By Mike Bracken on September 10, 2002 - 11:00pm.
Over the past few years, gaming has started to notice the value of having a main character duo as opposed to a lone hero. In some games, like Banjo-Kazooie, the teaming up is essential to advancing through the game's missions (players must utilize both Banjo and Kazooie to complete different objectives). Other games, like Naughty Dog's Jak and Daxter aren't quite so ambitious in their use of two lead characters--the mute Jak does all of the work while Daxter provides the running commentary. However, theres no denying that the presence of a second lead character (or even a sidekick) gives these games an edge over their more traditional single lead character counterparts.
By Chi Kong Lui on September 3, 2002 - 11:00pm.
Despite being rated mature (meaning this game is supposedly for adults), Dead To Rights has no such experience or ambition. It is a mere sheep in wolves clothing that uses only the most socially timid and comfortable clichés like cigarettes-for-trade and prison escape maps to paint a PG-rated teen-friendly novelty amusement park interpretation of prison life.
By Brad Gallaway on September 3, 2002 - 11:00pm.
Parents and children in search of quality game software haven't had an easy time despite the industrys recent boom years. Theres no shortage of inane titles lining shelves with only a cartoon license or television character as the selling point, but these kinds of shovelware arent acceptable. If a game is too simplistic and boring, its hard for parents to maintain interest in their childs activity. If the game isnt very good to begin with, or if the difficulty level isnt keyed in to young ones, the child will get frustrated by the gameplay.
By Mike Bracken on September 3, 2002 - 11:00pm.
Enclave is a shining example of the original controller breaker games—a title so aggravating due to its poor design that its all but guaranteed to have gamers chucking controllers across the room with frightening regularity. I love a hard game as much as the next guy (maybe even more so—I've been pretty vocal in my disappointment with overly simplistic games), but when the difficulty springs from cheap death, a shoddy combat system, and one of the worst save systems I've seen since the 8-bit days, I think its safe to say we have a game thats a controller breaker for all the wrong reasons.
By Guest Critic on August 27, 2002 - 11:00pm.
I owe some of my driving skills to video games. I know it sounds silly, but its true. I learned how to navigate curves by playing Segas OutRun arcade game back in 1988. For some reason, I couldnt get the feel of steering properly during practical driving, but after playing OutRun, things just clicked. Its pretty scary to imagine what would have happened had I not learned this valuable skill. For starters, I probably wouldnt have earned my drivers license; and what worse, I probably would have constantly veered off the road at every turn and that would've been ugly.
By Brad Gallaway on August 27, 2002 - 11:00pm.
Fans of Big Robots are in for a real treat if they happen to own the Xbox console. For some strange reason, Microsoft's black behemoth will be host to a virtual armada of mecha-themed games quite soon. With upcoming titles like Murakumo, Phantom Crash, Robotech: Battlecry and Steel Battalion (to name just a few) there won't be any shortage of missile-launching, jet-boosting, laser-sword-slicing fury. I'm really a bit mystified as to exactly why there will be so many on the Box as opposed to the other two consoles, but whatever the case, the invasion's first wave has just hit.
By Mike Bracken on August 20, 2002 - 11:00pm.
Capcom vs. SNK looks stunning. If anyone out there thinks 2D gaming is dead, they'd be well advised to look at this title, which will almost assuredly make them re-evaluate their stance on the power of sprite-based graphics.
By Brad Gallaway on August 20, 2002 - 11:00pm.
The shift in videogames from 2D to 3D has led to the development of many new and interesting concepts, but some old favorites have found that making the jump to the next generation has been tougher than expected. It's arguable that old-school shooters may have had the roughest transition, but in my view developers trying to recreate classic beat-'em-ups like Final Fight or Streets Of Rage are the ones that have consistently stumbled time and time again.
By Thom Moyles on August 20, 2002 - 11:00pm.
In the modern videogame industry, games are almost always created in Japan. Although most games are brought over to America and the other regions of the world, there are always a significant percentage of videogames that never make it out. Frequently, the only option for non-Japanese gamers has been to either buy a Japanese system or modify their American one, and then pay for imports that are largely incomprehensible to those who dont know Japanese.
By Guest Critic on August 20, 2002 - 11:00pm.
While I certainly do have my own views concerning what I regard as "art", as would anyone, I do not share Chi's opinion for WWF SmackDown: Just Bring Its "Create-A-Wrestler" mode. I've always viewed these features as nothing more than extras designed to beef up a game. Such options would attract my curiosity for little more than five minutes, browsing around to see what they offered in terms of choice and originality, before I permanently left them alone.
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