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B. BERWICK "Sothis" (UK)

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Football Manager 2014 (PC DVD)
Football Manager 2014 (PC DVD)
Price: 12.85

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I want to like this..., 29 Dec 2013
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
Maybe I'm being impatient. Perhaps, in my current, somewhat ill state, I am not in the right mind to judge. However, for all the good points of FM2014 (and there are good points), this game has one or two issues.

Firstly, the way in which you can interact with opposing managers- I was disappointed to find you can no longer, on a whim, make a remark about the opposition- this was quite fun in my humble opinion, and is sorely missed. Now, you can only talk about the opposing manager via press conferences- if the media ask the question.

Second- dodgy AI, via the 3D match engine. On FM2012 (the most recent version I owned until recently), players are not so error-prone as they are now. Passes from players with a reputation for accuracy go awry more easily, including baffling decisions (like my left-back choosing by far the more difficult pass out of two choices, and gifting the opposition a goal, or playing the ball across the face of your own area when there's absolutely no reason to).

This little niggles (and the way a team can go from great form to poor form for no apparent reason- no injuries or suspensions to speak of yet it still happens) are frustrating. Points are lost and prizes slip away because of these things, which suggests to me some serious tweaking is needed under the hood.

For all that, the game is still playable. It's not a bad experience. I dare say though, FM2012 is better.

By Schism Rent Asunder (Safehold 2)
By Schism Rent Asunder (Safehold 2)
by David Weber
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: 6.06

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Imaginative and captivating (SPOILERS for book 1 AND 2), 1 Jan 2010
I didn't discover David Weber's books until last year, but now, having read the first four Honor Harington books and the first two Safehold books, he is fast becoming one of my favourite authors.

By Schism Rent Asunder is a slower-paced novel than Off Armageddon Reef, as this book looks at the aftermath of Charis' overwhelming victory over the combined fleets of several other nations, and the problems this victory causes for both the Church AND Charis. It looks at the political machinations of the world of Safehold, and the precipice that the entire world finds itself on the edge of, with a huge war looming. Both sides are looking to establish their positions ahead of what they know is a showdown that will not only lead to victory in military terms but in terms of society and influence- in many senses, this book is about the build-up toward the Battle for Safehold's soul.

The central (and perhaps most important) character of this book is King Cayleb, who is bullish, determined and prepared to take risks, so long as the gains are worthwhile. Merlin takes a back-seat for the most part, with many of the ideas and daring tactics being developed by the Charisians themselves.

In terms of a good read, I really liked this book, as we have now moved away from the business of establishing character traits and the characters can now develop and move forward. We see more of Cayleb's youthful enthusiasm. We see more of Clythan's ruthlessness and hyprocrisy. We see a world that is boiling over with tension and fear as the inevitable clash approaches. It is very much a build-up story, one which up's the stakes ahead of what must be a confrontration in book 3, which I cannot wait to read!

My only slight niggle is that sometimes Weber goes into a lot of detail about the technology- a lot more detail than is necessary. It's fine if you have a love of classic naval warfare, but if you don't, you might find yourself glossing over those scenes a bit. Still, it's a good book and one I would recommend!

Yoshi's Island DS (Nintendo DS)
Yoshi's Island DS (Nintendo DS)

9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Eggscellent, 20 Jun 2007
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
Yoshi's Island on the Super NES all those years ago was a challenging but addictive game that was utterly fantastic. Yoshi's Island DS is very similar in terms of levels bur with new features, new characters and the advantage of dual screens.

This game doesn't make use of the stylus and you find you can get through the first few levels with ease. Egg-throwing is the same as it was before, the stars = seconds and red coins and flowers are all still here, but you also have the option of changing the baby- to Peach, who can help Yoshi float on air currents, or Donkey Kong, who can climb vines and ropes. Wario and Bowser also appear- the former has a magnet that can clear metal blocks for you, the latter can spit flames to melt ice.

To be honest, I found that you can play the majority of the game with Mario, with the others needed sparingly.

Good game play is appreciated and this game has it in abundance, but the later levels can be very frustrating. The difficulty seems to spike sharply in the final few levels of the game, which can lead to immense annoyance.

That said, the game is a fun remake of an old classic which I'm sure will entertain for many eggs to come!

Red Steel (Wii)
Red Steel (Wii)
Price: 3.85

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bloodthirstily Marvelous, 20 Jun 2007
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Red Steel (Wii) (Video Game)
I have not yet completed Red Steel, but what I have played through so far has been a rip-roaring ride.

Without a doubt the Wii Remote and Nunchuck add a whole new layer to the FPS experience. You are actually taking aim as though you are holding a real gun, a novel experience for anyone who has never actually wielded a firearm.

This is one game you cannot stealthily creep through. At various points you will need to snipe, blast, mow down and detonate your enemies as you fight through car parks, office buildings, hotels and airports. A lot of the scenery can in fact be used to your advantage- for example, you can blow up some cars and other vehicles to send enemies flying- and when you're ducking for cover behind a desk, listening as bullets rain down all around you, you really do feel that you're at the heart of the action. It's intense, every step of the way!

The only downside, for me personally, is the sword fighting. I simply cannot master any of the fancier moves and my tactic is to simply wave the Remote and Nunchuck about frantically until my opponent is beaten. Believe it or not, this works most of the time, but it's exhausting!

All in all, this is a great game, setting the standard for FPS games on the Wii and providing an innovative new approach to them.

Star Wars: Empire At War (PC DVD)
Star Wars: Empire At War (PC DVD)

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Star Wars game I have played, 6 Jun 2007
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
Empire at War reminds me a little bit of Star Trek: Armada, as well as Star Craft, with elements of Master of Orion thrown in too. You control star systems and build ships, train troops, build mines and weapons etc, then you lead your fleets into battle against enemy fleets, and if you are successful in space, you can launch a ground assault.

Taking charge of space and land battles is optional- you can let the computer automatically decide the fate of the battle for you, though be warned, you will lose more engagements that way.

The detail is wonderful. You can see TIE fighters dogfight with X-Wings and watch as huge Star Destroyers pummel everything around them. Stormtroopers march with discipline and tanks and speeders blast each other to pieces as you try to control the map. You can even lead Darth Vader and Obi-wan Kenobi into a duel!

The game is fun, but what makes it greater is the fact that it's easily modded and Lucas Arts make it easy for people to mod it. This increases the scope of the game still further, to the point where you have Clonetroopers fighting Separatist droids in your own recreation of the Clone Wars!

It's a great game and I recommend it to any Star Wars fan.

Nintendo DS Lite Handheld Console (White)
Nintendo DS Lite Handheld Console (White)

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars DS is Delicious!, 5 Jan 2007
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
As far as handheld consoles go, the DS is by far the most innovative and clever that I have ever played on. The touchscreen is a novel idea and adds a new, unconvential twist to handheld gaming. Add to this the FREE Wi-Fi connection service (that enables you to play certain DS titles with opponents from all over the world) and you're on to a winner. The DS is also (or at least, will be) compatible with the Wii, for games such as Pokemon.

It's a sleek, sexy machine and like it's big brother the Wii, it has changed how I approach games. I love it!

Nintendo Wii Console (Includes Wii Sports)
Nintendo Wii Console (Includes Wii Sports)
Offered by DOOGLE
Price: 219.99

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Wonderful Wii, 1 Jan 2007
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
I have only owned a Wii for a handful of days and yet in that time, I know beyond a doubt that this is my favourite console of all time.

Why do I think that? Well, lets start with the ingenuity of the console. The unique controller is far more versatile than any controller to preceed it and gives you a huge range of options- from aiming a gun, to throwing a punch, to slashing a sword, even swimming and steering. And I thought the DS was novel with it's touch screen!

The wealth of options with the Wii is incredible. You can create Miis (little characters to represent yourself on certain games, like Wii Sports), load photos to your console to edit later (via an SD card) and send to other Wii consoles via the Nintendo Wi-Fi. The Wi-Fi service is free and means you can chat, browse the net and send pictures all for nothing. You can download classic games via the Wi-Fi service as well, albeit you have to pay for Wii points with which you use to get the games. You also have to fork out money for an extra nunchuck (the joystick controller) and a classic controller (used for downloaded games), but you can use Game Cube controllers for some of the old games, as well as the Wii Remote. In fact, you can play Game Cube games on the Wii, as it's backwards compatible.

The X-Box 360 and Playstation 3 are essentially nothing more than more powerful versions of their predecessors. The Wii may not be able to match them for raw power, but it more than matches them for creativity, orginality and pure fun!

Championship Manager 2006 (PC CD)
Championship Manager 2006 (PC CD)
Offered by ZavviOutlet
Price: 1.99

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Potential, but far too buggy, 3 July 2006
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
When I got CM 2006 I was looking for something to replace the Total Club Manager games of EA, which had entertained me for some time. Having last played Championship Manager 2 and then having a long break from the series, I wasn't too sure what to expect.

After initial frustrations with the game (it seemed that only a few select tactics would get you results), I settled into CM 2006 and started to enjoy it. The lack of an international manager option in World Cup year was a black mark against Eidos, though they corrected this with a patch- all was good- or was it?

The patch rendered any previous saved games useless, meaning I had to sacrifice my four seasons at Chelsea. I started a new game as England manager and got stuck in.

In terms of tactics, you could chop and change and experiment a bit more without so much fear of losing. The game felt more versatile. Unfortunately a sting in the tail presented itself.

A bug in the game (and this is but one, look up the official forums for a lot more) meant that, after I had chosen my squad for the World Cup Finals, I was unable to replace any player who got injured, even if the game advised that the option was available. In fact, the problem was such that I couldn't even continue the game, as the game prompted me to update the shirt numbers then wouldn't actually allow me to do so. I could not take the game any further.

The bugs ruined what was otherwise a pretty good, enjoyable game.

Master of Orion III
Master of Orion III
Offered by Monsterbuy
Price: 19.99

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not even worth an hour of your time, 15 Mar 2006
This review is from: Master of Orion III (Video Game)
What a huge disappointment after so much hype. After delay after delay after delay, you'd think the game would have been playable upon release. Instead what I found was a huge mess, nearly impossible to navigate menus and a complete lack of user-friendliness. It's like the designers of this game forgot one of the cardinal rules- make it easy to play, but hard to conquer. Instead they made it too complicated and thus made me decide to give up on it after an hour. Pathetic.

Football Manager 2006 (Mac/PC CD)
Football Manager 2006 (Mac/PC CD)

7 of 85 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Rubbish, 15 Mar 2006
Yes. This game is rubbish. Utter tosh. It doesn't seem to matter what team you are or how your side is set up- it doesn't matter if you quit one game and load up another- you can't go a single match (not in my experience at least) without a player getting injured. It's beyond a joke. Don't buy this.

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