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Review Archives (Staff Reviews)

You are currently looking through staff reviews for games that are available on every platform the site currently covers. Below, you will find reviews written by all eligible authors and sorted according to date of submission, with the newest content displaying first. As many as 20 results will display per page. If you would like to try a search with different parameters, specify them below and submit a new search.

Available Reviews
1942: Joint Strike (Xbox 360)

1942: Joint Strike review (X360)

Reviewed on August 06, 2008

While most of the game is manageable enough if your twitch gaming skills haven't grown too rusty, boss encounters can be a different story entirely. Even the adversary you face at the conclusion of the first stage is beefy, unleashing a wicked spread shot and heat-seeking missiles when he's not pelting you with standard shots from one of several turrets. Emerging from the encounter in one piece requires you to unleash your most convincing assault as quickly as possible, since dodging and weaving will only get you so far and is ultimately destined to fail if you have to keep it up for too long (plus your rating for that encounter will drop and you don't want that).
honestgamer's avatar
Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards (Nintendo 64)

Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards review (N64)

Reviewed on August 05, 2008

Kirby’s Dream Land may have been short and easy, but it was never boring, with levels often vertically oriented to take advantage of Kirby’s flight capabilities. Kirby can still fly here (though the ability is more limited), but most of these stages could be completed by any generic platformer star: Walk forward, defeat a few enemies, jump a few times, move on. And damn, is Kirby ever slow. You’ve got to double-tap a direction on the d-pad just to make him bolt at an adequate pace, and even then there’s the unwavering sense that he’s wading through invisible mashed potatoes.
Suskie's avatar
Packaging Man (PC)

Packaging Man review (PC)

Reviewed on August 05, 2008

While Pac-Man is an endearing classic because of the constant challenge and addictive gameplay it provides, though, Dogwood Alliance's effort lacks the substance it needed to exist as more than a fleeting memory. It's over almost before it begins, it's ugly and there's not much value in the long term. Sort of like deforestation, I can almost imagine someone from the company quipping, and maybe he'd be right.
honestgamer's avatar
The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind (PC)

The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind review (PC)

Reviewed on August 05, 2008

Morrowind's atmosphere is so all encompassing despite the derivative high-fantasy setting that it's an enormous challenge not to be blown away at regular intervals. This atmosphere stretches beyond the realms of the delicious visual design, or the eerily fantastic soundscapes, right up to those little moments of the game where you simply can't believe what's happening.
Lewis's avatar
Hail to the Chimp (Xbox 360)

Hail to the Chimp review (X360)

Reviewed on August 05, 2008

The humor is practically non-existent with even the puns falling flat (and I usually love those). This wouldn't be a problem if the rest of the game were an improvement, but it's really not. The uninspired mockumentaries are actually the highlight of the whole affair (and double as bonus content that you can unlock). When you're a developer and the best bits in your game are rather poorly animated segments that wouldn't cut it on network television or even Cartoon Network in the early morning hours, you know that your project is seriously flawed.
honestgamer's avatar
BioShock (Xbox 360)

BioShock review (X360)

Reviewed on August 04, 2008

The setting of Rapture is unique, which in horror-themed FPS terms means the developers were free to pull off new environmental tricks – like having water leaking in through the windows, or making the walls creak from the pressure – in addition to the usual flickering lights and distant screams. Irrational also knew how to handle irony and awkward juxtaposition, too. Watching a little girl in a pink dress who’s stabbing corpses with a giant syringe get attacked by a bunch of lunatics wielding rusty pipes is unsettling. It’s even more unsettling when it all unfolds as “How Much Is That Doggy in the Window?” plays on an old turntable in the background.
Suskie's avatar
Portal (PC)

Portal review (PC)

Reviewed on August 04, 2008

For a game that toys with such an inventive idea, it gets it miraculously spot-on in one attempt. The whole thing is strikingly intuitive, meaning that within ten minutes you've grasped the fundamental concepts of the whole thing, and your progression is simply down to your thinking power. Solutions are often abstract or lateral, but never illogical, meaning there's a sense of reward for every one completed. The difficulty and complexity curves are handled brilliantly, with the introduction of the portals themselves coming a while before you get your hands on the fantastic portal device, and the puzzles themselves always a logical progression from the previous one. It's always fast-paced, always interesting, and always stupendously entertaining.
Lewis's avatar
Women’s Volleyball Championship (PlayStation 2)

Women’s Volleyball Championship review (PS2)

Reviewed on August 04, 2008

It's so frustratingly unpredictable that you begin to feel like you're not even playing. Why do the players respond so poorly to your commands? Why do you have so little control over where the ball goes? How is it that your teammates are more likely to excel if you just press the button once or twice per round and then leave them to their own devices the rest of the time? I just don't know, and nothing in the tutorials answered such queries.
honestgamer's avatar
SNK Arcade Classics: Vol. 1 (Wii)

SNK Arcade Classics: Vol. 1 review (WII)

Reviewed on August 04, 2008

... A compilation burdened by games that don’t showcase why players loved SNK so much in the days of the arcade. While there’s definitely some good content here, Vol. 1 feels like a missed opportunity...
Chacranajxy's avatar
Pro Cycling Manager/Tour de France 2008 (PC)

Pro Cycling Manager/Tour de France 2008 review (PC)

Reviewed on August 04, 2008

The premise of being a cycling manager preparing for the Tour de France is a simple one: Find a team; Train them until they threaten to quit; Find a sponsor; Win.
Melaisis's avatar
Jet Force Gemini (Nintendo 64)

Jet Force Gemini review (N64)

Reviewed on August 03, 2008

I’m generally okay with fetch quests – hell, half of my N64 career was positively made of fetch quests – but Rare bumps it up a notch. They obscure some of the Tribals from regular view. The others are thrown out into the open, where they’re more likely to get killed by stray gunfire. What’s worse is that worlds are divided into districts, and you’ve got to collect all of an area’s Tribals before you leave. If an area has ten Tribals and you save nine, you can’t come back later and rescue the one that you missed. You’ve got to get them all in one fell swoop. It’s not simply tiring – it’s exhausting.
Suskie's avatar
Racing Team Manager (PC)

Racing Team Manager review (PC)

Reviewed on August 02, 2008

Racing Team Manager is probably the most counter-intuitive and frustratingly illogical game I've ever played. There are no tutorials or help buttons, which is a bad idea anyway, but when all of the option screens seem to rely on bizarre icons or abbreviations for everything, it's simply absurd. It took me about fifteen minutes to work out why it wouldn't enter my car for the first race. It turned out it didn't have an engine in it. I only worked this out by clicking, then double-clicking, then clicking and pressing 'automatic' (which seems to sometimes set up a bit of your car by itself) in a desperate attempt for something to happen. Management games should involve careful, strategic planning and fine-tuning. This felt like playing Myst.
Lewis's avatar
The World Ends with You (DS)

The World Ends with You review (DS)

Reviewed on August 02, 2008

The game kept going, for much longer than I had anticipated. Here, Neku finally met his arc and became a likeable character … and my adventure was far from over. It is here that you will actually start caring for Neku as a character, and it is here that The World Ends with You truly begins. How clever you are, Jupiter. You present us with an evolution in character most would save for the very end, and you just keep on going.
Suskie's avatar
Order Up! (Wii)

Order Up! review (WII)

Reviewed on August 01, 2008

Despite the solid selection of dishes on hand, cooking for the same motley assortment can get old after awhile and the game doesn't really offer much relief. About the only exceptions are a few mini-games. One has you flicking rats that run along the screen. Another has you quickly scrubbing plates under the eye of the watchful health inspector. Then there are the ones where you must move the Wii Remote to shake your workers awake when the going gets tough. These are nice diversions that fit the humorous cooking theme quite well, but there simply aren't enough of them to entirely dispel the monotony that is inherent to a title of this nature.
honestgamer's avatar
Journey Escape (Atari 2600)

Journey Escape review (A2600)

Reviewed on July 31, 2008

Run into the Kool-Aid man (who supposedly represents your manager, but the dudes in the band were probably on so much blow they couldn't tell the difference) and you'll get money and be invulnerable to anything with that band member, making it child's play to run right to the vehicle.
overdrive's avatar
Keystone Kapers (Atari 2600)

Keystone Kapers review (A2600)

Reviewed on July 31, 2008

More distressing are the toy planes. Taking one of those upside the head is enough to send a Kop down for the count. And, as you might expect, Harry is 100 percent immune to all of these distractions as he merrily dashes for freedom.
overdrive's avatar
Dragon Ball Z: Burst Limit (Xbox 360)

Dragon Ball Z: Burst Limit review (X360)

Reviewed on July 31, 2008

The previous games, while encyclopedia-like in scope, were pretty ho-hum as far as actual playability. They ran the gamut of problems from being hardcore button mashers to having an awkward camera. When your fighting game has an awkward camera, it's probably time to start over anyway. And in this case, they went right down to the basics...
dragoon_of_infinity's avatar
Etrian Odyssey II: Heroes of Lagaard (DS)

Etrian Odyssey II: Heroes of Lagaard review (DS)

Reviewed on July 29, 2008

As you become proficient with the tools provided, the game and its challenges evolve. You'll rely on the bottom screen to let you know where you are in relation to horrific monsters called FOEs that have wandered down the tower from much later areas. There's only one term for any of these guys the first time you meet them: badass. Surviving one round of combat is often impossible. They'll mop the floor with you. However, they can—and generally should—be avoided.
honestgamer's avatar
Avernum 5 (PC)

Avernum 5 review (PC)

Reviewed on July 27, 2008

But maybe even more than that, the Avernum series sets itself apart from the legions of other fantasy CRPGs with its phenomenal milieu; an Empire soldier might not want to trudge through miles of winding underground caverns, with their unique ecosystems and civilizations and problems, but I sure do.
viridian_moon's avatar
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (GameCube)

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess review (GCN)

Reviewed on July 24, 2008

There comes a point when Link gains the ability to transform at will, which does wonders to rid Twilight of its biggest flaw. Not only does this keep the game from forcing players into lengthy non-human segments, but it allows you to more delicately appreciate the simple joys that the wolf provides, like following scent trails and digging holes through walls. It is at this point that the wolf mechanic works for the game, not against it, and that’s when Twilight becomes the full-blown masterpiece it was meant to be.
Suskie's avatar

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