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Max Payne 3 (Xbox 360)
Max Payne 3 (Xbox 360)
Price: 5.00

6 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Max Payne 3, 18 May 2012
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
I was a kid when I last played a Max Payne game. I'm 25 now. I preordered this game and took a day off to play it since my life is too busy otherwise. Long story short - I don't regret it a single bit. I've been playing since the morning and cannot seem to put it down.

A lot of people seem to be complaining that the game is too repetitive and linear. If you've played any of the previous games, you'll know that this is what basically defines Max Payne. So if you don't like the previous games, you won't like this one either. The story line is just as gritty and dark as it was in the previous games. But this installment shows an ageing Max. The graphics are EXCELLENT. Very detailed and thorough. I know some people will complain that recreating Brazil in a video game was useless since the game isn't sandbox or open world, but that's not how any Max Payne games ever were or ever will be. They are linear shooters with a great story and somehow, this formula works. I have seen some people comparing the game to L.A. Noire, which is quite silly. I loved L.A. Noire but Max Payne is a whole different ball game.

Now, the shooting and cover system can be slightly annoying. The John Woo style shooting is pretty cool but you often end up in more of a mess than you would have if you were shooting normally. But that still does not deter you from having fun. If you're finding the game too difficult, you can easily put the difficulty level back down to 'easy'. That being said, my gripe is the length between checkpoints where games are saved, making it harder to make significant progress if you die. But then again - the game is 10 hrs campaign at best so that probably isn't all that bad. It's just really frustrating.

Overall, the game sticks to its roots. The change from NY to Brazil took a little getting used to, but it was still a blast. I will, however, mention that some people seem to be complaining about not being able to save games or earn trophies without being connected to the internet. I haven't had this issue because I'm always connected, so if you are one of those players who do not connect consoles to the internet, this might be worth noting.

Grand Theft Auto IV (Xbox 360)
Grand Theft Auto IV (Xbox 360)
Offered by Super-bargains
Price: 13.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A gem from 2008., 22 April 2012
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
GTA IV was released at a time when I was on a hiatus and didn't get a chance to play games for a couple of years. Last year when I bought myself an Xbox, I figured that it was too late to try a dated game from 2008 and ignored GTA IV (mind you, I've played all previous versions).

Recently, someone lent me the game as I had mentioned that I've never played it, and I haven't been able to put the controller down ever since. It's kind of similar to some of the games I've played (like Mafia II), but for a game that was made in 2008, everything about it is stunning - the graphics, the huge open-world, the radio, the responsiveness of people in the game, all of it. Gamers seem to have an issue with the car handling which I frankly don't understand. Initially, I found it a little weird but got used to it pretty quick. And this is coming from someone who isn't the best at car handling in video games, so that's saying something. I've also noticed that some people are comparing it to San Andreas and having played both games now, I find the comparison a little ridiculous. Both stories are miles apart and while San Andreas depicts a typical American thug culture, this game is more realistic involving a man who leaves home in search for a dream life but gets caught up in an uncomfortable one instead. In other words, the story is more realistic, not cliche gang warfare. While that formula worked in San Andreas, it couldn't have been repeated in GTA IV or there would be more people moaning about "repetitiveness" and outstretching of an aging series. It seems like you can't please everyone, though.

I think I'll cut this short because I'm reviewing a four year old game, but for once, I regret not giving a game a shot any sooner. GTA IV certainly deserved it.

Multinational Finance
Multinational Finance
by Adrian Buckley
Edition: Paperback
Price: 51.29

3.0 out of 5 stars Too complex, 24 Mar 2012
This review is from: Multinational Finance (Paperback)
I am reading this book for a compulsory finance course that I have to take as a part of my MSc International Business degree. I have had financial courses in my undergraduate as well, in which I managed an A grade so I am by no means poor in finance. I feel like this book makes everything more complicated than it has to be. The calculations are ridiculous at times, and some theoretical explanations are a bit off. While doing my assignments, I find it easier to read other books and financial journals because this book leaves me even more confused. I am surprised that it is recommended for students doing undergraduate courses AND for students doing MBA. Perhaps, the publishers didn't realize that both are two ends of the spectrum.

Since I have studied financial modules, I am able to get through this book. But for an undergraduate student or a first-time finance student, this book is definitely NOT recommended. There are much better, concise books out there.

Bulletstorm (Xbox 360)
Bulletstorm (Xbox 360)
Offered by TODO! TODO!
Price: 7.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Review by a girl gamer. Yes, a girl., 24 Mar 2012
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
I heard this game got a bit a of criticism for violence, extremely bad language, and for being sexist. Errr, sexist? The reason I even bothered to mention that I'm a girl (which I don't usually do) is because I didn't find anything sexist about it and it baffles me that people sit and nitpick on everything. More interestingly, Fox news (surprise, surprise) has claimed that this game can lead to rape. What Fox news doesn't mind, however, is EA's Battlefield 3 and it's insultingly false representation of the world and typical America-is-captain-planet campaign. Really?

For starters, I am kind of sick of grim war games. Turn on the TV, it's war reporting. Click on the news, it's war reporting. Look on the top charts to try and find a decent game, war game is recommended. Enough already. I was very apprehensive when I bought Bulletstorm but a great deal had me paying 3 quid and I can honestly say this this is the only shooter game in the past year or two that I have bothered to play past the first level - something Call of Duty, Battlefield, etc failed to make me do. Yeah, I know those are some best-selling games I am talking about. But hear me out.

This game isn't meant to be taken seriously. To put it quite simply, it's button-mashing FUN. The story line is so silly, that it's entertaining. The dialogue is so ridiculous that you feel retarded just for laughing while playing this game. Sure, it isn't something I could play in a room full of elders but it is a bit of a guilty pleasure when you're by yourself. I was really disappointed when my childhood game, Duke Nukem, was redone in such a horrible manner. But Bulletstorm, sort of, made up for that with its crude story and comedy. Graphically, this game is good. Not excellent because I've seen better. But they're pretty good and I have no gripes with those. Game mechanics, guns, fighting system is great. I'm no expert when it comes to shooters but I was able to play this game without any frustrations or difficulties.

Long story short, if you want some mindless fun, go for this game. I've been playing games like L.A. Noire and Assassin's Creed (which have a serious, emotional type story line) and this provided a really pleasant break from the games I usually play. That being said, I just wouldn't pay too much for this game. At around 5-6 quid (which is the price it is currently being sold at), it really is a bargain. Pick it up!

Xbox 360 Console (60 GB Hard Drive)
Xbox 360 Console (60 GB Hard Drive)

4.0 out of 5 stars First Xbox Experience, 18 Mar 2012
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
Before I write this review, let me just list all the consoles I have an experience of:
Sinclair, PC, Sega, Nintendo, Sony PS2, and PSP.

Out of the six aforementioned systems, I have spent most of my time on the PC, Nintendo and PS2. The one thing in common in these systems is the strong hardware. Sony and Nintendo undoubtedly produce good quality items. So when I heard so many people complaining about Xbox 360 and ring of death, I steered clear of buying it. Last year, I found a great deal in which I was able to get a 60gb pro for a meager 55 quid in total.

My first impression was that of slight shock because this console is ridiculously chunky and heavy as compared to the PS2, which was a previous generation console. Secondly, it's loud and noisy - again, something I wasn't used to. However, this didn't really throw me off and I hooked up the system to an old CRT TV and to my surprise, the graphics were great despite the fact that the TV was old! I played games like Assassin's Creed on it (which are known to be visually stunning) and could not once complain about graphics or the sound. In that aspect, it is a fantastic console.

Funnily enough, despite me having bought a second-hand console for such a low price, I have not had any hardware problems like ring of death (touch wood). But that doesn't mean I haven't had any. Following are the issues I have experienced:

1. The wireless controller battery area is loose. Games like Bioshock have really heavy vibration, which causes the AA batteries to move out of place and consequently, the controller disconnects. However, this isn't something you don't have a solution to. You can just turn off the vibration. But I appreciate that many people like that feature and would be annoyed by this problem.

2. The disc reader is cheaply made. It's overly sensitive (can't handle a small scratch that most other players can) and is quick to actually scratch your disc. Once I accidentally nudged (and I mean a very mild nudge) the system while bending to pick something up and there was a loud noise, following which my disc was pretty much unreadable as the disc reader destroyed it.

Other than the above, I have no gripes with this system and I actually love it. I do have a bit of a problem paying for Xbox Live, though. My friends who own Xbox promised me that Xbox Live was something out of the ordinary and unique, but to be honest, it was not. It's just a hyped up subscription service and I couldn't help but wonder why I should pay for it. This is one of the reasons I would prefer PlayStation 3 over Xbox 360. I just don't see a justification for the payment. Otherwise, good console and if you're pressed for money, great alternative to a PS3!

Assassin's Creed II XBOX 360
Assassin's Creed II XBOX 360
Price: 25.19

5.0 out of 5 stars Nothing short of amazing, 17 Mar 2012
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
I played the first AC on a PC a long time ago and for a little bit. Found the concept intriguing and thought the game had potential, but got bored pretty quick. When Assassin's Creed II was released, I didn't own any consoles but decided to give AC: Bloodlines a shot on the PSP. Since the story was set somewhere between AC 1 and 2, it made me curious about the series. I bought an Xbox last year and got a copy of AC II with it, and the game hasn't left my Xbox ever since. Outstanding graphics, amazing and realistic game-play, with a not-so-cliche' and unique story. Since I have a busy life, I don't have more than a couple of hrs to play here and there every alternate weekday and the weekends. Despite that, I was able to finish a significant amount of the game because it's not ridiculously hard, which I think is another good thing about it. I'm sure it must have drawn criticism for not being hard but to be honest, it isn't practical for someone who has a life outside of video games to spend weeks and weeks on a single level. I'm a girl and although the game focuses on being a male (sexual innuendos with other women and being macho), I still thoroughly enjoyed it. Can't give it any less than 5 stars.

Assassin's Creed Brotherhood (Xbox 360)
Assassin's Creed Brotherhood (Xbox 360)
Offered by Gameline GmbH.
Price: 9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars How did I miss this?, 17 Mar 2012
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
I wrote a review for Assassin's Creed: Revelations, in which I mentioned that I skipped Brotherhood after playing Assassin's Creed II. There were two reasons for that:

1. By the time I got around to playing and finishing Assassin's Creed II, Revelations was right around the corner and given my tight schedule (I work and study for a Masters degree), it would take me ages to get to Revelations. So, I skipped this, got that one.

2. I don't really like yearly releases. More often than not, they have spoiled the fun of the series for me. And I loved Assassin's Creed far too much to let yearly releases ruin my craving for these games.

So what made me change my mind? Well, with the news of GAME Group possibly going bust, I decided to spend some points that I had on my reward card and out of all the games on sale, this was one of the three I purchased. I put it in the console to make sure it was working (it was pre-owned)......and it hasn't left my console since. It refreshed the memories of Assassin's Creed II, brought back the same emotions and my love for the series that faded since I played Revelations (which I enjoyed but paled in comparison to AC II). Honestly, I'm a little mad at myself for passing up on such a visually stunning and gorgeous looking game. I was hooked right from the start. The atmosphere, the surrounding, the music, the action - everything in the game is perfect. I actually became attached to Ezio's story and character in AC II. Although I was sad to see him go in Revelations, I didn't particularly like the idea of an aging Ezio. But playing this game reminded me of how Ezio is easily my number one all-time favorite video game character, and believe me when I say that I've come across an abundance of fictional characters in my life but none has stood out this much. The charisma, his story, background - everything is so beautifully written that it's hard to find a flaw in this game.

This review is coming 2 years late so I think I'll stop here. All I have to say to those who STILL haven't played this game is...TRY IT. Don't be like me. You won't regret it. I guess the only negative thing is that this might have a bit of an impact on my academic performance. A full-time Masters means crazy amounts of assignments with tight deadlines. And putting Brotherhood into my console doesn't help ;-)

Driver San Francisco (Xbox 360)
Driver San Francisco (Xbox 360)
Price: 12.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly fun!, 3 Mar 2012
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
When it comes to racing games, I'm a little picky. I was a kid when I got sucked into Need for Speed (when it actually used to be really good) and got thrown off when the developers started churning out average games. I purchased Forza Motorsport last year and although I loved the game, it got way too repetitive and ended up in my stack of games for trade-in. Having said that, I observed the trailers and gameplay videos of Driver: San Francisco and was pretty reluctant reading all the reviews criticizing the silly story. Mind you, I've never played any Driver games. Luckily, I was able to bag a bargain and paid a meager 3.5 for this one!

Long story short, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked this game. To start off, the graphics are great. Frankly, it has the best graphics among all the racing games I have played. I've never been to San Francisco so I'm not sure how accurately they have rebuilt the city, but I can tell you that it still looks BEAUTIFUL and bustling with life. Yes, there isn't any interaction and you can't get out of your car and do crazy things inside shops, but I think people need to realize that this is essentially a racing game, not GTA or Mafia II. If they added all those side-missions to this game, I'm not sure if it could still be categorized as a solid racing game.

Now I'm not the best person when it comes to handling cars in racing games. But I found the car-handling and mechanics of this game to be pretty good and realistic. I'm not too fussed about the cars offered, and I have yet to see where it offers the 70s cop car show appeal, but the missions and races on their own are pretty satisfactory so I have no complaints. With that said, my only complaint, drums roll, is it's story. But NOT because the story is bizarre. It just didn't suck me in that much. I have played a lot of games with silly stories, but they still had me hooked. The story in this game just didn't hit the right spot, but it is by no means a terrible story.

Overall: 4/5

For people who are not typically great at racing games, this game might prove to be a little too challenging and frustrating at some points. In each chapter, you have to complete two parts of the main story, but to unlock each part, you have to do two city missions each time. These city missions can prove to be really difficult, especially when you have to get somewhere in one piece, AND beat the clock, AND battle the traffic, AND battle the cops (who are always faster than you are). I have also noticed that on some occasions, the AI can be dumb. Just finished the game so I thought I'd share.

Mafia II (Xbox 360)
Mafia II (Xbox 360)
Offered by passionFlix UK
Price: 12.46

5.0 out of 5 stars There is no pleasing some people, 3 Feb 2012
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Mafia II (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
I must admit that I didn't care much for this game until I played L.A. Noire and found myself sucked into the 1940s era. I guess I'm a sucker for games set in history and somehow, modernized games don't appeal to me that much. Regardless, I purchased Mafia 2 recently (about 1.5 years after release) and I'm actually a little mad at myself for not considering the game any sooner. One thing is for sure - I am never going for "critic" reviews again.

This game is gorgeous, period. I don't understand people's gripe with linear games. For me, personally, they are good because I don't have too much time loitering around in video games considering I have a very busy life. On top of that, I like to stick to the story rather than get lost in the open world. Most people seem to be complaining that this game isn't "open world enough". Please go and buy games like Skyrim if that's your thing and leave games like these alone for people like me who appreciate them for what they are - good stories, not fictitious (monsters, aliens, creatures etc), more realistic, with a touch of a classy time period to top it all off. I am drawn to the character and the story and really enjoyed it. I don't care much for irrelevant side-missions or the fact that "once the game is over, there isn't anything to do", like some people are complaining. Well, once the game is over, you trade it in and go get yourself another game. I don't see the reason to downgrade a game just because you don't get a chance to burn the disc out in your console after having finished it already!

At 25 years of age, there are only a few games that I have thoroughly enjoyed playing and this is one of them. This isn't meant to be GTA, by the way. I don't see why people are drawing that comparison. GTA is for people who are into the modern "thug" and "brotha from the hood" culture. Those games stopped appealing to me after San Andreas. Mafia 2 is for a mature audience that enjoys a decent, realistic story, topped with an addictive environment in the game. If that's not your type of thing and you'd rather run around shooting every 2 seconds with raging hormones or doing something entirely too strange in the role of a subhuman creature, please try something else.

Oh and, for those who commented that this game bombed or flopped, please note that it is now a PlayStation Platinum/Xbox Classic game - a title which you get when a game has sold a set high quantity. Sorry, but it didn't "flop" just because a bunch of critics didn't enjoy it as much as the regular (unpaid) gamers did. Thanks for reading.

L.A. Noire (Xbox 360)
L.A. Noire (Xbox 360)
Offered by Gameline GmbH.
Price: 11.45

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars L.A. Noire, 6 Dec 2011
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: L.A. Noire (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
Before you decide to purchase a copy of this game, there are two things you need to consider:

1. This is NOT GTA - more like the exact opposite. Just because it's made by Rockstar doesn't mean it has to be like their other releases.

2. This is NOT all about shooting, killing, and roaming around in a big open-world with a huge map.

For a busy person like me, this game is good for many reasons. For starters, it has linear game-play. I don't have time or patience to sit through huge maps on games like Skyrim. But does that mean those games are bad? No. Just because this game doesn't allow "freedom" that people are looking for doesn't mean it is poor. I quite enjoy using my analytical skills to solve cases and mysteries without dying every second. I don't have to worry about getting lost in the open world. The only game where I've enjoyed doing that was Assassin's Creed, but that's aside the point. All these qualities mean I can solve a case or two at night before I go to bed and still get enjoyment out of the game. The concept is very unique and original and I had a lot of fun driving around 1940s Los Angeles. If you're not into that kind of a thing and want a game where you're constantly doing something and irrelevant side-missions, please get yourself another game and don't bother picking this up. This one is for a mature audience. The only reason I am giving it four stars is because the driving and controls can be annoying. Other than that, I have quite enjoyed playing this game and recommend it for anyone who wants to relax and play a game for their own enjoyment and not because they want to get as many kills as possible for a good night's sleep.

Another thing I'd like to add is that my sister who is in her late 20s and has NEVER really played video games in her entire life, actually got sucked into the game watching me play and finds herself helping me out to solve the cases. Clearly, the game has done something right for a person who doesn't even know the first thing about video games to be attracted to it.

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