- Premium reviews
- Express reviews
- Reviews rated
- Ratings received
While Quake remains the classic shoot 'em up, along with doom (and even Wolfenstein 3D) and Half Life and Deus Ex show the new generation of game, Duke Nukem 3D offers that same shoot 'em up feel to a game, but with a novelty value. From the outset there are strippers, pigs in cops uniforms and porn theaters, the levels are quite linear and although there is a plot, it still is a shoot everyone and everything game. The game progreses from New Yok, to a space station, and back to an un-named US city, each with a specific location such as a bank, or a resteraunt. Over the 'net it is possible to download thousands of different levels both single player and multiplayer, and indeed it is the multiplayer which makes the game what it is, although now dated,using wireplay, it was possible to find hundreds of people to fight, and if you weren't a wireplay member, but had a friend withg the game, you could, and still can dial direct and th game will take over, connecting you to matches with hardly any delay. Best multiplayer level has got to be the 'stadium' in which you fight it out in a football (American) stadium, single player-against a boss, multiplayer against your friend. Come Get Some
For the first time in ages Virgin mobile has had one of the 'new' phones at a low low price. The Nokia 3310 on sale on most networks at £100, Virgin offers you the phone at a £10 discount, and even more with offers such as £20 off when you buy £20 of credit. The phone itself is very small, and has loads of functions, it has the obligatory Snake ( Snake 2 on this phone) as well as other games, 7 ringtone spaces to download and compose, logo support, and a host of other traditional Nokia functions as seen on the 3210. But this phone has more, it has voice dailling, differnet to most as you don't have to SHOUT at the mic for it to register, it has a vibraiting alert whcih even keeps in time with downloaded ringtones. It has reminders, profiles (allowing you to set logos and ringtones) and screensavers. The network offers cheap calls and while it isn't always the cheapest for everything, it usually works out cheaper in the end. Virgin extras are another reason to buy, from a menu on the phone you can get cheap access to traffic news, music news, help, as well as a host of other customisable options. Free text alerts are now standard with virgin. The list goes on and on a s Virgin keep adding more and more new stuff, and while the 3310 is the phone of the moment, it is rare in most shops, yet Virgin nearly always have them in stock, if not in store than over the phone/net.
While some people have a definitve list of their favourite beers, many others couldn't care less as long at more than 3% proof, and will go for anything they can lay there hands on. One of these two drinkers will seem boring and stuck up for deciding on an ultimate list of beers, the other will seem dazed and confused laying on a bench somehwere. Anyway my top 5 1) The Irish Favourite: Guiness - Too much for some drinkers, many don't like its strong taste, yet the Irish do, and so do I. 2) The All Rounder: John Smiths Bitter - I challenge anyone not to like this beer, a favourite in beer gardens and teenagers bedrooms alike 3) The French One: Stella Artois - 'Nuff Said. Damn those samll bottles, just have to drink more of them. 4) The Iced One: Fosters Ice - Unlike its 'common' sister beer, Foster's ice tastes better than most of its competitors, mostly due to the lack of anti-freeze you can test in most 'ice' beers. 5) The Unknown Irish One: Kilkenny- No one seems to know this as a worth successor to the bitter crown, made by Guiness, it is almost identical to John Smiths, but with a little less lightness.
While Jo Whiley is not as inovative with her choice of music, she is still a welcome break at lunchtime before we suffer the one trick ponies that are Mark and Lard. The lunchtime social is the equivalent of Jamie Theakston's Sunday Lunch and comprises of songs, news, gossip and special guests. While we are not able to hear stuff like the new PJ Harvey single we are still treated to JJ72, Muse and Hear'Say. Well OK there is some Pop music in, but thankfull little of cabbage haired Pop Monster Craig David and the rest of his 2-step garage croonies. Whiley treats us to an often sarcastic, if not tounge in cheek view of the music world, and while she is more down to earth than 'working class lass' Sara Cox who spends her nights at the met bar, she is still up there in the shows that bands want to be on
The Diamond Rio 600 may not seem a natural successor to the 64Mb Rio 500, as the 600 bears only 1/2 as much memory, but what it lacks in memory, no doubt it will make up for in the future. PLAYER The palyer itself is small, smaller than most, and light, supposedly one of the lightest full size MP3 players on the market. It is curvey and fits comfortably in the hand, amking it a wonderful ergonomic design. The front is lightly inhabited by buttons, including the almost trademarked Rio circle dial in the middle. But appart from the dail there are only 4 more buttons on the player. The 2 volume + and - buttons, the Menu button and the On/Off/Hold Button. The display is the normal size but isan oval shape, the acctual lettering is smaller than ever as it has a 'proper' svreen rather than a dot matrix one seen on many such as the Yepp and the MPMan and other budget players. The display will shop the Song Title, Number, Encoding Rate, Time elapsed x of y song placing as well as a scrolling title, album, artist, info section which gives loads of information Seconddly the menu offers various options including the manufacture of playlists, play styles 10 to chose from + a customisable one, options such as display times and 'timeout settings' and an about section showing battery power, memory size, support, and the time day and date. All of this is backlit in a cool blue glow The player itself claims to hold 'up to an hours worth of music' but in actual fact it can hold twice as much at a reasonable quality, and will soon be able to hold around 32hours of taling books. The sound quality is slightly tell tinny than most models with a good treble reduction without overdoing the bass. Software: The Rio software also allows you to burn CDs and Rip them as well as listen to CDs and MP3s not forgetting the making of playlists (possible here and on the portable itself) and the track additio
n system. The Rio comes with a carry case, over ear headphones, cds, leaflets/instructions and the all important USB cable. This cable elimintates the need to have to un-plug your printer to get tracks onto the portable and allows a faster transfer time of a few seconds per track. The Rio is durable and the black look is customisbale with added faceplates to chage the color. The player is scratch resistant and any damage is likely to show up less than with one of the trashy silver models available such as the Rio 500 and numerous competitors In the future the Rio will be upgradable to 392 Mb, and evn further with new updates downloadble from the web. It also promises to support the latest file types and the memory backpacks will include high capacity rechargable batterys for long playback. Although the current, normal batterys are offering around 15 hours playback with the device. Soon as well a new backpack will be available to allow a small disc, similar to MD or the HipZip to be used in the Rio offering an unmimited storage capacity I can't wait
The Motorola M3888 is perhaps not the lightest phone in the world, but it still reamins one of the best budget phones on the market. SIZE This phone is now around 1 year old and so is slightly heavier than many newer phones around, however the phone received some bad public image, while Magazines voted it 5* "offering the price of a budget phone with many of the features of the up and coming new ranges soon to be launched" yet it was almost exactly the same as a Nokia 3210, and size wise it is slimmer than most phones, meaning it fits better in pockets, and although like many phones it looks big, it is an average size. FEATURES The phone has limited features as with many phones on the market at the time it was released, however on the Virgin network it has a good support of their Xtras facility and an excellent text messaging service. The phone doesn't vibrate, nor does it have a speaker phone yet it does have 'a very lod' setting and the microphone is increased accordingly, meaning the phone need not be burning into your brain quite as much. SMS The M3888 provides good quality SMS messaging with its 25 message capacity (shared between the phone and the sim card (and a 200 phone book memory) Text messages can be stored by date, number, sender or by first line and viewed before opening in the same way. Text messages are recieved as normal and the phone offers numerous options when the message has been read, apart from the usual save, reply, delete. There is forward, forward to many, add number, add name.... PHONE BOOK THe phone book is also useful as it allows the saving of one name and 5 numbers to that name such as Mobile, Home, Business and 2 BLANKS for your own purpose. DISPLAY The phone has a huge display in comparison with most making text message revceiving and writing easier than on the normal 2 or 3 line display. Picture icons are availab
le with an extra key and word size can be changed at will. BATTERY The battery of the phone is seperate to the backing cover, vital in today's phone world where batterys are easitly damgaged. The batteries are easy to get hold of new and last for ages, ignore the manafacturers times and adda good 10 hours if not more to the standby time. The battery does not damage as easy as others as it allows recharages at any stage and although with ANY phone this will cause a slight decay in battery life it is un noticable in this phone The phones curvey size and shape makes it ergonomic, confortable and easy to hold This phone is not as easy as it used to be to find, but look round and for such a small price it rivals any other phone of its 'genre' simply for the great display
While Radio One plays mostly mainstream music throughout the day, with perhaps a hint of more submersive 'choons' thrown in with Jo Whiley and sometimes Sara Cox, it is the evenings that make Radio One the national institution that it is. Steve Lamaq and his evening sessions allow a welcome mix of the now overused 'alternative' music and while many people think this aplies to mainstream bands such as Placebo and Limp Bizkit, it refers to a more underground music scene free of Bpm or nu-metal( well mostly) Lamaq also uses his prestigious evening sessions to bring the best of live music from Festival Highlights to the latest exclusive live Blur tracks. Following on from the Evening sessions are a variety of DJs including everyones favourite immortal grandfather John Peel. Peely manages to play some of the latest tracks mixed in with old favourites and some tunes which defy convention in not being at all musical, but still we listen. Its just a shame that at the weekends the general output of R1 is runined by the constant beats of the Dream Teem and the irrepressable 'bad boy antics' forced upon the listeners by Tim 'Bullet Dodger' Westwood.
Theres something about Amazon nowerdays, maybe its the huge choice or the confusing Z-Shops, but I don't like it as much as I used to. I remember when (cue blurry flashback) Amazon sold books, and only books, no CDs, no videos, and no one had even heard of DVDs. In thos edays, you could pick up a £5 voucher and buy and book worth around £5 and still not have to splash out on the postage. But now the search never works as I always forget to choose CDs only or Books only, and the prices are more expensive than I remember. But Amazon is still cheap, there is a HHUUUUUUGGGGGGGEEEEEE choice, and while you still have to pay for delivery, only rarely do CD cases come to you cracked and books dented. I don't shop for DVDs and Videos with them, but with the books, as well as the amazing customisation, and affiliates/refer-a-friend programme there is something for anyone to benifit from. Ah! Thats it. Amazon has got cleverer. In the good olds days, when they started to sell CDs the refer-a-friend programme had a flaw, a major flaw. You see, all you did was sign up to LineOne or somone else offering a voucher and then buy a £1 classic. The you simply set up 50 e-mail addrresses and refer these addresses to amazon. In a matter of minutes you had a nice £5 voucher, but unlike today you could combine these vouchers, and so orders of £100 or more could be made, costing you nothing. It was a good Xmas that year. But anyway. Shop at Amazon. Ignore what people say. Its not all that bad
While the massive queues and media hype make it seem worthwile travelling out of the heart of the city, you would be much better sticking to the queues of Home and the other Leichester square superclubs, for the experience is nearly always the same. Unless you are looking for a novelty club like The School Disco, near Vauxhall Bridge, or similar that you are likely to enjoy the huge hanger like expanses that are clubs such as the MOS. But be warned your wallet will be empty when you leave, as well as the exhorbitant entrance fee, there is the small fortune that it will cost you for a drink. The club itslef has some good music, although it depends who is DJing, however the lub will never go back to its glory days captured on the 'classics' box set. If you want a night out and want to say you've been then you'll enjoy the ministry. If you just want to go clubbing then go somehwere else or buy a CD
Britannia Music has always had a bad reputation as being an expensive, overpriced club in which you are forced to buy CDs you don't want, however many people would diagree with that stereotype. I wouldn't Having joined Britannia DVD club I was showered with offers to join, and then more offers when I wanted to buy DVDs, but after buying enough DVDs to fufil my Quota, and proabbly to pay the MDs wages, I decided I want out. Anyone who has joined either of these clubs (or AOL) will know how difficult it is to leave a club, like this. They will try Guilt tripping you, which didn't work, then they will reluctantly go through the cancellation process, stopping just short of the big red button marked cancel, when suddenly they are 'able' to bombard you with more offers to stay, this will work for a number of cancellation, howver after about 3 attepts they finally give in and cancel your account. Or so you think, but infact you are kept on their mailling list for an enternity, because they now own your soul, and you are forced to received mailings, or ven a catalogue once in a while, with no obligation to buy. The moral fo the story: Just say No!
101 Cds is part of that new breed of discount CD merchants like CDWow.com, who offer low price, no frills service, however 101 Cds fails to live up to the same criteria as its competitiors because it offers a much wider range of CDs that CDWow. 101 offers many import CDs at lower prices that high street and full-price online retailers, and a much wider range than many other merchants online who claim to have 'the widest range of imports in the UK'. All this is possible because, like CDWow, and many supermarkets, the CDs are all imported from places such as Germany and Austria who have much lower prices than the UK, this means that 101 Cds is able to offer low prices, although not always offering the smae 'special editions' as are available in the UK, this works both ways though, as there are many foregin special editions available which are often bought by the company in place of cheaper version. Finally if the (chart) CD is not available overseas, 101Cds will be able to get the CD for you, almost always with a bonus CD where available, ready for dispatch to arove the day its released
While managing to be one of the best online bookstores, it still fails in its ability to be a good version of a high street store. WH Smiths online has a good go at making itself appear to be warm and welcoming to the user, but again it fails in being as easy to navigate and to work through as some of the other leading competitors. In its favour though, WHSmiths online is one of the best stocked websites I have seen, it does not aloways have a wide a range as, say Amazon.co.uk, but the books that it does have are usually in stock, or available in a much shorter time than they would be on some of the more (in)famous book sites. It's prices are usually on par or lower than its competitors, and this is boosted by its delivery times and costs.
HMV is one of the best online music retailers i have ever visited on the net in my 5 years of surfing. It offers incredibly cheap CDs only beaten by CD Wow and other budget chart seller, but for sheer choice and value it cannot be beaten. There is such a wide range of CDs available on the site, it is sooooo easy to navigate and unlike many sights the BUY BUY BUY factor is lessened by using the site as an extension of the high street stores, rather than as an individula entity as many do. Although there is not a great abundence of Import titles noticable, there is still a large collection of circulating rareities available on the site which means that there is much choice as EPs are offered as well as singles and albums, which is rare beacause they are so difficult to catagorise. HMV Online is a top notch retailer although I wouldn't expect any less than that from one of the ciuntrys greatest music retailers.
Ahh Dixons, the British Institution, where the in store staff ignore you or treat you like idiots. The online store is much the same. It rarely offes any price difference, just as Currys and Dixons rarely offer any differnece, what with them being in the smae group. There is little information on the site about the product in comparisson with the amount of instore info, or on other sites. As i mentioned prices are high. eg Nokia 3310 Pre-Pay is 99.99 + postage while most online reatilers such as Mobileshop.com are offering it for 20 pounds less, although neither have any in stock. This leads me to my next point. There is no indication of stcok levels until after ordering and then there is little information passed through to the end user, ie yourself, this means i am reluctant to order without knowing how long it will take to arrive, and in once case I found out that my product would not be dispatched ever because of supply problems. I am yet to recive a letter to confirm this as prommised and an e-mail i had to repeatedly ask to be sent was conscise in so much as saying 'your order has been cancelled' with little else. Poor service all rounf
BOL seems like Amazon's poor cousin, someimes piping up witha 2 for £10 offer or similar without offering a good prices the rest of the time. BOL''s acctual ordering processes is slow and unreliable often ending in many presses of the submit button without a definite ourcome at the end of the order. After submitiing one order I was dismayed with the service, the book arrived 4 days late, the telephone helpline was often unresponsive and definitly unhelpful. After receiving this order I have been persistantly e-mailed by them almost every wekk proclaiming great offers, when i have repeatedly asked them to stop e-mailing me, yet they persisit. Overall a very poor service, poor prices and a generally poor site, avaoid unless there is a rediculously good offer on. Roughly once every blue moon.