Ultimate Fighting Championship
Publisher: Crave (2000)
Rating: Teen (animated blood, animated violence)
Under Defeat (Japan)
Publisher: G-Rev (2005)
Okay, what's with the silly name? Was "Ass Kicked" or "Beaten Senseless" already taken? If that's supposed to be a translation, then I don't get it. Nevertheless, Dreamcast shooter fans owe it to themselves to track down this quality import. If you think you've seen everything the system can do graphically, you need to play Under Defeat. Visually, this blows away anything I've seen on the Playstation 2
, much less the Dreamcast. It's a vertical helicopter shooter that lets you unleash mass destruction on military bases, bombers, and battleships. The objects and scenery are so meticulously rendered that many areas appear to be photo-realistic. It's the extraordinary explosions however that really
steal the show. We've all seen particle effects in video games, but rarely used this effectively. From the brilliant initial blast to the streaming smoke left from flying debris, the eye candy is amazing. As my friend Scott observed, "Hey, look at that smoke - it looks like... smoke
!" The underlying game is also impressive. Your rapid-fire cannon can be angled slightly left or right, allowing you to strafe enemies not directly in your path. You're also equipped with bombs, and can summon an "option" mechanism to fire by your side. Under Defeat is tough, but you're provided three continues and high scores are saved automatically. If the game has a fault, it's probably the emphasis on huge bosses with their long
life meters. Still, this is an absolutely stunning shooter that's truly a "must have" for collectors. © Copyright 2006 The Video Game Critic.
Publisher: Infogrames (2001)
Rating: Mature (animated blood and gore)
After playing Quake III Arena, Unreal Tournament seemed like almost the same game. Both are on-line compatible, multi-player first-person shooters, and both provide a satisfying level of bloody violence. Unreal Tournament looks slightly more polished and high-tech than Quake III Arena, but both play nearly the same. I really like how in the space stages you can look out the windows and see spaceships and stars zooming by. I also enjoy the witty comments characters make as they blow each into oblivion. And if you thought the flying body parts of Quake were cool, you'll really appreciate how chunks of flesh actually bounce around
in this game. Besides the standard weapons, you get a chainsaw and my favorite, a shrapnel-spraying Flak Cannon. Additional moves include a "taunt" and "wave", but I'm not sure how practical these are in battle. As with Quake III Arena, I'd strongly advise you to play this game with the Dreamcast keyboard and mouse, or else you'll be in for a world of hurt, my friend. © Copyright 2004 The Video Game Critic.
Publisher: Eidos (2000)
Rating: Mature (animated violence, animated blood, strong language)
Vampire Chronicles For Matching Service (Japan)
Publisher: Capcom (2000)
Publisher: Acclaim (2000)
Vanishing Point is another really pathetic racer for the Dreamcast. The vehicles look realistic, but only two are available from the start: A sports car and an SUV. The handling is absolutely deplorable - these cars can't keep their tires on the road! You slide and fishtail all over the place from start to finish, and this isn't even a rally game! There are forty cars and nice variety of tracks that you WON'T want to open up. There's an Internet option, but if you don't like the single player game, I don't hold much hope for the online action. The music is also terrible. This is one to avoid. NOTE: I have been advised by readers that if you can persevere the putrid early stages, Vanishing Point does improve substantially. © Copyright 2002 The Video Game Critic.
Vigilante 8 - 2nd Offense
Publisher: Activision (1999)
What the heck happened here? I really enjoyed the first Vigilante 8 (Playstation), and this edition has some excellent graphics and original battle locations. So why can't I control my freakin' car?!? Neither the digital nor analog controls can prevent you from severely over-steering your vehicle, and that really stinks. And what's up with the collision detection? You can pass through some of the fences and buildings like a ghost! The futuristic "hover" power-up is an unwelcome feature, as it makes targeting enemies even more difficult. And those attack-from-above, unavoidable weapons are really a bad idea. On the positive side, the vehicles look great, and realistically take damage. Some of the battlefields, like the haunted Louisiana Bayou, are extremely unique. Too bad the pathetic control takes away the fun. © Copyright 2000 The Video Game Critic.
Publisher: Sega (1999)
Virtua Athlete is similar to Konami's Track and Field for the Playstation, and it makes an awesome
four-player party game. There are only seven events, and they include shot put, javelin, long jump, high jump, hurdles, and two running events. The stadium backgrounds are nicely detailed, and the athletes are smoothly animated, but boy do these guys look silly. First off, it looks like they're all wearing thongs! Next, they run like a bunch of pansies! It's hard not to laugh at this game. Before each event, there are some quick instructions flashed on the screen. The controls are simple, usually involving tapping two buttons and pressing a third at the correct time. The trajectory meters are numeric only (opposed to graphical), making it difficult to judge them very well. There's not much lag time between events, and you can breeze through the game in just a few minutes. While I enjoyed the first six events, the final event is pure torture. It's the 1500-meter sprint, but it feels like 15 miles. You really need to pace yourself. If you sprint ahead, you'll find soon find yourself languishing in last place. Virtua Athlete has a unique feature that let you build your own athlete and storing him to VMU, which is pretty neat. Overall this game is mediocre in many ways, but it's an absolute riot if you have four players. © Copyright 2001 The Video Game Critic.
Virtua Fighter 3tb
Publisher: Sega (1999)
I don't like the title of this game. One reader informed me that the "tb" in Virtua Fighter 3tb stands for "team battle". How in the heck was I supposed to figure that out? Virtua Fighter 3tb isn't bad, but it suffers in comparison to other flashy DC fighters like Soul Calibur
or Dead or Alive 2
. In fact, VF3tb has long been regarded as the redheaded stepchild of DC fighting games. The graphics alone will probably scare a lot of people off. The angular haircuts and stiff movements make this look more like a Playstation Tekken game. And let's not forget the real
test of graphic quality in a game like this: How good-looking are the babes? Well I'm sorry to report that the obligatory blonde femme fatale is a real dog. She looks like she fell off the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down. The stages are more impressive, featuring platforms you can get knocked off of. We're talking about rooftops, subway platforms, floating rafts, and other uneven raised surfaces. The scenery looks terrific, and the "ring out" possibilities keep the tension high. In terms of pure gameplay, VF3tb is no slouch. The buttons are punch, kick, guard, and evade. The emphasis on defense is sure to appeal to the strategy-minded gamer. The action is a bit sluggish compared to other fighters, but the fighter movements are smooth. One interesting new feature is the "first person" camera angle, but as it turns out, it's pretty worthless. And who did the announcing in this game, Marv Albert? Virtua Fighter fans will force themselves to like this game, but in truth, this is not a standout Dreamcast fighter. © Copyright 2002 The Video Game Critic.
Publisher: Sega (1999)
As one of just two soccer titles released for the Dreamcast (in the states at least), Virtua Striker 2 boasts bright arcade graphics, simple controls, and large polygon players. The close camera limits your view, but a radar display on the bottom of the screen (which you will never use) lets you locate players around the field. You view the action from the side, but nifty close-ups are used for special situations like free kicks. The upbeat music is appealing and the crowd volume ebbs and flows with the action. So why am I not having more fun? Well, it starts and ends with the controls. The analog stick is inexplicably not supported
, forcing you to use the D-pad, and the lack of precision is glaring when taking shots on goal. Worse yet, the controls are so unresponsive that my friend Brent thought the CPU
was controlling his player. There's no commentary, and the replays that add a rainbow-colored tail to the ball look ridiculous. I usually gravitate toward arcade-style sport titles, but Virtua Striker 2 was a lazy effort on Sega's part. © Copyright 2013 The Video Game Critic.
Publisher: Sega (2000)
Just when you thought Sega Sports was running out of steam, they release the first great Tennis game in AGES. And when I say ages, I'm not exaggerating! You can go all the way back to Activision's 1982 Tennis game for the last truly fun Tennis title. What's even more surprising is how simple Virtua Tennis is to play; there are only two buttons: shot and lob! The key to this game is positioning, and it's amazing how much control you have over your hits. You control the aim, strength, and can even apply spin! As you would expect from the Dreamcast, the graphics are smooth and life-like. You can choose between eight actual tennis players (all men). From a distance they look great, but close ups reveal faces that resemble Frankenstein with Chewbacca teeth. The background graphics and sound are fine but you won't notice them because they take a backseat to the outstanding gameplay. There are several modes, including 4-player doubles matches and a tournament mode which is full of fun mini-games. Here's something you might not notice: when you're playing the game, check out your VMU screen. You can watch the game on the VMU also!! It may not be practical, but it looks amazing! No question about it: Virtua Tennis IS the best tennis video game EVER, and easily one of the most thrilling multi-player games of all time. © Copyright 2000 The Video Game Critic.
Virtual On: Oratorio Tangram
Publisher: Sega (2000)
Rating: Teen (animated violence)
Our high score: 19'28"20
1 or 2 players
Publisher: Acclaim (1999)
This clunky wrestling game is pretty mediocre by Dreamcast standards. Over 40 of your favorites are here, including The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Kain, and the Undertaker. Each wrestler has a dramatic introduction, but most tend to run too long. The graphics are a disappointment. The polygon count of the wrestlers is pretty low, making them look plastic and artificial. Their movements are fairly smooth, but poor collision detection mars the action as body parts pass through each other on a regular basis. The instruction book does a poor job of explaining the moves and various meters, and matches often turn into punching and kicking contests. Soundwise, the shouts from the crowd are almost as idiotic as the two-man commentary. There are a tremendous number of options which all you to create you own wrestlers, customize the arenas, and even create your own Pay Per View event. WWF Attitude is not a very good game, and only wrestling fans should take a look. © Copyright 2001 The Video Game Critic.
Publisher: Infogrames (2000)
Its title is hopelessly generic, but Wacky Races actually features Hanna-Barbara characters that many kids will recognize from the Cartoon network. I even remember a few from the Saturday mornings of my childhood. Wacky Races employs cell-shading to render cartoon visuals that look very clean and well-defined. Prior to each race you assign three weapons/power-ups to the X, Y, and B buttons. The problem is, you have no idea what purpose they serve just by looking at their icons (a birdhouse?), and the instruction manual doesn't help. The narrow tracks wind through desert roads and mountain passes, and they are hard to navigate. Some sections are so poorly defined you'll need to follow the CPU racers just to figure out where to go! That arrow at the top of the screen is meant to direct you, but it lags behind the action something terrible. The fact that the cars simply bounce across
stretches of water is completely idiotic. Making matters worse is how your vision is often obstructed by other racers, or worse - your own car! Avoid using the "creepy coup" at all costs, because the thing is so tall you can't even see the road! Once you get to know the tracks the races are moderately fun, but the rubber-band AI is atrocious. Every time I was about to finish in first place, I would be bombarded by missiles, causing me to fall back to fifth place or worse. That especially sucks in the single-player mode which requires you to finish in first place
to make any progress! The split-screen mode accommodates up to four players, but my friends were not impressed. Wacky Races represents yet another botched attempt to bring kart racing to the Dreamcast. © Copyright 2010 The Video Game Critic.
Walt Disney World Magical Racing Tour
Publisher: Eidos (2000)
Who Wants to Beat Up a Millionaire?
Publisher: Simon and Schuster (2000)
Billed as a "hilarious parody" of the Hit TV Quiz show, this reprehensible piece of garbage deserves a place in the Video Game Hall of Shame
. Who Wants to Beat Up a Millionaire tries to combine trivia with boxing - a match made in Hell!
I usually expect a party-like atmosphere whenever I can get four players together, but my friends were just dumbfounded. The host is a loud, obnoxious buffoon and the contestants are unlikeable caricatures. The character selection screen includes an internet nerd, an oil tycoon, and a blonde floozy. You assume you're choosing your
character, but in fact you're selecting who you want to "beat up". Trivia questions are then presented and you "buzz in" and answer via a wildly counter-intuitive user interface. Typical questions are "who painted the Sistine Chapel?" and "a corner kick can be found in what sport?" Answer correctly and you're allotted a few seconds to beat the crap out of a fellow contestant. You get a first-person view of the carnage, and my friends sat slack-jawed at the sight of an attractive woman being punched repeatedly. Fortunately the game comes to a merciful conclusion after just a handful of questions. Simon and Schuster has a history of publishing sordid titles including Outlaw Golf
(GameCube, 2002) but Who Wants to Beat Up a Millionaire is the worst by far. Now if you'll excuse me I feel like I need to a take a shower. © Copyright 2019 The Video Game Critic.
Wind and Water Puzzle Battles
Publisher: Yuan Works (2008)
This likeable home-brew combines refreshing anime graphics with twitch puzzle action. The screen is initially full of colored blocks representing wind, fire, earth, water, and metal. You move a diamond-shaped cursor around the screen, highlighting four blocks at a time. By rotating sets of four you can create solid-colored formations, causing the blocks to burst, resulting in an avalanche that can lead to chain reactions. Once you get past the basics you'll learn how to execute "full combos" (clear an entire color) or "elementals" (burst two different colors at once). I could never fully wrap my brain around the nuances of the game, only executing chains at random. Still, Wind and Water Puzzle Battles is engrossing. The tranquil music and outstanding controls really help you get into a zone. The story mode has a charming anime style with a girl who walks you through the mechanics while engaging other characters in lighthearted dialog. The developer (Yuan) is actually a character who's trying to finish this game as you play it.
Try wrapping your brain around that
one! As you traverse the story board you'll unlock various challenges and mini-games - including an Outrun-inspired racer. There are also arcade, puzzle, and head-to-head modes with full VMU support and a nifty auto-save. It's clear the developer put a lot of TLC into this. Wind and Water Puzzle Battles has a degree of polish and attention to detail even big-budget titles lack. My friends fell in love with this game and there's a really good chance you will too. © Copyright 2016 The Video Game Critic.
World Series Baseball 2K1
Publisher: Sega (2000)
This is one gorgeous baseball game with extremely limited gameplay. The graphics are excellent and occasionally stunning, with players that move fluidly and mimic their major league counterparts. Close-ups reveal actual faces that move and even chew bubble gum. The stadiums look just like the real thing, and even the crowd looks impressive. On the downside, the players have a robotic look to them, and the creases in their uniforms are accentuated too much, which looks odd. There are some neat animations including players blowing bubbles, players congratulating each other, pitchers using the rosenbag, and catchers that visit the mound. The pitcher/batter duel is streamlined so there's no pauses between pitches. The pitching and batting controls are completely different from the traditional style, but it's a welcome change once you get the hang of it. World Series 2K1 is fast and easy to play, but lacks the control of ALL other baseball games. Fielding is automatic - that's right - you only control the throws, and even those are unresponsive at times. Not being able to control the fielders will devastate most baseball fans, who will really miss not being able to dive for balls. Other indications that this is a first-generation game include fielders that get a late jump on the ball and don't always make sound decisions. There are too many slow grounders and short pop-ups, and pitchers field way far too many batted balls. Automatic replays rarely capture the best angle, and unrealistic, 529 foot homeruns are all too common. The one-man commentary is sparse. Beware of the incomplete instruction manual, which fails to mention of how to perform basic actions like bunting or aiming your pitch. This game probably should not have been released. Better luck next year! © Copyright 2001 The Video Game Critic.
World Series Baseball 2K2
Publisher: Sega (2001)
Publisher: Microprose (1999)
If you're looking for an evening of wacky hijinks and madcap hilarity, all you need is a few friends, a case of beer, and Worms Armageddon. This wacky turn-based strategy game pits up to four players against each other on colorful, randomly-generated 2D battlefields. Two or more teams of worms methodically try to exterminate each other using a vast arsenal of weapons. These range from the conventional (bazooka, grenade, uzi) to unusual (dragon punch, blow torch, baseball bat) to downright bizarre (exploding sheep, skunk, old woman). Watching the action unfold is a riot, especially since attacks cause chain reactions and unintended consequences. A 46-page (!) instruction book explains the controls, but nothing beats experience for knowing how to properly handle each weapon. Newbies are more likely to blow up themselves
than their opponents. The worms themselves are hilariously animated and sport cute names like "Tagbottom" and "Dr. Spangler." After each move they yell funny lines like "what are you, nuts?!" and "I'm dead meat!" in their high-pitched worm voices. The bass-heavy soundtrack ranges from tranquil mood music to dramatic action themes, and the surround sound totally envelops you. Competing against friends is always a blast, but the one-player modes are a drag because the CPU takes 20-30 seconds just to calculate each move. In fairness, he does tend to make pretty good decisions. The multiplayer "quick start" option is welcome because the onerous multiplayer set-up screen requires a PHD in rocket science to figure out. But the biggest knock on the game is how all players must pass around the same controller
. Despite this ridiculous oversight, Worms Armageddon is still outrageously fun. © Copyright 2015 The Video Game Critic.
Worms World Party
Publisher: Titus (2001)
Publisher: Infogrames (2000)
Zero Gunner 2 (Japan)
Publisher: Psikyo (2001)
Our high score: SLN 250,000
1 or 2 players
Publisher: Sega (1999)
Rating: Mature (17+) Animated blood, gore, violence
Zombie Revenge plays like a third-person House of the Dead, with one or two players fighting zombies and plant monsters in factories and sewers. The generic name is fitting, because Sega clearly didn't put a lot of thought or effort into this title. Still, I like its arcade-style mayhem, which combines fast-paced action with well-defined visuals and crisp controls. In addition to shotguns and machine guns, your weapon selection includes a devastating flamethrower and massive drill. When you run out of ammo (a rare occasion, trust me), don't lose heart because your punches deal as much damage as bullets! The shambling zombies look pretty standard, but I have to give some of these bosses props for being so morbidly grotesque. At its best, Zombie Revenge feels like a 3D Streets of Rage, especially with two players fighting side-by-side. Enjoy it while it lasts, because the ride is short and very linear. There may be a few hidden rooms to discover, but the main route is always the same. Extra modes include "boss battle" and "training", but the only one I found worthwhile was the "original" mode, which offers a remix of the standard arcade mode. Two VMU games are also included (Zombie Fishing and a memory game), but these won't hold your attention for long. Sega should have added more meat to the main game, but Zombie Revenge is still good for some quick, lightweight fun. © Copyright 2008 The Video Game Critic.
Recommended variation: arcade
Our high score: SDZ 28590
1 or 2 players
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