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Shenmue II Review

Shenmue II Screenshot

I grew up in a collectivist society, which stresses community effort and family over the dog-eat-dog individualist philosophy. Both terms are extremely generalized and say little about each culture, but there are subtle things that are the key in determining which is which. I never had much use for directions or street names. Growing up on the small island of Guam, directions were given by indicating landmarks of everyday things, like a tree, blue trimmings on a house or strange looking stones. We had street names, just like they do in Shenmue and its Xbox sequel, but apparently the entire community found that they were more of an inconvenience.

Deathrow – Review

Deathrow graces the Xbox without much media hype or word of mouth, but its a game that should definitely create a buzz in the gaming community. It doesnt have a million-dollar ad campaign or an established franchise to move it off shelves, but it has a unique concept, polished graphics and sound, lots of options, and deceptively simple gameplay that is sure to challenge even the most seasoned gamer.

Blinx: The Time Sweeper – Review

Most platformers are still stuck with the same ideas of collecting limitless items, defeating monsters in cartoon-like ways and exploring massive 3D worlds attempting to unearth every last secret the game has to offer. Blinx: The Time Sweeper, with its creative use of the Xboxs hard drive, may seem like the game that will breathe new life into the genre.

Sly Cooper And The Thievius Raccoonus – Review

Sly Cooper And The Thievius Raccoonus wont get marks for being the most revolutionary game ever. Nor will it get high marks for its depth or length. But developer Sucker Punch knew how to make their inaugural PlayStation 2 title a noteworthy one.

Defender – Review

Like the saying goes, everything old is new again. In recent years, weve seen a fairly sizable resurgence of classic titles attempt to make lightning strike a second time. Its pretty clear that some have been more successful than others, although I think the key to pulling it off is in retaining the core elements while also significantly expanding on them.

Phantom Crash – Review

If you've been following the release lists for a while, Microsoft's Xbox has been looking like the place to be for fans of big robots. There were an amazing amount of laser-firing ironclad games announced early on, and for gamers like me that was great news. However, I'm starting to wonder how many of these titles will actually deliver high quality action thanks to the subpar releases seen so far.

The Thing – Second Opinion

The Thing, with its fantastic source material and unorthodox gameplay, is one of the few games that dares to break the mold. It is, without question, one of the most compelling survival-horror games I've played since Konami's Silent Hill 2 last year. Brad seems to have had a much less favorable experience with the game than I did particularly with regard to the trust/fear system so its those aspects I'd like to address first.

Contra: Shattered Soldier – Review

After sitting down and spending time with Contra: Shattered Soldier, its clear to see that older gamers are the ones who will likely enjoy it the most. The graphics are solidly rendered in 3D, but they're not anything that will impress or engage people more accustomed to the visual flash prevalent on today's powerful hardware.

Capcom vs. SNK – Second Opinion

I was looking forward to this particular title for two reasons: it would be exciting to see my favorite SNK characters rendered with more powerful hardware and, seeing as SNK has filed for bankruptcy, Capcom Versus SNK could be the last game featuring SNK characters. As an SNK nut, I needed to get this game.

Conflict: Desert Storm – Review

Theres definitely a little irony in that were seeing a game based on the Desert Storm conflict in the Middle East just as our nation is on the verge of revisiting our old "the guy you love to hate" nemesis Saddam Hussein.

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