12/11/2006

ALL GAMED OUT

The video games are arriving thick and past as the Christmas release schedule starts to kick in. Below are some of my truncated reviews from the Herald of some of the recent big titles. I'm still hooked on Flight Simulator x, which I suspect will run slightly better when I upgrade to 1GB of RAM. Some big titles are still to come including: Splinter Cell - Double Agent and Age of Empires III: The War Chiefs.

Microsoft Flight Simulator X (Deluxe Edition) (PC)
Censor's classification: G
Herald rating: 5/5Pros: Every aspect of flying is re-created to produce the most realistic simulator on the market. Choose to take off from one of 24,000 airports and take scenic flights over the world's best known landmarks.
Cons: This game is an immersive experience and you need to put in some work to get the best out of it.
Verdict: An impressive leap forward for Microsoft's successful flight simulator.

Killzone: Liberation (PSP)

Herald rating: 4/5

Pros: A third-person action fighter with impressive graphics and challenging missions. Autosave points make it ideal for short gaming bouts.
Cons: This game has a straightforward premise and a slightly arcade-like look. It's often difficult to keep track of the action on the small screen.
Verdict: Has lush graphics and sound, and a storyline that will keep both fans and newcomers interested.
Censor's classification: 16+


B-Boy (PS2)
Herald rating: * * *
Pros: Once learned, the breakdancing moves are impressive to watch and the story and arcade modes work well.
Cons: B-Boy will have limited appeal for gamers seeking the storytelling and gaming action of other genres.
Verdict: There's no shooting or punching, the aim instead is to breakdance your way through street fights. A novel idea that doesn't quite sustain a full-length game.

Test Drive Unlimited (Xbox 360)
Herald rating: * * * *
Pros: The Hawaiian island of Oahu has been mapped in minute detail giving a realistic and picturesque backdrop and plenty of coastal roads to traverse. The 90 cars available look great and handle well.
Cons: The artificial intelligence of other computer-controlled cars on the road is patchy, making the single player game less enjoyable that venturing online for group races.
Verdict: It's fun, fast and offers an exhilarating style of street racing.


Mercury Meltdown (PSP)

Herald rating: * * * *
Pros: The fluid movement of the mercury is convincing and the games levels are well structured to keep the tension high. The graphics make it one of the better puzzle games for the PSP.
Cons: Levels are variations on the same liquid theme.
Verdict: Race against the clock to save globs of mercury disappearing into a bizarre, futuristic landscape. A fun puzzler that looks great.
Censor's classification: G

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