Why publisher Interplay and developer Black Isle Studio chose to ignore this rich historical lineage and make a game that has more in common with Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance than the original PC incarnations is beyond me. Chalk it up as yet another example of console gamers getting the short end of the proverbial stick.
According to ESRB, this game contains: Blood and Gore, Mature Sexual Themes, Strong Langauge, Violence
Mike is basically right when he compares Hunter: The Reckoning to classic run-and-gun games like Smash TV or Gauntlet. However, I wouldn't say that Hunter was an evolution, but rather, more like a genetic anomaly.
According to ESRB, this game contains: Blood, Violence
Its been a while since a game has been as guilty of giving me blood-shot eyes as Hunter: The Reckoning.
The ESRB reports that this game contains: Blood, Use of Alcohol, Violence
The release of Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance for the PlayStation 2—a high-profile PC franchise appearing on a console—is something unusual. This is not entirely new, as the Ultima series made appearances on consoles in addition to its original PC releases. But Dark Alliance differs from the console versions of Ultima in that its gameplay deviates heavily from its franchise-mates on the PC. The other Baldur's Gate games were an excellent example of the PC style of role-playing games—open-ended strategic games based heavily on rules from pencil-and-paper RPGs. Instead, Dark Alliance is a fast-paced, real-time action game where one player controls one character; any attached rules are mainly flavoring for the main course of arcade-style action. Given the incredible difference in gameplay, it's no surprise that rather than attempt to build Dark Alliance itself, franchise studio Black Isle contracted Snowblind Studios to develop it.
I don't know why developers are so averted to bringing computer-style role-playing games (RPG) to home videogame consoles. The Baldur's Gate series is a critically acclaimed, popular title in the PC gaming world. While Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance for the PlayStation 2 brings gamers closer to the Dungeons And Dragons RPG setting, the title proves that sometimes the apple falls a bit too far from the tree. In short, Dark Alliance doesn't represent the same caliber game to which PC gamers are treated.
If done right, the combination of cel and CG animation found in the opening intro might have garnered comparisons to visual innovators like Jet Grind Radio and Fear Effect. Unfortunately, it is so badly done that it only deserves scorn.
Gekido is a shameless rip-off of Sega's Genesis classic, Streets Of Rage 2. It also steals gameplay elements from Treasure's amazing Saturn game, Guardian Heroes. Despite the fact that Gekido offers 3-D graphics, in no way is it nearly as fun as the two games that inspired it. In fact, the two games that basically started this genre—Double Dragon and Final Fight—are 10-times more fun than Gekido. I'd even go so far to say that Sega's Dreamcast game, Zombie Revenge, is a better game (although I hated every minute of playing it). It's certainly a better example of the genre, which is why I gave Gekido a lower score.