Review – SSX Tricky

In the early days of the GameCube one of the first games I made sure to get was SSX Tricky. It was awesome and I played it endlessly until I had mastered every single trick of every single character on every single course. Eventually I got bored of it because, well, it stopped being fun after doing the same “über trick” for the umptillionth time. It burned out my brain and I couldn’t take it any longer. From whatever was left of those brain cells lingered a memory of an incredible experience. Sometimes SSX Tricky would wander back into my daydreams and I would reminisce about how much fun I had.… Tony Hawk's Pro Reader 3

Review – Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones

There are quite a few game series with planned trilogies in the works, but the modern Prince of Persia games are one of the first successful trilogies to wrap itself up in a few years time. Its successes and failures highlight several important points that these future sagas must address if they wish to avoid some of the pitfalls that keep the PoP trilogy from sheer greatness.

First off, a good trilogy needs to stay consistent. We all know about the hiccups that occurred in Warrior Within, though I found them far less offensive than most. Their true damage can be seen in the final chapter of the series, Two Thrones.… Get lame or get out.

Review – Call of Duty 2: Big Red One

I have a confession to make. Despite my general crankiness about the game industry, as well as my increasingly picky taste, I have a soft spot for a bane of the industry: World War 2 shooters. Chalk it up to the fact I am a history buff with a desire to compare in-game depictions of certain battles and weaponry to reality. This weakness has led me to play some of the worst Medal of Honor games, as well as to attempt to beat Call of Duty 3 on two different platforms (I finished neither). Finally the genre has provided a diamond in the rough.

When Call of Duty 2 was released on 360 and PC, someone decided to give gamers still using “old gen” consoles a consolation prize.… Hot Shots Post 3

Review – Superman Returns

As you are happily whiling away the hours on the great games that have come out in the past few months, allow me to darken your day with another reminders of how much shit last year’s flood of licensed games sucked.

As a child, I spent a fair amount of my time educating myself, to a very precise degree, on the capabilities of superheroes, should a need arise to discuss how such powers would fair in various hypothetical conflicts. For example, I know the powers of each superhero so well, I could tell, with scientific accuracy, who would win in a battle royal between Namor, Aquaman, Namorita, Black Manta, and Aqua Lad.… Read Danger!

Review – Half-Life Episode 2

Half Life 2 Episode 1 was much like the Opposing Force expansion to the original Half Life. Both games were largely similar, but each offered a distinct twist that helped it along. In Opposing Force, it was the concept of playing as a soldier hunting down Gordon Freeman, and the benefits of having a troop of specialized AI soldiers to help you along the way.

In Episode 1, it was the impressive AI of Alyx Vance, which helped you bond with her character as well as giving Valve a chance to create some interesting scenarios for her and Gordon to tackle. Both games also benefited from their incredible set pieces that improved upon most of the things we experienced in the original games.… Virtua Poster 4: Evolution

Review – Second Sight

I’ve come to believe strongly in a particular rule taught to me by wiser gamers. The rule states that “if a game wants to entice me, to keep me playing, then it cannot assume I have nothing better to do than to play video games.” It’s hard phrase to describe exactly what the phrase means, but it pertains to certain bad things modern games like to do. Sometimes they’re done to artificially lengthen playtime, sometimes they’re done to help introduce new players. Sometimes it is to enhance the cinematic nature of the game, or to keep things “realistic.” Whether they are done because of a current trend, or to try to overcome a particular design hurdle, these additions hurt more than they help.… To be this lame takes ages.

Review – Advent Rising

This is one of those times I’m sorry I listened to the reviews on a game and passed it up. I had been following Advent Rising mostly because its story was written by Orson Scott Card (author of the Ender’s Game series) and it was originally supposed to be an epic, three-part sci-fi adventure. From the screenshots and scraps of gameplay videos I saw, it looked quite promising.

However, upon its release Advent Rising got anywhere from mediocre to downright insulting reviews. Most complained of crippling bugs and game engine problems, making the game virtually unplayable. Others said the story was boring and then made worse by bad voice acting talent.… OutRun 2006: Post to Post

Review – Doom 3

I didn’t understand all of the hype surrounding the release of Doom 3. So the graphics were cutting edge (assuming you wanted to drop $500 to get your memory and graphics card up to snuff), it was still a game based on a series well-known for having repetitious play and no story line whatsoever. Now don’t get me wrong, I loved playing the first Doom games/expansions, but I had a feeling they wouldn’t hold up if played them years later. I found my fears were correct as I tried to play both 1 and 2 off of the “Special Edition” Xbox game that comes with the entire set on one disc.… You may say I’m a gamer, but I’m not the only one

Review – Prince of Persia: Warrior Within

I’m sure everyone remembers the shitstorm that hit the Internet when Prince of Persia: Warrior Within was released two years ago. An unstoppable tide of criticism and disgust toward the game flowed for months, only getting worse when it ended up outselling The Sands of Time by leagues. (Thankfully, we were spared from having the Prince’s early game cry of “You Bitch!” become the next Internet trend.) However, the most curious thing about the criticism was that very few people ever made any sort of commentary on the actual gameplay. For all intents and purposes, it looked like angry nerds acting as immature and angsty as the kids that Warrior Within was trying to cater to (though that is not to say that I didn’t jump on the bandwagon for some period of time).… Sega Ages 2500 Series Vol. 5: Golden Post

Review – Capcom Fighting Evolution

It looks as if Capcom Fighting Evolution may be the last 2D fighter from Capcom that isn’t some sort of compilation. This is frustrating for two reasons. Firstly, something tells me they could revive the genre at least a little bit if they actually released a beautiful and balanced Street Fighter 4. Second, Fighting Evolution is not exactly the best way to end a legacy. The potential for this game is staggering, but the final product feels rushed and cheap.

The premise of CFE is simple; take a bunch of characters from different Capcom games and have them square off. The acute reader will no doubt point out that this sounds a lot like the premise behind Capcom’s plethora of “Versus” titles, though in fact they are somewhat different.… Onimusha 2: Samuread's Destiny