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Reviews Written by
Amazon Customer "Dan Bell" (Northampton, England)

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Grand Theft Auto IV (PS3)
Grand Theft Auto IV (PS3)
Offered by Gameline GmbH.
Price: £9.99

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The emperors new clothes, 5 Jun. 2008
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
GTA4 needs to be put in perspective. Yes, the graphics are great, yes, the sound is great, yes, the acting and animation is great, but, it's the same game we had in GTA3. Take out the mobile phone and there is nothing new here. The combat system is still rubbish, the targeting is still rubbish, and the cars handle marginally better than in previous games. Overall this is a triumph of marketing from Rockstar. Is it any wonder there are 10 out 10 reviews in all the magazines and websites when the only time people from these magazines and websites saw the game was in the offices of Rockstar. I wouldn't be surprised if Rockstar had final approval on all reviews (allegedly) before they were printed. It's the only way I can explain all these rave reviews because if you believe them, then GTA4 is the best game that has ever been made, and this couldn't be further from the truth. I was drawn into this media frenzy like everybody else and parted with my £45 on release day. I just wish I had rented beforehand as this is a twenty quid title at best.

Benidorm - Series 1 [DVD]
Benidorm - Series 1 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Johnny Vegas
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £2.79

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ITVs best kept secret., 5 Jun. 2008
This review is from: Benidorm - Series 1 [DVD] (DVD)
Benidorm is enjoyable for a three simple reasons.

Firstly, whilst rarely laugh-out-loud funny, there are numerous times in every episode that raise a smile.

Secondly, most of us have been on the cheap package holidays so we can relate to everything that happens at the hotel, from the sitting round the pool all day, to the karaoke bar at night.

Lastly, we all know, or have met someone who is like the characters in the show and we all decide who we would "have a drink with" and who we would "definitely avoid".

All the characters are extremely likeable, and although the humour is smutty at times, it never descends into gross out comedy which is there to shock rather than raise a smile. If you missed it on TV this DVD is definitely worth buying as it is one of those rare comedies which is as funny on a repeat viewing, as it was the first time.

Race Driver: GRID (PS3)
Race Driver: GRID (PS3)
Offered by Crunchbusters
Price: £19.91

48 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yet another sublime game from Codemasters., 4 Jun. 2008
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
I traded in my 360 to get a PS3 recently, primarily to get GT5 prologue as I have been a huge GT fan for years. Whilst that is not the disaster some people will have you believe, I was very under whelmed, and was beginning to regret having to get rid of Forza 2 and PGR along with the 360. At last though, a brilliant racing game has finally graced the PS3 and goes someway to alleviating the pain of not being able to play PGR or Forza 2 any more.

GRID does what PGR does perfectly, it makes racing games fun again. Whilst GRID is not as easy to pick up and play as some racing games, the handling is fine once you get used to it. Anyone who has played DIRT will know what to expect as it runs on the same engine and feels very similar. Where this excels over DIRT is in the number of cars on track at once. The AI is also superb and makes the supposed "new and improved" AI in GT5 look like a joke. Cars will actually try and avoid crashing into you, and will make mistakes as a real person would. Cars rarely, if ever, spin out in GT5 and follow the exact same lines lap after lap, even if another car is in the way. GRID feels much more real and gives a sense you are racing against actual people rather than the computer.

The structure is simple to follow, progresses quickly and has a very good learning curve. I laughed at another review that said the game was "intimidating". Although there are only around 45 cars, the game never feels repetitive. The challenges keep coming, and its one of those games that has that "just one more go" factor and hours disappear in the blink of an eye.

I could go on and on about how good this game is. In an age where games of all genres are fast becoming clones of each other, Codemasters have raised the bar for driving games with something that feels fresh and exciting. Graphically and aurally it is astonishing. There is no slow down, even when there is a massive pile up in a corner. The damage model is outstanding and the more it is compared with GT5, the more it makes that look very dated, even with its near photorealism. With Gran Turismo churning out pretty much the same game they introduced around 10 years ago Codemasters have to be applauded for making something which feels like progression and represents true value for money. Compare this to TOCA touring cars on the PS one and you will realise just far they have come. Compare GT5 with the original and, apart from the obvious leap in graphics, it is virtually the same.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 3, 2014 10:50 AM BST

Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 (PS3)
Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 (PS3)
Offered by passionFlix UK
Price: £6.07

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Deja Vu, 30 May 2008
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
When the original Vegas game was released, it was one of the first "next-gen" games I played and I was blown away. I though it looked great, sounded great and more importantly was brilliant to play. The biggest problem with this sequel is that it is exactly the same as the first one. Apart from the ability to run I can't see anything different. Obviously it is played out in different parts of Vegas, but, because it runs on the same engine everything looks all too familiar.

If you haven't played the first Vegas then I would just buy that as it will be a lot cheaper than this. If you have played the first, then I would definitely wait until this drops to around the £20 mark before purchasing. It is still a brilliant game but it just doesn't feel as if there has been any progression made from the first to justify a £40 price tag.

Alba DVD Recorder RDVD1006
Alba DVD Recorder RDVD1006

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great value entry level DVD recorder., 27 May 2008
Alba has a reputation of providing cheap and cheerful products. This DVD player is no different and provides fantastic value for money.

It is easy to set up and use and provides decent picture quality. When connected to a surround sound system the quality of audio is indistinguishable from more expensive models. The recording quality is fine and provides a picture that looks virtually the same as the source. I have recorded a lot from Sky and it looks pretty much the same when played through the DVD player as it did when I was watching it "live".

It has inputs on a drop down panel at the front which are perfect for recording onto a DVD from a camcorder.

It's not perfect though. The biggest problem is it takes approx 30 seconds from when you turn the player on for it to be ready to either play or record a DVD. I know 30 seconds isn't long but in this technologically advanced age it feels like you are waiting forever. This however is a minor problem and with a little patience its fine.

Overall this is a great entry level DVD recorder for those on a tighter budget. Don't be put of by the name or price. It is much better than the 50 quid price tag would suggest.

Hama USB 2.0 Card Reader - 35 In 1
Hama USB 2.0 Card Reader - 35 In 1
Price: £7.00

43 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy peasy!, 23 May 2008
I am far from a computer genius and if something requires more than just plugging in a USB and using it then I get stuck!

Thankfully this card reader is so simple to use even Jade Goody wont get stuck. Simply plug it in, wait for your PC to see it and drag and drop the required files, simple.

Its great value, and I dont understand why anyone would pay the higher price for other readers which essentially do the same thing.

Girlz Gaming World Black PS2 RGB Scart+ AV Box Cable
Girlz Gaming World Black PS2 RGB Scart+ AV Box Cable

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you don't have a HD ready TV, this is as near to HD as you can get., 20 May 2008
= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:5.0 out of 5 stars 
For those of you who are like me and have not yet got a HD ready TV, this scart lead will provide quality that is probably as near to it as you can get without one.

I have a standard 24" CRT TV and the picture was blurry at best through the supplied cable and it is hard to notice a huge leap in quality from PS2 to PS3. Having read reviews on the more expensive RGB scarts I thought I would try this cheaper one out to see if it did actually make a difference or not. When it arrived I was still a bit dubious as to whether I have wasted my money or not. On plugging it in though I was blown away by the difference it makes. Colours become crisp and sharp and text is now perfectly clear and easy to read rather than a blurry mess. Anyone who has played GT5 on a standard TV will know how blurry the red line is on the speedo. With this scart lead it is now solid and the picture is so clear you can actually read the numbers on the speedo from the in car view.

A lot of reviewers complain of a green screen when watching DVDs. This cable has an A/V output on it so if you have spare scart (or just use a multiple adaptor) you can simply switch to this and the green screen problem goes away.

Why Sony provide such a poor lead is surprising as they are not doing anything to show off just how good the PS3 is. Until I eventually get a HD TV this lead is worth every penny. Don't be tempted into paying over the odds for a more expensive one. This really is all you need.

One word of warning though. Unless your TV has an RGB enabled scart socket then it won't make any difference. Check this out before you buy.

Gran Turismo 5 Prologue (PS3)
Gran Turismo 5 Prologue (PS3)
Offered by Game Dealz
Price: £13.53

28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, but flawed, 19 May 2008
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
First of all, forget whether this is "half" a game or not and all the controversy surrounding it. It's half the price so stop whinging. If you think it is a con then don't buy it and just wait for next years "full" game.

There are far more problems with it than the price though. The biggest problem is that it is virtually the same game we saw back in '99 just with the obvious improvement in graphics. Because it looks so fantastic it makes the fact that you cannot "crash" look even more ridiculous. When you look at footage of the forthcoming TOCA Grid and look at how great that looks I can't help thinking that the lack of crashes is down to programmers with an obbsesive desire to make the cars look as real as possible. Who cares that there will be 700 cars. You would have to play it for years to get anywhere near owning half of them. Also, there will be loads of rubbish that no-one will want to buy but will be forced to as the opening races are as dull as a party political broadcast. When you first see the cars they look stunning. No-one can argue with that. The problem is that because they look so amazing when you hit another car, or a barrier and nothing happens it looks ridiculous.

The driving in the game however, is second to none. The physics of each car is stunning and as a "driving" simulator it can't be beaten. However, as a "racing" game it is starting to become very dated. The AI has supposedly been updated but it still appalling. When you compare it to Forza 2 on the 360 and even Toca 3 on the PS2 it feels very samey.

Having said all that there is something about Gran Turismo that keeps you hooked. It's a bit like that girl in the office you secretly fancy. She is far from perfect but there is just something about her that is so great but you can't quite figure exactly what it is.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 20, 2009 3:26 AM BST

One Missed Call [2007] [DVD] [2008]
One Missed Call [2007] [DVD] [2008]
Dvd ~ Renji Ishibashi
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £11.48

3 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A very generic horror., 2 May 2008
One missed call opens with a creepy premise that people hear their dying words as a message on their phones a couple of days before its going to happen. It soon becomes apparent that the calls are linked by the telephones internal phone book and when the victim dies a message is sent to someone else randomly from the list.

There are a few good scares and at times it is genuinely creepy. Most of the performances are OK but don't expect to see anyone break out to become a huge star.

The problem with the film is that if feels like what it is, and that's a paint by numbers remake of a Japanese film. When The Ring and The Grudge came out they felt fresh and were both terrifying. Then we had sequels to both these and Dark Water, amongst others came along which just ended up diluting the power of the originals and they all became carbon copies of each other. The problem with one missed call is that whilst it is entertaining, it just feels very generic and is another on the production line of remakes.

Overall, One missed call is enjoyable enough, but instantly forgettable once it's over.

Storm Warning [DVD]
Storm Warning [DVD]
Dvd ~ Nadia Fares
Price: £5.98

22 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of the best horror films you have never heard of., 2 May 2008
This review is from: Storm Warning [DVD] (DVD)
I watch a lot of horror films. Most of them are OK, some are dreadful and on occasions some are truly memorable. Storm Warning is definitely one of the more memorable ones.

It starts off with a couple who rent a boat to go fishing and end up getting lost on their way back. Once they get to shore they start walking and when they get to a road they see what appears to be a dead body, wrapped in a sheet, dumped out the back of a pick up truck. They eventually find a house in the middle of no-where and decide to break in as no-one answers the door. The justification for breaking in being that "it's OK because there's no-one home"! Weird. So far, so cliché. However, once the owners arrive back, things start to get interesting.

What follows is a tense, and at times disturbing, game of cat and mouse. At one stage the couple have the upper hand, then the home owners and the momentum is constantly swinging backwards and forwards that at times you wonder who will end up "winning". There are some very gory moments and a bit towards the end that will guarantee to make every man watching it wince.

Overall this is a very standard horror film. However, with good performances all round, and some genuinely surprising moments, it manages to lift itself above many similar films. It stays in the memory after it's over rather than a lot of horrors that you forget you have ever seen before the credits have finished.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 5, 2010 6:07 PM BST

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