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SEGA Rally Championship (N-Gage)

By null-geodesic on February 1st, 2023

Private Eye (Windows)

This game has atmosphere for miles

The Good
This game has so much atmosphere, it's crazy! The music... the dialogue... the artwork... the whole thing is produced so well, it's insane. You really feel like you're in a film noir.

The Bad
There's not much I didn't like, but if I had to put something, I'd write that the audio was overly compressed. But this game was around when 50MB was considered a large hard drive!

The Bottom Line
Many reviewers gave this game a bad review back in the day because it's basically a carbon copy of a novel and doesn't have much click-for-action-choice.

But by today's standards, that's a bit of a garbage review. Today we talk about "interactive fiction" and "digital literature". We even have "walking simulators" these days, right? If anything, this game was 20 years ahead of its time.

By null-geodesic on April 4th, 2022

Bubble Bobble (SEGA Master System)

By null-geodesic on February 1st, 2020

Madden NFL 2004 (PlayStation)

By null-geodesic on May 30th, 2015

Classic Bubble Bobble (Game Boy Color)

By null-geodesic on March 20th, 2015

Yesterday (Windows)

A Bit Sleepy

The Good
As with all Pendulo's games, voice acting and dialogue are pretty good, as is the storyline.

The Bad
The game is very sleepy. I was shocked to see the release date; it seems like a much, much, much older game than Runaway. Part of the problem is that internal dialogue (i.e. thinking to oneself) is now visual only. You don't hear peoples' internal dialogue. So it's a game where you'll hear a lot of music and some dialogue, which gives it a sleepy characteristic.

There's some pixel hunting involved, which kind of blows.

The Bottom Line
Not nearly as enjoyable or playable as Pendulo's other titles. It feels incomplete / rushed; hard to believe it's a 2012 release. Definitely not a polished game.

By null-geodesic on September 18th, 2012

Back to the Future: The Game - Episode 5: OUTATIME (iPad)

By null-geodesic on June 10th, 2012

Back to the Future: The Game - Episode 3: Citizen Brown (iPad)

By null-geodesic on June 10th, 2012

Resident Evil 4 (GameCube)

By null-geodesic on September 11th, 2011

Manhunt (Windows)

Perhaps My Least Favorite Game Ever. Sucks Eggs.

The Good
Almost nothing. The music / audio was good, I suppose. The voice acting teetered between good and hammed up. And believe me, I'm stretching with this. It's hard to come up with anything positive.

The Bad
Just about everything.

Graphics: sucks. Game play: sucks. Fighting: monotonous. Levels: tedious. The world is highly non-interactive. Physics engine: sucks. Windows and gas tanks are just about the only thing you can interact with (by breaking/blowing them up).

The only other games that I may like less than this would be the Blair Witch trilogy of games. Maybe. This may or may not be worse; at least the Blair Witch games have better graphics.

Oh, and to top it all off, it's one of those stupid "save point" games. You can't save your games until you hit certain points within the game. I hate that!

The Bottom Line
Some people focus on the violence in the game. Meh. I suppose there's some, but honestly, you're watching the same scenes over and over and over. You behead someone with a sword vs beheading them with a knife vs beheading them with a baseball bat. I pretty much got de-sensitized to the violence. Once that happens, there's really no point to the game. There is waaaaaaaay more gore and violence in a game like Doom 3. I really don't understand what people are yapping about with the gore in this game. Meh.

The game is boring. You pretty much sneak around slowly because fighting out in the open will get you killed quickly. It's a slow paced game.

The cursing? Meh. I love cursing, but this was too much. The great thing about cursing is that they're special words that you only use sparingly, so when you drop an F-bomb, it really means something. It accentuates a point. When the F-bomb is dropped on every other word you say, it kind of loses its potency. You get desensitized to it.

I really do NOT understand the other reviews -- I absolutely concur with the only other user submitted negative review by "ganjathief": I couldn't recommend this game to anyone. Not even Charles Manson.

If you have a 2 year old, perhaps you could use this game to put them to sleep because it is long and booooring. Booooring!

This game is boring and pointless. Keep away!

By null-geodesic on December 8th, 2010

The Lost Files of Sherlock Holmes (DOS)

A Strong and Solid Adventure.

The Good
This is a strong and solid adventure -- the type of game that garnered point-and-click fans. The graphics and sound must have been astonishing for its day. Perspective motion, orthographic projection, digitized speech, and attention to detail must have floored audiences back in the day. I'm impressed by the game's use of music. Each "area" has its own tune, but the tune eventually stops. It's a nice balance between a stoic no-music game, and worse, a game that plays the same tune over, and over, and over, and over, and .... In fact, it's all the more impressive when you consider that this game was released about the same time as "Secret Of Monkey Island". To be sure, it would be hard to tell which is the better game, but I think this game clearly has the more impressive sound and graphics. Pretty admirable when a game goes against Lucas Arts... and wins!

But the real question is, what does the game hold for us -- adventurers who live in the era of OpenGL and Direct-X?

The game, although tremendously dated by now, easily stands on its own two feet. The puzzles are logical. There is very little pixel-hunting (which seemed to be a staple of adventure games back in the early 1990's). The plot was fairly intricate, even by today's standards.

The mood and setting were done very well for a game of the time. Production quality is sky-high. The voice acting (while sparse), in my opinion, outshines some modern games like Syberia and Longest Journey. Too bad there isn't more of it.

Also, the game is non-linear. There are many threads that run in tandem. Astonishingly, I'd say this game is much more non-linear than, say, Syberia.

Lastly, the length of the game is admirable. It's long, but the designers knew where to stop. Just the right length.

The Bad
If you put the game into context, there's very little not to like. I suppose one might object to some of the puzzles as being "do this, talk to that, now go there". This game would be characterized as for beginning to intermediate adventurers

However, the type of logic puzzles present are wide and varied. There game strikes an extraordinary balance. Truly a sign of a very well designed game.

And that's the worst thing I can say about this game. :-)

The Bottom Line
The game was not hyper-original or a trend setting marvel for its day. As mentioned, it's a contemporary of the first Monkey Island game. The interface and game mechanics will be very familiar and intuitive to anyone who grew up on the LucasArts SCUMM based games or the early Leisure Suit Larry games.

By null-geodesic on October 12th, 2008

The Lost Files of Sherlock Holmes (3DO)

By null-geodesic on October 12th, 2008

Nancy Drew: The White Wolf of Icicle Creek (Windows)

By null-geodesic on April 12th, 2008

Nancy Drew: Danger by Design (Windows)

Nancy Drew by the Numbers

The Good
It's a Nancy Drew adventure. They're all fun. This one doesn't particularly stand out per se, but it shares the strengths of all the previous Nancy Drew games: great puzzles, good character development, pretty good graphics and voice acting, etc.

As I said, this game doesn't necessarily stand out, but it does share the strength of all the other Drew games.

Actually, I take that back. There is one thing that stood out about this game: history. Connection. There are copious nods to many previous Nancy Drew games, for example, you apparently inherit Sonny's desk again (he's the one with a penchant for cows and UFO's from Secret of the Scarlet Hand). That was kind of cool.

The Bad
As usual, not much. However, there were some annoyances.

Having to dial the zippy phone card pin each time you want to make a call got old VERY quickly. I can't believe the play testers didn't squawk at that. It actively discouraged using the phone.

Another phone related annoyance was when you called someone who wasn't home. Instead of simply hanging up, you have to listen to the entire v-e-r-y l-o-n-g message.

But. These are simply annoyances. They do not ruin the game by any stretch of the imagination.

The Bottom Line
This is Nancy Drew by the numbers. Same engine, same actors, same phone numbers (I know Bess's phone number better than I know my own girlfriend's cellphone number), same look, same feel. They obviously re-used a great engine and churned out yet another great game for Drew addicts.

While it wasn't as spectacular as, say, Shadow Ranch or Blue Moon Canyon, this is still status-quo for Nancy Drew --- in a word, GREAT!

By null-geodesic on January 30th, 2008

Metal Gear Solid (Windows)

By null-geodesic on November 10th, 2007

Super Mario 64 DS (Nintendo DS)

By null-geodesic on November 10th, 2007

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 (Game Boy Color)

By null-geodesic on November 9th, 2007

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 (Game Boy Advance)

By null-geodesic on November 9th, 2007

Serious Sam (Xbox)

By null-geodesic on November 8th, 2007

Duke Nukem 3D (Genesis)

By null-geodesic on November 8th, 2007

Virtua Fighter 2 (Genesis)

By null-geodesic on November 7th, 2007

Halo 2 (Xbox)

By null-geodesic on September 25th, 2007

Halo 2 (Windows)

By null-geodesic on September 25th, 2007

Rockstar Games Double Pack: Grand Theft Auto (Xbox)

By null-geodesic on September 25th, 2007

Rockstar Games Double Pack: Grand Theft Auto (PlayStation 2)

By null-geodesic on September 25th, 2007

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