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Doc Subster (Cambridge, UK)

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Spore (Mac/PC DVD)
Spore (Mac/PC DVD)
Offered by Game Trade Online
Price: 11.50

43 of 51 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A tragedy, 10 Sep 2008
= Fun:2.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Spore (Mac/PC DVD) (DVD-ROM)
It is hard to believe that this was produced by the same people who brought us SimCity. The problem with Spore is not just that its a rubbish game (tedious, repetitive, boring, shallow, and undeveloped are a few words that come to mind); its that it is representative of the disdain with which companies like Electronic Arts hold their customers.

If you're thinking of buying this, consider that:

1. You can only activate this product 3 times. If you want to do so more than that, you need to call EA - and EXPLAIN why you need that extra activation. So however much you pay for this, you'll never own it in the way you owned games in the past, with the liberty to install as and when and however many times you like.

2. A large amount of the features associated with Spore have been removed, including an ENTIRE level (the underwater level). This is NOT the game featured on the famous demo that did the rounds on various internet video sites. This is a pale imitation of that. Furthermore, witness the fleet of Sims 2 'expansions' that have poured into the market in the wake of that game. The same will probably happen here - meaning that if you want to enjoy the experience as is shown in the various videos doing the rounds on the internet, be prepared to fork out a few more fat wads of cash.

3. What is left is essentially five cutesy mini-games stuck together. There is no sense of progression (what you do in one level has little effect on the next) or depth (most of the customisation is only for aesthetic appeal). The final level, Space, is massive, but has atrocious gameplay.

Avoid buying this. Send these massive publishers a message. Maybe next time they'll sell us a complete game.

The End of Eternity (Panther Science Fiction)
The End of Eternity (Panther Science Fiction)
by Isaac Asimov
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.59

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent, challenging and imaginative, 30 Sep 2002
'The End of Eternity' is one of my favourite books, so maybe I'm biased; but it is, nevertheless, one of the most intelligent and subtle works of science fiction ever written.
Asimov takes a potentially dry and trite scenario- a company of strangely dedicated pseudo-gods, striving through and outside of time to change the human race's 'destiny'- and breathes into it an invaluable streak of humanity. The characters are believable; and their woes and travails, though far outside the realms of our own experience, are understandable. This is a story that, despite being set in a reality that is strange and sometimes unfathomable, still manages to unfold more like a human drama than anything else.
Asimov reserves the final twist in the story's many convolutions right till the end; when it arrives (at the end of a surprisingly short book), it is a heart-warming surprise. This book may have many morals and many messages, but the one that seems to endure is this: no matter what we accomplish or what we do, we will always be humans, and we will always be able to love.

The Making Of The Middle Ages
The Making Of The Middle Ages
by R W Southern
Edition: Paperback

30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Accessible and informative., 11 July 2001
An excellent and highly informative book. Southern has given it a near-perfect title, as he covers every aspect of the development of the feudal polity of Europe, from the religious to the political and military. His writing is simple and easy to understand, whilst still being intelligent and sometimes even witty. He is unafraid to present his own theories and conclusions, whilst reserving for the reader the right to agree or disagree. Southern often cites the examples of individuals from the past- be they bishops, princesses, beggars or travellers- to illustrate his points; this adds a fascinating third dimension to the writing that some history texts are sorely lacking. The book does suffer from the slight archaicness of the language, probably a reflection of its age. This is definitely not a tome intended for those who have just a passing interest in medieval history, or those new to its study. Additionally, at least a rudimentary knowledge of French and Latin are required, as Southern quotes from both languages often and does not include any translations. Overall, however, an excellent, accessible and informative book that is well worth the read.

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