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Persona 4 The Animation - Box 1 - Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack
Persona 4 The Animation - Box 1 - Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack
Dvd ~ Ami Koshimizu

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent adaptation with few criticisms, 4 Jan 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
As anime adaptations go, Persona 4 has been one of the most hotly anticipated given the saturation of this title across platforms. From the original game on PS2, to the revamp on PS Vita and the fighting game sequel on PS3, there are few RPG fans who are still unaware of what used to be a very niche series. An offshoot of the Shin Megami Tensei games, Persona brought a style of gameplay that was a cross between traditional RPG, dating sim, Pokemon style collecting and in-depth storytelling.

For Persona 4, the basic premise was that Yu Narukami (formerly known as Souji Seta in the Manga adaptation,) moves to the sleepy rural town of Inaba for a year while his parents work overseas. Spurred on by the mysterious residents of the Velvet Room, who appear to him in dreams, he slowly begins to unravel a series of murders and kidnappings, developing bonds of friendship that help him become stronger throughout the year. Persona 4 was well praised at the time for the excellent storytelling and the quality of the characters.

Box 1 of 3 contains episodes 1-9 of the series, along with an extra director's cut of the 1st episode, 225 minutes running time according to the box. As such, compared to some boxed sets on the market, you do get less for your money. Nickelodeon's Avatar, for example, ran for between 470-500+ minutes per boxed set and some of the Anime Legends boxed sets run for well over 10 hours. There's a marked lack of extras as well - just a half dozen trailers, karaoke of the opening and closing credits and a weird skit that comes straight out of the leftfield and has nothing to do with the series - no interviews, no commentaries, no documentaries. For three times the price of this set for the entire series, you'll be expecting quality then.

Audio is Japanese with English subs or English dubbed. This is an improvement over the US version, where the Japanese audio was removed due to the US and Japan having the same Blu-ray region lock. The producers didn't want Japanese fans ordering the much cheaper US version, but as the UK has a different region code no such problems arise here, so we get the full experience. A welcome bonus considering it's us poor Region 2 plebs that usually get the raw deal on release dates, content and prices.

For the most part, the series doesn't disappoint either. With so much in the game it would be easy for too much to be dropped from it, but it is well scripted and paced to include as much as possible, including many of the bonds that are so important in the game's narrative. Characterisation is done well, although Yu is somewhat quieter and more sarcastic than you would expect. Much has been made of the change to Chie's and Teddie's voice actors, although it's barely noticeable with Teddie. Chie is markedly different, sounding much younger, but the voice does suit her more than the original, who frequently sounded like a woman in her late 20s and was noticeably too old for the character at times.

Overall, the series does exactly what fans of the game were hoping for, and also remains accessible to those who have never played the game at all. Action, humour and drama are all done very well, with even the cringeworthy moments fitting in well as they were intended to be cringeworthy.

That's not to say that it's all perfect, however. There are a number of flaws that really shouldn't have been present on a series as professionally produced (and expensive, given the low number of episodes per box) as this one is.

The box itself is dual play Blu-ray and DVD, which isn't to everyone's taste and certainly isn't to mine. If you have a Blu-Ray player (and if you're here because you discovered Persona on Playstation, there's a high chance that you will on your PS3,) then there is absolutely no reason for you to ever use the enclosed DVDs, and if you only have a DVD player, then having the Blu-ray around 'just in case you upgrade' is also wasteful. Far better to have a cheaper product that only contains one or the other.

Content wise, while there are English subtitles to the Japanese audio, there are no subtitles available for the English audio version. Hence, it's probably not a good purchase if you have any kind of hearing difficulties that require you to have an accessibility option, or need any of the other common subtitle languages. A baffling decision not to include them by anyone's standards.

In the story, perhaps the only aspect that isn't handled well is Yu's wild card aspect - his ability to control multiple personas and combine them based on how well he's developed his friendships. It feels rushed, it isn't explained well and in one episode is just used as a cheap deus ex machina to win a fight. Likewise, the very concept of having a Persona isn't explained as well as in the game, which is a fairly crucial plot point.

Finally, the one perennial bugbear raises its ugly head in the form of the quality of the translation work. Key points are mistranslated, such as Yukiko's arcana of the High Priestess being called the Empress by Margaret's VA, even though the book she's holding clearly says "High Priestess" under a picture of Yukiko. Ironically, Margaret herself is the Empress arcana. Also, while most in-picture writings or cultural references have on-screen translations, others are missed. One thing that highlights the lack of quality in the translation is a key tag-line at the end of every episode, meant to be an insight into the whole story, which appears in bold print on a bright background as the final page of the credits. It's meant to convey the fact that the bonds of friendship or the bonds of the heart are the most important, but receives an awkward, literal translation of "Bonds of people is the true power", mangling tenses and meaning. Dictionary translation strikes again - you'd think they don't have access to proper translators or have bilingual people on staff.

If you can overlook the minor niggles, this is an excellent adaptation of a well-loved story, albeit one that thanks to yet another example of discriminatory release schedules and unnecessary region locking is long overdue, and which will be even moreso by the time boxes 2 and 3 are released.


XCOM Enemy Unknown (PS3)
XCOM Enemy Unknown (PS3)
Offered by passionFlix UK
Price: 6.56

17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A worthy reboot of a legendary franchise, 14 Oct 2012
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
As a fan of the original, I have been waiting for this for a long time, and in most ways I am not disappointed.

XCOM is/was the grandfather of all turn based strategy games. It defined a genre, and so this title has a lot to live up to. Coupled with this is the fact that there are so few decent turn-based strategy games on the PS3 - Disgaea can get a little silly, Agarest is spoiled by an over-abundance of fan-service, which leaves the brilliant (but sadly under-rated) Valkyria Chronicles. The new XCOM is a worthy addition that sits right up there.

Basically, XCOM is split into two parts, these being squad based tactical combat and Sim-City style base building and resource management. In combat, you manage between 4 and 6 troops in an isometric turn-based strategy to hunt down and destroy alien invaders. Outside combat, you have the job of maintaining workshops and research labs, along with building satellite surveillance networks and interceptors to make sure that E.T. is well and truly blown home.

The difficulty level is steep from the start, requiring you to be as good at managing the accounts as you are at keeping your squad alive. Fail to manage each country's panic level or neglect putting boots on the ground in their territory and they'll eventually withdraw funding, and if over half of the nations pull out, it's game over.

It's testament to how things have evolved for the "casual" gamer that the (very) Hard difficulty level is actually called "Classic", as this represents how brutal the original game was. Even on easy and normal levels it's easy for things to get out of hand and have countries panicking all around you. A further Ironman option restricts you to a single, automatically updated save that records every action if you really want to torture yourself as you can't reload after your entire squad dies in one turn. There's a tutorial that holds your hand for the first few hours, but for those that don't like to be constrained, it can be skipped as it does force you down certain paths. For true brutality, play on Classic Ironman and see how long you last.

It's important to note that this is a re-imagining of the original and not a remake. For long-time XCOM fans you'll see a number of differences. Unit classes have been introduced, which add a new tactical depth, along with an RPG style unit development system, so you feel more attached to each trooper before the game brutally rips them from you. This also streamlines the inventory system, which was unwieldy in the first, requiring every squad member to be equipped individually before every mission - now the squad member automatically takes everything he needs, but there's no putting rockets in every pocket, as like in the real world, troopers are limited to one or two rockets/grenades/med-kits.

A few aspects have been stripped out, such as the ability to make more bases around the world, but this isn't a noticeable loss, as in the original most of these were interceptor bases or an Antarctic research base. This time, you can site interceptors in a continent regardless of whether you have a base there, and science doesn't take up quite so much space, so there's no need for other bases. Coupled with this, the base defence missions have been removed, which is a small loss as these were some of the most tense battles in the original, but with only one base it wouldn't be fair as losing it would be an automatic loss in this version.

The squad size is down from 12+ to a maximum of 6, which rather than limiting options actually forces you to think more about your tactics, as the loss of a single individual can jeopardise a mission. Later on in the original, I'd end up with half my squad still in the Skyranger or wandering the map aimlessly anyway, so focusing on fewer soldiers is actually a good thing.

In combat, facing and Time Units have been replaced with a greater focus on cover and a more intuitive input system of Move/Move, Move/Action or Move/Overwatch, which allows you to focus on the tactics themselves. Missions are more fast-paced, and you'll no longer be forced to mindlessly wander the map searching for that last panicked/dug in alien. On top of this, special requests have introduced escort and extraction missions, and responding to alien abductions forces you to choose between three possible countries - the one you choose will reward you, but panic will rise in both the other two and their neighbours. Terror missions are, if possible, even more brutal than the original, forcing you to defend civilians to get a good score.

Graphically it does the job. It's not going to win any awards, but that's not the focus of a game like this. The Unreal engine has its glitches, however, and on many occasions you'll see textures not loading correctly, frame-rate stutters and troops trying to shoot through solid objects while on overwatch due to bad clipping (and sometimes succeeding). For the sound, there's a decent array of sinister alien gurgles, screams in the dark and mood music. The voice actors on the main characters are well done and do a lot to make your staff endearing, but the voices on your squad are somewhat lacking, as regardless of what nation your troops represent they are all voiced by Americans, which combined with the generic nature of the character models (hulking male body-builder or slim female,) gives a very bland feel to the squad. You can customise colours somewhat though, but some extra attention here wouldn't have gone amiss.

One thing to note is that, compared to the original, this game is very, very short. You can probably complete the entire storyline in 25-30 hours, which for a generation raised on the likes of Clone of Duty. Modern Borefare is considered epic, but when you've put hundreds of hours into the original it's a little disappointing. Of course, you can string things out by not taking the final mission, but when there's nothing left to build or research by this point, there's little to be gained by this.

Overall, this game is a worthy successor despite being a little buggy in places. Yes, it has been streamlined to appeal to a more casual gamer, cutting out much of the complexity and shortening its length considerably, but for the most part the changes are either a good thing or can be lived with. Only the bugs (which are these days sadly to be expected in a next-gen console release,) and the shortening of the game loses it points for me.

At the end of the day, if you're pining for the classics so much then download and play the original as it's very cheap these days, along with the Terror From the Deep sequel. If you're looking for a modern game with a level of strategic depth you rarely see in today's shooter clone age, then you'd do worse than to look at both this and quite possibly Valkyria Chronicles as well.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 14, 2012 4:49 PM BST


Enchanted Arms (PS3)
Enchanted Arms (PS3)
Offered by clickforgamesltd
Price: 23.43

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Promising, but ultimately flawed, 7 Aug 2012
= Fun:2.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Enchanted Arms (PS3) (Video Game)
I really did have high hopes for this game when I read the premise. Here is a turn based RPG that combines strategic battling and an involved story with the collecting and raising of Lucifer's Call / Pokemon. Unfortunately, while there is a lot here, the game ultimately doesn't deliver on the promise it contains.

The basic story sees you in control of the protagonist Atsuma, who is a student of enchanting golems at Yokohama University along with his friends. As with standard J-RPG fare, he has issues with his memory and a clouded past along with mysterious powers that manifest in his right arm (no sniggering from the peanut gallery please.) While skipping class to attend a festival, all the golems in town go on a rampage and through a series of increasing acts of stupidity, Atsuma succeeds in using his strange powers to free an entombed Devil Golem from an ancient war from beneath the University, thus starting his quest to save the world from ancient technology and magic gone bad.

I say increasing acts of stupidity because the story, or rather the characters, are the first area in which this game lets itself down. I don't know what it is about Japanese RPGs where the writers always seem to assume that you would dearly love to be in control of a lazy, annoying, food scarfing, responsibility shirking dropout boy with the mental acuity of a lobotomised Doberman. The character you control in this game is more irritating than Vaan and Tidus put together and clearly doesn't have two brain cells to rub together. Your first introduction to him is through his snores on a black screen as he sleeps in a lecture and things go downhill from there. The following is pretty much actual dialogue from the game.

(While at the end of a path standing in front of a ladder,)
Dropout Boy: Huh, is this a dead end?
Companion: No, you see that there? That's a ladder, and if you press X in front of it, you can climb up.
Dropout Boy: Cool

(While standing in front of steps down into some water.)
Companion: Look, we can get down into the water there.
Dropout Boy: But we can't walk under water, we'll drown.
Companion: No you won't. If you press X while standing in front of it, you can swim.
Dropout Boy: Cool.

Yes, it is that bad, and is about the level of any tuition offered to him throughout the game. Strangely enough, the complexities of the battle system aren't explained in anything like this amount of detail. The other characters are all just as mediocre, either being obvious stereotypes or trying hard to be someone else. Atsuma's two closest friends fill the roles of "emotionless genius" and "screamingly outrageous transexual" and don't immediately draw you in as rounded characters. The martial artist you later meet fails at mixing the grace of Tifa with the fiesty Chie (Persona 4) and just ends up being bratty and bitchy, while the stoic swordsman tries to be all that Auron is, and fails miserably in every department. Finally it's almost painful watching the young golem hunter trying to act like Yuffie.

The combat is the meat of the game, however, and it is a system with much going for it. You and your opponents are lined up on a grid, and take turns to move within that grid and attack your enemies. You can't move into your opponent's half of the grid, but your skills and attacks can affect different ranges of squares in his half like a game of battleships. A machine gun burst might affect a whole column, for example, while raising a column of fire roasts an X of squares. Positioning yourself behind an ally might cover you from the machine gun, but not the fire column. It's a simple system to learn, but is flawed in a few ways.

Firstly, your HP and MP are restored after every battle, so for the most part each battle consists of you using your most devastating skills to wipe the enemy out before they can reply. This is especially the case as, the longer the battle goes on and the more you are hit, the more your vitality gauge drops after the battle. When this is zero, your character's HP and MP are set to 1 until you rest at a recharge station in town. Hence, you want to finish each battle as soon as possible, preferably in the first turn so you don't lose any vitality. There are about 140 different golems that you can acquire the cores for and then build using materials bought or won, that you can use to bulk out your group and replace tired characters, but unlike with Lucifer's Call, you never actually feel like using any of them as you'll always want to get your human characters into battle to win skill points to build them up. Vitality, therefore, and winning battles quickly, becomes too much of a focus.

Graphically, the game has issues also. While some of the textures are well done (the ocean around Yokohama is particularly stunning when seen for the first time,) others are bland and need work. Character models also fall well into the uncanny valley of plastic faces and wooden expressions.

The scenery is okay, but there's just so little of it. In every area, you're limited to tiny corridors that take you to your next destination, and these corridors are very short. To travel the many miles between two cities of opposing nations, it's meant to be a long and hard journey, but honestly to run it without any encounters would probably take you less than two minutes in the game. With the high encounter rate and length of the battles though, that journey becomes about half an hour. Therein lies one of the flaws of this battle system as well - while it's fun the first time, and even the tenth time, by the hundredth time of fighting the same bland enemies it just gets a little tiring and becomes a chore instead of fun. There is an auto-battle, but even that takes time, and the AI for it is appalling.

To finish, this game has a lot of good ideas, and I wanted to see them work. However, it fails to bring all of the different strands together, and in the end is just not fun.


Philips SHS4700/10 Mid range EarClip Headphones -  Black
Philips SHS4700/10 Mid range EarClip Headphones - Black
Price: 11.47

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent sound and quality, 7 Aug 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have a two and a half hour commute each day on the train, so needed a set of headphones that I could use for long periods of time, that would provide quality sound and that wouldn't irritate everyone around me by letting them share in my musical tastes.

The trouble is, I have very small ear canals, and so cannot use any kind of in-ear headphones without getting extreme pain and discomfort. On the other hand, I don't care for the latest trend of the big, chunky headband sets as they tend to look a bit like you should be directing a 747 in for landing.

I bought this set for both the looks and because they are very discrete while not being in-ear buds, and I am on my second set in three years now - I liked them enough that when I broke the old pair, I bought exactly the same model to replace them with.

Sound quality is great, with no buzzing, distortion or tinny sound that can be found in a lot of the budget range headphones. On top of this, the containment of the sound is excellent as well - with this set, I have to turn the volume up to painful, ear-shattering levels of heavy metal or opera before any sound leaks out to my fellow commuters. Finally, they are extremely comfortable, and the hinge fits so well on my ears that they stay there no matter what I'm doing and after a few minutes I don't even feel them.

Comments have been made in other reviews about the build quality, but I have to disagree with them. Yes, the hinges have some very delicate parts, and yes this is how my first set of these headphones died. However, as long as you treat them well you should have no problems - the hinges on my old set gave out when I put them in my pocket while at the barber's and then sat on them for half an hour!

As long as you aware that these are not the kind of in-ear buds that you can screw up into a ball or shove into a back pocket or take to an extreme sports event whenever you want, and you make sure that you safely stow them away in your jacket or drawer when not in use, then they should last you a long time.


Rogue Galaxy (PS2)
Rogue Galaxy (PS2)
Offered by Gamesbuyer
Price: 18.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome game, but so late in the PS2's life, 6 Aug 2012
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Rogue Galaxy (PS2) (Video Game)
I will say this to start, it is a crying shame that this product was released so late in the PS2's life that everyone had already moved on to the shiny PS3 releases and this was relegated to a forgotten endnote to PS2 RPGs.

As it is, there's a lot to be said for a game when I have a fantastic PS3 sitting hooked up to my TV, with a stack of games I have yet to play, including Final Fantasy 13, all three next gen Atelier games, Nier, Dragon Age and the like, and yet I am sitting here playing my way through a little known J-RPG on my old PS2.

The premise is simple, and the plot will be familiar to anyone who has experienced the standard J-RPG setup. You play as young Jaster Rogue, unwilling resident of a backwater desert planet, who spends his time longing to travel into space. When a monster invades the town Jaster takes up his sword and blaster and defeats it, only to be mistaken for the legendary hunter Desert Claw by members of a pirate ship's crew. Admittedly, he doesn't try too hard to convince them otherwise and suddenly finds himself flying out into the stars on an inevitably complicated mission that eventually leads to the saving of the universe.

Pretty standard stuff, but the writing and delivery is done well enough to keep things flowing along and the characters are likeable. It does get a little silly at times, but generally it's within the normal realms for a game of this type. The Star Wars references are just obvious rip-offs at times though - Jaster's situation bears an uncanny resemblance to Luke Skywalker, although he's far less whiny, Steve the robot not only looks, but acts and sounds like C3P0, his pal Simon could pass in stature for R2D2 (although with a broad Scottish accent) and the ship's Captain is an obvious Jabba. Sadly, you do meet up with a Jar Jar clone later as well.

Graphically, it's a matter of taste. This is Level 5, the people who produced Dragon Quest 8, so expect cell shading, lots of pastel colours and unrivalled cuteness. If you prefer gritty realism to cartoons and primary colours, and think that talking cats and dogs, or fish walking on two legs have no place in a serious RPG, look away now as this isn't for you. If you don't mind this though, the graphics are excellent and really bring each planet to life.

The gameplay is where everything comes together though, as this is an action RPG in the style of Kingdom Hearts. There's no full freedom of movement like Skyrim or Kingdoms of Amalur, but neither is the action totally limited to tiny one-direction corridors. It's a lot like Final Fantasy X in that regard - there's room enough to move around and explore to the point where it doesn't feel cramped. Random battles happen not too frequently, but enough that you can expect to be attacked fairly regularly.

Combat is a breeze once you've mastered the system, but can still be brutal if you're not prepared. Each character has a primary and a secondary weapon, with the secondary usually being ranged. Jaster, for example has a close range sword and his blaster rifle/pistol. You can move freely around the battle area while the AI controls your two other party members, and can attack about 15-20 times until the action gauge empties, then you have to run around or defend while you wait for it to refill which encourages you to pick your shots. The secondary ranged weapon is the same except you have a limited ammo supply and only three reloads per battle.

The standard mana/magic points are turned into AP for this game, and power a range of powerful abilities unlocked by obtaining various common and rare items and putting them into a grid for each character. During battle, your AI characters will shout over suggestions when they want to use abilities, which you can agree to by hitting L1/L2, but you can turn this off and trigger all your party's abilities manually by bringing up the menu, as left to their own devices they'll burn through your AP and items.

Combat, as a whole though, while sometimes challenging and sometimes annoying with the random battles, achieves what it should do in a game like this - it is fun. One minor glitch though is the need for one particular gun that Jaster carries - the barrier breaker. A number of enemies in the game have shields that can only be broken with an otherwise useless gun given to you about 10 hours in, and this isn't just bosses, it's a few regular enemies in some areas. All in all it can get very irritating in the areas that have these enemies to have to bring up the menu to replace your awesomely destructive plasma rifle with this gun, only to tag all the enemies so they can be damaged, then open up the menu to bring out the artillery again. That part is badly executed, but it's only a minor annoyance.

Outside the main quest, there's a boatload of extras to do. From hunting down rare beasts, to weapon synthesis, catching and raising insect armies for the Insectron tournaments (similar to the arena in DQ8), running a factory for rare items (a puzzle game where you place the parts to make the machinery work,) and two bonus dungeons after the endgame. 100 hours plus - absolutely, and you'll enjoy it.

If you've still got your old PS2, then by all means get this game. It runs rings around similar titles released for PS3 despite its age and platform.


Gundam Wing Part 2 - Anime Legends [DVD]
Gundam Wing Part 2 - Anime Legends [DVD]
Dvd ~ Masashi Ikeda

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An essential purchase if you ever liked the original, 14 Feb 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
For a very long time, I only had an okay digital copy of the original series in Japanese with English subs, which I've finally been able to delete after receiving this masterpiece, along with Part 1. I was originally holding out for saving up for the Complete Remastered Edition Set, but given that you won't find one for less than a hundred quid and these are essentially the same quality episodes in a less fancy box, I eventually decided to order these instead.

Presentation wise, the episodes are slick and with well thought-out menus, although one downside is that if you try and skip past the Beez logo and opening graphics using your controller, the menus default to French, which can get irritating as it means you have to sit through them at a couple of minutes each every time. Titles and Menus are in either English or French, with English, French and Japanese audio and English and French subtitles, which offers a good range.

Visually, the series is fantastic, and very well remastered with improved colour and graphics from the original. Comparing the two, you will instantly see the vast difference in quality to the non-remastered edition. Each episode has voiced previews and there's even a karaoke singalong of the opening and closing credits if you're into that sort of thing or if you just want to listen to the excellent music in the extras.

The audio track is clean and shows signs of being touched up as well, although anyone who hasn't seen the original series in English may well be disappointed by what is on offer. I bought this hoping to finally hear the dubbed version in order to get the more immersive experience of not having to read the translation from Japanese, but was shocked by just how bad the localised 'acting' really is. It took only one episode for the trainwreck curiosity I initially felt to give way to abject disgust and for me to return to Japanese with English subs.

I've heard some horrible dubs in my time, but this really does take the prize. The parts are badly cast in relation to both the sound of the original actors and the personalities of the characters, although it's hard to read any kind of personality from the dubbing most of the time. Even in the middle of a hectic battle, the American actors might just as well be reciting a tax return or the shipping forecast for all the energy or effort they put into it, never deviating from a flat, monotone delivery. In addition there are many situations where the dialogue suffers from having a literal rather than a contextual translation from the original Japanese, leading to some very clunky lines.

Nevertheless, awful English audio aside, these two sets are a truly fantastic addition to anyone's collection. I certainly won't dock points for the English acting considering the original Japanese version with the remastered improvements more than make up for it, and there's enough content from the actual episodes to make up for the lack of extras.


Gundam Wing Complete Collection 1/2 - Anime Legends [DVD] [1995]
Gundam Wing Complete Collection 1/2 - Anime Legends [DVD] [1995]
Dvd ~ Masashi Ikeda

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An essential purchase if you ever liked the original, 14 Feb 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
For a very long time, I only had an okay digital copy of the original series in Japanese with English subs, which I've finally been able to delete after receiving this masterpiece, along with Part 2. I was originally holding out for saving up for the Complete Remastered Edition Set, but given that you won't find one for less than a hundred quid and these are essentially the same quality episodes in a less fancy box, I eventually decided to order these instead.

Presentation wise, the episodes are slick and with well thought-out menus, although one downside is that if you try and skip past the Beez logo and opening graphics using your controller, the menus default to French, which can get irritating as it means you have to sit through them at a couple of minutes each every time. Titles and Menus are in either English or French, with English, French and Japanese audio and English and French subtitles, which offers a good range.

Visually, the series is fantastic, and very well remastered with improved colour and graphics from the original. Comparing the two, you will instantly see the vast difference in quality to the non-remastered edition. Each episode has voiced previews and there's even a karaoke singalong of the opening and closing credits if you're into that sort of thing or if you just want to listen to the excellent music in the extras.

The audio track is clean and shows signs of being touched up as well, although anyone who hasn't seen the original series in English may well be disappointed by what is on offer. I bought this hoping to finally hear the dubbed version in order to get the more immersive experience of not having to read the translation from Japanese, but was shocked by just how bad the localised 'acting' really is. It took only one episode for the trainwreck curiosity I initially felt to give way to abject disgust and for me to return to Japanese with English subs.

I've heard some horrible dubs in my time, but this really does take the prize. The parts are badly cast in relation to both the sound of the original actors and the personalities of the characters, although it's hard to read any kind of personality from the dubbing most of the time. Even in the middle of a hectic battle, the American actors might just as well be reciting a tax return or the shipping forecast for all the energy or effort they put into it, never deviating from a flat, monotone delivery. In addition there are many situations where the dialogue suffers from having a literal rather than a contextual translation from the original Japanese, leading to some very clunky lines.

Nevertheless, awful English audio aside, these two sets are a truly fantastic addition to anyone's collection. I certainly won't dock points for the English acting considering the original Japanese version with the remastered improvements more than make up for it, and there's enough content from the actual episodes to make up for the lack of extras.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 4, 2012 5:42 PM GMT


Fallout Collection (PC)
Fallout Collection (PC)
Offered by filmrollen
Price: 7.50

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Three classic games and one niggling glitch, 7 Jun 2011
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I was initially hesitant to buy this game given the reviews saying it didn't work, but it was only [] so thought what the heck.

True enough, while the first two games install perfectly, once patched up Fallout Tactics spits out an error saying the correct CD needs to be installed.

However, it took all of 5 minutes searching on Google to find the solution - simply patch up to version 1.27 then download and apply Red's 15kb no cd crack from the internet. I'll take a point off the overall for the fact that an official crack should have been included so I didn't have to use some pirate's offering, but considering how easy it is to solve, it doesn't detract much.

Fallout and Fallout 2 are classic games that everyone should buy and enjoy. True RPG fans shouldn't care about the fact that the graphics have aged compared to the latest offerings as the story and game mechanics should be more than enough to keep people involved (hell, I still play the early Final Fantasies without noticing the age of the graphics.) This, after all, was one of the first RPGs to really feature a guns and grit environment instead of the usual swords and sorcery.

Fallout Tactics is what it is, a squad-based cash-in that provides a few hours of amusement - I'd have bought this on the strength of the first two alone, so count this as a bonus. Yeah, it's not really a Fallout game, but then neither is Fallout 3. At least it's not as bad as that awful top-down shooter they released for PS2.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 21, 2013 4:00 AM BST


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