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Mr X (UK)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for people serious about lifting heavy., 4 Aug. 2010
Let me just get one thing straight - I think these trainers/shoes look truly awful, and they will give you blisters if worn for extended periods of time.

The reason I bought them was to use for my heavy gym sessions. I was previously using standard running trainers but their cushioned heels meant that for exercises like squats and deadlifts I was losing a lot of energy through the cushioning effect (much like softer suspension will make a car perform worse).

These converse are good in that they have very hard, flat soles which are good for energy transferrence. They also provide decent lateral support as well.

I had to get a size slightly smaller than usual in order for these to fit.

Glogg Classic 750ml Stainless Steel Water Bottle - Carabiner Top
Glogg Classic 750ml Stainless Steel Water Bottle - Carabiner Top

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good buy overall, 4 Aug. 2010
I bought this as I was getting sick of that horrid smell plastic bottles would give off after re-using them for a while.

This stainless steel bottle solves this problem as it keeps the water tasting how it's supposed to taste - GOOD! Also does a good job of keeping it cool. In addition it's very cost efficient and environmentally friendly as it stops you buying new bottles of water.

The reason it loses a star is because once you have filled it up, the first time you unscrew it, water will inevitably leak out. The thread is also very long but you get used to this. The bottle can sometimes be a bit of a burden, for example if you are walking around town all day. In these cases I prefer to just use a plastic bottle so I can throw it away afterwards.

But for 95% of the time when you just want a bottle for at work or in the gym, this does the job perfectly.

Project Gotham Racing 4 (Xbox 360)
Project Gotham Racing 4 (Xbox 360)

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Epic!, 10 Feb. 2008
Having thoroughly enjoyed both PGR2 and PGR3, I was eager to get my copy of the newest installment. And I do not regret it one bit. This game has become one of my all-time favourite games in such a short space of time.

Firstly, the positives, and where to start. The graphics on the game are spectacular. One of the things that has always drawn me to the PGR series is the graphics and the amazing street environments you race through. The cities are so accurately depicted and you can really tell how much work the creators have put into them. I can attest to the accuracy of the London environment, and I have friends who live/have lived in some of the other cities who can say the same for theirs! All of the cities from PGR3 have returned as well as some interesting new ones such as Macau, Quebec and Shanghai and others (the Nurburgring is here as always). Each city has its own unique street style providing great variety.
The weather effects are a very good point as well, having improved on the physics from previous games. The new rain and ice effects feel very authentic. The location of puddles at certain corners really forces you to rethink your driving line. The driving physics in this game are as good as ever. You have a real sensation of speed when driving down narrow streets at top speeds.

They have altered the car lineup from PGR3 to give a broader range of car performances rather than purely focusing on supercars (this was a weakness of PGR3 imo). This brings it closer to the good old days of PGR2 where you start off in the small slow cars and work your way up. Whilst the starting cars aren't quite as slow as the mini coopers of PGR2, it's a nice compromise between the 2nd and 3rd game. The range of cars is great though. They still include many unknown but great manufacturers (check out the MTT turbine superbike - powered by a helicopter jet engine!!), but for some reason they don't include Porsches, only a company that tunes and re-engineers porsches (RUF). As always, the american muscle cars oversteer like crazy, racking up some nice kudos (despite costing you valuable seconds), whilst the hyper cars are still as lightning fast as ever.
Unlike what other reviewers have said, I find the single player mode to be very lengthy. It takes a few seasons to get to rank 1 and once you're done with that the arcade mode will keep you occupied for a long time as well as xbox live. The introduction of the PGR shop was a good idea, it lets you use your kudos to buy different car packs, new tracks, new helmets, or even an achievement (just for the gamerpoint whores!).
The geometry wars game found in the garage is different to the xbox live arcade game. It's called Geometry Wars: Waves and is a fun and addictive twist to the series. It can't be played anywhere else apart from PGR4 and you could quite possible lose hours of your free time to this addictive little side game.
Achievements are nicely balanced in the game, most of them being for single player, but requiring you to put plenty of time and effort into it.
Of course the big addition which I have failed to talk about so far is the appearance of motorbikes. They are a phenomenal new feature. They take some practice and getting used to but they feel quite realistic (not that I've ever been on a motorbike) and completely different to the cars, forcing you to adjust your handling style. They allow you to perform some cool stunts for kudos with the B button and left analog stick (for wheelies and endos). Before each tournament you must make your decision for a car or a bike carefully (since you are stuck with the same vehicle for the duration of the tournament). If it is a city like new york with giant straights in it, then choosing a bike will get you slaughtered because of its poor top speed. On the other hand, a motorbike would fare equally as well on a twisty track as a car would.
On the sound front, the soundtrack is what you would expect from PGR games up to now, except there is probably a greater variety this time around (from indy, to hip hop, to classical). For some reason I seem to find Mozart incredibly suited to high-speed races :D. Obviously you can listen to your hard drive music as in all games. The engine sounds are great and unique but are quite overpowering on the default setting.

Now for the negatives. Whilst the ice settings are very realistic, they make winning near-impossible and you HAVE to race in it on a certain championship in single player. As for the snow settings they don't seem realistic enough as they are relatively easy to race on. As some of you may know, driving in heavy snow at low speeds in real life is a difficult challenge, let alone going at 100mph.
I have found the frame rate stuttering sometimes in rainy races where all the cars are kicking up spray. Whether this is a fault with my machine or the game I don't know, but it is certainly present. Despite the huge range of cars, you will probably never use most of them because one or two cars will tend to stand out in each class.

Overall then, this is definitely a must have game if you are a racer fan, or indeed any gamer, and it is a more enjoyable alternative to simulation games like Forza (imo). This game will keep you entertained for a long time to come. If you're on the fence about this game I hope this review has persuaded you to go for it. You won't regret it.

Psychonauts (Xbox)
Psychonauts (Xbox)

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good, 28 Dec. 2006
This review is from: Psychonauts (Xbox) (Video Game)
Even though I'm not a particular fan of platform games, I felt obliged to buy this game after all the good reviews I read. I don't regret it one bit. The game is a very pleasant change from the other monotonous platformers you may have played. There is something in the game for everyone. There are lots of things that you can collect throughout the game that can result in bonus movies, slide shows, new powers or power upgrades. The different abilities that you can learn in the game are very cool and fun to execute. Different abilities (called PSI powers) include turning invisible, levitating, telikinesis, setting things on fire, or creating a reflective shield around yourself. The game is generally very light-hearted and had me laughing several times. The music contributes to the atmosphere very well. The game is not overly-difficult yet it is not easy either, for me it is the perfect difficulty. Because the levels take place inside people's minds it means that the game can be extremely creative in the level design with bizarre themes. One level involves a city-full of tiny fish with you running around as if you are a giant. This game is very underrated and is a definite must-have for the xbox, which is otherwise lacking a memorable platformer.

Dave Gorman's Googlewhack Adventure [DVD] [2004]
Dave Gorman's Googlewhack Adventure [DVD] [2004]
Dvd ~ Dave Gorman
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £7.80

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Hilarious, 22 Oct. 2006
This is probably one of the best stand-ups I have seen in my life.The unique thing about Dave's stand up is that it contains a thrilling true story describing Dave's epic journey around the world. So whilst you're laughing along to it, you find yourself being drawn into the plot and experiencing the highs and lows that Dave goes through. He is certainly a terrific storyteller. I'm struggling to think of more things to write in this review without spoiling the plot (and trust me, this show does have a plot!) so I shall finish here. Just know that I would wholeheartedly recommend this DVD to anyone!

Timesplitters 2 (Xbox Classics)
Timesplitters 2 (Xbox Classics)
Offered by Retro World
Price: £6.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth the money, 26 Aug. 2005
Timesplitters 2 is a good game. I had read good reviews about this so I decided to buy it for £5. And in my opinion it is worth it. It certainly could be better but I don't regret the purchase. The single player whilst fairly short is entertaining and the thing I like about the campaign so much is the many different environments that you'll be gunning people down in. 1920s chicago, wild west, space station, planet x. They all feature cool weapons and that is why I like the single player. The graphics, like many other people have said, aren't great and are very cartoony, but at least the game doesn't run slow. The music adds to the atmosphere and is good. The thing I love about this game is that there is absolutely loads to do other than the campaign. You can unlock challenges, game modes, tons of characters, complete near impossible quests, achieve medals, and if you get bored of that you build your very own map. Maps can be as complex or as simple as you want. You choose the colours, the environments, weapons, how many floors there are. You can even design your own missions and challenge your friends to complete them although this is very hard to do without assistance. The multiplayer itself features around ten maps, all of which vary in environment based on the story levels. The maps are sometimes good and sometimes bad based on opinion but your own maps are the best to play on IMO. There are lots of game modes to do apart from the regular deathmatch and assault and capture the bag. Yes bag. These other game types include flame tag where you have to set others on fire, elimination, where everyone has one life, and a strange one where the person who is currently last gets loads of monkeys to help them to shoot people. The number of characters you have to choose from is immense and they are all really cool. You can be troopers, robots, zombies, or even a monkey. When you choose to play a multiplayer game you can choose your own custom weapon set or custom bot set to play against, and lots of cool rules such as one shot kills etc. The multiplayer is very hectic and is even more hectic than unreal championship because you have a lot less health on timesplitters. This is one of the reasons why it loses a star becauses it doesn't really have a good feel about it and there is no tactical element to the game. It's just run around and shoot. The other main reason why it loses a star is because of the aiming. I don't know why they made it like it is but the crosshair does all this weird stuffwhere it moves funny. The only way you can know what I'm talking about is if you actually play the game. I hated it at first but grew to strafe instead of aiming too much. If you turn the crosshair off it does it less but you can't see where you are aiming. All in all this game is great and it is jam-packed full of amazing features to try out both in single player and multipleyer, with plenty of surprises. Just watch out for the aiming. You may as well buy it, I mean, it's only £3 now so it's definitely worth it.

SoulCalibur II (Xbox)
SoulCalibur II (Xbox)
Offered by total-gamer
Price: £8.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic fighting game, 23 Aug. 2005
This review is from: SoulCalibur II (Xbox) (Video Game)
This game is so underrated it is unbelievable. It really is one of the best fighting games I have ever played (which have included street fighter, mortal kombat and the tekken series).
First off, the number of moves available in this game is huge as there are around 15 characters, each boasting 100+ moves. The weapon-based fighting really makes it a lot more exciting than the regular punch, kick, and grab combos. you can fight with swords huge and small, nunchuks, staffs, blades, daggers, axes, and loads more. The different characters are great. They all look different and play extremely well, some better than others. As always, the women are generally faster than men yet weaker. Instead of buttons being assigned to punch, kick, and other things, they are assigned to horizontal attack, vertical attack, kick, and block. The attacks work in a sort of rock, paper, scissors system which you soon get used to. This means you have to think fast, and rewards people who are good at spotting the most common attack moves in enemies, enabling them to initiate a quick counter move. Despite this, button bashers can still manage to beat the skilled gamers, which sometimes can be frustrating when playing against your friends. The AI is excellent with many different difficulty settings. The arenas are all great and so is the music. The graphics are just stunning to look at. You can also play in training mode where you can simply practice moves for each character and you can make it so that the computer just stands there and lets you perform your moves on them, or the enemy always tries to perform grabs, or vertical attacks. You can make it so that you can practice just one part of your game. This is a great feature. The weapon master mode is really good and involves a story about finding a legendary sword. Each battle has something to do with the storyline, although the amount of pre-fight text to read can sometimes be quite heavy. As you go through the game you earn money which you can use to unlock so many things. There really are just too many things to unlock. Mainly weapons for each character. There are around 10 per character I think. Other than that, there are arenas, new characters, additional costumes, art galleries, movie theaters, new game modes and tons of other stuff as well. Each match in the story mode will have special conditions. For example in one of them, you have a bomb on your body so you are not allowed to get knocked down other wise you die. And on another one there is a strong wind which will continue to blow you towards the edge of the arena. These conditions are sometimes tough but they are a great twist. The music and voiceovers are also great.
The only minor things I can find wrong with the game are the button basher problem, the fact that it's not xbox live enabled, and that there is a little too much text regarding the story in weapon master mode. On the whole though, these problems are minor. If the game was online enabled it really would make the game that much better.

Ninja Gaiden (Xbox)
Ninja Gaiden (Xbox)
Offered by multimedia-online
Price: £17.99

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly amazing!!!, 23 Aug. 2005
This review is from: Ninja Gaiden (Xbox) (Video Game)
Before I start this review let me sum the game up for you - this game is probably the best action/adventure game I have ever played.
The game revolves around ninja Ryu Hayabusa (from the DOA series) as he seeks retribution against Doku, the mystical warrior who burned down Ryu's village and took the dragon sword.

The weapons you use to achieve this mission are varied in all respects. There are over ten different weapons to wield, ranging from the heavy and powerful to the light and quick (ideal for racking up huge combos!) with all manner of weapons lying in the middle (did someone say huge windmill throwing stars?). These weapons lie at the heart of why this game is so great. There's no better feeling than slashing up your opponent with a large pair of nunchucks which have huge blades on the end of them.

The enemies in the game put up a tough fight indeed and range from swarms of blood-sucking bats to ninjas similar to Ryu all the way to "Fiends" - strange-looking demons that will not hesitate to disembowl you. The difficulty of the enemies gradually increases throughout the course of the game. However, this is not to say that the enemies of the first level are easy. Indeed, don't be surprised if you find yourself dying early on in the game. You must quickly come to grips with the demanding combat system in order to stand a chance. This is helped in part by the upgrade system. You can upgrade each of your weapons at special shops throughout the game to make them more powerful and unlock more moves, and hidden collectibles allow you to extend your health and magic bars.
You are also given four different magic spells throughout the game called Ninpo. Three of these can be upgraded to be more powerful. They include fire, ice, and wind attacks and are very impressive. They are usually reserved for those tight spots in the game you find yourself in.

If you are having extreme difficulty despatching the regular enemies, then you will be disappointed to hear that the bosses are, in true gaming fashion, even harder. This game is infamous for the ridiculously hard boss fights. They require a skilled proficiency with weapons, a good sense of timing, and most importantly of all, PATIENCE. There are some particular bosses where you will find yourself dying dozens of time, and I can assure you that is no exaggeration. These deaths are not cheap like in other games however, and you will see there are ways of finding holes in the enemy's defence.

The graphics in the cutscenes are quite simply the best graphics I've ever seen, probably equal to Final Fantasy games. The cutscenes at the end of the second level really flaunt the game's graphics and help to progress the story. In terms of the plot, the story is nothing spectacular, and its main purpose is just to serve as a bridge between the chapters. In other games this may be considered a weakness, but with Ninja Gaiden all you want to do is hack and slash and then slash some more, without having to deal with those pesky cutscenes.
The soundtrack is very good, and I especially like the music when Ryu returns to his village later on in the game

As you kill enemies throughout the game, they drop little misty orbs that are known as "essence". Once the essence has been dropped you can either collect it or you can hold down the Y button. Holding the Y button will allow Ryu to absorb the essence allowing him to unleash a powerful "ultimate attack". These ultimate attacks produce a close-up view where you completely go to town on any enemies that happen to get in your way. Each weapon has a unique, but equally violent, ultimate attack. Combos and ultimate techniques give you more essence than a regular kill so you should try and use them as often as possible, both to make your life easier and just to stare at the attack sequences in awe.

The essence you collect will either be yellow, red, or blue. Red restores your Ninpo meter, blue restores your health, whilst the yellow is the game's currency and counts towards your score. This scoring system brings a very arcade-type feel to the game which I found very refreshing. At the end of each level you are assigned a score based on essence collected, enemies killed, time taken etc. This in turn assigns you a rank for the level (ninja dog, ninja warrior, ninja master etc). This system gives a real sense of nostalgia and is a good throw-back to all those old arcade side-scrollers. Incidentally, the original Ninja Gaiden arcade game can be unlocked for play during a certain portion of the game.

Once you complete the game, you can start a new game and have a brand new costume with a new sword which is called a plasma saber, which looks identical to a light saber. It has to be my favourite weapon in the game, purely for aesthetical reasons. Like many other people have said, this game is HARD. So hard, that it doesn't even feature an easy difficulty. Only normal, hard, and very hard - and believe me, normal will be more than enough for your first time through.

The hurricane packs available through xbox live bring a whole new level of difficulty to the game. They are specially designed levels which require you to climb a large tower, fighting wave after wave of enemies. As a result, this game has incredible replay value.

This is one of the best games I have ever played and deserves to be known as a true great over all consoles, so I would definitely recommend buying this game.

X-Men Legends (Xbox)
X-Men Legends (Xbox)

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good game, 23 Aug. 2005
This review is from: X-Men Legends (Xbox) (Video Game)
Playing as the X-Men is great and features lots of characters (including many I had never heard of) each with very cool, unique powers. The graphics have a very nice comic-book style whilst flaunting 3d effects which is a very unique and impressive combination I had not seen previously. When you first start the game there is a news show on the TV and the footage actually looks real. So much so, that when I played the start to my friends, they didn't even know it was a game. Like many action RPGs however, the gameplay can get slightly repetitive in that you are just going around killing enemy after enemy in a similar fashion. The game does however allow you to switch between your team of 4 mutants during a fight and this provides a lot of variety, as each mutant possesses individual powers that you will recognise from the comic books.
There are lots of nostalgic unlockables throughout the game such as comic books, original art designs, movies and discs where you can play through scenarios in the danger room.
Apart from the main storyline you can occupy your time fighting through scenarios in the danger room and playing through flashbacks. These are a welcome change.
I thought that the constant visits back to the mansion between missions were slightly unnecessary however and became a bit boring.
Each character can have four mutant abilities which can be levelled up and can be used. Each character also has several other passive abilities which benefit either them or the entire team. With each level-up you are awarded points to assign to each of these skills. The level cap (at 45 I think) is implemented such that you can not obtain all the skills available to a particular character. In other words, you must make your choices wisely and plan your spending. You can also upgrade your basic attributes to increase health, defense, attack etc. The reason this game loses a star is simply because of the repetitiveness and no presence of tactics. The lack of a blocking element means you are always on the offensive, almost similar to button-bashing. Overall it is a good game worth the price, so I would recommend it to anyone looking for a good action RPG.

Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance (Xbox)
Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance (Xbox)

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth buying, 23 Aug. 2005
In my opinion, Baldur's Gate is a very good game that is definitely worth buying. It is a pure action RPG that consists of "hacking and slashing" your way through dungeons. Baldur's Gate has an extremely immersive environment. The graphics are at times stunning, most notably when walking through water - the ripple effects were breathtaking. The music is good as well, creating an eerie atmosphere. As you go through the game you will have to save your money to buy various weapons and armour etc. but you will have to spend your money wisely - you will need to invest wisely in both offensive and defensive equipment in order to progress.
When starting the game, you can choose from three characters who all have their strengths and weaknesses so it can suit people of any style. After finishing the game, you unlock the "gauntlet", a game mode in which you fight a series of enemies with a new character who wields two blades, making attacks lethal. Despite this increased offensive capability, it is actually significantly tougher than the campaign.
At times the gameplay can become slightly repetitive however, and you feel forced just to carry on with it. This is why it loses a star, mainly because I am not a huge action RPG fan nor a dungeon-crawler fan. For anyone who does like dungeon-crawling action RPGs however, I would definitely recommend this because it is a quality game. If you are looking for another action RPG which doesn't deal with dungeons then I would suggest buying X-men Legends.

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