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adamdavid

adamdavid
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Member since: 20.06.2000

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    • Demolition Man (DVD) / DVD / 1 Reading / 8 Ratings
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      14.02.2003 17:59
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      THE STORY - from the back cover of the disc "Sylvester Stallone and Wesley Snipes go at it amid a dazzling cyber-future in this explosive hit. In 2032 arch-criminal Simon Phoenix (Snipes) awakens from a 35-year deep freeze in CryoPrison to find a serene, non-violent Los Angeles ready for the taking. Unable to deal with Phoenix's brutal 1990s style, officials seek an old-fashioned cop to fight old-fashioned crime. They revive Sgt. John Spartan (Stallone), unjustly serving a CryoPrison sentence because of his last encounter with Phoenix." That sums up the story nicely, without spoiling it too much. It's kind of a mix of action and humour, with Sandra Bullock thrown in to add a bit of sexual interest. Nigel Hawthorne plays the founder of the serene new world and a rather good job he makes of it too. Watch out for Denis Leary playing? well, playing himself, really. The plot isn't great, but it's a half-decent action film. Certainly worth a look if you like Stallone, Snipes or action films. THE DVD Extras There aren't any. The back cover lists Interactive Menus, Scene Access, Subtitles and English 5.1 Dolby Digital sound as extras, but they aren't extras. They are the absolute, bare minimum that a DVD should contain. Sound As stated above, this is Dolby Digital 5.1 and it's pretty good too. Not brilliant, but not bad. Like the extras, this is functional, without being inspiring. Picture This is without doubt the WORST picture I have ever seen on a DVD, or even VHS video. Some scenes are so blocky that when I first watched the film, I thought my TV or DVD player was broken. There are artefacts, pixelation and signs of compression throughout the film and it really spoils things if you are used to watching DVDs. OVERALL As a film, it's a half-decent action film. As a DVD, it's dreadful. I bought mine for £6.99 and I still felt a little ripp
      ed off. Of course it comes in Warner Bros traditionally cheap and nasty cardboard case, which is bad enough, but forgivable when the quality of the DVD itself is up to scratch, but this one isn't. If you want to show off your home cinema system, then this disc is possibly the worst one ever to do that. If you like this film, buy it on VHS - the picture will be better. If you want to buy it on DVD - I'm selling my copy via amazon.co.uk for a fiver.

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      • Comet.co.uk / Online Shop / 1 Reading / 6 Ratings
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        17.07.2001 21:24
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        Perusing the top few opinion titles about Comet, it would seem that people do not have a high opinion of Comet. Unfortunately (for Comet) I am not going to change that. The reason I am writing this opinion is that I have a story to tell; "Once upon a time a young, handsome prince decided it was time to get a new stereo. His old stereo was six years old and made a grating noise every time a new CD was put in and the tape player was eating tapes like they were going out of fashion. The prince decided what sort of thing he was after and how much he wanted to spend and he went shopping. He went to a variety of stores and no one had what he wanted. He went in to Comet for the second time that day and decided to ask about a stereo. (He had to ask because he had been in twice and no-one had spoken to him despite the fact that he had been staring at the same stereo for ten minutes.) He listened to a stereo that was more expensive than he wanted (he had set a budget of £300 and the one he was looking at was £350). He decided that since he was a prince, he would have the stereo he was looking at. It was bigger than he wanted, more expensive than he wanted and had a twin tape when he only really needed a single tape but it looked and sounded great. He was told by the storekeeps assistant that the one on display was the only one left and there was no box and probably no instructions - but that the price would be reduced to compensate. Off trotted the assistant and came back saying that he could knock £15 off - or he could offer extended warranty for half price. He explained that it was the last one because it was being phased out and had been replaced by that unit over there (he pointed at a stereo from the same manufacturer for £500!) The handsome prince, who was also quite rich, decided to have the one for £350 knocked down to £335 and off went the storekeeps assistant to see if he could find the instructions. While he was gone, th
        e prince decided to play with and listen to the £500 system. When the storekeeps assistant came back he had some instructions but the prince had decided to buy the more expensive system. The storekeeps assistant took the prince to get his nice, new stereo and lo, they didn't have any! The prince was told that they would have some on Friday and the prince went away empty handed. The prince went home and his wizard friend told him that it was not meant to be and that he should make do with his old stereo - after all, a swift thump (or seven) to the side of it cured the grinding sound. The prince was astounded by the days events and agreed with his wizard friend. Fate obviously did not want him to spend his wealth and he decided to wait." It astounded me that my simple and straightforward requirements were almost impossible to meet. How an electrical "superstore" can have neither of the stereo systems I decided on except for the display models is beyond me. I only really wanted to spend £250, but would have spent £500. Instead, I spent nothing - I couldn't give them my money because they had nothing to sell me. The fact that not a single member of staff offered any greeting or acknowledgement until I went looking is beside the point. Most of the time, I don't want to be bothered by staff until I'm ready, but a simple "Do you need any help?" never does any harm at all. It had taken me a long time to decide to replace my stereo and I had no idea it would be so difficult to spend my money. Like the prince in my story, I think it is fate telling me to hang on to my hard earned pennies for a while. The amazing thing is that the store is massive, well layed out, clean and tidy and yet apparently has no stock. Oh, and offering to knock £15 off a product that is £350, being phased out, has no box and has been on display for god knows how long borders on insulting. Shop ass
        istants look at me and the way I dress and assume I have no money or am not serious - a dangerous and stupid mistake to make. Never judge a book by it's cover. UPDATE. Unbelievably, I went back to Comet to try, once again to buy a stereo. I wanted a micro system and they had the one that I wanted. I asked one of the assistants if they had one in stock and he went away to find out. He came back and said... ...wait for it... ..."Sorry, we've got one on order. It might have come in this morning. I'll just check with the warehouse." Five minutes later he comes back. "They don't know what's been delivered yet. Can you pop back this afternoon?" "Of course I can pop back this afternoon. I don't mind wasting more of my day off in your store on the off chance that you may actually have what I want. I don't mind wasting petrol driving home, only to come back again this afternoon. Of course I don't mind coming back this afternoon. I love this store because it saves me so much money by not actually having anything that I want." (Didn't really say that, actually I smiled and said "Sure, ok.") Did I "pop back in the afternoon"? Of course not. I went to a proper store (Music Matters, Hobs Moat, Solihull). One that actually sells things and has them in stock. Not only did they have what I wanted they had two of them and were quite happy to sell me one, and I was able to upgrade the speakers to the ones from the next model up. They were friendly. And helpful. And I'll go back there when I want something else hi-fi related. As for Comet, they may be big, but they are not at all helpful, knowledgeable or worth bothering with. If you want to buy anything stereo related, find a decent Hi-fi shop nearby and go there first. Comet may be cheap, but they don't actually stock what they sell.

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        • Addicted To Love (DVD) / DVD / 2 Readings / 5 Ratings
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          01.06.2001 18:00
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          Addicted to Love is a romantic comedy featuring two extremely amiable stars. Meg Ryan and Matthew Broderick are both competent, inoffensive stars, who (generally) make competent inoffensive movies. Sam (Matthew Broderick) is an astronomer whose girlfriend Linda(Kelly Preston) goes to New York to teach and decides to stay, dumping him in the process. Naturally, he goes to see her only to hear a man's voice coming from inside her hotel room. He decides to stay and observe her and her new man Anton (Tcheky Karyo), and takes up residence in the abandoned building opposite their apartment. During the first few days, he encounters Maggie (Meg Ryan), who it turns out, was engaged to Anton. Maggie and Sam team up to try and split up the happy couple, doing whatever it takes. Sam is obsessed with winning Linda back and Maggie wants Anton humiliated and destroyed. If you have ever seen a romantic comedy then you'll know exactly what happens in the end, but I won't spoil it for those who can't guess. This film is no "When Harry Met Sally" but it is a nice film. It's is amusing without being fall-on-the-floor hilarious and it is sweet without being too sickly. Meg Ryan is gorgeous and as good as she always is. Matthew Broderick is funny and charming and Tcheky Karyo is really rather good as the character we hate and then feel sorry for. All in all it's a really nice film and perfect for watching with the one you love. DVD Extras Cast and Crew biographies for Meg Ryan, Matthew Broderick, Kelly Preston, Tcheky Karyo, Maureen Stapleton, Rachel Portman (Music), Andrew Dunn (Director of Photography), Robert Gordon (Writer) and Griffin Dunne (Director) Behind the Scenes (words), something on Camera Obscura (a history of a central technique to the film) and the Theatrical trailer.

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        • Bad Boys (DVD) / DVD / 0 Readings / 9 Ratings
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          20.05.2001 21:44
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          *The Film Bad Boys is an action film starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence as two Miami cops who work for the drug squad. When $100 million dollars worth of heroin is stolen from the police lock up, they set out to catch the culprits before their department gets closed down. As you would expect from a film with Will Smith and Martin Lawrence it isn't a dead serious drama and is played with a sense of humour. It's 18 rating is down to the violence and the swearing and it is a great film. The two stars have a great time playing their respective roles and it is a great buddy movie. Marcus Burnett (Lawrence) is married with kids while Mike Lowrey (Smith) is a happy-go-lucky bachelor. The two are forced to switch places when the only lead in their search for the drugs refuses to speak to anyone but Lowrey, who cannot be found at the time. The resulting confusion throws obstacle after obstacle in the path of our intrepid heroes as they try to balance the case with Burnett's home life. The film is great if you like your films packed with shoot outs, explosions and car chases all wrapped up in a lightly humorous package. The director, Michael Bay, keeps things moving along nicely and it is a film worth watching time and again. *Sound and Vision The picture quality is nice and clean and the sound is what you would expect with a good surround sound effect. *Extras All the usual DVD extras like scene access, mullet language subtitles and Dolby Digital 5.1 sound. Also included are a documentary, "Putting the Boom and Bang in Bad Boys" about the special effects in the film (23 minutes long) featuring comments from the main members of the special effects crew, a multi angle SFX featurette showing different effects from a variety of camera angles, the theatrical trailer, three music videos (Shy Guy by Diana King, So Many Ways by Warren G and Five 0, Five 0 by 69Boyz), profiles on Michael Bay, W
          ill Smith, Martin Lawrence and Tèa Leoni and a photo gallery.

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          • Batman - Special Edition (DVD) / DVD / 1 Reading / 5 Ratings
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            16.05.2001 21:19
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            The best Batman film (in my opinion) comes to DVD. Tim Burton's inspired direction provides a darker and more brooding vision of the caped crusader, laying to rest the cringe-inducing campness of the Adam West/Burt Ward TV series. Sam Hamm and Warren Skaaren's screenplay give Tim Burton plenty to work with and he directs a strong cast in this wonderful film. Michael Keaton is superb as Bruce Wayne (alias Batman) and he play the role with a wit and charm that really brings the character to life. Kim Basinger positively sizzles as Vicky Vale, a photographer assisting Robert Wuhl (Alexander Knox) in his search for the mysterious Batman. Inspired casting sees Jack Nicholson steal the show as The Joker. If ever there was a role that was made for Jack Nicholson, then this is it. For an older film, the transition to DVD is remarkably good. The picture is sharp and clear and the colours are bright and clean. The sound (in Dolby Digital 5.1) is clean and does what it's supposed to. Extras on the disc include cast biographies, production notes and scene selection as well as subtitles in English and Arabic. I doubt that there can be many people who haven't seen this film, but I'll just give a quick run down of the story. When he was a child, Bruce Wayne watched as his parents were killed during a mugging. He inherited his parents fortune and grew up to be a fine upstanding citizen of Gotham City. Years later, while fighting crime he drops Jack Napier (Nicholson) into a vat of acid. Napier survives and becomes The Joker, intent on wreaking havoc on the good people of Gotham. Caught between the hero and the villain is Vicky Vale. Suffice to say, good triumphs ultimately. This film has just about everything you could want and since it is available for about twelve quid, it's definitely worth getting. Put simply, it's a great film with a great cast and there isn't really a reason
            not to get it.

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          • Religion / Discussion / 0 Readings / 5 Ratings
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            15.05.2001 17:42
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            I'm writing this before I read anyone elses opinions because I feel very strongly about this particular subject. I have been accused of being insensitive (by dooyoo members) in the past, and I feel sure that this will spark more criticism, but here goes... Religion is evil. Now before you all go jumping on me for being intolerant, I'll tell you all a few things about being intolerant. Many of you will never have encountered racism, but I have, and I can tell you that it is not pleasant. Racism is not acceptable under any circumstances, but it might be understandable, because racism is fear of something that ignorant people don't understand. I have suffered racial abuse and have been treated differently because I have a Jewish sounding surname. I do not practice any religion, and have absolutely NO belief in any religion, yet I have been picked on, and criticised and insulted because of my name. Religion causes so many problems that it should be outlawed. As a set of guidelines for how you should live your life it cannot be faulted, but people are always trying to force their beliefs on others. There is no god. People always bang on about how he works in mysterious ways, but he does not exist. The bible is a work of fiction (not fact like some people think) and is a metaphorical guide book on how life should be lived. The real problem I have is with certain types of believer. They are the people who selectively pick and choose when to be religious and when to disregard it. I get criticised for living my life the way I do, because I have no belief in god, but I live my life taking each person for who they are, not what they are. I help everyone that needs and wants my help and I expect nothing in return. Despite the fact that I never harm anyone, or force my lack of belief on people, I still get singled out because of my lack of belief, and that is made even worse when my surname comes into t
            he equation. Why can people not just leave each other alone to live their lives as they see fit. I may be a little biased (being a scientist), but god cannot exist. People want to believe in god (and the devil) becaue it takes the responsibility for their lives away from them. Their life is being "controlled" by something else, so it's not their fault. Religion does serve a purpose. It guides and comforts and gives people something to cling on to. I am all in favour of people having someone/thing to turn to when they need it and that is a good thing about religion. The bad things about religion are that most wars and conflicts are about religion. The trouble in Israel is not about land, but is about religion. Iraq argue that the West are persecuting them because of religion. Hitler was motivated by religion (initially). History is littered with religious wars and religion is a convenient excuse to go and slaughter thousands of people. The worst thing of all is racial intolerance between Jews, Christians and Muslims. Christianity is based on Judaism, yet many Christians have problems with Jews. Essentially, both groups worship the same god, so where's the problem? That's my main problem with religion. People pick and choose which bits of a belief serve their purpose and disregard the rest. They use it to their advantage and that's the problem. Relgion causes more problems for more people than it solves.

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              15.05.2001 17:19
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              *The Film The film follows four friends and their attempts to pay back "Hatchet" Harry, a local gangster, the money they lost to him in a card game. To pay back the debt, they decide to rob their neighbours, who are planning to rob some local cannabis growers who work for another local gangster. In order to accomplish this task, they buy some antique guns from Nick the Greek, a local wheeler dealer. These particular guns were stolen for Hatchet Harry. To explain the film more would spoil it for those who haven't seen it. Suffice it to say, this film is fantastic. It was the first film I ever bought on DVD and it is probably the film I watch the most. It is gangster comedy thriller set in the East End. It is a fantastically written, directed and acted film. Vinnie Jones is absolutely superb, but there are no bad performances in this film. The music and sound effects are great and the whole film is a definite masterpiece. It might not suit everyone, because there is a fair bit of violence and a lot of swearing, but then it is 18 rated, so it's not for the easily offended. *Extras Extras include both full frame and widescreen (16:9) versions of the film (one on each side of the disc). The theatrical trailer is included, as are cast and crew interviews with Guy Ritchie (director), Matthew Vaughn (producer), Nick Moran, Sting, Vinnie Jones, Dexter Fletcher, Frank Harper, and Jason Fleming. *Summary This film is great. If there is any justice, then it will go on to be one of the great British films of modern times. It is slick, and funny and is definitely worth watching time and time again. A great film.

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              • Star Trek: Generations (DVD) / DVD / 0 Readings / 7 Ratings
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                14.05.2001 20:46
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                *The Film Star Trek Generations is the seventh film in the Star Trek series and is the first to feature the cast of The Next Generation TV series. The film starts on board the Enterprise B, with Kirk, Chekov and Scotty guests of honour at the launch of the new ship. During the launch, they respond to a distress signal and during the mission that rescues passengers from two ships, Kirk is swept out into space. The scene then switches seventy years into the future and to the Enterprise D, under the command of Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart). Picard and his crew encounter one of the rescued passengers, Dr Tolian Soren (Malcom McDowell) who is developing a weapon capable of destroying stars, aided and abetted by some renegade Klingons. During the encounter, the Enterprise D is destroyed and Picard is swept into The Nexus, a place of supreme happiness, where Kirk had been dragged and where Soren is trying to return. Picard takes Kirk back with him to a time before the Enterprise D is destroyed, and together they tackle Soren. *Picture The picture quality is tip-top and as you would expect from DVD. *Sound The sound is great, especially if you take advantage of the Dolby Digital 5.1. The explosions are amazing and the rest of the sound is crisp and clear. *Extras There are no extras at all on this DVD, other than the usual subtitles and foreign language options. *Summary This film is not an essential purchase for anyone. If you are a Star Trek fan, then you'll know whether you want to buy this on DVD. If you aren't a fan, then you probably won't be interested. As sci-fi films go, it's pretty good. At times it's entertaining, light hearted, thought provoking and in general, a good old cosmic caper. It's suitable for all ages (it's rated PG) and is worth considering if you like inoffensive sci-fi films.

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                • The X-Files / TV Programme / 0 Readings / 8 Ratings
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                  26.04.2001 01:11
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                  The X-files is not the same program it was a few series ago. That's not to say that it isn't any good anymore, it's just different. The recent series have been less scary. Some of the early episodes used to leave you with that sneaking feeling that it could be true; that they could be out there; that there could be government agencies at work controlling things in the background. The current series on Sky One seems to lack that "spine-tingling" feeling that some early episodes used to give me. I still think that the X-files is definitely worth watching and I wouldn't dream of missing a new episode. But the newer episodes do have a different feel to the early episodes. Part of this change in feel is that the identity of the smoking man is now known, which has removed some of the sinister mystery that lent a certain atmosphere to the X-files. It's still a great show, but it could do with a few more spine-tinglers. Still definitely worth watching. UPDATE The new series of the X files has been running for a few weeks now on SKY. I had never missed a single episode until 3 weeks ago...and I haven't watched it since. David Duchovny has been replaced by Robert Patrick and my loss of interest has nothing to do with this. My loss of interest has been due to the fact that the new series (like the last couple, only more so) has lost the edge that the early series' had. They are no longer thought provoking, slightly spine chilling stories, with the occasional humourous episode thrown in. All the atmosphere has gone. I think it happened somewhere around the time of the film. Prior to the film, the whole "do aliens exist" question was under debate and that was what made the series what it was. Now that most of the questions that drove the series have been answered (is there a government conspiracy, do aliens exist, what happened to Mulder's sister), the series has nothing to drive it.
                  The X-files was one of my favourite shows. I've stopped watching it because it is a pale shadow of what it once was.

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                  • Duke Nukem 3D (PC) / PC Game / 0 Readings / 6 Ratings
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                    21.04.2001 02:27
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                    Duke Nukem is a Doom clone, i.e. it's a shoot 'em up played from a first person perspective. While Doom was hailed as revolutionary (despite being based on the game Wolfenstein 3D), Duke Nukem offers little over Doom (or any number of the other clones, for that matter). Doom was ground-breaking. It brought the first person perspective to millions of gamers. Doom did what it did very well. Duke Nukem does what it does equally well. It just doesn't do anything radically different and it doesn't have the atmosphere that Doom had. I remember playing Doom and jumping out of my seat when I walked round a corner to be confronted by some nasty or other. I have Doom and wanted something a little bit different but of the same genre. All the magazines had been raving about Duke Nukem, and when I saw it in my local HMV for £15 (normal price £29.99, this was quite some time ago) I decided to buy it. I got it home and played it and it seemed okay. I played it a bit more and discovered that I had been suckered in by media hype and propaganda. Duke Nukem was just another Doom knock off, and a decidedly average one at that. If you're after a first person shooter then there are quite a few that are a lot better (and newer) than this rather feeble offering. Duke Nukem was supposed to be a game with a sense of humour, and in fairness, it does have it's moments. The humour soon wears thin though and you are left with that empty feeling that somehow, there must have been more they could have done when they programmed this game. As an example, the funniest thing in the game (apart from Dukes "witty" comments) is when you go to the lap dancing club on the first level and get to offer money to the "dancers" who then open their tops! Cheap, and not very thrilling - a bit like the rest of the game, in fact.

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                  • Cultures (PC) / PC Game / 0 Readings / 5 Ratings
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                    21.04.2001 02:20
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                    Cultures is a resource management game based around Vikings. You control a small group of Vikings and train them to do various jobs like being a huntsman, baker, farmer, etc and you build them places to live and work. The game is cute and the Vikings do not go rampaging about the land, looting and pillaging. It's not that kind of game and they aren't those kind of Vikings. You build your community. Male Vikings go to work and female Vikings cook them dinner and have babies. When two Vikings get married and have somewhere to live, you can tell them to have a baby. The baby arrives and grows up. Once the baby (boy) reaches adulthood, you can train him to do whatever job might be required. Baby girls grow into women, who then have more children (if you want). Care needs to be taken to ensure that there is enough food for everyone. There is some combat but not fast and frantic. If you fall out with the natives (whosoever they may be) then they may attack you, in which case train up some soldiers and defend your settlement. Cultures is a slow paced, "nice" game. It looks nice, it sounds nice and it's nice to play. It is suitable for just about anyone and is a very inoffensive game. There are the usual campaign missions to play (you are set a task and when you complete it you can progress to the next stage) or you can play different scenarios where you can play as long as you want. The game is quite fun to play and should last quite a while. Worth a look if you think you like the sound of it.

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                    21.04.2001 02:16
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                    Baldur's Gate II is a traditional RPG. You select a character and set off on an adventure. Along the way you encounter various characters that may try to hinder you, or they may try to help you. Depending on how you treat them, they may either want to join you, or kill you. When you create your character, you get to choose the name and physical appearance as well as the race and alignment (good, neutral or evil) among other things. When you've chosen your character, the game begins with you in prison. Soon you are sprung by a friend from the past and you set off to rescue more of your friends. Nearby are some basic weapons and armour and once equipped you're ready to fight your way out. Throughout the game you will encounter characters that will set you certain tasks and offer your rewards for completing them. That pretty much sets the tone for the whole game. I won't go into details because it will spoil the plot (which is pretty decent) and the game is enormous, coming on four CDs. There are the usual shops to buy and sell equipment, weapons, armour, etc and there is the usual dose of sword and sorcery. Different characters have different abilities and also different story lines. I spent three weeks playing this game almost solidly and I completed it without having used some of the characters, which means I missed out on their story lines. One day (when I have the time) I'll go back and play it again to see what I missed. Having the time is one of the problems with this game. It so consumes your thoughts that you end up really wanting to see what's coming next and as a result you end up spending a lot of time thinking about it (when you aren't playing it). The other problem is that when your main character dies, you have to reload the game. If your character isn't particularly hard (i.e. a druid or something) then you die a lot and I do mean A LOT. I bought this game from PC
                    World because they were selling it at half price (that's £14.99, what a bargain). If you like RPG's then you really should get this. It's great!

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                  • Empire Of The Ants (PC) / PC Game / 0 Readings / 12 Ratings
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                    20.04.2001 17:00
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                    Empire of the Ants is a resource management type of game with a twist. Instead of controlling people or monsters, you control a colony of ants. Definitely a fresh idea and it sounds really interesting. Unfortunately, it SOUNDS interesting. Actually, it isn't. I played this game (briefly) before turning my back on it and haven't revisited it since. The problem is, it's a little bit too hard. The first level is dead easy, but after that it gets really, really, really hard. My little anthill can only produce so many soldiers so quickly but the enemy ants seem to swarm all over me in limitless numbers. If I can fend off an attack, I have to devote time and resources to creating new soldiers to replace the ones that have been killed and that means that I run out of resources and when winter comes, my ants starve and I lose the game. Maybe I'm just stupid (which I doubt) or I'm just not very good at these type of games (which, again, I doubt). Maybe I just can't manage ants, which is a shame because as creatures go, ants are remarkable things. It might be that I just gave up with this before I had got to grips with it, but I found it too difficult (or tedious) to manage ants above ground and below ground. As well as deciding which ants to generate and telling them where to go and what to do, you also have to build the nest, which means you need to create ants to build. A really nice idea and a great looking game. It was just too difficult and not enough fun to hold my attention.

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                    • Breath of Fire III (PS) / Archive Game / 0 Readings / 6 Ratings
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                      20.04.2001 16:56
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                      Breath of Fire III is a fantasy role playing game, very much in a similar mould to Final Fantasy VII. You control a band of characters, with up to three in your party at any given time. You fight battles and gain experience which makes your characters stronger and so on. There are some puzzles, though they aren't that difficult and the story is pretty good. Your character is a member of a race called the Brood; terrible (possibly evil, maybe just misunderstood) half dragon things which walk around looking human. Throughout the game you collect various "crystals" which allow you to access your inner dragon. Various combinations create various types of dragon with various strengths, weaknesses and uses. The bigger the dragon, the more magic points it takes to transform into and maintain that shape. If you are a fan of the genre (RPGs) then you'll probably fancy taking a look at this. It doesn't have the Final Fantasy series' exquisite cut scenes and the graphics aren't as breathtaking, but the game is playable and it should hold your attention. It's not so hard that you give up because it's no fun anymore (like some games that I can think of). The only boring bit is when you have to cross the desert. This involves walking towards a star (at night, if you travel during the day, you dehydrate) for what seems like weeks. Occasionally, you get waylaid by nasties, but then it's back to walking towards that star. This part maintains the plot, but is oooh sooo tedious. One of the big plusses of this game is the fact that, if you have a fishing rod, you can go fishing in various rivers and oceans. This is strangely compulsive. You can catch a variety of fish, which have a variety of uses or can be traded in for various items. The challenge seems to be to try and catch all the different types of fish (of which there are many) and try to see if you can catch even bigger ones than before. Overall, an excellent game, especially if you like RPGs, spoilt only by the desert wandering but enhanced by the fishing!

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                      19.04.2001 00:30
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                      Final Fantasy VII is, I believe, the first Final Fantasy game to appear on the Playstation. I bought this game a while ago and played it for about two weeks solid. Once I had completed it, I played it again because I found out I had missed out on quite a lot the first time. For those of you who don't know, FFVII is a role playing game set in a sort of futuristic, post-apocalyptic type of world. You play a spiky haired little mercenary called Cloud Strife (don't laugh, you can change the name if you want). As you play the game you will encounter a number of characters that may join your group. Each character has their own story line and each uses their own type of weapon. Each character can be equipped with materia, which are magical "stones" that bestow various magical abilities. As with all RPGs, as you progress through the game you gain experience which makes your character(s) a little bit better. FFVII has some of the best animated sequences I've ever seen. These are genuine, cinematic quality cut sequences that are simply breathtaking. As well as being stunning to look at, they also help tell the story. This game is a really, really wonderful game, but it will take quite a while to play. The first time I played it, it took me about fifty (that's 5-0) hours to finish, while the second time took me about twice as long and there are still things I haven't seen. One of the characters for example, called Vincent Valentine, still eludes me. Final Fantasy VII is one of my favourite games and it simply makes the hours fly by. It comes on three discs and will last a very long time. It is highly addictive and you develop a bond with the characters (mainly because you spend a lot of time with them) and really get drawn into their world. I bought it at full price as soon as it came out, so now it's on budget for about £15, I don't think you can go wrong. Definitely a cla
                      ssic game, definitely worth a look.

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