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Breaking Bad: Season 1 (3 Discs)
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This a drama/black comedy rolled into one. I'm sure you've probably got some idea about the story and as crazy as it sounds it just works. The chemistry between the two main actors is brilliant and the writing really brings the story and the characters to life. The pace of the show is almost like a slow burner but rewards the viewer the more time that you spend watching it. It is compelling viewing and although the series is relatively short (seven episodes) you never feel short changed.
Overall, a gritty, dark drama that fans of other quality shows (The Wire, Sopranos etc..) will take to immediately. A must watch.
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (Platinum)
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This is honestly the reason to buy a PS3. Every aspect of this game has been polished to perfection. The graphics are simply stunning, with gorgeous environments rendered in detail not seen elsewhere. This is a benchmark to which all action games should be compared to as of now.
The game itself owes a lot to Hollywood but unlike most games the voice acting and animation are top notch and the story is so well paced that the game never becomes boring. The gameplay is also very polished with a simple, yet effective control system that allow combat as well as exploration.
To top the package off the game has a rewarding online multiplayer element that can easily take away hours of your life and just adds to the lifespan of an already amazing game.
Overall, you must buy this game if you haven't already and at this price you'd be mad not to!
The Inbetweeners: Series 1 - 3 Box Set
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If you have ever been to school then you will be able to relate the characters on the show. Almost everyone knows people who are actually like this in real life and thats what makes the show so endearing.
It is full of puerile, adolescent humour and not one for the faint hearted. The show has its laugh out loud moments as well as cringeworthy scenes.
Overall, a must watch and although series 3 isn't as strong as the first two it is still quality British comedy.
Monster Beats By Dr. Dre / High Definition Studio Headphones / Black
Ignore the talk about these headphones being more of a fashion accessory than a proper pair of headphones. The sound is truly amazing compared to anything I have ever heard before. Bass is deep and punchier then any other 'phones I tried upon purchasing these. The mid ranges sound crisp and are not drowned by the bass in any way whatsoever. The noise cancellation does its job and block out ambient background noise (train or plane sounds disappear). Comfort-wise, I can wear these for hours without having any issues in terms of comfort.
As a package you get a very impressive set of accessories such as carry case, iphone/phone cable connection, 1/8 to 1/4" Adapter and a cleaning cloth. The build quality does not seem to be an issue to me as it seems well built and not flimsy at all.
Overall, the only gripe I have is that you need batteries to listen to any music regardless if you want the noise cancellation or not. I would highly recommend these to anyone looking to invest in a new set of headphones and has got the cash to splash. You really can appreciate the music in ways you never could before.
Call Of Duty: Black Ops
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In its own right Black Ops is a solid first person shooter with no real innovation and nothing special to brag about. The single player is good fun if a little short but does the job as a quick distraction from the main event. By the event I mean the online multiplayer. When it works, the multiplayer is a lot more fun to play then Modern Warfare 2. Play is more balanced and there is less disparity between those who are really good and those who aren't. There is no more commando perk and quick scoping is less of an issue. The maps are varied enough to help a wide variety of playing styles and the overall experience allows more integration with those in your friends list. The problem online is not when it works but more when it doesn't. Connecting online is shocking. The number of times you are kicked from games, the time it takes to find a game lobby only for it to be closed is so frequent it is just not good enough. A number of patches have been released to try and solve the online issues but some in my experience have made it worse. I think Treyarch should take a leaf out of Guerilla (Killzone 3) and release a beta so that they can at least find out the issues prior to release instead of treating us consumers as paying beta testers.
Zombies is a welcome addition from MW2 but does not cover up the lack of a co-op story mode or a lack of a special ops mode.
Overall it is a decent game but due to the appalling online mode, this will be my last Call of Duty game by Treyarch that I purchase.
Gran Turismo 5 (Platinum)
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After all the hype built up over years and the constant delays I was expecting the best Gran Turismo yet. Unfortunately I, like many was left feeling short changed. The game is best described as a driving RPG rather than a racing game. Graphically, the game varies from drop dead gorgeous to high resolution ps2. The cars that are rated as premium look absolutely amazing but the remaining 'standard' ones are blocky and wouldn't look out of place on the ps2. The tracks themselves are a mix of old favourites (high speed ring) and new ones (Cape Ring) but they seem to be lacking in variation and driving seems like a chore more then anything. This is because the layout of the game forces you to repeat the same races until you reach a high enough level to unlock the next event. Newer patches have introduced seasonal events which make the grind a lot more bearable but they seemed to have leached out whatever fun was remaining in the game.
It really is a big disappointment especially as I was such a huge GT fan. There is also a huge emphasis on the B spec mode from previous GTs. At least before you could speed the process up and also switch to A spec if you got bored. I honestly don't know what they were doing for the last 5 years or so as the only thing that is accomplished are the driving physics. With a Driving Force GT the handling varies between each car and you can really see the effort that has gone into making this a driving simulator. The one thing i commend Polyphony Digital is the support they've given the game since release. They have constantly tried to improve the game with patches and the result is a game with a bit more variety then when first released. They have listened to fans feedback as well and made tweaks to imporive the user experience.
Overall, a slight let down especially after all the development issues i'd expect a polished, finished racing game. (though this has been somewhat rectified after the masses of patches and additions) Is that too much to ask for?
Three Cups of Tea
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This is an amazing story of what one individual with perseverance, endeavour and luck can really do. If more people in the world displayed this kind of care and determination to those that are not as well off as us in the UK then the world would be a much better place. What Mortensen has achieved in a part of the world where he would not be normally welcome has really broken boundaries.
As a book it is an engaging page turner as you want to find out what happens next and so it is easy to finish in a couple of days. It is written in a format that makes it accessible to all and should be read by everyone.
Definitely one for everyone, any age to read. Just get a copy!
Klipsch Image S4i Headphones With Built-in Mic (iPhone Compatible)
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The S4i's are very good value for the money. For this price there isn't really any competition in terms of sound quality. The earphones are slightly bass-heavy but that doesn't detract from the clear treble. The built in mic is a handy addition and makes the transition from phone calls to music as simple as it should be. The only problem is that the fit needs to be perfect in order to appreciate the true quality of the earphones.
Overall, a good purchase and I would definitely consider Klipsch again. (Just make sure you get the right fit!)
Guitar Hero: World Tour (Band Bundle)
First off the reliability issues regarding the drum pads have not affected me so maybe I am one of the lucky ones! The actual build quality of the instruments seemed solid to me and despite not being very heavy were sturdy even during the most intense gaming sessions.
I have to say that Rock Band is a better game and has a more varied catalogue but from my experience the build quality of the instruments are better here and until EA decide to release the Rock Band 2 instruments this side of the Atlantic then this the more reliable option.
At £150 quid it is too expensive but if you can pick it up for less than £99 as I did then it is definitely worth a punt just for the all round entertainment and laughs a game like this can provide.
Street Fighter IV (4)
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This is hands down the best fighting game of this generation. The graphics are stunning and the animation is smooth and lag free throughout. The actual gameplay is typical street fighter but is slightly more forgiving than the older versions of the game. Don't let this fool you into thinking this game is easy though. For any casual gamer they will find it tough to complete the game on easy as it takes much practice. Eventually the effort pays off for what is one of the most purest beat 'em up for a long time.
Rock hard, but with perseverance and dedication this game is a true gem.