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I got this game without checking reviews and bought it on a whim. I wasnt to happy with it when i started, the beginning in my opinion is awful with bad acting and stereotypical lines about cherokees from the bar drinkers, you have to hang around the characters whilst they chat to carry the game along and they are so monotonus and drawling you wonder why you bothered in the first place. You spend too much time looking at the scenery and graphics and wonder what you are doing. Then bang, you get abducted by aliens and you are in for one hell of a ride!
The game is very Half-Life like in graphics and gameplay and relies heavily on the "Portal" ideas that come from Half-Life as well. This means that yes, your not going to get a rich textured environment like the latest cutting edge games but it is by no means along the ps2/xbox graphics side. You start with a handy wrench (again Half-Life rip off) but then move on to proper guns.
Its the whole anti gravity/portal spin on the fps shooter that makes me give it 5 stars, walking along ceilings and shooting aliens on the floor is quite mind bending and travelling through box portals into the unknown has you wondering where you are on the ship. Its not as simple as running up stairs to reach the top kind of thing.
The Cherokee angle is an original one for a fps but brings about the easiest part of the game....you dont die. Instead you travel to the afterlife to heal to then come back to carry on fighting, this is an interesting concept but one that means even if you played the game on the hardest level it could easily be completed.
So far im through to around the 8th level and the storyline isnt that clear, its almost halfway through the game so hopefully it comes into its own soon.
I think to sum up my review, im very happy that i got Prey, even if it a little old and the graphics arent as shiny anymore. But id much rather have the playability it offers to something that looks good but does nothing. For 3.60 at the time of writing this, its definitely worth a punt.
Mass Effect 2
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Ive just literally finshed my first play through of the game and its already making me want to start again! This time it took me approximately 33 hours to complete which i thought was good for time to money ratio.
From the start it is set out like a film and it does not fail to fall off this track through out the whole game. Even when the cut screens do take place i felt i should watch them for the amount of effort put into them.
The team members you pick up along the way immerse you even more into the game and even as NPC make you feel like you should be giving them covering fire as well as them helping you. The individual stories of each member and the fact you have to gain their loyalty really helped to flesh out the game and didnt seem like a quick add on so you had extra to do. Without giving too much away, you NEED as much loyalty as you can get.
The mini games are worth a mention as well as these provide a quick distraction from the main game. Either connecting circuits up or looking through lines of code to hack a machine for resources or credits. Also ive seen some complaints about the scanning systems game rather than getting out in your rover. I found the scanning systems alot better than driving a rover simply because it was alot quicker, if you find something on a planet of interest you can land to check it out.
The actual gameplay ran very smoothly and the gun battles are fast and furious although holding onto LT or RT will pause the action whilst you catch your breath and decide which ammo is really gonna hurt.
All in all i found it an excellent, well written and designed game. The only flaw for me was the end boss not being quite as good as in the first Mass Effect but hey, you cant have everything! I cant wait for Mass Effect 3 now and to see how my character from this one will affect the story further on. Definitely a MUST BUY!
Half-Life 2: The Orange Box
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Lets break it down... 5 games for 15 pounds, thats a mere 3 pounds per game! Half Life 2 was a highly anticipated title on the pc and to have it on the xbox360 is great. The only thing it lacks is rich up to date graphics but that is a minor complaint. The gameplay more than makes up for this.
Portal was being sold on XBLA not long back for 10 pounds on its own. This is where the pack comes into its own rather than just be a cobbled together collection/rehash.
Portal allows you to mess with gravity through the use of a gravity gun. The idea being that you have to escape from a maximum security research centre.
Achievement wise you will be playing this game for a good 6 months to get a full 1000g, i have never seen anyones card have it (apparently you are a god if you do have the score).
All in all i cannot praise this release enough, like i said in the title...even a fool would buy this!
James Cameron's Avatar: The Game
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First off the game was not based on the movie, it is based around the movie. The same world, the same species etc. Also some of the things put in the game made it into the film like some vehicles. If your looking for a mirror of the film then your not going to get it IMO.
I found it an absorbing and wonderful world to play in whether you choose to be the na'vi or humans. Each race has a different storyline by the way, so the game wont be the same for either side after you have made a choice. Also if you are human then the world is a hostile place indeed.
I have played the game through as the na'vi and i finished it in around 12 hours, im expecting to finish it in around the same time as a human. This has given me 24 hours of playing the game straight through without doing the side quests of finding a certain amount of things like A-Pods or killing a number of enemy per level. Then you also have the side game of Conquer which is a light hearted take over the world game but does have a bearing on the main single player game with added bonuses.
All in all i reckon for only 15 pound you have about 40 hours gameplay out of it and for that i cant complain.
You're In The Movies (includes Xbox Live Vision Camera)
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We got it today after a while wait from Play.com which i thought was unusual but nevermind. After getting in it went straight on, the set up is a breeze, a proper plug and play job which you would expect. The first gripe about the camera is no extended usb on it. I have my wireless plugged in the back so it has to go in the front but no big deal. The second is you get what you pay for, folks this isnt gonna be a fancy 10 mega pixel Samsung camera lens. Its a simple but effective webcam. Yeah you have to sort your lighting out and things but we found that was quite fun as well.
The games took us by surprise, i had the eyecam on the ps2 and it was pretty similar, but the games build in to making a whole film "trailer" with hilarious results. Im sure after an hour on it today its set the level for plenty more hours spent on this and making fools of ourselves
Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Grievous Attacks!
In his words, this book is better than amazing! so it must be good lol. Its so good in fact that the Ds hasnt been mentioned for 2 days, he just talks about what chapter he is on. I would definitely recommend this book for kids between 7-9 years old, at a 160 pages its a bit of a challenge but one that doesnt seem to daunting and the lack of pictures on every page makes children use their imagination. its an absolute A+ from me and i look forward to getting the other 2 books to make the trilogy for him.