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Belkin Bluetooth USB Adapter, 10m range
Belkin Bluetooth USB Adapter, 10m range

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Does the job without any fuss, 11 April 2005
A slim Bluetooth adaptor that works exactly as described. Works perfectly with Windows 98SE and XP Home Edition, and slips nicely into a laptop case. Small, unobtrusive, and with a flashing LED that lets you know it's working.


Deus Ex: Invisible War (Xbox)
Deus Ex: Invisible War (Xbox)
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: 4.99

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Don't bother - it's not nearly as good as some say, 11 April 2005
Firstly, I realise that two stars seems a bit low, especially considering the high scores other people have given it. Follow my reasoning: if three stars is average, then two is less than average without being completely awful.
So why is Deus Ex: Invisible War (DE:IW) so bad?
Whilst the graphics are average, especially considering the time it was released, it's the gameplay that makes it bad.
-The character interactions are terrible, and the environment isn't as nearly affected by your actions as it would appear. Whilst throughout the game there are a few factions vying for your support, in some cases you can complete objectives for both, and if you do have to choose, this just means that it's one side shooting at you rather than another. You can still choose to help any faction you like at the end, regardless of who you've helped throughout the entire game. Talking to other characters is boring - the RPG elements are rubbish. Generally, you watch poor face animation and listen to absolute drivel, before being asked a question. Generally, your answer doesn't really affect much, so it's not that important.
-Stealth and shooter gameplay is inadequate. You have limited biomod slots, so you can never really make a max stealth or max shooter character. Which, to be honest, is a reflection of the game as a whole. People used to Splinter Cell's stealth will laugh at the appalling stealth sections, as you are entirely reliant on your mods - which run out too soon to give you any decent stealth play. Whilst anyone who's played a good FPS will find the shooting sections uninspiring - games as old as the original Half-Life were better shooters.
-Huge loading times. I realise that DE:IW is an expansive game, with huge sections. But the loading times (as well as the frequency of loading screens) is awful. Example: you have to complete an assignment for various people in a club. Every time you enter or leave the club, you have to wait for ages. It just gets hugely boring and tedious. Often, you walk towards one door, and it loads a section. Then you walk down a short corridor, and approach another door. Again, you wait for the load. It totally removes any fluidity and continuity.
-Graphics. Blocky, poor animations, and many of the levels are ridiculously dark - as if they new the graphics were so poor that the decided to put it in darkness to try and hide the games' failings.
If you're looking for an adventure game with stealth and shooting, as well as a good plot, I'd highly recommend "Chronicles Of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay", which is everything DE:IW is not.


Selected Poems of Emily Dickinson: York Notes Advanced
Selected Poems of Emily Dickinson: York Notes Advanced
by E. Dickinson
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.58

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great work on the few poems it covers, 11 April 2005
It's a good study aid, with notes on themes and relevant background information on Dickinson's life. It's useful to kick-start a thought process, but unfortunately only deals with a limited amount of poems.


Mot a Mot: New Advanced French Vocabulary
Mot a Mot: New Advanced French Vocabulary
by Paul Humberstone
Edition: Paperback

17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential student vocab book, 11 April 2005
This should be a set text for all French AS/A level students - it covers vocab by topic, meaning that you can look up/learn vocab as you go through the topics in the syllabus, and it also has a handy section at the front with phrases for use in essays or spoken work.
This version also has links to websites at the end of topics, which means you can check out articles relating to the topic straight after having learnt the vocab.
I would recommend this to anyone studying AS/A level French and above - the sort of vocab it gives often pops up in listening exercises and reading comprehensions, especially since they have synonym sections now.
Bonne chance!


Xbox Official Controller S
Xbox Official Controller S

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A welcome change to the original controller, 11 April 2005
As someone with fairly sizeable hands, I had no real issues with the original XBOX controller. It worked fine for me. However, after having bought the S as a second controller, it's no wonder that it's now the controller shipped with the console.
Firstly, size. It's obviously great for anyone with smaller hands, but even those with bigger hands will like it - unlike the old controller, your hands don't ache after a couple of hours gaming, and the positioning of the joysticks just feels totally right. The ABXY buttons are actually better - they're circular, rather than elliptical, and have a smooth top rather than the ridge of the original, meaning more comfort. The build quality is actually better - the controller S has a solid feel, and sits perfectly in the hand.
The cable is also slightly thicker, adding to the quality feel of the product. One slight gripe - the black and white buttons sometimes feel a bit too embedded in the controller, but apart from that it's fantastic.


Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six 3 (Xbox)
Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six 3 (Xbox)
Offered by b68solutions
Price: 4.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Underwhelming, annoying, 11 April 2005
Before you read further, I have to warn you that I didn't actually finish the game - I played about a third before trading it in.
I didn't like the game at all, even though I was a huge fan of the original game and it's various expansions. The first thing that annoyed me was the fact that the planning stage of the mission was left out - meaning that you could no longer craft tactics prior to starting.
I also felt that the game was hugely linear compared to previous efforts. The first mission is a prime example of this, with the only deviations being when a path briefly forked before rejoining.
The graphics weren't anything near the standard that I would've expected from Red Storm - the same company that gave us the brilliant Splinter Cell - and the voice acting started to bug me about five minutes in.
It felt like Rainbow Six-lite, and whilst some elements were fun, it felt like a game with potential rather than a top quality tactical squad shooter. You'd be better off going with Ghost Recon.


Shantaram
Shantaram
by Gregory David Roberts
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.69

54 of 58 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Immersive and evocative read, 11 April 2005
This review is from: Shantaram (Paperback)
Based on a true story, the tale of a wanted Australian ex-convict who moves to Bombay; sets up a medical clinic in the slums; joins the Indian mafia and even goes to war in Afghanistan is gripping stuff. Those looking for a thriller or fast-paced ride will be disappointed - whilst Roberts includes plenty of action, he also vividly describes not only his surroundings but also his personal interactions with the residents and foreign nationals in Bombay. It is in this way that Shantaram excels, as a tale of how Roberts fits into the hugely varied Bombay lifestyle. In one way, Shantaram is almost a love story, with many of Roberts' actions revolving around a woman he loves - however, his propensity for getting into various dangerous situations meant that I couldn't put the book down. Whilst it is quite long, almost 1,000 pages of small type, it will keep you entertained and fascinated throughout, with Roberts' descriptions of India totally immersing you in his experiences.


Hitman: Contracts (Xbox)
Hitman: Contracts (Xbox)
Offered by multimedia-online
Price: 14.99

1 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars He's back, and better than ever, 24 April 2004
Hitman: Contracts looks set to be a big game. Whilst the hype hasn't beenup there with other notable sequels, it would be fair to say that this isa gem that's slipped under the collective radar. Hitman: Contracts shouldfinally perfect the balance of the Hitman series, getting it just rightbetween stealth and brains, and all-out shooting. And, because the levelsare all massively open-ended, it's up to you to decide how to completeyour hit.
The graphics, whilst not revolutionary, have been tweaked from theprevious game, and look slick - and thoroughly suit the new darkerambience of the game. The soundtrack is again provided by classic composerJesper Kyd, and should add to the whole atmosphere in much the same way aswith Hitman 2. It has been promised that the general feeling of the gamewill be much darker, and there'll also be more variations in missions asnumber 47 relives some of his earlier work.
So overall, this isn't going to take out any of the bigger sequels, but asan intelligent, absorbing and atmospheric game, it'll be well worth a look- it promises to be not only highly entertaining, but also highlyinvolving, and with the general look and feel of the game perfected,should be an absolute cracker.


XIII (Xbox)
XIII (Xbox)

6 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Looking Good - Innovative, Stylish, 31 Oct 2003
This review is from: XIII (Xbox) (Video Game)
Firstly, let me say that I haven't played the full game yet, for obvious reasons...anyway, I'm going on what videos I've seen, previews I've read, and demo I've played. And played. And played and played. Yes, I just couldn't stay away.
Why? Firstly, for anyone who has watched the Bourne Identity, the game is much like that. Except that you quite possibly killed the President, and is in French for large parts. But don't let that put you off. So, you've woken up, with the number 13 tattooed on you, and a key to a bank box. Off you go. And that's pretty much the premise of the game - all you know is that the President is dead, you're the main suspect, and you appear to have excellent fighting skills.
The game, coming from an idea from a French cartoon, is in much the same style - cel-shading makes for a visually impressive spectacle, and also allows some neat touch - you see "TAP, TAP, TAP" by walls when enemy guards walk past them, and see "KABOOM" when a rocket explodes, adding a bit of cartoon humour into an otherwise serious game.
So, why should you get this game? Mainly, because it looks like being an excellent, stylish first-person shooter, action-adventure and whodunnit rolled into one package.


Jet Set Radio Future
Jet Set Radio Future

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Style, Great Game, 31 Oct 2003
This review is from: Jet Set Radio Future (Video Game)
Jet Set Radio Future is an immensely stylish, slick game. The cel-shaded look makes it stand out, and the music (Japanese techno/pop/hip-hop) fits perfectly with the overall look and feel.
You play a member of skate gang the GG's, and it's your job to try and sort out what's happening in Tokyo with the help of DJ Professor K, who provides the beats, as well as handy advice, as you skate around town.
Basically, you are told you need to do something - usually starting off with graffitti. This sets into motion other events, such as racing other characters, and when you beat them, they join you in the GG's. You skate around the large environments, and spray the little icons. However, all is not as easy as it sounds - some areas require some skill, or a certain trick, to get to, and you often end up battling the police before you can progress. If this sounds easy, it's because it is. However, it gets a bit trickier when you discover secret tapes - one in each area. These tell you the challenges you have to perform to fully complete the level, and are often difficult, adding an extra dimension to the game for those who like to fully finish games.
As more areas are unlocked, the game becomes better, and it's hard not to enjoy the visually pleasing delights on offer. However, the storyline is a bit weak, and the tricks systems isn't a la Tony Hawks, but merely pressing one button. Nevertheless, if you like a distracting, enjoyable game with plenty of extra features to be discovered, then Jet Set Radio Future is for you.


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