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Boom Blox is an Nintendo Wii exclusive release, and was developed in association with famous director Steven Spielberg. The game supports between one and four players, and the genre the game fits into is 'Puzzle'.
The main concept, or aim of the game is to destroy blocks, or 'blox' as they may be called by the games creators, in otherwords make the blox go boom! Now looking at this idea on paper, it seemed that the game may get old pretty fast and may get boring. But that is where the factor of the Nintendo Wii Hardware comes out. Everything is controlled by the Wii Remote, and is totally interactive. Whether you are throwing a ball, or picking up the blocks themselves, everything can be done with the remote. This control system is easy to quickly pick up, especially if you are a regular player of the Wii, or even a brand new gamer. All of the blocks have their own characteristics too, some blow up for example, and some will simply disappear. Some of the blocks will also react with other blocks, which then in turn gets rid of even more blocks.
There are three modes on the game, they are known as party mode, play mode and create mode. The play mode is mainly for fans of single player, as it is here where you are presented with hundreds of different challenges, all separated into seperate catergories, for you to puzzle over. The play mode is essentially the multiplayer mode of the game, and thus one of the most important. It is here that you can get all of your friends around to play with, and you can play both against each other or together. This keeps things fresh and increases playability, whilst also bringing out your competitive nature!
The final mode is perhaps the most interesting, and that goes by the name of the "Create" mode. It is here that you can get those creative juices flowing, and actually create your own levels. Whilst this is not only fun, it does the all important thing of increasing the playability of your game further, and nothing can beat the satisfaction of watching your friends playing a level you have created!
Boom Blox on the whole is a very enjoyable game, even though at first I felt it would be better suited to the younger generation. It is especially enjoyable if you have a lot of friends round and are playing the game with them, as is the case with the majority of games on the Nintendo Wii. It is also a good way to relieve those creative juices!! In short, if you have no friends then don't bother with this game, but if like most people you do, then buy this game!
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Burnout Paradise is based in the fictional "Paradise City" and unlike its predecessors you are free to explore the city from the beginning of the game. Due to the city being open from the very beginning, you are given more choice in what challenges you wish to partake in, and you can do them whenever you wish. This is a good feature as it allows more casual gamers to take their time and explore the city a little before taking on all of the challenges, however at the same time it also satisfies the more serious gamer. The city design itself is fantastic, and offers plenty of areas to visit and plenty of challenges to enter. It also supplies areas for all of the stunts and jumps that everyone knows and loves from the old Burnout games. There is also plenty of traffic for you to dodge around and smash into, meaning if you don't want to play the game totally seriously, you do not have to, you can just have fun!
Due to the city being so big, when you are completing certain challenges, for example races, you can choose your own route to take. Whilst this is useful, it can prove tiresome, especially if you do not know the map that well, and I found the navigator to often be inaccurate and difficult to follow. This can get fustrating, as you really need to have played the game for a few days before you can think about winning any of the races. Whilst the ability to go where you like is a good idea, I would have liked to have seen the tradtional arrows at the top of the screen for you to follow.
A new feature called "Showtime" replaces the crash mode we saw in previous Burnout titles. Showtime can be started at any time by hitting the two shoulder buttons on your controller. Your car will immediately begin flipping and you'll start racking up a score for the street that you started the Showtime on. The Showtime mode is fun, as you can just keep playing it and playing it if you are good enough. If you have enough of a boost you can keep your car bouncing around, and thus the mode does not end until you stop bouncing.
The Road Rage events are very similar to the Burnout of past, which is great because this was one of our favourite modes in the previous games. It is still so much fun scoring all of those takedowns, and its even more manic than in the past games, as more and more cars get involved.
Another new mode that has been added to Burnout Paradise is called "Stunt Mode". Essentially this mode is as it sounds, where you earn points for drifting, and completing jumps etc. Your aim is to get a certain number of points within the time limit, in order to complete the challenge. You can also earn double points in this road for completing certain moves in this mode, for example if you manage to hit an barrel role.
The choice of vehicles in Burnout Paradise is good, however I would have liked to have seen a few more included. There is a maximum of 70 included in the base game, however I am assuming they may release more as an additional download pack. The cars are all divided into categories, making some cars better than others at certain categories. This is part of the fun, trying to work out which cars are best for which challenges.
The games online features this year are impressive, it is easy to get into online play and I experienced no lag as I played. Online you can create custom races with friends, or participate in different challenges. There are up to 50 different challenges depending on the numbers of players playing, ie. there are 50 challenges for when you play 2 player, and 50 seperate ones for if your playing 3 player etc. This really adds to the playability of the game.
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street
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Another great movie from Tim Burton, and it looks amazing in full high definition!! What is more, the Play.com Steelbook case is really cool, and the booklet you get exclusively from buying this with Play is an interesting read. Well worth the money in my book!! Sweeney's waiting folks....go buy this Blu-Ray!!
Waterloo Road: Series 1 (3 Discs)
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Waterloo Road is one of better BBC Dramas I have seen over recent years, and it should definitly be available on DVD, so it is fantastic to see this release!
Series 1 is not quite up the standard of Series 2 (which is likely to be available on DVD around September) but is still well worth the money! Purchase this DVD now if you are a fan, or enjoy drama series. If you don't enjoy these, then this may not be for you, possibly just one to rent!!
Spider-Man 3 (2 Discs)
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I saw Spiderman 3 at the cinema, and I must say I was very impressed. It has to be the best Spiderman film yet, even outdoing Spiderman 2 - something I never thought could be done!! It is a shame that Venom was added to this film, as he gets little screentime and it is obvious that he was a last minute addition. He also takes away the emphasis from the Sandman who should really have been the main villian in this motion picture.
The actors in the film portray their characters perfectly, and it is very interesting to see how their characters have changed and developed in this picture in comparison to the previous in the series.
Spiderman 3 gets a five star rating from me, and I'd highly recommend either pre-ordering or purchasing the DVD when it is released!