Excerpt: On paper, I'm sure Black Ops and Electronic Arts thought they had a winner. Their new game would only have Ready 2 Rumble: Round 2 to contend with, and it would be featured on the powerful, and (relatively) new PlayStation 2. But as other PlayStation 2 developers have done, Black Ops rushed the game to get it onto store shelves, and the results are disappointing. I agree with Chi on the selection of boxers because it is a substantial one.
Excerpt: Sega’s Yakuza franchise has proven both engrossing and stimulating. The lurid, well-drawn storylines combine with the brutal melee brawling, and it always helps to have memorable characters. Kazuma Kiryu isn’t the only playable character this time around but he remains a big highlight, and Kamurocho is a more authentic and visceral city than ever before.
Excerpt: If you’re the kind of gamer that likes your action intense and packed to the gills with destruction, Criterion Studio’s Black may just be your Holy Grail. This title is all about throwing as much stuff (both to destroy and to be destroyed by) as technically possible. I recently played this visceral First Person Shooter and, although it has some kinks to be ironed out, I was very impressed.
Excerpt: Emptying magazine after magazine out of the chamber of a gun must cause quite a mess to not only the unfortunate victims, but also the surrounding environment. There’s not many games that truly convince in the aftermath of a gun battle, with only stray bullets lodging themselves in walls, whilst the rest of the level and its inhabitant objects are seemingly immune to gunfire.
Conclusion: There’s a disconnect, too, in terms of who’s doing what and to whom. Black’s foes are all masked and similar looking, and shooting them is sort of like plunking clay ducks on the midway. A game with this much killing should evoke some sort of emotional response, but Black, save for its emphasis on collateral damage to the scenery, is bloodless and sanitized.
Conclusion: Overall, if you only own a PS2 and are dissatisfied with its somewhat lacking FPS library, BLACK is probably worth at least one rental. If you own an Xbox however, there’s definitely plenty more to choose from which makes paying $40 for the game a questionable purchase at best.