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Michael G

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Dishonored (PC DVD)
Dishonored (PC DVD)
Offered by GB Entertainment
Price: £8.97

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun, engaging and good game overral., 30 May 2013
This review is from: Dishonored (PC DVD) (DVD-ROM)
Dishonored first appeared on my radar after a demo was shown on IGN.
Even though I didn't fancy the drawing style (huge hands, big heads) it looked like an interesting game.

And I was right. And even though I don't normally play sneaky hide-and-seek games I thoroughly enjoyed this one.

Graphics are good and overall design really, really well thought through. Its not easy to make levels that look like a working city that is falling to pieces at the same time. I only wish the levels were a bit bigger. Also, designers cheated a bit and saved some time by putting you though some of the maps twice. That said, there are multiple ways of going through the same level so it doesn't get boring.
Sound wise I can't fault the game either. I especially likes the slightly metallic sound of crossbow.
Gameplay is solid. There aren't that many weapons to choose from, but then again assassin wouldn't have an armoury on him, would he? And you can supplement weapons with powers which give you multiple tactical choices. Game pauses when you've swapping power so you can do weird and wonderful combos if you're fast enough :)

Stealth is done well, but enemies detection algorithm seems to be a bit off. Some things you'd think would give you cover (thick hedge) won't and others you this had no chances will conceal you.
Also, mind the fact that if you put someone to sleep and they fall down or get eaten by rats that counts as a kill so you won't get the achievement.

The plot is nice, if a bit predictable. There are 3 ending to choose from and the choice depends on your actions throughout the game (ie how many people you kill). On the up side, non-lethal ways of dealing with key targets are interesting, nicely done is a little disturbing at times, like you handing over lady Boyle to a secret admirer who 'will keep her safe'. Right...

This game is a solid 4 out of 5.

BioShock Infinite (PC DVD)
BioShock Infinite (PC DVD)

3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not living up to the hype, 30 May 2013
I've liked first Bioshock. It wasn't anywhere near as good as System Shock 2, but a good game nonetheless.
Now, a few years later, we're being served yet another game that basically follows exact same pattern. Sadly, this doesn't have the same impact as it had years ago.

Graphically, you can't fault the game. I don't like the drawing style with big heads and hands but that is my opinion an I won't lower the score for that. The effects are nice and the game is running smoothly on my PC, which is fairly old.
Sound is problematic. On my machine it stuttered terribly as if the game couldn't decide if it was going to play stereo or surround sound (I could see the AV unit struggling to keep up with a few changes of mind per second). This is not my machines fault mind you - other games don't do that.

The gameplay - here is where the first problems appear. I don't mind not having open world, that isn't the problem. The problem is that game doesn't have a natural flow. You enter an area and sooner or later there will be a batch of enemies and they will come is considerable numbers. You dispatch them and... silence. You have all the time in the world to explore THIS area. Until you get to the next one where is all starts again. And so on so forth. It gets really, really repetitive.
Now mind you the combat is great. Vigors support guns beautifully and combat in this game has a nice, fast pace to it. I really liked it. Enemies aren't overly bright though and resort to either firing from cover or charging you.
While we're on the subject of combat I have to mention that Elizabeth is one of the most useful AI companions I've ever seen. She doesn't get it the way, she can open tears with cover, AI guns, medpacks etc. and she finds ammo, health and salts (depending on what you're really low on). However, she doesn't always finds them. This prevent her from being a 100% reliable source of pick-me-ups that would make player lazy. You still have to manage your health and ammo but you know she might help you with it. This bit is well balanced.


Now to the plot. After completing the game I had 2 conclusions:
1) Plot writers lost sight of what they wanted to tell somewhere on the way
2) I suspect during testing someone said 'hey, I still don't know what this is about' and an 'outtro' was made. Last few minutes you just sit back and watch the game conclude. Perhaps someone decide there weren't enough clues during the game to piece is all together?

And it's not that novel or great this plot. I mean, I've seen Looper and ending is, well, kind-of similar :P
This whole parallel universe thing... characters jump from one to another just to get something done. Nice. But it gets it done in the wrong universe. Unless you say we arbitrary blat universe A in favour of universe B because B suits us at the moment. The we replace B with C and so on.

All in all this game is 3,5/5.
It does not live up to its hype which I this is caused by lack of genuinely great games in the last year or so.
Infinite is a lot like 1st Bioshock with flying city instead of underwater one and plasmids renamed vigors. Nothing new.

Medal of Honor: Warfighter - Limited Edition (PC DVD)
Medal of Honor: Warfighter - Limited Edition (PC DVD)

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars MOH playing catch-up again, 7 Feb. 2013
I bought this for a tenner when it was on offer on Origin and to be honest I wish I didn't.

Single player campaign lasted 6 hours of what I can only describe as pretty dull and not very memorable gameplay. Nothing in the game cause me to ever want to play it again.
Yes, the plot is about Tier 1 Op, hunt for explosives gathered by the terrorists but its so dull it's unbelievable.
They've tried to make it more "real" by showing that our protagonist had a family going through a very rough patch, showing that death in service can come at any time but somehow it just gets drowned in the general boredom and dullness of the game. Its probably as far from the word "epic" as it can.
The problem is if you want to show "real" spec ops I'm afraid its mostly planning, recon and as few fireworks as possible. That does not make a good action game and other games have covered that (Rainbow 6?).

Apart from one part of the game on the boat I found myself looking at the watch and hoping the game ends soon. MOH tries to engage and fails miserably. It tries to show real Tier 1 but... how can we know? The game is said to be full of little details that make it real but 99,99999999999% of players don't know that cause they're not Tier 1 operatives.

Then there's the game mechanics. You can sometimes pour half a clip into an enemy (who has no body armour) and... nothing. Unless you score a headshot that is. On the other hand, the same 5.56 NATO can tear huge chunks of thick concrete walls (that's BF's environment destruction for you). The game has plethora of weapons but the most usable ones are... AK derivatives. So I was mostly walking around with an AK picked up from the ground.

Graphics and sound wise its similar to BF3. And like BF3 stray a meter from set scripted path and you will be punished. No point trying to flank or anything (Tier 1 doesn't do tactics apparently). Just follow one good path set by designers.

Multiplayer - frankly, I launched it, it felt almost exactly like BF3 but with spawns even more broken. I player for 2 hours and turned it off. No point wasting time.

All in all, I wouldn't recommend it even if you're really bored. I think there are plenty of other, far better games to play. Even if I got it for free I think I would still regret the time spent playing this thing.

Borderlands 2 (PC DVD)
Borderlands 2 (PC DVD)
Offered by SnowSpire
Price: £7.49

5.0 out of 5 stars Borderlands supercharged, 12 Dec. 2012
This review is from: Borderlands 2 (PC DVD) (DVD-ROM)
In short - Borderlands 2 is like the 1st part, only more of everything.
The cartoon-style graphics keep their appeal and if you graphics card supports physics the engine will make your experience even richer with tons of extra effects.

Pretty much everything in 2nd part is better than it was in the 1st - more guns, more effect types, better transport system (game remembers where you finished and doesn't put you in town anymore next time you run it).

There are 5 classes as of today and each one can have several totally different builds. In no 1 skills you choose didn't make that much of a difference but in this one they can totally transform the way you play so you can have 2 characters of the same class and play totally differently. Brilliant!

Coop play is soooo much easier now! None of that gamespy nonsense, you can easily invite your friends from within the game and it tracks your quests properly, so you can jump in and out of games, sometimes play alone, other times in coop without problems. Very nice.

One downside is they changed the inventory screen (I'm guessing to suit the console crowd) and it's, well, unusable. Comparing items is difficult and you can often equip the wrong item.

For me, this game is a must-have. Its endless fun no matter if you play alone or with friends.

Call of Duty: Black Ops II [Standard edition] (PC DVD)
Call of Duty: Black Ops II [Standard edition] (PC DVD)
Offered by 4GamersUK
Price: £9.15

13 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A wasted opportunity and one of the worst CODs, 11 Dec. 2012
I must admit I haven't really been waiting for BO2 as none of the games fix problems of their predecessors, so many of the problems in BO2 were hardly a surprise. But I am getting ahead of myself and I do wish to write this review in order.

Single Player:
6 hours. On Hardened. That's it. So, COD's usual.
The campaign wasn't particularly engaging or as entertaining as previous parts. I think this is partly down to our protagonist and other characters as well as frequent time jumps. Also, the Afgan level was, to say the least, silly.
On top of that, the quasi-strategic missions are awful. The units, when left alone, have very low combat efficiency and they make those levels a chore rather than fun.

Big let down here. Maps are dark and not that interesting, also unless played in Transit mode - quite small.
I just can't seem to get as much fun as I had on Kino der Totten and other maps.
Transit mode is a curiosity at best and it doesn't really work for me.

Lets start with good bits:
- 10 point system is great. I really like the flexibility it gives you.
- No last/final stand! Woo hoo!
- Old theatre mode is back
- Scorestreaks so much better than anything that came before it
- Spawning not worse than MW3 (I am scraping the bottom of the barrel here)

Bad bits:
- Maps. They are HORRIBLE. 2 are playable for me - Standoff and Yemen. That's it. Whenever I see something like Cargo or Carrier on rotation I quit the lobby. I have a feeling that level designers first had a theme and then tired to design a level based on it, creating abominations like mentioned Carrier, Cargo and several others. That is NOT how you design a level people! You make something playable and THEN decide on what theme to apply to it!
- Weapons - totally unbalanced. Laser sight broke the game completely as I've had several times a situation where someone with LS on a SMG killed me hip-fire AT RANGE even though I was in firing at them in ADS. Some weapons (Type-25) seem to have NO recoil in ADS. Auto shotgun does not kill at point blank. The list goes on...
- Hit detection - as always with COD, rubbish and random. I have quite a few clips where you can see game scores the kill when crosshair is clearly well OUTSIDE the person.
- Lag - this is most annoying. I have 40/10 meg connection, no other online games (CS, UT, Borderlands 2, Starcraft 2 etc.) lag (well, apart from SWTOR which is overcrowded) but BO2 does. And its ridiculous. I put half a clip in someone and he kills me. On a killcam I haven't even fired a shot. My NAT is open, everything should be perfect. Can't they invest in some DECENT servers and links?
- Speed of the game - I have no problems with fast games. Heck, I play UT which is much faster when things get hectic :) But BO2 is BROKEN because its too fast and too random. A week after launch you'd only see quickscopers and people with SMGs with Laser Sights on them. You don't even have to aim with that. Just spray and you'll hit something. The game is unbalanced and random to a point where you might as well not bother at all.
- Grind - you sort-of unlock stuff - you pay points for weapons, perks, hardware etc. but still have to grind for camos... boring.
- Create-a-class doesn't allow you to have different scorestreaks per class

This is something that's been bugging me since 1st I played BO2. Its the same engine as before, just refurbished a bit and yet the game lags and drops framerate. On a PC that had no such problems with games like Crysis 2 and Metro 2033. That is not right.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 23, 2013 1:51 AM GMT

The Tree of Life [DVD]
The Tree of Life [DVD]
Dvd ~ Brad Pitt
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £2.99

3 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This is not a movie. It's a series of images with end credits., 1 July 2012
This review is from: The Tree of Life [DVD] (DVD)
Now, this is not about "not getting it", as the movie tries to go about fairly common questions and problems that a lot of people can identify with.
The God question, man's relationship with God, son's relationship with overly strict father etc.
This is nothing new of shocking here. It's all been done before.

What this movie tried to do is present all of those in a new and unique way. It's not meant to have a plot in a traditional sense of the word.

The problem is the movie is too "out there". It has gone off the deep end, far beyond the need for plot and into the land where life and story become a series of disjointed images with hardly any refernce to time and space.
And that makes this movie hard to watch. I it thought provoking and the actor's performances are strong, but I can't say the movie itself is good.

Despite having the right ingredients the end result is an incoherent, almost babbling pile of... well something. Not quite sure what that something is or was supposed to be.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 9, 2013 10:27 AM BST

Prometheus [DVD] [2012]
Prometheus [DVD] [2012]
Dvd ~ Noomi Rapace
Price: £2.99

10 of 25 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointment of the decade, 1 July 2012
This review is from: Prometheus [DVD] [2012] (DVD)
I'm not kidding. Heck, I even think new Indiana Jones movie was better, and that's saying a lot.

Let me start by saying I've got nothing against this not being an alien movie, but only loosely associated universe. The planet is LV223 not LV426 after all :)
I have no problem with leaving more questions then answers. That's what immagination is for.

No, my problem with this movie is utter and complete stupidity of the characters coupled with lack of logic or sense in their actions.
You have a multi billion or trillion dollar enterprise, top specialists and scientists and you don't use even basic containment? No hazmat?
The idiots take off their helmets cause "air seems good" and bring stuff back, prod and disassemble without protection. Really? Seriously? You want me to believe that a THINKING being would bent over scary looking biotech and prod it with a stick?

Then there's David. He is this movies greatest mystery. Not the aliens. Him.
What is his agenda? If he was programmed by Weyland, why infect the doctor? What possible purpose this would have? Why jeoperdise the mission only to help at the end? Logic? Point? Sense? Nope, none of those present here.
Weyland wants to have his comversation with "god". Ok, common old man's wish. I get that. But it could have been achieved without all that infestation alien mess.

And for last - the alien removal op. Picturesque and maybe even a bit of a suspense moment, but how likely are you to be running around after having your stomach cut open and huge lump taken out of it? It just goes on and on. Hardly anything in this movie makes sense. Suspending belief is one think but accepting something utterly stupid is another.

Acting wise movie's not bad but you can't shake the feeling that there was a time limit on movie's length and the plot rushes to the end, living no room for suspense (remember how long the original Alien movie was?).

This movie was supposed to be sci-fi and someone forgot that sci stands for science. Instead they gave us stupid-fiction.

So why 2 stars, not 1? Because I've seem worse movies and this one is not quite that bad.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 4, 2012 4:31 PM BST

No Title Available

5.0 out of 5 stars Claying really works, 16 April 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I always wondered how (and if) this worked, so in the end I decided to get it and tried it out.

Funny thing, it really works. You don't even realise how much dirt is left on the car after even a thorough wash.
Some care needs to be taken when using this because if you'll get some dirt on the clay and then use it... ouch!

I'd advise using this when you intend to do some serious work on your paintwork, like paint prep/polish before wax.

Included quick detailer is nice and you should really use something to aid skid (otherwise the clay just sticks), but you can use water as well. It works a little worse than the detailer, but the difference isn't big and you can save yourself a few quid and use water instead.

Sennheiser HD201 Closed Dynamic Stereo headphones
Sennheiser HD201 Closed Dynamic Stereo headphones
Price: £16.99

4.0 out of 5 stars As value for money goes - it's brilliant, 16 April 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I got these for 16 quid a few weeks back and what I can say is for this kind of money, you really can't expect anything better.
The sound is good quality, with nicely pronounced base. Hi-Fi fans will find plenty of things wrong with it, but I'm not one of them so they're just fine for me. And proper high quality headphones would cost 10 times as much.

It cancells outside noise nicely and there's hardly any stray sound getting out so you can listen to your music quite loudly without disturbing your co-workers.

These headphones are quite comfortable (and I find most headphones uncomfortable) and I can wear it for hours on end without discomfort. The ears get a bit sweaty but they're not as bad as my old Phillips ones.

Meguiar's Deep Crystal Step 2 Polish
Meguiar's Deep Crystal Step 2 Polish
Offered by ASC
Price: £13.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great light polish cream, 31 Dec. 2011
Great thing to use after prepping your paint with Step 1.
This is a light polish, so if your paint is in a bad shape, with lots of scrathes etc. you should use a proper abrasive polish, not this thing.
Step 2 is a great way to give your car's paint that extra shine (mine looked pretty much factory fresh after use!) before waxing.

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