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Tomb Raider (Xbox 360)
Tomb Raider (Xbox 360)
Offered by Games World Inc
Price: £10.91

34 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's not the same Tomb Raider, does not mean it isn't great., 18 Mar. 2013
So first off, let me establish something. This game is not classic tomb raider.

Ok so let's focus on what you get, Gameplay wise this game is excellent a few realism issues aside (weapon damage can be a tad inconsistent) the game features 3 main areas of play, They are:

Exploration, This side of the game has Lara scouting her surroundings looking for "Salvage" to upgrade her weapons and various collectable items that expand on story play or award trophies.

Combat, This is stealth / cover based shooting.

Puzzles, Various tombs usually require the player to solve a puzzle to unlock its secrets

Exploration is easy and fluid, you can run around jump to walls and clamber your way up without any break in immersion. You can use Lara's "Survival Instincts" to highlight nearby objects of interest such as salvage enemies or treasure items. At times exploration can be somewhat slow Climbing walls and ropes can take a rather long time. Very rarely I found that I would make a jump which I had not properly estimated resulting in death. The Acquisition of rope allows Lara to use her Bow and Arrow to launch a rope into certain targets which can then be zipped down. I find it slightly odd that something like that could hope to support the weight of anyone but it's not too great a stretch of the imagination and does not greatly affect immersion. Overall 4/5

Combat, This at times can be a little clunky, without a designated "use cover" button Lara tends to crouch behind nearby objects and occasionally it's hard to tell if you are actually in cover or not. As I said earlier weapon damage can be slightly inconsistent Head shots are not guaranteed kills. There is also a lot of Quick time event style combat moves that can at times be irritating. Minor issues aside combat is good and easy to transition to from exploration. Stealth elements are well executed Sneaking up behind an enemy for a quick kill works well and the bow allows for long ranged kills providing you get a headshot as other areas are not usually instant kills. Some boss fight elements of the game focus heavily on quick time events which are whilst very well executed still quick time events which I personally find a poor way of story progression, especially if you get it wrong first time. Overall 3.5/5

Puzzles, Whilst very pretty and well executed, They are mostly all variations of the "See-Saw" puzzle that need you to find enough of something to weight down one object to raise another. There are a few variations and the use of wind as a force in some of these is very well done. Overall 3/5

So gameplay wise Tomb Raider is great, It does not push any boundaries or bring in ground breaking new developments, It is what it is and it's polished to a mirror shine.

The next part is harder, Story.

Off the bat let's establish something again IT IS NOT TOMB RAIDER. This is not big breasted short shorts Lara Croft who roles solo into tombs dual wielding .45s.

I personally grew to dislike classic Lara's identity as a highly sexualised character whose main attributes were her looks. One of the main things they have tried to do this time round is create a more believable character. So have they done it?

Well new Lara is young and properly proportioned. She is still very attractive but more pretty and sweet than buxom and sexy. She is intelligent, (When finding some treasure items Lara will observe some aspects of its origin and use, she may also observe more aspects upon further investigation).

She is also human, Lara of the old games would not flinch upon being washed up on a deserted island swarming with hostile men, and within the first hour of play we get to see fear in Lara, she is cold and alone.

She has clearly had some survival training (knowing how to skin a deer and shot a bow) but finds it difficult to do in practice (over comming moral issues about it).

One character defining moment is her first kill which she struggles with (Although briefly) I have heard some people complain how Lara goes from having difficulty with one kill to effortlessly burning through dozens of men but I feel Lara's issues with killing are shown to be mental barriers opposed to physical ones and as such after coming to terms with the first kill it's easier to proceed with later ones.

Overall I like these changes, New Lara is much more 3 dimensional she has depth and is not purely defined by he physical attributes. I do however miss the old Lara (tough and capable).

Story, Without spoiling too much The plot revolves around Lara attempting to escape from a deserted island whilst surviving the hostile other inhabitants and dealing with an unknown mystical power that seems set to keep her there.

The plot drives forwards and is expanded upon by items and journal entries found in exploration. The plot is very well written and does a great job of characterising the new Lara and giving us a chance to see and watch as she evolves. The only downside is that the Plot really avoids focus on anyone else other characters are almost all there for the sake of Lara's development. Amongst her allies Lara has an Old friend of her fathers who acts like a mentor who aside from two scenes really didn't appear to be anything special. It would have been nice to see a little more attention paid to the stories of the other characters though they do get some light in journal entries found on the island.

Overall Tomb Raider is excellent and well executed. It is exactly what it tries to be and nothing more, It does not do anything new or innovative, but who said every new game needs to have something new?

The game lacks any real replay value since its key driving point is story. The online section is barely worth mention, it's typical team death match style fighting on small maps anyone not 15 years old and with loads of free time will die... ALOT to players who have had hours to hone their skills.

It does again need to be said that sadly this is not the old Tomb Raider that we knew and die-hard fans will not like the new addition to the franchise. And I can see it, but I think that based on its own merits this game is well deserving of its praise.


People's Republic (Cherub)
People's Republic (Cherub)
by Robert Muchamore
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Back and swinging hard, 16 May 2012
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I Loved the last Cherub Series, but I was quite unsure about a new series, purely because I had grown up with James along for the ride (so to speak)

Muchamore has done a great job in the past of expressing characters of different ages.

Compare the young impulsive James from book 1 to the Young adult we saw at the end of the series.

I was worried he might not be able to jump back to the shoes of a young 11 year old.

But he has done just that. I keeping with the darker settings of his later works we are thrown into the life of a Orphan in China who is desperate to escape.

The book follows her desperate struggle to survive before at the end bringing her to Cherub.

Opposed to the last series where James ends up in Cherub off the bat, Ning (the new girl) has to fight, lie and steal just to get herself to that position.

A couple cameo appearances from well known faces helps remind us that the series is all part of the same world.

It would be nice for the series to make a couple references back to previous books and perhaps wrap up a few more loose ends.

I wait eagerly for the next book to see where it takes us.


Shadow Wave (Cherub)
Shadow Wave (Cherub)
by Robert Muchamore
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ugggghh Nggghhhh uhhhh yea..., 16 May 2012
This review is from: Shadow Wave (Cherub) (Paperback)
I've loved this series from the word go,

Why because i've more or less grown up with James.

The last book in the series promises to wrap up some story lines and set James up for his future.

*SPOILERS*

The Pros: James has really grown up is being alot more sensible than he previously was and is looking positivley at his future.

The Cons: The wrapup of story lines is all neat and perfect and done inside of two chapters. The Main "mission" of this book is more James trying to subvert the system for once and bring to justice someone the British government is activley trying to protect.

Overall the story is a lot slower paced than others and a great deal less entertaining. Most of the book is spent dealing with other characters.

The series as a whole deserves 5/5. for that reason this reveiw gets 4/5

If I were reviewing this book alone it would only be 2/5 A rather disappointing addition to the series.


A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 2)
A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 2)
Price: £2.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quality wise this book is amazing it's also depressing., 16 May 2012
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These books are AMAZING the writing is excelent the detail fantastic and the characters have huge depth.

However the stories can charitably be described a damn depressing.

The series seems to follow a pattern of the start of the book outlining the current status Quo (which is not too bad in book 1)and the rest of the book proceeds to explain how it goes down hill to god awful. Where the next book in series picks up.

I had to stop by the end of this book (For now at least).

The great thing about this series is that no character is flawless infact even the nicest and best of the characters are on some level absolute scum of the Earth.

And you might expect that the actual scum of the Earth aren't too bad in retrospect (you know the hidden depths of those that don't have much) right? WRONG Scum of the Earth are scum of the Earth plus 10 if their not trying to murder rob and or rape little girls you can bet they are currently doing it or planning to be doing so very soon.

On the one hand this is a rather new unique way of looking at characters and provides very enjoyable reading. On the other hand however it does lead on to feel a little depressed about the general status of affairs.

If someone gets named within the series the worst they can expect will be a minor crippling injury or ( on the occasion they are already cripple) further crippling.

Overall a great imaginative read just a tad depressing


Spinward Fringe Broadcast 6: Fragments
Spinward Fringe Broadcast 6: Fragments
Price: £2.23

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars And now for something different., 16 May 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I picked up on the first book in this series because it was free.

What I expected : A book about some guys and their wayward missions in space

What I got: A book about some guys / girls and their wayward missions in space along with some great character development and highly descriptive space opera.

I read onto the second book hoping for a continuation and was almost heart broken to find it to be able different characters and ships. Later research showed that Broadcast 0 was a prequal.

After some further reading and a new set of characters I was quickly back into the world and up to date on whats going on.

At times it seems alot like the author makes up the plot as he goes along. Which is both a positive and negative. The positive side is that it often has things changing and surprising you in new and different ways.

The Downside is that occasionaly things might happen that have little to no bearing on the actual plot (or so it might seem)

Most of the characters are really great and imaginative and very likable even if you only like to dislike them.

One or two of the characters seem a little bland but otherwise imaginative.

There is a slight sense that the main characters are imortal (One of them even outright survives dying because hes just that awesome)

The main lead characters are a little perfect though there are definate flaws. Jake is a hardass bounty hunter who at heart wants to make the Galaxy free, he also has a bad temper and might just shoot someone who crosses him (or just leave them to a fate worse than death)

The universe itself seems to work based of non explained science. Which really works. I find if your going to make a book scientificly acurate make sure you do it right or not at all and Lalonde has made the right choice here. And aside from a few errors (ships skidding in space)which seemed to vanish pretty quickly.

I have found the books to be imersive and entertaining incorporating parts of both space conflict and ground conflict.

Overall the series provides a great read just don't read them all at once. One or two books at a time is good to ensure the story does not get old fast.


On Silver Wings
On Silver Wings
Price: £2.16

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Everything you need for a great story but..., 16 May 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: On Silver Wings (Kindle Edition)
I really quite liked this book, It's nice to have a powerful female lead even if she is a tad cliche.

There was alot of description and overall everything needed for a great story.

A breif summary of the plot is this: On the new fronteirs of space a human colony has come under attack from an unknown Alien race a team of elite comando soldiers is dispatched to inflitrate and try to make sense of everything. Only one soldier makes it down, and It is now her job to lead a resistance fight. Meanwhile back on Earth scientists and the Military scramble to ready the fleets and find the alien weakness so that they might beable to fight back, meanwhile they must look to assisting those out on the front lines of this conflict in any way possible.

*Redaction*

Based on the Authors comments below I have redacted Most of my criticsms of the book.

Overall the book has a really well rounded plot and does deal with the idea that there is no scientific basis for Aliens to be anything like humans at all and other interesting concepts (An advanced human Society finding itself fighting a Guerilla War, A Female lead character , The possible psychology and attitudes of a totaly Alien race etc).

And whilst I can still fault areas of the Science of this book I can't well justify my poor review especially when I really did enjoy reading the book and have already begun to read the second.
Comment Comments (6) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 24, 2012 10:04 AM BST


Scout Force (Kelly Blake Series Book 1)
Scout Force (Kelly Blake Series Book 1)
Price: £1.99

4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Cliche over the top and just wrong..., 16 May 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I'm writing this review whilst only 75% of the way through this book.

Now I normaly read a book an allow some time to digest before I write reviews but I was so annoyed by this book that I feel compelled to speak my mind.

To start with the authors use of names is at times frustrating and weird at other times reasonable and at some times down right disturbing.

Names for Ships overall seem quite good e.g. Vigilant for a Scout Ship.

Names of Characters however range from Good to odd to ones that make me question alot of things.

Our main character is named Kelly (It's a guy) Not the worst offence just a little odd.

The worst offence in my mind is the name of the Daughter of the Admiral. "Candy" every time I read it I feel like i've slipped into a gentlmens club it really does not suit her character.

Names aside the Author seems to write pretty decent Sci Fi is at times a little confused on how much real science they are trying to incorporate.

The book however strays into romance as our main character (Who describes himself as very average looking)literaly finds women who seem to throw themselves at him.

This is the point where I lost all patience with the book. Nearly every woman is described based on sexual features. It seems to take Kelly next to no effort to get 3 women into bed. Indeed two of them have literaly thrown their clothes off 30 seconds into the date. This itself is very annoying because a good romance plot really builds on the relationship of two characters. However this book has most dates ending in Sex usually only two pages after their origional date began.

I find the way the author writes about women highly sexualised and offensive. If Kelly were in any sane work place he would have himself a Sexual harrasment case. He spends some time staring at the breasts of one of his Crew Cheifs. He has 3 women on the go at once all of whom are perfectly happy to have this relationship. And the style of writing during or leading upto sexual encounters has me feeling like im stuck in a cheap Porno.

Kelly himself as a character is so two dimensional and plain. It would appear he is a man who can do nothing wrong. After taking action that saved the lives of many he is punished and sent out to join the scout force, where he ends up being promoted by the end of his second first tour. He is a master Marksman Top Gun Pilot with a Masters degree in quantum engineering (Or some equivalent). His only flaw is that in his own words he's average looking. This hasn't stopped at least 3 women throwing themselves at him. His parents are the genius scientists who created Faster than Light Travel and are onto their next big thing. The General that Kelly had a disagreement with before the start of the book envisions herself as Napoleon reborn and uses poor highly outdated tactics. However one wonders how someone made that Rank based on their flawed tactics.

The Evil empire is so over the top Cliche it's not even ironic. They are a warlike race of cats... Lacking in opposable thumbs. They regularly execute officers or members who have failed in some way. Nearly all their interactions involve some over the top evil empire type excecution, usualy infront of other subjects and usualy the body is left lying in a room during meetings to add that sinister flare! (I can hear the Darth Vader theme tune rining in my ears)

The plot itself all begins when Kelly and This General have a disagreement and said General has Kelly reassinged to the planet on the back edge of space where nothing seems to happen (Until kelly arrives that is, at which point everything seems to be happening).

General Burgarov Is known to be a hard ass general who likes outdated tactics and refuses to accept any advice from her juniors. I find massive issue with this. Any General that treats members of their unit like she does and refuses advice like this would have lost their job months ago. Further any General whos first response to somones quick thinking that saved many lives uses that as an excuses to court martial a man has serious issues and again I find myself wondering why they were ever given their job in the first place.

Overall despite only reading 75% of this book I have found it Cliche sexists (at times bordering on a sex novel rather than Sci Fi) at times good at other times seriously lacking any sense of Peril drama suspense or anything to make the book worth while.

I will still finish the book and should anything happen close to the end to make me re-evaluate my opions I will by all means write a redaction.

Addition:

Having read a few more pages wherin the autor shows more sexist and cliche attitudes I am forced to conclude that the Author is a 15 year old Virgin whos never drunk alcohol before based on the way he seems certain a person who drinks 6 beers (of im assuming an average strength)would be so drunk he would be incapable of sex (which comes as a surprise given the ammount of it he seems to get)

His attitudes to women and sex are much like I would expect from my 15 Year old cousin only a few pages where I left of last time has our Hero litteraly oggling some other gorgeous woman whos seems quite happy to wear extremely revealing clothes whilst on a military patrol (im pretty sure there are rules on that) and commenting that he's finding it hard to remain professional. This from a guy who in bunking up with the Admiral's daughter, his old wingmate, and that other shuttle pilot who he met on his first day.

Kelly is always totaly perfect, despite not having flown fighters for several months he is able to outfly 4 of his ex comrades and take them all down. I find myself totaly unable to find anything likable in the man.

Incase anyone hasn't noticed it this book has actually gone as far as to make me angry at it. I often see even books I didn't enjoy as something good because someone was willing to put the time in and to see it published and face the judgement of his works. But I actually lose respect for this author with every passing page he is more or less refering to women as objects and whilst I think girls should be allowed to dress and act how they like I tend to take offence to both men and women acting in such a way.

A message to the author should he ever read this "grow up and stop thinking like a 15 year old boy"
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 27, 2012 5:38 PM BST


Mass Effect 3 (PC DVD)
Mass Effect 3 (PC DVD)
Offered by IDSS
Price: £5.18

0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Yes yes yes... wait what?, 29 Mar. 2012
This review is from: Mass Effect 3 (PC DVD) (DVD-ROM)
Ok so I was bouncing of the walls in anticipation for this game.

The promise of a resolution to the story that has had me on the edge of my seat for 4 years.

Now advanced warning this review will spoil the plot a little.

So gameplay wise it's fantastic building on aspects of ME1 and ME2 combined. I'm still a little irritated with the PUSH SPACEBAR to anything setup, which at times makes giving Shepard commands a real pain.

I like to move from Hundreds of Weapons in ME1 (too complex) to 4 Non customisable weapons (Not room for experimentation) in ME2, To ME3s more reasonable wide selection with a variety of customisation options.

Overall the core gameplay is great 5/5

Plot

Had I made this review before I played the last 15 Minutes of Gameplay I would be giving this 5/5

But despite all this promise and build up to the explanation behind the reapers we get nothing but a rough vuage explanation

And the final ending manages to trip all over itself and give a really quite dissatisfying and rushed end. Wherin the resolution just feels... well no different whatever way you do it.

The addition of a Galactic readyness at frist seemed like a stroke of genius but it took some research to find out what impact it actually had on the end of the game. It turns out that impact is incredibly random and confusing.

Overall there was some amazing character development all round. But the ending just seemed to shove all that aside except one possible interaction you might have had near the end.

Overall the gameplay is great and so is the Plot just close the game during the scene where Anderson and Shepard are looking out over the Citadel as the Crucible is about to fire and you will be left far more satisfied with the end.


Renegades: The Progenitor Trilogy, Book Two
Renegades: The Progenitor Trilogy, Book Two
Price: £2.59

0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars So close yet so very...very far., 29 Mar. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Having read book 1 and 2 of this series I feel I can give a reasonable review.

Dan worth has created his own universe where simple laws of Physics seem to cease to exist.

Book 1 introduced us to a wealth of characters whos roles all collide in on big explosive finale wherin the "biggest threat mankind has face in the breif existance..." Wait a Minute that quote is hijacked directly from Mass Effect 2. A Videogame in which mankind has advanced to the Intersteller level of technology and made aliances with more advanced races. And now they face this new threat of sentient machines whos goal is to wipe out all organic life....

No wait sorry im reviewing Renegades not Mass Effect.

But that's really it, The plot is more or less exchangable.

The writing employed is often filled with mistakes and some senteces take several readings to make sense of. At times the description uses goes on and on. At worse occasionaly the Science makes no sense at all not even on the level or typical scfi laws of physics breaking where the finer points are ignored or fluffed away. With Dan Worth sometimes it comes down to "A wizzard / super advanced race did it".

Some characters are so cliche it hurts and when one guy is clearly loosing it and everyone knows they really should be running for the hills. (Say a guy is clearly obsesed with a peice of Alien technology that has been making people insane)and two experts on the ground know exactly what it is and that it's bad news. But for some obscure reason they completely ignore it? Then everyone acts surprise at the very very inveitable betrayal.

The Books jump from cliche to cliche and the story progression at times is a blow by blow account and at other times seems to meander around for days on end.

Overall the books were ok to read whilst bored but I never found myself being imersed into the experience.


World of Data� - 0.2m DVI Splitter Adapter Cable - 24k Gold Plated - Single DVI-D (Male) to Dual DVI-D (Female) - Split your DVI image onto two displays - Black Colour - Fully Moulded Hoods/Plugs
World of Data� - 0.2m DVI Splitter Adapter Cable - 24k Gold Plated - Single DVI-D (Male) to Dual DVI-D (Female) - Split your DVI image onto two displays - Black Colour - Fully Moulded Hoods/Plugs
Offered by World of Data Ltd
Price: £6.99

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Does what is says on the Tin, 27 Feb. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this to link up as an Office display. The display looks great with good picture quality and the cable itself is nice and rugged.


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