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'The' Burton (Up me bum on second shelf)

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Transformers: Fall of Cybertron (Xbox 360)
Transformers: Fall of Cybertron (Xbox 360)

5.0 out of 5 stars More Than Meets The Eye, 26 Oct. 2012
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is an excellent sequel to the brilliant War For Cybertron. The opening couple of levels in particular were fabulous, starting as the tiny but ever resourceful Bumblebee, you'll blast some Decepticons, experience some fantastically well lit environments before finally being allowed to transform and blast down a Cybertronian highway at break neck speeds. Transforming back into a robot at the end of the road, my heart was already pounding.

The next level sees you commanding everyone's favourite Autobot, Optimus Prime, and the level design here too was exemplary, with the metal walls of Cybertron twisting and morphing before your eyes to spectacular effect. It felt like traveling through a living organism, not some manufactured corridors in a generic shooting game.

Beyond the opening levels, the quality and originality begins to suffer, it's still entertaining stuff, but some curious game dynamics meant that Cliff Jumper's stealth level was far easier to complete simply blowing everything up with a rocket launcher. After most encounters, you will come across a terminal were you can change your weapon to any weapon you've found the blueprint to, and it comes with full ammo. So I blew everything up, reloaded at a terminal and blew up the next room. I continued this theme for the entire campaign.

I'm really happy they introduced the Combaticons, Vortex and Onslaught were my favourite Decepticons as a child, so I loved getting to play them in a game, and I was overjoyed when they all combined to form Bruticus, but was let down by the fact you only get to play him for about a minute, and he's so strong, you annihilate every Autobot in your path, and there's very little peril or threat of death, so it just becomes all too casual and far too easy.

Last last boss was also something of a let down compared to the epic encounter with Trypticon in War for Cybertron, and was a very formulaic, hit the weak spot three times and move on.

So a good campaign but not a great one, I'm therefore glad to report the multiplayer really delivers. The four classes are so different, playing each one almost feels like playing a different game. I'm personally very fond of the Scientist, the ability to transform into a plane and jet across the map in seconds, transform, blow someone up, and fly off again is exhilarating. If you see your team-mates engaging an enemy, your mobility allows you to flank them and join the fight in seconds.

Contrast this gameplay with the Titans, who lumber about slowly, with massive artillery weapons capable of downing anyone in seconds, they are equally enjoyable to play, and depending on the composition of your team, it changes how each match plays out dramatically. The customizations for the robots in multiplayer are not just cosmetic, you can upgrade weapons and special abilities, in a Call Of Duty style progression system that makes you want to keep playing to unlock that new weapon or ability.

I can't stop playing multiplayer!!!

So in summary, a good single player game, a great multiplayer game, lots of customization, looks and sounds amazing, lots of nods to Transformers fans old and new, and well worth your hard earned cash.

Meguiars Ultimate Compound Liquid Mirror Finish Polish - Stubborm Stain, bird dropping & more Remover -(NEW)!!
Meguiars Ultimate Compound Liquid Mirror Finish Polish - Stubborm Stain, bird dropping & more Remover -(NEW)!!
Offered by Motionperformance - Waxacar
Price: £13.00

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unbelievable Paint Restoration Compound, 17 Sept. 2012
I have a 20 year old Black MX5, for the past year it's been off the road, and was sat in the same spot. The brilliant black paintwork suffered from terrible oxidation, with the panels fading, some looked almost grey. I also had some horrific scratches on the passenger door. I bought this and a Meguiar's Abrasive (red) cutting pad, which I used to apply the Ultimate compound by hand.

I began by cleaning and claying the car, then applied the Ultimate Compound, not expecting much, but was staggered by the difference it made after only one application. The scratches are still visible on the door under close inspection, but standing 5 feet away, they are no longer visible. The sun damaged panels look like new, and the car's finish has an almost glass like appearance.

I've heard that this is a fairly weak abrasive, so wasn't expecting great results, but I have been left breathless by the finish it has produced. I still have Menzerna's PO85 to apply to finish the restoration work, but it already looks stunning. I cannot recommend this product highly enough.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 13, 2013 1:56 PM GMT

No Title Available

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent quality & value, 14 July 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This crate has served its purpose very well, it's the perfect size for our Staffordshire Bull Terrier, she often retreats here when she wants some peace and quiet. It appears to be strong, there are no sharp edges and it collapses in a matter of seconds for transport. The bedding isn't really thick enough to be used on its own but it's a welcome addition never the less, used in conjunction with another cushion it appears to be very comfortable indeed. The sticky roller for dog hairs was a nice touch too. Very pleased with the product and the included extras.

Price: £4.82

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 2nd Album Syndrome, 14 July 2012
This review is from: Ceremonials (Audio CD)
Ceremonials is missing all the things that made Lungs such a spectacular debut album. It's samey, over-produced, excessively and constantly loud and lacks that 'je ne sais quoi' which encapsulated Lungs. Florence's voice is something special, but she's reduced to belting out big notes just to be heard here. I kept the CD in my car multi-changer for a few months so I gave it a good chance, but it just never captured me, and whilst I don't actively dislike any songs, I don't particularly like any of them either.

Driver San Francisco - Classic Edition (Xbox 360)
Driver San Francisco - Classic Edition (Xbox 360)
Offered by Ace Goods Co. Ltd
Price: £14.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Thrilling Arcade Racer: Shift concept seems bizarre but it works, 26 April 2012
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
I was initially a bit disappointed by this game, as I didn't see any improvements to the arcade racing genre over games like the excellent Split/Second or Burnout Paradise and the 'Shift' concept of jumping into any car just seemed like a silly gimmick. However, once I started playing online it all made perfect sense!

The Shift system ensures all players stay in a tight pack, the resulting action is frantic, dodging through traffic with a group of human opponents is an absolute thrill ride and carries an immense sense of speed. If you mess up a corner or crash badly, it doesn't matter, just instantly shift into another car and continue the chase. It really works so beautifully that even when you finish fourth or fifth, the sense of satisfaction at the end is exactly the same as winning the race. There's just no sense of frustration at all because you are always involved in the action. Generous amounts of experience points are awarded regardless of where you finish, so it always feels like progress is being made, and there are numerous upgrades, cars and game types that unlock as your level increases.

The single player story is entertaining enough, there are many side quests marked on the map called 'dares' which are fun to do, and allow you to trick your cars out with better upgrades. If there's any criticism to level at the game, I wish the upgrades carried over to multiplayer and I also wish you could free drive around the city with other people like Test Drive.

As a new father, my spare time is extremely limited, but this has gone to the top of my list when I've got 30 minutes spare, as I don't own anything that provides so much fun in such a short amount of time.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution - Limited Edition (Xbox 360)
Deus Ex: Human Revolution - Limited Edition (Xbox 360)
Offered by Bridge_Records
Price: £10.39

51 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning - Game of the Year, 26 Aug. 2011
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
So my copy of Deus Ex: Human Revolution (on Xbox 360) arrives a day early, two quick phone calls later and I've got the day off work and my mate's come over with some beers. We proceed to blast through the first 15 hours of the game in one sitting and first impressions are that it's amazing. To anyone who's played the first Deus Ex on the PC this will feel like a natural progression, it's just like the original, but thankfully the graphics, interface and presentation have been dragged, kicking and screaming into the 21st Century. Everything in Human Revolution has that familiar Tech-noir feel to it, and yet it all looks and sounds so good.

The combat is tough but fair and very enjoyable, you have to use cover or you'll end up dead more often than not. Weapons sound and feel powerful whilst looking impressively massive. The combat in most modern shooters bores me but I can see myself playing through the game at least once more because there are just so many options when it comes to taking down your enemies, stun gun, tranquilliser darts, melee combat, silenced pistols, assault weapons, heavy weapons, explosives, mines. When you add the augmentations on top of this, I can see people having very different gameplay experiences.

In the original Deus Ex, once you found an augmentation cannister laying around you had to find a Med-bot to install your new body upgrades. Now it's more like levelling up, every 5000 points means a new augmentation point to spend, just go to your augmentation page and put the point into anything you want. Each level-up resulted in my friend and I agonising over the potential options here, some are no-brainers like heath regeneration and armour but others will make you think long and hard before upgrading. A couple of the boss fights are pretty tough, but all I'll say is there are patterns you have to spot, following them will lead to success.

The plot, you can discover for yourself, but suffice to say it's similar to the first, touching on socio-political themes, conspiracy theories and the likes. For fans of the original this game feels like coming home, for new players, it's going to be a very welcome introduction into the world of Deus Ex, filled with choices, great combat, stealth, freedom and a very high level of polish. This is an essential purchase!

Now I need to go eat and sleep......
Comment Comments (15) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 26, 2012 11:18 AM BST

Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty (Mac/PC DVD-ROM)
Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty (Mac/PC DVD-ROM)
Price: £13.90

8 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blizzard's Masterpiece, 30 July 2010
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
The original Starcraft is regarded by many as the greatest Real-Time-Strategy game of all time. Twelve years on it's still played in huge arenas for vast sums of money and has enjoyed unprecedented success. No pressure on the sequel then...

Pleasing everyone with the sequel is no easy task and the large number of negative reviews here are testament to that. But the moans and gripes about corporate greed and DRM are skewing the picture and will be swept away, quickly forgotten in the coming months as the community grows and builds momentum. Make no mistake, this game oozes quality and is more than up to the task of keeping players happy for the next twelve years if need be.

The campaign takes around 20hrs to complete, every mission is book-ended with cut scenes of impeccable quality. The last mission is epic and pretty tough too! In addition there are four extra Protoss missions - told as memories of Zeratul, a hero from the first game - and around a dozen challenges in which you'll need to fully understand the strengths and weaknesses of the units you are given to succeed.

My system is basically the recommended system requirements (dual core, 3Gbs ram, 9800GT graphics) and runs the game at 1080i on 'Ultra' settings. It looks fantastic and i only experienced slowdown on the final Protoss mission with over 300 units onscreen.

For multiplayer Blizzard have provided 50 maps supporting up to 8 players, connect to Battlenet 2.0 and jump right into ranked matches if you wish, or spend up to 50 games in the 'Novice' category where your base entry point is protected by destructible rocks - perfect for new players who want to get to grips with their build orders without being pestered by early rushes.

There are no chat rooms on the new Battlenet, a shame as they were great places to meet people, form clans or just to arrange custom games. It's also a lot harder to add friends, you need someone's email address, you can't just add someone you played with. I don't understand the logic of this myself but it doesn't detract from the online experience as a whole. I've played several games online, all have taken less than a minute to find another player, have been lag free and a lot of fun.

When you put all this together along with the world editor, which is essentially a game creation tool, not just a level editor, this is an incredible package and Blizzard have realeased their best game yet!

Infinity and the Mind: The Science and Philosophy of the Infinite (Princeton Science Library)
Infinity and the Mind: The Science and Philosophy of the Infinite (Princeton Science Library)
by Rudy Rucker
Edition: Paperback

3 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Self serving and ultimately pointless maths for the sake of it, 11 July 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I was a little concerned when 'Infinity' arrived looking like an old maths books; unfortunately it reads like one too. It's all very dry and Rucker lasts about five pages before assaulting us with equations in the middle of the text, with no introduction and incomplete keys to explain all the variables. This is quickly followed by some patronising statements about simple maths, i started to question if Rucker knew who he was targetting this book at. Not a good start.

Following this up with some sweeping generalisations about the big bang and relatively, cherry picking the concepts which suit his cause and side-stepping proper explanations with statements along the lines of, 'I don't have time to justify my beliefs, so just believe them.' If i wanted that attitude I'd go to church thanks. This is a weak composition of ideas based on flawed logic, massive assumptions and out-dated ideas such as: There's no mention of the Planck length, or the fact that the rate of expansion of the universe is accelerating, (which makes his musings on the concept of a closed universe moot). Rucker appears - to me - to sit on the fence on too many theories, making me believe he's unsure himself.

It's less about infinity and the mind, more about finding flaws in our language and maths, creating paradoxes that only serve to point out the weaknesses inherent to these systems. There's also far too much algebra that breaks up what little flow there is, without serving much purpose and it reads like a mathmaticians diary of the world, which is not interesting. The philosophy (and there's a lot) is circular, unprovable and i disagreed with most of it. The end of chapter questions did not stimulate thought, i could answer them immediately, and they are for the most part, ridiculous. And don't even get me started on 'cardinal' numbers; no matter how vast they may seem, if you can write it down - let alone imagine it - it's not infinite, okay? The only question it made me ponder was; if this book is boring now and my opinion didn't change, no matter how many times i re-read it, is it infinitely boring? I think so.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 13, 2011 1:59 PM GMT

Parallel Worlds: The Science of Alternative Universes and Our Future in the Cosmos
Parallel Worlds: The Science of Alternative Universes and Our Future in the Cosmos
by Michio Kaku
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Science Fact blows away Science Fiction, 23 April 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
"The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. Whosoever does not know it and can no longer wonder, no longer marvel, is as good as dead, and his eyes are dimmed" - Albert Einstein.

Michio Kaku quotes this in a later chapter, it's clear he believes it because wonder and mystery pervade every page of his book. He's also a fan of science fiction and often uses examples from literature and film (like The Matrix) as a jumping board for new subjects and ideas.

I read 'A Brief History of Time' about six months ago which left so many un-answered questions in my head i've been reading everything and anything i can find on quantum physics, from John Gribbin to James Gleick. Whilst all have proved excellent bed time reading, Michio Kaku's 'Parallel Worlds' is easily the most fantastical. It took me weeks to read because i could barely read a page before my mind would embark on a fabulous day dream fuelled by Michio's fervent passion for his subject. Amongst the myriad ideas presented here, the chapter on string theory was perhaps my favourite as it explains a phenomenally complex idea in a clear and lucid manner, but there is so much content throughout, it will keep your mind racing for a very long time. In any world, this gets 5 stars.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 24, 2010 4:46 PM BST

Planet Earth & Life Box Set [Blu-ray] [Region Free]
Planet Earth & Life Box Set [Blu-ray] [Region Free]
Dvd ~ David Attenborough
Price: £26.70

25 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning double pack to leave you speachless, 5 Jan. 2010
It's likely you've seen at least some episodes of the BBC's groundbreaking documentaries; Life and Planet Earth on TV. However, watching them on Blu-Ray is a whole new experience and what a jaw-dropping spectacle it is. Both video and audio are outstanding, it's easily one of the best Blu-Ray transfers available, I'd put it up there with Blade Runner or Star Trek and consider it reference quality.

The natural world has never been filmed in such detail, from the vast panoramics of the Himalayas to the darkest depths of the ocean, viewing land marks from space to near microscopic invertebrates, these documentaries have got it all covered.

The score is a perfect complement to what's happening onscreen and always adds to the atmosphere, whether it's raising the pulse during an explosive chase or stiring emotions to convey many epic and virtigo-inducing panning shots.

It's worth noting I own Planet Earth on DVD and this Blu-Ray set is superior in every way bar one; you don't get the 'making of' documentaries at the end of each episode. They really should have included these, even if they were only standard definition but forget about them, the trade off is more than worth it. This set will entertain, enthral and educate you in equal measure - simply put - this deserves to be in everyone's collection.

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