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Review – Sonic Adventure (Dreamcast)

1 Player | Sega

Sega’s mascot makes the jump to true 3D.  Though I believe there was a previous 3D
Sonic for Saturn or 3sx or Sega CD or one of those, now he’s 128 bit powered and it
shows.  This is the Mario 64 of the Dreamcast, the game that was thoroughly crafted
to take advantage of the system’s overall capabilities.  Certainly a worthy game and
surely feels like a Sonic game to me.

Graphics (9/10)
  Keep in mind the ratings are determined on the system capabilities.  That is, a
NES game could receive a 9 as well but the graphics of an eight bit system will
certainly not compared to that of a 128 bit one.  The graphics are exceptional in
this game though. There is a massive leap from PSX or N64 3D graphics.  Everything
is richly detailed and the maps don’t ever seem barren or empty.  The nine though
comes from a few rare blips that pop up in there.  And for the camera, which
occasionally (though not as much as some other reviews I’ve read would have you
believe) does weird things that make it difficult to maneuver.  The speeds that you
fly down the raps and paths are amazing, I can’t hardly imagine just how large some
of these levels actually are when Sonic starts flying down long stretches at great

Sound (9/10)
  It’s not all eye candy though, it’s got great sound as well.  Though a few of the
effects seem somewhat dated, they are “classic” sonic sound effects and fit as a
result. The music is great too.  There are only a few songs that seemed truly
terrible, and I was downloading some of the songs off of Napster the day after I
started playing this game.  But then, some people may abhor the J=Pop feel of the
music, so really it comes down to taste in music I suppose.

Game Play (10/10)
  Fast and fun.  There are 5 playable characters in this game each with their own
stories that all interweave together.  Tails probably has the most boring story as
it’s more or less identical to Sonic’s story.  Knuckles interacts with Sonic only
a few times and seems to have the shortest of the 5 (I haven’t played Big yet.)  You
even get to play as the bad guy for some time as Gamma.  Plus the stories help play
off each other too.  If you see something that makes no sense in one game, chances
are it will be explained somehow in one of the other games.  Sonic of course follows
the general “Collect rings and Emeralds, destroy Robotnik” story.  The constant
referall to Robotnik as “Eggman” is kind of annoying though I think Eggman actually
is his Japanese name or something.  Many of the classic Sonic level designs show up
here in full 3D though.  There is a casino stage, the Jungle, a machine shop area,
Sky-Chase levels.  Also there are a few references to previous Sonic games thrown in
as well.

Overall (9.4/10)
  Definitely worthwhile if you enjoy Sonic games.  They were always my favorite
Genesis titles (Sonic 2 up on top).  It was the first Dreamcast game I bought and
I feel it was worth it.  It does seem a bit short I’m probably almost 75% done with
all of the game, but I’ve been playing it a lot.  Pick it up!

Review – Beast Wars: Transmetals (PS1)

1. In the Predacon opening video Megatron specifically refers to the name of
the Predacon ship as the Darkside.  Isn’t this only the second reference
suggesting this?  I guess that sort of makes it more official.

2. There are lots of little details from the show in there, which give it a
really nice touch.

3. This game could not possible fall into show continuance though as BA is
in he Transmetal 2 form and everyone else is in Transmetal form.

4. There are various extra things to do.  One is looking through a gallery
of all the Transmetal (and a few Transmetal 2) toys.  You can review and CG
movies you’ve passed through, you can review any CG stills you’ve seen, and
you can listen tot he voice and music soundtracks.

5. There are several shots during CG sequences that include non playable
characters like Depthcharge, TM2 Dinobot, Optimal Optimus and TM2 Cheetor.
Though playing as OPOp would be REALLY cool.

6. While Inferno is mentioned once, the game does nothing to explain where
Dinobot and Inferno have gotten off to.  Tigatron and Airrazor can sort of
be written off as being taken away by the Vok or something since the game
seems to take place sometime in Season 2.

7. The personalities of the characters leave much to be desired.  Optimus’
lines all basically amount to “Charge in and attack!  We have to defeat
them!”; Silverbolt is basically “Where’s Black Arachnia?”; Rampage is “I’m
evil and have godlike strength, I want to break things.”  It is a little
better from there, as those three seem like the worst of the lot.

Graphics (8/10)
  All the graphics are pretty good.  The in battle characters are somewhat
blocky, but it’s not very noticeable unless in a close up, and it’s probably
seems a lot worse than it is due to being used to seeing the nice smooth
Mainframe CG from he show.  The CG movies are great though.  They look like
scenes cut straight from the TV.  I’m not sure if Mainframe did any work on
them or not though, if not then I’m pretty impressed.  Also Transmetal
Rhinox an Waspinator make their CG debuts in this and they look pretty nice.
The battle fields seem somewhat flat and boring but that may be due to
hardware limitations.  I imagine the N64 version looks a bit better in the
actual gameplay area, but probably worse in the video department.

Sound (10/10)
  It’s very nice that they got the real voice actors to do the voices.  If
they aren’t the real ones that I am VERY impressed by the impersonations.
All of the 8 main fighters with the possible exception of Megs (it may be my
imagination but he sounds a little off), have their normal voices.  Others
like Rhinox and Black Arachnia don’t however.  They are sort of close but
they are definitely not correct.  I also listened to Ravage’s lines through
my computer and he doesn’t sound the same either.  Also there were some
other lines with a bunch of Autobot references that I found and could not
identify the speaker but they might have been Rhinox’s.  Also these guys
like to talk, but there is so much variety in the lines that it doesn’t get
old.  The sound effects are nice, but they are somewhat just general blaster
sounds for the most part.  The music actually sound a lot like something
that would be in a Mega Man game, which I feel is a great thing since the
Mega Man games have great music.  some people may be disappointed by the
lack of standard Beast Wars music and themes however, you’ll never hear the
Beast Wars theme, or Silverbolt’s cheesy trumpets, or any of that in this

Gameplay (8/10)
   I haven’t played any fighters in a long time, but this one does add some
nice refreshing twists tot he genre.  It does have some drawbacks though.
For starters, in story mode, the fighters are divided into teams.  Which
means you’ll never have a Maximal fight a Maximal, but also means there are
only four players you’ll go up against, which means you’ll be getting some
repeat fights.  I believe no matter what you’ll have to fight someone twice,
even when you choose the shortest route to the enemy base.  But on the plus
side, you can change fighter between rounds, and if you loose you’ll simply
loose the ability to pick that character, and can try again with one of the
remaining players.  Also the controls are different than most 3D fighters in
that up moves you up, and left moves left, etc, then there is a jump button
instead of pushing up on the controller.  The controls are a bit
disappointing however.  L2 and R2 are not used at all.  R1 is just the combo
attack of pushing C(circle) and T(Triangle) together.  X transforms,
S(Square) jumps, C and T are your attack buttons.  At long range C and T
will fire any long range weapons, up close they are used for hand to hand
combat.  also you can charge up for a stronger attack and earn super
attacks.  There are also various charging moves.  I haven’t figured out any
other moves yet really.
  Also some other modes include Vs Mode, where you fight 1 on 1 against CPU
or Human; and Survivor, where you play one round battles until you loose.
The difficulty settings range from easy (enemy mostly runs and hides and
occasionally attacks), normal (Standard fighting, fairly easy to win
though), and hard (Default setting and very difficult, I lost 2 of my four
Maxies on the first enemy, Enemy will fire his weapon constantly and whip
off special moves as soon as the come up and there is a clear shot, gets
very difficult when the enemy is weak and he gets special moves constantly.)

Overall (8.7/10)
  Definitely worth it if you have a PSX and are a fan of the Beast Wars
show.  The action is fast paced and fun, thought he plot is relatively dull
(Maximals: Let’s lead a charge against the Preds while they are on the run!
Preds: Let’s attack the Maximal Base).  If otherwise, I’d say it’s a pretty
good game for fans of the fighting Genre.  It has some unique qualities
about it, and has several modes of play.

Review – Ninja Gaiden (NES)

Ninja Gaiden Site Banner

1 Player

Kick ass classic Ninja action.

Graphics 8/10
Pretty good.  The sprites all look like what they are supposed to look like, though the
enemies are sometimes kind of weird, the cut scenes are pretty cool and often action
packed.  The graphics are good for NES level.  The opening sequence rocks.

Music and Sound 9/10
This game has great music too.  Fast paced music that fits the levels well, slower and
creepy music when appropriate during the cut scenes.  As for sound effects, they are
pretty sharp and quick, which fits the Ninja motif.  Basically they are believable in the
game setting.

Gameplay 8/10
Though it’s somewhat repetitive, the levels change enough that it doesn’t get old.  Plus
each level usually has several areas.  The buttons are plenty, one to jump, one to sword
swipe and a combination attack for special weapons.

Overall 8.4/10
An old classic that should be in your NES collection if possible.  I suppose you could
settle for one of the sequels or the Ninja Gaidan Trilogy for SNES, but the sequels are
harder (I don’t like them as much).  A great game though overall.

Tip: Uh, I got nothing, sorry.

Review – Fear Effect (PS1)

1 Player

What could have been great is somewhat ruined by poor controls and insane difficulty. Though it looks like a shooter, it’s more of a puzzle game, the shooting part is mostly there to make you mad.

Graphics 10/10
Incredibly nice graphics.  The backgrounds are always moving (looped FMV), and they are very detailed.  The cinematic fit seamlessly into the gameplay, the camera changes angles once in a while while playing with little affect on the game play.  The characters are very uniquely styled and are sort of 3D anime styled.  This look could turn some people off I suppose, but I really like it.

Music and Sound 9/10
Another thing this game has is sound.  The music sets the mood well and the sounds (don’t really) do what they are supposed to, inspire fear.  It does make the environment seems very creepy.  The voices are all excellent as well, though some of the dialogue is kind of so-so, you can’t blame actors for the script though.

Gameplay 5/10
This is the bomber part.  The controls on this game suck.  They should have gone for something like Syphon Filter or Metal Gear Solid but instead they went with the Resident Evil control set up.  You will die in this game, a lot, so much you will hate the game for it.  And not because of the hard enemies, but because of the difficulty you will have targeting and killing the easy enemies.  This isn’t helped that a lot of the time action will jump on top of you without warning and by on top, I mean on top and right next to you. As a result this game is very difficult for anyone with the ability to react with the exact correct response instantaneously.  Also some of the puzzles seem to be more or less guess and try again sort of puzzles.  Time to disarm a bomb, cut some wires, when you blow up, try again only cut different wires. Also the game seems a bit short really if you don’t count the time you spend resetting and waiting for the game to reload.  Each disk only lasts like a half hour.

Overall 8/10
I have to say that after repeatedly dying on the first boss because I couldn’t control myself well enough to dodge his shots I was about ready to give up with this game.  Then I got an invincibility code, which allows one to play through for the story and puzzles without the bothersome repeated and long reload time.  I’d say if you really like the crappy Resident Evil controls and want a suspenseful action game, by all means buy this game, otherwise maybe it’s a good idea to rent first, or wait for a price drop or you may feel you wasted your money.

Of course you’ll get the codes, it’s the only tip needed to make this game worth while.
Go to the options menu, then view the credits, then enter:
(T=Triangle C=Circle S=Square U=Up D=Down L=Left R=Right L1=L1)
L1 T U D C C T S L T for Infinite Ammo
L1 T U D C C T S R S for Invincibility

Review – Mega Man: Dr. Wily’s Revenge (GB)

Capcom | 1 Player

What’s better than a console Mega Man game?  Well not necessarily a portable one, but who am I to say?  Too bad they left out Guts man and Bomb man.

Graphics: 7/10

It’s Mega Man, what do you expect?  Well ok, the Blue Bomber is now the Grey Bomber and he doesn’t change color when a different weapon is equipped.    The sprites seems big as well, which is a plus and a minus.  Plus, they are easy to see, there are less per screen, you don’t have to navigate for a mile to exit the screen, ect.  Minus because, it’s hard to dodge?  I suppose they may seem weird next to a NES Mega Man game.

Sound: 6/10

No new music really, it’s just rehashed from Mega Man one on NES.  I guess Elec Man’s theme will always be Elec Man’s theme.  The sound effects are Ok I suppose, nothing spectacular.

Gameplay: 8/10

Well, like I said, it’s Mega Man.  Despite being almost identical to every other Mega Man game, it’s fun.  Plus it seems a lot easier than the NES games, which is saying quite a bit.  At first there are four bosses and levels from Mega Man 1, then you fight through a Dr. Wily stage and fight 4 more bosses from Mega Man two.  On an additional note, the rest of the Game Boy series nicely continues this trend, with MM2 having the remaining four Mega Man 2 NES bosses then four Mega Man 3 bosses.

Overall: 7/10

Pretty good if you like Mega Man games.  The only other MM GB game I’ve played though is Mega Man 2.  I think 5 had completely original robot masters, so you may want that instead if you don’t want NES rehashes.

Tip: My suggestion is to try beating Elec Man first, he has an easy pattern.  Then fry Ice Man, cool off, Fire Man, and finally, put the heat on Cut man.