April 2011 Entries - Mark's Blog


Hello once again readers, I thought I might mix things up a little this week and take a break from games , so I’m going to review a book instead. Hope you enjoy!

This book was released back in 1993 by  Bernard Cornwell who is the creator of the hit series Sharpe. It looks into the American civil war and some of the battles that took place (Note: As far as I’m away all the characters are fictional although some of the battles may have actually taken place). This is the first in a yet unfinished series of books entiled the Starbuck chronicles.

The story progresses from the building up of tensions between the two sides to the start of the fighting. Most of this book it just about the build up to the war and the characters developing into who they will be during the rest of the series, but there is one large battle that starts the war at the end of the book which is great.

The book follows Nathanial Starbuck, a Boston born man who ends up fighting on the confederate’s side in the war. He is the son of Reverend Elial Starbuck, a respected and feared priest who is on the main men behind the abolition of slavery in America.


Starbuck joins one of his oldest friends (Adam Faulconer) in the south where he aides Washington Faulconer (Adam’s father) in the creation a Legion that will be used to strike back against the Yankees in the upcoming war. During this quest Nate makes many friends but also quite a few enemies and the experience ends up changing him.

 In the beginning he is a simple-minded man, who was having doubts about his existence after dropping out of Yale and abandoning his commitments of becoming a priest like his father. He is completely different man by the end of the book, he is a confident and ready for anything this war can throw at him.  I won’t go into much more detail as I don’t want to ruin the plot.


This a pretty good book with plenty of action and character development in it. I must admit I found it hard to get into initially as I found some of the characters rather irritating but I’m glad that I stuck with it as it is really a great read, I’m defiantly going to look into buying the rest of the series.

Until next time
Bris out!

Written by Brisingr, Sunday 24 April 2011

Rome: Total War

Hello and welcome to another blog entry, this week I’m going to be looking at one of my favourite games of all time, Rome: Total War. Right enough dilly dallying, onwards!

Rome: Total War

Rome was released way back in 2004, and is generally one of the most popular games in the series so far. A with most other Total War games, you will be involved in politics and economic balance of your empire.

While Rome doesn’t have a specific storyline to follow, it gives you the options to pick a faction and see them start from a lowly and relatively weak civilization, for you to mould into the greatest faction. You also can take part in historical battles which is an interesting feature. Whenever you complete the game you get a short cut scene showing the impact that your empire has on the rest of the world.

Rome Map

There are 2 very different elements to Rome, both that have their own challenges that must be overcome. The first is the world map and economic side of it all. In this you will guide your empire in fruition by securing allies, trade routes and of course conquering enemy territories. The other element is the battle simulation where you take control of your armies and guide them into battle. This is quite a tricky process to master ( and on I have only recently picked up) but once you do, makes the battles much more fun and thought provoking.


Soundtrack and Graphics:
The soundtrack in Rome is very good but a little limited at times, although I am concentrating so hard on what I am doing it doesn’t really bother me. The Graphics are holding up pretty well for a game of this age. It may not be the prettiest game ever but it certainly does the job well. Aside from the occasional dodgy piece of AI, I can’t say anything bad about Rome.


This is a brilliant game that will give you endless hours of enjoyment if you get into it. I must admit when I first started playing it, everything was overwhelming with so many unit types and buildings to learn. However once I got properly into it, I was hooked and haven’t stopped playing since as I keep digging it up to play every now and again.

To view more of my ScreenShots, Please click Here! 

That’s all for now
Bris Out!


Written by Brisingr, Sunday 10 April 2011