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Shenmue II Second Opinion

Shenmue II Screenshot

While I didn't grow up in a culture like Ryo's (or Gene's), I have lived in places with many similarities. I can definitely relate to elements in the game that are signatures of non-Western cultures, and appreciate their genuineness. Gene's comment stating "This is a foreign game with foreign concepts" has legitimacy and weight, and it would be wise to keep this in mind before entering the world of Shenmue II.

Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell – Review

But for the first time ever, the developers of Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell have tamed light and shadow to not only present the most groundbreaking lighting effects in videogame history, but to have it do their bidding. And they have effectively used light and shadow within the gameplay elements, validating the hard work and beauty of the game.

Grandia Xtreme – Review

When referring to an 'RPG'-style videogame, the game in question is usually a game made in Japan for consoles. The structure of the game is generally that of a group of adventurers traveling through lands, killing monsters and collecting treasure using largely non-reaction based gameplay while an epic story unfolds. Unlike the pen-and-paper Role Playing Games that the genre is named for, videogame RPGs are generally fairly linear in the sense of plot, with the player having little or no control over the actions of the characters.

Phantasy Star Online Episode I & II – Review

In theory, a game like PSO is every gamer's dream—join up with three other players from other parts of the country (or the world, once the Japanese servers get linked up) and go on an adventure to kill enemies, level up, and maybe find ultra rare weapons and items. However, like most utopias, the world of PSO sounds much better in theory than it does in reality. Unlike games with computer-controlled allies, every other character on PSO (aside from the monsters, of course) is controlled by another human being—complete with all the flaws and foibles most people seem to possess in abundance. These character flaws come into play regularly for some reason, leading those of us who are older, kinder, or just simply polite to wonder just what's wrong with people.

Wild Arms 3 – Review

Gamers expecting something dynamic and involving will most likely find Wild Arms 3 to be a rather trite and staid gaming experience. How much enjoyment a player will get out of the game depends largely on how they feel about the genre in general.

Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance – Review

Metal Gear Solid 2, for all of its sweeping ideology and bold provocations, was a game that suffered under the weight of its own ambitions.

Quantum Redshift – Review

Considering that the original Wipeout was released way back in 1995, its surprising that so little of the formula has changed over the last seven years. Its been tweaked, refined, and placed in a prettier package, but its still the same show

PaRappa the Rapper 2 – Second Opinion

PaRappa The Rapper 2 had the feeling of an append but came advertised as a full game, and when judged as such it simply doesnt measure up.

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.

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