MEMBER PROFILE FOR mavrick1_98

Total Reviews: 16
Average Overall Score Given: 8.62500 / 10
Total Forum Posts: 0

Reviews
Dead or Alive 3

Overall: Playing the newly released Soul Caliber 2, reminded me of this Xbox gem which was the first fighting game I purchased on the Xbox, and still the best. DOA 3 has the right mix of gameplay modes (tag team, survival, vs., single player), jaw dropping graphics, very cool stages (with breakaway walls/windows, multi-tiered), and a great fighting engine. There's not a thing I'd change about this one, and DOA is my favorite fighting series - followed closely behind by Tekken and Soul Caliber.

Gameplay: A great fighter with loads of moves and combos for each fighter. Every character feels very unique, and they all match up very well. The stages are not only beautiful, but many are multi-tiered and have break away walls and windows revealing another environment to keep fighting in. Has a great tag battle mode with unique tag moves for the fighters.

Graphics: The full motion videos you unlock by beating the game in the single player mode are some of the best ever. The in game graphics are also perfect. This is a gorgeous game.

Audio: Great sound effects with the hitting/kicking. I like the voice acting, which as with all the DOA games is in Japanese.

Suggestions: Get to work on DOA4 and DOA Online

Overall Score: 10.0 / 10 Outlaw Volleyball

Overall: Outlaw Volleyball is one heck of a fun game in both the single player mode and as a party game with up to 4 people. I really got a kick out of the sense of humor and fun gameplay. It was very easy to pick up and play and was very challenging to try to beat all of the tourneys and unlock all of the characters and swimsuits (not an easy task).

Gameplay: You have a lot of control over the action on the volleyball court and there are a lot of play modes that make it a blast to play. If I had one complaint it would be that the computer AI seems too good at times, especially in the later tourneys.

Graphics: OV has a good look to it, and that's not just because of the half naked ladies (but that didn't hurt it either!). The scenery and characters look very good.

Audio: OV takes advantage of the Xbox by using the custom soundtrack feature, which was terrific. All the other sounds were also fine.

Suggestions: Great addictive game, hope to see more Outlaw games.

Overall Score: 10.0 / 10 Brute Force

Overall: Brute Force was touted as the next Halo for months before it's release. And while it was a fun game, it fell well shy of reaching it's lofty goal. It sure had potential, though. Had Brute Force included an engrossing story and had some more interesting and cohesive level design this would have been a must have game.

Gameplay: Brute Force is a squad based 3rd person shooter, in which you control 4 people (in most of the missions). Each has their own special unique ability and strengths and weaknesses. The controls handle just like Halo's, but it takes a few minutes to get used to that control scheme with a 3rd person game. It's really easy to switch between the characters and issue commands. Each character was unique and there are plenty of weapons which kept the game interesting. One of the big problems with the game was a lackluster story that you lose interest in pretty quick. The cut scenes that introduce each character were nicely done, but then your just left with boring cut scenes between missions that all look and sound the same. Another problem was the levels. There are only 6 worlds you visit, many of them you visit over and over again until your sick of them.

Graphics: Overall, BF looks good. My only complaint here would be the heroes and villans are very cookie-cutter in variety. Nothing special or intriguing.

Audio: I thought some of the weapon sounds were very weak. The voice acting was average. The music was good.

Suggestions: This game needed a strong story and cohesive level design. There's a lot of room for improvement if there is going to be a BF2, and I think it could be a great game if those problems are corrected.

Overall Score: 8.0 / 10 Soul Calibur 2

Overall: Soul Caliber 2 has a lot going for it. The first thing I noticed was the terrific graphics (and one of the best opening movies), which surprised me considering it was a game that was ported to all the consoles. Secondly, like the Dreamcast original, it has a terrific fighting engine. Thirdly, it has all the characters you'd expect, including the Xbox exclusive character, Spawn. And lastly, it has tons of unlockables (lots of weapons for each character, and a handful of playable characters). It's nearly perfect, but I did have a couple problems with it that kept it from being a 5 out of 5. Mainly, the ending movies (when beaten on arcade mode) are merely 2-3 pictures with words. I would have liked to see some FMV (like the terrific ones in DOA3). For example, if you clear it with Ivy, you'll get to see two pictures and the story will tell you after your victory you "wither away" all alone (yay! that sounds like fun!). Secondly, it does not appear that some characters are unlockable (such as lizardman), but yet you fight against them in weapons training mode. But, overall SC2 is one of the best fighters on the Xbox and is a lot of fun.

Gameplay: The fighting engine is one of the best. Great combos and special moves for each character. Every character has a weapon, and they make good use of them. Plus, you can earn/buy more weapons for each of the characters. It doesn't get much better in the gameplay department.

Graphics: This is one of the prettiest Xbox games (up there with the DOA games, Halo, Splinter Cell). The character models and arenas are very well done. Like I said earlier, the opening movie was very cool. I have a beef with the 720p HDTV setting as I have a widescreen TV, and when you play it in 720p it will show black bars on the side of the screen. I had to turn off the 720p feature on the Xbox to get it to play in full screen mode. But, that was a very minor complaint to an otherwise perfect looking game.

Audio: The background music was pretty standard fare, and not very noticeable. The rest of the sound effects are very good (hits, punches). You can set the voices to english or japanese which was a nice touch (I prefer the Japanese ones as the English is a little cheesy sounding).

Suggestions: FMV endings for the characters are a must! Correct the 720p HDTV to show in widescreen, not with the black bars on the side.

Overall Score: 9.0 / 10 Serious Sam

Overall: I really didn't know anything about Serious Sam before I bought it, and only got it because it was a cheap title (under $20) that sounded interesting. It was a wise investment, as I found Serious Sam to be a blast. There isn't much strategy involved except plow through the sea of bad guys that come at you in large waves. It takes me back to the "old school" FPS. What really surprised me was the length. It has 5 episodes that contain nearly 40 levels total. Each level takes anywhere from 30-40 minutes each (well over 20 hours of gameplay). It also features some replay attraction as there are several secrets hidden in each level. I only have one minor knock against Sam, and that was it did get a little repetitive in Episode 2 and 3 (pyramids and more pyramids). I got a little tired of the scenery. Then came Episode 5, which changed scenery several times (dungeons, cemetaries, lava caves, ice castles, weather effects: snow, rain, etc...). They should have spread that out a little over the other episodes. But, the game was never boring as there was always a steady stream of bad guys to shoot up. Also the game has a unique sense of humor. Sam has some funny comments ("it's so cold my nipples are as hard as erasers!" was one of my favorites). Bottom line is this is one heck of a game at $20, and probably the best bang for the buck that I have every seen.

Gameplay: Handles a lot like halo, using the two anolog sticks to move. The right trigger fires and left jumps. There is a great variety of weapon and each has a very unique feel and use. I personally liked using the cannon to "go bowling" and the minigun was a good one. The levels are straight forward, and it's never too confusing, with the exception of the boss at the end of Episode 2 (top of the pyramid) which was very hard to figure out how you were supposed to kill him. Other than that, it's all straightforward shooter.

Graphics: Visuals were decent. Again, some of it was repetitive, and there could have been more variety packed into Episodes 2 and 3, instead of saving everything for Episode 5. But, overall everything was good. Nothing that will make you pee your pants, but solid.

Audio: Great sounds! Sam's comments are hilarious (there could have used more, though). Playing on surround sound was great as I could hear where the screaming bad guys were coming from. Weapon sounds were very good, and the music was just right.

Suggestions: More variety (visually) in some of the levels.

Overall Score: 10.0 / 10 Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball

Overall: I absolutely love this game! It's very original and highly addictive. I must admit that it was very different than what I thought it was going to be (straight up Volleyball matches), but that is a good thing. It took me a few minutes to get used to it, but once I did I found myself playing an entire 14 day vacation in one sitting. It's a great mix of playing Volleyball, buying all sorts of cool things (swimsuits!), playing in the casino, lounging around, and more. I did have one minor complaint that their should be a four player mode. But, overall, DOAX is a really cool game wrapped in a fanstastic package.

Gameplay: I thoroughly enjoyed the Volleyball gameplay system. I thought it was very easy to learn, and was surprised at how deep it actually was after I logged a few hours of gameplay in. I think that anybody who does not like this game or calls it too simplistic, obviously did not play it for any length of time.

Graphics: Without a doubt the prettiest Xbox game to date (and that is saying something), and it's not just because of the ladies. The backgrounds are colorful and beautifully rendered. I truly wish I could live, or take a vacation, on Zack Island.

Audio: Great sounds. I love that the characters speak Japanese most of the time (except for the occassional "nice spike!"). I love the fact you can play your own soundtrack, and that you can have separate day time and night time soundtracks. I was not real fond of the default music, but since you can play your own, it is not a factor.

Suggestions: The game should have a four player mode. A tournement mode also would be cool, and perhaps if it kept statistics while on the island (overall win-loss stats). But, those are all minor complaints. Hope Tecmo makes another DOA game in the near future!

Overall Score: 10.0 / 10 The Thing

Overall: Usually I am very wary of games based on movies, but The Thing is slightly better than most. It has an original story from the movie (but, does incorporate the movie into the story here and there), and original characters. The game has original elements that you don't see in many games and the graphics are adequate. However, it is not without it's flaws. Mainly, some frustrating levels.

Gameplay: The original story is nice, and the trust/fear element is a nice inclusion. I liked the varied characters and baddies. I really did not like having to battle "bosses". It just didn't feel like a game that should have boss levels. It should have been more linear like Halo or Max Payne, where you battle your way to the end without coming up against a "boss". Also some of the boss AI was a joke. There is one where you can stand right under it and it won't hit you. Also some of the game gets way too hard. I consider myself to be a good gamer, but had a few spots where I had to play it over and over again to the point I got really upset with the game. Lastly, I could have done without a few of the "puzzle" solving moments.

Graphics: The graphics are good, and the environments do a good job at giving you a creepy or uneasy feel to it.

Audio: The voice acting is also good. The creepy noises and the occassional music is all very good.

Suggestions: If it weren't for the couple times that the game got unbearably hard, I would have really liked this one.

Overall Score: 7.0 / 10 BloodRayne

Overall: I wasn't expecting much when I popped this one into the 'box, but this game simply blew me out of the water. I was thoroughly impressed with BloodRayne, and enjoyed playing it immensely. I was surprised by how many unique nifty features were packed into one game. The slow down motion, heat sensor vision, the guns, the knives, the sucking blood, the "sniper" eye, the blood rage, etc... were all very cool features. Not to mention that BloodRayne herself if the sexiest character ever to be put into pixels.

Gameplay: The controls were simple to pick up, and it only takes about 15 minutes of playing to master. The sheer number of ways to slice, shoot, and suck your way through the bad guys keeps this game very interesting. The levels varied and some are definately more fun than others. I didn't care too much for the "pod" levels.

Graphics: This is the only slight downside of the game. It was slightly PS2-ish looking, and I really think it could have been slightly better. There is a lot of diverse settings, but I would have liked to see just a couple that were brighter and had more color. The cinematics were good, with one in particular that was extremely cool (near the middle of the game).

Audio: The voice acting was good, and the rest of the sounds were fine. The music was non-intrusive and fit the game.

Suggestions: Tell me there will be a BloodRayne 2 with even better graphics.

Overall Score: 10.0 / 10 Madden NFL 2003

Overall: This years Madden was really depressing for me. The gap between Madden and the Sega 2K series is getting wider, with 2K3 being far superior to Madden 2003. As a Madden fan for many years, I was hoping this years version would close the gap, but no such luck. Mainly the graphics and character modules are really falling behind. The game is not as crisp visually, and there is NO online play, a huge mistake by EA.

Gameplay: Madden is an adequate football game if you do not want to go online, and do not have access to the other games (2k3 and Fever). If you shut your eyes and deny other football games exist, you may actually like Madden.

Graphics: This is the lowest point of the game for me. The graphics just don't look as clean, and the players faces are downright bland. The replays just plain suck compared to other games. They obviously are trying to be slick (with the three split screen thing), but frequently they'll show a replay for a 10 yard boring run, but not a 30 yard TD catch. Why is that?

Audio: The addition of Al Michaels is nice, and he is far better than Pat Summerall was in the previous years. It does sound like Monday Night Football. On the down side, it sounded like they just recycled many of Madden's comments from the previous years. Time for some new material.

Suggestions: It's not too late to turn this thing around. Here's hoping EA puts an effort into 2004. JUMP ON THE ONLINE WAGON!!! Work on better visuals, and player's faces.

Overall Score: 5.0 / 10 The Simpsons Road Rage

Overall: This game has been compared to Crazi Taxi, but I found it to be far superior. Simpson's Road Rage has about 16 more characters, 16 more vehicles, and 4 more levels then your average Crazy Taxi game. It also is hilarious. I thoroughly enjoyed driving around the Simpson's world.

Gameplay: The gameplay is simple, but effective. Essentially, if you like the Simpsons, you will love this game. All the favorite characters are there, and the Simpsons world is perfectly captured. The levels are huge and packed with several secret areas and shortcuts.

Graphics: The fully rendered Simpsons world is great. The characters look terrific. This game had very competent graphics.

Audio: The game uses the voice talent from the TV show, which is a real plus. The comments can wear thin after repeated playings with the same driver, but if you change drivers (there are 20) you hear all new interactions and comments.

Suggestions: A few minor issues I have, is that on one level it is easy to get stuck down dead ends without warning (the power plant level) and is harder than it should be. The other is not being able to skip the Mr Burns cinematic after the conclusion of each game.

Overall Score: 10.0 / 10 Fuzion Frenzy

Overall: As party games go, this is one of the funnest. FF is a tough game to rate, because it is so good when you have 4 players, but it bites as a single player game. For purposes of this review, I'm rating it with the perspective of multi-player as that is the games main intention. So, if you have 3 friends, then by all means get this game. Especially considering it is a cheap title (I got mine for $20 at BB)

Gameplay: There are about 50 mini games that make up FF. Most are a blast (I like Sumo, Rhythm, and Victim the best). There is the occassional stinker (I don't like the tanks or some of the other "military" games). The controls are very easy, and the game is simple for beginners. This is truly one of the best party games ever. It's a blast to get your friends together and play.

Graphics: The graphics are what you would expect from a game like this, and work perfectly. If you are expecting it to look like DOA3, Halo, or Splinter Cell then you'll be disappointed.

Audio: Contrary to what some others have said, I like the hyped up announcer, and enjoy screaming "Fuzion Frenzyyyyy" with him. I really, really hate a few of the characters voices. Dub ("Your baseline needs tind Zack are the most annoying. The rest of the sound effects are good, and it gets bonus points for being able to play your own soundtracks.

Suggestions: A few more characters would be nice. Do away with the tank and other "military" games.

Overall Score: 9.0 / 10 Max Payne

Overall: Max Payne is a solid game, and chances are you won't be disappointed if you buy or rent this game. Overall, it was amusing entertainment and the story compelled me enough to make it through the game. I never completely fell in love with it, though.

Gameplay: As shooters go, this one has an above average story line. The controls are ok, and the bullet time is a nifty feature. I did have a few issues with the game. Primarily the scenes in which you have to walk the narrow lines (the dream sequences) and do platform style jumps to the next line. That type of thing does not belong in this game! The actual gamplay is pretty average. If it weren't for the good story and the addition of bullet time, this would be a yawner.

Graphics: Visually the game has diverse settings and is competent in painting the mood to go with the story. On the other hand, you won't see anything that knocks your socks off.

Audio: Voice acting is decent. The sounds of the guns, and backgrounds are good. Overall, the sound was a great part of the game.

Suggestions: Please do away with "walking the line" levels, and no platform style jumping if a sequel is made.

Overall Score: 8.0 / 10 NFL 2K3

Overall: This one has converted me from the Madden franchise, and is clearly the best football game, not only for the year, but the best ever to date. I've been playing Madden since I first bought a Sega Genesis back in the late 80's, and even this year I purchased both Madden 2003 and NFL2K3. While both are ample football games, 2K3 is clearly the superior game, and now my copy of Madden just collects dust.

Gameplay: The gameplay is where the real difference between Madden and 2K3 lie. 2K3 has a much better feel and look to it.

Graphics: 2K3 is a beautiful game graphically, the replays are perfect and make you feel like you are watching a real game on TV.

Audio: The announcers are not "stars" like Madden, but they obviously spent more time in the recording studio as you rarely hear the same thing twice. The commentary is accurate, and always dead-on.

Suggestions: Though 2K3 is near perfect, I still think there are a few things that need improvement. Once you start a franchise, you can not create a new player or alter the play book. Two things that I like better in Madden is the instant replay system and being able to "quiet" the crowd. Not sure why 2K3 doesn't use these?

Overall Score: 10.0 / 10 Whacked!

Overall: Whacked is one of those games that was probably more fun for me than it should have been. I don't have Xbox Live (no broadband internet :( ). So, I primarily played the single player gameshow mode and multi-player on split screen. I found the diverse gameplay (dodgeball, frag fest, king of the hill, chicken, etc...), numerous stages and weapons, unique characters, and the sense of humor to be a blast.

Gameplay: Gameplay is very simple to learn, and there is enough new weapons, characters, and stages to unlock to keep it feeling fresh. It is a simple game that is really fun. Some of the characters are very funny. I particullarly liked Toof, Lucy (why won't those darn bars fall of???), and Charity.

Graphics: The game play visuals are pretty good, but nothing that will knock you out of your seat. The cinematics, on the other, hand are top notch and very funny.

Audio: My only beef with the game is in the sound department. The basic sound effects and voices are decent, but I really think that this is the type of game that should have allowed for you to use your own soundtrack. The music playing on the stages is pretty ho-hum as it is.

Suggestions: A few more commercial cinematics would have been nice, as they get a little old after you are playing the single player game with the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc.. characters. Let us use our custom soundtracks!!!

Overall Score: 10.0 / 10 Loons: The Fight For Fame

Overall: I have more enjoyable root canals then playing this game. I love the old Looney Tunes cartoons, so I ran out and plunked down $50 for this game. Well, I might as well stuck it in my 16 bit Nintendo system, as that's about the quality of it.

Gameplay: It's a unique sounding game. Take contol of 1 of 4 characters and take orders from Yosemiti Sam and compete for fame on different stages. The problem is the stages are small, and after you play them once, you've seen it all. As some of the previous reviewers said, there are numerous glitches in the gameplay (getting stuck in walls or on objects). This makes the game boring, repetitive, and frustrating at the same time. With only four characters, it's also not very deep.

Graphics: Very basic graphics on par with the PS2, nothing impressive on the Xbox. Heck, this game wouldn't lose much if it were ported to the PS1.

Audio: Sounds are basic and very average. Nothing of note one way or another. Music and sound effects are not bad, but don't stand out.

Suggestions: Do a little more testing on the games. More characters, bigger stages with more to do.

Overall Score: 2.0 / 10 MLB Slugfest 2003

Overall: I bought this game on a whim as it was only $19.99 at Sam's Club, and I was happy I did. The game is highly entertaining (often fall on the floor funny) and has excellent gameplay and graphics. Some may not like the fact that it isn't too deep (no trading, player create, pretty light on stats, etc...), but that's not what this game is about. If you are looking for a baseball sim, or one that is true to the game, steer clear of this one. However, if you want a highly entertaining, hilarious game that doesn't take baseball too seriously, this is a game for you.

Gameplay: The hitter and pitching controls are simple, but not too simplistic. The game plays very well and has a nice feel to it. It's very simple for beginners, but it also has more in depth controls that advanced users can utilize (baserunning in particular).

Graphics: The graphics were excellent. The animations were smooth and often hilarious (I love the batter reactions, and reactions of the infielders when a home run is hit, or a batter beats the crap out of a pitcher). The stadiums look very good.

Audio: This is what put the game over the top for me. The announcing is the funniest and most in depth of any sports game. I really did not expect that from a Midway/NFL Blitz-ish title. Words can't do it justice, you really have to hear it. The rest of the sounds are very good.

Suggestions: The menu option aren't the easiest to navigate (stats are particullarly hard to cycle through). And, even though it's not a baseball sim, it would be nice to have a more complete roster (only 2 starting pitchers on each team). But, the good far outweighs any bad in this game.

Overall Score: 10.0 / 10

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