May 2003 Archives

Publisher: Interplay/Vivendi Universal Games
Developer: Digital Mayhem

Platform: Xbox, PlayStation 2
Reviewed on Xbox

Nick Conner is a former pilot turned deep space miner stationed on the Forseti Space Station with his fiancée, Dr. Samantha Reilly. Set in the near future, Nick returns from a routine mining expedition to find that the day's supply ship brought some unwanted guests, and after witnessing his assistant's slaughter at the hands (and teeth) of a savage alien beast, he is forced into a tense battle, requiring wits and a whole heck of a lot of fire-power.

insTand Table Review

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Company: insTand
Platform: N/A (It is a platform.)
Official Site:

With the dramatic improvements in mobile computing that have taken place in recent years, more users are relying on laptop computers. The convenience of a laptop also means folks are looking to make the computing experience as comfortable as possible while lounging in computer unfriendly locations such as on the couch or in bed. To that end, insTand manufactures two lap desks for your computing comfort.

Publisher: Universal Interactive
Developer: Blue Tongue

Platforms: PC, Xbox, PlayStation 2
Reviewed on PC

Windows System Requirements: Pentium III 400 MHz, 128 MB RAM, 16 MB 3D video card, 700 MB HD space

No need to watch the Jurassic Park movie when you can live it. Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis presents you with the opportunity to succeed where John Hammond failed and build your own five-star theme park based around live dinosaurs. Rendered in full 3D, you develop a barren Pacific island into an active theme park. Keep your customers happy and, most of all, keep them secure. Dinosaurs behave realistically, so choose your exhibits wisely. A Tyrannosaurus in a pen of hapless herbivores soon becomes a Tyrannosaurus in a pen by himself.

Publisher: Gotham Games (Take-Two Interactive)
Developer: Pivotal Games

Platform: Xbox, PlayStation 2, GameCube, PC
Reviewed on GameCube

Iraq invaded Kuwait in the summer of 1990. The following winter, international forces drove Iraqi troops out of the wealthy but small nation of Kuwait in an effort dubbed Desert Storm. Take on the role of U.S. or U.K. special forces to perform critical operations, ranging from saving the Emir of Kuwait to freeing allied prisoners of war to eliminating Iraqi SCUD launchers before they can bombard Israel. As part of the SAS or Delta Force, you lead a four-man team into action based on the most dangerous and important phases of Desert Storm.

by Kyle Ackerman

Formerly a high-energy physicist, Seamus Blackley turned his innovative spirit and fascination with technology toward gaming, becoming one of the industry's prime movers. He has worked with Looking Glass Technologies on titles such as Ultima Underworld and System Shock, and brought Microsoft's console, the Xbox, from conception to market. After leaving Microsoft, Blackley was one of four founders of Capital Entertainment Group (CEG), a production company for games. According to CEG's mission statement, "By marrying direct financing with a highly predictable, professionally creative production model, CEG is able to invest in the innovative games that many publishers cannot, while still managing financial risk."

I was fortunate to sit down with Blackley for a few minutes at the D.I.C.E. Summit (Design, Innovate, Communicate, Entertain) held by the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences on February 27 and 28, 2003 in Las Vegas. There, he gave a talk tactfully called "No, You're Wrong," in which he argued that the gaming industry has "evolved into a broken state that's holding us all down." The problem as he sees it is that communications have broken down between developers and publishers. Publishers are mostly publicly traded companies, beholden to investors. Publishing games entails a lot of money and risk, but investors demand that publishers produce predictable revenue with low risk. Revenue targets, retailers' expectations, risk management and investor expectations all complicate publishers' relationship with developers. At the same time, developers often game the process of making games, designing products geared at their publishers rather than their audiences. Developers may even resort to manipulating milestones and delivery dates to ensure that funds for a game project continue to flow. Such institutional dishonesty can only hurt the games.

Publisher: Vivendi Universal Games
Developer: Vicarious Visions

Platform: Game Boy Advance
Reviewed on Game Boy Advance

Crash Bandicoot has often been forced to deal with the sinister Dr. Neo Cortex, on battlegrounds of Cortex's choosing, forcing Crash to jump, dodge, swim, drive and perform an astounding array of athletic feats to put an end to Cortex's schemes. This time, Dr. Neo Cortex has been banished to deep space, but evil always lurks somewhere, and Dr. Nefarious Tropy has plans of his own. N. Tropy has used his mastery of space and time to enlist the aid of N. Trance, who has hypnotized Crash's sister Coco and the super-bandicoot Crush. Now, Crash's former allies are being forced to do battle with Crash and do the bidding of anyone with a name beginning in N.

Publisher: ValuSoft (THQ)
Developer: City Interactive

Platform: PC
Reviewed on PC
Windows System Requirements: Pentium III 600 MHz, 64 MB RAM, 12x CD ROM, 32 MB 3D Graphics Card

Nina is the product of intense training and mysterious genetics. Not only is she an expert operative, capable of working alone deep in hostile territory, she is also a psychic, able to pry sensitive information from the unwilling minds of her enemies. Because of her unique skills, she has been chosen to engage in a series of missions to infiltrate and eliminate a terrorist threat that spans the globe. Beginning by thwarting turbaned terrorists creating biological weapons in a desert setting, Nina works her way to Kiev in the Ukraine and beyond to unravel the terrorists' heinous schemes.

Advance Wars Review

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Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Intelligent Systems

Platform: Game Boy Advance
Reviewed on Game Boy Advance

Lead and advise the Orange Star army against incursions into their territory by Blue Moon forces, the Green Earth armies, and others, to ultimately face a mysterious and manipulative foe. If the campaign itself isn't enough, fight pick-up battles or compete head-to-head with human opponents, unlocking extra generals and scores of maps along the way.

Publisher: Acclaim
Developer: Criterion Games

Platforms: Xbox, PlayStation 2 and GameCube
Reviewed on GameCube

Race all you want on highways and city streets – Burnout 2 has racing, but sometimes crashing is the best part of the competition.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from May 2003 listed from newest to oldest.

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