Sega Arcade Gallery
Publisher: THQ (2003)
Recommended variation: outrun
Our high score: 6376950
Sega Rally Championship
Publisher: Sega (2003)
Save mechanism: battery
Publisher: Sega (2001)
Rating: Everyone 1 or 2 players
Rating: Everyone 1 or 2 players
Publisher: Sega (2002)
is more like it! The first Sonic Advance felt a little too familiar for my taste, but this fresh sequel breaths new life into the series. In terms of speed, Sonic Advance 2 is way
over the top - there were times when I thought I'd lose my lunch
just trying to keep up! Except for some minor new moves and an additional female character (Cream), the gameplay hasn't changed much. Thankfully, the new zones exhibit a great deal of imagination. The first, Leaf Forest, is an unconventional world of angular green shapes, and its soundtrack is equally edgy. In the Music Factory zone, your character bounces off piano keys and gets sucked through organ pipes, and the music is fantastic. The scenic Ice Paradise features a welcome holiday theme, although falling off the bottom of the screen is a constant hazard. New gizmos include rails you can "grind" (Tony Hawk style) and loops that are twice
as big as those in previous games. My main gripe with Sonic Advance 2 is the same as the last game. The zones are so huge that it's easy to get lost in them. Sonic 2's difficulty is just right however, and most Sonic fans will appreciate the added emphasis on speed. © Copyright 2005 The Video Game Critic.
Publisher: Sega (2004)
Sonic Pinball Party
Publisher: Sega (2003)
Spiderman The Movie
Publisher: Activision (2002)
Similar to the old Genesis Spiderman games, this 2D side-scroller delivers plenty of excitement as you swing around a city, beat up thugs, and locate items. The kick-ass intro features some grainy movie footage and a rocking soundtrack. The game offers a nice variety of objectives, from saving hostages, to escaping a crumbling building, to destroying barrels within a certain time period. The levels are brief but hidden secrets add to the replay value. The characters are well-defined using black outlines, and the background scenery looks pretty realistic. Spidey's hits are punctuated with "Thwack!" and "Bam!" graphics, just like the old Batman TV shows. The action is fairly conventional until you reach the amazing 3D bonus stages, which let you swing through the city via a first-person point of view
! That's pretty impressive for the Game Boy Advance! Control is often a sticking-point in Spiderman games, and this one is no exception. In the outdoor levels, it's easy to swing around from building to building, but in close quarters you tend to stick to everything
, which gets annoying! Even so, Spiderman The Movie is a quality title, delivering old-school charm with a new-school flair. © Copyright 2003 The Video Game Critic.
Our high score: 8150
Publisher: Midway (2001)
After playing through the Playstation 2 edition of Spy Hunter, it's hard to appreciate this portable version. It tries to convey 3D racing using scaling sprites and ground-scrolling effects, but it's a water-downed experience. Controlling a well-armed sports car, you embark on a series of missions with multiple objectives, but your primary goal is always to destroy one or more special targets. The controls are fairly responsive, and gunning down enemy cars and motorcycles is a pleasure. Spy Hunter's graphics are reasonably good, but its flat scenery makes the stages feel repetitive. You sometimes drive a boat, but it feels more like a car sliding around on an oily surface. Spy Hunter is playable but not particularly satisfying. There is one major incentive to play however, and that is to unlock the original Spy Hunter arcade game, which is far better that this one by the way. © Copyright 2003 The Video Game Critic.
Our high score: 21675
Spy Hunter / Super Sprint
Publisher: Destination Software (2005)
What. The. Hell. Porting arcade hits from 1983 to the Game Boy Advance shouldn't be a challenge, so how do you explain this dumpster fire? The original Spy Hunter
(Colecovision, 1984) was a James Bond-style overhead racer that let you machine-gun cars ahead and dump oil on those behind. The graphics here look perfectly fine with slick sports cars and lush green scenery along the side of the road. But the controls... oy!
I don't know if they were trying to emulate some kind of analog control or what, but the steering is atrocious!
Holding the directional pad to either side for more than a split second sends your car veering out of control. And if you try to recover you're magnetically sucked into the trees on each side. You'll barely scrape against a motorcycle and your entire car is instantly engulfed in flames. To be fair, those flame effects are the visual highlight of the game. The pacing is horrible, with long stretches of road with nothing to do. The game over screen displays a message like "your score ranking is 3" which might make sense if there were a high score screen! The second game, Super Sprint, doesn't fare much better. The miniscule cars look more like little roaches scurrying around a track. The steering is far too sensitive, causing you to curl into walls. The ensuing mushroom cloud is followed by a helicopter flying in with a replacement vehicle. Explosions notwithstanding, both Spy Hunter and Super Sprint are a pair of turkeys, and even a two-for-one deal can't hide that fact. © Copyright 2018 The Video Game Critic.
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Our high score: 21,675
Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones
Publisher: THQ (2002)
It blows my mind how completely inept
this game is! With Episode 2, it's as if all the lessons learned in 25 years of platform-game design had been tossed out the window. The graphics are nice - I'll give it that much. You'll see high quality stills from the film, and the large 2D character models look practically digitized. There are even 3D flight sequences that nicely convey the illusion of movement. The controls however are unresponsive, stiff, and poorly conceived. As a result, playing Attack of the Clones is about as satisfying as eating soup with chopsticks. Your Jedi (Anakin Skywalker) walks so slowly that completing each stage feels like an extended ordeal. You'll frantically search the manual for a dash move, but your efforts will have been in vain. Episode II's mechanics are downright bizarre. You actually need to be moving forward
to swing with your lightsaber! Turning around is chore, and it can be frustratingly difficult to strike an object directly in front of you
. Droids tend to hover just between your slashes and low-kicks, prompting some players to use profanity. Losing a life sends you all the way back
to the beginning of each lengthy stage. The 3D stages prove just as frustrating, with heat-seeking missiles that are practically impossible to avoid. The best part of the game is how you can deflect laser bolts back to their source with your light saber. I enjoyed the movie, but this is awful. © Copyright 2005 The Video Game Critic.
Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
Publisher: Ubisoft (2005)
Star Wars Trilogy: Apprentice of the Force
Publisher: Ubisoft (2004)
I figured Ubisoft had an easy job in creating a new 2D Star Wars game. After all, the Super Star Wars titles (SNES) perfected that style of gameplay over ten years ago
. How could they possibly screw this up? The answer: In just about every way possible
! First, we have the repetitive stage layouts and frequent shoot-out sequences that artificially lengthen the game. You can fire diagonally (using the shoulder buttons), but not
straight up or down, and you can't
shoot while climbing. When navigating platforms, you can grab onto them and pull yourself up, but sometimes your grabs don't register and you just fall right through. Of course, when you're trying to jump down
, your character inadvertently grabs onto everything
, which is annoying. There are lightsaber and space battle stages further into the game, but these are only a marginal improvement. The graphics are plain, and the characters are rendered with thick black outlines. Despite its shortcomings, Trilogy does
cover a lot of ground, and it is
Star Wars for Pete's sake. I kind of enjoyed the Time Pilot-inspired shooting sequences. But all in all, you have to admit this is pretty uninspired stuff. © Copyright 2005 The Video Game Critic.
Star Wars: Flight of the Falcon
Publisher: THQ (2003)
About ten years ago, the Star Wars name meant quality when it came to video games, but apparently those days are long gone. In fact, I can't remember the last time I enjoyed a game less
than Flight of the Falcon. I was hoping this game would mark the return of those glorious 16-bit Star Wars days, but Falcon is poorly conceived and completely devoid of fun. First you have to sit through one of those slow, obligatory text crawls. Are these things really necessary for every
Star Wars game? Each level involves either flying or driving, and you view the action from just behind your vehicle. Fortunately, the Falcon's shape is thin enough that it doesn't usually obstruct your vision. The 3D graphics aren't bad, and the mission locations are enough make any Star Wars fan salivate, including the Death Star Trench, the forest of Endor, the streets of Tatooine, and the cloud city of Bespin. Unfortunately, aiming is done using a tiny crosshair, and you have to be dead-on to hit anything
. In the driving stages, the scenery blends together, making it hard to tell where you can and can't go. Making matters worse, the stages drag on for far
too long. In the first stage you have to shoot about 100
tiny Tie fighters! And once you lose a ship, you'll have to start all over again! At least the audio is reasonable, with digitized music and trademark sound effects. But that's the only bright spot in a game I generally regard as a waste of time. © Copyright 2003 The Video Game Critic.
Star Wars: The New Droid Army
Publisher: LucasArts (2002)
Super Puzzle Fighter II
Publisher: Capcom (2002)