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Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 Special Edition*
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 Special Edition*

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A solid game, but a disappointing finale, 18 Mar. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
While I've always been a bigger fan of the 2D Castlevanias, I really enjoyed Lords of Shadow's take on the series' lore with beautiful 3D visuals and solid 3D combat. It was one of the best games I played that year, and it's only my internal conflict with it's effect on the future of the Castlevania series that worried me a little. Nonetheless, I was hugely looking forward to the sequel, especially being able to play as Dracula himself for the first time in a story-driven title. After having played the demo at the Eurogamer expo, I was impressed at what I had seen, and I felt assured that it would be a great game.

However, upon beating the game I am left feeling somewhat disappointed. While the game looks and plays well, the combat mechanics mostly feel recycled from the original game, albeit with visual changes. Many of the combos remain the same, and while Gabriel now has a couple of different weapons that he uses in place of the originals' Light and Dark magic, they don't open up many new combat options (such as seen in Devil May Cry), and I preferred the original game's selection of attacks in the few instances that the two games differ.

Similarly, I felt that Gabriel's platforming changes were for the worse, too. While his improved climbing skills allow him to scale walls with his bare hands, it feels a lot more automated than the satisfying wall-scaling mechanics of the first game that utilized the Combat Cross. The beast-riding mechanics are absent, replaced with other mechanics such as being able to turn into a swarm of rats, which also feel more of a gimmick and less solid than in the original.

The worst new addition is that of stealth segments - these involve having to avoid being seen by invincible opponents that can kill you in one hit. While I'm a fan of stealth, they are more of an irritation than fun, and feel poorly executed. Sadly, things like this only help to make you feel less like the legendary Dracula, more just a regular vampire. We do get a short snippet of him at his full power in the game's intro, but the series seems to have skipped over his legacy, being set a short while in the future. Gabriel is still awesome, but he just doesn't feel like the core villain (or antihero?) that stands at the center of the Castlevania universe.

The game has a non-linear progression style, but while it looks good and works fine, it doesn't feel all that open and if anything just feels somewhat disjointed, lacking the feel of an epic journey that the original had - especially as you regularly swap between modern-day settings and ones similar to those of the first game.

Story wise, it's okay. Not the epic conclusion to the Lords of Shadow saga that I hoped for, and a lot of the key characters have less screen time than I would have liked, while sometimes the less interesting parts drag on longer than necessary. Many of the bosses seem unimportant, with little backstory or fleshing out, and the 'Shadow of the Colossus' style battles from the original are all but missing, save for the tutorial segment.

While it may sound like I'm describing a terrible game, it's not. The combat, beautiful visuals and core mechanics from the original are present, but it really feels like a step back in terms of storytelling and execution. It has some really good moments, including a few particularly fun bosses and story twists, but sadly just as many tedious parts.

It seems that there were problems within the studio developing the game (according to various bits I've read online), and it shows in the final product. The game lacks cohesion, and while it's impressive, it's really not the sequel I hoped for.

The collector's edition is nice, however. The box is solid with nice presentation, and the art book is nice. A little disappointed that the art book lacks the fantastic character art seen in their in-game profile pages, but that's just my personal taste.

2D-Glasses: Turns 3D movies back to 2D - No More Headaches or Discomfort. As seen On Gizmodo, Time and - Now In The UK!
2D-Glasses: Turns 3D movies back to 2D - No More Headaches or Discomfort. As seen On Gizmodo, Time and - Now In The UK!

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simple but effective, 27 Jan. 2012
When I thought about it, the idea of the 2D glasses is simple - rather than two different lenses that show each eye a different picture, they simply use two lenses that are the same to show the same picture to each eye - so you only see one image, eliminating the 3D effect - along with any uncomfortable symptoms caused by it.

I have experienced headaches viewing 3D movies in the past, but sadly my local cinema often only has showings for the 3D version of a lot of movies. I went to see Underworld: Awakening 3D during the week, and found that the glasses work perfectly - and there is no loss of quality, either. They do their job perfectly.

While it's not quite the same as watching a 2D cinema viewing - but only because you have to wear glasses, and I often find that the picture in 3D showings seems a little darker than that of 2D, which is no fault of the 2D glasses - these are definitely the way to go if you want to see a movie in 2D but have no choice but to go to a 3D showing.

Venom Light Blaster Gun (Wii)
Venom Light Blaster Gun (Wii)

79 of 83 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nunchuk IS compatible, 2 April 2008
There have been a few reviews that say the nunchuk isnt compatible with this gun, but it is. Rather than plugging directly into the regular port iin the back of the Wii-mote, there is a slot for it at the bottom of the pistol grip, which is a lot more comfortable than if the wire was sticking out of the back. This complaint was one of the reasons I was unsure about buying this, so ignore the comments claiming you cant use the Nunchuk.

Anyway, I recieved this today and I am very happy with it. Although I havent recieved Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles (the game I bought it for) through the post yet, it feels very comfortable, and seems responsive. I have tested it with Red Steel, and its as easy, if not easier to control than normal, and the gun feels about the same weight as a regular arcade handgun. Aiming is comfortable, and the sensor being higher that if you were holding it normally doesnt feel off.

A great buy for the low cost it is, and since it uses the original Wii-mote there is no real worry that the gun wont function properly, or not at all, as I've experienced with Light gun accessories in the past on my PS2.

Obviously the face buttons of the Wiimote are situated on top of the gun when in use, but generally when playing the kind of games it is built for these buttons wont be used much, since shooters are more focused on point + B.

Now I just need my copy of RE:UC and I can use it for the reason I paid for it!
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 17, 2010 2:57 PM BST

Rayman: Raving Rabbids (Wii)
Rayman: Raving Rabbids (Wii)
Price: £10.00

6 of 18 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Gets old quickly, 2 Feb. 2007
Well, when I first bought this game, I honestly enjoyed it. I played it for a couple of days, and completed it. Then I've never felt the urge to play it since - the minigames were ok, but didnt keep me coming back, and I just feel that the game lacks any depth.

I've played it multiplayer once or twice, which isnt much different from single player, some simply being 2 people taking turns at challenges.

The rabbids were hilarious to begin with, but it got old. The games themselves are varying, but I didnt enjoy many of them really - it was more the humorous rabbids that made it fun, and its lost its charm quickly.

I'd reccomend it as a rental, but not a purchase - I'm pretty bored of it now.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 20, 2010 1:41 AM GMT

Metal Gear Acid 2 (PSP)
Metal Gear Acid 2 (PSP)
Offered by ALS MEDIA
Price: £22.00

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars MGA2 aka MGA+, 15 Aug. 2006
First of all, I'll give the one real downside in my opinion, which is the length - its pretty short, I completed it in a day on my second runthrough. Thats the only reason for the four star rank. But nevertheless, it has a good story and it could easily be my favourite PSP game as of yet and I ave been playing quite a few). Oh and another - why did they change Snakes clothes? He looked better in MGA. That aside -

First of all, if you like MGS, take a look. Don't expect to be playing a game that works the same as MGS (after all this is MGA) bu you can expect the same kind of characters, bosses, and of course an all new Metal Gear. This game is an improvement from its predecessor, and it feels more complete. I loved both games, but this one just keeps me going. If you liked MGA, buy this.

The Snake in MGA is ot Solid Snake, or Naked Snake. Its a new Snake, who has amnesia, and is trying to discover his past. You may wonder how they can just make another Snake without tearing the fabric of existence (or so to speak) but its all explained over time. The new Metal Gear is quite cool, and looks just as good as all the others. The storyline starts quite like other Metal Gears, there is a threat of a nuclear strike and Snakes trying to save the day. There is a new heroine, Venus, who takes Teliko's place from MGA. I prefer Venus myself but its not that important, the second character is largely there in order for the turn based system to work well, allowing you to form strategies.

Te system works very well, and various cards taken from differents series - you can buy MGS3, MGS2, MGS and CHRONICAL (old Metal Gears + MGA) cards which give you different skills such as Guns (Famas, Mk22, AKMs), other attacks (High Frequency Blade, Close Quarters Combat skills and Grenades), healing and protective (Rations, styptic, body armour, stealth) and special abilities of various characters from the series (from the very first Snake to Solid Snake (MGS4), Psycho Mantis and Ocelot) which feature nice cut scenes taken from the games when used.

For example, when the "Cyborg Ninja" card is played, a small cutscence of Ninja posing from MGS is played, and attack is performed (in this case an enemy of your choosing is sliced up by an invisible swordsman). These videos can be skipped or switched off if they annoy you, but I think they add a nce touch. Also, there are powerful attacks such as the Metal Gear REX and Metal Gear Ray cards. There are a lot more cards than I have listed, these are just a few. Anyway, good selection and fun to collect. The cards, in the end, perform different attacks of varying strength and areas of effect, but they are done nicely - if you play a FAMAS card Snake is clearly using a FAMAS to shoot. A new addition is the 'Link cards' which are 'auto effect' cards - i.e. the 'Aim' card automatically acivates when it is in your hand and you fire a shot, boosting the accuracy of that attack. This allows more room for strategy.

Not all of the cards can be obtained in one runthrough - some are obtained when the game is completed once or twice, or on different modes. Also, on a second runthrough, the card sets you can buy packs from are upgraded - MGS3 becomes Subsistence, MGS2 becomes Substance, MGS becomes Integral and CHRONICAL becomes UNLIMITED, which allow you to obtain a wider selection of cards.

They removed the need for Card keys, which is a good change. That was a little annoying in MGA.

The cards are bought with points obtained after beating a level, which are determned by your performance. Also, a new feature has been added where cards can be upgraded by using points, most of them becoming simply a + version (i.e. a Ration becomes Ration+) giving them enhanced power. Occasionally upgraded cards become something else, i.e. MGS3's Ocelot becomes Revolver Ocelot when upgraded.

Most levels are simply trying to get Snake and Venus to the end of the level, although some inlude reaching certain terminals or defeating enemies. The levels are medium in size, but can become long when you are being strategic (Expert mode is quite hard, the enemies have a LOT of heath and if you are spotted you might as well be dead). The game has four difficulty settings (I think), Easy, Normal, Hard and Expert. I have not got Hard mode but I believe that is unlocked by beating Easy.

There are quite a few bosses that are fun (although I'm stuck on a later one on expert mode), and they fit into the MGS mould, a group of five or six strange people that look crazy and fight in srage ways. Of course there is a Metal Gear boss, and there is also another cool boss that came as a welcome surprise.

One other nice addition is a new mode, Arena. In this mode its basically a 2 on 2 brawl in deathmatches against the computer, but the nice thing is that the enemies are various Metal Gear characters from the other games - Liquid Snake, Revolver Ocelot, Vamp and The End are a few, there are around 10 if I remember correctly. They are paired up randlomly (although it seems towards the end they were paired more appropriately (Fortune and Vamp, Liquid and Revolver Ocelot). This feature is a nice bit of fun, the opponents decks have been chosen nicely to suit their characters. Shame there was no Vulcan Raven though.

The sound is quite nice, fitting in with the MGS series, including Snakes sound effects done by David Hayter. The traditional noise you hear when you are spotted is the same as ever. The music isn't overbearing and adds nice atmosphere. There is very little voice acting (a few words by one of two characters) but it doesn't feel empty without it.

The graphics have changed from its predecessor, with a more cell shaded kind of look. I wouldnt say its bad or an improvement, but it works and the attacks and graphics are quite fluid.

The included 3-D viewer was an interesting idea, yet its way too uncomfortable to use (its like a box around your PSP screen that you have to look through like binoculars) and its not worth the hassle. Maybe if they did 3D glasses I might be bothered. The best part of this is the ability to unlock MGS3 cutscenes and watch them in 3-D, but its not something you'll want to do again and again.

Anyway, overall its a great game. If you like the characters and storylines of Metal Gears, its worth a shot. If you hate turn based strategies, maybe its not for you. If you liked/loved MGA, this is better. MGA is a great series - it takes a little adapting from what you might be used to but its well worth the money.

Over and Out.

Dragon Ball: Path to Power [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Dragon Ball: Path to Power [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Offered by M and N Media US
Price: £29.37

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Path to Power, 12 July 2006
It seems that I cannot obtain a working copy of The Saga of Goku, and I have even heard rumors that its not even been released in Region 1 format by FUNimation as of yet. However, I already had the Path to Power before I got my (faulty/nonworking) copy of Saga of Goku. However, looking at the back of the case, it appears that the Path to Power is a kind of summary to SoG (as far as I can tell) - except it doesn't cover some sections.

Issues such as Emperor Pilaf, Boss Rabbit and the Ox-King from SoG are not present. However, it still covers The issues of the dragonballs, Goku's first meeting with master Roshi, Oolong, Bulma and Yamcha, "The Kamehameha Wave" (an episode of SoG which is a chapter within the Saga of Goku) and Shenron also appears.

Although I am not sure how similar SoG and Path to Power really are (as I cannot get the DVD to play on any system or PC) it seems that when watched before the 2nd Dragonball saga, Tournament, it fits in neatly with the storyline, in place of SoG.

So if you want more story before the Tournament saga, I think this fits in nicely. Looking at the box of SoG, it appears some parts of the movie are taken directly from the saga (there is a picture of Goku meeting Bulma for the first time, in the exact same shot as in the movie) so I assume they are the somewhat the same story.

Anyway, PtP is a nice movie, with fairly good animation (in comparison to other Dragonball episodes). It is set when Goku is a child, after Grandpa Gohan has passed away and Goku lives alone in Grandpa Gohans old house. It covers Gokus first meeting with Bulma, Oolong, Yamcha, Puar and Master Roshi as they search for the dragonballs. Along the way, they find themselves against the Red Ribbon Army, where Goku meets Android #8, who is a friendly android (a failure in RRA's eyes).

Goku finds himself having to fight against small armies and fleets of battleships to fight for his friends, and ultimately find all of the dragonballs.

It has a nice mix of humour, action, sadness and even a little bit of romance thrown in. A few slightly unusual scenes concerning (a little bit of) nudity, due to Master Roshis perverse attitude and Goku's complete innocence, but if you have a sense of humour it shouldnt upset - but maybe not appropriate for little children.

Overall, it's a good quality movie, that moves at a good pace (some DB/DBZ movies seem a little rushed). Good if you like Dragonball and backstory, but if you are a Z fan who just loves Super Saiyan battles and fusion, this may or may not be for you.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 13, 2010 9:32 PM GMT

Devil May Cry 3 Volume 1: Dante: V. 1
Devil May Cry 3 Volume 1: Dante: V. 1
by Suguro Chayamachi
Edition: Paperback

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Devil May Cry... BOOK!, 9 Mar. 2006
Well, I'm a big fan of DMC, so I really liked the idea of a manga. I do not own any other mangas yet, but I quite enjoyed reading this one. The story (as far as I can tell) is set before DMC3, and almost fits in with the story of the game (I'm not sure some of the content is the same as the opinions of Capcom, such as Enzo, Dante's 'manager'.
The story firstly explains the beginning of the world, with a brief description of the events with Sparda, and the Demon/Human worlds. Then, it focuses on Dante, who is put on a mysterious job to rescue a girl from a strange house. Vergil and Arkham have appearances, but mainly in the all too familiar library from DMC3:SE.
The story is fairly short to read (I read fast, and it took me about an hour), and the story isn't brilliant, but the artwork is pretty amazing, featuring some cool DMC style scenes.
If you like DMC and you want a little backstory, a short story, and some cool artwork, this is pretty good. If you want detailed backstory that you can read again and again, its probably not your kind of thing.

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