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Ninja Gaiden (NES)

By Entorphane on November 22nd, 2019

Resident Evil 4 (GameCube)

By Entorphane on September 11th, 2011

Gears of War (Xbox 360)

By Entorphane on December 21st, 2008

Guitar Hero II (PlayStation 2)

By Entorphane on January 15th, 2007

Guitar Hero (PlayStation 2)

By Entorphane on October 18th, 2006

Forza Motorsport (Xbox)

By Entorphane on July 13th, 2006

Metroid Prime 2: Echoes (GameCube)

By Entorphane on July 13th, 2006

Far Cry (Windows)

By Entorphane on June 4th, 2004

Project Gotham Racing 2 (Xbox)

By Entorphane on March 5th, 2004

Star Wars: Jedi Knight - Jedi Academy (Xbox)

By Entorphane on February 18th, 2004

Star Wars: Jedi Arena (Atari 2600)

By Entorphane on February 18th, 2004

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (Atari 2600)

By Entorphane on February 18th, 2004

Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance II (Xbox)

By Entorphane on February 6th, 2004

Beyond Good & Evil (Xbox)

By Entorphane on January 18th, 2004

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (Xbox)

By Entorphane on November 10th, 2003

Ikaruga (GameCube)

By Entorphane on October 3rd, 2003

Enter the Matrix (Xbox)

The Curse of the Movie Game is not yet broken.

The Good

'Enter the Matrix' is big on concept. The games story runs parallel to the movie 'Matrix Reloaded', following two minor characters from the movie, Niobe and Ghost. The game fills in a lot of interesting details in the Matrix saga, and sets up some characters and events that I am sure we'll see in the next film. Fans of the Matrix will surely get some enjoyment from playing through the game just for the sake of watching the cutscenes and following the plot.

The combat system allows your character to pull of some pretty cool Matrix-style moves. You can use your 'focus' powers to slow down everything around you, allowing you to see bullets as they fly though the air, and to perform some snazzy slo-mo martial arts combos. With focus activated you can jump much farther, cartwheel and flip out of the way of incoming fire, and leap about while accurately firing yoru weapon.

The graphics don't suck, but they aren't the best ever seen on an Xbox. The FMV cutscenes tend to look a bit muddy and seem to be in a bizarre aspect ratio when played on a 16:9 television. The character's facial models are excellent, and the lip syncing is some of the best I've ever seen in a game.

**The Bad**

Sadly, the whole games stinks of mediocrity. The level design is very poor, at times being simutaneously completely linear and terribly confusing. Enemy AI is very unimpressive. Guards take cover, but that's about it. Fighting armed opponents always comes down to using your disarm move to get thier weapon and then beating them up a bit to finish them off. If gunfire ever gets to heavy you can go into focus mode and dodge bullets while capping the bad guys. You will seldom find yourself in any real trouble.

The game is surprisingly easy, clearly aimed at novice gamers. Your health regenerates if you give it time, as does your focus meter. If you ever find yourself in a tight spot you can just hide behind a pillar until you are all better. Despite this, there are still health packs scattered about. This effectively destroys any sense of tension.

The controls are just absurdly mapped. The left analogue stick is used to move around, the right stick switches you to a first person view. Yup, the entire right stick is dedicated to switching POV. It makes absolutely no sense. To draw and fire weapons, you must push the black button, to holster them you use the action button. This caused countless unintentional holsterings during gameplay, as the action button is used for things like opening doors and disarming opponents as well. The left trigger activates your focus, and the right trigger locks onto a target, though this seemed to work sporadically at best.

The gameplay itself, while often enjoyable, frequently forces you to drive, shoot while riding, or take out enemies with a sniper rifle. These sequences are clearly intended to mix up the action a bit, but I just found them to be an annoying distractions. The driving bits are purely awful, and the 'shooting from the passenger side window' parts aren't much better. The final levels of the game have you simply running away (or flying away while shooting) and nothing else. These ending levels leave the distinct flavor of a rush job in ones mouth, as they aren't fun in the least. Five whole levels in which I simply run away from Agent(s) Smith? Something must be missing...

**The Bottom Line**

For fans of the movie, it's worth renting just to see the cutscenes and flesh out the plot. I can't reccomend a purchase to anyone, as it is just too short and unpolished, even with two characters to play through as. I finished it easily in two days.

While the concept of expanding a blockbuster movies universe through video games is a good one, this game simply does not do enough to make it as rewarding and compelling an experience as if could have, and should have been.

By Entorphane on October 3rd, 2003

Resident Evil (PlayStation)

By Entorphane on October 3rd, 2003

SoulCalibur II (Xbox)

By Entorphane on October 3rd, 2003

The Simpsons: Hit & Run (GameCube)

By Entorphane on October 2nd, 2003

The Simpsons: Hit & Run (Xbox)

Not quite the worst... game... ever.

The Good

The best thing this game has going for it is the truly funny plot and acting. The entire Simpson's cast provides voice acting for the game, and writers from the show provide the plot. The game also manages to make Springfield come alive as a fully explorable world. You will be able to visit almost every obscure place from the show you can think of. You can check out Evergreen Terrace, the Nuclear Plant, Burns' Mansion, and Moe's. Even things like the Escalator to Nowhere and the Stonecutters' secret traffic tunnel are present. You can even take the broken down monorail for a spin! The game on a whole is very, very funny.

The Bad

Sadly, funny doesn't equal fun. At all. The missions are all basic variants on the same theme. Race this car to this place. Collect this many items in this amount of time. Drive to this place in this much time. And so forth. Almost all the missions are timed, and most of them are lame. It always feels like you are performing the same task again and again and again, and it gets old fast. While I truly enjoyed exploring Springfield, I honestly dreaded having to take up a mission to advance the plot. And, unfortunately, the plot is completely linear, despite what you may have heard. There is no branching storyline, and no real incentive to take things at your own pace.

The Bottom Line

Only if you are a Simpson's fanatic would this game ever be worth a purchase. Even then, I would have to recommend a rental first. I am a huge Simpson's fan and only my love for the show enabled me to trudge though the seven boring, repetitive levels. The game is worth checking out for the humor factor, but it's just too bad that there is nothing funny about the lame-ass gameplay.

By Entorphane on October 2nd, 2003

The Simpsons: Hit & Run (PlayStation 2)

By Entorphane on October 2nd, 2003

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (Xbox)

By Entorphane on July 27th, 2003

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider - The Angel of Darkness (PlayStation 2)

By Entorphane on June 28th, 2003

Animal Crossing (GameCube)

By Entorphane on June 22nd, 2003

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