Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Ant Nation

Developer: Art Co. Ltd.
Publisher: Konami
Release Date: Sept. 9, 2009
Systems: Nintendo DS (reviewed), Wii
ESRB Rating: E-10+

In a nutshell: If an ant's life is really this slow paced and dull, I don't know how they get through the day...

0:00 The hauntingly bad box art for this game has been staring at me from my game shelf every day for over nine months now. Once I play it, I can take it off my shelf and put it away in storage. So let's get this over with...

0:01 A chirpy, 12-note tune plays and then the plain title screen goes silent. Scrolling green grass at the bottom. Everything so far screams "very low-budget."

0:02 A series of static images show ants being sucked up by a tiny UFO and... dropped in a lake? In a lab with an ant on the front a white haired bearded man studies the ants. He thinks he can harness the ants to destroy all other bugs? Maybe? Really I have no clue what these pictures are supposed to be representing.

0:03 Ah, the professor is addressing me now. "Use the ants I've given you to defeat the alien ants!" Um, OK.

0:04 An overhead shot of the battlefield. The game's tutorial tells me what each on-screen button does. Most of them seem wasted on calling up menus or switching between the top and bottom screen. "Now the only way to learn the controls is by playing." What kind of a tutorial is THAT?

0:05 "Alien ants are out to plunder our natural resources!" says the professor. "Take these ants! Use them to defeat the aliens and protect our planet!" Why wasn't this portion of the story FIRST?


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Xbox Live Indie Game Demo Extravaganza

Developer: Various
Publisher: Various
Release Date: Various
System: Xbox 360
ESRB Rating: N/A

In a nutshell: Who knew there was more to Xbox's Indie Games than awkward conversations with girls?

0:00 Here's the situation... I have exactly 720 Microsoft Points burning a hole in my digital wallet, but none of the current selections on Xbox Live Arcade seem that appealing. So I'm going to spend the hour wading into the untamed wilderness of the Xbox Live Indie Games section. Since I have no idea which Indie Games are good, I'm going to blaze through as many of the top 20 customer-rated demos I can in the hour, to determine which ones deserve part of my $9. Enough talk, let's roll.

0:02 I've actually heard of the top rated game, "I MAED A GAM3 W1TH Z0MB1ES 1N IT!!!1" My only instructions: "IT'S A TW1N ST1CK SH00R3R" Immediately I'm entranced by the self-referential theme song. "Welcome to my game. I put zombies in it... for your pain." Ha!


Monday, June 28, 2010

Sid Meier's Civilization IV

Developer: Firaxis Games
Publisher: 2K Games
Release Date: Oct. 25, 2005
System: PC
ESRB Rating: E10+

In a nutshell: It feels nice to finally join the Civilized world.

0:00 When people find out that I have never played a proper Civilization game (which does not include Civilization Revolution), they often say something along the lines of, "What's wrong with you? Don't you write about games for a living?" To which I reply, "Ummmmmmmm." Well that ends TODAY with a $5 Steam purchase and a two-hour long download/install. I just hope I don't get addicted.

0:01 A shot of stars. The camera zooms past the moon and over the Earth. Lights start appearing in the fertile crescent as a choir comes in. Zoom down to the coast and we see Roman-style soldiers racing to battle atop a castle wall. Down on the coast catapults shoot fire at ships with red and white striped sails. An eagle calls as the camera zooms up the steps of a coliseum. Soldiers cheer as an emperor steps out, kneels, and has a crown placed on his head by grey-bearded fellow. He raises his arms to more applause and the camera pans up to the sky as the title comes up. Pretty epic.

0:04 My laptop is below the recommended specs, but the game says it has automatically lowered my graphics settings to accommodate. Well isn't that handy.

0:06 Loading the tutorial necessitates restarting the game, I guess because they assume most players won't need it at this point (they've probably played one of the earlier games, after all)? My default Civ is Julius Caesar, leader of the Roman Empire. I'm not feeling creative enough to come up with anything else. A Normal speed and the lowest "Settler" difficulty are forced on me. That's good... I'm probably not ready to go for the top "Deity" difficulty just yet.

0:07 "Hi, my name is Sid. Welcome to Civilization IV!" Meier looks even scarier as a 3D model than in real life. "The objective is simple... create and maintain an empire that will stand the test of time." What if I want a Civilization that descends to anarchy, huh? Who are YOU to set goals for ME?


Friday, June 25, 2010

Scene It? Brights Lights! Big Screen!

Developer: Screenlife
Publisher: Warner Bros.
Release Date: Nov. 17, 2009
Systems: PS3 (reviewed), Xbox 360, Wii
ESRB Rating: T

In a nutshell: Yup... that's some movie trivia right there.

0:00 I'm in the mood for something low key this Friday morning, and it doesn't get much more low key than a movie trivia game. I'm not much of a movie buff, but I am a bit of a trivia buff, and I'm hoping those two facts will even out. I'm playing by myself, which is less than ideal, but I'm in it for the pure thrill of trivia, not to gloat over friends.

0:01 "This is Planet Scene It. Population: Movies! If you've seen it on the silver screen you can bet it happens here. Every summer blockbuster. Every epic battle. Every love story. Every hidden treasure. Every dog fight. Every... collapsing evil water park. There I am, I'm the director. I pull it all together and I'll be your host for SCENE IT? BRIGHT LIGHTS! BIG SCREEN!" This is all illustrated with some of the lowest budget 3D animation I've ever seen. Seriously, this would have looked chintzy in 1990.

0:03 There are options for "Change Audio" and "View Credits." Wow, this is quite the full-featured game.

0:04 Some cute character model options, including flim archetypes like Desperado, Swashbuckler and... Disco Girl? I go with a Sci-Fi Cadet in a skimpy green costume, 'cause she's HOT!

0:05 I change the settings to a longer five-puzzle game instead of a short three-puzzle game because I have to fill up a whole hour, right? I turn on the Classic (i.e. timed) Scoring mode and activate negative points because I am HARDCORE!


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Sonic Unleashed

Developer: Sonic Team
Publisher: Sega
Release Date: Nov. 18, 2008
Systems: Xbox 360 (reviewed), PS3, PS2, Wii
ESRB Rating: E-10+
Official Web site

In a nutshell: Who says schizophrenia is a bad thing?

0:00 I believe I got this one when I was scheduled to review it for Crispy Gamer, but then the review got bumped for something more interesting. The people who have actually reviewed it didn't seem to like it much, so my expectations are quite low.

0:01 The title appears to soaring trumpet and string music on a starry black field. Reminds me of Super Mario Galaxy 2. Man, I wish I was playing that right now.

0:02 I switch to the Japanese voices because they are almost always better delivered. I don't know if that's because they actually care more or because I can't actually understand what they're saying. Oh well. New Game!

0:04 A shot of the earth's curvature from high up in space. Pan up to show a galactic fleet of mega-ships... very evocative of the Star Wars opening. Zoom in on a laughing Dr. Eggman. "Oh ho ho ho! Hmmmmm?! Sonic!" Blue walkers rise to face the hedgehog, who's landed on the deck. "Fire!" yells Eggman as cannons let out a fusillade. Sonic runs past the cannon fire and destroys the robots with some spinning jumps. Machine gun fire... homing missiles... nothing can touch him, until Eggman's walker sends out a large metal hand to grab him. Sonic grins coyly, then turns into glowing, golden Super Sonic and flies away into space, the ship exploding behind him. I wonder why he didn't just fly in as Super Sonic in the first place...


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Mad World

Developer: Platinum Games
Publisher: Sega
Release Date: March 10, 2009
System: Wii
ESRB Rating: M
Official Web site

In a nutshell: Fucking ream those fuckers with some ridiculously fucking over-the-top violence!

0:00 I believe I bought this one on hype alone, then proceeded to not touch it for over a year now. Let's see if stylish ultra-violence can work on the Wii.

0:01 There's a silent chainsaw blade rotating around the "orld" part of the title. HARDCORE!

0:02 An overhead angle shot of a metropolis in stark black lines on a white background. Comic-book-style panels show close up scenes of disaster -- flaming cars, bridges reduced to rubble. A flaming skyline. "As you can see, all eight bridges to Jefferson Island have been cut," says a newscaster. "There is no traffic getting on or off the island." Communications have been blacked out for 18 hours and the cops have been told to stay away. "We have no intention of giving in to any such demands," says the police commissioner just as a helicopter explodes. The mayor says "all necessary measures are being taken" and that he's personally authorized a special team of marines to go in. I didn't know mayors could just order in the Marines. Isn't that the president's job?

0:04 Zoom in on Jefferson City. A reject from Frank Miller's Dark Knight comics throws another into a flaming barrel. A spiky haired punk waves an equally spiky bat. One more thug beats a defenseless man on the ground. A low zoom starts on my character's boots, then pans up and out to show him taking a slow drag on a cigarette. He reminds me of Hellboy without the horns. "Who, me? Ready as always." Um... who are you talking to? No one said anything requiring a response.


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Crackdown 2 (demo)

Developer: Ruffian Games
Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios
Release Date: July 6, 2010
System: Xbox 360
ERRB Rating: M
Official Web site

In a nutshell: Grand Theft Auto minus the boring parts plus a lot of jumping = Crackdown 2

0:00 The original Crackdown was one of my first Games for Lunch and I liked it a lot despite some hardware reliability problems. I quit before collecting every single orb, but had tons of fun before I got to that point.

0:01 A hard-to-read on-screen message tells me I can earn "demo achievements" as I play. Of course, I only unlock the actual achievements once I play the actual game. There ain't nothing for free... even Gamerscore points.

0:03 The options screen has for stuff like Dynamic Range and HUD Opacity. Huzzah-wha?

0:04 I have no friends playing online, but there are a lot of people playing around America, Europe and Japan, according to the handy map. At least, I think those dots represent players...

0:05 Selectable difficulties are Fragile and Tough. It looks like there's a third option, but it's grayed out and so tin that I can't read it on this standard definition TV. Let's start with tough and move it down if/when things get to be too much.


Monday, June 21, 2010


Developer: Cryptic Sea
Publisher: Chronic Logic
Release Date: May 10, 2004
System: PC
ESRB Rating: N/A
Official Web site

In a nutshell: It ain't easy being a tar ball... or controlling one.

0:00 I was convinced I had actually played this game before, but apparently I had just watched the trailer video and remembered controlling it directly. Now I'm actually getting around to trying it out as part of the Humble Indie Bundle I downloaded last month.

0:01 I'm not including the five minutes it took to configure the controls for the PS3 joypad, or the five more minutes it took to do it again once my computer mysteriously blue-screened for no apparent reason.

0:02 As the game loads I get to look at a fake movie poster that's obviously parodying a movie I don't recognize. Nice hi-hat heavy music on the title screen. I set the window to full screen and start a new game on Normal difficulty.

0:03 "Gish isn't your average hero. In fact he's not your average anything. Gish is a ball of tar." Um, a ball of tar is an "anything," isn't it? Anyway, "while on a Sunday stroll with his lady friend Brea a shadowy figure emerged from an open manhole pulling her away and into the ground below. Quickly, Gish jumps into action..." Yada yada yada. The simple story is illiustrated with manic, shaky lined drawings that remind me of static versions of those awful CD-i Zelda games.

0:05 The Sewers of Dross is level 1-1. I have five lives and zero points. Nice jazzy background music as I roll gish around some atmospheric sewers. The simple animation on his mouth and eyes makes him seem almost alive.


Friday, June 18, 2010


Developer: Punk Pie
Publisher: Punk Pie
Release Date: April 6, 2010
System: iPhone OS
ESRB Rating: N/A
Official Web page

In a nutshell: "Let's run through that again." Let's not.

0:00 When I got an e-mail offering me a chance to play "the first ever audio-only game built solely for the iPhone" I was immediately intrigued. Audio-only? How in the world does that work? Let's find out, shall we?

0:01 Logos? Those are graphics! I thought this was audio only. Then a sexy British female voice comes into my ears. "Tilt to the left to create a new connection, or to the right to resume a connection." A connection? Is that like a save file? I tilt to the left again to choose "Slot 1." Then the game quits to the iPod menu. Ummm...

0:03 Restarted. Some ethereal music has come in. "I found a place for us to play," says the voice. "There we will exist only in sound. You can even close your eyes. Tap the screen if you want to come with me. This is Aurifi." There's a logo with a rainbow smudge in the background. The music has a nice heavy drum beat now.

0:05 My first task is to tilt the iPhone to move a sound back and forth between my two earbuds. Then I can control the pitch of a guitar chord with a front/back tilt. Then I tap the screen to play drum sounds along with the background music. Different parts of the screen make different drum noises. Fun, but not quite a game yet.


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Sony's E3 Booth in PlayStation Home

Developer: Sony
Publisher: Sony
Release Date: June 15, 2010
System: PS3
ESRB Rating: N/A

In a nutshell: A bold, annoyingly inconvenient new way to watch trailers.

0:00 I tried out PlayStation Home when it first launched over a year ago and found it extremely boring. But I've been feeling a bit sad that I didn't make it out to E3 this year, so when Sony announced at their press conference that they were providing a virtual show floor in PlayStation Home, I figured it was a good excuse to see if the "virtual world" experience has changed significantly since the launch. My expectations are not high.

0:01 Downloading Version 1.36 of the Home software looks like it will take only take a few minutes.

0:02 And we're all downloaded and installed... only to find that "PlayStation Home is closed for essential maintenance." I bet the real E3 booth isn't closed for essential maintenance.

0:03 Online research suggests that Home has been down since 8 a.m. local time so they can load up a new Home Square and a new Playground area. That means it's been down more than three hours now. Guess I'll pause the clock, grab a shower and a bit to eat and check back later.

0:03 1 p.m. local time and Home is still down for maintenance. Good thing I have other work to do.

0:04 I log in once more at 4:06 p.m. local time and get an "Open Beta Agreement" instead of an error message. And we're off!

0:05 Wow, the text is INCREDIBLY tiny on this non-HD CRT screen. I have to squint and lean in just to read a message introducing the E3 area. Apparently I can also gain access to a "VIP room" with "exclusive videos." All right... now I have a goal for the hour. VIP Room or bust!


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Metroid Prime 3: Corruption

Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo
Release Date: Aug. 27, 2007
System: Wii
ESRB Rating: T

In a nutshell: Like The Conduit, but good.

0:00 I liked the first Metroid Prime well enough, right up until the backtrack-filled collection-fest right before the final boss. I guess it left a bad taste in my mouth, because I've skipped the two sequels up to this point. Even when Nintendo sent me the "Trilogy" collection last summer, it kind of got lost in the rush of releases. Still, I'm interested to see how the Wii controls work with the game.

0:01 A camera zooms back through a series of intricately interlocking rings. Is this the barrel of Samus' gun? "Nintendo Presents ...Developed by Retro Studios ... Metroid Prime Trilogy" Familiar Metroid chanting in the background.

0:02 "Nunchuk is required." says the game. "Nunchuk is already plugged in, you stupid game," says me.

0:03 "Lock on/Free Aim" lets me move the targeting reticle around the screen while I'm locked on to an enemy. I'm not sure if this will be useful or annoying yet, but let's try it.

0:04 Do I want A to be the fire button and B the jump button or vice versa? I try to picture it in my head and decide using my thumb for frequent firing will be more comfortable. Also, something called "HUD Lag" defaults to the on position. Why would "lag" ever be a good thing?

0:05 OK, let's get going, at Normal difficulty. The camera pans dramatically around Samus as she fires a celebratory(?) charged shot.


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Motorstorm: Arctic Edge

Developer: Virtuos
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Release Date: Oct. 20, 2009
Systems: PS2 (reviewed), PSP
ESRB Rating: T

In a nutshell: Did we really settle for this kind of blocky, easy racing game 15 years ago?

0:00 The summer of "playing games I was sent months ago and have been putting off trying out" continues today with the PS2 version of the PSP sequel to one of my favorite PS3 racers, played on a PS3 emulating a PS2. Confused yet?

0:01 An extravagant CG cut scene shows a secret tanker hidden by icebergs, with cargo helicopters unloading large shipping containers. "at the edge of the arctic circle... a new challenge ... a passion to combat the extreme drives them onwards in this land of raw glacial power. Only the greatest warriors will reach their peak. A mountain awakens, the stage is set." We follow the helicopters to a brightly lit racetrack being built in the middle of the snowy wilderness. "Welcome to Motorstorm." Quick cuts of cars, trucks, ATVs, bikes, dune buggies and snowmobiles racing around in the dirt and snow. Wow, did PS2 games always look this blocky? This reminds me more of the original PlayStation. Trust me, it doesn't lok as good as those bullshots seem to indicate.

0:03 On the name entry screen, the triangle button is used for "delete" instead of the standard square button. BAD START!

0:04 I can choose from seven nameless drivers, differentiated mainly by their differently colored helmets and flannel. I pick a black and white motif that seems to match with the generic thrash music.


Monday, June 14, 2010

Valhalla Knights: Eldar Saga

Developer: Marvelous Entertainment
Publisher: Xseed Games
Release Date: Sept. 29, 2009
System: Wii
ESRB Rating: T

In a nutshell: More like Eldar SNORE-ga... amirite?

0:00 This game already has one strike against it for the stereotypically bad fantasy misspelling of "Elder" in the title. But it's been sitting on my shelf for over nine months now, so I suppose I have to try it out at some point. My expectations are extremely low, let's put it that way.

0:01 A valley with mountains in the distance. A meteor shower lights the background. "Legends of old tell of a great rain of stars falling to earth. Perhaps it was an omen telling of the calamities later to befall mankind." Red eyes appear in the smoke. An armored knight battles monsters along with a blonde female archer. He unleashes a spin attack as the blonde sends out some freezing magic. An old wizard watches through a handheld wisp of fire. The knight and the blonde look at each other with blank expressions before fighting a gigantic cyclops. The knight slashes at the camera and the title appears. It's so cliche I almost think it might be a parody.

0:05 I can choose from "Episode 1: Fragment of the Almighty" or" Episode 2: Standing at the End." There is no option for "Episode 3: Non-Ridiculous Subtitle," unfortunately.


Friday, June 11, 2010

Pocket God

Developer: Bolt Creative
Publisher: Bolt Creative
Release Date: Jan 9, 2009
System: iPhone OS
ESRB Rating: E

In a nutshell: Like Black & White, but with more cruelty and less things to do.

0:00 I think the free downloadable copy of this game that the publishers provided has been sitting on my iPod for over a year now, just waiting for me to have the inclination to try it out. Over two million people have made it one of the best-selling paid iPhone apps out there, so it's safe to say my expectations are pretty high.

0:01 Little native guys are crushed by huge stone "GOD" letters on the loading screen. "Welcome to the world of Pocket God" says a screen with some bouncy jungle music. "Pocket God is an open world where you are the God with the Pygmies, inhabitants of a tropical island living inside your iPod/iPhone." The game then introduces "Ep. 32: Crack is Whack. ... A new god power to cause a crack in the Earth has been added." Hey, they're all new god powers to me.

0:03 The "island" look like a small stone outcropping with a single pygmy walking back and forth. In the background is an outhouse and a bent palm tree. A pygmy goes fishing all on his own before hooking and being dragged down and eaten by a passing shark. Uh... is that "game over" then?

0:04 Tapping around the screen, I've found I can knock on an unoccupied outhouse door, knock some sticks into the water, make a shark jump out of the water, and make a seagull poop. Are we having fun yet?

0:05 Oh, I can also make the sun set and the moon rise. Fireworks occasionally go off in the sky for no apparent reason.


Thursday, June 10, 2010


Developer: Nicklas Nygren
Publisher: Nicklas Nygren
Release Date: May 24, 2010
System: PC
ESRB Rating: N/A

In a nutshell: The puzzle-based sequel that Super Mario Bros. 2 unfortunately never got.

0:00 I liked the last Nicklas Nygren game I played , Knytt Stories, quite a bit. This one looks a lot like Super Mario Bros. 2 from the trailer, and I couldn't be happier with that turn.

0:01 "Well, um, I'm late to class because..." reads small white text on a black screen. A quick intro. screen reads "TUTORIAL" before my forlorn looking, purple-skinned character drops in. Amazing how sad he looks despite bing rendered in so few pixels -- like a dejected teenager.

0:02 Move with the left and right keys. S to do a nice springy jump. A to pick up/throw boxes and enemies. The down arrow throws a box straight down and gives a little double-jump style boost as well. Note that I'm not including the half hour it took for me to configure my PS3 controller to work with my laptop, but its working beautifully now.

0:03 "You will jump higher if holding a bird." Protip: DO NOT try this in real life. It DOES NOT WORK. Trust me.

0:04 On to Area 1, even though I got none of the coins floating about the tutorial. Cue some beautiful, haunting string music. It tickles my auditory pleasure center almost immediately

0:05 Grabbing a red bird sends me flying up and... off the top of the screen to my death. Oops.


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Touchmaster 3

Developer: Midway Games
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive
Release Date: Oct. 27, 2009
System: Nintendo DS
ESRB Rating: E
Official Web site

In a nutshell: All the fun of the bar, with less beer spilling.

0:00 I remember occasionally playing Midway's Touchmaster bar games at some restaurants in my youth, and even wrote about the similar games it inspired for a 2007 Escapist story. The touch-based controls and simple, time-wasting gameplay seems perfectly suited for the DS. I'm kind of surprised this game has a "3" in it, though, as I've never even heard of the first two.

0:01 Funky, SNES-style MIDI music plays as a simple title appears on the top screen. I start a new file and we're off.

0:02 In the options screen I can turn the music on or off, but I can't control their relative volume of each. This smacks of a rush job already.

0:03 Let's get to the games. There are 17 spread across Card, Strategy, Action, Puzzle and Word categories. Funny, I vaguely remember the box saying there were 40 games.

0:04 Let's start with the first card game, Target Royale. Small white text describes how the game will work: I have to arrange cards as their dealt into three five-card poker hands, making the best hands possible. Clicking a shield icon brings up achievements such as "Dead Man's Hand" (A's and 8's) and "The Big Fish" (scoring zero points in a round).

***-->CONTINUE READING AT<--*** ***-->JOYSTICK DIVISION<-*** ___________________________________________________

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Endless Ocean: Blue World

Developer: Arika
Publisher: Nintendo
Release Date: Feb. 22, 2010
System: Wii
ESRB Rating: E10+

In a nutshell: You got first-person shooter in my ocean exploration game. And I don't like it!

0:00 I'm in the mood for a nice relaxing game this morning, and if this sequel is anything like the first Endless Ocean, I should be nearly comatose momentarily. In a good way.

0:01 A blinding look into the sun, then an abrupt transition to the title in front of palm trees. A female voice warbles melodically as gulls fly over the water. I have trouble making out most of the lyrics over the sound of the water lapping against the shore. Sound balancing FAIL.

0:03 A whale crests below yet more gulls before doing a massive jump out of the water. It's part of a group of four, and one of them spouts a massive gusher as the credits roll. The singer is back with yet another warbly song. The camera pans back to show a large school of whales spread out across the sea.

0:04 "Incredible... I've never seen so many in one place," says a young girl in a yellow and red wetsuit from a small fishing boat. "It's like every whale in the ocean is here," says the gruff, white-bearded captain next to her. "So your intuition was right on," he says, turning to my first-person perspective. A thin black guy who's also on the boat asks if I "really want to dive with all these whales around? It could be dangerous." I answer that "I'm that kind of guy" rather than "that kind of girl."


Monday, June 7, 2010

DiRT 2

Developer: Codemasters
Publisher: Codemasters
Release Date: Sept. 8, 2009
Systems: PS3 (reviewed), Xbox 360, PC
ESRB Rating: T

In a nutshell: What dirtier than being DiRT? ICE COLD!

0:00 I liked the Xbox 360 demo for the first DiRT well enough, but not well enough to buy the game. In fact I had to look up a GfL from three years ago just to confirm that I had in fact played the original game.

0:01 I'm in England for the summer, so I'm playing my PS3 on a standard definition TV for the first time in years. On the plus side, they have widescreen SDTVs here. On the downside, everything still has what I refer to as "PS2 blur" on it.

0:03 "There is not enough free space on the hard disk. The game was forced to quit. At least 3249 MB more free space is needed." Of course.

0:04 Man, why do I still have Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X. install data on here? I haven't played that game in months. Also, why in the world did H.A.W.X. need 4,896 MB from my hard drive in the first place?

0:05 "Installing required game data. Please do not turn off the PLAYSTATION(R)3 system." Hoo boy, I hope the way-too-expensive 300 Watt British voltage converter I got holds out...