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Gran Turismo PSP (Platinum)
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No doubt this was made as a "launch" title for the PSP Go. As a result it was made for the smaller screen and looks a little jagged on any other PSP. I found this out the hard way. I have not even seen this in action on the PSP Go, but I'm just assuming?
Everyone says "it can't be rushed, it's been in production since 2004". this is not the case. It was postponed for years and no matter what anyone says, this is a rushed job to coincide with the Go.
Yes the lack of a career mode was not very good, but I knew from the GT Concept and Prologue games that at least we would get amazing graphics right? Afraid not. From the pixellated crowds and white lines popping out the ground, to the lack of textures, this just looks nowhere near as good as even the 2002 Concept. Just play God of War and many others to see what the PSP can do when games are developed properly. Even Ridge Racer is far prettier and that was a launch title.
Speedlink Metal Faceplate for PSP Slim & Lite 2000/3000 - Silver
The PSP 3000 is a new fangled games console, media player, Game Boy style portable and a Skype phone etc all rolled into one. In other words, a real treat. Sony are soon to be releasing the PSP Go, which does away with the UMD concept and exclusively promotes downloads from the Playstation Store.
At last, Sony have released a new PSP that is not a slap in the face for current owners. Those that actually like UMD need not apply - simples! PSP 3000's remain up to date and relevent, while new gamers have the choice between the 2 different consoles.
Now, with current owners safe from further redesigns, it's a perfect time to make sure your PSP remains smudge free and cool. These faceplates can not come any more highly recommended. They fit perfectly, give your PSP a smart new look (when you want them attached that is), and most importantly, keep dirty finger marks and smudges off. As a side note, the black buttons peeking through the faceplate look groovy and make them pop out more, besides reminding one of the silver PS2 controller back in the day.
In short, get these faceplates, hand your PSP to anybody to have fun with, and worry not about sticky fingers - yuck!
Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition
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On the GameCube and PS2 this was great. Now it's an experience. This is thanks to the new controls - It has improved the game 500%, so much so that when I run, slash and shoot through it on Wii, I forget that I've played it before.
The point of this release was not to improve the graphics or alter the story (both of which are fantastic) - the point was to take a successful game and show how much better it is on Wii. Capcom have stated it's not a remake - it's simply a port with new controls. As a result, the Wii controls appear to be the most innovative in the world, ever. And I was a Playstation fan for years.
The graphics on Resident Evil 4 are sill gorgeous, and with the new light gun-esque controls, how the 5th entry in the series will be half as fun without it is a mystery. Going back to aiming with an analogue stick? No thanks. If the Wii can improve a classic like Resi 4, there's tons of potential for great new games with brand new graphics. Happy days.
Nintendo Wii Console including Wii Sports (White)
Sony, Microsoft...take note.
Hit and miss EyeToy games aside, Nintendo has created the first ever games console that works the entire body and actually gives you a workout beyond all those nights pounding the buttons in the local arcade. No more twiddling thumbs in front of the TV while people around you roll their eyes at your lack of physical activity.
In short, this puts an end to both anti-social gaming behaviour and the myth that video games = couch potato. Or maybe you're just fed up with the same old games in a new wrapper.
Truly next gen motion-capture gameplay, bloomin' lovely high res graphics, seriously stylish aesthetic design and the wonderful Mii options, means that the Nintendo Wii is not only the first proper family and friends dream console, but one of the biggest leaps in gaming history.
Nintendo are back. Accept it.
Resident Evil: Extinction (UMD Movie)
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Okay enough people have reviewed the DVD version, so I'll review the UMD instead.
As it happens, this is the sort of movie UMD was made for. It's a Resident Evil film, which is very Playstation friendly. It also happens to be a good movie.
Parts 1 and 2 were weak, so it's refreshing to see an entry in the series which contains decent zombies and an original setting which could very well be the inspiration for a future game in the series.
It's even got that video game final baddie jolt we all expect and overall it's a great entertainment. The cast are attractive and watchable with a great tie to Resident Evil 2 the game with one of the characters. UMD is ideal for movies you don't necessarily need on DVD, but would be fun to have in your pocket. This is one of those films.
Family Guy: Blue Harvest (A New Hope Episode IV): Special Edition
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Family Guy is a really funny show, most of the time. It used to be that the show would cut away several times during any episode to random interchangable jokes that made people laugh as they were simply so random. The time has finally come that Family Guy throws out any pretense to having proper stories and just make entire episodes based around the random jokes. In this case, it's Star Wars Episode Four that gets the treatment. Family Guy is no stranger to Star Wars references, but to many this may seem like overkill just a tad.
It's still really funny, although some jokes work better than others, and it should be a conversational piece for many Family Guy and Star Wars fans. It has recently been announced by Fox that these episodes will not be re-released in later box sets, so if you want to own them on DVD, it stops here.
I'm not entirely sure of the price jump from the standard edition to the embarrassing special edition of this - either way you merely get a double episode of Family Guy. Although admittedly, they're a pretty good and timeless couple of episodes. The simple fact is if you want Blue Harvest, buy it. Especially now that it's cheaper. I myself am a Family Guy fan, I thinks it's great (although I also agree with South Park), and even though this release is effectively a shameless cash-in, it is enjoyable enough that you just don't care.
The extras though are self-congratulatory gush and the girly Lucas butt-kissing from McFarlane disappoints to say the least.
Xploder TV Adapter Cable For PSP Slim & Lite
UMD movies used to be a guilty pleasure - you would buy one and enjoy it but feel ever so slightly ripped off. If only you could play them on your TV as well. That would make them the perfect format, right? I mean you could watch them at home on your big TV, and then pop them in your pocket for portable viewing whenever you wanted.
Of course, this never was the case and so UMD was mocked by many as a dead format that just didn't know it yet. People were accused of wasting their money for buying them, and some people even bought both the DVD and UMD versions of the same movie, making everyone around them raise an eyebrow to say the least.
In an act of revenge that should make Jaws 4 blush, UMD's are back to bite non-believers on the a**
This cable (along with every other Component AV Cable for PSP on the market), makes your UMD movie's fit full screen and in impressive quality on your big screen TV. If this feature was available on the original PSP, UMD movies would have thrived. The good news is, more people than ever are buying these products - Why? There's simply no reason not to, and they're all pretty cheap now too.
It's honestly one of the most uncanny things I have seen from any console, let alone a portable system. As a UMD movie was made to fit the PSP screen, it's baffling how it looks so amazing on your big plasma. UMD's can be stacked right next to DVD's now as proper home viewing choices, as well as being pocket portable - fantastic.
Games do not fill the entire TV screen however, but this really doesn't matter as nobody has ever questioned the value of the games. It's just cool to have the option to play them bigger though. It turns the PSP into a home console at will. Surfing the net on your TV, as well as everything else the PSP can do are really just bonuses in my opinion. The real beauty of these cables is simply enjoying your previously confined movies on the big screen. The quality really will blow you away as you realise you now own a new home movie format you didn't even know you had.
Black Sony PSP Slim & Lite Console Base Unit
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Until recently I thought of the PSP Slim and Light as a cash-in, a low production device designed to give the PSP another fresh start.
Then my old PSP broke. And I have to be honest, it's satisfying to be able to get a replacement which also feels like a proper upgrade.
Playing UMD's on your TV is incredible and a real technical achievement for Sony. Although, as there's no cable included in the box for this, I would suggest reading my review on the cable seperately for more information. The improved loading times and speaker locations are also a definite plus.
This new PSP not only makes the old version seem like it weighs a metric ton, but it's even slightly lighter now than the DS. The overall performance of the machine has also been greatly improved - I began to notice some problems with the old PSP even before it broke. Certain new games were sluggish as it struggled to keep up.
Now that this is sorted, UMD's have multiplied their worth by about a hundred (watch them at home or on the go!), and playing the PSP is generally a more comfortable experience, you can't go wrong here.
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Having already reviewed the 30th Anniversary DVD of Jaws, I briefly glanced at the reviews for this superior first Special Edition.
What I was confronted with were comparisons to the trashy Deep Blue Sea, comments about the shark having no presence, and generally underwhelming reviews by questionable critics - Jaws is a 5 Star movie, the shark is a 5 star monster, and this DVD is a 5 Star release as well. I wouldn't usually review a film more than once (particularly on the same website), but in this case it's more of a review of the DVD Edition.
Whatever region you buy this on (region 1 DTS version has a metallic cover - for those that care), Jaws is a more satisfying experience for fans with this 25th Anniversary Edition. Why is this? Check out my review for the 30th Anniversary Edition - you'll find out.
Jaws is a jewel of a movie - a must for every film fan. Note - pick up the book as well, it's a brilliant read and contains enough differences and descriptions to make a fine companion piece to the movie.
Jaws: 30th Anniversary Special Edition (2 Discs)
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...But this 30th Anniversary Edition DVD is a letdown.
The 25th Anniversary DVD was fabulous. This "new" edition has the movie (as one would expect), the entire making of documentary (previously a condensed version), an interview with Spielberg from the Jaws set, and some other bits and bobs.
It also curiously leaves out some of the items seen in the previous release - the Original and re-release trailers (a must for any fan), and an enjoyable interactive Quiz, to name but two. On viewing the full documentary, it becomes apparent why they felt the need to create a "Highlights" show previously - the full documentary is overlong, boring in places, poorly edited and seriously lacks spark. The previous Making Of was a fun experience to sit through, with snappy transitions, music cues and the most interesting facts and information retained and presented in an entertaining way. The full doc's a snore, as is the obscure interview with Spielberg.
In all fairness, it isn't just the content which lets down this new DVD - the presentation of the menu screen lacks the subtle coolness of the previous edition, and has been replaced by a messy and chaotic interface which is simply not worthy of "Jaws".
It feels strange to criticise such a release, but if the DVD producers are going to promise the Ultimate Jaws experience, they really should have included EVERYTHING here, and worried less about the cartoony picture on the front of the box.