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Pokemon: HeartGold Version (includes Pokéwalker)
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As far as Pokemon games on the DS go, Platinum is still the best. Having said that, it felt a bit alien due to the lack of 1st and 2nd generation pokemon present in its regions, they were mainly Sinnoh-specific inhabiting the game.
Heart Gold is a very enjoyable game, but it has several (some quite annoying) faults. Like every other franchise these days, the game has been dumbed-down and the difficulty reduced quite considerably. The lack of viable training areas you can utilise is incredibly frustrating; you'll always be within 1-2 levels of Gym Leaders if you have a full party. This was never an issue in Diamond/Pearl/Platinum due to the introduction of the Vs. Seeker which allowed you to battle trainers again with higher level pokemon.
The sheer shortness of the Kanto region is also deeply disappointing. It literally is just Gym battles which you'll finish in a couple of hours.
It's a good game though, if you're a Pokemon fan then you're gonna buy it. If you've played the first games on the GBA and the initial forays into the Johto region were good, then this delivers. The updated graphics and new touch-screen adapted gameplay will please.
The best thing about this game is (it really is) that the pokemon who's first in your party will follow your character's avatar around the actual game-world. Every pokemon has a sprite, some bigger than others - Ho-oh's for example is much bigger than say, Gastly's.
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Metro 2033 is one of those games that doesn't really recieve a lot of marketing but nonetheless is a sure earner. The game is an adaptation of a book written by an aspiring young Russian author, basically telling the tale of a Russian man (20 years old) born and bred in the metro - an underground series of tunnels used by the trains in pre-war Moscow.
The game does become a little confusing at times and you will become annoyed at the fact that ammunition is the currency underground (it's the only useful commodity aside from food and drink). You'll also get pretty peeved in some of the missions that encourage stealth - enemies seem to spot you in pitch black when you're moving silently and almost completely unspottable in the darkness.
If you liked Fallout, buy this. If you liked S.T.A.L.K.E.R, buy this.It's kind of a cross between the two - it's not a sandbox game, but it's not "linear" in the traditional sense; the levels are progression based, but there are a few routes you can take to achieve each goal, and these affect achievements.
Could have been longer considering 4A trashed the multiplayer to focus on the narrative and singleplayer, but it's a reliable purchase if you're looking for a first-person shooter.
Warhammer 40000: Dawn Of War II - Chaos Rising
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Chaos Rising is a great addition to DoW2.
It adds 13 new story missions to the game, each one a tad different from the rest so as not to bore the player. Squads can now level to a maximum of 30 - this seems like a lengthy increase, but the truth of the matter is that you'll reach the level cap a few missions before the last one.
Regarding the new Chaos multiplayer army, well - they're unique, as was the worry from some they'd be "too similar to Space Marines". Chaos feature a wealth of diverse units, mostly melee oriented, making for some (often quite annoyingly) linear strategies.
There are also 2 more heroes that are playable in The Last Stand; the Hive Tyrant - who takes a "summoner" role (spawning lesser Tyranid creatures to weaken and harass enemies) and the Sorcerer who can create daemonic copies of his foes and blast apart enemies using psychic powers.
The other armies each recieve new units, too (ignore the guy below me, no faction LOSES units - the Tyranid unit was just moved to a different tier of construction). I'll leave it at that, but this is definitely the expansion we've waited for.
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I loved the first Bioshock. It took me a little while to fully embrace the strange gameplay style, but once I did, I discovered a fantastic title full to the brim with rich, intriguing narrative and fast-paced, varied combat.
Everything that Bioshock 1 introduced you to, Bioshock 2 expands on. You assume control of "Subject Delta", the first ever Big Daddy and as such, inherit all the abilities and weaponry that comes with it. My personal favourite is the Rivet Gun, which literally fires industrial-grade bolts normally used for construction (The drill is great too, but it's difficult to master due to the amount of ranged enemies in the game).
The online multiplayer is pretty fun too, the only down-side being occasional lag (it's the same story with all games like this - when a game is developed around gameplay and immersion rather than out and out multplayer - e.g. CoD or Halo). You gain the use of different Plasmids and Tonics as you gain experience points and rank up, and as you do, you will also obtain access to stronger and more varied weapons.
This is a must buy for anyone who liked the first.
Assassin's Creed 2: Black Edition (Exclusive)
This is, without doubt, single-player game of the year.
You begin the game in a similar setting; Desmond's cell, with the animus in plain view. You're then led off to a distant hideout and the game puts you in control of Ezio for the first time, where you must defeat some hooligans from a rival family in a street brawl.
After you've played as Ezio for a while, you'll soon come to love the new game's hero. Whilst not as *immediately* cool as Altair, he certainly has his own charm, and he's just as agile.
The game has improved on all it's noticeable flaws from the previous venture, with the side missions slightly better to comprehend, and no longer do you need to gather extensive clues before an assassination attempt (I did like doing that in AC1 though, but I see why it was removed). Thankfully, the flags from the first game are absent - but now, feathers are scattered around the various levels... (Good luck to everyone going for the full 1,000 G).
All in all though, well worth the wait.
Warhammer 40000: Dawn Of War II
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I recently bought a new PC strong enough to run DoW 2 at full spec - this game delivers on all levels. The campaign has been redesigned and has become more focused on the player; you create a fledgeling Space Marine Force Commander, newly promoted and tasked with defending the Emperor's people from the marauding aliens of the 41st Millenium.
You are in command of your Force Commander (you) and 3 unique Space Marine squads at any one time, each with their own strengths, weaknesses and abilities. The Devastator squad, for example, are heavy weapons specialists and can be equipped with anit-armour equipment to make short work of any large targets, while the Assault squad come equipped with jump-packs and chainswords allowing them to leap over terrain and get into close combat as fast as possible to rend and tear your enemies into pieces. Should your squads suffer casualties or losses at any time, you can fall back to a relay beacon, which is player captured (similar to a resource point in DoW) and queues up reinforcements to replenish your units.
The main aspect that sets DoW 2 apart from it's predecessors is the Wargear and upgrade system. During your campaign, you'll find different pieces of equipment of varying rarity; green is uncommon, and blue is an item of considerable power that you'll want to equip right away to strengthen your team of marines. The levelling system is where the upgrade mechanic comes into play. As your squads level up, they'll gain 2 points per level which can be inputted to 1 of 4 combat trees, each defining the key strengths and weaknesses of the unit, or maybe rounding their abilities off so the squad becomes more versatile.
The multiplayer in DoW 2 is very enjoyable. I'm not really a PC veteran so to speak, but I've always enjoyed RTS games. DoW 2 has a fairly balanced matchmaking system which utilises TrueSkill to determine what caliber of ability your opponent will display.
I highly recommend Dawn of War 2 to any fans of the first game - it's a great sequel with room for expansions and further campaign extensions.
Mortal Kombat Vs. DC Universe
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Great game, even if a little repetitive (but hey, it is a fighting game). I'm a little dissappointed at the choice of MK characters within the game, there were so many better choices than Baraka and Kitana for instance. Where are the 3 robots? Sektor, Cyrax and Smoke? That was fail.
However, the DC element does bring a new lease of life to a slightly dated beat 'em up. Superman, (as expected) is slightly overpowered, as is Shao Kahn, but what's a fighting game without a few totally biased battles?
Also, be prepared to become frustrated online. I'm a pretty good player, I rarely lose; however (as usual) the American servers work against us English and European players and you will end up losing a number of matches through pure lag, even if the skill deficit is vastly in your favour.
Overall, good game but I would have preferred a totally MK internal title.
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In my opinion, the best game of 2007.
Without doubt Altair is the coolest game-character ever devised, and AC possesses the most astounding and fluid visuals ever seen on a console. An absolute must have!
Fenchurch Men's Chany Plaid Cargo Shorts (Orange)
I grabbed these for £15 straight away, really good quality shorts (as I've come to expect from Fenchurch) and a nice fit. Lot's of pockets too, so room for iPod and phone.