Playstation Reviews I

Incredible Crisis
Grade: F
Publisher: Titus (2000)
Reviewed: 2001/8/14
Rating: Teen (violence, comic mischief, suggestive themes)


screenshotI almost had an incredible crisis when I realized I had spent my hard-earned cash on this train-wreck-of-a-game. Incredible Crisis is actually a set of 24 mini-games, mostly involving button tapping or timing meters. One video game magazine referred to this as "old-school", which is an affront to all classic gamers. Old-school is characterized by simple graphics but fun gameplay. There's nothing "fun" about these games.

All variations feature simple 3D graphics with varying camera angles, poor control, and confusing instructions. You'll need to play the games in order, although once you complete a game it becomes available from a mini-game menu. Sadly, these are not the kind of games you'll want to play twice (or even once, for that matter). Adding insult to injury, you can only save after every four games, and it's quite likely you'll get stuck on one of them. Incredible Crisis is an incredible piece of garbage. © Copyright 2001 The Video Game Critic.

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1 player 

International Track and Field
Grade: A-
Publisher: Konami (1996)
Reviewed: 1999/7/15
Rating: Kids to Adults

screenshotThis addictive Olympic-style game has clocked a lot of hours on my Playstation. Featuring eleven track and field events, one to four players compete in the pole-vault, long jump, shot put, javelin, discus, hurdles, sprint, triple jump, high jump, and swimming. Like any good video game, the button-mashing controls are easy to learn but tough to master, and the 3D visuals are smooth and lifelike. Record-setting performances can be saved to memory cards and replayed. International Track and Field is challenging when played solo, but it's an absolute riot with a few friends. © Copyright 1999 The Video Game Critic.
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1 to 4 players 

Invasion From Beyond
Grade: F
Publisher: GT Interactive (1998)
Reviewed: 2000/8/10
Rating: Everyone


screenshotI really hated the movie "Mars Attacks!" and this video game induced flashbacks of that awful movie. The whole time I was playing this game I was thinking, "What the hell is going on?!?". Invasion From Beyond's controls are atrocious, and its graphics are terribly confusing. There are a series of missions that require you to hover your spacecraft over a small town while blasting flying saucers and relocating objects on the ground.

The nightmare of a control scheme places the fire and thrust buttons right next to each other, making it difficult to do both at once. When firing into a group of flying saucers, it's hard to tell if you're inflicting any damage, especially since they tend to regenerate. On the bright side, the town below looks nice with its rolling hills and detailed landmarks. The cheesy music also suits the game well. But ultimately Invasion From Mars is a total bust due to its extremely dull gameplay. It only cost me a few bucks, but in retrospect a nice sandwich would have been a better investment. © Copyright 2000 The Video Game Critic.

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1 player 

Iron & Blood: Warriors of Ravenloft
Grade: F
Publisher: Acclaim (1996)
Reviewed: 2015/10/18
Rating: Teen 13+ (animated violence)

screenshotIn the mid-90's polygon fighters were the "new hotness" and a TSR Dungeon and Dragons-licensed brawler sounded appealing. I remember my friends Steve and Brendan being totally stoked about Iron & Blood, at least until they played its demo on my Playstation Underground disc. The obligatory CGI intro is impressive as hell, depicting a band of warriors marching toward an ominous dark tower. The diverse cast of 16 playable characters includes a masked executioner, werewolf, goblin, knight, archer, one-armed dwarf, and floating wizard. But the visual style of the game is a real turn-off. The character models look kind of goofy and their voices are really annoying.

Iron and Blood comes across as a shallow button-masher but it does have some depth. There are two dodge buttons, two block buttons, and you can even attack foes on the ground. It's a shame the game's ambitions are undermined by its clumsy controls and jerky animation. Whenever your opponent dodges or runs, you must wait for your fighter to slowly rotate to face the right direction! Blocked attacks pass harmlessly through your opponent's body, and sometimes you can strike your opponent while facing the opposite direction. The camerawork is so poor you often can't see what's going on.

The small battlefield is surrounded by a force field. It's easy to inadvertently lunge into this force field, causing your character to get thrown to the ground unconscious. The digitized backdrops ooze atmosphere but lack interesting detail. The sound effects lack punch and the voice samples are loaded with sniveling comments like "I'm just too fast for you!" Torches that gradually extinguish are a poor substitute for life bars. The single-player campaign spices up battles with magical artifacts, but the D&D license feels squandered. Promising much but delivering little, Iron & Blood is a really unlikeable fighting game. © Copyright 2015 The Video Game Critic.

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1 or 2 players 

Iron Soldier 3
Grade: C-
Publisher: Telegames (2000)
Reviewed: 2004/7/30
Rating: Teen (animated violence)


screenshotThis late-arriving Playstation title should appeal to Atari Jaguar fans, considering the first two Iron Soldiers were among the best games for the Jaguar system. Iron Soldier 3 delivers the same brand of 3D destructive mayhem, but its slow, methodical style hasn't aged well. A first-person shooter, Iron Soldier 3 places you in control of an enormous "mech", which is actually a giant robot.

Your mech is equipped with a number of weapons including an assault rifle, gatling gun, grenades, and even a giant chainsaw. Twenty-five challenging missions await you, but if you're the impatient type, you can just dive right into the arcade mode where the object is to simply destroy everything. You'll meet fierce resistance from tanks, cannons, helicopters, and other mechs, but a handy scanner lets you track them all.

The virtual city is loaded with skyscrapers, explosive gas tanks, and warehouses that hold power-ups and ammunition. As you would expect, these graphics are more detailed that the Jaguar games, but still maintain the same style. I like how the levels aren't completely flat - the hills and valleys add strategic value. The controls take time to learn, and it's too easy to get caught up on a piece of scenery. You can't always tell when you're under fire, so it's possible to incur a good deal of damage without even realizing it.

Finally, the vagueness of the mission objectives can be really annoying. Otherwise Iron Soldier 3 has its bases covered, with a pulsating soundtrack and even a split-screen two-player cooperative mode. Be sure to check out the amazing cinematic intro, which features some amazing special effects. Jaguar veterans will appreciate Iron Soldier 3, but its deliberate pace and steep learning curve may deter novice gamers. © Copyright 2004 The Video Game Critic.

1 or 2 players 

Irritating Stick
Grade: F
Publisher: Jaleco (1999)
Reviewed: 2001/6/8
Rating: Everyone

screenshotFinally - a game that lives up to its name! This oddity is based on a Japanese game show, and I find it remarkable that it ever made it to the shores of America. Without a doubt, Irritating Stick has the worst title ever conceived for a video game. It sounds more like a bad porno film! And if you think the title is bad, wait until you play the game! Basically it involves moving a dot through an electric maze without touching the sides, and your time is limited. It's stupid, repetitive, and... well...okay... irritating! The only thing worse than running out of time after working your way through a lengthy maze is having to start over! I don't think I've ever played anything so aggravating. © Copyright 2001 The Video Game Critic.
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1 or 2 players 


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Screen shots courtesy of IGN.com, Moby Games, Gaming Age Online, GameSpot, Rotten Tomatoes, GameFAQs.com, Playstation Museum, The ISO Zone, YouTube, Video Games Museum, Game Fabrique