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Sunny Daze (London, UK)

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Angry Birds - Space (PC CD)
Angry Birds - Space (PC CD)
Price: £2.20

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Getting a bit tired now., 14 Jun. 2012
Angry birds...

In space...

Angry birds...

With different sorts of gravity...

Angry birds...

Same old same old...

If you haven't yet played Angry Birds, either play the original Angry Birds, or the best of the series, Angry Birds Rio. Angry Birds Space relies too heavily on novelties to keep your interest. By the time I'd gone through a few levels, I could quite happily catapult the lot of them into the heart of the sun.

No more, please...
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 21, 2012 4:42 PM BST

Max Payne 3 (PC DVD)
Max Payne 3 (PC DVD)
Offered by TnsDealsUK
Price: £17.99

3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Max Payne is back!, 14 Jun. 2012
This review is from: Max Payne 3 (PC DVD) (DVD-ROM)
To be honest, when I saw some of the previews of this game I was less than impressed. Rockstar seemed to have got the character all wrong and it just didn't look like a Max Payne game.

However, on playing the game through, I can safely report that it is exactly like the Max Payne games of old. I know this for a fact, because I replayed Max Payne and Max Payne 2 while I was waiting for the preorder to kick in, because they came free with my Steam order.

If you liked the original Max Paynes, and wanted more of the same, then you get it with this game. If you didn't like the original Max Paynes, or wanted something different, then what on Earth are you doing buying a copy, or reviewing it?

The graphics are quite simply outstanding, and the first time a DX11 title has worked out of the box, in my experience. The story is (drum roll) interesting and an integral part of your enjoyment of the game. The sound is also spot on. The game just oozes quality.

When Max Payne originally came out, it was slated for being only 10 hours long. These days, thats classed as an epic. It is linear, but being heavily story based, of course it bloomin well is. It relies heavily on bullet time, but this is Max Payne. Max Payne IS bullet time. What this game is most of all though, is immense FUN.

How To Draw Funny (Klutz)
How To Draw Funny (Klutz)
by David Sheldon
Edition: Spiral-bound

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent aid which is easy to follow., 23 Mar. 2012
Our 7 year old daughter and I have been using this book for some time now. It works very well and will enable you to turn even the most hopeless scribble into something half resembling a decent cartoon.

After a brief section of faces, you essentially get shown a series of annotated cartoons. You trace the cartoon then draw your own. What I liked though, was the annotations. These highlight which bits of the cartoon are significant. Stuff like "Eyes half closed", or "Arms hanging low". In short, it shows you what the essence of the cartoon is; which components you need to reproduce in order to produce your own cartoon. This method enables you to produce your own work, without simply tracing the original.

Its also a lot of fun!

Fellowes Flat Screen TV Cleaning Kit
Fellowes Flat Screen TV Cleaning Kit

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent for the TV, laptop and even my glasses., 23 Mar. 2012
I cannot fault this stuff. I do a lot of work with Photoshop and have lost count of the times I have spent removing non-existent scratches from pictures because of a screen blemish. With this product my screen gets clean quickly and without any of that horrible smearing you get with some cleaners.

But don't stop there, if you spray it on your glasses it also brings them up a treat, and it works great on laptops and tablets too.

Not only that, it lasts forever. I've had my can for nearly two years and its still going strong.

Full marks.

Moominland Midwinter (Puffin Books)
Moominland Midwinter (Puffin Books)
by Tove Jansson
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: £6.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Unadulterated quality, 23 Mar. 2012
Moomintroll wakes up mid-hibernation to find everybody else still asleep, and an unfamiliar world to survive in, full of unfamiliar faces (and Little My!).

This was my favourite Moomin book as a child, for some reason, and it was as enjoyable now reading it to our daughter, as it was then. The winter land is full of new characters, some more familiar thane others. So a very loud Hemulen makes an appearance and I am sure we will all know somebody just like them. How the rest of the animals deal with the hemulen is very well presented and far better than the treacly nonsense that passes for entertainment these days.

My only quibble is that Moominmamma is just a bit too perfect. If I had emptied the winter larder for a load of uninvited guests, my mum would have given me a right rollicking!

Mass Effect 3 (PC DVD)
Mass Effect 3 (PC DVD)
Offered by IDSS
Price: £5.18

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well I liked it., 23 Mar. 2012
This review is from: Mass Effect 3 (PC DVD) (DVD-ROM)
Maybe I was expecting a truly atrocious ending, like the ending of Rage, or Lost. But personally I found the ending of Mass Effect 3 ok. I mean, when you consider that you are battling a galaxy-destroying villain, then the final outcome is going to have to be fairly limited in scope. If there were many ways to kill off the villain, then it wouldn't be that all-powerful in the first place, would it?

So, with that in mind, how does the rest of the game play?

Its pretty much like Mass Effect 2, but they have made gun maintenance and modding more like Mass Effect 1. The controls are worse than before. Mass Effect 2 had issues with the space bar being overused. It is more overused in ME3. As another review pointed out, it is more like Dead Space now, with you traversing walls etc using space, and running using space, and jumping using space etc.

It worked in Dead Space, which was a lot more of a stealth game, but in ME3, especially towards the end when things really heat up, it becomes a constant pain. I dinged a star because of it.

Also, your companions tend to be a bit cowardly. I often found them hiding behing walls or shooting in the wrong way, so the AI is not top notch. In the end, I relied on companions for their powers as opposed to brute force, and orchestrated their use myself. Once you get used to that state of affairs its fine. But if you play the same way you played in ME2 it can get frustrating.

The journal isn't as useful as it once was. It lists quest titles with no hint of what you might be supposed to do. So a rescue trip to Dakuuna for instance, didn't even tell you whereabouts in the galaxy Dakuuna was. This isn't as much of an issue as it could have been though, because the map now helpfully lists characters worth talking to.

Other than that, I didn't get nearly as many companions choices as I did in ME2. I met up with a load of old friends, but they tended to do their own thing. Apparantly you can also get to have a relationship with a man (I am being vague to avoid filters) which offended a lot of people, but I wasn't given the option. It must be available only if you go looking for it, which says something of the complainers! The closest I got to that was being spurned by a female who fancied another female.

Graphically the game looks lovely. Stunning in fact. Sound too was truly epic. My only guery about the sound is why the reapers announce their presence with the aid of a huge horn? Is it just to put the willies into their opponents?

Gameplay wise, I would call this an action shooter, rather than an RPG. There are a few decisions you make which are huge, and result in the destruction of entire races, or not. However, these do not affect the final outcome of the game. I can accept this though. Most of the fun in this sort of game is had in the journey. The destination is nearly always a bit of a letdown, because it means the journey has ended. You do get into some truly epic battles along the way though.

So, play this game with an open mind, and judge for yourself. The presentation itself is superb, and even if, when you get to the ending, you think it sucks, you will have had a really enjoyable journey along the way. Thats what really counts.

Angry Birds Seasons (PC CD)
Angry Birds Seasons (PC CD)
Offered by PNA247
Price: £4.70

7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More of the same., 3 Mar. 2012
First there was Angry Birds, and everybody loved that, though it didn't play on a lot of laptops.

Then came Angry Birds Rio. This introduced a whole host of innovative features, including a yapping bulldog and bosses. (Yes, Rio got bosses!)

So, what does Angry Birds Seasons bring to the table that is new?

First things first, like Rio, Seasons runs on my laptop, so thats a step up from the original Angry Birds.

Hmmmm. Gimmicks mainly. Gone are most of the innovations found in Rio. No more bosses, just vanilla Angry Birds in fancy costumes. Oh there are a few extra surfaces, and golden eggs are much more relevent (yet hard to come by), but there is no killer innovation that Rio brought to the table. Its all, same old... same old....

This is not necessarily a bad thing, but after Angry Birds, and Angry Birds Rio, its all getting a bit tedious. Getting 3 stars for expert demolition is fairly simple by now, because you know how the game works. You can see the killer moves because you are a lot better at the game than when you first played Angry Birds. So I found this a bit disappointing, to be honest.

To be fair, things may improve. On the tablet version there is an excellent mode on at least one level where you can opt to throw a dragon instead of the usual birds. The aim then is not to amass the best score, but to destroy the highest percentage of scenery. This breathes new life into the game, and if the same is an unlockable feature on the PC version, then it will add to the enjoyment.

If you do a google search on "ANGRY BIRDS SEASONS PC" you will be able to download the free PC demo. This seems to have pretty much all the levels of the tablet version, minus the aforementioned dragon. Its worth playing that demo first, to see if you like it.

On the offchance that you have yet to play Angry Birds, a brief summary follows:

Pigs have nicked your eggs, and are hiding in a variety of landscapes. You need to destroy the pigs by catapulting birds at them,

The list of birds are similar to Angry Birds, with the addition of an orange airbag bird.

Red birds - throw and hope.
Blue birds - throw, then click to split into three different birds. Good for smashing ice.
Yellow birds - throw, then click to go faster. Slices through wood but no good against rock.
Black birds - throw, then click to explode. If you don't click, they will act like a more powerful version of a red bird, and smash through most obstacles before exploding.
White birds - throw, then click to drop an egg which falls to the ground and explodes.
Green birds - throw, then click to come back like a boomerang. Does a fair amount of damage if clicked right.
Big Red Birds - throw and destroy. Like the red bird but much more powerful.
Orange birds - throw then click to make the bird expand like an airbag. So you can throw it down a crack and make it expand to push bricks etc out of the way.

Presumably new levels will be churned out periodically, to match the seasons (geddit?). I hope that they also enhance the gameplay with the inclusion of bosses again, as in Rio I found them surprisingly entertaining.

All in all, by no means an essential purchase, but pretty good fun if you are still in need of an Angry Birds fix.

Angry Birds The Family Card Game - From the Makers of Uno
Angry Birds The Family Card Game - From the Makers of Uno
Offered by scificollectorshop
Price: £3.25

20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A novel take on card games., 24 Feb. 2012
I only wrote this review because of the one star review which I thought was harsh.

Here's how you play the game:

There are two packs of cards, a couple of dice and a cardboard pig.

With one pack of cards, players make a wall. The wall will consist of pictures of the various birds. The idea is for each player to knock down their own wall.

They then have to roll the two dice. The dice have pictures of birds. If one of the birds matches the bird on the top card of their wall, that card is removed.

If a player cannot remove a card, they take a card from the other pack. These are like CHANCE and COMMUNITY CHEST, and allow you to do stuff like make an opponent miss a turn.

Once a player's wall is removed, instead of their normal go they get to try and knock the cardboard pig over with the dice.

Thats the basic gist of the game anyway. There's a bit more too it but its not rocket science, and once you have played it a couple of times, its actually quite good fun.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 23, 2013 9:06 PM BST

Scholl Footcare -  Party Feet Smoothing Foot File
Scholl Footcare - Party Feet Smoothing Foot File

5.0 out of 5 stars Works a charm, and contiues working!, 24 Feb. 2012
I bought this to replace a much more expensive foot file. This works much better, and is sturdier too.It has a nice big surface area, to attack the hardest heal, and comes with two surfaces, so you can fine tune the level of "sanding" required. It is comfortable to hold and works really well.

A very good product indeed.

Professional Double Sided Combined Foot File and Smoother - 33% Larger Surface Area - Easy Grip. Dishwasher Safe - Designed to last a Lifetime
Professional Double Sided Combined Foot File and Smoother - 33% Larger Surface Area - Easy Grip. Dishwasher Safe - Designed to last a Lifetime

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Expensive and not very good, 24 Feb. 2012
I had one of these some time ago. Its still lying around somewhere. But I replaced it with the much cheaper foot file from Scholl. It certainly didn't last a lifetime, mine wore about after a couple of years. The scholl one works much better.

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