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Alex Corkhill (Southam, England United Kingdom)

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Mafia II (Xbox 360)
Mafia II (Xbox 360)
Offered by Super-bargains
Price: 14.50

20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars "An acceptable absentee on your game shelf rather than a must buy...", 30 Aug 2010
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Mafia II (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
Ok, firstly lets look at the positives -

1) Graphics: graphically this game is fantastic and is definitely up there with some of the high end graphic games that have graced our beloved consoles. It boasts excellent character detail and well thought out environments which really immerse you as a citizen of Empire Bay.

2) Story line: Mafia 2 provides the player with a truly engrossing plot and story line which introduces many interesting scenarios and characters. One of the most telling factors of a good game story line is its ability to make you feel connected to the main character. Such a factor is certainly present with Mafia 2 and you really feel a bond to the main character, Vito Scaletta.

Ok... that's it for the positves...yes there are only 2! Lets go into the things that make this game a disappointment:

1) Length - It's a shocker! Although Mafia 2 provides an engrossing story line I expected a little more story for my money. I completed the game on medium (recommended) difficulty in 10 hours.

2) Lack of side missions and no free roaming - this game is totally story line heavy and has no facility for side missions. Unlike say Red Dead or GTA where there are many many activities to take part in if you don't feel like carrying on with the story. Such a factor can leave you satisfied with hours upon hours of gameplay and a real immersion into the gaming world. Mafia 2 simply fails to do that. Which is very odd - after all, like GTA and RDR it is a game set in a world with an AI populace that can walk, drive, shop and interact with your character freely. The fact that you are not able to free roam feels like you've been cheated out of a potentially great game.

3) Monetary value - One minor qualm that I have with Mafia 2 and a few other games recently is the sheer lack of point in earning money. There are very few outlets for you to spend your hard earned dollars in the city. You can purchase new weapons, upgrade/paint your car, buy a new outfit or buy a coke but none of it feels fulfilling, and is, on the whole rather cheap. I should be straining to earn mountains of cash so I can afford new houses and cars and gold plated tommy guns! There is simply no value in earning money as it has little value in the game, which, for a genre that echoes the sentiment 'get rich quick or die trying' is truly baffling.

4) "Play-back-ability" - The first 2 faults I have mentioned here are hugely disappointing. The linear nature of this game, with it being based solely around the story line with little or nothing else to do with your time and absolutely no quarter for free roaming means that I am unlikely to pick this game up and play it again in the near future if ever. I fail to see what going through the same, very memorable story line, with no chance of deviation or change to plot will accomplish and as such my copy is resigned to the pile of games marked 'trade-in for something better'.

All in all Mafia 2 is an acceptable absentee on your game shelf rather than a must buy. Which, for me is a real shame. I've been eagerly anticipating this game since the day I completed its predecessor and I feel nothing but disappointed. It could have and should have been so much more.

I genuinely thought it was impossible to go wrong with this genre because the possibilities are truly endless. As much as I hate to say it, 2K Games and their offering of Mafia 2 have proven me wrong...If I had the choice to buy it again i'd save my 40 for Halo Reach in a couple of weeks...

Brian Lara International Cricket 2005 (Xbox)
Brian Lara International Cricket 2005 (Xbox)
Offered by Click4entertainment Limited
Price: 9.95

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What are you waiting for? Buy it!, 25 July 2005
Firstly i have to say well done to Codemasters on deciding to release another Brian Lara game. Where can i start, Brian Lara International Cricket 2005 is a great all round game, the gameplay is great, the graphics are awesome and the commentary is first class.
Just like the battle between Fifa and Pro Evo in the Football genre it appears that codemasters have started a war with EA over their 'Cricket' series its EA's officiality (e.g. kits, player names) Vs. Codemaster's superb gameplay.
I bought cricket 2005 last year and thought it was ok, apart from the poor graphics and boring commentary. Brian Lara beats it hands down. For a start here is a team of 5 commentators including Aggers, Ian Bishop, Tony greig and David Gower - which is top class.
I suppose Cricket 2005's only saving grace was the fact that EA had bought the rights to use the team kits and player names making it seem authentic even though the gameplay was poor. Sadly, Codemasters have not done the same the kits are pretty random and the names are dodgy e.g. A. Flantiff for Freddie Flintoff!. However, you can change the player's names manually (takes a while though!).
Back to the poitives(!), i have never played on a cricket game with such high quailty realism, when batting, the shots have all been replicated with remarkable resemblance to Lara, Ponting etc... It really is a beautiful looking game.
In addition, the user can play classic matches such as the 9th encounter between England and the Aussies which saw the death of english cricket and the Birth of the Ashes - it offeres a chance to change history and i revelled in hitting a six with W G Grace!
You can also create a player who will eventually improve over time if you allocate progressive skill points to him, these skill points can be won during matches e.g. 10 runs = 10 points. It makes the game more exciting.
Sorry, this is far too long so i'll end quickly! Well done Codemasters, and well done you - all you have to do now is click 'add to basket', go on, it's worth it!

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