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Iain Macintosh (London)

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Canis Canem Edit (PS2)
Canis Canem Edit (PS2)

13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ignore the whining MPs, this is great, 30 Oct 2006
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
There are some MPs who live for moments like the release of this game. Shunted from ivory tower to ivory tower, pausing only to gorge on another tax-payer funded free lunch, they can always be counted on to lift their snouts from the trough and get involved in something they know nothing about.

Canis Canem Edit was roundly pilloried by the usual suspects who claimed that it glorified bullying and would cause the youth of Britain to turn on each other like animals. If these MPs had played the game, they'd realise how stupid they sounded.

Like the GTA Series, this game is set in a free-flowing environment where you can take any path you choose. Yes, you can choose to relentlessly bully other pupils, but it won't necessarily help you. You can choose to make Mario jump off cliffs in Mario Brothers, but The Samaritans are yet to stick their oar in and accuse Nintendo of encouraging the mass suicide of immigrant Italians.

This game is an absolute joy to play and, helpfully, the controls are very similar to GTA. There's the usual tutorial style of early levels to guide you through game concepts and then you're free to progress as you see fit. Every day is made up of a couple of lessons where you play mini-games to pass and unlock new skills. Succeed in English and you'll become more articulate. Pass PE challenges to learn new fighting moves.

It's very similar to an old Spectrum game called Skool Daze, and it also feels like another Spectrum classic, The Great Escape. The school grounds are patrolled by Prefects who punish indiscretions by dragging you to the Head's Office. Get in trouble too many times and you'll find yourself in detention, carrying out menial chores.

The free nature of the game means that you can choose to be a good pupil, a bad pupil, a solitary skiver, a vindictive bully, anything you like. What the MPs fail to realise is that if you play the game purely as an opportunity to 'virtually' bully, you won't actually get very far.

Once again, Rockstar have created a classic. Every facet of this game smacks of a company who refuse to take shortcuts. Arcade machines in dormitories have fully working, addictive minigames. You can bet money with weird kids who challenge you to knock them out with a football. You can climb trees and aim catapult pellets at 'school jocks' while keeping an eye out for Prefects.

You'll be playing this game for months, so it's a great one to get in advance of Xmas. Don't listen to the MPs and don't panic; this game is not going to bring about the collapse of Western Civilisation. It will keep you amused on cold, wet evenings though.


Worms Forts: Under Siege (PS2)
Worms Forts: Under Siege (PS2)

11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars So Disappointing, 9 Feb 2005
What a tragedy this game is. They so nearly got everything right and then they made a simple, but shocking mistake right at the end; they didn't playtest it.

Put simply, this is Worms 3D broken into two sections. You still bounce about the screen lobbing ordance at each other on a turn based system, but now you have the chance to build little empires across the board. So far, so good.

There's new and improved weapons, nice spanking new maps and all that muck. Lovely. You and your mates can hurl combustible rhinos at each other to your heart's content.

But, for some reason they've then tagged on a ridiculous and mandatory 'sudden death' ending. On the old Worms this used to take the form of a power loss, a gradual flood or you could just turn it off altogether. This incarnation insists on making you watch a 2minute animation on every single turn that goes over the pitifully small half an hour limit. You are forced to sit there watching the same animation, unable to do anything to get on with the game that you've just invested time and energy in.

You can just about get away with a two player game, provided neither of you attempt to be strategic in any way. three and four player games are impossible. There just isn't time.

Worms 3D is still the best option for a decent evening in with your mates. Worms Forts: Under Siege is useful only as an example of how easy it is to completely ruin a promising concept, by forgetting to actually test it before release.


Worms 3D (PS2)
Worms 3D (PS2)
Offered by STOCKTASTIC
Price: £24.00

24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Glorious Way To Wreck Your Social Life, 3 Nov 2003
This review is from: Worms 3D (PS2) (Video Game)
Well, thank you very much Team 17. That's another social life you've just ruined. I suppose I should clear my diary for the next three months now, there's no chance of me leaving the house for some time.
Worms, for the uninitiated, is a gloriously simple game that burrows into your brain and resolutely refuses to let go. Anyone over the age of 25 will probably remember embryonic versions of this turn-based warfare on BBC or C64 computers in the early 80's. My rubber-keyed Spectrum has a game called Tanks, where two players faced off on a 2D landscape altering the angle and power of their static turrets to try and land a shell on their opponent.
Worms 3D takes that game model, plonks it in a beautifully crafted 3D landscape, replaces the tanks with legions of squeaky voiced, death-or-glory worms and leaves you to rain carnage upon your friends with an inestimable array of hideous weaponry.
The millions of hardened 2D Worms players will already now how infuriatingly addictive these games can be. Part of the Worms appeal lies in the fact that any novice can pick up a controller and lob bazookas and grenades about the landscape with aplomb, but it takes practice and an appallingly loose moral code to really begin to hurt your enemy.
Worms 3D requires a little more patience to get into. Some of the camera angles are a bit ropey and the environment can seem daunting at first. However, after a solid hour of watching my worms inadvertently hurling themselves to a watery demise, I began to adjust. Veterans will find themselves having to learn the whole game all over again, but thankfully it's worth the investment.
There can be no greater joy than releasing a highly explosive sheep over the hills and watching him gambol away, mewing happily, before you cold-heartedly detonate him in the midst of your enemy. The graphics are gorgeous, and the sound is perfect, particularly the subtle 'Splosh' when you blast a worm in to the sea.
This game will wreck relationships, savage friendships and tear families apart. So, leave your soul at the door and embrace Worms 3D. It's sick, depraved and stupid. It's a truly magnificent game.


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