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Reviews Written by
isaac heimmler "kirkwuk" (Manchester, UK)

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eMOTIVe
eMOTIVe
Price: £10.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Decent cover album, 2 Mar. 2008
This review is from: eMOTIVe (Audio CD)
For me, eMotive starts at track 3. There are some dark and nasty covers like Imagine, which Maynard successfully manages to murder in cold blood. Passive is a return to their old form. And covers of What's Going On, Freedom Of Choice and When The Levee Breaks give old songs some new life. As beautiful as APC have been, ever.


Manhunt (Xbox)
Manhunt (Xbox)

15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars John Carpenter in a game, 3 Jan. 2005
This review is from: Manhunt (Xbox) (Video Game)
Manhunt is a typically controversial product made by Rockstar Games, the same company that released Grand Theft Auto. With a well deserved 18 certificate, Manhunt, like the previously mentioned game is based on corruption and violence.
You play Cash, a death row inmate who escapes the chair only to take part in a Running Man style snuff movie. Interesting concept, and one that doesn't have to explain itself since the whole game is based on walking round intimidating city streets, on the run from baseball-bat wielding maniacs.
One of the most appealing aspects of Manhunt is that its simple sounding violent theme, requires a skillful and appealing stealth gaming style in a similar vein to Thief and Splinter Cell. You'll be learning the art of hiding, in the wait for an enemy to go by, only to sneak up behind and stab him in the neck with a crowbar. The deaths are as sick as you want them to be. The amount of weaponry on show here also never makes the deaths repetitive.
A strong atmosphere is created by the evil personalities you encounter. There's justice in their horrific deaths. There's literally nothing nice throughout Mahunt's twenty stages. Whether it's having your parents killed by rogues, or leading your lone friend (a tramp) through streets paved in blood. The man talking to you throughout the entire game is pretty frightening too, and the fact you're relying on him to help you out makes the game even more creepy and uneasy. He is seemingly turned on by the player slaughtering the hunters.
Later on Manhunt really kicks off, developing stealth action to shooting. This isn't as bad as it sounds, in fact the shooting is as tactical as it can be, forcing the player to cover behind objects and take pop shots. Thankfully Manhunt never moves away from its stealth roots, and this is great as it allows the player to either sneak undetected or play Lethal Weapon style.
I enjoyed Manhunt far more than I thought I would. Look through the violence and gore and there's a fantastic third-person sneaker underneath.
5/5


Thief: Deadly Shadows (Xbox)
Thief: Deadly Shadows (Xbox)
Offered by marxwax
Price: £23.92

1 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Unplayable, 19 July 2004
I loved the first two Thief games, sadly Thief 3 is so hard to get in to on the XBox I returned my copy within a few days because of the horrible screen tearing every time you look around.
The game is so consolised, linear, and tiresome I could only play for five minutes at a time without finding myself very bored and underwhelmed.
Frame rate on the XBox is dreadful, going from 40fps to about 7 in a matter of seconds. Save up for a monster PC instead of playing this on XBox!


Sonic Heroes (Xbox)
Sonic Heroes (Xbox)

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining graphical feast, 28 Mar. 2004
This review is from: Sonic Heroes (Xbox) (Video Game)
Sonic Heroes feels nothing like Dreamcast's Sonic Adventure. The new Sonic game ventures into new territory with some new features. Heroes is a team-based platform game in which three characters with different strengths fight to the end of a level using their special skills. This involves events such as changing to Knuckles to take out a wall which is blocking your path, or Tails who can fly over obstacles. You can play as three other teams as well, although there are only slight differences with the characters and seeminly less with the levels.
Heroes is great fun to play and looks fantastic. It runs smooth and has plenty of lastability thanks to the emblem system, which gives you more two-player modes and goodies the more you play. However this is an incredibly unforgivable game at times. For example the game moves so fast that sometimes you can't understand why you're falling to your death, so trial and error is the only way to combat it. You will be tearing your hair out with frustration as Sonic's light-dash takes your life for the millionth time, usually due to the absolutely insane and unhelpful camera angles.
One of the most unpleasent moments in the game involves jumping vine-to-vine across a swamp with an alligator hot on your tail. Mis-time a jump by a millisecond with the inconsistent frame rate and you go back to the start. Imagine playing Super-Pong at 2fps is the only way I can project this nightmare to you. Thankfully I did get over this wrist-slittingly horrible section and managed to progress through to the end of the game without losing my sanity.
As I mentioned earlier, the graphics look great. The music is decent although nowhere near as good as Adventure. The pinball table levels are a welcome addition as it allows you to catch your breath. Overall this game is a must for all platform gamers and of course all fans of Sonic.
4/5


The Beyond [DVD]
The Beyond [DVD]
Dvd ~ Catriona MacColl
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £6.57

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Disturbing, 24 Feb. 2004
This review is from: The Beyond [DVD] (DVD)
The Beyond is perhaps the most disturbing horror movie I've ever had the opportunity to watch. This is a major statement to make, considering having watched movies such as the uncut versions of Cannibal Holocaust and Zombie Flesh Eaters.
Lucio Fulchi really went to town in this gory, violent tale of a house which stands on a gateway to hell. As is typical of Fulchi's work, we have cheap but eerie background music which really make the viewer feel uneasy, as was the intention of the director. It's only a matter of time before zombies appear in the cellar and start to take the lives of the cast one by one. Although the deaths are horrific to a comic level, they are dark and disturbing.
Later on in the movie people try and discover the plans of the house and get Omen-style deaths like the poor guy who is taken by lightning, then has his face devoured by spiders. Although the special effects are cheap and nasty, this particular death was the most disgusting, the real effect made by the strangely fitting porn-style music. I don't really want to watch that scene again.
In the end Lucio did what he did to create one of the deepest darkest haunted house/zombie movies. The acting is mostly poor and the storyline is ridden with inconsistencies and other stuff, which happened for no other reason but to create a fanastic death. Gore hounds should now own this movie after its long-awaited release.


Deftones [Uk Version-Enh'D]
Deftones [Uk Version-Enh'D]
Offered by Bridge_Records
Price: £4.21

12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deftones - Their finest hour, 18 Oct. 2003
Deftones are back, and after their controversial masterpiece White Pony, come back with something even more creative, directional, and intense than ever before.
This time they introduce 7-string guitars and tune as low as ever, even more so than Korn. At first when I heard they were doing this I thought “oh no”.
Amazingly, they don’t overuse the heaviness, and manage to keep their trademark wall-of-sound guitar-style with blistering melody and beauty.
The first song is Hexagram, metal at its hardest, with plenty of screaming with a touch of melody. A bit too heavy for my liking, but an opener which sets the scene for what is to come.
Minerva was probably the most exciting comeback of a band in years. As a single, this sounded unlike anything else ever heard on radio. It features melodious guitar-work combined with a C# power-chord coming at you with the speed and intensity of a juggernaut. Together, it’s a magic which could only have been created by this band. Combined with tranquil moments, the guitars are back and blow you away with every listen.
Needles and Pins sounds like it’s from the Around The Fur era. The power-chords are heavy and the screaming loud, a great song to release anger to.
Deathblow is a quiet and moody song, consisting of a catchy bassline with a boisterous chorus. Chino’s unique vocal style really fits into this song well. It sounds like nothing they’ve ever done before.
Bloody Cape is one of the heaviest tracks on the album, at the same time chillingly beautiful with a hint of calamity. The intro is touching and the lyrics of “In waves, the ships have all sailed to the sea…” are touching, just brilliant. The chorus of “We must be the first in the world to fall off the earth” takes this song out of this world with the titanic riff of the chorus. Chino’s emotive vocal style really drives this contrasting song from peace to anger. Full use of the 7-string guitar with painful screaming at the closing moments, makes your head explode.
Anniversary Of An Uninteresting Event is this albums Teenager, a tranquil piano number with an added electronic background. Chino never ceases to impress, this song proves to me a lot; Chino is capable of screaming with the best of them but here proving his vocal style is pushing Deftones as more than just a metal band. More of this in a minute.
The finisher Moana is a slight step-up from the previous song and closes this truly amazing album on a heavier note.
Deftones have managed to mature and develop their style, at the same time retaining their heaviness. It was quite evident that after Around The Fur, this band were much more than a metal band which played alongside Korn. White Pony proved this, and this self-titled album is even more progressive and stylish than the previous.
Metal was loathsome for me until I got into this band, and I never thought I would ever say a metal album was for any other emotions than anger because I was naive. This album is, like White Pony, an album to release all emotion to in one record. This self-titled effort is more polished and varied than any of their other work. Every song reminds the listener of something different.
Deftones have made an album which is beyond the understanding of most of their older fans, this isn’t 1997 any more. It takes a few listens to get into and then grabs you, like all the best albums. Deftones are in a league of their own, whilst their heavy style is enough to put the mainstream people off, believe me, they are just as important as any of your Radioheads. The next record will have to be very good to better this.
5/5


Hitman 2: Silent Assassin (PC)
Hitman 2: Silent Assassin (PC)
Offered by FUN-N-MORE
Price: £7.90

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Incredible game, 10 Oct. 2003
Having played the first game after this one I have to agree that they sorted out the problems with the lack of in-game saving. In the original the Hitman-style trial-and-error play got incredibly frustrating. Here you can save five times a level, and as a result the game becomes much more playable and far less irritating.
The eye for detail here is incredible. The graphics are beautiful and run smoothly on my machine. Particularly the doctor level with the huge temple, not only does it look a million dollars, watching other people go about their business adds to the immersion. The beauty of the structure of the levels contrasting with the nature of death is a guilty pleasure rarely executed well in games today.
Hitman's style is in the way that you feel so much more free and relaxed in playing the game, the way you want, at the same time under-cover. Hitman 2 is along there with the likes of Thief and Deus Ex. If you’re really boring and shallow you can choose to blow everything in sight (may I add it won’t help you), or become the silent assassin in the games title and take down the victim in a secluded fashion.
At the end of the day, Hitman 2 is a great sequel and a great addition to one of the greatest series of the new century. The first didn’t quite pull it off, but this more than makes up for it. Here’s hoping that Hitman 3 will be even better.


The Thing (PC)
The Thing (PC)
Offered by SC-WHOLESALE
Price: £2.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly good, 22 Sept. 2003
This review is from: The Thing (PC) (Video Game)
As a fan of John Carpenters classic remake of a sci-fi classic, I had to pick up this game. At first I was a little cynical as this game labels itself a survival horror in the style of Resident Evil, one of the most predictable gaming series in existence.
You play Blake, who discovers that his place of work has become a breeding ground for shape shifting entities. The thing (no pun intended) which separates this game from the Resident Evil/Silent Hill series is the inclusion of interaction with NPC’s, which help you take out the armies of aliens and later on, human soldiers who realise you’re out to destroy their governments little plan. NPC’s help you, but sometimes turn out to be shape-shifters themselves, which results in them changing into monsters in Incredible Hulk style and attacking you, when they may have helped you out the entire level. The suspense in whether they really are the enemy, results in a lot of drama and increases tension.
The game is a little easy, but tense in places. For one thing, you get a nice little “aimbot” which targets enemies as opposed to targeting yourself. If this get a little easy, you can choose to aim manually. As for the harder moments, there are a few occasions which I found frustrating but ultimately rewarding. Interesting moments are few and far between, but intriguing; one level has you taking out both aliens and marines, and they engage in wars themselves which is reminiscent of Half Life. The depleting health and ammo stock keeps you on your toes especially in the early stages, as you depend on your computer friends to take out the enemy as you search desperately for more resources.
The puzzles are no more taxing than finding a key and flicking a few switches, which is fair enough as the storyline is about as complex as an episode of Itchy and Scratchy, so no need for endlessly hunting for clues and hoping something will work out. The save game feature is suitable and is one of the reasons this game becomes so re-playable. Instead of the new-age “save where you like” trend, it has you saving your game on a tape-recorder, hidden around the level. That there are one or two of these at most, has your heart racing that you don’t screw up, the fear of having to fight through the tense moments again is always there. This feature works without the chores of old-school games. Especially rewarding was working through the last level on 5% health, which had me pleading for medpacks. Eventually I got through thanks to my Counter-Strike sniping days.
The Thing is a little short, and some of the NPC’s have some unforgivable bugs. In one level, a doctor ran through red-hot steam casually, injuring him with little care. This came at a moment in the game where you depended on him, but he caused me to die through his stunning incompetence. Predictability is something which is obvious in the survival horror genre, here it is never too bad, although there are too many occasions where the little scuttlers just run out in predictable form. The storyline is simple but well done, and there’s even room for a sequel.
The graphics are crystal clear, beautiful, and run perfectly. At no point in the game did slow-down occur, which is even better. The polygonal effects are beautiful, with great detail.
The Thing is surprisingly good. If the first few levels seem a bit dark and depressing, later on things get more interesting. Overall surprisingly good for a survival horror, with great graphics and gameplay. Probably the first one of its genre with decent acting and a great ending.


Up the Bracket
Up the Bracket
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £5.97

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Album of 2002?, 28 Nov. 2002
This review is from: Up the Bracket (Audio CD)
When the first track Vertigo hits, you know you are in for something special.
With the increasing amount of garage-rock bands invading the scene, what makes The Libertines worth a listen? Maybe it is the punky-inspired image, or the greasy-hair, which all of these modern garage bands seem to sport? No no no, - this is a band which shines like a sun, thanks to some classic songwriting which takes you back to the punk-era of the 80's with bands like The Jam, The Buzzcocks, and The Sex Pistols. Their fast paced, trashy guitar style never lets up for a minute. The amazing thing is, the Lib's can do it better then any of the older punk bands ever could. Their lyricist has a tact for wit as well as a serious edge as sharp as a razor. When they are making a huge racket, it's a treat to listen to the lyrics and the attitude-driven sound from start to finish. With all these elements combined, they can make an awful amount of noise (Horror Show), melodious rock (Death On The Stairs), and ballads that sound like they're recorded in the 60's (Radio America), which are hard-hitting and mostly always have an optimistic charm. Some tracks sound rather average, before taking a charge into a storm of melody (Time For Heroes).
This band is as charismatic as it is musical. However, the last few tracks are bereft of something. If it were not for that, there wouldn't be a single thing negative about Up The Bracket. Definitely a contender for the album of the year if not the best.


Life On Other Planets
Life On Other Planets
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £2.19

4 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Sub-par, 10 Nov. 2002
This review is from: Life On Other Planets (Audio CD)
I highly rate Supergrass. They are one of the best bands of the 1990's. Their debut album I Should Coco is a masterpiece. They were young, free, making good, clean, sexy rock and roll. That was the perfect summer album. Then they matured, with In It For The Money, a quality album. This had a more refined sound. Their self-titled work was also very good although it lacked the consistency of their previous music and in my opinion, the songs were poorly ordered.
This fourth album has been in production for three years. Straight away the sleeve art seems less vibrant and lacks the charisma of the true band. Gaz and his crew are a smashing group of lads. Here and in the music, they display as much charisma as a beggar who lives in an abandoned toilet cubical. Even farmyard animals are heard mid-song. Mid-album, every track becomes a filler, but then you realise there isn't anything to support the cement holding the structure together.
I hope I haven't been too hard on this album, but it just disappointed me. I usually expect more from superb bands like this.


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