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Dead Space (PS3)
Dead Space (PS3)
Offered by Bridge_Records
Price: £10.26

5.0 out of 5 stars Addictive, 10 Sept. 2014
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This review is from: Dead Space (PS3) (Video Game)
Be sure not to start playing this game when you're on a deadline because not only will you miss your deadline, you'll also start fighting with your wife on account that you haven't taken a shower in three days!
Seriously though, this is one of the best game I've ever played.
The best thing about it is the good balance between the hours of silence you'll spend repairing the spaceship and the sudden screams of terrifying aliens and ensuing combat. I prefer games where you fight aliens/monsters to those against humans, especially if the aliens are really scary. I like it when your number one priority is keep your panic in check during the fight.
Combat is also quite imaginative because shooting the aliens in the body or head just won't do. You have to cut their limbs. (No spoilers here - you're told this at the very beginning of the game). This paves the way for a highly original set of weapons, the Line Cutter being my absolute favorite.
You also have Kinesis (the ability to move certain objects, even very large ones) and Stasis (the ability to slow down the motion of fast-moving objects and enemies). And you'll have to learn how to incorporate these into your puzzle-solving, which will sometimes require some out-of-the-box thinking. I loved it!
You'll also work and fight in zero-gravity conditions and in outer space where air management becomes paramount.
In a nutshell, this game has it all for me: sci-fi environment, compelling storyline, long hours of silence, puzzle-solving, super duper scary aliens, originality in weaponry and inventory.
I believe this game gives you a very realistic idea of what would have been like to be the actual Ripley from the Alien(s) movie series.


Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (PS3)
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (PS3)
Offered by IDSS
Price: £9.95

3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Immensely boring, 15 Aug. 2014
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Very linear environments; everything is laid out for you. You'll spend most of the time taking out guards then doing some elementary "explorarion". Should a situation arise where you wouldn't know what to do and be tempted to actually use your brain, don't worry, the character's thoughts will tell you what to do. I felt like a trained monkey. The game is continuosly interrupted by short and long cutscenes; hundreds of them. I think if you timed it you'd find that cutscenes time was actually longer than playing time. I really don't see what people find in this "game".


Tomb Raider (PS3)
Tomb Raider (PS3)
Offered by Bridge_Records
Price: £11.21

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Bitterly disappointing, 13 Aug. 2014
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This review is from: Tomb Raider (PS3) (Video Game)
Let's start with the good stuff. The bow is very cool. Inflammable objects, climbing axe, rope bow and base camps are also nice ideas. The menu where you can upgrade your weapons is also very well designed. Admittedly, there also things that have been removed from Lara's arsenal. She can no longer jump in the opposite direction when she's hanging from a ledge, and there are no poles to climbs in the game.
The reason for my utter dislike of this game is that this is not Tomb Raider, it's a 3rd-person shooter. You'll spend most of your time shooting your way through very linear environments. There's an area where you're going to have a two-hour shooting session with no check-points in between; if you die, you're going to have to start from the beginning. If I wanted to play a shooter, there are plenty of titles out there.
There are no huge environmental puzzles to solve, which was the trademark of both Anniversary and Underworld, and the reason why I love(d) Tomb Raider. Taking hours to figure out what to do, how to engineer the einvironment so that you can get to that place up there - that's Tomb Raider for me. Granted, there's an area in this game where you'll do some climbing, but besides being very linear and and not particularly puzzling, it's also all optional - all you get for taking the time to figure out a couple of things are challenge rewards. In both Anniversary and Underworld, solving a puzzling large area was the core of your progress in the story. In this game even the tombs - the only puzzles, albeit quite simple ones, that you'll find - are optionals; they're even called "optional tombs" - you could just ignore them and go from one shooting range to the next. I'm sorry, did I mistakenly order Optional Tomb Raider?
Another negative point is that there's no shimming on ledges here. Maybe a couple at some point, just to make you regret the past.
Yet another negative point is the number of cutscenes and cinematics - way too many. *** SPOILER *** For example, the Gondola could have been a fantastic set for a palm-sweating Lara-style descent. Instead they totally spoiled it by making it yet another interactive cinematic. *** END SPOILER ***
So, to sum it up: 1) It's mostly about shooting. 2) There are no major puzzles 3) The environments are all linear
I'm really sad. If this the new direction the franchise has taken, it will do without me.


Beside the Sea
Beside the Sea
by Veronique Olmi
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: £8.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Short but intense, 5 Feb. 2014
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'Beside the sea' is a roller coaster inside the mind of a disturbed mother on the day she takes her two children to the sea for the first time. You will be pushed to and fro by the rough waves of her incoherent, visceral thoughts. And the sea is rarely forgiving.


Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit
Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit
by Jeanette Winterson
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book, 26 Dec. 2013
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I loved this book. It's sad and funny, caustic and gentle at the same time. If fictionalized autobiographies and family stories are your genre as they are mine, you're going to love it.


Old Man's War (The Old Man's War series)
Old Man's War (The Old Man's War series)
by John Scalzi
Edition: Paperback

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Rather disappointing., 26 Dec. 2013
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The first half of this book is terrific. It has rythm, humor, and nice technology. The science behind FTL travel is the only weak point - I'm not sure it even makes sense, but I was willing to let that one slide because I knew I was in for a treat. The scene was set, let the story unfold.
And... cut!
Wait, what?!
Sorry folks, I'm running dry on ideas. Let's call it a day, shall we?
That's pretty much the feeling I got around page 150, at a point where an actual story should have started. Yes, we've got the recruiting. We've got the training with an aside of very cool technology. Then we would also need a story.
Instead, the next half of the book reads like the cliffsnotes of what an actual interplanetary story might have looked like had the author bothered to come up with a decent plot.
The fact that Mr. Scalzi seems clueless about how to write battle scenes didn't help either.


Broken Angels (GOLLANCZ S.F.)
Broken Angels (GOLLANCZ S.F.)
by Richard Morgan
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific sequel, 24 Dec. 2013
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This fast-paced, action-packed second instalment in the crazy life of Takeshi Kovacs - soldier of fortune with a conscience and a soft spot for doing the right thing - is just as good as the first. It's not a sequel in the strict sense of the term as the events occurred in 'Altered Carbon' are inconsequential to the plot. You might benefit from having the technology down already, but it's no big deal - it's rather easy to pick up. If you liked the the first, you have to read this one.


Among Others
Among Others
by Jo Walton
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars OK idea. Very poor execution., 17 Dec. 2013
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This review is from: Among Others (Paperback)
You have to wait until the last ten pages to have an insight into what this book might have been. They are exciting and compelling, and it's the only time when Ms Walton has bothered to show some magic in action. But it's too little, too late.
To get there, you have to wade through a seemingly endless booklisting: Girl goes to the library. Girl picks up books a, b and c. Girl comments on the plot and characters of said books. Girl goes to the bookshop, and repeat. Girl goes to the book club where Zelazny, Le Guin, and others are weekly dissected. There follows lenghty discussions on the merits and demerits of said authors' narrative.
What has that got to do with anything?! Did I mistakenly order '100 SF novels you have to read before you kick the bucket'?
That struck me as an utterly amateurish piece of show-off on the part of Ms Walton.
The rest of the book is about the girl's life at boarding school, her relationship with her long-lost father and a number of other relatives. Not a thrilling piece of literature, not exceptionally well written either, but it's passable. It would do OK in the 'Young Adults' section of your bookstore.
So, you might ask, where do the Hugo and Nebula Awards come into it? Ask you might. Answer I cannot.
With the exception of the last four pages, magic is occasionally mentioned and never shown. Fairies are also occasionally mentioned. The girl goes to meet them a couple of times, but, apparently, Ms Walton has yet to decide what they look like.
I am honestly puzzled.


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