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Max Payne 3 (PC DVD)
Max Payne 3 (PC DVD)
Price: £25.80

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Max Payne Evolved, 15 Aug. 2012
This review is from: Max Payne 3 (PC DVD) (DVD-ROM)
I've played both Max Payne games back in the time. While this title clearly has moved on (cut scenes instead of comics for instance), its in my opinion still a very valid sucessor to the earlier titles. Not only that, but I do personally think this is the best of them all. People have different taste in games, so here is what you should expect:

- Story. Lots of it. It will be delivered to you in very atmospherical cut-scenes for which Rockstar Games is famous for. The story picks up where it ended in the last game, and I can't imagine it to have been any better. Max is pretty much at the bottom, and from there it gets worse.

- Action. Also lots of it. It takes place in the third person and you're free to use either a handgun and a doublehanded weapon (rifle/shotgun), or two handguns at once. Bullet time is what this series is famous for, and it's been done extremely well and fluent, not interrupting the gameplay, but adding to it.

This is basically what the game consists of, maybe in equal parts. The graphics and animations are gorgeous and in the same league with Battlefield 3, IF you can play it with maximum settings. It can however be quite taxing for a mediocre machine, and you will have to turn settings down.

I have not touched multiplayer, but for what I expected (great story+great shooting action with bullet time) this game couldn't have delivered more.


Tropico 4 (PC DVD)
Tropico 4 (PC DVD)
Offered by Gameseek
Price: £3.81

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Same same, but different.., 20 Oct. 2011
This review is from: Tropico 4 (PC DVD) (Video Game)
For those who haven't played Tropico 3 or earlier versions, a short introduction:

This is a real time strategy/city building game that puts you in control of a small island in the carribean. You will have to make economical as well as political decisions and balance your island around the needs of your population. Everyone belongs to a political party, like the religious or the intellectuals, which have also needs and which can cause you a very hard time if ignored. The people have also personal needs, like entertainment, food, etc., so you will have to build strategically to accomodate them. Even more so if you want to prevent traffic jams by people who have to drive over half the island to satisfy their needs. The complexity level of Tropico is HUGE. Buildings have different modes they can run in, work slots that you can open or close, salaries, maintenance costs, and several more. Every individual in Tropico has its own personality and is actually simulated on your island in real time. You can stalk them, have them arrested, or shot if they become troublesome. If large parts of the population are incontent they will become rebels and launch attacks from the woods. You will have to either make them happy beforehand preventing that, or build a strong military and then kill them. You're pretty much free to rule any way you want. You can be a Military Dictator with an iron fist. You can be a big, deceptive liar who controls the people through propaganda. Or you can be as democratic as possible and just try to make the people as happy as possible. Income comes either from industry (that's where the REAL income is) or from tourism. You can build several hotels and attractions for the latter, and even many more buildings for your industries. You will also have to build appartments for the people, entertainment buildings like bars, and many more.

The game comes with a 20-Mission-Campain, and a Sandbox Mode, where you can create your own Island and play indefinitely. You can also create Challenges for yourself and other players, and put them online with the integrated Challenge-System. They're pretty much a single island each, with different tasks and goals, and where in the end the players' scores are compared to determine the ranking.

You can play pretty much from any perspective you want. Zoom in and out and rotate around the island like you want. You can zoom in so far that you can actually "walk through the streets" and enjoy your island from a single person's point of view.. which can be breathtaking after hours of building it pretty much from the clouds' point of view.

I would rate this game a 5/5, but because of the below mentioned changes and lack thereof (from Tropico 3), I cannot give it more than a 4.

--

WHAT IS DIFFERENT (from Tropico 3)?

The graphics have changed - to the worse. It runs better now, but from real close the textures look blurry even on maximum settings. The water looks worse, and there is a whole range of things that don't look as good as Tropico 3. You can get around parts of it (if you own an NVIDIA card) by setting graphic settings in the NVIDIA control panel and overriding the game's. With a high end PC you will be somewhat disappointed. With a slower machine the game will run better for you than Tropico 3.

The whole gameplay is kind of task based now. You get a certain amount of tasks which you have to fulfill to start the next one. Most of them are without time limit and you're free to build at your leisure then. There are also many optional tasks that will give you varying benefits on fulfilling, like raising respect with a certain faction.

There are maybe a dozen new buildings with interesting functionalities. Take the Ministry for example, where you have to select or import Ministers for each edict category (like Foreign, Interior, ..). Without, you can use only general edicts. The ministers have three stats and depending on them you will occasionally get good (Foreign Minister gives a Rock concert and raises respect) or bad (Defense Minster gets mugged after giving long speech about safety) events. Theres a building that boosts surrounding farms, a nuclear power plant, and a few more that fit well into the game.

There is now a campain with a story that leads through the 20 missions which play on TEN islands - you will visit each island twice, but for different reasons and fulfill different tasks. One mission unlocks the next, until you're finished.

There are now more foreign nations. They will not invade, but they are important because they've all been assigned certain products to import or export. If you screw up the relationship with the Middle East for instance, you will have trouble with oil.

The whole import business. You can set up a Jewellry and import the gold to produce, for instance. You can also import food and other stuff.

The tourists seem to have a better behaviour with visiting attractions and less random driving around the city.

Also you can add air conditioners to the first two houses (tenement and appartments), increasing the living quality but using up electricity.

The islands are about 2-4 times bigger, and the population limit has also increased.

There are a few more traits for your president.

--

WHAT IS THE SAME?

The basic gameplay is the same, with the above mentioned additions.

The buildings look exactly the same with only small changes, mostly color and the above mentioned blurriness.

The outfits the president can chose are EXACTLY the same as in Tropico 3. Not ONE new outfit has been added.

--

CONCLUSION:

Tropico 4 has been optimized to run well on consoles. That is why the blurriness of the textures is there. And that is why many other things (like the water) look worse now. There are comparisions of screenshots between Tropico 3 and 4 even in the official Tropico Forum from Kalypso Media. But the thread has been locked in the meanwhile. My personal opinion is that you must be blind to not see the difference, especially from up close.

The game also adds little in changes that justifies the 4 after the name and I would say its not much more than an expansion, even if a good one at that.

That all sounds bad but Tropico is still one of my favourite strategy games and I must say that I've had a blast playing through it. I've been playing it since Tropico 1 and while I'm sad that the preferences have changed to consoles and we PC users have somehow become second class customers, I've still had a great time. I'm somewhat curious what the future brings however, and how much more the franchise is going to change to accomodate the console players.

The gameplay itself is better with the tasks, but its also easier. Gone are the moments where you realize after 4 hours of playing that you can't possibly complete the mission and have to restart.

There is however one issue with the last mission. The last task will inform you that the whole mission has been timed to end 2012, even if you're in 2019 by then. You then will fail a few seconds afterwards. It can however STILL be completed if you load an earlier save and construct the requested buildings befor the task comes up. You will then get an instant win!

If you haven't played Tropico before, Tropico 4 is a good place to start as any. I can obviously also recommend Tropico 3, even though you have to be careful with your decisions there (traits and during missions), or you will have to restart your Mission.


RAGE (PC DVD)
RAGE (PC DVD)

10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars RAGE - The Fallout Chronicles, 16 Oct. 2011
This review is from: RAGE (PC DVD) (DVD-ROM)
THE NEGATIVE

The most important thing I have to say is that the graphics aren't good, as some others reviewers stated. I have a high-end machine with two Geforce 580, etc. and can afford to run it easily at maximum settings. So, the problem isn't my system or the graphics card. Where the graphics look good is from far away. The background, the sky, everything that is further away from you. The NPCs look ok as well. Maybe abit above average, but certainly no Crysis 1 graphic. Where this game looks absolutely DISGUSTING is from up close. The world comes with abundant detail, but when you approach say a milk carton or the wall with wanted posters for the side quest, you can't read almost anything on it. Even if you put your head (camera) so close it touches. It stays completely unreadable. One huge, pixelated blur. So is the rest of the textures, walls, floor, you name it. It's all blurred. It's like you look through some glasses that have been prescribed for someone else. I'm usually not bothered much by graphics, but those of RAGE have been PRAISED and I expected something good. And instead whenever I get close to a wall, or any object (which happens alot in the caves, severs, buildings you'll visit) I can't help noticing its ONE BLURRY MESS. It may run well on consoles because of that. But having to deal with this as PC user where you sit much closer to the screen is annoying. This is my biggest gripe with the game, but there is more.

The game runs bad on a PC because its not ported well. I am fortunate that I can run with everything maxed, but if your machine is somewhat below mine you'll most likely notice a frame drop, especially when you're racing. The cars aren't clunky or "laggy" to control. It's the framerate. Just use some program like FRAPS and have it show the framerate while playing. You will notice a significant drop when you enter a vehicle. And that basically includes the whole vehicular multiplayer. id Software's new engine seems to be horrible for the PC. It looks bad and takes up lots of ressources. Totally optimized for the antiquated consoles.

There's some revisiting old locations for side-quests. For example there's a bandit base you clear pretty much at the beginning of the game. Somewhat later you get a side-quest to go into the exact same lair to get some other item. And that's not the only time you're sent back to an old place. Most "sidequests" have you visit the places you JUST cleared, AGAIN, and thus artifically make the game longer.

The mouse cursor uses a ridiculous acceleration when in menues, in the inventory or in the boomerang throwing game. This is the same for (many if not all) other games that have been ported from a console (Fable 3 as example - shooting gallery there is the same). I suppose its too much effort to keep the cursor speed in menues for PC users.

The navigation through the inventory, menues, changing ammo types on the fly is a pain in the ass and clearly designed for consoles, and not for people who use mouse & keyboard. Imagine you want to change ammo in combat. You have to press CTRL and keep it pressed, then move the mouse cursor to the left of the screen into a small box that just appeared and select it. When you press CTRL a box to the right appears as well, where you can put 4 weapons in some sort of quick-selection-mode for a controller (stick up, left, right, down). Now change ammo while NPCs fire at you and run towards you, trying to rip you a new one. You can however rotate through ammo types by selecting the same weapon again on the quickbar (1-0), which is pretty much the only way for a mouse user.

There has been massive screen tearing for me when I first started it (after the patch). The problem was that the beta profile for RAGE (using nvidia beta driver 285.38) would set the vsync option to "FORCE OFF". I enabled it in the game, but the Nvidia Settings switched it off again afterwards. If you get screen tearing and are using SLI, change that to "FORCE ON" in the nvidia settings for RAGE.

The story is well.. pretty cheap. I don't have to experience the ultimative world-saving scenario in every game I play, but the setting and story screams "Fallout" from the very beginning: You start as a survivor in an Ark (Vault) after an apocalypse caused by a meteorite (caused by nuclear war) and end up fighting the Authority (Enclave), some sort of new hightech government. People who have been outside during the apocalypse have become mutants because of some strange metal that has been in the meteorite (because of the radioactive fallout). It's the same story, but alot worse in every perspective.

---

THE MEDIOCRE

The AI is neither good or bad. NPCs change position regularly. The melee guys charge at you, yelling beforehand so you can prepare your shotgun. The shooting guys sometimes line up one after another at the same cover, conveniently leaving a pile of bodies with holes in them when you come to loot. The mutants are different. It's not the AI, its just the way they run at you, dodging left and right and leaping often over obstacles.

The whole "open world" consists of the wasteland (east and west), where you can drive around in vehicles, and encounter other vehicles (bandits). It's made up of canyons and broken highways, and you have no real space to "roam freely". There are few set paths and that's pretty much it. There's bandit bases and other places which you can only enter on foot, and after a loading screen. They are also closed if you're not on a quest to get in there. The whole game consists basically of getting quest, driving to quest location, enter separate instance where you FPS through, exit at he same point and drive back. There's no reason or incentive to stay in the open areas, other than make abit of money killing bandit vehicles. There's also a dozen authority probes that you can destroy with jumps, and the occasional bandit tower, which you destroy simply by ramming it.

This is NOT an RPG. There is NO CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT. There are NO SKILLS at all. You find schematics that you can use to craft ammo, bandages, lockpicks and stuff. There's loot, but it usually consists of crafting materials, ammo or vendor trash. If you kill an NPC who shot at you with a weapon, the weapon drops - and then vanishes.

---

THE GOOD

The game is running fine for me. I didn't encounter any problems, bugs or crashes. I suppose that's good in these days.

The shooting itself is solid and there are a few exotic weapons/secondary weapons like the crossbow and the boomerang-type throwing weapon (wingsticks), as well as deployable turrets/spider bots/bandages/.. that you can select as "quick items". Especially the spiders and wingsticks are fun to use.

The driving sequences in the buggy and other vehicles in the campain are fun so far. The races are rather on the easy side, but I wouldn't enjoy trying the same race over and over just to score first. And you have to be first to get all those "race points", which you can use to upgrade your vehicle. It's fun, yet its also good that you can move on afterwards.

I enjoyed the vehicular multiplayer called "Road Rage". It's fast paced action on four maps with four playing modes. Collect meteorite ressources (they keep landing while you play) and bring them to a certain point, which changes all 30 sec. There's also pure deathmatch mode, and two modes where you have to pass checkpoints and chain them together to score. While doing all that you're free to blow your other opponents up to your leisure. You start out with a mounted machine gun, a seeker missile launcher, mines you can drop and a shield you can activate. All those can be replaced by other items as you play and gather points to unlock. As example you can unlock cluster bombs, unguided heavy damage rocket launcher, heavy machine gun, armor repair on-the-fly, and more. There's also a total of four vehicles (three you have to unlock by playing Road Rage). Remember that you might see a drop in frames while in the car and lower settings if you experience that. I did not have to do it, however and so the whole experience was pretty satisfying to me. It's nothing you play for hours, but its definitely fun for a while.

Some enemies fall to the floor after a hit or two and keep shooting from lying position, injured or limp into cover. Headshots send helmets flying away. The mobs are overall animated well and realistic and will move on injured, tumble, etc. after taking hits.

Voice Acting and characters you meet make a good impression, even if they are somewhat simplistic.

---

THE SUM OF IT ALL

I enjoy playing it, despite its shortcomings. The landscape (if you're not too close) looks good and immersive. If you're close however, it sucks. It's not worth the (over-)price its going for right now, but if you can get it cheaper in half a year or more its probably better in every aspect AND cheaper, too. Or just wait for the GOTY and get all the DLC and everything for a much better value.

---

Edited on 20.Oct 2011, score stays the same
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 17, 2011 11:35 AM BST


Fable III (PC CD)
Fable III (PC CD)

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Gold is God, 12 July 2011
This review is from: Fable III (PC CD) (CD-ROM)
That is basically the essence of the game. Buy and rent out houses early and you will amass enough gold to actually be the best ruler possible, once you've become king. If you're just adventuring or missed that part, you will either end up being a tyrant or everyone dies. The story of the game is nice, the possibility to buy houses, marry and all that is fun, but it doesn't really add ALOT to the game itself.

The interactions possible with other people are outright ridiculous, and even worse as in Sim games with their strange, silly languages. Here you waltz around the floor with grown men (playing hetero man), play pat-a-cake and other stupid things to increase relations. Fortunately, it is not necessary.

The combat itself is very simplistic, but goes a while before it gets boring, since you can exchange your spells and experiment with ranged weapons, melee ones and spellcasting. The weapons have 3 tasks, which upon fulfillment upgrade the sword. For instance kill 50 nobles and the sword will give you money on each kill as 1 out of 3 abilities.

You can change your look without affecting the stats at all and collect your clothes in your sanctuary. You can even save your clothes, hair, tatoo combination on 1 of 3 ragdolls, for an easy access afterwards.

There will definitely be decisions to be made, which influence the game world. A couple of gipsy wagons can turn into a island paradies over a few quests, and depending on your threatment of villagers/villages, they will be poor and people discontent to being all rich and loving you.

The multiplayer experience is also some very nice aspect of the game. I recommend having the game open for people to join, or to co-op it with a friend. You can make partnerships and share the money and even marry another player and share money, property and have kids. One player hosts the game, and the other is just a visitor. So while the world of the host changes, the visitor's doesn't. But he still takes all he has, including skills and money with him and can even buy property for the other player, which then are shared.

All in all a solid RPG with some unique elements and silly interactions. The world changes depending on your decisions and the whole real estate thing is also interesting. The story is mediocre I would say and the combat very action oriented and simplistic.


Dragon Age Origins: Awakening (PC DVD)
Dragon Age Origins: Awakening (PC DVD)
Offered by TnsDealsUK
Price: £5.79

4.0 out of 5 stars Not an "origins", but a worthy add-on, 12 July 2011
Bringing thirtysomething hours if you like to explore and play thoroughly this is a worthy add-on and must buy, if you liked origins.


Dragon Age: Origins (PC)
Dragon Age: Origins (PC)

5.0 out of 5 stars Best RPG so far.., 12 July 2011
Epic story and moments. Interesting, RPGish combat, awesome companions. Epic length as well.

Only critic I could bring to the table is that some quests are rather trivial (being the heroic courier service) and that I felt that the various zones you could travel to were sort of small. It's not one continous world, but you travel on the map form one zone to another.

If you like RPGs and haven't played it this is definitely a must!


The Witcher 2 - Premium Edition (PC DVD)
The Witcher 2 - Premium Edition (PC DVD)

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good story, some gameplay issues, bugs and imbalances, 12 July 2011
The story is nice and drags you in, the choices matter (in chapter 1 you pretty much decide which person and methods you ally with) and overall I would say its a good action RPG.

Graphics are very good, but you will need a monster PC to run it at maximum settings (two 580 GEFORCE in SLI barely do it). It does still look awesome slightly below everything at max (without the ubersampling). I enjoyed combat, though it was not really very varied going down the swordman path (you can specialize into magic, alchemy and/or swordsman), mixing up melee/ranged with traps and potions.

There are some good boss fights, if not many, but mostly they make heavy usage of the yrden sign, which is somewhat unimaginative. You just place them until the mob/boss taps into it and gets stunned, then lay into him. On normal difficulty you will get ripped to pieces if you don't use that in several encounters.

Some issues with the game were quite annoying, which make it impossible to rate it a 5, even if I wanted to.

- There is a problem with targeting enemies, especially if there's many surrounding you. It will target one behind those closest to you, Geralt willt ry to roll to him and hit him, and will end up doing no damage against the close ones, all the while getting heavy hits and sometimes even dying because of this. Being able to hit multiple targets (the swordsman ability) helps, but only if you actually end up hitting YOUR target (it damages those nearby).

- The inventory is a huge mess. There are many categories of items, and you will regularly have to destroy loads of them, not even knowing what potion, trap or what not they are for, just so you're not encumbered. But the real problem is that the items are not sorted and cannot be sorted, so its basically one huge random mess in each category, where items will be listed by the time you aquired them.

- Some quests are broken. I took up contracts in chapter two, and then went on exploring, doing stuff on the way, when I suddenly noticed two of the contracts were somehow gone from my quest log. And I couldn't possibly have done them.

- There is a "secret boss" if I may call it so, "the operator". He is close to being unbeatable, even on the easiest setting. He does NOT have to be killed, but that was my decision and I couldn't get to defeating him. Without going into detail after about 20 attempts I gave it up. It seems you can only win that encounter by sheer dumb luck. And that should not be a part of any encounter, just winning with luck.

I will rate it a 3.5 (=4 in Amazon language)


Dragon Age 2 (PC DVD)
Dragon Age 2 (PC DVD)
Offered by 4GamersUK
Price: £6.30

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dragon Age 2 - Repeated Environments, 12 July 2011
This review is from: Dragon Age 2 (PC DVD) (DVD-ROM)
My main gripe with this game is that the environments you go out to quest in repeat themselves through the whole game. Several times you go to "that mountain", or to "that other mountain", enter exactly the same cave as before, only to find different monsters. Enter a different cave, but it has the same layout as the other one. Enter different houses or cargo halls, and all have the EXACT same layouts. The only variance is that you enter from different sides, and some passages/exits are closed. The city itself is well done and hasn't bothered me much to explore. Although, in each chapter you have to explore every map including the city anew, because treasure will be lying around randomly.

The combat itself was well done, more action packed and most abilities actually make sense. Also my companions could perform completely on their own based on the scripts. The down side on combat is that mobs spawn in waves out of thin air and may come from any direction (especially the thin air one).

The story is good, the choices you have are mostly illusionary. Especially towards the end of the game it becomes clear that it doesn't matter which side you take, you will have to fight exactly the same bosses. Just the reasons they attack you have been changed.

Still a solid MMORPG and recommend it if you enjoy the story part of Bioware games, but prepare to fight through very repetitive environment and for more arcady type of combat.

I would give it a better score but that the places repeat themselves through the whole game forces me to rate it significantly lower.


Test Drive Unlimited 2 (PC)
Test Drive Unlimited 2 (PC)

9 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent open world racing game, 12 Feb. 2011
I've played for many hours straight after first installing this game, not quite what I intended to do. The reason is simple: The game offers so much content that its hard to stop exploring, racing, buying new stuff with your money. I've played my share of racing games and, although not my favourite genre, this does by far outshine all the competition. It is highly polished and even runs on my 4 year old pc with "high" settings and 4x AA.
Of course I'd rather have very high and 8x AA, but I suppose that's what the newer machines are for. Let me summarize all that you can do from the back of my head:

-Free on and off-road driving on Ibiza and Hawaii (you can leave any road, even dirt roads, and drive through the wilderness), where you meet players in their own cars and can have duels/talks/incidents with them.
-Plastic Surgery to change your avatar's looks with many, many sliders.. It costs money and you walk around for some time with bandages over your face. Looks particularly funny if you're like that on one of your driving licences.
-Huge amount of clothing and apparel that you unlock as you progress through the game. Hats, glasses, clothes for upper and lower body, as well as shoes and gloves. A couple of hundreds of items.
-About 60 appartments you can purchase from the starting trailer over luxury apartments to a yacht. You can buy furniture (although relatively limited) for them as well, or put pictures you've taken on frames on the walls.
-A huge amount of races. From the familiar time challenges, and races vs others to cop pursuits, transportations, keeping a certain speed, passing a handful of spots with the highest speed, you name it. On and off-road, whatever you fancy. Off-road can be pretty hard without practice.
-You can create your own race, put a reward for first place and request a fee for everyone to race it. After a couple of hours, the best one gets the money and the race is removed. Also many other existing multiplayer races all over the map.
-Clubs - function like guilds in other games - with according options and possibilities (race vs each other, vs other clubs, and more stuff I didn't check out)
-Complex system of character progression based on different stuff like exploring, winning challenges, collecting stuff etc. By exploring you can unlock new clothes/hairdos for instance.
-IMHO a must have is the casino that came free with the preorder, but can still be bought for 800 points ont heir website (10$ or was it euro?). Take a waterplane to casino island where you can play on different types of slot machines (more and less complex), roulette with other players on a table, or (my favourite) play texas hold 'em in different rooms (sit & go, cash and one more, where you see currently the best players-highest winners-on a billboard in front of it). If you're doing good at poker you might get access to the VIP poker lounge. There's also a couple of clothes to buy for chips and, of course, at least one car to win (either by slot machines or buying drinks and getting lucky - or both).
-Dynamic "races" popping up randomly on the map where you escort a person to a place having to drive crazy (they want adrenaline), careful, and other similar events. My favourite is transporting a car, undamaged, to another spot. It pays off BIG.
-There's painting shops where you can set your cars color (it can be bicolor too-kind of a strange mix), which can be metallic, matt, glossy and what not. You can also buy stickers (even numbers and letters) and place them on the car as you see fit. Tribals, funny ones, and other themes.
-The tuning process is pretty simple. You can only tune speed, acceleration and brakes up to level 4. You unlock the level you can tune to by doing other stuff.
-I cannot say how many cars there are, but my guess is ROUGHLY around 50-100 or maybe more. It's hard to say as I haven't found all car shops yet, and haven't been to Hawaii at all.

There is alot more stuff that didn't come to mind as of now, or which I simply haven't discovered. Either way, I think I wrote most stuff that you can do in this game and for me personally it is far, far more exciting and interesting than any other racing game that I've ever played. Graphically it looks also beautiful with my settings, but I imagine it can look quite abit better with a better card. To the other reviewer that gave a 2 because it didn't drive as he expected: You can set driving help to completely, sport or turn it completely off if you want to drive like a simulation. Now if you're the extreme simulation guy this game is probably not for you, though I don't know how it plays "as simulation", as I'm using the "sports" setting, with some assistance. I like to play arcady, but with a good amount of realism. You can't destroy your car (though it looks more and more broken if you do incidents, but it resets), you can beam yourself back on the road by keeping "B" pressed for 1-2 sec and a few other things that are not realistic, but they definitely make gameplay alot less tedious. The cars themselves that I've tested drive as good or better than in the other driving games I've played. The only thing that can be held against it is that you cant gradually increase the gas on the keyboard. So if you want to give just abit gas, you either have to buy a controller or set acceleration on some other device (maybe mouse wheel). But trust me, it works fine and is at least as good as any other games of the type.

All in all 5/5 stars, no bugs encountered, alot of very polished content and lots of fun to be had exploring the island(s), running into other players and doing all kind of stuff that all of the other racing games don't have. Lastly its not pay-to-play. You buy it once, and you can play it for free online. There are some cars offered as DLC, but they are by far not necessary and probably only something for fans, enthusiasts or people who have to own all the content available. I do however REALLY recommend getting the casino if you decide to buy it and like texas hold 'em.

EDIT: Problems with connectivity/multiplayer parts are there, but they are not substantional (you can play off-line with your persona if you unplug your cable) and they are being optimized as I write this. It was to be suspected and for me personally a non-issue, as every massive online game has those at start. New servers have been added, and exploits are being removed (people exploited clubs and casino and those people are being banned while the exploits fixed). They have acknowledged that there are issues with the driving wheel(s) and said that it will be looked into as soon as highest priority stuff has been fixed. If you can't/don't want to play without one, you should wait before buying this game. Otherwise playing with the keyboard (or a controller if you have one) should be just fine. If its too hard to control, then drive in the easiest mode, and not
"sport" or "hardcore".

EDIT 2: I seem to be pretty much online whenever I log on. Other players are all over the map and in the game world. The Clubs (multiplayer guild thingy) are still offline as the devs are fixing another exploit with them. Other than that I've played the game for many hours more and my review of 5/5 still stands. I suspect most people who are content with the game play instead of whining about it in the forums or on other webpages, but that's life. I've written as much as came to mind and I find my review fair, detailed and objective. Why it has been voted as "unhelpful" by people is probably because they can't deal with people having different opinions. If you found this review helpful, please click the button and we'll see how it ends up. :)

EDIT 3: Lowered down to 4 stars. I've decided to leave 5 stars to games which are practically flawless. For me personally it had some races that were real hard, especially on Hawaii (driving licenses), which definitely detracted from the fun by the repeating.
Comment Comments (7) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 16, 2011 9:20 PM GMT


Silent Hill: Shattered Memories (Wii)
Silent Hill: Shattered Memories (Wii)

5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Shattered Gameplay, 3 May 2010
The story is ok, the ending is what makes up for the less interesting parts. I have played ALL Silent Hill games and I must say this is easily the worst one.

The game consists of two "realities".

One is the real world, where you will NEVER encounter anything dangerous. Just solve some rather mundane puzzles (like "turn-the-knob with your wii control") and for some odd reason take pictures of "disturbances" with your handy, only to receive voicemail from people involved into them. Mostly they add little to the story and can actually be ignored. In general it is rather boring to walk through this place, look at paintings, solve easy puzzles and have some cut scenes.

The other one is what I refer to the "Benny-Hill" alternative reality, where everything turns frosty and suddenly these female nurse-type monsters chase you like crazy around the map. You're slower, you can't fight back, you can only run, throw down obstacles to gain some time, or hide in wardrobes. Just to be eventually caught by one of them, restarting the chase. You leave a trail across the map, so they WILL catch up sooner or later. If the controls weren't that clumsy you could actually guide with the minimap on the handy, but some brilliant designer decided you can only look at it in walking speed. So basically you'll be blindly charging through that part, getting hopelessly lost repeatedly (doors, corridors and dark stuff everywhere) until you happen to stumble into the room that ends it. Or, of course, you can walk while looking at the map while those nurses sprint to you and kill you.

Other than taking part in Silent Hill and the sound effects/music it has little in common with the other Silent Hill games. No scraping bullets together, no deciding wether you skip or kill the next monsters, no running out of medkits or similar. Just easy adventure interrupted by sequences where you run away like a little girl.

If I wasn't a fan of SH I would even rate it a two. But since I like the story and parts about how its being told I end up giving a 3. Should the next part turn out to be similar I will think twice about buying it.

WARNING: If you fail to turn knobs or otherwise interact with the puzzles its a sign that your WII controller is BROKEN. I had the exact same problem. I could do most movements beside one, that was turning. I could raise and lower bars etc. so at first I doubted that was the problem. Trying another controller then fixed it.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 5, 2010 6:47 PM BST


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