September 2003 Archives
Developer: Digital Eel
Official Site: digital-eel.com/blox
Platform: PC, Mac
Reviewed on PCX
Windows System Requirements: Pentium II 350 MHz, 64 MB RAM, OpenGL 1.1 compatible video card, DirectX 6, 25 MB HD space
Digital Eel's latest effort is a "psychedelic puzzle game with easy-going yet challenging gameplay, groovy sounds and music, and trippy art." Demolish blocks by matching patterns before they fill the screen and end your fun.
Developer: S2 Games
Reviewed on PC
Windows System Requirements: Pentium 600 MHz, 128 MB RAM, 32 MB video card, internet connection
The Beasts battle the Humans in this blend of first-person shooter and real-time strategy. Savage is a multiplayer only, team-based game in which you play either as a foot soldier (and take on the traditional first-person shooter role) or as your team's commander, viewing the game and issuing orders through a familiar real-time strategy interface. Build your base, knock down the other guy's, and the day is yours.
Authors: Rusel DeMaria and Johnny L. Wilson
Details: Paperback, 328 pages
Perhaps you didn't realize it, but the computer and video game industry only recently came into its own sufficiently to become the subject of coffee table books and illustrated retrospectives. High Score!: The Illustrated History of Electronic Games is one of the tomes that has stepped in to fill the void with hundreds of photographs, box covers, posters and other art, accompanied by simple anecdotes that bring the history of computer gaming to life.
Developer: Infinite Ventures
Platform: Any DVD-enabled device (DVD Player, PC or DVD-capable console)
Reviewed on DVD Player
Official Site: draculaunleashed.com
At the close of the 19th century, Alexander Morris leaves Texas to follow his brother Quincy's footsteps, investigating evils that stalk the Earth and took Quincy's life. Alexander's greatest challenge is to avoid following his brother's fate – a cold grave. Father Janos, a Romanian priest, recommended that Alexander investigate the mysterious circumstances of Quincy's death. All the while, the London papers are filled with tales of grisly murder, livestock with punctured throats and a pale woman wandering late at night. This leaves Alexander in mortal peril as he explores London in the winter of 1899.
Developer: Acclaim Studios Cheltenham
Platform: Xbox, PlayStation 2, GameCube
Reviewed on PlayStation 2
Extreme G Racing Association (XGRA) takes you to the opening of the 2080 season of the Extreme Gravity Racing Association. The XGRA is the governing body for gravity racing throughout the solar system (with tracks as far away as Saturn's orbit). Carried exclusively on the Sports Interactive News Network (SiNN), XGRA is the high-speed cycle bloodsport of the future – today. Start with a racer in the opening invitational, sign a contract with one of the sport's many corporate sponsors and move on to the higher classes of futuristic competition.
Developer: High Voltage Software
Platform: PlayStation 2
Reviewed on PlayStation 2
Evil just can't seem to leave the town of Ashcroft alone. Nathaniel Arkady was sentenced to death by electrocution, but when the switch was thrown a rift opened onto the mortal world through which the souls of tormented prisoners streamed. At that moment, four individuals of diverse backgrounds were endowed with the power to see and battle spirits – they became Hunters. After an intense battle they were able to seal the angry souls inside the prison. Only two years ago, a rave was held in the yard of Ashcroft's penitentiary, breaking the seal and once again unleashing zombies, vampires and tormented souls into the mortal town. That second onslaught was stopped by the same, four brave Hunters, granting Ashcroft a brief respite.
While Ashcroft has seemed peaceful, and the church (once desecrated by a giant, possessed teddy bear) has been restored, darkness has coalesced just beneath the surface. During these last two years, two Hunters of the Wayward creed noticed growing cult activity. A local witch's lust for power has attracted the attentions of a much more sinister being that is determined to expand its domain into the mortal realm (the "skinlands"). When everything in Ashcroft once again reverts to terror and the undead wander the streets to the domain of the few innocents still unmolested, these two Hunters have just enough time to send for help before being taken. Now the four Hunters who originally cleaned up Ashcroft are back, and if they're lucky, they might even get some local help from the Wayward Hunters on the way to face a sinister and ancient evil.
If you find yourself wishing, as you sit in an extended session at your PC, that your mouse hand could be slightly cooler, Nyko has designed a product expressly for you. Whether you spend your time lingering over Powerpoint presentations or real-time strategy games, the Air Flo Mouse pumps air over your palm as you work or play.
New York, New York
The tour's official site: www.nintendofusiontour.com
It's no wonder Nintendo is sponsoring a tour headlined by Evanescence. The band is certainly popular – enough to completely fill Webster Hall in New York City with a screaming crowd – but that alone doesn't explain Nintendo's interest in sharing the marquee. Amy Lee, vocalist and front woman for Evanescence, strode onto the stage in a dress like Alice's (of Wonderland), but in pink and white, with sneakers and a single striped stocking on her right leg. The white parts of the dress were defaced with magic marker words and phrases such as "psycho," "slut," "I Will Endure," "woman" and "Insane." She described her outfit to the crowd as innocence destroyed and defaced. To the crowd at Webster Hall, she was more than a music idol – she's part of Nintendo's bid for adulthood.
Developer: Monte Cristo
Reviewed on PC
Windows System Requirements: Pentium 500 MHz, 128 MB RAM, 32 MB 3D video card
Real-time strategy takes a break from orcs and aliens long enough to explore the real-life challenge of fighting fires. Playing as the members of the 615th Fire Station, you'll tackle a series of missions ranging from urban office buildings to railroad chemical spills and more. Beyond fighting fires, you'll need to rescue victims in various states of injury and try to preserve property from being consumed by ever-reaching flames. Emergency Fire Response is a single-player only game for the PC.
Developer: Aqua Pacific
Platforms: PC and PlayStation 2
Reviewed on PC
Looking to reverse the trend that tennis games never gain popularity, Oxygen Interactive presents Perfect Ace: Pro Tournament Tennis: a game that tries to capture the excitement of international tennis. By way of realism and a wide array of arenas in which to play, Perfect Ace tries to present a videogame that brings the fist-pumping excitement of real-life tennis to the virtual world.
Reviewed on PC
Windows System Requirements: PIII/AMD 500 MHz, 256MB RAM, 32MB Video Card, 16-Bit Sound Card, DirectX 9, 8x CD-ROM, 2.4 GB HD Space
More than twenty years ago, with the help of a sophisticated security program called TRON, game programmer Kevin Flynn prevented an artificial intelligence (A.I.) from taking control of the world's computer systems and everything they influence. Unfortunately, when the Master Control Program was destroyed, the correction algorithms needed to successfully digitize organic life were also lost. Alan Bradley, creator of the original TRON security program, has worked for the last two decades to recreate the correction algorithms needed to transform a person into data still capable of functioning in the digital world. While the algorithms are finally in place, the discovery is not in time to prevent Alan's company from being taken over by Future Control Industries (fCon).
Neither fCon's name nor their intentions are innocent. With control of the digitizing technology, they plan on sending accomplished hackers directly into the networked digital world to unearth and control all valuable data worldwide. Through digital control as well as real-world blackmail and intimidation, fCon expects to seize control of the computer-using world. Fearing abuse of the technology, Alan has hidden the correction algorithms in his laboratory assistant program, Ma3a, and instructed the program to defend itself. Knowing that users are more effective inside the digital world than working through a terminal, Ma3a digitizes Alan's son to come to her defense. Jethro Eugene Bradley (known as Jet) is a skilled programmer and hacker himself, now finds himself inside the computer, working to defend Ma3a, aid his father, and foil fCon's plans of world domination.