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Company Of Heroes: Anthology
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Just when the market for innovative RTS (Real time strategy) games was getting stagnant along comes these gems all bundled into one box at a great price!
Unlike the C&C series, you have to control sectors and resources such as fuel and ammunition, because of this tactics plays a much larger role and its not simply a case of sending everyone charging into battle. The AI in the games is great, with enemy units who come under fire diving for cover behind walls etc.
However, graphics (providing your computer can handle them) are jaw droppingly gorgeous, especially with some of the dynamic weather effects. The battlefield looks even better as a barrage of explosions rips through the enemy ranks spraying dirt, shrapnel and limbs up into the air!
Whilst the graphics have certainly managed to capture the dirty and gritty feel of war, the music and sound to the games really heightens the whole experience, with breathtaking classical tracks providing a soundtrack to a war in which your soldiers shout verbal abuse at the enemy!
Overall, if you are after a good looking world war 2 RTS game but which isn't just all gloss, but has some pretty decent AI/tactics etc going on then pick this up. With all games in this pack you don't have an excuse!
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Plot wise not a lot happens that hasn't already been stated in the synopsis. The film starts good but never really seemed to go anywhere. Perhaps the lack of plot was on purpose so that it's up to the viewer on how to interpret the film, however I don't feel this worked, and if anything it just left me disappointed.
It's not all bad though, the cinematography is amazing and is truly haunting in places, at times I even felt I was watching some of the jungle scenes from Apocalpyse Now. However, it's just a shame there wasn't much of a story to back it up.
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Whilst zombies, serial killers and gateways to hell are all very amusing, reality isn't something you usually associate with them, and hence a lot of the time the horror element is somewhat lacking.
Eden Lake however is set firmly in the realms of reality! With youth gang culture and knife crime dominating the headlines the past couple of years, this film highlights one very believable possibility which is truely horrific.
It doesn't take long for the film to take on a sinister edge, and when it does it happens very quickly and shockingly. A lot of what is shown is deeply uncomfortable, yet the worst scene is not even shown but just heard.
Whilst the plot has borrowed heavily from many other films such as French film "Ils", the director still succeeds on making it a Brit horror classic to sit alongside other greats such as "The Descent".
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Fallout 1 & 2 were classic RPG games, and despite the violence, humour and gameplay, were always held back by their dated isometric graphics. With Fallout 3 this is certainly not a problem, as it's now fully 3D and looking stunning with a giant apocalyptic world where you're free to roam around and do whatever you please.
Those after a straightforward FPS will probably be disappointed, but for those looking to explore and shape the world through their actions (whether positive or negative) there is much fun to be had here!
While the main quest of the game is fun, it's just as exciting to branch off and find new towns which the main quest doesn't even touch upon. Here you can complete seperate side quests and further your reputation for either good or evil.
The violence and carnage are still present, with limbs and eyeballs flying everywhere, and the typical dark humour still surrounds the game. With a wasteland home to copious amounts of drugs, prostitutes and slavers this certainly isn't a game for the kids!
Gifts & Gadgets
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As a secret Santa gift among friends in the office (who have a sense of humour) this is a must buy. The politically correct crowd will hate it, but for those who don't care and have drunk way too much alcohol at the Christmas party it will provide minutes (possibly a whole hour) of non-stop laughs!
Also, what's not clear from the description is not only does it flash up with the sexuality, it also has a ridiculously camp voice which reports back on it's findings (e.g. Oh my god, they're like so totally gay!).
Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3
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When I heard they were making a sequel to Red Alert 2 I could hardly wait, and from the early pictures and trailers it looked promising.
However, having now played it for a few days it all seems to be purely graphics based and lacks any real depth. Whilst the explosions and landscapes look nice, the vehicles all look very similar and the buildings look like they were thrown together last minute, clearly 3D does not mean better!
As for gameplay it's somewhat lacking. The missions are dull and repetitive and at times I was wishing I could just speed the game up to get it over and done with quicker.
The franchise is dead, and right now they're just flogging a dead horse for as much financial gain as possible. They need to breathe more life into the RTS genre like Company of Heroes has done!
Also, what's the deal with the DRM protection? You can only install the game three times then it's useles?! I paid for the game, not rent it.
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I'm not sure why this film never got more publicity, as it's a very amusing comedy! Set in 1950's suburbia America, everything looks perfect and very picturesque - with the exception of the domesticated zombies helping out around the house.
The humour is at times quite dark which is expected (e.g. school children singing 'In the brain and not the chest. Head shots are the very best.'). However the tone of the film is never too dark, as it seamlessly blends in the tale of a boy and his zombie, a dysfunctional family, and love and affection between humans and zombies.
Definitively worth a watch, but those after masses of gore and severed limbs will be disappointed. Those who love Tim Burton films however will no doubt appreciate the mix of humour and interesting character relationships!
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I heard this French horror film compared to the likes of À l'intérieur (Inside) which also came out in the same year, and being a fan of the latter, I decided to give this a try and had high hopes.
It starts well against a backdrop of riots in Paris and the rise of a right-wing presidential candidate, however it quickly loses its seriousness as soon as everyone arrives at the hostel.
From here onwards it quickly becomes very tongue-in-cheek with over-the-top characters, and at one point the family dinner resembles something from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (the one with Dennis Hopkins, not the remake). As the violence escalates and intensifies it becomes more and more surreal with implied paedophilia (leading to deformed babies) and incest between family members.
Whilst it was enjoyable to watch I found myself having to adjust my expectations. I quickly realised I wasn't going to witness a dark gritty horror film with characters with depth but something which instead went straight for the throat in terms of brutality and doesn't care how outrageous it may come across to the viewer.
I'm not saying don't watch it - definately do as it's hugely entertaining - just don't expect as much depth/plot as other foreign horror films such as Switchblade Romance or Inside.
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...and i'm not even at school anymore, i'm now 25 but love this film just as much as I ever did. Everything about this film is ridiculous, from the plot, to the character names (Captain Orgazmo, Choda Boy etc) and the "Orgasmatron".
If you like toilet humour then there is plenty here and in parts it can also be very educational (e.g. explaining DVDA, where Trey Parker and Matt Stone take their band name from).
This is one of those films you'll be forever quoting, whether it's singing along to "Now you're a man" by the aforementioned band DVDA, or instead repeating lines of comedy genius from Dave the lighting guy (who despite protests of being straight takes a liking to Orgazmo).
The only reason it didn't get the full five stars as I feel it didn't quite live up to their other films (e.g. Team America and BASEketball), but still a film collection isn't complete without this!
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...those were my closing words when the credits started rolling. Don't get me wrong, this film was entertaining but it was barely over an hour long and ended so abruptly without explaining anything.
It started off very promising (especially having heard the hype over the viral marketing campaign months beforehand), and when the action first started it was very reminiscent of scenes from 9/11 - buildings falling, dusting blowing down the streets, mass panic and confusion etc.
However, as soon as the initial awe subsided there is very little plot. The lame rescue attempt plot seemed ridiculous when everyone else around the main cast had the right idea and was running in the opposite direction. As for the cast, they were generally ok, but the camera guy was non-stop cracking jokes and soon had me wishing he'd die a horrible death.
So, for an hour it was entertaining, but personally I felt it lacked any real substance and failed to deliver. I hear they are now thinking of a sequel so fingers crossed they'll pad it out a bit more!