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SirJoseph

SirJoseph

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Ciao... please bring back paid music reviews :,(

Reviews written

since 08/03/2012

518

Rise of the Tomb Raider (PS4) 25/02/2017

Sounds Better, Looks Better, is Better

Rise of the Tomb Raider (PS4) Rise Here we are again, ready to take on more plundering of tombs in the name of discovery and solve some intriguing puzzles along the way. I had the original Tomb Raider on the Playstation One. I didn't manage to complete it because other games and genres peaked my interest far better than the polygonal bust of Lara Croft, supposed nude cheat or otherwise. Despite only playing the first of many TR games for the best part of an hour, I picked up the third era Tomb Raider (2013) for a bargain price and gave the reincarnation a go. The days were rainy, I was knackered from work but willing to try something new. What followed were many hours taking in my new surroundings and getting to grips with controls that meshed that of 3rd person shooters and puzzle platformer. I found interest in the environment and action, whilst the combat took more of a backseat to keep things exciting and at a pace. The graphics were top notch and even game over deaths had a pit of brutal beauty about them *recalls getting impaled on trees* Put simply, it was a pretty, solid, weekend blockbuster but not much more. This time around, I waited for the price drop despite some fairly gorgeous looking advertisements, often team with a Sony television to enhance the appeal of this very attractive game. Rise was met with almost identical praise as its predecessor, a good sign for tentative buyers but a hint of warning stirred in me - that of a repetitious theme - the previous game had a very clear pattern of ...

Resident Evil 2 (PlayStation) 24/02/2017

Handles like a Tank, the Voices Stank - But We Love it!

Resident Evil 2 (PlayStation) The Nightmare Begins I'll never forget that Christmas. I know what you're thinking. 'Who buys a game like this for Xmas?!' - well you should be asking who buys it for a 9 year old! That's right, my auntie Dawn was the cool auntie because she was willing to traumatise a child with an overly gory game that was totally inappropriate for a child. Good thing said child had fairly liberal parents that paid no attention to my Playstation, let alone the great big 'rated 15' on the front cover of my dark looking game case. What's more it was twinned with the very first game too, Resident Evil: Directors Cut! Took me a while to work up the confidence to play the damn thing, but when I did I was definitely so creeped out that I used up all my ink ribbons (required for saving) at soonest possibility and royally cocked up my chances for survival in this... Survival Horror. Good job kiddo. In all honesty, this game is old but really shouldn't be played by those underage - probably messed me up beyond belief and even though I don't recall any dramatic memories or therapist sessions, I'm sure it could've done something damning! What those of you not privy to this game series should know is that although this is the second, it was the one that properly blew up the Resident Evil name, propelling the horror genre into the spotlight and making zombies pretty cool again. Sort of. Plot "Can you survive the horror?" the back of the case proclaims with a rotting policeman staring at the sky next to ...

Rayman Origins (PS3) 23/02/2017

I Wish I Played More of the Original...

Rayman Origins (PS3) Origins Rayman was a pretty popular game on the Playstation One. I was only 6 when it came out and I was still rockin' a Super Nintendo and Gameboy oh such good times were had with Killer Instinct and Tetris 2. With no access to a PC, I missed the following games and by the time official sequel no.2, The Great Escape was released in 1999, I was well into the game changer Final Fantasy VII, Gran Turismo 2 and Resident Evil 3: Nemesis. The simple looking platformer was no match for innovative story telling, realistic simulation and the blood and guts of a zombie outbreak! When the time came (a Steam sale) I saw fit to purchase this - desperately clinging on to any memory drenched in nostalgia, only slight or otherwise. I'd played the game at a relatives one Christmas but never really had enough time with it to really get going. It seemed simplistic enough with side scrolling progression, control of a floopy-armed dude with no... arms... ok so he was just 'floopy', no legs either. Weird. The surroundings were arboreal and lush, something that easily sways me when it comes to backdrops - All I know is, it brought back some of those precious childhood memories by just being in the recommended section with a big, fat, green 75% off sign next to it. I was sold. But truth be told (hey that rhymed:) it was the addition of Ciao's illustrious Alphabet challenge that stoked the fires enough for me to get gaming again, ta! ..I mean, 'Grazie!' Gameplay Fairly basic stuff - directional ...

Silverline Long Nose Pliers 22/02/2017

Imagine the pain of pulling yer nose hairs with these...

Silverline Long Nose Pliers *Shudder* Yes it's that time again, at work, on the lunch break, rooting through the drawers to find things, anythings to scrutinize, praise and review. Today's winner, some literally handy pliers sitting at the back of drawer no.2! Design Couldn't miss them with their vivid blue, rubber handles, donning the brand name Silverline on the inside (it's also laser-etched on the metal joint in the middle but much more subtly) They have very light grip on the outsides of the handles and each one has an elongated jellybean shape cut out from the rubber for... well, more grip I suppose. Hand guards at the top, then there's the little catches at the bottom which help prevent slipping if you're using both hands. The metal on the pliers is roughly 7cm long, however actual movement only accounts for 5cm. Around 9mm wide at the base and just over 2mm at the end, the girth is sacrificed to fit into smaller crevices. Yes, it's all very amusing. Half of that 5cm is ribbed too! ;) Oh the tickling of ribs and appendages never ceases. Then comes the 11mm blades at the bottom, nope, no innuendo for that. I call it 'Angry Girlfriend Mode.' But what you really wanted to know: ham, cheese, lettuce and pickle sandwich on brown bread with pineapple chunks and a vitamin water :) Use If we can abandon the snickering for a moment whilst I mention how snug it is in my hand, that'd be great! Seriously though, my hands are quite large and these pliers may be a little bit finickity for proper manly ...

Canon EW-83H Lens hood 20/02/2017

The only hood that should be circumcised!

Canon EW-83H Lens hood Seriously, just throw it away! Nah, sell it because these things are worth a lot just for the Canon branding. The 'EW-83H' is lens hood for Canon lenses that are 77mm only (unless you use metal rings to enlarge or dinkify the end). I received mine packaged with the 24-105mm zoom lens. It is designed to block natural lens flare and glare from reflections etc - so less natural photography in a way. Apart from that, all it is good for is keeping the glass unexposed to the elements and jutting you in the ribs when equipped in your bag. Initially, I hastily donned the hood and all was good. Until I found a decent protective UV filter to don the glass instead of risking shadows at odds with the flash. A rookie error but to me, this has become obsolete and takes up valuable space in my old camera bag. Even against the soft insides, the EW-83H gets scratched very easily with the odd fingernail marking it among copious smudges. What's worse is that the writing and logos also come off with wear too so the lack of an all important status symbol may relegate you to looking amateurish - heaven forbid. I'm so very glad it came included because there's no way in hell I'd pay what people are for this piece of bendy plastic - on sale? £19.97 (Amazon) direct from the official Canon website? £62.49 !!! Monstrous!!! Don't worry though, it's free delivery :/ More Hate S'funny that Ciao's slider makes it look worse - 'Battery Life' - Very Poor!' It doesn't have a battery you goons! I could keep ...

Emporio Armani Renato Mens AR2411 17/02/2017

Svelte, Smooth and Suave..... p.s "I'M BATMAN!!!"

Emporio Armani Renato Mens AR2411 When Christmas was looming... ...Girlfriend agonising over presents, a classy wristwatch is always a good choice for me - despite the little box becoming a drawer, drawer officially classified as a collection. I don't have a problem. Same with trainers. Anyway, the time comes on Christmas Eve when she's round with a bucket load of presents and vice versa and once again, she's nervous about whether or not I'd like what she bought me. Girls eh? She tells me she had a dream that I didn't like them. So like the gentleman, nay, hero that I am, I suggested we just open them there and then. We spent the proper day with our families see so we were originally going to open em' at midnight but since I'm a big kid eager to rip the wrapping paper off-I mean, a man so very considerate of his mrs' feelings, I pretended to be ok with the early festivities. Of course I loved it on sight. Seeing the box with the Armani logo on top of it, I knew things were going to look sharp in that lil cube. I open it up and the shine from the white sky outside beamed down onto the watch face and into my eyes just before I could flex it about and get a good look at it. A holy appearance indeed. Especially for £100. Pretty bloody good I like it aye, jesus christ, most expensive watch I've got now! It's a good thing the face is flat because my flailing wrists tends to catch things that would otherwise scratch the crap out of a raised one... (I recommend Polywatch fellow lazy chaps) Design The logo genuinely ...

Toshiba - USB flash drive - 64 GB 15/02/2017

New & Improved!

Toshiba - USB flash drive - 64 GB I used to rearrange some of the letters in 'ToSHIba'... I never would've thought I'd be giving a Toshiba product a 5* review! Ever since my Toshiba laptop packed up in the space of a year all those years ago, I said to myself I'll never purchase another from the Japanese conglomerate. However, needs must and I found myself eyeing up their brand of USBs on Amazon. The reasons being they had a hole for key rings, offered several sizes, had slick metal designs and were the only ones (in my price range) to be a well known manufacturer. The current stock image Ciao is using shows how long these have been going on for as that thing looks like a refill for a stapler or a miniature window and blinds. It's full name is TransMemory-EX II which is pricier and faster but seeing as the title doesn't differentiate that... Regardless, the product still fits the description. It's currently available online for £13.80 with free delivery (Amazon) with a choice of 4 designs (this looks the best!) 5 capacities (8, 16, 32, 64 & 128GB) and 8 colours so spoilt for choice. Bear in mind, the colours often change the design as do some sizes. Design Simple, clean, almost elegant. Its body is a shiny frosted steel with all the annoying symbols on the back but just the capacity on the front with the brand name below it. About the size of 2 pieces of gum, it's roughly 4cm long and almost 5mm thick. It has a rounded semi-circle hole (and opposite, a concave 2nd half) which I use mine to latch onto my car ...

Hugo Boss The Scent Eau de Toilette 12/02/2017

Stink Like A BOSS

Hugo Boss The Scent Eau de Toilette "An irresistible fragrance, unforgettable like a savoured seduction. Exquisite notes of Ginger, exotic Maninka and Leather unfold over time, seducing the senses." - Box Another Christmas, another smelly. A much appreciated one this time as for the first time in my 27 years on this earth, I did not receive a Lynx gift set. Praise be to God, persistent whining to relatives or just good fortune prevailed. No, this time the other half dropped slightly more serious notes - £50 to be accurate - on a fragrance that we had seen advertised on the television a few months prior. No, not the one with Gerard Butler whispering in his meaty Scottish voice - "I AM DE DEE, SEIZE DE DEE." Although the ad was still amusing as I'm pretty sure it had the guy from the first Inbetweeners movie, you know the guy who snorts coke with €20 of Jays emergency police bribe 'stashed' away up his anal passage. That and he does this stupid model face with his mouth agape. Oh but at least it had 'High for this' by smooth talkin' RnB sensation The Weeknd who's last 2 albums would've been reviewed by yours truly only Ciao don't provide incentives for that so yeah. As for Ciao's resident douchebag, yes, I could cut out the swears but, nah :) x Sh*t. Hugo Boss: The Vape On first impressions of the bottle design, it instantly reminded me of an e-cigarette tank! The bright and deep orange colour of the fragrance even looks like it could be a sweet flavoured strawberry bit of nicotine and propylene/vegetable ...

Canon EOS 20D 10/02/2017

The 20 stands for £ to replace the CF slot

Canon EOS 20D Decommissioned (Intro) Under normal circumstances, I never would have picked up a Canon 20D let alone review one, however thanks to finding a faulty one at work that had officially been written off the books, I simply couldn't resist tinkering with it. It came complete with battery, charger, AC adaptor and a handful of Compact Flash cards - talk about retro. That's right, this thing is from all the way back in 2004. Then it cost $1,499 which now sounds hefty considering it's only semi-professional kit, but all things considered it was likely closer to £750-1000 than current exchange rates would have you wince at today (£85 used). Work had used it for time-lapse photography of ongoing projects so it was often suspended high up out of reach on a bannister - so kinda makes you wonder just how it became damaged... My best guess would be one of the only guarantees of fault - human error. Seconds after it boots up, the data screen reads 'CF ERROR' - something wrong with the memory section. Gazing into the slot with a torch revealed this was indeed the case, a couple of bent pins in the reader, a parting gift of incompetence and lack of patience from my ex-colleague. Still, anyone could do it (which is worrying) putting the card in the wrong way or too fast and you can effectively knacker a pricy gadget. I'm no technician/electrician - I had to look up how to fix this thing as outside refurbishment was out of the question due to line manager concerns and confidentiality. A couple of ...

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided (PS4) 30/09/2016

"The world has changed. The old rules no longer apply."

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided (PS4) It has been 5 long years... ...since the release of 2011's Deus Ex: Human Revolution - the third game in the series which made a monumental impact on the gaming industry (at least when it came to RPGs) The franchise had returned to greatness after what some considered a poor second (I loved it, they were wrong). Easily one of, if not my favourite game from the previous console generation era, it combined several elements of environment, soundtrack, story and gameplay in stylish splendor. With Mankind Divided announced, fans of the previous rejoiced, glanced at visuals that looked fairly similar, as if to say this would be a continuation of that greatness, rather than a new, riskier direction. Not many game companies can get away with it, but do. Only when you have a solid foundation can you get 2 or 3 more squeezes out of it. So the time finally comes for me to play a game which remains one of the only titles I hold loyalty to and purchase full retail price and I find myself ready to give Ciao a little love after a few months of absence - that and I saw the current state of video game reviews and I'm under the weather. Nice to see the old faithful still give gamers a good name but some of the new guys are really letting the team down! Duplicate reviews of one paragraph and next to no formatting - Disgraceful! So it is with my displeasure at the youth that I take to this platform once more for a few more bites of the dwindling premium fund cherry... *Eats a Cherry ...

Dark Souls III (Xbox One) 05/07/2016

SoulBourne

Dark Souls III (Xbox One) Yes, indeed, it is called Lothric, where the transitory lands of the Lords of Cinder converge. In venturing north, pilgrims discover the truth of the old words. The fire fades and the lords go without thrones. When the link of fire is threatened, the bell tolls, unearthing the old Lords of Cinder from their graves: Aldrich Saint of the Deep, Farron’s Undead Legion, The Abyss Watchers and the reclusive lord of the profaned capital, Yhorm The Giant. Only in truth the lords will abandon their thrones and the Unkindled will rise. Nameless accursed undead, unfit even to be cinder. And so it is, That ash seeketh embers. ~ Dark Souls III Introduction III With work slow to come through, the month of March was a tough time for me to even consider chucking £40 at yet another Dark Souls video game. As such, it eluded me up until July where the satisfying Steam sales tempted me with a 30% off tag and a far more reasonable price suited for PC users (I know this is for Xbox One but Ciao is harsh enough with it's premium fund categories, let alone PC game remuneration - cut me some slack) In a days setting of about 3 hours playtime, I managed to take down 1 major boss, find 2 covenants and light about 8 bonfires - this is from someone who has played and completed all other games in the series (bar Bloodbourne). A newcomer would likely find their progression vastly slower and stifled. In those few hours of gaming, I had pretty much already made my mind up on where it stood amongst the ...

Elysium (DVD) 28/06/2016

"I figured out why the hippo did it."

Elysium (DVD) "I feel like I f*cked it up, I feel like ultimately the story is not the right story.. I almost want to go back and do it correctly. But I just think the script wasn’t… I just didn’t make a good enough film is ultimately what it is." ~ Director of Elysium, Neil Blomkamp. Not a Good Start Not many directors are so adamant about the suckiness of their works but even more, they aren't so quick to do so (would damage sales etc) That quote lifted and cut up for clarity from Wikipedia sums up, pretty much what I expected after watching. It's not a good start obviously, but credit to Blomkamp for at least owning up and finding fault in something he was directly involved with. At least the future director of the much anticipated fifth Alien film (no not Prometheus 2 AKA Alien: Covenant) is honest about his work. Then again, he talked about hot the script wasn't up to scratch - yet he's the one responsible for it. Hmmm suspect. I really tried to like this film as the plot seems a decent one and the budget seemed to cover all the special effects that it needs to look sharp and well presented but having MD in it was always going to be a challenge to overlook for me personally and no matter how good the story is, if you don't have the protagonist to sell it right, you might as well cast Rob Schneider. Unlike a lot of films I own and review (even poor films like Only God Forgives) I haven't gone back to watch this again. It is a rarity that I find a movie where 'once was enough' ...

Evolution (DVD) 26/06/2016

"Let's shampoo us some aliens!"

Evolution (DVD) "Ira Kane, head of the science department, Glen Canyon Community College." "Harry Block, United States Geological Survey." "Wayne Grey, I took some chemistry in high school." Evolution - 2001 Ok, now I feel old! Fairly certain I saw Evolution in a Religious Education (2005) class at school believe it or not. It's pretty ironic and questionable about the goings on at that school but when teens see a substitute teacher wheel in the big, retro, 4:3 television with a built in VHS player, you know that regardless of the poor tech, you're getting a doss lesson. What's even more surprising is that it was a film that managed to hold my attention to avoid doing what most teenagers do when they aren't being forced to take a class as a GCSE that they'll never, ever need to use in real life. I'm not however, looking back in this with overtly fond nostalgia as I normally do with films I took in during those care-free teenage years when music sounds better and films make you feel so impressionable. No. This was and always will be a 'nothing-to-do-on-a-saturday-lunch-time' type of film. Tell that to broadcasters though as they often play it on sundays. Still, it's rather difficult to categorise this as although I enjoyed it, I can't really say it's that great a film. It feels like it never really aimed very high despite relying quite heavily on CGI and low brow laughs. It is though, an easy watch than anyone can enjoy, even if you're not that into science fiction as most will recognize the ...

Evil Dead (DVD) 24/06/2016

50 Shades Of Vomit

Evil Dead (DVD) Referendum Addendum What better way to take a break from all the liberal youth complaining on social media about how over half the country is 'racist & xenophobic' and the right-leaning old people posting copious union flag emojis than watching a blatantly poor horror film? "Kunda... Astratta... Montosse... Canda." ~ Naturom Demonto. "THE MOST TERRIFYING FILM YOU WILL EVER EXPERIENCE" That's a bold statement. A statement that had its desired effect. Ok, bring it on and I'll be the judge of that, sir or madame. I've often tried to push my boundaries with the likes of the psychological thriller genres after the torture porn label desensitised its audience to violence and gore with Saw films. Personally, I struggle to name many films that were genuinely scary as many either go for too much blood or predictable jump scares (often combined with cheaping out on camera crews and going for handhelds) A handful make the list but view manage to make the pant-sh*ttingly good line up. The original Japanese feature The Grudge or the surprisingly well (re)made The Ring but the French Canadian Martyrs was pretty messed up and if I were to keep going I'd likely end up venturing into thrillers and exploitation films or just shock value masquerading as art like A Serbian Film. On the other end of the scale is Insidious and all those rehashed possession movies that the ex made me sit through as I yawned and end up initiating sex. Too much information but imagine the very graphic image of ...

10 Cloverfield Lane (DVD) 04/06/2016

Can Abrams Do Anything Original?

10 Cloverfield Lane (DVD) Oh how conflicted I was over this one... The marketing team knew exactly what they were doing putting a word like 'Cloverfield' into their title. Just look at that front cover, same colour palette in the sky and that diversity shoving hipster J.J Abrams directing (again). As for that font and lines... totally stolen from The Evil Within. They would have pricked the ears of those who saw (and presumably enjoyed) the 2008 monster/disaster movie that many uninitiated claimed was original, whilst the rest complained about it kickstarting the trend of handheld films, causing mass nausea for audiences and many saved millions for film studios. I unusually gave that film a generous 3* rating and it too was a reason for seeing this: dubbed the 'Spiritual successor to Cloverfield' - along with a lot of mystery surrounding the trailers and storyline. I had an opportunity to see it and don't regret doing so, however the experience was one of 'what have I got to lose' (except about an hour and a half of my time) I didn't particularly care for John Goodman who I hadn't seen in much until The Hangover III or one of the Monsters Inc films. But the real detractor was the fact this was led by Mary Elizabeth Winstead - another 'strong female lead' (nothing wrong with that) who displays zero emotion other than absolute disdain and distrust for everyone but her (problem). She basically played the exact same role in the remake of The Thing which could have been done so much better or simply left ...
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