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C. A. Meredith "Graeme Meredith" (UK)

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Sonic Rush Adventure (Nintendo DS)
Sonic Rush Adventure (Nintendo DS)
Offered by CD DIXIE
Price: £26.95

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Better than Sonic Rush! Better than Phantom Hourglass!, 3 Dec. 2007
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
For a game thats a sequel to a sequel to a sequel, you'd thing that the forumlar would be getting tough to improve on. But when the original Sonic Rush game was released, I was personally blow away by just how much fun it was and it reminded me just how out standing sonic was and still can be.

The quality is the same here with the Sequel to Sonic Rush, and for a change the word 'Adventure' has been taken in to account. The game works by Sonic and Tails being transported to the alternate dimention of the first Sonic Rush, only this time they are in the middle of the ocean. This adds an element to the game that means the player must sail the sea to get from level to level.

The sailing areas are true 3-D and the levels them selves are the classic platforming layout you expect from Sonic. At first I was aprehensive that the sailing would be dull and slow down what should be a hyper fast game. But I was pleasently surprised. The sea fairing levels arn't all hyper fast, but they are reall enjoyable and replayable, you can spend pleanty of time sailing to new areas and finding secrets, such as secret levels, adding extra replay value to the game (plus some of the sea levels ARE hyper fast). I acctually found that in contrast to the sea fair in Zelda:Phantom Hourglass, Sonic Rush was more interactive, less repetative and just more fun overall.

Overall, this is a fantastic game, that doesn't take much time away from the action. There are pleanty of secrets to find, you'll ahve fun replaying both classic and sea based levels and there are missions to unlock, time trials and the new addition of WiFi multiplayer with is very competative and very cool.

My only grip about the game is that it could have better music, you'll probably long for the tunes of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and 3 while playing, but thats really the only thing that springs to mind.

Less repetative than other games (Phantom Hourglass), faster than the original (Sonic Rush) and stunning replay value for you and any friends who want to join in online.

The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass (Nintendo DS)
The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass (Nintendo DS)
Price: £49.99

6 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Look up Repetative in the Dictionary and find Phantom Hourglass, 17 Nov. 2007
= Fun:2.0 out of 5 stars 
If you think playing the same level over and over again is great fun, this is just the waste of money you've been looking for!

Zelda has come along way, but some how its just started to become a caricature of its self. In this newest DS game, you play as Link in a continuation of the last Cel-Shaded Zelda title, the Wind Waker.

Wind Waker at the time was mostly disregarded as fun but misguided, but I still think its fun to see the style return even if Phantom Hourglass is not cel-shaded. The game play is much like that of the old 2-D Zeldas, only with 3-D graphics. the graphics are very cool, but the fun stops here.

The game revolves around you playing through a 'Master Dungeon' which only lets you get so far each time you play it. You'll eventually get to a point where you must stop, leave the dungeon and retrieve a new item that will allow you to go on. Once you have a new weapon, say the bow and arrows, you can go deeper in to the Master Dungeon, but before you can do so you must re-play the levels you already completed in the dungeon, meaning that you can end up playing the exact some rooms, puzzles and enemies for however time the game needs you to... plus when ever you die.

It's criminally lazy for the Zelda franchise. On top o this, the music through out the game is simply those recycled Zelda themes and, damn, am I sick of those now. Sailing over the sea is better than before but still terribly dull, and the story is barley new as its been lifted from Four Swords, A Link to the Past and Twilight Princess.

The WiFi Multiplayer is very cool and its fun to play your friends in person and online, but overall its not enough to make me feel this is a game I couldn't live without. I simply don't care about the characters in this game, because I have been worn away by being made to constantly repeat myself. Even the weapons that make interacting with the touch screen feel new again grow tiresome after just a few minutes.

It's really, really lazy and I would bet that a huge chunk of the people who by this game won't have the patients to finish it completely.

I like Zelda a lot, but if the producers feel they can turn out any old crap and stick a Zelda logo on it, I just wont buy it, and I'm seriously suggesting to you that you're cash is better spent on something else.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 1, 2008 12:03 PM BST

Philips Micro System MC108
Philips Micro System MC108

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Value for money like you won't have seen before - Plays any MP3, tape or record player!, 20 Sept. 2007
This is a fantastic stereo, for a handful of really great reasons. I first saw it when its fantastic look took my eye, its clearly a take (I would go as far to say imitation) or apple's iPod and personal computers. This is nothing to sniff at as its sleek, pretty white and has all the advantages of being compact.

The stereo provides you with a CD player and a Radio tuner, but this is nothing. In the bottom right hand corner of the main interface there is an AUX port, meaning that with the right cable you can connect any MP3 player or indeed any product with a headphone jack socket and play the sound through the stereo's speakers.
This is a fantastic asset as most MP3 audio systems cost up to £70 and only play one type of play where as this system can play any given audio device, even tape player or record deck for less that £50.

There is a down side, the AUX cable needed to connect your devices is shamefully not included... BUT you can find them on eBay in droves for normally less than £5. JUST SEARCH AUX Male to Male, and you should be presented with an abundance of them in a range on lengths.

Other cool things about this product are the fact that it has a Bass boasting system that gives music a greater depth at any volume. And speaking of volume the speakers don't create any real or noticeable cracking when playing at the loudest of volumes. The CD or Radio can be sued as an alarm clock (and a clock of course), meaning you can wake up each day to a different CD of your choosing! You can set the stereo to repeat shuffle or repeat and entire album on loop. And finally, the player has a remote which is useful and allows you to control most options. Sadly it's range is the most disappointing thing about the whole product as it only reaches for about 15ft, and of course you can't control your MP3 player with it so if you're using the AUX input you may need to get up a lot to sort it out.

Over all this CD player is excellent for its price, it does so many wonderful things that any tiny problems you may have just seem to disappear. Its an amazing piece of equipment for your music and I strongly suggest you buy it as it provides a lot more than the over prices alternatives.

Offered by rbmbooks
Price: £14.01

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolute Talent, 20 Sept. 2007
This review is from: Combinations (Audio CD)
The only thing I would criticise about this album is that its over all to soon, at just 10 tracks. For those who don't know Eisley's previous work, their music is an extremely deep and well produced piece of artistic music. Not artistic in the way that its to clever for its own good or has ideas above its station. The young and thoughtful band fill each song with wistful ideas and sometimes harrowing or even taunting statements and questions.

However, it isn't a hard or overly powerful type of music. Each melody is soft and heavy in equal parts and its hard to believe that singing of this standard could be natural. But that's the joy of Eisley, although the lyrical content that bleeds in the piano and guitars music is often very depressed, the music isn't actually depressing and personal I find that hearing something that's so based on the talents of those producing it very uplifting.

I prefer this album to the first, it has a handful more of variety. Its more mature and thought out than most music and its very clear that the band know their and care for the audience when it comes to connecting with the music or just simply providing a new take on their already established sounds.

For those who have heard the first Eisley album or an EP or two, you'd be foolhardy to miss out on the new even better much more mature offering, and if you have had only a fleeting glimpse of the music and are wondering if you should find out more about that band you wont be disappointed.

This music isn't demanding on your attention unless you want it to be, and there's something modest about music with so many levels when a lot of other current music spends far to much time base don opinions and narrow points of view.
As I said before this music knows it's place and it certainly is a beautiful piece of work.

X-Men 1-3 Box Set (6 Disc) [DVD]
X-Men 1-3 Box Set (6 Disc) [DVD]
Dvd ~ Hugh Jackman

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars X-Men: Trilogy?, 17 Sept. 2007
When I first saw X-Men I was pretty impressed and held off buying the DVD of it because I was aware a sequel would be made. The thing is thou I was always under the impression that X-Men wasn't a trilogy. It's true that the sequel were only made because the first film was a success right?

So if like me your fairly convinced that the box only says 'Trilogy' on as a sort of vague marketing campaign, you might be pleased to find out that the movies are closer connected than previously thought (at least by me).


For people who've enjoyed the first XMEN movie, its good to hear the DVD version included is an uncut version... well sort of. Actually the truth is you can watch the film with deleted scenes cut back in. This means that unlike famous re-cuts such as Apocalypse Now REDUX or Blade Runner, the film isn't a new version. Its the same, except frequently a short scene will play through. Needless to say it isn't seamless, the added clips often mean you'll have to watch parts of the film twice not a lot of the film, but its noticeable), also the new scenes are darker than the rest of the film and some special effects don't look quite up to standard.
This is all fine, you can still view the film without these scenes, but by doing to you find out so interesting stuff, that had it been left in, would have made the three films more of a Trilogy (!) rather than just a set of films. For example, in one deleted scene Rouge (a mutant character who can't touch other people's skin without harming them) asks if the professor can cure her. This scene is cut, however, it's interesting to keep in mind that Rouge does eventually opt to be cured in the 3rd film. Its a real shame that this scene and other examples like it aren't left in the film.

As special features go, its really the deleted scenes on all three DVDs that makes them. Each film comes with a 2nd disk (making 6 in total) telling you more about the film's production. I was fairly disappointed with the first features disk with XMEN, as I knew the film inside out from renting and seeing it on TV I was a little annoyed that the special features are pretty 'bear bones' mostly filmed on bog standard hand held cameras with not great sound, inter-cut with interviews with the actors that pop up again on part of the special features of XMEN2 and 3.

The features get hugely better with the 2nd film, telling you more about the comic book that the films are based on as well as deleted scenes and much more in-depth documentaries on production. There is a certain honesty about the interviews, but its not with out its shameless promotion: 'this movie is great'. The features don't offer much on the films other than how they were made. YES, these films are all widely well received, but its also well known that actress Hallie Berry and director of the first 2 movies Bryan Singer are not good friends. Their rocky relationship about the structure of Berry's character 'Storm' is undocumented, and you can see where the argument stems from as XMEN's (XMEN One) deleted scene are majority scene with Storm in.
Another character left on the floor in a large way is Cyclopes, whose relationship with Wolverine is much stronger when uncut.

But this is the big cribbed with XMEN, especially the third film, there are piles of characters, and the truth is you really need to be involved with the story by the time you get the 3rd, and to a lesser extent to 2nd, film.

This set is perfect for fans who've been holding off buying the DVDs until now, the films are great and the special features are above par for the most part excluding the rather dull first disk. However, and this is important! The audio commentary of XMEN3 has writers and director both mentioning an upcoming director's cut 'in five years'.

To be honest with you the manor this is mentioned in isn't entirely serious, and I wouldn't be surprised if I were a mean joke. But it is true that two more XMEN movies are planned, so if your a purest you may want to stay away. But for under £20 (or £12 at HMV >_>) its a bargain for any movie fan.

A Weekend in the City
A Weekend in the City
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £4.92

5 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars crap, 24 Feb. 2007
This review is from: A Weekend in the City (Audio CD)
A really bad attempt at an image change, Bloc Party shot to fame with their first album which has some great tracks, from Helicopter, Pioneer and Banquet, it really is an out stabnding piece of work for a first album. For this to be so bad, so eariler on in the career of this band, its a real dissapointment.

The album winges and whines through all its tracks, and boasts of a poorly planned message that just comes off as sounding selfimport. Each song goes on and on, with unispiered lyrics about life in the UK, and just how depressing and boring it really is, oh boo hoo. ALL(!) the tracks are slow incomparrision to the bands former work, and all of them are relentlessly boring, the words 'Oh my God will you STOP moaning!' spring to mind. If they really feel so strongly about the world they live in they might want to change it some other way that writting bad music, because at the end of the day they're just cashing in on other insipid people who feel the same and are just as lazy.

On top of the bands truly aweful new sound (its so ear bleedingly bad I can't satnd to hear it), having read interviews with the band it seems they enjoy looking down on other successful artists saying that "other bands arn't political enougth" ... Maybe they should concentrate on their own band and stop being so 'political' as it stands in the way of something intresting and new. personally i lister to music for escapisum, not to be told how I must be feeling, esspecailly when I don't even agree.

The lyrics are preachy and insipid, the guitar riffs are unintresting or at best taken off the first album with a few chored changes and the way the band promote themselves is equally egotistic and anoying.

BAD(full stop)
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 29, 2009 6:24 PM GMT

Metroid Prime Hunters (Nintendo DS)
Metroid Prime Hunters (Nintendo DS)

5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A rushed release, but still..., 4 Jan. 2007
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
Hunters is one of the ebst agmes on the DS hands down, it looks amazing, sunds amazing, its Wifi and if your one of the more hardcore gamers, you can even use the rumble pak with it(US import/search Metroid Prime Pinball).

This game is a stone cold example or raw multiplayer action, its an incredibly competitive game, going Wfi with Hunters is like stepping in to a mine feild and before you know it your being blown to pieces by someone on the otherside of the planet with a little to much time on their hands.

The agme also allows you to play poeple you know. And you can ever talk to your friends over the Wifi service via the DS' built in microphone.

So why all the dissapointment with Hunters, most poeple feel its the low point in the metroid series, this really isn't the case. The fact of the matter is, Metroid Hunters is the first of its kind for Nintendo, there are no other First Person shooters on the DS. Being the first to set foot in this new tetratory was bound to be tricky, it doesn't boast the same innovation or excitment of the other Prime games, and its very repetative.

Hunters story takes place between Prime 2 and Prime 3, making the trilogy in to a four part series. The story takes Samus on a misson to find the universes ultimate armour, but she's caught in arace with 6 others bounty hunters to find it.

It is these hunters hat you can choose to play as in multiplayer. In the end, Hunters is a Wifi multiplayer, the main game really serves as a pratice rund for when you go head to head with other players form all over the world. You would be correct to discribe the main game as a formality, but I'm sure you'd be quick to moan if it wasn't there, even though itsnothing special.

A fine entry the the series, a great way to play your friends online and another reason to own a DS, with great graphcs, controls and Wifi, Metroid Prime HUnters is value for money thats not to be missed.

Sonic Rush (Nintendo DS)
Sonic Rush (Nintendo DS)
Offered by WorldCinema
Price: £17.98

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars By far the best Sonic game ever made., 4 Jan. 2007
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
Fans of the series will know, that although recent games have been low on innovation as well as fun, the Sonic series has been in the past one of the most impressive and enjoyable fanchises avalible on the Video Games market. Sonic Rush brings Sonic back from the troubles of the 3D games, and mixes everything thats great and fun about the Sonic Adventure Series with all the fantasic speed and sound of the 2D era.

Sonic Rush is, in fact, so fast you will probably find it hard to believe that all other sonic games feel slow in comparrision. The ability to shoot yourself through the air after jumping a spring board allows you to cut giant chunks off your game time. Makeing the TimeTrail mode in Rush extremely exciting.

The main game is very short however, and being able to complete it in a day or two may leave you feeling a bit ripped off. But it won;t be long before your playing the whole ting again or doing the time trial, like I said, you can get hours of fun finding tons of new routes through your favorate of the 7 (acctually 14 with two acts each) levels.

Sonic Rush has so much replay value it will probably stay neatly in your DS for many weeks and not be to far from there after you get a new game or two.

Rush is not only the fastest sonic game and the best platformer on the Ds, its also the best offering the DS can give you without a Wifi option. And that said, the multiplay is a little thin on the ground, but test your friends times agains yours as well as finding all the Chaos emeralds wil keep you busy and entertained for weeks and months after you think you're done with the game.

Without a doubt, an essential purchase for the DS

Polarium (Nintendo DS)
Polarium (Nintendo DS)

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Real Challenge, 2 Jan. 2007
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
I love this game, its basic yet challenging.

The aim of the game is to clear a series of puzzels mad eup of white and black squares. The blcoks change colour from one to the other when you draw a line over them with the touch screen. to clear the lines you have to get an entire horizontal line of one colour, other puzzels require you to draw a line over the blocks in a certain hidden parren and clear them all at once.

With loads of puzzels and the ability to create your own this game as endless possiblities for the number of lay out you can have.

The game does get very hard, and sometimes this can make anyone feel a bit cheated or even stupid for geting stuck on something that is so simple in concept. But to persiver and solve all the puzzels on your own is very satifying and is well worth the price.

The agme give you the replay value it needs with a challenge mode, which works similarly to tetris, puzzels fall one on top of the other and you have to clear them quickly before they mount up to much and you loose the game. This really becomes the main game after you complete the main puzzels and its waht brings you back for more.

If you enjoy puzzels games, or want something totally different that only the Nintendo DS' touch screen ca provide, Polarium is a great game for you.

Wincing the Night Away
Wincing the Night Away

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blew me away, 29 Dec. 2006
This review is from: Wincing the Night Away (Audio CD)
If there is any justice, this album should go down in history as one of the ebst albums ever made. Its brilliantly constructed, every track has somehting special and worth remembering within it and it is just simpy the bands best work to date. Before eharing this I listerned to Chutes too narrow, to death. I love that CD, its so great, but Wincing is better. Its got an underater feel and the tracks all sound like they were recorded in a huge sub atlantic tank. There are alot more computer gentic sounds in this album than prvious music by the shins, but its very apporpriate.

Compared to the last two albums this one feels like a comprimise of the two, you can here themes from the privious albums popping up, nly together they are better. Great Bass lines, Drum work and the lyrics are the best they've done.

There are no words to discribe how I feel about this music!

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