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Ross Armishaw

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Gymboss Interval Timer and Stopwatch - TEAL / BLUE METALLIC GLOSS
Gymboss Interval Timer and Stopwatch - TEAL / BLUE METALLIC GLOSS
Offered by Gymboss EU
Price: £14.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Overall a good product, 2 Jun. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Since I do a lot of battle rope workouts, shadow boxing on timed intervals and tabata sprints, I really needed a timer that would actually keep track of what I was trying to do. So after reading the reviews, I bought this.

First impressions weren't good. No instruction manual and I had to go on Youtube to look up the basic controls on how to set it, though to be fair I am terrible with even basic technology.

After trying it out for a few weeks, I've grown quite fond of it actually. The buttons don't stick out so there's really very little chance of you pressing the buttons by accident. It's actually pretty straight forward to set up timed intervals with. The bleeping sound and vibrations can be set to fairly quiet or pretty loud which is good depending on where you are and what you're doing. I was a little worried I might have broken the buttons early on as I have quite strong fingers and tend to apply more pressure than I want to but to date it's still functioning properly.

Definitely made the right purchase. Only reason I gave it four stars rather than five was because of my frustration when I first got it trying to get it to work.


Deus Ex: Human Revolution (Xbox 360)
Deus Ex: Human Revolution (Xbox 360)
Offered by eoutlet-uk
Price: £8.99

5.0 out of 5 stars So good I bought it twice..., 20 Jan. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I picked this up the first time in Gamestation because it was on offer. I'd heard about it and thought "Eh, why not?". Played it through the first time, didn't think too much of it and traded it in for another game.

The thing I realised is that I was playing it wrong. I've never played any of the Deus Ex games, so I wasn't quite used to the set-up. I expected this to be more like Call of Duty with biotech upgrades and it really isn't. But it is a testament that I bought a second copy of this game, played it through four times (different difficulty settings, different endings, different tech upgrades) and have absolutely loved it since.

The story line is brilliantly written. It isn't so full of twists and turns that it leaves you sitting there with an aneurism (like Metal Gear Solid 2 when I first played that as a kid!), but its' a good quality story. The voice acting is pretty believable. The graphics are at a very good standard on the whole. The gameplay is intelligent and a fantastic breath of fresh air from more mainstream shooting games like Gears of War - you have to find the balance between stealthily sneaking your way through a game, hacking your way into every system (which requires some stealth) and just outright shooting/slicing your way through the levels. For once, all the different playstyles are rewarding.

The biotech upgrades are a great idea as well - there isn't enough experience or Praxis kits in the game to get every upgrade, so you have to think about what upgrades you want to match your playstyle. There's enough different upgrades that any playstyle is feasible and easily rewarded. Almost every gun in the game can upgraded to a high standard, which is a nice touch. Even the side quests are entertaining and highly rewarding.

The boss battles are all beautifully done, each one is difficult in its' own right and has a slightly different challenge, whether it be a boss with no real weakness and a massive arsenal of firepower, bosses that turn themselves invisible and stalk you or a boss with a small army of turrets to get past.

If anything, my biggest dislike of the game is the colour scheme. I know there's a heavy cyber-punk theme, but by the end of the game I am so sick of seeing all the orange, brown, greys and blacks that my eyes are glad the game is over, even though I want to go back and play more. The only other grumble I have is the ending - it's not bad like the Mass Effect 3 ending, but I would have liked to see more gameplay footage of the consequences of your actions rather than a video and a monologue.

Definitely worth a play though.


L.A. Noire (Xbox 360)
L.A. Noire (Xbox 360)
Offered by GameDepot
Price: £8.35

4.0 out of 5 stars A treat for the eyes!, 17 Jan. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: L.A. Noire (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
I picked up this game as a "spur of the moment" thing as I'd gotten bored of many of my other games. I'd seen some of the footage of the amazing facial animation, the dialogue and the general idea behind the game and sat there thinking "alright, I'll give it a go.". Afterall, if worst comes to worst I could always trade it in for another game or get a refund, I thought.

Wow. Just wow. The graphics are incredible. The voice acting (using a huge cast of well-known actors) is absolutely sublime. The facial features are damned realistic for a game to the point you genuinely start to feel like a super-sleuth before the end, able to read even the slightest twitch of a person's mouth or the slightest hint of a glare. It's a wonderful break from constant shooting, hacking, slashing and general anarchy that goes on with many other games (I'm looking at you , Call of Duty!). The interrogation processes are beautifully done too - constantly forcing you to look beyond what a person is saying to try and dig for the truth and the consequences if things go wrong. The story line is superb and covers several people who all converge into the same story with enough intrigue to feel absolutely amazing. In one case file, going from one murder case to the other, knowing that something is wrong but you have no choice but to arrest the wrong guy as you keep clutching straws over the identity of the real culprit - magnificent.

But it does have downsides. The shooting/fighting action is stiff, slow and sometimes tedious. However, expecting L.A. Noire to be excellent at high-action gameplay is like asking One Direction to grow some facial hair - you're looking in the wrong place and expecting the wrong things. The evidence finding process is perhaps not as in-depth as I would have liked. I like games like CSI for the fact that you have to scrutinise your environment for evidence - and even then, it doesn't mean you've found everything. With L.A. Noire, you're basically just walking around until the controller vibrates and then twisting some evidence until it reveals itself. The driving as well is a little weak, but those faults together don't do enough to ruin the quality of the gameplay.

Let's be honest, if you want a high-intensity action game, a beautiful stealth game or anything like that, you're in the wrong place horribly. If you're looking for a far more cerebral game with far more to character interaction than any other game in the market right now - this is the one for you.


Alan Wake (Xbox 360)
Alan Wake (Xbox 360)
Offered by EVERGAME
Price: £8.94

4.0 out of 5 stars Well worth a playthrough..., 17 Jan. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Alan Wake (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
"Nightmares exist outside of logic, and there's little fun to be had in explanations; they're antithetical to the poetry of fear."

I've played horror games before. Games like Resident Evil, Dead Space (and their ilk) really don't frighten me at all. Something jumping out and going "BOO!" can be startling, but the suspense is shortlived as it becomes expected very quickly. For me, movies like Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds" have always been more terrifying than (for example) Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

This type of horror isn't for everyone. There isn't fantastic amounts of gore, zombies ripping you apart and not a great deal of sudden, instantaneous shocks. Most of the horror comes from the suspense and perception of the environment, the setting and the mood. The fact that even the most inane objects can be (and often have to be) considered threats that you might have to deal with. Hell, it got to the point that when the kids had gone to bed and I turned off the lights and turned on the game, my wife would start pleading with me to not play it in front of her. At times even I was pleading with the game "no more please, just let me get to the next building" while running dangerously low on ammo, batteries and health, knowing that at some point I would get attacked again (I was playing on the harder settings, mind). Watching the shadows around you bend and ripple in a surreal fashion at these times was just daunting...

Pro's:

1) The storyline is excellently done and is most of the reason to play it through to the end. The creators of the game spent a lot of time making a story that works as anything else - and it works.
2) The graphics are a good quality and make for excellent viewing as you play.
The music and sound effects are pitched perfectly for this.
3) The bad guys aren't uber-tough to beat. For some people, this is a bad thing. But since the game is more about the psychology than it is about anything else, having bad guys would detract from the atmosphere of the game.
4) The commentary by the NPC's actually sounds believable. The quotes by "the Taken" often add a rather surreal sense of humour to the game as well.
5) The "weaponry". Unlike most games the most dangerous weapons you can get are flares and flash bangs, which are extremely few and far between. Which makes a fantastic change from blowing people up with fireballs or RPG's.
6) The suspense factor is incredibly done (for a game). From the flashlight that consumes an awful lot of battery power (but you need it to kill the bad guys) to the animation as the "Taken" creep up behind you so you know you're going to be attacked, the whistling of the wind through the trees, the indistinct blurry nature of the "Darkness" obscuring otherwise ordinary objects - it's beautifully done. Oh, and don't forget the (sometimes) insane risks you'll take just to grab one more page of the fabled manuscript...

Con's:

1) It's not a free-roaming game. If you want a game with the kind of freedom like Fallout: New Vegas or the Elder Scrolls series, this isn't the game for you. It is rather linear, which is personal preference really.
2) The action can be a tad monotonous at times. For a game that focuses on the psychology of the game, the kill rate you get at the end of the game is colossal. Sometimes this works amazingly well - when you're down to your last battery and you can count at least nine "Taken" swarming towards you as you desperately run for the nearest street light, it's incredible. The relief you get when you suddenly find a flare to keep you protected for just a few seconds more is beautiful. At other times, not so much fun.
3) There's only six chapters. While each of the chapters is reasonably long in its' own right, I loved the game so much I wanted more.
4) Fear from suspense, like any kind of fear, can only last so long. By the time you get to the point you might confront the "big boss" of the level head-on, its' really not thats scary. Thankfully, at that point, you want to find out about the story enough to go for more.
5) Re-playability factor. The story is excellent, the gameplay works nicely, but once you've been through it all you've felt everything you were going to feel playing it through. As a result, it becomes difficult to play again in the near future just because some of the magic is gone. I should point out that this is a problem with all horror books, films and games and isn't unique to Alan Wake.
6) The animation as you dodge an attack by the "Taken". Initially, it looks wonderful when you see it the first couple of times and adds to the tension, but seeing it again and again just slows down the gameplay.

That's it. Overall an excellent game and one I'm really happy I bought and will probably play again sometime soon. I hope you like it as much as I did!

P.S: For the love of God, learn to tell the difference between animal traps and pages of the manuscript FAST...


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