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I bought these 'phones about 3 months ago from HMV for £5.00 after my last pair of Apple iPod earphones died. I wasn't Exspecting (lol) much from these what with the incredibly low price tag, but overall they're superb. I primarily bought them for use with my iPod touch, and they work great.
The sound quality is remarkable, albeit the bass is a tad weak, (despite Expect's claim that there is a built in bass booster) as most earphones are. I tend to listen to dubstep, which is typically quite a bass rich genre of music and the 'phones produce really crisp, clear sound without any interference, even at high levels. That's what surprised me most actually, I wasn't expecting such quality from such budget earphones. The sound quality hasn't depreciated at all after 3 months use - impressive.
A major problem with the In-Ear earphones for me is discomfort. Previous models I've purchased have either sat uncomfortable in my ears or have just decided to fall out whenever I move an inch (not so great if you want to listen to your music on the go). These ones are the most comfortable and sturdy I've ever used, they stay in my (normal sized) ears even when jogging, and when I'm not playing music through them I barely know they're there.
Overall these earphones are the best I've ever bought, and I've owned a £30 pair before, so that's saying something. They're clearly durable, as they've lasted 3 months without any notable change in sound quality and furthermore they're super cheap. I'm going to order a second pair as soon as these ones break, which doesn't appear to be in the near future!
My parents bought me this iPod dock a few weeks ago and I've been using it pretty much nonstop. The first thing you will notice is the fantastic styling. The black and chrome look exquisite together and no matter where you put the speakers they look awesome. I guess it's because black goes with everything, I'm not sure - either way - I'm very pleased with the amount of attention Philips have put into the aesthetics of this particular hifi. The remote supplied is adequate and matches the system's design.
Moving onto what really matters - audio quality. I've only ever owned cheap, average hifi systems so I'm not sure my opinion wholly applies but nonetheless, the quality of this system's audio is immense. I tested the subwoofer's bass with some hardcore dubstep mixes and I'm pleased to say it passed with flying colours. The £80 alone is worth it just to hear the repeated thud, thud, thud of any music you throw at it.
I primarily use the hifi as an iPod dock in which I play my playlists through. It works well as that and the only real drawback of the system is the clock display switches off after 10 minutes of inactivity which is a little annoying as I have it next to my bed and I'd like to be able know the time without having to fiddle around in the dark.
I'd never had iced coffee of any sort until I saw this in Sainsbury's a few weeks ago - and I've been hooked ever since! It's one of the most refreshing drinks I've ever had. I love coffee but it's just too hot and stuffy during the summer to drink it, so I thought I'd give Emmi's Caffé Latte a go (they were only 50p a cup).
Since trying Emmi's branded coffee, I've tried several others but none of them are as good tasting in my opinion. The packaging is key feature, and clearly had a lot of time spent on it. There's a little spout on the lid which allows you to drink directly through the lid - which is very convenient. Other brands I tried merely have a transparent lid which must be removed and put back on constantly.
I strongly recommend this iced coffee because it tastes sensational and is perfect for this hot summer we're having. I've let my friends try some, however, and they hated it. I guess it's an acquired taste, so I wouldn't buy in bulk until you've at least tried some. The clever packaging alone distinguishes Emmi's brand from others and makes it a worthy purchase.
Got these 'phones this year off of Play.com for around £15 and they recently broke (I believe they lasted 5 months). I decided to review them now as I'm moving on to a new pair, as these aren't the best earphones in my opinion, considering the poor build quality.
The audio quality is great, with bass coming through with plenty of strength and the treble coming through clearly - even at high volumes. Furthermore, the cable is strong and flexible; unlike others I've tried and are long enough for travelling (1.2m). There are three different buds provided, in sizes small, medium and large. I found the small's fit my ears ok, but when on the go I have to switch to the mediums so they don't fall out constantly. It's convenient being able to switch between buds quickly and easily.
The reason I don't completely recommend these, however, is the overall build quality of the actual earphones. The sound quality started to fade after repeated use and eventually the left ear went all together. Although they're not expensive to replace, I don't think that it's quite worth spending out every 4/5 months on earphones which will inevitably just keep breaking.
Bought this a couple weeks ago to use with Windows Live Messenger and am, so far, impressed. The picture produced is of surprisingly high quality as is the mic. It sets up incredibly easy, all you have to do is plug in the USB and run the CD (included).
I strongly recommend the C250 because it's cheaper than its competitors, and of similar quality. It works incredibly well with WLM, video calling and I haven't found any problem with it yet. As far as picture quality goes, it's 1.3 Mega Pixel so produced pretty nice pictures - no motion blur or pixilation to speak of.
As expected with a webcam, the system requirements are minimal to operate and you shouldn't need to worry if you have an outdated or old system, provided you have Windows XP or later. One problem I found was that the video recorded has a maximum resolution of only 800 x 600 so on a big monitor the resolution looks a little out of place.
To sum up, the webcam is easy to set up, provides decent audio capture and picture output and most of all offers great value for money at only £14.99 in most stores. As with most Logitech product - it does what it says on the tin.
The Rubik's cube is (yes, you guessed it - a cube), and like any cube, has 6 sides. Each side is split up into 9 sections (3x3, as you can see from the picture) and the aim of the game is to get each side one colour. By this I mean 1 side completely red (9 stickers red) and the next completely blue, etc.
Sounds simple enough, right? Wrong... it's one of the hardest 'games' ever invented and ever since its creation has frustrated millions worldwide. I've never met anyone who hasn't at least attempted to solve a Rubik's Cube. As you can see from the picture, you must turn one row (or column) to shift the stickers on to different sides.
Personally, I find Rubik's Cubes to get quite stiff and rigid at points and generally plain annoying. I've never completed one before (believe me, I've tried) so that's another reason why I don't like it. There are many people who actually play Rubik's Cube professionally, competing in tournaments and all sorts. Some people really do get hooked on playing it - so you haven't tried it yet, be careful not to get addicted... extended use isn't recommended in my opinion - arthritis and similar hand related conditions have been known to occur.
The vuvuzela is that loud, abrasive, non-stop noise you've been hearing throughout every single world cup game in South Africa 2010. It's made of plastic, and around 2 ft in length. In order to operate it, you must blow down the thin, narrow end to produce a loud, monotone sound out the other end.
It's primarily use is to celebrate the 2010 Fifa World Cup, which recently ended. Football fans across the globe travelled to South Africa to sound the vuvuzela in support of their teams. It's not dissimilar to beating drums and cheering - it spurs the teams on and creates an amazing atmosphere. It's literally a global phenomenon, and is growing in popularity.
If you'd like to know exactly what it sounds like (assuming you haven't been watching the football), YouTube have placed a little football icon at the bottom of each video and (when clicked) puts a Vuvuzela sound overlay to whatever you're watching.
Love them or hate them - I very much doubt they're going anywhere. You can find them in some toy stores for a few quid and other places online, although I have found them cheaper in store. Now that the World Cup has ended, I haven't heard any being sounded. However, I'm sure during the 2014 world cup (in Brazil) they will be back with a vengeance.
I bought Red Dead Redemption on release day, and have only recently started to put it down. It's my favourite Rockstar game yet, and that's saying a great deal. For those of you who don't know, Rockstar produced all of the Grand Theft Auto titles, all of which were incredibly successful and critically acclaimed.
The game itself is set in the Wild West, and it's all too obvious how much time was spent by the Rockstar team to produce the precise look and feel of the west. The visuals are stunning, and the attention to detail is impeccable. From the miraculous sunset (and many other spectacular backdrops), to the character's attire and even the lip-syncing - everything is well polished. The audio is great, with all of the characters, animals etc. sounding completely authentic.
The single player puts you in the boots of John Marsten, an outlaw seeking revenge from his former comrade. You'll be faced with typical GTA style challenges (albeit with horses instead of cars), all of which are well presented and relatively glitch less. The only real flaw with the single player is the amount of time spent riding from one area to the next. This does feel quite cool at first; however the novelty soon wears off.
What I most enjoyed playing was the multi-player. You can play with up to 15 other people online, completely lag free. You can take on gang hideouts with your friends, go hunting animals or just shoot each other. There is a lot for you to do, although it does get boring after a few weeks... and thus, I barely play it anymore.
I can't tell you how awful this program is. It's a science program which trys to catch your attention with over-enthusiastic presenters and kids TV style acting. That's the main issue here - the presenters. They're all very annoying, enthusiastic (but they're acting, don't kid yourselves). I like science, but these guys make it gay.
Whilst watching the 30 minute show you'll here this a lot: "Just follow the links to the Open University". In fact, it might as well be an advert. There are portions of the show which are just science, which is good - if you can take your mind off the irritating voice of the presenters.
A female presenter (I'm not committing memory to remember her name) said to another presenter: "Before we move on can I tell you about something really jammy?" She was, of course, referring to the northern lights. Talk about pandering to <13 year olds. There should at least be a warning saying "if you've matured remotely, you're too old to watch this".
Far too much of the show is acting, presenters chatting between each other poorly concocted conversations - I haven't seen a spontaneous line yet. One presenter, named Dallas, I do feel sorry for. The other presenters shout his name for some reason.
This is probably the sort of thing I'd expect to be replayed over and over and over in secondary school science lessons, much to the torment of students.
The show also has quite a taccy, budget feel - making it appear like a budget version of Braniac. I realise it's BBC, but come on. Steer clear of this one!
Call of Duty 2 is the first Call of Duty to hit the 360, and like its successors was very popular when it was first released (2006). You might think that the following 4 games in the series are more worth your time than this one because they're newer etc. but I'd disagree.
As far as graphics go, this game is beautiful. Unlike most launch games, this one hasn't aged a day. From exploding grenades and gunfire to character animation and lip syncing, everything looks very polished. In fact, it practically shares identical graphics to its successors.
The campaign is where most of your time will be spent, with 10 missions, taking place across the globe (Russia, Britain and USA). Each mission is split up into chapters and can last a considerably long time to complete, but luckily it checkpoints frequently. I will warn you, however, there are a few considerable flaws in Call of Duty 2 (luckily all of these have been fixed in the newer titles).
Firstly is the inability to pick up enemy grenades and throw them back. This might not seem like much, but it is incredibly annoying seeing your teammates (and the enemy, for that matter) doing it. Also on harder difficulties you'll be spending a fair amount of time running from grenades.
The second problem ties in neatly with the first one: You can't cook grenades. Once you throw a grenade, you have to wait a full 5 seconds for it to blow up, which unfortunately provides the enemy forces plenty of time to throw it back.
The third is the lack of a sprint or 'run' ability. Enough said really...
The fourth (and final) is that at certain points of the game, the enemy have unlimited respawns, making playing a little tedious and at times frustrating.
So ignore any reviews who claim this game to be 'realistic'. That said Call of Duty 2 is a great War game (pun wasn't actually intended) which will keep you entertained for hours.
Resident Evil 5 is a 3rd person shooter from Capcom and, unfortunately, is a fairly mediocre one. Now that's not to say that RE 5 isn't worth playing - it just falls over (quite noticeably) in a lot of places. I've played through the campaign three times now, collecting all the achievements, weapons and other collectables in the game and have clocked many hours playing time.
--- STORY ---
Like every other Resident Evil, the story is simple. There's a lab filled with test subjects, pretty much everyone you meet is infected with the T-virus and wants to kill you - the only difference being the main characters and the setting: Africa.
--- CONTROLS ---
The controls threw a lot of people off, and I can think of many who refused to go near the game because of the clunky controls. The main issue with it is the fact that you can't move and aim your gun/shoot at the same time. This is totally unnecessary and slows the game down a lot. On top of this, the run speed is ridiculously slow, and the walk speed... well, let's just say I'm not even sure you move when 'walking'. This means you're constantly holding the run button while playing, which is annoying and slows the pace of the game further.
--- Graphics/Sound ---
No issues here - the graphics look great and although most of the missions are set inside bland buildings and tombs the visuals tend to be nice to look at. Sound wise the game excels, if gun and ambient sounds alike are well composed. The game lacking a real score is disappointing, however.
--- Gameplay ---
As mentioned before, the clunky controls and running system slows the page of the game a lot - so if you're expecting to be scared a lot or even feel your heart race than you're mistaken. If however you are looking for a basic point and shoot game than you're in for a treat, providing you don't mind doing a whole lot of running.
--- Longevity ---
The 2 player co op is the saviour of this game. Working together with a friend to navigate the linear gameplay and collect all of the treasures is a major redeeming quality of Resident Evil. There are numerous collectibles, such as: Blue emblems to shoot down, Different treasures, Guns and viewable action figures which are worth collecting.
OF: Dragon Rising seems to have quite the 'mustard' effect. I've read many complaints of people saying the game is too realistic and boring. I couldn't disagree more. I admit when I first started playing the game I didn't like it. The controls were completely different to most FPSs and everything seemed slow. Changing guns, crouching, going prone, reloading - it was all pretty frustrating.
Once you get past these initial frustrations however, you see what an amazing game it really is. As you can imagine, realistic is a sought after word that most FPS game developers want to hear their games described as, and I can proudly award OF: Dragon Rising that word. After playing the game for 5/6 hours and completing the first few missions I really got the hang of the controls, and found myself tactically completing objectives and having great fun at the same time.
OF: Dragon Rising is one of the most rewarding games I've ever played. You're given primary/secondary objectives, plunked on to the map and that's it. It's up to you how you go about completing said objectives, and there's nothing better than working out a plan of action with your friends and executing it well.
The visuals also really stand out in this game. The vistas you see are remarkable, from dank, dingy rainforests to open fields littered with bodies, OF: Dragon Rising never fails to impress. The levels themselves span miles and no detail seems to be left untouched, which is pretty remarkable.
The in game sound is equally stunning; with teammates barking enemy positions and bullets flying past your head, the game utterly immerses you in the battlefield.
Add to this the extensive single player/multi player and OF: Dragon Rising is a game I'd hate for any tactical shooter fan to miss.
I first took notice to this site after reading about it from moneysavingexpert.co.uk and so far I am quite pleased with the results. I'll run you through the process:
Firstly, you sign up. This is simple, and the website is well laid out. However there is a lot of information you must provide (to ensure they send you appropriate surveys) which is a little time consuming. But, once you get it out of the way I'd say what follows is worth it. Once you've signed up, Valued Opinions will periodically send you e-mails containing a link to a survey. That's right - you have to wait until they e-mail you one before you can partake, which is disappointing.
The e-mail itself is - to my surprise - well laid out and detailed. The topic of the survey (e.g. entertainment) is displayed along with the reward for completing the survey (normally 50p --> £2.50) and the est. time to completion (usually 10 - 30 mins). Strangely enough, I've completed 3 £1.00 surveys, 4 £0.75 surveys and 4 £0.50 surveys. Quite an even spread so far, but I've only been a member for <2 months.
What most people dislike about Valued Opinions is the screening process. The surveys they send you all ask you a few questions at the start to see if you're the type of person they're after to answer the survey e.g. there's no point surveying someone on how they use their mobile phone if they don't even own one.
So, yes, sometimes you're screened out. I haven't found this much of a problem however, as I understand why they do it and it doesn't occur all that often. My only beef with Valued Opinions is that they only e-mail me with surveys a few times a week. Let's assume I pass the screening process and that each survey is 75p and 10 mins long. If I receive 4 surveys per week for a month I'm earning £14.00 for 2 hours and 40 minutes work. That's not bad, but I'd still like to receive more survey invites, especially as some of them screen me out.
The best part about Valued Opinions though is the payment. They allow you to redeem your credit through Amazon vouchers (starting at a very low £10), arcadia group vouchers and more, including charities.
This is one of those "no-brainer" purchases. Priced at a modest £12.99 at time of writing - you'd be crazy not to buy this 3-games-in-1 package. I bought this mainly in anticipation of Valve's sequel to the epic Half Life first person shooter.
Although Half Life 2 was great fun - it didn't last long as its offline single player only. It's a solid first person shooter and I definitely recommend it - hell, I'd be satisfied paying £12.99 for that alone. However, as you know - the orange box contains two more addictive games worth your attention.
I wasn't expecting much from Team Fortress 2, an online multiplayer only first person shooter with comical characters and Half Life graphics but I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. The characters are charming and the game mechanic is well composed, however there aren't a lot of people playing online, I found.
I'd say the best part of 'The Orange Box' is Portal. This is a puzzle game where you are basically a lab rat trying to escape a maze. You are equipped with a gun which fires two types of portals - entry and exit. It's amazing how many puzzles and traps you can solve using just that. The graphics are crisp and the atmosphere adds to the experience by making you feel very insignificant (grand rooms, mostly white tiles).
So there you have it - three great games in one for £12.99. Any one of these games is worth at least a tenner by itself, so the fact that valve are letting you take away 3 for such a low price is remarkable. Grab it and enjoy!
I found this game for a mere £2.98 at shopto.net so thought I'd pick it up - I mean come on, an Xbox 360 game for less than 3 quid is an absolute bargain in anybody's eyes.
I see why, now, it was priced so low. Because this game was made in 2006 it has very outdated teams, which is very disorientating when the whole game is based on managing a club for up to 20 years. I mean, how hard would it be to provide a small update each year? I don't think it would be difficult, and it'd sure make this game worthy of a purchase in 2010.
Probably the most interesting feature of LMA Manager 2007 is the 3d game engine, which allows you to actually watch your players in action. I've always thought this would be good in manager games, but it doesn't really work. Although the graphics are satisfactory, the players make stupid mistakes, such as kicking the ball out of play when they aren't even under pressure from the opposing team. Other glitches include the goalkeeper not catching the ball or just watching it roll in.
Despite the above, the presentation of the game is very well polished and the menus look great and are very easy to navigate between. It's just a shame Codemasters decided not to update the transfers etc. and not to fix the frankly poor match simulations.
If you really like Football Manager games, and don't mind the outdated teams than I'd say this just about worth picking up from the bargain bin.