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Supernatural - The Complete First Season [DVD] [2006]
Supernatural - The Complete First Season [DVD] [2006]
Dvd ~ Jared Padalecki
Price: 7.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Warning: Extremely Addictive TV!, 17 July 2014
I cannot believe I hadn’t seen this show before – it is brilliant! The story is interesting with a “monster (well, ghost) of the week” type format and also a progressive and exciting main story arc that just made me want to keep delving deeper and deeper into the series. The lead characters are great with good chemistry and plenty of humour as well as some impressive acting in some of the more serious situations. The episodes can sometimes be quite scary, taking lore from old urban legends and ghost stories and putting their own spin on them – I can’t remember a show this creepy since back in the 90’s with The X Files. The music is very good throughout the episodes with a lot of classic rock playing the in background as well as the accompanying atmospheric score.

If you’re a fan of shows such as The X Files, Grimm, Haven or Fringe then I’d definitely recommend this to you. I bought the DVD of this show as I fancied something new to watch and I flew through the entire season 1 in just over a week – to say this show is addictive is an understatement! I’m just glad that I’d purchased the complete seasons 1-8 boxset!

Silent Hill: Shattered Memories (PS2)
Silent Hill: Shattered Memories (PS2)
Offered by Soprano Entertainment
Price: 43.90

5.0 out of 5 stars Hell Frozen Rain, 8 April 2014
Silent Hill: Shattered Memories is a reimagining of the classic original game `Silent Hill' from the PS1. Harry Mason is involved in a car crash during a heavy blizzard and when he regains consciousness he finds that his daughter Cheryl is missing. He goes through the snowbound and empty streets of the titular town in search of her whilst questioning his own sanity based on the events that unfold. During this search he is confronted by many repressed memories (or are they?) and learns more of his daughter's and his own lives.

You may notice when first playing this game that, unlike the rest of the series, there is no combat whatsoever. This is both a refreshing change as it gives you the feeling of helplessness and vulnerability, also builds the tension up to the maximum when you are searching for the exit and the nightmare creatures are gaining on you.

Another new feature is throughout the game you are sitting in a therapist's chair and are asked a series of questions that determine your character's mentality and, ultimately, the outcome of one of the games' various endings. I tried to answer the questions as truthfully as possible on my first playthrough and the results at the end of the game were scarily accurate.

Graphically, for its time (it was released right at the end of the PS2's life cycle, if not afterwards) are very impressive with very atmospheric surroundings and character models. The haunting soundtrack (composed by the always brilliant Akira Yamaoka) is actually my favourite spanning the 9 game series and really fits the game's ambience perfectly. The story is one of the best in the series and is one that really kept me thinking long after playing, making me want to experience each of the 5 endings even more. The controls are some of the best in the series, being over-the-shoulder based (like Downpour and Homecoming).

This game wasn't widely available on the PS2 (being mainly available on the PSP and Wii) but if you manage to find a copy of this game, you must play it! I've owned this game for over for 4 years now and can't count the number of times I have played it from start to finish in one big gaming binge but is one of my favourites so will be one I will be playing again and again for years to come.

Cross My Heart: (Alex Cross 21)
Cross My Heart: (Alex Cross 21)
Price: 6.07

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible thriller, 2 Dec 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I've been reading the Alex Cross series by James Patterson for about 15 years now and he never fails to surprise me with some great storylines and plot twists. I've pretty much given up on reading James Patterson novels these days (I have only stuck with this series, Mike Bennett and the occasional stand-alone) as nowadays they are all ghost-written and the quality is generally below average, but the quality of this series has stayed so high.

The over-lapping storylines in this book are gripping and there's constant surprises all the way through. The cliffhanger ending is what made this one of the most shocking in the series yet. I think in the next book we're either going to have a cop-out twist that will really annoy me or a great revenge story. I hope for the latter.

I'd definitely recommend this book, especially if you're a regular reader of the series.

Diablo III (PS3)
Diablo III (PS3)
Offered by Shop4World
Price: 19.45

18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I love it!, 4 Sep 2013
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Diablo III (PS3) (Video Game)
This is my first experience with the Diablo series but being a big fan of RPGs, looting and hack-n-slash games, I thought I'd give this a go and I'm so glad I did. I've never played the PC/Mac version of Diablo 3 so I can't comment on it or compare it to this console version.

The controls are simple and work perfectly, applying a skill to each button couldn't be easier. The graphics are from an isometric view, so character models are small but are very detailed, as are the outstanding backgrounds and surroundings. The music is very atmospheric however the dialogue can be a little corny at times. There's five character classes to choose from so plenty of variety and replayability. The story seems fast paced and interesting from the start. And best of all, this game is extremely fun!

I'm only about 10 hours in so far but can already see this being a new favourite and one I'll keep playing until I've done and unlocked everything. Absolutely brilliant game.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 5, 2013 2:36 PM BST

Joyland (Hard Case Crime) (Hard Case Crime Novels)
Joyland (Hard Case Crime) (Hard Case Crime Novels)
by Stephen King
Edition: Paperback
Price: 3.85

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible!, 29 Jun 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I've been a constant reader of Stephen King's works for over 20 years and there's not many books of his I haven't read, and I've got to say that Joyland is honestly one of the best he has ever written.

Although this is in the Hard Case Crime series (along with his, also great, Colorado Kid) this isn't much of a crime story (although there is a murder that the characters look into) it is a coming of age novel that touched my heart and made me smile on more times then I can remember when reading it. It's in the same vain as the likes of The Body (Stand By Me), The Green Mile, Hearts in Atlantis and The Shawshank Redemption (in other words, his best stories) and just really tells the story of one summer for our protagonist, Dev, and the sometimes strange and wonderful events that happened during his time working at Joyland.

I won't give away any of the plot - it is best if you start this knowing as little as possible, as I did - but I guarantee you this will be one of your favourite King stories by the time you've finished it.

Buy this book, enjoy this book and afterwards I think it'll be one of your favourites too. Thank you Mr King.

Resident Evil Revelations (PS3)
Resident Evil Revelations (PS3)
Price: 12.49

14 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Horror Returns, 28 May 2013
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
Although I thoroughly enjoyed Resident Evil 5 and 6, the thing that made them feel less "Resident Evil" was the fact that they were moving away from being survival horror - something that made the series great in the first place - and became more of an action-orientated series, perhaps because of the popularity of the movie series of the same name. Whatever the reason, the fans weren't happy. So Capcom went and did the best thing that they could and scrapped the annoying QTE's and released a proper return to form survival horror - Resident Evil Revelations.

I don't own a Nintendo 3DS (and don't intend on getting one) so missed this one the first time round when it was released on this handheld last year, so I am very pleased that they have re-released this on consoles in HD. The story is great, bridging the gap between Resident Evil 5 and 6, and the setting is so much better than I thought it'd be - the cruise ship, where the game is mainly based, has a very similar lay-out to the mansion from the Resident Evil remake on the GameCube, so had a nice nostalgic feel to it. Other areas include an Artic-like stage early on and various locations on a destroyed exotic island. Chris and Jill return with their new partners, Jessica and Parker. Something I don't quite understand though is why there is no split-screen co-op option during the campaign, as your partner is there in every chapter and I thought the co-op modes in Resident Evil 5 and 6 were one of the best things about them. Not a massive issue but a bit of a missed opportunity.

The visuals and sound are fantastic and I couldn't believe this had been converted from a handheld game. Controls work well enough and anyone familiar with the over-the-shoulder view from Resident Evils 4-6 should have no trouble (although there is strangely no Run button?). The new scanning device is a good idea that makes the player actually explore the rooms more to discover extra items (ammo, health, hand prints) if they want to stand a chance of surviving. And best of all, this game is scary! The sense of `what's behind that door?!' and things jumping out from the darkness make a welcome return, and this is the first time in about 10 years I've felt like this when playing this series. The bosses are hard too so there's a guaranteed challenge on this game.

Raid Mode is good fun and can be played solo or with a friend (or a random) over PSN. This mainly involves selecting a character to level up, kitting them out and then re-exploring sections from the campaign with waves of enemies (generally at a higher level then you) and then getting to the end of the stage. I've spent a few hours on this mode and it really is more addictive than it sounds. Just a shame (again) that there's no split-screen co-op.

Overall I'm really impressed with this release and I'm so happy the series has gone back to its survival horror roots again. I just hope that Capcom take note with how happy we all are with this style and run with it again soon. I definitely recommend this game highly.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 5, 2013 11:56 PM BST

Deadly Premonition - Director's Cut (PS3)
Deadly Premonition - Director's Cut (PS3)
Offered by Shop4World
Price: 19.16

23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FK...In the Coffee!!, 26 April 2013
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
Finally Deadly Premonition: The Director's Cut has arrived on the PS3! Being such a big Twin Peaks and survival horror fan, this was the reason I bought an Xbox 360 2 years ago (as well as Alan Wake). In this game you take the role of special agent Francis York Morgan (just call him `York' - everybody does) who is sent to the sleepy American town of Greenvale to investigate the murder of Anna Graham. Whilst there, as well as the suspenseful investigation, you will meet a whole cast of quirky (and oftentimes, creepy) characters that live their day-to-day routines and jobs, making Greenvale really feeling alive. I think this is what really makes this game stand out to me - after playing this for a few hours you will feel like you have actually been to Greenvale and met these characters as there is so much depth to each one and all of the places you visit. The PS3 version does a good job of making you (if you wish) meet these characters and help them out in one way or another by giving you a trophy for the side missions that you complete - this is where this game is truly rewarding as it contains some really great, scary and hilarious moments and stories.

One of the things that a lot of people complained about with the 360 version was the "last-gen" graphics and poor controls, that I admit weren't the best but this is a game that puts people's "graphics don't make a good game" opinion to the test and succeeded with flying colours - this game is quite honestly amazing. The visual update is clear to anyone who's played the 360 version and is quite impressive to say the least with a lot more detail to character models, layering and backgrounds. To describe the style I'd say it is like Silent Hill, Grand Theft Auto and David Lynch all mixed together into one incredible cocktail. It has a lot of creepy survival horror elements that have been greatly improved with the new control system (and also works really well with the PS Move that I experimented with a little for a chapter); it has the open world of Greenvale with its excellent NPC's which I mentioned before and it's story is a true love letter to the TV show Twin Peaks in nearly every possible way (there are some great websites which detail a lot of the comparisons between this game and the show, but if you're a fan then these will be obvious when playing). Francis York Morgan is now one of my favourite characters in gaming of all time, with is discussions with his imaginary friend Zach (which everyone else thinks is completely normal) about 80's movies whilst driving (a real highlight of the game for me) to theories on the mystery at hand (think of Cooper's "discussions" with Diane in Twin Peaks).

I can't recommend this game highly enough - I'd even say it would be in my top 5 games of all time (and I've been a gamer for over 25 years). It is equally surreal as it is amazing - it might not be for everyone (the polarizing critic reviews prove this) but for anyone who loves horror, and murder mysteries the buy this now, you won't regret it.

So says Mr Stewart...
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 14, 2013 7:39 AM BST

Silent Hill: Revelation [Blu-ray]
Silent Hill: Revelation [Blu-ray]
Dvd ~ Sean Bean
Price: 8.76

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good movie but a little dumbed down, 12 April 2013
Movies based on videogames don't tend to have the best reputation in terms of quality but the first Silent Hill movie that was released back in 2006 was surprisingly brilliant and stayed relatively faithful to the incredible, creepy games. I am a huge fan of the Silent Hill games and have played all of them countless times over the years, so when I heard that there was a sequel to the 2006 film coming out that is also based on the game Silent Hill 3 (one of my favourite games of all time), I must say I was very excited.

Going in, I had already read numerous negative reviews so I knew I wasn't in for something too special but I was pleasantly surprised that the filmmakers kept fairly close to Silent Hill 3, including most of the locations and characters from the game (excluding the subway section, which in my opinion is one of the scariest game locations in the series) but the mannequin factory, the fairground, the shopping mall amongst others are all there, so I was happy with this. What I didn't like was the misused Pyramid Head, particularly in the final scene which reminded me of the awful closing battle in Freddy vs Jason, complete with the ring of fire surrounding the combatants, which was completely out of place in this movie (play Silent Hill 2 and 3 and you'll see what I mean).

Atmosphere and deep, emotional storylines are the things that make the games stand out from the crowd but no so much here - instead it's full of cheap scares, dumb monsters and even dumber characters. It's not a particularly bad movie but in pales in comparison to the excellent 2006 movie and the even better games series.

The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct (PS3)
The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct (PS3)
Offered by Game Dealz
Price: 12.60

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as bad as I thought it'd be, 28 Mar 2013
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
Like most of the people who bought this game, I too am a huge fan of The Walking Dead TV show, comics and the excellent game from Tell Tale, so despite all the negative reviews that this game has been getting, I thought I'd try it out for myself. Going in with low expectations I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn't as bad as I thought it'd be.

The first thing I noticed were the graphics, which were below average by today's standards but still not all that bad (it looks more like one of the HD collection games of classic PS2 titles that have been released on the PS3) but I'm not one to judge and not enjoy a game just because of visuals (I still regularly play PS1 and PSP games on my Vita with much love). The main levels are pretty decent and at times can actually be very scary (especially in pitch-black buildings where you can hear a walker but not know where they are until they've jumped you and your underwear becomes slightly heavier), however the breakdown and scavenge sections become very repetitive as they are basically the same level over and over again. The voice-acting from the Dixon brothers, Daryll and Merle is great, alongside the iconic theme from the show really makes this feel like a genuine spin-off. One thing I particularly admired was the stealth elements which hasn't been used enough in the zombie genre of games much and so it felt like I was really trying to survive this apocalypse and not attract the walkers. It was also nice to play a game that is purely zombies rather than having mutant end of level bosses, which would have felt very out of place here. The survivor management elements was a good idea (and very similar to Assassin's Creed Brotherhood) but didn't really work all that well, especially as the characters you send out are so character-less that I didn't care if they got eaten or not as there was no emotional attachment to them whatsoever (unlike Tell Tale's The Walking Dead game which has possibly the biggest emotional impact on me in gaming ever). Finally the story doesn't really go anywhere and gave me no extra insight into the start of the apocalypse like I hoped it would.

This game isn't perfect (far from it in fact) but is enjoyable and a good idea that I think would have been received better if it wasn't connected to The Walking Dead. I perhaps wouldn't recommend paying full retail price for it and wait for a few months as once the high expectations have died down a little and the price has dropped, I think people may actually like it.

Tomb Raider (PS3)
Tomb Raider (PS3)
Offered by Staraxe Ltd
Price: 14.05

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A whole Lara fun!, 27 Mar 2013
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Tomb Raider (PS3) (Video Game)
This new Tomb Raider game is a prequel to the legendary games we have been playing for the past 17 years and what a game it is!

The style and gameplay is very similar to the excellent Uncharted trilogy (three of my favourite games of all time - four if you count the Vita title) and as Uncharted copied the original Tomb Raider games, I guess it's only fair that Tomb Raider copied them back. The gun fights are great fun and the exploring to get 100% in each area took some time to finish. The story is surprisingly rich and deep, showing us more of Lara Croft's vulnerable side and displays the lengths she went to to survive and evolve into the legendary heroine that we all know and love. The visuals are incredible with some of the best lighting effects and textures I have seen on the PS3.

The only thing that lets this game down is the surprisingly mediocre multiplayer modes, which are no real fun at all. I won't mark this down against my overall score though as it doesn't affect the stellar campaign mode in the slightest, so just ignore these modes and enjoy one of the best adventure games that this generation of consoles has to offer.

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