MEMBER PROFILE FOR asammw

Total Reviews: 31
Average Overall Score Given: 7.29032 / 10
Total Forum Posts: 9

Reviews
Voodoo Vince

Overall: An underadvatised gem of a platformer is a fitting description. Voodoo Vince is a fun and entertaining platformer that will keep you captivated for hours. With a mixture of moderate puzzle solving and classic platforming action, Vince gives Blinx a good run for his money, as the best Xbox exclusive platformer out there!

Gameplay: Gameplay will have you running jumping and kicking in the good old classic style, aswell as driving a mixture of vehicles and riding Rodeo on a rat... Don't ask. There is also a large puzzle solving element that ranges from the 'Get item 1 to open Door A' to some rather complex and entertaining puzzles. The best part of Voodo Vince that really sets it apart though, is the original idea of putting Vince through as much pain as possible, in order for these effects to hurt his enemies, in true Voodoo fashion. The range of Voodoo powers is gained by collecting them inside levels, as you progress, you will thus have the oportunity to get new powers. The game story actually revolves around Vince searching for his captured creator, Madame Charmaine, who guides you via a telepathic link. This provides the scene for some classic comedy, some of the events, and the simple statements made by Vince are hilarious. An excellent mix.

Graphics: The graphics use a cartoony style throughout, but don't be put off because the overall qualitie is pulled of very well. The detail is quite impressive and the nightime setting makes some excellent atmospheric lighting effects. The particle effects caused by Voodoo powers are also impressive as are the surprisingly detailed character models. Vince himself has perfectly visible stitching and has a range of animations for both his Voodoo powers and other things. One example is his ability to pull out his eye and bounce it on the floor or throw it in the air... Strange.

Audio: The soundtrack is made of catchy jazz tunes that play in a circle throughout each level. However their quite lighthearted and don't get repetative. The soundeffects are pretty good, and the voice overs are very well done. Vince is especially convincing as his voice seems to fit his jokes and personality perfectly.

Suggestions: The game has enough variety and features to have you wanting to play again. If a sequel is made it should be well received.

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

Overall: A frustratingly hard stealth action game, in which trial and error prevail over enjoyable gameplay. The game could have been great! It isn't...

Gameplay: The game is too frustrating. I'm an experianced gamer, and yet I found the levels down right rubbish, due to the fact that everytthing had to be trial and error, a toss up of whether or not you'll be seen. All too often I sat whatching the scripted NPC movements to break through the pattern. This game is overhyped and outrageously overrated.

Graphics: The visuals are the result of yet another game made to fit the humble PS2, meaning although the game features some impressive lighting, it is far from being anything special. Textures are almost non-existant, and the cut scenes are not on the games engine which simply helps the lower standards in game, stand out even more.

Audio: What there was of a soundtrack was unnoticable, the soundeffects were average to be fair, but in a game like this it would have been nice if it took advantage of the Xboxs digital sound capabilities.

Suggestions: The outrageous gameplay really does drag, sorry, but this is a terribley overrated game, and it deserves to be thrashed. Try harder next time.

Overall Score: 2.0 / 10 MotoGP 2

Overall: Despite its rating Moto GP 2 is really only... Average. Although its fast and enjoyable, it doesn't offer the variety that racers such as Project Gotham 2 do.

Gameplay: Gameplay is that of most racers... Racing. Kind of says it all really. But the game offers no challenge variety to make the gameplay special. Average again I'm afraid.

Graphics: Pretty decent but not enough to redeem it from the lack of variety within its gameplay. Its quite smooth, generally pretty good looking.

Audio: Motorcycle engines, they sound good too, but I wasn't too keen on the music, it got a little annoying when trying to concentrate on a race.

Suggestions: Add some variety, if thats possible in a grand prix racer, if not, don't try again. Simple.

Overall Score: 5.0 / 10 Grand Theft Auto: Double Pack

Overall: An abomination in every sense. The way in which it continues with a complete disregard for anything lawful or otherwise is disgusting. The game is not fit for the shelves in my opinion.

Gameplay: Open and long enough to occupy but outrageously senseless. I cannot see why this game is rated as it is. A gore fest, with the occasional bout of prostitutional sex. Nothing more.

Graphics: Another PS2 port! Why don't they optimise the graphics. Again it suffers from lack of textures and poor resolution facials. The hands look completely unrealistic on even the main characters.

Audio: Nothing special, but nothing shabby either. Sound effects are generally good. This of course is the best part of the game.

Suggestions: Make it more civil, less offensive and exclusive to Xbox. Then it'll be better.

Overall Score: 2.0 / 10 Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind GOTY Edition

Overall: Like Morrowind, but with 100 hours of extra gameplay ontop of the huge 300 hour original. Tonnes of new content make Morrowind, an already great game, even better!

Gameplay: Like Morrowind except BIGGER! It features lots of new weapons, characters and side storys to make the game even bigger than it was. There are new monsters, numerous forms of wildlife in the new areas, and a variety of brand new weather effects. Plus there are new tweaks like the enemy health bar, something requested by gamers everywhere and slightly more optimised graphics quality. Read the Morrowind reviews for the basics.

Graphics: The original had some excellent graphics, but GOTY gets a higher score because the range of environments, and effects are larger. It now features snowscapes, blizzards and the HUGE capital city.

Audio: The same excellent soundtrack and beleivable soundeffects are here too. Plus new ambient sounds for blizards and new monsters.

Suggestions: An excellent upgrade to an excellent game. If there is to be an Ellder Scrolls 4, I'll be buying it without question! Excellent work from Bethesda. Keep it up!

Overall Score: 10.0 / 10 Soul Calibur 2

Overall: A run of the mill fighter. Nothing more. Yet another over hyped muti-platform game. Nothing else to say really.

Gameplay: Its ok at first, plenty of characters, plenty of stages. But far too repetative. There is nothing special o make the game jump out at you.

Graphics: Looks ok at a glance, but not nearly as impressive or nearly as detailed as other Xbox fighters like DOA3. It runs smooth, but has no genuinly impressive visuals.

Audio: Repetative, Repetative, Repetative, Repetative, Repetative, Repetative, Repetative, Repetative, Repetative, Repetative, get the idea?

Suggestions: Theres nothing here we haven't seen before. This makes it less worth the time spent on other fighters where although the gameplay is simply... Fighting, have other good points. Such as DOA3's lush graphics.

Overall Score: 2.0 / 10 Crimson Sea

Overall: Crimson Sea is good fun for a while but its simple gameplay leaves alot to be desired. If doing nothing but slashing and shooting is your thing, then you'll like the game. But don't expect anything more.

Gameplay: The gameplay is too simple. Hacking, shooting and running around in an almost pointless fasion. It also includes the need to lead a team, but doesn't add anything to deepen the game.

Graphics: The visuals are pretty good for the most part. Character models are nicely constructed, and alot of th e scenery is immpressive. However, the hordes of enemies that fill the screen during combat are very stressful on the hardware, so more often than not the frame rate suffers. Its still a good looking game though.

Audio: The sound isn't bad, and some of the voiceovers are good. The music just doesn't seem appropriate to the futuristic Japanese setting.

Suggestions: The simple gameplay quickly gets old. This game is just not good enough... May be a better story or a little bit deeper gameplay would help.

Overall Score: 6.0 / 10 Burnout

Overall: This a fast, mad racer, with some nice visuals and excillerating speed. The sequel is slightly better though...

Gameplay: Basically, burnout is all about driving as quickly and dangerously as possible. Its speed is often excillerating and the range of cars is good too. It features some of the most realistic crashes ever, physics wise that is. In the game you will gain points for driving dangerously, on the wrong side of the road, skidding, and near missing the sides of cars and other vehicles. The game is entirely arcade based however, and the stages can often be hard to complete. However the madness of the game is quite enjoyable. The multiplayer options will also extend the life of the game considerably.

Graphics: The visuals are good, but not great. As another PS2 port, the game bears all the problems of the Playstation console, so the graphics are alot more simple than an Xbox exclusive car game like Project Gotham 1&2. The realistic crash physics for examle are not complemented by realistic crash graphics, the cars seem to crumble in the exact same way no matter how forceful the impact. However the game does a good job at simulating speed, that is combined with a steady frame rate, to give an acceptable appearance over all.

Audio: The sound is not as good as the rest of the game. The different vehicles sound almost exactly the same, and the music does not add to the excillerating speed but only slows it down. This is the games sad downfall.

Suggestions: The games multiplayer is the best part, and scince an improved sequel is alredy out, there really isn't anything more to say...

Overall Score: 7.0 / 10 Serious Sam

Overall: Serious Sam is a simple game, but its excellent fun, esspecially in cooperative. Not for the thinking, but for those who want a bit of mindless fun!

Gameplay: everything-you-see, would be a simple way to describe Serious Sam. You are the last hope for mankind, against the onslaught of numerous alien forces. Your only hope is to travel back through time to stop them at their source. Yes, the story sounds rubbish, and it is. But after a few minutes of the mindless game play you won't care. Off you go, blowing the bodys of hundreds of aliens to bloody chunks, with some of the largest guns you have ever seen. This is fun, but only in short bursts, don't play Serious Sam for long periods of time, because it can be tiresome. Multiplayer is ok, but by far the best aspect has to be the co-operative mode. You will find killing swarms of insanly designed aliens better, with a freind. The game often features comedy, so you'll have a laugh no matter how dull the story is.

Graphics: The game looks ok. Its not great, but then it does manage to hold an incredible ammount of action in one screen. It does this relatively well, but the slowdown is obvious in places. The screen often breaks into little peices of different graphics as it slows down, which could cause problems while playing. However the texture work is excellent, varied and colouful. The levels are large and look rather nice. The game holds up, and the huge variety of enemies and weapons are all constructed well.

Audio: The sound is the best part of the game. Theres not much of a soundtrack, but the music that is there always fits appropriately. The music gets more epic as action increases, and each peice of music fits the area you are exploring. The soundeffects are also good. Screaming aliens are heard from all directions if you have Dolby Digital, and the gun sounds ect. are all beleivable.

Suggestions: The game features more than 35 long levels. The multiplayer adds further to the thrill, giving a good long game life. But the replay value is lost because of the lack of a proper story, and a disappointing ending. Next time the story needs to be more central to the game. For a developers first title though, its a job well done.

Overall Score: 8.0 / 10 Star Wars Jedi Knight 2: Jedi Outcast

Overall: Outcast is an action packed and extremely enjoyable experience. Vital to StarWars fans and self-respecting gamers a-like. If you wanted more from Obi-wan, this is the game for you.

Gameplay: In the game you are Kyle Katarn, a jedi who stopped using his forcepowers and lightsaber for personal reasons. But while on a mercenary New Republic mission, his partner Jan Ors is killed, and revenge in on Kyle's mind. At some point during the game you will regain your lightsaber and the ability to use the force, then the fun begins... Action packed gameplay that allows you to traverse large and varied environments across new and familiar StarWars terrain. The ability to use a lightsaber and a huge variety of force powers is extremely entertaining, and the wide variety of lightsaber moves and the process of learning them is fun. The AI is also impressive, the jedi that you fight give great competition, and stormtroopers will try to retreat if their commanding officers are killed. Theres a huge number of weapons to find and use, numerous multiplayer options and a stirring story line to get into along the way. This is a great acheivement for the StarWars franchise.

Graphics: The game was already a little aged when released for Xbox, but the graphics are still up among the best on xbox, esspecially since they run at an incredibly smooth and stable frame rate. The animations during combat esspecially are supurb, the lightsabers of both you and your foes give a satisfying glow. Of more interest though is that the optimisation for Xbox has been done incredibly well, where as gamecube, (the other console to feature the game) struggles to run the game smoothly, Xbox does so with a method close to perfection. The attention to detail is also great, the lightsaber burns melted lines into metal, laser blasts leave burns in walls and the stormtroopers have extremely shiny armour. The graphics definately arent the best but they are good.

Audio: Classic StarWars music and sound effects throughout. As much a master peice of sound as gameplay. It would have benifitted from Dolby Digital though.

Suggestions: The fun of the game in single and multiplayer, aswell as the range of difficulty levels, makes for an experiance thats always fresh, and as replayable as Halo. The sequel, Jedi academy is not only as good, its on LIVE too!!

Overall Score: 10.0 / 10 Dakar 2: The World's Ultimate Rally

Overall: Dakar 2 is an insult to the race it mimics, with the worst physics of any rally game and abominable graphics to match.

Gameplay: The game features a range of environments, and basically allows you to race on sections of the course that you would traavel through were you actually on the race. It features large lorry type vehicles and scrambler bikes to drive along with landrover type cars. Sadly the terrible physics mean that all the vehicles move like cardboard hovercrafts. They fly around in the most ridiculous manner, with no regard for weight and balance at all. This is really bad.

Graphics: A total shambles for an Xbox game. The frame rate is jumpy, the cars are about as detailed as a NES game, featuring the worst looking motorbikes on Xbox, and the pitiful attempts at environments are laughable. Utter trash... And thats being kind...

Audio: Again, utter trash. The cars? They all sound the same. The music only emphasises how annoying the graphics are...

Suggestions: Don't buy it. Advice to the developers? Don't bother next time...

Overall Score: 3.0 / 10 Dead or Alive 3

Overall: Possibly the best fighting game availiable, with the most amazing graphics ever, ever, ever in a game of its kind. And only on Xbox...

Gameplay: Fast paced action sums this game up. Its made up of story mode, which is as it sounds... Battles revolving around a central story, and the most incredible cinematics ever, time attack is attempting to beat an opponant against the clock. Then there is Tag mode, which I don't have o explain. Enjoy.

Graphics: Phenomenal. The best textures on Xbox combined with excellent character models and huge, open and gorgeous environments. A true testament to Xbox graphics and power.

Audio: Just as good as the graphics, atmospheric and suitable for the theme. Gives a good fighting feeling at all times.

Suggestions: The multiplayer will keep you forever captivated. My only suggestion is to make DOA online as good as this!

Overall Score: 10.0 / 10 Myst III: Exile

Overall: Myst is a puzzle game that packs some truly awesome visuals, but not really enough gameplay. Too bad.

Gameplay: Its a puzzle/adventure game, but not as you may expect. Myst is entirely played through by pointing a cursor and clicking, a few seconds later you appear where you clicked. This approach means all the visuals can be constructed from pre-rendered environments, that are almost photo realistic in quality, sadly though, this didn't appeal to me, I prefer to move around as I want to. I can only see this appealing to fans of the series.

Graphics: The graphics look amazing but are entirely pre rendered with animations here and there. They look good but can't truly be called great, because any console with a decent resolution can display a still image... This game is on PS2...

Audio: Some decent music, but nothing too stirring, just enoughto fit the game, but nothing more. The theme songs ok though.

Suggestions: There is zero replay value, simply because you can only look at pretty still pictures so many times. Next time, use polygons, allow us to know what the character looks like and allow us to move as we want. Sacraficing photo realism for enjoyment, is a small price.

Overall Score: 5.0 / 10 Panzer Dragoon Orta

Overall: Good flying action over all kinds of terrains, with some excellent unlockables, including the previous installment in the series from SEGA Saturn. Sadly its not long enough, and leaves you hanging in the balance, a little dissapointed at the length.

Gameplay: Flying through beautiful areas on the back of a big dragon, has never been as much fun. A good game in all aspects accept the annoyingly short length, less than ten hours... Disappointing, but at least theres plenty of extras to unlock including some bonus levels etc.

Graphics: Excellent. The colourful environments are really impressive. The cinematic sequences are comparable to reality. The enemy design is top notch too.

Audio: Some nice sound effects and music. Some sounds can be quite out of place though, the screaming of your dragon when it is hit is just silly. A side from that its o.k, but considering how often your dragon screams it gets a bit ridiculous.

Suggestions: The main game needs to be alot longer. Its a nice game, the unlockable features are great, but the main game needs to be at the very LEAST, twice as long next time.

Overall Score: 8.0 / 10 Shenmue 2

Overall: Shenmue2 will emmerse you in a vast city environment where you can explore as you please, featuring excellent martial arts sequences, impressive graphics and an excellent story line, good enough to stand among the Xbox greats.

Gameplay: Hop into the shoes of Rio Hazuki, a Japanese teenager on a quest to avenge his father's death at the hands of a martial arts master named Lan Di. Gameplay is a mixture of exploration, tense martial arts combat action, adventure and story. If you haven't played the original shenmue it comes with a DVD that contains all the cut scenes from the original in a movie style to fill you in on the story, aswell as a shortened ten minute overview on the game disc so don't worry about not knowing the story thus far. The combat is similar to that you would find in DOA, controlled using button combos for realistic martial arts moves. The story is one of the most compelling ever told in a video game and all this combined with numerous mini games makes for one of the most varied and enjoyable games ever made. The mini games are even unlocked to play in a bonus feature section on the disc, called the 'Shenmue Collection' when they have been found and played during the main game. These include darts, various street fights and arm wrestling among others. The size of each area allows generous ammounts of exploration, including many items that can be bought from shops ect. You will get alot more out of taking your time in this game than simply rushing through it. A gameplay masterpeice.

Graphics: The amazing thing about Shenmue2's graphics is that they are still stunning, even though it was originally released for SEGA's Dreamcast. The range of textures used in the environments make everything a new pleasure to look at. The character models for the main characters are exceptional, looking comparable to reality at times, of particular note are Rio himself and Shenhua, a girl you will meet later in the game. There are weather effects and wide open landscapes to marvel at in parts of the game. In fact there is only one complaint, in that the character models for the majority of NPCs, those who aren't main characters, are very blocky and badly textured. This is simply because the Dreamcast could not cope with the level of detail on main characters to be maintained on all NPCs at once. You will only notice this if you talk to them however.

Audio: The sound is amazing for the most part, except the voice acting is dodgey in parts, although it is very good overall. The sound as Rio runs is also a little unrealistic, and can get on your nerves after long periods of running around. In contrast the soundtrack, particullarly the theme music played at the credits is exceptional. Perhaps featuring some of the best music ever created for a video game.

Suggestions: The single player game is a good length and has a good enough story and enough variety of play to make you want to play it again. Theres also tonnes of unlockables including some of the game director's (Yu Suzuki) previous titles, such as outrun. If this standard is improved upon in the third installment, currently in development for Xbox, it will be another excellent game. Keep it up SEGA!

Overall Score: 10.0 / 10 Pirates of the Caribbean

Overall: This game is an impressive RPG, but falls a bit short of the standards that Morrowind set for an Xbox RPG. However the game has some interesting features, and should be a winner with RPG fans. TAKE MY ADVICE, GIVE IT A CHANCE!!

Gameplay: The gameplay is not as widely accesible, or nearly as interactive as Morrowind to start with, so lets not start comparing them. Although its still an RPG it is not of the same sub-devidion that Morrowind is. Pirates has an interesting blend of on land and at sea gameplay to offer. While it has a fairly high learning curve, this should not be a problem for RPG fans. The player can level up as their choices allow after collecting enough experience points through completing quests or engaging in combat. The combat at sea is what dulls some gamer's tastes for this game, with thoughts that it will be dull or too slow. This is not the case, the combat is actually very tactical, absorbing and good enough to keep you on the edge of the seat. Players can talk to any of the people walking the streets of towns, and choose options for speech as the game allows. The game has an epic main quest BUT IS NOT CLOSELY RELATED TO THE FILM. The story is quite stand alone, and the player is free to go and capture ships to add to their fleet, or sell, or loot for cargo. Alternatively there are numerous side quests of all dificulties to complete and numerous dungeons to explore for loot. Absorbing and enjoyable. Some players have reported bugs, but if you look on Bethesda's website under their support section there is a procedure to follow that should eliminate the appearance of these bugs. I followed it and had no problems at all, after completing the main quest twice. (A testament to the replay value I might add!!)

Graphics: The graphics in Pirates are astounding, although they suffer from frame rate problems in places. These are not detremental to the enjoyment however and rarely occur in places that are awkward. The water is some of the best ever put in a game, and the environments on and off land are breath taking. Character models are generally good, although somewhat over-used, but again not too major. If quality environments are your thing, Pirates will not dissapoint.

Audio: The music is very fitting of the era and setting, with some quite catchy peices incorporated with an excellent theme peice. Sound effects are very well done, with increbile ambient sounds. Sadly the dialogue is not spoken, but in a Morrowind fashion, each character will greet you accordingly, and some are rather comical. No pirate talk though...

Suggestions: The game is of decent length and has a good appeal for replay. RPG fans will enjoy this, but would have done so even more had the small but sometimes annoying bugs that are reported been properly repaired. This is a though for next time, however, don't rush the release, test it properly fist.

Overall Score: 9.0 / 10 Need for Speed Underground

Overall: The game is fun and addictive, but far too repetative to be trully great. Sadly what was a good concept was developed by EA, which spells BAD OPTIMISATION, or lack there of, with most Xbox gamers.

Gameplay: The gameplay is nice to begin with. It features several modes, including a 'Drag' mode where sheer speed is the key, for which the players skillful use of the optimisation features are essential. Yes, the cars can be customised, to an impressive extent too. Spoilers, skirts and vynalls take care of the 'look', while you can also fit certain parts to enhance engine capabilities. Sadly however this is all ruined by the nature of the tracks. At first its nice to look at glowing lights of the city, but thats all there is to look at. There is no variation for the environments at all, which is extemely dissapointing to say the least.

Graphics: In places the game looks nice. The cars are rendered well, but you won't be seeing any interiors here. Another nice touch is the incredible sense of speed, created with streaming lights and blurring visuals. But sadly, once again, while the game looks better on xbox than any other console, it still suffers from the usual lack of quality from a PS2 port. The optimisation could have been better. The environmental graphics are also far too repetative, there are ONLY cities ONLY at night. This is the games downfall.

Audio: The sound of the roaring engines is well captured and the other soundeffects are good on the whole. The music though is just annoying. The raps are more of a distraction than anything, and don't give room for appeal to non-rap fans.

Suggestions: This is a typical EA flop. Over rated and over hyped. A terrible lack of variety and dull environments spell DEATH. Next time go back to the route of Need for Speed2, but add the customising features, and make it exclusive to Xbox, and put it on the market for £1, and box it with a free sledge hammer to smash it with if its still not good enough...

Overall Score: 6.0 / 10 Burnout 2: Point of Impact

Overall: For the basics, read the original Burnout reviews. The only real differance here is more cars, more tracks, but best of all, more events. The sequel takes the origins of the games madness, and stretches them further.

Gameplay: The gamplay is almost the same as the original, plus new features such as a mode where you cause as much damage as possible, with the largest crashes and pile ups. Faster, longer, and better oveall. Multiplayer is still a bawl.

Graphics: The graphics aren't much different to the original. Sadly there is once again no Xbox optimisation. Although it runs smooth, the game still suffers from inferior graphics due to its PS2 origins, the saving grace is still its spectacular crash physics engine.

Audio: The sound is much broader and fitting this time, the soundeffects are better, but the whole thing is still at a loss for Xbox's Dolby Digital function.

Suggestions: Again this game packs an immpressive punch, but it is by no means the best driving game on Xbox. Project Gotham2 anyone?

Overall Score: 8.0 / 10 Azurik: Rise of Perathia

Overall: After a few hours of gaming, I'd had enough. Azurik is an embarrasment to the xbox system, not to mention a waste of hard earned cash.

Gameplay: Azurik is the only one who has the skill to save his world from evil, this is his adventure. Its a dull one aswell. Sadly, the concept is quite good, what was done with it wasn't. The controls are awful, in particular the camera has a tendancy to get in the most obscure and useless angles, it makes the game difficult to play. Add this to one of the worst physics models ever, in which Azurik will float for several seconds during a jump, and there you have it... Frustrations galore.

Graphics: The game starts off well, the opening cinematics look quite impressive, but it goes down hill fast from there. The graphics are bland at best. Some of the textures look interesting but pixelate heavily at close distances. In dark caverns Azurik and his foes appear radioactive, Lighting themselves through some mysterious bioluminecence, due to the abomanable lghting and shadow effects. Wishy-washy at best, this is not why you bought an xbox...

Audio: The games one saving grace is the sound. The music is good at times.
Sadly, once again there is something to pull it down. Azurik's sound effects are duuulll... The environments seem dead at times, and the details that we would expect, simply arent there.

Suggestions: I took this game for my money back, im sure many would do the same... If a sequel is to be made they'll have alot of work to do to convince me to buy it. Next time? Remember to put a game in there somwhere...

Overall Score: 4.0 / 10 Star Wars: Obi-Wan

Overall: Bland. This game is not worthy of the title Star Wars, nor the priveledge of having an Xbox logo on its box. Rushed, rubbishy, ridiculous, and any other word meaning bad beginning with 'R'.
Try Jedi Outcast, Jedi Academy, or Knights of the Old Republic... Those are REAL Star Wars games.

Gameplay: Basically, a good concept. I would have loved the oportunity to enjoy a game with such a theme, but the game was really bad. The control system is nice, using the right control stick to swing your lightsaber was nice, a control system like this is easy to get into, but its a shame the rest of the game didn't match up. The story loosely revolves around Episode 1, but the game play was too simple, the A.I was far too loose, and the effect was dissapointing.

Graphics: Terrible. The character models are blocky, the levels are bland and poorly textured. The close-ups of faces will make you cry. The NPC's are even worse... It looks more like a low-class PS2/high class PS1 game than an Xbox title. The cut scenes are esspecially bad...

Audio: Despite the promising Star Wars movie score, its about as bland as the graphics, the swinginglightsaber doesnt sound as convincing as it should, and the cries of pain and the voice overs are discraceful.

Suggestions: The concept was good. Take a bit more time, can you explain why Jedi Outcast/Academy look so good in comparrison?

Overall Score: 3.0 / 10 Blinx: The Time Sweeper

Overall: Blinx is fun, and challenging. Its also perfect for girl gamers as it contains a vacuum cleaner... Only joking...

Gameplay: In Blinx, you take up the role of a time travelling cat. Yes, you read right, a time travelling cat. But despite the prospect sounding strange, it is actually a good game. Basically,in Blinx you have to try and traverse the many levels in the game using time controls that you acquire by collecting combos of special time crystals in the levels. These include: Fastforward, rewind, pause, record ect. These are collected with a time sweeper, a vacuum cleaner type object, which can also suck up and blow out rubble in order to attack enemies. Also, each level must be completed within ten minutes, which is a challenge in itself. You then use the time controls you gain to defend, attack or solve puzzles during the levels. The game has enough levels to keep you occupied for a few weeks, esspecially scince each level contains 'Cat medals' which can be collected in exchange for bonuses, including special videos or items. An extra touch is the extent to which you can customise Blinx himself, by changing his outfit or buying more advanced time sweepers.The gameplay takes place on a basis of completing three levels, then fighting a bosss monster before advancing to the next set of levels. The gameplay can get repetative, because the time limited levels are often a pain. You can be only seconds from your goal before the time runs out and you find yourself starting the level again. Still, this will only annoy some people.

Graphics: The graphics are very good. Textures are sharp and clear, and the levels are open and colourful. Blinx himself is perfect, his fur can be seen lining his body and his metal boots reflect the objects around him. The enemies are also decent, although they seem very simple in comparisson to Blinx, even out of place as the detail is sometimes a little under done. However the environments are varied and each has an obvious theme.

Audio: The sound in Blink is very good too. The music is more catchy than you would expect, and is different for each group of levels. You will only find yourself bored of the music if you have to keep trying a level over and over, mainly because rather than working as tracks, the music is an excert of about 2 minutes that loops throughout each group of levels.
The soundeffects sadly don't seem quite up to the standard of the music, they seem artifficial in places, and i've often wondered why Blinx makes a high pitched bellish sound when he jups...

Suggestions: For the sequel, it would be nice to loose the 10 minute time limit. It decreases the enjoyment by making you rush to the finish, often causing the player to miss something important. Other than that the game is good. Thumbs up.

Overall Score: 9.0 / 10 Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath Of Cortex

Overall: Crash 3 would have been impressive a few years ago, sadly its loosing its touch. The absence of Naughty Dog in its developement was also detremental.

Gameplay: The game is made up of a collection of around thirty levels and bosses at the end of each string of five. The game has a good variety of challenges to overcome, but sadly falls on the fact that the levels are not free-roam, but entirely linear. The levels are also often repetative, and not large enough to keep anyone occupied for too long.

Graphics: Definately not up to Xbox standards. As a PS2 port, textures seem almost non-existant, the result is bland and often dull surfaces, although the use of colour is still good. That said the frame rate stays constant, and the game is quite smooth. Its a shame it doesn't make use of the Xbox's advanced texturing abilities, thats all.

Audio: Music is quite catchy in parts, and the voice acting is relatively good, but it doesnt have the effect of other Xbox games without Dolby Digital.

Suggestions: What Crash needs is innovation, and it just isn't here this time around. The levels need more variation and the graphics could use a little optimisation to look truly good. Better luck next time Traveller's Tales!

Overall Score: 6.0 / 10 Elder Scrolls III : Morrowind

Overall: This game is definately the best RPG on Xbox, and a must own for all RPG gamers. The game is massive and varied. Not only is this its most appealing aspect, but also why its not for everyone.

Gameplay: Anyone not up for an explorational adventure, stop reading NOW. Those of you who are still reading, are going to enjoy yourselves while playing this game. It is set on an entirely open island, in which you are free to go ANYWHERE... That along with the prospect of customising and developing your own character in any way you wish, is something irresistable to all RPG fans, and thats exactly what Morrowind delivers. The game world is possibly the most interactive of any game to date. Every character will speak to you if they like you enough, and you will be free to ask questions about events in the area, or even directions to your destination. Almost every item of reasonable size can be picked up and carried or sold, but be careful, as steeling someone elses belonging can result in being attacked, paying fines or going to jail, which will decrease the skills you have worked hard to build. Killing un-provoked also results in punishment, even death if too many crimes are commited without paying your fines...
Characters can be customised with clothing, weapons and armour of varying quality, to aid in battle. There is also classic use of magic to help in numerous situations. Its silly to try and continue through the game without using certain magical abilities. Questa in Morrowind come in all shapes and forms, and from all sorts of people. There are literally hundreds of quests to complete and numerous areas to explore. Thre are around ten different guilds and factions that can be joined in the game too. Along with the completion of these quests comes reputation which mean that people will like you more. That is all aside of the main quest, which takes a good sixty hours to complete, although you'll want to mix other quests and exploration into this too. The level up system in Morrowind is typical RPG, although the range of skills and abilities to be increased far out weighs those of many other RPGs. To be accurate, the possibilities in the world of Morrowind are limitless. Travelling in such a large world could seem daunting, but never fear, as Morrowind features plenty of ways to get around, there are boats, magic transport systems in ancient strongholds, mages in guilds who will happily help, aswell as others, most of which will cost a small fee. Just like taking the bus! Morrowind features all kinds of dungeons and areas to explore, the landscape is dotted with towns of all sizes and designs, and you can even get your own house by advancing far enough in the ranks of one of the Great House Factions, Redoran, Tellvani or Hlaalu. The gameplay is far too complex to describe every detail, but it is definately enjoyable, and the combat is all in real time rather than "turn based wait to attack" combat, like the Final Fantasy series. Most RPG gamers will love this game, and treasure it.

Graphics: Like any other game, Morrowind has some graphical hiccups. But i stress that these are very minor, and don't detract from the enjoyment at all. For example, on occasion the character models are a little blocky, but given the huge number of people in the game this is acceptble. The armour and weapons however are nicely done. Each is very unique, ant the range of styles the armour and weapons are availiable in is impressive. Where Morrowind excels is the depth, and detail of its incredibly atmospheric environments. Featuring a range of interesting patterns and textures, amazing lighting effects and beleivable weather. Wind, rain, cloud and sun alike are all present. Dust storms often appear, and the water is quite something, very realistic indeed. There are other small details that you will notice along the way, such as the hanging material that blows in the wind outside houses, and the incredible range of objects and styles of items that fill every shelf and surface in the game. Truly spectacular.

Audio: Morrowind features a stirring soundtrack. The theme song is surprisingly good, you'll be humming these tunes in your sleep. Music changes when an enemy is nearby, to a more epi stirring mixture, and the sound plays out as tracks through the game so it doesn't get too repetative. The sound effects are very atmospheric. Of particular interest are the amazing weather sounds, the thunder is inseperable from reality, and the rain and moving water sound spot on. The game is great in Dolby Digital, and is nearly unmatched for realism in soundeffects. Sadly the game doesn't feature full voice overs, but it does have exerts of speech for the characters greetings, many of which will reflect how much they like you. What voice acting there is however is of exceptional qualty. Another great acheivement.

Suggestions: Theres so much to do in the game that you will never tire of it, and the andless character options will ensure good replay value. For extras, a co-operative mode would have been great, other than that, the game is too good to really make any recommendations. An excellent enjoyable game, of exceptional quality. Full marks all round.

Overall Score: 10.0 / 10 Grabbed by the Ghoulies

Overall: This is probably one of the most underrated games on xbox. The game is fun, challenging, funny and... Well, fun. The debut of Rare onto Xbox has been a rough one according to most reviews, but give it a chance, its the best adventure/platformer on xbox.

Gameplay: You take the role of Cooper, whos girlfreind is snatched during a storm and dragged into a huge mansion. The game proceeds, told like a story book, with each event making up one page in the story. The animations here are often humorous, so pay attention. The game has to be one of the most fun games i've ever played. Each room presents its own challenge by placing a set of perameters for your actions in that room before proceding to the next. Mainly, this entails some of the most satisfactory combat EVER. Quite simply, either with fists or weapons, your job is to smash the living day lights out of all manner of Ghoulies, that you'll encounter throughout the game. The weapons range from chairs or bottles, to snooker cues and even hamburgers. There are tonnes of thing that can be picked up in any room. If a challenge is failed the player must face the Grim-Reaper, a Ghoulie who can kill with a single touch, so watch out!

Graphics: The game is presented in a cartoony cell-shaded style. Although that doesnt sound appealing, it suits the game very well, and just because its cartoony, it isn't devoid of detail. The rooms are almost entirely destructive, and the rubble stays on the floor rather than immeadiately dissapearing. Wet floors and puddles give excellent reflections, and the games use of lightning is atmospheric at all times. The character animations, and the enemies are excellent, with flowing movements and animation. Don't be put of by first perceptions the game looks good, take the time to find the details.

Audio: The sound in the game is not the best as it goes for music, but the sound effects ARE good. Some may be dissapointed that the game lacks voice overs, but I would rather have no voice acting, than bad voice acting. However cooper and the other characters do have their own grunts and sonds in the same style as previous Rare games such as Banjo-Kazooie.

Suggestions: The fun to be had by replaying chapters is great, if Rares future efforts on Xbox are this good, they'll be doing well!

Overall Score: 9.0 / 10 Rallisport Challenge

Overall: What do you look for in a game? Engaging gameplay, originality, replay value, graphics and sound? Whatever you find good about games can be found with rallisport challenge. Definately the best rally game on Xbox.

Gameplay: The game features four modes of racing for excellent variety. Rally, ice racing, hill climbing more come together to make the most varied rally game availiable. The game features locations all over the world, and a good range of cars to keep you occupied. There is also a multiplayer option, but sadly this doesnt include system link. Each car can be tuned for compatability with each track, by adjusting the gear ratios, suspention, tyres and more in order to give you the most balanced ride. You are provided with a voiceover from the co-driver in the car to detail the hazards up ahead. Very enjoyable.

Graphics: The graphics are exceptional. Each tree is fully 3D, the cars are excellently constructed and each feature a realistic damage system. Perhaps even more amazing is the sheer depth of the landscapes. The variation and detail is unmatched in an Xbox driving game of this type, or a driving game on any other platform. The weather effects, sunsets and clouds of dust look great. The trail of tire marks left by your car in the dust is excellently bump-mapped to a degree of being almost touchable. The graphics are exceptional.

Audio: The sound of the cars engine, the voice over from your co-driver and even the sounds of weather and other ambient effects are very good. The soundtrack is also easily customised, via the Xbox hard drive.

Suggestions: An excellent edition to the xbox games list, and a valuable game in my collection. Keep it up.

Overall Score: 10.0 / 10 Halo: Combat Evolved

Overall: When someone mentions xbox in a discussion one game that always comes to mind is Halo. Simply, this game is awesome, innovative, and a whole load of fun. Interested? Read on.
Halo has a reputation as the flagship of xbox, it was a launch title for the console, and is still one of the best games on the console to date. The reason is quite simple. It mixes innovation, absorbing gameplay, great graphics and a decnt story into one title.

Gameplay: Halo is basically, non stop action, but don't be fooled. Unlike so many other action games, this one also features an interesting story line to hold it all together. Basically, hundreds of years in our future a small human colony on another planet is asaulted by a group of aliens known as the Covenant. They declare holy war on humanity. The game starts on a ship called: 'Pillar of Autumn', one of the ships built by humans to wage war, but it is carrying a genetically modified eight foot tall cyborg, called the Mastercheif, who is trained for combat, and is intended as a means of combating the covenant. And thus it begins. Halo features a wide range of weaponry, from the conventional sniper, rocket launcher and grenades, to the more futuristic Covenant weapons, mostly plasma weapons. It also spans throughout a good variety of levels, from Metalic corridors and snowy peaks, to beaches and grassy plains. The level design is excellent, and its always eciting to wonder whats going to be around the next corner. Another huge factor in the game is its incredible A.I system. The aliens don't just let you shoot them and fire back, they hide behind crates, or try to catch you in groups. They even know when they're out-gunned and will run away screaming some of the most amusing comments i've ever heard! Hearing a small alien screaming: "We're all gonna die!" is quite enjoyable.
In game you will be given opportunites to drive up to 4 different vehicles, two human, and two covenant. The physics involved are quite advanced, although i can't help wondering if a Warthog (A kind of Jeep with a mounted machine gun)would really jump so far...
Multiplayer is great fun, featuring numerous options and the ability to change the colour of your armour so you know who is who. Handy...

Graphics: The game features some stunning visuals. The game runs a smooth 30fps, although to look at it, you wouldn't think it was running any slower than sixty. The character models are good, but where the game really excels are its out door environments. Each is stunning, the water effects and waterfalls look very impressive, trees are full 3D, and if you look closely you can easily see the level of detail in the textures of sand or gravel, and the effect of individual blades of grass. The vehicals are also very well designed, constructed from generous polygons and smoothed out to the max. The only problem i have with the graphics is that some environments, mainly corridors, are a little repetative. But again, nothing at all significant. The overall graphical quality is nothing short of outstanding.

Audio: Again, a real winner. The musical score is excellent, featuring heavy base music, remanicent of 'The River Dance' in places. It suits the game rather though, the music also becomes more epic as the onscreen action gets more exciting.
A little touch that is rather good is the addition of a heartbeat that you can hear after a bout of action, or when Mastercheif has been injured.
The sound effects are very beleivable fron the weapons, to the vehicals, to the impressive voiceovers. You're depriving yourself if you don't have Dolby 5.1...

Suggestions: We all know Halo2 is in development, this game is close to faultless, and if thats anything to go on, the sequel should be incredible.

WELL DONE BUNGIE!!

Overall Score: 10.0 / 10 Enclave

Overall: This game looks good, sounds good and controls nicely. Sadly though, it lacks depth, with no deep involvement in the story, and a "seen it all before" style hack&slash gameplay.

Gameplay: The game is fun at times but is also frustrating at times. It provides no real combat system, and gives nothing more than a: "Run from point A to point B", kind of feeling.
That said there is the option to play the game from the perspective of the evil or the good side, and the number of characters and the options for character customisation are rather novel.

Graphics: This is where the game excels. The visuals are truly pleasing, featuring large and beautifully detailed levels in varying locals. Character models are good for the most part, but the faces of some characters are blocky and the facial details are of a low resolution.
Good overall, especially nice scenery.

Audio: The sound is rather good, with decent effects, and the epic soundtrack will be rolling around in your head when your trying to sleep, like ABBA songs...

Suggestions: A sequel is in development, and this time, improve the gameplay a little, thne it might be a winner.

Overall Score: 8.0 / 10 Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

Overall: RPG's are sometimes dull, drawn out and dissapointing. However, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is a definate exception. Not only does it feature an enthralling story, top notch gameplay and beautiful graphics, its exclusive to Xbox. A true acheivement for Bioware, the game's developers.

Gameplay: The game begins allowing you to choose a character class, from the options of Scoundrel, Scout or Soldier. This choice will have an effect on your leveling so choose carefully. There are a total of seven planets, aswell as certain periods of time on space ships or space stations to complete. I don't want to givr too much away, but you will definately recaognise some from the Star Wars films. The thing that will thrill many people, is the oportunity to use a lightsaber. That said, there are many other useable weapons in the game, such as swords, vibroblades, blaster rifles/pistols, and many others. When you become a Jedi in the game you will also have access to a wide range of force powers, including the infamous choke and lightning abilities. These and other skills, including weapon proficiency are gained in the classic RPG style, by leveling up. You will gain excperiance points in game for completing quests or engaging in combat, which allow you to level up when enough are gained, awarding skill points and feats according to your class. The maximum number of level ups is 20, so choose your skills carefully. The game lasts around 40 hours on a normal combat difficulty, which can be changed as you wish in the options menu. The most enthralling aspect of the gameplay is that to choose either the light or dark side, and each has a different ending. This adds tonnes of replay value, you'll want to play this game more than once, perhaps more than twice. (I know I have) Combat is fast and enjoyable, although you do not have full control over your combat, instead the action is turn based, but the resulting eye candy is quite something to experience. You will often lead a team of up to two other charaters with you during play, they will aid you in combat and provde tips during the game. This dark/light alignment is influence by your decisions in the game, so be careful what you say or do if you want to remain in the light... The story and missions involve huge ammounts of interactivety including choosing your own speech. Theres too much to explain all at once, but this game is an excellent RPG, and should appeal to those who have never tried the genre, or even dint like Star Wars, its that good.

Graphics: The Graphics are good overall, but a few small details can be seen, although non are large enough to detract from the enjoyment you'll gain in playing it. The games frame rate slows down on the odd occasion, and in certain areas the seams between polygons are visible. Again nothing major. There are however some nice details, the combat sequences look exceptional, the long grass in some levels will brush gently around the legs of your character, and lightsabers glow in a quite satisfacty way.

Audio: The music takes a little turn from many other Star Wars themed games, by not only featuring aspects of John Williams own score, but also a sound track of its own. The new music does repeat alot though, but is not the kind of Repetition that Grinds on your nerves, but rather the type that will have you humming it when washing the dishes.
The soundeffects are classic Star Wars, straight from the movies. The swinging lightsabers sound great, not to mention that all the dialogue in the game is spoken! And to a proffetional level at that!
Nicely done.

Suggestions: This game is fantastic. Bioware has already said that there will be a sequel, although when is unknown at the moment. In the sequel a small graphical make over would be in order, just to tidy up the edges, but if the next game equals this one in quqlity, it will definately be another hit.

Overall Score: 10.0 / 10 Project Gotham Racing 2

Overall: Project Gotham is a title every xbox owner has heard of. This is the sequel, as you probably guessed, and also a vast improvement on the original game.

Gameplay: The gameplay gives something many other driving games fail to produce, variety. Street races, time attacks and cone races are just a few of the multiple challenges you will face, from a total of seven race types. The gameplay is addictive and you'll feel the game calling you back for just one more race... Multiplayer is equally as addictive and thrilling. Enjoy.

Graphics: Excellent. No doubt one of the best looking driving games out there. From the beautifully rendered cars, to the tiny details and cityscapes, this game delivers. Its worth noting the cars are constructed from more than twice the ammount of polygons than the cars in Gran Turismo 3. The attention to detail shows in the way the rain bounces when hitting the ground, or the subtle reflections of the cars and buildings on the wet roads. The game also features a full car damage system, and you will notice small parts of the cars falling off, although the performance doesn't degrade. Exceptional.

Audio: The in-game music is rather good, featuring a mix of over 200 tracks from numerous artists. The game also takes advantage of the xbox's hard drive, by allowing you to add your ownn soundtracks.
The sound effects are also good, featuring a different enginesound for each car. The crashes leave something to be desired, as they all sond the same, but the weather sound effects are top notch.

Suggestions: All this game could really improve upon is the small details. Degrading performance with damage would have added a touch of extra realism, and perhaps the option to upgrade your cars would have added that little extra to strive for. Never the less, a great game overall, and a lasting enjoyment in both single and multiplayer.

Overall Score: 10.0 / 10

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