Review: April 2004 Archives

NBA Ballers Review

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Publisher: Midway
Developer: Midway


Platforms: Xbox, PlayStation 2
Reviewed on PlayStation 2

NBA Ballers continues a proud videogame tradition of one-on-one basketball that dates from Jordan vs. Bird – but it offers significantly more flavor. From the gritty hardtops of street courts like New York City's Rucker Park, to the glitzy settings of scenic outdoor courts like Miami Beach, you'll need to bring your A-game's skill and style to get through the contests. In addition to paying your dues on the playground, you'll have the opportunity to lace up your sneakers against NBA stars past and present. Play your way to the top through competitions, earning new gear, skills, accessories, even new home courts.

Publisher: Global Star Software (Take-Two Interactive)
Developer: Climax


Platform: PlayStation 2, GameCube
Reviewed on PlayStation 2

"Ever since the discovery of ancient Sirian artifacts at the beginning of the 21st century, Earth and its solar system have attracted the attention of the evil being known as Mental. Countless times he has sent his hordes of depraved monsters to attack humanity, beaming them back in time to steal the power of the Sirians.

"And each time, one man has stood in the way of evil. One man, standing tall in the fight against those that would wipe us from the face of the universe. That man?

"Serious Sam... Armed only with his pistol, and his signature T-shirt and jeans to protect him from the elements, Sam is launched back in time..."

Publisher: Gathering (Take-Two Interactive)
Developer: Studio 33


Platform: PlayStation 2
Reviewed on PlayStation 2

Destruction Derby Arenas brings smash-'em-up demolition-derby-style races and arena combat to the PlayStation 2. Grab one of twenty cars and twist some steel with your front fender, online or offline.

Corvette Review

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Publisher: Global Star Software (Take-Two Interactive)
Developer: Steel Monkeys


Platforms: Xbox, PlayStation 2
Reviewed on PlayStation 2

Any PlayStation 2 auto racing game is going to be compared to the Gran Turismo series. There are many excellent PS2 racers, but GT has always stood head and shoulders above the rest and became the yardstick by which other games are measured. There are many imitators, such as Corvette, but Corvette adds some ingredients to the mix that merit a look: First, the complete focus on the Chevrolet Corvette series allows players to race every production model (and some custom models) from 1953 to the present day. Second, it's only ten bucks. So how does a ten-dollar game measure up?

Publisher: Reflexive Entertainment
Developer: Reflexive Entertainment


Platform: PC
Reviewed on PC

Windows System Requirements: Pentium II 400 MHz, 64 MB RAM Ricochet: Lost Worlds refines the basic paddle and ball game of brick destruction, adding fun power-ups and levels emulating classic games. For the price, this Arkanoid-style game is a lot of game and a lot of fun.

Mafia Review

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Publisher: Gathering (Take-Two Interactive)
Developer: Illusion Softworks


Platform: PC, Xbox, PlayStation 2
Reviewed on Xbox

The 1930s are hardly nostalgic for Tommy Angelo, a city-kid-turned-mobster looking for a way out. In Mafia, you play as Tommy through a series of flashbacks, and contemplate what it means to be a gangster during the Great Depression, complete with classic cars, guns, and a burgeoning jazz scene. Mafia is a third-person action/adventure game with elements of driving and exploration. Although it sounds familiar to fans of the combination of driving and murdering popularized by the Grand Theft Auto games, Mafia's atmosphere distinguishes it.

Publisher: Acclaim
Developer: Acclaim


Platforms: Xbox and PlayStation 2
Reviewed on Xbox

Acclaim's All-Star Baseball series has long been lauded as the most in-depth Major League Baseball game available – the ultimate experience for hardcore baseball fans. Last year, EA Sports tried to close the gap with its new franchise, MVP Baseball, but due to ASB's inclusion of minor league rosters, and the incredible level of detail within its franchise mode (for example, the presence of the league commissioner and GM offices) All-Star Baseball remained the deepest, richest experience for absolute baseball fanatics. This year, Acclaim presents All-Star Baseball 2005, promising the same level of intricate detail and boasting a new FielderCam, which offers new camera angles in the field to put the gamer deeper into the game than ever before.

Painkiller Review

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Publisher: Dreamcatcher Interactive
Developer: People Can Fly


Platform: PC
Reviewed on PC

Windows System Requirements: Pentium III 1.5 GHz, 384 MB RAM, 64 MB 3D video card, DirectX 8.1, 1.2 GB HD space, 4x CD-ROM

Painkiller has its own theology – a vaguely Christian vision, tweaked just enough to be the perfect setting for shoot-'em-up action. This is a Hellish version of purgatory, where souls that straddle the delicate divide between purity and evil reside until they are forgiven by an angel and admitted to Heaven or harvested forever by a demon. This realm is no featureless landscape, filled with gray mists. Rather, it is a dark and twisted version of the mortal world, with visions of the mortal plane ranging from a late medieval village to Venice to the Zurich train station, twisted and deranged by their proximity to the forces of Hell. This realm has always been perilous, but now Lucifer is covertly manifesting soldiers of his armies under four generals to prepare an assault on Heaven. Heaven wishes to avoid direct intervention lest it initiate the very conflict it is trying to avoid. So, Daniel Garner, thirty years dead, has been chosen as a lone commando to assassinate Hell's generals and dissipate Hell's gathering forces. His reward: ascension to Heaven and reunion with his wife.

Gangland Review

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Publisher: Whiptail Interactive
Developer: MediaMobsters


Platform: PC
Reviewed on PC
Windows System Requirements: Pentium III 600 MHz, 128 MB RAM, 32 MB video card, DirectX 9, 12x CD ROM drive, 1 GB HD space

Mario Mangano's brother Chico was killed – gunned down in the street, presumably by his three other brothers who fled to America after murdering him. Mario's uncle, Vincenzo, has finally sighted the brothers while taking care of the Family's business in Paradise City. Eager to repay his brothers for their crime, Mario departs for Paradise City to work for Vincenzo and track down his fugitive siblings. The new world opens new possibilities for Mario – while searching for Romano, Angelo and Sonny, Mario can start a new dynasty in Paradise City – a vice-ridden town ripe with cash.

Bomberman Jetters Review

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Publisher: Majesco Games
Developer: Hudson Soft


Platform: GameCube
Reviewed on GameCube

The Hige Hige (pronounced "hig-ee hig-ee") Bandits have a new plan to destroy Planet Bomber. They plan on crashing the Dark Star, an artificial comet powered by massive engines, into Planet Bomber, eradicating Bomberman, his friends and myriad mysterious creatures called Charabom. Once again exhibiting their trademark cleverness, the Hige Hige Bandits had dubbed this plan "Obliterate Planet Bomber." Bomberman, with the aid of his friends, the Jetters, must sneak onto the Dark Star and shut down the four engines that are powering its collision course to save Planet Bomber.

Worms 3D Review

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Publisher: Acclaim
Developer: Team 17


Platforms: PC, Xbox, PlayStation 2 and GameCube
Reviewed on PlayStation 2

The Worms series of turn-based strategy games has had gamers leading teams of aggressive annelids to victory against their kin for years, aided by wicked and wacky weapons. It doesn't take much to figure out what Worms 3D brings to the franchise: it's three-dimensional. Worms has always added a sense of the absurd to worm warfare, with weapons ranging from the conventional Bazooka and Uzi to exploding Super Sheep and deadly Concrete Donkey weapons. You can even send the doddering, explosive Old Woman at the opposing forces to blast a crater in the landscape.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries in the Review category from April 2004.

Review: March 2004 is the previous archive.

Review: May 2004 is the next archive.

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