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CandyBob

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  1. CandyBob

    Dead Space 2

    I did read that great post and the main gist of it seems to be variety (forgive me for not touching on your other points as there were others). This is the one area where we do heavily disagree. I've found that up to the point I am, 90% of my game has been made up of moving through very similar corridors with quite frequent combat heavy sections. As things have moved along through chapters 7, 8 and 9, the combat has ramped up even more to the extent that I move into an area and know that combat is about to come. Now the key element for tension in a game like this, for me anyway, is moving into an area expecting combat, and nothing happens some of the time. It's the same with films and books also. It's the expectation. It's the mixing up of both combat and sections where you are expecting to get attacked and nothing happens. It's got to a point where it's all totally predictable and this hurts the game badly. An example would be the very short frozen level. A change of environment was very welcome and at first (the first corridor pretty much) it was tense moving past the chambers but by the end they just threw mobs at you. Comparing the other sections to the one I mentioned (the nursery level) really shows up the weaknesses of the rest of the game. That level could have been designed by someone completely different. The combat is also pretty repetitive, maybe because there is so much of it I guess. Stasis and sever limbs is pretty much what its all about. The little baby swarm things slightly break things up, but they seem to come in open area's (the church) where it's easy to run around putting some distance between you and them, turning and picking them off. This isn't variety for me. I'm not really forced to change weapons at all which would have added some variety. This is on Zealot difficulty level I believe (the one above normal)? I understand some gamers may find this surviving by the skin of the teeth combat tense, I do myself, but not with the frequency it happens. I think this predictability extends into the story also. The parts where you think that you are about to finally meet up with Ellie and Stross (or anyone) only for a faulty door or lift or whatever to block your path were groan inducing after a short time. I don't mind a corridor shooter and loved the Doom's back in the day, but I was expecting more from this game. Maybe too much.
  2. CandyBob

    Dead Space 2

    At chapter 9, I'm really trying hard to think of reasons why this game was made. Its of course been lavishly produced. Video and audio is of a really high level as was the first game, and the voice acting is pretty good. It's all so souless though. Up to this point its been go here fix this, dark industrial corridor, combat, combat, combat, industrial corridor, combat, combat, go fix this, set piece (which is generally more combat), and on and on. There is no sense of tension as the less is more approach has been thrown out of the window. As the game goes along the Doom 3 style spawning becomes more frequent and more tiresome. Apart from one moment the jumps have been either telegraphed or just lost in the mass of combat. The first game had a pretty good balance, and while the excuse has been used that this is an action horror or combat horror game, the blurb on the box and feel is that of a tense, survival game. I'm dreading the final sections where the combat seems to ramp up even more? If only more of the levels were like the childrens playschool/shop level? This was the one where there was a good sense of dread and tension. Loved this level. Maybe I went into the game expecting something else, but even then it all feels so predictable and Michael Bayish. The first game renders this irrelevant for me.
  3. CandyBob

    Dragon Age 2

    Strange plot and geographical issues aside (I'm assuming this is because its the demo) I enjoyed it. As someone who wasn't so keen on the changes to ME2, I did fear the worst and was dreading playing the game. The good bits: The skill trees are really really good. Much better than the old system and a big plus. On the PC with DirectX 11 and everything max it looked pretty nice. It's not going to win any awards, the textures on the character models are very flat for example. They do the job though. The animation's are horrendous however. Maybe it's a demo thing. The combat is faster than the first game but this does not effect the strategic nature of the gameplay. It flows really well and at times, playing as the rogue, it was like watching a dance. You could create an almost endless, beautiful combo. The pause function is still as useful as the first game though, even more so considering the speed. There was a marked difference between playing the rogue and the mage. As expected the mage conducted the flow of the battle. The pirate roguey woman with the big boobs. Negs: Terrible editing during the acting bits. I'm putting this down to the demo. Horrible loading interruptions. I'm putting this down to the demo. Too much combat. I'm putting this down to the demo. No zoomed out tactical view that I could find. Why oh why take this out. Absolute madness. If I wanted to play the console version I'd buy that. Overall though really looking forward to it.
  4. CandyBob

    Arsenal

    The whole Chamakh thing is really odd. He looked pretty decent when he played when RvP was injured and although RvP's form is almost godlike, he isn't being used as much as I thought he would which must effect moral and performance. It must be hard being expected to come in and perform on the drop of a hat and I think that goes for most of the second string. I seem to remember Wenger saying something about him being used to a break in the winter but I could have imagined it.
  5. Yeah I felt the same after finishing it off in a couple of sittings last week. I loved it. It was super atmospheric and there were certainly some tense moments, but at no time was I scared. I think one of the big problems was that generally, there were large sections where you knew it was ok to sprint around with not much to worry about other than your vision going slightly squiffy and enduring that grinding glass sound effect when your insanity level dropped. I liked the less is more approach to the creatures, but as the game progressed I found myself running around more and more rather than creeping around. There was a lack of danger and I don't think the creatures hunted you down enough. If I ran in a room and closed the door they would bash the door down, but then not come in and search for me. That aside it was a brilliant experience. I enjoyed following the story and thought the voice acting was mostly really good. The castle design was lovely and the sound design really well done. The movements required to open and close doors really added to the overall experience and is something all games should implement. I would buy a follow-up on day one and would only ask for a bit more danger and more jumpy moments (which dropped off a lot after the opening hour or so).
  6. The Exorcist (Directors) - blu-ray I'd been trying to introduce my 19 year old son to classic horror as I feel it's my duty. The Thing left him apathetic, much to my dismay. I toyed with the idea of showing him some Argento or Fulci but guessed this may be met with some derision and anything earlier was out of the question. I decided to sit him down and hit him with the full monty. Over many viewings of The Exorcist I have grown to dislike the scene's where Regan is possessed. They do nothing for me. While I'm eating up the helplessness of Chris's plight and the doubt and lack of self worth of Karras, Regan's possession scenes felt like an intrusion. Miller and von Sydow's performances are undoutedly powerful during these scenes, but I feel the excess of the imagery and language were at odds with the rest of the film. Maybe this was intentional? There needed to be a certain shock at Regan's transformation or personality, but maybe it could have been subtler. The Exorcist is a brilliantly constructed and paced film. The feeling of dread and tension grows steadily and evenly until even now, it leaves me on the edge of my seat. Ellen Burstyn's performance as a desperate parent feels spot on and I always feel moved by her. Equally Karras is great and a special mention must go to the detective character. Added to the acting is the great score and cinematography. The direction is simple and clean and I think this benefits the film. It's all about the performances. A bona fide classic. My's sons reaction? Completely blown away by what was unfolding before him. "This film is absolutely crazy" was common. I think he may have missed the point but it certainly left an impression. The blu-ray itself is both dazzling and messy in equal measure. Par for the course then for a film of this age. It is worth owning though in HD. 4 and a half mushrooms out of five. ------------------------- The House of the Devil - blu-ray I absolutely loved House of the Devil, right up until the final 10 minutes. The opening scene's immediately took me back to my first experiences of Carpenter, Argento and Fulci. A lot of work has obviously gone into creating an authentic feel and I felt it pretty much nailed it from the opening credits to the wardrobe. I've seen the film criticised for its slow pace but this was a strong point for me. Seeing the protagonist bumble through life, going about her relatively mundane everyday chores created a great connection between myself and the character. She really really should have smelled a rat though. Maybe it was this layed back opening 80 or so minutes that made the end so jarring. The film was building up nicely to something dastardly with a great feeling of suspense, but it all seemed so over the top when it happened. There was a real lack of subtlety and it felt like a completely different film had been cut onto the end. Introducing the bad guys right at the last may have been part of the problem. There is little to no character development or motive for them other than the fact that they are batty as a box of badgers (and something about her carrying the anti-christ I think which was a bit sketchy). I have to assume that this was West's point but it didn't quite work for me. Well worth a watch for any fan of 70's/80's horror. On the blu-ray side of things I thought it was a bit of a revelation. A really lovely, consistent grain throughout and bags of detail. Three and a half melons out of five.
  7. CandyBob

    Dragon Age 2

    Baldur's Gate was exactly the same. There were so many ways of trivialising the combat in both BG games if you chose to do so using poor AI, fog of war or certain class types. The combat in DA felt very much like BG to me, even after playing BGII very recently from GOG.
  8. CandyBob

    Dragon Age 2

    The 360 version seemed lacking after I did a second play-through on the PC version (after first completing it on the 360). The fact that the combat sounds similar to DA:O on PC is a no brainer for me.
  9. CandyBob

    Arsenal

    The problem with Arshavin is that all he wants to do is the glamour. He'll pick the ball up, try to do something magical, inevitably run straight into three defenders, then shrug his shoulders and do exactly the same thing next time. It was actually quite pathetic in the end and he clearly didn't want to be on the field. To see him start to run across to the touchline every time the 4th official held up the board for a substitution was pretty sad really. He is clearly a fantastic player, and his assist and goals stats this season are very good, but he looks very very unhappy.
  10. CandyBob

    Arsenal

    With the exception of Arshavin, every player out there today put in the effort. That's how it seemed from the Clock End anyway. You get all of this talk of the fringe players not being good enough and the team today being unbalanced but it wasn't like that at all. I can't even really see how anyone can say Bendtner had a bad game. Maybe the TV gave a skewed perspective and his finishing on a couple of occasions was poor but you cannot fault the effort as he ran his socks off. He was certainly more effective than Chamakh and Arshavin. On the whole we dominated the game and but for some poor finishing, would have won it easily. The Arshavin one on one miss in the first half would have been game over, as they offered nothing except for a header from a corner that was well saved by Chesney. We could have scored two more in the last 5mins alone. It's funny that the players get such a hard time but the support, holy smoke. Some of it was shameful today. The Leeds fans made us look like mugs all game long. I saw hundreds around me today who didn't even open their mouths for the whole game let alone offer any real support. Fucking disgrace tbh. MOM Djourou. Absolute mountain.
  11. Survival of the Dead: I went into this with incredibly low expectations and I often try to convince myself that Romero stopped making zombie films after Dawn. It could have been a combination of those low expectations and the fact that Diary was so poor, but I didn't find myself feeling quite as negative towards this as I thought I would. The characters are awful, one dimensional stereo-types and Romero's message for this one is about as unsubtle as Avatar's, but much like Romero's other stinkers, it still manages to convey a convincing post apocolyptic tone. I think the moral dilema behind the film is one of the more interesting one's in zombie lore but in comparison to John Ajvide Lindqvist's Handling the Dead, Romero's take is incredibly poor. This isn't helped by the terribly written and acted Irish family fued or the bizzare teaching zombies to eat something else sub plot. Better than Diary for me but like Diary, only saved from being a disaster by Romero's skill at creating a sense of dread and atmosphere. 2/5
  12. Really? I thought it identified that you weren't in a dream fullstop. I can't recall if Cobb used it when coming out of someone else's dream though. Need to watch it again soon to pick up on the small details.
  13. I picked up the Alien Anthology on Monday from HMV for £30 (after going in on Xmas Eve to find the crafty bastards had put it back up to £49.99 for that day). I've only watched the extra's so far but already feel as though I have had my money's worth. What an absolute joy of a box set. I've never really looked under the surface of the films before and it's been a real revelation, Alien especially with the battle's over writing credits etc. Can't wait to see what they have done to the films picture. Inception - Need to give this more viewings on the plot front but I liked the image it threw. Not pin sharp but a nice, film-like picture. Some blurred area's in the background on some scene's but overall really good. Some fantastic bass in certain scenes. Last Airbender - This wasn't as bad as I feared. The three American actors at the beginning living in an Asian village as Asians supposedly (nothing was done to explain this) was absolutely laughable but some of the effects were nice and picture quality was generally good. HMV Canterbury yesterday. Not a great sale by any means and as mentioned before, the more reasonable prices of recent times seem to have gone out of the window.
  14. Only just watched this and while I'm not quite sure what to make of it after just one viewing, the bits that were dreams and the bits that weren't were mostly telegraphed weren't they? I seem to rememeber this being a bit of a thing when the film was released but it seemed to me that the film went out of its way to tell you which was which. Unless of course you don't believe the whole totem thing in which case, why have them there.
  15. Largely dissapointing with some highlights. I'm generally finding this current gen quite sterile and lacking soul (fun!!) and this year continued the trend. I also haven't bought into the indie scene. I find it quite pretentious in all honesty although there is the odd gem like Limbo. Still, the two games that kept me going for about 100 hours between them, Fallout: New Vegas and Dragon Age, were the big highlights. There were other games that wowed at first like Mass Effect 2 and Red Dead but after some contemplation, weren't quite as good as I had initially thought and haven't returned to. Dead Rising 2 should get a mention as even with some tweaks, I still love its uncompromising attitude and of course Mario Galaxy 2. FIFA 11 and Alan Wake were the two biggest disappointments. Towards the end of this year I've gone back to PC gaming and hardly touched a console game since Castlevania. For Dead Rising 2 I went for the PC version even after completing the 360 pre-DLC content. A good decision comparing it to a friends 360 version and the DLC. I see this continuing into this year looking at the upcoming games. Stuff like Elder Scrolls V, Witcher 2 and Mass Effect 3 amongst others will all be PC versions for me. Also, tons of retro stuff both on Live and consoles/arcade. Keeping my chains going in Guwange is both a joy and frustration.
  16. Have been looking forward to this one. 1. Seven Samurai 2. Paths of Glory 3. The Seventh Seal 4. The Night of the Hunter 5. Rashomon 6. Tokyo Story 7. Throne of Blood 8. Diabolique 9. Stalag 17 10. Ikiru 11. Umberto d 12. The 400 Blows 13. Invasion of the Body Snatchers 14. Bridge on the River Kwai 15. 12 Angry Men 16. On the Waterfront 17. Them! 18. The Thing from Another World 19. Les Yeux sans visage 20. Night of the Demon
  17. Game of the Year Fallout: New Vegas Dead Rising 2 Red Dead Redemption Super Mario Galaxy 2 Mass Effect 2 Most Wanted Game Of 2011 Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim Witcher 2 Deathsmiles Last Guardian Uncharted 3 Hall of Shame Best Technical Achievement God of War 3 Red Dead Redemption Ipad Metro 2033 Best Online Experience Lord of the Rings Online Best Use of Waggle Best NDS Game Best Mobile Game Espgaluda II Angry Birds Best PC Game Fallout: New Vegas Dead Rising 2 Minecraft Football Manager 2011 Metro 2033 Best PS3 Game Heavy Rain God of War III Best PSP Game Best Xbox 360 Game Red Dead Redemption Mass Effect 2 Limbo AC: Brotherhood Metro 2033 Best Wii Game Super Mario Galaxy 2 Best Download-only Game Guwange Espgaluda II Angry Birds
  18. I see no Valkyria Chronicles on that list.
  19. I'm embarrassed to say that I've never played the Witcher until now, and what an odd, odd game. It's wonderful obviously, but the english translation and acting are just, mental. Looking forward to more mental when I get home. There's some hot witch totty that just won't put out.
  20. Except niche, complex and deep games didn't drive PC tech advancements. As someone who has played PC games since the eighties on and off, the only time you bought into better tech was for a Quake, Tomb Raider or Unreal, which were hardly niches games. I don't remember having to upgrade for something like Baldur's Gate or Civilisation. I think most PC gamers are realistic and just want the PC version of a multi-platform game to have a little bit more consideration taken with it, mostly with regards to graphical options and controls (which most games do). I'm one of those crazies who prefered some of the things that were removed from Mass Effect, but understand the need to appeal to the mass market.
  21. I have to disagree about the games being lacklustre. You could make a very nice list of pretty essential 8 bit games. Off the top of my head: R-Type - Flickering aside a really fantastic port. Wonderboy III: Dragon's Trap - Arguably superior to anything of its type on NES. Shinobi - Great port again. Hang On Black Belt Sonic Phantasy Star California Games Zillion - Good Metroid clone Ghouls and Ghosts Marble Madness The Ninja Choplifter Rambo Could go on but won't although it's worth noting that some of the conversions of the lesser known Sega games were quite good and also there was some pretty good outings from Disney.
  22. Considering the UK and US figures and the fact that the PS3 seems to have really closed up the gap, the 360 must really be taking a hiding almost everywhere else.
  23. 1. Night of the Living Dead 2. Yojimbo 3. 2001: A Space Odyssey 4. Once Upon a Time in the West 5. 8 1/2 6. Profound Desires of the Gods 7. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly 8. Harakiri 9. The Haunting 10. Dr Strangelove 11. Il Posto 12. Peeping Tom 13. Viridiana 14. La Dolce Vita 15. Rosemary's Baby 16. Midnight Cowboy 17. Jules et Jim 18. The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner 19. Quatermass and the Pit 20. Sanjuro
  24. Crazy Heart (or The Wrestler, Country and Western stylee) - Real mixed bag on the picture front. Some lovely detailed close-up's of Bridge's hairy, drink fueled face and Gyllenhaal's ovalness. Overall it was generally quite clean. Some of the money vista shots were a bit grainy and there were two or three of those blurred shots that we have come to expect. One in particular where Bridges was lounging on a bed and he was just a smudge. Film - 8/10 PQ - 7/10
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