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Reviews Written by
I. D. Clarke "MouseyC" (Wales)

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Eternal Sonata (PS3)
Eternal Sonata (PS3)
Offered by Game-Vault
Price: £21.99

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars At Last!, 24 Jun. 2009
This review is from: Eternal Sonata (PS3) (Video Game)
At last the PS3 gets a real RPG! Enchanted Arms was ok, and although a great game you couldn't really consider Valkyria Chronicles a propper RPG.

I've given this 4 stars, but i'm really torn on where to place this game. I've played a lot of RPG's over the years and Eternal Sonata felt a little - for lack of a better expression - childish. At least where the story is concerned. Explaining the story of an RPG in reviews is a little difficult as you never want to spoil things, but lets just say you wont have any trouble following it. The characters for the most part are pretty likable appart from maybe one or two who, after a while will just start to annoy the hell out of you if for no other reason then their voices just start to get really irritating, the main charcter Polka, in particular.

Despite what it sais on the case, this is a tri-Crescendo game and anyone farmiliar with their games (Star Ocean) will be pretty farmiliar with the battle system. Equally it's quite easy to pick up. You have a 3d area and move you character around freely untill you pick a spot to execute a move. You've only got a certain amount of time to move so you need to have a clearish idea of what you want todo. Unlike the Star Ocean series though, it's turn based, which was great to see. Nothing in an RPG irritates me more than having characters in my party that are controlled by AI. Anywhoo... As you progress through the game the battles are made harder as your 'Party Level' increases, less time to move a character etc...

Another annoyance with this game was the dungeons, i had to use a walkthrough for some of the areas myself but you might have the patience to work through them. There's a little sense of "How was i expected to know that?" when you solve a puzzle.

For all its little faults Eternal Sonata is still a worthwhile RPG and depending on how much time you spend power leveling you characters (And you will spend time doing this) you'll get a good 30 of 40 hours out of it. There's also a little incentive to replay the game as it has multiple endings, and you get a game plus save. The problem with this is it increases the difficulty of the game accordingly, you can't just blast through the game with massivley leveled characters.

If you've only got a PS3 like me and you like an RPG or two, i can't see how you can go without this game as we've been pretty starved of this genre.

Eternal Sonata is also a great place to start if you've never really played an RPG, the story is easy to follow and the battle system is pretty sensible. If nothing else it'll get you used to the style of story telling and battle systems.

At the end of the day it depends what you want from this game. I bought it because it was an RPG, i didn't care what it was about. But if you're unsure the game is certainly worth your time as there's little choice about on the PS3 at the moment.

Oh yeah, it looks great too, really nice graphics.

Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 2  (PS3)
Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 2 (PS3)

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The same, but More., 11 Jun. 2009
I'm going to say the same thing about DW: Gundam 2 as i said about the first one. If you're a Dynasty Warriors fan don't go near it, if you're a Gundam fan you need this game.

It's hard to explain to someone who's not a fan of Gundam what exactly we see in this game, and even when i look at it i think 'why'? But enough of that, about the game.

It really is just the first one, but more. The amount of characters you can play has a probably doubled and the amount of Mobile Suits you can pilot is insane. The fundamentals of the game have changed very little. You can now do a charge attack after six hits instead of just 3 and you can do SP in the air. The SP attacks have changed slightly, in the the first one, as you leveled up the attack you got an extra move in the combo. Now it's just the same move but as it levels up its lasts longer.

The only other major change to the combat is the Mobile Armors you now fight. Big Zam, Psycho Gundam. Or if you're a C.E. guy like me then think Destroy Gundam.

From a strictly anime point of view, i'm a little annoyed that they decided to add yet more Mobile Suits from the U.C. era instead of expanding the likes of Gundam Wing and G-Gundam. The most significant edition for me was the C.E. Gundams and Charcters, you can now fight as Kira, Athrun, Shin, Lunamaria and Lacus, although the last two need unlocking. The amount of content in the game really is huge if you've got the persistance to do it.

The graphics are a vast improvement on the first one, which in all fairness wasn't exactly a hard benchmark to beat.

Koei have pretty much nailed the formula for this. All they can really do now is keep tweaking the combat and add more Gundams, here's hoping for some Gundam00 mechs in the next one.

Oh and for those who care there are various online modes to try out.

One final note, this game can ruin things slightly if you haven't seen all the Gundam series featured. Although the Story Mode never really goes into much detail, you'll still find out enough to spoil the anime. Just a friendly warning.

Mirror's Edge (PS3)
Mirror's Edge (PS3)
Offered by chilloutgames
Price: £10.50

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So Refreshing, 14 Nov. 2008
This review is from: Mirror's Edge (PS3) (Video Game)
And that's really it. Mirror's Edge is such a welcome refreshment in the sea of rubbish that is video games. Ok so i'm being a little harsh, it's not all that bad.

Anywhoo, suppose i'll start with the controls as they're a little wierd in terms of button placement. L1 controls all forward/up motions and L2 controls all backwards/down motions. It sounds a little odd i know, but the gameplay is all about keeping your momentum going.

The main character Faith moves around like Altair (Assassins Creed) for lack of a better comparison. If you leap her of the edge of a building and aim her at something grabable she'll get it like Altair would. And what's grabable is whatever glows red, this is your "runner vision". Aim for something red and it's more often than not the way. Though sometimes the game sufferers from "Where am i supposed to be going?" every once in a while. You can press circle to show your objective but this sometimes confuses matters more. It's one very few small bad points about Mirror's Edge.

The other bad point is the combat. R2 controls all combat from firing a gun to kicking and punching, which you can mix with jumps, slids, wall runs etc... And a well timed press of triangle dissarms an enemy. The problem is, early on in the game you're always encouraged to run away from people with guns, but if you have to fight take them on one at a time, which is easy enough. But in the latter stages you get sorta forced fight whether you want to or not. There are just too many bad guys to outrun.

Get used to trying to same jump again, and again, and again, and again... And again. Mirror's Edge can get infuriatingly hard sometimes, but the checkpoints are fairly frequent so although you'll die a lot, and you will, you don't get put too far back in the level.

When you get a good flow going on a level there's nothing as much fun i've played all year than Mirror's Edge. It's more like a game of Tony Hawk at times, trying to nail that perfect line through the stage and if you're into that sort of thing there's a Time Trial mode to play where you upload your fastest times to compete with others.

That's just about it. Mirror's Edge is brilliant, just stick at it when you're doing the same jump for the 8th time.

Pro Evolution Soccer 2009 (PS3)
Pro Evolution Soccer 2009 (PS3)
Offered by Adam Griffiths Trading
Price: £3.95

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars What PES2008 Should've Been, 17 Oct. 2008
Now this is slightly more like it, the problem is Konami are a year behind. This is what PES2008 should have been in the first place.

The gameplay isn't that far removed from PES08, but it feels like they've taken a step back towards realism as the players feel a little slower and i suppose more lifelike. It boils down to even the likes of Messi can't just get the ball and run through the defenders with it. To make things seem a little more realistic the ball this time feels like an entity in its own right and richochets about a lot more, it seems like a daft thing to say but if you play it you'll know what i mean. It doesn't feel stuck to the players boots anymore. Also in the middle of a melee for the ball bashing the X button wont find your nearest team mate anymore.

In short the gameplay is better but no major leaps forward.

The graphics are better, in that they're up to this generations standard.

Konami have also ripped off EA's Be a Pro mode with Become a Legend where you take control of one player on the field, the only problem is Konami's version is pants and EA's is really good.

I still love PES but with FIFA games coming on in leaps and bounds it wont be long before even the most one-eyed of fans have to admit EA make a better game. PES2009 does just about enough for me that i'd pick it over FIFA09. Already looking to next year, Konami need to pull a seriously big rabbit out of the hat.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 19, 2008 4:34 PM BST

Soul Calibur IV (PS3)
Soul Calibur IV (PS3)
Offered by Gameseek
Price: £18.28

4.0 out of 5 stars Short Lived, 7 Aug. 2008
This review is from: Soul Calibur IV (PS3) (Video Game)
Soul Calibur is one of those games that if you're a fan of the series you've already got it and probably love it and little any review can say is going to change your mind. If you're picking the series up from this point i would understand if you were a little disappointed with what you got.

The first thing that jumps out, and not in a good way, is the graphics. I've said time and time again that graphics don't make a game but where there's so little to look at (characters and a backdrop to fight in) you can help but feel they really didn't put the effort in to make SC4 look anything other than average.

Other than that it fights like a Soul Calibur and like all beat 'em ups is best played with another human player. There are three modes to chose from that a pretty self explanatory. Story, Arcade, and The Tower Of... something or other, the name isn't important because you wont spend much time grinding through this excuse to make the game longer just so you can get a new pair of boots for Kilik. Its far to frustrating and long and the rewards don't balance out the amount of effort needed to get through it.

The characters creation is quite a lot of fun, but of course you have to unlock a lot of the clothes and equipment.

Story? Well to be honest i really have no idea, i picked up the series from SC2 and i never really followed it.

As with other SC games there are guest characters. Heihachi, Spawn, Link. All fine choices for characters on their plat form. So which cretin decided it would be a good idea to try and crowbar Darth Vader and Yoda into this beat 'em up? What would Vader possibly want with a magic sword when he has a light saber and a vast army at his command? Not to mention he looks so stupidly out of place. The Apprentice, another light saber wielder isn't so bad. The worst thing is Vader has a really good move set and guess what? You can't use it in create a character. Noriko, Kratos, Dante. Take your pick from any more fitting characters they could have put in this game.

Rant over. Soul Calibur 4 is a good if frustrating beat 'em up at times, worth a go if you've got the patience.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 16, 2008 12:12 AM BST

Robert Ludlum's The Bourne Conspiracy (PS3)
Robert Ludlum's The Bourne Conspiracy (PS3)
Offered by sellatronic
Price: £22.04

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars So Close, 20 July 2008
The Bourne Conspiracy is so, so close to being a really great game, instead of just a good one.

The over the shoulder/cover system these days is starting to replace the first person shooter view, and like with FPS's it's getting harder to make a good one. But, Bourne manages by breaking up the shooting with a fairly tight hand to hand combat system. Dark Sector would have killed for a system like this. Although no Metal Gear Solid, you can stealth about the levels and take people out on the quiet, however it doesn't take much for you to get seen by someone.

Possibly the best thing about it is how satisfying the game is. The take downs in mid combat are a lot of fun and you can get quite creative positioning yourself next to objects to see how Jason will use it.

So the game play is solid and a lot of fun, why only 3 stars? The story is so poorly told with tiny snippets of cut-scene just enough to keep the game moving. Maybe i was spoiled with MGS4's story telling, but it would have nice if they'd put a little more effort into it. The result is a really disappointing ending. Maybe they assumed you'd already seen the movie.

All in all, if you don't care why you're playing then this is a really great game although a little on the short side. For everyone else its certainly worth at least renting it.

Race Driver: GRID (PS3)
Race Driver: GRID (PS3)

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Takes Some Getting Used To, 5 July 2008
Grid is a difficult one, because I don't really know who to recommend this to. It's about as far removed from Gran Turismo as a racing game can get and still be on 4 wheels. But that's not to say GT fans can't enjoy Grid.

The Good. Grid is a better 'racing' game. Which i think has always been the point right from the first Toca games. The opponent A.I is way better than anything GT5P had to offer and the aggressive driving isn't just reserved for you like some racers. The best feature is the instant replay and i hope its something that starts to appear more in racers. You miss a turn, crash, whatever. Hit select and you can watch the events leading up to the incident and pick the point where you want to rejoin the race at. If like me you broke a few controllers playing GT5P ("COLLISION PENALTY!") then you'll see the benefit of this, you only get so many a race depending on the difficulty.

The bad. Car handling. It takes a while to get to grips with and is slightly odd to say the least. The car never really feels out of control but keeping it in a straight tidy line coming out of a corner can be a bit tricky. The game could also use a highlighted racing line and breaking markers, you get a tiny light on the minimap indicating when to break but it's not much use if you have to keep glancing at it. While you're racing it feels like you have to drive constantly on the edge, at least coming from a Gran Tusismo background it did. If you try to ease off you end up loosing way too much time a lap.

Summing it all up. Grid is a great from a racing standpoint, close and exciting bumper to bumper stuff. The car handling lets it down a little but if you're prepared to make some adjustments to your usual racing style - in particular GT5P - then is a really fun game.

Dragon Ball Z: Burst Limit (PS3)
Dragon Ball Z: Burst Limit (PS3)

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great fun, but..., 9 Jun. 2008
Great fun, but this game has a few problems.

First off if you're not a Dragonball Z fan stop, go and watch DBZ then come back. If you don't the story mode will make little sense. For DBZ fans, it very briefly skims over the story up untill the end of the Cell Saga. There are a few extras such as playing as Bardock and Brolli, but even with these it wont take you long at all to complete, few hours max.

Second, when fighting the computer it tends to have what i have termed "Boss Hax". You know what i mean, it happens in every game but it happens more frequently in Burst Limit. You think you're winning then SUPRISE! Your computer oponent will do some sort of infinate super block/dodge and a move you've never seen before, never will again and will never be able to pull off as Player 1. On the later levels the AI gets pretty annoying and just guards constantly, even when you're not attacking.

That's all the bad stuff out of the way, now onto the good.

It looks better than the anime ever could, this is the height of cell shading.

Two player battles are way more fun than the computer battles and the in fight cutscenes are a cool (sometimes annoying) edition, they make the fight feel more like an episode of DBZ and not a versus battle. The cutscenes are initiated when something happens during a fight, say, you get hit by a special move then your parnter jumps in to block it or if you get low health you attack power is raised. You unlock the cutscenes as you play the story and can equip different ones for a versus fight.

For DBZ fans this is a must, although the combat isn't perfect it's still the best DBZ game made to date because it looks so great. I know graphics dont make a great game but when you're trying to emulate anime in 3D it really adds a lot. Non-DBZ fans, don't buy this thinking it's a great beat 'em up.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 26, 2010 3:59 AM GMT

Haze (PS3)
Haze (PS3)
Offered by Revolution Media
Price: £9.94

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't Believe the anti-Hype, 23 May 2008
This review is from: Haze (PS3) (Video Game)
With it's constant delays and news that it doesn't run in "True HD", Haze got a lot of very bad press in the weeks leading up to its release. Listen to non of it, i've had a lot of fun with this game and in my opinion it's way up there with the best console shooters.

So, it doesn't run in "True HD" resolution, so what? Cod4 or Halo 3 (apparently) only ran in 640p and it didn't hurt them. And it's true Haze isn't the best looking game out there, the details on the character models is good but the environments sometimes look a little worse for ware.

The controls are completely customizable to suit your style, but the defaults are quite sensibly layed out. The gameplay itself is nothing other that what you expect from the people who make TimeSplitters. Haze has, in my opinion, by far and away the best engine of all console shooters on PS3, it just plays so easily. There are a few things that let the game down. There's a bit of a lack of weaponry in the game and with no alt-fire for them they start to get a bit bland, but i'm being picky there. Some of the vehicles also take some time to get to grips with.

The story for a fisrt person shooter i think is quite a good one, there's enough of an excuse for you to start shooting someone and the game keeps giving you interesting reasons to keep shooting someone and still make you care a little bit about the characters and world around you.

Haze has a short of rebellious charm to it, look through all the bad press and hype that came before it and what you have is a very fun game. Which is even more fun in co-op might i add.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 23, 2008 4:51 PM BST

Zone Of The Enders Collection [DVD]
Zone Of The Enders Collection [DVD]
Dvd ~ Zone of the Enders

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not What You Might Expect, 19 May 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is a bit of a warning as i was a bit put off whan i started watching this. Fans of the ZoE games might not want to watch it. But as a huge fan of the games, i had to.

The series starts with the movie IDOLO, which explains the origins of Jehuty-like orbital frames and one familiar character, Viola. It's quite a logical prequel to the game and is really quite a good watch for anime and ZoE fans alike. The series afterwards 'Dolores, I', is where things get a little tricky.

As far as i can tell it's set between the first and second games, but very rarely does it reference them. (You see Anubis a few times, Leo Stenbuck and Jehuty get a brief mention). The series follows the story of James Links and his children Leon and Noel trying to find their mother Rachel (A character in Idolo). Without spoiling too much James gets lumbered with a bright pink orbital frame with a squeeky annoying voice and a mind of its own. And that's just it. Zone of the Enders was never dead-pan serious, but Dolores crosses the line a bit. The series is almost a comedy in some parts.

A bigger picture does eventually emerge with evil schemes and currpt organizations and such. But the story really is about James and his family. I'm not saying i didn't like this collection, it was just a bit of a shock. It would probably work quite well as a stand alone anime but i can't see why you'd be interested in this if you're not a fan of the games. I guess my message is this, take the ZoE anime for what it is and try not to draw too many comparisons with the game.

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