- Premium reviews
- Express reviews
- Reviews rated
- Ratings received
I've been a fan of the Guitar Hero series since World Tour came out, and I decided to finally change from playing Guitar Hero only on the PS3. And so I saw Guitar Hero Modern Hits in HMV for £10, including the guitar grip, and bought it. For a Nintendo DS game, they managed to get quite a lot onto that one little cartridge. There are 28 playable songs (I think), which is pretty decent in my opinion.
Gameplay - the same as any other Guitar Hero game, except you have to drag the stylus across the touch screen in order to "strum" instead of having something like a strum bar. And there are only four fret buttons instead of the five that you get with guitar controllers for consoles.
Songs - a good selection here actually! I was pleasantly surprised to find a couple of my favourites in there, along with several songs that I've come to love since discovering them in the game! If you're a fan of the kind of songs on Guitar Hero: World Tour, then you'll probably find something you love on this game.
Examples: The Offspring - Half-Truism, Placebo - The Bitter End, Bullet For My Valentine - Scream Aim Fire, AFI - Miss Murder
You play through different venues, unlocking new ones after gathering a certain number of "fans". Playing a song for the first time also unlocks different challenges (under the name of "Fan Requests") for that song, including getting a certain score while playing a bass track, or using a certain number of battle items in a guitar duel, etc. This is actually my only problem with the game. Because you have to get so many "fans" to unlock new songs in career mode, you HAVE to play a lot of these challenges, meaning that you can play a song through two or three times before you can actually get different songs to play. There are three Fan Requests for each song, so you could actually end up playing each song four times if you wanted to, three times on lead guitar and once on bass.
Other than that, I would highly recommend this game to any fans of the Guitar Hero series. You can always just put the game down and pick it up later to play those same songs again, so that you don't get quite so sick of them! :P
I bought this game second hand for a grand total of £2.99 (I know, I'm such a big spender), so I didn't really have high expectations for it. But Elite Beat Agents turned out to be surprisingly good, and surprisingly addictive.
Gameplay - You tap the touch screen or drag the stylus across it, in rhythm to the song that is being played. I played the first song of the game, and found it extremely easy and wondered if I would get through the whole game in an hour or so. But oh my, was I wrong. It gets a lot harder as you go through the stages. I like to think that I've got a good sense of rhythm (I play drums) but this game really tested me, and I often found myself failing and restarting and failing and restarting and failing and restarting... a song many times before I managed to actually pass it (with a grade of a C or a D, at that!). And I was only playing on medium difficulty!
Songs - there are less than 20 songs in total, and they are all cover versions (though I didn't even notice until the credits at the end showed this). I was a bit disappointed that there weren't more songs, but I suppose you can't get a whole load of stuff onto a DS cartridge before it's full. The songs vary from Good Charlotte to Madonna, so there's a good range of stuff - something for everyone.
You get short comic scenes to give you a bit of story on who you're saving (with the power of music!). You're not exactly going to get sucked into the storylines or anything, but they are quite funny at times.
I would recommend getting this game, but not for your kids - I think it's just too hard, so don't think it would be a cheap alternative to Guitar Hero or anything like that. But by all means, a teenager or adult will get some good fun out of playing this, and occasionally a lot of frustration too! :P
Guitar Hero 5 was set to improve on Guitar Hero: World Tour and fix the little issues that had started to annoy people. I can honestly say that Guitar Hery 5 has succeeded in doing that, and yet I can't say I enjoy playing it very much - in fact, I've played it for only a few hours since buying it, and now it stays in it's case while Guitar Hero: World Tour has the privilege of actually staying in my Playstation 3.
This is because, quite honestly, the songs on Guitar Hero 5 just don't compare to those on GH:WT. I find myself playing the few good songs on GH5 over and over in "Quickplay" mode, just to avoid actually progressing in "Career" mode and having to play dozens of songs that I dislike. Whereas in GH:WT, I'm happy to play most songs, and there are a few on there that I truly love.
Setlist and songs aside, GH5 does do the job. There's the same Guitar Hero format and layout that we've come to know and love, with a new "Party" mode thrown in, where you can jump in and out of a song at any point and on any instrument. Personally, I never use this as I prefer to play the whole song, and you're bound to miss some of the song at the very beginning.
Online gaming is much the same as ever. And by that I mean that it's fun, unless you find yourself playing against a Guitar Hero master, who gets a score as high as the sky. Then it's not so fun. But that only happens occasionally, and in general you'll probably find yourself getting pretty competitive against a complete stranger who's probably half way across the world.
Overall, I would recommend getting Guitar Hero: World Tour, or even Guitar Hero III rather than Guitar Hero 5. Of course, this is based on my personal music taste, although I have found that several other people agree with me. So if you look at the Guitar Hero 5 setlist and find yourself amazed by the abundance of amazing songs, then go for it and buy it because you won't be disappointed. If, however, you haven't heard of a lot of stuff on there, then don't bother, because you probably won't be too impressed. I gave it a chance, and was disappointed - don't waste your money by making the same mistake.
In my constant search for new melodic punk music, I came across the band Strung Out. I had never heard of them before, so I listened to their song "Calling" on YouTube, and I was instantly hooked. I quickly downloaded the entire album, and was a little sad to see that the album isn't quite as good as I would have hoped, but it soon grew on me and is now one of my favourites.
The band mixes melodic punk with just a dash of metal - and it works surprisingly well. Strung Out will play punk drum beats, with heavy guitars and great vocals... only to burst into an amazing guitar solo, worthy of all that metal music which led me to punk! Of course, the music varies throughout the album, but I found that it's best to describe their overall sound as "punk gone slightly metal"
Here are a few sentences about my favourite songs:
I think this is the lead single for the album - and for good reason. This song sums up the Strung Out sound (including the kind of epic guitar solo I mentioned earlier!) There are some really great vocals here, and the drums and guitar playing are good too.
All The Nations
A very catchy song! I find myself singing along every time it comes on - even though I don't know half the lyrics!
Brilliant riff in this song! The rest of the song is good enough (catchy melody, good vocals, etc), but I think that it's the riff that really makes the song.
More Than Words
One of my favourites from the album, except it's only a bonus track! So it wasn't even on the CD that I bought :( This song is excessively happy without being pop-punk-ish, and so it makes me smile every time.
Of course, not every song on the album is great. There are some very average songs, and a couple that I honestly don't like very much. For example, "Blackhawks Over Los Angeles" is extremely forgettable, and I can never remember how it goes. Also, the song "Dirty Little Secret" just doesnt match up to the other songs on the album - it is essentially pop-punk, which makes it sound a little weak.
All in all, this album has worked its way into my top twenty albums, so give it a listen and see what you think! Especially if you like punk stuff.
I never really bothered with Strike Anywhere, despite having downloaded a couple of their albums literally years ago. I recently listened to them again though, as I started to really like punk stuff, particularly melodic hardcore. I was pleasantly surprised with what I found on the album Exit English, so I'll just say a couple of sentences about each song.
Pretty average really. Not bad, but nothing particularly special either. Very short as well, so there really isn't much to it.
Now this is better stuff. With a catchy chorus (you'll find yourself singing along to "we'll go, go out in a blaze") and great guitars throughout the whole song, this is one of the better songs of the album, in my opinion.
Arguably the best song on the album, and my joint favourite song of the album. The drumming rhythm at the beginning is brilliant (and such fun to play!!) and the chorus is excellent. The band also made a music video for this song, FYI.
To The World
This song is pretty good, though I just don't find the vocal melody in the verse catchy or interesting at all. But that's just me, as I know other people who really love this song. The chorus (where there isn't much of a melody anyway) is good though, mainly for the lyrics.
This song actually bores me a little bit. There's nothing I can find that is particularly bad about it, I just don't like it. It always ends up being background music, because it doesn't hold my attention for long enough.
Lights Go Out
The chorus in this song is quite good, and I tend to catch myself often singing along to it. But the verses are very average.
This song is a lot slower than the other songs, and doesn't have much to it. It is the second-shortest song on the album, and has no real chorus, or any sort of structure, now that I think of it. Not anything special.
Back to the normal speed for Strike Anywhere with this song! From the very beginning of the song, it's fast and heavy and (thankfully) interesting. There is a proper structure to the song, albeit the common verse-chorus structure, and the chorus is catchy and good to sing along with (particularly the line "under the millenium's shadow").
First of all, let me just say that the proper word is aluminium. AluminIum. Thank you. Now, the song. One of my favourites of the album, but it has to take third place after Blaze and Extinguish are tied for first. The song starts and ends with some VERY catchy lines, and in the middle there is some very good lyrics.
As mentioned, this song is tied for first place with Blaze as my favourite song of the album. It begins quietly, but quickly starts up and really gets going. The entire song is catchy, including the verses, but as is expected, the chorus is even more catchy. The chorus also has some lyrically brilliant lines, such as "United by what we love not who we suffer for". The song ends with some great shouting from the lead singer.
In The Fingernails
Once again, there's a catchy chorus, with some great "whoa"s that sound like they were written to be sung by the crowd at a live concert. The line "Someone's heroes are someone's terrorists" is very profound, and makes you think.
'Til Days Shall Be No More
Longest song of the album, to end the album. The vocalist alternates very well between urgent shouting and melodic singing, which he does throughout the album though it's more noticeable in this song. A good send-off for a good album, in my opinion.
So all in all, I was glad that I decided to give this album another listen. I've found some really good songs here. Unfortunately, the album is scattered with some more average songs, that aren't particularly bad in themselves, but they just aren't good either. They end up sounding dangerously like background music (yes, I can find melodic hardcore punk to be background music) and then there's the possibility that you're not quite paying attention when a good song pops up.
I've only recently truly discovered Anti-Flag. I had always known of them, but I never bothered to really listen to any of their music until I went to a Rise Against concert that had Anti-Flag as the support band (sadly, Justin Sane broke his collarbone and so they had all flown home, thus it was totally useless for me to listen to their music, but oh well! I found that I like them anyway)
I downloaded their album For Blood and Empire, because I had heard from a friend that it was their best album. While I can't yet say whether or not I agree with that, I can say that I really like this album. Some highlights to look out for:
The Press Corpse
Perhaps my favourite song of the entire album, with an unavoidably catchy chorus, and good verses. The lyrics are also good, and I can't help but sing along.
Project For A New American Century
Great guitar riff here, along with a great chorus that has some almost accusatory lyrics. One of the best songs of the album.
Hymn For The Dead
With an oddly religious title and chorus, along with a touching trumpet section, this song stands out, but somehow works very well. Very catchy too, so I really like it.
This Is The End (For You My Friend)
I don't really like the verses of this song, I find them a bit boring. On the other hand, I love the chorus - ok, it's a bit poppy, but only in the good way! And the lyrics definitely make up for some of that poppy-ness.
Unfortunately, this album suffers from a common problem - the best songs are all at the beginning. Now, I always listen to albums in their proper track order, so I find that I'm getting bored towards the end of the album. In fact, the songs in the second half of the album actually bore me a little bit. They just aren't up to the standard of the rest of the album. All the same, I really like this album and have recently ordered it from Amazon (so no flaming me for not supporting the artist! :P)
In a recent search for new punk music for my collection, I discovered The Lawrence Arms, and quickly gave their latest album "Oh! Calcutta!" a listen. I was pleasantly surprised at what I found - a good album of upbeat, melodic punk that always makes me feel strangely happy.
Some songs are better than others, though none are particularly bad. Here's a few words on my favourites of the album.
The Devil's Takin' Names
Best song on the album, in my opinion, so I find it a little annoying that it's the very first song, because then I don't have too much else to look forward to. VERY catchy chorus that never fails to put a smile on my face.
Cut It Up
Another of my favourites from this album, continuing my annoyance of the good songs being at the beginning of the album. A great song to sing/shout along to!
Recovering the Opposable Thumb
I just really like the line "Count all your fingers tonight" !!
Key to the City
Another chorus that makes me invariably happy! Listen to it, and you'll see what I mean. And it's near the end of the album, so I have this to look forward to :)
Like A Record Player
I love the vocal melody of this song - the verses AND the chorus. This track also contains a "hidden" track at the end of the album called "Warped Summer Extravaganza (Major Excellent)"
Unfortunately, the album is quite short, clocking in at only 33 minutes 56 seconds. This is because there are just 12 songs, which tend to be only 2 or 3 minutes long. In fact, the longest song is 4 minutes 52 seconds, and that's because it is the final song, and has a "hidden" track at the end. My main problem with the album is the block of songs in the middle that aren't quite up to scratch with the standard of the other songs. Though I suppose, that it's better to have these songs in the middle, so that I can look forward to the better songs at the end.
Despite these things, I still really like this album, but I don't know any of The Lawrence Arms' other albums, so I don't know whether "Oh! Calcutta!" is particularly exceptional for them, or if all of their albums are this good.
I only recently discovered Useless ID, a punk band from Israel. I checked out their most recent album, "The Lost Broken Bones", and loved it. Now it's up there with Rise Against's albums, and Ignite's album "Our Darkest Days" in my favourites.
Now this is one of those albums where there aren't any particularly BAD songs, it's just that some are better than others. All the songs are good, but I still have my personal favourites. For example, "Isolate Me" is a great opener for the album, with a fast and catchy chorus, decent enough verses and a good guitar riff. "Mouse In a Maze" is my favourite song of the album. It has possibly the most catchy chorus of the entire album, and for some reason this song makes me feel really happy (it's surprising, as it's not exactly an anthem of happiness :P)
"Blood Pressure" is the lead single from the album, and is good enough for this, but not the best on the album in my opinion. I also like "Night Stalker" for its sing-along kind of chorus, and the verses aren't bad either (there's also a pretty epic last chorus, where two sections of the song are sung at once, and there's a backing vocal part as well, and it all fits together and works well!). "Always the Same" is another song that makes me feel happy for one reason or another. "Misconception" is a bit different to the other songs, in that there are moments where it's only vocals and drums playing. Either way, it's still a good song, and I really like the simple guitar riff.
Another thing I like about this album is that my favourite songs are spread out across the album. I hate it when all the best songs of an album are right at the beginning, and then the album comes to an anti-climax at the end, with all the more average tracks. So if you happen to know the track listing of "TLBB" you'll see that my favourite songs (mentioned above) are pretty much every other song for the first 10 tracks of the album.
So after hearing this brilliant album, I quickly went to find their other albums to listen to them. Unfortunately, I had built up high hopes for these albums after hearing "The Lost Broken Bones" and was quickly disappointed to see that it seems like "The Lost Broken Bones" is their best album to date, and the previous albums just don't live up to the standards I had set for Useless ID. I soon realised that I only really like "TLBB" from Useless ID, and have resigned myself to the fact that I had only discovered one amazing album, not one amazing band. But you may think differently, so it's still worth giving their other stuff a listen.
I've been listening to Pennywise stuff for a while now, and "Reason to Believe" is their latest album, released in 2008. I went out to buy it and listened to it practically as soon as I got home.
Am I happy with it?
Let me explain.
Pennywise have been around for a long time now, and "Reason to Believe" is their ninth album overall, so there have been many albums before it. As a result of this, I seem to have developed certain expectations of Pennywise albums, and "Reason to Believe" just didn't match up to these. Perhaps the band members are (god forbid) actually getting old.
There was nothing wrong with the songs themselves, and a lot of them are good. But there's nothing in particular that stands out. It's all a bit same-ish, with no real highlights in the album. The songs have a lot of elements in common, for example the guitar parts are often great, with brilliant riffs. The vocals are relatively consistent throughout, and there's a lot of backing vocals used in the album. The drums can't be picked at very much, as they do their job very well indeed.
Even with the songs being similar, I still have some personal favourites of the album. For example, "One Reason" is a song that comes early in the album and has a catchy chorus. "Faith and Hope" has some good lyrics in the chorus. "It's Not Enough to Believe" is possibly my favourite song of the whole album - it has a great catchy chorus and is heavy and fast enough to break through from the background that the other songs blur into. This means that I'm paying enough attention to appreciate "You Get The Life You Choose" straight afterwards, but I'm not sure whether this wouldn't also blend into the background otherwise.
Essentially, the songs on "Reason to Believe" just don't change enough. Sadly, this means that whenever I put the album on to play, it ends up more as background music, because I just can't focus on it for very long because it's all too boring. In fact, dare I say it, some of the songs actually end up being annoying after a few plays.
I don't know why Pennywise seem to have slowed down at this point, whether they're getting older, or they just didn't put as much effort into this album - I don't know. I just hope that they'll get themselves back to their good old selves before their next album comes along. I mean, I would still buy it, but I can't promise that I would like it - I only listened to "Reason to Believe" as much as I did because I honestly kept forgetting it wasn't as good as their previous stuff.
I've always loved salt and vinegar flavoured crisps, ever since I was a child. And I've always loved Pringles. So of course, salt and vinegar flavoured Pringles are like heaven to my taste buds.
As with all other Pringles, they are at that awkward size where a lot of people can't quite fit a whole one in their mouth, but I can! So I have no problems there.
The flavour itself is very good, but pretty strong on the vinegar side, so some people find it too much, even if they like salt and vinegar flavoured stuff normally. As for me, the stronger, the better! (Anyone else remember those Walker crisps flavour that they had for a while? Salt and Lineker? They were SO vinegar-y, it was great!)
The salt and vinegar flavoured Pringles suffer from the same problem that all Pringles do - almost all the flavour is on one side, so eating it one way around actually tastes a bit different to eating it the other way up! But this doesn't make that much of a difference really.
The only REAL problem with these Pringles? They are SO addictive. I actually find myself eating through a whole tube (one of the big ones, too!) on my own. I have to force myself to stop, and it's so hard to do that!! And sometimes, I even find myself craving these Pringles, and so I go on a hunt through my house to find them (or actually go out to buy some if I can't find any!) Because of this, I had to bring down my rating to 4 stars.
So if you like salt and vinegar flavoured stuff, go get these Pringles, but beware that they are ever so addictive.
As quite a big No Use For A Name fan, I admit that I was a little bit disappointed with this album. It saddens me to see NUFAN clearly descend further and further into the dark realms of pop-punk, when I know for sure that they used to come out with some pretty amazing hardcore punk stuff!
Either way, I've picked out some songs I felt were worth mentioning, and so I'll just say a quick short sentence or two about them.
Couldn't get the album off to a better start. Brilliant guitar riffs, and a good vocal melody.
I Want To Be Wrong
Catchy chorus in this song, with some surprisingly deep lyrics.
Sleeping Between Trucks
Slow acoustic song, still upbeat and positive, but very very very not punk :(
The Trumpet Player
The verses aren't great, and could get a bit boring, but in my opinion the chorus makes up for it.
The Dregs Of Society
One of the better songs of the album. Great melodies and guitar work.
I just get the feeling that NUFAN don't quite know what they're doing with themselves anymore, as there are some songs on this album that echo back the good punk of their old days, but then there are also some very very pop-punk-ish/acoustic/generally-NON-punk stuff!
Essentially, this album is not NUFAN-ish enough for me. In fact, I think that I'm beginning to lose hope that they might ever go back to their amazing sound that they used to have. But if you're into pop-punk, then this album is for you!
After the original first three Indiana Jones films, "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" was always going to have a hard time measuring up. But this was like they didn't even TRY.
Honestly, I was very disappointed with this film, and not just because I had high expectations (the hype surrounding the film really didn't help it, once you actually watched it). The major problem with the film is that it's unrealistic. And yes, I understand that the first three films weren't exactly realistic (it's not like they were an average day at work) but TKOTCS just took it too far. I first noticed this when Indiana managed to escape a nuclear blast by hiding in a lead lined fridge. Sure, it's possible, and he IS Indy after all, but seriously?
The acting was pretty good. Harrison Ford holds his own, despite his age. He actually does really well, and you'll only notice his wrinkles a LITTLE bit :P Shia LeBouf also does pretty well, considering the lines he was given.
That's another problem with this film. It walks the awkward line between action with a bit of comedy and comedy with a bit of action, and in the end it just feels like it's having a bit of an identity crisis everytime there's a cheesy joke at a moment when it's seemingly unnecessary, and sometimes these jokes just ruin the atmosphere of the scene!
From now on, when thinking about Indiana Jones, I will think of the original trilogy and try very hard to block this film out of my mind. Compared to the first three films, it just doesn't even deserve acknowledgement.
Now I know there are a lot of people who have had bad experiences with Paypal, but I haven't and I'm going to write this review about my experiences. In fact, I think that all of my experiences with Paypal have been positive!
When I first opened the account, for a long time I didn't do anything with it. Then I started receiving money into the account from various online sources, and everything was fine. I had to convert the money from US$ to GB£, and there wasn't a problem there. I checked the current exchange rate on several external websites and found that Paypal wasn't cheating me out of anything, so I was happy.
Then I started buying things with my Paypal account. Everything went smoothly, and I really can't complain! It was all very straightforward, with no confusing jargon speak to irritate you. (At this point, some people would have complaints about not receiving their item, and then not getting their money back, or something like that, but all I can say is that you shouldn't buy from dodgy people/sites!! It's not Paypal's fault that you're a bit of an idiot! Buy from legitimate sources, get your item and then you can't complain about Paypal!)
So my time with Paypal has been a happy time, and hopefully will continue to be happy. Whether receiving or sending money, I haven't had a single problem as of yet, so Paypal is brilliant in my opinion. Now I've just got to find a way of getting more money into the account :P
I've recently discovered the band Ignite, and have quickly come to love their latest album Our Darkest Days. It has that perfect blend of melody, speed, and plain loudness. A lot of the lyrics are related to the conflicts involving Hungary, as the lead singer is Hungarian (you might detect it in his singing, if you listen carefully).
I'll say a little bit about the songs I like the most
"Bleeding" and "Fear Is Our Tradition" both have great melodies in the chorus (especially "Bleeding"), and are heavy enough to satisfy the punk lovers
"Let It Burn" has an excellent sing-along type of chorus, with a more shout-along type of prechorus
"Slowdown" is the best song on the album, in my opinion. The chorus is pure brilliance, and the lyrics are good too. The bridge is amazing, and the song has slower, breakdown-type sections that give the song a good amount of variety
"Save Yourself" has some seemingly common, typical lyrics, but I think Ignite dealt with the topic better than most others
"Sunday Bloody Sunday" is a decently done punk cover of the old U2 song
The album as a whole makes me happy. Simple as that. There's not a single song that I dislike so much that I skip it, but obviously I like some songs more than others. I also really like how the album ends on "Live for Better Days", which is a nice happy upbeat acoustic song. Then there's a hidden track at end, sung in Hungarian. I generally ignore this, so as to keep my happiness from "Live for Better Days". My only problem with the album is that most of the songs that I like are in the first half. SO for me, the album ends on a bit of an anti-climax. But oh well.
So overall, I would really recommend this album to anyone into punk or rock and anything in between (especially Rise Against fans)
Microsoft Internet Explorer is perhaps the most widely used internet browser in the world. And for good reason!
There were huge changes between IE6 and IE7, and they were all a step in the right direction.
Firstly, IE7 introduced tabs. Tabs are extremely useful, especially to someone like me. They allow you to have several web pages open in just one browser. This is really helpful, as I tend to do a lot of research on the internet - so I can have google in one tab, wikipedia in another, etc etc etc!
The entire user interface for IE7 is actually very simple and straightforward. So nothing is hard to find, and you can hide menus/buttons that you don't use very often, so it's also customisable to your preferences.
There is also the favourites button, which also has tabs for RSS feeds and your internet browser history. There is a search box integrated straight into the browser interface, which you can set to search with various different search engines. You can also specify to have more than one home page, so that each web page will open in a different tab when you open the browser.
I think that's about it! Other than that, Microsoft IE7 does just about everything else you would expect it too. It also has a few add-ons, toolbars, etc, but I think that Firefox still leads the way is this regard.