Average Overall Score Given: 7.31667 / 10
Total Forum Posts: 692
Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy
Overall Score: 8.4 / 10 Road Kill
Midway and Terminal Reality have taken the elements from the ever popular Grand Theft Auto and Twisted Metal and smeared them together with a big helping of Road Warrior. They produced what they call Roadkill, a game where a strange plague called Rot, raged over mother Earth, causing anarchy to rain all over, leaving different clans to battle against one another. Now you take the role of Mason Strong a mercenary who goes Hell County to take revenge on the person who betrayed him. To help in this mission, you will be able to take the wheel and unleash hell in many vehicles with weapons ranging from, guided missiles, machine-guns, and grenade launchers. Sounds like fun!
Overall Score: 8.0 / 10 Dynasty Warriors 4
The characters themselves look great, with their well detailed armor and facial expressions, the graphics team did great job on that. But one problem I saw at times is that the terrain could be pretty bland and repetitive, but who is looking at the terrain when all you can see a horde of guys coming your way to kick your ass. The character animations were really fluid, but at times when you would have a large number of soldiers on the screen at one time, you would see some slowdown.
Suggestions: You guys made a great game. Two things I can think off hand to change is the music. First, either go all Oriental or all Rock, not put them together. Second fix the AI, sometimes in the heat of battle they just stand there toe to toe with the enemy and do nothing.
Overall Score: 8.4 / 10 Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Melee
The audio in Godzilla:DAMM is what probably would expect from a fighting game like this. Your typical crashing and tumbling of buildings, kicking and punching noises. The best part was, the monsters make their signature noises, which I thought was right on the money. The game's music stuck with the theme of all the Godzilla movies, but was drowned out by all the other noises created while fighting.
Overall Score: 6.0 / 10 Black Stone: Magic & Steel
Suggestions: Well you made a better Guantlet for us Xbox owners, thanks so much. :) Just fix the problem with monsters having the ability to shoot though walls and maybe work on some new background music.
Overall Score: 7.0 / 10 NBA Starting Five
The sound in this game is a toss up. The fans in the stands sound great reacting to what is happening on the court like a real audience should. There are also the typical sounds of a basket ball game such as, squeaks of sneakers, bouncing of balls or my favorite, brick shots. The toss up comes into play with the announcers. Sometimes there's absolutely no commentary, just silence for several minutes. Then just when you think the announcers went to the snack bar for a beer, Al Albert, (one of the announcers) jumps on his mic to give a quick blurb of info. The soundtrack to Starting Five has a hip hop feel to it, which seems to be necessary now a days for any basketball game that comes out for the Xbox.
Suggestions: Konami please stay away from the sports titles right now. Instead of giving all your good games like Contra to the PS2 first, why not make an Xbox version and see how the Xbox gamers react to that instead of sports titles. All I want is for Konami to bring back the good ole days with some UP, UP, DOWN, DOWN, LEFT, RIGHT, LEFT, RIGHT. B, A, START action.
Overall Score: 4.0 / 10 Pac-Man World 2
Namco has brought their yellow little mascot, Pac Man to the Xbox for his latest adventure Pac Man World 2. This time those mischief ghosts have stolen all of the golden fruit from a very special tree. Unknowing that by plucking all the fruit from the tree, would unlock a prison cell which contained Spooky, a very evil and powerful ghost that was trapped there for many years. Now with the help of the ghost that released him, Spooky has the capability to cause havoc on Pac-Land and Pac-Man is their only hope.
The straight forward platforming gameplay and the excellent job the developers did on making Pac-Man look and feel well...like Pac-man, truly made Pac-Man World 2 a treat to play. There were times were there was a slight camera problem, which could make you pull your hair out due to frustrating platform jumping and the dreaded loading of the level every time you died were the only drawbacks to the title. Die hard fans of Pac-Man will really get a kick out of playing Pac-Man World 2, but for those few picky platformer gamers out there who are looking for a real challenge ( you know who you are) you might want to rent it first. But for the young gamers out there, Pac-Man World 2 is a good title to get you rolling down the path of action platforming.
The visuals in this game were just right and since I'm a child of the 80's and grew up watching Pac-Man on Saturday morning. The developers did a great job on making the environments look like that Saturday morning cartoon all bright, colorful clean and crisp. Also, by paying close attention to details, making everything have a round and smooth look to it, which truly made you feel you were in Pac-Land.
Sound too was right on the money, using old classic sounds from the arcade. Such as the chomping of Pac-dots and the chomping of ghosts. Which when mad and disgusted could get on your nerves just a bit, but hey that's what the volume on your remote is for. They even have some of the old music scores and some new remixed versions from the arcade.
Suggestions: Just work on that camera and loading problem and your next title for our dear friend Pac-Man will be flawless.
Overall Score: 8.0 / 10 Gunmetal
In Majesco's and Rage Software' latest title for the Xbox, Gunmetal, the great battle on Earth has ended and now us humans need a new place to crash for a few more thousand years. So with the technology to stabilize wormholes in space we found a planet similar to Earth called Helios. All is swell in hopes of rebuilding man kind, until that very same wormhole that help save the people of Earth opened up and unleashed what seemed to be an endless armada of ships bent on destroying everyone and everything in site. So now our last hope is an experimental project, codename Gun Metal, which stands in at 30 ft, has an arsenal of devastating power and has one last ace in the hole, the ability to transform into a fighter jet. With all that at your disposal, the human might just have shot.
Before I go on about my opinions of this game, I'll save some of you guys a few minutes of your life and tell you. If you are a Mech junkie and in need for a fix, you don't need to read any more. Just stop right here and do something more enjoyable, like make your own Mech out of Leggos, because this game is not for you.
The gameplay, while not mind blowing, but very difficult, had some kind of hold onto me. I found it hard to put the controller down in hopes that I may exceed to the next level, but sad to say that feeling slowly faded away. As you start playing there are no cut scenes to help get your game face on. Instead objectives are pointed out over a small 3D map by a commanding officer, who then sends you on your way into some missions that lacked some originality. On almost all the missions it seemed you were ordered to protect a city from being destroyed or some kind of convoy from the same fate.
You know the really sad thing about the story line for this game, is the fact it has none. The only way I found out why this Mech was called into combat, was to read the manual and what gamer wants to do that. I know not this one; I like to jump right into a game, because now a days, games have tutorials and some kind of story line to help you out, but nooooo not Gunmetal.
The controls for Gun Metal weren't that bad, I've read in other reviews that some people had a hard time to the configuration of the controller. I didn't seem to have that problem. The left trigger is used for your missiles and while the right controls the primary weapon, the A button is for cycling through weapons, the B is for turning on and off your auto-aiming, the X is jump, and the Y is for transform. While the control configuration was nice, controlling the Mech, that was in a league all by it's self. I felt while playing as the Mech, I was slow, hard to control and almost clumsy, but as soon as I transformed my feelings were the exact opposite.
Something that Gunmetal has plenty of and that is weapons. There are a total of 24 different types of weapons you can have at your disposal but you start the game with a hand full. So you have to play to unlock the rest of your arsenal, but everybody knows that, heck that's video gaming 101. To help you shoot, your Mech is equipped with an auto aiming system that comes in handy, since enemies come in groups.
Transforming I would say would have to be one of Gunmetal's strong points. The animations from Mech to fighter jet were very smooth and while flying the jet, did give you a good feel of speed. The worst thing I think going for Gunmetal in the visual department would have to be everything else. The development team should have dipped a little more into the power of the Xbox. Believe me it was real hard to say that due to the fact, I can't make a game, but I know what I like and Gunmetal's visual I don't. The enemy ground troops in this game remind me of Atari's Berserk. The ships and tanks were a little more pleasant to look at, but those too had a very boxy theme to them, maybe that is due to all the sharp angles and lines that seemed to run amuck thoughout the game.
Sound was pretty typical of this kind of game, explosions, gun blasts, etc. It would have been nice to have some surround sound action going on will fighting, but alas none was to be found. Gunmetal does give you the ability to use your own tunes while playing, that is always a plus in my book. There is one thing and I think the majority of you tha thave played this game would agree, that commander's voice got on my nerves so much, especially talking to you when you are in a heated battle, it just destroyed my concentration.
Suggestions: Please use all that Xbox is capable of doing. Come up with a story to sink our teeth into. You guys were on the right track, but seemed a little distracted, maybe force to spit this game out quickly. You could give us a surround sound feel, you got to admit, to hear all those explosions and gun shots all around you would kick ass. I know in your story there was only supposed to be on Mech but could you bend the rule just a bit and put a multiplayer/co-op mode in? One last thing, if there is a Gunmetal 2 please cast a new person for the Commander.
Overall Score: 5.0 / 10 Outlaw Golf
What do you get when you take a dash of Adam Sandler's attitude from "Happy Gilmore", a pinch of hi-jinks from Rodney Dangerfield in "Caddy Shack" and just a sprinkle of T&A that was all though that wonderful *cough* documentary on how to become a stripper, Showgirls? I'll tell you what you get, one hell of a recipe for making a golf game and the Iron Chefs who stepped up to the challenge of putting together all those ingredients in their crock-pots and feeding us Outlaw Golf were Hypnotix and Simon & Schuster. After playing this game you will not be able look at normal golf again with its sponsors, green member jackets and polo shirts. Instead you'll enjoy playing with strippers, ex-cons and some other off the wall characters all at your command and their caddies at your mercy to smack them around in hopes of making you play better golf. It wouldn't be golf if you didn't have commentary and with the help of Steve Carell from Comedy Central's "The Daily Show" shouting out smart a$$ remarks, it will surely make you laugh or make your blood boil depending on what kind of golf your playing at the moment.
My hat goes off to Hypnotix's graphics team, all I want to know is which one of you guys has the green thumb, what you guys accomplished for the all the courses would surely make any pro golfer smack his mother and his grand mother both at the same time. The characters designs were also something to shout about. All of them were very detailed, I mean how many Tiger Woods' games have seen the g-string of stripper or a sign tapped on the back of a caddied that says "Wasp 69?" Another nice little touch is the smoke and comet trails that are behind the ball when you smack the hell out of it.
Another thumb up. The sound department did an outstanding job with Outlaw Golf's sound. From people chatting in the background to planes flying over head, trains roaring down their tracks and automobiles driving on the roads. The background music did get a little old at sometime, but to fix that problem all you have to do is go into option and turn it completely off. Without the background music playing it helps you feel like if you were really on the golf course due to the fact you can hear the birds chirping and even the hush of the crowd as you about to tee off.
Suggestions: For suggestions I can only think of a few to throw at you guys. First, more courses just so we can have a little more variety to choose from. Second, when you just have hit the ball what you think is the recommended power rating that is shown, if you could somehow show what you really hit. Example, the desired power for this shot says 35% and since the power meter goes in quarters you know that you need to swing somewhere between the 1/4 and 1/2 marks. So after your swing you know you were between those two marks but have no idea what percent you really hit the ball at. Last, thanks for making this game, after playing OutLaw Golf at E3 for the first time; I knew that I just had to have it.
Overall Score: 10.0 / 10 NFL Blitz 20-02
Keeping true to their hertitage of sports titles Midway brings their famous arcade style football series to the Xbox in the form of Blitz 2002. Before going on, I had some problems writng this review because I had gotten spoiled to playing NFL Fever 2002 and it was hard for me to get out of that frame of mind that these games are total different. "One is a sim and the other is arcade." So after repeating that over and over in my head I finally found peace with myself and sat down to play Blitz 2002.
The rules for Blitz 2002 have remained the same throughout the series. As in all Blitz games there are no penalties, so it's no problem blind siding a reciever right before he catches the ball, which in the real world of football would definately result in a penalty. To get a first down you must move the ball 30 yrds in 4 downs instead of the traditional 10 with only 8 men on the field, 3 shy from the NFL style football. Midway did add something new that no Blitz game has had before which is an "impact player." With the impact player you have the ablity to program him to handle different situations depending on what play you called. For example, if you were on offense there are many different commands you could have him to do such as, go deep, try to get open, block left or right and so on. While on defense, you could have him rush or work man to man defense.
Blitz has a play book of pages upon pages of plays, which are broken down into different sets. The plays I used most happens to be the default set, known to us old-timers as old school, which are the ones we grew up using in the earlier versions of the series. The newer plays are nice, but a lot of them have trick routes that for me got a little confusing at times. Plays still can be flipped, to keep your opponent guessing.
It wouldn't be a Midway sports title without the ability to set a player "on fire". On fire meaning that when a player on offense does certain plays with the same character X amount of times, the character then becomes engulfed in flames (that would be the visual cue) and becomes faster, powerful, and greater at skills such as catching the ball. On the defense side, your team can become on fire by sacking the ball carrier behind the line of scrimmage. This feature makes playing catch-up a bit easier if falling behind.
The one thing that did get on my nerves were the tackle animations. When being tackled, the ball carrier is moved forward which counted as positive yardage. But tackles that knock a player back didn't give them negative yardage, instead the game marks the line of scrimmage at the place where the tackle started. You have no idea how many times I helped my opponents out by hitting them into the end zone for a touchdown.
The usual gameplay modes are available in Blitz such as exhibition, season, tournament and quickplay. Game settings are adjustable for time of day, weather, skill level, quarter length as well as a host of other options. The controller can also be configured to your liking, though the default controls felt comfortable and worked well.
Midway did an amazing job in this department. The graphics in Blitz 2002 are truely a masterpiece, with the help of RenderWare graphics platform, the players look like they are jacked up on steroids and have the tempers to prove it. To give any example as to how much the graphics are pumped up in this version, the amount of polygons in one arm of a 2002 Blitz player is about the same as the entire body of a player in a earlier version. The players' faces are the most realistics that I've have seen in a football game to date. It was fun going through a replay slowly, and being amazed at all the incredible detail that went into this game. All the stadiums are made very nicely, particularly the turf that is in them.
The audio wasn't bad. I mean, the sounds of pads clashing together, screams of pain, trash talking from the players, and your standard crowd sounds are all there but after you play a whole game you've heard everything. The trash talking lines, while some were amusing, there are only a few and you soon begin to hear the same thing over and over. The two man commentary is funny as well but, as with all sports games, it can get old fast. Blitz is the only football title that has a soundtrack to it. The score includes some general rock music that plays in the background, thankfully Midway gave the option of turning it off for those who choose not to listen while playing.
Suggestions: Please go back to the old way when tackling, simply marked the line where the tackle started, not where the tackle animation moved the player. I did like the behind the scene footage on how you made the game.
Overall Score: 7.0 / 10 Genma Onimusha
Capcom does some tweaking and brings one of the PS2's most
successful action/survival-horror title, Genma Onimusha to the Xbox. By
tweaking this title Capcom has giving Genma, new areas, enemies, costumes, cutscenes, Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound, and the ablity to have more
enemies onscreen at a time. As you begin to play you are treated to a breath taking movie that sets the mode of the game. The setting is Eiroku 1560 AD, the powerful warload of Surga, Yoshimoto Imagawa, heads up a war party towards Kyoto. While on the march they set up camp for the night, only to be defeated by Nobunaga Oda, a rival warlord of Owari and his 2000 men. But, Oda's victory is cut short, an arrow from one of Yoshimoto's men pierces his adam's apple, a shot that William Tell would be proud of. Now a year has past, strange things are happening in the Inabayama Castle. Mysteriously the inhaditant of the castle are disappering into thin air. Troubled by what is going on, Princess Yuki sends word to her friend Samanosuke to come to her aid. But as Samanosuke arrives to the castle he finds out that he is to late the princess has been kidnapped. Now with the help of Kaede, Samanosuke's female ninja partner, Samanosuke must save the princess and defeat Nobunaga and his army of demons.
I must say this was a tuff game, my hat goes off to ever who can play this game on the normal setting and I hope I can be like that person when I grow up. You take control of
Samanosuke Akechi, a lone samurai who is hell bent on destroying the gang of
demons that have kidnapped the beloved princess. To help Samanosuke complete
his task at hand, he recieves a magical gauntlet from a group orges, that
when a demon is defeated it sucks the soul of that demon, which in turn
gives our hero special powers. THere are 4 different kinds of souls that a demon will release when defeated. First, is the red souls which enhances the Orge's Gaunlet on your arm. They can be use to upgrade regular arrows into fire arrows or change herbs that only give a little heath to medicne which refills your whole life meter. Second, is the blue souls that increase Samanosuke's magic meter (which is used for special attacks), when you have an empty magic meter you have big problems. Next we have yellow souls, these give our hero life after a long day slashing demons to shreds. Lastly we have the green souls, which are an updated perk that the PS2 version did not have. Green souls are very special in that when Samanosuke aquires five green souls he has the ablity to become invinicible for a short period of time. Sounds easy doesn't it? Well it's not. Demons also want green souls so that they can become stronger. Now the stuggle begins as you must either fight for the green souls by rapidly hitting the (A) button to acquire them, or let the enemies gain the soul to reach beserk mode in order for them to release more souls when they're defeated to give you more health.
Now that you understand what you need to do, let's talk about the camera and controls of Genma. Let me put it to you this way, if you have ever played Resident Evil you can play Genma Onimusha. The camera and controls between the two are all most indentical. To control Samanosuke you must use the D-pad, at first I didn't like that at first but in time it became second nature and to be honest the controls are very smooth and responsive. Another added bonus is that your character targets the closest enemy automatically which can make tearing through demon flesh very quick and decisive. Your controls are made up of attack, special attack, kick, and block. You have to pick your fight wisely because some of the larger demons have attacks that are unblockable, but they move like slugs so you should have no problem bypassing them. If you do knock down a demon to the ground, you can serve up a very nice finishing move that will send it straight back from the hell it was spawned from, all though doing this move will leave your guard down, so use with caution.
Visually the game is beautiful. As soon as you watch the opening credits you almost forget you are about to play a game, instead you want to go to the kitchen, pop a bag of popcorn and get comfortable on the couch. The backgrounds are lush and full of color which really helped set the mood. Ranging from buildings, falling soldiers, deep thick forests and the underworld, well all I have say you will have to see it to believe it. Character detail was also well done, all of the demons had their own look, fighting style and cool weapons. A prime example would be, that Ogres would rely on shear brute force, while on the other hand the Three-Eye Demons depend on their blinding speed to eliminate our hero. The fighting moves themselves were equally impressive with lots of sword swinging action and the lighting for the spell effects throughout the game were breathe taking. Overall Genma is visually a nice game to look at even though it is a port from the PS2.
Sound was right on the money. You just can't beat hearing metal clashing against metal or your cold steel ripping through flesh in Dolby 5.1. It was easy to know just where a demon was by either hearing a growl or hissing sound. The one sound that sticks in mind and still gives me nightmares would have to be the laughter and bell ringing of Ayame, a small blood sucking doll that has the choice of either slicing and dicing you or latch on to you like a parasite and suck away almost all of your health. Sadly you can't kill her, so this gives her the right to toy (no pun intended) with you all though out the game. My pulse rate would shoot straight through the roof every time I would hear that !&%$@#* doll. There's also nice option that will surely please those hardcore Japanese enthusiast and that option is to play the game with Japanese dialogue instead of English, so you can hear the game in it's true form. But since I'm not that kind of enthusiast I thought the English version was just fine.
Suggestions: Please give us a health meter for the demons or at least for the bosses. It was hard to set up a form of attack, when you try something and you have no idea what kind of damage was dished out. Also give us the option to use our analog joystick.
Overall Score: 8.0 / 10 Blood Wake
Like I said before the water in this game is amazing, as of right now you can't get any better than that. Another thing that was done very well visually were the boats. The developers really took their time and put a lot of detail in them, from the chain gun spitting out shells, to all the moving parts that came into play as your boat changed weapons. The surroundings weren't too bad, nothing to write home about, just some rocks and some buildings spread out through the game.
The sound in Blood Wake wasn't over the top, but it will do. I mean this is your average shoot everything that is shooting at you game. So through out you have your chain gun blaring, some explosions, sounds of the water hitting your boat, and me cursing like a sailor as I watch my boat get riddled with bullets!. Soundtrack wise, the little Asian music gets old fast and it would have been nice to add your own music.
Suggestions: Please add some animated cut screens to help pull us into the story. Let us play our own music while we are kicking some pirate ass.
Overall Score: 8.0 / 10