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Resident Evil 4 (GameCube)

Horror, Action and Survival have evolved.

The Good
The first thing you notice about the game is the graphics. The immense detail on everything is astounding, and you'll just simply love the game for it. Voice acting is good, although some moments 'lacking' (that's the only way I can explain it), however, this only seemed to occur on one occasion so it didn't really affect the overall acting. Thank god.

The nest thing (which is hard to miss, considering that it's the main focus of the game) is the horror, action and survival. It takes everything good from the past games, makes them better then adds more. The scare and horror aspects are great, with things that create a lasting effect. For instance, the village. I play the game numerous times just for that segment of the game. It's great how you can go around blasting the locals, or make a stand and line them up like a shooting range, or you can lock yourself in a house and let them all invade from the doors and windows using ladders and various weapons which really will make your heart pound as they all seek your blood. Oh yeah, be sure to stay away from that chainsaw maniac (the main reason your heart starts to speed up).

The story is simplistic, but more than enough for you to still be interested and play right up to the end. For extra replay value, there is a mini-game in which you go around as any character and fight for survival, in an addicting and exciting way. After completion of the game, there's also a side-quest from the view of a different character which will add a few minutes to its game life.

For further in-game extras to keep you interested, you can kill for money and buy, sell and upgrade your items. Also, the shooting range mini-game is quite fun with collectible rewards for your efforts.

The Bad
The only thing I felt lacking was the fact that, whilst the Resident Evil remake released before this had smooth dark graphics, this installment seems to have some things 'rough'. For instance, the ground, the trees and some other things seem to be rough, whereas the previous game had its things more smooth. You tend not to notice though as only a few buildings and items have this 'rough look'.

Whether this 'rough' look was intentional or not, I don't know, but I though I'd state it anyway.

The Bottom Line
This is a huge step forward for horror games, and especially the Resident Evil series. Although there is a distinct lack of the undead foe, the villagers and the mutant creatures make fair replacements. This game is probably the killer app of the Game Cube (killer app = best game of the console / best game of its time / a game that made the console stand out). This game, simply put, deserved all of "the game of the year" awards that it won and was nominated for. If you love horror, or action games, you WILL buy this game.

By Reborn_Demon on September 11, 2011

Apocalypse (PlayStation)

Entertaining but flawed package

The Good
After playing the first level of the game, you'll notice that this game feels like a mish-mash of cliché's and things from other games. For example, when the character jumps, he makes a sound VERY similar to the sound effect used for jumping in MediEvil 2 (for PS1, although MediEvil 2 was released two years after this). And as you move around the game, you'll at times be convinced you're playing one of the original Grand Theft Auto games (released around the same time) or Expendable (for PS1 in 2000). Also, the burning text used for the pause menu also remind me of the font used in Die Hard Trilogy (for PS1 in 1996) and the way level 4 starts seems like the bank level of Spiderman (for PS1 in 2000). Furthermore, the lines that Bruce Willis' character says also seem strongly derived from action movies, making the whole experience cliche. And yet, despite all this - or perhaps, in my opinion, BECAUSE of this, the game feels so... legendary. Ever heard the expression "so bad, its good"? Well, this game uses so many good things that it's bad. Bad ass. It's just so entertaining from these things. And entertainment and fun are the best criteria for games.

The level design isn't anything awe-inspiring, but it does keep you on your toes and each level isn't just the same thing throughout - the best example of this being level 3 (the first city level) where you run down streets, across lava pits, along the roofs of apartment buildings (that's the best way to describe it, I guess) and near the end of the level comes a gunfight atop a flying taxi. This taxi 'scene' also reminds me of The Fifth Element (1997 movie, also starring Bruce Willis). Weird, yet awesome.

The way the character jumps, the camera used in the game, the level design, and the way in which weapons are controlled make this a hugely enjoyable platformer/shooter, without the often issue of 'clunkiness' of first-person shooters.

The story seems intriguing, but it isn't presented all that well. However, it is simple and when you're having fun, a simple plot is probably the best. And although the FMVs aren't really high quality, they are somewhat amusing to watch and make a nice transition from level to level.

Oh, and the weapons. My god, the weapons. I was so surprised playing this game at how good the weapons 'felt.' Never before on a PS1 game have I found grenades so appealing. Or flamethrowers. Not meaning to sound sadistic here, but watching a crowd of enemies around you burn has never felt so satisfying. Most games just have the enemy cream, burn, and then dissolve into the ground. On this game, however, the flamethrower seems so powerful and is the deadly weapon it should be. There are other weapons too, but I don't want to explain everything - basically, the particle beam is my favourite, simply because using it feels like using a laser weapon on an old arcade side-scroller such as Darius or Raiden.

The Bad
Right from the very get-go of when you're in control, you'll be confused. Why? Well, the controls. I remember back when the magazine's for the PS1 would bring out demo discs, and for each playable game, it would show you the control scheme of how to control the character, how to run, how to shoot, interact with something, etcetera. That kind of idea would be VERY useful in this game, as the controls aren't like any others I've seen for any PS1, PS2 or PS3 game. To your initial confusion, you'll find that the X, Triangle, Square and Circle buttons are used to fire your weapon in South, North, West and East directions, respectively. I don't mind games experimenting with crazy control schemes, but one as unorthodox like this should be explained to the player beforehand - instead, the game throws you into a fight and lets you discover the crazy controls for yourself.

And the camera sucks. Mostly because it can't be controlled by the player, and there are often times when you're being shot and/or bombed by enemies, but you won't be able to see them to fire back. This could easily be solved by the implementation of a first-person perspective, but such a perspective just isn't available. Thus, you're often forced to just fire in their general direction and strafe around until you hit them.

The last negative thing for this game has to be the way it just throws things at you. You see, random things are good in most games because it keeps the player on their toes. However, it's poorly implemented in this game because 1) on level 2, boulders will fall from the ceiling and by the time you've noticed, there's no where to run to, and should you be able to dodge the boulders, the impact that they cause and the rocks that break off are still enough to kill you. So your stranded until you die, most of the game. Awaiting the inevitable isn't good gameplay. 2) on level 3, the floor will often collapse beneath you so fast that it's only luck you jump away fast enough. 3) level 1 and 3 have spotlights. Like in Metal Gear Solid (for PS1 in 1998), I presumed that if you got caught in the light, more enemies would arrive. But no, according to this game's logic, LIGHT IS LETHAL. And god help you in level 1 if you realise that too late. So I guess the point I'm trying to make here is that the game has some sadistic obstacles that your only going to get past on a second or third try.

The Bottom Line
Despite all its flaws, Apocalypse is such an entertaining game, and even writing this review makes me want to play it more. It's fun, and that's how games should be, even if this game is old and it's style makes it feel it would be better as an arcade game. Obviously with the PS1 being 'obsolete' (even though no such word exists for a true gamer), the game may be hard to find, but I bet it'll be cheap. If you come across it, buy it. Highly recommended. I'll end this review with a Bruce Willis quote I find strangely amusing - "I like blueberry pancakes. They're manly."

By Reborn_Demon on June 20, 2009

Half-Life 2 (Windows)

By Reborn_Demon on May 28, 2009

Final Fantasy I & II: Dawn of Souls (Game Boy Advance)

By Reborn_Demon on July 9, 2008

Syphon Filter (PlayStation)

Snake? Snake!? SNAAAKE! ...Or is Syphy Filter better than that?

The Good
Metal Gear Solid 1 has actually defined, or at least in my opinion it has, the way in which games now tell there stories. It's complex story is one you'd expect in a sci-fi novel series, yet you can see the events on screen and visualized, thus it is being much easier to follow. And it's better than just a book-to-movie adaption, because you can interact and you feel like your a part of the story's world. And MGS1 pulled the story off nicely, but the action...?

That's where Syphon Filter enters. You see, Syphon Filter's story is no where near the complexity of Metal Gear Solid - in terms of story, but it is a good story none-the-less; but anyway, despite the quality of story, this game... has... ACTION!

Grenades that actually give a threatening explosion, guns that actually kill you like real life, flak jackets that actually keep you alive (or at least, help). The original MGS1 seemed to promise all this, yet never really delivered; but Syphon Filter? Yep, Syphon Filter delivered in crates.

No seriously, you get weapons from the game via crates.

The AI is actually out to kill you, and not just some idle "I'll patrol here until an intruder passes by, lose sight of him, then return to my post like if nothing happened" gameplay. No, Syphon Filter has enemies that match the term "enemy". By this point, you may have noticed my references to MGS1 (the review title, the actual mention of said game, the above gameplay) and you may be wondering why. Well, MGS1 was supposed to be good. And it was, just not as expected kinda "good" - but Syphon Filter was there, just like a virtual close best friend that offered a shoulder to cry on when your MGS didn't deliver on action, just story.

Okay, so this point on; I'll review Syphon Filter as Syphon Filter. I'll begin with audio. Most of the time in this game, you'll be expecting the booms of grenades, or the opening of crates (click-click) or the chuuk-chuuk of the shotgun. That's basically the low-down on effects, but what of actual voices? Well, you got the quite-convincing voice of an enemy on fire (happens twice in the game, if I recall) which I always like in a sinister manner, as if the game makers actually recorded a man on fire. You also got Gabe and Lian. They have good voice actors, but you might often find they talk to fast or like if they all know what other's are about to say and are jumping to say their next line. During a few points in the game, I actually missed what some of them said and I was like "What? Why are we doing that again?" or "Why can't I simply go down the tunnel to the next objective? Every time I try to I get MISSION FAILED!?" (the answer to that last one? You have to basically have to flick a switch).

Let's see... Ah, layout. Well, most of the items look generic and similar, but let's be reasonable; this is a PS1 game, folks. But at least there is sometimes variation - not like in FF7: Dirge of Cerberus (PS2). Luckily, you have a map that is actually (most of the time) annotated (great use in the warehouse level).

The weapons are good (as in variations of firing, sound effects, effectiveness) and the difficulty is just right, as long as your wearing a flak jacket - or so help you God. The story is good and immersing, even if it is a little slow at times.

The Bad
There are sometimes you'll find things, mostly passages, are way too dark (or are perhaps lit up in a red light that makes an almost-straight cave tunnel so confusing) - and it'll require the use of a torch. HOWEVER, this means being unable to use a weapon at the same time, which means you're screwed when you travel down the dark tunnel. So you go with a weapon instead, but that'll mean you have no clue where you're going - which'll eventually lead to you falling down a pit, or from a great height, or being gunned down by an unseen enemy; and you'll have no idea about this unable "Mission Failed" pops up.

Luckily, the two most boring levels are short and have a checkpoint before they get hard and annoying.

Oh, and the difficulty. Before, I said it is "just right" - but only if your wearing a flak jacket, because if you're not, you might as well turn of the game yourself if you can't find an easy enemy or a crate. Because even one enemy, with you on full health, is an easy situation, but then another dude runs by shooting you before you even have a chance to pick up the drooped enemy's ammo and flak jacket. Then another guy'll come running past, and... So basically, you want to be fast in a location with multiple enemies. And sometimes these enemies just pop up out of nowhere (THE WAREHOUSE MISSION!!!) so you can never tell if this is such a time to apply speed.

The Bottom Line
I recommend Syphon Filter 2 as an introduction the the series, before you play this one. Syphon Filter 1 is good, but some may be put off from the entire franchise if they play this game and automatically assume the others are like it. And in terms of graphics, sound, story, they are. But level layout, weapons, story, a few minor game play tweaks and a two-player death match mode (full of characters and locations) makes Syphon Filter 2 much more superior. But after you've played that, and like it, I also suggest you play this game. Obviously, it's now old (two generations back as of PS3's release) and thus, cheap (either that or it's rare) so buy it if you see it. Totally up to you, of course.

By Reborn_Demon on June 8, 2008

Legacy of Kain: Defiance (PlayStation 2)

By Reborn_Demon on November 8, 2007

Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver 2 (PlayStation 2)

Linear, but still good fun to play!

The Good
The first thing that I loved was the first thing that was presented; the opening movie was superb quality and it retold the ending of the previous game, Soul Reaver 1, but it did so truthfully and didn't drastically change things (such as retcon a few important details). After the FMV came a regular cutscene, which still had pretty good quality and... LIP-SYNCING! That's right, whereas in Soul Reaver 1 the mouth of a person didn't move, people actually talk now! Of course, the syncing isn't perfect - but it's still a MAJOR improvement.

Still on the grounds of graphics, every detail was great. I liked the Shade enemies and how they looked see-through yet dark, the many other enemies were improved from the previous game (most notably the Slaugh). Most items/structures that were rendered seemed quite smooth, though some still were noticeably rough-edged (but it was an early PS2 game... I think). Things such as the Soul Reaver weapon and Mobeius have also been "improved" (I place "improved" in inverted commas because some fans may not agree that this change was for the better).

Onto music, then. The first thing that hits you is that this game lacks that mighty kick-ass opening music of Soul Reaver 1, but on the bright side it does have a alright soundtrack despite its absence (If you can get around the fact that the music rarely plays in some areas of the game).

Gameplay. Luckily they've kept the same type of gameplay and perspective from SR1, and they've improved some minor details - such as removing the sometimes annoying and glitchy block puzzles (which are replaced by more creative and unique puzzles - such as the one in Janos' Retreat and in the Forges). The glide function was much more smoother, and gives you more air-time (yay!), and other minor details were improved. Over all, the biggest gameplay changes where the inclusion of Save Point markers and new Soul Reaver fonts and puzzles, along with a linear exploration.

Oh, and another note: Cutscenes were used in the last game for the sole purpose of Raziel's journey, but in this game, cutscenes forward the game and also provide interesting details and notes about Nosgoth and its inhabitants.

As for a fun factor, I'd say that despite its linear nature, Soul Reaver 2 is quite a fun game. Impalement, vampires, blood, souls, exploration, puzzles, evil dudes, expanded story! And did I mention impalement!? Of course the game is fun. If anything, its more fun than Soul Reaver 1 - and what's more, it isn't filled with (many) glitches!

The Bad
For those who have played Soul Reaver 1, you'll notice that this game doesn't have a soundtrack that was as good as SR1. The kick-ass music track that played practically throughout is absent here, and there's nothing that is as good in Soul Reaver 2. In fact, after playing SR2, you'll possibly be unable to recall the slightest bit of audio.

The game is also linear, but it removes the easiness of getting lost - which was almost always the case in SR1 (unless you used a walkthrough guide).

The Bottom Line
For a Legacy of Kain fan, this truly is a highlight of the series. I would recommended it to any Legacy of Kain fan, or anyone whose played any of the previous games (Blood Omen 1, Soul Reaver 1). For a player new to the series, I would still recommend it, but with the caution that the storyline may be hard to pick up. But apart from that, it's all good gaming, my fellow gaming friend.

By Reborn_Demon on August 27, 2007

The Suffering (PlayStation 2)

A really good atmospheric horror game to enjoy.

The Good
Seeing as this is a horror game, I'll start of with the horror/scare and atmosphere factor of the game; the game really has its moments. The opening is calm, and then you're thrown into hell as your peers are slowly killed, you being one of only a handful of survivors (which isn't really a spoiler). The game throws all sorts of scares your way, and some really do have a lasting impression. The atmosphere is dark and mysterious, with blood and scratchings on the walls, body parts on tables and in lockers, and the enemies are quite disturbing, on the same level as those from the Silent Hill series (by the way, "disturbing" in a horror game is a good thing).

The voice acting and characters were good, with some characters that you get really interested about; such as Dr. Killjoy (I think that's his name), Hermes and Horace. The only voice acting I was disappointed in was Torque's... Only kidding, he's a mute!

The locations, although the bar-doors model is used slightly too much, are great. There's the prison, the quarry, the war bunker, the lighthouse and other areas of the island to explore, and all the places you have been to have been archived and you can look them up in a notebook to hear the story behind the location.

The story is deep, although there are no real twists, it is more than enough to keep you interested. There is a similarity between this and Silent Hill because the enemies actually represent something, and each location has its own back-story. As you progress, you battle to escape and confront the island's three inhabitants - Dr. Killjoy, Horace (who's actually a good guy) and Hermes. As you attempt to save other inmates and wardens, you must also save your self from your inner anger, a beast which you can actually play.

As you progress, you make certain decisions and actions which affect the back-story of your family, and depending on how much you turn into your dark side (the beast) using your sanity meter, this affects the ending and Torque's personality.

The graphics are getting a little old now, but they are enough quality to see you through the wonders of the island. The weapons arsenal is limited, but it sure is fun, with the option to dual-wield certain guns. What's more, the game can be explored in a first-person view also, for those who prefer shooters rather than horror.

The Bad
Some what lacking is Torque's voice - he's totally mute throughout the entire game. A few pieces of dialogue would be nice now and then, just to know what our main dude is thinking or how the beast within him is affecting his personality.

Also, the weapons are limited. I can't remember what, or how many, weapons the game had, but I remember always wishing for more weapons and had to stick with the Tommy Gun and dual Revolvers, and ever rarely using the Shiv or TNT.

The Bottom Line
Very similar to Silent Hill, this game will please all who are fans of horror or atmospheric games, with more action than other horror-based games. A good game that can be recommended.

By Reborn_Demon on June 21, 2007

Titanic: Adventure Out of Time (Windows)

Although dated, it certainly is a neat little package

The Good
The graphics are very detailed and in-depth, even with the backgrounds, objects and characters. Almost everything of interest is 'clickable'. The characters all have different personalities, which is quite unlike other games like this were almost everyone speaks, acts, and looks identical. Another good thing is the gameplay, which, although you have to reach certain goals, you decide how to get there and in what order you take out tasks, which will eventually affect other tasks.

The setting, the great but tragic Titanic ship, is so detailed and interesting that it's a hundred times better than reading about it or hearing about the layout. What's more, there's a feature that lets you explore the ship without having to play the story - "Tour" mode (It's either called Tour mode or Guide mode) which is great.

The sound quality and voice acting are good, although in some places could have been better. The interactions and simple, the mysteries and puzzles are mind-boggling (this is a good thing) and the presentation is superb.

The Bad
Somewhat dull is the strict interaction when talking to other characters - most times, you can only say one thing from an option of four. But I guess it's expected, but it dates the game back a few years. Also, in some parts of the game, it seems quite lame. One minute you've just solved a puzzle, then have to wonder about a bit doing trivial tasks for about half an hour before returning to another major task. It seems to lack action. No, when I say 'action', I'm not suggesting they add a gun into the game, but they should have improved the tasks a bit better to make them slightly more motivational and interesting.

The Bottom Line
Like point and click games? Love mystery and puzzles? Fancy an educational tour of a famous ship? Then heck, it may just be your sort of game. Don't expect action or anything major up until the end of the game (If you know your history, you'll know why). No doubt this game can now be found for a bargain, so if you find it in shops give it a try.

A good game which has great presentation and makes a boring old ship from history quite interesting.

By Reborn_Demon on May 20, 2007

The Silent Hill Collection (PlayStation 2)

By Reborn_Demon on May 20, 2007

Resident Evil: Survivor 2 - Code: Veronica (PlayStation 2)

By Reborn_Demon on April 13, 2007

Dr. Sudoku (Game Boy Advance)

Your daily dose of sudoku from the doctor!

The Good
The worse thing about playing sudoku in your local newspaper, or perhaps on those new board games, is the fact that if you make a single mistake - your entire game is shattered. Dr. Sudoku, however, manages to deliver a fun and addictive sudoku game in which mistakes are no longer such a major factor.

I'll start with the "Normal" mode of the game. This is the (in)famous standard sudoku puzzle, in 5 difficulty levels. The first difficulty level is very smooth, as it eases the player into the game better than any other beginner puzzle, which I would like to praise the game for. Another thing that I love about this game is the way that the digits are inserted. I first thought that perhaps it would have an awkward input system which would take ages to do, but I was relieved to discover the game had a small little compact box come up, in which is used for the input of numbers. It was out of the way, and let me play on without it getting in the way of things by removing itself when not needed.

There is also an "Original" mode which comes with it, which seems to be quite promising. Making your own little sudoku puzzle, saving it, and clearing it whenever you like is pretty neat - especially compared to other sudoku variations which try this, but fail because the player may not be good at this sort of thing. This, however, seems to have a little panel to help get the puzzle right.

There is also a "How to play" function, which I have yet to try out, but because sudoku is pretty easy to understand, it may not be necessary. The graphics are pretty smooth, and quite welcoming for players. The audio is groovy also, with a little tune whilst playing which you may find hard not to jiggle to!

The Bad
The only thing that I found lacking was extra features. Sure, its just intended to be sudoku, but is that all there really needs to be? Why not a record of high scores, or perhaps a time trial (which I think would be pretty cool challenge), or maybe the ability to change the music into different songs. And once you've completed the game, its pretty dead-end, with little replay ability (with the exception of the "Original" mode, of course).

The Bottom Line
For sudoku players, this would seem like heaven - portable heaven, at that - which is pretty addictive and, on later stages, challenging. For those just getting into the trend of sudoku, you might want to learn how to play beforehand. The only thing lacking is extra content, but if you want clean and fun sudoku on your portable game system, be sure to pick up this little gift. What's more, for young teenagers, it may give a little push in terms of numerical ability, so its good to play now and then!

By Reborn_Demon on March 25, 2007

Final Fantasy XII (PlayStation 2)

By Reborn_Demon on March 13, 2007

Kingdom Hearts (PlayStation 2)

Despite its first childish impression, this game is great - even for the most hard-core gamer!

The Good
First off, I'll start with the first blatant fact; Kingdom Hearts is for children, and makes a weak game for the "advanced" gamer, right? WRONG! This game is totally under-rated by some gamers who claim to be "hard-core", even those who haven't even played the game. Why? Some say it's "Too unreal", others say because of its "dreadful plot" or "it's just too easy". Well, it may be "unreal" slightly, but have we forgotten what fun actually is? It's not how far you've got doing something or bragging your progress - FUN is your own personal entertainment, and believe me when I say that I have had lots of fun playing this.

Many long-time gamers have slammed the game because of its simple plot, but after playing it, the plot is so unique in the way it is told and expressed that many of the gamers who have previously told bad rumors of the game to find it quite fun. But anyway, let's move away from what other people think - this is MY review, and my thoughts of the game which I will express (and the reason you're reading this now):

I'll start with the presentation and audio. Wow. Okay, immediately after pressing New Game, you're thrown into the action - but its not a sharp push into the game, instead, its a cool and funky way of getting you started. Most games just drop a tutorial on your head, and lift off from that point dead quick you're head is spinning. But this game is different, for example, the game is delivered with a funky-beat music video of things to come with really cool music. The graphics of this, and other scenes to come, is just great!

But instead of a do-this-then-that-then-whatever type of tutorial, where everything is boring because of the way it is so linear, Kingdom Hearts lets you roam in a lush colourful environment where you learn how to play the game by playing mini-games in any order you want, and for how many times you want. The first level in the prologue and the only learning curve, but it is the only one needed so don't sweat when you find that you're world has suddenly collapsed around you.

Another interesting thing worth noting is the Journal. This Journal records all major information of your quest, with pictures and back-tracking information which help should you forget where you're up to in the plot. Another quick thing I have to mention is the graphics. During movie scenes, they are simply great and are so too during gameplay. Tropical places are lush and colourful, whilst the latter dark places give a great atmosphere.

The battle mechanics are great fun to repeat in lots of battles and chances are that you'll never get tired of defeating so many enemies using so many combos and other attacks.

The Bad
Somewhat annoying was the camera. Whilst roaming a level or indulging with some puzzles, the camera is fine and out-of-mind. However, come battle time, the camera can become in the way of things and start to annoy you, especially when you've got low life points and are surrounded by deadly enemies.

A feature I've never even experienced like before was the "Gummi Ship". Without revealing what it is, or what it is for, I just want to say how slow-paced it is for something that is supposed to be action-packed. Luckily, this isn't a big part of the game and can be ignored as it only needs to be repeated just a few times.

The Bottom Line
Kingdom Hearts is simply a great game. It's graphics and lovely memorable intro cinematic are simply jems of this game, and it's worth playing. It's nice to know that there are two current sequels to this game, with one currently in production. The next game, thankfully, has everything in this game but greatly improved upon. Enjoy!

By Reborn_Demon on February 17, 2007

WipEout Fusion (PlayStation 2)

The best sci-fi racing game ever!

The Good
After playing Wip3out (or simply known as Wipeout 3) on the PlayStation 1, I picked up this game expecting great things. On the back of the box cover it describes the game with 4 simple words - "Faster", "Tougher", "Bigger" and "Better". And it sure did live up to that statement!

Faster! The game was so amazing and fast (on the later levels, of course), that it was like a movie (something along the lines of that recent Final Fantasy VII movie) that never failed to deliver. On most games, the speed would sacrifice the graphics and details, but this game was supreme, as everything was a high priority, and nothing was low-standard.

Tougher! The previous installment of this franchise was a few courses of design with only the last two being difficult. However, this game lets you choose your own difficulty in a unique way. For instance; if you want to play an easy game, just choose the best ship, the smartest pilot and choose the last level. For a harder (and boy, DO I MEAN HARD!) game, just choose the ship and crew that you initially started with.

Bigger! Not only were the levels of the game huge, but they have huge detail for things that even aren't on the course, like passing spaceships, skyscrapers, and other things. But on the course, things became more complex (which can be a good thing) which included loops, long free jumps into the air, and gravity-defying obstacles.

Better! One great thing about this game is the extra stuff that can be done, besides the main league game. Such as un-lockable pictures in galleries, custom leagues, multi-player races, the customizable ships, and an arcade option among other things. All this, combined with the futuristic techno music and all things mentioned above make this a great science fiction racing game.

The Bad
If one thing bugged me the most, I would say the barriers. You see, during a race, all parts of the course that were restricted were closed of using electric barriers - but accidentally crash into one of these and chances are that you are stuck and by the time you break free you'll be near last place in the racing position, which can really annoy when you're on a winning streak.

The Bottom Line
If I had to describe this game simply, I would say that it's a futuristic version of "Need For Speed: Underground" that's really worth playing. A game like this can be found at a decent price in a local store, so if you happen to have the right amount of money in your pocket I would recommend you try it.

By Reborn_Demon on January 31, 2007

Sonic Heroes (PlayStation 2)

Sonic in 2D = good. Sonic in 3D? Disappointment!

The Good
The smooth graphics used in the movies of this game were great because they were fluid and smooth. At most points, the story was interesting and left you wanting more. Many characters (although it is more accurate to say 'groups of characters') and various unlock-ables were good.

The Bad
Although the quality of graphics are good, the detail to which they were used was quite sad. For example, knuckle's hand consisted of an oval sphere with three miniature spikes sticking out. That's something that you would expect to find in the previous gaming generation, but surely not in this one. Also, although the motion was fast and action-packed at some times, it went so quick you simply could not catch up - for example; on most levels you would run up and down massive loops but by the time you realize where you were, you have already been attacked by a group of enemies.

If all this is not enough - the most baddest thing is the lack of variety! Looking back, I only remember there being 4-6 types of enemies without any variation. Wow, such creativity!

The Bottom Line
I really think Sonic and his crew belong in the 2D world. He should stick to consoles like the GameBoy Advance or Nintendo DS, where he is more suited. Sure, Sonic is Sega's biggest mascot, but he just clearly does not belong in 3D until a time when interest in him was been revived. Sonic is Sega's mascot, just like Halo is to X-Box, but it seems that Sonic is no longer wanted - or needed. Sonic was the biggest thing to ever land on Sega's black little box, and that's probably why this game was so disappointing - it simply had to much to live up to. I only advise Sonic fans to buy this game.

By Reborn_Demon on January 21, 2007

Resident Evil 0 (GameCube)

The horror has spread to the GameCube!

The Good
First things first; the graphics. Wow. They were simply amazing, surpassing any other game on the GameCube in terms of its graphical power. I seriously cannot remember a better game with graphics this good on the Game-Cube. The intense detail and realistic dark atmosphere, combined with the effects (both visual and audio), let the player get the best of the Resident Evil franchise, and when played at night, this game is like really scary in some bits. In fact, you can be so frightened of things jumping out at you (like ZOMBIE APES!?), that you'll be saving each time its available. The puzzles and the horror elements combined produce this excellent game which deserves to be praised.

The Bad
If anything, the drop feature needed to be improved on - however, I could just be saying this because I miss the item box's from previous Resident Evil titles. But heck, this new drop feature adds a new installment of realism (after all, in real life, you can't place an item in a box, then move four miles away and find the item again in a different box!), and this realism adds to the horror element ("oh crap, where did I drop that key!?").

The Bottom Line
I can't remember how much I payed for this game, but it sure was worth it. Seriously. The graphics are one of the best for the Game-Cube, probably only being matched by Resident Evil (the Game-Cube exclusive remake), and its horror element is sure to freak you out at least once. Recommended for all zombie fans, horror fans, Resident Evil fans, and people who just love great games. Enjoy!

By Reborn_Demon on January 11, 2007

Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2 (PlayStation 2)

By Reborn_Demon on January 11, 2007

Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi (PlayStation 2)

By Reborn_Demon on January 5, 2007

Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII (PlayStation 2)

Great way to kill time... and Final Fantasy!

The Good
The graphics in this game was quite cool and beautiful in its FMV movies. The learning curve for the controls is short, which is good, and the characters in this game have great voice actors (thankfully, most were kept intact from the Advent Children movie). The story was great, adding a twist to itself and the other Final Fantasy VII spin-offs, although it still seemed lacking. Other nice features included the little shop music-box, the end of level trade-in, which gives you the option to either gain levels (thus becoming stronger) or trading it all in for money (thus becoming richer).

Another thing to compliment is the fact that Square-Enix chose to make the main character run faster, and the weapon lighter, thus no sluggish gameplay during the heat of battle; which really helps during boss battles.

The Bad
Sadly, the graphics in-game were no up to the standard one would expect at the time of the release, and the gameplay within the game slowly become boring - jump, shoot, kill, collect key-card, open gate with key-card, and repeat. Sure, there were a few missions which required unique goals but most of the time, the same procedure was required. Also, the bad level design was a major flaw, with most places having repeated graphics in many locations. all the item boxes looked the same, boxes, TNT crates and even some of the surroundings. Why couldn't they add variations?

The Bottom Line
This game, in my own opinion, is strictly for Final Fantasy fans. Most people who haven't played any of the series before will find themselves confused. And, most fans of Final Fantasy may not even like it anyway, as some feel that it kills the spirit of Final Fantasy VII. If you want fast-paced shooter RPG action, look elsewhere unless you watch gameplay movies from a website to let yourself know what you're getting. It'll vote "Graphics" as fantastic only because of its superb FMV quality.

By Reborn_Demon on December 30, 2006

Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3 (PlayStation 2)

By Reborn_Demon on December 30, 2006

Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (PlayStation 2)

By Reborn_Demon on December 30, 2006

Silent Hill 2 (PlayStation 2)

Survival Horror at its finest... at least, for now...

The Good
The good thing about this being my first Silent Hill game, I instantly come to terms with the controls, being a fan of the very similar Resident Evil series. With this, the weird-but-unique story kept things interesting, which constantly made you wonder what's going to happen next. This was complimented by its graphics (which, in some FMVs, seemed very realistic) and its great level design. There was little variety of weapons, but most give satisfying results - I myself just used the steel pipe and handgun, mostly because fighting a scary monster up close is better than picking him off at a distance.

The horror and suspense element, and the puzzle element too, was used in a way which was actually quite scary at some times. It was scary that much, I saved like every 10 minutes hoping not to die (I was on "Hard" action mode). The characters and enemy design are fine, the graphics are good, the story is great and the shock horror is just fantastic.

Another great feature I don't remember seeing in other games is the TWO difficulty options - in most games, you choose Easy, Normal or Hard (in some cases, Extreme) - but this game give you the option of choosing how hard the action will be, and how hard the puzzles will be. Thus, if your a genius, you could have "Hard puzzle" but with "Easy action". If you love killing monsters, you'll choose the opposite, but if you want a balance game of both, just put both on Normal. The game has little, but alas, still some, replay value. There are many endings (which I won't spoil), which include about 3 "nice" endings, 1 "bad" ending, and a quite funny "goofy" ending.

Plus, on top of all that - there are extra things to unlock once you have completed the game.

The Bad
What I didn't like the most was probably the voice acting. James', Marias' and Marys' voices were okay, but Eddies' and the other womans' voices could - and should of been - improved on. And apart from the low variety of weapons (mentioned above) made the game feel as if it lacked the right action. But then again, its survival-based, not action-based, but still; a cool magnum would be nice.

The Bottom Line
This game is probably one of the highlights of survival horror on the PlayStation 2 (and other consoles it were on), after the game Resident Evil 4 - but that's "horror-action", this is "horror-survival". I hear they brought out an improved version of this game, which includes an extra "goofy" ending. If you're a fan of the early Resident Evil titles (those released before Resident Evil 4), and love monsters, horror, or just puzzles this game is for you, especially if you like everything mentioned above. However, if you're going to buy this game, better off with the "special" platinum edition of this game (aka "Director's Cut"), or maybe even "The Silent Hill Collection" (which includes Silent Hill 2, 3 and 4).

By Reborn_Demon on December 30, 2006

Theme Hospital (Windows)

Very simple, but still highly addictive!

The Good
A simple concept of build-and-maintain your very own hospital, but somehow, it's highly addictive. Fun and weird illnesses walk in onto your hospital property (such as spare rib, bloaty head, people with slack tongue), and it's your job to invite, diagnose, comfort, heal and make sure the patient goes home with a smile - in that order. Sound easy? Soon your hospital becomes so popular, it's simply a huge mass of patients walking about - but be careful - lack of warmth, bad surroundings and no seating can mean that your development turns into a rat-infested sick-covered hospital. Keep the regular VIPs happy and make sure you keep that budget tight!

But what is the good highlights of this game? Well, there are many. Comedic cutscenes of your hospitals' development give you laughs, making sure you employ the right amount of staff and their attitude is a welcome challenge, trying to keep your hospital warm, well-stocked, and smart is also a cute little addictive thing. The graphics aren't too bad, but you have to remember; this game doesn't focus on graphics - it focuses on gameplay, fun and addictive stuff (how many times have i said "addictive"? I just can't stress it enough!).

Realism is also a great factor in this game; for instance, in most games (like "Theme Park", for example) all employees stay in their job roles 24/7 without hassle, but this game adds realism and fun challenge by making your employees more than just "people who do stuff" - they need good surroundings to work in, good cash pay to live on, and time to chill out in the staff room. Same goes for your patients; they need to be cared for in the same ways. This game, despite its graphical downfall, it highly makes up for it by challenges, gameplay, comedy and pure fun - and that's exactly what games should be; fun.

The few levels don't seem like much, but they are fun and long and that's what keeps you playing - knowing that you'll get your money's worth out of this game, and the fun you deserve. The one-off rat level is also adrenaline-pumped and a sort of "relief break". Buying new property, moving and starting anew, and organizing your scheme into the best and ultimate hospital is a challenge (i've also said "challenge" quite a few times, too) but is sure fun.

The Bad
If anything, the graphics are the only thing that were bad. Maybe a first-person experience as a patient may have been a nice little extra, but the graphics are the only thing to be improved on. Seriously though, if this game were ever going to be remade, it would need better graphics, about one or two more levels, and possibly more structures, employees, equipment, etc. but that's probably all.

The Bottom Line
For fans of simulations and people who love to build and control things, you'll love this game. Like I said above, the graphics are the only downfall, but the highlights surely make up for everything. Due to its age, it can be found cheap but may be hard to find slightly. But honestly, one of the best simulations ever on the PlayStation and PC, until "The Sims" can along, but some reckon Theme Hospital is still even better, and at the end of the day, this game is pure fun and excitement for those who love games. If real hospital managers played this, their real-life hospitals would surely become great.

By Reborn_Demon on December 22, 2006

TimeSplitters: Future Perfect (PlayStation 2)

The game that perfectly combines time-travel with comedy and shooter elements!

The Good
Almost every single aspect of this game was so good, it simply cannot be improved. For instance, the ultimate weapons arsenal - with all the best weapons; from old-fashioned rifles, to gangsta machine guns, to modern day pistols, to all-out explosive futuristic equipment! With big levels of fun, action and adventure that are set in various time periods, and an great interesting plot, combined with extra content makes this game legend. With other many arcade league challenges, lots of two-player missions and arcade fun, topped off with over 100+ characters to choose from. This game, with probably the best graphics at the time of its release, has so much fun that once you complete it, you'll want to do it again - over and over until your fingers become numb.

The Bad
I can honestly say there are no bad things in this game. Honestly. Well, maybe just one; there will never be a sequel. And possibly; the main campaign story should have been longer (if only just by a few new levels).

The Bottom Line
In my opinion, the greatest science-fiction first-person-shooter game EVER - or, on the PlayStation 2, at least. Due to the age, this game can be found very cheap (I got my copy for just £4.99!!), and those who have already bought it should know the wonders it gives. Even the gaming critics, like major online gaming websites, love this game - which is significant because most critics under-rate games like these. Great graphics, interesting plot, huge weapons arsenal, massive amount of characters, dozens of arcade levels and modes, this game is not to be missed out on! Shame there isn't a sequel...

By Reborn_Demon on December 21, 2006

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