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aethys

aethys

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since 25/01/2010

102

Wii Sports Club (Wii U) 30/05/2015

Andy Murray, Rory & Amir Khan all in a space of an hour with Wii

Wii Sports Club (Wii U) It is a matter of amazement to me that how often a couch potato enjoys a sports game. The joys of physical activity when enjoyed in the comforts of your home without the need to endure physical pain beyond a few stretches are so enticing. Wii Sport Club is example of how game makers make money out of this paradox. Since they came out with Resorts, they have taken this to a whole new level. They are now High Definition. What does it mean? It means that it has none of the bland visuals – they look sharper and greener (tennis and golf) and browner (bowling). There are 5 games on offer. All polished by Nintendo to high standards but some appeal, some not quite so. Tennis Tennis looks great – the grass looks so green and the stadium very realistic. However, the controls are very sensitive and require a bit of mastery. But there are lots of strokes available to the player and you can play like Nadal with the classic top spin or the Serena backhand slice. Moreover you can team up online and do a Paes-Sania doubles classic. Golf Golf is easily the best. It is lot of fun and yes because I always win like Rory (I am near to Ireland). Place it onto the floor and you are ready to be at St. Andrew – I must warn you that you can be an amateur with lots of handicaps but you at least need to be technically adept at using the motion gesture controls. It uses Gamepads, so the real-time visual indicator appears on the screen in the form of a golf club. You need to get the wrist ...

Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified (PS Vita) 30/05/2015

COD Black Ops Vita - Functional at best, but nothing to crave.

Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified (PS Vita) Am I a Call of Duty (COD) fanatic? No way! I must confess that I have long past those days when first person shooters (FPS) fascinated me. Those days every young person was hooked on by the FPS – battle zones, bloody fights and blood curdling brutality. So why did I go back to the FPS to try out this game. I knew that Actvision dominated the consoles through COD franchise. But then this game they have released on PS Vita, a Sony handheld. Fascinating combination, I thought! A handheld device, battle hardened console kings franchise COD, and powered by a huge online infrastructure. What a position of strength, if not domination. But I must confess even before I commence my review in depth, it has been a utter disappointment. GAMEPLAY It sticks to the COD time-tested linear approach sequencing levels from chapter to chapter, locales to locales – 10 missions in all. I purposefully omitted a separate category for story – as it has none. The story is pretty episodic with hardly any continuation to remember. The voiceovers are so standard – looks robotic. The quest infos are ‘classified documents’ that you can hardly read as it is badly pixelated. Also, there are some ‘tips’ on how to progress – hardly noteworthy. It asks you to rake up higher scores using difficulty levels and speed. But then there is nothing to be unlocked except silly trophies – not enough to motivate speed and pace. Under any normal circumstances you can be at the end of Mission 10 in under 45 mins. ...

Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate (Nintendo 3DS) 27/03/2015

Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate - Let the Hunt Begin

Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate (Nintendo 3DS) OVERVIEW Capcom recently released its long awaited multiplayer Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate (MH4U), a few months back. It is also the second in the series that has been released for Nintendo 3DS. In addition to playing with your friends over the net using local wireless option it comes with the ability to connect with the Nintendo 3DS built in wifi connection thus is a first in the series to be fully integrated online multiplayer. There has rarely been an action role-playing game that has gathered such enormous fanatic admiration from the original game to sequels as the Capcom’s Monster Hunter. It is one thing to gather a frenzied following on a time-tested bell and whistle but it requires innate innovation, plenty of guts and lots of belief in order to repeatedly raise the benchmark for others to follow. MH4U comes from the stables of massive monsters, still larger armours and weaponry, an enormous variety of quests and expeditions scattered over exotic and eerie locations, all in all a perfect adventure. What I like about the MH4U is its simplicity. The player has to embark on various quests or mission. During the mission, the player encounters a wide array of monsters. The monsters need to be eliminated to progress. As the monster gets killed the player starts acquiring new weapons and armoury that can now be used to eliminate other weird monsters that they encounter. The same thing is repeated again and again with a number of monsters in a number of new locales all over ...

Gone Girl (Blu-ray) 21/03/2015

Gone Girl: A riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma

Gone Girl (Blu-ray) Winston Churchill once said of Russia that it is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma. After watching the movie I can also paraphrase Churchill and declare that Gone Girl is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma. THE FILM David Fincher's film based on a novel written by Gillian Flynn and presented by 20th Century Fox runs a full two and a half hours is a mystery thriller with plenty of twists and turns to keep you thouroughly engaged and happily enraged as you try to unravel the riddle that is the Gone Girl. If you have read the novel you must be well aware of that it almost borders on a pshycological thriller. The genre might be that of a crime fiction but that is just a facade to explore the complexities of human mind - the fear, the suspicion, the lie, the half-truths, the jealousy, the love, the hate, the.....fallout of failed dreams. I shall try my best to not provide the spoilers that would ruin a worth while watching film, or for that matter those who would like to read the book. So excuse my abstract plot....it shall be the enigma that shall lead you to watching this film. Nick and Amy Dunne are having a fairy tale romance complete with all the ingriedients of a perfect relationship. But this is just the silver lining of what shall be a dark nimbus cloud. And the nimbus cloud brings in sinister showers. Amy goes missing. Amy's disapperance is 'Breaking News' for the local media as she had been made popular by her parent's book Amazing ...

Game of Thrones Season 4 (Blu-ray) 05/03/2015

Game of Thrones _ Season 4 - Pleasurable as usual

Game of Thrones Season 4 (Blu-ray) The first thing that strikes me is why I went with the Blu-Ray and not the normal DVD despite it being a bit expensive at around £30 in Amazon for a Region Free version. So before I go on to discussing the Game of Thrones Season 4 itself, it would be better for the reader to know ‘Why Blu-Ray’ . Why Blu-Ray? You google the Blu-Ray-DVD and you end with countless links to arguments and debates from countless experts. Some call it the format war, some the war between format players Sony and Toshiba with Sony vouching for Blu-Ray and Toshiba for DVD, consumers have different take on it but this is how I view it on the reasons Blu-Ray scores over DVD especially for something that you would like for keepsake and future watching. The two key differences is the definite improvement in picture quality and widescreen viewing. I am not concerned with the technicalities as an average viewer/reader does not remind himself or herself that ‘Aha! It has a broadcast correct 1080p High Definition and not just 480p Extended Definition’. What he or she wants is enhanced visuals and full utilization of the television screen. With Blu-Ray you get it. Another key difference is in the sound quality. Blu-Ray gives sound projections where you can hear minutely intricate sounds and subtle changes to rhythms. And if you are lucky enough to have a surround sound system, though essentially with Blu-Ray, it becomes less of a necessity, then your sound experience could be as immersive as the master ...

The Order: 1886 (PS4) 01/03/2015

Is it a game, movie, or maimed gam-vie as my friend rightly said?

The Order: 1886 (PS4) I am an avid gamer as my readers would have realised by now by the sheer number of my game reviews compared to anything else. And they must be also well acquainted with my tightly structured writing style with proper sub-headings discussing all aspects of a typical game – graphics, storyboard, gameplay, music, sound etc. But this game is not a game (as far as I am concerned) or best as my friend named it ‘a gam-vie’, that is nothing but cinematic cut-shots masquerading as a game with some loose story and gameplay to hold it together with the usual music and sound effects to prevent you falling asleep midway unless you just shove your PS4 under the sofa and instead put up your feet and decide to watch a proper movie. So how do I plan to review this hybrid? Unstructured, and straight from the heart. Give the Devil Its Due I should start with the good things, though. I may not consider it a game but then give – give the devil his due – Sony (publisher) and Ready At Dawn (developer) has done an incredible job of showcasing their technical brilliance – immaculate to a big T. It is also a big advertisement for the power of PS4 – the in-engine works flawlessly. The 30 frames per second run make it possible to look movie-like – sheer cinematic quality. And that is also the biggest flaw for this game. The quality of cinema overpowers and overwhelms the quality of the game. The game and cinematic cut-scenes intertwine seamlessly like a terrycloth fabric – only flaw that the ...

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (PC) 14/02/2015

COD- Advanced Warfare - Excellent and even better on a PC

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (PC) Carrying on from my review from the PS4 version that I include here near verbatim for those readers who have not read that review piece, I have now tried the game in PC and there are some remarkable differences. Things that are common to both devices have been left as it while things that are different on the PC have been added. I must confess I am not a Call of Duty (COD) audience. As a matter of fact I have moved away from first person shooters (FPS) long time back. First person shooters still do not fascinate me enough because ‘war never changes’, what changes is the context, the gruesomeness and the blood splattered corpses. But then COD –Advanced Warfare has had me back at full-time FPS.How long? I do not know but the enthusiasm does not seem to wane with COD –Advanced Warfare. All disclaimers made here is what I honestly felt about the game. Playing COD Advanced Warfare has me thinking ‘it’s a nice game, shouldn’t I be playing more of it’. Yes, it is the time and tested COD formulae – annihilate the enemy, the shooters in military fatigues with Next-Gen weaponry, a fight to the finish to save the world from catastrophe, the bloodshed and more and more of it. No matter the context, the time-period, the global enemy, the gameplay, the graphics, the music and the sound – the formulae of COD hardly changes. Maybe that what makes it so successful? The player knows what he is in for and the player has taken a conscious decision to be in it. But then why it has got me, ...

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (PS4) 25/12/2014

COD-Advanced Warfare 'It's a nice game, should play more of it'

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (PS4) I must confess I am not a Call of Duty (COD) audience. As a matter of fact I moved away from first person shooters long time back. First person shooters still do not fascinate me enough because ‘war never changes’, what changes is the context, the gruesomeness and the blood splattered corpses. But playing COD Advanced Warfare has me thinking ‘it’s a nice game, shouldn’t I be playing more of it’. Yes, it is the time and tested COD formulae – annihilate the enemy, the shooters in military fatigues with Next-Gen weaponry, a fight to the finish to save the world from catastrophe, the bloodshed and more and more of it. No matter the context, the time-period, the global enemy, the gameplay, the graphics, the music and the sound – the formulae of COD hardly changes. Maybe that what makes it so successful? The player knows what he is in for and the player has taken a conscious decision to be in it. But then why it has got me, a non-COD fan thinking it’s a nice game. Because Actvision’s latest offering has a twist in the tale, the formulae has added and altered ingredients that leaves a good taste. This is the first COD to have imagined sci-fi type war in present times. It is also the first where the story is told by one person character making it the most un-complicated COD ever. I like simplicity and this one character viewpoint makes the plot easy to follow and the game straightforward to enjoy. And if you add Kevin Spacey, an Oscar winning actor, who I had the immense pleasure ...

Transformers Age of Extinction (DVD) 19/07/2014

See at your own peril- Transformers numbs your senses

Transformers Age of Extinction (DVD) Warning: Transformers is designed to numb your senses and perhaps rob your sanity. Transformer is a film that you go and see at your own peril. I did and am relating my horrid experience. It starts with battles, then develops into episodes of battles, then more epic battles follow. Then it is intermission but you are now needing help - your tired eyes desire to be shut, your head is throbbing, your pulse racing eccentrically, your senses do not respond. A cola or two might help to calm tour nerves. The intermission ends but not the agony if you desire to satay back. More battles follow and whatever the film had spared in the first part, it delivers with more fire in the second. By the time it ends, it has numbed your senses completely, you now need a sanity check. Story Here is what I could make of it - I would love to know whether anyone else have a better understanding of the shitory. There is a robotic engineer named Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg) who has a daughter Tessa (Nicola Peltz). He lives on a Texas ranch. He has two obsessions - one to make an path-breaking invention and second to keep his daughter from getting near boys. Then there is a CIA agent, (Kelsey Grammer). He stats killing the autobots. Cade decides to help him. They are fighting some nasty CIA rogues, the industry and surprisingly bots from space. Then, to numb you out, there is some science fiction thrown in about the extinction of dinosaurs. So the battle begins to save the earth again - and goes on ...

EA Sports 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil (Xbox 360) 18/06/2014

Timely game for the football fans

EA Sports 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil (Xbox 360) Background EA have always managed to bring the maddening frenzy of the FIFA World Cup into the homes of every football fan in time for them to live through the event as a manager, player and fan. While the frenzy unfolds on the football pitches in Brazil and the fans partake in the fever on Television and the net, FIFA Xbox games allows them to live the lives of their football idols and icons. Though FIFA football in there for the fans to enjoy all through these last 4 years it is only during the World Cup that the EA releases the souvenir piece. 2014 World Cup is yet another such souvenir event and EA has released its 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil a souvenir piece worth bringing home. New Features The core mechanics of the FIFA EA football game has been tweaked to accommodate the fabulous presentation that goes with a World Cup. And a football world cup in the Mecca of football, Brazil with a penchant for grandiose celebrations like the Annual Carnival there is plenty of scope to capture it on a grand scale. What is on offer is classic celebration, typical ticker-tape stuff. Add to that the flashy idents and the celebration looks real. The stadium are real life images and the camera angles offered for viewing are TV replicable. The goals and fouls calls for shots of frenzied or anguished fans dressed in bright colours. It is not left to imagination that fans across the world glued to the giant viewing screens must also be celebrating, so low camera shots of the same are ...

Noah 13/04/2014

Noah - A Darren Aronofsky film

Noah Introduction There was the book of Genesis in the Bible with its story of Noah, the good man who built an ark to save his family and all living animals of its time to escape the wrath of God who had sent rain, thunder and lightning and let the waters to rise in a massive flooding to cleanse the sinful earth and all those who had left the path of GOD. And then there is Noah the film by Darren Aronofsky, a director noted more for making disturbing, surreal, dark, independent, low budget films. You can see the independent thinking director running wild, loose and bizarre with his imagination where he chooses to mix a heady cocktail of evolution of mankind with Noah's biblical tale, current political upheavals and scientific justifications. And then he has been unburdened by the budget - if things are to be believed this is a a very very expensive movie. You can see the money flowing freely as the waters flood the earth and digital effects take center stage. And when the ark is introduced on the screen, it looks majestic and imposing. The Story (as told in the film) The story in the film can best be described as a biblical pulp fiction. It opens with the bearded biblical character Noah (Russell Crowe), the last of the offspring's of Seth, Adam's third born surveying the sinful earth hiding his family that includes his wife (Jennifer Connelly), three sons - Sham (Douglas Booth), Ham (Logan Lerman) and Japheth (Leo McHugh Carroll) from the evil murdering, meat eating ...

Should the Elgin Marbles be returned to Greece? 27/02/2014

Shall returning Elgin Marbles not open a Pandora Box?

Should the Elgin Marbles be returned to Greece? CAN OF WORMS Before even starting a logical discussion on whether the Elgin Marbles (we should be calling it the Parthenon Marbles if the Greeks have their way and Elgin a cultural vandal) should be returned to Greece, we need to understand whether such a gesture shall not open a Pandora Box of similar demands from across the world where the British had its colonies and artifacts and cultural symbols were surreptitiously or otherwise taken away by the Empire and stuffed up for safe custody in the glorious museums of London. NOT FEASIBLE Even if we are made to understand that it makes sense to undo the wrongs of the past it shall become almost infeasible to imagine that Britain's can of worms shall stay with return of Elgin Marbles. It shall be forced to return the Egypt section from the British Museum and of course the Kohinoor Diamond studded on the crown of the British Monarch which by the way Kate Middleton wore at some ceremony the other day. This is just naming two of them, there are million others. And more powerful the country in the present circumstances, the more bargaining power they shall have in forcing the return. If the British could make such a gesture to Greece, why not Egypt or India? And India is an important trading partner now with an economy that is soon going to overtake even Britain's, so the demand for the return of Kohinoor and million other things shall not only become vociferous, to say the least but shall be threatening at times with the option ...

Gran Turismo 6 (PS3) 22/02/2014

A Classy Racing Game this Grand Tourismo

Gran Turismo 6 (PS3) I must admit that not being fond of driving cars (in fact I am an awful driver) without make me naturally not inclined to be a racing game fan. Yes, I also admit that it was the case till about 15 years back I got introduced to Grand Tourismo (GT). Not since then. I am now an avid, certainly not die-hard still, fan of the racing game if it does come from the GT stable. Anything else, not my cup of tea. So I wait with bated breadth whenever a Grand Tourismo game is released whether it shall be able to continue my devotion to the racing game genre or shall it be such that I turn against it once again. OVERVIEW The developers of this masterpiece of a racing car game is Polyphony. And it has been published by the game behemoth Sony. It is an expensive game at around £40 and do not recommend buying it if you are not a die-hard racing car gamer. You might have got the hint. I am an avid fan, not a die-hard one so I did not obviously purchase this game. Thsi does not stop me from playing and enjoying the game. You only need to find a friend from the gaming community and then borrow, beg or steal (not recommended). I make sure to borrow and if he is adamant not to let go then play at this place till he is annoyed enough to let it go for a night only. FIRST THOUGHTS Grand Tourismo 6 (GT6) is not a pure racing car game. It is a driving car game. It gives you the pleasure of driving a wide variety of cars in a wide variety of places and surroundings on a wide variety of surfaces. ...

Battlefield 4 (Xbox One) 20/02/2014

Battle Ready to dazzle its fans 4 times over

Battlefield 4 (Xbox One) OVERVIEW Electronic Art (EA) recently released its long waited multiplayer sequel Battlefield 4, a few months back. There has rarely been a combative shooter's game that has gathered such enormous fanatic admiration from the original game to sequels as the EA's Battlefield franchise. It is one thing to gather a frenzied following on a time-tested bell and whistle but it requires innate innovation, plenty of guts and lots of belief in order to repeatedly raise the benchmark for others to follow.Battlefield comes from the stables of large format maps, still larger plausible game tactics in company with enormous range of vehicles and massive annihilation. It is a couple of year’s hiatus between the third and the fourth sequel. This Bad Company 4 has the typical dark humour to boot and it has everything in it to not displease those fanatics of the series. EA has to be commended on the their stupendous effort that looked uncertain till a while back as their lab in Sweden was pruned. However, there has been serious glitch with its multiplayer version (reported) though I did try to log in several times but failed. I believe it has been resolved since though I have not tried it again. STORY It is dramatic to say the least. US is fighting the Chinese. Not all of them but the US Tombstone fights the Chinese Government’s renegade military wing. The year is 2020. Since the last Battlefield US has been at war with the Russians but now they have to factor in China, whose renegade ...

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII (PS3) 20/02/2014

Return of the Final Fantasy Fun Again and it is not fun anymore

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII (PS3) Final Fantasy 13-2 impressed me from the time I saw it at the Tokyo Game Show. I had been its fan before and became one even more after this. But NOT ANYMORE. Final Fantasy series has been brought to a thoroughly dull end by its maker Square Enix. It was supposed to be a sequel, it is hardly so. A kitchen sink approach to conclude the series has sunk the game itself into a gaping sink-hole. Role Playing Games had been so fun but this gameplay is a messy bumpy ride into boredom and the story picked up 500 years after the last game is also 500 tonnes worse off. CONCEPT The central character from the original FF, Lightning remains, everything else disappears into an unknown ecosphere seperated by 500 years and maybe 500 days of some madhatter sitting in Square Enix studios typing away this nonsense. If you scratch your brains to find wahat has been left from the earlier game is to find the Protagonist Claire Lightning and the schizophrenic ringing in her year for Hope Estheim in the course of the new adventure. STORYBOARD Background Lightning Returns (LT from now on) as I said before is far removed from its prequel so you and I have to regroup again to understand its story. Lightning has woken up after 500 years of sleep (why did Square Enix did not let her sleep for another 500 years). Or to be exact just 13 days before the world is about to come to an end. Naturally, if Square Enix have decided to wake her up, and that too when the world is coming to an end, she has a ...
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