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F Zero X is a futuristic racer for Nintendo's 64 console, bringing with it the blistering speeds and chaotic tracks that the series is known for. You start by picking a car (if they can be called cars) from a massive selection, with more to unlock, then are thrown into a lightning fast race against many other opponents.
It's hard to convey the sense of speed that this game gives you - suffice to say some of the tracks make you feel like your eyes are bleeding, you go that fast! The tracks are a mixture of standard race tracks, to tunnels, tubes, and jumps, each with different feels and tactics to use. There are GP modes, single races and multiplayer modes to get stuck into.
There's an excellent deathmatch mode, where you are pitted against every other vehicle and have to knock each other off or otherwise disable them. Unfortunately, this mode is only single player, but it's brilliant for passing the time.
Whilst not as much of a multiplayer experience as Mario Kart, I'd say this has a greater single player experience. It's more of a serious racer too, which may well appeal to you more.
Majora's Mask is a direct sequel to Ocarina of Time, following you as child Link. At the start of the game you are transformed into one of the Deku scrubs that you encountered in OOT, taking on it's appearance and powers. Eventually, you break free of the curse and obtain a Deku mask, allowing you to become the Deku whenever. Over the course of the game you'll find many, many more masks, two of which (Goron and Zora) will transform you in a way similar to the Deku mask.
The mask feature is an integral part of Majora's Mask's gameplay, giving you various powers and abilities to help your quest.
Another big feature is the implementation of time; you are given three days (game time) before the moon crashes into the world, signalling game over. Luckily your Ocarina returns and allows you to travel back in time, losing many items but letting you continue in your quest. It's fascinating to see relationships grow in the game with your character and between others, something that Majora's Mask does very well.
The contextual buttons of OOT return, to great effect again, as do many staple items of the series and some brand new ones.
Whilst the game is not quite as epic in proportion as OOT, it's still a fantastic instalment in the Zelda series and well worth a look in. The time element can be frustrating at times, but the huge array of side quests (far more that OOT) and the interactions with other characters make this a charming adventure for Link.
The Mario Party series comes across a lot of flack for it's repetitive, boring gameplay. Luckily, this is the diamond in the rough - the best game of the series by a long shot.
Mario Party is designed as a multiplayer game (though it can be played single player, it is not quite as fun!) and sees you picking a character from the Mario franchise, taking them around a board game and playing minigames against the other players after each turn. It's these minigames that make the game fun - they can be anything from skill games, to races, to more arcade style games. All of them are competitive and earn you bonuses to use in the board game.
This isn't a game for those without friends - it gets very boring, very quickly when you play with the computer. But when you've got friends round it's a nice way to pass the time between games of Mario Kart and Goldeneye!
Mario Kart 64 is one of the best multiplayer experiences on the Nintendo 64, a fact which still holds true in this generation of games consoles.
The single player is split into a number of cups, each one consisting of a handful of races and increasing in difficulty. There are three settings - 50cc, 100cc and 150cc - with the opponents getting tougher as the numbers get higher. On the later levels at the higher difficulties, you'll be screaming at the screen with how tough it is.
This game truly excels in multiplayer though. You can choose from either a straight forward race, taking on your friends in any of the tracks available in the single player, or battle mode, where you are given three balloons on the back of your kart and have to pop everyone elses using items scattered around the purpose-built levels.
There are loads of items to use against your opponents - one of the major gripes many people have with the game is how easy it is to get knocked off first place by those miles behind. This keeps it interesting though, balancing the game for those who play it too much and those who have just started.
This game has well-earned its reputation, though would keep you occupied much longer as a multiplayer rather than a single player game.
One of the most recognised 3D platformers in gaming, this is also regarded as one of the greatest Mario games of all time. The aim is to rescue the Princess Peach from Bowser, by collecting stars from a group of levels ranging from an ice world, to a fire world, a fortress and a submarine base among many others. Each world houses a number of stars to be gained by different tasks.
The controls are easy to pick up and the difficulty curve is perfect, easing you into the game well. There's a huge amount of replay value what with the number of stars, though there's a lack of multiplayer that is available in the new DS version.
The best thing about this game, however, is not the levels, or the controls, or that it's one of the most popular games; it's the experience. This is a great game to either pick up and play or sit down for hours with - you'll want to just explore, see the highest point you can get to on a level or surf on a Koopa's shell.
One thing that might put a downer on this is when it's compared to more modern Mario instalments, such as the new Galaxy games, the remake on the DS, or (perhaps) Mario Sunshine on the Gamecube. This shouldn't put you off, though - Mario 64 is well worth it.
Goldeneye 64 is a shooter based on the Bond film of the same name, and is one of those rare games that outclasses the film it shares its name with.
Goldeneye 64 arguably spawned all the first person shooters we have today. The single player is superb, with a massive number of missions and huge array of weapons to shoot your way through them with. There's also a nice feature where cheats can be unlocked, and there are loads of them - from the usual infinite ammo to those more obscure ones like paintball mode.
Multiplayer, though, is where this game excels. Get four people on one console, some beers and a pizza and you're in for an awesome night of shoot 'em ups. There's the standard deathmatch and capture the flag as well as Bond-specific modes like Man with the Golden Gun.
The game does suffer from a rather steep single player learning curve, but it's more than enjoyable enough and has enough replay value for the learning curve to be of no issue.
This is a brilliant game which I cannot recommend highly enough.
Many people call this the game of all time. I'm not sure I'd say it's the best ever, but it's certainly up there.
You begin as a child, working through temples until you are able to become an adult. It's a pretty standard story of good vs evil, but the gameplay is what makes this game really special. This was one of the first games to use contextual buttons, where items or actions are assigned specific buttons on the controller. This provides a smooth method of interaction, making the game easy to learn.
The game is epic in length, and will last you many, many hours. There's no multiplayer but there's plenty of replay value, and lots of minigames to keep you amused.
It's hard to think of any downsides with this game. If you've got a Nintendo 64 and don't own this game, then you need to add it to your collection. Right now.
I was bought these headphones to use with my iPhone, and have been amazed at the sound quality. It's a shame that these headphones are possibly the most uncomfortable over the head pair I have ever had the misfortune to wear - so much so that I returned them and traded them for a different model.
The sound is excellent, clear and the bass is fantastic. It's just a shame you'll miss it as you're adjusting the 'phones on your head. The band is far too small and the padded bit that goes over your ears too tight, and the band is hardly adjustable. They might be suitable for a child, but the cord is rather fragile and they're so pricey that I doubt you'll be giving them to children.
These are of course incredibly stylish headphones, and if you have a small head and tiny ears then you may well enjoy them, but there are much better headphones out there - if you're going for style, WESC Maracas are just as stylish, but much more comfortable and with arguably an even better sound quality. Definitely try before you buy.
This is a wireless printer and scanner. It has slots on the front to connect USB dongles and SD cards, so it doesn't have to be connected to the computer to print photos. The touch screen, whilst small, is easy to use and provides a nice interface.
Photo quality is excellent, as are standard prints. The printer is easy to set up - only the ink cartridges need to be plugged in, and a CD provides all you need to install the drivers.
There's an excellent feature accessed by the touch screen in which "quick forms" can be printed - such as music sheets, calenders and (brilliantly) games such as sudoku and mazes.
There are a number of settings for printing - fast, high quality and duplex among others. Unfortunately, duplex printing is manual - rather than the printer automatically switching the paper round, it has to be done by hand.
I also had a problem where the printer would power down randomly during printing, which resulted in the printer being returned and replaced. I haven't had any issues with the newer one, so it would seem to be an idiosyncratic fault.
In conclusion, an excellent printer/scanner combo suitable for home use.
Sony Vaios have built a reputation for themselves as an excellent series of laptops, and this is no exception. It is by no means the highest spec Vaio (as you would expect, as it sits on the lower end of the price spectrum) but it is well suited for home computer use.
The screen is outstanding - sharp and clear, perfect for watching films. Similarly, the keyboard is top notch and of a very high quality. The keys are a good size and are slightly tapered, allowing for easy typing.
There are issues with this laptop and iTunes, which can only be resolved by removing some of the pre-installed Vaio media control programs. Also, the standard graphics card isn't stunning - whilst older games such as Sim City 3000 will run, others like Team Fortress 2 will struggle. This is definitely not a gaming laptop! The laptop uses a Intel Pentium Dual-Core T3400 processor, which is fine for what the laptop is designed to do - run standard office programmes. However, it lacks the power of it's rivals which can let it down.
In conclusion, this is a great laptop for home use but one that gamers and those who require high processing power avoid.
It's an iPhone. When you refer to your phone not as a phone but by it's actual name, you know you're onto something special.
Let's start with looks - which are, as expected from the company that brought you the Mac and the iPod, sleek and stylish. The phone fits comfortably in your hand, and with just the one button on the front it's incredibly minimalistic.
The touch screen is one of the most responsive I've ever used, and works very well as an interface. There are apps for everything you could dream of, from games to self help to news, with more being added every hour.
The new iOS 4 give the iPhone 3GS the multitasking facilities of the new iPhone 4, which is a godsend to those who like having lots of things on the go at a time.
The only downsides I can think of are the battery life (I charge mine every 2/3 days, though I do keep wifi/3G on all the time and listen to music as well) and the fact that it's so expensive you'll freak out if it's in a situation where it could get damaged!
In conclusion, one of the best smartphones out there - if you can afford it, you can't go wrong with an iPhone.
This adds two more quests to the Fallout 3 main game - if you don't have the original Fallout 3 then it won't do anything for you!
Both take you to areas outside the Fallout 3 overworld, with new items and achievements available to you.
The Pitt revolves around you becoming a slave in an industrial area, fighting in an arena not dissimilar to the one in Oblivion, collecting scrap metal and trying to bring down the boss. I'd say this is the worst of the two missions added by this disk, but not bad.
Anchorage sees you fighting in a snowbound universe as part of a crack military team. It adds some excellent weapons and armour (all items gained in the expansions can be taken into the main part of the game) and has a great few missions.
The downsides are that the two missions are quite short, and can be completed in a few hours. If you're into Fallout though, they add more to an already great game so might just be worth the investment.
In comparison with the other extra content available, I would put these two at the bottom of the five available - in terms of impacting on gameplay, Broken Steel would be the most effective as it increases the level cap and enables you to continue playing once you've completed the main game.
If one word could gain the dooyooMiles, that would sum up this game. Before the DiRT series came along, the 360 was seriously lacking in decent racing games and had no rally games worth mentioning. Yes, PGR is a brilliant racer, but it focusses on tracks - and lets face it, off road racing is so much better.
This follow up to DiRT is certainly worthy of Colin McRae's name, with cars which feel like proper rally cars. They respond differently on each surface in a way which surpasses the feedback in any other game - if you get a steering wheel, you'll feel like a proper racer.
The campaign is huge, with loads of countries to race in and tons of races from rallies to truck raids. There's also the handy feature known as flashback, where for a limited number of times a race (depending on difficulty) you can reset your car by five seconds if you happen to destroy your car. While it may take some of the challenge out, it does allow you to be more reckless - which is, lets face it, the fun of a rally game.
In all, if you're at all into racers then this is the game for you.
ODST takes a massive (ish) step away from the normal Halo franchise by putting you in the shoes of a normal human rather than a cybernetically enhanced super-guy, with the lower health, weaker punch and shorter jump this entails.
The story mode has you following one trooper as he tries to find his scattered teammates, with you taking over the other members in flashbacks along the way. This gives you a great sense of involvement in the game; just as you get bored wandering the streets, you're thrown into a battle with tanks, flying vehicles and hoards of aliens.
There is also a new firefight mode, for single or co-op play, where you are pitted against waves of enemy troops.
You also get an expansion for the Halo 3 multiplayer if you hadn't already downloaded it, adding more to one of the biggest Xbox Live games on the market.
If you enjoyed the previous Halos then no doubt this will be fun for you, and to those new to the franchise this is a worthy introduction. Whilst it isn't a massive leap forward, it's certainly a good addition to the series.
This is a game which has become almost synonymous with "Xbox 360" since its release - ask someone if they have this game, chances are they'll say yes. And there's a very good reason for this; it's fantastic.
The single-player campaign focusses on a simply epic (though somewhat predictable at times) plot, along with awesome set pieces - sneaking through a snowbound forest, sniping passing patrols was one that stood out to me - and superb firefights keep the pace going throughout the campaign and seriously immerse the player in the COD experience. The co-op Spec Ops game mode is similarly well thought out, taking the best bits of one player and making them available for two players.
Where this game really shines though is in multiplayer. COD: MW2 has one of the deepest multiplayer experiences of any shooter I've ever played, with a staggering number of weapons and attachments to unlock which will keep you coming back for more.
There are a few negatives - the online connection isn't always great, and some parts of the campaign do drag on (though saying which bits would give the story away) but they are more than outweighed by the positives. Buy it, you won't regret it!