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GLock "Mr Mad" (UK)

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Top Spin 4 (Xbox 360)
Top Spin 4 (Xbox 360)
Price: £21.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Simply Brilliant, 12 May 2011
This review is from: Top Spin 4 (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
I have had this for three weeks now.

Firstly the negative points:
- The graphics have not come on much since TS3 and there are a few minor graphical glitches, especially during the set piece graphics (i.e. walking on court, sitting down between sets).
- Presence of ball boys/girls, but they still remain firmly on the spot when the ball goes out of play
- The game froze completely twice in my first day, once after winning my first set (annoying) and then when I reloaded and went to the "my player" "player evolution" screen. Still no problems since so fingers crossed.

However, in spite of these I would still say this game is brilliant. I have only played the TS academy and career mode so far. Academy is brill to learn the controls - which are slightly easier than TS3 I would say, but still a challenge. The career mode is great. The increasing number of XPs you have to earn to upgrade your player each time is excellent and really makes you think about which areas you need to improve in given your recent matches. The coaches are varied and again make you think about how you want to improve and whether you can achieve their challenges to gain their unique bonus attributes. I like the presence of several rankings as it means you still have something to aim for in your first year, alhtough the TS ranking is still the creme de la creme. The sponsorship you gain is good, rather than using XP points to unlock different clothing this occurs when you play and impress in sponsored tournaments, which is again immersive and a nice touch. The different options of practice match or special event before each tournament are great. For example, exhibition matches, charity events, yoga retreats, going to a disco etc. and again make you think about what you want to do (i.e. get more fans, gain more XP, or just have fun) and a year in I played my first doubles match for charity which was so much fun. The crowd noises are great and the building noise and anticipation in longer rallies or when you reach a difficult shot are very immersive, along with the umpire quietening people down. I rarealy notice the cheering before a point is totally won and to be honest I think that when this occurs its pretty obvious you would not get to the ball anyway and does happen in real matches. The graphics of entering the court from the players area and sitting down inbetween games/sets is good and a nice touch - again immersive, but the actual graphics of it aren't brilliant. I was concerned after reaching my first masters event and winning the first round that I had mastered the game, but was then trounced by Federer 6-0, 6-0 which pleased me greatly as it was another incremental difficulty level within the same career mode. I have played so many hours already (full matches) and still only in March of my second year. Have played in masters events but not good enough to play in grand slam yet. Also have playing for my country to come too, so still a way to go and experience in the game. Last night I beat Federer and Djokovic for the first time, took 50 minutes and all 3 sets to see of Djokovic and wear him down, so not easy.

I'm rambling now but you get the idea. It is a very very immersive game. Quite hard and a good, deep and phased increments of difficulty career mode. I love it and would recommend it. As for the person who said they only managed one smash, they should practice their net play more as I have at least one or two per match!

Formula 1 2010 (Xbox 360)
Formula 1 2010 (Xbox 360)
Offered by Excess Gaming
Price: £8.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Great additon to an exciting 2010 F1 season - scalextrix pre-magnetraction!, 3 Dec. 2010
This game is amazing. I have bought several racing games this year and when I go back to play all the others they feel so slow and sluggish compared to this game. They have managed to achieve you really feeling like you are travelling at massive speeds and how jittery the car is to any slight mismovement or misjudgement. As others have said the graphics are great (some of the interview and pit graphics are slightly lower quality) and the sound effects are brilliant (although your chief engineer is a little irritating - is it Robson Green taking time out from Extreme Fishing?).

The races are really intense. The flashback feature is a nice touch, but use it wisely cos once they're gone they're gone. As others have said completing each practice session to perfect your lines and setup is crucial. The level of flexibility in how you tweak the driver aids is a really good idea and you can change this within a weekend or even a session/race. If you increase to 30% race distance you can avoid problems with all cars pitting at the same time and getting held up whilst they stream past you. The races rely on consistently fast laps and clever pit strategy, especially when the dynamic weather system kicks in (which is brilliant graphically and technically - it can start raining on one part of the track whilst another is dry and this affects your grip hugely). I have won races and come 18th or less in the same season as it is so consistently challenging - and this feels realistic too, there are tracks that suit my driving style and others that don't. I won a race last night by making a quick decision to switch to wet tyres before anyone else. It is so easy to make a mistake if you get over-excited closing in on another car. It is also arguably a bit too easy to get warnings and penalties, even in practice, which demotes you down the grid frustratingly when all you have done is nudged another driver who was slow out of the pit lane and did not move out the way on the first corner when you are on a fast lap. The excitement you get from really nailing a corner and feeling the difference between slower corners, where the car feels like it is nowhere near nailed to the track, and the faster corners where the downforce has kicked in, is amazing as is the sensation of pulling off a mean overtaking manoever.

Overall I would say this is brilliant but not for the feint hearted, easily frustrated, or plug-in-and-play arcade racer types.

If you preferred scalectrix before magnetraction this is the game for you. Can't wait for 2011.

SBK X Special Edition (Xbox 360)
SBK X Special Edition (Xbox 360)
Offered by Ent-Plus+
Price: £10.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant - Wipes the floor with MotoGP 09/10, 4 July 2010
This game is fantastic. I recently bought MotoGP 09/10 prior to the release of this and have had various previous MotoGP and SBK titles but this is amazing and puts MotoGP 09/10 to shame.

The sounds and handling are very realistic. The addition of an arcade and simulation mode was genius if you are wanting to create a game for both types of fans. The career mode is great and the tweaks you can make to the bike and depth of interactions with your engineer, data and telemetry is very satisfying. Slight oversight in that you lose no time using the start menu to come into the pits and go back out again (whereas in reality you would need an in and out lap) and that it takes no time to adjust the bike settings yourself but 10 mins plus for your engineer to do it.

Apart from that I absolutely love this game. It is the first game I have owned where I have solidly played every practice, qualifying and warm up session before races as it really does make a difference. It is also the first game that I have remained addicted to despite finishing at best 8th so far as it is so hard so very rewarding to even break into the top ten. Testing requires a few consistent laps on good trajectories, which is pretty realistic and the dynamic objectives dependent on your performance in the last race also keeps you motivated for each subsequent race. I have even found myself cringing when I crash as the overall game immerses you so deep in the realism. The crashes themselves are very varied and realistic and the bad ones leave you injured, which again is realistic but does not happen with every crash so is not too frustrating as it has been in previous titles. You particularly kick yourself for crashing and getting injured when you miss a test session.

Enough talking - basically I love it. Compare this review to my review of MotoGP 09/10 and hopefully you will see that I can be critical of games also! I'm off to play some more. I'm sure my divorce papers will be in the post soon...

MotoGP 09/10 (Xbox 360)
MotoGP 09/10 (Xbox 360)
Offered by Ace Goods Co. Ltd
Price: £13.47

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing Capcom, only an okay-ish game, 29 Mar. 2010
Okay, so reading the mixed reviews I hired this game. I have now bought it but make no mistake this is not because it is a fantastically good game. It is because I want an up to date Moto GP game with all the current bikes and riders and because I hate only getting half way through a game. My guess is Capcom are relying on this trade. Marketing a game covering two years 09/10 also seems a ploy to get more sales, but I guess that means each years' part of the game is only worth £15. I would argue it's worth even less than that.

Firstly, I am a massive Moto GP fan. As I don't have sky it is the only bike racing I get to watch now. Secondly, I have owned previous Moto GP and SBK titles (Moto GP 08 and Moto GP 4). Thirdly, I ride a motorbike myself although admittedly have not raced.

I have so many gripes with this game. Here's some:
Sound - the sound in the game is very poor. The scottish voice and music are irritating and even when you turn them off you have a stupid icon that comes up to tell you when a new tune starts, which is really distracting in a race. The sound of the bikes is naff. The sound when you collide with other bikes and crash is awful. I also have not noticed any sound when a bike is approaching you from behind (there was in Moto GP 08), so you get no warning if you are about to be overtaken, apart from an icon on the left of the screen that is hard to take in if you are in a section with lots of corners and trying to concentrate. HAVING PLAYED THE GAME MORE THERE IS SOME SOUND WHEN A BIKE IS APPROACHING BUT THIS IS MINIMAL.
Graphics - I think the graphics were better last year. This years game is way too bright and arcadey. Not to my taste. The crash graphics are awful too. The graphics at the start of each race looking through your visor at the brolly dolly's and your engineer are really rubbish and unnecessary. You have no graphic showing where you are in relation to the whole track, just a section of the track. Not helpful.
Gameplay - don't get excited about the bike livery, leather and helmet design. It is very limited and I've seen better design on my old PS2 Nascar 06 game. AS YOU GET FURTHER INTO THE GAME THERE ARE MORE DESIGN OPTIONS, BUT STILL LIMITED. The hiring and firing of engineers and press officers is okay, along with research and development of the bike. However, it is very, very basic, but to be honest that is part of what has got me hooked on the game. I have a huge gripe with the career mode. As others have said you only get 5 minutes practice (3-4 laps at most) and in qualifying, with no indication of where you are placed compared to the other riders. It is ridiculous as I have had other riders blasting past me in practice and qualifying so thought I was snail pace, but then got pole position - go figure! 5 minutes practice and qualifying is not enough to get bike set up sorted. The races are only 3 laps which is a mixed blessing. I have found no way to increase them so for people that want to race for longer than 5 minutes at each track, say 5, 10 or full lap race, you cannot do this. However, it does force you to be very focused from the off and allows little room for error, which adds an edge to the races.

Another criticism for me is that you have to complete seasons in 125 and 250cc to use 250 or moto gp riders in any other mode apart from the time trial (where you can use limited other 250 and moto gp riders from the start but not the big guns). I have no problem completing seasons with the smaller bikes to unlock and graduate to bigger bikes in SEASON or CAREER mode but in quick play mode I want all of them available from when I get the game out of the box. In terms of the handling model I think Moto GP 08 was much better. It felt to me quite realistic in terms of what could cause a crash and what type of crash it was. This years feels very unrealistic.

I cannot understand after last years decent effort with Moto GP 08 why Capcom did not stick with Milestone for this years' game. I think they have gone for more mainstream gamers but it is not even good as an arcade style racing game. Unless like me you are desperate for a game with up to date bikes and riders for Moto GP I would stick with Moto GP 08, SBK 09 and wait for the upcoming SBK X, which looks awesome from the details available so far. Made by Milestone again and driven by passion for bikes by the look of it. Advice for Moto GP 11. Try harder...

Batman: Arkham Asylum (Xbox 360)
Batman: Arkham Asylum (Xbox 360)
Offered by Ace Goods Co. Ltd
Price: £18.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars KAPOW to the gaming world, 30 Nov. 2009
I have been playing computer games of many genres for years and years and this is quite simply the best game I have ever played.
The graphics are beautiful. A few glitches but so minimal compared to other games. The vareity in the game is great. The story based mission combines combat, upgrades, stealth and problem solving to name a few. What adds so much depth is the riddler's challenges, the interview tapes of inmates to be found around the island, riddler's trophies and the arkham chronicles all the to be found along the way. The tools you gain along the way add to your combat style and problem solving on each level in a way that continually demands you adapt your playing style. The story seems adequately long and the difficulty level for me is sufficient to keep you challenged for a good while. The voice acting is superb. The whole game creates a fantastic atmosphere and is so absorbing and entertaining I would not hesitate to recommend it to anybody, even at full price. It is very rare that I would ever say that about a game as generally I think they are overpriced and wait for them to come down before buying them.

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