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Fahrenheit (PS2)
Fahrenheit (PS2)
Offered by sicodaddy
Price: £49.99

8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Clunky and not 'Funky'., 10 May 2008
= Fun:1.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Fahrenheit (PS2) (Video Game)
Clunky mechanics and a dull script make this game tiresome. The graphics look like a slightly upgraded PS1 game, it's looks a decade out of date already. The locations are minimal and have little texture, looking rather bland. The story (as for as I could get) was pure hokum and the dialog stilted; it's aspirations to be a movie leave something to be desired...even Dolph Lundgren would turn his nose up at such a script.
The QTE system it's based on soon defeats any 'atmosphere' the game is desperately trying to manage; one QTE that really sticks in my mind is the guitar playing. Play the blues and you 'beep' along, awful! Also QTE usually means you're looking for the colour flashes, rather than the on screen action- again removes any emotional involvement, making you feel like a lab rat pressing buttons. Whilst in autopsy, having the sign "Get Ready!" flash up and a QTE to make sure you cut the ribcage right is laughable.

Branching stories should let you feel involved more than this game, often your choices seem irrelevant. If you see a ghost, you'll get stressed, but don't worry a cup of water and a wee will calm you down; You spend much of the game in 'Neutral'.

Also another off-putting element is the characterization. The cop Tyler is straight out of 70's blaxsplotation movies. Why not call Tyler 'Shaft' and get it over and done with. It felt rather racist to me. Retro but in a really bad and unpleasant way. Couldn't the 'director' watched 'The Wire' for influence on good Afro-American characterization? And the 'sex scene' in his Austin Powers 'shagpad', really? That's the best you could do? Really?

Although for a game, the voice work is good, it doesn't help that the 'manikins' inhabiting the game look like lifeless roughly hewn Thunderbird puppets.

It ultimately fails as a movie, as a narrative and as a game. There is many more superior games that provide a fascinating atmosphere. There's much cheaper and far superior DVDs and novels to read to waste much time on such a poor hybrid. If you only read teen novels or backs of cereal boxes, even you'll be let down by this game. At best it's at the level of amateur fan fiction. The pitch: "Anemic stereotypes stumble around bland interiors"- The End.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 25, 2011 4:25 PM BST


ICO
ICO
Offered by Click4entertainment Limited
Price: £37.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful design, a stand out experience., 10 May 2008
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: ICO (Video Game)
This game is a triumph of art direction and level design. The star of the game is the castle itself. There have been few games as atmospheric as this (Silent Hill, the first experience of Tomb Raider 1 and Half-Life 2 are some). For a six/seven year old game, it's creaky graphics still have the ability to dazzle; due to the integrity of it's artistic design. The story is minimal (in fact it could have done with less dialog). Remember the beginning and that sword...

It's flaws are few. It tends to be the occasional bad camera angle that kills you. The spirits tend to get rather annoying. The occasional clipping and control problems.Even though it's a short game, it's still slightly too long, the last section outstays it's welcome; it feels less polished that other sections. It's a shame the film effects and two player game is a bonus at the end of the game, rather than being accessible from the start. And lastly Yorda... She's no Sigorney Weaver, more a Keira Knightly kept in a veal crate for several years. She's rather brainless and annoying. Instead of feeling an emotional attachment, I just wished I could cut her head off and use that to open doors.

Which brings me to my final point, Ico is basically one long 'Escort Level'. Usually this is the most infuriating part of any game, having to drag an imbecilic AI around. The fact that it works is a real miracle. A genuine gaming miracle. Sure, I still hated Yorda, but I enjoyed the game.

It's a shame you don't have an option to fly around the castle, to see how it all fitted together. That would have made a good reward at the end of the game.

(One small reminder, wait for the credits to finish before turning off the game, there's one small part left).


Apple MacBook Black 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo/2GB/250/SD/AP/BT
Apple MacBook Black 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo/2GB/250/SD/AP/BT

9 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but with BIG caveats, 30 April 2008
I really like the Macbook, but it comes with some caveats. First, black is best, but it comes at an exorbitant cost. Also it's not the sturdiest of builds. The matt black has been known to peel off (see apple websites discussion boards). Also a real problem I've found is that the keyboard edges crack; This isn't a rare problem, many people have complained, there's even a Flickr group dedicated to it. Also the other two people I know with macbooks have had these chips. The good thing is, book a meeting with the "Genius" bar at an Apple retail store, they'll replace it there and then if they have keyboards in stock (free, even after a year).
Another worrying aspect have been the crashes, which seem due to overheating or logic board problem. Twice it's crashed then on reboot claims there's no bootable drive (switch off again for a minute, it will reboot okay). I've owned five different apple laptops and four have had major defects (harddrive/combo drive failures in weeks of purchase, logic board failures X2, potentially exploding batteries, defective power lead). Apple produces the best operating system, it's almost worth suffering poorly manufactured laptops. If you buy this, be ready for potential problems and always save everything to external harddrives.

And lastly the biggest caveat... Can you wait till the end of June 2008? It maybe replaced by aluminum macbooks (or at the least another bump in speed).

In the laptops favour, the all the major failures happened either in two weeks of purchase or after three years, so I either got free replacements or I wanted to upgrade anyway... not much of an endorsement... of apple or someone repeatedly buying defective laptops...
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 3, 2008 12:10 AM GMT


Apple iPod classic 80GB black
Apple iPod classic 80GB black

49 of 65 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Real price: £159, not English_Bargains £175, 24 Sep 2007
Why is Marketplace dealers selling a £159 product for more than it's normal retail price? What excuse can you use to sell it at £175, not including extra for postage? Again, you're best off going direct to Apple and getting free postage, free engraving and for the correct price of £159. You're best off avoiding Amazon Marketplace dealers, the service is unreliable. It's like somebody has set up a carboot sale in your favourite shop.

Anyway, the ipod itself:

Ipod

Cons:

Aluminium is prone to pitting from moisture or sweat, noticeable problem on powerbooks if not clean and dry at all times. Pitting happens only on areas such as where the hands rests whilst using touchpad and the touchpad button. This is liable to be more of a problem with ipods. Buying a black ipod maybe easier to hide pitting.

Back is still shiny and easily scratches. They dumped the white look, now it's time to dump the dated chrome.

Screen and frontplate are not smooth like previous ipods, nothing serious, may collect fluff and dirt. May also prove slightly better protection from scratching.

Limited video codec support, won't support all MP4 downloaded from the internet either (i.e. public domain videos from archive.org are hit or miss). Same goes for music files.

Doesn't like Linux and previous freeware/shareware will all need updating by developers to break apples extra coding.

Classic means this ipod will age very fast against newer MP3 players which won't find it difficult to catch up.

Click wheel a little unresponsive, leading to frequent input mistakes.

Sluggish UI at times, which may improve through updates to firmware over time.

Games are cheap and nasty and look very incongruous to ipods 'pretty' design. Instead of rubbish games, an FM tuner would have been better.

Proprietary cable needed for line out video.

Complete dependancy on itunes, no drop and drag function which goes against Apples previous ideas of ease of use. Also in keeping with Apples obsession with closed systems (if you can't open it, you don't own it).

Design over function, the obsession with getting things thin means losing things people want. Like no FM tuner inbuilt or more importantly an easily removable battery. COME ON! Again Apple is saying an ipod is disposable technology that should only last as long as the battery.

Crippled function with some previous accessories, although my Altec old speakers from 3Gen ipod times still charges and works just as well.

Audiophiles report serious problems with sound quality. If you use "sound check", due to volume limitations, some tracks will be far too quiet.

Lots of what if only complaints. Apple inspires the idea it's products are far more capable than they really are, leading to a feeling of disappointment. It hypes up it's products to the point the products can't compete.

It's the ipod 5.6Gen, it's not a 6Gen ipod (that's the ipod touch). No huge reason to upgrade, unless you have an ailing or storage that's become too small. This is certainly not a must have item.

Crashes...crashes frequently.

Only better than other MP3 players, because others haven't got their acts together, not because the ipod is so good. And you only buy this because it's better the devil you know...and because the ipod touch has such an utterly laughable storage capability. If a £200 80GB ipod touch existed... (shame it's all flash and no substance). Windows users may be advised to wait and see what the Zune2 offers... If it can't beat this offering, then Microsoft should pack up and give in.

Concerns about Apples quality control. Apple have had a track record of poor quality control, the ipod touch proving no acceptation. I found the plastic around the ipod connector already loose out of the box. I've had a few powerbooks and ibooks and ALL had problems like failing hardrives, disc drives and batteries within a couple of weeks of buying. If I wasn't an Apple fan (sucker), then I wouldn't have risked buying another ipod.

Coverflow is a novelty, you'll be faced with lots of "?" album covers, but it can be removed. More of an ipod touch thing.

Headphones are rubbish.

Still with USB2 connection, while it'll charge with firewire, but no syncing. This is a second rate idea, especially on macs which all have firewire as standard. The mac on to be on to charge through USB, so a power adaptor is very useful. That'll cost you extra.

Pros:

Audio pauses when headphones are removed (but not video, why?)

Battery life is much better.

Ipod 160GB is too expensive, the 80GB is the all rounder and safe bet of the ipod line. It's just not as interesting as the new nano or the ipod touch. It's still the better choice, even if it won't set the world on fire.

No more White ipods! Although why not colour variations like the nano?

The screen is very good quality, but nothing you haven't seen before on high quality digital cameras. It can be so bright, you could almost use it as a tourch.The size is too small to watch long movies (although with good eyesight, it's possible with good encoding you can read subtitles). If you watch podcasts and youtube clips, it's more than capable. In portable video stakes, it's going to be beaten by every new MP3 player you'll see.

It looks pretty and the GUI is pretty too. The GUI is a vast improvement (but coming from someone replacing a 3Gen ipod, it's not saying much).
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 12, 2007 4:59 PM GMT


René Burri Photographs
René Burri Photographs
by Hans-Michael Koetzle
Edition: Paperback

10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Really bad design. Great Photos, broken book., 5 Sep 2007
The good points: At £20, Amazon is offering a huge collection of photographs. It should be a definitive collection of Rene Burri.
The overwhelming bad point: The design is truly atrocious. It doesn't allow one photograph to breathe with boarderless double spreads chopping up photographs. Design is bad when it forgets it's purpose isn't design for designs sake. It's about displaying photographs at their best, clearly and legibly, sorry if that seems dull; but it should be all about the photographs. We're not buying it for fancy design. This book is broken.


Canon PowerShot G9 Digital Camera - Black (12.1MP, 6x Optical Zoom) 3.0" LCD (discontinued by manufacturer)
Canon PowerShot G9 Digital Camera - Black (12.1MP, 6x Optical Zoom) 3.0" LCD (discontinued by manufacturer)

4 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Huh!, 28 Aug 2007
After owning one for five months, I cannot recommend one at all.

The first one had dead pixels on both the LCD and the sensor. I returned it for a new one (which still had dead pixels on the LCD). This one lasted a few months before it packed in and refused to turn on, also destroying my memory card in the process. I've had it fixed and they replaced the circuits. Now I have a senor with TWO DEAD PIXELS (the LCD also has dead pixels as usual). Pathetic for a £300 camera, really pathetic. I'm not buying a canon after this. Look elsewhere.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 22, 2009 11:27 AM GMT


The Walking Dead Volume 2: Miles Behind Us
The Walking Dead Volume 2: Miles Behind Us
by Charlie Adlard
Edition: Paperback

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable, if very flawed..., 7 Aug 2007
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Entertaining enough to continue buying the books, but the artwork is mediocre and worse than the first book. The panels look crowded and the grey tones, like the last book, are overdone; giving the sub-Mignola shading a fussy look. The poor characterisation in the illustration makes it difficult to recognise and sympathise with the protagonists. This sadly distracts an otherwise enjoyable script (if looking overly verbose in panels). The script could make a great TV zombie show, in fact why hasn't it been done yet? The show would appeal to many different audiences if a company like HBO made it and it could be done on the cheap! Actually it's bizarre no ones done it yet, I hope Kirkman owns the film rights...
Obviously the script isn't highbrow literature, it clearly borrows from many sources recognisable to Zombie movie fans (my brother could name them all, but I've spotted several). It's just a comic and as comics go it's worth flicking through. The only other comic I read regularly is Powers, it's nice to have another one to read. I'm sure the artwork will improve, considering the artist only gets a couple of weeks to draw a whole issue, it's surprising any comic is legible! A muted colour scheme would work better than the truly ugly grey tones, but I guess that won't change. I've ordered the next book and look forward to the continuing adventures, as it gives me the feeling of being a kid on Saturday mornings again, the way good comics should.


Sigma 28-300mm f/3.5-6.3 DG Macro Canon Fit Lens (discontinued by manufacturer)
Sigma 28-300mm f/3.5-6.3 DG Macro Canon Fit Lens (discontinued by manufacturer)

12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars An awful lens., 31 July 2007
On my Canon 400D, the images are significantly softer that the basic lens than came with the camera. It also overexposes the images, especially at longer zoom settings, with purple fringing very noticeable. It has great difficulty focusing, sometimes even in well lit situations. It's either a defective lens, not appropriate for canon 400D or it's a terrible lens. It's certainly cheap, but definitely not cheerful. You'll be better off saving double the money for a better canon lens.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 20, 2009 3:50 PM GMT


The Wire: Complete HBO Season 3 [DVD] [2007]
The Wire: Complete HBO Season 3 [DVD] [2007]
Dvd ~ Dominic West
Price: £16.56

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best TV, better than the movies., 11 July 2007
Still, the best TV show ever. More than a cop show, although it deals with cops and criminals, it transcends the genre. Therefore it may disappoint most cop show fans with it's slow character centred approach. It looks at themes and political issues, but not to the detriment of the characters. I think one of the writers for the show said you have to have a respect for the characters you write and it shows that people don't just become cyphers for an argument about policing, politics or criminality. You really feel you learn something about another culture, about Baltimore and it's citizens. Tv shows are now proving they're not the ugly cousins of cinema, actually shows like the Wire outshine the narrative abilities of most movies. The Wire should be given the respect given to cinema. Shows like Heimat to Deadwood actually highlight the weakness of cinemas limited scope.

All that said, if you never watched the Wire yet, you really need to start with the first (and so far the best) season. You WILL miss the emotional resonance of characters changing from season to season, the subtle relationships and mistakes that snowball into tragedy. The Wire requires concentration and effort not dissimilar required by a great novel. The 'Barksdale' story arc really requires a familiarity of characters and actions taken in season one and two, you could watch Wire3 first, but I feel you'd miss too much about the characters relationships; How little they really know about each other, the dangerous secrets and reasons for betrayals and reversals. There are blink and you'll miss it moments (note a certain policemans appearance at a certain bar). The people involved in this production are of such high calibre, it's not surprising it's such a magnificent work of art.

The extras are nothing too special, if you miss the exegesis, than take a trip to the HBO website and subscribe to the podcasts, as these are better than the extras on the DVD. I haven't listened to the commentaries, it would annoy me to much to listen to people taking over the actors performances.

You really do need the DVD set and a at least a few days off work to watch it all in one marathon session. I loved Oz, Hill Street, NYPD Blue, Shield, Deadwood, but the Wire is still the best. Although I'm loving "Rome" at the moment. I both hate and love HBO, it's like a good cop/ bad cop routine of giving you great shows, then taking them away too soon. Well...Except for that godawful Sex and the City.


Apple iPod shuffle 1GB Green
Apple iPod shuffle 1GB Green

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's pretty, what more do you want?, 6 July 2007
For the size, this is an expensive MP3 player. You pay for the style. The compatibility with itunes I'm ambivalent about, I don't like being told how to do things and itunes bullies you into doing everything its way. Luckily many mac coders make software to circumvent it's 'defects'. The first thing it did after updating my shuffle was to corrupt it, requiring another update, then an age as it converted files to 128 AAC, which took a few goes as itunes would crash and require a force quit. Not an illustrious start.

The sound quality on default (128 AAC and apple headphones) is poor and sounds 'boxy', invest in a better set of headphones, but the shuffle won't appeal to an audiophile. It's good to have a backup ipod. Another plus point is it's pretty and the battery lasts a long time (but don't forget Apple has sealed in the battery, so once it's dead, it's dead for good, style over longevity is a key design feature of apple products).

It plays music and absolutely nothing else, small and pretty and fine for walking around the streets. It's just nothing special. I got my from Currys on the highstreet with a free £15 itunes code, so I'm not complaining (much), I like the shuffle. Something nice until they finally produce a 6Gen ipod. But there is better and cheaper out there, if itunes shopping and Mac computers are irrelevant to you. I almost did and I use apple computers. The shuffle competes in a more crowded market than an ipod video.

Recommend you buy a power adaptor, otherwise you need to leave your computer on to charge it. It won't charge if the computer is sleeping, inconvenient for a laptop and your carbon footprint. It will cost you less than £15, that and a set of headphones and this shuffle starts getting expensive... did I say it's pretty?


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