Halo 2 lets me down as a sequel because it fails to improve upon most of the archaic design features that could be forgiven in the original, and gives Halo fans less of an experience in almost every area. It is a good game compared to the class of 2004, but it is no Halo and should be marked down accordingly.
Game Description: Forza Motorsport revs up gamers who are passionate about cars and racing. It's the ultimate car-lover's playground, letting gamers buy, sell, trade, tune, modify and race their customized car collection. On the track, players experience an impressively accurate simulation, putting their performance-tuned creations to the test against the best the online world has to offer on Xbox Live! Take online racing from intense multiplayer wheel-to-wheel racing to challenging individual bests and beyond Gorgeous graphical showcase—well-balanced reflections, lighting, and shadows; Real camera effects like blooming, lens flare, heat shimmer, light rays, depth of field, and haze create TV-quality presentation.
I had hoped that Forza would let me jump into the game with at least some reasonably beefy cars, but I hoped in vain and was forced to spend many boring hours trudging along with average cars before getting to the cool ones. Had I not had to do that, I certainly would have enjoyed Forza more than I did.
In Mike Doolittle's review of Crimson Skies, although he had many splendid things to say about the game, I was surprised to see a rating that was just above average. Perhaps I tend to immerse myself in a game world too deeply, from reading the backstory to wondering what experience the designers expected me to have as the roguish pilot Nathan Zachary. What I found at the end of my journey was a far richer experience overall than Mike gave the game credit for.
Game Description:Halo 2 continues the story of Master Chief, the heroic super-soldier who defied the invading alien Covenant and survived. The Covenant leaders within Halo are angry at this unheard of event. To save face, they launch an invasion of our planet. Earth's defenses are breached, and we're all in danger—unless Master Chief can lead a small military squad to victory against Covenant forces, in all-out guerilla warfare!
But despite such overwhelming expectations, Halo 2 is essentially a bigger, badder version of the first—nothing more, nothing less. It refines and expands upon many of the original's strongest concepts, stumbles over a few repeated missteps, and offers an experience distinctly similar to the first that fluctuates between modest tedium and prodigious epic.
I confess—I don't know the first thing about tennis. Sure, I watch it on TV every now and then when something big is happening, but I never paid much attention to it or really understood all of its rules and nuances. After playing Top Spin, though, I gained a newfound appreciation for the sport.
Game Description:Top Spin delivers all of the intensity and realism of a hard-played professional tennis match. Use the Player Creator to put your virtual self in the game, and work your way up the ranks to play real pros in top tournaments. Train with a coach to master slices, drops, lobs, slams, and powerful serves. Earn professional sponsors as you climb to the top. Play on courts all over the world: clay, hard court, and grass...all affect play differently and all must be mastered to become a champion.
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