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Reviews Written by
V. J. Gurr "Rufflemylimpskin" (Folkestone, England)

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Vanquish (PS3)
Vanquish (PS3)
Offered by Gameseek
Price: £17.44

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Frantic and fun gameplay, but short and under-challenging, 31 Oct. 2010
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Vanquish (PS3) (Video Game)
Vanquish fits into my favourite type of gameplay category, joining other games like Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 (PS3) and Devil May Cry 4 (PS3) for not letting you sleep after you've played them. It's very much the sort of game where you need to be at your most alert while playing.

Graphics are absolutely incredible, and while not varied, the super-futuristic art direction is very nice viewing. 'In-game' cut-scenes feel huge and are bursting with blockbuster action sequences and cheesy dialogue. I love destroying robots, just to see the fantastic explosions.

Gameplay is the best aspect, with a solid shooting platform. You can switch between 3 different guns almost instantly using your suits BLADE system and upgrade them on the go. Mobility is a real factor, with your suit concealing boosters that allow you to travel at break-neck speeds. Real-time events (click X now! type thing) have been included, which may disappoint those who haven't yet played the game, but surprisingly they assist you to good effect, creating some great gameplay moments.

To many, game length leaves a lot to be desired. On Hard mode I managed to complete the entire campaign in just over 6 hours, and I'm assuming that Challenge mode may take up near to an hour. So yes, it is very short, but I have to stress that I enjoyed every moment of it.

Sound effects are very well put together, but I feel one of the game's downfalls was it's score. Not much of the music stuck with me or tickled my fancy, and I remember being a bit put off by some of the vintage sounding heavy metal tracks.

The only aspect I can say I was truly disappointed with though, would be the game's difficulty. I was expecting a game from Shinji Mikami to be a real challenge, especially with this type of gameplay, but even on hard mode I rarely found a difficult spot. Even when I did, it only took a few goes for me to best it. At this point, I haven't tried 'God Hard' mode. Hopefully that should push me, but unfortunately there are no trophy incentives, having already completed the game on Hard.

But despite a couple of flaws, this game has been excellent fun, and should provide good re-play value to boot.

Robots and Rebels
Robots and Rebels
Price: £10.78

5.0 out of 5 stars Rock 'n' roll, but not as you know it., 9 Aug. 2010
This review is from: Robots and Rebels (Audio CD)
A fantastic collaboration, combining one of the stranger electronic acts of the 21st century, Hakan Lidbo, and a mental, drugged up the eyeballs rock singer, Quasimodo Jones, who I'd never heard of until getting this album.

This album is a seamless mix of hard, glitchy electronics, rock 'n' roll guitar riffs and trashy hillbilly vocals. I'd advise that nobody listens to this without holding onto some weird and twisted sense of humour. For example, some of the lyrics in 'Cannibal Woman' are as follows, "Butcher me girl, and slice me just right, tenderise my flesh, serve me up with a side of fries." This is forward thinking music.

It's just an absolute shame I cannot find anything on the two collaborating again, or even Quasimodo Jones going globally solo. This duo has selfishly kept me listening to only this album since 2005 when it was released. Perhaps that gives you an idea of how good it is.

Blue Sky Noise
Blue Sky Noise
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £11.53

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yes, it's pop now, but why is that bad?, 8 May 2010
This review is from: Blue Sky Noise (Audio CD)
It looks like re-invention will be a constant theme for this band. There was quite a substantial difference from the first album to the second, and now the pattern repeats for the 'difficult' third.

You may have heard they've gone for a more 'pop' edge with this release. It's true, but not to say this is any kind of downfall. They've blended styles seamlessly with great energy and enthusiasm, as they have done all he way to this point so far in their career. It's still Circa's soul in this music and you can't really fail to be impressed.

As a fan of Circa Survive since their first album, I can thouroughly recommend this to all followers, old and new alike.

Disappear Here
Disappear Here

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars They've done it again, 26 Mar. 2010
This review is from: Disappear Here (Audio CD)
First of all, massive thanks to Amazon for getting the album out to me before official release. Absolutely superb.

I'm typing this review during only my second listen of the album, so unfortunately I cannot give a long-standing review.

Well, Hybrid have achieved yet another totally sophisticated work of audial art. Moods and styles are, as expected, very similar to the albums I Choose Noise and Morning Sci-Fi, but there is a significant amount of branching out that the group have done. I say group due to how much the new member/singer Charlotte James has contributed to the whole album, pretty much making Hybrid into a three person act.

One track that really struck me was 'Green Shell Suit' for it's surprising, yet welcoming throwback to a sort of early 90s ambient sense. Vocals feature a lot more heavily with this album, giving more of a Kosheen feel to it ('Every Word' in particular). In fact, Hybrid seem to have preferred many more acoustic layers with more live drums, piano, guitar and more orchestral recordings. Of course everything still sounds completely Hybrid with incredible multi-layered sounds and fantastic post-production. Tech lovers will not be disappointed however, with the album reaching a real peak with the track 'Take A Fall', hitting hard with superb grainy bass synths and complex breakbeat drum loops.

For those of you who are new to Hybrid, this is probably not a bad place to start. Huge cinematic soundscapes and outstanding professionalism throughout, I'd find it hard to see why anybody could be disappointed.

Dead Space Downfall [2008] [DVD]
Dead Space Downfall [2008] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Chuck Patton
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £2.66

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A shoddy, unsatisfactory prequel., 7 Mar. 2009
This film serves plainly as a prequel to the game, as described above. There is little to be discovered about plot tied to the game. I was hoping we may find out something about the original 'Red Marker', but unfortunately this was not covered. The only new thing I learned from watching this film was exactly how the alien creatures managed to board the USG Ishimura.

The story follows a small security group trying to halt the attacks on the USG Ishimura from a strange alien race that has the ability to revive the dead, turning them into violent and mindless creatures, similar to the game. There are also a few sub-plots detailing the unitologists interest in the Black Marker. Characterisation is weak, using very stereotypical roles to fill out the cast. You pretty much know exactly who is going to live or die as soon as you are introduced to them. Script is also bland, with a hefty use of familiar one-liners. Swearing is used a disproportionate amount, failing in it's aim to create a more adult dialogue.

I have not researched the animation's production team, but the style is very similar to that of children's and young teen's cartoons, such as Avatar, Jackie Chan, etc. A kind of American anime, if you will. Being given a more adult storyline has not really inspired the team to go all out. Gore was less than satisfying (considering this was a main point of sale) and animation was generally cheap and unprofessional.

So, in conclusion, this is worth watching purely to see what happens a short time before the game, all of which you can find out from the game's own collectable audio and text logs. I really do not recommend buying this title, even if you are a fan of the game.

Valkyria Chronicles (PS3)
Valkyria Chronicles (PS3)
Offered by Game Dealz
Price: £8.57

6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable and harmless (apart from the shooting)., 14 Dec. 2008
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
I have never played a strategy RPG before, so I cannot compare this game to any other. It is very enjoyable though. The game is very linear, and it plays out much like an interactive story. You lead a squad, battling an invading army. You will view numerous story sequences and then command your squad through small skirmishes, occuring every now and then within each chapter of the game.

This game is definitely more strategy than it is RPG however. The only RPG elements would be the fantastical storyline and the ability to level up your squad through the use of experience points. There is no decision making to be done in regards to the characters and their relationships. You literally just watch as their lives play through. Not to say that it is a downfall though, it is nice to sit back and view the scenes, which are all fairly harmless. And the voice acting is quite good, which is a plus.

The game can be quite tough. There are some nasty surprises that await you in a few of the missions, and if you haven't chosen the best squad members for the mission, it might be doomed from the start. It can all get a bit frustrating at times as of course there are no checkpoints during these missions, meaning that if you fail you have to retry from the beginning. Getting your characters to aim can also be an annoyance, as they don't just rely on where you place the crosshair, but also on their own stats, determining how good they are at aiming, and how much damage they will inflict. Obviously this is in place so that the game isn't too easy, but as I say, it can get annoying at times.

The graphics are very nice to look at. The whole game has been created to look like a manga/anime, using simple character models and cel-shaded textures, with sketchy lines everywhere to make it look a little hand-drawn.

The music is quite commedable. Again, like most aspects of this game, it is quite harmless, and very typical of RPG music. The score sometimes reminds me of the music from Elder Scrolls: Oblivion, which obviously isn't a bad thing.

One thing to note is that this game does not support trophies. Whether this will be changed in the future is something I don't know about, but to be honest, I actually prefer that it doesn't support them. It means that you can get absorbed in the game without having to complete strange tasks or worrying how you might be comparing to all your friends.

Overall, this is a very enjoyable game, yet not something to get over-excited about.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 4, 2009 2:39 AM GMT

ClimaxDigital (BNC, CVBS, CCTV, Composite S-video) to VGA Converter/Adapter (PAL/NTSC Compatible)
ClimaxDigital (BNC, CVBS, CCTV, Composite S-video) to VGA Converter/Adapter (PAL/NTSC Compatible)
Offered by ClimaxDigital UK (VAT NO: GB948688449)
Price: £44.99

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for playing old games on a new screen., 3 Oct. 2008
After searching a long time for a box that will convert s-video input into VGA output, I found a few results, but this one was the cheapest (I'm writing this review while the price remains just under £40).

I bought this specifically so that I could play Dreamcast, PS2/X and Xbox games through my monitor. The box works perfectly and transmits a good quality signal. You're only problem might be that if you have a widescreen monitor, the aspect is not changed, only stretched. As far as I can see, there is no option for this on the box, but perhaps you might have one on your monitor.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 16, 2011 1:07 PM BST

Break Me To Pieces
Break Me To Pieces
Price: £16.96

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not a disappointing follow up., 1 Aug. 2008
This review is from: Break Me To Pieces (Audio CD)
You may have read my review on the Find Me EP they released prior to this album. If you have, then know that this is literally a continuation of that EP. The EPs job seems to have been to show us what is to come, so Break Me to Pieces brings you a whole album's worth of fantastic hardcore Israeli trance music.

If you have not read the review of the EP, then know that this duo's music has nothing to do with the famous series of games from Konami. It is a partnership between an electronic composer and a guitarist from Israel, who have come together to create some immense dance music. Obviously taking some inspiration from the games however, the music is quite dark and serious, most of the time. Certain tracks such as 'Power System' do derail slightly, with lyrics about what to do when your speakers stop working. Yet this does not distract from the sheer electronic brilliance of the album at all. Every track is produced and mixed to the highest quality I have heard in a good long while.

As with the EP, the tracks are mainly instrumental, but with a limited addition of lyrics. There are no fully blown songs on here friends. Tunes and melodies are usually very simple, but there is plently of layering and variety to keep it from being minimalistic.

Oh, and practically all the tracks are around seven minutes long, and don't feel like it. That's how good it is.

Hybrid - Remixed
Hybrid - Remixed
Offered by Books-and-Sounds
Price: £12.56

2.0 out of 5 stars Not up to the standard., 1 July 2008
This review is from: Hybrid - Remixed (Audio CD)
I have to agree with that first review I saw on this page. This album can do nothing to compare to the greatness that is Hybrid. They themselves are fantastic remixers, and to try to compete with that is dangerous game. Unfortunately, the remixers on this double CD have not won. Yes the Deadmau5 remix of Finished Symphony might be a very nice track, but it has very little reference to the original tune, which to me detracts from the idea of a remix. The main remix I could recommend would be Elite Forces's rendition of 'I Choose Noise', as I can truly admire his tight and uncompromising sound (and reference to the original track). The album also includes two original mixes from Hybrid themselves, and both these tracks are worth the purchase.

Basically, if you are hardcore Hybrid fan material, you might as well get this. Don't buy this if you want to get into Hybrid. Don't buy this if you're expecting the same level of quality as Hybrid. Buy this if you're a DJ and want an easy way to get Hybrid onto the dancefloor.

Find Me
Find Me
Price: £8.69

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exciting debut from Israeli trance duo!, 14 Jun. 2008
This review is from: Find Me (Audio CD)
I only happened on this by chance, searching for Silent Hill video game soundtracks, as I imagine most people will. But this is not connected in any way, not even in the style of the music.

This EP showcases this new trance duo before the full length album arrives (which I think may have already happened). This is the most exciting thing in electronic music I have heard in a long time. The sound is incredibly tight, and doesn't lapse in absolute quality throughout. The general mood is pretty serious, and the sound is quite hardcore, yet not straying into any kind of industrial sub-genre. There is an almost minimalistic quality in some ways, such as the very prominent and basic bass lines.

The tracks are mainly instrumental, with guest vocals on each just to compliment the track really. Not to say they don't need to be on there though, they really do add to it.

The only problem that may present itself is the fact that this release is only an EP, so therefore too short really. But this only makes me anticipate the album release even more!

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