Welcome! Log in or Register

TJGardner

TJGardner
  • 0
  • 12
  • 0
  • 12
  • 325
  • 269
  • Crowns
  • Premium reviews
  • Express reviews
  • Comments
  • Reviews rated
  • Ratings received

Member since: 09.04.2007

People I trust

User that trust you
  • Sort by:
    • More +
      05.05.2007 17:26
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      Disadvantages

      Zelda is back and in charge!

      Zelda has at last arrived in the UK and the good news is that it was well worth the wait, from the start the game offers quite a unique experience that other games of it’s type just cannot compete with, riding your horse, chopping down grass and fighting end of level bosses has never been so much fun.

      You are helped along in your adventure by a strange creature called Midna, we don’t want to give too much away in regards to her but lets just say that she is a breath of fresh air for the game and is easily summoned using the top D-Pad button on the Wii Remote.

      And speaking of our little magic wand that is the Wii Remote, how does it fair when playing the game? Well we are please to say that it is incredible, the sensitivity of the remote is amazing, running, jumping and climbing are all very simple to do and by using the remote in this way it really adds to the experience, sure your arm may get a bit achy after a bit of sword play or from aiming your bow but just you try putting this game down once you start playing it.

      In fact the sword play works so well you will probably forget you are holding a remote and not a weapon, you really lose yourself in the game once the real action starts and it is impossible to describe the experience of playing this game for the first time with this unique controller.

      One of the other uses for the remote is the fishing, you press B to get your fishing rod out and with just a flick of the Wii remote you cast off, you are also treated to the sound of the line cutting through the wind and landing in the water thanks to the Wii Remote’s internal speaker. Thankfully you can see the fish in the water so it is quite simple to just hook a fish should one swim near the bait.

      It’s difficult to talk too much about Zelda without spoiling it but we have to tell you about the Teen-Wolf aspect of the game, you see once all the games introductions are out the way and the real action begins, Link turns into a wolf, while this is a somewhat strange thing to happen, it does seem to work and this is helped by the fact that you use practically the same controls for the wolf as you do when you are playing and fighting as Link and this makes the game even more of an experience as being a bad breathed dog certainly offers a different experience from exploring the world as Link.

      It really is amazing how Nintendo managed to fit all of Hyrule on one disk as it is huge. The main city, Castle Town, is packed with all sorts of characters and as you visit back as the story progresses the town seems to change also. There really is so much to do, in fact there is at least a good 50 hours in this game before it will be complete.

      The dungeons are a big part of the game and have massive areas to explore, you are helped along the way with a map which shows you the areas which you have and haven’t explored, you really do need these maps and also a lamp filled with oil because otherwise you will be quite literally in the dark.

      Graphically the game is beautiful, given that the Wii is not meant to be a next generation console to compete with the Xbox 360 and PS3 it does a good job of presenting this game, the detail on the characters is very impressive, as is scenery with the water looking clear and crisp and the grass blowing side to side in the wind.

      The sound is particularly impressive with, as mentioned earlier the inclusion of sounds from the Wii remote’s internal speaker and although there is no voice acting this is more than compensated for by the orchestral soundtrack.

      Zelda: Twilight Princess had alot of hype in late 2006, it was to be one of the Nintendo Wii’s must have launch games and we have to say that this was with good reason, in fact if you don’t have a Wii then you should get to the shop and buy one now, because otherwise you are missing out on something quite spectacular.






      Disclaimer: I am the user Wotta at Wonderwallweb.com so this review has also been uploaded there. Just to prevent any confusion.

      Comments

      Login or register to add comments
    • More +
      28.04.2007 11:54
      Very helpful
      (Rating)
      5 Comments

      Advantages

      Disadvantages

      If you like to smack people down or like raw wrestling then this is for you!

      Wrestling has always been an odd sport, however it is also very entertaining and you never really know what is going to happen next, so maybe this is why the sport attracts millions of fans from around the globe and of course it's popularity means that yet another wrestling sequel was inevitable, but for this everyone should be thankful.

      When you first load WWE, you are spoilt for choice as to which games you can play, all the usual suspects are there such as exhibition where you can enjoy a quick custom match against a friend or the computer, game mode where you can find general manager mode (which now has new additions such as the ability to send superstars to Heat and Velocity for improved popularity) or play through a season, you will also find other options such as create mode in which you can create a wrestler among other things and of course Xbox Live mode.

      The in game action is where our interest lies though and there is plenty for us to talk about. Your character's movement is controlled by the left analogue stick and the right analogue stick is used to carry out moves such as grappling and throwing, R3 also introduces you to the new Ultimate Control Mode which lets you control the frequency and speed of certain moves, however it does take a while to get to grips with the controls but once you master them you will be wiping the floor with your opponents.

      The in ring action is great fun, you can stamp on your opponent until your hearts content and I have to mention that the detail on the characters and the animation when they carry out their moves is fantastic, there are also plenty of moves to choose from such as throwing your opponent or if you wish you can knockout the referee, take the padding off the corner of the ring and smash your opponents head against it until he loses consciousness and the referee gains his. There are also plenty of characters to choose from, each with their own style and moves, you can even unlock classic characters (which without showing my age are the ones that I remember) such as Hulk Hogan and Rowdy Piper.

      Something which really adds to the game is the ability to interact with the crowd, an example of this I can give you is, when I was playing an Xbox Live game and my opponent (who clearly had more practice than me) dragged me by the hair and threw me over the barrier into the crowd, he then proceeded to unfold a table and place my wrestler onto it, he then climbed on top of the fire exit and leapt onto me, resulting in the table and probably my characters back breaking, this was all topped off with a chair being rapped around my head before he went back into the ring and started to show off to the audience, this really adds to the authenticity of the game and makes it more than just a simulation of a wrestling game.

      One thing you notice when playing is that your characters stamina will go down pretty fast and while he is taking a breather, this gives your opponent an opportunity to do some moves on you, to regenerate your stamina all you need to do is hold down the B button although I have found that when your stamina is depleting, perhaps it is better to go out of the ring to regenerate.

      Xbox Live mode gives you two choices for games, ranked and player match, these games are very enjoyable and mostly lag free, it is also very easy to find an opponent, however it is probably best to have some practice first (as I found to my cost).

      Although most of the above is positive there are a few small niggles with the game, firstly the wrestler rosters are slightly out of date, but if like me you are not a follower of wrestling this may not matter too much, although I am sure enthusiasts would prefer that these were up to date. My main gripe with the game though is the loading screens, it seems to take forever to get from the dashboard into the action and every time an event happens in the game up pops the loading screen, however it doesn't interfere with the action so once you are in the ring this is easy to forget about.

      To summarise, THQ have made a game which replicates WWE as closely as possible and have done an excellent job, when you combine the graphics on the Xbox 360 with the sound of the crowd and the commentary you would be forgiven for thinking you were watching TV, although this game may not be for everyone, if you enjoy your wrestling or beat'em up games then this will keep you entertained for a long time.



      Disclaimer: I am the user Wotta at Wonderwallweb.com so this review has also been uploaded there. Just to prevent any confusion.

      Comments

      Login or register to add comments
      • More +
        18.04.2007 11:21
        Very helpful
        (Rating)
        2 Comments

        Advantages

        Disadvantages

        If you like hacking and slashing then this is one for you.

        Knights come in different forms, knights of the round table, Knights that say nee and of course ninety-nine nights and by a strange coincidence we are going to talk about the latter.

        In N3 (as we will call it for short) you can play as one of seven characters, each of them with their own story and of course this means that the games outcome will differ depending on which one you use, however you will need to unlock these characters as you go through the game and therefore you must begin the game with the one called Inphyy.

        The game itself involves you hacking your way through hundreds of enemies to eventually accomplish your goal, it is a joy to watch as they fly through the air ten at a time as you bash the buttons manically, unfortunately with so many enemies on the screen at the one time it can become difficult to find your character, but as long as you just keep bashing the button they will soon hack their way into site.

        The enemies offer little resistance individually, the only problem is that as mentioned earlier they don't come individually as there are usually hundreds of them on the screen at any one time, they usually come in the form of Gobiln's and Orc's, however there are also some larger creatures. Fighting all these enemies does have an adverse affect on your fingers as you frantically bash the buttons trying to beat your highest kills and combo score, this all has a purpose though by giving you a ranking at the end of the mission, another good point about this is that when you kill enemies you get a red orb, if you gather enough they allow you to do a charge attack and if you kills enemies with this attack you will then get blue orb's, again if you get enough of these you will do an even bigger attack causing mega destruction to your foes, there are also other items to collect like healing potions and power ups which come in very handy indeed.

        When you hack your way through the enemies your character will gain in level and therefore learn new moves and become stronger, you will notice a meter which fills up as you gain experience, this lets you know how long it will be until you reach the next level. When your character gains levels more of your enemies will start flying through the air and it will also become easier to beat the bigger characters in the game like the orc wizards and also the rather more unsightly creatures, as you can go through the earlier missions again when your character is a higher level these obviously become easier also. The combo moves that your character learns follow the usual techniques used by games for this by making you press a sequence of buttons in the correct order which should (if you have done it right) result in you carrying out the move you started out to do.

        There are over 100 weapons in the game and several forms of magic, you can find these and other items in treasure chests and when fighting. When collecting weapons you will notice that some can only be used by certain levels of character, but then I guess this gives you more motivation to gain levels. The items that you do find are easy to access by pressing the select button on the control, in this menu you will also find out the exact number of hit points that your character has left, which will give you an idea if you need to go hunting for a potion to gain your life back.

        Just before the mission begins any characters that are commanders (such as Inphyy) can select two guard units as back up, these include light infantry, heavy infantry, archers and pikemen, you can control them during the game by either telling them to follow you or stay where they are, however they don't really serve much use anyway and just tend to get in the way while you are trying to defeat the enemy.

        During the game you will also see other NCP characters on the screen, these guys just tend to get on with fighting and you don't really notice their involvement until the cut scenes when a mission is complete, well unless that is you are paying attention to the dialogue that sometimes happens at the bottom of the screen instead of following the on screen action.

        The fact that N3 manages to put so many characters on the screen at one time is quite an achievement, but there are some downsides to this, like when you do a special attack it is almost impossible to control the direction in which your character is going and the screen feels like it is going just too slow, this can be particularly annoying when you are fighting against the stronger characters in the game, however at least you kill lots of enemies if you do go in the correct direction.

        Graphically the game is excellent, the animation is spot on and you can tell that this game is running on a next-gen machine as apart from the small problems mentioned the action is smooth running and fits in great with the operatic sounds of the soundtrack, the main characters also look great and are definitely a strong point of the game, the way their clothes flow and swords gleam is all very cinematic.

        Overall N3 is a very good game, it's just that I feel it could have been a bit better, the fighting can get quite repetitive and no matter which character you use they don't really feel that much different, on the positive side it is so much fun fighting your way through all the enemies on the screen and you do get a great deal of satisfaction when you finally beat your highest kills rating, the game does make you want to come back for more as you will want to build all your characters up to their maximum levels and then storm all the missions again. Perhaps this is a game for fans of the hack and slash genre but it's definitely worth renting and you never know it you might just get hooked.




        Disclaimer: I am the user Wotta at Wonderwallweb.com so this review has also been uploaded there. Just to prevent any confusion.

        Comments

        Login or register to add comments
        • More +
          13.04.2007 15:19
          Very helpful
          (Rating)
          6 Comments

          Advantages

          Disadvantages

          Unique and fun, just what the doctor ordered!

          I am not ashamed to admit that Kameo is my favourite Xbox 360 game, I believe that it showed of the capabilities of the Xbox 360 right from the start and it still is in my opinion a very beautiful game, so you can imagine how eager I was then to get my hands on Rare's latest wonder that is Viva Piñata and while it isn't quite what I was expecting, I was certainly surprised with what I saw.

          To explain this game to people who don't know, basically you are given a patch of land which you must make into a garden which is unique and colourful enough to attract the wild roaming piñatas and make them become residents, as your garden improves and you attract more piñatas, you will then be awarded with different upgrades which enable you to improve your garden even more.

          The upgrades that you will receive include improvements to your shovel which lets you enable you to make ponds, cut down trees and bash evil piñatas on the head, being able to do these things comes in very handy and will help you attract all sorts of different piñatas to your garden.

          Now this may all sound a bit strange, it's not very often after all that you get a game on a next generation console that is basically based on gardening, but this is so addictive and rewarding, for example when you build a pond and a visiting Quackberry (piñata duck) comes by and then decides to stay you will be so chuffed with yourself or when your garden improves so much that you are awarded more space, it just feels great.

          At the beginning of the game you are given a shovel (as mentioned above), a bottomless pack of grass seeds and a watering can, the first task is then to clear your newly acquired patch of land of all the junk lying around, you do this by bashing it with your shovel, you then need to turn the hard soil soft, again your shovel comes in handy for doing this, once this is done you will attract your first Whirlm, this is basically a piñata which isn't really too fussy and only requires so soft soil as a requirement to live on your land.

          A person you may want to come acquainted with next is Seedo, he will occasionally wander into your garden and when you speak to him he will throw down some seeds, you can then plant these, give them a water and see the flowers or in some cases fruit start to grow, this in turn will help attract other types of piñata to your garden, although most of them have specific requirements that need to be fulfilled before they will become residents.

          Another thing that you need to be aware of in the game is the circle of life, certain piñatas make a nice lunch for their fellow residents and therefore it is essential that you make baby piñatas by fulfilling the requirements needed before the piñatas are in the mood for making love. The process of mating is fairly simple and is in the form of a mini game in which if you are successful will result in your Piñatas doing a sort of love making dance and soon after that a egg will be delivered. Piñatas will also become ill so you must make sure that if this happens you call the doctor straight away as otherwise your piñata's will be split open and eaten by the sour (evil piñata) that lurk about at the edge of your garden.

          As you get better at the game you will start to unlock the islands shopkeepers and businesses, this will enable you to buy items such as seeds, accessories for your piñata, helpers as well as being able to build homes for your resident piñatas and an added bonus you are also able to use Xbox Live to send your friends crates full of absolutely anything you like bad or good via the post office.

          Of course to improve your garden you will need money and thankfully you can sell anything in your garden, the best way to make money though is to keep breeding your piñatas and then sell them off, the more you do this, the better your garden will become which enables you to acquire more space and therefore more piñatas.

          Viva Piñata is a game which is rich in colour and gameplay, it may not appeal to everyone but I would recommend it highly, it is equally playable by adults and children and anyone with a family may find themselves arguing over the Xbox 360 controller, thankfully you can each have your own garden though so it's just a case of sharing your Xbox 360, so while this game is unusual, if you want to play something fun and different it is essential.




          Disclaimer: I am the user Wotta at Wonderwallweb.com so this review has also been uploaded there. Just to prevent any confusion.

          Comments

          Login or register to add comments
          • More +
            11.04.2007 10:03
            Very helpful
            (Rating)
            2 Comments

            Advantages

            Disadvantages

            Despite the below par graphics, a great experience.

            The Godfather is seen by many as one of the greatest films of all time, with Electronic Arts announcement of acquiring the rights to this film, many did not know what to expect. As more and more of the original stars signed up to reprise their roles, one thing was for sure, it was going to be big and big this game is.

            The game is set across New York City circa 1945, which has been split into 5 separate territories, Little Italy, Brooklyn, Hell's Kitchen, New Jersey and Midtown. Each part has been populated with mobsters, general public, cops, shops and warehouses, each playing a role in your game at some point.

            Your character, who you can design yourself using the easy to use MobFace system, had his father gunned down by a rival gang when you were young. Roll forward a few years and you are a petty criminal living off the streets. That is until a member of the Corleone Family takes you from the streets and helps you on your way to the big time and hopefully, revenge on your father's death. Its up to you to make a name for yourself in New York City, bomb drug rings, bribe police, take over businesses. You are able to negotiate with people in a nice friendly face-to-face manner, or just smash their face in. It sounds harsh, but remember this game is rated 18.

            The main story of the game plays alongside the film, connecting famous scenes like the horse's head and interacting with the big names from the film that will ask you to carry out jobs in the name of the Family. There is also plenty of side missions, like prize fighting, extortion, bank jobs and mob hits. Completion of these tasks builds your respect, and building this will lead you to your ultimate goal, becoming the Don of NYC.

            The more respect you earn, the different people act towards you. When you are trying to take over a business the owner will sometimes buckle straight away and hand over protection money, however, if they are already under the protection of another Mob or just stubborn, you will need to use other skills, like smashing up their store, strangling them, or using their head to open the till. Hidden behind some of these shops are other illegal businesses or safe houses (save points), which you can purchase.

            When trying to take over some of the larger warehouses you will find yourself in a fierce gun battle, with rival gangsters protecting their racket. To help you are able to hire a mobster to cover your back. Jump in a car and they will cover you from the windows as you retreat.

            This leads nicely to the controls of this game, which are by far the best I have used on a game of this type. The weapon aiming is spot on, allowing you to target with ease and then alter the shot for head, body, knees or weapons with the right stick. You are also able to free aim if you prefer. The melee attacks are perfect, with the right stick used to move your character, right trigger to lock on and the left stick to use as your fists. Using different combos of the left stick allow for hooks and power attacks, and when grabbing you are able to head butt and also execute people in numerous grisly but humane ways.

            It is very difficult not to compare this game to GTA as they both have the same premise, unnamed gangster making their way through the ranks to the big time in a large living city. But where GTA was the first, The Godfather improves on many of GTA's falling points.

            There is no loading from the outside world to a building and as mentioned above the targeting and control is a massive improvement. Though there are cars to use and steal in this game, it is set in 1945 so they are not high-speed sports cars. The car models are well designed, you can hear the creaky suspension as you hit a corner hard and they handle well enough. Smash one into a wall and it will take damage, eventually exploding.

            There are some bad points to this game though, this is in reality a port, yes it has had more levels added on from the XBOX version and the graphics have been given an overhaul, but it is still not a Next Gen game. There are also a few instances of glitches that I had experienced, which is shame as it really jolts you out of a great game experience. Another mobster was guiding me into a building, only for them to lift into the air and then walk through the walls. At first I thought I had been playing for too long, so I turned off and started again, but it was still there. This is the only major one I have witnessed and though it did spoil the feel of the game for a while, you soon move on and forget about it. There is also a feeling of being trapped into a world, you are only really able to go where the roads lead you to, with no real feeling of freedom; like going on the roofs of buildings or walk around the waterfront.

            If you can look past the graphics of the game you will find a great film tie in (a rarity) that has plenty to do and will keep you playing for hours, but because of the fact that this is an updated port it will lose some points. Sorry EA, it shows you worked hard on this title but did not give it the final polish to make this game a real gem.




            Disclaimer: I am the user Wotta at Wonderwallweb.com so this review has also been uploaded there. Just to prevent any confusion.

            Comments

            Login or register to add comments
            • More +
              10.04.2007 14:45
              Very helpful
              (Rating)
              4 Comments

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              A truly uniqe experience, but one you should not miss.

              Condemned: Criminal origins is the next game made by Monolith Productions and I in the same category as there last game F.E.A.R, survival horror. Is it scary? Well we shall soon see.


              Gameplay:
              You begin the game as a forensic officer investigating a crime seen that was discovered in an old abandoned apartment block. However the suspect is still inside the building and it is up to you to find and stop him, as your team mates have more or less ran for there life, ok so they climbed up a ladder, but its still trying to get away.

              Straight from the off, before you get to fight or even see any enemies you are put into the role of a forensic officer, you need to use various tools to find bits of evidence around the crime scene and then send the data collected back to the lab for analysis. This sort of thing makes the game more atmospheric and makes you feel like you are actually there. These scenes where you need to use the forensic tools are scattered all over the game and really add to the experience, a great feature for the game.

              The combat system in Condemned is also different from any other games that I have seen. The first thing you will notice when you start playing is the fact that you have very, and I mean very limited ammunition for your weapons, there are no ammo pickups in the game, if you run out of ammo you will need to find another gun, either off of an enemy or lying around in a cupboard or desk. However if you do run out of ammo, it does not mean that the weapon is useless, you can just turn it around and start beating the enemies with the handle side of the gun, which is extremely fun.

              This is where the gameplay gets interesting, thats right, the melee weapons. There is a huge number of weapons in the game from a plank of wood with nails in it, a station sign all the way up to a huge fire axe. There are about fifteen different melee weapons in total which may not seem like a lot, but trust me it is, as you will need to play the game through more than once in order to find them all. When using a melee weapon you have two options, attack or block, if you block at the right time, and you need to get the timing right, it will cause the enemy to fall backwards giving you the chance to ram your weapon into the enemies skull. Once you are done battering the enemy to death there are a number of things that ca happen, usually they will just fall to the ground dead, however sometimes they will only fall to their knees, this is the point where you get the option to perform one of four finishing moves, these moves are a more gruesome way of killing the enemy, such as snapping their necks.

              The physics in condemned are very good, you can be walking along and accidentally bump into a bucket or table and it will move according to how t would in the real world, if you knock a bucket on its side it will roll away depending on how the ground is sloped. You can hit nearly any object in the game and it will fly off just how it should. The AI in the game however is not as good as it could be. The enemies will see when they are in trouble and they will then run away and hide behind a pillar or around a corner and then pop out and attack you when you go near, however a lot of the enemies will get confused, and start randomly running away and never coming back or just simply running round in circles, which while is very entertaining, does somewhat ruin the experience. The AI however is a lot better when facing each other, I know this sounds strange, but if you sit back and watch the AI fight each other then it can not only give you a bit of breathing time, it also gives you something that is sometimes spectacular to watch.


              Graphics:
              The graphics used in Condemned are excellent. The surrounding area and the environment that you are in are rendered very well, the walls have darkened areas with blood splattered everywhere, the blood from an enemy that you have just hit round the head with a mallet will fly onto the wall and stay there, making a very realistic experience. The environments are musky and dark, just like you would expect from a survival horror game. The fire effects in the game are impressive but not amazing, there are better fire effects in games such as Call of Duty 2, however the fire effects on one of the weapons is very good, it acts as a torch lighting up the surrounding area, which once again adds to the atmosphere.

              However one of the downfalls of this game is the main characters animation, his face looks more like a cartoon than anything else and does not match with the rest of the game. However the animation and looks of the enemies make up for this. If you are about to hit lets say a hobo in the subway with a fire axe, you can actually see his facial expressions change from anger to fear as the axe comes crashing don towards his face. This adds a whole new level of character interactivity.


              Sound:
              The sound matches the atmosphere and adds to it as well. Just walking along and accidentally bumping into a bucket or walking on top of some glass, will make you either jump or shiver as you will begin to think that there is something stalking you. Not only does your own movement make you turn around and become worried but so does the enemies movement, if you are downstairs in a house, you can actually hear the enemies running around upstairs, this makes you wonder if it is safe or not to go up stairs and adds to the dramatic situations.

              The voice acting in the game is done very well, you can hear it very clearly and the way that they speak also matches what is going on in the game. The enemies voices are also pretty clear and easy to understand, when they are shouting at you telling you to go away, it really makes you feel as though you are there.

              The music in the game once again matches in with what is happening in the game (yes I know you are tired of me saying that now), but it truly does. You may be walking down an abandoned school corridor, then as you step into a classroom some haunting music will start, this lets you know that something is going to happen however it gives you no indication of what it is.


              Longevity:
              The game is not the longest game there is but it does have some replay value. It will take you roughly eight to ten hours to complete on easy and a lot longer on a harder difficulty. The replay value that I spoke of is that there the two different things that you can do at the end, I will not say what they are because that would most likely ruin the game for a lot of you, but they are life altering decisions, and worth playing again to see.


              Price:
              You can pick up condemned fro between £25 and is well worth it at that price.


              Overall Verdict:

              Condemned: Criminal Origins is an excellent game and very atmospheric and will draw you in and make you jump. If you like survival horrors or just want a scare, then pick this game up. It is a great game and one that you should check out.

              Comments

              Login or register to add comments
              • More +
                10.04.2007 10:03
                Very helpful
                (Rating)
                6 Comments

                Advantages

                Disadvantages

                Amazing game, well worth the money!

                The Tom Clancy series of games have been going on for a long time now, and we now come to the newest installment in his legion of games. Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter (referred to ad GR:AW from now on).


                :::::Background:::::

                In GR:AW you control a captain named Scott Mitchell, known as Captain Scott Mitchell funnily enough, in the year 2013. Throughout the game you will be commanding a team of four (including yourself) known as Ghosts through a series of challenging recon missions. There are also a few support vehicles that will come to aid you with your missions. The story is basically about a raid in Mexico City where some presidents are taken hostage and it is up to you to find and rescue them, as well as track down the culprit.


                :::::Graphics:::::

                The first thing that hits you when you start playing the game are the graphics, it may even take some people two ro three minutes to recover from the amazement (slight exaggeration there). The detail on your playable character and your squad members is simply amazing. However when you look into the smaller things these great graphics seem to fall apart. For instance the cars, buildings and the ground all have low resolution textures. The enemy soldiers also are of a much lower standard to your squad. So with these things, why does the game still look so good? I will tell you...

                Firstly the lighting, the way the game sets out its lighting really makes you feel that you are there and that is very important in a game. When you look towards the sun there is glare and this reflects of everything in the game. Every object has a different reaction to the light and so this gives a big boost to the games graphical style.

                The second reason why it looks so good is the way it handles its draw distance (for those who don't know this is how far away objects are rendered). This can be best seen when flying in a helicopter, the entire city has been rendered and you can gaze out from one side the other which is truly impressive.


                :::::Gameplay:::::

                You start the game in a training session which is always a good thing, because anyone knew will want to have a go at practicing the controls and such before being thrown into a combat situation, even though the training session does have some combat in it.

                Cover is a highly important aspect of this game as it can save you from life and death, especially as on hard mode it is one shot one death, so you need to stay under cover. You can duck down behind nearly every object in the game (not lampposts and trees as this is not a cartoon after all). You get to command your ghost squad with a very simple method of pressing the d-pad in one of the four directions (up, down, left, right) and you can instruct them to take cover or you go all in and charge at the enemy.

                Throughout your missions you get to command a number of vehicles, these include a UAV which is a little flying satellite type thing, tanks and helicopters. The UAV is a little flying satellite that you can command to scout the area of enemies for you. This is very handy when trying to work out the safest root towards your target. The helicopters and tanks work the same way as your ghost squat, however they are far more powerful and the helicopters can only be shot down by anti-air missiles which makes it a very valuable part of your team.


                :::::Sound:::::

                The sound in the game is fantastic. Every gun has its out unique sound and the explosions are nice and loud (as they should be). The voice acting is done extremely well with no cheesy lines and it all sounds very professional and believable.

                With a surround sound set-up you will truly feel like you are there which is exactly the experiance that you are lookng for in an immersive game.


                :::::Multiplayer:::::

                The multiplayer portion of GR:AW (online and offline( is almost a completely different game to the single player campaign. Your character does not move in the same way as Scott Mitchell does, and you can not press yourself up against walls and buildings to peek around corners etc. The graphics have been toned down somewhat but still look really good. Multiplayer in GR:AW is indeed great fun… when you can get a game that is. Frequently you will get booted out from a server and it can take a while to get a good game going, but once you do the online game plays really well with little to no lag. The good choice of maps and modes of play make for a really varied multiplayer game which has something for everyone.


                :::::Downside:::::

                GR:AW does however have some flaws, for instance the AI (artificial intelligence) does not live up to the name of intelligence. You may give a command to your team and then they will randomly run around in circles and look lost, even while they are getting shot at by the enemy. The people you need to protect do the same sorts of things, they do not stay behind cover but instead run everywhere you do and then run into the open and get shot which can be very frustrating.

                The AI of the enemy however is a little bit better, but can still be improved. They will flank around you so they can catch you off guard, they have a pretty good vision too, if you step out from cover while they are looking in your direction they will quickly jump for cover ad begin firing in your direction. However they do have their bad sides too, sometimes you can run all the way up behind one of them without them noticing then shoot them from two millimeters away. Its not perfect but an improvement over your friendly NPCs (non player characters).

                With all these good things comes the bad things. There are a number of glitches, none of which stop you from playing or completing the game but are more of an annoyance. For instance when running up a slope it looks as if you character is hopping and half falling over every few steps which to begin with is funny but becomes very annoying after the ten thousandth time of seeing it happen. Sometimes textures do not load so it looks like you are walking of a big black blob which only rarely happens but when it does it can ruin the experience.


                :::::Final Thought:::::

                Overall GR:AW offers a lot to any tactical shooter fan and will last a lot of gameplay time. The good points outweigh the bad by a long shot and it is a game well worth picking up. You can pick this game up for around 30 pounds on the Xbox 360 depending on where you buy it. It is also available for the original Xbox, PS2 and PC however the PS2 and Xbox versions do not have as good graphics and has toned down gameplay compared to the Xbox 360 and PC versions.

                Comments

                Login or register to add comments
                • Play.com / Online Shop / 28 Readings / 27 Ratings
                  More +
                  09.04.2007 22:12
                  Very helpful
                  (Rating)
                  3 Comments

                  Advantages

                  Disadvantages

                  You wan't something, they have it, and cheap too.

                  Have you been looking for a shop to do all your entertainment shopping from? Tired of searching the internet for certain devices that you can not find anywhere? Things too expensive, everywhere you look? Well then look no further than Play.com

                  Play.com can tender to your every need, from DVDs, to Televisions to watch the DVD you just bought on, so lets have a look at what the site is like and the sort of things they sell.

                  :::::::::: The Site ::::::::::

                  Play.com's website is remarkably easy to navigate, at the top of the screen there is a simple menu bar that will let you browse through the category of goods that you are interested in. The tabs are labeled, Home, DVD, Music, Games, Books, Electronics, Gadgets and Ringtones, each leading to a wide selection of goods that are available to you.

                  The site is easy on the eyes, it has a plain white background, which makes reading easier, and main titles and banners in red, which does match the white background, making the site eye pleasing.

                  If they are selling an item that is not out yet, then there is a little counter next to the item and there is one of these counters next to every item that is currently not out. This counter will tell you exactly how long is left until it is out, it is always counting in days, so you can plan ahead and see when you need the money for it or when you need to purchase it, or whatever you want to do with it. There is a search button on the left of the page on every tab, that allows you to search through the entire site, or just the sections your interested in.

                  :::::::::: Home Tab ::::::::::

                  The home tab gives you a small preview of the sorts of things that you will find in each section, it basically gives you an idea of what the most bought product or the most wanted product is in each of the sections mentioned above. There is no real detail in the Home Tab.

                  :::::::::: DVD Tab ::::::::::

                  This is the section to come to if you want to buy you, yep you guessed it DVD's.

                  Once you are into the DVD section, you will notice that under the main menu at the top there is a smaller less noticeable menu which gives you options such as, New Releases, Top Sellers or Coming Soon and other things like that. This gives the a more specific way of looking for the DVD you want, and is an alternative to using the search button at the side.

                  There are three sections to this page, at the top there is the Editor's Choice, this is where the DVD's that the site recommends, there are usually four or five different DVD's in this section and one main one where they give you a short description of the main choice DVD. The next section down is a section that has a number of DVD's that are Coming Soon, there are usually four DVD's shown in this section and they are usually the next four films to come out, making it easy to see what the next big films on the market will be. The final section is Play.com's Special Offers. These include DVD's for reduced prices, however it usually contains a lot of box sets for reduced prices, cheaper than you will find anywhere else, and they usually are.

                  If you click on any of the DVD's shown in these sections it will take you to a detailed page just for that DVD and will give you all the information that you will need. From price to availability. Also in this section there is a listing of other films made by the same director, as well as some of the films that the cast stared in.


                  :::::::::: Music Tab ::::::::::

                  The music section is remarkably similar to the DVD section, which is by no means a bad thing. However one difference is that at the top under the main menu bar, there is a middle bar, above the other smaller bar mentioned in the DVD section. This second bar gives you four new options which is basically the different types of music formats, it gives you CD, Super Audio CD, DVD-Audio and Music DVD. Lets talk about the CD section first. The CD section is almost identical to the DVD section, just with one little difference, it is selling CD's and not DVD's. It still keeps the same format of the Editors Choice, Coming Soon and then Special Offers sections which gives you a general overview of the CD's they have on offer. There is still of course the search box to the left which lets you search for the song, the album or the artist, making it very easy to find what you are looking for.

                  The next bit on the middle menu is the Super Audio CD, this section dose not give the editors choice or the special offers or the coming soon, it is just a list of all the Super Audio CD's available, the search box at the side will come in handy here instead of browsing through page after page looking for the CD you want. The next section is DVD-Audio, Once again this is just a list of all of them, so the search function is needed here, too, you really need to know what you are looking for in order to find what you want here. The Music DVD section however does give you the three sections again making it easy to find what you want and to see what is hot and what is coming out soon.

                  Once again, clicking on a CD or DVD picture will take you to a detailed page about it. At the bottom of this detailed page you will find a section witch will show you other CD's by the artist you are looking at, just incase you wanted to buy more from that particular artist.

                  Play.com are constantly running offers on CD's that manage to reduce the prices to be a great amount cheaper than other places, such as buy on CD get another half price.

                  :::::::::: Games Tab ::::::::::

                  This section offers you an enormous choice in games, from console games, PC games and hand held games, as well as the consoles to play them on. This section however is not laid out the same way as the other section are, it has the middle menu bar just like the CD section and this time it has a different menu for each console, PC and hand held machine, giving you a different selection for each menu. None of these sections have the Editor's Choice, Coming Soon or Special Offers sections, so you will either need to use the search box or the third menu, as mentioned in the DVD section in order to find what you are looking for.

                  Every game that they are selling has a small review in with it, and all the information that you will need, from the age rating, price and availability, plus all the features the game has. Play.com always have the most recent releases and have them at very competitive prices.

                  Play.com does have its special offers, such as two games for £20 or something like that. The prices are always competitive and well worth checking out if you are looking to buy a new game or games.

                  :::::::::: Books Tab ::::::::::

                  Here we have three sections in the middle menu bar, Home, Audio Books and Calendars (a new section only recently put up). The home section is the main part here, this is where all the books are, we also have our favorite little layout of the Editor's choice, Coming Soon and Special Offers. Play.com stock all kinds of books from fiction to autobiography books. If you are looking for a book, well you can't go wrong with Play.com, ok so WHSmiths may have a wider selection, but they also have a higher price.

                  The next section along in Audio Books, here we once again have our three sections, and I have not really looked through this section much and I have no idea how many audio books there are, but Play.com seem to have a rather large selection of them to choose from. The final section in the books tab is Calendars, now this is a new section that has recently been put up, so it does not have the largest selection of calendars yet, but it is still a decent amount, but they are not too expensive, so this section is worth checking out if you are in need of a new calendar.

                  :::::::::: Electronics Tab ::::::::::

                  This section has seven sub sections inside of it. The first section is titled Home, this is a basic overview of all the products that you will find in the electronics tab, from TV's to video cameras or MP3 players. This is just a basic look at these things in no detail whatsoever, the next six sections go into more detail about it.

                  The next sub section along is Televisions, there is only two bits to this section, Pick of the Week, where they show off one television as the one that has been bought the most or the one they feel is the best. The bit just a little lower down is a section entitled Hot Deals, where they give you a number of televisions or DVD players to look at, this section looks rather limited, in order to find what you are looking for you will need to use the search box or the third menu at the top. However in this section there is a fourth menu, consisting of All, LCD & Plasma Screens, Freeview, Remote Controls, Accessories, giving you a more versatile way of looking for the things you want.

                  The next sub section along is MP3/Ipod, this also just has the two sections of Pick of the Week and Hot Deals. There is a fourth menu for this section too, consisting of All, iPod, MP3 Players, MP4 Players, Accessories. The next sub section is DVD, I know, "we have already gone through this" you may be saying, well no, this time it's the DVD players and disk cleaner type things. You have the fourth menu once again consisting of DVD players, portable DVD players and DVD writers. These fourth menus really do make it a lot easier for you don't they? The next bit along is Computers, there are a lot and I mean a lot of things in the fourth menu of this one so I will not go through them all, but they are things like keyboards, sound cards, speakers, all sorts of things like that. Next we have the Digital Camera section with a fourth menu for things like the actual cameras or memory cards. The final subsection is Mobile Phones, with a fourth menu for things like the actual phones, memory cards, sim cards and things like that.

                  Oh boy, that is a lot of electronics if you ask me.

                  :::::::::: Gadgets Tab ::::::::::

                  Ok in this main section we have six sub sections, the first section is Home. Here we have a nice little overview of all the gadgets that you can get, and guess what, its in our favorite little format of the three sections. The next section along is titled Boys Toys, in this section you get things like little Britain toys, funny key rings and things like that. There is a fourth menu with various things like, cool tools, and paintball. The next sub section is Film Memorabilia, this has items related to films in it. From a Doctor Who Dalek to a Wallace and Gromit talking toy, everything film related is here. The next section along is Activity Days, and this is a unique section that I have not seen in any other shops, in this section you can book things like a Monster Truck Ride, or a Health Spa Day, a great addition to the shop, however I have no idea how many people use it or what the service is like. The next section along is Health and Fitness, in this section you will find things like Shavers or a very strange thing, some vibrating soap, whatever that is used for, I will leave up to your imagination. The final sub section here is T-shirts, you will find t-shirts with slogans on here. Not really much to say about them, you just need to take a look yourself.

                  :::::::::: Ringtones Tab ::::::::::

                  In this section you can buy a selection of Standard or Polyphonic ringtones each for 99p each. There is also a small selection of Backgrounds that you can buy for your phone, for 99p each also. This is the smallest section of the shop and has the least content.

                  :::::::::: Making a Purchase ::::::::::

                  To make a purchase on Play.com is dead simple, there are just a few steps you need to take.
                  1) Find the item you want (this can be done by using the search box, or browsing the site and clicking on the "Buy" button next to the item you want to buy.)
                  2) Paying for the Item (When you are ready to pay, click on the "Checkout" button in the shopping basket.)
                  3) Creating an Account (In order to make a purchase you need an account, this is easy and quick to set up and it stores your personal info, delivery address, and credit/debit card info.)
                  4) Confirming your Item and Payment (It will show you info about the item, like price and also your delivery address, click on confirm if all the info is correct.)
                  5) Now you just sit back, relax and wait for your item to come to your door.

                  :::::::::: Shipping & Delivery ::::::::::

                  Play.com is very good at sending out the goods you have orders, postage and packaging is completely free, items that are in stock are usually dispatched within twenty-four hours and are usually delivered within three to five working days.

                  Shipping 1st Class = Free (CDs, DVDs, Books etc)
                  Special Delivery = Free (Televisions etc)

                  Books, DVDs, Books etc = 3-5 days
                  Televisions etc = 7-14 days

                  Once you have made a purchase you can see how far along the product is with their Tracking System, it allows you to see if it is being picked of the shelf, still being processed or if it has been despatched yet. Easy to view and understand.

                  :::::::::: Customer Service ::::::::::

                  I have only had one experience with the Customer support, mainly because I have only ever had one problem with them, ok so this is the story.

                  I bought an IPod from them about a year ago, so when it arrived, I charged it up and well, it just died again, so every time I charged it up it dies. So I phoned them up and a very helpful lady was on the other side, she talked me through everything I needed to do to send the item back and to get a replacement, so I did what she said. Four days later including a Sunday I had the replacement in my hand working perfectly. They must have sent the replacement before they had received the faulty one, which to me is a bit risky but great service. Friends of mine that have also used the service also say that they are very helpful and efficient.

                  :::::::::: Anything Else? ::::::::::

                  While you are visiting the site you may notice that they do offer quite a few competitions throughout the year, from winning Televisions to DVD players or even a large selection of CDs, always worth checking out.

                  :::::::::: My Opinions ::::::::::

                  I have bought many items from Play.com and they have always been reliable, the last time I bought from them was five days before Christmas, and they still managed to deliver them to me two days before Christmas, now that is service. The service has been like this every time I buy from them.

                  Over the next year I will continue to buy from this great retailer and I am sure that I am not the only one.

                  Comments

                  Login or register to add comments
                  • More +
                    09.04.2007 21:31
                    Very helpful
                    (Rating)
                    1 Comment

                    Advantages

                    Disadvantages

                    For the price of £16.99 you can you really afford to miss this game?

                    Midway have arrived on the Wii at last, and what better way to make an appearance than with a game that offers the best value for money on the console so far, but with Rampage: Total Destruction only costing £16.99, can it really be any good?

                    Following a similar formula to the original arcade classic, Total Destruction, elaborates on what made the original so popular, with destructible cities, helicopters buzzing around your head and best of all, monsters with an attitude, 37 monsters altogether in fact, To make things even better you can also upgrade your monster, this is done through completing in game challenges and once complete this enables you to use them in Vs. battle or various multiplayer modes, how's that for carnage?

                    As you have probably guessed, the object of the campaign mode is to destroy the cities, leaving a mass of destruction behind you, each city comprises of about 8-10 blocks, at the end of of city you will encounter Dr Vector who will try to stop you by using one of his anti monster machines, when you have completely destroyed a city you will then move onto the next area.

                    At the beginning of the level, you will be given an objective, this will help your character level up if you complete these, this will then give you the benefit of special moves for your character, there are also other monsters to be found during the levels, so it is worth searching behind everything you can, for hidden items.

                    The multiplayer mode offers three different games, the first of these being King of the City, this offers up to four player the chance to compete against each other to see who can cause the most destruction to each city block, once the blocks are destroyed the winner will then be decided by whoever has the highest score, the next mode is really just an extented version of the first, basically you play numerous rounds and when one player has won more than half of them, he is declared King of the World, there is also a timed run mode in which the city must be destroyed before the time runs out, players can also fight against each other in any of these modes, which is always good for a laugh.

                    On the graphic side, the characters look great, the environments are full of life and when the buildings crumble to the ground in your path, the effects are quite simply stunning, the animations when your monster gets hit or eats poisonous food is also fun to watch. In addition, the design for each city is unique enough to make you feel that you have moved on, the sound is also present and correct, in fact monsters roaring in the middle of a rampage has never sounded so good.

                    The games main downfall are the controls, this is mainly evident when you try to climb a building by pushing up on your nunchuck only for your character to walk to the back of the building, you will probably find that this sort of thing happens quite a bit when you try to interact with the background, you can if you wish use just the Wii Remote on it's own, however this just complicates things and it is just so much simpler to plug in your Nunchuck.

                    Overall despite the annoyance of the controls, the sheer fun to be had in the gameplay makes this worth the money alone, climbing up the side of the building and pounding it with your monsters fist has never been so much fun, so at a price of £16.99 you can you really afford to miss this game?



                    Disclaimer: I am the user Wotta at Wonderwallweb.com so this review has also been uploaded there. Just to prevent any confusion.

                    Comments

                    Login or register to add comments
                    • More +
                      09.04.2007 20:34
                      Very helpful
                      (Rating)
                      2 Comments

                      Advantages

                      Disadvantages

                      A great football game, however it does have a lot of missing features.

                      :::::::::::: Overview ::::::::::::

                      Pro evolution soccer 6 is the sixth game of the series (I would not of guessed that). It is the first version released onto a next generation console, but has it evolved into a better game? Or has it just had a face-lift to look better, lets find out!



                      :::::::::::: Game Features ::::::::::::

                      Before we get into all the technical stuff, I guess the best thing to do is to get all the features out of the way. So here goes:

                      Leagues included:
                      · English Premiership
                      · Serie A (Italy)
                      · La Liga (Spain)
                      · Ligue 1 (France)
                      · Random European 1
                      · Random European 2
                      · Lots of National Teams

                      As you can see, there are not that many leagues to choose from. If we were to compare this list to the list that comes with the Playstation 2 version of the game, we will find that there is a huge difference. The Xbox 360 version of the game has had a lot of leagues removed from the game, which no one has any idea why, as the developers will not comment about it. This is one of the biggest disappointments about the game for me, and most other people that I have asked about it.


                      Stadiums:
                      · Not many, only around ten

                      Unfortunately I am unable to find a list of the stadiums on the internet, and my Xbox 360 is currently two hundred miles away from me, so I cannot look them up. However, I can tell you that it is a very similar story as above. The number of stadiums has been dramatically reduced compared to other versions of the game on other platforms. This is another great disappointment for me.


                      Now here is the worst part of all, all the features that are available in the Playstation 2 version of the game, but are not available on the next generation version of the game:
                      · Ability to edit team names
                      · Ability to edit kits
                      · Ability to edit player appearances
                      · Ability to edit boots
                      · Ability to create players
                      · Ability to rename leagues
                      · Ability to move club players
                      · Ability to assign national team players
                      · Random Selection Match
                      · International Challenge Mode
                      · Reduced Number of Stadiums
                      · Reduced number of teams
                      · Other training modes removed
                      · PES Shop
                      · Save replay feature
                      · Online co-operative play
                      · Snow and rain weather conditions removed
                      · Match Analysis removed

                      Now, I don't know about you, but that is a huge list of missing features. This is the Xbox 360 version's greatest downfall, which in turn prevents it from getting a good score in my books.

                      Some of these features such as the edit modes are needed as most people who buy pro evo will want to change the teams that have been spelt wrong, as not all teams are fully licensed which causes a bit of confusion when trying to select the team that you want to be.

                      Another major disappointment is the lack of the PES Shop, this was a great feature in the other versions of the game, and it allowed you to purchase new footballs and new stadiums to play with and in. With this missing, there is not really that much for you to aim for, you are just playing the game mindlessly instead of setting yourself a target such as aiming to unlock a certain stadium.


                      Footballs, there are a number of different footballs for you to play with but this is such a small part of the game that it is only worth a small mention, so here is that little mention.


                      Now I spoke about not having anything to aim for earlier on, but that is not completely true, with the Xbox 360 version there are certain achievements that you can unlock, as with all Xbox 360 games. These give you things to aim for, such as winning the league or beating a certain number of people online, which leads me to my final feature.


                      The online play is pro evo 6 is probably its best feature. Most games that you play online are relatively smooth and have little hick ups. There is a match making system where you search for opponents and then select one from the list. The ranking system is pretty straightforward, you win a game you gain points, you loose a game you loose points. The bigger the difference in ranking of the two players the more or less points you win or loose. There is a league system, depending on your rank in the world, you are put into a different league, so people can see how good you are instantly and so they know whether to face you or not, which is a pretty good feature as it helps prevent the number one player from going up against the number ten thousandth player.


                      Now with all of that out of the way, here is the more technical part of the game.



                      :::::::::::: Graphics ::::::::::::

                      I will talk about the graphics first as it is the most obvious thing about this game. The overall graphics of pro evo 6 (what the game will be referred to from now on) are pretty impressive. Never before in a football game, have you been able to see individual blades of grass and each individual stud on the player's boots while still running around the field. You could see them in the cut scenes in FIFA but we are talking about in game play. While running round you can still recognise who you are controlling as the players do look a bit like their real life counterparts.

                      The stadiums, while there are not a lot of them in this version, do look amazing. Sometimes when playing the game you will want to watch the opening sequences of the matches just so that you can have a look at the stadium that you will be playing in.

                      The player models, while good could do with a bit of improvement. They do look similar to their real life counterparts, but when comparing them to the FIFA models, you can see that there is room for a lot of improvement, however this is only a minor issue, and has not impact on the overall gameplay of the game.



                      :::::::::::: Sound ::::::::::::

                      Well, there is not much to talk about in sound, after all it's a football game, now unless there is a feature where there are pitch invasions which I have never seen, then not much goes on in football, not many people shooting or explosions going off to comment about.

                      The commentators however is something to talk about, they are bland. Now this is nothing special in football games, I am still yet to play a football game that has decent commentators. They repeat themselves every two minutes and sometimes they are still talking about something that happened ten minutes ago even though we have just scored. Al though they lack some qualities that are needed, they are not the worst I have ever heard and they have improved the commentary over the last version of the game's which is always a good thing.

                      The crowds around the stadium are a disappointment. They are quiet and pretty boring. Every now and then they will shout a chant at the teams, but they are generic chants so it has not real effect n you while playing the game. They cheer when you shoot and when you score but that is about it, the crowd unlike in real life is a real let down.



                      :::::::::::: Gameplay ::::::::::::

                      Now down to business. The gameplay in pro evo 6 has been completely revamped from previous versions. There are a lot of things that have changed.

                      Firstly the way that the player's move has been dramatically slowed down and they can no longer perform a perfect 180-degree turn in under a second. This is a great new feature as the players were way too fast in previous versions of the game, being slower has greatly increased the realism of the game.

                      Shooting and passing has had its difficult increased. No longer can you simply press A or Y and the ball will automatically find the feet of you fellow players. You need to time the ass right so a defending player can not intercept the ball, you need to be facing the right way and point the analogue stick towards the player you want to pass it to, otherwise the ball will go straight to an opposing player, this is another good improvement as it makes you think about the game more.

                      There are a number of game modes in the game for you to play with. The legendary masters mode is still here where you take a team with poor players and build them up or purchase new players to eventually get promoted and win the top division. There are a number of tournaments for you to play with and leagues too, which does give the game a bit of life and keeps you occupied for a while.



                      :::::::::::: Will it last? ::::::::::::

                      The offline mode will not keep you going for months, unless you have a few friends that are always around to play against.

                      However the online mode will keep you going for a long time. There are enough people online to keep you playing and the ranking system gives you and incentive to keep playing and trying to improve you world ranking.

                      The game will only last if you have xbox live so keep that in mind if you are thinking of purchasing this game.



                      :::::::::::: Conclusion ::::::::::::

                      Pro evo 6 is a step up from the previous versions in terms of gameplay and graphics, however with the lack of features that are available in older versions and versions on the other consoles, it cannot come out with a great rating.

                      It is a decent game and does deserver a decent score.

                      You can pick this game up from you local store (as long as the store sells games) for around 25 pounds.

                      Enjoy!

                      Comments

                      Login or register to add comments
                      • More +
                        09.04.2007 20:17
                        Very helpful
                        (Rating)
                        5 Comments

                        Advantages

                        Disadvantages

                        A great game however not a top pick.

                        Superman has been with us for nearly 70 years, starting off in Action Comics and then flying onto all other available entertainment formats. However the track record for old Supes on the computer game format has been ropey at best. With the release of Superman Returns on DVD, EA have taken on the challenge of making Superman great again on the Xbox 360.

                        I will start by saying that this is "Superman Returns: The Video Game" in name alone. The real backbone of the game has nothing to do with the movie, only cut scenes and character voices have been used from the movie. You can take this in two ways, bad as people will be purchasing this as a film tie-in, but good in the way that this game is in no way restricted to the plot of the film and that it can bring on other parts of Superman past.

                        The game itself is set on a huge free roaming interpretation of Superman's adopted city Metropolis. Right from the off you are able to travel to any part at your desire. You are able to fly as high as the clouds or run across the city streets at super speed. The city itself looks amazing, skyscrapers have amazing original architecture and cars and people walking around them, really showing what the Xbox 360 can do. You are able to fly seamlessly in-between the towering building with no slowdown. As you fly around the city you will see the graphics updating themselves to show better detail, but this is just nitpicking really, and does not deter from the overall fun of flying. I have only experienced this sort of open freedom in the old Spiderman 2 from the last generation of consoles, Superman Returns makes you want to just fly about at you hearts content, not really bothering about the main story.

                        Unfortunately, this is where the game goes a bit wrong, the story, whilst there are cut scenes from the movie dotted around the game, most of the time there is no real story involved, aliens attack, mutants escape and attack, robots attack, that's about it. The only reason for these small skirmishes with unknown baddies is to boost up your stats, every time you fill you stats bar, you are given a new power upgrade, most of the time this is just a more powerful version of the move you already have, e.g. heat vision. Unfortunately, this is the main body of the game and does get repetitive very quickly. Whilst most of the baddies are non descript, there are a few that are impressive, the flying mutants give you a real run for your money, but once you work out their weaknesses they are no real bother at all. Now of course, this would not be a good game without some super villains, and EA have scoured Supes back history and pulled out some greats like, Parasite, Metallo, Bizarro and Mr Mxyzptlk. At certain points of the game these baddies turn up to wreak havoc on the streets of Metropolis, all you have to do is fly to their location, work out their weakness and defeat them, and then you start the process all over again. Some of the baddies are awesome when Metallo grows to the size of a skyscraper; his every move damages the floor beneath him, leaving you to throw vehicles at him until he perishes. Others like Mr Mxyzptlk have mini games dotted around the city for you to complete. These are split into races against Mr Mxyzptlk, turning into Bizarro and destroying as much as possible in the allotted time, and also collecting 100 lost kittens??

                        As you can imagine, being invulnerable will get quite boring after a while, to counter this, rather than giving Superman a health bar, they have given it to the city, allow the baddies too long to rampage in the streets and the city is defeated, then its game over for you. To charge up the cities health you are able to save citizens and fly them to the emergency services.

                        The super powers available to you are usable throughout the game, you are able to change from super breath, freeze breath and heat vision with a click of the d-pad. Flying is also very easy and majestic, with your cape flapping in the wind. It's when you are earth bound that the problems start. The camera has a tendency to lose itself and get stuck behind walls, and the hand-to-hand combat is not very smooth, allowing for confusion as to what moves you are trying to pull off.

                        If this game did not have an age rating I would of given it a higher rating as this title would be most suitable for children of around 10, the repetitive game play and ability to fly wherever you like will appeal to this age group. But for some reason this game is rated a 12, and through it is nice to see a game aimed at a younger audience, I cant see many children over the age of 12 getting much enjoyment out of this unless you are a hardcore superman fan.

                        With 70 years of the Man of Steels history and over 80 square miles of city available, this game feels a bit empty, I feel this game could have been a lot better, but for what its worth, this is the best Superman game to date, even if it is a bit too easy.




                        Disclaimer: I am the user Wotta at Wonderwallweb.com so this review has also been uploaded there. Just to prevent any confusion.

                        Comments

                        Login or register to add comments
                        • Crackdown (Xbox 360) / Xbox 360 Game / 19 Readings / 17 Ratings
                          More +
                          09.04.2007 20:12
                          Very helpful
                          (Rating)
                          1 Comment

                          Advantages

                          Disadvantages

                          Truly enjoyable game, well worth the money!

                          Microsoft have a knack of getting it right when it comes to gaming recently, you just need to look at the excellent Gears of War and the hype surrounding Halo 3 to realise this, however it seems that they weren't satisfied and therefore decided to create more hype and in the process make their new game, Crackdown the one to benefit from this by including a beta invitation to Halo 3 in special packs, however what people may not realise is that Microsoft are being very kind to us by including the beta with this game because Crackdown on it's own is pretty fantastic and we are going to tell you why.

                          In the game you play the part of a recruit agent, who's job it is to clear up Pacific City, the nations capital, which is being controlled by three violent gangs, to do this you have to eliminated the leaders of each, however as well as the three main leaders there are also another seven leaders for each gang who are responsible for various things like importing military equipment and training new recruits, all of these people are very heavily armed and guarded so as to put you off running straight in there and killing them when you have no experience.

                          Once you start the game your main objective is to find each gang leader so that you can start to think about eliminating them, when you get near to their location a dossier will come up on the screen informing you all about them and this also permanently adds them to your map meaning that if you get distracted you will be able to find them again. One of your other missions is to find the agency supply points, these are where you can load up on ammo and store new weapons that you find, once you have found more than one you are also able to move between them.

                          At first you may think to yourself that this game is another Grand Theft Auto clone, as it is quite similar when you are running though the streets shooting people or stealing their cars, however there are a lot of differences which at first you may not spot, for example when just walking the streets in GTA between missions, it isn't very often that you are shot to the floor for no reason, but as previously advised, in Crackdown the gangs own the street and you are the Good Guy, so you will need to be careful because otherwise you may find that you have grenades coming at you from all directions.

                          The main difference I haven't mentioned yet is the jumping, you see once you work your way up to the rooftops you will notice green orbs in various locations, most of these are on top of buildings and by collecting them you will increase your agility (usually the higher orbs offer greater reward), what this means is that you can jump, boy can you jump, by taking a run from one end of the building to the other and then pressing the correct button you will find yourself leaping from one rooftop to the other and the more orbs you get the further you will go, meaning that you wont find yourself flat on the street like you no doubt did on your first attempt.

                          The more you use a particular skill, the better your character's ability at this will become and there are also hidden blue orbs darted about the city which help you improve your skills also, meaning you will run faster, become an explosives expert and in general kill more enemies and the more enemies you kills the more chance there will be of finding even better weapons such as my favourite, the rocket launcher.

                          During the game you will also notice purple and green markers, if you go through a purple one in a car this will begin a race, this will help you improve your driving skills as well as gaining various achievements, the green marker is similar except you do this one on foot to help improve your agility, these offer a welcome distraction from the main game.

                          One of the great features of this game has got to be the online co-op mode, what this means is that another person who has the game can join in with you or visa versa, this is a highly enjoyable experience and means that the enemies have two of you to contend with, you can even complete the game together which will earn you a special achievement and of course if desired you can even fight each other or race through the streets in your car jacked vehicles.

                          Unfortunately the developers have not included a two player split screen option, I personally feel that this would have been a great addition to the game, there are some other flaws also such as the camera which seems to have a habit of being a bit erratic and at one point my character got stuck in the scenery while swimming which lead to his demise.

                          Apart from the flaws, the graphics and sound fit in well, while they are by no means spectacular they do the job that is required of them and there are some nice effects such as all the gang members throwing abuse at you in a foreign language, it is also good to see that when a gang member fires at a police car they will immediately respond by putting on their sirens and taking evasive action.

                          There is no doubt that Crackdown is an excellent game on it's own merit, including the Halo 3 beta is a nice way for Microsoft to sell a few extra copies but once people play this game they wont but it down, the Xbox Live Co-op mode is an excellent idea while jumping from rooftop to rooftop is a joy, TJ Hooker eat your heart out Crackdown's here to stay.




                          Disclaimer: I am the user Wotta at Wonderwallweb.com so this review has also been uploaded there. Just to prevent any confusion.

                          Comments

                          Login or register to add comments