Total Reviews: 3
Average Overall Score Given: 9.00000 / 10
Total Forum Posts: 2

Aliens vs. Predator: Extinction

Overall: Aliens Versus Predator Extinction is a hybrid RTS that mixes elements of a games like Fallout Tactics,Odium, and Cannon Fodder with standard RTS. It is Based on the story of two of our greatest Sci-Fi horror villains battling it out on LV-742. This review is written from the Marine missions. I believe there would have to be three different reviews for each species. They are all a little different.

Gameplay: The gameplay is really not typical of our standard fare RTS titles (e.g. Starcraft, Warcraft, Age of Mytholgy etc.). There isn't much in terms of Resource Management and Building Construction. However, what is there is very unique and original. Instead of mining for oil or gems, you basically trade oxygen for troops, upgrades, and other items. When you have enough Oxygen converted to Cash, your Com Tech may place an order for more troops, medics or synthetics. AVPE sports an amazing control scheme and interface! The challenge of creating RTS controls for the console have taken great strides with this title. I can assure you, if you are looking for a new way to interact with the Aliens/Predator universe this game is fresh. If you are looking for an RTS and a hierchy of Buildings and Troops this game does not provide that. I'm not sure I would have billed this as an RTS - Squad Based Strategy maybe.

Graphics: If you compare AVPE with the FPS versions of AVP the graphics are somewhat average. Although, if you compare AVPE with RTS games like: Age of Empires, Rise of Nations or even Age of Mythology the graphics are well done, and larger models make it easier to see. It may be that AVPE will fall victim to truly not falling into either of these categories leaving the graphics controversial. I'm grading them from the RTS standpoint and they rock. If I graded them from any other perspective, they are average.

Audio: Authentic and familiar sounds from the AVPE universe are prevelant, from the haunting sound of the motion sensor to the the warm fuzzy sound of a pulse rifle are there. The bad news is, it's not Dolby Digital. It's not bad, but nothing special. The intro movie was cool, but Dolby Digital would have made all the difference in the world.

Suggestions: Re-think your approach to the sound. Leaving the game genre to the public's discretion can severely backfire. This is just not an RTS game the way most people expect it. It's a different kind of game that probably needed some marketing/info to make that clear.

Overall Score: 8.0 / 10 Metal Dungeon

Overall: It's hard to rank Metal Dungeon in this category. It's overall appeal to the old school "Dungeon Crawler" would be a 5.0, however, it's overall appeal to the general gaming arena would be a about a 2.0. I love this game, and would have reviewed it sooner but I couldn't get past Dungeon 3. Ironically that is also the best way to describe any level or dungeon scenario -- by it's number. Theres not much in the way of story -- but that's ok if you're like me. I enjoy leveling, looting and learning new spells. I'm also very addicted to upgrading armor, weapons, and stats. This game does all of this very well. Fantastic Math!

Gameplay: Here's the gameplay; Create a party of various classes. Pretty standard fare, although, the classes are basically - Caster, Melee Fighter (Swords, Hammers, Staffs etc.), and Gunman (Guns of all sorts). The casters can focus on 1-3 Types of magic: Effect (Buffs and Debuffs), Attack (Direct Damage, Nukes) and Defensive (Healing etc.) It might be possible to try to make a caster do well in all three areas, but I choose to focus in one. You shop, upgrade, level up, raise stats back on the home ship (aka: Phantasy Star On-Line) and then select a dungeon to enter. You can only enter dungeons as you beat them. Each dungeon gets some type of basic twist, such as poison air, or confusing teleports. The layout is random, so a map is only good until you return to the base. I like this, you really feel like your adventuring and not simply steering a graphic at a known goal. In fact, I found myself whipping out my old graph paper from the old AD&D days on some of the larger levels, and trying to survive without zoning out and scrapping the map. At the end of each dungeon is a rather large boss. Loot is in chests, and rarely dropped by enemies. Each character will develop specific effects or "Procs" either through leveling or acquiring a weapon that does so. At first the "Procs" were few and far between, however now that most of my party has surpassed level 20 they seem to be happening a lot more.

So by now if you?re saying or thinking the word "geek" or what's AD&D? You would fall into the General Gaming Arena. This game is not for you.

Also, this is not truly "Turned Based" combat that you can't interact with. Xicat threw in a simple scroll bar and you must instruct all of your party members prior to what would be their next turn. Forget to setup your heal a couple of times and you'll learn. This becomes even cooler as you begin to get tons of items, spells and attacks.

Graphics: Graphically the dungeons are dreary and dark. They are certainly better than any graphics for a game like this that I've seen. Enemies once you are in combat mode (they are all represented by the same eerie graphic and sounds during travel to throughout the dungeon. They are much better than random encounters because you have some control over whether your there to level and fight or avoid and loot! Spell effects begin to get much better as the game progresses. Character models are well done and the bosses have all been impressive. Different graphics for the weapons are nice and the attack animations are cool.

Audio: You are greeted with a standard techno soundtrack for the menus, the base, and dungeon crawling. The music is not bad, although a bit repetitive. Sound effects are pretty generic and full of reverb effect. Again, once you get to the combat sequence the sound and music get better. Making it all the more reason to keep picking fights.

Suggestions: The game is original and true to it's real "Genre". Metal Dungeon to RPG's is what Serious Sam is to FPS. WHAT IT'S ALL ABOUT! If you do a sequel throw out the story line altogether and spend that money on "Armor" graphics that change as you acquire it within the game.

Overall Score: 10.0 / 10 Crimson Sea

Overall: Overall this game will appeal to most people that would enjoy a blend of Final Fantasy X, Dynasty Warriors 3, and a sprinkle of Phantasy Star On-Line's Quest system. Some levels require you to slaughter 1000's of monsters (no exaggeration) and others will challenge you to collect items in a given time or protect a non-playable character.

Gameplay: Gameplay is straightforward. The "Y" button swings your sword; the "X" button fires your gun etc. Of course, the variety is really how you purchase and modify these weapons and not so much how you push the buttons -- this is a good thing. Other members will join your squad and interact with you, but for the most part all you do is setup your squad's formation and heal them throughout the quests. Although, on many of the quests you'll be thankful you have some extra guns, so you don't mind coming off with that Large Healing Kit! Your main character "SHO" will also acquire Neo-Psionics (spells) fairly early in the game and this is just another great flavor to add to an already exciting title. With alot of unlockable content, modes, and ratings (Grades and Rewards) based on various criteria at the end of each quest, this one will not grow old quick. The quests as you finish them in the Standard Mode become unlockable from the first menu, so that it's easy to go back and try to beat your previous performance. I don't want to spoil too much, but there is alot to do here. (e.g. I spent hours today in the training room trying to break my record of 178 consecutive kills without getting hit myself.) You also make money for this which you can spend at your friendly robot vendor. This is a niche game that shows that the Xbox not only has the power under the hood, but great companies like KOEI willing to release premier titles to the Xbox.

Graphics: The visuals for the most part are nice, and worthy of an Xbox title. In fact the character models are eerily similar to FFX or The Bouncer for PS2, but the Xbox makes them look so much better. I have to take some points off the score here because many of the enemy models are lame, which is expected given that you are looking at "hordes" of them most of the time. Although, I have yet to experience any slowdown as a result of said Hordes. The levels are generally well done and there is enough variation to make exploring fun. Even though the title is called crimson sea, it is not full of blood and uneeded gibs. I'm for blood and gore, it just wouldn't fit in here.

Audio: The soundtrack is fantastic, and I expect it will be available for sale separately. If not, you can play it from the library menu. All of the songs are listed and you simply pick which one you want to listen to. In-Game sounds are good as well and the quality of the vocals is nice. The acting sometimes leans to the cheesie, but the Sho character is just too cool. KOEI has done a great job with the sound on this one. The opening theme is freaky, but it's still great.

Suggestions: I suggest a sequel. I know that's cliche'-- but this game rocks. Also perhaps a change in the name of the title. All my friends keep saying: "Is that a Submarine game? Is it anything like Crimson Skies?"

Overall Score: 9.0 / 10

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