Sponsor & Giveaway Updates

Hey guys,

It has been a little while since I posted an update, so here I am whilst I am sat at the PC, headphones on and music blaring in my ears (Bon Jovi, if you were wondering) ūüôā

First up, I have a few little bits and bobs that I will use in giveaways in the not so distant future. ¬†I have a set of thumbsticks for an Xbox 360 controller – not sure on the colour because they are over the other side of the room but they are either yellow or orange, I have a Bioshock Infinite t-shirt that I managed to win two of thanks to my local GAME store, a handful of Hauppauge rubber wristbands, and the first DLC for Assassin’s Creed III – I can give this away now that you lovely lot got me past 600 Twitter followers! ¬†I think this is it for now – I will update if there is anything that I have forgotten about.

I have a few reviews coming up over the next couple of weeks too.  From phone cases to wraps to a couple of XBLA Games to a strategy guide for Bioshock Infinite and next week, Dead Island Riptide!

Now the best news, for me any way!  I got an email a week ago on Friday from GamerModz.  I am now officially sponsored by them *woot* and they have been kind enough to allow me to create my own custom controller on their website and they are sending this out to me!  There will be a review of the controller as well as a couple of other bits associated with them.

Enough of my rambling anyway, I just wanted to update you as far as what is happening with upcoming blog posts, etc.

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Xbox 360 Controller Carbon Fiber Wrap – Review (@SlickWraps)

Today I am going to be reviewing an Xbox 360 wrap from the guys over at slickwraps.com. I went for the Lime Carbon Fiber wrap so that it would go nicely with my green and white custom controller.

Firstly, the product arrived in good time, about a week, which is good considering it was shipped from America. When it arrived, it came in a solid packaging which prevented the wrap from being bent or creased whilst in transit. Inside the packaging I found the wrap, a nicely sized and styled sticker, a microfiber cloth and a few miniature cards. The miniature cards include QR Codes on the back that take you to different websites and channels.

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One has a Slickwraps logo in the front which also provides you with the social network links – the QR Code on the back of this card takes you to the section on slickwraps.com that provides instructions on how to apply your Slickwrap. The second has a Facebook logo on the front and the QR code on the back takes you to their Facebook page. The third and final card has an iTunes logo on the front and the QR Code takes to the iTunes app store to download their new Slickwraps Wallpaper app (which is pretty cool, just for the record!). Finally, you will find a small Slickwraps logo sticker.

Before you even think about applying your Slickwrap to your device, I would highly recommend you check out the instruction page over at slickwraps.com/instructions. You will find videos that will help you to fit your wrap perfectly.

After watching the video that you need for your device you should be at the stage of fitting the wrap. When it comes to peeling your wrap off of the backing paper, just go slowly. With this being a wrap for a controller, there are a lot of gaps and it isn’t a solid wrap all the way around. There is a gap on both the left and right side of the wrap so that it is easier to maneuver around the left thumbstick and also the X, Y, B, A buttons. ¬†Use the included microfiber cloth to wipe over your device to ensure that there is no dust or dirt is lingering to get stuck underneath the wrap whilst applying it.

I think that I got lucky when fitting mine as I managed to apply it first time. I found that the easiest way to fit it was to line up the Xbox Guide Button on the controller so that it was in the center of the hole and then line up the X, Y, B, A buttons and then apply it from there. As you smooth down the wrap so that it is applied properly, make sure that you smooth down the edges on each side of the wrap as you go along so as not to leave any creases or bubbles along the edge of the wrap. I found it easiest to smooth it down bit by bit and once one side was finished, I moved over to the other side. The video really did help with this.

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Once your wrap is applied, sit back and admire your handiwork! I found that the Carbon Fiber wrap has a nice feel to it which adds a bit of extra grip whilst holding the controller. The Carbon effect also looks very nice, especially when the light hits it. It has definitely put the finishing touch to my custom controller.

For the price that you pay ($9.95USD for this particular wrap) it is definitely something that I could see myself buying and using again, especially on my other controllers. It takes away the plain look and adds a bit of colour.

Wraps are currently available for a wide range of products and devices. Head over to slickwraps.com for a look at everything that is available.

A big thanks to the guys over at Slickwraps for sending this out for me to review.

Breffo iPhone 4 Soft Flex Hardshell Cover – Review (@BreffoInc)

Today I am going to be using and reviewing the iPhone 4 Soft Flex Hardshell Cover, made by Breffo Рthank you for sending this out for review).

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Everyone knows that with smartphones getting more and more expensive nowadays that even the smallest scratch or mark can devalue the phone by a great deal.  Having a phone case that does what it is made to do Рprotect the phone Рis definitely a must-have.

The Soft Flex Hardshell Cover from Breffo is not like your standard phone case.  When you first look at the case, it does look like other cases that you have seen.  Once you get it in your hand though, it is a totally different story.

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The Soft Flex case feels nice and light in your hand, the texture even adds to the comfort of the case.  It has a soft feel to it even though it is a solid case.  The case itself is very thin, yet still manages to do the job it was made to do.  When you look at the case you can see the spaces left both on the top and bottom of the case as well as on the side Рall spaces for buttons, speakers and the charging port.  The space on the back of the case for the camera and flash is a lot bigger than other phone cases but I like this.  It stops any chance of flash back when using the phone in situations that require the use of the flash, which in turn means that the phone can continue to produce pictures to the quality that you are used to.

When the case is on the phone it fits very snug to the edges without any of the case protruding over the edge of the phone.  When you combine that with how thin the case is, it is very easy to forget that there is even a case on the phone.

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Overall, the Breffo Soft Flex Hardshell cover is a very good phone case that does what you expect of it. ¬†Definitely worth using if you want something natural feeling as well as something that doesn’t add bulk and weight to your phone.

Priced at £14.95GPB at time of posting.

If you have any questions or comments please leave them below and I will get back to you ASAP.

Bioshock Infinite Strategy Guide – Review (@BradyGames)

Everyone knows that once you finish playing through a games campaign you are often left with a ton of collectibles and hidden spots to find.  It can become a bit of a chore to some people having to play back through all over again and still risk the chance of missing something.  Not when you get your hands on one of these Strategy Guides which are put together by the folk over at Brady Games.

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Personally, I have never been one to use one of these guides. ¬†I have seen them about often enough, I just had never given them a try. ¬†I am more of a “I’ll have a quick peek on YouTube” kind of person. ¬†After receiving this guide for review though, my opinion has changed.

First impressions are that anyone can see how much thought and work has gone into making this guide.  The artwork throughout the book is mind blowingly good and even a non fan of the game would be impressed.

When you first get into looking through the guide you are greeted with the game basics and weapons. ¬†A great way to get started I think as this enables you to figure out the best way to get your character ready for use later on in the game. ¬†The guide also runs through the different pieces of “gear” that are included in the game. ¬†It shows you all about the guaranteed gear as well as random gear that you will come across. ¬†With the guaranteed gear pieces being very few, the guide does good by informing you where these pieces are located through the game.

Also included in the guide is the walkthrough.  The walkthrough informs you where you can find collectibles and telescopes, as well as other items.  You are presented with screenshots as well as a birds eye view map which shows you the locations.  Each paragraph is well detailed as to where things are so focusing on what each one says will definitely work in your favour.

The guide also gives you a list of achievements and trophies so if you need any help with how to get that elusive last one that you need to completely finish up the game, the way that the harder achievements/trophies are described and detailed should help you to get to grips with things.

Lastly, I do like the way that the guide describes and talks about of the enemies. ¬†These enemies are listed in categories, ordered by the weapons that you will find them to be using. ¬†All enemies that are described are also supplied with hints and tips to enable you to defeat them so if you come across an enemy that you can’t quite get past, take a look and you should find a way.

Overall, I think that my perception of strategy guides has changed significantly.  Between the artwork and images included to all of the help that is available, each and every fan of the game should have one of these by their side.  You can find this guide over on the Brady Games website, along with others that they have cleverly compiled.

Big thanks to the guys over at Brady Games for sending this out for review.

Alien Spidy – XBLA – Review

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Alien Spidy brings us a story of a not so scary spider who has crash landed on Planet Earth and who has the job of making his way through a three zones (Forest, Pond, Crystal Cave), each one featuring a series of levels with the intention of rescuing his friend.  That is pretty much the story in a nutshell.

The first thing that I noticed about Alien Spidy was how colourful and pretty the levels are. ¬†It definitely makes the game nice to look at. ¬†Combine this with the range of brightly coloured power-ups and animations and it would seem that you are on to a winner. ¬†Soundtrack wise, the music is nice to listen to. ¬†If I didn’t know any better, I would say that the music has been put in to calm you down whilst playing since the game can be very frustrating at times.

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When you first get into the game you are greeted with several tutorials.  These come in very handy and explain each of the controls enough to allow you to get to grips with things.  Saying this, nothing can prepare you for the frustration that awaits once you finish the tutorial.  To say that you need nerves of steel is an understatement.  Accuracy is required and a mouth guard will save your teeth from the upcoming grinding and clenching.

The object of the game is to obviously get through each of the levels so that you can progress on to the next.  Each level that you complete though requires you to complete it as fast as possible, with as few mistakes as possible, whilst also collecting as many items as possible.  It is relatively easy to die but it is also just as easy to restart from a checkpoint if you do make a mistake.  This does cost you time and points though so while restarting the level may not be the best thing to do, it could work out the easiest thing to do just so you can start again.

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The controls are a bit touch and go.  You can have one jump where you fire out a perfect web which allows you to progress through the level but on the next jump, have a totally abysmal attempt at web shooting, even though you did exactly the same as you did before.  Obviously, with you needing to get through the level as quick as possible, the changing accuracy of the controls can get a bit tedious at times.

I have been kinda torn on this game so far because of the fact that it is fun to play and amazing to look at. ¬†It’s just a shame that the controls aren’t more user friendly as well as the fact that restarting the level often seems a better choice than going to a checkpoint throughout the game. ¬†I would recommend giving the demo a try before paying out for this as I can’t see it suiting people who get frustrated easily.

I just make sure I am having a good day before I try playing.

WaveCradle Low Profile – Review (@WaveCradle)

With the amount of stuff that I keep on my desk, my phone often suffers by being laid beneath pieces of paper or under my monitor. I was lucky enough to receive a WaveCradle Low Profile stand for my phone to review which hopefully, will stop this from happening in the future as well as adding something a bit different.

The WaveCradle Low Profile is a phone stand that is made from high quality, sturdy, aircraft grade aluminium. It also has two metal rods that are attached to the back to hold the device up right and these rods also pass through to the front of the device and are used to place your phone on. The WaveCradle is built very well and the way it has been designed prevents is from tipping over whilst being used.

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On my iPhone, the speaker sound quality has always been bad. This is something that I have encountered previously also, so having something that could change that is a plus.

When I have my phone sat on the WaveCradle, it is held in place by the specialised rubber grip that is located on the front of the curved aluminium plate. The plate itself curves at the bottom which in turn enhances any audio that comes out of the speakers which are located on the bottom of the phone. This audio is very clear and crisp and can be heard clearly up to 20 feet away.

The clear sound can be heard when you are looking head on at the stand, but not so much from the side. This is understandable though due to the design of the stand. Also, this stand is in no way as loud as an actual speaker, but you can most definitely tell the difference between using it and not using it.

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On the bottom of the curved plate you will find a rubber bottom that prevents the WaveCradle from slipping whilst on your desk, and also protects your desk from any scuff marks that may occur.

The only downside is the fact that there is no dedicated space to run the charging cable through. Aside from this though, I have no issues with the device.

Overall, I think that the WaveCradle Low Profile is a handy product especially if you find yourself short of space. The WaveCradle Low Profile is available for around $20USD and you have a choice of three colours Рblack, blue and pink.  You can also get the WaveCradle Classic, all details are available on their website.

GamerModz Xbox 360 Console Skins – Review (@GAMERMODZoCOM)

When it comes to personalising your Xbox 360 console, it is surprisingly easy and cheap to do. The kind folk over at Gamer Modz sent me out two of their Xbox skins for review. I am going to be reviewing one for the Original console and one for the Slim model.

The skins arrived very well packaged with no bends or creases in them due to the packaging used. Inside the packaging I found a Creeping Death Xbox 360 Skin Set, along with a Pink Leopard Xbox 360 Skin Set. Both sets contain skins for two controllers along with the console skin.

Quality wise, the skins were very impressive. The quality of the material used to make them is a durable, automotive-grade premium vinyl, which makes the skins tough and easy to manage.

When it came to fitting the skins, it was very straightforward and easy to do – if I can do it, anybody can. You remove the back from the skin and apply it to the console. Because of the quality and material used when making the skins, they can be removed and reapplied if it goes on slightly wonky and unaligned. You can do this as much as you like without risk of tearing the skins too as they are THAT durable. This is something that comes in very handy for those of you who have a slightly unsteady hand. You get skins for the two sides of the console as well as a skin for the faceplate.

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Applying the controller skin could work out trickier for some people. I think I got lucky and managed to apply the two that I used pretty much perfect the first time. Because of the amount of buttons and the thumbsticks that you have to line the skin up with, you could get one side perfect and the other side slightly overlapping the buttons, or vice versa. Nothing too serious that can’t be rectified with a little practise.

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Once they are applied, the two side skins line up very well with the faceplate. I think that the Pink Leopard Skin Set that I used on my original Xbox console would have looked better on the black model, as would the controller skin. The Creeping Death Skin Set looks amazing on the Slim model, and the controller skin looks just as good.

For the price you pay, I think you definitely get your moneys worth. There is a large choice of skins available for both old and new style Xbox consoles, and there is something to suit everyone’s style. ¬†These skins are also available for the PS3 – check out the site for more details.

RedSnapperPhoto.co.uk Custom Soft Flexible Phone Case Review

Having a custom designed phone case is something that appeals to me, especially since I chop and change every few days.  I was lucky enough to receive one from the guys over at Red Snapper Photo to review.

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When it comes to designing your own phone case you want the process to be simple and straightforward. ¬†When doing this on the Red Snapper Photo website, the process couldn’t be simpler. ¬†First up you choose which device you would like the case for and the style of case that you would like – rubber or solid, depending on your device. ¬†You then select the picture that you would like to use – you can include any special instructions for cropping your picture on the next page. ¬†Once you have checked your order over, just click the Buy button and go through the checkout process. ¬†It is that simple!

Here is a list of devices that are currently catered for: Device List

When I received the case it arrived well packaged in a jiffy bag. ¬†First impressions were great. ¬†The image that I used is one of my niece’s last winter playing in the snow. ¬†The quality of the image on the case is pretty much the same as the image that I submitted for them to use. ¬†The case itself has gaps in all of the relevant places. ¬†A space in the back for the camera and flash, spaces at the bottom of the case that allow the speakers and charging port to be used, spaces in the top for the earphone jack & power/lock button, and, a spaces in the side for the volume controls and mute button.

The case itself is very high quality and fits the phone very well. ¬†It isn’t a snug fit to the phone around the edges, but this isn’t a bad thing. ¬†With the case being flexible, it provides that little bit of extra protection if you do ever drop your phone and it happens to land on the front of the phone – unfortunate, I know, but it does happen.

Overall, I am happy with the case.  It does what it is made for and the added image makes it all the more personal.

Review Updates

I just wanted to sit for a few minutes and explain why not much has been posted recently.

I have just today got my hand out of the cast it has been sat in for the past two weeks. ¬†I am now stuck with a splint for the next three weeks, but I am also able to type now! ¬†No more playing with the pup whilst wearing baggy pj bottoms….

All reviews that are due should be up within the next week or so, hopefully. ¬†I don’t want to overdo it with my hand just because I can move it about and type again ūüôā

The first one should be up and posted either tonight or tomorrow, and then more regular after that.