STAFF REVIEW of Wreckless: The Yakuza Mission (Xbox)

Thursday, February 7, 2002.
by maneatingcow

Wreckless: The Yakuza Mission Box art  Wreckless is being compared to GTA3 everywhere, so let me start off by doing the same. GTA3 without the ability to roam around out side of your vehicle, and without weapons, and with some pretty odd missions = Wreckless. Does this make the game poor? Not in the least.

 The controls are simple enough, with R or A accelerating, L or X breaking, B button for Reverse/Side Brake, and Y button for actions (Like operating an elevator?. Why can?t you order some fast food with the button? That would have been killer :) )

 The controls are simple enough to get used to quickly, and myself not being a racing game fan, love the controls. The power slide (Performed by hitting the gas and brake at the same time) is excellent help for the many quick turns you need in some of the racing missions.

 Wreckless is an excellent demolition racer. It may seem like the only objective in the game is to smash things, but there is much more to it than that.

 Wreckless has mission that range from the simple seek and destroy, racing laps, and an intricate tag game. The missions range in difficulty, with there being no real pattern to the difficulties. The first mission in both A and B scenarios are very normal in difficulty, but as you get farther into the missions, some get so nerve wrenchingly difficult, you will be building up more road rage than you would in the real streets. Anyone that has played Wreckless knows how hard the A3 and A4 missions are, and If you get Wreckless, you will learn to hate these missions as well.

 Although the missions are cool, there are not too many to go around. A good 40+ missions would have made this game sweet, but the mediocre amount of 20 makes it come up a bit shallow.

 The replay feature adds a lot to the game. If you want to check out your last run, simply go to the replay menu and hit play. From here you can hit Up on the D-Pad to adjust the camera angle (Between normal, windshield, and Photoshop mode). The right joystick can be used the same way it is used in mission mode, to change the view manually. It is very cool to use the ?Photoshop? mode to view the action. It makes it seem as if the action is part of a movie. If you like a Replay so much and can?t part with it, you can save it to the Xbox HD, and don?t worry, you can save lots :D

 Although it has some high points, Wreckless has it?s down falls, but they sure don?t fall in the graphics category.

 If there is one thing this game shines in, it?s graphics. Wreckless has some of the most beautiful scenery and objects, much better than anything I have seen before. The characters are not as detailed as the scenery, but you only really see them up close in the high-res real-time cut scenes.

 The scenery itself is great, with many different objects that can be smashed to little pieces, some in brilliant displays of colorful sparks. The buildings are excellent looking, many with breakable glass or stone pillars surrounding them. It?s cool when you do a power slide and go a bit too far, and crash into a pillar, and then you watch it tumble down before you.

 The Replays have some of the coolest graphics. Camera angles and effects that make it seem like the action is being watched on a Infrared screen, a security camera, or even the shaky hand of your local city?s camera man during a high speed chase, it is one of the coolest aspects of Wreckless.

 If you bought DOA3 for the eye candy, and to show to your PS2/GCN loving friends, this is one game you may want to have on the shelf when they come over.

 If you are looking for a game to show off your killer stereo with some kicking driving tunes, you may be dissapointed.

 Well, here is one of the pit falls for Wreckless. It has the action, it has the graphics, but frankly, the sound blows.

 Wreckless has some good music, but a lot of it is just sounds too much alike. Bizarre music created by the Soyuz Project, who makes some interesting electronic music, but it just doesn?t fit. The other artist featured on the album is BT, who you may remember from such movies as Go, Driven, and The Fast and The Furious. With these kinds of car soundtracks on his résumé, I expected more from him. The tracks are overcome by all of the destructive sounds in each level, and this may be a reason for my personal distaste of the music. If you want to hear the tunes, be sure you crank the sfx down and the audio up in the pause menu.

 The sound effects are great, you can hear all of the metal crunching and tire screeching sounds. The pedestrians do make noise, but the game lacks normal road noises, like honking horns, or noises of construction. The lack of these sounds makes the city seem more artificial.

 The vocals are ok, nothing to scream about, but there is not much dialogue in the game.

Seeing as how Bunkasha usually deals in more ?dirty? things (No joke? they are a Japanese Pornography company, but none of that is in the game? sickos :P ) I will cut them some slack. But, there are many things to cry about in Wreckless. Number 1 is no multiplayer support. A racing game without multiplayer is like wearing sneakers without socks? just not natural. It would give this game a perfect 5 in game play if it had multiplayer. Tied for second would be custom soundtracks and more missions. Both would have added a load more to the game, and given Wreckless an almost perfect score.

Overall: 8.0 / 10
Gameplay: 8.0 / 10
Visuals: 10.0 / 10
Sound: 7.0 / 10


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