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Product Reviews

11 (45% helpful)

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  1.  Some good stuff, but overall a missed opportunity.


    Here's how it should have went.

    Sega should have given us a literal Sonic Ultimate Collection by putting Sonic 1, 2, 3, 3D, Knuckles, Advance 1, 2, 3, Spinball, Mean Bean Machine, Knuckles Chaotix and Sonic CD on one PS3 disc with unlockable extras like the Game Gear titles.

    Streets of Rage should be remade in HD. There are already fan-made Streets of Rage games out there with awesome remixed soundtracks. An epic HD remake with the original Streets of Rage 1, 2 and (the Japanese version of) 3 as extras would make a fine stand alone PS3 game.

    Golden Axe 1, 2, 3 and the terrible RPG should have been unlockable extras on the recent Golden Axe: Beast Rider.

    With the exception of coveted titles like Shining Force the rest in this collection are embarrassing and forgettable. Super Thunder Blade is as godawful as it has always been and time hasn't been kind to many of the others.

    If Sega/Backbone Entertainment were going to quickly rush 40-ish Genesis/Mega Drive games onto a PS3 disc then why didn't they just make a bit more effort and chuck in EVERY other game that was released on this console as they'd easily fit onto a Blu Ray disc.

    But that didn't happen I'm afraid, so for the moment we'll have to stick to emulators.

  2.  Resident Evil: Zero Atmosphere


    Resi 5 looks good and sounds good, but despite all the prettiness and bells and whistles the gameplay, I'm sorry to say, is rather mundane.

    The Plagas virus from Resi 4 comes back and is infecting African tribesman and shanty town locals. Chris Redfield returns with his new partner Sheva to find out just who is pulling the strings this time. Gee, do think it will be Wesker...again?

    There is very little in this game that is fresh. 90% of it is simply lifted from Resi 4 (dilapidated villages, grotty, rusting facilities, mines, yadda-yadda-yadda), though none of the atmosphere that made it so re-playable is present. Bringing the action out of the darkness and into the sunlight was a big mistake. There is also a disappointing lack of interesting weapons and upgrades cost too much, considering how little gold and treasures you encounter during the course of the levels (there is unfortunately no Cockney Merchant). Plus you never really feel the power of the upgrades.

    Having played through the game twice I was rewarded with a few paltry unlockables. As well as being a criminally short and easy game there are not many reasons to trudge through it again.

    A minor disappointment. I'm just glad I didn't pay full price for it.

    Graphics A Sound A Gameplay B Lasting Appeal C+

  3.  Is there an echo in here?


    Bloodchild certainly opens with an intriguing hook and keeps the reader gripped, until the halfway point. Tim Bowler has made the all too easy mistake of not giving the reader enough satisfaction, and keeps all of his aces close to his chest until the final two chapters, which just ain't the most effective way to write a mystery novel.

    The story deals with Will, an unusual teenage boy who can see dead people (why does that sound familiar?). Will has just lost his memory, which is especially annoying since he was on the verge of solving a nasty little mystery. Now with his memory gone, he's got to solve it all over again, only without knowing what he's doing or why. It's difficult work for him and for us since we've got to keep fighting through the pages until we finally get some answers. Some small rewards at the halfway mark might have made up for this.

    It's also far too similar to the Kevin Bacon movie Stir of Echoes. The supernatural edge to it seems far too forced and doesn't coexist well with the ordinary world it takes place in.

    This book is one of Tim Bowler's lesser novels. I feel he's quoting himself too much at this point. You could literally grab elements from his previous work, jumble them up, and Bloodchild would be the result. A good read, but not the best example of teenage mystery by far.

  4.  A serious decline in quality


    By Season Four, the people behind The A-Team just put less and less effort into the story and opted for the same old, same old formulaic nonsense with fake car chases, phony crashes, obvious stunt doubles and poorly integrated stock footage.

    Only about half of the episodes are worth watching, while the rest are so mundane to the point of being down right awful. The 'Uncle Buckle-Up' episode in particular is just horrendous and the infamous 'Cowboy George' (my eyes, MY EYES!!!) really is as bad as you've heard. I haven't seen it for years (I skipped right over it on this box set) but I remember wishing that ground would just open up and swallow me, it was that bad. At one point you can even see Dirk Benedict barely containing his embarrassment.

    The best episodes are not necessarily the ones with the best action and stories. When the show makes the most of out the four characters (usually with an amusing running joke with Murdoch) it can be highly watchable. A young Hulk Hogan even joins in for a couple of episodes.

    The over-zealous Decker is replaced by equally incompetent General Fullbright in this season but he ends up being killed-off in the last episode (further proof that people DID die in this show), which is actually a complete rip-off of Rambo: First Blood Part 2, to the point of even hiring the same actors for the same kind of roles.

    Thankfully, things really picked up for Season 5, though I can still only reccomend this to hardcore A-Team completists.

    The DVD presents the show in absolutely shocking quality. Shot on 35mm film there are a couple of shots that are surprisingly crisp and colorful but I'm afraid that the rest of it is grainy, washed-out and as dull as dish water. The thin Mono soundtracks fail to impress also, and there are no worthy extra features.

  5.  The Shallows


    After the wonderfully written Ingo and Tide Knot I was surprised to find that The Deep ended up being so clunky and slow. Not really much happens in the 320 pages and there's no sense of urgency, mystery or need to keep turning the page.

    Sapphire and her brother Conor are summoned back to the ocean when the Kraken (not the giant squid of common lore) threatens to wreak havoc upon the world when he wakes from his thousand year slumber. The kids sort him out rather easily towards the end of the second act, leaving the last third of the book to just ramble on about nothing in particular and sort of fizzle out instead of ending on a high note.

    Helen Dunmore could have DONE MORE to make this is as unputdownable as the first two. It should have been structured better and had a stronger storyline. I often guessed that she was just winging it with the slightest of plots and didn't really know how it was going to end up.

    With the final book in the series, The Crossing of Ingo, due out in a couple of months I will still be checking it out. I can already tell exactly what gimmicks Dunmore is going to use. But that is because I am a know-it-all.

  6.  Disappointing, to say the least.


    If you really must get a score CD to one of the Bourne movies then go with Bourne Supremacy. I was expecting good things of this one but after giving it a couple of spins I can see why Varese Sarabande opted out of releasing this one (Decca picks this score up); it's mainly just recycled stuff from the previous films. But don't expect anything as frantic as 'Bim Bam Smash' from second movie here.

    My main problem with this score is that is just so generic and random. Yes, the Bourne theme is in there, but it's hardly a masterwork. I feel like anyone who wanted to convey the hectic, unpredictable nature of the movie through music could have come up with this score. Some tracks (the CD is a mere 50 minutes) work alright as an adrenaline burst but don't expect anything even remotely articulate or emotive.

    It reminded me a lot of Hans Zimmer's score to Black Hawk Down, but that at least had some haunting sounds to it. Unless you are really desperate to have a new, upbeat version of Moby's Extreme Ways on CD then just give this a miss and pick the CD for The Bourne Supremacy.

  7.  Tim, this is getting VERY annoying.


    Having enjoyed some of Tim Bowler's earlier work I am always interested when he brings out a new book. He's the kind of writer who never insults a child's intelligence by writing them as weak, clueless characters. This really appeals to me. But, as with his previous novel Apocalypse, Frozen Fire strings you along with an erratic mystery that could never really make any complete sense and then offers no explanation at the end.

    I know books don't always need everything explained but this is TWICE now that Bowler has done this and I am not sure I want to be fooled a third time. I think he should stick stories based in reality than reaching for these fantastical twists that add up to nothing.

    The story has a young girl in snowy rural England meet a mysterious ghost-like boy who has magical powers. Many people are out to kill him for apparent past crimes but Dusty, still distressed from the loss of her older brother, becomes somewhat fascinated by him and her world fades away into some etheral, dreamlike state as suspicions build and lynch mobs form.

    And then...none of it adds up!

    'Oh, use your imagination!'

    No. That's what YOU'RE supposed to do Mr. Bowler.

  8. Jaws



    Available  used  from  £2.51

     Honestly, one of the worst books I have ever read.


    In no way is this book a classic, it pales in comparison to the script for the movie. You could call me biased, but since I read this movie by the beach and swam about in the Atlantic every hour after putting this down and STILL not being scared then I do feel it is fair to call the book boring.

    It starts off well enough and similar to the film. But after about 100 or so pages it goes off into a completely inappropriate tangent involving Mafia bosses, corrupt town officials and Hooper and Brody's wife having an affair. I found myself screaming 'what has this got to do with a hungry fish?' and got increasingly impatient.

    Benchley's use of description can sometimes be okay but is mainly cheap and tawdry, giving the book a pulpy/gutter feel. And how many times does he use the word 'rape' for so many different situations? It's like he's got some kind of weird fetish for it. And it's supposed to be about a bloody shark!

    And when the final act comes it's nowhere near as tight as the movie. The characters are flat, Quint never really comes to life and the fate of the shark is never fully defined. What kind of so-called 'classic' is this? Certainly not a book I'd recommend.

  9.  Very fun game, a bit too easy though.


    Despite the fact that I only ever finished 2 levels with a gold star (silver for the rest) this was quite an easy game. I took it on holiday with the intention of it being decent fodder for downtime but I finished it all in 6 days.

    Asides from that it's very cute and colorful (as with most Mario games) and has some great gameplay and tunes. It's a lot like the Lemmings games crossed with a little bit of snakes and ladders. The puzzles are clever and fun to solve and it's never boring. I did find the lack of response (only sometimes) from the stylus pen to be a bit annoying, but it wasn't that big of a deal.

    Perfect for kids, a decent distraction for adults.

  10.  Makes the A-Team look like a documentary.


    Prison Break was first broadcast in the UK on Channel Five. I was immediatly hooked, but since Channel Five aired it with the most ludicrous, unpredictable timetable I was never able to keep up with it. I've just recently came across this box set and I've watched every single episode in only 4 days. Prison Break should come with a warning, it's more addictive than crack.

    Not since The A-Team has there been such a purely male-oriented show. Girls can just pack their bags and leave, there's nothing for you here. Stick to your cooking and cleaning and pots and pans and frocks and gossip. You've had your share of prime-time TV in this post-feminist world, it's time to give something back. Having said that, Prison Break is pretty much the most far-fetched show you'll ever come across and requires a HUGE suspension of disbelief. If you can manage that, you'll have a great time.

    I won't really go into the plot so much since everybody in the world knows it. I'll just say 'innocent man on death row, epic plan to bust him free'. But we've all seen movies like this before, so what has PB got to offer? How about the most sprawling, complex conspiracy you could possibly imagine. Yes, it's contrived and sometimes desperate, but, like a Mack-Daddy Pimp with his prozzies, it'll keep you hooked and wants to be in control of you...or at least just your viewing habits.

    Wentworth Miller and Dominic Purcell (both born in England btw) play brothers, both trapped in the same prison. Micheal Schofield (Miller) has himself deliberately locked-up to free Lincoln Burrows (Purcell), who has been framed by the CIA. But he needs the help of fellow cons if all that is to happen. Such a large cast fill out a range of colorful characters. Cutie-pie Robin Tunney is the desperate lawyer trying to crack the case on the outside, seriously cool Peter Stormare is the sleazy mob boss who helps them all make the escape possible, Stacy Keach as the nice warden, big-chinned and perpetually frowning Amaury Nolasco as the likeable Sucre, Muse Watson as DB Cooper and the unfortunate Lane Garrison (now needing to plan his own Prison Break for real given recent circumstances) as the unpopular Tweener. But it's Robert Knepper who steals the whole show and runs away with it as the inbred, white-trash, murderous pedo Theodore (T-Bag) Bagwell. I've never seen any actor make such an evil, nasty man so damn likeable. I'm with T-Bag all the way...as long as it's not to his cell with a sheet hanging by the door.

    What I especially like about Schofield is that, like me, he 'suffers' from a high level of Dopamine buzzing around in his brain and is clinically diagnosed with 'low latent inhibition' which causes him to process higher amounts of visual stimuli and see things differently. Short and sweet, it means that it's hard to switch your brain off. But it's all normal to me and I was thrilled to see it be part of such a popular character.

    With the first half of Season 2 already available in the UK, I will be going straight for it tomorrow. I need to know...I need to know. Something that YOU will be saying at the end of every damn episode.

    For a show released on SD-DVD Prison Break looks absolutely incredible with a stunningly bright and crisp picture. The Dolby Digital sound is also pretty good and there are some extras included.