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Rider (UK)

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Ghost Hunt: the Complete Series [DVD]
Ghost Hunt: the Complete Series [DVD]
Dvd ~ Rei Mano
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: 12.69

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I wish it was scarier, 9 April 2011
Ghost Hunt is, as the title suggests, about a group of people who are called out to investigate supposedly haunted locations. Each ghostly case the gang embark on is told in arcs of roughly 3-4 episodes.

The problem is that the arcs very enormously. The first arc is not scary and is, frankly, dull and predictable. Even with the fifteen certificate, I got the feeling I was watching a show for kids. It's bright, colourful and the characters, although likeable, are still a bit childish for my liking. I expected something a little spookier. The opening sequence seems a bit spooky at first, but you'll be bored before the episode even starts.

Fortunately, it gets better as the series goes on. The last two arcs are easily the best and have some genuinely creepy moments (watch them in the dark!). The downside is that by the time you start really enjoying this series it ends! The ending is also a bit disappointing. Nothing is really tied up and you will be left wanting more.

The other downside is that the series, in general, is a bit predictable. The main character, Mai, usually gets herself into some horrible situation at exactly the same point in every arc (at the end of an episode of course so that you have to watch the next one!). Also, you may find yourself working things out about two episodes before the main characters do.

Overall, it's OK but could have been better so approach with caution. The later episodes demonstrate the full potential so try not to be too put off by the slow start.

Golden Sun: Dark Dawn (Nintendo DS)
Golden Sun: Dark Dawn (Nintendo DS)
Offered by The GameMonkey
Price: 9.97

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant for fans and newcomers, 8 Jan 2011
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
Dark Dawn is a great sequel to the other Golden Sun games while also offering an easy way in for newcomers to this brilliant series. Although the game follows on from the two previous ones, it shouldn't matter whether you have played them or not as Dark Dawn is set 30 years afterwards.

Game play is pretty much the same from the last games: turn based combat with cool summons and spells that take full advantage of the DS graphical capabilities (the eclipse summon is awesome!), puzzling dungeons that require a brain as well as brute strength and plenty of little bits and pieces to do on the side if you want to gather all the best weapons and summons. Golden Sun fans are also in for a treat as many old faces from the previous games turn up.

The bad points? A little too easy. I didn't have to think too hard about any puzzles or boss strategies, but that doesn't mean this is a short game as I still managed to clock up 33 hours. There's also a lot of talking, which may or may not be to your liking. Personally, I like having little jokes and character development, which all comes out in the dialogue.

The biggest disappointment is the ending. The quest begins with you looking for a feather to fix a broken flying machine and investigating some dark voids along the way. However, this all gets sidetracked for something else and you never find out what is happening with the voids. There are also a few other loose ends that aren't tied up.

On a more positive note though, the game is left wide open for a sequel!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 8, 2011 11:09 PM GMT

Tokyo (AA CityPack Guides) (AA CityPack Guides)
Tokyo (AA CityPack Guides) (AA CityPack Guides)
by AA Publishing
Edition: Paperback

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Pretty, but not much use, 22 April 2010
I found this guide to be more useful before I visited Tokyo than when I was actually there. It's very readable and has lots of photographs, and it was my favourite guidebook to look through when I was planning the trip (and definitely the best for images).

When I was in Tokyo, however, I barely looked at this book beyond the odd quick glance in the hotel room. It's only small and it misses out lots of sights. Also, the directions to the various tourist attractions are not clear - it may give you the nearest station but it doesn't tell you which exit to use, which is very important in Tokyo. In fact, I'd say it's next to useless for when you're out and about. The metro map is OK, but I don't think you stand much of a chance of navigating around Tokyo using the other map provided.

I should also mention that I found the accommodation section to be a bit unreliable. Some of the hotels listed as budget or mid-range were very expensive.

On a positive note though, this book did provide details and a web URL of how to book a tour of the imperial palace online in advance. I didn't find this URL in any of my other guidebooks.

I feel bad giving this book a low score - it really is a pretty guidebook and it's fun to look through, but there are much better guidebooks available -- even if they don't have as many pictures as this one.

Fate Stay Night: Volume 1 [DVD]
Fate Stay Night: Volume 1 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Yuji Yamaguchi

4.0 out of 5 stars Flawed, but still very enjoyable, 22 April 2010
Let's start with the good bits. Importantly, the animation looks pretty good and is really well complemented by the soundtrack. The storyline centres around Shirou Emiya, who suddenly finds himself involved in a secret war in which seven magi each summon a powerful servant to fight a war to obtain the Holy Grail.

It's a bit grittier then some of the other action anime series out there and the characters feel a lot more vulnerable in that they can and will get seriously hurt. The Holy Grail will not appear until only one servant remains so you immediately know that many of the characters will not survive the series.

These first episodes do a really good job of setting up the main characters and their servants. There's also a few preliminary fights to introduce you to some of the other servants and to give you a taste of some of the action to come.

Now for the flaws... These first episodes are some of the weakest. Nothing much really happens in Episode 1 and the characters you meet won't really contribute that much to the future storyline. Although the pace does pick up considerably during the following three episodes, there's still a hefty bit of explanation that you'll need to pay attention to.

In terms of the DVD, it has a cool menu screen, but not that much in the way of special features. My main gripe is the fact that there are only 4 episodes on the disc. There's probably going to be about 6 volumes in total so it might be better value for money to wait until the full series is released as a collection.

Also means you won't forget all that hefty explanation you heard in these episodes while waiting for the release of the rest of the series.

Tokyo City Atlas: A Bilingual Guide
Tokyo City Atlas: A Bilingual Guide
by Atsushi Umeda
Edition: Paperback

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Does what the guidebooks don't!, 16 April 2010
Unless you like getting lost in big cities then this atlas is essential for your trip to Tokyo.

As other people have said there's no introduction and it doesn't do much beyond work as an atlas, but that's fine when you consider the fact that there are loads of guidebooks out there about Tokyo. Instead, this atlas does what the guidebooks don't -- allows you to see exactly where something is. Let's face it, the maps in most guidebooks are pretty rubbish.

This atlas has most tourist attractions and major hotels are marked, but even if they're not marked it's still pretty easy to see where you're going -- we had no problem using it to find unmarked shops and museums that we'd read about on the internet or in guidebooks as long as we had the address.

Even though most streets in Tokyo don't have street signs the atlas has so many places marked that you should be able to find something to help guide you.

To top it off, it's small and light enough to carry around in your bag when you're out and about, and also has railway and metro maps printed at the front for quick reference.

Kyoto/Nara World City Map (Travel Reference Map)
Kyoto/Nara World City Map (Travel Reference Map)
by Andrew Duggan
Edition: Map

3.0 out of 5 stars Does what a map is supposed to, 16 April 2010
This product is basically just a map of Kyoto and Nara. There's no information about tourist sights or attractions so you'll definitely need a guidebook to accompany it.

Unfortunately I didn't go to Nara so I can only comment on the Kyoto part of the map.

As far as maps go, it's OK. It's big, and very easy to read and understand. It has a few hotels marked on it, as well as all the train and metro stations, some shops, and some shrines, museums and other tourist attractions.

On the downside though, not all of the road names are included, which was a bit of pain sometimes when we were lost. Also, it's very big when you unfold it so we loathed getting it out whenever we weren't in the hotel room. Because it was so big it was also difficult to orientate. It folds down small enough to fit in your bag but it's a bit flimsy and ours was ripped and wrecked by the time the trip was over.

That said, we'd definitely have been lost without this map as it helped us to find everything we wanted to see. Not brilliant but did the job.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 8, 2011 3:42 PM GMT

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