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Reviews Written by
Richard Belbin (Dundee, Sco)
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Origins
Origins
Price: £6.49

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Album, but enough new material, 27 Sept. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Origins (MP3 Download)
The album itself is fantastic and if you like traditional scottish music with a twist, this is probably as good as you're going to get. However those people familiar with Treacherous Orchestra, who are in possession of their 2009 EP may be disappointed at the lack of new material as there is a good deal of crossover between the two releases.

This album does feature 3 entirely new tracks though, and as all three are over 7mins long, I didn't feel too short changed. Also, even though there is crossover with the aforementioned EP, all the tracks have been given a bit of a facelift, so the album will still seem fresh to seasoned veterans.

As a standalone, the album is a joy from start to finish. Featuring the best of traditional Scottish music with a multitude of modern twists to really make this stand out. Great band, and I'd highly recommend seeing them live if you get the chance.


I Am Very Far
I Am Very Far
Price: £9.72

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A band deserving of attention, 9 May 2011
This review is from: I Am Very Far (Audio CD)
Despite managing to create 6 studio albums over the last 9 years Okkervil River are still a band that remain relatively unknown the the general populace and to someone who has fallen in love with them, the reasons behind this remain a mystery.

The quality of each of their albums is easily comparable to their peers on the indie/folk/rock/alternative/whatever scene that has recently become populated with bands such as The National, Wilco and The Decemberists, however Okkervil River have yet to find the more mainstream appeal that their contemporaries have enjoyed.

For fans of any of the aforementioned bands, Okkervil River are an essential band to check out, and many will not leave disapointed. For those more familiar with the bands work, this album continues the bands tradition of providing a quality product. Personally it took me a couple of listens to really fall in love with this album as I have done with their previous offerings, and it perhaps lacks some of the moments of magic that Will Sheff has produced in the past (see Black Sheep Boy for a perfect example). However, this is certainly an early contender for my album of the year... not that my opinion counts for anything.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 11, 2011 5:27 PM BST


XMI X-Mini II 2nd Generation Capsule Speaker with 3.5mm Jack Compatible with iPhone/iPad/iPod/Smartphones/Tablets/MP3 Player/Laptop - Black
XMI X-Mini II 2nd Generation Capsule Speaker with 3.5mm Jack Compatible with iPhone/iPad/iPod/Smartphones/Tablets/MP3 Player/Laptop - Black
Price: £13.25

875 of 903 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars X-Mini II Speakers, 13 Jan. 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
As someone who does a lot of travelling around the country, I find it very useful to have a set of portable speakers that can be plugged into my MP3 player so as to listen to music without headphones. Unfortunately the sound quality you get from most portable speakers is very poor with the bass in particular, failing to impress.

When I ordered my x-mini, I did so because of the size and design rather than any expectation of performance. However, these portable speakers are a very impressive piece of kit, so impressive in fact that as soon as I had seen my first one in action, I went straight online to buy a second.

The speakers are powered by an internal battery which can be charged through an included usb cable. The sound quality is so good that I use my speakers as replacement for my laptops speakers when listening to music and thus running low on charge hasn't been a problem for me so I can't comment on battery life further than what the official statement has to say. The sound quality as stated before is very good, the speakers can't quite cope flawlessly with the loudest parts of some songs when everything is turned up to full volume, but I think to expect that may be unrealistic for a portable speaker in this price range. Even saying that the volume these guys can produce without any distortion is amazing. The bass is far superior to any of the other portables I've used and the size is perfect for just throwing in a bag when you're on the road. There is also a system in place which means you can "buddy jack" numerous x-mini's thus further increasing their sound output. All the equipment required for this, as well as charging comes included so you don't need to worry about buying extra cables or peripherals.

All in all these are a great purchase and I've already recommended them to some friends. They should be seriously considered if you're looking to invest in some portables. I honestly think they would be cheap at twice the price.
Comment Comments (23) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 21, 2014 8:17 AM BST


Loco Roco (PSP)
Loco Roco (PSP)

5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly the best game ever made?, 23 May 2008
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Loco Roco (PSP) (Video Game)
I wouldnt go quite as far as to say this is the best game ever, but like Patapon this game makes owning a PSP worthwhile. Other game developers could learn alot from these examples as this game delivers an immersive and orgional gaming experience and a level of enjoyment that many of the more flashy games cant even come close to.

Would definatly recommend giving this game a go, and if you like it, check out Patapon for another unique but equally enjoyable piece of awsome!


Final Fantasy XII (PS2)
Final Fantasy XII (PS2)
Offered by APE-GAMES
Price: £11.15

7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars High Expectations, Low Return, 16 Mar. 2007
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I dont know if I'm alone out there but when I play these games, i dont really care about the graphics or to a lesser extent even the gameplay style. What I am looking for are a solid storyline, characters that I can warm to and a world i feel i can immerse myself in. This game fails to deliver on every single one of these counts.

Square have moved away from the final fantasy of old and its not a good thing. I feel that the company feels compelled to utilise all of the technology at its disposal rather than what is best for the genre. Once again there is no world map with all locations leading from one another which yes, makes the game more realistic, but defiantly detracts from the sense of exploration that you get from previous titles.

The voice actors are terrible, and serve little purpose other than to annoy the gamer. I was much happier reading screens of text rather than having to sit through arduous cut scene after arduous cut scene and listen to these ridiculous accents.

The main flaw of this game is the lack of a solid storyline. This should be the foundation of a final fantasy game and the lack of a decent story severely impinges on the enjoyment you get out of the game. Frequently I found myself running to a far off location and didn't know or care why i had to get there. Im sure it was explained in one of the hundreds of cut scenes but after 10 or 12 hours of gameplay, i doubt anyone was really listening.

The playable characters, especially the main character have no involvement in the story that unfolds around them. Whereas in previous games all of the characters will have a reason for embarking on a journey that will presumably take up months of their time, in this instalment, the characters just seem to be along for the ride. The lead character is seemingly a carbon copy of Zidane/Tidus and has no reason for being involved in the proceedings.

Once again square have changed the way we level up and unlock new abilities... I really dont see the need to do this. There have been several successful systems in previous games and now you just get the feeling that square are just changing things for the sake of it. I do realise that we cannot keep clinging onto the same system game after game because eventually it would become tedious but there is no need for this wholesale change of system after every title.

There are some positives however. The battle system works very well and once you get used to the gambits and commands it does make for an interesting and enjoyable pastime. There are also a number of other miniquests to complete which are moderately satisfying.

There is a lack of a real mini-game such as blitzball, cards or chocobo racing which came as a bit of a disappointment, and this along with the lack of a world map just gave this game an anticlimactic feel to it.

I got my moneys worth out of this game but in the future id like to see a return to the final fantasy of old, I dont care about all the glitz and glamour, i just want a solid story line and decent characters.


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