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So the new football season can only mean one thing. No not controversial football players splashing the ridiculous wages doing things they shouldn't be doing. It's the introduction of the new games console versions of the real life action. For years and years there has been an ever raging war between Pro Evolution soccer and EA's Fifa franchises with both games assigning an army of games on both sides to go toe to toe in deciding which was better for that season. In recent years Pro evolution seemed to have been creeping ahead of Fifa as EA fell asleep and fell stagnant in their progress. However in the last 3 years someone poked EA games with a stick and they went into a crazy techno fury and simply flew past Pro Evo to become the Daddy once again of footballing games. But how does it differ from previous years? I'm forever hearing from my Mum 'Surely it's just the same as the last one'. Anyone who plays these games will understand how wrong she is!! The game play for Fifa 12 only has a few differences from its previous brother; however they are big differences which make gameplay so much more realistic. The tackling is the most noticeable difference. In games of old, you would just have to hold down the circle button whilst running near a player with the ball and eventually you would tackle a player fair and square. But not this year. There is a tutorial the first time you put the disk in the console which takes you through what and where the major differences are. You can no longer lazily hold down one button until you regain possession, it is now all about having an eye for timing and skill of when to tackle. Each time you press the circle button now the player you are will just tackle in whatever part of the pitch they were in at the time; which when you start out is frustrating but a little bit funny at the same time. You also need to time your slide tackles well as the refs on the game of having an annoying habit of judging a very fine line between a clean and dirty tackle. But one useful new feature of the new tackling system I have found is the jockeying feature. It is all explained in the tutorial at the start of the game (I highly recommend you do not skip this!!). Basically by holding down L2 and controlling your player, you can delay a pass or cross by positioning the player in a certain way. This can become very useful if you are under the cosh and want to run the clock down. The career mode has changed for the better too. It has the same format as all of the Fifa games however has some interesting and much better perks and features than ever before. A welcome return to the ability to speak to the press before a game to motivate your team or have a dig at your opposition. A little quirk that emulates real life is what happens during the transfer window and more specifically, DEADLINE DAY. A sky sports style countdown clock and totalizer appear as you make your deals hour by hour to ensure you get the signing you want. As for online features it's pretty much business as usual as EA has continued their impressive format from the last title. As is a trend with the Fifa brand the graphics have improved once again and they have inserted little clips of players reactions after a run of play to make it seem like you are watching it on TV. This has been made in an attempt to make the title seem the most realistic football game ever made. One aspect that is annoyingly real, annoyingly good but generally annoying is players can get struck down my injury all the time. I was playing the other day and was one nil down, put a through ball to my striker in the dying embers of the game and was sure to gain a point, until my striker pulled up and went down with a hamstring injury. Again realistic but annoying. But all in all you have to take your hats off to EA for creating a near perfect game, and if you buy it you must have patience with the new tackling system. It is frustrating to start with, however you can grasp it very quickly and will be able to feel its full benefit very quickly indeed.
OK so I'm a sucker for gadgets, quite often i get them just because they look good and i will quite often not use them for the reason they were built. They are my Achilles heel! So when i saw this product in a magazine, i saw it as the holy grail of novelty gadgets. So i sent the gf out with a heavy hint for a Christmas present and low and behold, come the big day she had managed to get it for me. VOLUME They say good things come in small packages. This is very apt for this product. It has bass and treble knobs which you can tune to your own liking. But the volume goes from 1-11. So far i have not had it beyond 3 and already had complaints from the person next to me of noise!! 'nuff said!! QUALITY It seems very well built. I have used it pretty much every day since Christmas and the quality has not dropped at all. It still seems box fresh. The sound quality is immense. For something of its size I expected it to sound tinny like and old car stereo, but the fact is, its quality is that of its bigger brothers!!!! WEIGHT Very Very Very Very light and compact, can easily fit in a bag and be taken anywhere with you. USABILITY Once I'd torn off the wrapping i just wanted to get it working. There are two options, either power the system by battery or alternatively a usb connection. This is very handy when connecting to your laptop or computer like i have. And best of all, its retro look makes it the ultimate accessory for your desk.
As any student will know, having a memory storage that works and is reliable and sturdy is the most essential thing to success. There is nothing more frustrating than when you plug a cheap USB into a computer and nothing comes up. All your hard work gone and your feeling as deflated as possible. But this USB won't let you down, i bought a few of these usb's whilst i was in school, simply used one for each subject. Yes there were other usb's on the market with bigger memory but i was a student and therefore on a tight budget. When the device is plugged into the computer it has a little light that flashes. I'm not 100% certain as to the function of this, maybe it is for re-assurance, it certainly re-assured me so i knew the USB was plugged in, still working and still being read by the computer. There is a hole on the top of the device, so if you have a thread or chain link around then you are able to attach it to your keys. In short this usb does what a usb needs to do. Safely and quickly stores your files, cheap and sturdy. I have had mine for 6 years or so now and it has gone through the mill but still works box fresh.
Is it too bold to say that everyone has, at some point unless your allergic to it, been exposed and tried ginger beer. For those of you who have had that tongue tingling taste, you'll draw your own conclusions on this marmite of the drink world. Personally, with a bit of ice i think its wonderful, especially in the summer. And so last year when I saw an advert for and alcoholic version from this childhood drink, i had to have a dabble. And i was not disappointed. Although the tongue tingle feeling is not as prominent as it once was, but the drink does dance on your taste buds a little. The actual taste of the drink isn't a very strong taste of ginger beer, but there is a strong hint of the old favorite. The best way i have had this drink is on ice with a slice of lime (just as the advert has suggested). But this means the drink is very refreshing and perfect on a summers day. The nice flavor of it however is enough in its self and there is no hint of an alcohol taste on the product which is a nice change from the norm. The alcohol percentage isn't that high, no higher than your average beer and so, depending on how you consume alcohol, you can enjoy plenty of drinks without feeling worse for wear.
The Samsung s5600 was my first venture into the touch-screen world, at first I was very impressed however, as time went on and phones around me developed rapidly; disappointment started to creep in. I got the phone free with 3 and with that i got unlimited texts & internet and 300 minutes. On a side note i believe that 3 is one of the best mobile network companies and some of the deals they offer are very hard to turn down. ***Screen*** The screen was a fair size but crucially was very clear. I had it in and out of pockets for a year and a half and the screen showed no signs of ware and tear. ***Features*** If your looking for selection of applications for a phone, then maybe this isn't the phone for you. There was no direct app store, so you would have to go through the 3 network to find them. And when you did finally them there was a scarce selection. However it did have good basic apps such as facebook, twitter, email and a radio. (I have a blackberry now, and the one thing i crave from it is a radio that doesn't eat up my internet usage data. The Samsung did have a radio that was free!! :D) ***Reliability*** Well this phone went through the mill. Being in the hands of and 18 year old its been dropped, kicked, wet, thrown and it still worked brilliantly. Towards the end of its time though it did begin to slow down considerably. The touch-screen also began to become abit dim, selecting keys that weren't pressed and not scrolling on pages. The texting system was THE most frustrating thing about the phone though, the predictive text was very very dim, recommending words that weren't in the flow or didn't even exist!! ***Weight*** The phone was perfectly weighted, not heavy at all, however not so light that you wouldn't know you had it in your hand. ***Value for money*** Like i have said in a few of my reviews, you get what you pay for, if you pay the lower end of the price bracket then you should be willing to lower your standards. For the price, this product is brilliant value. It does what you want from a phone, however, don't expect it to be amazing.
***HOLD*** Vo5 fiber hold putty stays in your hair for a very long time indeed. Many hair products tend to fade leaving your hair a fluffy mess over the course of the day. However, this substance stays in the hair for a very long time meaning constant remolding is an option. ***FEEL*** It is a strange feel coming out of the tub, you have to press it into your hand to break it up, however, unlike some products where you have to really rub it into your hands before putting it into your hair, this can be put into the hair, then spread around. ***SMELL*** In a word, amazing. Its hard to describe the smell, but all my flat mates have commented on how great it smells. This is rare from any hair product i have previously experienced which usually have a chemical smell to it, but this is very perfumed/ aromatic and generally nice. ***WASHING*** Washing this product out seems to be very easy, just a simple rinse through with water seems to have done the trick. Scrubbing and using shampoo though seems to be able to completely clear the product out of the hair. ***Value*** Compared to most products on the market, this hair style product offers great value for money. And as you only have to use a little bit at a time to do the same job, it lasts quite a while.
The cult application game angry birds flew onto the scene and quite literally exploded into the world!! What started as a simple, harmless game for smart phones has become and international phenomenon. Who'd have thought, cartoon birds attacking green hams could become such a craze, hit and BUSINESS!! However i, like 90% of teenagers, have been sucked in by the over-night success and in awe of its simplistic brilliance. My girlfriend recently invested in an iphone, and so, being the loving man i am, made her get angry birds. And she caught the virus like the rest of us. Only she has an Unnatural obsession with it. So when i was on a canal boat holiday (my family like to think outside the box), chugging along at 3 knots, i used my blackberry to Google a present i could send her. I stumbled upon Firefox and found this little angry bids stuffed pig and purchased it to her address. It was quite expensive for what it is, but its not the usual gift to give someone, and so in that respect i think it is worth its value. I believe when i bought it, it was around £10-£15. Its about the size of a small football, extremely soft and snuggly and extremely well stuffed. She's had it for about 2 months now, and it always takes pride of place in bed over me!! But it shows absolutely no signs of fraying or breaking. So for the price, it is extremely well made!! In short, its a little expensive for what it is, but its an excellent and unusual gift to give to someone for Christmas, birthdays or as a surprise. (with firebox it came with a little packet of jellied sweets too. Bargain!!)
Now i'm not going to pretend to be some technological expert when it comes to web browsing, so this is quite literally going to mean idiots guide to the browser 'Opera'. I first stubbled upon Opera when I was having internet troubles in my room. I feared and had been convinced that it was my browser that would be blocking access (see told you, no computer expert here) and so i changed between internet explorer, Mozilla firefox and Opera. I had previously used the first two on other peoples computers and in various colleges/schools. But this was my first time using Opera and quite frankly, i don't know how i got on without it. I have been using it for around 2 months now and the improvement it has made to my browsing expierence is exceptional. The speed of which the web pages are brought up are exceptional and depending on your connection will take a fraction of a second. There are 4 really useful features which i think make this browser stand out from the rest. 1) When typing in a web address, if the website is recognised and used frequently, then opera will complete the entry, meaning all you have to do from here is hit enter. It's as simple as that. 2) Turbo. This is a really handy feature for anyone with a slower connection (also handy if wifi signal is weak). What it does is reduce the page. Reduces the size and quality of the page, meaning it loads faster. However for sites such as youtube and images, this is not so good. But if you are just after websites containing text, then it is perfect for quick browsing. It can be turned on and off by a handy little button in the corner. 3) And this i feel is super handy. If you are on a website that requires login details, i.e. Facebook or DOOYOO!! Then there is a button at the top of the screen. It shows the symbol of a key. You can use this is you have saved a password on the computer before. So rather than re-type it, simply click this button, and it logs in as the user that has been saved previously. 4) When typing on a website, such as writing a review on dooyoo, the browser spell checks the content. This i think is an American spell checker, and so is not always 100% relevant to the UK users, however is a very handy feature is you are writing in a hurry and do not have time to go back and read through it all; or copy and paste into word to check. However, as Opera is still relativley new to the game, some applications on some websites may not recognise it and therefore some features of that site may not work. My university community site for example does not want to accept it.
Coming to University, a realization that the comfort of branded food, a stable job and weekly income was a luxury compared to the dreaded student loan. The buzz of gaining £1200+ every 4 months or so goes as soon as it comes when you get round to working out how long it has to last and how strict you must budget. So, each time that dreaded trip to the food shop, you realize your budget is thinning week by week and your quality of products must drop. I've always been a man of simple pleasures compared to those around me and so this was not a problem (plus i was always a bit tight before going to uni!!). So shopping in the 'smart price' section was not a problem for me. This time I chose the asda smart price sweet ad sour sauce. The contents of the bottle is easily enough for 3 portions or 3 servings. I managed to get 3 meals out of the jar. The flavour was good. I had the sauce with chicken and rice and it really gave it a little kick to the flavour. However, this joy was short lived. The flavour seems to go as soon as it comes which degrades the product and just leaves a warm gloopy feel in the mouth. However, again, for the price its very good value for money and i can complain. Nutritional Information Per 100g: Energy: 60kcal Protein: 0.3g Carbohydrate: 14.5g of which sugars: 11.4g Fat: 0.1g of which saturates: Nil Fibre: 0.4g Sodium: 0.40g equivalent as salt: 1.0g Only available in Asda stores costing 28p a jar.
For at least the last 5 years or so, Nike has been at the very top of its game in its production of its sporting products, using a combination of technology and techniques with intense research. It has split its boots into 4 specialist categories: Speed, Power, Accuracy and Touch. I have had experience with all 4 areas, however I personally (being a winger) feel that speed and the vapours are the best in their market. Touch ######### Due to the thin material of the boot, it gives you a great feel when on the ball, the touch goes straight through to your foot and toes and so you can feel exactly what the ball is doing and where it is in relation with your foot. This is also handy when crossing and passing. You can judge the pace and power you are putting on the ball. Due to the narrow design of the boot, putting spin on the ball becomes easy as you can slice across it easier. Grip ######### Depending what configuration you have, then different levels of grip will be experienced. I went for the moulded blades. This gave me plenty of grip on almost all surfaces. It only became a problem on seriously cut up surfaces i.e. deep in winter. However, for 90% of the season, the boots offered me good grip and the different number of positions that the blades are in, it offers greater ability for quick turns of pace and quick change of direction. Accuracy ######### I have experienced more accurate football boots in my time, i think this is because of the material the boots are made of and the sleek design of them. The narrow style of the boots minimizes the contact area on the ball, which in-turn reduces the accuracy. However that said the thin material of the boot does give you a natural feel and can help you determine how much power you are placing through the ball. Weight ######### The thin material makes the boot very, VERY light. This is so helpful for players who rely on speed for their game (such as wingers and strikers) who don't need the extra weight on their feet to slow them down and make them tired quicker (especially in the winter months when boots get clogged up with mud). Durability ######### In my experience, the quality of these boots are degrading, the early vapour's would last at least 2 seasons, now you would be lucky if they saw you too the sumer (depending how much you use them obviously). But i now have a pair of the world cup special edition ones, the silver with orange heels, and already these feel a lot sturdier than i have felt in a long time to hopefully they will stand the test of time and not start to rip at the sole like the others. Styles ######### Look on any website that sells the boots and you will see a huge range of colour combinations. Also nike offer the id facility which allows you to design your own styles.
Now I'm always torn between two states of mind when it come to reviews of films and books. I can either tell the story, thus ruining the plot and making it a bit pointless for people to watch/read it. Or do what i prefer and will do and give my personal opinions on the film. For me personally, i am a huge Ricky Gervais fan and a great admirer of his work. Especially his recent TV works (Extra's, an idiot abroad and most recently Life's too short with Warrick Davis) I am also a huge fan of his stand-up DVD's. I think that when he combine with his towering writing partner Stephen Merchant, then it is already a guaranteed success. However every piece of work they have done has been heavily criticized, but for every critic, there is a fan. The invention of lying is the story of Mark Bellison, a failing writer for the 14th century. Stuck in a world where everyone is desperately truthful. He finds himself in a tricky situation where he can't pay his rent, however through a sudden brainwave lies to the bank to bail himself out. But his 'ability' to bend the truth perhaps goes too far as he has to weigh up the morale and ethical advantages to himself, those around him and indeed the world. It comes as the love of his life nearly weds a man with 'The perfect DNA'. The film See's great performances from Ricky, Jennifer Garner, Jeffrey Tambor, Rob Lowe and a bit part for Writing partner Stephen Merchant and ex-eastender Shaun Williamson. In short, its a great lighthearted film that shouldn't be taken too seriously, it won't go down as one of the greats, however, for a few cheap giggles it must be commended.
Coming to University, a realization that the comfort of branded food, a stable job and weekly income was a luxury compared to the dreaded student loan. The buzz of gaining £1200+ every 4 months or so goes as soon as it comes when you get round to working out how long it has to last and how strict you must budget. So, each time that dreaded trip to the food shop, you realize your budget is thinning week by week and your quality of products must drop. I've always been a man of simple pleasures compared to those around me and so this was not a problem (plus i was always a bit tight before going to uni!!). So shopping in the 'smart price' section was not a problem for me. This time I chose the asda smart price medium white bread. For 47p (compared to the £1.05 for a kingsmill meadium white loaf) i was bitterly confused as to how there could be such a difference. Surely bread is bread. So i bought it the last time i was in the shops and will now never go back to the branded bread. Why would i? Why should i? As far as i can tell there is no difference other than on the packaging. Taste was exactly the same, size, slice and amount was exactly the same as the big brands. There was one difference that i noticed between the bigger brands and this brand is what happens to the bread when it is toasted. If you want the toast brown (like proper toast should be) it seems to go very hard, as if it is burnt but it doesn't look black. Depending on your preferences but for me, if it is rock hard to bite into then it is not as nice. However if you have had any medium white loaf of bread from any of the big brands, then you'll know how it tastes and feels. (But i think the savings of over 50p a time makes it seem that little bit better!! :D) But the point I am trying to make in this review is that when you pluck for supermarket branded food, then you must be willing to lower your expectations and not expect royalty standard food.
Coming to University, a realization that the comfort of branded food, a stable job and weekly income was a luxury compared to the dreaded student loan. The buzz of gaining £1200+ every 4 months or so goes as soon as it comes when you get round to working out how long it has to last and how strict you must budget. So, each time that dreaded trip to the food shop, you realize your budget is thinning week by week and your quality of products must drop. I've always been a man of simple pleasures compared to those around me and so this was not a problem (plus i was always a bit tight before going to uni!!). So shopping in the 'smart price' section was not a problem for me. In this particular instance i plucked for asda smart price beans. For the back pocket price of 25p, the value for money cannot be questioned, especially compared to the 62p Heinz beans. Now I admit that the Heinz beans will be extremely tasty. However, for nearly a third of the price, the smart price beans are of an extremely close quality, and once put on some toast of in a jacket potato, the same feeling and taste is experienced. There is the same amount and taste of sauce as would be found in the branded counterpart. One criticism I would have is that the beans did feel a little bit powdery in my mouth than they do with other brands. But the point I am trying to make in this review is that when you pluck for supermarket branded food, then you must be willing to lower your expectations and not expect royalty standard food.
Lee Evans has established himself as the most successful comedian currently touring, if not of all time. His tours and DVD sales have smashed records with each tour and was one of the first comedians to successfully make the transition from the theatre scene to the big arena tours such as Wembley and the O2. Lee has stolen the hearts of the nation with his unique physical style of comedy as he outlines his struggles of the big wide world, from the road, hotels, airplanes and the timeless 'other half' observations. The welsh born comedian very rarely touches on his upbringing but focuses a lot of his comedy on life at home, especially the trials and tribulations he goes through with his wife and the stresses and strains of a daughter going through the teenage years. The Big tour is exactly what it says on the tin. Its Lee's final transition to the biggest arena's in the country. To do this is a skill as you must approach the audience member who has been cheap and bought the seats right at the back, but also those in the front row. However in this DVD he has lost none of his energy and enthusiasm doing what he does best, making people laugh. He is currently embarking on a new tour, however I would defiantly recommend purchasing the BIG DVD, but also his other classics, especially Wembley.
The past year and a half has seen the return of one of the countries favourite and most successful comedians, following up his simply awesome 'Mum wants a new Bungalow' tour. I was disappointed when he sold out every venue the first time round, so when new dates were added, I whipped the laptop open and snatched tickets for me and my friends as soon as I could. We went to the o2, row 7, the friendship points I earned there were unbelievable. If you hadn't been as fortunate as we were then there were 3 massive screens capturing every move of the great man. I have been on the upper most tier of the arena before to see Russell Howard and still got a great show. As an added bonus, it was the DVD recording so Kay was on fine form!! (Few extra points earned!!) After many years out of the touring game, he's no lost any of his charm, whit and sharp eye for a gag. Reminiscing of family events, school days, TV shows of old, garlic bread and mannerisms of the whole family. Everyone can related to a joke he tells and it's this ability to delve into the audiences mind and put a comical spin of every little happening that makes him at the top of his game. There is a welcome return of his little tape recorder seen in the previous tour, this time looking at cutting angle at songs and mis-heard words such as "Just let me staple the vicar" in the famous song 'we are family'. He also introduces his childhood guilty pleasure of using his dads spade and pretending it was an electric guitar in his room. This leads to his traditional ending of the show of a sing along whilst 'strumming the spade'. As an added bonus for the mum in the crowd, Peter had drafted in the help of Rick Astley in the form of a warm-up act, singing his number of timeless classics. (Having not grown up in the era of the Rick-roller, all the songs sounded the same to us!!) In short, arguably the countries best performer has lost none of his class in his long absence, and the DVD is guaranteed to be a great buy, either for you or for others for Christmas.