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T. Milnthorpe "pipkiin3" (W-S-M)

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Sherlock Holmes: The Silver Earring (Wii)
Sherlock Holmes: The Silver Earring (Wii)
Offered by Acrodeal UK
Price: 4.72

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A little dated now., 26 Jan 2012
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
I should start by saying that I played the original pc version a few years ago now. I bought this because it was cheap and was curious as to how well it would work on a Wii. Thankfully, it worked quite well.
Compared to Broken Sword, Monkey Island, etc, Sherlock is more serious click and play mystery (not to be confused with the tacky "hidden object games also available). Anyone who pines for a more jokey atmosphere should probably ignore this game. Sometimes it goes a bit too far. Too often you're treated to superfluous scenes of Holmes and Watson just walking - and they walk quite slowly - sandwiched between loading screens. The presentation is therefore a little slow and fusty.
As far as gameplay goes, its fine, but has been oddly simplified from the PC version. Some games and puzzles have been cut short and made easier, while there is I'm sure at least 1 sequence that has been removed. Although I don't discourage anyone from buying this version, the previous PC version is more of a challenge.
The graphics were a bit dated back when I played it on pc and even more so now. The animation is fairly cheap. Characters never seem to grab items properly for example.
As far as voice-overs go, both Holmes, Watson, LeStrade are fine as are some of the other more major players. Sadly there are a few bad'uns and hammy accents thrown in that spoil some scenes.
Despite its dated presentation and simplification, it was still fun and I recommend it.

Doctor Who: The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe, 2011 Christmas Special  [DVD]
Doctor Who: The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe, 2011 Christmas Special [DVD]
Dvd ~ Matt Smith
Price: 4.00

5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Doctor At Christmas, 18 Jan 2012
I feel I have to stick up for this episode somewhat as I flick through the endlessly cross, disparaging and over the top 1 star reviews. For me this one JUST scrapes a 4 star, but its by no means the best episode. Its just the fact that its a simple one that appears to get peoples goat. After all the complaints about series 5 being too clever and complicated, everyone starts complaining when the plot becomes too linear.

Firstly, I found the premise rather good in an old-fashioned fairytale way. What it actually lets it down is the fact that the timing is a bit off. It takes a little while to get going. I suppose when you're trying to be magical and wimsical you do sometimes have to take your time. Its just a shame that the "monsters" get rather sidelined as a result.

Secondly, people keep saying its a Narnia rip-off. It isn't. Just because it features an item that takes them to a snowy forest doesn't make it Narnia! Thats not what Narnia is about. It is merely a plot device, one which was used before C S Lewis. Lewis Caroll used a similar device. Remember the rabbit hole that took Alice to Wonderland?

The casting is excellent and ther overall feel is that of what Christmas should be about. Family, love and respect for all things. Perhaps people should re-evaluate their meaning of christmas before criticising the "love conquers all" approach. Yes, it has been used before, but Christmas specials suit it better.
I have to agree that they need to banish that idea for a while, a long with the Sonic and "flicking the switch" approach to finales.

It doesn't always make sense, but then I've grown to concede the fact that A) they have a limited time to tell a story and B)We'd have lost most of the best episodes purely because they rely on moments of nonsense. It would be nice, but I'd prefer an interesting plot rather than a long explanation of how and why things happened, and I thought this plot had some really interesting and relevant ideas to tell. The plot-holes are odd, I admit. Why is the Doctor in space when the Tardis appears to be on Earth? Is it a plot-hole? Could it not just be that it fell to Earth after/before he did? There is no mention of how long it took to find or where it was. But in the end, it has no real bearing on the plot so in a sense, DOESN't Matter!

In short, great performances, moving, magical in parts but slightly let down by some inconsistent story-telling that sometimes makes it feel rushed and hollow when introducing the monsters and giving the plot some gravity, not to mention some plot holes. Its far from the best episodes of Who (from 60's onwards), but hardly the worst which is what the rather angry and over the top 1 star reviews appear to be touting. I just about gave it 4 stars because it is one of the few christmas specials - of any show - that didn't just stick a christmas tree in the corner and call it a christmas special, like Voyage of the Damned and Tennant's exit episodes.

If your a picky cynic, this isn't for you, sadly.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 6, 2014 6:18 PM BST

A Christmas Carol: Unabridged (Classic Fiction)
A Christmas Carol: Unabridged (Classic Fiction)
by Charles Dickens
Edition: Audio CD
Price: 12.26

5.0 out of 5 stars Great, 4 Jan 2011
I love A Christmas Carol and this edition was not a let down. It was very well read, with pleasant music to accompany the reading from time to time. and 11 for a 3 CD, unabridged classic is decent value for money, when you consider the other unabridged recordings that publishers ask 20 or more for.
A must have that is good value for money, very well read and presented attractively.

Snowman, the
Snowman, the
Offered by QUOSA
Price: 2.85

5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, 24 Nov 2010
This review is from: Snowman, the (Audio CD)
I recently lost my old cassette version of Bernard Cribbins' reading, and it was a treat to find that it was still available as a CD. Great sound quality and a fantastic story, read by a very able narrator whose voice manages to ride the music effortlessly. A must for listening on Christmas Eve. Some younger children may find it upsetting at the end.

Sherlock Holmes Vs Jack The Ripper (PC DVD)
Sherlock Holmes Vs Jack The Ripper (PC DVD)
Offered by PNA247
Price: 3.95

27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars There is a good game in here somewhere, 3 Jan 2010
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
There is a good game in here somewhere, but you have to be patient. Lets get the low points out of the way first.

-There is something relentlessly stuffy and stiff about this game. The first part is basically a continuous fetch quest where you do little missions for people in order to get what you want. In a game about Sherlock Holmes, this seems a bit out of place.
-The game excels best when you have to search for the clues and surmise the events of each murder, or meandering around the streets. It is just a shame that it starts to get repetitive. A little variety, even an action sequence, would have been nice.
-For a game about catching Jack the Ripper before he slaughters again, the pacing is oddly slow and calm. There is very little feeling of tension or threat in the storytelling or gameplay.
-You also have to do a fair bit of reading in this game. Holmes collects tons and of papers, leaflets, books, reports, statements and the like. Now, I love reading. My biggest passion. But this isn't a book, its a game. Some of these papers go on for pages, when summarised bullet points by either of our leads would have done. But this is only a MINOR point. I can cope with the reading! But it does slow everything down.
-There is also an air of haste and speed towards making the game. You only have to walk the streets to find that there only about 10 different people/faces wandering around and the dialogue when you try to talk to them is limited.
I also think it is now about time to improve the graphics a bit. Holmes and Watson look oddly stiff and wooden.
-The constant to-ing and throwing from Baker Street gets on my nerves. Can't Holmes' spend the night somewhere else?

But there are good aspects.

-The game will take some time to complete and the puzzles and questions vary in difficulty. I found myself looking for help online in a place or two.
- The voice acting does vary in quality, but is good enough to listen to. Shame the characters faces are so expressionless.
-10? Excellent value for money in my book. This will take the average player some time to complete.
- If you get stuck when looking for something to click on, there is now a handy system in place to light up something you might have missed if you are in trouble.
-The first person perspective is great and helps you immerse yourself into Holmes' world.
-You might meet some very minor characters from the previous game The Awakened (Revised edition)!

The game itself is on par with previous outings, but in the end you do feel that they should be getting better and more varied by now. A little more effort to make it a bit more tense and exciting next time please Frogwares!

But you do get more game for your money with these. At just 10, you can't complain too much.

Far from perfect, but by no means a disaster to avoid completely.

Daz 4 Zoe (Puffin Teenage Fiction)
Daz 4 Zoe (Puffin Teenage Fiction)
by Robert E. Swindells
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.24

4.0 out of 5 stars Surprised Me., 4 Oct 2009
I wasn't expecting very much. At the age of 23 I always thought that this sort of novel would never appeal to me, but I was pleasantly surprised. I found it to be engaging and exciting and wonder why it isn't as popular with the over 12's as it should be.
It is really a beginner's guide to Romeo and Juliet (although to compare the two beyond that is a bit unfair), and it has themes and ideas I think teenagers can relate too.
There are fun and distinctive characters to be found plus some tense sequences to be found. But there are also some very dark passages, including people getting shot dead.
I wish I had been made aware of this books existence when I was younger, because as far as coming of age dramas for kids go, this is one of the best.
The only down-side is that the ending is very abrupt, a bit too slight to make it entirely satisfactory. It could have been drawn-out more, but as it is, the rising-actions comes to a ahead then cuts off sharply.
That quibble aside, this is an essential read for young teens and deserves to sell better than it currently is.
I'm also amazed that a film version hasn't be produced yet! Why not?

Science Museum - Create A Night Sky Projection Kit
Science Museum - Create A Night Sky Projection Kit
Price: 10.99

35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Oh dear, 29 Aug 2009
= Durability:1.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:2.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:4.0 out of 5 stars 
I really want to like this, I really did. The box looks so neat and tidy. Presentable. When you start making it however, this seems like an impossible dream. The cardboard is a bit tricky to bend tot he right shape, the sticky-tape provided is irritating to peel off and the whole things just looks a mess.
When I turned it on, it just projected blurry spots on the screen of varying sizes, no matter how much adjustment I made.
Its cheap, but not cheerful. I'm still waiting for a decent Night Sky kit.

On the plus side, you do get a leaflet providing the names of the constellations and other info. Not incredibly detailed, but it will do.

A Ghost in the Machine
A Ghost in the Machine
by Caroline Graham
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not Bad At All, 23 April 2009
This review is from: A Ghost in the Machine (Paperback)
I don't normally read crime fiction, so I have no prior experience to judge how well this has been written etc, but I must admit to liking it very much.
As a big fan of the Midsomer Murders tv series I decided to give these a go.
At first I was a bit lost and confused as to where Barnaby would come into the story as he only makes a brief appearance 150 pages in and makes no regular appearance until the third part of the novel. I'm more used to the structure of the TV show than I am the books (An adaptation of THIS novel has never been made as far as I know, but I think it should be!)
The characters are lively and memorable, although the only flaw that I can see is that there is only one or two people who are malicious enough to have done the murder, and so the list of suspects (compared to the entire list of characters present) is relatively small.
But the plotting can't really be faulted and is certainly better than recent episodes of the TV show.
At 500 pages, you won't be finishing it that quickly, so the value for money is there.
On the bad side, it does take a while to get going, as there are so many characters to set up. You get the feeling some sections could have been shaved down a bit here and there.
Pacing issues aside, this is a good read and I think it will make for an interesting adaptation if they wished to do it.


5.0 out of 5 stars Great novelty item, 24 Mar 2009
I bought this for my Mum on Mother's Day and she loves it. Its very sweet and well-made, although we are a little confused about the difference in styles and colours from figure to figure. This is lovely little collectable and sticks very closely to the style of Beatrix Potter's drawings.

The Lost Diaries of Adrian Mole, 1999-2001
The Lost Diaries of Adrian Mole, 1999-2001
by Sue Townsend
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Actually, 3.5 stars, 24 Mar 2009
Having recently finished True Confessions of Adrian Mole, and giving it a low 3 star, I should say that LOST DIARIES is somewhat better, and I would give it at least 3.5 or 4 stars if I could.
The book is hilarious and as charming as usual, but as with "Confessions", "Weapons of Mass Destruction", and to some extent "Cappuccino Years" it still lacks that biting spark of social realism I felt the original books retained. These latest incarnations mirror some form of BBC sunday night comedy drama, they border on being too weird and unlikely compared to the first few volumes.
I wish she could bring back Pandora, Nigel and his other friends into the story more often as they only make cameo appearances here and there.
Of course, the downside to doing a "catch-up" book like this is that we already know what will and won't work for Adrian!
However, its still wonderfully witty and thoroughly deserves to do well. This is perfect fodder for a rainy day and will no doubt prove to be a cheering experience!

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