Game Editorial

Death Jr.

GTA: Vice City Stories PSP Game Review Short-Lived For a minute, place yourself in the moccasins of a game developer and imagine what it must have been like conceiving Death Jr. Starting with what we know: roughly 90% of pierced, tattooed, or otherwise scarred teens, in spite of their angst at everything in particular, would agree that The Angel of Death is cool. Now for the task at hand: if your job and perpetually growing belly demanded that it also had to sell to Wisconsin soccer moms so that angsty Timmy & Susie would play your product instead of Nintendogs, you would be wise to go with a theme somewhere in between elementary school and The Nightmare Before Christmas. Congratulations! You just made a mascot ... full review

Fight Club

Genji PS2 Game Review The Only Rule of Fight Club: Do Not Play Fight Club You can tell more about a person from who'd they fight than from all their interests combined, alphabetized, and stored in an easy-to-reference box set. Who would you most like to punch if the opportunity presented itself? Here are a few ideas: Historical Figure: Pontius Pilate. He whacked Jesus, which eventually gave Jerry Falwell a job. Pro Athlete: Kobe Bryant. Way to blow it, mini-Jordan. Entertainer: Carrot Top. No comment. Musician: David Hasselhoff. No comment, part two ... full review

Gauntlet: Seven Sorrows

GTA: Vice City Stories PSP Game Review My Patience is About to Die The name Gauntlet alone brings forth all kinds of nerd sense memories. The scent of pizza and laundromats fills the nostrils, the image of quarters sitting on an arcade cabinet flashes into focus, the sound of Death stealing your life echoes in the ears and the taste of food you needed to eat... badly... is almost palpable. When those geek instincts kick in, they do so hard. So the allure of Seven Sorrows is impossible to ignore. First, it's Gauntlet, and despite the anemic Dark Legacy, hope remains for those not yet crushed under the weight of the sequel factory. Second, "seven" is an interesting number and "sorrows" sounds like fun, making these "seven sorrows" worth investigating ... full review

Monster Hunter: Freedom

GTA: Vice City Stories PSP Game Review Hunting Season is Over People love to romanticize the past, and the farther back you go, the more romantic it gets. That's probably why most fantasy takes place in medieval times instead of, say, 1985. But while fair princesses, overflowing flagons of mead and scores of mythical beasts just asking to be whacked sure sounds dreamy, we suspect medieval life was really lame. The ladies probably bathed on a monthly basis and the mead probably smelled like barf, though dragons are cool any way you slice it ... full review

Rocky Legends

Genji PS2 Game Review Just Another Bum from the Neighborhood Developing a game upon a canvas as famous as Rocky's is dangerous. You've got to weigh the action-packed spirit of the movies' fights against any fan's desire to methodically take apart Clubber Lang one jab at a time, a task easily as difficult as coming to terms with what the years have done to Sly's terrifying ex-wife, Brigitte Neilson. I liked her more when she was fake Russian. Ubisoft tried to solve this whole dilemma with an action-wins-all version of Rocky that went the distance in 2002. Taking a lack of drama, authenticity, and depth straight to the chin, the first attempt hit the mat with a resounding thud. Two years worth of swirling stars and smelling salts later, this second round has what any Rocky should have - heart ... full review

Rule of Rose

GTA: Vice City Stories PSP Game Review Be molested. Be very molested After being traumatized by zombie dogs, loons with giant scissors, and demon infested apartments, today's unflinching gamers have grown a layer of skin over their eyes tough enough to strike a match on. Developer Punchline recognized this and crafted their new adventure, Rule of Rose, to be psychologically horrifying, effectively bypassing our hardened gamer eyes, and going straight to our soft brains. It's a great theory, and Rule of Rose does an admirable job of making you feel eerily uncomfortable. But while we gamers, as a group, can certainly relate to its many scenes of public humiliation and pervading sense of discomfort, those are generally the kinds of things we trying to escape by playing video games. After a couple hours, you'll wish Punchline would have kept their hands to themselves ... full review

Street Fighter Alpha 3 Max

GTA: Vice City Stories PSP Game Review I see you use an old style. I wonder where you ported it from Eight years ago, Street Fighter Alpha 3 was the best sequel of a series of remakes of sequels in fighting game history. Confusing? Absolutely, but it really was a good game. And for the most part, so is this ported, mini-sequel. Street Fighter Alpha 3 Max attacks with a flurry of content, most of it ported exquisitely from its console master, making it the best fighting game on the PSP to date ... full review

Tekken: Dark Resurrection

GTA: Vice City Stories PSP Game Review Tekken it to the Streets Where most video games are defined by their characters, fighting games are defined by their characters' movements. In turn, these franchises walk a delicate line between striking familiarity and blocking redundancy. With the new Street Fighter II: Hyper Fighting available through Xbox Live Arcade and every other fighting game playable online, a good online attack is one move every modern fighter wants in its bag. Sadly, Namco "The Internet is a fad" Bandai once again ducked this all-important feature in their latest, if not greatest fighter, Tekken: Dark Resurrection. However, this little warrior compensates for its flawed online stance by giving you tons of characters, fun modes and plenty of incentives to master its style ... full review

UFC: Sudden Impact

Genji PS2 Game Review Cobwebs in the Octagon We have thrown enough Street Fighter fireballs to knock Earth off its orbit. We can pull Tekken 10-hit combos while falling out of a jet. Virtua Fighter can be played with our feet through a mirror's reflection. Regardless of the insane number of sequels most fighting game franchises have spawned, they manage to continue being successful by sticking with one essential concept: The Promise Of Mastery. Sadly, this is a trait blatantly absent from UFC: Sudden Impact. Though it adds a few new features to the ailing UFC series, it ain't enough to stop the bleeding ... full review

Yoshi's Island 2

GTA: Vice City Stories PSP Game Review Well Preserved Fossil I'm not exactly aging, more like fermenting. To wit: I can now taste the difference between beer and malt liquor, my standards in women are shifting towards increasingly dangerous levels, and I hold onto errant nickels jingling in my pocket tighter than the dimes they once replaced. It's tough to tell if this slope towards impending antiquity is a favorable one, especially while under the influence, but it's clearly getting old. I'll openly admit that scores of memories have been obliterated by both substances and seconds, but the feel of games played, beaten, and mastered are each forever branded onto this dry brain as if it were racing in NASCAR ... full review

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