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War of the Monsters – Second Opinion

Instead of featuring established Nintendo franchise characters, War Of The Monsters features established B-movie stereotypes, each with their own distinct fighting styles and personalities. The simple, two-attack-button control setup belies a deeper strategy, another feature that gave me a sense of Smash Bros. déjà vu.

Dead or Alive: Xtreme Beach Volleyball Second Opinion

Dead or Alive:  Xtreme Beach Volleyball Screenshot

If the game were truly about volleyball, or even about forming relationships, then there would not be random screens of the girls walking up and down beaches or lying down in poses that make them appear, as a friend so aptly put it, "freshly raped."

Guilty Gear X2 – Review

Then there's Zappa from Guilty Gear X2 (GGX2), Sammy's sequel to the estranged Guilty Gear series. He may not be the main character of the game, but he remains a fighting game character nonetheless. And although his moves follow the basic principles that Ryu laid out more than a decade ago, everything else about him does not.

Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance – Review

Deadly Alliance is creative, unique, accessible, and polished. It comes up lacking in a few areas, but is clearly the most effectively realized version of Mortal Kombat yet.

The Legend Of Zelda: A Link To The Past – Review

With his book The Hero With A Thousand Faces, Joseph Campbell created a sort of guide by which just about every myth, legend, or story could be rationalized and even certain patterns among them could be revealed. Almost everything ranging from Homer's The Odyssey to George Lucas' moneymaking machine Star Wars to J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord Of The Rings would, when broken down, most likely expose common elements that would transcend the cultural barriers separating them.

Treasure Planet – Review

There have been a few recent licensed games that surpassed expectations, but even the bad ones don't seem to be as rancid as they once were. A great example of a new-age attempt at making the leap from big screen to small, Treasure Planet certainly has its flaws but remains a pretty decent offering.

Metroid Fusion Second Opinion

Metroid Fusion Screenshot Metroid Fusion Screenshot

The greatest fault I can attribute to Fusion isn't its restrictive form, but its overly predictable progression. I've never played any previous Metroids extensively and I could still sense where the game was taking me a mile away. Fusion doesn't put much effort into disguising its gameplay devices.

Serious Sam – Second Opinion

Maybe I'm more of an "old school" gamer than Mike is, but I appreciated Serious Sam a bit more than he did. I found the game's 36-mission campaign to be more than a simple Doom rehash. Certainly there were moments when I felt a twinge of the old Doom nostalgia (I was a Doom-addict in graduate school), but dismissing Serious Sam as little more than a Doom clone isn't giving the game the credit it deserves.

Car Battler Joe – Review

A player can never know for sure if they will like the title until they're playing it. There's joy in knowing money was well spent on a good game and inversely, disappointment in having wasted time with a lemon. In sticking with the gambling metaphor, Car Battler Joe, a Game Boy Advance release from Natsume, is the casino equivalent of putting a quarter in the slot machine and winning a million dollars.

Red Faction 2 – Review

There's just something sad about videogame villain design. Take Red Faction II for example. The game is clearly set in a far-flung future, where dictators should be sporting snappier duds than today's. Designers can afford to take liberties on the villain's fashion sense because it's in the future.

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