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Space Shuttle (PC DVD)
Space Shuttle (PC DVD)

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not a shuttle sim, 7 Aug. 2010
This isnt a shuttle sim you dont get to fly a shuttle mission from the start to the end. All you get to do is land it after a mission. So overall the game is pretty lame. Its restricted by the limitations of Microsofts flight simulator. If you want a superb detailed shuttle sim you want to get Space Shuttle Mission Simulator (also known as Space Shuttle Mission 2007) by Exciting Simulations/Iceberg Interactive. That game features 20 or more missions all from lauchpad to landing including complex in orbit tasks such as docking with the ISS and deploying satellites. It truly is a shuttle simulation unlike this lame effort.

Hearts of Iron Collection - HOI2, Doomsday and Armageddon (PC DVD)
Hearts of Iron Collection - HOI2, Doomsday and Armageddon (PC DVD)

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant global WW2 wargame, 1 July 2010
HOI2 plus its expansions cover the whole of WW2 from the initial lead up from around 1933, over the whole War, into the Cold War era of the 60s and beyond. Its a massive game and you can play as any country around the world although obviously you wont want to pick Poland unless you want a major uphill struggle. The game comprises of several aspects of modern warfare such as supply management, naval management, army management, finances, diplomacy, spies, research and production. Its very user friendly in that you can set trade, convoys, and production etc on automatic whilstg you mange your armies and navy if you wish, or you can do the whole thing. There are several scenarios such as the desert war, and Babarossa to start you off. But before long you will want to get into managing the whole war and can begin from several important historical starting points such as you would probably want to start off from Pearl Harbour if you are the Americans but you may start them off from 1933 if you wish and try to develop your nation before the inevitable confict ensues.

The basic game is getting a bit long in the tooth in terms of graphics but there are loads of user made mods online which improve things immensely espcially the graphics which are very bland in the basic game but can be completely changed by mods. How anyone could possibly find the time to create Osprey like images for all the major army and navy nits of WW2 I will never know but someone did it as someone else also produced some very nice sprites for carriers etc.

If you are looking for a grand WW2 management game covering divisional strategy this the game to go for and very nice it is too. A word of warning though the game runs in hours so it can take you literally real weeks to cover each game year. If you want a game that will take over your free time this is it.

There is a HOI3 but forget that one its bugged, slow, too complex and looks terrible. If you want a slightly more easy lead in perhqaps look at Military History Commander Europe at War which covers the war fighting but not much else. Also if you want a slightly higher level WW2 grand strategy game that is a bit nicer to look at and runs in weeks so it will not take you quite so long to play a typical game try Making History. This MH has actualy become my favourite of late although its a close thing between HOI2 and MH which is the best. MH has a superb interface which I pesoanlly prefer wheras HOI2 is a bit 'stuffy' (as all Paradox games are). There is alos a Making History 2 game out but again as with HOI3 I think the developers have exceeded their capacity and the game is as yet bugged and pretty unplayable but watch that one in the months to come.

Hope this helps, happy gaming!

Hearts of Iron 3 (PC DVD)
Hearts of Iron 3 (PC DVD)
Offered by PNA247
Price: £6.00

3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Bugged and boringly complex, 28 Jun. 2010
Paradox ruined this game they listened too much to the die hard fans. Its ended up incredibly complex, very slow and plodding, and looks absolutely dreadful - I mean hog ugly. You'd think anyone would at least employ a graphical designer and a gameplay simplicity decision maker on potential £multimillion games that are going to be sold to the public not the military, but this one shows no sign of it. It looks grey - I mean everything is grey. And its slooow. You need to spend 10 hours just comfiguring your armies organisation. Trying to actually understand the game may take your whole life.

By far the best games of this genre to date are Hearts of Iron 2 Armageddon (the version prior to this HOI3 game - get it in the HOI Anthology set)and Making History Gold Edition - a similar game to HOi2 but of slightly higher strategy level but one that had more straight forward, faster gameplay and better graphics than the HOI games.

Buy HOI2 if you want to manage a country throughout WW2 and carry out tactical flanking maneuvers with whole divisions and island hopping plans with battle fleets or carry out the Battle of the Bulge etc scenarios.

Buy Making History Gold Edition if you want to fight WW2 but havent got 3 months spare, you can fight the whole WW2 in about a week or less. YOu cant carry out El Alamein etc with MH but then you will be far more intersted in controlling the whole Europe or Atlantic picture to care. MH is far more streamlined than the HOI games which are also starting to really show their age now.

There is another option which is Military History Commander - Europe At War. That one is far narrower in foccus that the two above - it concntrates on army warfare with very little else. Graphics are very nice and the whole GUI is very streamlined and you can carry out the whole of WW2 doing flanking maneouvers etc on hexes instead of provinces (which those two above use) but it gets a bit dull after a while. Good in short blasts I would say maybe for the laptop for trips etc.

Hearts Of Iron: Anthology (PC)
Hearts Of Iron: Anthology (PC)

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HOI2 is superb, 28 Jun. 2010
You dont need any of the other games in this compendium lets face it. The reason you want this compwendium is becuase you can get Hearts of Iron 2 plus Doomsday and Armageddon expansion packs for a very cheap price. And HOI2 Arma ranks, in my opinion, as the best game of this ilk. Out of the box it looks dated but add some of the many mods around such as SKIF icon updated alongthe lines of the WW2 Osprey book illustrations, Bebro sprites and GIP user interface screen graphics and you are well on the way to having a superb high level strategy game.

To try to explain what makes it so good you can run a whole WW2 war from the early 1900s all the way into the 1960s Cold War and beyond. Youncan take control of any country in the world and manage battles over the whole globe almost in real time (time passes by the hour). Battles take days sometimes weeks. You have to manage you supplies, your home front, war machine, army divisions, research, supply your armies, arrange trade exchanges and carry out large and small fleet maneouvers. Its a massive game but its amangeable with very good AI control of such things as trade and convoys you can concentrate on the important things such as stopping the German Beast.

There are some great scenarios such as the Battle of the Bulge and El Alamein to get you started and they cover pretty much every major engagement of the war. But then you can run comaiangs starting from all the important moments in the war spanning several years that will take you months to complete in real time.

Theres always something to do, you can add AI mods to change the game to make it more or less historical, and with Doomsday and Armageddon you have extra expansion into the Cold War and undetermined future.

OK so the graphicsal sprites are quite low res for a game these days, its not a 3d map, and the UI is a bit of a pain as it doesnt make good use of the mouse - that all doesnt matter. Playing this game is a rare priviledge these days as you get completely immersed in the game you forget time. Its that good.

There is a newer version of the game called HOI3 out but that is far far more complex to the point of banality so I cannot recoomend that one, this one was just right, the decvelopers lost their way on the later game. There is also an excellent alternative that I didnt even know about tille last week and that is Making History Gold Edition which is defititely on par with HOI2 and probably actually even slightly better. There is also a new Making History 2 game out but that has loads of bugs so dont touch that just yet.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 20, 2012 12:32 PM GMT

Making History 2: War of the World (PC DVD)
Making History 2: War of the World (PC DVD)

27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Bugged to blue blazes, 28 Jun. 2010
This is the sequel to one of the best ever World War 2 strategy games you can buy - Making History Gold Edition. In comparision to the better known Paradox's Hearts of Iron games these Making History games are slightly higher in terms of strategy level. This means the provinces are larger and you have slightly less detail to worry about such as you dont have to allocate generals to the armies, arrange convoys, worry about army organisation too much, you dont have as many research items, and the units are all quite generic. However the fact is the way it all comes together it means the game plays really well, time goes really fast, and is always interesting unlike Paradox's games which tend to be slow plodding complex games. For the rest of us these Making History games are a perfect blend of gameplay and playability requiring skill and imagination.

The only problem is the developers have released for purchase Making History 2 as a beta version, which in my eyes is unforgivable. On first play the game will update itself to version 1.09 (as of July 2010), which is three versions on from the first release, but even so this version still requires loads of work to be anything near a playable game. Firstly it has lots of lag ie you are waiting arond for the game to catch up, it has many bugs, and, worst of all, it looks atrociously pixellated (it looks worse than many of the games I played way back in the 1990s at the moment). The game also requires serious balancing and development time put into the economics, diplomacy and espionage systems which are very twitchy at the moment. This will all require a few more months development time before its playable, I'm estimating it will be a properly buyable product around November/December 2010.

The developers are working hard to fix the issues and, as with the first game, once they have fixed them this game will probably end up being one of the best, if not the best, game of the WW2 grand strategy genre you could buy. Its just a shame its been released in such a shabby state. Wait a few months and keep a watch on the Muzzy developers website forum for information on when this game has been fixed and is more playable.

In the meantime you could do worse than look at Making History Gold Edition which is the first game of the series, its a little bit more simplistic than this one, but it looks far better and is rock stable.

Another option would be to look at Hearts Of Iron 2 Doomsday/Armageddon which is still the best Paradox game ever released and is probably the best WW2 grand strategy game ever released. Theres is a HOI3 but that looks atrocious and is, yet again, bugged much the same as this MH2. MH2 and HOI3 must rank as the weierdest of games of all time - in that their predecessors look and play far better than they do. So go for the earlier version of HOI game and go to the Paradox forum for free user-made mods that make HOI2 look and work far better than HOI3. I have to say though that even with the mods HOI2 doesnt look a patch on Making History Gold.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 8, 2010 4:50 PM BST

Making History: The Calm & The Storm (PC CDs)
Making History: The Calm & The Storm (PC CDs)
Offered by Roncagliolo
Price: £1.99

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You need the Gold Edition not this one., 28 Jun. 2010
Great game far better than Hearts of Iron 3 and on par with hearts of Iron 2 which was a great game as well. But you need to buy the Gold Edition of this game if you are getting it - better AI, more scenarios, more advancements etc. But you cant buy it here you will need to get it on Gamersgate or Steam.

Ant World
Ant World
Price: £14.81

7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ants are tricky bugs to contain, 29 April 2010
This review is from: Ant World (Toy)
I bought this for my daughter for Xmas and we have just strated getting ants around so we captured a few and put them in. The ants dug tunnels pretty quickly and seemed to be ok for a few days. But little did we realise that the two slots that you use to fill the enclosure with sand are perfect places for the ants to escape. After a few days the ants had tunneled straight over to one of these slots (they are pretty intelligent obviously) and quite a few managed to escape in my daughters room much to the amusement of her but to the horror of my wife. Still I have since covered over the two slots with electricians tape and the ants wont escape again. But we wont be putting this back into her room after this it will stay in the conservatory.

It is an amazing educational house to see what ants do every day. Certainly they tunnel very well if the soil is kept a little moist you an see it very well.

By the way the ants are not uncomfortable they just cannot reproduce as there is no queen. But they dont die if you feed them regularly and keep the soil watered a little. And you catch them by cathing them in a bowl and tipping them in the top. Its pretty easy when you get the hang of it. We just found an apple tree in the garden that they like to go up to get the aphids and caught them off that.

Definitely recommended but I would certainly recommend taping up the holes if you get this before you put the ants in.

No Title Available

5.0 out of 5 stars Very stylish, 14 Aug. 2009
I bought this product and it looks really stylish - nice matt finish, not as obvious as some other Star Wars images I have seen. Very happy with it.

Europa Universalis Rome - Gold Edition (PC DVD)
Europa Universalis Rome - Gold Edition (PC DVD)
Offered by APE-GAMES
Price: £4.15

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb strategy with a character twist, 14 Aug. 2009
This is one of the best strategy games I've bought. In true Paradox style it revolves around grand strategy on a massive map over a massive timeframe.

This time the game revolves around the Roman Republic from its early years (around 280BC) up to the beginnings of the Empire a timeframe of around 200 years. Considering a year goes by roughly once a second on normal speed this is an almighty game. You can choose to start from a number of different events as well though such as the Punic Wars against Carthage or Caesars invasion of Gaul.

You control the whole Republic in assigning magistrates etc, moving armies, constructing buildings, envoking omens etc and a lot of the game is spent trying to avoid getting your senate overun by the Populist party - a group of wasters and rebels who try to cause as much trouble as possible.

Along with the usual parts of strategy gameplay such a wars, rebellions, invasions, managements etc a large part of the game revolves around your 'characters' - the important people in your civilisation who have ambitions, faults and strengths that may well be at odds with your own ideas. Over the years your Republic changes with the needs and wants of your characters, you see some becoming important people with titles and money whilst others may get themselves imprisoned or killed by rivals. This adds a massive amount of new interesting gameplay to the whole premise and is unlike most other strategy games around. Ive spent hours trying to survive a massive rebellion, and then had my whole rebulic changed around by the character just after I thought I knew where it was going.

Gold comes with the original Rome game plus Vae Victus which is what you need as the expansion adds a lot of atmosphere that wasnt in the original game.

Its a great game, it keeps you on your toes, theres never a dull moment, the various missions from the senate keep it quite historical but you never feel you are not in control although sometimes you wonder where the game is going. The graphics are really nice and colourful, you can rotate the map and zoom in and out, alter the map to show trade or political areas etc, the music is superbly classical. The whole game oozes flavour and character and I cant recommend it enough. 10 out of 10, best Paradox game around and best strategy game I have ever owned.

Everybody Loves Raymond: Complete HBO Series 1 [DVD] [2005]
Everybody Loves Raymond: Complete HBO Series 1 [DVD] [2005]
Dvd ~ Ray Romano
Price: £5.49

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Ever Comedy, 23 July 2009
I got into Raymond watching it on Channel 4 in the mornings before work and was soon absolutely hooked. Its the funniest thing I have ever seen purely because it reflects what we are going through in our own lives. I dont like many American comedies - I quite liked Frazier and Friends but not anywhere near enough to buy any of the videos. But I have bought the first six series of Raymond and I really look forward to watching them all. It says a lot about the series when a Trekkie like myself who owns no Star Trek videos feels he must buy this series even though its nothing to do with Scifi. I just love the characters, I love the writing, the situation they are in is perfect and the comedy is acted brilliantly - Ray and Debra are really good characters that play off each other so well. My favourite epoissode of all has to be when Ray has to employ his geeky cousin and he finds out his cousin isnt so far away from himself in almost every respect right down to his nasal whine! Its a brilliant episode but they are all good. I cant recommend this series highly enough. Watch it in the mornings on Channel 4 around 7.00am and give it a try you will be hooked after one week I guarantee it.

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