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Total Reviews: 6
Average Overall Score Given: 7.50000 / 10
Total Forum Posts: 178

Reviews
Quantum Redshift

Overall: Quantum Redshift is a high speed racing game set one hundred years in the future. Sixteen pilots from around the world suit up and strap into SPARCs, or Single Person Armed Racing Craft, in hopes of winning fame, fortune, and perhaps most important, the respect of millions around the globe. Each pilot has a nemesis, a rival pilot who will stop at nothing to prevent the other from winning the championship

Gameplay: Gameplay is pretty standard high speed racer stuff. Each race consists of 6 racers going for the gold, reaching top speeds of one thousand miles per hour at Redshift level. The sense of speed is amazing on the higher difficulty levels. You'll rocket down straight sections, power slide through corners, propel hundreds of feet into the air, and take advantage of the track's shortcuts. While doing this you can pick up one of four powerups that charge homing missiles, regular weapons, over-shields, or all three at once. There is also a point bonus that takes advantage of the game's unique scoring system.

Once you finish a race, you are awarded points based on your performance that you may use to upgrade your vehicle's weapons, over-shields, turbo, or regular shields. You may re-race the track if you wish, but in order to gain more points to upgrade you must score more points than last time. For example: if your first race nabbed you five hundred points, and your second race scored you eight hundred points, you will get the difference between the two. That's three hundred points added to your total.

The weapons for each vehicle are unique to the driver. Tara, the advanced weapons expert, will fire missiles and grenades as weapons. Kumiko will fire weapons that disrupt the enemy's electronic systems and make them stall on the track for a few seconds. The differences between each character make you want to fully upgrade them to see exactly what they have up their sleeve. In addition, once you power up all weapons and over-shields to level three, you can access the characters mega-weapon. Just like regular weapons, each mega-weapon is unique to the character. Tara, our advanced weapons expert, fires a warhead that results in an impressive looking mushroom cloud. Very nice.

The nemesis element mentioned earlier does not add much to the game and could have been better implemented. It simply provides a bonus in points for killing that particular ship and adds a nemesis challenge, a one-on-one race at the end of every tournament. Although it is worth noting that your particular nemesis will shoot you every chance it gets during a race.


Graphics: The graphics in Quantum Redshift are amazing. Each of the tracks and vehicles are bump-mapped and filled with bright, colorful textures. While nothing is breathtaking, mostly due to the fact that you will be racing past at 300+ miles per hour at first, the game is well polished and looks fantastic. Each vehicle retains the standard SPARC setup, yet they all have a very unique and detailed look. Some will have flaps that open and close as your turn, while others retract the twin jets as you hit the turbo. Overall, this is defiantly one of the best looking games available for the Xbox.


Audio: Sound is decent and nothing too remarkable but it gets the job done. For some reason the engines are very quiet and I had to turn them up in the sound menu. Music is done by Junkie XL, an electronic band that has recently hit mainstream. I listened to each of the songs a few times before I had to switch to something off my hard drive.


Suggestions: Quantum Redshift is a futuristic racer that perfects the aspects seen on every other racer before it. The sense of speed combined with the graphics and frantic use of weaponry is beyond comparison. Definitely a rental if you are interested, a must-buy if you've liked this type of game before.



Overall Score: 7.0 / 10 NBA Street Vol. 2

Overall: This Game rocks. The graphics have been improved from NBA street(PS2). Plus the new four player option lets your other friends play too. Even if you dont like basketball games, your like this.

Gameplay: NBA street Vol. 2 has many new features/Moves. One of the best feature in NBA street vol. 2 is Be a legend. Its where you create a player with few skill points, and each time you win, you can buy more skill points for your created player. You first play no name ballers then you start playing better and more popular players. Plus you get more popular each time you win a game. The whole point it is trying to be a legend. There's also a lot more new moves. The only downer is that theres only 3 turbo buttons, down from 4 turbo buttons from the original, so less combos. The new four player option lets more friends join in. The only thing bad about it is you cant change people when your playing 3-4 players.


Graphics: The graphics are medium. They are not too bad but arent too good. There a little better then the original. The bad points is the bump mapping kinda stinks. The courts are pretty good and the audience is pretty good.

Audio: The sound is pretty good. The music is cool but can get on your nerves sometimes. Theres ten songs for the game and ten songs for the menu area. The only bad thing is you can use your own custom soundtracks. Also, the commentator says a lot of funny stuff, so its even fun just listening to him.

Suggestions: This game is a MUST GET! The replay value is really high and its a good game. You wont get bored of it and its not a bad product. Overall, I liked this game and its up top with my favorites like Halo and Starcraft.

Overall Score: 9.0 / 10 Top Spin Tennis

Overall: Now before I start, I should point out that I have never played tennis outside of elementary school gym class, but that I have always been a big tennis fan. I to this day continue to watch pro tennis on television. I point this out to prove that you do not need to be a tennis player to enjoy this game. My cousin for instance is not a big tennis fan, but he enjoys this game almost as much as I do. That being said, let's get down to business.


Gameplay: The controls are simple and effective. Four different types of shots (lob, slice, safe/flat, top spin) are mapped to the four face buttons and drop shot and risk shot are on the triggers. The risk and drop shots are hard to get used to, but once you master them, you are unstoppable. Beware about abusing risk shots online, however, you may make people very angry.

Graphics: Wonderful, lifelike, realistic graphics. The player models are highly detailed, and the stadiums look gorgeous, but nothing compares to the animations. The players move and perform like humans. It is a sight to see.

Audio: The sound is dead on, but the audio is lacking. There is virtually no music, and the absence of a custom soundtrack baffles my mind. Hopefully these issues will be addressed with the next edition

Suggestions: Hits:

Great graphics and control.
Live is incredibly fun.
Extreme character customization.

Misses:

Long load times.
Lack of audio and custom soundtracks.
Occasional ''blue screen of death'' and DDE's.

Overall Score: 8.0 / 10 Blinx: The Time Sweeper

Overall: They say ?The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world?, well the hand that controls time does the same, except you don?t rule the world, you own it, and with Blinx you do just that. Blinx has advertised itself as the first ever 4-D game (the fourth dimension obviously being time) which you do in fact control here, and at will not at required or set moments. Evolution needs to be at hand here and to the dying genre of platformers, new features are exactly what is needed and for the most part, lacking in the latest platformers. The oddball water-pack of Mario Sunshine was a poor idea; Mark of Kri?s violent stealth action in a cartoon world made it all the more ridiculous, indeed the platformers era is at an end, the days of Super Mario 64 and Tomb Raider are long behind us and now serve only as a memory of what pedestal was used in inventing the 3D genre of gaming we have today.

So did Microsoft Game Studio?s latest gamble, an oddball 4D platform game pay off? To me, yes indeed, though I say it now, Blinx is a great game, but it?s also not for everyone. Blinx is an orange colored feline working at the Time Factory that creates and distributes time throughout hundreds of worlds. When a glitch appears in time, the worlds become distorted and monsters are created from these errors which call for the Time Sweepers who enter these realms and clean things up, so basically you have a human-like cat with an exaggerated, garbage mans job. A group of fat pigs called the Tom-Tom gang invade on of the worlds stealing its time crystals and kidnap the Princess which results in our fearless feline hero venturing into the doomed world to save the day. Okay, by now you know the drill, get the girl, beat the bad guys and live happily ever after. Blinx?s story is hardly its strength, luckily after a gorgeous CGI opening it doesn?t try to dive into it either, but instead says ?This works, we?ll leave it at that, bada-bing bada-boom we?re done.?

From then on, its go time and right in the first level is when you?ll make your opinion about this game after you see its unusual aspects of gaming. Blinx?s only ability to attack is by shooting garbage at enemies, garbage that he sucks up with his vacuum cleaner which is littered throughout every level (Being you are a garbage man you?re also awarded money afterwards for picking up trash). Normally I would complain about this awkward method, but the game handles it rather well. There?s no worry about shooting endless pieces of trash and enemies and missing thanks to a very forgiving auto-lock which hits its target more than 80% of the time even when you thought for sure you wouldn?t hit anything. Garbage is also aplenty in the levels getting stuck without any projectile's is highly unlikely.

The second difference with Blinx is that every level has time limit of 10 minutes, your goal is to eliminate all the enemies in the level by that time then head to the goal. You?re not required to accomplish any kind of objective or retrieve this or that, you only job is the wipe out all the monsters, easy right? With the mention of the 10 minute time limit you may be cringing at the thought of heated gameplay where you?re stressing out trying to find that last enemy and escape before its too late, well to that I can gladly say the time limit in no way provides a rushed sensation to get things over with as fast as you can. In fact I have only run out of time twice in the six some hours I have played it.

Finally we have the time control, killing enemies and scattered throughout levels are time crystals which bare an eerie similarity to Lucky Charm?s marshmallows. Collecting three of the same shape will give you a time power; these operate like a tape-recorders button layout, slow-motion, rewind, fast forward, pause and record. A bridge collapsing beneath your feet can be restored with the touch of the rewind button, enemies and even bosses can be rendered helpless with the pause button allowing you to hit enemies at will. Of course probably most unique of all is the record command in which Blinx is given about 15 seconds to perform any task you please, he is then rewound and the recorded Blinx does the task you just performed while you regain control of the other Blinx and can do as you wish in either assisting in attacking enemies, or escaping from crowded rooms.

All these time elements add into a completely effective gameplay system that revives and revitalizes the platformer genre and the end product is a fantastic result. In fact after my entire time with Blinx I really can?t name a flaw with it; Microsoft has developed a truly polished and unique game that any Xbox owner who?s interested in some 3D action should look into. Blinx is a highly stylish and inventive game and is one of the best games of this year for the Xbox.

Gameplay: The universal strongest point of games is Blinx?s strongest aspect as well. A very refreshing and at times incredibly revolutionary step forward in platform gaming with clever and unique touches the entire way through. The one hit kill deaths can get very difficult in some areas but the easy controls and well paced and length levels make it right for just about anyone to pick up and play; not to mention a long game by its own merits with plenty of goodies and extra items to unlock along the way.

Graphics: Easily one of Xbox?s most gorgeous looking games with highly animated and incredibly detailed worlds, enemies and areas looking like a contemplation of movies like Nightmare Before Christmas and even some reminiscent of Never Ending Story. Blinx himself looks fantastic, even down to individual strands of hair on his ears and the huge grin he gets when vacuuming. Character models are flawless with no break-up and each one looking like a motion-captured grab from top of the line CGI?s masterworks like the movies of Pixar.

Audio: Artoon & Microsoft Game Studio?s has approached this game?s sound in a very cartoon like atmosphere. The entire game is like listening to a re-run of Looney Tunes from the squeaking of Blinx?s footsteps to the stars swirling around his head when he gets whacked, in any other game they would probably seem out of place but they don?t here and these noises also don?t become annoyingly monotonous. The musical score is average, but it does happen to fit Blinx?s oddball universe and on occasion, has some fine tunes, just nothing amazing to your ears.

Suggestions: Blinx proves again why this year is turning out to be the year full of surprises in gaming with sleeper titles like The Thing and Conflict ending up far ahead of the big budget flops like Turok and Mario Sunshine. Artoon has planted their flag in the gaming industry with authority and have created a highly addictive, entertaining and visually amazing game that all Xbox owners should try this holiday season, you find yourself very surprised and find Blinx sweeping up much of your time as well.

Overall Score: 6.0 / 10 Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six 3

Overall: Rainbow Six 3 now sits beside other games such as Halo, Crimson Skies, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. Rainbow Six 3 is definetly as good of a shooter as Halo although the single player doesnt match up to Halo's, the addition of Xbox Live makes it up. This is a must own for any Xbox owner.

Gameplay: This game is exactly what you would get if you mixed CounterStrike and Splinter Cell. The game has alot of stealthy moments like Splinter Cell but the gameplay is exactly like CounterStrike including the weapons. You get about 30 weapons in the game which range from pistols to sniper rifles. You also get thermal/nightvision goggles which are very handy tools to use online and offline. The single player campaign is great you get different missions ranging from rescuing hostages and defusing bombs but to get the real fun of this game you have to play it on Xbox Live. On Xbox Live you could play Survival/Team Survival, Co-op, and many other game modes. You don't get any respawns like CounterStrike which is a great part of the game because it takes out spawn camping like there is in other games such as Ghost Recon. While playing single player you could use your Xbox live communicator to order your A.I around and that helps alot because in most games the A.I is worthless but in this game they actually help you by covering your blind spots or clearing a room. The controls are like Halo which is perfect for any Xbox game. What really makes this game shine is the realism in the game, every weapon has their strengths and weaknesses so you always have to be aware of the map your on or you'll die fast. This is the game every player on Live has been waiting for and its finally here!

Graphics: Pure Greatness! Every character in the game looks life like plus you get shadows for each one of those characters and its almost as good as Splinter Cell's shadows. What really amazed me about this game is when you go on Xbox Live and your talking in the game, your character mouth would actually move as if he were talking. The guns in the game look great and while you play the game you could actually tell which weapon your teammate has just by looking at it, you don't have to ask your teammate which gun he has because the guns are very detailed. The character movements aren't choppy like in other tactical shooters such as Ghost Recon. There could have been more character skins to choose from on Xbox Live besides just the 10 or however many you get but its not that big of a deal. It's always great that a game with such nice gameplay could gets nice graphics too.

Audio: The sounds in the game are great and they range from weapon to weapon. Every weapon I used so far has a special sound to them such as the sniper which has a loud one shot noise, the AK-47 which has the loud banging noise, and many others. Silenced guns sound great especially the silenced assault rifles. Footsteps also have many sounds in the game and they vary from walking on wood, metal, gravel, etc. Some of the sounds are identical to Splinter Cell's sounds such as metal banging and the music in the game. I haven't found anything wrong with the sound because the developers perfected this game and they didn't forget about the sound.

Suggestions:
Overall: Rainbow Six 3 now sits beside other games such as Halo, Crimson Skies, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. Rainbow Six 3 is definetly as good of a shooter as Halo although the single player doesnt match up to Halo's, the addition of Xbox Live makes it up. This is a must own for any Xbox owner.

Pros:
+ Great Graphics
+ Realistic Gameplay
+ Tons of weapons/gadgets
+ Amazing Single Player/ Multi Player
+ Voice Command

Cons
- More character models should be available on Xbox Live

Overall Score: 10.0 / 10 Kabuki Warriors

Overall: Let me start out by saying that I am sick of all the people who go around telling people that this is the worst game ever. I've seen dozens of comments on the board for Kabuki Warriors (KW) doing nothing but insulting the game. To be honest, I enjoyed the game VERY much. True, the game could have been worked on, and improved a lot more, but it's still a good game.

Gameplay: Pretty much you only use one attack button. There are other buttons you use to block and sometimes execute special spells though. People consider this mostly to be a button masher since you just mash on one attack button. That's true in a way, but you still need evading skills to not get hit by attacks.

Graphics: Well, they aren't the best graphics in a game ever, but they're still very good. People think that just because XBox is the most powerful system out of the three, that it's games will have the most graphically impressive visuals ever. The graphics are about PS2 quality, but that's still good. The game is actually very colorful. The backgrounds I thought were gorgeous. Even those paper backdrops. One thing that many males will be disappointed in, is there are no females in the game. Actually, there is kind of one, but due to it being Kabuki Theater, it is actually a man dressed as a woman. Yes I know, disturbing in a way, but it is tradition. Yes, there are a few graphical glitches in the flowing hair and such, but it really isn't that important. Oh and the blood isn't the best looking ever in a game.

Audio: Not what you would expect from a game based off of Kabuki Theater. I don't really know how to explain the music, it's like a mix between rock, techno and other variously assorted genres. One MAJOR complaint I have though, is the donkey like sound that is CONSTANTLY heard. Everytime you choose something from any sort of menu, you hear that annoying donkey-like noise.

Suggestions: PROS:
- Nice graphics
- Beautiful backdrops
- Traditional Kabuki Theater
- Easy

CONS:
- All those annoying trollers on the board
- A little too easy sometimes
- Gets boring quickly
- No Secrets


Overall Score: 5.0 / 10

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