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Member since: 18.09.2011

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      11.08.2012 14:32
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      A good stand-alone game

      Having played 007 Quantum Of Solace on the Ps3 (and having enjoyed it immensely), I decided to purchase Bloodstone 007 for the Ps3. There seems to be a large amount of 007 based games coming out at the moment (there will soon be almost as many games as films - I speak flippantly of course), this is, in my opinion one of the better of the bunch. As I don't own the game on any other console, I cannot comment on anything but the Ps3 version.

      Graphics
      In my opinion, as with most of the games on seventh generation consoles, the Bloodstone 007 graphics are very good, characters and scenery look very lifelike. Visually, game menus are relatively standard looking (a picture representing each level) and there is a little intro clip to sit up each level. In my opinion, the graphics of Bloodstone 007 are good but similar in level to most other Ps3 games.

      Gameplay
      I like the fact that Bloodstone 007 is not based upon any of the 007 films (the first time the 007 games have done this for quite a while), this means that the game is not limited to the plot of any film and keeps you guessing right until the end. Similarly, I feel that the gameplay of Bloodstone 007 represent a step up from that of 007 Quantum Of Solace, gone are the inconsistencies of switching between first person and third person (Bloodstone 007 is entirely in the third person) and the annoyingly difficulty of trying to cross walkways (in Quantum of Solace 007 you had to cross walkways by keeping your balance, very difficult). In my opinion, Bloodstone 007 is very well laid out (the game is divided into 6 chapters, by location - Athens, Istanbul, Monaco, Siberia, Bangkok and Burma, with several levels in each location), has enough to keep any level of gamer happy (there is the introduction of a 'Focus Aim' perk, awarded after you take down an enemy with your hands, which effectively kills your enemy with one shot, whilst even on easy mode it took me several times to complete certain levels) and breaks the story up well(stealth levels, shoot em up levels and car levels intersperse each other nicely). The controls of the game are relatively standard to the James Bond series (R1 to fire gun, L2 to focus your aim etc), although Bloodstone 007 does have some nice extra touches (the introduction of a smartphone, which, when turned on, helps you to find where you are meant to be is an especially helpful tool). In all I am very impressed with the gameplay of Bloodstone 007.

      Value for Money
      In my opinion, Bloodstone 007 represents relatively good value for money (at £7.13 and £2.03 postage, on Amazon, it is pretty cheap for a Ps3 game). Similarly, with 17 chapters there is more than enough to keep someone occupied for a couple of weeks, at least. However, I feel that Bloodstone 007 doesn't necessarily provide good replay value (once you have played the game through once, you know what to expect if you try it again), there is the standard inclusion of harder settings (although if you're like me, you can never be bothered to play a game on anything other than 'easy' mode). Equally, although the online mode is good, it is never going to compete with the far better shoot em up online modes found in the Call of Duty games.

      Conclusion
      I am pretty impressed with Bloodstone 007 for the Ps3, I feel it represents relatively good value for money, as it can be bought quite cheaply and has enough levels to keep somebody involved for longer than a couple of days. However, I feel that the game has little in the way of replay value, as when you have completed the game, you know what to expect the second time round. The game is very well set out, easy to navigate your way around menus (given that it is divided into convenient chapters) and I like the fact that the game isn't based around the plot of a film (less formulaic than its predecessor, 007 Quantum of Solace). In conclusion I would recommend this game, as I feel that it has enough to keep gamers of all level happy.

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      11.08.2012 13:25
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      A decent game for the money, just don't expect to master it straightaway

      As the Olympics are on at the moment, I decide to try my hand at an Olympics based game (as Beijing 2008 for the Ps3 was cheap, I decided to give it a shot). I have to say that I am not very impressed by the game. As I only own the Ps3 version of the game, I cannot comment on other platforms.

      Graphics
      As with most seventh generation console games, the graphics for Beijing 2008 are fantastic, right down to the detailing of each individual member of the crowd (you really feel as though you are at the actual Olympics). The only slight negative for me is that none of the characters look like any of the famous Olympians (although I feel the game places more emphasis on participation and fun, so I think the use of generic characters is fine for that purpose).

      Gameplay
      I felt very frustrated when playing Beijing 2008 as the controls involve little more than button mashing (repetition of two buttons, which can get incredibly tiring). However, I did enjoy the large range of playable events that were on offer (the focus wasn't just on running, a positive aspect of the game for me). In my opinion some of the events were a little too challenging (I couldn't build my speed up enough when doing the long jump and I apparently didn't take into account the direction of the wind, when in the archery).

      Value for Money
      In my opinion Beijing 2008 for the Ps3 represents decent value for money. The game is okay (compared to other games on the system), and a used copy can be picked up on Amazon for £5.87 and £2.03 postage (when I last checked). The games strong suite is that there is a lot of replay value in the game (challenging your personal bests, spending time in 'training mode'), although I feel that this has more to do with the genre of the game and less to do with the game itself (Vancouver 2010 for the Ps3 offers the same replay value).

      Conclusion
      To sum up, I wouldn't recommend this game to anybody that didn't have the time to play it (to be good at it I feel you have to give aside a lot of hours in the day). In my opinion I feel that the game is decent enough (I wasn't overly impressed by it, but I feel it would make a good 'filler' as part of a wider collection of Ps3 games. The graphics of the game are visually excellent, the only negative for me is that none of the characters look like actual Olympians (although as I previously stated, I feel that this is more due to the fact that the emphasis of the game is on participation and fun). The worst part of the game, for me, is the controls (the amount of strain pressing 2 buttons in sequence placed on my wrists was unbelievable). Similarly, I felt that, although the game has a very good selection of events to chose from, some of the events are far too hard to master in a quick sitting (hence why I say the game would be good for people who can give time over to it). Overall, the game does represent decent value for money, as it can be picked up for under a tenner and does have good replay value. All in all, I wasn't overly impressed with the game and would only recommend it as a 'filler' game (as part of a collection).

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      17.07.2012 18:52
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      Good but not unique

      I have to admit, I like R&B as a genre (for me there is nothing more relaxing than hearing soulful singing backed by some easy listening beats), for me Ne-Yo is one of the better R&B artists around at the minute. I was originally attracted to Ne-Yo, as a singer, by the single 'Closer' (it is pretty catchy!), when I saw that it was one of the tracks on 'Year of the Gentleman', I didn't hesitate to buy it.

      Tracks

      'Year of the Gentleman' has, in my opinion, a fairly industry standard amount of tracks (13 - this includes a bonus track), compare this to other notable R&B artists and you will see my point (for example 'Confessions' by Usher has a track listing of 19). In my opinion, this is what you get with 'Year of the Gentleman', something that is good, yet, for me, it doesn't really break the industry mould. For example, I feel that most of the tracks on the album give the impression of being 'filler' tracks (with the exception of 'Closer' and 'Miss Independent' - two very good stand out tracks), perfect as background music (provides a nice mood setter), but I would argue not tracks that you would pay for separately (they really do sound the same). Track lengths are fairly standard too (between 3:07 for the shortest single 'Nobody' and 4:33 for the longest single 'Why Does She Stay?'). I feel that this Cd would probably appeal to people who aren't into R&B (his lyrics are fairly conservative (unlike a lot of R&B) and I would say his songs verge on the category of 'easy listening.'

      Cd Presentation/Value For Money

      I am very impressed with the presentation of the Cd, in my opinion, something that is very polished (I love the use of imagery, Ne Yo looks like one of the original 'Rat Pack' in the way that he's dressed, stylised typeface and black on white text gives the Cd a certain professionalism). When I originally bought this Cd (when it was first released), it was being retailed for £7 (I bought it in an offer of 2 for £10, along with 'Because Of You' - also by Ne-Yo), it can now be purchased on Amazon for £2.53 with postage of £1.26, excellent value for money.

      In conclusion, I would recommend this as a Cd to buy (not just to those that like R&B). Although most of the tracks give the impression of being 'filler tracks', I feel that they are a good example of solid R&B (full of soulful singing and easy listening beats), and will definitely relax your mood. Similarly, in my opinion, although the Cd won't offer unique music, it does represent good value for money (retailing for £2.53, with Postage of £1.26, for 13 tracks this equates to roughly 29p per track).

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      05.07.2012 14:44
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      A very good amp...if you can get it

      When it comes to buying amps, I have always tended to go down the traditional route (buying more established names, such as Marshall, rather than relative unknowns). However, after becoming fed up with the poor quality sound that i was getting with Marshall, I decided to have a look at the market, to see what else was available. That is when I came across this little beauty. (according to the Roland website, it has since been discontinued, but I notice that it can be found on ebay for around £120).

      Performance

      Although the range of settings on the Roland Cube 30x amp are in my opinion fairly basic (bass, middle, treble, chorus, flanger, delay, reverb being the major settings, with the added inclusionacoustic gain, black panel gain, brit combo gain, tweed gain, stack gain, classic gain, metal gain, R-fier and Dyna Amp settings), I feel that this doesn't detract from the sound quality of the amp (the sound is very full - when played in 'clean' mode with added reverb and chorus the result is amazing). Similarly, although the size of the amp is very small, this in no way inhibits the amount of sound that is produced (a bit like the old adage of a small car having a large engine). Although small, I feel that it is perfectly versatile, being suitable for both use at home and small scale gigs (pub scene etc), as it has excellent portability (doesn't way a tonne, like most amps) and has a 'power squeezer' button, which can be used to soften the sound (in situations where noise can be an issue).

      It is a great shame that the Roland Cube 30x has been discontinued as I feel it is an excellent amp. In my opinion, although the range of settings is fairly basic, it offers a sound that is far better than many of its competitors (I felt that the sound produced by Marshall wasn't warm enough). Similarly, the amp is portable (being light in weight, having the addition of a handle), making it perfect for transporting to band practices/ a friend's house. One of the additional benefits that the Roland Cube 30x offers is the 'power squeeze' button (drastically alters the volume, without altering the quality), which can be useful if you have to keep noise at a premium. All in all a very good amp.

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      • The World Is Not Enough (DVD) / DVD / 8 Readings / 8 Ratings
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        23.04.2012 22:54
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        A Good Film (entertaining and fun)

        Everybody has a moment when they first come into contact with the James Bond franchise, for me this happened with the 1999 film 'The World is Not Enough.' Although the movie is the nineteenth in the series, it is, in my opinion, one of the better Bond films. The plot, far from being a 'gun-fest' (as a lot of spy/action films can be), explores the characters and keeps you guessing until the end. The cast is perfectly chosen and delivers a very believable performance. In all The World is Not Enough is a very good film.

        Plot
        By retrieving Sir Robert King's money, Bond unwittingly provides a bomb that kills the British Oil Tycoon (the money is booby trapped), piecing together clues, the assassin is identified as Renard (brilliantly portrayed by Robert Carlyle), a man that has a bullet lodged in his head (making him immune to pain) and who is later discovered to be stealing a Nuclear device that could threaten the civilized world.

        Like most of the Bond films, the plot of The World is Not Enough has an element of fantasy to it (real spy work is probably never quite so glamorous). However, I am genuinely impressed with the twists and turns that occur in the story (someone who is assumed to be a 'good guy' turns out to be bad, allies are found in the most unusual places - a departure from most of the other Bond films - where the bad guys and allies are quite clearly defined by some deformity), and feel therefore that the film has enough to entertain people who aren't Bond fanatics. Something else that I liked about the film is that character relationships are more closely examined than previous films(fractures appear between Bond and his superior, M and we learn about a kidnapping ordeal involving Sir Robert King's daughter, Elektra, that plays a pivotal role in the film). Similarly, the subject matter addressed by the film (a meglamaniac stealing a nuclear Bomb) is not too disimilar to real world issues (you only have to think of the issues in the middle east), making it relevant to our time. Unfortunately, I think that some Bond fans will find it a little slow paced (the story is developed more by words than by guns), although this is more than made up for by the fight in a submarine at the end. In all, I am very impressed with the plot of The World is Not Enough. As per usual in a Bond film, there are some wonderful locations in the film (Turkey, Azerbaaijan etc) and the length of the film is on a par with most of the Bond films (with a running time of 128 minutes).

        Cast
        I feel that the cast contribute a lot to this film, the acting is fantastic and ultimately believable. For example, as this was Pierce Brosnan's third outing as James Bond, you can see that by this stage he had become more confident in the role of the Mi6 operative, this, in my opinion, makes his performance in the film better than that of any of the other Bond films that he appeared in (also, i feel that audiences were used to him being Bond by this stage). Similarly Robert Carlyle's performance as Renard is a joy to behold, the versatility of that man amazes me, (too often Bond bad guys are not fierce enough and can be a bit of a none entity - but Carlyle is brilliant in this film).

        Conclusion
        To sum up, I think that the World is not Enough is a very good film (not just a good Bond film, as it has enough to keep anybody without an interest in the franchise interested). Indeed, although the film has an element of fantasy to it (amazing locations etc), the plot is very good (plenty of twists and turns that keep you guessing until the end), the running time is the right length (not too long). Similarly, character relationships are developed in this film, something that adds to the interest of the film. Likewise, i feel that the subject matter is very relevant to the time that we live in (threat of terrorism). The only negative that I can draw from the plot is that it could be a little slow paced for action fans more used to plot being furthered by violence (rather than words).
        In terms of cast, the acting is very good (from the protaganist to the bad guy they are believable). In conclusion, therefore, I would definately recommend this film to a friend as a film that is better than most.

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      • Frasier / TV Programme / 7 Readings / 7 Ratings
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        31.01.2012 19:56
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        Quality program, but is the Dvd value for money?

        I don't normally find American comedies very funny, as they don't tend to be my kind of humour, I feel, however, that Frasier is the exception to this rule. I remember that as a family we used to watch Frasier as part of a Friday night entertainment package (along with Friends), though I feel that I was perhaps too young to really appreciate it at that stage.
        Plot
        The plot of Frasier is fairly run of the mill (the main protaganist moves to Seattle to settle down and to be amongst his family). Essentially a spin off from Cheers (which centred around characters in a bar, of which Frasier was one), Frasier follows the exploits of a radio psychiatrist (Dr Fraser Crane), his relationship with his brother (Dr Niles Crane), his father (Marty Crane) and his housekeeper (Daphne Moon). I feel that the plot is where Frasier derives its comedic value, due to the opposite nature of the characters and their relationships with each other. For example, the two main characters, Frasier and Niles (highly educated 'wine' conesseurs) are the complete antithesis of their no nonsense beer swelling father (who as it happens lives with Frasier), hilarity ensues (Marty is constantly making remarks of how he wished for an athletic son, whilst Frasier and Niles are always remarking on how Marty has little or no style in choice of clothes, furniture and women). Similarly, amongst the more minor characters, you have the camp Gill and the Macho Bob 'Bulldog' Brisco both working at Frasiers place of work (the radio station KACL), again hilarity ensues. Another way in which the plot is good is that it uses Frasier's character flaws to add to the comedic value. As a psychiatrist Frasier is supposed to help others come to terms with their problems, often though it is Frasier himself that has the problems (due to his inability to tell a lie, his big ego and his ability to say the wrong thing at the wrong moment). In my opinion the plot and characters are very well written and in my opinion make the program very funny.
        Cast
        In my opinion the cast of Frasier is also very good. I feel that the comedic timing of Kelsey Grammar (Frasier) and David Hyde Pierce (Niles) adds weight to what is already a very good script (the way that David Hyde Pierce runs is a joy to behold). Indeed, the way that Kelsey Grammar feigns innocence when he goes too far in his feud with his neighbour (Cam Winston) is, in my opinion, fantastic acting. In the same way, the mannerisms that David Hyde Pierce adopts is so funny (I dare you not to laugh when he burns his trousers on the ironing board and faints after accidently cutting himself). I feel that another strength that 'Frasier' has is in the acting of the actors that play the lesser characters (ex wives, new loves, neighbours etc). Indeed, far from detracting from the overall story I feel that they add strength to it (their own stories are interesting too - I feel that this is often the sign of a good sitcom, when you care about the minor characters).
        Other Points
        'Frasier' is fairly run of the mill in terms of the running length of an episode (30 minutes is perfect for a sitcom), so little can be commented on there. However, I feel that because Frasier ran for so long (1993-2004) some of the later episodes were not up to the standard of some of the earlier ones (it didn't seem quite as funny towards the end as they seemed to have ran out of material), so this perhaps could be viewed as a negative. In a sense, however, I feel that Frasier has lasted pretty well, although it is eight years old I think people will still find it relevant and on the whole a funny series. I feel that another negative is the price of 'Frasier' on Dvd which is in my opinion exorbitant (I bought the boxset for £83, whereas Friends cost less than £50 - certainly not a cheap laugh!).
        In conclusion, I would definately recommend Frasier to anybody, as I find funny and hugely entertaining. I feel that far from being an 'in your face' type of comedy, Frasier is more subtle and this perhaps makes it funnier (you wonder how Frasier will mess things up!). I feel that Frasier's major strength is in the writing (although ably supported by the acting) which is clever and well thought through. In my opinion the only major negatives that I could find were in the length of the series (drop in quality, perhaps, towards the end) and the price that the series in currently retailing for (ridiculous after 7 years). In conclusion I find Frasier brilliant!

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        24.01.2012 15:52
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        Brilliant!

        I must admit that I am not normally a big fan of American tv shows as they tend to be style above substance, in my opinion this is not the case with Burn Notice. The premise of the series plot is that spy Michael Weston has been suspended by the government agency that he works for (whilst they investigate his actions). Whilst trying to figure out who was the cause of his suspension (he was framed), he takes on unofficial jobs (helping clients defend themselves against crooked elements)with the help of Sam Axe (an old friend) and Fiona Glenanne (an ex girlfriend).

        Plot

        I am very impressed with the plot in Burn Notice, I am gripped by it everytime I watch it. Although, the running time for Burn Notice is little over 40 minutes, a lot is packed into that time (explosions, espionage, car chases etc) meaning that the story is constantly moving forward (not slow paced as some tv shows can be). Similarly, Burn Notice is very good at developing the main characters of the show (by introducing characters that were connected to Michael, Sam and Fiona, before Michael was suspended we find out more about their back story).

        Cast

        In my opinion, the cast of Burn Notice is very strong. Jeffrey Donovan is perfect as the main protagonist as he is believable as a suspended agent (physically he fits the role very well - he looks like a spy!), as are the other actors in their respective roles. Similarly, although none of the cast is hugely famous (Sharon Gless perhaps being the exception - her of Cagney and Lacey fame!), I feel that this is a positive rather than a negative (you focus more on the story rather than who's in it).

        Presentation

        In my opinion, Burn Notice is very well presented (from the setting of Miami, right down to the type of clothes that the characters wear, the program is stylish) and this gives the program an element of escapism (often true spy work is nowhere near as glamorous). Similarly, the program is very good at explaining who new characters are (the screen is paused on the person and a short subtitle flashes up to explain who they are) and explaining what Michael Weston is doing in certain situations (Jeffrey Donovan explains through narration for those of us who aren't spies!).

        In conclusion, I can't recommend Burn Notice highly enough. I found the program enjoyable, as in my opinion it was both engaging and fast paced (not too fast). Similarly, I feel that Burn Notice main strength is that it is pure escapism, often this is all you want after a long day at the office. I thought that the cast was very good (the fact that most of them were relative unknowns was a plus as you concentrate more on the story than the actor), the actors were wholly believable in their respective roles. In conclusion, I could find very little wrong with Burn Notice as a program and for that reason can't recommend it highly enough.

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      • More +
        19.01.2012 18:34
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        Essentially a gift item (Given the price).

        Normally I try and stay away from products that have a celebrity's name attached to them (as normally they are not very good). However, having received this as a christmas present from some friends, I decided to give this one a go.

        Value for money

        With a cheapest price of £5.45 (I have no idea how much my friends paid), David Beckham Hair and Body Wash is, in my opinion quite expensive (Radox Shower Gel and Shampoo for men is priced at 99p from boots, and has a greater volume of 250ml). Whilst it may be the case that perhaps you are paying more for the celebrity attachment (this may or may not be so, I don't know), the quality of the product is in my opinion suprisingly good. Over the years I have tried shower gels and soaps that leave you feeling as if your skin has been shredded (dry skin etc), but David Beckham Instinct Hair and Body Wash doesn't seem to be as harsh (leaves you feeling clean, but no dryness).

        Other Points

        In my opinion, David Beckham Instinct Hair and Body Wash has quite a manly smell (imagine a mix between a pinecone and aftershave), which is perfect, as it is aimed for men. Similarly, I am very impressed with the presentation of the product (silver lettering on black - stylish) which I feel lends itself to those adverts that you see for mens' aftershave and probably wouldn't look out of place in a barber's.

        In conclusion, I would recommend this product to a friend, but only as an indulgence (bought less often, given the price - ideal as a gift etc). David Beckham Instinct Hair and Body Wash is, in my opinion, something that would be well received by most men (given the fact that it is presented in a manly way and has a manly smell), thereby, again lending itself as a gift item. Also, the quality of the product itself is, in my opinion, very good (leaves you feeling refreshed). In all, a perfect gift item.

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      • Casino Royale [2006] (DVD) / DVD / 9 Readings / 8 Ratings
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        30.12.2011 12:41
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        lacking convention, but intriguing none the less

        Casino Royale was Daniel Craig's first film as James Bond. Having been a fan of the James Bond series since seeing Pierce Brosnan in The World Is Not Enough, Casino Royale left me with mixed feelings.

        Positives

        Essentially a reboot of the series, Casino Royale charts how James Bond went from being a regular spy to the more advanced status of 'OO7.' In my opinion, the plot of Casino Royale is very good, the story flows well and provides real tension (near misses, torture etc). Similarly, the casting of Daniel Craig as James Bond was a good choice given the more physical nature of the film (Bond is less of the finished polished article of the earlier titles in the series). Of note, whilst I felt the lack of James Bond 'moments' ('the names Bond...James Bond', 'Vodka Martini...shaken but not stirred'), was sad, I feel that it is an appropriate step to help the series adapt and move on (the series is not so formulaic and doesn't have to match a certain structure each time). Visually, the film is stunning, maintaining the tradition of Bond visiting exotic locations (in this case, the Bahamas, Madagascar, Venice etc) which I liked.

        Negatives

        Although the James Bond producers have tried to introduce 'more realism' with this film, I feel that they risk alienating die hard Bond fans (the traditional elements of Bond, such as the 'Bond moments', are what made it so popular as a franchise, taking that away removes the 'escapism' element). Similarly, although Le Chiffe was a character created by Ian Fleming (creator of James Bond) in the original book, I feel he was a bit 'weak' as a Bond villian (money laundering is nowhere near as entertaining as someone trying to take over the world).

        In conclusion, I feel that Casino Royale is a very good film (the plot is good and well acted), however it didn't feel like a Bond film, as it doesn't follow Bond conventions (bond moments, getting the girl, large shoot out at the end etc). Whilst I feel it is good to try and take the series down a new avenue (explore more of the character etc), the producers do risk alienating die hard fans (the series became popular due to its escapism). I thought Daniel Craig was excellent at the main protaganist, although I felt the character of Le Chiffe was a little disappointing (Mads Mikkleson was excellent, but his character was not). In all, despite having mixed feelings, I would recommend Casino Royale as a good film to watch.

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      • Apple iPod (5G) 30 GB / MP3 Player / 8 Readings / 6 Ratings
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        23.12.2011 16:01
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        Understated simplicity

        Having owned my ipod for about 5 years, I feel well placed to write a decent enough review about it. Over the years, my ipod has suffered from numerous accidents (dropped mainly), has been misplaced more times than i care to remember and yet has consistently shown itself to be highly durable. I have only ever owned Ipod's and so for the purposes of this review I can't comment on other Mp3 players.

        Design

        The thing that has always attracted me to apple products is the simplicity used in their design (even the Apple Logo is cool), the 30GB Ipod Classic is no exception. In my opinion the Ipod Classic is well designed (simple to use - controlled using click wheel, practical - long battery life and as previously mentioned rugged). I feel that this simplicity of design makes it universally appealing (anybody from 10 upwards would feel comfortable using it) and a style classic (6 years on it still doesn't look out of place). Similarly, the menus on the Ipod are well designed, black text on a white background (doesn't get much simpler than that!), with highlighted options in blue (text scrolled over). In the same way, although it seems like nothing now, the Ipod Classic 5g was the first of the Ipods to be able to play videos, a big leap forward at that stage.

        Practicality

        Although the 30GB Ipod Classic doesn't do as much as the later Ipod Touch (use off apps, no internet connection etc), I feel it is far better made, as it doesn't seem to be as delicate (you wouldn't believe the amount of cracked Ipod Touch screens I have seen!). Similarly, although Apple still insists on retailing the Ipod Classic for nearly £200, I have seen second hand versions go for £80 (a bargain compared to the Ipod Touch, which I have rarely seen go for less than £100) which makes it handy for those on a budget. Although battery life is relatively good (mine tends to last for at least 14 hours, there or therabouts), I do have a complaint about the battery status bar which never seems to be accurate (one minute it's in the red and then it's back into the green). Although the ipod Classic is relatively small in size, it seems hardly worth mentioning, as most Ipod's are similar, or indeed smaller (such as the Nano). In terms of sound quality, I feel the Iopd classic is fairly poor (although this may be more to do with the age of mine rather than the model as a whole), as often I have to turn the volume up far louder to hear my music and even then the quality still isn't perfect.

        In conclusion, I feel that although the 30GB Apple Ipod Classic (5th generation) is 5 years old now, it still hold's up well when compared to newer, later Ipod's (such as the Ipod Touch, Nano etc). Indeed, I feel that the Ipod Classic is far more robust than its later counterparts (which if you're as clumsy as me is a godsend), retains its style (due to the simplicity of its design) and although it has its faults (such as the aforementioned problem with measuring battery life and quality of sound) offers good value for money (30GB of memory for under £100) and would still be acceptable to anyone as a gift . As such, therefore, the Ipod classic 30GB is an Mp3 Player that I would definately recommend to a friend.

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        • Limitless (DVD) / DVD / 11 Readings / 10 Ratings
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          01.12.2011 15:49
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          excellent film, well worth seeing

          I was originally attracted to this film simply because I love the idea of somebody being able to access 100% of their brain capability (although in this case, by taking a pill called NZT). Another attraction for me is that I saw that it has Robert De Niro in it (one of my favourite actors), so I was looking forward to watching the film.

          Plot

          In my opinion the plot of the film is a little far fetched (the idea that somebody could go from being a down and out writer to a successful stockbroker in little over two months is a little unrealistic). However, I feel that this is the films major strength, it is pure escapism (sometimes it's nice to escape into something that takes you away from the day to day drudgery). I have to say that I found the plot to be very engaging (I wanted to know how it was going to end), as the more successful the main character (Eddie Morra - played by Bradley Cooper) became, the more problems seemed to come his way (Russian mafia, side effects of the drug etc). Indeed, although the plot has a very simple premise (an underachiever takes pills to become an overachiever), the twists and turns in the storyline keep you guessing (he loses the pills, chased by Russian mafia, feels side effects of drugs which means he finds himself skipping time).

          Cast

          In my opinion, the choice of casting for the film is excellent (Bradley Cooper is excellent as the main protaganist), the characters are believeable (as an example the man that played the Russian mafia boss is a Welsh actor! - I promise you won't be able to tell). Similarly, locations have been perfectly scouted, matching the story (New York, Mexico etc), helping scenes flow efforlessly, nothing is out of place. Similarly, I feel that with a Hollywood heavyweight on board (De Niro) it only adds to the positive feel about the cast.

          Length

          Limitless is quite a short film, running for approximately 90 minutes. Although short films can sometimes leave you feeling a little short changed, I can promise you that this isn't the case with Limitless (the film crams so much in, that you really do get your moneys worth). Simply because there is so much to take in, I feel that Limitless has quite a good replay value (as i said before it took me a few replays to quite grasp some of what was going on).

          In conclusion, I am very impressed by this film. It is short,but action packed (so won't leave you feeling short changed, (can't really comment on the dvd, but you can pick it up for £10). Similarly, although the film can seem a little confusing (a lot of different twists and turns in the story), it really is engaging - (my friend who normally hates action films watched it with me and found herself fully engrossed!). The only real negative that I can put across is that it is a little far fetched (although as i said before, this can be a positive as well as a negative).

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            26.11.2011 17:35
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            Not the finished article but an improvement

            For many years I have been a fan of the Pro Evolution Soccer series (I got given Iss Pro Evolution 2 on Ps1 when it first came out), preffering it over its closest rival, the Fifa series, for its greater realism. It is important to point out that although not all of Pro Evolution Soccer 2011's teams are fully licensed (meaning some of the teams, although resembling their real life counterparts, have fictitious names, whereas Fifa 2011's teams are all licensed, meaning every team has its proper name) in my opinion graphically and gameplay wise it is closer to real life than Fifa 2011. I felt that on the Ps2 the Pro Evolution Soccer series far outstripped any offering given by Fifa (in my opinion, the pinaccle was Pro Evolution Soccer 6), offering a far more realistic and satisfying experience. However, over the recent years the Fifa series has done a lot to reinvent itself, overhauling the gameplay engine, improving graphics and offering generally a very polished product, overtaking the Pro Evolution Soccer series as the better football sim (in my opinion Fifa 2010 Ps3 far outstripped Pro Evolution Soccer 2010 Ps3). Having said all of that, however, I feel that Pro Evolution Soccer Ps3 is a big step forward (definately on a par with Fifa 2011) and I would definately recommend it as a good stand alone game. Likewise, whereas Fifa 2011 is a game that anybody can instantly play, I feel Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 is a game for those that have experience playing football sims.

            Graphics

            In my opinion Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 is far better visually than Fifa 2011. Fifa 2011 has fantastic graphics, but in my opinion it is not on a par with Pro Evolution Soccer 2011. Indeed, historically the Pro Evolution Soccer series has always offered fantastic graphics, and Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 is no exception, it is visually stunning. Indeed, well known players are immediately recognisable (rooney, messi, kaka), even not well known players have individual faces (not clones of one another). Similarly, Stadia and crowd graphics have been given an overhaul, providing good depth of realism (pitches are realistic and fans have individual personalities, clothes etc).

            Gameplay

            In my opinion, Fifa 2011 offers better gameplay (not as realistic as Pro Evolution Soccer 2011, but more instantly accessible to people who are not football computer game veterans). Indeed, Fifa 2011 offers a more fun gameplay experience than Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 (more fluid, not as many stops in play, easy to string together defence splitting passes). Having said that, however,in my opinion Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 offers a far more realistic gameplay (passes can go astray, harder to break down defences as often happens in real life) which makes it not as easily accessible to someone that is picking up a football sim for the first time (as an example my friend's young son found it very difficult to play. Having said that however, Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 does have its gameplay flaws. Indeed, historically, gameplay commentary has always been very poor in the Pro Evolution Soccer series, and, although it is slightly improved, Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 still has very poor commentary (not fluid like it is in Fifa 2011). Similarly the camera angle in Pro evolution Soccer 2011 is very poor (it doesn't keep up with the ball, when the ball is kicked down field).

            Online Play

            In my opinion Fifa 2011 Ps3 offers a better online mode than Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 (less glitches - I have lost connection to Pro Evolution Soccer's online server more times than I could care to mention), although neither are particularly great (long waiting times on both, whilst your opponent changes their tactics etc).

            In conclusion, I feel Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 Ps3, although not perfect, is a good game. For the fan of football it offers a very realistic football experience,in terms of feel and gameplay (although not all teams are licensed!). My conclusion, when comparing it with its closest rival on the market (Fifa 2011 Ps3) is that for someone who is coming to football games for the first time, Fifa 2011 Ps3 is perfect (fun gameplay, fully licensed teams etc). However, Pro Evolution Soccer, after taking a bit of getting used to (it took me a couple of days to get to grips with all the changes) offers a stisfyingly realistic experience for the hardened football fan. In my opinion, therefore I would recommend Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 Ps3 to a friend.

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            23.11.2011 14:00
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            Decent but not exceptional

            I have been a fan of the James Bond series since I saw The World is Not Enough at the cinema in 1999. Although James Bond video games have tended not to follow the films in recent years (From Russia with Love (2005) being the first to use a Bond film for the basis of its plot since The World is Not Enough on Ps1 and N64 (1999), 007 Quantum Of Solace is unique in that it uses 2 films as the basis for its plot (2006 film Casino Royale and 2008 film Quantum Of Solace). As I have only played the Ps3 and Ps2 Version of Quantum Of Solace, I cannot comment on any other platforms.

            Story

            Quantum Of Solace Ps3 starts where the film version of Casino Royale leaves off (007 shooting bond bad guy Mr White in the leg), although the game then introduces us to a level unseen in either of the films. This is what I consider to be Quantum Of Solace Ps3's strength, the fact that it doesn't follow the two bond film's exactly, many levels are added to the story line and Casino Royale level's are included later on in the form of playable flashbacks.

            Unfortunately, the amount and length of levels left me feeling a little short changed. Indeed, although Bond games have tended to be quite short (2004 Ps2 Everything or Nothing being the exception), This game seemed to be phenominally quick, I completed it in under 5 hours (and I am by no means an expert gamer). Similarly, In my opinion the Ps2 version of Quantum Of Solace offers greater value for money (as a game it kept me guessing and took far longer to complete).

            Graphics

            Graphically, Quantum of Solace Ps3 is superb, characters look exactly like their real life counterparts from the films (Daniel Craig, Eva Green etc) and scenery is breathtaking, although this is something to be expected from a seventh generation console.

            Similarly, the game takes a first person view (you see the world through James Bond's eyes), although this switches to third person when you are crouched or when you are standing close to a wall and press 'X' on the gamepad. In my opinion this is a nice touch as switching to third person on these occassions gives the player greater control (see how exposed you are, and see enemies that you wouldn't otherwise see in first person).

            Gameplay

            As the game is developed by Activision, the gameplay borrows heavily from the Call Of Duty series (which are in my opinion far better games). Indeed, like Call Of Duty, levels are very formulaic (telling you exactly where to go) unlike open world games (like Grand Theft Auto Ps3 or Burnout Paradise Ps3, where you are pretty much free to take your own path through the game). Although this can be quite restricting, it is important to note that the game is essentially a movie tie in, meaning levels have to loosley follow the film (although as mentioned earlier, extra levels are added).

            Similarly, button configuration closely follows the Call Of Duty series ('triangle' for jump, 'square' for reload, 'R3' for sprint and 'R1' for shoot (a departure from the rest of the james Bond series which uses 'X' for shoot). Although there is little wrong with using such a button configuration, it does take some time to get used to and can be disconcerting for new gamers.

            Price

            At the original price of £40, I would have said to avoid this game, as I don't feel that it offers value for money. However, since prices of video games do tend to come down after a while (I was able to pick up my copy of Quantum of Solace Ps3 for under £10) it is worth buying as a nice way to spend a couple of hours. However, if you are looking at it as a long term investment, I would say avoid, as there is little replay value (multiplayer is nowhere near as good as the Call of Duty series, single player levels offer little different when played second time round).

            Conclusion
            In conclusion Quantum Of Solace Ps3 is a decent Ps3 game. Graphically the game is superb, the game is fun to play and it will keep you entertained. However, in my opinion the game is far too short (with a life span of about 5 hours) when compared to other titles on the market (even Quantum Of Solace for Ps2 was longer) and offers little in the way of playback value (multiplayer is awful and singleplayer levels offer little second time round). Similarly, the controls can be difficult for a first time user to learn.
            In conclusion therefore, I would recommend this game as a decent game for the price (as it is now under £10) for a regular user of the Ps3. However, in my opinion this is definately a short term investment, and should be avoided if this is not what the purchaser is after.

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              03.10.2011 22:24
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              flawed but does the job perfectly - accomplished performer

              Having been using Lynx spray deodrants for quite a while now, I decided it was time to make a change and that is when i spotted this little beauty. At £2.03, Nivea Pure is well priced within the market (not one of the cheapest but also not one of the more expensive deodrants) so you won't feel as if you are wasting money. Apart from the price, the thing that initially attracted me to Nivea Pure is the fact that it is a roll on, which I feel personally is far more effective than sprays (which often don't target a specific area, rather blanket the entire underarm), something that I can certainly testify to after having used the product. Similarly, as it comes in bottle form, Nivea Pure is airtight, meaning there are no accidental spillages (something that used to occur a lot with my spray on deodrants). In the same manner, Nivea Pure seems to dry very quickly (although as Nivea is the only roll on I have used thus far, I can't comment too fully on this point) and hasn't done any damage (underarm skin can often be very sensitive).

              Having said all of the above, however, Nivea Pure Invisible 48hr Gentle Care 50ml Roll On Deodrant does have a couple of disadvantages. As the deodrant is made of glass, there is always the fear that it may crack (although highly unlikely, due to the fact that it is made of toughened glass, it is always a fear nonetheless with glass). Likewise, at 50ml, in my opinion Nivea Pure doesn't necessarily offer fantastic value for money (4p a ml compared to dove 50ml deodrant which at £1 is 2p per ml), as after 2 months (using it once a day) I have very nearly finished the bottle, whereas my lynx cans would last me upwards of 3 months (although as the Lynx cans have a greater volume this may be perhaps an unfair comparison and Nivea do offer larger sizes).

              To summarise, although this product has certain flaws (size, value for money and being made of glass) I would highly recommend it based on my own experiences (it has proved to be very effective, even after sport, providing a good range of protection and is easy to stow in a bag). Having been a user of sprays for some years, I will now be switching to the roll on, using Nivea Pure in particular.

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              20.09.2011 09:10
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              Of Good Repute, Of Better Taste

              I have been training with weights for six years on and off, and in that time have used many different Protein supplements to provide my body with the level of Protein it needs to grow. Some of those supplements have been good, and some not so good, these are my thoughts on Maximuscle Promax (mine is 454g).

              Protein Level
              Most Protein shakes have between 20g and 30g of Protein in them, per serving, as this is pretty much the most the body can take in one go (protein has to be passed through the kidney filters - too much in one go can be harmful). With Maximuscle Promax, each 30g serving contains 23g of protein, relatively average as the market goes, so in that sense it is good. On the 'When and How to use' Tab on the container it is recommended that 2-4 30g servings are taken per day, which would give you 46g - 92g per day, in my opinion pretty good as far as Protein shakes go (the general rule is 1g of protein per lb of body weight, as i weigh 185.18lb's, 92g helps me towards my target). In terms of Protein level I would say that Maximuscle promax is one of the better on the market, certainly one of the best that I have used.

              Range Of Flavours
              Having tried and tested 'Unflavoured' protein shakes, I can easily testify that flavour is very important when it comes to protein shakes. Generally speaking most of the protein shakes on the market will offer a good selection of flavours (chocolate, banana, vanilla, strawberry), and Maximuscle Promax is no different to this general rule, offering Banana, Caffe Latte, Choc Mint, Chocolate, Cookies and Cream, Orange, Strawberry, Vanilla. In my opinion, Maximuscle Promax offers a good range of flavours, and unlike most of its competitors, those flavours don't taste unlike the flavour they are meant to represent (too often I have tasted banana protein shakes that tastes closer to vanilla), so in this sense Maximuscle Promax is very good.

              Price
              In my opinion, I feel that Maximuscle promax offers good value for money, (indeed, Maximuscle products as a whole), as similar sized products from other brands can cost considerably more ( indeed, from Amazon Weider 500g protein shake costs £20.24, whereas Maximuscle Promax 454g, on the same store costs £16.29). Similarly, as an example, although Weider 500g protein shake contains 16 servings to Promax's 15 servings, each serving of weider costs £1.26 (£20.24 divided by 16), whereas each serving of Promax costs £1.08 (£16.29 divided by 15), so in this sense again maximuscle Promax offers good value for money. Perhaps the only slight negative that I can see with Promax is that 15 servings does not last very long, meaning that you would have to buy another batch relatively quickly (although this is a problem with other brands too).

              Reputability
              One final thing that I would like to note is the reputability of the Maximuscle brand, of which Promax is a part. Although there are cheaper proteins on the market, it is not advisable to take them (they come unbranded and you can't be sure what is in them), whereas maximuscle is reputable and trustworthy (you know there is not going to anything harmful in their products).

              In all, I would have to say that i am very impressed with Maximuscle Promax. Indeed, as a product it offers a good, safe level of protein, good choice and represents good value for money. Throughout my time using Protein shakes, I would say that it is one of the best protein shakes that i have used, (not to say one of the tastiest). I would definately recommend this to a friend for those reasons.

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