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Comments

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Sony Should Pay For OtherOS Removal, Says Finnish Board

Channard Sony's forced updates - license issues? (319 comments)

I used to have a 360, and I remember Microsoft rolling out various 360 dash updates etc. But you were never forced to accept them - worse case scenario, you weren't allowed on Live till you updated.

Sony, on the other hand, force you to apply an update before you can play a game if your system has the lower version of the game. This has always bugged me - they're actually stopping you playing games you legally buy unless you let them modify the functionality of your console. And that's what they are doing - granted, every update may not remove a feature like OtherOS, but they're still altering a product that you legally own.

What happens if you say no to the update's licence terms anyway? Has anyone tried returning a game because they refused to accept/apply the update? It seems kind of a drastic thing to do, but I'd like to see this get tested - I can't see many stores accepting an opened return on the grounds of not accepting the licence/update.

more than 3 years ago
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New PS3 Firmware Causing HDD Upgrade Problems?

Channard Re:Some points.. (82 comments)

Apparently not, no.

more than 4 years ago
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New PS3 Firmware Causing HDD Upgrade Problems?

Channard Some points.. (82 comments)

Yes, some of the claims that various firmwares have crashed the PS3 that turn up when the firmware is updated are likely a result of coincidence. However, in this case, the problem is definitely real. Here are a few points. This problem occurs whether you have the update on memory stick, or HDD. The update is also in the correct directory, which is PS3\Update - and I've swapped my HD before, with no problem. I myself did use Sony's backup facility. However, how do you get 2 HDs in a PS3? You can't - you have to put a new one in, and then use restore to put the old data back. However, the problem occurs before the PS3 even gets as far as the main menu. The PS3 requires the firmware to prepare the new HD to be used, and this is where the problem crops up. It's not clear if this affects only Slims or Slims and fats. There have at least been one or two apparent reports people with Fat PS3s having the issue. Putting the old HDD back in does mean the PS3 works - but I put the 3.41 firmware on just before I upgraded the HDD. I could kick myself.

more than 4 years ago
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Final Fight Brings Restrictive DRM To the PS3

Channard Re:Capcom's have issued a statement (240 comments)

Also, Kotaku goes on to say 'the solution it (Capcom) is working on with Sony Computer Entertainment America involves providing notice of the DRM in the game's description page on the PlayStation Store in North America and Asia, not removing or altering the DRM.' But that doesn't really help people who've already bought the game. I wonder if anyone will be applying for refunds on that basis?

more than 4 years ago
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Final Fight Brings Restrictive DRM To the PS3

Channard Capcom's have issued a statement (240 comments)

.. and further information can be found [url="http://kotaku.com/5523238/capcom-apologizes-for-not-telling-users-of-final-fight-drm"]here[/url]. The statement from Capcom reads...

"Capcom would like to formally apologize for the issues consumers are having with the PS3 version of Final Fight: Double Impact. Typically, the notification for a required PlayStation Network connection appears in the full game description when a game is downloaded from the PlayStation Store. Unfortunately when populating this content this detail was overlooked and wasn't included in the versions of the game that released in North America and Asia. It was included in the release for Europe. Capcom should have checked to make sure the notification was included when the final game was made available and we sincerely apologize for this oversight.

The DRM requirements for Final Fight: Double Impact are not unique to this release. This protection mechanism has been implemented in numerous games offered on the PlayStation Store before. When it was brought to our attention that the notification was missing, we acted quickly with Sony Computer Entertainment America and a fix is on the Way.

We would like to thank our vigilant fans for bringing this to our attention and we will exercise better scrutiny on future Capcom releases."



Hang on a mo... not unique? So there are other PSN games that require you to be logged in to fire them up? I don't remember hearing about any. Kotaku asked Capcom to tell them which other games used a similar system, and were greeted with silence.

more than 4 years ago
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Microsoft still unable to organise piss-up in brewery.

Channard Story so far.. (2 comments)

I did eventually find this after doing a search on Yell.com and sent them a letter, which they got today. As to who it was addressed to, I address it to escalations. Don't know if anything will come of it, but at least it's based in the UK.

more than 5 years ago
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Recourse For Poor Customer Service?

Channard This crap is what's costing companies customers.. (593 comments)

The general attitude at least two electrical places I've worked at, with some managers there has been that once we've got the customers money, sod it. If something bad happens, they have to do all the waiting around and pissing about till the item gets fixed. They think there's plenty of other fish in the sea. And they used to be right, but now they're losing money hand over fist, they need to realise that customer service matters, or die like the dinosaurs they are. I'm not saying to bend to every customers demand, because the customer sure as heck isn't always right. But just stonewalling/messing them about is no good any more.

more than 5 years ago
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Dead Space Highlights Disparity Between Plot and Gameplay

Channard This heavily borrows from Event Horizon. (87 comments)

At last I know I'm not the only person to realise what a mediocre game Dead Space is. It really is survival horror by the numbers. In fact, it heavily rips off Event Horizon. I remember wandering back to the ship at the beginning of the game just knowing it was going to blow up. And it did. And then there was the stupid way you were conveniently separated from your fellow crewmen again and again.

more than 5 years ago
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Editor, DLC Coming To Fallout 3

Channard Everybody Hates Katamari (98 comments)

No matter how odd producing DLC so soon after the game's release may seem, it can't beat the Beautiful Katamari DLC for sheer audacity. Which actually unlocked levels that were already there in the game.

more than 5 years ago
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1.4 Billion Pixel Camera To Watch For Asteroids

Channard And I'll just bet.. (138 comments)

... the manufacturers only included a 16mb SD card.

about 6 years ago
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Arranging Electronic Access For Your Survivors?

Channard Am I just being cynical... (335 comments)

.. or would anyone else doubt the supposed claim of a person's death. I know there's been several cases where someone online has supposedly posted their death, just to create drama and attention, only for it to be later revealed they're alive and well? Certainly on networking sites, at least.

about 6 years ago
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Arranging Electronic Access For Your Survivors?

Channard More to the point, would you want them to? (335 comments)

'To who it may concern. Please use the below username and password to inform the other posters at AlbinoAmazonAmputeeLovers.com of my sad demise.'

about 6 years ago
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Benchmarks For Ubuntu vs. OpenSolaris vs. FreeBSD

Channard Ubuntu may be fast... (131 comments)

.. but what it's missing is the ability to easily uninstall it. It's not the only distro not to be easily uninstallable, but it seems daft that you have to start messing about restoring the boot record via Windows boot disk if you want to take it off.

about 6 years ago
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Drinking Coffee From a Cup In Space

Channard 'This coffee tastes like piss..' (176 comments)

'But it *is* piss, Buzz.' 'Oh good, so it's not just me.' Apologies to Austin Powers.

about 6 years ago
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Verizon Employees Fired For Snooping Obama's Record

Channard That'd show him! Or not. (344 comments)

The thing is, even if we were living in some parallel universe where Bush wasn't about to leave office, and this kind of thing could happen, it wouldn't be that great a loss for him. In the UK, at lot of politicians who leave their office for whatever reason end up either working on the board of some big company, or making loads of money on the speaking circuit.

about 6 years ago
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The Ninja Handbook

Channard Ask a Ninja has already peaked... (111 comments)

Sure, this book sounds cool, but for my money, Ask A Ninja can't get any better than this segment where the Ninja interviewed Jon Heder and Will Ferrell about 'Blades of Glory'. While they do try to get in the joke, they're just so fantastically bewildered. You can imagine how the day was going.. journalist asking tedious questions 1, journalist asking tedious questions 2. Etc.. etc.. then all of a sudden.. Ninja out of nowhere!

more than 6 years ago
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Playstation 3 Video DRM Only Allows One Download

Channard Apple do the same.. (316 comments)

.. because once you've downloaded your music, you can't get it again unless you badger Apple. Couple that with the fact that iTunes doesn't officially support taking music off your iPod back onto iTunes and you've got a system that's a real pain in the arse.

more than 6 years ago

Submissions

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Just who is to blame for Aliens: Colonial Marines? Controversy abounds.

Channard Channard writes  |  about 2 years ago

Channard (693317) writes "Despite — or perhaps because of — having been in development for at least five years, Aliens: Colonial Marines, the bug-hunting FPS from Gearbox has turned out to be a bit of a mess, receiving mostly negative reviews from pretty much every gaming site under the sun. However, it's not just the game's badness that is causing a stir, but the fact that the final product differs heavily from the demo footage that was used to promote the game.

It appears that some of the subsequently missing features were shown to journalists such as Destructoid's Jim Sterling who states: 'I feel lied to. I spoke to (Gearbox's Randy) Pitchford about Aliens: Colonial Marines, and he talked to me about the game's "next generation lighting" and other awesome features. He promised things I never saw, he showed a room full of writers things that would never make it to the final product.' Other sites have also picked up on the controversy, including VideoGamerTV who released a video highlights some of the major differences between the demo and final release.

However, the shenanigans don't end there. There are in fact four companies credited with having developed the game, and it's unclear just who, if anyone, came up with the lion's share of A:CM. There's been a lot of back and forth regards this issue, as noted by MCV. One post on Reddit, supposedly from an inside source, even goes so far as to suggest that the game was pushed through certification to avoid any potential legal backlash from Sega. Whether or not the truth will ever come out is anyone's guess."
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Dead Island's Steam problems continue, DRM style.

Channard Channard writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Channard (693317) writes "Dead Island has done pretty well in terms of sales, but the game's PC release hasn't gone smoothly. Initially, Deep Silver/Techland released the wrong version of the game onto Steam, causing some consternation amongst gamers. The game also contains a variety of other bugs. However, it now emerges that even the fixed version of the game requires you to be online and connected to Steam in order to play.

Most Steam games only require you to validate the game once, after which you have the option of switching Steam to offline mode and playing the games regardless of whether or not you're connected to the internet at the time. Since the retail version of Dead Island uses Steamworks, this problem affects retail copies of the game as well.

While this may smack of Ubisoft-style DRM, Deep Silver/Techland suggest this is a bug although they then go on to state that they ' cant make any promises' as to when or indeed if it'll be fixed. They also try to blame Steam's Steam Cloud architecture, although this seems to be a case of passing the buck since other Steam Cloud games don't have this problem and can be played fine offline, albeit without Steam Cloud synchronization.

 "

Link to Original Source
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Sony PSN hack preceded by 200 Sony layoffs.

Channard Channard writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Channard (693317) writes "As noted by Sony scene website PSX-Scene, the recent Playstation Network security breaches were preceded by layoffs of over 200 staff in Sony's Sony Online Entertainment subdivision. While that's not to say for certain the hack was an inside job, the website notes...

'Like all layoffs that are hard to swallow, this case was a big one, one 1/3 of the staff that worked in the ONLINE division, in all over 200 employees were given their sad "pink slip" 2 week notice, which means they had to work right up until the very dates that Sony had to shutdown the PSN network!

Even though some of these employees were in working in remote offices, they could have easy had whitelisted server access to the San Diego HQ to do their daily work, it just seems very strange that suddenly both networks go down after a massive layoff of KEY ONLINE SONY EMPLOYEES when they have to work knowing it is their last days on the job being a lowly paid slave to an evil corporation.'


It may just be co-incidence, but can you think of a better way to screw over a company that's just given you your notice?"

Link to Original Source
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New PS3 firmware causing HDD upgrade problems?

Channard Channard writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Channard (693317) writes "While there have been occasional reports of previous PS3 firmware upgrades causing system crashes and so forth, Sony's new firmware upgrade for the system, 3.41, is apparently stopping PS3 owners upgrading their hard disks, Slim PS3 owners at least. This problem has been encountered by many users on Sony's forums and occurs when you try to put a new hard disk into a PS3 that already has the firmware upgrade installed. The general course of action for upgrading a PS3's drive is that you download the latest PS3 firmware onto a memory stick and after swapping the hard drive in the PS3, plug the stick in allowing the PS3 to properly prepare the disk for use. But as of upgrade 3.41, the PS3 fails to recognize the firmware on the stick, complaining that it can't proceed until you insert the correct firmware. Repeating the process and re-downloading the does not fix the problem, as I can confirm, having encountered the problem myself.

Users can put the old hard disk back in, provided they've not reformatted it for some other purpose, so all is not lost. Sony have apparently told gaming website CVG that 'The information available to our Consumer Services Department does not suggest that this is a problem PlayStation(R) owners are likely to experience when upgrading the HDD with 3.41 update.' This seems to fly in the face of the currently available information — although whether or not this statement was issued by Kevin Butler is unclear. Either way, PS3 owners encountering this problem will likely have to wait a few days for a fix and use their old HDDs for now."
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Final Fight brings restrictive DRM to the PS3

Channard Channard writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Channard (693317) writes "As reported by Joystiq the PS3/Playstation Network version of Final Fight Double Impact features a rather restrictive piece of digital rights management. In order to launch the game, you have to be logged into the Playstation Network and if you're not, the game refuses to launch. This could be written off as a bug of some kind except for the fact that the error message that crops up tells you to sign in, suggesting Sony/Capcom intentionally included this 'feature'. Granted, you do have to log into the Playstation Network to buy the title but as one commentator pointed out, logging in once does not mean you'll be logged in all the time. Curiously, the 360 version has no such restrictions so you can play the game whether you're online or offline.

But annoying as this feature may be, there may be method in Sony's madness. The key difference between buying titles on the 360's Marketplace and Sony's Playstation Store is that buying a title from the Marketplace only usually entitles you to play that title on a single console. A Playstation Network account, on the other hand, can be used to licence up to five consoles, meaning any title purchased from that account can be played on five different consoles. And these consoles can be de-authorised and re-authorised at will, allowing gamers to switch licences around. This has led to a practice known as PSN game sharing, whereby gamers can purchase a title together, thereby paying a fifth of the cost of the game, and still allowing anyone to play the game on their console. Whether this has had any direct impact upon Sony or Capcom's apparent decision to implement this forced sign-in system is unknown. But Final Fight is the first title to feature this system — it'd be interesting to know whether this was done at Sony or Capcom's request."

Journals

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Sony throws security and customer service to the wind.

Channard Channard writes  |  about 3 years ago

This has now been sorted - though it took long enough to get a refund... and the same descriptions still up on the PlayTV page.

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Microsoft still unable to organise piss-up in brewery.

Channard Channard writes  |  more than 5 years ago It's been nearly a month since I posted this entry about Microsoft's inability to remove my credit card from my X-Box Live Account after eight or nine months. And you know what's happened? Nothing. The card still hasn't been removed. So I decided to get an address to put a complaint in writing. Or rather, tried to. I emailed Microsoft to get the address. Who promptly told me to phone in. No, I've been along that avenue and got nowhere. So I emailed back. Again, the same response. I emailed a third time. This time, something different - I got an email stating they had reviewed my email and should use their FAQs or automated help agent. Bloody hell.

So, I called up Microsoft once more, asking for a complaint address. The agent told me there was no address to write to. 'So, there's no physical address for Microsoft's customer service department?' I asked. 'No, you can only email us', he replied. So I'm throwing this out there. Does anyone have a physical address - in the UK - that I can write a complaint to, detailing what's going on? I've certainly got nowhere with Microsoft's phone and email support at all.

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MS still won't let you remove your credit card from Live.

Channard Channard writes  |  about 6 years ago You can argue till you're blue in the face about which the better online service, Microsoft's XBox Live, or Sony's Playstation Network. I think they both have their merits. What I can say for certainty is that there's one respect in which PSN beats Live hands down. And that's the ease by which you can remove your credit card from the service. To remove a credit card from your Playstation Network, you log into your account and select an option in the billing section. To remove your card details from Live, on the other hand, is virtually impossible. This isn't the first time this issue has been mentioned. But having spent about eight months or so trying to get this card removed, I thought the issue could do with highlighting again. Here's how my attempts to get Microsoft to remove my credit card from my Live account went.

It all started in March. I decided to get my credit card details remove my from Live account for two reasons. Firstly, I was concerned that if my console got stolen, someone could buy an unlimited number of Live games using my card. Secondly, I'd bought a few too many Live games myself, games that, on reflection, I could have done without. Getting points by buying MS Point cards from stores would require me to think about what I was going to buy and whether I really wanted that particular game.

So I had a look around in the account management section of Live on my console. While there was a change card option, there was no way to actually remove the card. Which seemed slightly odd, so I did a Google search. The general consensus seemed to be that you had to ring Microsoft to get your card removed. I did this, and after explaining, I was told it would take thirty days to get the card removed. Which seemed odd, but I decided to give them the time to do this.

Fast forward to a couple of months later - and I check my Live account. Lo and behold, the credit card is still attached to the account. I ring up again, to ask why it's not been done. I'm told that it should have been removed, and they can't understand why it hasn't. But they say they'll open another call. Now, bear in mind, the original call itself hasn't been fixed, but they say they have to open a new call. Having worked in a call centre myself, I suspect they could re-open it, but they don't want to have a long-open call screwing up their call statistics.

A while later, there's still no joy. Each time I've called, I've been told someone would contact me to confirm it had been done, but never received a call to this effect. I ring up again, and escalate it to a supervisor. Who promptly advises me that the card has been removed and that it's just showing on my console for ID purposes. On reflection, I should have called bullshit on this, but I let it go. Daft, I know.

But as luck would have it, a short time later, Duke Nukem 3D is released on to Live Arcade. Having ignored the vast majority of Live releases to date, I decide that, having had fond memories of playing it the first time around, I want to buy that game. And so, since I'm heading into town anyway, I make a mental note to pick up a Microsoft Points card. Actually, hang on a minute, I think. This also presents me with the ideal opportunity to check that my card has been cancelled. So I try to use my card to add some points to my account. And hey presto, it works. The supervisor I spoke to earlier either didn't know what he was talking about, or at worst was deliberately lying to get me off the phone.

Back I go to Microsoft. Again, they say they'll get it sorted, and that someone will call me soon. A week later or so, I check the progress, and the call's been closed. Microsoft claim they weren't able to contact me, despite having two contact numbers of file, neither of which I received a call on. They proceed to open yet another call, and this time I do get a call from a real live person shortly afterwards. Progress? Like hell. The person just tells me that the issue is being investigated. So they closed the previous call because no-one could call me to tell me it was being dealt with?

Eight or nine months since I called, there has been still no progress. Most recently, I've been promised the issue would be sorted within three days, only to ring back and been told that this isn't the case, and that they can't say how long it will take to sort. I've spoken to several different supervisors, and even tried to get put through to the billing people who can actually remove the credit card. Only to be told that they aren't contactable for some strange reason. How difficult can it be just to go into an account record on their system, click on the credit card details and click remove, for crying out loud? It just beggars belief that Microsoft are utterly unable to deal with such simple request.

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Star Wars: The Force Unleashed (PS3) reviewed.

Channard Channard writes  |  about 6 years ago

Here's a tip for any games designers out there. If you're taking an existing franchise and introducing a hitherto unknown character, it's a not a good idea to spend the very first level of the game reminding fans how great the old character was. It didn't do Metal Gear Solid 2 any good, and it certainly doesn't do Star Wars: The Force Unleashed any favours either. TFU's first level has you playing as Darth Vader, striding purposefully around the planet of Kashykk, kicking wookie arse. Then all of a sudden the level ends, and Vader is relegated to the position of co-conspirator. Instead, you end up playing as Galen Marek, Vader's apprentice, who looks like he was kicked out of a nu-metal band for being too angsty. Granted, Lucasarts never said Vader would be the game's main character, but you can't help but feel that The Force Unleashed would have been a better game if Vader had taken centre stage.

Fortunately, Marek, or 'Starkiller' as he's also known, does prove to be a halfway sympathetic character. It's clear from the very beginning that, while he does have all the power of a dark jedi, he also has doubts about his role as Vader's apprentice. But he doesn't really have much choice in the matter, so off he wanders, doing all those dirty jobs Vader can't be arsed doing himself. Which is where you come in. Playing as Starkiller, you've been tasked with hunting down those few rogue Jedi who weren't killed off at the end of Revenge of the Sith. Naturally, you can't just send them a polite message challenging them to a one on one duel. Instead, you have to roam across a variety of levels, using your force powers to dispatch a legion of minor foes before finally taking on each Jedi. The game's locales include a giant junkyard, a mushroom filled planet, an Imperial shipyard and more. Although a couple of levels do end up being repeated, something you wouldn't usually expect from a Lucasarts game.

But what of the Force Powers you have at your disposal? A lot the buzz surrounding The Force Unleashed has been about these powers. And they are indeed pretty damn cool. New powers are unlocked as the game progresses, but right from the word go you can pick up objects, people, and even small spaceships and hurl them around with great abandon. Some of the enemies will even try to jump out of the way of flying objects, or grab onto things to avoid being thrown, which is fairly impressive to witness. But there's a problem - specifically, the game's auto-targeting system hates you with a vengeance. So much so that there's a good chance that it will lock on something other than the object or person you were trying to grab onto. And given that there's no way to manually select a target, this becomes a real source of frustration. How difficult would it have been for Lucasarts to let you choose the target you wanted to grab? Or at the very least cycle through the targets on screen? Not very, I suspect.

In fact, that's The Force Unleashed through and through. For every cool feature that makes you grin like an idiot, there's a corresponding problem or glitch that takes you out of the game. Here's another one, a feature that was shown off in the tech demos that Lucasart bandied around before we even got a look at the game proper. When you thrown an object at something, the item smashes or breaks in a realistic manner. So instead of just crumbing in a scripted manner, a tree will splinter, leaving chunks of wood everwhere. And you can restart the level, smash the tree again, and it will always smash in a slightly different way. Pretty awesome, eh? At least it would be if the debris didn't disappear right in front of your eyes about five seconds after it landed. Yes, all the supposed realism - well, as realistic as a Star Wars game can get - that Lucasarts had been going on about goes right out of the window. I can understand that having loads of chunks of wood and glass lying around would slow the game's engine down, but the game could at least wait till they were out of view before magicking them away to become one with the force.

Here's another example. The game's storyline is, by and large, very well written. Perhaps because of, or in spite of, the fact that George Lucas had a hand in it. There are plenty of twists and Starkiller does grow as a character, and you do find yourself wondering what's going to happen next. But the game also features one of the most blatantly shoe-horned in love interests ever, an Imperial pilot by the name of Juno Eclipse. She's bland, boring and has no real purpose other than to fly Starkiller's ship, the Rogue Shadow. She's not funny, she's not clever or interesting in any way at all. And if that wasn't bad, she has the worst voice-acting I've heard in a long, long time. And then there's the quick time events - I could go on for ages about how these have no place in modern day games. But suffice to say, there is no reason this earth to require you to complete some stupid reaction timer test in order to dispatch a boss, when you've just spent the last five minutes throwing objects at it and dodging its attacks.

The Force Unleashed is a disappointing game. Not because it's a bad game through and through - it's not. It certainly looks great, the music's suitably Star Wars-y, and when things are going your way it is fun. But then you run into another problem and suddenly the game's a whole less enjoyable than it was a couple of minutes ago. Then tack on the fact that there's no multiplayer mode, and you're looking at a game that's worth a weekend's rental at best. It's not the worst game ever, but it could have been so much better.

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