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Product Reviews

Reviewer:
AndyP25
Reviews:
0
Votes:
5 (80% helpful)

Page 1 of 0

  1.  Simply brilliant

    Posted: 

    I'm slightly torn in writing this review. Not over how good it is (it's fantastic), but over what to say about it. See, when I read Only Forward I knew absolutely nothing about it and had zero expectations. It could have been a 17th century love story for all I knew. So when I did read it, it knocked me sideways. I don't want to say too much and deny you that same experience. If you do want that same experience then stop reading this review and buy it. You won't regret it.
    Not convinced? Ok then, some details. If you like your fiction a little bit out there, surreal, weird, abstract then you really should give this a go. Some concepts that are introduced in this book, especially regarding dreams and perception, are mind boggolingly brilliant. It really will make you think. This book can be laugh out loud funny one page and then violent and disturbing the next. Stark, the main character, is your companion through a 1st person narrative. He a work of genius (and I don't use that word easily). Stark is a nice, funny, flawed, damaged, person with a past. I don't want to give too much away, but the narrative has some very interesting tricks. The world that Michael Marshall Smith has created is bizarre and strange, but still believable and tangible. I was gripped by the end of the prologue (a rarity for me).
    For me, this is MMS's best book. After this I read everything he has released. The other books he wrote as Michael Marshall Smith are great (though not quite as brilliant as Only Forward). I didn't really get into the thriller books he wrote as Michael Marshall (much more mainstream). They are still good, just not really to my taste.
    For me, Only Forward deserves to be up there with some of the great books of our time. I've not quite figured out why it isn't. Some works of fiction are enjoyable, but that's all they are. Occasionally something will come along that is not just enjoyable, but moves you, or changes you. It stays with you long after you finish. That's what this book did for me.

  2.  Simply brilliant

    Posted: 

    I'm slightly torn in writing this review. Not over how good it is (it's fantastic), but over what to say about it. See, when I read Only Forward I knew absolutely nothing about it and had zero expectations. It could have been a 17th century love story for all I knew. So when I did read it, it knocked me sideways. I don't want to say too much and deny you that same experience. If you do want that same experience then stop reading this review and buy it. You won't regret it.
    Not convinced? Ok then, some details. If you like your fiction a little bit out there, surreal, weird, abstract then you really should give this a go. Some concepts that are introduced in this book, especially regarding dreams and perception, are mind boggolingly brilliant. It really will make you think. This book can be laugh out loud funny one page and then violent and disturbing the next. Stark, the main character, is your companion through a 1st person narrative. He a work of genius (and I don't use that word easily). Stark is a nice, funny, flawed, damaged, person with a past. I don't want to give too much away, but the narrative has some very interesting tricks. The world that Michael Marshall Smith has created is bizarre and strange, but still believable and tangible. I was gripped by the end of the prologue (a rarity for me).
    For me, this is MMS's best book. After this I read everything he has released. The other books he wrote as Michael Marshall Smith are great (though not quite as brilliant as Only Forward). I didn't really get into the thriller books he wrote as Michael Marshall (much more mainstream). They are still good, just not really to my taste.
    For me, Only Forward deserves to be up there with some of the great books of our time. I've not quite figured out why it isn't. Some works of fiction are enjoyable, but that's all they are. Occasionally something will come along that is not just enjoyable, but moves you, or changes you. It stays with you long after you finish. That's what this book did for me.

  3.  The best beat'em'up since Street Fighter II

    Posted: 

    Basically, it's great fun. If, like me, you think beat'em'ups have become over complicated and dull, then you'll like this. It's not trying to compete with other (400 moves per character) beat'em'ups on the same level. Instead it's found its niche and doing what street fighter does best. You won't need to spend hours in the dojo, just pick up and play. Me and my friends all played street fighter 2 and instinctively know how play street fighter 4. It's taken the best of the SF series and made it next gen. Simply, it's proper back-to-basics fun. It looks great and feels familiar. I've not had this much fun since I first got my SNES. It's style is unapologetically 90s arcade (which you will either love or hate).
    Ok, it's not perfect. Arcade mode is overly difficult and rewards dull and stupid play. Seth (the final boss) is no fun. And 90% of my fights online have been against Ryu. However, get two controllers and a few friends over and you'll be playing all night.
    Anyway, this is a brilliant beat'em'up, nostalgia trip, party game all rolled into one. Buy it now. If you loved street fighter 2, buy it yesterday.

  4.  Very good, but.....

    Posted: 

    If you'd asked me a couple of weeks after I'd bought LBP- I'd have said it's brilliant. One of the best games I've ever played. Now, months later, after the dust has settled- unfortunately, I don't think it's great. Good, but not great.
    First the good stuff. It's beautiful with a great atmosphere to the game. Stephen Fry narrating is genius. The story mode is good fun (though short) especially if you play with someone. The level creator puts level design within the grasp of anyone. If you can imagine it, you can make it. Plus, you'll never run out of levels to play. Some of the user made content is amazing (some of it rubbish). And, it's a basic platformer at heart.
    Now the bad. The controls are sluggish- not so bad that you can't play but bad enough that you will occasionally try and snap your PS3 controller in half. The level creator is temperamental at best. You'll be half way through making something and it'll break- for no reason. Also, making a level is a huge investment of your time. Plus, it's a basic platformer at heart. The lag when trying to play co-op online made it almost unplayable- though this may depend on your connection. And the worst; the way level designers are treated is poor. The chances are you'll spend many hours making a level and it'll get a few plays. Unfortunately, your level is a drop in the ocean. Your level will disappear into obscurity and after a week no one will be playing. Think your level is different? It's probably not. A simple -Play a random level- option would have got round this. But no, despite the improvements in the search level function, your level will probably disappear without trace.
    You could be unlucky and your level gets banned/moderated. If your level is moderated it's all over. Your level, that you spent hours/days on, can be moderated without warning or reprieve. Media Molecule have been continuously criticised for their moderation and I have seen no evidence of the improvements they claim to have made to the process. If you're moderated then your level is likely to be gone forever. I'm not talking offensive material here; their moderation is, for the most part, there to protect themselves, particularly with regards to potential copyright infringement. It's totally against the atmosphere, and style of the game. For a game that is made around user-made content, it's a shame they treat level designers so badly.
    I've included "it's a basic platformer" as a good and bad thing because it depends on what you like. I love platformers (I've been playing them for over 25 years) but if you don't like platform games, don't expect this game to convert you.
    Basically, this is a good game that you should buy. For 17.99, it's a bargain. There is plenty to enjoy here and I certainly got my money's worth. Is it the gaming revolution that everyone was hoping for, or something you'll be playing in three months time? No, probably not. Are you a level designer (or potential level designer)? Good luck. You'll need it.

  5.  Flawed but ok ending

    Posted: 

    The final season, more than any other, is all about the season story arc (the big bad). Unfortunately, this is the problem. After season six, where the program progressed past the idea of a super nemesis (or nemeses) for buffy (and actually mocks the notion) this feels like a step back. The concept of an invincible enemy, who turns out to be not so invincible has been overused in the Buffy universe- and this season's resolution, if you let your suspension of disbelief slip, is laughable.
    Otherwise, the season is hampered by plot holes, continuity errors, and lazy writing. The big bad (a recycled enemy from one of the weaker episodes of season 3) has no real depth beyond going boo once in a while. The writers seem to have ran out of ideas for the main characters, which would explain the large number of new, weak minor characters (not just the potentials.) Characters make bad decisions throughout this season which keep paying off; the writers seem to believe that coincidence and luck are substitutes for decent plots.
    It's not all bad. The first 2 disks (before the season gets bogged down with the big bad) have some solid, stand-alone episodes. There are plenty of references to early episodes of buffy for the fans. Nathan Fillion has fun in his role as Caleb. And, as usual, the DVD extras are strong.
    In the end most of this is moot anyway. If you are thinking of buying this then you already have the previous six seasons, and if so, then you'll buy this whatever I say. At the end of the day, even weak buffy is better than most of the TV out there. This may not be the highlight of the series but is an adequate ending.