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Reviews Written by
P. Hodson "Ph" (West of the Shire, UK)

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Call of Duty: Black Ops (Xbox 360)
Call of Duty: Black Ops (Xbox 360)
Offered by Game Trade Online
Price: £12.97

16 of 24 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars V poor, 31 Dec. 2010
V poor, don't waste your money:

The single player is truly appalling, no thought or skill required at all by the player, it's just spray as many bullets in as many directions as possible. It's more like some naff arcade game from twenty years ago. The cut scenes are absolutely appalling, tedious as hell and in some cases longer than the playing sections. This is a huge backward step for what is supposed to be the cutting edge of FPS console games. The bots are morons, the laughable rolls and dodges almost as vapid as the ones who just stand there whilst you spray them with lead. And it's glitchy and buggy, several times I've seen bots stuck in a loop. If you're looking for a single player experience forget this, it's one of the worst single player games I've played in a long time.

Similar problems with the multiplayer, no thought or tactics required just run around as fast as possible spraying as many bullets as possible; very tedious. The maps are ridiculously small and spawning is a joke; within seconds of starting any map there are already opposing team members behind you, and as the maps are so small there's no time or space to develop any kind of team play, it just ends up as one big mushy melee in the middle. Invariable those with the fastest net connection will win.

Also had several problems with glitches whereby when you get blown up, you get blown out of the map into a world of white or black with the outlines of buildings floating somewhere above you.

The plus side is that the graphics are quite pretty and the helicopters are easier to shoot down than on other similar games, air power doesn't dominate like it did in MW2. The down side is the single player is abysmal and the multiplayer is a mess, some bigger maps would help improve this game considerably but even with that I'd struggle to say it was any good.

Overall, don't believe the hype, really quite a blow hole of a game.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 5, 2011 3:04 PM GMT

The Plastic Mind
The Plastic Mind
by Sharon Begley
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

47 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most fascinating book I have read in a very long time, 25 Mar. 2009
This review is from: The Plastic Mind (Paperback)
This is one of the most fascinating books I have ever read. Anybody who is interesting in how the brain/mind works, how people perceive and interact with the world and how the norms of neuroscience has been over-turned in the last 10/20 years should read this book. Even if you are not religious or spiritual in anyway (don't be put off by the Buddhist aspects to this book) the science is utterly fascinating. People who want to make their world a better place: "... I have a choice in how I react, that who I am depends on the choices I make, and that who I am is therefore my responsibility..." - if this is ringing any bells for you, should read this book. Anybody who is interested in how words and thoughts actually manifest the world around you because the labels you use to describe your world alter your perception of it, should read this book. It describes how thoughts (good or bad) can manifest in habits, which can be changed, it illustrates that there is the potential for brain damage caused by illness (strokes) to be alleviated, or how some aspects of dyslexia can be reduced. And presents them in easy to understand chunks. The intro could put some people off, and the chapter on how adolescent minds/brains work is a bit heavy, but it is well worth persevering. And it shows how some 'established' truths of how we as humans function, is in fact completely wrong... I can't recommend it highly enough.

Roots & Crowns
Roots & Crowns
Price: £9.89

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Metal Burned Sees Ghosts Crusade Spider Sour, 30 Jun. 2007
This review is from: Roots & Crowns (Audio CD)
This is one of those albums, which seem to defy classification and that in itself makes it something which should be in every music fan's collection. Taking ideas and genres from all corners of the music spectrum to make something, which is genuinely fascinating and satisfying to listen to. Beautifully crafted, down right quirky, it flutters from gentle folksie ambience to hypnotic grind in the blink of an eye. And it does it all effortlessly and without self-indulgence. Intelligent without being overbearing and pretentious, it's full of surprises and joy, even after the umpteenth listen.

At the same time they seem to take a child like delight in the noises they make, and that brings with it a freshness and clarity not often heard; intense, laid-back, ramshackle yet perfectly constructed, scratchy, funky, bluesy, whimsical, gossamer threaded events that scamper delightfully from gentle, almost casual tunes to whirling dervish steel cored grunt and back again, without even breaking into a sweat. Brilliant.

It's Not How Far You Fall, It's The Way You Land
It's Not How Far You Fall, It's The Way You Land
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £16.98

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Diamonds' shining there..., 19 May 2007
Well this is either all a strange coincidence or this is a bloody good album, so it's probably that last thing. I also (hangs head in shame) was not aware of Soulsavers and was pointed at this album by a friend who knew my fondness for Mr. Lanegan and if you have Dust, Scraps at Midnight & Bubblegum in your collection (and if you don't shame on you) then you need to get a copy of this as well. This is without doubt the best album I've heard in a long time, bringing together different genres of music effortlessly and so interestingly that it leaves you wanting more and finding more after each listen.

I can hear shades of NIN in some of the music but it is more complete, more rewarding than anything I ever heard from Mr. Trent. And I can hear shades and echoes of Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, which for me is no bad thing. But this is a significantly better album.

I absolutely love the drive, the bounce, the cool reflectiveness, the soulful mourning, the twists and turns this album makes. It has a rich weave, darkly textured, sometimes sparse, but never wanting. Soul, blues, hip hop beats all demand your attention but never overwhelm, instead pick you up and take you places that are really rather nice places to be. It's the perfect companion at 03:00 in the morning when there is only you and a bottle of vodka, and equally perfect the next morning whilst you are padding around the kitchen looking for something to line your innards with.

Every track brings something to delight about; musically, lyrically, the way different genres snuggle up to each other and effortlessly support and inspire. Worthy of note in my opinion are the backing vocals, used on many tracks not only to support Lanegan's voice, but also to add emotive tones that are just done to perfection.

I very nearly agree with RT Clayton below that Revival could well be the song of the year so far, if it were not for Kingdom of Rain, it engraved itself on me the first time I heard it, and I will always remember the first time I heard it. It is magnificent. And I wholeheartedly agree with the Johnny Cash/Hurt comparison. It is moving, dark, delicate; the musicianship, the lyrics, the backing vocals, the everything about this track is just something to behold and take joy in the fact that it is out there for people to hear. It makes the hairs stand up on the back of my neck, it manifests out of the speakers, makes you sit down and take notice. This is just one of the finest records I have ever heard and is for me, the highlight of an exceptional album.

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