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HWNDarkside (Wales)

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3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars How much?, 16 Mar. 2012
For £17.99 I was expecting some sort of protective cover, a snazzy clip-around plastic thing or the like.

My fault then for not reading the descriptions/reviews properly because it's not, it's a couple of stickers. For £17.99. Honestly, £17.99 for some stickers...

I bought them from a wishlist as gift for someone, so can't really send them back. I'm sure the recipient while get seconds, or maybe even minutes, of pleasure peeling them off their backing and sticking them on their Kindle.

They get one star for being sticky (although their absolute stickiness remains untested at this time).


Wanted: Weapons Of Fate (Xbox 360)
Wanted: Weapons Of Fate (Xbox 360)
Offered by Tracymuk
Price: £14.95

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Wanted: Woefully Short, 6 April 2009
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
Another not-particularly-bad-movie-tie-in, but this one is definately a missed opportunity given the core elements in the game work very well.

Wanted is a cover-based third person shooter, the USP here being Bullet Curve, the ability to bend your shots. The cover system works extremely well and is probably the best executed I've played so far - good news because you'll spend 90% of your time in cover bending bullets at your foes. Bullet Curve is also very well implemented and a lot of fun.
Graphically it's all good, bar the odd dodgy-looking cut-scene - no slow-down or tearing, nice character models and explosions, decent bosses and locations.

But...

First playthrough only lasts around 4/5 hours. You can unlock different games modes based on headshots or close quarters combat, but there's no real reason to replay other than the achievements. In fact one of the achievements is to complete the game on Killer (hardest) setting in under 1 hour 12 mins! If you want the full 1,000 points you'll have to play through once to unlock the hardest setting and then grind the last level 5 times using level select. Maybe 10 hours in total? Admittedly I glitched the close quarters and head-shot modes to avoid 2 more full run throughs but these modes are nothing more than "perform set number of kills per level to progress".

Luckily this was a rental, not a purchase. I don't have a problem with short games but without any real replay value or multiplayer Wanted misses the mark. A shame because I rather enjoyed playing it!


Resident Evil 5 (Xbox 360)
Resident Evil 5 (Xbox 360)
Offered by AllGoodDealz
Price: £12.58

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Resident Evil 4.5, 14 Mar. 2009
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
If you've played Resident Evil 4 you know what to expect. The option to use the Gamecube control system is a good call and within an hour I had the Resi-grin all over my face as I decapped in psuedo-zombies in glorious HD. If you've never played Resi 4 you might wonder what all the fuss is about - and you might be better off getting acquainted with that gaming classic before trying #5.

Resident Evil has never been about run-and-gun gameplay. The control system introduced in #4 was ground-breaking, here is does feel a little dated. You cannot move whilst shooting and the game does not pause while you manage your inventory. It's not broken, unlike Alone In The Dark, but it can be fiddly until you get used to it. When it clicks though you'll understand why it is how it is.

The game is designed for multiple playthroughs so don't expect ultimate weaponry on your first go - you will be rewarded for your perceiverence. If you want 1,000 points and unlock everything you're looking at 3 or 4 playthroughs.

Much has been made of the inclusion of Co-Op. For me Resident Evil has always been all about single player. Being locked in a room in the dark is far scarier on if you're on your own. So in single player mode the additional character is pretty pointless and can detract from the overall effect, but after a couple of hours gaming I learnt to ignore her and just get on with it. If you are going to rely on her for anything you're screwed - she wastes health pick-ups, uses her best ammo on the cheapest of enemies and doesn't know how to throw grenades.

Proper Co-Op is a blast though, especially online. Local mode features the strangest screen-split I've ever seen but still manages to be nothing less than playable. A Versus mode was supposed to included too but obviously wasn't ready for the launch date. Capcom have confirmed that this will be available to download in a couple of weeks - 400 points seems a bit cheeky for something that should have been free, but that's gaming these days!

Overall then, it's good - not quite as good as 4 in terms of actual gameplay - but still good. The presentation oozes quality throughout and it's easily one of the best looking games out at the moment. Capcom are well known for big boss battles and do not disappoint here. Level designs are good and the puzzles aren't too puzzling. I can't help feeling a bit disappointed they didn't try to do anything differently this time around (apart from co-op) but that's my only complaint. This is easily the second best Resident Evil ever - and the second best survival horror on Xbox 360 to the excellent Dead Space.


Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (Xbox 360)
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (Xbox 360)
Offered by SelectGames
Price: £17.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Bore, 10 Mar. 2009
= Fun:1.0 out of 5 stars 
Probably the least rewarding game I've played on Xbox.

Power up The Thing + (RB + X) = smash everything = game over.

Get an online guide, collect coins and Doom-somethings on your first playthrough. Rinse Military Base Act 1 for coins to upgrade all the characters. Then RB + X your way through the whole game on the "hardest" setting in 3 hours for the Fantastic achievement.

For me it's more of a stain on my gamercard than Jumper. I feel dirty.

Seriously boring, and about as challenging as serving Big Mac and fries.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 26, 2010 10:36 AM BST


Jumper: Griffin's Story (Xbox 360)
Jumper: Griffin's Story (Xbox 360)
Offered by Trade-N-Go Gaming
Price: £5.36

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars So bad it's good, 20 Feb. 2009
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
Every now and again there comes along a game that transcends it's genre to stand head and shoulders above it's peer group - a shining example of gaming goodness that the industry spends many years trying to equal.

And then there's Jumper!

This is quite frankly one of the best games ever to grace my Xbox and provided me with 5 hours of pure gaming pleasure!

The first playthrough was probably one of the funniest experiences of my gaming life. From the opening cartoon/anime cut scene, the oscar-winning voice-overs, the outstanding Playstation 1 graphics, it is pant-wettingly funny. One-liners galore (usually when no-one is around to hear them) come thick and fast - direct from the Arnold Schwarzenegger Book Of Pre & Post Destruction Quips. I'm sure Griffin says "ain't got time to bleed" at one point (Predator?!!!)

Even funnier though is that there is a decent game lurking amongst all the turds. The combat is surprisingly innovative, and makes the whole mess quite playable if you prepared to commit time to understand it.

So, 4 hours to complete the game first time around. The next playthrough to finish off the achievements. Even more fun to be had as you should have the best weapon in the game which reduces the majority of combat to one-hit-kills. Total playtime - 1 hour. 1 hour to complete the whole game. Hilarious!!!

I put the game in my Xbox at 5pm. By 10.15pm I had 1,000 lovely achievement points and huge grin on my face. I was even tempted to play through again, just for fun.

I've not seen the movie so I can't comment on the accuracy of the plot or character development, but I am tempted having play the game just to find what the hell was going on! Did they use a ZX Spectrum to do the effects in the film too?

Gaming brilliance does not come around very often and you have to experience the bad to truly appreciate the good. Brush aside your gaming snobbery and stick Jumper in your white (or black) box and enjoy it for what it is - a true gaming turkey!!


Tomb Raider Underworld (Xbox 360)
Tomb Raider Underworld (Xbox 360)

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lara Croft is back! Again!, 18 Feb. 2009
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
Graphically, without a doubt, the best Tomb Raider ever - and I've played them all. Plenty of reasons to play with the camera angles, and some of the scenery is nice too!

A shame then that it's all a little bit too easy.

The puzzles aren't particularly challenging. A new in-game "hints and tips" section in the menu prevents any hair-pulling if you do get stuck. Even on the hardest setting I cruised through the game in less than 8 hours. The most frustration coming from shoddy combat and the usual jump-die-jump-die trial and error gameplay - well it IS Tomb Raider after all!

As is par for the course these days, the developers have padded things out with collecting macguffins. 1 or 2 relics per level is fair enough, but 179? Overkill me thinks. Developers should really spend more time developing instead of relying on Gamerscore and lazy treasure hunts to expand gameplay.

Definately a recommend though, to novice Raiders and experienced alike, just don't expect any too earthshattering.


Quantum of Solace (Xbox 360)
Quantum of Solace (Xbox 360)
Offered by GAMESPAUK
Price: £28.28

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed Bond - 3.5 stars!, 21 Jan. 2009
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
3 stars for the single player.
QoS is basically an old skool shooter without much in the way of brains. Enemies are there to be killed, usually standing next to barrels that are there to be exploded. The story didn't make any sense, jumping between QoS and Casino Royale didn't help. The cover system is only effective most of the time and sometimes more hinderance than help (the main problem being lack of fluidity between movements). Even on 007 setting (the hardest) it poses little challenge to hardcore FPS players and can be completed on lower settings in around 4 hours.

4 stars for multiplayer.
Despite the short-comings of the single player Treyarch have come up trumps with the online modes. There's plenty of varity and the pacing is more in tune with CoD4 than CoD3 so expect to die, a lot! Golden Gun, Territory Control and Bond Evasion are twists on the usual multiplayer modes and where you'll probably find yourself playing the most. It's all about credits, they unlock weapons etc, and achievement points. Personally, I had more fun playing QoS online than I did with CoD5.

Graphically this is no COD4. Other than Bond, character modeling is definately retro and the environments are hardly picture perfect but everything is functional and it runs without any slow-down.

1000 achievement points can be unlocked with minimum fuss (8 hours single, 25 hours multiplayer)

All in all I only paid £16.99 for QoS, it definately exceeded my expecations and online proved to be one of the better Xbox Live experiences. It's not ground-breaking but it is fun!


Call of Duty: World at War (Xbox 360)
Call of Duty: World at War (Xbox 360)
Offered by Turbotrance
Price: £28.27

12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 2 steps forward, 1 step back, 5 Jan. 2009
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
The Infinity Ward-produced COD2 was one of the finest FPS available on any platform. Sublime single player action and a consistantly enthralling storyline coupled with excellent (for the time) online multiplayer.

Along came Treyarch and the very mediocre COD3. Stupid AI, boring level design and a crappy story took the franchise a step backwards, but it was propped up by a strong mulitplayer offering.

Infinity Ward then blew COD3 out of the water with COD4. Although the single player mode was woefully short it was extremely intense and well made. The online multiplayer really set the standard offering of the most intense experiences over Xbox Live.

So here come Treyarch again. Have they learnt anything since COD3? Has the extra time in development made any difference (apparently COD3 was a rush job). Yes and no.

It's World War II again. Another game with M1 Garrand. Another COD with a tank mission. Another COD with splinter storyline than doesn't help build any empathy with the characters.

In fairness though the level design is a vast improvement on COD3. The Japanese/flamethrower missions are a blast and there is an underlying feeling of dread and danger throughout the Soviet missions. Airplane and tanks missions are nothing more than filler though. There's a lot more blood and dismemberment - which is nice! Presentation is all a bit too flash though, the cut-scenes/level intros detract from the sobering stories they are trying to tell.

Unfortunately, as with COD3, it's let down by Treyarch's approach to AI. Your comrades/squad are by far the most useless and unreliable I've come across to date. They stand in front of you and let enemy through to attack you, spend hours shooting but never actually kill anything, and worst of all - they push you out of cover directly into line of fire!

Enemy AI isn't much better. Treyarch stick with the chaining system that made COD3 such snooze-fest. Enemies will respawn and cover the same postions over and over until you cross The Magic Line that stops them, turning most of the game into a smoke-and-sprint to the next Magic Line or checkpoint.

The worst addition to the series though is, by far, grenade spamming. Apparently all enemies now carry at least 15 grenades each and have an uncanny ability to pitch grenades (a) at your feet despite you hiding against 4 foot cover and (b) not only at your retreat position, but the position you decided to move to because you knew the retreat position would be grenaded!! This isn't so much of a problem on the easier settings, but on Veteran it makes some levels ridiculously hard to the verge of impossible and extremely frustrating. Although Veteran on this COD is probably the easiest of the whole series certain sections are made 10 times more infuriating by grenade spamming (I'm looking at you Blowtorch & Corkscrew!!).

Multiplayer is pretty much a direct port from COD4, in fact it might as well be COD4:World War II. Decent enough maps but some really appalling respawn issues and glitches that should have been ironed out in beta testing.

Overall this is a decent game and Treyarch have improved on COD3 but haven't really added anything of worth to the series - apart from maybe a flamethrower.

Please, no more World War II!!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 7, 2009 2:33 PM GMT


Left 4 Dead (Xbox 360)
Left 4 Dead (Xbox 360)
Offered by MediaMerchants
Price: £14.95

17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Choke on them!!!, 8 Dec. 2008
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
It's like Valve tapped into my brain, sucked out all the zombie holocaust dreams I've ever had and turned them into the best co-op game ever made.

Play through a campaign and you'll average around 2,000 infected kills, more exploding heads than you can wave your auto-shotgun at, more pant-filling terror than any other game ever made, and you've got "Director" to thank for it all.

Director is genius. Director is the big, scary man hiding behind your sofa ready to shout "BOO!" when you least expect it and then pounce on you and claw out your intenstines.

Director controls everything. Nothing in the game (other than the odd medi kit) spawns in the same place. Infected attacks happen completely at random. One game you might get half way across the map no problem, the next you're pinned down in the safe room struggling to get the level started! Spend too long in one area and Director will send Horde after you. Or maybe a Tank. Or maybe it'll stick a Witch right outside the end-of-level safe room. No matter how familiar you are with the maps there is always constant threat.

If Director isn't challenging enough for you (and trust me, it is) then the Versus mode allows 4 players to control the Special Infected and orchestrate their own undead slaughterfest.

This is as close to a zombie invasion as you'll ever get (zombie/infected - whatever - they all look the same spread all over the walls). Think Dawn Of The Dead remake. Think 28 Days Later. Think Planet Terror.

Total and utter awesomeness.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 10, 2009 11:18 PM GMT


Gears of War 2 (Xbox 360)
Gears of War 2 (Xbox 360)
Offered by Gameseek
Price: £11.18

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Epic fail?, 25 Nov. 2008
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
Gears of War was a good game. The multiplayer gathered a fanatic fan-base although I never really saw the attraction myself. Single player was fun though, and co-op made things a bit more interesting. Graphically it was superb and one of the best next-gen offerings on any console at the time. A sequel was therefore inevitable and what a mixed bag it's turned out to be.

Single player & co-op first and there's not really much to add to GoW. Some nice new weapons, a few more execution options, spruced up graphics and decent story but nothing that can be considered a vast improvement on the original. If anything the gameplay has been dumbed down. The chainsaw has suddenly become magnetic, drawing enemies in from all angles and the less said about the pointless chainsaw duelling the better. The absense of any memorable boss battles make the whole experience, dare I say, a little dull. Sure there's lots of fun to be had chainsawing and head-popping locust but nothing that presents too much of challenge, even on Insane difficulty. There's nothing wrong really, it's just not the amazing experience I expected. Good, nice, decent - but not spectacular, awesome, enthralling.

Multiplayer then. New lobby system and matchmaking. New game modes. No more silly 100 kill weapon achievements. Horde mode is the best addition to the game by far - pitching you and your friends against wave after wave of Locust attack.

Be warned though - matchmaking goes something like this...

1. Select the game you want and enter lobby
2. Wait 5 minutes for a game then use triggers to vote for game type
3. Press "Y" and quit to dashboard to restart the game because you don't want to waste another hour playing Submission again
4. Select the game you want and enter the lobby
5. Wait 5 minutes for game
6. Cancel the search and restart matchmaking, wait another 3 minutes and eventually join a party
7. Use the triggers to vote for game type - fingers crossed it doesn't result in a tie and you end up with Annex again
8. Finally you get the game type you want, wait 45 seconds for the game to start.
Then either..
9. Press "Y" and quit to dashboard to restart the game because 2 players on your team wanted to play a different game type and have quit
or
10. Hope you can survive a whole game without it lagging out, players quitting or losing your connection

This does improve slightly if you've got 5 friends in your party or only want to play Horde, but for those who just want to jump in a play it's a nightmare. Some of the game modes are more affected than others - but as achievement points are only available for playing Submission, Guardian, King Of The Hill and Wingman you can guess which suffer the most! Given this is supposed to be a premium title the multiplayer support is really bad and reminds me of the good old days of CoD3 when you could read a book waiting in lobby for game!

Overall then this "blockbuster experience" is more Spiderman 3 than The Dark Knight but will no doubt sell by the bucket-load paving the way for another sequel. I only hope Epic pay attention to all the negative feedback posted on gearsofwar.com and up their game next time around.

4/5 for the single player
3/5 for the multiplayer (add 1 for Horde mode)


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