Even with a laundry list of Godzilla games, there is only one quintessential giant monster video game and that's Rampage. Midway's classic is admittedly fondly remembered because at its time, it was the only city smasher out there. That doesn't eliminate the need for a remake, and Total Destruction is a fine way to bring the series back.
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If Capcom ever manages to enter an encyclopedia, the definition will be brief:
Classic video game company with a notorious reputation for milking franchises. Also see "Mega Man."
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The hit parade keeps on rollin' for Nintendo's mascot gorilla, with the Gamecube's second bongo-slamming iteration hitting the shelves in the U.S. last year. But the schedule is a little more high-paced in the Japanese market with the country already having three editions of the game in tow. I was able to secure a copy of the import instrumental and have logged several hours into the game and am quite interested in the cultural differences seen between the two versions.
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In the summer of 2004, CAPCOM’s Mega Man Anniversary Collection (MMAC) brought a tear to the eyes of many a gamer who reveled in the innovation and tight game play the Blue Bomber has brought to us since the earlier days of the NES. Not only did the compilation give us all eight games in the original series, but it added a bunch of extras such as segments of the animated series, extra artwork and bonus games. Now after much delay and speculation, the futuristic Mega Man X finds itself thrown into the collection treatment and the result is mediocre at best.
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For its family friendly exterior, Mario Party 7 deals with some complex issues. In this entry to the far-too long running series, Mario and crew take a vacation on a cruise ship. Along with him are archenemies Wario and Waluigi, yet Mario gives Bowser the cold shoulder. There are some deep problems here, including racism (bad Italian stereotypes make it while the dragon is rejected based on the color of his shell), friendship (Bowser and Mario have had their moments), forgetfulness (whatever happened to Wart?) and sharing (after six versions, why is Mario being greedy this time out?).
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Blast ‘em! Use Swords! Avoid Fire! Power Up!
So says the back cover of the latest shooter on the Gamecube, Chaos Field. Appropriately enough, those four imperatives seem to sum up the game quite well. Except for the power up part as there are no power ups in the game…
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Thirty hovercars? Check. Armor? Check. Boosts? Check. Insane loopy levels that whip by with enough speed to shoot up an NFL team? Check.
Sounds like an F-Zero game. Must be. Welcome to F-Zero GX.
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Timesplitters 2 may be a Player's Choice title, but it's one of the most overlooked games on the Gamecube (and PS2 and Xbox). It's a quick single player ride extended by incredibly in depth multi-player and a create-a-map feature. It's a game people will still be playing in a few years, much like the developer's previous effort Goldeneye.
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Broken on every level, NBA Live 06 is EA's worst major sports product in the past five years. It's nearly impossible to comprehend how far the series dropped in less than a single season. From the on-court mess that feels like it went back to the 16-bit era to the off-court franchise that was stolen from other games, this is a half effort that sports fans should avoid anyway they can.
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Spinning off the Advance Wars series, Battalion Wars does a great job of keeping the light atmosphere of the series alive outside of its roots. This is an enjoyable romp into a world where war is handled like a sitcom, complete with bad Russian accents and dialogue. It has moments where everything goes awry, but quickly pulls itself back together.
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If the engine used in Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction is never used again, it's a crime against the gaming community. Here's game specifically created for Marvel's green angry monstrosity, but would work so well for something like King Kong. It needs to be used in other titles, though it's hard to imagine how much better this can get.
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Metal Arms is one of those overlooked titles, stuck in the glut of holiday releases in 2003, and it's depressing to be forced to call it a failure on any level. It's funny, fast, and it couldn't feel better. This wild third person action title is one of the best games to come out of this generation, and it should have never went unnoticed.
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Picking up where things left off, Day of Reckoning 2 is the closest we've come yet to receiving an updated version of the truly great N64 wrestling titles. It's similar grappling style is so close, it's a shame the rest of the engine has frustrating problems. The story mode is aggravating too, and that's the core of the game, enough to bring it down almost entirely.
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Exclusive to the Gamecube, Geist becomes one of the last highly anticipated games for the fledgling console, and it was hyped because of its concept. A basic first-person shooter, Geist doesn't stay very long in the shooting gallery phase. It spends most of its time in the supernatural realm, and the idea behind it is the best in years.
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Sports games do one thing in the current video game market: Clog it... fast. Each year we are bombarded by countless iterations of NFL games. Someway, somehow, these things sell millions upon millions of copies leaving collectors diving into $.25 bins two years later trying to complete collections. It wouldn't be so bad if they all played like Backyard Football though.
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It's a shame a game like this is now a financial risk. In a perfect world, Alien Hominid would sell millions as a great throwback to the previous generations. Now a 2-D shooter isn't enough, and Alien Hominid is reserved for the hardcore gamer. That's not to say this is a perfect game, because it's not by any means.
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To call "Resident Evil 4" a redesign of the concept started back in 1996 is false. This is an entirely new game, one that takes the very basic core of its predecessors and throws everything else out. In its place lies the most exhilarating, thrilling, and brutal video games of all time. It's also one of the best you'll ever play in this lifetime.
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Zelda is really one of those enigma's of the video game world. Pretty much everyone has played some version of the Nintendo-favorite franchise. The series has been going strong since it's inception on the NES and this collection is a nice piece of memorabilia that's a great look back at some of the best the series has to offer.
The disc includes 4 full games (not including the 20-minute Wind Waker demo): The Legend of Zelda, The Adventure of Link, Ocriana of Time, and Majora's Mask. There's no need to get deep inside each of these games. Everyone has played them in one form or another and this collection does a pretty good job of presenting them to a new generation of gamers.
Control problems are present in just about every game in this set. The first 2 NES games suffer from either unresponsive or over responsive controls. It just never feels right. Youíll take more than just a few unfair hits. Whether it's just the Gamecube controller or the emulation isn't known, but it's probably not enough to turn players off from playing these classic titles. The 2 N64 games are only problem thanks to the shift in control scheme. After putting in countless hours in the 64 versions, the Gamecube simply cannot replicate the button layout. If youíve never played either of these games, then it shouldnít be much of an issue.
Also packed onto the disc is a 2-minute "History of Zelda" video. This incredibly inept piece features footage from each Zelda game released to date. Any Zelda fanatic would've loved to see interviews with the designers, some of the original TV commercials, or any other number of extras. The inclusion of this all-too-brief clip is a waste of space and Iím sure could've been put to better use. Maybe the inclusion of one of the Game Boy renditions? Also, each game requires quite a large chunk of memory card space so you may need to set one aside if you plan on getting anywhere.
The entire disc runs in progressive scan so HDTV owners will get their moneys worth. Otherwise, the games have remained relatively untouched, save for some cleaner textures on the 64 versions. Majora's Mask suffers from some audio clipping (which is stated on the packaging and when selecting the game) while it loads, but that's really the only glitch these games have suffered from during their translation. Otherwise, there's an outstanding rendition of the Zelda theme during the menus that could very well be worth the price of admission alone and you simply have to love looking at the first NES game in HD.
The disc is nice touch from Nintendo. You can get it in various ways. You can buy a new Cube, subscribe to Nintendo Power through their official website, or buy and registering 2 specific Gamecube games from the list provided on Nintendo.com. In other words, the cheapest way to nab this one is by subscribing to Nintendo Power for $20. It will most likely never really be a collectors item. There will be a ton of these out there, especially after this holiday season. Regardless of it's value, this is a great disc if you don't have any of the originals.