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angL
angL
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £11.60

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Second Album from Ihsahn, 7 Jan. 2011
This review is from: angL (Audio CD)
Simply superb album from start to finish. I picked this up after I heard 'After', and I have to say I prefer this album, despite 'After' also being a brilliant album. 'Unhealer' has already had a few mentions from the reviews, but I also love 'Emancipation', 'Alchemist' and 'Scarab' in particular - though I don't honestly think there is a bad track on the album.

Really technical & progressive with some intricate solos and atmospherics. I have to admit I was skeptical about Ihsahn as I'm nor really a fan of Emperor or black metal, but this blew me away and I would not hesitate in recommending this to any fans of European metal, especially any fans of the more progressive stuff like Opeth.


Monolith
Monolith

4.0 out of 5 stars Decent Finnish Death Metal, 6 Jan. 2011
This review is from: Monolith (Audio CD)
I'm a fan of Insomnium and Swallow The Sun (among other similar bands) and last.fm recommended In Mourning. After checking out a few clips I took a chance on Monolith.

I think it's difficult to compare this to Swallow The Sun, who are really the doom end of Finnish death metal - In Mourning are probably more towards the progressive end of the spectrum. Some elements of this album remind me of bands like Insomnium and Barren Earth - other parts sound like Textures, maybe even akin to Ihsahn's solo work (though not as good!)

I have to say that I really liked this album. I haven't heard anything else by this band but I would definitely look at their other material available.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 23, 2012 8:56 PM BST


No Title Available

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Print isn't quite dead yet - but this is a serious piece of kit., 28 Nov. 2010
I was lucky enough to receive a Kindle for my birthday this year, with the free Wireless and 3G, and thought I'd offer a few thoughts on it, as I've spoken to a number of people since who are also considering such a purchase. I would add at this point that you should really watch SoftDog's review on this product, it's an excellent Video Review and gives a great appreciation of the Kindle against other comparable products on the market.

The first thing I noticed about the Kindle is the weight and size. It's comparable to the size of your average paperback in terms of dimensions, and can be held comfortably in one hand for a sustained period of time. The screen orientation can be changed very easily to suit the individual, and the convenient page-up/down buttons make moving through books very easy. Though the iPad's mode of turning pages looks fancy, after a period of use I actually now prefer the Kindle's mechanism, and the speed of page up/down is fairly swift.

I'm also really impressed by the Kindle's battery life. I've owned mine for two months and I've only had to charge it up once. I guess this is because I normally turn the Wi-Fi off and don't use any of the more battery intensive features such as MP3 Playback or Text-to-Speech. Additionally I find the screen not being back-lit is actually much easier on the eye, it's more akin to reading a paperback than using something like an iPad. While I'm on the subject, there are things that the iPad manages much better. Graphic novels, for example, work much better on a tablet, especially with the 'pinch' zooming. I wouldn't bother using the Kindle for anything other than print as the zoom facility isn't great. This also applies to PDFs, Newspapers / Magazines, and importing files such as JPEGs, though the mechanism for doing so with the Kindle is both free and reasonably easy.

The Kindle's memory capacity is easily sufficient for a few thousand books, and based on some sample book prices I've found the books on Amazon's Marketplace to be cheaper (in varying degrees) than the main competitors. The Wi-Fi and 3G works well, and from my experience, books purchased though Amazon's Whispernet materialize on the Kindle in less than a minute. There are currently plenty of books to choose from, though I hope that Amazon continue the trend of migrating existing print to the Kindle format - this is why I haven't donated my book collection to the charity shops just yet; there are still a number of books for which I'm awaiting a Kindle version to become available.

The experimental features are well documented, but I honestly haven't bothered using any of them. The Kindle touts the capability of Text-to-Speech & MP3 Playback, both of which I wouldn't normally bother with because I prefer the longer battery life. On the occasion I tried Text-to-Speech, I was quite impressed - I was expecting a voice playback on a similar vein to Stephen Hawking, but the speech was actually quite good, though noticeably robotic on a number of occasions. The MP3 Playback is also decent, with a good set of speakers built-in, but I think I'll stick to my iPod if I want to listen to either Audio books or accompanying music.

The Kindle is, in summary, a superb piece of kit for eReading. Great battery life, great Wi-Fi and Marketplace accessibility, ergonomically terrific and the eBooks seem competitively priced (against the mainstream alternatives). I can easily recommend this product to anybody seeking a good quality eReader; though I'm not sure print will ever be dead (as Egon Spengler once said), the Kindle has certainly offered me a fresh and attractive approach to reading.


Rockband 3 (Xbox 360)
Rockband 3 (Xbox 360)
Offered by scaddingk
Price: £29.77

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just when you thought music games were done ..., 28 Nov. 2010
This review is from: Rockband 3 (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
I purchased Rock Band 3 with the Wireless Keyboard and the Pro Drum-kit, as I was a massive fan of the drum sections in Rock Band 1 & 2, and I had a hope that the Wireless Keyboard might be a gateway to actually learning how to play keys / piano. I already own most of the Rock Band & Guitar Hero games, so I used the GH2 Explorer for the guitar sections and the USB microphone from the original Rock Band.

The track list is, for the most part, superb. Songs like 'Free Bird' and 'No One Knows' make a welcome return. Other songs (such as 'Rehab' by Amy Winehouse) seem a bit out-of-place. That said, most of the tracks from Rock Band 1 & 2 are exportable to your hard disk and playable in RB3 (I have done this successfully, there are several forums giving details on how this is actually done). Add those to any DLC you may have already acquired and you'll most likely have a pretty formidable playlist.

The game mechanics are pretty good - you have the Tour type progression and a Career mode that presents a number of challenges to beat, which actually isn't as transparent as it should be - though it makes sense once you've worked with it a little. I started out working through and completing the Road Challenges before I even realized there were Career challenges to beat. There is plenty of content in terms of game play modes, though, so you won't be struggling in looking for things to do.

Even if you are buying the game on its own and using your old peripherals, you could still probably score this game 4 stars out of 5. What makes this a 5 star product for me, however, is the new peripherals - though it's noteworthy that you have to spend a considerable amount of cash to get the most out of RB3.

The Wireless Keyboard is a masterstroke on the part of Harmonix, and I've massively enjoyed using this. It's not easy - especially if you've never used a keyboard (like me) - but once you practice a bit, there are some really great experiences to find. Playing 'Bohemian Rhapsody' on Hard Pro Keys or higher - once it clicks - is a fantastic experience. The only downside is that currently, there isn't the range of material for Keyboard yet, but at time of writing there are now sets available from The Doors and John Lennon. Harmonix have always been consistent in releasing DLC, and I sincerely hope that upgrades will be forthcoming for the material already available - as long as it's not TOO expensive, of course.

The Mad Catz Pro Drum-kit includes cymbals and a means for connecting a double-kick pedal (not included with the standard kit). All the songs include mappings for the Pro Drum kits, so you won't have to purchase 'upgrades' like you would for the Pro Guitar or the Keyboard. The Pro Drum-kit does feel more like playing an actual drum-kit than the RB1 version, but it's not an evolution to the series in the way the Keyboard is. If you really enjoyed the drum sessions (as I do) you'll probably get the value from this purchase, but otherwise you'd be better using your RB1 kit. I would also note that my RB3 Pro Drum-kit had to be returned after a few weeks due to one of the cymbals going faulty, though I'm not sure if this is a typical fault at this time.

In summary, if you already own RB1 or RB2 and are thinking of buying RB3, I would wholeheartedly recommend this purchase with the Wireless Keyboard. The Pro Drum-kit is probably a decent buy if you don't own the RB1 or the Beatles Kit already, or you really enjoy the Drum modes. The game itself is easily the best of the trilogy in terms of accessibility, track list and customization, and even as a stand-alone product it presents great value-for-money.


Doom 3: Limited Collector's Edition (Xbox)
Doom 3: Limited Collector's Edition (Xbox)

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not many new ideas, but above-average survival-horror fare, 17 April 2005
A tricky one to review, this. Doom 3 Collector's Edition offered the original versions of Doom & Doom II in addition to the much-hyped Doom III, so it was a little tough initially not to get swept away in a wave of nostalgia. However the novelty soon wore off, as I realised to my horror that you couldn't turn off the music in the original versions!! That was kind of cancelled out by the split screen co-op mode (which I was pretty impressed with). The originals are okay for a while, but not the trip to days gone by I was hoping for. But then, when does that ever happen?
Sweep away the rest of the extras - let's face it, concept art and interviews are not something you'll make a beeline for - and you're left with the XBox Doom III, which is I'd say about 80% worth the hype it got. First thing that grabs you by the hojos is the graphics - this is now Doom III was made to be run, not on my 1800+ Athalon, which ran screaming and whimpered in the corner when I installed the PC version on it.
The game is well suited graphically to the XBox, although the pretty backdrops and scenery aren't that 'interactive', if you know what I mean. Apart from the exploding barrels, the scenery doesn't contribute that much. The demons and undead are as realistic and detailed as you'd want in a survival-horror/kill-em-all style game, though why they couldn't leave the corpses in place is beyond me. Graphically, it's superb.
Sound-wise, the game has a suitably crunchy metal soundtrack, while the in-game noises are atmospheric and at times good for a scare. The weaponry makes all the right noises and the groans of the undead and howls of the cacodemons and hell knights blend well into the mix.
The XBox controller is well suited to the Doom III experience, because of the white button's flashlight toggle. The flashlight is an important factor in playing Doom III effectively, and this was a constant niggle on the PC version, where a slip to the wrong key put your player in a world of pain. From my XBox gaming experience, the flashlight became much more accessible and easy to use - though I can't see why they couldn't have had a flashlight as standard on a few of the weapons (e.g. the machinegun, the plasma rifle).
Being honest, there isn't a lot new here from the early days of Doom - the weapons are all the same, right through to the BFG9000 and chainsaws, the demons are a carbon copy from the original, the missions are a little linear - but it is stylish and very well executed. I feel this game definitely works for the XBox a lot better than the comparatively disappointing PC version - which really depended on how hard you could push your processor.
Ultimately, it's longetivity has to be questioned unless you have XBox live, but this is definitely one of the better FPS titles on the XBox for anybody after a bit of a story and some scares with their gaming. However, if you already bought Halo 2 this year, I'd try before you buy.


Shadow of Rome (PS2)
Shadow of Rome (PS2)
Offered by DVDGAMING DIRECT
Price: £18.99

13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A bit confused, but great combat & a good story., 7 Feb. 2005
This review is from: Shadow of Rome (PS2) (Video Game)
I've had my ear to the ground for a long time waiting for the definitive 'Gladiator' game, so when Shadows of Rome emerged, needless to say I made the purchase straight on release.
Now that I've committed some serious gaming hours to the game, I can say that the 'Gladiator' part is certainly up to my expectation. Believe the hype about beating your opponent with his own limbs. Weapons are extremely varied, from body parts to maces to swords and on, and the two-hand-weapon system is a nice touch, especially when considering the combo attacks. The well-designed combat engine sees to it that you never fight the same battle twice. I'm quite finicky when it comes to combat, and this in particular impressed me greatly.
The other side of the bat, the 'sneak about and uncover the plot' part of the story was a little less convincing. While Agrippa is a solid fighter type, Octavinius is a bit weak and rubbish by comparison. Granted, that is kind of the intention ... but I don't think it works as well as Capcom hoped it would. It's a shame, because the plot is quite good, loosely based on the fall of Caesar, with plenty of twists and turns to keep the player interested.
Another aspect of the game I appreciated was the sound and graphics. While motion was a little jerky at times in cut-scenes, I found that the level of detail Capcom had put into both characters and backgrounds was excellent, and really helped create the feel the game was aiming for. The background scores and sound fx work well, especially through a good sound system.
Ultimately, my opinion is that the game's saving grace is the superb combat system, and this really holds up the weaker stealth elements of the game. It really is the best gladiator look-alike about - far better than the likes of Gladius - and it's just a little let down by a case of mixed identity. However, I think it's well worth buying. A solid result from Capcom.


WWE WrestleMania XX [DVD] [2004]
WWE WrestleMania XX [DVD] [2004]
Dvd ~ Eddie Guerrerro
Offered by aardvark-games
Price: £24.99

17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exactly how a PPV should be., 31 Dec. 2004
WWE US Championship Match : 7/10
A worthwhile opener. Solid performances from both Big Show & John Cena. (He can't rap though.)
World Tag Championship Match : 6/10
An above average title match - a good performance from Booker T & Rob Van Dam, but not the ground-breaker it could have been.
Chris Jericho vs Christian : 8/10
Entertaining stuff, a little plot-heavy but some good twists to the tale and a good bout to match.
Rock'n'Sock vs Evolution : 8/10
Great to see Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson and Mick Foley in action again. Evolution (Randy Orton, Batista & Ric Flair) are also very good in a thoroughly enjoyable match-up.
Playboy Evening Gown Match Up : 2/10
Depends on what floats your boat. I wrote this review based on the wrestling, so this really is a no-brainer. I'm sure that nobody will actually be watching this for the wrestling, though.
WWE Cruiserweight Championship Open : 8/10
A good, fast paced match, if a little on the short side. Some great high-flying and technical stuff, exactly what you'd expect from the WWE cruiserweights.
Goldberg vs Brock Lesnar : 5/10
Oh dear. A real disappoinment, though a lot was going on behind the scenes (Goldberg leaving and Lesnar's defection to the NFL) and this wasn't lost on the audience, who were quite unforgiving, to be honest. Steve Austin saved this match from being truly mediocre, but this was undoubtedbly a wasted opportunity.
WWE Tag Team Championship : 6/10
Marginally better than it's Raw counterpart earlier shown. This match seemed a bit 'thrown together' in my opinion - again it wasn't as good as it could have been.
WWE Women's Championship : 6/10
Above average, actually. A good bout from Victoria, though why Molly Holly had to have her head shaved wasn't really fully explained. But then, I didn't really care anyway.
WWE Championship : 9/10
Superb technical performances from both Eddie Guerrero and Kurt Angle, a well deserved build-up and some good twists and turns that keep the match in high gear. Excellent.
Undertaker vs Kane : 8/10
I must admit to being an old-school Taker fan, so the theatrics and build-up of this match were well received. A good bout followed, with some superb vintage Taker wrestling, although Kane didn't put up half the fight I'd hoped he would. This makes the match a little predictable and more than a bit biased towards the Undertaker, which prevents it from being the epic it so very nearly was.
World Heavyweight Championship : 10/10
A spectacular match. Triple H, Shawn Michaels and Chris Benoit were all on outstanding form, with a great deal of drama and action woven into the bout. Bloodshed abound and plenty of trademark wrestling manoevers and techniques puts this one up amongst my all-time favourites.
Extras : 8/10
This WAS a surprise. As well as the usual space-fillers on the extras DVD, such as pre & post match interviews and promos, I was pleased to see and particularly enjoyed watching the Top 10 Wrestlemania Matches with Ric Flair. 'The Mania of Wrestlemania' is well worth watching, with some surprising depth into both the event and the superstars. The WWE Quiz and History sections were also well received.
Overall : 10/10
It isn't cheap, but has to be in any serious WWE fan's collection. This is exactly how a main event should be. I must add that it's refreshing to see an Extras DVD included that's actually worth having a look at.


WWE Royal Rumble 2003 [DVD]
WWE Royal Rumble 2003 [DVD]
Dvd ~ WWE

3.0 out of 5 stars Justified by a few quality main events, 31 Dec. 2004
This review is from: WWE Royal Rumble 2003 [DVD] (DVD)
Big Show vs Brock Lesnar : 6/10
Good substance for the Heyman/Lesnar feud plotline but a little short and too predictable.
World Tag Championship - Dudley Boyz vs Lance Storm & William Regal : 6/10
A reasonable match, with the Dudleys putting in a solid performance against a less-convincing Storm & Regal.
Dawn Marie vs Torrie Wilson : 2/10
All plot and no substance. And the plot wasn't that good.
World Heavyweight Championship - Triple H vs Scott Steiner : 4/10
Considering I paid full price for this so-called "main event", it was pretty disappointing. Triple H wasn't having one of his better days, and could somebody please explain what Scott Steiner was doing there in the first place? In my opinion, a wasted opportunity for a headline match.
WWE Championship - Kurt Angle vs Chris Benoit : 10/10
By far and away the best match on this DVD. A superb technical performance from both Benoit & Angle, no outside interference (as main events should be!) and it was apparent that both men gave everything. A masterpiece.
Royal Rumble : 7/10
A good Royal Rumble, though I have seen better. Most of the participants put in average performances at best - notable exceptions including Chris Jericho, Rob Van Dam & Kane. Tommy Dreamer's (very) brief stay in the ring was enjoyable, and it was good to see Jeff Hardy battle his brother Matt.
This event was due to herald the triumphant return of the Deadman - what a disappointment it was to see him with a bandana and a motorbike. Unfortunately this event was also a little predictable with Brock Lesnar as the 29th entrant.
DVD Extras : 5/10
An extra match from RAW invloving RVD, Kane & Batista, a few promos of the return of the Undertaker, and some pre & post match interviews and footage. Worth a look.
Overall : 6/10
Quite expensive for the UK WWE fans. In my opinion, the excellent Angle/Benoit match and the Rumble are the only matches to justify the £19.99 price tag.


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