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Kraken Black Spiced Rum 70 cl
Kraken Black Spiced Rum 70 cl
Offered by UK ONLINE
Price: 26.00

5.0 out of 5 stars A tasty tipple indeed!, 21 Dec 2013
Unfortunately 'spiced rum' has become synonymous with 'sugary, syrupy rum'; Kraken Black Spiced Rum, however, has vanilla sweet notes but without the saccharine sickliness of Morgan's.
Gorgeous stuff and the bottle is kinda funky too - in fact, if it wasn't for the price tag, it might trump the JD bottle as the student's choice of candle holder...

XCOM: Enemy Unknown Official Strategy Guide (Official Strategy Guides (Bradygames))
XCOM: Enemy Unknown Official Strategy Guide (Official Strategy Guides (Bradygames))
by Tim Bogenn
Edition: Paperback

23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Achievements list? Ummm not in this book..., 7 Nov 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Will keep this short and sweet - if you've played the game and are considering getting a guide, the chances are it's to assist you in getting all the achievements/trophies (personally I wanted a check-list for the Research side of things in order to see what I'd missed on the first play through). Well sadly there isn't any mention of achievements/trophies...

Much of the game is randomly generated missions, so the guide can only offer general advice - so if you couldn't suss out what a smoke grenade is for it MIGHT prove useful. Because of this, it's a pretty thin volume at 191 pages, of which 29 are 'concept art' with many other pages padded out with oversized pictures. The multi-player section lacks any maps at all, relying instead on a couple of screen shots of each level, although we are treated to a couple of pages of suggested squad line-ups (concentrating on 'fun' themes rather than tactical merit).

Quite possibly the worst strategy guide I have ever owned!


Qwirkle Game
Qwirkle Game
Offered by a1 Toys
Price: 19.60

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Scrabble for Neanderthals..., 20 Nov 2011
= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Qwirkle Game (Toy)
...was how the guy in the game store described it to me, and that's a pretty fair and accurate description! :)

Qwirkle is a fun, family game, that is simple enough to teach to children, but, like Scrabble, has the potential for either 'nice' or 'nasty' play, thus keeping things interesting for older players.
On a basic level, players will simply attempt to lay down as many pieces as they can and hope to win as many Qwirkles as possible - older/nastier players, however, will also be looking to block scoring opportunities that they themselves cannot capitalise on.

Simply put, pieces have to be played in rows/columns, where every tile in that row has ONE feature in common ie all the same colour but different shape, or the same shape but different colours (check out the picture of the game and you'll see what I mean). A Qwirkle is an extra bonus score for having a 'completed' row (there are 6 different shapes/colours, so one example of a Qwirkle would be a row of 6, differently coloured stars) - the Qwirkle bonus points are given to the player who completed the row (even if he only placed one out of the six tiles).

I have played this game with a range of people, from regular gamers thru to casual 'well there's nothing on the TV so I'll grudgingly give this a go' types, and all have enjoyed it (although it did take the introduction of the house rule whereby 'whoever scores a Qwirkle gets to take a mini-chocolate cake' to finally convert a few people lol).

The chunky, tough, tactile pieces (and the handy fabric bag that's included to chuck them in) make it ideal for taking on family holidays, or even down the pub for a quiet Sunday lunchtime pint ;)

Anyone looking for an engaging, family activity, should definitely consider grabbing a copy!

Offered by Games Lore Ltd
Price: 26.11

1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The zombies are gonna go hungry..., 20 Nov 2011
= Durability:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:1.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:1.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Zombies (Toy)
Zombies are famous for hankering after brains, but sadly this game is an utterly brainless dice-fest.

Pretty pictures and plastic miniatures do nothing to hide the fact that you're essentially relying on getting a good dice roll 25 times to win. Everything about it feels arbitrary, with the level of satisfaction being on a par with playing 'heads or tails'.

It might seem like an interesting departure from the norm if your previous gaming experience is limited to Cluedo or Monopoly, but it really is worth finding one of the independant gaming websites and doing your homework in order to discover some of the truly excellent games that can be found out there.

Basically they've worked out that they can charge a lot more for a bunch of toy zombies if they included some dice and a sheet of paper essentially saying 'roll the dice, if you get a 6 you're a winner!'
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 28, 2011 7:29 PM GMT

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (Xbox 360)
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (Xbox 360)
Offered by clickforgamesltd
Price: 13.99

17 of 23 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Call of Duty: Deja Vu, 9 Nov 2011
= Fun:2.0 out of 5 stars 
Clearly this is just an early impression (having played the campaign thru in 4-5 hours, an hour or so on Co-Op, followed by another 4-5 hours of Multi-Player) but it's quite clear where this game is going...

Campaign game: nice to see some familiar faces, but the game play feels very one dimensional - 'move from point A to point B, shoot everyone, move to point C, shoot everyone' and so on. No choices to be made, no thinking involved (although virtually all FPS' suffer from the exact same thing, you'd just like to think that some day, someone would break the cycle). Once again 'timed missions' rear their ugly heads, so expect lots of frustration on Veteran mode as you hope for that lucky break...

Co-Op mini games: probably the highlight of the game to be honest, about the only time two CoD players will ever actually co-operate, different tactics for different missions, a nice mix of brute force and stealth...

Multi-Player: carrying on from Black Ops, the CoD franchise is clearly catering for the arcade 'run-n-gun' market again. Cluttered maps populated with hyper-active, Halo-jumping, ADHD sufferers with SMGs, running laps and killing/dying in equal measure.
The maps on WaW and MW2 seemed to allow for a wider variety of play styles, whilst the last 2 CoD releases seem to be moving even further away from tactical 'squad based firefights' and more into 'cartoon violence'.

If you enjoyed the fast-paced chaos of Black Ops then you'll probably think this is the mutt's nuts. But, if you're a fan of the bigger maps (like Seelowe on WaW or MW2's Estate) then I advise you have the Benny Hill Show theme playing whilst you play, as this may at least add a comedic note to what will otherwise feel like a tradegy...

In a proverbial nutshell, if you buy this knowing it'll be cartoon/arcade action then you won't be disappointed by what is actually a very visually appealing game - if, on the other hand, you're hoping for something remotely like a military sim then prepare to be disappointed.
Comment Comments (9) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 20, 2011 8:26 AM GMT

Battlefield 3 - Limited Edition (Xbox 360)
Battlefield 3 - Limited Edition (Xbox 360)
Offered by 666 Media
Price: 13.95

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Putting the TEAM back into Team Death Match..., 9 Nov 2011
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
BF3 was a surprise hit for me - it was an impulse purchase whilst waiting for CoD:MW3 to hit the shelves, and based upon the 'clunkiness' of Bad Company, I really wasn't expecting to be blown away...
However, they have really set a new standard in online First Person Shooters with a number of simple yet effective additions:

Knife kills - in order to get that 'one hit kill' you have to take your opponent unawares and from behind; none of those stupid 'Commando/Lightweight' leaping stab attacks (this is one of the main reasons I hate 'core' on CoD, as you can fill someone's guts with lead and they simply ignore it and jump 3 metres and plunge their blade in your chest?!)

Sniper scope reflections - now I love the ol' Barratt .50 cal. and sniping my way through all 3 kill streak rewards on CoD (Yes, on some maps I'm one of those devilishly effective 'campers' some of you like to moan about lol) but even I have to admit this speeds things up a bit - sniper duels are now about who can find his mark first, rather than who has the best bush to hide in.

Suppressing fire - now what is a pretty standard squad tactic in the 'real world' can be enjoyed online! Whereas in most FPS' there is no incentive to lay down suppressing fire for your team-mates, the guy with the M249 can earn points when the riflemen move in and mop up on BF3. Clever players will soon realise that TEAM-WORK is the key to winning (hopefully this will be the end of those inane 'you stole my kill!' whingers - the kill belongs to whoever did the killing, not the person who wasted the most ammo TRYING to do it lol). On top of any damage you may have inflicted, you'll earn a 50 point suppression bonus for any enemies killed whilst under your fire.

Spotting - one problem with CoD is the number of people who either don't have headsets or simply use them to hurl abuse at eachother; you try and warn someone they're about to get jumped, but to no avail. Well, with the spotting system you can alert your team-mates to any enemies trying to sneak by undetected (and earn a small 10 point bonus should the spotted target get taken out).

Medi-Packs/Ammo-Packs - medics and ammo 'mules' may not have the most glamourous jobs, but a well balanced, supportive team will out-match an army of 'lone-wolf' snipers (even if the de-fibs are working overtime!) By looking after the boys in the front line, a good medic/supply guy can really rack up the points (with an added bonus of 10 points for helping squad-mates).

Vehicles - well I'll be perfectly honest, I suck BIG TIME at flying (which might explain why I get so much satisfaction from swatting things from the skies with a trusty Stinger?!) but the ground vehicles are a joy! Newer players tend to make a bee-line for the tanks, but experience soon teaches that jumping in a jeep, speeding towards the enemy-lines and setting up a mine-field ready for their tanks can be a most rewarding experience! Again, even the vehicles encourage team work - a tank with infantry support will last a lot longer than a lone tank, which can soon be turned into a flaming coffin (with the simple application of some C4!) There is also a 'target acquisition' system that allows players to 'pick' targets for air-support (it is also possible to 'lase' flying targets, making it possible for the Javelin to be used as an anti-air weapon, although I have not yet seen this in action).

Ribbons - these are a nice source of bonus points as well as an interesting way of encouraging players to try new things (assuming you're a completionist like me!) The MVP ribbons are great for showing off to your mates too ;)

BALANCE - I think this is the thing that impressed me the most; my initial gut-feeling that some classes were under-powered compared to others soon proved to be inaccurate. The key is understanding the strengths/weaknesses of each class and playing them according (if you simply compare them in a straight face-to-face firefight then you will be left feeling that some are 'pointless' but then you're missing the point of the game). There is a definite 'papers, scissors, stone' feel to the classes, the trick is choosing the right one for the right situation, always remembering to check what your squad-mates have picked in order to give a good rounded team. The same with with the maps in fact, at first some felt too big, or one team seemed to have a positional advantage, but one soon learns that both your play-style and class load outs need to be flexible, then everything falls into place. (Although on the Metro map, the 'outside' team still seem to win at least 70% of the time).

The Negatives: That's probably enough good stuff to be going on with, now what about the bad? Well...

The campaign is ok, if a little forgettable (with some crappy 'push such-n-such button now!' cut scenes), the enemy AI is a bit stupid at times (in at least one instance, if you push too far ahead of your squad the enemies ignore you?!) but you'll have soon forgotten about it once you hit MP.

The Co-Op mini-missions, well being awful at flying I'm still stuck on the 2nd one (a helicopter mission that I've tried 6 or 7 times with random people online, 3 times as pilot myself, and EVERY time we've failed due to pilot error ie crashed and burned lol).

The spawning can be a bit stupid at times. If you choose to spawn onto a team-mate then you know the risks, but even spawning onto captured objectives in Conquest can be fraught with danger, with you literally landing in someone's lap (although it averages out and you'll probably get as many easy kills this way as deaths, it's still a bit poo).

The other players! This game really shines when you find yourself with a good team, however there will always be annoying children (probably the same ones who team kill on CoD) who seem to relish in joy-riding or refusing to move until their best friend is in the turret mounted gun or whatever. Although not a deal breaker, things do get a lot harder without capable vehicular support...

Well that's the main points covered, it's just my opinion, but having previously been a huge CoD fan, I can now honestly say that BF3 is, for me, the most rewarding game of its type. Most of the classic whinges no longer count: camping doesn't work, but then neither does headless chicken 'gun-n-run' tactics, no moaning about 'stolen kills' as you get bonus points equal to the amount of damage you inflicted on someone even if you didn't finish him off, and whilst kill-streaks are great fun, their absence makes dying far less stressful (one away from a nuke then shot in the face? Aaaargh pooooo!)

Sucker Punch [DVD] [2011]
Sucker Punch [DVD] [2011]
Dvd ~ Emily Browning
Offered by Springwood Media
Price: 2.40

5 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Awesome trailers for an awful film..., 17 July 2011
This review is from: Sucker Punch [DVD] [2011] (DVD)
This film literally had me on the edge of my seat - unfortunately this was due to wanting to get up and leave the cinema rather than anything else...
The whole thing is a nerd's wet-dream, every cliché and pop-gaming genre wedged unconvincingly together, each CGI action sequence loosely linked to the last with a duller-than-ditchwater back story. Samurai, zombies, steam-punk, mechs, dragons - basically anything that wouldn't involve paying a licensing fee (otherwise I'm pretty sure they'd have tried to cash in on Pokemon and Stormtroopers too) are randomly dropped into the mix.
Even the CGI action scenes start to get stale - the giant samurai with chain-guns were fun to begin with, but by the end of the film I'd lost interest in what are basically glorified cut-scenes from PC games.
There are the to-be-expected fanboys (or more likely fangirls) who have convinced themselves that seeking out the 'super secret it's all about Sweet Pea hidden twist story line' grants them entry into an exclusive Sucker Punch club, which is nice, but SP will soon be forgotten about - a classic it ain't.

In short: just watch the trailers, they pretty much cover all the shiny bits without having to throw away 90 minutes of your life...

Electric Samurai (Noble Savage)
Electric Samurai (Noble Savage)

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars One track mind..., 11 Feb 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this album on the strength of one track (probably the same tune you've heard hence looking here...) but to be perfectly honest, it is the only good track on the album.
I delayed writing a review in order to see if I'd grow to like any other tunes, but alas not - as a result I off-loaded the album on eBay and am perfectly content to just own the Kill Bill soundtrack.

'Battle without Honor or Humanity' is an undeniably cool piece of music, used on both the big and small screen, but the rest of the album ranges from naff to 'meh', (with 'Space Cowboy' being notably cringeworthy).

In short, if you are buying this purely on the strength of 'Battle...' then just be aware that the rest of the album falls very short of the mark, so you may wish to consider grabbing a compilation/soundtrack album or simply download the one track.

Inca Empire
Inca Empire
Offered by gadgetsville
Price: 40.61

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tahuantinsuyu gets a facelift!, 10 Dec 2010
= Durability:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:3.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Inca Empire (Toy)
This game first appeared in 2004 as a limited numbered run by Hangman Games, a small independent games publisher, under the title of 'Tahuantinsuyu'. Now Z-Man Games and White Goblin Games have republished the game as a joint venture and have given the game a complete facelift and a new, easier to spell name!

Inca Empire is a game for either 3 or 4 players (the board is double-sided with a different map for 3 or 4 players) and draws its heritage from the early crayon-rails games. Players compete to expand their network of roads and to build terraces, garrisons, cities and temples across the map. Each building offers multiple scoring opportunities - firstly the player who builds it will score points, then bonus points are awarded at the end of each 'era' to all players whose road networks connect to that building. Therefore players will gain points by expanding their own empires and leeching off those of their opponents...

In order to build cities etc each player will need to 'recruit' a labour force by conquering the local tribes they encounter as their empire spreads. Labour points are the currency of the game and each conquered tribe will generate between 1 and 3 labour points at the start of each era, (plus each terrace built will earn its owner an additional labour point).

One of the more interesting mechanics in this game is the use of Sun Cards - during the Sun Phase each player plays one Sun Card to the table, placing it between two adjacent players. Once all players have placed a Sun Card they are revealed and their effects come into play (thus each player will be affected by 2 Sun Cards, one to his left and one to his right) these effects can be positive ie build one extra road for free, or negative ie each city costs an extra 2 labour to build. The player in last place gets to place his Sun Card first, whilst the leading player will be left with one slot in which to play a card, so it can be advantageous to hold back and let someone else take the lead early on in the game...

The rules are pretty simple, but not always perfectly organised (for the first few turns of our first game we managed to miss one major rule - on your turn you can build up to 2 roads for free along with ONLY ONE other action, we were happily spending all of our labour points in one go, d'oh). The Sun Cards use icons rather than text which can be confusing early on, but by the end of the first game you will be able to do without the 'crib sheet' and recognise what each card does.

If you enjoy games such as Power Grid, Steam, Caylus etc then chances are you'd enjoy Inca Empire - it's a clever, low luck Euro-game playable in around 90 minutes and suitable for ages 12+. Highly recommended!

Call of Duty: Black Ops (Xbox 360)
Call of Duty: Black Ops (Xbox 360)
Offered by funfair games
Price: 11.50

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Worst CoD campaign game ever!, 10 Nov 2010
= Fun:2.0 out of 5 stars 
I think I may have nearly worn my 'A' button out, desperately trying to skip the tortuously boring cut-scenes in Black Ops...
The story is uninteresting, unlikely, and unwatchable - the only plus side is that if you are a caffeine addict, there are plenty of opportunities to go and put the kettle on whilst the game talks to itself. There are a number of pointless 'walk from A to B' sections of the game that don't involve anything apart from staggering about whilst being bombarded with uninspiring revelations...

So, the story is boring and sloooooow... However, this is not the only downfall, it is quite common to find things floating in mid-air, every now and then a dead enemy will 'freeze' rather than go through it's dying routine and he'll simply stand there in some weird pose. Oh, and to top it all off, Treyarch have decided to use 'Artificial Stupidity' rather than the more traditional Artificial Intelligence - so be prepared for some rather peculiar 'tactics' from the enemy (your team-mates will, in true CoD tradition, prove to be useless and will merely get in the way and waste their ammunition).

The bonus DOA mini game is probably the best thing about Black Ops, whilst the Zork mini game is even more tedious than the campaign - zombies is, well, zombies (personally I find it repetitive and pointless, but it seems to have been a hit with the school kids who can play co-op with their friends).

Multi-player has the usual 'you must level up before you can play Hardcore games', so if, like me, you hate Core be prepared to sit through a bunch of 'under-powered guns/over-powered knives' games all the through 19 levels of pure cartoon violence hell...
The maps feel cramped, clearly designed to cater for the kind of people who used to whine about 'campers' killing them repeatedly on maps such as Estate on MW2, so gun-n-run headless chickens tactics are flavour of the month, leaving little room for half-intelligent combat tactics. In fact 'Array' and possibly 'WMD' are the only times you're likely to get any use from the sniper rifles, so there is very little in the way of 'specialisation', the game just feels very one dimensional in this regard, so no urgency to unlock extra custom slots (unless you want to choose a range of camo schemes for particular map types maybe?)

With the Perks there's no real decision making required, most of them range from bland to pointless...

Perk 1:
Lightweight, this is a shooting game not a racing game, if you run around enough to consider lightweight then chances are your K/D ratio is kinda sucky. Pro prevents falling damage, but the maps are all pretty one-dimensional so limited use.

Scavenger, on previous CoD games I would usually equip this Perk on a couple of classes, but the maps on Black Ops are closely packed enough to mean it's no real hardship to replace your weapon should you run low on ammo.

GHOST, easily the no-brainer of the group! Ghost Pro means no more worrying about choppers, turrets, (even dogs?!) and no red name tag giving your position away...

Flak Jacket, only really useful if playing Core, which I despise...

Hardline, this Perk is only for people bad enough to struggle even to achieve an RC/XD, 'nuff said...

Perk 2:
HARDENED, handy for picking off targets trying to hide behind soft/medium cover.

Scout, you can hold your breath for a good amount of time without it?!

Steady Aim, improve your aim even further by simply AIMING, duh...

Sleight of Hand, apart from the pistols most of the weapons easily carry enough ammo for 6 kills, so why worry?

Warlord, most maps are too cluttered to require any kind of scope (unless you're playing on a 12" TV?!) so a silencer will do quite nicely on its own ta!

Perk 3:
Tactical Mask, meh...

Marathon, see Lightweight.

Ninja, previously useful, but on Black Ops footsteps are almost silent anyway?!

Second Chance, don't get shot, simples...

HACKER, another no-brainer! Avoid Claymores and sabotage enemy equipment, avoid death and cause some too!

It completely lacks the diversity of World at War (where a team made of snipers, gunners and tankers could work together, each having his strengths/weaknesses), and the 'clean' finish and finesse of Modern Warfare I/II. Compared to other FPS it's certainly not the worst on the market, but for the latest title in the Call of Duty franchise it has dropped the ball - based upon the previous 3 CoD releases, anything short of amazing is a FAIL.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 16, 2010 3:32 AM GMT

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