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Dan Giambrone (Dorset, UK)

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Grand Theft Auto V (PS4)
Grand Theft Auto V (PS4)
Price: £39.85

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 5 stars if you're playing this for the first time...., 3 Dec. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Or 4 stars if you have already played this on the Xbox 360 or PS3.

GTA V on the 'last-gen' systems was an outstanding achievement. Technically it was incredible, it managed to look better than most other games, whilst creating this huge game world with an astonishing attention to detail & an amazing sense of place. There were so many things to do & the game never ceased to amaze me with its random acts. When you shared your experiences of this game with your friends, it was like we'd all played a different game-we all had different stories to tell (outside of the main missions).

So why the 4 stars then?

I've decided to be hyper critical with this review as a:) I've already bought the game on the PS3 & so shelling out for this version brings me scarily close to £100. And b:) with a powerful new system like the PS4, it's only natural for your expectations to go up.

The positives that I've found so far are:

The graphics, at times, are truly stunning. Indeed when there is a thunderstorm at night, there is no better looking game on PS4. The anti-aliasing is much improved, so now outlines are smoother & less jagged. The textures, in general are also better, & they have to be now that we have the new first-person view. Other improvements are the increased density of trees & grass, the extended draw-distance (although I'm not so quite so sure that it is x2 over the PS3 version like Rockstar have stated). Other nice visual touches include the tint of the screen changing when you don a pair of shades. The explosions are also better, with the destroyed cars really impressing here. Clothing tends to look better, as does the fur on the animals. The mirror reflections are now much much better & no longer look like a blurry, blocky mess. I could go on....

The first-person view is superb & makes it feel like a different game. This makes the world feel even larger & I like the movement too-it reminds me a little of Mirrors Edge in this area. All the cars have fully realized interiors too-you can even see the digital display on your audio player, telling you which song is playing. The details on the hands is also very good: especially Trevor's, they are dirty, covered in scabs/scars & you can see his tattoos. When you use your phone, it is now fully rendered, rather than just being a pop-up.

There's now more dialogue & many more songs, well over 100 I believe.

A whole host of new wildlife has been added, the highlight of which, for me, are the cats.

There is also some additional content, including a new noire mission for Michael.

So that's the positives out of the way.

What stops me giving this 5 stars is that there is a lack of polish & consistency with this update.

Earlier on, I said that the graphics can be stunning at times, & they are. But at times, the graphics can also be rough. Numerous issues tarnish the overall experience. These are: some crude shadows being drawn in around buildings, objects popping up in right in front of you or in the distance, the aliasing is still bad at times & not all of the textures are that great. When you're piloting a helicopter during the day, the city still looks crude & lacking in detail. The texture filtering is either poor or non-existent as at times the road in front of you can appear a bit blurred, lacking clarity. The mission where you attempt to rescue Michael's son highlights some of these flaws.

Whilst the first-person view in the cars is welcome, it is annoying that Rockstar took away the bonnet view, which happens to be the only view that I was any good with. Why couldn't we have had both options?

In the original PS4 trailer, the game showed a considerable increase with both it's vehicle & pedestrian density. To my eyes, this hasn't come to fruition with the final product. I recently revisited the PS3 version. I found that if anything, the last gen version had the busier roads. I was very disappointed by this as one of the things that you associate with LA is the gridlocked roads-I thought that the PS4 version would take us that bit closer to reality. So have Rockstar deceived us here? Is it because they thought that it would be to the detriment of the gameplay if the roads were heaving or is it a case of the PS4 struggling to handle all those extra cars?

Whilst the frame-rate is much improved over the PS3 version, there is still some stuttering at slowdown at times. These are most noticeable during vehicle pursuits through busy junctions.

In closing, this is a very welcome game on PS4. The number of improvements are considerable. Sadly, there are just as many flaws & the game does often show its last gen roots. Part of me wishes that R* spent more time with this new version, polishing it up even more, giving us even more missions, maybe more interiors, & superior physics etc. I guess this will come with their games that are designed from the ground up with the new systems in mind & that is a mouthwatering prospect. Hopefully they can patch the game & brush it up a bit.

If you're not flush with cash & have already played this to death on the older consoles, then I'd probably give it a miss or wait until its a lot cheaper.

Arnie - Terminator 2 Final Battle Damaged 12" Figure - Neca
Arnie - Terminator 2 Final Battle Damaged 12" Figure - Neca

4.0 out of 5 stars Very good!, 22 Oct. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This figure looks fantastic!

Neca have nailed the the sculpt, physique & clothing. The detail is great and the eye lighting-up is a nice touch.

I have two faults with this offering; the first is the paint job on the face. It's quite basic, lacking depth and it looks like Arnie has just slapped on some dodgy fake tan. My other gripe is the lack of articulation-you can only move it's arms. But then, if this figure did have more points of articulation, it would probably result in it not looking as good.

Take away these flaws and you have a figure that gets very close to giving the Hot Toys equivalents a run for their money;especially on a pound for pound basis. If you can get it for between 25-40 pounds, then snap it up!

Alien: Isolation - Nostromo Edition (PS4)
Alien: Isolation - Nostromo Edition (PS4)
Offered by Amore DVD
Price: £21.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Are the graphics all that? Followed by a rant!, 22 Oct. 2014
This is a very good game-just read the 4/5 star reviews to find out why!

However, I am stunned by how many people are saying that the graphics are great. Aside from the lighting/smoke effects, the rest of the visuals are distinctly underwhelming. There are many games on the PS3 & 360 which put this to shame. So what is exactly wrong with the graphics? First of all there is aliasing in abundance. Almost every outline is tarnished with jagged and shimmering edges. This gives the game an almost sub-hd image: it looks rough! Then we have the character models, they look like they are made of plasticine, & the lip-synching (or lack of) is comical. The frame-rate isn't that great or stable either and the stuttering cut-scenes are a joke.

I know that many of you will brand me a graphics whore, but trust me I'm not. I just like my games to be polished. All of the above issues serve to remind me that I am playing a game and tarnish the experience: making me zone out. If this was a huge open-world game with impressive physics & many things going on then I could understand some of the graphical compromises. But this game is far from that; it is linear with very little going on.

This game could have benefited from a few extra months in development to add that extra layer of polish which it so richly deserves. Sadly, many publishers are intent on getting their games out during the busy run-up to Xmas. This clearly causes compromise. Do publishers actually listen to their QA departments/testers?!! Alien Isolation is not alone in this-Driveclub (missing content, server woes), The Evil Within (a technical mess:just try playing it without it's day 1 patch! those that are not online have my sympathies). Having read numerous previews of both The Crew & Assassins Creed: Unity, it appears that these games are not in great shape despite being only a few weeks from release. What are the odds of them both requiring a patch or two to bring them up to a respectable standard? If publishers had any scruples & exercised in quality control, they may actually be rewarded with much better day 1 sales & also not lose so many customers to the second-hand market.

She's Out Of My League [DVD]
She's Out Of My League [DVD]
Dvd ~ Jay Baruchel
Offered by MediaMerchants
Price: £3.68

5.0 out of 5 stars Really enjoyable!, 20 Sept. 2014
This review is from: She's Out Of My League [DVD] (DVD)
I caught this on tv the other evening & thoroughly enjoyed it.

There were pangs of recognition (I won't say which bits) at some of the things that the main character went through. It also had some very amusing moments & on occasion some 'laugh-out-loud' moments too.

So if you want a chuckle or a feel-good flick, check this out.

Chuck: Season 1 [DVD] [2008]
Chuck: Season 1 [DVD] [2008]
Dvd ~ Zachary Levi
Offered by Springwood Media
Price: £6.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A little treasure!, 7 Aug. 2014
This review is from: Chuck: Season 1 [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
This show ticks so many boxes!

It's very witty with so many amusing scenario's. ALL the characters are great-I'm certain that you'll have met one or two like them on your travels through life (it reminds me a lot of The Office in this regard). It has some breathtakingly beautiful women-not just their looks. Despite being like a combination of The Office, Shawn of the Dead & Austin Powers, there are moments where you genuinely feel for the characters & alongside all the giggles, this is perhaps the shows greatest strength. It's clear that the cast & crew had a great time making this show.

I always say that it is very healthy to watch some comedy before you go to bed & Chuck fits the bill perfectly.

Hot Toys - Avengers figurine Movie Masterpiece 1/6 Hulk 42 cm
Hot Toys - Avengers figurine Movie Masterpiece 1/6 Hulk 42 cm
Offered by Japan_Hobby_Shop
Price: £330.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's a paradox!, 4 Aug. 2014
I have given this figure 5 stars, yet it has several flaws.

The box is a simplistic green with a picture of the Hulk & an atomic symbol. It's nothing special to look at & goes down as one of Hot Toys more uninspired efforts. Still, it's what's inside that really counts!

This chap is huge, he will dwarf all your other Hot Toys figures. He is perhaps too tall, but thankfully you can make him stoop forward & make him appear a little shorter.

The facial sculpt is outstanding. The hair, the small details (freckles, wrinkles, shading, sweat drops, & teeth), & expression are incredible. The hair is superb, with a few grey strands thrown in. The irony is that this Hulk actually looks more like Mark Ruffalo, than Hot Toys own Bruce Banner figure-which is one of their weaker efforts, at least to my eyes.

You can adjust the position of the eyes by removing the top of the Hulks head & moving the two sticks for independent eye movement. This can result in some amusing boss-eye expressions.

The fantastic facial detail extends to the body itself where we see pumping veins, body hair & different shades of green. The tatty shorts also look great. They are grey in colour but seem to have a slight purple tint, which is a nice touch.

Articulation is very good, although I'm reluctant to keep shifting the poses as I'm not convinced that the vinyl skin will stand up to constant movement.

Right, onto my gripes! I've already mentioned that I believe he is a tad too tall, although this doesn't bother me too much. When I first removed the hair in order to adjust the eye positioning; one of the magnets that keep the hair-piece in place fell out-not good for a £300 figure. I managed to fix it with a spot of glue, but still, I really shouldn't be having to do this. The system for moving the eyes isn't in keeping with Hot Toys efforts. Rather than having one stick, you now have two so it takes a bit more effort to line them up correctly. Also, it is very difficult to make the eyes look directly down, which is odd when the Hulk towers over his allies & enemies. As I said previously, you can make him lean forward & get his head to look down; so as with his height, the eyes are not a problem overall. The shoulder, wrist & ankle joints are very prominent. You can angle the arms & hands to limit the severity of these gaps. The same cannot be said for the feet though.

Extras are paltry, if you buy this figure solus-you just get a second pair of adjustable hands (which are cool). I suppose that the Hulk is so big & so much attention has been paid to both the body sculpture/paint job that you can forgive this to some extent. The Hulk & Banner pack does give you some additional extras: two girders & a lovely stand featuring a vanquished enemy pummeled into the ground.

So why have I given this figure 5 stars when it is so obviously far from perfection. There are two reasons. Firstly, it was a nostalgia trip getting this figure. I grew up watching the old tv series starring the late great Bill Bixby, & Lou Ferrigno. In some ways, this figure-facially-reminds me of the Hulk from those days. Maybe it's something to do with Ruffalo & Ferrigno both being of Italian descent?! Primarily though, this figure just looks magnificent. It's scale & detail make it stand out amongst your collection no matter how good your other figures are.

Going forward, it is inevitable that Hot Toys will iterate this figure again for Avengers 2. This puts me & other owners of this figure at a quandary. I really don't want to spend a small fortune buying another Hulk. Will the next figure be significantly better? If so, do I sell this figure during the next year before it could lose its value. On the other hand, despite its flaws, I find it difficult to see how Hot Toys can improve this figures face & expression, so I may just hold onto it.

Box 2/5
Sculpt 5/5
Paint job 5/5
Costume 5/5 (just some shorts, but what else does the Hulk need?)
Articulation 4/5
Extras 1/5 (Solus edit) 3/5 Hulk & Banner boxset

Hot Toys 1:6 Scale Bruce Banner Figure
Hot Toys 1:6 Scale Bruce Banner Figure
Offered by a1 Toys
Price: £125.77

3.0 out of 5 stars Average!!, 4 Aug. 2014
I got this figure as part of the Hulk & Bruce Banner double pack.

This has to be, by far, the most disappointing Hot Toys figure that I have bought. The likeness to Mark Ruffalo is quite poor in my opinion. You can tell its him more by his suit than his facial features. The face just doesn't look quite right & the shape of the head is much too round-Ruffalo has a leaner & slightly longer face. Another issue I have is with the feet, or lack of them. You have these unsightly ankles with shoes attached to them. Thankfully the trousers are long enough to cover this up.

The extras are nice, but on the light side. You get several pairs of hands, a watch, reading glasses, & a scepter.

By far, the best feature of this figurine is the suit. The appearance & quality is superb.

In short:

Box 3/5
Figure/sculpt 2/5
Extras 3/5
Articulation 2/5
Clothing 5/5


0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Upon closer inspection, 18 Jun. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
When I first received this figure, I thought that it was very good. However, when I bought the Hot Toys equivalent it put this Neca offering into perspective & brought its flaws to light.

First off, the proportions on this figure are not quite right; far off even. The head is too big & the jaw-line a bit podgy. The legs are too short & the torso too long.

As for the face, the eyes look a bit cheap & perhaps a little too dull. The paint job on the face is decent though.

The costume is the highlight with this figure, the cowl, cape, & body armour all being faithful to the film. The range of accessories are also very good; you have different pairs of hands to wield the various weapons provided.

Articulation is average at best. Your options are limited, & the joints are very stiff. The figure is also very awkward to stand. Mine often falls over & given the brittle nature of some of Neca's plastics, this could cause some damage to the figure over time.

I wasn't sure whether to give this 2 or 3 stars. I went for the latter as I love the costume. I also like the way the figure looks in it's side profile. The box is also stylish.

Neca can be very inconsistent with their 1/4 range. This offering is just above average (IMO), their Man of Steel is mediocre, but their latest offering-Heath Ledgers Joker-is excellent.

Resident Evil 5 Action Figure - Executioner Majini
Resident Evil 5 Action Figure - Executioner Majini

5.0 out of 5 stars A superb figure for horror lovers!, 24 April 2014
= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:1.0 out of 5 stars 
I was fortunate enough to get this figure as part of a pre-order incentive for Resident Evil 5.

For a freebie, I was pleasantly surprised by both the build quality and the level of detail. The likeness to the in-game character is spot on! I have bought figures for around the £20 mark and this one really does put many of them to shame. In terms of pound for pound value I'd place NECA at the top of the league.

This figure really isn't for kids. It is based on a character from an 18 rated videogame after all. Another reason is that the figure has quite a few pointy bits which could potentially cause cuts.

Offered by MIYABI shop.We will ship all items within 24 hours!
Price: £174.11

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I just had to get this figure......, 23 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Watching 1978's Superman: The Movie was one of my earliest memories. I was barely two-years-old at the time, but many facets of that film left a deep impression on me. The colours, the outstanding music, & Christopher Reeve's performance were what stood out: he was exceptional (I believe that his casting was arguably the most appropriate in the history of cinema).

I continued to watch the films, repeatedly, throughout the 80's & 90's & was extremely flattered when I used to get told that I looked like Christopher Reeve when I got into my early 20's. I was gutted when he suffered that terrible accident in the mid-nighties. When he passed away, I felt as though I'd lost a friend or family member such was the resonance that his performance cast throughout my life. I still feel a pang of sadness whenever I watch the old films or listen to the classic soundtrack. Christopher Reeve will always be Superman: off & on screen, & a true inspiration.

Right, onto the figure....

The packaging is very simple (& looks very nice). It consists of a blue rectangular box with the Superman logo. There is an embossed plastic cover which casts a different shade of blue (blue-grey) giving it a more 'evil' look.

Once again, Hot Toy's have got pretty much every aspect of their model correct: the hair, the face, the expression, the physique, & the costume. It looks just like Christopher Reeve and it is incredible to see such accuracy on a relatively small scale: the figure's head is barely an inch in height. The outfit has a darker look to it & I actually prefer it to the 'good' Superman's costume-it looks like he has been in a scrap. The texture of the suit is also a highlight, as is the cloak: it has a thin wire (inside it) which runs along its edges. This gives the impression that it is rippling in the wind.

This could be my poor eyesight coming into play, but if I had to pick a fault; it could be that the eye's look slightly crossed. You only notice this when looking at the face up close. From a short distance though, they look fine.

There has been some criticism's levelled at this figure; the main one being that it doesn't look evil enough. In Superman 3, the Man of Steel comes into contact with a synthesized piece of Kryptonite. It doesn't quite contain the right ingredients and rather than harm Superman, it makes him mean & moody. The physical manifestations of this were: messy, greying hair; tired eyes; a disheveled, unshaven look; & a dirty suit. The figure doesn't quit go the whole hog, more like 25%: he has a hungover look! I can see why some people are unhappy about this. It doesn't bother me though because, a) the figure really is excellent, & b) I tend to think of this Superman as only having been exposed to the dodgy kryptonite for minutes or hours & so the side-effects haven't quite taken full effect.

The articulations of the figure are very good and you can create a large variety of poses. The costume has a decent degree of slack which really helps things.

The extras, in terms of quantity, can be considered as sparse: you get two extra pairs of hands (making three in total) & a stand which looks like a smashed up concrete road. The base looks amazing and immediately makes me think of Superman's battle with Doomsday. It would also serve as an appropriate base for a Hulk figure. Again, some people have taken issue with the base, saying that there is no scene in Superman 3 where we see a road getting ripped-up. They also lamented the absence of a base which tied in with Superman's battle, with his evil self, in a scrap yard. I can see both points of view, but once again, I don't mind because this base is just so good and lends itself to so many potential scenario's with one's imagination.

Being a huge fan of Christopher Reeve, I am so delighted with this figure. It does the great man justice, and in terms of likeness, is leagues ahead of most other figures. Whilst it isn't entirely screen accurate (pertaining to the extent of evil & the context of the base) it is a great interpretation, and work of art.

A percentage of the sale of the Christopher Reeve Hot Toys figures gets donated to his spinal research charity. This is a classy gesture from the artists & manufacturer & gives you yet another good reason to purchase this wonderful product.

I bought this figure from Toy Palace. The service was exceptional. They answered my email swiftly & comprehensively. The price was good, whilst the quality of the packaging was top drawer, as was the speed of the delivery. As they ship from Germany, you won't be hit with a £40 (approx) customs fee.

Box 4/5
Sculpt 5/5
Paint job 5/5
Costume 5/5
Articulation 5/5
Extras 4/5 (just because the base is so good!)
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 24, 2014 7:53 PM BST

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