Tuesday, 5 July 2011

DSi Ware: Soul of Darkness Review

As a result of only being able to add £10 at a time into the 3DS shop I had some spare money to buy games with. This game caught my eye as I had previously enjoyed Castlevania games which Soul of Darkness is very similar to,  I had also read a review online which was positive.

Firstly, the good points about the game. Whilst it is a copy of the Castlevania style it is at least a good one, with decent gameplay. The graphics are nice with good style but are nothing special. The game also contains an interesting weapon skill system where weapons can be upgraded using collected 'soul shards'.
The reason the 'positives' paragraph is so short is not because of my own laziness, it is unfortunately just a poor game.
There is just no depth to the game. Whilst the weapons system is interesting there are only two weapons in the entire game that can only be upgraded to three levels. There was a great opportunity to give options to the player in regards to the weapons they use, but to offer just two is really lazy. There is also no real difficulty in the game. If you die, you start at the beginning of the section you were at which is not much of a bother given how small the levels are. Hard mode might as well not exist as it is identical to the normal game but with about two extra enemies a level.
To top it all off what is basically a game that a cheap mobile phone could run costs roughly £4, I wish I did not buy it.

Thursday, 30 June 2011

White Chocolate and Hazelnut Cheesecake Recipe

Here's the recipe again from a cookbook.

Preparation Time: 1 hour
Cooking Time: 1.5 hours
Cooling Time: 3 hours

Ingredients- Base: 150g Rich Tea biscuits, 1 tbsp sugar, 3 tbsp unsalted butter                                   (melted)
                   Filling: 75g hazelnuts, 75g sugar, 1kg cream cheese, 4 large eggs, 1 large egg yolk,  1 tsp vanilla extract, pinch of ground nutmeg, 300g white chocolate, icing sugar.

To make the base: Grind the biscuits to a fine texture in a food processor. In a bowl combine the biscuits with the sugar and the melted butter. Press the mixture on to the base of the springform tin (23cm tin).

To make the filling: Roast the hazelnuts on a dry baking tray in the oven for about 10-15 minutes (on gas mark 6), then rub off their skins. Put the sugar with two tablespoons of water in a pan and heat gently to dissolve, then boil until it is a rich caramel colour. Place hazelnuts on an oiled tray and pour the caramel on top. Leave to harden, then break into pieces and pulse in a food processor until coarsely ground. Set aside.

Pulse the cream cheese in a food processor until smooth, then work in the eggs and egg yolk, vanilla extract and nutmeg. Process until smooth. Melt the white chocolate in a heatproof bowl suspended over saucepan of barely simmering water, ensuring that the water does not touch the base of the bowl. Add the melted chocolate to the mixture and, finally the ground hazelnut.

Pour the mixture on to the base and bake for about 1.5 hours (on gas mark 2) until lightly set. Turn off the oven and leave to go cold and set. Remove from the oven and dust with the icing sugar.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011


It's the summer holidays and I've got a lot of free time now so I made this awesome cheesecake.

 It's a white chocolate and hazelnut cheesecake, I'm currently searching around for the recipe which I will post up some time later. For now you can enjoy the picture.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Ocarina of Time 3DS + Virtual Console

I bought Ocarina of Time last week and have to say it really is  as good a game as everyone says it is. I never played the original on the N64 so I had to buy this as It's the first 'proper' game I wanted for the 3DS. The game follows the typical Zelda storyline which whilst  is repetitive, I had played Twilight Princess on the Wii which was very similar, does provide a great platform for the great game play to be experienced. The main changes to the 3DS version are the much improved graphics which look great in 3D. As you can see from the video the game looks better, however it looks at its best in full motion compared to photos.

If you haven't played the original then this is absolutely a game worth getting, and is by far the best game available for the 3DS.

Also, just a cool little thing to do with the 3DS virtual console. I downloaded Alleyway just to check this out. Holding start and select then pressing on the Game Boy game you want to play brings up the game in it's original resolution with a cool Game Boy border that works in 3D.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

More Nintendogs! (+Cats)

Thought I would introduce my two new pets properly, I decided to get a cat and a chihuahua. I'm not a great fan of cats but they do look so cute in the game, just look at their eyes. I've named the cat Rolo and the chihuahua Peanut.

Cookie won the Nintendogs Cup for disc throwing and got a nice little crown, he seems to like showing it off.

I picked up about 5 of these hats on a walk so Rolo tried them on, pretty classy.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Lemon Tart Recipe

I thought it was a good idea to give the recipe after my last post, this is taken from one of my cookbooks.

Preparation time- 40 minutes
Chilling time- 3 hours
Cooking time 35 minutes
Use a 23 cm (9 inch) tart tin


Pastry: 175g plain flour, 25g icing sugar, 2 tbsp cold water,
  25g cocoa, 125g unsalted butter, 75g dark chocolate (60%) grated,
  pinch of salt, 1 large egg yolk.

Filling: 3 fresh unwaxed lemons, 4 large eggs, 150g castor sugar, 150 ml double cream.

To make the pastry - Sift together the flour, cocoa, salt and icing sugar. Rub in cold butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
Mix the egg yolk with the water and add to the mixture to make the dough.
Gather the pastry into a ball, wrap it in greaseproof paper and chill in the fridge for about half an hour.
Roll out the pastry and line the tart tin.
Prick the pastry base with a fork in several places and chill for at least 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C/Gas mark 6. Line the pastry case with foil and baking beans and bake blind for 15 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for 5 more minute.
Remove the tin from the oven and sprinkle the grated chocolate evenly around, then leave to cool.

To make filling - Finely grate the zest from the lemons into a mixing bowl.
Squeeze and strain the lemon juice and add it to the zest with the sugar.
Whisk until the sugar has dissolved then whisk in the eggs and cream until the mixture is smooth.

Pour the filling into the cooled pastry case and carefully return it to the oven.
Bake for about 30-35 minutes until just set. Remove from the oven and leave
on a wire rack to cool completely before removing from the tin.
Dust with icing sugar before serving.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011


What's the only thing better than noodles?? Dessert!!! Dessert is my most favourite thing, from muffins to cheesecake I can eat so much of everything.
Getting a load of sweet treats from the bakery or supermarket is great every now and then but I prefer making the effort to bake my favourite things.
Last week I had a go at making a lemon tart with chocolate pastry and after a couple of attempts got it looking pretty good, looking at it again just makes me want to make another one it was soo tasty.It is definitely the best thing I've created in my kitchen.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Wii U

Well, I'm impressed. The rumours about the control for Nintendo's next console were true, It has a six and half inch screen in its centre. It allows for some new and interesting methods of control and will enhance games at least in some small ways.

 The videos of games in HD graphics look very impressive and are on par with current HD consoles. It's exciting to see the kind of games that appear on other consoles as well as the classic Nintendo games on one console, HD Zelda looked amazing.

This is only a brief comment after watching the presentation and there is a ton of 3DS stuff I will get through when I've got a bit more time.

3DS System Update

A really nice update from Nintendo today, finally have access to the 3DS shop and more importantly, the internet browser (I'm writing this using said browser). So far the shop is pretty empty with only 3 old Game Boy games on offer, one of them being a tennis game I remember playing years ago. I'm looking forward to seeing games I didn't get a chance to play before appear in the shop.

I'm finding the browser to be useful and since it's faster than the browser on my phone I will probably be using it quite a lot. I can see the browser becoming very useful when I'm stuck in the middle of playing a game and need a guide or need to read a review of a game found in the shop as software can be paused and the browser launched in the meantime.
Also, a couple of presents from Nintendo in the form of a free game, Excitebike, and a 3D Pokedex.

 They are nice although unspectacular, probably something to make up for the two month wait for this update.
The big Nintendo news will be coming later today at E3, I'll be making a post of my initial thoughts on that later.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011


Just a little dog update, I decided Cookie needed a hat and he seems to like it.

 He's also been making some more friends, and gets along very well with the cats in the game.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

IPL 2011 Final

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) won their second consecutive IPL in convincing style by beating Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) by 58 runs.
From the 159 run opening partnership between M. Hussey and M. Vijay to the early wicket of RCB's C. Gayle everything went right for CSK, as a target of 205 proved to be be beyond RCB.

Whilst there is no denying CSK produced a quality display, other factors definitely helped them to win. Before the final, seven out of the last eight matches at the ground (Chennai) were won by the team batting first. Once CSK captain MS Dhoni won the toss a significant advantage was gained.
Also RCB had to qualify for the final via a third place playoff that took place just a day before the final, compare this to CSK's four day rest before the final and its not hard to see why Chennai performed better on the day. The scheduling of the playoffs might need to be looked at.
Regardless of this, as a Chennai fan I am still very happy that they have become the first team to win the tournament twice.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Nintendogs 3DS

I decided to get Nintendogs for the 3DS earlier in the week, I really want to get a dog but unfortunately I'm not able to get one. I'll have to make do with a virtual dog, so I'm introducing you to Cookie (I'm terrible at naming things).

I really like the ability to take photos of the pets whilst playing the game, makes it easy to share the fun. Enjoy!

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

IPL Semifinals 2011

It's semifinal time in the fourth year of the Indian Premier League (IPL) and we were in the unusual position of the semifinal fixtures being played as the last games of the league. It will be Chennai against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Mumbai against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), but what do the matches on Sunday tell us about the respective chances of each team?

Firstly, RCB are my pick as the favourites to win the tournament. The destructive batting of Chris Gayle, by far the best batsman on current form, has propelled them to the top of the table and their easy win against Chennai on Sunday showed why they are serious challengers. I would, however, never rule out Chennai who have a never give up attitude that makes them difficult opponents. If they do not beat RCB in their semi I still expect them to make the final through the additional playoff.

Of the other two teams it is Mumbai who stand out as most likely to make the extra playoff, especially after their last gasp win over KKR a few days ago. KKR were almost certain to win before a lot of luck and a bit of bad bowling got them off the hook and earned them an unlikely win. After a long streak of losing games this was a much needed win for Mumbai which could be the turn around in form they need to win the tournament. KKR will have a tough time bouncing back from this loss, and it is unlikely they will make the final.

As always T20 cricket is a very unpredictable game so i will not rule out anyone winning at this stage. The matches start later today with the final taking place this Saturday.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Arsenal 2010/2011 Season

Today is the end of the Premier League season and as an Arsenal fan it has been another very disappointing one. Three months ago we were competing in all four competitions and looking likely to end the five year wait for a trophy. Three months later, we haven't won anything and are just hanging on to fourth place in the league. What went wrong? It seems that we just don't have a strong enough squad to compete in every competition for a whole year, key players are constantly getting injured meaning even younger players have to step in to fill the gaps. This is very evident amongst our defenders this year, we were never going to win a trophy with defending like that (The Carling Cup final is an obvious example but I don't really want to remember that).

Looking forward to next season and it is clear that the manager Arsene Wenger has got to get some experienced players in to the team. The five years of experimenting with a purely young squad have not produced any trophies, for a club like Arsenal this must change.
Not everything is looking so negative though, whilst we might have to go through
another summer of Fabregas loyalty indecision; the club is in a more that good enough financial position to fund any team changes. So, hopefully by next September I can look forward to a season where Arsenal play their good football  all season round, have a solid defence, and actually win a trophy.

Friday, 20 May 2011

Dead or Alive Dimensions 3DS

New Dead or Alive 3DS game is out today, I'm thinking of getting it but I'm not entirely sure since I've already got a fighter game. It does look pretty good though, maybe when I get some more spare cash I'll see what it's like. Here's a video in case you were interested.

Thursday, 19 May 2011


Noodles!! I love my noodles, so here's a picture of my lunch yesterday.

It only takes me a few minute to make and is sooooo tasty. Right now I only add a bit of chicken into it but I'm  thinking of trying some new things, got any ideas?

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

IPL World Record

Another thing I love is cricket, and a game of T20 is a nice distraction now and then.

Just a quick comment on the stunning world record partnership between AC Gilchrist and SE Marsh in the
63rd match of the Indian Premier League (IPL) last night. A massive 206 runs were hit off 16 overs that proved too much for even Gayle of the opposition Royal Challengers Bangalore to match despite his recent amazing form. Gilchrist scored 105(55) including eight fours and nine sixes. Kings XI Punjab won the match by 111 runs, the second highest win in IPL history, and puts them within reach of a playoff place which was looking unlikely just a week ago

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

3DS Review

I have a bit of a thing for all things Nintendo so here's a brief review of mine

My first impressions are that it is a very nice piece of tech, it looks great (I got the blue one) and is very nice to handle (having upgraded from the old silver DS).
The built in games (AR Games, FaceRaiders) are great fun and show off what the system is capable of although they don't have much depth, I have only played them for about an hour each.,Hopefully there is more to come regarding those.
The launch line up isn't particularly exciting and the only game i have purchased so far is Super Street Fighter IV 3DS. I would say I am impressed by the game and in particular the 3D effect which is fantastic. What the game lacks for in a one player mode its makes up for in a very competitive multi player, however the many encounters of 'spammers' does ruin the experience slightly.
I'm happy that I bought the console however it has a lot more to prove if it to live up to its price tag.

Welcome to my blog!! I've started this blog to write about a selection of my favourite things and interests. Hopefully you can share your thoughts with me too