Best of the Decade 8

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The Year 2007

Film

Well then, I'm nearly finished with my countdown, only two years to go after this post. But, here comes the three most important years in the countdown, three of possibly the strongest years ever in film making history. We had it all in 2007, didn't we? The massive return for Bruce Willis in one of the most action packed driven series of films, in the return of Die Hard, in Die Hard 4.0, which I did highly consider, believe me, it's one of my favourite films to date. Then we had the amazing Transformers, a loud, story driven blockbuster from Mr Michael Bay himself, and then, of course, I Am Legend, starring Will Smith in a 'end of the world' type of theme. It was a exciting year, but one film that still catches my eye was 300, the awesome film based on Frank Miller's graphic novel. This is my pick for the year 2007.Zack Snyder's adaptation of the Frank Miller graphic novel is an amazing hybrid of a film, part live action, part computer painting and all in all breathtaking. If the storyline, or what little there is of it, is mostly perfunctory, there're more than enough be headings and mutilations to make up for it here. 300 is a brutal, stylish, gory, violent, sword slashing, meat grinding, bone crunching extravaganza of a film. This brilliant, stylish totally CGI film was one of the best achievements in film history, and certainly a strong favourite in my books. I highly recommend for blood thirsty, violence loving film fans, it won't disappoint.

Game

What a tough year. We had tons of great games to feast upon, it is such a hard choice. If I could pick all of them I would, because they are all fantastic. We had the amazing Uncharted: Drakes Fortune, one of the biggest names in gaming of the time, launching the Sony PlayStation 3's career further than ever thought. Then we had the Microsoft Xbox 360 exclusive, Halo 3 brought us fun action with a solid story and some breathtaking graphics. Then, the amazing Bioshock landed, with it's unique take on underwater action, with intense action set peices, superb graphics and a story worthy of re playing. But, the one that made an impact on me more than ever wasn't from a Next Generation console, but from the Sony PlayStation 2, it is of course, God Of War II, the breathtaking sequel to the first game.If the original God of War was an amazing action game, its sequel redefined what action actually meant. Bigger, bloodier and more intense in every respect, God of War II is arguably still unmatched in terms of scale and scope, an amazing feat for a last generation title. It was gory, it was fun, it was damn revolutionary! God Of War II certainly packed a punch, and still does to this day.

Best of the Decade 7

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The Year 2006

Film

This was a tough one. 2006 brought tons of fantastic films into vision, with titles like the amazing Departed, and the serious, fantasticallymade Children of Men, as well as The Prestige and the third Mission: Impossible title. But, you saw this coming, and this fantastic re boot of a withering franchise couldn't have come at a better time. It's of course, James Bond 007: Casino Royale.The James Bond franchise was revitalized with this winning adaptation of Ian Fleming's first James Bond novel. Featuring blond Daniel Craig in his debut as 007, Casino Royale re boots the franchise intro modern territory, forgetting every bit of the old series. The story is as much about Bond and his heartbreaking romance with Vesper Lynd as it is his first mission as a 00. It's a fantastic story, one never really done before in a 007 film. Casino Royale is a fantastic re boot of a once dead franchise, with exciting action, a solid James Bond and a engaging plot, this was the film we were all waiting for. Welcome back, Bond.

Game

Well, I'd go as far and say 2006 was a disappointing year for gaming. Dead Rising was released, and it was the only true zombie game I actually like, aside from Left 4 Dead, of course. But, another Microsoft Xbox 360 exclusive caught my eye when I bought my Elite system, and I glad it did. Gears Of War, the most brutal, exciting and engaging Xbox 360 game I've ever played. You play as Marcus Fenix, and your joined by three other marines, fighting your way through difficult waves of Locust in a graphics, blood thirsty, graphically impressive game. You have little buta gun equipped with a chainsaw and a friend named Dominic at your side (he's one of the three Marines, you really get the know him, and his past, it's a engaging story line). Gears Of War was, and still is a brutal, gory, engaging, action packed, adventurous title, that should be experienced by every gamer on the planet.

Best of the Decade 6

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The Year 2005

Film

Sin City first came to mind when exploring the film industry in the year 2005. It was a solid, action adventure title, with the outstanding Bruce Willis and Clive Owen doing amazing jobs. But, then I remembered another film. Christopher Nolan's new look at the Batman franchise. Yes, you guessed it, my pick for the year 2005 is the fantastically brutal, dark and atmospheric Batman Begins. Nolan's vision of the Batman universe is dark, diverse and extremelly modern. What he did with Batman Begins was unique, taking it out of the original comic book tone of the previous franchise (Batman Forever, anyone? Yes, it sucked, big time), he's brought it into the modern world, with realistic action and a story that actually makes a lot of sense, rather than the older films with no story to progress on at all. Batman Begins stars Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne, aka Batman, fighting his fear of bats, then devising his plan to clean up the new, more realistic Gotham City. But, their is a larger plan at stake. We are introduced to many familiar characters, like the evil Scarecrow, portrayed perfectly by Cilian Murphy, as well as Liam Neeson's character, later revealed as Ra al Ggul, who gives a solid performance. Oh, and not forgetting Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Katie Homes and Gary Oldman. This film is violent, dark, sinister, mysteriousand atmospheric, all of which a Batman title should be. A solid film, and a solid reboot. Well done, Mr Nolan.

Game

A lot of thought went into this. Their were so many solid game titles. Like God Of War, the first in a great series of brutal, fun and engaging games that really impressed me, and the gamers all around the world. Then we had Shadow Of The Colossus. This was a fresh, dark and atmospheric title which had me, and probably many other gamers playing for weeks on end. Still to this day, those two games stand out, but not as much as the amazing survival horror title for game masters CapCom. Resident Evil 4, my pick for the year 2005. This fresh take on the Resident Evil series had gamers everywhere jumping for joy. It made my year, and still gives me shivers when playing. The unique game play system, the awesome graphics, the gory action, the solid list of characters and bosses and the solid story telling, Resident Evil 4 was simply immense. It still is, to this day, a great survival horror title, and will be remembered, certainly by me, for the rest of my life!

Best of the Decade 5

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The Year 2004

Film

2004 had lot's of solid films. Amazing sequels like The Bourne Supremecy, to massive blockbusters like The Day After Tomorrow, Spider-Man 2 and Troy. My second choice of this year is Shaun Of The Dead, it was fantastic. But, one film that really stood out for me a a fantastic, survival horror, thriller, which has become on of the most enjoyable horror franchises in history. Of course, it's Saw. The fantastic, gory, clever and disturbing horror is one of the best horror titles ever created. The puzzle behind the two mysterious men locked up in one dirty, grubby and drench filled bathroom, with a mysterious dead body laying in the centre. A fantastic plot, with a solid side plot delivering suspense, thrill and gory excitement, all in the words of "let the game begin". The ending is pure genius, the dead body being fit and healthy, standing up and walking out of the room, slamming the door shut tight. A fantastic ending, the lead onto one of the most successful horror series ever made.

Game

This is by far the toughest decision in the whole of the decade countdown. The strongest year by far, with amazing titles suck as Halo 2, Burnout 3: Takedown, Ninja Gaiden, Half Life 2 and Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. But, the award has to go to Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. It was a hell of a tough decision. Deciding between Halo 2 and Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater was a hard challenge, but San Andreas just grabbed it's place, followed very closely by Halo 2.Grand Theft Auto: San Andreastakes place within the state San Andreas, which is based on sections ofCaliforniaandNevada. It comprises three major fictional cities:Los Santoscorresponds to real lifeLos Angeles;San Fierrocorresponds to real lifeSan Francisco; andLas Venturasand the surroundingdesertcorrespond to real lifeLas Vegasand the Nevada and Arizona desert.Players can climb the half-mile tall Mount Chiliad (based onMount Diablo),parachutefrom various peaks and skyscrapers, and visit 12 rural towns and villages located in three counties: Red County, Flint County, and Bone County. Other notable destinations include ShermanDam(based on theHoover Dam), a large secret military base called Area 69 (based onArea 51), a large satellite dish (based on a dish from theVery Large Array), and many other geographical features. It's without a doubt this is the most detailed Grand Theft Auto title in the entire franchise, and couldn't be explored in one play through, that's for sure. The plot is well developed, and the characters are remembarable. San Andreas was, and still is a fantastic title, and shouldn't be ignored.

Best of the Decade 4

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The Year 2003

Film

Yeah, don't shout at me. The first was fantastic, I know. It was completly original and wasn't thought of before. Then Reloaded came along, it had everything the first had, but just ramped it up five hundred notches. The Matrix Reloaded is my choice for 2003. Those that thought it would have been the third Lord Of The Rings title, then you obviously guessed wrong. In my opinion, the third was the weakest of the Lord Of The Rings franchise, and doesn't deserve a place in my countdown. But, The Matrix Reloaded does. The Matrix Reloaded isn't just about the special effects, the mind blowing action and the solid sound score, it's about the characters and the passion of the story. Not really, it has no passion, it's just a basic, full blown action adventure with stunning effects, and a cast of elite actors and actresses who really put in their best to offer us all a adventure to remember. The disappointing third title, that came out just after this title in the same year, was sadly no where near as good as the first two, so, it's completely knocked off my choices, so the award had to go to this fantastic film, The Matrix Reloaded!

Game

A strong year of gaming? I think so. There were some massive titles avalible, which I have only just experienced, like Star Wars: Knights of the old Republic. But no, that isn't my choice. Then I had Midnight Club II, which was fantastic, but no, that ain't my choice either. Yeah, you guessed it, it's Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time.Set in India on route toAzad, King Shahraman and his son, thePrince, conquer theMaharajahof India for honor and glory with the aid of the Vizier who betrays his leader to aid the foreigners. After looting the city, they continue to Azad. In tow with them are the mysterious artifacts of the Maharajah, the Hourglass and Dagger of Time, along with the Maharajah's beautiful daughter,Princess Farah. It's a fantastic world, full of detail and precision, which even now looks fantastic, even outdoing some modern games of the same genre. The Sands Of Time was, and still is, a adventure to remember. The addictive game play, the solid story and the action packed, fluent combat. It's true to say that this game is amazing, and will be remembered, maybe not by you, but by me for the rest of my life.

Best of the Decade 3

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The Year 2002

Film

2002 was the poorest year for the film industry, in my opinion. It brought titles like Spider-Man, which was a disappointing attempt at a superhero film. It lacked all of the originality of the original Spider-Man comics, and it just didn't work, at all. Then we had the disappointing Die Another Day, a James Bond flick that had no originality, again, and it just didn't seem like it was a James Bond film, it was rather disappointing. But, I had to pick one title, and that was the sequel to The Lord Of The Rings, and it is The Two Towers, the impressive sequel, that outdid the first in so many ways. The story was a much more developed line of events, and it introduces new, interesting characters with an even more interesting back plot. It was action packed, and it felt a lot more developed than the first, if you know what I mean. The first was something new to the film industry, but I felt right at home while watching this, maybe because of the hug success of the first one, this felt just right while watching, and it felt like a whole different experience, and it still is today!

Game

No, you guessed wrong. My pick will not be Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, but if you guessed Splinter Cell, then well done, because that's what I've picked, the original, stealth coated, action adventure game that changed my view on gaming altogether, forever.Set in the fall of 2004, the player takes on the role of Sam Fisher, a long dormant secret agent called back to duty by the AmericanNational Security Agency, to work with a secret division dubbed "Third Echelon". At this point, Fisher hasn't been in the field in years. Fisher must investigate the disappearance of several CIA officers in the country of Georgia, which soon leads to a much larger, more intense mission.For his first assignment as a Splinter Cell,Sam Fisheris dispatched toTbilisi,Georgiato investigate the disappearance of twoCIAofficers, Blaustein and Madison. He succeeds in finding their corpses. During his investigation, Fisher uncovers a campaign of systematicethnic cleansingandmass murderbeing waged against the neighboringMuslimpopulation ofAzerbaijanby Georgian President Kombayn Nikoladze in an attempt to seize the country's vastpetroleumresources. WhenNATOintervenes in the situation against Georgia and Nikoladze, Nikoladze goes underground and retaliates against the U.S. by initiating aninformation crisisin America, using advanced computer algorithms developed byCanadianhacker Phillip Masse to wreak havoc upon America's electronic infrastructure. Fisher's espionage discovers that anuclear suitcase bombcodenamed the ARK has been placed on American soil. Fisher assassinates Nikoladze, ending the information crisis and stopping Georgia from detonating the ARK. Sounds like a massive, blockbuster film title? Well, it played that way, and Splinter Cell was a solid game, and still is, by far one of the best stealth operative games out. Stealth was the main name of the game. Forget Metal Gear Solid, Splinter Cell took stealth to a whole new extreme, with a range of cool and useful gadgets to use and interact with. Splinter cell was amazing, and hopefully Splinter Cell: Conviction can renew the franchise, later this year.

Best of the Decade: Part 2

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The Year 2001

Film

2001 wasn't a great year, in my opinion. There were a few massive blockbuster titles, like The Lord Of The Rings: Fellowship of the Ring and Ocean's Eleven, but one film that stood out for me, and still does today, it the fantastic (yet another Ridley Scott title) Black Hawk Down, a modern war title set in surrounding markets ofMogadishu.In a raid, a task force ofDelta Forcesoldiers,Army Rangers, andSpecial Operations Aviation Regimentattempt to capture two ofMohamed Farah Aidid's senior subordinates in theBakaara Marketneighborhood of Mogadishu. The mission is led byMajor GeneralWilliam F. Garrisonand is supposed to take no more than half an hour. The extraction by the Delta team is successful, but the Somali militia, armed withRPGs, shoot down twoBlack Hawk helicopters, and the resulting rescue extends the mission to over 18 hours. It's an intense, action packed, emotional, powerful gem of a film, and it accounts the tragic situations the soldiers used to go through, and still go through now. Black Hawk Down is a well told story, and is acted with charm and pure talent by the various outstanding actors. Black Hawk Down isn't for the faint hearted, it's powerful, it's sad, it's gory and action packed, and it's everything a war film should of been, and should ever be!

Game

This is one of the hardest picks of the decade. It comes as no surprise that at least two Grand Theft Auto titles will be in my countdown throughout the years, but 2001 was a massive debate for me. With other amazing games like Max Payne, Halo: Combat Evolved, Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, Devil May Cry and Gran Turismo 3: A-spec, it was a damn hard decision. But, I finally got their, and Grand Theft Auto III was the winner.Grand Theft Auto IIItakes place inLiberty City, afictional cityon theEast Coast, which is loosely based onNew York City, but also incorporates elements of other American cities.The player character has robbed the Liberty City Bank with his girlfriend,Catalina, and a male accomplice. While running from the scene, Catalina turns to him and utters, "Sorry, babe, I'm an ambitious girl and you ... you're just small-time". She shoots him and leaves him to die in an alley; the accomplice is also seen lying nearby. It soon becomes apparent that the player character has survived but has been arrested and subsequently found guilty and sentenced to jail. While he is being transferred, an attack on the police convoy aimed at kidnapping an unrelated prisoner sets him free. Grand Theft Auto III was revolutionary for the time. The massive, detailed and realistic looking city, the unique range of drivable cars and usable weapons, the tons of in game cheats, the amazing, hilarious story, and well, every thing else. Grand Theft Auto III was, and still is, a fun, graphically stunning game, and will be in the record books for a very long time!

Best of the Decade

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It's been a touch decision, whether or not to do a top favourites list on video games or films, two of the most important media industry'son the planet. But I have decided to do a list on various titles from video gaming or films in a Best of the Decade countdown! Doing a Best of the Decade countdown on films or games is a tough task, but eventually, I got it. I'll do it about both of em'! Good idea? Yeah, I know it is. This is how it's going to work folks. I will start the list off with the year 2000, and for every year I'll post my favourite video game, and my favourite film. I know, exciting stuff, I can already see you all jumping with anticipation. That, my friends, was sarcasm, but anyone actually doing that, then, well, good for you. Should I get cracking? Ok then, let's start off with the year 2000.

The Year 2000

Film

To be honest, the year 2000 was pretty poor for film titles. But I narrowed it down to three films, and I finally picked my film of the year for the year 2000. It's the amazing Ridley Scott title, Gladiator!Released in the United Kingdom on May 12, 2000, it was a box office success, receiving good reviews, and was credited with briefly reviving the historical epic. I love films like this. Films based on history, but with a epic blockbuster side to it. Ridley Scott, in my opinion, did a fantastic job here, and Russell Crowe did a great job playing Maximus, and the film is a fantastic adaptation of old life of the Gladiators. It had a fantastic story, a great cast and had tons of solid, gory action. A gem of a film.

Game

This was also a tough one, because I have not played many games from the year 2000, but one that sticked with me, and that I even sometimes play now when I can get the chance, was The Sims. The Sims was a revolutionary game in which you could control a life of your own, unique character, living day to day the way you want it. It was, and still is, revolutionary. The graphics were great, and the re play value was addictive. I controlled many lives back then, and with further releases into the series, it will probably keep on running peoples lives. A truly awesome game, and a truly awesome game series.

2010 So Far

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Even with my unexpected departure a few months ago, I still experienced all of the new releases available, and with titles like Dante's Inferno, Darksiders, Dark Void, Army Of Two: The 40th Day, Heavy Rain, Aliens Vs Predator, Mass Effect 2 and Bioshock 2, 2010 is still a pretty disappointing year, so far. Let me start with Darksiders. The concept looked and sounded fantastic, you controlling War, battling fearsome foes descended on Planet Earth, but it just did not deliver. The poor graphics, poor story and annoying glitches disappointed me, and I'm sure it disappointed other gamers around the globe. Then games like Dark Void and Army Of Two: The 40th Day also disappointed, with nearly all aspects of those games failing, in terms of game play, graphics, story and re play value. It did get better, with solid releases like Dante's Inferno, Mass Effect 2, Bioshock 2 and Heavy Rain, but the rest seem pretty medea core, or pretty descent. This year hasn't been good, but there is plenty of titles to look forward too, especially God Of War III and Splinter Cell: Conviction. But yeah, I am pretty damn disappointed by this year so far, and I'm sure those poor games could have done better, even if they had to of been delayed, because I'd rather have a delayed game that I would have been waiting for for a few years than a rushed game that just didn't succeed my expectations. Hopefully, later this year, we can all get a grip, and enjoy well made games, and excite our selves over 2011, possibly the biggest rumoured game titled year ever. Let's just hope it starts off better than 2010.

Despite my disappointed view of this year's games, my arrival back at Gamespot has made me a bit happier again. Seeing all of my old friends, writing reviews and participating in forum discussions is my idea of Internet heaven. But, that isn't the only reason my year has been going great. I bought a Playstation Portable again, after a big discussion with my self I decided to purchase the 3000 bundle with Little Big Planet and Gran Turismo, and I went out a bought a box load of games to go with it (check out my games lists to the left of my page). I missed it, I admit it, and without a hand held console, your life isn't worth living. But that's all for today, tomorrow though, I'm planning to do one of my awards countdown, which I used to always do. It may be game related, but who knows, it may be film related, I'll surprise you!

I'm Back

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01/03/1010

Did you miss me? Seeing as though I've been away for a several few months now, I wouldn't be surprised if you all forgot who I am, with the possible exception of a few Gamespot members. Well, I've decided to make a return. I have a perfectly good reason for my absence, and I apologize for not saying goodbye before I left. You may remember my 'Nearly Christmas' blog (which I deleted, along with all of my other old blog entries), It was a good long time ago. Well shortly after Christmas I grabbed myself a new job as head of IT at a company fairly local to me, who deal in online businesses and such. So that has had me all tied up the past two months or so, basically ruining my new year. Although, the money is good, I didn't get much time to go online, so my absence wasn't because of you guys, it's because of my annoying working hours. So blame the boss, not me. Although, I have cut down my hours and I'm sure you'll be happy to know I am officially back on Gamespot. I'm glad to be back, and I will hope you all forgive me for my sudden absence, don't worry it won't happen again. But, along with me arrival I've brought a new theme along with me, a fairly old theme, representing the two Xbox 360 classics that are Gears Of War. It's al right for now, although the banner could be touched up a little, don't you think?

So there we have it, I'm back. Expect the usual daily reviews from yours truly, as well as regular updates via blog, and my activity in the forums. Don't forget, PM me if you have any questions or you just want a little chat, cause' I'll be happy to catch up with some old friends. But if you'd excuse me, I need to write a heck of a lot of reviews. Bye for now.