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AL F

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Total War Rome II (PC DVD)
Total War Rome II (PC DVD)
Offered by filmsmk
Price: £37.98

0 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Cleaned up and bigger than ever, 14 Sept. 2013
I have played every TW game. This title is the biggest cleanup of ideas in the TW series since Empire Total war, and before that RTW. This overhaul might account for the stability issues and bugs some people apparently experienced [taking them at their word], as alot of new code has obviously been written. Though I have to say in 35 hours of play I haven't seen that many bugs, and certainly no more than most games in the first release (it's far, far, superior in quality to Empire Total War was on first release). Apparently 2% of PCs experienced major issues before the first patches came out.

I like this game. It DOES remind me of civ V with the campaign map interface changes - but it's still TW underneath, with just as much depth. e.g: trade stats are now cleaned up so that commodities are only displayed as a tool tip on trade routes; the information is still there just presented with more clarity, and efficiency.

The battle AI:

This is no less capable than previous games, and authentic (i.e. units act on what they see rather than possessing godlike powers). In no way does the opposition just charge in as a confusingly large number of reviewers claim (they can't all be DARTH MOD lackies, can they, with an axe to grind?). e.g: my city is attacked by transport ships with my troops on the shore; just one ship lands and my troops deal with them while the rest of the fleet scoots off to an unprotected beach and lands before I can get there, and then the enemy units after landing WAIT until all that army is assembled before entering my city.

AI charging in? Utter Nonsense. The AI obviously plans. DARTH mod has alot to answer for. I will try to explain.

Do the enemy use combat tactics? Many reviewers claim they do not. Well - what I see is that they don't act like they have walkie talkie radios, not in 269BC - No, that is true. They do however fight like bodies of men coordinating together, and engage in attack phases, keeping a reserve, and even flanking (about the only tactical possibility). They may also chase your army if you withdraw them, and classically you can trap them if they do.

But the AI army does not act like it is under the hand of a god like being who controls them like puppets - errr - like the DARTH mod for Shogun did in many ways. Rather it's closer to authentic - so you can reproduce the battle of Cannae and half the battles of antiquity where armies behave like machines gone wrong heading to a destruction you planned for them.

The campaign AI is also good:

The AI is very, very, active. As Rome I have had to fight off continuous invasions - and even when the enemy is on their last legs - thanks to the naval invasions they can still hit you where it hurts. A point about naval invasions - if you have a port your army can now traverse the sea even without building a fleet first. The army gets packed onto transport ships (a unit per ship!) - these are slow in a battle but very effective if you manage to board an enemy ship. So now, building a navy isn't about transports - it's about getting faster and stronger ships for ramming and ships with catapults to break invasion forces at sea, and support your own invasions by bombarding the shore while your troops land.

Other things:

I'll update this later...but to summarize...I think this will be a classic. Creative assembly have not done the easy thing - they have cleaned this up to be a stronger base for future games. For once - I am actually expecting to fork out for the additional DLC that will come along.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 19, 2013 10:27 PM BST


Medieval 2 Total War Gold (PC DVD)
Medieval 2 Total War Gold (PC DVD)
Offered by Musicland Ltd
Price: £9.97

5.0 out of 5 stars Buy it for the Mods, 13 April 2013
An older game but given extended life by virtue of the Mods that are still being produced for it. The stability of the game was and still is excellent. I guess when this was released, a PC could do battles with 6000 men, these days I expect its 30,000 (I need a new PC but I can do 10,000 men smoothly). The quality of graphics in later Total War games was not significantly improved compared to this game (except perhaps the last - Shogun 2 - with the move to DX10)

Probably the most popular mod is currently "Third Age Total War", but there are hundreds out there, that just change text/data/sound files without needing to change executable code (i.e. the only kind I am prepared to execute). I suggest checking out you tube for examples.

From what I have read, later games in the Total War series are much less modable (and I won't touch cracked game code and suggest you don't either). So, that means this title will stay the focus for recreational modders for some time to come.

Join the scene - buy the game.


Company of Heroes Anthology (PC DVD)
Company of Heroes Anthology (PC DVD)

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars What anthology? Just the final installment is what you get!, 11 Sept. 2012
What a rip off.

Only the final installment of this game will activate. The CD Key provided will enable the "Tales of Valor" expansion, but the campaigns from the first two installments remain locked; a different key is required.

This seems to be a common problem, having contacted UK THQ. They are bored of this, and passed me over to the U.S.A customer services.

The U.S.A customer services simply ignore all requests associated with the anthology edition.

So, I suggest just buying the "Tales of Valor" stand alone expansion by itself - you will get the same product and save a few quid.

It's all very suspicious and shady. Why did the other installments still install? Why is each requiring a different key - activated in game? Is this a sneaky way to get people for pay for each installment?

Why does this software install the Relic torrent server? Am I a free fileserver for Relic? It seems so.

---

EDIT: Increased the number of stars I awarded, as finally after 6 weeks I finally had some response from the THQ customer support. They resolved the CD KEY issue - and now I can access the entire anthology.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 25, 2013 11:53 PM GMT


Birds of Steel (Xbox 360)
Birds of Steel (Xbox 360)

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shame this isn't also on PC, 12 April 2012
What would WWII be without some history lessons? This game, borrows (like it's predecessor IL2*Sturmovik: Birds of Prey") a lot of IP from the original IL2*Sturmovik on PC. Notably the flight model, and many 3d models such as ships. That original game was developed by a different software house associated with the great Mr Maddox. Regrettably that development team appears to have reached it's end. They appear not to have had the commercial sense and the project management to deliver on a commercial basis (time and product), but became too ambitious in catering to their own tastes in a game in later projects.

That loss is your gain now. How else could such a fully comprehensive and authentic title exist on XBOX 360? No-one would develop it from scratch for XBOX. Gaigin have been free to produce a FUN and user friendly, accessible game at the right time and to a high production standard - that builds on the vast depth and authenticity of the original IP that's still under the bonnet of this glossy XBOX release.

They have already bought consistency of quality and pretty much got most things spot on as a playing experience. But one gripe: shame that target tracking view isn't possible in simulation mode from the cockpit - at least - using the XBOX controller to track and fly is almost impossible. I get a message "Enemy Sighted" but can I follow that plane? Of course in Simplified/Realistic mode you can just press a button to track, it really needs something like that in Simulator mode once the enemy is spotted and still in field of view! But it has to be said: this new game blows me away!

They have bought it all together and surpassed the old masters in many areas. As "Forza" or "Grand Turismo" is to Cars, this is to WWII air combat.


Panasonic SC-BT230EB-K Blu-Ray 5.1 Home Cinema (4Xsats,1000W)
Panasonic SC-BT230EB-K Blu-Ray 5.1 Home Cinema (4Xsats,1000W)

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Does not play all Blu Ray discs - and not supported by Panasonic, 14 Jan. 2012
Once upon a time - DVD came along and people saw that it was good and VHS passed away.

Then along came bluray - and I have to say the situation is more complex.

The standards for blu ray have undergone further revision and are evolving, all the time - mainly to ensure that piracy is controlled. Of course if BluRay discs are encoded using a newer specification, how can old BluRay players, play them? Firmware update is the answer. And that is why this particular BluRay player and Panasonics approach to customer support give this SC-BT230 system a single star.

I have brand new BluRays I cannot play - due to copy protection I assume. Christmas presents for the kids. Have they seen them? No. Because Paramount have pressed BluRays that this Panasonic player cannot - play. I got my ethernet cable out - and happily allowed the unit to update it's firmware to the very latest version (v1.74) but still these newer discs from Paramount (i.e. "Super 8" and "Transformers: dark side of the Moon") fail precisely 3 seconds into the feature (same place for both).

Now, if Panasonic would answer a single email of mine and confirm they are aware of this issue, that an update dealing with this will come along, I wouldn't be writing this review. But no - not one reply to any email, not even after three weeks.

If you want to play newer BluRays - checkout how often firmware updates are issued - Panasonic managed just 1 in the last year...but I can only guess this model will get any future updates ever again.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 25, 2012 6:32 PM GMT


A Turtle's Tale: Sammy's Adventure (Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD)
A Turtle's Tale: Sammy's Adventure (Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD)
Dvd ~ Dominic Cooper
Offered by A2Z Entertains
Price: £21.39

4.0 out of 5 stars Better than expected, 30 Aug. 2011
What can I say. Better than my expectations. The animation and story performs well. The voice acting is good (though why there are cockney accents aplenty on the Pacific rim is rather odd to me as an adult - but the kids didn't notice of course). The kids verdict - good. They've seen it a couple of times now.


Animals United (Blu-ray 3D)
Animals United (Blu-ray 3D)
Dvd ~ Reinhard Klooss
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: £8.21

2 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Show your kids as a punishment?, 30 Aug. 2011
Ohhh dear. Oh dear. Really ohh dear. I was yawning after fifteen minutes...this has never happened when watching something with the kids....never even close before.

This has no story. It's weak in every area. It's totally un-engaging. The production team really had no idea how to make a film - it feels like individual scenes thrown together as a draft. Very poor voice acting all around (except for an OK 30 seconds of Vanessa Regrave as the tortoise - which only served to starkly illuminate just how dire the rest was). Please don't patronise kids by giving characters silly voices. Should get good character actors/actresses who perform in character.

The kids verdict? My son apologised for picking this DVD from the video shop. They normally watch a rented DVD twice in 24 hours. This one they didn't bother, by their own choice.

Buy something else. Doesn't matter what it is!


Summit SRT-W Reflective Tape, White
Summit SRT-W Reflective Tape, White
Offered by Plumbing Supermarket
Price: £3.43

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellant Product - and it is very reflective, 2 Feb. 2011
This product at first glance does not look very reflective and I was disappointed until I played around with a torch! It really does reflect light intensely, right back to the SOURCE of the light, within quite a small angle. I have put this white tape on the front frame of my bicycle. Shine a torch from 2 meters and your head must be near the torch to see the intense reflection, shine it from 10 meters and with your head a meter either way, you see the intense flare of reflected light. So perfect for reflecting headlights back to a car, even at distance - i.e. like a bike reflector. Hence why it's called "Reflective Tape". In daylight (diffuse light) it looks like normal white tape from a little distance.


Summit SRT-R Reflective Tape, Red
Summit SRT-R Reflective Tape, Red
Price: £5.73

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellant product - dispatched like lightening, 31 Jan. 2011
I ordered this at midday Friday - it was delivered the following Saturday morning. So very good there. The product itself at first glance does not look very reflective and I was disappointed until I played around with a torch! It really does reflect light intensely, right back to the SOURCE of the light, within quite a small angle. I have put this red tape on the rear frame of my bicycle. Shine a torch from 2 meters and your head must be near the torch to see the intense (orangey/red) reflection, shine it from 10 meters and with your head a meter either way, you see the intense flare of orangey/red. So perfect for reflecting headlights back to a car, even at distance - i.e. like a bike reflector. Hence why it's called "Reflective Tape". In daylight (diffuse light) it looks like normal red tape from a little distance.


Speedlink Black Widow Flightstick
Speedlink Black Widow Flightstick
Offered by Refresh eCommerce
Price: £39.97

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good value, 28 Jun. 2010
Good for the price. Rudder control on the rear of the throttle lever is good but has (in my opinion) too strong a return to centre; ideally there would be none to allow hand to be free to hit keyboard e.g: to raise gear/reduce flaps on takeoff. The Vibration feedback is surprisingly effective (i.e. IL-2 1946) for aircraft control feedback. The whole thing is very solid. Has 12 buttons (4 red joystick fire buttons + 4 black on base) plus a black HAT 4-way on-top of the joystick.


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