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Super Monkey Ball – Second Opinion

While I agree with Peters review for the most part, I wouldnt say that the barrel of monkeys was completely full. I had to knock a few points off, partially because I dont think monkeys are intrinsically entertaining, and mainly because I found the games technical shortfalls were serious enough to detract from my overall enjoyment.

Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance – Second Opinion

I don't know why developers are so averted to bringing computer-style role-playing games (RPG) to home videogame consoles. The Baldur's Gate series is a critically acclaimed, popular title in the PC gaming world. While Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance for the PlayStation 2 brings gamers closer to the Dungeons And Dragons RPG setting, the title proves that sometimes the apple falls a bit too far from the tree. In short, Dark Alliance doesn't represent the same caliber game to which PC gamers are treated.

Azurik: Rise Of Perathia – Review

I've been getting the impression from developers, and the general gaming community, that all this next-generation hooplah is not really about making better games, just better looking ones. No one really cares if Resident Evil 20 or Tekken 9 innovates in the gameplay or story department, so long as there are reflective bump-mapped textures and it roars at sixty frames per second.

Amped: Freestyle Snowboarding – Review

Just as Devil May Cry and Halo re-wrote the rules of their genres, Amped: Freestyle Snowboarding eschews many of the conventions of snowboarding games and presents a refreshing spin on its weathered concept.

NHL 2002 – Review

NHL 2002 ultimately succeeds at bringing NHL-styled hockey to the XBox. While it isnt a perfect recreation of the worlds "coolest sport," it does a nice job of capturing the major nuances of the game and recreating them in videogame format.

Amped: Freestyle Snowboarding – Second Opinion

When I first heard of Amped: Freestyle Snowboarding I was intrigued by the concept. Although I really enjoy the over-the-top extreme sports action in games like SSX or the Tony Hawk's Pro Skater series, there is something to be said about a game that involves a sport like snowboarding and tries to model it after the real world experience of the sport. No crazy levels, no outlandish characters and no mid-air break dancing tricks. Just man and board trying to take over the snowboarding world. Cool.

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 (Game Boy Advance) – Review

No matter which way you look at it, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 is a monumental achievement. When Nintendo first announced the specs for the Game Boy Advance to the world, speculation abounded from all circles in the industry as to what the true power of the console could be. There were debates about how many sprites the unit could actually handle and whether it could pull off a convincing 3D with polygons of any degree of sophistication. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 puts that debate to rest as soon as you turn on the game.

Castlevania Chronicles – Review

For the most part, I agree with a lot of Mike's points regarding Castlevania Chronicles. The game certainly brought back fond memories of earlier Castlevania titles that Ive played in the past. I just wish that I had enjoyed playing it more; unfortunately, the obnoxious difficulty and inconsistent jumping mechanics marred the experience.

Vandal Hearts – Second Opinion

I can't say for sure since Im not privy to the full scope of games released in Japan, but it has seemed to me for a long time that Konami promotes a particular aesthetic in their RPGs. Their two most prominent RPG series in the U.S., Vandal Hearts and Suikoden, have always been similar in theme and tone.

Vandal Hearts – Second Opinion

I can't say for sure since I'm not privy to the full scope of games released in Japan, but it has seemed to me for a long time that Konami promotes a particular aesthetic in their RPGs. Their two most prominent RPG series in the U.S., Vandal Hearts and Suikoden, have always been similar in theme and tone. Both series focus on stories of war, and although they do glorify battle and military conflict to some extent, they are striking in that they invariably emphasizewith no ambiguitythe absurdity, contradiction, and pain of war in a moral and social sense. While I enjoy plenty of other RPGs for their elements of fantasy and escapism, I always know that when I come back to Konami I will not be let off so easily. There is a palpable sadness in these games, a sense of hurt and moral outrage that visibly sets them apart from other RPGs that have come to the U.S.

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