I started to warm up to Pure Ride when I noticed the "express pass" mode. "We'll pick you rider, board, and level, all you have to do is play!" Hey - I like the sound of that! My unfettered joy was quickly fettered however when I laid eyes on the graphics. Mountains flicker as you approach and fences literally grow before your eyes as you ride alongside them. Children's books have less pop-up! The collision detection and clipping issues were readily apparent as I passed clear through an 18-wheeler like a ghost!
The tour mode offers three unique challenges: half-pipe, slopestyle, and big air. The half pipe looks too angular, but it's easy to perform tricks with button combos and move up the ranks. When I press L2 it makes some kind of laser gun sound, just before I wipe out. Slope style is okay but the grinding aspect is a joke. All you do is jump anywhere near a rail and get sucked up onto it like a freaking magnet! And there's no balancing required - you just glide along on autopilot! Lame!
What saves Pure Ride is the "free ride" mode, which offers a more arcade-style experience. You go wherever you want, snag icons to unlock stuff, and perform tricks to rank in with high scores. The courses aren't spectacular but I did enjoy that night course in Japan. MTV Pure Ride is definitely sloppy but if you're looking for an easy-to-play snowboarding title, this would qualify. © Copyright 2018 The Video Game Critic.
Your character is initially armed with a pair of guns, shooting bad guys who fall back into a puddle of blood. As with Loaded, you'll need to scour each maze-like level, but this time they are layered with overlapping areas and elevated walkways. When you see the exit on a ledge high above, you may wonder how you can get up there. You'll need to take stairs, ramps, and maybe a portal or two.
The analog controls are a welcome addition, as one stick moves you while the other shoots independently. The shootouts tend to be a little shallow though, with both parties exchanging rapid-fire shots at point-blank range until someone dies. One innovation is how you can destroy spider-like sentry robots and take "possession" of them. This not only augments your firepower but provides you with an extra layer of armor.
Exploring each stage is fun but it's easy to get lost. A map is available but it's too large to digest. It's also hard to tell what areas are safe. Completing some stages requires locating hidden areas by breaking through walls. You'll also need to fight some fearsome scorpion creatures but they really aren't as tough as they look.
The two-player co-op is a huge improvement over the Loaded games, mainly because it's split screen! That's right, the screen is divided down the middle so you can both explore on your own, working separately to gather hostages, plant explosives, or whatever the objective is.
I really like how when you track through blood and green goo you leave colorful footsteps behind. It's the little things in life! Machine Hunter can be pretty intense but its maze-like stages are too sprawling and hard to navigate. Even if you complete all the objectives it's a challenge to work your way to the exit before time expires. It reminds me of the old lyric "despite of my rage I am still just a rat in a cage!" © Copyright 2023 The Video Game Critic.
I'm not a fan of the intro rap music but I do appreciate the revamped user interface which is a pleasure to use. During the opening kick-off you'll witness a sun flare that would make George Lucas proud. The players on the field are still built like tanks but come in various shapes and sizes. They also move more naturally.
The gameplay is exceptionally good. You can grind out yards on the ground or deliver passes with pinpoint accuracy. Timing routes work particularly well. It's so satisfying to throw a perfect pass before your receiver even makes his break for the sideline. Running backs duck under would-be tacklers and receivers get good separation. After picking up a first down players gallivant around and talk trash.
As icing on the cake, the commentary by John Madden and Pat Summerall is much improved. Pat stays on top of things with his thoughtful play-by-play while Madden offers down-to-earth commentary like "I don't know if the receiver caught the ball or was impaled by it!" I just wish there was a half-time or post-game show.
My biggest complaint is with the new kicking meter, which looks more like an overly-complicated golf swing meter. I can't figure it out. There are also occasional goofy animations like injured players writhing in pain with nobody willing to help. But these are nit-picks. Like a good beer, Madden 2000 feels smooth, crisp and satisfying. © Copyright 2022 The Video Game Critic.
Madden 2001 is a pleasure to play. The graphics are terrific, the controls are tight, and the feature list is long. You can customize players, unlock all-time greats, and collect Madden cards. The rap music over the menu is annoying, but hey - you can't have everything.
I had a lot of fun trouncing the Steelers with my Ravens. I was coming down on them so hard that coach Cowher had to make an appearance, imploring his players to "get their head in the game". It helps when your team is world champions with attributes maxed out in all directions.
The on-field action is superb. I love how Jamal Lewis lowers his shoulder to bull-rush his way through the line. When a receiver is hit after a catch, you hold your breath hoping the ball won't be jarred loose. The kicking meter has been simplified although it remains very touchy. Little details like flying helmets, ten-yard measurements, and nets rising behind the goal posts all add to the sense of realism.
The audio is first rate. Madden will even mention specific players like "Shannon Sharpe is the best receiving tight end in football". He'll question calls on the field and provide informative bits like "You used to be able to put stickum on your hands to catch those balls, but now they got those gloves". Leslie Visser delivers a half-time report, and as I mentioned coaches also chime on occasion.
Madden NFL 2001 really demonstrates how far the franchise can come in five years. Having addressed all the major flaws of previous games, this one will stand the test of time. Its graphics may not compare to Madden 2022, but you could argue this classic is far more interesting. © Copyright 2022 The Video Game Critic.
With the PS2 at the forefront, EA was putting less effort into their PS1 offerings. Madden 2002 lacks the James Brown video intro, although he does provide a quick voice over. John Madden and Pat Summeral are nowhere to be seen. I'm pretty sure their commentary was recycled from last year.
That said, Madden 2002 has tremendous depth. Quarterbacks can pump-fake or throw the ball away. The kicking meter oscillates left and right, so you'll need to time it right to angle your kick. You can even challenge calls on the field. I love how you can harass opponents by diving into them after each play. These actions are met with boos and eventually result in a personal foul penalty.
The one new feature that blew me away was Classic Madden Mode. This is a perfectly emulated version of the original John Madden Football (Genesis, 1990). And get this - it has all the latest teams! The ability to play a 1990 video game as the 2002 Ravens is pretty mind-blowing, considering the team didn't even exist back then! This game itself may seem a bit antiquated with its old-fashioned "passing windows", but I was impressed Madden lent his voice even back then!
Madden 2002 has one major irritation I can't overlook. The background crowd noise incorporates this irritatingly air horn sound that consistently blows before every play. The only way to silence the damn thing is to turn the crowd volume all the way down, which detracts from the atmosphere. It's a shame how some throw-away sound like that can irrevocably mar an otherwise spectacular football title. © Copyright 2022 The Video Game Critic.
Madden 97 employs old-school 2D sprites instead of polygons. Whether you find these pixelated players ugly or charming depends on your perspective. They are certainly a big step up from the Genesis games. Madden 97 contains a multitude of options. If you're in a hurry you can configure quick three minute quarters. I prefer to set the weather to match outside, but you may want to think twice about selecting "rain" because those blinking black lines don't look so hot.
On the field there are few lulls in the action. The controls are optimized to select plays or choose receivers with the least amount of button presses. You get a good view of the field and the icon-based passing is intuitive. Just don't hit the O button before the snap on defense, as this will cause your lineman to dive forward for an encroachment penalty.
The gameplay is fun but a little defensive-minded. Running into that defensive line is like hitting a brick wall! I was amazed by how often "The Bus" got stuffed behind the line. The stiff arm move could be more effective and it's hard to "turn the corner". And if you don't get rid of the ball early during routes, passes tend to be jump-balls.
For the full Madden experience be sure to play season mode. It begins as a live telecast with James Brown at the desk introducing the game before handing off to Madden and Pat "at the stadium". They only provide some general commentary but I like how it sets the mood. The Ravens opener against the Raiders takes place at the old Memorial Stadium with a backdrop of flaming orange trees. I remember those days! Heck, I may have attended that game.
The audio is terrific, starting with that memorable NFL theme. On the field Madden chimes in quite often with color commentary like "a quarterback can't hold the ball for that long". Pat Summeral will mention in his calm voice "there's a flag on the play" or "there's a man down". The crowd gets raucous at times, shaking the entire stadium with chants of "DE-FENSE!" Funny how each quarter ends with the sound of a shotgun. If they did that in a stadium today it would be a full blown panic.
Madden NFL 97's gameplay is a little stiff but the nostalgia factor is off the charts. In contrast to the corporate, mass-produced Maddens of today, this gives you that cozy feeling of curling up on the couch too watch football on a chilly fall afternoon. Like the man himself, this game has heart. © Copyright 2022 The Video Game Critic.
It never ceases to amaze how much effort was put into the coin flips back in the day. You get this long, drawn-out ceremony culminating with a digitized coin flip that takes forever to land. Then the game begins and it looks like garbage. I can handle pixelated players just fine, but why are they so blurry and indistinct? It doesn't help that the default camera angle is "zoom", but what are my other options? Every one is either too close or too far.
So many things feel "off" about Madden 98. The grunts of the linemen sound like rocks crumbling. Gaining three yards is like pulling teeth, and when passing you have better hit your receiver in stride. Why is Brett Favre consistently off the mark? Is he having a bad day or is he just stuck in a bad game?
It's not all bad news. Madden and Pat Summeral provide more specific commentary, sometimes referring to the teams playing the game. The play-calling screen has been revamped with larger, easier-to-read panels. The animation on the field is smoother and faster, with receivers who actually reach for the ball. The chain gang marches out for ten-yard measurements, which is always exciting.
Even so, these graphics are hard to stomach. According to the back of the box, "V-Poly Technology" was used to provide "dynamically loaded, light-sourced, super sprites". It should have been called Adaptive Sourced Sprites, because it's A.S.S.! Sounds like somebody sold EA a bill of goods. The box also touts EA's patented new "liquid AI". I'm not even going to touch that one. © Copyright 2022 The Video Game Critic.
As the first Madden title to employ 3D polygons, Madden 99 is not half bad. If nothing else, the visuals look a lot cleaner. The zoomed-in camera tends to get all up in that action. There are nifty animations like running backs getting taken down by the ankles or receivers pile-driven into the turf. I love how runners attempt to grind out an extra yard while dragging tacklers.
On the downside, the players look like hulking robots with tiny hands and feet. After each play they all stand up perfectly straight and stare ahead as if they've been hypnotized. It's downright hilarious when an injured player is lying face-down on the field, his teammates completely oblivious.
The gameplay is dubious at times. Passes tend to be very floaty, with three defenders converging on your wide-open receiver before the ball arrives. Even more disturbing is how the ball will sometimes magically shift as much as six feet to connect to a receiver. You'll think your eyes are playing tricks with you until you check the replay.
In order to show off the slick animations the default camera view is very tight. You can change to a zoomed-out view, but while this gives you a wide-angle view the graphics look as muddled as the old sprites used to be. The paltry half-time show has been scaled back to a simple statistics screen.
There's a new "one button mode" meant for novice players but it's a complete bust. You still have to select your plays; the main difference is that you have much less control. What is the point? Madden 99 reflects the growing pains involved in making the leap to 3D graphics. Games like this do not tend to age well. © Copyright 2022 The Video Game Critic.
There are tons of moves including about five different dribbles, and the new foul-shooting mechanic is fun and challenging. Over 200 teams are available, along with options for adjusting almost every aspect of the game. The "create a player" feature is useful for "fixing" the roster of your favorite team, since it's probably incorrect. An excellent two-man commentary features Dick Vitale, although he doesn't talk nearly as much as he does on TV.
I do have a few complaints. First of all, three pointers go in too easily. As usual for an EA title, the loading times are excruciating. Whether it's accessing the memory card, simulating a week of games, or just loading a game, that load meter moves like a snail. While waiting for this thing to load, you could eat dinner... at a restaurant. Finally, this game is a serious memory card hog, using up to 14 blocks! Even so, MM2000 is clearly the best college basketball game to be released in 2000. © Copyright 2000 The Video Game Critic.
The dark environments are brilliantly designed and utterly believable as a war-ravaged Europe. Subtle sound effects include Nazi footsteps and conversations, dogs barking, planes flying overhead, and explosions in the distance. Unobtrusive heroic music kicks in during dramatic moments. Your missions are solo, but you still feel part of a much larger conflict.
Enemy soldiers look a bit blocky but are realistically animated. They take cover when they sense danger, and react realistically when shot. Some wounded enemies will even continue fighting, so you'd better put a few slugs in each one just to be sure. Surprisingly, there's no blood in this game - enemies simply disappear after they die.
An intuitive control scheme allows you to strafe, jump, crawl, aim, and even peek around corners. The action is exciting and addicting, and not particularly difficult either, thanks to a wealth of health packs, ammo, and places to hide. If that's not enough for you, there's even a two-player mode. This is a quality war game that strikes a good balance between realism and fun. © Copyright 2000 The Video Game Critic.
The short-but-sweet stages boast considerable replay value as you slash zombies, solve puzzles, and delve into hidden secrets. Spooky locations include graveyards, mausoleums, cornfields, and even a ghost ship. A diverse collection of foes include scampering imps, spinning scarecrows, and swashbuckling pirate skeletons. There are some amazing bosses like a demon composed entirely of stained glass!
The combat is spiced up with an assortment of weapons like throwing knives, clubs, and crossbows. Analog controls were a big selling point in 1998, but they feel touchy and imprecise. Medievil is packed with interesting details like coffins floating down a river and a ghostly organist playing a haunting refrain. First-rate audio effects include coins jingling, glass shattering, and a zany coconut sound when our hero bumps his head.
Like most first-generation 3D games the angular graphics haven't aged particularly well. It's hard to discern smaller creatures and easy to mistake pits for shadows. Your spastic movements combined with a whirling camera can make you feel a little queasy. That said, the game is highly playable and absolutely reeks of Halloween spirit. Medievil was developed at a time when the developers weren't so concerned about making games super long, just super fun. © Copyright 2018 The Video Game Critic.
Medievil 2 nicely embodies the spirit of Halloween with its dark, twisted scenery that includes a creepy circus. The orchestrated music gives the game a cinematic flair and the production values are sky high. Excellent vibration effects let you feel a slight thump with each step as you prance around. Items like keys are used automatically, save points are well-placed, and monsters do not regenerate when you re-enter a room.
While I usually prefer analog controls I can't get over just how touchy these are. While fighting in close quarters you find yourself darting around in a spastic manner, passing right through creeps who absorb far too many hits. Heck, even decapitated zombies keep coming back. But the worst are the conjurors, who not only respawn other monsters but are invincible for 90% of the time!
The platform jumping is suspect. You tend to overshoot your target and the less-than-helpful camera is constantly moving and throwing you off-course. MediEvil II boasts impressive production values but I'm afraid its touchy controls and tiresome combat have not aged well at all. © Copyright 2018 The Video Game Critic.
The opening stage takes place on a scenic island where a new kick-ball weapon is introduced. After that you can select from several imaginative stages. Frost Man's stage is not the winter wonderland you might expect, but a gorgeous ice-encrusted city! And if you think it looks nice during the day, wait until you see it at night! Clown Man's stage features toy trains you can catch rides on, and I love how toy soldiers struggle to hang on after walking off a ledge (the details make all the difference). Grenade Man's stage features stacked barrels that create a chain reaction when they explode. There's a lot of variety, and part of Tengu Man's stage plays like a side-scrolling shooter.
It's fun to enlist "helpers" to shoot alongside you, but they tend to clutter the screen. Mega Man 8 is addictive, but you'll need to have a high pain threshold to enjoy it. The level designs are classic Mega Man, but since the characters are large you don't have as much room to maneuver. Frost Man's never-ending ice-board sequences require you to execute pinpoint jumps and slides while avoiding falling bombs.
The bosses are tough but the key is learning how to evade their attacks. You can save your progress after each boss. The electronic soundtrack is uneven. Some tunes (Frost Man) are very soothing while others (Clown Man) sound cheesy. Mega Man 8 is very inexpensive (compared to Mega Man 7) so it won't hurt your wallet - only your pride. Note: The Saturn edition includes two additional bosses. © Copyright 2013 The Video Game Critic.
Metal Gear's controls are super responsive, which is critical since you'll need to sneak around a multitude of enemy guards. Unlike most games, avoiding conflict is just as satisfying (and usually more rewarding) than engaging in battle. A wide variety of weapons and unconventional gadgets are at your disposal, and you'll interact with a number of memorable heroes and villains.
Although very challenging, Metal Gear Solid finds clever ways to help you along, eliminating the frustration associated with other adventure games like Tomb Raider 3. A triumph of style and originality, Metal Gear Solid may quite possibly be the best Playstation game of all time. © Copyright 1999 The Video Game Critic.
In terms of presentation, this Playstation shooter is second to none. The characters and scenery are meticulously crafted and brimming with clever, funny animations. This is one of those games you can play over and over again and always see something new. Objects are rendered as 2D sprites, giving the visuals an artistic flair missing from most polygon-based titles.
Your character's default weapon isn't very powerful, but you're constantly finding new weapons, including machine guns, lasers, flamethrowers, grenades, and rocket launchers. You can also commandeer tanks, planes, and even camels. The level of destruction you can unleash is spectacular, and it's well represented by satisfying explosions with huge chunks of debris flying all over the place.
Over-the-top bosses include an airship that drops full-sized tanks from the sky! The stage locations include a desert, a mummy-infested tomb, and a moving train. Complementing its top-notch graphics are crystal clear digitized sound effects and an intense musical score. Two players can play cooperatively, and thankfully you can't harm each other. Metal Slug X really blew me away. If I have one complaint, it's how your default weapon can't shoot diagonally, making certain targets hard to reach.
The standard arcade mode offers unlimited continues which eliminates the drama and suspense, but this is remedied by the awesome "Combat School" mode, which challenges you to clear any one stage with only three lives. There's also a "survival mode" where you only get one life (imagine that)! Well crafted and easy on the eyes, Metal Slug X is a must-have for die-hard shooter fans. © Copyright 2004 The Video Game Critic.
Staying within the track confines is a challenge, especially in multiplayer where falling off the screen drops you out of the race. The Nintendo 64 edition is a personal favorite of mine so I was expecting Micro Machines V3 to be comparable. It's not. I tried it with five players and the result was utter chaos - and not the good kind! The camera is pulled in way too tight and the action is so fast you can't make turns even when you know they're coming. It's also really hard to tell what place you're currently in.
The graphics are substandard, with pixelated polygons, chunky textures, and ugly seams. The controls are digital only (no analog stick support). Your best option is the single-player mode, which offers a decent viewing angle and short, challenging races of increasing difficulty. That's fine, but Micro Machines is built on multiplayer fun, something V3 is sorely lacking. © Copyright 2015 The Video Game Critic.
You can keep the accelerator held down as you swerve between cars, buses, and motorcycles with reckless abandon. Crashes are rare, although you will get slowed and jostled by minor collisions. I like that screeching metal sound when you grind a guardrail. There are three tracks of varying difficulty, all featuring beautiful lighted skylines, colorful billboards, and winding tunnels. There's just something special about racing around at night.
I have to admit however that the game is shallow. You just pick a car, choose a track, and race three laps. If you rank in with a high score, you can save it to memory card. There's no two-player mode. You can basically see everything the game has to offer in just a few minutes. I'm guessing that's why Midnight Run wasn't released in the states. There certainly were no language barriers, considering the text and dialog are entirely in English. Even your hottie female passenger speaks perfect English! Midnight Run may be a fleeting thrill but sometimes that's all you really want. © Copyright 2019 The Video Game Critic.
This disk actually contains two versions of the Missile Command: Classic and Ultimate. Classic is billed as the original version with updated graphics and sound, but it's not nearly as fun, and you'll need to jack the difficulty way to make it a legitimate challenge. The satellites which evaded explosions so well in the original game are easily destroyed here, and it's hard to tell destroyed cities from the untouched ones!
The Ultimate version is supposed to take Missile Command to the "next level", with a larger, scrolling screen that necessitates a radar display. Enemy ships can now distract you by flying in low to steal your missiles, and after every few rounds you face a large mothership "boss". Ultimate looks great and controls fine, but still isn't very fun. Where's the original arcade version? That's better than both of these combined! For real Missile Command action, check out the Atari Collection packages. © Copyright 2000 The Video Game Critic.
Easy-to-perform special moves are listed in the manual, although some research is necessary to uncover the gory "fatalities". Speaking of which, MK3's developers went way overboard with the "finishing" moves. Besides the old-fashioned "normal" fatalities (like momma used to make), there are "stage" fatalities, animalities, babalities, mercies, and friendships! Whatever happened to the good old days when you just ripped out your opponent's spine and called it a day?
Many of the finishing moves are downright silly, perhaps in a deliberate attempt by the developers to diffuse any potential controversy. For example, one fatality drops a Mortal Kombat arcade machine out the sky onto your opponent's head (that's gonna leave a mark). My main issues with MK3 concern the character roster and stage scenery. Long-time favorites like Scorpion, Raiden, and Johnny Cage are nowhere to be found, and Sub Zero has been unmasked - bad call! There are some interesting new faces like the four-armed Sheeva and the robotic Cyrax, but others like Styker and Nightwolf are pretty lame.
Most stages feature urban themes, including one depicting a trashy city street. After the awe-inspiring temples and creepy dungeons of the first two Mortal Kombats, these are fairly unimpressive locales. I also hate that dork sticking his digitized face on the side of the screen (so annoying!) There's a nice selection of options to adjust the difficulty, violence, and controls, but unfortunately there's no way to save high scores or settings to memory card. Some readers have expressed concern about Shang Tsung's "morph" move, but since he always transforms into his opponent this time, there's no load time involved. Mortal Kombat 3 is a very good fighter, and if you enjoyed the previous editions, this will give you more of what you want. © Copyright 2005 The Video Game Critic.
The gameplay is largely unchanged, but the new dimension does allow for useful side-step moves and more dramatic-looking fatalities. Surprisingly, the newly-added weapons have little impact on the gameplay, since you drop them once you get hit. The run button allows for some special moves, but you rarely have enough distance to use it. The new character line-up includes many MK vets such as Johnny Cage, Sonya, Raiden, Jax, Liu Kang, Scorpion, Sub-Zero, Goro, and a reconstructed Reptile.
The mysterious backgrounds look more like "old-fashioned" Mortal Kombat, having moved away from the urban look of MK3. The moves and fatalities are listed in the manual, and they aren't too hard to execute. It didn't win me over in a big way, but Mortal Kombat 4 is still a respectable fighter. Unfortunately, it failed to reinvigorate the franchise, and most people wrote it off as a 3D rehash. On a final note, the excellent live-action intro makes me yearn for a new Mortal Kombat movie - bring it on! © Copyright 2003 The Video Game Critic.
As I crept from room to room, encountering one foe after the next, the game reminded me a lot of Karateka (Atari 7800, 1987). Had this been done right, it could have been a smash hit, and in theory Midway could have released a new Mythologies title for each character. But this game is so riddled with problems that I don't know where to start.
To call the controls awkward would be a drastic understatement. The L2 button is used to turn around, but as critical as it is, it's not the least bit responsive. Next, in order to grab floating items, it's necessary to press L1, which is very inconvenient in the midst of battle. The triangle button is used to "exit" most menu screens, but on the inventory screen it lets you use items! Consequently, I inadvertently used up all of my health supplements just trying to exit the frickin' screen!
The collision detection hit-or-miss, and you'll witness many perfectly good kicks that fail to register at all. Did I mention the incredibly cheap, instant-kill traps? In general, this title lacks the polish you would expect from an established franchise. The instruction manual is useless, providing no clue on how to execute the special moves. Hell, I couldn't even figure out how to jump from a rope without plunging to my death! Mythologies should have been a fun, side-scrolling romp, but this poorly thought-out, half-hearted effort amounts to little more than a cautionary tale. © Copyright 2005 The Video Game Critic.
Four bosses are available, but I have to warn you - they are incredibly cheap! Trilogy's core gameplay contains all the blood splattering, spine-ripping goodness you've come to expect of the series. There is one glaring flaw however, and that is the fact that Shang Tsung's "morphing" takes over five seconds to complete! It looks like your game has locked-up! A new "aggressor" meter has been added, but it's completely unnecessary. Likewise the new "Brutalities" are just a barrage of attacks followed by raining bones - pretty boring!
Trilogy has frequent load screens, but these are reasonably short. Four and eight-player tournament modes are included, although I can't see those getting much use. The more you look at Trilogy, the more it feels like a rehash. This proved to be a swan song of sorts for the 2D Mortal Kombat games. © Copyright 2011 The Video Game Critic.
The main character, Jax, is the black guy from Mortal Kombat II with bionic arms. If not for him, this might as well be another Die Hard game. Special Force's predictable gameplay is not special at all. Traversing through office buildings and sewers, you methodically dispose of enemy thugs using your fists or weapons. One unique feature is how you can switch to a first-person point of view in case you want to aim with more precision.
You'll spend much of the game searching for ways to unlock doors, and blowing up damaged walls to expose hidden rooms. The ominous musical score is decent, but Special Force's graphics are just plain ugly. The scenery is remarkably generic, and hideous "seams" abound. The clumsy control scheme provides you with zero control of the camera. Attack combos are effective but hard to execute, and the collision detection is a joke.
On one occasion, I was attacking two thugs lined up in front of me, when my kick passed completely through the first guy, only to strike the dude behind him! I can honestly say that's the first time I've ever seen this particular glitch in a fighting game. I forced myself to play through several stages of Mortal Kombat Special Forces (for the purpose of this review), but to be honest I lost interest very early. © Copyright 2005 The Video Game Critic.
You'll challenge four CPU opponents, and believe me when I say these bastards won't give an inch! Even if you manage to painstakingly work your way up to the lead, one false move sends you to the back of the pack. The analog steering works great but regulating your speed via the X button takes practice. Memorizing each course is paramount because you have a low vantage point with no turn cues. The map in the corner is utterly useless.
Most tracks are curvy but cutting corners is ill-advised, since plowing through loose gravel slows you to a crawl. CPU drivers seem to maintain a constant speed, so you'll make up ground on straight-aways only to lose it on the curves. After colliding with a CPU racer your driver goes vaulting through his handlebars as a brown cloud emanates from his butt. Perhaps to compensate for the humiliation, the game "resets" you a lot further up the track.
The arcade mode is a dud. Why would you start the player on such an bland, difficult track? Dialing down the difficulty occurred to me, but then I realized it was already set to beginner! Shouldn't "normal" be the default? The audio makes its sound like you're being pursued by a swarm of killer bees. The droning, generic music absolutely sucks.
My favorite track is the island. Short and easy, the course is replete with interesting scenery and lush vegetation. Why can't all the tracks be like this? I also dislike how so many modes like traffic, trial, and dragster are locked from the outset. Moto Racer World Tour can be pretty exciting once you learn how to keep up with the pack, but the game makes you work too hard for any kind of payoff. © Copyright 2021 The Video Game Critic.
His mission is to save familiar muppet characters transformed into classic movie monsters. Kermit plays the role of Frankenstein but his tall flat head makes it look like he's sporting a high-top fade! The game's bright, whimsical graphics have a vaguely Halloween theme and the impressive orchestrated soundtrack offers hints of Zombies Ate My Neighbors (SNES, 1993).
Muppet Monster Adventure is a remarkably well-constructed 3D platformer. Its levels are spacious enough that you rarely have to fumble with the camera or struggle with precision jumps. It doesn't hurt that the difficulty is easy. The hub of the game offers dozens of stages that gradually unlock as you collect items.
Armed with a potent spin attack and ray-gun, you'll tangle with bone-tossing skeletons, axe-wielding hunchbacks, and whirling mummies. A special weapon even lets you fire chickens! You gradually acquire new powers allowing you to climb, karate-chop, slide blocks, and glide like Spyro the Dragon (Sony, 1998). Each stage is chock full of items to collect and it can become an obsession to track everything down.
The controls are superb with one exception. Although analog control generally works fine, you'll want to stick with digital control when you need to slide blocks. A funny red-haired guy who speaks with an outrageous French accent offers hints to guide you past puzzles. You can save your progress or return to the main hub at any time. Surprisingly addictive and effortlessly enjoyable, Muppet Monster Adventure is a game that should appeal to all ages. © Copyright 2016 The Video Game Critic.
Screen shots courtesy of IGN.com