Mario Golf is such a surprise that I feared I couldn't write this review and do it justice.
The so-called mature premise of Kingpin revolves around a fallen gangster who is now out for revenge and domination over the underworld. No heroic macho lead character or buxom heroine here, just a thug out to do no good. While politically incorrect, it's certainly conceptually interesting and has a similar appeal to films like GoodFellas and Pulp Fiction, which also revolve around bad people doing bad things.
Make no mistake, this is just another FPS with some great ideas (my personal favorite was being able to assemble my own crew) and stunning visuals that ultimately go to waste. Dale pretty much hits the nail on the head when the refers to Kingpin's creative direction as nothing more than 'dressing' with corrupt intentions of exploitation.
With an unparalleled quality of graphics and realism, Driver was supposed to be a marquee release for the PlayStation and extend its life into the next millenium. Unfortunately, Driver fails miserably short of expectations. The graphics are pixelated and everything in the game is a low-resolution mess. In this regard it's a total disappointment from such an accomplished developer.
Surprisingly, despite being in the capable hands of Reflections (the developers previously responsible for the Destruction Derby series), Driver comes up flatter than overnight Coca-Cola. Practically the only thing positive about Driver is the controls. To its credit, the cars handle great.
I'm not going dispute Dale or anyone else about how innovative the control scheme is. Ape Escape brilliantly incorporates the Dual Shock controller much the same way Super Mario 64 did with the Nintendo 64 controller, but my praise ends there.
So here we are with an analog controller with TWO joysticks and a built-in rumble (they call it "vibration") support and a new 3D platformer called Ape Escape. The game was supposed to be launched with the new controller but instead got delayed, so Sony bundled it with the new PlayStation systems and hoped for the best. So here we are half a year later with Ape Escape in hand.
I agree with Chi about the Miyamoto-esque experience provided by Pokémon. It turns away all conventions of the industry. There are no naked women, no hulking heroes, and no smart-mouthed mascots. You are encouraged to simply play. Have fun and enjoy yourself at your own pace.
I wasn't supposed to like World Driver Championship (WDC). Right from the start, the chips were stacked against it. Did the N64 really need another racing game to add to its already extensive library dedicated to the automobile?
What I think should be stressed are the graphics in this game because they are phenomenal. Boss made a point to mention that they wouldn't be supporting the 4MB Memory Pak. In fact, they said they wouldn't need it. After seeing the game in action, I have to side with Boss; World Driver Championship needs no help in the graphics department.