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sledgehammer "vorschlaghammer"

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Fallout 4 (PC)
Fallout 4 (PC)
Price: £20.49

11 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An improvement on previous Bethesda releases, 13 Nov. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Fallout 4 (PC) (Video Game)
The latest Bethesda product is just the same as the previous 6 or 7- immersive, large-scale world with no scripted pathway, lots to interact with, voiced NPCs, gathering/building/crafting, wonderful environmental effects and graphics etc. etc.. All good stuff. Unfortunately, it also still has 'you're carrying too much and can't run' happening from within ten minutes of starting the main story until the end, very easy gameplay once over the initial steep learning curve and, for an 18 certificate, very little to show for that apart from relatively placid gore, no sex (as yet-- but it's early days) and just the occasional profanity.

So far, there are two major surprises: so far (touch wood) I have had NO BUGS! No bugs from the launch of a Bethesda game! That hasn't happened for as long as I can remember. I'm sure there are hardware issues with people running it on machines with less than 16GB and a video card bigger than the motherboard it is nailed to, but for me on a 3 year-old but heavily nerded out games PC it runs perfectly.

Maybe it'll crash when I'm just about to beat the big baddie having not saved for hours like certain other games I could mention.

As you can tell, I'm impressed. Having seen the ultimate in botched launches in the past (of which The Elder Scrolls Online only scores a 7/10-- remember Max2).I hope I'm not proved wrong, in which case I'll update this review, but I had booked into my local cryogenic facility following this release assuming 297877293 updates may be required. This is a good thing, Bethesda! Keep it up.

The second surprise is the neatness of the interface, despite it being designed for console dummies. Not everything is perfectly intuitive, but the 'help' section is comprehensive and explains how to do things which are not 'babied' through at the start. I got stuck on constructing settlement structures (I thought you stood at the bench and did it!), but a quick read and soon had a flourishing corrugate iron community on the demolished remains of my old home town.

Now for the teacher's 'could do better' bit.

There is another player in the field of large open-world games these days, and Bethesda need to do a bit of running to keep up. Characterisation is fairly basic-- no greys, just nice and nasty. Real RP needs real people. This goes for facial expression and body-language as well. This has moved on apace elsewhere. Make it happen, Bethesda!

And my usual rant: make failure mean more than just dying or having to reload from an earlier saved version. There's more than one possible ending when you begin reading a story. Simulate an 'other world' reality, by all means, but this is sold as a game. Games need challenge, real consequences for different decisions and more inter-relationships between these consequences.

That said, I've not been able to finish this game accidentally within 48 hours of buying it as I have with previous Bethesda titles (I wasn't rushing, honest!- I finished Oblivion at Level 7 fighting scamps as the big heavy demons in the finale). There's more to keep you focused on the wider world than the overriding need to follow the big story. In this respect it is progress for Bethesda.

A matter that needs resolving is the philosophical one about game ownership- a practical consideration for gamers in low-bandwidth wildernesses wherever they are in the world. I've not had a problem with Steam, but it makes players get steamed up and distracts appallingly from the qualities of the game- which are many.

Even if it is bloody easy once you get going like all Bethesda games.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 14, 2015 9:22 AM GMT

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (PC DVD)
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (PC DVD)
Offered by Ace Goods Co. Ltd
Price: £30.99

21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A massive, grown-up immersive RPG for adult gamers, 28 May 2015
This RPG has gone a long way to restoring my faith in the genre. The atmosphere is gritty, compelling and naturalistic without a trace of political correctness in sight. NPCs are well defined with complex and changing personalities, dialogue is nuanced and not generic and emotion is actively and passively conveyed. Quests are interesting, if not difficult, but I would say the level of choice is not as wide as I would like it (being a VERY old gamer of some 40+ years of experience). You do not get 'gather' or 'kill' quests- they are of the order of 'find my lost husband', 'save my child', specific treasure hunts, investigations and the like. Nevertheless, they are fairly channelled with on-screen help to complete them. Combat rewards research and preparation for specific enemies and boss-fights are as much about thinking as they are about stabbing the keyboard the right number of times. I play on the 'gamer's' level first run through and the balance between frustration and success is about right. All aspects of the game are aimed at adults- by which I do not mean it is full of naked ladies (although there are some and they are very nice!). Language is not compromised, hence the 18 certificate, but it is not 'juvenile'. Concepts within the game are also pleasingly 'grown up'. The game is also very big.

On the whole, a game that rewards intelligent and considered play. If you are the kind of gamer who enjoys puzzling things out without needing to be told what to do and you like immersive open world adventures, this is a good several steps above The Elder Scrolls (after Morrowind) and the like. In that respect, the graphics, sound, combat system and magic system are all superior in The Witcher 3. Character development is, however, rather lame and based almost exclusively on magic and combat, and, again, I would like to see more options in quests to lead to alternative outcomes and even irreversible failure.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 16, 2016 11:29 AM BST

Sky 2
Sky 2
Price: £14.99

14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Crystal clear sound and with a bonus dvd, but ..., 1 Dec. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Sky 2 (Audio CD)
Crystal clear sound and with a bonus dvd, but the most important comment to make is the outro to Scipio is intact on this version.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 18, 2015 5:40 PM GMT

Raymond Blanc by Anolon Rolling Pin - Acacia Wood
Raymond Blanc by Anolon Rolling Pin - Acacia Wood

5.0 out of 5 stars Good for novice pastry cook, 18 May 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Being a large, broad shouldered man who had never made pastry before I selected this one for its size, weight and build quality. All of these were as expected and the width allows a novice like me to roll consistently with little effort. A minute under a hot tap and it's ready to put away. Very pleased

Two Sides: The Very Best Of Mike Oldfield
Two Sides: The Very Best Of Mike Oldfield
Price: £6.50

20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive sampler, 2 Aug. 2012
I was pleasantly surprised at the choice of the extracts included here. Not only is there a good half of Tubular Bells Part 1, but there also sublime sections taken from other instrumentals which provide more than just the 'pretty bits' for new listeners. The Africa section from Amarok is here- parts 1, 2 and 3- the whole damn Sondela including 100 zulus and a personal message to Richard Branson in morse code. The finale from Crises includes the entire build up as each element comes together to form an atomic explosion of sound in astonishing depth. You get the bouncy bit from The Lake and the whole Songs of Distant Earth overture in Ascension.

If you need a sampler with a view to starting out listening to Oldfield- or are a casual fan who wants some highlights to play in the car- then this is the collection to buy.

If you are a rampant purist, only the whole album will ever do...

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (PC DVD)
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (PC DVD)

3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Grown up rpg the old fashioned way, 20 Nov. 2011
The most outstanding rpg I have played on a computer. Excellent graphics (even on my 8 year old machine- albeit with the latest video upgrades), atmospheric world, choices that make a difference to how you progress and very, very engaging- despite the fact that the quests, puzzles and monsters are as easy as every other game that's been on the market since the last of the myst games.

Light and Shade
Light and Shade

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More Shade than Light, 2 Oct. 2005
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Light and Shade (Audio CD)
The dark side of Mike Oldfield has always been his strength. This album offers some dazzling beauty, but also some hidden depths of the soul. Short track and mostly instrumental, it is not for those with a distaste of digital technology. If you are cool with it, then this album probably demonstrates the maximum level of emotional expression that it is currently possible to achieve with the numbers 0 and 1.

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