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L. Haywood (Nottinghamshire, UK)

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Saints Row IV: Commander In Chief Edition (Xbox 360)
Saints Row IV: Commander In Chief Edition (Xbox 360)
Offered by Game Trade Online
Price: £6.99

4.0 out of 5 stars An improvement, 14 Sept. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
SRIV is much better than the third game, although personally I still prefer the second game out of all the Saints Rows. I guess you could say with the super speed and super jumping, this game feels like a mix between regular Saints Row and Crackdown. I would have given it 5 stars, but there isn't much replay value once you've completed the main missions - mostly due to the fact that you once again can't replay missions and the activities are rather short, plus the game tends to freeze on a regular basis.

Halo: The Fall Of Reach
Halo: The Fall Of Reach
by Eric S. Nylund
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.91

4.0 out of 5 stars Good Start to the Halo Novels, 15 Feb. 2013
The Fall of Reach was and still is a good start to the Halo novels. If you haven't already read them, this book is probably the best place to start. It goes into full detail on how Master Chief and the other Spartans were created, their war with a rebellion faction and their first encounters with the Covenant.

Compared to the games, the story is rather dark and well, rather depressing really, considering that Nylund goes into full detail on the Covenant's atrocities, but I think that's what I like the most about it - the fact that the books storytelling style is completely different to that of the games.

The only problem that I have with this book is that there are quite a few errors. For example, in the later chapters, the dates are wrong. The military calendar says 2542 when it should say 2552 - which could confuse people if they didn't have general knowledge of the Halo universe. Other than those errors, The Fall of Reach is a good read.

Space Wolf, the First Omnibus (Warhammer 40,000: Space Wolf)
Space Wolf, the First Omnibus (Warhammer 40,000: Space Wolf)
by William King
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars The writer keeps you interested throughout all 3 stories., 15 Aug. 2012
Honestly the Space Wolf Omnibus is one of those books you can keep reading no matter what, despite having over 700 pages.

The first story is called Space Wolf, where the reader will follow a character named Ragnar as he goes from being an ordinary warrior of his village on Fenris to a member of one of the most hardcore Space Marine chapters of the Imperium. This one in particular is my favourite because unlike other Space Marine novels I've read where they drop you straight into the action, this one builds up to it. It takes place before the main character actually becomes a Space Wolf and you follow him through his previous life, his training, his personal feelings that might interfere with his duties, everything. It really helps you develop a sort of attachment to most of the main characters in my opinion.

The second novel, Ragnar's Claw, takes place not too long after the first novel. This follows Ragnar as he fights off-world for the first time and encounters enemies he never even knew existed in his previous life. This one would be my least favourite, but that doesn't mean it's not a good read. As I said before, the novels keep you interested, they don't get too lost with details and whatnot but they still describe enough for your imagination to do the rest of the work. The main thing that I like about this one is that King goes into more Ragnar's personal feelings a bit more. He does a really good job of showing that even Space Marines, particularly Space Wolves, since they are arguably the most different are still human at the end of the day.

The third and final novel, Grey Hunter, closes things quite nicely with our protagonist Ragnar. I won't go into too much detail here as those details could quite easily spoil the previous two novels, but let's just say that I was quite surprised at some points and was very satisfied with how it ended.

So is the Space Wolf Omnibus worth the purchase? Of course it is. I can't imagine any 40k fan who hasn't bought this book yet as it has been out for some time now, but for those who haven't I strongly recommend that you do. It's a good read.

Mass Effect 3 (Xbox 360)
Mass Effect 3 (Xbox 360)
Offered by Game Trade Online
Price: £13.99

10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Revised review, post-extended cut DLC., 22 May 2012
I'll keep this short and sweet for Amazon buyers.

The good:
1. Biggest variety of weapons and upgrades out of all the Mass Effect games.
2. Some of the missions midway through the game are fun and quite emotional.
3. The multiplayer is fun for a few hours.

The bad:
1. Auto-dialogue and the removal of the neutral option.
2. Fetch missions (as in, going to the Citadel, listening in to other peoples conversations and going to fetch something that they need, you don't even talk to them directly until you've found what they're looking for).
3. Mass Effect 2 squadmates (save for Garrus and Tali) only get brief cameos.
4. The ending. Even with the Extended Cut downloadable content, it is still a mediocre ending at best.
5. More of a focus on action, less of a focus on what makes Mass Effect, Mass Effect. I mean there's more shooting stuff and explosions and whatnot rather than what makes Mass Effect important - story, dialogue and character development.

Mass Effect 3 feels like a rushed product, probably thanks to EA's short deadline and quite possibly low budget. I'm finding it difficult to believe that this game was made by the same company that made Baldur's Gate, Knights of the Old Republic, the first Dragon Age and the first two Mass Effect games.

If you're new to the series, then you'll probably find this game worth buying more than those who have played the first two games, as ME3 seems to be catered towards the newer players.

Halo: Combat Evolved - Anniversary (Xbox 360)
Halo: Combat Evolved - Anniversary (Xbox 360)
Offered by Game Trade Online
Price: £17.07

12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great game, poor remake., 15 Jan. 2012
Not the best remake, if I may be honest. The game itself is brilliant, Halo CE still remains one of the best Halo games ever made, after all. But there are a lot of issues with this remake, and as an older fan of Halo I wasn't too impressed with it.

First of all, the graphics. I'm just not feeling the new design for everything. Dark and suspense-filled levels like '343 Guilty Spark' have been ruined by their over-the-top colours and lack of darkness/fog. Another graphical change that bothers me, most of the remade stuff seems like they just copied and pasted the Reach models, instead of actually making the classic models look good. That's a rather lazy way of doing things, if I may be honest.

Last but definitely not least, co-op mode looks like the one thing they definitely overlooked. Online co-op lags like hell and split-screen co-op squashes down the screens to an unbearable extent, even if you have a big screen TV. I remember being able to play split-screen no problem with the original Halo CE on my old 16 inch TV. Playing split-screen on the remake is now unbearable on my 32 inch widescreen TV. It's unfortunate, because co-op is one of the main things that I remember so fondly in this game back in the day and it just seems like it was wasn't given much attention at all during this remake's development.

As I said before, great game but remaking it needed more effort. A lot more. If you don't care about graphics too much, I recommend just picking up the original Xbox version, or the PC version.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 15, 2013 2:43 PM GMT

Assassin's Creed Revelations (Xbox 360)
Assassin's Creed Revelations (Xbox 360)
Offered by Game Trade Online
Price: £13.06

38 of 43 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars This is what happens when multiplayer becomes the main focus., 14 Jan. 2012
I have been a fan of the Assassin's Creed games since the first one and I was looking forward to seeing the return of Altair, as well as a lot of loose ends being tied up that have done nothing but multiplied over the sequels. So what was my reaction when I finished Assassin's Creed Revelations?

Well to put it lightly, I wasn't impressed at all. Read on if you want, but I'll warn you, there are some minor spoilers below.

First of all, everything just seems so rushed. And when I say everything, I mean literally everything. I guess I shouldn't be surprised, given the fact that it has only been a year since Brotherhood was released, but Ubisoft can do a lot better than this. It took me about 7 hours to complete Revelations. Okay, 7 hours is a long time, but compare that to Assassin's Creed 2's length. It took me about 20 hours to complete that game. So you can see why I was disappointed, especially considering that Revelations was supposed to wrap everything up. You can't wrap everything up in such a short amount of time, and they actually didn't. The so-called "Revelation" was just a CGI cutscene about something we already knew about, the world ending before and the ones that came before, that's it. I'm all for making the story more interesting but I think the majority of people can agree with me here when I say that this whole 'ones that came before' thing is getting a bit ridiculous now. Even the intro felt rushed because it was basically just an extended version of the CGI trailer shown at E3.

Secondly, there is less of everything. I know that there are some people out there who will say that "less is more", but those people should try playing Revelations. There are less outfits, less missions and less stuff to do in general. We get two cities to explore this time, Constantinople and the underground city (forgot the name). Constantinople is much smaller than Rome and there isn't anything to do at all in the underground city, so it's not even worth mentioning.

New main features are bomb making and the hookblade. Bomb making is fun, but there really isn't any need to use it at all. You can pretty much play through the game (excluding one particular mission) without using them at all. Plus gathering ingredients for the bombs you want can get tedious sometimes. The hookblade is definitely a welcome feature, but there is one problem. When Ubisoft told everyone about ziplining to get accross the city faster, they failed to mention that you could only zipline from a certain side of the city. Of course, they replaced horses with ziplines so if you're on a downhill section of the city you're going to have to walk up like any other normal citizen and believe me when I say that the game puts you in that predicament very regularly.

AC1 players looking forward to the return of Altair will be greatly disappointed to discover that there are only 6 memories actually involving Altair and they are very short. All of them take place in Masyaf and most of the time there can be one of two things you'll be doing: Either fighting your way to the fortress at the top of the hill, or fighting your way to the bottom of the hill. There's even one memory where Altair should be in all fairness wearing his black armour that Ezio acquires during AC2, but for some reason he is still wearing his white robes. Again, it's just something else that seems so overlooked and rushed.

Templar Towers are back from Brotherhood, only this time the Templars can attack your Assassin Dens if Ezio becomes too notorious. Now by reading that, you probably think "oh, that sounds quite good, at least it keeps you occupied". Well, what if I told you that instead of having some regular AC based mission such as perhaps killing the attackers, it goes into this weird mode called 'Den Defence' where you'll be commanding Assassins from the rooftops surrounding the area which you need to defend? It probably doesn't sound too bad with how I described it, but believe me, it really is awful.

Then there's the Desmond memories. I'm sorry for saying this so harshly, but whoever thought of making the Desmond memories how they are should be given the sack. They aren't fun at all, they're just weird gameplay sections that take place in first person view and you've got to make your way around the levels using these blocks which you place down around you to climb places. When you get to a certain part of the level, Desmond will start talking about his past. When Ubisoft said that we'd get an idea of what Desmond's past was before he was captured, this isn't exactly what I had in mind. I would have just settled for regular memories with Desmond being the playable character.

For my last complaint about gameplay... Where the heck did Ubisoft put the VR Training feature? I spent hours on that mode alone, and it definitely would have helped with having nothing to do on this game!

Soundtrack is okay, but it is far too repetitive. The main theme of Revelations plays far too often for its own good. Graphics have improved but there some major glitches on some of the outfits. I know the outfits for Assassin's Creed have always been like this, but Revelations outfits are the worst of them all.

Despite all of the bad things that I'm saying about Revelations however, there are some things about the game that I did like. For example, Ubisoft have finally ditched the silly wanted posters on chimneys. Combat is actually challenging when you're facing higher ranking guards this time, especially now that guns have pretty much replaced archery. Eagle Vision has improved. Finally, the game has the same old AC gameplay that we all love... There just isn't as much to do with it as the previous games.

Now you're all probably wondering why I haven't said anything about the multiplayer so far and that's because I can't say anything. I tried getting into a match and in the entire half an hour it spent in the matchmaking lobby, it didn't find enough people to actually start a match. I also don't like saying much about the multiplayer because Assassin's Creed was just fine without it before, and the singleplayer has really downgraded since Ubisoft decided to introduce the feature.

Revelations is yet another example of a game that becomes too heavily focused on the multiplayer aspect that the singleplayer goes completely downhill as a result. Now I'm not saying that the game is terrible because it is quite decent, but it is definitely not what I have come to expect from an Assassin's Creed game.

Story: 3/5
Gameplay: 4/5
Content: 3/5
Graphics: 4/5
Sounds: 3/5
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 9, 2012 11:18 AM BST

Assassin's Creed Brotherhood (Xbox 360)
Assassin's Creed Brotherhood (Xbox 360)
Offered by APE-GAMES
Price: £13.99

4.0 out of 5 stars First Multiplayer addition to the series, and Ubisoft make a good job of it., 10 Dec. 2010
The Good Bits:
- This is the first multiplayer addition to the series, and Ubisoft have made a good job of it.
- Faster paced combat system in singleplayer.
- More collectables make the game last longer.
- Expanded modern day story.
- The introduction of proper horse combat and riding horses in cities.

The Bad Bits:
- Story Sequences are very short.
- Has the more glitches than any previous Assassin's Creed game.

Assassin's Creed Brotherhood is an excellent game, but the singleplayer could have had some work done in terms of bug fixing and story lengthening.

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