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Moondog (Manchester, England)

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Xia: Legends of a Drift System
Xia: Legends of a Drift System
Offered by CJ-MaX
Price: £83.88

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding sci-fi adventure, 24 Oct. 2015
As a big fan of space exploration games (particularly Eclipse) I have kept a close eye on Xia: Legends of a Drift System since its early inception. I wanted something that was as immersive as Eclipse but less heavy, cerebral and, dare I say it, more FUN... and that's exactly what I got!

Xia: Legends of a Drift System is bursting with theme. The ridiculously high caliber components are well documented and did not disappoint in the slightest. I've seen some nitpicking on the forums over the spaceship minatures' paint-jobs but to me they are sublime and way better than anything on my shelf.

If you are open to a high risk/high reward random dice chucking fest in a sci-fi setting then this could be the one for you. It has plenty of depth but is far easier to teach to newer gamers than many contemporary games. As a huge bonus, the set up and take down time of Xia is a fraction of of the time it takes to sort out Eclipse, so in playing it you save around an hour strait away.

Be sure to follow the 'roll 2 dice, chose the one you want' variant of gameplay to ensure nobody is getting upset by terrible dice rolls for movement. Also, the 'replace a used sell title with a new resource' variant is also worthy of consideration.

No Title Available

5.0 out of 5 stars A worthy addition to the Kila's impressive catalogue. 4.5 stars, 4 Mar. 2015
This is indeed a welcome addition to any Kila fan's CD collection and a return to the Kila I know and adore following their more sedate (and to me, slightly lackluster) last offering, Soisin. At 46 minutes in length, the album flows briskly with a couple of their smile-inducing frantic stompers paced in between a majority of warm vocal numbers.

Perhaps to me the only questionable track here would be 'The Last Mile Home', which is placed towards the end of the album. This is now the third time Ronan and co have recorded this tune for an album, and although it's definitely a decent version I can't help thinking it seems out of place and unnecessary. A new original track would have been much preferable! Aside from this small gripe, Suas Síos deserves a worthy place on your CD rack (if CD's still exist by the time you read this!)

Battery Widget Reborn Classic
Battery Widget Reborn Classic
Price: £1.49

5.0 out of 5 stars By far the most useful and intuitive battery saver for me, 16 Aug. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
After trying many battery savers on my new tablet I rid myself of them all once i discovered this fantastic app. It is fully customizable to show you exactly the percentage of how battery you have remaining as an icon at the top of the screen, and also on you sleep screen if you chose, which is very handy when charging. You can access a host of useful features from the notification area, such as mute, bluetooth, wifi, sync, and night mode, which saves so much faff of having to exit what you are doing just to alter settings. I wouldn't be without Battery Widget now, so much so that I paid for for it after the free trial ended. It is the only app I ever intend on paying for, it really is that useful. The only minor downside is that when i boot up my tablet i have to physically expand the Battey Widget section of my notification area in order to view all the one-touch options. If the developers could overcome this slight niggle then Battery Widget would be perfect.

Price: £16.40

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent spiritual successor to Future Trad Collective, 16 Aug. 2014
This review is from: Mancunia (Audio CD)
This is another fine celtic-trad-world-fusion album from some of the great minds that brought us Future Trad Collective. Master fiddler Andy Dinian, guitarist & programmer Ian Fletcher and percussionist Richard Silwa return to the fold with the addition of Jon Thorne, who provides warm double bass to add greater depth to proceedings. The great Michael McGoldrick and tabla maestro Parvinder Bharat are less prominent here as they had 'only' guest slots on the album (due to busy tour dates with the likes of Mark Knopfler and Stevie Wonder, I'd imagine). However, their absence on certain tracks does nothing to diminish the talent on display here, along with the overall charm and inventiveness of this follow-up album.

If I were to nit-pick, the only song that does little for me is the slow number 'Song of the Strings', which I end up skipping as I feel unnecessarily breaks up the flow of the album. Perhaps it would have been better suited as Mancunia's final track, but that is just one humble opinion. That said, it is only a very small gripe and fans of powerhouses such as Flook, Lunasa, Lau, Kan, etc will find much to enjoy here. Thoroughly recommended!

Brave Frontier
Brave Frontier
Price: £0.00

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun little romp, 13 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Brave Frontier (App)
Enough free stuff to make it worthwhile on the cheap. Downside is this game is a massive battery and memory hog

47 Ronin
47 Ronin
by John Allyn
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Poor description and characterisation make this an unremarkable work. 2 1/2 stars, 16 Feb. 2014
This review is from: 47 Ronin (Paperback)
John Allyn's retelling of the 47 Ronin story is, sadly, a missed opportunity. The building blocks are all here - ready and poised for the epic treatment this story deserves - but unfortunately John Allyn was not the man to make it happen this time around.

The respectable Japaneses historian Stephen Turnbull is quoted on the front cover, hailing it a "masterful retelling" of the classic samurai tale, but unfortunately Stephen has a vested interest in providing a short essay at the start of the book, which he no doubt got paid for. Speaking of which, if you are going to read the novel regardless and have no foreknowledge of the plot then I highly recommend you skip the introductory sections until after you've finished reading the main story, otherwise crucial plot revelations and historical inaccuracies will spoil things for you.

The tale is told far too briskly for my personal tastes, and is woefully lacking in vivid descriptions of key events (including the all-important beginning AND finale). In addition, the majority of characters could benefit from from having greater depth to make the story as immersive as it has the right to be. It's not that everything badly written - far from it as there's some strong material in here - but it all just feels a bit too rushed.

So who might like this novel, then? Well, if this is your first foray into the realm of samurai literature and you haven't read James Clavell's 'Shogun' yet then this might be an okay place to start. Otherwise, I could only imagine adolescents being swept off their feet by the whistle-stop narrative.

Eiji Yoshikawa's samurai masterpieces 'Musashi' and 'Taiko' set the bar incredibly high, and unfortunately '47 Ronin' by John Allyn pales in comparison.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 25, 2016 10:10 PM BST

Star Wars Ceramic Death Star Cookie Jar, STAR191
Star Wars Ceramic Death Star Cookie Jar, STAR191
Price: £29.20

22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very misleading picture - the actual item looks nothing like it!, 28 Dec. 2013
I came on here with the intention of giving my new 'Death Star Cookie Jar' Christmas pressie a unimpressive 3 stars out of 5, basically because it ever so vaguely looks like the Death Star - but only if you use your imagination. It then immediately lost an extra point when I saw that these things are selling for a whopping 40 smackers, which is an insult when you see what this thing really looks like (it should probably sell for a maximum of £20.) And that neatly brings me on to the next loss of marks:

It looks nothing like how it does in the photo! Clearly the image has had a photoshop job done on it to make it look more like an actual Star Wars Death Star, which is what the thing SHOULD look like to begin with. Unlike the image seen here, the jar is a one-tone light grey and has nowhere near the realistic level of detail featured. The black definition around each of the 'engravings' is missing in the real product. There is, however, a barely noticeable not-quite-as-light-grey outlining instead.

Another highly annoying feature is that there is a join line running all the way down the clay at the front of the jar, just to the right of the circular lazer dish! Surely it could have been designed to have the join mark placed in a more subtle location (ie, anywhere else on the cookie jar other than where it is). If that little lazer dish didn't feature on the item then it would be reduced to nothing more than a £40 grey ball of squiggles.

There are other minor irritations, such as the horrendous photo of the jar set against a pointless grey grid on the box with a prominent picture of Yoda swooshing his lightsabre above it (Did Yoda ever see the Death Star? No, he was too busy looking for his missing cutlery on Dagobah, which resulted in him stealing spoons from a droid a couple of years later)

I digress. By the way, the seal on the lid doesn't appear very airtight, so you may not actually want to put your cookies in it. You won't even have money left to store in it either once you fork out for this giant grey udder, because it's clear that this is more of a Cash Cow than a Death Star. Rant over. Now where is the receipt?
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 19, 2014 6:42 PM BST

Shift It Anti Fog Spray
Shift It Anti Fog Spray

1.0 out of 5 stars Didn't work for me, 13 Sept. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Shift It Anti Fog Spray
This spray made my visor fog up far more than before I used it - dangerously so. It also left the visor glazed, which gets far worse with every outward breath, to the point where I couldn't see a thing. The first time I used Shift-It I possibly sprayed on a bit too much, so on the second attempt I made sure to only use one press of the nozzle and the rub it in, wait for it to dry, then buff as per instructions. The next morning I still had the dangerous smudged-glaze effect and fogging, which meant I had to ride in the rain and cold with the visor up and the rain stinging my eyes. I am far more likely to crash using this stuff than when I ride without it. If anyone has any ideas how to improve the performance then please let me know in the comments.

Nail Art Practice Finger Training Display Acrylic False Nail Tips Tool
Nail Art Practice Finger Training Display Acrylic False Nail Tips Tool
Offered by AzureView
Price: £1.03

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for putting in your bum-bum, 2 Jan. 2013
We all need a good finger in the botty from time to time, as I'm sure you'll heartily agree.

Even so, our loving partners may not always oblige. "I've not cut my nails." my missus will oftentimes says to me, leaving a false impression that she wishes to save me internal pain. In fact, what she really means is: "You've not showered in nine days. I'm not going anywhere near that stinky old muck tunnel!"

And she'd be right. Thankfully, this Practice Finger doesn't have opinions, so up it pops on a regular basis, seeking to find that fabled male erogenous zone. Due to its unorthodox shape I sometimes get more than I bargain for when I pluck the finger out afterwards, but this ultimately saves me a fair bit of toilet paper, thus making the Practice Finger something of an eco-friendly wonder.

It also makes a great novelty coat-hanger.

Thomas Take n Play Thomas
Thomas Take n Play Thomas
Price: £6.49

1 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rename Thomas with expletives for optimum enjoyment, 23 Oct. 2012
This review is from: Thomas Take n Play Thomas (Toy)
When I was a wee nipper, I used to call Thomas the Tanks Engine "Thomas the W*nk Engine" for my own amusement. I never gave it much thought after that.

Only now, after so many hard-fought years, have I rediscovered that substituting the word "Tank" for "Wa*k" in this context is still surprisingly satisfying. There will be naysayers out there - just as there were when little baby Jesus fell out of his mum's bodily vestibule - and to those who might wish me cast into a pot of my own slurry, I defy you to try calling this chirpy character "Thomas the W*nk Engine" without tittering like Dick Dastardly's canine side-kick Muttley. It can't be done, so let's embrace it.

The toy itself is okay and can be used as a roller-skate by people without feet.

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