The sheer number of customization options is astounding, including a rich create-your-own-wrestler feature. The sound effects are outstanding. Wrestlers talk trash, and you can even hear people in the crowd yelling such memorable lines as "Rocky doesn't suck!". War Zone has its moments, but the matches tend to run too long and become repetitive as fighters execute the same moves over and over.
And you can forget about the tag team mode - it's a confusing mess. Not only is it difficult to tag your partner even when he's right next to you, but you can never tell who's supposed to be in the ring at any given time. Overall, WWF War Zone makes a great first impression, but its shallow gameplay eventually wears out its welcome. © Copyright 1999 The Video Game Critic.
Six missions send you into war zones full of enemy planes, cannons, tanks, boats, and huge bosses. You can fly anywhere within the large, confined area of conflict as you destroy targets and collect power-ups. Weapons include machine guns, rockets, a plasma cannon, lock-on missiles, and "swarmers", which unleash an army of guided missiles against a single locked-on target. The massive destruction is thrilling to behold at times.
For a 1995 game, the 3D graphics are amazing and the music is action-movie quality. Warhawk also contains some poorly-acted (and totally unnecessary) cut-scenes using real actors, and it's mildly entertaining to watch an attractive female commander barking orders at a bunch of cocky pilots. Warhawk is short compared to modern games, but still fun as hell to play. © Copyright 2001 The Video Game Critic.
Despite some pixelation Wild 9's visuals do a good job of conveying grimy alien world populated with freaky creatures and dangerous industrial contraptions. The high-octane soundtrack is provided by composer legend Tommy Tallarico. Your ultra-hip character gallivants around while shouting "like... cool" and "wexcellent!"
What makes Wild 9 unique is your ability to wield an electric beam. You can use it to swing on things, carry stuff, or slam enemies into the ground. It's amusing to kill aliens by depositing them into fire, spikes, and meat grinders. Even more satisfying is how you can blow up machines using missiles.
Wild 9's downfall is its controls. Orienting the beam is real pain in the ass since the directional controls move your character and beam at the same time. Trying to attach the beam to hooks for swinging is aggravating, and I hate having to sit through a goofy "dizzy" animation whenever I fall. You collect shiny "9" icons and gathering 100 will earn you a free continue (good luck with that).
The stages aren't particularly long but since you need to move in such a slow, deliberate manner, they can feel downright excruciating. The difficulty progression is suspect thanks to a brutal opening stage and lack of continues. Perhaps too clever for its own good, Wild 9 may appeal to collectors but casual gamers will be done with it after the first stage - if not sooner. © Copyright 2016 The Video Game Critic.
The high speed chases through town are exciting, especially as you weave through traffic and cut corners where you can. You have to be careful however because striking a light pole or pedestrian can bring your mission to an abrupt end. T-boning bad guys would be more fun if it didn't do so much damage to your own car! Once you overheat it's game over. An arrow on top of the screen keeps you headed in the right direction but it's disorienting when you get spun around.
Free patrol mode lets you cruise around to your heart's content, and you can even select the weather and time of day. I love that lady on my radio: "This is dispatch control; where the hell are you?" There's an expansive world to explore, complete with highways connecting multiple towns. The driving controls are superb and I love the vibration when you hit the brakes.
The controls for aiming your weapon however are awfully confusing. Missions tend to be long with little room for error, but that's what makes the game so exciting. My friends really got a kick out of this, although Kevin remarked "I wish I could hurt people more". I assume he was talking about the game. All in all World's Scariest Police Chases lives up to its name, serving up intense driving and white-knuckle thrills. © Copyright 2018 The Video Game Critic.
From the Streets of New York, to the castles of Europe, to a theme park, each course is colorful, detailed, and unique. The graphics are cartoonish but impressive nonetheless. You view the action from behind your vehicle, and the controls are pleasantly responsive. Large arrows show you the way, but it's still hard to follow the tracks in the split-screen mode. When driving through enclosed spaces (like tunnels), the camera abruptly switches to a first-person view, which is disconcerting.
You'll find items and power-ups all over the place, and each car is equipped with special weapons. Unfortunately, the combat aspect of the game is weak! While the attacks are imaginative (dumping chickens, firing side-mounted cannons), they rarely impact the outcome of the race. And while I was expecting the scenery to sustain heavy damage, it never happened. In fact, I usually came to a dead stop whenever I tried to ram an obstacle. Wreckin' Crew is a good looking game, but doesn't have enough depth to maintain your attention after you've seen all the tracks. © Copyright 2002 The Video Game Critic.
For a PS1 title, Pro Boarder looks really sharp. It opens with video of Winter X-Games athletes in action, and the stylish animated menus sport an appealing icy blue color scheme. The slopes in the game are smoothly rounded and realistically textured. Along the courses you'll see metal scaffoldings decked out with lights and X-Games banners. Some of the banners and clouds suffer from severe pixelation, but otherwise the game is easy on the eyes.
You select from a group of actual X-Game athletes circa 1998. The single-player mode is challenging and high scores are auto-saved. A two-player vertical split-screen works great for the halfpipe, but the trail can be hard to follow in racing events. By the way, is it true that snowboarders used to compete in the same halfpipe at the same time? What could possibly go wrong?
The default "professional" controls are complex to a comical degree, but the amateur controls are easy to grasp. Unfortunately you can't chain tricks together and sometimes the controls feel unresponsive. Grinding is mostly automatic, and it looks ridiculous to be sucked onto a nearby rail and pulled along like a magnet.
The music is your standard indie rock fare and one particularly irritating song sounds like the Benny Hill theme. I wasn't crazy about the soundtrack until a song by the Foo Fighters kicked in. You select individual events to play, but why in the heck is the circuit mode locked?! X-Games Pro Boarder is a fine-looking winter title with more than enough variety, but it feels a lot more complicated than it needed to be. Note: To unlock circuit mode, enter X O X triangle triangle square on the password screen. © Copyright 2015 The Video Game Critic.
The roster features six X-Men (Cyclops, Wolverine, Gambit, Storm, Beast, Phoenix) along with four villains (Toad, Sabretooth, Mustique, Magneto). Wolverine is the short, stocky "original recipe" rendition, not the Hugh Jackman version. The controls are your standard six-button (three punch, three kick) configuration, with additional buttons for throw and counter. The question is, what are the special moves? The manual manages to tell the life story of every character yet can't be bothered to list a single special move?
I found myself discovering a few on my own, but your ability to perform them depends on the state of the complicated "super" and "x-treme" meter system. I really couldn't figure out how that thing works; this game is so [expletive] over-engineered it's not even funny.
I do like how the health meters snake through the indicators up top, and the colorful load screens remind me of those metallic collectible cards. The stages tend to be a little bland, featuring a lab, launchpad, subway, and desert wasteland. The one visually striking stage is the mansion on the bayou at night. The subway stage features some cool rumbling sounds of trains approaching. All stages have music, I think. I'm not sure because you can barely hear it.
The matches unfold at a tedious pace as you painstakingly chip away at each other's life bars. That said, when you finally execute a crunching, thunderous finishing blow, it's satisfying. Then you're totally bummed to realize it's a best-of-three match. I gotta do this again?
Modes include arcade, versus, survival, and academy (training) mode. Best scores are saved to the memory card. X-Men Mutant Academy feels a little too mechanical and frankly isn't much fun. Still, I suspect this game got a tremendous boost from the popular X-Men film released the same year (2000). © Copyright 2023 The Video Game Critic.
But what about the gameplay? Well the fact that the main menu looks exactly like the first game isn't reassuring. Hold on a second... is this the same game?! Same characters, stages, controls... WTF!? Oh wait - there are four new characters: Forge, Nightcrawler, Havoc, and Rogue. Apparently there are also two unlockable characters as well. Excuse me while I try to contain my enthusiasm. Okay I'm back.
The one-on-one action is significantly faster, causing the rounds to be quicker and less arduous. You can unleash some mad combinations too. The AI could be better though. I beat Magneto with Nightcrawler on a regular dose of slide attacks. Considering Magneto floats in the air this is the last attack you would expect to be his undoing.
Aerial combat is new. If you've played Marvel Vs. Capcom (Dreamcast, 1999) or X-Men: Children of the Atom (Saturn, 1996), you may recall how its characters could launch themselves upward and smack each other around in mid-air. Well, Mutant Academy 2 has some of that but it feels tacked-on and unnecessary. Frankly I wish they had put the effort into sprucing up the recycled stages, which are downright boring.
It's nothing special, but X-Men Mutant Academy 2 is what the first game should have been. It plays better, has more characters, and doesn't treat the moves like they're a big secret. I could see X-Men comic book fans taking an interest in this one. © Copyright 2023 The Video Game Critic.
As in the card game, each player fields five monsters and five magic cards. By positioning your cards face down or in a defensive position, you strategically battle your opponent. Unfortunately, the monsters here don't have any special abilities, which is a major element in the card game. The key to this game is "fusing" combinations of monsters and magic to produce more powerful cards. The problem is, you have no idea which cards fuse together!
It's all trial and error, which causes you to needlessly discard incompatible cards and lose matches in the process. Naturally, your CPU opponent knows exactly which cards go together. Other problems include the lack of a tutorial, and the inability to save after every match in the story mode (sometimes you're forced to play again immediately!). The graphics and music are more than adequate, and the game moves at a brisk pace, but the incomprehensible gameplay spoils what should have been a real treat for fans. © Copyright 2003 The Video Game Critic.