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Old 12-15-2010, 07:41 AM   #16
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It just felt watered down to me, the complexities of Virtua tennis were removed. It wasn't terrible. It just wasn't what I wanted.
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Old 12-15-2010, 07:52 AM   #17
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I cant remember which sega rally was my favourite. I know I enjoyed the first two plenty.
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Old 12-15-2010, 08:31 AM   #18
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Sega Rally 2006 wasn't released in Europe and was on PS2. I got to play it once and it was dreadful!

If you liked the first and second Sega Rally I really recommend giving it a go!
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Old 12-17-2010, 02:20 AM   #19
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Phantasy Star Online Episodes 1&2
Gamecube version (also available on Xbox)

10 years ago you say the phrase 'Multiplayer' to a console gamer and you would have garnered thoughts of Mario Kart, Goldeneye... Basically the N64. When the Dreamcast came with it 56k (33k in Europe) modem the stage was set for online gaming to boom. As usual, Sega was the early innovator to what xbox live perfected. For me, PSO is the game World Of Warcraft perfected!

You could create your own character, Head online with up to 3 more people and take on 4 massive levels whilst collecting meseta (cash), weapons, techniques and a range of armours and health. The first Forest level would take you hours initially because every rappy took 10 shots to kill. The culmination of the level being the immense dragon boss which the first time you take him on is a daunting log epic battle! Give it time, upgrading your character and purchasing and finding new armoury as well as feeding your mag (a floating thing over your shoulder that you can give items and it powers up to unleash a photon blast) is super addictive and you will replay the 4 levels a lot of times eventually culminating in the ability to kill this dragon in 1 shot. It’s ridiculously satisfying! On top of this each level has a series of side quests that you can take on if you want something different or your character is not quite ready for the next level. Despite what it may seem like on the surface there is a lot of game here. The controls are basic. There is a button for a weak accurate attack and another or a strong but less accurate attack and if you time it you can string together combos. These vary from rapid fire with a gun or a sword combo with a sword, shield is automatic based on your equipped armour and mag and the other items can be assigned to other buttons how you wish. I went with heal and a technique but it is totally customisable. The only slightly annoying thing is the fact that when your photon blast is full it overrides your customisations when you pull the R-Trigger which means fast access to items is denied. It seems minor as your photon blast may charge once or twice per level but it annoyed me. The plus side is the menu system is quick and easy to navigate and so intuitive you can do it in battle still running around and often resume the battle unharmed.

So what does the GC version add. Well it adds a whole we Episode 2 for a start, a much harder new set of levels that you cannot even touch unless you have invested many hours on episode 1 unless you have a death wish! As well as a 4 player local coop which is extremely fun. The beauty of PSO is that anyone could jump in at any time. I remember on many occasions having a friend jump into a game with a level 1 character. I would assist him, lend him weapons, heal him with techniques and revive them when they died! The whole game is so beautifully thought out.

MMOs today have grown up a lot based on PSOs roots. Games now offer a lot more than this great package. Graphically it was great for it's time an is more than acceptable in today's world and let's face it the legitimate servers are not even online anymore but even then I loved playing this game offline or with friends. Almost everything you could do offline is also online. So if you somehow missed this game I recommend picking it up!

Pros - Superb replay value. Lots of fun to play with Friends. Great accessible menu system.
Cons - MMOs now offer more. Combat system feels a little dated.

Overall - 92%
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Old 12-17-2010, 02:26 AM   #20
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PSO Episodes 1&2 added... and yes it is clear I am bias towards SEGA
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Old 12-17-2010, 03:30 AM   #21
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Great PSO review. I alwasy try to get in to the series but fail. For monster hunter it toke me two tries but this one...let just say it needs much more chances.
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Old 12-17-2010, 04:29 AM   #22
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you forgot to mention how awesome pso's music is.
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Old 12-17-2010, 05:55 AM   #23
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Thats true! The lobby tune is memorable, and the la la la la laaaaaaaaaarrrrr intro music! Ahh the memories...
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Old 12-21-2010, 02:19 AM   #24
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Call of Duty 4 - Xbox 360

Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare - Xbox 360
Also available on PS3

Most of you will own this game, so why review it? Well if somehow you missed it or you are just interested in my opinion read on...

With the disappointing Call of Duty 3 (by Treyarch) way back in 2006 I expected very little from COD4, that was until I saw the 'Actual Gameplay Footage' video at E3. I figured a game
Couldn't look this good on the 360. It probably used the in-game engine but was a rendered video not Gameplay and that's how they got around it. I was wrong!!!

The original Modern Warfare’s visuals are mind blowing. Years later they still compete up there with the best visuals on console. The lighting is incredible, the explosions realistic, the level of detail in the character models is crazy. Yes, whistle Crisis on PC was technically the better visual masterpiece the artistic design of COD4 for me put it in a class of it's own, plus the fact that you didn't need a 1000 PC to play it. No, your 200 Xbox 360 would give you the exact visuals that appear on the box. Ok, Graphics don't make a game but they really enhance the experience.

So you get it, I love the visuals. So what about the game? Well the game is approx 6 hours long but trust me you will play this one twice (at least). Its a little short and in a industry where finance is king I sympathise with Infinity Ward as the costs involved to create a 15 hour game would be substantially higher and in war game you cannot have puzzle elements like you can in Half Life or old school Doom to prolong the game but Modern Warfare will leave you begging for more. Every part of the 6 hours is perfectly crafted intense action. From the first level where you are on a ship before a bomb explodes and you have to evacuate to the intense shoot out in a TV station, which leads me to perhaps the only other flaw in the single player... Automatic respawn. There are a few points in a game (including the aforementioned TV station level) where you will masterfully pick of 10 guys with skill and precision only to find yet have all reappeared and you now have lost half your ammo! The best technique in these situations is to simply die and then make a mad run and gun dash past hoping you don't get shot until you hit a checkpoint. Its very unrealistic, hugely unsatisfying and a cheap way to add difficulty. In fact on veteran difficulty during the ferris wheel scene I ended up hiding in a cabin and simply counting down the clock until a chopper arrived. I admit this section isn't quite the same as the TV station respawn section but it was frequent enough to frustrate. However the rest of the single player is bordering perfect. Some of the levels are pure genius, the thermal gunner in the sky is breathtaking and I couldn't write a review without mentioning those ghillie suits! Indeed when you start the level 'All Ghillied Up' and see the guy move for the first time I presumed it was pop in. He couldn't be that well camouflaged. So I restated the level and sure enough I could just see when concentrating the faintest outline of a person perfectly camouflaged in the foliage. It will go down as one of the wow moments in gaming, on a par with the first time the T-Rex scared the crap out of me in Tomb Raider or the first time I chained someone on Gears of War. One thing’s for sure, this game has high production values, a cracking story, great voice acting and characters as well as great sound effects and levels of polish not expected in a video game.

If multiplayer is your thing there is a reason Modern Warfare broke all sorts of multiplayer records. Great maps and hundreds of unlockables dependent on your rank. It’s a little daunting at first if like me you are not much of a competitive multiplayer gamer. It's great that the game rewards players who play a lot and are good with new weapons but if like me you have not played the multiplayer much and you jump on at level 1 with the basic weapon set you will get blown out of the water by a guy that has been playing solid for a year and knows the maps blindfolded... I don't mind this, if someone has invested time they will be better than me, but to give them better weapons is salt in the wounds. Still it's one of the most complete multiplayer experiences I have played. However having recently reviewed Halo: Reach I have to give Halos effort the edge as a multiplayer game. It's close but recent additions such as Firefight and daily/weekly challenges as well as being slightly more accessible gives the famous prequel a win by a whisker. However, Modern Warfare’s single player blows the Halo Reach campaign out of the water!

There have now been 7 Call Of Duty games released on the 360. 6 retail releases and the first game as DLC. if you only ever get 1 this generation then this is the one to buy! It reinvented the series and with Infinity Ward a shadow of it's former self for political reasons and Treyarch failing to match Infinity Wards legacy even when using their game engine it's hard to see a better Call Of Duty game emerging this gen. It's a must own on PS3 and 360.

Pros - Incredible visuals. Moments in the single player that will genuinely take your breath away. Superb story. Deep multiplayer.
Cons - Infinite respawn is cheap and annoying. Short campaign. Multiplayer daunting for newcomers.

Overall - 94%
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Old 12-21-2010, 02:24 AM   #25
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Call Of Duty 4 added, trying to do 3 a week but will probably only be 2 this week due to the snow and I write these bored on the train and spent yesterday snowed in.

Have been replaying Super Mario 64 this week so expect a retro review on Friday. Any requests let me know...
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Old 12-21-2010, 04:14 AM   #26
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You should play COD4 on the PC if you think the 360 games graphics is awesome.
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Old 12-21-2010, 04:25 AM   #27
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I actually installed it when I got my new PC just over a year ago. It did look incredible. I personally prefer the look of it on PC to Crysis, then again I couldn't run Crysis on Very High.
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Old 12-21-2010, 07:56 AM   #28
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Whats your pc specs? video card, ram, cpu?
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Old 12-21-2010, 08:03 AM   #29
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Hmmm I think it is about 4GB ram, Quod Core processor, Nvidia Geforce GTX 260 video card. It maxed out COD 4 at least
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Old 12-29-2010, 03:57 AM   #30
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Kinect Sports (Xbox 360 Kinect)

So Kinect is here! Microsoft attempt to unlock the Xbox 360 to the casual gamer Market the Wii so brilliantly tapped up and whilst Kinect Adventures is the game you are getting in the box (at least here in the UK) Kinect Sports is the game that challenges the bundled Wii Sports directly.

Thanks to Wii sports minigames are now seen as normal and the similarities are on display here. There is football (soccer), table tennis, bowling, boxing and Track & Field and like the Wii these are a mixed bag of games. The easiest to directly compare is the bowling, whilst it's fun and my 80 year old granddad wanted to play it somehow it seemed a lot less playable that the Wii edition. Maybe it is because you are holding something on Nintendo’s version or the wiimote detects the spin more accurately. I don't claim to be the greatest bowler but I got the best result simply swinging my arm back and forth and keeping my body still, in rare instances my other arm interfered and even the people behind sat on the sofa caused an issue occasionally. So first blood to Wii Sports! Another direct comparison that can be made is the table tennis. True, the Wii had the non table version but Rare gets it right here. Seeing as you couldn't control your movement in the Wii version it seems more sensible to restrict this game to a table where it is simply about making the right shots, and I have to say it detects everything perfectly. Sliced backhands topspin forehands, smashes were all executed with ease and it's very responsive. I had some pretty epic battles with friends already and can see this being one of the standout games in what is a mixed package. Volleyball works in a similar way but plays more like Wii Sports Tennis which is never a bad thing but lacks the variety of shots that are on display in the table tennis.
Next up was football and this has never really been tackled using motion controls. Sure Pro Evos point and click to direct runs was a great implementation but you were still sat on your arse and Kinect Football has a damn good go at recreating the beautiful game. It's stripped down to the bare bones and you have 2 play mechanics, attacking and defending. When on the offensive the 360 will select one of up to 3 passes you can play which you then kick in one of the directions. Generally the detection is quite good but often you end up playing the wrong pass, it looks for the whole leg movement. Little flicks and side footed passes are a big no no here and for me that was annoying as I instinctively played these passes. Defending is limited to interception only. You jump your player in the way of the other players pass to block the ball. If you are in range of the goal you can shoot. Again it's fairly basic. You can't 'Bend it like Beckham' or anything. Whilst this all sounds negative the football is actually a lot of fun! Ok it won't compare to FIFA for depth but jumping around intercepting passes was a great laugh and I really enjoyed this sport in particular. However as with all the sports in this package it's better when played with friends. Then the biggest ‘Sport’ in the game is the Track and field which Includes Hurdles, Sprint, Javelin, Discus Throw and Long Jump): A selection of track and field events, all taking place at the Flame Stadium and the possibility to play a pentathlon. Each of these serve as throwaway games by themselves and pale in comparison to great track and field games of yester year such as Athelete Kings (Decathlete). The hurdles for me provide the highlight watching you leap up and down like idiots which provide massive amusement for all around. Again, you will rarely want to play these games alone as precision rarely comes into it but competing with friends is great fun.

The game also features the Kinect bells and whistles that you will come to expect if you played Kinect Adventures. Whilst you play the Kinect camera will snap away at you for your amusement. Though the pictures and captions are no where near as entertaining or carefully thought out as Kinect Adventures. The game also gives you little time to celebrate like you can with Kinect Adventures trophies which in sports would have been a nice touch to really rub it in an opponents face. But the whole game is well presented and polished. The announcer either is or sounds a lot like the announcer from the X-Factor and you can get the crowd going by clapping and dancing around before you start playing. The menus are also easy to navigate and never get you out of the action for long.

If you have a Kinect and Dancing games are not your thing you should certainly pick this up. So that’s it then… great game and a 90%+ review? Well… No. After the few hours of fun and laughter and when the day playing with friends is over you will rarely play this. Case in point, a friend of mine received this game on Christmas Day and he and the family played it all day and it was the stand out game. Come Boxing Day when the family were gone and the novelty wore off it was back to playing conventional gaming. Kinect Sports will reappear again and again when friends visit. But at 40/$60 a game it’s hard to recommend this aside from as a multiplayer romp. Still if you own a Kinect right now that’s why you purchased it.

Pros – Great fun with friends. Football is well implemented. Announcer sounds great.
Cons – Almost non-existent single player appeal. Better victory celebrations would have been welcome.

Overall 77%
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