Total Reviews: 62
Average Overall Score Given: 8.72581 / 10
Total Forum Posts: 0

Half-Life 2

Overall: The "thinkg man's shooter" comes to Xbox. While those who played this title on PC may be let down with some of the graphics, everything else is the same. A great sense of environment, cool weapons, varied enemies and the crappy ending. But just like watching your favorite movie again and knwoing what't going to happen, it's still way worth the trip, even if it may be a little short with no multiplayer.

Gameplay: Simple, responsive controls, engrossing story, plus some answers (and more questions) to the Half-Life mythos. Really cool weapons and great phyiscs really make you want to replay it to see how you could do things differently or better. Only drawback would be the frequent, albeit short, load screens.

Graphics: The best looking fps on the xbox, while some may contest why this one wasn't released on the 360, it's still great looking and fun. While not the best looking game on the Xbox itself, the little things in cityscapes, character and enemy models are still great too. Plus some of the weapon effects are way cool to see.

Audio: The background music is forgetable at best usually, although can set the mood of frantic, creepy or tragic. Once again many of the original sound/weapon effects from the first game (spin-offs included) make it the Half-Life universe and make it believeable. Voice acting done well also, often conveying much emotion.

Suggestions: I believe there may be an expansion for this one on PC. So instead of doing the "Doom 3" thing and adding the expansion onto the original with a reduced price tag...add it to the original but bring it to the 360, perhaps with some exclusive content. I think the main reason this one didn't get much press on it's release was due to the 360 launch. 1) You get to take advantage of the powerhorse 360 for the graphics, AI, etc. 2) Get a sure to sell big-name FPS title in early on the 360. Other than that, great job again Valve, from start to finish.

Overall Score: 10.0 / 10 Unreal Championship 2: The Liandri Conflict

Overall: While I'm not a huge fan of FPS titles, this one was pretty good. The addition of melee weapons is fairly unique, albiet it sometimes frustratingly tough to master sometimes.

Gameplay: You get the usual stuff of deathmatch, CTF, team variants of both and overdose which is kind of like a splattery game of tag, sort of. With a fair amount of unlockables and pretty wide selection of characterd with unique abilities, it keeps your attention for a while.

Graphics: Looks pretty, outside, wind and water effects are done well, with little to no slow down, this one can put alot on screen at once and keep going. The unique models of each character, while some from similar teams look sort of generic, overall pretty cool.

Audio: The music is forgettable, the weapon sound effects are ok, the taunts and background sounds (i.e. outside, machines, weather) are ok, but get old sooner than later.

Suggestions: While not a bg fan of FPS titles, Unreal usually holds my attention at least for a bit. The frantic face pace is ok, and the "coup de grace" moves" are pretty cool. See what you can do on the next gen consoles.

Overall Score: 8.0 / 10 Star Wars: Battlefront 2

Overall: Not much to say here, if you like Star Wars or the first game at all, you will probably like this game, if not look elsewhere for your action needs. With more heroes, more ships, more maps, more everything, there's a good amount to do here.

Gameplay: With some good things from the first, and some new things (space battles, playable heroes/villians) and more, there is alot to see and do. Multiplayer is the heart of this one, but playing through to get a top rank and unlock some bonuses makes it worth replaying a bit.

Graphics: While not the best looking game on Xbox, it has a little bit up on the first title, and some of the heroes/villians look pretty cool. Plus the new levels have some pretty rocking looks too.

Audio: All the sound effects, music, vehicle noise and explosions are here...not sure if the actual actors/extras from the films lent their talents for this one or not, but with all the frenzied action, you may not notice.

Suggestions: I'm not sure if I would call this one a full blown sequel, as opposed to an update to a good game. Once again, the multiplayer is what makes this one worth playing. The new medal and rank system to unlock bonuses is pretty good though. Don't know where you would go from here to improve this series though.

Overall Score: 9.0 / 10 Far Cry: Instincts

Overall: A pretty good FPS, while not as deep as some other FPS offerings that have some out, the added abilities that you acquire later are pretty cool.

Gameplay: Controls are good, I guess the game adjusts to how well you do, so as to make things easier or more intense, depending upon how bad or well you handle what it throws at you. Some pretty cool moments, but overll nothing revolutionary.

Graphics: Pretty good looking for an FPS, the lighting and shadow effects are pretty good. The level designs sort of run together, if you've seen one jungle/military bunker/underground base, you've seen hem all.

Audio: The background jungle noise is pretty ok, voice acting is ok, weapon sounds are pretty good, creppy feral voices later on kind of cool. The sounds in this game are largely forgettable though.

Suggestions: It seemed that while not a straight port of the PC version of Far Cry, this title still seemed uninspired. Pretty realistic seetings and ragdoll physics were ok, but I was just hpoing for a little more.

Overall Score: 8.0 / 10 The Warriors

Overall: For those of you who are fans of the cult classic movie of the same get to play through a few parts of the movie...but a large portion of the game are the events leading up to those of the movie and even some background on how the warriors were formed. So fans of the film, or action fans who like the Rockstar brand of games, pick this one up.

Gameplay: A) this film is pretty gritty and violent B) Rockstar is known for making games for the "Mature" audiences, so this pairing seems only logical. From muggings, graffiti, massive beatdowns, stealing, beating citizens/rival gangs/cops and more...Rockstar combines some pretty cool things from GTA and Manhunt, while staying very close to the Warriors universe in 1979 NYC.

Graphics: The visuals are nothing special, bordering on generic, but the drab, poorly lit, crime ridden streets of NYC in '79 seem to feet the lack of bright colors, dingy back allys, poorly locked stores, and crappy cars. Once again, nothing great here, but the action and HUGE amount of unlockables to find and explore make it worthwhile.

Audio: A large majority of the voice talent, and there is alot here, is from the original actors from the movie, complete with original soundtrack and some pretty well cast voices for all the extra backstory stuff involving rival gangs, cops, civilians, dealers etc. ..."Warriors, come out to play"...

Suggestions: Once again, I think Rockstar is one of few compaines, aside from the major first party studios, that is still making truly creative and enjoyable games. While they may have come under fire for recent game releases for sex/drugs/violence or all of the above, I can't wait to see what these guys will bring to the next-gen realm.

Overall Score: 10.0 / 10 Brute Force

Overall: I thought it was a pretty good squad based shooter. Yet, most missions seemed similar after having you full team together. Pretty fun, but not a whole lot in the way of level diversity though.

Gameplay: Good controls, interesting special abilities, cool weapons, some pretty good team and enemy AI. Although, after a few missions, things started to get repetative, for me at least.

Graphics: The visuals are good, especially for being one of the first gen games for xbox. The enemies are well detailed, there just isn't a very big variety of them to see. The atmospheric affects were pretty cool, but once again, repetativeness here too.

Audio: Teammate chatter, weapons fire, explosions, enemy chatter and orders all done pretty well. Some of the voice acting is pretty flat, and the background soundtrack is forgetable at best.

Suggestions: Pretty good game, make a more in depth and diverse offering of Brute Force for the 360, overall a fairly entertaining title though.

Overall Score: 8.0 / 10 Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

Overall: Great much to do...and way more customization than other similar minded titles. While not as frustrating as past titles in the series, to really achieve mastery, youll have to put in a lot of time and effort.

Gameplay: Lots of fun, many hidden things to find...once again customization. Not only can you pimp your ride, but you can be a pimp yourself too. Plus all the extra stuff to enhance and extend your experience.

Graphics: Not much of a step up in graphics for the year to date, but the scope and span of the game make up for it...yet the realisitcally based landmarks and three distinct city areas are very well done, and realisitc enough.

Audio: The sounds of the 90's are alive and well...the guns, the cars, the pedestrians, the bad, the good, the different races that live therein...all brought about clearly and with little dullness. Though, the radio tracks could have been expanded a little for a few less repeats.

Suggestions: Make a new one for the next gen of the consoles...not sure where it would go from San Andreas, maybe some kind of remake...but great job again, and who cares what the f*%$@#! politicians and parents think, they're just looking for a scpaegoat for their mistakes and shortsightedness--rock on Rockstar, keep making it fun to indulge our criminal instincts.

Overall Score: 10.0 / 10 The Suffering

Overall: A good game, as far as survival horror goes. A pretty deep story and some surprisingly chilling moments and visuals. While not as good as some of the best games in this genre, it is a welcome distraction between "big" game releases.

Gameplay: Easy to grasp controls, LOTS of stuff and people to kill, gruesome attacks and weapons make this one gory, bloddy fun. Almost an ode to the old school title "Altered Beast," when your character gets insane enough, you can transform into a monster, with upgradeable attacks...pretty !&%$@#* cool.

Graphics: While not the prettiest looking, what with being set on a faily plain looking prison island and a few outlying areas, the gore, character/creature models are great, and makes for some surreal moments at given, i.e. triggered, spots. The trippy camera affects are often unsettling, or worse.

Audio: Pretty good here, some of the creature and background sounds can get reptative, but as you encounter new enemeies, you can still get that sense of, "Oh my god, what's that over there, or around the corner..."

Suggestions: Expand on things a little, and try to make it a bit less linear. Otherwise, a good one from Midway.

Overall Score: 9.0 / 10 Conker: Live and Reloaded

Overall: I missed this one back on the N64, but it this one makes me want to go back and play the old one too. A feast for the eyes, and definitely not for kids...while some of the references show their age, it is an overall solid and fun experience.

Gameplay: While being a platformer at heart, the variety of things to do and a clever brand of inside joke humor, makes this one enjoyable, while stuff is fairly varied, but if you have other online multiplayer shooters (i.e. Halo or Splinter Cell) this will provide a short distraction before going back to other games. The various parodies included are often good for a laugh too.

Graphics: The visuals are very well done...colorful environments, detailed characters and enemies make it great looking. The little things like water/sewage/blood dripping off Conker are nice and the different areas blend well while adding variety.

Audio: While some repetitive background musics and character noises are ok, the voice acting and comedic writing are very good...namely if you want to indulge your immature fart humor side of yourself.

Suggestions: Rare was a hot company back in later generations of consoles...hopefully they will make a comeback, since they tend to have unique and creative games with good stories. Hopefully we'll some more in the future on this or future systems.

Overall Score: 9.0 / 10 Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory

Overall: As always, Splinter Cell does it again, with a worthy succesor into this trilogy set. With better visuals, AI, level design and overall fun and opennes to style of play, Ubisoft does it again

Gameplay: The controls are really what makes this game series, and also lets you pull off all those great moves that help you through those hectic and tense situations. The addition of new AI interaction and their reaction to stimuli in the environment is improved well too...sometimes a little too well.

Graphics: No seems each installment gets a bit better each time...with no exceptions here, the lighting, the weapons and gadgets and the small things that are hard to notice, but are startling when seen (i.e. eye shine of others in night-vision mode, wet footprints and the new EEV) really help to bring this to a new and better level.

Audio: Another important facet of any style of play here, to help or hinder you. From idle chit-chat, to literally squeezing info from a captured soldier, it's all here in force...just watch out for those sqeuaky "sparrow" floors.

Suggestions: Splinter Cell owns the stealth genre, move over Solid Snake and give up you top spot to Sam Fisher. Xbox has enough Splinter Cell titles...focus on the 360 and show us how it can be even better (if it can be done...)

Overall Score: 10.0 / 10 Brothers In Arms Road To Hill 30

Overall: Like Band of Brothers the game, a truly immersive WW2 shooter, but with the squad/tank tactical combat dynamic that is a huge part of the game, those who run and gun will have to take it slow and think. Tons of extras to unlock, and upon beating the game you get to see the sheer amount of research and detail that went into making this great game.

Gameplay: Once again, not like your average WW2 fps, a lone wolf attitude will get you shot and quick. A game that makes you really care about the NPC's under your command becuase they can save your life. All the authenticism will really immerse you into the tense feel of things.

Graphics: While it may not win awards for overall graphical beauty, the detail in level deisgn, weapons, vehicles, buildings and soldiers makes it feel alot like war. The sheer detail and research that went into this one makes other WW2 titles look cheap and cheesy.

Audio: The weapon sounds were recorded from the actual weapons, the explosions, troop movement, commands, voice acting and backgound nature sounds are done well, but don't steal the show. The little things like the sound of bullets ricocheting off the cover you are behind and intersquad chatter keeps it very realistic.

Suggestions: A very well done game, leave it to Ubisoft to trump all other titles in the genre, with their first foray into the realm nonetheless. The game may seem long to some, or short to others but only takes place in a short span on time. The "end of the beginning" as said at the end of the game, so hopefully a sequal(s) are in the work...would love to see one on the Xbox 360.

Overall Score: 10.0 / 10 Doom 3

Overall: The original FPS that still makes you jump, afraid of the dark and to be afraid to see what it is around the next corner. Alot of elements of the original, returning favs in both enemies and weapons still make it fun.

Gameplay: While the original FPS formula of go through scary door, find bigger gun, kill progressively tougher enemeies to get a key to get further on in the game has or hasn't changed much, depending on the game in question, Doom 3 keeps the formula going, but with guaranteed scares and an environment that is second to none in intensity on Xbox.

Graphics: Anything from pummeling a zombie with you flashlight, turn a corner in a dark corridor right into a charging imp that scares the crap out of you, to lighting up those annoying little baby demons with a plasma rifle, to taking down a hellknight with a chainsaw...the gore, lighting, darkness, weapon effects, level models...all comes together for the best graphics on Xbox...for an FPS that is...

Audio: Once again the environment factor is ramped up alot in this game...enemy breathing, your own heartbeat, not so much background music so much as machines, steam or equipment that emits a kind of continuous white noise that ups the nerves all the time, a great sense of atmosphere again.

Suggestions: Id, you guys did it again, the wait was worth it. Now you just need to set your demon worshipping sights on the next Xbox console and give us some more.

Overall Score: 9.0 / 10 Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow

Overall: Once again, those who like stealth, will like this game...for those that took down Nikoladze in the first Splinter Cell, will instanly pick up the controls and the feel of the stealth action and art of not being seen...very fun when you get away with something very sneaky...or when you get to unload on some terrorists.

Gameplay: While this Splinter Cell seems a bit easier and slightly more linear than the original, it does off some new ways to use tried and true techniques. Plus a new storyline that once again delivers on intrigue and the new face of terror facing the US.

Graphics: Better graphically this time than the first, which is to say pretty !&%$@#* good. The lighting is done well, as it should, since it can determine missions ease, success or failure. The myriad of terrorists to get through are also more detailed and slightly more intelligent too.

Audio: The little things make it in stealth games...the weapon sounds, enemy small talk, Lambert and Grim giving you insight. Plus the seemingly most innocuous thing that was added, the ability to whistle to lure enemies, is huge...well done here again.

Suggestions: All I can say is that I am looking forward getting my hands on Chaos Theroy...soon.

Overall Score: 10.0 / 10 Oddworld Stranger's Wrath

Overall: The whole of Oddworld usually has pretty good stories, characters, environments, and some rules and things shall we say unique or "odd" to it's world...this game continues on in this vain and delivers a pretty good stealth/fps game.

Gameplay: The unique combo of live ammo and collection plus bountying for a fair amount ofthe game gives a good bit of room for improvisation and strategy. THe controls are easy to pick up and the game moves at a pretty fast pace. It is a little short, but will leave most fps or Oddworld fans satisfied.

Graphics: The in game graphics are pretty good and the look of the live ammo on the crossbow are pretty cool, especially as you buy uprades, the character and area design are detailed if slightly drab or unoriginal at times. The cut scenes are very nice though.

Audio: While the western flair of this game is novel at first, the effect wears thin with voices and the background music that is easily forgettable. The weapon sounds and some of the enemy speech and chatter are done pretty well. As with all Oddworld games though, while going for a kind of cute humor with "funny" voices tha can almost evoke pity can be on the annoying side as well.

Suggestions: A good attempt at a tie in between stealth and fps, the story doesn't pick up until late in the game which seems a departure from the norm for Oddworld...a fairly good game overall. Maybe a sequel or tie in for the whole Oddworld universe on the next gen systems to come.

Overall Score: 8.0 / 10 Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction

Overall: A very fun game, almost perfect...I think maybe making certain missions doable in various ways, more stealth, attack, hit and run, etc...yet the mission variety is pretty good. While this game won't out GTA any GTA games, blowing stuff up for profit w/o having to run from the cops is great fun, the difficulty ups quickly though.

Gameplay: The controls are solid, the vehicles (driving and flying) all handle realistically and very well. The choices you having of favoring one faction over another, or spending money to remake friends, call in airstrikes, vehicle delivery...makes you feel like GTA in a combat theatre of the Gulf War mixed with the Korean War, here again very fun.

Graphics: Colorful explosions, very detailed character, weapon, vehicle and environment deisgn...while some things may seem muted, it's a war zone, of course thingsare gonna look drab and run down. Well done here again.

Audio: The military chatter, authentic languages (Chinese, Russian and Korean), good voice acting, weapons fire, vehicle sounds, radar and missle lock sounds, PA's in disputed cities, all great and of course coming from Lucasarts, good sweeping musical scores.

Suggestions: Lucasarts has got a great one here, maybe a few things different like a deeper briefing with maps and approaches and availabe support briefings before a mission, help with strategy and allow one to better pick stealth, out right attack, some of both, but still a great one...make a Merc 2 for Xbox 2.

Overall Score: 10.0 / 10 Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell

Overall: A great stealth game...not only action packed, some quick thinking, creativity and patience involved, but also some very timely political and world events/themes for all those poli sci or history buffs out there...overall a great one, albeit not for the impatient.

Gameplay: A good mix of assisination, espionage, stealth, evasion and down right snooping and cloak and dagger type stuff to keep stealth fans happy and those shoot first, shoot again and try to ask some questions types wondering why they keep getting their heads handed to them. All the gadgets and high tech environments keep you drooling and happy for modern times and inventions.

Graphics: While not as shining now, we will consider the time of its release...which is to say it still holds up very well and modes like NVG and Thermal are done well and levels, enemies, weapons, vehicles and objects done great.

Audio: From the heatbeat of Sam and the almost silent shot of your SC-20K as you counter snipe a terrorist soldier, walking on broken glass, using a laser mike, intercepted radio transmissions, foreign enemy accents...all great, even the unnerving and oft annoying sound of alarms or getting caught.

Suggestions: Great stealth action title, will soon start Pandora Tommorow and will be onto Chaos Theory after that...any thoughts or brining Sam Fisher to Xbox 2...please say yes Ubisoft, and keep dominating the gaming landscape.

Overall Score: 10.0 / 10 Star Wars: Battlefront

Overall: A very fun all the points of view in all the famous battles in the Star Wars universe. While my favorite is sniping, I do enjoy rolling along in vehicles taking out the enemy.

Gameplay: The controls for ground forces are very nice, fans of FPS will be instantly in tune with controls. The ship controls could use some work, i.e. will take ALOT of getting used to. Fans of Star Wars will be pulled in immediately to the action and authentic battles. While mowing down clones, stormtroopers or robots...nothing beats taking down those !&%$@#* Gungans (Jar Jar) and the plump little targets, the ewoks.

Graphics: Very good overall...yet some clipping and generic details due to massive numbers in the battles do give some drawbacks...yet the great looking explosions, weapon fire, vehicles, environments and no distant pop-up make things really great.

Audio: The classic anthems, weapon sounds, vehicle noises, orders, troop chatter are all a joy to hear. Yet, if you are not a fan, you will get tired of hearing all of the same old music playing almost in a continuous loop, but still adds alot to the atmosphere and namesake of the game.

Suggestions: Great game...while diversifying the game line-up coming from Lucasarts...the Stae Wars name has made Lucasarts what it is today. Maybe another Battlefront or similar minded title...but keep the Star Wars game mill churning.

Overall Score: 10.0 / 10 Call of Duty: Finest Hour

Overall: For those who like FPS or WWII fans, or both...this game will provide a nice...distraction...while more in depth, detail and historical accuracy than Medal of Honor, it is sort of short and can get you a little frustrated.

Gameplay: The twitch gameplay of FPS and the the frentic pace of large scale and buidling to buidling conflicts keep this one moving. While the slow time moments add drama when under heavy fire or explosions while on foot, they can be frustrating and slow down gameplay. Yet the varied tank driving, sniping and other forms of thwarting the german war machine keep things moving nicely.

Graphics: While not the best looking, some of the explosions, no pop-up and very atmospheric environments keep things visually stimulating. Plus the weapons, uniforms, towns and vehicles are modeled after the real thing, good stuff there.

Audio: Take the soundtrack from "Saving Private Ryan," "Band of Brothers" and maybe some "Enemy at the Gates," and you have a good idea of some sweeping/stirring war anthems, but also some slightly puzzling, verging on annoying, background music or sounds. Yet the tank sounds are cool when driving around in tank to tank battle.

Suggestions: The thing missing here is an offline multiplayer...while Xbox Live is HUGE now, those of us few who don't have it would like to pummel our friends from within a tank, turrent or from the scope of a GW3. But a good job overall.

Overall Score: 9.0 / 10 Armed and Dangerous

Overall: A great game...enough varied action to keep anyone entertained...from blowing stuff up, hilarious cutscnese, solid shooting and some light platforming...a great mix for a non-Star Wars Lucasarts game.

Gameplay: Very fun mix of alot of elements...turrent shooting, run and gun, town defense and once again the hilarious cutscenes make the gameplay fast and fun to behold.

Graphics: Since it was one of the earlier Xbox titles, the graphics sure show their age. Still, the in game play looks pretty good with colorful explosions and interesting weapon effects and no choppiness. Yet, the funny cutscenes, while just that are not much to look at by todays standards.

Audio: While no sweeping music or classical Star Warsesque sound from this Lucasarts title, the sort of Braveheart like scottish run and gun music seems an approriate blend to the sort of british style humor of this game. The voice acting is pretty good though.

Suggestions: A very good game...I ccan see where the possible influence for Mercenaries may have come from..."Blow stuff up...blow more stuff up...bow the living crap out of it..." Another title with the same humor but better graphics would be very welcome here.

Overall Score: 10.0 / 10 Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 2: The Sith Lords

Overall: I have always been a fan of the Star Wars games, and this one delivers just as it's predeccessor does. While the ending and begining can be a little slow or perhaps not the way ou ay have expceted from all the surprise of the first game, fans will definitely like this one still.

Gameplay: This time around your actions and choices make an even bigger difference, the thing I liked the best about this sequal. While unlocking everything and seeing everything in the game will likely take a very long time, those who go mostly linearly, will get it done in about 40 hours, not bad, and luckily long enough to keep the interest. As well, those who played the first can jump right in with little to no help.

Graphics: I was hoping for some more muscle in this area, but it seems that Lucasarts and Obsidian seemed fit to keep with the graphical equation from the first game. While many things still look nice, improvements could still have been made.

Audio: The sweeping orchestal scores of space or land battles, the small language, environmntal and weapon sounds deliver you senses to the Star Wars universe. Plus a surround sound doesn't hurt either...

Suggestions: The aspects from the first game that needed change, were changed, not that there were that many in my opinon. The new influence system and more depth in jedi classes and powers was cool as'd be nice to see some of the names, places or new jei stuff maybe make it into Episode 3, but that's probably just wishful thinking. Make some better graphics, like Mercenaries, in the next one.

Overall Score: 9.0 / 10 Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay

Overall: Admittedly, I am no big fan of Vin Diesel movies...fanboys of the big lug will love this game...those who want a good mix of action and stealth could stand to pick this one up too. While short, some of the challanges and the gruesome devestator moves will keep you wanting some more.

Gameplay: The controls take a little to get used to, but are pretty good when you get down to it. While the puzzles are not brain busters, some fast twitch actions and pretty cool stealth kill opportunities keep things moving.

Graphics: Some good graphics on this one...just look past the jaggies. The lighting effects and very high level of detail keep it a great thing to look at. The eyeshine is a very unique feature...Thief and Splinter Cell would benefit from something like that.

Audio: The sound has some wanna-be epic type stirring action music to spur you to action...while the grunts, groans, screams, voice acting and some small things you may not notice at first glance (or listen in this case) make it a pretty good thing here too.

Suggestions: Saw Pitch Black...thought it could have been alot better...haven't seen the other Riddick movie, but looks pretty cool and am more inclined to see it after playing through this title.

Overall Score: 9.0 / 10 X-Men: Legends

Overall: The best X-men game to date. The combo of action and RPG has seemed to pay off in several games as of late and this comes along for the ride as well. A great mix of team and mutant building and customizing of each character...a great game to keep you going.

Gameplay: The first time you do a combo with a teammate be it melee or mutant powers, you are hooked. Once you unleash you first ultimate attack against some Sentinals, it is great. The only gripe I have is that some mutants seem unbalanced compared to others...and you eventually can build a team that seems to really kick !&%$@#* with high enough levels.

Graphics: A pretty good looking game, all characters done well and never get lost in backgrounds...some of the general baddies are kind of dull, but the colorful power executions and varied environments keep the screen full of action.

Audio: The sounds of battle can be somewhat muted, but the team chatter and voice acting of the various mutants (I think actors returning from the cartoon TV show from FOX Saturday I old, does anyone else remember them?!) are done well. The background noises are nice in some places and forgetable at best in others.

Suggestions: A well done action RPG...a booming genre that seems to be getting the attention it deserves. The game is done well and almost feels like an episode or almost like a movie, but not quite.

Overall Score: 9.0 / 10 Halo 2

Overall: A sequel always seems to surpass the original...or be a total let down. While Halo 2 certainly is NOT a dissappointment, the multiplayer game well help those who are left with a finished single player wanting more. Yet, with all sequels, new is best, and there is no exception here...gotta love 2 SMG's to mow 'em down with...

Gameplay: Controls are still tight...and while some similar missions and enemies appear...I thought that Bungie did well to make things engagin while at the same time easy to get into and stick with...from the newbie to the fanboys...or fangirls.

Graphics: Detail and texture pop-ups during FMV aside, we have and improved engine here that will based on the old brings better environments, nice lighting effects and even the character/enemy/vehicle models and design are great and a feast for the eyes.

Audio: The marine and covenant chatter...weapons fire...vehicles...and of course explosions are still great and immerse you in the mix of fire fights, and scare the crap out of you in the dark...

Suggestions: This single campaign seemed to end before it got going...hopefully just a build up for Halo 3 ?! A very worth sequel that will keep many busy...not just to unlock the various endings...but also in multiplayer and Live.

Overall Score: 10.0 / 10 Fable

Overall: While endless comparisons between this title and KOTOR and Morrowind abound...I am going to be original and rate this game on it's merits alone, no this is not Project Ego, this is Fable and it is good. A game that sucks you in at the start...everything you do, kill, sell, wear, eat and (sometimes) don't do makes a difference in this title...those of you who like customizing, here it is in full. Maybe the game is a little short, but with with so many gamers who have short attetnion spans anyway, this is just long enough to keep you interested before it starts to get really drawn out.

Gameplay: While the controls would have been a bit better having been made to be customizable, they work well nonetheless. Everything comes together very well and makes for an immersive and memorable experience...especially taking the added challenge of boasts and taking the time to do and find EVERYTHING...and when you are can continue on and build your character even more and keep your characters life going in the world you helped to shape.

Graphics: Absolutely's the little things that make it great...scars, hair in the wind affects, tats, cleavage, lighting on armor and weapons...some may gripe that too much time and space was put on graphics, but when your mouth gaps and makes you stare in disbelief, the wait was worht it.

Audio: I have been a fan of Danny Elfman for a while (from movie themes suchas MIB and Spiderman) just to name a paultry few...the effects in game...spells, weapons, creatures, water, dialouge...all done very, very well...oncce again, some may say too much or maybe not enough...but it is just right here again.

Suggestions: A sequel would be nice...stick to the same formula for this first one with few changes and you will have another title that outsells the box office seller of that week too...

Overall Score: 10.0 / 10 Sudeki

Overall: I dunno if I would say this will give Final Fantasy a run for it's money but it is a pleasant distraction until Fable arrives. Very well an adventure/RPG lite almost in the realm of Wild Arms from PSOne. Controls are done well and none of the puzzles are so mind bendingly tough that a little bit of thought or a retry won't fix.

Gameplay: Very good controls, yet some battles turn into simple strafe/dodge and hit/shoot...a combo that is a little more interesting than simple turn based RPG's...for a while. But good plot, and twists, and some ok side quests. The game is pretty linear though.

Graphics: Pretty good graphics...characters are done well, the male players will like the Ailish and Buki characters I think.

Audio: The battle sounds are pretty muted and the dialouge can be predictable at best sometimes, yet the voice and lip syncing are pretty nice. However, the background can keep you going in new areas and bore you in others.

Suggestions: Good game...a few things to change maybe, and perhaps make the game a little longer next time but overall a good experience.

Overall Score: 8.0 / 10 Manhunt

Overall: I am of the opinion that Rockstar, along with Ubisoft, have been on an awesome streak as of late with their recent game releases. Manhunt is no exception, Rockstar appeals again to the inner criminal/serial killer in us all, and it works, when you give it a chance.

Gameplay: Like Splinter Cell meets the snuff film, a game that doesn't remake or add to the stealth genre, but definitely ups the ante on gore in games. If you like being in the shoes of a man with nothing to lose, with pretty good controls as well, and some gut wrenching yet somehow fun kills, pick up this game now.

Graphics: The graphics are very much like the grainy type film style of movies such as Blair Witch or even many eye witness videos. While some of the environments are kind of dull, some character models are interesting, yet disturbing, and the close up execution style of filming will make you jump at the unexpected and want to try and go one better the next chance you get.

Audio: The game lags a little here, and the heart thumping when enemies are close or in tense close calls is pretty fitting yet can become monotanous quickly. The director talking throughout can be kind of funny if not unnerving, and the hunters talk amongst themselves and mumbling to themselves can be unique and add to the experience.

Suggestions: I think Manhunt 2, if or when it comes out, while be even better than this first game. I'm not sure how online or multiplayer would work, but it could be fun. Hey Rockstar, good job on this one.

Overall Score: 9.0 / 10 Ninja Gaiden

Overall: I have been a fan of the series since the Nintendo days...this title did not fail to deliver. Solid controls, great graphics and sound make a feast for the senses...yet the high difficulty from the onset may make it prohibatively hard fro casual gamers.

Gameplay: Great controls and so-so camera work. A pretty good story line and some interesting backgrounds on the characters in game. Yet, the high learning curve from the beginning can and will put off some who want the eye and ear candy but not all the work and dying.

Graphics: Great graphics...Team Ninja seems to up the ante everytime they produce a title...can't wait for the next DOA. The bloddy death of ninjas by Ryu's hands are nice.

Audio: Great...full of life and very atmospheric...combat and voice are well done as well...spell sounds, etc. done nicely too.

Suggestions: Make a game that is more easy to get into either for those who want to invest less time or don't want all of the frustrating nuances from the beginning. Overall, a nice game though.

Overall Score: 9.0 / 10 Metal Arms: Glitch In The System

Overall: One of the other reviews said this game was Halo jr. I would agree on the surface, but a cartoony aspect makes it not quite go all the way.

Gameplay: The varied weapons and mission sets make this pretty good to stick with...but something about this title didn't quite do it for me. The levels can be pretty frustrating sometimes (don't get me started on zombie robots) but some comedy and mixed play works well.

Graphics: Not bad...I expected more visually, but for robots it was good. The weapon effects look cool and sometimes big explosions are good.

Audio: The comical sounds and bot noises, cries deaths sound funny but get old very fast. The cursing old robot is pretty good though.

Suggestions: I did like this game, but it doesn't have the polish and depth of story of other games...but good for a rental.

Overall Score: 8.0 / 10 Magic The Gathering : Battlegrounds

Overall: I liked the idea of this game...being a nerd who played the card as well...but got let down as I played a bit further on. The arcade action was ok...but it just didn't want to make me play all the way.

Gameplay: It would be kinda tough to figure out a way to make the move from cards to video game...but it was done ok. I think if you could direct your creatures a little more...or build your deulists stats up even a little more it would add an rpg element that would make the title shine instead of being lackluster.

Graphics: The Unreal engine looks good and the creature models look good as well. The levels do well to set a mood for each color.

Audio: Nothing doing...very muted sounds of battle even with 5 x 5 creatures per side. No noteable background music and sfx are so so.

Suggestions: I didn't get a chance to try xbox live...but I still don't think it would save this title from it's faults.

Overall Score: 7.0 / 10 Beyond Good and Evil

Overall: A very good game...another winner for Ubisoft. Very engrossing from the start and with a story, characters and the little extras that keep you coming back for more. I agree with fieldmobb561...this is the Zelda of Xbox.

Gameplay: Great controls, a slight learning curve with the vehicles or some items later on in the game. SOme stealth action gets kinda frustrating, but nothing some practice won't get you through. A little too short though.

Graphics: Graphics that strike a good level between cartoon and good 3-D. Wide expanses on water and in space are done well. The character animations are good and all look well...all the colorful creatures you can find are cool looking too.

Audio: The soundtrack has a timeless almost epic theme that sticks in your Zelda...and all other voice acting and sfx are perfect for the setting.

Suggestions: Make a sequel that is longer. Ubisoft is on a role and I look forward to any and all future titles.

Overall Score: 10.0 / 10 Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind GOTY Edition

Overall: Even better than the original...I was hoping that they'd include both expansion packs...and that made it even better this time around.

Gameplay: Loved getting into the expansions, Bloodmoon was great, and the other was ok. Bethesda left everything, wisely, intact from the original, and this made it really nice getting an even higher level character. Many nice touchs were added that keep this game fresh and rewarding.

Graphics: The redraw rate was better thus time and even the new characters and enemies flowed seemlessly and looked great. The snowy scenes made winter seem even more dismal though.

Audio: The new areas are great, and the same tried and true (albeit VERY repetitive background music)is there, the little sounds touches that keep this game a newly repolished classic.

Suggestions: Great additions for this reincarnation...I dunno were you'd go after such an instant classic, but I bet that Bethesda has something else great up their sleeves...

Overall Score: 10.0 / 10 Deus Ex: Invisible War

Overall: I was a big fan of the first game, and had huge expectations for this game...most of the expectations were upheld...yet it made for a very enjoyable experience overall.

Gameplay: The story in this sequal is far reaching and high orders, governments, terroists...seems like alot of what's going on now in the world. A very fun exeperience, yet the loss of skills made things a bit less customizable than for my taste. However, some of the new mods are very nice.

Graphics: Good graphical touchs, and the weapon effects look great, and the ragdoll system make the bodies hit the floor with eerie realism...creepy. Some of the enemies could have used a little more work, but not bad overall.

Audio: The mumblings of scientists, comm chatter of soldiers on patrol and the whine of patrol bots were great. Some of the weapon sounds seemed a little muted, but the job was done satisfactorily.

Suggestions: Make a 3rd...please, use the best from the old and the new.

Overall Score: 9.0 / 10 Gladius

Overall: Maybe I didn't give this game enough time, but I also have other titles to play (Prince of Persia, GTA, etc.) While Lucasarts does great with their Star Wars titles, this one could have been done better by someone else. While the concept draws you in with the Gladiator type play and micromanagement school operations, it just didn't do it for me.

Gameplay: The controls are simple to grasp, but screen after screen of dialouge, league, tourneys, items, customizations...blah, blah, bah, enough already. While I'm sure that some out there who enjoy such detailed and meticulous gameplay, action fans and those who want to focus on just a hand full of glads, as oppose to a full (20-30 at most) school.

Graphics: The characters look nice, even on the small scale, and the character designs are unique as you get into it a bit more, but the world and some arenas are kinda dull. The cutscenes look nice though, and the story does bring you in.

Audio: The grunts, groans, moans, attacks, etc. are done ok, but could have been a bit more varied. The music is very 'Gladiator' esqe but soon fades in importance as you progress or go through the mundane taks of school and item management. Some spell affects sound nice, and the voices usually are done well in Lucasarts titles.

Suggestions: I dunno, make a Star Wars game maybe similar to this kind of game idea, or maybe make it a decision to have a big school with little story intertwined with the characters, or make it so you can pick three glads to go through a story with and fully develop them both in stats and plot choices.

Overall Score: 6.0 / 10 MechAssault

Overall: A very good game for Xbox and Xbox Live. Many of the mechs from the original PC game Mechwarrior made it onto this port, and much more time and development was given to detail, level design, effects and controls.

Gameplay: The controls definitely make up alot for past games in the series and they also make eveything feel easy to do and execute. Plus, it is fun to walk all over the attacking infantry and hear the squishing sounds.

Graphics: The mechs, buildings, explosions, weapons, weapon affects and environments all look great, lots of detail, and very little if no clipping.

Audio: While not the central focus for this title, the voice talent, mech noises, weapon sounds get the job done. Background music, what there is of it, is kind of placating, but picks up only when something is going to attack.

Overall Score: 9.0 / 10 Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

Overall: First off, I usually wouldn't write a review unless I've played a game a bit longer, like 20+ hours. Yet, this game I already know will be great. The setting, plot, characters and level of interactivity throughout the game is unlike anything seen on the Xbox so far.

Gameplay: The controls do a great job of helping you navigate the prince like it was you in the game. While it may take some time and practice(again and again) to pull off advanced moves and the right timing with some jumps and in combat, it pays off. The princes moves in combat and traveling across levels are cool to behold, and the time affects also make it so you can prolong play instead of having to do the die/reload shuffle alot.

Graphics: The time affects, enemies, environments, characters and detail in movements and interactions are sometimes jaw-dropping. As well, the cut scenes get the job done superbly.

Audio: While not the best by far, the indian/persian, whatever, type background sounds make you feel like a sultan and. The time affects also sound cool, yet the enemies don't seem to have much in the way of a voice, except dying.

Suggestions: I dunno how the XBL will work aside from maybe some form of chat or multiplayer, but I have no other questions or concerns past that.

Overall Score: 10.0 / 10 Grand Theft Auto: Double Pack

Overall: A great pair. The sane, intelligent person side of me wants to help the criminally insane side of me complete every mission, rampage and other devious acts I the game that is. The characters also make you feel like you're in "Goodfellas" or even to a slightly different extent, in your own version of "Falling Down," complete with your own bat and a bunch of gang thugs to harass.

Gameplay: The controls for the driving aspect, which is a very integral part of the game, are very nice, and the shooting does well, but could be a bit easier for some of the weapons.

Graphics: The settings, car designs, fashions, buildings, weapons and characters take you to the worlds that Rockstar created, and keeps you wanting to continue the carnage. Some clipping occurs, and the camera can be strange in some out of the way places, but better then some games.

Audio: Including the harddrive soundtracks for in game listening, puts this title way above it's PS2 counterpart in this area. While the radio in GTA3 is ok, the radio in VC, for a child of the 80's like myself, is great. The cars, explosions and weapons sound goood, and the voice talent in VC is real good.

Suggestions: While Rockstar has come under fire many times due to the mature themes and anti-this or anti-that aspects of its games, it still has the guts to keep producing great games. Hey parents and other anal-retentive groups, if you stop making such a stink about games like these, and run your households better, the game won't get the media attention, and therefore won't get the mass popularity it still recieves today. That's my only rant, thank you for listening, or not...

Overall Score: 10.0 / 10 Dungeons & Dragons: Heroes

Overall: A very entertaining game, keeping you busy for a while. An engaging storyline and the ability to create a customized character works well in this title.

Gameplay: Controls are pretty tight in this game, but long range attacks are sometimes hard to land successfully. Combos are sometimes hard to land, yet certain special moves are invaluable during large scale groups.

Graphics: While the cut scenes could have been done wth a few more details, the visuals during gamepley are solid and characters, enemies, bosses and level design are colorful and clear.

Audio: The sounds can become very repetitive as you plow through the masses of enemies, as well the voice acting could be a little better.

Suggestions: Make a sequal that is little longer or with more skills and characters.

Overall Score: 8.0 / 10 Return to Castle Wolfenstein: Tides of War

Overall: One of the best FPS on Xbox, with great weapons, some very creative level design and some susspenseful battle situations.

Gameplay: Tight, customizable controls. Weapons use very fluid and easy, especially sniper and snooper riles. Multi levels of difficulty make this great for novice of full time soldiers alike.

Graphics: Environs, enemies and cut scenes are very clear and well done. Minute details and in game effects keep the player enthralled for long spans of time.

Audio: The german troop dialouge is very authentic. Creepy sounds from x-creatures and very realistic vehicle and machinery sounds help create an atmosphere reminiscent of "The Guns of Navarone" and possibly even "Raiders of the Lost Ark."

Overall Score: 9.0 / 10 Freedom Fighters

Overall: If you ever wanted to play "Red Dawn" the game this is it. While controversial before it was released mainly due to the first 10 minutes of gameplay, this game will rile the gun-toting militant patriot in us all.

Gameplay: Controls are pretty good, but camera could use some work in certain battle intensive levels. Interesting use of building moral and gaining and commanding troops. Having multiple strategic targets in each area and being able to eliminate them to make things easier (or therefore harder) is a great feature.

Graphics: Visuals are good if not repetitive and some enemies look striking similar to "different" troops. Good explosions and some great weather effects keep things visually fresh.

Audio: Weapon and vehicle sounds get old after first level, and some main character dialouge is trite and predictable.

Suggestions: Make a longer, more diverse sequal. Perhaps include other nations to ally with or more varied settings.

Overall Score: 8.0 / 10 Kung Fu Chaos

Overall: If you wanted an over the top martial arts game complete with enough unlockables to keep you coming back for more even though you know you shoudln't, what a good game.

Gameplay: Controls are simple enough, but some combos and counters don't work at all without lots of practice. Each character is similar in speed and power and only differ in costumes and special moves.

Graphics: Good graphics for such a cartoony game, and the stages are close to superb in design and creativity with good themes throughout.

Audio: While the out of sync lipping and speech in the game is keeping with the central focus of bad hong kong movies, other sound effects didn't need to suffer as well.

Suggestions: More characters of differing abilities and perhaps the option to train and improve upon their existing skills to add depth and replayability, kind like games like Ready 2 Rumble.

Overall Score: 8.0 / 10 Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance

Overall: Good action RPG. The story is original if not slightly confusing at certain times (Lizard man in the swamp, I'm talking about you). Yet a good continuation of the popular series.

Gameplay: Controls do well, yet long range weapons take lots of practice to become proficient in using. Spells usually go off without much problem.

Graphics: While games that use such overhead views sometimes sacrifice details for more room and speed onscreen, BG does well in both. The cutscenes get the job done (and that is the biggest chest I've ever seen on an elf ever). Weapon affects appear clear, yet some enemies could be sharper looking.

Audio: The sounds are kinda dull, and the medieval lute type backgrounds are not driving whatsoever. Yet some creatures (i.e. zombies) keep the game somewhat atmospheric.

Overall Score: 8.0 / 10 Dead or Alive 3

Overall: Good fighter, with a wide blend of figting styles and diverse levels. Hot lookng cgi chicks, and a fair amount of modes.

Gameplay: The controls are good, but some of the more complex fighting styles/characters will take some time to do well with. Yet the cheaper moves can often make up for this difficulty.

Graphics: This is were the DOA series has shined. The charactes look great, the environments look even better and some of the cut scenes are good considering this was one of the Xbox launch titles.

Audio: The music, hear again, is repetitive and the bumps, smacks, kicks and groans of combat add some realism, but not much.

Suggestions: I'm greatly looking forward to DOA online. Perhaps new characters with different styles will propel it to further greatness.

Overall Score: 8.0 / 10 Dead to Rights

Overall: The Max Payne wannabe. While the story is ok, not nearly as dark or gripping as Payne. The hand to hand fighting adds a new dimension, sometimes rife with frustration(prison levels).

Gameplay: The controls are ok, but going between hth and shooting can cause trouble. The jumping and some movement skills needed cause lots of frustration in certain areas.

Graphics: Not much detail was used and many enemies look like clones. Even the bosses were not given much time, yet some levels done ok if not in a somewhat conservative manner.

Audio: The shots, explosions and voices are clear, but the hth and some little sounds (neck, ribs crakcing, etc.) could be a bit better.

Suggestions: Find new gameplay elements to include to set it apart from Max Payne, or else the title will be second rate before it's sequal release.

Overall Score: 6.0 / 10 Hunter: The Reckoning

Overall: A very creepy game, complete with a great story and characters that all have a great stake and unique contribution to the gameplay strategy.

Gameplay: The controls are...interesting, you think at first play they won't work, but it surprisingly helps in your quest. The creatures are frequent enough to up your urgency and the bosses can be a pain yet making their defeats that much more satisfying.

Graphics: Great level design, downright grisly bosses and nice edge affects. The camera could use some work butI guess it adds to the difficulty.

Audio: Very nice, with each creature type being able to be distinguished as soon as you hear it on screen. The voices, while not great, fit the characters and cut scenes.

Suggestions: Haven't played the sequal yet, but I know the sequal will make the needed improvements.

Overall Score: 9.0 / 10 James Bond 007: Agent Under Fire

Overall: I'm a big fan of the 007 movies, and Goldeneye was a milestone in its day. This game does well, but could use some updates and better plot.

Gameplay: The varied mission types, vehicles and FPS make this a good blend. Plus tearing through european towns in the Aston Martin is too good to pass up. Controls in both modes ok, orecision aiming can be tough though.

Graphics: Good affects, varied henchmen and bosses, gadgets and vehicles done well with xbox graphics. Yet levels having some clipping and ambiguous layout can be tough to navigate.

Audio: Great themes, voices while clear are not overly great, but driving levels sound great. Good surround and environmental noises up the experience.

Suggestions: Haven't played Nightfire but heard it was better than this game, so I may have to check it out. But take some cues from Goldeneye and include more movie series specific extras and ulockables in the future.

Overall Score: 8.0 / 10 Oddworld: Munch's Oddysee

Overall: For such a quirky, off the wall game, it proved to be quite entertaining. The in game tutorials make this classic to easy to get into you can't possibly stop playing even if you get a bit frustrated at times.

Gameplay: The controls are so easy a kid can do it. The differnt advantages and character skills between Munch and Abe allow you to see alot of the stuff to see in Oddworld.

Graphics: The envionments, the natives, the enemies the cut scenes are great, especially for an original Xbox launch title. Some camera issues a problem in variuos levels, but can be overcome with patience.

Audio: Some of the cuter denziens of Oddworld prove to be annoying, but the comments and one liners by Abe and Munch are really funny.

Overall Score: 8.0 / 10 Nightcaster: Defeat The Darkness

Overall: I like this medieval, slightly RPG type game. Cool looking spells, nice affects of time and a good plotline.

Gameplay: The spells are cool looking, especially at higher levels. The creatures and bosses offer challenges, sometimes difficult to figure out, but with color coated baddies, not hard to see. Controls take some getting used to, but get used to it for a good ride.

Graphics: Level design not too in depth, and the enemies seem to pop up in the oddest places, but some cut scenes done well and bosses are cool looking.

Audio: The majestic music and spell chants and affects are good, but enemy death squeals and muted and strange enemy attack sounds kinda rough.

Suggestions: I know a sequal was made and it might be worth a rental, we'll see.

Overall Score: 8.0 / 10 The Simpsons Road Rage

Overall: A good comparison and even companion to Crazy Taxi. While the fans may feel let down, Simpsons Hit and Run, will pick up where this title lets off.

Gameplay: Good controls, and the multiplay is great and often a great grounds for verbal abuse from or to others. The town layout is ok, but Hit and Run is better.

Graphics: The cars look ok, and many are unlockable. The game may not be quite as clean driving as Crazy Taxi or Hit and Run, but fans of the show won't care.

Audio: All of the fan favorite catch phrases and one liners keep you driving with rage. As well, many destinations are obvious after you know how to get there from character and town descriptions.

Overall Score: 7.0 / 10 The Simpsons: Hit and Run

Overall: A nice alternative for those who think GTA 3 is too much for them. Also fans of the cartoon will really get into the Simpsonesqe humor and missions.

Gameplay: Easy controls, and the driving is not bad for a game of this kind, yet with similar games, you may get frustrated when behind the wheel of certain vehicles. The levels done well and in loyal hardcore Simspon fan fashion.

Graphics: Good looking 3D version of Springfield. The camera can sure use an upgrade, but the tighter areas of city levels and with the myriad of characters you can interact with, you may not care.

Audio: Perfect Simpson sounds, and fan favorite inside jokes and references keep those new to this kind of game going, while the fans will want to hear it all.

Overall Score: 8.0 / 10 New Legends

Overall: Pretty good for one of the original Xbox launch titles. The controls are pretty good, and the plot is failry interesting. Fast gameplay and a plethora of weapons keep the replay ok.

Gameplay: The controls take some getting used to, i.e. long range weapons, and the other characters have low AI. But the bosses, while sometimes mind boggling tough, yield cool weapons. Cut scenes ok, but ending is very anticlimactic.

Graphics: Graphics seem kinda PS1 like and normal weapon affects not as great as they could be. Mountaintop levels do have some visual appeals, but foggy in long distances.

Audio: You hear almost all of the attack sounds after the first two levels or so and the cut scenes with character voices sometimes seem rather bland and monotone.

Suggestions: No sequals without major changes...please.

Overall Score: 7.0 / 10 Halo: Combat Evolved

Overall: So much has already been said about this title. Already an overshadow on the entire industry, namely for a launch title, the only thing I can think of is how Bungie could top itself...

Gameplay: The best controls of any FPS. on foot, in vehicle, shooting, sniping etc. Simply unbeliveable what has been done. An instant classic is a huge understatement.

Graphics: The best graphics on the Xbox, and possibly across the big three systems right now. While not much variation in enemies, the weather and environments and weapons is great.

Audio: The ominous yet motivating main theme lets you know its time to shoot stuff and kick !&%$@#* like you know the Master Chief can. The covenant chatter, military communications and creepy sounds that signal the flood is near, bring it all together.

Suggestions: Bungie has got the highest expectations of any developers, aside from Valve or Id, and if they, sorry...when they deliver the finished product, it truly will be a site to behold...

Overall Score: 9.0 / 10 Unreal Championship

Overall: I've liked this game since it's debut on PC. With the over the top gore, great weapons and taunts, this will make you feel godlike when on a rampage, and humbled when at the wrong end of an ION blast. The modes are tried and true in the FPS arenas.

Gameplay: The controls could have been better, more Halo like. The weapons are missing a personal favorite from the PC, the sniper rifle. Yet the bfgs that seem readily available at every turn keep the action going and new weapon proficiencies and character stats for teammates is kind cool.

Graphics: The graphics seem more varied but not as clean as PC versions. While the indoor and especially outdoor levels are good for seperating effective character types from those that are non-effective, they can be confusing.

Audio: The taunts, weapons, power-ups and level machineries gives you an earful regardless and the fact that you won't hear some of the characters until its too late, up the sensory overload potential.

Suggestions: More weapons, characters and maybe even a create a character mode.

Overall Score: 8.0 / 10 Enclave

Overall: I was excited about getting into this one, but soon found the sharp learning curve of some levels VERY frustrating. The survival missions can be nerve racking and twitchy.

Gameplay: Did not like the controls, and if you hope to finish the game quickly without finding any gold, you're pretty much screwed. While level settings were kinda diverse, they were rather longwinded in later levels. Weapons looked !&%$@#* cool though.

Graphics: This is what I thought the game did best. The inhabitants of this world were very good looking and detailed. The levels while predictable, were well detailed. The weapons glow of fire or freeze with ice, a very nice touch.

Audio: This is where a goblin sucker punches you in the kidney. The voices bad, lip synced even worse and the roars, grunts and growls just didn't make the cut. The weapons look good, but the line stops there.

Suggestions: IF a sequal is in the works, make sure all elements are weighed and tested well before the release and maybe some multiplayer could up replay value.

Overall Score: 7.0 / 10 Max Payne

Overall: A very good graphic novel based game that has a classic film noir feel. The plot is always twisting and you never quite know what Max will do or where he will end up. The new cliche of video games, bullet time, was also made big by this title

Gameplay: The controls do well to simplify things in this often twitch induced gameplay. The guns are very fitting in this dark under belly of the city and the crime and killing makes this truly a dark tragedy of a game.

Graphics: The clean graphics featuring blood, bullets, shrapnel and explosions make up this dark crime story of revenge suitably and the cut scene plot strips are eriely mood setting.

Audio: The little things, radios, TVs, richochettes to the big things bombs, cars, voices, even the bullet time and shot dodge sounds give it that push in sound.

Suggestions: I hear quite a buzz about the sequal and it seems that what was already great gets to be even better...

Overall Score: 9.0 / 10 Crazy Taxi 3: High Roller

Overall: If you are a fan of the series, you will enjoy it. However, you may just want to get GTA 3 so if you get bored drving people around, you can run them over or do other stuff. New characters and levels are nice additions, and the old levels are redone pretty well.

Gameplay: Controls are tight, which is good cuz if they weren't, why would you want to play. Yet some clipping and seemingly easy spaces to drive through are near impossible. Colorful levels, and a fair amount of optional modes keep your interest for a little more than a week.

Graphics: The passengers are sometimes stereotypically dressed, yet the cookie cutter citizens are what you expect throughout the whole series. Taxies do look pretty nice though.

Audio: The game soundtrack is upbeat but repetitive (I can only take so much Offspring in an hour or two of play). Being able to listen to hardrive soundtracks would make the sound better.

Suggestions: A mutliplayer mode would be nice, but that's usually not the cache of these titles.

Overall Score: 7.0 / 10 The Thing

Overall: The closest thing to playing the movie, this game creeps me out big time. Story has some twists and turns and the moral/confidence aspect when dealing with other troops is a great and fitting touch.

Gameplay: The controls take a lot of time to get used to. Switching between weapons and items is somewhat time consuming and a death sentence in tense close combat. The trust system is very unique and keeps the replay strong, but can also lead to alot of frustrations and dead ends.

Graphics: The game, while having nice grisly details, i.e. vomit, blood, charred corpses, weather, does have clipping and lacks some power that could have been utilized from the Xbox.

Audio: Creepy John Carpenteresqe music and creature sounds that you hear just on the edge of your hearing keep you on edge. Good use of environment sounds, but not alot of variation due to setting.

Overall Score: 8.0 / 10 Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

Overall: There are, I believe, three kinds of of RPGs, 1) menu driven, 2) action driven and 3) lots of reading. This title falls into the action category. This is quite fast paced for an RPG, yet set in the familiar and popular Star Wars universe, the action is very easy to get into.

Gameplay: Interesting characters, great gamplay control and elements, and a good amount of customization. Yet when compared with Morrowind, not as much customization in what you can create and what you can build your character(s) into is available. Yet many facets of play and progress are included which greatly ups replay value.

Graphics: Probably the best Star Wars game visually ever. Lightsabers, wookies, blasters, sheilds, speeders, planets, beaches, everything in this well created universe comes through in such an awe inspiring way that makes you want to see it all and more.

Audio: The game does well here as well. The authentic droid, combat, language, environemnt(space) and character interaction cutscenes doen great. While I usually cut a game down for repetitive soundtracks, the classic themes and new backgrounds ring through clearly and keep you motivated your gameplay.

Suggestions: Add more customization in character creation and perhaps take a hint from Morrowind and make more guilds, orders, etc. to join. Plus, being able to buy other forms of transportation and explore more planets (sorry alot to ask for I know), will up replay tenfold.

Overall Score: 9.0 / 10 Soul Calibur 2

Overall: This title has come a long way from it's PS1 and Dreamcast days with revamps of the old and interesting new additions to up the replay value and game experience.

Gameplay: Touting new characters, missions and levels, this is a fight fan favorite. The weapon master mode is rife with new and varied missions along with some VERY frustrating challenges as well. The old revamped optional weapons and new ones keep you wanting to unlock more.

Graphics: The levels, lighting and characters (ah, thank goodness for horny game designers...and IVY/TAKI!) keep novices and veterans seeing always looking for finding new and great things. Although more varied weather affected levels ala DOA 3 would up some replay value.

Audio: The grunts, groans, attacks and taunts are good for the first week yet get old once you pick a favorite character or two. The new age soundtrackkinda wanes, yet some of the rolling epic orchestral intros and storyines can be moving after a hard fought battle.

Suggestions: Going online with this title will keep Namco in competition with DOA 3 to bring Soul Caliber farther in the fighting arena on Xbox.

Overall Score: 9.0 / 10 Rallisport Challenge

Overall: The most realisitc off road racing game on any console. While driving purists may find lack of depth or detail, those wanting twitch racing and jaw dropping graphics have found your match.

Gameplay: Very responsive controls which are also customizable to your individual racing style. While practice makes perfect on hairpins and some ice racing courses, instant action races are a good way to jump into this title.

Graphics: The most detailed graphics in weather, cars, courses, track types and daytimes. Plus the little touches like damage, wear and dirt/snow build up add the realism you'd expect from the xbox.

Audio: The norm for most racing games is repetitive "race tunes", yet these tunes paired w/ custom soundtracks from the hard drive make you want to race on your own terms. The engine revs, slides, screeches and squeals keep the level of reality on top of other similar titles.

Overall Score: 9.0 / 10 Elder Scrolls III : Morrowind

Overall: The best RPG I've ever played. Beats Star War: KOTOR due to its open ended play and depth of plot. So much to do so many things to get my character involved in.

Gameplay: Very nice controls, great story, it can be a great testiment to your personal creativity and drive to survive or simply a drifting, aimless game about nothing. Love the replay value on this one.

Graphics: While the visuals may seem bland at times with repetitveness; magic effects, creatures and towns. Detail in little things, cloths, weapons, lighting and mountaintop views is excellent.

Audio: Only down spot on otherwise perfect RPG. Repetitive sounds prove for long journeys on foot, but at least you know when trouble looms. Though environment ambience lends more realism.

Suggestions: A massively online version with room for downloadable content would catapult this series and gamemakers (Bethesda) into the top rungs for years to come.

Overall Score: 10.0 / 10 Medal of Honor: Frontline

Overall: Those of you who are war movie buffs, this will make you feel like watching Band of Brothers or Savinf Private Ryan again and again. The closest thing to actually being there in WW II.

Gameplay: Controls are pretty responsive, German is very authentic, and missions are more realisitc than some of the later missions of RTCW. Variation is good and authenticty in environs, weapons, vehicles and mission history is top notch.

Graphics: The games sticking point. If we had seen visuals on par with Wolfenstein or even certain landscapes in Rallisport, this game would be near perfect. Yet we get visuals that gets the job done on a gritty war like scale.

Audio: Good voice acting, detailed sound sourcing, the opening beach invasion makes you want to play with nothing but surround-sound. As well, weapons and vehicles recreate very well.

Suggestions: Make a massive battle campaign on Xbox live.

Overall Score: 9.0 / 10 NFL Blitz Pro

Overall: The Blitz style gameplay will appease fans of the series. Yet those wo are Madden fans won't like it. AI teammates are better, and playbooks are expanded.

Gameplay: Controls in this Blitz are very good, yet some quirks remain for complicated plays. The new mixof some Madden and some old Blitz football styles mix pretty well, yet again may leave hardcore sports fan wanting more.

Graphics: Jersyes, logos and stadiums are reproduced well and some of the unlockable teams are done well visually. However, the stadium crowds look fake and the two player sizes get kinda old.

Audio: Repetitive background sounds and crowd noise start to grate and the announcers while colorful in conversation start to REALLY grate after several games. Yet player sounds and pad smacking is done pretty well.

Suggestions: Maybe Xbox live support, and include other modes, options or unlockables to add to replay value and gamer satisfaction if further games appear of this ilk.

Overall Score: 8.0 / 10

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