Latest Game and Movie Reviews (Live Update)

* Game Ratings (/10), Movie Ratings (/5)

DS Tokyo Beat Down 7.1
Xbox 360 Fracture 8.0
MOVIE The Unborn 0
PC Left 4 Dead 8.7
Xbox 360 Mirror's Edge 8.5
MOVIE Dead Space Downfall 3.5
MOVIE The Day the Earth Stood Still 0.5
PSP Super Stardust Portable 9.7  CHOICE PICK
PSP Need for Speed Undercover 2.8
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Wednesday, November 30, 2005

New at DemoFix at Powerplay Online Gaming

Need for Speed Most Wanted demo has been added to Powerplay Online Gaming. To download the demo, please visit Powerplay Online Gaming and look for the Need for Speed Most Wanted demo under the DemoFix section. I look forward to seeing you on this blog again.

* Due to unforseen circumstances, I was unable to give the full game review of FIFA 06 as promised on 30 November. Yes, I am already in possession of the game and it was even installed on my computer but I have no time for it - at least for now. Please be patient and wait for the FIFA 06 game review to arrive either in December or in January. Meanwhile, be entertained by the articles or you can hope over to Powerplay Online Gaming and have some fun! Thank you for visiting this blog.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Special report:The huge cost of gaming

(Exclusive) - The price of gaming has defintely increased over the last few years. Gaming has changed a lot. From the early years of using catridges to today's modern powerful computers and the ever-powerful Xbox 360 console, you know it all. Indeed, as technology advances, game graphics got better and sharper and the cost of making a game will no doubt increase too. With that, the prices of games went up and we have to fork out more money for our favorite games. I have to say that the most expensive way of gaming is PC gaming. Every now and then, new PC games come out with more demanding requirements than before. What happens next? Many PC gamers start to upgrade their computers to usher in the new demanding PC games. Costly graphics cards, more memory for the computer, to name a few. If you are looking for a less expensive way of gaming, then I suggest you should convert to console-gaming instead. The price of the consoles is a farcry from the dear PC gaming rigs that PC gamers like to build. This situation is very real, at least with the various PC gaming magazines in the market. Every year, there will be one dream PC. The 'PC of the year' headlines seem too common for me now as the the magazine staff seem to be building gaming rigs all the time. Looking at the price tag of the gaming rigs that the magazine staff built, I know that I will never be able to afford such an expensive computer. Okay, back to console gaming. Yes, the console is cheaper than upgrading your PC yearly for gaming. But, I urge you to consider this: Do you ever realise that the price of the console games are always so much higher than that of PC games? This makes the price of gaming on PC and on console awfully balanced. You save on the console, but you need to splurge on the games. You splurge on the PC upgrades, but you save on the games. Get the equation? Of course, there is always an easier way to game. The video games machines that are available to public, but those may not cater to your thirst for gaming. Then, there are the places where you meet up with your friends for LAN gaming. However, I have to say that if you go there too often, then the cost of gaming will still be the same. What I was trying to drive at writing this entire article is that the cost of gaming has gone up to a high since the early years. You can bet that gaming cost will continue to rise in the future. With the impending release of PlayStation 3 next year, my guess that gaming cost will still continue to increase will likely be right.

Do you agree with my views? Post your opinions in the comments section. Thank you for reading this article.

Reviving the memorable Halo music

Of all the games I have played, Halo certainly has the most memorable music of all times. I just cannot seem to forget it. Now, Powerplay invites you to relive the joy of listening to the music of Halo. Click here to listen to all the 26 tracks in 'Halo Original Soundtrack' and here to download 'Blow Me Away', which is a song from 'Halo 2 Original Soundtrack'. I've already listened to it and I found the music to be nice. Enjoy!

To buy 'Halo Original Soundtrack', click here.
To buy 'Halo 2 Original Soundtrack', click here.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Hardware Guide 15:Saitek X45 Digital Joystick and Throttle

Fans of flight simulator games would be joyful to land their hands on this flying gadget. It will give fans of flight simulator games the most realistic flying experience ever. Let's take Microsoft's Flight Simulator for an example. With the computer keyboard and mouse controls, it is very difficult to control the plane. However, with this, it will be a piece of cake. Not only is it useful for flight simulator games, but it comes with great design too - as you can see for yourself. Don't worry, the joystick is covered with rubber so you will have a firm grip on it during your gameplay. This gadget also boasts unlimited programming power and auto-configuration for each game played. The buttons can be illuminated during the night, when you are trying the finsh your missions. As you can see from the image above, there are many buttons. Let's get to their features then. There are four fire buttons, one missile launcher, two eight-way hat switches and a Pinkie' switch on the joystick. The throttle features two fire buttons, a four-way hat switch, a throttle control with detents, a rudder control, two rotary analog controls, an eight-way mouse controller. After reading the features of the buttons, you should try to count how many faetures there are. Yes, count them. This, beyond a shadow of doubt, will satisfy your need for a good controller for a flight simulator game. It will make gameplay experience more exciting too. If you are a fan of flight simulator games or if you are currently playing flight simulator games, you should be trying this. Guaranteed to give you a good time.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Gaming Guide 3:CS Weaponary Part 2

Shotguns and Machine Gun

Benelli M3 Super 90 Combat

Costing a mere $1700 but having a very slow reload and fire rate, you opponent will kill you before you shoot out the second shell, which is needed to fully finish off a full health opponent. You won't win with this weapon if your opponent is holding a rifle. If you are really using this weapon, always try to ambush your opponents. Do not ever walk straight. It will get you killed in no time. Try not to be seen by your opponent or shoot him from the back in order to have enough time for the slow reload after each shot.

Benelli xm 1014

Costing more than the previous shotgun, but so much worth its price. It possesses a fast fire rate, pumping out the 7 shotgun shells like a machine gun, unlike the first one. This time, even if your opponent is holding a rifle with a fast rate of fire, you can kill him first with your two fast shotgun shells. Pump, pump, and he will be six feet underground. No time for your opponent to react at all. A must-get for close quarters combat but not advisable for shooting longe range targets. It will not work at all.

FN M249 Para

This is the most expensive and biggest weapon in Counter Strike. However, it seems to me that it does quite little damage. For example, in one second, you can finish off a full health opponent with a AK-47 but you certainly cannot finish a full health opponent with this weapon in one second. This weapon is poor with longe range targets, compared to the rifles. Unless you are facing hordes of enemies or need a big ammo clip at any one time, it is not worth its price tag. Go get a rifle instead.

Next's up - Gaming Guide 4: CS Weapnary Part 3 - Sub-machine Guns

Friday, November 25, 2005

Hardware Guide 14:Creative GigaWorks ProGamer G500

Clear your old speakers away and make way for this behemoth. If you want a truly good experience when gaming, watching movies or listening to music on your PC or home entertainment system or consoles, then you should be getting the Creative GigaWorks ProGamer G500, which is a THX-certified 5.1 surround-sound speaker system. Featuring the ability to bring out the best of audio quality in your games, movies or music, the product consists of five small speakers and one big one. Amazingly, the audio settings of all the speakers can be adjusted at just one turn of the knob (image at the left hand side). As you notice, there are also several LED panels and buttons on the remote control. No, wait, there is a headphone jack too. That makes it much easier for you to plug your headphones in. The several buttons will allow you to tweak individual channel level, bass, treble and up-mix options - the simple way, of course. There are other impressive features of this speaker system too, including the DynaPort technology. This technology maximises airflow to produce deep, intense bass (see images below). Click on the images to view a bigger picture.

If you are still pondering of whether to get this speaker system, think no more. If you are still not an owner of one of these, go get it today!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

How to use your Xbox 360?

So gamer, now you got your Xbox 360 and what do you do with it? Read this interesting ign article to find out! Click here! No, I haven't got mine. I live in the Asia Pacific region and the Xbox 360 will only be launched in my country next year. How fun was it when you are Xbox-ing?

Monday, November 21, 2005

Hardware Guide 13:Logitech PlayGear AMP

If you own a PSP, it is time for you to listen up beacuse you will like to have one of these. The product doesn't include the PSP, though. The PSP is only there to show you that this Logitech product is for the PSP. Okay, let's get to the features of this cool machine. Did you ever wonder how the sound coming out from your PSP can be made louder? Well, here is your solution. Just like the many gadgets that provide for the Apple's i-pod, this gadget provides for the PSP. Put your PSP into this and instead of sound coming out of small speakers, you have full, rich audio from the PlayGear's impressive speakers. When you watch videos on your PSP, don't you have to hold it in your hands, causing your hands to ache after quite a while? Fear no more, this gadget will hold the PSP for you to enjoy your videos. Sit back and relax. The best thing about the Logitech PlayGear AMP is that it is as portable as the PSP itself. Ha! Unfortunately, it needs 4 'AAA' batteries. Never mind, if you are using it at home, you can use the provided AC adapter instead. Once again, I urge PSP owners to seriously consider buying this product. It is good.

Hardware Guide 12:SkipDoctor

Funny looking gadget, huh? Well, what happens if the discs of your favorite games become faulty and when not even a scrub on its underside with a damp cloth can save it? Fret not, because here comes SkipDoctor, a gadget that can work on any disc, making it very useful. It will restore any disc to its original condition and it looks like you have just got a brand new disc in your hands, now that that disc has been treated by the SkipDoctor. Let it spin and you are done. Here comes the magic! Get it as a safety precaution for your discs!

Hardware Guide 11:Nintendo Game Boy Micro

Before saying the word, "WOW!", this is a question everyone should consider: Is this another one of the crappy machines that Nintendo have produced to make us donate our money to them? Guess what? The answer is yes. Indeed, this is another simple machine produced by Nintendo, which is only capable of producing 2D-like images on its screen. Don't believe? Just look at the image below. Checks on other Game Boy images have been made and they all reveal the same thing: Game Boy Micro is only capable of 2D-like images on its screen. So what if the

Game Boy Micro has the different design and is smaller than any other Nintendo consoles? It still boils down to the quality of games when played on the consoles. As such, I wouldn't recommend that you buy Game Boy Micro. Yes, even though it is so much cheaper than PSP, you are still better off buying the PSP. There is simply no improvement from Game Boy Advanced or Nintendo DS. If you already own one of the two previously released Nintendo machines, don't bother to convert to Game Boy Micro. It is a waste of money. I can see that there is only a D-pad and two buttons on the surface where the screen is (There are still two more buttons beneath the screen). With this, how many games can actually make use of Game Boy Micro? I doubt so. Only simple games with a few controls can fully take advantage of Game Boy Micro. Final note: Stick to your GBA or DS if you already have one of them. I think the DS is even more worthy of your money than this.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Gaming Guide 2:CS Weaponary Part 1

Well, my very own Counter Strike Weaponary Guide is finally here, sooner than expected. In Part 1 of the CS Weaponary Guide, I will take you through the list of pistols. Enjoy.

Heckler and Koch USP Tactical
As counter-terrorists, you start with this weapon. The damage it does it considerable, more than the Glock, the weapon that the terrorists start with. With a bit of luck and skill, you can even use this weapon to kill your opponents, who are armed with those expensive and big rifles.

Glock 18
As terrorists, you start with this weapon. Well, this is the weapon that does the least damage of all. You can only kill your opponent when more than 10 Glock 18's bullets are shot into him. Pathetic weapon! If you have the cash, snub this pistol away! It is practically useless! Trust me.

Desert Eagle
Power comes at a high price and indeed, this pistol is the second-most expensive pistol in the game. It is worth the money, though. It is the pistol that does the most damage of all. Arm yourself with this and a magnum sniper rifle (awp) and that will be the most lethal combination in the game. Once you spawn, buy this as your primary weapon immediately.

Beretta Elite
This is a terrorist-exclusive weapon. It is distinctive as one of these pistols will be held in each hand. It is the most expensive of all the pistols. But, this doesn't mean power. Dah, the Desert Eagle is so much better than this. Yeah, I agree, it looks cool but it is highly inaccurate and it don't seem to do much damage. If you start the round with the minimum amount, you will have insufficient cash to buy it. Save your money.

Sig P228
I rarely try this weapon but it is said to have a higher accuracy than the USP. Slightly more powerful too, but so much more costly. Perhaps, you are still better off saving money for other pistols. For terrorists, you may consider this over your stupid Glock 18. Anyway, it all depends on your skills when you shoot.

FN Five Seven
This is a counter-terrorists exclusve weapon. Again, I rarely use this weapon. Overall, this is quite a normal pistol with nothing special over others. I think you will be better off saving your money again - for course, for the Desert Eagle!

Next, CS Weaponary Guide Part 2: Shotguns and Machine Gun

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Hardware Guide 10:Graphics at its Zenith

Nvidia GeForce 7800 GTX 512MB
Don't be fooled by its innocent name. It is not just an extra 256MB added to the previously released Nvidia GeForce 7800 GTX 256MB. Now, this graphic card is more powerful than any other graphic card in the market now that is not overclocked. Don't drool over it yet, read the review first (by Click here.

ATI Radeon X1800XL and X1800XT 512MB
These two graphics cards are the reason why the new 7800 GTX 512MB was released. Nvidia wants to win the graphics war. Click here for X1800XL's review and here for X1800XT 512MB's review. Enjoy reading!

Powerplay's 10 reasons why you should be a gamer

(Exclusive) - I like gaming, how about you? If you aren't gaming yet, here are 10 good reasons why you should become a gamer. Perhaps after reading it, you will change your mind about gaming. Read on and enjoy this article!

Reason 1:
If you aren't going out on weekends, what else can you do besides watching television programmes or renting videos to watch?

Reason 2:
Gaming takes you into a totally new and exciting world you previously could have never imagined.

Reason 3:
Gaming is a way for you to relax.

Reason 4:
Gaming is a way for you to interact with people all over the world and with your friends.

Reason 5:
You can play a game 50 times, but you won't be watching the same movie, reading the same book or going to the same shopping mall 50 times.

Reason 6:
You can win prizes when you participate in gaming tournaments.

Reason 7:
When you are gaming, your mind is working, just like when you are studying. Don't be a couch potato and inactivate your mind.

Reason 8:
Every part of a game is truly thrilling, unlike a movie or book, when only the later parts become exciting.

Reason 9:
Gaming is convenient and easy.

Reason 10:
Gaming is a very good experience. Don't believe me? Try it yourself!

By the way, I hate watching movies. And no, I don't like reading Harry Potter too. But I like gaming.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Hardware Guide 9:Next-generation discs

Blu-ray Discs
Let us warmly welcome the arrival of the next-generation discs next year when they will be made available in the markets. One of them will be the blu-ray discs. Sony's PlayStation 3 will be making use of this disc and we may see future movies and music released in this format too, considering the fact that a blu-ray disc has a storage capacity of a whopping 25GB. That is a lot of space compared to today's CD, which can hold 0.7GB of data and DVD, which can hold 7GB of data. A double-sided version of a blu-ray disc can then hold 50GB of data, more than twice of the capacity of today' DVD. Today's DVD is said to have a higher color quality when showing films compared to films stored in a CD. I will bet that the color quality of films stored in blu-ray discs will be even better than the normal DVD. Never mind about all that, because very soon, you will find out when you use the disc yourself next year. Be patient.


Another new format of disc that will be released will be HD DVD. It will be the time when the two electronic companies, Panasonic and Toshiba battle it out for consumers. I have totally no idea why is Toshiba producing HD DVD when the storage capacity is only 15GB (The one you see in the image is a dual-layer one). Yes, and 30GB of data for a double-sided HD DVD. I don't know for sure if movies or music are going to be stored in this disc but don't worry, there will certainly be some. That is because some recorders will solely support blu-ray while some will only solely support HD DVD and companies won't want to lose out customers. Therefore, they will produce movies and music of both formats so everybody can enjoy. Given the lower storage capacity of this disc, it will defintely be cheaper than blu-ray.

Gaming on the new discs
You may ask why I am writing this articles because I only write on hardwares related to gaming. However, I beseech my readers to jump to conclusion. This article is indirectly related to gaming too. Look, next-generation games will be getting larger in the space they need and they too, need new discs with larger storage capacities to store them. So, the next time you buy a game and bring it home, perhaps it won't be on DVD anymore. Maybe games will be stored on these discs too. But let's not exaggerate. You know, games won't need 15GB or 25GB of storage space and so it will be such a waste to put them on these discs as there will be leftover space. I'm talking about games produced in 3 to 6 years time. By then, CDs will be going the way of the dodos!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Movies and Music on the Xbox 360

How will Xbox 360 change the way that videos and music are currently played on the original Xbox? Find out in these two Gamespy articles:
Moving pictures:Video on the Xbox 360
The Sound and the Fury:Music on the Xbox 360
Read on and enjoy!

Gaming Guide 1:Call of Duty 2 Multiplayer

Completing the Call of Duty 2 singleplayer mode missions is child's play. I completed all of the 10 missions in 9 hours. But that is not the case when it comes to Call of Duty 2 multiplayer. Here are some of the general winning strategies that I have found out while playing and I have even tryed it out myself too. By the way, in the multiplayer mode, Call of Duty 2 gamers' favorite match types are deathmatch and team deathmatch.

For maps with buildings:

Camp and Snipe
Immediately after you have spawned, rush to a building with windows and hide there. When you start multiplayer, you will be prompted to chose a weapon of your choice. Chose the sniper rifles, for whatever side you are in. As I said, camp in the buildings. Now, it is time for your sniper rifles to do the work.

Beware of opponents sneaking up on you
But, wait, don't be too happy after you have shot down your opponents. There is the Killcam after they or you die. The Killcam will show how you shot your opponents down. From there, your opponents will know where you are hiding and will come for you. Especially fustrating are the players who sneak up on you and shoot you, afterwhich, they will replace your position in the buildings.

Be quiet when you're sneaking up on your opponents
Yes, you will respawn and now, it is your turn to sneak up on your opponents. But the thing is that your opponent can hear you coming up when you climb the stairs. So, get into a crouching position and then will you be able to climb the stairs, making as little noise as possible. If you are unlucky enough, your opponents will still hear you and run to the stairs to shoot 'an unprepared you' to death.

Throw grenades to attract attention
Noise is the most important aspect of the multiplayer game. Throw grenades to attract attention so you can have your opponents appear as shooting targets in your foreground, provided you are an accurate and operationally-quiet sniper.

Ambushing your opponents
Sometimes, you may camp on the first floor of a building and hide beside the door. Once someone enters, shoot him. But that plan can backfire too if your opponents knows your position and he may throw a grenade inside, forcing you to make an escape and therefore, exposing yourself.

Do not give away your position
When getting from place to place, stay as close to the wall as possible. Do not run in the open as you will easily get picked off by your opponents who are hiding in the buildings. Hide behind objects to cover yourself. Sometimes, your opponents change from standing position to crawling position when shooting. That is called dodging enemy fire.

-End of COD2 Multiplayer Guide-
Hope you find these strategies useful. Coming out next- Counter Srike Guides. Stayed tuned!

Hardware Guide 8:Razer Diamondback Laser Mouse

This intimidating glowing-red mouse seems to be saying,"come and get me!" And prehaps, you can consider getting one of these. Don't worry about running out of power during your games because it is not wireless, so there is no need for batteries. This mouse has been voted the best gaming accessory for the year 2004. This mouse possesses a 1600dpi laser engine, twice of that of conventional high performance sensors. Indeed, this mouse has set a benchmark for any other gaming mice. If I am not mistaken, this is the official mouse of the World Cyber Games tournament. And why is that so? That is because gamers like it! When it comes to chosing mice for games, this is a straight choice for gamers. Click here for full specifications. If you can't afford the more costly Logitech G7 Laser Mouse (Hardware Guide 7), then this is your cheaper alternative.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Hardware Guide 7:Logitech G7 Laser Mouse

Again, another marvellous shooting device that will give you greater accuracy against your opponents in a game. The design and size is just right for your hands to fit nicely and comfortably. What's more, it possesses a 2000 dpi laser engine. Without saying, this is definitely a good gaming mouse. Batteries will last for 2 and a half days for average gameply. There is also the battery-level indicator. Sensitivity levels can adjusted from 400dpi to 800dpi to 2000dpi. If you are looking for a really good gaming mouse this Christmas, it will be better if you can get your hands on this gorgeously-designed mouse.

Hardware Guide 6:RGT G1 Light Gun

This is one powerful weapon that may give you an edge over your opponents in a FPS game. You shoot, not with a joystick, not with a mouse, not with a controller, but with a gun in your hands, which is guaranteed to make your shooting faster and more accurate. This gun is even attached with a sniper scope so you can scope in on your enemies while shooting them. Talk about a sniper rifle! This gun will work on almost any screen. Just attach it to your console and you are ready to do some blasting! Worth a try if you have the money to spare.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

PlayStation 3 launched in 2006? Maybe not

Delays, delays and delays. Oh no, maybe it won't even be released in 2006 anymore. So you won't be getting your hands in this sleek machine anytime soon. Or will you? According to BBC News coverage of Digital Life Expo in New York City, it will be released in 2007, not 2006. Ha, that's one more year to go. If I'm not wrong, Xbox 360 will be released in the US on 22nd November 2005, 2nd December in Europe and 10th December in Japan. For gamers who just can't wait, why not get the Xbox 360 first? Well, if you want to have both consoles!

Hardware Guide 5:Logitech G15 Gaming Keyboard

What do you say? Cool keyboard, built with nothing but gamers in mind. Its special features include the adjustable LCD screen displaying information when you play your games, the Backlit keys which possesses three brightness levels that can be helpful when you are playing in a dark room and the 18 G keys which you can use to configure multiple keys into one. By pressing a single button, you can execute macros. Now, that is certainly great. For full features and system requirements, click here.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Game Preview 2:Supreme Commander

Welcome to my second game preview. In this game preview, the featured game is Supreme Commander, the spiritual successor of Total Annihilation. In other words, it is the 'sequel' to Total Annihilation. Unofficial, to be exact, in the sense that the game is not developed by Atari, which now owns the rights of Total Annihilation after Cavedog closed. But that's okay, because Chris Taylor is still the developer of the game, the same guy who produce Total Annhilation. And upon hearing this news, I just knew it. When Supreme Commander arrives late next year, it is going to be a hit! Gameplay will probably be as intensive and thrilling as Total Annihilation. A greater variety of units and weapons in Supreme Commander, I guess. Bigger and more meanacing units will certainly make the game more challenging. Once again, it is time for some tactics! That is what it will take to bring down your opponenets. New and more enormous maps than ever, more spectacular worlds to battle in, and these are some of the basic requirements for Supreme Commander. I am sure it will be better than any other RTS games when it arrives. No other game has provided me with that in-your-face over-200-units-fighting-at-the-same-time situation as Total Annihilation and it will continue this way with Supreme Commander. Look at the screenshots below and judge for yourself. Visit the Total Annihilation/Supreme Commander fan community @

Total Annnihilation Screenshot

Notice the red-colored dots on the minimap at the sidebar? That's one base, occupying one quarter of the map. Click image to enlarge.

Supreme Commander Screenshots

Yep, Supreme Commander provides the same intensive battles as Total Annihilation. This is what I call a good and serious RTS game.

Hardware Guide 4:ATI Radeon X850 CrossFire Edition

Oh, this looks impressive! Well, it is supposed to. If you are obsessed with graphics on your PC, then this will probably suit you, provided you have the money. Of course, this was produced to compete with Nvidia's very successful SLi platform. So you can expect almost the same results - high improvement in graphics when you play your games. Two graphics card put into one CPU. Without saying, this have got to be extra amazing.

Unfortunately, I have not tried this cool gadget before so I cannot give you the full review. Click the links below to access third-party reviews.

The Register's review - Beyond 3D's review - The Tech Report's review
Hardware Zone's review - Viperlair's review - Trusted Reviews' review

I will only write full reviews on games or hardware that I have tested. Quality assured!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Powerplay Handpicked:Best games of all times

*Only games with ratings of 9.5 and above will be eligible. Placing will determine which '10/10' game is better.

Counter Strike 1.6/Counter Strike Condition Zero/Counter Strike Source (10/10)

Call of Duty 2 (10/10)

Project Snowblind (10/10)

Doom 3 (10/10)

Total Annihilation/Total Annihilation Core Contingency (9.8/10)

Halo 1 (9.6/10)

Next game at 7th place: Farcry (9.2/10) -Not eligible-

Game Review 6:Call of Duty 2

This is one perfect war game that is a must-buy for any gamer. I'm not joking. This game is really that wonderful. In this game, you will play as either the Russian, British or American throughout the missions. The first three missions are allocated to the Russian, the next four allocated to the British and the last three allocated to the American. This makes it ten missions in total. I'm currently at the second-last mission. As far as I know, this game allows me to say one word that I've not said for donkey years to a game and that word is 'flawless'. Into my second-last mission, I have already ridden two vehicles, consisting of a Crusader tank and being a gunner in an amoured truck. There's quite a variety of weapons, including the MP40 and anti-tank gun. As you advance through the missions, the objectives get more challenging and they take a much longer time to complete. Throughout the ten missions, you, along with your comrades, will be taking on the bad Germans of WW2. I have noticed that the enemies like to throw grenades. The funniest part of the game are the interesting speeches made by your commanders and comrades. Hearing them just makes me want to laugh. For example, in your first mission, in the training camp, one of your comrades will be remarking, "Why are we using potatoes instead of real grenades?" And the commander replies, "What do you know, real grenades are very valuable, even more valuable than you." This is one of the interesting speeches. There are several others. The game follows the events of WW2 very closely too. Sometimes, before the start of the missions, there will be old black and white films deplicting the real life events of WW2. Talk about a history lesson! Extra features are included if you buy the collector's edition. Extra features like the art gallery and behind the scences. That's what I bought. At least my money is not wasted. This game is worth every single cent I paid. (Screenshots) *I played this game on PC. PS2 version may differ.

Overall score: 10/10
Platform available: PC, Xbox 360, PS2
Good points: Very thrilling gameplay - you will feel as if you are in the war
Bad points: -Nil-

(updated) Okay, I have finished the Call of Duty 2 single-player campaign. 10 missions in all but 9 hours. I have to agree to the fact that this is simply too short. But, never mind, the multiplayer's great. I get to use many weapons that I did not even try in the single-player campaign. For the deathmatch mode, the first player to reach 30 kills wins. Yes, I have only accomplished it once. For the rest of the time, I am always sinking to the bottom of the table. Too few kills. I am always the reckless one rushing in like a maniac and getting killed. That is, after I change my style of playing from hiding and sniping to rush and kill with the shotgun, which is also known as the Trench. Many players online at Call of Duty 2.

Overall score: 10/10
Good points: High replay value
Bad points: Single-player campaign mode is too short. Hoping to see an expansion soon.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Hardware Guide 3 - Handheld Consoles:Which is worthy of your money?

In Hardware Guide 3, let's take a look at three handheld consoles available in the market now and I will tell you which one is worth buying.

PlayStation Portable (PSP)

This is one marvellous machine that can play your games, music and videos. Like its sibling, the PS2, it can play games very well, with acceptable graphics. If you can't go out without your PS2, then you will probably buy this machine. If I am not wrong, it has the highest specifications of the three handheld consoles. Yes, as you know, machines of these kind, will always cost much and it is no difference for the PSP. But, hey, it is absolutely value for money! Name me another handheld console that allows you to play 3D games so perfectly. No, it is only PSP. Great entertainment for you and your family if you are bored.

Nintendo DS

I just don't understand why this console was even released when there is no improvement from Gameboy Advanced. It still possesses the ever blockish graphics, anyway. FIFA 2006 was released for DS. Why? Playing FIFA 2006 on DS simply spoils the quality of the game. Instead of the usual 3D iamges I am used to seeing, I see 2D-like images on DS. Is that the maximum power that the DS is capable of? Indeed, the answer is yes. All other games played on
DS have only 2D images. Excuse me, but hey, we are living in modern times, not in the early 90s. If DS was released in the early 90s, I would have accepted it and even praise it but not now. Can't Nintendo make an improvement in all the consoles it releases? It's always poor graphics. That one thing will mar the quality of games. However, if you are on a very tight budget, then DS is for you - provided you are prepared for low-quality games. It costs much less than PSP, which is the only good thing I hear about the DS.

N-Gage QD

This phone doubles up as a gaming console. No offence, but it has a very pathetic game collection, which I don't wish to elaborate on. Alright, game's graphics look better on N-Gage QD than on DS but still not worthy of your money. I don't see popular game titles released for N-Gage QD too, except for The Sims. Nice to hold it in your hands, but not nice to waste your money on this stuff. It has all the bad points but I can find little good points about it. You will be better off getting DS.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Hardware Guide 2: Nvidia 7800 GTX graphics card

This graphics card (256MB video memory) may look quite plain and simple to you but it packs extreme power. It is currently the world's most powerful graphics card that is not overclocked. Get your computer powered with this graphics card and you can handle every single game in the market right now. As game magazines mentioned, it will be better if two of these graphics card are slotted into your CPU, even better if it is overclocked. A pity this new and powerful gadget costs a bomb! That's alright, if you can't afford the big price, get its sibling instead - the Nividia 7800 GT, which is still good enough. A great buy if you have money this Christmas. Get it if you haven't. It is a must-buy for any PC gaming fans out there! I'm one of them, but you know, I don't have the money. It costs over a thousand in my country. I'm currnetly using an ageing ATI X300 graphics card. Happy Christmas! Click here for full specifications.

Game Preview: Dead or Alive 4

Welcome to the first Game Preview from Powerplay. In this game preview, I will talk about Dead or Alive 4.

18 characters, including some new ones. New costumes, new locations, improved graphics, and you should be looking forward to these four things if you are wanting to buy Dead or Alive 4. I will be buying it - only after I buy the Xbox 360 console. The characters in this the Dead or Alive series need no introduction. As you know or if you have played any the Dead or Alive game before, the characters are so gorgeously crafted. Such perfect bodies that it is impossible for many of us to have these bodies. Very interesting moves, but awfully similar to those in wrestling. Expect new moves in this new game, though. With the Xbox 360 new and better specifications, this game's graphics is going to look sharper and clear too. If you are tired of your usual shooting, racing, RTS or RPG games, take this game out and play and it will make you fresh again, fresh enough for you to continue your singleplayer missions in those big games. I will be looking forward to a new and more challenging boss in Dead or Alive 4's story mode. Dead or Alive 3's boss is just plain lame, using nothing more than its usual swing of sword and fire power. Well, looks like much is expected of this game. I've heard that it's going to be out next week, even before Xbox 360 console has arrived - in my country, priced at $99 in my local currency. Oh, so expensive, considering that I only receive $40 as my weekly pocket money.

Hardware Guide 1 - Should you be getting PS3, Xbox 360 or Nintendo Revolution?

Get ready for the forthcoming next-generation consoles. As you know, their release dates are just around the corner. So it remains a question: Just which console should you be getting?

PlayStation 3

Estimated release date: June 2006 (Japan and in my country), ???????? (US and the EU)

This console has the highest specifications of the three. It is jam-packed with all the things needed to play those very demanding games. However, there is a downside. It will be available for twice as much as the Xbox 360 during its launch date. The thing that sets it apart from other consoles is that it uses blu-ray discs. Put that aside, games that are going to be PS3-only are, perhaps, decreasing. The creator of the Final Fantasy series is crossing over to Xbox 360, anyway. So don't expect too many PS3 exclusive titles coming out. If you are a die-hard PS fan, and if you have the financial power, you may get it.

Xbox 360

Estimated release date: Christmas 2005 (US), January 2006 (countries near to US), March 2006 - officially released, price less than $1000 (my country) Christmas 2005 - imports from US, price more than $1000 (my country)

The slim console will be so much better than the first Xbox, which people deem as big, fat and bulky. Its specification will not be as high as PS3 but higher than Nintendo Revolution. But still, it will be able to play demanding games like Quake 4 and Call of Duty 2. The Xbox 360 can also play games made for the first Xbox. In my view, Xbox 360 and Xbox have more good gaming titles than the PS family. Just look at the released game: Doom 3, Battlefield 2, Pariah, Dead or Alive series, they are all Xbox-exclusive titles and Half-Life 2 is going to be released on Xbox or Xbox 360 too. Why isn't Doom 3 released for PS2? That's what I'm saying, Xbox has better titles than PS2 and it's going to continue this way with the next-generation consoles. Also, Xbox 360's price is less costly than PS3. I will be getting the Xbox 360. How about you?

Nintendo Revolution

Estimated release date: ?????

It has the lowest specification of the three but if you are a Mario fan, you may want to get it because Mario games are an exclusive to Nintendo. The Nintendo Revolution is the successor to the Nintendo Gamecube. I wouldn't recommend you to buy this console, although it will most likely be cheaper than PS3 and Xbox 360. Unless you are a fan of the mostly cartoonish games released for Gamecube, you will not be buying Revolution. I have heard than its controller are quite special in a way but I don't know for sure because I don't have the images. For now, Nintendo is keeping it mouth closed for this console. Very little information on it. Wait for further notice.

* Estimated released date may be sunject to change.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Game Review 5:WWE WrestleMania 21

Initially, I though this game was going to be fantastic, with so many match events and even more match types, including 'Hell in a Cell' and 'Ladder Match'. I was thinking: How could I ever get tired of playing this game? No, I was wrong. What a let down! For first-time players, you have got to get yourself to be familiar to the controls. They are quite complicated, especially if you want some beautiful finishing moves. Don't believe me? Take a look at the game manual and you will know. Suprisingly, each character has very few moves, which are always repeated very often. It is unrealistic too. How can a wrestler have such few moves? You know, a human body cn make so many movements. And wait a minute, how come the wrestler can survive for so long in the ring even if he/she is beaten constantly. I notice that while playing with the A.I, it took me about 20 to 30 minutes to defeat the opponent, although that opponent was being beaten all the time. It is just too virtual. Can't the developers let the game have more realistic feel? Due to the game's repeating moves, I stopped playing WrestleMania 21 quite a while ago. I only picked it up when my friends came over to my house. To put it simply, I don't feel like playing it anymore. It is such a waste of money. A very disappointing game should be the appropiate phrase. Do not waste your time on this game. You are better off playing other fighting games or Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects (Game Review 4). Screenshots

Overall score:5.7/10
Platform available: Xbox
Good points: Wide Range of characters, many events and match types
Bad points: Dull gameplay, repetitive moves

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Game Review 4 - Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects

Whoa, another recently released fighting game from Electronic Arts. Will it be better than other fighting games? Yes or no, depending on your opinions or whether you have tried other fighting games before. For me, it is yes, slightly better than other fighting games, but not as good as Soul Calibur 2. You chose from the two rows of characters, including Daredevil and The Human Torch. There are also different beautiful environments you can select to fight in, all of which you may use the objects in the environments to hurl at your opponents. As expected of fighting games, your character has many moves (each of the characters have their own unique moves). Simply, this is a game that allows you to play as characters that you never though you will be able to. I can see that I don't recognize some of the charcters too. So if you are shopping for another fighting game now, I recommend that you buy Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects. It will provide you a break from those huge singleplayer missions of Call of Duty 2 or Quake 4, or any other game. But be advised: You will get tired of it if you play it continuously daily. Play it every now and then and that will be a good idea. (Screenshots)

Overall score: 8.5/10
Platfrom available: Xbox, PS2, Gamecube
Good points: Good graphics and unusual characters
Bad points: More maps, please and don't play it daily or you will get tired of it.

Worst Game:Full Spectrum Warrior

Oh, yes, this is the one that alomost causes me to puke. There goes my money down the drain. Please, game developers, if you really want to make a game, make it good. What is the use of making a game if you can't even control your character to shoot? Yep, in Full Spectrum Warrior, you only get to control where your character moves, not where or how your character shoots. You can toggle between the leader, the medic ... ... alright, I can't remember. Then, you enter the battlefield and you are suspposed to lead you teammates. This game was initially made for the U.S Army but later released for the public. This game requires much strategic planning before you make your next move. You won't want your teammate to die, do you? But overall, you are still playing the game in a third-person shooter view and wait, remember that you cannot shoot. The A.I shoots for you. Move your cursor over any place on the battlefield, click on it and your soldiers will move that. Moving here, moving there, moving everywhere, that's what the gameplay is about. This is one ridiculously stupid and dull game, which requires nothing but moving your soldiers. Think of it, I became bored before I could finish the game. See that wastepaper basket? Throw the game inside it now.

Overall score: 0/10
Platform available: Xbox and PC
Good points: -NIL-
Bad points: Very dull gameplay. It is as good as doing nothing. Outrageously dumb.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Most memorable game:Halo

Although Halo did not made it into my first few favorite games, it is still my most memorable one. It is definitely the strong music that accompanies you when you are playing in singleplayer mode. The storyline is also very clear and straightforward, which is what I like. Although the aliens and weapons you have aren't actually very impressive, the soundtrack compensates for it. I don't know why, I just like the music, the factor which made me remember it so much. Halo 2 is worse than Halo, though. The story is in a total mess. The story just ruined the whole Halo 2 game. Well, so Halo is still better than Halo 2. (Link to Halo soundtrack coming soon ... ...)

Overall Score (Halo): 9/10
Platform available: Xbox, PC
Good points: Nice soundtrack
Bad points: Not so impressive gameplay

Best FPS Multiplayer:Counter Strike

(* The 'Counter Strike' mentioned above refers to the original CS, CS Condition Zero and CS Source.) I trust that most of you know this game well. There is no need for any explaining because this game speaks for itself. And it's proven. It is the world most popular multiplayer game and I totally agree, even better than World of Warcraft. It is simply a good game where you chose between Terrorists and Counter-terrorists. The weapons that you can buy are amazing. Just look at the number of weapons. Getting tired of the same old maps? Just explore the web and you are sure to find some third-party maps that you like. The CS community out there is big. Overall, there is no reason why you shouldn't like this game. It is placed as my No. 1 all time favorite game.

Overall score: 10/10
Platform Available: PC and Xbox (Playing on Xbox is no good)
Good points: The weapons and the intense action you feel in multiplayer mode
Bad points: -NIL-

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Best FPS Singleplayer: Doom 3

Well, may of you may not agree with me, saying that Doom 3's gameplay is repetitive. But I don't find it repetitive. Instead, I find its gameplay very exciting and thrilling. You never know what demon might be lurking around the next corner. What's that sound! It may be another monster so get ready your guns. That is the feeling I get when playing Doom 3. Full of surprises and challenges. The Doom 3 singleplayer is far by best the best singleplayer I have ever encountred in the FPS genre, with the exception of Project Snowblind, which I think deserve credit too for its singleplayer. Doom 3 storyline is: Fight for your survival and get out of that spacestation alive. This storyline is simple to understand, unlike Halo 2. On the weapons and enemies, they are wide in variety, which is my favorite.

Overall score: 10/10
Platform available: PC and Xbox
Good points: The demons look good enough. The environment provides a scary atmosphere.
Bad points: -NIL-

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Best Fighting Game:Soul Calibur 2

No other fighting games can be compared to Soul Calibur 2. Gorgeous graphics make the fighting environment look lively, so do the characters. Each character is interesting. Each has his/her own combo and special moves and abilities. Looking for something challenging? This A.I is no pushover either. Enter the Weapon Master mode and you will find yourself battling to get experience points and gold. Aqquire enough of them to buy new weapons so that your characters can use them. Complete the normal Arcade mode and unlock the Extra Arcade mode and Extra Battle mode, where you will be able to form a team. Try Soul Calibur 2 and you will know that it is so much better than King of Fighters, Capcom Vs. Marvel, Guilty Gear or Dead or Alive series. By the way, Soul Calibur 3 is coming out soon. (Screenshots)

Overall Score: 8.9/10
Platform available: Xbox, PS2, Gamecube
Good points: Super graphics will make anything look good
Bad points: -NIL-

Best Racing Game: Forza Motorsport

This is far by best the best racing game ever produced, at least according to what I think. With its hyper-generous line-up of cars for you to chose from, you will be spoilt for choice! You will be impressed! Not only that, the number of tracks is also quite an amount, compared to other racing games. In the Arcade series, the further you progress, the track that you will be racing in will get more difficult. You need to get a top three position in each of the two or three unlocked tracks to progress to the next few tracks. In Carrer mode, you get started by chosing a car first. From there, you race accordingly and earn money through races. New cars and sponsorship deals will be gifted to you as you go along. And at last, the multiplayer. You will never get tired of it with this game. Don't believe? Try it out now or if you had tried it before, don't you agree with me? Indeed, Forza Motorsport is the best racing game around today. (Screenshots)

Overall score: 8.7/10
Platform available: Xbox
Good points: Wide range of tracks and cars to chose from
Bad points: A.I is too systematic

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