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Product Reviews

6 (67% helpful)

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  1.  Driven to (Near) Perfection


    It has taken a ridiculous amount of time to complete Gran Turismo 5, and instantly you can see why. It is one of the most beautiful games of all time. Sure, some people have moaned that only 200+ of the games cars are premium models but still the standard models are unbelievablly detailed. The sound is spot on. The driving itself is without doubt the best yet replicated by a videogame. Sure, the damage models are near non-existent, and that is pretty unforgiveable in this day and age, and the menu system is archaic and cumbersome, but the driving, the meat of the game, by far off-sets these two flaws and it does so by a long way. This really is the best driving simulator you can buy

  2.  The Most Amazing Revenge


    Kratos returns for what is, apparently, his final outing in God of War III, and without a doubt, it is, by far, the best game in the series.
    Firstly, it is stunning. The series has always been renowned for its visuals, but God of War III takes this idea to the next level. The opening flashback credits are artistic and intuitive, providing new comers to the series a glimpse at what has gone before (though be warned, if you havent played the first two you will more than likely get confused by the over arching story, but dont let that deter you). The environments have always been huge and ambitious, but none more so than here, the opening level sees you scaling the back of a rampaging Titan as it climbs up to Olympus. It truly is epic. The character models themselves do look slightly plastic, but the level of detail gone into by the artists by far makes up for this one visual complaint. Individual hairs on characters heads can be seen to move. It is breathtaking.
    The game play remains, as a whole, unchanged. You still have the basic light/heavy attack and block button configuration, thrown in with a few new magical attacks and a hoard of new mythical items. This time round though, there is much more of an incentive to use weapons other than just the initial Blades of Exile. At times you are forced to experiment with the other weapons; be it to pass an obstacle or to defeat an enemy who is all but impervious to the Blades.
    Kratos controls as well as he has ever before, with a responsive control system. This time there is much more of a balance between battle and platform sections, and it is greatly welcomed. Far too much of God of War II was spent puzzling when the staple of the series is its combat. The puzzles are fairly simple, though you will come across one or two real head scratchers, which are welcome changes of pace. The main problems in game play come from silly things over looked by the developers, for example, poor camera angles make a return to the series, making it at times very hard to see where you are supposed to go. Also the quick-time event screen has seen an overhaul, sadly not for the better. The button indicators now pop up on screen in an attempt to mirror their placement on the PS controller, sadly though they are too small and will often be missed; leaving you having to repeat the same QTE on multiple occasions, but again this is a small grievance.
    The story itself is as brilliant as the previous two, with Kratos still attempting to defeat the Gods who had betrayed him. It is not a perfect tale, there are many plot holes which are, presumably, to be filled by the forth coming PSP release, but that is a small gripe. The campaign itself is the shortest in the trilogy and should be easily completed in 12 hours, tops. That is, unless you are brave enough to attempt Titan mode, which is by far the hardest initial setting that the franchise has unleashed to date. Trophies are attainable, but this is probably the hardest Platinum trophy that the trilogy has to offer.
    Kratos started his revenge years ago, and in all honesty, it will be a massive loss to the gaming world if this really is his final outing. The game is brilliant, a massively in depth combat system, coupled with fiendish puzzles and outlandish boss battles, everything about this game is huge. This cannot be recommended highly enough, not only is it the best God of War yet, simply it is one of the best games, on any system, period.

  3.  Exceptional


    Having missed the God of War series when it was originally released on PS2, and being increasingly attracted to the forthcoming God of War III, I couldn't believe my luck when I heard that the first two games were going to be released on one Blu-Ray disc with updated HD visuals and (rejoice) trophy support.
    Yes, we've had to wait months longer than the Americans to get our hands on this Collection, but it has been more than worth the wait. The game is brilliant.
    Yes the graphics do look slightly dated on both (more noticeably on GOW) but this is to be expected as the game is now 5 years old. But its age is really what sets this apart. For a fairly antiquated release this is a real triumph, even today. The story is compelling, the character is brutal and the game play is engaging. The setting is mind blowing. The realms of Greek mythology are rife with ready-made stories yearning to be made into films / video games, and GOW encompasses most all of these to such fine results.
    In game play GOW, summed up to its most base, idiotic form, is nothing more than a 'button-masher,' but it is by far one of the most deep and refined 'button-mashers' you will ever play. At first you'll be happy to just spam either of the two attack buttons, putting together flashy and devastating combos by luck, but a few hours in and you'll have mastered the combo system, unleashing hell at will.
    Mix in platforming elements and some fiendishly complex puzzles and this title has you longing for the past. Too many games these days rely upon the simplicity and inane repetitiveness of FPS. It's a shame that there aren't more titles such as the GOW series going today.
    The game isn't perfect. The save system will have you frustrated at times, though it adds to the challenge of the games, the save-points are too sporadic and inconsistent, you can often find two within footsteps of each other, and then find yourself waiting 30+minutes for the next, which is a major annoyance at times. Also, even though the games boast some of the most original and diverse enemy ranks in video-game history you will find yourself simply repeating the same tactics time and time again, which can grate. But those are both fairly minor issues which shouldn't deter you from this title.
    At 17.99 this is a real bargain. Two full-retail games which simply changed the face of the gaming market that we know today. It really is a must buy.

  4.  A Killer


    Heavy Rain is fantastic, there's simply no other way to describe it. It is not a perfect game, it has it's flaws and let-downs which when compared to what it does well, on the scale of things, are small misgivings.
    By now, the story of Heavy Rain needs no introduction and nor do the (at times) photo-realistic real-time graphics, yet both need to be acknowledged.
    The story is captivating, it twists and turns and frequently puts Hollywood to shame. It is cerebral and thought provking, disturbing and unsettling. It is by far the most complex and ambitiious plot on consoles this generation. To make things more impressive, it's a story which is unlikely to be the same twice. It will suck you in to it's twisted world and refuse your leaving until completion, and I doubt you'll want to leave until the Oragami Killer is caught.
    The graphics are truly remarkable. Yes, at times there is noticable frame drop, during cut-scenes there appears to be a lag effect at times, and the lip-synching isn't as refined as that of Uncharted 2, but Heavy Rain is an amazing piece of art. The characters appear to feel on screen and their eyes portray emotion and feeling. This is by far the best looking game so far this year and will take some serious beating (bare in mind that we are only a week away from the power-house of Final Fantasy XIII and two weeks from God of War, so it's title as 'most beautiful game' may not be long lived)
    The gameplay itself is compelling, unique and engaging. I am not a big fan of quick-time events. I feel that, generally, they dumb down the game mechanics and often jar the flow of the game. Not in Heavy Rain. Heavy Rain operates solely on the QTE system and is wonderful. The QTE really allows you to immerse yourself into the character, providing you the ability to perfom a multude of actions, from mundane activites, such as drinking coffe, to frantic car chases. The most staggering thing about the system is how it all still feels fresh even at the end of the game. The QTEs can often appear from nowhere, surprising you as you find yourself lost in the cinematics, adding a real jeopardy to the game, forcing you to keep your wits about you at all times, as one wrong move and you could lose a character. Forever.
    The control system is flawed though. Instead of following the conventional 'left stick controls movement,' to make your character walk you must hold down the R2 button. Yes you will quickly become familiar with this set-up and yet it never quite feels right. The character movement can become twitchy and is fairly heavy at time leaving you, on several occassions, getting quite frustrated as you have to be in certain positions to perform the QTE and the controls make indepth character movement at times a real problem.
    Asides from that, stunning to play.
    There are a lot of extras to unlock in the game, such as concept arts and making of features which are well worth spending time watching. For those who like to hunt trophies, Heavy Rain is a potentially easy game to platinum, yet each trophy requires you to perform a certain unspecified action so you may want to find yourself a guide to ensure you collect them all, but I'd advise to just play the game without any assitance on the first run-through to really experience Heavy Rain.
    It is a masterpiece. I brought it simply to pass the time between uni, work and weekends and found it intruding on all three but in a welcome way. It is a great game. Try and get a hold of the Special Edition if possible as you get more bang for your buck, including instant free access to DLC that those of us with a standard edition will have to wait a month or so for and then have to pay for as well.
    Either way, I cannot recommend this enough