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Mr. M. Lock (UK)

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Need for Speed: Shift 2 Unleashed (PS3)
Need for Speed: Shift 2 Unleashed (PS3)
Offered by Side Two
Price: £11.49

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good sequel.., 9 April 2011
Its nice to see that EA has taken on board some of the criticisms of the first game and really worked on improvement.

Shift 2 has plenty to keep you interested. Classed vehicle races, drifting, time attack, hot lap, eliminator. A large variety of cars ranging from mk1 golfs to the pagani zonda r which are all customisable with plenty of wheels, body kits, interiors to choose from.
There is soon to be released DLC as well including some motorsport legends such as the mk1 Ford escort and the Austin mini cooper. Plus the addition of drag racing events.
(However, the above does lead me to a gripe. All of this content is already on the disc, The drag events are just about visible on the race menu screen and looking on the PC versions disc folders, the "legends" dlc pack cars are already there. Yet another reason to hate the whole DLC market, that game developers will remove content for resale at a later date.)

The handling system has been greatly improved, however, it is still not to everyone's taste. You have to be fluent and smooth with controlling the cars. Steering to sharply into a corner will usually cause understeer, and accelerating to hard out will cause oversteer. This is why many reviews have said its like "driving a boat" or "driving on ice", you cant just throw the car into a corner flat out and hope for it to come out the other side. You also have to be gentle with the brakes/throttle, especially in the later cars as the high power means traction can easily be broken. You have to adopt real race techniques, breaking before corners, hold speed through the corner and accelerate out (like real life) otherwise you will spend alot of time in the sand or on a barrier.
The drifting takes on a different game engine which will light up the rear tires with ease making the drifting difficult to pick up as the rear of the car is so lively, however it is great fun once mastered.
The new "helmet cam" is a little odd to start with as it looks towards the apex of a corner on approach. Again, once you have got used to this it becomes a huge aid towards judging braking distances for corners and learning circuits. The game also includes a static in car camera view if this is not your sort of thing.

The game is very well polished in the visuals department. The graphics are not ground breaking but make for a very nice looking game. One thing that especially grabbed me is the attention to detail. Little stones on the track get flicked up by tires, bugs splat on the windscreen at speed, even driving over bumps you will see the bonnet wobble on its hinges.
The new damage modelling system is top notch as well. Crashing in a racing game is always annoying, especially if its the last lap or corner, however, the detail of flying parts, dirt being kicked up, sparks and smoke make this annoying event at least thrilling to watch!
The new helmet cam makes for some heart pounding racing with great visual effects including depth of field when focusing on a corner and lots of head movement through braking and collisions. After playing shift for a few hours and going back to other recent racing titles it is incredible how dull they feel.

The sounds are also very detailed, whining diffs, popping exhausts, grinding brakes, stones rattling off the chassis. All of this to the soundtrack of some very accurate and amazing sounding engines.
The music in the game seems to be limited to only a few songs, and the menu's have some pretty powerful remixes of the tracks used in the game. However, everytime the menu system loads only one song is repeated until you enter a race. So spending time in the garage painting or tuning your car can get very annoying after hearing the same song over and over.

The game is far from perfect. Many of the cars seem to share the same "custom vinyls" slot, so when painting one car it will also paint another random car in your garage!? The garage seems to be the most broken place, whether it be buying a new car, painting one you own or upgrading the parts, spend long enough in one of these sections and the game can freeze, and it does, quite regularly.

If you are into your racing games and looking for something outside the sterile world of the big racing titles then this may be the game for you. If you are looking for an arcade speed-fest you might want to look elsewhere.

The Fight - Move Required (PS3)
The Fight - Move Required (PS3)
Offered by Game Trade Online
Price: £11.27

37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Better than I thought.., 5 Nov. 2010
I was very sceptical about this game after online reviews varied between 2/10 - 8/10. However, after seeing this price tag I thought I would give it a go.
The game itself is very gritty with a strong hip hiop soundtrack and Danny Trejo being a tough guy (reminds me a bit of the defjam games). The videos of trejo are more funny than threatening as its hard to take him serious when he's in the gym throwing punches with the move controlers. Still, the videos serve their purpose in teaching you how the game works.

Holding the controlers at different angles makes them do different things. The best thing to do is pretend you are not holding them, block as any boxer would (backs of your hands out, fingers towards you) and throw punches as you would. At first the movement doesnt seem that responsive. But once you get into the game you find yourself blocking and parrying punches with ease, and getting some good connects with your throws. However, the move capture is not perfect, Luckily for me (unlike most reviewers) I wasn't expecting it to be perfect as the technology behind the game is still relatively new.
There is special moves to unlock as you progress which are done by hold a button then making the correct motions. (hammerfist/elbows/backhand etc)
Well connected punches show signs of damage on your opponent. You see bruises, black eyes, broken noses, cuts and scratches.

There is a few camera angles to choose from, although each has its own minor flaw, whether it being hard to judge distance, or not being able to see your torso making bodyshots hard to block.

The game has a pyramid progression table, having different venues then a smaller pyramid to each of those which is the fights. With 100+ fights in total. Each with different objectives like the faster you beat the opponent the more money you win etc. This isn't a huge ammount of fights, however, if you beat each fighter first time everytime you must be Lennox Lewis! sometimes you will have to try a fighter a few times until you get his style right.

Money is used for healing injuries that you may sustain during a fight. Although they are quite rare unless someone gets a clean shot to your ribs for example.
Money is also used for buying clothing/jewelery/tattoos/gloves and other various apparel to kit out your fighter. These are unlocked as you progress through fights. There is a nice level of customization with plenty of items available.

Money can also be used to pruchase training sessions in the gym on the speedbag, heavy bag or sparring. These increase your fighters attributes. Making him faster, stronger and having the ability to take more punches etc.
Many reviews have said that its odd to have a stamina bar in the game as surely its down to the player, which i agree with to an extent, however, you will probably find yourself falling before the character does. This game is VERY HARD WORK! I can't stress that enough! If like myself you are the average gamer (i.e: pretty unhealthy) this game will be one hell of a workout. I have been playing for a good few hours and i'm struggling to pick up the move controllers now, so I thought I would type up a quick review before I collapse in a heap.

Another nice touch is the trophies. There are certain things to do within the game to win the ps3 trophies. Once you have obtained a trophy you will gain additional points from unlocking the trophy which will add as eg: "+2 strength" etc, depending on what the trophy was for.

Overall the game is not going to blow you away and there is the odd calibration hiccup everynow and again, however, it is a good fun workout with a bit of progression to keep you going. There is also nothing more satisfying then landing that perfect hook.

(Edited - 7th Nov 2010) - One thing I forgot to add, I would highly recommend stretching before and after playing this game otherwise you will really feel it the next day.
Comment Comments (8) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 14, 2011 12:09 PM BST

Castlevania - Lords of Shadow (Xbox 360)
Castlevania - Lords of Shadow (Xbox 360)
Offered by * The Game Monkey *
Price: £9.97

30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A proper single player game.., 27 Oct. 2010
It is so refreshing to see a game that has said "no" to multiplayer and really got back to basics.
A nice solid story line, with the odd cliche here and there, but I suppose that is hard to achieve these days when pitting good against evil as its all been done before. However, Catlevania has some good references to myth and story with characters like "pan" and "frankenstien" giving parts of the story a familiarity as you embark on a epic quest across the land. Which will see you into the 20 hour region (as single player games should be, not 5-6 hours like other similar titles)
One let down to the story is the voice acting. Even with actors such as Patrick Stewart and Robert Carlyle the dialogue seems to be a bit flat and without feeling. I wouldnt say the voice acting is bad, I just expected a bit better from the talent behind the mic.

The gameplay is fast paced hack'n'slash adventure much like god of war. The more enemies you kill/puzzles you solve, the more points you earn to buy upgardes for your primary/secondary weapons and magic abilities. There is light and dark magic. Light magic makes your attacks return health points to you with every sucessful strike, dark magic makes your attacks more powerful. Also, you can link together blocks, dodges and successful hits to gain "focus". Whilst in focus every succesful strike will offer up and orb to help refill your magic. This gives the combat a nice mix of tactics as if you are low on health and light magic you really need to get your focus which means slowing down and getting your blocks and dodging perfect. As the game takes you on a large scale adventure you will come across plenty of differnt enemies in all shapes and sizes from little forest goblins to giant titans and everything inbetween.

The visuals in Castlevania L.o.S are stunning. The detail of the lands and structures, the lighting effects, the crisp textures. This is one very asthetically pleasing game. With the story being an epic journey across the map, the scenery is constantly changing from lush forests to snowy ice capped mountains, bubbling misty swamps to grand castle libraries. When it comes to tales of old/lord of the rings style scenery, Castlevania has pretty much got it covered.

This game does have its flaws however. Many people have experienced crashing and glitches. The only thing I witnessed was a few times during cutscenes the dialogue would mute for the odd sentance or two. Also, while the cameras fixed path does give you some breath taking views it can also be a bit of a pain when trying to negotiate a small ledge or balance beam as it decides to swing round to get a better view meaning you pushing forward is now you pushing up and off of the ledge your making your way across.
This is a big game, it comes on two dvd's. So to get the best performance from installing make sure you have alot of free space.
However, the experience and enjoyment of the game far outwiegh these teething problems.

If you like the god of war/devil may cry style of fast paced gameplay, then I highly reccomend this game. If you have never experienced one before, then this is a good place to start. Its not a sequel (so the story is fresh) and will give you plenty of hours gaming.

Crown PlayStation Move Eye Camera Clip (PS3)
Crown PlayStation Move Eye Camera Clip (PS3)

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Tat, 28 Sept. 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Did not fit onto my Samsung TV. No Matter how tight the clip was, it seemed to just be resting on top of the TV and would easily fall off if you so much has walked near the Screen.
The rubber "grips" have as much purchase as a bar of soap.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 3, 2010 2:53 AM BST

Mercenaries 2: World in Flames (PS3)
Mercenaries 2: World in Flames (PS3)
Offered by UKGameSource
Price: £14.99

4.0 out of 5 stars cut it some slack...., 24 Sept. 2010
There seems to be alot of reviews that are purely slating the way this game looks. Its seems the world has latched on to this HD band wagon and if everything isn't a billion megapixels super high def people get upset!
So Mercs 2 isn't by far the prettiest game ever made, but sometimes substance over style is a good thing?! right?!
There is alot to this game so I think I will make this review simple with pros and cons.

-The enemy AI is sometimes questionable in what they are actually doing.
-Some of the voice acting for NPC's is comparable to a soap drama.
-Most rifles and machine guns are very very innacurate with quite slow moving bullets.
-Getting ragdoll bounced around by explosions, many bases have rpg support buildings that hurl none stop rockets at you.
-The story is average but doesn't play a huge part on the game.

-The variation in the hundreds of weapons you get your hands on.
-The ammount of vehicles to make your way around the map and blow stuff up with.
-Everything is destructable making for some awesome explosions and gunplay.
-There is always something to do, whether it be kidnap a high value target, destory an enemy occupied building, deliver stolen weapons (or rum) to a rival faction, races against the clock, all kinds of weapons chalenges... the list goes on.
-The different factions and their own customized weapons and vehicles adding so much variety to the game, whether it be the revolutionaries of the jungles, or the Jamaican priates on the north islands, each has their own style of weapons and veichles.
-The sheer scale of the game, I dont just mean the size of the map (which has a real nice variation between the cities and jungles etc) I mean the size of the game itself, the story takes for ever as you always get side tracked by the fun side missions and just when you think you have completed the game, the American and Chinese armies roll onto the map giving you 2 new factions and double the weaponary/tanks/helicopters to go and play with!! and the fun continues. I think I was approaching around the 25 hours mark when the 2 Armies appeared.
-This game doesnt take itself seriously, which is a good thing as it just add to the fun. With one of the 3 playable characters saying things like "I love APC's, so crunchy"

In summary this is a far from perfect game with a few hiccups and bugs, yet its so much fun I find myself willing to overlook those things. Its a game I seem to find myself going back to over and over again as it nicely feeds my appitite for destruction.

Mafia II (PC DVD)
Mafia II (PC DVD)

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Could have been so much more..., 22 Sept. 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Mafia II (PC DVD) (DVD-ROM)
After playing through the first mafia several times I was very excited to get my hands on the much anticipated sequel.
However, after a short while into the game I was soon dissapointed.
The game has a great story, albeit a bit cliche, with interesting characters and a nicely developing timeline over a few years which gives the game scope to change.
Looks great, and once you have tweaked the "physx" settings the game runs well with all the nice flowy materials. However, these things aside there isn't much else.
The story is very short, about 8 hours, 5 of which is usually driving from your house to the other side of the map for a mission then driving home again. (I get the feeling this was done to try and flesh out the game as I am sure Vito could find his own way home after a mission)
However, there is even a let down to the story in the form of the end cutscene. I get the feeling it was botched together 5 minutes before the game hit the shelves. I'd easily put it up there as the worst game ending ever.

Then you get the enemy AI, or lack of it. They take shelter behind a crate or wall, then systematically poke their head out until you shoot it. Also the enemies can blindfire, where as you have to full expose yourself to squeeze off a few rounds. This makes the many shootout sections of the game very repetative. Which is all you have inbetween hours of driving, making the game more of a grind just to get to the next cutscene.

Logitech Cordless Freedom 2.4 PC Joystick (PC)
Logitech Cordless Freedom 2.4 PC Joystick (PC)

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good basic setup, 27 Aug. 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Needed to replace my previous joystick as it was starting to show signs of its age.
I'm not a totally avid flight sim gamer so I wanted something cheap that would do for the basics. The Freedom Force 2.4 is a great joystick, plenty of buttons all in easy to reach places and most importantly it feels really sturdy and well built, with main elements of the control being aluminium to increase life. The throttle lever is a bit small and moves a bit to easy making it difficult for precision but i'm willing to over look that minor issue as everything else is good.
So if you want a cheap joystick that will do pretty much everything you need it too...look no further.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 2, 2011 12:58 AM GMT

Dead Space (PS3)
Dead Space (PS3)
Offered by Bridge_Records
Price: £10.45

4.0 out of 5 stars and i'm not even a fan of survival horror..., 16 Jun. 2010
This review is from: Dead Space (PS3) (Video Game)
Well, this has made me look at things a bit differently. I have never been a fan of the silent hill, resident evil style games. Yet for some reason I decided on a planless weekend to purchase Dead Space, and I am glad I did.

The story is classic sci fi horror and has plenty of twists and turns to keep it interesting.

Weapons are a blend of space-age engineering tools and classic guns. I thought this was a nice idea as you are essentially a spaceship mechanic. Also it makes for a new variety of weapons over the classic, pistol, shotgun, rifle's etc...
The upgrades work well, with you choosing a specific root of upgrade components to unlocked beter attributes for the weapons or your power suit.

The controls... now there is a mixed bag of opinions on the controls and the lack of HUD. I think this added to the game, the controls can feel slow and awkward at times, and I think this was done on purpose as when you are under attack and you are fumbling about with the controller it really adds to the tension and excitment of the game. Many people find it annoying, but I found it was great to get the blood pumping. (For example, in the resident evil series to aim your gun you had to stand still. It helps to add tension)

The sounds and music make for a very eiry settings especially in the sections of the game that take place in space where sound is almost mute, this makes things even more tense as you can't hear the enemies creeping up behind you.

Now as a review should contain some of the bad elements of the game, I have been thinking, whilst writting, what is a bad point to the game. I honestly can't think of one, other than if you eat lots of cheese and play this before bed time you probably won't sleep very well!

I reccomend this game for all PS3 owners. Like me, even if you are not a fan of the genre, you may enjoy it as much as I did.

Just Cause 2 (Xbox 360)
Just Cause 2 (Xbox 360)
Offered by Game Trade Online
Price: £19.99

11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Size doesn't matter., 8 Jun. 2010
After all the hype I was really looking forward to this title. So short lived.

I was amazed to find that the gameplay is nearly as bad as the voice acting and story. There was no progression to the game what so ever, the story really goes nowhere and the weapon/vehicle upgrades made no noticable difference. A fully upgraded pistol will stil take 8-9 shots to take down a standard grunt which is no fun when you get swarmed by enemies if you so much as fart near one of thier bases! However, just keep squeezing the trigger and the AI will make sure every enemy has run into one of your stray bullets. There is only a handful of weapons, 1 pistol, 1 submachine gun, 1 rifle etc... and they are each as ineffective as the last.

Getting around the island is a real pain in the behind. It takes FOREVER to get anywhere, with almost nothing happening inbetween. The scale of the map is impressive, until you realise it is just ground texture and lots of trees. So the best way to get about is to purchase a plane from the black market. Which takes a loading screen and 2 cutscenes of the same dialogue EVERY time you order something. Only to find even the cheapest plane costs you more money than you have made in the last 3 story missions. (also it is very very hard to land a plane so they are pretty much one use items.)

The grappling hook is great fun, for about an hour, then once you realise that it is too weak and breaks after about 5 seconds all the cool stunts etc you had planed just don't work. The novelty of it soon wears off.

The scenery varies quite a bit. but the buildings don't. Especially enemy bases. The layout for these is almost identical for each and there is a few destrcutible buildings dotted around like fuel silo's and barracks. Yet a tiny little mud hut next to the base will not fall victim to any kind of weaponry. This only added to the repetative feel of the game as you could only fell the same 5-6 buildings over and over.

Repetative is how I would describe the game as a whole. There is no desire to play through the "story" (if you can call it that) the upgrades are pointless so there is no need to chase those, there is not alot to see anywhere apart from generic towns, enemy bases and tree's ...lots of tree's!!
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 1, 2010 9:19 AM GMT

Army of Two: The 40th Day (Xbox 360)
Army of Two: The 40th Day (Xbox 360)
Offered by Bridge_Records
Price: £11.97

5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Just like a film sequel..., 19 Jan. 2010
...a big let down.

After playing the the first Army of Two I was really looking forward to this title. However, the excitment soon faded.
The game is drastically short. An average gamer could probably finish within 3-4 hours easy, but, even this is difficult as there is little to no story to keep you going. Rios and salem find themselves in shanghai (for reasons unknown to the gamer), then alot of bombs go off (for no reason..and yes I have completed the game and still dont know why) and you spend the rest of the game trying to escape shangai. Which leads me to another gripe. The whole game is set in a few blocks of shanghai, so the scenery never changes. Even the enemies are the same from the word go so there is absolutely no feel of progression.

The new combat moves such as mock surrender and hostage taking are fun, but they are only in set scripted parts of the levels and do not really need to happen. There is also moments where morality comes into play and you have to make a snap descision in a tight situation, However, this does not affect the outcome of the game in any way, again it doesnt really need to be there.

The co-op extraction option is a nice new addition although it's also short, once you have played through each chapter there is no desire to do so again.

The weapon customisation is even better than the previous game yet they have also managed to put an annoyance to this. In order to obtain all weapons and upgrades available you have to have a save file from the first Army of Two game on your console otherwise these items will be locked forever. So if you dont own the first game you dont even get the full content of the second game! crazy.

My suggestion is, if you really really want to play this game. Rent it, finish it in one sitting, then take it back.

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