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T. West (England)
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The Annual 2009 [2CD + DVD]
The Annual 2009 [2CD + DVD]
Price: £13.70

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars 5 passable tracks out of 40, 27 Dec 2008
If this were playing at a party i'd leave. Quickly.

I could only be bothered with 5 tracks over the two discs. I had been listening to Sash's Best of before and I like exotic, fluidic and seductive dance music with real ambience, so I was looking forward to discovering some good tracks on this album, and was sorely disappointed.

The Ministry of Sound delivers an ugly sound, a series of dirges and arrangments of jarring noise. Rather than evoking feelings and memories of balmy, boozy summer nights on holiday with friends, this very bland and cynical selection of rude-boy 'roid-rage anthems reminded me of trying to avoid trouble in chain bars in clone towns on a friday night, full of pissheads and slappers, while generic dross like this was pumped through the sound system. The fact that two tracks feature a brand of expensive watch in their titles shows the level this is at; Facile and unimaginative.

If you want an uplifting sonic sensation, you should go elsewhere, and I would recommend the Euphoria albums, because most of the tracks here are depressingly similar and not very sexy at all.

Avoid.


Danger Girl: The Ultimate Collection
Danger Girl: The Ultimate Collection
by J. Scott Campbell
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Simple, Brutal, Escapism with a slice of American Cheese, 7 Mar 2007
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Hartnell and Campbell have borrowed from pop culture quite liberally here, but the good thing is they couldn't be more open in sharing this. If you like Indiana Jones, James Bond, Buffy and Russ Meyer, you'll be able to enjoy this. It's a refreshing change from the introspective, gloomy graphic novels that western comic fans rave about. This is about fun, humour, girls, mad villains, action and girls. Did i mention the girls? Although the heroines do come in for a ribbing over their clothing to curves ratio, it's never more than playful teasing and sex never gets confused with violence. Most of the men in this story are either panting schoolboys out of their depth, or senior figures of authority too focused and businesslike for such foolishness. Only Johnny Baracuda, by dint of looking like Apollo in a Calvin Klein ad, gets the girl/s, and even then, it's a quick kiss.

The story introduces Abbey Chase, a nubile blonde American girl, in the middle of a mission that seems to be going wrong, and through her we get to know the faces of operation Danger Girl; Deuce, ex-superspy who looks like Sean Connery in 'The Hunt for Red October', Sydney Savage, a curvaceous and vivacious Aussie brunette in a black catsuit and bullwhip ensemble. Natalia Kassle, a statuesque Russian who i'd say was like Greta Garbo/ Xena Onatopp/ Jessica Rabbit in equal parts, but with more knives. Last but never least, Silicon Valerie, Tomboyish computer whiz from Oxford (she had to be), who seems to get pushed around like a little sister, and has a crush on Johnny.

The girls are all great looking and the detailed yet easy line work suits the material. Nothing looks overwrought or too stylised, yet the look is unique and every character, down to the masked goons, are crafted with care. I have my favourites though, and Abbey and Sydney are loaded with character, curves and cartridges. The chief heavy, Major Maxim, looms over everyone in his fetishistic black Nazi uniform and mask, and is rarely troubled, even by multiple adversaries. Agent Zero's fight with Assassin X maybe a little derivative and reminscent of GI Joe, but at least the art is good.

This is a comic which wears its heart on its sleeve and shows deep respect for its characters. It's all about action, fun , good-looking heroes and larger-than-life villains and in the preface, J. Campbell tells us he wanted to make a 'movie comic' in the style of Indiana Jones and James Bond, rather than another 'spandex soap opera'. I'd say that judging by the lightness of tone, the lack of moralising and gorgeous visuals, he's succeeded wonderfully.


Fantastic Four: Books Of Doom TPB (Graphic Novel Pb)
Fantastic Four: Books Of Doom TPB (Graphic Novel Pb)
by Pablo Raimondi
Edition: Paperback

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Marvel Legend Given A Well-Earned Dust Down., 7 Mar 2007
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Books of Doom has provided me with two things; first, a tangible account of his origins in one glorious volume, and second, a graphic novel about Doctor Doom, and barely anyone else. I'm grateful enough for these reasons alone, but for it to be well adapted for the modern age while still retaining important details (no Victor Van Damme here) there was evidence enough for me to buy it on sight.

The story takes in the magical dealings of his mother, his family's problems with the Baron, the scholarship to America, meeting Reed Richards, the accident and its aftermath, the time in tibet and the revolution against the Baron, and nothing collides into anything else, we move fluidly along the timeline as the story slowly builds. The wilderness between his disgrace in America and his convalescence is particularly compelling.

The writing and characterisation are pretty spot on, and the colours are vivid and give the alpine nation of Latveria an aura of beauty. Most of the line work is diligently worked out, although Victor's pre-accident look isn't as consistent as i'd like, despite his growth from child to student. This is forgivable as the dark glare is present from his early days, and Raimondo goes with a swarthy, slavic mien rather than the lantern-jawed teutonic of earlier incarnations, while still having that look of iron determinancy. The mask is pretty much the original sixties number, with a little more detail. His endearing arrogance remains unaltered as well, and by the end just stops short of referring to himself in the third person.

I'd recommend this to Marvelites everywhere and a must for subjects of Latveria's favourite son.


Star Trek: The Next Generation - Birth Of The Federation (PC)
Star Trek: The Next Generation - Birth Of The Federation (PC)

4 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic strategy trek game, 18 Feb 2007
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This game is in my personal pantheon of all time greats, along with the likes of Sim City and Command and Conquer. It also helps that i have a fondness for Star Trek as well.

There is no overall storyline to the game, just a basic goal for each of the five major civilisations, the dominance of the galaxy, be that through diplomacy and integration (Federation), or military conquest (Klingons, Cardassians). It works and works well, as the Federation, Klingons, Romulans, Cardassians and Ferengi are all unique and all have their strong points, as well as having exclusive technology and a wide range of vessels to build.

You start off with a central system and from there send colony ships to star systems, whilst scout ships uncover more uncharted space. It's also good to build outposts at regular intervals to maintain territory as you encounter more and more races. As the game progresses, you have more to do and more resources at your disposal. Intelligence, diplomatic relations, colonial development and scientific advancement are all critical to success, as is the simple but hugely entertaining and effective tactical engagement screen, where you marshall your fleets in space combat (which you actually see, unlike Star Wars Supremacy).
As science and tech points build up, new breakthroughs herald upgrades in ship design, until you reach the Sovereign and Defiant, Negh'var refit and Warbird refit.
Random events also provide additional entertainment/ frustration as Crystalline entities, advanced probes and Borg Cubes invade your empire, which you must send dozens of starships against.

Be warned, as this game has so much to offer, playing it will drain hours of your life away, and you'll still need to hit the Cardassian shipyards, give Bajor Federation membership or intercpt those warbirds before you even think of logging off.

All we need now is a sequel with the Borg and Dominion replacing the Ferengi and Cardassians.

The greatest Star Trek game ever.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 9, 2010 9:08 PM BST


Star Trek: Legacy (Xbox 360)
Star Trek: Legacy (Xbox 360)

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fun for all of two weeks, 18 Feb 2007
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
Having missed out on any incarnations of Starfleet Academy in the past or Bridge Commander on the PC, i saw sequences from this game on youtube and thought, 'wow, every ship under the sun, all looking gorgeous, in a space combat sim! i must have it!'

Having bought it i then ignored the campaign and tried my hand at the skirmish game which i did fairly well with, considering the manual was barely consulted. The one glaring omission when setting up a death match was not being able to customize the enemy fleet, although you can be tricky and limit the command points available to purchase ships with.

As nonplussed with this as i was, I eventually started a campaign which is quite good fun and will keep you interested longer than the death matches, which are one player.

The multiplayer online option has potential for lots of fun, although finding someone else with the game seems to be a problem.

Overall, anyone with a liking for the Star Trek universe will see this as a harmless diversion, but not likely to entertain for as long as it could've done.


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