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Adventure/Explore

Azurik: Rise Of Perathia

Game Description: In Azurik: Rise of Perathia—a third-person, 3-D action-adventure game designed to showcase the capabilities of the Xbox—you assume the role of a young apprentice Lore Guardian named Azurik. Sworn to protect the sacred elements—fire, water, earth, and air—you must stop an apocalyptic prophecy that threatens to condemn your world to destruction. Featuring intense hand-to-hand combat, intuitive puzzles, amazing seamless environments, and vast exploration, Azurik combines the best of three genres by including ample doses of epic adventure, fast console-style action, and intriguing story-based RPG gameplay.

Azurik: Rise Of Perathia – Second Opinion

A great game is like a Tootsie Pop: you slowly penetrate through the tasty outisde layers, which then melt away into an even more satisfying and chewy middle. Azurik: Rise Of Perathia has more in common with the strange rice cakes I bought a while back. At first taste, I wondered what all the fuss was about, but after two or three of 'em a nice buzz began to develop on my tongue, and soon enough the whole bag disappeared. The challenge, then, is to get the gamer to take that many bites, particularly when the two or three you need to start liking the rice cakes translates to two or three hours for Azurik.

Azurik: Rise Of Perathia – Review

I've been getting the impression from developers, and the general gaming community, that all this next-generation hooplah is not really about making better games, just better looking ones. No one really cares if Resident Evil 20 or Tekken 9 innovates in the gameplay or story department, so long as there are reflective bump-mapped textures and it roars at sixty frames per second.

Oddworld: Munch's Oddysee

Game Description: The power-packing Xbox hardware delivers the third Oddworld title in one of the most brilliantly realized settings to grace any gaming system. Blending unique gameplay, humorous characters and interactions, and the aforementioned graphics, Munch's Oddysee simply feels unlike any other game in the 2001 console gaming lineup. Players control two characters in the game: Munch, a wheelchair-bound hero, and Abe, a character some gamers will recognize from previous Oddworld games. Their goal is to find and free the Mudokon queen, keeper of the remaining eggs of an endangered species.

Oddworld: Munch's Oddysee – Second Opinion

I really had high hopes for Munch's Oddysee, as I feel that the Oddworld series is one of the most unique and beautifully realized game concepts of the past few years.

Oddworld: Munch's Oddysee – Review

Innovation is not the end-all and be-all that turns dirt into gold. A great example of this is Oddworld: Munchs Oddysee, a game that combines its own original, undercooked ideas with redundant elements culled from many different genres to form an innovative, uneven, tedious mess.

Oddworld: Munch's Oddysee – Consumer Guide

According to ESRB, this game contains: Comic Mischief, Violence

ICO Second Opinion

ICO Screenshot

I completely agree with Brad's assessment of ICO as art—the game really is that beautiful. You'll have countless moments where you just have to stop and soak all of the scenery in. This sleeper hit of the year is simply too good to be missed.

ICO Review

ICO Screenshot

There are games, and there is art. Are the two fated to be mutually exclusive? Personally, I'd say the answer is no.

ICO

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