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M. Palmer (Portsmouth, UK)

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Silent Hunter 5 (PC DVD)
Silent Hunter 5 (PC DVD)

33 of 40 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Think very carefully what buying this game actually means, 6 Mar. 2010
This review is from: Silent Hunter 5 (PC DVD) (DVD-ROM)
I would urge anyone wishing to buy this game to think very carefully about the following.

As has been reported unless we as consumers make a stand NOW, ALL future Ubisoft games will use this new DRM which requires the player to ALWAYS have an ALWAYS ON internet connection to play, even for single player games (Ubisoft have stated this clearly as their intent on their website and in interviews). There are hundrends of thousands of people who do not have a stable internet connection or no internet connection at all, Ubisoft are showing that they don't care about these people. Maybe this current DRM solution doesn't inconvinience you, but what happens when they release a DRM solution that DOES, because judging by their lack of reaction to the many protests concerning this, they won't listen when YOU have problems.

You will pay a lot of money for this game, but can't play this game you purchased when YOU want to, you can only play it when Ubisoft will LET YOU play it. There is a BIG difference and they are clearly saying THEY are still in control and in charge of the game you purchased and own and NOT YOU. THEY will decided WHEN you are allowed to play your game and WHERE you are allowed to play your game, and you have no say in the matter.

If you internet blips or goes down, if transatlantic connections to their servers go down, if they take their servers down for maintanace, if they switch their servers off - your game becomes unplayable.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 27, 2013 11:48 PM GMT

Assassin's Creed II (PC)
Assassin's Creed II (PC)
Offered by TnsDealsUK
Price: £7.50

250 of 264 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Would be a great game except..., 5 Mar. 2010
Ubisoft seems to now been crippling all their new games with a draconian DRM solution that means you need an always on internet connection and an Ubisoft account to play the game, even for singleplayer. If I want to play the game on a long journey I can't, if I want to play the game in a hotel on a business trip I can't, if I want to play it whilst staying at my parents who don't have the internet I can't. Even worse if your internet connection blips for any reason the game freezes which is AMAZINGLY and INDESCRIBABLY annoying until it can reach the Ubisoft server again!!! It TOTALLY ruins the gaming experience. Lastly you do no get the entire game on your disk, another reason to have a constant internet connection is that the game needs to download little sections of code for you to be able to complete the game. So what happens when they eventually turn their server off?! They say they'll patch the game...I don't believe them.

Game 8/10, DRM solution -1,000,000/10 giving a final score of -999,992. A good game totally ruined by the worst copy protection system I've ever witnessed as a PC gamer!
Comment Comments (29) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 13, 2013 5:21 PM BST

Gears of War (PC DVD)
Gears of War (PC DVD)

27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Shoddy quality control spoil an otherwise enjoyable game, Microsoft and Epic should be ashamed of themselves, 9 Aug. 2008
This review is from: Gears of War (PC DVD) (Video Game)
It's unbelievable to think that Microsoft or Epic bothered to test this game at all before shoving it on the shop shelves to make themselves a bit of cash - the "save game" errors are so glaringly obvious that you'd have to be the most moronic beta tester not to have noticed them.

I played the game offline, choosing not to connect to Windows Live due to all the problems I'd already read about it. I updated my game using the Title Update patch, and STILL the game proved a the patch doesn't solve the problems...well not for me...and I have no problems with any other games, and have a system that can run Crysis, so it's definitely the fault of the game.

It appears that the game is unable to load certain checkpoints, so if you quit the game and then try and continue at one of these checkpoints the game hangs. To load a later level you can go into the "checkpoint" folder in the programs files and copy and rename a later one to "level0" (or whatever the first level is called) and then "start a new game" and it will start you at this later level. However this doesn't get past the problem that some levels will ALWAYS refuse to load.

So what happens when you get to fight the first major end level baddie...well I wouldn't know 'cos I can't load that level...and what happens when you defeat the end boss and win the game, well I wouldn't know that either, as the end boss got stuck on some scenery which meant I couldn't kill him, so I gave up and uninstalled the game after hours of frustration battling the checkpoint problem.

...and all this is a pity because it such an enjoyable game. It can get slightly repetitive towards the end, as you just meet the same enemies over and over again, and there's no real story, but it's an enjoyable ride and the graphics and gameplay are first rate.

If this game actually worked properly I'd give it 4 stars, but the problems are so bad I can only give it 1, as the fact that I've had to miss sections means I've only had half a gaming experience.

Epic and Microsoft should think of their customers more rather than just their wallets. There is no way this game should have been released in the state it is.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 24, 2008 1:29 AM BST

Transformers (2007) [DVD]
Transformers (2007) [DVD]
Dvd ~ Shia LaBeouf
Offered by Shop4World
Price: £1.30

5 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A film for kids, 29 Sept. 2007
This review is from: Transformers (2007) [DVD] (DVD)
There are obviously some things we look back on with nostalgic eyes, and when we get older suddenly get excited that it's going to be re-made with modern technology, however we forget that the original that we watched was aimed at children, and so is the remake, and we come away disappointed that the film wasn't made for the adults we have now become, and feel cheated...and thus it is with transformers.

Transformers isn't a bad film, it's just that it's VERY much a kids film, and doesn't stand up when viewed as an adult...well as far as THIS adult is concerned anyway.

When viewed from an adult perspective the film is dominated by a seen it all before, teen romance, whose main protagonist spends most of the film manoeuvring through cliqued semi-humorous situations with a stream of wise-cracking comments never too far away...nothing original there.

The script is decidedly amateurish and full of forced cliqued poignant moments that unfortunately neither the script or the lead actor can fully carry off (even with the orchestral score trying trying to emotionally manipulate you).

Although the transformers themselves look good, practically half the fight scenes that could otherwise have been spectacular just devolve into a visually unintelligible mess, as the director swings the camera around so violently so close to the action, supposedly to try and give an even bigger feeling of dynamism, that you cannot make out who is fighting who, and when punches etc are landed you have no idea who just hit who...and it just turns into a complete mess.

Plot holes also litter the film, and you have to wonder as a group of massive Transformers clamber around the outside of a house trying not to be detected by the people within, how these machines the size of trucks can tread so quietly, and yet speak at nearly normal volume and for some reason not be heard by the people inside who are only on the other side of an open window...or for that matter why all their neighbours have suddenly gone deaf and blind and haven't noticed a troupe of alien robots clambering about a house and destroying it's gardens.

Good film if you're a kid. Decidedly average film otherwise.

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen [2003] [DVD]
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen [2003] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Sean Connery
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £1.26

5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Made by Americans, for Americans...and ruined by Americans, 27 May 2007
Hollywood can't leave things alone can they? They have to tinker until they mess things up. This film bares little to no relation to the ORIGINAL LXG graphic novels. Hollywood obviously were again lacking any imagination in thinking up an idea of their own, and so borrowed the premise from Alan Moore and then threw everything else out of the window, because they wanted something family friendly and, oh yes...American.

Looking over the fact that the graphic novels are a lot grittier and have more power and impact, and just concentrating on the film, in a continued insult to the world, Hollywood feels the need to introduce a distinctly non Extraordinary Gentlemen into the mix with American Tom Sawyer...who appears no where in the novels...the film makers added this character because they thought the American public wouldn't be interested in the story unless it had an American character in it. They then make the American the eventual hero of the piece (surprise, surprise), and then in a nauseating and thinly disguised speech at the end only topped by the president's speech in "Independence Day", Sean Connery's character intones the nobility of handing over the "new century" to the Tom Sawyer character (ie the Americans)...after this added character ends up saving the day (gosh, yes how would we poor ol' British types cope without them?!)

The film also seems to think that if you throw enough special effects into a film it won't matter that the story is paper thin, and if you actually analyse the film for plot, you'll find it's distinctly lacking: "evil character wants to plunge the world into a war for no reason that's ever explained, and we have to stop him" - that's it.

This is and insulting an vacuous film. The 2 stars are for the special effects, nothing more.

War Of The Worlds (2 Disc Special Edition) [2005] [DVD]
War Of The Worlds (2 Disc Special Edition) [2005] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Tom Cruise
Price: £1.89

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Speilberg ruins what could have been a fantastic film, 4 April 2007
I am a huge sci-fi fan, I am a huge Steven Speilberg fan...and I HATE this film.

The special effects are indeed spectacular, most of the tension set pieces are gripping, but Speilberg totally ruins his own film by doing two things (I kid you not, just two things, that TOTALLY RUIN THE WHOLE FILM...they're biggies):

1) Obviously the angst of the entire world being destroyed by aliens wasn't good enough, apparently Speilberg decided we needed the counterpoint of a dysfunctional broken apart family slowly being brought together by the crisis. Sounds good (or at least 'clever') in principal doesn't it? However it's executed so badly it's painful, the family spend the majority of the film fighting with each other and it's impossible to empathise or like any of them and you end up not really caring if they live or die. Honestly after the first 60 minutes of Dakota Fanning doing nothing by screaming at ear bleeding volumes at anything and everything that moved I was ready to throw her to a Tripod myself yelling "take the annoying brat, she deserves to die!"

2) The ending is dire. It's very brave to keep the same ending as that of the book, as it can seem to fall flat when compared to the action packed climaxes of modern blockbusters, but the fact that it was still there, I felt made it stand out well from the usual fair. Unfortunately Mr. Speilberg then tacks on the most nauseatingly unnecessary sugar coated tripe I've have EVER had the misfortune to witness in a film. Not only does a character survive an exploding hillside (I kid you not, he goes over a hill and 3 seconds later it explodes!), with no explanation as to how, but in a city of total destruction, he and his immediate family emerge from a totally unscathed house, smiling and dressed as if they've just been sitting down to Sunday lunch, and have been having a jolly nice chat and playing parlour games!!!!

Rent this film if you feel like a painful movie experience, buy this film if you feel like wasting money.

Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate Edition (Upgrade) (PC)
Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate Edition (Upgrade) (PC)

27 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good, but not worth upgrade if you have XP, 19 Feb. 2007
Got Vista the day it came out, and have to say I am very impressed by it. Let's be fair it's an operating system, so it's main focus is to aid workflow, and in this respect has both hits and misses, but does most things better than XP. I have 2gig ram with a 2.1ghz AMD 4400+ processor, and vista runs like a dream...I did a clean install on a new hard-drive, so you could argue that I haven't clogged my system up with ALL the "junk" I have on XP, but bootup is REALLY quick, I mean blisteringly fast, and despite another comment here, I have 5 gadgets loaded into my sidebar and they use practically no CPU resource at all. There is no getting away from the fact that Vista looks totally stunning (much better than MAC OSX, which is beginning to look very dated).

I have had no problems with drivers, companies are slowly getting there (I have to download the creative beta driver from their website as it doesn't come preinstalled), and I have had no problems with incompatibilities (but if you're going to have a problem so early in it's release cycle, then this is where it's going to be).

The "are you sure" popups are not annoying (I find them quite reassuring) and only popup when you are trying to install new software, or going into a part of your system (like control panel) where you could potentially do harm if you didn't know what you were doing (it doesn't happen every 2 seconds as certain Apple ads would like you to believe!).

The new "show all programs" list takes some getting used to (and seems a bit cramped), but all in all I've found the system quicker than XP for everyday tasks, and comparable (if slightly slower) on certain high end games.

Vista is a great operating system, but unless you need to, I'd say if you are happy with XP, then stick with it, until it's time to upgrade your system.

Prince of Persia: Two Thrones (PC DVD)
Prince of Persia: Two Thrones (PC DVD)
Offered by RAREWAVES
Price: £4.86

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Don't buy this game unless you have a gamepad, 14 Oct. 2006
I've always been a fan of the Prince of Persia games as a kind of "acrobatic Tomb Raider", but I have uninstalled this game and thrown it in the bin without completing the final boss battle, and knowing that I'll never play the game again...and it's for one reason THE CONTROL SYSTEM WITH KEYBOARD AND MOUSE IS ABYSMAL AND FRUSTRATING BEYOND BELIEF!!!!

Perhaps I should clarify...actually for the most part the controls are OK, as you can control the camera and the direction keys move the prince in relation to the angle that the camera is reletive to him....the BIG problem comes in the boss battles that occur 2/3rds of the way through (downloaded a save game off the web to get past it) and at the end, at these points the computer takes control of the camera and as you move starts swinging it around amost randomly so what was toward the enemy on the computer keyboard has suddenly changed, and continues to change every .5 of a second, while you are also required to try an accomplish quick diagonal course corrections which while easy with a analog stick are impossible on a keyboard.

This had lead to many a frustrating moment of screaming at the game, as I knew perfectly well what I needed to accomplish and how to do it, but I was unable to do it because of the control system...which is a sign of lazy programming, and of just porting from a console.

Tubular Bells 2003
Tubular Bells 2003
Offered by FREETIME
Price: £16.62

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece just got a polish, 8 July 2006
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Tubular Bells 2003 (Audio CD)
Some people might argue that what Mike Oldfield has done is sacrilege - why remake an album almost note for note? It can be argued by purists that this new album has lost some of the emotion, the soul, and the spontaneity and 'earthiness' of the original album, and that it now more antiseptic and clinical. However, although I always loved the original album, I always found it "rough around the edges" with the screech of Mike's fingers sliding over some of the guitar strings, the lackluster bass, and off balance mixing detracting from the music rather than adding to it...and it appears Mr Oldfield agreed. This album isn't THAT different from the original, apart from the inclusion of John Cleese, and a reworking of the Caveman song, but for me it's clearer and more polished...think of the 2003 CD as a studio version, and the original as the live version, with all the "noise and atmosphere" that comes with it.

Broken Sword: The Sleeping Dragon (PC)
Broken Sword: The Sleeping Dragon (PC)

18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent conclusion to a great series of games, 18 Nov. 2003
Broken Sword: The Sleeping Dragon (aka Broken Sword 3) has everything it's predecessors had and bucket loads...
It's not a particularly difficult game, the plot line is very linear (as is your exploration through the game), and it took me only 11 hours in total to complete...but although it won't have experienced adventurers scratching their head (most of the time anyway)...there is one thing that should make this game a must buy for even the most experienced adventure game's just so enjoyable to play.
It retains the previous games love of mystery, secret passages and ingenuity, and ties it all in with a very well thought of plot.
For a long time adventure games have been stuck around the 800x600 pixel resolution, and if 3D graphic were involved they would be placed against a pre-rendered static background...nothing wrong with that, but they can sometimes seem a little dated against the full 3D engines employed in today’s games. Well THQ have just combined a 3D engine into an adventure game, and my god, they've made a brilliant job of it.
Playing the game at 1280x1024 resolution with 32bit colour depth and dynamic lighting, brings Broken Sword to life like no other adventure game before it - it is truly a visual feast.
As you wander around a scene (either as Nico or George who are themselves superbly animated) the scene camera employs brilliantly choreographed movements that gives the whole game an absorbing cinematic quality.
Novice or experienced, it makes no difference, this game is a fun ride, and I heartily recommend it.

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