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Mr. BT Brissenden "Forgotmytea" (Lancaster)

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Need for Speed Most Wanted (Xbox 360)
Need for Speed Most Wanted (Xbox 360)
Offered by APE-GAMES
Price: £14.40

12 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Rather disappointing given its namesake and predecessor, 25 Nov. 2012
= Fun:2.0 out of 5 stars 
Maybe I went into this game expecting a similar experience to the original NFS: Most Wanted. Sadly, that certainly isn't the case. As far as racing games go, it does what it says on the tin - but don't expect much more.

The graphics are impressive, and the control in gameplay stays true to arcade-style handling, with cars drifting all over the place and hurtling through crowded highways. The game presents a wide range of races from checkpoint and circuit to maintaining a certain average speed over the course of a track. All of these allow you to find your own route through the checkpoints, encouraging the exploration and discovery of hidden short cuts, although the mini-map still displays the main route. The crashes are Burnout-esque in their style, and certainly impressive - although I would have liked to see more damage displayed on the cars, as despite numerous pile-ups the worst I've done to my car is shatter a window and loosen the bonnet.

Sadly, Need for Speed: Most Wanted lets down on some of the core elements of the previous games in the series. Whereas the original Most Wanted had a faily interesting plot (relatively speaking, of course - it's still a racing game, so it was hardly going to be a Mass Effect in-depth epic), this completely goes away with any semblance of story, instead simply pitting you against the ten nameless racers on the Blacklist. No cut scenes, no voice acting, nothing. And this starts off the recurring theme that, for me, ruined this game - the lack of variety. Cars have very little customization available for them - you can unlock and apply nitrous, off-road tyres and the like, but that's it. Gone is the autosculpt of Carbon and the vinyl desgin, so once you've maxed out the performance upgrades there's little incentive beyond beating your friends best times to go back to that car. Cars are found, rather than purchased, and while it is great to cruise around the impressively scaled and detailed open world to find them, I kind of miss the money element from previous games. In particular, it kind of ruins police chases when, if they catch you, nothing happens. Your car isn't impounded, you don't have to pay out bail. I've actually just pulled over to let the police arrest me on various pursuits as it's faster and easier than trying to outrun them on my way to a race start.

Maybe I just expected too much from this game. Before this I was playing Assassin's Creed 3 and Sleeping Dogs, so maybe I'm just too used to interesting plots and variety. Don't get me wrong - as far as a fast-paced, high powered racing game goes, Most Wanted is good. I'm just not sure that it really offers anything to stand out from the competition.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 15, 2012 6:50 PM GMT

Higher (ft. Kylie)
Higher (ft. Kylie)
Price: £2.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Upbeat and catchy, 29 April 2011
This review is from: Higher (ft. Kylie) (MP3 Download)
A very nice song that combines a catchy beat with decent backing instruments and good vocals. It's good to have so many variants on the single as well, so even if you're not a big Taio Cruz fan there's sure to be a version you like.

Mega Battle Pack - Halo REACH Action Clix - (Noble Team 6 Pack)
Mega Battle Pack - Halo REACH Action Clix - (Noble Team 6 Pack)

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good revival of the sadly unheard of game, 21 Dec. 2010
= Durability:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:3.0 out of 5 stars 
After the original Halo Actionclix release sadly faded into obscurity, it's great to see another release coinciding with the latest Xbox game, Halo: Reach. The pack contains 6 figures depicting the members of Noble Team, the heroes of the aforementioned game, along with everything you'll need to play - dice, rules, and a decent size board printed on gloss paper.

The figures are rather nice - similar quality to the previous Actionclix models, and very true to their in-game counterparts; Emile even has the skull on his faceplate. Armed with a selection of the iconic weapons in Halo: Reach, such as the DMR and the MA37, the models can work well as display pieces even if you're not planning on playing the game. Character cards for the whole squad are also included - sadly thinner than the old cards, but with the same familiar layout.

Definitely a good pack either for a new player, someone looking to expand their collection or a Halo fan who wants to decorate the Xbox with Noble team. Halo Actionclix is a fun game that's easy to learn but hard to master, so with this nice new pack themed around the latest game, why not give it a go? :)

Mr and Mrs Smith [DVD]
Mr and Mrs Smith [DVD]
Dvd ~ Angelina Jolie
Price: £2.70

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fun film that won't challenge, but will entertain, 9 April 2008
This review is from: Mr and Mrs Smith [DVD] (DVD)
Mr. & Mrs. Smith, named after an old Alfred Hitchcock comedy, tells the story of a married couple who discover that they're both top assassins working for rival firms, and are ordered to kill each other.

Overall a good film, Mr & Mrs Smith features some good dialogue set to excellent acting from the cast, varying between action scenes, snappy witticisms, and a well-done emphasis on the difficulty of choosing between your job or love. Pitt & Jolie are excellent on-screen, brilliantly portraying the relationship between the two Smiths. While not a film that's going to reshape your view of the entire world, it certainly does not fail to entertain, providing excitement and laughter along the way. A film that I would highly recommend for a fun evening.

Serenity Ornament
Serenity Ornament

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent replica of Serenity that is sure to please any Browncoats!, 26 Dec. 2007
= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Serenity Ornament (Toy)
I have to say, this is a truly beautiful replica of the ship 'Serenity'. No expense has been spared on the detail, yet the model itself is certainly durable while still well-made. The display stand is a nice touch, as is the hook allowing it to be hung from the ceiling (which, incidentally, can be removed, so when on the stand you don't have a large hook despoiling your Serenity!).

A beautiful collector's item (certainly not a 'toy') that is sure to please any fan of Firefly and/or Serenity! Highly recommended. 5/5

Dark Passion Play: Special Edition
Dark Passion Play: Special Edition
Price: £12.41

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Despite the change of vocalist that disappointed some, this is still Nightwish on top form!, 21 Nov. 2007
'Dark Passion Play' is actually only the second Nightwish album I've heard, with 'Century Child' being the first. As such, I suppose I was less shocked by the change of vocalist than many Nightwish fans, though even just listening to 'Century Child' I had come to adore Tarja's voice. However, 'Dark Passion Play' is an excellent album, with Anette proving to be a more than competent vocalist. The song writing is outstanding, exhibiting Nightwish's unique blend of orchestral elements and more traditional metal ideas, with some truly memorable tracks that will, no doubt, be remembered as some of Nightwish's classics in years to come.

#1: The Poet and the Pendulum
At a staggering 14 minutes long, this track rightly deserves the title of epic. Starting off with over a minute of flowing orchestral melodies followed by crashing chords as the tempo increases and the band enters, the track progresses into showing off almost every element of Nightwish, from Anette's soaring vocals to Erno's stunning solo half way through the piece.

#2: Bye Bye Beautiful
The melodic work in this track is stunning, and again it shows a wide range, especially of vocal styles. I must confess I prefer the instrumental version of this track, but then I've always preferred Tarja/Anette's vocals to Marco's. Still, an excellent, fast-paced track.

#3: Amaranath
Starting off gently with a moving solo by Tuomas, the track quickly progresses into an altogether heavier affair, before reverting to a quiet accompaniment for Anette's vocals. This track does show off her voice, which, while not classically trained like Tarja, is still stunningly good, and definitely does not detract from Nightwish, for those of you inclined to compare her to Tarja.

#4: Cadence of her Last Breath
Another relatively fast-paced track opening with Tuomas on keys, the track varies from the whole band to much gentler accompaniment, creating another excellent track.

#5: Master Passion Greed
A nice fast-paced track featuring Marco a lot, as well as the orchestra being prominent throughout. Not one of my favourite's on the album, but good nonetheless.

#6: Eve
A wonderfully moving ballad that combines the orchestra, Tuomas and Anette. One of my favourite tracks on the album.

#7: Sahara
The orchestra open the track, but not for long as the rest of the band explode in. A steady track that varies the tempo effectively; and the nods to Scheherazade in the lyrics are nice too :)

#8: Whoever brings the Night
When Tuomas said that they had 18 people in the choir and they were still not enough, this might have been the track he was talking about :) Another wonderful polyphonic blend of the orchestra and (very prominently) choir with the band, this stands out as an excellent track.

#9: For the Heart I once had
Another interesting track that moves along at a steady pace, continuing to prove that Nightwish made the right choice in selecting Anette from the other applicants.

#10: The Islander
One of, if not my favourite track on the album. The first of two very interesting tracks, this reminded me more of Hughie Jones when I first heard it than Nightwish. That is not to say that it is bad, however: the vocals from both Anette and Marco are stunning, as is the instrumentation, combining Nightwish's unique sound with the traditional folk songs/sea shanties. Absolutely brilliant, and while some may see it as a step too far, I think it is wonderful - it really shows what the band can do, and is a song that will (hopefully) go down as a Nighwish classic.

#11: Last of the Wilds
The second of the 'very interesting songs' I mentioned a moment ago, Last of the Wilds is a brilliant instrumental that sounds like a cross between symphonic metal and folk dancing, providing a fast, upbeat track that gives me a strange urge to start dancing whenever I hear it! Again, some die-hard fans might see this as too much of a deviation, but again I believe it is a stunningly excellent track - again, one of, if not my favourite track on the album.

#12: 7 Days to the Wolves
The orchestra and the band blend together perfectly in the polyphonic introduction to this song, smoothly moving into Anette's vocals, which span a wide range, again showing off the talent of Nightwish's new singer. The tempo changes, speeding up half way through, with the orchestra lending it a rather frantic feel, without going overboard and speeding up too much. A violin solo punctuates the instrumental section of the song, before the band and Anette come back in, slowing down again as the chorus is repeated. Another excellent song, that I would rate as 5 stars.

#13: Meadows of Heaven
Ending on a gentle note, Meadows of Heaven is another ballad that again captures the genius of Nightwish; their experimentation into different styles in this album, showing what they are capable of. An excellent end to an excellent album!
Overall, 'Dark Passion Play' is a stunning album that has proven that Nightwish can only go forward. The band is better than ever, and despite the tragic loss of Tarja, Anette is proving that she is a more than capable vocalist, and just what Nightwish needs. I would highly recommend this album not just to Nightwish fans, but to anybody interested in symphonic metal as well. 10/10

by Dean Koontz
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The book that introduced me (and hooked me on) Dean Koontz, 8 Jun. 2007
This review is from: Darkfall (Paperback)
'Darkness Comes', or 'Darkfall' as it is published in America, is a gripping read, following police Lt. Jack Dawson and his partner Rebecca Chandler as they hunt down Baba Lavelle, a dangerous madman with voodoo powers granted to him by the dark gods. The hunt intensifies when Lavelle tries to force Jack off the case by promising to kill his children unless he quits in his pursuit of Lavelle.

Koontz is an expert writer, creating a fast-paced, exciting book that makes you really empathise with the characters, as well as believing what is happening to them. A brilliant book that had me checking over my shoulder for days after finishing it!

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