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Gaming Reviews
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#1

Posted 25 April 2005 - 06:40 PM Edited by Gaming Reviews, 22 May 2007 - 02:48 AM.

Hello and welcome to the gaming reviews index. Just incase you were wondering, all this hard work was done by RearEndCollision and gillies, so thank them if you get the chance. smile.gif

Game Reviewed
Author
Platform
Link
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2004
SlickWilly

Xbox / PS2 / GC / PC

LOST

Jak II
Kevin_79

PS2

LOST

Megaman X7
Kevin_79

PS2

LOST

Soul Caliber 2
Grand Theft Auto 3

Xbox / PS2 / GC

LOST

Fifa Football 2004
Joey.Leone

Xbox / PS2 / GC / PC

LOST

Smackdown: Here Comes the Pain
Kevin_79

PS2

LOST

Ratchet & Clank
Kevin_79

PS2

LOST

Final Fantasy X-2
Kevin_79

PS2

LOST

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
Kevin_79

Xbox / PS2 / GC / PC

LOST

ESPN NHL Hockey 2004
something ©orporate

Xbox / PS2

LOST

True Crime: Streets of LA
Kevin_79

Xbox / PS2 / GC

LOST

Manhunt
Kevin_79

Xbox / PS2

LOST

Tokyo Extreme Racer 3
Kevin_79

PS2

LOST

Beyond Good & Evil
Kevin_79

Xbox / PS2 / GC

LOST

NHL 2004
Kevin_79

Xbox / PS2 / GC

LOST

Neverwinter Nights: Hordes Of The Underdark
Refluxe

PC

LOST

The Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind GOTY Edition
Refluxe

PC / Xbox

LOST

Ninja Gaiden
Kevin_79

Xbox

LOST

Icewind Dale II
Refluxe

PC

LOST

Ultima Online: Age of Shadows
Refluxe

PC

LOST

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
Kevin_79

Xbox

LOST

Dungeon Siege: Legends of Aranna
Refluxe

PC

LOST

Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance
Refluxe

PS2

Click Here
Fallout 2
Refluxe

PC

Click Here
Starsky and Hutch
Refluxe

PS2 / Xbox

Click Here
Chronicles of Riddick
Kevin_79

Xbox

Click Here
Manhunt
Xcommunicated

PC

Click Here
Far Cry
Xcommunicated

PC

Click Here
Spiderman 2
Kevin_79

Xbox / PS2 / GC

Click Here
Onimusha 3
Hell No...

PS2

Click Here
Shenmue II
Kevin_79

Xbox

Click Here
Fable
Kevin_79

Xbox

Click Here
Sims 2
RCagent

PC

Click Here
Mortal Kombat Deception
Kevin_79

PS2 / Xbox
Click Here
Jak 3
Kevin_79

PS2

Click Here
Ratchet & Clank Up Your Arsenal
Kevin_79

PS2

Click Here
Prince of Persia: Warrior Within
Kevin_79

PS2 / Xbox / GC / PC

Click Here
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II
Kevin_79

Xbox / PC

Click Here
Roller Coaster Tycoon 3
Wheelman

PC

Click Here
Killzone
Wingman

PS2

Click Here
Smackdown vs. RAW
-sniper-

PS2

Click Here
Mercanaries: Playground of Destruction
anuj

Xbox / PS2

Click Here
Madden 2005
RearEndCollision

Xbox / PS2 / GC / PC

Click Here
Tekken 5
RearEndCollision

PS2

Click Here
Psi Ops: The Mindgate Conspiracy
gta_king

Xbox / PS2 / PC

Click Here
Gran Turismo 4
Sweets

PS2

Click Here
Halo 2
RearEndCollision

Xbox

Click Here
God of War
Kevin_79

PS2

Click Here
WWE WrestleMania XXI
RearEndCollision

Xbox

Click Here
Max Payne
imheretostay

Xbox / PS2 / PC

Click Here
Metal Gear Acid
Hunter¥

PSP

Click Here
Max Payne 2
ImHereToStay

Xbox / PS2 / PC

Click Here
Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory
PCJ.

Xbox / PS2

Click Here
Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith
Jonny Tightlips

Xbox / PS2 / DS / PSP

Click Here
Star Wars Republic Commando
RearEndCollision

Xbox / PC

Click Here
Second Sight
PCJ.

Xbox / PS2 / GC / PC

Click Here
DDR MAX 2
RearEndCollision

PS2

Click Here
The Movies
imheretostay

Xbox / PS2 / GC / PC

Click Here
Battlefield 2: Modern Combat
Tom Hagan

Xbox / PS2

Click Here
25 to Life
Tom Hagan

Xbox / PS2

Click Here
Battlefield 2
Platinum.

PC

Click Here
Midnight Club 3 DUB Edition
nippers

Xbox / PS2

Click Here
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Battle Nexus
RearEndCollision

Xbox / PS2 / PC / GC

Click Here
Maro Kart: Double Dash!!
E.A.B.

GC

Click Here
Need for Speed: Most Wanted
Cran.

Xbox / PS2 / PC / GC

Click Here
Lumines
Sly_Madman

PSP

Click Here
Battlefield 2: Special Forces
Platinum.

PC

Click Here
Call of Duty 2
Platinum.

PC / Xbox 360

Click Here
Age of Empires III
gillies

PC

Click Here
Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend
gillies

Xbox / PS2 / PC / GC

Click Here
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
gillies

PC / Xbox 360

Click Here
Guild Wars: Factions
Mealing

PC

Click here
Urban Chaos: Riot Response
saintdave

PS2 / XBox

Click here
EXIT
kippers

PSP

Click here
SOCOM U.S. Navy Seals Fireteam Bravo
kippers

PSP

Click here
Paper Mario:The Thousand-Year Door
E.A.B.

GC

Click here
Hitman: Blood Money
jarjar

PC / PS2 / XBox / XBox 360

Click here
Broken Sword: The Angel of Death
gillies

PC

Click here
Splinter Cell: Double Agent
The Phantom Menace

PS2 / PC / XBox / GC / Wii / Xbox 360 / PS3

Click here
Just Cause
The Phantom Menace

XBox 360 / XBox / PS2 / PC

Click here
Age of Empires III: The War Chiefs
gillies

PC

Click here
The Godfather: The Game
gillies

PS2 / Xbox / PC / XBox 360

Click here
Call of Duty 3
The Phantom Menace

XBox 360 / PS3 / Wii / XBox / PS2

Click here
Titan Quest
gillies

PC

Click here
Sid Meier's Railroads!
gillies

PC

Click here
F.E.A.R.
deathdealer

PC / XBox 360 / PS3

Click here
Spider-Man 3
MMFF

PS2 / PC / Wii / Xbox 360 / PS3 / PSP / DS

Click here




One Final Note: This is an index, that keeps a copy of the reviews in it, so if you choose to do a review(please do) still make a seperate topic, and RearEndCollision or gillies will add it to here. Thanks. smile.gif

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#2

Posted 25 April 2005 - 06:42 PM

Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance
by Refluxe



QUOTE
Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance
 
user posted image

General Information

Genre
RPG

Developer
Snowblind Studios

Publisher
VU Games

Online
No

Release Date
Already released (12/02/2001)

General Price
$39.99
£29.99

ESRB Rating
13+

Learning Curve
10 Minutes

Players
1 or 2

Multimedia

Screenshot
Screenshot
Screenshot
Screenshot


The Rundown

Preview
The great Baldur’s Gate returns but this time with a new style and new gameplay. The very popular series which focuses on D&D gameplay has reached out further to produce a different side of Baldur’s Gate, this time with a more focused feel. Does this game live up to its expectations of being in the same series as the legendary Baldur’s Gate or is it just a slop in what was a perfect run?

Graphics
The graphics on our original Baldur’s Gate series was not the greatest but the release of Dark Alliance was set to change this. My first impressions of the graphics are ‘Wow!’. I almost couldn’t believe me eyes. Every last detail is beautifully textured and has a lovely display in all kind of conditions. Whether it be an ice cave, mountain, sewer, it looks absolutely brilliant. My eyes seemed to be addicted to the water. Watching it splash and ripple when you jump in, even the smallest things in-game can really bring out the best. The only downfall in the graphics was interacting. There really wasn’t much too interactive with over the likes of Morrowind and such. There were containers everywhere but often gold would just be thrown out of them. The NPC character speech dialogue is also brilliant. A lot of the characters contain full voiced dialogue and a trendy looking style to match.
Everything is so smooth looking with great animations for not only the monsters but the player as well. These include death, attack, casting spells etc all looking top notch!
Overall stunning is the word that springs to mind with only very few criticism. 9.6

Sound
You thought the graphics were big? Think again, the sound was probably the best of nearly any RPG nowadays. Everything seemed to be executed perfectly creating a brilliant atmosphere for the player.
Firstly is the voice dialogue. Wow! Words cannot describe how excellently it was done. The character really did match every single type of dialogue spoken. If it was a shady character then the dialogue would fit brilliantly around that and same with a bright and cheerful bartender, a very impressive quality.
The music through gameplay is done by Jeremy Soule who similarly did the composition for Neverwinter Nights and Icewind Dale. It is orchestral work and as always themed very well for the type of emotion that the game is experiencing.
Each and every monster and creature has there own effect, similarly with every spell and every sword slash a different noise is made. The reality of this is fantastic, an awesome treat for the player holding up to the likes of the greatest RPG’s.
Overall the sound cannot really be criticized, it clearly and boldly gives all the needed effects, music and dialogue a game of such high caliber deserves. 10.0


Gameplay
The gameplay is a nice experience but in a way does not reach the heights of the sound and graphics.
Firstly you will opt to choose a character. There are three: a ranger, a warrior and a sorcerer. That isn’t the most impressive line-up considering the wider choice of character selection in the other Baldur’s Gate games. You can build up your skills and increase what you desire however which reflects the bad part a little. It seems it lacks in a proper character creation which is quite a desired need for a good RPG.
There are fairly large amounts of weapon/armor selection. Although there weren’t lots it wasn’t really necessary, probably enough to keep one satisfied but yet not spoiled with choice! A lot of the armor almost went in chronological order. You will find a low armor class and slowly it will get up to a high armor class but with no extras or any added excitement.
The wide range of monsters is a nice feature however. Each area that you run through there will most likely be another type of creature to fight ranging from great frost giants to poisonous spiders. You may be thinking, will this be another one of them repetitive hack and slash games? Well I can positively say that it is not. While you may fight the same creature quite a lot you will always be collecting various items and planning strategically. Because Dark Alliance isn’t a game you can just run through you must plan the way you battle and what you are going to do otherwise running right in there can be a dreadful thing.
Possibly my favorite thing is the co-op mode. Not many RPG’s contain 2 players but Dark Alliance took it one step further and added the great co-op. Now you and your friend can adventure at the same time! You have to stay on the screen together so timing and teamwork is vital also knowing when to run can be helpful instead of leaving one behind struggling with the camera. This is an impressive feature to the game which really grabbed my attention, even preferable over split-screen.
Well I needn’t say it contains the greatest role play experience but it certainly does evoke a good effort. There are many promising features the game possesses, the only problem being the rather poor and short storyline and the slight repetitiveness otherwise this contains some great gameplay but certainly not to the heights of NWN.  8.2

Storyline
‘The port city of Baldur's Gate has been besieged with evil. Town folk are afraid to leave their houses, members of the city watch have been found dead and rumors of a thieves' guild war is all the talk in the taverns.
Down on your luck, you seek out to find fame and fortune. Tales abound of how fortunes are made in the city of Baldur's Gate. You set off with little more than a sword and some gold coins in hopes to remedy your situation, completely unaware of the evil growing there.
As you enter the city gates, you soon find that evil is ready and willing to present itself. You hear footsteps behind you and suddenly everything goes black. This is how your adventure begins.’ 8.0


Summary
To sum up Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance has some great features, stunning graphics and absolutely tremendous sounds. However it can edge towards the repetitiveness side after a while of gameplay and it seems the storyline is rather short for it’s value. I would say this game should be brought by those avid RPG’ers and be stared upon because of its looks over gameplay. It ranges from above average nearing towards quite an impressive title. The question that remains is; Will Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance II be an improvement?

Overall Rating: 9.0


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#3

Posted 25 April 2005 - 06:44 PM

Fallout 2
by Refluxe



QUOTE
Fallout 2
 
user posted image

General Information

Genre
RPG

Developer
Black Isle Studios

Publisher
Interplay

Online
No

Release Date
Already released (November 1998)

General Price
$20.00
£10.00

ESRB Rating
15+

Learning Curve
30 Minutes

Players
1

Multimedia

Screenshot
Screenshot
Screenshot
Screenshot


The Rundown

Preview
Fallout 2 is a classic role playing game set 80 years after the original. You take the role of the chosen one and once set off on your adventure you battle through allsorts and can get up to whatever you desire. With its seemingly unusual combat system and strange setting in oppose too many other RPG’s nowadays Fallout 2 is destined to give you an awesome gaming experience.

Graphics
To be honest there is no real big thing with the graphics in Fallout 2. It shares the same engine as Fallout 1 and similarly only minor improvements in the graphics. The 3D isometric view is an average input to this tremendous game but not too much can be expected from a game with such low requirements! In no way at all are the graphics bad but they do lack in detail. Contrasting from the first game Fallout 2 offers a more colorful environment over the rather gloomy and depraved look of the first. Overall nothing really to boast about but it gets the job done; a game really can’t be looked at mainly by its graphics. Finally there are the video footage and the talking heads. They are brilliant to watch for the first few times but can get a little repetitive. 7.0

Sound
The sound is a joy to listen to. The voice acting from the main characters aka talking heads are an excellent feature to the game. Every piece of dialogue is properly spoken by these talking heads so you can really grip the idea of Super Mutants qualities. The basic effects of the sound are a lot similar to its predecessor but with a few more added. Again the sound has been pulled off quite well. There maybe recycled sounds here and there from the previous but it certainly does not lack in any qualities of a good effect. The running music is also an impressive extra. 8.2


Gameplay
It has to be said, Fallout 2 offers practically the best gameplay any RPG has ever offered and to this stay still holds many of them.
First is the character template. You can choose the exact attributes of your character which falls down to: Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charisma, Intelligence, Agility and Luck. Picking these will determine your secondary attributes and starting skill levels. After this you must then pick the three skills you wish to be best in meaning that will improve a lot faster then others. There are also the feats to be chosen which consist of two little ideal things to help you on your way. Of course there are the smaller things eg. Name, Sex, Age. However the sex of your character will have an effect on the game. You will be treated differently to the woman characters if you are male, if you know what I mean?
Following this are the skill ratings which are very similar to the original game. These include big weapons, small weapons, energy weapons, science, bartering, first aid, outdoor survival, pick-pocketing etc. All these have a different effect on the way your character works. As you adventure more and gain more experience you go up in levels which you can then change the skill points and will add extra hit points to your character. Probably my favorite and very essential part of the character template is the perks. This can be had at every 3 levels and will improve your character in different ways. Whether it be the master in bed or resistant to such radiations the choice of a perk is totally down to you.
One of the greatest things of Fallout 2 is the humor. Everywhere you go there will appear to be something strangely amusing among you. Included are secret areas that you can find with the outsdoorsman skill containing a variety of different things including a visit to your old friends of Fallout 1. (Really brings back those memories.) Often however the humor is down to drugs or sex and this is how Fallout 2 grips the mature audience rating.
Fallout 2 offers great replay ability. Because the game is Non-Linear you can almost expect something different every time you want to play again. That is why Fallout 2 remains such a great game today as it seems to never get old.
There really aren’t many downfalls to Fallout 2, the game is just an awesome experience to play on and it gives you that feeling inside of enjoyment which lasts until you really think you can’t play anymore. I still play on this marvelous game today; it has definitely gone down as a classic RPG. 9.9

Storyline
‘Come in chosen one!’ Set 80 years after the immaculate original Fallout 2 revolves around the chosen vault dweller being you. Arroyo is where you begin, the villagers are struggling to survive because of there lack of crops. You must find the Garden of Eden Creation kit or simply known as the G.E.C.K. This will help revitalize the small village of Arroyo. The problem is no-one knows where one can be found and so you must leave the village and set off for a great adventure in search of the G.E.C.K. 9.5


Summary
Overall Fallout 2 is a legendary RPG. Unlike many others where you are whisked away to great dragons you are instead taken to the future where things aren’t so great. The graphics may not be the best but great sound, gameplay and the storyline make up for everything else. If you are an RPG fan and do not own this game then believe me you are missing out. A great game, a great experience sums Fallout 2 up perfectly.

Overall Rating: 8.7


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#4

Posted 25 April 2005 - 06:45 PM

Starsky and Hutch
by Refluxe



QUOTE
Starsky & Hutch
 
user posted image

General Information

Genre
Driving

Developer
Empire Interactive

Publisher
Gotham Games

Online
No

Release Date
Already released (09/09/2003)

General Price
$39.99
£29.99

ESRB Rating
12+

Learning Curve
30 Minutes

Players
1 or 2

Multimedia

Screenshot
Screenshot
Screenshot
Screenshot


The Rundown

Preview
Hop into the fly 1974 legendary Ford Gran Torino with Starsky and Hutch as you engage in a great action storyline. With some nice looking graphics in some places and an enjoyable shoot while driving gameplay Starsky and Hutch gives you some average if not good solid fun.

Graphics
The graphics are reasonably delightful when you are playing. Cut scenes however are not. They consist of cartoon drawings often just moved around by camera focus with no real animations. The only thing you can here is the voiceover. This is a bit of a downgrade as I was expecting more from this. However compensating for this is the graphics during play which are only a little less vibrant than our GTA series. The mass area is a nice play to explore consisting of quite a wide ranged cityscape, again just short of the Grand Theft Auto Liberty City and Vice City. Overall it introduces some fairly nice graphics with a large area to explore, the bad thing being the poorly done cut-scenes which are really the only let down but quite a big one at that. 7.5

Sound
One can be impressed by the sound in Starsky and Hutch. It contains the original voice of Huggy Bear played by Antonio Fargas who also narrates throughout the game during cut-scenes. The dialogue from Starsky and Hutch is most expectant comprising of the odd cop like sound here and there while inside the car. If you shoot poorly then you will hear the voice complaining and if one drives over or into scenery then you will hear the old careful driving voice. The music played through is the original material from the TV show which is funky. Most effects are nicely pulled off eg. Car engine, horns, screeching of tires. The only real depressive sound is the gunshot fire which tends to be a little low and on the boring side.  8.6


Gameplay
The whole gameplay is focused on driving and shooting only. You cannot get out of the car to walk around etc. The main focus of the game is chases in which it pulls off nicely if you are looking for this type of game.
The objective is you are given someone in a car; let’s say a bad guy who has robbed a bank. You must chase them while shooting and collecting various upgrades including tire grip, boosts, sirens etc. This may sound easy? Well there is the time limit that appears at the top left corner. Once this runs out it’s game over! You can increase this by picking up the VR Boosts in which it will go up. It is a fairly simple experience but has been pulled off nicely for maximum enjoyment for a certain amount of time. The missions slightly vary but all come down to some type of chase or killing of another ‘bad guy’. Fairly basic and predictable stuff really.
There is the option of Free Roam which I found more intriguing. You are placed in a large town and must collect badges from certain areas. To get this you will have to do different types of stunts to get there e.g. driving up a drawbridge with perfect timing so you can collect the badge icon in mid-air.
One element that has been looked down on is repetitiveness. Yes I will have to say the game revolves around the same thing mission after mission but only really changes minor details. However this can be said for a lot of games e.g. hack and slash which you could say is just repetitively killing over and over but yet many seem to enjoy this. Although I would say it can get a little tiresome in places it certainly isn’t a poorly made game in any way and can keep you entertained for a fair amount of time.
Upon completion of certain events and missions you will be rewarded with unlockable cars and even movies from the original TV show. This extra features adds a nice feel to the game and lets you know that all that hard work will pay off! 7.0

Storyline
Well of course it is pretty straight forward stuff. You are Starsky and Hutch and you have been place in the town of Bay City to stop the crimes. With various storylines that surround the likes of drugs you must keep the city safe by chasing and destroying all the bad that oppose the law! What makes this storyline great is the original show otherwise it holds no real brilliance. 8.0


Summary
To sum this game up you could say it consists of some nice graphics and average gameplay. The sound is the real edge what gives the game its credibility but it certainly isn’t a fantastic game. Probably one that will keep you entertained for a good week then be thrown back onto the shelf and left there. There is some good qualities about it but the repetitiveness and lacking joy lowers it emphasis of being anywhere near to GTA.

Overall Rating: 7.8

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#5

Posted 25 April 2005 - 06:47 PM

Chronicles of Riddick
by Kevin_79



QUOTE
Chronicles of Riddick
Escape from Butcher Bay


user posted image

Developer
Starbreeze AB

Publisher
Vivendi Universal

Genre
First Person Shooter - Action

Release Date
June 1, 2004

ESRB Rating
M - Mature

Orgin
US

Players
1

Xbox Live
Enabled - Friends List

General Price
$49.99(US)
$69.99(CAN)

Learning Curve
About 15 Minutes

Multimedia

Screenshot 1
Screenshot 2
Screenshot 3
Screenshot 4
Screenshot 5
Screenshot 6
Screenshot 7
Screenshot 8

Preview

Chroincles of Riddick was extremely hyped as it was being released close to the date of the movie(Chronicles of Riddick, A sequel to Pitch Black) However, the game has nothing to do with the film being released. Instead, Chronicles of Riddick is the storyline of Riddick himself, escaping the Double Maximum Security Prision, Butcher Bay. You remember? Johns talking about how he escaped that maximum security prison by slitting the pilots throat and stealing a ship and such in pitch black? Well now you're Riddick and you get to be the one to escape Butcher Bay, considered  one of the most secure slams in the universe. You can expect stealth, agression, and hand to hand disarming and combat in this one. Of course...every prison has it's secrets aswell.

Graphics
Said to be some of the best graphics on Xbox. I'd agree..for the most part. The character models look amazing. Just look at those pictures, looks exactly like Vin Diesel. The prison textures and areas look fantastic. Haven't seen better than this. The only beef I have with the graphics, is with the superb lighting that the developers gave Riddick....they had to sacrifice some things. At some points during cutscenes, you can see some jagged lines and it can sometimes go blurry. Its nothing that bad, but its noticeable. But never the less, Riddick looks stunning. The guns look marvelous and the gore and blood effects are done perfectly. 9.5

Sound
Great. The soundtrack for Riddick fits in perfectly. If you see an enemy it starts playing some fast paced adreanaline rush song thats similar to the them from the movie, The Rock. The soundtrack fits perfect for every area. Whether the mood is creepy, stealthy, agressive or just calm. The music fits great. But the music isn't the best part, oh hell no. You have to hear the sound effects on this game! You want to hear a life like sound of a neck snapping? Its in this. Great blasting sound effects as you shoot your shotgun, machine gun or tranq gun? They sound great. But that's still not the best thing about Riddick. The thing I love most about the sound, is the voice acting. Vin Diesel obviously does the voice for Riddick, and it fits perfectly, as you could guess. The voice for Johns is the same actor from the movie. So thats perfect. Xibit also does the voice of a high ranked guard named Abbot at Butcher Bay. You can also speak to all of the inmates, and they all have different voices. Whether it be an accent or filled with rage or fear. They all sound different. Riddick gives off excellent sound! 9.5

Gameplay
Riddick's greatest aspect. As most game's greatest aspects should be. Lets start it off with the basic techniques. You start off without a weapon of course. But you can buy certain bootlegged weapons off of inmates that have been in Butcher Bay for a while. Such as shivs, scalpels, clubs, knives. The melee weapons are basic, you hit the right trigger and it hits. Normal right? Wrong...Riddick has the best hand to hand combat I've ever seen in any game. You use the right trigger to attack, but you can also move the right joystick for different types of punches. For example, holding down and right trigger will do an uppercut. So with some amazing combos, you'll end up killing someone easily. You can also do counters in Riddick. When someone is about to hit you, you just hit the Right Trigger just before they hit you and you'll grab their fist and punch them in the face. If they have a gun. You'll grab the gun and blow their head off. Now lets talk about sneak attacks. If you dont have a weapon, you can sneak behind an enemy, and grab him with the left trigger. Now like I said, if you dont have a weapon, you can tap X multiple times to snap their neck quietly. Or you can hit the right trigger to snap it loudly. If you have a scalpel, or shiv, you can slit their throats. If you have a club or a gun, you can club them with it to knock them out. Now most of Riddick, you don't have a weapon. The reason? Because the guard's weapons can only be used by those with DNA in the Butcher Bay Mainframe. So, since your DNA isnt on the mainframe, you'll get shocked every time you try and grab a guard's gun. But you can obtain guns with different methods, that I won't reveal to you as its a surprise. Now, if you know Riddick. You know that he has a special ability. Perfect vision in the dark. His "eyeshine". Riddick's eyes are coated with a shine so he can see in the dark. Butcher Bay is where he gained the eyeshine, so you will see how he got it. When you have it, you can use the eyeshine by pressing the right trigger. As seen in a picture above, everything goes light pinkish. But you can see in the dark, and enemies cant. Very good if you're scoping or just want to surrpise a guard. The third person animations you see are done with X. You go up to something that you can interact with, such as a ladder, or a crate, or ledges and hangrails, press X and you climb or shimy across on them. You can also talk to people with X, pick up things with X and access security codes with it. In Riddick, the inmates will give you some side missions that they want done. Whether it be a beef with another prisoner to kill...certain prisoners that stole their drugs, or just looking for someone or something for them. This adds a bit more replay value to the game. There are also numeorus cigarette packages in the game...hidden. Each one contains movie set stills, game art and such. Riddick handles beautifly, and the controls on the Xbox version are amazing. 10.0

Lasting Appeal
Unfortunately, Riddick doesnt have multiplayer. If it did, it would surpass Halo on so many levels. But it doesn't, thus, its Single Player quest is the attraction. The main escape should take you around 9-12 hours on your first time through. Not including sidequests. You'll probably find yourself playing through it again for the extreme feel you get when escaping a prison. I only rented it, and beat it in those three days. But I also played hours at a time. I loved every minute of it and I already want to play through it again. So you'll most likely play through it more than once, and want to do all of the prisoners sidequests. There are quite a few aswell. Finding all of the cigarette packages aren't a must, but its a challenge. Riddick is worth a buy, just for the sheer thrill you get playing through this game. I'd buy it. But Im on a tight budget. I would strongly recommend a rent, if not a buy. 8.0

Final Comments
I rented Riddick on Friday Night. It was due back this morning. Now, Sunday night I must have played about 4 hours from 9-1. I loved it so much. The adreanaline that you get in this game is amazing. Just when you think the game is getting boring, the same old, same old. Something new happens. Something totally great. Just when you think you are done the game as you get to a spaceship...the plot totally thickens and you emerge somewhere that just makes you love the game even more. The plot in Riddick seems simple at first, escape. But it thickens greatly. Any FPS fan will love it. Anyone who loved Pitch Black will love it. Anyone who loves adreanaline pumped action games, will love it.

Overall Rating: 9.5

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#6

Posted 25 April 2005 - 06:48 PM

Manhunt
by Xcommunicated



QUOTE

user posted image

                                          Basic Info                                         
                                          Overview                                             
You play as a charcter by the name of James Earl Cash, a deathrow inmate, whose life is spared for the sake of starring in a series of snuff films.  Cash receives orders via a headset from a man you'll only know as The Director at first.  You'll be sent through all kinds of psycho-infested sections of Carcer City, slowly killing your way from one level to the next.


                                          Gameplay                                             
In the past few years, we have seen some titles offer unique attributes in the realm of stealth gameplay; titles such as the splinter Cell and Hitman series, for example.  Manhunt is yet another game to take a shot at this style of gameplay. But can it live up to the competition?  To put it bluntly, no.  But that won't suffice, so I'll break it down.

You can play the game on two different difficulty settings:  Fetish and Hardcore.  When you complete a level, you are rated on a 5-star scale.  In the Fetish level, the most you can earn is 4 stars.  The 5th star is purely for the Hardcore level.  The overall score for either level is dependent on a couple of things.  Time and Style.  Your style will be rated on how you kill each batch of hunters.  You can attempt to kill them with brute force, or execute them with stealth.  When you execute an enemy, there are 3 possible levels: 1) Normal  2) Violent 3) Gruesome.  When you perform one of these executions, you will see  short cutscene in which the execution is shown cinematically.  Unfortunately, this part of the game begins to hinder the gameplay after a while.  There are only 3 possible cutscenes for each stealth-class weapon and they can become tiresome fast.

Hand-to-hand combat is a joke in this game, because, given that the enemy has no firearms, you're always equally matched against the enemy.  Ideally, for the sake of gameplay, some enemies shoudl be easier to fight than others... especially when you're swinging a crowbar at their heads!  I suppose this is for the sake of encouraging stealth, but on the same hand, it sacrifices gameplay.

Character control is another area that I felt could've used some improvement.  First of all, there are some interesting moves in which you lean up against a walll and "pop'n'shoot" enemies with an auto-aim feature.  However, it doesn't always work quite right and you'll find yourself trying to shoot an attacking enemy while the character instead bangs his gun against the wall.  It's really just a matter of being at the edge of the wall to avoid this though.  But one thing that really bothered me is that the player can't even jump.  What the hell?  Now it can be argued that such an action is uneeded for the game, but I will argue that the game should've been reworked so that such an action would be needed.  Without the need to jump, you're largely confined to two-dimensional motion (excluding stairs and other inclines).  It's a matter of interactivity, which I'll discuss next.

What I found most lacking in the gameplay deals with the lack of interactiveness with the environment.  When you are playing a stealth-oriented game, you obviously aren't playing it for the sake of high-speed action.  Instead, you are taking your time and applying strategy.  Often this means making use of your surroundings.  Manhunt makes use of dark corners and sound, but that's about it.  You can't shoot out/bash out lights, for example.  In a game based on darkness, this would've been an ideal feature for your survival.  Only select objects are moveable, whereas tables and chairs are bolted down when they should obviously move when you walk into them.  A lot of the interactivess seemed to be restricted by the games graphical appearance, which I'll discuss next. 


                                          Graphics                                             
Perhaps you subscribe to the idea "It's not the graphics that make the game, it's the gameplay".  While there is some truth to this, such an idea can't make excuses for a game either.  Manhunt uses an engine called Renderware, same as the previous two GTA titles.  And while this engine has proven to support GTA's open-ended, go-anywhere style of gameplay quite well, it fails to support a linear, level-based game at a satisfactory level.  Let's look at Max Payne 1, for example.  This game was released in Q3 2001 and it looked amazing for it's time.  A lot of it's success could be attributed to how submersive the environments were.  Now let's look at Splinter Cell.  The first was released in late 2002 and it also offered stunning visuals.  Not only did these visuals draw you into the environments, but they also allowed for some very nice interactiveness i.e. the use of shadows, the ability to shoot out lights.  Hitman 2, while not as impressive as Splinter Cell, also offered fine visuals and accompanying interactiveness.  Manhunt, however, feels like a step backwards from all this.  The environments just don't offer that level of submersiveness that you get from the eye candy, but the real issue is with the game's poor use of lighting effects.  When you don't have control over how light or dark an area is, and when shadows mean nothing and your left with artificially darkened corners, you lose interest in the world you're playing in pretty quick.  In this day and age, this style of linear game has to make use of advanced graphics if it is to compete with others in the genre.  The reasoning is simple; this genre involves slow moving gameplay, and no one wants to stare at crap while they play at such a pace.

Having said that, Manhunt does offer decent NPC and weapon models.  Let's just say that if San Andreas looks as good as Manhunt in this respect, I'll be impressed.


                                          Sound                                                 
Sound is one of Manhunt's strongpoints.  The game makes good use of the ability to knock certain items over, bang objects against other objects, throw various objects, etc.  Such use of sound does somewhat redeem the interactiveness that is otherwise visually lost.

Also, you're radar will indicate how much noise you are making and if it'll reach the ears of nearby hunters.  The ground will make different noises depending on what it is you're walking/running on.

I didn't find gunshots to be all that impressive, however.  The shotgun just didn't have that resounding punch that it should have.

The music served to develop a sense of creepiness, but overall, it just sounded repetitive after awhile.  Of course, you can turn it down in that case.


                                          Replay Value                                         
I'd be lieing if I said there were much motivation to play through this game a second time, becasue there really isn't.  About your only motivation would be to achieve a higher rating, where the best you could achieve would be 100/100.


                                          Closing                                         
Simply put, Manhunt is a rental.  It's fun for about half the way through, but then it just loses it's appeal pretty quick from there.  If you're like me, you'll be left dragging on just for the sake of seeing how the story ends.


Score: 7.0

  • Storyline - 8.0
  • Gameplay - 6.5
  • Graphics - 6.5
  • Sound - 9.0
  • Replay - 5.0

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#7

Posted 25 April 2005 - 06:49 PM

Far Cry
by Xcommunicated



QUOTE
user posted image

                                          Basic Info                                         
                                          Multimedia                                                                                        Overview                                             
You play as a character named Jack Carver, who is hired to transport a journalist, Valerie, in south Pacific islands.  You lose Val at the beginning of the game and you're left with the task of finding her.  You must fight your way through mercenaries as you are directed by a mysterious scientist known as Doyle.  As you progress through the game you will begin to understand the disturbing truth as to why these islands are so heavily guarded by mercenaries.  It's often been said that the game follows a theme similar to that of a film called The Island of Dr. Monreau, and to some extent, it does.  The game is relatively brief with the cutscenes, but a lot of the story will unfold during gameplay anyhow.


                                          Gameplay                                             
Given that you have a fairly powerful gaming PC, Far Cry offers some very fast-paced action-packed gameplay that is in someways revolutionary to the first person shooter.  The missions are a fairly even mixture of indoor and outdoor levels that usually are nonlinear within themselves.  By this, I mean that you are not restricted to an absolute path, but there are usually several paths you can go about in a given level.

Rather than using a quicksave feature, the game uses a checkpoint autosave feature instead.  This works well some of the time, but there are parts where the chekcpoints seem very far apart, especially when you are trying to complete one of the more difficult parts.  You may find your self getting stumped and playing the same checkpoint in a level repeatedly.  However, if you don't want to stick it out with the checkpoint system, there is always the option of manually saving anywhere via the dropdown console.

You aren't soley on foot in Far Cry.  During some of the outdoor levels, there are opportunities to drive boats and vehicles as well.  The boats can be a lot of fun once you get the hang of them, seeing as the speedboats are equipped with machine guns and rocket launchers.  At some point you'll encounter a boat with a raft in which you can load a truck onto.  When pulling a vehicle with a boat, the boat responds as you think it would.  The vehicles on the other hand can be a bit awkward to handle.  They definately don't sport the most impressive handling physics, but it's not impossible to adjust to them either.

There is a wide range of weapons that you'll gather as you progress as well.  Some will prove to be very useful in certain situations and useless in others, in which case you would swap the weapon for something else.  The rifles don't have a lot of recoil so to speak, but in a fast-paced game like this, you wouldn't want things too realistic in that sense.  You'll also have a set of "ear-enabled" binoculars that allow you to listen in on conversations in addition to zooming in on them.  There is also a handy device called Cryvision, which gives you to see heat patterns in the dark for a limited period of time.  This item comes in handy for taking out mercenaries in the dark.

Far Cry also offers excellent use of physics in the game that will at times work towards your favour i.e. rolling barrels down a hillside to take out enemies.  It's also quite fascinating to see the games relaistic use of ragdoll physics, like when you snipe a guard on a watch towaer and watch his body tumble to the ground in a natural contorsion.

The AI is also fairly good in the game.  Mercenaries will work in a team effort against you, shouting out commands to one another.  Other times though, you might come upon a mercenary and he'll look around when you're right next to him.  It doesn't happen frequently, but it's just a typical bug.  Another example is when you're about 2/3 the way through the game and you're on a boat when a truckload of mercenaries will come full force at you into the water, or hit a tree if it's in the way.

The multiplayer portion of the game is alright, but it's no UT2004.  Besides, the single player campaign is the main attraction of the game.  There are 3 modes; free-for-all, assualt, adn team deathmatch.



                                          Graphics                                             
Far Cry makes use of Crytek's new CryEngine.  Graphically, this game is simply beautiful.  The outdoor levels will offer very diverse scenery as you progress.  Water looks very realistic as you watch tides roll up and down the beaches.  The vegetation is very plush and extends the the lifelike feeling of your surroundings.  The indoor environments are also amazing.  You'll see many DirectX 9 features put to use inside as well, such as bump mapping used to give pipes and other surfaces a shiny reflection.  Real time shadows also offer that fine touch to the whole experience, such as when you see reflections from leaves above cast shadows below, or when you fire a shot off at a light fixture and it goes flying back and forth casting light and shadows accordingly.

However, Far Cry's ground-breaking visuals come at quite a performance hit.  Unless you're running the game on a new Geforce 6800 Ultra or Radeon X800XT, you're going to have to compromise some visual settings for the sake of smooth framerate.  I myself ran the game with a P4 3.0C @3.4GHz and a 9800 Pro and could not apply any AA or AF at 1280x1024.  At some points I even had to drop down to 1024x768 to achieve smoother gameplay.



                                          Sound                                                 
The sound in this game is solid, not quite revloutionary like the graphical appearance, but not terribly bad by any means.  Perhaps if ?I had played the game with a surround sound setup rather than with stereo headphones, I would've gotten more out of it, so I won't judge it too heavily.  For one, it's hard to take notice of things like the Doppler effect without a good sound setup.  Even with just typical headphones, there were intense moments such as the sound of enemy helicopters approaching.



                                          Replay Value                                         
Considering that Far Cry offers a lot of gameplay as opposed to the "keep it short" trend we see a lot anymore, the game definately will last you a good while.  Add in the multiplayer modes and the ability to easily edit the game via Crytek's Sandbox editor, and you have one hell of a lot of gameplay for $40.00.



                                          Closing                                                 
Far Cry is definately a game to be experienced if you haven't already.  However, be warned that this game is also somewhat of a system choker, depending on just how outdated your setup might be.  Overall though, some eyecandy can be sacrificed to make things playable.  Given that you have at least a DX9 class GPU... that isn't a 5200 Ultra, then you should be able to run it without major slowdowns while maintaining moderate detail settings.


Score: 9.1

  • Storyline - 8.8
  • Gameplay - 9.0
  • Graphics - 9.6
  • Sound - 9.0
  • Replay - 9.3



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#8

Posted 25 April 2005 - 06:51 PM

Spiderman 2
by Kevin_79



QUOTE
Spider - Man 2

user posted image



Developer
Treyarch

Publisher
Activision

Genre
Third Person Action

Orgin
US

Players
1

Release Date
June 28, 2004

ESRB Rating
T - Teen

Learning Curve
About 15 minutes

General Price
$49.99(US)
$64.99(CAN)

Online/Live
No

Multimedia

Screenshot 1
Screenshot 2
Screenshot 3
Screenshot 4
Screenshot 5

The Rundown

Preview
Well, many Spidey fans have been awaiting this game for a long time coming. Lets face it, the first Spiderman game that came out for the three consoles.....sucked. Horrible Gameplay. But boy does this turn things around. The swinging mechanics are great and combat is improved. Plus the storyline is very close to Spiderman 2: The movie.

Gameplay
Yes, I'm doing gameplay first this time, as I can't wait to tell you how good it is. Spiderman 2 lets you explore all of Manhattan island, Rosevelt Island and even go to the Statue of Liberty. The landscaping is great, and the feeling of free falling off the tallest building in the city and then swinging from the ground just at the last second never gets old. Swinging mechanics are great, you wont be swinging from nothing like you were in the first one. You must attatch to something or else you cannot swing. But you can jump off the swings, you can turn, it actually feels like you, yourself are spiderman and are swinging on the webs. Great control there. Fighting is great, although usually you'll be doing the same moves. But if you buy tons of combos at the Spidey store then you won't. There are like 16 moves to be bought and learned to use in combat. Most of them are worth it too as you will be able to swing multiple thugs around with your webs, do super uppercuts, grapple enemies and much more. The fighting has improved, but it can get a bit tedious as you will most likely end up doing the same moves over and over anyways as they're the easiest to eliminate bad guys. In SM2, you can also charge your jumps, which gives for a much higher and longer jump, which is suprisingly VERY usefull. You can also activate your spidey sense when your gauge is full of adreanaline, it will make the fighting in slow motion. Which will give you better reaction time, and you can dodge much easier and do better moves while spidey sense is activated. The gameplay in Spiderman 2 is great, not the best, but its still great, somethings could be improved upon but the game is really fun to play, mostly because of the gameplay. 9.0

Graphics
Spidey 2 runs on a solid framerate and I haven't seen the screen slow down. Looking off the top of the tallest building is such a great feeling. Just looking over every single building and seeing how detailed they are, even when you are so high up. Character models in Spiderman aren't looking too good. I mean, the villains look great, and everyone looks fantastic in CG. But the cutscenes are sometimes a chore to watch, as the faces look nothing like they're suppose to. But i've seen much worse. Thats something that they could improve upon for Spiderman 3 when its released on PS3. But the graphics are still rather solid, animations are probably the best part of the graphics. As they run smooth, not choppy, and you can Spidey doesn't run funny like he did in the first, everything looks as if it were real in the animations. The graphics are pretty good overall. 8.0

Sound
The voices of the main three actors(Peter Parker, Mary Jane, Dr.Octavious) are all in the game, so don't get concerned that they won't sound like they're suppose to. Because the voice acting is rather good. Spidey will say multiple things when you are swinging and of course theres the tons of voices that the civilians have....and the secret villains. Mint. The music fits the mood perfectly, although its not too large of a soundtrack, so its nothing special. Sound effects are rather bland, for fighting at least, it seems like its the same sound over and over again when  you hit someone. But the sound effects when you are swinging sound spectacular, the wind blowing past you and you can here the web about to snap. The sound on Spiderman 2 is rather good aswell. 8.0

Lasting Appeal
The normal story would have been way too short if they just stuck to the movie plot, so they added in some hidden villains for you to have fun with. Rhino, Mysterio, Shocker, Black Cat, they're there, for an extra incentive to find the game. So the game will never get boring. But unfortunately, the story only lasts like 7-9 hours. Then you just have to save people's lives and collect tokens, and do challenges all over the city for the rest of the time. Getting 100% done will also unlock a goody that will be a hard challenge. Have fun with that. 8.0

Final Comments
Spiderman 2 is definitely a great game. Its really, really fun aswell. I wouldn't be surprised if you screamed "wooohooo!" as you jump off a tall building and start swingin off of other buildings. But the fact of the matter is, its not fun thats the problem with Spiderman 2. Its length. It will always be length with Spiderman games as it needs to follow the movie. But it dragged out the length as much as possible before it got repeatitive. So its not bad. Spiderman 2 is definitely worth a rent however, you owe it to yourself to go to your nearest rental shop and pick this up for a few days, you'll beat it, and then be glad that you beat it, and didn't buy it. I don't think its worth a buy, because the lasting appeal is only like 15 hours max. Then its done. But if you're a hardcore Spidey fan, I recommend buying it.

Overall Rating: 8.5

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#9

Posted 25 April 2005 - 06:52 PM

Onimusha 3
by Hell No...


QUOTE
user posted image

Official Site
Onimusha3.co.uk

Consoles
PS2

Developer
Capcom

Publisher
Capcom

Genre
Action Adventure

Age
16+

Players
1
Release Date
Out Now

Online
No

Multimedia


Screenshot 1
Screenshot 2
Screenshot 3
Screenshot 4

If you ever wanted to see the awesome intro (In Japanese) then click Here (Under your own free will if you want to watch it)

Starring

Jean Reno  and
Takeshi Kaneshiro as Jacques Blanc and Akechi Samanosuke


To Start
If you are an Onimusha fan then this thrid installment is nothing short of excellent. To be honest, ive never played the first 2 (yet) and im fully into this game. Read on for more info...

Gameplay

The gameplay is from what ive seen so far very good. With its very beautiful graphics and animations which make all the combat that much more of an experience. The gameplay in general is pretty fast, even to begin with, you get a few weapons to try out on many shall we just say "monsters". But progressing through the game see's you getting upgrades in weapons. Seeing as Capcom made it, they have gave it more of a Devil May Cry feel. Not gameplay wise, but what they have done with the upgrading of weapons. You can kill enemies and then take their soles and then use them soles to upgrade you weapons and such. Its a nice touch to the game, and they also have that Resident Evil type feel with its locked door puzzles and puzzles to open boxes etc. When up against the bigger of the enemies you can hold down the R1         button which will then make you weapon glow and when pressing the  square       , will unlesh a more powerful attack upon the enemy.

9.2

Graphics

Graphic wise this game is really nice, with its very good looking scenery whether its in Paris or Japan, the graphics are not a let down.
The graphics in gameplay are also really good, with good animations and video scenes. The main video scenes are incredibly detailed (You could watch the into, link above) and are not a let down in any way. But still, even the little scenes in the game still keep the interest running through out. Not alot to say on this one, just very good.

9.4

Sound

One of the main Characters has the voice of a famous actor - Jean Reno. (as seen above),(Godzilla, Leon, Mission - Impossible) with his really nice French accent that has been used in the game. The voice acting fits prefectly into the game with each character, the face animations when they speak fit into it all very nicely. Even the sounds for the "monsters" fit in really nice to the gameplay, and when you attack things all the right sounds come out of it.

9.1

Lasting Appeal

This game is set to be very long indeed. I myself am only about 3 hours into the game and its still keeping me going with its non stop action. The story is very nice and you can easily get into it. This game should take you a while first time around and you shouldnt lose interest in it.

9.3

Final Comments

The game is awesome, i really recommend this to all who like this type of thing, and it doesnt matter if you havent played the last 2 games. This game will keep you going untill the end. So yeah, overall this is a huge achievement for Capcom.

Final Score - 9.4

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#10

Posted 25 April 2005 - 06:54 PM

Shenmue II
by Kevin_79



QUOTE
Shenmue II

user posted image


General Information

Genre
Action RPG

Developer
Sega-AM2

Publisher
Microsoft

General Price
$19.99(US)
$29.99(CAN)
£14.99(EUR)

Players
1 Player

Release Date
October 29, 2002

Orgin
Japan

ESRB Rating
T - Teen

Difficulty
Easy

Learning Curve
About 20 minutes

Multimedia

Screenshot 1
Screenshot 2
Screenshot 3
Screenshot 4
Screenshot 5
Screenshot 6
Screenshot 7
Screenshot 8
Screenshot 9
Screenshot 10


The Rundown


Preview
Shenmue II was a very anticipated sequel to one of Dreamcast's biggest hits, Shenmue. The Shenmue series has a tendancy to leave large cliffhangers at the end of their games, so you can imagine the anticipation. Shenmue II made it to the Dreamcast in 2001, and to the Xbox in 2002. Does it live up to the hype? Find out by reading the review.

Graphics
Ugh...character models just look ugly as hell. You can see that the graphics had to take a big hit because of the vast world you have at your fingertips. One of the worst character models, has to be Joy. But other main character models don't look too bad, and look rather solid. Frame rate is terrible if you're in a fight and it tends to freeze sometimes in a fight. Quite agrivating when you're pulling off a combo on Master Baihu. Visuals are probably the only thing that keeps the graphics alive, the sun looks great and the sky graphics are great. But nearly everything else is just so...unfinished. Xbox graphics should be much better than this, and the buildings have tons of jaggeds. But I must say, fighting does have smooth animations when its not freezing, animation is one of the better parts of the graphics. But overall, this is a very poor port form the Dreamcast version...Xbox deserves better. 6.5

Sound
Oh dear god, why did Sega have to give us these horrible english dubbed over voices! I can't stand to hear the screaching of Joy's voice any longer or the repeatitive one word replies from Ryo. The voice acting isn't organic and sounds like a robot is talking, you can hear spaces in Ryo's speech and it doesn't sound smooth. The only voice acting that I was impressed with is Ren's....thats it. The rest of the english dubs were terrible and it really makes you think what the hell Sega was doing for a year when they made the port to Xbox. This was one of the things that needed to be worked on drastically. Now, lets try to stray away from voice acting now...Soundtrack is fantastic. Different music for each building or quarter of the city you enter. Thats one of the things that I loved about it. Not to mention that the sound effects were really quite good and realistic. But its not enough to forget the terrible english dubs. 6.0

Gameplay
Now, this is a great factor of the game. The gameplay on Shenmue II is the highlight, well, except the kickass story, but we'll get to that later. The Shenmue II gameplay is very unique and often feels like you're playing an arcade game because of the chase sequences. Its very unique because whenever a chase sequence occurs, you will have to press a certain button to do certain things. The button will flash in the middle of your screen for about 2 seconds and you have to press it to complete the action. Not pressing the button, or getting it wrong could mean your death, you knocking over a waitress...or you dropping some books. The chase scenes are often very intense and you'll be on the edge of your seat anticipating the next button sequence. There are also certain codes you have to enter quickly on certain parts. For instance, if you want to finish an opponent off a picture of your D-Pad and face buttons will appear on the screen and it will show you a code(usually 2-4 buttons) you need to input the code as quick as you can to either finish your opponent off, jump over a cliff or avoid getting decapitated by a chainsaw. Thats why I love chase scenes in Shenmue II. Fighting however, is just as fun. You'll find yourself fighting quite a bit as you get deeper into the game and there are grapples, kicks, punches and dodges in battle. Dodging is very important, as if you don't have dodging mastered by the time you reach the final 2 huge fights, you'll be killed. There are also tons of combos to pull off and you'll learn more and more moves throughout the game. You'll get moves from Martial Arts masters and your own master that is teaching you more about Martial Arts. Battles will never get boring, never. In the world of Shenmue II, you can talk to anyone about either finding work/where to get money or the usual directions to where you're going. But you can also gamble with the local people or go by the arcade and play some classic games. Playing as Ryo is like you being him. You need to go to sleep when its late, and make sure you do certain things to avenge your fathers death. Unfortunately, its not that realistic where you must eat every few hours. But the gameplay in Shenmue II is definitely something to brag about. 9.0

Lasting Appeal
The main story should take you about 12-16 hours to complete. But you could always stray off and do some arm wrestling or play some arcade games or something. But there isnt much freedom to do what you want in the game and there are no side quests. When you beat the game you'll unlock a few things in the Shenmue Collection like the fights you completed in Shenmue II and the games that you played and also a bonus video of Shemue on Sega Saturn. But it just won't last you as long as you'd like, and the ending is very, very crappy. It leaves you on a cliffhanger, and Shenmue III is still quite far away. But I still recommend you play the game for the amazing storyline, which I won't spoil because its that kick ass. Shenmue II also comes with a Shenmue DVD that tells you everything that you need to know about the first Shenmue and what happened. So those of you who haven't played the first Shenmue can't feel left out. 7.5

Final Comments
Well, well, well....the Shenmue series will always be one of my favourite stories to be told in gaming. I'll definitely be after the third installment of the series, as it's said to be the final. But once you play this game and have seen the story of Shenmue on the DVD...you'll be hooked. You'll be waking up in the morning thinking about beating that game and when you finally do, when you are suppose to feel relieved...you instead feel empty as the story is incomplete. But you should all play this game for an excellent story. The game gets quite intense when you reach the second area of Kowloon but Im sad to say that after that climax on the rooftop....everything sort of slopes down. But I recommend this to anyone who is in the mood to hear a great story of Vengence and Revenge. But in my opinion, Shenmue II could have been a ton better. The graphics need a huge tune up and the voice acting.....jesus....really needs work. Shenmue III better work on these factors and hell, adding a bit of CG video wouldn't hurt anyone. If the choppy graphics make a return in the next Shenmue then Im sad to say that it'll be another flop. This game didn't meet the hype but it was still rather good and worth a play. That is all.


Overall Rating: 7.8

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#11

Posted 25 April 2005 - 06:55 PM

Fable
by Kevin_79



QUOTE
Fable

user posted image

General Information


Genre
Action RPG

Developer
Big Blue Box/Lionhead Studios

Publisher
Microsoft

Release Date
September 14, 2004

Players
1

Orgin
UK

Xbox Live
Live Aware

General Price
$49.99(US)
$59.99(CAN)

Learning Curve
About 15 minutes[/center]

Multimedia

Screenshot 1
Screenshot 2
Screenshot 3
Screenshot 4
Screenshot 5
Screenshot 6
Screenshot 7
Screenshot 8
Screenshot 9
Screenshot 10


Game Impressions

Introduction

Fable is possibly the greatest hyped RPG game of all time. A game that was suppose to be the most realistic game today, and act like a living, breathing world. It's been hyped for it's organic gameplay and how real everything is, and that your character can pretty much do what he wants in this world, killing anyone, marrying, and starting his own peacefull life if he wants. He can go to work if he owns his own store and just be a normal guy. Fable was hyped for its freedom, and it's presentation that you can be evil or good and the alignment will effect you. Now, does it live up to the hype? Read on to find out.


Graphics

Let's start out by talking about the graphics. Part of the reason why Fable seems so realistic is because of how realistic it looks, hair and trees swaying, great shadowing and lighting, amazing textures, and realistic characters. Fable looks gorgeous, the sunlight reflecting off your hero's armor couldn't look any better, and the facial features look great. I love the way how they made every add on like tattoos and facial hair look so realistic. Add ons usually don't look too great, but every thing that you can add to your hero is very realistic. I especially love how real the scars look, I actually focused on my face during battle and saw one appear, it turns up on the exact same place that I was hit. The scars never go away either, just like in real life, they'll fade, but they won't go away. Now let's move to frame rate, Fable runs at 30 frames per second, which is perfect since the human eye sees at 30 fps aswell, so you won't be missing any animation. Everything moves smoothly and realistic, just like a hero would move if they had a huge or light weapon to weild in real life. My only beef is slight, the shadowing on cut scenes are pretty bad, they look almost like jaggeds, which is a no no in a game. But it's actually the shadowing, which should have been a bit more improved if not taken out. But it seems that the 3 year development really nailed it on graphics and animations. 9.5


Sound

Everything from the theme song to the fart sounds are great. The intro music fits the mood perfectly, the entire score was written by music producer, Danny Elfman. He's done some great music scores for classy and medieval movies. So naturally the soundtrack is great, the same music is going on throughout the entire game, but you'll never notice it, as it changes slightly through every area, with some scary moods and joyful moods. Sounds great. Now the sound effects are just as great, every sword cling and every footstep sounds magnificent, and every enviroment has their own sound effects for walking and rubbing up against things, sounds just like it would in, you guessed it, real life.  The voice acting is generally really good, in cut scenes it sounds fantastic, flawless even. But the Non Playable Characters (NPC) all sound relatively the same, and they tend to repeat lines if you try to talk to them over and over again. Which is sort of irritating after a while, nothing too severe, but it's still something that could use some buffing up for a sequel maybe. Luckily however, Fable has 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround. So that makes the sound experience much better. 9.0


Gameplay

Fable, as you could imagine, plays great. Like I've said before, the world is very organic and very real. If you do absolutely nothing, the world still moves around and people do what they have to do, even if you don't interact with anyone. That's what makes Fable so great, its just so real.

But onto the actual gameplay, I have to get this out first...combat is so damn fun, like really intense and really fun. Although it's rather easy, slaughtering people will never get old. The enemy AI is really fantastic, you'll never see them pause, they'll just keep attacking you and use different tactics. You'll see them setting up traps and such for you, it's really great. Whether you're facing a bunch of bandits or wasps, or a giant rock troll, they all have different tactics. Which is why I love Fable, it's AI is so great and real.

Combat isn't hard, it's actually quite easy to get use to. You need to lock onto your enemy by holding the left trigger and then you can attack with X. Once you get a few hits in without getting hit yourself, you can start using Flourish. Which are more powerful, unblockable attacks by using B once you see red glowing swords in the bottom right corner. You can also Block with Y, which is recommended, not because of your health, but so you won't be scarred like crazy like my hero is. You'll have tons of potions and food to eat to heal yourself in battle, so you won't need to worry about dying, and if you do happen to die, you'll have resurrection phials to resurrect you to full health when you die. If you lose all of those and you die, well you just shouldn't be playing video games then.

So now lets move onto the town stuff. You'll find that hanging around in towns will actually be fun. You can buy a house, flirt with a girl and then propose to her by giving her a ring and then you can move into the house that you bought. You will also get a dowry from your girl when you marry her. Which could be 100 gold, or 2500 gold, depending on how rich she is. You can also steal stuff from stores, when no one is looking you can use the steal command and you must hold the button until your thief meter is full and then you will have the item. If you don't need the item then you can sell the item back to the storekeeper and get tons of profit. Stealing is a lot safer at night however as there are tons of witnesses during the day, and if someone sees you stealing they will immeadiately report it to the nearest guard and then you will have to pay a fine. If you refuse, then they come down on you with swords and bows. Guards aren't too strong but they won't stop coming. And if you happen to kill about 20-30 guards, then the elite guards come in and start owning you pretty bad.

But there are benefits to being evil, really large benefits such as killing a store owner and buying his shop afterwards and then you'll be making tons of money and not to mention you'll get some free stuff out of the deal.

Magic in Fable is quite easy to use, when you read about how to use it in the instruction booklet, you'll most likely get a bit confused. But it's actually rather easy. Just hold down the right trigger and instead of using your sword, you will use magic with the face buttons. You can navigate through your spells using Y, and this will change your slots for your magic. For example, X could be your cure spell, A could be your fireball spell, and B can be your berserk spell. Really quite easy.

Another thing I should have mentioned, is that you can switch from ranged and melee combat using the white and black buttons. Hit the black button and you'll pull out your ranged weapon, hit the white button and you'll be using your melee weapon. Easy way to switch attack type quickly.

There are also experessions in Fable, used by pressing one of the arrows on the directional pad. Expressions are used to pick up women, disgust people, use an item, give gifts, fish, dig and weild a trophy to gain renown around the world. Expressions are very usefull at times, and you'll need them to get people to follow you and to stop following you. So the gameplay in Fable is top notch, no flaws that I've discovered. 10.0


Lasting Appeal

I have to admit, I am a bit concerned about the length. It's quite a short game if you just focus on the main storylne. But if you explore the world, do every side quest, hang around in towns, you'll really get what you want from Fable. Not to mention that half way through the game, you'll be wondering what you will be doing the next time you play through the game. Now I haven't completed the game, so I can't really give you an exact time that it takes to beat it, but I have a feeling I'm just a few quests away from the ending. So far, I'm 11 hours in, barely doing much else other than quests. So don't take that as a total time for everything. But there's tons of replay value here, once you're done, you'll play again, and again, and again, because of how different your hero is each time, and how you can't do everything in one playthrough. I love that. 9.5


Final Comments

Well, here's the final comments. You're all wondering now, did it live up to the hype? In my opinion, it was hyped way too much, but it was definitely worth the wait. This game is a must own for any Xbox owner, and any RPG fan. When people think RPG...they think Turn Based  Combat...but Fable is real time fighting, just RPG because you build your stats. It's not the greatest RPG ever, but it's definitely up there with the RPG greats. In my opinion, it won't get game of the year, it may get an award at the end of the year, but it won't be game of the year, I don't think. Still, if you have an Xbox and you're even slightly interested about this game, go buy it, or at least rent it. It's definitely worht your money, and I don't think I'll get bored of this for a while.



Overall Score: 9.6

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#12

Posted 25 April 2005 - 06:57 PM

Sims 2
by RCagent



QUOTE
The Sims 2

user posted image

General Information


Genre
Strategy/Simulation

Developer
Maxis

Publisher
Electronic Arts

Release Date
September 17, 2004

Players
1

General Price
$49.99(US)
$59.99(CAN)

Learning Curve
Played Sims 1 :15 minutes, Hasn't: 30 minutes

Screens:

user posted image

user posted image

user posted image


Introduction

If you haven't heard of The Sims, then you aren't a PC Gamer.  Whether you hated it or not, you knew what it was, for those who don't know what it is, I'll fill you in.  Maxis, the company that gave us Simcity, created a game about simulating people's lives in 2000.  Strangely enough, the game was a hit and launched millions of websites of downloadable content for fans.  Players could do everything they wanted with their sims, playing god was apparently a genius idea.  Now, its only reasonable after releasing over 8 expansionpacks, that a sequel would be created, thus The Sims 2 has embraced the world.  Will it live up to the The Sims 1? Let's find out:


Graphics
Anyone who has played the original Sims, or infact, any Maxis game, should know that Maxis usually makes 2.5D graphics.  Well, there are exceptions, but The Sims 2 is their first completely 3D game, that doesn't completely SUCK.  Well, graphically, The Sims have been hugely overhauled.  Everything from lighting, to models are well done and remain to the original sim style, only embracing the new 3D engine.  Even small effects and details can be noticed, like the surface of wooden stairs will reflect the blue nightsky, or a mirror or simple surfaces give off real time reflections.  The Reflections are nice and don't lag the game up.  Other small details include light shining from windows on the nighttime grass.  The Sims now look realistic, but still cartoony, and the new animations work well, and have fluid transitions.  Talking sounds, are now lip synced so your sims actually make mouth movements and facial expressions.  If your sim is pissed off about their job, they'll show it.  Other details include sim's hair swaying in wind or just plain moving.
9.2


Sound

Sound has also been improved massively.  Ambience is now there, and you can hear everything from cars passing by, to birds and leaves falling down.  Sims new ages, have new voices and sound unique.  Theres few songs than before, but still have a nice touch.  Now when you import music, you'll still be able to have the original songs that are there, infact, you can choose which songs play and which don't in the options menu!
9.0


Gameplay

The game plays undeniabley great.  Keeping the original sims controls, and revamping them with new controls and modes makes the gameplay much more better.  Sims age now, and add a new feeling to the game.  For gamers out there that want a actual point and goals, Sism can now gain special objects through their career or their new innovative "Aspiration" bar.  Aspirations can be given to each sim, ranging from Romance to Knowledge, to Money to Popularity.  Depending on your aspiration, different wants and needs will be given to your sims giving each sim a different set of goals, even if those goals or good or bad, it's all up to you.  Wants and Fears make the game have a minor dose of "What the hell's the point" to be answered.  Sims wants, or well put, what your sim wants.  Getting your sim this want improve both their mood and aspiration bar,  and fears do the exact opposite.  For example, edward can want to have a kid with his crush, but can be afraid of getting rejected.

The Camera is now 100 percent better, AND FUN.  You can zoom in and see all the fine details put into objects and sims.  Even a new "cameraman" mode lets you can even more indept without the horrible view of the HUD.  But time to get on the darkside of the game.  Many of the classic fun objects have been removed.  Undoublty everyone I knew was massively annoyed by this.  How are your teen sims supposed to show angst without a guitar?  How are my sims able to party with out a pool table? Thus this brings down the game, despite its improved AI.
9.0


Lasting Appeal

Much like other Simulation games, replay value is a major factor, and The Sims 2 doesnt disappoint.  Creating your own neighborhoods and making your own families, and even adding to your "neighborhood" story adds more fun.  Even the new movie maker feature is a fun feature.
9.5


Final Comments

The Sims 2 would have been PERFECT, if Maxis would've left some classic objects in the game.  Thus the game gets a 9, since some of the new objects can't be great without oldschool objects.


Overall Score: 9.0

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#13

Posted 25 April 2005 - 06:58 PM

Mortal Kombat Deception
by Kevin_79



QUOTE
This game is only for Playstation 2 and Xbox game consoles


user posted image


General Information

Genre
Fighting

Developer
Midway

Publisher
Midway

Players
1-2

General Price
$69.99 (CAN)
$49.99(US)

Online
Single Kombat
Chess Kombat
Puzzle Kombat
Logitech USB Headset compatible

Learning Curve
About 10 minutes

Memory Card Space
753 KB

ESRB Rating
M - Mature (Blood and Gore, Intense Violence)


Multimedia

Screenshot 1
Screenshot 2
Screenshot 3
Screenshot 4
Screenshot 5
Sceenshot 6
Screenshot 7
Screenshot 8
Screenshot 9
Screenshot 10



The Rundown


Introduction

Mortal Kombat seems to be pumping out new games every year now, you'd think that because of that, they'd start to suck. But, they don't. Mortal Kombat Deception includes the same fighting system as Deadly Alliance, with the three fighting styles, one being weapons. But it also includes destructable enviroments and finally we have death traps back. You'll see tons of returning characters and each of them has two fatalities! Not to mention the awesome inclusion of online play. Read on boy....you know you want to.


Graphics

Mortal Kombat Deception looks nice. The character models are detailed very well, and look so much better than the characters in Deadly Alliance. Frame rate is still golden, running at a good 60 frames per second, and the animations are quite smooth, despite a few glitches. I've seen my character go through the floor on a throw animation, and she stayed there, my opponent kept trying to hit me, but couldn't. It only happened once out of the hundreds of battles though. Lighting is great, and the opening cutscene looks fantastic with some great looking blood and great fighting sequences. 8.0


Sound

Killer soundtrack. Just let me get that out of the way, now....I can explain it. Mortal Kombat has always been known for having some kick ass music during battle or just on the menus. I adore the music score in this game, they even brought back a few old songs that you'll recognize immediately. Which is always a nice touch of course. But these songs fit the mood so well, I don't think I could picture the music diffrent and have it sound as good with a fight in that particular enviroment. So music score, good. Sound effects are still great, but basically the same as Deadly Alliance, I found. But of course, the sound effects in DA were great, so it's not much diffrent here. We got the insane sounding crunches to the punches and of course the grunts. Okay, sound effects aren't too great, but they're still quite good. Now onto something I regret having to mention...the voice acting in Konquest mode. Everyone must have heard that the voice acting is terrible. It's not as bad as you'd think, but it's still quite cheesy. Then again, what else could you expect from a Mortal Kombat game? Some voices fit particularly well with the characters, others, you just feel like cracking up laughing when you hear. 8.0

Gameplay

Ah, here it is, my favourite part to write in a review, The gameplay. Mortal Kombat doesn't handle like other fighting games such as Soul Calibur or Dead or Alive. Combos are hard, yet, they're easy. You need to be precise on which buttons your press, either you need to be fast, or you need to be slow, depending on your character. It may sound a bit hard right now but it's actually quite easy when you get use to it. Like I said above, it should only take about 10 minutes for you to have the controls down good, then, the combos come natural. Fatalities are easy to remember, and of course the special moves (spear, ice freeze, bicycle kick etc.) are all easy to remember aswell. Controls are fine, nothing wrong there, in fact, it's all very precise. There are also two new game modes, Chess Kombat and Puzzle Kombat.

Chess Kombat is really quite good, and I hope it makes it to the next games. It's basically a chess match, and you get to choose your Leader(King), your Champion(Queen), Grunt (Pawn), Sorcerer (Rook) and your Shifter(Knight). You pick a character to represent those positions, and they move exactly like the pieces move in the real game. At the beginning of the match, you set a trap, it can be fake or real, and during the game, if your opponent lands on the square that your trap is on, it's instand death for that piece. Now, when you're challenging a square, kombat begins. You fight your opponent, so whoever is representing your piece that's challenging, you use in kombat and you face your opponent's guy. Each piece has different health, and if you challenge a square, you get a 10% health bonus. It makes the game of chess really quite even, I really like it. Of course, it's over when you kill your opponent's king.


Puzzle Kombat however, is more useless. Well, I shouldn't say that, it's pretty good if you're a fan of tetris. It's basically tetris, and you have to match the colours instead of pieces. It's only Puzzle Kombat because you choose a puzzle character and whoever is winning, it shows your puzzle character kicking your opponent's character's ass. The more you win, the more of a beating the other guy gets. It's just an ok mode, but a lot of people like it.

Of course, there's online, which by the way doesn't lag at all. The only problems I've experienced with online are the records, gamespy sucks at hosting servers. But the actual online play itself isn't choppy or laggy at all. There are three online modes, Versus Kombat, Puzzle Kombat and Chess Kombat. So there's some variety, and there's scoreboards and news bullitens and such up there too. It's quite good for an online fighting game and it's really intense.

And last, but not least, Konquest. This mode is totally revamped in Deception. You actually have free roam through all six realms, and you'll find tons of unlockables in konquest. Whether they be in chests, or whether you have to get them by defeating people or waiting at certain spots at certain times. Yes, there's time based events. Konquest graphics are quite choppy and there are a few bugs that could be fixed, but it's definitely an improvement upon DA's konquest. You'll basically go around the realms and follow the storyline of Shujinko, and follow along his life and his decisions which ultimately leads to a large part of the MK storylne. You'll have to do some training in Konquest and even some assassination missions, it's great fun. 9.0


Lasting Appeal

Mortal Kombat Deception will last you a pretty long while. You'll play through Konquest, which should take a good six hours, at least. Then you'll want to get everything in the Krypt, and then get all of the endings. Of course if you have some friends to play with, this is an excellent multiplayer game. Puzzle Kombat and Chess Kombat will definitely give you a bit more time onto the game and of course the inclusion of online in this sequel will eat away tons of your time. Whether you want to be champion of Kombat, Chess, Puzzle or all three, it'll take you quite a long time. 9.0


Final Comments

Mortal Kombat Deception is definitely one of the best Mortal Kombat games in the series, the only one that might be ahead of it is MKII, simply because of how awesome that game was. But this one is definitely the best of the 3D Mortal Kombat games, and the inclusion of Online play is definitely a step in the right direction for Midway. They're also bringing back some awesome classic characters which will please many MK fans from the past. I'm loving this game so much, and I'm glad that I bought it. If you're a fan of Mortal Kombat, I recommend that you buy this game, simply because of all of the awesome easter eggs you will find in here. Not to mention every single Mortal Kombat character makes an appearence, Well, almost every single one. If you are a fan of the fighting game genre, this is a great game for you to buy aswell, simply because it's one of, if not the only online fighting game on the main consoles. For everyone else, this game is at least worth a rent unless you are deathly against fighting games.

Overall Rating: 8.7

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#14

Posted 25 April 2005 - 06:59 PM

Jak 3
by Kevin_79



QUOTE
Jak 3

user posted image

Genre
Action - Shooter - Platformer

Developer
Naughty Dog

Publisher
Sony Computer Entertainment America

General Price
$39.99 (US)
$49.99 (CAN)

Players
1

Memory Space
1,050 kb

ESRB Rating
T - Teen

Learning Curve
About 15 minutes

Multimedia

Screenshot 1
Screenshot 2
Screenshot 3
Screenshot 4
Screenshot 5
Screenshot 6
Screenshot 7
Screenshot 8
Screenshot 9
Screenshot 10



The Review


Introduction

Jak 3 is the final installment to the Jak and Daxter Trilogy, it's an immediate continuation from Jak II. Jak gets banished to the wasteland by a man named Count Veegar after the Metal Heads invaded the city and the Krimson Guard robots have gone insane, causing the downfall of the city. The people blamed Jak, thinking that after the metal head leader was killed, the metal heads went insane and attacked the city. So after Jak walks the desert, he's picked up by a man named Damas, the leader of the wastelander enclave. From there, the story escelates. Jak 3 introduces new Dark Jak powers and the inclusion of Light Jak and 8 more weapons!

Graphics

Best graphics in any Playstation 2 game yet, I can say that with no doubt in my mind. The frame rate is very high, at 60 frames per second, and never any slowdown, the game looks phenomenal. Animations are very smooth, and there are never any jags in the textures. Character models are very detailed and so are the background textures. Mouth animations actually look realistic to the point that it looks like they're saying what they're saying. The graphics are simply put, flawless. 10.0

Sound

Jak 3 sports a good soundtrack, not exceptional or anything, but it's rather good. For battle sequences, the music is more faster and drumming is more prodominent, rather than when you're just exploring and the music is much slower and calmer. The voice acting is where Jak 3 really shines though, just like the previous games, voice acting is fantastic. With over twenty voice actors, variety is there, and voices suit the characters perfectly. You can feel the emotion in a lot of the voices, perfect portrayal. Sound effects are virtually the exact same as the previous game, which hurts the sound. But even so, the voice acting is too great to think the sound is bad. 9.0

Gameplay

Jak 3 still plays really well, and the addition of 8 new gun upgrades and Light Jak really makes an impact.

Let's start off with character movement. You can control Jak very simply, you really feel like you control all of his movements. Controls are configured perfectly from the start, and everything is in reach, learning techniques is quite easy, and they're all quite easy to master.

Another addition to Jak 3 is a brand new driving system. Hate the old hover cars in Jak II? Well, say hello to the kick ass dune buggies of Jak 3. Each dune buggie has different handling, different guns and different damage endurance. Every single car is very fun to drive, and best of all, they have wheels. The hover cars are still in there, but the handling is still the same. Traffic has drastically decreased as well. Dune buggies can only be driven in the desert however, and within the wastelander enclave you get to ride dino birds. Those dino birds handle a lot like chocobos in FF games.

The fighting in Jak 3 is quite intense, with 8 new gun upgrades and some very intense combat techniques, it just gets as fun as fun can be. Dark Jak is still quite similar to the Dark Jak of Jak II, but he has a new power, Dark Strike, which blasts walls and a mass of enemies. New Light Jak is exceptional. Light Jak has four powers: Cure, Slow Time, Shield, and Flight. When you cure yourself, time around you stops as your health meter regenerates. In slow time, everything is much slower and you can move at normal speed, which makes fast moving objects such as windmills go slow so you can pass through them. Light shield creates a shield around Jak that absorbs all damage and Light Flight lets Jak fly for a limited amount of time.

The new guns are great, and there's quite a large amount of variety. You'll start out with the lesser powered guns at first, and you will gain various upgrades within the adventure. Each weapon is good for different situations, but by the end, there were a few upgrades that I never found myself using as much.

In the end, gameplay in Jak 3 is still great. In fact, it's much better than the first two, and you'll be having a blast through the adventure. Another thing that I must add, is that there are no load times whatsoever in the entire game, none. Go get this game now, just for the sheer amount of fun. 9.5

Lasting Appeal

Jak 3 will last the average gamer about 9-12 hours. It's not a very long adventure at all, but I guarantee you that you will play through it more than once. There are a ton of unlockables, and tons of side missions scattered around the world of Jak 3. But those unlockables shouldn't take too long to unlock either. I figure you'll play through the game about three or four times, but after that I can see it sitting on the shelf collecting dust for quite a few months until you discover it again. 8.0

Final Comments

Jak 3 is my favourite game right now, I just rented it, and I beat it in three days. You know what? I want to buy it, that's right, I've already beaten it, yet I still want to buy it just to play through again. The storyline is probably one of the best I've ever experienced, it tops that of San Andreas, and almost every Final Fantasy. Easily one of the greatest trilogies in the history of gaming. You shouldn't be missing out on this one, everyone reading this FAQ should get off of their computer and go rent the game at least. If you're a fan of this genre, or you've played the previous two games, get off your computer and go buy the game. It's that damn good, and the storyline that spans over the three games, in case you missed it, is amazing.


Overall Rating: 9.7

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#15

Posted 25 April 2005 - 07:01 PM

Ratchet & Clank Up Your Arsenal
by Kevin_79



QUOTE
Ratchet & Clank
Up Your Arsenal


user posted image

Developer
Insomniac Games

Publisher
Sony Computer Entertainment America

ESRB Rating
T - Teen

General Price
$39.99 (US)
$49.99 (CAN)

Players
1-4

Online
8 players (Deathmatch, CTF, Seige)

Memory
599 kb

Release Date
November 2, 2004

Multimedia

Screenshot 1
Screenshot 2
Screenshot 3
Screenshot 4
Screenshot 5
Screenshot 6



The Rundown

Introduction

This is the third installment in the Ratchet & Clank series, this year, Insomniac Games has included a multiplayer mode, which is 4 player split screen. There is also online multiplayer that has deathmatches, capture the flag and siege. Great fun with teams or free for all. This game hasn't gotten too much hype outside of the R&C fanbase, but it sure as hell should have been hyped.

Graphics

Up Your Arsenal sports a very great graphics engine. The characters looks slightly cartoonish, like many like to say, but it's 3D cartoonish characters looking at their best. Up Your Arsenal plays at a very steady frame rate and  has no flaws in animation whatsoever. Enviroments look fantastic, textures are solid and the landscapes are looking quite real for a Ratchet & Clank game.  9.0

Sound

UYA has another killer soundtrack, just like it's predeccessor (Going Commando) but, in my opinion, not as great.  Still good, but not as great. It also has some great sound effects and some very great voice acting, voice actors fit perfectly with the characters in the game and make all of the characters so humorous. So music, check, sound effects, check, voice acting, check.  I believe that's all we need covered on sound, other than the voices online. Communicating with other players on the headset is clear, you can easily understand what they're saying, which is more than I can say for other games. Sound quality in UYA is excellent overall, I really should review a crappy game so I don't get sick of saying that. 9.0


Gameplay

Up Your Arsenal has the best gameplay of any game that I've ever played. There I said it. It bests even San Andreas in this factor, I dare say, it 's a landslide. A ton of new weapons, and some returning favourites, and a bunch of armor to buy for Ratchet.

Cycling through weapons is very easy, the quick select is greatly improved, instead of having to change your quick select all the time, you just hold R1 and there are actually two sheets on the quick select, allowing you to store all of your weapons and gadgets and change weapons even quicker.  Speaking of weapons, all of them are very unique and you won't ever be thinking that you've used this weapon before, or that it's like another weapon. These weapons are devestating, and you'll have a blast using them.

Enemy AI is insanely good. You'll see enemies ducking for cover, then coming up to blast you and throw grenades, they're very cautious just as if you're playing against another player. So don't be expecting this adventure to be a squash, unless you're very familiar to R&C games.

Camera angles are perfect, which is one of the worst aspects of many games. Insomniac Games has made this camera phenominal though, you can have it inverted or normal and choose rotation speed, center the camera, tons of options to make sure you'll be seeing everything you want to see.

Now onto Multiplayer. This is the new addition to Up Your Arsenal and man is it fun. Split screen multiplayer is great with three other friends . You can choose from 8 different weapons and use vehicles (flying and off road), turrets and other various devices to aid you in obliterating your enemies. There are three different modes for Multiplayer, Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch which explain themselves. Capture the Flag, should be self explanitory. And then there's siege, where you are on a team and you need to capture the opposing team's nodes across the map, these nodes are protected by turrets and robots however and you have to be on the node rotating the screw for about 8 seconds before it's captured.  There are options you can change for each match type aswell, making them much tougher or much easier.

Online Multiplayer has a very slick lobby, it's easy to sign up, you just choose your skin and camera angles and connect. You then have the  options: quick play(automatically finds a game to your preference), find a game (advanced search) and then stats and buddy lists and updates for clans and such. Online is easy, fast, and has absolutely no lag at all. It supports USB keyboard and headset. The maps are large enough to cause some great mass destruction aswell, play nice.

Single Player adventure is really fun too, adding online doesn't take anything away from the single player at all, and it has such great features that you'll only find in an R&C game. None of which I will reveal, so I don't spoil anything.

Gameplay on UYA is godlike, go get this game immeadiately. 10.0

Lasting Appeal

Single player isn't too long, it's shorter than Going Commando's single adventure, but twice as fun. You'll definitely find yourself playing through it more than once and then there's challenge mode which increases difficulty and keeps your weapons from when you beat it. Multiplayer will always be there whenever you have some friends over and will supply you guys with hours of entertainment. Then there's online, which adds tons and tons of hours of entertainment to you, you'll love how great its designed and how easy it is to be a pro. Up Your Arsenal will occupy a lot of your time. 9.5

Final Comments

If the internet reviews averaging at 9.6 don't convince you enough then maybe this review, from a fellow gamer, will convince you. The game is pretty much flawless, it produces an abundance of fun and you'll be surprised at how much this will rekindle your love for that little black box with blue lettering on it.  My final remark: Go and get htis game now.

Overall Rating: 9.7

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#16

Posted 25 April 2005 - 07:02 PM

Prince of Persia: Warrior Within
by Kevin_79



QUOTE
Prince of Persia Warrior Within

user posted image

General Information

Genre
Action Adventure

Developer
Ubisoft Montreal

Publisher
Ubisoft

Release Date
November 30, 2004

ESRB Rating
M - Mature

Players
1

Learning Curve
About half hour

General Price
$49.99(US)
$59.99(CAN)


Multimedia

Screenshot 1
Screenshot 2
Screenshot 3
Screenshot 4
Screenshot 5


The Review

Introduction

Prince of Persia: Sands of Time was one of the greatest games in 2003, it was colourful, it was adventerous, the puzzles were challenging, and the story was intriguing. This year, Ubisoft releases it's sequel to the Sands of Time, entitled Prince of Persia: Warrior Within. The thought of a sequel made tons of people excited, including me, but does it live up to it's predeccessor? Let's find out.

Graphics

Ugh. What did Ubisoft think when they made the first, it was so bright, colourful and the landscapes were fantastic! Now in this, there is barely any colour at all, everything is dark. Now, dark can be good, but not when 95% of the game is dark with the same colours over and over again. It's not easy on the eyes. Character models are....okay. The face models are terrible though, it's actually quite a step back from SoT. Watching non CG cutscenes is sometimes a pain, and I've played both PS2 and Xbox versions, and these problems co-exist in both copies of the game, although the graphics are just a bit better on the 'Box. Character models could have used more polygons, that's for sure. Textures are pretty good, they look more or less like the first game's texture, except of course, there's less lighting so it's hard to tell how good they are. Frame rate in Warrior Within is solid though, no slow downs, which is great. But the lack of colour and the overall ugliness of the game is just unbareable. CG cutscenes are...actually under utilized. They look good, and of course they should, but they seem so much worse quality than CG cutscenes on previous games that have been on the system(ex. Final Fantasy X). Overall, the game looks very mediocre, it's not good, but it's not terrible, it's just bleh. 7.0

Sound

It's a shame, I have no clue what Ubisoft was thinking when they created this game. Were they purposely putting a grunge look on the game so that it would sell to teenage males on crack cocaine? Now don't get me wrong, a grunge look could be great for a game, but not for a game that had a predecessor that had the opposite of a grunge game, with not much dark at all. Now, what does this grunge feel have to do with the sound? Well, what does a grunge game need? Rock music. Now, rock music doesn't really fit as the choice of music for this game. They constantly play rock music throughout the game, even when you're not facing any enemies, it just fit the setting, and the mood that was set by the previous game. If this is a sequel, maybe it should act like it and have proper music as well. Now, rock does fit the mood at times, but when all of a sudden the Godsmack song starts playing, I just must mute my TV. Godsmack has no place in a Prince of Persia game, no matter how dark the game is. What in the hell were Ubisoft thinking!? Anyways, onto other sound aspects. Voice acting is quite cheesy, the Prince is no longer the same prince that we remember. Instead of saying knowledgable things, and witty things, he says really cheesy things such as "You Bitch!". This doesn't feel like I'm playing as the same character. Voice acting is just okay in this, it has good potential, but the pure cheese that they call dialogue just kills it. Now, I hope somehow Ubisoft reads some reviews and realize that this music = terrible! 6.0


Gameplay

This is the best part of the game, but it's still not that good. Combat is improved, but it still feels rather boring, much like the combat in the first. The traps and puzzles are less thought out, and control over the prince of limited. Now let's get a bit more in depth here.


Now, the combat is what Ubisoft was trying to revolve the game around this time. They knew that the main flaw from the first game was the combat, even though it didn't bother too many people, that was SoT's problem. So this time, it's quite obvious that combat is what the game focuses on, the whole first few levels are combat tutorials, unlike the first few levels in Sands of Time that revolved around traps. Sure, combat is much better, but it's still quite dull. It's not a great combo system that it should be, it's basically a three button combo game like last time. Combat is good, and fun, but not for long.

Traps in this game are very, very bad. They're too easy, I spend much more time looking for what to do, rather than actually going through the platform areas and traps, there should be clues as to where you need to go first. Trying to look for a hidden ladder for 5 minutes is not my idea of fun. Looks like Ubisoft lost focus of what Prince of Persia is really about.

Lastly, the control that you have over the prince seems limited. I'm deathly afraid of jumping, as when you jump, the Prince goes in a whole different dirrection then where you point your joystick. If I have my joystick slightly to the top right, Prince will jump way clear of the ledge and fall to his untimely death. The slightest movement on the joystick changes everything. Another beef I have is when I'm fighting someone, instead of launching over them and striking them, it'll launch over them and then launch off the wall and...Prince falls to his untimely death. Ubisoft has put too many options in the button sequences, and when you press square for one thing, somehow it does another thing you don't want to do in combat. Very terrible feeling.

But even so, the game can be slightly fun. It'll get quite boring as you progress however, and traps and platforming areas don't get better. 7.5

Lasting Appeal

I hate the fact that this game has multiple endings, because to get those multiple endings would mean that you'd actually have to play through it more than once, which seems like a chore. Sure there are treasure chests throughout the game that unlock artwork and other such unlockables....but who cares? I mean, no one will go through the game to unlock artwork. Ubisoft really tried hard to give this game some good lasting appeal, adding multiple endings and unlockables, but that would have been so much better in the first game. Unfortunately, this game is so bad that I don't want to play through again to try and get another ending. I want to return this game before it's due back at Blockbuster. 6.5

Final Comments

I have to say this....I hate this game. I really do, I despise it. I absolutely adored Prince of Persia: Sands of Time, and I guess my expectations were too high for this game, thinking that it'd be just as good as SoT, if not better. But now, in fact, it's much, much worse. It doesn't feel like the same series at all, let alone the same character. Another beef I have with this game is the excess violence and gore, which it doesn't need. Sure, violence and gore are great in video games, but not in this, it just seems very unneccessary, and even unwanted. The prince is no longer the prince, he's a bad ass character like the other 5000 failed bad asses. Muttering crappy one liners with curse words is an attempt to get more of a teenage audience, and sure, it helps boost sales, but it also helps the quality of the game bomb. It's expected that there will be a sequel to this game, hopefully the sequel will redeem the aspects of the first, and totally forget this game altogether. My recommendation, if you must, rent it. I really feel sorry for those of you who bought it, it's going to be a game that you'll beat once and leave on the shelf to collect dust. But hey, it serves it's purpose of having nice boxart to look at! So again, rent this game if you're that interested, I can't recommend a purchase. I know that there will be a few of you that like the game, and I have nothing against you, except I do. The fact is, the game's quality has stepped back a few notches from Sands of Time.

Overall Rating: 6.5

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#17

Posted 25 April 2005 - 07:04 PM

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II
by Kevin_79



QUOTE
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords

user posted image

General Information

Genre
RPG

Developer
Obsidian Entertainment

Publisher
Lucas Arts

Players
1

General Price
$49.99(US)
$59.99(CAN)

Learning Curve
About 15 minutes

ESRB Rating
T - Teen

Release Date
December 7, 2004

Multimedia

Screenshot 1
Screenshot 2
Screenshot 3
Screenshot 4
Screenshot 5
Screenshot 6
Screenshot 7


The Review

Introduction

It's the sequel to last year's Xbox Game of the Year. KOTOR was one of the best RPG's to date, and definitely the best on the Xbox. Now, Bioware has stepped down from the KOTOR franchaise and left Obsidian Entertainment to make the sequel. Can the new comers pull off a great sequel? Well, time to find out.

Graphics

Graphics was never KOTOR's strong point, and unfortunately, the graphics engine isn't improved in KOTOR II. It still looks the same and there are now severe frame rate issues that you'll have to deal with playing through this game. The CG cutscenes are very minimal, and are only used when entering or exiting a planet, and they're not even too spectacular. I really, really love the look of the armor though, it looks quite realistic, and facial expressions are still great. But the graphical glitches(I walked through a few doors...) and the terrible frame rate reaching single ditches during combat is just too terrible to ignore. If only the game had a better graphics engine... 6.0

Sound

Sporting an all voice over cast with over 5 languages recorded, and over one hundred characters, KOTOR II is more or less, golden for voice acting. It's even bigger than the first KOTOR's voice casting. The musical score is also quite fantastic, it's got completely original music that fits the mood on every planet. I'm surprised that it fit in so well. Sound effects are exactly the same from KOTOR though, so nothing new there. But the voice acting and the musical score definitely make up for that. 9.0

Gameplay

KOTOR II has the same battle engine from the first, which is good, considering there was nothing wrong with that battle engine. So it returns, and it's still great, the action menu now has a few more options such as lightsaber form and it splits the lightside and darkside force powers. Much more organization is great, so I have no beef there.

KOTOR II also introduces a new Influence system. It works this way, the more you talk to your party members and find more about them, you'll gain influence with them, which means they'll either fall to the dark side(if you're dark) or they'll be good(if you are more to the light side). If you piss them off, they'll go in the opposite direction. It works well at first, but you can easily see holes in it. You have to be one alignment to gain influence with certain party members. Which sucks if you're looking to stay full light or full dark. But it's still a nice touch and gaining huge influence with party members gets you rewards.

That's basically it for gameplay, believe it or not. Communicating, and navigating the battle system. You still can't jump in this one, which totally sucks. But even so, control of the character is good and first person view is great for an RPG. Using force powers is much more vital this time through as well, Obsidian will through tons of enemies at you near the end, and one cast of Force Storm can whipe them all out(which looks ultra cool....without the slow down). Gameplay is strong, but it seems a bit underutilized, and has tons more potential. Obsidian didn't really do anything to the gameplay engine, and they should have. 8.0


Lasting Appeal

KOTOR II will take you about 30-40 hours to complete the first time, the second time is bound to be less because you'll know what to do. You'll definitely play two times through, to see both endings, dark and light. Then after that, I can't see another playthrough for a while. The storyline just isn't as involving as the first one, which really hurts it. 9.0

Final Comments

I purchased KOTOR II expecting another great story with another huge twist like the first one had....I found no such twist. The story was really well done up until the last five hours. The story just went downhill all of a sudden and everything just goes way too fast. The main problem is character development, I have no idea who this Darth Nihulis guy is. He's on the front of the game cover, looking like the coolest guy ever, and he has a whole one cutscene dedicated to him, and in that cutscene, you don't learn anything about him! So when you finally confront him, it's not as meaningful as say...when you face Darth Malak in KOTOR. Even though he's not the last boss, he should still have more character development. You barely even get to know much about your own party. So, something that really kills this game, is the storyline. An RPG is nothing if it has a bad storyline.

Overall Rating: 8.0

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#18

Posted 25 April 2005 - 07:05 PM

Roller Coaster Tycoon 3
by Wheelman



QUOTE
user posted image

Basic Info

Title: Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 (Official Site)
Genre: Strategy/Management
Platform: PC
Developer: Frontier
Publisher: Atari
Age rating: 3+


Overview

The long-awaited return of the Rollercoaster Tycoon franchise sees you back in the god-like role of park manager. The premise of the game stays the same but now features a full 3D environment with sexier graphics. Along with the extra eye candy comes the ability to ride the various attractions in your park, build even more terrifying rollercoasters, and more tools to get information about how well your park is running.


Gameplay

As with any management or strategy title, gameplay is by far the most important facet, and it's pleasing to report that Frontier have made this an addictive game to play.

Anyone who has played Theme Park or Theme Park World will immediately see where the inspiration for Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 (RCT3) has come from. There are some very obvious comparisons including your role as the omnipotent entity overseeing the whole park. Everything is your responsibility in RCT3; from the staff's happiness to the technical audacity of your rollercoasters.

The game offers two main modes of play: career and sandbox, as well as various tutorials and building tools. Following the tutorials and then getting straight into career mode is highly recommended, for RCT3 is not a game you can just pick up and be successful at. Despite the cartoonish appearance, the various techniques for building rides and placing stuff correctly are not obvious. Learning what makes your theme park tick is all part of the fun though.

Career mode offers you a good number of scenarios, each with three sets of objectives to reach. Some are laughably easy, while some are tricky enough to require a spot of lateral thinking and very good planning. Fortunately for fans of open-ended play, each scenario can be kept going as long as you like, regardless of whether you met the objectives. It's not all plain sailing though; you'll need to achieve the highest set of objectives in each scenario in order to unlock every scenario in the game, and ultimately achieve 100% completion. Sandbox mode offers less structure, completely open play without objectives, and most of all, no money. However this detracts from the sandbox mode, as without your finances it gets tricky to judge what you're doing right and what you're doing wrong.

This is a problem which extends to the whole game. The tutorials tell you literally how to do things, but not why you should do things. It's up to you to figure that out in the first few scenarios, which can often be pretty hit'n'miss until you work out the logic behind the game's design.

Overall though, the game plays extremely well. The copying of Theme Park World is blatant, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. In fact with the Theme Park franchise no longer used, it was up to RCT3 to move it into the modern era with new features and graphics. There's none of Theme Park's corporate maliciousness such as adding salt to the fries in order to sell more drinks; this is a much more innocent, friendly game, but it's none the worse off for it.

The content of the parks themselves is sufficiently varied to make you think about what you're building or placing. RCT3 combines static rides that occupy a fixed amount of space with the freedom of building your own rollercoasters, and it's up to you to get the balance right. Too many extreme rides and you won't get any families visiting. Build a park full of kiddies rides and the parents will be so bored that they won't even bring themselves, let alone their children. A park needs to appeal to as wide a range of people as possible, and every guest in your park has their own preferences, emotions, and tolerances. There's also a whole infrastructure side to look after; inbetween going on the rides, your park guests need something to eat and drink. You'll also have to ensure adequate facilities such as toilets and first aid are provided, that paths are sensibly designed and your park layout is free from bottlenecks, and there are enough staff to maintain it all efficiently. On top of this are the finances to look after, with staff wages, ride running costs, loan interest, research, and ride revenue to bear in mind.

But all this is not the fundamental draw of the game. What keeps luring you back is the simple appeal of building the next rollercoaster and making it better or more varied than the last one. The building controls themselves are exceedingly simple and become second nature, allowing you to slot the rollercoaster track into place, piece by piece, according to how you envisage it. Funds permitting, it's up to you what you build and where it goes. Different types of coaster are available, each with different capabilities, and some of the more advanced varieties make you feel queasy just looking at the track you've built. As always, it's necessary to strike a balance; a coaster that's too slow and uneventful will be easier and cheaper to build, but won't attract many guests and those who do ride it will refuse to pay much for the priviledge. Go too far to the other extreme, building something that never stops looping, corkscrewing and rolling at 100kph, and your guests will be too terrified to go on it.

And best of all, when you've honed your coaster to perfection, you can hop into it and ride it as one of your guests.


Graphics

Hopping into your coaster and riding it wouldn't be possible without the fully-3D world in which your park lives. It's a dramatic improvement, and one that helps the gameplay no end, by virtue of being able to spin the view around, zoom right in to the tiniest detail or pull back for an overview of all your land.

So the graphics are much improved, but it would be inaccurate to call them revolutionary. Your park can certainly be pretty to look at, but the graphics are not standard-setting. Yet for a game such as RCT3 this can be a good thing. The graphics are nice enough, especially the water reflections and night-time lighting effects, and they compliment the game rather than distract you from it.

It can, however, be rather resource-intensive. Not hugely so, but more than you might expect compared to other titles, bearing in mind RCT3 doesn't sport cutting-edge graphics or a physics simulator with life-like realism. Ride your coaster and when the rest of a full, bustling theme park swings into view, chances are you'll notice the stuttering.

Fortunately for a management-type game the frame rates are not a priority. Instead it's obvious that the graphic design emphasis was put on making RCT3 appear as cartoonish and friendly as possible. In a world of Doom 3s and Half-life 2s, it makes a refreshing change to see a game that has no shame in keeping the graphics suitable for everyone and placing the appeal elsewhere.


Audio

The sound is not RCT3's strong point. It exists, but can sometimes get monotonous and tiring. Rollercoasters rumble incessantly, the hubbub of the crowds is always there, and sometimes you just wish it was possible to only listen to the effects of interest. As an example, only one sound effect exists for the vomiting, and all the rollercoasters sound the same.

On the plus side, each of the non-coaster rides tends to have unique sound effects, and you can assign music to rides, which complements the style of your theme park. In a nice touch, wma files can be added to the RCT3 directory, which can then be used as the music on rides in the game.


Replay Value

Like many strategy and management games, RCT3 scores well when it comes to longevity. Due to the open-ended nature of the scenarios, there's always the incentive to go back and re-play them, either using a different approach, or simply seeing how much bigger and better you can build the park this time around.

The scenarios on offer, combined with the five different types of theming available in your parks, mean that there's enough variety to maintain your interest as you switch between scenarios, no matter whether it's for the first, second, or fifth time. And when you do get bored of career mode, there's always the limitless world of the sandbox or the building tools. The latter include the option of building (and saving) your own rollercoaster designs in a sandbox-style mode, which is also an excellent tool for learning what works and what doesn't work in rollercoaster design.

Building rollercoasters is a simple concept, but one that has a strangely enduring appeal. RCT3 will give the average gamer several months of fun in exploring the game fully.


Conclusion

RCT3 has been known to have a few bugs, so be sure to grab the update from Atari. The graphics set no new standards, and the sound could certainly have more variety. Everything else is top notch, and RCT3 is a solid title with a near universal appeal. Kids will like it for it's cartoony graphics and forgiving nature, while adults will enjoy the strategy side and the prospect of building some truly mental rollercoasters. With enough replay value to keep you going for some time, RCT3 comes highly recommended to anyone with a mild interest (or more) in the strategy/management genre.


Scores

Gameplay: 9.2
Graphics: 8.0
Audio: 6.5
Longevity: 9.5

Overall Score: 9 out of 10

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#19

Posted 25 April 2005 - 07:06 PM

Killzone
by Wingman



QUOTE

KILLZONE

user posted image



Developer
Guerrilla

Publisher
SCEA

Genre
First Person Shooter

Orgin
US

Players
1-2 offline, 1-16 online

Release Date
November 2, 2004

ESRB Rating
M - Mature

Learning Curve
About 30 minutes

General Price
$49.99(US)

Online/Live
Yes

Multimedia

Screenshot 1
Screenshot 2
Screenshot 3

The Rundown

Preview
For many months Killzone has been pumped up. It has been called "The Playstation's Answer To Halo 2". And in many ways, that was correct. It may not quite live up to the Halo standard, but it is the best shooter on the PS2.

Gameplay
First of all, this game is First-Person. Extremely First-Person. If you have played Half-Life, or Half-Life 2, then this is the degree of First-Person that I am implying. If you need to reload, your weapon does not just lower off of the screen and come back up. Your whole head shakes, you actually see your arm come up, remove the clip, and replace it with a new one. If you have to climb a ladder, you will see your arms come up and grab the rungs. Most of the action also happens in-game, ala Half-Life. There are small cutscenes between missions, but not many.
And speaking of missions, there will be alot of them. This game is long, and people not familiar with the FPS genre will be in for a tough time. Every mission has at least three or four sub missions, which take about 10-40 minutes apiece, depending on your difficulty and skill level.
The enemy's AI is some of the smartest that I have ever seen. They will regroup, wait for grenades to explode before advancing, sneak around you, come out in formations, and they are strong. It takes a large amount of bullets to down a single enemy, which can get annoying if you are someone who likes to charge in guns a'blazing. Fans of Duke Nukem and Serious Sam, this is not for you. Tatics must be used, and I often found myself sending in teammates before me to scan the area, just to conserve my health.
You can also play as four different people, which is a nice addition and switches up the gameplay. Will you go with the stealthy assasin with a silenced pistol or will you go in with the big guy with a giant machine gun? While the four different characters are cliche in their abilities, it is a nice addon.
This leads to one of the few problems with the Gameplay: The difficulty. While the checkpoints are dispersed nicely, there are a few too many times when you die for just stupid reasons. You will find that right after clearing out a huge room full of thirty Helghast, you go into a hall only to be killed by someone who was hiding behind the wall, waiting for you to walk down the hall. And this is on Easy mode. I have not yet tried Hard mode, but I can guess that I really don't want to.
The multiplayer is crap The AI is just as smart there as in-game, however it is plauged by terrible levels. The maps are either too large, too cluttered by trees and things, or are just not fun to play in for one reason or another. This is made a little better, however, by the use of many cool modes such as Assault, Defend and Destory, and the ever-important Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch.

8.0

Graphics
This is where the game really shines. Well, not so much shines, because nothing shines in Killzone. It is grimy to an extreme effect, a huge contrast to it's Xbox counterpart. The framerate stays constant throughout, and the mission cutscenes are in the "super graphics" that the Final Fantasy games use for important moments. However, every now and then you will run up to a character and his or her face will not be modeled and it takes a second for the graphics to return. This is due to the gfx system that the game uses, which only models things you see. The enimes look nice and menacing, although it would be nice to see a little more variety in the Helghast and the levels. The big problem with the graphics happens during multiplayer. When you pit 16 bots against two human characters on a small map, the game will slow down considerably. It gets choppy. Because multiplayer is so important, this really disapointed me.
7.0

Sound
The sound is superb. You hear bullets echoing off of the walls, explosions sound just like they ought to, and the voice acting is not overdone. I would like to hear the enimies yell out at you more, but it is not that big a problem. To give you an idea of how detalied the sound is, if you shoot a water cooler, the big bottle will echoed as it bounces against the floor. 
9.0

Lasting Appeal
Because of the increased difficulty, this game will take you a long time to complete, and you will probably want to redo some of the missions again, just so you can get that "Hell Yeah" feeling when you survive a paticularly long battle. Plus, with the addition of different characters, there are 4 different ways to complete each mission, and you will probably want to try all of them. And even though the multiplayer maps are not much fun, the AI are so smart that it will be a different expierence every time you play. 
8.0

Final Comments
Killzone had high expectations from the get-go, and maybe it was those expectations that made the game a little less important when it finally hit the shelves, because it was impossible to deliver everything it promised. If you love playing single-player modes of FPS', pick this up, because it will blow your mind with the battle sequences. However, if you are someone who likes to play with friends and likes lots of bots, I would stay away from this game. If the developers had spent a few more weeks working on the the multiplayer mode, then this would be the best shooter on the PS2 ever. But for now, it is only the best until Timesplitters: Future Perfect comes out.

Overall Rating: 8.0

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#20

Posted 25 April 2005 - 07:08 PM

Smackdown vs. RAW
by -sniper-



QUOTE
user posted image

The Basic Stuff


Developer
Yukes

Publisher
THQ

Genre
Action/Sports

Players
1-6

Online Capability
Yes

Release Date
November 2nd, 2004

Multimedia
Screenshot 1
Screenshot 2
Screenshot 3


Introduction
Well, it's another year for wrestling games as Smackdown vs Raw is released to the PS2.  Developer Yukes has chosen to pump out a new WWE game every year, making lots of money for publisher THQ.  Five games released before this one, each better than the last(except Just Bring It, what the hell were they thinking).  The game released in 2003, Here Comes the Pain, was a huge step forward in wrestling game history, and it was uncanny to whether Smackdown vs Raw could surpass it.  With several new features and "authentic superstar voiceovers," many believed this game would be the best wrestling game yet.  Read to find out.


Graphics
I'll be honest with you, these graphics are utterly amazing.  Not a gigantic step up from HCTP, but it is easy to tell the difference.  No more shiny or disfigured wrestlers here, all superstars look EXACTLY like their real life counterpart.  Yukes did a good job on detail here too.  There is the occasional clipping issue though.  9.0


Gameplay
Right when you start up your first match you are introduced to one of many new match introductions.  There is the shoving contest, staredown, strength battle, and a cool little pre-match animation showing your wrestlers get pumped up.  You'll notice the controls haven't changed at all from HCTP, which is alright for those who are used to HCTP's controls.  You'll notice many moves were added, and many were taken out.  No big deal here, except some animations for moves are the same since Smackdown 1.  That's right, some of the animations are crap.  Post-match celebrations were taken out too for some reason.  Simply put, the roster blows.  Mostly featuring main eventers, midcarders, and a couple lowcarders, the roster was cut terribly short this year. 
We are introduced to real legends this time around though, some include Bret "the hitman" Hart, Mankind, Old Roddy Piper, and the returning Legion of Doom.
Oh, and Masked Kane a legend?  Sure.

Once you fire up season mode for the first time, you'll pick your superstar, and you'll be put on the corresponding show he is on.  But, it doesn't matter, you'll get the SAME STORYLINES in every season you play.  There are only four belts now in the game.  IC and World Title for Raw, US and WWE Title for Smackdown.  Now, when you start your first show, you'll be presented with the voiceovers.  They Blow!  It sounds like they are talking from a studio, not in front of a live audience.  Wrestlers didn't even try to sound good, either.  Season mode is horrible, but it's the only way to get attribute points, and the only way to unlock legends and other useless stuff you'll probably never use.

Create a Wrestler took a big hit this year.  We were promised that the wrestlers we create would look exactly like the in-game superstar models.  They did that indeed, but they took out so many clothing options it isn't funny.  But, there were many other options added too such as hair, all new teeth, all new photography feature, and full control over how your wrestler looks.  CAW is really great this year.

We are introduced to all new gameplay mechanics and match tactics.  We are now given the clean/dirty meter, which determines how your superstar fights.  There is also a new feature called the Chop Battle, which you and your opponent exchange chops to the chest.  There is the all new challenge mode in which you have to complete 60 challenges to get secret unlockables.  But honestly, it's more of a chore.  Oh, and Create-a-PPV and Create-a-Belt are back, but they are quite useless and should only be used when you have nothing to do.

Overall, the gameplay isn't much different from HCTP, but it has its little tweaks.  6.0


Sound
The sound effects are roughly the same as HCTP, but little sounds have been added, such as the sound of superstars tapping out.  And for the first time ever in a Smackdown game, we have licensed music.  Only problem with this is, it's generic pop rock/rap.  Some songs are pretty catchy though.  Overall, the sound is great, and the addition of licensed music bumps it up a point.  7.0


Replay Value
With all the unlockables to get, matches to play, challenges to beat, and overall funness of this game, the replay value gets a great score.  9.0


Final Comments
This game is a huge disappointment for a game that had so much potential.  It takes a few steps forward, and takes a few steps back.  Any WWE fan should give it a try, because it's a really fun game to play.  Any other gamer would probably not be impressed.


Overall Score: 7.75/10

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#21

Posted 25 April 2005 - 07:09 PM

Mercanaries: Playground of Destruction
by anuj



QUOTE
Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction

by anuj

General Information

Genre: Action/Adventure (Heavy emphasis on ACTION)
Developer : Pandemic Studios
Publisher : Lucas Arts
Players : 1
General Price : $49.99(US)
Learning Curve : About 10 minutes
ESRB Rating : T - Teen
Platforms: PS2, Xbox

Release Dates:
January 10th, 2005 (USA)
February 18th, 2005 (EU)


Introduction:

Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction is set in near-future Korea. That crazy haired rabble rouser, Kim Jong Il, just won't stop making headlines. When Kim has a change of heart, and begins to see the upside of democracy, his son quickly puts an end to it by capping him and staging a coup. Korea becomes embroiled in a full blown war. Allied forces, along with the Chinese, Russian Mafia, and several other factions are all hungry for a piece of the pie, and quickly assume operations there.

That is where you come in. Playing as one of three operatives for Executive Operations, a private military company, you take on jobs that'll test a full spectrum of your gaming skills. You drop off in Korea, and get ready to step into the middle of war.

Graphics/Presentation:

Pandemic Studios developed this game. As many people know, they were the minds behind the Army combat simulator Full Spectrum Warrior. Pandemic achieves a great level of detail in their environment, characters, and textures. Most importantly, the presentation of the game quickly distinguishes it from the infamous label of "GTA clone", a term too often applied to open ended video games. Pandemic does this by instantly dropping you into a warzone. Very well done smoke, fire, and explosion effects led to me being engrossed within the first two minutes, and not being able to put down the controller since. The weapons animations and weapon details are not America's Army quality, but one wouldn't expect that in a 3rd person shooter, Max Payne 2 aside. The HUD doesn't get in the way, and the PDA menu is very well done. It ties in well with the theme of the game.

Overall Graphics: 9.0

Sound:

Pandemic does a decent job with the sound aspect of the game aswell. In crucial moments, high tempo orchestral pieces will flow through the speakers, which helps add to the presentation and the feeling of immersion. There aren't any radio stations to tune into in Korea, nor will you be bothered by having to tune in every time you board a vehicle.

Music does not a sound department make. The voices in the game are very well casted and executed aswell. Each of the characters has a "different" accent, and all the voice actors in the game strive to bring a level of realism. This is NOT Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow where everyone will speak with the same perfect English. Foreign soldiers speak few English words. In another nice twist, dialogue is recorded in different LANGUAGES. Russians speak Russian to each other. Chinese speak Chinese. Depending on the character you choose, which languages you understand will be different. You might understand one inflection of Chinese with one character, but not with another.

The sound effects are a bit odd at times. Car tires will squeal like piggies on dirt roads. Weapon sounds aren't the BEST, but liveable. Not much more to comment on about that.

Overall, the sound is great. There are no major detractors that would have me believe otherwise.

Overall Sound: 8.5

Gameplay:

This, friend, is where Mercenaries will keep you hooked. Just like GTA, you can freely roam around while accepting/rejecting missions, jack cars, APCS, and tanks, while shooting at everything that moves. In a semi-nod to GTA2, the several factions around the area will decide to hire you/not hire you depending on what type of grounds you are on with them. If they consider you hostile, they will not only reject you but pull weapons and swiss cheeserize you before you can escape. If they consider you friendly, they'll provide you with tactical airstrikes, heavy weaponry, supply drops, and comrades. During all this, you'll try to capture the 52 most wanted members of General Song's regime. (The Deck of 52 is one of the funniest things I've ever seen in a videogame.)

While this game inevitably draws references to GTA (I think I have two already), this is not GTA. You are not committing crimes. Many people in this game will try to kill you for absolutely no reason at any given moment, but you can in a sense pay them off (minus North Korea, of course). Even during the Riots in SA, the action against you at any given time was not this intense.

The AI is above average. They'll run from grenades, duck for cover, and use emplaced weapons all in an effort to blow the holy hell out of you and whatever vehicle you're in. Comrade AI will hop in your vehicle at your command and use emplaced weapons to do the same to the enemy.

The variety of weapons in the game is also pretty damn good. Ranging from a standard M4A1 carbine, to a portable nuclear device that will level EVERYTHING (including YOU) in a block radius. Nothing is cheap, however. Buying weapons is a costly and time consuming process. You can always chop the dude next to you with an AK and keep on shooting, though.

The controls are standard of foot. I'd draw more comparisons to foot combat to SOCOM II than GTA. It's intense, engaging, and above all: FUN. The controls in ground vehicles may seem a bit sticky at first. It took me about 5-10 minutes to get a good feel for the handling. Once you have it down, however, you'll find yourself flying across the rocky roads in record time. The controls in the air are nicely done. Nothing overcomplicated. Push X to rise, SQUARE to fall, tilt with the right analog and move with the left. It's very easy to pick up and go.

Another area where the game excels is the various manners in which to complete a mission. Mercenaries tends to reward the smarter players. Slowly picking off foot soldiers, gather recon intel, and precisely carrying out a mission is going to go a LOT better than Ramboing in through the front gate. Flash grenades can be used for a tactical advantage. The missions are pretty standard things (destroy stuff, kill people), but you'll still find yourself having a lot of fun discovering new ways to pop a cap in NK soldiers.

The game also incorporates fully destructable environments. Don't like the look of that building? Call in a B52 and take that mother out. Huge bronze statue of the dictator clashing with your vest? No problem. Just pull out an RPG and give General Song the old whatfor. While not as advanced or deep as Volition's world code from Red Faction/2, it does the job. It's great to see a missile actually take out a building, rather than leave a small surface burn.

And let's not forget the fun physics department. The game, from the get go, borders on the more extreme edge of reality. Crashes will be huge. Explosions will be huge. nujtip: Try planting C4 in the road, driving a moving car near it, bailing out, and detonating the C4. The result will be like the old Warthog jump movie from the original Halo.

In summary, this is a very enjoyable game. You won't get frustrated with the controls, or the action.

Overall Gameplay: 10.0

Lasting Appeal:

This game has tons of it. I've been playing for about 8 hours straight and only completed five captures out of 52. You'll often find yourself sidetracked because you see something you want to blow up. The game won't penalize you for that, though. Unless you kill civilians. I'm not sure exactly how long it takes to beat, but from what I've seen I'm going to be on this La-Z-Boy for a long time.

Overall Replay Value: 10.0

I was skeptical about this game at first, to be honest. I thought it was going to be a horrendous GTA clone. I'll admit, I was wrong. It is definitely worthy of placement along with GTA in terms of pure fun to play. Still skeptical? Give it a rent. This game is worth the $49.99.

Overall: 9.95/10 (Only because it has a few minor imperfections)

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#22

Posted 25 April 2005 - 07:10 PM Edited by Gaming Reviews, 07 March 2006 - 07:47 PM.

Madden 2005
by RearEndCollision



QUOTE
Madden 2005

user posted image

General Information

Genre:
Sports/American Football

Developer:
EA Tiburon

Publisher:
EA Sports

Players:
1-4

General Price:
$29.99(US)

Learning Curve:
About 30 minutes

ESRB Rating:
E -Everybody

Release Date:
08/09/2004



The Review:

Introduction

Madden is back for yet another season of football. While there are many changes to this year's Madden showing, the basic element is still the same, and that is get touchdowns, and tackle the guy with the ball. Among the new things added, are an advansed online system, and more control over franchise mode.

Graphics

Madden is always the talk of the new and improved graphics when compared to the other football giants, and usually falls short of Sega's showing in this category. Luckly for EA, this will be the last year of worrying about this since EA now controls all rights to doing football games. This years showing comes off as more like an NCAA game rather then a NFL one. Don't get me wrong, they aren't bad, they just aren't outstanding. 7.0/10

Sound

Probally the most, and best, updates in '05 come in the sound department. With the addation of not only a larger, and more diverse soundtrack, there is also EA sports radio in franchise mode that gives you cool facts, as well as, information relating to your very own season. The quality of the sound aspect has also increased, because it comes from the factory with a good level between the comantaors, fans, and loudspeaker, which leaves more time for play, and less for tweaking the sound settings. 9.0/10

Gameplay

The gamerplay itself hasn't changed too much, because in the end, you are just playing football on your own TV. A few options to make things seem more realistic have been added though. Not only can you tackle, but you can use the "Hit Stick" to go for a big hit, or you can attempt to strip the ball from an opposing player. Calling a play from the line has never been easier, with the play maker option, it allows the user to change a key player's route in an instant, which saves time compared to using a hot route. For once, the add-ons didn't hurt anything in the game play, because if you want, you can ignore the extras and just play some good, quality football with friends, online, or alone. 9.0/10


Lasting Appeal

It's a football video game, you either love it or hate it. True fans will play this one until August of next year, when you'll purchase Madden 2006. The nice online system keeps the game fresh, because unlike the computer, other people are quite tricky in how they play, and besides it's always more fun to play against another person, even if they are 1,000 miles away. 9.0/10

Final Comments

As I said before, you either love football games, or you hate them. I love them, and that alone is enough for me. For those of you who like it, but get bored doing the same thing over and over, try this. Start a new franchise, and in the inital options pick fantsy draft, which will put all NFL players in a draft situation, then you pick your team, round by round, and see how great of a team you can make.

Overall Rating: 8.8

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#23

Posted 25 April 2005 - 07:11 PM Edited by Gaming Reviews, 07 March 2006 - 07:49 PM.

Tekken 5
by RearEndCollision


QUOTE
Tekken 5

user posted image

General Information

Genre:
Fighting/Action

Developer:
Namco

Publisher:
Namco

Players:
1-2

General Price:
$49.99(US)

Learning Curve:
About 45 Minutes(more to master moves)

ESRB Rating:
T - Teen

Release Date:
02/24/2005




The Review:

Introduction

First off, I'm going to warn the reader that I am biased, as I am a huge fan of Tekken series, and am in love with the story line. If anyone feels that I've been too nice about the game, and would be willing to write another review for it, I'd be glad to post it in the same topic as mine, stating which is by which author. Now, with that said, we are back with the 6th Tekken in the series (don't forget Tekken Tag wink.gif .) The storylines transfer over, as well as many, many characters from previous versions. Now, with out further delay, the Tekken 5 review...

Graphics

For most, graphics are a huge deal, and being raised on the Sega Genesis, personally it's not that big of a deal. In this case however, both parties should be quite pleased. The graphics are simply stunning, in both cut scenes and in play. Unlike prior games, your character's hair moves in the right way, clothes sway in the wind, and hits are taken as if I was watching a real fight in front of my very own face. For many female characters they flow with the sort of grace we expect from our most seductive women; the "big" males are not only that, but they are gruff and act accordingly; the little fast guys, move as though they barley touch the ground, and fight the same way. Most cut scenes, especially the opening one, are almost like I've paid $10 dollars to go see it in the movie theatre. Graphically, this is the game for all out fighting games to try reach, well, at least until Tekken 6 comes out. 9.9/10

Sound

Most of the sound in Tekken, as well as most fighting games, consists of background music, and voiceovers. The background music is to set the mood of wherever the fight is taking place, and does that just wonderfully in Tekken 5. You don't have a Beach Boys song right before you fight the final boss, and you don't have a intense song when you have friends fighting just because they've been matched against each other. Now, voiceovers can make and break storylines in games like this, because if someone's voice makes no sense to be theirs, the gamer spends more time thinking about that then what's going on inside their TV. Most of the voiceovers in Tekken 5 fit their character as if they were "Paul Phoenix" or whoever. There are some exceptions, but they aren't horribly bad when they draw focus. 8.5/10

Gameplay

Gameplay is where a game is made or broken. A game can have the most stunning graphics, but horrible gameplay, and will thus, be a horrible game, and vise versa. One might think that since this is a fighting game, that this is a pretty basic issue, whereas is should be good or bad. In reality, it is so much more complex then that. Not only does each character have a group of basic moves, but their very own set of moves all together their own. If that was all, then you could still say it's either good or bad, but again that's not the case. Along with the people who just fight in their basic style, there is a character that fights both left and right handed, a bear character, a giant robot character, a character who mimics their opponent, as well as many others. Namco put so much effort into each character that everyone has 60+ individual moves, as well as, the attention to detail and care put into each character is worth of praise alone, even if it didn't pan out as a whole. Luckily, for them and us, it did, and it did with a masterly skill. 10/10


Lasting Appeal

Always a huge question with fighting games, is will it still be fun in a month down the road. Tekken has an advantage over others, because not only is their the 1 vs. 1 combat, but an entire other game built into it; Devil Within, which puts you in Jin Kazama's shoes, is that other game which you must go though level after level, in a Fighting Force type gameplay, to uncover Jin's past. Besides the second game built in, there is the customize aspect, where you gain money by going thought story much, time battle, etc..., which you use to purchase new clothes and accessories for your favorite characters. In the end, this is a "to each his own" type question, but I'd have to say for most, this is a 'buy' game rather then just a 'rent' game. 9.0/10

Final Comments

I love Tekken. That's been made pretty clear. So, the question to ask here would be "did Tekken 5 live up to it's expectations?"

Yes. In fact, it went so far beyond, that I'm already anticipation Tekken 6.

Overall Rating: 9.5

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#24

Posted 25 April 2005 - 07:13 PM

Psi Ops: The Mindgate Conspiracy
by gta_king



QUOTE
Psi Ops: The Mindgate Conspiracy
by gta_king/JCMoorehead

General Information

Genre: Action
Developer : Midway
Publisher : Midway
Players : 1/2
General Price : £12
Learning Curve : Half Hour
ESRB Rating : 18/M - Mature
Platforms: PS2, Xbox, PC

Release Dates:
Already Out in EU/US

Introduction
The game is set in the near future, you are an elite American Psi-operative soldier. Use Psi powers including telekinesis, pyrokinesis, mind drain, mind control, remote viewing and Aura view to get through the levels.

Graphics/Presentation:
From what i've played so far the game mainly takes place on indoor areas. The graphics arn't the greatest you'll ever see, but they arn't the worse. The effects used within the game are great, especially when using your powers. Now would be a good time to mention the power of the Havok engine that has been used in this game, the physics engine is pure brilliance, not exactly up to HL2 standards but then again its on a different system. Its really satisfying picking up an enemy and hurling them through a wooden crate or making them bounce off walls. There is a lot of violence within the game aswel the way the heads explode and the way the blood splats off the wall, may not be horrendously realistic and its quite hilarious when the heads explode considering the sounds that go with it.

The menu systems do the job, they're clean and efficient not much more to say about them.

Overall Graphics: 8.0

Sound
Not much to say about the sounds in this one. When heads explode they make a nice popping sounds, when a body is shredded it makes a nice shredding sounds, when you smack things at a wall it makes a nice thud sound. Overall the sounds are nice, they do their job. When you use your powers a typical laser style sound plays.

Overall Sound: 7.5

Gameplay
This is where the game REALLY comes into its own. Its set in a third person view. The whole point of the game the "gimmick" so to speak is the powers, thats the main drawing point of it. The best thing about it is that you can complete missions a number of ways, theres always one path but theres so many ways to do something. If you want to kill an enemy you can choose several options, you can shoot him, sneak up behind him and clunk him over the head, sneak up behind him and use Mind Drain (to make his head explode, I really recomend this one) use Telekinesis to slam him into things or use Mind Control to make him kill himself for you. Theres so many options.

The AI, is standard for Action games, they'll take cover. Scientists will raise the alarm when they see you and soldiers will shoot and call for backup when they spot you.

As mentioned above the physics are brilliant, great fun to play around with especially being able to crush enemies with crates or send one enemy hurtling into more enemies which then go off the edge of a tall building.

The way the powers are presented to you are also done cleverly, at certain points during the game you'll experiance a "Flashback" type scene, in which the main character remembers back to a training session for each power. The mind control one is a particular favourite of mine.

Overall Gameplay: 10

Lasting Appeal

Theres a lot to unlock, you can go back over boss fights redo missions, you can get secret missions and hidden playable characters. Theres also all the ways to complete a mission and simply how fun it is to do a mission, which means this has a lot of replay value.

Overall Replay Value: 9

I pretty much bought this game because of two reasons, the gimmick and the price. For £12 I couldnt go wrong could I? And I was correct, the way people have overlooked this game saddens me. It is such a great game and deserves to be seen for what it is.

Overall: 9/10

Heres some screens from Gamespot to go with it.

Screen 1
Screen 2
Screen 3

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#25

Posted 25 April 2005 - 07:14 PM

Gran Turismo 4
by SWEETISAPRIK



QUOTE
Gran Turismo 4

user posted image




Developer
SCEA - Sony Computer Entertainment America

Publisher
Polyphony Digital

Genre
Driving - Driving Simulator

Origin
US
Japan

Players
1-2; up to 6 via LAN*
(LAN requires Ethernet hub, adapter, and cables depending on model.)

Release Date
February, 22, 2005 (US)
March, 10, 2005 (AU)
March, 9, 2005 (UK)

ESRB Rating
E - Everyone*  (Mild Lyrics)

Learning Curve
Pretty much instantaneous. Although some cars are harder to drive than others, and the snow/dirt tracks took me a while to get the hang of.

General Price
(*Prices are approximate, as they vary slightly from store to store.)
$49 (US)
$89 (AU)
$65 (CA)


Online/Live
Technically, No.
Although it was originally intended for release with online playability, they gave up on that.
But since it can be played over LAN there are ways to do it. I myself wouldn't know how to do this but, this thread makes it seem possible. And this site explains how it is done. (For those that have the following.)

XLink Kai (Available for download here.)
A PS2 with network adaptor
A Gran Turismo 4 disk.
A PC with broadband connection
An Ethernet router to connect the PS2 and the PC to the broadband socket (meaning not a USB broadband modem)

Multimedia
I saved these images at 1280x960 and then scaled to 800x600 to save on load times.
Photo - 1886 Daimler Benz motor carriage.
Photo - Nike one.
Photo - AC Cobra in action.
Photo - Silverado SST.
Photo - F1 racecar.

The Rundown

Preview
Well, anyone who has played any of the previous incarnations (Ugh, a pun.) of Gran Turismo, has most likely been waiting for this game to be released for a while. Since the first version was released in 1997 this series has been a winner, but this time they have truly outdone themselves. With 100 tracks, around 700 cars, new features, and new modes of play, this game easily surpasses it's predecessors, and all competitors.

Gameplay - 10.0
The game boasts new physics, new AI, in addition to a new gameplay mode called B-spec which allows you to simulate races at up to 3 times normal speed. Which will come in handy when trying to complete some of the games twenty four hour races. New photo modes allowing you to capture pictures of your vehicles in motion on your favorite tracks, or even stationary from a selection of locations around the world. These pictures can be saved to USB drives and transferred to the PC. The game is also compatible with a few Epson printer's allowing you to print these photos without a computer. For some examples of these pictures see the links pasted below "Multimedia". The game also features courses from Seoul, Tokyo, Hong Kong, New York, Seattle, Paris and even the Grand Canyon. Real world tracks such as Infineon Raceway, Laguna Seca Raceway, Nürburgring. Some racetracks that only exist in Gran Turismo, some seen in the earlier versions, and the addition of some new boards such as a Las Vegas drag strip.

Graphics - 10.0+
The quality of graphics that they have achieved are amazing, these graphics are not only better than all of the previous versions, but better than most people thought the Playstation2 was even capable of. It is by far the most photo realistic driving game released to this day. Some of the scenes are so vivid, that it's hard to convince yourself that they aren't real.

Overall Sound - 7.5
Sound Effects - 7.0
The engine noises are not as realistic as they could be, with close to 700 cars not all of them sound exactly the way I thought they should. Still, even if they hadn't devoted valuable space to all the games other aspects, they still would have a hard time getting the engine sound exactly right for every car in the game.
Music - 8.0
The game features artists such as Van Halen, James Brown, Earth Wind and Fire, Jimmy Eat World, Judas Priest, Apollo 440, Papa Roach, Less than Jake, The Crystal Method, The Roots, The Donnas, The Commodores, even some Bach, Mozart, and Chopin.
Full soundtrack in .pdf
Although the soundtrack is far from bad, I found myself missing the music from the previous versions, music I had turned off because it got repetitive. Admittedly though, this was due my taste in music, not the quality of the music in this game.

Lasting Appeal - 10.0+
With more than 50 tracks, in forward and reverse, and 80 manufacturers this game will remain exciting for quite some time. Each of the Gran Turismo games been right out of a car lover's dreams. This one is so far beyond what the previous versions were, that I know I will be playing this game at least until the next one is released, and possibly after. Even if you can't play video games due to a lack of skill, or an absence of thumbs, you should still  buy this one, and "B-spec" (simulate) the races until you have all the cars you want. Although even that might take a while considering that they have all of the following car makers.

American: Cadillac, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, Ford, HPA Motorsports, Panoz, Plymouth, Pontiac, Saleen, Tickford, Shelby, Buick, Callaway, DMC-DeLorean, Eagle, Jay Leno, Mercury, Infiniti, Lexus, Chaparral, Scion, Nike.
UK: Aston Martin, Ginetta, Bentley, Jaguar, Lotus, MG, Mini, TVR, Jensen Healey, Lister, Marcos, Caterham, Land Rover, AC Cars, Triumph.
Netherlands: Spyker.
Belgium: Gillet.
Sweden: Volvo.
Germany: Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Opel/Vauxhall, Volkswagen, RUF.
Spain: SEAT.
France: Citroen, Renault, Peugeot, Pescarolo Sport, Alpine, Hommel.
Italy: Alfa Romeo, Lancia, Autobianch, Pagani, Fiat, Cizeta.
Korea: Hyundai, Proto motors.
Australia: Ford Australia, Holden, FPV-Ford Performance Vehicles.
Japan: Amuse, Blitz, Daihatsu, Honda, HKS, Isuzu, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Mine's, Mugen, Nismo, Opera Performance, Nissan, Subaru, Spoon, Suzuki, Toyota, Tom's, Toyota Modelista, Trial, Acura, Tommy Kaira, ASL-Autobacs Sportscar Laboratories, Dome.
Misc. Manufacturers: POLYPHONY DIGITAL, D1 Grand Prix, Denso, and "none" as in it is in the case of the SILEIGHTY.

Final Comments
I guess it's from me being a pessimist, but I usually buy a game and immediately start to see it's faults. I see none here. The sound effects could be a bit better, but the graphics and gameplay are so good that I really only took notice because others had mentioned it. I didn't care for the soundtrack but that was due to my personal taste in music, not a lack of good artists or songs. This game is not only worth the money I spent buying it, but I would have paid more. The only bad thing I can think to say about this game is that it's killing my thumb. If you haven't yet, run out and buy it right now.

Overall Rating: 9.3

Sources:
http://www.granturismoworld.com/
http://www.gamespot....ws_6118964.html
http://www.us.playst...CUS-97328/Site/
http://www.us.playst...t4sountrack.pdf
http://news.bbc.co.u...ogy/4340797.stm
http://gtplanet.net/...hp?categoryid=5
http://forum.pcvscon...d.php?tid=15063
http://forevergeek.c..._online_now.php
http://gamesradar.ms...bsectionid=1635
http://www.teamxlink.co.uk/
And of course
http://www.gtaforums...howtopic=179650

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#26

Posted 25 April 2005 - 07:15 PM

Halo 2
by RearEndCollision



QUOTE
Halo 2

user posted image

General Information

Genre:
Shooter

Developer:
Bungie

Publisher:
Microsoft

Players:
1-4

General Price:
$49.99(US)

Learning Curve:
Two Hours

ESRB Rating:
M - Mature

Release Date:
11/09/2004




The Review:

Introduction

I'd just like to first off say that, yes, this game was realised a while ago, but no one else has done a review, so here one is. And, secondly, if you don't know what Halo 2 is, or need an introduction for this, just go here.

Graphics

When Halo first came out, people were astounded with the amazing graphics, and it was a system realize game. And, even if Halo 2 came out with barley changed graphics, there wouldn't be many upset people. But, it just so happens that Bungie decided to treat us to a graphic treat. It's been about five months since the game has been realized, and they have only found less then fifteen glitches found. Amazing. And, as great as story mode's graphics are, the multiplayer's are even better. What's just as amazing, is that, they are just as great on Xbox Live.9.6/10

Sound

Well, it's sound in a shooting game, so, in other words, there are more important things to focus on. They guns all sound like they should, the sword sounds like a lightsaber (awesome,) and even the sound for the rockets is great. All the old voices from the first game, that are needed, come back, and it makes a huge difference. The sound works, and that's all Bungie needed to have it do, work.9/10

Gameplay

What is there to say about Halo 2’s gameplay other then the fact that it is awesome? The kinks from the first one have been worked out, and it is, dare I say, flawless gameplay. In story mode, what they have you do, makes sense, and is never too hard, but never too easy. There is a difference between the feel of Master Chief, and Arbiter, when you play as either one, yet it’s not big enough too really notice it in a negative way. In multiplayer, the gameplay works in the way it should, being that, nothing is insanely off-balance in comparison to anything else in the game. All in all, Halo 2 does everything you expect it to, and more.10/10


Lasting Appeal

This is a toss up section, because on one side there is a great lasting appeal for Halo 2, and on the other, there is virtually none. The lasting appeal of Halo 2 lives in the multiplayer mode, and that alone. The story mode is well….dry. It didn’t have the same level of addictiveness that the story mode in the first one did. It just doesn’t seem worth it do it more then once. The most lasting appeal that Halo 2 has is not only in multiplayer, but in multiplayer on Xbox Live. The online community for Halo 2 is huge, and will continue to be huge even after Xbox Next and/or Halo 3 comes out.8.0/10

Final Comments

The Halo series is a gaming revolution, and while the second one didn’t live up to the impossible to meet standards that the first set up for it. Even without getting to those standards, the game is great.

I’d also like to note that this is not my best work on a review, and after re-writing it twice, I decided that I cannot get this one better then it’s current state.

Overall Rating: 9.0

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#27

Posted 25 April 2005 - 07:17 PM

God of War
by Kevin_79



QUOTE
God of War

user posted image

Genre
Action-Adventure

Developer
SCE Studios Santa Monica

Publisher
Sony Computer Entertainment

Players
1

Release Date
March 22, 2005

ESRB Rating
M - Mature
Violence
Gore
Nudity
Intense Language

Learning Curve
About 20 minutes

Memory
500 KB, Playstation 2 Memory Card

General Price
$49.99 (US)
$59.99 (CAN)

Multimedia

Screenshot 1
Screenshot 2
Screenshot 3
Screenshot 4
Screenshot 5
Screenshot 6
Screenshot 7
Screenshot 8
Screenshot 9
Screenshot 10
Screenshot 11
Screenshot 12
Screenshot 13

The Review



Introduction

God of War, a game that has been in development for three years. A game which was rated as the best PS2 game at E3 2004, and the second best overall game at E3. The story brings ancient greek mythology to life as you take control of a very dark, very angry individual named Kratos. Kratos lead the army of Sparta into battle many times, and they were victorious, but when his army is nearly suffering defeat, he begs the God of War, Aries, to destroy his enemies in return for his servitude. But when the God of War goes too far, Kratos declares revenge on Aries, and vows to kill him.

God of War sports one of the fastest fighting engines in all of gaming, and an excellent ancient greek feeling soundtrack. You will be sucked into ancient Greece as you hit the power button on your Playstation 2, and once the game starts, you will feel the rage of Kratos.


Graphics

Lets get started on the amazing look of this game. If you could imagine what Ancient Greece would look like, this would be it, the developers have ressurrected the ancient Athens in God of War, and damn does it look awesome. It has the most fantastic architecture, with giant statues of the gods, and very complicated designs all over the place, and all of it is looking top notch. God of War really pushes the Playstation 2's graphics engine to it's limits, and if this is as far as it can go, I'm f*cking impressed, as this game could pass as a next generation game. The frame rate runs very smoothly, and I never once experienced any slow down, through the long epic adventure, through the intense number of polygons on screen, the frame rate never drops once. The animations are perfect, the enemies all have several different animations, and all of them look very vivid, as the characters are brought to life with this terrific engine. One thing that really stands out, are the amazing CG cutscenes, I mean, we've all seen these amazing cut scenes, but this game shows what we want to  see in a CG cutscene, very intense gore. All of the blood and guts look very real, and often, your jaw will be dropped wondering how all of this gore (and NUDITY! :happy) could be portrayed so well. I praise the developers of God of War for making the best looking game on Playstation 2. Congragulations, three years of development, and the graphics don't dissapoint one bit. 10.0


Sound

God of War is programmed with a perfect suiting soundtrack. All of the music just breathes ancient greece, and it helps suit the mood so well. For example,  the music becomes creepy in dark areas, faint in desert areas, and very prestigious in mountain areas. So aside from the soundtrack, what else is the sound like? Well, the voice acting is top notch. I couldn't imagine Kratos having a better voice, and the voice actor did a stand up job on him. The rest of the characters, although there aren't any other that have such a big role, all sound awesome, and the voices are suited quite well. Sound effects sound great, and althought they aren't a large focus on the game, as you don't really notice them as much, they sound perfect. From the sounds of the blades of chaos, to the insanity of the Minotaur roars, sound effects are top notch. So all in all, the sound is great. 9.0


Gameplay

Now let's get started on my favourite part of the review, the gameplay, a part of the review, that I feel that I write best. So here we go.

To start things off, let's talk about the best f*cking combat engine to ever grace the console generation. Yes, I said it, it beats any fighting game, any action adventure game, any shoot em' up games, and pretty much any game imaginable. This combat engine is so unbelieveably fast and brutal that you will struggle to keep your jaw closed as you command Kratos to do one of his insane combos that hits the enemy 30 times before you hit the ground. The combat engine look complicated, considering how fast it is, but it's quite easy to control. Of course it consists of the basic attacks, square for a normal attack, triangle for a strong attack, and circle for a grab. Then there's the blocking with L1, and evasion with the right analog stick, which is all relatively easy to control. But if you tie them all together, then you'll have Kratos mangling cyclopses in a matter of seconds.

Platforming is another cruical part of God of War, and the jumping and maneuvering controls are quite easy to use. Tap X for a normal jump, and tap it twice for a double jump. Kratos is easy to control while he's in the air as well, which makes it a bit easier to move around the roatating meat grinders that you'll eventually encounter. So that put Jumping and Combat on the perfect list. Let's move on to the more intellectual part of God of War.

Just like Prince of Persia, God of War has a number of puzzles and mini games. You'll definitely get stuck at least once in this game, and you'll have to think about the solution to the puzzles, as you explore the depths of the game. There is even a Tetris-esque puzzle that you'll encounter late in the game, which was a very cool bonus, for all of you tetra-holics that spent hours and hours mastering the maneuvers of one of the greatest puzzle games.

Another aspect of the gameplay is the magic system. Throughout the game, the gods will grant you different magics, such as Posiedon's Rage, Medusa's Gaze, Fury of Zeus, and the Army of Hades. Posiedon's Rage unleashes an explosive amount of electricity that attacks your enemies multiple times. Medusa's Gaze turns your enemies to stone the longer the gaze lasts, and you can break them apart with a strike of your blades. The Fury of Zeus shoots a lightning bolt from your hands, which is very useful for killing out of range opponents such as archers. Lastly, the Army of Hades, the last, and greatest magic you'll recieve, unleashes the souls of the underworld upon your enemies, which is very useful.

So there you have it, the gameplay mechanics of God of War, and I'd go as far to say as the gameplay is perfect, not great, not amazing, but perfect. 10.0


Lasting Appeal

God of War lasted me about, 10-15 hours the first time through, which was on Normal, which should be the time that it should take the average gamer to conquer the game. But once you beat the game, it's not going to get boring at all. You unlock all of the Treasures of Olympus once you beat the game, not ot mention you unlock God Mode, Challenge of the Gods, and Deleted Levels. You can even watch the making of God of War, which is a very interesting development. Not to mention that once you beat the game, you'll want to play through it again, just to experience all of the insane challenges, and the insane quest to find Pandora's Box. This game will last you a long time. 9.5

Final Comments

God of War is the best game on the Playstation 2, it surpasses all of the greats, and it will easily go down in the books as one of the greatest gaming accomplishments of the decade. I recommend a buy, but if you're not up to it, then I strongly urge you to rent the game. Because not renting the game is like taking meat out of your diet, you're totally missing out. So in the end, you definitely need to play this game if you own a PS2, it's a great excuse to clean off the dust that's covering the system, and pull out that old controller. Do it, do it now.

Overall Rating: 9.9

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#28

Posted 25 April 2005 - 07:18 PM

WWE WrestleMania XXI
by RearEndCollision



QUOTE
WWE WrestleMania XXI

user posted image

Genre
Sports/Wrestling

Developer
Studio Gigante

Publisher
THQ

Players
1-4

Release Date
April 20, 2005

ESRB Rating
T - Teen

Learning Curve
About 2 seconds

General Price
$49.99 (US)
$59.99 (CAN)

The Review



Introduction

Another wrestling game has been realised, but this one wasn't given much publicity, and after about 20 minutes of playing, I can fully understand why. Personally, I would hope that someone could come up with a good wrestling game, but alas they can't. "Xbox wrestling fans haven't had it easy this console generation, but even so, there's no reason they should settle for a sloppy mess like Wrestlemania XXI" - Alex Navarro


Graphics

This game was designed to be first and foremost, eyecandy. The opening isn't anything that couldn't have been done three years ago, and is just a bad way to start a game. The menu is just plain hidious. It's something that PS1 wouldn't even claim, yes that bad. Now, in game, they honestly aren't too bad....until they start fighting one another. The hair graphics alone are enough to make anyone want to kill themselves, and the clothes are much, much worse. I played a Bra and Panties match for the hell of it, and the graphics in that match alone were horrible. The women looked like they were ripping pixilated pieces of crap off each other. The set up for create a wrestler is worse then the set up of all of the PS1 versions of wrestling that I've played. It's just choppy in general, and the problem is that, the graphics are the best part. 6/10


Sound

Has anyone ever heard a soundtrack on a video game skip, and return to the beginning of the song. Well, WrestleMania will do that for ya. It's horrible. The soundtrack sucks in general(has nothing to do with a wrestling game) and then it skips. I felt like I was in a Twlight Zone eposide when I was playing this game. In game, the sound sucks too because the right sounds aren't made certain things are done. I wonder if the makers of this game even watched one SmackDown or Raw. If they did, they should shoot themselves. 2/10


Gameplay

This is usually the fun part, note the use of the word usually. Also, this is going to be short. The Gameplay sucks. That alone should be enough, but it's not, because it's worse then sucks can give off. Tomorrow, I am going to Blockbuster and telling the game doesn't work right, because it's that horrible, and doesn't work like it should. In other words, it doesn't act like an even decent game should. It's choppy, and I've yet, until now of course, played a game that had lag, when I wasn't even online with it. 4/10


Lasting Appeal

If you love WWE, you might play the game for a few hours just to say you've defeated another played out story mode, but beyond that, you'll never play it a second time. There is nothing to bring you to play this game again. It's like Free Willy 4, we know there is nothing new that's going to happen, yet like clockwork we all have to find out, only to be disapointed...again. Like I said, you'll never put this game into the same Xbox more then once. 4/10

Final Comments

Don't waste your time or money on this trash. There is nothing new in this game. It's sad that a Def Jam fighting game is the best wrestling type game that's beem realised on the Xbox. My advise, wait until Xbox 360 before playing another wrestling game.

Overall Rating: 4.5

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#29

Posted 02 May 2005 - 02:31 AM

Max Payne
by ImHereToStay



QUOTE
The review is several years to late, i know, but im doing it anyway.
user posted image

Developer: Remedy.

Year of Release: 2001.

Genre: Third Person Shooter - Action.

Time to learn: 5-10 minutes.


Screenshots:
user posted image
user posted image
user posted image

About the game: The character you play is Max Payne, a New York D.E.A. cop. One day when he goes home, he finds his family murdered in theire house, and gets framed for the murder of a fellow cop, and friend. He then goes out on a hunt for the murderers during the worst snow storm the city has ever seen. He gets framed for the murder of a cop, and is wanted by the police.
This game was the first game to bring Matrix-style slowmotion jumps and bullet-time, in a game.

Graphics: The characters arent very detailed, neither is the world detail. The effects and animations are good though, and the particle effects i find great. Espcially concidering that the game was made back in 2000/2001.
Some of the textures are too blurry tho, so they drag the gfx rating down abit.
Graphics get 8.

Sound: The weapons sound very realistic, and gives you a good feeling when in a gunfight. The character talk is great. When the enemies spot you they yell something like: "It's Payne", and stuff like that, and sound like theire panicking. The Swat teams also report you on the radio when they spot you, which i find to be a good little detail. Keep in mind, its the details that do the job. The explosion sounds could have been done a little better, and it would be nice hearing the parts from things you blow up hit the ground. The music is pretty gives you a great "nothing to lose" feeling, and combined with the gameplay and storyline it's great.
Sound gets 7.5.

Gameplay: The minute you launch the game, you are presented to Max Payne by graphic novels. The first level is where you find your murdered family, and is thrown in to a drama with flashing lights, crazy shooting gangsters, and organized crime, going all over New York, from drug houses, to undergound labs and big corporation buildings with tight security, complete with snipers, swat teams, drug addicts, gangsters and crime lords.
The bullet-time feature allowing you to enter slow motion, do sidewards and forwards, or even backwards-slowmotion jumps, allowing you to jump and aim freely, while gunning down multiple enemies at once.
The storyline is very sad and makes you want to keep playing, to reveal more of the story and see the ending.
The game has a Matrix-feeling to it in some levels, and that's meant in a good way. It's a great feeling going through NYC while chasing the truth.
There is no sneak element in this game, it's just run and gun down anything that moves. It can get repetitive at times, but you want to continue because of the storyline. Also, there is no multiplayer, sadly.
Gameplay gets 8.5. It's also, very short, and not hard to complete. It takes you about 5-7 hours to complete it.

Additional comments: I liked the game very much, and have played it again and again, but with mods.

Overall: 8.5.

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#30

Posted 02 May 2005 - 02:32 AM

Metal Gear Acid
by Hunter¥



QUOTE
Metal Gear AC!D
by Hunter¥

user posted image

Japanese Cover


General Information

Genre : Turn-Based Strategy
Developer : Konami JPN
Publisher : Konami
Players : 1-2
General Price : $39.99 (US) $49.99 (CAN)
Origin : Japan
Learning Curve : 2 hours
ESRB Rating : Mature
Platforms : PSP
Release Dates :

US: March 22, 2005
Japan: December 16, 2004

Offical Site
Images
Videos

Introduction

Well they've finally lost it. They've made Metal Gear into a card game. A pretty bitchin' card game at that. Now I'm a huge fan of the MGS series so, please, if anyone thinks I'm being too nice, say so, but only if you've played the game. Also note that I haven't been able to use the Link Battle feature so I will not be reviewing that.

QUOTE
"The year 2016 -- the United States of America.

Jumbo jet flight number 326 flying at an altitude of 35,000 feet gets hijacked by those
unknown.
They have used the muscle relaxant Vecuronium Bromide -- a chemical that could be lethal if
inhaled excessively.
Among the 517 passengers who are taken hostage in the cabin filled with Vecuronium
Bromide is Senator Hach -- a man rumored to become the next United States President.

In the meantime on Lobito Island of the Moloni Republic in southern Africa... Inside the Lobito
Physics and Chemistry Laboratory compound guarded by a mysterious armed force is a man
standing.

His name is Solid Snake.


The hijackers of flight 326 are making only one request -- the handing over of "Pythagoras".
The United States work on identifying the hijackers and determining what the mysterious
"Pythagoras" is and soon finds out that it is the name of a project on which research is
conducted on Lobito Island.

The Moloni government is reluctant to cooperate, saying that it does not want any interference
in its domestic affairs. Losing its patience, the US government sends in its special forces
operation HRT, but the force gets attacked by the armed force there. All communications are
lost.
With all of what is going on, contents of the classified research at the Lobito Physics and
Chemistry Laboratory are about to be revealed.

With things in a deadlock, the US government decides to make use of its last resort -- the
already retired legendary mercenary Solid Snake. There is not much time left till the time limit.
Solid Snake's new battle begins at the secret lab on the mysterious and enchanting island.
"


Graphics
The graphics of Metal Gear Acid are the best I've seen for a card game, on any platform. But though out the game on several occasions I could see "holes" on objects, on the ground, and in the sky. Like a small glitches where edges meet. The many action effects, that happen when you use a card, is a nice touch. The lighting was great. I remember using a flame thrower at one point and the surrounding area having red shade as a result. The graphics are fabulous for this handheld. 8.5/10

Sound
It sounds like any Metal Gear Solid game should. The music sets the mood perfectly. In other words, the more aggressive the music, the more sh*t you're in. The weapons all sound like what they would sound like. The only thing that slightly disappointed me was there weren't voiceovers, but then again, the PSP (in all it's glory) can only do so much. The sacrifice of voiceovers for UMD space was well worth it. Great. 10/10

Gameplay
MGA has one hell of a learning curve, and the game doesn't get to into all the necessary think that are crucial, and can some times do a bad job of explaining things. For example: To use an EQUIP weapon card the game says you have to use the same caliber of ammo on the card once it's equipped to use it. What you really have to do is use the same weapon on the equipped weapon. That took me a while to figure out. You can develop some great tactics for getting your self out of trouble. There are two playable characters, Snake and Teliko. Teliko is Snakes female companion that you need to play this game. You will devise strategies with her to get past the ruff parts.

The cards in the game are based on past MGS games and characters. Even the really old MG games. The cards you play with are in a fully customizable deck.

Once you get basics down, the game can be very fun, and it can be extremely frustrating. Frustrating because some of the scenarios just seems impossible, and very fun because you'll always find a way to get the job done, even in the most hopeless of situations. Sometimes things can seem very unfair. It seems like all of you're foes can all have 10 goes, filling you full of lead before even get to do anything. But it's turn based. That always happens. 8/10

Lasting Appeal
The only reason I'm playing through the game again is because there is an unlockable difficulty setting and I haven't collected all the cards yet (which will take a while). I just beat the game today and I've played for 30 hours and I haven't even played the Link Battle feature, which is where the 2 player part of the game comes in. Link Battle is unlocked early in the campaign mode. Since this game is turn based it's a great pick-up n' play game that will keep you busy when traveling. 9/10

Final Comments
Wow, I can't believe you actually took the time to read this far into the review. Btw, first PSP review, bitches. Anyhoo, this is probably the most fun I've ever had with a card game (other than my beloved Pokemon). It's got the same kind of bizarre story as the previous titles, and that can be either good or bad depending if you enjoy that sort of thing. I still can't believe they made a card game and it didn't suck.

Final Rating : 8.9/10




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