MEMBER PROFILE FOR xj74

Total Reviews: 73
Average Overall Score Given: 8.27397 / 10
Total Forum Posts: 0

Reviews
Saints Row

Overall: Yes, it's a Grand theft auto clone!!! Who cares!!!! It's just as fun if not more fun than any GTA game. You play as lowly gang thug that rises through the ranks of the 3rd street Saints Row gang. It does have a fairly interesting story or at least enough of one to keep you interested in what happens next. GTA clone or not this game is F-U-N fun. In fact it is one the most fun games I've played in a long time. This one will hold you over until GTA4 comes out with no problem. I haven't put much time into the online portion so this review is based purely on the single player which is superb by itself.

Gameplay: It's basically the same as GTA3, you run around an open ended city completing story or side (called activities in SR) missions or just whatever you want. The controls and gameplay mechanics in general have been refined and I hope that Rockstar takes a cue from Volition for GTA4. The controls are a first person type with the aiming all done with the right stick and no more stupid, I hope it locks onto the right target, auto lock aiming system. It's like this even when driving, which makes drive bys and shooting while driving much easier.If you fail a mission you don't have to start completely over like GTA. You just choose to restart and all your weapons are still there and you start from where ever the mission begins. If you die or get busted you lose a percentage of your cash but keep all your weapons, which lowers the frustration level tremendously.

Graphics: The cars, scenery, and characters all look great. There are a good number of polygons in all objects. There is some pop-in but primarily only on the highways when your driving at high speeds. The draw distance is impressive. The frame rate is solid and only dips for a mere second when your causing major havoc but doesn't affect the quality of gameplay one bit. There is major screen tearing and I could see it bothering some people, but it doesn't bug me. At least not while I'm playing, I really only notice it during cut-scenes, but it is there. On one last note, this game has the best car explosions ever, the Havok physics engine gets put to excellent use in this game.

Audio: This is one good sounding game. The cars sound good, the guns sound really good as well as the massive explosions. The voice acting is done by good Hollywood actors which brings all the NPC to life. The radio stations aren't quite GTA good, but offer a good range of tunes. The only real issue I have is your character doesn't speak except for three times in the whole game. Which didn't make me get into the story as much as San Andreas.

Overall Score: 9.0 / 10 Dead Rising

Overall: Your a freelance reporter investigating weird riots in a small Colorado town called Williamette. What you find is a lot of Zombies. This has to be the best zombie game of all time. I was worried that I would get bored quickly with what appeared to be a simple hack and slash game. I was surprised by a unique and fresh experience that quite frankly I've been waiting a long time for.

Gameplay: In general you get to destroy zombies, 1000's of them. There is a large number of ways to end their miserable existence from hand to hand combat to fire arms. All of them extremely satisfying in their own way. There is a story here and it actually does take precedence over the zombie killing. In fact, the zombies are more like an active part of scenery more than your main objective. There are many boss fights involving not zombies but humans that have gone mad from not being able to handle the current situation. This game is a must have for George A Romero fans and don't bother renting it, it's definitely a game that you can come back to over and over again. I've been through it 3 times so far and still haven't gotten all the achievements.

Graphics: The amount of moving objects on screen at one time is amazing. The animation is smooth with a good frame rate. It doesn't disappoint.

Audio: Good voice acting when it is used. The sounds of dismembering zombies are fantastic. The problem isn't actually the sound but the lack of. With the exception of the cut-scenes all the other interactions with NPCs is done through text windows, which just plain sucks. Plus it's hard to read the text.

Suggestions: Make a sequel with voice acting throughout and at least 2 player co-op.

Overall Score: 9.0 / 10 Madden NFL 06

Overall: A good football game especially for a complete rebuild of the game for the new console. Although, I would've just waited for 2007 version and not even wasted my money on this version, but I had to have an NFL game with 06 Chargers( probably the best Chargers team ever to exist or will ever be). I only paid $20 for the game and it is well worth that amount, but $60 or even $40, I don't think so.

Gameplay: This is were the game feels unfinished or a little on the raw side. For the most part the game is very solid with great controls and a very good button layout. BUT you can't challenge a call!?!?!?! And once you zoom out to check the lines your stuck zoomed out, puzzling at the least. Little bugs here and there also occur. For example, I through a pass to the right side of the endzone and normally when the receiver jumps up fora catch while running could've landed out of bounds but instead once the ball hit his hands he dropped straight down like he had no forward momentum at all. Fortunately these little glitches don't occur often.

Graphics: The visuals are excellent for a first run on new hardware. The animations with some small occasions are more life like any NFL games to date. But from what I've seen so far 2007 is going to kick it up notch.

Audio: The sound is far improved over the previous versions. Gone is the god awful commentary and replaced with a simple yet effective radio broadcaster along with the stadium PA announcer. The sounds on the field are more of the focus this time around and they are pretty good for the most part.

Overall Score: 7.0 / 10 Kameo: Elements of Power

Overall: This is a fun game and unlike any other offering on the 360 so far. It may look kiddish but trust me, I'm 32 and I had fun with this game.

Gameplay: Your a cute little female elf that has the power to change into 10 different elemental creatures each with their own distinct abilities that are required to get past certain spots in the game. The game wasn't all that difficult on normal, but I would say it was just right for me and I thoroughly enjoyed the nearly 10 hour romp through the game's lively world. The story is forgettable and basically just gives the linear progression of the game with minor cohesion. This game is different from all the other current titles on the system making it a nice change of pace from all the shooters (don't get me wrong I love shooters), and sports titles. If your looking for something different pick this title up and it's only 30 bucks now.

Graphics: It looks fantastic with a large open world for exploring. Each of the areas is distinct from the others and nothing ever repeats. The draw distance is far. The first thing that made me smile from ear to ear was when I first ventured out into the large area that connects all the levels together called the Badlands. Here 100s (maybe 1000s) of Orcs and Elves battle constantly and it seems like you can see forever into the distance. That's next generation graphics. The frame rate is steady and the game just looks gorgeous. These first generation 360 games look wonderful, the second and third generation titles are going be incredible.

Audio: Music is ok, sound effects are good. The best thing is the elemental creatures they make some interesting grunts and noises. The voice acting on the other hand is somewhat bland. Especially the woman who voices Kameo, jeez that she just plain sucks.

Overall Score: 9.0 / 10 Fight Night Round 3

Overall: I love this game. I just bought my 360 no more than 4 weeks ago and this game is the reason I finally broke down and forked out the 4 bills for the system. I'd been staying away from all the Xbox 360 kiosks ever since it came out because I knew I would have to get one if I tried it out. My brother and I stopped by a Best Buy to look for a new music CD and I walked past the 360 kiosk with the Fight Night 3 demo running and I couldn't resist. Bam, two days later I bought FN3 for the Xbox and it didn't cut it. I had to have the 360 version, so here I am a month later with a 360 and 6 games, !&%$@#* this game is good!!! It has all the boxing goodness one could ever want.

Gameplay: You BOX and BOX some more. Seriously, it has great (mostly)balanced fighting mechanics. The only cheap thing I don't like are some of the hay-maker punches. Which can really turn the tide in a fight that is one sided. I guess that's possible in real life, although not a common occurrence. In the higher levels of the career mode I've been in numerous situations were I'm beating the living crap out of the CPU fighter only to have it come back with one huge stun punch and win the fight. Besides the hay-maker punches the game plays flawlessly. The controls are spot on and super responsive with numerous different control configurations sure to please anyone.

Graphics: Absolutely gorgeous, it looks great on a standard definition TV playing in a letterbox mode. On a wide-screen High definition TV it is absolutely stunning with all the details easily visible. Definitely a game to use for displaying the power of the system.

Audio: The sound is good. The commentator gets very repetitive after only a couple fights and it is sometimes hard to tell which fighter he is commenting on. I don't care for the music. But that's just me and doesn't mean that it is bad music, it's just not my preference.

Overall Score: 10.0 / 10 Call of Duty 2

Overall: This is one my favorite First Person Shooters and definitely the best one currently available on the Xbox 360. In fact, I would go as far as stating that this is the best World War 2 game ever. The game really feels more like an experience than just another point and shoot game. I highly recommend it to anyone who likes FPS or slight interest in WWII. This game is superb as a first generation 360 game and I can't wait for what Call of Duty 3 has to offer.

Gameplay: The game is split up into three main sections where you play as a Russian, Brit, and then American. Unlike other games where you feel more like a one man army your fellow soldiers actually help and made me feel like I wasn't taking on the world by myself. You aren't in command either and listening to your commanding officer is crucial to completing the objective(s) and staying alive. The mission objectives change up from basic attacking, defending, controlling tanks, to calling in air strikes keeping the action from feeling to receptive. The controls are spot on with smooth precise aiming and a good button layout.

Graphics: This game looks great on a Standard Definition TV and just awesome on HDTV. (Man I need to get a HDTV, right now I have to go over to my brother's house to get my HD fix). The particle effects are simply amazing from the incredible looking smoke grenades and huge explosions down to the bits of dirt that pops up from your bullets hitting the ground. The areas are large and feel even bigger with no pop in or unnecessary fog. The frame rate is rock solid and never affected my gameplay.

Audio: The sound doesn't get much better than this especially on a 5.1 surround system. The guns sound great and realistic the explosions are big and loud matching their visual prowess. The voice acting is top notch from the commands barked out from your commanding officer to the Germans calling out commands.

Overall Score: 9.0 / 10 Halo 2

Overall: Absolutely awesome! It easily lives up to the Hype. Same great gameplay from the first game kicked up a notch with a more refined campaign mode and an absolutely fantastic, fleshed out multiplayer mode. If you like first person shooters then this is a must for your collection.

Gameplay: The same great gameplay returns with arguably the best console FPS controls ever. My favorite advancement in the single player mode is the levels aren't recycled like in the first game, but instead vary a great deal and don't become boring. The ending isn't as good as the first game, but the story is good and Bungie has added a good twist to the game that happens pretty early on. The single player campaign is fun and engaging enough for a few play throughs, plus split screen co-op is back which is always fun. The meat and potatoes of the game is definitely the multiplayer mode as it is thoroughly fleshed out with system link, xbox live, and split-screen (on either one machine, system link, or for bringing up to 3 guests online). The stats tracking is kept on bungie.net and it is awesome setting a standard for future games to follow. My biggest gripe is that unless you have a lot of friends online at once you have to use the matchmaking system which picks a map and mode for you. Otherwise if you do have a lot of friends online at once you can invite them to a game you host and pick the map and one of the numerous modes available.

Graphics: An improvement over the first, not a huge improvement. The framerate is rock solid in single player and multiplayer, but oddly takes a hit during cutscenes. The textures look great, but frequently suffer from pop in. The vehicles now take damage and look great doing it.

Audio: The sound is top notch with excellent effects, positional sound, and an engaging soundtrack. The voice acting is great with actors like Michelle Rodriguez, Ron Perlman, David cross, and best of all Keith David filling various roles.

Overall Score: 10.0 / 10 Freedom Fighters

Overall: This game basically comes down to a basic 3rd person action shooter with a twist. The twist is you can eventually command up to 12 additional soldiers. The story is somwhat like the movie Red Dawn where the Russians have invaded the USA and a small group of Americans fight back. Most of the story is presented through news casts by the Soviets between missions and works fairly well keeping the levels cohesive. The single player mode is fun for a once through, but there isn't anyhting to intice a second try. I do however, as well as the few people I have played with, enjoy the multiplayer mode. It is a blast to play in small doses, but the map selection is weak with only 3 maps to choose from. Luckily the maps are good and vary enough to keep interesting for a while. Most people should give this game a rent because most will get enjoy it but get bored quickly after a few days. Otherwise, you can find it for $20 or less.

Gameplay: The majority of the game involves fighting in the streets of the city. The main objective in 99% of the missions is to replace the Soviet Flag with the American flag on a main building in the map. Most missions however have side ojectives that involve blowing up primarily helicopter pads. The secondary objectives aren't required to pass the mission though, you can walk right pass them to the flag and win. However, you do get charisma points for completing the secondary objectives which when you get enough points increases how many subordinates you can command. Commanding the squad is simple and works quite well. You have three commands using the X (regroup), Y (Attack), and B (Defend) buttons, tapping a button only delegates one squad mate at time where holding the button down commands everyone. The AI is decent and does a good job most of the time for both your squad and the enemy. The control layout is simple and effective with a short learning curve. The game isn't hard and usually a mission can be beat on the first try with patience, just send in your squad first and then follow to clean-up. Make no mistake this a fun game with some nicely designed levels that make for some exciting gun fights.

Graphics: This game was made by the Hitman team and the game has a similar appearance to it. It looks real good with detailed fluid animation and a surprisingly smooth consistent framerate with a load of action taking place on the screen at once. I was surprised how good this game looks, especially for a multiplatform game. Don't get me wrong, it isn't Ninja Gaiden or Rallisport Challenge, but it does what it sets out to and looks good doing it.

Audio: The sound is effective and convincing. The voice acting is rather good and the music sits in the background where it belongs subtly setting the mood of the game. The sound effects are aren't quite as powerful as I would like making the weapons feel more like BB guns.

Overall Score: 8.0 / 10 ESPN NFL 2K5

Overall: Friggin awesome, better than last years offering which was awesome and only $20, holy crap there is a football GOD. I'm not going to go into much detail since people before me already have, but this game rocks. $50 quality for a budget price.

Gameplay: A lot of minor adjustments have been made to the game, but as a whole make it feel a lot better than 2K4. The defense (especially the secondary) is much sharper on the higher difficulty settings better balancing the playing field. First person football returns and is still a novelty more than anything. One of my favorite additions is the 25th anniversary mode which allows us to play in some of the more exciting situations from the last 25 years. A better stats tracking system is in place called VIP which allows you take your record over to a friends house or share over Xbox live. The crib has also had a fairly extensive overhaul with a better unlocking system.

Graphics: Absolutely gorgeous! More and better animations, the ball carriers no longer turn on a dime. The uniforms have even more detail in them and now the muscles actually flex. The framerate does dip but only in non playing close ups during snowy games.

Audio: Now you can make your own clips out of your ripped music to play during certain situations in the stadium. The commentary is good as usual but seems to be for the most part a carbon copy of last year.

Overall Score: 10.0 / 10 The Suffering

Overall: A bloody good, sometimes scary, very twisted action shooter with a fairly engaging storyline. This game allows you to play in either a 3rd or 1st person view and I didn't really have any problems with either one. Don't let kids play this game, because its on the gorey side with a lot of naughty language. Most action game fans will enjoy this game, but unless your into collecting games I wouldn't purchase this one, but it's good for a weekend rental.

Gameplay: The entire game takes place on this island with a prison and insane asylum on it. The game starts off with you arriving at the prison and being put in your cell on death row. Shortly there after all hell breaks loose with lots of Guard and Inmate blood being spilt by crazy looking creatures designed by Stan Winston who for those who don't know has created a lot of the creatures in hollywood movies. The first few levels in the game are by far the best in my opinion with some parts actually freaking me out. The rest of the game to me just feels like an average shooter with lots of blood and does enough that it kept me interested but nothing that made me goe WOW like the first few levels did. The game gets kinda repetitive, but what can you expect from a shooter. I almost forgot to mention that quite soon in the game you acquire the ability to transform into a burly beast after you fill a graph that measures how ticked off you are. This is a single player only game, and I may play through the game once more to try and see another of the three possible endings otherwise there is really no reason to play this game again other than to show off the first few levels to friends. The controls are responsive, but the inventory system sucks because the action doesn't stop when you access it leaving you open to attack. I thinks its a cheap way of trying to bump up the tension when it actually only adds frustration.

Graphics: Overall an above average looking game. The creatures all look good and are well animated, the Slayers (neckless creatures with swords for arms and legs are my fav. The game even has a screen that comes up at the beginning to help adjust the brightness for the best possible experience. The framerate is real good and clean.

Audio: The sound as whole really helped the ambiance of the game. The voice acting is especially good and the music which there is little of adds a deal of tension to the game.

Overall Score: 8.0 / 10 Metal Arms: Glitch In The System

Overall: This is a 3rd person shooter and it does everything very well. The single player campaign is fun and even though there are 40+ levels they never feel repetitive. The multiplayer mode is a blast with four player support via split screen. The cover makes it look like a kiddie platformer, but its definitely meant for an older crowd. This one belongs in any action shooter fan's collection.

Gameplay: The main premise of the game involves traversing the levels blasting evil bots into oblivion. Most of the time your on foot as Glitch (the Main character), but the game breaks that up with vehicle missions and levels when you assume the role of another bot helping Glitch. The single player game is really solid and I enjoyed most of it. I beat it on Normal difficulty and with the exception of a couple levels didn't have too much trouble completing it. However I find myself replaying most of the levels trying to find all the secret chips (used to unlock multiplayer levels) and getting the speed chips by beating the levels in a certain amount of time. The multiplayer mode is quite a bit of fun, too bad it doesn't support system link. Even with the lack system link the maps are well designed for four players and my primary gripe is that you have to get an enormous amount of secret chips to unlock everything. On a final note the story does a good job of tying the levels into each other and even has some quite humorous moments in it.

Graphics: The game has a distinct look to it and I personally like the atmosphere and cartoonish look the developers used. The animation is great for all the bots. You can blow the bots apart piece by piece. Sometimes one hit wnn't kill them and they'll run around screaming with their head and arms hanging by wires flopping all over. Or even better you blow their torso off and leave them as a pair of legs wandering around. The framerate is rock solid even with a large amount of action taking place on screen, in fact, I can't even remember when a instance when the framerate dropped. One bad thing is there is screen tearing but it doesn't affect the playing experience and I just note it because I'm a stickler about such things.

Audio: Entertaining script, especially of grumpy cursy Krunk. Some of the evil robots have a gas problem and fart at random. Overall the voice acting is above average and bumps up the entertainment value of the game.

Overall Score: 8.0 / 10 SSX 3

Overall: I loved SSX Tricky and this sequel improves on every detail of it's predecessor. EA Big is one of the best arcade extreme sports developers and it shows in this game. If you even remotely like extreme sports games or snow boarding pick this one up.

Gameplay: Absolutely incredible! There are a total of three peaks on the mountain and you start off on the lowest one and unlock the last two in relatively short amount of time. It's nice because they've made the game accessible to everyone. It's easy enough to unlock the entire mountain for the novice players to enjoy, but difficult enough getting golds in every event to satisfy the the hardcore crowd as well. The well crafted with exciting moments spread throughout and riding from the top of the mountain to the bottom is a cool ride taking about 25 minutes to complete. My only gripe about the courses and the game in general are that it is very difficult to determine what is IN and OUT of bounds in numerous spots and made me feel not so free to roam as it appears. The controls have a good feel and quick to respond. This is great game and will make a good addition anyones collection and it doesn't hurt that the price has dropped to $20 either.

Graphics: This is one is much better looking than tricky and the framerate is much more stable. The snow and the particle effects have a great look to it. The characters are well animated and have a great amount detail put in them with the option to change their appearance with numerous outfits and gear.

Audio: Well, I only actually like about 5 songs on the soundtrack and as far as I could see there is no support for user soundtracks. Plus the voice acting is good but not as cool Tricky with some well known entertainers doing the voices.

Suggestions: User soundtrack support PLeeeeease!

Overall Score: 9.0 / 10 The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

Overall: This is a great licensed game that has to be the best hack and slash game I've played to date. It's much better than the Two Towers with improved gameplay, graphics, and longevity thanks to the addition of a
co-op multiplayer mode.

Gameplay: Simply put you hack your way through various enemies in 15 different levels. The levels are well designed except the second one for Aragorn which is a little on the cheap side. It starts off with a good boss battle against the King of the Dead but then puts you into a timed escape run with falling rocks and debris making it hard to see in some parts and it feels cheap. Otherwise the levels are well planned and have some great moments that made me feel like I was in the movies. The selection of characters is better this time with Gandalf which is the most powerful character in the game and the Hobbits Sam and Frodo as well as three unlockable characters.
The controls have a great layout and are easy to master in a short period of time. The Co-op mode is great fun and will keep this game alive in my collection for a long time, it's a competition to see who can slay more orcs and get a better rating like Gimli and Legolas in the movies. Great game, hack and slash doesn't get any better than this.

Graphics: The visuals are much better than the Two Towers, but still have a PS2 look especially in the textures, some are great and some well blah best describes them. The characters looks good, especially the faces which you hardly see close up. The framerate takes some dives especially in coop mode but it never lasts long or affects gameplay. The animation is top notch and looks like it came straight from the movies. The amount of action going in the screen at one time is simply incredible.

Audio: Awesome! Great music, voice acting from the movies actors and great clang effects of the weapons. The Surround is used well with clanging weapons coming out of the all the speakers.

Overall Score: 8.0 / 10 Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge

Overall: I've wanted this game since it was released and finally picked it up after the price dropped and I am not disappointed. The single player game is incredible and left me wanting more. The multiplayer mode is extensive and loads of fun, especially Capture the flag (known as "Flag Heist" in the game) and Chicken modes ("Wild chicken" and "Chicken pox") Bottomline: This game is so much fun, loaded with fast paced, non-stop action galore, consistently providing enjoyment everytime I play it.

Gameplay: Most of the time you fly a plane (of which you have a good number of planes to choose from) and shoot down other planes, Zeplins, or crazy mechanical creations. The controls are spot on and very easy to use and the game introduces you to the controls in the first mission. A cool feature is that most of the game takes place flying a plane, but you can also man guns placed on zeplins, boats, or towers, giving a nice change from flying all the time. The single player mode takes you on an adventure to stop an evil mad scientist from taking over the world and is actually so good I felt it was over too soon. Some of the bosses are immense in size, especially the last one and it's amazing how smooth the game runs with all the action taking place. The multiplayer is diverse with Split screen, System link, or Xbox Live support. The 4 player split screen is very well implemented and a lot of fun, while the Live offerings are the same except with up to 16 people making for some really exciting matches.

Graphics: This game is a sight to behold, a definite looker especially in motion. The visual effects are awesome from the heat coming off the engine when using turbo boost to the incredibly realistic looking water. The areas are highly detailed although you'll usually be too busy to notice them. The damage to the planes and other vehicles looks great. The fire and explosions are one of the highlights, when you shoot a Zeplin, a hole burns in the skin of it and looks fantastic. It's just amazing what the developers have done with this game and kept it all moving at a solid framerate.

Audio: The sound is exceptional with above average voice acting and an incredible soundtrack that helps increase the tension and make you feel like your in an Indian Jones movie.

Overall Score: 9.0 / 10 Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance

Overall: A solid game with great gameplay mechanics and interesting story presented in a high grade cinematic fashion. The meat of the game is split into two missions, the Tanker (played as Snake) and the Plant (played as Raiden, and not nearly as cool as Snake) and you can choose to do them in either order, but the Tanker should be done first because it takes place two years prior to the Plant mission. Otherwise the story won't make as much sense. The cutscenes are top notch, in fact some of the best I've seen, but there are almost too many of them especially near the end making it feel like your watching more than playing. Overall an excellent stealth action game with a deep, engulfing story.

Gameplay: The game takes place primarily in 3rd person from various camera angles. The camera is done rather well for the most part, but it there are times when it can be a pain. The camera was done in such a way that it forces the player to be more deliberate and make you feel the part of the character. So don't look to this game for a high speed action fix, yet it isn't as slow paced as Splintercell either. The controls have a good mapping to the controller S with quick response and become second nature rather quickly. The two main missions took me about 11 hours to complete, but there also 350+ VR missions which consist of numerous scenarios to train you for the main missions. Then there are also 5 Snake tales which are shorter missions, but they don't use cutcenes to explain the story, but instead use boring screens of text.


Graphics: An eye pleasing game with superb cutscenes. The animation is excellent and with the exception of some spots the framerate is good. The tanker mission has a few spots when your outside in the rain and the game slows to a crawl, I guess they couldn't get the code optimized for the PS2 to convert right to the Xbox, but it's easy to deal with.

Audio: The voice acting is very good for most characters, but especially good for Snake. The sound effects fit in well and make it the story that much more immersive.

Overall Score: 8.0 / 10 Soul Calibur 2

Overall: This is by far the best fighter I have ever played. I thought Dead or Alive 3 and Mortal Kombat Deadly Alliance were good, which they are, but this game tops them all. I'm addicted to just playing the single player weapon masters mode and when I finish that there will always be the never ending longevity of the two player game. The xbox specific character is Spawn, which I think fits into the game quite nicely, but that might just be me since I like the character. Soul Caliber 2 rules, I definitely waited to long to buy it.

Gameplay: This game has it all, the single player modes are addictive enough to keep you coming back for 10-20 hours depending on skill and patience, plus you'll never get tired of playing a few matches fromt time to time with a friend. Weapons master mode is the meat of the single player modes and consists of different areas on a map that have battles with a variety of requirements, which are too long to list. The game is easy enough for a novice to come in and bash some buttons and pull off some cool moves, but it is also very deep and extremely polished for those who want to learn the moves and become a pro. The controls fit the xbox controller S perfectly and are the most responsive I've yet to experience in a fighter. This game sets the standard by which I'll compare all future fighting games.

Graphics: Excellent best describes the visuals, not quite Dead or Alive 3, but close. The characters look great, especially Spawn, and display some great animation. The framerate is smooth as silk

Audio: The sound effects are above average, but most of the english voice acting sounds lame, so even though I can't understand it, I switched to the japanese voices because it fits the game much better and actually sounds good. The Dolby 5.1 is used more than I thought it would, for instance on an arena where water is surrounding the platform you hear running water all around you. Nice subtle touches like that go a long way. The sound is good for what it needs to do. User soundtracks would be useless since the rounds usually don't last much longer than the match annoncement.

Suggestions: Add multiple levels to the arenas.

Overall Score: 9.0 / 10 WWE Raw 2

Overall: Straight up, this is a fun game even for people who don't watch wrestling on TV like me. I enjoyed the first game mainly for its 4 player mode and create a wrestler mode. Now that the price has dropped to $20 it's definitely worth adding to the collection.

Gameplay: Unlike the first game this one actually has some depth to the single player game and has a good variety of game modes and match types to keep one busy for qutie sometime. The flow of the matches is quicker and more balanced. This game is worth a purchase just for the multiplayer modes, but the single player season mode is fantastic with a good recreation of the real life events. The controls are very responsive and configured extremely well to the point where most people can pick up the controller and figure out how to play in just a couple matches. The "create a wrestler" editor is superb with more options than I care to count. This game definitely improves on it's predecessor in every aspect.

Graphics: The graphics and animation are even better the first one. The framerate is steady and smooth with 6 players on screen.

Audio: The ability to use user soundtracks is good, but the wrestlers never speak a word and this diminishes the presentation and feel of the game. Especially with the all the cutscenes. Because you have to imagine what they are saying from their body language. The sound effects in the ring are good.

Overall Score: 9.0 / 10 Grand Theft Auto: Double Pack

Overall: This is a great pair of games for a well worth pricetag. Both games are fantastic with Vice City being the better of the two. Both have visual upgrades, I have the GTA3 PC version as well so I could compare and the Xbox version is better. It's a shame that the best platform has to wait so long to get the titles, but better late than never and they are well worth the wait.

Gameplay: Basically in both games you make contacts in various places in the cities and get missions from these characters like assasinations, stealing cars, transporting people, races, or you can just cruise the cities. These games are NOT for Kids, this is made for adults and it shows and becomes very apparent early on in both games. Both have excellent controls for driving and even flying in Vice City. I do wish that the controls were more customizable but they are easy to adapt too. The on foot controls are good as well with the exception of aiming the rifles which is too sensitive and mapped to the wrong stick. The Auto aim is good most of the time but sometimes can get you killed by targeting enemies that are dead or not even the line of sight. What's nice about games like these is that even after you beat them (which can take around 50 hours to do so) you can come back to them from time to time for a 30 minutes jaunt around the city wreaking havoc. I can't wait for the next one.

Graphics: GTA3 compared to the PC version looks better, they have bumped the polygon counts up on the cars and characters (mainly the hands). The cars look better and the motors have a lot more detail to them. The PC has higher resolution on its side so it the draw distance is deeper. The Xbox versions look good and the draw distance is good enough without causing problems. They do not look like Xbox games but are still very impressive especially with everything thats going on in such a large scale. I'll give the developers credit for taking some time to improve the Xbox versions. The framerate rarely dips and doesn't affect gameplay when it does.

Audio: Absolutely awesome, the performances of Ray Liotta, Dennis Hopper, Gary Busey, and Tom Sizemore (there are more, I just can't remember them) make the story more believable. The best voice acting in a videogame to date. The music is fantastic with entertaining DJs and the talkshow radio channels have their shining moments too. And if for some reason you don't like the music, user soundtracks are supported. The guns sound good as well as the car effects. One of the best sounding games ever with clear 5.1 Dolby surround support.

Suggestions: Don't wait so long to release to the next one on Xbox.

Overall Score: 10.0 / 10 NBA Street Vol. 2

Overall: I could careless about the NBA let alone a basketball game, but after playing the demo of NBA Street vol.2 on the OXM disc I was hooked. In fact, my brother bought it after playing the demo and now I'm borrowing it. This game is just flat out unadulterated fun. The fast pace and crazy moves are mesmerizing and keep me hanging on for more.

Gameplay: The basic gameplay breaks down into a 3 on 3 matche in a few different modes. NBA challenge lets you pick an NBA team from which you choose three of the star players and take on the stars from other NBA Teams. Upon completing the several circuits you unlock courts, old time stars, and throw back jerseys to use on your created player. Another nice feature is you can get help from friends to play in the NBA Challenge mode. The other major mode is "Be a Legend" where you make your own player then create a street team and start making a reputation for yourself on the street circuits. You also have the regular exhibition modes. As with most EA Sports titles it keeps track of your profile which includes a good number of stats to show your accomplishments or lack of depending on your skills. Although I've read that the PS2 controller is better suited for the game the controller S works very well with it. It can take some time getting used to using the left stick as a button for the third turbo button but it works fine.

Graphics: The graphics are extremely well done keeping the eyes happy through the entire experience. The animation is smooth and the colors are vibrant adding to the whole crazy cartoonish atmosphere of the game.

Audio: I don't care for this kinda of music but surprisingly I find myself getting into some of the songs. I would've preferred support for user soundtracks but oh well what can you expect from a company that makes game for Sony then converts them for Microsoft and Nintendo machines. The commentator is actually quite entertaining at times and the 5.1 Dobly is put to good use.

Suggestions: Xbox exclusive content like user soundtracks.

Overall Score: 8.0 / 10 Dead or Alive 3

Overall: Awesome fighter, it doesn't get much better than this game for brawling. There is a good selection of fighters with different styles to choose from. The action is fast, smooth, and incredibly detailed. This is a must have for people who even remotely like fighters.

Gameplay: The controls are super responsive and very intuitive. They are so well rounded that someone who is horrible at fighters a.k.a button mashers can have as much fun as someone who can orchestrate complicated combos. The game also has an effective counter attack system that anyone can master. There are a good variety of modes to choose from. As with any fighter it does become boring after a while, but its definitely good for killing a couple hours with a friend everyonce and a while. The levels are incredible and multi-leveled, you can knock the opposition off or get knocked off yourself one level down to another part of the level, incredible! The single player campaign is short and fairly easy even for a fighting novice as myself.

Graphics: Pure eye candy, this is the perfect game to bust out for those Xbox doubters. The characters are high polygon with incredible detail on their costumes. The animation is super smooth, quick, and no framerate drop whatsoever. The costumes and hair are animated well, even better than Soul Caliber 2 in my opinion.

Audio: Good voice acting at least as far as I can tell since it's all in Japanese. The sound effects of the hits are great.

Overall Score: 9.0 / 10 Starsky and Hutch

Overall: A highend budget title that is definitely worth it's $20 price tag with one hitch. The hitch is the single player experience is just lame, but you can play through the entire game with a buddy and it turns into a blast. I bought this game so I could have another title to use my light guns with. Bottomline, multiplayer with a light gun is awesome and more than worth the price, but the single player experience isn't even worth a rent.

Gameplay: Single player has you driving and the cpu auto locks onto to targets and you choose when to shoot......lame. Two players has one person driving and the other shooting with the controller or a light gun. The game is very simple with the missions usually involving car chases, escort, or timed checkpoint races. The driving controls are responsive, tight, and easy to handle. The light gun is fairly accurate but has a small target area compared to HoTD3 so you actually have to use the sights to aim accurately. The majority of the missions are easy with a few difficult ones thrown into the mix. Most people will probably play through the game once and be done with it, but it does have some replay value if you are into surpassing your high scores.

Graphics: Not gonna prove that the Xbox is better with this title. It's not ugly either, it has some lighting, mainly on the vehicles, and even has some decent particle effects from the tires spinning and skidding. The draw distance is good with some
draw-in at certain areas. The framerate is solid with very rare slight drops. An above average looking game with nothing that stands out.

Audio: Cheesy music, cheesy voice acting (but it fits the game perfectly), with some good sounding engines and gun fire. Starsky and Hutch get irritating pretty quick with their repititious one liners.

Suggestions: Nothing, this game is great value and actually worth its price which can't be said for a lot of full price titles.

Overall Score: 7.0 / 10 BloodRayne

Overall: This game took me by surprise. It's fun in an extremely simple way. This is a great game to just veg out on, because there is little thinking required to complete it. Overall a very good game especially at the current prices it can be found on the internet for.

Gameplay: This game is overly simple yet deeply addicting. Your a hot chick who's half vampire and half human looking for revenge on her vampire father. She gets drafted into the Brotherhood, a secret society of do gooders. The game starts off kinda dumb fighting these spider creatures, but after getting past that you get to take on the Nazis and the game gets real ily all you do is kill Nazis, but its the ways you get to kill them that makes it fun. You could just shoot people, which is great, but its a lot more fun to hack the enemies into pieces and even though it gets very repetive it just never gets boring tearing Nazis apart. There is even a good implementation of the Matrix slow motion effect that unlike other games you can use non-stop. My only major gripes are the ending is on the lame side and the game is very short, I beat it in under 7 hours. This game is another one that definitely deserves it's Mature rating. The main character likes to cuss here and there, oh and the gore is hardcore, talk about dicing and slicing. If you like mindless hacking and slashing this game is for you.

Graphics: The visuals are very good. The framerate is very solid and the animation is above average. The blood effects are fantastic and some of the best I've seen in a game, you can change the color of an entire hallway to blood red in a short time. There are some well done entertaining CG sutscenes spread through the game. The downside is the facial animations are robotic in the cutscenes done with the game engine but thats my only real complaint.

Audio: The voice acting is horrible for the main characters. The only good voice acting is of the Nazis screaming in pain or for help. The sound effects are pretty good down to the sucking noise of draining someone of their blood.

Suggestions: Maybe some co-op multiplayer.

Overall Score: 7.0 / 10 NFL Fever 2002

Overall: This is a very good arcade football game with great visuals and fast high scoring action. I prefer more realistic football but this is still fun.

Gameplay: Too arcadey for my tastes but I can see where people who aren't into simulation style football could really enjoy it. Its fast and like I said before the games tend to have high scores with a good amount of unstoppable money plays, its just a matter of finding them. The controls are very responsive but I'm use to and prefer Sega's control scheme.

Graphics: Awesome textures, animation, and weather effects. The linemen definitely need to to go on a diet in this game they've got huge beer bellies. Better looking then Madden's oversized head look though.

Audio: I don't care for the commentators that much especially compared to Sega's top notch presentation, but the on field effects are good.

Overall Score: 7.0 / 10 Dance Dance Revolution: UltraMix

Overall: This game is surprisingly good! I bought it for my daughter the day it came out, after playing it for maybe 20 minutes she declared it difficult and hasn't touched it since (btw, she's 19 yrs old). To get my ninety six dollars worth out of it I use it as an alternative excercise and its surprisingly fun.

Gameplay: I'm sure anybody reading this knows what the game is about. The major complaint I have is the learning curve is pretty steep. It took me a couple hours to get used to coordinating both feet and even some of the easier songs are quite difficult. It has a good number of modes including playing on live which doesn't interest me. I use the workout mode and it is fantastic and worth the money by itself. You can set goals for how many calories you want to burn and it actually keeps track of all your stats from previous workouts as well as an overall total. It tells you how many miles you have jogged, or swimmed, and even how many times you have jumped rope. I bought the game/pad package plus an extra NAKI pad and the pad included with the game is a little better. It doesn't move around (on carpet) as much as the naki pad, on the other hand the surface of the Naki pad does'nt require the use of socks to keep your feet from sticking to it.
Gameplay is great and I don't see it ever getting old.

Graphics: Visuals are simple and most songs just have an animated character dancing in the background. A few have actual music videos, but either way the person playing doesn't have time to pay attention to the background.

Audio: I don't care for techno/dance tunes, but a good number of them are tolerable and do a good job of getting the blood flowing. I wish user soundtracks were useable though.
It is possible to download more tunes over the internet for $5 for five songs with one pack already available.

Suggestions: User soundtracks.

Overall Score: 8.0 / 10 Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne

Overall: An excellent 3rd person action title. The story is well done and better than the first. The game has a more polished feel than the first with a more refined bullet time. The only problem I have with this game is the length is lacking, I beat it in under 7 hours and there is little to no replay value. This game screams hollywood production. A must rent!!
Side note: This game is not for kids in anyway, it gets the MATURE rating for a good reason.

Gameplay: The gameplay is exactly the same as the first title with a better implentation of the bullet time feature. Overall the game doesn't feel as difficult as the first one so its more accessible to people who aren't particularly good at action games. The controls are accurate and responsive.

Graphics: A great way of presenting a story through comic book like cutscenes and very well done cutscenes. I only noticed a framerate drop a couple times and it was hardly noticable. The game has a polished look to it with good detail and ultra smooth animation.

Audio: Some of the best voice acting I've experienced in a game thus far. The weapons all sound superb and the sound effect for the bullet time fits perfectly.

Overall Score: 9.0 / 10 Counter-Strike

Overall: A solid console port of a great PC title. I played this game for a few years on the PC until I got tired of the cheaters/hackers. I didn't think I'd ever get back into this game again, but I got it for christmas and man I'm hooked again. Even though it lacks the ability to mod it and make new maps, I'm glad that no cheating is possible (at least I hope not). This game is only good for those with Live, otherwise don't waste your time or money. There is no splitscreen multiplayer and the single player mode consists of the same multiplayer modes with bots. The bots are very intelligent but its not even close to the experience of playing with people. Personally, I think the price is high for this game, it should be in the $30-$40 range.

Gameplay: This is where this game excels, the gameplay is simple and sweet. A typical match consists of one team defending an objective with the other team on the attack. The controls surprised me and are very responsive and precise, I was getting headshots in no time. The network code is rock solid, my step son hosted a game and I joined it with 6 other people and had absolutely no lag (most of the people where in our area), where Return to castle wolfenstein lags horribly with both of us on at the same time. This game is addicting, I want to play it now!

Graphics: There some improvements over the pc, better textures, much better lighting including a nice effect of the players eyes adjusting to the lack of light inside buildings. The animations looks good, with the exception of the death animations sometimes looking awful. As others have said this game isn't all about graphics, its gameplay and thats all that matters. But don't pull this game out to impress your PS2 friends.

Audio: Excellent positional sound if you have the system. The weapons and other effects sound very good. User soundtracks are supported as well, although I prefer no music in a game like this. Being able to clearly hear a nearby enemy's footsteps is a big part of this game.

Suggestions: A map maker with the ability to upload to a central server to share.

Overall Score: 8.0 / 10 Kung Fu Chaos

Overall: Fun foour player party game with a worthy single player experience. A mixture of fighting levels and entertaining mini games.

Gameplay: Getting the hang of the game takes a matter of a few minutes so anyone can jump in and do well in a short time. There are good number of combos all of which are easy to pull off.

Graphics: The graphics aren't awesome but they aren't suppose to be its a cartoon world and it works great. The framerate never drops.

Audio: The sound works for this game and adds to the atmosphere. Shao ting has some funny lines as well as some really corny ones but luckily if you get tired of him you can turn him off.

Suggestions: Downloadable content and online play.

Overall Score: 9.0 / 10 Sega GT 2002

Overall: This is a great racing game with a large number of cars and well designed tracks. Anyone who is into more simulation over arcade feel will like this game. Single player is where its at while the multiplayer is only 2 player splitscreen.

Gameplay: The singler player career mode is awesome and the meat of the game. You start off with only $13,000 which only allows you to buy a lame car, but with some good driving you can earn enough money to buy a good car or unlock one. Then the game takes off and becomes incredibly addicting. You can modify the cars in certain areas like turbos, chips, suspension, and more. You unlock new modifications as well. The cars available are little heavy on the Japanese side and I would've liked to have had more American and European cars to choose from. The controls are very tight and responsive, probably the best controls I have experienced in a racer yet. The tracks are somewhat limited and I thought I would get tired of them but I actually think its a good thing because I find that it forces me to get better taking better lines and its a different experince depending the car your using. The rally track is cool but its the only one and does get old.

Graphics: The cars look fantastic with great lighting and high details. The replay really shows off the graphics engine and allows you to enjoy it more since your preoccupied when racing to really notice everything. The Framerate is rock solid with no slowdown whatsoever. I do have some dislikes though, the particle effects are nearly non existent, the driver has minimal animation. Overall a great looking game.

Audio: The engines sound awesome and differ between vehicles with a different sound in the car compared to using a 3rd person view. User soundtracks are supported.

Overall Score: 8.0 / 10 TimeSplitters 2

Overall: Incredibly fun but challenging game. It has a great single player game which includes a story mode and an arcade mode that is basically a large number of individual missions. I keep coming back to this game striving to unlock everything. As cool as the single player game is sometimes it can be so friggin hard I've wanted to throw my controller right out the window. The multiplayer game is great fun with 4 or more people and can be system linked for 16 player mayhem. They even included a mapmaker which should extend the longevity of this title on top of the already good selection of maps available.

Gameplay: The gameplay takes some getting use to. As far as aiming goes you can switch between two modes: normal which has no reticule for aiming and the second mode brings up the reticule and allows for precise aiming and zooming using a spring-look system that drives me crazy and is really only effective for sniping.
Don't get me wrong though, once you get accustomed to aiming without a reticule its a blast!

Graphics: The graphics are done very well and have a cartoon theme to them. Xbox quality the graphics are not but what do you expect from a game that was ported from the PS2. The framerate runs silky smooth no matter how much chaos is taking place on the screen. The characters some a great deal of detail in them.

Audio: The sound effects and character voices are great and the music is actually good for most of the levels. You can't use your own soundtracks though.

Suggestions: The ability to use our soundtracks. Online play, content download, and online map sharing ability for the next version.

Overall Score: 9.0 / 10 Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell

Overall: Absolutely awesome! This game flat out rocks. I can only see someone who doesn't have an ounce of patience not liking this game. The levels are designed extremely well. This has got to be the best single player experience on the Xbox. Too bad it isn't an Xbox exclusive.

Gameplay: The controls are excellent and the training mission at beggining brings you up speed quickly. I don't now how they could make it any better.

Graphics: This is one of the games to show the raw power of the Xbox. Smooth framerate and excellent detail and lighting. The main character has all black suit but it still has a lot of noticable detail on it.

Audio: The sound gets the job done and the surround sound works great for creating a 3 dimensional feel the game. The voice acting is top notch.

Suggestions: I don't how you improve this game. I'm not sure if a multiplayer mode could done right with this kind of game.

Overall Score: 10.0 / 10 Outlaw Golf: 9 Holes of X-Mas

Overall: For five dollars, this game rocks! I bought it about a year ago and played it once and tossed it aside for some Splinter Cell stealth action. I just recently started playing it again with my wife when we were both home sick for a few days and got hooked on it. Its fun and definitely worth the five bucks I paid for it.

Gameplay: Just like Outlaw golf except in a snowy winterland with elves laughing at your mistakes and Santa crossing the sky every once and while. There are only 9 holes total but they are fun. There only two characters to choose from, Harley and Killer Miller but a good selection of clubs are available. The controls have a good setup. My main gripe is putting can be a pain the rear figuring out the how hard to hit it but I guess thats part of golf.

Graphics: The courses look great with a good amount of detail but not much motion going on in the background with the exception of Santa or occasional plane flying overhead. Harley and Killer are well animated. The elves (spectators) aren't real detailed but move out of your way screaming when you aim their way.

Audio: The commentator is fairly funny as with the other Outlaw games but gets old real and extremely annoying if your having a difficult time. The voice acting for the characters and their caddys are well done.

Suggestions: Its more than I expected for five bucks.

Overall Score: 8.0 / 10 SSX Tricky

Overall: An addicting extreme sports game that anyone can enjoy to some degree. An engaging single player experience that keeps you coming back for more with a fun multiplayer mode.

Gameplay: Start at the top of a mountain and work your down either racing five CPU controlled characters or pulling off tricks to accumulate points. I find myself playing through the single player game the most to unlock more and more it just doesn't get boring. The multiplayer mode is fun to kill some time with a friend.

Graphics: PS2 graphics with better looking snow textures. The framerate is rock solid in splitscreen multiplayer and in the showoff single player mode. However, it can chop up real good in the race mode when all the characters are on the screen at once, but it doesn't affect gameplay and encourages you to do better. The characters have awesome animation with a fairly high polygon count.

Audio: The voice acting is excellent with some well known actors like David Arquette, Billy Zane, and Oliver Platt. The Music gets old especially Run DMCs "Lets get Tricky".

Overall Score: 9.0 / 10 Tao Feng: Fist of the Lotus

Overall: Microsoft finally has their top quality first party fighter. Excellent game in the same league as Dead or Alive 3.

Gameplay: The basic gameplay is quite easy to pick up but the game has a lot of depth with numerous moves per character of which a lot of them are difficult to pull off requiring some time to master. The game plays fast but unlike other fighters the fights isn't over in a blink of an eye. The absence of rounds is awesome and well over due in the fighting genre.


Graphics: One of the best looking fighters I've experienced. The enviroments are large and destructable and walls can be jumped off of and poles can be swung on and adds another dimension to fighting. The characters look great and for the most part are animated nicely. The only reason I didn't give it a 5 is during some of the Chi attacks the framerate can take a dip but it definitely doesn't ruin the gameplay at all.

Audio: The sound is good its nice to hear echos on the interior levels and all the thuds and smacks are good. The voice actors did an excellent job.

Overall Score: 9.0 / 10 Legends of Wrestling

Overall: This is a fun game that has good and bad qualities. It is definitely not a game that you sit down for the first time playing it and think to yourself this game rocks! No in fact it takes an hour or so of playing with the instruction manual sitting next to you to figure out all the moves otherwise I think one would just toss it aside and say forget it.
If you do give it a chance (rent it first, which sucks because the rental stores usually don't include any instructions) you might just end up enjoying it. I purchased it at half.com for the cost of renting it from Blockbuster so I didn't have much to lose. If your a hardcore wrestling fan that has been watching it since the early Hulk Hogan days then you'll have a good time with this game.

Gameplay: The gameplay is great after you figure out the controls and everything you can pull off like picking up objects (chairs, 2x4s, guitars) under the ring and beating the living tar out of your opponent.
The single player game which is called career mode is quite good and entertaining. You travel across the states winning belts and moving on to the next region. The multiplayer is fun also which can include up to 3 of your buddies going at it at once in 4 way battle or in a tag team match.

Graphics: Hmmmmm, the graphics......yes, well they just plain. The guys are big, real big but they look like plastic action figures and move like it too. The animation is good sometimes and downright awful at other times. Overall they look good and the action is more important in this game than the graphics but I would expect a silky smooth framerate for PS2ish graphics but when you get 4 people on sceen the framerate take some major hits that are just unacceptable. Not that the crowds are a big deal but they are pretty horrible, some 3d people up front with cruddy 2d sprites right behind them. There is an option to turn blood on which adds a nice touch if your into that sort of thing which was big back in the glory days of pro wrestling.

Audio: The sound is ok, it does the job but I'm giving it a 3.5 because it does let you use your soundtracks which not enough games allow.

Overall Score: 6.0 / 10 Halo: Combat Evolved

Overall: This game is definitely one of the best first person shooters ever and no doubt the best to ever hit a console. You play as Master Chief, a cyborg that can handle any situation by himself. Sometimes you will get help from computer controlled Marines that are for the most part quite intelligent and helps suck you into the game world even more. Without going into any detail the single player campaign has an above average story and does a good job of keeping the game flowing.

Gameplay: The controls are setup well and become second nature in a short time. A good amount of customization is available which includes adjusting the speed of the aiming control which is must for any FPS.

The Single player campaign alone is an awesome gaming experience. The ability to use vehicles is something that the FPS market has been missing for a long time. Then when your done with the single player campaign the multiplayer game kicks in to make this one game that most people will be coming back to again and again. You can play with a friend cooperatively through the single player campaign or get up to 4 players on one box for a fun fragfest. And if you have access to 4 xboxes and 16 friends the multiplayer game really shines with with numerous maps and play modes to keep you and your friends busy for a long time.

Graphics: Awesome! Everything is bumpy and looks terrific. The only reason I'm not giving it a 5 is the framerate suffers in a few spots but this definitely does not affect gameplay at all.

Audio: The sound is great in every aspect from voice acting to the music. This game has to have the best soundtrack I've ever heard.

Suggestions: none

Overall Score: 10.0 / 10 NFL 2K3

Overall: If you like football then this game is a must have. No other Football game comes close. This game is aimed more at the hardcore football fans.

Gameplay: SEGA acquired the ESPN license and puts it to good use as it almost feels like watching a game on ESPN. I used to be a EA sports nut so it took me a while to get used to the different play calling system. The control configuration is excellent and once it becomes second nature you can make some awesome plays especially when rushing. Statistics tracking is well done. The only thing is there is not a single thing to unlock like the Madden series so there isn't a whole lot to keep you coming back to play single player seasons. This game truly shines as a multiplayer game with up to four players on one xbox or goe online. I've become a SEGA convert and can't wait for NFL 2K4 to arrive this summer.

Graphics: Awesome detail, the uniforms have incredible detail, even the socks are bump mapped. The players animation is the best with an incredibly large number animations for everything from different tackles, stiff arms, spin moves, blocks, side stepping through the line, to the QB taking a step foward to heave that ball way downfield. Absolutely incredible, every now and then I'll notice something I haven't seen before.

Audio: The best commentary out of any sports game available. Most of the time the commentary is very smooth and fits what is going on in the game with the occasional instance when they are way off. The best part is they actually have conversations and even joke every once in a while which really adds to realism of the game. You can hear the defense on the field yelling intimidating comments at the offense. Best sound ever in a sport title period.

Overall Score: 9.0 / 10 TransWorld Surf

Overall: At first I was in total awe of this game after seeing the cool waves. But pulling off some of the bigger scoring moves can become tedious and boring making it difficult to unlock the bigger waves or at least I think they are bigger since I haven't unlocked any of them yet.

Gameplay: The learning curve is a little on the steep side and like already stated I never unlocked any of the bigger waves and there aren't any cheats to unlock them. I would've scored this game higher if I could unlock the bigger waves just so I could play them in multiplayer games. As is the game starts off really cool but soon you find it just becomes tedious trying to pull off huge scoring moves that take a lot of skill to pull off.

Graphics: The waves and water are awesome with good bump mapping and realistic flow. The surfers are a little on the lame side but do have good animation. In four player split screen the game slows down dramatically to the point where in my opinion it isn't playable.

Audio: Average sound and good music. I'm giving it a 4 just for the fact that it supports user soundtracks which every sports title should.

Suggestions: Less difficult!

Overall Score: 6.0 / 10 Deathrow

Overall: A fun game that takes some time to get into, but once you get the hang of it the addiction begins.

Gameplay: This is the ultimate in your face high action sports title available. It will make your hands just as tired if not more than a hockey title. The object is simple, throw a disc through your opponents hoop to score points. The cool thing is you can beat the living crap out of your opponents to the degree that you knock them out for the quarter. There are 18 teams with 150 players in total with all of them having different appearances and attributesskills. Some are better at scoring and playing the game while others are just flat out better at dishing out pain and taking it. There two views one is a overhead shot which is a waste but easier to play for begginers and the other much better view follows behind your player in third person view and brings you right into the action. Surprisingly the fighting is done qutie well with the teams and players having different moves and styles. There are even throw like moves that sometimes go into a slow motion matrix mode during single player games which adds a nice touch.

Graphics: The players are good looking with a good amount of polygons and a fair amount of detail with excellent animation. The arenas range from flat out boring to very cool. The floors are shiny and depending on the arena have fantastic surface textures.

Audio: Like all sports titles should it supports user soundtracks. The smacks and thuds all sound good and convincing. Oh then there is the abundant cussing which is kind of fresh at the beggining but becomes repetive and lack luster in a short amount of time. The voice acting is good, which most of the lines include cussing in one form or another.

Suggestions: Online play? Downloadable Arenas and/or teams?

Overall Score: 8.0 / 10 Jet Set Radio Future

Overall: It didn't take long to hook me and pull me into it's cel-shaded world. The visuals and gameplay is different from anything I had played before.

Gameplay: Basically to complete a level involves spray painting over another gangs graffiti and then a race between you and that level's gang. Luckily the levels are quite different from each other and have some really cool places to explore. Unfortunetly I eventually grew tired of the repetive play and gave up. I've tried to get back into it numerous times and quickly became tire of it again. A very unique game that just became boring after a while.

Graphics: The cel shading is very attractive and unlike anything I have played before. The animation is good and fluid. The camera started to bother me after a while though.

Audio: Hmmmm, if you like this kind of music I guess you'd score this game much higher. To be honest I almost started to like some of the songs but after listening to them a gazillion times they ended up giving me a headache. No support for user soundtracks in a game that is heavily dependent on music!?!?!?!

Overall Score: 7.0 / 10 Blood Wake

Overall: An above average game that has a solid single player campaign and a extremely fun 4 player split screen experience.

Gameplay: The controls are very easy to use and the default controller layout is very accessable. The single player mode consists of 29 missions consisting of escort, rescue, offensive, and defensive objectives. System link would've been a nice feature expecially with such a well done multiplayer mode.

Graphics: Top notch graphics with awesome water and little to no jaggies. The ships are highly detailed with great animations of the motors, pilot(s), and of the weapons firing and reloading. Even with loads of activity on screen the framerate is rock solid.

Audio: Average sound, weapons and motors have good sound effects. The voice acting is so so and the music is not anything I care for.

Suggestions:

Overall Score: 7.0 / 10 NCAA Football 2003

Overall: An excellent college football game with a great atmosphere. I am a Sega fan when it comes to NFL games but EA definitely owns the NCAA crown. I actually bought this game when it came out last year and then a few months later sold it thinking I was done with it. Recently I got a hankering for it again and bought it for $15 on half.com (this time I'll keep it for good).

Gameplay: Gameplay is well done with some minor problems. The overall package is good with straight forward play calling, kicking, passing, and rushing. My only major complaint is the turbo button is B on defense and A on the Offense and can be confusing durning heated moments. At the same time the controls are easy enough for a novice to jump in play fairly well at same time offering enough depth for an advanced player to pull of some really technical moves and strategies. My most favorite feature of EA's Football games are stats tracking. My brother and I are extremely competitive and I love how this game keeps in depth stats on our records versus each other and against the computer. During the game it even brings up statistics on win/loss record, yards per game, etc between us. At the main menu we can go to My NCAA and compare our records to each other, bottom line it is an excellent feature aimed at hardcore football enthusiasts.

Graphics: Everything is good looking with good decals and textures. A nice touch is that the uniforms gradually get dirty as the game progresses. Sometimes the framerate dips when all the players are on the screen at once, but doesn't affect gameplay. Overall it has a PS2ish look to it.

Audio: Good, smooth, mostly on the spot commentary. The sound of the bands and fans fills the background and adds a nice touch to the atmosphere.

Suggestions: Remap the controls to have the basic controls for defense and offense be the same like Sega.

Overall Score: 8.0 / 10 Outlaw Volleyball

Overall: Who would've thunk volleyball could be so much fun. Although the presentation of this game is good it gets old quick. Under the rude humorous shell is an highly entertaining videogame.


Gameplay: The single player game is solid with some fun mini games. These mini games allow you to earn attribute points that can then be used to upgrade a players abilities as well as fine tune your gameplay skills. The multiplayer modes are where the game really shines. Two on two is ok but its a truely excellent party game with four players. I even got my wife addicted to it and she could care less about videogames. The controls are easy to learn yet take a good amount time to truly master. You can pick fights with an opposing team member which is funa at first but don't involve much depth and eventually get boring after a short time. I could go on and on but I won't. Overall this game is must for someone with access to three other players and a rent first for everyone else.

Graphics: The graphics are very pleasing to the eyes. I've only noticed a small bit of framerate drop here an there and it didn't affect gameplay whatsoever. The characters are highly detailed with very good animation.

Audio: I give this game a four just for supporting user soundtracks, all sports games on the Xbox should! The annoucer is entertaining but doesn't have much to say and gets repitive after an hour of play. The voice acting for the characters is very good but like the announcer are also limited.

Overall Score: 8.0 / 10 NCAA College Football 2K3

Overall: I picked this up for under $10 brand new and its definitely worth that price. I am a huge fan the of the NFL 2K series, but this game unfortuntely lacks the polish and refinement found in NFL 2K3. Its a good game but as much as it pains me, EAs offering is better. As much as I bag on the game in this review my brother and I have still had fun times playing it and a game that is fun must do something right.

Gameplay: The gameplay has a good foundation but definitely needs fine tuning. Sometimes the controls are unresponsive or it does something completely wrong like throw to the opposite side of the field. Plus neither myself or my brother could make much of a running game, it takes too long for the quarterback to make a simple hand off to the runnningback. On a good note the user stats system is good and I wish the NFL 2K series had some of it traits.

Graphics: The stadiums, players, and fields are well done. The players faces are exceptional with detailed expressions after each play. The animation is hit and miss with a heavy robotic feeling in a lot of the movements, especially when changing directions.

Audio: Excellent commentary, and a large number of licensed fight songs. Sega has got the formula for awesome commentary down and other sports game developers should follow suit.

Suggestions: Take time to complete the game before releasing it. But I guess thats why there is no NCAA football offering for 2004 from Sega, hopefully next year though.

Overall Score: 7.0 / 10 ESPN NFL Football 2K4

Overall: Last year I converted from Madden to Sega and I love NFL 2K3. This year's game is even better with a deep use of the ESPN License. For the most part the game feels like last years but with a face lift and better configured controls. Overall the game has carried over all the good qualities of the previous version with more polish to them and added some nice new features. This the best Football game out there in my opinion.

Gameplay: The controls are fantastic and easy to learn especially with the new tutorial. Running has been made much easier, almost too easy on the default difficulty setting making big rushing plays a common occurance. The playcall system has taken on a Maddenesque style which actually was a turn off for me I have grown to appreciate the old system. The new system is very good, but it doesn't allow one to scan through the plays as quickly or see the plays up close like the old play call system. The ESPN license has been put to good use and the commentary is as good it was last year. The stats tracking system has been vastly improved and the crib is a nice way to implement unlockables into the game. The franchise mode is basically the same with a different more user friendly interface. One thing I really appreciate is that you can now export your franchise team and use it in the quick game mode or take it over to a friends house to use it against their franchise team. First person football is fun but not something I'll be spending a whole lot of time playing. Its does an incredible job of giving you a feeling of being on the field but it is rather difficult to see everything with the limited view.

Graphics: The visuals are very impressive with many more realistic animations added with total and complete use of the ESPN license in every aspect of the presentation. The stadiums look good and the framerate is silky smooth.

Audio: The same fantastic commentators are back and doing the best video game commentary out there. They've actually added the choice of having user soundtracks playing during the menus. The sounds on the field sound are great and the crowds roar is heard in all the surround channels.

Suggestions: Add more to the stats tracking like comparisons between two users and there records playing against each other.

Overall Score: 9.0 / 10 Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

Overall: I don't typically care for RPGs but this game is incredibly fun. The story is fantastic and in my opinion better than any of the movies. This is definite must for Star Wars fans and anyone looking for a superb, addictive, and fun gaming experience. It definitely ranks up there with Halo and Splintercell.

Gameplay: The controls work very well on Xbox controller. The game is laid out extremely well with all sorts of side quests and a couple mini games to keep you busy or you can skip them and just concentrate on the main quest. As many others have complained walking everywhere gets old. It would've been nice if would allow jumping to already visited areas on the map.

Graphics: The graphics are good for the most part especially for how big and detailed the areas are. The major complaints I have are the nasty jaggies and the sometimes laggy framerate. Neither takes away from the game experience.

Audio: Excellent voice acting, classic Star Wars music and sound effects makes the experience all that much better.

Overall Score: 10.0 / 10 Midtown Madness 3

Overall: A fun arcadey racer that carrys on the Midtown madness traditon of creating chaos on the streets of various cities.

Gameplay: This if different from all other racers because you don't necessarily have to miss all the cars on the road and are infact encouraged to plow through them and watch them fly off into all sorts of directions. The single player experience is fun but short and becomes repetitive. Online is what will keep people coming back to play this game with a good amount of fun modes and the promise of downloadable content. The controls are good and simple with good response.

Graphics: The cities are well detailed and full of activity from pedistrians and vehicles. The framerate is solid as a rock and smooth. The only downer are the nasty jaggies.

Audio: The car engines sound good, the pedistrians have some lines. The music is blah and even though it supports user soundtracks it repeats the same song over and over.

Overall Score: 8.0 / 10 Conflict: Desert Storm

Overall: Next to Halo this is the most fun I have had playing a game cooperatively. If you have a buddy or two to play this game with then it is well worth the money, otherwise give rent it for the single player experience.

Gameplay: This is a game that takes strategy to be successeful. Running out into the open with guns blazing will get you killed real quick. The controls are somewhat awkward at first but by the 3rd misson they became 2nd nature. Most of the missons are well designed and a blast to play. The game is quite challenging and can take a good amount of time to complete each misson.

Graphics: Nothing sticks out and says hey this is an Xbox game. The levels are large and the animation is well done. The framerate has been solid and smooth with two player split screen.

Audio: The sound effects are above average and the music is nothing special. The voice acting, the little that there is good. The cool thing is the it supports user soundtracks.

Overall Score: 9.0 / 10 Enter the Matrix

Overall: I'm a big fan of the movies so I figured this would be a good item to add to my collection even with the magazine reviews that it had been getting. Plus it doesn't hurt that I only paid $20 for it. The only reason I gave this game a 3.5 is that it captures the movie's essence completely and for the most part has a good story that meshs with the sequel. But this is a game and as a game it falls short in many ways. Which I'll describe in the sections below. This game is a must for hardcore Matrix fans (although, I wouldn't pay full price for it), for everyone else its a rental.


Gameplay: You can choose between playing as Ghost or Niobe. The game consists mainly of running around and kicking some booty Matrix style but they tried to break up that action to keep it from getting boring with some driving and sniper missions. Of which I didn't care for any of them. I can't stand the shooting levels because I like to aim with the right stick and the game forces you to use the left. Plus some of the levels involve Ghost shooting out of the car while Niobe is driving. The problem is the vertical movement control is reversed and there is no way to switch it (at least not one I could find). The non-fighting levels are so lame that they made me appreciate the fighting levels all that more. At first I thought the controls for the fighting was a little awkward but after I got used to it the controls are actually really good. As much as the other levels really bug me it was worth it to play the fighting levels. The best one and probably the only one I'll come back to play again in the future is one where your fighting vampires in a mansion, if only they could have made the rest of the game as good as that level. After beating the game with Ghost I haven't felt inclined to play through with Niobe even though I know some of the levels are different I could care less to spend my time on it. There is a hacking part of the game which is interesting especially for those who have had some experience with DOS. It allows you to view pictures of the characters, weapons, and the full motion videos from the game. There is a multiplayer sparring mode to be unlocked but it becomes boring quickly. Theres just not much to keep me coming back to this title. After completing the last level (which is my vote for the worst level in the game) you get a sneak peak at the next movie.

Graphics: The animation is fantastic during the fights and the character models even have a good amount of detail to them. There are some collison detection problems but nothing too bad. The framerate is solid at the lower resolution but takes a dip if played at 1080i on a HDTV. It does look sharp at 1080i though and its nice that it supports it since there aren't too many Xbox games supporting it yet. The levels aren't anything great and the cars look horrible. Overall the graphics are good and the animation top notch.

Audio: Movie quality, it doesn't hurt to have actual movie actors doing the voices and the music is strait from the movies. The hits all sound good. The sound is definitely top notch in this game.

Suggestions: If they make another one take more time to polish it and then polish it some more. More in depth multiplayer mode.

Overall Score: 7.0 / 10 Medal of Honor: Frontline

Overall: A very well done FPS set in World War 2. The game opens with the player taking part in the landing on Omaha Beach similar to how it was depicted in the Saving Private Ryan. It is an excellent game but unless your a fan of first person shooters I would recommend renting it before making the decision to purchase.

Gameplay: You go through a set of missions each with a variety of tasks that need to be accomplished. The game isn't really that hard but if you do get stuck on a particular task you can hit the BACK button for a hint. The default controls are fairly solid with an easy learning curve. The game is quite linear with a steady pace (much slower than that of Return to Castle Wolfenstein) that is much more suited to progressing slowly and taking the enemy out from a distance rather than charging in with guns blazing. When your done with the single player campaign you have four player splitscreen combat to keep you busy for a while. Unfortuntely, four players isn't quite enough people to keep it interesting for long and it becomes boring real quick. The single player campaign is definitely the strong point of the game with the mulitplayer portion feeling like an afterthought.

Graphics: The graphics are good but have some issues. The framerate is rock solid in both single player and multiplayer. The textures scream PS2 constantly reminding me that this is just another port. The faces of the soldiers are the best looking part of this game in my opinion.

Audio: The sound is done extremely well especially for those with Dobly Digital. The opening Beach landing sounds absolutely incredible. The voice acting is well done the narrator does an excellent job.

Suggestions: System link (EA won't do live so why bother) mulitplayer, improved textures.

Overall Score: 7.0 / 10 Burnout 2: Point of Impact

Overall: This is one incredibly addictive arcade racer. I'm giving this score based on multiplayer experience only because I haven't even touched the single player game. I sat down with my brother yesterday for a marathon of exciting arcade racing via Burnout 2. If this game didn't have a single player game I could care less, the multiplayer mode is worth the purchase by itself.

Gameplay: The crash mode is a lot of fun but can become frustrating after a while. Mainly because most of your time is spent sitting there waiting for the level to load or sifting through the stats between each round. Plus you can only play a 3 round game at a time. The actually crashing and trying to figure out which way is the best to cause the most damage is a blast.

The racing mode is the best mode especially on tracks with a lot of cross traffic. I never thought trying to dodge oncoming and cross traffic while doing 100+ MPH could be so much fun but this game does it right.

Graphics: The cars look good but aren't quite as detailed as some other games but the solid framerate and the large amount of moving objects going on in the surroundings more than makes up for it. The crashes are a sight to see with a blurred slow motion effect to emphasize all the havoc.

Audio: User soundtracks are supported which is a huge plus. The car sounds are decent. Really, I was more focused on what was happening on screen that I could've cared less about the sounds.

Suggestions: More options in Crashmode.

Overall Score: 9.0 / 10 Fuzion Frenzy

Overall: A fun party game to play with the family or friends in short doses. At first glance it appears to be more of a kiddie game but it does have several games that are very challenging and fun to play. This is not a game to play by yourself though as it becomes boring rather quickly. This game is perfect for someone who is looking for a game that they can play with their kids as well as their adult friends and have a good time.

Gameplay: There several different types of mini games ranging from tanks to tron like vehicles to running around on foot. There is even a game type similar to the Konami Dance Dance Revolution games which can be very challenging. The controls are very simple with most of the games only requiring the use of the left stick and one or two buttons. Making it so pretty much any body can pick up a controller and jump in with no problem.

Graphics: Nothing awesome nor anything bad here too look at. Everything chugs along smoothly and the colors are bright and vibrant. Most of the time your so busy playing that you don't have time to notice if the graphics are good or not.

Audio: The music gets annoying but luckily this game supports user soundtracks like more games should. The character voices are real annoying but luckily they rarely say anything except at the end of a match.

Overall Score: 7.0 / 10 The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

Overall: A better than average hack and slash game. The part I really liked is the almost seamless transition between the game and LOTR movie clips. If you are a big fan LOTR than this is a must have for your collection otherwise it makes a good weekend rental for everyone else.

Gameplay: You choose between the three main characters of Aragorn, Gimli, or Legolas and then proceed to HACK (and I mean a lot of hacking) and occasionally shoot your way through a small number of levels gaining experience points along the way. The experience points are then used to purchase new combos. The controls are fairly tight and easy to use. The camera can be a pain sometimes making hard to see nearby enemies. The main problem with the game is its way too short and the only thing to make you come back is to play it through again with the other two characters. Making this at least a two player game would have made it a lot more fun.

Graphics: The graphics are nothing spectacular but move along at a nice smooth framerate even with a good number of enemies on the screen. There is a definite PS2 port feel to the detail of the visuals with nothing showing off the strengths of the Xbox. The transitions between the game and movie cutscenes are a real nice touch.

Audio: The movie actors have lended their voices to their characters in the game. The music is good. Lots of clangs and pings of metal hitting metal making up the majority of the sounds heard during gameplay.

Suggestions: Multiplayer and more levels.

Overall Score: 7.0 / 10 Hunter: The Reckoning

Overall: This is a good multiplayer game. Not much depth but what do you expect from a hack and slash game. Its fun, addicting, and can be frustrating at times later in the game.

Gameplay: Basically you and up to three other players set out to fight numerous battles where you will be grossly outnumbered over several large levels. This requires mastering the controls which isn't easy for some people but a must if you plan on defeating the game. Learning to strafe and shoot at the same time is the most important tactic in this game. I'll be honest I only beat this game by myself which was great but not as fun as playing with my wife and two step sons. Problem is my wife isn't the greatest gamer and pretty much uses up all the extra lives we acquire making it real difficult to get far in the game. Even if your a good gamer there are places in the game that will rob you of your lives its just that hard at times. The story is above average and does a good job of linking the levels together. Overall Hunter is a very good game and can be a lot fun with four players.

Graphics: Good detail, flawless framerate even with four players and the screen full of zombies, and good animation. With more than one player the camera can at times be difficult but it isn't anything major.

Audio: Good sound effects and music. The music will kick in during the heat of battle to kick up the intensity with heavy guitar riffs. The voice acting is well done during the cut scenes.

Overall Score: 8.0 / 10 Return to Castle Wolfenstein: Tides of War

Overall: This game is a must have for Xbox Live subscribers it is hands down the best title out for Xbox Live yet. If your looking to pick this title up for the Co-op and Single player experience do yourself a favor and rent it first.

Gameplay: First the bad stuff. As the previous reviewer mentioned, it is absolutely retarded that you can't save your progress in the game when playing co-op. My brother and I were looking forward to playing a game cooperatively that I hadn't already beat. I picked up a copy from the store and headed straight to his house and we played for three hours straight that night. I came back the next day to continue our game only to find out that none of our progress was saved, WTF!!!! Upon examining the manual I found an informative sentence that explains that you can only save your progress in the single player campaign, DOH! Plus as mentioned before the framerate takes major hits in numerous places making it quite a challenge if not impossible to shoot the Nazis.

On the other hand this game rules on Live. Finding a lag free game has been quite easy for me and the framerate is rock solid. I have never played a game that is such a joy to play as a team. To truly dominate in this game you need to depend on your team mates for health, ammo, and successful defensive & offensive tactics. Of course all of that is much easier to coordinate with the voice communication. The default control layout works extremely well maybe even better than Halo's does.

I would love to give this game a higher score but even with the excellent online experience I can't excuse what the co-op lacks. The co-op campaign was half the reason I wanted the game.

Bottom line - If you have Live then don't think about it another minute and go buy this game, if not rent it first.

Graphics: Online the framerate is smooth and consistent. Offline the single player takes some framerate hits here and there while the co-op gets hit hard in numerous places. The overall quality of the graphics are well done, it looks just like the PC version with better water. The characters looks good with a good amount of detail and good textures. The animations are well done with some very impressive explosions. The progressive scan support definitely makes the game look sharper.

Audio: The voice acting is very good and the lips sync up well. The surround sound is done rather well. The sound effects of the weapons and explosions sound good. Not much to say, it does the job and helps immerse the player into the game.

Overall Score: 8.0 / 10 Unreal Championship

Overall: I personally am not real impressed with the game but I can see where players who like the fast run n' gun and kill more than the next guy quake style games would like it. Overall this game feels like it was rushed and could of had more polish especially to the graphics engine to smooth out that framerate.

Gameplay: The controls have a good layout and are fairly intuitive. After I got the aiming speed set to my liking it was much better but unfortuntely I think even more experienced players will still need to use auto aim for online games to be effective.

I actually find the single player game more fun the online experience. The online game turns into nothing but a flash of high speed run n' gun action and thats it. I really enjoyed the assault mode that was present in the original Unreal Tournament on the PC but that mode didn't make into the this game or Unreal tournament 2003 for the PC. Overall I think the online experience is a waste at this point because I don't find it playable. Too many times I've had my sights lined up on someone only to have a good number of frames skipped and my sight moved over enough to ruin my shot.

Graphics: Gorgeous detail, but the framerate is lousy! Maybe after the patch comes out that allows the player to turn off the Full Scene Anti-Aliasing then it will be more playable but until then its just a choppy, frustrating, unplayable framerate for me. I would rather have less detail and a fast framerate especially in a game that plays this fast. When does anybody have time to admire the detail in the characters or the enviroments, never!

Audio: What can I say the sound is nothing special but it does the job very well with good weapon sound effects and above average voice acting for the short insults blurted out during game play.

Overall Score: 7.0 / 10 Project Gotham Racing

Overall: Fun arcade racer with a single player experience that can cause you throw your controller and a mulitplayer experience that will keep you coming back for more. A good balanced selection of licensed cars that include choices from popular American, Japanese, European and exotic sport cars. The numerous tracks are well designed and cover a good evenly spread spectrum of difficulty.

Gameplay: The game feels and controls incredibly well for an arcade racer. Do not load this game expecting realistic physics, this is a hardcore arcade experience and it does it extremely well. The controls are very responsive with excellent feedback.

Graphics: Very nice, the cars are very well done with reflections and real time damage. The framerate is smooth even in a four player split-screen game. The numerous tracks are detailed and varied enough to keep you occupied for long time coming.

Audio: The cars sound great and have a different engine sound for each model. For those of us with surround sound will enjoy a much deeper experience being able to hear the other cars coming from behind. To top it off the game support user soundtracks which should be a must for any racing game.

Overall Score: 8.0 / 10 The Thing

Overall: I love the movie and I love this game. The developers did an awesome job of making the atmosphere just right. I get sucked in everytime and have physically jumped in my seat a few times. The music sets the eerie mood along with sounds of awful moans from some creature waiting to make a meal out of you in the distance. This is must have for any horror genre fan especially if your a fan of the movie.

Gameplay: The game plays very well and the first few missions are basically for training and ease you into the game before throwing you into some hairy situations.

The team members have some really good AI and I haven't had any of them get hung up on corners or doors. They act like a people and get scared when they see a grim scene (there are a lot of them in game with lots and lots of blood) which will somtimes cause them to puke. The games get you aquainted enough with the AI characters that I've actually felt bad when some of my team members turned into creatures.

What I don't like is at some points your teammates who passed a blood test previously will turn into monsters for no apparent reason other than to remove them from the storyline.

The only other major gripe is it can be hard to impossible to see things that are right at your feet like fires and little monsters. This can be very frustrating at times but doesn't ruin the overall experience.


Graphics: Great graphics, good character animation with the lips syncing up well with the voice acting most of the time. The enviroments looks good and the creatures are what you would expect. The animation of the creatures is a little jerky but good for the most part. The framerate is solid even with a large number of little creatures trying to take a piece out of you and your comrades.

Audio: The sound is fanatastic. The AI characters voices, the creepy screeches and roars of the aliens, the foot steps of something walking up behind you all adds up to engulfing atmosphere.

Overall Score: 8.0 / 10 MX Superfly featuring Ricky Carmichael

Overall: I love offroading so this game was right up my alley. It reminds of the Motocross Madness series except its definitely better. Bottomline is if your into this sport you'll at least like if not love this game.

Gameplay: The controls take a bit of time getting use to but after it becomes second nature the game is very enjoyable. The bikes handle nicely leaning more on the arcadey side especially since its somewhat difficult to dump the bike. This game plays very well and everyone in my family gets a kick out of it.

Graphics: The graphics are above average and could've been better but that can be said about most games. It has nice details like the riders ac !&%$@#* ulate dirt on their uniforms the longer you ride. The particle effects of the roost looks good. Overall the graphics are well done and the framerate is silky smooth.

Audio: The Bikes sound somewhat like they are suppose to. The soundtrack is above average except for the title track (yuck!). Plus you can use your own soundtracks.

Suggestions: Incorporate system link and online racing into the next version please.

Overall Score: 10.0 / 10 Star Wars Jedi Knight 2: Jedi Outcast

Overall: If your a Star Wars freak you need to add this game to your collection. The game gets real addicting once you get your Jedi Powers and Light Saber back.

Gameplay: The controls work well on Xbox Controller and don't take long to get comfortable with. I do wish there where more options for button configuration but oh well. Overall the game plays well and will suck you into its universe if you get it sometime. I have found some of the puzzles quite hard, but that may just be me.

Graphics: Very good, good textures, nice detail on enviroments. You really fell like your in the Star Wars universe. The only gripe I have is some occasional framerate loss.

Audio: Awesome as usual with a Lucas Arts Star Wars game. Kick !&%$@#* music and sound effects right out of a Star Wars film.

Suggestions: At least system link multiplayer.

Overall Score: 9.0 / 10 Rocky

Overall: I don't care for watching boxing but I really enjoy this game. The game does a good use of using the Balboa License. The multiplayer portion of this game will extend its life indefinitely. Anyone who enjoyed the movies will like this game. Its a definite must rent for everyone.

Gameplay: The game really has a lot of depth to it for a boxing game. There are adequate number of punches and load of combos. The controls are easy to use and become second nature within an hour of playing. I like this game much more than EAs Knockout kings 2002.

Graphics: The graphics get the job done, they aren't anything real special. The Crowd is actually 3D instead of a bunch of flat motionless pictures. One real nice touch is the boxers get real time bruising on their faces and torso. If you beat the snot out of the guys face it will show it.

Audio: Good sound, use of the Rocky theme is abundant. The sound does its job no complaints from me on this topic.

Overall Score: 9.0 / 10 MotoGP

Overall: I got this game for Fathers day and to be honest I could've cared less about it. I've never been into Street bike games so I didn't play it much. Then I got picked for Live Beta and eventually they sent us a online demo of it which will unlock all the tracks when you have the retail copy and I started playing this game like a mad man. Wow this game kicks !&%$@#* online and off. A great racing game that takes a great deal of technique to successeful.

Gameplay: The game plays great, but takes a while to get used to the controls but once that is achieved it turns into a very exciting game. Some of the training tasks are difficult and can become very frustrating. This game is must have for any fan of racing. PLaying online against other people is a blast and can extend the replay value of this game indefinitely or until the MotoGP 2 comes out.

Graphics: The graphics are top notch! I haven't noticed any framerate loss ever. The rain effects are incredible with a nice touch of rain drops hitting the camera rolling off.
There is great blurred effect that occurs when hitting top speed to give an excellent sense of hauling ass.

Audio: The sound gets the job done, no complaints from me. The surround sound works well and the engines sound right.

Suggestions: Keep up the good work!

Overall Score: 9.0 / 10 Hitman 2: Silent Assassin

Overall: If you have ever wondered what being a hitman is like then this game is for you. This game is in no way an action game. The pace is slow and takes quite a bit of strategy to be successful. In some of the levels you can get away with slaughtering everyone but this just ruins the experience and feels cheap.

Gameplay: The controls are very well laid out on the Xbox controller. I played the first Hitman on the PC and this one is improved a lot, now you can save your game at any time up to seven times which helps prevent getting frustrated because some of the missions take a lot of time to complete. The levels are well designed so that you can accomplish your mission in several different ways. I don't see much replay value here except maybe trying to do the more enjoyable missions over with different tactics.

Graphics: The visuals are very good. Some of the levels look fantastic while the textures in others are just cruddy looking. The characters are excellent along with some of the best animation out there.

Audio: The voice acting is excellent, the sound effects are great, and the music is awesome. No complaints from me.

Suggestions: None, this game does everything it set out to do.

Overall Score: 9.0 / 10 Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon

Overall: One incredible game! The single player is worth the purchase alone then when your done with the single player game you have the excellent multiplayer game to keep you going for months or more.

Gameplay: Ubi has done a great job of making this game work well with Xbox controller. The mission planning aspect of the game is very easy to use and becomes a very helpful tool. The action portion of the game works incredibly well. The xbox needs more games like this.

Graphics: The Character model's animations and textures are excellent. The enviroments aren't quite as great as the characters but it definitely isn't ugly and the size of the levels is quite large. The only thing missing is the gun in hands, all you see is reticle which works.

Audio: I have Dobly 5.1 and the sound effects are awesome. There is no music in the game and thats a good thing. When shooting I can hear the shells landing behind me and to the right. This game has one of the best utilizations of surround sound that I have experienced in a game.

Suggestions: Add more missions and multiplayer maps for download from Xbox Live.

Overall Score: 10.0 / 10 MechAssault

Overall: Fast Paced Mech Action, Great single player game, addicting online action, destroyable enviroments with the promise of future downloadable content=Must have game.

Gameplay: The controls are overly simple and take only a few minutes to master. This is a total turn around from the Mechwarrior games because its 3rd person only view and the pace is extremely fast. You can't customize the mechs but I think that's necessary to attract a broader group of gamers. The online battles are instense and addicting. The multiplayer modes are on the limited side but hopefully they'll add more in the future through Xbox Live.

Graphics: FANTASTIC! Great particle effects, the lighting is spot on. The animation is smooth and I haven't noticed any framerate drop except online when I was playing split screen with my step son and 5 or more mechs were on our screens. Definitely one of the better looking games on the Xbox.

Audio: The surround sound works great and the voice acting is good. I haven't spent a whole lot of time disecting the sound because it does it job, if there was something wrong with it I'm sure I would notice.

Suggestions: Add more mechs, maps, and Multiplayer modes.

Overall Score: 10.0 / 10 House of the Dead 3

Overall: Extremely fun and I haven't even bought the gun(s) which I plan to do soon. Nothing like having arcade quality shooter action right in your own living room. Its a great game to bust out every now and then with a friend when you've got half an hour to kill.

Gameplay: The game plays very well the controller but I'm sure using the light gun would pull me into the game more. The games looks great and flows great, in fact it flows a little too fast as the other reviewers have stated 30 minutes and your done. Short but very sweet! Thank god HOTD 2 is included.

Graphics: One of the better looking Xbox games, and the framerate never stutters. You can actually see the background through the holes you make in the zombies, nice touch. The animation was well done and really shines when your fighting the Prison guard boss.

Audio: Average sound, Guns blasting makes up 90% of the game, but what can you expect its a shooter. The voice acting makes for a good laugh or cry depending on the person.

Suggestions: Definitely loooooooooonger!

Overall Score: 8.0 / 10 Dead to Rights

Overall: I really enjoy most of this game. The first couple of chapters I was wondering if I had wasted my money, but after I got past them I felt good about my investment. Overall a worthy purchase.

Gameplay: The variety in the game is good going from fist fights (boring) to flying in a helicopter and filling limos full of lead. Disarming fools is one of the shining moments of the game especially the rifle disarms. There are no difficultly settings so its hard and gets harder as you progress and unless your some super hero video game player plan dying a lot. The major complaint I have is the targeting system can be your worst enemy by selecting an enemy a mile away instead of the one shooting you two feet away.

Graphics: PS2ish, but good enough you'll be moving so fast that you won't take time to notice. The animation is killer. The graphics get the job done.

Audio: Sound is good. The guns sound like guns, hear can hear the bullets zipping past you (with Dobly 5.1 that is) or ricocheting off the walls. Nothing incredibly mind blowing.

Overall Score: 8.0 / 10 Namco Museum

Overall: I bought this mainly for my wife (she loves playing pac-man) who has a hard time getting into the new games. I've found myself enjoying PAC-MAN and Galaga. If your into the old games or just wanna add them to your collection this pack is for you. If you could care less about the oldies but goodies then steer clear of this one.

Gameplay: Same as it was years ago, fun, takes a great deal of skill. I bought the Pelican Arcade stick which makes the games a lot more fun and easier play.

Graphics: Looks exactly like they did back in their day. But it wouldn't be the same if they went and fixed it up so I'm not complaining.

Audio: Good ol beeps and bleeps. Everything sounds just the arcade versions and brought back good memories.

Overall Score: 6.0 / 10 Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Overall: This game is a blast you get to beat the crap out of Vampires, what could be more fun than that. You don't even have to be a fan of the TV show to like this game, if your into beat'em ups this game should be in your collection.

Gameplay: The fighting part of the game is awesome, in fact it's the best one I've ever played. You can pull off some crazy combos and the slayer powered moves (which are like bullet time moves with a crazy glow to them) are a nice finishing touch to a series of vampire crushing blows. I do have a problem with the jumping portions of the game especially in the last few levels. The controls aren't precise enough for accurate jumping and get very frustrating. Not to mention you will often spend some time getting through these jumping puzzles and end up falling to your death on the last one only to be put back at the beginning of of the level to experience all the frustrastion over again. Luckily the frustrating jumping problems are only a small portion of the game.

Graphics: The graphics are well done and the animation is really fluid. The levels are large and beautifully done. On a down note quite a few jaggies show up from time to time and plague the cutscenes. The graphics are top rate during gameplay.

Audio: The sound is fantastic, I have a Dolby 5.1 system hooked up to the ol Xbox and the surround sound is awesome. The rear channels are well used and add depth to the atmosphere of the game.

Suggestions: Remove the difficult jumping parts and add more fighting.

Overall Score: 9.0 / 10

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