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Alan Wake (Xbox 360)
Alan Wake (Xbox 360)
Offered by Turbotrance
Price: £11.65

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Alan Wake: A Deserved Best-seller., 20 July 2010
This review is from: Alan Wake (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
Alan Wake, from Remedy Software and after years in the making, finally makes it's way onto our xbox's, and boy was it worth the wait!

Setting:
Alan Wake takea place in the fictional mountain town of Bright Falls, where Alan and his wife Alice come for a bit of a vacation and maybe to get Alan back into his writing, after over 2 years of writer's block. After looking around his rented Cabin, he soon finds Alice in trouble and before he knows it, he's in his crashed car, in a ditch, with no recolection of the past week's events. Alan then must find out what has happened and what haunts this town's forests and lakes at night.

Gameplay:
The gameplay is split up into 6 episodes, with 2 or 3 levels in each, and is portrayed in the style of a television series. After each episode you'll get a "Previously on Alan Wake..." cutscene to remind you of events past in previous episodes, nicely setting you up with the story fresh in your mind.

The game revolves around banishing dark with light, with Alan's flashligh as his essential weapon. Enemies will be shrouded in the darkness as they advance on you, and before you can kill them with your trusty sidearm, you must boost your flashlight on enemies, getting rid of all the darkness before finishing it off with your weapon.

Enemies include a variety of darkness infected humans, ranging from small and quick Taken, to bigger ones wielding axes and chainsaws. Also featured are darkness infested surrounding ranging from bins and barrels to tractors and even huge steam trains, that will throw themselves at you until you banish the darkness with your torch.

Weapons in the game consist of various flashlights to banish the darkness, like normal handheld torches to heavy duty lanterns, and then you have you "finishing off" weapons to stop the enemies once and for all, such as a revolver and hunting rifle. Also included are inventory weapons that create light such as flashbangs and flares.

The game is fairly linear, with the player progressing through each episode to the end in one straight path, but the set pieces and the engaging gameplay more than make up for this, and with the reams of sandbox and freeform games that have come out recently its nice for a game to come out with just a set path to play through. Along the way you'll find missing pieces of his manuscript that he's been writing that will hint on events to come, which is a handy tool for letting the player in on the jist of what is happening, while never really telling them when it'll happen. Also as collectibles are coffee thermos's, radio shows, tv shows (the latter two giving more of an insight to the events around bright falls) can pyramids, secret chests and the said manuscripts,

Sound:
All the sounds in this game all immerse you into the action, giving the game a very psycological thriller feel that never goes away and stays with you even after you turn the game off (you dont know how many times i've thought twice about walking into a dark room at night). The voice actiong is superb as it should be for such a story driven game, but it excelled my expectations. The game also has some a nice selection of songs in its soundtrack, some real and some made up by the in game rock band.

Graphics:
The visuals in this game are very nice indeed. The textures and surrounding are rendered nicely but where it truely shines (ahhh see what i did there huh?) is the games light mechanics. They're amazing, Alan's torch casts the most amazing shadows and is a contender for best light effects ever made in a game.

Achievements:
The achievement list for this game are a fairly easy list, having you playing the game through twice (once on an easier mode and then on Nightmare, the most difficult) and with lots of collectibles in the game for you to find. The rest should be unlocked just from story progression.

Overall:
Alan Wake was definately worth the wait. With an engaging story, brilliant sound and graphics and original gameplay, it all sets up for a good night in on the xbox which you will no doubt play again and again in the future. Think of an interactive Stephen King novel and you have Alan Wake. Remember, buying the game new will net you a free DLC code for the games DLC out in late July, so think of that if buying used. Enjoy

10/10
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 8, 2015 9:25 AM GMT


Red Dead Redemption (Xbox 360)
Red Dead Redemption (Xbox 360)
Offered by Excess Gaming
Price: £14.47

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's a red dead good time!, 18 July 2010
Red Dead Redemption has become known as GTA with horses, but it's not just that at all, there is much more to this old western world that that tag line creates.

Setting:
Read Dead Redemption takes place in the American West and Mexico in the early 1900s and is split up into 3 areas. The beautifully rendered world is split up into 3 different areas, the typical western feel of New Austin, the northern region of West Elizabeth and the arid desertlands of mexico, all being able to blend in well to one fantastic looking, interactive world. John Marston, a former gang member, is torn away from his family Abigail and Jack by government agents and it is his objective to seek out his former gang mates to capture or kill them. His reward? The safe return of his family.

Gameplay:
RDR is a sand-box style adventure with a structure almost identical to Rockstar's other series Grand Theft Auto. The player must go from person to person, making their way through the story in mission based levels around a fully explorable world. I don't need to go into too much detail as to what the missions consist of because almost everyone has played a GTA game, but it all revolves around killing people, collecting something or racing.

Instead of cars as transport, the player must use a horse to get around with any real haste. The horses are a joy to ride and are a perfect replacement to the car which has been so important in the GTA series. With a quick tap of up on the D-pad, your horse will come to you and you will be on your way. If something seems too far to travel by horse however, a handy campsite fast travel feature can be used to transport to a far town almost instantly.

Targeting in the game is also much improved over GTA, with the old "tap aim to lock on" being used here, but can also be turned off with Expert Targeting Mode. Also useful in gunfights is the cover system, with a tap of RB you will slide behind the nearest safe wall, fence etc for a bit of cover and breathing room when against your enemies.

The mission structure is only part of the game however, with multiple other activities to take park in. One area of these side-activities are the Challenges in the game, named Sharpshooter, Survivalist, Hunter, and Treasure Hunter. All can be upgraded to rank 10 (Treasure Hunter stops at Rank 9) and all can be increased in rank by doing the objectives that ever increase in disfficulty. Sharpshooter will have you performing epic feats of gunplay with your weapon, while Survivalist will have scouring the area for herbs and flowers. Hunter will have you searching deserts and forests for various game to hunt down and Treasure Hunter will have you... well... searching for treasure, with the use of some handy maps.

You will also encounter various people throughout the land called Strangers, who all have their own unique storylines and missions to play through, there are around 18 in all to keep you occupied. As you travel from area to area you may come across people asking for help with robberies and raid, or people who fancy a wager with you on their hunting or shooting skills. These will all add to your honour and fame as you progress in the game, eventually becoming a legend of the west. Minigames and Jobs litter the world as well such as Arm Wrestling, Poker, Horseshoes, Horsebreaking, Nightwatching, Blackjack and Five Finger Fillet, ouch! Around 13 outfits are in the game also, some of which have you searching the world for various scraps of clothing so you can put them together later on.

Of course, you don't have to be a goody two shoes. Oh no, instead of helping someone bring back a theif, you could just kill the theif and take the stolen money as your own. Become evil enough, and gangs will start to adore you and become less hostile, but soon the bounty on your head will become so much that the marshalls and bounty hunter gangs will be on your tail constantly. Become a hero and you will be able to get away with more crimes you commit, but gangs will always be hostile to you and people will always rely on you for help.

I could go on longer about the features of this game for longer, but i don't want to bore you all, but be assured, there is so much to do in this game it will take 30 hours plus to complete the single player fully.

Graphics:
The world in this game is beautiful. Sometimes you will just want to stop what you are doing and just look at the landscape. The facial movements of characters aswell are scarily life like, and will have you in awe during the cutscenes. Minimal pop-in and superb textures make this game one of the best looking games ever.

Sound:
The music in this game really makes you feel you are in the wild west, and the subtle chatter of NPCs to the bullets pinging off your surroudings adds so much more to the feel of this game. The voice acting is superb as always in a Rockstar game and will have you engaged in the story to the very end.

Multiplayer:
The multiplayer in this game takes a leaf out of GTAs book. It all centers around the games Free-Roam feature, where 16 players can play in the entirity of the same world as the single player game, leaving players to form posses of up to 8 people and completing challenges, gang hideouts, hunting and your usual bag of multiplayer games such as free for all, team deathmatch and capture the flag.

DLC:
A free DLC package has already been released for the game, adding the ability to take part in exclusive co-op missions with 3 other people to earn Bronze, Silver or Gold medals. 3 other DLC packages have also been announced, all costing 800MSP each and are coming from early August.

Achievements:
The achievement list in this game is pretty decent. mostly for single player, it will have you playing through the single player campaign to the end, while also doing all side missions and doing other little activities such as tieing a girl up and putting her on train tracks to killing every last buffalo in the Great Plains herd. Multiplayer and DLC achievements have you performing great feats in the gametypes and playing through the co-op missions, with other activities such as becoming Public Enemy #1 for 10 mins or riding from one side of the map to the other before sundown.

Overall:
This game is superb, and i can see now after playing for over 40 hours why it is one of the most highest rated games in the world to date. This is a must buy for any gamer and there is still more to come with all the DLC packages announced coming shortly. No reason at all to not have this in your collection.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 8, 2015 9:26 AM GMT


Naughty Bear (Xbox 360)
Naughty Bear (Xbox 360)
Offered by STOCKTASTIC
Price: £35.00

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I can't see why people cannot BEAR it?, 18 July 2010
First off, i have to say that i cannot see why people are getting so worked up about this game. It's a quirky, fun, addictive little game from 505, but it still has it's gripes.

Setting:
The game takes place on a small Bear inhabited island, full of cartoony goodness. Naughty Bear, a brown, slightly roughed up looking bear, has been pushed to breaking point by the other bears and wants to teach them all a lesson.

Gameplay:
The gameplay is centered around getting Naughty Points, and to obtain these you have to be... well... naughty. This involves punishing the bears, hurting them physically and mentally in any way possible. Whether it be punching them to death, gutting them with a katana, or making them so insane they take their own lives, millions of naughty points are there for the taking. The game has 7 Episodes, taking place all over the island, increasing in difficulty as more and more dangerous organisations (such as the "Fuzz", the army etc) want to take Naughty Bear down.

Each level will start you off at Naughty Bears hut and you will be given some set objectives in the level to achieve before you can progress, most of the time having to achieve a certain number of Naughty Points. To progress, Naughty Bear will have to "Punish" the other bears to gain points. These can be awarded in all manner of ways, too many to all be listed in this review. Naughty Bear can hide in closets and bushes and scare other bears, set traps for other bears, injure them with a wide range of melee and ranged weaponry, sabotage the other bears possesions around the island and wait for the bears to come and fix them, only to be greeted by a horrible scare or death from Naughty Bear.

The game features a score multiplier system that increases from 1x to 100x when you do Naughty acts, and decreases when you cease to do any. The key to getting a high multiplier is to varying naughty acts, it's no good just smashing all the windows on the island over and over, because the bears will become used to it and eventually you'll be scoring nothing for your minimal efforts. Instead you should mix it up, setting a trap in a crowded area, watching a bear walk unaware into the trap in front of all his fellow bears, scaring him and finally killing him with your baseball bat, breaking windows and other items as you make your exit will net you some serious points.

Once all the objectives have been finished, you will be ranked on how many Naughty Points you recieved. Awards range from Bronze, Silver, Gold to Platinum, with extra challenges and costumes being unlocked when you achieve the higher scores.

After completing an episode, 4 extra challenges will be unlocked to coincide with that episode's level. The challenge will take place on the exact same level, but with different objectives. These challenges range from Insanity and Killer challenges, having to kill or make every bear insane on a level, to harder challenges such as Speed Runs and Invisible challenges, having to complete the level in a quick time or without being seen by anyone. These are also awarded with similar awards and have you striving to get those few extra points for the next Naughty Cup.

Graphics:
The graphics are ok. They're fun and quirky mostly, and the bears animations and facial expressions make you laugh as your chasing them all over the island. But nothing really to shout about.

Sound:
The commentator can get slightly annoying sometimes, with his "kids TV show host" style of narration all the time, but besides from that the sound is great. The music and squeaks from the bears really take you back to being young and really highlight the contrast between the cartoon setting and the true brutal nature of the game.

Replayability:
The game's replayability has been a hot topic for most people who have played the game. Some people say it is too repetitive, even with all the different acts you can perform to be naughty. But my opinion (as a gamer who loves achieving higher and higher scores) is that this game makes you strive to get more and more Naughty Points. All naugthy points are accumulated throughout your Naughty Bear career so doing the levels again and again to achieve that high score pays off.

Multiplayer:
The multiplayer in this game, i have to say, is not very good. Costumes and badges unlocked in Single Player can be used online to give you a stat boost over other players and the game types consist of the usual modes of play. At the moment of writing this review, terrible lag and bugs plauges the multiplayer, making it very hard to play properly.

Achievements:
The Achievement list (or Trophies for PS3 users) for Naughty Bear isn't too bad. The bulk of them being to complete extra challenges inside the main challenges of the game like killing a certain bear in a certain costume or with a certain weapon. Others are for just playing through the main episodic levels and for accumulating increasing amounts of Naughty Points

Overall: Again, at the point of writing this review, the game suffers from a hell of alot of bugs and i fail to see how these kinks weren't ironed out while beta-testing the game because, to me, there was hardly any testing at all. I emailed 505 Games about the issue and they are working on a fix as fast as possible, so it's very likely a fix will be available once you purchase the game. All in all, you should give it a try if you're like me and love getting points and high scores, but if you're not that type of gamer, then you may have to stay clear of this. Rent it and see what you think.

6/10 - maybe a 7 once the bugs have been cleaned up.


Burnout: Revenge (Xbox 360)
Burnout: Revenge (Xbox 360)
Offered by BLUESHINE
Price: £36.50

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!!, 3 Dec. 2006
First off, this game has some of the sweetest graphics i have ever seen and on an hd tv it will make your eyes pop from your skull.

Well i better compare it to its predissesor shouldn't i. Alll the Burnout games since number 1 have had improvments and each game has just got better and better, from improved use of boost to being able to take down your opponents. Well Burnout Revenge (as you can guess from it's name) is more focused on getting revenge on your rivals. simple as.

For the first time ever you can check traffic, which means you can bash into the back of traffic going in the same direction as you and use it as a sort of missile to take out your rivls, also if a rival takes you out you can get a very good feeling of revenge if you get them back.

Unlike Burnout 3, the groups are not split up into car types (coupe, super etc) but how dangerous you are (Reckless, Harmless etc) which is fun. to progress though you collect stars and on each race, road rage etc there are 5 to collect depending on how well you drive and what place yu come.

The usual modes are in the world tour like race (obviously racing) road rage (take out as many rivals as you can) eliminator (every 30 sec the racer in last place gets kicked out of the race) crash (cause as much damage as possible in a single crash) burning lap (like a time trial) and the grand prix (series of races) with gold medals to collect in each. There is also a new mode called traffic attack where you must bash traffic and recieve money for every car hit. Very Fun!!) and thankfully the eliminator is every 30 seconds now not every lap so it doesn't drag on!!

Signature takedowns (a takedown in a certain place on the track) are there and a list of criteria to fulfill on each area like take out a rival with a bus or do a vertical takedown (oh yeah, now you can perform a vertical takedown where you come from above to wrech there rides.

Each track has multiple shortcuts to find and race through and completing the list of criteria is good fun and challeging. The tracks are also shorter so they don't drag on like in Burnout 3. The only thing i would critise this game is there is no more single race so you have to go through the world tour only.

With loads of cars and the online mode is great to with extra modes is great fun. Good for any racing fan or someone new to the genre!!

Pros

+ Amazing graphics

+ Good traffic checking

+ eliminator improved

+ crash mode as good as ever

+ good online

+ The best racer out at the mo!!

Cons

- No single race mode

- Music doesn't really fit the speed of the game


Saints Row (Xbox 360)
Saints Row (Xbox 360)
Offered by Excess Gaming
Price: £20.00

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not Quite GTA, But Will Do For Now..., 18 Nov. 2006
This review is from: Saints Row (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
All the talk you hear about this game being a GTA San Andreas clone is true. It is! But with a few different features. First off you start by chosing what your character looks like and how phsical he is. Then it puts you straight into the action where you join a gang called the 3rd Street Saints. The Saints are one of four gangs in the Amerincan city of Stilwater. There are The Saints (You), The Vice Kings, Los Canteres and the Westside City Rollers which all have their unique styles and bosses to encounter.

Well the mission structure is similar to GTA but with a minor difference. In this game you have to fill your respect bar by playing activities. Every time you fill your respect bar to the top, you get to have a go at a mission. The activities consist of Snatch (a game where you have to steal hos from pimps) Mayhem (where you have to cause as much damage as you can) Insurance Fraud (a very good one where you throw your player in from of cars to get the insurance money) and many more. The missions consist of taking out the other three gangs in Stilwater in a variety of different ways.

You can buy clothes, jewelry, hair cuts and even get a face lift in Stilwater, similar to San Andreas. You can also take part in street racing and destruction derby which are all fun and you can even customise your cars and store them for later use. Also the cast of characters involved are very good and will get you attached to them more then GTA could, with humour and each having great personalities.

The graphics are also very enhanced to GTA but the amount of bugs spoils the action at its best at times. Also the city is about 1/150th of Just Cause but bigger than Vice City so dont expect anything huge, but its just right in my opinion.

Pros

+ Good graphics

+ Good use of respect bar

+ Great activities

+ Fully customisable player with planty of stores.

+ Great cast of characters to interact with

+ Will kepp you going till GTA 4 is out

Cons

- Not quite GTA

- Riddled with bugs


Battlefield 2: Special Forces (PC DVD)
Battlefield 2: Special Forces (PC DVD)
Offered by CDandVinyl
Price: £2.75

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Addon To The Best Online FPS, 21 Oct. 2006
This expansion pack adds lots of extras and gameplay oppurtunities when playing with your mates. The extras obviously add special forces componants to your arsenal with a variety of new maps and much more.

New weapons consist of zip lines, grappling hooks, tear gas and more and vehicles include desert raiders, ATVs and even jet skis. Also new special forces teams are added that include the SAS, Navy SEALS and even rebels and insurgents.

This new tactical gameplay also opens up new ways to kill enemies and reach objectives. Use night vision goggles to see your enemies in dark passagewayd or zipline from a cliff down to your next objective without the enemy haveing a clue that your there.

Pros

+ New and deadly tools for stealth

+ New vehicles

+ Quiet night attacks

+ New gameplay opurtunities

+ The elite teams of the world included

Cons

- Still no good single player


Battlefield 2 (PC DVD)
Battlefield 2 (PC DVD)
Offered by Gameseek
Price: £5.76

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Much Better Than The First, 21 Oct. 2006
Let me just say that this game is not for single player although it can be played with AI opponents but you do not get the same feeling as you do online.

This game is graphically good and the gameplay is fun. You can form your own squads and be leaders or grunts. If you like you can apply to be field commander so you can call in artillery and support etc. All are fun and enjoyable.

All teams have there own weapons and there are a variety of different classes from medics to support gunners, grunts to special forces. And all the time you are meeting and impressing friends as you take out a base all by yourself, lead your squad or army to victory or save them with a tank or air strike, the possibilities of fun and proudness are endless with the variety of levels and vehicles you have at your disposal.

Pros

+ Meet lots of friends

+ Good variety of everything

+ Graphically good

+ Great, great fun that never gets old

Cons

- Single player very poor


Star Wars Battlefront II [Platinum] (PSP)
Star Wars Battlefront II [Platinum] (PSP)

16 of 32 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Complete Waste Of TIme, 21 Oct. 2006
Well i really thought this was going to be good by the amazing response to number 1 and 2 for the PS2 and Xbox but i have to admit this really does not work on a handheld

The graphics are good. At least i can say something good about the game but thats it, the rest is bad. First off the battles are scaled down considerably in this installment which causes frustaration if you have played the ones for the PSPs big brother. The control system is awful, with the only way of being able to kill someone is by using the pathetic locking on system and the levels are exactly the same as from the previous games.

It does also feature space battle but nothing like the scale and epicness from the game on the PS2. There are hardly no other ships to battle with, thus eliminating the use for the dodging system and battleing the big enemy ships is just a case of fly over, drop bombs or shoot with laser, then turn aroung and repeat. There is also no point flying into the ships interior as it does nothing to help the cause of the battle.

Pros

+ Good Graphics

(and thats it)

Cons

- Scaled down battles

- Awful control system

- Bad and repetitive space battles

- Rubbish game modes

- Boring after 5 minutes of gameplay


No Title Available

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Revolutionary!!, 21 Oct. 2006
I tell you what, i am quite disappointed with the PSP but this is good. The 3rd person Grand Theft Auto on a handheld and just as good as number 3.

The developers have obviously just copied the world from GTA 3 and added a few changes as the events taking place in this game were from before the events in GTA 3. The missions are good, and you still have all the side missions, weapons and landmarks from the third game.

The only thing is, there are no planes or helicopters in this installment (not even the dodo) but there are a few interiors, bikes and costume changes that never apperaed in GTA 3 so this game really is the world of GTA 3 but with Vice City extras in there too.

The graphics look good which was quite suprising and the controls work suprisingly well for only 1 analog stick and it is also good to see why places in GTA 3 look like they do because of the events in Liberty City Stories.

Pros

+ A GTA game handheld is a pleasing notion

+ Good missions and no copies from GTA 3

+ Bikes and costume changes featured in this game

+ Side missions

+ Extras and hidden packages

Cons

- No planes or helis

- Not many memorable characters as number 3


F.E.A.R. (PC CD)
F.E.A.R. (PC CD)

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Scariest Game On Earth, 21 Oct. 2006
This review is from: F.E.A.R. (PC CD) (Video Game)
If you thought Resident Evil or Silent Hill was scary then you have'nt seen anything yet

F.E.A.R (First Encounter Assault Recon) is a special force that deal in all the paranormel investigations and you are one of their operatives. Sent in to a variety of settings to hunt down a superhuman called Paxton Fettel. But as you get further and further into the game, you will meet more horrific creatures and ghouls and even squads of elite soldiers sent in to track you down.

First off this game is graphically amazing, no doubt about it with good hullusinating and smoke effects. The story line is great but starts off simple and complicates a little as you progress. Weapon variation is good with some great ideas but there really isn't enough ammo to last throughout the game.

The games best asset though is the absolute scariness of the game, i havn't experienced anything like it before. The game starts with you and a team mate entering an abandoned building and the spooky happenings start straight away with your team member randomly disintegrating and appearing behing you and mysterious shadows and figures appearing everywhere. And from there on, it is creepy all the way to the end.

You never actually fight ghouls and monsters, just get scared by them as they walk towards you creepily or lock you in a room with a baby screaming in the background. The things you fight are actually elite squads of men and their AI is absolutely amazing. They will alert other where you are, shout when they see your flashlight on, jump for cover and through windows, knock over anything they see for a bit of cover, run to find another squad if he is the last one alive, the list of amazing things they do is endless.

The game also maxes out its scariness to the limit by spliting up the game into, fight, scary, fight, scary etc. So in other words you will fight a squad of men and chase down any running survivors and then you will be greeted by the little ghostly girl that follows you or Paxton Fettel so you are always expecting something terrifing after a hard battle.

If you are a bit of a dandy and don't like horrifing things then this ain't the game for you but if you like a shock and something different from all the other FPSs out there then buy now!!!!!

Pros

+ Amazing Graphics

+ Amazing AI

+ Horrifying moments around every corner

+ Good array of weapons (especially the laser gun that splats soldiers to bits)

+ Good storyline

+ Good communication system that tells you where to go or when the girl is nearby

Cons

- Not enough ammo

- Not for dandies


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