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James Stewart "Satoshi Tajiri" (Wemyss Bay, Scotland)

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Street Fighter X Tekken (Xbox 360)
Street Fighter X Tekken (Xbox 360)
Offered by Paradox Network
Price: £10.00

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Clunky controls marr an otherwise acceptable game., 21 Aug. 2013
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
The first thing I do when I start a new 'Street Fighter' game is get myself over to its Training mode; not because I think I need it, but because it's a good idea to get yourself match-fit, especially when you haven't played in a while. I noticed right away, even with the opponent on Medium difficulty, that everything felt very sluggish. Capcom are renowned for how tight they make the controls, but here, they just didn't do their usual sterling job. With a bit of work, you can overcome the problem, but pulling of special attacks is even more of a burden than it normally is.

Still, the addition of the charge mode for certain moves, you don't even have to have a full special gauge, is rather nice and adds an extra air of strategic planning.

The game itself is fine; the CPU still "cheats" every now and then (i.e. getting in throws/punches when you're already two-thirds of the way into an attack), but it's no worse here than it is elsewhere, and given how easy it is, it's nice to have something to challenge you. The plot is predictable bobbins, and frankly, they might as well just have you fight the 'Tekken' characters with no explanation needed.

So. If they could've just fixed the controls so they responded a half-second better, this would've been perfectly fine. Since I don't play online, I can't possibly comment on how buggy it is.

Stewart Lee - Carpet Remnant World [DVD]
Stewart Lee - Carpet Remnant World [DVD]
Dvd ~ Stewart Lee
Price: £18.03

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I don't really have a review., 18 July 2013
I was going to write a review for Stewart Lee's Carpet Remnant World, but I've been so busy with my life, I didn't have the time. Playing video games, watching funny clips on the internet, that's my life now. I've got nothing. Nothing.

But did you notice that Stewart had refined his dead-on, deconstructionist personality to a tee on this tour? Brilliantly pulling together seemingly disparate and dissolute threads, and weaving them into a cohesive whole in his typically sardonic, unflinchingly rigorous style.

As usual, there was a split in the audience between those who "get" him and those who've been catapulted along based on good reviews/the comedy award/having a moderately-successful show on late-night BBC 2. This time, whether artificially-induced or genuine, the gulf seemed almost insurmountable as those wanting a comedian to just say something funny and move on without taxing their intellects remained resolutely unreachable.

Stewart Lee, the alternative to comedy, is actually a master observer, but not in the vein of an "observational" comic; what he notices is the gaps in our reality, the chasm between the way things are and the way they could be. An entirely logical, rational world where it's eminently reasonable that Margaret Thatcher was responsible for the decay of our beloved jungle pirate zombie rope bridges. It's a semi-fictional creation, but where the line is between the two, only Stewart Lee knows.

I suppose, what I'm trying to say is that I can make a review by putting random points in a list.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 14, 2014 8:38 PM BST

Star Wars Vintage Collection Deleted Scenes Luke Skywalker Lightsaber Construction VC87
Star Wars Vintage Collection Deleted Scenes Luke Skywalker Lightsaber Construction VC87
Offered by Reservoir Toys
Price: £21.33

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good little action figure., 22 Oct. 2012
= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:1.0 out of 5 stars 
Problem with 'Star Wars' action figures has always been that they've been ugly little affairs; I remember from my own childhood how hideous they were, but that never stopped me collecting them, anyway. Anyway, this figure of Luke Skywalker - based on the recently unearthed scene of him constructing his lightsaber prior to the assault on Jabba's palace - is extremely good for the range. A detailed figure, nice set of accessories, and a good range of motion. I actually bought two of these (one for my collection and one for my nephew). Hasn't broken, despite his insistence on throwing it around like a rag-doll, and the 'saber is still in one piece.

My one complaint might be the hideous cloak; would have been so much better if it was moulded plastic like the Obi-Wan figures of the past, etc. It's removable, so it doesn't detract all that much.

Not much educational value, however, unless you consider it necessary to teach your kid how to build a lightsaber.

Voyage of the Star Wolf
Voyage of the Star Wolf
by David Gerrold
Edition: Mass Market Paperback

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favourite science-fiction books., 29 May 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Voyage of the Star Wolf has been with me since I was a child; I believe my father originally purchased it due to David Gerrold's association with Star Trek, but frankly, the two are worlds apart. Star Wolf is often known as "Star Trek done right," and on the face of it, the comparison may seem warranted, but I'd argue that that is unfair to the world Gerrold created here. So much depth and detail has gone into keeping the setting plausible, whereas Star Trek is really "out there" in terms of its science; the characters here are much more believable, and not larger-than-life "hero" types; the enemies, the genetically-enhanced Morthans, while bearing a passing similarity to Klingons, are much more frightening than they ever were (and as such, are kept in the background as much as possible, so as not to ruin their mystique).

Korie has become one of my favourite science-fiction characters; constantly at odds with himself, and those around him, as he tries to be the perfect commander (not that there is such a thing). Fate constantly screws with him, yet despite everything, he gets a measure of triumph in the end. His every feeling is written clearly, and never once did I feel that anything was forced. One criticism I read involved not knowing Korie had a family until almost a third of the way into the novel; this, I feel, was actually a masterful touch: up until now, we haven't seen the commander as anything more than a martinet, but then, suddenly and horrifically, we see that he's human, and that he can break under enormous pressure.

It's a truly thrilling novel, and all discerning science-fiction fans ought to have this and its two sequels - Middle of Nowhere, Blood and Fire - in their collections. Maybe, if we're lucky, and the War Against the Chtorr is dealt with, we'll even see a third sequel, returning us to the Morthans.

Kindle, 6" E Ink Display, Wi-Fi, Graphite
Kindle, 6" E Ink Display, Wi-Fi, Graphite

1 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Redundant, overpriced, and doesn't work that well., 11 Jan. 2012
The long and short of it is that the Kindle simply costs far too much for a device which can only do one thing; about a year ago, I purchased an Android tablet for around the same price as a Kindle (the venerable WM8650, of which there are several available from this very site) and it CAME WITH the free Kindle app. Not that I ever use it, of course, as the books are ridiculously overpriced, and unlike actual books, you can't buy used copies.

While perusing a Kindle in a store, I noticed that the pages didn't turn all that well, browsing the menus took far too long, and that, even under a small flourescent light, there was enough glare to render the screen unreadable.

If you really want a Kindle, my advice is to set yourself up with a decent tablet (Android / Windows / Apple, doesn't matter which), get the free app, then get the books that way. At least when you get sick of reading, you'll still have a computer which can browse the internet, check your email, play games, etc.

Simply, simply not worth it.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 13, 2012 12:15 PM GMT

Stewart Lee's Comedy Vehicle - Series 2 [DVD]
Stewart Lee's Comedy Vehicle - Series 2 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Stewart Lee
Price: £5.60

37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stewart Lee's Comedy Vehicle 2, 10 Jun. 2011
I'm going to write a review of that series two of Stewart Lee's Comedy Vehicle that they have now; you know, not like the old Stewart Lee that they used to have, who would crack jokes about grass being greener, lengths of string, or visits to the pool with his nephew; but an older, wiser Stewart Lee, who cracks jokes about ... well, crisps and vomit and that stand-up comedy that they have now, that's all made out of Michael McIntyre and Frankie Boyle and endless, endless charity gigs.

It shouldn't need stating at this point, but Stewart Lee is simply the finest comedian of this generation; he's definitely not an easy one to get into, definitely not one that your mum is going to like, but if you allow him to absorb you into his world - a 'Doctor Who'-like world where it seems natural for a forty-plus comedian to dress up as Godzilla and repel Mothra - you won't be disappointed. Each episode is a well-honed, lovingly-crafted thirty minute set piece punctuated by Lee's laconic delivery, frequent fourth-wall breaks, and plenty of jibes at his audience for laughing at the wrong bits. (Or walking out entirely, despite the tickets being free.)

If you view stand-up comedy as an art-form, then enjoy the work of the master of the craft.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 22, 2013 3:53 AM BST

7" NEW Dual Core M009S 4GB Epad Apad Android 4.2 Tablet PC - WiFi - Dual Camera - HDMI
7" NEW Dual Core M009S 4GB Epad Apad Android 4.2 Tablet PC - WiFi - Dual Camera - HDMI

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great little machine at such a low cost!, 4 Jun. 2011
I have been wanting to get my hands on a tablet PC for a while now; not being much of an Apple fan, that meant getting something with the Android operating system. I've had little experience of this O/S in the past, save for a really naff, kiddy tablet that my dad bought for cheap that came with Android 1.6. Because of that experience, I was reticent about taking a shot with this device, as it seemed to include the same major flaws (unresponsive screen, poor Wi-Fi connectivity, lack of memory, etc).

Well, I was wrong.

I purchased this device on eBay from a seller in China, and was dreadfully worried after reading the news that you could not connect to the App Store and download programs (the entire point of this device in the first place); there are plenty of applications to be had on the Chinese version of the store - quite a few in English, too - but there's also a handy workaround, namely: downloading the programs first to your PC then transferring them via SD Card (up to 32gb, not 16 as stated) or USB flash drive / hard disk.

If you do happen to be on the move and thus can't access your PC, then there are enough applications (both free and paid) for just about anything.

Now. As is made clear in the description, this is not an Ipad, nor is it even the *best* alternative (that honour probably goes to the Samsung Galaxy or almost anything by HTC), but it is the best choice when you're working on a limited (say, a poor university student) budget. Despite only owning this device for a week, I'm constantly impressed by how much it can do; whether playing games (my tablet came with Angry Birds pre-installed and I've since added many others), surfing the internet (I've heard it can be slow, but really, it depends on your browser, Wi-Fi connectivity, signal strength, etc), reading, writing, etc. This tablet makes an excellent alternative to lugging a bulky laptop (or the comparatively gargantuan Ipad) around.

My only real niggle is the battery life; it clocks in at around two hours if you're lucky, although it does have a rather decent standby / hibernate life. There are apps out there to extend the battery life by shutting off certain aspects of the device when not in use, however.

All in all, for those who cannot afford a more, shall we say, *mainstream* device (the aforementioned Ipad, Samsung, HTC, etc) this makes a fantastic alternative; I can heartily recommend this device as a decent, all-round machine. And hey, the Ipad doesn't support Flash. This does. So it's already better in my book.

Earth Defence Force 2017 (Xbox 360)
Earth Defence Force 2017 (Xbox 360)

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All the horror of Japanese kaiju movies in your hand!, 25 May 2007
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
One of my favourite games for the 'GameCube' was 'Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters - Meleé'. This, however, plays as the polar opposite: instead of going the giant monster to take out other giant monsters - as well as the ineffectual military with their maser tanks - you play as the EDF of the title, battling against swarms of giant ants, spiders and other insectoids.

Like most games in this genre, the plot is entirely secondary and of little/no importance. Aliens invade, dropping the bugs on the planet, you take out said-bugs.

The fun in the game lies within it playing as an affectionate homage to the bygone era of giant monster movies. I'm hardly the biggest fan you will ever find of third-person-shooters, but this is one of the best I've ever played (since, like 'The Nomad Soul', it transcends its genre and becomes something more).

A thrilling game, packed with fun, but absolutely not one for 'Gears of War' or 'FEAR' fans, since they will complain about the lack of depth.

Sonic the Hedgehog (Xbox 360)
Sonic the Hedgehog (Xbox 360)
Offered by Bargain Games UK
Price: £16.99

6 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What. The. Hell?, 17 May 2007
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
'Sonic the Hedgehog' is the most massively underrated title in the entire 'Sonic'-franchise. 'Sonic Heroes' - the most disappointing entry - is regarded better than this. Why?

Our hero - the spiny blue hedgehog known as Sonic - is thrust into the city of Soleanna, where Doctor Robotnik is attempting to unleash the Flames of Disaster upon the world, using the Soleanna Princess, Elise. Yeah, the story is not going to win awards for its complexity, let's get down to why we play Sonic: speed.

The levels are the most thrilling ever devised by Sonic Team; in fact, the levels are so hideously complex and blister by at such a rate it's going to take you three or four (or five) tries to see everything. The game has enormous replay value, in that there is a mass of unlockables to collect and then there is the added bonus of playing through with both Shadow and newcomer, Silver.

Among the highlights are a burning city, with the emphasis on Sonic's relatively new 'boarding and grinding abilities; a volcano on the verge of erupting, with a Chaos Emerald hidden inside; speed, perils, thrills and masses of enemies - Doctor Robotnik's ubiqitous robots and creatures born of the Flames of Disaster - await you at every turn.

If you have an X-Box 360 or PlayStation 3, ignore the bad reviews, settle down and play the best 'Sonic' game since the halcyon days of the Mega Drive.

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