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Andy-P

Andy-P
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Member since: 07.02.2012

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    • Comfort Co Gaming Beanbag / Furniture / 10 Readings / 9 Ratings
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      22.02.2012 15:23
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      Great for living rooms, dens and bedrooms this bag will become a favoured seat in your household.

      This is a stylish brown faux leather bean bag; it differs from other bean bags with its high backrest that provides fantastic back, neck and head support. It is light weight and an adequate size for any living room. It has a couple of zips that allow you to replenish the filling or take some out. The stitching is of a high quality and the faux leather is soft yet tough enough for the job and is easily wipe clean.

      I bought it as a cheap alternative to a chair expecting it to either split or lose its shape within a month, it's been two years now and it is still going strong. The faux leather is still in good condition and the filling is still very supportive. I haven't needed to change the filling yet and probably won't for some time. Considering my dog thinks she owns it and my Niece uses it as a punch bag I think it has done really well.

      When I manage to fight my dog and my Niece off it I use it for my PlayStation, watching TV, reading and using my laptop. I find the back rest is very supportive and I can easily position myself so I do not slouch over my laptop like I tend to do on a sofa. All I just need is a foot rest and I doubt I would ever move again. I like to take it out onto the patio in the summer, I wouldn't recommend this if you want it to look good on the base but I didn't buy it just to look at.

      It isn't as large as you expect it to be when you order it but I am 6ft 4" and I love collapsing into it, my only problem is getting out of it (entertainment for the whole family). I wouldn't recommend this for the elderly and people with bad backs because of this, shame as it takes the pressure of your back. It takes a bit of adjusting to get it into the right position for you but this is all forgotten when you sit down; just remember to put your beverage within reaching distance!

      I believe you can pick one of these up for £40 nowadays so if you require an extra chair it is a steal, just be prepared for a fight with friends, children and animals.

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    • Sony RDP-X80IP / PC Speaker / 10 Readings / 7 Ratings
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      20.02.2012 15:06
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      Why bother spending £300 on a dock when this one is just as good for half the price!

      I was looking for a portable speaker for my IPod; I needed something durable and of high quality as it was intended for the aisle music and an after party at a wedding in Italy. I had been looking around at Bose units but can't afford the hefty price tags so I took a chance at the Sony RDPX801PB having heard good things about Sony's portable speaker range.

      This is my first Sony audio product since a Walkman so I wasn't sure what to expect, I must say that this is a great device. The design is simple and solid, it is not the lightest dock on the market weighing in at 1.9kg but that's the sacrifice for the quality of the product. The connector fits nicely into the face of the dock via a hinge which protects it from knocks. It has an OLED display which gives a nice crisp display whilst also using less battery life and can be seen from a fair distance.

      Battery Life - The unit comes with an in-built rechargeable battery (easily removed if need be), this lasts for at least 6-8 hours when fully charged. It takes a while to charge so I charge it overnight before taking it anywhere. The dock also doubles up as a useful charger if your outside and your battery is running low on your IPhone; the dock comes with a few different connecters if your IPhone does not fit properly.

      Controls - There are two ways to control the dock,

      1. By the touch sensitive controls on the top of the dock, just need to rest a finger on them to work. They can take a while to register a command when the dock has been idle so don't keep tapping.

      2. The remote, can be used for all of the features and is easy to use. Only problem is that it is small and the dock does not have a place to store it. This was a major problem for me when travelling to Italy with it.

      The dock has full control of your IPod/IPhone's menus so you do not have to remove them when searching for a song/video clip.

      Durability - As mentioned before the main reason I bought this was for a Wedding in Italy, I was concerned about if it would get damaged in transit. It survived the flights and the car journeys without a dent or scratch to my delight. It also survived a week in the sun with temperatures averaging mid 30's, I thought as the dock is black it might melt. It weighs 1.9kg and is quite large so if you have a luggage allowance you may need to look at another device, I didn't want something that would break after being thrown about an airport so I sacrificed some space.

      Sound - Everybody asks where I got it from when they hear the sound quality, I rate it up there with the Bose docks that cost double if not more what I paid for it. Distortion is not a problem until you get right up to the maximum volume setting (which is extremely loud).

      This dock comes with 5 equaliser modes Rock, Pop, Jazz, Vocal and Flat. Each noticeably make a difference to the Bass, treble etc but I tend to leave it on Flat as it delivers an even mix.

      The connector is only for I phone/IPod so you will need to use the A/C cable provided if you wish to use it for any other products. This is not the longest of cables so I would use the money saved from not buying a Bose to invest in another.

      All in all this was the perfect speaker for my trip and it performed its job brilliantly. Nothing I've heard can beat this for value for money, a real bargain!

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      17.02.2012 13:44
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      Vibrant and fun game that never disappoints

      Probably the main reason that I bought a 3DS, Mario Kart 7 is a great game for all ages. My niece (6) and my dad (57) love it, it is infuriatingly fun and has hours of gameplay. Though quite expensive it is a must have for the 3DS. Mario Kart 7 comes with a few new features which really distinguish it from the previous games.

      Glider Shortcuts & Underwater shortcuts - These can take seconds of your lap times, definitely worth it if you enjoy doing time trials. Make sure you are well practiced though because you can really mess up your lap times if you mess the shortcuts up.

      Watch out for red/blue shells when gliding, if you get hit in mid-air you will crash and have to be re-spawned. In the heat of a race this takes forever and you usually have to start again from 8th when other characters breeze past you. The best characters for gliding tend to be the lighter ones but they are easily knocked out of the way by the bulkier characters.

      Underwater shortcuts tend to have a lot of obstacles like clam shells and fish which are hard to dodge, this is because the steering becomes sluggish so try to power slide when you can.

      Un-lockables and Upgrades - Nothing new in the franchise but can be vital depending on the cup you wish to race in. There are two ways to unlock charaters/upgrades 1.You have to win races to unlock characters 2. Collect coins to unlock kart parts. It gets particularly difficult to unlock the new characters on the 150cc races when you seem to get taken out just before winning. Annoying but that's the genius of Mario Kart.

      You get a choice of 8 characters when you start with a further 8 to unlock or if you fancy it you can use you Mii character (un-lockable after a few races). Again if you want a quick character go for the lightest but the heavier characters are bulkier and can be just as quick if you learn to use the slip stream.

      There is a large selection of karts, buggies even ships to choose from each can be fitted with large or small tyres and a different type of glider each has their own advantages. For example if the cup you are racing in has primarily dirt tracks you will want the big tyres with a sturdy car, if it's a cup with a lot of race tracks go for either the slick or small tyres. Mario Kart 7 is missing one of my favourite features from the Wii version... The bikes! I really felt that they added to the fun especially with the wheelie feature.

      Mario Kart 7 combines new tracks with old favourites; there is a place for old SNES, N64, GameCube and Wii tracks with new ones set in your favourite characters worlds like DKs Jungle. Even the Rainbow Road makes a dreaded re-appearance.

      Along with new tracks there are new power-ups;

      Fire Plant - Shoot fire balls at your opponent
      Tanooki tail - Swat away incoming green or red shells
      7's - Seven different power ups to use

      These replace Mega Mushroom, Thunder Cloud, Pow Box and Fake Item box from the Wii version. I really miss squashing Bowser with Toad using the Mega Mushroom power up. Hmph!

      Online/SpotPass & StreetPass - Whilst connected to WiFi you can take on the best online, this is quick and easy to connect and the loading times are not bad. Make sure you have unlocked a few of the upgrades first otherwise you may want to chuck your brand new toy out of the window.

      In real life if you can use SpotPass and StreetPass to swap your game data with other players. To do this you need to be in the vicinity of another Mario kart player and the DS will do it automatically for you (if WiFi is enabled). StreetPass focuses on transferring your records whereas SpotPass will let you receive other peoples ghost data which you will be able to race against in time trial mode.

      Controls - The 3DS comes with a built in motion sensor which enables you to steer like you would with the steering wheel control on the Wii version. My niece finds this feature particularly fun as she tends to make herself dizzy from all the corners she takes.

      I prefer to use the analogue stick which I think is the best new feature on the 3DS, it allows more accurate control when overtaking and is easy to fire shells backwards or forwards. The problem I have is the 3DS is quite awkward to hold when you require your index fingers on the triggers and your thumbs on the controls. My hands tend to ache after a while, probably because I'm pressing to hard!

      3D - I was sceptical of 3D at first until my friend let me play around with her 3DS, of course being a impulsive freak I was hooked and had to get one. The 3D really adds to the fun on Mario Kart 7, the image is really crisp and the colours are attractive.
      Kids under 7 should not play with the 3D enabled which is a shame but it still looks great in 2D mode. I would advise setting it to 2D mode if you want to save the battery life and also to save your eyes if you plan to play it on a long journey.

      When using the motion control it can take time to work out the angle in which you can view the 3D without the screen going blurry, but this is a common problem with all the 3DS games.

      Time Trials - Again nothing new to Mario Kart but they deserve a mention. In time trial mode you have to get around the track as fast as you can in three laps, you get three boosts to use and there are also coins to collect for added speed. If you use SpotPass you can race against other people's ghost data, this is a great way to find out peoples shortcuts and see how you fare on the time trial worldwide leader board.

      In summary it is a must have for 3DS owners; you just can't beat any Mario game for fun (the sole reason that Nintendo is still about today)! It is missing a couple of my favoured features from the Wii version but it is still a top quality game with hours of playability.

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      15.02.2012 15:33
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      Really good monitor, Good TV for the bedroom just takes time to adjust it for viewing

      When I broke my old 17" monitor I felt it was time to upgrade to something much larger. I had been recommended Samsung as a brand so I decided to look at their range; this is where I came across the Samsung Syncmaster XL2370HD. I use this primarily as a monitor however on the odd occasion I use it for TV/Console usage.

      It is easy to set up; it is just a case of fixing the stand to the monitor or mounting it on the wall. If it's mainly used for a TV then you will need to scan for the Freeview channels but this takes a couple of minutes. This does not come with Freeview HD so it is a little bit out dated now but still a great value TV/Monitor. My unit came with a European plug I'm not sure if this standard but just a warning.

      The design is everything you expect of a Samsung, slick and stylish and for me the 23" is perfect for my gaming needs whilst also backing up as a spare TV if the unthinkable should happen. It comes with a remote that is clear and easy to use; if you lose this (like me) there is a touch screen control panel. This sometimes doesn't register my touch so I have to repeatedly tap it to get it to work. Annoying! Especially when the power button is touch sensitive as well.

      The major downside to this is there is only one HDMI slot; this can be rectified by getting a HDMI splitter. For a recent TV this is quite poor, especially if you have various hardware which requires a slot.

      The sound is good but I use external speakers on top so I can't comment too much on the quality, but it seems decent enough for a bedroom TV.

      The picture quality is great especially when connected to my PlayStation and my PC. The LED backlighting really makes a clear and crisp image especially with Blu-rays and 1080p games. The Samsung Magic Angle is atrocious though, apparently it is meant to be viewable from all angles but personally I don't buy it. When watching it with a couple of friends it takes ages to manoeuvre so that everyone can get a good view. This is why I use it mostly for a monitor.

      I have read that this TV is not compatible with Macs this is due to the drivers provided are for PC's only so if you are looking into one of these I would do my research before purchasing.

      In summary it is a good product but with a couple of problems that let it down. As a TV it has a great picture and decent sound, but as a monitor it is the best I have owned so I can't recommend it enough. At under £200 it is a steal!

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      13.02.2012 17:46
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      A must for all fantasy fiction lovers!

      I decided to buy this set after watching the 'Game of Thrones' series on TV. I am glad to say that for once the series has done the book justice. This could be in part that George R.R. Martin co-produced a few of the episodes, I just hope it continues. Anyway onto the subject....

      The box set itself is nicely presented and good quality, along with the books you get a guide to the books but BEWARE it contains spoilers! There are some pretty obvious editorial errors throughout the books, this does not affect the storyline but I can see some people getting annoyed with this.

      The story line takes time to get into at first; this is due to the sheer size of the world and the variety of characters. Before you know it you have read 100 pages and its getting light outside ooops. The books follow three main storylines;

      1. The power struggle full of deceit, revenge and murder between the Starks, Lannisters, Baratheons. These are soon joined by other houses each with their own agenda. Slow to begin with because of the number of members to each house but really accelerates toward the end of the first book.

      2. The nights watch, a brotherhood sworn to protect Westeros from the wildling hoards and even mythical beasts. Made up of a range of criminals from pick pockets to murderers they reside in three castles along the 'Wall' which is a barrier of ice and rock 300 miles long and 800 feet tall.

      3. Daenerys and her exploits through the free cities. Daenerys is one of the last of the Targaryen house, a house that was over thrown from the throne when she was young. She spends her life dodging assassins and desperately seeks an army to regain what is truly hers.

      As the story progresses new characters are born into the melee each adding to the storyline in exciting and sometimes gruesome ways. The story seems to twist and turn every minute with victory's one moment and disasters the next. This really keeps you on the edge of your seat especially when one of your favourite characters is involved.

      Definitely not for children or the squeamish, the sheer brutality of some of the chapters is a little disconcerting and the language is colourful throughout. There is also a large amount of sexual content which is described in great detail. I do not recommend this series if you do not like any of the above.

      This does not bother me in the slightest however and I have thoroughly enjoyed the series thus far. I cannot wait for the next few books to come out to carry on with this epic story.

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      • FIFA 12 (PS3) / Playstation 3 Game / 5 Readings / 4 Ratings
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        13.02.2012 12:07
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        Good game just needs to improve the defending aspect

        In my opinion this is one of the best FIFA games. Graphically it is one of the best games on the PlayStation, the game faces are realistic and everything is smooth. The cut scenes are good but can get a bit tiresome after a few games.

        I enjoy playing the career mode where you can be a manager, player or both. Personally I go for the player manager so I can make all of the decisions and also play as my virtual pro. Virtual pro has not changed from the previous version but it is still fun to improve your player by unlocking achievements. However this can be repetitive so I generally mix it up and play multiplayer after a week or two.

        Online is great but make sure you have a good internet connection (if you lose connection the game records as a loss). I play 11 vs. 11 friendlies which is a great laugh but for me you can't beat a night in with your mates screaming at each other to 'pass it'!!

        The new defending system is most peoples issue with this game. I quite like the way they have made it harder to stop someone running at you, however when you try the same runs against the CPU it easily breaks up your play and rarely makes a mistake. In previous versions it used to be a case of holding down X and the game would defend for you, now you have to time the challenge or show them down the line so keep practicing. This can take a while to get used to but it makes playing your friends a lot more fun when you walk the ball through a leaky defence!

        I have read reviews where people moan about mistakes the CPU makes for example a goal keeping error, this happens to real players so get over it, it adds to the realism and the drama.

        I play this game all the time and really enjoy it, however I do understand that the defending part can ruin it for people who only play the game occasionally. This is why I gave it four stars but if you play a lot I really recommend it.

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      • Apple iPhone 4S 16 GB / Smartphone / 8 Readings / 8 Ratings
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        08.02.2012 13:33

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        Great phone, easy to use just remember your charger

        This is my third iPhone and the improvements throughout have been amazing. Some people say that the 4s is the same as the iPhone 4 but there are some key features which make it much better.

        The camera has been greatly improved, the shutter speed has been increased which I find useful when going to events and the HDR option really takes a great photo. The down side on this is the pictures are 2.8mb which need to be scaled down to MMS.

        With its new processor the speed is definitely different, loading up web pages, sending texts and checking my emails take less time than with the iPhone 4. The speed does have a telling effect on the battery life however if you remember to charge it once a day you will never have a problem. (Unless you play a lot of games)

        The Siri feature is great to begin with however i personally think it is a gimmick. Why spend ages speaking to your phone slowly and clearly when it takes half the time typing it. It is an impressive piece of kit though and I can see its uses in the office with dictation.

        My iPhone 4 home button became sticky after a while which made it hard to navigate through the phone. I know a few others who have had this problem but after 4 months on the 4s I haven't encountered the issue. Fingers crossed!

        The aerial problem in the iPhone 4 appears to have been sorted as I haven't had a problem however apparently this problem exists for left handed people of which I am fortunately right handed.

        In summary it is a great phone the style is the same as the iPhone 4 but it has been improved drastically with my only downside as the battery life. It is very pricy though!!

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        08.02.2012 12:19

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        Great story line, I can't put it down

        I bought this game because I heard it had improved on the original, I thought it might just be a load of hype and that it would be repetitive again. However to my delight it has changed my view on the Assassins Creed series and keeps me wanting more.

        It retains the vicious fun of the original when taking out guards and the variety of missions is a major improvement. The Templar missions and assassins tombs break the game up a bit if you feel like doing a puzzle also there are the 'glyph' puzzles which are a great addition. As to be expected the game is huge, each town has its own little side quests which are not essential to complete the game but if you want 100% be prepared to spend the hours finding treasure, doing contract killings or racing thieves.

        My only qualm with the game is the Lute players and idiotic merchants who carry boxes, these are designed to draw attention to you but when doing a mission where you have to follow someone these really get annoying.

        However this is a small detail in such a brilliant game which i would recommend to anyone.

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        08.02.2012 10:47
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        A decent game but play it for the sequel

        Firstly as one of the early releases for the playstation it is a good game, the graphics are great and the scale of the environment to explore is huge. All of which draws you into the game and leads to many late nights to begin with.

        Stalking through the streets hunting down your assassination targets is great and using your 'hidden blade' to silently take down town guards is fun especially when a gory cut scene spells the end for the poor guard. Also free runing around towns and castles can add to an ambush espesically when you get a jump on a group of guards from behind.

        However the game is very repetitive which lead to me putting down the game for weeks on end also the amount of times i would be free running and miss a ledge and fall to my death. That might just be my fault but it can get annoying!

        I recommend this game as the assassinations are great fun but mostly because its sequel is one of my favourite games!

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