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Transformers: War For Cybertron
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Finally they have done it. Forget the movie games, if you can even call them games. This is where it's at and this is what all Transformers fans should own! Instead of tying themselves down to the movie plot lines, the games developers have chosen to tell the story of the fall of Cybertron. There are hints of G1 everywhere, but most importantly, Prime is voiced by Peter Cullen. So you can get all teary eyed when he says "Autobots, roll out!".
The game uses the Unreal engine, so it has the same look as Gears or Batman. Which is no bad thing. The Autobots and Decepticons have all been re-designed, but they still kinda look like the G1 versions which is awesome.
The game is set before the original Transformers series and animated movie, but during the course of the game you will see plenty of nods to the cartoon. Which had me beaming from ear to ear as I was playing through it.
The controls are easy to get to grips with, clicking down on the left stick transforms your character into vehicle form. At which point your character will go to a default hover mode which is present even in the land vehicles. Pressing L1 will boost you forward and then you will either get aircraft or car controls with the right stick. It probably sounds more complicated than it is, but don't worry because it works perfectly.
There are loads of weapons from machine guns, rocket launchers to mounted guns that can be ripped off and carried a'la Halo.
The single player game is split between Autobot and Decepticon, and you can play them in the order you choose. Both follow the same plotline, but you see it from the two perspectives. I can't fault the plot at all, and I love how you are always playing alongside two other Tranformers, who usually bicker with each other or shout out when they get a kill. It all adds to the atmosphere. The two characters that are with you can also be controlled by a second and third player during co-op.
Multiplayer is really well rounded too. You can play in a "Horde" style game where you have to last as long as you can against wave after wave of enemies, or you can play classic death matches/team death matches etc. There is XP to be earnt in multiplayer and your chosen class will earn new abilities as time goes by which allows you to customize them to your own play style. If you wanna sneak around and stealth you can with a Scout (Which is basically Bumblebee). There are others to experiment with and I'll let you find them out for yourself. I don't know a great deal about what they offer as I have been playing my Scout to death! ;)
All in all I couldn't be happier with this. The single player could have been a bit longer, but just ramp up the difficulty or go hunting for all the Auto/Decep symbols, that should slow you down. Even if you do complete it quickly, the multi-player and co-op options will have you coming back for more. It's great fun, get it, play it, love it!
Bayonetta: Climax Edition (Exclusive)
If you like Devil May Cry, then look no further than Bayonetta. Created by the same team of people, this game actually tops DMC in pretty much every way.
Firstly there is a lot on the net about the PS3 version being inferior, but the game has since been patched, and allows you to perform an install which helps reduce the loading times. Graphically it looks brilliant, and I actually noticed a lot less screen tear on the PS3 version. Swings and roundabouts really, but do not let the poor PS3 reviews deter you from purchasing this masterpiece.
The game is about combat, no question. You can hot swap between weapon load outs and chain some awesome combo's together. Not to mention performing some over the top finishing moves as well!
The bosses are huge and impressive, and loadsa fun to fight. There are nods to games such as Resident Evil, Space Harrier, Halo, Okami and Outrun which always brings a smile to your face.
Set pieces break up the action along the way, such as riding a motorbike or a missile while blasting enemies (I kid you not!). Plus there are challenge portals to find that require you to kill waves of enemies in specific ways. If you succeed you will be rewarded with a valuable item to bolster your character.
It's a rollercoaster ride that's a hell of a lot of fun. A typically Japanese OTT romp that doesn't take itself seriously, and as such, gets away with things that just wouldn't work in any other game!
Don't miss this. At 17.99 (Standard version Play price at time of writing) you can't go wrong!
Need For Speed: Shift
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I'm amazed at how many people have given this a poor review. Most people on here seem to be slating the handling, saying it's very slippy. Well I'll agree it is a challenge to keep the cars on the track sometimes however I played a big portion of the game without realising the traction control was set to low. The game chooses the settings for you based on your very first race, but you can go into the settings and change this. Once I had set it to high, the cars handled far better.
There are a great selection of cars and each one can be upgraded with performance parts which you need to do to progress. The parts do make a difference in handling and you can usually tell after you have installed the extra component.
It's best played in the in car view, which is one of the best I have seen. It's gritty and realistic and if you hit a barrier, it will blur the screen black and white depending on the force of the impact.
I'm impressed with this game not just because it surprised me, NFS is usually an EA Christmas cash in, and not because it looks fantastic, but because it's probably the only driving game where I felt I had to earn my win. A lot of driving games, including GT and Forza sometimes seem like you are racing against a procession of mindless AI cars. Here however, they make it a chore for you to complete a race, and you really have to fight for the podium, which makes the game all that sweeter when you win.
I think a lot of the reviews on here are by people that like the easy win in a driving game. Shift isn't gonna go easy on you, and it's unfair to rate it poorly just because it provides a challenge! If you love driving games, and want an arcade racer with options that allow you to push it towards a simulation, look no further!
Burnout: Paradise - The Ultimate Box
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Burnout has always been the ultimate arcade racer, bar none. The idea is very simple. Win at any cost! Drive like a lunatic to build up boost, then let it rip and hope to hell that you don't smash into that oncoming bus as you gun it for the finish line.... So how could they improve on it? Well, how about giving you a complete city to explore where you decide how to play the game? Ok, why not :)
Paradise City is a Burnout gamers dream. There are events at every set of traffic lights, stunt runs, road rage, races, but you don't actually have to bother with any of them if you don't want because there are loads of smash gates and billboards to find. You can unlock 75 cars from your first beat up muscle car, to an F1 racer! You can seek out loads of Super jumps which allow you to gain impossible air, or take your anger out by just rolling your car down a road and smashing it into anything and everything. Basically, just do whatever you wanna do in a car! Plus this Ultimate box includes the Bike and Party add-on. You can also download an extra island for the game online now for a tenner which gives you more jumps and cars to play about with, and there is a cops and robbers add on to buy as well as some crazy looking toy cars. So even when you have completed the game, there is always something else to do if you are willing to pay a bit extra. The online is fun and seamless, and you can use your camera to take victory pics of yourself and send them to the losers! Fantastic game that should last you for ages. I just hope they release another island/area soon. See you in Paradise!
Superman The Movie: Special Edition
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This movie was a labour of love for it's director Richard Donner, and it shows! From the opening credits that suck you in with the fantastic score by John Williams, who actually makes the music say the word "Superman" as the lettering appears on screen. To the ground breaking special effects, remember at the time there was no cg, everything you see had to be filmed in front of a camera, and no-one had ever made a man fly before. To the perfect casting of a young Christopher Reeve in the title role, who in my book will always be Superman for the work he did both on and off the screen. I can't imagine my childhood without this movie, and I can only hope that this BlueRay version delivers on the HD Visuals and crystal clear sound quality that I long for. Thank you Richard Donner for sticking to your guns while under a great deal of pressure from the Salkinds, and creating a super hero movie under the banner of Verisimilitude. I salute you and your film crew for this piece of cinema magic.
Ok, I got all my sentimental guffing out of the way, but realised I hadn't actually told you much about the quality of the Blue Ray. Considering this is a film from the 70's, the movie looks great on Blue Ray! It's clear and crisp and does the movie justice. In fact it's so clear, that when Krypton explodes at the beginning, you can see it light up the black curtain they used at the back of the set. The sound is fantastic as well. Nothing beats cranking up the volume and watching the opening credits. It's the best Superman movie, with THE best actor that ever played the part. Just buy it will ya?
Ghostbusters: The Video Game
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Firstly, let me put some fears to rest. The PS3 version of this game is no different to the 360 version. I have played both, and all these rumors about the PS3 version being graphically inferior is absolute rubbish.
The game itself is a decent 3rd person shooter affair. You play the 5th member of the Ghostbusters who's job it is to test all the new equipment that has been developed by Egon. Which basically means that when you have earned enough cash out in the field, you can spend it on new upgrades to the proton pack, PKE meter and ghost trap.
It's not the best looking game in the world, but the graphics do their job fine, and the proton stream is spot on. The game engine lets you blast everything to bits and I couldn't help but smile when I had to "wrangle" my first ghost into a trap. It plays out just as it does in the movie.
The sounds and music are pulled straight from the film as well, although the music does tend to repeat itself a lot. Special note has to go to the voices. It just wouldn't have been the same had the original cast not lent their voice talents to the game. It helps draw you in, especially when Ray is telling you that you are doing great, or Egon warns you not to cross the streams.
The story ties in nicely with the movies, and even explains a couple of things, like where all the slime from Ghostbusters 2 came from. You even get to bust a few familiar faces, like Slimer and Mr Stay Puft.
All in all I loved playing this game through, I mean it's Ghostbusters, who wouldn't like shooting Ghosts with a proton pack? It's a solid 7 out of 10, and as such gets a 4 star rating from me.
So don your gray jumpsuit, strap on the pack, and lets show this prehistoric "female dog" how we do things down-town!
My mate bought me this for my birthday recently and I must say I have really enjoyed playing through it. Story is basic, you have to save the world, which Eggman has split into pieces. Each piece needs moving back into place before Dark Gaia (Big nasty evil earth elemental thingy) gains enough power to finish the job Eggman started.
The game is split into different stages. Speed stages are played out during the day, and these are fantastic. You control Sonic as he runs, jumps, rail grinds through the levels at awesome speed while collecting rings and avoiding, or destroying any nasties in his way. The first two levels throw you into this right away, and are both beautiful. So much so I must have played the second act a million times (My record is 2m:18s and an S ranking).
The game isn't all about speed though. At night Sonic transforms into a Werehog. He gets stronger and slows right down. So the game then plays out like a very limited God of War. You kill enemies with combo's and have to jump on platforms, balance on beams and swing from poles with his now stretchy arms. These levels are fun enough but sometimes very frustrating.
I'm going to warn you now that the difficulty on this game borders on unfair. The later levels are designed to hold you back with some very nasty tricks. If you see an extra life in this game, it usually marks the start of a tricky section where you will die repeatedly. During the speed stages you will quite often run into an enemy or set of spikes or fall into a pit the first time you play them through. Then expect to fall for the same thing again and again until you figure out a way round. Sometimes it's not so obvious where you are going, especially when the speed stages rush past you. Also expect the same for the night time stages. Which are probably worse for this kind of cheap trick. You will have to fight your way past monsters, swing on poles above nasty pits of death and then kill more enemies only to die while balancing on a beam, which will take you back to a checkpoint where you will have to do the same thing all over again! ARG is the word you will be looking for. Don't even get me started on the last Eggmanland stage, which has you switching between Sonic and Werehog to get through the level. Probably the hardest level I have ever had to complete in a game. My time for completing that was 65 min. I have since got it down to 25, but only because I ran away from most of the nasty fights!
So you're asking yourself if it's so frustrating, then why buy it? Well, how many games these days are easy? Most games don't offer much of a challenge. Sonic Unleashed is old school platforming. It's not perfect, but for those willing to give it a try and practice the stages until you master them, there is a cracking game here!
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As a blockbuster movie goes this is bad, I mean it's terrible. The acting is dire and if you were to compare this to any western blockbuster, you will be asking yourself how it ever got made. Which is exactly what I thought when the end credits rolled, so I checked out the special features and it turns out that it is a South Korean movie. The director is a very passionate guy by all accounts, and he wanted this movie to appeal to westerners. This explains a lot, and I can't help but feel that if the director had gone with Korean actors, and set it in his own country, it would have been a much better movie! So as bad as this movie is, I can't help admire the director and his team for trying their hardest to make it a success over here. It's a bad film, but there is potential here for future Korean films. The special effects are of note, as they hold up to a lot of big budget movies. They just need to nail script writing and casting, and presto, they might just show the world a thing or two about movie making.
Ninja Gaiden: Sigma (PS3)
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This is a fantastic game. Great graphics, sound and it's a tough cookie to beat as well. My only niggle is that the UK version has been edited, so that you can't decapitate the human opponents. Other than that, it's top notch gaming action all the way!