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Halo: The Flood
Halo: The Flood
by William C. Dietz
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.29

2.0 out of 5 stars Spends too much time re-treading old ground, 18 April 2012
This review is from: Halo: The Flood (Paperback)
Of all the halo books I've read, this is by far my least favourite. Unlike say, ghosts of onyx, which features new aspects of the halo universe and interesting characcters. 'The flood ' is basically a written down transcript of Halo:CE with a few extra scenes thrown in. Sure the bit about the marine who turns into a flood is kinda interesting and I guess the bits with the ODST's are nice. But most of the 'new' material is just what everybody else was doing while cortana and the chief were actually being interesting and because we already know that the whole installation is going to explode at the end anyway all their struggles seem somewhat meaningless.

The parts which are actually about chief are no better, most of them being exact transcripts of the game. It's not even the game told with a little bit of a twist, most of the time it's just a straight up walkthrough of each level. While I guess you could enjoy it for 'nostalgia value', why not just dig out your old copy of halo CE and actually play it?

The thing is I'm not quite sure who the target audience is for this book. It seems to be aimed at 'fanboys' with all the necessary set-pieces (look here are some ODST's, look here are some covenant) but no actual substance. Now this would be fine, as a fanboy I'm happy that it knows it's genre. So if it's aimed at the fans, why spend half of the book agonisingly describing every step master chief takes in painstaking detail. We know Halo:CE inside out and back to front. Just having the other characters referencing what chief is doing while they go about their business saving the world and suchlike would have worked I guess, but then that would have made it too obvious that the supporting characters are all ultimately worthless and their stories are just there to bulk out the book.

All in all, the whole thing reeks of being a 'video game novel' rather than novel, which happens to be set in the universe of a video game. While it isn't a bad book per se, the writing is adequate and the characters are interesting enough, it just never really gets going.

That's not to say I don't like Halo novels, I do, most of them are wonderful amazing books. But they actually did more then spend a whole book marvelling at how awesome chief is and actually tried to tell a story.

Bottom line is;
buy halo books
don't buy this one
definitely get ghosts of onyx


Star Wars Republic Commando: Triple Zero (Star Wars Republic Commando 2)
Star Wars Republic Commando: Triple Zero (Star Wars Republic Commando 2)
by Karen Traviss
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Better than hard contact, 17 Mar 2011
If you enjoyed hard contact, but found it a bit too 'action heavy', then this book is for you. The story is a lot deeper than the first book with more characters and dialogue and a few less explosions. There are still a lot of very enjoyable action scenes and it retains the same sense of humour, it just does so in a more mature way.
Also if you are a fan of the game (which I'm not, I've never played it) you might be interested to know that the characters from the game are in the book. I have no idea how similar delta squad is in the book to the game, but they do seem to be an enjoyable bunch of characters. Throughout the book there is a very enjoyable rivalry between the two squads.
If you haven't read the first book, this would be were I would recomend starting. I you have, but didn't enjoy it, I would strongly recomend giving the series another chance. If you liked the first one, then I suspect you'll like this too.


Shocking Pen [Toy]
Shocking Pen [Toy]
Offered by LT-Giant.
Price: £1.61

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Reliability an issue, 17 Mar 2011
= Durability:2.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:3.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Shocking Pen [Toy] (Toy)
If you are technically minded you shouldn't have any issues with this product. It didn't work when I received it, but it was a fixable problem. However, I wouldn't reccomend buying it unless you are prepared to spend some time fiddling with it to make it work.
After getting it working it's worked exceptionally well. Even at 18 years of age, I still find it amusing. It made for a most amusing few weeks at college.


Mass Effect Volume 1: Redemption (Mass Effect (Dark Horse))
Mass Effect Volume 1: Redemption (Mass Effect (Dark Horse))
by John Jackson Miller
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.09

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent comic, poor novel., 17 Mar 2011
If you are a manga or comic fan, this is definately for you. While I've never been a particular of either of these mediums, I found myself enjoying the product regardless. I find it hard to justify the price though. Particularly as the majority of the plot is covered by the Shadow Broker DLC for the game.
If you are looking to satisfy your desire for more of the mass effect universe and story, I would reccomend one of Drew Karpyshyn's excellent novels. They are better value, and tell more in depth stories. They also have the benefit of having been written by the same writer as the games which means the characters seem more consistent.
If you really want Liara's back story, you would be better served buying the Shadow Broker DLC.

That said, it really is a very high quality item. The drawing is top notch and manages to acheive it's own style while still fitting into the universe. You could do a lot worse than buying this comic.


April
April
Price: £11.79

2 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Decidedly underwhelming, 17 Mar 2011
This review is from: April (Audio CD)
At fear of sounding like an uneducated 'gamer', I encountered sun kil moon through the Gears 3 trailer. If you like Heron blue, you would be better served buying the single. It's probably the most lively track on the album. While the album is alright for background listening, I wouldn't go out of the way to spend time listening to it. The majority of the tracks are bland durges with very little to recomend them.
If you really want a sun kil moon album, ghosts of the great highway is a better choice in my eyes. It's slightly less miserable and a thoroughly more enjoyable experience.


Mortal Coil (Skulduggery Pleasant - Book 5)
Mortal Coil (Skulduggery Pleasant - Book 5)
by Derek Landy
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars Skulduggery's still got it., 17 Mar 2011
Against all probability, the latest addition to the skulduggery series reamins as good as the first book. Normally I expect some sort of degredation of a series by 5 books in as the author runs out of decent ideas and the characters get tiresome.
Not so with this series, everything remains fresh and exciting. There's just enough unexpected twists to keep things interesting, while not enough to mess with the format overly. If you've read the other skuldugerry books you know what to expect. If you haven't, then what are you doing looking at book 5? Begin at the beginning!


Halo 3: ODST Original Soundtrack
Halo 3: ODST Original Soundtrack
Price: £14.34

5.0 out of 5 stars Second best soundtrack ever, 4 Jan 2010
This has got to be the second best soundtrack I've ever bought. This is even including music from films, which means that I rate this even better than most of the things by Hans zimmer. (move over pirates of the carribean!) The only soundtrack I've ever heard which surpasses this is the Dark Knight sound track. If you enjoy this soundtrack, I would recomend it as they both share a similar mood.

This soundtrack gives you much more music for your money though, the sheer number of tracks is staggering. Each of the 17 tracks include at least 4 different pieces of mostly at least a minute long each. If you want to listen to this one in one go, make sure you have plenty of time.


Section 8 (Xbox 360)
Section 8 (Xbox 360)
Offered by Bee-Entertained
Price: £7.49

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Better than MW 2 at least!, 4 Jan 2010
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Section 8 (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
Okay, by setting this game up as better than MW2, I'm probably going to incur the wrath of some CoD god somewhere. However from my perspective it's true, the whole dropping from orbit thing is pulled off excellebtly and the multiplayer is excellent. The jet pakcs make a big difference to gameplay.

The important thing to remember about this game, is that it's more about tactics than having incredible reflexes. If you enjoy games where you have less than a milisecond to react to seeing an enemy this will not be for you. Killing enemies is extremely hard as everyone has lots of shields and armour, and nearly everybody will have a repair tool on them. However this means that when you do manage to kill somebody, either through teamwork or sheer determanation, it's really quite satisfying.

The only thing that lets the game down is the campaign, it was simply un-interesting. Very little plot, and very badly executed. There's nothing to set it apart from the multiplayer, just that you fight AI instead of actual people.

So if you don't like 'unrealistic' games, this isn't for you. If you don't like 'slow' games, this is for you. However, if you like relaxed games which require a use of tactics, then I reccomend this game.


Fracture (Xbox 360)
Fracture (Xbox 360)
Offered by DVDGAMING DIRECT
Price: £16.45

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lack of multiplayer support, 4 Jan 2010
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Fracture (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
The real shame with this game is that I haven't been able to play any mulitplayer. The campaign is really quite good despite being quite short. However I can see that this game is meant to be all about the multiplayer,and from what I've played of the campaign the multiplayer should be epic.
There's just one slight problem, I have never seen so much as a single game online. Nope, not one.

It's a shame really because the campaign really is terrific fun, even if it's a little silly. so if you're a 'serious' gamer who likes uber realistic games or modern warfare, stay well clear. If you enjoy fun games like halo or GoW, which don't take themselves too seriously, I would give it a look

My advise though is to rent the game, rather than buy it.


Age of Mythology: The Titans (PC CD)
Age of Mythology: The Titans (PC CD)

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favourite RTS of all time, 4 Jan 2010
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
If you haven't played AoM before, then you've missed out. If you've played the origional, titans is more of the same, just times everything by 10. The campaign is excellent, following Arkantos's son. It also includes all the old faces from the origional age of mythology campaign.

The atlantean civilivation is excellent. Unlike many expansion packs the new civilization is actually very different to play, and not just a re-skin that provides more of the same. The ability to turn any unit into a hero makes a big difference to tactics, as does having villigers which don't require drop points. All of the three different atlantean gods are satisfingly different as well. Each god has a very different 'ability', completely spererate from their god power. Kronos lets you move buildings arounf the map, Oranus lets you build portals to speed up your units and gaia has buildings which heal. There should be something to suit everybody's play style.

The multiplayer is also good fun, the only slight problem is that the games are a little too long and you don't always finish in one sitting. However there are still plenty of people who play the game, and you can save your multiplayer matches for a later date.

The thing that makes Titans a must buy for me though, is the massive improvments to the scenario editor. It's possible to very easily make your own little campaign, to rival that of the main game. It's also possible to download tools which further improve the editor and there is a big community of people who make campaigns for age of mythology who'll help your inner game designer flourish.
If you get tired of the titans campaign (which is admittidly no-where near long as the origional campaign) there are also plenty of other campaigns available online to download. Because the game ahs been out for ages, people have come up with ways of using the scenario editor that it's creators probably never imagined. Some of the things available out there for download are simply astounding and go above and beyond anything included in the origional game.


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