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Released in early 2000, this game redefined the way that strategy games were made and looked. Before, most real time strategy (RTS) games were viewed from an iseromic viewpoint, and generally looked, in a word, cack. This game managed to blend sprites with huge 3D landscapes, meaning high frame rates and massive battles with thousands of warriors on screen at any one time. The basic story is this: the emperor has died and as a result, all the clans rush to become the Emperor. Civil war breaks out and soon whole areas of the country are at war with each other. It is then upto you to lead your armies up against them and win, with your final goal of becoming emperor The graphics are jaw dropping, the battles are epic, the sound is terrific and the whole package shows that a lot of love and effort was put into its creation and so I can recommend this with out hesitation. GET IT!
Released in 1999, as a multi-player add on for Half-Life, this game opened a can of worms that has been exploitd better (see Counter Stike) in following months and as a result is not as widely played. That is not to say this game is bad, its just simply not as good as others. There are 9 different player classes, with skills (is that the correct terminology??) such as Spy's, Pyrotechnics, Heavy Weapon guts and scouts and all can be used in different ways to affect the out come on the particurlar map that is being played. In the end however, lack of players and lack of variance make this possibly the most limited of the Half-Life add on's and so comes as the least recommended. As with Half-Life, the graphics are good rather than great and the sound is amazing, although, again i feel that the sounds aspect it is not fully exploited as it is in other mods and is poorer for that fact. Because it free get it, but its not the best.
Released first in the late summer of 1999, this mod of half-life, has been continually developed and released free (as in £0.00) on the net and is readily available on magazine coverdiscs, and is soon to be released as a stand alone game by Havas the games publisher. There is no basic story to this game. There are however a bunch off scenerio's which involve hostage taking/saving, houses to be stormed and terrorist to be killed in various ways. However, the way that it varies from most games is that every part is played by a human player, not the PC. This means mistakes, skill and action are only a click away (along with plenty of blood, sweat and tears). The graphics engine are that of the original Half-Life and so are good, if not great and the sounds is possibly even better than the original (remembering that the programming team are all amateurs meaning that they don't have sound studios ect)and really all add together to make one of the most enjoyable games ever. DOWNLOAD THIS GAME NOW!
Do not play this game. Do not read any further. Stop. STOP! NO! You'll have no life. If you've got this far your in for a treat. Released in late 1998, this game is possibly the single most important PC game ever, and some 2 years on, is still riding high in the sales charts with hundreds of mods keeping interest high (see Counter Strike, Action Half-Life etc.). The actual game has an amazing story line:- one that involves dimension hopping, solider & monster shooting and some how it keeps the quality of it up for the whole length of the game, with amazing twists turns, explosions and monster attacks! While the graphics are no longer top of the tree, they could not be called poor, and details everything they should perfectly while the sound is amazing and perfectly placed at all times. The actual multi-player part of this game is the top part however and is played regularly by thousand’s upon thousands of players daily and one of the easiest games to pick up and play. NO QUESTION - GET IT!
Released in October of 2000, this game had great potentional. It was based on the mega hit film the Blair Witch Project and had the potentional to do great things. However, the subject matter itself was not one that could be easily turned into a came and as a result, it appears the publishers/ developers have taken the easy way out and made a game that rely could be based on any horror film/game and suffers as a result - you just don't care what happens to your charachter and it quickly bores you. The graphics are functional rather than great, based on the superior (but older) Nocturne engine, and on slower spec'd pc's this game chugs about and is completely unplayable. The actual sound is quite inspired and sends chills up your spine when playing at night, but still, one cannot rate a game purely on sound and so one can rate it on all its points and at that, i can only recommend it once its hitting the bargin bin at £5. Leave it on the shelf.
Released in November of 1998, Fifa 99 promises much but delivers more than the last two/three?? offerings. The good points are many making it one of the best footie games out there, with pixel perfect passing, good AI (or at least as good as the current 2001 AI level) and will be at a good price (£5 from a bargain bin anyone!). Unlike Fifa 2001 it doesn't at all feel as rushed. The AI is very good, although goals seem odd when compared to real football (sometimes appear almost impossible) while tackling is a slide in affair and sometimes games can deteriorate into a non ending midfield battles or long distance shot taking. It is great fun to play, cheap and as good as the last couple of releases and I could easily recommend this as one to buy as the The graphics are pretty good, while the sound is the usual fantastic quality presented in surround sound. One to get on the cheap.
Released in November of 2000, Fifa 2001 promises much but delivers the same as the last two offerings but at a full £30. The good points should make it one of the best footie games out there but the problem's are many, and detract from what should be the best footie game ever. For example, with the PC version, it was released on the 10th November to the UK, but the match maker service wasn't ready for online play. I don't know anybody else’s thought but it seems a little sloppy to me. It all feels a little rushed really. The AI is good, but follows very set patterns, and computer goals seem at odds to real football and sometimes are impossible, while tackling is a slide in affair or knocking people over type thing and often games can deteriorate into a non ending midfield battle. While its easy to critise, the goods points are that its fun to play, easy to pick up and the multiplayer aspect of 2 on the same PC is great and is comparable to the best any console or PC game has to offer. The graphics are good rather than great, while the sound (commentary et al) is the usual fantastic quality presented in Dolby surround sound. Really in the end its a pity that something hasn't slotted into place this year, and as a result, I couldn't recommend it. One to borrow.
Released in the summer of 2000, this was acclaimed in the US and savaged by some and accepted by others in the UK. At the end of the day, this is just a story and as with Braveheart and U571 it should be taken with a pinch of salt and enjoyed for what it is - a film. The basic story is that the Colonial settelers in the US want to declare independance from England, but the English monarchy see this move as treason and send over troops to take the US back from any to prevent any chance of loss of the English empire. What ensuses is plenty of explosive battles and Mel Gibson yet again plays his part pefectly and is a joy to watch as the Colonial settlers take the US from the English, with plenty of blood shed and violencem this isn't one to show you little ones. The image is sharp, detailed and smuge free and the DD5.1 sound track has bass to rumble the earth and so is almost perfection in its self. Get the dvd now!
Released in the Autumn of 2000 to the UK, this Disney masterpiece, stomped its way to the number one slot in the cinema listings charts and rightfully so. The basic story is that an asteroid hits earth and the Dinosaurs (and a few lemurs) have to walk hundreds of miles to get to magical valley that is rumoured to exist. To compile that fact supplies of fresh water are dwindling and carnivores are making meals out of the weak and dying. Packed full of the usual Disney sugary sentiments and meanings, this is an inoffensive film and is one that anybody can go and see without fear of their son/daughter/brother/sister having to endure any swearing or extreme violence. Although perhaps not as good as say The Lion King, this is an enjoyable ride and one i would recommend to families and people who want to see a purely enjoyable film. Go see it!
Released in 1988 (or early 1989 for the UK) this is one hell of an explosive action films, and is one of the few that has action and laughs that sit well together. The basic story is that NY police detective John McClane is meeting his estranged wife at her work place for an xmas party. However, its taken over pay terrorist and its up to the yipee-kay-yaying John McClane, to launch a one man war against the evil terrorists, armed with only his police provided pistol, this film crackles with energy and explodes in ones heart with shockingly good suspense. In a word, this film is - FUN!! It's hugely enjoyable, explosive and all actors/actresses do their part, with Bruce Willis and Alan Rickman playing there parts to perfection. The picture is great, it has a complete lack of scratches on the film and boasts plenty of detail. The DD track has been remastered into DD5.1 which hold plenty of bass and the effects steering is something to behold. One to watch.
Released in the late summer/early autumn of 2000, Jackie Chan appears in another Hollywood action films,this time being several hundred times better than the poor and terribly overated Rush Hour. The premise is that the princess of China, priness Pei Pei, plots to leave to the US and is kidnapped once there. Chon Wang (say it out loud, you'll understand) , a guard see that she is being tricked but cannot do anything to help. Wang and a few of his fellow guards are selected to get her back from the states, but this is only the start of the adventure. Packed full of high kicking action, this film is a more Jackie Chan style film than Rush Hour ever was, and is better because of that fact. The picture is nice and sharp and offers bags of detail while the DD5.1 sound track offers plenty off bass and is a joy to behold. Great fun.
Released in the Spring of 2000, no summer, no Autumn, no winter of 2000 (OK, it was delayed!) this monster of a movie has been a monster (in more ways than one) movie waiting to happen. The basic story is that a group of people (I won't ruin the story by telling you who) crash land on a deserted planet. Then it appears that the only eclipse in along time is due to happen and this planet has something hiding in its underbelly that’s ready to tear them limb from limb, in the cover of darkness. Time to hide people! With a terrific story line and script, this film is great action movie and is no doubt one to watch over and over. The picture (as expected) is impossibly clear and grain free, has bags of detail and is impressively sharp. The disc has a choice of sound tracks, DD5.1 and dts5.1, which both sound incredible with dts having a slight edge in the higher frequency bands. Worth a purchase.
Released in 1976, this film has nothing but a bumpy ride. Critically acclaimed by many critics and film fans alike, there was also many calls for it to be banned with the extreme violence and ideas put forward by this masterpiece of a film. The basic story is that Robert De Niro's character is seen the downfall of society infront of his eyes. In his own deranged way he decides its up to him to start a movement against the masses and bring some of the supposed older values back to the American people. With all honesty I cannot really fault this film. De Niro plays his part to a 'T' and the direction by Scorsese is second to none, and is possibly one of the best/most original stories tinsel town has ever made into a successful film. For a 24 year old film the picture is sensational, crammed to the rafters with detail and bits to catch the eye. The sound is good, not perfect, with the stereo remix desperately needing a DD5.1 score to re-equalise some scenes, as some crowd scenes sound a little brittle. GET THIS ONE NOW!
Released in the spring of 2000 to much acclaim, this movie, a refreshing twist on the slasher genre started by Halloween some 20 years ago. The basic story is that a class of students is due to go to Paris as a trip. However, one of the students has a premonision that the plane will explode. He then freaks out and is duly thrown off the plane along with a group of people that he annoyed on the plane. The plane then explodes and he becomes the prime suspect for the explosion. Then slowly, people who got off the plane start dying in nasty ways, and it appears death hasn't let go of these people yet... The film is as previously said, a refreshing twist on the slasher genre and succedes partly because of this. The other reason that this film succedes is that it is that its just damn good fun. The picture quality is great, with plenty of detail, complete lack of film grain and fag burns make it a joy to behold and the same can be said about the sound, an nice and agressive DD5.1 mix, and to a certain extent its a pity that the sound track is not dts, which would have undoubtedly added even more grunt to an already impressive sound track. One to at the very least rent.
Released in the summer of 2000, U-571 was the tale (fictional) of the capture of the enigma, a code diseprhering unit, that eventually helped the allies win the battle of the atlantic and ultimately, WW2. As all the charachters in this film were fictional, one does not go into this film with much of an idea what to expect from them, and really, when one leaves, they'll leave not knowing alot more. If anything is wrong with this movie, its the fact that it spends too long trying to create an emotional bond with the viewer, but fails miserably, and in the end you really don't care who lives or dies. Without ruining the story there is a race against time to get the enigma and if they don't get the machine, the Germans will beat the allie and win the war. The picture is very good in places yet disapointing in others, giving in to terrible grain and blocking which is shocking for a modern film. Aside from that, the rest of the film could be considered fun, explosive and very very loud when linked upto a decent amp, with amazing sounds and music throughout using DD5.1 or DTS, one cannot fail but be impressed by this sound track. One to rent on the uk release