August 2002 Archives
Reviewed on Xbox
There's no fancy story to report here, no role-playing or adventure elements. This is arcade action in its purest form. Broadly, you'll engage in two types of activities – stunts and demolition. Stunt events sometimes take the form of bus-jumping challenges (you know, line up some buses, run your car up a ramp, hope you make it to the other side). Most of the time, however, stunt-type activities are woven into the demolition derby events which make up the bulk of game events. The point of a demolition derby is to smash up other people's cars using only your car (and your driving skill) as a weapon. Several different rulesets for the demolition contests offer a variety of experiences. Sometimes, you'll play a free-for-all contest either to get the highest score or simply to be the last man standing. Other times, you might play a hunter contest in which one unlucky driver is "it," and you only score by smashing into him. Other varieties of game abound, and the options expand further when you add in split-screen multiplayer. Like most driving games these days, you must play the single-player career mode to unlock new tracks and new cars, which may then also be used in multiplayer mode.
Developer: Digital Eel
Reviewed on PC
Windows System Requirements: Pentium II 350 MHz, 32 MB RAM, 16 MB HD space
Official site: digital-eel.com/sais/
A new era of space exploration is about to dawn as soon as Galicticorp perfects a faster-than-light Thorium Fission Drive, and you're an unemployed space pilot. The Exploration Pact of 4578 limited exploration and travel outside of the home colony system of Glory until the new drive is complete around 4590, but a wealthy smuggler has a deal for you. He'll provide you with a crew and a military corvette, modified for exploration. In return for breaking the law, you get to command a ten year mission to bring back as much wealth and knowledge as you can collect before the pact expires. Space, however, can be a dangerous place. You not only have to make it back in time, you have to survive the perils of Infinite Space to make it back in one piece.
Developer: DreamQuest Software
Platforms: PC, PDA, Mobile
Reviewed on PC
Windows System Requirements: Pentium Processor, 32 MB RAM
DreamQuest has produced three card games under the Championship label – Championship Hearts, Championship Spades and Championship Euchre. Each card game is represented in its traditional mode of play along with standard variants. Hearts, Spades and Euchre are available for purchase and download separately or as a bundle in a "buy two, get one free" deal. PDA versions are available for both the Palm OS and Pocket PC. The games are also available for certain Nokia cell phones. (Note: The version used in this review for each of the games is Version 4.55.)
Developer: Ronin Entertainment
Reviewed on Xbox
Play Bruce Lee as he undertakes the mission of rescuing his kidnapped father and retrieving the stolen Golden Relic, a powerful marital arts artifact. As Bruce, you'll fight through various stages and waves of enemies, triggering cinematic cut-scenes used to advance the game's adventure elements. When you defeat enemies, you'll pick up tokens that you can use to purchase extra health, attack power or new fighting moves to use on your hapless opponents. The fighting moves are taken from Jeet Kun Do, the fighting style developed by Bruce Lee himself. But don't plan on battling your friends – Quest of the Dragon is a single-player-only game.
It's almost a microcosm of the state of gaming in our culture. Stuffed in between the narrow walls of Uncle Nick's, a Greek restaurant in the Hell's Kitchen area of New York, sits Bill Roper, Vice President of Blizzard Entertainment. At the next table over, mere inches away, sits a youngish couple. Once the couple sees that an interview is being conducted, they pause every so often to try to determine whether they're sitting next to someone famous. They are. But they never seem to realize it. Blizzard sold to retailers roughly $200 million worth of its latest game, Warcraft III. Two weeks after its release, more than 1 million copies had been sold to consumers. And not even Roper's logo-emblazoned Blizzard bowling shirt rings any bells for the neighboring couple. Gaming just still isn't mainstream.