Shop now Shop now Shop All Amazon Fashion Up to 70% off Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop Amazon Fire TV Shop now Shop Fire HD 6 Shop Kindle Voyage Shop now Shop Now Shop now
Profile for Cambridge Writer > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Cambridge Writer
Top Reviewer Ranking: 361,089
Helpful Votes: 832

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Cambridge Writer "CK" (Northampton, UK)

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9
pixel
Hounds Of Love
Hounds Of Love
Offered by westworld-
Price: £9.98

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A changeable journey of moods, crammed into 40 minutes' music, 16 July 2007
This review is from: Hounds Of Love (Audio CD)
Starting with a bang, the first five tracks of Kate Bush's fifth studio album are anthemic and catchy, 'Running Up That Hill' embodying a sexual energy greater than merely that alluded to by the lyrics, and the title track 'Hounds of Love' a fast-paced dash, a commentary on a hunt abstracted to an act more spiritual than only the chasing of a fox by hounds, before the regimented, march-like rhythm of 'Cloudbusting' arrives.

The change to lightly accompanied singing with the next few tracks is welcome, particularly in the dangerous and understated sense of fear conveyed by 'Under Ice', foreshadowing a darker tone to come.

The supernatural feel that the album takes on with the eighth track 'Waking the Witch' is disturbing with its demonic utterances and, by the time that the over-the-top and Celtic 'Jig of Life' cuts in, the high mood of the first tracks has been wholly altered to something confusing and nightmarish.

However, this is the point. The album Hounds of Love is a journey, and well captures a sense of mood progression, which the penultimate, dramatic track 'Hello Earth' triumphantly concludes.

The final song, 'The Morning Fog'? That's the come down, of course.


Philosophy: 100 Essential Thinkers
Philosophy: 100 Essential Thinkers
by Philip Stokes
Edition: Paperback

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A superb introduction to the history of philosophy and a useful reference, 16 July 2007
One of the advantages of this book is the range of people that Philip Stokes has chosen to cover. Traditionally-regarded philosophers such as Plato and Descartes are featured, but so too are individuals who introduced new ways of thinking in particular fields, such as Newton, Godel, and Turing.

Each double page spread provides one page of portrait and one of summary, giving a concise overview of the life, personality, and ideas of the philosopher in question.

As a way to quickly dispel ignorance of who exactly the big names are in philosophy, the book is invaluable. In just 212 pages (200 pages for the philosophers + 2 page introduction + 10 page glossary), Stokes is able to give anyone enough knowledge to sit among the sometimes dilettante, sometimes deep-thinking crowd of philosophy students and pontificaters, and not feel like a dunce.

For the reader who already knows a bit about philosophy, the book is a helpful refresher and a good source of clear, simple information on any of those philosophers which have somehow slipped under their radar - certainly I came to the book thinking I would know all the names, but was surprised by how the book highlighted my relative ignorance.

In terms of knowledge to time ratio, you can't do much better.


Prometheus Rising
Prometheus Rising
by Robert Anton Wilson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £16.21

34 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating read that challenges the way you think, 16 July 2007
This review is from: Prometheus Rising (Paperback)
I wouldn't call Prometheus Rising "life changing", as many others have (mainly the people who recommended it to me) - I think that the book should be read with a certain level of scepticism and an eye for pseudo-science. However, Prometheus Rising does present a lot of interesting theories about human thought and behaviour, and encourages the reader to engage with the text, instead of just taking everything it says at face value. In a way, the fact that I felt the need to challenge what Robert Anton Wilson writes, and mentally argue against certain sections, is a sign that the book has succeeded.

But what is the book actually about? It's a selection of cherry-picked theories across psychology, economics, politics, evolutionary biology, language, and many other fields, presented in a clear and humorous style. Sometimes it slips into a flavour of B.S., but whenever it does you get the feeling it might be intentional and parodying.

In terms of expanding the scope of one's thoughts and breaking out of conventional ways of looking at things, Prometheus Rising is a must read book. As I've tried to explain, the point of the book is not so much the precise content (though several of the theories seem entirely plausible and almost all have agreeable components), it's the style: the, at times confrontational, and at other times informal, way that new, revolutionary, and sometimes crackpot ideas are thrust at the reader, who is simply told "deal with it". The constant references to Finnegan's Wake only add to the intrigue.

Well worth reading.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 20, 2011 11:45 AM BST


Dr Kawashima's Brain Training: How Old Is Your Brain (Nintendo DS)
Dr Kawashima's Brain Training: How Old Is Your Brain (Nintendo DS)
Offered by Games Heaven
Price: £6.93

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A surprisingly fun and entirely different style of game, 16 July 2007
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
I bought Brain Training on import 14 months ago and am still playing it, if only for the Su Doku puzzles (of which I still haven't finished all). The game provides a range of word and number puzzles which challenge the player mentally and require input from the stylus or microphone. What I particularly liked was how it kept a record of my scores day to day so I could see how I was improving. It's also a clever move to limit the number of scored games each day, which not only means people won't be able to keep rapidly repeating for a high score on the same day, but it also slows down the rate at which the game gets boring. It's true that eventually all the games do become tiresome, but then later, when they have been forgotten, they become interesting again - my Brain Training playing pattern is in waves of a month where I'll play it every other day or so and then a month where I won't play it at all, and so on.

It must be said that the game isn't perfect. My criticisms are as follows:
- It couldn't recognise my voice well enough for the speaking challenges to be playable.
- Some of the best challenges (such as word memory) are only available in the "how old is your brain?" section, and not for replay in the main game. This was disappointing.
- The measurement is imperfect, using some random elements that can give a score for a game that is unrepresentative. For example, on the arithmetic games, if you have lots of questions with single digit answers then you'll get a faster score simply because there is less to write down.

Overall though, these problems can be forgiven as the whole package is fun, and you really do feel that your brain is being stimulated. I was also extremely impressed with the quality of character recognition in the game.

I'm about ready for the sequel.


Meteos: Disney Magic (Nintendo DS)
Meteos: Disney Magic (Nintendo DS)
Offered by Rapid-DVD
Price: £10.90

27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Disney license improves an already fun puzzle game, 4 Jun. 2007
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
I didn't really "dig" Meteos the first time around. Although I understood how the game worked and appreciated the thought that had gone into it, I just didn't have any compulsion to play the game seriously, preferring to scratch about on the screen with the stylus (which is an unfortunately effective strategy) for a few minutes before switching to another game. I sold my copy of Meteos a few months after buying it.

However, this Disney version breathes new life into the game, with lots of fun Disney familiarity from old and new characters (from Simba, through Toy Story, right up to A Nightmare Before Christmas).

The principle of Meteos is that the player uses the stylus to align constantly falling blocks (a tiny bit like Tetris) and launch them off the top of the playfield. The stylus control works well, but, as mentioned, you can get away with clumsy mashing on the screen and still get results. This version of the game is essentially the same but now blocks can be moved left and right, which doesn't fundamentally change anything but perhaps makes it a little bit more accessible and also more difficult to scribble the screen for results (though that tactic does still just about work).

I wouldn't have expected Disney to license their characters to a leftfield Japanese puzzle game like this, but it gives the game a much needed sense of inclusiveness which will attract people for whom the original release was too esoteric.

It's another good puzzle game for the Nintendo DS, this time with nice familiar character designs.


Tomb Raider: Anniversary (PS2)
Tomb Raider: Anniversary (PS2)
Offered by marxwax
Price: £7.90

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant remake of the original title, well worth a (re)play, 3 Jun. 2007
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
On the menu is a note to fans saying that Tomb Raider: Anniversary "borrows heavily" from the original two titles, which is spot on as some rooms are the same and others have been tweaked about a bit, which at least keeps this version feeling fresh and not just a straight remake.

The original Tomb Raider was well designed with some great puzzles and a sense of isolation and loneliness, adventuring Indiana Jones-like in exotic locations. Tomb Raider: Anniversary retains everything that made the original fun and exciting to play but brings the graphics up to date and introduces a few new moves and controls to make gameplay easier. I particularly like the cut-scenes and plot revolving around "The Scion" - they are so reminiscent of the archaeological adventure films and stories I enjoyed as a child.

My only criticism is that some of the puzzles feel tedious, involving traipsing all over levels, pulling switches and collecting items from place A to use in place B, repeated ad nauseam. This could get boring even back in the day, but thankfully there are enough elegant and satisfying puzzles to make up for the more simplistic ones. The action (including T-Rexes!) is just as electrifying as it always was, even if it still feels a bit unsporting to shoot all these poor animals, despite them attacking Lara.

If you played the original then this is a superb way to return to the series and remember what Tomb Raider was all about (before the disappointing sequels). If you've never played a Tomb Raider game then this is a great place to start.

It's worth pointing out that the PC version looks a bit better than the PlayStation 2 version and it doesn't require a monster PC so, provided you can play PC games comfortably, it's probably the better version to go for. However, it is also likely that the game will come out on other formats which could be more technically impressive than the PlayStation 2 version so it may be worth waiting to see what the other releases are like before buying this one. That said, it does look perfectly fine - any improvements on other consoles are likely to be minor.


Tomb Raider: Anniversary (PC DVD)
Tomb Raider: Anniversary (PC DVD)
Offered by games.empire
Price: £5.95

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant remake of the original title, well worth a (re)play, 3 Jun. 2007
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
On the menu is a note to fans saying that Tomb Raider: Anniversary "borrows heavily" from the original two titles, which is spot on as some rooms are the same while others have been tweaked about a bit, which at least keeps this game feeling fresh and not just a straight remake.

The original Tomb Raider was very well designed with some great puzzles and a sense of isolation and loneliness, adventuring Indiana Jones-like in exotic locations. Tomb Raider: Anniversary retains everything that made the original fun and exciting but overhauls the graphics and introduces new controls and moves to make the gameplay slicker. I particularly like the cut-scenes and plot involving "The Scion" - they are so reminiscent of all those archaeological adventure films and stories that I enjoyed as a child.

My only criticism is that some of the puzzles feel tedious, with lots of traipsing over levels, pulling switches and collecting items from place A to use in place B, etc. This could get boring even back in the day, but thankfully there are enough elegant and satisfying puzzles to make up for the more simplistic ones. The action (including T-Rexes!) is just as electrifying as always, even if it still feels a bit mean shooting all these poor animals, despite them attacking Lara.

If you played the original then this is a superb way to return to the series (after some disappointing sequels) and remember what Tomb Raider was all about. If you've never played a Tomb Raider game then this is an excellent place to start.

It's worth pointing out that this PC version looks a bit better than the PlayStation 2 version and it doesn't require a monster PC (see the Eurogamer review for more detail on this) so provided you can play PC games comfortably this is probably the better version to go for.


The Shield : The Game (PS2)
The Shield : The Game (PS2)
Offered by ForgottenMedia
Price: £12.35

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing but still a laugh to mess about with, 3 Jun. 2007
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
This videogame of The Shield follows the usual format of all lazy film/TV videogame adaptations: a third person action game. However, as is the fashion these days, the unique ideas of the source material are grafted onto the game in an attempt to make fans feel like they are actually in the universe of the source, rather than just playing a standard third person shooter with the same characters. This time around, with reference to The Shield, these unique features include a heat meter, which fills up when Vic shoots bad guys but is lowered when he arrests them after forcing a surrender from shooting at them (yes, pretty nonsensical). Another unique feature is the interrogation sequences where suspects/informants are grabbed and then bashed into household objects by similar bashing of buttons on the game. This might be interesting were it not for the fact that there is no penalty for a wrong button press, reducing the whole sequence into the random and fast hammering of buttons.

Plot-wise, the game follows the same kind of realm as the TV show, with players, as Vic, brutally harming criminals and busting drug rings while pocketing loot for the old retirement fund. It's all a bit silly and feels like it's making a mockery of the careful pacing of the TV show (which manages to keep suspense by never veering too far in the direction of surreality, something which the game fails to moderate). There are also stealth sections and a rather tedious minigame for finding hidden weapons which cannot be repeated if failed, as though the weapons have now disappeared after a single attempt to find them (again, nonsensical).

Overall, this is a good chuckle for a few hours (not the first few though so try to find someone well into the game whose save file you can play from) but it's not got the kind of depth or inventiveness that the videogame medium can provide. Cheap (or, in this case, not so cheap) licensed titles such as this devalue the artistic integrity of the games industry as a whole. It's a sad situation, because I can see that there are intelligent and talented developers working in the industry on games such as this and trying as hard as they can to infuse them with interesting ideas, but they are held back by the constraints of the license and demands of the publisher to produce something similar to bestselling game X, where such a game is usually years old.


The Shield (PC DVD)
The Shield (PC DVD)
Offered by Satsumo
Price: £3.49

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing but still a laugh to mess about with, 3 Jun. 2007
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: The Shield (PC DVD) (Video Game)
This videogame of The Shield follows the usual format of all lazy film/TV videogame adaptations: a third person action game. However, as is the fashion these days, the unique ideas of the source material are grafted onto the game in an attempt to make fans feel like they are actually in the universe of the source, rather than just playing a standard third person shooter with the same characters. This time around, with reference to The Shield, these unique features include a heat meter, which fills up when Vic shoots bad guys but is lowered when he arrests them after forcing a surrender from shooting at them (yes, pretty nonsensical). Another unique feature is the interrogation sequences where suspects/informants are grabbed and then bashed into household objects by similar bashing of buttons on the game. This might be interesting were it not for the fact that there is no penalty for a wrong button press, reducing the whole sequence into the random and fast hammering of buttons.

Plot-wise, the game follows the same kind of realm as the TV show, with players, as Vic, brutally harming criminals and busting drug rings while pocketing loot for the old retirement fund. It's all a bit silly and feels like it's making a mockery of the careful pacing of the TV show (which manages to keep suspense by never veering too far in the direction of surreality, something which the game fails to moderate). There are also stealth sections and a rather tedious minigame for finding hidden weapons which cannot be repeated if failed, as though the weapons have now disappeared after a single attempt to find them (again, nonsensical).

Overall, this is a good chuckle for a few hours (not the first few though so try to find someone well into the game whose save file you can play from) but it's not got the kind of depth or inventiveness that the videogame medium can provide. Cheap (or, in this case, not so cheap) licensed titles such as this devalue the artistic integrity of the games industry as a whole. It's a sad situation, because I can see that there are intelligent and talented developers working in the industry on games such as this and trying as hard as they can to infuse them with interesting ideas, but they are held back by the constraints of the license and demands of the publisher to produce something similar to bestselling game X, where such a game is usually years old.


Shadowrun (PC)
Shadowrun (PC)
Offered by SC-WHOLESALE
Price: £1.99

10 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting idea not ideally implemented, 3 Jun. 2007
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Shadowrun (PC) (Video Game)
I would have given this 3 stars but I do like the originality and customisability of having so many different weapons, gadgets and magic - these give the game a Warhammer-like quality of richness and faintly promise tactical inventiveness (though don't quite deliver on that promise).

The game is a standard first person shooter with the usual online game types, and it does quite closely resemble CounterStrike in certain modes. However, as others have said, it doesn't feel as solidly balanced and carefully tweaked as Halo and CounterStrike and the gadgets/magic don't have a huge effect on the game, being more a fun distraction than anything that makes the experience richer or more tactical.

You can see the influence that the Shadowrun RPG series has had on this game and it is an interesting fusion with a first person shooter but with this the developers haven't quite achieved a recasting of the first person shooter into something more cunning and tactical, revolving around gadgets, as it seems the intention was.

It's a curiosity which I hope sells well enough to warrant sequels building on the idea and branching a strand of first person shooter game in a direction which is genuinely distinct from the unstoppable (and brilliant) Halo and CounterStrike franchises.

This version will only run on Windows Vista so if you don't have an Xbox 360 and want something to play on your whizzy new Vista-PC then this might be ideal.


Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9