Total Reviews: 4
Average Overall Score Given: 6.50000 / 10
Total Forum Posts: 52

Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell

Overall: Splinter Cell has wonderful ideas, great graphics and sound, and is one of the best games I've played on the Xbox in a while. HOWEVER - I was very disappointed about a number of things, and I don't think this game deserves to knock Halo off of the top spot. This game is definitely a "must-play" title.

Gameplay: (Does anyone else's Splinter Cell lock up periodically???)

At times, Splinter Cell is absolutely beautiful and seems to be flawless. The attention to detail is amazing and yet at the same time lacking. SC utitilizes so many new ideas and awesome elements that it seems they forgot some of the simple things. Wouldn't a NSA agent study the area he's being dropped into (so that when we're 3 blocks away from our destination, we don't have to wonder where the heck we're going or which direction we're facing)? A lot of times you're left without a map, and even when you get one it's almost useless. The good definitely outweighs the bad, but it's the little things that really annoy me about SC (GOOD: Camera angles and how you control them - BAD: Shooting someone in the head multiple times before they die). The replay value is really low - even with the option to download levels I don't think they'll be able to extend the life of the game too much. Some unlockables and hidden extras would have been nice. With all of the ideas and the fun factor of the whole thing, it had the power to topple Metal Gear as the stealth/espionage game. I hope Ubisoft can improve upon SC and fix the little things, because I'm really sick of dealing with walking nuclear tanks and "save mother earth" messages in other games of the same type.

ONE OF MY BIGGEST PET PEEVES about this game, that I almost forgot to mention. Heaven forbid you should leave a body out somewhere in the light. Because even though there are NO guards left to come through that area and see the body, it will increase the alarm level and may cause the game to end! The same applies to the searchlights. There isn't a camera or even if you kill the guard by the light, it still increases the alarm. And I couldn't even shoot out the searchlights or some lights? Just because a light had some chickenwire running around it I couldn't shoot it out?

Graphics: The lighting effects are outstanding. The way the shadows move, and shooting out lights to create your own darkness. The animations were nicely done. Everything is definitely Xbox quality, and yes, it probably does top Halo in this area. You can tell the designers went to a lot of work to make the environments look real with soda cans and books laying around. Every room looks like time was put in to make it unique. There are a few visual things like seeing a dead guy's body going half-way through the wall and such that could've been fixed.

Audio: The sound effects were great. Hearing the footsteps of guards; the crackle of broken glass under your feet after you've shot out the lights. Having Michael Ironside do the voice of Sam was a brilliant idea. He gives Sam a kind of dark take no crap attitude (and we don't have to listen to Snake lecture us on how important it is to live our lives so that every moment is important blah blah blah).

Suggestions: Fix the AI - Sometimes the soldiers know exactly where you are in the room and other times they don't have a clue.

Work on the collision system - it's annoying to see a guy's head or arm stick through a wall. For such a graphically impressive game, that shouldn't happen!

Let us use the enemies weapons - nothing is more annoying than being jumped by a bunch of guys and being out of ammo.

Don't make the game end after a set number of alarms, that's annoying - as if the first 2 or 3 alarms didn't mean anything, and now they're suddenly going to end the mission?

Think of alternatives for the player to do if they don't complete an objective (i.e. in the mission with the trucks, if the trucks get away let me chase them!) This could vary the levels and enhance replay value (along with unlockable objects, levels, costumes, and items).

Overall Score: 8.0 / 10 Blood Wake

Overall: Bloodwake exceeded my expectations. I was impressed with just about every aspect of the game - from graphics to sound. There were a few disappointments in this game (such as the cutscenes - or lack thereof), but this game is definitely a must play if you enjoy fast action racing/shooting.

Gameplay: The controls take a little getting used to. Steering is a little strange (but it's a plus on the side of realistic). Trying to turn around can be a pain at times if you get stuck in a corner. The camera control works really well - you can see in any direction from your ship. This really helps when tracking down an enemy target or a small ship that is circling you. The multiplayer aspect was lacking to me. It was enjoyable, but more is always better on options for a deathmatch.

Graphics: Everything in this game is well detailed! The water, islands, towns on the coast, weather effects, other boats... It's awesome to see torpedos going through the water right below the surface, or to see your ship hit a jump at full speed and land bow down into the water and resurfacing. Everything was great except for the cutscenes/mission briefings. It seems like someone took the concept art for the game and put voiceovers to it - and this is what you get to watch between every mission. On one multiplayer rampage, I moved the camera to look behind me and saw my opponent's ship come crashing over the waves at full speed to ram me. It was an awesome sight.

Audio: The Music varied between exciting/tense and annoying. Just about every game should include the option of including your own music - even though I couldn't think of any of my own music that would've gone with Bloodwake better than what the designers provided. SFX was really good, with the explosions, gunfire, collisions. Everything sounds how it should. The voice acting wasn't bad - I felt like someone was reading a story to me from a book, so it wasn't hard to follow along and it was very easy to understand.

Suggestions: Single player doesn't offer enough variety - even though there are different missions. You could've expanded on the concept by actually capturing ships and maybe buying/selling boats. You should be able to pick a boat to use before a mission. Multiplayer needs a lot more options - look at Halo for some ideas. It would've been more exciting to see visual cinemas between missions - this would've helped immerse the player into the storyline and make the game more impressive.

Overall Score: 8.0 / 10 Genma Onimusha

Overall: I wasn't impressed with the screenshots on the back of the box, but I decided to give this a try anyway. I'm a fan of games involving swordfighting and since this is a Capcom game I had high expectations. The storyline wasn't very engrossing despite the nicely done cinema. This game seems like a cross between Resident Evil, Silent Hill 2, and Devil May Cry - with only a few of the fun elements from each. To be totally honest, I didn't play the game very long. I took it out of my Xbox and swore never to touch it again. The time I did spend playing, I couldn't really understand why there was a warning about "Excessive Blood and Gore". This game has nothing on Silent Hill 2. It had no suspense at all, just go through the door at the end of the room, kill some guys, repeat.

Gameplay: The controls were great. It was very easy to move about environments and the attack system worked out well. I tired quickly of the hack-n-slash through the zombie demons though. The fights were exciting, but very repetitive. This game was way too linear for my taste. It seemed that in a lot of places the object was to get from one end of the room to the other (while solving puzzles and finding items in between). I hate it when a game tries to hide objects behind trees or plants and doesn't give you the option for a 1st person view (like the character wouldn't be able to see them!?) I was annoyed that I couldn't use my left analog stick to move around. This game reminds me a lot of the early CD based games that would use actual pictures for background environments while you played in the foreground. There was practically no interaction with the background (with the exception of treasure chests and save points). Also, don't you hate it when the main characater can't jump over a 1 foot high stone or something? Why is that? Because the developer is too lazy to make a "jump" function?!

Graphics: The graphics were not bad, though this game doesn't meet the standards set by Halo and Dead or Alive 3. Even as well as the environments looked, they still seemed fuzzy or just kind of plain looking. The greatest moment of impression was during the cutscene after you start the game where it shows a great battle taking place. The graphics of Devil May Cry stand out more than this game does.

Audio: The sound was good. I didn't hear anything that was annoying or repetitive. The music was done well to fit the mood and time period. Other than a few nice SFX from swordfights, nothing really stood out as impressive.

Suggestions: Focus more on how much fun the game is to play instead of just impressive visuals and storyline. Multiple paths to travel, different swordfighting moves, more objects and weapons to find. This game seems like a cheap knockoff of Devil May Cry.

Overall Score: 4.0 / 10 Star Wars: Obi-Wan

Overall: Who doesn't love a good Lucasarts Star Wars game? Sure there are more than a dozen and some of them can get old fast, but most all of them offer exciting gameplay options and lots of hidden secrets. All except this game. I spent months in advance before it's release drooling over screenshots and waiting, but Obi-Wan has been a big disappointment to me. If only they had added a few things here and there, it would've been so much more enjoyable for me.

Gameplay: This game has a very good idea for control of the force and lightsabre battles. For instance, throwing random objects/boxes at enemies and pulling their weapons from their hands. The game also has a "lock-on" feature so that you can stay facing your opponent. However, with these good ideas come the bugs: Why can't I pull other weapons besides guns from the enemies hands? Why does the targeting system lose lock when the enemy jumps or gets too far away? This is very annoying because the enemy will be right behind you suddenly getting cheap hits. Jumping can be a problem at times when you want to land in a specific spot. Many times during a deathmatch I threw my lightsabre by accident (right thumbstick button) and it wouldn't come back fast enough and your enemy kills you. It would have been nice to get another weapon. A lightsabre is loads of fun, but it tends to get old. Especially in a spot where you need something long range. Overall this game is fun at first, but can become frustrating and very redundant.

Graphics: The graphics are average, but they appear to be PS2 or PS1 quality! There were a few things that impressed me like the way a lightsabre leaves scratches and cuts on surfaces or how you can destroy the robots by cutting off arms and heads like in Episode I. The water textures were nicely done. However, I kept finding things that irked me, such as: Why is it in the video sequence in the Jedi Council the heavy ship traffic outside the windows is simply going in a circle around the building? The characters aren't very detailed. Why are there no water effects when you jump in and out of the water? If only the graphics were DOA3 or Halo quality, this would have at least looked like a great game.

Audio: The music was good, as it usually is in Star Wars games. It wasn't repetitive and fit the situations. The SFX and voice acting were horrible though! When Obi-Wan walks, it sounds like he is wearing wet swimming flippers. It's even worse when you duckwalk (crouching walk). Who did Obi-Wan's voice? He sounds like a 10-year-old who wants to be famous like Harry Potter or something. I really got sick of Qui-Gon yelling at me during missions too: "Where are you going?" "Hurry Obi-Wan!" and my favorite, which was yelled as we got to the end of the mission and I stood there waiting for something to happen before realizing I had to run forward 5 more feet for the level to end: "You're jeopardizing the mission!!!"

Suggestions: There were good ideas and good intentions in this game, but it was very lacking in every category. This is NOT Lucasarts quality. It seems like this was a rushed game. Since it was originally planned to fall close to the Xbox release date, I'm betting it's one of those "Let's hurry up and get this out" games. Play your own game for about a week straight before you release it, and then decide if you still enjoy it. If it sucks, and you still release it you only ruin your company's image. There was a really good idea with your deathmatch mode, but there wasn't enough stuff to throw around in the levels or enough options. Maybe you could've added an "unlimited force" option, or support for 4 players. This would've given the game a lot more replay value.

Overall Score: 6.0 / 10

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