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J. N. Valner "schaedenfreud82mk2" (Surrey, England)

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Miami Vice (Crocket's Theme)
Miami Vice (Crocket's Theme)
Price: £0.79

1.0 out of 5 stars Not the original version, 6 Jun 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a cheaply made version of the original, created either using a keyboard or some kind of midi device.

Edimax EW-7711UAN Wireless nLITE High Gain USB Adapter
Edimax EW-7711UAN Wireless nLITE High Gain USB Adapter
Offered by love Office Stuffs (VAT Reg.)
Price: £13.22

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Works exactly as I'd want, 6 Nov 2010
So far I have been extremely pleased with how this adapter has worked. It's very easy to install and comes with very intuitive software for setting it up. The speed is good, even from a USB port on the side of my monitor. Furthermore, I recently upgraded my computer from Vista to Windows 7 and the adapter still works perfectly.

Burnout Paradise - The Ultimate Box (Xbox 360)
Burnout Paradise - The Ultimate Box (Xbox 360)

15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fantastic Collection, 6 Feb 2009
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
Burnout Paradise has to be one of the most daring and interesting racing games of recent years, putting the player into the environs of Paradise City and its suburbs. Standard race tracks are replaced by a start point and a finish line, the player encouraged to learn the layout of the city to give them an edge. Every intersection at the game holds its own event, from standard races to Tony Hawk-style stunt runs, Marked Man in which you must get to a certain point on the map without being taken down, and Road Rage where the objective is to cause mass carnage across the city and take down as many opponents as possible.

Multiplayer adds some new twists as well. In addition to all the single-player modes being available racers can cooperate to complete a series of over 250 challenges which take you all over the map and may point out landmarks easy to miss when you're racing around at top speed.

Criterion has been great at supporting the game after release with free downloadable content, such as adding bikes, a day-night cycle, weather effects and additional mutliplayer modes. These are all now included on the disc with Ultimate Box, as well as the brand-new Party Pack, which adds a much-needed offline "pass the controller" mode. Unlike the rest of the extra content, on Xbox Live the Party Pack costs 800 MS points, so if you haven't already picked up the game, the Ultimate Box will actually save you a bit of money. With more content on the horizon for 2009, now is a great time to get into Burnout Paradise.

Star Fox Command (Nintendo DS)
Star Fox Command (Nintendo DS)
Offered by MediaMerchants
Price: £7.98

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Star Fox Heads into New Dimension, 5 Feb 2007
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
Star Fox Command puts a brand new spin on a franchise that is still reeling from other changes to the winning format that made Starwing and Lylat Wars classic titles. The difference is that this time the change is not to the core gameplay. You still fly a space fighter in a 3D environment, travelling between different planets and occasionally fighting massive bosses. The new parts of the game are the tactical screen play. For each mission, you are presented by a top-down view of a large area of the planet. You are given a certain number of turns to destroy all the enemies in that area, whilst simultaneously defending your mothership, the Great Fox. For each turn, you manoeuver your ships by drawing flight paths, trying to attach groups of enemies, intercept incoming missiles and liberate captured bases. The need to work efficiently (usually the number of turns is pretty tight) and smartly (the maps consist of no-fly zones, as well as asteriods which reduce your crafts' ranges and friendly bases which extend them) adds a whole new dimension to the game.

Regrettably, unlike older Star Fox games, there are no missions which involve flying down a preset corridor, nor are there any where you have wingmen (moving two fighters to the same group of enemies only lets you choose which one to use yourself). A change which I actually welcome is a branching storyline in which you get to make choices, rather than have to meet certain gameplay conditions. Whilst this does cut down on the skill required to see every path through the game, it removes the uncertainty and unending experimentation, and the differences between the storylines means that you will appreciate the ease of seeing them all.

Gameplay is excellent, with the stylus control coming naturally, and the simultaneous radar on the lower screen proving extremely useful. Variety comes in the form of the enemies, who have to be defeated in various oblique ways, and the fact that you get to fly as a huge number of characters, each with their own individual ship. Some missions can be quite tricky, although none could really be considered difficult. Multiplayer is very good, as points are scored on collecting a star dropped by a defeated player, meaning there is loads of scope for some severe stealing.

Long time fans of the series may be disapointed by the lack of linear missions or 'save your wingman' gameplay, but aside from that this is a very solid title and you will derive a lot of enjoyment from it.

(The game is also compatible with the DS rumble pack, if you8 happen to have gotten one with Action Loop.)

Test Drive Unlimited (Xbox 360)
Test Drive Unlimited (Xbox 360)
Offered by Gameseek
Price: £19.30

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Make sure you're online!, 23 Jan 2007
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
Simply put, this game isn't that much fun on your own. The appeal of the single-player mode in games like Gran Turismo is the fine-tuning of skills and the learning of racing lines. Whilst the intricately detailed Hawaii map of Test Drive is very impressive, the race tracks are carved out of the real-life roads in places where they don't exist. The fact that there are so many, with no reason to race one again after its challenge is completed, means that the required familiarity never materialises.

Some of the challenges are good fun, like those where you race against packs of entertainingly tricky computer opponents, but others are just chores. Hitchhikers, for example, require you to drive to your destination very fast, through traffic, over massive distances, without hitting anything. After the ungrateful git tells you that he'd rather walk for the fifth time, after getting most of the way through a drive lasting 15 minutes, you'll be inclined to let him do so in future.

The cars are amazingly modelled, and my interest in them was my main reason for buying this game. Virtually anything you would want to drive is here (except for BMW for some reason), expertly modelled. If you're like me, you'll spend a long time with the camera on the inside of the car, looking around at the detailed interior.

I have to confess that I haven't experienced this game's full potential, because I'm not on XBox Live. If you are online, then the game is probably more fun. I will mention, though, that in single player, there are computer players roaming the island simulating other players, and racing against them isn't that much fun either. Still, the idea of having player clubs and challenges with gradually accumulating prize money from entrance fees does sound like fun.

So in conclusion, if you don't have XBox Live, I would wait for something like Forza 2.

USB Access Point (Nintendo DS & Wii)
USB Access Point (Nintendo DS & Wii)

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Decent Bit of Kit, 22 Jan 2007
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
This is the ideal solution for people who don't have access to a WiFi hotspot or a home wireless network, but want to use the Nintendo WFC. Just plug it into your internet connected computer and you're away.

The first one of these I got broke almost instantly, but the replacement Amazon sent me has worked fine now for several months. It does get a bit warm, but having it on all day doesn't seem to have afected its performance.

I originally got this for my DS, which works fine. I was pleased to find that the Wii is also compatible, and I've used it to download several things for the Virtual Console. A slight concern is that, as this isn't a proper wireless router, it's range isn't all that good. With the computer upstairs, my Wii in the living room directly below connects without much of a problem (occasionally you need to re-setup the connection, which can get annoying). However, it doesn't seem to have the power for me to use my DS in the next room.

So, my advice is that if you're going to have your Wii within about 10-15 feet of the computer (including going through walls and floors) then this is a good purchase. Anything more than that, or if you want to connect other things like an XBox, and you're going to have to get a proper wireless router.

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (Wii)
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (Wii)
Offered by Nicholas Kleé Fine Designs
Price: £26.99

58 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Killer App, 22 Jan 2007
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
Think The Ocarina of Time, but longer and with better graphics. The only reason this game won't go down in history as one of the best ever in the same way is that Ocarina was the first. This game has the added dimension of nostalgia, as there are several subtle references to the previous game.

Gameplay is the classic Zelda formula. Explore a vast (epic would be a better word) landscape, working your way through dungeons and solving puzzles, collecting equipment and killing monsters. The dungeons are, as always, excellent, and there are a couple of puzzles make you feel seriously clever for solving them. Although the main quest isn't really that difficult, I'm fairly certain that the enemies have got harder. Even the lowly moblin archers can cause you serious problems, and the axe-weilding knights are trully deadly if you encounter two at once.

The use of the Wii Remote as a sword (and the Nunchuck as a shield) actually makes the combat more involving. There are 7 special techniques for you to learn, which against some of the harder, armoured enemies, creates some of the most enjoyable swordplay I've ever seen. The addition of horseback combat is also very well implemented. It is also extremely useful for items like the bow and slingshot, where speed is required as well as accuracy.

As usual with Zelda games, part of the fun are the side-quests and distractions. The fishing from Ocarina of Time makes a comeback, this time with full motion tracking, which inputs a level of skill that illiminates the pot-luck of the old system. Finding Poe souls (the new gold skultullas) is a massive undertaking that will have you exploring every dark corner of the map.

Overall, this is an excellent game. New players will love it, and old hands will feel a nostalgic surge at least once, as they realise they are back somewhere they remember from long ago. Whilst Ocarina may have been the great leap forward for the series, this could be considered the definitive Zelda experience: everything that makes the 3D games great is here, and done extremely well.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 4, 2009 10:09 AM BST

Animal Crossing: Wild World (Nintendo DS)
Animal Crossing: Wild World (Nintendo DS)
Offered by WorldCinema
Price: £29.92

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It sounds so simple..., 22 Jan 2007
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
...and yet it will dominate your life. This is a game which very clearly shows that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. On their own, the elements of arranging furniture, collecting fruit, fishing, bug catching, treasure hunting, talking to cuddly cartoon animals and designing clothes patterns don't sound like much. Put them together, though, and you have your own idyllic little life to lead. The game's method of drip-feeding you content means that the whole experience can take up to a whole year to see.

And that's sort of the whole point. If you could do everything at once, this would be a rather tedious game. However, it brilliantly uses the DS's calendar and clock to make the virtual world move with the real one. The sun sets, the seasons change, the bugs and fish that live in the village migrate back and forth, as do the other residents. To start off with you do have an 'objective', which is to raise enough money to pay off your mortgage. Each payment gives you a bigger house, capable of housing more furniture. Bug, fish, fossil and painting collecting will also keep you occupied.

The other genius part of Animal Crossing is the online connectivity. You can journey to other people's villages, trade items and so on. Interacting with others in this way unlocks more content in your own town, which makes the effort worth while.

In conclusion, Animal Crossing does eventually get boring, but it takes so long to get there, that you will in no way feel like it was a waste of time. Anyone who uses games as an escape from the real world will love this, and get a lot of value out of it.

Gears of War: Limited Edition (Xbox 360)
Gears of War: Limited Edition (Xbox 360)

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Short Lived, but an Amazing Experience, 22 Jan 2007
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
Gears of War is definitely one of my favourite games ever, and is certainly the best for the 360.

The basic formula is a third-person-shooter, with the camera anchored behind the character's right shoulder, making a sort of hybrid first/third person experience; you look where he's looking, but you can still see him. Action involves very realistic shooting, ducking in and out of cover, flanking and rescuing downed squad-mates. I've heard some people say that it's repetitive, but so is Space Invaders. Fun comes not from variety, but from the excitement of combat, and the sheer satisfaction of having to be skillful in your kills. On the harder difficulties, the old FPS tactic of running and gunning simply doesn't work. There are occasional diversions from the regular gameplay; sometimes you need to be stealthy to avoid the bigger enemies, once you are tasked with driving a vehicle. Some enemies require completely different tactics: retches are fast but easy to kill, so you won't bother with cover or aiming; boomers are slow and deadly, you'll want to deal with them before they get too close.

It doesn't hurt that this is one of the best looking games ever made, and playing on an HDTV is really something. The sound design is good too, the guns having a nice meaty quality, and the chainsaw...well, you'll deliberately put your character in danger just to use it.

The only major shortfall of Gears of War is that it is too short. Having said that, the repetitive nature of the gameplay means that playing it again on the harder difficulties doesn't feel like cheap recycling: you just want to kill some more locust. Plus, there's the fact that as the game gets harder, your tactics must get better.

As a side note, this special collector's pack isn't really worth the money. The book is okay, but the Extras DVD just has a stupid documentary hosted by annoying American children. Given the choice again, I'd go for the regular version.

Trust WB-5500T 1.3MP USB2 WEBCAM
Trust WB-5500T 1.3MP USB2 WEBCAM

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really Good Value, 22 Jan 2007
This is my first webcam, and I am very satisfied with it. Setup was very easy, and MSN detected it automatically once the drivers were installed. The unit is very attractive in shiny black, and the head swivels in most directions. It has a higher video resolution than most other cameras, which my friends on the other end tell me does make a difference. It also allows the rather interesting face-track mode, which reverts the picture to standard resolution and zooms automatically onto your face. Aside from this, the software also allows you to have fun with lots of special effects filters. It also has a handy low-light mode, which halves the frame rate to increase the exposure time, or you can just fiddle with the brightness controls. Another good feature is that it has a clever stand which lets it either sit on a desk or clip onto an LCD monitor. A little blue light tells you when the camera is on, which is very handy. Overall, you get an awful lot of camera for this price, and I highly recommend it.

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