The game contains literally dozens of songs, but you're not likely to recognize any of them. Heck, I couldn't even tell the song titles from the artist names! As far as the quality of the music goes, it's a mixed bag. Most of these up-tempo tunes are pretty good, but a few are almost unbearable. Using the dance mat requires coordination and practice. Expect to get a pretty good workout!
You can purchase better mats, but the one included is hard to stay situated on, as it tends to slide around. And don't expect to learn how to dance playing this game, because you'll be looking pretty ridiculous playing this. The game is definitely fun, but the difficulty is a bit harsh for beginners. Playing with the normal controller is much easier, but that defeats the purpose of the game, doesn't it? © Copyright 2002 The Video Game Critic.
The comic-book style menus and load screens look so sharp and colorful that you'll be disappointed when you play the actual game. The dark jungle environments in the opening stage look murky and washed-out. The action is viewed from a third-person perspective but the camera is a mess. When you try to adjust it via the right thumbstick you'll wish you didn't. The radar display is equally confusing and unhelpful. Nevertheless, Danger Girl manages to pack a punch. It feels like a run-and-gun version of Tomb Raider thanks to nifty strafe controls and a handy auto-aim. You automatically lock onto any enemy you're facing, so you can just tap X to unload your Desert Eagle or AK47. So satisfying!
Stealth attacks are also possible but I have no patience for that. At times the game feels like a battle of attrition, as you try to survive long enough to reach the next health pack. Danger Girl also incorporates quick-time events ("get ready for some action!") that culminate in exciting stunts. You'll acquire useful gadgets like night-vision goggles and demolition charges as you infiltrate enemy camps and facilities. The brooding, pulse-pounding soundtrack is fantastic, and I love the way enemies scream when shot. The voice samples are clear but they sound less like a woman fighting for her life and more like a babe in a recording studio.
There are definitely some bugs in this game related to teleporting soldiers and collision detection. I can overlook those, but the lack of checkpoints is unforgivable. When you die you must restart the entire stage, and that's harsh. Then again, I think it was that high difficulty that kept me coming back. Danger Girl is a lot better that you'd think, and it gets extra credit for a colorful, illustrated manual. © Copyright 2017 The Video Game Critic.
Its cartoonish drivers may be the most unappealing cast ever assembled for a video game. There's a snobby rich woman, a wannabe superhero, some snot-nosed kid, and a guy who looks like Gargamel from the Smurfs. Selecting a character is hard because you need to decide which one you hate least.
The game itself is an overhead racer similar to Micro Machines (SNES, 1994) only without the playability. The box states "astonishing control" and it's not wrong! You would not believe how bad it is. If you drive fast you crash into a wall you couldn't see coming. Drive slow and you come up short on jumps. The lack of turbo or weapons really sucks when you've been trailing the CPU for several laps with no way to close the gap.
In addition to racing cars you'll also race boats in a pirate's cove and blimps in the clouds. There are a variety of stages but the scenery is lacking. The haunted house track is little more than a blue trail winding through a purple swamp. The pirate's cove is more like a lazy river.
The four-player mode is a disaster of outrageous proportions with a camera careening all over the place. For some reason when you drive off-track your car becomes magically possessed by pixie dust. When playing with friends, I'm certain they would have been throwing tomatoes at the screen had they been within arm's reach. This is why I can't keep fresh produce in the game room!
Even the two-player mode is a mess, with players taking turns flying off the course due to a bad camera and poorly-designed tracks. Chris inquired how I heard about Dare Devil Derby 3D and when I said a reader recommended it, he turned to me incredulously, "RECOMMENDED?!?!" © Copyright 2023 The Video Game Critic.
The stylized graphics perfectly straddle the line between realism and cartoon. While not particularly scary, the character designs are colorful and fearsome. There's the vampire Dimitri, werewolf Jon Talbain, Victor the Frankenstein monster, Lord Raptor the zombie, and the mummy Anakaris. Bishamon is a ghostly samurai, Rikuo is a lizard man, and Sasquatch is obviously bigfoot. There are two female characters including the cat-like Felicia and sexy vamp Morrigan.
In terms of gameplay, nobody does it like Capcom, so this slugfest is a rip-roaring good time. Stiil, it helps to have a controller that supports the six-button control scheme (three punch, three kick). The action is unpredictable as combos and special moves abound. The animations in this game are just incredible. I love Victor's exaggerated kick, and how Bishamon slices his foes clean in half (momentarily). My only complaints are that the shape-shifting fighters like Anakaris can feel a little cheap.
I love the ghoulish flavor but I feel like they could have gone further with it. My favorite stages are the graveyard and the streets of London, both of which evoke strong Halloween vibes. Some of the other stages however undermine the theme, including the bright Brazilian rainforest and glitzy Las Vegas.
Despite what the box claims, the game doesn't save to memory card. This seems to be a pretty straight port of the arcade game, although it's hard to complain about that. With memorable characters, sweet eye candy, and pick-up-and-play 2D action, Darkstalkers has aged better than most. © Copyright 2023 The Video Game Critic.
The box claims "7 new playable characters" but I found that hard to reconcile. Are they including those from Night Warriors too? There's a lady dressed up like a bee (wait what?), a palette-swap of Morrigan named Lilith, a lanky dude named Jedah, and a little girl in the red dress named B.B. Hood. Actually this innocent girl is the most interesting new addition, as she's libel to spray you with an uzi or hit you upside your head with a frying pan!
What happened to the character selection screen? Instead of the colorful tiles there's just a plain list of names! Did the developers run out of time? They redid a lot of the stages but most are a step down from the originals. The dungeon stage looks cool with all those contraptions and the haunted train is weirdly original. But the new downtown and pyramid stages are static and boring.
The fighting action is solid but there's too many meters and indicators on the screen; it looks a bit cluttered. Is it my imagination or are the characters a little smaller? The round format is strange. When one player wins a round they keep their same health bar with incurred damage for the next round. In addition, there's only a brief pause between rounds, as the characters resume fighting right where they are standing. It's different but not in a good way. The matches run longer too.
There's a lot of new options including the ability to save high scores to memory card and a collection of unlockable artwork. But I have mixed feelings about Darkstalkers 3. There's plenty of depth and variety but the series was clearly running low on ideas. Worse yet, it strayed from its macabre origins, coming off as not so much spooky, but more just plain silly. © Copyright 2023 The Video Game Critic.
Graphics notwithstanding, Dead or Alive one is of the better fighters available for the system. Each character has literally dozens of moves (listed in the manual), and the silky-smooth animations make the bouts entertaining to watch. The gameplay is solid but not quite as deep as Tekken 3. I like how you can stomp a fighter who's on the ground, but it's a shame there's no side-step move. Dead or Alive rewards aggressive behavior, so don't be shy about pounding the buttons.
The breathtaking background graphics feature photorealistic city skylights, tropical islands, and industrial areas at sunset. The music is equally good, and it varies greatly from stage to stage. Playing modes include training, team battle, survival, time attack, versus, and tournament, but my favorite is the "Kumite Mode", which pits you against a series of computer opponents. Since the minimum number of battles in Kumite mode is 30, you may want to set the match point to "one round" before undertaking this. © Copyright 2004 The Video Game Critic.
You select from two playable characters including a muscular dude and a Shirley Manson look-alike in a skimpy leather outfit. Tough choice, right? Sadly, the technology for rendering female form wasn't very far along, so the chicks in this game look more angular than sexy. As its name would imply, the game features a series of dungeons loaded with floating platforms, elevators, levers, traps, and fiends. You'll battle orcs, giant spiders, bulldozers-of-death, and annoying gnomes that giggle as they scamper around.
The first time I played Deathtrap Dungeon I hated it because I couldn't make any progress. Later I discovered that when standing on a platform, you simply press the square button to put it in motion! That makes absolutely no sense but it makes the game a heck of a lot easier. It's a shame the analog controller had not been introduced before this game, because these controls are terribly clunky. Your character turns slowly, making it hard to face approaching foes. You can execute several different sword attacks, but the swing controls are unresponsive. Fortunately one hit is usually enough to slice your attacker into meaty chunks.
The lack of any camera control makes it difficult to gauge jumps, and the health meter and inventory system are poorly designed. Hints are provided in the form of arrows on the wall (really?) and cheesy inscriptions like "you can climb here" (c'mon now!). The audio may be the strongest aspect of the game. Sound effects like pounding drums and rumbling stone blocks pack plenty of bass, and the ominous musical score is also effective.
Despite its shortcomings, Deathtrap Dungeon has its moments. When you're stuck in a room trying to lure hissing snake women into traps, it's exciting. The short stages are packed with secrets, and it's always interesting to see what the next area has in store. There are plenty of save points, but not nearly enough health icons. Deathtrap Dungeon can be an interesting dungeon romp, but only if you set your expectations low enough. © Copyright 2012 The Video Game Critic.
I'm not sure what's more fun - narrowly slicing through traffic or slamming into the side of a speeding car. Plowing into a large traffic jam is satisfying too. Just don't get spun around because it's easy to become disoriented and hard to get back on track. A diagram in the lower corner indicates the status of your car, and it's pretty exciting as you enter those final few laps on your last legs. Simply completing a race is tough, especially since they can be up to 20 laps long! Sometimes your damaged car will begin veering to one side, and that really sucks.
If the races bore you, give the smash-up-derbies a try. These take place in a wide-open, circular arena, and begin with all 19 cars (!) barreling towards the center. If you don't think that's fun, well, sorry - I can't help you man. The frame-rate slows on occasion, but that just gives you more time to take in the mayhem. Points are earned for spinning other cars around, but not for straight-on collisions (boo!).
Destruction Derby is tailor-made for multiplayer action, but would you believe there's no split-screen support? The link cable is supported, but to my knowledge not a single person in the whole wide world ever bought one of those freakin' things. The soundtrack is an uneven mix of cool techno tunes and annoying wacky ditties. Destruction Derby shows its age but at the very least it still delivers a healthy dose of mindless destruction. © Copyright 2010 The Video Game Critic.
As soon as your car gets hit, it goes sailing into the air. Then you find yourself getting gangbanged against a sidewall as cars relentlessly plow into you. You can never seem to regain control, and it feels frustrating and pointless. The racing modes are better, but not great. The tracks are wider this time around, minimizing the congestion and pile ups that made the first game such a hoot. Although there are some exciting jumps, some ramps are crooked, causing your car to inconveniently flip over.
Your vehicle handles poorly, and each time your car bangs into something, you end up facing the wrong direction. Consequently, a tedious three-point turn is required to get back on track. There's a pit stop available, but just like so many other racing games, it's not very useful. Perhaps the most shocking aspect of DD2 is that it contains no two-player options at all! The original Destruction Derby is decent, but steer clear of this lackluster sequel. © Copyright 2004 The Video Game Critic.
It's a shame, because otherwise this is an impressive effort. The analog steering has a nice loose feel and the cars handle like a dream. The dirt tracks have a gritty, industrial look and feature some interesting layouts. Unfortunately, they also tend to be pretty wide and long, so even though you're racing against 19 other cars, it's possible to go a whole lap or two without even seeing anybody else! In addition, you rarely witness any major wrecks or pile-ups.
As a one-player racing game, Destruction Derby Raw is respectable, but the split-screen action is a bore. DDR's graphics are good, and its grinding rock music isn't bad either. It's a decent racer, but it would benefit from more "Destruction" and less "Derby". © Copyright 2004 The Video Game Critic.
Diablo starts off as a slash-fest, but once you acquire the ability to cast spells, there's a lot more strategy. You'll outfit your warrior from head to toe, and there's an amazing variety of armor, weapons, scrolls and items. We all know the PC game is great, but how does this Playstation version compare?
Well, the dark dungeon graphics are not nearly as detailed and small creatures are difficult to discern. The control scheme takes some getting used to, and you're likely to waste a few spells before you get comfortable with the button combinations.
The audio is fantastic, with creepy sound effects and intense background music. The biggest problem with the game is its excruciating load times between levels and during game saves. PC gamers will find this Diablo second rate, but newcomers will find this Playstation edition engrossing enough, and should also check out the exclusive two-player mode. © Copyright 2001 The Video Game Critic.
The light-gun shooter (based on Die Hard 2) is the best of the bunch, boasting a level of realism and gore unsurpassed for a 1996 title. Blowing away terrorists in an airport has never been so much fun! In the third-person shooter you control a little Bruce Willis trying to infiltrate an office building, and it's hard as hell.
The driving game involves finding a time bomb in a city and features Sam Jackson's frantic yelling. No question about it, Die Hard Trilogy is one very impressive package. Note: Namco's Guncon controller is not supported in this game. © Copyright 1999 The Video Game Critic.
The third-person shooter is outstanding, with large characters and interesting stage locations. An auto-aiming feature makes it a pleasure to mow down the bad guys, and believe me, there's a lot of blood-letting to be had! The light-gun game is also impressive, and it supports Namco's Guncon - the most accurate gun you can get for the Playstation. You'll need it, because many targets are quite small, including knives being tossed your way (a la Lethal Enforcers).
In the driving game you ram over cars to destroy them, but it's probably the weakest of the three. You'll race through the country as well as downtown, but the steering is problematic. Even with the analog control, your turn radius is too wide, making it difficult to turn around. Die Hard Trilogy 2 does feel a bit like a rehash, but it still delivers a lot of bang for the buck. © Copyright 2000 The Video Game Critic.
The controls have been improved so you can now run-and-gun, and a clever aiming system makes it easy to pick off raptors that seem to come out of the woodwork. The creatures look remarkably lifelike. The raptors are ruthless, but the T-Rex is so slow and dumb you can run circles around him! Killing dinosaurs earns you points used toward the purchase of weapons, items, and tools.
The graphics are Resident Evil-quality, which is to say, excellent. A ridiculous storyline nearly spoils the game, but the frantic action makes that easy to overlook. Once I began playing Dino Crisis 2, it was difficult to stop! This is one of the most exciting adventures you'll have on your Playstation. © Copyright 2002 The Video Game Critic.
Hercules generally follows the storyline of the movie, and even contains film clips between levels. The comical voice samples and background music are lifted straight from the film, and there's even a music video included! Most importantly, Hercules is fun to play, with plenty of variety, secret areas, bosses, and power-ups. Whether you enjoyed the film or not, this is a very entertaining title that will appeal to gamers of all ages. © Copyright 2000 The Video Game Critic.
Disruptor transported me back to my Doom (Sega 32, 1994) days and it felt good! The environments may be a little chunky but the framerate is so smooth that navigating winding stairs and hallways feels effortless at times. There's also something to be said for uncluttered environments where you can easily spot health packs, ammo, and switches. One of the first enemies you encounter are floating robots with rotary saws mounted to the front. What kind of psycho would design something like this?! Other foes include Terminator-style robots, ED-209s, and creepy hooded soldiers with a single glowing green eye.
The digital controls feel surprisingly crisp and the side-step move (L2/R2) is invaluable for dodging shots. Stage two makes you walk over narrow girders in a toxic waste dump, and it's very easy to slide off - or get knocked off by a shot. Fortunately you can fire a great distance and like Doom you don't have to aim up or down. Once you acquire the psionics gun you obtain abilities like heal, drain, or lightning blast.
The missions are seriously intense. You really need to conserve ammo if only to be prepared for the inevitable onslaught at the end. There's nothing worse than having to beat off a gang of werewolves using nothing but the butt of your gun! Advanced stages can be pretty maze-like, and with no map you'll rely on ominous sounds of growls and snarls to figure out where to go. A nifty auto-save kicks in after each stage, and if you don't survive you get the option to continue half-way. The orchestrated soundtrack is outstanding, amping the suspense while feeling like an action-movie. Disuptor is one heck of a game. Maybe that sticker wasn't too far off the mark. © Copyright 2021 The Video Game Critic.
Doom conveys a harrowing atmosphere that often borders on terrifying. Its ominous soundtrack makes you wary of impending... uh... doom, and the resonating sound effects are alarming. Colored lighting is used to good effect. Flammable barrels are the equivalent of water coolers in hell, so If you spot several possessed soldiers congregating around one, blast it to splatter their guts all over the floor. Doom is packed with memorable sights and sounds, from an imp spitting up blood, to the digitized mountain backdrops, to a demon snorting his final breath.
As an early PS1 title, the analog controls are not supported, so you'll need to use the D-pad. I'd recommend reconfiguring the controls to use X to shoot instead of triangle. The lack of a jump button is actually refreshing considering jumping always sucks in an FPS. Most stages are relatively short but numerous secret areas add replay value. It's nice how text displays on the screen alerting you to what item you've picked up.
If I have one complaint, it's the inability to save your progress to memory card (the game provides a password instead). Two-player modes are available, but only via the link cable which nobody owns. With its compact stage designs, clever puzzles, and frequent surprises, Doom is more than the sum of its parts. There are plenty of versions of this game available for various consoles, but this is the one you really want. © Copyright 2012 The Video Game Critic.
You begin this first-person adventure as John Harker standing in front of a mansion on a cloudy day. Yes, I said "day" so you can actually see your surroundings. So refreshing! The computer generated scenery looks very real and I love the "fish-eye" view as you look in any direction. Unfortunately my hopes and dreams were dashed when I entered the house and found myself in pitch darkness, with only a few rays of light shining through shuttered windows. At this point I felt as if I had to "feel" my way around using a cursor that turns into an arrow (to move) or a magnifying glass (to examine). There are so many items to manipulate in this game that there are two "item wheels" instead of one. Wonderful. It's often necessary to combine items - something never even mentioned in the literature.
Does this game really expect you to discern vital clues that are barely visible on the screen? That smudge on the wall is supposed to be a key hook? C'mon! That tiny brown square below the doorknob is a padlock? Give me a [expletive] break! There is however one trick that will make your life easier, and that is to simply crank up the brightness of your TV! I normally keep my brightness at 50% but you'll want to set it to at least 80%. I guess this game was designed to run on PCs with sharp monitors - not televisions with low resolutions.
Equally problematic is how items aren't labeled, so you don't even know what you're holding! As if all the trial and error isn't frustrating enough, some sequences are timed! You can save at any point, but that's a time-consuming process. Even with an FAQ on your lap you'll be in for some serious frustration. Dracula: The Last Sanctuary is certainly more sophisticated than the original, but that added complexity comes with a price in the form of decreased playability. © Copyright 2018 The Video Game Critic.
The moonlit scenery looks nearly photorealistic and the ability to look around 360 degrees is pretty amazing. I love the atmosphere of the snowy trails, cozy inns, and shadowy graveyards. The sound of wind and other ambient noises make you feel like you're "right there". You play by moving a cursor around the screen. It turns into a directional arrow if there's a way to go, a magnifying glass if there's something to examine, or a hand if there's an object.
I love the concept but found the gameplay confounding at best. When you step forward the viewpoint changes in a disorienting manner, and I soon found myself moving in circles. Locating a critical item often requires you to place the cursor over a pitch black area! This game is so dark my friend Brent asked if we could turn the brightness up! Even when you have an item you may not be able to use it if you haven't talked to another character about what it's for!
Speaking of characters, the female innkeeper is by far the most frightening part of the game. *shudder* Brent and I forged through much of the game with FAQ in hand and we couldn't imagine playing without it. He asked if the game was almost over when I informed him there was still a second disc! Dracula: The Resurrection is the kind of game horror fans like to get lost in. And with its poor navigation and arbitrary rules, you undoubtedly will. © Copyright 2018 The Video Game Critic.
This was one of the first games to let you drive freely through a city with traffic and pedestrians. The heart of the game is the mission-based story mode, which features a number of 1970's trademarks including afros and jive talking. Most gamers however will prefer the "survival mode", where you see how long you can last against a squad of kamikaze police cars. It's absolute chaos, and you can't help but laugh at the carnage that ensues. None of my friends could even last for more than a minute!
Following each try you can view an instant replay, and these are hilarious. The game's four locations include Miami, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York. Although the cities do contain familiar landmarks, they are not laid out like the real places. The scenery is detailed and attractive, but Driver suffers from a terrible case of "draw-in", where entire buildings suddenly appear in front of you as you approach. There's also some slowdown when things get hectic, but that should be expected considering the nature of the game. There are some technical issues, but they should not chase you away from this thrill-a-minute title. © Copyright 1999 The Video Game Critic.