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D. R. Silvester "Clandestine Knowledge Seeker" (Birmingham, England)
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Bound By Flame (Xbox 360)
Bound By Flame (Xbox 360)
Offered by SC-WHOLESALE
Price: £14.99

11 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Bound By Mediocrity, 14 May 2014
An extremely poor offering that might have been passable in 1996 but by 2014 standards don't waste your money or pick it up for a tenner. Don't get stung paying full price like I did.

Here are my reasons for such a low rating:

Combat is repetitive, consisting of hit then block then block again, rinse and repeat and that's it. Combat doesn't change irrespective of what weapon you equip. You can't dodge or roll out of the way. So timing and skill are out of the window in favour of repeatedly pressing the same button sequences. Becomes very frustrating and tedious very quickly.

The characters and their dialogue options are shallow, limited and juvenile in the excess profanity, sarcasm and bad attitudes they display. There's absolutely no depth to any of the characters so interactions feel stunted and pointless. I didn't get invested or care about any of the characters, which is pretty essential to any decent RPG experience. The same goes for the story.

Playing main missions only equals 8-10 hours, playing through all missions equals around 20 hours. Very short for an RPG, then again the length is an act of mercy given how poor the whole experience is.

I pre-ordered Bound By Flame realising it is a budget title by a small studio, whom I wanted to support. Even with my expectations relatively low the game still managed to leave me feel disappointed and short changed.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 15, 2014 1:26 AM BST


Sniper Ghost Warrior 2 - Limited Edition (Xbox 360)
Sniper Ghost Warrior 2 - Limited Edition (Xbox 360)

12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Flawed yet enjoyable budget title, 18 Mar. 2013
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Single player campaign review:

The title says it all, Sniper Ghost Warrior 2 is a budget title with flaws yet was fun to play.

Positives:

Gameplay - Enjoyable and fun, especially the bullet kill cam.

Controls - Tight and responsive.

Ballistics - On normal and expert difficulty levels it's important to factor in bullet drop, wind, heart rate and posture. Especially the case with longer distance shots. Nailing long distance shots feels satisfying.

Atmosphere - Sneaking around enemies when outnumbered and outgunned feels pretty tense at times.

Music - The music is simple but adds to the sense of tension.

Lighting - Effects of lighting in all areas, particularly jungle areas is really well done.

Environments - More variety than SGW1.

Pacing - Slow and deliberate, offers something different to other military fps games.

Negatives:

AI - Can be downright stupid at times. Sometimes enemies remain stock still when you're right in front of them. Other times enemies charge at you in a mindless fashion. Even so the artifical intelligence is still an improvement on Sniper Ghost Warrior 1.

Graphics - Average environments despite use of Crytek's Cry Engine 3. Really poor character models and animations. Cutscenes are atrocious.

Length - Campaign is in the region of 6 hours long. There are 3 acts with 3 missions each. Act 3 only took me an hour or so on medium difficulty and I'm not much of a gamer.

Story - Cliched and virtually non-existent.

If you are looking for a 'triple a' title move on. If you're looking for a fast paced action game with a solid storyline, forget it.

If however, you are looking for an enjoyable budget sniping game Ghost Warrior 2 might be it.

Sniper Ghost Warrior 2 is proof that a game does not have to be technically great or have high production values to be fun to play.

I'd suggest spending no more ten to fifteen quid on a purchase or renting.


Doom 3 - BFG Edition (Xbox 360)
Doom 3 - BFG Edition (Xbox 360)
Offered by Trade-N-Go Gaming
Price: £16.05

9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars From dread filled horror to manic blastfest, 19 Oct. 2012
= Fun:2.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I absolutely love Doom 3 & Doom 3 Resurrection Of Evil, Doom BFG is another story.

In the original games the atmosphere is amazing and greatly enhanced by the fear of what might be lurking around every corner. Sometimes there was nothing, other times there were various nasties lying in wait.

Not the case with Doom 3 BFG, around more or less every corner are several enemies including those that annoyingly keep spawning behind you. Fight the enemies in front and be battered from behind or vice versa. The action is so frantically paced that the sense of dread and lurking menace has been lost. There's no time to take in the atmosphere and surroundings anymore as enemies are spawning left,right and centre in clusters.

The original Doom 3 games were tough, Doom 3 BFG simply feels cheap in the way enemies constantly spawn behind you. As someone who has completed Dark Souls 3 times I don't mind tough and challenging with a learning curve, but I do mind cheap and pointless difficulty.

Some people are annoyed by the new ability to use one's torch and weapon simultaneously, but not me.

Others are upset at the new lighting system that has practically removed all the darkened areas, but again not me.

What I AM really annoyed about and upset with is the core of the game being destroyed, namely the change of pace from a tense, dread filled horror experience to a manic 100 miles per hour blastfest with aliens/monsters. COD in space anyone?

After waiting over 4 months to receive Doom BFG I am left feeling bitterly disappointed. My deep disappointment is not about money wasted, it's about the ruination of a once incredible horror game.

To add insult to injury, call it a strange coincidence, but the original Doom games no longer work properly on my 360 console. They ceased to do so after updating my console operating system.

If this is the shape of things to come with Doom 4, then count me out.
Comment Comments (12) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 18, 2013 3:11 PM BST


Sniper Elite V2 (Xbox 360)
Sniper Elite V2 (Xbox 360)
Offered by Game Trade Online
Price: £16.70

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great X-Ray Kill Cam, poor game without substance.., 15 Jun. 2012
= Fun:2.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I very much like playing as a sniper hence the purchase of Sniper Ghost Warrior, Sniper Elite V2 and pre-order of Sniper Ghost Warrior 2.

As the title of this review states yes the 'X-Ray Kill Cam' is pretty satisfying but it feels like a distraction that doesn't hide the dull, repetitive, uninspired gameplay.

The graphics are ok, the story is uninspiring, the atmosphere was completely lacking for me, so overall a mediocre game that attempts to fill the void with the flash bullet cam and lots of gore.

Enemy AI veers between incredibly stupid and super perceptive, meaning you can be virtually on top of an enemy and he will keep looking around as if he can't see you! Talk about myopic! Conversely other times enemies a mile away will spot you way before you can see them without your binoculars.

Close combat with machine guns and pistols feels very clumsy and difficult and I seldom had more than 30 bullets at a time when having to kill enemies at close quarters.

Take out the 'X-Ray kill Cam' and there is very little to like in Sniper Elite V2.

Unfortunately Sniper Elite in my opinion is definitely a case of style over substance.

My copy has been traded in without completing the single player campaign.

I would suggest a rental or a purchase only at a budget price.

Out of ten it would score a 5 if I was being generous. Fingers crossed Sniper Ghost Warrior 2 will deliver.


The Case of Charles Dexter Ward
The Case of Charles Dexter Ward
by Ian Culbard
Edition: Paperback
Price: £13.48

0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Story, average, bland artwork, 8 Jun. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I'll keep it short & simple, Charles Dexter Ward is, alongside The Haunter of the Dark, my favourite Lovecraft story.

So I was hoping this graphic adaptation would capture the furtive, brooding, arcane menace of the original story. In some ways it does, as the story is loyal to the original.

On the downside the artwork is very bland, average and not vivid or standout in the least. In fact I would go as far as to say compared to the graphic novels one could conceive of as being within the higher echelons, the artwork of CDW is somewhat dour and banal.

Can't help but feel disappointed with this volume, especially as Charles Dexter Ward to my knowledge has never been given a graphic adaptation before or professionally recorded as an audiobook.

A real missed opportunity here unfortunately, even for an ardent Lovecraft fan like myself. Average, no better than.


Binary Domain (Xbox 360)
Binary Domain (Xbox 360)
Offered by rockaway-records
Price: £7.99

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intense, higher echelons shooter, 8 May 2012
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Let's kick off with a few negatives:

No new game plus - meaning you can't play through the campaign a second time with your upgraded weapons.

The trust system is a nice idea but redundant, unless your actions are extreme your team mates will not lose trust in you.

Delivering voice commands to team mates via your headset feels good, but is no more effective than doing it via the controller.

It's not possible to change the difficulty level up or down to suit your needs during the campaign.

Team mates sometimes run across your line of fire, but not enough to seriously detract from the action or enjoyment.

Now on to the positives:

The action in Binary Domain is fast, furious and ultimately very, very enjoyable! Shoot off a humanoid robot's legs and it crawls after you terminator style! Also robot armour disintegrates and flies off as you blast them, so you get a powerful feeling of tearing them apart bit by bit! Hugely exciting destruction! Plenty of explosions and intense, frantic battles mean Binary Domain is a shooter that belongs in the higher gaming echelons.

Controls are tight, responsive, intuitive and allow the gameplay to flow nicely.

Graphically the game is pretty nice, with some vivid colouring in parts of Tokyo and BIG, brutal bosses that ooze menace! All of your enemies look and move convincingly.

Sound quality is really good, the guns sound deep, meaty and realistic. So you get the feeling you're firing weapons that do serious damage! The music is varied and appropriate to what's taking place.

The story twists and turns a fair bit, and is absolutely fantastic, asking some very philosophical and profound questions about the nature of human existence and the future. It is engaging on both an emotional and intellectual level. Personally I feel the story would make for an extremely entertaining and interesting novel. Just when you see the story entering the realm of tried and tested clichés there are unpredictable developments that take you in a different direction with some original ideas.

There are plenty of cut scenes and they are entertaining and add to the narrative. All of the characters are fairly interesting and their interactions are sometimes cheesy, but also funny and original in parts. More importantly you will most likely come to like and care about the characters.

Overall Binary Domain is an intense, action packed third person shooter, with a great story and likeable and interesting characters. It is as good as anything that's out there.

Out of ten I would give Binary Domain 8.5.


The Traveller [DVD]
The Traveller [DVD]
Dvd ~ Val Kilmer
Offered by MediaMerchants
Price: £2.95

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Eerie little budget horror, 5 April 2012
This review is from: The Traveller [DVD] (DVD)
This review has been written to avoid including any plot spoilers.

First of all The Traveller is a budget horror film. So it's wise to keep your expectations in line with this fact.

Nonetheless, the atmosphere is pretty damn eerie and the story was in my opinion, although a tad predictable, also a variation on the tried and tested cliches used within contemporary horror films.

Val Kilmer is convincing in his starring role as a mysterious stranger with a dark secret. The supporting cast turn in decent performances without being outstanding or stealing the show.

One area where the film falls down a little is some over the top gore scenes which I felt were unnecessary and detracted from the overall experience. Hence four stars instead of five.

Having said that, because I hadn't heard of The Traveller before watching and therefore had no expectations, I thoroughly enjoyed it as a budget horror title that was richly atmospheric and a bit different to more mainstream, high budget contemporary horror films.

With a price tag not much more than a rental, why not give it a go?


Shadows of the Damned (Xbox 360)
Shadows of the Damned (Xbox 360)
Offered by MediaMerchants
Price: £9.95

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars potentially game ruining bug..., 4 Jan. 2012
This was a mandatory purchase because I love horror/comedy horror games.

On the positive side the gameplay is fast paced 3rd person shooter action with some nice gore and one or two innovative ideas.

The graphics are decent but not excellent. Sound effects are decent enough and the atmosphere is pretty damn good with good horror and humour moments.

On the negative side, there are some incredibly tedious and irritating side scrolling levels. These levels are no doubt intended to be abstractly funny, they look like cheap monty python style animations and the gameplay is just frustrating, silly, annoying and irrelevant to the main game.

Prior to the side scrolling missions Shadows of the Damned was a 5 star game, so a point deducted down to 4.

Now here is the real death blow that drops my rating dramatically, on the last but one boss fight shadows has a serious bug that means the hit detection is non existent and you cannot kill Fleming. I've now spent several hours attempting to complete this part of the game only to find my shots don't register on the Fleming boss.

Even after applying the xbox live update patch this problem persists. Don't take my word for it simply type 'shadows of the damned fleming bug' into google and you will see numerous complaints from other gamers who are stuck due to this bug.

I now am faced with starting the whole game again on easy because apparently the bug exists only on medium and hard difficulty settings.
Then again I could play all the way through only to find this advice is incorrect.

Personally I'd avoid this game even at a budget price and spend your money on something more worthwhile.

A real shame they ruined a potentially top notch game by once more putting it out before it was completed.

Update: Online advice proved accurate, was only able to complete the game on easy level after restarting it.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 27, 2014 12:20 PM GMT


Borderlands: Game of the Year - Classics (Xbox 360)
Borderlands: Game of the Year - Classics (Xbox 360)
Offered by Game Trade Online
Price: £10.59

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hours of quirky FPS fun, 30 Sept. 2011
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Furst off if you wish to obtain a 2nd disc with all the dlc instead of a download code you need to purchase the Classics GOTY edition.

I was sceptical about playing this because of the cell shaded 'cartoon' style graphics. However the game is great fun, a solid mixture of first person shooter and role playing. The action is solid and early on I found the game very challenging, don't be fooled by the cartoonish look of Borderlands.

One outstanding feature of this game, other than the quirky style and tight shooting controls, is the ability to reverse character development decisions. In other words if you are unhappy with the way you have spent skill points developing your character, Borderlands allows you to backtrack and undo those decisions by re-attributing points to other more fitting skills. This makes character development and subsequent gameplay very flexible. This mecahnism allows you to try out different styles of play and find out which one works best for you.

Regardless of or maybe due to it's quirky style, Borderlands brings something a bit different to the first person shooter market. In terms of value for money the GOTY edition is excellent in that it provides many hours of entertainment and can be re-played either re-building the same character in different ways or with another of the four character types available.

Borderlands is kind of a more tongue in cheek version of Fallout in some respects and definitely worth a go if you like first person shooters and would like a little variety from the standard military shooters. It's a long way from being a serious shooter and it's all the more fun and unique as a result.


Gears of War 3 (Xbox 360)
Gears of War 3 (Xbox 360)
Offered by PROGAMES
Price: £9.49

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nothing short of incredible and awe inspiring!, 30 Sept. 2011
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
I'll keep this short and to the point, this review is for the single player campaign only:

Graphics - All the gears games set a bench mark for graphics, and gears 3 takes innovation to a new level with breathtaking graphics, the best I've ever seen and will be very surprised if any title on the 360 can surpass GOW3.

Gameplay - Intensity has been lifted a notch or three, the action is fantastic. Furthermore, there is a much greater variety of enemies and environments here. A slight niggle would be the AI, not stupid but minor annoyances with AI controlled team mates sometimes getting in the way. I'm not the greatest gamer and found the going quite easy on normal difficulty.

Audio - Excellent, meaty sounds to the guns and explosions. Top draw.

Storyline - Immersive, despite cheesy, cliched dialogue there was one moment where I felt really choked up. A very emotionally engaging storyline.

Overall, quite possibly in terms of the overall experience the best game I have ever played. The single player campaign definitely warrants playing through a few times. Sure, GOW3 is more of the same, is that in any way a bad thing?

So many times gamers are left out of pocket and disappointed as future releases seldom match the pre-release hype, fortunately Gears of War 3 matches and possibly surpasses the hype in my opinion! A must buy title for all Gears fans, enjoy!


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