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Product Reviews

28 (64% helpful)

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  1.  The definitive DS RPG


    There's something about Dragon Quest IX which just makes you fall in love with it. This is a game which everyone can love, from the most hardcore JRPG mega-enthusiast to someone who only plays for half an hour per day.

    Beginning with graphics, DQIX's are beautiful. This is easily the best looking game on the DS. There is a sort of psuedo-cel-shaded look which works really well. Akira Toriyama's (of Dragon Ball fame) designs are stunning as always, and are incredibly detailed. Monster designs are just as good, and there are a lot of them, including classic Dragon Quest creatures like Slimes.

    Gameplay is that of a traditional RPG, and is menu and turn-based. battles are not random encounters, and you can see enemies on the field map to run in to. A certain amount of grinding is required, but battles are fun anyway so you won't be bothered too much by it. The battle system is very traditional, but is also very charming, There is a lot of room for development and strategy as you level up.

    The story is brilliant. It's not as deep or heavy as Final Fantasy, but is still emotional and very enjoyable.

    Level-5 and Square Enix have proved their mastery of the RPG with this game. It is a game which no DS owner should be without.

  2.  What a machine


    The DS. Over 100 million sold worldwide, and there's a reason for that -It's fantastic.

    The DS, in terms of hardware, lags behind the PSP, but this really doesn't matter. If you wanted pretty graphics then you'd buy a PS3, not a handheld. And DS games certainly don't look bad. From hardware-pushing, cutting edge games like Dragon Quest IX to traditional spriteling games like Valkyrie Profile, the DS has some great looking games on it.

    The console is extremely well designed, too. Very stylish in any colour and very comfortable to hold, the DSi is a big step up from the original DS and by far and away better than the PSP. The extra screen space on the DSi (3.25" as opposed to 3") is also very welcome. It doesn't sound much but it makes a difference if you play a lot. The DSi also seems to have better speakers than the DS and DS Lite.

    The games library though, is the biggest draw of the DS. It has an incredible lineup spanning every genre. From epic RPGs like Dragon Quest IX and Final Fantasy IV, to lighter and more casual games like Nintendogs. The DS library is incredible and anyone who likes games should experience it.

    If you're even considering buying a DSi, then do it. You won't look back.

  3.  A Bitter Disappointment


    The iPod Touch was a device which I was very much looking forward to. Oh, god, how it left me wanting.

    Let's begin with the bread and butter of the device - the ability to play music. It can't even do that well. The sound quality is severely lacking on this, compared to the four Sony Walkman MP3 players I've owned, through the same headphones. Even the cheap B-series had better sound quality! Everything sounds like it's being played through a 1950s radio.

    Then, usability. First, you are tied to iTunes (unless you hack it), which is the worst piece of software ever devised by the human race. I consider myself quite computer literate, but even I find iTunes to be a convoluted mess. And if you have a netbook - then forget this iPod right now. iTunes will slow it to a crawl, even when not in use. The usability of *most* of the player is decent enough - that is until you go into your music library. The iPod is unable to handle albums with multiple artists, so it's likely that you will be searching a long time before you find the song you want unless you use the search option. Each artist appears as his or her own album, so if you have a few compilation albums, then again stay away.

    A few things that the player does do right, now. The screen is really very nice and excellent for videos - very sharp and with good contrast. Unfortunately, and videos have to be in strict 640 x 480 resolution and in MP4 format (which takes up a lot of unnecessary space compared to avi or mkv formats), so you're in for a lot of converting before you can actually watch any videos on the thing.

    The only real advantage to this device over it's competitors is as a gaming device, but even then compared to the PSP and DS it is sorely lacking. There are a few good games available (I definitely recommend Chaos Rings and the ports of Final Fantasy I & II, plus some obscure stuff like Vay), but much of it is just pointless shovelware like an app that simulates throwing paper into a litter bin. It's insulting to put a price tag on some of that stuff.

    To sum up, if you want an MP3/video player, look elsewhere - I suggest in the direction of Sony. If you want a gaming device, get a PSP or DSi (both of which can play music, incidentally).

    The iPod Touch is the ultimate example of style over substance, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

  4.  Excellent machine but....


    The machine is brilliant, i cannot fault it, with its superb build quality, amazing display and incredible sound quality (even with the telly's basic speakers, it is a MASSIVE leap forward from DVD's. By now you are probably thinking of buying but hold on... It is a tad expensive, really, buy a Playstation 3 instead, it is 150 Pounds cheaper and it does all the same things (plus a lot more)