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B BOWEN "Media Junkie" (UK)
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Enter the Matrix (PC)
Enter the Matrix (PC)

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Distinctly average..., 19 May 2003
This review is from: Enter the Matrix (PC) (Video Game)
Well, I've been playing this for an afternoon now and it isn't really getting any better. It could have been so GOOD, and that's the frustrating thing... so many things are going for it yet it's ultimately let down by its generally shoddy nature.
The movies are great and tie in directly to Final Flight of The Osiris, the CG Matrix short, and the story of Reloaded. Jada Pinkett Smith's acting and the guy who plays Ghost try hard with a duff script, but the direction is pretty good, even in-game. If only the in-game graphics actually matched up to the Wachowski's ambitions.
I'm running it on a mammoth PC and IT SLOWS DOWN, even patched. This isn't when in focus-mode, either. There are glitches left right and centre, stiff character models and odd musical cues. The fighting is initially satisfying yet let down completely by a terrible camera system which gets lost, and ultimately costing much-needed health for your chosen avatar.
So? A dissapointment. Shiny were capable of much, much more than this. Buy it, but don't say I didn't warn you... I was warned and I bought it anyway...


Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (PC)
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (PC)
Offered by Digitalville UK
Price: £9.99

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't get better than this..., 18 May 2003
I thought the incredibly buggy GTA3 on PC was pretty good, but this... well, I didn't expect much from it. How could I be so wrong?
Don't expect a huge departure from the previous game in terms of gameplay if you've played GTA3 before, but if you haven't played it then invest your money into this instead. The graphics issues have totally dissapeared, so it runs smooth as silk, the city is bigger and the detail within it is just so much more... High above planes pass over leaving trails, more hilarious antics occur within the population, trees bend in hurricane winds... too much to mention. The draw distance is just unbelievable...
Plus, there's just so much to do! You get the opportunity to drive around in bikes and fly this time around, which is excellent, although if you want to enjoy it further I'd suggest you buy a joypad. Especially to fly the helicopters - on a keyboard its just far too complicated and you will be screaming in frustration as you crash for the nth time.
If GTA:VC was a word in the dictionary, it would be "fun". Pure and simple.


Riven (Exclusive Range)
Riven (Exclusive Range)

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awe-inspiring, 14 Feb. 2003
Riven isn't a mere game, it's a work of art.
Although the game is now over six years old, the amount of work and detail in the story, puzzles and graphics are mindblowing. The Miller Brothers, along with ILM concept artist Richard Vander Wende, created an awesome fully CG environment bursting with ideas and history where you played an anonymous hero in search of the wife of Atrus, a creator of worlds who holds you in his trust.
It all takes place on five islands, originally a whole which has been torn apart by the evil of one man - Gehn, Atrus' father. The game is viewed first person, and although the flick-screen motion through the world is outdated and a little disorientating at first, it's worth sticking to for the rich storyline and mind-warping puzzle elements. The quicktime animations blended into the backgrounds are also works of genius - the moment you pass your cursor over a beetle only to watch it fly off is magical, as you realise the beetle is a CG creation of astounding beauty.
So, if you're after a challenge or just want to unburden yourself of the shackles of everyday life and go on an adventure - Riven is the place for you.
Just try not to get lost along the way...


The Art of Miyazaki's Spirited Away (Studio Ghibli Library)
The Art of Miyazaki's Spirited Away (Studio Ghibli Library)
by Hayao Miyazaki
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £18.62

9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Breathtaking, 14 Feb. 2003
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This book provides some insight into the creation of one of the most beautiful and inspiring films NOT to have been distributed in the UK. For reasons unknown Spirited Away never made it to the cinema's in this country, and if you want to see a master at work it is essential that you find yourself a copy of the DVD (beg, steal or borrow) and then settle down with this and a cup of cocoa afterwards.
The glossy production stills show the breathtaking amount of work in every single aspect of the production, and although the amount of written information is meagre, the sketches and storyboard samples are enough. There's also a well written section on the groundbreaking use of subtle CG effects in the film, which is both enlightening and inspiring.
It's one of the greatest animations of all time - taking you on a magical trip with a little girl as she finds herself trapped in a mythical world of gods and monsters. I won't go into detail as far as the story goes, but if you want indisputable proof that Hayao Miyazaki is currently the most important person in the field of animation ANYWHERE in the world, then this is it.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 21, 2016 10:32 AM BST


Unreal II: The Awakening
Unreal II: The Awakening
Offered by marxwax
Price: £14.88

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unreal 2? Not as bad as some might say..., 14 Feb. 2003
Well, all I have to say to the guys above if you've got six hours to sit down IN A DAY to finish something on an EASY setting, then you aren't going to do yourselves any favours!
I'm currently playing through, straight off, on the hard setting (UNREAL), and I have to say this is one of the best, most exciting games releases of the past year. Bar none.
I've loved and finished MOH, wrecked havoc with the zombies in RTCW and chuckled my way through NOLF 2. But nothing compares with the sheer spine-tingling excitement of defending an outpost with meagre resources against wave after wave of frustratingly cunning Mercenaries.
Do yourself a favour, leave your brain at the door and dive in. The graphics are warm and inviting, the gameplay silky smooth and the drinks are on... well, the Skaarj - and I'm afraid they're only serving freshly squeezed blood...
Yours!


The Mothman Prophecies [DVD] [2002]
The Mothman Prophecies [DVD] [2002]
Dvd ~ Richard Gere
Offered by ReNew Entertainment
Price: £7.43

18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Want a good nights sleep? Don't watch this first!, 24 Aug. 2002
I don't think I've ever been quite so disturbed by a film as I have this one... I'm not sure if it's because I watched it when overtired and late at night, but wow... nothing has ever quite made me feel so paranoid!
The Mothman Prophecies follows Richard Gere as a reporter, who, after his wifes death in a mysterious car accident, suddenly finds himself dragged into the middle of strange goings-on in the town of Point Pleasent, Ohio. Locals are reporting stories of a giant winged man-creature to the police Chief, played by (I think) Laura Linney, their sightings causing ripples of fear throughout the community.
Richard Gere's character recognises the drawing of the creature made by one witness as that of something his wife scrawled in her hospital bed before she died, and before long finds himself communicating with it and being dragged into its insanity.
What's great about this film is that it never really shows you the mysterious Mothman. It's appearance is recounted by Gere's encounters with the locals, most distrubingly with a guy named George who unravels before his eyes as the monster prophecises various disasters.
Some may complain that the film is slow, but I think it drags you in with it's forboding atmosphere, great script and well drawn characters. It does sag a little near the middle-end, but it more than makes up for it in an amazing finalé that is a little too horrific for words.
The editing is incredibly clever, as is the cinematography and use of subliminal images. You do get the feeling that the filmmaker is paying tribute to Kubrick at some points, but it's satisfying to know that he didn't just make some bog-standard creature-feature out of what is a very well crafted plot.
The sound design is also amazingly well done... playing with your perceptions and, in the case of the voice and sounds of the Mothman himself, incredibly disturbing. I may never pick the phone up late at night again.
What is incredible is that this film is based on a book of the same name by a reporter called John Keel, which in turn is centred on real events that occured in 1966 in Point Pleasent. The 40-or-so minute documentary which comes bundled as an extra on the DVD, if a little over-americanised, is genuinely disturbing through the amount of witnesses, vintage news reportage and the fact that the events lead up to a disaster mirrored in the film itself.
Other than that, there are some bog-standard biogs, interviews and HBO Making Of's which I feel it could do without. To sum up - a clever, tense film with characters you can care for and a mysterious creature you hope you will never meet...
Unfortunately, for the survivors of the inhabitants of Point Pleasent, Ohio, they did - and apparently, many more people will...


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