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Pro Evolution Soccer 4 (PS2)
Pro Evolution Soccer 4 (PS2)
Offered by gowingsstoreltd
Price: 6.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Football Game Ever........really, 15 Oct 2004
OK, here comes a real REVIEW (not a preview) of this game, now that it's finally out. There are very few words to describe just how good this game really is; it is one of the finest games I have ever played, not to mention the best football game money can buy.
Konami have really outdone themselves with this game. They haven't strayed too far from the formula that made the previous installments such a success. The gameplay and basic look of the game hasn't changed very much since PES3, but both have been tweaked enough and improved upon so that this game isn't just an update of the last game.
Firstly, it looks fantastic. The graphics have been substantially improved and the players look more realistic than every before. Most players now look nearly exactly like their real-life counterparts. Their movements are more fluid, look more realistic and The addition of grass and mud stains on players kits give the game extra realism, as does the inclusion of an on-pitch referee and new cut-scenes for fouls and substitutions. Gameplay wise, it's similar to the last one but there are a couple of tweaks that make it much better. There are some more skills to master as well as an altogether deeper control system. It's enough to make this game stand out from previous Pro Evolution games, but not enough to ruin what has made this series so great.
The Master League mode has also been given a overhaul, you can now start your league off with the original players (meaning you can start with Arsenal and have Henry from the beginning rather than the usual Konami misfits). This gives it a Championship Manager kind of feel as you can build up your team with the best players in the world, but you still have to try and get rid of the real life misfits like Phil Neville.
There are extremely few bad things that can actually be said about this game. Obviously the lack of a complete set of fully licensed teams is annoying but this is easily sorted thanks to their edit mode (once you can work out which team is which of course). You do however get the full names and kits of the whole of the Spanish, Dutch and Italian leagues, but not the Premier league teams which is slightly disapointing.
Minor nit-picking aside, this is an amazing game with a long lifespan that will keep you coming back for more. It's great by yourself, or with a group of friends. And yes, it is better than the new FIFA game (but I waited till it was released before saying so).


Over the Counter Culture
Over the Counter Culture
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: 2.72

9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Don't Believe the Hype! Good Debut Though., 16 July 2004
Hype's a funny thing. It can either make a band hugely popular or widely criticised purely because they can't live up to the expectations of the public. The Ordinary Boys fall into the latter category. While they have not been as overhyped as other bands have been in the past couple of years, some reviews have been misleading. Not that this is an awful album or anything, but when I bought it I was expecting more. When I listened to it all the way through with my friends, we all agreed that it could have been better.
On the whole, this is actually not that bad an album. The title track is very great and has a lot of energy behind it. The two singles (Week In, Week Out and Talk, Talk, Talk) are catchy, well written and fun. 'Maybe, Someday' is also a good track, with a punky intro and riff and another catchy chorus. Aside from those four tracks, there is very little more than filler on offer here. However the band sound good, especially the vocalist. I really like the very London vibe and sound of the whole album.
This is not a highly original album, nor are The Ordinary Boys at the forefront of new British music. This is however, a pretty good debut from a band that needs to find their own sound. I look forward to checking them out live at this years Reading festival. Try before you buy people, this album may not be for everbody!


The Manitou
The Manitou
by Graham Masterton
Edition: Paperback

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Chilling and masterful horror writing, 12 July 2004
This review is from: The Manitou (Paperback)
Graham Masterton is a wonderful author and has created a great horror novel in The Manitou. The first half of the book is chillingly mysterious as the main characters are introduced and the strange occurances surrounding the female lead and her bizarre ailment start to happen. While it may start slow, the pace of the book constantly grows until it comes to a massively chaotic and terrifying conclusion.
Masterton's extensive research into Native American mythology and lore is incredible, something reflected in other works such as 'Charnel House' and 'Return of The Manitou'. He has an incredible attention to detail when it comes to exploring other cultures that many of his contemporaries. This is a fantastic book and well worth looking into if you're a fan of Graham Masterton or any other of the big modern-day horror writers.


Stephen King's It [VHS]
Stephen King's It [VHS]
VHS
Offered by shannon-raven
Price: 8.49

6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good book-to-film adaption, 12 July 2004
This review is from: Stephen King's It [VHS] (VHS Tape)
As much as I love this movie, I made the mistake of seeing it before I read Stephen King's original book. The differences are either very slight or glaringly obvious (those who have experienced IT in both forms will understand what I mean). While the book clocks in at over 1000 pages, making it very hard to get it perfect, it would be nice to have had a little more development on some of the bits of the plot. Nitpicking aside, this is one of the closest book to movie adaptions I have ever seen and it features some very scary moments.
Tim Curry is perfect as Pennywise the clown, IT's child-luring form of choice. He plays the part masterfully as he can seem to be quite harmless but there is always a very evil presence whenever he's on screen. The rest of the actors are solid, playing their roles well enough but nothing really stands out. Watch out for a very young Seth Green (Buffy, Austin Powers) as the pre-teen Richie Tozier.
This film is chilling and a very good adaption of one of Stephen King's all time best works. While it lacks the detail, character development and some of the more disturbing moments of the book, it still has the essence of what makes the book so scary. Highly reccommended for all fans of Stephen King and real horror.


Alice In Chains: Live - Facelift [VHS]
Alice In Chains: Live - Facelift [VHS]
VHS

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic band in their prime, 4 Feb 2004
Regardless of the length of this video (40 minutes is not enough), the live footage captivates an incredibley inspiring energy that very few bands have. Alice in Chains were always, at least in my opinion, one of the most underrated bands of the grunge era with bands like Pearl Jam and Nirvana stealing the spotlight. This video truly captures them in their prime, when they were producing incredible hard rock songs rather than clinically depressing (but brilliant) later material.
Songs like 'Man in the Box' and 'Bleed the Freak' have never sounded so good as they have on this video. AIC sound great and look great on stage, and the black and white picture is a very nice touch that fits the footage perfectly. This is the kind of gig that I'd have given several limbs to attend. The promotional videos at the end of the video are great too, but are also on the 'Music Bank' collection which is another great buy for any AIC lover.
You have to love Alice in Chains. They had a rawness to their music that most bands don't have any more. They could also write damn good songs which is one of the things showcased here. This video is a must for anybody who own's 'Facelift' or any other AIC album for that matter. This is a band in their prime, playing their hearts out and it's worth every single penny.


Ride The Lightning
Ride The Lightning
Price: 5.88

5.0 out of 5 stars The best from metal's greatest icons, 4 Feb 2004
This review is from: Ride The Lightning (Audio CD)
It's hard to imagine when you read all the criticisms people write about Metallica's last few offerings that anybody could insult a band THIS good. Unfortunately, Metallica haven't kept up the same level of quality in their albums that they were creating in the 80's. In my opinion, this is Metallica's greatest moment, their truly great album. Although it is not as epic as the also amazing Master of Puppets, or as down and out brutal as their debut Kill 'Em All, but unlike those two this album does not have a single bad track.
The albums opens with 'Fight Fire With Fire', a suitabley titled ripper of an opening song which punishes you with a riff and a half after it's subdued opening melody. The title track offers more of the same, with another classic riff that goes largely ignored by the Metallica faithful. From here we get to 'For Whom the Bell Toll's', which any Metallica fan should know. It's the first really huge track on the album, and doesn't disapoint with it's crunching riff and poignant lyircs. The same applies to 'Fade to Black' which set the blueprint for every Metallica ballard that would follow. 'Trapped Under Ice' and 'Escape' are both great songs in the same vein as the first two, but it's the last two songs which really make this album stand out.
'Creeping Death' is, in my humble opinion, Metallica's greatest song. It tears into straight away with a killer opener which is quickly followed by an almighty riff that batters away at you for six and a half minutes! The Call of the Ktulu is incredible too, but for the best recording of it you'd be better off buying S&M which has the song accompanied by the full orchestra. Still, this is rousing stuff and a fitting closing song to an incredible album.
If you like your songs fast and heavy, but with intelligent and well written lyrics then this album is definately for you. For everyone who wonders why Metallica are given so much praise, then buy this and find out.


Extreme Championship Wrestling: Hardcore Heaven 99 [VHS]
Extreme Championship Wrestling: Hardcore Heaven 99 [VHS]
VHS

4.0 out of 5 stars Buh Buh Ray Dudley in a main event? Wha?, 3 Feb 2004
Confusing booking aside, this is actually a very good event. The scheduled main event of Chris Candido vs Taz for the ECW World title was held right at the beginning of the show and turned into a complete squash as Taz battered poor Chris. A segment with the Dudley Boys creates the main event of the night, Taz vs Buh Buh Ray Dudley. Although not a sure fire way to draw fans, this is a decent enough brawl that makes you wish Taz still wrestled on a regular basis.
There are some great matches on this event though. Jerry Lynn and Rob Van Dam put on another breathtaking spotfest for the TV title which is as good as any other match they've ever had. Super Crazy and TAKA Michinokou have a superb Japanese style match as fo Yoshihiro Tajiri and Little Guido. Lance Storm's street fight with Tommy Dreamer is solid, as is Sid's squash of Justin Credible.
This is a solid card with some truly great matches and very few let downs. ECW may be long gone, but with events as good as this it's hard to see why they never caught on in the mainstream.


WWF: Survivors Series 98 - Deadly Games [VHS]
WWF: Survivors Series 98 - Deadly Games [VHS]
VHS

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable with several good matches, 3 Feb 2004
I've heard many criticisms of this event, mainly due to the fact that there are so many matches fitted into a standard 3 hour PPV. Some of them are even real stinkers (see Duane Gills appearance and the Tag Team triple threat) but there are a couple of real gems on this video.
The rest of the card ranges from good (Mankind vs Al Snow) to great (The Rock vs Mankind) to really disappointing (The Undertaker vs Kane). The best thing about the whole event is the twist right at the end which even I wasn't expecting.
This is the event that really propelled The Rock from upper mid-carder desperate to break through to a bonafide superstar. For any fans of The Rock, this is thoroughly reccommended. For all other WWF/WWE fans, this may not appeal to you as some of the matches are too rushed and a bit plain. Overall, 3 out of 5 for a mediocre show with some good matches.


Mankind: Have A Nice Day: Have a Nice Day! - A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks
Mankind: Have A Nice Day: Have a Nice Day! - A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks
by Mick Foley
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A frank and hilarious insight into the world of wrestling, 8 Dec 2003
As an avid wrestling fan I was thrilled to hear that my all time favourite wrestler was to release his autobiography. Although I wasn't entirely sure how it would read and whether a man who's taken so many blows to the head could write coherently, I still ordered it as soon as it came out.
I was not disappointed. What I read was a startling novel which was as hilarious as it was informative. You get to find out the truth behind some of wrestlings biggest names as well as learn just how difficult it is to make it in such a competitive business. From his journey's across the US independant scene, to Japan and the King of the Deathmatch tournament, to his trials and problems in WCW, to the great times he had in ECW right up until his run in the WWF (now the WWE), this book details all the ins and outs of the business. It certainly adds a more human side to professional wrestlers. It even goes into his feelings about the notorious 1997 Montreal incident involving Bret Hart and Vince McMahon. It answers so many questions that are commonly asked about the business in a candid and honest way.
Probably the best part of the whole book is the moving piece Foley wrote about Owen Hart, one of wrestlings most surprising and saddening tragedies in the last few years. What he wrote about Owen nearly had me in tears, something I was definately not expecting from a autobiography of one of wrestling's greatest risk takers. He recalls the fun he used to have with one of the WWF's most notorious pranksters and the incredible loss that everybody suffered in the wake of his death.
This book is candid, moving and hilariously funny all at the same time. Mick Foley's journey of a career makes for incredible reading and is an absolute must for all fans of wrestling that you can keep going back to again and again. Thoroughly reccommended.


Music Bank
Music Bank

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An absolute must for any Alice in Chains fan, 8 Dec 2003
This review is from: Music Bank (Audio CD)
This is the ultimate buy for any fan of the amazingly understated and underrated Alice in Chains. I've often asked people if they liked AIC, only to be met with blank expressions. This is a crime considering the amount of absolutely stunning songs found on this box set.
This box set fully captures everything that was amazing about Alice in Chains. They came out with so many different kinds of music. From the incredibly heavy dirge of 'Man in the Box', to the self-critical 'Dirt', to the astoundingly beautiful 'Down in a Hole', this set takes all of their greatest songs and brings them together into three discs. It captures the best from all of their albums and EP's and combines it with demos, live recordings and rarities. Songs such as 'Social Parasite', 'What the Hell Have I?' and 'Fear the Voices' can now be found alongside their classics like 'Would?', 'Rooster', 'No Excuses' and 'We Die Young'.
The highlight of the collection for me is the tracks taken from their moving 'Unplugged' set. Although they may have been at a low at this point through Layne Staley's constant heroin abuse, they had never sounded so poignant and so incredible. It's such a shame that music this good had to come from years of self-destructive drug abuse.
There is nothing on this set that I would change as it perfectly captures everything amazing about this band. This set is worth every penny and should be an essential part of everybody's music collection.


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