Maybe it was the way the Wu-Tang Clan pushed the game onto publishers that got Activisions attention, maybe the passion they had for the game just came through and Activision jumped at the chance. Maybe Activision and Paradox came across some data that showed some sort of connection between rap fans and martial arts. Or maybe Activision just needed a reason (any reason) to use the Thrill Kill engine and found that this game was it. Whatever the reason, Shaolin Style ultimately comes off as a gimmick game.
Shaolin Style surprised me again after spending several minutes practicing with a few of the characters in the training mode. I immediately noticed the amount of depth and complexity that went into the vicious over-the-top attacks. It's clear that the developers put forth a solid effort in conceptualizing a wide variety of attacks for the multitude of characters in the game.
Are all the games, calendars, magazine covers, memory cards, toys, and craptacular wares bearing her buxom figure finally wearing thin on the public? Apparently so, because before the fourth game featuring her, Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation has yet to even hit store shelves, skeptical media and fans alike have already expressed tepid reactions.
When I say that this is a game made to compete with the likes of the Tomb Raider series, I'm not joking. The Infernal Machine is not a bold attempt to redefine the 3rd-person, 3D-exploration genre pioneered by the original Tomb Raider. Instead, it's a massive 17-stage exercise in transplanting the body of Indy into a Tomb Raider-style game complete with all the flaws that have typically plagued the genre.
It must not have been sitting well with LucasArts to see a game franchise that was once credited for spawning Lara Croft being thoroughly surpassed by her. I'm sure the developers went to work on Infernal Machine with the goal of unseating Ms. Croft from her throne. Unfortunately, it could also be possible that like every other developer in the world these days, they looked at the success of Tomb Raider and decided if they locked themselves in a room with Tomb Raider I, they could make a clone and watch the money roll in.
Well, Chi may not want to get started on it, but I sure as hell do. What is with this pedophilic relationship between Lara and her mentor? Every other comment they made to each other was like creepy foreplay. The guy is ancient and she's 16! On top of that, they don't even pretend to flirt well because both voice-actors are incredibly lame. Lara's sass (yes I said sass) and sophistication are lost on me as soon as she starts speaking. Another thing is that the training stage is just an extension of the game so it uses the game's engine to have Lara do all the things she will be doing later. All the camera views and moves that are meant to accentuate Lara's anatomy are still here and look creepier with the 16-year old Lara.
Well first off, being the defensive player that I am I take issue with the design of the levels as well as Chi's "cowardly tactics" comment. I like wide open areas that allow for some degree of hiding and I wasn't thrilled by the fact that I couldn't go too many steps in some levels without running into another player or opponent. The other thing is the sheer monotony of the single player. Don't get me wrong it is functional but it's obviously been made for those who couldn't get enough of four-player GoldenEye 007 and Quake 64 II and are dying to build up their skills here and later show them off against friends.
Pretender. Wanna-be. Unoriginal. When I heard people comparing Medal of Honor to GoldenEye 007 I was ready to toss all the slurs its way. But after a few honest rounds during the game I found that I was judging it too quickly and harshly.
Actually the third release bearing the Turok name, Rage Wars unlike its two previous efforts, jettisons the traditional one-player mode for full-featured multiplayer options instead. That's not to say that there isn't any semblance of a single-player game.
The developers have taken the theme and backdrop story very seriously and it shows because the WWII iconography in MoH is captured beautifully not only in the costumes of the characters and the design of the architecture, but it also permeates through the detailed movie-like orchestra scores that make up the background music.