February 2004 Archives

Publisher: Frogwares/Micro Application
Developer: Viva Adventure (Viva Media)


Platform: PC
Reviewed on PC

Windows System Requirements: Pentium III 500 MHz, 64 MB RAM, 16 MB 3D video card, 700 MB HD space, 8x CD-ROM, Windows 98 or more recent operating system

Ariane is a travel photographer on assignment to capture the rugged beauty of Iceland. On her shoot she quickly becomes trapped when the helicopter that dropped her on a remote ledge in a volcanic crater is ruined by collapsing rocks. What should be a simple rescue is complicated when Ariane falls into a darkened crevasse and descends deep into the crust and unconsciousness. When she awakens, she is trapped in a second, inhabitable world at the Center of the Earth! Not only do dinosaurs roam the improbable landscape, but there is a city constructed by 19th century scientists who wanted to hide from the world and "live their scientific ideals undisturbed," joined by an ancient and mystical culture of giants.

While Ariane strives to escape from the world below the surface and composes the story of her career, the political landscape on the surface is quickly deteriorating. China and North Korea have formed an alliance and appear to be facing off against the rest of the world. News alerts on Ariane's laptop computer suggest a Cold War-style conflict, but officials beneath the surface are trying to spin the conflict as a global shooting war, and may try to lay some of the blame on Ariane's shoulders!

Saitek R440 Wheel Review

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Company: Saitek

Platform: PC
Windows System Requirements: Pentium 133 MHz, USB Port, Windows 98 or more recent operating system

The Saitek R440 Wheel is Saitek's latest entry in the realm of PC wheel controllers. The total package includes a wheel unit with four buttons and two side paddles, as well as a two pedal floor unit. It supports force feedback and is customizable to support most games.

by Kyle Ackerman


I had a chance to sit down with Loren Kaiser, Vice President of Operations for Digital Interactive Systems Corp. (DISC) and see some prototypes of DISCover game consoles. DISC provides technology to companies so they can build console-like units that play PC games on a television set. I realize you've had a lot of questions about this product – read on to find out a bit more about the company, its product, and playing PC games on the TV.

Publisher: Enlight
Developer: Enlight


Platform: PC
Reviewed on PC
Windows System Requirements: Pentium III 800 MHz, 256 MB RAM, GeForce 2/ATI Radeon or better video card, 1.1 GB HD space, 4x CD ROM, Windows 98 or more recent operating system

Joan of Arc is most famous for being the serious movie role that pretty actresses take in order to legitimize their careers, when all it does is show how bad they look without fancy makeup. She is second most famous for leading the resistance against the English invasion of France in the Hundred Years War. Wars & Warriors: Joan of Arc focuses on the historical Joan of Arc, but it will take a strong person to play through the whole game without picturing Milla Jovovich sporting a bowl-cut. Especially now.

Publisher: Playtechtonics
Developer: Playtechtonics


Platform: PC
Reviewed on PC
Windows System Requirements: Pentium 400 MHz, 64 MB RAM, 16 MB video card, internet connection
Official site: starportgame.com

As has been described in our review criteria, FI is very much in favor of free games. Pretty much everyone loves free, so we take the price of a game at release into account when rating games. You can download the client software for Starport: Galactic Empires (S:GE) at no cost (save the time to download just under 60 MB of data), and start playing immediately. The hook for this simple, multiplayer game of strategy, combat and exploration is that after two weeks, the persistent world ends, and the player with most experience wins. Then everything begins anew, giving players a chance to conquer an all-new galaxy.

Champions of Norrath Review

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Publisher: Sony Online Entertainment
Developer: Snowblind Studios


Platform: PlayStation 2
Reviewed on PlayStation 2

Hundreds of years before the events of EverQuest, the Wood Elves of Kelethin are threatened by an army of goblins and orcs. King Liethkorias is desperate for the aid of a few heroes to turn the tide of battle. Players start in the treetops of Faydwer, embarking on a quest that will ultimately extend to the Planes themselves, with the fate of Norrath depending on the strength of those very heroes.

Publisher: .400 Software Studios
Developer: .400 Software Studios


Platform: PC
Reviewed on PC

Windows System Requirements: Pentium II 500 MHz, 64 MB RAM, 60 MB HD space, CD-ROM Drive, 1024x768 display capability, Windows 95 or more recent operating system

Total Pro Basketball, from .400 Software Studios, follows largely the same concept as Total Pro Football 2004. The game puts you in charge of a basketball franchise, in the role of general manager, so that you can lead your team through seasons of glory by making all the right personnel decisions, while at the same time allowing you to make the in-game decisions of a head coach during each game. As general manager, you'll have to manage player salaries, trade players, sign free agents, make the correct choices in the annual draft, and make the right off-season moves to get your franchise to the league's upper echelon. In the role of coach, you'll have to manage your lineup, monitoring your players' fatigue level, and tinker with your team's offensive and defensive game plans. Overall, Total Pro Basketball is a solid title, though it falls short of the heights achieved by its gridiron relative.

Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: Ubisoft


Platform: PlayStation 2, GameCube
Reviewed on PlayStation 2

Giant trucks jumping! Big wheels crunching! Rednecks cheering! All this and more can be yours in Monster 4x4: Masters of Metal, officially stamped with the Monster Jam seal of approval. Race the national monster truck circuit; go off-road with a gadget-augmented truck for the entertainment of a crazed millionaire; perform insane stunts for the roar of the crowd; and then grab a friend, some beer, and smash the daylights out of each other. All without the hazards of inhaling carbon monoxide inside a domed stadium.

Blade & Sword Review

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Publisher: Whiptail Interactive
Developer: Pixel Studio


Platform: PC
Reviewed on PC
Windows System Requirements: Pentium II 266 MHz, 128 MB RAM, 4 MB video card, 1.4 GB HD space

In Ancient China, amidst a war between two empires, a malicious Wizard Wen executes one dying Emperor's last wish – to open up the boundaries between the Human, Beast, and Demon realms, thus making the world he's leaving behind unlivable for all. Only a true hero can step up to the task of protecting the humans and defeating the beasts, demons, and the Wizard Wen. China is hoping that hero is you.

Publisher: .400 Software Studios
Developer: .400 Software Studios


Platform: PC
Reviewed on PC

Windows System Requirements: Pentium II 500 MHz, 64 MB RAM, 1024x768 display resolution, 60 MB HD space, CD-ROM Drive, Windows 95 or more recent operating system

Football gamers are no doubt familiar with the undisputed champ of the console football game wars – Madden. The glitz and glamour of the Madden franchise has evolved over the years to the point where the Madden Bowl championship game was broadcast on G4TV, becoming the first video sports game broadcast in its entirety. Sega's ESPN NFL Football, Microsoft's NFL Fever, and 989's NFL Gameday, all seek to dethrone the competition by competing with it head-to-head, and thus far, haven't been able to do so. .400 Software Studios, publishing for the PC, doesn't attempt to compete with Madden, but instead offers a completely different type of game with Total Pro Football. Whereas the console football games all try to one-up each other with better graphics, tighter gameplay, and options such as "first person football" and "owner mode," Total Pro Football is one giant football league simulation. You can customize everything from your team's city and mascot, to its style of play, gameplan, and how much time it focuses on certain areas of play in practice. The experience can be time-consuming, as your duties will include those of owner, general manager, and head coach, both during the game, during the season, and during the off-season. But if you're looking for a game that offers you absolute control over every aspect of your football league, Total Pro Football is just about perfect.

Publisher: Atari
Developer: Secret Level


Platform: Xbox, PC
Reviewed on Xbox

The imaginary battles of the Magic: The Gathering collectible card game are brought to life in 3D and in real-time as Magic: The Gathering – Battlegrounds. The basic rules of the card game are adapted into an action-heavy, real-time format that pits your wizard against ever-stronger opponents in arena battles. And when you're done beating up on the AI, Xbox Live! compatibility lets you try your hand against real people. Come equipped with the fastest trigger finger this side of the Pecos or don't come at all. Wizards don't take prisoners.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from February 2004 listed from newest to oldest.

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