Monday, 27 December 2010

Majority of CeX stores trading New Years Day

Hope you all had a lovely Xmas, ate your body weight in sprouts & swam in sherry. The festive season isnt over! New Years Eve is just around the corner (well, the end of this week). For those eager beavers who will happily shop with a banging hangover, the majority of our CeX Stores are still open for business.

The CeX stores listed below are closed on the 1st of January 2011, but the vast majority are open and full details can be found here.

Birmingham Phone Exchange
Croydon Station Approach
High Wycombe
Leicester Phone Exchange
Shepherds Bush
South Shields
Tunbridge Wells

Here's to a great 2011 for everyone!
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Thursday, 23 December 2010

Gadget Review - iPad & multitasking

So, I'm an Apple convert. I've repented and seen the error of my former ways. I turned to the other side much to the disdain of my other half, who, shall we say, belongs to AA, 'Anti-Apple'. No anonymity needed, he's quite proud of his beliefs.

Now, I’m one of those losers who feel lost without their iPhone, and to be honest, without the maps feature, 9/10ths of the time I would be. My friend has an iPad so, I thought I'd give it a whirl before Xmas. It seemed like the logical next step in my obsession. Like my new best friend, but bigger. I'd seen a cat scratch vinyl on one on YouTube. I mean, c'maaaan.

As winter would have it; I fell ill with the lurgiez of doom and was bedridden for days. If it wasn't for my iPad I think I would have gone insane from boredom. 

It is sleek and light. The screen brightness is fully adjustable which meant my already weak eyes weren't strained, the screen quality was crystal clear (and put up with my coughs and splutters like a pro).

I was constantly entertained during my delirium.

 I could check my emails with ease, flitting from screen to screen, check Facebook, blogs and watch BBC iPlayer seamlessly (shamefully, I get cranky without my favourite TV fixes). I spent a good few hours getting my cabin fever frustration out on Angry Birds. If you don’t know what that is, you need to GET to know. Not just limited to iPad, iPhone users can get it too and trust me, the game feels even better on a larger screen. The choice of applications available is awesome. My Bejeweled 2 top score is out of this world now. Although if I hear that theme tune again it'll be too soon. I think I nearly overdosed on that game.

The start up time was pretty much instant and the operating system smooth as silk! I could use the iPad to cool down my already feverous head or use it to heat myself up after an hour or use, although it never gets too hot to handle. Talk about multi-tasking. 

As a total blog addict, I was sad to see it didn’t have a camera. I’d have been happy a with a crappy 2 mega pixel effort like my iPhone 3g has. Is that too much to ask? Seeing how portable the iPad is it would be nice if you could take it outside also and take a few snaps. I'd be surprised if the next generation iPad didn’t have a camera, maybe two.

I liked the touch sensitive display (like the iPhone) as this meant I didn’t have a stylus to inevitably lose. It put up with my nail extensions without complaint. 

The universal moan that you can’t print directly from an iPad has been remedied for owners of selected HP Wi-Fi printers. Hopefully further updates will allow this to with other printers. 
A recent firmware update also allows multitasking so no more swopping between apps. I can listen to Last FM while I blog away. The device is literally at the command of your fingertips. For the OCD Neat freak in us we can now organise our apps into folders! Nice little tidy desktop.

Although I really enjoyed it I could see the novelty wearing off after a while and me reverting back to using my iPhone for convenience. That being said, as soon as the iPad gets a camera, I’ll be first in line.

Louise gives the iPad 7 out of 10.
Louise, CeX UK Contributor.
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Friday, 3 December 2010

Game Review - Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare

Format: PS3, Xbox 360

Red Dead Redemption was a terrific example of sandbox style adventure with captivating story, characters, gameplay and visuals; it really was an excellent game. This still holds true now with the excellent addition of Undead Nightmare. Obviously this package is not as extensive as the main game, but for the price tag, this is a bargain. You enter the world of Red Dead once again as John Marston to take on hordes of the undead. It is a real treat to watch how this horror unfolds in more historical times as opposed to our modern day movies and games such as the Dead Rising series. Undead Nightmare provides a great story to follow and hits the nostalgia factor perfectly as you traverse the now torn down and desolate towns that were once brimming with life. A few things get in the way of Undead Nightmare such as fairly easy enemy AI, but for what it’s worth, this is one fight against the dead you do not want to miss.

The goal in Undead Nightmare is very simple, completely remove the zombie threat from each town and rescue the survivors. The game offers you plenty of freedom by letting you choose what towns and villages you want to help first, but this is largely due to the process being pretty much the same in every town. That’s not to say that it isn’t plenty of fun going in and killing the hordes of zombies while helping survivors by offering them ammunition to defend themselves and so forth, but it just seems that without weapons, enemies in Red Dead Redemption don’t really put up much of a challenge. It is certainly a welcome addition to see some variation in the zombie types to keep things interesting, including your heavier and stronger zombies; your projectile vomit zombies and you’re fast moving zombies. Once again however, becoming accustomed to their attack patterns slowly makes the combat quite easy. Undead Nightmare does make it quite difficult to acquire ammo, especially in the early parts of the game, this means that some of your encounters with zombies will be finished with melee weapons, upping the challenge somewhat. It is a shame however, that at times you can find yourself cheating the system by climbing on top of a building and fairly easily picking off zombies one by one until the area is secure. I strongly suggest avoiding such tactics and keep yourself challenged by doing it the old fashioned way, gun slinging.

Upon rescuing a town from the undead nemesis, you will then be allowed to rest up and use the town’s resources once again. Without initially removing the zombie threat, none of these resources are available to you, including saving the game. So it pays off to pick a systemic route across the map as you slowly save more and more towns from the undead nightmare and uncover a safe zone like path in between your objectives.

Looking around the dying Wild West, it is easy to really appreciate the effort that went into making this game fit the undead theme. Red Dead was a beautiful game in its own right, but with the addition of a spooky soundtrack and a foreboding darkness that engulfs the land, you will find yourself a lot more vigilant when you traverse the deserts, especially when you begin encountering mythological creatures such as Big Foot and Unicorns as opposed to wolves and cougars.

Let’s face it, this wouldn’t be a Red Dead game without the return of some of the great and memorable faces of the initial campaign, along with entertaining side-missions and quests for you to take part in. This certainly helps to keep gameplay varied in Undead Nightmare and forces you to go hunting for lost family members, treasures and perhaps the most sought after prizes for yourself, the four horses of the Apocalypse. This is definitely the coolest addition to Undead Nightmare, allowing you to capture the four legendary horses Death, Famine, War and Pestilence. Each horse has its own quest that needs to be accomplished and each horse also has its own unique ability, for example War sets enemies on fire when they get into close proximity of the legendary beast.

These additions to saving all the towns and villages can very easily produces extra house of gameplay for those looking to complete everything. It really depends on how much you yourself choose to partake, as most of these side-quests are optional. It is highly recommended that the original Red Dead campaign be completed before tackling the Undead Nightmare as some faces return and story lines intertwine meaning you could potentially miss out on some important information or hit a spoiler by accident.

Adding to the great single player gameplay, Undead Nightmare also brings to the table a brand new multiplayer game type called Undead Overrun. This mode allows up to four players to take on waves of zombies in a horde mode style experience. As you progress and survive longer, the enemies become tougher, increase in numbers and hit you faster, posing a thrilling and engaging experience for you and your friends. This is perhaps one of the more entertaining multiplayer games out there, forcing teamwork and cooperation as you aim to keep the clock and yourself alive and running, while the zombies dead and buried.

There is little that can be said to fault Undead Nightmare; especially considering it is only an add-on pack. Saying that, for downloadable content, it offers so much game-play and variety that it really is hard to not absolutely love every moment as you immerse yourself once again the world of Red Dead and John Marston. While not as challenging as the original, Undead Nightmare takes an entirely different angle and hits the nail on the head, this is an add-on pack worth every moment of your time. Stand Alone disc version was released at the end of Nov 2010.

Technical presentation – 9.5

Graphics – 9.0

Game-play – 7.0

Replay value – 6.5

Final score – 8.0 / 10

Igor, CeX UK Contributor
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Thursday, 2 December 2010

After Xmas CeX stores reopen Boxing Day

Worried you'll get rubbish presents this year? While we can't help with the reindeer jumper you got from your gran, most CeX shops reopen after Christmas on Boxing Day so you can exchange what you don't want for what you do. Most CeX Shops are also open on New Years Day.

Find your nearest CeX shop here.

Only the following stores are closed on Boxing Day.

Croydon Station Approach
Liverpool Lord Street
Shepherds Bush
Tunbridge Wells

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Wednesday, 1 December 2010

CeX in Belfast Telegraph

Leading Northern Ireland Newspaper reports CeX opens in Newry and "is proving very popular with shoppers who can now buy, sell or exchange computers, mobile phones, video games, movies and music".

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Last order date for UK Xmas delivery is 18 December

Online shopping eh? It's brilliant. You press a few buttons and a few days later stuff arrives at your door.

This man is not a CeX Custie.

If you're shopping with CeX online, and if you aren't you need to ask yourself some long hard questions why, please remember that the last day to order for UK Christmas delivery is the 18th December. Don't delay, as Arnie says, do it today.

Naturally, CeX stores will be open right up to Xmas day. Most CeX stores will also be open on 26 December, so you can trade in those pressies you don't want for something you do or cash for a top notch New Year's blow on the beach.

CeX Custie who sold her unwanted stuff for a pile of cash and headed off to get some sun with her Asus Seashell 1008HA Eee PC. Digg Technorati Delicious StumbleUpon Reddit BlinkList Furl Mixx Facebook Google Bookmark Yahoo
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"CeX pays best prices" say Which?

Which? finds CeX is the best place to sell your games.

"During our research, we found that CeX, the entertainment and technology store, consistently offered us the best prices for our games, both in cash and store credit."

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Game Review – James Bond 007: Bloodstone

Formats: PS3 Xbox 360, PC, DS

The dreaded movies to game franchise twists are not without their abysmal performances, especially James Bond. The British Superspy has seen the limelight but has also been involved in some less than favourable video game transitions and you are always left guessing which way every new installment will go and if any of them will ever surpass the legendary Goldeneye. James Bond 007: Bloodstone fortunately, is an invigorating experience right from the get go and while stumbles occasionally with some uneven level structures and fluidity issues in the pace of the game, still holds key memorable moments, fun and varied gaming mechanics along with a great story and narration to present a worthy addition to not only the James Bond franchise, but to the 3rd person shooting market as a whole.

Naturally you get exactly what you’d expect from Bloodstone; being a stand-alone video game that isn’t based off a movie makes it even more impressive that a varied and interesting story has been put into place. While not incredibly deep or meaningful for that matter, playing as Daniel Craig as he goes from one beautiful destination to the next, stepping each time one step closer to another thrilling event or climax while ultimately trying to accomplish his missions, is without any doubt an incredible feeling. All of Bloodstone’s environments scream diversity and try to give you a different feel and style of game-play, be it from guns blazing to a more subtle approach or even a non-violent espionage style mission.

Bloodstone’s appeal lies whole-heartedly in the diversity it offers. You will quickly realise after playing the opening segment of the game that there is a mix of genres at work here and it is always a testament when everything feels balanced and well worked. Indeed you will find yourself in fire-fights from a 3rd person perspective moving from cover to cover, but you will also rely heavily on melee combat. Even though this is all implemented so well, some of Bloodstone’s best moments are behind the steering wheel of different cars that James Bond drives, often filled with explosions and lots of action as you race across cities and frozen landscapes. Perhaps the weak link in this diverse pool of gaming genres is the espionage hacking segments that really offer nothing new to the imagination and serve really as intermissions between the hectic parts of the game.

Most of the game obviously will be spent running and gunning while stopping at cover and thankfully this is done very well. Unfortunately it can be a tad bland sometimes and it really is down to the melee combat to help spice things up. Bond packs a variety of close combat moves that are easily executed to devastating effect. These kills also give you ‘focus kill’ points that allow you to put together series of headshots to take down numerous enemies at once, a very cool and stylish looking finishing move.

Bloodstone does a fantastic job at recreating what makes the new era of James Bond so exciting, the tense and fast-paced action scenes. It is during these moments in the game when Bond is rushing through an area, shooting and fighting his way through swarms of enemies, that you feel like a true secret agent. In particular the chase scenes in Bloodstone emphasize this point. Bloodstone’s main issue is partly due to its very own brilliance. It offers some incredible moments but then finds it very difficult to keep up the tempo it sets itself, often culminating in a really thrilling chase scene or driving level followed by some very dull and boring explorations segments. Things seem to balance out somewhat in the latter portions of the game but the beginning of the game really goes in full-throttle and suddenly puts on the brakes, making it somewhat of a grind to get through these monotonous segments to find the good bits and let Bloodstone shine.

Technically Bloodstone is a very impressive piece of work. You will find yourself constantly in awe at the brilliant graphical content in every department, from character models, to level design and the cut-scenes. Varied environments really work in Bloodstone’s favour as it allows the game to shine graphically and really show you what it can do. The same goes for the different driving segments where you will be more than impressed with the graphical content. The audio is also very impressive, both dialogue and music really portray the James Bond theme, installing a sense of tension and urgency into your missions.

Bloodstone does come with a multiplayer, but unfortunately there is little to say other than it being average. In a market full of top class competitive shooters, it is hard to find a package that includes a filled out campaign such as this, and a brilliant multiplayer experience. You get your standard run of the mill game-types but I find it hard to believe that it will be able to keep your attention for a long period of time.

To conclude, James Bond 007: Bloodstone is a very good, mostly all-rounded package. It lacks a decent multiplayer but this is to be expected and forgiven because the campaign mode for the most part is exciting, engaging and a whole load of fun. Bloodstone shows that it is possible to mix genres together and do it well, offering great quality varied game-play across the entire board. If you are looking for a campaign driven game, this one is for you.

Technical presentation – 9.0

Graphics – 9.0

Game-play – 8.5

Replay value – 4.0

Final score – 7.5 / 10

Igor, CeX UK Contributor
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