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The Sims 3 (PC & Mac)
9 New from
As a player of the Sims since the first iteration, I have to say it does keep getting better. Sure, there aren't a huge amount of improvements over Sims 2 (especially with all the expansions), but the level of detail is simply astounding.
Sims now "own" beds, preventing adult sims from sleeping in the kids' bed. There are many new ways to make money. The sims themselves are more intelligent in looking after themselves. There are many opportunities to see and loads to do.
The buy and build modes have been improved ten-fold. I personally like the option to move whole walls, objects included, without having to paint/move things around. This makes extensions to rooms incredibly easy.
The Create-A-Style is a godsend! Now you can change the way ANY object looks, and again, very easily.
Buy mode now has a family inventory, so if you move house, all your belongings are stored there, so there's no need to re-buy everything, and no chance of losing all your sim's masterpieces.
No loading screens and optimised gameplay also make this game easy to pick up and play, but be warned, there is no such thing as a "quick ten minute go" with this game.
For the people who report freezing and slow gameplay, maybe it's time to upgrade your PC, or at least experiment with the GFX settings. Windowed mode absolutely kills the frame rate, as does "smooth edges" (AA), so be sure to play full screen and don't be too proud to drop the settings a bit.I'm running it on the below spec, and yeah, it's high end, but purely for comparison purposes, I run at 1680x1050, Full GFX, Full AA, Full Screen @ 90-120 FPS.
Intel C2D E6750 @ 3.2GHz8GB DDR2-800HD4870x2 2GBVista x64
This game also runs on my work machine (E2180, 4GB, 9600GT,Vista x64) very nicely, although at a slightly lower resolution and lower GFX (no AA), I've yet to grab a frame rate though.
Overall, I can't recommend this game enough. Any sims fans out there will ultimately get sucked in. But if you haven't experienced the franchise before, this version is a great way to get into it.
If you're not sure about spending £30, then go for the Sims 2 bundle Play.com have going at the minute (only £7.99) and see if it's for you. I would just go for this version though, unless of course I had a machine more than 2 or 3 years old.
Empire: Total War - Special Forces Edition
3 New from
I have to agree with the other reviewer. I just played the demo and I have to say it looks fantastic! The naval battles look good fun, and I'm sure will be quite challenging with many ships in the battle.
The demo plays very well on highest settings (C2D 3.2GHz, 8GB, 4870x2) and seems very scalable so should play nicely on lower spec machines, although that may change upon release of the full game.No campaign demo as yet (and probably not at all), but if any of the other Total War games are to go by, then the campaign map will in no doubt be much improved and as good as ever.5 stars for this bad boy, will be pre-ordering it later for sure. Highly Recommended!!
Pink Floyd - The Wall
This is an incredible film that looks in on the turmoil and mental breakdown of a fading rock star known as Pink Floyd.
The film flashes back and forth to Pink's childhood and present day, giving you an insight to what he's become and how he got there. The animations from the great Gerald Scarfe are amazing and help to understand the turmoil poor Pink endures.
Bob Geldolf plays the part of Pink brilliantly, Bob Hoskins is well cast as his manager (although he almost literally has 2 words to say), and of course it's all filmed to the soundtrack of The Wall (albeit a slightly different version to the studio album), which is one of the most influential albums of all time.
All in all a great film, with great music and amazing animations.
Every Pink Floyd fan should really own this film.
Highly recommended! 5 stars!
Guitar Hero III: Legends Of Rock (3) (with Guitar Controller)
This is one of the most addictive games I've played for a while!I play this game for several hours every night, well, until my hand starts to hurt anyway.It runs like a dream too, no lag or sync issues to report, although I use a high-end gamer system (C2D E3750, 4GB RAM, 8800 Ultra).If your getting lag, consider defragging your hard disk prior to install, turn off any unnecessary processes (including AV software), and drop the graphics settings somewhat. There's a patch on the GH website too, which addresses some issues and also adds some extra GFX settings.This game is just simply awesome. Rewarding and addictive, like great games should be.I hook my guitar up to my mate's 360 for co-op mode jammin. Which just adds a whole new level to the game.Well worth the outlay, and totally worth the 5 stars I'm giving it.BUY NOW!