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Community Web Log : Category Entertainment

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Nov 28, 2013

Games Aplenty

Everybody loves a bargain especially when it concerns their personal enjoyment and pleasure. One company that believes in this concept is Bundlestar.com a part of Focus Multimedia which features regularly with titles in my game reviews. The Bundlestar.com mantra is to bring customers incredible PC bundle deals at bargain basement prices.

According to the Bundlestar website there are six bundles on offer. These are available at prices ranging from £1.82 up to £2.98 which definitely puts them in the impulse buy or pocket money category. Priced at £1.82, the Blaze of Glory bundle consists of six titles. These are Commander: Conquest of the American Gold; WWIII Black Gold; KnightShift; East Indian Company Gold; WWII Panzeer Claws I & II; and Pirates of Black Cove Gold. I make that at around 30p a game.

If you are more into blood and gore then the Bloodbath bundle might appeal. This bundle of six titles is priced at £1.86. For your money you get Clutch; NecroVision; NecroVision Lost Company; The Void; 99 levels of Hell; and Zombie Bowl-o-Rama. This collection sounds like it could keep you awake at nights but it should not drain your bank balance.

Next in line, pricewise, is the FPS Warriors bundle for those who enjoy the action of a personal shooter. This bundle will cost you plenty in ammunition and a £2.25 hit on your personal budget. You can load up your personal weapon as you tackle The Ship; Legendary; Shattered Horizon; Section 8; Dino D-Day; and Super Ghost Warrior as you get your fill of face-to-face action and wipe the opposition at under 40p a go.

The Ultimate Sci-Fi bundle bears a £2.60 price ticket. This offering consists of nine titles set in the vast realms of space and alien environments. The bundle consists of Sword of the Stars Enhanced Edition; Project Freedom; Weird Worlds; Spacechem; Spacechem 63 cervi DLC; Really Bigsky; Planets under Attack; Fast Forward; and Ion Assault. At under 30 a title you might find it hard to resist.

Costing £2.97, the Majestic Indie Bundle is also made up of nine titles. For your money you get Mount & Blade; Majesty 2 Collection; Hoard Complete Pack; Forge Starter Pack; Crusader Kings Complete; Shelter; Enclave; Rune Classic; and Knights and Merchants. Single games I review on a regular basic cost more than this bundle

Completing the various bundles is the Outer Limits. This will cost you £2.98 and brings you ten titles. You can try your skills at UFO Extraterrestrials Gold before moving on to Blades of Time; Insane; Hydrophobia; Race Injection; Warfare; Puzzle Kingdoms; Gumboy Tournaments; Supreme Ruler 2020; and Razor 2 Hidden Skies. Again this is under 30p a game.

At this point I should point out that I have not played any of these games myself nor have I availed myself of the Bundlestar service. According to the website, once you have paid the appropriate fee you will be allocated with serial keys to download and activate the games. These serial keys are personalised to yourself and can be used once only so make sure you save the download. Depending upon the actual games, the serial keys can be used with Steam, Desura or Gamesgate.

At the prices being asked for these bundles, it could well be worth while giving it a try even if only some of the titles appeal. You could then report back as to your experience with the Bundlestar service and the quality of the various games for the benefit of other Gadgetspeak members. I look forward to hearing about what I am missing with the Bundlestar experience due to the pressure of writing my various reviews.

Dec 4, 2012

Dandy goes Digital

Today the 4th December the last ever print edition of The Dandy goes on sale. However now you can get your fix of Desperate Dan etc in Digital form. The first issue is now available for all to download free from www.Dandy.com.

After that you can subscribe and save the walk to your newsagent. Single issue is £1.49 or subscribe for a full year and pay £29.99 which works out at 59p per issue.

All your favourites are there and not just in strip form but now there is also some animation as well as games to play and even the odd Easter Egg is in the graphics for you to find. Currently the downloads are available for PC/MAC with tablet and smart phone coming shortly.

So after 75 years the printed issue is no more, goodbye to The Dandy and hello to The Dandy digital.

Sep 10, 2009

Gear4 launch the SoundOrb Aurora for iPod

Gear4 SoundOrb Aurora

We've reviewed a number of products from Gear4 previously on GadgetSpeak so it's good to see them push their technology further with the SoundOrb Aurora. The new system is suitable for both iPods and iPhones and features a rather unique wireless sub-woofer speaker that you can place up to 30 metres from the base unit. This separate speaker adds a high-quality bass component to your favourite music tracks. Looking at the pictures this bass speaker also provides lighting effects synchronised to your music. It's a little hard to appreciate how this is going to look before we see it in action for ourselves!

With the prevalence of video now on the iPod range the SoundOrb includes a video-out facility allowing you to play back the your iPod stored video back on your main TV - particularly useful in the case of the diminutive Nano. The quality of the video will of course be limited in this scenario - compressed video optimised to look great on a 2" screen tends suffer when blown up to 32" proportions!

Gear4 SoundOrb Aurora

Once attached to your TV though it's a shame not to use the sound quality of the SoundOrb to enhance your main TV viewing experience. Gear4 have thought of this and so incorporated an audio-in connection to allow TV sound playback through the SoundOrb.

Gear4 are pricing the SoundOrb Aurora at £249.99 or €299.99 and should be in the shops from October - in time for Christmas!

We'll be bringing you a full review as soon as we can lay our hands on a sample unit!

Dec 11, 2006

Low-power FM transmitters for MP3 players now legal

Just in time for Christmas!

Fed up with not having your entire music collection available in your car despite all the effort to get your CDs onto your MP3 player?

There has been a solution around for a while in the form of 'low-power FM transmitters'. These plug into the headphone socket on your MP3 player. You then tune the transmitter to an unused FM frequency and then tune your car radio to the same frequency and hey-presto - you have your own mini radio station right there with you.

The only problem up until now has been that these transmitters, despite only having a very short range, have actually been illegal in the UK. That doesn't mean that you haven't been able to buy them, but you did run the risk of being prosecuted (not that anyone has of course).

With the change in law through the Wireless Telegraphy Regulations 2006 that risk has now been removed.

So if you're still looking for something both a little different, new and actually useful for this years Christmas, then these devices are an ideal option.

GadgetSpeak member and contributor 'bigal' has reviewed two such products - the 'Griffin iTrip FM transmitter' and the 'Cygnett GrooveRide FM Transmitter for MP3 players'. He was in no doubt about the better product.

If you've tried any other products in this area then please come and share your experiences with other members.



Dec 11, 2006

Nintindo Wii launched - first impressions?

The Nintendo Wii console has reached these shores, beating the Sony PS3 to market (not difficult). Rumors are that the new console is selling fast.

Has anyone got one? Would love to hear your first impressions. Was it worth the wait? Should I be waiting for Sony to eventually ship into the UK?

Or have you all wrapped yours up for Christmas morning!

Jan 12, 2006

Fun and games with NTL 'Broadband Plus'

I don't usually find the time to 'have a play', but I happened to be checking the NTL web site and noticed that because I subscribe to their 2M broadband product I get free access to their 'broadband plus' area. I'm sure they used to charge for this and I really couldn't see the point. Now it's included in my package I thought I may as well see what all the fuss is about (you still have to pay £3.99 per month for it if you're on NTLs 1M broadband tariff).

This isn't meant to be a formal review of their product, just first impressions. Maybe if I stick with it I will do a full review. We'll see!

I haven't found a formal description of this product on their site, but it seems to comprise 4 main areas : Music plus, Photos plus, Games plus and Kids plus.

First of all - getting into it! The sign-up page simply requires you to enter your name and NTL email address and accept the terms and conditions. First problem - the link to open the terms and conditions uses JavaScript to pop-up a little window. It doesn't work. So if you want to proceed you have to check that you've read the T&Cs, cross your fingers  and hope you're not signing away your life!

The homepage for Broadband Central (http://www.ntlworld.com/broadbandcentral) shows a cluttered screen with links to the various services offered. Unfortunately each one of these that you click on brings up a new window with a biggish delay telling you that you are being signed in. This doesn't really give a very good impression for broadband, the whole point of which is to be fast! That said, the various services are offered by different vendors, with NTL providing the glue. You seem to get a good selection.

At least some of the services only work with Internet Explorer, which personally I take offense at being a dedicated FireFox user.

Unfortunately a number of the other services just seem to generate the message :

A system error has occurred within Broadband Plus. Please try again

again, not a very good advert. On the whole a somewhat frustrating experience so far. Maybe I'll have another go sometime when I've nothing better to do.

The list of features supposedly offered does seem pretty good, if only they worked.

Now - where's my glass of wine?

Feb 4, 2006

Something a little different that might brighten your home or office.......

I know this is a 'gadget' site - and that most gadgets reviewed in here are things people can touch, and most often have buttons people can press. This is however a web log, which as we all know is a place to record general ramblings and so it's perfectly acceptable to deviate a little from the theme to record things we've found and like.

Today I wanted to give mention to a couple of web-sites someone brought to my attention. I like these because they are taking the technology of the web into new areas. I think this is where growth in the Internet is likely to happen over the next few years as the Internet moves more and more into the mainstream.

The sites are :

www.art24sevenMedia.com

www.art24seven.eu.com

One of the great things about these sites and others like them are that they provide a forum for people that might never get around to creating their own web-site, or if they do have no idea how to market their site, get seen on search engines or whatever.

Fiona has invested a lot of time getting these sites going and says they still aren't quite ready - why not take a look and let them know what you think? I'm sure they'd welcome the feedback, and you never know, you might find something to complement your gadget collection :-)

Jan 4, 2006

Game machine shortages?

I guess someone has to get the ball rolling - and as I've never tried blogging this is a chance to play!

First of all a Happy New Year to everyone at GadgetSpeak. Hope you're all rested and ready for the new year.

On a gadgety topic - I guess this year should be interesting. Sony are expected to bring out their PS3 to compete with the XBox 360. I wonder how they will do? From here the XBox was like gold-dust, with all outlets displaying out-of-stock signs. But then according to this article on CNET, Sony have done very nicely out of the PSP. Maybe this was a conscious decision not to go head to head with Microsoft at Christmas?

Another gaming product in short supply - to my daughters annoyance - is pink (or for that matter blue) NintindoDS machine. Equally rare is the Nintindogs game. My other daughter has one of those and loves it. I've trying to get her to write up her thoughts on that for GadgetSpeak - we'll see!