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Cheshire Kat (Altrincham, UK)

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On & On EP
On & On EP
Price: £2.69

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Short and sweet, 3 Jan. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: On & On EP (MP3 Download)
Four tracks from the Fossil Collective here, my favourite of the four is Rivers Edge which resonated with me immediately. The other three tracks are also great in their own way, Fog is pretty short though! If you do decide to buy this EP please check out their other EP Let It Go which is a little longer and really great also. I can't wait to see them live, unfortunately I missed out on seeing them earlier this year but hope to see them next time they come to my neck of the woods. I foresee great things for them.

For those who haven't heard of the band I would recommend them to fans of the Great Lake Swimmers and other bands of that ilk. Really mellow, peaceful stuff fantastic for relaxing after a stressful day, just let those harmonies soothe your cares away.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 23, 2013 1:37 PM GMT

Norwegian Wood
Norwegian Wood
by Haruki Murakami
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.84

71 of 76 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Norwegian Wood, read in 2011, 10 April 2011
This review is from: Norwegian Wood (Paperback)
This is the second novel by Haruki Murakami I have read, I moderately enjoyed the first one when I read it a few years ago and it was really the reviews written by other people which drew me to read Norwegian Wood. I found this novel incredibly easy to read, it flowed and made me want to read more but it also made me feel really melancholy. It made me think about my own life quite a lot during the reading of it and afterwards. Strange, when I think how different the world portrayed in the book (I found it highly immersive) seems from my world and how different the people seem from the people I have known. Others may have different feelings about Norwegian Wood but to me it is most heavy with death, there is a fair bit of sex and love and loneliness too but death overrides them all.

The main character Watanabe has little purpose in life, he has many good intentions but his actions are often seen as futile during the course of the novel and when he does have impact on the lives of others he seems quite unaware of it until they spell it out very clearly to him. I find it very easy to relate to him, even when I am reading and thinking 'this is a mistake' or 'you need to...' I just feel very empathetic towards him. I do not dislike any of the characters, I especially like Reiko, despite the fact her life has been a complete mess. Nobody is truly happy in Norwegian Wood but I think the genius of it is the moments when there is happiness, just in the simple things of life, food, music, companionship, work. That felt very true.

The reason I didn't give 5 stars to this novel was entirely personal, I can never fully enjoy anything quite so sad as this. There were also a few lulls in the book when I found it a little hard to stay interested, it definitely will not appeal to anyone who cannot appreciate a slow pace. The positive points of Norwegian Wood are the distinct characters with their frailties and susceptibilities and joys, the nostalgia - I truly felt transported to another time and place, the honesty even when it hurts.

Dragon Age 2 (PC DVD)
Dragon Age 2 (PC DVD)
Offered by 4GamersUK
Price: £6.30

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dragon Age II PC version - a mixed bag, 10 April 2011
This review is from: Dragon Age 2 (PC DVD) (DVD-ROM)
It's been a while since DA2 was released now and I've had a little time to decide what I think about the game. I read a glowing review before purchasing it and after I had begun playing it I logged into the forums to find a stream of hatred for the release from the loyal Bioware fans, as they tended to describe themselves. The tricky thing is that they and the other reviewers here who gave it 1 or 2 stars are right about the problems with the game.

I was frustrated to find no tactical camera, I was shocked by the endless whirling and vanishing and reappearing of my character during the basic attacks, I was disappointed by the inventory with the dull icons and restrictions to companion armour and the similarity of one ring/belt/amulet to the next, I was perturbed when the third cave I entered was exactly the same in design as the first, I was saddened by the lack of a camp where I could talk to my companions whenever I felt like it, I disliked the mmorpg aspects of the combat.

However, I got over it. I have played it through in its entirety once and am almost through a second time and the things I disliked, while I would still change them with a wave of a magic wand if I could, don't bother me overmuch. The second playthrough is different enough from the first to hold my attention as there are different paths to take in some cases and quests I didn't encounter the first time around. The voice acting is generally good so I am able to enjoy the banter of the party as they follow me around. The junk tab is useful to keep track of which weapons and accessories may still be of use and which are not and made merchant visiting incredibly quick, not having to talk to the merchant is a good thing in my opinion. I don't find the city of Kirkwall as restrictive as many others have but I did find the number of locations available to visit outside Kirkwall a little lacking, a few more of these would have been appreciated.

Sadly, things still crop up which make me shake my head in confusion, like when I choose an option to refuse to do a quest and it makes me go along and do it anyway as if I had agreed in the first place and the many times choosing between conversation options makes no difference in the outcome of the conversation. Things like that are really a shame and are indicative of a lack of time and attention.

This isn't the DA2 I was expecting but this is the one I have and I chose to make the best of it. I prefer to have it to no DA2 at all and if you can get over the fact it is not everything you hoped and dreamed of it is an enjoyable game with some good characters and quests. I really hope they do decide to make a third DA and reinstate a few of the features that were most missed.

Personally I feel that I have got my money's worth from this release and I will purchase DLC if it looks decent. If you are thinking of buying DA2 I hope you read a few of the good and bad reviews and judge for yourself which features are most important to you in a game and decide to buy or not to buy accordingly, hopefully then at least you will not be as disappointed as many of the other people who have bought it and been unable to finish it.

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