This is a comprehensive, well-produced documentary that's been chopped into specific categories you can browse through. By navigating the DVD-like menus, you can view information about feeding habits, shark history, hydromechanics, and reasons why sharks attack. Naturally my curiosity took me straight to the shark attack section, but there really isn't a whole lot to see. Most of the material is narration over still photos. There's an occasional small video clip, but in general the lack of video footage is disappointing.
Even so, there's enough information here to keep you "surfing" for some time. I was especially fascinated by the tiny Pygmy Shark and the hideous Goblin Shark. The CD contains a full index of all the different types of sharks, and there's also a "Food Chain" section that lets you see what might happen if any layer of the chain were eliminated. A trivia game is tossed in, but the cartoonish presentation makes it more suitable for kids. Shark Alert serves its purpose as an informative tool, but it could have been better. © Copyright 2003 The Video Game Critic.
Whether you're leaping between crumbling ledges or blasting robots, the action is fast and furious. There are occasional flashing hints but frankly the game boils down to a lot of trial and error. In some instances there's really no indication of what you're supposed to do. Still, you tend to get a little further each time and Don Bluth's animation is charming as always. The sequences are scripted but there are occasional mirror-image "reverse" scenes to keep you on your toes.
At first you assume the role of some whiny kid named Dexter, but he frequently transforms into the muscle bound stud Space Ace. The damsel in distress is a super hot redhead. After exhausting your five lives you enter your initials into the high score screen. I like that because it gives you a way to measure your progress. Unfortunately there are no continues; you have to start over each time. Space Ace's gameplay is limited by today's standards, but it's an interesting piece of history that's still a lot of fun to watch. © Copyright 2019 The Video Game Critic.
This version of Tetris offers some nice options including ten levels of play. It would seem nearly impossible to screw up the gameplay itself, but Philips managed to find a way. First of all, the actual game is played on a small vertical strip that barely covers a quarter of the screen. The game board, score, number of lines, and next piece are all crammed onto this small piece of real estate. The bricks are too small and there are no sound effects, even when you clear a row.
But the game's biggest sin is the control. Instead of using the traditional method of pushing down to make the blocks move faster, a separate button is used. You'd think that using two buttons would be no problem, but it's easy to get confused. All in all, this is definitely the best looking Tetris I've played, but nowhere near the most fun. © Copyright 2002 The Video Game Critic.
Thunder in Paradise stars Terry "Hulk" Hogan in the lead role with former supermodel Carol Alt serving as the token female. One of the two included disks contains an entire episode of the "Thunder in Paradise" television program, which was such a runaway hit that I've never even heard of it. The second disk includes three shooting games that can be played individually or in a series. An "interactive television" option mixes these game segments in with the episode.
The video quality is excellent, making the exotic "scenery" look extra alluring. The games are designed to work with a light gun controller, and if you don't own one, you'll want to knock down the grade by a letter (at least). The gun is actually pretty accurate although the reticule lags a bit. The first game is called "Thunder Encounter" which puts you in a speedboat being attacked from four sides. The idea is to shoot down incoming missiles using an awkward mechanism that lets you toggle between four views. Targeting missiles is tough because once they are visible you don't have much time to react.
The second game "Island Encounter" puts you in a deserted water park with lush vegetation and rope bridges. While wandering around you'll occasionally pause to shoot generic enemies peeking out from behind rocks. I have to admit I enjoyed taking in the scenery. In the final game "Lab Encounter" you engage in a shootout with a "boss" who has some kind of metal plate covering half his face.
Most of the action takes place in a factory, but there's a section where you're inexplicably transported to a street that's obviously located at MGM Studios. The three games are shallow but I like how you get a score for each one in addition to a running total. Thunder in Paradise may have questionable replay value, but if you're in the right frame of mind this is a surprisingly entertaining trip back in time. © Copyright 2011 The Video Game Critic.