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Product Reviews

Top 100 Games Reviewer
83 (57% helpful)

Page 1 of 0

  1.  To many faults to be considered great


    As much as I like this game, it has to be one of the most overrated I have ever played, which is a shame, because with just a little bit more development time, (and Activision not spamming an annual release) then this could have been one of the best games ever. Sadly, several faults see it fall short.

    Firstly, the single player. Whilst I can appreciate that the single player campaign is no longer the main focus for most shooters, that isn't an excuse for s single player campaign as poor as this. Killzone 2 and Halo both managed good to excellent campaigns, so we know it can be done, but MW2's is just lacklustre. The storyline is really poor, fairly hard to follow and just stupid. That wouldn't really matter had the action been top notch, which, to be fair, is the case in the tactical levels, but there are all to many that consist of little more the mindless shooting that was dated about five or ten years ago. There are also levels where you do little more then just walk around. Now thats hardly fun. Add to that the fact that the campaign is far too short and you're left with a really dissapointing campaign mode.

    Taking the place of the awesome Nazi Zombie mode from WAW is Special Ops, a mode in which you complete challenges either on your own or with a friend. It is really boring on your own, but with a friend it is a bit of a laugh. The problem is though, that unlike Zombies, if none of your friends are online, then you can't play with a random person, limiting the enjoyment that this could have provided and as a result, wasting the potential of the game mode.

    Finally, is the the excellent multiplayer. Undoubtedly, this is the main focus of the game and it's defeinetley the most enjoyable. There are several different game modes to keep you interested, and as you level up, you unlock more weapons, perks, rewards and challenges that will keep you coming back. As fun as it is though, multiplayer is hardly lacking it's fair share of problems. Some of the maps are really poorly designed. Derail, for example, is far too big for most types of games, whilst Wasteland is just dominated by snipers due to how open it is. Worst of all though are the servers. It's not uncommon to be booted out of a game or for everything to really jittery because the servers just can't cope, something that isn't really acceptable when the online multiplayer is the big attraction of this game.

    Overall, this is a really good game, and if you love online shooters, then you won't get much better then this, but the faults are glaring and hard to ignore, and as a result, the game isn't as good as it should have been.

  2.  MadRepetition


    MadWorld is possibly the most controversial game of the year, and the reasons are obvious. Going against the grain of the reputation that the Wii has developed for being a casual, party game machine, MadWorld is an ultra gory, ultra violent brawler game.

    Set in Varrigan City, a city taken over by terrorists, you play as Jack, a contestant in DeathWatch, a sick TV show where you either kill, or end up killed yourself. The story starts off pretty basic, but as it progresses, you find out that there is a lot more to the story then meets the eye.

    The most noticable thing with MadWorld is the graphical style. Presented in a stylish black and white presentation, with the more then the occassional splattering of red, giving the game a very comic book feel. The presentation had the possibility to cause problems, making some things difficult to see, but for the most part, this isn't the game and works extremley well.

    The problem with the game is the gameplay itself. It's not a bad game, infact it's quite good fun, but it's just too repetitive. It amounts to little more then putting something over someones head, stabbing them through the head before throwing them into something, with a little bit of use of Jacks chainsaw in between, which, whilst funny at first, also becomes tiresome. On most levels, there are alternate weapons that can be used instead of the chainsaw, but even these fail to break up the repitition as these become rather tedious themselves after a shortwhile. Even the commentary suffers from the same fate. Whilst each level has it's own unique set of speech, which are funny at first, it doesn't take long before you've heard all of the lines and they lose that comic effect. The one break in the this comes in the form of the Bloodbath Challenges. Presented by the hilarious Baron Black, these challenges are basically about trying to kill as many people as possible in anumber of amusing ways including Man Golf and Man Darts. The only downside is that these can't be unlocked as single player mini games outside of the main game.

    Overall, MadWorld is a fun game, but it's best enjoyed in 20-30 minute bursts as there's just not enough variety to make it fun for much longer. It's also fair to say that the main story is just too short, and although you can unlock hard more after completing the game on normal, you may find yourself not wanting to go through the game again.

  3.  Good Old Hack and Slash Violence


    No More Heroes is an interesting new twist on the age old hack and slash genre. Armed with a Katana Beam, you control Travis Touchdown as you aim to take down the top 10 assasins in the town of Santa Destroy, guided along the way by the mysterious Synthia.

    The game itself is very easy to play. To my suprise, you slash your opponents by pressing the A button instead of swinging the remote. Whilst initially feeling very disapointed by this, after just a short period of time. The only time that you will swing the remote is to perform either a finishing move, or a wrestling move.

    Graphics wise, the game is a bit of a let down. In many places, particullarly around Santa Destroy, the landscape is bland, be it uninspired buildings, box shaped cars (this isn't the 80's you know) or walls that are so plain. It's a shame as in places, it does look quite good and stylish, but the apparent laziness in places is rather disapointinf. Much has also been made by the lack of blood in the European version, with the dead turning into black ash instead. It's no big deal though. Whilst it does look odd at first, you get used to it after killing a couple of enemies, and it actually helps add style to the game.

    Now onto the main aspects of the came and we come to the town of Santa Destroy. No More Heroes has often been likened to GTA by the media, which is completley unfair. In GTA, the city is a vital part of the game as it's where all the action takes place, whilst in No More Heroes, Santa Destroy is no more then a means of getting from one level to the next, with a few hidden extras here and there. That in itself is a let down though as it's clear that not a great deal of effort was put into making the town come to life. As already mentioned, the buildings and cars look pretty poor for the most part, but add to that the fact that the town is pretty much missing any sort of traffic or life and you have a very poorly planned part of the game. It doesn't take long before moving around Santa Destroy becomes a chore, especially as you seem to go to the same locations over and over again whilst other parts of the map are pretty much unused.

    The main part of the game however consists of doing part time jobs, assasiantion missions and finally, fighting the top 10 assasins. In order to get to the levels though, you must raise enough cash, which is where part time jobs and assasination missions come in. At first, the part time jobs are amusing, put they soon grow a little tedious. All I wanted to do is get on with killing the next boss, but instead, you're made to perform a mundane task such as picking up litter or cleaning graffiti in order to earn enough cash. The same can be said for the assination missions. It doesn't take long before they start repeating them, making you wonder what the point is. Thankfully, the main levels are much more interesting. As you probably expect, you run around various different enviroments killing the cronies until you finally meet the ranked assasin. For the most part, the levels are exciting and interesting. Unfortunately, in the middle part of the game, some do grow boring. Thankfully they do pick up again quickly, with the final two levels being the best of the bunch, and the final having an interesting twist (and if you unlock the full ending, it gets even more interesting).

    Overall, this is a very good game that is well worth purchising. It isn't the most challenging game, with about 10-15 hours worth of life, and has little replay value as well as numerous frustrations, but the enjoyment it brings makes it a good purchase.

  4.  Disapointingly Average


    Having owned this album since it came out, I've tried many a time to get into Favourite Worse Nightmare having loved Arctic Monkeys previous offering, but everytime I listen to this, I can't help but feel let down. The only track that really stands out is Brainstorm, but that aside, there are no tracks that excite like I Bet That You Look Good On The Dance Floor, Mardy Bum and View From The Afternoon.

    There are some decent tracks. Flourescent Adolescent and Room 505 are pretty decent, as is Teddy Picker, but overall, they all fail to live long in the memory. At the moment, the Arctics are the media darlings, they can do no wrong, and this was apparent in many of the media reviews of Favourite Worse Nightmare. But what happens when their bubble bursts? If they come up with another average album like this then their time in the spot like could be over, which would be a shame as I feel the Arctic Monkeys are a band with true potential. Lets just hope their next offering is better.

  5.  Pretty. Good.


    At first, this album really didn't catch on for me. Gone were the high beat, quick rythms of A Fever You Can't Sweat Out, to be replaced with a more mellow sound, not dissimilar to that of The Beetles. The more I listened to the album though, the more I liked it. It's fair to say that this is an album that will require a few listens before you will fully get into it, but when you do, you will realise that it is just as good as Panics first album, albeit, totally different.

    There are some catchy tracks, Nine In The Afternoon is the obvious one, but That Green Gentlemen (Things Have Changed) and Folkin' Around also stood out for me. There are also weaker tracks, as you would expect. I Have Friends In Holy Spaces and The Piano Knows Things I Don't wont stick in the memory too long, but all in all, this is a sound second album for Panic At The Disco.

  6.  King of the Swingers


    Donkey Kong: Jungle Climber, sequel to the little known King of Swing adds an interesting twist to the 2D platforming genre. Instead of jumping from platform to platform like you would in the usual fashion, you swing Donkey Kong between a set of pegs. This might sound uninteresting and pretty stupid, but it infact makes for a highly enjoyable and refreshing game.

    Unusually for a DS game, the touch screen is hardly used at all. The only time that the touch screen is used is to make Donkey Kong invincible, which might seem a waste of the DS's abilities, but in fact, the oppoiste is true. Any more use of the touch screen would ruin the game as it's just not needed. To control Donkey Kong you use the L and R shoulder buttons. Holding both at the same time enables you to jump, whilst on there own, they are used to swing from peg to peg. The A button is also used to attack, but thats about all there is to the control system, and it's all it needs. Because of this, the controls are very easy to learn, but mastering them will take some practice, and only adds to the fun.

    As usual with Donkey Kong games, all of the game world are cleverly designed, meaning that it's likely that you will have to go back through a level to find those hidden secrets. They are also littered with enemies which will bring fond memories back for Donkey Kong veterans. Many items make there return such as the KONG letter, bananas and Bonus Barrels. Sadly, the bonus games in the Bonus Barrels leave a lot to be desired. It's the same game each time, and it soons grows very tiresome. The old characters also make a welcome return. Diddy Kong can be found in DK barrels and will help Donkey Kong along the way in a wide variety of manners, from swinging a hammer, to helping Donkey Kong fly. Funky Kong has his usual flying service. Dixie Kong is playable in the multiplayer whilst King K Rool returns as usual as the villain of the game. Cranky Kong also returns as your advisor, but sadly, gone are the days who him being a bad tempered old git, instead, he's rather mellow now. There is also the addition of a banana shaped alien, but this can only be described as irritating.

    In terms of long term appeal, it's fair to say there isn't a lot. You can go back through the main game and collect all the items and unlock the hidden levels but this isn't the most exciting task. There are also some mini games to be played, but the quality of these is shockingly poor. There is also a multiplayer mode, but this isn't that great either.

    Whilst Donkey Kong: Jungle Climber is by no means a classic, it's definetley well worth a go. It's an addictive and mildly challenging game with plenty to do. If you fancy somethig a little different to the standard platform, then this is definetley worth considering.

  7.  A welcome return for Paper Mario


    Mario makes his RPG return in the sequel to the exception Paper Mario and the Thousand Year Door, on the Game Cube. Personally, I would rate The Thousand Year Door as one of the best console games I have ever played, so anticipation was extremley high for this game.

    There are two major changes that are seen in Super Paper Mario. The first is the combat system. Previously, Mario and co would fight in turn based battles, taking it in turns until one either you, or the enemy was defeated. This has now been replaced with the traditional 2D platformer style combat system of either jumping on an enemy, or using a weapon against them. In some ways, this is a very good change, it certainly makes the game easier for newcomers to RPG's to get to grips with, it also makes the easier battles against enemies such as Goombas a lot less frustrating as you no longer have to go through the motions of enetering the battle just to wipe them with one blow, but, negatively, it does make many battles rather easy, especially against the end of level bosses and Count Blacks minions.

    The next change is the way the game world works. No longer does it use the pop up book style worlds in The Thousand Year Door, but more of a flat colouring book style world. The game worlds aren't as fun to explore as they do feel a lot more restricted in where you go, but when using Mario, pressing the A button flips the world from 2D to 3D, revealing many hidden pathways and items that can be used. It does make for some more interesting puzzles as you will have to regularly flip between the 2nd and 3rd dimension in order to progress, but at the same time, it does make them a little on the easy side. They way you progress through worlds also seems a bit lacking. To go from one area to another, you have to go through doors. To me, this makes the each area feel detatched from the rest, usin pipes would make the world feel more complete.

    Mario is no longer accomponied by a Goomba, Koopa Troopa, Bob-omb etc, but instead, Peach, Bowser and Luigi accompany him. You would think this would a good change, and in away it is, but for the most part, they all seem rather pointless. The truth is, that even though they all have their own special ability, these rarely ever come into use, so most of the time, you will find Mario much more useful. Mario is also accomponied by some srange creatures called Pixls. Like Peach and co, these all offer Mario abilities that help him progress throughout the game, and whilst they are without doubt, much more useful then the other characters, they lack the charm and just don't seem to be as imaginitive.

    For the most part, the levels are pretty good. The Crags was possibly my favourite, whilst the third chapter was possibly the funnies. Sadly this can't be said for the Space level and Sammer land. The space level gets a bit annoying as you seem to do an awful lot of backtracking, whilst Sammerland is possible the most uneventful level in Mario history. You basically, fight a battle, walk through a door, fight another battle, walk through another door and so on. As I'm sure you can imagine, this soon gets tiresome.

    For the most part, Super Paper Mario is a highly enjoyable game. It does have it's frustrations, but they don't usually get in the way of the enjoyment of the game. There is a lot of text, so if you don't like reading much, this game probably would be better left alone, but if this doesn't bother you, and you are a Mario fan, then there are a lot of gags in here that will make you chuckle. Hardcore RPG fans may also be put off as crossing the genre with 2D platformers makes it easier, and makes the game more accessible for everyone.

  8.  CM just isn't getting better


    Personally, I have found this to be the most dissapointing release since BGS started on the series with CM2005. That version was an absolute disgrace, and whilst I can't deny that CM2008 has improved, it has failed to do so at an acceptable rate, and is still anything but realistic.

    Firstly, the "improved" match engine, the big new feature for this version. And at first glance, it looks good. Sadly, when you've played a few games, you will realise it really hasn't improved much at all and is nothing but eye candy. The flight of the ball is poor. At times it looks like it's moving like a beach ball, not a football. There are also an embarrasingly large number of player oddities, such as players kicking the ball into touch, despite being in acres of space, and even goalies throwing the ball out for a corner. I can't deny the competition doesn't have odd occurences, but not to the level of CM. Then we have the skittle like players. There is no doubting that being able to see what the player is doing is a good idea, sadly it hasn't worked out this way. You can't tell what the player is doing anymore then you could with the blobs. You might be able to see that the players have headed the ball, but you could pretty much tell this by the elevation of the ball with the 2D engine. The final point with the match engine is the throw ins. In each match you can expect more then 150 throw ins a game, nearly two a minute. What make it worse is that problems like this have been in since the first of BGS incarnation, and has go to the stage of it being unacceptable. Things like this make the match engine the worst on the market.

    Next up is ProZone. It was added last year, but was pointless. It's been given a revamp this year, but still, it seems pointless. The idea is that you use it to analyse your players performance, and then adjust your players tactics to suit. Sadly, the information given to you is of little help at all, and sometimes badly inaccurate. When you get a report saying the player played a killer ball out of defence, when in fact, he played it across the defence, you have to wonder what the point of ProZone being in the came. What makes it worse is that with a good match engine, report system and match statistics, this wouldn't even be needed. Sadly none of these are present in CM2008.

    One of the most important parts of any game like this in the interface. You need it to get from screen to screen so you need it be easy to understand and use. This hasn't been the case in the first three editions, so you would think BGS would put this right this time around wouldn't you? Wrong. It reamains the same as ever. Hard to navigate, hard to find anything and completley unintuitive. This makes the game just too frustrating as it takes too long to find what you want.

    It's also important to have good up-to-date data, and it's also claimed that the data is up to date for the end of the transfer window. In terms of the squads, for the most part, this is true, although there is a large number of made up youth players at some teams. It's backroom staff that are the problem, from staff who are at the wrong club, staff who have retired, and even one Scottish team having there director set as someone who has been dead for a few years. Who things like this can make it through is beyond me. Some players are also badly overrated. Craig Lindfield, for example could walk into any Premiership game, whilst in reality, he wouldn't have a chance.

    To be fair. CM does have some good ideas, it's just a shame that these are badly overshadowed by it's many noticeable failings. Eith interest falling each year, it's hard to see this game lasting for many more years as it's progress is far from good.

  9.  You Too Will Be Lost


    Season 3, rather obviously, sets off where Season 2 finished, with Jack, Sawyer and Kate being held by The Others. As the story develops, you gain a little understanding as to why The Others are on the island, but, as you would expect with Lost, the clever writing actually asks more questions then it answers and will have you hooked, desperate to know what happens next.

    Unlike the first two series, Series 3 doesn't have the slow down in the middle. Personally, I found some of the middle episodes of Series 1 and 2 could be a little boring or uneventful, each episode of Series 3 manages to pack a punch, and whilst some do seem to be a little stupid, they are still exciting, and some of this "stupidness" (I wont say much other then Camper Van) is explained later in the series, and will actually make sense to the story line. Whilst the Lost maintains it's action and suspense of the first two series, it also continues to supply some comical moments, mainly from Hurley and Sawyer, managing to make Lost the complete package. Some have commented that Lost has become unrealistic, or has lost the plot, but to be honested, with things such as the black mist, it was never the most realistic programme, so. that view is really invalid

    There is no doubt that Lost is not for those who have limited levels of patience. As the story progresses, you will be left with more questions then answers, and this may prove frustrating for some, but if you like suspense, then Lost is definetley for you, and for fans of the first two series, then you can't afford to miss the third series. This is by far the best show on TV at the moment.

  10.  Civ just got bigger and better then ever!


    Firaxis promised that BTS would be the biggest Civ expansion, and they didn't dissapoint.

    After Warlords was a little underwhelming, BTS needed to add a lot to CIV, and it does just does that. 10 new Civs are added, each with their own leader, an additional 6 leaders are added to existing Civs and there a 5 new wonders, the most noteable being the Apostolic Palace.

    The reason that the Apostolic Palace is the most noticeable is that it has a whole gameplay mechanic set around. Bascially, when built, global elections are triggered that work in much the same manner as the UN. Every so often, you will get to vote on things such as Trade Embargo's, stoping wars, or even asking other Civs to join you in wars. Unlike with the UN however, instead of the number of votes you get being based around population, when built, the Palace will take the state religion of the civ that built it. Only Civs that have that religion present in one of their cities are able to vote, and the number of cities that have that religion effect how many votes you get. At first, the Apostolic Palace can be confusing, but once you get used to it, it does add an interesting strategic element to it.

    Corporations also find themselves included in BTS, and is the second of the three major additions in this expansion. They work in a similar way to religions, in that you spread them around by using an executive to spread it to other cities. Instead of techs founding Corporations like happens with religion, you use a Great Person to found a corporation. Corporations bring numerous benfits to the user, some grant resources, some add culture and some add food. There is a price to pay, whilst having corporations present in your cities will give you income, they also increase maintenace costs. It actually seems more beneficial to spread corportaions to your rivals then your own cities as it cripples their economy whilst still improving yours. In this sense, it does feel a little broken, and in need of patching, but it is still a great addition.

    The final major addition is espionage. Before, the use of spies had been tedious, and, on the whole, pointless. Now, however, this element of the game gets a complete face lift. Now, spies can be built when you research Alphabet. Spies also have a whole new variety, from stealing technologies, to poisoning a cities water supply. Spies are no longer useless, but essential to both your Civs defence, and offensive strategies. There is also now an espionage slider, that works in the same way as the cultural slider, diverting some of your treasury to watching your foes. It is also possible to adjust how you monitor other civs, so it makes sense to invest more in watching you rivals, and less on those civs that offer little threat to you. There are some problems though. On marathon speed, there are some balance issues for some of the spy missions, and the new Great Spy unit isn't that great, but overall, espionage is a great and essential addition to Civ 4.

    There are also some a few more additions. Random events have been added. Every so often one of these may pop up, with the effects being either good or bad. There are also Advanced Starts, that starts the game in the modern era, and you also now have the ability to mix and match you leaders with different civs.

    This is an essential buy for any Civ 4 owner. And don't worry if you don't have Warlords. BTS contains all of the Warlords content, with the exception of the rather poor quality scenarios, so this is the only expansion that you will need. With a few fixes, that can be expected in a patch, this is comes highly recommended.