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Synopsis - Rupture Farms is the biggest meat processing plant on Oddworld. Maybe too big... With all the tasty favourites being farmed to extinction, the higher ups in this alien company are starting to panic. That's when a new menu appears, with you at the top of it! Meet Abe, one of the many slave Mudokons working at rupture farms. After overhearing the companies plot to make you all into the new meat product it's your duty to get free, save your friends and bring down this evil place. A tall order for a lowly janitor. Gameplay: Save yourself! - Your primary objective. Stay alive! This game is riddled with traps, from deathly jumps, killer bees, wild alien creatures, falling rocks, and don't forget, getting shot at. It's a game that'll truely test your mind, tactics and timing to get to the end. Of course, even a slave race has a few weapons of their own. Abe can posess Sligs, the gun weilding muscle of rupture farms, to get himself out of tricky situations. Of course, the process can be a little tempermental, causing the posessed slig to explode when Abe is finished with them. When you're not running, hiding in shadows or rolling for your life, there's always time to cause a few casualties to the opposition, but only after using them to help you get a little further. Save your friends! - Communication is the key. Abe has three basic commands to his fellow Mudokons. "Hello", "Follow me" and "Wait!". Simple yes, but when you're trying to get these guys out of a room full of sligs, mines and grizzly meat grinders it's all you need. Your objective is to get these poor souls to mystic Bird Portals without them losing their lives in the process. If you're feeling particularly dark you can get these guys killed in many different ways for kicks but believe me, the ending to this game will reflect your good/bad nature. Of course, the hardcore gamers have the oppurtunity to find and save all mudokons in rupture farms, but a lot of these are hidden in secret areas, adding an extra challenge to the game. Shut down Rupture Farms! - The game allows you progress through a fairly basic yet quirky storyline. The world is bigger than Rupture Farms and there's more to the Mudokon history than meets the eye. Struggle your way through the deadly traps and perils of the wild to achieve the power you need to bring down your former masters. Graphics - For it's time Abe's Odysee was a stunning game. Every detail from the factory to the wilds of Oddworld is a medley of detail. The creators clearly took a lot of time and effort to merge character interaction with the surrounding environment, creating a flowing realistic world where you really feel part of the action. Soundtrack - This game blends the environment and music perfectly, to the point where you don't really realise there's music playing, you're just captured in the sounds and gentle alien like instrumentals of the game. The music appropriately surges when you're in danger, or when you're running for your life, really adding to the atmosphere of the game. Price - A playstation antique consider yourself very lucky if you manage to pick this up second hand in a store. New sealed copies are going for as much as £99 on amazon. Second hand is definately the way to go when the game can be picked up for just £10, a definate bargain.
Synopsis - After escaping from Dracula once, Jonathan Harker vows to destroy Dracula's remaining sanctuaries and defeat him for good. With his wife, Mina's, condition worsening after their last encounter, it's a race against time to find the last sanctuary. Gameplay - This first person point and click may have been better released only on PC rather than playstation. The general object is to collect items for your inventory to be used in a more useful way. You can also interact with your surroundings, pulling out drawers to see their contents and so on. The game isn't going to send you in blind however. Hovering your cursor over specific places indicates what your player can do to interact with the environment. It does this by showing one of three icons, one to show that you can collect an object, one to show you can use an item on the area and one to show you can move the object in front of you. Although i found this a great way of helping the game along, sometimes finding the area to hover your cursor near impossible. Another thing to note about finding your way around this game is that moving forward involves clicking on the area in front of you instead of freewalking. This is a curse and a blessing as it really restricts the game's realistic atmosphere but at the same time allows you to determine that each stepping "zone" is clear of useful items or hotspots. The game is all about puzzle solving right from the off, and let me tell you, it's no picnic. If you miss a specific item you can spend hours searching for it, but what i consider the greatest feature of this game is that you really have to push your ability to think outside the box to solve the puzzles. Graphics - It might just be me with my copy of the game, but with my tv on full brightness some areas of the game were still pitch dark, making it impossible to see where you are and what you're doing. Especially annoying when there's an item you need to grab there. From the footage i've seen this wasn't a problem with the PC version but with the playstation it has been a constant pain. I understand the age of the game has its relative effects on graphics quality, and i really think this one captures the three dimensional effect of looking around a room. A great achievement with the ammount of detail it manages to retain. We're not talking pixels and polygons here, you get the whole detail in your surroundings. The game takes you through many different scenarios, from graveyards to mental asylums, and all of which look like they have been crafted very thoughtfully for a game of this time period. Soundtrack - Less is more in this game. In most situations you are placed in complete silence with only your own footsteps and the noises you make to accompany you. This creates a suitably tense atmosphere, especially after your first encounter with vampires, after which you spend most of the game waiting to hear that loud, heavy breathing coming from behind you. Price - On amazon you can pick this game up for around £10 new. I have mixed feelings about this pricetag as the game has little replay value. Once you know where all the items are and where they go the game is a complete breeze. I remember trying to replay it wishing that i could forget what i had to do. Although a great puzzle game I probably wouldn't spend this much on it for a single playthrough.
Synopsis - You're frogger, a frog with a dangerous mission. Save the baby frogs before time runs out, and if the timer wasn't bad enough, everything around you is out to put your hopping to a stop! Gameplay - Since the old days of the frogger arcade game, the designers have been busy. With nine worlds to hop through, each of which containing up to five levels prepare to hop through traffic, caves, and even clouds. The controls are extremely simple, just hop around with directional buttons to find the baby frogs. Having said this, you are given three new weapons in your arsenal: power croak (allows you to call to baby frogs which reply if they're near), super hop (allowing you to jump higher) and heat seeking tongue (allows you to pick up insects). This brings me on to a great new feature of this game, you can collect insects that affect your game. Some improve your score, some make you hop faster, some bad insects can even reduce your time. Improving your score isn't just to show you're a good gamer either, it allows you to gain valuable lives. I must warn you, this is no easy game, as the levels progress your time limits will get stricter, your enemies will get harder, and you will spend time frantically hopping around trying to find the other frogs. But that's the beauty of frogger, it's a challenge, and it's so rewarding to finally complete that level you've been stuck on for a while. The game teaches your to conserve time, master your sense of direction and prioritise which frogs you can reach in time. The game constantly adds challenges to prove your ability including slippery floors and pitch black caves. Graphics - We're talking retro here, frogger is played from a birdseye view, and since it's a 1997 game expect polygons and rectangles. Having said this, the way in which the levels are designed add an air of complexity, whether it's hedges, cacti or lilypads. The environments become part of froggers path, creating a flowing world which really compensates for the primitive graphics. Soundtrack - There isn't much in the way of soundtrack here, it's mainly the sound effects that stand out. The rushing traffic, the calling birds, all sorts of little perks that give this 2D game a 3D feel. Price - Due to the age of the game it's rare to find a brand new copy, however pre-owned versions of this game can be picked up for as little as £3 on amazon. Definately a bargain for this little gem of gaming magic.
Synopsis - You're Casper, the friendly ghost. Dr James Harvey and his daughter Kat have just moved in to the house you haunt. Your house happens to be a huge maze, and guess what? You need to find all the parts of your fathers invention to bring you back to life! Gameplay - Repetition is the key. This game is comprised of three parts: hit the switch, drop the weight in the right spot, fit the puzzle piece. The game loosely fits itself to the original casper film. Extremely loosely. About 90% if your gameplay will be finding the "lazurus parts" each one guarded by one of your three ghostly uncles. This is done by collecting keys for doors and chests, using the keys, finding more keys, and hitting switches on walls. There is no more to it. Now, to add a bit of a twist this game introduces picture frames with the portraits missing. If you manage to find all the peices of the picture and fit them correctly you aquire a new ability. I'm not sure how, but you do. This is where the fun comes in, Casper is able to morph into many different objects allowing him to progress further around the house. Buzzsaws, bouncing balls, screwdrivers the list goes on. I'm not gonna sweeten it, the game is repetitive at its core, you'll spend a long time flitting between rooms you've seen a hundred times, trying to remember what was where to no avail. With no storyline development, character interaction and barely any dialogue this game really wasn't worth playing. Soundtrack - If the maze doesn't get you, the music will. This game has about 3 tracks, one for inside, one for outside, and one for boss rooms. And trust me, you will hear each on a loop until your ears fall off in protest. I can't recall the number of times i stopped playing just so i wouldn't hear the same 20 second long repetition again. Price - This game can be yours for around £5 on ebay, although due to low sales not many copys were produced and so it may be quite a hard one to find.
Synopsis - Meet Crash, a genetically modified Bandicoot created by Dr Neo Cortex. Originally designed to be a member of Cortex's animal army, Crash has gone rogue. However, Cortex has Crash's girlfriend imprisoned, and he's not giving her up without a fight... Gameplay - As simple as they come, you jump, spin, and walk your way through every level. No complicated inventories here. Having said this, the game is as enjoyable now as it ever was. The levels may start easy, but prepare to be challenged as the residents get tougher, jumps get more death defying and your sense of timing is pushed to the limits. The bosses in this game are a bit of a push over, i got far more satisfaction through navigating the short and sweet levels than i did beating them. Despite this, each boss has their own traits and attack patterns, giving them a small level of complexity. The levels themselves are nicely varied, in one you'll be navigating a pitch black corridor, in others you'll be riding a rampaging hog through the amazon. The environments are sometimes recycled but always with a new and exciting twist. Graphics - Come on, this was retro playstation, we're not expecting gorgeous graphics here, but what the game does give you is a bustling, colourful world of detail, from amazon forests to postmodern labs. It's not gonna blow your mind, but it really makes you feel involved with the game, probably moreso than the basic storyline ever could. Price - A golden oldie, this game can be bought for next to nothing nowadays on sites like ebay, an absolute bargain right? Guess again, most of these copies are preowned, the original crash bandicoot is now becoming more a collectors item, hailing a massive £60 for a brand new purchase on amazon. I'm quite sure due to the mass production of the game it can be aquired for much less if you search far enough.
The key is in the design. This 8GB memory stick uses USB 2.0 so is compatible with practically all laptops and desktops. Although it's not much to look at in its stark black coating it is suprisingly durable. This is mainly due to the sliding feature that the stick has, the actual USB connector itself can be slid inside the covering to protect it from damage. This is useful on its own, but the slider has an additional lock system where it needs to be pressed in order to move. This prevents it uncovering in your pocket and potentially getting damaged. The memory stick is very fast to save to with Macs and Windows and the slider button lights up when in use. The only downside i could find with the stick was that it has no cover to protect the USB clogging with any fluff or dust. I found myself spending a lot of time before using the USB cleaning it out before i could plug it in. Overall this was the most reliable memory stick i have used, where most others broke due to flimsy design this one stays strong. I would definately reccomend it to people who need to know their data is safe.
Sony's new iPod/iPhone speakers guarentee a quality surround sound experiance, easily capable of filling the most spacious of rooms with your music whilst keeping audio detail to the maximum. Audio Features - Although the dock has an amazing capacity to project your music, the number of functions regarding audio is limited. The "Sound" button on the dock allows you to switch between Rock, Pop, Jazz, Vocal and Flat. For more instrumental music i found jazz was the best option but i mainly used Rock as i listen to a lot of metal. These selections really do make the difference depending on your music style. The volume that this dock can reach is second to none, the maximum setting i've ever needed to use is 11, which i consider to be plenty loud enough. However it can reach a maximum of thirty, more than enough to fill a house with music. Physical features - On the top of the panel lies a complete set of controls for the iPod/iPhone connected to the docking station (play/pause, next track, previous track, scroll up, scroll down and enter) as well as volume control. These buttons are touch activated and are extremely responsive in my experience. The dock itself is entirely black with an elegant piano black display and has a foldable docking point that opens when pressed gently in order to fit your iPod/iPhone. Electronic features - The docking station comes with a handheld remote able to control the iPod/iPhone from a distance. It is also capable of charging your device while playing music, even if no mains power is supplied. The dock is completely portable when charged, lthough i found it a bit weighty, it has an easy grip groove in the back of the system allowing you to carry it very easily.
I have to say, after a year of wearing my converse all stars they have never let me down. The Hi-Tops come in a huge range of colours and designs (mine personally black with blue inner sole and laces) and are great for being out and about in. At first it may be a bit difficult to get used to putting them on as the backs and sides aren't firm like most shoes but if you can master this you won't regret it. They're great on comfort and after a couple of days wearing in, seem to mould to the shape of your feet very comfortably. The only two disadvantages i've noticed are that in cold weather they do not keep the warmth in so i'd recommend wearing them more in the summer. Also when walking long distances you start to feel it in the heels, but hey, they're not designed for trecking. A great feature about Converse is that the more worn they get the more it seems to look good. I can't think of any other shoe that manages this. They are definately worth investing in if you're looking for a bit of style in your outfit and love the comfort they provide.
So it's coming up to Christmas and I'm looking for another gift to accompany the ones I've got for my girlfriend. Bam! On comes Keira Knightley advertising Coco Madamoiselle. Perfect. I decided to get a small sample bottle provided by the store and was immediately hit by a floral base with a layering of spice that really livened the fragrance. I couldn't fault it. However, walking home I realised that the smell was still lingering on my clothes, but not in a great way. For the chemists or perfume enthusiasts out there the immediate smell is more aldehyde (fruity smell) but then seems to lower it's tone to a floral musk, not in an overpowering way, in fact it could be described as too weak. As it begins to set in to this musky stage it seems to stay there for a long time, probably longer than you'd want to be around it for. It tends to get a little stuffy and floral fragrance becomes slightly soapy. The bottle for this fragrance is a very aesthetic faint pink colour, nothing too bold or in your face. I can imagine it looks very nice wrapped up as a gift to that special someone.
I'd tried the Boss Pure shower gel before and that had gone down really well, giving you a light citrus scent without being overpowering so I thought I'd buy the Eau de Toilette hoping they would be similar. When I first sampled it there was a familiar ring about the hint of citrus but it was more synthetic than the shower gel, not as fresh as it should be. However soon after applying it the fragrance changed to a much darker sort of musty smell. The citrus was still there but in a much milder form If I had to describe it fully I'd say it were like burning a scented candle, it had that kind of heaviness to it. This kind of goes against it's branding, it's not the innocent light smell expected from a bottle of "pure". The immediate fragrance on application is easily smelled, but fades after a few minutes. The bottle that pure comes in is not exactly the best of quality and doesn't exactly catch any eyes, the lid particularly is a nightmare to handle without it snapping.
Being an avid bird watcher my dad recently leant me these brilliant binoculars for a safari a few years back, and though he paid £250 for them it was worth every penny. They have 8X magnification meaning that as well as wildlife spotting they also come in handy when using them for general viewing such as mountain ranges or sightseeing. For underwater viewing they can reach a depth of up to five meters though I have not had a chance to test this. The gas inside the binoculars consists wholly of nitrogen, preventing fogging up due to temperature changes or high humidity. They have a great balance between the amount of light let in and size with big enough lenses to work in dimmer conditions. Even in these conditions there is no colour fringing or blurring on the edge of the view. The viewing angle is an impressive 8.0°, the same as that of higher end professional sets. This makes it great for watching wildlife as you can see faster moving animals for much longer without having to adjust your position. The compact body means that they are much easy to transport unlike a 8x42. It's an ideal set of binoculars for taking on safari, or even to a sports game without getting in the way. They are very comfortable to use and have very good grip in wet conditions. The tough shell of the binoculars helps protect it from any knocks or scratches you might encounter. Using the focus knob was easy and efficient, being able to focus from 8.2ft to its highest setting in a turn and a half. It was very well tuned and felt like it was gliding beneath your fingertips. There is a diopter adjustment for adjusting to your own eyesight which I found locked well without slipping out of focus.
These York hand grips are not for the faint hearted. You need some serious upper body strength to even start these off, so it's reccomended you start on a less intense set to begin with. They have a kinda foamy grip padding on them which is not as great as you might think given the fact that after a while of firm pushing against them, your hands tend to start rubbing. Apart from this though the handgrips are quite good, i've seen quite the improvement in how easy i could use them, although it took a good few weeks, using them about 3 times a day for 30 mins. They're suprisingly light to pick up meaning that your wrists won't get tired when holding them out, which can get strenuous with some other weighted handgrips. Overall i would say that if only a limited number of people could start them off then they on't really deserve a great rating.
These have to be the best contact lenses i've ever tried. Within seconds of usage i could tell that compared to other contacts these gave far more superior clarity. Not only that but they were very gentle on the eye and didn't cause any irritation throughout the 30 day usage, unlike others that can start to dry out your eyes toward the end of usage. The only disadvantage i've found is that when handled too much the contacts can have a tendancy to tear although this has only happened once or twice in the year i've been using them. Obviously prices vary depending on who's providing them but overall these lenses are in a higher price catagory. However this is well worth it for the results and comfort they give. I've found you can use them while in steamy conditions like the shower, however the instructions say that they shouldn't be submerged in water for too long so i do not recommend swimming with them.
This spacious pouch allows you to keep your goggles safe from scratches while at the same time saving you from the nightmare of losing them before you go out. The pouch is made from a kind of synthetic rubber which is really easy to wash and dries out fairly quickly, so you won't have to be stuffing a soaking pouch in with your swim gear. I've found it can take goggles of all shapes and sizes as the roomy interior stretches to accomodate them while at the same time not being abbrasive. It's sealed with a rather chunky zip which is normally good as it means it won't wear or snap off like other more flimsy ones. The picture displays them in black or blue but i've managed to find them in many other colours so it's down to personal preference which you choose. The only thing really missing from the pouch is a way to carry it as when you have to carry it around you may as well just be holding the goggles.
Sorry HP but you've failed me on this one... The Dvd840i has a 8.5GB hard disk and is capable of recording double sided DVDs at 8x and DVD-RW at 16x. It can cope with a range of DVD and CD formats such as ±R/±RW, DVD-RAM, CD-R/RW, and LightScribe so is easily compatible with most store bought CD/DVDs. There is a really cool Lightscribe feature where you can simply flip a recorded CD/DVD over and get a desired title emblazened onto the disc. However this cannot be removed so watch out with rewritables. Despite all these flashy features the drive has let me down majorly. Within two years of purchase the reader has completely stopped working, making it completely useless ever after countless drive cleaner attempts. With a one year waranty i'm left very dissapointed as most drives i've used have lasted as long as the computer has. If you can get it to last this would be a really decent dvd/cd writer but i just don't think it meets expectations on lifespan