Publisher: Nintendo (2006)
Rating: Everyone (10+)
One Piece: Grand Battle
Publisher: Bandai (2005)
Rating: Teen (cartoon violence)
One Piece: Pirate's Carnival
Publisher: Namco Bandai (2006)
Publisher: Simon and Shuster (2002)
Rating: Teen (Mature sexual themes, mild violence, strong language)
Outlaw Golf is an irreverent take on the sport, featuring "colorful" characters, suggestive commentary, and wacky gameplay. It sounds like an edgy version of Hot Shots, but it's not even in the same league. The cast of juvenile delinquents and hotties is certainly original, but their antics are more immature than funny. You can't help but like the sexy babe with the hot cheerleader caddy, but others like the redneck and white homeboy are just annoying. Likewise, the smart-ass commentary is terribly corny to the point of embarrassment. The graphics are actually quite good, with smooth green rolling hills and slick fairways, but Outlaw's gameplay falters badly. This whole "analog swing" business has got to go
! Its implementation here is even more aggravating than EA's Tiger Wood's Golf. Power is difficult to gauge, and the various indicators are totally confusing. Adding insult to injury, poor play results in a decreased "composure", making the game even harder! You can recoup composure by beating up your caddy, and this goofy sequence employs a standard meter that should
have been used to swing your club! Other annoyances include poor course design and lengthy pauses in the action. I normally enjoy whimsical sports games, but Outlaw Golf really turned me off. NOTE: After posting this review, I received the following email from Simon and Shuster: "Hi.. I saw your review of Outlaw Golf. While I can appreciate that is your opinion of the game.. no site gave us a "F" for the title. The lowest we got was a C or C- and that was because of the swing control. Needless to say I've had to remove you from future console titles as my boss was furious. Sorry about this.. Regards" © Copyright 2003 The Video Game Critic.
Publisher: Namco (2002)
Pac-Man World Rally
Publisher: Namco (2006)
I was tempted to call this generic racer uninspired, but in fact it is very much inspired
- by Mario Kart of course. Pac-Man World Rally is one of those cookie-cutter games that briefly teeters on the precipice of "rip-off" before plunging head-first into the abyss!
I was hoping for a refreshing twist on the Mario Kart formula, but World Rally left me feeling a little empty. The characters include all members of the Pac-Man family (including Ms. and Jr.) and the four ghosts (Blinky, Inky, Pinky, and Clyde). There's even a few extra characters tossed in like Spooky the ghost and Erwin the mad scientist. Track locations include jungles, volcanoes, swamps, and of course the obligatory pirate level (required by law in 50 states!). The graphics are clean and the haunted house stage is one of the best Halloween tracks I've played. The single player mode lets you unlock new stuff, and up to four players can compete via split screen. World Rally sounds like a winner but it's less than the sum of its parts. The weapons are poorly designed and some deal more damage to you
than your target. The frame-rate is consistently smooth, but the manner in which characters tend to bob and weave made me feel nauseous after a while. The tracks are perfectly reasonable in length but there are too many laps
, and there's no way to adjust that!
This can make the multi-player mode really boring - especially when someone pulls out to an early lead. Each stage plays a different rendition of the same Pac-Man musical theme
, and boy, that gets old in a hurry. Pac-Man World Rally is technically sound, but it lacks the effervescent spirit of Mario Kart. After a few races I felt like I was just going through the motions. © Copyright 2012 The Video Game Critic.
Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door
Publisher: Nintendo (2004)
Publisher: Nintendo (2001)
People who complain about the lack of originality of video games owe it to themselves to give Pikmin a try. Best described as a cross between Lemmings and Warcraft, Pikmin is brimming with all of the originality and charm you'd expect from a Nintendo original. Fun and addictive, it combines the simple controls of a console game with real-time strategy elements usually found on a PC. You control a little spaceman who's crashed into a planet and is attempting to locate 30 parts of his ship. By enlisting the help of small leaf-shaped creatures called Pikmin, you gradually retrieve the pieces and reconstruct your ship. The crux of the game involves raising groups of Pikmin and using them to retrieve objects. These little guys are cute and endearing, and their special abilities are indicated by their color. You can make the Pikmin perform several tasks in parallel, and they can even defeat monsters when unleashed in large numbers. The game showcases the Gamecube's power by letting you command up to 100 of these creatures at a time. Pikmin strikes a nice balance of action and puzzle-solving. The camera is sometimes an issue, but it doesn't dampen the fun. Once you get drawn into its little virtual world, you actually start empathizing for the little Pikmin. I truly felt guilty whenever I left a few behind at the end of a day, knowing they would be eaten by nocturnal carnivores. This game will appeal to both men and women of all ages. Although its gameplay wears thin over time, Pikmin will fascinate for hours on end. © Copyright 2008 The Video Game Critic.
Publisher: Ignition (2004)
Rating: Everyone (gambling)
Publisher: Ubisoft (2002)
Rampage: Total Destruction
Publisher: Midway (2006)
Rating: Everyone (violence)
Since 1986, the Rampage franchise has allowed gamers to fulfill the common fantasy of decimating major cities with enormous beasts like King Kong and Godzilla. But the series has aged poorly. It seems as if the more its graphics improve, the less challenging and more pointless it becomes. In Total Destruction, the action has gone fully 3D, and is all the worse for it. Stage locations include Las Vegas, San Francisco, London and Los Angeles, but they're just one set of boring buildings after the next. The goofy monster animations provide sporadic comic relief, and the gratuitous damage you can inflict is satisfying - for the first five minutes or so. The controls are erratic and imprecise. Kicking and punching is no problem, but picking up cars and latching onto buildings is problematic. It's really hard to do stuff that should
be easy. Bringing down a 10-story skyscraper is a piece of cake, but trying to damage a single-story building is nearly impossible. Why Midway assigned "jump" to the "A" button is beyond me, because it's generally worthless. Total Destruction's lack of difficulty is another major issue. The game goes on forever, and you'll quit out of sheer boredom long before you'll run out of lives. Ironically, Total Destruction renewed my appreciation for the first Rampage (1986), which is also included on the disk along with Rampage World Tour (1997). I was never a big fan of the original back in the day, but at least you can play the game in a few minutes, and its graphics have an old school charm. Rampage Total Destruction just goes to show that "more" doesn't always mean "better", and in this case at least, it means much worse. © Copyright 2007 The Video Game Critic.
Publisher: Bam (2002)
Rating: Teen (Violence)
Publisher: Capcom (2002)
Rating: Mature (Blood and Gore, Violence)
Publisher: Capcom (2005)
Rating: Mature (blood and gore, intense violence)
Resident Evil Zero
Publisher: Capcom (2002)
Rating: Mature (blood and gore, violence)