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After 12 hours of nonstop playing I give you my review of Heavy Rain. We are 2 months into 2010 and we already have a contender for game of the year 2010, I can tell you right now that you will never have played anything like this in your life this is completely ground breaking. (well maybe Fahrenheit but that never came close to this).You play through Heavy Rain through the eyes of 4 different characters, each with their own story that is well detailed and makes you bond with them. It is the story of Heavy Rain that will completely draw you in, if this was a book it would be a page turner, every chapters end leaves you begging for more and it's no surprise the amount of people who have already finished HR at least once.The graphics are perfect, everything you do and see, the way you move the backgrounds , posters, what's on the TV's and how you interact with characters is so life like.The story starts following the father of two children and everything it makes you do draws you into the game, everything the game does will make you sit up and concentrate, every decision you make has an effect and the way its presented is like real life, you can imagine yourself in that situation and this is why the game is so much more than just your standard video game. This game has emotion.The control system used all the PS3's controls including using the controller's motion sensor which can be used in the middle of fights or just to shake a bottle of juice.There has been a lot of talk about long loading times and system crashes and I think if this happens to you then you are most unfortunate. I only had two issues, once when I walked through a wall and then couldn't see my character, I restarted and then everything was fine and another when the lip sync was out of place.This game has been given a 15 certificate and I plead with any parents buying this for their children to know that they should stick to the guidelines. The game has a very adult film and follows the story of a serial killer. There are moments of nudity and also violence and this isn't the violence you would find in say Call of Duty or Halo but something more real to life, and because of the way the game is made and controlled it makes you feel part of the game.
For me this is a perfect example of video games moving forward, not only is it original but the story line makes you want to see what happens next and also has replay value of more than twice because of the multiple choices you make and from what I hear there are more than 4 endings.I would love to explain more of this game but I really can't because of how much I would give away to the plot and the game play.
Professor Layton And The Curious Village
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Puzzles, I didn't really want this game when it was released but when it sold out on release it raised my eye a little. It's only now that I have managed to get hold of a copy and give it a play. The game is based up of lots of small puzzles, 135 to be exact with a story built in.The story is actually very good and also has little cartoon snippets which are brilliant to watch and looks better then most others I have witnessed on the DS.
The puzzles range from really easy to pretty hard and there were a couple I had to really think about. The game offers you hidden coins as you travel around the village talking to the locals, these hidden coins allow you up to 3 hints on each puzzle.
This game not only has puzzles and a good story but there are side quests, one is to build a gizmo which will help you find coins and hidden puzzles, another is a picture puzzle and another is to collect items for your hotel rooms. Once you complete all these more puzzles will open up for you and these will be difficult.
I have now finished all 135 and this took me 14 hours of game play which for a hand held is more then sufficient. Once you complete the game there will be more stuff for you to play around with, including movie, voice and sound clips, artwork and profiles and something called "the hidden door".
The game really does push your mind and is also very addictive. I look forward until the next one
Dollhouse: The Complete Season 1
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I really did enjoy this series, a weak start which may have put off a few viewers but after Episode 4 things really did heat up. Eliza plays a great part and looks stunning as ever.The Dollhouse is a organisation who use humans and wipe their minds and replace them with the minds of others making the Dolls into whatever the customer needs. With lots of twists and character development this really is one for the fans of Joss Whedon's projects.
Towards the end things really do get interesting and I am glad there is going to be a second series.
Banjo Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts
I was late playing the first banjo on the N64 and had to borrow a family members N64 to play it then had to wait until the release of the Xbox Live download to finish it and I thought it was a fantastic game that has dated well. I have not really played much of Tooie but I believe it to be the same kind of game as the first.
Banjo Nuts and Bolts however is completely different from the previous Banjo games. All what made the first game an all time classic has been completely stripped and remodelled. First of all the whole game is all about vehicles. At first you have limited parts and designs to accomplish anything and this game really does have a slow start. I got fed up with it pretty quickly as I felt the level design was poor and unimaginative and all the challenges felt like I was doing the same thing over and over. There was either a Race on land, water or air, getting to certain points within a time limit and carrying people or items. There were odd ones thrown in here and there but that was pretty much the jist. Each level had 6 entrances which were just to the same area with different challenges. These challenges you could gain Notes, Jiggies and Trophies (4 Trophies make up another Jiggie) depending on how well you did the challenge. Musical notes are also placed around the levels for you to collect and Jingos now offer extra challenges which unlock tokens used at a casino in Showdown Town which is the main area of the game. I actually preferred Showdown Town more then I did doing any of the other tasks. There were crates to find which unlocked extra parts, there were Jingos who were prisoner which you had to free and replace with their evil equivalent.
One thing I will comment the game on is how beautiful everything looks even down to Banjo and Kazooie. All the characters from previous games make an appearance but l just feel they have stepped away from what fans of the original games were expecting and hoping for.
The challenges can me quite challenging at time but once you have found many parts and you are able to build a better vehicle then the ones they provide you can turn a challenging race into a breeze. After awhile I did start to enjoy building vehicles and taking some of the previous challenges back on but I felt this came to late in the game and most people may have given up and put the game down by then.
In conclusion it does get better if you stick with it but on a whole I feel they could have done such a better game if the challenges and level design were better and maybe more of what we loved in the first game.
House Of Flying Daggers
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One of my favourite films and when I got it on Blu Ray I hoped for the best but like some of the others have stated the upscale isn't much better than if you had put your DVD copy into a Blu Ray Player. The only benefit I can see is that everything is on one Disk whereas before I had two disks.
Brilliant film though, just should have got 5/5 from me but sadly as I am rating the High Def version it only gets 4.
The Forbidden Kingdom
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Where to start? At first I was unsure of this film as I like my fighting films to be in their true form with subtext and a little more serious. Once I got it out my head that this film was not going to be like that and I treated it for what it was I enjoyed it a lot more. The Monkey king reminded me of the old Monkey programme back in the day which some of you older customers may remember which is no bad thing. I was unsure in the kid who played a major role, it reminded me of the Karate Kid films in a way where a kid with no fighting skills wants to learn more. I am a big fan of Jet Li so it was great to see him in a film with Jackie Chan, who but play great roles within the film.
As I am reviewing the Blu Ray version I can only described the visuals as fantastic and the best part of watching High Def films. The scenery is absolutely brilliant and really jumps out at you. I have also ordered House of Flying Daggers which I hope also makes a fantastic visual leap to Blu Ray.
All in all, the film is tongue and cheek martial arts film for the family. Not the best film of its kind but good none the less.
SingStar Wireless Microphones for PS3 & PS2 (Sing Star)
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This has to be the only great thing missing from Singstar. When Lips came out for the X360 with wireless mics I bought it thinking it was everything that Singstar was missing but Lips turned out to be disappointing and the mics felt cheap and ran down the battery quickly with its ability to make noises and flash when shaken....Pointless! Anyway back to Singstar, these wireless mics are not only much improved letting you walk around without tripping people up but I feel they have a more solid feel to them. Strange at first as these mics are thicker then the previous wired mics but after a while you will agree that £30 forked out was well spent.
The battery lasts a long time and the sound is just as good as the wired mics, and don't forget to download the voice activated controls from the Singstar store.
SingStar: Pop Edition (Solus) (Sing Star)
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I have not had much chance to play this but I have had the previous games and enjoyed everything about them and that's coming from someone who cant really sing. The new game is pretty much the same as other but with much better tracks, if you are new to singstar you would enjoy a karaoke style gameplay that actually judges your voice on how well you sing unlike Lips which just seems to give you a perfect score for just singing along.For anyone who does not have them I suggest forking out on the wireless mics.
Red Dwarf: Back To Earth - The Director's Cut (2 Disc)
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Big Red Dwarf fan but I was disappointed with the show on Dave, no canned laughter was missed and only a chuckle here and there. I'll still get it though ;)
The Last Remnant
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The Last Remnant is another great RPG from Square-Enix. Instead of going through the story I thought I would just focus on the battle system and some other points of interest.
The battle system works different from previous RPG's and you only have to only ever worry about equipping one character but you get lots!Instead of having a lot of characters and only being able to equip 3-4 of them at a time in this game you have up to about 25 characters which you can change around all the time and play with around 15 of them in separate parties but all onscreen.You can have up to 5 in one group but you must have 1 leader and the rest can be soldiers which you can pick up in some of the towns. Leaders can be bought from Guilds which are dotted around in most of the towns and later on there are special Guilds. As you progress through the story you equip more and more characters and what makes this game different is that every battle is more like a war then facing random enemies.For Example I have 3 teams of 4 and 1 team of 3. I have 2 leaders in teams A and B and one each in the other teams. When you enter a battle you get options for each team rather then any individual characters although some special attacks will only require one of your leaders in that team and when selected you will know that only that character will use it.As you walk along the maps you can see all the enemies on the screen and you can draw them in with a touch of a button. If you draw in an enemy and defeat it your chain will go up so long as you are in the same area and every enemy you defeat you have attacked first. If you don't draw in enemies you could be attacked first, this gives them the advantage and you lose your chain. Chains are good for gaining more money and better items at the end of each battle. You can also run past enemies by slowing down time but this can only be used for a limited period of time.
There are lots of bosses dotted around each level and also there are bigger bosses in the story and side quests.Side quests are great for gaining money, equipment and gaining EXP but the Enemies in the story will also gain EXP as you do so this is unnecessary if you just want to play through the story.
The Towns are not as good as Final Fantasy towns and all shops can be found in the main street. Each town has separate areas you have to visit through a map screen featuring pubs, guilds, shops, a castle or palace and other places of interest or caves.
The map is pretty big and the game is played over two disks but it's the side quests that will clock hours and not so much the story. I have played through doing all the side quests so I can not tell you how quick it would be to just go through the story on its own but it is worth levelling up to obtain better weapons, more money and EXP.
The bosses seem to be easier in the side quests then the ones in the story although I have read that because I levelled up so much the Bosses in the story have also levelled up gaining new and more powerful moves. I have yet to finish this game and currently on the final boss who can kick my ass with one super move which destroys all my characters. You will find that there is a lot of randomness in this game and that is what brings my score down on this game. Sometimes you ask the game to heal your characters and they will attack first then heal or you will ask them to bring your characters back to life but you can't tell them which ones to bring back so they might bring it back instead of your own team and the same goes for healing and this can cost you time and cant be avoided. All in all though the graphics are stunning, the story is above average and the gameplay when it works in your favour well