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I bought Rift as I wanted a new MMO to play.
I don't want to start the 'it's just like WoW' speech as that's been done. What Rift does is take all the BEST BITS out of every MMO I've played and merged them into one game.
WoW will always have a special place in my heart ... but I welcome Rift with open arms. Welcome to 2011.
The bits I LOVE:
1) Graphically ... unbelievable!!! The toon animation/spells/water/trees/fire all look like no other MMO out there2) THE RIFTS! You could be walking through a field, it's clear and sunny when you hear a loud ROAR and a Rift opens up!3) Every quest giver (new/complete) is highlighted on the map (you'll never get lost or wonder where to hunt mobs)4) The quests themselves are well thought out (ok some are kill 10 of these but it's an MMO)5) Hybrid toon creation r.e. You chose a Warrior, but as you level, you can have 3 different soul trees meaning I can also heal/cast spells :)6) If you see someone fighting a Rift the games auto groups you as you approach so you receive equal reward and fight as one. Genius!7) The capital city is easy to navigate8) In the city you'll find the banker, tradesmen and trainers all in the SAME location (no need to run back and forth)9) Lots of strategy when playing i.e. you have to plan your runs across country as mobs watch your every move10) If I kill three mobs at the same time I only have to click one of them and I loot all!
To be honest, this list could go on and on. This game is pretty special.
The bits I HATE:
1) You need a GOOD/GREAT PC to play it2) Like point 1, a good PC will stop slow down during Rifts
Rift is more than I hoped it would be . It excels in ALL areas and deserves to succeed.
Divinity 2: The Dragon Knight Saga
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This has been one of the biggest gaming surprises for me.
I bought this expecting a poor, run of the mill, no depth RPG. I couldn't be more wrong.
For me, it outshines those big titles like Oblivion and Fallout. The gameplay is smooth, it has a no fuss interface, it's controls spot on, levelling system is fun, no grinding whatsoever, 100's of quests, etc, etc
I could go on and on with praise for this amazing release. Oh, and the devs have done an incredible job updating the graphics for the Xbox.
The only glaring downside is the loading times when exiting buildings. It can take up to 30 seconds. It's not a deal breaker when the game is this good.
I highly recommend Divinity 2. It's without question the best game I've played this year (if not the last two years).
Red Dead Redemption
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WOW! WOW! WOW! WOW! WOW! WOW! WOW! WOW! WOW!
Buying just about every title I own on PS3, I read that this game is VASTLY superior on Xbox 360. I picked up my copy today and I cannot believe how good it is. The 360 has opened my eyes once more to it's gaming excellence. Kudos Microsoft.
With regard to Red Dead Redemption ... it has blown me away. EVERYTHING (and I mean EVERYTHING) is spot on the money. NEVER have I felt so compelled to play and stare at wonder at a computer game. This game is the highest of high and well worth the wait.
I won't bore people with the background story (as we all know this already). I would happily give this title 10 stars out of 5 (if it were possible). I'm in digital love.
EVE Online (PC & Mac)
I've been playing MMO's for years and I'm growing tired of WoW, Guild Wars, City of Heroes, etc. I have always seen EVE about but something inside didn't yell at me to buy it.
I downloaded the trial (via EVE website) and was instantly impressed with how polished it all was. It oozes class and the music sends shivers down my back. 10 out of 10.
Initially, the game is complex and I found myself reading forums so that I could understand basic skills! I urge you to stick with it because once those first few days pass it feels so natural.
From my experience, the people who play are mature and very friendly. You don't see constant spam and the feeling of being alone and having a whole universe to explore is amazing. It's so different from just about any game I've played before.
EVE is a GREAT game, but I can see why many don't make it through the trial. It's not fast paced and you need a certain degree of intelligence to play.
I highly recommend EVE. I wish I started playing a few years ago.
White Knight Chronicles
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I bought this game even though reviews suggested it should be left alone. I'm glad I overlooked the overly critical reviewers.
The initial hours passed and if I'm honest, I felt disappointed with WKC. The game is sloooooow to get going and after playing Demons Souls, I wanted to give it a kick. Once I settled into the pace, I began to enjoy WKC.
This is not the best RPG out there, but on the PS3, it's as good as the best on offer. I'm 35 hours in and still have a bit to go (solo). I've not touched on the online aspect!
NOTE ... the manual for this game is worthless. I found myself scratching my head on many occasions. My advice is to read up via online gaming walkthroughs to get an idea where to start.
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
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I bought this game based on the strong/near perfect reviews.
This is NOT perfect.
The animation is STILL clumsy and slow to respond, the shoot-outs STILL take far too long (and there are too many of them), the puzzles have been seen many, many times before, etc, etc, etc.
I was a huge fan of the first Uncharted. It was a real showpiece of what the PS3 could do. With all the talk of the improvements that have been made I fail to see any of them in this product.
Graphically it's very good (and there are thousands of beautiful women in the world that are dull). This game like many new games looks fantastic, but where is the gameplay?
I can't stress enough my disappointment playing this game. Don't be fooled by others. This is not the best game on the PS3. It may be the best looking and it ends there. Invest in something deep (not as good looking) like Dragon Age.
Dragon Age: Origins
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Firstly, I have no doubt that the PC version is the system of choice for this game. It can get busy and I wish the PS3 had the option to zoom out.
That being said, the PS3 version is still very, very good.
I'd read that the graphics were poor and the interface was a mess. I personally feel the graphics are fine. Not the best and not as monstrous as people had led me to believe. The interface (initially) took took a little getting used to. After an hour of so (and considering the complexity of Dragon Age) I was navigating around the menus with ease.
As for the game itself, it's a nice mix of many 'old school' RPG's that makes anyone with a history of this type of game feel at home. I will confess that it doesn't push the bar massively higher, but it is the most fun I've had on my PS3 for a long, long time.
I'm still on my first play through and I'm looking forward to starting my second. Not once have I been bored or wished it would finish.
I will point out that there is a lot of reading/dialogue. Some people will tire of the background story relating to the next quest chain. Because it's so well acted and the decisions you make have such an impact on what happens next, it feels real.
This is not MW2, GOW3 or any other action based game. It's a big RPG with a big heart. It will keep you going for many, many weeks. I have thoroughly enjoyed playing Dragon Age and I'm glad I didn't listen to the haters.
West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum
Kasabian - CD
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As bold as that statement is, it comes from the heart.
This album is amazing and I can't recommend it enough.
It's simply breathtaking in every way.
Rock Band: Band In A Box (Instruments Edition)
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... as someone else mentioned, the guitar is naff. The build quality is VERY poor and doesn't feel as responsive as the GH3 model. The drums however are really good fun and the mic is 'rock' sing star, but for this kind of money I really expected something special. As for the game, it's fantastic. When it all slots into place you feel the hairs stand up on the back of your neck. It's everything I hoped it would be ... I just wish the guitar wasn't such a let down.
Nintendo Wii Console including Wii Sports (White)
I was the BIGGEST knocker of the Wii. Owning an Xbox 360 since launch date I had little time for (on face value) a far weaker console. Oh how i've had to eat my words. The Wii has everything under one roof. Granted the online play side is still catching up and the graphics not quite next gen, but the games themselves are VERY entertaining. I also love the fact that I can now surf the web from my sofa. The controllers take a while to get used to and offer unique twist when playing games. The Virtual Console download page offers 100 classic games. I've downloaded Mario Cart 64, Streets of Rage and R-Type which bought back many memories. I'm currently halfway through Zelda (10 out of 10) and just started Mario Charged Football (early days). I highly recommend the Wii. It's a nice change from the more serious 360/PS3.