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Games are rated relative to other games for the same system.
Playable heroes include Mr. Fantastic, Invisible Woman, The Human Torch, She Hulk, and The Thing. To help pass the time during the loading process everybody gets to play a nifty overhead racing game. You could argue that this micro-racer packs more entertainment than the game itself. Fantastic Four looks downright appalling with its pixelated characters and dark, washed-out scenery. As you step through town you'll beat up zombie kids, red apes, and rock monsters.
The scaling effects are an absolute joke. Walking away from the camera causes your character to go from looking like a lumbering giant to a small child. Your attacks look awkward and the collision detection is heinous. Enemies are constantly pelting you with clubs that you can't seem to avoid. Special moves are available but they are damn near impossible to execute when you need them.
The graphics are so muddled it's hard to tell what's happening at times. Rotating camera angles might be cool if there wasn't such a big section of scenery blocking your view. The inappropriate jazz soundtrack suggests something from an adult film, prompting Kevin to inquire "Did someone order a pizza?" Fantastic Four may be the more bizarre Playstation games I've ever come across, and just the thought of playing it again makes me ill. © Copyright 2020 The Video Game Critic.
The stylish graphics are unlike anything I've ever seen before, with pre-rendered, realistic backgrounds combined with animated characters that sport amazing facial expressions. Cinematic sequences are seamlessly intertwined with the action, and the music and voice acting is absolutely top-notch.
Fear Effect's controls are similar to Resident Evil and Tomb Raider, but an intelligent user interface lets you manipulate items without even bringing up a menu screen. There are plenty of save points, and that's always a good thing. Fear Effect is one exciting, dark adventure that Playstation fans should not overlook. © Copyright 2000 The Video Game Critic.
The camera was never positioned correctly, and thugs would always linger just outside of the frame. It was hard to tell where you were supposed to go and there were a lot of invisible walls. Factor in lengthy and frequent load screens and you have one big party killer on your hands. Fighting Force was a disappointment in its time, but when I revisited the game's single player mode I was in for a pleasant surprise.
The camera isn't great but it's a lot better since there's only one character to focus on. The responsive controls include punch, kick, grab, and jump. The shoulder buttons are used to run and execute hilariously floaty jump-kicks and super-effective slide-kicks. The triangle button pulls double-duty as the back-punch and grab move, which was a horrible design decision.
The fighting action is satisfying enough thanks to pixelated blood that splatters with each kick and punch. You can even attack thugs when they're down! Weapons like bats and clubs pack a wallop, and the pistol lets you shoot thugs point-blank in the face. After running out of bullets, you'll throw your gun, and it's pretty funny when that turns out to be the knockout blow.
Fighting Force is loaded with unintentionally funny details like that. When defeated, goons drop huge wads of cash and sometimes even gold bars. Despite being decked out in black suits, the henchmen still don silly names like Bruiser, Snakey, and Punk. You can kick a soda machine and enjoy a refreshing beverage while goons hang back and wait in their fighting stances. Why aren't they firing their weapons?
As in Streets of Rage, bad chicks tend to be decked out in sexy dominatrix outfits. Fighting Force has its share of eye candy, and the office that looks out over the harbor at night looks really spectacular. The game is fun while it lasts but it's hard to progress. Health packs are few and far between, and the endless stream of thugs eventually wear you down.
You'll get further if you play with a partner, but that requires both players to make a concerted effort to stay close to each other. It's possible to harm one another, so don't stand too close! This is an oddball title for sure, but there aren't many games like Fighting Force, and retro gamers should get a real kick out of it. © Copyright 2011 The Video Game Critic.
The levels are jam-packed with enemies and the elaborate stage layouts expose you to constant danger. If you feel like a sitting duck, it's not your imagination. Complicating matters is the fact that armor and health packs are in very low supply. One thing you do have in your favor is firepower. Heck, the chain gun and plasma gun are available in the very first level. You'll need them, because to these demons you're like a walking McRib. Completing any of these levels is a monumental achievement.
Final Doom uses the same graphic engine as the first, and since the action is more intense it sometimes struggles to keep up with the chaos. The mouse controller is supported and a two-player mode is available via the link cable. A password is provided between levels. It's bad enough the first Doom didn't let you save your progress to memory card, but there's absolutely no excuse for it here. Final Doom is a respectable extension to the series but I think its audience is fairly limited. © Copyright 2012 The Video Game Critic.
The story is a wickedly satirical take on modern society. When a powerful corporation threatens to drain the planet of its life force, the planet fights back! Throughout the 40-hour-long journey you'll control a total of nine characters that can be taken into battle in any combination of three. The battle mechanics are turn-based but operate on individual "cool downs". This results in constant, overlapping action in contrast to the stop-and-go feel of other turn-based games. In addition to using common spells like Fire, Cure, and Haste, characters can discover and equip abilities that grow more effective over time. This easy-to-grasp form of advancement also allows for a moderate degree of customization.
The charming graphics are highly detailed, with urban landscapes that mark a departure from the medieval-themed RPGs of the past. The hand-drawn 2D backgrounds occasionally transition into CGI sequences, making stunning use of the PlayStation’s storage and video capabilities. Likewise summoning deities to your aid will conjure up sublimely imaginative 3D-rendered sequences. Although the quality of the polygon models may not compare favorably to modern titles, the absorbing story and accessible gameplay earns Final Fantasy VII the status of an immortal classic. This is Final Fantasy at its very best. © Copyright 2018 The Video Game Critic.
This highly customizable system lets you really dig deep into the numbers but presents a much higher learning curve than previous games in the series. The process of acquiring a sufficient amount of magic can be tedious, as it must be "drawn" from enemies and specific locations. Unfortunately if you choose to cast magic associated with an attribute, that attribute will decrease with the number of cast spells.
The exploration and flow of combat remains relatively unchanged from the FFVII, but the 3D graphics have greatly improved, with human models rendered with a high level of detail. The story is a wild ride through a series of action blockbuster set pieces. Sullen military academy student Squall is joined by his classmates in an escalating series of missions.
The encroaching foreign kingdom of Galbadia is revealed to be manipulated by a powerful sorceress with diabolical intentions. Running from a giant mechanical spider through a crumbling city, redirecting half of a train that’s still moving to kidnap a president, thwarting an assassination attempt, and invading a military base to avert a missile launch are just a few of the situations you might find yourself in during the first half of the game.
The story attempts to awe and delight the player at every beat, but with varying degrees of success. The main villain is a red herring, and the real villain barely gets little characterization, leading to numerous fan theories about her origins. The strongest aspect of the story is the relationship between the two main characters, which gradually blossoms into an endearing romance.
The phenomenal soundtrack has depth and range, including moody atmospheric pieces, waltzes, bombastic orchestra and choir pieces, and a lyrical piano ballad. This game has high aspirations but some of its bold new ideas don’t always land on two feet. Once you learn how to properly manipulate its systems, however, Final Fantasy VIII proves a satisfying, memorable experience. © Copyright 2018 The Video Game Critic.
You begin by registering your name and selecting from six freakish-looking players, including some guy in a hat who looks like he's from Breaking Bad. The angular polygon graphics don't help, but they may hurt. I selected the Asian chick in the skirt because she was least objectionable to look at.
Setting up your shot is a seven-step process, although you can quickly skip through unnecessary steps like the "select camera" and "adjust stance". Performing an actual swing involves two meters. The first has you positioning a pair of lines to determine where to strike the ball. The second is an overly-complicated power meter which I can't even describe. The ball never travels as far as you expect, even when you hit it cleanly.
The single course is mainly flat with cardboard cut-out trees and a mountain backdrop. The "fly by" view is extremely low, as if the helicopter is plowing through the trees. The water reflection effects are the biggest visual highlight. You'll hear the tweets of tropical birds and a commentator occasionally chimes in you "it's in the bunker" or "it's on the green". Every now and then an unseen crowd will clap for a good shot or gasp at a miss.
On the green there's no extra step involved to examine the contours and undulations. You just putt away and hope for the best. This keeps things moving but can be frustrating when your ball takes an unexpected turn. The wind arrow is still present during putting, so why not repurpose that as some kind of slope indicator?
The action moves along at a steady clip and you can save your game in progress. Final Round has enough quirks to make for a memorable experience, but I would have settled for a good golf game instead. © Copyright 2022 The Video Game Critic.
First you select your location. There are three lakes with about seven spots each to select from. I like the idea of digitized scenery but it looks grainy. The scenes are just static images with "wave effect" trickery to simulate shimmering water. The pond locations are bland but the city spots are more interesting. You'll often see "shadows" of fish lurking just beneath the surface. A simple power meter is used to cast your line. The left thumbstick moves your rod and rotating your right stick reels. It's a pretty neat system!
Once you get a bite you'll battle the fish as the tension meter spastically shoots up and down on the right side of the screen. The key is keeping it out of the red, and sometimes it's necessary to press the shoulder buttons to let out some line. Occasionally you'll see a close-up of the fish running or leaping out of the water, adding some excitement. If it's not a "game fish" (bass) you don't get any credit however, even if it's a big juicy rainbow trout. It's a shame there's no way to "cut bait" when you clearly have the wrong kind of fish.
Once you reel in your catch there's some fanfare as its size and weight are tabulated. The games are timed and sometimes the timer will run out while you're reeling in a big one. If you have a continue be sure to use it, as you'll pick up right where you left off. If you're good like me you can enter your initials as one of the "top anglers", saved to memory card. I noticed that the #3 angler was "GIL". GIL!! While not particularly compelling, Fisherman's Bait is a perfectly good lightweight diversion for a summer afternoon. © Copyright 2019 The Video Game Critic.
Like most "laserdisc" games you watch video clips and are prompted to take action at specific times. In the opening scene however you actually have some freedom to explore your apartment. You press the directional pad to turn, resulting in a video clip pointing you in a new direction. If there's room to walk forward you press up and watch your character move to a new spot. It's a strange sensation unlike anything I've experienced. If you remain still a short clip loops, giving the impression your game is broken.
Since the different areas of your apartment don't fit together in a neat grid it's easy to become disoriented. Once the storyline gets rolling the game feels like random scenes patched together. The gameplay almost completely trial and error, and the chase scenes in particular require rote memorization. Save often, as you'll frequently find yourself on the wrong end of a death scene. Fox Hunt features real actors George Lazenby, Timothy Bottoms, and Rob Lowe (!) Their performances are very much tongue in cheek and the game plays out like a comedy - only without the laughs.
Seriously, this game tries to be funny all of the time and doesn't succeed once! The audio and video quality is substandard, probably the result of compressing nearly two hours of video onto three CDs. Fox Hunt may have some value as a collector's item. The fashion, music, technology, and cultural references are a fascinating slice of 90's culture. Your character's "CD-ROM" reader looks a heck of a lot like an iPad! Fox Hunt may inspire curiosity, but enjoyment? Not so much. I'd recommend watching it on YouTube instead. © Copyright 2016 The Video Game Critic.