Where Brad and I wholeheartedly agree is in Banjo-Tooie's visuals. These worlds cover serious real estate, and it's no more evident than when standing on a cliff or after taking flight and surveying all that is around you.
Sega seems to have a theme going lately consisting of games which are extremely original and challenging on many levels, yet strangely, they aren't very much fun to play. Seaman was the first game in the recent trend, and Shenmue is definitely another.
So does the final release of Shenmue live up to all the hype of being the most expensive game ever made and deliver Dreamcast owners onto the promised land of gaming bliss? The answer is yes and no. Shenmue is the Bill Clinton of videogames; extremely ambitious, arguably successful, and yet undoubtedly flawed.
Game Description: Banjo and Kazooie, that bear and bird platforming pair from their beloved, eponymous game, are back in Banjo-Tooie. Their second adventure will take them through eight new worlds, full of hulking bosses, minigames, and the series' trademark goofy gameplay. There are plenty of new moves to learn, but this time Banjo and Kazooie can work some missions independently, utilizing special skills. Banjo-Tooie features a multiplayer element to some of the minigames, in some cases supporting four players!
Jet Grind Radio is like the love child of Crazy Taxi and Space Channel 5. Take Crazy Taxi's gameplay, Channel 5's visual flair, and the music from both games, and you basically have Jet Grind Radio. Though the game can get repetitive, and the frustration factor is higher than it should be, Jet Grind Radio fares much better in the long run than its would-be parents.
For all you see and hear, Jet Grind Radio is possibly the coolest game ever made. The art direction for the game is amazing and hits that narrow target of hip that other games miss—almost everything you see and hear melts your heart with an effortless style.
Game Description:In the 21st century, the Tokyoto city government bans kids from expressing themselves in any way. Only three things keep their spirits alive: Overdriver magnetic-motor skates, graffiti, and a pirate-radio broadcast that's called Jet Grind Radio. Explore and, uh, decorate three fully interactive worlds in which traffic moves at real time and pedestrians wander the streets. Watch out for police who'll want to nab you for breaking the law, and rival crews that want to deface your artwork. The "Cartoon Dimension" art style gives the game the appearance of a 2D comic, but the characters move through it in complete 3D. Animations run at 30 frames per second. Ten characters are available at the outset, each of which has its own style and abilities.
Game Description: For anyone who enjoyed playing the original Zelda game on the Nintendo 64, The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask should come as a pleasant surprise. This game again features Link, the young elf who has been the star of every Zelda game so far. This time, however, he has to stop the moon from crashing into the land of Hyrule. Link must travel back in time 72 hours to avert the disaster; otherwise Hyrule will be destroyed. There are four dungeons to explore, with many other places to visit. In addition, Link can use over 20 masks to gain even more abilities!
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