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WHAT A STORY..! That's the first thing that came to my mind as soon as it eneded and actually part of this came within an hour or so into the story. This game has a great story and so many twists and turns that you could never have guessed it.
I won't tell you much about the story as i don't want to ruin it but I will state a few things that you would want to know if you were considering buying this. The game is set in the 40's and 50's and it starts off with your character Vito Scaletta fighting in WW2 in Italy. When he goes back home to Empire City he meets up with his best friend Joe and they remain together through the entire game, well almost but i'm not going to say what happens otherwise it will ruin it. You join different families and there is alot of betrayal and helping out and things you wouldn't have guesed which makes this game a great story. There are so many charcters and plots that makes the story truly amazing and loved every minute of it.
Empire City is a made-up place which the game is set in and it takes certain things from New York, Chicago etc. As it is set in the 40's and 50's, the music on the game like when your driving a car has licensed music from that era. Another thing which is great is the fact that some of the missions are from that era and gives you an insight as to what happened in those days. For example in one mission you have to steal a load of fuel stamps while the country needed to save as much fuel as they could, and another mission you have to sell cigarettes which nowadays we take for granted (I don't smoke, just saying lol)
However, despite the great story, the game is a let down as a 'game'. There is alot of action but nowhere near enough as i thought it should contain unlike the GTA series etc. There is alot ALOT of driving and in fact it is way too much driving and half your time on the game will be spent doing that. However, the driving isn't hard as some reviews have said but it's still annoying that you have to drive so much and have little action.
The controls are nice and simple by using the L2 button to aim and the R2 button to shoot, the R1 button to reload, L1 to run, the D-Pad to change your weapon and so on. The gameplay is very similar to the GTA series and has the same style map and pointers. In the game box you even get a massive map showing Empire City as did the GTA games.
The game took me just under 10 hours to complete which i thought was ok, not the best but longer than some games i guess. If i payed £40 however it would be dissapointed in the length. There is no 'proper' free-roam on this game which is a huge let-down as that could have made this game really great.
#### One thing to note is that this game is an 18 or over game and it means exactly that. There are magazines on the game which you collect which show nude playboy and women pictures which is deifnately not what a child should see. There is also alot of swearing on their and the most i've ever heard on a game. So if parents are reading this review then don't buy this or let your kids have this game. ####
Overall, decent game with a great great storyline. However, it's not perfect as there isn't enough hands-on action and just too much driving involved.
For the price i payed which was £14.99 and it's currently around there or cheaper, then i would definately recommend.
Manager games for any football fan is a must at some point in their lives. Whether it be the classic Total Club Manager or LMA manager games or the newer managers games that are out now such as Football Manager and Fifa managers.
Football Manager 2011 is a great game all round. You simply become a manager right from the start and choose your team you want to manage at first and try to take them to glory or whatever position they are capable of. You can also decide to start the game unemplyed and search for available jobs. Don't worry if you start a game with a team and you later get bored of them as you can resign/ get sacked and then choose another club that is looking for a manager. It's a never ending game in that aspect and you can't really 'complete' it.
There are many teams to choose from from many countries all around thw world. Whether it be from the Premiership or the Spanish 2nd Division you can choose any team you like. There are literally thousands of players and they play for the clubs that they do in real life. One aspect that is worth taking is that their are also Youngsters who are on this game so it's not only your established players, there are actually youngsters as there is in real life.
There are many aspects to managing your team from buying players to choosing a formation. Buying players can either be players who are on the transfer market or you can even offer clubs to buy their star players which they didn't intend to sell but if the price is right everyone sells.. (Sometimes you pay more than you can afford and then regret it..). However, not only is the money spent on paying clubs to get their players, but you have to use your money to give them contracts and this part is where I always end up paying too much and in the long run realise i'm left with little money to improve my squad because of this. There are also agent fee's etc which are new to Football Manager series.
You can watch your team play with different game speeds or you can simply skip the games and find out the final results. I like to watch my team play as I want to know first hand who plays well and who doesn't. At half time you talk to the players in the dressing room and say things like your dissapointed or perhaps 'You only need one goal' which quite often inspires them.
There is alot of media coverage emphasis on this game as it is in real life. Before the match and after the match you have interviews with various media broadcasters raging from well known names such as BBC to Football365.com. If you want to skip these you can send your assistant instead. There are also rumours which are quite often false that you want to buy particular players which is just like real life where the papers make up stories out of the blue!
You can interact with your players more than ever now as you can have a chat with them. The options of chatting with them are broad ranging from talking about their recent perfomances to asking them who they think the club should sign. Sometimes these talks don;t go well when they disagree with you and can make them unhappy and lose morale which is bad for team perfomance so you have to talk wisely.
The game itself is very basic. Watching the game is in 2D and their is very little sound in the whole game as their is only sound of fans cheering when watching the game and no in-game music. Also, you are very much 'the Manager' and unlike other manager game like Total Club manager, you dont interfere with things like building a stadium or ticket prices. Also, you simply can play with a mouse and i only use the keyobard if i'm searching for a certain player and have to type their name in.
There is also an online aspect which i haven't tried out and don't think i ever will but it would be good to read or watch a review on that part as unfortuantely I can't comment on it.
Overall basic yet challening game. It's great fun and puts you in the shoes of a manager and you feel the joy or frustration after each game as they would do in real life. Everything is basic and easy in regards to controlling the game and so it can be played at any age although i've learned from playing that the experience in watching a vast amount of Football in my lifetime (I'm only 18 but watched ALOT) seems to have helped me choose my players and tactics when playing against certain teams.
I have had this printer for quite a while now, around 3-4 years I think. I got it brand new from my Dad's office as they had ordered too many and offered my Dad a couple to take home to which he obliged.
The Printer is not your modern day printer, but modern enough to be put in the house, well atleast I think it is anyway! It's quite heavy and when you pick up the box with the printer in you would think that it would be huge but it isn't that bad in truth. It's about 10/11 inches tall and similar in the width length so it's pretty much a square. Compared with modern day printers the height may be big but the width is quite similar to many of the ones you would have nowadays.
The printer prints around 8 pages per minute which is not exactly the fastest, but good enough for most people unless you wanted to print thousands of pages in one go. The standard of printing is really good for basic black and white things like word documents. After all it was desgined as an office printer so it does well in this category as it should
You put paper in standing at the top/back and it prints and you can choose where you want it to come out: either from the front upwards so they will come out standing back to back or it can come out through the front onto your desk. The problem with coming out of the front straight onto your desk however is that if you print 2 or more pages then the front page will be at the back and everything else on top of it so full of hassle and that's why i just use the top.
I have changed the ink pack only once as it had already came with one. Both times i got around roughly 2500 pages which is not bad. But the price of the ink drums are extremely expensive costing between £40-£60. I'm not sure on the price now but this was the price 2 years ago.
One thing i have noticed recently is that sometimes when it prints upto 2-3 pages go through the print at the same time when it's only meant to be one! Only one gets printed on and the other 2 come out black as they should but they shouldn't be going through the print at that time. I don't know if this is a universal thing or just with my printer itself but it is a problem.
My dad uses this in his office all the time and i have even seen it in a few of the teachers office's at my old school so it seems quite popular for the office type companies. It's not stylish or good looking whatsoever but it's just basic and does the job it's meant to do without much hassle.
Overall great printer with good quality office type document printing. Basic design but does the job well enough to overlook this and after all it's a printer and is meant to look sexy! Definately reccomend for anyone looking for a printer to print anything black and white.
I bought my PS3 about 3 years ago now and at the time they only came with the basic 'Sixaxis' pads. These controllers are almost exactly the same as the Dual shock ones in terms of ability, but the the Dual shock controllers have vibration which is what makes it unique. Having an Xbox 360 aswell as a PS3 meant that i played alot of my games with vibration as the Xbox 360 controllers have it and so when i went out to buy a new controller for my PS3 for times when friends come over etc i decided to get a Dualshock one.
The design of the Dualshock controller and the Sixaxis controller are exactly identical. Both have the same buttons: D Pad, two anologue sticks, sqaure/circle/x/triangle buttons, start button, select button, home button, and two trigger buttons on the right shoulder of the pad and same for the left.
the pad is wireless and runs of batteries which are built in and so you don;t have to keep buying batteries etc as you simply charge it up by plugging the USB cbale that's provided from your controller to the USB port on the front of your console. The battery for me lasts about 6-7 hours. I think it depends on the game you play as on FIFA there's very little vibration and only comes on at times like penalties or when you hit the post, whereas on shooting games it may vibrate every time you shoot bullets! The good thing though is that you can still play at the same time as it's charging so you'll never get those moments when your rushing around the house trying to find any battery that you can get!
I feel this controller is definately heavier that the Sixaxis that comes with the console. However it isn't too heavy and in fact in my opinion it makes the controller more comfortable to play with as is the case with the heavy Xbox 360 controllers.
The vibration itself is the key to the Dualshock controller. It makes the games alot more realistic. For example when playing FIFA you may smash the ball onto the bar and the controller will vibrate as the bar would shake in real life. An even better example is when your in a penalty shootout and your the final player to take a penalty.. It shakes as it shows the players has a,ot of pressure on him so it makes you feel the pressure too! Another thing is the vibration is not always the same and sometimes it's weaker and sometimes stronger which is good as it makes it more realistic rather than boring.
The price of this is quite expensive at around £30. But these days most high end controllers are this price if you want the official ones but to be honest it's worth it as you will be using the product every day if you like gaming so it's better to pay for the quality in my opinion.
Overall, great controller. Much better than the original Sixaxis controller as it has vibration and also the fact that it's heavier makes it more wnjoyable and comfortable to hold.
I don't play my Nintendo DS anymore but when i did i used to play it alot. So when i went on holiday 3 years ago i desperatley wanted to take my DS with me as it was fashionable at the time and also would be great for the long train and plain journeys, and also the delays etc at the airport. However, as you can imagine, this could have been a great pain as it would mean I would not only have to carry the DS, but also the games themselves which are tiny, yet the cases for them are quite a big size and they're not thin either. At the time I was hooked on 3 games, and i have 11 more which i didn't play but wanted to take with me just in case i felt like it. I was so close to not taking them, yet the hassle would still remain of having to carry around my DS plus 3 main games I like on top of all the other luggage i had. But fortunately i came accross this in GAME store when i was looking to buy spare stylus's.
The price of this game case is pretty cheap at only £2.99 as i had payed at the time. But as is the case with most thing - You get what you pay for! This was never going to and was never designed to set the world alight. It's just meant to be a basic wallet to store your Nintendo DS game cartridges without the hassle of having to carry around such huge cases.
This wallet allows you to carry upto 15 games as it has 15 slots. These slots are big enough to fit the full amount of game in comfortably without damaging them buy squashing them together etc. That's basically it about the product and what its meant to be used for. The thickness of it when full and closed is actually the same size/ slightly thinner than one DS game case alone so it shows it's use fully in this category.
However there are many things to be wary of when buying this case. The material used all round is pretty cheap and can be bent easily. This is bad if your giving this to kids as they may play with it while unknowingly at the same time damaging the games inside. The games inside are also not protected very well. Although it has only happened a few times, some of the cartridges do seem to slip out of their positions and although it hasn't happened to me, you may lose the game. However, i think that the wallet when closed is tight enough for it to not fall out of the top or bottom of it and maybe thats why i haven't lost any.
Overall, very basic product designed to make it more portable to take Nintendo DS games around. It's cheap and you get what you pay for. It was good enough for me but if your giving it to kids then i would suggest possibly investing in a stronger one which would cost a bit more.
5/10 for doing it's job and being cheap.
Anyone who has an Xbox 360 console and bought it brand new will have a free Headset in the box provided by Microsoft. However, they're quite poor to be honest and no wonder they chuck them in there for free!
The headset itself is very basic, cheap, taccy looking. It's a mixture of grey and white and has a wire attached to it as it is not wireless or anything. The wire goes into your Xbox 360 controller on the bottom. This is alright as it doesn't get in the way of gaming or anything so this isn't a problem. The headset twists and turns in many ways so it fits most people. The top can be widened or tightened depending on how big your head is and the mic itself can be twisted towards you, away from you, up or down. Although mine hasn't snapped or anything, it seems very flimsy and cheap material has been used to make them. The wire that goes from the headset into your controller also seems very thin and easily breakable.
The volume through the headphone area can be adjusted up or down on the bit that plugs into your controller which is a useful function epspecially if you have randomers shouting down your headset! However, the sound quality is pretty poor. Often you can't hear friends when there are other speaking, and often when you can hear your friends it comes though with other bleeping noises and so you have to keep asking 'Sorry what did you say..'. Asking this question doesn;t resolve anything because as you may have guessed the mic part of the headset is also poor! When you speak often your friends can't hear you properly and seem to suffer the same problems that you did.
Another major flaw with the headset is that because it uses the controller, it means the controller has to be functioning for you to use the headset. If your controller for example runs out of battery then your headset will also turn off. This may not seem too much of a problem but it is for me as it means that my friends don't understand what is happening and why i have suddenly 'quit' when i haven't actually quit!
One useful feature along with the volume up / down control is the fact that you can block your mic. This is done by simply pushing a button on the bit that goes into your controller. This is extremely useful for example when you have a phone call or something and you don't want the people on the other end of the Xbox to hear. Also, if you turn the mic part off you can still hear other people speaking.
Overall i wouldn't reccomened buying this headset. It's not very expensive so i suppose some may be happy with it as they didn;t pay much for it. It's free with the console so i would advise you to just keep on using it but if it breaks then don't buy one of thse and instead invest in a better wireless one.
5/10 as it does it's job, it's free, but doesn't do it well.
The Play and Charge kit by Microsoft is designed for the Xbox 360 controllers. It's a great piece of kit that not only is extremely useful, it's also great in saving money in the longer term.
The kit allows you to charge and play at the same time. In the box you get a battery packs, the charger and the manufactorers guide and warranty information. The charger itself is a couple of meteres long as so it's good whether you play close to your tv/console or a bit further away. The charger has a piece at the top where it plugs into your controller where it lights up: Red means it's charging and Green means it's fully charged. The other end of the wire is a USB which goes into the front of your Xbox 360 console. The baterry packs simply goes in the back of your controller and takes the place of normal AA batteries. Also, this battery pack has the cover and clip attached to it so the one with the controller itself is not needed.
The battery lasts for around 25-30 hours which i think is great. I used to use Duracell AA batteries and they lasted around 15 hours i think and cost quite alot of money having to keep buying more. To fully charge it only takes 2-3 hours and you can even leave it in if you want to as the batteries will not overcharge and they will simply use the chargers power instead of using the battery power.
There are 2 colours available for this product: White or Black. I have the White version as i got a normal White Xbox 360 and therefore a White controller but if you have an Xbox 360 Elite which are black then you can use the black version of this kit. However, you can use any colour on any colour controller, it will still work but it will look a bit ugly!
The price i paid was £15 from GAME. They are still roughly this price and it really is a great price. After only a few charges you will realise how much money you have already saved by not having to get normal AA batteries which are getting quite expensive now. It also lasts longer than AA batteries so there's the 'less hassle' issue here also.
It saves those awkward moments when your about to play a game that you've been looking forward to all day, only to realised that you need a new set of batteries but you haven't got any in the house!
Definately reccomend for every single Xbox 360 owner. It's a no brainer really.
10/10 no faults at all!
I've had my HTC desire for around 5-6 months now and thankfully it has been kep in great condition and hasn't got any major marks or scratches on it. However, unfortunately for my previous phones this was not the case and to be honest it was down to my own fault for not wanting to invest in a solid protective case.
This Otterbox Defender Case has definately saved me on more than a few occasions!
The case itself is quite pricey. It's RRP is roughly £40! Yes £40 for a mobile phone case!? For that price you would consider investing a little bit more than £40 and get some breakdown cover or something for the phone instead (it will cost alot more than £40 if you want it for a long time though lol).. But I only wanted protection for little things like scratches rather than something like smashed phones etc so a case would be fine for me. Luckily i got it in the sale on Amazon for £21 and today the price is currently £23 and for these prices it's an absolute steal! Even for £40 it's worth considering.. but only just.
I got the black case and i think that's the only colour available. My HTC itself is white and i wanted a white one as the whole point in buying a white HTC was so that i could have a white one rather than a black one! I had no choice but to buy this black case unless i wanted a different type of case so i just stuck by it and bought it.
The case is extremely protective of your phone. It's a sheel case which is extremely strong and solid and is nice and tight on your phone so no fear of it moving that little bit and causing any scratches or marks. This sheel casing is then over-rided by a rubber casing which is on the corners and keeps the shell firmly connected to the phone. It's designed according to the manufacturer to protect the HTC desire from bumps, drops, scratches and dust.. and boy does it do just that! I've dropped it on a couple of occasions, most notably near a drain getting out of a car and my heart stopped at that moment, not because i thought it was cracked or scratched.. but because i thought it was going to fall in the drain! Anyway, i didn't fall in the drain but then the second most important thing at the time was that if it didnt fall in the drain then just hope it wasn't ruined. It wasn't ruined and there was only a samll mark on the case with no big dent or anything. I'm 100% sure that if i had not had the case on it would've smashed the screen as it landed that way on the only reason why it never was because the case corners are thicker than the screen's width and so they absorb the impact.
Another thing i like is the dust factor. Although i've never had a problem with any phone in my life having dust in the headphone, usb or charger sockets, i didn't want to even risk this phone as it cost me alot of money. Thankfully this case has rubber covers than covers these sockets and u simply pull the rubber up to use the socket and then click it back in again. Little things like this complete the case's value.
It may seem from the online photo's of this case that it's quite thick and would be quite bulky for your pocket. To be honest this is partly true and i feared this when ordering. However, it is quite bulcky compared to using the phone on it's own and is quite annoying that it sort of defeats the phones lightness and thin aspect but it could've been alot worse. In fact i was suprised that it wern't THAT bulky in my pocket so it's not too bad, but not the best either but the fact that this case is so protective and extremely resiliant in most cases makes up for it for me.
It won't protect you from water, but no case will! For what it does it's definately worth investing that little bit extra to protect your phone.
9/10 (slightly bulky makes it miss the 10)
I absolutely love gaming and have many different consoles ranging from the DS to the PS3. I'm not a fanboy of any sort, I like my Xbox 360 just as much as my PS3, but my Wii i like the least (not fanboy reasons, just get bored easily as not many action/sports games that i like on there).
I bought my Xbox 360 about 2 and a half years ago, maybe more actually. It was a long time ago. However, i didn't actually 'need' it as i already had a PS3, but most of my friends had Xbox's and so i wanted to play / speak to them on it so i decided to buy one. Great console and haven't regretted the purchase in the slightest despite having a Ps3 with many similar 3rd party games.
The 360 i got is the old 60GB one. Before this came out there were 20GB versions and also non-hard drive versions but they eventually discontinued the 20GB in place of the 60GB. To be honest i don't actually use much of the hard drive. You need it to play online however so in that regard it's a necesity, but for me i would have been happy with a 20gb one if they were available.
In the box you get:
-Xbox 360 console,
-TV cable (not HDMI, needs to be bought seperately)
-1 month free Xbox Live Gold membership
The design of the console is quite alright but not the greatest. It is quite heavy and although it may look fat in some picture online, it's not so bad in real life. You can only get this in white as the black versions which look similar are actually called Xbox 360 Elite's and they have huge 120GB hard drives. On the front of the XBOX you have the big power button which flashes one light if theres one controller connected, 2 lights if there's 2 and so on upto 4 controllers. There are also slots to put memory cards in. Also disguised really nicely is the USB ports which are hidden behind a sneaky flap on the bottom just below the power button. They are useful if you use a battery charger pack to charge your controllers. The CD/DVD drive of this is a silver one and it stands out nicely whereas if you had bought the Core Arcade Console you would have had a white console with a white CD/DVD drive. To open this drive you simple click the button on it. You can also open the drive by using your controller and pressing the eject button on the 360 home screen. Switching on the console also can be done directly by the controller wirelessly by pressing the home button in the middle.
This version has HDMI whereas the very first original 360's didn't have. This is important for me as i use a 32 inch HD TV and would like the best possible resolution and graphics. You could use a Component cable which is very close to HDMI, but for the very best you can get then HDMI it is. This allows you to display up to 1080p so if you have a 1080p TV you will get the full use out of it.
The Xbox 360's main use is for playing games. There are many games that you can play that are also available on other consoles such as EA Sports games (Fifa etc) or the very popular Call of Duty games (COD).
However there are many exclusives which was one of the incentives to make me buy the consoles. Some notable exlusives include the Gears of War series, the Halo series which continues from the original Xbox days and also the Left 4 Dead series. Games like these are defininately worth it if your into shooters/action games. Compared to the Wii, the 360 is definately not aimed at the family market. There are games which can be seen as family games but the mainstream games designed for this console are not for the family market. The graphics on these games are awsome. They're the best there has ever been (Same as PS3) and really won;t get any better on any console until the next generation of console which could be atleast 2-3 years away as these are still going strong.
All games have single player modes, but the vast majority now also have online game modes. This allows you to play with your friends or randomers around the world which is great as it extends the life of the game. For example the Fifa Football games will get boring eventually after playing the Computer over and over again, but playing online is something different every time and gives you a challenge to try and be the best!
To play online you need XBOX Live Gold which the RRP is around £40 a year. However there are always offers on for new customers to get a few months free etc. This xbox live is not only for playing games, but for many other features too. these include watching gaming review video's, checking the latest gaming information and also to download demo's to try games out before you buy. Buing Xbox live also allows you to chat to your friends over the Mic that comes with your xbox which can be done on the home menu or while your playing a game, even if your not playing the same game! You don't have to buy Gold membership to use online features, you could get the Free silver accounts instead. However silver membership is very limited and one of the main things which is playing online cannot be done without Gold membership.
The 360 has something which other consoles don't have - well didn't have at the time - which is Achivements (PS3 now have trophies but at the time of release only XBOX had something of the kind). This is a system where in each game you play there are certian things that are considered 'Achievements' which need to be unlocked. For example in a shooting game you may have to kill 100 enemies with a headshot to get a certain achievement. This then pops up letting you know you have achieved this and it gives you Gamerscore points which show in your profile and gamertag. Although many people like this for bragging rights, i like it for the fact that it makes me use every pennies worth as sometimes I would just play the game through once and never touch it again but now i go back and play it again trying to get achievements.
I've talked about online features but i haven't talked about how to get them! Right.. This version of the 360 has not got wireless WiFi built- in so you need to either plug an Ethernet cable (provided) in your 360 and your modem, or you need to buy a seperate xbox 360 wireless USB adapter which cost around £40 nowadays I think. You can't use any USB adapter as it won't work, it has to be the Microsoft one especially designed for the 360. There is also another way of getting wireless which is via a laptop that is connected to a router wireless, then plug the laptop into your 360. However this route causes alot more hassle and it's definately worth paying for a wireless adapter.
Other things that you can do on Xbox 360 apart from playing games are watching DVD's, listening to music and chatting to friends. You can chat to frinds via the headset, using private messages which are typed on the controller (or a keyboard if you plug a USB one in) or chatting on MSN to people even who are not using Xbox's and are on there laptops. There is also now Sky tv on 360's so if you have a Sky subscriptipn you can watch some good amount of channels on there such as Sky Sports.
There are some issues which have caused alot of people to think twice before buying an Xbox 360.The main one like many of you may have heard of is the 'Red Rings on Death' (RROD). This is when the console flashed red lights on the front instead of green lights. It will either flash 1, 2, 3 or 4 lights depending on the issue and will give a certain error. The most popular one, and one of the main reasons why people are turnoed off by the problem, is 3 red lights. This is related to over-heating and apparently statistics showed that in the first few years of its release the Xbox £60 had over-heating issued with 1 in every 3 console! Now that i alot and caused problems for many worldwide. They now seem to have got a control on the problem and it is very unlikely nowadays to get this problem but thats with the new console and with the old ones like the one i'm reviewing here have this problem still. However, i have never had the over-heating problem and hopefully never will. Micrsoft did extend warranty's from one year to three for this problem so thats covred, but it doesn't take away from the time without your Xbox that you may have to endure. It's especially frustrating as you pay alot of money for a product from a reputable company such as Microsoft yet still have to encounter these problems on a mass scale. The only tip that I can give in trying not to get red rings is to make sure you don;t put your console in a box or closed space so an open tv tray is fine. Although this won't guarantee anything, i follow this and all seems well for me.
Another downside is the sound from the console. It is EXTREMELY loud when swithced on, and even louder when there's a game in the drive and your playing! It's literally like an engine on a plane that is about to take off! There's nothing you can do about this apart from trying to ignore it or just turning your tv up louder. To be honest after a while you will get used to it and won;t fell theres anything bad about it but then if you go and play a PS3 afterwards you feel as though there's something wrong with your PS3 as it's 'too quiet' compared to the 360!
I'll give a mini comparison between the XBOX 360 and the PS3 as i feel many people reading a console review want to know which console to choose and why so i'll compare them a bit. By the way i'm comparing the PS3 and not the Nintendo Wii or anything as the PS3 is the most similar console to the 360 in terms of features, game type and also price.
The looks of the console themselves differ from the old PS3 40 and 80GB's to the newer slim models. This is the same with the Xbox 360. However, overall i feel the PS3 is much better looking. The old PS3 models are shiny and expensive looking with touch pad to eject the disk and turn on the console etc and the newer PS3's are not shiny buy are really slim and sexy looking. The XBOX consoles seem to me as very plain and boring so PS3 wins here.
The Controllers personally I like the Xbox 360 better. The PS3 ones are smaller and slimmer and are extremely light but i feel the 360 ones fit my hands perfectly and have a much stronger feeling to them. The 360 ones also have a sort of rubbery feel whereas the PS3 is just tottaly plastic. However, the xbox 360 needs batteries unless you buy a charger pack whereas the PS3 has built in lithium battery's so don't cost any extra. For me the 360 wins here as the controller feels much nicer and more filling for better grip in gameplay.
The Games that the console has is one of the main debatable points. I personally can't decide fully one way or the other. There are so many games which are on both consoles such as th Fifa games and Cod games and many many more. The 360 exclusives inluce Gears of War, Halo, Left 4 Dead and the PS3 also has their fair share including Killzone, Littlebigplanet, God of War and Resistance. If i had to choose one over the other then it would be the PS3 just very slightly. Actually, I take that back and i'm sitting on the fence for this one lol!
The features depends on what you want to use your console for. The Ps3 has a blu ray drive to watch blu ray moves which are now becoming more popular. The Ps3 also has an internet web broswer so if you like to use that then that's also useful. Things like BBC Iplayer, 4-On-Demand and ITV player are all present on the PS3 whereas on the other hand Xbox had live Sky tv if you have a Sky subscription. The 360 has achievments and Gamerscore which is better than the PS3 trophies in my opinion. The 360 also allows you to chat to friends via the headset when your in a game or not and you can chat upto 8 people in a prty at the same time whereas the PS3 only allows you to chat on headset if you are in the same game playing the same match or if your on the home menu. For me personally, i'm once again balanced as i like unique features from both consoles and in an ideal world if we could mix both of them onto one console it would be perfect!
The internet connections and their features i would choose the PS3 over the 360. This is beacuse the PS3 has built in Wi-fi so you don;t have to fork out another £40-£50 like you have to if you want to get wireless on the 360. Also PS3 online is free whereas the 360 cost's £40 a year for all the features.
The price at first may seem alot cheaper to buy a Xbox 360 rather than a PS3, but if you add all the extras needed to make it compariable then the PS3 work out cheaper. This is because you have to buy an adapter for wifi on the 360 for around £40-£50, plus £40 a year for subscription. The Ps3 on the other hand has this built in and has free subscriptions, plus it has a Blu-Ray player which are quite expensive so overall the Ps3 gives better value for money.
I would definately reccomend anyone who is wanting to buy a console to buy a Xbox 360. Although i feel the PS3 all-round is slightly better, the 360 will definately not dissapoint! There are some really good exclusives for the 360 that are not available on the ps3, and also this 360 60gb version is very cheap nowadays so value for money is incredible.
USB flash drives are now extremely popular and nearly every household will have atleast one of these now. They are used to store data ranging from photo's to videos to documents.. practically everything that a hard drive on your pc or laptop stores a USB flash drive can but in smaller quantities.
The advantage of flash drives over things like CD's etc is that they can hold alot more data, and are also very easy to carry around. They also seem to be safer and have less chance of losing data as unlike CD's etc they can't be scratched. Also, USB flash drives will fit into literally every computer/laptop for the last 10-15 years with as they all now have USB drives, so if you had a small netbook you could still use one of these but you couldn't use a CD as they don't have CD drives!
This PNY USB flash drive cost me roughly £10 from what i can remember, it was 2 years ago. The pakcaging is a simple plastic box wich you cut to open and thats it really, nothing else.
The design of the product is what is most intriguing about it. There were many other 8GB flash drives right around this one on the shelves, but there was one reason why I chose this over the rest: It was different to the plain old boring ones which you just pulled a lid off. This one has a spin mechanism where you pull it down then twist it 360 degrees to use. This is great as it means you'll never lose the lid and it will always remain safe in that regard. It is also very cool and is quite fun in your hand when your just sitting there reading something on the web and twisting it around. At first it actually took me a while to figure out how to open it as i thought it just need to spin it but it wasn't moving! I didn't realise you had to pull it down then spin it, and when your finished spin it back into position and then push it up.
There is 2 medium size square holes at the top of the stick which is for attaching it to a neck string or to your keyring. My dad has one of these and uses it on his key ring so he never forgets to take it with him as he never forgets his keys!
The version I have is 8GB. It is enough for what i need it for which is for documents and essays. In fact for that alone it is way more than enough and really a 2GB one would suffice. However, i got this as i thought I may as well just get it and use it for my stuff but in the future if i need to use it for video's etc then atleast i have one at home. This came true pretty quickly as at the time i bought this i was using an older laptop and since then i have had 3 different laptops so this became extremely useful in transfering things over like music files and software programmes.
This PNY usb flash drive is very simple to use like every other flash drive out there: simply plug it into your pc or laptop and wait a few seconds for a message to pop up allwoing you to view the folders on the drive. On some pc's or laptop you may have to go into 'My Computer' and click on the flash drive for it to open up so just be aware of that if your not a computer savvie!
This product is very durable. Various reviews suggest that this can be dropped into water and still work. I haven't tried this myself but it has happened to a different flash drive as i accidently left it in my trouser pocket which went into the washing machine..! That did actually work after so if people suggest that this usb drive is water proof then i do believe them as i have experienced it with a cheaper flash drive. There is also no fear of the twist mechanism of breaking as it just doesn't seem the type to do so unles you actually pull the to ends apart really hard!
All in all pefect usb flash drive. 8GB is more than enough for most simple things and it is a very durable and solid product. The colour doesn't exactly stand out from the rest as it is just plain black but the mechanism of opening, spinning and using the usb drive is different from the rest and that's why I bought this over any of the other ones available. The price is also good at around £10 as this is the price roughly for other 8GB ones anyway so this is definately worth it!
As you may have noticed from some of my early reviews, i'm a great gaming fan and love games.. especially football ones! I guess my love for football in real life and the fact that i'll never be good enough to be a professional footballer gives me the drive and determination to become a great player of Fifa.. Ok, maybe i'm taking it too far..
Fifa 11 is a great game, as is most of the preivous Fifa's. I used to be a Pro-Evo fan up until Fifa 2008 when i bought my PS3. Fifa 2008 was amazing, truly world class compared to Pro0Evo that year and ever since then in my opinion Fifa has just got better whereas it seems as though the Pro Evo series is in decline.
The graphics on Fifa 11 are truly phenominal. If you play the game in full HD you will see little features that help the game look and feel better such as the wet grass splashing when the ball bounces or a player slides and also the way the net ripples. Now that i'm talking about the nets i may aswell mention that you can change the nets to your own liking when you are playing offline as you can make them tighter, looser, short or far back depending on what you feel like. This is great as sometimes i use this feature to make the nets look like those from the 80's or whatever and play with teams like Brazil as they were great in those days.. (Yes.. England were only great once that one year we all know).
The game is full of many teams from numerous countries around the world. It has most professional leagues too. For example it has every English team from the Premiership right down to League 2, and in Italy Serie A and Serie B etc. All these teams and players are fully licsenced which is one thing that cant be disputed between Fifa and Pro Evo as Pro Evo doesn't have this luxury.
Little features make this game worthy and better than previous versions with things like handballs and the ball hitting the ref. Things like this makes it more realistic, and it also is quite funny if your playing your mates and they're on the attack but the ref gets in the way and ruins it all!
There are many game modes for both offline and Online play. For offline there is exhibition, league mode, manager mode and also ultimate team. For Online there is Ranked, Unranked, and Ultimate team.
Exhibition mode is just a simple pick up, choose your team and play mode where you don't have to change anything if you don't want to. There are many stadiums to choose from, and also you can choose the weather conditions, length of each half and even what colour ball you would like to use. These options are available in most game modes apart from the Online ones.
League mode is great when playing with mates. This mode allows you to create a league with as many teams as you want and as many games as you want. This is great when playing with mates as you can have a tournament and after a certain amount of games between each other you can see who the best player overall is. I like this alot as it makes playing Fifa with mates more competitive as things like goal difference come in to play after a few games.
Manager mode is a mode which is basically what it says in the title.. be a manager. You can manage any team you want, and you can even be a Player/Manager so you can play and at the same time manage the team fully. In this mode you buy and sell players and keep control of the club in many of it's aspects. You can get sacked if you do badly and at the start of the season you have a certain task to fulfil to please the Chairman such as win the league or if you manage a mid-table club then they may ask you to try and finish in the top half or something. It's good if you like to play on your own all the time but i never play it as i get extremely bored playing against the computer and would rather play mates or randomers online.
Ultimate team is something which is very popular now on fifa games. You start with a squad of players with low ratings and try and win games. Winning games gives you points to buy more players and you can also gain money by selling players. You choose whether to play Online or Offline etc so it gets quite interesting. You can also buy packs of cards which cost real money. Gold packs cost the most but these have good players in or good bonus cards such as free contracts and the bronze packs have the lowest rated cards. If your lucky you may get someone really good in the Gold packs and you can either keep them or sell them for alot of money to buy a few mid-rated players. The transfer system online is great as you set the price of selling your players and people bid for them within a number of seconds. Another thing about ultimate team is the kits and badges. You get these in packs and so you can choose what badge or kit to use. For example at the moment i have a Weder Bremen badge (German team) and a Leeds United home kit with a Roma away kit. Stats liketeam chemistry also come in to play and it's increased if you have players from the same nationality etc.
Ranked and Unranked matches are what are played online for one-on-one head to heads. Ranked matches results are recorded. Ranked matches have a level system where you gain points at the end of each match or lose points if you lose. These points go towards improving your level and once you've reached the end of your level you go up to the next one. However, these levels determine who you play as in Ranked matches you only play people within your level, or you can choose to play people within 5 levels etc if you don't mind. I play people in my level or higher as i want a challenge. Unranked matches are just simple head to head matches where the results are not recorded and you don't get any points towards your level.
The commentary aspect of this game, like all Fifa's really, are a letdown. At first they sound great with commentators like Andy Gray and Martin Tyler of Sky sports.. Well Andy gray is not part of Sky anymore because of his words against women but that is another matter. They sound great and are a good part of the game, but thats only for the first 2-3 games and after a few games they get extremely competitve and sometimes you do something on the game and you just know what they're gonna say! To be honest this is a problem with all Fifa's, but at the end of the day this not much they can do about it as they have to put a certain amount of data for the commentary on the disc and as it's not a real live person then obviously eventually they will run out of new things to say.
Another slight downside, although only occasionaly, is EA servers. I have this game on my PS3 at the moment, and did have it on my Xbox 360 (sold the xbox version though but still play my xbox), and on both consoles every once in a while the EA servers wouldn't connect. Most of the time the solution was to restart the console which although quite annoying is not the end of the world. However, on some occasions the servers would be down until i checked later on in the evening. But this shouldn't turn you off buying as it happened quite rarely to be honest.
There aren't really much improvement that this game needs on the next version that i can think of, but i say this everytime and EA always bring something extra each time so they most probably have something new to add for Fifa 12. One thing that they can definately improve on though is the refereeing in the box. No matter how hard you try, it is literally imposible to get sent off in the box, despite it being the easiest position to do so in real life. On the game you can commit like 2-3 red card offences in one instance and still only get a yellow card or sometimes even nothing! For example you could be defending in your own box and you could take out a player from behind through (red card offence), when he's one on one with the keeper (red card offence for stopping a goal scoring oppurtunity) and be the last man (another red card offence!!). It's definately not a problem just on my disc or anything as it happens with all my friends and have seen complaints of this online so Ea new to definately sort that out.
Overall, superb game which if your a football fan you will never, and i mean NEVER get bored of as long as you play it online as every match is different from the last. There are only a few tiny problems which happens in every game and the good points destroy the bad points totally.
100% reccomend to all footy fans out there and you can pick it up quite cheap now for around £15-£20 in most places. You still have four months to play this as Fifa 12 won't be out until October so you still will be spending your money worthfully.
I have had this laptop for just over 3 weeks now and it's running great, despite it being bought as a refurbished product from a well known retailer. I don't usually go for refurbished products but i did so this time as i have a tight bugdet as i will be going to University next year and so i'm currently counting the pennies lol. I paid £225 for this (Yes £225!.. was £299 but had 25% offer on all refurbished products for that certain weekend) and so it tempted me and i bought it.
This HP notebook is truly amazing for the price i paid. It comes with Intel Core i3 which is one of the newest set of procesors at the moment (I3, i5, i7..). This along with the 3GB Ram loaded is great for most users as you can run multiple tasks at the same time without slowing the laptop down. It boots up as fast as my old Sony Vaio and faster than my dell notebook and the same for shutting down. The harddrive is 320GB which is becoming the norm these days so nothing special here, but nothing wrong at all as it is still quite alot of space to store your documents, photos and music etc.
I have the black version as it was the only one available at the time. However, i think (although not 100%) that you can buy a silver one where it is all silver apart from the keyobard which is black. I have seen this on google images but cant confirm whether it is actually this model as alot of the HP models look very similar. The black version which i got is quite plain, but it's something i like as it hasn't got the glossy looking cover which gets fingerprint marks easily and therefore i'm happy with it like this. The inside of the laptop however is slightly different as around the screen that glossy material is there. This is quite annyoing as to open the laptop (like all laptops..) I always touch the top of the laptop just above the screen and i can see the fingerprint marks while i'm surfing the web! I suppose this is really a minor problem and so as long as you don't mind seeing a few fingerpirnt marks on the top it's alright, i'm just being fussy.
The layout of the keyboard is slightly different than all of my previous laptops and the ones my family have. Instead of having the 'f' keys as the main keys at the top of the keyboard, instead the top line has the 'f' keys as secondary keys and in their place are keys such as media ones (volume up/down, play/pause, stop, wifi on/off etc..) and to use the 'f' keys you have to press and hold the 'fn' key which is located next to the 'ctrl' key. This was a problem for me at first as i use the 'f' keys alot and i kept forgetting to press the 'fn' key and so something else would happen than i had wished. However, after 3 weeks i have finally mastered it haha. (sounds like im proud of myself lol). One key which i really really like though it the 'lock' key. With one press it instantly locks your laptop onto the password screen so if you had to leave the room for a few minutes and didn't trust someone checking your things then this is perfect! Another weird thing about the keyboard is that along the end of both sides there are keys which lets you jump to different programme such as DVD programmes, the web and email. I never use these and don't think i ever will and so for me they are useless and annoying as sometimes accidently instead of pressing things like caps lock i press one of those keys. (I still havent mastered this yet :(... ). Apart from these problems which may take a while to get used to, the keyboard is fine and big enough to type up long word documents and the like and the keys are nicely sized.
The screen is a massive 15.6 inch, although I guess it seems massive to me but for most people it's their normal size. I'm used to using smaller 14 inch notebooks or 10 inch netbooks. The size from 14 inch to 15.6 inch screen might not sound like a lot, but believe me it's quite a difference! It also makes the whole laptop alot bigger which brings alot more weight to it. However, this HP is actually not as heavy as i thought it would be after lifting other 15.6 inch laptops which came as a suprise to me. The speakers of the laptop are not actually HP's own, they're from a company called Altec which is written on the corner by the speakers. They are really good for a laptop, quite loud and good range of sounds especially when you're watching an action film with scenes of car windows smashing etc. I must admit it doesn't sound as good as my old Sony Vaio but for this price it's definately the best i have ever seen and other reviews on the net seem to agree that they're really decent.
The Battery life of this is really good and is one of my favourite points about this notebook. It lasts for around 3 and a half hours on full charge when i'm using it to surf the web, type up documents etc. Watching videos and listening to music on full volume lowers this to around 2 hours whuch is still really good as it allows you to watch a full film atleast. It's quite rare to get such good battery life length for notebooks with good processors like the intel i3 such as this but somehow it seems HP have pulled it off. This is all on the highest settings with full brightness so if you lower the brightness etc you could get an extra 45 mins roughly! Superb in my opinion.
Other little features on this laptop round it off nicely. The HDMI port allows you to watch movies etc on your big HD tv via a HDMI cable. I use this atleast once a week when we have a movie night. It also has a 1.3mp webcam which is average in todays market really and to be honest i never ever use it but it may come in handy for people who use skype and things similar. There are 3 usb ports and also a memory card port which is obviously needed nowadays.
Despite all of these good points, there is something that can be seen as stopping people from buying this which is the click-pad. HP have done wonders with whats just above it, the track pad, as it's greatly disguised and it's not noticable as it is actually under the core cove of the laptop surface and is really cool. (Can't really explain it sorry). However, the click pad is quite a disaster and may turn many people off this laptop. This is because it is really stiff and feels as though it will break very easily as it is just that stiff! I have tried the same HP model in-store and the same problem so it's not just my laptop, it's all of them. After a few weeks i have now put up with it and accepted the fact that it will always be like this and it will work as normal but everytime i click it just doesn't feel right.
Another problem, although very minor is the HP sofware that is bloated onto the laptop. It comes with alot of unnecsary junk which most will not use, well i don't anyway, and so to save space and make it run that little bit faster it's best to un-install it all. This is easy to do in control panel so it's not so much a big deal, just saying so that you're aware of it and if your laptop is slow at first then you know why :)
At first i was skeptical about buying a HP as many customer reviews led me to believe that HP laptops over-heat easily and various reports suggested that HP came lowest in customer service. I decided to go for the laptop and there has been no heating problems whatsoever and the fan comes on every once in a while for no more than 60 secs and then goes quiet again which leads me to believe that it's all fine and is not over-heating as i have never had a random shutdown etc. I use my laptop all day too and is seems as though this common problem is not as common as it may seem.
All in all, great laptop, great for the price i paid and would definately reccomend for the speed of it. One big problem being the click pad but if your happy with the feeling then it's all good.
I'll give it 8/10 as the click pad is a problem and so is the slightly different layout of the keyboard.
I bought this Belkin Wireless adapter when i first got my wireless router which was a Linksys one. First of all it must be noted that you don't need to have two of the same brands to make wirless work. So you don't need for example a Belkin Router and a Belkin Wireless adapter to get wireless. At first i used this adapter with a Linksys router and worked just as it does now with my Belkin router.
This piece of kit is as simple as it can get in my opinion, yet it's as useful as it can be! Straight out of the box all you need to do is put the CD into your PC or Laptop, install the software by following the simple on screen instructions for less than 5 minutes and your almost there. Most Netbooks (smaller laptops with no CD drive) have wireless built in but if for some reason there isnt, then you can just visit the Belkin website for the software instead of using the CD provided which is very useful as you may need to use it on a different PC/laptop and if you have misplaced as disk then all is OK! Once you've installed the software, you simply plug the USB adapter into the USB port. It then finds your wirless network and you can then connect to it and Bobs your Uncle.
You don't have to keep re-connecting to your wirless network everytime you turn on your PC/Laptop as it gives you the option to automatically connect when it's in range. This is also useful if you want to take your laptop or whatever into a different location such as your office: Which ever network is in the nearest range it will connect to it as long as you have saved the settings.
In the box, along with CD, Instruction manual and the USB adapter itself, you get a USB extension socket. This allows you to plug the extension into your USB port on your PC/ Laptop and then from that extension you can plug your USB Wirless adapter into it. This is great for me as my USB ports are on the back of my PC and therefore this extension allows me to put the adapter on the desk without having to fiddle around the back. It's also useful in finding signal as because it's on the desk rather than low in a hidden space it can send out signals much more freely.
The design on this product is nothing special. It's a basic shiny USB dongle with a flashing blue light on it telling you that it's plugged in and connected to a network.
The signal iteself is pretty solid. My router is downstairs in my living room, and i have tried using this in most places round my house: conservtory, attic room, bedrooms. The speed and signal is pretty much the same all around the house. However, i believe that this is due to the router itself more than the adapter. Both link together well and if i had a cheap router i don't think this adapter would help on the signal front as much as you would like it too.
I have two of these. One was bought early on when i first had a Linksys router, and one came in my new Belkin Router's bundle. I must say that i have noticed a difference in speed, the latter being better. But this is because of the router as the Belkin one is a 'N' wirless (Top range) whereas the Linksys one is a 'G' one and despite this adapter being an 'N' one, it will only fully use it's capabilites with a full router.
Overall, great piece of kit and extremely useful, especially as it comes with a USB extension kit. However, it shouldn't be bought to try and get better signal around the house as thiss will only be fully available with a higher range router.
I'll give it 8/10 as it does the job, but it's not exactly much different to other 'N' routers.
The first thing that springs to anyone's mind when it comes to buying a laptop is 'will it do the job for me?' or 'is it fast enough?'. Well, this is a Netbook and is different to your normal Notebook and therefore it will never be as good as your bigger laptops.. when it comes to some things. However, for some things, netbooks are better and therefore both have there pro's and con's and should be weighed up before deciding anything.
The Samsung N150 is very basic, yet perfect for most people. It has 1GB ram provided along with an Atom processor. Nowadays, this is basically as low as it gets. However, you shouldn't be mistaken. These processors are perfect for normal usage which includes Internet surfing, watching videos, listening to music etc. It's also 100% perfect for typing or producing documents. In reality, most people use computers and laptops for these functions only and so this is a great option for a cheap item that does basically the same thing as something that cost 2-3 times more.
The size and portability is its main selling point. It fits just about into a handbag or a small briefcase or whatever you want to use. It's also very light and is therefore easier to carry around than a full size heavy 15-17 inch laptop.
The battery life makes it even more portable. It lasts around 4 hours on full charge if you use it on the maximum power settings, bright background etc and listening to music on full volume. If you just use it to type on Word or are just browsing the net, it lasts around 6-7 hours! Absolutely incredible in my opinon! And it doesn;t take that long to charge either, only about 1hr 30. So if you have a long train journey on the way to work every morning (or wherever you spend ages..) then this is a great option.
The screen size is 10.1 inch. It's small but easily visiable and decent quality. However, one slight problem for some may be the fact that the keyboard is obvisouly going to then be smaller than your usual standard Notebook. However, this shouldn't be a problem if your only using the internet etc. If you are typing, some may find it difficult while others may find it ok. I found it slightly weird at first but after 2-3 goes at it it isn't that bad really. It's not designed to be your main office laptop anyway so therefore it shouldn't be bought to do so.
The other features on this are also usefula dn good, especially for the price. There are 3 usb port, bluetooth and wifi built-in. I have tried the bluetooth and it works fine but i dont use it so unfortuantely i can't comment on whether its good all the time. The wi-fi though i use all the time and it picks up signal from my house and even across the road pretty easily. Another feature is the Webcam which is built in just above the screen. It's useful if your into using webcam on MSN or Skype, or even just to take a few snaps with your other half!
The design and looks are pretty slick too. There is a red stripe around the side and front of the laptop which i think looks pretty sexy to be fair ( in a laptop kind of way.. lol). The outside cover is also nice as its shiny, although some may dislike these type as they tend to have alot of fingerprint marks which are significantly visible in the sun.
Just so that you are aware (As i have seen some people asking this.), there is no DVD/CD drive, and you wont get one in any netbook. They are just too small to fit one in and if it had one it would just defeat the point of this being extremly light and portable.
Right, so the advantages are done! Now onto some problems i have found with it (Not many). These problems are simply to do with the software provided. Mine came with Windows 7 starter, and i think most will these days from any shop, but i'm not 100% sure. If you can, try and get windows Xp with it. This is because Windows 7 Starter is what it says it is: Starter. This means its simply the most basic it can be and you can't even change the background!
Another annoying thing with this is that Samsung have bloated all there software onto it. When you first set it up, you will have to spend around half an hour while Samsung software etc gets installed. There are then many software which you will most probably never use which will slow down your netbook. However, you can simply go into Control Panel and uninstall these unwanted items easily but just be aware that this happens.
So, comparing it to a Notebook, this is very basic. Yet most people only use laptops for basic stuff and therefore this is just as good as bigger laptops for that purpose. Obviously you wont be able to play games etc but this is not what its for and at this price it's a steal!
Definately recomend to all users for basic opertations!