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Reviews Written by
BryKyn "bristarman"

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The Last Guardian
The Last Guardian
Offered by Beat The Bomb
Price: £19.95

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Transcendent, 11 Jan. 2017
This review is from: The Last Guardian (Video Game)
I estimate to be near the end of my first play-through of Last Guardian and I don't want it to end (I've avoided spoilers but have a sense of foreboding). Ico is one of my favourite games and I have been anticipating the Last Guardian for almost a decade. I've not been disappointed!

There are moments of beauty and joy in this game that transcend the medium of video games. The setting, the grandiose but crumbling ruins, is majestic. The sparse narrative feels weighted with a history only glimpsed and hinted at which creates mystery and wonder. It's also imbued with a sadness, a feeling that this adventure will not end well: Trico's mournful eyes, the howling wind through desolate corridors, the boy's echoing voice...

Both protagonists have a clumsiness that brings a subtle humour to the game (I've laughed and smiled alot), which helps build an emotional bond. Sporadic narration communicates some of the game's story but the focus is the gameplay mechanic itself: the relationship between the boy and Trico, the command and control of both (Trico by proxy) in order to progress and solve the largely environmental puzzles.

The sublime character animation is some of the most intricate I've seen in a game and graphically Last Guardian is wonderful. Performance-wise I have experienced none of the problems I've read about in reviews. I'm playing on an original base PS4 (on a 40 inch 4k Samsung TV) and I have had zero issues: no lag, no noticible frame drops. The controls and camera are fine also: it took me five minutes to get used to them and you can adjust the camera rotation speed in options menu if you wish. I do wish there was an option for the on-screen control prompts to be disabled as they are unsightly and spoil the immersion.

I realise my review is kinda biased as I am a fan of Ico and SoC and patiently waited so long to play it. I let my 8 year old son have a go to see what he thought. On first impression he said “Why does it look so real? Trico looks like PS4 graphics but the boy looks like PS3 graphics”. He said Trico looked and acted just like our pet dog (the resemblance is striking - she’s a ratty lurcher thing). I was a bit stuck in a room filled with water and my son actually gave me the solution to the puzzle whilst mucking about. He laughed a lot looking at Trico, spent a lot of time ‘playing’ with him in the water and loved his animations. He got confused for a second when the camera got blocked by a wall and he didn’t know what was going on. So there we go..

Generic Sprint 16T Freewheel - Silver, 1/8 - inch
Generic Sprint 16T Freewheel - Silver, 1/8 - inch
Offered by Laxzo.
Price: £4.97

5.0 out of 5 stars Freewheeling., 6 July 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Generic Sprint Freewheel (Sports)
Great! The freewheel broke on my son's bike yesterday and is now fixed in under 24 hours. Quality seems fine and comparable to the one removed (which was a Tri-Diamond single speed freewheel on a Raleigh 16 inch BMX-style bike). Mine was dispatched from and sold by Amazon with Prime delivery.

VIPARO Black Jagger Jacket (L)
VIPARO Black Jagger Jacket (L)

4.0 out of 5 stars Cool Jacket, 9 Dec. 2014
After looking for an age to find the perfect jacket I think I've almost found it. The goat leather is fantastic quality and the jacket is really stylish.

I would say it runs slightly large. I usually wear a small/medium and the jacket is a small with a little extra room for a jumper. The length is perfect as usually a jacket like this is too short.

The only gripe I have is that after wearing it on less than 10 occasions the lining has split in both arms where it joins the jacket body. Like I said the jacket has a little room to spare so is not tight fitting. The satin lining seems too delicate. This upset me a bit but the jacket still looks fantastic.

Sony SRSBTX300 Portable Wireless Speaker - Black
Sony SRSBTX300 Portable Wireless Speaker - Black

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Just OK, 23 Dec. 2013
The speaker looks good and has a good weight, feeling nice in your hands, but it's not perfect.
The sound is acceptable but my 15 year old computer speakers sound better. Can be a bit muddy, especially with noise/grunge/punk/rock/alt music. Although I just listened to Charles Mingus' Black Saint and Sinner Lady in the bath and it sounded amazing.
The unit doesn't go as loud as I expected but it doesn't distort at the loudest volume. The bass is good but if using mega bass I can notice the sound 'phasing' very slightly - digitally processing often causes this I've found - although it is very slight.
I have not got 8 hours out of the battery. I would suggest 4-5 hours continuous play at a medium volume. I've charged it 3 times so hopefully this may get better as I use it more. The light flashes for about an hours use before it switches itself off.
Bluetooth connects perfectly, there's no need for me to use NFC but that works fine also. I've read about issues with the kickstand but I haven't found this a problem at all. My phone didn't need an additional app at all.
I chose this speaker over the Minx Go for the simple fact that I have an Xperia Z1 phone and thought they might pair up well. I am keeping the speaker as it is good, just not as good as I was expecting. If I could go back I would try the Minx Go with its 18 hour advertised battery.

Foucault's Pendulum
Foucault's Pendulum
by Umberto Eco
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.98

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hard Work But Ultimately Rewarding, 25 July 2011
This review is from: Foucault's Pendulum (Paperback)
I came to Foucault's Pendulum after greatly enjoying Name of the Rose and this is a very different book altogether.

The premise can be read on the blurb and makes the book come across as an 'intellectual thriller'. The first few chapters and the last few are indeed those of an intellectual thriller and the hard work is in-between. It could be argued that skipping the most part of the book and just reading the parts from the periscope to the periscope would give a great short-story. However you'd miss a lot of seawater and 2+2=5 not to mention an insane amount of historical and occult conspiracy. All that is great stuff but is bogged down by frustrating attempts of characterisation: a 100 pages, or so it seemed, is given over to the main character going to South America and I was bored witless with the wooden conversations and monologue. Later he becomes a father which plays no part in anything much and the relationship with the mother serves one purpose, that of a discovery concerning a 'shopping list', which was indeed very funny but long-winded.

In fact, no reviews I've read have mentioned the humour in this book: I laughed out loud on a number of occasions.

I would've given Foucault's Pendulum 4-stars if Eco had edited to a stricter regime.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 6, 2016 3:31 PM GMT

Samsung I5700 Galaxy spica
Samsung I5700 Galaxy spica

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An overlooked gem, 21 Feb. 2011
This phone is known variously as Galaxy Spica, Lite, Portal and i5700.

Had the i5700 for a week now and it has impressed me greatly. I have had no problems so far whatsoever.
The touch screen is very responsive and using the Android keyboard is easy. Runs Angry Birds well. Battery is good and even better if you kill background apps and disable wi-fi and 3g until you need them.

My phone came complete with Android 2.1 and one of the most interesting things about this phone is it's capacity for development. It's true that there is not going to be an official Samsung update to 2.2 but the 'Samdroid' community has 2.2 running on the i5700 and 2.3 is in the works. There's a strong community of developers supporting this phone. It's running rings around my girlfriend's new Sony-Ericsson X8 even without any mods.

A tip that I have discovered regarding the Music Player and the supplied headphones: there is only one button on the headphones that pauses the music BUT if you press it twice it will skip tracks and if you hold it down it will stop and close the player. Also if you plug your headphones in and press the button it will start the player. All this can be done whilst the phone is locked.

Remember that without modifying the operating system this phone will not handle Flash, 3d gaming and live wallpapers but all these are possible on this phone if you 'root' it. I'm happy with it as it came but it's nice to know there's enough power in this cheap and fairly old phone to rival a newer, pricey phone.

The downside, which loses the phone a star, is that the camera is not great and hasn't got a flash.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 11, 2012 3:41 PM GMT

Raleigh Avenir Snug Child Seat - Red
Raleigh Avenir Snug Child Seat - Red

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent chair for the price, 2 July 2010
This was the cheapest bike chair I could find and based on the reviews I ordered it.

It was very easy to install and adjust and I am happy to put my 22 month old son in it - it looks and feels safe and secure. The only issue is that it doesn't have much padding but I'm not sure if that's really needed. We've had lots of country and seaside rides already and every time my son has fallen asleep! There's no head support and it doesn't recline but he doesn't complain.

My bike is a 1978 Triumph and the chair installed with no problem. On a town style bike the seat can be raised quite high so the baby isn't just staring at your bum, which may be the case on a mountain bike. If you have a saddle with springs you need to cover them up or temporarily change the saddle as fingers might get crushed. The bright red colour is a big bonus as when riding on the road a car can see the child seat a mile off and give you extra room when overtaking (hopefully).

A real plus point is that the chair can be removed from the bracket in 2 seconds (honestly) due to a secure release button. There are adjustable foot straps and seat belt which are easy to change depending on the child's height. There's also a carry handle - which is handy!

Remember to get a helmet too!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 17, 2010 12:41 PM BST

Price: £12.48

5.0 out of 5 stars Wow! What a record!, 28 May 2010
This review is from: Lafaro (Audio CD)
A storming growl of a record.

Imagine massive Helmet-style riffs with a David Yow yapping vocal mixed with some Fugazi grooves, Wildhearts stomp, Therapy? rhythm and Pixies dynamics.

It really is THAT good.

This band works very hard - I've seen these Irish lads in little Portsmouth 3 times in a year and each time has been a blast. I watch people's faces around me tighten and their jaws drop when they first hear this live.

The Foundation Pit
The Foundation Pit
by Andreĭ Platonovich Platonov
Edition: Paperback

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A strange snow flake of a satire, 20 Mar. 2010
This review is from: The Foundation Pit (Paperback)
I read a Platonov short story collection I stumbled across years ago containing a story called 'Dzhan' which has stayed with me like a vivid dream. The Foundation Pit also has the illuminating quality of a dream or maybe the detached but heightened understanding of reality you get with a fever (or extreme hangover).
Through the snow bleached conditions a work team begin to prepare the ground for a vertical worker's haven but move on to get a collective farm into gear. There's murder, a rhetorically class aware (and all the more fermentable for it) orphan and a bear-man who dislocates the enemy Kulaks with a growl.
This haunting diatribe deserves to be next to Zamyatin's We, Brave New World, 1984 and Koestler's Darkness at Noon as a warning against the artificial acceleration of Marxism within a totalitarian mold.

Orchestra Of Wolves
Orchestra Of Wolves
Price: £9.04

6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars just ok, 22 Aug. 2008
This review is from: Orchestra Of Wolves (Audio CD)
After all the hype I checked the album out. My first response was resignation. Resignation to the droll cliché of punk in 2007/8. I tried to like it but I listen to too much punk for this to excite me. I laid back and listened a few times but nothing roused me. It isn't bad - some of it would be ok if it didn't remind me of a retrogression to the horrible English hardcore bands of the 1980's.
There's no politics here. No existentialism. No situationist slogans. Or nihilism even. Actually, there's not really much angst either, despite the aggressive delivery. There's no humour, just irony. There's no swagger: punk was always rock n roll. They seem to have the attitude of some of the more public US punk/hardcore bands, which is 'we have nothing to say so let's burn ourselves out screaming "fire!"'.
For some reason they remind me of the Exploited.
I don't know but I would guess these guys are from the suburbs and liked to practice in the semi-detached-with-garage.
I would recommend listening to the Bronx.

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