MEMBER PROFILE FOR jonwes

Total Reviews: 12
Average Overall Score Given: 8.91667 / 10
Total Forum Posts: 0

Reviews
Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge

Overall: Very good game. A friend of mine told me I should pick this one up and I dragged my feet on it, but I sure am glad I did now that I have it. Great addition to the Xbox library. I'd compare it to an aerial version of Bloodwake, but with better graphics, more diversity, and overall just a more well done game.

Gameplay: Excellent. Lots of aerial combat spread over a number of different missions. Some involve escorting a zeppelin from one place to another, while the majority have you gunning down enemy planes. The controls are pretty simple once you get used to them and you can be doing cool maneuvers in no time that are very gratifying. There's something satisfying about blowing up planes in Crimson Skies like there was sinking boats in Blood Wake. A definite feeling of accomplishment when the explosion hits. The only reason I'm not rating gameplay a 5, is because the variance of the missions does become somewhat repetitive after a while, but look at it from a developer's standpoint. How much can you really do with an airplane combat game? Overall, very good.

Graphics: Excellent. Some of the better graphics on the Xbox in my opinion. When you get near the water, photo realistic water beads collect on the screen, just like Quantum Redshift. The water looks real, planes are very detailed, explosions look great, etc. The islands could have been done with more detail, but they still look very good. The desert level I'm on now looks awesome when you're flying through the canyons. Sunsets/skies/clouds look great as well. Rain is very realistic also.

Audio: Again, excellent. I have a Harman Kardon 7.1 surround system with a Cerwin Vega 15" downfiring subwoofer, so I'm pretty critical of the audio I play. The music in Crimson Skies is excellent, giving you the feeling that you're in the middle of a movie being filmed. Sound effects are great and send thunderous bass to the sub. Overall, very pleased here.

Overall Score: 10.0 / 10 Brute Force

Overall: I cannot describe my dissatisfaction with this title. I'm shocked to see it in the top 10 here at Xbox Addict. Just to let you all know that I'm not completely whacked or into nerding out on RPG's, my fav titles are: Halo, Splinter Cell, Fever 2003, Enclave, and Serious Sam. I had been eagerly awaiting Brute Force, like everyone, for about a year. I was anticipating that the delayed release dates were going to produce a highly polished title. No such luck. I WANTED to like this game and played through all 18 levels, so I could provide an unbiased viewpoint. This game was never "fun" to play. I can't put my finger on it, but it just wasn't. Halo was an experience, Serious Sam was a blast, and many other Xbox titles have been top notch in my opinion. Everyone I've personally talked to has referenced BF as a "letdown". You'll need to judge for yourself. Thank God for E-Bay!

Gameplay: Just plain dull. Not fun. Not engaging. Mildly depressing. It feels like you're throwing wads of paper at the enemy. Regardless of the weapon, it just doesn't feel like you're doing damage to them. In theory, this game looks like it would be great, but in execution, it fails miserably. Allow me to make the following points:

1) There's never a true need to use the special characteristics of your team members, with the possible exception of Brutus in the foggy levels.

2) The enemy AI is better than your own team's AI.

3) There is nothing preventing a person from taking control of one character and just playing through a level until he meets his demise and then moving onto the next. A tragedy for a squad based title.

4) Every level is virtually identical with the exception of visuals - high walls on each side of you preventing any exploration, occasional encounters with the enemy, and some type of ultimate objective to complete. Some could say that this describes the majority of games out there, but none feel as restricted and linear as BF.

5) There is no provocation for just rushing through each mission to complete it and move on, which leaves you never feeling engaged with the game.

6) Voiceovers were timed very poorly. Example: the team got into a battle in which everyone died immediately except for Flint. I took out ONE enemy with her and she says, "They never learn!". HELLO! Every one of your teammates just got diced, it's YOU that didn't learn!

7) Given the cloning capabilitity of your team, there is nothing to prevent you from just bringing everyone back to complete a level as long as you have enough $$. On level 18, I think I recloned my team a total of 20 times. Where's the challenge? The enemies that were dead prior to everyone dying are still dead when you re-clone.

Graphics: I can't really knock this game in the visuals dept, as many have. I thought it looked very impressive at times. Particle effects in the air, great sky renders, nice textures, etc. If the gameplay had equalled the visuals, there wouldn't have been a problem. It was somewhat disappointing that the enemies were so small on the screen, so you never got a good idea of what they look like. The majority of the game looked great.

Audio: Disappointing. I have a lot of cash into my Harman Kardon 7.1 home theater, and BF kept shutting down my Cerwin Vega 15" downfiring sub due to a lack of bass response. Very different than every other title I've played. Usually an adequate volume level will keep the sub on at all times. Lame. Weapons sounded a little cheesy in my opinion, much like videogames from the 80's. Audio was definitely not up to par with visuals. The briefings between missions couldn't have been any more dull and boring if they had tried. Occasional attempts at humor failed miserably. I forgot to mention that the background music came and went at inappropriate times.

Suggestions: 2 suggestions:

1) Please don't create a BF2 if it's going to be even remotely similar to this release.

2) If you do create a BF2, get some actual gamers in front of the pre-release and ensure that it's a title that people would actually want to get into.

Overall Score: 4.0 / 10 Panzer Dragoon Orta

Overall: First, I need to begin by commenting on the reviewer below, Paladin192. This guy is a pathetic nerd that types like he's having an epileptic seizure while banging his genitals on the keyboard. Wise up and get off of this site. Nobody cares about your lame opinion or about you period. Now, on to the review. This game may not be for everyone, given that it's strictly a shooter, but for what it is, it excels. I've heard several people mention that they're looking to buy an Xbox just for this title alone! Definitely a testament to the power of x.

Gameplay: Again, for what it sets out to achieve, it succeeds. Top notch. There's virtually never a hint of slowdown even with a great deal of action occurring on the screen. The action keeps coming, whether you're prepared for it or not.

Graphics: I'd agree with everyone else on this site that this is one of the best looking titles for the Xbox, and without a doubt one of the best looking titles for any system out there. Something would seriously have to give if this is ever ported to the GC or PS2. It's unfortunate to see Splinter Cell going in that direction, and I'd hate to see PDO follow suit. Some of the action appears to be as good as motion captured video, which is impressive. Great use of visuals, which restores my faith in Sega.

Audio: Excellent use of DD 5.1. This game alone may be a good enough reason to purchase surround sound, if you don't already have it. It definitely adds to the experience and pulls you into the PDO world.

Suggestions: Ban losers like Paladin192 from commenting on future PD releases.

Overall Score: 9.0 / 10 Serious Sam

Overall: I had read a lot of reviews on this title before diving in and everyone agreed that the gameplay is great. I just finished the game today (all 25 levels), and I'd definitely have to say that the gameplay here is some of the best I've ever experienced. Where Halo embellishes the whole FPS genre with a lot of extras, SS is like !&%$@#* without the foreplay. You dive right into the action and are on a constant roller coaster ride for 20 hours.

Gameplay: Some of the best I've experienced. Two thumbs up! ! ! There's an occasional switch to flip, but everything is pretty straight forward - desecrate everything in sight! Croteam's approach is simple: we'll give you boatloads of ammo to fend off the boatloads of enemies you'll encounter. Simple as that. 25 levels of intense, no relief, no mercy gaming. I've gotta say that I never got frustrated with SS. My disc was one of the "problem" ones you read about all over the net, which led to long load times and occasional disc errors that would cause me to restart a checkpoint all over again. The funny thing is that the gameplay is so fun, I didn't mind re-playing what I had already completed - even the gigantic battles. One of the few titles that I really looked forward to coming home and playing. I should also add that the ability to assign your favorite two weapons to the "X" and "Y" keys is great. A definite asset when you have fifteen to choose from.

Graphics: Here's the good and bad. . . Everything is in fairly high resolution, the draw distance is the best ever, there is bump mapping over most of the textures, and the weapons look good. On the flip side, there's not a whole lot of detail and most of the courtyards are pretty barren. The skies don't move, although the sun and moon looks good. Let me take that back, 90% of the levels have skies that don't move. Some of the later levels do involve stormy conditions that have moving skies. One of the most amazing things about the graphics is the enormous amount of enemies on screen at any one time without slow down. I guarantee you've never seen this many in a game before. Definitely some of the most intense gaming I've experienced. My bottom line on the visuals is that they get the job done and actually look very appealing at times.

Audio: DD 5.1 is a real asset on this title, especially with the screaming bombermen. I would have lost many lives had it not been for the positioning afforded by the speakers. The weapons all sound powerful with the exception of the chainsaw, which sounds weak. I never really used it throughout the entire game anyway. The music is good and actually reminds me of "Enigma" at times, which is one of my favorites. When the sound was cranked, my neighbor probably thought that WWIII was going on in my place!

Suggestions: Next time around, take full advantage of the Xbox's graphics.

Overall Score: 9.0 / 10 Turok: Evolution

Overall: I rented this game due to the bad reviews I've read, which prevented me from purchasing it outright. It's amazing to me that some people will give a lousy title like "Ghost Recon" great reviews, but diminish Turok into the toilet with inferior reviews. Mind you, I'm not saying Turok is a great game, because it's not really revolutionary on any level. My favorites for the Xbox are "Halo" and "Splinter Cell", two definite winners. What I will say is that Turok is a blast to play, regardless of its shortcomings. Given the fact that you can pick this title up for about $15-25 these days, it's a great buy.

Gameplay: I have thoroughly enjoyed playing Turok Evolution for the week that I rented it. I got sucked in to the point that I was putting in three hours a night trying to beat it before turning it back in. I should add at this point that the length of this game blows almost everything else out of the water. I am only half way through currently and it feels like I've been playing forever. I've noticed that a lot of the bad reviews are from people that didn't get too far into it, which is a shame. The later levels are much better than the initial ones and the amount of combat in them is great. I love the number of weapons you can use and the fact that you can dismember enemies or blow their heads off is awesome. For people that need an outlet for their aggression, this game is it! Shoot an enemy with a poison arrow and watch them fall to their needs and vomit. Shoot their heads off and watch their arteries shoot blood straight into the air! This review sounds sick, but you get the idea. I've found that some later levels are a breeze with the right weapon choice and tactics, but almost impossible otherwise. The challenge is what draws me in and keeps me going. I would seriously rank the gameplay right up there with the best of them. The flying levels are somewhat annoying and difficult, I'll admit. Games like Splinter Cell have better graphics and artifical intelligence, but for Turok actually appealed to me more in terms of an all out combat fest.

Graphics: There's good and bad here. I like the look of the dinosaurs and some of the small creatures scurrying around on the ground, they can actually be rather impressive. The textures are not up to Xbox standards, as a matter of fact, this resembles the PS2 in many ways, but the game definitely looks better on the Xbox, as usual. To be honest, I always focus on graphics for the first few levels of any game, but the true test is the later levels of any title. If the gameplay is good enough, like Turok, I begin to acclimate to the game and the lack of polished graphics don't effect me at all as I become accustomed to them. If the graphics are stellar, but the gameplay is lousy, I'll eventually lose interest no matter how good it looks. For those that haven't played Turok, I don't want to give the impression that the visuals are bad, they're just not quite what they could have been. Take a look at the screenshots above and see for yourself.

Audio: Great use of surround sound. Definitely a plus with a DD 5.1 sound system. Makes you feel like you're in the jungle. Explosions sound great along with the weapons.

Suggestions: Use Xbox exclusive enhancements in the future.

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

Overall: Great game. Definitely worth waiting for. The game comes together to provide more of a cinematic gaming experience than anything in the past. From what I've read, a lot went into the making of this game and it shows. Anyone that enjoyed titles like "Hitman 2" will love this one. It takes everything a few steps further into unprecedented greatness. I can't imagine anyone having a problem with SC or giving it a bad review.

Gameplay: If you like third person action games that involve stealth, then you want to pick this one up. You can make Sam do just about anything: climb poles, slide down cables, jump, roll, crawl, etc. The movement of the character is the best I've ever seen. Truly lifelike and convincing. This game draws you in and won't let you go. There are a total of 9 missions that are rather large and should provide 20-30 hours of top notch gaming for most on the moderate difficulty. This is a real thinker's game unlike titles like MOHAA, where you just shoot everything in sight. I find myself replaying checkpoints a dozen times or more to try to pull the mission off in the most stealth manner possible. Since I'm doing this by choice, it isn't annoying or repetitive at all. Plus, it allows you to soak up all of the eye candy that's surrounding the levels.

Graphics: Excellent graphics, bar none. Amazing realism down to the computer terminals you interact with that have a screensaver up until you start using the keyboard. As everyone has mentioned, the lighting effects are incredible. Absolutely incredible. They use it frequently to boast about what they've accomplished, and I'm glad. Only the Xbox makes this possible. I'd hate to see a port of this title. Even butterflies in the air cast shadows that are completely lifelike. The only bummer I've noticed is that anti-aliasing could have been used more. Jaggies appear every so often that detract from the otherwise perfect appearance. That's the only reason I'm dropping this category to a 4.5.

Audio: Excellent use of cinema quality audio. If you don't already have a DD 5.1 receiver, go buy one for this game alone - it's worth it! The suspense that kicks in when you throw a can near an enemy is intense. It's the closest thing to an interactive movie yet. Everything sounds real - footsteps, sliding down a rope, bottles breaking, voices, etc. The visuals wouldn't be as impressive as they are without the great use of audio here.

Overall Score: 10.0 / 10 TimeSplitters 2

Overall: Great game. I just finished the story mode tonight. Every level is unique and leaves you craving more. Each level could truly be a game in and of itself. The "Aztec Ruins" looks and plays better than Turok in my opinion. I like games that vary a lot and this one definitely does that! Every level involves a different time era, different enemies, different weapons, etc. Play on "Normal" or "Hard", but not "Easy". The easy setting will shorten the game up dramatically rather than just making enemies easier.

Gameplay: Great gameplay. The story mode is great, although not too cohesive. The multiplayer is a blast - who needs Unreal Tournament??? The checkpoints are frustrating at times because they're often only about 1/3 of the way into the level and the hardest parts occur after the checkpoint. One extra checkpoint would have prevented more than a dozen replays per level.

Graphics: Very good graphics. Eidos decided to get away from the norm these days, which is depicting everything as realistically and full of gore as possible. Kudos to them for a good decision. The game is silky smooth at 60fps without a hint of slowdown ever. The graphics on levels like "Return to Planet X" look great - very easy on the eyes.

Audio: Good DD. I have a 5.1 THX setup and it was a REAL asset with this game. I was able to locate enemies by the placement of their sound, which saved my !&%$@#* many times. Explosions and weapons sound great.

Overall Score: 9.0 / 10 Oddworld: Munch's Oddysee

Overall: Interesting title that is a departure from the norm. That's what initially drew me in. I know it's an extension of the Oddworld series, but I had never been exposed to it prior to the Xbox arrival. I like the concept and it can hook you rather easily.

Gameplay: Easy to get addicted to this one. You have to figure things out, but mainly focus on good reflexes and hand/eye coordination. It's unique and the ability to switch between the two characters adds a lot to the game. I hear a lot of people bagging on this game, but I'd definitely disagree.

Graphics: Great visuals. The textures are well used and the draw distance is rather good. It has a very sharp look to it that I would put on par with some of the top Xbox titles. Any title created by MS is going to utilize the system more than a third party product (with the exception of Halo, of course). The lighting effects, torches, skies, etc. are all top notch here.

Audio: Great use of sound, particularly on a 5.1 system. Deep bass in certain areas and appropriate music to create the environment you're in. Great work here.

Overall Score: 10.0 / 10 Enclave

Overall: Engaging game that becomes significantly more addictive when you get further along and discover how to use certain characters to your advantage. At first I was turned off of this title due to the issues that everyone else complains about, but now that some time has passed, I am hooked. It's a lot of fun to play.

Gameplay: The gameplay is good, although frustrating at times. I actually don't mind replaying the levels when I die now, because it gives me a chance to master the enemies early in the level. It's also a great feeling when you're able to drop an enemy after one shot in the face. I've found that for me personally, the druid with the heavy crossbow works wonders. I was able to get through levels with several vials left over using her, as opposed to the knight that I could never use to finish. If all else fails, try a different character and then equip him/her several different ways to see what works best for you.

Graphics: This is where this game really shines the most. Great texture detail and effects, like the rocks crumbling, enemies throwing barrels down at you, etc. I will say that it doesn't quite convey the atmosphere as well as a game like Halo, as everything seems somewhat sterile. You just don't feel like you're in the type of environment that you're supposed to be in. You have to play the game to see what I'm talking about. Also, due to the extensive detail and textures, the framerate gets a little choppy at times. Overall, very good though.

Audio: Great ambient sounds and effects on par with the visuals. The background music really draws you in, especially with a 5.1 surround system. The sound effects could be a little more varied, but again, very good.

Suggestions: Next time around implement some type of checkpoint system and generate the game's difficulty via other methods.

Overall Score: 9.0 / 10 Cel Damage

Overall: At first I wasn't crazy about this game, as a matter of fact, I returned it and exchanged it for something else. When I had the opportunity to repurchase it on E-Bay for $10, I jumped at it. Now that I've gotten into, it's kind of addicting.

Gameplay: It becomes more addicting the more you play. We're conditioned to be bummed out when we "die" in the average game, but in this title, you're expected to do dozens of time on each level. As soon as you accept this and get past the frustration, it's great. You then begin to strategize and the game takes on a whole new personality. Try it and you'll see what I'm talking about it.

Graphics: Great, cartoon graphics. It achieves what it sets out to do perfectly, that is, render television quality cel animation. The characters each have a personality and the frame rate runs very well.

Audio: Again, it achieves what it sets out to do. Great effects, especially in 5.1 surround. It puts you right in the middle of the action.

Overall Score: 9.0 / 10 NFL Fever 2002

Overall: Best football game for the Xbox. I originally saw this title on a friend's system down at the beach, but when I bought the Xbox system at EB, the knucklehead sales guy said if you want the best, get Madden 2002. Ugh. Needless to say, I was terribly disappointed when I put Madden in, thinking back to the visuals on Fever. I packaged it up immediately, took it back to EB and exchanged it for the one and only.

Gameplay: Great gameplay. I don't care about hyper realism, like Madden touts. All I care about is gameplay and graphics. The gameplay is great here and it's what I'm used to. The controls are easy to learn and anyone can jump right in.

Graphics: Best football game by far for any system. Squint your eyes a little and you think you're watching a live broadcast game. The field, the players, the reflections of the stadiums in the helmets, etc. are all top notch. Definite NFL eye candy here.

Audio: Great 5.l surround action. I feel like I'm at the coliseum. The announcers are good and the overall sensation of being at the game are great.

Overall Score: 10.0 / 10 Halo: Combat Evolved

Overall: I just finished Halo this weekend and I'm thinking about going through it again on Legendary mode. It's been a while since I've been sucked into a game to this extent. Great title - a must have for any Xbox owner.

Gameplay: Excellent. Again, it sucks you in and occasionally spits you back out when the covenant kicks your ass! The realism is all there. With a 5.1 surround system hooked up and at least a 36" tv, you begin to realize how the vets got shell shock on the battle field. This game feels real!

Graphics: The best graphics I've seen in a FPS. When you get close to a rock, unlike some games that show blurred textures, all of a sudden, the rock takes on a whole new, more detailed look. Really amazing. The water, the sky, the flashlight, the details on the battlefield when you're cruising above in a Banshee, are all terrific. Bungie left no detail out on this one. Clearly, these guys could probably retire off of what they've made on this thing.

Audio: If you haven't heard this in 5.1 surround sound, go buy a new receiver. It's worth it. When you're surrounded by Marines, you'll hear each individual soldier from different speakers, depending on where he is in relation to you. The gregorian (sp?) chants create an unequaled level of realism. Truly incredible and totally engaging.

Suggestions: I hope Halo 2 equals or surpasses Halo 1. I know it's being built from scratch and I just hope they don't leave out any of the critical components of 1 that made it what it is. Too much of a departure might be a bad thing. Provide a new story line, enhance the graphics, equal the sound, introduce new creatures, and it's bound to sell off the shelves!

Overall Score: 10.0 / 10

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