MEMBER PROFILE FOR vernefrax

Total Reviews: 3
Average Overall Score Given: 8.00000 / 10
Total Forum Posts: 0

Reviews
Shrek

Overall: The game is a nice idea: take the characters from Shrek and expand them into a Mario style game. Unfortunately that's where the fun ends. The only real appeal is in that the game portrays with nice detail the characters we've come to know from Shrek. This is definitely one to rent and NOT one to own, or alternatively one to leave aside altogeather. Go play Halo and leave shrek to his bad green self.

Gameplay: The gameplay is a simple effort in frustration. Being a game of this type, it's easy to see that it's market is primarily for the pre-20 crowd of gamers, yet the sheer difficulty of many puzzles with easily leave younger gamers screaming for something else to play (come to think of it, it leaves older gamers with the same feeling). The puzzles are devided into separate "worlds" shrek must get to by jumping into mirrors (sound famililar?). Each world has a nice unique feel, such as the Candy Factory, Mother Goose land, and the Spooky Graveyard. It would have been nice to feature more locations from the movie, rather than inventing new ones with new characters. TO complete each world, Shrek must accomplish a number of tasks which can open up new worlds for him to explore. Tasks range from things like farting on a dancing cow (oh yeah, that's one of Shrek's attacks...), to the sheer frustration of gathering pink faries (which looked to me like flying pigs). Every level has two of the same puzzles: finding hidden "easter eggs" and capturing the flying faries. Since the faries are constantly on the move, this proves to be unbelievably frustrating and very tiring.

Graphics: The graphics are the only saving grace of this game, though graphics alone don't make the game. With excellent shading, shadows, lightsourcing and various effects, the world of Shrek is brought to life with amazing detail. The textures are simply stunning, while many worlds do hold truly unique designs to them that would choke most graphics chips, the NVidia chip easily draws complex twisting castles without so much as a hiccup. Too bad the designers didn't put more focus into a GAME instead of GRAPHICS.

Audio: At first the sound effects seem nice. The music is quaint and fitting for each world, and the secondary characters have a few cute things they call out when they get near shrek. Eventually this turns into repetetive boredom. Listening to humpty train chicks to be eggs is funny the first time, but try spending a few hours hunting for flying pigs while he drones on about "fall up! Fall down! Fall up! Fall down!" -I'd swear its' chinese water torture.

Suggestions: -There's too much wrong with this game to adress here. The graphics are nice, detailed and crisp. Try working on a game next time.

Overall Score: 6.0 / 10 Star Wars: Starfighter - Special Edition

Overall: While the name may attract the star-wars fanatic, the game itself bears little recognition to the star-wars franchise, and instead plays like any other space shooter. The game begins with a young naboo fighter pilot in training (you), working on his first missions which include escorting the princess. The game is stock with ships from Episode one, and as a result leaves us wanting for REAL star-wars ships and battle cruisers. While it may be debated the value of Episode one as a movie, playing a star-wars game without tie-fighters feels somewhat empty.

Gameplay: The games true appeal comes from the ever-changing main character as the story unfolds. After several missions, our naboo pilot meets up with a mercenary friend who happens to be guarding trade federation shipments. The game then switches control so that the player is the other pilot. This happens again when the mercenary friend meets another, and adds to a nice touch to the game. Gone are the days when we're Colonel Blair for the entire story. Each pilot has his own distinctive ship which requires varied flying styles. The missions seem tailored for each specific ship as well, and seem well thought out. Missions range from standard "kill em!" to convoy protection with a few nifty twists (such as being in a canyon). While it can't be said this game reeks of star-wars nostalgia, true space sim fans with find something worth playing here.

Graphics: Starfighter displays crisp smooth animtions and detailed graphics in player and enemy ships and space stations. Ground combat, in many cases, is also well done with nice distant desert vista's and canyon diving on Naboo. There are no "popping" effects, as distant objects appear tiny and grow to size as they approach the camera without suddenly jumping to place. The only complaint is the lack of detail in several of the ground-based missions. Fighting the trade federations robot factory on a planet of rock and boiling lava pits has an overall feel of blandness about it.

Audio: The sound effects are top rate, as expected from Lucasarts. Fighters scream by with the accustomed shrieking we're used to from the star-wars universe. Laser blasts spark off of sheilds with both nifty visual crackles and excellent timed sound cues. The surround sound works very well; with a four point system it's possible to hear the distance and location of enemy fighters. The music is somewhat less inspired, though still reminiscent of the Phantom Menace and still a far cry from the bland overused tunes in most space shooters.

Suggestions: -Any game based in the Star-Wars universe gets its appeal from the ability to fight with and against star-wars ships. Sticking solely with Episode one, and throwing in never-before seen ships was a mistake and leaves the player craving real tie fighter dogfights!

Overall Score: 8.0 / 10 The Simpsons Road Rage

Overall: Addictively fun, will easily appeal to both diehard Simpson's fans and the casual watcher alike. The game is designed with "goals" in mind that grant rewards like unlocking new cars (and characters) or new locations. Where other games base their reward system on meeting difficult criteria, Road Rage bases it solely on time. Unlocking new areas and cars is achieved simply by earning money in the main game mode, of which the total is constantly added togeather rather than forcing the player to get "stuck in" trying to attempt a grand maximum. This turns out to be a nice feature, and works well as opposed to other games that make it nigh on difficult to proceed past certain races.

Gameplay: Gameplay is fun and addicting. While I have never played Crazy Taxi, as this game is apparently based on, the gameplay is a nice break from typical racing games. The main game mode consists of choosing a car and character, and driving other Simpson characters around town under various time constraints (and occasionaly with bonus requisites like avoiding collisions or mowing down a number of obstacles). There is a "sunday drive" mode which allows the player no time limit, so as to learn the lay of the land and shortcuts around the town. The "miss
ion"
mode is an effort in frustration. Missions consist of pre-determined requisites certain characters must complete within tight time constraints. In one mode, Grampa has forgotten his medication and believes the trash cans are out to get him. As a result, the player must maneuver Grandpa through town, knocking down a number of trashcans before the timer runs out. When compared to the main game mode, the mission section feels "tacked on" and rushed, as if the designers didn't have an adequate amount of time to develop the idea to fruition.

Graphics: Visually the game leaves a bit to be desired from what we've come to expect from first release XBox titles, though it's far from horrible. The graphics bring to life the town and environs of Springfeild with some detail, but the polygonal feel of buildings and scenery are somewhat bland. There is no true damage displayed in the game, despite the ability to rampage around town. Running over a light pole merely bounces the entire pole around, often leaving it precariously on the road. Further driving over it would simply bounce it around more, again without having any real damage show on the pole. While it's nice that so much can be affected in this way (from phone booths, to mailboxes that spit mail when run over), one gets the feeling that the developers didn't truly explore the level of detail possible with the XBox. I'd like to have seen light poles with dents and bangs, rather than the intact pole bobbing around when hit. Smashing into other cars merely sends them flying with no real discernable damage. Besides these small flaws, the graphics have a wholely cartoon feel to them that fits the game well. The animations are smooth with few jaggies.

Audio: Character voiceovers in a game of this type are an absolute must, and it's here where Road Rage really shines. Each character has custom sound bytes as either passenger or driver, which adds a nice atmosphere to the game. Ned, for examplye, may ask to be ferried to the revered Lovejoy's house to have his haircut "blessed", while Homer the driver may insist no one sit on his nachos! The music has a nice subtle tone that further adds to the simpsons spirit.

Suggestions: -Add more detail to damage, including affecting and truly "destroying" objects rather than bouncing them around.
-Re-work the mission mode to include more thought-out missions, or delete this option altogeather.

Overall Score: 10.0 / 10

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