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Here's the first ever Tekken game to the Playstation2 and it comes with a new concept to the popular 3D fighting series. Enter Tekken Tag Tournament! The big draw here is you can now pick a parther after you select a character and when the fight starts you can have the option to tag in and out during a fight. This Tekken not only has vastly improved graphics and all new music but TTT also has most of the characters from Tekken 1, 2, and 3 are included in this exclusive PS2 fighting game.
Like in the critically acclaimed Tekken 3, the controls are ultra smooth and with a bit of practice you'll be flipping and flying like crazy. The game does seem a little slower because of the game's sharper looks especially compared to the quick 60 frames per second of Tekken 3 but you get use to it.
TTT is full of game modes like Arcade where you simply beat the game, see a real time ending (and one CG ending), a tradiational Vs. mode, old school one on one battles (but no endings here), a practice to learn the many counters, throws, and combos. Pair play modes actually welcomes 3 or 4 player fights but you still have to tag in and out to fight so you can forget about any brutal multiply player action like in Super Smash Bros. Namco was also kind enough to ditch that stupid Tekken Force game and throw in a cool Bowling game instead. Sure a bowling game may seem out of place in this tournament brawler but the game is a lot of fun and it sure beats dropping more cash for another title, eh?
Tekken has always been a fan favorite and this side game doesn't disappoint. The new tag in and out is kinda limited though because you can not do too many new special tag team moves, just more multi-hit combos, but it's still a fun fighting game that's a great show piece for the PS2's new graphic engine over the past Playstation games. Triple T is a safe, sure fire way for hot arcade action and some may actually prefer the larger amount of characters to the Tekken 4's limited cast?
Tekken Tag Tournament overall rating: 81/100
For 1 to 4 players
(Ryan Genno) 2007
If anybody considers themselves to an expert on games then they have to know about the Zelda series. So without farther delay here is the rarer N64 Zelda title with a all new strange theme to it: With the death of the N64 approaching at that time, Nintendo actually releases another Zelda sequel to the dying system. Nintendo didn't even release a second Zelda game for the Super Nintendo! How good can Majora's Mask be anyways, especially after the amazing Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time? Not too bad actually, not too bad at all.
First off you NEED a Expansion Pak to play Majora's Mask, so if you know you got one in the N64 Ram pak then you can play the game but if you don't have one then you can't play the game, simple as that. The story line continues three months after the original Ocarina of Time adventure so some things remind the same but it introduces new a 72 hours mode to the series ............. don't finish the game in that time and the whole world is destroyed. Talk about unique, eh?
Link (the hero) moves away from Hyrule and is wandering a strange forest but on his travels he is suddenly knocked out after his horse Epony is spooked by two sneaky fairies. When Link wakes up he watches a strange imp, named Skull kid, with a huge eerie mask on looking and digging through some of his stuff. After a brief fight the Masked kid escapes into a small cave and has Link enters the cave he falls into a odd pit and teleported into an altered universe. To make matters worse, Link is now transformed into an plant scrub creature by the evil masked Skull kid and the altered world he is now in is about to be destroyed by the incoming moon in the sky. Link must now figure out how to stop the moon from destroying the world in just three days before it's too late.
You start your adventure in a huge tower that's part of a four part town named Clock Town which is just under the freaky looking moon itself. You even see some people from the last game like the Chicken Lady (now the owner of a hotel) and the construction workers making their peasant felt in the parallel universe.
It's interesting to see the town people's reaction and worry has each day goes by and the moon looms ever so closer. There is a new gauge at the bottom-middle at the screen to measure just how time you have left and only certain objectives can be completed at the right time so you're going to need this new clock. Another new thing about this new Zelda is now there is no way to Save your game from the menu screen like in Ocarina of Time.
To save your game now you have to get back your stolen Ocarina from the Skull kid that was a gift from Princess Zelda, once you play the song of time you'll be taking back to day one and you'll a lot of your items (kind a annoying but that's the only way to save you progress). If you do manage to get the Ocarina back you now have the power to return back to your human form, Link can not only turn himself into a human later in the game but he can also turn himself into a Goron rock creature, a Zora, or even your old tree scrub form too thanks to different masks throughout the game. Each time you put on a special like these you'll see a cool transformation scene.
The graphics are very similar to the last Zelda game on N64 despite the 4 Meg Expansion Pak upgrade. The frame-rate still has its issues and the game can look very blurry at times. However, the game looks even more colourful than Ocarina of Time and the Clock Town is still quite highly detailed. The end boss has to be seen to be believe.
One of the most disappointing things about Zelda: Ocarina of Time was that there was no classic music from the original Zelda game but in Majora's Mask the theme music returns plus there is all new sound tracks too mixed in with classic ones as well. "I love the music in the Clock Tower itself!" The music and sound effects are both impressive in Majora's Mask.
Bottomline: Although the 72 hour thing can get a little annoying especially when you're deep inside a dungeon and you want to continue exploring but you're almost out of time, there is nothing quite like Majora's Mask and you have to take the good with the bad. Fortunately, the good definitely out weight the bad! It's a darker, sadder, and more stressful (but in a good way) game then the last one and it's another Legend of Zelda so you really can't go wrong here. "Majoras Mask is a smart purchase for anybody looking for a great adventure!"
*Rumble Pak compatible
*Battery back up game
*EXPANSION RAM PAK REQUIRED!
MAJORA'S MASK overall rating: 93/100
For 1 player only
Rated (E) for Everyone
(Ryan Genno) 2007
To be perfectly honest, I never liked THQ's Smackdown wrestling series. If anybody knows the StarSoldier well, I always preferred some of the older N64 games like WWF No Mercy and WCW/NWO Revenge to these games; in fact, it has been a darn good reason why I still have my old Nintendo 64 around the apartment. Sadly, the N64 is quite dead and wrestling fans need to move on, so here we have Smackdown 4: 'Shut your month' for the Playstation2. Smackdown 4 boosts a massive line up of characters, a larger one player game with real WWE story lines, and it even has better Create a Wrestler options. Can this Smackdown game change my mind on these video games or is it another year of the same old thing?
The fourth SmackDown game now features an impressive list of 60 plus wrestlers from both the Raw and Smackdown brands. This not only includes top guys at the time like the Rock, Triple H, Kurt Angle, Chris Jericho, the Undertaker, and others but this also has newer superstars like Brock Lesnar, Hollywood Hulk Hogan, Stacy Keibler, The Hurricane, and lots more (well, some of them were new back then). This roster is also fairly up to date unlike last year's pathetic 'Just bring it' which didn't even have any WCW or ECW wrestlers from the summer of 2001 (even though the game was release late in October of 2001). This game also has characters you wouldn't think to be in the active line up like Diamond Dallas Page (who was released by WWE in 2002), Scotty Too Hotty (out with a injury), Stone Cold Steve Austin (he was charged in mid 2002 for beating his wife Debra), Debra, Shawn Stasiak (that Planet Stasiak gimmick was pretty bad, eh?), and Rhyno (who was out for over a year but finally made his return on February 2003..... and then got fired).
The makers of this newer Smackdown not only wanted to improve the roster problems of 'Just bring it' but they also expanded the new story game as well, and believe me, its better! Remember when the WWF split up in two after the 2002 WrestleMania? When you start a new game here, you are a loud to go to either Raw or Smackdown and you can even select which 30 can go with you (or the computer can just pick all that stuff for you). After you're done with that mess, now the game real begins. Remember when Edge shaved Kurt Angle's head at the Judgement Day 2002 per per view or when Vince McMahon started a very special club after the alliance lost? Here is your chance to relive past wacky WWE episodes right here in the game! Some of the dialogue is not as intense as what you would see on TV but its still fun to visit old story lines just like it was in WWF No Mercy.
Moving on to the game's looks, Smackdown 4's graphics are sharper then ever before. The character models have an impressive array of facial features, excellent body types, and some realistic animation at times. The scary Brock Lesnar is one character that looks very real here and he even does that trademark mini hop before a match. Sadly, the super quick pace can work against just how real the game looks. For example; big men like the Big Show and Kevin Nash can be flopped around like a light weight, regardless who hits them.
Although I liked the game's graphics, the controls are another story. I don't like how you have to quickly press the grab button and the direction to do common moves like suplexs and takedowns. You also have to press two buttons at the same time to do key grab moves but it's too easy to do the wrong thing in the fury of the match. This awkward grappling system makes doing Irish whip and different holds more difficult then they need to be. The controls, like the graphics are decent enough but I still see room for improvement.
The Smackdown series has been well known for capturing the wrestler's real entrances and that includes most of their own theme songs. This game is no different as most of characters have their original sound tracks from TV. I was actually surprised that Ric Flair has his '2000' theme and Edge had his 'Never gonna stop!' track from Rob Zombie because I'm pretty sure the WWE has to pay royalties to their respective owners. Some characters we not so lucky, Stacy Keibler, Billy Kidman, and the Hardys (sorry all you M F'ers, there is no Mattitude music here) have different generic themes then what we usually hear. Smackdown Shut you month music selection is so big that many wrestlers have more than one music track, the funny thing is that Kurt Angle has two different versions of his 'Medal' theme: one plays his Olympic style music normally, the other plays his same music but now you can hear a loud crowd chant of 'You Suck!' ever so often. That's not only funny but it's also shows a great attention to detail. Too bad you can't use his TNA music though.
Unfortunately, the in game commentary is just as bad as ever, the only difference now is the play by play is done by Raw's Jim Ross and Jerry 'The King' Lawyer instead of the usual Smackdown announcers Michael Cole and Tazz (isn't this suppose to be a 'Smackdown' game?). The switch is really kind of pointless and the problems of dead air and ill timed sentences still remand. I will admit one thing though; the King had his funny moments. Yukes really needs to clean up the level of commentary and not just change who is behind the play by play.
Smackdown's Create a Wrestler feature is back and it is just as massive as ever. I love how you can edit any part of the body so it's possible to give your wrestler a skinny body and really fat arms, just for fun. The game even lets you edit a women's breast size with 3 different types, no lie. After you done creating your wrestler's body then you can give them there very own WWE entrance. Yuke's not only lets you select from 60+ videos and music but the makers of this game were even kind enough to give you a huge of 18 original sound tracks as well. All the tools are here so you can create almost anybody you could possibly want. Sure, there is already a huge selection wrestler already available, but I bet you are dying to make some other popular super stars that could not appear here like Rey Mysterio, Tommy Dreamer, Scott Steiner, and Nunzio. The game even has some per made characters that look oddly like Jamie Noble, Paul Heyman, and Christopher Lewinski. Be prepared to spend a lot of hours in this awesome Create a Wrestler, it so good that it puts WWF No Mercy's edit mode to shame.
So does this game satisfy the need for grappling action? Smackdown Shut your mouth certainly has a lot to offer Wrestling fans. Just look at the impressive list of WWE story lines, huge 60 something roster, and excellent selection of options in both the Create a wrestler and the various matches as well. With all these options this easily overwhelms other next generation Wrestling games at the time like WrestleMania X8 for the Game Cube and WWF Raw for the X box. Despite all this, the game engine still plays too clumsy like all the other Smackdown games before it so again Smackdown fails to be as tight or fun as WWF No Mercy. If the programmers can fix the character's animation and the improve the control set up option then the Smackdown series may have a chance to become the best Wrestling game ever made. As it stands right now, the game still tasted the same but it had a lot more topping, do you really want to put that in your mouth or should you just keep it shut?
WWE Smackdown SYM
overall rating: 71/100
For 1 to 4 players
Rated (T) for Teen
(Ryan Genno) 2007
This is the third game of the Metroid series but despite the lack of sequels (Super Smash Bros. doesn't count) to the games they still receive a good cult following and Super Metroid is still one of favourite Super Nintendo games out there and remember there are 700 games available for this system alone. Super Metroid is a awesome 24meg (the first ever 24meg game for SNES by the way) game that plays a lot the original Metroid on NES rather than the sequel Metroid II, but this action/adventure game has more weapons, more moves, and far better looks. Can the Metroids and humans get along or are we doomed to have these life sucking creatures leave a path of destruction? I don't know, but that's what the game is for.
After the events in Metroid II, Samus found a baby Metroid after destroying the queen from the Metroid home world. Instead of killing the Metroid, Samus gave the life sucking creature to the scientists at a space station to study their unusual behaviour. After Samus left the station it was attacked and nearly destroyed by her old enemy Ridley. You watch helplessly has giant dragon like Ridley then steals the baby Metroid back to Zebes. It's your mission to help bounty hunter Samus Aran hunt down the alien threat by destroying the 4 guardians plus the all new Mother Brain, and then capture back the baby Metriod from the dangerous planet Zebes.
Planet Zebes is also the same world of the original Metroid plus a lot of the terrain and aliens should be familiar to players of the popular original. Even some of the items from the first mission are in the same places as before, like the infamous morphing ball power up is at the same location just as she left it. Samus needs to gather all the items and power ups she can find because as she unlocks new areas of the giant map and as you get deeper into the planet, the enemies become more dangerous and the pitfalls are more deadly.
Everything isn't the quite the same as the old game though because there are several new features to point out in Super Metroid too. First there are loads of new locations in the on the planet like the old abandoned star ship, the living plant zones, and the underwater worlds, plus they are filled with new and lethal aliens, some friendly but most hostel. Fortunately for our brave action star here is that she has all new tricks and techniques up her sleeve like the ability to fire in 8 directions, run at super speeds, and even duck. You can even customize your controls any time you start up a game to find the set up that best suits any player. Zebes also has tons of power ups just laying around from a ancient bird-like race waiting for adventurers. Find a new power up like the Nova Bombs and you can now backtrack and open all the Yellow doors you couldn't open before. You can even find a electric grappling gun to swing across pits, just like in the classic game Bionic Commando. Samus can even find and upgrade her weapons to fire Ice, Plasma, and Lasers at the same time to dish out some major gun power, plus she can wear new suits to heighten her defense or protect you from hot areas too. This makes Super Metroid more RPG-like than the other previous games of the series.
The graphics have sure been vastly improved over the 1987 NES Metroid game but it should also be noted that this was made in 1994 so some people will not be impressed as others, especially with the all new 3D Metroid Primes for the Game Cube and Wii. Super Metroid now has some backgrounds instead of just plain black void as before but I still think that they are a little weak compared to more advance games SNES like the rendered backdrops of Donkey Kong Country released later that year. The characters are much more detailed than the background in my opinion. Samus's spacesuit has a really awesome glare to it and you have to see the new super Kraig boss (the first guardian you have to kill) that takes up 2 massive screens. You'll even find a dead bounty hunter by Kraig's lair ............. being eaten by the local bugs.
Some fans may be disappointed that there isn't too much classic sound tracks from the first and second games but wait till you hear the new stuff in Super Metroid. The heart pounding music kicks in just as something exciting is about to happen like when Samus finds a group of aliens that suddenly appear and surround her in the wasteland of the Mother Brain. Some stages like the Norfair caverns and the Final fortress don't have a lot of intensity in the background but at least they give the game a dark atmosphere that's perfect for the scenery. The music fits this alien hunting game really well no matter the situation. I also liked the opening speech that uses real voice and the many sound effects like the aliens screaming in pain after being shot were also fitting for the game. I want a CD of this stuff!
Super Metroid is a amazing action game with lots to see and do but sadly, it will end eventually and that as always been the biggest problem with the console video games is that there are no expansion packs like in those found for certain PC games. That's why people want a sequel so bad but what are fans going to do in the mean time, uh? "It's not fair because a game like Super Metroid deserves it............ are you listening Nintendo?!" This means the replay value is fairly weak after you found all the missiles and seen the endings. Another the problem I have with the game is the three different endings. I don't want to ruin too much but lets just say most of us already know that Samus is a women so why in the world is the endings the same as the NES game despite the cool new music, uh? I also miss the pointless, but still cool option of playing Samus in her swimsuit after you successfully found the complete ending. "You don't get nothing for finishing Super Metroid after the credits are finished!"
Anyways, Nintendo still did a excellent job with their Super Nintendo game here and I couldn't stop playing it until I did everything there is to do and see. The real fun of Super Metroid is discovering the many secrets hidden throughout the huge planet just by being merely curious, if something looks unusual than try everything to see if you can find something new like a secret item or a new passage way. The reason some people didn't think Metroid II was too good was because it was more linear than the first but don't worry cause Nintendo fixed the problem here. I recommend you play this game without a strategy guide to get the full sensation of the greatness of Super Metroid. This is has to be the late Nintendo Producer Gunpei Yokoi's crowning achievement, it has creepy graphics, excellent music, and easy to use controls. Heck, this game even has Japanese subtitles. If you liked games like CastleVania Symphony of the Night for Playstation then you'll going to like this too. "I only paid 20 bucks for mine, suckers!"
*Battery back up game hold three files
SUPER METROID overall rating: 94/100
For 1 player only
(Ryan Genno) 2007
OK, to be perfectly honest, I didn't like this 16-bit system here all that much at first mainly because it killed off my beloved TurboGrafx-16. I bought one off my cousin for only 10 bucks and I still didn't like it (maybe it was the games I had like Ballz and X-men). I thought it was only a matter of time before it would make a trip to Mr. Dumpster but then I managed to find that Phantasy Star 4 was for sale in a local movie store and it was then that I started playing this system non-stop for weeks. Because the system had some real solid titles and games like the Phantasy Star series rocked! Other games like Revenge of Shinobi and Sonic the Hedgehog for example helped to change my mind on the legendary Sega Mega Drive.
Sure, the high success of Mega Drive system was not only beating out other systems like the TurboGrafx in sales in the early 1990's but it's 16-bit power was also making Nintendo and their then popular but very aging 8-bit NES look bad. Just compare the graphics of certain 1989 Genesis games like Altered Beast and Golden Axe to other 1989 games on the NES like Dragon Warrior and Iron Sword. It was a huge difference! Since Nintendo was so late with their 16-bit technology, the MD was on the way to becoming something really big.
Sega didn't even back down when the all powerful Super Nintendo arrived on the scene in 1991. Sega knew that their Master System poster boy Alex Kidd just wouldn't cut it anymore and they knew they needed someone new to take on Nintendo's Mario head to head. Sega would then introduce Sonic the Hedgehog, a cocky blue hero who could run at incredible speeds to counter the new 16-bit Super Mario. Sonic the Hedgehog take on the new Super Mario World and the fight was pretty close with no clear winner but it wasn't till the next year when Sega released the popular sequel: Sonic the Hedgehog 2 in 1992 that's when the Mega Drive/Sega Genesis became the hottest selling 16-bit system. Nintendo would not have another true Super Mario World sequel till late of 1994 in a dumb move and it didn't help when Mario is Missing was poorly made too. Honestly, who liked that dismal game?
The MD was definitely a massive success but it did have its share of problems. One thing I really hated about this system is the overall sound. The sound chip just doesn't handle certain voices and sound effects too well in most of their games and some of the music can be subpar can be really annoying as well. If that wasn't enough the game's colours look very bland at times too (there could only be 64 colours at a time). The good definitely out way the bad though thanks in part to all those games out there (over a impressive 700 of them) and who could forget that powerful 16-bit CPU 68000 processor that destroyed the old NES back then in 1989.
The MD is great for sports and action fans a like and you can even upgrade the system with the Sega CD and 32X units if you like. Looking back now I can see why it just destroyed the TurboGrafx-16 and knocked Nintendo off the number 1 spot. Sega was able to produce a continuous flow of hits like Vectorman, Castle of Illusion, Gunstar Heroes, Mega Man the Wily Wars (a European exclusive by the way), Streets of Rage and many more during it's run on top while the competitor were lucky if they got a AAA title in one year. The MD is a very smart buy now because the system's massive popularity you can get most of all these great legends, cheap (for now). The Mega Drive is a great beginning for any game player!
Mega Drive overall rating: 88/100
(Ryan Genno) 2007
If a game like Grand Theft Auto can make millions of dollars then you can rest assure that there will be someone to cash in on a good thing, right? Midway is ready to answer the unoriginality call with the GTA clone called Road Kill; a crazy car combat game where you fight for survival in a post-apocalypse world. This isnt Midways first song and dance either because with help from Atari Games they were able make the famous Rush racing series which was one of best extreme racing games for the arcades during the late 90s. Can Midways magic strike again with Road Kills new edgy story and multi-player options here? Oh, hell no!
Although its hard to believe, there is actually some kind of story here in this simple and typical game. The world has been hit hard by a deadly virus called The Rot and everything is now in total chaos. There are no laws, no rules, and many street gangs are running wild. You play the role of generic survivor Mason Strong (Im serious, thats his name) who is looking for Paradise City, a place that wasnt affected by the massive plague here. If you want to find this city however, you have to do a lot of odd jobs first to earn your keep in this new lawless world. Instead of stealing vehicles at will, Mason already has his own truck with a build in gun mounted on the back which is not too different from a game like Twisted Metal.
If theres only one real thing that makes Road Kill so different then a Grand Theft Auto or a Mario Kart is what the extreme lengths the game goes too here. Instead of the usual TV friendly swear words like Dam, Fart, or Hell we hear all the time in shows like Heroes or 7th Heaven you get all the big four letter words like the F word, the other version of crap. This game even has the dreaded N word on the FUOK radio station. You know you have a bad game when you hear or see openly racist material in it (Kakuto Chojin or Clay Fighter 63 1/3 anyone?). Road Kill lacks of any sophistication, yet the all action based game is still really boring at the same time.
Not only does this game play like a 3D GTA, Road Kill even looks the same as well. A lot of the gritty urban environments are very interactive so you freely run over street signs and the human by-standers that get in the way. You can even drag your on-foot victims for several seconds if drive over them which is fun to see for a few times anyway and then quickly gets pointless. Unfortunately, the textures in the backgrounds are very bland especially since the PS2 is capable of so much more. Road Kill looks just like that: road kill.
This game also comes with a radio like a lot of video games do now of days (the game ripped off everything else so why stop here). Some stations even have a couple of morons just talking their miserable lives and it gets old real fast. There is nothing laugh out loud funny here at all, its just here to try and shock you and it doesnt even do that well because we already know the end of the world plot of the game. We dont need to hear somebodys dismal life story every 5 seconds here Midway.
Road Kill is obliviously targeted to the gamer who thinks Grand Theft Auto is too complex. You just kill, shoot and drive around here so you can forget pressing any steal button. Although the game has a fun multi-player that borrows a lot from other great car combat games, this is still no Halo killer. Hell, this game couldn't even kill Hello Kitty Roller Rescue! Overall Road Kill tries to be the next big thing in crime based video games but the end result was just disappointing. The story is dull, the game play is nothing new, and everything else like the graphics and sounds are second rate as well. If you have a car, place the game under your tires and run it over!
Road Kill overall rating: 30/100
For 1 to 4 players
Rated (M) for Mature
This review can also be found on:
(Ryan Genno) 2007
I remember that day well. After standing in my first 30 minute line up for a video game and 80 bucks later, I was finally able to get my Limited Edition copy of Halo 2. Was it worth it? You better believe it was! The special Limited Edition has a bonus DVD with some well done behind the scene information, developer stories, bonus art, and much more. The game originally comes in a cool looking silver coloured plastic case and not the standard green DVD one most Xbox games come in so be sure to look out for this if you buy it used. As for the game itself, if you are a fan of the first Halo you need to get part 2!
Halo 2 begins right after the events in last game. The Covenant alien race had just failed in their attempt to wipe out the human colonist thanks to the heroic efforts of the enhanced super soldier simply known as Master Chief. When the Master Chief and his crew return home to earth for a celebration, their worst fears are realized when the Covenant have discovered your home planet and are starting an aggressive invasion.
On the surface the game doesn't look or play too different but there are few new notable changes. One big new addition is you can now hold two small weapons (not guns like snipers or rockets) at once. You can now use this to not only get more power from the game's weaker weapons but you can also perform special combinations like you use a Needler to home in on enemies and a Plasma Rifle can be used for power. The bad news is you can't throw a grenade when you dual wield but you can easily go back to one gun at any time. The game also has many cool new weapons like Swords and Laser beam guns to play around with the other weapons like guns, snipers, and shotguns.
The game play is very similar to the first Halo because you lead a team of soldiers to take on the enemy. Because you can work in a team the game still has Co-op mode where you and a friend can play the Single player Campaign together. My friend and I tried the game's new mode and the first level quickly got us frustrated by the overly dark backgrounds (there is a Flash light option but it only lasts a few seconds so you have to keep turning it on) and I personally hated the fact that the game still has no map. Fortunately, the game's massive multi-player only maps quickly erased all the boring moments in Co-op.
The multi-player only games have almost an endless supply of options and features. You can compete in Team fights, Tags, Free for all, Capture the Flag, certain weapons and vehicles can be edited out or just leave them in, and much much more. You can do several custom made matches across 10 big and small sized maps (plus 9 more if you have the special expansion pak disc). Of course, if you have a Cable Link and Router then you can hook up 4 TV's and have a massive up to 16 player Halo LAN (Local Area Network) party like in last Halo but now you can even take the war online. For those that have the service you can always find someone to fight and all without having to leave your place (just be careful of all those racist 8 year old girls out there).
Sadly it looks like developers tried to push the game too hard the game feels a bit slower then the first Halo and there are a few texture and pop up issues so it doesn't quite measure up to the visuals in a game like Half Life 2 for the PC. Like the graphics the sounds are incredible. There are a lot of moments where there is no music at all but some cool background music will kick in when something important happens.
Since the only thing different between the standard and limited edition of the game is a DVD and fancy case, you shouldn't beat yourself if you can't get the other. Just get one and don't be a nerd. If for some reason you didn't like the first Halo game then this isn't going to change your mind. Both FPS games are still very similar in design, lots of action, great futurist graphics, and who can forget the vast variety of weapons and vehicles. Of course if you don't love that stuff then there is something wrong with you. Sure, shooting a bunch of alien invaders and traitors is still lots of fun and the added improvements like upgrades to the standard weapons and now destroyable vehicles (like lock-ons, speed boosts and more) were great.
*Xbox Live compatible
Halo 2 Limited Edition overall rating: 96/100
For 1 to 16 players
Rated (M) for Mature
Yup, it's true! This is the first 64-bit gaming system ever; the Atari Jaguar. This console promised a whole new world of better graphics, cutting edge sound, and faster speed for more intense game play to prove to the world that Atari is back and better then ever. Too bad it had just under a measely 60 games released for it and this thing is basically just a poor man's Super Nintendo and Mega Drive (both 16-bit systems by the way!) anyway. See why this Jaguar was put to sleep.
The Jaguar was first introduced in 1993 for decent $249.99 Canadian (compared that to the rival 3DO's $999.99 Canadian price) and it came packaged with the 3D game Cybermorph: a really bad Star Fox clone with boring free roaming stages and no background music. The future looked bright at first with games like Doom, Alien vs. Predator, Iron Soldier and more on the way, but Atari would quickly revert back to its old ways of totally screwing up a good thing (remember the Atari 5200).
I seen it several times before. Nothing kills a gaming system faster then a lot bad press and a lot of bad games. The Jag was constantly being slammed by critics for not being a true 64-bit system and who could blame them? After seeing some rather last gen games like Raiden and Trevor McFur that are still in 2D while the 3D ones look even worse with polygon duds like Club Drive, Fight for Life, and many more. The awesome game Tempest 2000 is really the only thing that kept dark grey oval system alive in its first year. Owners would go for months without a new game released especially during the start of 1994 and it didn't help matters when the hyped Rayman was delayed several times before it was finally released in June 1995 (Just when the Sony Playstation were making news). When Donkey Kong Country was released on November of 1994 for the Super Nintendo, most people forgot about the Jaguar and just how powerful Atari hyped it up to be.
Like Sega, Atari even had a poorly supported Jaguar CD that had a massive 790 Megs of memory (I think that's big anyway). Unfortunately this Jaguar add on only had around 10 games for it including a very poor remake of the Atari Lynx classic, Blue Lightning. The Atari Jaguar CD fits right on top of the Jaguar and it lets you play music CD's and Jaguar CD's. Comes complete with a Tempest 2000 Music CD, Vid Grid graphic imager, Blue Lightning CD, and a demo disc if you got it originally. There are only a few games for this beast so it definitely isn't worth it.If you look hard enough too you'll find homebrew releases for the Jaguar like Sky Hammer and Battle Sphere (expect to pay big bucks for them though).
Jaguar Controller: The giant Jag Controller may look cool but the thing is loaded with buttons and lots of them are absolutely unnecessary. You get three red action buttons and 12 key pad ones for different options plus a standard digital cross pad if you wanted to know. The thing was just way too bulky though and younger kids may have a tough time getting a grip this big grey brick.
Bottomline: The Jaguar is a good system for game collectors thanks to some rare games out there and some retro freaks who want to play the cool upgrades of Defender, Break Out, Tempest, and more, but you can find a lot of the great Jaguar on other, more popular systems so there is little reason to get this. Rule number 1: "Don't ever play with a Jaguar" whether it's a cat or this game system, you may get hurt.
Atari Jaguar overall rating: 35/100
It was only a matter of time but here is my review of the legendary first ever Halo! Sure, as I'm writing this, Halo 3 will finally be coming out in 2007 (after literally years of waiting) I thought it would be appropriate that we look back at why everybody's has jumped on the Halo bandwagon.
In the distance future there is a new war blewing between humans and a alien race called the Covenant. These aliens have launced a holy war and they have already destroyed many of Earth's space colonies. To make matters worse they just attacked your orbiting battlestation. With the remaining humans lives in serious danger and the humans secret information about the where a bouts of Earth in jeopardy, you really have your work cut out for you.
Just ask anybody who knows me, I was not the biggest fan of these First Person type games (yeah, I even didn't play Goldeneye or Half Life that much). I was really expecting some incredible things here from this popular First Person Shooter but after a few hour of playing in the Single player game I started to get bored with it. Maybe it was all walking through the nearly endless corridors and the overly huge environments plus the shooting the same enemies over and over wasn't too fun either. Maybe my expectations were just too high?
So what changed my mind about Halo? The game did get much better for me further into the game when you get into some very heated fights with some highly intelligent aliens. These aliens won't stand there and get shot at, they often like to attack in groups, they shoot and move at the same time, if there is cover they will use it, plus these guys have multiple guns like the homing Needler weapon and even vehicles to watch out for as well. Of course you can use all these tactics too. Because of the game's high artificial intelligent it really feels like you are part of a real war here. Halo also became more interesting when I learned more about the game's complex story line.
The single player is filled with great action but who could forget that this game comes with a very awesome multi-player mode as well. OK, most FPS games come with some form of multi-player mode but Halo's is one of the biggest I ever played. The multi-player has lots of cool modes like Team fights, Tags, Free for all, Capture the Flag, and many more. If you have a Cable Link and Router then why not hook up 4 TV's and have a massive up to 16 player (yes, I said 16 player!) Halo LAN (Local Area Network) party? Sure, all this sounds pretty expensive to set up multiple Televisions, Xboxes, and games but with so many Xbox owners already out there now I bet you are bound other gamers who are willing to help out, eh? You'll be glad you did!
As if all that wasn't enough Halo is also a graphical three dimensional powerhouse. This futurist universe is filled with tons of incredible large scale environments plus unlike other more dire FPS like Doom and Quake, the game's bright and colourful designs were a breath of fresh air. The game is still fairly violent though, don't get me wrong.
One of the best things about Halo here is that it really shows off the power of the Xbox. No, I just don't means how this game has graphics that wouldn't be possible on the PS2 and GameCube, I'm also talking about Halo uses the system's exclusive cable outlets to enhance the game play.
*Xbox Link compatible
Halo overall rating: 95/100
For 1 to 16 players
Rated (M) for Mature
The popular Super Nintendo, Sega CD, Wii and Arcade fighting game comes to the Gameboy Advance and Capcom did a good job porting their classic to a new generation of gamers; good but not great.
The game starts out with the new Mayor in his office and instead of sitting on his butt like every other Mayor does this guy promises big changes and his first thing on the agenda is to clean up the city. Mayor Hagger should know something about beating up on scum bags because he is a big 6.6 foot muscle head and a former Street Fighter champion (think Jesse Ventura or Arnold Schwarzenegger). Unfortunately, Madgear: the city's toughest gang isn't ready to give up yet and they have just kidnapped Hagger's daughter Jessica. Since your local police force sucks, Hagger must go to the streets himself to get some answers but at least his friends Cody and Guy are there to help out too.
Each fighter have their own style. Hagger is the big pro wrestler-type that may lack speed but his holds are lethal while Cody is weaker but is a bit faster plus he is good with knifes. Guy is the least powerful of the three but he has a lot of technical strikes and quick speed too.
The arcade game play still remains mostly intact; see bad guy, kick his a$$, move on. If you are surrounded by a large group of wacky thugs that range from common street punks to massive Ardre the Giant look-a-likes you can pick up all sorts of weapons and power ups anywhere in the game to help gain a edge. Smacking around these dirt bags in places like subways and dirty streets is actually kind of fun for the first few levels and the game even has some bonus scenes like where you would destroy a car (like in Street Fighter II), however by stage 3 the whole game gets way too repetitive (not too mention cheap) in a hurry and gamers will tire of this one quickly.
At least the game still looks pretty good. Final Fight One is just the arcade title with large and colourful characters plus the background art is very detailed. The animation is still pretty weak though and those scantily clad female cops from the Arcade game are still missing here as well. I guess Capcom wanted to censor this game so it would keep the 'E' rating but I still feel rip-offed. These graphics were definitely a step up from previous fighting games like Double Dragon but the GBA can still do better. Although the graphics weren't perfect, at least it was better then boring music here. The game's various sound effects like broken barrels and grunts help to capture the edgy feel of the fighting but just get that sound dial ready when that horrible soundtrack comes on so you can turn it off.
Capcom added some new secret bonuses and extra story text here to help spice up this old dog but the game play remains the same and if you didn't like it the first time around you won't like here either. Sure the game starts out fun when you're beating up street gangs but the big problem is it gets old. The game is not only filled with the same re-spawning enemies over and over again but it is also filled with bigger guys who can easily take away 50 to 70 percent of your health resulting in a lot of fast and cheap deaths. These GBA games also hold a lot more memory then those older 16-bit carts so Capcom could have easily added parts 2 and 3 to this cart as well but I think they are still mad at me for my last review. Overall the game isn't very balanced compared to other free roaming fighters and it will frustrate casual gamers in no time. If you can find it cheap and you liked the original then this is a decent pick up but if the thing is still 39.99 then forget it.
*Battery back up game
Final Fight overall rating: 61/100
For 1 to 2 players
Rated (E) for Everyone
It's always great when another Legend of Zelda game comes along but this new Zelda is one half of a two set series created by Capcom (from Mega Man, Side Arms, and Resident Evil fame) and not by Nintendo this time. This review is about The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons; a cool game that adds an environment changes to the mix (spring, summer, fall, and Winter of course). It's now Link's job to rescue a dancer (that also happens to be the Oracle of Seasons) named Din he just meet in a weird universe from the evil Onyx and help restore order to a world now in utter chaos. She's also hot looking too if that helps any?
The new seasons game play will affect where and where not you can not go in the game like during the Spring you can use certain flowers to bounce Link to higher platforms that wouldn't be there any other season and during the Winter season Link can cross over ice covered lakes if he wants to and much more. Some seasons can also block your path too by having trees in the way or something like that so there are some trade offs. As Link progresses in the game he can learn magic to help him control some of the seasons and unlock more of the map and therefore some more secrets too just like in any good Zelda adventure.
Much like in the last Gameboy Zelda (Link's Awakening) Link can equip certain items with the B and A buttons like Swords, Shields, Wands, and much more but Link can also wear a ring that can give him special powers, which is very cool but you can only have one ring at a time so you have to constantly trade off rings every so often and the same goes for the items too. I think the main problem is with the lack of buttons on the Gameboy (only 4 of course), so the game forces you switch to your inventory menu way too many times during game play which is bound to get some people very angry but hey it's still fun collecting them all.
The graphics are just like the Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening DX which is almost like the character designs from the Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (on the Super Nintendo) but with weaker animation. What stands out most about the game is the excellent use of colour in the opening cinemas and for the seasons changing so you'll always know what season it actually is (the game can only be played on the GameBoy Color and advance btw). Some hard-core Zelda fans should instantly recognize some of the enemies in the game like the dragon first boss.
Just like the graphics, much of the sounds and music is from the past Gameboy Zelda game (especially from Link's Awakening) but don't worries you'll still hear a lot of different new tracks as well, even some music from the N64 Zelda games. Don't expect anything too fancy though because this still on an 8-bit machine after all and if you saw some of older Gameboy reviews here, then you should I'm not a big fan of the Gameboy's audio.
If I had to choose between picking Oracle of Seasons or Oracle of Ages, I would pick Seasons because it's more action than puzzle and it's easier to get into while Ages is slightly more difficult and puzzle like. I also like that there is not too much pressure to get the other game (Legend of Zelda Oracle of Ages) because Oracle of Seasons is a great game on its own but if you want more after you finally complete the game than you may want to get the other game anyway because it's that good of a game (plus you also get a special password at the end) also but the choice is yours. With excellent use of puzzles, new items, and action this game has it all and it will keep you busy for a while. The Legend of Zelda Oracle of Seasons is a must for Gameboy Color owners who are sick of playing crap.
Legend of Zelda Oracle of Seasons overall rating: 86/100
For 1 player only
Rated (E) for Everyone
(Ryan Genno) 2007
Since the first Legend of Zelda had made its debut way back in 1987, the series set the standard for what a good adventure game should be. Sadly we don't see a new Zelda game as often as we would like, so when Nintendo releases a new one it had better be something really special. In a very controversial move, this Wind Waker Zelda features a very goofy looking young Link with tiny little legs and big eyes oppose to the more grown up style we seen before in the N64 Zeldas. The entire game now sports cartoon-like cel shaded 3D graphics plus there are also some new musical notes, and a great new water theme introduced to the mix. So is the new water based Zelda here any good or is it too childish in design? Here is my thoughts on Nintendo's new take on the Zelda series.
Many years have passed since Link from the Ocarina of Time defeated the evil Ganon in a epic battle and thanks to 6 sages of Hyrule, Ganondorf was sealed away in a alternate universe. Ganondorf has now finally escaped his sealed prison and he wants to get even with the descendants of both Link and Princess Zelda. The problem with Ganondorf's plan is that he is not quite sure who the descendants are so he's just kidnapping innocent girls with long ears in hopes of finding Zelda's heir.
Here is where you come in: you play the role of a young man living on a peaceful island with his family. This boy is now old enough to be dressed as the hero of time. Unfortunately, he is less than excited to be getting some funny looking green clothes for his birthday (would you wanna look like a elf?). So what is so special about these green clothes anyway? They are given to young men to symbolize the first legendary Link and they are used for finding another great hero just in case evil were to rise again. This island kid is a very unlikely hero but he doesn't have much choice as the story progresses. Things get more serious for the young boy when he sees a girl fall from the clutches of a giant bird and she lands in the local forest. Here is where a young man's long adventure begins to fight the forces of evil.
The new Link doesn't live in the same huge land of Hyrule anymore, this new mystical world as changed as the generations has passed. Now this land in covered mostly in large bodies of water (anybody remember the crappy movie WaterWorld?). You must now travel by sea to get to a another island that may have important items or clues on your journey and that's where your new boat comes in. Your boat actually has a mind of its own and he can give you hints on where your suppose to go on your quest. It sounds really cool at first but this wacky boat can also decide not to go anywhere until you finished your objective on a certain island. This makes the game a little linear in design and some may be annoyed by this. I don't remember this sort of thing happening on the first Legend of Zelda? Speaking about the other Zeldas, there was always some form of great power that Link would be able to process to help him on his way like being able to travel through time, controlling the seasons, and much more. In the Wind Waker the new Link can control how the wind flows by a magic wand. This can help you discover some secrets or this can help you rip across the sea.
Traveling by water can be chore in itself. First you need to see if your boat friend will let you sail to begin with after talking with him, then you need to set the direction of the wind if needed, and then you have to be sure that your Sail is equipped as well. You can use the X, Y, Z buttons for your Sail that can be bought early in the game so you better be sure to have that equipped too. Fortunately sailing by sea isn't all that bad because there are many tiny huts, shops, and hidden treasurers shattered all over the place. The brings us to the other various items you can find in the game's dungeons like the usual Boomerang, Grappling hook, Bombs, and other well known Zelda goodies. You can find some newer stuff that have never been seen before like different monster tokens that serve many purposes plus your magic wand can do more than control the wind here.
Nintendo even lets you use the Gameboy Advance to Game Cube link adapter here. Simply talk to the imprisoned 35 year old elf wanna be Tingle (who was first introduced in Majora's Mask) and if you free him then he'll give you a toy Gameboy Advance. You also need a Gameboy Advance for this option and if the transfer goes through you now get to see Tingle's exclusive menu on your GBA. Mister Tingle can drop you useful hints, give you power ups, and lots more but many of these services are not free so be prepared to folk over some rupees. This feature is completely optional since its not needed to complete the game but if you got the goods then this can be very useful tool.
If you already played the Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time then you will feel right at home here. Now the famous Z targeting system from the Nintendo 64 games (when you lock on to a object) is now known as the 'L' targeting system. You use this lock on effect to keep a direct eye on opponents or if you wish to speak to someone from a distance then you can do that too, other than the button change this feature still remains the same as the N64 games. Unlike the N64 games though, the C stick is used for the game's camera. This is a good feature if you like looking at your games from multi-perspectives and you can even see the game from the traditional overhead view like in original NES Zelda. Sadly the camera does act up a lot in the overhead view so some of the nostalgic is lost, this problem is very noticeable when your indoors so the camera system is far from perfect.
This Zelda is also packed with lots of bonus mini games and tons of side quests. One great example of these mini game is in one town. There is a shop owner who looks totally bored and he doesn't seen too happy to see Link when he arrives, but if you pay to play his game then he really gets into a deep story about pirates and monsters in a very strange metamorphosis. The game itself plays like the classic board game of Battleship (tm). Link can also get some help from a friendly birdgirl with the power to guide plus you can also use other parthers like Makar and even a Seagull to solve the many puzzles.
Ye Graphics! The Wind Waker's visuals may have a super cute look and all but that's not to say they are terrible or something. With the cartoonish feel, Nintendo gave a lot attention to the game's animation and wait till you see some of the spectacular characters here. I love the look of the giant warthogs you meet throughout the game, they have stylist tattoos or body paint on their arms and back plus you can see them smell around for meat that can help in the game's strategy. From a retro stand point I liked seeing the return of the bird race to the Zelda series. I remembered seeing these aggressive falcons before near the end in Zelda II on the NES and they were tough as nails. I especially liked seeing the wild designs here of the birds because the artwork here reminds me of Native artwork I personally use from time to time. The Artist at Nintendo really did there homework here and you have to respect that. If this cartoonish look feels familiar then maybe you will remember the other games. The whole Cel Shading effect was used in games like Dragon's Lair 3D, Robotech Battlecry, Dark Cloud 2, and Jet Grind Radio (that Dreamcast game was the first to use this look by the way). After a few minutes of playing you forget all about Link's new questionable look.
You can not only admire the game's clean graphics but you can also listen to some great sounds here too. The music you'll hear in this game is what you would hear from a pirate or sea voyager type movie. Very clever. There are several borrowed sound bites from previous Zeldas like when you enter a house or cabin you hear some familiar N64 music, slightly remixed of course. Like the N64 games you wouldn't hear too many musical scores in the dungeons so don't expect anything too groundbreaking. I was very disappointed in the lack of effort placed in the voices used here though. All you get here is the occasional Link scream and girl laughing stuff, just like in those old N64 games. It surprises me that since Nintendo did not use actors for the game because it really would have enhanced the whole cartoon look here like it did in Squaresoft's Kingdom Hearts for the Playstation2.
The only major problems I have with the new Zelda is that the game is just too big of a adventure at times. The game is so large in scale that it makes sailing across the waters can be a little boring at times because the seas are absolutely massive and what makes that even worse is that the water looks kind of plain on your long journeys. I think some transparencies effects would have helped greatly here. Another thing that bugged me was that the game had it's moments were it was just too easy. I was shocked to learn that I didn't die when a fell into a pool of lava or fell off a huge cliff. I only lost a mere faction of a heart in what should have been a instant death. The same goes for some vicious looking larger enemies that look like they should kick Links tiny little butt, not so has it may an enemy a good minute to do you in but Link can mash them away half the time easily. Sure that's great news for younger children but I never had the fear of dying and that limits some of the challenge factor in the Wind Waker.
The Wind Waker is another great edition to the long running Zelda legacy and the game is filled with all new bright and very colourful new graphics with lots of character. This game also drives you to play thanks in part to all the secrets waiting for curious players and the story can get very interesting as well as your sister gets in big trouble. Not only that but we also get some good music here and there plus this is another huge quest that takes a lot of commitment. With that being said, don't forget that this is a Zelda game so those crazy puzzles are rampart here and the Wind Waker is not a very good game for the casual player or wussies. All other players who like deep adventure games should buy this Zelda without hesitation.
Legend of Zelda The Wind Waker overall rating: 85/100
*Game Link compatible
For 1 player only but a second player can use the Gameboy Advance if they wish.
Rated (E) for Everyone
(Ryan Genno) 2007
Thanks to all the positive reviews this Playstation 3 game was getting (well, it kind of was the only one getting really good reviews anyway) and since Devil May Cry 4 didn't show up at launch I just had to make Resistance my first game for the powerful Blu-Ray console here. Is this first person shooter from the creators of the Ratchet and Clank franchise really that good though, let's see.
In this game you play in the era 1951 where World War II never occurred but that doesn't mean the you can rest easy. In story mode you play as American soldier named Nathan Hale who was stationed in Europe. He quickly discovers he's strangely immune to a huge virus that has nearly wiped half the earth's population. Because of this unique ability you are the last hope to save the world from a well organized race of creatures know as the Chimera. So are these strange mutants here aliens trying to conquer Earth or is this some man made disaster that got out of hand? You'll have to play through the 30 chapters to find out in single player or split screen co-op play.
Resistance plays just like your typical FPS like Halo or Quake where you try to survive in several ravaged war-like areas and all that junk but what separates this game from the pack is the wide range of cool weapons available. Although you still get the standard hand guns and rifles seen in millions of other shooters, there are also some odd stuff like bombs that actually create protective shields that may reflect enemy bullets back at them, guns that can shoot through walls, and tons more goodies that makes any NRA member jealous. Some of these guns can even be dual wielded here so there are lots of opportunities to go nuts.
Of course you're going to need all the Soldier and Chimera weapons you can get here because these suckers fight back. The human-like Chimera will not only use cover once their under attack but they like to charge at you in groups. These Chimera freaks also come in several different forms from tiny bugs that races across the ground to giant crabs so be prepared to have some weird stuff trying to kill you. The game even uses the PS3's motion sensitive controller feature if an enemy tries to grab you. Just shake the controller like crazy to get one of these Chimera a-holes off you before they rip you apart. It isn't much but helps to built some tension at least.
If you can't beat em you can always join em. In the game's huge multi-player you play as either the Chimera or Human and each side has their unique advantages and disadvantages for the intense gun fighting. You still get the standard deathmatch, capture the flag, and other ranking goodies to keep you playing and these battles can get very intense especially when you get the maximum 40 players at once going at it. Oh, the online service is free too unlike the Xbox stuff which is good because I'm pretty much bloke after getting the PS3.
Now that we spend all this cash on this bulky machine and our bruises are just starting to heal from all the fighting in the line up (the funny and sad thing about that is the PS3 seems to be pretty easy to get now), there better be some good visuals, eh? The graphics don't disappoint because almost everything is very detailed especially in the stunning background environments and another cool thing about the game is the action constantly fast and very intense as well with no signs of slow down. There are times when the certain characters don't look that impressive especially compared other shoot em ups like Gears of War but it still does a very good job overall. Another cool thing about the game is the full voice acting here and it isn't too cheesy or over emotional either like in most shooters. The background music kicks in when it needs to and realistic sound effect are also well done.
Other then a few cool weapons, up to 40 player online multi-player, and some fast action with PS3 visuals the game plays just like most first person shooters out there and that's really the only knock you can say against it. To be fair though it's still at the top of the heap in its category so if you love these games you'll be able to handle these smooth controls no problem. If you love shooters and you like blasting people online then Resistance: Fall of Man is definitely a must have for PS3 owners.
RESISTANCE: Fall of Man overall rating 90/100
For 1 to 40 players
Rated (M) for Mature
(Ryan Genno) 2007
Any gamer would tell that some of the best selling and best playing driving games on the original Sony Playstation were the famous Driver 1 & 2. Both games not only sported stylist 3D visuals with sexy cars in cool urban settings but the edgy crime based game play was very intense and even fun to play. Since there hasn't been a new one in a few years and the series would move to the more powerful Playstation2 now, a hot sequel like Driver 3 (or Driv3r, nice English morons!) sure has the potential to become the new king of the crime action game. So what the hell happened here?
In this Driver game you finally have a story to go along with the controversial car-jacking and cop killing this time around. Special FBI agent Tanner is trying to do whatever he can to put a stop to a huge international car smuggling ring. Tanner may be a 'good guy' but that doesn't mean he can be a real prick at the same time and to be successful in this game you have to get the job done by any means necessary. If the local cops are on your tail then you have lose them, if a pedestrian is in the way then just run them over. Simple as that.
Driv3r's main game is the Undercover mode; this is where you can to hunt down criminals by becoming one yourself as part of the story. It may sound like a lot of fun to run down scumbags in thrilling car chases but in this highly linear adventure all it only takes is a few seconds to lose your suspect or friends and then you're forced to start the process all over again. I even found that you can still lose someone even if they are still in clear view. This wouldn't be such a big problem for me normally but you don't have too many choices on vehicles when you go on these wild chases like you would in Grand Theft Auto. It also complicates things when the handling is so bad on many of the vehicles that it feels like you're braking at the slightest move. Although Driver vets will be able to breeze through this short game because they may be use to these awkward controls, casual players will be quickly frustrated by these tedious games of catch.
Driv3r also has missions where you have to hunt down crooks on foot as well. This could have been a great way to break away from repetitive car chases yet the producers even screwed these action scenes too. Not only is the Lock-on system quite spotty when using your guns but the enemy Artificial Intelligence is so stupid that it doesn't even matter if you aim is a bit off. All they do is just stand there and wait to be shot! The driving missions are way more fun then the foot ones and that's not a good thing when those are not too great to begin with.
At least the graphics fair better then the shallow game play. Reflections did an solid job with the big car crashes and who could forget that the producers faithfully re-created major cities Miami, Nice, and Istanbul here too. The detail in the buildings and the streets look especially impressive. If there are any problems with these outstanding graphics here it would have to be all the sudden appearances of buildings in the distance or as its better known as: 'pop up'. You usually don't see too much pop up on PS2 games these days because of the high power of the system but here it is and it even worse then the Xbox edition. Driv3r also has some great looking Computer Generated cinemas with some of the most realistic human characters and shadows I ever seen in a video game. The actual game still looks pretty bad when you have buildings magically appearing from no where but man, those cinemas are cool at least.
I would have liked if there was well produced dialogue in the cinemas because it can be hard to hear what everyone is saying half the time. That brings me to what this game has for sound. Some of the light rock music fits the game well enough but many of these tracks feel out of place during a big chase.
Driv3r has a lot to lure the public into buying it if you follow the hype. The game comes loaded with three huge real-life cities, the graphics look fairly decent at some angles, and the violent car and gun action is definitely here. The big question is since this game took over 3 years to develop then why are there only a mere 26 missions? It will only take a few days to go through a rather predictable story mode and once that's done; there isn't much reason to play it again either. Add to the fact the game's controls are far too sensitive so most players will be frustrated in no time plus the game is loaded with ugly graphical glitches as well. Just like the lame cars in the game, it isn't even worth stealing.
DRIV3R overall rating: 40/100
For 1 player only
Rated (M) for Mature
(Ryan Genno) 2007
Metroid Prime 2 marks the return of one of the best video games released in 2002 (Metroid Prime of course) and Nintendo is adding a bunch of new features to entice gamers to get all excited about this franchise yet again. Are the new improvements good enough to justify spending more money for another Metroid title or are you better off moving on with another game instead?
Like the first Metroid Prime this title is an amazing looking First Person Shooting where you are the super heroin Bounty Hunter Samus Aran. You have to shoot and scan your way through a new dangerous planet after you receive distress call. The big difference now is the planet you are investigating literally has a strange light and dark side to it. Much like in the other GameCube game Ikaruga certain weapons are better then others in some areas and it's up to you to use the right strategy at the right time but basically you are on yet another mission to destroy a few aliens and find power ups.
Samus starts off the game with many of the power ups from the past games like the Morphing ball, the grappling gun, varia suit, and more but don't too attached to them because like a lot of other Metroid games of the past she is going to lose it all after some trouble near the beginning........ again. Yes, that's the exact same thing that happened in the last game by the way! "Thanks for the cookie cutter story line Nintendo!" The fun thing about a good Metroid game is to find a new item or ability that helps unlock new areas and Metroid Prime 2 has that here too I guess.
If you are new to this series the First Person view sure takes some getting use to, thankfully these controls are fairly simple to learn. The basics to the controls is the Aiming (R button) of Samus's hand canon and the Lock on (L button) feature to focus on a object or enemy, once you learn those two buttons you'll be ready for action. Unfortunately Nintendo still won't let me edit my controls (upset the rather boring option to choose between inverted or normal controls) so you're stuck with them again.
Like before Samus still needs to open some areas with her scanner to activate key devices. The scanner was a great idea in the original game since it was a cool way to find secrets or important info but now it just feels way too time consuming since you are forced to stop what ever else you're doing just to open the scanner window. Maybe I wouldn't be so hard on the whole scanning thing if you could shoot as well but like Doom 3's stupid flashlight you'll be force to just one task at a time only. I wanna KILL STUFF in a shooter, I don't want to surf through my annoying inventory system so I can just look at crap!
This game also seems more geared towards the Metroid pro because this game is definitely on the hard side. When the action heats up it doesn't take long for Samus to get swarmed by several aliens at once and unless you mastered the original MP you're going to die a lot here. Although the difficulty can be a problem sometimes, what really bugged me all the constant backtracking and scanning objects which takes away some of the action. I know this is a Metroid trademark but it can get annoying. Also there were also times I wanted to save my game but I was trapped and had to continue playing even though I didn't want to.
Yes, unlike the original MP, this game now comes with a multi-player game like most FPS games out there but before you get too excited these new modes still have the limited controls of the single player. The kind of cheap 'Lock on' feature makes the hunting experience feel hollow and too easy especially compared to other popular First Person Shooting games like Half Life 2. Although the multi-player can still be fun, sadly most of us already know Nintendo doesn't even support any of the Online features of the Cube so you can forget any about that. The multi-player battle doesn't even support Locate Area Network play so you are all forced to play on just one screen. "I'm sorry, is this still 1997 here?!"
Moving on to a more positive note the graphics are still incredible as ever. The action is not only fast and intense (when you're not scanning though) but all the environments and characters are all very detailed with great use of light and shadow. Metroid Prime 2 is easily one of the best looking titles on the Cube. The background music won't be winning any awards but they fit the game here well and the lifelike sound effects are impressive as ever.
If you loved the first MP you'll also like this new one a lot too. It is still a long and compelling adventure/action title with excellent graphics, creepy sounds, and more brain teasing puzzles that will challenge any player but for all of the game's good point's, there are still a few nagging problems that just hold it back from being complete a five star game. Metroid Prime 2 may be a FPS but why aren't the analog controls similar to other popular games of this type like Goldeneye or Quake? The Cube controller has two analog sticks too you know, Nintendo. Don't get me wrong, the game is still very rewarding like the first MP was but it isn't a huge leap in design from the last one and even the new multi-player isn't too good. Add a generic story line to the mix and you have one halfassed sequel here that could have been a lot better.
METROID PRIME 2 overall rating 84/100
For 1 to 4 players
Rated (T) for Teen
(Ryan Genno) 2007