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Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Music Review : Reflektor

I'm a big fan of Arcade Fire judging by the plays of their previous albums on my music collection. I started listening to this new album as it slowly trickled it's way onto the internet. First "Reflektor" which besides featuring David Bowie (who seems to be in at the moment) it had a funky disco beat that gave me a feel for the direction of the new album. I should probably point out that in terms of critiquing an album I don't have many qualifications for it, besides owning an opinion on it. I bought the album on Google Music for those looking to purchase it (£4.99 at the time of writing, compared to £12.99 in HMV!).

I've been listening to the album almost non-stop for the past few days now and whilst I didn't feel the instant love for it I did when I listened to Neon Bible this album is growing into one of my favourites. I implore every to give this album at least three goes before dismissing it ! We Exist is a personal favourite of mine, even if I don't know what the lyrics mean for 90% of it.....

Based on previous efforts by Arcade Fire I think it's fair to give this album a respectable score, whilst not as good as Neon Bible it is definitely a catchy disco album that has me humming the songs hours after I stop listening


Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Game Review : Fable 3

Game Review : Fable 3

I feel sad lambasting Fable 3...

In my heyday as a young pubescent teenager the original Fable was a firm favourite in my Xbox repertoire. It wasn't concerned with realism or "grit". With it's lovable British charm in both voice acting and visual jokes it spun a fairytale-esque tale of avenging the ransacking of your home town and through that becoming the saviour (or tyrant) of Albion.
I havnt got rose coloured snorkels on. I do remember the faults attributed to the game, it was a bit short story wise and it didn't have all the feature Peter - promise the world - Molyneux. But in no means is it as bad as Fable 3 ! You feel like the games have taken a step back since 2005 (Somehow !?)

                                                        Spot the difference ! (8 years apart)

I'll get specific with my complaints rather than go on forever with vague adjectives.

  1. Menu system that takes you into "another realm" to do anything is slow, clumsy, fiddly and pointless.
  2. LESS FEATURES than a game made 8 years ago on an older generation console. 
  3. Firebolt, Firebolt, Firebolt. (No point in any other weapon existing) Does anyone have the excitement of finding the Legendary weapons and their useful power !
  4. Less emphasis on one of the more interesting parts of the original Fable game, the good/evil decision making. All characters other than male/female look "iden-i-kit"
  5. Was in the middle a quest in an attempt to meet a character at a Monorail station, went into the menu system to change costumes, came out of the menu and re-appeared at the start of the trail for the quest ! A full 10 minutes of dull walking needed to get back to where I started.

My main problem with game overall is that it is exactly the same, if not lesser, than the original game which because it was new had some "charm" that let you forget about its faults. The makers of Fable have had 2 previous games and 8 years to expand and perfect the formula and have seemed to have done nothing in that time.

Thank god I bought this for £4



(This is probably a good time to explain my scoring system, to avoid "grade inflation" that seems to have plagued conventional media for many years. (Is every half decent game an 8 these days ?))

1/10 - Unplayable, literally not worth burning onto disc
2/10 - Lazy, cheap. Don't bother buying.
3/10 - Under £4 in your local game shop ? Try it if you've got money to burn.
4/10 - Close but no Coconut.
5/10 - Average game (Deus Ex, Mass Effect 2)
6/10 - Good game, original, interesting and worth trying
7/10 - A formula perfected ! (Halo 3, Modern Warfare)
9/10 - No game will get this score unless it makes me want to lock myself away and play it until my fingers bleed)
10/10 - No game will ever get this score. 

Friday, 7 September 2012

Finally a working man

Once again it's been a long time between now and my last posting on this blog. I have a full time job now at Prysmian Cables as a Process Engineer and am loving it. I'm going to start posting GCSE Maths   tutorials on this blog in the near future because I've started tutoring in my spare time and see it as a good way to spread my message.

Adios for now !

Thursday, 17 May 2012

One down, another 3 to go !

Well today was my first exam of the summer, "An introduction to law, accounting, economics and management science". It was as interesting as it sounds...But on a brighter note I've been reading the blog of notorious troller David Thorne to cheer myself up.


Here's the link to his website, I implore everyone to have a read (especially if they need cheering up after a painful two hour exam)

Ciao for now !

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

A very slow day..

Well today's a new day, and I've done very little with it. Just thought I'd make a new posting just to keep up my motivation for completing this blog. On a side note if anybody is looking to purchase a new gaming PC and has very little "real" knowledge about graphics card A vs B then;

Are an excellent site that is more than competitively priced compared to the PC World's and Novatech's of the world. I mailed them with a query about the best unit for my needs and the service has been more than excellent ! E-mail responses in less than 10 minutes, patient in answering what must seem obvious questions to those out there with the know-how.

Also does anybody want to comment on the big news of the day today ? Have a guess ? That's right, the naming of the Euro 2012 team by now permanent (as they ever are) manager Roy Hodgson. Am I alone in thinking that nobody really ever gives football managers a chance to shine in English football these days ?
       Thinking back to the recent AndrĂ© Villas-Boas debacle,  he was tasked with wiping the slate clean at Chelsea removing older players and transforming the obviously ageing line-up into the next premiership contenders.. WHILST winning? In this vain I think that Roy Hodgson will be doomed from the start with England this year. Stuck between a rock (taking the "old guard" team members) and a hard place (keeping the line-up fresh and breeding the next lot of international superstars).

I'm going to out on a whim here and tell the "story" of Euro 2012 for England this year.

  • Get through on top in the group stages 
  • Draw a game against a somewhat "easy" team though
  • Go out in lacklustre form in the quarter finals


Tuesday, 15 May 2012

The 16 Year Old Killer: Cyntoias Story

Before I start this is the link to the video this posting is based on:

I watched this documentary this afternoon during one of my many "revision breaks" and found it so poignant that I felt I had to post something on it. To those who will not watch the video I will do my best to briefly summarise it;
      Cyntoia Brown had a troubled childhood, being left with foster parents after her then 16 year old mother struggled to care for her. After being moved around from home to home she found herself at the age of 16 deep into the life of prostitution, her "mentor" a gang member named Kut-tooth would abuse her and force her into the arms of other men for money. On one such day she was picked up by a passing man named Johnny Allen, the intention being for her to go back to his house for sex after "bartering" on the price of the act. During the evening things became uncomfortable for her after Mr Allen started to act strangely, later on that night Cyntoia shot Mr Allen claiming that "as he turned around to reach over the bed I thought he was going to grab a gun or hit me". 

After a lengthy court process Cyntoia was found to be eligible to trial as an adult, which the maximum sentence for murder would be life in prison (the death sentence was not available as the crime was commited by a minor). The result of her trial was that Cyntoia was found guilty of pre-mediated murder and would serve life in prison.
     I personally found this decision hard to agree with from a personal level, although I am not aware of all the facts behind this case. The impression I got from the film was that although guilty of the crime of murder was she entirely responsible ? It merely came down to "your word against mine" as to what went on that evening in Mr Allen's house and it seems like a waste of a human life to discard a life in prison for something that was mostly due to environment and nurture not nature. 
    Is Cyntoia a stone-cold killer? Would she leave prison and kill again ? I somehow highly doubt that, she came across as a deeply troubled individual psychologically not given a chance at life. She was extremely intelligent and remorseful about her crime.

In the end I just feel that as an intelligent and supposedly "fair" society would it not be more appropriate to try and rehabilitate this person and give her the chance in life that almost all of us take for granted ?

Here is much more thorough (and frankly better written) article on the subject 

Opinions ?

It's been a long time...

Well I realise it has been a while since I've posted anything of any sort on my blog. It's mostly been down to the hectic life of a trainee engineer (exams, coursework).  I'm slightly undecided as to how to carry on with these blog posts, but have been toying with the idea of creating a "database" of maths guides for those studying GCSE maths and science exams (or international equivalents).
    Throughout my years of education I have always been at odds with the way that these subjects get taught, especially at University level. I realise the insistence on "good math practice" is good, teaching students the derivations of formulas, requiring independent thought as you try to assimilate the knowledge. But sometimes for people, especially at exam situations they want to summarise 10 pages of notes into 1 easy, digestible, set of steps for answering a question.
     I wanted to gauge the interest of people in starting doing this, especially as I have time off from University next year with work but want to keep my knowledge in the back of my head. I realise my posts at the time being have very.... limited reach..... but If anybody is interested please let me know in the comments.