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Let me start by saying - Crysis 2 is not the same as Crysis 1. Simple. Does that make it a bad game? No - it dosent. Infact - Crysis 2 is a damn good game. The thing to remember as other reviewers have said - Crysis 1 was a benchmark in terms of graphics quality and game world design. By those I mean you had to have a powerhouse pc to run Crysis 1 on high quality when it was released years ago. Even now, low and mid range computers will struggle to run Crysis 1 with high settings. The performance hit is also a huge jump between DX9 and DX10. As for the game world - the whole game was set on an island with lots of open landscape like Farcry 1 and 2 by the same developer. This meant the sense of freedom is greater than that of other games - including Crysis 2.
The sequel still retains nice graphics - on high settings Crysis 2 runs smoothly on my mid to high end computer. This is through DX9 and Windows XP. I have not tried DX10 on Vista or Win7. The first thing that struck me when playing Crysis 2 was how the game world feels smaller and more built up. Bear in mind though, this Crysis is set in NYC and not a tropical island - you still have the ability to tackle objectives from various directions and decide if to run in all guns blazing or do it all stealth like.
From other reviews I have read for Crysis 2 it is quite apparent many PC gamers were disappointed with Crysis 2 as it was not like Crysis 1. Crysis 1 was an awesome game - and so was Crysis Warhead. Since the style of Crysis has changed with the sequel - fans of the games were hoping for the same style as Crysis 1 but with even more sequel goodness. A lot seem to feel they have got a console orientated Crysis. This is obviously true since it is a multi platform release. So that means the developer created a game engine to suit more than just the PC and to broaden their target audience to include console owners. Crysis 1 was only on PC. You may notice many reviews of Crysis 2 on the 360 and PS3 are good and this is because it is the series debut on a console, so considering its the same game no matter which platform then the good reviews show this is a quality game.
So far I have really enjoyed playing Crysis 2, its still fun to lay low and scope out an enemy objective before deciding weather to riddle the whole place with bullet holes or sneak in and pick them off one by one. From the minute the game starts I was hooked and the intro is really good but I wont spoil that and let you play it yourself. Definatley a 4 star, the only thing I can think of to mark it down one star was because I was one of those avid Crysis 1 fans and was hoping for more of the same open world playground gameplay in Crysis 2. But - now that I have played the sequel it is still a really good installment to the series and I recommend it to anyone.
Crysis 2: Limited Edition
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LG 37 inch 37LE5900 / Full HD 1080p / Freeview HD / LED TV
Ive owned this LCD for about a month now and have it connected to a PS3 and Blu ray player. I have not connected an aerial to it as I get really poor terrestrial, freeview signal in the area and have a different TV to watch Sky. The TV boasts many other features besides being a bog standard TV such as Netcast - internet video on the TV. the ability to connect USB devices to play video and Freeview HD. Again. I have not used any of these features and wanted to point this out for the review.
When it was unboxed and connected up to everything I set about playing around with the picture settings and playing many different games and movies to see how the LG image quality looked. It took a while to find a good balance of contrast. colour saturation and sharpness etc before I found the best quality possible through my eyes. not that the quality was bad to begin with on the factory presets. quite the opposite but I wanted to tweak it best I could and I have to say. the image quality is stunning. Blu ray movies - yes I tested Avatar among others - look really really crisp.The colours look fantastic and every detail can be seen.
This LCD was an upgrade from a 26 inch Sharp 720p 60hz LCD and the change was awesome. to go from playing the same games and seeing the same movies on the old LCD. the transition was like seeing. playing entirely new movies. games all over again. I couldnt believe how much of a difference a higher tech 1080p LCD could make.
Some of the features this LCD has that really benefit your viewing pleasure is full 1080p support. 100hz image processing to reduce blur and flickering.LG call this Trumotion which can be turned on.off and also altered to suit your viewing preference. Some people say they cannot see the difference between 100hz and 60hz TVs but I certainly can and have the Trumotion set to high as I find it makes playing PS3 games much smoother and more life like.The LCD has a Just Scan picture mode which means it will display a 1 to 1 pixel image on the screen with no overscan.Works really well on PS3 and Bluray as it basically means you see the whole image on the screen rather than a slightly zoomed in. overscanned picture that you get from 16 by 9. The image may appear a little sharper when using Just Scan. I have only used this feature for PS3 and Blu ray but I have read on the internet some image problems exist when not using an HD source with Just Scan such as picture noise and distortion.noise around the edge of the screen.
Now Im no TV guru but I have read reviews of this set having poor backlighting and black levels not being very black. The set only has Edge LED and not full LED meaning only the border of the panel is lit by LEDs and it can make some black areas look lighter or greyer than others. To be honest. even when viewing dark scenes I just dont notice it. maybe its just my eyes but when the image is so sharp and vibrant with colour. the level of blackness just goes unoticed.
There are 4 HDMI sockets in total along with the usual component and composite etc. The audio from the front speaker is what you would expect from such a thin TV. the sound can go quite loud but its very tinny with no oomph. Id definitely recommend getting external speakers for whatever device you are connecting to the TV to give you better sound. The design itself is very sleak. gloss black with a red tint to the surrounding edges. all the buttons on the front of the LCD are touch sensitive ones so theres no actual buttons. they also do a neat little display when the LCD is turned on or off.
All in all. a good LCD with fantastic picture quality. full support of 1080p HD.100hz Trumotion and Just Scan really brings the images to life whatever youre watching.
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Great game at a great price. I downloaded the demo of Split Second from the PSN a while back and actually really enjoyed it. I did think, ho hum, here we go with another driving game but was pleasantly surprised! So surprised in fact, I bought the full game. I probably would not of bought this on full-price-release-day but now that its dropped in price its a decent racer thats very simple to learn and enjoy. Basically each race pits you against a bunch of other cars all fighting to come first. The more you drift round corners or draft (tailgate) the car in front your powerup level increases. Your powerup gauge has 3 levels, use one of them to trigger a small event like blowing up a parked car ahead to destroy an oppenent or use all 3 levels to trigger a big event like destroying a building and also altering the track layout. There is also an instant replay feature after triggering a level 3 event where if you are quick enough hit a button (L1 I think) to get a short instant replay.
Graphically the game looks awesome through HDMI, lots of colours and detailed tracks. The car design is quite good, they are not modelled around real cars like Blur but still look good. The whole game appearance reminds me of Ridge Racer but with the added feature of blowing stuff up.
If you fancy a change to the usual racing around tracks, there is also a mode that pits you against something trying to destroy you, like avoiding an attack helicopter from launching airstrikes or driving round a storm gulley like in the terminator 2 movie whilst a lorry drops explosive barrels out the back. Crashing your car is also quite satisfying, not as good in my opinion as the Burnout series or Grid but theres still frantic moments when an oppenent triggers a bus to explode right in front of you and its just too late to avoid it!
Ive seen some reviews that said this game seemed scripted but find me a driving game that isnt! Some racers give you freedom to roam (eg Burnout Paradise) but almost ever other racer that exists limits the player to a scripted track!
Ultimately Id recommend this game to anyone, some DLC has recently been added to the Playstation Network to download for a small fee so the developers are expanding the game and havent just abandoned it after release. If youre looking for something to give you instant entertainment, pop the disc in, choose a track, few seconds of loading later and you can be blasting round a track blowing up buildings and driving down runways towards jumbo jets crash landing! Good stuff.
Planet Terror (2 Discs)
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This movie is sooooooooo bad, the moment I saw the front cover (the bird with a gun leg) I wasnt holding much hope for it. Sure enough, it sucks. Maybe its some creative, artsie film style thing Rodriguez thought up but it tried too hard in being imaginative and went just bizarre.
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The film starts really really well, great soundtrack, great potential. But then around the time the smuf look-a-like superhero sits by himself on a distant planet with some time machine it just went really weird, really bad, really cornie, really quick with a terrible ending. Massively dissapointed. Gave it 2 stars and not 1 for one reason, the first quarter of the movie was quite good, the rest however was utter naff.
Dead Rising 2
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Ive been playing Dead Rising 2 for about 3 hours now and have enjoyed it so far. The game reminds me of Grand Theft Auto but with zombies. Its basically a sandbox game where you can mess around with the various game features in the large game world until youre hearts content. Very similar to GTA where you may find yourself tearing up the city and not actually progressing the story. However, in DR2 this is a little trickier as you have a timed game of about 72 hours to progress the story. You do get time to abuse the mass horde of zombies during this period but I found its best to have a mess around, finding items and locations and ignore the story timeline. Once you have got your bearings just reload your last save point and you will be able to know your way around quicker and where all the items are located. The weapon combos are good fun too, I wont spoil the surprise and reveal the combos but there are lots and some are quite amusing. There are many side missions to the main story which largely involve rescuing a survivor back to the safe area, these get you lots of experience points but can become repetitive, thankfully these missions are optional.
Something I want to comment on is some reviews say the game is almost identical to Dead Rising 1 and the game looks dated. DR1 was an Xbox 360 exclusive release meaning anyone without a 360 may of never played Dead Rising. DR2 however was a multi platform release. DR1 came out a few years ago so if Capcom have simply tweaked the same game engine then the game may look very similar. I cant confirm if it is the same game engine but viewing the game in HD on a 1080p LCD looks good to me.
The game is not natively rendered in 1080p but according to the rear of the case, the game supports 720p and 1080i. Strangely on my setup I cannot get the game to run in 1080i by changing the PS3 video output settings nor in game. I can only get 720p or lower. This may be irrelevant anyway as 720p is likely a superior image to 1080i due to the progressive scanning but I was baffled why I couldnt get 1080i to work.
All in all a good fun game, the varied zombies, vehicles, weapon combos and ability to change your clothing give many moments of laughter. Theres nothing funnier than dressing the lead character in a ridiculous oufit complete with novelty glasses and moustache and then watching the ingame cutscenes. You cant take the game story seriously when your character is decked out in a crop-top, hot pants, welly boots and a straw hat!
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Metro 2033 is a great game. Im about 2 hours into it and have really enjoyed it so far. The creepy atmosphere has been created really well and the post apocolypic world you play in is well crafted. It is quite different to the likes of Fallout 3 as the majority of environments are enclosed in tunnels in the underground where as Fallout gives you large open areas to explore. However, it is a story driven game so may feel a bit linear. This game runs silky smooth on my mid range machine with an ATI card on max details settings under DX9. I cannot speak for DX10 and above but I know from previous experience (Crysis on DX10) you may need a high spec machine to benefit from the DX10 goodness whilst still achieving a good frame rate.
Imagine the Stalker series without the RPG/open world exploring and you have Metro 2033.
I also found that the dialogue options in the game include Russian with English subtitles adding to the Russian theme of the game if you would prefer this to English dialogue. This game is best enjoyed in the dark with headphones on and the volume up so you get a real sense of being there and experience the claustrophobic environemt of the Metro overrun with monsters and things that go bump in the night!
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This game is gory! Having only just started with the game I am yet to really get into it but so far its been good. You get your hands on some good weaponary early on and the story begins to unfold. The feel of the game is very similar to the Bioshock games where not much of the game environemt is very interactive and all the models are static but the environment is well designed. Basically the environments are quite scripted and not much in the way of physics like half-life etc. The story unfolds as you find tape recordings, written notes and movie reels, again very similar to Bioshock. I particularly like the way time shifts as you progress in the game and the world around you changes from present time to the past. Theres some genuine jumpy moments in there too.
The game runs on the unreal engine and runs at a fantastic framerate on my mid range gaming machine at max settings and resolution, this is most likely because the game is also a console port to the PS3 and XB360 so changing detail settings is very limited. Its pretty much a generic low, medium or high setting and a choice of resolutions which may be a blessing to some people to avoid tweaking all the various settings to find that steady framerate. Id recommend downloading the latest official patch for the game that corrects some graphics problems some people are experiencing whereby the texture quality will drop in and out. Its something to do with how the unreal engine pools textures.
The main feature to the game is the ability to slow time for that slow-mo sniper shot or manipulate time by placing explosive barrels near to enemies so when time unfreezes they can be blatted into a big mess. Lots a fun.
The atmosphere is creepy, the time shifting is a good feature and the graphics look great. Recommeded.
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Terrible movie, under par visuals and special effects. Some of the filming and angles can be annoying like it was filmed with a camcorder. Not quite Blair Witch style but the whole film felt quite stale. It dosent really get off the ground and the story was really slow. Dialogue pretty bad too so the only good thing going for this movie was the cast. Not one of Michael Manns better movies like Heat or Collateral. Cant reccomend.