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Grundig GUFSAT01HD Freesat HD Digital Set Top Box With BBC iPlayer
We've just bought this box and was surprised by the quality. First, they supply the HDMI lead for high def viewing. Easy to install, and after plugging in the power, dish, HDMI and optical sound for 5.1 surround it was a simple 6 step set-up to get the channels set up that revolved around waiting for it to scan and then press OK and telling then my post code.
Picture quality is great, even when upscaling SD programmes to 1080 resolution. The HD picture is crisp and clear as you'd expect. I haven't seen a single blemish or pixel in the picture yet and no signal problems like with my old freeview box.
Sound is clear and crisp. The 5.1 works really well and can't really be faulted. Some of the older shows don't play in surround but that is only to be expected.
The channel selection is much bigger than freeview and took only 30 seconds to find 137 TV channels and close to 100 radio stations on top of that.
Overall, this is an excellent box and you definitely seem to get more than you pay for. Very highly recommended as a half way point between freeview and sky or virgin.
Forza Motorsport 3: Limited Edition
4 New from
Having just played the demo for this I can say that this is by far one of the most promising racers on the 360 so far. The graphics are 10/10, the scenery in Montserrat is nothing short of beautiful, and the cars are flawlessly created. Sound effects are solid and never seem out of place. The realism is much higher than in Forza 2 and it takes more to get the cars around the tight hairpin than in last years game. With the addition of realistic tyre wear with handling changes and the option of turning on fuel usage in all game modes make this a definite must-buy for any racing sim fans.
Need For Speed: Shift
10 New from
Firstly, DO NOT buy this game if you want a simulation based controlling game like Forza, Project Gotham or ProStreet
This games controls are based on sliding the car around the corners, the slightest touch on the steering and the back of the car steps out, making you slide, which makes it too easy to spin out and makes it hard to keep up with your opponents who don't slide everywhere,
Graphically, this game looks awesome. Cars are crisp and smooth and tracks are very good looking, despite the amount of adverts covering the circuits. Cars sound beefy and powerful, as they should in a game with such powerful racing cars. The career mode is lengthy and has a good deal of variety.
EA need to bring out a patch for the controls, and if they do I will change my review to a 4/5. Its just a pity the controls spoil it all.
Batman: Arkham Asylum (Classics)
9 New from
After playing the demo for the new Batman game I was pleasantly surprised. After the last Batman game I wasn't expecting much. This game is good looking, although the characters do look a little plastic in places not that this is entirely bad, it is a comic book game after all. The animations are smooth and flawless. The Joker is acted to perfection as is Harley Quinn, both are delightfully quirky and funny to watch. The gameplay is as it should be, skulking in shadows and coming out when the time is right. The difficulty isn't too hard or too easy but will provide a challenge, it took me a few tries to get past the first room of armed guards. If you like the idea of a mix of stealth and action, mixed with a good dollop of Batman, then this game is a must buy.
F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin (Fear)
9 New from
I downloaded the demo off of steam for this expecting to have to fiddle with settings, but even on a simple Q6600, 4GB Kingston budget RAM and a cheap 9600 GSO, this game runs with all settings at maximum on 1280x1024 resolution and maintains a good 50-60 fps. Gameplay is as good as ever and while the gunfights do seem easier, this seems to be because they've tweaked the controls which feel much smoother and tighter than in previous games. Sound is very atmospheric and adds a good deal of spookiness to it. Overall, an excellent demo and with any luck it will be an excellent full game.
3 New from
Okay, this game has changed hands in two ways. It used to be made by Climax and published by THQ, but now its made by Milestone (of SBK-08 infamy) and is now published by Capcom. This has changed a lot of things for the worse. The steering suffers from the same awful control as SBK-08 and you can easily spin out while taking a gentle corner at 30mph. The graphics seem a bit more polish and shiny, but aren't necessarily any better. The new courses and 125 and 250 cc add some decent content, but the loss of Extreme mode can make the game very repetitive as there's now half the courses and bikes as before. If you're a big fan of the MotoGP series of games I'd recommend waiting for a demo before splashing out £30+ on this one. I've returned it and bought 07 again.
Into The Blue
This film looked good on dvd and in the cinema with some of the best underwater scenes in a non-docu movie, but then you see it on blu-ray and it blows you away. The colour definition is awesome and has some of the best looking diving scenes you'll see. The movie itself isn't really anything special but is enjoyable and Jessica Alba in a bikini is always a bonus. One of the cheapest blu-ray films and well worth the money for those even remotely interested in this kind of movie.
Microsoft Windows Live OneCare 1.5 for XP / Vista
Tried installing the demo off of the Microsoft site, but won't install on the 64-bit version of Vista Ultimate. Says not compatible with 64-bit operating systems. My advice? Try getting the demo off the web before bying this one to make sure it works on your version of Vista.