Of all of the countless racing games that have been released over the last few years, only a small few have managed to be true pioneers in what is possibly the most over-saturated genre in video games.
When I first played Acclaim's All-Star Baseball 2000 last year, I was convinced that this was as good as baseball could get on a console and quickly proclaimed it the best baseball game I've played in recent memory.
Unlike so many other baseball games before it, All-Star Baseball 2001 simply takes the time to put elements of the game that so many other games choose to ignore. This means that pitchers actually throw wild pitches that get away from the catcher or fielders misplay balls by overthrowing the receiver or booting the ball. Base runners get picked off for leading too far or caught stealing on a pitch out. Batters develop hot and cold streaks.
Power Stone 2 is a sequel in the most worthy sense (I'm talking Godfather 2 here, not Grease 2). The game is still set in the same 19th century time period, maintains the same international-around-the-globe-mystical style, and the overall gameplay premise hasn't deviated much either.
Camelot and Nintendo combined to create an engaging game that will reach out from the most rank amateur to the tennis pro, and offer them both something to sink their teeth into.
I've spent so much time playing Mario Golf over the past year that I don't even take the game out of my Nintendo 64 anymore. The game has become a daily ritual for me. It only comes out when I get a new game to review, then it goes right back in. It's a golf game I know, but there's something magical about it that keeps me coming back. It's fun, light-hearted, challenging and easy to get into. In short, it's the quintessential Nintendo game. When I heard that Nintendo was once again teaming up with Camelot for Mario Tennis, I could hardly contain my excitement.
While Chi and I came upon the UFC sport at roughly the same time, it is clear that Chi developed a fondness for ultimate fighting that far surpasses mine. It isn't that I didn't appreciate the individual skill of the combatants or their desire to win, but it was hard to get by the sheer brutality of the matches and the apparent lack of rules or code of ethics. Looking back on those early days, I have to own up to fact that I didn't really give the sport a fair shot.
Its popularity hasn't been restored to its former glory, but there is still enough interest to warrant the development of a videogame based on the tournament. More over, I am ecstatic to report that the game itself is a momentous achievement and every bit as revolutionary and mentally stimulating as the actual event itself.
When looking at RPGs lately, it seems to be getting harder and harder to tell them apart. You know how it goes—a young hero from a quiet town is thrown into circumstances beyond his control. He sets out to right a wrong and gathers together a band of friends to help him on his quest. After facing insumountable odds and legions of evil dragons/sorcerers/corrupt rulers, etc., our courageous hero emerges victorious to right all wrongs done to innocent townsfolk everywhere. Justice prevails, you win.
Unlike so many of the role-playing games that are out now, here is one that is wonderfully fresh and endlessly interesting (in other words, the complete opposite of The Legend Of Dragoon). I love how the game creatively wraps itself in Norse mythology, and how it infuses the battles with such action and excitement. It has truly been a while since Ive played such an imaginative and energetic piece of work. However, I just cant justify giving Valkyrie Profile a higher score because the game goes a little overboard in the scope of both its gameplay and its epic story.