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Product Reviews

Top 100 Books Reviewer
93 (75% helpful)

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  1.  Fantastic


    Just a quick note: Both of these films are in Blu-ray format. The reason that Play.com don't mention Region encoding is that they don't need to. There are only two Blu-ray regions. This copy of Tron/Tron:Legacy will work on all PS3s/Blu-ray player in Europe or America.

    And on another note: This is an excellent set. The original TRON completely captivated me when I was a kid and still does to this day. It was an excellent example of what could be done with the technology of the day, and the sequel is no different. On its own, it's not the *best* film in the world, but you don't take that to heart. Playing both together you can see the vast evolution of 3D technology from the two times, and it displays itself perfectly when you consider the natural evolution of technology actually within the canon of TRON. The story in Legacy is reasonably weak, but I didn't even notice [mainly because of Qorra] but it is definitely worth a watch (after having seen the original).

    Brilliant deal and one of the most influential sci-fi/nerd films of the late century. Worth a watch.

  2.  Did to FPS games as Burnout did to racing games...


    BATTLEFIELD: Bad Company is one of those fresh games, with a real sense of achievement that most current games wholeheartedly lack. Unlike other First-Person Shooter games, BF:BC tries as much as possible to be something totally unique, and different, trying to reach a wider demographic of gamer. Most common FPS games are targeted at the hardcore gamer; someone liable to take the game very seriously.

    The core gameplay is pretty generic to most FPS games. The ideal of most missions is to get from Point A to Point B without dying while completing a certain task given to you by 'Miss July'. Each mission is split into different checkpoints, allowing you to stop for breaks frequently, and also showing that each mission isn't always linear, as it entails you backtracking, or even changing your plans completely.

    You're pitted in with three other AI characters that will accompany you on all-but-one missions, giving you that much needed back-up, as well as entertainment (particularly from Haggard). I feel that these characters fill the entertainment box more than anything else, as they really add depth to the storyline, due to their very different, and strong personae in-game and in the cut-scenes. Haggard (the hick that likes to blow things up) is probably the one that brings most to the table (as he ends up altering the original plans of the company).

    Graphically, the gameplay is on-par with other current Playstation 3 games. Like SOCOM, they've donned a slightly grainy effect to the surrounding cinematics, but it works quite well. Attention to detail on the weapons is extensive (but perhaps a little less than other games - hardly noticeable). The sound engine in the game also works especially well with this type of game, utilising hearing perception, allowing the user to prioritise on what they hear.

    Online has great potential, with an already expansive fan-base of players (on both the PS3 and 360). It is also accompanied by a very good points-based ranking system as well as in-game 'trophies' (not to be mixed up with PS3's Trophy system) which give you that extra incentive to play in certain ways. Each rank also allows for an unlock of particular weapons and items, expanding your already quite large arsenal of weapons online. The main downside currently (04/09/2008) is that there are only two game modes. There is already a good collection of very variant maps, but the lack of more game modes (deathmatch and team deathmatch especially) somewhat muffle the hype given by EA about online. However, Gold Rush, as well as Conquest add a team-based common goal aspect to online, which allows players to really rely on each other to win. And even in a game like this, teamwork is paramount (plus those extra Avenger points don't go a miss either!).

    And finally, onto what a lot of people whine about... Call Of Duty 4. I'd like to make clear that this game is in no way trying to be like CoD4. It is unique. A black comedy on the warzone FPS genre. It makes light on the usually darker and more serious overtones of games like this. People trying to compare BF:BC to CoD4 will have as much luck comparing Gran Tourismo 5 to Burnout Paradise. They were never meant to be compared! They're two separate entities, entertaining to two different gaming demographics, and I firmly believe that the team at DICE have surpassed themselves with something not only fresh, but also fun and enjoyable (especially with the coveted Frostbite engine, allowing the complete destruction of almost anything on the map).

    Don't knock this game until you've tried it. It may not be for you, but comparing it to CoD4 is pointless. Don't try throwing your toys out of the pram, lighten up, and enjoy the show!


  3.  Probably the best gaming monitor out there...


    This monitor is possibly the best priced monitor on the market for what you're getting. 22" of solid gold (figuratively speaking). I had toyed with the idea of buying this for my PS3 and caved in this week. Even after eagerly awaiting and then ripping off the packaging, I certainly wasn't disappointed.

    It has a very bright LCD screen (with slight leakage at the top and bottom of the screen, but is barely noticable when watching videos or simply on your computer) which gives an excellent crisp display of anything you wish it to show. Any backlighting in the room doesn't affect the screen's performance at all, as it absorbs the lighting well enough to keep a clear picture (if you've ever had a screen in the sun - this should be a little better).

    What I like is the manual option to switch between HDMI and VGA inputs. This means that you can have your PC as well as your PS3/XBox360 plugged in at the same time. This option is an absolute godsend. The PlayStation's display couldn't be more crisp (as it defaults its resolution at 1080i although I recommend lowering it to 720p).

    The speakers, despite only being 2 Watt, aren't actually as bad as other built in monitor speakers. I have been more than happy to use those (while I wait to buy a Hi-Fi) on my PS3 as well as PC. The monitor also has built-in volume control, as well as standard picture control (colours, brightness etc).

    All in all, if you have a PS3/XBox360, and you don't want to dish out £500 for a big HD TV, this is probably the best substitute on the market. At 22" widescreen, it's perfect for bedrooms, or small gaming rooms.

    I highly recommend this product.


  4.  It really does make all the difference.


    Right, anyone that is staring at this product and thinking "Hmmm, does this actually work? Is it worth the money? And is there a noticeable difference to RGB?". I can tell you right now, the answer to all three questions is yes.

    When I got my PS3, I noticed right away that RGB simple wasn't going to cut it. The graphics were jittery and fuzzy, and I could barely see the text on PSN. I own a 24" widescreen LCD tv.

    The Official S-Video cable splits the Video into two things; luminance and colour. This generates a more crisp picture along with better colours.

    If you wish to create a better picture on your standard Tv, and you don't own an HD TV, I highly recommend this cable (assuming you have an S-Video port on the back of your TV).

    Top notch.


  5.  Certainly a step up from Hold Your Colour


    After having listened through the album a few times now, I am very impressed with the direction Pendulum have gone. After deciding to come up with some very original sounds, and a decently lengthened album, ten tracks does manage to keep your interest throughout, without feeling too short, or under-done.

    Anyone that has heard 'Granite' and/or 'Propane Nightmares' isn't in for a shock when it comes to the other tracks. Each track, while having a little individuality, keeps consistent with the mild drum and bass style of the album.

    They've gone with more vocals (excepting a few of the tracks), and I feel that they've captured the essense of a unique, and interesting style that I feel should be kept with them for later albums.

    I am always scared when it comes to the infamous 'second album' because I fear that a lot of bands out there try to hard to grasp that massive audience they got with their first album, and totally milk it. Pendulum, however, managed to hold back, and create some marvellous drum and bass that anyone could listen to and enjoy.

    Kudos Pendulum, you've made an excellent individual album, without the need to collaborate with other known artists. In Silico will certainly propel you further into the mainstream and into greater popularity.

    Anyone who was originally a fan of Pendulum will most certainly enjoy this album. Don't expect something hardcore, because it isn't, but it IS certainly some excellent music.


  6.  Ever improving...


    In a sea of generic, and un-unique indie bands, the Editors manage to once again break the mould with their second album 'An End Has A Start'.

    Compared to their debut 'The Back Room', it is clear that the band has progressed positively within the last two years of little to no news as to the prospects of a new album, but the silence was worth it!

    With an excellent opening track, and their single 'Smokers Outside The Hospital Doors', you are instantly thrusted into that sense of deep thought and happiness that the Editors were infamous for. Each song maintains quality that you would want to expect from any band. Compared to the other indie bands around today, the Editors really stand out from the rest, with the use of more keyboard, and bass notes, rather than making sole use of the guitar.

    If you haven't heard their album 'The Back Room', 'An End Has A Start' will certainly impress and entertain you. It is clearly their best album out of the two, but it still goes without saying that their debut was a masterpiece in its own right. I highly recommend this album to any indie lovers, hell, any music lovers out there!

  7.  Brilliant...


    Derren Brown manages to rouse the audience in again with this very light-hearted approach to mind altering, and tricking. Almost written like an autobiography, Tricks Of The Mind really delves into Brown's upbringing and what persuaded him to become an illusionist (coupled with hypnotist, and magician). It's full of crazy, and funny anecdotes of his childhood, and explains just how wrong a trick can go if you're not careful.

    The book is packed with guides on how to hypnotise people, play tricks with their minds, and generally, how to amaze them at a party, when you're entertaining. He'll go through with you carefully, actually telling you what you're going to experience, as well as seemingly doing it at the same time. You'll almost feel like you're in the room with him as he's written it as more of a conversation with the reader than anything else.

    You'll learn different styles of mind manipulation, as well as where they originated, and how he integrates them into his shows. He'll explain in full detail just how he does what he does, and he's not shy to explain what happens when it goes bad. If you're a fan of Derren Brown, this book is definately something for you. It's packed with lots of interesting facts and information and is an excellent read to sit down to on a nice warm day, and relax to. It's split into nicely separated chapters, allowing you to stop every now and again when you reach another concept in the book.

  8.  An improvement to Liberty City Stories...


    Since the release of San Andreas, it was undoubtedly going to be hard to top, especially with the longest GTA storyline, and some expansive characters. When Liberty City Stories came out, it integrated excellent graphics for the PSP, yet a short story. Vice City Stories is most certainly an improvement yet.

    Vice City Stories (VCS) is a refreshing return to Vice City (after playing the previous PS2 game), and the PSP doesn't let you down, with the full VC map there, and extra detail where you wouldn't have expected. All of the original vehicles are there, with the addition of some more cars, helicopters, and motorbikes, making transport around VC a lot more fun.

    Cut scenes and character animation are an improvement to ALL GTA games, with, for once, individual fingers! It's been noticed in previous games that the characters lack actual fingers on their hands. While this is a minor upgrade, it certainly suits. Facial expressions need some work, and are on par to previous games.

    The story is longer than that of Liberty City Stories (LCS), which amounted to around 11 hours (with just the story), as VCS plays for much longer than 14 hours, a play time currently unheard of from a PSP action/adventure game. Definitely something to look at. Missions are the same as the other GTA games, with simple 'kill this man' to 'take over this property', with the odd exception to one of Rockstar's niche missions where something completely random and unheard of in a GTA game happens (always delighting the unsuspecting gamer).

    Alike to San Andreas, VCS integrates an 'Empire' objective to the game. This includes taking over certain businesses dotted around VC, via causing gang wars (and winning) with other rivalling gangs. The empire allows you to generate a much needed income, fuelling your weapon and bribe budget. Ever get tired of losing weapons when you get busted or wasted? Well, in VCS, you can now buy them back! Yes, that's right. A whole new way to bribe people. When you die, or get busted, you'll notice an icon near the hospital/station asking for $2000 in order to buy all of your weapons back. Most certainly an offer worth investing into.

    However, setting aside the niceties, there is going to be one problem with the game, and in this case, it's the map. Streaming can cause serious map lag. You'll drive to an area of a map so fast that you skip the area rendering, causing a complete lack in detail. Stopping often leads to the loading catching up. This can get seriously irritating.

    So, the game's worth getting for the PSP, but like most other GTA games, it will get boring reasonably fast unless you're a die hard fan of the series. For the time, it's fun and there's plenty to do, prolonging play time.


    New types of missions available, including mini games.
    New drivable vehicles.
    Extra detail on characters and maps (including car chrome).


    Map lagging gets annoying, and occurs often.
    Can get boring reasonably fast. Really only something to play for a short amount of time.


  9.  It most certainly IS a scene, my friends...


    Looking back on Fall Out Boy's albums, I believe that they have finally learnt that long song titles don't look amazingly cool, and clichéd song lyrics don't improve the quality of the band. I would have expected, with their fourth album, they would have taken those negative points, and used the current generation's love of music, and used it to their advantage. Personally, I feel they only did so much. Unfortunately, they managed to create a few long winded titles that are more of a mouthful than their lyrics, but I won't hold that against them.

    Infinity On High produces a greater variety of music compared to their previous albums, and there's no doubt that their talent has most certainly improved. The vocals are much clearer, and for once, he doesn't sound like a 15 year-old. The band has managed to integrate more chords into their songs, making them more interesting to listen to, compared to their older albums where it seemed I was listening to nothing but the chorus, which never impresses.

    If I were to say one thing about the band, i'd say they've tried incredibly hard to try and impress their existing fans, as well as possible newcomers. Their style has undoubtedly changed, and personally, I'd say it was better. I'll leave that decision down to your own personal preference. Hopefully, should they release a later album, we'll see all of the similarities that Fall Out Boy has with similar bands go (admittedly, the voice is somewhat different to anything I've heard before, making the band very individual, and noticeable - I was, of course, talking about the music - it's amazing how much his voice in this album contributes to the songs).

    Overall, the songs are very catchy. They'll be something to sing along to, and they will undoubtedly be stuck in your head for times to come. Definately something to put on repeat, but that doesn't stop the fact they could have done better. So much talent, almost wasted. I really wish they hadn't applied themselves to the 'scene' scene that is circulating the UK right now, but that can't be helped, they're incredibly popular around that, and they use it to their advantage. Kudos to them.

    Infinity On High is most definately one of their greatest achievements.

  10. GUN



    2 New from  £22.95  Free delivery

    Available  used  from  £0.98

     A story good enough to be a hit film...


    In a word, GUN is astounding.

    Mix action-adventure and RPG, with a movie, and you've got GUN, an awesome western thriller of a game that should have been in the box office. Despite the 18 (BBFC) age rating, GUN brings all of the classic western themes back and makes it popular again. Like some people say, it's a Western version of Grand Theft Auto, but they'd be only half right. It has different elements in it, making it stand out from GTA, and other action-adventure games.

    Starting with the most obvious, the story is just amazing. It feels like you're actually part of a movie, rather than a game (i'll let you decide on whether or not that's a good or bad thing, based on your own opinion), and for the 4-6 hours you'll play it, you'll be transfixed on what will happen next. GUN is certainly a game you'll never want to put down once you've started playing.

    Graphically, GUN takes the PS2 to levels you'd really only expect from Final Fantasy, as it really does its best to give you the clearest graphics (although not perfect, good compared to other PS2 games of the time). Character animation is spot on, although clothing could have been worked on more, despite being excellently detailed. Facial expressions aren't perfect, but they're not static, making the expressions believable when something happens in the game to provoke a reaction. Voice acting is, again, spot on. With voices from Tom Jane, and Kris Kristofferson, you know you're in for a treat, as the scripting is spot on to something you would expect from a western movie (without the obvious blandness that some movies have churned out in the past). They tell you how it is, with that added ruggedness you'd expect from the never forgiving west, and the character persona's are perfectly portrayed.

    The map isn't amazingly huge, but it's big enough for you to wonder around, finding hidden items and whatnot. You'd better watch out while travelling though, as bandits often try to kill you (which I thought was an excellent feature, so true to the time), so you'd better keep a gun handy at all times. Little side missions such as ranching, hunting, and bounty killing all keep the game fun, adding that little extra to the short story.

    If you're a Western fan, and you own a PS2 (or 360), this game is an excellent buy. I was most certainly not disappointed, and I assure you, you won't be either.


    Immersing landscape.
    Excellent storyline.
    Voice-overs spot on.
    Vast array of upgradable weapons.


    Too short. Only really lasts for around 4 hours.