Tynemouth Book Fair

Today was the book fair at Tynemouth Station. I didn’t get a thorough look at the book side, however I did pick up a few things:

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A Mighty Heart – £1
Expanding upon the Jolie DVD collection.

Red Dwarf – Son of Soup – £1
Contains the full, unedited scripts; it’s always nice to see things that didn’t make it into the final cut.

Sue Townsend – Rebuilding Coventry – £1
I only needed 3 more Sue Townsend books so when I found Rebuilding Coventry that was another one crossed off my list. Only 2 to go now.

Charlie Higson – By Royal Command – £1.50
Another “full set” of books completed now. I have found each one of these in release order so when I found the last book in the set I had to get it. I’m saving them for when I finish all of Fleming’s Bonds.

Final Fantasy X and XII

These were £3 each so I decided to pick them up, taking a slight risk as I have never played an RPG before, excluding Pokemon. Even more so a risk when all I really know about Final Fantasy is that laugh. (I do know the context of the laugh though!)

I’m about five and a half hours into FF10 right now; the battle system feels familiar enough for me to have picked it up straight away. The tutorials were nice as they were helpful enough for a new FF player, yet they don’t hold your hand or tell you obvious things.

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Playstation Demos Haul

Yesterday I picked up a tonne of PS1 demos, 1 PS2 demo, and 1 PS1 game. I also got 4 CD’s and 2 PC games, but I’m just going to discuss the demos. A shop wanted rid of their CD’s and it was take as many as you want for £1. My Mam had already picked out 4 CD’s she wanted, so if I found anything I wanted they would be essentially “free”. I found all these PS1 demos so I felt they were worth picking up as nice bonuses and for the novelty. I loved demos as a kid – although I can only think of one game I got as a result of playing its demo… Spyro!

From left to right: (Click image to enlarge)

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Click to enlarge

Essential Playstation Magazine
Five (SCED-01004)
Seven (SCED-01110)
Eight (SCED-01139)

Official UK Playstation Magazine
Disc 16 Vol 2 (SCED-00829)
Disc 17 Vol 2 (SCED-01144)
Disc 18 Vol 2 (SCED-01145)
Disc 41 (SCED-01151)
Disc 42 (SCED-01152)

Gran Turismo (full game)

Official Sony Demos
Silent Hill (SLED-01735)
Namco Demo (SCED-00789)
Autumn/Christmas Releases (SCED-00273)
Demo One (SCED-00816)
Registered User Demo 02 (SCED-00936)
Playstation 2 Demo (PBPX-95506)

I already have 2 of the demos, those being Demo One and Autumn/Christmas Releases which came with the Playstation and Crash Bandicoot (respectively). I didn’t have any of the other demos, though I do have full versions of some of the games included. I enjoy comparing the unfinished demos to the final builds. The Silent Hill demo was quite handy as I can put it in the back of my Metal Gear Solid case to “complete” it.

Two of the cases had different CD’s to what was listed on the cover (hence the handwritten paper in the front of the case). One of them was Disc 42 which contains the 14 Net Yaroze Hall of Fame games which is pretty cool.

If you just include the demos and other CD’s (not pictured), it works out at exactly 4p a disc. If you include the blank cases (you can never have enough blank cases!!) it works out at around 2p for each item. They gets rid of stock, we get all of these – everybody wins!

Replacement PS2 Covers

Here are some games I bought as disc only, so I put them in spare cases and made replacement covers. Using a matte photo paper (rather than regular printer paper) helps to improve the saturation of the colours, making them look undetectable as replacements alongside other games in your collection. Sites such as The Cover Project have scans of the original covers you can print off and use.

before

Before

after

After

 

Assassin’s Creed Books

I got Renaissance back in January and since then I’ve gradually picked up the whole set one by one. Yesterday I found the last book I needed, Revelations, though I’m not sure when I’ll get round to reading all of them! If they make a novelisation of AC4 then I probably won’t get it, I didn’t really like AC3 and I’m not interested by what’s been shown of AC4.

The Secret Crusade – £1.49
Renaissance – £1
Brotherhood – 33p
Revelations – £1.50
Forsaken – £1.99

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Relics – Petroc series by Pip Vaughan-Hughes

I picked up Relics way back in May for 25p. Even with a stack of books in my arms, I just kept going back to Relics. Picking it up; reading the blurb; putting it back on the shelf; and repeat. The blurb sounded very interesting and I liked the way the random passages I read were written. Not that it’s relevant, but the cover was lovely too – it has a nice texture and shiny embossing.

I finished Relics in July and I really enjoyed it. It’s very much the cliché of “I couldn’t put it down”. Relics was such a nice book to read and had so much charm to it, Vaughan-Hughes has such a excellent grasp on vivid description and writing Petroc as such a likeable character.

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Since then I’ve been lucky enough to find the next two books in the trilogy. The second book, The Vault of Bones, I am not enjoying anywhere near as much as I did Relics. It’s approximately double the size and it feels a bit “rambly”, almost as if the book is padded out with unnecessary filler and an overuse of elaborate synonyms where they’re not needed. The Vault of Bones has been sitting on my desk for months and it feels like I’m making no headway with it.

The third book, Painted in Blood, is a similar size to the first, so I’m hoping it will have returned to a similar standard. There’s another book about Petroc too, The Fools Crusade, although that said, I still need to get through the second book! I’m flagging somewhere around the midway point. It’s struggling to hold my interest which is disappointing as I loved the first book so much.

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Policenauts

policenauts_02b-e1344878015505First of all, I have to give credit to everybody who worked on the English fan-translation of Policenauts. This game never got an official release outside of Japan and as I don’t know Japanese, it is very much a game I would have never been able to play. The English translation is incredibly well done and is definitely up to the standard of any official translation. They did a good job of adding colloquialisms to each character’s manner of speaking, but all the time it still felt true to the official translations of other Hideo Kojima games. A lot of work also went into the programming aspect of the translation, details of which can be found here.

The translation patch is available at the project’s site: http://policenauts.net/english/indext.html

Policenauts is true to the style of any of Kojima’s other games and is very, very verbose. The storyline is utterly engrossing and when I wasn’t playing this game, I was thinking about it constantly. I put somewhere around 15 hours into this game. Kojima does an excellent job of setting up the Policenauts world and it is very much believable despite being a little over the top by most conventional standards. There is a lot of backstory and lore which is generally explained through talking to other characters. For a detailed timeline of the events in the Policenauts universe see: http://policenauts.net/english/timeline.html

redwoodmeetPolicenauts deals with serious issues such as human organ trafficking, widespread drug dealing, and corrupt police forces, to name a few. There is a lot of content in this game which they would never be able to get away if they tried to release it today (mostly all the sexual harassment from Jonathan). I do prefer playing older games prior to this new obsession with censorship; seeing games uncensored in all regards and staying true to the original intentions of the creators, whatever those intentions may be.

Despite being a visual novel, there are a few segments of the game (the shooting and bomb defusal) in which you can actually make mistakes and get a game over. The bomb defusing part is a bit annoying but the characters breaking the fourth wall make it hilarious rather than rage inducing.

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Pokemon Firered

This was sitting on the counter of the shop and I was awfully worried that this meant somebody had bought it. I asked if anybody was buying it and they weren’t, so my next question was “how much is it?” as it had no price sticker. The man thought about it, then told me £1! He opened it up for me to check everything was still there and incredibly it was and near mint. I say near mint as it’s mint condition quality wise with all the original documentation, but it’s missing the wireless adapter for trading and battling with other players.

firered

I felt I should name my rival after the previous owner, so to whichever Tom had the game previously, my rival is named after you, cheers! He was only 10 hours in with 22 Pokemon, so it wasn’t too bad to save over his game.

Wreck-It Ralph!

After waiting very patiently since I saw the trailer back in June 2012, Wreck-It Ralph FINALLY was released in the UK! I liked the idea of the film from the get go, but after actually seeing it I think it only worked because of all the references to existing games.

Probably my favourite part!

I also really liked the very end of the film with the reference to the Pac-man 256 kill screen, really nice touch! And of course Ralph giving his name as Lara Croft 😛 But my favourite part was absolutely the Metal Gear Solid “!” alert part!

The little things like that really made the film. All the references showed they went the extra mile and they made it appeal to more than just children. The original Disney characters alone didn’t really make the film worth seeing if you were older than their primary target audience. Most definitely the references were the best part of the film for me and without them, it would have just been another generic kids’ film I would have never given a second thought to.

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This was also actually the first film I have saw in 3D and I really don’t think my eyes are suited to it! I’m long sighted and it felt like everything was too close to my face. My eyes really hurt the whole night after seeing the film. I noticed the edges of the screen seemed to have overlapping images, similar to how the film looks like with no glasses on. Vanellope’s hair was also prone to overlapping for me, which was strange as it happened even when she was in the centre of the screen.

I felt like my eyes were constantly trying to fight the 3D and being distracted by the edges of the screen. I’ve read 3D isn’t any good for your eyes as it tries to trick you into focusing on many different distances at once. It made my eyes feel the same as using a 3DS, only far worse as it was a bigger screen and I was looking at it for a much longer period of time.

I probably won’t see any other films in 3D!

Young Bond + Moneypenny Diaries

SilverFin – 75p
BloodFever – 75p
The Moneypenny Diaries – 99p

All of these books have popped up on my Amazon recommendations in the past and weren’t things I would consider to be on my “to buy” list, but I left them sitting in my recommendations. The two Young Bond books were 75p each. Not 2 minutes later, I spotted The Moneypenny Diaries and it was 99p, so I had to get them all. I’m pleased to see my camera has picked up the holographic covers of the Young Bond books, they look great!

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