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Dear oh dear oh dear. What an utter disappointment this film truly is.
Like an idiot, I bought this film off the back of the original Johnny English, which was actually funny. Having missed out on it at the cinema, I paid full price to get the DVD the day it was released. Admittedly, I did use vouchers given to me for a birthday to 'pay' for it, but that still didn't stop the thought of 'I want my money back'. Then again, if this film came free on the back of breakfast cereal packet I'd still feel cheated.
Set some years later than the first one, Johnny has been kicked out of MI7 and is in excile, training as a monk (queue unfunny ten minute montage of mountain top 'training'). He then gets a phonecall telling him that he is required back in MI7. Apparently there was some kind of incident in Mozambique which led to him being kicked out. Sadly for the viewer it seems that 'Boff' (his trusty and funny sidekick from the first movie) also got kicked out as there is no sign of him in this one. Instead this role is 'filed' by Tucker - who is pretty straight up and nowhere near as funny. Like most of the characters, there is just nothing to him.
You are then introduced to the ridiculously obvious 'baddy' (though he's not a baddy at that point) and the 'story' is setup. The Chinese premier is about to be assassinated and only Johnny can save the day - though why the premier would only talk to him is never explained. It's just a given fact apparently. On this note, the whole movie was littered with plot holes the size of the grand canyon and just seemed to be an excuse to attempt 'silly' things. The gags have all been done before and some (like mistaking a genuine old woman for the assassin dressed as an old woman) were even done more than once in this film alone. How desperate for material were they?!?
Oh and if anyone can tell me why 'Owen from Torchwood' appeared in the film and exactly what the point of his character was, I'd love to know!
The whole film was just dull from start to finish, with the exception of some ridiculous dancing during the films 'tense' climax, which did make me chuckle. OK, so the scene with the chair going up and down was also quite funny, though it had been (over)done before in Austin Powers. Other than those two scenes it just petered out into a unfunny, pretty dull and predictable film. What made it more annoying was that you could see where they were trying to be funny, it's just that it wasn't.
I am going to give this film away as a birthday present to someone I don't like. Mr Atkinson should be ashamed of his blatant attempt to make money off the back of the first film. If dooyoo had negative stars to award - this would get all five.
Why I bought this particular set:
It is a fact that I would rather go to the dentists than the hairdressers - for a start I never know what to say when asked 'how do you want it cut?'. Even with hours of extensive plastic surgery first, I'm never going to come out looking like Brad Pitt, so generally my answer was 'just make me look smart for work'.
Recently though, I have started swimming (regularly) to get rid of some mid 30's 'podge', so my new answer became 'I'll have a grade 1 all over'. In other words, just shave it all off as it makes it a lot easier (and less time consuming) to 'dry' my hair afterwards, when there isn't any to dry! It also means less drag in the pool.
It then occurred to me - why pay a tenner a pop to get my hair cut (and thoroughly hate the experience) when I could just do it myself, at home (whilst watching the football) with a pair of clippers. So armed with a limited budget and not a lot of clue, I went for a pretty 'basic' option with these. I had heard of 'Remington' before so thought for £25 I couldn't really go wrong. Three sets of 'hair' cuts and I'd be up on the hairdressers fees anyway!
General Observations & Maintenance:
I should mention that I have very straight and baby soft hair (when not 'gelled'), which may give me slightly rose-tinted spectacles when reviewing this product. For me, these clippers just glide through my hair like a knife through butter, but I'm not sure how they would perform on very tightly packed or curly hair.
The clippers design is curved, which makes them easy to hold, though they are very rigid, which make it harder to reach some parts of your head - always check with someone that you haven't missed a bit, before going out in public!
The trimmers are also surprisingly heavy - I dropped them on my foot the other week and I think I still have the bruise - which doesn't make them easy to transport and definitely 'out' when thinking of trips abroad as they will increase your luggage weight quite significantly.
They are easy enough to clean - I tend to run the blades under a tap (without them being plugged in of course) and attack them with the cleaning brush provided (not mentioned below) after each trim and it seems to work.
Advanced Ceramic-coated blades infused with Silica for hardness and resilience - no idea what that means in real terms, but the blades have been strong enough to cut my hair on at least a dozen occasions now and show no sign of wear and tear - I've also run them under the tap a few times to clean them and again, they look as good as the ever did. The trimmers themselves have also been 'bounced' down the stairs on a couple of occasions, and again they show no sign of breaking. Solidly built - which is a really good thing!
Taper level for cutter length adjustment - I think all trimmers tend to come with this - it's a lever at the base of the trimmer which allows the tapering of hair from the top. I think it makes the 'cut' more even and I've certainly had no problems with people telling me I have a 'wedge', which would happen if it didn't work.
Cord / cordless for up to 40 minutes usage - If you are a bloke spending more than 40 minutes cutting your hair, then you have issues. Perfectly adequate. The cord is fairly long too (about 1.5 meters - though not measured), so you can relax on the sofa and watch TV whilst pruning.
Six attachable combs - These are good and easy to fit onto/remove from the trimmer blade. Warning though - they are made of plastic and you shouldn't leave them on the floor as they don't survive being trodden on - I am missing a number 7 because of this. With the swimming - I tend to just leave it as a grade 1 or 2 - as I find anything over about 4 makes me look like a fuzzy microphone. There are grades 1-8 spanning 3-24 mm in length, so you have a decent choice.
Detail trimmer - this is great for around the ears and for doing my 'goatie' and gives very straight lines, though it can be dangerous if not used correctly! I have managed to cut my chin on several occasions using it, so definitely an item to be wary of!
Sectioning clips - never used them and I think have been lost due to being quite small.
Ear guides - again, a bit pointless in my book - I find it a lot of hassle trying to line these up whilst trimming - I'd rather get it over a done with in one big swish!
Scissors - I'm not sure if it was just the set that I got, but I've won sharper scissors from pulling Christmas crackers. These were seriously blunt - so much so that my 2 year old daughter uses them for cutting paper.
Neck Brush, cap, and cape - for that authentic barber shop experience. I'd rather wash off the excess hair in the shower - so again these items have become painting accessories for my daughter!
Combs - not sure why these are included either as I shave off the hair (and thus it no longer needs combing). I suppose if you never owned a comb before now, they could be useful as you don't really want to use these clippers on tangled hair.
Storage case - this is an excellent idea, even if I don't use it (see what happened to my grade 7 attachable comb). Handy for keeping my wife happy too (she hates clutter).
Mine also came with a two year guarantee, but I think it may already be out of that warranty period, or getting very close, and it shows no signs of any ware or tear, so I'm hoping I won't be needing it.
I have definitely made my money back (several times over) by not needing to go to the barbers and, despite my best efforts, are robust enough to last for several years.
The only negative point about these clippers (and a shaved head) is the fact that my wife now thinks I look like a criminal. I keep telling her that hair loss is hereditary in my side of my family and that I am just getting ahead of the game, but it doesn't seem to be working. I fear that they are so good that I may come home one day to find they have been 'lost'!
I am currently writing this review using this laptop, so if it dies halfway through my rev...
...just kidding. In fact, the battery life is one thing that I have noticed is pretty good about this laptop - I would estimate it's got about 3 hours before it needs a recharge, which is pretty good. We've had it now for about 3 years and (touching wood) we have not had any problems with the battery, or the machine as a whole. It uses the satnadard dell power cable/pack/connector so there shouldn't be a problem to replace it if, like us, your house rabbit chews through the original one.
It's slim and pretty light when shut and very easy to transport, but is sturdy enough for a 33 pound (2 and a bit stone) 21 month old baby to stand on without it breaking, which was lucky for us as we didn't intend to test it in this manner - more like 'found her standing on it'! The keys are also sturdy enough to withstand a battering from her too (give it 6 months and I'll have her writing her own reviews... she's seems that keen to use it!). That said it is a little bit bulky and won't easily fit into a standard laptop case.
I find the mouse pad is also good - in the past I've had to switch these off before as they tend to be too senstive and get activated whilst you are typing (meaning you look up and you are suddenly typing in a completely different place - very irritating). A double click is the same as left button mouse click and the two buttons are embedded rather than raised, so you don't catch these either. Having said that, my wife struggles with it as she tends to have limited control over the cursor, so she insists on using a separate mouse. Maybe it's a finger thickness thing?
The main keyboard is nice, with the keys not so small you require a cocktail stick, but no so big that your laptop is the size of a table top! Everything is laid out nicely, allowing easy typing and after three years, they show no signs of ware and tear. The 'lock' indicator lights are along the top (where you'd expect them to be) so you always know what you have switched on/off.
One of the best things about this is the hard disk space available - our daughter was the first grandchild to arrive on both sides of the family, so we have thousands of photos/videos We also like our music, bith have i-tunes accounts and hundreds of MP3s - all of which are stored quite easily. We are not PC gamers, so specifically chose it without that in mind, hence I cannot really comment on it's performance on that front.
Price wise - we paid around £300 about 3 years ago - so it's probably a little bit low spec these days, but was well worth the money. One final point (my wife reminds me) is that it comes in a choice of colours - with the red one we have being her favourite - why that would affect your choice is beyond me, but there we go - the more information the better!
Ok - I am a 34 year old man who is reviewing perfume - but hang on a minute - I'm the one that has to smell it so why not? It's quite tough for a bloke so roll with it!
OK- this brand of perfume is my wife's favourite and I have to agree it's pretty nice. It's not overpowering like some brands and doesn't smell 'alcoholy'/manufactured. There's no sense of 'whoa - did the perfume factory actually explode on you?' as she walks in the room.
I should explain that my wife also has particularly sensitive skin, and suffers quite badly at times from Eczema, and to make matters worse she is also allergic to pretty much anything that malts, bites or grows naturally. That said, she has never had a reaction to this brand of perfume (not just this particular fragrance, but Kenzo in general), which is amazing. With other brands, even a quick spray in the shop (as I'm desperately trying to hurry her to the next section) has caused irritation, I can remember one even caused an asthma attack!
The bottle is a nice slender design, though it is not the most practical if you are trying to cram it (along with every other worldly possession) into your handbag. Having said that, the packaging is nice and simple which makes it great for a gift idea. As a bloke (and not that into male 'grooming') I honestly cannot bring myself to take a 'Simply Beckham' or 'J- fragrance to the counter, but with this I feel a bit more 'up market' and can get over the shame. I would describe it as 'classy' and understated.
I would estimate that this comes with a mid-range price tag too - not too expensive and not cheap enough for it to have fallen off the back of a lorry!
This is tricky - as a lot of the information I have given in my review of the first audio book in the series (Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone) remains the same for this installment. The only real difference is the storyline, which I'm sure has been reviewed in great detail in the 'books' section, so I don't want to do that again here. Instead I will describe why I liked this audio book so much.
This particular installment of the Harry Potter series of books features one of my favourite characters - a certain Gilderoy Lockhart - a bumbling professor who thinks an awful, awful lot of himself. Again (as with the first installment), the narrator, Stephen Fry pulls this 'difficult' character off with aplom. You get arrogance, you get smarminess, you get the impression that this guy really thinks he is the star of the show, but it's like Stephen Fry has literally donned his wizards hat and stolen his wand. He's not over the top so you get turned off, and not dumbed down leading to the same result. If I didn't know any better (and had no grasp of reality) I'd think Mr Fry was into making pollyjuice potion to become these characters, he is so good!
He also finds himself having to impersonate talking 'snake' (or parceltongue) as the book goes on. Once more he makes this seem easy, but how he kept it going I really can't say. He must've gone through a lot of bottled water! His 'Moaning Murtle' voice is just brilliant.
This book is a little bit darker and a but 'spookier' than the first and there is a lot more descriptive detail in it. For instance the actual chamber of secrets is described brilliantly and you almost get the impression that you are actually there. Stehpen Fry has a voice that almost 'invites you in'.
You get the sense that he really enjoyed reading this book and (although I'm sure he was paid well) wasn't in it for the money alone. I don't know how many studio sessions it took, but it was worth every hour as the result is just brilliant.
As with the first audio book I would recommend that this is listened to on long (or short) journeys in the car or last thing at night through headphones as it is just so relaxing. In fact, I probably shouldn't recommend it be listened to last thing at night as before you know it you will be through three or four chapters and the clock will have ticked past midnight. Not good if you have to be up for work the next morning!
Having said all of that, the price may be a little off putting - especially if you already own the books. I am in the process of listening to them all again, having gone through the whole series at least three times before. It's almost addictive, so I would definately say it is worth shelling out for. Plus you can get on with your day and still enjoy the world of Harry Potter.
I am a big fan of the Harry Potter world. This is the first of the seven books in audio-form and is absolutely brilliantly read ('acted' or 'brought to life' would actually be more appropriate) by Stephen Fry.
I will leave the review of the actual storyline to those who review the original books themselves, and instead focus on why you should (or should not) buy the audio versions.
The books themselves are undoubtedly superb - I don't think there are many people, even worldwide, who will not of heard of 'Harry Potter' in one form or another, so when these books were converted to audio form, there must have been some pressure on a) choosing the right person for the task and b) pressure to deliver the reading in an enthusiastic way (when I think of an 'audio book' I immediately think of really dull readings of novels for people who are hard of sight - not to stereotype, but that's mostly the elderly...). These books are aimed at fairly young children (at least the first couple are), so the 'elderly novel' voice would not be appropriate.
In choosing Stephen Fry they have hit the jackpot. These books are set in Britain, so in my opinion they deserve/require someone who is quintessentially English to read them They also required a household name, for marketing, someone who is a little bit quirky (but not in a crazy way), to liven the story up and someone who's voice is instantly recognisable and soothing. As I say, in my opinion there would be nobody finer.
As the book goes on he produces more and more character voices and it is just brilliant. From Molly Weasely to Dumbledore - he interprets and produces each voice in his own unique style, never over the top, but always just right. Some are different from the films (which obviously aide in imagining the characters more than this), but I would suggest that some of his interpretations actually fit the characters better (in my mind at least). I am just wondering how long it took him to record and just how he managed to retain the same enthusiasm from start to finish.
This first book is a little short (but at the end of the day, the audio book is as long as the original title) and at around £15 is a little expensive, but is worth every penny.
I have transferred the CDs to both my ipod and PC and have started listening to them on my hours drive to and from work. I used to suffer a bit from road rage, but not with these in the cd player! Mr Fry's voice makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, as if you are sat around an old open fireplace with a cup of cocoa, under a blanket. Suddenly a lorry pulling out in front of me on the A1 isn't worth getting upset about!
I cannot wait until my daughter is old enough to appreciate them (she is only 20 months old at the minute) - I can see her listening to a chapter a night before she goes to bed in the very near future.
I received this cook book as a Christmas present after making the mistake of saying 'ooh that's looks nice' when half-watching the program in the background whilst visiting my mums house. I like cooking, and I like to experiment with new things, but I could not hide my disappointment when I unwrapped it. I love my mum to bits, but there are much more exciting gifts to give your 30 year old son for the same sort of money! I hope she doesn't read this...
In terms of the recipes there were far too many 'virgin olive oil' references for my liking (which in my experience makes everything taste awful) and what is with the salads and pastas? Pages and pages of them, from walnuts to shrimps - but at the end of the day there is only so much you can do with a couple of lettuce leaves and/or a soggy tomato (oh and an inevitable splash of virgin olive oil - I swear he has shares in the stuff...). I understand that these are easily prepared in under 30 minutes, but there is a reason for this. It's rabbit food and 90% of the time you're better off eating the actual book itself in terms of taste.
The book itself splits a 'meal' into three pages - one with a nice picture of a beautifully presented finished article (which looked like my rabbit's food bowl), another with what your work in progress should look like (a mess in my case) and a final page containing the ingredients and method. In other words - two out of three of the pages are padding.
The other really annoying thing about this book is the whole premise of having it prepared and served in 30 minutes - yes, it could be done IF you have the chopping speed of a trained chef, have an MFI show kitchen's vast stock of equipment and an army of Sherpas to tidy/wash up all the pots and pans you use. Unfortunately, I had none of these things and anything I attempted took at least 45 minutes and tasted like cardboard.
Having said that, I can see the point of this if you are scared of calories (and taste) and want to eat 'healthily'. I can see it being very popular with people who are running late for their gym session/yoga class and/or families with podgy kids. Sadly I am not one of these people!
There are two ways in which you can look at this game. You can see it from a 'retro game that has been upgraded' point of view or you can look at it as a stand alone 3ds title. Either way, I think you'll be a little disappointed.
This game, along with Goldeneye and Mariokart 64 was probably one of the best titles to ever come out for the Nintendo 64, way back in 1997. I played it back then and bought this title off the back of that experience - you know what it's like, fond memories of times gone by. This was also one of the first titles out for the 3ds - so I went for something I new rather than taking a risk on something I didn't.
Unfortunately, what you have here is pretty much exactly the same game, with some updated graphics and a new control system, specifically meant for the DS - which is a disaster. Oh and you have 3d graphics now, which look great for about 10 minutes, before you realise they actually detract from the gameplay and switch it back to flat screen mode (and thus stopping the headache before it starts).
The concept is pretty simple, as Fox (the Hero of the piece) you fly your ship through levels (eathier forward scrolling or in a battle 'arena'), shooting stuff, whilst desperately trying to keep your (slightly annoying) allies safe and sound. Generally, the better you do at keeping them alive, the harder the next level in your chosen path will be (although in some levels you have to perform certain things to open up the hard path). If you don't perform, but finish the level you are likely to go on the easier path. You would think that the 3d element would help in this, but it just makes it harder to judge your positioning.
One of the issues with this game is that the story mode is not long enough - I think you get 7 or 8 levels plus a boss - which won't keep you going past two or three nights at best. Doing it on the hard path from start to finish is a challenge, but with little reward, other than seeing new levels. The other issue is the new control method (which you do not have to use) where the DS is basically your control stick, so you end up wafting it around your head in a desperate attempt to turn right. This is not very well thought out at all as it is completely incompatible with the 3D element of the new DS. The whole reason that you don't need glasses for the 3ds is that you have to look directly at the screen to get the 3d view. This is pretty hard to do as your wafting it around your head!
There are also (limited) battle arenas to fight against friends and family, though these are not as fun as say a mariokart battle as all options are very much the same (no variety).
As a new game, this doesn't cut the mustard - there are much better titles out there for the 3ds (like Mariokart 7) - so I would opt for one of those. As a retro game - I think you could probably buy a Nintendo 64 AND Lylat Wars (it's original title) for about the same money as this game costs brand new - I would go for this option as you'll play it for about 3 days solidly, then consign it to the 'games we want to keep for prosperity but will in all probability never play again' cupboard!
When my other half came home with this game she proclaimed 'it was cheap, it's a two player co-op and it looked quite fun'. She then followed it with the often dangerous phrase (in my experience anyway) 'OK - so I took a bit of a chance on it'. She had paid £15 for it second hand. Another game soon to be destined for the 'trade-in' drawer I thought...
But how wrong was I? This is a little gem of a game, glued together by the most imaginative storyline I've seen for a while and told in a manner which is as equally original and delightful. The whole thing provoked a sense of being back in your childhood, with the narrator's voice and dialogue coming straight from an episode of Jackanory. No shooting aliens or decapitating zombies - this is just a really nice, family game!
As the game's name suggests the storyline revolves around fabric/sewing/knitting and starts with our hero Kirby being transported to 'patchworld' where he eats a large fruit and becomes a ball of yarn (don't you just hate it when that happens?). Anyway, the 'Patchworld' contains several mini-worlds and within these there will be five or six actual levels (left to right platform 'scrollers') - as you complete one, another unlocks, with a boss level at the end of each mini-world. It's not rocket science this!
The controls are also dead simple - it's a platformer at the end of the day - holding the remote flat, your cross hair is used to move around and your 1/2 buttons to jump and 'strike/grab' objects. Other controls are needed when Kirby collects items which turn him into other objects such as a train (here you have to turn the remote control around and draw the tracks on the screen) and a tank (here you have to shake the remote to 'power' it). There are others, but half the fun is finding out what certain items do, so I won't say any more.
One of the other things that makes this game so good for us is the two player co-op ability. With the instant drop in/drop out option, there is no issue of starting a level as two players only for the phone to ring, meaning the other has to sit around and wait (impatiently in my case). One of the players can drop out at any point, even mid-level. It should also be noted that whilst playing other co-op games, such as donkey kong country, rows have occasionally broken out when the screen slips or judders due to one players movements causing the death of the other. This doesn't seem to happen as much in this as the second player will always be automatically transported to where the first is, should they not keep up or fall off. Handy!
I would thoroughly recommend this game for both adults and children alike. It will genuinely be one of the first games that we share with our daughter, as it is inoffensive, bright and colourful, has lots of music and doesn't inspire you to go out and mow people down with a lawnmower (for instance!). But most of all, it's just really addictive!!!
I should explain that I am a man who would take practicality over aesthetics any day of the week - so I may be slightly biased when reviewing this ighost.
We have two of these bad boys - one black, one white. One is stationed in my daughters bedroom (where we use it to play music at bath/bed time) and the other in the dining room for mealtimes. We initially bought one when they were on offer for about £30, as we were looking for a docking station for the uses mentioned. Personally, I thought (and still do) it was very expensive for what it is, but my wife is a sucker for anything cutesie (which this undoubtedly is) and musical/ipod related. The second one was bought for us as a gift - as I say, I wouldn't buy one of these at full price for the reasons below.
Considering it is fairly small (it's only about 25cmx25cm) it does pack a lot of punch in terms of the quality of the speakers/output. The two main speakers are obviously the ghost eyes, but there is a subwoofer, which helps with the base and a big speaker underneath it's main body. This has a total output of 15 watts apparently, but I have absolutely no idea what that means! All I care about is whether or not I can hear the music and with this you certainly can! Unfortunately - that is as good as it gets for this product!
All the blurb that goes with this ipod dock says 'its touch-sensitive design means you can adjust your iGhost's volume quickly and easily' or similar - what this means is you will spend several minutes groping around it's smooth surface trying desperately to either turn it up or down or move the track on. We have had ours for about 3 years now and the markings have worn away, so it's virtually impossible to locate them! The problem is made worse as when you initially place your ipod into it, the volume seems to reset itself to 'destroy eardrum' level. If the buttons were raised even a millimeter, this would help, but of course the main selling point of this product is it's aesthetically pleasing design, so that option is out.
It does come with a remote control, but I have to say, the remote is the most pointless square of plastic I have ever had the misfortune to use - plus it is so small you will lose it the second you unwrap it. The remote doesn't work unless you are stood practically on top of the ipod and even then it requires the perfect angle to get a response. By the time you have lined yourself up in the one position/angle that works (and pulled several muscles in the process), you may as well have just groped around for the stupid 'buttons' in the first place.
OK, so there are a couple of other good features - it charges your ipod even when it's not playing - we have another dock/radio station which doesn't. It's also quite light and easily transported (we took it on holiday with us) and there is an audio input socket, so you can pump other things through it too (again, some ipod docks are only compatible with ipods themselves)
Oh and the glow - when it's switched on (whether the music is playing or not), the ighost emits a blue neon glow from it's underbelly. Not so good if you require a fully dark room, but quite cool to show off to your friends (once). Why you would need that in an ipod docking station I don't know.
It should also be noted that playing ipod tunes is the only thing this does. There are much better (and cheaper) ipod docks out there which include digital radios, cd players and alarm clocks etc. Granted they don't look as cool as this one, but are far more practical, hence I would only recommend buying one of these IF you intend to give it as a gift, but even then I think I'd be disappointed with it!
We bought this toaster as it was silver and matched the rest of our kitchen appliances - it also had the rather cool looking blue LED lights to tell you how your bread was doing - great for an impatient person like me who needs to know these things. Compared with other toasters, at around £35 this seemed like it was fairly decent value and from a (trusted) maker we have all heard of. The slider at the bottom gives you the option to select the length of time it 'toasts' for, allowing perfect results from crumpets to bagels - or at least that's what the box said...
We bought ours from Argos, plugged it in and set the slider to about 4 and a half minutes in order to toast some crumpets. We thought they smelled 'done' before the timer went off (and all the blue lights had gone out), so we attempted to retrieve them. At this point it should be noted that the toasting slots are very deep and, despite pulling the lever up at the side up, the crumpets were still below the surface of the toaster (ie impossible to get out), so after a few 'pings' of the lever (to fire them out of the top) we managed to 'catch' our crumpets - or what was left of them. They were absolutely cremated.
We assumed that we had set the timer wrong, so to test the theory we set it to '1' - and placed some normal white bread in. Sure enough, after about 3 minutes it became clear that the timer wasn't working as the toast had not appeared - so we took it back to Argos and got a replacement.
Unfortuantely the second one we got was even worse! On only the fifth occassion of use, the toaster went *BANG*(which made my wife jump) and a puff of smoke came out of the side. The lever on the side then refused to lock in place, meaning no more toast. We gave up at this point and asked for our money back.
I don't think we were particularly taxing the toaster with our choices of bread related products - so this was very disappointing to say the least. Though whether it was the actual toaster or Argos to blame, we are not sure. Either way, I wouldn't recommend it to anyone, and we now use the oven grill for toasting, which hopefully won't blow up.
I would recommend anyone purchasing a Wii to buy this title to go with it (if it doesn't come with) - this is so much fun and despite having it for several years, we still occassionally turn to it in a moment of desperation.
As a one player game, there is not much too it. Most of the fun is designing you little Mii character which you will use in the games. I can be fun to design it either to look like you (mine flatters on the weight side) or a mockup of a famous celebrity (I have a couple, one looks like Noel Edmonds and the other Ossie Osbourne - now that's a real life boxing match I'd pay to see...). The rest is all about becomming better and better at one of the five sports on offer. When you play a game, you will receive a number points dependant on your performance/base ability. Once you reach a certain number of points you become a 'professional' which gives you jazzier equipment to use is a given sport. Beware though, a poor performance can result in minus points - so you need to be consistent.
It says on the box that you will need plenty of room to play this, and if you stand up and take it seriously then yes, this is true, but I (being quite a lazy person) find it much easier to just sit down and use minimal effort. My wife (who refuses to play tennis or baseball with me anymore) would agree that this method is just as effective, so don't be put off if you are a couch potato (like me).
There are two modes - free play and training - the training is really good, offering a different challenge to the normal game.
Golf - I found this the trickiest of all the sports. As you would expect your wii remote becomes your club, and it's all about the power/straightness of your swing. We found that after a while it was easier just to hold your remote in a vertical postion and 'flick' it, which gave better control and accuracy than standing up. Plus you don't look like an idiot and the lampshades are safe.
Training mode is target practice - scoring more points the closer you get to the pin
Boxing - wow this is like being in the ring yourself - after 10 minutes of this I was ready to collapse - my arms hurt and I was sweating profusely after swinging around like a nutter. You basically control a pair of gloves that are on screen and punch as you would in real life, holding the nunchuck in your left hand and the full remote in the other. As a two player game this is hilarious - it's all about who can come out swinging the fastest and who can keep it going the longest before the coroner is called!
Training mode is against a punchbag - this can get a bit irritating, plus it is really, really tiring. there is also a mode where you have to avoid tennis balls thrown at you by your trainer by leaning your remotes left and right. It is quite fun to get hit though as it makes a dull thud noise, which is funny.
Tennis - not a lot too this - there is no worrying about moving your player to the ball, as this is done for you, it is all about striking the ball with expert timing to direct it either left or right. The A/B buttons control what kind of shot you hit (lobs/topspin etc).
Training mode is continuous returning within the court and target training.
Bowling - this is the best of the lot - two modes - standard ten pin bowling, and 100 pin bowling - which is exactly what it says it is. The action you have to use for the wii remote can be a little confusing (my mum kept dropping her ball behind her), but once you get the hang of it you'll be able to heave it down at 100MPH and spin it at right angles (by twisting the remote as you release). This is the game we turn to if there is nothing else we fancy doing.
Training mode is fun here - from single pins/tricky shots to barriers to swerve the ball around, it all improves your game.
Baseball - you wii remote becomes your bat/throwing arm. The split screen is a bit confusing to start with in two player mode and you really need to concentrate. The running between the bases is also a bit confusing as you need to be able to move your thumb to the control stick on the remote in order to get your dudes to run. this can be tricky having just takien a huge swing with it to hit the ball in the first place.
Training mode - hitting home runs is the most fun here - if you crack one perfectly it 'goes out of the ballpark' (as the commentator goes wild).
Best of all, the techniques you ise in this game, can be transferred to others, plus it'll strengthen your wrists!
What a totally hilarious game this is. There's not a lot to it - shooting zombies, whether they are carni's or doctors or just simple members of the public, they all bleed the same. The action is quick fire and you need to have very quick reactions.
The main story line focuses on two 'cops' - both of which seem very angry about something (or life in general). After each amusing cut scene (totally over the top scenes, involving lots of swearing and anger and general 'B' movie style 'overacting' - which is what makes it hilarious), the player is transferred to first person shooter perspective, but the game moves on it's own, from one scene to another, where you have to unload. Your Wii cursor becomes a cross hair, and the 'A' button the trigger, shoot off the screen to reload, it's all pretty standard for this kind of game. Scenes vary from living rooms, to swamps, to A&E departments and many more. You won't easily get bored of this.
There are unlockables and extras to be had by shooting brains around the levels, and the variety of 'zombies' is quite wide ranging (from the fat bald chaps, to evil looking clowns). The weapons in particular are good fun to upgrade, meaning larger clips, quicker re-loading times and more firepower in general. Bigger guns mean easier (and bloodier) kills.
The Wii remote is quite accurate, though I would recommend anyone intending to buy this game, also buy some kind of gun accessorie to go with it. This makes the whole game more enjoyable, plus you feel a bit more of a 'man' pointing that at the screen than the ordinary wii remote.
One other thing that is great about this game is the two player option - really good fun with two of you going at it.
I would definitely NOT recommend this game for kids - there is a LOT of profanities involved (in fact, I think just about every other word spoken is an expletive - but that's the whole point!), not to mention the head/body/leg explosions as you open up with a shotgun, which clearly aren't suitable for under 18's.
I WOULD recommend it to any executive type who wants to get their office based, real life frustrations out in a nice, cheap manner that doesn't involve a prison term.
About 6 months ago we were given a childs platic slide, which consisted of two plastic 'feet' (about 2ft long, by 1/2 ft wide) and the slide itself (which covered about a 2ft by 1 ft patch of grass at it's base). This was promptly put into the back garden where it got used, but unfortunately stayed in the same place. When I went to mow the lawn, I had to move it, which revealed two strips of dead grass/mud where the feet had been and another where the base of the slide had been.
Before I carry on I should just mention that I live in an area where, if you dig passed about 2cm, you will hit clay, so not the most hospitable of environments for a lawn to grow, so the new dead patches were a bit of a concern.
I've never had much clue about lawns (and seeds), but like most people I had heard of miracle grow, so I sought out that brand. I knew it would be available in pretty much all DIY stores and if not, supermarkets. This 1kg pack sounded like it had enough in it to cover the patches left by the slide and for a tenner I thought why not give it a whirl! There were some cheaper options, and various different types of product 'make-ups' (this product contained coir (used in potting compost apparently), grass seed and plant food). The key for me though was that it was also non-toxic and safe with a little one around, so I scattered about half the pack over the three areas of grass, watered the area and waited...
The first thing we noticed was an influx of hungry birds, and despite our best efforts (and my daughters best efforts) at scaring them away (we even got a cat!) we thought we had seen the last of the grass seed and were planning to build a patio instead. We did sprinkle about a quarter (half of what remained in the tub) of the seed over the same areas again about two weeks later, just to make sure. We then went away on holiday for a fortnight and thought nothing more about it, other than discussing what colour paving slabs we were going to use to build over the now dead area.
We left my mother in charge of watering the area whilst we were away (she thought from the mounds of earth we had a mole problem), but she obviously did a good job. Much to my suprise, after coming back from our holiday you could see green shoots appearing all over the patches. This was encouraing! After two months, the two lines and the patch where the slide base sat now look far greener and healthier than the rest of my lawn - which is great, though I am now seeking out a 100kg pack to cover the rest of it!
Alll this from a pack that cost less than a tenner - well done miracle grow - you have saved my lawn (and hours of back braking labour trying to build a patio!!)
The original Donkey Kong Country on the SNES was brilliant - and graphically and musically way ahead of it's time, so I was really excited when Nintendo announced this title for the Wii.
As soon as you switch on this game, it takes you back to the SNES version, with the same relaxed music and general look/feel. Donkey Kong's stash of bananas has once again been nicked from his underground place of storage (clearly he should have thought about additional security measures after the first game) and it's up to you (as either Donkey or Diddy Kong) to go get some more.
This game is basically a platformer, but a really fun and challenging one at that. The levels involve a lot of skill in terms of the timings of jumps/runs and running jumps! There are hidden areas and puzzle peices to collect, as well as time challenges and unlockable levels. You can also ride animals as they appear around the levels, that have the ability to smash items/walls or jump over gaps that Donkey/Diddy just can't manage. It also slips it some 'miecart' levels where you ride a train over various obstacles - these are particularly fun.
The game also has a fun (I say fun...) muliplayer option where both monkeys are on the screen at one time. BUt be warned - this can be infuriating as one character is dragged along by the other, so if you are goingt o play it multiplayer, play it with a very good friend (otherwise it could turn ugly). There are several levels where the two us playing agreed it would be better/easier to complete as a single player.