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Mr. G. Harper "Gavin Harper" (London)

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Dragon Age: Origins (PS3)
Dragon Age: Origins (PS3)
Offered by PROGAMES
Price: £11.99

16 of 27 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good idea but dissapointing..., 25 Nov. 2009
Dragon Age: Origins was a big letdown for me. Yes, it's huge and has a lot of customization for you to play with; however, the core of a game for me is the combat system and that is where this game is let down. In the early levels it is fun but as soon as you have a party of 3 or 4 it becomes a bit of a free for all.

By issuing commands to your party members in real time you can lose track of what one or two of you party members are doing and you look to see them half dead or using melee attacks when they have a bar full of mana. It is frustrating to have to pause every second to issue a few commands and it just feels awkward. You can input tactics for the party members you are not in control of to follow but for me this removes the point, you may as well just have 3 computer control party members and give more options to the main character. When you get to more difficult fights with numerous enemies it's simply not possible to devise any sort of tactics for taking them down, the snare type attacks last for a fraction of a second making them pretty useless and a majority of the abilities don't have any clear use as the battles are over so quickly. There is little way of pulling a tough meleeing boss from attacking your mage who dies within seconds, it's just isn't user friendly and even when you win battles its from making your party members drink health potions every few seconds to see them through.

The storyline and dialogue are good though sometimes it feels a bit dragged out. Having the option to respond in a nice or horrible way to peoples comments largely has no effect on the outcome and the personality that you try and play your character as can not always be followed due to the options available.

I know a lot of people seem to love this game which is fair enough. For me it was just too awkward to play and I did not find the combat system rewarding. Something more old school and turn based, almost more like the flash game of Dragon Age where you have some time to consider your next move would have been better. Fast paced combat just doesn't work in games like this as it ends up with you just hacking and slashing your way through without ever actually using the numerous tactical abilities that are available. Maybe I was just rubbish at it or didn't give it a fair go. I think its definitely one that's worth renting or borrowing before committing to buy...
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 3, 2010 12:56 PM GMT

Final Fantasy XII (PS2)
Final Fantasy XII (PS2)
Offered by APE-GAMES
Price: £10.99

19 of 38 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Such a let down..., 9 Mar. 2007
I have always absolutely loved the FF series, as it has been about 4 years since FF10 came out I was really looking forward to this, sadly I am very disappointed.

The game looks awesome, its absolutely huge and there is tons to do, it is however let in two areas.

First of all, the storyline, its confusing to say the least, the characters are introduced at such a pace and with no real meaning that you forget who they are and why they are there, I didn't really at any time feel as if I particularly liked a character or hated one! Think back to FF7, Barrat made you laugh, you thought Red was cool, you wanted to know more about Cloud, you HATED Sephiroth and you actually wanted to save the planet, in 13 I wasn't really bothered what happened.

Now if this was the only fault I could have accepted it, no FF game has come close to 7 in terms of storyline anyway! However the major let down with this game is the battle system. Now Iv 'e played online RPG's and this is what the battle system reminds me of, however in a game like World of Warcraft you need to concentrate, use the right abilities at the right time, you need to pull single enemies etc there is a lot of skill involved.

With FF13 I found myself with one thumb on the left analog stick to make my party move and the other thumb on the right analog stick to look around, that is all I did unless I came across a boss fight. Your party attacks and heals automatically (as long as you have set up your gambits correctly). Its boring, dull and tedious, you basically just run around and watch your party kill stuff, you don't need to use spells or abilities etc as that just wastes magic (which takes a horrible amount of time to replenish), maybe if an enemy is weak against a certain element you would throw in a spell but you don't really need to.

Then there are the special abilities, summons and quickenings (limit break type atacks) these use your entire stock of magic so are absolutely usless unless in a boss fight, even in a boss fight the summons are pretty rubbish as well. You can basically win every battle by just having two members batter the enemy and one heal, once the healers magic is out you can simply swap her with another member of your party who has full magic, fun.

The leveling up system is also rubbish as is the fact you get no nice weapons / Armour drop from bad guys, you just buy it all from shops (though you cant see the full stats of an item before you buy making it difficult to make a choice...).

I put in about 25 hours before I quit, I gave the game a fair run but in the end I could not be bothered to run around another dungeon watching my party hack and slash some monsters. Yes it looks nice and has a lot of content but at the end of the day it reminds me of when I was a kid and I used to go round a friends house to watch him play a game wishing I could play it myself, I wish I could play FF13 it just seems like someone else is doing it for me.

World of Warcraft (Mac/PC)
World of Warcraft (Mac/PC)

99 of 112 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic game but way too time consuming, 17 Oct. 2005
This is, without a doubt one of the best games I have ever played. The sheer depth of it is astounding, I put in over 20 full days (that's 480 hours!) on one single character and was still 10 levels off the elusive level 60 and that is why I stopped playing.
For the first 20 - 30 levels the game is great, there are loads of quests you can complete by yourself, loads of new armor, weapons and items to get and lots of abilities to learn. However the further into the game you get the more you realize how much time everything is actually going to take. From about level 40 onwards you will very rarely find a new weapon or piece of armor that you will actually use, you are more likely to spend a few gold pieces at the Auction House buying new stuff, everything you get from completing quests is worthless which makes completing the quests worthless.
Certain bosses in the dungeons will drop quality items but firstly the chance of the item dropping is slim and secondly the chance of you winning the roll against everyone else in the group is slim, meaning you keep doing the same dungeon over and over again just trying to get this nice sword or piece of armor.
The other people that you play with are of a very young age and many can be immature which completely ruins your game, if your half way through a dungeon and two kiddies in your group decide to leave because their mum has told them to go to bed or they didn't win a roll on an item then you are screwed and have to leave, find another two people and start again.
You are generally questing in contested areas which means anyone from the opposing faction can attack you, if you are trying to complete quests and are getting killed by groups of players 10 levels higher than you it becomes very frustrating.
The quests become repetitive and increasing difficult to complete on your own. Now if you have no job etc then you have enough time to get into the game and make it worthwhile, however if like me you work everyday and most will have 3 to 4 hours a night to play you simply cannot do what needs to be done. For example, it can take around an hour to find a group to go to a dungeon, 15 minutes to get there and then a couple of hours to complete it. There goes your entire evening and if you don't win the drops then it's a waste of time. It gets much worse when you hit level 60, you will need 8 to 10 hours to do the end of game dungeons and bosses, absolutely no chance.
So I have hung up my sword and canceled my subscription, fantastic game but impossible to play if you have a life!

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