Just as unlikely as it is for Stone Cold fans to embrace Goldberg, Mayhem isn't going to make converts out of WWF fans. Attitude will still remain their swan song as well as the overall genre leader. But for rabid WCW fans looking for fresh pixels to pummel with a steel chair, Mayhem should more than suffice.
For all its depth, though, I quickly discovered that I had little control of the game after the early part of it. No matter what I did or what kind of responses I gave [to the non-player characters (NPCs)], the story progressed regardless of that. It has been a running trend with Sakaguchi since Final Fantasy III (FF3) that furthering the plot takes precedence over player involvement.
In a word: "overrated." Alongside games like Tomb Raider and Resident Evil, Final Fantasy VIII (FF8) will go down in my book as one of the most overrated games of all-time. I'm convinced that if this role-playing game (RPG) did not bear the Final Fantasy moniker, it would have been universally panned as a poorly written obnoxious piece of CG fluff by the public and press alike.
Hybrid Heaven doesn't have terrific graphics (which Dale described as 'bland') and it doesn't have a great control scheme either. But it does have an excellent storyline (unfolded through some of the best cut-scenes to grace the N64), emotionally complex characters and some interesting ideas towards gameplay.
The developers, KCEO, obviously set their sights high for this game. One look at the cinematic intro for the game and this point becomes apparent. Its length and use of voice-acting is initially very impressive for a cart-based game, but upon further inspection, it becomes a metaphor for the rest of the game and is ultimately what's wrong with Hybrid Heaven.
From the action-packed opening title sequence to the chattery mission briefings, MechWarrior 3 bristles with life and excitement. Credit much of the liveliness to a proper usage of the Battletech universe.
I've been aware of the MechWarrior series since it's inception. I was sans-PC at the time, but I lived a bit of that world through Chi. I was also a huge fan of giant robots, especially Voltron. Controlling a giant robot and taking on giant monsters was a dream of mine always and I was thrilled to hear that that was essentially what I would be doing in MechWarrior. Sure I was disappointed to learn that there was no blazing-sword nor any lion-head attacks available, but the concept of giant robots was still intact.
Upon close inspection of Shadow Man, I see a game that has a lot going for it. It is based on a dark and moody comic book and Acclaim has succeeded in bringing all of that into the game uncensored (anyone familiar Nintendo's censorship record can appreciate this as a huge accomplishment). To their credit, Acclaim pushed for and got a mature rating on this game. And after playing for only a short while, it is obvious that the rating is well deserved: Acclaim didn't hold back the adult content.
Through its splendid graphics, ominous audio, and its well-scripted and well-acted dialogue, Shadow Man delivers a package that's respectable to the over 18 age group (but not by much). There's still plenty of bloodletting and overt cussing, but the majority of it is done within the creative context of the game and doesn't feel overly abused or cheaply implemented.
I'll start off by saying that graphically, Attitude is top notch. Iguana West has milked its 'skins' technology to its fullest here on the Nintendo 64. With skins, the developer can cover the jagged edges prevalent in all other 3D games with pseudo skins; the result is a smooth and detailed body for the characters that sometimes even fooled me into thinking I was looking at the real thing. It gives the characters in this game a refined look that compares with the graphics on the latest next generation system, the Sega Dreamcast. Yes, the character models are THAT good and one look at the detailed, facial texturing that Iguana West has thrown into the game and you'd have to agree.