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I've used Epson printers for about five years now. Apart from one which broke within a month, I've found them to be very reliable. With their cheap compatible ink, it's great if you're on a budget but still want high quality printing.
--- First thoughts and purchase of EPSON XP-202 ---
I reserved this printer from my local Argos store as I had some vouchers which were close to their expiring date. The process of reserving an item on their website is straightforward. It's more or less a two clicks and it's yours. Luckily for me I have two Argos stores within 3 miles of each other, so I was spoilt for choice on where I could pick it up from.
The cost was about £49.99 and it was the cheapest printer in store.
When I arrived at Argos I gave the cashier / shop worker my reserve slip and it was ready in less than ten minutes. It wasn't has bulky as I first thought, neither was it heavy.
-- When I opened the box --
I opened the box as soon as I got home. Just to check to see if everything was included. Everything was there except a USB cable. But this is the usual thing Epson do with their printers. So it might be a good idea to find yourself a spare USB cable before purchasing it.
Also included was some 'starter ink'. Again, this is the same with every Epson printer. Apart from that, a power cable and a installation CD was also included.
-- Setting up --
The set up process was quick and hassle free. I have a Windows 8 PC and it was setup ready to use within 10 minutes. I thought I had to install the installation CD but no, it worked without using it. Not sure if this works for everything computer or just the new ones, so you may want to check before you throw the installation CD out!
-- Print quality and speed --
The print quality was superb! As long as your image is of good quality it will print it out as it's shown on the screen. Print quality is the more important to me than speed. As I use printers to print invoices and receipts for customers for my business. The bonus in this case, is it has print quality and speed!
It takes less than 20 seconds to print a A4 size black and white image. For a colour image it takes around 40 seconds. This also depends on the overall print quality you want to print out. It has text, text and image, photo and best photo quality. Text quality being the quickest and best photo quality being the slowest.
-- Ink lifespan, price of replacement ink --
The starter Ink lasted a lot longer than I thought. As long as you're not printing best photo quality all the time. You can easily get between 60- 100 good quality prints before the low ink indicator pops up.
Replacement cartridges can vary in price. If you would like to still use the 'official' cartridges, then it could cost as much as the printer to replace the inks! In my own personal view. I much prefer to use the compatible inks. These can be found on lots of websites such as eBay, ebid and many other ink suppliers.
The compatible inks cost about £10 for 8 cartridges. I think they are very good value as I can't tell the difference in quality between the real ones and the compatible ones.
Overall, If you're after a cheap reliable printer I can't recommend this enough. I'm still using it now and I've had it over 3 months.
This review will NOT contain spoilers.
I can't really say much on what the last season is about, as I don't want to give too much away. But It carries on with the story from season 1 - 4 that he is a meth cook / teacher / family man. It's mainly set in the New Mexico desert, town, etc.
The story follows Walter White and his lab partner Jesse Pinkman on their "drug" empire and how they deal with what life brings to them.
Without saying too much the final season of Breaking Bad is probably the best thing I've ever watched in my life. With other TV shows, they tend to drag the show out as long as possible. When the ending does come around you end up watching it just out of habit! But Breaking Bad is not one of those shows. It draws you into it's world and doesn't let go.
If you haven't seen any of it yet, you really are missing out on something great.
When I first got into it I was like most people, surely the hype isn't worth it? After the first 5 episodes you'll be hooked.
Some of the seasons are 18, some have a 15 rating. The series contains violence, drug use and other things you would associate with drug lords and gangs. But it's never over the top violence. Some of the stuff can be shocking, but without these it wouldn't be as good. What I do love is the unpredictability of the show itself. You think you know what's coming, but the shows directors go in a totally different direction!
All throughout the series you'll have mixed emotions right up until the explosive ending.
For this review I'm going to talk about Mars bars and what my overall thoughts are.
If you haven't tried a Mars bar before, they are a chocolate bar created by Mars, incorporated. The general description of this bar is that it's a nougat, soft caramel, with a milk chocolate coating.
I used to love eating Mars bars. In fact I used to have them everyday while I was at school.
I hadn't tried them in years. But recently I brought a pack of four from my local supermarket. They only cost £1 and this seemed very good value for money. I think the packaging hasn't changed in years. Always been the same. Black with the Mars text in red and yellow / gold.
When I got round to open the pack. I was shocked to see how small they got! I think the last time I had one was when I was a kid. But surely they were a bit bigger than this?
The tasted exactly the same as before. It has a soft caramel centre. Great for a sugar treat! Although at the same time, it had a sickly taste to it. Not one of those bars where you can have multiples at once. Not that I do of course!
If you're following a diet, it's probably not a good idea eating these as they are quite high in calories. I think they are around the 250 calories mark.
I've found that if you buy those packs of 4, they are much better value than buying them individually.
I recently brought these off Amazon for £4.50. I got 18 packs for that price.
Kind of regret buying so many. But for this review I'm going to talk about what I thought of them and how I found out how I made them taste better.
First things first, what are they and first initial thoughts?
Nakd tangy Lime are Lime flavoured Raisins. They count as your 1 of 5 a day. I read the reviews on amazon saying they are a good substitute for sweets. Not the case in my opinion. I like raisins, but for some reason I don't find the lime mixes well with them. It has a very sour taste to it that makes me want to stop eating them immediately. On their own, for me, are difficult to eat.
I brought 18 packs of these. I can't send them back now, can I!? So I tried to experiment with them. I wanted to see what they were like when I added them to other foods. Well, I was quite surprised! I added them to a fruit salad and they tasted much better. The sourness of the raisins added a kick to my fruit.
I added them to lots of different foods. Such as, muffins, oakcakes and even my morning cereal. All of them a lot better than eating them on their own.
So, what ingredients are in the raisins?
Well this is it, not many ingredients! All that was in there were:
and natural flavouring... That's it! nothing else added. No preservatives, no added sugar, nothing.
Health wise, I think it's one of the most healthiest things I've tried.
If you do try these. Try and pick up a bag in your local supermarket before you go ahead and buy 18 packs, like me.
But like I said before. These are perfect if your adding them to other foods. I wouldn't recommend them eating them on their own. Just for the sour taste. But hey, you might try them and love them! It's all about opinions! I don't think I'll buy them again, but I will be intrigued to see what the other flavours taste like.
-- Where I purchased it from and my first thoughts -
I was after something healthy to snack on throughout the day. I found these on offer in my local supermarket. I didn't realise until I got home that they were dairy / gluten free, 100% made for vegans, etc.
The last time I purchased something that was gluten free, I had stomach aches for the rest of the day. So I was contemplating whether these were the worth the effort in eating.
But, I was pleasantly surprised how good they actually tasted! It had a pretty unique taste to it. I picked up the berry flavour. But I noticed they had other flavours to. Such as, Banana, Cocoa and many more. Must admit they aren't has good as other chocolate bars. Such as Cadburys, Nestle, Etc. But then again, they aren't chocolate bars! They are something called wholefood natural bars. They have a mixture of dates, raisins, nuts and berries all mixed together. It says on the packet that they are cold pressed and have your recommended 1 of 5 a day in one bar.
-- What's the taste / texture like --
The bars are firm but very soft to bite into and the chopped up nuts and raisins add a bit of texture. From the initial appearance of the bar, you'd think it's your standard run of the mill cereal bar. But this is so far from the truth when you bite into it. It has a bitter, sweet taste to it. Hard to explain, but other bars I ate before, I used to be able to finish quite quickly. But with this bar, I take my time as the taste is quite rich. My advice would be to try one before buying a full pack of them. I can imagine it has a marmite saying about it. You either love it or hate it.
-- Are they healthy? --
Yes, extremely healthy. Looking at the ingredients the only unhealthy thing about it is the sugars. Then again, that's only the natural sugars in the berries!
On the back of the box, there are a few Nutritional facts about each bar. These are as follows:
Wheat and gluten free
Low in saturated fats
Free from added sugar
One of your 5 a day!
Made with Dates (49%), Cashews (31%), Raisins (17%), Raspberries (3%), natural flavour.
They are around 100 calories per bar, so a great healthy substitute from your usual sweet bar.
I always take one with me to work and they are quite filling and fix any sweet cravings I may have.
-- Where can I buy them from? --
I purchased mine from Tesco, but I've had a look online and they are for sale on Amazon for a lot cheaper than the shops. They are about 40p per bar if you purchase a pack of 18. In Tesco you can buy them singular at around 70p per bar. I would keep away from the health shops such as Holland and Barratt. I saw them on sale for £1 per bar! Way too expensive.
But, like I said before buy one to try first. Or, if you can, print off a voucher on the nakd foods website where you can redeem this in certain stores for a free bar.
Thank you for taking the time to look at my review
When I was younger in my college days. I used to buy every single one of my clothing items from Topman. I remember logging onto the site at 7am in the morning, just before the sale was about to start.
With the famous "student NUS discount code". I think I spent around £30 and managed to get a brand new wardrobe. Some of the prices in the sales were ridiculous!
But for this review, I'm going to talk about my recent purchases I made off Topman.co.uk
-- What I brought --
I brought some jeans and a plain black jumper as my wardrobe needed a fresh look to it. I didn't get the clothes from the sale section. This is because I tried to look through some of the items and I question why anyone would want to wear any of this rubbish. Either my style is outdated or the style today is to wear t-shirts with pink paint splattered all over them, with the words, "DORK" written in big bold writing. It's certainly a lot different.
Anyway, I paid £25 the jeans and £15 for the jumper. I purchased medium size and managed to blag a free standard shipping code. I paid via Paypal, as I find that the safest way to make payment online.
Delivery took around 3 working days to arrive and the items were as described on the website. There's an option where you can pay extra and get next day delivery. I haven't tried it, but there's nothing wrong in waiting a couple of days to save around £5.95.
I tried them on as soon as I finished work. The jeans fitted perfectly. But the jumper was a bit tighter than the usual medium than I'm used to. The material seemed slightly thinner than I imagined it was going to be to. If you do find a medium size on the Topman website, it's probably best you take the chance with a size bigger, (large size). Apart from the thinness of the material, the clothing were pretty good quality. Much better compared to other budget stores. "Cough Cough... Primark". Although saying that, I did get some holiday clothes from Primark and they did the job just fine, haha.
-- Conclusion --
Overall, I'm pleased with my purchases. To find some normal plain clothes on their website, without the silly words on can be a quite difficult. But they were great quality and hopefully like the other items I've brought in the past they last me a good year or two. The standard shipping is faultless. I don't think it's worth paying an extra £5 for postage.
I've been a big fan of Jake Bugg ever since he first came onto the scene. I was quite excited to see what his second album had to offer. Even if it was half as good as his debut album, I would be pleased.
If you're a fan of any of Bob Dylan's music, then you'll most likely enjoy this.
I brought it from Amazon for about £9.99. This was about two weeks after it was released. it has recently came down in price in other well known retailers.
Delivery took around 3 working days to arrive and was in brand new (sealed) condition.
I looked at some of the reviews for it before it arrived. I found that most of the reviews were very mixed. So I was bracing myself for a big disappointment before I even heard any of it. I know certain tracks were leaked onto to you tube before it went it was released. I refused to listen to them. I don't know what it is, I just find music is better played loud on my hi-fi.
Despite the mixed reviews, I found it to be fantastic! If not better than his debut album (Jake Bugg). I like that he writes all his own songs from scratch and you can tell he was influenced by all the legends of music. Such as, The Beatles, Bob Dylan and Oasis.
A lot of the songs released these days, really don't make much sense, lyrics wise. But all the songs actually mean something on this album. For a very young musician, he is extremely talented.
The one thing I did prefer about it, than his previous work Is the songs are slighter longer! Before, the songs were around about 2.30 minutes long to 3 minutes long. I remember listening to Jake Bugg and it ended up being on repeat varies of times, just because of how short it was!. But on this one, his songs are about 3 minutes - 4 minutes long.
Apart from Bob Dylan, it's hard to compare him with anyone else about today. The guitar in certain songs sound a bit like Amy Macdonald, who is a Scottish acoustic artist.
The tracks have a mix between acoustic and electric guitar throughout the album.
My favourite tracks on the album are "Slumville Sunrise" and "What doesn't kill you". Extremely catchy songs. They are always on my music playlist while I'm at work.
There's 12 songs all together, the full list is below.
1. "There's a Beast and We All Feed It"
2. "Slumville Sunrise"
3. "What Doesn't Kill You"
4. "Me and You"
5. "Messed Up Kids"
6. "A Song About Love"
7. "All Your Reasons"
9. "Kitchen Table"
10. "Pine Trees"
11. "Simple Pleasures"
12. "Storm Passes Away"
I know there is a couple of other tracks that he released onto the album. But they are not available in this country. I think you may be able to download them from Amazon.
Overall, if you enjoyed his previous work, then you'll enjoy this. I know now a lot of older fans are getting into his music, which is great! But this guy has a tremendous voice and I don't see why he can't go onto bigger and better things. I'm looking forward to see what he does next.
10 /10 - Must have for any music fan.
I recently purchased a "named" skipping rope off the internet. It cost me in the region of £20. To my surprise it broke (handles fell off) after two weeks of use.
I skip quite regularly. I usually do 1000 a day after my morning run. It's not just the fitness aspect about it. I do it because I find it kind of addictive and refreshing. In my opinion, it's one of the best exercises out there to tone legs.
I looked around for a replacement, on the internet and in my local shopping centre. But no luck. All seemed quite expensive. That was until I came across this on the Argos website. I was planning to purchase something else online, So I decided to reserve and collect in store.
When I arrived at my local Argos store, I was quite surprised to see that it was priced at £2.99. I thought it was going to be a bit more expensive than that! Anyway, I didn't had to wait long, I received it under five minutes of stepping into the store. Great service!
I tried it out as soon as I got home, I was pleased and also surprised how good it felt. It seemed very strong for the price and the handles were a rubber type of material. The rope itself was slightly shorter than my previous £20 one, but comparing the two. There's minimal difference.
It's been about a month now since I purchased the rope. But it still feels the same as it does the first day I purchased it.
So before you go ahead and buy an expensive named skipping rope. Give this a try first. You may be pleasantly surprised.
Excellent rope for anyone wanting to start skipping. If you do start skipping, keep at it. It can be very demanding keeping up the rhythm, but after you've finished your workout, you'll feel great!
I was on the hunt for a low calorie alternative sweet, as I've ate so much over the festive period. Luckily for me I didn't manage to put on any weight. Not sure how I didn't though!
I came across these in my local Tesco on special offer. They were only £1 per pack. There were 5 packets in the pack, 20p each one. I didn't think that was too bad to be honest!
As you know with certain supermarkets / stores, all of the cheap sweets and biscuits are situated right on the bottom shelf. With all the expensive, premium cakes at the top of the shelf. When I purchased these, they only had one flavour available, Apple and Sultana.
When I opened the pack, there were 3 small slices in my packet. Calorie wise, each slice is around 50 cal. But they are low in fat and salt, which make these a nice, healthy change from all the other unhealthy bars around.
I wasn't quite sure what to expect flavour wise. But I was pleasantly surprised how nice it was. It has a very soft centre with bits of apple and sultanas in the middle. The top layer is lightly sugar coated.
Sugar wise, each slice has 5% of the daily recommend sugar in them. So even if you eat all 3 slices in the pack at once, it's only 15% of your daily amount. But I know apples have some natural sugars within them, so I'm not sure if most the sugar is from that, rather than the refined type you find in other chocolate / cake bars.
I go jogging almost everyday, (well 5 days a week, in fact) and I eat a pack of these before I go. It does feel like I have a lot more energy than I did before eating these.
When I used to eat other chocolate bars, I used to get headaches quite a lot. But now I've changed to these. I don't suffer from them anymore. It could be a major coincidence, but I very much doubt it.
If you're after a sweet low sugar treat which is also low in calories, then I can't recommend this enough.
I know they come in varies of flavours, I shall check my local supermarket to see if they have anymore when these run out.
Elysium is the brand new movie from the director of "District 9", Neill Blomkamp.
-- Synopsis --
In the year 2154, two classes of people exist: the very wealthy, who live in a mad-made space station called Elysium. Elysium is a place where all cancers can be cured within a few seconds, artificial weather and gardens make it the perfect place for the rich to live. The rest of the population live on a over-populated Earth. With pollution and other problems at an all time high, Max (Matt Damon) agrees to take on a life threatening mission, one that can bring equality to both worlds. With the threats from Earth, Secretary Delacourt (Jodie Foster) must take drastic measures to preserve the luxurious lifestyle of the citizens of Elysium.
-- Cast --
The only well known actors / actresses in this movie are Jodie Foster, Matt Damon and up and coming actor Sharlto Copley (District 9). The rest are pretty much unknowns. There are some Brazilian, Spanish and Mexico actors all throughout the movie I've never saw from anywhere else.
-- General thoughts --
If you're a fan of District 9, you'll love this. It follows the same sort of lines. Not with the story, but the general detail that goes into the robots and special effects. Although this does have a slightly bigger budget than District 9 did. So it does seem and look a bit more polished.
The majority of the movie is filmed within the southern states of U.S and Mexico. With some other scenes filmed in Canada.
The one surprising thing I liked about this movie was the soundtrack. I think the music was created by someone called Ryan Amon. Very original and I will not be surprised if it wins some sort of soundtrack award.
The acting for the main characters is average to say the least. Not one of Matt Damon's or Jodie Foster's best performances. But this is expected for a adrenaline fuelled sci-fi action movie I guess. Although I thought some of the smaller roles did a great job though for their part.
With so many action scenes, It's quite difficult to tell what's special effects and what's real. The robots in this movie look pretty real and I would be surprised if these were special effects.
If you're not a fan of swearing, or find the F word offensive. This may not be the movie for you. The F word is used in every other sentence. Sharlto Copley's language throughout is pretty awful to say the least.
There have been many critics who have interpreted this movie as a left wing screed, but it could be easily seen as a right wing pamphlet, in which the end of civilization is blamed at the uncontrolled influx of immigrants. But in the end it's only a movie. It does have certain amount of similarities throughout the movie to the world we live in today. Like computers more or less ruling everything and rising unemployment rates. What I did notice about the movie is that there were many different languages spoken throughout. Such as South African, American, English, Spanish, French, etc. The main villain (Sharlto Copley) has quite a broad South African accent, which can make it difficult to understand sometimes.
Overall, I enjoyed it. There's action from the very start to the very end.
If I had to compare it to another Hollywood movie, it would probably be Transformers. Just for the amount of stuff going on. I like this, but because of all the action scenes and CGI, we don't really get to find out that much about the characters within the movie.
I brought this from a well known retailer. I'm going to provide you with a spoiler free review and my thoughts on the story and acting within the movie.
2013 Horror, Sci-fi
-- Synopsis (spoiler free) --
The Purge is a movie about a utopian ideology where petty crime, unemployment and murder are at an all time low. This is due to something called "The Purge". The annual purge means all crime, (including murder) is legal for one day of the year. All police and hospitals are suspended for 12 hours a night.
The general story follows one family a day before the Purge is about to begin. The husband is a owner of a high security system company which specialise in protecting peoples homes on the night of The Purge.
We find out how the family reacts when a stranger comes knocking asking for help, only to be targeted by a group that threaten them with a life threatening decision.
With emotions running high, James (Ethan Hawke) has to decide what the right thing to do is.
-- What I thought about the film --
I thought the film itself was original and something different from the super hero or remake films which seem to be all over the screens lately. But it was let down by some very poor acting. Certain scenes in the movie are so unrealistic and plain dumb, you can't help but laugh.
For example, why would you install and activate a high security system only to let a random stranger in your home you've never have met in your life?
The son and daughter's characters in the movie are unemotional throughout.
I was very looking forward to watching this after seeing the trailer. But it's as if the director came up with a fantastic story, only it to be rushed with awful screenplay.
Overall if I had to describe this movie in three words. It would be, shoddy, boring and predictable.
I was looking for a brand new office chair to use for my business. As my other chair recently just fell apart after two months of use.
I managed to wait a couple of weeks to see if I could get one in the January sales, as some of the office chairs in Argos seemed very expensive (Over £100).
But I checked online around late December / early January and I saw this certain chair on sale for around £40. Unfortunately it was not in stock for store collection, but I managed to get home delivery. I purchased a few other items and got free standard postage.
Delivery took around five working days for the chair to arrive.
--- Putting the chair together ---
The box the chair was in weighed around 15kg, so not too heavy. But if you have trouble lifting things over a certain weight, I would recommend you get some help while carrying this about.
I opened the box and the instructions seemed very easy to follow.
I put it all together within 20 minutes. There were a few awkward bits to it such as certain screws not fully tightening in the hole, etc. But after a few tries it was all sorted. Just follow the instructions very carefully. I had someone help me put it together, as putting the arm rest on can be a bit tricky.
--- How comfy is the chair? --
It is probably the most comfortable office chair I've ever purchased. My previous one cost about £10, but this one is definitely worth the extra £30. Not just for the comfort. For the design too.
It's a leather chair, so if you have a leather sofa in your house. It's pretty much the same sort of thing. I've put a small pillow on mine to give it extra comfort.
--- Overall --
Overall, I'm very pleased I've purchased this office chair and I wish I got one a lot sooner! For £40 the value for money is superb and hopefully this one will last a few years. This chair is in a office in my house and it makes the room a lot more "business" like.
I was after a new filter coffee machine after mine broke a few months back.
I recently took a trip to Currys and I was surprised how cheap they were. So I purchased one for around £35.
It is a lot smaller than my previous one, this one is around two foot tall and around about one foot width.
I found that it was very easy to set up. First you must test it with water before the coffee is introduced. This took around five - ten minutes in total. I then went ahead and tested some filter coffee I had in the cupboard. There is a lid on top of the machine and the coffee goes straight in there. Seemed very simple.
The water goes into a separate space at the top of the machine. Once the water is in, there is a small red dot which slowly moves up stating how many cups can be made.
How long does it take to make a coffee?
Well, it's stated that 9g of filter coffee is needed for one cup. I didn't bother measuring it, but I placed two desert spoon portions into the machine for four cups.
I went ahead and press the button for it to create the coffee. It took around about five minutes to fill the coffee container up to the four cups measurement. Overall, it can make 12 cups at once.
There is also another option which is supposed to make the coffee much more vibrant. But I tested this and I didn't seem to make the coffee taste any different. Plus it takes twice as long as the default option.
Does it stay warm?
Yes, there is a hot plate underneath the machine which keeps the coffee hot for around two hours. Even after three hours it was still warm enough to drink. Make sure you leave the machine on if you would like it stay warm!
I've found that milk really does cool it down quite a lot. So when making one, only add a splash of milk. Don't expect it be boiling hot like in a coffee shop.
Overall I like this coffee maker. If you're after a cheap filter coffee maker, this does the job perfectly.
I brought this last week in the sales as I didn't want to pay full price for it.
It's such a great game. Very entertaining!
Release Date: 29th Oct 2013
Genre: Historic Action / Adventure, Sci-Fi
Game Modes: Single player / Multiplayer
The graphics for all of the AC games are fantastic. This one is no different. Compared to the recently released Xbox one version, the difference is minimal.
My favourite thing about the graphics is the landscapes. There are many different islands and towns in the game. Every single one of them is beautiful. From the trees and the bushes, to the bright sandy beaches. Faultless in terms of detail. They've really pushed the Xbox 360 to it's limits this time.
Story & Gameplay (without spoilers)
The story is set in the golden age of piracy. Between 1700- 1750(ish). It follows Edward Kenway who was grandfather to the AC 3 character (Connor). So it's more of a prequel. It's mainly based around the Caribbean destinations. Such as, Kingston, Havana & Nassau. Overall there are over 70 locations to explore. All vary from a lonely desert island to a busy fishing town. Each location has it's unique characters about it.
What I love about all of the AC games is, you get taught a history lesson while having fun. This game is no different. You meet pirates who were about that time such as Black Beard, Mary Read, Calico Jack and other various characters you meet along the way.
The combat system is pretty much the same as previous games. Swashbuckling with a touch of gunfire. I've found that this time around it's concentrated more on naval combat (Ships & Sea) rather than on the land.
I would say 50% of the single player missions are on land, the other 50% are at sea.
I wasn't a fan of the Naval missions in the previous games, but in this version they've ironed out the faults to give a more immersive & addicting gameplay experience.
What I've found was that Black Flag is more of a free roaming game this time around than any of the others were before, Yes it has a story but I've had much more fun just exploring random islands I've found and upgrading my pirate ship. There's so many things to do!
I haven't really touched the multiplayer as of yet to be honest. Must be a good sign! But I've managed to have a couple of games here and there. The tutorial helps a lot, so make sure you watch that first before heading into the gameplay! But I've found that the multiplayer is a nice bonus bit to the game. I wouldn't have thought they needed it for how big the single player is, but still great stuff!
Anything I didn't like?
It's hard to think off the top of my head, but I've found that some of the story missions can be quite difficult. A lot more difficult from previous games. Had to look on the internet on how to get past a certain bit on various occasions. Apart from that, it's pretty much faultless.
Overall I loved it and I can't stop playing it, if you were a fan of the previous games, then you'll love this.
In my opinion I think it's much better than the previous games. Just for the exploration. It's amazing how Ubisoft can keep bringing these type of games out year after year.
I recently brought this after seeing it on offer on Amazon. I heard many good things about it and was excited to see how it plays.
I paid around £19.99 for it, including free p&p. I was surprised to see that it also came with a free 14 day xbox live gold trial and some exclusive downloadable content.
-- Game Case --
The case shows a young Lara Croft with a crossbow and a background of a ship wrecked on an island.
It's an 18 certificate, but I get onto that later on in the review.
On the back of the case, there are three large images. One shows a surprised Lara holding a gun. Another shows her holding a fire torch and the last image shows her struggling with an angry wolf.
There are also three short sentences on the back of the case telling you what the game is actually about.
The first sentence says:
A TURNING POINT - Experience Lara Croft's intense origin story from a young woman to hardened survivor.
All ALL- NEW RAIDING EXPERIENCE - Explore a mysterious island filled with environmental puzzles.
FIGHT TO LIVE - Salvage resources, gain experience and upgrade Lara's weapons and tools to survive Yamatai's hostile inhabitants.
-- Single Player --
For this section I'm going to talk about the single player campaign.
I played previous Tomb Raiders before. But, I just couldn't get into them. So I was pretty wary about this certain game. When it first starts there is a small cutscene which shows a boat crashing into a mysterious island. Then the game starts straight away.
The first hour of the gameplay is a mix between a tutorial and a story. Every 10 minutes you learn something new you can do in the game. For example, after the first five minutes it shows you how to create fires and explosions which help you escape tricky situations. These skills can also be used later on in the game too. If I had to describe it as a genre, I would say it's like a RPG / movie / action / stealth sort of game. It has everything a game should have.
The reason I said it has RPG elements about it is because it has an experience level system where you can unlock new skills and weapon parts by picking up salvage or taking down an enemy.
I think what makes this so good from other games, it's the choices you can make. If you don't fancy a gun battle, you don't have to have one. Instead you may sneak around enemies or take them out silently.
No two peoples game experiences are the same.
Lara is very young in this compared to her other games. I would say she is about early - mid twenties. The story telling is superb. It shows how she went from an innocent woman to a hardened survivor.
The game is an 18 rating and you know why. The violence is pretty brutal throughout. There's also lots of bad language all the way through the single player story. So, don't buy this your kids for their birthday!
Overall the single player campaign (with out doing any of the side quests) takes around 10-15 hours. This may seem short, but with around 10 hours of side quests and different tombs to explore there's easily around 30 hours of gameplay. The one thing I love about this game is the pick up and play style it has. A lot of adventure games take a good half to get back into. This as an instant action after five minutes. It's very good.
-- Multiplayer --
I must admit, I didn't even now it had a multiplayer mode. I only noticed after a few days going through the menus that it was there.
The multiplayer has around 4 game modes. I have only played the team death match so far.
I don't think the online is anywhere as good as the single player mode. Yes, it is enjoyable but I just can't really get into it. It's not one of those multiplayer type games in my opinion.
But, it's still a good addition to the game.
-- Overall --
Overall, If you enjoyed Uncharted on the Playstation or just want a fresh new adventure game. Then I can't recommend this enough. It is one of the best and most original games I've played within the past 4 years. Everything from the graphics to the story line is excellent.
A must for any gamer - 10/10