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Reviews Written by
Jason Yip "squodge photography" (London, England)

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Guitar Hero Live with Guitar Controller (PS4)
Guitar Hero Live with Guitar Controller (PS4)
Price: £34.99

14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars One good thing (a new guitar) and a few bad things - overall a decent game, but too many issues., 9 Nov. 2015
EDIT: I've changed some of the cons to pro-cons (+/-) as they may not affect your enjoyment of the game.

I'll break down my review into the usual pros and cons, then a final rating.

+ New guitar breathes new life into the genre.
+ Price isn't too bad considering you get a new guitar, as well as the game.
+ Footage of real audience makes the experience far more realistic.
+ GHTV is similar to MTV - lots of tunes added all the time.
+ Party pass allows you to play all available songs for 24 hours without requiring Play Tokens (more on that later).

+/- The game requires up to 50GB hard disc space (I've since checked, and it needs 43GB on my PS4)
+/- Expert on previous Guitar Hero games was challenging; Expert on GH Live is extremely difficult, even with lots of practice (but without a training or practice mode!)
+/- Playing songs in GHTV requires Play Tokens... you can either grind about 20 songs on the free channels in order to buy 3 play tokens, or pay real money to get these tokens
+/- Artists like Ed Sheeran and One Direction should not be in a Guitar Hero game (just my opinion).

- No online competitive or co-op play, but still need internet in order to play the game - when they close the servers in 2-3 years' time, the game will no longer work.
- GH Live (the 'tour' mode) can be completed in about 4 hours.
- Only 42 songs on the disc, few of which are what you might consider "guitar classics".
- The "real footage" (only in GH Live mode) gets old very quickly.
- If you a couple of mistakes in GH Live mode, the entire screen gets fake static and gets blurry, making it even harder to concentrate. If you were a guitarist on stage, why would you be seeing static if you made a few bum notes? Seems odd.
- The new guitar has very stiff buttons, so you'll break your combo easily if you don't press hard on the buttons.
- If you're left handed, you're out of luck - playing the guitar left handed means you'll nudge the joystick accidentally, which changes the channel. I learned this on a forum where one unlucky left-hander has had to give up on the game because his hand is forever nudging the joystick.
- You can't buy songs to keep, unlike previous Guitar Hero games. Seems like an odd decision since we can buy songs for all the previous GH games, as well as Rock Band, SingStar, DanceStar.
- No training mode... which means you have no choice but to play a song from start to finish in order to "practise" it. And yes, that means using Play Tokens (grind them or pay real money for them).
- 24-hour Party Pass at £3.99 is very steep - if I wanted to play every weekend for a year, that would cost over £400. Imagine if I had to pay thousands of pounds to play Rock Band or previous Guitar Hero games in the last several years!

OVERALL - 2Ĺ out of 5, rounded up to 3 (previously 2 out of 5)
The cons far outweigh the pros. I've probably forgotten some other things that spoil this game.

In summary: a premium game (i.e. one that you pay good money for) should NOT have micro-transactions except for content. For example, I have no issues with paying for a song if I can play it whenever I want. Instead, we're paying in order to carry on playing songs we enjoy. That is NOT how a game should be. Rock Band 4 doesn't charge you anything to play your songs whenever you want to - you buy DLC songs if you want to, and if you choose to buy a song then it's yours to play forever. Rock Band 4 also doesn't need to be connected to the internet.

If you want a rhythm game for the PS4 and you love the guitar side of rhythm games, then it's a great purchase - the game should last you a couple of years. However, Rock Band 4 is a far better party game if you want a game you can enjoy with your mates. Guitar Hero Live is a solitary (and very lonely) experience. Even with the "real crowd footage", you never feel like anyone's there to enjoy what you're doing. If you know someone who has the game, I would strongly recommend you try it out for several hours before buying it.
Comment Comments (8) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 17, 2015 9:28 PM GMT

KELUX PS Vita Slim Controller Hand Grip (PS Vita Slim/PS Vita 2000) - Black
KELUX PS Vita Slim Controller Hand Grip (PS Vita Slim/PS Vita 2000) - Black
Offered by Lukia
Price: £12.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Ignore the naysayers... I've tested it daily for a few months., 9 Oct. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I decided to use the hand grip for a while before writing a review, as it's not always evident whether an item is perfect for the job or not until much later.

As others have said, the grip doesn't fit 100% snug. However, after using it every day for many months, I can safety say that it holds the Vita securely. The grip is made of glossy plastic, which I personally don't have a problem with.

My hands have never sweated after a few hours on the Vita... so other people must be hyper-sweaty types. The all-important question - does it improve handling? 100% yes, especially for games that require the back touch screen. Also, I'm finding that I get better precision on the analogue sticks. Two games that this grip has made a massive difference to me: FIFA 15 and Geometry Wars 3.

I don't have an issue dropping a tenner on something if it's well used. In this case, it's permanently on my Vita, and it's transformed my gameplay.

The grip has one added feature - there's a fold-out lever, which props up the Vita so you can watch your films. I don't use it, but it's a nice feature for those who might use it.

5/5 - I have no hesitation recommending this grip. It does the job, and it does it well. The absolute best grip out there is one that has to be imported from Japan that gives you L2/R2 triggers - if you can afford the £50 to get it to the UK!

Tomandwill Jammer Bass Guitar Gig Bag - Deep Burgundy with Grey Trim and Slate Piping
Tomandwill Jammer Bass Guitar Gig Bag - Deep Burgundy with Grey Trim and Slate Piping

5.0 out of 5 stars Stitching is excellent - no loose threads, 31 Mar. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
It's more or less the same price as other premium quality bass guitar bags.

1. Stitching is excellent - no loose threads.
2. Weight is good - not heavy, so won't contribute to the weight of your bass guitar.
3. Good padding inside the bag - will withstand minor knocks.

1. There's a sort of spiked rubber mat at the bottom of the bag, which means you can stand it up on any surface and it won't slip over.
2. The outer pocket is bigger than A4 size, so you can fit quite a few scores in there. I have printed scores in an A4 ring binder, and the binder itself fits inside the pocket along with a large effects pedal, guitar cable, and a few sets of bass strings.
3. A choice of wearing it as a backpack or holding it like a carrier bag.
4. The holding handles can be "wrapped up" with the integral wrap, which prevents the handles from cutting into your fingers when carrying it.
5. This bag seems big enough to fit any bass... when my bass is put inside, there's still a good 10cm clearance at the top.
6. There is a Velcro strap inside the bag, which holds the neck in place - this prevents the bass from swaying inside the bag.

Overall, it's not hard to see why I recommend this bass guitar bag very highly. Very well made, feels great quality, pretty stylish compared to the cheaper bags, and lots of room in the outer pocket.

Country Love Crafts Book with Secret Drawer Wooden Craft Blank, Light Brown
Country Love Crafts Book with Secret Drawer Wooden Craft Blank, Light Brown

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "You get what you pay for"... nevertheless, great value for a cheap and cheerful project., 31 Mar. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The first obvious point is the price - it's very competitive (= cheap). It's hard to find anything cheaper either on Amazon or eBay [gains a star].

1. The quality of the wood is okay, nothing special, but not nasty either. Based on price, it'd be unfair to rate lower.
2. The drawer is an extremely loose fit. In other words, it moves from side to side by about a centimeter's wriggle space - way too big [loses a star].
3. Do you love splinters? Well, neither do I! You'll need to sand this bad boy down a little before working on it [loses half a star].

There is a white label (barcode) stuck on the back of the item, which is a pain to remove [loses half a star]. The best way to remove it without damaging the item is to use a hairdryer on the lowest setting... and after a few minutes you can gingerly remove the label.

Overall, I'm happy with this "wooden book box". It's cheap, and after dealing with some of the issues it's definitely worthwhile of a weekend project.

Adobe InDesign CC Classroom in a Book (2014 Release) (Classroom in a Book (Adobe))
Adobe InDesign CC Classroom in a Book (2014 Release) (Classroom in a Book (Adobe))
by Kelly Kordes Anton
Edition: Paperback
Price: £25.16

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Classroom in a Book (CIAB) series seemed to garner mostly good and excellent reviews for the previous versions, 10 Dec. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I've used "teach yourself" books in the past for software, and mostly it's been hit and miss. The Classroom in a Book (CIAB) series seemed to garner mostly good and excellent reviews for the previous versions, so I figured the CIAB book for the 2014 version of InDesign 2014 might be okay.

The book walks you through all the basics in a logical way, and everything you've learned is re-used in later lessons so you never feel like you're using a "one hit wonder" tool or learning a useless shortcut key.

The book loses one star for me because it doesn't emphasise at the beginning that you NEED to use Letter Size (an American standard paper size), otherwise your work won't resemble what's in the book. Also, at the beginning of every lesson, there's an estimate of how long you should expect to take to finish the lesson: unless you're speed reading and already know where to click for everything (which you wouldn't if you're a beginner), expect to take at least twice as long.

Now that I've almost completed the course, I just have to remember to revert the paper size to A4!

All in all, I'd say the CIAB is worth it. It seems to give a good, solid grounding in the basics: but don't expect to learn how to do any amazing things - it's probably a mixture of experience with the software and doing an advanced course (supplemented with Youtube tutorials perhaps?) that will push you further.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 20, 2015 5:43 PM BST

Integral Fusion USB 3.0 Flash Drive 64 GB - Silver
Integral Fusion USB 3.0 Flash Drive 64 GB - Silver
Price: £14.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Small but perfectly formed, 13 Aug. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This little bad boy does the job. Not much else to say except that it shows up on my Windows 7 system without any problems. I've formatted it in exFat format, which apparently is the best of the available formats to use in terms of compatibility. The flash drive is detected and read perfectly on my Macbook and PS3 too.

Time Runners [DVD]
Time Runners [DVD]
Dvd ~ Alesandra Durham
Offered by Leisurezone
Price: £2.98

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad, but not great., 13 Aug. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Time Runners [DVD] (DVD)
I'm not sure what people are watching - it's pretty obvious from the write-up that this isn't really an action film. There are a few short action scenes, but nothing that you'd find in a Hollywood blockbuster.

Having said that, the story had a lot of promise but failed to deliver entirely. Some of the acting was wooden, but not all - I've watched plenty of things, good and bad, and the overall acting in this is better than most soap operas. So if you can put up with a soap, this is a little better.

I guessed the ending easily enough, and it was kind of obvious from the start. But that's not the point of the film. It's a more cerebral film than, say, TimeCop.

All in all, if you just want something to unwind to, this isn't bad - just don't expect something amazing. If you're after special effects, buy Transformers.

Plants vs Zombies vs Zombies Plants vs Zombies Time Single Panel Duvet Set
Plants vs Zombies vs Zombies Plants vs Zombies Time Single Panel Duvet Set

4.0 out of 5 stars Dream of plants vs zombies!, 4 Mar. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I was actually surprised there would be an official Plants vs Zombies duvet set (although, actually, this is Plants vs Zombies 2), but I can't complain. I love the two games, and I think the the plants and the zombies have a lot of character - this duvet set will brighten up any room!

There are two designs on the duvet - the main one consists of three horizontally tiled images of zombies from the three different worlds in PvZ 2 - Egyptian, Pirate, Wild West. The reverse is a tesselation of three different zombies - this design has a very 'light' feel about it, and would be good for spring or summer time.

I give the duvet set 4 stars because of one main issue - the buttons that do up the end of the duvet cover after you've put the duvet in aren't great. They're those plastic click-on buttons that seem to get warped very easily if you press them too hard. Not sure why they don't just use standard buttons and buttonholes!

Buy this duvet set if you:
* like PvZ
* like zombies in general
* fancy something different to brighten up your bedroom.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 17, 2014 9:42 AM GMT

Over the Underground
Over the Underground
Price: £2.63

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Extremely readable with plenty of good deadpan humour, 26 Feb. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is one of those "everything's connected" kind of stories, which in a way reminds me of the film "Fish Story" (an obscure Japanese rock band's one recorded album actually saves the world).

One thing I subconsciously look out for when reading a novel or watching a film/show is characterisation - the people involved in the story, are they in character, and do they act or think without breaking out of character? In Harris's novel, all the characters have their own personalities, and none of them do anything that seems out of place.

The story is an absolute hoot to read - very easy prose, very easy to follow, and the reader always wants to know what's going to happen next. This novel is definitely a page turner, and it's a fun romp in the World According To Harris.

Although the novel is written in the third person, there are more than a few occasions where thoughts are written in the first person followed by ", thought Brian." This makes the story feel more personalised, sort of putting the reader in the shoes of the character who's thinking or talking to himself/herself - I feel ambivalent about this for novel (it feels fine in a short story where word count is tight).

This is where the novel loses 1 star. There were lots of mistakes! Typos, grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, repeated words, redundant words, missing words (usually a missing 'of' or a missing auxiliary verb). A few times, I had to re-read sentences where a comma would have given the meaning on first reading.

The novel was extremely entertaining to read. It definitely deserves a 2nd edition where Harris should employ a good proofreader to tighten up the script. Nevertheless, definitely recommended reading!

Piano Scales & Arpeggios, Grade 8 (ABRSM Scales & Arpeggios)
Piano Scales & Arpeggios, Grade 8 (ABRSM Scales & Arpeggios)
Edition: Sheet music
Price: £5.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Note this is the 2008 edition, 26 Feb. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
There's not much to say about this kind of publication. If you need to practise your scales and appegios, then this thin "book" is an absolute necessity - the main reason being the suggested fingerings for all the scales and appegios.

I doubt a newer edition would offer anything new - get the cheapest one you can find. Whether it's for exams or just to improve your own technique, scales and appegios are invaluable.

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