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

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The Grand Tour Season 1
The Grand Tour Season 1

2 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Are you not entertained?! No. Okay then., 30 Dec. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Well the troublesome trio finally got their hands on the holy trinity of cars, namely the McLaren P1, Porsche 918 and Ferrari LaFerrari. But these three hyper cars, the cutting edge of technology today are totally and utterly wasted amongst tired jokes, canned laughter, racial stereotypes, rigged 'tests' that mean absolutely nothing and it all feels like we've been here a thousand times before. I was hoping new money, new producers, new opportunities would refresh the format but it hasn't.

If you want to see these three very special cars truly put through their paces watch Chris Harris review them on Youtube (which he did over a year ago by the way). You'll get a much better understanding of the cars and you'll be properly entertained to boot.

Clarkson also spends a bit of time 'not' reviewing the BMW M2, more racial stereotypes abound again and you'll learn precious little about the car in question, which incidentally Chris Harris reviewed against the BMW M1 back in November.

Clarkson May and Hammond have put no effort into this at all, and it shows. Their humour has run its course for me and I'm completely and utterly bored of watching a programme about cars not discussing the actual merits of cars whilst trying so hard to be funny that it all becomes a tragic parody of itself.

Titanfall 2  [PC Code - Origin]
Titanfall 2 [PC Code - Origin]
Price: £49.99

3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved every second of the campaign, the best looking game of 2016, 29 Oct. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
So Titanfall 2 gets a campaign, and I have to say it's spectacular, but it is also short. If you were hoping for a Half Life 2 epic spanning 30hrs you'll probably be disappointed, but (and this is a big but) what it does deliver is that very rare beast, a game who's story and characters I genuinely cared about, that I was 100% invested in, that I wasn't holding back the vomit from an overload of cheesy dialogue. What you'll get is 6-7hrs of tightly scripted, stunningly constructed action across time and space and if you've got the hardware that can max this game out (a GTX980 did the business for me) then you'll be treated to, hands down, the best looking game of 2016. I thought Gears of War 4 and Deus Ex Mankind Divided were great looking games, but this will make them look absolutely ordinary, at several points my jaw was on the floor and I cursed the fact I couldn't remember which button within Origin captured screenshots. I thought about going and looking it up but I didn't want to break up my play session and figured I'll just find it out later and capture some shots second time around, because I will definitely be coming back for more, not since the original Halo have i felt the urge to replay a single player campaign just for the sheer fun of it.

It's worth noting than there are no manual saves but the auto-saves are so frequent that there is very little re-treading of foot steps, if you mis-time a jump and plunge to your death you'll be starting from at most 30 seconds back, which definitely contributes to the short game length. The game flows and is frustration free.

This ticked all the boxes for me but obviously it's the multiplayer that will keep players coming back for more,so far my experience has been a fairly steep learning curve, which surprised me, having sunk hundreds of hours into the original, but the maps are much flatter and seem much more two dimensional, and the TTK (time to kill) seems much shorter, so until you get to grips with the changes you will die a lot. One interesting change is that Titans no longer have sheilds, and this makes players inherently more caution about engaging or rushing into a fight, which means that the sniper class Titan is now much more effective. In the original, players would just charge towards you and it wasn't a very useful Titan, but now you have far more opportunities to pick Titans off from distance and hitting Pilots with the Rail Gun is considerably easier than it was before too. Time will tell if it's as fun as the first game, but so far my experience has been overwhelmingly positive one and it is a game I fully recommend you try without hesitation.

No Title Available

7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mega hit with a four year old girl obsessed with BB8 and Rey., 10 April 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Purchased in error, I meant to buy the remote control one but upon arrival it looked so cute I thought my daughter would love it anyway, and I wasn't wrong. BB8 can be set to be sound activated, so my daughter talks to him, playing games, making up stories, and he babbles back to her. Because it's sounds and not words that are coming out, she interprets them exactly how she feels and watching from a distance, you could almost believe they are talking to each other. He hadn't been out of the box for more than an hour before I was asked if I could purchase the Rey costume so she could be Rey with her own BB8 ;)

Took a star off because it's overpriced on Amazon and the longer of the two antennas lasted about 20 minutes before being snapped off during some over zealous role playing with a four year old....
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 19, 2016 4:58 PM BST

Halo 5: Guardians (Xbox One)
Halo 5: Guardians (Xbox One)
Offered by PROGAMES
Price: £14.28

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars So many ommissions and mis-judged features make this a chore, not a war, 3 Jan. 2016
This schizophrenic soulless game is brought to you by the executives at 343 Industries.

Single player break down:

The plot is simply; find Cortana. The game consists of Cortana baiting you, with come hither statements delivered in sultry tones to the tune of, "I'm just over that ridge/through that door/in the loo, come find me" but if you can be arsed to make it to said destination what you'll find waiting for you is the Warden, Cortana's self appointed guardian, who is a carbon cut out bullet-sponge-boss that you've faced a thousand times before in every boring game you've already forgotten that you played in the past fifteen years. He's as pleasant to be around as a homeless drunk bum that stinks of piss. And like almost every single enemy in Halo 5, you have to dump half your ammo into him before a weak spot opens on his back and as you try to run around behind him and shoot it, he'll stand up and chop you in half. And you'll face him again, and again. And again... Eventually, if you're lucky like me, you'll realise that you can stand on a ledge somewhere he can't walk to, look him eye to eye and repeatedly unload a shotgun into his face until he dies. He will patiently stand motionless for you to do this, giving you chance to ponder how graphics in games have come so far, and yet A.I hasn't moved on since 1996. Beautiful visuals, massive backdrops and stunning views are the only redeaming qualities found here.

Ammo is scarcer than crotchless panties in a nunnery, your UNCS ammo will be expended before the first fire fight, rendering your trusty Battle Rifle useless. Then you'll ditch it and pick up a Promethean weapon and wonder why the original Assault Rifle and Pistol felt so good and these don't. Seriously, go play the original game, on the original Xbox, it's so satisfying, with such beautiful level design. Ammo caches are spread throughout each level so that if you're accurate enough, you can carry a Sniper Rifle throughout the whole level. Not in Halo 5, it will last you about a minute and net you 3 kills before being discarded like the pointless cack that it has become, a tragic symbollic figure of this once mighty franchise.


If you're a fan of Big Team Battle, it's finally made an appearance, but it bares no resemblance to any previous Halo game. Gone are the big, beautiful maps from previous titles like Blood Gultch, Headlong or Spire. I have fond memories of dominating Standoff in a gauss hog, or a last minute snatch of the flag on Avalanche, jumping out the front of the enemy base into the protection of a bubble sheild and getting swept away on the side of a Hornet back to base to win the game. These wonderful moments are nowhere to be seen on Halo 5's small, tight, woefully textured 'big' maps.

Gone are map votes, you get what you're given, which is a rubbish small map every time.

Between games, the interface is an absolute mess, finding the previous games stats is a nightmare, it's utterly confusing, I also miss looking at individual player's medal scores, remember, Halo was the game that first created medals, now they're just an afterthought, which is how the entire game comes across.

A final not on 'Rec points', Halo's attempt to mimic the 'Burn Cards' from Titanfall is again, completely over complicated in an attempt to differenciate it from the system it blatantly ripped off. Worse is the fact that most of the choices on offer are random, so you get an random XP boost, or a random weapon. The beauty of Titanfall's Burn Cards was you could use a powerful card to swing the battle, and win the game, here, you burn a card and have a very good chance of getting something totally inappropriate, thus wasting the chance to level the match. It's a system that seems like a simple excuse to squeeze micro-transactions into a game that's had so much of it's core stripped out there's nothing but an empty, vacuous husk left.

LEGO Legends of Chima 70145: Maula's Ice Mammoth Stomper
LEGO Legends of Chima 70145: Maula's Ice Mammoth Stomper
Offered by PkB Toys
Price: £84.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Mammoth Shmammoth, 11 Sept. 2015
First of all, I’m a collector, so this review is based on the model’s position as a display piece above all else and play value isn’t something I take into consideration. I bought the Chima Ice Mauler specifically because I was looking for a quadruped to sit opposite the Lego Star Wars AT-AT set 8129 to give my bookshelf some symmetry. The set did not live up to my expectations for a couple of reasons, firstly, it’s nowhere near as big as the Lego AT-AT sets, which surprised me. Licenced sets like Star Wars are typically more expensive because they have to give Disney a cut of the profits, but there’s only a £20 price difference between the current AT-AT and this set. That money seems to go a long way, as the AT-AT is taller, more detailed, the legs have one more joint and are much more complex. Additionally, the Ice Mauler’s shape and silhouette is basically a rectangular box with legs and a head, it doesn’t carry the proportions of a large mammal and the rear in particular, is overly simplistic. The box art disguises this fact but the reality as that as a display piece, it leaves a lot to be desired. So it loses a star for not being particularly great value and a bit sparse on detail.

It loses another star immediately for my biggest bugbear with Lego sets; not providing adequate options for storing weapons when the mini figures are seated in the model. Two of the figures have weapons of appropriately mammoth proportions, and absolutely nowhere to keep them. Infuriatingly, the set has four weapon/tool mounts but give you four weapons and tools to fill them. As a purist who wants to keep these sets as they have been designed - without modification - it’s frustrating in the extreme and on smaller sets it can be excused, but when you are paying £60+ for a set details like this are painful in their absence. I have already purchased the Lego Imperial Shuttle set 75094 and once built, the Ice Mauler will be consigned to storage for the foreseeable future.

It's not a total disaster, there are a number of nice unique parts, the mini figures are great, and I'm sure it will stand up to play well but for me, and what I was hoping for, it has proved a little disappointing.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 5, 2015 2:54 PM GMT

Watch Dogs (PC DVD)
Watch Dogs (PC DVD)
Offered by uniqueplace-uk
Price: £5.99

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than GTA V in many respects, not as good in some others..., 28 May 2014
This review is from: Watch Dogs (PC DVD) (DVD-ROM)
With a review embargo in place until after the game's release I was a little worried Watch Dogs was going to be a turkey (not too worried though, I got my copy free with a new nVidia GTX770). Its 15Gb download took about 45 minutes on fibre and installed with Uplay without issue. I'm running an i5 3570k, 8Gb of RAM playing at 1366x768 with everything maxed.

Visually, the game looks great, there's a lot of polish gone into the presentation, and I was seriously impressed with the detail of the characters and the lighting too. It's not CryEngine territory, but this is a massive game, and the attention to detail is fantastic considering the scale.

The driving is straight out of the arcade, which is fine I suppose. Personally, I'm still waiting for either the Forza or Gran Turismo driving engines to be licenced out to a sand box style shooter. I've been dreaming of that since GT3, and still every new sand box game disappoints in that regard, but here at least there's a great flow to the driving. It's infinitely more forgiving than GTA, where every obstacle you hit is made of granite, whilst every car seems under powered.

Here we have fast cars - lots of fast cars - tons of routes, back alleys, secret passage ways and objects to hack to alter the game world around you in an instant. Raising a barrier behind you in a pursuit is easy, effective and extremely satisfying to pull off. Smashing into things results in sparks, particles, explosions, basically hitting stuff makes your graphics card work harder, whilst slowing you down just a bit. I miss not being able to shoot out of the Window but your ability to hack the environment does almost make up for the omission.

The hacking element also makes walking around a lot more interesting. Anyone with a phone out is fair game; eavesdrop their conversation, read their texts, steal their ATM number or just find out a bit of trivial about the individual. It really worked for me, the game feels like a living breathing city, I can imagine some people will complain that it's all a bit pointless, but it really helps with the emersion.

When it comes to shooting, Watch Dogs really shines compared to other sand box games, I turned auto-assist to the minimum setting (you can't turn it off completely) and headed into gang land territory for my first shooting experience, I was quite taken aback by the realism of my first kill, drawing my silenced pistol on a henchman, lining up his head, there was a hearty `thwack' from the pistol when I pulled the trigger, his lifeless body slumped to the floor, leaving a blood splattered wall behind him. It felt visceral and gritty; I ended up voluntarily replaying the mission about ten times until I got the whole thing perfect, it feels like a lot of time and effort has gone into it, especially the sound effects and animation.

I'd heard about the Spider Tank mini-game and got the chance to try it out after approaching a dodgy looking guy offering `digital highs'. Now, there comes a point for me in sand box games where I just say "Now I just wanna blow stuff up". In GTA that usually involves shooting random pedestrians until an epic police chase ensues. Here you can simply play the Spider Tank mini game, which feels more like playing Prototype; you're handed a massive crawling tank which possesses vast firepower, can scale the tallest building and wreck absolute havoc. Three hours later every death still resulted in, "Just one more go" syndrome.

So far, my only gripe with the game can be levelled at all sand box games: It's the awkward juxtaposition of a slow, dialogue heavy story based on the loss of the protagonist's child, sitting in stark contrast to the utterly ridiculous carnage that he subsequently hands out to the city and its innocent inhabitants by way of retribution. How many children did I orphan after my last high speed pursuit? Yet they're not spared a moment's thought in the story's narrative. Okay, their loss amounts to a little red `down' arrow appearing in my HUD which is my karma going down or something, but it's trivialised to the point of irrelevance.

I literally spend an hour shooting and blowing up gang members before driving straight to my sister's house to say hi to my nephew on his birthday. Whilst the scene is trying to drive the story forward with lots of dialogue, I'm sat thinking about how utterly crazy my character would have to be to exist like that; murder fifty people then go have some cake with the family! Trying to paint a human story when you play a remorseless psychopath is nothing more than a farce.

With that little rant aside, there's a lot to like about Watch Dogs, it's a great looking, fun game to play. Praise has been lavished upon GTA V but for me it felt flat and boring, treading the same ground, whilst doing little to improve the actual play experience. Watch Dogs feels fresh, interesting, it's darker, faster paced, unquestionably a better shooting, has better mini-games, better sound effects and for me, is a far more interesting game because of those things.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 1, 2014 2:52 AM BST

Titanfall [PC Code - Origin]
Titanfall [PC Code - Origin]
Price: £14.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally, a new FPS that I can get excited over!, 4 May 2014
I played the first few CoD games and found them a bit one dimensional compared to the depth and variety of Halo, but Halo 4 left a bitter taste in many people's mouths, myself included. So when I heard about the features in Titanfall I was excited. I think FPS players have become frustrated with so many different games delivering essentially the same experience, and finally a studio releases a game where your character can climb, and it gives the game so much more depth - literally - by adding a strong vertical element to the maps.

The large download file might be a problem for people with slow broadband, but if you've got fibre it's not an issue and I actually downloaded it onto two machines in one evening. I've been playing on my backup computer which is a lowly Bulldozer FX-6100 with a GTX460 and at 1360 x 768 resolution it looks absolutely great and plays very smoothly.

I've had no issues with lag or server connections, my ping is usually around 20-30ms. I also play using an Xbox 360 controller and have had no problems competing with mouse and keyboard users. After my first session I was at a pitiful 0.5 Kill/Death ratio, but I'm now up to a much more respectable 2.1 K/D and it's important to note that even when I was losing badly, I never felt cheated or got frustrated. The reasons for my deaths were made clear from the kill cams, (you view your death from the opponent's perspective immediately) so you learn quickly.

Stat tracking in the game is great, you can view your previous games stats whilst waiting in the lobby as well as viewing your overall stats, which include lifetime K/D ratio, as well as the last 10 games, complete with a little graph. It's extremely satisfying to watch the upward trend as you start to learn the maps and find your feet with both your Pilot's weapons and the Titans'. There's a great variety of weapons and Titans, load out customisation is good and overall, I think it's a very balanced game. There doesn't seem to be anything that's overly dominant, which makes for a very satisfying experience.

I do miss the visual customisation aspects that Halo's been doing for years and feel that this is really an area they could have done a lot more with. It's also incredibly difficult to tell human players apart from the A.I. grunts, there are so many targets, but the more I play, the more I like the grunts being there. It does give weaker players a chance to blend it, and it makes you think about the whole battlefield a lot more.

Finally, getting a game in anything other than the default mode - Attrition - has been slow, but the games not been out long, so hopefully this will improve. It's not perfect, there's no single player, little visual customisation, only one popular game type, but it is a really fun, fair game to play, that delivers a lot of 'wow' moments. Last night I got in a Titan vs Titan fight and we critically damaged each other and both ejected at the same time. I shot the other pilot dead 300 feet in the air and got to watch his body plummet to the ground as our titans exploded in colossal fashion underneath us. It felt absolutely epic and I can't wait to play some more.

LEGO Legends of Chima 70123: Lion Legend Beast
LEGO Legends of Chima 70123: Lion Legend Beast
Offered by Fast Japan eu
Price: £41.31

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Masterpiece of Miniature Design, 3 May 2014
I only picked this set up because I was going through duty free in Sydney with the last of my Oz money - $15.60 - in my pocket and walked past a Lego stand with this on it for $15.49 (which, incidentally is about £1.50 more than Amazon's price delivered...) So I bought it, stuck it in my bag and then built it when we got back home.

It was only then that I began to appreciate what I clever little set it is. Getting small models to look good with relatively few pieces is an art in itself, and this little guy looks like a lion for sure. There are a number of new pieces on the set that help this, including the painted eye piece, the triple tooth plate for the claws on his feet (which look adorable!) the little side tooth, the micro ball jointed hinges which allow for fantastic articulation, and the small concave half arches on his back legs. Not to mention the smart construction of his mouth and great looking mane. The mini-figure has an equally impressive hair do which reminds me of Sonic the Hedgehog and sits nicely on the lion's back with an impressive sword.

I gave him to my daughter who immediately started jumping him around the living room shouting "Rrrrooooar". He now sits on top of our fridge guarding it next to my Lego AT-AT, and is every bit as impressive, except perhaps in the size department. But for the price, it's an absolutely great set and I immediately bought the Lego Chima Eagle set 70124 from Amazon afterwards as I was so happy with this one. Recommended.

Crystal Fairy & The Magical Cactus [Blu-ray] [2013] [US Import]
Crystal Fairy & The Magical Cactus [Blu-ray] [2013] [US Import]
Price: £13.57

3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A boring, tedious film almost as obnoxious as its lead character, 11 Feb. 2014
The front of the box claims this film is "A hilarious drug-fuelled road movie, Michael Cera is terrific". Let's break that down; it's not funny, not in the slightest and frankly I'm very easily amused. It's not drug fuelled, the vast majority of the film is spent searching for a cactus that can boiled for twelve hours to produce mescaline, an LSD like drug. On refection, watching a cactus get boiled for twelve hours would be a better use of your time than watching this absolute snore fest of a film and would certainly not feel as long.

Whilst searching for the cactus you are subjected to Michael Cera's character annoy you with every action he takes and every word that comes out of his mouth. The reality is, his character is so abrasive and unlikeable that he simply would not have had any friends to help him search for this mystical plant. His friends rarely engage with him, just endure his tedious self centered rants and I kept expecting them to leave him in the desert, which he would have wholeheartedly deserved.

If the director asked Michael Cera to play the most annoying, angst ridden, self righteous teen who ever lived, I would have to agree that he was fantastic, because he nailed it.

Once they finally get hold of their cactus and embark on their trip Cera's character just takes the irritation up another level, anyone who's done psychedelic drugs probably knows the type of person who brags about how experienced, knowledgeable and free spirited they are, only for the trip to kick in and all their insecurities come tumbling out, as their facade collapses and they crumble under the overwhelming experience. Once he settles down his spiritual awakening kicks in and his doors of perception are blown open to the shocking realisation he's been a massive a-hole his whole life. News flash, you don't need psychedelic drugs to realise that, just a bit of self reflection and empathy.

To summerise; the only redeeming quality this film had was that it ended.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 1, 2015 5:41 PM GMT

Impractical Jokers: The Complete First Season [DVD]
Impractical Jokers: The Complete First Season [DVD]

27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite Simply The Funniest Show On Television Right Now, 11 Feb. 2014
I found this TV entirely by accident; after watching the UK version which was a six episode season aired on BBC3 in 2013 I searched for it on IMDB and discovered it was a remake/franchise of the US version, which is longer and funnier. As the intro credits will remind you, four life long friends dare each other to interact with members of the public in embarrassing, awkward, insulting and down right humiliating ways. If they refuse, they lose the task and the person with the most losses at the end of the episode has to perform a forfeit task which is always deeply uncomfortable to watch, goodness knows what it must be like to actually perform it.

The real beauty of this show is that you never know how random members of the public are going to react to the gangs bizarre antics but the results are much more predictable, tears of laughter and an aching jaw after every episode.

When my family came to visit they asked if we had anything to watch and I put an episode of this on, everyone in the room was in hysterics by the end (including my 72 year old father who's not easily amused) and that was it, it was all they wanted to do for the duration of their three day visit. I can think of nothing that's made me laugh more. My sister talks about it every time we meet now. It's on it's third season in the US and it is thoroughly, utterly recommended for anyone who likes laughing, which is surely everyone?

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