41 ReviewsOrdered By: Date
Mass Effect 3 (2012 Video Game)
{SPACEBAR} gaming gone crazy.
17 March 2012
Is there NOTHING that can't be achieved with the single press of a {SPACEBAR} these days ? This is all the Mass Effect series seems to consist of - massive overlong fire-fights, followed (and preceded) by tortuous cut-scenes (I can't press {SPACEBAR} fast enough to fast forward through this drivel).

Followed by wandering around environments to see if you can activate another tortuous cut-scene with any of the dozens of AI wandering around - which in turn begins the the loop all over again ! Why do games publishers always WANT TO MAKE MOVIES - gamers WANT TO PLAY GAMES - preferably ones where every single interaction isn't controlled by the magical {SPACEBAR}.
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Pure unredeemable dog's excrement
1 September 2010
I love action movies, but I HATE this movie, it is a real abomination.

An awful script, terrible Direction, wooden acting and rubbish explosions that would shame even Steven 'Straight to DVD' Segal (though this movie missed him, Van Damme, and Carl Weathers)

When I first heard the '12 hardened mercenaries travel to the jungles of Central America' thing, I thought it was going to be a serious action movie, with jungle scenes like those in 'Predator', or even 'Rambo IV', not the half-assed attempted action-comedy that it is.

Stallone's god awful rucked up in the neck toupee, Jet-Li's grating Beijing accent (sounds like a seal), Steve Austin's cretinous goon, Eric Roberts pantomime villainy ! So many reasons to hate this on a character level alone.

What we discover happened to Dolph Lundgren's imaginatively named character; 'Gunnar Hansen' at the end of the movie just beggars belief, and is truly a Plan 9 From Outer Space moment !

The only good thing for me was seeing Sly with Arnie and Bruce - although poor Arnie walks like a 63 year old man crippled with arthritis.

That 28% of IMDb members have voted this as a '10' (the largest by far) is just laughable.
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Get Smart (2008)
Terrible, rubbish, awful, waste of time
20 September 2008
Steve Carrell continues towards career suicide with ANOTHER awful stinker of a movie.

It's supposed to be a 'comedy', but I didn't laugh once, well, not at Carrell; Dwayne Johnson was charismatic and funny - as always.

Steve Carrell is just the guy who got lucky riding Ricky Gervais' coattails, so you would think he would make the most of his 15 minutes, but no, he is to comedy what Steven Seagal is to action.

I guess it is supposed to be based on that old TV series - that wasn't funny either, so at least it's true to its source material.

Hopefully, now, after another multi-million dollar loss, studios will realise what a one trick pony Carrell is, and stop throwing money at him now after this latest flop.
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An antedote to the thought police.
7 November 2006
Simply put, the reason Borat is funny, is because in this world of P.C. thought police; Borat says, not necessarily what we would like to say, but what we no longer have the option to say should we chose to.

I actually paid to see it at the cinema - the first time I have paid for any movie in nearly 10 years - free speech should be protected, not pirated.

I am sure a lot of the stuff was staged, not even the stupidest person would allow themselves to be shown on screen in a major movie in as bigoted and ignorant, although the Rodeo Scene showed REAL balls ! Abusing the US Anthem is only a short step away from wiping your bum with the flag ! And to do this in The South, he was lucky not to get shot.
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Racist Rubbish
25 October 2005
5 girls get their faces, boobs, bums and bodies rated by 3 hidden himbos. If the girls place themselves in the same order as the himbos placed them, then they win £500. And then the himbo's themselves strip off and get judged by the girls. Simple huh.

Blimey ! Do they really show this programme on terrestrial TV in 2005 ? Poor Channel 5, it took them 8 years to shake their image as the "Hitler and soft porn channel", and then they go and commission this. It's like some kind of bad trip back to the 1970's and the racial stereotyping of "Mind Your Language", except today of course, they will say the racism is 'ironic'.

The actress who hosts the show; Naoko Mori - whenever a British TV programme requires an 'Oriental of a non specific nationality', the unimaginative Casting Director sends out a call to Miss Mori's agent. And here she is cast here as "Mia" the Japanese 'Mama San' of the 5 girls about to strip off for the viewers (if she is the Madam then it implies that the girls themselves are....well work it out for yourself).

Her entire act is all sexual innuendo and racial stereotyping (just think the "Me love you long time G.I." hooker from 'Full Metal Jacket'), asking the himbo's to "lemember boys it is the girls bleasts you are lanking over" - oh, ho de ho ho ho, didn't Benny Hill also used to pretend to be an oriental and mix up his "r's" and "l's" 40 years ago ? It killed his career, it didn't get him a post-pub TV series on Friday nights.

Naoko Mori shames herself by helping to perpetuate old stereotypes of Oriental women. Whatever next Channel 5 ?, a Pakistani who says "A thousand apologies" ? A Chinaman who says "Ah So" ? A Black man who says "Yassir, me love watermelon" ?

Of course not ! So why is it acceptable to portray oriental women as hookers by proxy, with an inability to pronounce "r's" and "l's".
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Inferior yet beautiful....
8 February 2005
Originally, I didn't like the original Splinter Cell, but it kinda grew on me, and it's now one of my favourite games. However, this second instalment fails to live up to the standards set by it's predecessor, despite adding some shiny new features.

When Ubisoft made the original, I don't think they thought it would turn out to be the acclaimed hit that it was, so they farmed out programming duties to a third party software house in China. However, once they realised there was money to made, they took this sequel in-house, and the entire programming effort was done at it's French HQ. And what a great job they did of botching up the efforts of the original Chinese team.

Fisher (again excellently voiced by Hollywood uber baddie Michael Ironside, and ably assisted by Mr Velvet Tonsils; Dennis Haysbert from "24") now has new moves and gadgets to his repertoire, such as:-

A red laser dot for his pistol The ability to whistle and attract guards The "Swat turn" (whilst peeking around a corner) The "half split jump" (replaces the multi-jump of the original to reach high places)

The game also features:- Online Multiplayer (apparently it IS excellent, if you have online capability)

And it must be said, the graphics are the best ever seen on the PS2, absolutely beautiful use of light, water effects, and that foliage ! Wow !

However, the main problem with the game is that it was originally designed to run solely on the more powerful Xbox, and so has had to be "dumbed down" for Sony's red-headed stepchild. Whereas the Xbox could cope with 4 or more NPC's in a room, the PS2 has to make do with two. Whereas on the Xbox, ALL light sources were breakable, on the PS2 they are not. So at many points in the game you are in these huge, yet empty environments with minimal opposition. It's not really bad programming, it's just that this game was designed for Xbox, and it shows.

Sounds easy huh ? However, take away the breakable light sources and it becomes stupidly hard sometimes. Coupled with moronic AI – Sam's Whistle feature; you stand one side of an open doorway and whistle at the NPC standing feet away on the other side – he doesn't hear it ! Stand just inside the doorway, whistle, and he does !! Grrrrrr !!

Where Mr Frenchy has messed up, is by tinkering with elements of the game that were not broken. The Meditkits from the original have been replaced by strategically placed wall mounted "Health Dispensers". These have an accompanying and tiresome animation when you use them, which is extremely annoying in an NPC walks around the corner and shoots you whilst the animation is playing.

Also the randomness of the left analogue stick for the lockpick has been modified so that the "sweet spot" is in the same place each time ! And don't mention the savepoints !! They are SO frequent ! And SO annoying !! The original just had checkpoints, but this time you are invited to save the game at a checkpoint, which results in 4 to 5 confirmation boxes coming up, and then the checkpoint notification STILL comes up and freezes gameplay for 5 seconds ! The game save is only a tiny 91k, but it seems to take much longer.

Also some familiar controller keys have been changed, reload is now longer L2, it is X (the manual doesn't state this !), Triangle now does things that circle used to do and vice versa. Sam doesn't slide down ladders on a circle press, and you have to suffer the tedium of climbing down them.

However, on a positive note, Sam CAN now open doors whilst carrying a body. Hooray !

What about the "story". Hmmmm, Pandora Tomorrow abandons the building interiors of the original, firstly for the jungle, as you track down Sadono the Indonesian rebel with a taste for releasing the smallpox virus. And also you get to travel to Jerusalem and Paris – the mission on TOP of a 200mph Eurostar train will make your fingers sweat ! Especially when Sam has to crawl under the train, and along the side of the carriages !

However, not being given enough info in your briefings often poses a problem, resulting in mission failures and restarts as you attack someone you apparently weren't supposed to. Quite often the game seems to abandon the premise of stealth altogether, forcing you into fire fights with the enemy. As your gun's aiming reticule moves at the pace of Iranian foreign policy you are often only an asthmatic's breath away from a body bag.

If you don't own a Splinter Cell game, then buy the original, at least that one was designed for the PS2, or wait for the third instalment which is due out anytime soon – surely it must be better than this one ?
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Resident Evil: Outbreak (2003 Video Game)
Highly polished, graphically beautiful
1 February 2005
"Outbreak" is the final Resident Evil instalment to appear on the PS2, released in the Autumn of 2004, and in many ways it is the perfect swansong.

Although far from 'perfect', it carries over all of the main annoyances of the series that show its' PS1 origins – namely the loading times between rooms and passages. Whilst this was necessary in its' original incarnation; due to PS1 technical limitations, it is wholly unacceptable on the PS2.

It is SO frustrating to traverse a room that is 2 or 3 steps in size, to be confronted with another loading screen of 10 seconds. Just to prove it IS possible, in two locations in the game, there are no loading screens, and you go out of one door and instantly go into the next room. And don't mention the cut-scenes ! Beautiful though they are, after they have played, the PS2 has to load the game engine back into memory, and it takes an absolute age !!

The main differences between this and the other episodes of the franchise is that firstly it is divided into seemingly unconnected scenarios. There is also a time limit of sorts, in that you are infected with the T-Virus, it starts of at 0% and constantly rises, the more injured you are, the quicker it rises. Hey, and guess what, you really have a RELOAD weapon button this time, and you can use the left analogue for directional control)

You also have the opportunity to choose from 8 different characters with different abilities. For example Alyssa can pick locks, Cindy has medical skills, Jim can play dead to escape monsters, David can create new weapons from scratch etc etc. Then once the game begins you are accompanied by two other of the characters in order to complete the scenario. These characters can be instructed to follow, wait, help you, give you items, give items to, basic squad control stuff.

The time limit is not the problem you initially think it will be, and you can thankfully, reasonably easily complete the levels with a good percentage left to spare.

The character choices are pointless, the ONLY character you could possibly complete the game with is Yoko – who is the only person who can carry 8 objects – the others carry only 4. Don't EVER pick Jim, when he plays dead, his virus infection rate skyrockets like no nobodies business)

The squad control system can be frustrating, and the NPC's often forget to heal themselves and die even though they have several health packs. They also annoy because they run into a room ahead of you and steal all the best ammo in the room, and then do a runner in a fire-fight, leaving you to fight on your own (some of the zombies now move like a cat with a rocket up its bum, and attack en masse (10 at a time at the end of the 1st level!))

Once a scenario is completed, you are graded and scored depending on countless factors, and then you are awarded points and unlockables. You can trade these points in at the Resident Evil shop for the said unlockables, although 500 points for a picture of an ingame character ? 13,000 points for a costume ? There are also new game modes to unlock too (though you have to purchase them after you have unlocked them)

That aside though, the graphics are truly, amazingly beautiful, PC quality. Just wait until you see "Leechman" (usually known as that ****ing Leechman ****), the protagonist of "The Hive" scenario. A man whose entire upper body is covered with writhing leeches, and without a doubt, the most frustrating monster in Resident Evil history, as he stalks you remorselessly from room to room, giving you no respite whatsoever. And the beautiful animations, fire effects, fully 3d polygonal environments and stunning monsters/zombies, are incredible too.

In almost every way this is easily the best of the entire series, the only drawbacks are loading times between rooms issue that have dogged the series from the beginning, that Capcom seem to think "adds suspense". No it doesn't !! I say 'Almost' the best, because the scenario system doesn't really involve you in an immersive start to finish story like the old games did. And boy is it hard too ! I would never want to play the game though on anything buy EASY level (on Easy, you still have to fight THREE Tyrant battles on the final scenario !), but to many people, that's a pro, not a con.

If you like the series, then you've already bought it, but for anyone else; it's definitely worth a two night rental at your local gamestore.
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The Getaway: Black Monday (2004 Video Game)
Games have moved on, this hasn't.
19 January 2005
Warning: Spoilers
The main selling point of The Getaway series – the photo realistic representation of London – is also it's main weakness. You see, the developers; Team Soho have invested thousands of man hours and huge amounts of Sony's money in creating this digital London, all with the correct shop signs etc etc, and so they are going to try and milk their little cash cow for as long as possible.

You would assume this would not be a problem for us consumers, HOWEVER, Team Soho's beautiful looking and seemingly ingenious cash cow is seriously flawed in that it is based upon a concept that was fresh in 1997 - with the the "Driver" series of games. Things have moved on greatly since then in terms of interactivity in digital metropolises – think GTA San Andreas. It's not now enough to merely be able to drive through a city; you want to be able to interact with it, and be a part of it. In this respect The Getaway series fails utterly miserably.

In this game you soon become aware that you are merely driving through what are effectively a road system bordered by giant billboards with photo realistic shop fronts bitmapped onto them, like a series of tunnels ! The perspective is skewed so that no matter where you are, you can never see the roof of a single building. So immediately you know, that Team Soho can never update their baby to take San Andreas game mechanics because it would have to go and re-photo London's roof tops – which would never be allowed in this current climate of fear. So we are stuck forever, or until people get wise, with them re-releasing the same game over and over.

Black Monday IS almost the same game as the original. Same map, just with different character locations for the plot added. The game now has three main playable characters, each with individual skills; Mitch the gun totting cop, Eddie the boxer; who has some nice combo punch moves, and Sam, a girl with Lara Croft like climbing abilities and a neat line in stealth.

The licensed car models are slightly improved, and they do look fantastic, and once you get used to their over-sensitive controls then they are fun to drive. The motorbikes however, are truly awful. They silently weave and lurch uncontrollably from once accident to the next. The character models also look fantastic, and have real time shadows as they run (or waddle to be precise).

THE most infuriating thing about the original game, and you would have thought it would have been resolved for this game, is that the abilities each character has – especially the ability to jump over fences, would be implemented in "Free Roam Mode". But NO, it is not. The Millennium Wheel is still cut off, the Houses of Parliament are still inaccessible, ditto EVERYTHING of interest is inaccessible because in Free Roam Mode, you CAN'T jump over walls !!!! Eddie – the boxer, can't even punch in Free Roam Mode !!

Free Roam Mode also has new game modes, Black Cab Driver, Chase, and Race, which are unlocked by finding key fobs on the floor in story mode. These enable to you to play Free Roam Mode as different non playable game characters. But all that really means is that you start on the map in a different location. Apparently there are also garages where you can store one vehicle dotted around the map.

As for the actual story mode, it is SO confusing, full of flashbacks and flash forwards, and seems to basically involve how the three main characters come to make enemies of stereotypical Russian arms dealer Viktor and his lock stock of movie cliché sidekicks Yuri and Dimitri. But it is SO SHORT !! I finished it in one sitting. And why is it called "The Getaway" ? The original game had a Getaway driver, but not this game ? They think consumers are stupid, truly they do. Another problem with the story mode is, as in the original, you often have absolutely no idea of what you are supposed to be doing, and countless times you will fail missions because you do not know what you are doing. In one mission where you are chasing a helicopter through the streets, a radio message comes over that says "stop the black Brabus". I had no idea what the heck a "Brabus" was – it is a Mercedes car apparently, so on a road suddenly chock a block with black cars, how could I know what a Brabus looks like ?

So essentially Black Monday, is like a stereotypical supermodel; beautiful to look at, but ultimately shallow and un-involving once you get to know her. Time has moved on, and so having gaming expectations.

Rent, don't buy.
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A good time passer
3 January 2005
A movie with the great Pierce Brosnan can't go wrong really, everything he does, he makes look effortlessly cool.

The story about the diamond heist though, seems secondary to the beautiful locations, and Brett Ratner's obcession with filming Miss Hayek's chest from all conceivable angles (not necessarily a bad thing). Although Hayek is SO botoxed that she can barely move her facial muscles to express any kind of emotion.

Woody Harrelson and Brosnan make a really funny team, and if they make a sequel, I hope it concentrates on their two characters, because they have a great screen chemistry.
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Rollerball (2002)
Xmas is a comin', I smell TURKEY.
22 September 2004
Warning: Spoilers
With all the starving in the World, some coke abusing studio Exec gave the OK to spend 70 million US on THIS travesty ! I assume this person lost their job.

It is just like watching an episode of the TV show Gladiators, all the combatants have stupid names and costumes, and the grand oval Rollerball tracks of the original have been replaced with a tiny, cheap looking hamster run figure eight, littered with jumps, that is barely 25 yards in length !

But what really kills the film is the God awful "Directing".

What was John Mac doing ? The Rollerball games themselves are impossible to follow because he is constantly cutting from close up to close up at a frenetic pace (possibly because none of the actors can actually skate ?) The result is you cannot follow what on earth is going on.

The only good performance in this film is from LL Cool J, and what with him being a black actor, then inevitably, he gets killed, and we are forced to suffer "Keanu-lite"; Chris Klein from there after.

This film really is the pits. I hear that the "Special Edition DVD" is just an empty box.
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