Monday, 1 December 2003

Archive Review: Medal of Honor: Rising Sun

(Xbox, Gamecube, PS2 review)

Somebody once said, "War is Hell", oh it was The Critical Alien in his review of Battlefield 1942 . Well war might well be hell but it sure does make a good game and hell! What's more fun than running around with a gun in a wood?

Medal of Honor: War is Linear

I loved Medal of Honor, I loved Medal of Honor: Allied Assault, and even Frontline on the consoles. This was for the simple reason that they delivered what they promoted... authentic WW2 environments with fun gameplay. They were pretty linear yes but made up for it in the way they all just played well. So when Medal of Honor: Rising Sun found its way in my house I was excited for yet more fun, fun, fun.

I Live in Japan. I've lived here for a good few years now, ever since my work as an English teacher took me overseas. I teach English, its what I do, and I like to think I do it well. Rising Sun is based on the pacific setting of World War 2 and starts with Pearl Harbor and ends up in the dense Jungles of the Far East. Was it fate that I, an American living in Japan, was sitting in a chair in the Land of the Rising Sun, about to play a game that pits Americans against Japanese? It felt strange to me, like I was split down the middle of this clash of ideals. Then after about 15 minutes of gaming I realised that RS was Dung and virtually unplayable.

War Diary: Day One

I was woken up to the sounds of bombs falling as I was informed that the Japs had attacked the Harbor. I got up and instantly ran outside to view the carnage. It was odd, the Japanese attack consisted of three planes flying in what seemed like a linear flight path which resembled a circle. I then realised that everyone around me was either dead or doing very little considering we were under attack. Even the Sarg was too busy running into the wall of the barracks whilst strafing sideways to even notice what was happening. It was all too much! The tension got to me, I lost it. Even though I was untrained in the art of Anti Aircraft gunning (I'm only a meer private after all) I took over a flak cannon and let rip. I was confused since no one else was doing this except me. It was me versus the entire Japanese fighter wing! I downed so many planes I doubted the enemy had any left, and then a whole bunch of dem' tings appeared yet again. At one point I even yawned whilst firing into the sky. Was it Providence?

And then I was informed suddenly by the Sarg, who suddenly ceased his odd strafe running tactics, that I had managed, single handedly, to down every fighter in the area and that the rest had fled. He then said it was time for some payback.

Day Two

Before long we were all put in big boats and shipped to the jungles to take on the pesky Japs. Apparently they were ultra tough and showed no mercy. Thsi confused me since once we landed our first encounter with the enemy resulted in seeing them stand infront of us, without firing, and then circle strafe whilst looking into the air. Maybe they had been praying... My teammates also seemed to be suffering from this odd behaviour. Was it some scary Oriental Disease? The Circle Strafing Lame Syndrome? Nope, it was obvious even at this early point that the A.I sucked and the enemy were going to be a pretty easy ride.

Before I knew it my team just oddly vanished into that of... me. Even the Sarg had done a runner. Maybe they were still strafe running back near the beach? I decided to venture on into the jungles. I was hardly the experienced ranger of the area nor had I ever seen such jungles before but it did come as a surprise to me when I realised that the jungle actually consisted of a linear set path. I couldn't move to the left or right of this path for the trees seemed to strangely form unpassable walls to either side of me. And then the enemy came in force. Up they popped, no really. They seemed to just appear out of thin air! The Sarg had said that them Japs had some neat tricks up their sleaves but this? I could hardly believe my eyes. Not that it helped them. They appeared, and I shot them. Once, one actually fired a few rounds at me but I only felt a slight sting and my health pack actually healed me to full health within seconds. I begun to realise something else too. I was finding it very hard to shoot.

Gun + Plane = Game -EA Formula No.1839

I wasn't sure if it was just me or the fact that the tropical surroundings were making it hard for me to operate as I had before. I couldn't seem to aim my gun's crosshair at the enemy fast enough. The movement was sluggish and inaccurate. As well as this it felt like the best thing to do was actually keep my weapon aimed at a 90 degrees angle and instead of aim at enemies just run at them and position myself, via strafing, until I had them in my sights. This meant that 99 percent of my frags had been down to inflicting lethal "thigh" wounds to my enemy. I would shoot them in the thighs until they died. Was this why the Sarg had been strafe running during Pearl Harbor? In order to practice this art form?

As I continued through the linear, dull, and repetetive jungles I soon realised my compass seemed faulty. It didn't work right at all. My route was often in the direction opposite to where the compass directed me to head. I also realised that there was an odd sense of fate or destiny entwined in my adventure. You see, whenever I came across a machine gun position it would seem clear. But if I were to actually take over and man that MG a whole wave of them there Asian lads would pop up from the foliage. It felt like they actually were waiting for me to aim at them with the MG before they revealed themselves! Kamikaze? No, just pants.

So I soon learnt not to even bother manning MG guns at all. Why bother? I just walked on by them and decided not to live yet another experience in the scripted, linear sense of the word.

Day Three

I soon realised that some random fellow had been following me whilst on this tropical romp. He didn't say much, infact he just seemed to repeat the same four or five phrases all the time like "get some" and "how'd ya like that?" Once he told me to "get down" but I didn't understand why. We were just walking along in the clear. Odd guy. But it was quite nice to have some company I guess, since my Sarg and entire squad had seemed to abandon me earlier.

After a while I felt as if I, personally, were the vanguard of an entire Continents revenge on the Japanese. It was as if I was the soul tool in this objective... it was me VS all! I let the feeling pass though, silly nonsense I thought. Soon I begun to discover something even more important. I didn't need to kill all the enemy in order to proceed forward. If war's a game of capturing land then to hell with standing off against the hordes of enemy... I just charged like a wild thing, charging. I simply ran passed wave after wave of the enemy. They didn't even give chase! I then realised that my odd pal had not complied with this new novelty tactic and had been killed whilst lugging behind. For the record... I didn't actually give a !%$?

Well eventually I pulled through though. I managed to defeat Japan, no really. It was me versus the bulk of Japan's Red Army... and I won, and to be quite honest, without sounding big headed, I found it really quite easy. So what did I learn from all of this:

1) EA really are a bunch of Capitalist pigs with no morals and no sense of true creativity when it comes to games.

2) War is hell but in a very linear, scripted, repetetive, and buggy sort of way.

3) Tropical climates really do play havoc on peoples intelligence. They do the silliest of things...

4) That one man, with an M1 Garand, can and did defeat 100,000 men without using more than 3 save points.

5) Those Germans really were alot tougher than the Japs... it was as if they were almost Godlike compared. Strange that.

And to conclude on it all I go back to that odd feeling I had whilst in the fray... it seemed like America was relying on me and me alone to win this war. I was expected to achieve so much, yet it had been so damn easy. Was this all one big test I had just walked? Maybe, I didn't care. It was time to put down the guns and settle back at home. I had plans to sell my story and make a movie based on my war experiences: I would call my tale "Pearl Harbor: One Man's Mission"



Good sound, PS2 multiplayer, arguably a classic "MOH" style.


Crap controls, crap A.I, poor graphics, linear, easy, lifeless like a corpse.


War games can be like hell sometimes

by Joey T 2003

Saturday, 1 November 2003

Archive Review: Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines

(Please Note: When posted on the original gamesreview site, this review featured drop down selection boxes which are not supported by this blog. I have included every "option" where a box existed. - admin)

(PS2, Xbox review)

I need your clothes, your boots, and your money.

I heard this rumour, a rumour so foul and depraved that I quickly forgot about it. Then I heard it again, a rumour so obscene and offensive that I simply refused to even consider it could possibly be true. And then I, with my own eyes, witnessed the advert on television for this evil project. Yes, Atari had just brought out Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines the game!

I knew that this meant only one thing: another crap game based on a movie. It was just fate. But I couldn't simply shun T3 the game without giving it a chance, could I? So I gave it a spin. And only now, after many days hours minutes years? of solid gaming can I safely say, with all confidence, that this game is utter binary fetus. digital dung. sh*t. trash.

So let us now dive right in and go into what it is that makes a truly bad game bad. First of all let us ponder at the design values that make up this manufactured waste. The story is based on the film. You play as Arny, the Governator, politics answer to the Michelin man , on a mission to get into office by managing to achieve the world record in shady backhander's, "anonymous funding's", and personally hosted beach parties. Of course, not even Atari would have gone this far. No, instead we play as the Terminator as he races around 2003 trying to stop the T-X from killing some waster called John Connor. Reminds me of Dallas. the old days. Terminator 2. my pet hamster. an unsuccessful barbecue do.

The game consists of walking around ultra linear levels in a FPS view with the odd third person side-on view for fighting stages. So you start of in backstreets and end up in the SkyNet lab. This rough outline of a game had potential. I stress it "had" potential for when you play it you feel as if Arny himself has come into your house and forced you to read his new book of poetry. The FPS view is the bulk of the game and sucks. The map you get literally doesn't work so you never know where you truly are. Not that this matters since the levels are so linear the way to go is always obvious anyway. Obvious question... why have a map at all? Why take up 1/5 of the viewable screen with a pointless map? Add to this ultra narrow corridors, which are so narrow it feels like your in a Submarine, and short view distances and you begin to get a picture of T3: the game. life in modern day Skegness. what Hell may resemble. the depth's of Atari's mind. I could almost violently, with complete struggle and resistance to the last stand, accept these aspects. What I absolutely giggled vomited choked cried bled, cried, giggled and vomited at was the games most inept issues.

The game relies on a lock-on button. You use this to aim at the enemy. The problem is that it is bugged. Say a skinless model 101 is firing at you, standing slap bang in the middle of the narrow corridor, the lock-on will aim at an enemy somewhere else entirely, often behind the walls themselves. You have to keep pressing it in order for it to finally grasp the situation and allow you to shoot at the enemy firing into your face. I had to run up to the said cyborg, and literally tease the lock-on system to "lock on" by strafing into the enemy and running around it in circles. This kind of reminded me of fish and chips. playing scrabble well into the night. frustration put in a box.

I thought the coast was clear and that I had now seen the worst of what T3 had to torture the gamer with. But I was wrong! Oh so very wrong, for it was then that I realised that hit detection was also bugged. Once you fire at the enemy they won't actually die. Drill, drill, drill. Nothing. This is down to invisible barriers that seem to often block your foe. If they occur you simply must run away and come back in the hope that they will have gone again, allowing you to kill once more.

Something else was afoot here too. Occasionally in this game? half-eaten sausage dog indescript crap you will be required to shoot a wall in order to proceed through the linear levels. This sounds cool but it isn't. Only these "scripted" walls are destructible. No other walls in the game are. This is quite comical when one realises that the game boasts "destructible environments" on the back of the box! So when the time comes to destroy a wall you would think that this process would be relatively simple. Find the wall, shoot it up. Nope. You see there is no obvious way to find the wall! They all look the same and no signs are apparent. So you have to walk up and down the linear corridors firing pointlessly at every single wall you can see. There are not even any cool bullet hole effects to marvel at here. Just spray at walls that don't even seem to flinch at your automatic bursts. I spent 15 minutes doing this until I found the wall that actually fell through. Now that was a real anti-climax too. What really annoyed me here though was that the wall was right by a door. When I walked through the hole I had created I made a point of seeing where the door would potentially have led to within the level design's context. It would have led to the same damn place as the destructible wall!

So the Terminator is destroying walls for the sake of destroying walls? Because that sells video games? Surely Arny would have, should have, just opened or kicked open the door to save time and effort? Oh no, apparently the way to do it is destroy the adjacent wall in order to continue on. You destroy walls for the sheer novelty. Not for any tactical or decisive reason.

The fighting mode sucks. Picture the scene... you versus the T-X in a punch/kick affair. Mash! Mash! Mash! Okay you can throw too, but only via one simple move. Block kind of works but why would the Terminator need to block? They feel like a bonus game which lasts a minute tops. Trash.

Graphically the game suffers from being rubbish. The Xbox version I played on was dull, gray, and gray, so the PS2 version is probably even duller and also likely more gray. You get FMV thrown in which is okay, but just go buy Terminator 3 on DVD you fools! The sound is acceptable, with the infamous Terminator scores, and good bass-heavy blasts from the guns, but this is all lost in the sea of cackness which is T3 the game. Did I mention that this game also has no multiplayer modes what-so-ever! No two player, no split screen, nothing, zilch.

Whoever worked on this game, and Jesus Christ the credits in the manual are huge, needs to be put up in front of a Court of Law and forced to confess that they all knew this game was terrible in every conceivable way before they released it. Then, these said criminals should be forced to sit in a room and play their creation for as long as they can possibly stand this mind numbing evil. Then, maybe then, will the gaming community begin to see a change in the quality of modern products. Games developers are really getting slacky nowadays, hoping the fast food in the consumers belly and the Fluoride in their drinking water is getting to their brains. I, for one at least, still have an IQ.





Everything about the game, right down to it's very core and foundations.


Completely void of any form of praise. Absolutely beyond forgiving.

by The Critical Alien
© 2003

Wednesday, 1 October 2003

Archive Review: WWE: Raw 2

(Xbox review)

Big men, and the sweaty canvas

Steiner is my hero

What is it about wrestling games that make them so appealing? I guess it's the mixture of the "CAW" (create a wrestler) phenomenon and the sheer fun factor of brawling in a different style to the conventional beat-em-up game. Not only this, but people also actually "like" wrestling in real life and play these games just so they, personally, can play as... to be honest, I don't know any modern wrestler names - Sid Vicious?

I recently bought myself an Xbox due to my frustration at the Gamecube and it's lack of good games. The only wrestling game I've ever played before giving RAW 2 a spin was WWF: Attitude on the Playstation in the old days. So in this respect, let's just call me a neutral reviewer here with no ties to the genre or great knowledge of "what makes a great wrestling game". Here I shall review the game in the context of it being a game and not some other entity.

It wasn't long until I got stuck into this game. I read the manual (7 out of 10) and decided to make a wrestler before I tried the game. This was because I really wasn't interested in controlling some "Superstar" - if you can call them that. In my view these guys and gals are just overpaid stuntmen with wooden acting skills and about as much philosophical edge as your Uncle's old razor. Let's just say I have little respect for these people, their entertainers who are followed like God's. For those of you who, like me to begin with, have no idea about the modern wrestling scene let me give it to you in one simple manageable chunk: A very rich man, the promoter, called Vince Mcmahon, writes scripts that are as cliche'd and lacking as any Police Academy movie and makes sure none of these "plots" are concluded until a big "pay-per-view" event is hosted where you, the hooked fan, must pay money to watch it. When you watch WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) on television it basically plays out as one huge advertisement campaign with lots of talk and little wrestling. You ain't missing much in other words.

Any modern grappler of a game will include a CAW mode or what RAW 2 now calls CAS - Create a Superstar - just to be different. Here you create your very own wrestler to play as on the canvas. In RAW 2 you can customize everything from body dimensions and haircut to clothing, moves, and personality. This is all pretty in-depth too and takes ages to polish off for your final product. As well as this RAW 2 introduces the big new feature that every fan has craved for, you can now rip your own music onto the Xbox hard drive and use this as your wrestler's intro music. Intro music is the music that is played when wrestlers walk down the aisle. It is real important stuff, so don't go using anything lame yo hear!

To say that the developers used this new feature to the best of their abilities would be so stupid that you may as well just announce John Kerry is America's Savior in the making! You can use your music for intro's but not for the in-game music! This means that whilst wrestling your forced to listen to the same 3 or 4 generic trash metal tracks over and over again. This gives the game a very arcade feel and it really would have been nice to be able to play your own stuff. Someone even mentioned that with this feature in the game the more creative of gamers could have actually done their very own commentary. Record you and a pal on the Mic on your PC. Bang that onto a CD in the correct format and burn it into the Xbox. Hell it would be better than anything they could have done!

Once your wrestler is made, and named, it's time to sample the real stuff. The intro was great fun to watch and the system of customizing lighting etc is very impressive, but once the fight starts so do the problems. The animation is good as is the overall fighting engine. It's a mixture of realism and good speedy action. There are plenty of moves too and they flow well. Then you discover that so much that was promised just didn't make the final code. We were promised blood that stained the canvas, none. We were promised the ability to pull on clothes, you can't. We were promised removable turnbuckles, they won't budge. None of these features would have saved the game though, for the real issues are the bugs the game has.

Season mode is the true single player experience. You work your way from zero to hero in typical working class fashion. Every time a fight is up you get the odd cutscene and you can interact backstage with other wrestlers and do all kinds of sneaky stuff. You can't actually freely roam backstage though, nor do your decisions (A or B) really make a true difference. Your being fooled from the start like a sheep you truly are. Cutscenes also repeat themselves which is about as sophisticated as beans on toast de la creme' and all through this experience we never hear a single voice. Everything is based around subtitles. Subtitles work in the right context. For example, you need them when your watching un-dubbed Hong-Kong action movies, but you damn well don't need them when your playing a £39.99 ($50) computer game. You want me to read? I don't do reading, unless it's vital for the sake of humanity.

Eventually I got my first tornado tag-team match up. This is basically a 2 vs 2 brawl. It was fun until the realization that this was, in effect, a 4 way battle. The A.I simply was not programmed to recognize it's allies. Your tag mate targets you and this is about as impressive as claiming you know the man who touched the elbow of the person who was apparently 70 meters away from John Kerry during one of his recent election tours.

This bug/absolute f*ck up occurs in any tag team mode and does not end with tag team partners. Say in Season mode your getting mashed (very unlikely due to easy A.I) and one of your allies suddenly comes racing down the aisle to help you out. Your probably thinking "thank God" but don't for all that is about to happen is that this said mate is going to charge into the ring, maybe with a weapon like a steel chair, and deck you. Thanks pal! That's the last time I teach you a body slam.

The problem with this game, and to be honest all wrestling games to date, is that they feel hollow and uninspired. CAW is fun, and RAW 2 does it well and with the ability to add your own music, but the fights get repetitive quickly and their not very advanced. A brawler will never get beaten to beyond recovery so the only way to win a fight is a pin or submission. As well as this wrestlers recover way too quickly from special moves that in theory should have half killed them. Recovery times on a whole are too fast paced and it just feels lacking after solid exploration. CAW itself is also by far from perfect. You cannot quite achieve desired looks due to an odd upper body clothing selection and lack of "multi-layers". This means you can't put on a shirt and then a jacket, only one or the other - very flimsy. If you love wrestling then your probably going to like RAW 2 for a few hours. If you don't like wrestling, the more sane of you, then your probably going to think this game is as good as the television show, need I say more.



CAW with your own music! Neat graphics (but not amazing) It can be fun in multiplayer.


Very obvious bugs, pretty shallow, hmm wrestling?


Pretty questionable game, or am I just getting old?

by Mojo Jojo 2003

Archive Review: Natural Selection (Mod)

(PC Review)

Natural selection is another new Half-Life mod such as the recently reviewed Day of Defeat 1.0. This time around however the setting is a sci-fi world depicting a struggle between futuristic, highly trained marines and an alien race known as the Kharaa.

This mod is extremely popular. NS 2.0 has been downloaded an estimated one and a half million times in it's first week of release! What really makes this mod special is the fact it is not just another FPS. This game is also a real time strategy (RTS) that requires tactics as well as teamwork. Often the word teamwork is used without justification but in NS I cannot emphasis enough quite how much teamwork is used, and is vital for victory.

Your first sight of the game will be in a ready room once you have joined a server. Here you will have the choice to join Aliens, Marines, or spectate the battle. Joining one of the two differing sides is a tough decision to make. Each side plays so differently. Marines have to have a player acting as Commander who will set waypoints (orders) for players, build various structures around the map such as automated turrets (I will go into this later) and also must drop down health packs/ammo on players for support during battles. A problem here is the serious lack of good commanders out there. Many a time when marine you will get a terrible comm or often no comm and this can get tedious and annoying. Marines really do rely on a good leader and it's a matter of luck if you get one although as we all learn 2.0 more and more, more good comm's will appear. Marines tend to stick together in groups due to fear of ambushes from the aliens. Aliens are completely different. Although very often a player will naturally take command of an alien side this is not an official leader. Alien players will tend to do their own thing but teamwork is still vital. Skulks (small dog like things) will run around and hide ready to ambush foolish marines. Gorges will build all the required alien structures and eventually the side will be able to evolve to tougher alien breeds like fades and the dreaded, and very damn large, onos. The idea for the alien side is to defend their hives. The hive is their power source and without it they would be nothing. They can build 3 eventually and then get access to evil powers which normally the marine side cannot match.

Marines rely on weapons such as standard light machine guns and pistols to shotguns and then the more powerful heavy machine guns and grenade launchers. As well as this they can get jetpacks and heavy armour and then they truly are a force to be reckoned with. This all relies on the resources the team has and these come from resource nodes. Teams must build on these to mine the resources and defend them against the enemy. With resources the marines can build armory's for better guns, radar tracking to detect enemy. The list goes on. Aliens rely more on the hive and need to get 3 hives up in order to gain access to their better tech tree's. They can do anything from go invisible and ambush marines to set webs to trap them. There is a lot of room to experiment here and the possibilities for evolving are almost endless in terms of combining skills.

Playing Natural Selection

As I have played this game more and more I have become more inclined to play as the marines. I prefer the way you get a commander and work in a tighter team. 2.0 has had a lot of criticism about the fact the alien side seems too powerful. They always seem to win now and this was not an issue in the last version, 1.04. My personal opinion of this is that the aliens do seem to win a lot. I have explored this game deeply and played on many servers including huge 30 player ones. But I don't think this is a game fault. My view is that the marines need to learn their tactics. Simple things like the marine ability to weld certain entry ways shut often go overlooked and the aliens take advantage on this and sneak through. Commanders are now beginning to realise how to beat the Kharaa. An example of this was a recent game I was in on a brilliant new map ns_veil. We were getting slowly pushed back and our comm decided to give us all shotguns. Now in 2.0 the shotgun is officially the don. It is ultra powerful but you need to be up close to your target. We all then went on the offensive with our shotguns and the comm constantly dropped us med packs and ammo. It took 15 minutes but eventually we decimated the aliens and drove them back to their only hive and destroyed it. This was all down to the shotgun and a few grenade launchers. This just proved to me that the marines "can" win and will begin to win a lot more in the next few weeks and months, because they will suss the tactics.

Playing as aliens is probably harder yet more rewarding. You start as a skulk and run around biting marines. This sounds primitive but that bite attack will kill them in 1 hit and you can run up walls and along ceilings and hide in dark corners. Ambush tactics are the basis of the alien side when on lower evolutions. Players who go Gorge (the builder alien) will create the alien equivalent of the automated turret and other alien forms of the marine tech tree. As I have said the alien side rely on their hives to evolve and must defend these. The marine side must defend the commanders booth in equally the same importance. Once the Kharaa get a few hives up and can evolve into better aliens the real fun begins. The Fade (think Alien - the movie) will hack marines up with it's claws and launch powerful acid rockets at structures and players. When you play as Fade and learn invisibility it is truly great fun. Marines will run past you and then you go visible and chew them up only to fade away again. Then we have the Onos - big nasty mammoth style creature. The Onos can charge into marines and structures and destroy them and, new to 2.0, can eat marines. They will go into it's stomach and digest. Sick. In previous game version the Onos was almost invincible but with the new powers of the marine shotgun it now is not as tough to destroy. Onos players now tend to attack quickly then run, instead of just decking everyone and camping the marine base.

Worth a download?

If this game was retailing at £29.99 I would consider it worth it. This is even with the fact it is a Half--Life mod. Graphically NS is really very good. Like DoD the dev team have really gone beyond limits of the Half-Life engine here and the game looks great. The atmosphere of every single map is tense and gripping. If your a fan of any type of science fiction style game grab this! It feels like the game of the Alien movie Saga yet has enough originality to seem completely unique. Smoke rolls around corridors, machinery sounds echo around the void, doors open with a loud mechanic thud - it's all here. The sound in 2.0 is much better than previous versions with new and improved gun sounds with neat metallic properties. As well as this each gun has it's own crosshair which really is a nice feature. The shotgun for example has a round circle that represents the pellet spread which would be useless for, say, the pistol which has a smaller X crosshair.

Games like this really make you realise something. If people, volunteers, are making games like this for free download and they are as amazing as NS is then why bother buying all these new games that are coming out? NS is a marvelous achievement. It's deep and requires a lot of time to master. The fact there are so many tactics in this create great arguments between players. Whether it be on the microphone or talk bar you will always be promised a great verbal clash in this game. It really gets quite serious too. The will to win in NS is so strong, probably due to the effort that goes into building (the RTS aspects).

Like DoD and CS this is another example of an amazing mod. I was asked recently which one was best: NS 2.0 or DoD 1.0? I refused to answer. In my view these games represent brilliant effort on the parts of the creators and are both completely free! But due to the fact they are all mods of an aging title there will never be as much content here as in a proper game. This must always be remembered.



Truly unique game style, brilliant gameplay, tense atmosphere, teamwork is a "requirement".


Needs more maps, maybe the shotgun is a little too powerful, where is Bishop?


Ripley would be proud

by The Critical Alien
© 2003

Friday, 1 August 2003

Archive Review: Max Payne 2

(PC review)


I'm in a serious mood today. I've got no time to play games, well I have, but not in the context of my review. I'm going to get straight to the point and sum Max Payne 2 up in one simple sentence:

"Short but sweet."

MP2 is to gamers what tipex is to a glue sniffer... a quick fix. Like the original Payne this is very enjoyable and fast gameplay. The basis to this game is a third-person shooter with the novelty of being able to slow down time and gain an advantage over the enemy via the use of this cool feature. This system is known as bullet time since it allows you to dodge bullets and fight in slow motion. MP2 incorporates this Matrix inspired system very well. Infact it does it infinetely better than even Enter The Matrix - the official game to the Matrix franchise.

Give me a gun and call me Payne. The first thing you realise when you play this game is that it is alot like the first Payne in many ways. Actually... it's the same except for two important features. They are that MP2 uses the Havoc physics engine and the Karma death animation system. Now let's first talk about Havoc. This physics system is quite simply amazing. It basically allows you to interact with virtually every object in the gaming world. An example of this could be that whilst in a gunfight you might do a slow-mo side dive and hit a series of boxes - all piled up in a typical John Woo effect. Now in Max Payne this would result in the slow-mo dive ending short due to the collision. In MP2 however the Havoc system allows for those boxes to get knocked down as Payne races through them. This is cool because it looks very cinematic which is surely a great thing. This applies with anything too. See that water dispenser? Well hit it a few times and watch as water flows out, then shoot it to watch as the liquid wets the carpet. Almost anything can be moved, and often destroyed. It's just a shame that not "everything" can be moved or destroyed in true realism. They got close though and it really does kick a$$.

Now we go to the Karma death animation system. Well I'm sure that many of you are already aware of what this is. Raven Shield uses it and it rocks. It came from Unreal 2 but was improved upon in MP2. Karma in this game is the best ever. Whenever you shoot an enemy they die in total, almost shocking, realism. Their bodies react to bullet impact in a way that simply must be seen to be understood. Ha! They don't just fall down and die you fools! They fall over tables and knock Pepsi cans off the tabletop as their legs dangle. They roll down stairs James Bond Style and even will deflect from walls with a thud before hitting the deck. Unlike other Karma based games in this one they also look like they took a round and end up on the floor in a way which resembles a dead body - not an example of high level contortionism.

After one considers these neat aspects then the realisation comes along and the player will discover that this is all that this sequel really boasts. The A.I is slightly improved but still pretty weak. They will often die from throwing grenades at you and simply being killed by their own nades due to either an appalingly bad throw or running into the explosion radius instead of seeking cover once the nade is thrown. This gets annoying but I guess street punks aren't particulary clever are they? These guys are mostly on drugs anyway... They are all crackheads or just plain dumb. This certainly merits a good excuse... not! If they fire guns as sophisticated as MP5's then hell... they should be pretty clever. This game also makes no effort to add anything that the highly popular Kung-Fu Mod for the original Max Payne added. In this respect anyone who played that mod will simply miss not being able to run up walls and lay some jabs into the baddies. You can now use guns to hit people but it is impossible to pull off - and there is no longer a base ball bat! Oh well...

Feel the Payne! Ha! Get it?

Graphically this game is stunning with an improved engine which is better than the original's in every way. Lighting, textures, it's all good. The sound was hardly a strong point in the original and although it is better in this game it's hardly anything special. The music is very good though, with a harrowingly haunting main theme which was also in the original game. One thing I was annoyed about though was the fact that this game has no diagetic music. That is, when the action kicks off the ambient music does not change to that of a fast-paced piece which gets you in the mood. I just dig it when this happens in games. It really adds to the feeling of being in some important situation and adds to the drama.

This leaves me with the low points then and unfortunately Maximus Paynuel (a sort of Greek/Biblical translation) has them. For a start the game is short, so short you could cough and violently cause the wheels on your crappy office chair to slide back as you bow down, vus making you fall down flat onto the floor infront of your PC desk, and you would actually miss the entire game. It's even shorter than the original... which was well short mate. Infact, this game is so short you could go out to the cinema and see The Matrix Revolutions, walk out within the first 10 minutes, get home and the game would be over.

This really is a shame but the game is brilliant in it's shortness. The levels are nice with one that I was so stunned by I had to replay it over and over. This was the stage in an old abandoned funhouse type place. There were no enemies here, just atmosphere. You walked through the level as if you were simply entering the ride like a paying customer. The old thrills of the place still work although the dust has set and the radio voices coming from the high speakers crackle with age. I loved this stage. You will too :)

My gripe with the levels was the last level to the game. Now I don't know about you but whenever I watch a movie or play a game based on the premise, "the good guy was screwed and wants payback," I want to see a really climatic last stage, like a big building with loads of guards or some huge F off robot - get me? Well in Max Payne 2 the last level is a kinda anti-climax, a little like The Matrix Revolutions actually. I won't give any more away though.

Summed up this is a great game yet short. This is a cool game yet hardly a game of depth. It's fun yet will soon become dull. I think that this is really good game and really fun to play but just a little too linear and a little too short to be seen as anything more than a" pretty good" game.



Havoc! Karma! Sounds like some dodgy Satanic club members list.


WTF! Was that it? Pretty bad A.I, Personally I thought the story was overly complex.


If only it were a little longer, then it would have hit the high 9's

(Important Side note: The Matrix Revolutions is absolutely rubbish)

Archive Review: Hidden & Dangerous 2

(PC Review)

I knew a simple soldier boy...

Before I get cracking I want to make a confession. Normally when one reviews a game they have given it alot of time and therefore thoroughly explored the title before actually putting pen to paper. I, on the other hand, have not played HD2 to a level that merits my experience with it as "thorough". Normally this would be a crime against the game, to not give it a chance before concluding on it. But in the case of this world war 2 inspired gem I am confident that my review will be accurate even though I have yet to see most of the games levels and fully explore the world of multiplayer.

First of this game is a first person shooter set during World War 2. You control a squad of four SAS guys who work as a team to achieve varied objectives. Of course, you can opt to play solo too and forget any of that "team management" crap if you so desire. I was a big fan of the old classic Hidden and Dangerous which was as buggy as it was addictive and revolutionary in the way you controlled a team and played in a true non-linear way. HD2 is very much like the original except for the fact it is heavily improved upon, brings many welcome new features, and has really top notch graphics. But, as we shall discover, this "5 year in the making" creation is unfortunately not perfect and does have some issues.

First of (didn't I already say that above?) comes the basics. Once installed this game hits you with two things: 1) A neat and simple menu interface. 2) A truly brilliant orchestral score. Great music is always a sign of a great game after all. (Gamings famous last words no. 64.) Interestingly this game actually uses the cursor keys (up,down,left,right arrows) as the default control setup. This was changed in the games first patch due to the "flaming" fanboys on the forums demanding the devs did the hard work and configured their precious "WASD" system for them since it was apparently a con to have to do it yourself? Anyway... I didn't mind since I use this cursor system myself anyway.

The training level was fun and really showed a level of quality in the design. Most fps games now have some form of training level. Sometimes it is good, other times it is stupid and just leaves you asking "why?" Raven Shield, bless it, had a very silly training level. You shot and killed people in the training stage who were apparently "captured terrorists living in the Hereford training camp, England, for your disposal." This was at least my only explanation to it anyway. Maybe the American Government should consider this a use for Camp X-ray? So anyway, the training was fun and original. Do I need explain it though? Obstacle courses, shooting range, car driving... get me?

Time to play the damn game! I formed my four man team from a list of potential characters to select from and kitted them out. To begin you only get a small amount of weapons since most have to be captured in the field before you can use them. Although this adds to the management system of the game I personally prefer Raven Shield's system. Why would the powers that be make it this tough for the SAS when on important missions? "Ok boys go kill that General and blow up all the power grids and escape in that old truck. One thing... Don't think we are going to be supplying you people with rockets and top class weaponry! No, you need to find all that yourself in the field." Hmm.

Of course there is a simple solution to that, called bringing down the console and typing the cheat to get all the guns. Not that I done that myself though, obviously. The levels in HD2 are varied and consist of the Snow covered lands of Norway to the dense jungles of Burma. The jungle missions are really good. I really cannot emphasise how good these are in multiplayer mode too. You also have your standard European fields of war with burnt out buildings and snipers on the rooftops. You also get Africa thrown in too but I have a thing about Deserts... too boring. Overall the game boasts around 40 weapons and all sorts of gadgets and costumes. So don't be worrying about a small inventory.

When playing you can play in the fps style view (gun on screen with crosshair) or a third person view. Unlike the original this view is playable and you can experiment with the two styles with ease although multiplayer only lets you use the fps view (thank God). A neat feature of this game is the way you can either use the x crosshair to aim or actually bring up the weapons iron sights to achieve greater accuracy and a more realistic feel. I'm a sucker for iron sights in games nowadays and HD2 does it really well indeed.

You killed his friends, he gives up accordingly.

Meat and bones time then. The levels are well designed and varied and there are enough of them to keep most satisfied. Now comes the difficulty of the game and let me tell you now that this game is uber tough. It is very damn hard and this can sometimes evoke anger. Some levels glide like a gliding streamline sort of thing, others require serious devotion. But you get there in the end. The actual A.I in this game is very impressive. Enemies will actually do all sorts of things. If, for example, you attack a base front on the enemy won't just seem to fight on a individual level. In other words, unlike most games where each A.I enemy will fight like he don't care about the big picture, in this one they seem to link up as a team and fight you as an actual force. Alarms are sounded and enemy units will snipe, charge at you, create defensive positions and seek cover. They will throw grenades and even give up when they think hope is lost. All I will say about the later is that they tend to give up alot but then again only in realistic ways and apparently the tougher the enemy you face, from tired sentry guard to elite SS geezer, the less the chance of a surrender anyway.

Each enemy uses different tactics and equipment. The Germans tend to snipe alot and the Italians seem to enjoy getting killed without much hassle (obviously a sneaky political comment). Now the Japanese are very tough. In the jungles of Burma they know how to hunt you down and flair the ambush. Be warned. The A.I is not perfect though, they often will ignore the fact a buddy just took a headshot and will resume a guard posture without flinching. But one time they will do this, another they will go wild and run off etc. It's quite a random fault. Their accurate shots but not Godlike so it really is the best of both worlds.

Many have really criticised the games friendly A.I. But the latest patches have really improved the initial bugs. They seemed to often ignore waypoints and just stand still. They also seemed to just plain die alot. Alot of this is simply down to bad leadership on the player part. I simply cut out the hassle entirely and play the game solo. But's that's just me... The interface to lead your team though is neat and although tough to pick up it becomes like second nature once explored. You get a map and can even view it in real time. This makes the game feel like an rts. Hell it's a third person/fps/rts shooter.

And to conclude I shall mention multiplayer. I have not explored this enough yet to really be able to sum it up (I'm just too obsessed with Raven Shield Co-op mode right now) but from my impressions it is good. The amount of servers is growing now word is out that the game is actually good and modes include deathmatch (pants), team deathmatch (fun), objective where one team has to achieve something and the other must prevent it, and the best mode, which is quite alot like the Day of Defeat system of land capturing. Both teams start on either end of a large, very large, map and must capture the points on the map. First team to take them all, or the one with the most when the time is up, wins. What really makes HD2 online is the maps. They are so well designed and just amazing to play online. Their big and shiny. You can also get anything up to 32 players in a room and when the numbers are this high it gets really cool. There are some lag issues but patches are constantly improving the net code.

Graphically the game is good but not quite next-gen. The sound is superb however with loud 'n' proud gun sound effects which are all easily the most authentic and superior recordings of the era's guns to date. It also has blood! Pools of the red stuff build up under corpses and stain the walls and bullet impact marks even appear on the bodies Soldier of Fortune 2 style. If you are up for the challenge and are happy to put the effort in give this game a go and I'll see you in the jungles.



Good A.I, good graphics and sound, hard, fun online, patches that fix!


Hard? A.I has some issues, maybe a tad awkward when moving indoors.


A very solid game, but high ambition always brings new issues, patch me baby!

by The Critical Alien
© 2003

Tuesday, 1 July 2003

Archive Review: World War 2 Online

(PC review)

In the glory days of Ultima Online I made many an online pal. When I moved on from this classic online rpg I kept in contact with many of them via ICQ or MSN messenger. One day I asked one of them what game he was currently playing: "I'm playing the only game worthy of internet gaming other than UO. WW2 Online!" I asked him what this game was since I had never actually heard of it: "It's an online war game. It's an FPS, a tank sim, a plane sim, all set on a map half the scale of Europe!" I was interesting and he suddenly sent me a link for a free 7 day trial of the game (120mb). I got downloading.

After I had created my account and updated the client to the latest patch (1.9) he wanted to meet up with me in a town called Eghezee. Like everywhere your be fighting in ww2 online Eghezee is a real French village that may or may not have seen much action in the real war. I asked what server he played on? He laughed: "my friend, ww2 online has only one server where everyone plays :)". This is a brilliant feature of the game. My first sight of the game was the talk bar which is split into channels such as "side" - everyone on the side you are on sees it, "mission" - those involved in a common aim, "objective" - those involved in a more defined goal. As well as this you can create your own channel. The amount is infinite. You can create channel 3343 (which will be the number you stated) or join channel 1 and annoy those that are in it talking about fishing and Star trek instead of battling the Hun! The initial interface has a large, live, map of the battlefield. Each town has a flag next to the name representing who currently is in control (Axis or Allied). Along with this there are warning icons where recent enemy activity has been spotted. A red tank represents an enemy armour presence and a red soldier, enemy infantry. Eghezee had both! I was heading for the action...


Karador-uSm- was my old uo bud. He told me to tune to channel 32 where we would communicate. I remembered him as a somewhat eccentric old mage in uo, he wore green everything and loved his llama, but now he was a soldier. I spawned into a shed in the town and he stood in front of me waiting. His avatar waved and we ran out of the devastated village and into the woods like a pair of elves charging into tolkienien forests. My first reaction to the game was hardly positive. I laughed. I didn't want to say anything to Karador but... I gave it patience.

The graphics are strange. On the one hand the landscape looks great with the best draw distance I have ever seen. The horizon is completely like real life and as distant. It's not like operation flashpoint where terrain appears either, everything is placed and visible from insanely long ranges. The sky was bright blue with nice cotton wool clouds... it was good. But then there were the player models. Initially I thought it was a joke. They looked terrible, but as I slowly became aware of what this game was all about I realised they were actually just fine for what they were. They don't need to be anything more than what they are. They look like soldiers of the era and that's it. The animation was pretty average but acceptable. It was lucky I was on 1.9 because this update was a huge one that resolved many issues. Before this version player models ran like lego men mincing around the fray. Thank Christ this was sorted before I turned up with my l33t skillz.

Karador and me sneaked around the bushes, heading east out of the village, I was very impressed to see proper grass and bushes with no flat green fields. They were all grassy and I then realised the graphics were actually very good. My gripe which didn't go away though, and never has, was the mouse cursor which was on screen and could be moved around with the mouse. It's a bizarre problem the game seems to have with Windows based computers. It is apparently not an issue on Apple-Macs for this game works on both. The cursor is there so you can scroll down the history of the talk bar incase you miss anything. Fine... but why can't you hide it, like you can in Planetside? It just seemed strange to me. The gun itself does not have an on-screen crosshair. You right click and this zooms up the gun and puts you into a view of the weapons iron sights. This was a feature I immediately loved.

As we ventured deep into undergrowth I suddenly begun to realise quite how much was going on in this battlefield. Aircraft raced overhead with a large dog fight visible between German fighters and bombers and the good old British Spitfires and Hurricanes. Every plane has an icon next to it telling you it's type. If the icon is red, it's an enemy plane, if it's blue it's a friendly, I really liked this aspect. I knew what everything was and who it belonged to. Tanks roared up the country lanes, artillery was positioned around the area with players firing the odd shell deep into the horizon, and infantry lay in the long grass waiting for the enemy or sniped from the rooftops of the village. I really felt like I was a part of a huge defensive force. As we headed further up the roadside I asked ignorantly: "Where is the enemy?" Karador swiftly replied, "look to your east as we pass this tree line". I did... O...M...G!

For those of you unfamiliar with internet slang the abbreviation I just used means "Oh...My...God!". I was met with the sight of an army of the infamous German Panzer tank charging towards our position. The tanks varied in their forms, and enemy infantry raced to keep up with them. Yet more German aircraft swept over our heads, I heard the whistling of a falling bomb. Was this my calling? Was death to come so soon? No. The bomb exploded in a huge fireball just beyond our position, making mince of a played called "Derek_32".

Suddenly a spitfire mk iv flew over our head and dropped a heavy bomb onto the incoming German axis of advance. Then an array of machine gun fire opened up on them from our tanks. "Fire your weapon phonesis! Fire! They are coming!" Karador yelled. He had obviously seen the 3rd episode of Band Of Brothers one too many times but this didn't matter. I brought up my rifle scope and aimed through the sites. I placed my aim firmly on what looked like a German solder crouching behind a certain configuration of a Panzer tank and let rip a shot. He fell into a grassy grave.

I won't bore you with a prolonged battle story. This early experience hooked me. It is a bizarre game in the way your initial reaction is so negative yet this changes to that of being in love! I recently convinced, after much effort, a mate of mine to try this game out. I met up with him and after 10 minutes of sneaking around a field he stopped, out of cover, yet I doubt he cared: "I can't believe they charge money for this game!" He said and abruptly left the server. He had not seen the light!

Graphics and Sound

As I have already mentioned the graphics are rather hard to review. They are good and perfect for the job - to recreate a half scale map of Europe! The landscape has a European, lush, feel to it with amazing draw distances and no fogging! You can see feint battle in the horizon with flashes of explosions and distant anti-aircraft fire racing up into the air. The operator of that battery could be anything up to 25 miles away, literally! Yet the player and gun models could do with work. But the vehicles look great! Especially the planes. I actually think the explosions in this game are some of the best I have ever seen as well. The sound is very good. One of my initial reactions to this game was how good the sound was. Everything sounds realistic and like how you hear things in a war movie. Whether it be the incoming whistles of stray bullets passing overhead or the engines of a Hurricane airplane.


This game does have it's flaws. The mouse cursor issue needs addressing and I think there is still a lot of room for improvement on some of the graphical sides. But this review has only touched on the games surface! One thing I want to say right now though is that this game is best for those of you that want to man a vehicle. The infantry aspect is great but you don't get very many weapons to select from (smg or rifle) and your standard kit of grenades, a knife and pistol. This game shines when it comes to vehicles. The amount of tanks, armoured cars, artillery pieces, transporters, boats, and planes for either side is immense. I think that most stuff from ww2 is accounted for in this game! The overall amount of vehicles actually runs into 3 figures!

I have recently got into flying in ww2 online and must say this is the jewel of stuff to do. I take my Spitfire off from Dover and fly across the English Channel to where ever my services are needed. The journey takes as long as it would in real life too (assuming Europe is half the size) and this is an aspect I love. You feel like you are really making a journey. There is nothing funnier than finding a bunch of axis players huddled up for a group screenshot session and casually flying over and dropping a bomb into their party :) You can also hop into a bomber as a tail gunner and another player will pilot the craft. This is a great way to introduce yourself to air combat. Many have made comment that in reality this game is an air combat simulator with ground elements. I disagree with this since the ground war is so detailed as well as the air war. In fact the air war side of this game is probably more detailed than a game like Microsoft Combat Simulator 2003! And ww2 online also has a raging ground and sea war to boot. I was amazed whilst chatting on the games forums. Sometimes it feels like you are playing an entirely different game to the one other people are talking about. A few players recall a naval battle they were involved in north of Scotland and your chasing after a German Sapper in a remote French wood who is trying to place bombs around your line!

This game has suffered in my view due to an image it has. This developed due to it's bad release which was, I have to admit, particularly terrible with so many bugs players were left thinking "Have the devs even play tested this?" This is all now a distant memory and the community is vast and growing. Many see ww2 online players as Dutch or Swedish students who love their Apple-Macs over Windows PC's and deep down wish Germany had won the war! This is complete bull crap. This game has the most friendly community I have ever seen. My most recent experience of this was when a player asked on the "objective" channel (where everyone talks who is involved in a set objective within an overall mission) if anyone wanted to tail gun for him. I said I would and logged out and re-spawned in Dover where we departed in our Blenheim Bomber. As we flew over the English channel, heading for some newly discovered German power station, we got chatting. It turned out his name was Walter and he sold mobile homes to much ado American householders. He then wanted to know if I wanted to buy a mobile home and begun trying to sell me it with small talk. For a moment I thought he was going to hand me a virtual business card. He then asked me what I did but I didn't need to answer. My screen name was phonesis so I was obviously a door-to-door phone salesman. "I need a good phone," He said. "I need a stiff drink," I thought. I was invited to join a clan within 20 minutes of playing this game and have never looked back from the 9th LAG since, even though our commanders often take our formidable tank convoys on routes that make them end up barbecued road blocks.

This game has so much to offer. If you want realism... this game boasts a map which consists of all of Europe, halved in scale for gameplay purposes with the most realistic and large selection of ww2 equipment ever! If you want dog fights... this game has every single allied/axis aircraft you can imagine and the physics for flying are ultra realistic as are the plane damage models. Fancy tank action? This game has more tanks than I've had Pot Noodles, now that is a lot of tanks! The infantry aspect is there... but in my view is in need of additional equipment. Like Karador had said all those... many days ago, this game is a true virtual battlefield.... I was hooked.



The only virtual, persistent, online battlefield, many things to do and learn, you feel like you are involved in something as large as World War 2! No Lag issues whatsover!


Get rid of that bloody mouse cursor! Could do with graphical improvements in some areas, infantry need more equipment to select from, the game has a monthly fee - this may put many a potential soldier off.


Like hair, this game will grow on you

by The Critical Alien
© 2003

Archive Review: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

(Gamecube review)

Turtle soup, anyone?

For a sec there, I thought the game had crashed.

I'm hip, I'm happening, and that's why I know that the Turtles are now officially back! Yes that's right those 80's icons are now well and truly popular once more. And as soon as the money men get even the slightest hint of this type of thing they act! A game is made, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to be precise.

So with a new slap of paint and a tv show series on the air the green things seem to be running the show once more. TMNT stinks of something pretty damn obvious when played. I decided to give it a spin, you see I own a Gamecube and really am desperate for a "good" Gamecube game which doesn't boast monkeys, Mario, or strange silver things. Also, for the record, I kind of dig Ninja Turtles.

So what does TMNT smell of? It smells of that old chestnut... being rushed in order to meet a deadline which corresponds to the release of the new series. The thing is though this game does not just seem rushed in terms of ,"it could have been good if...", it is just a terrible game anyway. So let's begin. So some rat finds some turtles. This rat trains them up to Ninja status. This comes when they reach teenage years. It is clear their destined for hero status. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is born! And so is this outrageous game. It's a side scrolling beat-em-up Final Fight style. There are also two arcade games.

The graphics are stylised cel-shading. Enough said then. The sound is just a mix of striking punch impacts effects and Mr. Han on the Casio Keyboard. He really works overtime that guy. The levels consist of walking sideways. From left to right to be more precise. One day a game will go outlandish and go for a - from right to left style side scroller but not today. But in this game you can also move vertically downward and upward. Sad isn't it? Excuse me whilst I yawn and fail to smile in surprise at this one. So could you in Streets of Rage One and Golden Axe! 1985 kind of was the year this became a "feature" to a game. Deep breath... It's 2003! You don't advertise this as a game "feature" in a bullet point on the back of the box, you just don't do it, period.

The other thing is that the levels are as linear as Final Fight. Straight lines. Sometimes the action is cut up by a cartoon cutscene. These are actually pretty good though. There are also in-engine story scenes. Not quite so good, but still acceptable. The four turtles whose names I can't be bothered to remember each play uniquely. This is something other games based on multiple characters often forget. Charlie's Angels was comical. Each turtle has a different weapon and it all goes back to which one you like the best. They're armed with a very simplistic range of attacks, including sweeps, dashes, and the basic light attack so the actual weapon is the only true difference, and the color of the head band. I got annoyed when playing this because the block button wasn't obvious to suss. Like any true gamer I paused the game and resorted to the manual. On a side note I would like to see a section of this site devoted to the reviewing of "game manuals" since the standard has really got slacky nowadays. Don't think us gamers ain't noticed! Anyway after hunting for the control I discovered, to my horror, that this game actually does not have a block button. You can't block!

This meant one thing. As the enemy number builds up on screen you get mashed. The actual amount can build up in this game to a high number which would be cool... if you could actually prevail without button mashing to the point where your hands internally bleed and you can no longer feel your index fingers. Recieving too many cheap hits from being surrounded by enemies grows increasingly frustrating. So no block, only a few basic moves, and simple weapon attacks, is the sum of TMNT. Not quite. There are also ninja stars littered throughout the levels that the turtles can use directly on enemies, as well as barrels full of oil for explosions. I don’t quite understand the theory behind making every tin can you slash open a combustible bomb, but for some reason every button-masher sticks to this tried and true rule.

This really is a button mashers game. I am actually beginning to think that the Gamecube on a whole is the button mashers console, with titles like this, Super Smash Bros Melee, Super Monkey Ball 1 + 2, etc. The enemy you face has no A.I. They move towards you and once close enough they apply one or two differing punch/kick attacks. The difficultly in this game is not from this but from recieving cheap hits from this when the enemy number is vast. This game incorporates the typical foray of baddies. Your're encounter punks, punks, punks, punks, etc. Sometimes a big robot will appear which is odd since a) why would a big robot be in the vicinity (who put it there?) b) punks really make big robots? The enemies will actually randomly appear too. This is so tedious. They just appear from thin air like some crap game - TMNT appeared from nowhere too. Even in Final Fight you knew one thing; you could always rely on the knowledge that your enemy would approach from the right. Now in Streets of Rage things got a little more complicated. Enemies would actually come from the left too, which was strange since you'd just been there and killed everyone but hey. Sometimes they would even come from the.... top! But not bottom. This was obviously the result of overly ambitious programming.

The only argument this game has to justify it's existence is that it was actually going for the "dated, retro feel". There is a thin line between the stylised and the crap. This game is crap. Trust me. You do get a two player co-op mode though but no four player mode! Time to go to school Konami....

Day One: Lesson One

- There are four turtles...1...2...3...4. 4 is the number and the number is 4.

- 4 players can only be the number which control 4 turtles.

- 2 is way out, as is 5.

3 hit combo! Steaming.....

Why no four player? How annoying is that for turtles fans with more than 2 friends? I mean, Jesus. So the only other thing is the arcade modes. One is a versus battle. Player vs. Player. Shame that the games control system is completely unsuited for vs. style combat, with no block system, and button mashing tendencies. Apparently there is a second mini-game but I'm guessing it has to be unlocked since I personally couldn't find it.

The graphics may seem suitable for the game style but the "Pow", "Boof", and "Oomph" pop-up words really do not. It gives the game the 60's Batman show style which it downright shouldn't have. This was probably put in to hide the poor animation when enemies recieve a blow no doubt though.

So the game is bad, the graphics are just bog standard cel-shading, and the sound is... generic. Have fun, kids!



Apparently people like cel-shading? Some good cutscenes, two player.


I can't believe I put "two player" as a pro in 2003! Bad game, no block! Weak sound, no four player!


Teenage Generic Zero Turtles

by Mojo Jojo 2003

Archive Review: Kung-Fu Chaos

(Xbox Review)

What? Who dares stand before my drunken tiger mantis fist style? It looks like a challenger created by Microsoft named Kung-Fu Chaos! How dare this spawn of programming challenge me! He who hatheth conquered Karate Champ. The very same warrior who slammed Yi-Ar Kung-Fu! So it is Microsoft with the latest in 70's Kung-Fu style retro stomping action with great characters, great music, great gameplay and multiplayer heaven? I accept the challenge!

"Everybody was Kung-Fu fighting!"

Anyone remember the 1970's? Amongst the political sleaze, strange architecture, deranged gray suits with pink ties and other terrifying fashion, oh and this, there was little to shout about. Computer gaming was a mere abstract concept with little thought. It lived in a World of dreams in the minds of the more creative. This was way before the days of the Sinclair Spectrum with its impressive 48k of ram.

But one thing that was kicking - literally - was the Kung-Fu scene. The glory days of Enter the Dragon and Chinese Super Ninja (which is not to be mistaken with Super Chinese Ninja) were at hand. Chuck Norris had his beard, and no-one messed with this bad ass moffo master

Director Shao Ting, the legend, of course, has gathered a collection of cheeky, happy, clappy, mostly jappy type fellows and fellowesses to his studio to star in his upcoming Kung-Fu flick. This is the story but it actually bogs down to you facing off the other warriors and evil ninjas in a series of duels, bundles, and brawls. You see in the 70's they had no CGI or means to "fake" the action. Well they didn't if you believe the games story for in this the reason you fight is because real fighting is the only way to make an action movie, apparently. Who are we to argue?

The basic premise to this game is good old fashioned fighting. You select one of the characters who each possess a unique style and play quite differently. There's the Lone Wolf and Cub duo, Chop & Styx, Cleopatra Jones' long lost sista, Lucy Cannon, Monkey (the Monkey God) and a variety of others. The only missing battlers from this bunch is a Drunken Master and Shaolin Slammer - which is quite a shame really. The levels you play on mostly consist, in single player, of having to flaw as many assailants as you can in the given time. But there are many novelty style game types, including saving the stuntman, dodging the seals, avoiding the cows which are being hurled at you from above - fun. The basic system is based on stars. You have 5 star slots and the fight begins with 0 stars. To gain them you quite simply have to kill baddies. The more you kill the better. You need at least 3 stars to pass any given stage.

The amazing and first thing you will be struck by in this game is the soundtrack. You have the classic Kung-Fu fighting Carl Douglas style, the infamous Enter the Dragon theme music, and if these get boring why not rip your own music onto the Xbox hard drive and create your own soundtrack! Finally games developers are getting the idea and actually adding this feature! Then again, this is a Microsoft title so therefore it would be a joke for them not to include it really.

Where this game shines is the multiplayer. In "battle" mode you can take on your pals or the computer in single player without the hindrance of an actual objective. What makes this great for multiplayer is the record feature. You can play back your fights but not only this, you can edit the footage in a vast and powerful number of ways from zooming in, changing the camera angles, even creating slow-motion "Matrix" style effects and save your fondest mayhem memories :)

Multiplayer bone crunching action is not limited to a simple "last man standing" wins affair. There are a number of comical and wacky game types. Why not play style mode where the winner is the one who pulls off the most varied types of moves? Try Mojo mission where the winner is the player who keeps their "Mojo" for the longest time. Then comes wooden man. He who wineth the duel is he who claims the most men carved from wood. Bizarre yet oddly reminiscent of the 70's.

You get a training mode too and this acts like your standard move sparing system. So what is the fighting style like in Kung Fu Chaos? I compare the fighting system in this game to Bowling. Seems simple, is easy to understand, but requires a wise warrior to master. It is more complex than it seems. You get basic punch/kick action with abilities to string vast numbers of combination attacks. The combo system is fun and the amount of stringed attacks really is colossal with each character boasting unique moves and combi's. If you perform three successful taunts during a fight then you can perform special moves. This special move will crush the enemy and turn any poor receiver into a dark red stain on the level texture. Not quite Ricky-Oh, but a harsh lesson in martial arts, old school style.

With such a basic, yet tough to master, style to the game Kung Fu Chaos can, and does, often turn into a button-mashing clash of egotistic gamers. Many a time have I and my larger-than-life buddies fought savagely to be the first to get the special move. The fights often turn into "first to get the special move wins" affairs. This game is exactly what it looks like - Super Smash Bro's Melee but without the mental items and Mario.

If your a fan of Smash Bro's style unlocking gameplay Kung Fu Chaos will tease you with a huge amount to set free. Costumes, modes, levels, options, and even a character are there for the taking. The question is, will you be able to see the path and walk it? Will you prevail in the cruel world of 1970's-old-school-wise-old-man-mystery-martial-arts?

One thing I got annoyed with, and so have many others to my knowledge, is the Director character Shao Ting. He is a really, really, annoying character with a loud, obnoxious voice and just get's on my nerves big time. He is also stupid and really tedious. But, alas, you can mute the fool and even turn off his entire basis of existence - disable "direction". I am not sure if you can kill him. I have a feeling it is possible but would require a black-belt of skill.

This game should appeal to two types: People who dig the era this games portrays and who enjoy a light hearted approach to martial arts brawling, and those of us that enjoy the Smash. Bro's style gameplay of extras to unlock and wacky level design. On a whole I really enjoyed this game. If you want a solid multiplayer title look no further than Kung Fu Chaos.

It has a solid feel, solid graphics with a good frame rate and attractive colors, and it also boasts great music and awesome sound effects. That "old school" feeling was never more prominent than when hearing the classic bad dubbing, overly loud thuds, and crazy "Hey-Ya's" of the 70's. This game includes all of this retro sound.

Just call me The Big Boss.

Indeed a worthy opponent



Strong Kung-Fu action, many game modes, lots to unlock.


No Drunken Master, button mashing tendencies, can you spell depth?


Good old arcade style, 70's inspired, innocent fun

by Joey T 2003

Sunday, 1 June 2003

Archive Review: Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six 3: Raven Shield

(PC review)

It's not that I love guns, I just want one. One of the key reasons to why so many games nowadays are being made with vast inventories of weaponry is because the guys with the brains know that us gamers, well most of us, want to see guns in our games. As Neo intelligently, and quite philosophically, put in "The Matrix" when asked what he needed: "Guns, lots of guns". What words...

Tom Clancy's Rainbow six 3: Raven Shield (a name in serious need of editing) offers guns, infact it offers lots of... guns. 57 in total, but this does not account for the modifications of each gun. You can add silencers, extent the magazines size (even for pistols), or attach a mini-scope if you so desire. Each one of these add-ons comes in different forms, like with scopes you can go for a simple 4x lense or if you prefer it have night vision - even thermal vision! With this aspect in mind Raven Shield actually has something nearer 150 weapons! Insane. This does not include gadgets either, or different armour types. Nor does it include the different types of ammunition each gun has which you must also select. The great thing here is that each type of ammo really does make a difference to the performance of your firearm. Your ammo decision can mean the difference between life and death. FMJ rounds (Full Metal Jacket) will drive their way through anything when fired from a powerful gun, including body armour. But these rounds will hit your target and simply go straight through him/her. This will mean that they will obtain less injury, and may well still have enough strength to fire back at you. So only use these rounds when you know your enemy will be wearing body armour, because it will penetrate it. On the other hand, if your up against a bunch of freedom fighters who fancy their chances against your elite posse' then insert some JHP rounds into your boom stick. JHP (Jacketed Hollow Point) rounds expand on impact to the size of a football, terrible against anything except human flesh. They are alot more lethal than FMJ rounds against un-armoured tangoes. The physics for death animations in this game are the best ever created. It incorporates the new "Karma" physics system which came from Unreal 2. This basically creates a rag doll effect on player models so death animations are not so much programmed in as they are completely and utterly natural and always unique. Bodies will fall down staircases in total realism without any clipping issues. It's a mark of the next gen that's for sure. One sad note is that RS has blood but not on player models. Blood pools will build up under dead bodies and even mark the walls behind a struck foe but you see no impact marks on the bodies. Even Rogue Spear, the previous game in the series, had this in. I feel it simply is lacking in RS and for no obvious reason.

It's detail like this that RS is all about. The Tom Clancy games series has always boasted content and a challenge but no title has ever come close to RS.

Yeah yeah yeah, how does it play?

This game, incase you don't know, is an FPS. It's based on strategy rather than simply playing pre-scripted levels. In RS you plan the mission, right down from selecting your squad members to kitting them up and setting waypoints. This is all very cool stuff but the great thing is you don't actually have to do any of it. By default the game creates a plan for you to use and if your like me and simply want to get into the action and use your brains once inserted then this games allows for it. As I have already stated the actual equiptment selection for this game is insanely large. Any gun you can imagine is here, anything (unless your some gun expert freak guy). What really appeals to me about this feature is that when in multiplayer games the chances of someone using the same gun as you are slim! Someone may well have the actual gun your slinging, but do they have the extended mag and FMJ rounds? No, their using a silencer with JHP. I sound geekish I know, but it just feels so cool knowing that each player on either side has a unique gun configuration - unlike a game like Counter-Strike where you either have an AK-47, M4, or AWP, the rest is cack.

Q himself would be proud of the gadgets in this game. Anything from lock picks to breaching charges exist. The amount of tactics this implies for multiplayer is beyond imagination. You can snipe, set C4 charges, simply assault all guns blazing, use a heartbeat sensor and detect where everyone is, hell you can even blind everyone with a mad array of flashbangs and smoke grenades (which unlike most games will stay for ages). Why not put on a gas mask and lob a series of gas grenades around, ha, that'll do it! A great feature in this game is the door opening system. Most games, well every other FPS to date actually, does not incorporate any such system. You see a door, you open a door. In RS door opening is a skill that requires practice. You approach a door and have a choice: simply press the action key and open the door fast, or use your mouse wheel to manually slowly crank that door open. You can open it just a tiny bit to get a sneak peek of the room, or you can open it just enough to hurl a frag grenade in and then quickly close the door back. Bang! Then you open it fully and storm the room, which will probably be filled with dead bodies. But the best aspect is not this. The neatest, coolest, part of this system is the way you can use your smoke grenades. If you chuck one down just by the front of a closed door the smoke will go through the doorway gaps and fill the room up! Then you charge in with full smoke cover. This works in multiplayer games very well too, and gas grenades can also be used in the same way.

The single player in this game consists of 15 levels. Each level can be played over in various different modes such as lone wolf where you are placed on the map and have to make it to a waypoint on the other edge of the map. Sounds simple enough... but that waypoint and you are separated by anything up to 45 bad guys, mostly with Russian accents. So is the AI any good? When set for high difficulty settings the enemy in this game will put up a bloody good fight (did you get it? I used the word "bloody" heh). They will run after you, run away, strafe shoot, throw grenades, even call for backup which actually will arrive. The other aspect you must remember is that they have as much health as you, in most other FPS games the player is advantaged because they have a health bar and the enemy don't. Well in RS there is no advantage so each enemy tango must be treated as a worthy adversary. This good AI does not fall short when it comes to your teammates either. Many a time have my computer controlled squaddies saved my life whether it be because I couldn't be bothered to check a room before entering and they could or due to an enemy tango pinning me down and my team taking that tango out. In other words, they help which is all we can expect from them. Will they make you a cup of tea during moments of reflective silence? No. Will they tell you to stop so they can adjust your helmet strap (because they really are truly concerned for you) ? No!


Online RS is a little gem. It sparkles, no really I've seen it. At night, the box, it, it talks to me. Really it does. Anyway multiplayer consists of either your standard team versus team affair, last team standing. As well as this you can do co-operative mode which is where the game truly shines. An 8 player team can either play out one of the games missions together, including all the sub variations like Lone Wolf mode. The best variation, and the simplest, is simply a Terrorist Hunt. Your team must hunt down all of the terrorists on the map. The server can decide how many terrorists there are, and also their difficulty setting. The funnest servers host the cruel "45 Elite" settings. This is basically 45 terrorists all set for maximum difficulty! Even when all 8 players are amazing and work in a tight team this setting is tough, very damn tough. You grow to hate your enemy. If a squadmate dies you are fuelled by anger because you then know that you need to kill even more of them for the team to stand a chance. It's all a matter of ratio.

Graphics and Sound

What can I say? This game is next-gen. It is so next generation that you feel like you have travelled in time when you play it. The graphics engine is based on the Unreal Warfare one but is heavily modified. Player models don't let the side down either, even the very guns themselves are highly detailed. Cartridges will hit the ground and stay there, and one of the neatest features is the way you can see what everyone is carrying. This is not just a bunch of grenades and a pistol modelled on the player models, it's what that player is equipt with. If there are no grenades on his belt, he has no grenades. If there is one, that player has one remaining. Sound is also equally good. Each weapon has it's own unique effect, gunfire echoes around the corridors of indoor maps in a way that intensifies the immersion to a new hight. And one great aspect of most Tom Clancy games is the music! A game with good music! The dramatic score to RS is great as is the menu music, well done lads, well done.



Guns, lots of guns, a real challenge, good AI, great multiplayer, guns, lots of guns.


A few more missions would have been nice, no bullet impact marks on bodies, so many guns you forget which one you liked!


If you like FPS games, buy it

by The Critical Alien
© 2003

Archive Review: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

(Note: The long gone contributor who submitted this review went off on a rant after the review. I have included it in this blog transfer for all to see! admin)

(Xbox, Gamecube, PS2 Review)

On the offensive

Shiny blue light's just don't impress me anymore

Right, listen up. This is not a normal review. I have officially now entered some new territory. The days of giving games reviews impartially are over now. This is because developers are beginning to take the piss. In a nutshell, and trust me, a nutshell is all this game deserves, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is yet another example of an absolutely appalling computer game produced by a publisher with more financial muscle than the entire continent of Africa.

This is a serious look into what is now happening in the gaming community. It is parallel to what is happening in Hollywood and even Global Politics. Everything is getting slacky, cheap, sexed up, yet it is lacking, hollow, and dry. What is happening nowadays is quite simple to understand. It is based on a premise; that which we can get away with is that which we do. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is the latest in a line of titles that has come out and been promoted in the big "Hollywood" way, marketed to the point of genius in cinemas, on the television, and in magazine, and is, after all is said and done, completely atrocious.

Before I really get into my aim's and agenda in doing this I will briefly sum up and review this debacle. It is a Harry Potter gamed based on an RPG style world. You play in a third person view as Harry. The only reason I decided to try this out was due to my intuitive feelings about it likely being bad. I am currently on a deep investigative journey into the depths of the big players in the gaming world. I am going beyond the "veil" of what we see on mainstream websites, magazines, and television and entering the true world of what is going on. EA has currently been the focus of my studies. This vast and powerful publisher of computer games has always produced varied games. It use to bring to the table great games, but these were in the days when gaming was pure... now it has cashed out. EA publish junk. Games that are lacking in every way and totally contradict where interactive technology should be aiming to reach now we are in the 21st Century. EA bully developers into rushing titles and letting them "add the polish" just so they can get in on the market trends. Big, and talented developers are not so easy to control so EA rarely use them but trust me when I say that publishers control the gaming world, not the talented ones - developers.

Review Mode - (Enabled)

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is no laughing matter. Children will demand and crave this £39.99 ($50) game and parents will pay for it in the hope it will please their children. Not even the young fans of the movie franchise will fall for this game though. It is Mcdonalds food for the consoles, fast, streamlined, produced on the production lines of false creativity. This game is the sum of a formula. EA's briefing to the programmers would likely have resembled this:

"We need a game of the latest movie. Make it quickly for the tie in of the DVD release and make sure you include platforming, impressions of character advancement, boss fights, lots of cut-scenes, and dialogue. Also add a story - it needs to be quick, and don't worry about A.I or anything like that, we don't want anything more than the shell of a game. Remember to use our acknowledged graphics engine for the visuals too, don't try to tweak it either - just focus on cut-scenes..."

Obviously this is not likely how the wording went but you get my point, I hope. This game is what I hope you can imagine, just read our other reviews on this site. This is another "frisbee" yes, but it's a "frisbee with a purpose". Crap games aren't made nowadays - they are designed. Programmers don't generally think they have made a "good" game here, they "know" what it is, and know why they've done it - money. Money. MONEY. MONEY.

The game is an odd one. On the one hand it's very easy but you will occasionally be really challenged by the odd boss, or troll. Most enemies are easy to kill, with magic spells you slowly begin to learn. I am of the opinion that this is actually the result of lackluster play testing. If this game is aimed at kids then kids won't have the incentive to try, and try again, when it comes to killing a troll. I am quite the pro gamer and seriously, I was getting really annoyed with how hard it was to kill things so early on in the game. I know this sounds really bad of me and against the statement this website boasts about "in depth and unbiased" reviews but the Alien wrote all that, not me :) And the fact now is, times have changed. I will not go into this game and give detail of it, I honestly don't have the will to.

At one point you come across the character Percy. He is another example of the games bug of difficulty. Percy was so hard to defeat that I am guessing that not many people will ever pass him. Isn't it funny how something this important to a game which currently sits in store shelves is just left in a game without any comment from EA. This is a Zelda-clone adventure game. It plays like the latest Zelda game with stealth elements, platforming elements, and of course combat elements. Let me sum up these elements; stealth element - lacking. Platforming elements - very boring. Combat elements - either too easy or bordering on impossible / not play tested.

This game has some nice features. Harry has to brew his own health points and store them. Whenever you need to get health you must go get them if you have run out. This was good. As well as this the actual movement options you have are varied and make sense. It's just a shame that the game crashes almost as much as Survivor, terrain often vanishes, your character occasionally falls through textures, audio cuts out entirely, and the games camera makes about as much sense as the end of the Matrix Revolutions (which, for reference, actually didn't make sense in the intellectual meaning of the word). Did I mention about the camera? You can't control it but neither can the programming. It's just left to the God's it would seem. It wonders, no it completely randomly positions in angles that make the view seem like some Esther painting.

By the way, my list of bugs has yet to end. As you move around you often find yourself constantly near the edge of a long, dark, drop into "game over" territory. One twitch of the analogue stick and your dead. This works in parts of games, not the whole dame thing! The graphics are also quite hideous. The PS2 version is the worst, yet the Xbox and Gamecube versions are hardly that much better. The cut-scenes are also terrible. They come so often that you begin to wonder if your playing a game or interacting with a DVD. They are badly synched, un-edited, and in all intensive purposes, shite.

Voice acting is borderline comedy. Dumbledore’s actor sounds like an older, wiser Towely from Southpark for example. Other voices include one that can only be described as what it would sound like if Bill Murray begun murmuring down a plastic tube whilst being tickled from behind. By the way, that wasn't the instant image that came into my head upon hearing the voice...

Look, I really don't know what to say here. This game is so low it hurts my balls. Whenever you see a troll in this game the thought that enters your head is "oh no, not another one of those F*CKING trolls" and this anger is never a good thing. Bear in mind you can't control the camera; you also can't aim manually at enemies. Enter.. auto-targeting. The list of gaming's shoddiest features has always been:

1) Linear, scripted "interactivity"

2) False choices.

3) Auto-targeting.

4)Lack of camera control.

5) Invisible walls

My list is a lot longer but these are the entries in that list that apply to this title. I am not a Harry Potter freak so don't know the story that well, nor do I want to. For the record J.K Rowling based her books on a Russian story about a Satanic magician and his young apprentice. I don't pretend to get the connotations this game has to the story. This sort of thing don't make a game. Review mode really is concluded for me now. The game is garbage and only the most manipulated, dumb, and ignorant of life forms will disagree with me.



A few moments of slight interest, charged at $10 per second.


(See above: the entire Review)


Oh so very, very, terrible.

My little Rant (continued)

Harry Potter is just an example of the modern day trend we now see in gaming. Don't get me wrong, many good games are still being made, but virtually all of them are lacking in so many ways. Reviewers out there seem completely unable to understand this. They just give them a swift review and move on. I cannot do this. I realized something quite major was afoot. I did a little research...

I spoke to The Critical Alien on MSN recently about this and he agreed; there is without a doubt a conspiracy regarding modern games development. Instead of advancement we are now seeing the devolution of ideas and basing games on formulas. As the big players get bigger this will become more and more unstoppable. This is not the paranoid rants of a few people, it's obvious. I use to live in Japan, I'm now back in the States. When I was in Japan I taught English and had little free time to do much else but what I did do once was speak to a bunch of programmers in a bar. They worked for some small time developer but one which has produced many games that are mostly out in Japan. They all insisted that games development, even in Japan, has now become such a big business that only a few top people call the shots. Games are only published if they meet criteria, and criteria is set by top players. EA, although not so prominent in Asia, is pretty on top of things right now. Another big player is Eidos, although not so big. Microsoft also is prominent but not so much in the gaming world (more in every other world). EA is the real baddie here. EA is so big not even the likes of Nintendo, Sega, Konami, Namco, and other big Japanese names can rival it. You see EA is the Corporate American sleaze.

I can't go ultra deep here, nor would you want me to, but I want to emphasize to you that games as bad as the above are not just "bad games". EA "know" the game is bad. So why does it con us so? Money. I use to really enjoy reviewing bad games until I realized they were bad for a purpose. I thought I was simply showing crap for what it was. What I didn't realize was that this crap knew it was crap so in that respect my words were a waste of time - the publishers didn't care an ounce. Consumerism is not a movement, or a philosophy, or a way of life, it is the worlds new mental disorder and there is an epidemic. People "will" buy this game and people will not complain. People will buy this game because they are fooled by advertising. This is all just so corrupt I felt compelled to say it.

Terminator 3 is a prime example, and the Alien identified what I am saying in his review of it. When will we wake up! Now I am back in the States (Japan proved to be nothing more than the West with neon lights and I felt I'd seen enough) I can see this mindset people have nowadays. People are beginning to become docile, stupid, and games like this just come out and are accepted! On the links section of this site the Alien has placed a link to At first I laughed at this and told him it was a bad idea to link it but after looking at it, and thinking about what I have been saying, I'm beginning to actually believe that there is so much more to it all than that which we are being told. I know this is just a games review but to ignore the deeper reality to why this crap game was made is to write a bad review. EA knew this game was crap, they knew it would sell, they knew this would make money fast. Games like this are unforgivable. Take what I've said here as you will, it's all just my opinion after all. Over and Out.

by Joey T 2003