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Call Of Duty: Black Ops
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I have played every single Call Of Duty title, and this is the best one yet since the breakthough Multi-Player greatness that CoD 4 brought to the masses on XBOX Live.
Its hard to describe just how good this CoD Black Ops really is - and it does stand proudly on the shoulders of giants - it has taken the best bits of CoD's World At War and MW2, added some fresh ingredients and refinements, and cooked up sheer greatness.
Cant wait for the first Map Pack DLC due out Feb 2011.
If you have an xbox, you have to have this. And if youre not on xbox live yet, what on earth are you waiting for?!
This is the current pinnacle of multiplayer gaming perfection - and the Campaign, Zombie, Dead Ops Arcade, and Zork parts of this are just beautiful cherries on top of one sweet, sweet cake!
EA Sports Active 2 (Kinect Compatible)
3 New from
First up, credit where credit is due - the Heart Rate Monitor is great, works perfectly, and provides realtime feedback, which in turn makes exercising more interesting. All good so far.
However, it is an excercise tool, and it just doesnt work anywhere like it should. The devil here is in the detail - all Kinnect games are all Kinnect "game/title", this one is merely in brackets like an after thought - thats because it is.
This title was not built for the Kinect, it was built for the Wii and PS3, and this is just a hack of that for the Kinnect - a straight up way for EA to get more money out of something already done.
Does that matter? Massively. Heres why. The tracking is poor. However, that actually doesnt matter, as long as you can get on with your Workout. Well, you can't. It just randomly pauses, for no reason at all, and you constantly have to yell at it to try and activate the voice command, and when that fails, and it often does, you then have to reach for a controller to hit the A button.
It often pauses when you are just holding a stretch - you havent gone anywhere or moved or turned the lights off - it saw you perfectly fine you for the first 15 seconds of holding the stretch, why then does it decide it cant see you and pause!!
Its random to, and it just disrupts your workout by breaking your rhythm while you stop and get it going again - the whole point of this title is an exercise tool yet it stops you all the time from exercising! No one would tolerate a First Person Shooter if you couldnt do any First Person Shooting!
To qualify my review - I have plenty of clear space (move the coffe table and couch out of the way), plain carpet and wall, good lighting, a healthy heart(the monitor is not registering a heart attack or flatline), and a very mild accent. I have other Kinnect titles that perform amazingly perfect and dont randomly pause all the time.
One more thing - EA couldnt even be bothered to license some decent tunes to work out to - music being widely used by most people to aid exercise. You can add your own tunes, but again, its just another point of how little EA done to get this"working" on the Kinect.
I have used a friends "Your Shape : Fitness Evolved" that is a proper Kinect built title, and it shows as it is mint - 1,000,000,000 x better.
EA, this is a disgrace. I will stick with it only becasue I have already handed over my cash, though will move to something better as soon as I can.
We can only hope EA do it properly if a Sports Active 3 ever gets made.
If you havent brought this, please dont - go for "Your Shape : Fitness Evolved" or wait until EA do a proper version.
There will be no "Update" to fix these problems, as its at the core of the games engine - no chance some patch could fix it.
I give it 1 Star for the Heart Rate Monitor - hopefully when SA3 arrives I will be able to use it with that and it wont be a complete waste of my cash.
EA, "its NOT in the game" this time.
The Five Greatest Warriors
1 New from
It is the direct sequel/continuation of 6 Sacred Stones, but that itself is the sequel/continuation of 7 Ancient Wonders albeit with some years passing between events (which do get partially filled in) - so really, its the 3rd and final(?) part of the trilogy.
Anyway, 6 Sacred Stones left me hanging, or should that be falling, so I am stoked that the wait is over.
I have only jumped back in, so cannot review from a complete book angle, but, so far, so good, and I'm braced for the ride to continue!
If you have no idea who Jack West is, recommend you start at Seven Ancient Wonders, then Six Sacred Stones, then this one.
Um, Sky Monster rocks! Someone turn this trilogy into film - Pete Jackson, when you have a spare moment dude.....
And Matthew Reily - I have read all his books (except the kids one he done) - pick ANY of them and you are in for a blast. Some of his books are linked by characters and events, so recommend starting from the oldest ones first to get the most from them - though unlike 7 Ancient/6 Sacred/5 Greatest, not essential.
Batman: Arkham Asylum (Classics)
7 New from
Apt classic quote from The Joker.
This is a new level of top notch gaming - the control system is flawless, the production quality is off the chart, and the Batman universe of characters, story and places has been given such an awesome outing on this one.
For a change, believe the reviews as this time 9/10s and 10/10s are warranted, get it, become the Dark Knight from the DC comics (not the kitch yet great early TV show I grew up with it, or the poor first attempts at films in the 90s) and head into the Asylum!
Call Of Duty: World At War
4 New from
COD 4 was simply awesome, this new COD game is a step backwards.
The sound is awful.The maps are pretty shambolic and don't lend themselves to either stratgey or fun.The vehicles are token and pointless.The skins/look of the enemy and your team are almost indistinguishable from each other - in an FPS you need to react fast, not strain your eyes and scratch your head trying to work out if the soldier in your sights is one of yours, or an enemy to be fragged - again, this ruins the game play.The constant voice sound bites are just awful and annoying too - unfortunately you can't turn them off because you need to know whats going on, even if it is delivered via a bad and shouty fake accent.
The online co-op campaign I played with my friends leaves you wondering what is going on, unsure who or what you are supposed to be shooting at, and constantly missing little bonus objectives because you have no idea what is going on. I am a vetran gamer, and this left me with no idea.
Online play is where COD is at, unfortunately, this outing for COD falls flat. You get the feeling it is only being played beacuse people are waiting for the next real COD by the Infinity Ward team, and this is something to do in the meantime.
Really dissapointed, I will stick with playing COD4 and give this one a miss.
Pearl Jam: An American Tour 2000
I got caught out buying this too.
This is NOT an official Pearl Jam recording!!!
The quality is poor in every way. Sometimes I like bootleg stuff, especially the gems such a Pearl Jam's MTV Unplugged from 94 (which I would buy the real thing, but they will never release it because they hated doing that gig), but this is rubbish. I did not know Play facilitated the sale of this type of cheap knock-off dodgey stuff.
I feel I need to go apologise to Eddie Vedder and make a donation to charity after buying this filth.
Rock Band: Band In A Box (Instruments Edition)
1 New from
THE BAD - yip, you will occasionally, not often, hit the red pad only to for the note to "miss". A little annoying, but a little extra focus renders this a non-issue. The Bass Drum Kick Pedal - the product testers should get a new job, as it is built too cheaply for what it is used for - mine broke because my foot slipped and it pressed it down a little awarkedly. I have metal replacement kit on the way from the States, however, it should have been better built in the first place.
THE AWESOME! - don't let the above put you off for a second, this "game" is simply brilliant and just gets better every week with new tracks. Just think of it as a Jukebox that you pay only once per song for. All tracks downloaded AND on the game disc will be able to be used on Rock Band 2 - about time consumers of DLC were not taken for a ride - well done. Playing Solo is enjoyable, however, it simple shines when you get a group of friends together and rock out! Even the skeptics find themselves hooked within minutes, shouting "one more" until 3am. That brings me to the mic - as long as you are willing to give it some, its great - and for someone who has never really got the whole kareoke thing, I am now a mic fiend!
Now, as for the track selection, well, its called ROCK BAND, not POP BAND! If you dont like great rock, vintage and released today, then go get Sing Star or something, this is not for you. As for the rest of us, by the end of year, we will have ACDC on Rock Band! All hail the Gods of Rock!
Black Sheep (2006)
12 New from
OK. The plot involves genetically modified sheep going on a zombie like rampage on a New Zealand sheep station. The acting is at times so bad its good. It is a B horror film made on a shoestring budget and some number 8 wire.
If you are looking for stunning visuals, oscar performances, Hollywood bog standard produce, and cutting edge plots, then do not bother.
However, if you want some mindless, daft, small budget, humourous (somethimes for the wrong reasons) viewing, in the vain of some of Peter Jacksons early gore-comedy-fests, then go ahead and enjoy!
I loved it.