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Reviews Written by
D. McClory "d." (London)

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Audible Free Trial [Digital Membership]
Audible Free Trial [Digital Membership]

2.0 out of 5 stars Nice, but comparatively expensive. Better get Netflix instead., 23 May 2017
I enjoy the books, and they are cheaper per month with this, but this is expensive. It's the same price per month as Netflix bit you only get one book. Doesn't feel good value.


Grafton Dining Chair Walnut & Brown
Grafton Dining Chair Walnut & Brown
Offered by Atlantic Shopping
Price: £89.99

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stylish, comfortable retro chair, 17 Mar. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I really like these chairs. They're stylish, a little retro and very comfortable. Everyone that has seen them have complimented them. They're not as large as I thought they may be from the pictures, but for me, living in a small London flat, that's a good thing. I have 2 in a bay window.

Quality wise, they could be a little better, the canvass could be tighter around the padding, which leaves them with a few ripples around the back rest, but nothing i wouldn't expect to see after a few months use, so i'm not at all fussed about that.

I did have one turn up with a hole drilled incorrectly making it impossible to attach one of the legs. The company were incredibly responsive in organising someone to collect the faulty set and replace it. Customer service was excellent.


Metro 2033
Metro 2033
Price: £5.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Underground Apocalyptic Adventures, 8 Sept. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Metro 2033 (Kindle Edition)
A very thrilling and engaging read, fascinating in design and imagination, left me wanting to explore more of this underground world. As a Londoner,p and a regular user of the tube I imagined much of the adventure in my own home town and I wish someone would extend this fictional universe to London. Still, imaging Moscow this way is a fascinating insight into how we are all essentially the same.


Killzone: Liberation - Platinum Edition (PSP)
Killzone: Liberation - Platinum Edition (PSP)
Offered by stocksmashers
Price: £4.94

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Killzone: Liberation - Smashing Helghast in a challenging and frustrating way, 31 Dec. 2009
Killzone Liberation is a solid attempt to bring the second instalment of the Killzone franchise onto the PSP. It's an entertaining game, bravely breaking away from the FPS mode of the original PS2 game in favour of a top down shooter that utilises the functions of the PSP more successfully. Graphics are standard quality, not as impressive as some later PSP games, and the controls can be tricky to the point of frustrating to start with. Other than that, it's a solid PSP game that will keep you entertained for hours completing the single player campaign.

The storyline takes place just after the original Killzone as you (Capt Templar) attempt to clear the Helghast off Vecta, track down their commander, rescue some people and unravel the web of lies in a similar vain to the original. The story line of Killzone was one of its strong points, drawing you deeper into the game and they've kept it going over Killzone: Liberation.

Design: FPSs have always been a difficult to develop for the PSP due to the limited control system options. Therefore Guerrilla Games, the creators of Killzone Liberation, have made a brave leap to a top down shooter system. As gaming systems go, it's a solid transition, allowing you to see the surrounding areas, use cover and a range of weapons to make tactical decisions for planning your assault.

It does do away with the immersive FPS style, and nothing can really jump out or surprise you. But the game is pretty challenging nonetheless. It also gives you the ability to control a partner during some stages, giving you an interesting squad command system that brings a new and useful dimension to the game, allowing you to use fire and manoeuvre and controlling covering fire. Or even send you partner to carry out a particularly difficult task while you plug away from a safe distance.

Since this is a PSP game, controls are pretty basic, using your analogue nub to move, change direction and aim. This is fine, once you get used to it, but can be incredibly frustrating to start with, especially when you're trying to shoot a target that's right in front of you and your guy keeps choosing to shoot in random directions, doing little in the way of anything near helpful as you get pummelled by a shotgun. There is an auto-aim/lock-on system that improves this aspect and allows you to move around and keep shooting at the same target, as well as a solid cover system allowing you to hide safely while enemy pop rounds into concrete and steel walls.

Graphics are pretty standard for the time the game was developed, and not really a touch on more recent PSP games. Saying that, everything is pretty clear, you can tell goodies (ISA) from baddies (Helghast) and the scenery is pretty straight forward and varied, with obvious routes, buildings, woods, swamps, sewers and streets.

Most of the game takes place outside, but there are a few parts that take place in buildings or underground, ingenious considering it's a top down shooter. Levels are large and you usually have a few tasks to complete. Enemies are your standard mix of regular light troops to heavier troops with more armour and better weapons. There's a nice array of weapons available to you and to be used against you.

After navigating the maps in each stage, killing all the baddies and completing all the tasks (sometimes figuring out some pretty straight forward puzzles) you will be rewarded with a boss fight. These are pretty standard as boss fights go, you have to work out the weak points, rinse and repeat until the boss dies. They can be frustrating, but they're all pretty simple once you know what to do.

The game will keep you going for a good few hours depending on how good you are (as long as you get the hang of the controls before chucking your beloved PSP at a wall from frustration). It took me about 5 and half hours, but it's hard to tell when you spread it across tube and train journeys.

Once you've finished single player, you can engage in the multi-player fun... if you can find anyone someone else to play that is. Every time I have logged on the games have been empty, but there are some impressive videos on Youtube if you care to look.

Good, enjoyable, but not massively `fun'. If you like the Killzone franchise, or you just like a new and different challenge then its certainly worth a pop, if you get frustrated easily or if you need the best of the best, I'd advise you go for a more recent PSP game.

[Looking for other PSP games? Check out my reviews for LittleBigPlanet, Gran Tourismo PSP, Motorstorm Arctic Edge, Blood Bowl, Resistance Retribution, and probably others.]


LittleBigPlanet (PSP)
LittleBigPlanet (PSP)
Offered by Game Trade Online
Price: £6.99

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars LittleBigPlanet PSP - that warm fuzzy Sackboy feeling, 23 Nov. 2009
This review is from: LittleBigPlanet (PSP) (Video Game)
Welcome to the land where all your dreams come true, if your dreams involved side-scrolling platform action, bright colours and generally giggling like toddler at making small cuddly sack people wearing chicken hats do running man celebrations.

Mine don't (usually), but LittleBigPlanet's outing on PSP brings you near like-for-like entertainment action as its LittleBigBrother on the PS3, with everything from silly costumes, random sticker collections, floaty controls, customisation, and cuddly physics all in a handheld version.

Being a bit of a more (cough cough) `hardcome' gamer, I was never really too sure what to think of LBP's first outing on the PS3. However, after gingerly removing the First Person Shooter from my console and slipping the LBP disk in, it didn't take me long to be soothed into the `dreamland' by no less than Stephen Fry himself. An hour later, I was giggling away, bounding from one stage to another, swinging from hanging cork rolls and flinging cactus stickers onto every surface I could, every now and then checking over my shoulder to make sure no-one had noticed me giggling like a school child.

So I was excited about the announcement of LBP on PSP. Concern shadowed that enthusiasm though, I didn't want my experience to be washed out by the limitations of Sony's handheld gaming platform... with a single analogue `nub'.

Once again, Stephen Fry soothed me into the game, and even from the opening credits I was impressed with how good the game looks, and how faithful Sony Cambridge Studios have been to the original game.

After playing this game for a good few hours, I've been wondering why LBP wasn't first conceived as a potential PSP game. It fits the platform perfectly.

The game looks good. As good as the first, with one small issue - Sackboy is small... Most levels you are zoomed out quite far, showing you large parts of the environment and sackboy does seem small. You can still make out his or her little outfit, and gestures, but it does seem small. It's not always like that, as with the original, sometimes you will be zoomed in, and sometimes from funny angles and it doesn't detract from the gameplay.

Controls are still floaty, exactly how they should be for LBP, whilst also feeling that little bit tighter, allowing you to make more pinpoint jumps even using the nub (which you have to use).

They've managed to keep all the clever motions and emotions even with the loss of the 2 shoulder buttons and an analogue stick, so well done Cambridge! You still have sad/angry/scared/happy little sack people who wave and celebrate similarly to how they did with the original.

But that brings me to the one limitation of this game... it's fun to have a happy little Sackboy, but not quite as fun when you know you are the only one who can see it - there is no multi-player.

This is a drawback and I wish it had it, hence the star knocked of the fun rating (I'm sorry Sackboy, don't look at me like that). The PS3 version was always more fun in groups, running around, chasing each other, and this is lacking on the PSP version. I can understand the reasoning, whilst the PSP is powerful enough to manage the advanced physics of the game, it's not powerful enough to handle this and multi-player simultaneously. A shame, but it doesn't detract from the pure fun of the single-player campaign.

User created levels are still a big deal in the game, and you can do it, right on your PSP. Yes, you heard me, you can create levels using your little PSP. Impressive. I never really got into building levels in the original PS3 game, but I loved to play them and on the PSP you can do just that. It's really easy to go online, find user created levels and download them. Even hours into release day and there were more than I could get through if I'd even had the time.

[I haven't attempted to build/create any levels yet, but once I do, I'll update this review]

To download games, you go to the shared `Moon', select user created levels, download them, and then they are accessible in your `Downloaded levels' option. There are some talented amateur level curators out there.

All in all, LittleBigPlanet is more than just a little version of the bigger game, it's almost the bigger game on a smaller screen. If you are a fan of the PS3 game, or of cute platformers which are just plain fun, LittleBigPlanet PSP is an excellent choice for you on this increasingly impressive PSP line-up.

LittleBigPlanet reminds you that games can be fun and silly, while still being challenging.

[Looking for other PSP games? Check out my reviews for LittleBigPlanet, Gran Tourismo PSP, Motorstorm Arctic Edge, Blood Bowl, Resistance Retribution, and probably others.]


MotorStorm: Arctic Edge (PSP)
MotorStorm: Arctic Edge (PSP)
Offered by simplesimon1966
Price: £7.86

36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Motorstorm: adrenaline pumping, reckless joy or GT PSP: smooth, stylish, perfection, 8 Oct. 2009
If you are thinking of getting Motorstorm or Gran Tourismo for your PSP, but can only afford one or only have the time for one, I hope this review helps you out...

I recently wrote a review of Gran Tourismo PSP in which i stated that Gran Tourismo PSP "...is definitely the best racer on the PSP" in the very first paragraph. I did add the caveat "...with perhaps the exception of maybe Motorstorm: Arctic Edge, which I've not had the pleasure of playing yet."

Soon after writing that review, I decided it was only fair that I bought Motorstorm Arctic Edge and actually gave it a fair try. They are both phenomenal games, but for different reasons and released just weeks apart.

First, let me tell you about Motorstorm...

It's brilliant. Once again another developer has come along and found a way to push the PSP beyond its previously expected limits.

The game has a very `SXX On Tour' feel to it (the snowboarding game released for the PSP and developed by EA games). It's designed to be the `alternative' racer, with great music, laid back feel, encouraging reckless feats of racing and danger.

Graphics are really very good, with huge arenas and detailed racetracks. It is comparable to the original Motorstorm on the PS3 for scope and scale.

I like the way as you progress the racetracks become more challenging, representing your progression higher up the mountain, thus changing the driving conditions and altering the way to approach races.

There's also a pretty neat vehicle customisation feature, starting off with simple paint jobs and later making more drastic changes as you unlock more customisable parts. I'm pretty sure these are purely cosmetic, but it's still pretty cool nonetheless.

There are two modes in which to play the game: `Festival' mode (the real game) - where you have to complete races in order to progress and unlock the next race or time trial, getting gradually more challenging as it goes along; and `Wreckreation' - where you select the racetrack and vehicles and you just have fun on a one off race on your own or in Ad hoc mode.

It's the little details that I really like:
- Each vehicle has its own unique driving mechanics. Example: a bike will handle differently to a truck (obviously) and therefore the player will need to work out the best route to take to make the most of you vehicle.
- Damage on your vehicle gets steadily worse the more you bump into things;
- The destruction slow motions are cool;
- The way your tires change colours depending on what terrain your driving on (white for snow, brown for mud); and
- Mud and snow splatters on the screen harks back to the PS3 versions brilliantly.

Sound and music is excellent, all tracks are pumping, high tempo tracks of awesomeness. If you are into punk, hard dance or fast indie, you'll love it. Good driving music for blistering along ice fields.

Bad things: the boost function, which gives you a short burst of acceleration in a race, doesn't seem to give the satisfying sensation of instant speed. Then there's... well, that's it. I can't really think of any more problems with this game. It's awesome.

Motorstorm vs GT PSP
In order to spell out the differences, GT PSP is a much more clean cut racing game, its smooth and stylish in comparison to Motorstorms `dangerous' and reckless excitement.

GT PSP is a driving simulator, you can chose your car and it will act like a real car, on a real race track, the other cars will act like other cars, sticking to the racing line. It feels like real driving, to the bum clenchingly high-speed corners and your desire to achieve that `perfect' lap.

Motorstorm (adrenaline pumping, reckless joy) or GT PSP (smooth, stylish, perfection)? Your choice. My choice? Get both.

[Looking for other PSP games? Check out my reviews for LittleBigPlanet, Gran Tourismo PSP, Motorstorm Arctic Edge, Blood Bowl, Resistance Retribution, and probably others.]


Gran Turismo (PSP)
Gran Turismo (PSP)
Offered by Ace Goods Co. Ltd
Price: £15.99

41 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Greatest racer ever for PSP, 1 Oct. 2009
This review is from: Gran Turismo (PSP) (Video Game)
I'm quite a fan of racers on PSP, having both WipEout games, Need for Speed Undercover and F1 but this gamehas massively raised the bar. This is definitely the best racer on the PSP (with perhaps the exception of maybe Motorstorm: Arctic Edge, which i've not had the pleasure of playing yet). [EDIT: now reviewed Motorstorm too, with a slight GT comparison for those thinking of getting one or the other]

This game has been in development just a tad too long, i'd totally forgot it was ever mentioned back in 2004. But to say its been a while in development does no justice to just how superb this game really is.

Prositives:

- I pre-ordered the UMD version which arrived this morning. From the moment you start it up you realise this game is something quite special. Somehow, developers are managing to squeeze more and more out of the PSP, and this game is the showcase of the lot graphically.

- The cars are superbly rendered on the screen and are even better in the races, and really makes you wonder how this is just a PSP. The race tracks are equally well rendered. Of course, there are limitations to the PSP so there are still jaggies and hard lines where there should be curves, but i'd expected far more.

- The controls i found take a little bit of time to get used to, certainly my first race wasn't exactly smooth, but i'd expected this as with any new game. After a few races though, it feels very smooth and intuitive. They've done a good job with less buttons.

- I'm only in the early stages of the game and haven't tried racing the fast cars just yet, but even with the slower cars the game feels fast. I can only imagine what its going to be like with the supercars.

- The number of cars and tracks is stupendous, i can't work out how they've managed to get so many into 1Gb of storage space. I don't think you could ever do collect every car!

The graphics and the gameplay really do make this game so superb.

Limitations:

- There have been number of rumblings on the internet following the announcement that there is no campaign mode. I've never had a GT game before (with the exception of GT5 Prologue), so this is not a feature i know to miss. However, if you are a hardened fan of GT then you may miss it. There are a series of challenges with races and tasks within each one that will keep you interested and tested while improving your virtual driving skills.

- Cockpit mode is pretty shoddy really, and after playing GT5 Prologue, i was expecting something slightly better rendered. It is still my prefered driving method though, giving a much more realistic driving feel.

- Car availability seems a little confusing to me. New cars are available each virtual day but not always the ones you want. You have to exit the challenge mode to go back to the main screen to go to the showroom. At first i was doing this after each race - if you leave the challenge it adds a virtual day, so new cars become available. Now i've realised you can do more than one race in a challenge then exit and it will only have added one day too.

- there are only 4 cars on a track. this surprised me as i was expecting more, but it's not bothered me at all, you're usually only concentrating on the car in front and the car behind anyway! its definitely still a challenge.

Overall:

If you are already a GT fan and you own a PSP, and you want the GT experience on a portable, i'd hazard a guess that you will be quite pleased at this amazing game.

If you have never played GT and you want a polished and superb racer/driving simulator that will make your shiney PSP even shinier, then this really is, by far, the best game you could get.

GT PSP has made itself a must have for PSP owners, even in the rapidly expanding collection of great PSP games.

[Looking for other PSP games? Check out my reviews for LittleBigPlanet, Gran Tourismo PSP, Motorstorm Arctic Edge, Blood Bowl, Resistance Retribution, and probably others.]


Planet Terror [Blu-ray]
Planet Terror [Blu-ray]
Dvd ~ Rose McGowan
Price: £8.99

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A love of grindhouse at it's unflatteringly gratuitous best, 24 Sept. 2009
This review is from: Planet Terror [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
This is cinema's dirty side.

Groundhouse movies are unashamedly gory, violent, often funny and testosterone fuelled, and Planet Terror thrusts it's way onto your screen in a blaze of cinematic glory.

It's funny - i mean really funny at points - ridiculously.

It's gorey - I mean come on, it a zombie movie with guns, bombs, explosions and fun.

It's sexy - they went through quite a lot of effort to caste some hot women.

It's violent - WOOO! Smack that zombie!

It's got zombies in it - Zombies!

It doesn't try to explain everything - and that's the point, sometime you don't need to know why, you just have to enjoy the moment.

Watch this movie with your mates, with beer and pizza and you will have a riotous evening. Leave your sensibilities and seriousness at the door and enjoy it.

There's a bunch of extras. the ones you need to know about are the non grainy version of the movie (if you care); and the version of the movie with the background laughing and cheering from the preview screening, Because its nice to know other people find it funny too.


GEAR4 Airzone FM
GEAR4 Airzone FM
Offered by Tecnoplus
Price: £9.45

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Was skeptical, but it works, 2 Sept. 2009
This review is from: GEAR4 Airzone FM (Accessory)
Second FM trasmitter i've tried. Looked at a good few website reviews until i found one that seemed to be a good price with good reviews.

After poor experiences with other models, i've been quite impressed with this model, it seems to work pretty well even using just the battery and not the supplied car adapter/power cable.

It takes one AAA battery (supplied), it's pretty small in size, with a blue backlit display (which isn't great since it lights up from the top of the display only) and will switch itself off after 20seconds of no audio input. useful if you are like me and rush out without thinking.

It's very easy to use, I managed to get it up and running really quickly. Selected a blank radio frequency on the car sterio, then matched it using the up and down arrows on the FM transmitter, it worked straight off with no issues. It also remembers the frequency you set, so you don't have to reprogram it everytime you switch it on - some models don't.

Sound quality is better than i was expecting (i didn't have high hopes), with only deep bass sounds having some distortion/vibration. I haven't driven far with it on so i've not had to contend with conflicting FM radio stations yet. I can assume that this will probably be a problem depending on where you are.

All in all, satisfied with the product, gave me what i was looking for at a good price.


Sennheiser MX 660 - High Quality Earphones With Basswind-System and integrated Volume Control - Black
Sennheiser MX 660 - High Quality Earphones With Basswind-System and integrated Volume Control - Black

4.0 out of 5 stars Sennheiser MX 660 - good alternative to earbuds, 21 Aug. 2009
Bought these earphones after my Sony set gave up on me. The Sony set were excellent, and have been hard to beat. But when they gave up after about 4 years of use, I turned to Sennheiser after excellent experiences i have had with the PX100 foldable headphones and HD435 cans which i use for other purposes.

I wanted a straight swap for my Sony set, a pair of high quality earphones - no earbuds, no frame and a cable mounted volume mount. Something i could use at work (desk job) or on public transport.

I would have prefered a set that went round the neck rather than symmetric cable, but for the price and the quality of these headphones i can compromise.

Sound quality is excellent and do surprase my defunkt Sony earphones, cable length is good, comes with a neat little carry pouch and cable wind that helps keep everything neat, tidy and tangle free.

If you don't like earbuds, these are an excellent alternative. Bass isn't as good, but its not far off, and i personally find them far more comfortable.

Excellent product at an excellent price.


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