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Scifi king (US)

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The Promise: The Darkness On The Edge Of Town Story [3CD+3DVD]
The Promise: The Darkness On The Edge Of Town Story [3CD+3DVD]
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £86.61

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Promise delivers, 31 Oct. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
As a die hard fan and having seen Bruce and the E Street Band many times I really did enjoy the Promise. I had previously failed to appreciate that this was one of Bruce's favourite albums and the importance of the album at the time for Bruce as he/the band had been away from the recording study for 3 years post Mike Apel split. The making of Darkness on the Edge of Town DVD is superb and gives a real insight into Bruce's song writing approach. It was a real eye opener to see Bruce and the band struggle with his volume of different ideas, versions of song and his search for raw perfection. All the material in the Promise is excellent, the extra songs give you an insight into how different an album Darkness could have been. It was also interesting to see that he had the ideas in 1978 for many of the songs that would later appear on The River and Born in the USA. An amazing singer song writer. The final DVD of the band performing the complete Darkness on the Edge of Town album live at Asbury Park in 2009 is brilliant and one of the best live performance I've seen by the band. This is a must for die-hard fans.

Born To Run: 30th Anniversary Edition [2 DVD + 1 CD]
Born To Run: 30th Anniversary Edition [2 DVD + 1 CD]
Offered by MediaMerchants
Price: £13.71

4.0 out of 5 stars Rockin'!!, 31 Oct. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Re-releases are always a bit of a con but putting that aside there is some really great additional material on the 30th Anniversary Edition. Similar to The Promise, this set has some great previously unseen live footage on the DVD, and the making of Born to Run gives you a real insight into the trauma and strain during the making of the album and also the relationships between Bruce and the E Street Band. For a die hard fan this edition is well worth the money.

Prince of Thorns (The Broken Empire, Book 1): 1/3
Prince of Thorns (The Broken Empire, Book 1): 1/3
by Mark Lawrence
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.29

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A thorny read, 31 Oct. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I saw this book listed on the reading club of Bernard Cornwall's website. Having been a big fan of his writing for years I thought I would give this book a go as it had quite a strong review. That was a mistake. This is a badly written, dark, and shallow read which has poor character development and pretty vague storyline. The only time the writing comes to life is when someone bloody thirsty is occuring making me wonder about the writers mindset never mind other readers. Would not recommend this book to anyone unless you are a die hard really is a struggle to get through.

L.A. Noire (Xbox 360)
L.A. Noire (Xbox 360)
Offered by Game Trade Online
Price: £11.98

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Crime thriller...maybe not, 20 Jan. 2012
This review is from: L.A. Noire (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
LA Noire has a promising start and grips the player for the first 30 minutes. The graphics are excellent, the city is well rendered and the character movements and facial expressions are very high quality. However, the game quickly descends into a horribly repetitive routine of murder, interview, drive around forever in LA (which is vast), find clues and get the bad guy. And that basically sums up LA Noire. If you enjoy games that are more like an interative storybook then this game may appeal. It was not my cup of tea however and after 3 hours I just couldn't go on repeating the same routine over and over. In the end I gave up with the story line and resorted to stealing cars and creating huge pile ups everywhere which I actually found hilarious. I cant deny the crash dynamics are amazing and at one stage I cried with laughter as the wheels flew off my car and went rolling off down the road. That was the best bit of this game in my opinion.

And am I the only one to see that this game is a copy of Mafia II which has been tweaked and then repackaged as LA Noire? The cars, buildings and possibly even some of the people are the same. I'm sure this makes commercial sense but is a wrip off for anyone who has played Mafia II already.

In conclusion I wouldn't recommend playing this game even once and it is one to be avoided unless you are really into lots of cut scenes and repetitive gameplay.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 29, 2012 7:47 PM GMT

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Xbox 360)
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Xbox 360)
Offered by Excess Gaming
Price: £13.95

5.0 out of 5 stars A Jarls best friend, 15 Jan. 2012
This is an amazing game and a totally open ended gaming experience. If you go with the whole concept and become immersed in Skyrim you will go on many exciting adventures, fight many cool enemies with many different weapons and magic, and develop in whatever manner you see fit. Yes there are some bugs and they are all on YouTube from flying horses to becoming stuck on graphics. The fighting system is also pretty basic and the NPC AI is really dumb when compared with other titles such as Assassins Creed. Having reached level 50 I also have quite a list of broken missions and loading and saving is slow because I had 800+ save files.

However, this game is simply engrossing and presents the player with so many cool things to do it simply isn't true. You can mix and match warrior, thief and mage skills to become a hybrid player of whatever breed you like. Fancy becoming a vampire wood elf or an Orc werewolf? No problems you can do it all in Skyrim. Also Skyrim lets you play as you want. Get a mission and don't like it? Forget it then and go and do something else - its that easy. You can play alone or have a follower. My life was complete once I got Mjoll the Lionness as a follower and kitted her out in Dwarven is she a fantatic tank. Heck, I even got married in this game although I accept that was a mistake - we got married too young before I had seen the world :D

This is definitely the best game I've played on Xbox and fantastic value for money. Respect to the developers and publishers for producing such a vast, well thought out and diverse gaming experience.

Assassin's Creed Revelations (Xbox 360)
Assassin's Creed Revelations (Xbox 360)
Offered by games.empire
Price: £7.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice game but short and not much new, 14 Jan. 2012
This game definitely represents a decline in the AC series despite a number of improvements. Yes, as with previous games it is stylish, has a nice CGI section at the beginning, nice landscapes and the fighting system feel like it has been improved. I didn't encounter any bugs which was a major positive. Many of the best bits of AC Brotherhood have also been retained and some of the silly elements have been removed i.e. annoying wanted posters. So well done to the developers for building on the learning from the last game and turning out a well tested game that works well without crashing. Worthy of three stars.

However, the simple fact is that beyond the positives noted above I simply didn't enjoy playing the single player game very much. AC Revelations is relatively slow, boring and repetitive compared to other games on the market in 2012. The most annoying feature for me was the character controls. I finished Skyrim (well as much as anyone can) and Deus Ex and then started on AC revelations...and well the controls in AC after the other titles felt like something from 15 years ago. The character in AC runs all over the place and despite being a huge fella falls down if he runs into a women who is like 6st (whats that about?) Even when running it doesn't feel like you are moving fast; its like the character is running through mud. After 4 hours I had also become agitated with the fact that you latch onto every building detail when running/jumping/climbing...even when you don't want too! I found the race objectives really hard because of this annoying game play feature.

The second major issue for myself was that AC Revelations basically contains more environments which could have been downloads extras for AC Brotherhood. This is barely a game in its own right and is not great value for money when it has little over 10 hours of play and no real replay value (unless you are OCD about completing meaningless achievements.) The tower control idea from Brotherhood has been extended and whilst it is a good concept it is frankly pretty boring when done for the 2nd/3rd time. The tower defence idea is also good in concept but really boring to play. Who plays xbox to stand and watch action going on and barely be involved? The hook blade is okay but there's not enough other new elements to retain interest. Can we really be bothered hunting for more treasure chests? Yawn. The side missions are short, easy and uninteresting - Yawn. And don't get me started on the assassin missions mediterranean's just a list of missions against a list of places in the med that you send your recruits too...who honestly finds this interesting? Okay this feature isn't quite as boring scanning planets for ore in Mass Effect 2...but it's not far off it.

I finished this game in 10 hours and alas I'm still no wiser about the stories conclusion which is a shame. We just got told more about "those who came before." Well the conclusions I've come to is that I've lost interest and won't be spending any more of my money on AC titles. And that is a shame because this was a really good series of games up to this point. It would have been preferable for Ubisoft to have turned out a better game instead of rushing out revelations in 12 months and so obviously focusing their efforts on the multiplayer mode.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution - Limited Edition (Xbox 360)
Deus Ex: Human Revolution - Limited Edition (Xbox 360)

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top game if you play with humanity!, 13 Nov. 2011
This is definitely a game of two halves! I played this game through first time as a run and gun with some sneaking about. First time round I found this game very frustrating due to the lack of ammunition and because of the more warlike augmentations I chose. On completing the game first time I then saw the end credits and realised that the clever people who made this game want you to play it humanely and I saw that one of the achievements was to get through the entire game without harming anyone.
So, I played it again and found this game really good! When I chose the more interesting augmentations to read people, and hacking, I started to have a lot more fun and found sneaking around alot easier with the full invisible augmentation. I've come round to thinking that this is a really good game because it rewards you for stealth and getting through without killing everyone. I had noticed when I first played the game that hostiles can kill you very easily which is more realistic than many games.
In summary this is a really great game. Yes, the loading between scenes can be slow and there are a few characters you might like the strangle. It also has many splinter cell type elements with the ability to control turrets and cameras. However, the game has alot more to offer and lots of fun ways to develop your character depending how you want to play. The graphics are really good and nice story line. Writing this game before playing MW3 or Skyrim; this is my fav game of the year easily.

Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands (Xbox 360)
Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands (Xbox 360)
Offered by EVERGAME
Price: £7.90

20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Stunning graphics but very short, 9 Jun. 2010
Starting with the positive points, PP the forgotten sands is a well crafted game and the graphics are really nice. The scenes of the city and general gaming environment are excellent. The gameplay is okay by Xbox standards and it flows quite smoothly; I certainly didn't encounter any bugs. I thought the new power over the elements (water) was a really nice touch and looked really cool.

There are however a number of downsides to this game and I will not apologise for comparing this game to the original PS2 games which I think it is fair to say were brilliant. So, issues with the forgotten sands were as follows:

- This game is just way too easy! Whether it is the traps, fighting enemies or the big bosses, everything is far too easy and formulaic. On the first completion of the game I completed over 90% of the game achievements leaving little interest in replaying it and highlighting how easy it was to complete. Having also just completed Splinter Cell Conviction which was another very short game from Ubisoft I am starting to wonder if this is going to be a continuing trend with their products.

- As a result of being too easy I completed this game in three days and I would estimate 6-8 hours. As beautiful as the game is, I would suggest that this is too short in duration for a game with little replay value and costing circa £40.

- This is another game with a fairly in-consequential xp reward system. I didn't see the value in it personally. The provision of powers as part of the story line makes more sense to me (as with Warrior Within and The Two Thrones) but thats only my preference.

- The really nice fighting system developed for the previous PP games has been replaced in the forgotten sands with a more limited slash and hack approach. This is a real shame as the previous games had a variety of really cool fighting moves including aerial and combo attacks which required more skill. Fighting enemies in the sands focuses more on powers which some may prefer but the sword fighting is really boring after a while.

- Previous PP incarnations had the ability for the Prince to pick up different types of weapons which was a feature I really enjoyed. I thought that being stuck with two swords for the entire game in PP forgotten sands was a less interesting approach.

- The baddie AI in this game is very poor. True, it is visually impressive to take on hordes of baddies and the game flows without pausing or slowing down which is commendable. However, take a look at the detail and often you will see the enemies just standing around or walking into the meat grinder of the princes blade without doing very much at all! Its like they are holding a "bad guys convention." The bosses in this game are equally woeful. All in all I concluded that the bad guys really weren't that bad and this problem is not helped by the fact that the prince is infinitely faster than the slow and trudging hordes of enemies. Sorry for the comparison, but this is another let down compared to previous games which had a range of cool bad guys, some of whom were pretty tough.

- The ability/requirement to jump on birds and from bird to bird in mid air...what is that about? The prince has been able to do some pretty improbable moves to date but this is in a league of its own...totally bizarre.

So all in all this is a nice looking game, but it is very short in gameplay and in my opinion it is not an equal to its predecessors, the Warrior Within or The Two Thrones by quite some margin.

Bioshock (Xbox 360)
Bioshock (Xbox 360)
Offered by Netro Enterprise
Price: £14.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Art Deco destruction, 29 Mar. 2010
This review is from: Bioshock (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
Modern warfare 1/2 were so good I totally forgot I had this game and so when I found it at the weekend I thought I had better blow off the dust and give it a whirl. And I'm glad I did as it is a pretty amazing game.

Firstly, the mix of heart warming 50s culture mixed with the horror elements of Rapture is an amazing contradiction and very unsettling. This gives the game a sense of edge missing from many games. The graphics are quite nice and the baddies look particularly good. After a while you start to wonder if you're losing your mind as everything in rapture is pretty horrific and the baddies are bonkers...still it is another day in the office for a gamer!

There are some elements of this game which are strengths or weaknesses depending upon your skills level with FPSs. Its true the weapons are pretty weak overall and you can get killed unexpectedly at times. Ending up fighting an elite bouncer with a spanner isn't ideal. Its easy to think that powerful sounding weapons will do a lot of damage and they do...mainly to yourself when you get blow back from the grenade launcher! However, I was okay with this as it made the game a bit harder and forced me to think a bit more about the tactics used to kill different types of baddies rather than just one super weapon to kill everyone.

The use of special powers is a key factor in this game and I quite liked the effects they have on baddies and the environment. I didn't like that you have the option to "harvest" little girls (albeit twisted forms of girls) as a means of gaining more power; in a game meant for young people this isn't ideal. I know the game carries an 18 but lets get real; kids of all ages will get a hold of this game and it is quite gory in places...thats my only reason for dropping it a star.

So in summary, a well put together game with lots of atmosphere and decent gameplay. Its just a bit gory in places and so is best kept away from younger dont need to worry about them having nightmares after playing this; the gaming environment is the nightmare.

Mass Effect 2 (Xbox 360)
Mass Effect 2 (Xbox 360)
Offered by Excess Gaming
Price: £11.38

2 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great graphics...poor game play, 19 Mar. 2010
The graphics, sound and visual effects in Mass Effect 2 are outstanding and I do not think I have seen a game with human/alien behaviour and movement modelled to this level of detail before. There is a story behind the game which is reasonably well thought out and the baddies are really bad and some missions do invoke a sense of tension in an "Aliens" type manner. The detail in the design of the aliens is excellent and there has clearly been a lot of thought put into how they interact and behave with each other.

So why have I rated this game so poorly? Well, all the time and effort must have been put into the graphics and plot lines because it certainly wasn't put into the gameplay. Heres my list of issues and frustrations I endured on the route to finishing this game:

1. The number one issue with Mass Effect 2 is that you spend more time watching cut scenes or listening to tiresome dialogue than you do actually playing the game. To all intensive purposes ME2 is an interative book sprinkled with sessions of killing bad guys or doing a random AI character a good turn. That may be fine for very young children, but for the audience (I think) this game is intended for it is very tedious.
2. It is difficult to play this game for short durations. Yes you can save as you progress through the story but with ME2 it takes (what seems like) a lifetime to get through each cut scene, load interval, or lengthy dialogue making this a difficult game to play in short burst.
3. Next up, the missions and sub plots can be managed in a number of ways but the progression through the game is effectively linear and very predictable.
4. The gameplay on the missions with regards to weapons and powers works fine. However, I found ME2 quite limited because you can barely interact with the environment other than to open doors, pick stuff up, take cover or jump over certain items on the floor. Having just played Battlefield 2/Modern Warfare/Assassins Creed 2 which are highly interative with the environment I found ME2 quite frustrating.
5. In the missions the characters are forced along a predefined route (much the same way as "force unleased") with the characters unable to climb over anything other than cover items...and this game is another "you hit an invisible trigger" and baddies or an action occur...come on EA this is so behind the times!
6. Characters can "level up" in an RPG style and gain greater powers. The powers look great in action which is cool but the game itself is so easy to finish that you don't need the powers to achieve this objective; so why bother gaining the powers or levelling up at all? More to the point, this game isn't an RPG so why have a level system at all? This game is just to easy. Compared with Gears (which is similar in some respects) this game is way to easy...Gears on hardest setting was very challenging.
7. Here comes my biggest pet hate with this game; in order to obtain some of the upgrades you need resources and this involves scanning lots of planets for resources. This is incredibly tedious and whilst it no doubt adds to the gameplay time it is boring beyound belief. Come on EA - this is appalling! Spending hours scanning spheres endlessly for four "resources" to upgrade!? Totally naff.
8. Last but not least - a list of minor gripes...pointless crew members who don't do anything, emails that are of no consequence and upgrades for the spacecraft which never come into use. Oh, and I had to restart the game on at least 4 occasions because the lead character became "stuck"...maybe he was so bored of the gameplay he couldn't be bothered going on either.

So all in all...great visual impact but disappointing gameplay. I wonder if EA knew exactly what sort of game they were trying to make...did they want to make an RPG or an FPS? If they were trying to combine the elements they ended up with a game that is good at neither and has random elements in it which are boring beyond belief.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 2, 2012 11:00 AM BST

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