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The 8th Sin
Nocturnal Rites - CD
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So, here we are with Nocturnal Rites' 8th album. It comes as no surprise to me that this wasn't as good as the album Grand Illusion, because that was by far and away their finest moment for me, but that doesn't make it a bad album. Trying to trump your best album is always difficult.
The album has everything it needs to be a great bit of work, so don't shy away from it, but GI is definitely better.Album 9 should be closer to GI and Shadowland, as Nocturnal Rites have now got a new member to the band, and he seems pretty awesome on his youtube debut.
Good Bits: It's a perfectly good album that sets up nicely for album 9.Drawbacks: Not as good as Grand Illusion.
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Shadowland, Nocturnal Rites' 5th album. As you may have gathered, I think it's a masterpiece. A tour de force of pure power.
It's actually quite hard to think this album is 10 years old now, just about as hard as it is to find fault with this album really.
Maybe it's this, since the arrival of Grand Illusion, this album has been a little in the shadows. Actually, that's not fair, the whole band are a little in the shadows, making this album completely obscured.
Youtube this band, listen to their work, I can only hope you all enjoy this band as much as I do.
Good Stuff: Nocturnal Rites churn out a gem of an albumBad Stuff: Overshadowed by Grand Illusion, and will their 9th album be as good as this? I can only hope so.
Grand Illusion (With Bonus DVD)
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Nocturnal Rites, a band hardly anyone has ever heard of. You wouldn't expect them to have much of a discography would you?
Grand Illusion is Noctural's 7th studio album, their 9th is supposedly due out sometime this year. It's going to take one hell of an effort to beat this album however.
What I love most about this album is the pure power in Lindqvist's voice, on every song he's recorded, he is never drowned out by either of the 2 guitars, the bass, or even the insanely heavy drumming on Fools Never Die.
I realise, this album won't be to everyone's tastes, but this is probably my favourite album by them,Actually, it's one of my favourite albums by any band.
It's a shame this band is as little known as they are. As a Metal band, they stand high and proud as one of the best bands still in the business.
The Good Bits: The vocals, and the rest of the band actually.The Bad Bits: The album needs more tracks. Finding live tours where I don't need to fly to a different country is nigh on impossible.
Beautiful Sin - CD
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I absolutely love this album. I completely discovered Beautiful Sin by accident one day whilst clicking through youtube (as one does).
If you like bands like Nightwish, Within Temptation, and to an extent, the female singer from Van Canto, you will love this track.Magali Luyten's voice has power, not in the same way Tarja does, but she certainly sounds at home with the band.
As far as I can see it, there is only one problem with this band, and it's that this is the only album they have produced so far, and this was recorded in 2006 I believe.There may be another album on it's way, there may not be. For now, we'll just have to enjoy this marvellous bit of sound.
The Good Stuff : Everything reallyThe Drawbacks: Are we ever going to get another album?
Super Pokemon Rumble (3DS)
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I must admit, I took a bit of a punt buying this game, as you may well know, this game has struggled to get much more than 6/10 anywhere.Maybe it's because I haven't played the wii version, but I am struggling to put it down, sure, it's very linear, the story leaves much to be believed, and the trade in your pokemon for evolved versions is a bit peculiar, but it does entertain.
Let's start with the graphics. Yes, they look basic, but I'm beginning to think this was on purpose, seems to me like the game was meant to be kept simple and fun to play. It's all there though, just... Toy style. The 3D is good too, unlike some recent releases. 7/10
Onto the sound. It's all there, good soundtrack, attacks sound good, and it's all good quality. 9/10
Now, the gameplay. Here's where Rumble falls down a bit, the standard gameplay is just wander round, mash a / b and hope you don't faint, there's a "boss" so to speak, in each level, some quite a bit harder than others. Then there's the other modes, some I like, some I'm not sure on. The tag battle was a good idea, but I'm not too sure on the hyper mode system.Then there's the charge battle mode, this just seems like content filler to me, it's really not the defining point of the game at all.Battle Royale however, I do like, it's just 90 seconds of wind up mayhem. 7.5 / 10
Next, the multiplayer: This is where Rumble falls down big time. The co-op is pretty good, but you can't progress through the story with a friend, and the only way to battle is to use streetpass, which of course, means more AI. There also isn't any trading, which may make "catching them all" quite hard work. 3.5 / 10
Now I'm going to touch on the game itself, it's generally pretty good, again, not sure about the evolution system, because you could have 1 of 7 (or 49, depending on how you do it) with a massive power score, but the evolution system seems to take the average, so, if the other 6 to 48 have bad scores you could (and probably will) wind up with a pokemon who's power rating is actually lower. That said, you do get the benefit of higher attack and defence ratings.
If you're looking for something to fill the gap between Pokemon B/W and the long anticipated 3rd instalment to generation 5, this could well be for you. It's a good game.
Sadly, that also hinders it from becoming 5 stars in my view; its "a good game", whilst rumble does (almost) everything it sets out to well, there's nothing there that I can honestly say is revolutionary and amazing.
If you're a pokemon fan, you'll probably enjoy this game, if you're new to the series, it may not float your boat, and you may well be better off pretty much every other 3DS game on the market.
7.0/10, enjoyable, but probably needed a little more time in development to be a 5 star game. Definitely better than most reviewers would have you believe however, and certainly worth renting, if not a purchase
Need For Speed: The Run
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I actually played this game at the Birmingham Motor Show, a couple of days before release, and it was dreadful.The first thing to note is this game appears to have taken Hot Pursuit, thrown away the good bits, and added worse parts, the sweet drifting (one of hot pursuits only good points) has gone, replaced with very clumsy handling.The AI are even less clever now than they were before, and as far as graphics go, they seem to have taken hot pursuit, and added weather.Are there any good points at all?Well, so far as I can see, no. The game does not feel fast, the nitrous is just odd to use these days.If you're after a Need For Speed game, you're better off downloading a copy of Need For Speed World, it is significantly better than this, and it's completely free to play.It's made by EA, and it's basically a collaberation of Most Wanted, Carbon, and Nfsu2, that's you're best bet, but if you want a serious racing game... Just don't buy Need for speed.
Mario Kart 7 (3DS)
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Well, 5 hours into playing the game, and I've finished the grand prix on 100cc and 150cc, it is way, way too short.Other downsides? Well, the Single Player is Poor, very, very boring, There isn't enough customisation (3 aspects) to warrant adding it, there are only 8 tournaments to do, which means a piffling 32 tracks to play, and who's idea was it to add the mii's? They sound like 2 year olds. The difficulty also just isn't there unless you opt straight for the 150cc class.
On the upside, playing it on multiplayer is epic, great fun, but the balloon war can get tiresome pretty quickly, as you can't unlock anything through it. You can, however, team up with a friend to do the tournaments, meaning you both unlock things, all you have to do (if you're not competitive) is make sure one of the players wins.(It's great fun if you are competitive though)
Graphics, sound, controls are all pretty solid, nothing extraordinary to report, but better than some other karting racers out there. Having it 3ds only seems a bit odd, there's not really enough 3D in it.
Overall, 2 sides of the extreme, on the one hand, it's a properly fun multiplayer game, but play it on your own, and you'll be trading it in within a few hours.Was expecting more, but it is the strongest Mario Kart to date, but again, that's not saying much. A few more diverse tracks would have been welcome, there are mirror tracks, but in my eyes, that doesn't count.
Ridge Racer 3D (3DS)
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Do you own Ridge Racer 7 on ps3? If you do, stop reading this review, and get a different game, because it's just as bad as that one.
So, just over 9 hours of play time, and I've finished the campaign, it was dull, dreary, repetitive, and there is only one track on the entire soundtrack that I found decent to drive with.Graphics aren't bad, but as for the 3d.. no, tire smoke does not fly towards you. No, water does not fly towards you. No, it does not make this game feel fast in any way.
The beginners grand prix is truly awful, far too easy and the cars are far too slow, and even the "difficult" dynamic machines are easy to drive.The advanced grand prix is much the same, just faster cars, but they don't feel fast, 200mph looks more like 20.The expert grand prix, even worse. The first 4 or 5 tournaments will provide a minimal challenge, and then you race the special machines. The Soldat Crinale is pretty good in this game, but otherwise, all useless.Then the last grand prix, you're up against cars that seem to have single shot nitrous lasting twice as long as your triple nitrous (this is in the crinale, not the madbull).
When you finish it, there's no ending movie, just a well done message and some mirrored tracks to run on.
I will never be touching this game again. I want ridge racer type 4 again.
Please, please avoid, and get Zelda 3D instead
Acer Aspire 7530G - 754G32BN / Turion X2 RM-75 2.2GHz / 4GB / 320GB / Blu-ray Combo / 17.3 inch / Vista Home Premium / Laptop / Notebook (LX.ARG0X.010)
I have had my acer 7530g for just over a year, and I would recommend anyone buying this to install a program called core temp, if this laptop idles below 60 Celsius it's a miracle.Also be aware of the speakers, if you go to use this for gaming, the surround sound malfunctions and all you can hear is crackling.On the upside, good processor, and good graphics card.
Dragon Age 2
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To be fair, if this game was a standalone title, we'd probably say it was pretty good and be done with it.However, because this is a follow on from Dragon Age 1, you can certainly see some weak points.Not least, is the new conversation system, well, to be fair, there isn't one, no longer can you stop and pester your comrades for information.Graphically, it's like looking at Dragon Age 1, not bad, for 2 years ago, and why, when Da1 was played in 1080p, did one of the developers suddenly decide to run 720 for the new one?
The story itself, runs parallel to DA1, and you'll meet a fair few familiar faces along the way, I quite liked that aspect, you got an idea of what happened to the "hero of ferelden"'s companions.
Would I recommend this game? Yes, but I would warn true Dragon Age fans not to expect any more than the original game, especially with the recycled dungeons.