When its comes to Jet Force Gemini, Dale was far more forgiving than I. We both agree that the terrible controls wants to play like Zelda 64, but should have stuck to handling like a first-person shooter. I found it nearly impossible to back-tread successfully without any kind of a lock-on target feature. In the midst of mobile combat, which involves a lot of strafing, I often lost my sights on an adversary even at point-blank range (especially in 4-player modes) due to the overly jerky camera angles that seriously need to be locked on-target or self adjusted rather than automatic. I simply couldn't come to grips with the awkward controls.

Yet the thing that singly bugged me the most was the graphics or, rather, the overall art direction that Rare took. Yes, like Dale mentioned, the graphics are technically amazing and push the N64 to likes of which the system has never seen. But stylistically, the game is a mess. If Furby were a videogame, it'd look something like Jet Force Gemini. Obnoxiously confused and tacky are the best way to describe the over-use and over-saturation of colors and as for the character designs, they're downright ugly. The main characters look like teenage dwarfs with crack addictions!

Creatively, the ridiculously shallow story tries to be campy (and fails), and carries no weight, which consequently hurts the general motivation of trying to wade through each enormous stage. All the early reports about the game containing a dark sense of humor turns out to be somewhat of a joke in itself. Rare seems to think that having a few cuddly creatures squished or maimed is proof of their 'wickedness.' In actuality, it seems overly forced and appears to be more like futile attempts at appealling to a more mature audience commercially rather than creatively.

I think Jet Force Gemini would have benefited greatly by having been a straight-forward shooter rather than imposing a useless storyline and overly tedious mission objectives that never reaches a sense of vitality like GoldenEye 007 or Zelda 64. Focusing more on the action and controls instead trying to cross genres would have resulted in a more conceptually tight game. As it stands, Jet Force Gemini is a visual and creative mess. Rating: 5.5 out of 10

Chi Kong Lui

Chi Kong Lui

In the 1980s, Chi grew up in small town on the outskirts of New York City called Jackson Heights. Latino actor, John Leguizamo referred to the town as the "melting pot of the world," and while living there, Chi was exposed to many diverse cultures, as well as a bevy of arcade classics such as Pac-Man, Space Ace, Space Harrier and Double Dragon. Chi's love of videogames only seemed to grow as his parents finally caved and bought him an 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System (after being the only kid in the block without one). In the 1990s, Chi finagled his way into the prestigious Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts.

Somewhere between all the gaming, Chi some how managed to finish high school and get into the New York Institute of Technology. At the same time, Chi also interned at Virtual Frontiers, an Internet software consultancy where he learned the ways of HTML. Soon after acquiring his BFA, Chi went on to become the lead Web designer of the Anti-Defamation League. During his tenure there, Chi was instrumental in redesigning and relaunching the non-profit organization's Web site.

Today, Chi is the webmaster of the American Red Cross in Greater New York and somehow managed to work through the tragic events of September 11th without losing his sanity. Chi considers GameCritics.com his life's work and continues to be amazed that the web site is still standing after the recent dotcom fallout. It is his dream that GameCritics.com will accomplish two things: 1) Redefine the grammar of videogames much the same way French film critic Andre Bazin did for the art of cinema and 2) bring game criticism to the forefront of mainstream culture much the same way Siskel & Ebert did for film criticism.
Chi Kong Lui

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