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Product Reviews

26 (77% helpful)

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  1.  Criterion Games produce a great racer


    Most Wanted plays out in a fairly large open world map. You can explore the city, industrial areas and highways that wind through mountains. As well as the main road system there are numerous off road areas such as building sites and an old airfield hidden up in the hills for you to explore. Hidden areas and short cuts are usually marked by breakable security barriers, getting to know them can increase your chances of a win during races. There are 150 odd breakable billboards scattered around the map, you usually need to jump through these to break them and once broken your jump distance is recorded and if you jumped further than any of your online friends your avatar will appear on the billboard.

    There are numerous cars to add to your collection, all you have to do is find them. There are jack spots hidden around the map, once found you can change car by setting your navigation to direct you to the car of your choice or you can simple jump straight to the new car.

    If any of the above reminds you of Burnout Paradise then you should know how this games works. Race events can be circuit races, point to point, speed runs (where you have to clock up a set average speed) or the dreaded ambush where you have to out run and lose the police.

    The way the police chase you in this game can be very frustrating if you have one of the slower cars. They will chase you down, ram you and should they lose sight of you they will start to search so you either need to find a good place to hide, repaint your car or swap cars to fool them. Problem is, they are very good at finding you. They wont stick to the roads. At first you might find this annoying but stick with it and youll learn the tricks and good hiding spots.

    Each car has 5 races assigned to it, complete each one to gain upgrades to your car. Boost, tyre types, aero packs and long or short gearing for better top speed or acceleration. Its basic stuff but do you really want Gran Turismo style options in an arcade racer? Each upgrade has pro version that increases it performance, pro track tyres are extra grippy etc.

    The idea of the offline mode is to gain speed points, once you have enough you can challenge one of the 10 most wanted drivers to a race, beat them in the race and you then get the chance to take their car by taking them down. Get all 10 and you are done, almost. You can still go on to find all the cars and smash everything that can be smashed. You can also take on your friends in offline races as their best times are recorded and appear at the start of each race.

    Online play has you racing and completing challenges, very much like Burnout Paradise.

    Graphics are excellent, lens flare and water spray can limit your view at times. The soundtrack is suitably energetic and eggs you on faster and faster.

    I have spotted a few glitches here and there. On a couple of occasions the system has failed to stream the world data from the disc fast enough and I have run out of road, instead I saw a grey nothingness but after a brief pause the world appears and the game carries on. I also found a building that seems to be incomplete, through which the underside of the map can be seen.

    Its a great game with just a few minus points. Not quite Burnout Paradise 2 but not far off.

  2.  Nice piece of Portal Merchandise


    As soon as I had ordered this I had 2nd thoughts but now that I have it I am glad I didn't cancel.

    First off, these things are NOT 30" long, its more like 20". The box is about 30" long.

    Its not a toy, it feels like it would break in the wrong hands, there are certainly weak points around the the pipes and the (for want of a better word) prongs on the front.

    It will take up a fair bit of space if you decide to put it on show and you would need the official stand to make it look its best.

    There is another version out soon that has blue stripes, so take your pick on colours.

  3. SSX



    8 New from  £11.84  Free delivery

    Available  used  from  £6.93

     What have they done to SSX!


    Im a big fan of the previous SSX games. SSX3 was the best on the PS2 for me.

    SSX on the PS3 looks and sounds the part. I wont repeat the positives that other reviews have given it but I will chime in with a few negatives.

    1. Some of the runs in this game are little tight and chock full of obstacles to the point where all you can do is watch your player bounce down the slope. The whole survive it focus of the game doesnt really work. Breakneck speeds and no room to move dont mix.

    2. No respawn. If you fall down a crack in the run thats it, restart the whole race unless you use a rewind. Rewinds can be limited in their number but take ages to use and other racers just keep on going. If you need to use more than 2 you really ought to restart the run.

    3. The deadly descent runs require you to keep an eye on something like your oxygen level, your temperature or using a wing suit. These interupt the flow of the game and quickly become annoying.

    I think that in their attempt to bring SSX back the developers have thrown too much at it, its almost a sporting RPG as you have to buy and equip certain bits of kit just to be able to survive a run. SSX Tricky and SSX3 were more fun and the only annoyance was to be found in your choice of route down the mountain.

    This seems like a step backwards for the series but thats not to say that there isnt some classic SSX like fun to be had on some of the runs.

  4.  2 Great Games


    I bought this on the spur of the moment without any idea on what to expect.

    This game is a sequel to an 11 year old game, one that I vaguely remember but hadnt played. You get a downloadable copy of that game with this by way of a code you enter into the voucher redeem function of the PS3. I played the old game first so here are my thoughts and comments on that.

    For an 11 year old game it looks pretty good, its built on the Quake 3 Arena engine and while the locations are quite blocky the abstract nature or the artwork manages to hide this for the most part. The game is rendered in HD so dont expect PS1 standard resolution, the conversion to 16:9 seems to lop off the top and bottom of the picture during cut scenes. Sound is good, only the sound Alice makes when she jumps could annoy after a while. Voice acting is good throughout. There are are fair few challenges but its all pretty straight forward and clear as to what you have to do. The swimming sections are the most annoying, underwater enemies are hard to target. You can save whenever you like which makes progress easier as you can save after every tricky moment. You should expect to finish in 8 to 10 hours. Trophies are unlocked through progress only so by the time you are done you will have them all. This is a great bonus and its worth playing first, not only do you get the backstory but you will be able to see just how far graphics have come in those 11 years.

    Now on to Alice: Madness Returns. The game begins with Alice in the real world of London as she talks to a doctor about her mental state. A short trip through the streets has Alice fall back into Wonderland. This time Wonderland looks green and lush, populated by suitable strange creatures and objects. As you progress though the opening level things starts to fall apart and there is a gradual return to the dark twisted Wonderland seen in the first game. The graphics are great, direct from the imagination. Alices animation is greatly improved with smooth movement and flowing hair. Controls are similar but there are subtle differences, you can enter a 1st person view and shoot as you might in any 1st person shooter. Alice can no longer hang from or pull herself up onto platforms but she can now double jump and float across large gaps. Alice can alter her size at will to gain access to small keyholes which in turn give you access to some form of reward, shrinking also enables you to see hidden messages and other secrets You can no longer save at will so its worth making a decent amount of progress to the next auto save point. Worth noting that the content of Madness Returns is more adult and not really child friendly with disturbing images and some strong language.

    I really enjoy these games and the worlds they create and would recommend them.

  5.  As good as expected but no nice surprises


    If you have played any of the previous games from the series then you know what to expect. Its a sim rather than an arcade racer, though there is an arcade mode which shifts the focus to fun and away from realism.

    For the most part it looks great. Cars are packed with detail and look great in 1080p, though I suspect the game doesnt actually render at 1080p resolution and then upscales because there are some noticeable jaggies here and there. The tracks are varied and detailed with the odd exception. The Top Gear test track has buildings that look like cardboard boxes and a 13 mile stretch of Japans motorway is incredibly dull. Another point is that the cars sometimes appear to float on the track rather than interact directly with it, might just be a lighting issue. The shadows can jump about too, as though the system cant quite decide where they are supposed to be.

    Sound is pretty good. There is the usual mix of tunes to drive to and the terrible lift style menu music is back. Im not sure how much effort was put into making the cars sound like their real life counterparts, I drive an RX8 and the in game version sounds like no RX8 I have ever heard, its way to deep for a rotary engined car.

    Lots of menus to trawl through but these are required due to there being so many different types of races to take part in.

    Oddly, even when playing the offline games the game will still try to communicate with the servers to upload and share stats and info on your progress. Online issues at launch now seem to have been sorted and some new features such as the ability to tweak the amount of damage cars can take during online play.

    Something to note is that the final tier of races in the game is for Endurance Races which at their extreme take a full 24 hours to complete, without the ability to save mid race ( maybe in the pits ) you will need to either complete the race in one sitting or leave the console on for a few days while you complete it. Something for the hardcore gamers only and something that could prevent the vast majority of players from completing the game.

    Overall, its just the game that it was expected to be. It could be better but the more you play it, the more you will be dragged into it.

  6.  A great game with a great story.


    This games strongest points are its characters, its animation and its story but thats not to say that the gameplay is poor, because it isnt.

    The game plays like a cross between Prince of Persia and Uncharted with jumping, swinging platform sections between combat that has you use the available cover to get into a position to use your fighting abilities. There are also a few sections that have Monkey ( the lead character ) hop onto his Cloud which is basically a hoverboard, during these sections you can explore areas covered in water or chase after fast enemies to rescue your companion Trip.

    Graphics are excellent, the odd frame rate issue crops up from time to time though I suspect this is due to the system loading up data for the next area in the background. Other glitches include slow loading textures on objects and some odd blurring effects when panning the camera quickly. On the whole though, the environments are stunning. Cut scenes deserve lots of praise, the characters facial movements are subtle and convincing.

    Controls are fairly simple but manage to cover a wide range of moves. From time to time, reactions can see a bit slow.

    The story will draw you in and push you to have a go at one more chapter, of which there are 14. None of the chapters are that long, so you feel like you are making good progress and you will never feel stuck thanks to your objective being clearly marked.

    There is already one DLC pack available which gives Pigsy his own adventure.

    I really hope there is a sequel, I want to know where the story goes next.

  7.  The Prodigy take a step backwards but thats not a bad thing


    After their past few albums I was really looking forward to something new from The Prodigy but it seems that they were looking backwards.

    Initially, I didnt like this album but now it is one of my most played of recent purchases. Seems like the band have looked back at what makes them great. There's nothing experimental about these tracks, its just pure Prodigy doing what they do best.

  8.  Great Value and 3 Great Games


    Having missed these on their first release on PS2 and having just played The Forgotten Sands this seemed like a good purchase.

    Basically, you get the exact same games as they were on the PS2 but tweaked to run on the PS3 and rendered in HD resolution. The 3D models havent changed in complexity but due to the higher resolution they look pretty good. Character animation is smooth with the Price boasting 750 different animations that allow the various moves to be linked together flawlessly.

    The main bulk of the 3 games action is derived from swinging, leaping and running through the various levels, this is broken up by the odd piece of sword play.

    The first game in the trilogy, The Sands of Time, has a fairly light tone with an engaging story. Objectives are clear and progression is linear. The fights are fairly sparse with a few being heavier than the others and these usually involve 20+ spawning enemies. From time to time you have to keep an eye on your companions health and this can be annoying as she tends to stand still while being attacked. 8 to 10 hours worth of play in this game.

    Game 2, The Warrior Within is much darker in tone and ditches the sandy look of the first for a huge stone castle. The Prince is also darker, now seemily more keen to fight. The music has more punch. Overall though, the darker tone doesnt seem to draw you in so much. Combat is much more involved than before with the addition of combos and secondary weapons, there also seem to be more fights than before. Chase sequences now feature with the Prince forced to perform strings of moves without fault in order to escape. You will also find yourself revisiting areas of the map, partly due to the locations of various objectives and the new time travel function which allows the Prince to travel back to a time when the castle was in a much better state of repair, this alters paths around rooms. This game is also much longer than the first, expect 18 to 22 hours worth of play out of this one.

    The last in the trilogy, The Two Thrones, combines elements from the previous games. The light hearted Prince from the first game returns along side his darker alter ego, though both share the darker Prices combat skills. A clever plot explains the differences between the 2 versions of the Prince. Graphically, things still look good but there dont seem to be many improvements from the previous game in the series. The game should take roughly the same time as the previous game to complete.

    Most frustrating element about all the games is the camera, from time to time it will seem to work against you but you can easily reposition it. This game features multiple cameras to assist you. The standard 3rd person view that follows you along. A 1st person view so you can look out of the Princes eyes though only while standing still. The last is an environmental view that zooms as high and as far away as possible to give you a better idea of the area you are in, you can still move around in this view, you can also control a zoom to move in closer to the Prince. All are handy when you get stuck.

    A bit more polish could have been applied to improve the games menu systems and cut scenes as some of these look very low res but dont let that put you off.

    This disc is excellent value for money and shows that the PS2 had some excellent quality games that can still hold their own. In fact the recent PS3 title in the series, The Forgotten Sands, feels very much like the PS2 game The Sands of Time just with more polygons thrown at it.

  9.  Sorry but its just no fun


    Never have I wanted to throw my controller through the screen more than when playing this game. I say playing but what I really mean is endure. I have given this game about a weeks worth of play after initially thinking that it was pretty good but the more you play the more its problems show themselves.

    Positive. It looks good, not great, some elements let it down. The shadows cant stay still, some tracks look rushed.

    Negative. Online racing has been poorly thought through, no invite a friend option!! Unless you wrote the game and know every little curve or bump you will have no chance of getting golds in all the races/trials. I seriously doubt that anyone would be bothered to repeat the same race 20 plus times to shave seemingly impossible seconds off their times.

    If you must buy this game get the standard version or wait for it to be on special discount.

    This game makes me angry unlike any other game before it. There is no fun involved whatsoever.

    A real shame as this could have been something very special.

  10.  Good fun but something is not quite right.


    Just finished playing the album and it put a smile on my face. A few tracks jump out as being way better than the rest and oddly "Album Track" gave me the biggest smile.

    My only criticism is the way the album sounds, they have obviously been and re-recorded the songs but in doing so they lost something. Maybe because they couldn't use the original artists music, I dont know. If you think about a live orchestra trying to replicate music that was put together in a studio you might understand me.

    Having said that, its still worth a play and you will enjoy it. You will also never be able to get the lyrics out of your mind when you hear the original tunes again.