MEMBER PROFILE FOR MerimacHamwich

Total Reviews: 11
Average Overall Score Given: 7.54545 / 10
Total Forum Posts: 8205

Reviews
Grand Theft Auto: Double Pack

Overall: It's GTA, no description needed. Drive around, commit crimes, or beat down the occasional mugger. You can drive, you can shoot, you can fly and you can boat. Pretty open ended in the sense that you can go anywhere in the city you want, but you are still limited to the storyline as you have to complete most of it to unlock all parts of the cities. Ofcourse, most poeple will just want to drive around and hit jumps and do the other crazy stuff in this game, which is fine, but it DOES get boring unless you venture into the storyline.

Gameplay: It's a pretty well rounded game. Plenty of missions are available for you, but they do get redundant after a while. In Vice City you can own your own clubs/stores etc, however, you have to complete certain amounts of the storyline in order to purchase any commercial real estate.

The real basis of the game is running and gunning, or else driving. It is not as open ended as poeple will get you to think, this is not an RPG where you can create your own story. You can drive anywhere in the cities, however, there are limitations as I explained in the overall description. Besides driving, flying or boating nearly wherever you want, you are still limited to buying weapons/real estate, hitting jumps and killing poeple. That's all there is to do in these games, which is quite fun for a while, but I would say you will most likely get bored of it pretty quick.

Non-the-less, it is quite a bit of fun while it lasts.

Graphics: This is definetly a department that the games absolutely fail in. It is far from even a mediocre looking Xbox game. It definetly does not deserve the praise it gets. It looked like crap on the PS2, and it looks like shiny crap on the Xbox.

Audio: The music in Vice City is pretty good, but I found myself reverting to my own personal soundtracks to add flavour that I thought was lacking. Especially since some radio stations play really bad music, and the radio stations you like pretty much only cycle through around 10 songs.

When it comes to sound effects the game is pretty well rounded, nothing really gets annoying, except maybe the revving of car engines.

Its nothing special, but it does the job.

Suggestions: You have proven to us with games like Max Payne (while only published) that you can have some good titles out under your name. Why not take a page out of Remedy's (developer of Max Payne 1 and 2) book and develop your game for the most powerful system there is, then downgrade it for the other systems. That way each platform will get the best possible game it can. Vice City and GTA3 could have been really good if they were developed for the PC or XBox first, instead, you developed for the PS2, a bundle of really old hardware, and ported to other systems. The result was a game with pretty good gameplay that was lacking in every single other department.

Overall Score: 7.0 / 10 Crimson Sea

Overall: Worst game ever. Seriously, I thought the game would be halfway decent but geeze. Anything and everything that could be wrong in this game, is wrong. From clunky controls to non-existent musical scores, you can expect the wrost quality if it even exists in the game.

Gameplay: Well, let me see. 1. Locate attack button. 2. Move thumb (equipped with padding. Padding is needed as this thumb will take serious damage from the continued repetetive motion.) to attack button. 3. Locate movement control. 4. Move other thumb to movement control. Rapidly depress the attack button as many times as possible. At the same time, wuickly move the movement control from side to side. 5. Seek medical help for your now carpol tunnelized hands and repeat steps 1-5.

Graphics: This is the games strong point, while not impressive in the least it isn't that bad. Ofcourse, as can be expected from this developer, no advanced graphical techniques were used and as little effort to maximise the use of the Xbox hardware is done. I mean, who wants to make a visually impressive game with modern advance graphical techniques anyway...

Audio: Sound? What sound? You mean the repetetive noises of guns shooting and swords swinging? Maybe the sounds of some bug like enemy? yeah, those are all pretty much bottom of the line. Musical score you say? What musical score? I have no recollection of one.

Suggestions: Leave the industry. Seriously, you are making the game world seem like it is comprised of a bunch of idiots.

Overall Score: 4.0 / 10 Amped: Freestyle Snowboarding

Overall: A brilliant game that has hopefully spawned a brilliant series. The most true to snowboarding game there is. From the literal 100's of songs from relatively unknown artists included in the game to the freestyle gameplay, it can't be beat as a REAL snowboarding game.

Gameplay: Innovative. Every game these days seems to be copying Tony Hawks control scheme. Thank god Amped decided to go its own way and innovate snowboard specific controls. I really appreciate how they took the location of the grabs on the board and tried to make them correspond with the direction of the joystick that you press. For instance, a nose grab is up, a stalefish is down and left. The trick system is quite amazing. You can literally make your own tricks. Busting out tweaked rodeos is definetly pleasing, but being able to innovate is also a much needed aspect and adds tons of replay value. The gameplay modes are great as well. From career mode to 2 player free riding it all seems to be there. My only gripe is that the hit detection is kinda off at times and there seems to be trouble with rails. Sometimes you just crash at the end of certain ones, for no apparent reason. lets hope its fixed in the sequel.

Graphics: Definetly a crowd pleaser. A visual leader in the Xbox line up for the year of 2001 and most of 2002. The only thing missing is an abundance of bump mapping, which is always appreciated.

Audio: Another crowd pleasing aspect to Amped. The incorporation of approximately 150 songs by artists unknown to the general public is grand in itself. However, it also has good usage of DD 5.1 and some neato sound effects. I love the taunts of the snowmen. Halarity for sure. Its also great how other poeple on the hill egg you on if you crash and cheer you on if you are ripping. The sound is all there and more.

Suggestions: The career mode is great, but an incorporation of true to life sponsor ships would be a welcome feature. While it may be confusing to some of the general public, poeple in the know would be down for sure. Ofcourse, there are the usual tweaks and suggestions that poeple have, but most of them don't apply and the ones that do are simple and redundant.

Overall Score: 9.0 / 10 BloodRayne

Overall: This is another under rated game. It has gameplay that resembles Max Payne yet it adds its own finesse. The graphics areabout par and the sound is decent. Yet, there is little to no popular knowledge of the game. Maybe its extreme violent nature is preventing it from being recognized.

Gameplay: Great. From side flips to backflip kicks the game seems to have all the battle options you could want. Not too mention the vampire abilities. Tons of guns, the ability to learn knew hand to hand combat moves and sucking blood. This is probably the games biggest selling point. The story is pretty interesting too.

Graphics: Bounce.
This is a fairly nice game to look at. Well done character models and decent environments make this game on par with other Xbox games. Unfortunately I think par should be alot higher. There are some nice visuals in the game though.

Audio: Good. From blood sucking slurps to shotgun blasts all of the noises are well represented. The music was decent and added to the atmosphere. More adequacy in this department.

Suggestions: Some polishing up in the graphics and sound department would set this game apart from the crowd. Multiplayer could have been fun too, hard to implement, probably, but most likely fun in the end.

Overall Score: 8.0 / 10 Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX 2

Overall: A great game in the "extreme sports" genre. Many people do not know this but this series is the originator of alot of the things used in the genre today. Tony Hawk stole most of its gimmicks from the Dave Mirra series. The game has great gameplay.

Gameplay: Easy to learn, nice controls and depth. There is seemingly limitless possibilities for tricks in this game. The "mod" button is a force to behold. From barspinning tail grinds to no footed nose picks you can do it all. The gameplay is what makes and defines this game. A true innovator in video game history.

Graphics: Bland. While not completely horrendous the game still does not shine here. The perfect description is "Good PS2 graphics" which directly translates to mediocre Xbox graphics. The absence of any good textures and modern graphical techniques is quite obvious. It doesn't look completely bad though.

Audio: Decent. The sounds are what is to be expected and the music is also predictable. Some classic songs and sound effects lead to overall decency in this game. Sometimes the sounds get repetetive but overall expect adequecy. From what I can remember you can't use custom soundtracks.

Suggestions: Optimizing multiplatform games for the most powerful platform always produces good results. From there wash it down for the less powerful systems.

Overall Score: 8.0 / 10 Tao Feng: Fist of the Lotus

Overall: Its a fighting game with pretty intuitive gameplay. Better than your average fighting game in more than one way. Gameplay isn't based on the mashing of buttons. Graphics are simply astounding. The sound is well done too.

Gameplay: Well, it is a fighting game so I cannot give it a very high score due to its limitations. However, it does what it is suppose to do fairly well. Combos are a huge part of the game and cannot be executed by any rookie who picksup the controller ie: button mashers. So experience found from playing means that you will get better and be better than beginners which is always a good thing. You can jump off of walls and swing on polls. As well you can hit and throw your opponents into objects found int he environment. However, it is still lacking in what a truly great fighting game should have. The ability to use everything and anything in an arena to defeat your opponent. If you see a barrel, you should be able to pick it up and hurl it. You see a railing, tear off the hand hold and beat your enemy with it. These sort of those have been missing from fighting games since their birth into the gaming world. We seem to be getting closer to having them though. There is also mutliteired arenas with large areas. What pulls this department down is the sudden leap in difficulty. In the easiest setting you cruise through the enemies up until your last foe. S/he seems to be of godlike skill and getting a hit in is a rare event. The only hope of beating the foe is the immediate use of a large combo. Which is hard to do becuase the foe always seems to get the first hit. A smoother transition in difficulty is needed. However, I suppose the difficutly does provide a little incentive for replayability.

Graphics: Eyegasmic. Or Eye delicous as one Neil Sedak might say. The graphics are brilliant. All of the most current graphical techniques seem to be present as well as the tried and true basics. This is definetly the games strong point. It has every fighting game to date beat in this department. Absolutely stunning. The only thing pulling it down is the absence of HDTV support.

Audio: Well done. The effects are varied and many. The soundtrack is decent, it has some good use of Dolby Digital 5.1 and the voices are clear. This is another strong point of the game. Does it have any weaknesses?

Suggestions: Throw in the lacking gameplay I listed, better sound and HDTV and you might have the best fighting game to be ever created!

Overall Score: 7.0 / 10 Elder Scrolls III : Morrowind

Overall: Brilliant. A game with some true innovation in the console world. Not just better looking graphics but new gameplay. From building your own castle to creating your own unique weapons this game has it all. As well gamers are provided with an extremely large and lush environment. Everything from desert to coast line swamp landscapes are represented. The sound is wonderful and the visuals don't disapoint.

Gameplay: While the fighting system isn't the most complex thing around, it isn't the worst either. There are several different weapon attacks for the melee set. Bow users, as expected, are presented with varying levels of strength put behind their shots. Spell users have a plethora of spells to choose from, each with thier own unique visual effect. When it comes to the rest of the gameplay one has to simply bow down and praise it. Absolutely wonderful. This game is one of a kind, a true classic. A unique innovation is the ability of one to trap the souls of a bttle victim in a soul stone. That soul stone can then be used to embue special effects on a weapon or artical of clothing or armor. You can either follow the wonderfully unique storyline or venture out on your own. Either way you are provided with at least 100 hours of brilliant gameplay. The replay value is endless. If one does choose to strike ou on there own they can proceed to join one of the four "houses" and/or one of the many guids. Within the guild/house you can raise to the top rank. When you have reached the top rank of a house you can then build your own castle. The list of items found in the game is too long to report. However, I can say that there is everything from pillows to sets of glass armor. A truly wide variety that can be bought, found and sold. Some or all can even be used to decorate your very own castle. Nothing beats this game in the gameplay department.

Graphics: While not disapointing, it is not stunning either. The environments are extremely diverse and well represented. As well most things look good. However, a few things drag this section down. The character models are a little iffy and the textures on shields are, shall we say, primitive. Also, some people say that the draw distance is too short. Nonethless, while it is the weakness of the game, it is still fairly well done.

Audio: Eargasmic. Exquisite use of Dolby Digital 5.1 and a truly amazing original score set this game apart from the crowd. Some of the sonud effects heard by monsters are slightly repetetive but that is all. I can say nothing more than this game has wonderfully eargasmic sound.

Suggestions: A little brushing up on the load times, visuals and combat system would make this game immortal in every gamers mind. As it stands now, it is immortalised in most, not all. Truly great game, I appluad you.

Overall Score: 9.0 / 10 TransWorld Snowboarding

Overall: This game is a snowboard game that anyone can play and enjoy. It has great graphics some good tunes with a variety such that everyone can find something they like. It controls well and after a couple runs you'll be able to do satisfying tricks.

Gameplay: This game controls just like Amped minus a few things. You cannot nosepress, tailpress, noselide or tailslide in this game. Which kind of sucks. You can however do tons of other things. You can rotate on rails and do any sort of flip spin combination you can think of. The control scheme is well laid out. The left control stick maneuvers tha playeers major movements (flips/spins/turning etc), while the right joystick controls the many grabs. The a button is the jump button, x is a speed boost and the b and y buttons grind. It is very well done in that department. There are a couple of modes you can ride in. As well as different types of riding. There is a "career" mode where you complete certain goals to unlock new lev I wouldn't really call that a career though which, I guess, is why they called it Transworld Tour. There is also a single session mode and multiplayer. In those modes you can ride pipe, slopestyle, backcountry and boarder cross. Unfortunately there is no create a character. There is enough in this game to keep you busy for at least a month though.

Graphics: Beautiful. They look better than Amped. Rails actually look like rails! Not just flat plastic! Ofcourse there is alot more to the graphics than that. You have too see it to understand. Just gorgeous. Heck, there is even wildlife roaming around.

Audio: There is some decent music on the soundtrack and it includes the "my soundtrack" feature where you play your own music of the hardrive. The sounds in this game are pretty good and it uses dobly 5.1 well.

Suggestions: A nice career mode would be appreciated. Maybe a create a character.

Overall Score: 8.0 / 10 The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring

Overall: This game is a decent title that could have used a little more time in the polishing stage. It sets a good mood and has good gameplay but has some little things that let you down.

Gameplay: It does well in the gameplay departement. There are three stages of a chracters walk to run cycle. You can walk, push the joystick a little more forward and jog and then run. It has good transitional stages in between those. The fighting is quite easy to get into and you soon start to chop and slash your enemies like crazy. In order to eliminate a hoard of enemies you need to play a little smarter though. You can ofcourse block which helps immensly in some spots. The enemy AI is decent, better than Enclave I would say. Enemies will chase you but only for a certain amount of distance. If you are faster than them and start to pull away then they will ealve you alone. The enemies themselves block and you will find quite often that your swing is blocked and you get hit will you character recovers from the sudden stop of his weapon. You can do this to enemies as well. Block their attack and they will be sort of stunned for a short period and you fit a quick starting attack in. Usually when you start an attack you can keep going for about 3-5 swipes. The enemy, if still alive, usually gets a block in around then. There are hidden spots that you can find, personally I only found one. However there are alot more. The ring starts to spin in you inventory whenyou are near something hidden. Each character you can play as has his own style and you can use it to your own advantage. I quite enjoyed playing as Gandalf.

Graphics: The graphics are well done for the most part. The characters and your enemies look good. Leaves fall from trees and there are little squirrels running around in the shire and forrested areas. The water is good. It is the first water I have seen to actually bounce off of the shore. I was very pleased to see this. I think it is better than Halo's and somewhere around Morrowinds and Enclaves. The only gripe I have is some of the environments are quite bland. The shire has hills and so on but the grass texture is pretty bad and very repetetive. However, there is good usage of bump mapping and pixel shading in many areas.

Audio: The music is great. It si the only real sound I noticed during gameplay aside from the characters grunts and moans. The characters voice acting during in game cutscenes is alright for the most part. I didn't really like the way some were done though. Notably Merry and Sams voices. They never seemed what I thought they would sound like and thier voices did not always reflect the situation they were in. There is also a young lady in Bywater that had a horrible voice. It sounded like a childs. She is at a food shop in the town center. Mostly everyone elses voice acting was good though.

Suggestions: Spend a little more time in development. It could have been a way better game. Why was their a Nazgul in the first game?!? That kind of ruined it I thought. They don't even know what Nazguls are until late in the second book, I think. Graphics could be improved a bit. It just seemed like the game wasn't really finished. It was kind of like I was playing a BETA not the final version.

Overall Score: 7.0 / 10 ESPN Winter X Games Snowboarding 2002

Overall: This game is highly underrated. It does not follow any Tony Hawk formula or anything. It is A little hard at first and might seem sub par but after playing it, especially in the snowboarder mode, You can have great fun with it.

Gameplay: It does well in this category. It has a good learning curve. You cannot just pick up the game first time playing and do a rodeo 540. You have to play and learn how the game works in order to get better. It has several modes you can play in including XGames mode and Snowboarder mode. Snowborder mode is a mode like the Careeer mode in Amped but way more deep. The sponsorship is a lot more realistic in this. You can only have one sponsor at a time for a certain item of snowboard gear. Say for a goggle sponsor you have Dragon, Snowboard you have Forum, Boots you have Northwave, Bindings you have K2 and clothing you have Foursqaure. Each of these sponsors picks you up for a different reason. One might like the way you Grind and another may like your huge airs. You can also be dropped by anyone of these sponsors after a bad performance or a couple bad performances either in a contest you entered or a video they asked you to do. You will eventually be recognized by ESPN as a top snowboarder and be invited to compete in the Xgames. In order to play in the xgames you go to the xgames mode which was already opened except now your character is included with the other Real Life Pros who you could choose form before. The levels, for the most part, are well laid out and fun to play on with lots of rails and jumps to hit. There are also halfpipes and quarter pipes which can help you get bgger scores as you can air off of them more times than a jump. The scores you get for rails are usually lower than a score you would get for doing an air. This is justified as in real life rails are super easy. Also in real life in the xgames they dont seem to hand out very highscores for rail tricks, most likely for the reason previously stated. The third factor for rail scores and probably most important is the fact that as long as you hold the grind button you wont fall off. You can stay on a rail for the hole thing with no balancing as balancing was not incorporated into the game. However if you let go of grind then your player will slip off of the rail. You can do a very wide vcariety of tricks in this, including making your own up. You can also do realistic tricks in this that look cool. Unlike in Amped where if you do a realistic trick it makes your character look like a wuss. There are a variety of grabs and some characters have different ones than others as well as grabbing the same trick different than another character. Also you will land or grind a rail different depending on how the trick was excecuted. There are many factors in this game that give it a great gameplay appeal.

Graphics: Visually this isn't stunning. While clean and crisp images they are subpar being at the PS2 level. The player models are decent rivaling those in amped but the snow texture is horrible and sometimes you cannot see how close you are to the ground or where a bump in the ground is. Overall the graphics are only around average.

Audio: Music choice in this game was horrible in my opinion and it is a shame that they did not include the soundtrack feature. Other than that there is nothing to really gripe or praise the sound about. They have announcers who comment on your tricks and sometimes it can be entertaining but it doesnt really get annoying. It has the expected landing, and carving sounds as well as the player grunts and exclemations.

Suggestions: Upgrade the game for xbox. It could have been quite a bit better in the graphics and sound department. Not to mention that you should be able to play with 4 people. Think outside the Station and venture into the Box.

Overall Score: 8.0 / 10 Enclave

Overall: I play this game for hours on end. I cannot help it. After beating a level I just feel the urge to go on, buy new items or play the level over again with a different character. It is addictive and rightly so as it is a good game.

Gameplay: The controls are easy to get used to. After the first level I had the controls pretty much down to a t. The battles are good, not too hard not too easy. Using ranged weapons, especially Bows, is fun and adds a good dimension to the game. Melee weapons are also good. They are very satisfying when you smack a huge enemy with a nice backhanded swing. Using spells is, as expected, one of the easiest methods of fighting. However including the mana bar is a good move restricting the spell casters. Otherwise the game would be too easy. Throwing bombs is great fun. Overall the gameplay was well thought out and executed. The AI is somewhat questionable, although it could be said that the enemies relentless pursuit is due to revenge rage.

Graphics: Simply gorgeous. This game is the best looking so far! Very nice textures and character models. I find myself looking at the dead bodies of my foes sometimes. No one can say enough about the graphics.

Audio: I didn't notice anything spectacular about the sound. It is good and crisp, no muffled voices or anything. You can hear arrows whizz by you while in battle. When you sneak up on an enemy you can hear him muttering if he has friends near by. Some of the characters voices sound wierd while in battle but I have not found them annoying thus far. Overall the sound was well done.

Suggestions: Do not take out multiplayer! That was the biggest mastake you made. This game could have been wondrous but with the expulsion of a multiplayer option it is just a good to great game. My family and freinds were all looking forward to the experience of multiplayer in this game but alas the option was abandoned... At least the singleplayer is good. I mean MAYBE I would understand taking out online capabilities or lan play but not split screen! Heck, with Microsofts online plans why would you even think of getting rid of online play. I will forgive you if you come out with some sort of update or multiplayer in a sequel.

Overall Score: 8.0 / 10

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