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Games are rated relative to other games for the same system.
The snow on the ground looks photo-realistic and I love how it "crunches" as you slice through it. The weather conditions are variable, and some races even take place at night. The sense of speed is good, and the bouncy physics is fun in a halfway-out-of-control sort of way. Sno-Cross is most playable from a third-person point-of-view, but the first-person lets you really feel the chill of getting snow kicked up in your face.
You'll race against three opponents per race, and if you're lucky two of them will collide with each other early on. The championship mode is challenging and adds a lot of replay value. Although the tracks may appear to have shortcuts here and there, they always turn out to be dead ends so don't bother. Best times are saved to VMU, and a status screen between races lets you easily repair and upgrade your vehicle.
The main problem with Sno-Cross is its imprecise controls. I realize we're riding over snow and ice here, but I have driven a snowmobile before (or snow-machine as they call it in Vermont). In the game there's a perceivable lag in the response time and you'll find yourself over-steering all over the place to compensate. Even when you upgrade your vehicle, it never feels quite right.
Making matters worse, when the vehicles incur damage they tend to pull to one side, making your life absolutely miserable. On narrow trails you may find yourself bouncing around like a pinball! A two-player split-screen mode is available, but when you combine mediocre controls with a lousy frame-rate, the results are not pretty. Still, if you stick to the solo mode there's just enough challenge and winter goodness to keep you coming back year after year. © Copyright 2011 The Video Game Critic.
The game is divided into action and adventure stages. The action stages play like traditional Sonic zones as you dash through tunnels, hop between platforms, leap over spikes, and bounce off bumpers. These imaginative stages take you to tropical islands, a highway metropolis, an iceberg, and an Indiana Jones-style lost temple. In the flying egg carrier stage, the entire ship turns on its side, allowing you to play from an entirely different perspective.
The camera can be an issue at times, but this is compensated for by wide platforms and floaty jumps. Spinner mechanisms will propel Sonic to insane speeds, at which time you'll just push up on the joystick and enjoy the eye candy. While admittedly shallow, these sequences are used sparingly enough that they don't tarnish the gameplay.
The "adventure" stages focus on exploration, talking to bystanders, and solving simple puzzles. They tie things together story-wise, but really drag down the pace of the game. You can play through most stages using multiple characters, each providing a unique experience. While playing with other characters is generally less fun, it does give the game substantial replay value. Their stories intertwine, giving the game a cohesive quality. Spicing things up are snowboarding, airplane shooting, and pinball stages.
Sonic Adventure is surprisingly long, and just when you think it's over, you're off to a new stage. There's even a virtual pet-style "Chao" game you can download to your VMU. The musical score is eclectic, ranging from the heavy metal of the intro to the mesmerizing African beats of the Mystic Ruins. The character voices are less appealing, and it's unfortunate they were given voices at all. Even so, this ambitious game is a triumphant blend of fast action, simple controls, and stunning graphics. Even ten years after its release, playing Sonic Adventure is a breathtaking experience. © Copyright 2010 The Video Game Critic.
The opening stage has him skateboarding down the steep hills of San Francisco and fleeing from a rampaging 18-wheeler. It's non-stop action, and I really dig that "Escape From the City" song that plays throughout the stage. In Metal Harbor, Sonic leaps between industrial platforms and cranes over the water. Some of the more unusual stages include the claustrophobic "Prison Lane" and the Halloween-themed Pumpkin Hill. The semi-automated speed sequences are back, but they are somewhat overused, making stages like the lush jungle less satisfying than they should be.
Sonic Adventure 2 brings two optional gameplay elements from the first game to center stage - with mixed results. Tails stomps around in a mech walker in stages that focus on shooting. He has the ability to lock-on to several targets before unleashing missiles, and the carnage is terrific. On the flip side, Knuckles is relegated to tedious "find the gem" stages that are time-consuming and frustrating. His ability to glide and climb doesn't make these wild goose chases any more tolerable. The droning rap tunes (which sound like LL Cool J) don't help matters.
Throughout the game the camera tends to pull in extremely tight. While this makes you feel "closer to the action", your limited periphery is problematic when you're trying to locate gems or shoot off-screen robots. Last and certainly least, those worthless "Chao" virtual pets are back with some new VMU games. With the exception of the Knuckles stages, Sonic Adventure 2 is a fast-moving, enjoyable journey. Every stage offers something new, and there are plenty of surprises. It may not match the original game, but Sonic Adventure 2 is still quite the spectacle to behold. © Copyright 2010 The Video Game Critic.
The numbered cards in your hand are used to move a certain number of spaces, providing for some interesting strategy. In addition, you can collect "force jewels" which alter the game in various ways. Different types of spaces may cause you to gain rings, lose rings, battle a monster, or trigger a mini-event or mini-game. It's just too bad that the one-player monster battles are so frequent, because they bore the other players.
The mini-events are basically short stories that usually end by awarding (or stealing) rings or jewels from a player. But it's the mini-games that should be the most fun part of any party game, and this is where Sonic Shuffle falters. To put it bluntly, most of them SUCK.
Some are so complicated that you need to play them a few times just to tell what's going on. In others, you don't feel very much in control. Others will leave you scratching your head. But the fact is, most are either boring or annoying. There are some original ideas here, like running around a giant turntable or avoiding crashing waves, but the fun factor is seriously lacking. At least the load times aren't bad, but Sonic Shuffle should have been much better. © Copyright 2001 The Video Game Critic.
The ten-fighter roster contains some memorable characters including Ivy the sexy vixen, the blindfolded freak Voldo, the ninja assassin Taki, and the hulking Nightmare with his "winking" sword. Each character possesses a distinct weapon and fighting style. Calibur's gameplay is remarkably deep, incorporating a guard move, "soul charges", throws, side-steps, and eight-way directional movement. The battles are quite a spectacle.
It's possible to knock a fighter out of the "ring" for an easy victory, but that's pretty rare. I find it amusing how you can continue to whack away at an opponent after he's been defeated. It's also a great opportunity to talk trash, like "How (whack!) many (whap!) times (kapow!) have I told you (bam!) to take out (thunk!) that (thwack!) damn (bap!) garbage! (bonk!)"
Soul Calibur's lush backgrounds appear almost photo-realistic, and a high quality orchestrated soundtrack contributes to the game's epic scope. If there's one thing that's annoying about this game, it's the idiotic dialogue. "Ivy was seriously wounded, but the soul still burns!" What the [expletive] does that mean exactly?
Soul Calibur features brief load times, an assortment of unlockable items, and a number of playing modes. I especially enjoy "Mission Battle", which spices up the action with diverse objectives for each round. Soul Calibur is truly a great fighter that's managed to withstand the test of time. It may be old, but the soul still burns! Whatever that means! © Copyright 2006 The Video Game Critic.
Most kart racers are simple by nature, but Rally goes out of its way to needlessly complicate everything. This may be the single most confusing racing game in existence. Most of the track layouts look like spaghetti, and you're forced to hit scattered numbered checkpoints in order. This makes completing a single lap feel like an absolute chore! The steering is fine, but collisions often turn you the wrong way, and getting back on track is a pain.
Some stages take a break from racing to offer tantalizing challenges like the chance to fight over Cartman's dirty underwear. In the Valentine's Day stage you must collect bow and arrow icons and then shoot the other players. The problem is, the mob converges on you before you ever get a chance to take aim. It seems like each stage degenerates into a chaotic mess. The courses run through uninteresting locales like a farmyard and sewer, and even the amusement park is boring.
Having holiday-themed stages is a good concept that's totally wasted here. The weapons are more incomprehensible than they are irreverent. The hooker gives other drivers herpes, the taco unleashes explosive diarrhea, and a "spooky vision" clouds your opponent's view with digitized images of Saddam Hussein. That last weapon might be a little more funny if the guy wasn't dead!
Some weapons are so ineffective that you can't even tell if you used them or not. A lot of repetitive, unfunny voice samples are heard during each race like "I'll kick your ass!" South Park fans may be mildly amused by the game's wacky themes, but for everyone else, this kart-racer is about as fun as irritable bowel syndrome. © Copyright 2010 The Video Game Critic.
There are only a few moves: up, down, left, right, and "shoot" (although it sounds more like chu!). It looks more like you're exercising than dancing. There are two ray gun buttons; one to shoot aliens and one to save humans. It's not enough to repeat "left left right right shoot shoot shoot"; you need to perform in the exact same cadence including pauses. Fortunately the controls are super responsive so you can really get into a groove. Anyone who loved Parappa the Rapper (PS1, 1997) or Bust A Groove (PS1, 1999) will feel right at home with this one.
Humans you save will dance behind you for the remainder of the stage. The cast of characters includes hot rival reporter Pudding and the King of Pop himself: Michael Jackson! He looks so pale!! It's easy to dismiss Space Channel 5 as style over substance but the game is well constructed. The pacing is just right, giving the player periodic breaks through enjoyable intermissions.
The difficulty is a bit uneven, with tricky sequences often mixed in with easy ones. It's very forgiving however, so you can survive even after stumbling through the last few moves. Space Channel 5 is wispy and carefree, which is why I like it so much. It's one of those distinctive Dreamcast classics that reminds us that games don't need to take themselves seriously. © Copyright 2019 The Video Game Critic.
This game's intro features heavy metal music playing over grainy full-motion video - two relics of a bygone age. Instead of a beat-em-up style adventure (as I expected) Spawn is just a series of free-for-all battles in dreary, confined areas. The entire premise is flawed, since it relegates Spawn to being just another character caught up in the fray. It's actually possible for Spawn and Al Simmons (his human incarnation) to fight in the same contest, which makes no sense.
You get a choice of arcade and tournament modes, with the main difference being one is timed and the other is point-based. Up to four players can participate via split-screen, and the CPU controls any extra characters. Players will immediately notice that the Dreamcast controller is not conducive to this style of 3D mayhem. The analog stick is not supported, forcing you to use the digital pad to move. Enemies tend to be out of view, forcing you to constantly reposition the camera. Unfortunately, your camera control is limited to pressing the Y button to re-center it behind you.
The drab stages have uninspired names like dark alley, secret sewer, forest of gloom, wasteland, path to wasteland, labyrinth 1, labyrinth 2, etc. Navigating the stages is confusing, especially when moving through doorways to new areas. The shooting and melee action is mind-numbing. Half the time you don't know what's shooting you or what you're shooting at (if anything).
The CPU players are so dumb you can often sit back and unload on them from a distance as they pound on each other into oblivion. Spawn is a waste of a license. After suffering through this, my friend Scott asked me to put in another game immediately so he could "get the taste of Spawn out of his mouth." © Copyright 2013 The Video Game Critic.
Speed Devils has all the standard modes, including arcade, championship, and two-player split screen, and you can fully customize the race and track conditions. Handling is good, but the lack of a power slide makes it tough to navigate sharp turns. There are no power-ups or weapons, but the cars are equipped with turbo boosts. You really can't ask for much more from a racing game.
My main complaint is that they forgot to include the controls in the instruction manual, although they did include a diagram telling you where the X button is, where the A button is, etc. Like I couldn't just look on the controller to see that! For you modem junkies, there's an on-line version of this game available as well. © Copyright 2001 The Video Game Critic.
Thanks to a well-designed control scheme, swinging between buildings is easy and fun. Although you get about 20 different attacks in all, they're all just slight variations on the basic kick/punch/web moves. The thugs look great, and the villains include Scorpion, Rhino, and Venom. Finely detailed, they even look impressive up close.
The buildings are huge and imposing, but since rendering the streets below would have been too demanding on the hardware, the storyline conveniently begins with Venom flooding the streets with a mysterious yellow haze.
Since Spider-Man can crawl on any wall or ceiling, Activision used transparent surfaces and changing camera angles to keep the action in perspective. They did a fair job overall, although I did occasionally become disoriented, causing Spider-Man to crawl in the wrong direction. But let's face it, few 3D games have a perfect camera system, and this game is especially demanding.
The basic gameplay is involving and fun, as you swing from building to building beating the crap out of the bad guys. In some ways, the gameplay reminded me of the classic Genesis Spider-Man game. The voice acting is expertly done, including narration by Stan Lee, and bonus features include different Spider-Man costumes, level select, and an artwork gallery. This is the game Spider-Man fans have been waiting for. © Copyright 2001 The Video Game Critic.
Later I revisited the game with my friend Brent who offered a different perspective. Spirit of Speed 1937 recreates an era that was the precursor of the modern day Formula One. Car buffs will relish the faithfully-recreated classic automobiles which include a Miller, Duesenberg, Bugatti, and Mercedes Benz. The tracks are respectable approximations of circuits of the time, and while most are dull, the port of Tripoli offers some interesting scenery.
The attention to detail is commendable but Spirit of Speed's gameplay sputters badly. The steering is touchy, the brakes ineffective, and hitting a rail sends you bouncing like a pinball. Upon reaching high speeds the framerate exhibits an unsightly strobe effect that made me queasy. A heads-up display provides status information (fuel, tires), but the pit stop locations are hard to find! Even on the easy difficulty it's impossible to win a single race. And the races, which run well over a half hour, are hard to endure.
Championship, practice, and scenario modes are available, but where's the two player split-screen? Spirit of Speed 1937 isn't the most stable title. In fact, it's often hard to differentiate if your car is malfunctioning or it's the game. Vintage car buffs can bump up the grade by a letter, but most gamers will find this very hard to appreciate. © Copyright 2015 The Video Game Critic.
For example, the baseball event is a home run derby contest, and the basketball entry is a three-point shoot-out. Tennis challenges you to hit targets on the other side of the court, and golf offers "closest to the pin" and putting contests. Soccer has corner kick and long shot challenges, and for hockey there's a puck shooting and a goalie event. Football has "touchdown dash" and field goal kicking games. Finally, there's a cycling contest, which seems oddly out of place.
Variety is the name of this game, and the graphics are slick and polished. An obnoxious announcer hosts the festivities, and like most Olympic-style games, each event is preceded with some quick instructions. The controls are simple - sometimes too simple, and the quality of the events is uneven. I could play the tennis, golf, and field goal events all day, but the touchdown and cycling games are shallow, carpal-tunnel inducing button mashers. Still, the split-screen head-to-head action is undeniably fun. © Copyright 2001 The Video Game Critic.
It's really sad, because Star Wars provides all the characters, vehicles, weapons, and battlefields you'd ever need for a kick-ass vehicle combat game. Demolition's vehicle selection includes a landspeeder, snowspeeder, AT-ST, and battle tank. You can also play as Boba Fett in a jetpack or the hulking Rancor monster (from Return of the Jedi).
Two things I cannot fault are Demolition's graphics and sound. The battlegrounds provide a diverse set of environments, including Hoth, Tatooine, Dagobah, Cloud City, Naboo, and the Death Star. The scenery looks attractive and provides plenty of recognizable landmarks and subtle details only Star Wars aficionados will notice. The musical score and sound effects are straight from the movies, so they're pretty good.
Once you get past the presentation and begin delving into the gameplay, numerous problems surface, particularly with regard to the weapons. Your default laser weapon is practically useless, and all too often you get stuck with the ultra-annoying "tractor beam" weapon. The thermal detonators, which work like mines, are also a real drag. In general, it's far too difficult and time-consuming to destroy other vehicles, and you can't even determine if an opponent is taking damage!
Making matters worse, shield repair portals can be found all over the freakin' place. Don't be surprised if after spending ten minutes wearing down your opponent, he enters a portal and reappears good as new! Did I mention that the control is horrendous? Star Wars Demolition totally sucks, and it's even more upsetting when you realize how good this game could have been. © Copyright 2005 The Video Game Critic.
Jedi Battles for the Dreamcast also represents a dramatic improvement over the Playstation edition, which was quite good in its own right. Having played the Playstation version immediately before trying this one, I can say it doesn't even look like the same game! The graphics here are sharper and brighter, and objects are significantly larger. And not only is this version easier on the eyes, but it's more fun as well.
LucasArts may have realized how frustrating the Playstation version could be, and made this one far more forgiving. The control scheme is superb, using the analog stick to run and the digital control to walk (with precision). You'll even discover playing modes you won't find on the Playstation version, like a training mode and a two-player versus. Jedi Power Battles for the Dreamcast is outstanding - one of my favorite Star Wars titles. I'd even recommend this if you already have the Playstation version. © Copyright 2005 The Video Game Critic.
Street Fighter III wasn't a runaway hit at the arcades, and I think a big reason for this was the drastic change in the character lineup. Except for Ken and Ryu, all the characters are new, and most are unappealing or derivative. Oro is an ugly, 140 year old, one-armed hermit. Necro is a big-nosed rubber man with moves similar to Dhalsim. Elena and Urien are scantily clad female body builder-types. Hugo is an Andre the Giant look-alike who plays like Zangief. Dudley is an English boxer who plays like Balrog. You get the idea.
Despite the new faces, there's little innovation to be found. On the bright side, the backgrounds are pure Capcom: brilliantly colorful, detailed, exotic, and always entertaining. And they even change between rounds. You'll also be glad to know that there's minimal loading time in this game. Technically, there are two versions of SFIII on this disk, but the second one is actually just an extended version of the first. © Copyright 2000 The Video Game Critic.
The intro features beautiful hand drawings of the fighters and some decent rap music as well. The game itself features an impressive roster of 19 fighters, including Darkman look-alike "Q", the shape-changing "Twelve", a burnout named "Remy", and the return of both Chun Li (!) and Akuma. And remember in the original Street Fighter II when you had to destroy a car? Well this is 2001, so you have to smash up an SUV instead!
The controls are responsive as you would expect and the animation is impressive. This is one beautiful game. The backgrounds don't change between rounds, but they look more scenic and photographic than ever before. Loading time is practically non-existent. A brand new feature is that you are graded after each match. This is an awesome 2D fighter. If you enjoyed SFIII Double Impact, don't hesitate to pick up Third Strike. © Copyright 2001 The Video Game Critic.
Selected players are clearly indicated by colorful circles, but the player you control can change unexpectedly. The action on the field is smooth but passing is tricky. In fact, sometimes it's best to just head straight up the sideline by yourself. During free kicks and corner kicks you'll position a translucent arc to execute your kick with precision.
A pair of British commentators provide spirited commentary, and they act like every save is the best one they've ever seen. And there's no shortage of saves because the goalies get their hands on everything. It's really unnatural how they can lunge ten feet to snare a rocket of a shot, and that's demoralizing.
As in Virtua Striker 2 (the other Dreamcast soccer game), Striker Pro inexplicably forces you to use the D-pad to control your players. The analog stick is used to change formations on-the-fly via the VMU. Hey, shouldn't these functions be reversed? Striker Pro 2000 supports up to four players, and I'll give the game props for at least trying to make use of the VMU. It's not a standout soccer title but on the Dreamcast this is probably as good as it gets. © Copyright 2013 The Video Game Critic.
In addition to an arcade mode, a "normal" mode lets you begin on any stage you've unlocked, and there are 16 incredible stages in all. The industrial stage features molten lava and massive iron walls that seem to transform as you fly past them. Frightening shadows are cast on the walls of the cave stage, and colossal radar dishes dominate the snow stage. The basic controls consist of a rapid-fire shot, a charged shot, and bombs.
The action is satisfying and rarely overwhelming. You can toggle between three weapons and power up each to three degrees. Blue shots travel in an unusual arc that protects you from nearby foes. The red shot can be aimed in all directions, which is useful for enemies approaching from above or below. Your green shot is concentrated and narrow, and it's your most powerful weapon. You also have the option of directing your fire forward or backward.
You can't really gain a true appreciation for Sturmwind until you learn how to effectively toggle the weapons and their directions in the heat of battle. When a bonus message appears in the center of the screen, you can actually shoot the text for an added bonus! That's just crazy. You might also spot some humorous objects like a snowman on a glacier or a soccer ball rolling through the depths.
My main complaint is how it's sometimes hard to determine what part of the layered scenery can hurt you. More often than not I guessed wrong. Missiles often scale in from the background and occasionally blend into their surroundings. Fortunately taking a hit just reduces your weapon level. The end-of-stage bosses don't overstay their welcome, and these behemoths include a rampaging octopus, a hideous face, and a mech that seems borrowed from Axelay.
The audio effects are understated but the sloshing sounds in the water stages are amazing. The soundtrack doesn't really stand out, but it does have a hypnotic vibe that helps you get into a zone. High scores are saved with your name. Extra features include accomplishments and unlockable concept art.
Heck, Sturmwind even comes with a nice instruction manual printed on quality stock! The developers of this game should be proud of their work, which exhibits great artistry and outstanding production values. Sturmwind is what happens when modern know-how and classic fun collide. BOOM! © Copyright 2013 The Video Game Critic.
Super Magnetic Neo looks generic but is surprisingly enjoyable. You're mostly confined to a path but sometimes there are alternate routes and hard-to-reach bonus items. You'll jump between platforms, dodge boulders, and avoid water that's deadly to the touch. What makes the game special are Neo's magnetic abilities. Deploying a red or blue magnetic field lets you repel enemies, bounce into the air, grab vines, and glide along zip lines.
Swinging on vines is tricky because momentum plays a role so you need to release at exactly the right moment. If you can get into a rhythm the game's a lot of fun, but it's not easy. In fact, I found myself dropping the F-bomb with alarming frequency. The two magnetic buttons are remarkably easy to confuse and hitting the wrong one can spell instant death.
Depth perception is also a problem, and I often found myself reaching for a camera control that didn't exist. Unforgiving collision detection makes the horse-riding and snow-sliding stages less fun than they should be. Still, I love the game's whimsical style and bright arcade graphics. Super Magnetic Neo will push you to the brink of insanity but you'll keep playing anyway. © Copyright 2015 The Video Game Critic.
Certain parts of town look a bit sparse, but most include some traffic and pedestrians. I noticed some pop-up issues with buildings in the distance, but nothing too offensive. You select from two storylines, each of which offer a series of harrowing missions, including chasing down vehicles, disarming bombs, or collecting condiments (that's right - ketchup and mustard).
The game tries to maintain a whimsical tone throughout, and one story stars a cop clearly modeled after Dennis Rodman - complete with orange hair and basketball. Super Runabout encourages wanton destruction, so as you zoom down the streets don't hesitate to take out every mailbox or hot dog stand in sight. It's especially satisfying to plow through a busy Chinatown or subway station. It sounds like Crazy Taxi, but Runabout's physics are more realistic and less forgiving.
Many vehicles handle very poorly, but you can build up some serious speed on the straight-aways. You have the option of viewing a replay after each mission, and unlike most games, they're actually a lot of fun to watch! The audio is probably the weakest aspect of the game. The folksy background music loops ad nauseum, and some of the cars sound more like vacuum cleaners. Super Runabout lacks the polish and addictiveness of Crazy Taxi, but it isn't a bad title if you can pick it up for a reasonable price. © Copyright 2007 The Video Game Critic.
The first thing I noticed is how the graphics lack that "clean" look. The introductory screens appear hand-drawn and objects in the game look rough around the edges. It gives the appearance of a game ported over from another system running at a slightly different resolution. Not terrible but definitely grainy.
At least the Dreamcast can keep up with the amount of activity on the screen, which at times is pretty astonishing. I thought it was a little crazy when I had hundreds of enemies swarming at once, and then I picked up a weapon that shot 50 rockets at a time. When insane firepower meets an overwhelming number of enemies, the winner is you!
Periodically you have the option to combine with other heroes, providing you with new weapons like a wide spray, rockets, or thunder which blankets the screen with electricity. Frankly, I prefer the weapon that attaches a huge drill bit to the front of your robot, allowing you to literally "wipe" enemies off the screen.
It's hard to tell if you're taking damage in the heat of battle, but your robot has a sizable life bar that can sustain a fair number of hits. Don't forget that releasing the fire button unleashes a charged shot which does substantial damage. I just love to see those point values plastered all over the screen.
The highlight of the game is the opening stage with its bright city skyline and a goofy "drill man" boss with detachable head. The game appears to save your high scores, but really doesn't. Still, Supercharged Robot Vulkaiser should appeal to Dreamcast collectors. It lacks polish but its fun anime style and unbridled chaos can be intoxicating at times. © Copyright 2022 The Video Game Critic.
The frame-rate is excellent, so you'll enjoy a nice smooth ride. The analog steering is sensitive but well-suited to the windy tracks, allowing you to turn on a dime. Your turbo button initiates a wheelie, so you'll want to reserve that for straight-aways (which are few). Suzuki Alstare is rather forgiving, and I often found myself bouncing off walls or riding over embankments instead of crashing.
An addictive tournament mode puts you up against CPU competitors, and a split-screen two-player mode is also available. The split-screen graphics are much degraded with ample draw-in, but hey, it's better than nothing. There's a lot to like about Suzuki Alstare. When you crash, your driver is ejected from the bike, and it's especially hilarious when he goes flying over a cliff. After crashing the game almost immediately puts you back on track, so there are no lulls in the action.
In split-screen mode, a helpful indicator across the middle of the screen indicates the distance to the finish. My main gripe is how tracks tend to be excessively curvy. The New York track contains far too many right angles and U-turns. My friend Scott insists that "curves are what motorcycle games are all about!" What-ever!
The tracks are inconsistent in length, and the longer ones tend to wear out their welcome. If there are any shortcuts to be found, they are well concealed. UbiSoft didn't put much effort into the soundtrack, which consists of sparse beats droning in the background. Suzuki Alstare Extreme is a little uneven, but I found myself attracted to its arcade graphics and pick-up-and-play style. © Copyright 2010 The Video Game Critic.
It's nice not having to sit through tedious tutorials, but Sydney 2000 is still quite the ordeal. The colored indicators used to identify the players confusing, and I competed in my first event thinking I was another guy! The process for setting the height/weight target in high jump and weight lifting is painfully iterative. Go for the world record to save yourself the aggravation.
The swimming event unfolds in slow motion, and the controls for the diving event are far too simplistic. In the hammer throw, it's too hard to keep that thing in-bounds. In skeet shooting player two has a huge advantage, as he can see exactly where the shots will be fired ahead of time. The cycling event makes absolutely no sense, and the kayaking is an abomination! Even the scenery looks bad. During the diving competition, the stands seem to extend back for miles!
The button-mashing gameplay takes its toll on your hands, so you'll be grateful when it's over. Adding insult to injury, your hard-fought records are not even saved to VMU! The one-player "Olympic mode" tries to add some depth, but its "training regimen" is just more painful button mashing. And if you want to save your progress in that you'll need a whopping 64 VMU blocks! The game has a soothing, rhythmic soundtrack but it's little consolation. I suspect Sydney 2000 may have been rushed, because this game is a mess. © Copyright 2012 The Video Game Critic.