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Michael Ward (UK)

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Superman: Complete Animated Series [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Superman: Complete Animated Series [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Price: £29.06

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not region locked, 24 Jan. 2013
I won't repeat what has been said about this series: its great.

However, a lot of people don't know that this product is not region locked although it is labelled as a region 1 product here and on the box. I have tested it on a variety of DVD players: Mac Pro, Sony BDP-S760, S360 and a Panasonic (can't remember model name). I also own Batman Volume 3 and can play it on said players as well here in the UK.

Only gripe about this set is that the DVDs are rather strange. The first disc in every season looks great - a graphically decorated DVD but the second disc of every season is a mysterious blank two sided DVD but it does work on both sides.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 19, 2013 12:54 AM BST

Civilization IV - Gold Edition (Mac CD)
Civilization IV - Gold Edition (Mac CD)
Offered by Trade-N-Go Gaming
Price: £23.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Epic Game, 24 Oct. 2011
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
I have many games these days on my Mac (many via bootcamp) but when I grow weary of some of them, I always turn back to Civ IV. It is one of those games that you can pick up and chug away at it endlessly. There are so many different strategies that can be employed to win, some of which I have not really explored. The variety of scenarios that are provided will keep one occupied for some time in addition to the main game.

I can not really say anything else that has not been said on the PC version reviews page.

Perhaps my slight gripe with the game (Mac version) is that if you enable AA the Leaders faces will become distorted and there are one or two graphical bugs that crop up now and again. There are one or two times the game crashes for no reason but this is where the auto save comes in handy.

I can not comment about the compatibility of third party mods with the Mac version though so perhaps one should investigate this before deciding which version is worthy of exchanging their gold for.

I also can not comment definitely on whether this game is better than Civ V since I do not own it but from what I have read so far about it, Civ IV is the superior edition of Civ despite its age.

Lost: The Complete Seasons 1-6 [Blu-ray]
Lost: The Complete Seasons 1-6 [Blu-ray]
Dvd ~ Naveen Andrews
Price: £54.99

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A deep, emotional but drawn out journey, 12 Oct. 2011
My review is of the entire series as a show, no spoilers.

Lost is like a journey. Lost from the start has always had for me a deep mythological presence. It is not often you find a show whereby you question the significance of everything that is on the screen.

Its starts with explosions, fire and smoke. A group of strangers crashed on a mysterious island which seems to be isolated from the rest of the world. Within a short time, a strange presence leaves its mark and sets the tone for the entire show. The characters mingle, change and react differently to the seemingly perplexing events and phenomena that rise from the jungle island and from within their own community.

There is lots of character development and most characters are convincing. They each have their own detailed back story, the overall tone of each individuals back story is important in the end. Background stories are revealed by flashbacks initially. Some characters are somewhat more annoying than others and inevitable relationships fester between many individuals leading to confrontations and triangles. The significance of these are in my opinion stretched at times in the series and I grew weary of some of them by season 4. However in my mind, certain characters, are simply awesome. Two characters in particular spring to mind.

The mysteries are the most important aspect of the show and are often driven by the characters. In different seasons, different sets of questions may take hold. Some seasons have a more physical approach to mystery, whereas some invoke historical, social or moral questions to pop into your head before others. In season 2 and 5 for example I was initially concerned with the physical side of mystery because I am a physicist.

There are few answers in the sense that they are precise, absolutely scientific or profoundly religious and in my opinion, this method of storytelling suits Lost and it has always been like this from the the first episode. For me, lost concluded as I expected and left a lot of open questions allowing us to debate their significance in the overall plot. I suppose in this way lost is similar in respect to The Prisoner.

I must say however, that the slow pace in the first three seasons is IMO, likely to frustrate people. There are several filler episodes which are completely irrelevant to the overall plot or even the character. I expected a few more details to emerge with regard to the diplomacy and events surrounding the unsteady relationship between two groups of people and their respective "bosses". The pace of the final season was slightly disappointing because the flashes were perhaps too detailed in my opinion for their purpose.

If you have a closed imagination or are prone to over-thinking or impatient, then perhaps Lost is not for you as you will be frustrated.

Otherwise, this show - overall, is a slow blend of character development and mystery which I think most people will for the most part, find interesting, surprising and deeply entertaining.

Buxtehude: Complete Organ Music
Buxtehude: Complete Organ Music
Price: £24.07

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Impressive organ work but sound feels strained, 11 Oct. 2011
I can not comment about the overall significance of Buxteudes work compared to others or general feel of each organist that reproduces his work.

I am here to voice my observation that overall I found the recording quality disappointing. Many tracks sound crackley and the bass and high frequencies either feel held back or strained. There is a noticeable hiss on virtually all the tracks too - something I personally can not get used to.

I would recommend a listen to this before buying this, I am not convinced I made the right choice when choosing Buxteudes organ works.

Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty (Mac/PC DVD-ROM)
Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty (Mac/PC DVD-ROM)
Price: £13.37

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Challenging and fun missions but feels rushed, 11 Oct. 2011
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
My review mostly concerns the single player.

I have played through this game several times now, I started on normal and eventually completed the game in brutal mode. I, for the most part, enjoyed the campaign. Each mission has some sort of gimmick that makes each mission unique although perhaps some a bit too linear/guided with little exploration involved. The general gameplay feels good in SC2 and the game runs well despite looking great with highly detailed environments. The extra challenge missions are a welcome bonus. The map editor seems to be a beast too, I hope to see many great mods and maps in the future.

Throughout the campaign you are given choices that unlock specific units. For the most part, these are fun to play around with and give reason to replay the game. However, the final mission "all-in" made me regret my choices in the end. I found the last mission on brutal with my choices (no hive mind, no fortress, spectre etc) immensely frustrating and I gave up and repeated the whole game with alternate choices (with fortress and ghost) and it worked. I must say I am not a SC master but I would be surprised if people did not find this mission or others frustrating at times because of their choices.

This leads me onto the story and the general finish to the game: its story and characters. The choices you make, have virtually no effect on the story/characters aside from that one mission you get to choose. The background story is based largely on events which are barely mentioned in the game and coupled with bland in game and cut scene dialogue I felt decoupled from what was going on. The injection of unnecessary popular culture into certain scenes makes the tone of the SC universe unclear. I felt the story and feel in SC1 was epic, though recent retcons have made this point moot and it sums up the overall feel of SC2: rushed.

Let us hope that the upcoming expansion packs can repair the story and more interesting character development. Overall, a highly enjoyable strategy game with lots of unlcokables and a hefty map editor but wish the story was more engaging and the missions bigger with more exploration.

Lost - Season 5 [DVD]
Lost - Season 5 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Jorge Garcia
Offered by Venture Online
Price: £7.43

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Probably best season, 1 Oct. 2009
This review is from: Lost - Season 5 [DVD] (DVD)
I have never enjoyed Lost so much since season 1.

Finally, in season 5 we are treated with revelations about the islands history that reveal a few surprises. The relation between Ben, Charles Widmore and the Island is revealed through the various flashes. Flashbacks and flashforwards are now used in a completely different way to reveal the struggle of our Losties who have changed in many ways since the first season. The mechanism in which this is done may confuse people, but just bare in mind that this show introduced an evil pillar of smoke in the first season, that sounds like a machine and blows up trees!

Top notch acting from all concerned but Michael Emerson (Ben) and Terry O'Quinn (Locke) in particular since they, in my opinion, portray the most interesting characters. I find Kate and Jack quite boring, although they are more interesting than usual this season.

The only gripe I have with this season, is that it did not reveal much (outside of character development) about a certain organisation that I wish to know more about.

The season finale of this season is the best of of them all so far. Finally, after the events that take place, we are given a real clue to what is really going on.

My warning to newbies to Lost, treat Lost like a book, a journey! Do not watch season 5 unless you have seen all previous seasons, it will ruin the experience!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 18, 2014 3:37 PM BST

Logitech Z-2300 Multimedia Speaker System - 200 Watt (Total)
Logitech Z-2300 Multimedia Speaker System - 200 Watt (Total)

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Speakers, 23 Feb. 2009
I have had these beasts for over 3 years now, and they still do not disappoint.

The sound quality is excellent and the bass is amazing. I find the sound to be very articulate and sensitive enough to provide much better clarity than other cheaper speakers. They are very sturdy as well, the only thing that is damaged is the foot pads on the subwoofer where the glue has mixed in with the various carpets to become unstuck to the bottom surface.

The main speakers are small enough not to clutter your desk and properly positioned they can provide an excellent stereo image without the need for additional software. They produce excellent high frequencies although they suffer a bit when it comes to mid range, but for £90, the value can not be denied!

The subwoofer is larger than most other 2.1 speaker packages but it is worth it really. The subwoofer can produce mighty bass, ideal for watching movies, playing games and listening to music. The level of the bass production can be changed but even at maximum the sound does not distort. I find the subwoofer does not quite go as low as cinema subwoofers of similar size although that could be my position in my room.

Because the subwoofer is forward firing, I do find it is fairly sensitive to its postion, particuarly for the higher end of the low notes where the crossover between the subwoofer and main speakers are. It must be said, none of the places I have lived so far have had good acoustics.

There are two things I think could be improved. I think the system would be even better if the speakers had a separate tweeter and woofer to make it more flexible when it comes to handling different frequencies. I think it needs more than one method to connect to inputs or the ability to switch from one input to the other.

Transformers: The Complete Box Set [DVD]
Transformers: The Complete Box Set [DVD]

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun, no-nonsense entertainment, a bit baffling at times, 23 Feb. 2009
Transformers G1, its the original full series!

I mostly enjoyed G1, particulary the first and first part of the second season. Its a no nonsense show promoting almost non stop action of some kind. Its a show when you can just sit back and watch and pretend your young again which is what I think it is best at.

I got a bit lost in the latter half of the second part of season two and the third series when lots amounts of new characters were introduced. My head exploded in season four.

However, having watched Transformers Beast Wars before this, I could not help notice plenty of flaws when the greater scheme is revealed. There are plenty of animation errors, paradoxes and general sillyness although some of them are amusing.

So in summary, it does what it says on the tin really, all out action but there is little else to be had from this classic peice of TV history. Those looking for a bit more from their cartoons should look at Beast Wars out of the Transformers series although it is not currently available in PAL format.

Total Annihilation - Gold Edition (Mac)
Total Annihilation - Gold Edition (Mac)

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the all time greats, 23 Feb. 2009
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
An excellent game!

Although it was not as popular as Starcraft or Command and Conquer, this game was way ahead in terms of game mechanics. It boasts 3D units, 2D terrain with a height matrix to produce realistic battlefields where hills can effect terrain movement and hinder certain weapons. This game is most similar to "Supreme Commander" in the modern era since it was based on this game.

Unlike most RTS games, this has infinite resources, what matters is the rate at which you aquire resources. The resources are in the form of metal and energy where the former can be aquired by building mines on special tiles or the latter energy which is provided by building energy producing machines like wind turbines and fusion reactors. Energy can be converted into metal on low metal maps but requires a lot of energy.

With the latest patch, up to 1500 units per side can fight it out in mighty battles involving planes, hovercrafts, tanks, k-bots, ships and superweapons. I have had a lot of fun over the years with this game and still do.

This Gold pack contains the game and its two expansions: Core Contingency and Battle Tactics, the former being the real expansion pack and the latter being a spinoff in my view. Battle tactics contains 100 or so practice missions, some of which are a bit boring.

This game has plenty of mods still around mainly at "tauniverse" some of which give a truely fresh feel to the game.

It is not perfect however, which I will outline.

Its AI is a bit rubbish, forunately, many better AI's still exist in modifications but they are fairly basic compared to modern AI's. I.e. they tend just to send endless streams of units towards the nearest target.

With the expansion packs, the amount of different units is impressive but alas, many are completely useless and some have poorly defined roles.

Despite being labelled as OS X, this game will not work at all on OS X unless you have "Classic Mode", which is not present on Intel Macs.

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