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Member since: 20.09.2009

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      22.03.2010 23:28
      Very helpful
      1 Comment



      A good card that's a must for any collection.

      The Ancient Mew Pokemon card is one of the many promotional cards for the Pokemon Trading card game. However, unlike the majority of promo cards, this one isn't legal for tournament play, and is pretty hard to use for casual play unless you know the translation of the card face (in case you don't, I've included it at the bottom of this review). The main purpose seems to be to look pretty... and it does this very well. It was released as a promotional card for Pokemon: The 2nd Movie, and as such is no longer in production.

      The card itself is made of the usual Pokemon cardstock, and feels the same as a normal foil card. The only real difference is that this is shiny on both sides. The card face follows the usual pattern for Pokemon cards, with the name in the top-left corner, HP in the top-right, and the card's abilities, strengths and weaknesses all in their usual positions (but in a different style) below the image.

      The back of the card however is a radical departure from the norm. Firstly, it is all-over foiled (something never seen before or since), and also has a different image, consiting of a pokeball surrounded by 7 orbs: 1 each for each energy type.

      This is a must-have for any Pokemon fan, and no Pokemon card collection is complete without this card.

      Card Translation, for if you decide to play a game with it.

      Card Name: Mew
      HP: 30
      Type: Psychic

      Attack energy required: 2 Psychic
      Attack Name: Psyche
      Attack Damage: 40

      Weakness: Psychic
      Resistance: None
      Retreat Cost: 2 colourless


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      • More +
        01.01.2010 17:40
        Very helpful



        The best racing game of the decade.

        For those that know about the Forza series, you only need to know one thing. Forza Motorsport 3 picks up where Forza 2 left off, and improves on the previous titles in so many ways. Just buy it.

        Anyone that doesn't know about the Forza series (not to be called FM, that's Football Manager lol), it's a racing game, as you can probably tell by the Motorsport part of the title.

        The basic premise of the game is that you start off with a low budget to buy your first car (something slow and nasty like a Honda Fit), and use that car to win races, thus earning money and allowing you to buy better cars, and upgrade the cars you already own. There are in the region of 200 different cars in the game, from Alfa Romeos to Volvos, tiny hatchbacks to Le Mans winning cars, and everything in between. You can even buy a Veyron, if you want to try your hand in the fastest road car on the planet.

        The actual racing in the game can be tailored to suit the individual driver, and the difficulty is very easy to adjust, meaning if you need a line on the road to tell you when to brake, you can do it. You can even choose whether a high speed crash will totally destroy your car (shattered gearbox, dead engine, broken steering etc), or just leave it with cosmetic damage that does nothing other than look pretty. Forza 3 is primarily a simulation game though, so the more assists you have turned on, the lower your prize money will be. There really is an incentive to pushing yourself to be better, when your prize money goes up because of it.

        Forza's never been just about the racing though, and the third installment's no different. The graphic editor's back with a vengeance, meaning you can turn your family hatchback into a thoroughbred racer on the outside as well as under the bonnet. Want to put a number on the side? Feel free. Racing stripes? Be my guest. Fancy replicating a real-life rally car in game? Go on then. Basically, if you can imagine it, you can draw it, and with the many and varied shapes available to you to use, literally anything's possible.

        One of my favourite features of Forza 3 is the in-car view you can race in. Many racing games only allow you to use a "behind the car" camera to race, but Forza 3 lets you sit inside the car during the races, and every car in the game has a fully detailed interior (including working mirrors... unless you break them off the car), with authentic gauges, trim etc. Basically, if it's in the real car, it's in the Forza version as well.

        You can also play online, and even buy and sell cars between other Forza 3 players. However, this requires Xbox Live Gold, and I'm not going to pay Microsoft £15 a month when Sony do the same thing for free with PSN, so I've not tried this.

        In summary, buy this game if you like racing games. Even if you don't like racing games, Forza 3 could be the game that changes your mind.


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        • More +
          24.11.2009 14:47
          Very helpful



          Too much money for not enough bricks.

          The Lego Coast Guard Kayak is a total waste of money. You spend in the region of £10 (on places like Amazon, it might be cheaper if you can find it in an actual bricks-and-mortar shop), and recieve about 10 pieces and a minifigure.

          The actual kayak is made of 9 parts, 2 making the sloped base, the 4 triangular orange bits, a flat-topped orange bit that goes behind the figure, and 2 white flat parts holding the 2 ends together. You also get an oar, and a handful of other pieces to let you make a small floating bouy type thing with a flag on it.

          All the parts are, as can be expected from Lego, well moulded and fit together well, but this set is incredibly small for the money. The only real saving grace with this set, other than being able to use the bricks with your other Lego is the figure. Not only does it come with a lifejacket and one of the new-style helmets, but you also get a very characterful head. Gone are the days when every figure looked the same, this little guy's got a great little scowl on his face, and with his sunglasses on, he's full of attitude.

          And if you buy this, you'll have a scowl as well when you consider the £ to brick ratio.


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          • amazon.co.uk / Online Shop / 106 Readings / 101 Ratings
            More +
            14.11.2009 00:42
            Very helpful



            One of the best online shops.

            I suppose a review of Amazon.co.uk is inevitable really, as this site gives you vouchers to spend there.

            As the majority of you will know, Amazon.co.uk is the UK version of the Amazon site. There are others, such as .com, .nl, .fr etc, but this review is for the UK site.

            I started using Amazon several years ago to source a book for a present. It was my first foray into internet shopping, and I get the feeling if it had gone badly I'd probably have given up with the whole shopping online thing for ever. Mercifully though, it went without a hitch. I found the book easily, added it to my basket easily, paid easily... and got it from the postie easily. I'd go so far to say it was an easy process ;)

            Fast forward a few years to now, and not much has changed. It's still very simple to search for the items you want, whether it's something specific you need, or just general browsing hoping you stumble across the perfect item. There are even suggestions specifically tailored for you, which are based on the items you've viewed, and also the items on your Wish List (see below). The only real problem you might encounter is that the thing you want isn't in the Amazon catalogue, which means you'll need to look elsewhere. With more and more Marketplace sellers (see below) signing up though, the catalogue is growing on an almost daily basis.

            Obviously, when you're searching for things to buy, you'll often see something you want but it's either out of your budget, or out of stock. When this happens, it can be tempting to either think "oh well, I'll be able to buy it some day", or "I'll buy it elsewhere". However, instead of just moving on, you have the option to put the item you desire on your Wish List. This is basically... um, a list of things you wish for. Unlike a normal list though, this has 3 purposes.

            Firstly (and the main reason for it) it lets you add things you'd like to buy in the future, so you can find them easily when the time comes. Secondly, it makes the suggestions that Amazon makes for products you might like more accurate, as it can see "they like this and this, so they'd probably like this as well". Finally (and arguably the best reason), you can email your Wish List to people, and search through other people's Wish Lists. Stuck for a present for the in-laws? Put their email address in the box, and see what they want.

            Amazon isn't just for buying though, oh no. If you set up a Marketplace account, you can also sell on there. The P+P costs seem to be randomised, but you can set your price, add images if necessary (useful if your book's got a rare cover, or signed) and a description, and just wait for the buyers to roll in. The selling fees, while higher than sites like ebay, are still reasonable when you consider the amount of people that could see your item. Obviously, the downside of this system is that not everything you buy on Amazon is dispatched from Amazon, but the vast majority of the sellers are trustworthy and reliable.

            I'd recommend Amazon to anyone that needed to buy something. Yes, sometimes the prices can be higher than their competitors, especially if you're looking for something very recent, but at the same time you can pick up some real bargains. Just don't be misled by the fact that some the books are priced at a penny. Some marketplace sellers list the item very cheaply, knowing Amazon sets the postage higher than necessary.

            So, go and buy something. Or better still, write more reviews on here, and get something free by using your voucher.


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            • Fallout 3 (PS3) / Playstation 3 Game / 56 Readings / 54 Ratings
              More +
              10.11.2009 19:20
              Very helpful



              Worth buying despite the flaws

              Fallout 3 is one of must-have games for the PS3. A combination of RPG and First- (or Third-, if you prefer to play that way) shooter, Fallout 3 throws you into a post-Nuclear war America. The desolation surrounding you isn't just to look impressive though, it's a very real danger, as nearly all of the water in the game is radioactive to some degree or other, and will kill your character if you stay in it long enough. Assuming the mutants don't get you first...

              Without going into the plot too much, the first hour or so of the game will cover your character growing up in an underground facility known as Vault 101, which is basically a tutorial bit showing you how the various controls work, and also guiding you through the character creation process, from what sex your character is and how they look, to whether they prefer Big Guns (rocket launchers, flamethrowers etc) or Small Guns (rifles, pistols, shotguns...). After this is over, you'll be able to explore the wide world and make your story...

              The main plot is very well written, and there are several decent twists in it (not least at the very end... hard choices to be made there). The only problem is that once the main story's complete, that's it (unless you buy the expansion packs separately, or the Game of the Year edition of the game, which has them in it). If you want to play more Fallout 3, you'll have to start again. It's definitely worth spending time away from the main plotline, not just to make your game last longer, but because there are hundreds of mini-quests to do, and the rewards are many and varied, from money and unique weapons, to skill upgrades.

              However, as with any game like this, there are bugs. Sometimes building textures don't load correctly, so things disappear when you walk by them. The building itself stays there, but posters and things just random vanish, then come back if you retrace your steps. Also, a lot of the bodies (not things you've killed, ones that are scenery) get stuck if you try to move them. I decided to live in a caravan in the wilderness, but the skeleton of the previous owner wouldn't move properly. I ended up with it's leg poking out of the floor, and swinging like an upside down pendulum. It didn't affect the game in any way, but it's not very realistic to have something perpetually moving for no reason...

              Another big problem with Fallout 3 is that there are a couple of game-breaking bugs (ones you can't come back from, and leave you stuck somewhere). In one of the areas you'll find on your explorations, if you close the door behind you when you enter, there's no way to get back out. The switch is on the other side of the door, and you can't access it. It's because of these bugs I can't give it 5 stars.

              All in all, Fallout 3 is a good game, and any fan of exploration-y games should buy it.


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              • Nestle Shredded Wheat / Snacks / 52 Readings / 49 Ratings
                More +
                10.11.2009 02:39
                Very helpful
                1 Comment



                One of the best cereals you can buy.

                Shredded Wheat is, as far as I'm concerned, the best savoury (as in, not things like Coco Pops and Frosties) cereal you can get. It blows Weetabix out of the water (or rather, milk), and Corn Flakes... not a patch on these. And best of all, the wheat's sourced from British farms, so it's good for the UK at the same time as being good for you.

                The ones I had come in a box of 16 "biscuits", and are wrapped in pairs so you can open the box, eat 2, and not worry about the rest going soft.

                The texture is pretty much perfect, not too hard, and not too soft. Also, they're very crumbly, so easy to break apart, either in the bowl with your spoon, or to actually sprinkle into the bowl.

                The flavour can be a bit bland so you might want to put some sugar on them, but even plain they're better than Weetabix and the like. Obviously, being just wheat, they're very healthy (unless you're intolerant to wheat).

                I would recommend these to anyone that's looking for a healthy start to the day, or just a random snack to nibble on at lunchtime.


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                • Top Five Jokes / Discussion / 72 Readings / 61 Ratings
                  More +
                  05.11.2009 15:20
                  Very helpful



                  Be annoying. Go on. You know you want to. You do. Yooouuu dooo. Beeee Annooooying. Gooo ooonnn.

                  Here are my favourite 100 Ways To Be Annoying. Enjoy:

                  Sing the Batman theme incessantly.
                  In the memo field of all your checks, write "for sensual massage."
                  Specify that your drive-through order is "to go."
                  Learn Morse code, and have conversations with friends in public consisting entirely of "Beeeep Bip Bip Beeeep Bip..."
                  If you have a glass eye, tap on it occasionally with your pen while talking to others.
                  Amuse yourself for endless hours by hooking a camcorder to your TV and then pointing it at the screen.
                  Speak only in a "robot" voice.
                  Push all the flat Lego pieces together tightly.
                  Start each meal by conspicuously licking all your food, and announce that this is so no one will "swipe your grub."
                  Leave the copy machine set to reduce 200%, extra dark, 17 inchpaper, 99 copies.
                  Stomp on little plastic ketchup packets.
                  Sniffle incessantly.
                  Leave your turn signal on for fifty miles.
                  Name your dog "Dog."
                  Insist on keeping your car windshield wipers running in all weather conditions "to keep them tuned up."
                  Reply to everything someone says with "that's what YOU think."
                  Claim that you must always wear a bicycle helmet as part of your "astronaut training."
                  Declare your apartment an independent nation, and sue your neighbors upstairs for "violating your airspace."
                  Forget the punchline to a long joke, but assure the listener it was a "real hoot."
                  Follow a few paces behind someone, spraying everything they touch with a can of Lysol.
                  Practice making fax and modem noises.
                  Highlight irrelevant information in scientific papers and "cc:" them to your boss.
                  Make beeping noises when a large person backs up.
                  Invent nonsense computer jargon in conversations, and see if people play along to avoid the appearance of ignorance.
                  Erect an elaborate network of ropes in your backyard, and tell the neighbors you are a "spider person."
                  Finish all your sentences with the words "in accordance with prophesy."
                  Wear a special hip holster for your remote control.
                  Do not add any inflection to the end of your sentences, producing awkward silences with the impression that you'll be saying more any moment.
                  Signal that a conversation is over by clamping your hands over your ears.
                  Disassemble your pen and "accidentally" flip the ink cartridge across the room.
                  Give a play-by-play account of a person's every action in a nasal Howard Cosell voice.
                  Holler random numbers while someone is counting.
                  Adjust the tint on your TV so that all the people are green, and insist to others that you "like it that way."
                  Drum on every available surface.
                  Staple papers in the middle of the page.
                  Ask 192 and 118 operators for dates.
                  Produce a rental video consisting entirely of dire FBI copyright warnings.
                  Sew anti-theft detector strips into people's backpacks.
                  Hide dairy products in inaccessible places.
                  Write the surprise ending to a novel on its first page.
                  Set alarms for random times.
                  Order a side of pork rinds with your filet mignon.
                  Publicly investigate just how slowly you can make a "croaking" noise.
                  Honk and wave to strangers.
                  Dress only in clothes colored Hunter's Orange.
                  Change channels five minutes before the end of every show.
                  Tape pieces of "Sweating to the Oldies" over climactic parts of rental movies.
                  Wear your pants backwards.
                  Decline to be seated at a restaurant, and simply eat their complimentary mints by the cash register.
                  Begin all your sentences with "ooh la la!"
                  ONLY TYPE IN UPPERCASE.
                  only type in lowercase.
                  dont use any punctuation either
                  Buy a large quantity of orange traffic cones and reroute whole streets.
                  Pay for your dinner with pennies.
                  Tie jingle bells to all your clothes.
                  Repeat everything someone says, as a question.
                  Write "X - BURIED TREASURE" in random spots on all of someone's roadmaps.
                  Inform everyone you meet of your personal Kennedy asassination/ UFO/O.J. Simpson conspiracy theories.
                  Repeat the following conversation a dozen times: "Do you hear that?" "What?" "Never mind, it's gone now."
                  Light road flares on a birthday cake.
                  Wander around a restaurant, asking other diners for their parsley.
                  Leave tips in Bolivian currency.
                  Demand that everyone address you as "Conquistador."
                  At the laundromat, use one dryer for each of your socks.
                  When Christmas caroling, sing "Jingle Bells, Batman smells" until physically restrained.
                  Wear a cape that says "Magnificent One."
                  As much as possible, skip rather than walk.
                  Stand over someone's shoulder, mumbling, as they read.
                  Pretend your computer's mouse is a CB radio, and talk to it.
                  Try playing the William Tell Overture by tapping on the bottom of your chin. When nearly done, announce "no, wait, I messed it up," and repeat.
                  Drive half a block.
                  Inform others that they exist only in your imagination.
                  Ask people what gender they are.
                  Lick the filling out of all the Oreos, and place the cookie parts back in the tray.
                  Cultivate a Norwegian accent. If Norwegian, affect a Southern drawl.
                  Routinely handcuff yourself to furniture, informing the curious that you don't want to fall off "in case the big one comes."
                  Deliberately hum songs that will remain lodged in co-workers' brains, such as "Feliz Navidad," the Archies' "Sugar" or the Mr. Rogers theme song.
                  While making presentations, occasionally bob your head like a parakeet.
                  Lie obviously about trivial things such as the time of day.
                  Leave your Christmas lights up and lit until September.
                  Change your name to "John Aaaaasmith" for the great glory of being first in the phone book. Claim it's a Hawaiian name, and demand that people pronounce each "a."
                  Sit in your front yard pointing a hair dryer at passing cars to see if they slow down.
                  Chew on pens that you've borrowed.
                  Wear a LOT of cologne.
                  Listen to 33rpm records at 45rpm speed, and claim the faster speed is necessary because of your "superior mental processing."
                  Sing along at the opera.
                  Mow your lawn with scissors.
                  At a golf tournament, chant "swing-batabatabata-suhWING-batter!"
                  Ask the waitress for an extra seat for your "imaginary friend."
                  Go to a poetry recital and ask why each poem doesn't rhyme.
                  Ask your co-workers mysterious questions, and then scribble their answers in a notebook. Mutter something about "psychological profiles."
                  Stare at static on the TV and claim you can see a "magic picture."
                  Select the same song on the jukebox fifty times.
                  Never make eye contact.
                  Never break eye contact.
                  Construct elaborate "crop circles" in your front lawn.
                  Construct your own pretend "tricorder," and "scan" people with it, announcing the results.
                  Make appointments for the 31st of September.
                  Invite lots of people to other people's parties.

                  and one more...

                  Read this entire list to someone.

                  So, anyone up for having a go at them all? I offer a virtual Dooyoo cookie to anyone that can manage to do them all on a bus without getting kicked off / slapped by the person next to them...


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                  • The 4400 / TV Programme / 46 Readings / 42 Ratings
                    More +
                    05.11.2009 12:38
                    Very helpful



                    A must-watch for sci-fi nuts.

                    The 4400 is a strange program, as it appeals to many different demographics. You've got the sci-fi stuff for the geeks, humour for the comedy-lovers, and some very well-written storylines for the people that like to create emotional attachments to the characters they're watching.

                    The basic premise of the series is that 4,400 people disappeared from the face of the earth over the last 50 years, and are all returned at exactly the same moment. They weren't all taken at once though, so some of the characters react better to their new surroundings than others. Obviously things haven't changed much for the ones that only vanished a year or 2 ago, but for the people that disappeared in the 50s... well, that's another matter entirely...

                    The show has quite a wide selection of main characters, from some of the people that disappeared and the government officials dealing with it all, to the family members that were left behind and are now reunited with their loved ones.

                    I've only seen the first 2 seasons of this so far (which I'll be reviewing soon ;) ), but what I've seen has been very good. Yes, some of the plotlines do have to be taken with a pinch of salt, and the end-of-season cliffhangers aren't great for those with a tight budget and watch DVD series quickly, but I'd still recommend this program to anyone that wants to see something a bit different, and it's pretty much essential viewing for any self-respecting Sci-fi fan.

                    You can buy the complete series (all 4 seasons) for just under £32 on Amazon.


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                    • More +
                      03.11.2009 15:23
                      Very helpful



                      A good purchase for Tau players, but best used as an addition, rather than a start to an army.

                      This box set is an ideal introduction to the Tau race for Warhammer 40,000 players. The box features a wide selection of unit types, all of which require cutting from their sprue, glueing together and then painting in the colour scheme of your choice (there are a few suggestions scattered around the edges of the box, and many more can be found using a simple Google search). As with the majority of the Games Workshop range, these models are well designed, and easy to build.

                      The contents of the box are as follows (unit types for codex-legal army in brackets:

                      One Tau Crisis XV8 Battlesuit (elite).
                      One Devilfish Armoured Personnel carrier (including transparent base to give the impression of floating) (troops).
                      Three Tau XV25 Stealth Suits (elite)
                      One Markerlight Drone
                      Six Gun Drones (including transparent bases) (heay support)
                      Twelve Tau Fire Warriors (troops)
                      Twelve Kroot Carnivores (troops)

                      As mentioned, these models do require construction and painting, so you'll need to buy plastic glue, clippers, a good set of scalpels / frisket knives, and of course, the paint and brushes.

                      As a set, this box has a good choice of models. However, contrary to what it says on the back of the box, it cannot be used as a game-legal army. There is no HQ choice in the box, so you cannot create a 1 HQ and 2 Troop choice + extras army. I would therefore recommend buying a Tau Ethereal (about £6-8) at the same time as you buy this box set. You will also need to pick up a Tau Codex book, so you know what the army's various troops and vehicles can actually do in-game.


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                    • More +
                      31.10.2009 12:06
                      Very helpful



                      Great game, with wide variety.

                      Magic: The Gathering is a collectable card game, invented by Richard Garfield, and published by Wizards of the Coast. The game involves players using creatures and spells (which are represented by playing cards) to reduce their opponent's health to 0.

                      The game will start with each player (called a Planeswalker in-universe) having a deck of cards (called their library), and 20 points of health. Each library must contain at least 60 cards, and there can be no more than 4 cards the same (with the exception of Basic Land cards, see below for a decription of the card types). Each player draws 7 cards from their library to their hand, and the game begins.

                      Without going into the rules too much (there are far too many to list here, and a few aren't relevant for most games), at the start of each player's turn they "untap" any "tapped" cards (see the card type description bit), and then draw the top card from their library. They can then play up to one land card from their hand, and any other cards they can afford to play. Each card has a "casting cost (CC)", which is how much it costs the player to use the card. As a rule, you only pay the CC once, but there are exceptions with some of the more powerful cards.

                      After the player has played all the cards they want to from their hand, they can choose which creatures (again, see below) they want to use to attack the opponent. Any creature you attack with cannot block an opponent's attack on the following turn, so planning ahead is important.

                      Card types, and overview:

                      Basic Land cards: These are the source of your "mana", the in-game currency which you pay for your creatures, spells etc with. You can have any number of these in your library, but can only play one per turn. They all have a casting cost of 0, so they're free to play. When you "take" the mana from the source, you turn the card sideways (Tap it), so you know you've used it. Each basic land only gives 1 mana of its specific type per turn, so it's important to keep track of what you've used.

                      Creature cards: These are your friends, warriors, minions, slaves... whatever you want to call them. They come in all shapes and sizes, from weak rats and humans, to towering demons and angels. The more powerful the creature, the higher the CC will be, so a normal rat may only cost 1 mana point, but a near-invincible demon will cost nearer 10 mana points. It's up to you when you make your deck whether you want a few big creatures or just loads of little ones. Most creatures suffer from "Summoning Sickness", which means they come into play tapped and can't attack until the next turn. There are exceptions, though.

                      Sorcery cards: These are basic spells, with many and varied effects. Some will restore health, others will take it away. There are also cards which will (temporarily) turn your weak creatures into towering behemoths to sweep your opponent away in a deluge of destruction. As with creatures, the more powerful the spell, the higher the cost.

                      Instants: Instants work similarily to Sorceries. The only difference is that you may play them on your opponent's turn (if you have the mana left to do it).

                      Enchantments: Enchantments... well, enchant things. Some will make your creatures more powerful, others will restrict the kind of cards that can be played by your opponent.

                      Artifacts: These are usually items, which you can give to your creatures (such as weapons which give attack bonuses), but can also be creatures in their own right.

                      The Colour Wheel.

                      MTG uses a 5 colur system to keep the game balanced. Each colour represents a particular trait, and has its own specific Basic Land type.

                      White: White is the colour of law, order and justice. A traditional white based deck will contain a lot of weak creatures backed up by powerful angels. White also makes use of a lot of healing spells. The white basic Land type is Plains.

                      Red: Red is chaos and destruction. It makes use of a lot of destructive spells (such as fireballs), and like white has lots of small creatures, mostly goblins. The red basic land is Mountains.

                      Black: Black is the representation of death, fear, pestilence and greed. It is, like red, a destructive colour, and has no problem killing its own creatures to get the job done. Black contains vampires, zombies and the like. Black's basic land type is Swamps.

                      Green: Green respects life, and has lots of large creatures, and spells to make smaller creatures. Many green decks feature elves, as well as treefolk and the like. The green basic land is (predictably) the Forest.

                      Blue: Blue tends to be the thinking player's colour of choice. Blue mostly revolves around using spells to make your enemy do the work for you, be it redirecting harmful spells back at them, or turning their own creatures against their masters. Blue land is Islands.

                      I often play MTG against my fiancee (I use a Black / Red "Rakdos Guild" deck, she uses Green / White "Selesnya Guild"), and it's a great game. The rules are complex in places, so it's not great for young kids, but for teenagers onwards it's ideal. The only real problem is the cost of the cards. Ebay are a good source for them, though.

                      Obviously, with the size of the game I can't cover everything, so if you've got any questions about the game, send a PM and I'll try to help :)


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                      • More +
                        29.10.2009 06:05
                        Very helpful



                        Another good album to add to your collection.

                        This is my favourite album by the Flaming Lips. I particularly like the way the album's got an over-arching story, which revolves around (predictably) a young girl called Yoshimi being the hero of a war against some huge pink robots.

                        Released in July 2002, Yoshimi is the 10th album released by the Flaming Lips since they formed in 1983. The entire album is in a kind of electronica/rock style, with thought-provoking lyrics throughout.

                        Track listing, and my opinion of each song:

                        1. Fight Test: Great song, very uplifting, just a shame the first and last 10 seconds of the song don't really fit with the rest of it. 8/10

                        2. One More Robot/Sympathy 3000-21: This is a slow song, and I find it works well as a kind of prelude to the war against the robots, detailing how the robots started to think and question what's going on. It's also got a nice, orchestral-style ending. 9/10

                        3. Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots Pt. 1: Being the title song for the album, you'd expect this to be good... and it is. It introduces the character of Yoshimi through good lyrics, a catchy tune, and random robot-y sound effects. 11/10 (Extra points for rhyming "Fight them" with "Vitamins").

                        4. Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots Pt. 2: I'm not a fan of this track. It seems to represent the actual fight between Yoshimi and the robots, and as such is very beat heavy, and full of sound effects. There's lots of cheering at the end, at the same time as the heavy beat music stops, so I assume the beat represents the robots, and the cheering is the crowd after Yoshimi defeats them. 5/10

                        5. In the Morning of the Magicians: This is another slow, nice track. It begins with the cheering from the previous track, and goes on to describe the aftermath of the battle. As ever with this album, there are some random sound effects, but unlike the previous track, these make the song better, not worse. 8/10

                        6. Ego Tripping at the Gates of Hell: I find the beat too heavy on this song, the lyrics seem thoughtful, and the main tune complements that well, but the deep bass line is too strong to really let you get into the song. 6/10

                        7. Are You a Hypnotist??: Another orchestral starter here, this is an odd song. In a way, it seems like they're pressing random keys on a keyboard to start with, it's only when the song gets going you realise it's well planned out. A bit too slow for my liking at the beginning, but aptly it is a quite hypnotic track. It really picks up towards the end, and leads well into the next track. 7/10

                        8. It's Summertime: Another good use of sound effects here, it even has birds chirping at the beginning. Good lyrics and a nice tune make this one of the better songs on the album. The only real downside is the ending, which just seems to be each instrument stopping one at a time. It could be a minute shorter, and still a great song 8/10

                        9. Do You Realize??: This is my second favourite song from the album (after the title track, pt1), and was the song that got me into the Flaming Lips in the first place. It's a strange track, with an uplifting tune, but slightly depressing lyrics. 9/10

                        10. All We Have Is Now: This is a strange song if you listen with headphones. To start with, the music's only on the right side, and the lyrics on the left. Another thought provoker. 7/10

                        11. Approaching Pavonis Mons by Balloon (Utopia Planitia): This is another instrumental track, and full of sound effects. Not the best ending to an album I've ever heard, but it works well, especially if you consider the sound effects may be the beginning of a new robot uprising, thus making the album go full circle.

                        To summarise, if you like random sound effects, and albums that make you think about things, this is for you. If you're looking for a cheery "everything's OK" album, get something else.


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                        • General / Discussion / 63 Readings / 55 Ratings
                          More +
                          28.10.2009 05:40
                          Very helpful



                          It's all me, me, me.

                          Yay, space to fill with info about me (a subject I should know a lot about... in theory, anyway).

                          01 - How old are you?

                          23 (although, I might be older by the time you read this)

                          02 - What colour are your eyes?

                          Blue (with red bits because of tiredness)

                          03 - How tall are you?

                          Between 5foot something and 6 foot... about 5'7"ish

                          04 - Hair Colour


                          05 - Do you have any brothers or sisters?


                          06 - Do you prefer cats or dogs?

                          How can you pick one? Can I cross-breed them to make dots, and they have all the loyalty of a dog, but the independence of a cat???

                          07 - What is your job?

                          Trading card, um, trader on ebay.

                          08 - Do you like your job?

                          Usually, when RM aren't striking and delaying in- and out-bound parcels

                          09 - What is your favorite dessert?

                          Peanut butter cookies.

                          10 - Food you loathe that should be banned?


                          11- Are you a savoury or sweet person?

                          Savoury, especially things like cream crackers and McCoys crisps

                          12 - Last 3 films you watched?

                          1: Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strike Back
                          2: Underworld 3: Rise of the Lycans
                          3: Star Wars: The Clone Wars (not episode 2, but the animated film based on the tv series).

                          I seem to be a fan of films with colons in their names ;)

                          13 - Song I can't get out of my head at the moment?

                          Ghostbusters theme tune.

                          14 - Favourite programme at the moment?

                          Ooh, difficult question. Lifetime fan of Buffy, so that's close, but I'd have to go with Heroes.

                          15 - Where you going on your next holiday?

                          Probably to see the parents

                          16 - Favourite Country you have been to?


                          17 - Favourite Beach holiday?

                          The only beach holidays I've had were as a kid going to Heacham (near Hunstanton), so it'd have to be that.

                          18 - Favourite Hobby?

                          Glueing bits of plastic to other bits of plastic (model building)

                          19 - Last thing that made me laugh?

                          The cat rolling off the bed

                          20 - Favourite Cocktail/Drink?

                          Hot chocolate, with gingerbread syrup.

                          So, there's your little insight into me, I hope you enjoyed it.


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                          • Hannah Montana / TV Programme / 44 Readings / 41 Ratings
                            More +
                            27.10.2009 03:48
                            Very helpful
                            1 Comment



                            A great kid's show, with catchy music and good storylines and characters.

                            Hannah Montana is a strange show. It centres around a girl called Miley Stewart, who lives a secret life as a world-famous pop star (predictably, named Hannah Montana). How no-one recognises her I don't know, she must wear contact lenses from the same manufacturer of Superman / Clarke Kent's glasses or something. Miley / Hannah is played by Miley Cyrus, which works well because her dad is played by the Achy Break Heart bloke, Billy-Ray Cyrus.

                            The program is your typical kids show, very happy-go-lucky, and there are some great songs in it (so much so, I've got the movie soundtrack on my Spotify playlist). The storylines also work very well, with some strong character development between the main characters (including Lilly and Oliver, who also have alter-egos to protect Miley's Hannah identity).

                            Having seen a few episodes, I think Hannah Montana is a very good show, if you take it with a very large pinch of salt, and overlook how low the acting standard is at times (the majority of the songs make up for that, though. The musical team behind this show rarely get it wrong).

                            On another note, I think one of the best things to come out of the show is the song Hoedown Throwdown (youtube it ;) ), which will hopefully get rid of the Cha-cha slide song (youtube that as well, if you need to) that's been plagueing birthdays, discos and any other general party with a dancefloor for the last 5 years.


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                            • More +
                              25.10.2009 04:37
                              Very helpful



                              Does what it's made for, but may as well have been painted pink considering the lack of authenticity

                              I've only ever used 2 light guns in my gaming life: The bright orange one which came with the original NES to play Duck Hunt, and this, the Desert Eagle replica by Thrustmaster.

                              Apologies to anyone that doesn't know firearms terminology, this review might confuse you slightly...

                              My first impressions of this were quite good, it looks realistic (if you disregard the wire coming out the bottom of the grip, which connects to your PS2, PSOne or original PSX). However, after picking it up, any resemblence to the iconic weapon flies out of the window. Considering it's supposed to make your games feel more realistic, they really should have made the gun more substantial, it's far too light. I also don't like the way you can set it to auto-reload if you want to. Normal reloading is also unrealistic, you push a button on the side just under what represents the top slide. They should have just put a button plate on the bottom of the grip, so you can slap it with the palm of your hand as if you're sliding a new magazine into the weapon. Another problem I found is that the trigger spring is far too light. There are some nice touches though, such as the "laser" sight under the barrel having a d-pad on it which is quite accurate to where the calibration dials on actual laser sights are.

                              I used this on Resident Evil: Code Veronica on the PS2, and aside from the previous flaws, it handles well. The accuracy seems, well, accurate, and there are no delays caused by the long lead connecting it to the console.

                              I think I might have liked this lightgun more if I didn't have experience with actual firearms in various guises. As it is, I can't look past the "realism" flaws, especially the weight and reloading.


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                            • More +
                              22.10.2009 05:50
                              Very helpful
                              1 Comment



                              Good for casual gamers, not enough really for the hardcore gamer.

                              Assassin's Creed is a good, but ultimately repetitive game. Yes, it has a plot, but all that it really involves is walking around a bit, gathering clues about the whereabouts of your target, killing them, and escaping so you can do the same thing again in a different area.

                              The game is set during the Crusades, and sees you assassinating targets that are causing political disruptions in the area (such as slavery, corrupting the markets, etc). You have several weapons at your disposal to aid with these assasinations (and murders of anyone else you wish to do away with. Be aware though, that killing civilians will result in a minor health loss for the player, for reasons that become apparent as the story progresses), such as a long sword, throwing knives, and Altair's (the cahracter you play as) trademark spring-loaded concealed dagger. It is this concealed dagger that most of your kills will be performed with, as with it you can perform a running attack that ends with a leap at your target, and the blade going through their throat, killing them before they can raise the alarm. General combat with soldiers is fairly impressive, as you parry each others blows until one of you manages to touch flesh with steel. There are a few cinematic effects too, which accompany the more impressive killing blows caused by the player.

                              The game has several "collection" items, such as flags and banners, and also a secondary objective of killing every Knights Templar in the Holy Land (there are 60 in total), which gives you something extra to do if you fancy a break from the main plot.

                              My only real gripe with the game, other than the repetitive nature, is that you can only move around and fight from a third-person perspective. First-person is used in-game, but only for the "eagle vision" mode, which will help you distinguish friend from foe by giving them a coloured aura.

                              Graphically, it's a very good game, with the fights having lots of gory detail. The only down-side is that the cities look very same-y, especially when you climb the highest buildings and look round.

                              This is undeniably one of the must-plays for the PS3 if you like this kind of game, but don't expect it to last you more than a couple of weeks at most before it gets too repetitive.


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