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Tomb Raider: Underworld
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This game is the leap in the right direction TR fans have been wanting. Yeah the combat is somewhat lackluster and the story is short, as always, but for the most part it s a joy. The environments are gorgeous (as is a certain heroine), and Lara's interaction with them is something other developers should take note of. The one vehicle (motorbike) doesn't invade the gameplay as it has previously, although it is a bit like trying to steer a caravan. The story is very good, wasting no time in picking up Legend and Anniversary. The lack of bosses and the reduced, refined dialogue give it a much better feel of progression. I still wonder if adding multiplayer would ruin the series...Overall, a suprisingly good game, although it wont last you very long.
Firewind - CD
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This album is not as consistantly high-speed as their last, but the power hasn't left the band at all. They're embracing their melodic power metal more than ever now and it shows in a varied, artistic new tracklist. Tracks like 'Into the Fire', 'Remembered', and 'Circle of Life' are showcases of the drama created by this band whilst the technical wizardry of Gus G keeps the band rooted in the metal pool. Also noteworthy is that this is Firewind's first album to feature the same line-up as its predecessor, I think it can be agreed these guys work great together. Keep the Firewind raging!
The Premonition (Limited Edition CD & DVD)
This album is not as consistantly high-speed as their last, but the power hasn't left the band at all. They're embracing their melodic power metal more than ever now and it shows in a varied, artistic new tracklist. Tracks like 'Into the Fire', 'Remembered', and 'Circle of Life' are showcases of the drama created by this band whilst the technical wizardry of Gus G keeps the band rooted in the metal pool. Also notewrothy is that this is Firewind's first album to feature the same line-up as its predecessor, I think it can be agreed these guys work great together. The bonus DVD is a really nice little extra. Featuring four live perfomances from the album and an interview with each band member, its a great insight for any fan.
Doctor Who: The Movie (O Ring) (Dr Who)
This is an enjoyable Doctor Who romp and ideal for those fans who have seen little/none of the classic series as it stands on it's own two feet. Some of the American influence (romance, characterisation), leave the thing feeling a little uncomfortable, but Paul McGann easily takes on the role and makes it his own. He clearly enjoys himslef and is a joy to watch. The story may grow a little tiresome on repeated viewings, but recommended to any fan.
Doctor Who: Sontaran Commander Skorr Figure (Series 4) (Dr Who)
The quality of the figure is very good, that erns it four stars. However, the loose arculation (mine has a right foot that comes off just too easily) all over the body. Still, it comes with a cool gun and the helmet, whilst not the simple snap-on piece i'd hoped, work well, and in full gear he looks very cool. Summary: Very good paint job and shaping, but very weak joints make him a sensitive creature to behold, more a case of 'Sontar-Oh...'.
Hammerfall: Rebels With A Cause... (Special Edition DVD+CD Digipack) (2 Discs)
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Its a neat package, I'll give you that. There's loads for fans here, all of their recent music videos, live clips, and behind-the-scenes featues. The documentry itself is high-quality, with the band member taking their time to cover around around five years in detail. However, whilst even casual fans will find this interesting, people who only like the music, or are just interested in being entertained, probably wont appreciate this DVD. The Masterpieces CD is also a great idea, with nearly all the covers being worth a listen...And the artwork is great.
Firewind: Live Premonition (DVD & 2CD)
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You can tell that effort was put in this release. The menus are punchy and the new graphics are greater than you'd think the band had budget for. As for the concert itself, a great selection of songs with all the band doing thier best, although Apollo's vocals can be a little quiet sometimes. And beware, the drum solo/Dreamchaser track is just a drum solo with a small 'Dreamchaser' snippet at the end, rather than the whoole track. Comes in a nice slip case and is a fantastic package for a Firewind fans.
Jurassic Park Trilogy Box Set: The Ultimate Collection
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You'll either thoroughly enjoy these films or find them very annoying. Personally they tie with Star Wars in my favourite film franchises. Each film has a different dynamic, from the first film's base underseige feel, to The Lost World's expedition, to JP3's intense run-and-hide. The first two films are the more substantial, with III feeling much like tag along. However, it is hard to fault the acting. The dialogue is secure and the leads (and supports) like Sam Neill and Jeff Goldblum rarely let down. The bonus disk is a nice little gem with plenty of new features, although it would have been nicer to see the entire package composed better rather than the rehash of the origional DVDs plus one extra. Overall, a well reccomended trilogy, and a great piece of aesthetic design.
Star Wars: Battlefront - Renegade Squadron
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This was my first game for the PSP and whist I think a good amount of effort went into the game (the number of new maps is noteworthy), it is perhaps just a bit on the easy side. I think play could have been greatly improved with a control system that did not resolve so much around targetting. That said, the story mode is good, the Col Serra character in particualar is voiced well, and the cutscenes are fun to watch. The character customisation was a good idea, but was perhaps a bit limiting. The most improvements have been made to the space missions, with target-camera, heroes, and astroid bases being great additions. All in all, a great game for a while at least, and a great steeping point for the (hopefully) fully-fledged next installment. It would be nice to see some DLC, though.
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Despite the constant band changes, Guss G stuck at it and has finally got himself a good solid line-up. The evidence is apparent from this album; a great example of melodic power metal, with even the slower-tempo songs, 'Falling to Pieces', 'The Essence', loaded with energy, alongside powerhorses like 'Ready to Strike' and 'Dreamchaser'. A promising display for the new line-up.