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Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
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Now i do love a bit of COD BUT I dont know if I am in love with this game. Obviously its pretty damn amazing and does set the standards for any other console, but i feel the kill streaks online are sooo powerful. In Cod 5 we had the dogs and it was pretty damn hard to kill 7 people in a row for some strange reason. In this one I can guarantee that before I die every single game I will get a Predator missile or something along those lines. In a way its too easy? There are, as with every cod, a lot of glitches and hacks and they have in a way ruined the game. The geeks are getting a load of patches through to sort these out though!
The story mode is pretty insane though, its a little short but some of the things you can do are amazing. The element of stealth is something I love and this works brilliantly and realistically in the game. Spec Ops on the other hand isn't so good, REMEMBER Zombies? No where near as addictive as that, as in once you have completed one you most probably go back and do it again. But there you go.Dont get me wrong though, I am severely addicted to the online play, prestige 10 already and I wouldnt be sitting around reading this review if I was you, I would be buying the game and sitting down to some HD happiness! Hope this helped! Say yes!!! Lol
Resident Evil 5 (Platinum)
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`Resident Evil 5' is the latest in the series and is the first Resident Evil game on the next-gen consoles (PS3 & Xbox 360). This time it sees Chris Redfield, the star of the original and Code: Veronica, go to Africa to help stop a bio-terrorist threat. Helping him along the way is a newcomer to the series, Sheva Alomar who has his back throughout the game.
I thought I'd wait until I'd finished the main story (on normal difficulty) before reviewing this game and now that I have I'll start off by saying that this game is excellent. The African setting is a great change to the series which has been mainly based in science labs and creepy mansions and is now set in the brightly lit streets, crocodile infested swamps and temples filled with infected tribes people.
THE GOOD:- The new setting, making it feel like something completely different. Just what the series needed.- The online and split-screen co-op. Finally! The one problem with the Resident Evil series has always been that it was entirely a one player game. Now a friend can join in the action.- The action is very fast flowing and intense. There's not a dull moment in this game.- The visuals are some of the best I've seen on the PS3. Life-like character models and ultra realistic backgrounds make this one of the most stunning games ever.
THE BAD:- It's pretty short. The levels can be finished between 15 - 45 minutes each and sometimes even quicker in co-op.- In single player mode, Sheva can get in the way a lot and having to watch her back throughout the whole game can become annoying in the harder sections.- It's not at all scary. This has gone from being the ultimate in the survival horror genre to now just being an action adventure game.
Overall this is one of the best games so far on the PS3 and I highly recommend it to both fans of the series and newcomers as it really is action packed and such good fun to play. Although the controls and style have not really expanded from Resident Evil 4, this is still absolutely brilliant!
District 9 (Nine)
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This is a film made in the form of a documentary. It centres around a government official, Wikus Van der Merwe (Sharlto Copley - who plays Howling Mad Murdock in the new "A-team" movie).
Twenty years previously a space ship stopped over Johannesburg, South Africa. The alien refugees aboard, who became known as "Prawns", have been forced to live in District 9 ever since. District 9 is basically a shanty town on top of a land fill rubbish dump. Wikus, who is part of Multi-National United (MNU), is sent into the slum area known as District 9. It is Wikus's job to serve eviction notices on the "Prawns" (and seemingly to search for weapons).
The film shows that the "Prawns" are seen as an easy target for anyone with a problem (they are literally the ultimate illegal alien) and the portrayal of the ease with which attitudes of people can fall to simply because the creatures they are dealing with appear so much different to them; the Prawns are seen as a lesser life form that can be hunted down and killed with little or no reason needed and no consequences for the perpetrator.
As Wikus goes round he is accompanied by a documentary film crew and, while showing off for the film crew, he accidentally operates an alien device which sprays a black liquid in his face, infecting him with a substance which starts to change him into the thing he hates - a "Prawn". So, he becomes hunted by his own company (who want his DNA so that they can operate the alien technology), trigger happy militia and local gangs. In a case of poetic justice, he must join up with the creatures he dislikes in order to survive.
The film was being mentioned as an Oscar contender months before it was even released; this may be due to the underlying messages regarding racism and the treatment of the illegal aliens - hot topics in the USA when this film was being made - which was possibly why it was set in South Africa.
It is an interesting film, an interesting concept, a well made production, but I did find it a little on the slow side at times. If the treatment dished out to the "Prawns" makes you cringe then it has probably accomplished what it needs to. After all, it is less a Sci-Fi film and more a socio-political commentary.
The Ultimate Bourne Collection (3 Discs)
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Updating the American paranoia films of the 70s with top drawer action and globe-trotting cat-and-mouse suspense, all encapsulated in crystal clear Blu-ray technology, the Bourne series has to be the complete trilogy of its genre. Owing greatly to pre-Hollywood Hitchcock and American classics such as The Conversation, Three Days of the Condor and Brian De Palma's Mission Impossible, Bourne does them all as we witness the Black Ops assassin's breakneck journey for self-preservation, pursuit of his betrayers and quest for self-discovery and redemption.
In Identity the journey we share with Bourne, from isolated amnesiac to multi-lingual fully realised killer, contains action, suspense and guile by the truckload. It has finger-snapping fights and a car chase borrowing from (take your pick) but easily matching The Italian Job, French Connection, Ronin and the best of Bond. But Bourne isn't just about modern action-film gimmickry; here is a character with talent, intelligence, vulnerability and oh so hidden depths. The film has it all: tension, menace, ominous European towns, snowscapes, back-story laden characters and friendly fishermen.
Supremacy has arguably the most contrived premise of the trilogy but more than makes up for this with its similar mix to Identity of action, treachery and intrigue. The film is given depth by the multi-faceted support characters and its reprising of the wintry European towns that have pretty much become a character of their own. The claustrophobia from the first film is maintained with much of the action and stealth set in an icy cold Germany and Russia. Here Bourne, again the pursuer and evader, with his memory returning in patches, is even more the man of solemnity, violence and atonement no better exemplified in a truly captivating final 20 minutes.
Finally, Ultimatum tells both its own story whilst smartly interweaving all three as it cleverly overlaps with the timeline from Supremacy. Bourne is again both the pursuer and the pursued (never so much as a hat for a disguise!) and if in the last film he sought penitence, in this he's out for retribution. Again the action, fight sequences and tension are stunning as is Bourne's continuing nerve-shredding ability to outwit his surveillance-heavy trackers. And the section in Waterloo Station has to be one of the all time standout sequences of its kind, with its stunning blend of suspense, action and sheer cunning. This third film which nicely book-ends the first with practically the same scene, is so good I'm praying they don't do another.
My niggles are few but in the interests of balance I know I'm not the first to point out that its superb action is sometimes a little marred with the excessive camera-judder favoured by director Paul Greengrass. And on a macro level I'd concede that Bourne's ability to consistently outsmart his enemies of seemingly limitless resources, with pretty much just his wits and a mobile phone, is a perhaps a little dubious.
For my money Ultimatum just tops Identity but really there's only half a star separating all three. But as good as these films are the final word has to go to Matt Damon who, notwithstanding his heavy-weight supporting cast, gives a masterful performance in under-acting; he is a vulnerable lost soul in a foreign land and he is the deadly weapon in full command of his environment. In the hands of a lesser actor these would still be great films, in the hands of a professional like Damon, they're outstanding.
The Matrix Trilogy (3 Discs)
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A word about the Blu-Ray quality first. There are some very strange rumours on these pages such as saying that these films are just upscaled DVDs. I don't know where people get these ideas from, but it is simply not true. For a 10 year old film "The Matrix" is very close to the top of the Blu-Ray tree. The close-ups, particularly of Neo and Morpheus, are stunning reference level examples of depth and plasticity. I watched this projected c. 3m wide, and just gawped at the detail in Fishburne's pock-marked face: it was more like having a giant statue of his head on the wall than looking at a flat TV-like image.
What some people are looking at and not liking is probably either (a) the occasional use of green colour filtration which is a clever cinematic trick conveying the irreality of The Matrix or (b) the crushed blacks which are a stylistic choice by the film's makers. Yes, the black levels on "The Spirit" make a mockery of these, but that's the look they've gone with. It is also true that not all scenes have reference level sharpness and HD image quality. But very few films 'pop' constantly as it gets boring, and with the aesthetic choices made the film has a very good share of stupendous image quality
Audio quality is very good (5.1 True HD) with dialogue and effects well balanced, although some late scenes are significantly louder than earlier ones (and I mean comparing action scenes with action scenes); again, a directorial choice no doubt.
In "The Matrix Reloaded" the picture quality is maybe slightly better, the audio a touch more forceful (although the actual music is not as good as in "The Matrix". For me, "Revolutions" is on the same BD level as Part II. But on balance, the boxset is a very good HD release at a crazily cheap price, and it does not deserve the false criticism of its supposedly sub BD-level standard.
The films themselves were interesting to see again after what, for me, was quite a long term. The original is magnificent as ever, and I found the second installment much less disappointing than back at the time of release. If you mentally prepare in advance for the wilfully tedious scenes with "The Merovingian" and "The Architect" then you realise that the film is actually a pretty good sequel, and not the disaster it seemed back then. The party scene in Zion is also fairly dull and overlong, but otherwise much better than I remembered. And even if the ending of "Revolutions" is not very satisfying, it remains my second favourite Matrix film, and as Mr Anderson loved to say, perhaps the way it is was "inevitable".
For just over a fiver a disc, you cannot go wrong. These are not upscaled DVDs, they are very good BD transfers. Free your mind!
Race Driver: Grid (Platinum)
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Brilliantly fast, smooth, and graphically clean racer finally introducing the speed that the likes of Gran Turismo and Forza have recently sucked out of racing games in preference of "real driving simulation." Controls are responsive and the artificial intelligence is spot on, at times too much as the cars will crash into you in order to get you off the track and may even end up smashing your car up which after a few attempts does tend to suck the fun right out of the game.
Having R2 button as acceleration is a brilliant idea, especially in auto gear box mode as it allows the acceleration to be much more controlled, taking corners using the amount of acceleration the player feels comfortable with. The speeds at times are incredible, short windy true to life circuits in a formula 3000 car comes blisteringly to life and the frame rate stays incredibly smooth.
The career mode allows wide scope for different types of racing. Open wheeled events for purists, touring car events and for those mad on Japanese performance the pro tuned races really bring the cars to life. The choices of cars for events are very limited. For example the touring cars have the choice between the BMW 320i and the Chevrolet Lacetti. The lack of car options does not really take anything away from the game.
The main reasons for not getting a great score especially in the fun rating is the shear anger and loss of patience that this game creates, the write offs that are out of the players control and restarting the race countless times. This is not helped when your car is randomly placed on the grid which may stick you in last place and you have to overtake all of the cars in front in 3 laps without crashing or making a single mistake. This sometimes makes it all too realistic and completely takes the fun out of what is mostly an enjoyable game with intense action,superb graphics and beautiful cars.
Uncharted: Drake's Fortune (Platinum)
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Think Gears of War, Indiana Jones, Tomb Raider and you have the main kind of gameplay of Uncharted Drake's Fortune. However it takes all those great aspects of play and combines them with high quality production values, a great story, amazing attention to detail, beautiful/stunning graphics and levels And a complete style of it's own to create one brilliant adventure that you must experience if you own a PS3.
Follow Drake on his adventure along with his friends Elena and Sully to find the lost treasure of El Dorado which leads to the discovery of a forgotten island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. After they become stranded, they must fight their way to survival as they uncover the dark secrets hidden on the island.
Most of the gameplay in Uncharted will have you shooting enemies which includes a really great aiming system and the option to take cover behind structures to regain health. There's also a decent amount of platforming including climbing, jumping, swimming, swinging from branches and puzzle solving. Also included is a thrilling jeep chase and the ability to ride on jet skis. Everything you need to take you on a great survival adventure.
The graphics in Uncharted are absolutely amazing. Attention to detail is very present and plants and trees will move as Nathan passes by them, leaves and trees will blow in the wind, making the world feel real and full of life. Water in the game looks fantastic and Nathan himself has around 3000 animations making him one of the most fluidly moving characters in a video game ever. His clothes will get wet in water, they wrinkle as he moves, his muscles bulge under them when he raises his arms and sweat pours from his forehead. All this makes for a fantastic looking game that will blow you away.
The game uses motion capture like we saw in Heavenly Sword using real actors. The characters come to life and are believable and all great people that you will come to love. Sully is such a funny guy and will even follow you around, telling you stories as you are walking around as Nathan. Elana is a cool strong female character but she's also a character you can relate to, much like most of the characters in the game. They aren't stereo typical game characters who you can't relate to but very real, making you feel as you're watching actors in a movie.
In terms of story you will have to buy the game and see for yourself but be prepared for one of the most epic adventures and best stories you will see in a video game with fantastic twists that will keep you on the edge of your seat. If you ever wanted to play a game that was like a Hollywood blockbuster then treat yourself to Uncharted and you'll not be dissapointed. 10/10
Official Sony PS3 Wireless Bluetooth Headset
This item has been receiving a bit of stick, not sure why. I have bought 2 of these, one from America and one from Britain to compare. It seems this version has some updates, and comes in a nice box with updated instructions.
Now to the product. I use mine for CoD 5 and the sound, both being sent and received is crystal clear, and must be the best from any bluetooth headset. It also has nice little features like an on-screen display for battery life and whether mic-mute is on or off.
The headset is light, fits easily over the ear and the hook is adjustable for extra comfort and stability. Although in my experience it doesn't seem to fit in the ear that well, however, it has never fallen off or out.
Battery life is about the same as the controllers (about 6 hours talk time), but re-charging is quick through the supplied stand, which also doubles up as a desktop microphone. I warn you though, in this mode the mic is very sensitive. It heard me talking to my bro about 15 meters away, make sure it is switched off when in the stand.
All in all it looks great and performs amazingly. No regrets buying, and not a bad price. So where's yours?
Tomb Raider: Underworld
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Another exciting adventure for Miss Croft in her new designer outfits, boasting motion-captured movements modelled from gymnast Heidi Moneymaker (no pun, real name), she runs, climbs, swings, swims, swishes at undergrowth, chimney vaults and fights her way dirty kneed through a maze of jungles, caves, glaciers, ships and strange ancient machinery ... but Lara need never feel alone out there in the middle of the Mediterranean, or in Thailand, Southern Mexico or Jan Mayen island in the Arctic ocean; for around any corner there is bound to be another adversary, mercenary or Colin O'Malley orchestra.
Underworld is poised for greatness, but with yet another new graphics engine developed especially for the game, fresh with the latest bugs, it presents the gamer with yet another bag of niggles. The character animation is better than before, indeed it is excellent and you have to see it to believe it, but Lara has forgotten how to walk or creep. The best she can do is run in slow motion, or at least that's what it looks like to me. Perhaps walking was not in Heidi's contract ... this practically forces me to run around everywhere, giving me no time to really absorb the fantastic artwork and impressive scenery, and possibly as a result I discover that the puzzles require no thought whatsoever. If you can press it, push it, switch it, rotate it or climb it - do it. You don't need to know why, you don't need to examine the mechanism.
Long gone are the days where you need a piece of paper to write down clues or figure out how to solve puzzles. I didn't get stuck once playing this game. This was the most disappointing aspect of the release. Despite promises of non-linear gameplay and while the graphics are generally superb (with the few usual bugs such as Lara floating in mid-air in some camera angles), the sound effects and music heart-pounding, and while the story sets up the adventure excellently - the main reason we keep coming back to Tomb Raider is for the puzzles. In Underworld, they are simply far too easy to solve by anyone's measure.
The only real genuine puzzle in the game is why, if Crystal Dynamics focused so much on the WCLD (What Could Lara Do?) philosophy, why did they fail on that point so catastrophically - to the point where Lara still can't jump onto ledges that are only a foot above her head if the game developer hasn't thought about making the ledge "grabbable", and she still jumps off to her death in stupid directions when that's clearly not the direction in which you intended for her to die! The controls continue to be the most troublesome aspect of the most recent Lara adventures, when the puzzles themselves ought to pose the greatest challenges.
Another major disappointment for me is that exploration is not encouraged. Except to find a limited variation of pick-ups and a few bonuses which unlock some rather uninspiring extras, the game is in fact as linear as they come. And with the demise of Croft Manor, there is no escape to Lara's house to take a break from the bats of Bhogavati to practise your pole-dancing skills.
However, that should not put you off buying this game. I've said it before I'll say it again, there is no other game like it on the market. No self-respecting gamer would miss buying Tomb Raider Underworld. It is a marvel to behold, we only wish the developers would go back to basics and create a game that is primarily designed to exercise the grey matter and less of the adrenaline ...
Assassin's Creed II
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If you played the original, then these are the better bits (so far after 8 hours of play)
It's an excellent absorbing game and is a league above the original Assassin's Creed. It takes a few hours before some of the developments in the game unfold and to be honest they are still unfolding so by this time next week there may be a whole heap more. To give some examples:- Blending into crowds is much better implemented, you actually have to position yourself in the middle of moving groups to blend, not just press one button. Trying to make your way without being seen requires more stealth and it's very easy to become exposed at a critical moment.- Introduction of armour, greater variety of weapons through merchants- More combat moves. Combat is still a bit easy, but there is more that you can do with it.- More sub-plots to break up the main plot (well to be accurate there weren't any in the original game, since I don't count picking up flags as fun, but now there are quite a number). Overall this looks like it should take quite a lot longer to complete and sub-plots are more reminisent of something like Oblivion.- You need to seek out doctors for medical potions instead of just sitting still to heal- Different groups you can hire to help e.g, thiefs, soldiers, prostitutes- Missions vary and do not follow as predictable formats as the original and have proper plot development
Basically, if you liked the original, you should really like this. If you weren't particularly keen on the original but like games like Oblivion, this should have more to entertain you than the original.