Total Reviews: 8
Average Overall Score Given: 8.25000 / 10
Total Forum Posts: 0

Halo 2

Overall: Well I won't bore you by repeating what everybody else has already said... in a nutshell, it's the same as Halo but on a bigger scale. However, bear in mind this when you read my review, I'm not a fan of playing online - I find it boring to play with people I don't know and frustrating with getting the game started and lag issues (not specifically referring to Halo2 here, merely stating my dislike of playing First Person Shooters online period.) This review is therefore just based on playing it offline (and I'm sure there must be others out there who are not online fans?) and to be absolutely honest... having laboured my way through to level 12 I've found it rather hard going subject to a few above average levels that do show some sparks of genius... I'm not sure whether it is quite right to use the word boring for this game because I can see a lot of good in it but I'm afraid it just doesn't grab and excite me as much as I would have hoped (and no, I didn't buy into the hype anyway).

Gameplay: Same as Halo 1 but on a grander scale, more vehicles, more weapons and even the chance to play as the covenant in certain levels although I must admit I would have preferred more Master Chief on earth levels rather than being whisked off to the dull repetitive architecture of some Halo buildings.

Graphics: Very pretty... I admit the graphics are some of the best on the XBox, it just a pity I found some of the levels rather dull to play

Audio: Also very good, excellent sound effects and good atmospheric music coming in when necessary. No real complaints in this area.

Suggestions: Not everybody likes to play online yet some multiplayer maps are way too big for 2-4 people offline hence I would add my call that there was bots also. This would have effectively created a double game - ie, the one player scenario plus a game that would feel like Unreal Tournament. However, to be honest, not particularly that excited about a Halo3, would rather you used your FPS skills to create a different story and a different environment to play in.

Overall Score: 8.0 / 10 Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six 3: Black Arrow

Overall: FPS with 3 non player characters for backup. Rescue hostages, kill terrorists, defuse bombs, etc etc. Rather addictive as these things go.

Gameplay: Smooth frame rate, easy to control but the lack of being able to jump does bug me... I mean I know the game wants to try and keep you on a linear route but sometimes, the barricades will be something like a low bench, or upturned couch... does this seriously stop an Elite swat team from progressing? "Ohoh... route blocked by an upturned couch!", "Roger that... seeking alternative route"... geez.... kinda sucks don't you think?

Graphics: Everything you'd expect from a high quality FPS... very smooth frame rate...hey, what else can I say... go look at the screenshots !&%$@#* it! :-)

Audio: Hmmm... from what I can hear it sounds rather good... good explosions and gun noise. Would like to turn it up loud but usually I only get to play it when the kids are in bed and I can't wear headphones as the wife gets peeved if I'm sitting playing happily on the Box unaware that the kids are crying in their bedrooms making my wife then get out of bed and kick my butt... anyway, I digress!

Suggestions: You want more realism? Don't let my path get blocked by stupid obstacles!

Overall Score: 9.0 / 10 Wreckless: The Yakuza Mission

Overall: Oh dear, oh dear... I picked this up cheap, and, having read some of the reviews hoped for at least some amusement driving chaotically around a city. I didn't expect too much of this title... but even my low expectations were too high... what a shambles... incredible graphics do not make an incredible game... uncontrollable, frustrating and a waste of time basically sum up my thoughts on this one.

Gameplay: Sluggish uncontrollable vehicles attempting to chase around and smash into Yakuza cars... I have no problem with the actual chase hq style of the game... but with such poor feeling of control it was unplayable. Do yourself a favour and stick to Midnight Club II or Midtown Madness 3 if you want some mindless crazy driving fun.

Graphics: Stunning graphics although occasionally a bit of blur and the framerate did suffer in places hence why it only gets 3.5 from me.

Audio: Usual car driving fare. Nothing spectacular but nothing too bad... I have to be honest and say I don't really notice sound unless it is stunning... for that reason, a distinctly average 2.5

Suggestions: Nice graphics guys, how about a game next time?

Overall Score: 2.0 / 10 Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance

Overall: Hack'n slash dungeons and dragons style game that kept me, and my wife (so must be good!) amused enough to play it all the way through. In fact, I have to say the 2 player co-operative play is one of the best implemented I've ever seen. I perhaps should also note I paid $30AUS for this, so a relatively cheap game... it has certainly wet my appetite to pick up the sequel but not enough that I am willing to pay full price for it... maybe I'm just a tight!

Gameplay: Hack n slash D&D, similar to Hunter the Reckoning I guess, but the D&D element of collecting gold and buying and selling stuff adds a lot more to it than that game.

Graphics: A very polished game. Graphics I guess can always be better but they certainly did what they needed to do.

Audio: Erm... the usual clash of swords, firing of arrows, etc... all very atmospheric and good. Nothing to complain about anyway.

Suggestions: Hmmm... perhaps some more randomness in monster positioning and/or regenerating monsters etc. I guess just something to make me play it again... I certainly intend to keep the game in my library but it will probably collect dust for a year or so now until I suddenly have some strange urge to play it again.

Overall Score: 10.0 / 10 Midnight Club 2

Overall: It may not be a realistic racing game, but it sure is great fun! Picked it up in a sale for AUS$25 and have to say it is the best cheap game I have purchased in a long long time. I also enjoyed Midtown Madness 3 but have to say, this is much better... better collision detection basically ensured that... Anyway, lots of fun, I am about 53% through and still have Tokyo to unlock, so my review is based solely on LA and Paris tracks. Also, note I have not yet got Live so I cannot comment on the online play.

Gameplay: Street racing, rules? Nah... we don't need any rules, drive where you want, when you want, use the pyramid at the louvre to slingshot yourself over buildings... realistic, no. Fun... YES!!!

Graphics: Graphics do the job... I'm sure there is probably better graphics elsewhere but I'm happy with them...

Audio: It's a driving game... so you get what you expect... as regards the music, I must say I enjoyed the music in Paris better than the predominantly rap soundtrack in LA. Curious to see what Tokyo has in store...

Suggestions: I guess the vehicles you unlock are not the most varied... perhaps more officially licenced cars... but then hmmm, that makes this game a little bit more realistic so it probably wouldn't work.

Overall Score: 9.0 / 10 Burnout 2: Point of Impact

Overall: An absolute blast! Numerous modes... championship, crash, single race, multiplayer... and every single one of them is so amazingly addictive! Lots of tracks and vehicles to unlock. This is definately one of those 'ok, just *1* more go' games... and before you know it, it is WAY past your bed time! :-) Don't trust anybody who gives this game a bad review, they're probably just a Halo fanboy trying to get that game back to the top of the charts!

Gameplay: Drive like a lunatic. Race against on-coming traffic, cause over the top crashes, etc. Controls are well done and, if you like Rallisport/Project Gotham then you'll be very much at home. This is a pure arcade style racer with realism thrown totally out the window. And the speed is incredible... whiz down a highway at on coming traffic with your finger firmly pressed on the boost button and it is such a rush as you miraculously miss trucks and buses by a whisker.

Graphics: Graphics are probably not as good as some other racing games but they look good to me, and, when a game moves this fast you don't have much time to admire the scenary anyway! No slowdown noted whatsoever.

Audio: Hard to be that creative with a racing game in my opinion. But the sounds that are there do the job nicely with horns honking madly from cars as you race directly towards them.

Suggestions: I don't have X-Box Live yet but I guess when I do, the lack of multiplayer via that seems a shame. But maybe with a game this fast it just wouldn't cope? Otherwise, a near perfect game and a definate keep for my collection.

Overall Score: 10.0 / 10 Max Payne

Overall: John Woo, Chow-Yun Fat inspired shoot em up. Excellent shoot em up fun with buckets of style. Storyline is good but lets be honest... all we really want to do is run around with 2 guns in our hands, leap in slow motion and blast away the bad guys over and over again! Purchased the game on a Thursday... finished it by the following Monday... not sure yet if there will be much replay value but I will keep the game for a while longer as I do fancy giving it a try again on the hard boiled difficulty level. (Played fugitive first time round).

Gameplay: Pretty much covered it in my overall description but basically the game is a shoot em up in third person perspective. Plenty of weapons to go through and lots of great New York snow storm covered levels. There is however two sequences which are kind of dream/drugged out sequences which are rather annoying... fortunately they didn't spoil the game but, if they had a few more levels and got rid of these bits I would have gave it a 5 rather than 4.5

Graphics: I've seen people complain that it is just a port and that the power of the Xbox has not been fully utilised however, this did not detract from the fun for me and I felt the graphics basically did what they had to. I would say though that in the cartoon strip storylines between the levels I thought Max Payne looked a bit silly and perhaps not as menacing and crazy as I would picture him.

Audio: Guns sounded great... music, when present, fitted fine. Voice acting of the characters was very good. Everything seemed to work well... perhaps there could have been a bit more music but didn't bother me.

Suggestions: Get rid of the stupid drug dream sequence bits... they just proved annoying to be honest. Otherwise, more of the same most welcome!

Overall Score: 10.0 / 10 Amped: Freestyle Snowboarding

Overall: I've always been a sucker for the skiing games at the arcades and, as I've never really found anything similar for the PC, I was eager to add a snow orientated game to my X-Box collection!

Gameplay: The game to me is basically Tony Hawk Pro Skater on snow although I'll no doubt get in trouble for saying that!

I think what has probably stopped me from playing Amped more than I hoped I would is the difficultly... !&%$@#* it's hard :/ I know I have so much more to unlock in the game but I just can't quite get the hang of it enough to be able to impress sponsors and move on to the higher levels... I don't think I'm usually that bad at games either, this really is hard!

Graphics: Beautiful visual appeal but as I admitted above, I've always been a sucker for games involving snow. Maybe it is from some desire to enjoy the views from a snow covered mountain side without actually having to freeze my butt off!

Audio: I have to admit I was really rather impressed with the sound... ok, so the stupid comments from the photographers/sponsors can get a bit repetitive but the music is pretty cool. There seems to be an endless amount of tunes to slide down the mountain with and the majority of these are excellent.

Suggestions: Nothing much other than perhaps make it a little bit easier... unless it is just me who finds it hard?

Overall Score: 8.0 / 10

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