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tipsyrabbit

tipsyrabbit

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since 17/03/2010

62

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (Wii) 05/12/2011

ZELDA 25 YEARS LATER - WHAT DEMISE?

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (Wii) Fanboy is a term that gets thrown around a lot in the video game industry, those who are diehard gamers and enjoy making fools of the n00b’s that try to challenge them. This wouldn’t be an accurate description of myself, but once – maybe twice – a decade there will be that one video game that will bring out the fanboy in me. The Legend of Zelda is one of those franchises, which has a reputation that it never disappoints. Ocarina of Time was released in 1998, and although I was too young to appreciate it at the time, it is still widely regarded as the greatest video game of all time. That was until the release of Skyward Sword. My copy of the Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword was on pre-order long before the first critics reviews began coming in. It’s not unheard of for a critic to oversell something, but the video game media is notoriously hard to please and no one would dare say that a game is an Ocarina of Time beater unless it has some hard evidence behind it. Therefore, in the days coming up to Skyward Sword’s release, I was beginning to feel more and more like a kid. To celebate the 25th anniversary of the Zelda series, there was a limited edition version of the game released with a gold Wiimote and a CD featuring the memorable soundtrack from previous Zelda games. Needless to say, I discovered the fanboy in me and went for the special edition – who knows, it may be worth something one day. Another plus of purchasing this version is that the new Wiimote comes with ...

Do programmes such as the X Factor have a positive or negative impact on the music industry? 30/11/2011

YOUR 15 MINUTE CAREER STARTS RIGHT HERE!

Do programmes such as the X Factor have a positive or negative impact on the music industry? “It wasn’t like that in my day,” is a phrase you shall often hear from the older generation, and it doesn’t ring much truer than with the progression of the music industry over the ages. Many will have seen the transition from vinyl to cassette, and no sooner did it appear CD’s would become a mainstay, we now have the trend of MP3’s that can be downloaded to your iPod through iTunes – a whole new world that Apple, assisted by Steve Jobs, perfected. Of course there are those that will illegally download music, whilst those who do want to pay for music would much rather pay that little extra to feel something physically in their hands. Perhaps one of the greatest thrills of illegally downloading music is having it before it is available to purchase, with tracks taking weeks – if not months – to actually chart after being first ‘leaked’. This is all a part of the X Factor generation. The want to have something instantly. And nothing is more instant than the fame you garner through the UK’s biggest television show/circus. Don’t get me wrong, I love the X Factor. It’s one of my favourite television events of the year and the drama/talking points it creates our second to no other television show. Sure, there are people that shall class it as dumb and look down their nose at those who do watch it, but what the hell. I suppose the negative attention for X Factor comes from the generalisation that it is a bit of a ‘chav’, Council estate, and benefit sponger kind of show. With ...

Under the Mistletoe - Justin Bieber 09/11/2011

A BABY IS FOR LIFE, NOT JUST FOR XMAS (OR ALLEGEDLY BACKSTAGE)

Under the Mistletoe - Justin Bieber And I was like Baby, Baby, Baby, Hoooo Ho Ho Ho 2010 was the year of Justin Bieber, a young teen from Canada suddenly became a worldwide heartthrob off the back of his YouTube exploits. My World 2.0 was the first studio album released, with the original My World project apparently being more of an effort to test the water. The fact that Usher and Justin Timberlake were battling over Bieber was a big indication that the market was right for a Bieber to take it. And takeover he did, with his legions of fans – Beliebers – and the album topped charts in both his home country of Canada and the US. Never Say Never was a movie/documentary for which Bieber also recorded the soundtrack of the same name. He has also strayed into acting, most noticeably being killed in CSI, to the cheers of his haters. For those that thought he was just an act to appeal to the younger market, efforts have been made to give him an appeal to the older age group. This includes collaborations with Ludacris, Chris Brown and Ludacris in addition to his younger sounding tracks with Sean Kingston and Jaden Smith. When it was announced at the end of August this year that Bieber would be releasing a Christmas album, I immediately thought it sounded like a genius piece of business and I thought this would be the closest we’ve had to a successful mainstream Christmas album since Mariah Carey. Just as most artists nowadays, Bieber took to Twitter to build the hype for the project, inviting his followers to ...

Battleground - Wanted (The) 07/11/2011

ALL IN THE LINE OF DUTY?

Battleground - Wanted (The) The Wanted The Risk may have just been voted off the X-Factor in controversial circumstances, but calm down Facebook friends, judging from The Wanted’s second studio album, ‘Battleground’, you may have gotten off lightly. Boy bands were popular back in the day, and have been a starting block for some of the biggest stars – Justin Timberlake and Robbie Williams, to name two. Whilst this trend started to die off in America, it seems the UK market has never really gotten bored of a good boy band sitting on stalls. This may be the Louis Walsh vision of a boy band, but over the years they have attempted to reinvent themselves and make themselves more relevant to a modern market. I was surprised when The Wanted arrived, seemingly out of nowhere, and topped the UK chart immediately with ‘All Time Low’. I really didn’t see the appeal, but the song did grow on me, perhaps with the backing from people saying that these were a boy band that is okay to like. They had more of an adult sound; perhaps more of a man band than acts such as Westlife and the original Take That. Follow up ballad single, ‘Heart Vacancy’, continued with this sound and peaking at number two on the charts reflected this. Unfortunately, the third and final single off the debut album, ‘Lose My Mind’, failed to do all that much despite an X-Factor appearance (something that’s somewhat unusual for a new act, must have been a slow week). Perhaps this opportunity at grabbing a huge audience had something to do with the ...

Under the Mistletoe - Justin Bieber 01/11/2011

AND I WAS LIKE, BABY BABY BABY, HOOOO HO HO

Under the Mistletoe - Justin Bieber Surprised you didn't hear about Justin Bieber in the Bible? 2010 was the year of Justin Bieber, a young teen from Canada suddenly became a worldwide heartthrob off the back of his YouTube exploits. My World 2.0 was the first studio album released, with the original My World project apparently being more of an effort to test the water. The fact that Usher and Justin Timberlake were battling over Bieber was a big indication that the market was right for a Bieber to take it. And takeover he did, with his legions of fans – Beliebers – and the album topped charts in both his home country of Canada and the US. Never Say Never was a movie/documentary for which Bieber also recorded the soundtrack of the same name. He has also strayed into acting, most noticeably being killed in CSI, to the cheers of his haters. For those that thought he was just an act to appeal to the younger market, efforts have been made to give him an appeal to the older age group. This includes collaborations with Ludacris, Chris Brown and Ludacris in addition to his younger sounding tracks with Sean Kingston and Jaden Smith. When it was announced at the end of August this year that Bieber would be releasing a Christmas album, I immediately thought it sounded like a genius piece of business and I thought this would be the closest we’ve had to a successful mainstream Christmas album since Mariah Carey. Just as most artists nowadays, Bieber took to Twitter to build the hype for the project, inviting his ...

We Found Love - Rihanna 19/10/2011

IT'S THE WAY I'M FEELING, I JUST CAN'T DENY

We Found Love - Rihanna Rihanna Who would have thought when a little 17 year old Barbadian broke into the music industry that she would go on to become one of the most popular solo female artists of the generation. Rihanna did just that when she released ‘Pon de Replay’ in 2005 from her innocently titled album, ‘Music of the Sun’, a title clearly inspired from her paradise island roots. The track was sweet and non-offensive, a far cry from the direction in which her career would progress. Rihanna, born Robyn Rihanna Fenty, has gone on to release five studio albums through the Def Jam music label. The biggest name signed to this label is the one time president, Jay Z, who was heavily involved in launching Rihanna’s career. It is well known that Jay Z has an invested interest in her career, as does LA Reid who took over leadership of Def Jam, until going on to become a X-Factor USA judge and recently had Rihanna assist him on the ‘Judges Homes’ stage of the competition. Although her albums have sold well over an extended period of time with assistance from many singles released, it may surprise you to know Rihanna has never had an album top the US charts (two have topped the charts in the UK). The biggest seller of all her albums is the third, ‘Good Girl Gone Bad’, which included the most iconic song of her career. Every superstar has that one song that they end up becoming known for, and ‘Umbrella’ is Rihanna’s. Featuring her manager and mentor, Jay Z, the track dominated charts around the world ...

Starbucks, 25 Fitzroy Street, Cambridge 29/09/2011

WORTH EVERY BUCK

Starbucks, 25 Fitzroy Street, Cambridge I probably shouldn’t say this online, in fear of a sudden influx of customers, but this is my favourite Starbucks branch in Cambridge. Located just outside the indoor Grafton Shopping centre, this is the only branch on this side of the city, although you do have a Costa nearby. I purposefully take the wander over here to take a break. Although quite narrow, and can be busy, I always take my drink upstairs where it’s a lot more spacious and usually has plenty of seating. There is a wide variety of seating from comfy to your standard chairs, and toilets on both floors. You also have the window bar seats for people watching, and they recently introduced outdoor seating but this is not sheltered. I have never had any complaints with my drinks, once again it is standard Starbucks service and your drink almost always tastes the same. I do find that the upstairs sometimes is forgotten about, as rubbish can pile up, but this is not a big criticism and doesn’t worry me in any way. With Primark recently opened just around the corner, this has became quite popular with women and their children, but these usually stay downstairs so you can escape for peace and quiet upstairs, where the clientele is usually businessmen and students. A top Starbucks experience, which means the brand remains top of its industry, just a shame about some of the prices – I guess you have to pay for quality.

Starbucks, 18 Market Street, Cambridge 29/09/2011

NOT BARGAIN BASEMENT COFFEE

Starbucks, 18 Market Street, Cambridge Fed up with all the haggling of the daily Cambridge market, you could very well be in need of a coffee break, and located right on the market square is your solution. Starbucks has a wide presence around the city, as do many other coffee establishments, and this is one of their older stores in the city. Around the same time as the newest shopping centre in Cambridge, the Grand Arcade, was being completed this branch of the chain undertook a refurbishment. This meant it was shut for a little while, but with two other Starbucks within 5 minutes away, I don’t think this should have been a big problem for anyone. The refurbishment wasn’t a big change, and basically just brought this Starbucks up to speed with the décor in the newer branches. What separates this one from the rest in the city is that it features additional seating downstairs. Now this is far from a dingy basement, being well lit, but it can be slightly depressing with no windows down there. You can be usually be surprised when you get down there though just how many people use this branch! Upstairs seating is usually always full as well, with people perching at the window seats watching people wander by and also additional outdoor seating for the rare nice day. Unlike most Starbucks, this one doesn’t feature a lot of the comfortable seating. With large foot flow, I suppose they’re hoping to get people in and out as quick as possible. This is definitely one of the busier in the city. Having said that the ...

Starbucks, Borders Cafe, Cambridge 29/09/2011

FOR BUCKS SAKE!

Starbucks, Borders Cafe, Cambridge The age-old saying goes, ‘When one door closes, another one opens.’ That couldn’t be truer with Starbucks and Cambridge, as we are currently over run by the coffee chain. And if you can’t see a ‘Bucks, you are likely to have another coffee chain in your line of sign – usually a Costa. Located inside Borders, this was one of my favourite Starbucks in the city for its relaxed atmosphere. If you thought you’d try and be smart by cutting the queues in the more obvious Starbucks at the lunchtime rush, you’d be disappointed to see that this was just as busy. Although it was upstairs in Borders, and right at the back of the shop, word clearly must have got round as there was not all that much sign posting for the chain out the front of the shop. You would also expect such a tucked away branch to be quite small in size, but this was fairly large. Unfortunately, when Borders shut down, the store was replaced by the cities second branch of TK Maxx and the Starbucks went with it. Those needing a coffee fix in the area needn’t fear though, as there is literally another branch a couple shops down closer to the market. Around the same time as this, additional branches also opened in the new Grand Arcade shopping centre as well as at Newmarket Road. Coffee and what was primarily known as a book store went well together, which makes it a shame that we haven’t got any other Starbucks within stores in the city. When this branch was open the service was always up to scratch, it was full ...

The Las Vegas Strip 28/09/2011

THE BEST KIND OF STRIP

The Las Vegas Strip Las Vegas Is it a city or a stage? People come here with dreams of headlining shows, but for many their dreams will not become a reality. How can you tell what’s real in a city where the lines have became so blurred? Vegas is a city that does not believe in time; it’s a city where if you want to do something – you can do it, and you’ll worry about the repercussions in another lifetime (or when the bank statement comes). Although a city full of failed stars, Vegas does a good job of keeping these off the street and keeping the fantasy alive. Whilst in Hollywood I saw a lot of uneasy characters, in Vegas these seem to have been chased to the sewers, so not to interrupt any of the tourist’s photographs – and there’s A LOT to be photographed. The only slightly unsettling thing about the streets of Vegas is the trail of cards advising you could have a woman to your hotel room in a matter of minutes, these cards being dished out by equally unsettling men. The Strip is the biggest attraction in Las Vegas – in fact it’s an attraction full of attractions, with even more attractions inside them. It’s a series of things that have to be seen to be believed, and you have all the music and flashing lights to go with them. At approximately 4.2 miles in length there’s a lot to be seen, and time will fly by as your eyes take it all in. In fact, I think you can forget just how far you’ve walked with everything you see. ’Fabulous Las Vegas’ to ‘Excalibur’s Castle’ At the airport end of ...

Pure, Las Vegas 26/09/2011

A NIGHT YOU'LL NEVER FORGET

Pure, Las Vegas How do you feel about standing on top of a palace, whilst looking out on the Eiffel Tower? Everybody knows Las Vegas is the city that never sleeps, and its nightlife is second to none. Pure is a nightclub located in Caesars Palace and is a must visit for anyone looking to party. I’m not entirely sure how I came to know about Pure, as they hold a lot of celebrity events I imagine it may be somehow through that. For example, New Years Eve they had Rihanna and just the other night Jennifer Lopez. It’s unusual to go many nights in Vegas without their being a massive star in town, and they will usually be hanging out in Pure. Unfortunately this will be on the VIP balcony, so it may be difficult to get a glimpse of them. The celebrities are by no means the best thing about Pure though, and you could be forgiven if you forget entirely about them, especially on your first visit – you’ll just be in awe of the place. Whilst I hear there are some other amazing roof top nightclubs in Vegas, this one has to be up there. Pure’s outdoors area, complete with seating (which you have to pay extra for) and a bar looks out on the strip. The view includes the Paris hotels replica Eiffel Tower and Bellagio’s world-renowned fountains. I visited mid week and I seem to remember it being free entry with a flier I had. Every night is the same in Vegas, so you don’t have to worry about there not being a lot of people to have a good time with. Pure was jam-packed and it wasn’t even a special event. ...

Playing in the Shadows - Example 22/09/2011

LEADER OF A MESSED UP GENERATION

Playing in the Shadows - Example ”Gurning rave-hop, lowering the tone and turning the charts into a week-long episode of Skins” – NME Hey – good morning. Hey – it’s calling, I want to listen to another Example album with you. With so many stunning songs on his last album, ‘Won’t Go Quietly, including ‘Watch the Sun Come Up’ and ‘Kickstarts’, to name just two – there was going to be a lot for Example to live up to with third album. Just as is with the case most British hip-hop artists, they have to fight their way into the mainstream. Example’s first album is utterly unknown to most, ‘What We Made’ failed to chart anywhere back in 2007. Those who have followed him since the start will likely be aggravated by those who are 4-years behind his career. ‘Won’t Go Quietly’ was one of the greatest albums of 2010 for me, and without a doubt the soundtrack to last summer. Example without a doubt specialises in summer party music, it’s what he does best, that’s why it is no surprise his return coincided with the beginning of summer. Born as Elliot Gleave (his initials is where his stage name comes from) at 29 years of age he is very much at the peak of his career. Some may say he is even a little too old for the music he is releasing, but the highlight of his music for me has always been the infectious production rather than the lyrics. With his third album, ‘Playing in the Shadows’ has Example released a more grown up sound? ”Thinking about what I wanna say, thinking about how I wanna say it.” *1, Skies ...

Future History - Jason Derulo 20/09/2011

WE GON' TEAR THE CLUB UP

Future History - Jason Derulo ”Jason Deruloooooooo…” arrived on the scene in late 2009 with his debut hit, ‘Whatcha Say’, which went on to be a US Billboard number one. Whilst the follow up singles fared well in the US, it was the UK that really fell for him. His breakthrough came when there was a shortage of solo male R&B singers, I know – heaven forbid, so Derulo filled the gap as a cross between Usher and Chris Brown. Originally a songwriter, Derulo fulfilled his ambition to be a solo performer with his self titled debut album, but now with a lot of his competition back on the scene, do we really need someone who takes pleasure in singing their own name? *1, Don’t Wanna Go Home (3.26) *2, It Girl (3.12) *3, Breathing (3.54) *4, Be Careful (3.34) *5, Make It Up as We Go (3.10) *6, Fight for You (4.02) *7, Pick Up the Pieces (3.34) *8, Givin Up (3.50) *9, Bleed Out (4.08) *10, That’s My Shhh (4.21) *11, X (3.32) *12, Dumb (3.50) *13, Overdose (3.19) *14, Give It to Me (3.24) ‘Don’t Wanna Go Home’ served as the lead track from the album and I found it immediately dislikeable. For me it just screamed Euro-pop and was such a mash up, sampling both ‘Show Me Love’ and ‘Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)’. Having said that, it did come to grow on me – having heard it repeatedly on nights out. I doubt the older listeners (sorry to stereotype) will find it appealing, and haven’t had the experience of having it drilled into their heads every weekend. Lyrics such as, “From the window, to the wall,” and, “Daylight ...

Christ's Pieces, Cambridge 11/09/2011

FOR CHRIST'S SAKE

Christ's Pieces, Cambridge Jesus is just round the corner, and here is Christ’s Pieces, probably the most used green in Cambridge on a day-to-day basis as it’s used as a link between the centre of the city to the Grafton shopping centre. No real events take place on the green, but what it does do is serve as a popular meeting point, especially for college students on lunch. It is also very popular with the homeless, who let their dogs run whilst as they sit back with a can of Special Brew, however this is usually at the back of the green away from the main path and I have never seen any incidents come of this. Princess Diana’s tribute garden is located here, a small area with plants and benches. It is just off the main spine path through the green so you will walk by it daily. Whether you are old or young, you are encouraged to play sport on Christ’s Pieces as well with tennis courts and a bowls green. Located right by the bus station, residents of the city will probably find they use it the most but take it for advantage. Always well kept and maintained, in terms of planting as well as litter collection, it’s a testament to all that is good with Cambridge. And you get some pretty Christmas lights above the path in December.

Jesus Green, Cambridge 11/09/2011

YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE RELIGIOUS TO ENJOY IT

Jesus Green, Cambridge Named as Jesus Green as it is right by Jesus College, not because Jesus came to visit as far as I am aware, this is just another of the many large green areas in Cambridge. Previously connected to Midsummer Common, the greens were separated when Victoria Avenue was built – a road now much used to gain access to the city’s centre, complete with speed camera. Jesus Green is probably one of the smaller green areas in the city, although that’s not to say it doesn’t have a lot going on. A skate park is located here, although I seem to have a feeling plans are in place to demolish it due to the kind of clientele it was giving the area. There is also a children’s play park. Although I have never used it myself, Jesus Green does have a ‘lido’, one of the few remaining in the country since then were built in the 1920’s. At 100 yards in length, it is still regarded as one of the longest outdoor swimming pools in Europe. Unfortunately with the weather in our country I do wonder how much business it must be receiving. I would say the most popular activity for Jesus Green, besides sitting around on a nice day, must be the annual May Beer Festival. Filling the area for a week with stumbling drunken men… although I suppose that isn’t any different to the centre of the city, except these are more middle aged. There is access to the green from Victoria Avenue and Park Street. You also have a bridge from the green to Chesterton Road, which allows you to walk over Jesus Lock. Arundel ...
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