MEMBER PROFILE FOR hachirokku

Total Reviews: 10
Average Overall Score Given: 8.60000 / 10
Total Forum Posts: 15

Reviews
Apex

Overall: Although flawed in some areas, Apex still turns out to be one of the best racing games for the Xbox. It delivers excellent gameplay, stunning graphics, and tons of fun.

Gameplay: Apex offers two modes of play:

Dream Mode
You begin as an owner of new brand of sports car. You have to build the reputation of your company and do so by racing against the most renowned cars of the real world.

Arcade Mode
Time trials, single races, or go head on with one of your friends in multiplayer mode.

In Dream Mode, you get to design and build your own race car, as they state on the back of the box. A very good concept however this is where Apex fools everyone. You don't really get to design or build your own car, but only select a pre-designed model and name it. This is one area where Apex loses points.

Changing the color of your car is about as far as the customization goes. Performance adjustments can be made on your car in terms of racing preference (either grip or drift), simple gear ratios and downforce.

The controls are similar to other racing games on the Xbox, the left and right triggers control the brakes and gas, X and A shifts the gears, while Y shows the reverse view, and B is the e-brake. For those of you who do not like this default setting, you'll be glad to know that the controls are fully customizable.

Apex is more of an arcade racer than a sim. The cars handle very well and you can feel difference between each of them. The driving engine also allows drifting (sliding), which is easily done by braking and using the e-brake.

The AI is very challenging, also a little unfair at times. I find it very difficult to win 1st place in every race, heck even second. Also when brushing up on one of the AI cars, they tend to gain some sort of boost in speed and pass you every time. This tends to get very annoying when you're battling for first place or tryin to get ahead.

Graphics: Although Apex is graphically stunning, it still fails to dethrone Rallisport Challenge (the highly underated, most beautiful racing game to date) visually. The levels are absolutely breathtaking and is truely Xbox quality. There is so much depth to each track, buildings are actual buildings, the far mountains are rendered fully, etc. The cars themselves boast up to 11,000 polygons each and offers real time damage as well!

The menu system is also simple and aesthetically pleasing unlike Sega GT. It also loads a lot faster.

Audio: If its one major gripe I have with Apex, it has to be the sound. The sound effects are boring and consistent. Consistent meaning each car does not have a distinctive sound, each crash effect is the same throughout. The volume also seems too low. Yes, there is a customizable soundtrack option, however during a race, only one song is from the soundtrack is played, over and over again.

Suggestions: The AI and physics system needs work, its a little too difficult at times and when hitting other cars, they tend to get an extra boost in speed. Yes this forces you to race fairly, but is also very unrealistic.

The sound effects definitely need work on and also allow more customization to the soundtracks.

Overall Score: 8.0 / 10 Crimson Sea

Overall: i must admit, i didn't like this game that much when i first played it, but after putting in extra hours, it turned out to be an extremely fun game.

Gameplay: this is your basic hack'n slash n' shoot type game, along w/ some skill involved. you have 3 attack maneuvers throughout the game. the first two involves your primary weapon, basically a gun with a blade (there are many types of guns that you can upgrade to as you progress throughout the game). you can perform a series of chained melee attacks with the Y button and the X button shoots. the third attack move is your neo-psionic ability, aka your special move.

the controls are simple, however the camera control should have been better. in larger open levels the character view is ok, but in smaller levels the camera tends to swing around the character too fast when brushing up against a wall or turning a corner. this tends to get you dizzy and confused.

the targeting system also needs work. you have to hold the L trigger to lock on to your nearest target. it is flawed b/c once you get hit by another enemey, you will lose the current target. it also becomes difficult b/c you do not have full control in the aiming (the game uses auto aiming). when there are over 100 enemies on the screen, its very difficult to target a specific character.

you also have computer controlled characters that fight along with you through most of the missions.



Graphics: graphically this game isn't a halo-killer nor does it match halo's graphics. but it isn't bad at all. this is perhaps due to the large number of enemies rendered at a given time (over 200!) with no slow downs (except when doing neo-psionic attacks, which are awesome looking). characters are modeled nicely w/ vibrant colors and detailed textures. character designs are also very good.

Audio: sound effects are sweet especially when you perform the psionic attacks. the voice acting is only average, could have been a lot better, but it is bearable. the game also includes well composed music.

Suggestions: fix the contorls, camera, targeting system, and maybe coop in the future.

Overall Score: 8.0 / 10 Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Overall: not being a big buffy fan, i was shocked to find how much fun this game was. its pretty much your typical beat-em-up type game w/ couple puzzles along the way. definitely a must have for fans of the show. this game is linear, but it offers extra modes such as an arena mode (basically a survival mode, where you battle tons of enemies until your health totally depletes).

Gameplay: this game really puts you into the shoes of the slayer. the controls are simple and intuitive. there are plenty of attack moves and they're all easily executed.

one of the things i didn't like is how the camera always resets to buffy's back when you move. most of the time this is good, but sometimes i wish the camera angle wouldn't change everytime i moved.

battles with two or more enemies can be frustrating at times. the targeting system isn't helpful when you are closely surrounded by enemies. there is no indication of which enemy you are focused on except by the direction buffy is facing.

Graphics: the graphics in this game are great. good textures, lighting, and particle effects (vampires turning to dust or burning up in flames) are present throughout the entire game. some of the character models (such as buffy) don't like like their real life counter parts, but are modeled extremely well.

Audio: the sound effects are excellent and authentic to the show. the music sets the tone for each level and also changes into an upbeat techno song when fighting enemies.

Suggestions: fix the camera so there is more freedom when you are walking/running. maybe a coop mode where your friend can play along as another character.

Overall Score: 8.0 / 10 Serious Sam

Overall: overall a very funny and enjoyable game. single player may get dull after a few hours, but thankfully the the game includes cooperative and multiplayer options.

Gameplay: the controls are simple. if you have experience w/ halo, then you will have no problems here. the auto aim function is implemented nicely. levels are also enormous and well designed. basically just run and gun, no real plot at all.

Graphics: the graphics are pretty good. textures don't seem dull on every level and are rendered at a sharp resolution. the framerate is pretty much solid through out the game. graphics are toned down for coop and multiplayer modes, but this is to rid the game of slow downs.

Audio: the sound effects are decent, nothing spectacular here. the music gets louder and up beat right before an intense moment.. kinda like a warning to get ready to fight.

Overall Score: 8.0 / 10 Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell

Overall: To sum it up in 4 words... "GAME OF THE YEAR." This game has met all my expectations and more. Tons of extra special features are included and Xbox Live downloadable content will add to the replay value of the game. Ubi Soft has done an excellent job.

Gameplay: Stealth gaming redefined. Since the game relies heavily on stealth, you can't just run around guns blazing. It takes patience and thought if you want to get through a level. There is a lot of freedom in this game.

Controls are intuitive and easy to learn. The camera control is almost flawless. Sam has a variety of moves you can perform.



Graphics: Nothing short of beautiful and breath taking. This game definitely utilizes every inch of Xbox's graphical power. It is up there with Halo, perhaps even better than Halo in some areas. Every lighting effect and shadow are all done in real time. They are unmatched and are hauntingly realistic. This game redefines next generation graphics.

Audio: The sound is awesome. Just about every object in the game has a distinct sound to it. The music sets an excellent tone for the game. It gets very suspenseful when you are discovered by guards or civilians.

Suggestions: None, this game rules... well... Splinter Cell 2 :).

Overall Score: 10.0 / 10 Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon

Overall: This game is awesome. In my opinion, its the best game to play on Xbox Live. This game is a game to be taken seriously, you can't just run around in guns blazing, it takes some thought, patience and planning most of the time in order to succeed in the missions.

Gameplay: The gameplay is great. Controls are intuitive and easy to learn. There is a nice tutorial section for new players.

This game includes many multiplayer options: 2-player Coop, System Link (up to 16 players), and of course XBLive. I have yet to play it on XBLive, but I did get a chance to play online through XBConnect and its already tons of fun. Can't wait to try it w/ the voice comm. This adds the replay value.

The AI is very good in this game, both the enemies and your computer controlled teammates. There is one thing that I wish would be different for the enemy AI... please see the Suggestion Section.

There are also many customizations you can do when choosing your team members.

Graphics: The graphics are excellent, but not Xbox quality. However, this does not take away from the gameplay at all. Your squad members are modelled with detail.

Audio: The sound effect are realistic. Environmental sounds are incorporated to each level perfectly. For example, the higher you go into the mountains, the more wind noise you hear. Even after firing a grenade, you're hearing its muffled for a couple seconds like it would in real life.

Suggestions: Make the enemy AI difficult in a different way... for example, when creeping up from a far and sniping an enemy soldier, they'll notice you right away. Your location is then revealed and everyone fires in that direction.

Everything else is great, Ubi Soft is awesome... not only do we get this game from them, but 2 other awesome games coming out... Splinter Cell and Raven Shield.

Overall Score: 10.0 / 10 Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance

Overall: MGS2 is one of the greatest video games ever released. I am still awed by the PS2 version. Now that it is out on the Xbox, I am happy to say that this game includes every aspect of the PS2 version and more. Konami did an excellent job in all areas... graphics, story, sound, and gameplay.

Gameplay: Impressive. The controls are well executed on the Xbox. Although I wish the black and white buttons would be placed on the back of the controller, slightly above the triggers. It would seem more useful there like PS2's L2 and R2 buttons. But thats just the controller, doesn't affect the gameplay at all.

Graphics: There is very little difference between the Xbox and PS2 versions. The graphics could have been better on the Xbox. The visuals are still top notch, some of the best character models and animation ever created. There is some slow down in the rain during the tanker level. That's because Konami programmed the rain algorithms specifically for the PS2. When they translated it for the Xbox, it didn't execute as well, hence the slow down. However this doesn't affect gameplay much.

Audio: Superb. Movie quality musical score, sound effects, and voice acting immerses you into the MGS story. I think they could have picked a better actor for Raiden's voice though.

Suggestions: Make use of the Xbox graphical power. Xbox Live compatible for new downloads.

Overall Score: 10.0 / 10 Conflict: Desert Storm

Overall: This game is a lot of fun especially when playing coop with your friends. However there are several things that keep this game from being top quality Xbox title. Please read below.

Gameplay: Co-op mode adds a lot to the fun factor of the game. I experienced some slow down at times when you have 3 or 4 players together, but it doesn't affect gameplay by much. Going solo in the missions are also fun.

Commanding your squad isn't as deep as SOCOM or Rainbow Six, but its kept simple which isn't bad at all.

The controls are not as precise as they should be. Character movement is a bit slow and jittery. Aiming in first person view is somewhat sensative. The auto-aim feature can sometimes be good or bad. Gotham Games should have included more control configurations, or at least let you create your own.

AI wasn't really impressive at all. You could run up to the tanks and they wouldn't move or shoot.

Graphics: Not Xbox quality to say the least, but they aren't bad. However they could have utilized more of the Xbox graphical power... bumped mapping, more textures. Level design is also average.

Audio: The sound in this game above average. Realistic weaponry and environmental sound effects. Its cool that they allow customizable sound tracks.

Suggestions: Tighten up the controls responsiveness and character animation. Include better graphics for the Xbox and make more use of the hard drive to minimize slow downs during coop mode. Also improve the AI and level design.

Overall Score: 7.0 / 10 Sega GT 2002

Overall: I am a big fan of Gran Turismo 3, ever since I bought the Xbox I had hoped that a racing simulation game, as good as or better than GT3, would be relased for this system. Finally Sega answered my wishes... sort of. Overall this is an excellent game, however, when being compared to GT3, it is far from being the definitive racing simulation experience. I feel that this game was rushed for release, so much more could have been done to make this the greatest racing game of all time. Please read below.

Gameplay: Controls are good, doesn't not have an arcade feel like Project Gotham, yet it lacks the more realistic feel of Gran Turismo 3.

In terms of tuning your car, Sega GT does not deliver in this area. Though there are many parts you can buy for your car, tuning the specific parts is limited (i.e. suspension, no gear ratios, no lsd..).

Tracks, although challenging, are limited. There should be more!

The AI is more like Artificial without the Intelligence. Again, I expected Sega to learn from the mistake that GT3 has with their AI. Computer opponents just follow their racing lines as if you are not there at all.

Damage meter.... realstic, but annoying. Good thing about it... you learn to drive better, avoiding other cars/road obsticles... bad thing about it is that it takes off your winnings, and can be very frustrating when the AI doesn't really know you're there and hits you anyway.

Graphics: Graphically beautiful, but not amazing (not Xbox quality). Reflections, textures, and levels are good, but not far from Gran Turismo 3. I expected a lot more graphically from Sega GT, especially since its on Xbox. In my opinion, the cars themselves do not look as real as they do in GT3.

Audio: Best sound ever in a racing game. Love it when you hear the car engines fade from left to right (vice versa) when you pass other cars.

Suggestions: BETTER AI, more tracks, enhance graphics big time, include more depth in racing (i.e. apex's, tuning guides, .. etc.), better interface... very ugly presentation, take off damage meter, 4-players, system link (up to 16 racers)!

Overall Score: 8.0 / 10

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