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Links 1 through 10 of 27 by Tom Armitage tagged review

"Craig Raine’s Heartbreak is a novel in the sense in which Eton is a school near Slough. The description is true but misleading. It is really a collection of short stories, loosely linked by the topic announced in the title; but perhaps because the English are said to be averse to buying such volumes, the publishers have represented it as a novel, rather as Jedward are represented as singers." Yes, this has got a lot of coverage (mainly for that opening sentence) but it's still a powerful piece of criticism from Eagleton.

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"I suppose there are multitudes of people to be 'drawn' by promising to show them what the city of a hundred years hence will be like. It was, I thought, an unresponsive audience, and I heard no comments. I could not tell from their bearing whether they believed that Metropolis was really a possible forecast or no. I do not know whether they thought that the film was hopelessly silly or the future of mankind hopelessly silly. But it must have been one thing or the other." He did not like it too much.

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"For 16 days I lived with it strapped to me as I climbed through the valleys of central Nepal up to Annapurna Base Camp at 4,200 meters." Wonderful review of the GF1, framed as a travelogue, with real photographs. I'd be quite happy if all camera reviews looked like this.

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"To extend the "director" metaphor, Left 4 Dead's AI Director was a bit like Alfred Hitchcock: a master of suspense. Left 4 Dead 2's AI Director (dubbed AI Director 2.0, conveniently enough) is perhaps from a younger generation of "torture porn" filmmakers. In place of suspense is sheer brutality and instead of tiptoeing along the precipice of failure, you're pushed over. And over. And over." Much as I'm enjoying L4D2, I think this is an appropriate metaphor: it's not just that it's hard, it's that it's *relentless*; the suspense of L4D is missing a bit.

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"Using a simple correlation scale comparing marketing spend and sales against Metacritic rating and sales, Divnich found that marketing influenced game revenue “three times more than game scores”... “There is no compelling reason to focus on quality, you should literally just spend that money and time on marketing.”" I'm not sure he's suggesting this is a /good/ thing, but he is pointing out that it's what the numbers say. It's still depressing.

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"So, to sum up: Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen is one of the greatest achievements in the history of cinema, if not the greatest. You could easily argue that cinema, as an artform, has all been leading up to this. It will destabilize your limbic system, probably forever, and make you doubt the solidity of your surroundings. Generations of auteurs have struggled, in vain, to create a cinematic experience as overwhelming, and as liberating, as ROTF." This review is, essentially, amazing, and has elevated ROTF to a must-see for me.

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I was a little excited from the ongoing Offworld love in, but Oli Welsh's review suddenly makes me insanely excited about Keita Takahashi's new plaything. Why is it that all the reasons for me wanting a £300 PS3 are £3 PSN titles?

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"...while there will no doubt be a small but vociferous core of Third Strike veterans who cry foul over the series' apparent simplification, they will be vastly outnumbered by those players who get to fall in love again with the Street Fighter of their youth: one that's easy to pick up and play, yet near-impossible to master. As a result this is, in almost every way that matters, the perfect Street Fighter." Very excited. Very, very excited.

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Gerard Way reviews Left 4 Dead on My Chemical Romance's (totally excellent) blog.

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"Yes, it's true that at no time while playing Prince of Persia did I feel any of the frustration that I felt on a regular basis in Mirror's Edge. But neither did I ever feel the joy of doing something right, of stringing together a perfect series of vaults and wall-runs and feeling like it was based on my own skill. Can one exist without the other? Is it impossible to create joy without difficulty? I don't know. But Prince of Persia lost something significant." I'm a bit worried about the new Prince, especially having read this; the challenge/reward balance is hugely important to it as a series, especially since the marvellous Sands of Time. Also, more worryingly: are developers shying away from letting players fail any more?

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