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NBA Courtside 2002 – Review

Right from opening menus of the game, I already got my first sign that I was in for a stinker. The aesthetics of the menus could only be described as butt-ugly. It almost looks like the graphics and design was lifted straight out of the N64 version, washed out colors and tacky 3D graphics in all.

Shadow Hearts – Second Opinion

Shadow Hearts is the game Koudelka should have been—an earnest and intriguing RPG that mixes a historical setting with an occult influence in much the same way the Persona/Megami Tensei games have been doing for years. The end result is one of the darkest and most interesting console RPGs to come along in recent memory (the only other games that really compare are Atlus Persona titles). Sacnoth clearly learned from their errors with Koudelka, and its because of this that Shadow Hearts is so good,

Super Smash Bros. Melee – Review

Nintendo incites a "teddy bear" complex for me. I started playing video games with the original 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System. Fifteen years later my matured taste in games led me to buy a Playstation 2. However, I keep coming back to Nintendo. I have an attachment to it, much like people are attached to their old teddy bears.

Shadow Hearts – Review

As a gamer, do you ever notice that some development studios tend to turn out the same substandard kind of product without ever stepping back to evaluate their handiwork before churning out a sequel? Im not talking about the debugging process or other technical things like that, but rather, game design and philosophy in general.

Harvest Moon: Save The Homeland – Review

It is unfortunate that the simulation genre as it is known in Japan is not more popular in America. For years the Japanese game industry has enjoyed the success of many titles that define the term "simulation" with eccentric literalness.

Dynasty Warriors 3 – Review

Dynasty Warriors 3 is, at its core, what many old-school gamers call a beat-em-up. In the tradition of coin-op classics like Double Dragon and Final Fight, a beat-'em-ups most distinguishing characteristic is usually the endless hordes of computer opponents a player must combat (usually with fists, weapons and anything else a player can get his hands on) and the repetitive nature of the gameplay which is usually tantamount to a wholelotta button-mashing.

Dynasty Warriors 3 – Second Opinion

Chi has already touched on this in his main review, but I feel compelled to emphasize it even more. The amount of detail, especially historical detail that has gone into Dynasty Warriors 3 is simply mind-boggling. I can think of no other game that offers a database of information about people and events in the game as an option to select from the main menu screen. During the briefing before every battle, one of the options you are given is to read a brief historical context of the battle you are about to fight. The characters and battles in Dynasty Warriors 3 are based on a famous Chinese historical novel, The Romance Of The Three Kingdoms by Luo Guanzhong. (It is worth noting that those of us used to the Yale translations of the characters names will be confused at first, as Dynasty Warriors 3 uses a more modern translation (Cao Cao instead of Tsao Tsao, etc.)) Not only are you offered an incredible number of characters to play with, but no matter who you choose, you will be playing as a historical figure from one of the most interesting periods in China's rich history. Quite simply, Koei has created a game that is not only addictively fun, but educational.

Max Payne – Review

Max Payne is certainly not a first-person shooter, but there are several things that make it a rather "distanced" third person shooter.

Dead or Alive 3 – Review

Tecmo's Dead Or Alive series has, unfortunately, always been the Frank Stallone of fighting games. The original was released to a small Japanese audience on the short-lived Sega Saturn, and its subsequent 1998 release on the Playstation played second fiddle to Namcos blockbuster Tekken 3.

Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance – Review

The release of Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance for the PlayStation 2—a high-profile PC franchise appearing on a console—is something unusual. This is not entirely new, as the Ultima series made appearances on consoles in addition to its original PC releases. But Dark Alliance differs from the console versions of Ultima in that its gameplay deviates heavily from its franchise-mates on the PC. The other Baldur's Gate games were an excellent example of the PC style of role-playing games—open-ended strategic games based heavily on rules from pencil-and-paper RPGs. Instead, Dark Alliance is a fast-paced, real-time action game where one player controls one character; any attached rules are mainly flavoring for the main course of arcade-style action. Given the incredible difference in gameplay, it's no surprise that rather than attempt to build Dark Alliance itself, franchise studio Black Isle contracted Snowblind Studios to develop it.

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