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    • Games Spot Reviews: Everything Review

      Imagine taking a philosophy class where a brilliant, engaging, charismatic professor opens your mind and helps you see the world like you never have before who also pauses every few minutes to play a Frank Zappa album. That should give you a rough idea of what it's like to play Everything. It's a game that manages to convey profound beauty and a sense of one's place in the universe that's periodically undercut by a compulsive need to interject a sense of twee and abstract randomness. It's hard to tell how seriously you're supposed to take it all.

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    • Games Spot Reviews: Malicious Fallen Review

      Malicious Fallen may not be developed by Platinum Games, but it sure does look the part. This may have something to do with the fact that developer Alvion supported Platinum Games during the development of such titles as Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, Bayonetta 2, and Anarchy Reigns to name a few.

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    • Games Spot Reviews: Mass Effect: Andromeda Review

      After the first few hours of Mass Effect: Andromeda, I was discouraged--maybe even a little distraught. Within that short span of time, I'd already encountered unconvincing animations, bog standard missions, clunky user interface, stilted dialogue--basically every red flag you hope to avoid when approaching a lengthy shooter-RPG powered equally by action and story.

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    • Games Spot Reviews: Shovel Knight: Specter Of Torment Review

      Shovel Knight is defined by its likeness to games from the era of 8-bit consoles. It takes inspiration from games like Mega Man and Ducktales not only in its pixel- and pitch-perfect audiovisual aesthetic, but also in its mechanics--Shovel Knight is a resolutely unforgiving 2D platformer.

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      As you sit atop a wooden beam observing patrol patterns, you plot a series of moves: fire a bolt at the overseeing guard right when another walks into your acid trap, swoop in to snatch the loot and run off before anyone else notices. If it doesn’t go according to plan, you’ll cloak, hide in a closet, and slip out as the investigating party turns its backs to your exit. Styx: Shards of Darkness attempts to deliver such thrills, and at times it succeeds. However, these moments are sparse since you’re rarely put in a position where cunning is required.

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    • Games Spot Reviews: Fast RMX Review

      Since both Nintendo and Sony seem intent on not continuing their line of revered hovercraft racers (F-Zero and WipeOut), it’s good to know other developers are happy to pick up the slack. Witness Fast RMX, a digital-only launch title for the Switch, that fills this niche nicely. Astute racings fans may recognize this as the semi-sequel to the excellent if boringly named Wii U racer, Fast Racing Neo (itself the sequel to the Wii game, Fast Racing).

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    • Games Spot Reviews: Ghost Recon: Wildlands Review

      Ghost Recon: Wildlands is a squad based Tom Clancy game that plays by the numbers. It stays true to the series' Rainbow Six-inspired roots, emulating the cold and calculated nature of organized infiltration and coordinated stealth kills. Whether you're syncing shots with friends or an AI companion, there's gratification in taking down targets efficiently. Unfortunately, the adherence to this specific kind of gameplay gets lost and diluted in Wildlands’ vast expanse of Bolivia.

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    • Games Spot Reviews: Snipperclips Review

      As a Switch launch title, Snipperclips does little to sell the unique features of Nintendo's new console. Playing the game on the go isn't ideal, since the Switch's small screen and the bumpy nature of playing it in cars (or buses, trains, or planes) derails some of the accuracy needed to complete its puzzles. The game also doesn’t make use of the Joy-Cons' advanced haptic capabilities, meaning there's no real benefit to playing with the minuscule controllers--even though you're forced to do so.

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    • Games Spot Reviews: Loot Rascals Review

      The opening cutscene of Loot Rascals, largely narrated by a teapot-headed British spaceman, establishes the game’s strange tone well. Instead of arriving at a holiday-resort planet to restore a medical unit's antenna as intended, you crash on an alien moon and find yourself battling against the game’s eponymous “rascals” that have stolen the medical unit. To get it back, you’ll need to trek through five randomly generated levels, battling or avoiding the moon’s many aggressors.

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    • Clifton Lodge Hotel High Wycombe Bucks

      Clifton Lodge Hotel
      210 West Wycombe Road. High Wycombe
      Buckinghamshire.
      HP12 3AR Tel: 01494 440095
      We hope to make your stay enjoyable FREE onsite parking with CCTV
      Bed and breakfast terms available FREE Wi-Fi
      English breakfast available Freeview Flat Screen TV 's
      Bar and Restaurant Garden for guest use
      Ensuite in all rooms Conferences Events
      Book online with credit card
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      01494 440095

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    PostHeaderIcon Investments in the downturn

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    – SAVINGS AND INVESTMENTS
    David Baker, Senior Manager, Financial Planning, Mazars LLP, Oxford

    Top ten tips on savings and investments in the downturn are as follows:

    1. Check interest rates on savings, especially regular savings accounts. The disparity between the best and worst rates is significant, especially on regular savings where you can now achieve up to 10% gross return, rates we have not witnessed for a number of years.

    2. Make use of tax-free allowances. Individual savings accounts provide attractive cash rates tax free. National savings, especially index-linked savings, are increasingly attractive against a background of rising food and energy costs.

    3. Maximise tax allowances. Many households have a main breadwinner who may be a higher rate taxpayer with the partner being either a basic or non-taxpayer. Ensure that savings and investments that are not tax free are in the name of the lower-taxpaying individual.

    4. Ensure that your age allowance is optimised. If you are over 65 you get an additional personal allowance, which can be eroded by investment income if this takes your total income over £21,800. Capital investment bonds can provide a source of funds without affecting your age allowance.

    5. Do not forget the longer term. Continue to invest in pensions as, depending on your tax rate, you will receive either an additional 20% or 40% tax relief on the investment, making these highly attractive longer term options. As you can invest in cash funds, there is no need to take any investment risk. We do not want this downturn to have an impact on long-term planning if possible.

    6. Diversify your investment. Do not invest in one asset class; for example, do not have all your funds invested in cash or all your funds invested in shares. Consider a combination with fixed interest investments, alternative investments and property. Diversification reduces risk and protects your overall portfolio in such difficult times.

    7. Investment risk. What investment risk have you taken? Is the risk you are taking still relevant to your requirements? Can you meet your needs by taking less risk? For example, why invest in equities if your needs can be met by cash returns? Ensure that you are taking no more risk than needed to meet your specific requirements.

    8. Monitor your investments both in terms of performance and charges. Increased charges on contracts directly affect the performance. Ensure that your investments have a competitively charged structure.

    9. Consider your debt. A debt could be considered as simply a negative saving or investment. What rates are you paying on mortgages, credit cards, store cards etc? Can they be improved upon? Can they be consolidated to pay one lesser cost on a monthly basis?

    10. Income protection/mortgage protection policies. Although not directly savings or investments they do protect against the erosion of such assets should your employment circumstances be at risk during a downturn period.

    Remember that during a period of economic downturn, this can be the perfect opportunity to buy investments when the market and consequently prices are low.

    Always take professional and independent advice on any area of financial planning.

     
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    Clifton Lodge Hotel
    210 West Wycombe Road,
    High Wycombe,
    Buckinghamshire,HP12 3AR
    Telephone 01494 440095

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