system Index P-Q
PGA Tour 96
Grade: A-
Publisher: Electronic Arts (1995)
Posted: 2001/1/13
Rating: Everyone

screenshotWith so many cartoonish golf games on the market, it's nice to play something with real golfers and actual courses. Electronic Arts did a fantastic job with PGA 96. It's considered by many to be the best of EA's Playstation golf games. The two beautiful courses included are River Highlands and Spyglass Hill. The holes are pre-rendered, unlike the chunky polygon courses in modern golf games.

You don't get the benefit of moving cameras or multiple angles, but the graphics are photo-realistic - making you feel like you're on a real course! The bright green fairways set against the deep blue sky are a sight to behold, and the fourteen digitized pros swing smoothly and react to their shots appropriately. PGA 96 is easy to play, with simple, responsive controls. There are occasional pauses with the disk loads, but nothing excessive. In fact, the game moves at a rather nice pace.

The audio could be better. The sound effects are virtually non-existent, with the exception of an occasional bellow of a sea lion in Spyglass hill. Could they make that sound effect any louder? It sounds like he's on your back for Pete's sake! There's a commentator, but he only chimes in before putts, and talks in a polite whisper. With fun gameplay and classic good looks, PGA Tour 96 is one golf game that should pass the test of time. © Copyright 2001 The Video Game Critic.

1 to 4 players 

If you like this game, try: PGA Tour Golf (3DO)
PGA Tour 97 (Saturn)
VR Golf 97 (Saturn)
Pebble Beach Golf Links (3DO)
Pebble Beach Golf Links (Genesis)

Pac-Man World
Grade: B+
Publisher: Namco (1999)
Posted: 2000/1/11
Rating: Everyone

screenshotThis is a fitting tribute to the little yellow guy on his 20th anniversary. This package actually contains three unique games. First, you get an arcade-perfect version of the original Pac-Man. Next, there's the "Maze Mode", which updates the original game with 3D graphics and imaginative stages including a pirate ship, fun house, and a haunted house. But the main attraction is the 3D "Quest Mode". In some ways it's a typical 3D adventure as you jump between platforms, collect items, and push buttons to open doors. However, Quest is smaller in scale and less complicated than most, so you won't be overwhelmed by huge levels or move combinations. But you will have fun. With its excellent production values and timeless gameplay, Pac-Man World is a likeable package that should appeal to a wide audience. © Copyright 2000 The Video Game Critic.
1 or 2 players 

If you like this game, try: Ms. Pac-Man (Atari 5200)
Pac-Man (NES)
Ms. Pac-Man Maze Madness (Dreamcast)
Ms. Pac-Man (Atari XEGS)
Pac-Man Collection (Atari 7800)

Grade: C+
Publisher: Crystal Dynamics (1996)
Posted: 2000/8/10
Rating: Kids to Adults

screenshotAlthough saddled with a lousy, inappropriate title, Pandemonium did boast some innovative graphics for its time. Its gameplay is strictly 2D, but the graphics are 3D rendered, allowing for camera angles that twist and turn around the action. The result is the best of both worlds - a platformer that's easy to play and mesmerizing to watch. Like a Sonic game, the object is to reach the end of each stage while collecting coins and other items along the way. Traps and adversaries cross your path, but pouncing on enemies will make them disappear.

Pandemonium is a rather linear game, but there are occasional branches in your path. Eighteen large stages take you through dungeons, villages, forests, and caves, but these are wildly uneven in quality. The first stage is sensational, with its lush foliage, scenic waterfalls, and majestic palace. Unfortunately, the advanced stages aren't up to the same standards, and they gradually degenerate into simple caverns and boring platforms.

Pandemonium's renaissance-style music is very well orchestrated, and a handy password is displayed between stages. If I have one issue with this game, it would probably lie with the two playable characters, who are decidedly uncool. I can tolerate the girl, but that jester in the sneakers looks like a complete dork, and watching him in that corny opening video is almost creepy. Pandemonium has faded into obscurity, but its innovative style of gameplay lives on. © Copyright 2000 The Video Game Critic.

1 player 

If you like this game, try: Cross Force (Atari 2600)
Sonic Jam (Saturn)
Mr. Robot and His Robot Factory (Atari XEGS)
Sonic Mega Collection (GameCube)
DK: King of Swing (Game Boy Advance)

Parappa the Rapper
Grade: B+
Publisher: Sony (1997)
Posted: 1999/7/15
Rating: Kids to Adults

screenshotThis unlikely but highly imaginative game plays like a series of interactive music videos. In Japanese, Parappa means "paper thin", and the graphics reflect that with their flat cartoon characters. Although Parappa's visuals are simple, the well-defined graphics have a unique style all their own. The music is excellent, although some of the rhymes are extremely corny. Each stage has its own distinct beat, from rock to reggae. The simple controls require you to hit combinations of buttons to the rhythm of the song, causing Parappa to rap, although his words sound a bit disjointed. The characters and backgrounds transform depending on your performance, and there's even some room for you to get creative. Parappa the Rapper is a triumph of originality, and younger gamers in particular should have a ball with it. © Copyright 1999 The Video Game Critic.
Copy link to this review
1 player 

If you like this game, try: Rhythm Heaven Fever (Wii)
Um Jammer Lammy (Playstation)
Michael Jackson: The Experience (Playstation Vita)
Bust A Groove (Playstation)
Pac-Man World (Playstation)

Pepsiman (Japan)
Grade: C
Publisher: KID Corp (1999)
Posted: 2020/8/5

screenshotWhen it comes to novelty titles Pepsiman reigns supreme. I learned about this game from an episode of the Angry Video Game Nerd. As hard as he tried to poke fun at it I couldn't help but think it looked awesome. The game stars a faceless silver-and-blue running man sprinting through various locations while trying to grab Pepsi icons. His goal is to deliver Pepsi for the purposes of quelling a riot, hydrating people in need of rescue, or some other ridiculous premise.

The eye candy is abundant as our hero dashes through a busy suburban neighborhood, occasionally darting through somebody's living room! You need to jump over and slide under hazards like cars, construction equipment, and moving trucks dropping furniture on the road. The game really hits its stride when you find yourself skateboarding down the hills of San Francisco while avoiding oncoming trollies. In another stage you're running toward the screen with a giant Pepsi can bearing down on you, a la Crash Bandicoot (PS1, 1998).

Unfortunately the ample eye candy soon gives way to less interesting locales like construction sites and - you guessed it - sewers. The game has its share of funny animations like when Pepsi Man gets clotheslined by a metal beam. The incessant "Pep-si Maaaan" refrain is hilarious at first but soon gets on your nerves.

Interspersed with the stages are FMV cut-scenes that seem wildly out of place. They feature a chubby white guy sitting in his easy chair scarfing down potato chips while telling you to drink Pepsi. Were they trying to make fun of Americans? That may explain why a game about an American product with English dialog was only released in Japan. Pepsiman is a fascinating piece of work, but as the novelty began to fade so did my desire to play. Note: I reviewed this game on a Playstation modified to play imports. © Copyright 2020 The Video Game Critic.

Copy link to this review
1 player 

If you like this game, try: Crash Bandicoot (Playstation)
Crash Bash (Playstation)
Megarace (Sega CD)
Crash Bandicoot The Wrath of Cortex (Playstation 2)
Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back (Playstation)

Grade: C-
Publisher: Sony (1996)
Posted: 2013/9/10
Rating: Kids to Adults (mild animated violence)

screenshotPhilosoma feels like a classic 2D shooter trapped in a 3D polygon world. Your ship is positively huge and you can unleash an impressive barrage of rapid-fire shots. The opening stage is a vertical shooter with asteroids, but they don't crumble easily. You can weave your way through them, but it's a tight squeeze. Enemy ships make their entrance by whizzing past the camera before settling into shooting range. This scaling effect is neat but it obstructs your view.

Subsequent stages offer a variety of 2D and 3D viewpoints, and I like that. The 3D stages wind through some dark valleys, and they probably looked pretty impressive back in 1996. In general the 2D stages look like crap but are more playable. You can toggle between several weapons, each of which can be powered up. The rapid-fire vulcan is the most practical weapon but wiping the screen with the laser beam is also satisfying. The stage sequence is bizarre. Sometimes it feels like you're playing the same stage (or even fighting the same boss) twice in a row! A female radio voice alerts you to approaching enemies, and yeah, she actually called that boss "Doggy House".

Save your smart bombs for the bosses, who tend to crowd the screen. I find it super lame how the larger defeated enemies just tend to smoke and drift off the screen. That doesn't satisfy my appetite for destruction. Full-motion video intermissions frequently interrupt the action, which were also pretty cool in 1996. Now you can skip them with the start button. Continues are available, but they take you way, way back. Philosoma is not particularly good, but if you enjoy shooters you might appreciate this strange, lost relic of the PS1 library. © Copyright 2013 The Video Game Critic.

High score: 221,500
1 player 

If you like this game, try: Einhander (Playstation)
Twin Eagle (NES)
Axelay (Super Nintendo)
Starblade (Sega CD)
Shooter Space Shot (Playstation)

Pitfall 3D: Beyond the Jungle
Grade: C+
Publisher: Activision (1998)
Posted: 2013/9/10
Rating: Teen (animated violence)

screenshotAs with most early PS1 titles, Pitfall 3D kicks off with an obligatory full-motion video introduction. The story is an incomprehensible tale but the narrator sounds familiar. Hey, that's Bruce Campbell of Evil Dead fame! I'm liking this game already! Beyond the Jungle attempts a major franchise transition, easing the player into the third dimension with a gentle learning curve.

As the title implies, it ditches the jungle environments for underground dungeons with magical mechanisms, floating platforms, and tacky yellow arrows that point the way. As if the arrows weren't enough, you can always follow the trail of huge blue gems. In a nod to the original Pitfall (Atari 2600, 1982), Beyond the Jungle incorporates disappearing pits, rolling logs, scorpions, and gold bars. When swinging on vines Bruce Campbell unleashes a mean Tarzan yell.

The controls are digital-only so moving diagonally can be hard on the thumb. Pitfall 3D requires you to navigate a lot of floating platforms in dark environments. Fortunately the game incorporates "whoops I almost walked off that edge technology", saving you from a lot of careless deaths. Sadly, you do not have the benefit of "ledge-grabbing jump technology". The stages are peppered with random enemies like apes, flaming skulls, pixies, and pterodactyls. I find it odd how you can't harm those puny scorpions, yet giant rock monsters go down with one blow of your pickaxe. Among the traps and hazards is a mysterious blue liquid that causes Harry to levitate over it.

The graphics are very good but depth perception is an issue when hopping between platforms. The stages are pretty big, so when you complete one you feel like you actually accomplished something! You can save after each stage and sometimes even in the middle of a stage. Bruce Campbell keeps things light with random one-liners like "Sayonara!", "Let's rock!", and "Step aside, coming though!" Pitfall 3D is fun for a while, but I grew weary of the cookie-cutter stages and ubiquitous items. Do I really need to collect all these blue diamonds and poker chips? After a while I started to wish I was back in the jungle again. © Copyright 2013 The Video Game Critic.

Copy link to this review
High score: 6510
1 player 

If you like this game, try: Pitfall (Intellivision)
Super Pitfall (NES)
Pitfall: Beyond the Jungle (Game Boy Color)
Pitfall (Atari 2600)
Pitfall (Atari XEGS)

Point Blank
Grade: B
Publisher: Namco (1997)
Posted: 2024/6/11
Rating: Teen

screenshotThis carnival-style light-gun title boasts more than 70 random stages of head-to-head mayhem. Its whimsical target-shooting challenges are short but sweet, running less than 30 seconds each! Most provide unlimited ammo, but certain scenarios only allow one shot, so make it count! Though designed for two-players, Point Blank can accommodate up to eight when played tournament-style.

The stage themes are all over the place. You'll shoot wooden ninja cut-outs that pop up from behind scenery. You'll shatter skeletons that leap out of graves. You may have to hit a certain number of red ducks or shoot numbered blocks in order. There's a rapid-fire round where you need to lay waste to a sports car before time runs out, a la Street Fighter II (SNES, 1992).

What makes Point Blank great is its included Guncon controller. Designed with an extra wire that connects to the yellow video output, this gun is super-accurate. You can even hit the edges of a CRT screen with no problem. And accuracy is critical during the "one shot" stages that challenge you to hit a floating leaf or knock an apple off a guy's head.

Arcade mode is the main event, offering four skill levels: training, beginner, expert, and extra hard. Ummm... what happened to normal? Point Blank tends to confuse the concept of lives, continues, and score. There doesn't seem to be any penalty for using continues, as your score does not reset.

An RPG-style quest mode adds depth but it lacks the flow of the arcade mode. Party mode allows up to eight people to compete round-robin, but trying to coordinate something like that seems like a bridge too far.

Point Blank is an appealing title with bouncy music, bright visuals, and simple gameplay. High scores are saved and there's even a nifty "fireworks" stage at the end of each contest. When it comes to competitive light gun action, it's pure arcade bliss. Note: This game only works on a CRT television. © Copyright 2024 The Video Game Critic.

Copy link to this review
1 to 8 players 

If you like this game, try: Point Blank 3 (Playstation)
Time Crisis (Playstation)
Point Blank 2 (Playstation)
Othello (Atari 2600)
Sports Jam (Dreamcast)

Point Blank 2
Grade: C+
Publisher: Namco (1998)
Posted: 2024/6/11
Rating: Teen

screenshotThe first Point Blank game was so robust and polished, I wasn't sure a sequel was even necessary. Point Blank 2 boasts 70 new stages, but most of are very derivative of the first game. Still, the developers definitely upped the ante in terms of more thoughtful, sophisticated challenges - for better or worse.

Some of the new stages rely on vocal cues like "shoot white" or shoot the animal that makes a certain sound ("moo"). There's a stage that challenges you to play "bingo" by shooting numbered bouncing balls. That one gave me a headache. Another briefly presents three guys in a lineup, and you must shoot the one holding a gun - as opposed to flowers or a banana. Having to shoot targets zipping around on a roller coaster is just aggravating.

One particularly alarming stage has a car falling towards you out of the sky and you have to shoot it 76 times to destroy it before it hits! In one of the single-shot stages you're required to shoot a stopwatch once it reaches a fraction of a second. Talk about demanding!

The playing modes have been revamped. In addition to arcade mode there's a new "endurance mode" which reminds me of the towers mode in Mortal Kombat. You work your way up a tower by completing mini-games, but the slowly-ramping difficulty renders it boring. Theme park mode basically wraps a lame story around the normal stages.

I wasn't thrilled with Point Blank 2. It feels like a solution looking for a problem, with stages that tend to be more aggravating than fun. Point Blank fans looking for a challenge will find it, but casual players should stick to the original game. Note: This game only works on a CRT television. © Copyright 2024 The Video Game Critic.

Copy link to this review
1 to 8 players 

If you like this game, try: Point Blank 3 (Playstation)
Point Blank (Playstation)
Theme Park (Jaguar)
Coaster Works (Dreamcast)
Mortal Kombat II (Saturn)

Point Blank 3
Grade: B+
Publisher: Namco (2001)
Posted: 2024/6/11
Rating: Teen (animated violence)

screenshotThe original Point Blank (Namco, 1997) set the standard for competitive light gun action, but its sequel was bogged down by convoluted modes and tedious stage design. Point Blank 3 gets the series back on track. It's all the fun of a carnival-shooter without any of the nonsense. It really is all fun and games.

The first thing you'll notice about Point Blank 3 is the simplified main menu. Your options are arcade, versus, training, endurance, party, and options. It's got everything you need without the confusing layers of menus. Frankly the only modes I need are arcade and versus.

There are 80 "new" stages although most are bound to look familiar. Like the first game, these tend to be very simple, like shooting liquor bottles on a bar or blasting soccer balls into a goal. Many seem influenced by old-school video games, like shooting snake segments (a la Centipede) or defending a base from incoming missiles (a la Missile Command).

The stage difficulty is extremely well-tuned. I say that because most of the time when I clear a stage it's just by the skin of my teeth, hitting 17 targets when I needed 16 for example. I do get perturbed by the goofy singing that accompanies the score tabulation.

They even upgraded the fireworks castle "finale". It feels so great to end a game like this on such an exuberant note. I'm a big fan of Point Blank 3. I'm glad that Namco went back to the well one last time to finally get it right. Note: This game only works on a CRT television. © Copyright 2024 The Video Game Critic.

Copy link to this review
1 to 8 players 

If you like this game, try: Missile Command (Atari 5200)
Missile War (Arcadia 2001)
Point Blank (Playstation)
Missile Defense 3D (Sega Master System)
Arcade's Greatest Hits: Atari Collection 1 (Playstation)

Polaris SnoCross
Grade: C
Publisher: Vatical (2000)
Posted: 2018/1/9

screenshotA game like Polaris SnoCross holds little appeal for most of the year, but once there's a fresh coating of snow on the ground games like this call to me. The live action intro gets you psyched up like CGI never could. The first track is ideal for putting you into a festive winter mood as you race through a cozy snow-covered village before heading out over tree-lined ridges and rickety bridges.

The visuals are much better than the Nintendo 64 version, with better-defined scenery and no noticeable draw-in. The music consists of understated electronic beats. Be selective when choosing your new snowmobile before each race. Go with the one with high top speed or else your three CPU competitors will crowd you out of the field. Fortunately they tend to wipe out on their own which helps level the playing field. Expect a lot of bouncing around as you bound over hills and jostle for position. The tracks are a bit on the long side but multiple paths keep things interesting.

The single-player tournament mode lets you unlock new tracks and a split-screen supports up to four players. The four-player mode is disappointing though because the first-person view makes it impossible to see your tricks. The night tracks feel like a missed opportunity. Instead of a village illuminated with holiday lights, it looks like someone just turned down the brightness on my TV. The game also seems a little buggy, locking up on one occasion. Polaris SnoCross has its problems but it's perfectly good for curling up on a cozy snowy night. © Copyright 2018 The Video Game Critic.

Copy link to this review
1 to 4 players 

If you like this game, try: Polaris SnoCross (Nintendo 64)
Polaris SnoCross (Game Boy Color)
Nagano Winter Olympics 98 (Playstation)
SnoCross 2 featuring Blair Morgan (Playstation 2)
Sno-Cross Championship Racing (Dreamcast)

Grade: B-
Publisher: Hasbro (1999)
Posted: 1999/11/26
Rating: Everyone

screenshotWell, it's 1999 and guess what - we're still playing Pong! Who would have thought? To all you cynical people out there who think this game is a big joke, I've got news for you: Pong is fun! This updated version preserves the original classic gameplay while incorporating state-of-the-art 3D graphics, excellent music, and loads of power-ups to spice things up.

There are dozens of stages, and each has its own distinctive look and feel. One stage features a flat iceberg with wandering penguins, and when a penguin is hit, it places another ball into play. Power-ups include seals that handle missed balls, and a polar bear who tilts the iceberg. It's pretty wild! Another stage is set on a soccer field, where you control two sets of "paddles" at once. Advanced levels become ever more complicated, allowing you to catch and aim the balls. I like the variety of this Pong, but to be honest, the later stages are less fun than the simpler ones.

Pong's control is fair but could have been better. The analog-controlled paddles tend to gain momentum, making it impossible to reverse direction immediately. As a result, you tend to "overrun" and miss balls. Pong is an addictive one-player game, but it's the two to four-player modes that will make believers out of your friends. Hasbro deserves to be commended for bringing back this classic oldie in grand style. © Copyright 1999 The Video Game Critic.

1-4 players 

If you like this game, try: Video Olympics (Atari 2600)
Centipede (Playstation)
NASL Soccer (Intellivision)
Breakout (Playstation)
Realsports Soccer (Atari 2600)

Power Spike Pro Beach Volleyball
Grade: C-
Publisher: infogrames (2000)
Posted: 2001/3/22
Rating: Everyone

screenshotWhen was the last time a good volleyball video game was made? I'm guessing Kings of the Beach for the NES, and that was way back in 1988! Power Spike is no classic, but it will satisfy some gamers with a craving for volleyball action. As a volleyball player myself, I was pretty psyched up about Power Spike Pro, especially with mega-babe Gabrielle Reese featured on the front cover.

Power Spike gets off to a good start with a short video montage featuring some hot-looking women players in action. There's a long list of men and women pros to choose from, but once the action gets under way, the first thing you notice is the lousy graphics. My friend Scott even asked "Is it possible to give the graphics an F-?". The rough, poorly rendered players do look pretty sorry.

There are several beach locations, but they all look the same, with huge crowd stands blocking what could have been some attractive scenery. But the number one problem by far is the camera. No matter what angle you select, you are always too far away! It's like watching the game from the nosebleed section! Forget about the four-player action; the two-player mode is hard enough to watch.

The sound effects are abysmal, with uneven, disjointed crowd noise. The players seem to yell unintelligible phrases like "Nobody!" for no reason. The control is a mixed bag. Players move nervously, but the control scheme makes targeting the ball easy, and I love the way you can aim your shots. If you can look past the poor graphics and sound, Power Spike does provide some decent one or two-player volleyball action. © Copyright 2001 The Video Game Critic.

Copy link to this review
1 to 4 players 

If you like this game, try: Kings of the Beach (NES)
Malibu Bikini Volleyball (Lynx)
Summer Heat Beach Volleyball (Playstation 2)
Super Volleyball (Turbografx-16)
Volleyball (NES)

Powerboat Racing
Grade: D-
Publisher: VR Sports (1998)
Posted: 2001/8/14
Rating: Everyone

screenshotPowerboat Racing suffers from the same problems that plague so many other Playstation water-racing games, namely narrow tracks and poor controls. The nine courses are scattered throughout different countries around the world including Japan, Monaco, Norway, and England. Personally I would have preferred more exotic, tropical locations. The scenery isn't bad, but the pop-up is outrageous, even in the one-player mode. The courses sometimes change their path dynamically, which is supposed to add variety but instead confuses the hell out of the racers! And why in the world are these tracks so [expletive] narrow?! You'll be spending most of your time trying not to hit the walls. It doesn't help that the digital controls are so oversensitive, causing you to oversteer all over the place. Powerboat Racing does offer a split-screen mode, and the game does provide a certain level of amusement if you can accept its flaws. © Copyright 2001 The Video Game Critic.
Copy link to this review
1 or 2 players 

If you like this game, try: Supercross 3D (Jaguar)
Turbo Prop Racing (Playstation)
Mario Kart 64 (Nintendo 64)
Gran Turismo 2 (Playstation)
Diddy Kong Racing (Nintendo 64)

Poy Poy
Grade: A
Publisher: Konami (1997)
Posted: 1999/7/15
Rating: Everyone

screenshotDo the words "best multiplayer game ever made" mean anything to you? If so, you should check out Poy Poy, which also gets my vote for most underrated game of all time! Don't let the silly name and goofy graphics fool you - this game is an absolute riot with four players! Each player controls a small cartoon character on a 3D playing field. Rocks and bombs litter the course which can be thrown at your opponents. It's even possible to grab another player and throw him around like a rag doll! Now that's disrespectful! Toss in some special weapons, monsters, and mystery crates, and the result is total chaos. Rivalries and alliances are formed and dissolved to keep one player from scoring too high. Insanely competitive and often hysterically funny, Poy Poy is one for the ages. © Copyright 1999 The Video Game Critic.
1 to 4 players 

If you like this game, try: International Track and Field (Playstation)
Super Bomberman (Super Nintendo)
Wipeout 2 (Nintendo 3DS)
Chaos Field (GameCube)
Ooga Booga (Dreamcast)

Primal Rage
Grade: C+
Publisher: Time Warner (1995)
Posted: 2017/3/26
Rating: Teen (animated blood and gore)

screenshotI own so many versions of Primal Rage I completely overlooked this Playstation edition. It's an extremely close port of the coin op that used to enthrall me at Mr. G's sub shop back in 1994. All of the awesome cinematics are included, along with several extraneous modes I never play. The opening line of the instruction booklet reads: "Eons ago, before humans walked the planet, there was rage."

Primal Rage pits dinosaurs and giant apes against each other in a post-apocalyptic world. Stylistically this has got to be one of the coolest games of its era. You have to love those huge, stop-motion animated creatures. You'd think dinosaur attacks would be limited to bite and tail whip, but the developers concocted plenty of imaginative special attacks including venom spit, freeze breath, and ground pounds.

The fascinating stages incorporate towering glaciers, volcanic ruins, and dilapidated skyscrapers. The fighting action is fine but certainly not on the same level as Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat. The controls are a little stiff and the collision detection is loose. You really need to have a special move or two under your belt to make much progress in this game.

The manual lists several for each creature, but why did they have to refer to the buttons by numbers? It would be a lot less confusing if they referred to "button X" instead of "button 3". Using the same attack too often causes a "no cheese" icon to flash, yet that didn't prevent me from liberally applying Vertigo's venom attack to take down a string of foes.

I noticed a lot of subtle details in this version of the game, like the way Sauron's tongue hangs out of his mouth or how Vertigo spits at the camera. The continue screen features a chick imploring you to keep going, and she looks a lot like Dana Plato. There's a high score screen but sadly it doesn't save to memory card. Primal Rage may go down in history as an average fighter, but the game still remains a spectacle to behold. © Copyright 2017 The Video Game Critic.

High score: 166,400
1 or 2 players 

If you like this game, try: Primal Rage (CD) (Jaguar)
Primal Rage (3DO)
Primal Rage (Super Nintendo)
Primal Rage (Game Gear)
Primal Rage (Genesis)

Pro 18 World Tour Golf
Grade: C-
Publisher: Psygnosis (1998)
Posted: 2019/8/15
Rating: Everyone

screenshotThe late 90's was an interesting time for golf titles which were beginning to experiment with digitized graphics and 3D visuals. Pro 18 World Tour Golf has both. Courses are rendered with green polygons that seamlessly blend with static photo backdrops. The game features several professional players like Mark O'Meara and Vijay Singh who are digitized and superimposed over the course like weathermen. While strangely detached from the action, it's still neat to watch them react to great shots and tough misses.

Pro 18's control scheme is overengineered. Press a button to start the half-circle swing meter, and press it again at the top to set your power. Then things get weird. For the third press you must hold in the button, causing a second green meter. This little thing fills so fast that by the time you see it, it's already full! No wonder my shots always landed in the pixelated sludge just to the right of the fairway. There's actually a second or two lag between using the meters and watching the swing animation. I do like how the ball explodes off the club like a rocket and stops on a dime. It's not very realistic but it keeps things moving.

British commentators chime in after each shot but I'm always cutting them off by pressing a button (sorry chaps!). The best club is selected for you before each shot but the game doesn't help with your aim. While putting, the hole is off-center, which is confusing. Thank goodness the hole itself tends to suck in every ball in its vicinity with its tractor beam. My first impression of the scenery was not good, as the Scotland landscape looked like a hazy, pixelated mess.

Later I discovered that was due to the randomized weather conditions. Check out these options: very foggy, foggy, misty, hazy, dull, bright, light rain, and rain. If you set the weather to anything but "bright" this game looks like garbage! Under the right conditions however the three courses are actually quite scenic, and classy piano music compliments the visuals. It took me about 16 holes to get the hang of the controls and I finished 47 over. Is that good? Pro 18 could have been better designed but sports fans looking for a challenge may want to give it a shot. © Copyright 2019 The Video Game Critic.

Copy link to this review
1 to 4 players 

If you like this game, try: Golf (NES)
Pebble Beach Golf Links (3DO)
PGA Tour Golf (3DO)
Mecarobot Golf (Super Nintendo)
Leader Board Golf (Genesis)

Pro Pinball: Big Race USA
Grade: C-
Publisher: Empire (1998)
Posted: 2001/6/8
Rating: Everyone

screenshotEmpire knows their pinball, and their Pro Pinball series of pinball games certainly deserves its "simulation" label. The tables are photo-realistic and the physics is remarkably accurate. This particular four-flipper table has a racing theme. Although it is meticulously detailed, you can't really appreciate it during the actual game. The far end of the table is not only difficult to make out, but it's blocked by a semi-transparent scoreboard! That doesn't mean you won't have a good time with this. Despite the fact I couldn't tell what was going on most of the time, I always have fun trying to top my high score. © Copyright 2001 The Video Game Critic.
Copy link to this review
1 to 4 players 

If you like this game, try: Pro Pinball (Saturn)
Pinball Jam (Lynx)
Pinball Fantasies (Jaguar)
Pro Pinball: Fantastic Journey (Playstation)
Galactic Pinball (Virtual Boy)

Pro Pinball: Fantastic Journey
Grade: C+
Publisher: Empire (1999)
Posted: 2001/5/6
Rating: Everyone

screenshotWow, this has got to be the most realistic video pinball game I've ever seen! Fantastic Journey only has a single table, but it contains an amazing number of lights, rails, and contraptions. The retro theme is "inventions", featuring blimps, planes, and submarines as envisioned in the early 1900s. Like real pinball, the controls are limited to moving the flippers and nudging the table, both of which are quite responsive. It sounds simplistic at first, but the gameplay becomes quite a bit deeper once you learn how to activate certain gizmos, access new areas, and perform combos. This game had me hooked! The table is viewed as you would see a real pinball table. Unfortunately, although the table is finely crafted, the far reaches are difficult to see, so you can't truly appreciate the level of detail unless you use the "examine table" option on the title screen. It's truly remarkable how much work went into the graphics, but it's a shame how much of that is lost during the actual game. Fantastic Journey has plenty of customization options, and even the background music is excellent. © Copyright 2001 The Video Game Critic.
Copy link to this review
1 to 4 players 

If you like this game, try: Midnight Magic (Atari 2600)
Pro Pinball: Big Race USA (Playstation)
Pinball (NES)
Pinball Jam (Lynx)
Galactic Pinball (Virtual Boy)

Project Horned Owl
Grade: B+
Publisher: Sony (1996)
Posted: 2002/1/29
Rating: Teen

screenshotI first played this game in 1996 with my friends Steve and Brendan who had rented it from Blockbuster. I didn't appreciate Horned Owl at the time - probably because I had to watch those two guys play through the whole thing, which seemed to take forever. In retrospect, I consider it one of the better light-gun games available for the Playstation.

Project Horned Owl lets one or two players fly around in mech-like suits, destroying armies of robots in the middle of a city. Your shots travel like missiles, so you can effectively "lead" them into targets. You also have an arsenal of grenades that blow up everything on the screen. The gun accuracy is excellent considering that this game does not support Namco's Guncon. In addition, you get about fifteen bullets per round, allowing you to fire rapidly without having to reload constantly. Horned Owl's background story is presented using a series of high quality anime cutscenes. Voices accompany the on-screen action, keeping you posted on your ever-changing mission.

While the enemies are rendered as flat sprites, they still look great. When shot, the metal beasts explode convincingly and crumble to the ground as burning heaps of scrap metal. If the game has a flaw, it's the fact that it's too easy. If you use your three continues on "normal", you can beat the game in one sitting, which takes about an hour. Still, there aren't many light-gun games on the Playstation that provide this level of shooting satisfaction. © Copyright 2002 The Video Game Critic.

Copy link to this review
1 or 2 players 

If you like this game, try: Point Blank (Playstation)
Time Crisis (Playstation)
Maximum Force (Playstation)
Gunfighter: The Legend of Jesse James (Playstation)
Area 51 (Playstation)

Grade: A-
Publisher: Hasbro (1999)
Posted: 2000/1/19
Rating: Everyone

screenshotHasbro has been rather inconsistent in their attempts to update classic games, but I think they got it right with this one. Especially when you consider how Hasbro butchered Frogger, this is a pleasant surprise. Q*Bert offers three modes: Classic, Head-to-Head, and Adventure.

Classic is the original arcade version, although you can choose between the original or updated graphics (good call). Anyone who has played the original Q*Bert knows how simple yet relentlessly addicting this silly game is. In case you don't remember, Q*Bert is the orange character with the big nose who hops around a pyramid, attempting to turn all its blocks the same color. He needs to avoid a gang of wandering enemies, most notably Coily the snake.

Q*Bert's gameplay stands the test of time, and its head-to-head mode provides some enjoyable two-player simultaneous action. The Adventure mode challenges the solo player to complete some wild non-pyramid layouts, and you can save your progress between stages. This game is configurable in every way, including the control scheme. That's significant when you consider the game relies on diagonal movements. © Copyright 2000 The Video Game Critic.

1-2 players 

If you like this game, try: Q*bert (Atari XEGS)
Q*bert (Atari 2600)
Q*bert (Colecovision)
Q*bert (Atari 5200)
Q*bert (NES)

Qix Neo
Grade: A-
Publisher: Mud Duck (2003)
Posted: 2005/8/8
Rating: Everyone

screenshotWhere in the hell did this game come from? Most late-arriving Playstation One titles proved to be duds, but Qix Neo rocked my world. As a huge fan of the original arcade classic (1981), I'm extremely pleased with this brilliantly conceived update. The classic gameplay was wisely retained, but as you might suspect the graphics and audio have been upgraded dramatically. The original Qix didn't really have much of a theme; you simply tried to cordon off 75% (or more) of the playfield while avoiding wandering hazards.

Qix Neo has a decidedly intergalactic flavor, with planet surfaces serving as backdrops for each innovative stage. Instead of avoiding a roving set of twisted lines, each screen features a distinctive "boss" along with a number of smaller creatures on patrol. You're constantly being hounded but you can trap creatures for bonus points. Qix Neo is far more forgiving than the original game. The bosses assume many interesting forms, including a giant centipede and a mechanical hand. Capturing strategic boxes awards like power-ups like "micro" (decrease boss size), laser (shoot at your enemies), and speed boosts (duh!). But by far the most desirable power-up is "time", which freezes your enemies momentarily.

Despite the new wrinkles, the same basic strategy still applies. You'll want to thoughtfully section off the screen, creating alcoves to "trap" wandering adversaries. The game's otherworldly sound effects are amazing, and unlike anything I've heard before. An "arranged" playing mode is also included, offering a completely new set of stages.

Qix Neo is immensely fun and addicting, and it even saves your high scores (for both modes). The game even adjusts your bonuses based on whether you use continues or not. If I had any complaints, I might point to the lack of a two-player mode, and the fact that some scoring bonuses are a bit excessive. Still, this is easily the best version of Qix I've ever played - even better than the original! © Copyright 2005 The Video Game Critic.

1 player 

If you like this game, try: Qix (Atari XEGS)
Centipede (Playstation)
Chip N Dale Rescue Rangers (NES)
Qix (Lynx)
Twisted Metal Small Brawl (Playstation)

[Previous]    [Playstation index]   [Next]

 [A]   [B]   [C]   [D]   [E]   [F]   [G]   [H]   [I]   [J]   [K]   [L]   [M]   [N]   [O]  P-Q  [R]   [S]   [T]   [U-V]   [W-Z

VGC Mobile Main

Screen shots courtesy of

Moby Games

Gaming Age Online


Rotten Tomatoes

Playstation Museum


Video Games Museum

Game Fabrique

Super Adventures in Gaming