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Dragon Age Inquisition (PS3)
Dragon Age Inquisition (PS3)
Offered by Bargain Games UK
Price: £33.99

8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dragon Age Inquisition, PS3 edition, 25 Nov. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
In teras of how this compares to previous installments - in terms of story and characters and that feeling of need-to-stay-up-all-night to play, this one is my favourite so far to be honest. It is let down by the platform, for sure, especially in terms of looks (though the opening - all that snow! - is especially unforgiving, I've found later cut scenes look much better), and there are a few glitches, which is why I haven't given it five stars.

Story - I don't want to spoil it, and you can easily find it in detail elsewhere if you want, but it's your standard be the hero, save the world stuff. Bioware as usual has put its own spin on it, tying in questions of faith, magic, and sin, and allowing you to play as a very reluctant hero if you so choose.

Characters - amazing. your team are all well rounded and distinctive, your own character even feels more solid (and much less like you're in someone else's head, as with DA2's Hawke). Varric makes a very welcome return, as does Leliana (though not playable alas), but all the new people hold their own just fine.

Sound - the music is PHENOMENAL, best soundtrack so far by a mile. Quite subtle sometimes, other times in your face majesty. the voice acting knocks it out the park, too.

Writing - no surprise, the writing is fab. there are some awkward bits, of course, bioware does sometimes struggle to balance exposition with normal dialogue, but on the whole, marvellous.

Looks - it struggles here, to be honest. glitches aside, the character faces look very stiff at times - voice acting is giving lots of emotions and the faces just don't match sometimes. The hair looks really odd, too, very shiny! given that it was meant for next gen and clearly pared back for us, I can get past it. if really amazing graphics are what you're after, skip this I'm afraid, cos they ain't here.

Glitches - most of these are your usual bioware fare of textures not loading, ears clipping through things, that sort of thing. annoying, but par for the course really. I have had to restart my ps3 a few times, though - and these often come in groups for some reason, not sure why. Hopefully patches will improve the stability, because right now it feels a bit...loose.

As a game (taking the glitches aside) I'd give it an 8.5, maybe even a 9 out of 10. On PS3 specifically, and with the glitches as noted above, I'd knock a point off. What can I say? I'm really loving this game a lot.

Update: in the comments here someone suggested turning off the three online options (under the 'Account' section of the options menu) to improve stability. I've tried this and I think it does make things a little smoother, so if you're getting a lot of glitches maybe try that.

Half Way Home
Half Way Home
by Hugh Howey
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

3.0 out of 5 stars 3.5 stars, 18 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Half Way Home (Paperback)
The premise of Half Way Home is fantastic - a colonisation effort gone spectacularly wrong winds up with fifty teenagers trying to colonise a new planet as opposed to five hundred well-trained adults.

Things I loved about it: the narrator (an empathetic young man struggling with his sexuality). he is flawed and confused and makes mistakes and is extremely relatable. I loved the action, too - the first third of the book starts to feel a bit Lord of the Flies, and it was great to move away from that and into exploration /mystery solving mode. I also liked the method used to keep the characters' values current - by cutting off their training halfway through the twentieth century they remain more relatable.

the thing I didn't like was that at times it felt like a pro-life screed. I have no idea if that was the author's intention, but with the emphasis on the term used to cancel a colonisation effort ('abort') and the discussion of potential lives snuffed out, that's the territory is strayed into for me. it is also pretty short and simple, and outside the main characters, characterisation is fairly flat and, in places, outright ridiculous (oliver was particularly odd). there is a note at the end that this book was written for nanowrimo, and I wasn't surprised.

still, those issues aside I *did* like it. if you're a fan of howey I'd definitely give it a shot.

Excel Rabbit Adult Tasty Nuggets 2 kg
Excel Rabbit Adult Tasty Nuggets 2 kg
Price: £9.38

5.0 out of 5 stars Best Rabbit Food, 20 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
My rabbits were both very overweight and in generally poor shape health wise when we adopted them. Our vet actually said that they weren't fit to have been adopted out and we'd have been within our rights to send them back (!).

Six months on this food and they were in perfecthealth. It's been a few years now, and they're still on this food - and our latest vet didn't believe us when we said one of them is eight as she's so healthy.

Plus, they absolutely love it, they always get very excited around meal times and devour it as if it's their last meal.

All in all, I'd never feed anything else to rabbits tbh.

Dog Games DG Cross Slider with Treat Ball
Dog Games DG Cross Slider with Treat Ball

4.0 out of 5 stars Very challenging, 12 May 2014
I wouldn't call my dog a genius (far from it!) but she seems to have a very easy time with most puzzle toys. This one, even with all four doors off, is very difficult for her.

This is a good thing, as it keeps her entertained for a good long time, but it's not something she can just be left with - it's a toy we play with together.

The treat ball is small -slightly smaller than a standard tennis ball - and we had to alter it slightly by removing a couple of the 'prongs' in the hole to let her kibble out. It seems to be a good consistency for her, though, she loves chewing on it!

Also, the inside of the clear plastic part are slightly sharp, and she does keep trying to shove her whole face inside it (see my earlier remark about her not being a genius!), and I'm a bit worried she's going to hurt herself.

All in all, a great toy for playing with your dog =]

Lupine Roman Harness for Medium Dogs, 3/4-inch/ 20 - 32 cm, Red
Lupine Roman Harness for Medium Dogs, 3/4-inch/ 20 - 32 cm, Red
Price: £19.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic harness, 12 May 2014
I have a dog who pulls, and thus have tried just about every harness in the book while I try to train her out of it. A lot of them seem to catch under her arms and cause sores, which doesn't deter her in the slightest unfortunately.

This harness? Does not catch under her arms. It's very low profile and sits smoothly against her body. There are three adjustable straps - one around her stomach, the other two which connect from the collar section to the stomach strap. The strap around her middle is also freely rotatable, and can actually be removed entirely, so the buckle can rest wherever you want. The buckle doesn't clip together if the strap is twisted, which I love because it means I know there's nothing digging into her.

All in all, this is, in my opinion, a perfect harness and i'm thrilled with it!

Child of Light Deluxe Edition (PS3 & PS4)
Child of Light Deluxe Edition (PS3 & PS4)
Price: £15.99

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Digital Download, 2 May 2014
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
Game: 5 stars. Deluxe edition: 3 stars.

The game is fantastic. It's a 2D platformer/role playing type game - the battles are turn based (with some real-time elements regarding speed of attacks and the like), while the exploring takes place in a 2D world. The graphics are stunning - reminiscent of stained glass windows and watercolour paintings. Sound is equally good - very beautiful, evocative music.

The story is simple, the mood subdued and melancholy. It's not as easy as it seems, oddly enough - the puzzles are not hard but definitely make full use of the light/dark themes, and some of the battles are fairly challenging. There is a hard mode, if you find it too easy.

As for the 'deluxe' edition... I'm not thrilled with it. The keyring is a cute gimmick, but doesn't work well. The art book is gorgeous, but too short, and the poster is *stunning* but folded up for transport so I don't see how I'll display it. The bonus digital content, well, one is just a skin (and it's not better looking than Aurora's default) and the other an additional party member. Bothcan be bought separately, if you want them.

I'd say, definitely get the game. but just download it directly, don't faff about with this version.

Ante's Inferno
Ante's Inferno
by Griselda Heppel
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Divine Comedy - now for kids!, 10 May 2013
This review is from: Ante's Inferno (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Ooh this is a *very* interesting little book.

It's firmly in the 'childrens' section, I think, given the age of the protagonist and the fairly simplistic story and style. But it's extremely dark - and fairly gruesome at times - not at all a sweetness and light kind of book!

The plot will be fairly obvious from the title - Ante, Florence, and Gil have to travel through Hell in order to achieve...something. They're not quite sure what, at first, and rather a lot of my interest came in discovering more about Ante and Florence's history - their relationship was actually pretty fascinating to me!

There are a lot of nods to classic literature in here (which won't come as a surprise), but I think even young readers unaware of the original works will get a lot of enjoyment - and thinking material - out of it.

There are a few extremely disturbing scenes around the theme of torture that younger or very sensitive kids might find upsetting - I'd recommend parents give it a quick read through (it's not a tough read, it won't take long) just so they know what's going on.

One of my absolute favourite things about the book, actually, is the heroine - she's a chunky black girl. I know that might sound small to a lot of reviewers, but to anyone who's spent a significant amount of time reading about pale, fragile girls in the YA market, this will come as a breath of fresh air.

Overall - perhaps nothing precisely ground-breaking in the grand scheme of things, but a very nice little addition to the fantasy kids section.

Osiris: The Osiris Project (Osiris Project 1)
Osiris: The Osiris Project (Osiris Project 1)
by E. J. Swift
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, 10 May 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I'm not entirely sure what I was expecting starting this book - yet another dystopian, post-apocalyptic, formulaic thing, I suppose. What I got was almost beyond words, really.

It's a mystery - what happened to Adelaide's brother, and will she unravel it in time? It's a political treatise on climate change, capitalism, the rich-poor divide, and revolution. It's a thriller, it's science fiction, there's even a little romance in there.

Delving into the plot too far would spoil it a little, I think, as part of what kept me going was an intense desire to tie everything together. There is a LOT going on in this book - and I was simultaneously disppointed it's the first of several (because I really wanted some things to be resolved by the end), and absolutely thrilled - because it means there's more to come. Hopefully a lot more!

It's a bleak book. There's a lot of very dark stuff here, a lot of trauma, a lot of misery. But it ends with just a sliver of hope, just enough to feel like not all is lost.

The characters are solid - none of them are charicatures, they're all well-rounded, with good and bad, even people that are hardly on the page at all have real *life* to them. There were times when, even as I was rooting for the protagonists, I wanted to SHAKE them, because I could see the mistakes they were making.

The world building is nothing short of astonishing. Just enough of our own world left over to feel familiar, with twists in the technology. And, of course, a mysterious cataclysmic event that did *something* to the world.

Overall, the gritty-ness of it reminded me a lot of China Mieville - which is a very, very good thing.

I'll definitely be getting any further books in this series!

Seraphina (Seraphina 1)
Seraphina (Seraphina 1)
by Rachel Hartman
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £12.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Wow!, 25 April 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Dragons, political intrigue, and a realistic female lead. Honestly, if you like YA fantasy, and those three things interest you, you NEED to read this book. It's not perfect, but it's damn close!

The Sea on Fire
The Sea on Fire
by Howard Cunnell
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.46

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars wanted to like it, didn't, 25 April 2013
This review is from: The Sea on Fire (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The idea is so promising, but it's just let down by a lack of focus. The writing isn't bad, the descriptions are beautiful and will almost certainly inspire you to take up diving. Unfortunately, the lead character simply isn't all that likeable, and the lengthy backstory provided him is tiresome to read.

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