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I have been a wrestling fan ever since watching WCW 1995 as a five year old. This was also near the beginning of the Monday Night wars between WCW and WWF that would rage on until 2001 in whats often called the golden age of wrestling. For WCW a lot of this period was a success as they often beat the WWF in the ratings war, then in 1997 WWF would launch the beginning of the Attitude Era.
The attitude Era was an era filled with violence, blood, swearing and sex references that boosted the ratings to the highest ever seen in wrestling unlike the current cleaner product called the PG era. However the good news for fans of the Attitude Era is that this game WWE 13 has a whole story mode focused on the much loved era of wrestling.
Now lets talk about the gameplay itself before going into the game modes and other things that this game as to offer. For anyone that's played the previous title WWE 12 you'll be quite at home hear, the system hasn't changed that much at all, with an easy grapple system using the A button and standard strikes using the X button. The system is easy enough for new players to jump into and start playing. Reversals have also been improved with mid air reversal finishers being added to the game, for example if I'm playing as Dolph Ziggler and dive onto John Cena off the top rope, Cena could catch me in mid air into a AA which adds to the on screen realism. The crowd noises have apparently been revamped too, although the only difference I can tell so far is that the crowd is annoying loud even when nothing much is going on. The commentary team off Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler also could do with being completely revamped as a lot of the phrases have been in the game for the past 2 years and becomes very repetitive instead of focusing on the action in the ring. The odd tweak has been made to the submission system too with submission lasting longer to the real life action.
Pre-match you still get really well done entrances, some of which have been recycled from the last couple of games which is disappointing, so have many moves although some much needed submissions have been added (Including the Liontamer!) And of course many match types as always are in the game, from basic singles to Inferno Matches.
WWE Universe mode returns again this year but you won't see too many changes from last years edition, a few new scenes have been added but don't expect this to be like a season mode as its much more like a Exhibition+ mode and lacks longevity.
The Attitude Era mode though is so much better than last years story which only featured 3 playable characters. Fans of the era between 1997-2001 will love this mode as it takes you back in time to relive that era. The entrances, the commentary, the videos and scenes are all captured making this mode very enjoyable for any player. You'll play through the controversial fued between HBK and Bret Hart, all way upto the end of the Monday Wars, many hours of fun are to be had here although with the PG era in full effect in the current WWE the mode is edited slightly (you will have to turn blood on as it is set to off by default).
One of the biggest parts of the WWE video game series are the creation modes the games offer. Many players love creating their own superstars and putting them into the squared circle. Well WWE 13 continues this with the likes of create a superstar, create a move-set, create a entrance, create an entrance video/sign and create a finisher. This part of the game is pretty much untouched from last years effort aside from a few added items of clothing for you superstar.
So overall the game is an improvement over WWE 12, but as always with THQ's WWE game in attempts it doesn't feel like a new game, just an update from last year, although the attitude era mode will keep you busy for a while, after that unless your an online gamer there's not much longetivity in the game unless you bring the friends round. But its definitely a step in the right direction, the matches are just starting to feel like a match you would see on the TV, will look forward to next years edition.
Release Date: November 2012
After the previous two releases Uno and Dos', Green Day released Tre a month earlier than originally scheduled in December 2012 making all 3 releases in the back end of one year. This has had a big influence on sales as after Uno which sold well Dos and Tre' kind of got left behind in the sales race, too much Green Day at one time for some fans. However its not sales that make a great album its the music that's on it.
After having mixed feelings after Dos, Brutal Love starts Tre off with a Unchained Melody like guitar part that continues through out, the song really grows on you and although not classic Green Day it's like a mix of Are We The Waiting and a song from the 60's. The song picks up towards the end and is a nice starter to the album.
The second track missing you takes you back to the Warning era in 2000, a good but not a stand out track, but a sense that things are going in the right direction at least. Same goes for track three '8th Avenue Serenade' it's not a song that makes you go wow but is definitely an improvement over the second half of Dos.
Drama Queen is a mostly acoustic track with a simple drum beat and a nice solo at the break, and is one of the top tracks on the album although I did find myself waiting for the song to pick up after the solo which it didn't.
Track 5 is called X-Kid and is my favourite track on the record and one of the best of the trilogy. The song is more classic Green Day once again it's just a shame they can't pull out more of these songs, I'm sure this will be a favourite with the crowds at gigs.
'Sex Drugs & Violence is next and is reminisant to Nimrod's Nice Guys Finish Last, although with a lower distorted tone compared to the Nimrod opener this song captures the essence of Green Day's mid 90's era but with a modern touch.
Halfway through the album and just as things were going well we hit a slight weak point in the album 'A little Boy named train' starts out with a more distorted tone than most of the tracks so far with quite a badass nod your head riff, unfortunately this kind of electricity doesn't remain through out making it a just there track, the same goes for track 8 Amanda, not awful by any means but not great either.
Walk Away is track nine and although not greatly received by some reviews I've read I think it's one of the strong tracks on the album, the song is very much like the first part of Homecoming from American Idiot, and after a slow start the song picks up, more distortion please.
Dirty Rotten Bastards is a 7 minute track that seems like another Jesus Of Suburbia attempt on a lesser scale, for how long the track is it gets very repetitive for a lot of the track, although half way through your treated to a minute of pure punk.
99 Revolutions is a track that any Green Day old or new will enjoy, this song goes to show that Green Day don't have to alter their sound to produce good tunes, this song is everything Green Day is about and will be a favourite live I'm sure.
Green Day end the trilogy with a soft Rock Ballad called 'The Forgotten' Unlike songs like Wake Me Up When September Ends and 21 Guns this song never really picks up, starting with a piano it never gains much momentum and is a bit of a downer to end 3 albums on. The lyrics are meaningful though, reflecting on their career I hope there's still more left in the tank for the punk quarto. (Trio sounded much better)
So to summarise this is a definite improvement on Dos, and a lot of songs are hurt by the softer guitar tone which would breathe a lot of needed life in some songs. However this album has reasons to make Green Day fans smile.
Following the release of the highly praised Uno that brought back the old Green Day sound, many fans were optimistic that there punk heroes would deliver with the second part of the trilogy. This album wasn't expected to be a dookie sounding album being billed by the band as Garage/Rock.
I bough the album on release day in October excited about what I may potentially hear, the opening track is a minute length song called See you tonight, sounds a little country like but as the song fades out the real album begins with Tre cool breaking out a drum beat to the song named F**k Time. The song itself is different to any Green Day song you've probably ever heard, similar to their work they did with their side project Foxboro Hot Tubs, the song is fun, nothing more nothing less but the Hot Tubs nature continues through the album apart from the next few tracks.
Stop When The Red Lights Flash immediately follows with a more distorted modern Green Day riff, fairly heavy and music to Punk/Rock ears, potentially the best song on the record. The following two tracks Lazy Bones and Wild One continue with the modern Green Day era guitar sounds that would fit right in on any of the 2004/2009 albums, Lazy Bones similar to American Idiots Give Me Novocaine. To this point its so good so far but this is when the album starts getting hit and miss.
Makeout party has a nice guitar rift through out and quite a badass solo while the song Ashley seems to lack any direction, its not a terrible song but its kinda just there. There's not much to mention as you play through baby eyes and get to lady cobra, starting with a heavy quitar rift that keeps appearing through out, making it catchy tune.
I feel like at this point I should warn old school Green Day fans with the song Nightlife coming off, this song is so much different to anything they have done before, there's no badass guitar riffs, nothing that resembles Green Day, there's a guess female vocalist that raps between Billie Joe's weirdly sounding chorus. It's a track I skip on every occasion now.
Wow that's loud could be a good track but drags on while the final track Amy is a reverbed acoustic tribute to Amy Winehouse which is a nice track.
It's not a bad album, the first half definitely is great, but the album loses itself towards the end, and tracks like Nightlife are never going to be accepted by true Green Day fans. I wouldn't call it a must buy unless your hardcore Green Day mad, but don't expect too much from it just take it for what it is, an experiment .
Green Day originally formed at the backend of the 80's as a three piece pop punk band, know for their fast paced songs, brilliant early solo's and lyrics talking about young love and sexm if you don't believe me pick up one of their first 2 albums and tell me there not. However since the 1997 album Nimrod Green Day's sounds has evolved and changed quite a lot, through warning to 21st Century breakdown. Many fans hoped with the trilogy that the old Green Day maybe be back and I'm pleased to tell you (to a certain extent) that they are.
The first of the Green Day trilogies is Uno, released September 2012. The first thing you notice when opening the case is that a fourth member has been added to the band, despite many fans liking the 3 core members as they were Jason White has been touring on and off with the band since the early 2000's and since their modern songs have acquired more guitar parts it makes sense as much as I'd love to see them as a three.
However we still have Billie Joe Armstrong writing the songs so there's still reasons to be optimistic and as you play the track one the old Green Day feelings come rushing back and the 12 track CD doesn't disappoint. The sound is similar to something you might hear from Nimrod mixed with their early album solo's making many of the tracks a pleasure to hear.
The opener Nuclear family sets the tone for the album and isn't an American Idiot, its not a 21 guns but its what Green Day used to be about and going back to their roots certainly will please old school fans.
There's a number of belters out there, Stay The Night instantly became a hit with fans, Rusty James would be a song that would easily fit into the American Idiot album and Let Yourself Go is just pure punk, mixed in with the likes of the softer Sweet 16 the album comes together taking you through a Green Day time warp almost.
The weaker tracks on the album are probably troublemaker and Kill The DJ, the aren't bad tracks atall but feel slightly out of place on a older style Green Day album, Kill The DJ feels like it should be on DOS and troublemaker potentially aswell.
Overall if your a punk rocker or a Green Day fan this is a must buy as it's Green Days best album of the modern era. DOS and Tre' reviews will be uploaded soon.
In my time I have owned a number of laptops and computers, from the Windows 95 days to the present day Windows 8 era, and after my last laptop broke I'd been searching for a new laptop at a moderate price that would suit my everyday computer needs and after weighing out a few options, I decided to by the ACER E1-531 for a moderate sum of £350, which for a 8GB laptop seemed like a pretty good deal.
When the laptop arrived my first impressions were pretty good when I took it out of the packaging, the design of the whole thing looked good and modern as expected and with a HD screen whatever things you are viewing on the screen , it will look fantastic.
What disappointed me a little were the specs, which is partly my fault for not researching the specification properly, since I'd paid extra for the 8gb laptop it was fast when viewing pages on the internet and when your offline, but for high spec viewing the 2.2 GHz processor seems a little lacklustre and doesn't back up the 8GB you have paid for, so if your thinking about getting this laptop I'd go for the cheaper 4GB option, and if your a gamer stay clear, the graphics engine is rating at 5.7 out of 10 so for modern PC games the laptop just won't be able to handle the graphics, this to me was really disappointed as ACER say it has Intel HD graphics capabilities which are poor.
The laptop comes with the new windows 8 which can be a very annoying program to have, it doesn't come with a basic Microsoft office either for all you people who need office, you'll have to shell out big bucks for the programs. There is a inbuilt Super Multi DL Drive for all your burring and DVD viewing needs. You will find yourself having to download a lot of the basics programs you expect with a laptop like media player, paint etc..
The keypad to me with my job is important, it has to be good quality and last, but when you first start typing on this laptop they keys do feel pretty cheap, especially compared to Samsung and other leading laptop makers and with the windows 8 program installed you'll find that random apps keep appearing when your moving the mouse which after awhile will really get on your nerves, clearly not much time has been spend on a good quality keyboard which makes your experience with this laptop suffer.
Yes there's a lot of little issues with the laptop that bring it down, but if your just looking for a basic laptop to do everyday normal things then I will recommend this laptop to you, it does the basics well but is far from spectacular compared with rival machinery. And for the £350 I bought it for I feel I should have gone with another, unless you can get it cheap I'd for a Samsung for a similar price.
With just over a month away until the next Formula 1 games (F1 2012) is released, and with the lack of reviews on this game, I thought it would be a good idea to review last year's effort.
F1 2011 is the follow up from codemaster first effort which was F1 2010, although very well received by the gamer and reviewers alike there was aspects of the game that were a let-down which took some enjoyment out of the game, the AI seemed to generate random pace in races, going much faster than qualifying, and the computer cars didn't seem to drive around the track like an F1 driver would. So there were issues in the game that needed to be sorted.
Before I get into the game modes I want to focus on the gameplay for the 2011 edition of the game. As soon as you drive out on the race track you can feel the changes to the gameplay engine from the off. Going around the tracks has a more realistic feel than its prequel, and a satisfied feeling comes when you hit the apex and nail the corners. You will also fine you spin out a lot less than you did last year much to the delight of many F1 gamers. The realism doesn't take too much away from the players who just want to pick up the pad and race around the track, in F1 2011 you still can just go into a race as the game offers a good balance of arcade simulation and realism to suit most players.
To these gameplay enhancements comes improvements to the AI. In the 2010 the AI just wasn't very good; it seemed like the other cars at times were just there to make the numbers up and would barely fight to defend their position try different ways to overtake you. Well this year that had changed and the computer cars compete a whole lot more, taking different racing lines to defend themselves adding to the whole F1 experience as a whole.
There are bugs in the game although a patch from Xbox Live solves many of these. It does seem to rain an awful lot in the game, and there is a very annoying pit stop bug where your pit crew but very used tires back on your car even though you have a unused fresh set which can spoil the race experience.
New to this game is the DRS (Drag Reduction system) which was introduced for the F1 2011 season. The new feature is fairly easy to use and with a press of a button a flap on your rear wing opens giving you a speed advantage. The system can be used at any time during any practise or qualifying session but only at certain points in the race. With DRS and KERS overtaking chances are increased. Also new to the game is the Safety car (although in all honesty I haven't seen it on track in the 11 months of playing the game). If a car or a number of cars crash and racing is deemed dangerous the safety car is supposed to come out for a few laps while the mess gets cleaned up. I wish I could give my own insight on the safety car but can't speak about my own experience since it hasn't happened. There are gameplay videos on YouTube of it if you want to look for yourselves but maybe there is a bug here as at time several cars have crashed on the track and the Safety Car just doesn't want to come out. The new F1 tyre suppliers Pirelli is also in the game, adding a whole new tactical approach in races.
The main feature you will most likely use in this game is the career mode with codemasters focusing on a be the driver experience. You will start the career mode being able to pick a team, the teams on offer depends on the amount of seasons you want to do. I'd recommend going for the entire 5 years available, although you have to start with the smaller teams it's a great feeling knowing you've earned your spot with a bigger team when the opportunity comes available. The career mode is pretty similar to how it was last year. There is a new email system, where you receive mail from your agent and your team on various subjects, from race objectives to criticism and praise. You will also see contracts other teams offer you on this screen. A nice little feature added here is press clippings, after each race you will see little articles that have been written by the press, although they are very repetitive. There are also a few new scenes added, whether you do well or fail miserably a scene is show following the race. What has been taken out of the game though is the post-race press conference which happened if you was on the podium.
If you don't fancy going through a career, you still have the options of doing a single race or season as one of your favourite drivers in gran prix mode. Or if you want to play with a friend there is a split screen mode this year as well as the online options.
To sum up F1 2011 is a must buy game for all F1 and racing fans alike. The game is much improved from the 2010 edition although the bugs in the game ruin the experience somehwat, but with the 2012 edition just round the corner; the current price offers very good value for money.
When it was announced that the 1000th episode of Monday Night Raw would be the beginning of Raw going 3 hours every week, a lot of people including myself instantly thought it would be a bad idea, I say this because the production of Raws usual 2 hour episodes were average at best and at a time where ratings have been on a steady decline. With this negativity there was also people out there being optimistic that the extra hour will provide more exposure to the stars who don't get much TV time. None of us would know how WWE proposed to use this extra hour until the shows aired and it became clear.
Then Raw 1000th kicked off with a highly entertaining episode, with a number of starts from the past including the likes of Degeneration X, Lita, The Rock, commentary from Jim Ross and so much more. Yes WWE put on a great show, with a number of entertaining segments and a few decent wrestling bouts, but with all the returning starts a good show was expected, the ratings were the highest ever for a 3 hour episode and the highest for some time, just imagine the delight on Vince McMahon's face when the rating came in.
Now take away all the stars from the past and you are left with the current WWE roster, you have the likes of John Cena, Randy Orton, Sheamus and CM Punk all capable of keeping audiences interested, stars like Chris Jericho and Daniel Bryan who possess great wrestling ability. Yet the WWE again seems to be dropping the ball and the third hour only makes this more transparent. Instead of making new stars of the future we get a number of highlight packages and failed attempts of comedy. The first hour is always going to be the least viewed due to the new start time so it is important to put on a good quality first hour, how do you do this? Wrestling matches! You'd think it would be obvious but someone at WWE HQ thinks differently. Elevating new stars is a must for a company still relying on old names to bring in the viewers, how can the next Rock's and John Cena's be made doing nothing backstage or wrestling on NXT?
I got the feeling after the last Raw that the 3 hour format would be short lived, there was no wrestling action for the last 40 minutes, just adverts and a very disappointing contract signing with Brock Lesnar and Triple H . Rather the creative team needs to come up with much better content or go back to the 2 hour format, after all 2 hours of bad writing is better than 3 right?