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Phil, psn: p4tiny (Earth)

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MotoGP 13 (PS3)
MotoGP 13 (PS3)
Offered by Game Trade Online
Price: £15.67

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars just brilliant, 15 July 2013
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: MotoGP 13 (PS3) (Video Game)
Bad stuff out the way: there are a few small glitches. Quite often when you're sitting in your pit garage, with the option of 'go to track', your bike won't be on it's stand ready, and then it'll suddenly appear. And sometimes, in the post-race highlights, your bike can be riderless, and then in the next shot you're on the bike again. The graphics in your motorhome (career mode) are a little rough, (and in the pit garage) and the emails/social feed messages you get during the career mode are very generic. And the game front reality the ps3 version is the same as all the other versions with Crutchlow at the front, Lorenzo and Rossi following....I wonder if Yamaha paid out for that?

And this is still a 5* game because none of that matters! Is it the best racer on ps3? Maybe not, (burnout paradise is for me) but it *is* the best sim racer. This game laughs in the face of gran turismo 5, and is just downright more fun than any of the codemasters racers, (f1/grid/dirt). Be warned! MotoGP 13 has a steep learning curve, but once you 'get' it, it's the most rewarding and addictive racer I've ever played. If you're unsure, download the demo off psn.

I'm playing it with the AI on 'hard' (easy/medium/hard/realistic), the physics on 'standard' (standard/semi-pro/pro), joint brakes on, (you do have the option to control the front and rear brakes separately) auto tuck-in, (you can choose whether to manually 'tuck-in' your rider on the straights/sit up when approaching corners) and auto gears. I've got the brake and steering assists off. I've also got tyre wear/mechanical failures/disciplinary flags all off, (which they are by default but can all be turned on)....and I'm just loving it!

First off you create a rider; then you have a choice of instant race, (motogp class, random rider/random track) grand prix, (choose from moto3/moto2/motogp, choose your rider - altho some are locked and you have to level up to unlock them - and choose your track, whether you want to do a full weekend/qualifying & race/just race, choose the weather etc). You also have a championship option, so you can choose to do a whole championship in any of the 3 classes, and then you have the meat of the game - career. In career you play as the rider you created and you have your own motorhome, where you can customize your rider more/check emails/social feeds etc. You start off as a wild card in four moto3 races, and if you meet all your objectives then you go on to do a full moto3 season. If you do well you get offered a moto2 ride and so on....

There's also 2-player split screen, and multiplayer. In multiplayer there's the usual options of quick race/custom race etc, and also full online championship :)

One thing to note, when doing a race in any of the offline modes; the default option is race-only, 15% race length, and the AI is set to easy, brake assist is on etc etc, so if you want to do qualifying/practice, a longer race, and crank up the difficulty etc then you have to go into 'racing aids' and 'race options'. Once you've changed it, the game saves your preferences tho :)

So the racing? Well it's awesome! The physics are perfect. When you crash you know it's fair; it's because you were braking too hard while lent over, or you squeezed on too much gas too early etc. If you hammer the brakes on the approach to a corner the back wheel will skip, and if you really overdo it you'll do an 'endo' but you don't go straight over the handle bars in an unrealistic way. Equally pulling back and accelerating too hard will pull off a wheelie, which if overdone can send you off the back. The bikes feel brilliantly nimble, yet planted and the way you can slide the back wheel out when winding the throttle on, on the exit to a corner is just epic. It's amplified more when you move the physics from standard to semi-pro or pro, so you have to practice careful throttle control. The AI is also brilliant, making lunges, but not too aggressive like the maniacs in the 'nfs shift' games, but definitely not on rails like gran turismo.

When racing the graphics too are top notch, photo realistic, with a silky framerate. The 360 version looks to be getting a lot of complaints of bad slowdown, but not so on the ps3. Have we got the better version of a game for once? Anyway, it's perfect, and has a great photo mode you can activate during the replay, (the replay, not the race highlights. You can press square when it's displaying the race results to watch the entire race again from a variety of cameras. Pause, fast forward, watch in slow-mo and take photos, which can be exported to the xmb and used as cool wallpapers (atm i've got vale and bradl cornering at Laguna) etc :)) The sound too - to me is very very good; a lot of professional and customer reviews seem to criticize the sound as sounding like a guy swinging a chainsaw, or just generally very weak, but put this through a decent set of speakers or headphones and it sounds real to me.

The presentation when you start a race is ripped straight out of British eurosport, which makes it feel super authentic.

I just really cannot recommend this game enough. It's niche, so it's a shame not many people will take any notice of it; the casual race fan would be more likely to take a random punt on stuff like 'grid 2' - which is a let-down of a game - but the care and effort which has been ploughed into this is brilliant, and the sheer racing, handling model and overall physics are all just spot on!

If you like racers, and are prepared to initially put some effort into learning how to play this game properly, then just buy buy buy. It's seriously a top draw game, and deserves support :)

Still Life
Still Life
Price: £9.26

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars peak of the 'classic' opeth sound, 12 July 2013
This review is from: Still Life (Audio CD)
This is where it all came together. Song writing, production, band all came good. For me there are 3 albums that have the 'classic' opeth sound; still life, blackwater park, and deliverance. Blackwater park has my favourite opeth song ever, (the track 'blackwater park') and deliverance my second favourite, (again, the title track) but as an overall album, still life has them both beat.

Stunning production, great transitions from clean to death, awesome riffs all over the place. Is it their best album? It's the best album to showcase their 'classic' sound, but not their best overall - that's ghost reveries :)

But ghost reveries is different to all their other albums and this is a still life review ;)

Their 4th album; still life, starts eerie, then acoustic, then the heaviness comes. The Moor is such a ridiculously strong track; the best opening song of any opeth album, and from there it changes from crunching, to soothing, from deathly to light, with dazzling guitar breaks and rolling drum fills. It's all just so consistent and brilliant.

Orchid was fantastic, but raw; far more accomplished than any debut deserves to be, and probably my 4th favourite opeth album, but clearly it was just the beginning. Morningrise was.....well I don't like it. It's like many shades of grey. There's no light and dark, it's got thin production, and I just can't get into it. My fantastic; a definite step towards the still life sound, but again - not quite there.

Still life is a fantastic place to start if you're new to opeth. Most people would say Blackwater park, but I would say the 3 ESSENTIAL opeth albums are orchid, still life, and ghost reveries, and the individual tracks, 'blackwater park' and 'deliverance'.

Far Cry 3 (PS3)
Far Cry 3 (PS3)
Offered by Gameseek
Price: £20.07

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars one of the top 5 games this gen full stop, 6 Jun 2013
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Far Cry 3 (PS3) (Video Game)
At the time of writing this review Far Cry 3 (FC3) is £15 on amazon, which is simply a crazy bargain for one of the very best games ever released. Along with the likes of skyrim, bioshock, dark souls, COD4:MW etc, FC3 is one of the defining games of the ps360 era.

I have to say, my absolute favourite game on the ps3 is skyrim, which was famously 'broken' on release, but is now peerless post-patches, but FC3 trumps it in some regards. The gameworld in FC3 is stunning; literally the best world in any game I've played. Lush jungles, waterfalls galore, rapid rivers, mountains with perilous mountain roads, ancient crumbling temples, a fully explorable seabed with underwater temples and sunken's got it all. A great day/night cycle, dynamic weather. And the wildlife :) big cats randomly hunting deer and boars etc, komodo dragons snapping at your ankles, crocodiles in the rivers, sharks in the sea. It all feels brilliantly natural and is totally unscripted. And it's all fully explorable between missions. There's some *very* clever programming going on here.

One more thing about the gameworld - it's HUGE. It feels at least as big as skyrim, it's definitely bigger than red dead redemption/GTA4 etc. When you take into account there's 2 massive islands with masses of sea in between, and *lots* of smaller islands and islets dotted about with various shrines and cave systems on them etc - the world is BIG. And it's beautiful. Thick jungle with deep and lush greens, various differnent fauna, aforementioned caves, all with superb lighting. It's not as big as 'just cause 2' but it's much more detailed, and more fun to play about in. Try throwing a molotov cocktail in the grass and just watch the dynamic fire spread :)

All of it runs superbly on the ps3 too. Fantastic animal and person animations, a rock-solid framerate, barely any screen tearing (I didn't notice any), great explosion effects etc. Guns that feel like they're ripped straight from COD (so they feel great), smooth & responsive controls, vehicles that are great fun to drive, handgliding and swimming that are both fun and intuitive. Basically everything is nailed.

And then there's just a 30ish hour campaign, which has brilliantly designed missions, a mixture of stealth and action, great music choices sprinkled in, a plethora of side missions, hunting and crafting, mini games, weapon upgrades, skilltrees, radiotowers (think viewpoints in assassins creed), guardposts to liberate, collectibles, and a FANTASTIC cast of characters.

Then there's multiplayer, co-op missions and a map editor too!

Just get it. It's awesome :) and it's a fun and very doable platinum trophy too.

Cat5e RJ45 Ethernet LAN Network Cable UTP Lead 5M
Cat5e RJ45 Ethernet LAN Network Cable UTP Lead 5M
Offered by memorycapital
Price: £1.20

5.0 out of 5 stars ps3 connection, 6 Mar 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
bought this to connect my ps3 directly to a BT infinity hub. it works and i get 30+ mbps download speed. not much else to say. £1.40 well spent :)

King Animal
King Animal
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £14.16

1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars welcome return, but not the strongest, 18 Nov 2012
This review is from: King Animal (Audio CD)
Ok, this album seems to be loved, and a lot of people are saying it sounds like 1996 again, etc....alot will probably disagree with me, but to my ears this album is just ok, at least bearing in mind the brilliance these guys are capable of.

The big problem is alot of the songs do sound *very* samey, but there are 4 or 5 gems. I'm a soundgarden fan of badmotorfinger and superunknown vintage; I've never heard down on the upside. To put 3* in context I would say superunknown is a 5* album because it's just plain brilliant, but if that's 5* then badmotorfinger is 6* because that's just on a different level. So hopefully you'll see what i mean by 3* for king animal.

Chris' voice still sounds superb, and the playing and production is of great quality, (warm production. Not too polished) but it's the song writing; it's just a tad limp with a few great songs. It's great to have the band back, and maybe after a few more spins it'll grow more, but after 3 complete listens i still feel the same as i did on my first listen tbh.

Tbh i prefer the audioslave albums to king animal; one major problem with king animal is that overall it's nowhere near heavy enough, (compared to old soundgarden). I don't expect them to release superunknown vol.2 and i'm not stuck in the past, but they're meant to be a heavy rock band (not metal i know) and this just isn't yeah 3/5. Average to good.

On a slight sidenote, the deftones new one (koi no yokan) released on the same day as king animal is top-to-bottom awesome - some veterans bands have still got it, some only show flashes.

Snakes For The Divine [Digipack]
Snakes For The Divine [Digipack]

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why can't all albums sound this good!!?, 16 Jun 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This album is truly a masterpiece. Snakes for the Devine is the only High on Fire album I own, but prior to this I bought 'Dopesmoker' by Sleep, also featuring Matt Pike - what a guitarist!

Where to start? The title track is the best song on the album, but that's not to say the rest of the album is weak in any way. Far from it! So how does it all begin? With a solo of sorts, (not a twiddly solo, but a solo in the same way as Sweet Child o'Mine starts - clean, soloish, but really it's just a killer riff!) and then the drums and the distortion both kick in. The drums! This guys pounds the skins. All furious double bass and crashing symbols. Safe to say the drumming is very good; as is the bass. Nothing fancy; no slapping or bass solos - it mostly follows the sound of the guitars, but ties it all down and rumbles with a nice thick sludgy sound.

Speaking of sludgy, it's a pretty good way to describe Pikes vocals, but sludgy in a good way. It genuinely sounds like he's constantly gargling whisky. The voice sounds a bit Lemmyish, but a lot courser, (if possible). The vocals certainly have a deathy edge, but don't be mistaken, they're not death metal vocals. Think more 'Machine Head' Rob Flynn, but with more of a bar-room-brawl sound. Needless to say the vocals fit the music perfectly.

And so the music - it's dominated by the guitar of Matt Pike. Riff after riff; speed riffs, groove riffs, (just listen to the title track at about the six-minute mark after the solo ends - one of the best head-nodding grooves you'll ever hear with Matt Pike screaming over the top!) solo-like riffs; this guy can play. Most of it's at breakneck speed - but it's not just noise. It's not speed metal, it's just relentless muscular metal. Lamb of God use the tagline 'pure american metal' - well this is the real deal. the guitars aren't sharp; they churn. They grab hold of your gut and pull down on your throat forcing your head to nod in agreement. There are actual solos tossed around, but they never out-stay their welcome. The solos are technically excellent for sure, but this band are all about the riffs. This is muscular metal through and through. It's not really stoner rock, (but there are elements) it only really gets really thrashy on `Ghost Neck' which is a bit Slayer-like, (only heavier - maybe not as nasty) and it only really slows down on `B*stard Samurai' (with an uber heavy chorus) and `How dark we Pray' (which has a heavy as hell almost tribal mid section). On the whole it's just punishing, (somehow melodic) dirty metal. The whole album is a visceral assault. It never lets up from start from finish.

The production? Top drawer as well - it's hard to describe though. Every instrument is trying to be louder than the other, but at the same time everything can be clearly heard. It's got a dirty production, but it's not badly produced by any means. It's loud, but not shrill. The guitars are thick, the drums, (as mentioned) pound, and the bass curls around. It's about the most air-tight record I've heard; very addictive, every track makes you want to head bang.

This album is definitely one of the best metal releases of recent years. It's right up there with Machine Head's 'The Blackening,' Mastodon's 'Blood Mountain' and 'Crack the Skye' and Lamb of God's 'Ashes of the Wake''s not as creative as those albums, but that's no bad thing! It's dirtier than all of them combined and all the better for it.

A true thunderous rollicking metal album, buy Snakes for the Divine for the title track alone, and then marvel at how the rest of the album pretty much keeps the pace throughout. Exceptional.

The Way Of All Flesh (Includes CD Plus 16 Page Deluxe Booklet)
The Way Of All Flesh (Includes CD Plus 16 Page Deluxe Booklet)
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £11.05

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended, 14 April 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
just thought i'd add my thoughts.....and i want to start by saying this is definitely a five star album.

i read a lot of reviews before buying and i was expecting this to be the heaviest thing since lead was discovered. i'm into a lot of heavy bands, but still like a bit of melody. well truth be told gojira aren't really all that heavy.

great riffs, great intricate guitar work, and great screaming vocals, but most of the time you can still understand the lyrics. fans of decapitated, and other such HEAVY bands may want to look elsewhere.

this album would be right at home with fans of mastodon, and more specifically lamb of god. people into slipknot would also find a lot to like here as well.

very solid album. not too progressive. for my prog metal kicks i'd still turn to opeth or dream theater, (opeth obviously more death and DT more twiddly but both great). the way of all flesh is more lamb of god type progressive, i.e. great guitar work, but no drastic time changes or left-field acoustic breakdowns etc.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 30, 2012 4:51 PM BST

Edifier MP300 Plus Black 2.1 Speaker System with slim subwoofer
Edifier MP300 Plus Black 2.1 Speaker System with slim subwoofer
Offered by Emax
Price: £49.99

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars ok for size, 10 Jun 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
These speakers look amazing. so neat and compact, (tidy) and I guess for the size the sound they kick out is reasonable. I must have been naive in what I expected - the sound really is quite limited. They're small and so is the noise.

These would be fine for a laptop sure, but I bought them for a TV. They work , and are fine for regular TV viewing, but for films and games, truth be told they don't really cut it.

Don't be totally put off though; for the size they're great, and they're superb quality for sure :)

Crack the Skye [Special Edition]
Crack the Skye [Special Edition]
Price: £7.54

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Experimental. Brilliant., 27 Mar 2009
Mastodon depart from their old material for a proper trip down prog-rock avenue with 'Crack The Skye'.

I'm a massive fan of 'Levithan' and 'Blood mountian' but don't own 'Remission.' I always loved Mastodon for their Lamb of God type sound in places, but with alot more experimenting going on. Like Opeth making 4 minute songs with lots of aggression and hardly any acoustic sections!

A lot of Mastodon fans may be put off by 'Crack The Skye'. It is a lot different. It definitely has a classic rock sound; the overall standout track is undeniably 'The Czar' with 4 distinct sections. It's the coolest song Mastodon have ever committed to tape, and gets into a real groove in the 2nd sectioon. The guitar solo in section 3 is mind blowing, and the singing sounds a lot Ozzy Osbourne. The whole track is like Black Sabbath playing for 2009.

Alot is said about 'The Czar,' but 'The Last Baron' stands out just as well; clocking in at 13 minutes, '...Baron' sees Mastodon going into prog overdrive, sounding, (as others have said) a bit like early King Crimson' but also nearly as technical and down-right mad as Dream Theater. If 'The Czar' is Mastodon's 4-part epic story-telling track, then 'The Last Baron' is just their prog metal wig-out madness suite.

The other 5 tracks are concise brilliant peices, harmonious, mostly clean singing, mostly heavy riffs, (especially the title track) and packed with awesome guitar solos. This is definitely Mastodon's best album. It's their classic rock masterpiece; but be warned. A major departure from 'Leviathan' and 'Blood Mountain'. Brilliant stuff.

Cheers for reading.

Lotus: Live in Japan!
Lotus: Live in Japan!
Offered by samurai_media_JPN4UK
Price: £97.01

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 2006 release delux box set, 10 Dec 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Lotus: Live in Japan! (Audio CD)
I own the VERY expensive 2006 CD release that spans 3 discs. I'm only 23, so I can't be certain, but I think it's a minature re-production of the original 1973 vinyl. Either way, the 3 CD version is lush in every way.

It all comes in a see through plastic slip case. There's the gate-fold CD package itself, rather like Led Zeppelin's 'How The West Was Won' and the booklet seperate. The booklet is all in Japanese however! Some great pictures though.

The CD package is presented beautifully. Stunning art work abound, either end of the fold out pulls out completely and folds up and down to reveal even more mystical art. Each CD pulls out in a cardboard slip case, and inside this a plastic sleeve, just like a mini vinyl! All this is after you've folded out the package, and looked at all the various mini-posters/postcards that are in there, as well as what I assume to be a copy of the original gig ticket, and reciept, although it's all in Japanese, so I may be mistaken!

As for the music itself? Sublime. I doubt it varies much, if at all from the 2008 2 CD release that costs £11 or thereabouts. This 3 CD version does maintain the original 1973 track order though, but that's only a minor quibble about the regular CD release as long as everything is there.

To summerise, this expensive release is stellar. And there's the catch: expensive. £70 or whatever is alot to ask. If you're an avid fan or collector then yes it's worth it, cos the box set is very special, and so well presented. If you're just really rich and can afford it then go for it. For the average, just stick to the 2 CD version cos it's fine. This would make an amazing present though for someone who likes Santana but doesn't own this album in any form. Just look after it! It's a cracking album either way you cut it. One of the best live albums by anyone ever.

Thanks for reading.

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