102 Dalmatians: Puppies to the Rescue
Publisher: Eidos (2000)
18 Wheeler American Pro Trucker
Publisher: Sega (2001)
Publisher: Midway (2000)
Whoa, this one took me by surprise! These four-wheel drive games seem to be a dime a dozen, but this one is a rip-roaring good time from start to end. If you're looking for realistic off-road action, forget it! This is pure arcade fun, with turbo boosts, ramps, and trucks bouncing all over the place. If you play your cards right, you can turbo through 90% of the course. Despite the breakneck pace, a solid frame rate makes it a smooth ride. The super-long tracks aren't spectacular, but at least there are a nice variety of locations. While the one player mode presents a major challenge, the two-player split screen mode is just crazy fun, as the races tend to be close and exciting. 4 Wheel Thunder is definitely a winner. Too bad there's no four-player mode. © Copyright 2002 The Video Game Critic.
Publisher: GOD Games (2000)
I can't imagine a more boring, uninspired off-road racer than this. 4x4 Evo opens with grainy full-motion video of trucks plowing through mud. You select a pickup and challenge three opponents on dingy tracks with names like "savage wasteland". The washed-out landscapes are depressing and there's no eye candy at all. The steering controls are okay and the handbrake is effective for swinging around turns. Unfortunately there's zero sense of speed so you feel as if you're just churning through the morass. Jumps are so floaty you might as well be racing on the moon. You're required to pass through marked checkpoints, but the wide-open landscapes allow for alternate routes over hills and through trees. The CPU-controlled trucks naturally know the optimal routes so you learn to follow them as they suddenly veer off the road and climb a nearby hill. Nauseating guitar music drones endlessly in the background. The instant replay of the race looks better than the race itself, with a little driver seen behind the steering wheel. The process of saving your progress is labor-intensive and slow. You'd expect a bare-bones game like this to support four players, yet the split-screen is limited to two. So what's the point? Well, according to the box you could in theory race online against Mac and PC users. That might have been a selling point at one time, but that time has long past, and all that's left is this big ole' bucket of misery. © Copyright 2015 The Video Game Critic.
Publisher: Crave (1999)
Publisher: Konami (1999)
Airforce Delta is too realistic to be an arcade game, but too simplistic to be a simulation. It tries to straddle the line, but the results are mixed. Through a series of missions, you need to complete a variety of objectives including blowing up ground targets, shooting down enemy planes, and escorting friendly aircraft. Missions take place in a nice variety of locations, including over cities, mountains, and water. The scenery looks terrific, with the exception of the stagnant water, which looks awfully fake. Just flying around is pretty fun, and the easy-to-learn controls give you excellent maneuverability. Some people may not like the fact that the gameplay mostly involves locking on targets (some very far away) and shooting them down with guided missiles. There aren't many occasions to use the machine guns, which only work at very close range. Shooting down planes is fun, but the enemy explosions are rather unspectacular. After each mission, you can watch a cool instant replay. It's not bad, but Airforce Delta is less than thrilling. © Copyright 1999 The Video Game Critic.
Alice's Mom's Rescue
Publisher: Hucast (2015)
Publisher: Sega (2001)
Rating: Teen (violence)
Alone In The Dark: The New Nightmare
Publisher: Infogrames (2001)
Publisher: Metro 3D (1999)
It's taken me nearly an eternity
to review Armada, mainly because this stupid game can't even maintain my attention long enough to write
one. It's that
bad! I've tried to get some friends to help me with it, but after a few minutes of pointless shooting, they're all like "hell with this!" And who can blame them? The game makes no sense at all. On the surface, Armada is a good-looking game with an Asteroids vibe. Played on a 2D plane (over 3D graphics), your ship can move in any direction and fire rapidly at aliens that relentlessly converge. The aliens resemble metallic cockroaches, and their screams reverberate nicely as they explode. Superimposed numbers indicate their health, and it's satisfying to wear them down - for the first five minutes or so. After that it just gets old. What I am supposed to do and where am I supposed to go? Neither my friends nor me could figure it out. Armada might have been slightly more interesting if we could have purchased some of the fancy weapons and gadgets for sale at the space station, but they're so expensive it's unlikely you'll ever see them in action. You only collect one or two "credits" for most defeated enemies, and you'll need at least
800 to buy anything worthwhile. I was hopeful that adding a partner or two (the game supports four simultaneous players) would expedite the process, but all we did was continually rag on this putrid game. Let's face it, life's too short for games as poorly designed as Armada. © Copyright 2006 The Video Game Critic.
Atari Anniversary Edition
Publisher: Infogrames (2001)
Publisher: Crave (2001)
You might think this two-dimensional shooter is a throwback to the 16 bit era, but the Genesis could never
have handled anything this
intense. You control a tiny man with a booster pack flying through enclosed areas and blasting everything to oblivion. There are lines of stationary targets as well as flying creatures. Your targets are so tiny that it's tough to tell what they're supposed to be. As you destroy objects, giant fruit appears in their place that you can collect for bonus points. Your firepower is, in a word, awesome. You can choose between guided or bouncing missiles, and can fire them non-stop. On top of that, your special attack unleashes hundreds of projectiles in all directions - all without any slowdown! Bangai-O has a few anime cut-scenes and plenty of weird Japanese humor. As you play through the various stages, the game automatically saves your place. Bangai-O is a nice change, but it does get repetitive. © Copyright 2001 The Video Game Critic.
Publisher: Activision (1999)
Rating: Mature (blood, animated violence)
Publisher: Sega (2001)
Bomberman has been around forever, and this old game hasn't changed much. Up to four players walk around a maze trying to blow each other away with strategically placed bombs. Sure it's fun, but it's still the same game you've been playing for 10 years (if not longer). Sega tried to inject new life into it by adding a slew of new modes and customization options, but the original four-player "survivor mode" is still the best of the bunch. Although the battlefields are rendered completely in 3D, the characters are flat sprites. The good news is that the 3D graphics don't hamper the gameplay like they did in some of the Playstation versions. Perhaps the main attraction of this game is that you don't need to invite three friends over since you can play it online. The single player modes didn't appeal to me at all. If you've never played Bomberman, don't hesitate to buy this game, but if you have one or more Bomberman games already, you can probably live without this. © Copyright 2002 The Video Game Critic.
Border Down (Japan)
Publisher: G Rev (2003)
Whoa! This side-scrolling shooter really rocked my world! Border Down takes the genre to new heights by honing an age-old formula to near perfection. First, let's talk about the incredible graphics. Starting with the awe-inspiring cityscapes of stage one, this game was meant to be gawked at. The enemy craft and bosses are extremely original in design, and I love how they fluidly rotate into view from the background. The textures are so smooth and seamless that you barely even notice that this is a 2D game with 3D graphics. The massive explosions, fire, and smoke effects are some of the best I've seen in any
game. But Border Down is more than just a pretty face - the game plays like a dream! Your default weapon is effective, and the controls are completely intuitive. Holding in a button fires a constant stream of shots, and tapping it unleashes heat-seeking missiles. It's an ingenious scheme that works like a charm. You also have an ultra-powerful beam weapon that you'll want to reserve for the big guys. I love how this thing cancels out
incoming beams, and obliterates weaker projectiles! The game is slightly boss-heavy, but they don't tend to overstay their welcome. High scores are saved with your initials to a rankings screen. The electronic music isn't exceptional, but at least it has a nice old school vibe. It's a shame Border Down wasn't available during the Dreamcast's heyday, because this really shows off the system's power. © Copyright 2008 The Video Game Critic.
Publisher: Acclaim (2000)