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Thank you for getting my Lucifer review up to the 30 rates; it makes me sad to see a review like that lingering unloved.

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since 23/04/2003


Buckland Abbey, Yelverton 15/08/2017

Abbey? Where's the Abbey?

Buckland Abbey, Yelverton Our final stop on the Cornwall holiday was in fact deliberately done to split up our journey home. Buckland Abbey is located on the Devon side of the Cornwall-Devon border and piqued my interest solely because of the Abbey part of the name. I am a huge fan of church and religious history; I have a particular the older churches which went through the Dissolution, which is a fascinating period in history to read about. I will hold my hands up here and say that I did not read the National Trust details before visiting the site, so the fact was that Buckland Abbey actually was nothing like I had anticipated. I just saw the description of an Abbey and thought religion… forgetting that the National Trust don’t really do religion. It’s not really an abbey though… it’s a museum and testimonial to Francis Drake. Buckland Abbey is set up as half house, half mansion, with a small chapel but nothing really left of the Cistercian Abbey founded in 1278 by the Countess of Devon. The abbey was an actin abbey until the Dissolution of Monasteries and in 1541 Henry VIII sold the land to Sir Richard Grenville who began to convert it into a house. It was renamed Buckland Greynvile and the conversion was finished in 1576. It therefore can not be pinned on the National Trust that they have very few remnants of the original abbey left; after all, it was well before their time that it was originally converted. Personally, I’m not sure why they reverted back to the name of an abbey though, when the ...

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition (PS4) 07/08/2017

A World To Lose Yourself In Completely

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition (PS4) Skyrim is one of those games that you could quite honestly play forever without getting anywhere close to the point of completion if you wanted to. And then you could start again from scratch with a different species, a different skill-set, a different play style. And that’s without including the DLC packs which are included as a part of the course in this PS4 version. This is, quite simply and without a shadow a doubt, an absolutely huge game that you can simply get completely lost in. There is a basic storyline that you can follow through, but in reality the main storyline is the smallest of the pulls in this fantastic world. You can lose ten hours and realise that yoou’ve climbed half way up a guild, explored a half dozen dungeons, trekked across miles of open land, climbed a few mountains and killed a lot of vampires, wolves, witches and random critters… and then realise that the Jarl of a town asked you to do something ten hours ago and you still haven’t done it. Unfortunately, on route back to the Jarl you find yourself distracted by a lost ring, a talking dog, an insane Daedric lord and some interesting looking caves so it’s another five or ten hours before your beleaguered hero does what he was actually asked to. In terms of its gameplay, Skyrim is an absolutely huge open world RPG with a focus on exploration and fighting, but with a huge amount of flexibility in both how you play and what you actually do next or at all in the game. The first thing that you will do ...

Steamworld Collection (PS4) 03/08/2017

Dig Dig Shoot!

Steamworld Collection (PS4) The Steamworld Collection for PS4 is two games released on the same disc, hence the term, collection. I was interested in it because I had previously played Steamworld Dig on my 3DS and become completely hooked. As a Nintendo release for a handheld, the graphical capabilities were certainly never going to stretch the PS4, but I have a great love of shiny trophies that Playstation give me… regardless of their worthlessness. I was also interested in the second game, Steamworld Heist, particularly when I could pick up the collection on PS4 for virtually the same price as the one game on my 3DS, and I’d have to download it which would mean deleting something else. I’m going to approach this a little differently and review the two games separately first, because they are two very different games fitting into different genres. Steamworld Dig Steamworld Dig is a 2D platformer based on a rather unusual premise; and it’s rare you find unusual premises in games nowadays in honesty. Most games are sequels, prequels or simply the next instalment in an established series or lean so heavily on existing ideas that they can’t be called unique. Fun, but not different as such. Steamworld Dig though, whilst simple, is most definitely different. It’s nothing like any other platform game that I have played, it doesn’t rely on timed jumps and precise movements… well, mostly. There is timing involved within it but not in the way that most platformers would have you leaping in and out of ...

Board games: which are the best for you? 02/08/2017

Expensive Initial Outlay But Worth It

Board games: which are the best for you? Board games are something that I thought I grew out of once I was past childhood… and those ridiculous adult trivia board games did absolutely nothing to convince me otherwise. Oh, how I hated playing them at Christmas in the absolute knowledge that I was going to be rock bottom and I wasn’t even going to have fun whilst being rock bottom. Bleh. I always considered myself far more of a computer game kind of a person and would therefore only really play board games with the small people when pestered enough. Then, I discovered a whole new world of board gaming that isn’t based on needing to remember trivia about film stars, branding and other random stuff that comes up in these games. First I found myself drawn into re-makes of classic games like Harry Potter Cluedo, Pokemon Monopoly and the likes which are quite good fun. Except Game of Thrones Risk; that game is evil. But then, I discovered that there is another entire world of games which are built entirely for more mature players; not because of their content, but because of the complexity involved. Then again, there are also many exceptionally adult board games which I am not getting into, at all. The first such game I really got into was Ticket to Ride and me and my fiancé had great fun building railways across the USA and then across the UK and Pennsylvania in an expansion pack. This is a game that can also be played with children, there’s no issues there, providing that you are willing to explain and help a bit ...

BBC - TV Licence 01/08/2017

Why does the annoying ginger git get £2.2 million??

BBC - TV Licence Let me start out by stating exceptionally clearly that I object to the BBC License Fee being mandatory because you have a TV or a computer that can stream TV in the house. We have a TV and over the last twelve months, we have probably watched about ten hours of BBC shows in comparison to entire evenings watching downloads or Amazon Prime or for that matter several other programs on the actual TV with adverts. I do not see this as an appropriate use of my money and if I was given the choice I would choose to not watch BBC at all and put my license fee towards Netflix which offers a much better service, a huge range of programs and the ability to watch anything, any time with no time limitations placed upon the viewer. Until the BBC can offer me the same service, I object strenuously to paying £145 for a service that I make very little use of and would not miss if we did not have it. If the BBC worked on a subscription service then I could get behind it and its efforts. I might not pay for it, lots of people may not pay for it and then the BBC would have to get with the times and work as a business rather than a bloated semi-public corporation paid out of the public purse. If they actually had to offer what people wanted otherwise people would unsubscribe then I truly believe we would see a vast difference in the quality and range that is offered by the BBC. Looking on the BBC’s website, they state that the fee we pay (with no choice) is to provide us with a wide range of TV, ...

Lucifer Season 1 (DVD) 24/07/2017

Lucifer? Nah, Used Car Salesman.

Lucifer Season 1 (DVD) When bored one weekend I decided to flick around Amazon Prime in order to find something to watch on TV. I’d been intrigued by this show called ‘Lucifer’ since I’d seen it months previously but had never had a chance to watch it. It’s not one that appealed to my fiancé in the slightest… and as it turned out, for rather good reasons. Although he couldn’t have known that in advance and therefore has no right to say ‘I told you so’. Series Background Lucifer is an American (and oh my, how stereotypically American) fantasy based police procedural kind of drama, kind of comedy series that tries to walk the line between real life police work and fantasy and doesn’t quite ever cut it. It actually refers back to a comic book series called the Sandman in which Lucifer Morningstar was a supporting character, eventually leading to his own spin-off series in comic, film and TV. The idea reminded me quite a lot of the book Horns by Joe Hill about a guy turned demon who could get people to spill their deepest desires. And hey, having looked at the dates the book was published in 2010 and the first season of this in 2016… the book is worth reading if you are interested. It focuses on (you guessed it) Lucifer Morningstar, otherwise known as the Devil, who got bored of Hell and so decided to resign his throne of the Underworld and run away to Los Angeles, because hey, why not. And so we meet Lucifer Morningstar as he runs a nightclub, which is originally named Lux, with a demonic friend ...

Anonymous Notes: From the Abyss (Nintendo DSiWare) 21/07/2017

What Notes? Stop Tricking Me With References to Stationary

Anonymous Notes: From the Abyss (Nintendo DSiWare) Anonymous Notes: From the Abyss was a kind of re-release of From the Abyss, but done in four chapters on the DSi and sold very cheap indeed. Each one is effectively a single dungeon which you go through again, and again, and again in order to collect better loot so that you can get better equipment and beat bigger baddies. According to the official description this is an exhilarating RPG set inside an infinitely expanding dungeon which re-creates itself after the boss is defeated so you can play over and over. The idea of a single dungeon intrigued me, and at £1.99 I didn’t really care if it was going to be absolute crud as at least it was cheap crud. This has a distinctly 18-bit retro feel to it and is clearly meant to take you back in time and offer modern nostalgia gaming. It looks and sounds like a charming little number that you somehow missed in your initial bout of RPG gaming back in the day. Unfortunately, that’s about the only similarly this has to the charming old school gaming that I remember so fondly. The plotline is beyond basic, to such a degree that there isn’t really even a proper plot. It’s more like a destroy monsters for the sheer lols and giggles but with no actual aim or purpose in mind. The battling is simplistic hack and slash and the writing is lacklustre; not helped by the lack of focus. All in all, this just manages to feel rather aimless or pointless and whilst you can plough quite a few hours into it, the question that keeps reoccurring has to ...

YS: Memories of Celceta (PS Vita) 19/07/2017

No Memories For Me But A Fine Game Regardless

YS: Memories of Celceta (PS Vita) Ys: Memories of Celceta is a game that took me a couple of goes to fall in love with, but once I fell, I fell hard and it was a good eighteen hours later before I looked up to do anything else useful with my life. I do not count sleeping, eating or working as useful, let me point that out now. I believe I bought it during one of the PSStore sales, which is where I buy way too many of my games for the PS Vita, which certainly says that their marketing is about right. It doesn’t say a lot about my self control however. This is however a retelling of Ys IV as a celebration of the 25th anniversary of this series. Ys: Memories of Celceta is an RPG with a hack and slash mentality and a number of different characters to play with as you go through the game. The main character starts with amnesia, which is a fairly cliché RPG device, however one of the main aims to the game is to actively regain these memories by finding places the ‘tweak’ them around the world. That’s slightly different. Usually you just get hurled into whatever storyline other characters want you to be embroiled in because you have no memories. That also happens mind you, but regaining your memories is a crucial aspect of gameplay. The beginning of the game starts with a forest, a quest and a map – at least after you have got the initial scenes out of the way for introduction – and much of the game revolves around you trekking around this forest and completing the map. You are a bona fida explorer, and your ...

Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy (PS4) 17/07/2017


Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy (PS4) For those of you with a slightly masochistic tendency to gaming and an enjoyment for platform games and the inevitable frustration of difficult platform games, Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy may be exactly what you are looking for this summer. Regardless of whether you have or haven’t played the original games, this is a challenging and punishing game that certainly makes you work for your money. Of course, depending on which boat you’re in, your view is going to be different. If like me you never really played Crash Bandicoot all those years ago then this is a whole new experience… the nostalgia feeling will be strong in those sitting in the other boat through. As you may gather from the term ‘trilogy’ in the title, this is a game set made up of three titles as a whole. You have the original Crash Bandicoot and then the sequels, Cortex Strikes Back and Warped. I vaguely recall playing small amounts of the original game at a friends house, however it never caught me enough to beg the parents for it. By this time I’d really become interested in RPG’s in favour of the platforming games. I don’t remember playing either of the sequels at all, and I have no recollection of any of the levels when I have been playing through it on the PS4. The trilogy aspect makes this well worth picking up in and of itself; it’s completely remastered and you get three games for the price of one! However, the games do all have their own strengths and weaknesses; the original is definitely the ...

Lego Harry Potter: Years 1-4 (PSP) 14/07/2017


Lego Harry Potter: Years 1-4 (PSP) Those who know me, know that I have long been addicted to Lego and Lego video games are absolutely no exception to this rule. It is therefore no surprise that I own a copy of this game on at least three consoles…and my fiancé owns it on another… I never claimed to be sane. Either way, Harry Potter Years 1-4 was released across the board on just about every console whether full size or handheld that they could think of to whack it on and then they put it on android and iPhone for the sheer fun and giggles as well. This is a cross platform game…and I have indeed already reviewed it twice (DS and iPhone) but believe it or not, I could even review it twice more if I really wanted to (PS3 and Xbox360!). Anyone who knows anything about Lego games will know that much of the gameplay revolves around smashing everything in sight and collecting the Lego studs that result from this wanton destruction. You then collect these studs and with them you can buy in game bonus’ or ‘cheats’ and extra characters that you have unlocked throughout your playtime. Anyone who knows anything about Harry Potter knows that you will be exploring the world of Hogwarts with your trusty wand once you discover that you are a budding wizard and your parents were killed by an evil wizard, not in a car crash as your delightful relatives have been telling you all these years. The game follows our young protagonist through his first four years at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and each one of the ...

Tattoos: friends or foes? 14/07/2017

Each Tattoo Has A Symbolic Meaning

Tattoos: friends or foes? Tattoos are very much a matter of personal choice and personal opinion and even those who have tattoos think very differently about them. For instance, I have tattoos but I am choosey about what I like and all of my current tattoos are small and easily hidden. I have tattoos for myself rather than for anyone else and whilst I am not ashamed of showing them off, I also want to be able to cover them completely as and when the occasion calls for it. I have got plans for a single larger tattoo across my ribs and going into my back, but I’ve had that plan for years and not yet found the phoenix that I find perfect.It pays to be be fussy with tattoos as you have to live with them for a long, long time! Part of me wants something linked to Harry Potter as well... but I always was an oddball! But whether tattoo’s are friend or foe, good or bad, is very much personal. My foster parents see them as a waste of time, my actual father sees them as an absolute obscenity and hates the fact that both me and my brother have tattoo’s. One of my friends is absolutely covered in a set of – to my mind – fairly awful tattoos including ones of her pets in really obvious places, but they mean something to her and that’s all that matters. Another friend has just as many tattoos if not more but in a far more meaningful and subtle manner with tattoos that I can really see as being both meaningful and artwork. My sister in law has a fair few and my brother has a full Batman sleeve. My fiancé likes my ...

Lush Dirty Springwash Shower Gel 06/07/2017

Lovely but I can't justify the price

Lush Dirty Springwash Shower Gel A rapturous tingle of menthol crystals and a crisp breath of spearmint tempts like untrodden snow, galvanising you into action. While you're as chilled as a mountain lake, a herbaceous breeze of thyme oil echoes the refreshment of open air. So, ready yourself. A waterfall of freshness is coming your way. Dirty Springwash is one of my fiance’s out and out favourite shower gels and I can see why; it lathers up perfectly, it smells wonderful and the smell lingers in the bathroom and on the skin. The issue is that it was expensive when we first bought it, three odd years ago. I can’t remember the exact price, but it would have been somewhere around £8 for 250ml if I remember correctly. That is absolutely extortionate for a shower gel and I can’t put it in any other terminology. Except, Lush have been raising their prices steadily and now, for that same 250ml bottle you will have to part with five pence off a tenner. Yeah. I’m not joking. My fiancé may love the stuff, but it isn’t being replaced until we go on Honeymoon as a special treat, because hell, I objected to paying £8! The first thing that you will note about Dirty Springwash – even before the smell – is the colour; it is a lovely light blue which is very much reminiscent of mint and oceans and waterfalls and the sunlight falling on a perfectly clear lake. I would strongly suspect that this is very much intentional. It’s quite a thin shower gel and tumbles out of the bottle quite easily; thankfully the thinness does ...

The Jungle Book - Rudyard Kipling 05/07/2017

If You Go Down To The Woods Today...

The Jungle Book - Rudyard Kipling It's difficult to rate a classic so many years on because everything has changed so much; attitudes, opinions and language itself. However, it can't be denied Kipling knows how to turn a phrase and his story telling is still effective even with the thy's, thee's and thou's of times gone by. The one thing I did pick up quickly is that this isn’t the book that I thought it was going to be when I first picked it up. Only the first few chapters relate to the Jungle Book as we know according to Disney. Indeed, well over half the book has nothing to do with Mowgli and the jungle, instead taking us into animal based fables based around a white seal, a mongoose, elephants and war animals in India. The White Seal tells of a young seal’s hunt for a safe breeding ground where the hunters will not find them and the challenges he meets within his own species and on his journey, Rikki-Tikki-Tavi tells of a mongoose’s battle against mongoose in trying to keep his adopted family safe. Toomai of the Elephants tells of a young boy and his elephant, the friendship between the two leading to the child seeing something that no human has ever seen before and Her Majesty’s Servants retells the conversations of army animals in India, from the elephants, to the horses and everything in between. The narration in the tales is dominantly the animals with the humans being additional players in the story rather than the key dominant ones. The only exception to this is Moogli in his tales and even within ...

The Great British Dimple Mug 29/06/2017 Gimme my beer!

The Great British Dimple Mug I’m an old fashioned girl at heart and one of the ways this shows is in my beer drinking habit. I like ale not lager and I very much like my ale to be properly presented with a small but reasonable head and a proper glass. Pubs have long since got rid of what I would class as a ‘proper’ glass however, and so it is only in drinking at home that I get to drink out of a proper pint glass. Yes, I am talking about the thick and dimpled good old beer tankards that used to be the primary source of drinking ones beer from. It is rare and rare beyond that you see one of them in a public establishment though. Hopefully they will make more of a come back in the sense that styles come around and come around again, but I don’t hold my breath on account of being a cynic. So why do I so much prefer the good old fashioned dimple pint rather than one of those long and thin lager pint glasses or thick and shapeless bulb glasses? Well, the reasons are many and multitude. Firstly, it has a handle!! A proper handle!! Rather than relying on small fingers around a bulbous glass or the easy slippages that can happen when you have had one too many and in fact prevents sticky fingers from beer residue caused by topping up an ale to minimize the head. There are so many mighty good reasons to have a handle whacked on the side of a beer canister and I for one will always search out the old fashioned mug when it comes to pouring out my pint. That is not the only reason however, no indeed it is not. ...

Half-Minute Hero (PSP) 26/06/2017

A Collection of Mini-Games

Half-Minute Hero (PSP) Half Minute Hero is an RPG that epitomises the attention deficit world that we live in to an absolute tee; seriously, I’ve never seen an RPG like it and I have seen a lot of RPG’s. This is a game in which every mission has to be completed within thirty seconds…or close enough as I will get into a little later in more detail. From a genre that prides itself upon the grinding and the lengthy dungeons and expansive plot lines to… yes, thirty second levels. You can’t get much more different than that. And that’s putting it mildly. In all honesty, I’m still not entirely sure how to rate this particular little gem; it’s a game that fascinates me and yet it is equally a game that utterly fails to draw me in for more than a couple of levels. I just get frustrated and give up, going back instead to something a little more… traditional. Where I can focus and level up and actually engage. But then, something still draws me back to this particular game and so it can’t be an utter fail… and I don’t regret buying it, which is something. One of the things that makes this game engaging is the different versions within it; if it was just made up of the thirty second RPG levels, I think I would have gotten excessively bored, excessively quickly. Thankfully, it is not. All of the various versions have one thing in common – that thirty second time cap – but they all play completely differently. In fact they are in reality completely different genres tied together by the gimmick of thirty ...
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