Rotating Header Image


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 – 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 X4 (PS1)

1 Player

Graphics: 8/10
Standard Mega Man style graphics.  Despite being on the PSX there isn’t all that much
more detail in the characters than the SNES had.  Some of the animation is better I
suppose, though some seems kind of cheap.  The Anime cut scenes are a nice addition
though.  Some pretty large enemies which is kind of a nice upgrade, but I don’t
remember much of X2 and X3 so it may not be the first time.

Music and Sound: 6/10
Once again, it’s a Mega Man game.  Funky fast paced guitar sounding techno music, which
blaster sound effects thrown in.  There are voices in the cut scenes though and through
out the game.  Unfortunately the (English) dub isn’t very good.  Mega Man sounds too
young, the English accent isn’t all that great for Iris, Double’s voice doesn’t work
for his normal form.  Zero is tolerable, the Colonel is actually kind of good, and the
General definitely doesn’t match his massive size.  For the most part it’s not that the
voices are bad, they just don’t match the characters very well.  Than and some of the
lines are kind of cheesy.

Gameplay: 7/10
Not to sound repetitive, but if you have played any Mega Man games, the control and
general plot is the same in all of them.  Fight 8 robot masters, fight some end levels
and special bosses, fight all 8 masters again, then fight the end boss in his 3 forms.
X4 has a fairly weak plot thrown in about the Repliforce revolting but they seem generally
unmotivated by anything other then wanting to fight.  Double and Iris’s extra plot points
would have been more worth while had the two received more characterization, Double is
particularly bad on this point.  It’s fun to play though.  Zero is sweet to play and gets
even more sweet as you learn more sword techniques.

Overall: 7/10
If you are a fan of the Mega Man series, this one is a pretty good game.  Personally I
think playing Zero is worth the game itself.  Despite being like every other Mega Man
game, it is still fun, and the series is still a great one.

Tip: I would recommend fighting the Spider or the Ice guy first.

Review – Gran Turismo 2 (PS1)

1-2 Players

Graphics: 9/10
Very nice graphics of over 50 different cars.  The cars look identical to their real
life counterparts as well.  The tracks have nice texture effects, and you actually seem
like you are driving at the speeds you are, unlike some racing games.  There is fairly
little pop up, which is always a plus.  The graphics can seem a bit rough sometimes but
not enough to detract from the enjoyment.

Music and Sound: 9/10
The soundtrack to this game is great.  Nearly a dozen different songs by real, well known
artists such as Garbage, Rob Zombie, Beck, and the Cardigans to name a few.  I suppose
you may not like the music much if you don’t like rock or techno music, but the soundtrack
does fit the feel of the game.  The sound effects are about average for a racing game,
tire squeals, crashing sounds, engine sounds.  There is also some little difference in
the way each car sounds as well.

Gameplay: 7/10
It is a racing game after all.  There are a lot of tracks and a lot of cars but it is
still driving around in a circle over and over.  There are two disks in this game, the
first being the arcade disk, which is 1 or 2 players, where you pick a car and race it,
the second disk is simulation mode, which is only one player and you race for money in
order to buy new cars and upgrade your cars.  As a bonus you can use the cars you gain
in simulation mode in the arcade mode.

Overall: 8.3/10
I really enjoyed this game when I first bought it, but then I found out the hard way I
had a defective version.  It seems the initial release of this game was very buggy and
in some cases it will erase all your cars you have in your garage.  This is a strong
fault with this game.  IU have played it very little after having my garage erased for
the third time.  IT’s just too repetitive.

Tip: The easiest way to get money fast is to win cars and sell them.  I would recommend
the middle track in the muscle car cup.  The Cobra you win there is worth 75,000 dollars.