Total Reviews: 8
Average Overall Score Given: 8.62500 / 10
Total Forum Posts: 0

Halo: Combat Evolved

Overall: I'll keep this brief since there's not much to say that hasn't been. I bought the Xbox because of this game and I'm not alone there. As far as shooters go, it hasn't been outdone, and I've never played it's equal on other systems. I think it's recently been outclassed in total design by Splinter Cell, but even that's questionable because nothing beats the feel of the interface for Halo. It may have the best controller to screen logistics of any game ever made.

Gameplay: What's not to love? Sci-Fi shoot em up with the best graphics to date. As I say above, the game feels so natural anyone can instantly be sucked in to the gameplay. The weapons are excellent and somewhat varied, the aliens are great and unique, the world is big and beautiful. Driving vehicles is done well here and one of the most exciting parts of the game. I've had hours of fun both in single player mode and cooperative mission solving. A fantastic, must have game. The only, only thing that keeps it from being perfect in my view is that some of the game suffers from a repetitive environment problem. There are a few too many hallways that are exactly the same. This is annoying and unworthy of the absolute excellence the rest of the game gives you.

Graphics: Outstanding. Breathtaking. In it's own way, it has no equal though Splinter Cell does some wonderful things. I love the worlds, the Chief, the Aliens, it's all amazing and you'll find yourself saying "Wow" a lot.

Audio: Great. Part of the seamless experience, the effects are brilliant, the aliens not too bad, and the voice acting fine. There are no great errors in this game.

Suggestions: Hurry up on Halo 2. 2004? Tragic development. I hope the extra time means no repeat hallways (that stunk).

Overall Score: 10.0 / 10 Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance

Overall: I don't really understand some of the low ratings this game has gotten. It's not without it's frustrations, but it's a perfect cap to a wonderful franchise and Xbox owners are lucky to get this one. Really a great choice to port over, I'm not sure much of the capability of the Xbox it uses, but it looks and plays like a champ. Not as groundbreaking as Splinter Cell, but not the same game. More an arcade/movie stealth game, there is an excellent attention to detail in this game that makes it stand in a class of it's own.

Gameplay: Most everyone knows the goals and story of this series, this version simply revolutionizes the interface and adds a graphical and gameplay bonanza. That said, it's a very story orientated game and the cut-scenes seem to bother a lot of people. I think it's a nice break in the stressful action scenes, and adds to just a ton of things to see and mess with in the gameplay levels. This game is almost like a minituare portrait, and paying attention to the massive amount of minute detail will pay dividends of wonder. Also, controls are great, I love the feel of this game. The VR missions are a plus, but no great big deal.

Graphics: Nothing new from the PS2 really, but it seems to run better. The payoff is in the intricate details, from small little puddles, photos, etc. A small mystery wonderland with great enemies, etc. I love the graphic format and don't see the major camera problems others have talked about. All in all, very finely done.

Audio: Nothing too stunning here. Everything is rendered fine, with alright voice acting. Not the game's strongest point, but done with care like the whole package.

Suggestions: I hope the series continues to grow and expand, such great game attention never grows stale. The AI isn't as smart as the new standard Splinter Cell, but it's a different game and I hope it keeps going it's own road. Love it!

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

Overall: I rate hard. I really expect value from a console game. Look at my other reviews and you won't see easy scores. But this some ways it's really a work of art. Easily the best looking game on Xbox, the gameplay takes things to a new level. It's not flawless, there are moments when I've found a frustrating bug or two on almost all the levels. But it's saying that much more that they aren't enough to pull me out of what may be the most perfectly done interactive stealth environment of all time. Nothing with a controller has ever sucked me in this deep or well, and this might be the one game that deserves all the hype. If your a thoughtful gamer that wants a good mix of intelligence, beauty and action in a gaming experience, look no further. Makes having the Xbox over the other consoles a must. Game of the year (okay, okay enough)!

Gameplay: You have to play it. I promise, you've never just...felt an interface like this one. There are occasional bugs in interaction and environment, but when it's on it's dead on. You negotiate the terrain like a super human (accent on the human). The weaponry is not terribly expansive, but what is there is well done and absolutely necessary. Your not wasting a shell in this one. Everyone goes ga-ga about how the light/mapping etc. interacts with the missions, and it's no joke. It's like the most dangerous game of hide and seek you'll ever pretend to be in. What makes this game so grand is a sort of fantastic hyper realism mixed with an unrelenting intelligence that you don't often find. Sets a new standard.

As far as lasting appeal, that depends on the added content which I haven't seen. On the other hand, I'll never sell it just because you don't sell great works of art.

Graphics: C'mon, have you seen it? Gorgeous. I've seen the PS2 port screen shots and the detail is missing. So deep and perfectly rendered light wise you just sit around looking at it all sometimes. There are some moments of imperfect collision detection, but mostly you just don't give a crap. Again, a new standard.

Audio: Sound plays an important part in completing your missions just like it should in a stealth situation. I love overhearing the guards, even if they can be a touch repetitive as their looking for you. The accents are funny if similar. The bottle breaks, cans falling are great. Music keys you in to how hopped up the enemy is. Great intro tune.

Suggestions: Yea, make more games with the care and diligence that went into this one. Hurrah, gentlemen!

Overall Score: 10.0 / 10 TimeSplitters 2

Overall: I've heard that this game had production work form the same team as Goldeneye. While I don't remember the details, that was enough for me to give a look. I wanted a good multiplayer shooter, and I liked the idea of variety with the different historical epochs involved. It's a very stylish game, and the multiplayer lives up to the hype. I don't know anything quite like it on the Xbox. However, the interface isn't Halo and by no means flawless like every great shooter should be. The single story is also underdone and deserved a bit more attention.

Gameplay: Multiplayer is what it's all about, and I feel this game delivers. No other 3D shooter game available is as fun to run around and shoot your friends with (okay, I don't play Unreal so maybe I'm wrong). I love the different weapons and characters to unlock in this game, and the depth involved is really impressive. However, they should have given a bit more of it to the the single player story which is feeble and doesn't add much to the enjoyment. Which is too bad, given the different settings and time frames it could have been something special. Some of the individual challenges are actually more of a worthwhile investment than the single player game. Actually, their necessary to get the goodies.

All that being said, the only thing that really rubs me wrong about this game is the aiming, shooting, etc interface. If you play Halo and then take this title on your going to be all over place. The two thumb sticks never seem to jive quite right and this definitely gets in the way of the gaming environment. While this game gives so much for the buck, this irritant is almost unforgivable to me even though it's not...unplayable by any means.

Graphics: Nice! Not mind-blowing, but well rendered diverse environments that would be worth exploring if they were a bit more expansive. I had no problems or complaints about the rendering of arena combat. Here come the fire monkeys!

Audio: Good effects, but nothing that stands out to memory. You expect a certain tightness of logic and bang-bang sound to a game, and if it gives you that well and doesn't annoy you with it's music you don't complain

Suggestions: Great value, worthwhile unlockables. One of my favorite multiplayers. However, throw the single player a bone! Too good an environment to waste on a short shrift tale. Also, tighten up the shooting interface. Steal Halo's engine!

Overall Score: 8.0 / 10 Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance

Overall: I wasn't a huge fan of the MK franchise, but let's face it the Xbox needs more fighters of value. DOA3 was a dissapointment to me after the Dreamcast version, and nothing else on the system is worth more than a 5 minute investment. So I'm happily surprised with this one. The fighting is fast, furious and requires a surprising amount of strategy. It may also feature the most realistic styles of martial arts yet shown (a big surprise)! It's converted me, though I'm expecting even better things from Tao Feng.

Gameplay: Much better than expected fighting engine, I love having the 3 differnt styles to work with including a weapon. The diversity is great, and from what I can tell the styles follow reality far better than DOA for instance. There's a decent single player component, with good creepy ambiance that brings the stars from the franchise's past. The unlocking feature is a bit of a dud, but there is a lot there. Fun with friends and alone, this is what I wanted for Xbox!

Graphics: I think it looks great! Good characters, nice if fairly boring environments, and lots of unrealistic blood flow. Hey, there's a character that pukes on the ground but I didn't see any corn chunks. Very pleasing eye candy and good modelling.

Audio: The narrator's voice kicks butt. I was transported into the Mortal Kombat realm! Everything else is fairly predictable but done with some polish. Good!

Suggestions: I think this game was produced much better then I expected. My only complaint is how hard and tiresome it can be to unlock some of the extras. The environments look slick, but could use greater interactivity. Tao Feng will contrast this title for good or ill very soon.

Overall Score: 9.0 / 10 Kung Fu Chaos

Overall: I have mixed feelings about this game although I went into it not knowing what to expect. Some publications said it was mundane and racist, some said it was the sleeper hit of the year. After exploring it a bit, I find the answer somewhere in between. While calling it a racist pile of trash seems way overstated, the gameplay bores after awhile. Comparing it to Halo or other premium titles in terms of overall fun seems insane. It's a rental with buddies at best.

Gameplay: First off, it's easy to jump right in. The fighting engine isn't deep, but it's meant to be fun and simple to bang through some interactive kung-fu sets and that is accomplished. There are many characters to choose from and while they have their own attack, it's mostly all the same. The levels are varied beat-em ups or typical party game puzzles. Some are a frantic blast, some are tiring retreads of past levels. Not really ever funny as it sometimes tempts, this is really just a typical party game or button masher in a new chinese dress. It doesn't really hold my attention after a couple of hours, I had no real desire to unlock much of the extra material.

Graphics: Not bad, not stunning. Cartoony with environments that range from moving tracks to long poles your character stands on. It's a bit blurry at times with the fast action, but all in all no complaints.

Audio: It has Kung-Fu fighting! After that, well the in game pointers are repetitive and the "director" of the films yells at you in pigdin english. "Me happy with your performance" Me love you not so long time.

Suggestions: I think this game accomplishes what it was meant to be. A somewhat boring party romp. These games are usually not that hot, but this one in the end seems subpar to ...I don't know, Hunter maybe?

Overall Score: 5.0 / 10 World Series Baseball 2K3

Overall: This is my first visit back to the World Series franchise since the Dreamcast version. That one was full of dissapointment, but this take seems to work out all the bugs. In comparison to the titles I've rented, it's easily the one and only baseball franchise to own. Featuring comparable graphics, a fantastic gameplay engine, stunning realism and a worthy franchise mode I see no reason to search further for a baseball sim.

Gameplay: This game really shines in realism. The batting and pitching are now very sorted out, and even accomplished players should find scores approaching real life. I like the two button system for batting power/strategy, and haven't found myself hitting a surplus of homers. Pitching is finely tuned and really differentiates depending on the athlete and stamina levels. Fielding isn't quite as useless as the old Dreamcast version, though I think it still tends to throw you a few too many unfieldable balls. Franchise mode is fantastic! Deep, but intuitive, I didn't feel overwhelmed while there are still facets I haven't fully explored. The home run challenge is too easy and a useless add-on.

Graphics: Nice, and comparable or better to what else is out there. Still, I'm not blown away. The replays are fantastic, but the play by play visuals are simply at the cutting edge of what is offered in baseball sims. I don't feel it's been worked out as well as some of the football offerings. There are some nice add-ons like broken bats, stadium effects, etc.

Audio: Good physical sound effects, the same funny catcalling from the fans. The announcing is more fluid if a bit useless. The color commentary seems to make decent logical sense.

Suggestions: Tweak the fielding a bit more, even with the action button I'm not able to get to hits that sometimes I should. A slightly nicer batting screen interface would be nice. All in all a fantastic evolution in a game series, and well worth the wait!

Overall Score: 9.0 / 10 Medal of Honor: Frontline

Overall: Fantastic new title! I actually enjoy this more than Halo in a lot of ways. Everything comes together to create the experience of playing a WWII adventure movie (Saving Private Ryan is an obvious source). While not the most complex adventures to solve, there's plenty to kill and a historical assortment of weapons to do it with. The presentation in sound and vision is impressive, the only obvious faults being a lack of environmental depth and the crazy lack of an in level saving feature.

Gameplay: The mayhem can get fast and furious, but the controls seem very easy to master and include different options for aiming for those (like me) not very experienced in using the separate thumb button aiming. Most of the tasks seem surmountable, and you won't get lost wondering what to do next though this sacrifices some of the games depth. This is a shooter first and foremost, even if the levels are broken into such specific missions.

Graphics: It's grey war! No real complaints, it feels much like a gritty, dark battle in Europe. The gore factor isn't very high like a Soldier of Fortune game, even though it does keep track of body location in your shooting. The scenery is nicely done, if uneven in it's response to being abused by gunfire.

Audio: Excellent sound, and it can get real loud when the crap is hitting the bunker. The German language of the soldiers is done very well, and it can be eerie listening to a Wehrmacht officer torturing a prisoner, or whispering around the corner. The classical score is actually very good in the intro's, and adds to the cinematic feel.

Suggestions: Good God, why not have a way to save the game within a level? This is the largest fault of the gameplay as some missions take quite some time to complete. But no walking away, and if your killed, your at the beginning.

Overall Score: 9.0 / 10

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