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Jack Walker (Lancashire, UK)

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Ulysses (Penguin Modern Classics)
Ulysses (Penguin Modern Classics)
by James Joyce
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

25 of 48 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Hated...with a passion, 22 Feb. 2009
I read this book after so many proclamations of superior intelligence from the Joycians I know, figuring "hey...I must really be missing out on something brilliant". So I quietly picked this up at the library (quietly because, as with War and Peace, I was frightened that someone would see me and say that I was just being pretentious). All I can say, and perhaps this is just my inferior mind speaking, is that it's boring. There's no other word for it, and I'm sorry if that's not good enough. I suppose it's fabulous if you're a teacher, or have absolutely nothing better to do, but when I read a book I do it for enjoyment. Harry Potter. Brilliant, mindless, patronising drivel. Perfect for all your escapist needs and can be read endlessly. This, however, is a slog. I dreaded turning the page, and often found myself turning back a few having lost myself somewhere in his streams of consciousness. By all means, read it. In fact, I suggest you do. Who knows? You might like it. Lots of people seem to.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 23, 2013 2:22 PM BST

Spore Creature Creator (Mac/PC DVD)
Spore Creature Creator (Mac/PC DVD)
Offered by Clearance Game Deals
Price: £17.00

1 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well, duh it's a demo ¬_¬, 5 Sept. 2008
= Fun:2.0 out of 5 stars 
It's exactly the same as The Sims 2 Body Shop. This is why clever people like me only downloaded the trial version with 25% of the creator features included. It's exactly the same, but with less stuff. It gives you a feel for what the game will be like, and still manages to be relatively amusing and creatively stimulating. The reason I've given it a low fun score is because, let's be honest, all you're doing is fiddling with a spine and attaching a few limbs. Hardly fun. However! It does challenge you from a design point of view. I've spent lots of time creating interesting-looking insectoids, humanoids...random alien thingies I couldn't name even if I tried. I anticipate that the actual Spore game - which should be arriving in a matter of hours - will be highly entertaining and will keep me occupied for a long period. It's your own silly fault for buying the creature creator...what did you expect from it? You can't very well complain about something you did. After all...the aim of a business is to turn a profit. Is EA not a business? Cut them some slack: if they've got imbecilic customers it's hardly their fault.

Final Fantasy XII (PS2)
Final Fantasy XII (PS2)
Offered by filmrollen
Price: £10.95

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I don't know what to think..., 27 April 2008
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
It's not really Final Fantasy, as far as I'm concerned. I gave up when I got to Archades, after the battle with Sid. I was obviously an alright game for me to go that far with it, hence the three stars, but I always felt that it was somewhat lacking in...story, I suppose. The characters all seem to be there to be there, as opposed to having any specific role within the game. The characters hardly know each other and no proto-friendships are formed (a la Tidus and Wakka). I'd have bee alright with it if Vaan and Ashe had had something going (and who knows, they might later) or even him and Penelo, but there wasn't. And if there is then it happened too late for me to be interested. I'm not sure what I think about the new battle system. I mean...I quite like it, but the lingering feeling was that I wasn't playing final fantasy, and that's why I bought it: with the promise that I'd have the same feeling of "I don't want to stop playing" throughout. I played FFX for seven hours straight when I first got it. With this, it wasn't quite as compelling. I mean, it's own right it's a good game, but I'm a little disappointed that Square has deviated so much from the original format that made the series best-sellers. I'd say that it's a great game to get started on the series...but not one for die-hard FF fans. I'm happy to be proven wrong,'s just the feeling I got.

Heavenly Sword (PS3)
Heavenly Sword (PS3)
Offered by Gameseek
Price: £12.46

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Meh, 25 April 2008
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Heavenly Sword (PS3) (Video Game)
Certainly, this is a fun game to play: the good use of the sixaxis feature, the different enemies and bosses, the music and the amazing graphics all contribute to making it a good all-round game. I do have some major gripes, though: The battle system, for starters, quickly has you mashing buttons in the hope that an attack will hit and you'll take down big-man-with-helmet/annoying-seemingly-unhittable-ninja-woman. I accept that there are combinations that are recommended to you, and that if you press circle when her little bar is full she does some neck breaking/groin crushing, but a majority of the game is squaresquaresquaresquaresquaresquare. The story is good and I like the comic-booky cutscene bits, but I often found myself L1-ing my way through waves of pointless enemies only to get to one of those archaic bosses who at first seem formidable in the extreme, but their pattern is quickly discovered and it becomes a case of duck-roll-block-chain-BEAT-HER-TO-DEATH-BEFORE-SHE-RECOVERS-FROM-HER-CLICHE
I like the characters, particularly Kai, who I think is like gollum...but prettier, but I was discussing with my step-brother the similarities between Nariko and Lara Croft...or more specifically how Heavenly Sword was like a ninja reinvention of Tomb Raider, albeit with easier puzzles and more flesh.
The final battle makes for an unwelcome change: after slogging through the game fighting wave after wave, boss pattern after boss pattern, you suddenly come across this chap who, even though he, like the other bosses, has a very distinct attack pattern, you can't seem to beat. I have, obviously, but it took me a long while. I expect the main reason for this is because the only attack that can hit him is your speed attack which doesn't really do any damage, and when he hits you, you find yourself basically dead already. I'm not complaining too much about that, though. There's absolutely nothing wrong with a challenging boss, but there's a fine line between challenging and downright monotonous and time-consuming.
By all means, rent it. In fact, I recommend that you do. I wouldn't make it a long-term investment though...I find that I haven't yet returned to it after my initial completion.

Final Fantasy X: Platinum Edition (PS2)
Final Fantasy X: Platinum Edition (PS2)
Offered by findprice
Price: £9.57

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best. Game. Ever...., 25 April 2008
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
...and I'm not even just saying that: Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu voted FFX as the best game of all time, closely followed by FFVII. It is certainly my favourite game and even after seven years I still find myself captivated by the lush scenery and sweeping vistas. As far as I'm concerned, this was a breakthrough game displaying what could really be done with a good graphics engine and a colossal team of people and I didn't see anything with such impressive visuals until FFXII, and I still felt disappointed by the 'town. desert. town. desert' monotony of that. The characters are a creation of genius, each with their own engaging background and individual personalities, and I found myself empathising deeply with them as they faced their various hardships: Chappu's death, Home's destruction, Yuna's father. The story begins with star Blitzballer (Blitzball being the underwater sport of choice in Spira) Tidus, who's hometown of Zanarkand is ravaged by an evil entity dubbed Sin. He is transported by Sin to a far-away world where he meets Wakka, Lulu, Kimahri, Yuna, Rikku and Auron (though he already knows Auron...kind of) who are all living in Spira, a world controlled by the Yevonites, followers of an ancient religion, focused on removing Sin from the world. The story follows Yuna and her guardians on her quest to destroy Sin and become High Summoner. Not all goes to plan, however, and as the twists and turns of the plot begin to unravel the game really begins to shine, dealing with subtle yet controversial issues about religion and the thirst for power. The voice acting is sometimes frustrating (one incident on Mt. Gagazet leaps to mind: "with Yuna by my side" - this sounds false and as though it was sped up to fit the lip synching, but the score is beautiful and really becomes noticeable during the lake scene in the Macalania woods. The game is huge, and the replay value is undeniable: this is my seventh time playing through it and I'm still finding new things with which to entertain myself. I recently turned it on and went to a save game from about a year ago which is listed as being 105 hours into the game, and my characters still didn't have over 7000 HP (the maximum being 99999 if all stats are maxed) in this particular game I was taking my time and trying to do all of the side-quests, so it is possible to complete it in around 50 hours, all of which are filled with engaging story and beautiful scenery guaranteed to keep you enthralled. The end. Oh my God, the end. I actually cried. I'm not ashamed to say that. After having spent well over 150 hours getting to know and love my characters and then watching it all come to an end in one of the most emotionally charged endings ever, I simply couldn't stop myself from overflowing. Amazing. I have managed to break two out of my three copies from playing them too much, and I don't regret a second. If it isn't already on your shelf then you should hurry up and put it there. It will be the wisest purchase you'll ever make, and I can almost guarantee that you won't regret buying it.

Final Fantasy X-2 - Platinum (PS2)
Final Fantasy X-2 - Platinum (PS2)
Offered by 6 Hungry Weasels
Price: £10.66

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Tosh., 18 Jun. 2007
= Fun:2.0 out of 5 stars 
To say that it is a sequel to one of the best RPGs on the play station...I'd rather that I never bothered. There are some pretty cutscenes, and the singy bits are nice to look at...but other than that...Their costumes were designed for dirty old men to get off on, and the story leaves lots to be desired, and I was thoroughly disappointed by the 'perfect' ending. I don't particularly like the battle system and blitzball has gone rather down the pan. the only good bit was when I looked at the mission screen at the end and everything was all "chapter complete"...that's another thing, actually...MISSIONS! noooooooo! what were square thinking?

Resident Evil (GameCube)
Resident Evil (GameCube)

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Oh my Lord..., 10 Jun. 2007
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
What a good game! I used to be far too scared to play anything like this...but me and a friend sat down one day, whacked this on...shrieked at a few zombies...were reduced to trembling wrecks at some points...went slightly insane when there was a creepy sound...and pontificated about the puzzles. Anyway...the graphics are amazing for an old game on the gamecube...especially the water animations. Usually pre-rendered backgrounds would annoy me, but here it all adds to the atmosphere. It gets a little bit repetetive sometimes when you're wandering around the mansion wondering what in god's name you're meant to do. But then a window smashes and you brick yourself as a hunter leaps on you...funny stuff. It's a good game to play with other a group. There are a few gripes: when you have a full inventory and you really want that item to make the room green but the item box is all the way at the other end of the area ARGH...and when you want to open a door but you have to position yourself nicely. Overall though...I'm loving it. Even if I am too scared to play at the moment.

Sony PS2 Slimline Console (Black) (PS2)
Sony PS2 Slimline Console (Black) (PS2)
Offered by Warby 4 Games & Gifts
Price: £124.95

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I might be biased..., 21 Feb. 2007
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
I mean...I'm big into brand loyalty and I've never really had any desire to own an X box, gamecube or an X box 360...but even back when the PSX, N64 and dreamcast were around, all of which I owned, I always got a better feeling playing the playstation. It's the same with the PS2, it isn't about the graphics or the sound quality (which, quite frankly, are very good and people need to stop freaking out because their game doesn't look and sound like real life) it's about the gameplay: the controls seem to be much simpler than other consoles, it's just fun...and surely that's all you look for in a games console. I know that people are notorious for supporting the underdog, but I genuinely think that it is the best of its kind.

Resistance: Fall of Man (PS3)
Resistance: Fall of Man (PS3)
Offered by Game Trade Online
Price: £8.96

10 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars fundamentally good..., 9 Feb. 2007
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
I played for a while on this game at a friend's house. It's pretty damn good...the controls for the tank were unbelievably poor though. The graphics are good but not anything I haven't seen before, but being fair I'm talking about the cutscenes in FFX/, the more enclosed the area in the game (as in a tunnel or corridor)the better the graphics are...take the first level, nothing magnificent, and then cheshire, in which there's lots of smoke and a torch. The smoke graphics are amazing and the torch light alters in shape beautifully relative to the surroundings. So yeah...good game...should be on PS2 though. I was expecting more from PS3 but it is good.

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