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David Lanigan (Manchester, UK)
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Sony NW-A3000S 20GB Walkman MP3 Player - Silver
Sony NW-A3000S 20GB Walkman MP3 Player - Silver

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice Try Sony, 23 Jun. 2006
I have been a fan of Sony stuff for as long as I can remember and this love of all things Sony influenced my decision to choose this player as my second mp3. I have had one of these for a while now and while there are many good points to espouse I still can't help feeling I should have bought one of the new i-pods.

The good stuff is that it looks cool and is lovely to hold, really lovely. Even now I still rub my hands around the unit with glee in a slightly pervy way which draws scowls from onlookers but I defy anyone who picks it up not to go, "oooh". And you have just gotta love the battery life. The menu system is nice and easy to use and you can find the tracks you need quickly. Sound quality is good and by using my Sony tape adaptor I can pretty much have my entire record collection available in my car.

Sadly it all goes down hill from here. The software is so bad as to be unusable at times. Wading through treacle in a pair of heavy boots doesn't come close. It hangs frequently and updating the library takes ages. It's just horrible. Using the back button on the unit is an adventure and can take up to a minute or so to get where you want to go. I tend to leave it playing on random so this may have an impact but its still rather frustrating. Plus I just cant get the link function to work effectively.

It's also just a little too big. Yes, it's a joy to hold but the smaller 4gb version is easier to cart around and less intrusive in your inside pocket. Do I need to mention that the bundled headphones are naff? Thought not.

As a comparison I borrowed a friends i-pod for a week and its just better; size, interface, style, presentation. Sorry Sony, love you as I still do, there is not enough here to keep me loyal. Next time round its an i-pod for me.


Football Manager Handheld (PSP)
Football Manager Handheld (PSP)
Offered by scaddingk
Price: £3.50

13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, really good but not great, 30 April 2006
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
If you are a Football Manager fan this game is not going to live up to your expectations. If however you can remember playing championship manager in its earlier forms and you appreciate the limitations of the hardware then you will love this right up.

This is a stripped down, no nonsense, back to core values version of everything that made the game great in the first place. The interface is familiar and easy to navigate. Once you have sussed out that the left shoulder button works as a 'back' function, you're flying. And even though the tactics bit isn't as in depth as you might like, that 'one more match' factor is as strong as ever. I am a good twenty hours in and haven't got any real issues with the game. Alright, so there is no option to manage international teams and with no reserve side, improving your youngsters is a little more fiddly but you can still loan players out. Also, playing all league games on a Saturday is a bit of pain, especially if you are in the Uefa Cup on a Thursday but these are minor gripes, I mean how great is it to win a crucial 5th round FA Cup replay on the train to work?

As the title of the review suggests, it would be misleading to lavish 5 stars on a game that isn't truly exceptional. For that you would need this version of Football Manager to deliver something truly remarkable rather than the quality, solid piece of software it is. So then , more your Alan Shearer than your Ronaldhino, if that isn't too hackneyed a comparison.


Viewtiful Joe
Viewtiful Joe
Offered by STOCKTASTIC
Price: £39.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cool but Tough, 27 Mar. 2004
This review is from: Viewtiful Joe (Video Game)
I really like this game. Different looking, different playing and, well lets face it, different everything. But boy is it hard.
You take control of Joe whose girlfriend has been kidnapped by baddies and taken into movieland. You must rescue her and kick the living daylights out of her captors. And it is the way in which you dispense the ultra violence that makes the game unique. Slow down, speed up and zoom in with devastating effect to pummel you opponents and rack up "Viewtiful" combos.
I really dont think I could explain the rest, you really have to play it to understand the originality of the concept and design and the incredible graphics on show. I know that a 2-D best 'em up sounds dodgy but dont let that put you off. If you, like me, consider yourself a gaming enthusiast you need to play this.
There are a couple of moans to share. Firstly, it IS hard and ruthlessly unfair at times. I found level 5 incredibly difficult to finish. Secondly, the lack of save points is a niggle. You cannot save the game before a boss battle which can be very annoying and some levels dont give you the chance to stop midway.
If you own a gamecube, you should own a copy of this game. if you dont own a gamecube, buy one and then buy this.


Metal Arms: A Glitch In The System (GameCube)
Metal Arms: A Glitch In The System (GameCube)

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly Enjoyable, 27 Mar. 2004
Now that I am getting on a bit I like to find games that are easily accessible with nice touches and with a sufficient challenge to keep me coming back. I only get to play games in 2-3 hour bursts every now and again so I need a game that won't demand I have to remember a whole load of stats, items and storyline before I can resume playing. So thank the stars for this excellent game.
Robots are cool. Robots that are tooled up to nines with heavy artillery are even cooler. The game allows you to take control of Glitch, a plucky mining droid who can collect various weapons to turn him into a droid of destruction in his battle to save his planet from a bunch of nasty military type bots.
There are 40+ levels where you razz round blowing the living daylights out of the enemy, nicely broken up by some fantastic set pieces, driving challenges and you also get to play as other characters and enemy robots. These changes in game style make the experience all the more enjoyable.
To whet your appetite, the standout sections involve; repelling an attack on your base and "recruiting" some enemy bots via a special weapon to fight alongside you, a game of simon says, riding shotgun while a foul mouthed mechanic bot bad mouths the enemy and duking it out, gladiator stylee, in a robot colloseum.
I did find the camera angle occasionally frustrating and when it really kicks off there is the inevitable slowdown but these are minor gripes in an otherwise splendid game. I also have not had a chance to try the multiplayer options so I cant vouch for those but they look like fun.
Throw in some good voice characterisation and some nice comedic cut scenes right from the start and you are looking at a damn fine game. I am reticient to give this five stars as that mark should be for the truly exceptional and revolutionary but I cant recommned this game enough as it does everything so well.
Please buy this it really does deserve to be in your collection.


The Blind Watchmaker
The Blind Watchmaker
by Richard Dawkins
Edition: Paperback

22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good place to start, 20 Mar. 2004
This review is from: The Blind Watchmaker (Paperback)
How can anyone ignore or dismiss the origins of one's own species? I know I can't and thankfully neither can Richard Dawkins. Having never read Darwin or held anything more than a rudimentary understanding of the story of evolution, this book was recommended to me as an ideal place to start when beginning a journey of self-knowledge.
After a Christian upbringing I had many questions that religion could not convincingly answer and after reading this book I now have an alternative theory that sounds at least as plausible to me as that put forward by the Bible.
I am dismayed that others comments on this book are unwilling to accept any of the authors theories. Each idea is presented with charm, wit and intelligence and where there are passages that I glazed over this did not diminish the message or the enjoyment gained from the reading experience. Even if one ultimately disagrees with the authors view, it cannot be denied that he makes a jolly good argument to support his case.
Please ignore the one-star reviews, this book is an excellent addition to your canon as the question, "where DID we come from?" bubbles up out of you.


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