MEMBER PROFILE FOR Grizpin

Total Reviews: 5
Average Overall Score Given: 9.20000 / 10
Total Forum Posts: 7

Reviews
Shrek 2

Overall: A very good game for the younger players in your home. I wish they made more multiplayer games like this that my kids can enjoy together.

Gameplay: You play with a group of four characters in both the single player and multiplayer game mode. Each character has different abilities which you need to use while solving the puzzles of the game. It works well for a younger multiplayer game. It encourages teamwork and and allows all my children to play together without having to wait for thier turn.

Graphics: The visuals are sharp and colorful. They bring the movie characters to life and are animated well. There are some nice lighting effects, smoke, shadows, and special visual effects which occur during characters special moves. The camera works well to keep all of the players in view at one time. It can get tricky at some points if the characters don't stay together but overall it works well.

Audio: The sound works well to convey the special effects and character voices. The music is decent and fits the action on screen. I noticed some low audio spots on my surround system where some sounds would be louder than others.

Suggestions: Please make more multiplayer games like this for the younger gaming audience.

Overall Score: 8.0 / 10 V-Rally 3

Overall: First impressions for this title are very good. It has alot of depth, nice graphics, decent audio, and alot of fun gameplay. All together, a well rounded package. I have not played Colin McRae Rally so I can not compare it with that title. But from what I read about CMR, I wasn't looking to be tied to one team for my career mode game. I decided V-Rally would be worth a look, based on PS2 reviews. I'm glad I did.

Gameplay: V-Rally mode with multiple seasons is where the game stands out. You start racing in the 1.6L competition and after success in that area you work your way up to the 2.0L class. Multiple sponsors will offer you trials to qualify for thier teams. If you do well you will even get offers during the season to jump teams. Career stats are saved and you can access them at any time. You can resign with your previous team at the end of a season or pick up a new sponsor. There are 6 regions with 4 tracks each. The tracks are long and the ones I've raced on are very challenging. I can't wait to try them all out. The cars handle similar to any rally game with the standard power slides, jumps, and spin outs. There is a multiplayer mode for 4 players in which each player races seperately to beat the others time. I knocked off a half point for this since I would have enjoyed racing at least one friend side by side. Even though rally racing isn't setup like that it would still be fun. I play solo for the most part so it doesn't bother me too much.

Graphics: I won't say it's the Halo of racing but it does a fine job. The graphics look sharp and reflect the enviornment the tracks are set in. I.E. Africa looks like Africa. I saw some type of birds running across the road in Africa and a horse running along side a fence next to the road in England I believe. The game is also HDTV capable (wish I had one). The helicopter view during replay is nice. My favorite driving view in the game is from behind the wheel. The realism factor doubled when I pleasantly discovered this view. It can be very disorienting driving from this view, but !&%$@#* it's realistic. Dirt, rain and snow build up on your windshield and your wipers work to clear your view. Depending on time of day, the sun will play a factor in visibility. Damage occurs to your vehicle and you will lose bumpers, headlights and tail lights. I haven't lost a windshield yet but they have cracked on me (adding to the realism of having to see through a dirty windshield which is also cracked).

Audio: Your standard whining rally engines. They are distinct for each vehicle. Wether they sound like the real thing, I have no clue. The game doesn't have Dolby Digital but I believe it is in surround. I only have my left, center, and right channels connected but during a replay the car would fade left to right or vice versa. I can't specify any glaring defects or kudos. It gets the job done.

Suggestions: Keep up the good work. Perhaps a V-Rally game developed exclusively for Xbox next year.

Overall Score: 9.0 / 10 Dragon’s Lair 3D: Return to the Lair

Overall: The original feel of Dragons Lair is reborn in 3D. This game delivers the same heroic feelings of a 15 year old boy attempting to free the beautiful princess from the evil dragon. The same enchanted castle is now brought to life in epic proportions. If you liked the original or are a fan of a dungeon crawl full of puzzles and monsters then prepare for a grand adventure. With over 250 rooms to explore, it should keep you busy for a good month of average play time.

Gameplay: The controls are a bit awkward and take a slight learning curve. Once you become comfortable enough with them then you'll be swinging from ropes, grabbing ledges and cutting down baddies in no time. There are alot, and I mean ALOT of ingenius puzzles in this game. Some are simple, but be ready for the tougher ones that wait. They come in a mixture of swinging from ropes, chains, moving platforms, disappearing stairs, etc. All at the same time things such as fireballs and baddies are being sent your way. The score loses a bit for the weaker AI of enemies. They can still be a challenge though, especially when grouped up. If you want a good official review then check out IGNs' review.

Graphics: Beautiful cel shaded goodness. I have read that there are better cel shaded games on the market but this is still a relatively new graphic form. I can't really say there are better ones, but when I'm looking around the colorful detailed areas of this creepy castle, who cares? And it's suppossed to be better in HDTV.... wish I had one.

Audio: Orchestrated music and great sound effects. Perhaps Daphne didn't have to sound so high pitched. Some of the audio is drowned out by other bits and unless your volume is turned up you may not hear certain ones as clearly. I'm sure full surround set ups will benefit. Unfortunately my system is currently only set up with a left/right/center channel.

Suggestions: Excellent work. I hope to see a new and improved one in the future with smoother controls and smarter enemies. Thank you for the trip down memory lane :-)

Overall Score: 10.0 / 10 All-Star Baseball 2003

Overall: This game has all the extras you could hope for in a baseball game. When I waited for new ball games to come out over the years the one thing I used to hope for was a fantasy draft (Which is included here). The bar has now been raised with the addition of the expansion teams and thier own stadiums. Not to mention the teams name actually being announced in the broadcast booth. To add the icing, they were gracious enough to add the Cooperstown legends and classic staduims. How cool is that!? Unfortunately the game loses a mark for its presentation style. The broadcast quality is nice but at least give us the ability to playback our own replays. It is also frustrating when plays are interrupted by the auto replays. In one instance where the ball was thrown home from the outfield it hit the mound and bounced wildly behind the catcher. As the catcher scrambled for the LIVE ball the replay came on and ended the play. The one thing that bothers me the most is the lack of statistics available during in game play. When a runner gets on, or a not so well known player comes to bat, it's important to have access to speed, power, contact ratings as well as the ability to look at career numbers. At least put up current season numbers when the batters come to the plate.... all I see are the stats for the current days at bats. These are items that, to me as an armchair manager, are just inexcusable. Overall, nice game but slides about an inch short of homeplate to complete the score.

Gameplay: The gameplay is solid. There is a variety of pitches for each pitcher to select from. Since they have included a "guess pitch type and location" option, it is important to mix up the pitches. This will keep the computer on its toes trying to guess where you will come from next. The ability to ring up strikeouts is well represented. I remember games that would barely allow you get a few K's during the course of a game. Batting can be as simple or complex as you wish to make it. For casual players you can select an option that will allow you to time your swing. But if you like to place the ball where you want it then you will want to perfect your skill at hitting the ball with the batting cursor. In this mode you can actually raise, lower, and angle the cursor right or left. The use of this feature will increase your ability to successfully move runners into scoring postion or executing a hit and run. One thing that bothers me in batting is the lack of balls thrown by the pitcher. I like to work deep into counts to get the good pitch or sometimes even a walk. It's good the pitcher AI takes the "Go Get Em" attitude by throwing strikes, but not every pitch. There has to be some element of strategy to throw a batter off. However, the pitcher will throw more balls if a runner gets into scoring position or as he starts to lose control. The fielding is something I usually let the computer handle so I can not comment too much on this area. The plus side of the controls is that they have added a pre-throw feature which allows you to press a button to indicate a base to throw to even before you actually pick up the ball. This should allow for more seemless play making. This feature alone will make me start to practice my fielding.

Graphics: The players are all detailed smoothly. The 3d faces look sharp, but why is D.J. the only one that actually blinks when walking up to the plate? Maybe there are others but he's the only one Ive seen do it. The stadiums are nice looking during day or night games. The ball physics are accurate and will bounce around the corners if hit in the right spot. The addition of flags waving in the wind, planes flying over and (here's the big one) actual movement in the stands by the fans all give the feel of being at the ball game. The one thing I dont understand is why the players who aren't actually involved in a play stand in the same crouched position and rotate like they have poles up thier butts!?

Audio: The broadcast commentary is the most colorful I've heard in a baseball game. Even with some lines being repetitious there is enough variety to keep the announcer option enabled. The PA announcer can be heard announcing the players. The crowd will effectively cheer or jeer at the appropriate moment. BUT FOR THE LOVE OF BASEBALL.... WHERE'S THE UMPIRE???? The announcers don't always tell you what the last pitch was and you have to wait for the count to come up. Umpires just complete a ball game. Where's the thrill of ringing up a K if you can't here the STRIKE THREE YER OUTTA HERE call? And yes, there are organ tunes somewhere in the game. I haven't heard them with the short time Ive actually played the game. But in the demo mode, which I let run for an hour or so before playing, I heard organ tunes. I hope they didn't decide to leave them in the demo only.

Suggestions: This is a fine baseball game but still needs some tweaking. Please fine tune this game for next year. The stats are important to a sim fanatic. Also, the pitcher/batter confrontation is the meat of any baseball game. It should be as important to watch for a ball as it is to watch the cursor to line up the swing. Graphics and options are great additions to any new title. But without the actual foundation it ends up being a flatter than expected experience.

Overall Score: 9.0 / 10 Circus Maximus: Chariot Wars

Overall: An original idea that comes at you fast and furious. The game takes you on a non stop ride of brains and brawn. Not as much a fighter as it is a racer but blended together it makes one fun ride. There is some deep gameplay here as well. It will take some good gaming skillz to open all of the tracks and unlock all of the bonus items. I don't see this one being beat too quickly since you need to play on the advanced skill level if you want to unlock them all.

Gameplay: The racing aspect will have you gritting your teeth through some long, obstacle laden tracks. Misjudge a turn or side swipe an obstacle and your chariot leans on one wheel as you struggle to get it back on two. In the same breath you're hoping another rider is not close behind ready to lay down the smack or force you off the course. The actual fighting can be tactical. If your warriors health is low it's best to rely on your block to avoid further damage. If you get sandwiched between 2 chariots you have to fight your way clear. Using forceful persuasion, blocking and tactical driving to get clear is the only way to avoid becoming a roman skid mark. Keeping an eye on your warriors position during the race will clue you in to which side other chariots may be coming up on you. It's a battle to the finish line as the computer will not let up till the very end.

Graphics: The chariots, horses, and riders are all detailed nicely and animate smoothly. The action moves fast (60 fps with a speed boost) and fluidly. The lighting and particle effects are nicely implemented. The enviornments will give you the feel of wide open dirt roads to close quarter street fighting. The large sructures on the tracks look nice, conveying the sense that you are racing through those areas of that time. Smaller details have been left out of the trackside details but who will notice when you're fighting off a crazed Hun at 60MPH on one wheel?

Audio: From the chariot creaking as it sways back and forth, to the galloping horses and the pitch of battle, the sound does a nice job of completing the package. The stadium seemed a bit quiet but that was in training mode. Perhaps they will liven up when the tournament comes. The music is gothic and sets the mood nicely as it plays in the background. The taunts are fun to hear as the teams talk trash. Unfortunately they left in one taunt that seems more suited to a saturday night bar fight where one of the female characters threatens "I'm gonna kick your a$$".

Suggestions: Keep up with the originality in which this fun title was developed. I look forward to future titles with this much effort put into it. I'm sure it will only get better as development improves on this system.

Overall Score: 10.0 / 10

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