who share your bank account. But at the moment they are THE Rolls Royce of gaming headphones for the 360.

I'm not sure whether Turtle Beach has ironed out any previous x41 issues but I have had none. Setting up was easy.
N.B. if you are running HDMI you may need to remove the grey plastic end on your 360 AV lead with the optical port on it as it is bulky and obscures the HDMI port...or buy a lead adapter off ebay as the official ones are costly...blame microsoft for this bit of cr@p design.

To summarize: Goregeous, but minus 1 star for being just a little too expensive... (but certainly worth saving the extra to get a set rather than the x31s)
Happy to answer questions in the comments..

update: 10 months on, still working great: yes you can use these on pc (use a microII usb card to achieve an optical out and run voice coms through a wired 360 controller. Be aware that the pc games will not have dts encoded dolby digital surround which is why the 360 sounds so good on these..BUT..use the bypass and get a crystal clear stereo sound stage which will still help you pinpoint opposition (Cod etc) or really immerse you/ scare the pants off you e.g. Stalker. The ability to monitor your own voice in the headset remains handy for talking late at night. Still really happy with these.
Comment Comments (6) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 30, 2010 2:14 AM BST


Forza Motorsport 3 (Xbox 360)
Forza Motorsport 3 (Xbox 360)
Offered by games-wizard
Price: 8.95

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Big overhaul of physics and car models., 30 Oct 2009
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
Forza 2 is a great game so Forza 3s improvements are possibly not so obvious to some. Beyond increased choice of cars (including some real classics)and tracks( including real and game only) the two main improvements are the car models (most noticeable by petrol heads) and the physics engine.
The car models are beautiful and the level of detail is a huge leap. When left to idle the game will lovingly look over and around your currently selected car. I daily drive a car in the game and can safely say its lovingly recreated perfectly (except the sweetie wrapper stuffed ashtray). The in car views are accurate too, albeit my car isn't a left hooker...
The physics are a step up from the previous incarnation, and without assists is as close to a full on car sim as you can get on a 360 (Race Pro aside)...with the wheel it's pure joy.
The online features make it really easy to share/sell cars,paint jobs, tuning set ups, photos etc, and the painting options are fairly intuitive allowing you to really personalize your cars. Its a real driving sandbox. Online driving is competitive and you can set rules to keep the games within your prefered parameters, like restricting or allowing assists,views car types etc...The online community is getting busier,especially since the USA didn't get this game until a few days ago.

One major criticism some players have is the assists like the rewind feature. If you are a racing purist, DON'T USE THEM...simple. I simply don't understand the vehement slagging this game recieves from some people who want to exclude the casual and non driving gamer from it. I haven't even used the rewind button, but I can see how it would help some people and keep the game fun. There's enough assists to cater for all levels, and even a clutch for the truly hardcore (how many critics are using the clutch I wonder, hmmm?).
The damage modelling is not meant to simulate hollywood style car crash and burns, it's simply there to make you take more care on the track. If you want pyrotechnics and a perfect 10.0 from the russian judge for your triple somersault try Burnout/Grid type games. Sure you can roll your car in Forza 3 but the whole point of "racing" other cars is you want to avoid it....
The limited edition hasn't yet really proved its worth to me yet so maybe save your pennies and get the standard game, but either edition is a worthy update of the original if you like your racing games. If you aren't really bothered then maybe just plum for Forza2, especially if you don't have xbl or aren't into online racing.
Happy to answer any questions....Enjoy!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 27, 2009 8:10 PM GMT


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