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Xbox One Console
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First up I have owned all of the previous consoles I have no bias to any. However the swaying for me was decided by the chance to have this all in one hub.
First up the upgrade which is mandatory as part of the set up. On an average 6mbps broadband wired connection this took approx 20 mins to download. Preference settings also meant entire set up took approx 45 mins.
Other issues are you cannot set up surround sound settings yet, they are in beta mode and only via hdmi connection which means if you have cable or satelite connection (which you need for the TV setting) your sound system needs to have 2 hdmi ports. Optical ports are there but they do not work yet. Im sorry but what is the point in having the all in 1 entertainment system without surround sound??
The TV function that the all in one media hub promise is based on is poor also. My HD broadcast of Sky Sports I was watching as I set up was very stuttering although the sound came through fine, then when turned over to a non HD channel it crashed.
Kinect is a work in progress. Commands they want you to practice in the set up work fine, different story when its anything else. The positive side is the camera although boxy looking is a heck of a lot more better build than the fragility offered by the 360 version. Gestures are ropey at best.
The apps and home menu are fairly confusing also, why the 360 layout was not even offered makes no sense, I found myself shouting random words to find any option (usually followed by a curse word)
Game installation is the biggest joke of the lot. I set up my xbox and started the installation of Fifa 14. 4 hours later I am now only at 38%, to compare my friends PS4 version also download from the store with same download speeds took 25 mins. I could not even play my copy of Forza as it needs to install also (as do all games now do on these next gen machines), problem is it cannot install two programs/apps at the same time, so 1 is queued as the other runs. After a certain length of download you can play the game but what you can do is limited until further into the download. It even requires an app to be downloaded to play Bluray discs???? This is surely standard??
Graphically, please calm down both consoles are not leaps and bounds ahead, they are gorgeous though. Wait for Titanfall to show off more the consoles graphical power.
The Joypad has apparently had 40 adjustments made all I will say is feels okay but the huge letter buttons do feel a bit like your nans big button telephone.
I fully understand the Playstation 4 blurb "This is for the gamers" because thats what it does. They made no promises or adverts showing how simple it all is to have the all in 1 entertainment hub, they said we are making a games machine and they have delivered. In my humble opinion Microsoft rushed out an incomplete console. It has the POTENTIAL to deliver upon its promises but just not right now. The first inevitable 2014 update will be awaited as eagerly as the console itself. So much to fix and so much finalise This can and will be a fine system but I feel I should have waited.
Xbox One Console 500 GB with Fifa 14 Bundle
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The Snowman / The Snowman And The Snowdog (2 Discs)
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This is a beautiful follow up to the original.The music especially the hometown is touching and wonderful. However given my 4 year olds reaction it did not have the grab of the original or of the late Mel Smiths Father Christmas. It will always be played here each Christmas but not necessarily as first choice. The soundtrack is stunning also.
Saving Private Ryan: Paramount Centenary Edition (Exclusive Steelbook)
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An increasingly annoying trend is the double dip. However if your expecting the dvd anniversary version you wont find it here. With absolutely no extras and a picture that only highlights the films dust and pop marks this is no good to anyone other than the completists looking for the steelbook. The film though is still a benchmark in modern cinema.
Transformers 2: Revenge Of The Fallen (2 Discs)
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......into a preposterous movie.This film has lost its charm of the first, it is no longer exciting to see the transformations.It is not fun to lose track of what robot is doing what!It is not fun for effects (as stunning as they are) to make the viewing experience feel like watching someone playing a computer game.It is not fun to watch scenes constantly- in-slow-motion!It is not fun to have a script so completely and utterly convoluted that not even the actors can say half their lines without making it sound cheesy, and if I have to see the camera linger (as fine as she is) over megan fox's cleavage or bottom, then im gonna request the film be bumped up to a 15 certificate.
Journal For Plague Lovers
Manic Street Preachers - CD
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This is the best album since Everything must go, which ironically also contained many lyrics from the great Richey Edwards.What we have here is an eclectic mix of the hard rock and the sincerely beautiful.Richeys edwards remain throughout this album and can be most tear jerking and recognisable in the tremendous "Peeled Apples" and the spellbinding Nicky Wire sung "Williams Last Words"A personal favourite of mine has to be the incredibly epic "Joke sport severed"A legendary album that does hold a huge tribute to not only Richey Edwards but also to their most critically lauded "Holy Bible" even down to the album cover art.This is an album that shows the Manics were not happy to just sit and churn out the usual that would keep the charts and Radio1 listeners happy they were here to show they still have bite and they still have pride in their indisputable craft.
Journal For Plague Lovers (2CD Deluxe Edition)
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This is a huge track!!!!Jackie collins existential question time!!!Delicate intro of gold against the soul then bursts with the venom of the holy bible.Short but incredibly sweet.
Slumdog Millionaire (With Free Exclusive Script Book RRP 9.99)
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Debatable.Dont get me wrong this was pure understated beauty of filmmaking and storytelling.What we have is a series of storythreads running in tandem with current events on a game show, essentially proving how our character knows the answer to all of the questions he is asked on the game show, but more over than that, i think the stars of this movie are the children in the flashbacks for the first 15 years.Some will love like me, but some will also ask, is it really the movie of the year??
Burnout: Paradise - The Ultimate Box
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What we have here is the full burnout paradise plus cagney and bike downloads.What you get in the first instance is a truly remarkable twist on the burnout games with a free roaming city and country side to do challenges as and when you feel like it.The visuals and retina scorching, (especially in hd), the sound effects bone crunching and as for the arena you have to cruise around this puts gta4 in the shade it is truly huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuge.
Now.......Cagney was initially downloadable content that gave you more challenges, more map to race around but most importantly more cars.........There was also scrolling news along the bottom of the menu screens plus an actual weather bar?!?!?!?!?!?Then there was the time of day changes racing about took on a whole new edge in the middle of the night, and the blur of street lamps and car headlights was a real buzz, again fantastic and the fact this was downloadable for free it was for me the best that 360dlc had ever offered.
Then.........The bike download........Obviously you know what you got here, bikes, lots of bikes with the most incredible control that you can drive at breakneck speeds and with a camera angle not even michael bay could acheive should you choose to activate it.
It's Not Me, It's You
Lily Allen - CD
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Good album, lets not get carried away its very good, its not exceptional, but i didnt find her first offering to be the truly incredible debut that all found it to be.What we have here is an album that surpasses the first in both musical detail and deliverance.The caustic lyrics are here, slightly more fierce than the first album, but also very hidden and with strong hidden meanings, see the bound to be controversial everyones doing it.The song that delivers the most honesty is chinese, this song explains what lily looks for in a perfect evening with a bloke and for me it delivers the true image of lily. A single girl looking for someone to love her. Her way.