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Mr. D. J. Read (Alnwick, Northumberland United Kingdom)

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Tales of the World: Radiant Mythology (PSP)
Tales of the World: Radiant Mythology (PSP)

8 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not Worth Your Time, 25 Nov. 2007
It is a horrible thing being the only reviewer for an item on Amazon. You will only have my opinion, and on that you may well decide whether to buy or not. Personally, I rarely buy anything that has a rating of below 4 stars, such as this game will be.

The Tales of.... series, on the PSP has already provided perhaps the finest game on the console, namely, Tales Of Eternia. So much is promised by the sequel 'Tales Of The Earth, Radiant Mythology'. Unfortunately, it is nothing like its predecessor, nothing at all. And it is so much worse.

As a descender of the world tree, it is the duty of our hero to destroy the devourer, a being which saps mana and destroys world. That is the plot in a nutshell, and all you really need to know. In order to do this, you must complete missions at the 'ad libitum' guild in each city. But these quests are so repetitive, literally the same quests recycled over and over, but with a different beast to kill, or a different material to deliver.

Speaking of repetitive things, lets come to the dungeons. They forbid any sort of free roaming aspect by forcing you to take a path, and go up through the levels of each dungeon with increasingly difficult characters. You will encounter enemies wandering around, and the battle system is refreshing, none of this waiting for your turn nonsense. But again, they get so reptitive.

The graphics are okay, and have moved away from the quaint cartoony to the third dimension. Another thing I would stress, when I talk of cities etc, is that you cannot roam among them, like in its predecessor, all you can do is select a town, then choose from a list of locations, nor can you roam on the world map, apart from going to the dungeons. All these things are major black marks against this game.

The plot contains no twists, and as such is very mundane. There are many characters you can choose (from the inns) to join your party, though often they refuse for some obscure reason. You can also change 'job', from Mage, to Fighter, Thief etc.

But perhaps the most annoying thing (apart from Mormo) is the chitchat between the characters in the towns. You will select, for example, the plaza, and when you walk in will be forced to listen to a discussion, which is supposed to improve the characterisation. But these are tedious and dull, and soon you will find yourself skipping through them completely, such will be your lack of interest, thus missing major parts of the plot. But soon you can only feel apathy for the plot.

The game is a stinker, avoid it. Get Tales Of Eternia, that is a wonderful RPG in the traditional style, which we all know and love. This game is little more than a travesty.
Comment Comments (6) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 6, 2016 7:27 PM BST

My Boy Jack [DVD]
My Boy Jack [DVD]
Dvd ~ Daniel Radcliffe
Price: £5.95

25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Converted, 23 Nov. 2007
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: My Boy Jack [DVD] (DVD)
Initially I was dubious. Not about the story, the loss of Kiplings son has been the subject of much conjecture, but about the casting.

Let's take Radcliffe, as the most famous. I'm sure most of us have been less than impressed with his acting in HP, one of the major gripes of the film series. Then we have Haig, and in my ignorance I only know him as Inspector Grim in 'The Thin Blue Line', in which he was by far the funniest in it, and worth buying the series, just for him. But, I couldn't see him doing this kind of serious acting. In fact, when I first started watching the film, I found it hard not to chuckle at many of his expressions. As for Cattrall, I don't really know who she is.

Yet I was astonished by them all.

The well documented story goes that Kipling, a patriotic zealot, inspired a call to arms for many young British men. But his own son could not get into the Navy due to poor eyesight. Eventually his father, desperate for his son to play some part, wrangles a way into the army as an officer. In the Battle of Loos, the day after his birthday, he is sent over the top, with his ragtag soldiers. But then nothing is heard of him, prompting the Kipling family to desperately try and discover what happened to him.

As well as being a simply story, it is also a commentary, as all these films are, of the horrors of war, the desperate waste of so many people dragged into it, and the grieving of the loved ones, left at home, with no news. It also highlights the dangers of nationalism, especially when it is be used to encourage men to sacrifice themselves for a fruitless cause (something relevant today with ongoing military campaigns).

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (Two-Disc Special Edition) [DVD] [2007]
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (Two-Disc Special Edition) [DVD] [2007]
Dvd ~ Johnny Depp
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £2.53

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Crikey, not that bad., 21 Nov. 2007
Seems to be a division opinion here. The film is certainly not perfect, but I hardly think it deserves 1 star.

Being cynical, I shall deal with the problems of the film. Number one, it is over-complicated, and really, it shouldnt be, it's Disney. Disney do kids films, this should be rather more simple. The reason will fall on the writers, but I think it comes down to having to many protagonists in the first place.

For example, we have Sparrow, Swan, Turner, Norrington, Jones, Calypso, Bootstrap, Sao Feng and a whole host of others. Each have their own individual storyline, which gets very difficult to follow. And you really have to see 'Dead Mans Chest' literally the day before watching this, or be very intimate with the film, to grasp what is happening from the start.
The film brushes over major events, such as Davy Jones killing his Kracken, the murder of Swan's father, which create major holes in the story that only the most alert will realise on first watching.

Kiera Knightly, is badly cast as well. I mean, she has no stage presence. There is a point where this is painfully obvious, where she is rallying their fleet to take on the armada. It is supposed to be one of those poignant, hollywood moments where the hero rouses the troops. It fails miserably because she is simply not believable. And as for the ridiculous wedding ceremony in the middle of a battle, in the eye of the storm, abosolutely ridiculous.

Another problem, is you cannot understand Chow Yun Fat as Sao Feng. I know he is playing a chinese pirate, but what good is it when you have to strain to understand him. All these reasons contribute to make the plot bloated and complicated.

Oh, and one more. There is a brethren gathering, but this is not even mentioned in 'Dead Mans Chest', which would have avoided a lot of confusion here. And where did this love story between Calypso and Davy Jones suddenly spring from? Its as if the writers want to overhwhelm us with a plot which spoils the film. Then everybody is crossing, double crossing each other, to the stage where you cant figure out who is on which side. The parlay incident on the small Island (you know, the one where Davy Jones is stood in a bucket), only serves to confuse matters further. And why oh why, was Swans father killed? The Editor should be shot!

And another thing (blimey, they just keep occuring to me), when Barbossa, Swan etc go to the end of the world, they seem surprised by the giant waterfall that it comprises of, and try to turn away from it. What madness is this? Surely they would have heard of the myth of the end of the world, they're sea farers. So to suddenly try to sail away from it at the last minute is ridiculous folly.

Then, Kinightly sees her father in one of the single boats among all the other dead sailing to the land beyond. She must be the thickest person to ever live to think he is somehow alive. So, for as much as the writing was complicated, at times it is incredulous too.

But there are plus points. Depp is superb. Rush also, very good, and even Bloom has developed some inlking of screen presence. The effects are superb, and there is a great sense of derring do. There are even nice touches, such as the 'Endeavour', flagship of Lord Becket, in the same colours as 'Victory', of a rather more famous lord. There is a wonderful sense of humour throughout, delivered by Depp and Rush for the most part (and the 'comedy relief' pair, including the guy with the wooden eye).

So, a good film, marred only by a heinous story, and Knightly. If you can cope with those, then this might be right up your alley. I know it sounds like I've been really harsh, but it is worth watching, just be warned.

Oh, and is it just me, or did the ending pave the way for a fourth movie? Looked like Sparrow was searching for the fountain of youth to me....

The White One Is Evil
The White One Is Evil
Offered by Giant Entertainment
Price: £5.99

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, 19 Oct. 2007
This review is from: The White One Is Evil (Audio CD)
Another brilliant song by this relatively unknown band. Can't wait for the album in November. This is the only band I have heard, in my entire life, where I have loved every song I have heard by them, and I have heard 5. Just buy it, Britain's best band. I'm so impressed I'm going to see them live!!!

Sennheiser PMX70 - Sportline Stereo Neckband Headphones
Sennheiser PMX70 - Sportline Stereo Neckband Headphones

5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Running Out Of Title Ideas, 24 Aug. 2007
I just gave these headphones a trial by fire (i.e at the gym) and encountered no build up of sweat in my ear, then again I am not renowned for sweaty eardrums. The sound is crisp, but I do find that there is a lot of leakage due to the ear piece positioning. At first I thought they were rather flimsy, but it was only after an hour in the gym that I realised just how well they stayed in the ear.

The cord is sufficiently long enough, and the only problem I can realy come up with is the headband, which I would have assumed would have been adjustable. It isn't, but it is only a problem getting into cars and such things where (sods law) it tends to catch on just about anything that presents itself.

Harry Potter: Years 1-4 (4 Disc Box Set) [DVD]
Harry Potter: Years 1-4 (4 Disc Box Set) [DVD]
Dvd ~ Daniel Radcliffe

4 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Books Are Supreme, 20 Aug. 2007
How convenient this box set was brought out just as Order Of The Phoenix hits the cinemas, so that all who have not seen the first 4 years can be brought up to speed.
No one will argue that the films even match the books, they don't. The best example is Goblet Of Fire, which falls so far short of the promise of the novel. You have the change of Dumbledore in film 3, from Richard Harris (R.I.P, the true Dumbledore) to his forgetable replacement, a singular piece of bad casting, and the almost inexpressibly bad acting displayed by Radcliffe. Honestly, watch the 1st film, truly cringe worthy. In my humble opinion they should have awaited the release of all 7 films before releasing a box set, but we should be used to this sort of cash in by now.
Of course, the effects are good, but the films just don't capture Hogwarts. This series of books, if nothing else, should provide the incentive for parents to get their kids reading, rather than join the brain dead hordes which seem to populate Britain these days. Parents, I beg you, don't let your kids down when you could be buying the books.

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (Theatrical Edition Box Set) [DVD]
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (Theatrical Edition Box Set) [DVD]
Dvd ~ Elijah Wood
Offered by Rush Gaming
Price: £4.99

6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, 20 Aug. 2007
But is this what you truly want? We all know how wonderul this series are. ou may as well splash out and buy the three extended version box set, which is so much better. Those extras, are so inciteful, so in depth that they render this version superfluous.
If you are a true fan, as I'm sure some of you are, there is really no option but to go for the extended versions. They are better in every way. It would be foolish to buy the theatrical versions, as you will surely crave the longer versions, along with the behind the scenes magic which sets new standards and has never been matched.

The Da Vinci Code [2006] [DVD] [2007]
The Da Vinci Code [2006] [DVD] [2007]
Dvd ~ Tom Hanks
Price: £2.22

14 of 22 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Too Adherent To A Poor Book, 20 Aug. 2007
It almost seems as though the director has thought 'oh, great book, lets not bother with a screeplay'. The obvious problem with that reasoning is that the book was mediocre at best.
So the producer roped in a big star (Tom Hanks), hoping his acting will save the day. But what use is convincing acting when your co-star is wooden, and your working with cliched lines which are enough to make people cringe.
Not to mention the plot, overblown nonsense, unconvincing tripe that never manages to hold the audience. Hanks, I imagine, only agreed to do this due to the inexplicable popularity of the book (he must simply not have read it), or perhaps for a large sum of money. Whichever, he made a bad choice here, but I suppose all actors do at some point.
There is no 'chemistry' for the love story, there are no visual treats to break up the mundane pedantry of the plot, no comic relief even, which would have at least served to rouse some interest.
Overall, dire. One of the worst films I have had the misfortune to see.

Apple iPod nano 2GB Silver
Apple iPod nano 2GB Silver

18 of 30 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Cynical ipod user, 20 Aug. 2007
Look, ipods are good mp3 players (I say MP3 even though they use the aac format). They store vast amounts of music and other media. The headphones are diabolically bad and uncomfortable in the extremes, but we expect these things and accept we will have to buy our own.
But there is one cynical thing that apple does, that makes them a truly reprehensible. You see, dear reader, most users will fall into the trap of using i-tunes for their music download needs, after all it is convenient. I-tunes, per se, is not that good. They have a lot of material missing from their archives (for example 2pac changes, a highly popular song), but it is not this which causes me outrage.
You see, if you do opt for i-tunes, you are essentially tied to ipods for the rest of your life. Let me explain. They come in the aac format, which is only used by ipods, not any other mp3 players. This means, in turn, that the majority of your music collection will be in this format. This means that you cannot ever buy any other mp3 player because you will not be able to convert your music to mp3 (aac will not convert to mp3). In this way ipod have shot themselves in the foot, because there is a growing awareness of this underhand tactic.
Buy an ipod, sure, but whatever you do, don't use i-tunes, and don't become reliant on it. I have, and now I cannot buy the creative zen I wanted because i can't play my library of music.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 16, 2008 9:12 PM BST

Pro Evolution Soccer 6 (PSP)
Pro Evolution Soccer 6 (PSP)

3.0 out of 5 stars Imperfect, 20 Aug. 2007
This game is fun, and certainly does not deserve some of the negative reviews. The game is intuitive, with good graphics and animation, bearing in mind the capabilities of the PSP. There are all manner of tournaments and leagues to keep you occupied.
But, there are some frustrating problems. Number 1 is the difficulty curve. If you play beginner, you will undoubtably amass victories in excess of 10 - 0, but as soon as you upgrade to amateur, the opposition defence suddenly become brilliant. The only reliable way to score is to run in from the wings, changing direction and bursts of speed, because as soon as you pass it is cut out. Also, if you cross, it is very rare to win a header in the box.
The lack of commentary is a problem. But the biggest single problem, not as yet touched on, are the load times. They are ridiculously long, and the game insists on reloading, even when you elect to play with the same teams. Why? Also, and this is frustrating to the extreme, before each match the game insists on loading up the team line-up, with various views of the same stadium in the background. Then you press 'start', and it is only then that it actually starts to load the match!!!
This may be acceptable a couple of times, but after 3 matches it drives you to despair. Why waste 2 mins of loading time just to show the line-ups? Unbelievable. As a gamer used to rapid load times, it soon wears thin. If I had the choice of purchasing only one football game with retrospect, I would not have gone for this.

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