Here are my overall impressions from this month's OXM disc AND last month's.
This month's demos:
CONKER LIVE AND UNLOADED: FANTASTIC! Wait, you can't
get past the first part? I had trouble with this at first too.
The trick is to just keep running. There are red smoke
signals (well, I *think* it's red). Follow those.
AMAZING game. The graphics are absolutely FANTASTIC.
This is seriously some of the best graphics I've EVER
seen. The in-game graphics look like cinema cutscenes
- it's THAT good. This is basically a shooter with
platform elements. The only thing I can nitpick is the
lack of interactive backgrounds, but you'll be too
busy shooting and smiling at the absurdity of it all
to really care about that. VERY challenging demo, BTW.
This game seems like it's gonna be HARD, but it's SO
MUCH FUN! This demo makes me want to check out the
ORIGINAL Conker for N64 (I've never played it). As
luck would I have it, I managed to snag myself a new
copy of that the other week for only $2 and change.
WOLF METAL CHAOS: You have to unlock it with
the following code: Hold L and press Left, X, Y, Up,
A, B, Up, Down, Down, Y, Right, Right, Right, and
. WOW, this is is fantastic! The demo takes
place in a futuristic China Town, and you control a
mech. You can blow up almost anything, and the
explosions are huge, loud, and incredibly satisfying.
I especially love blowing up the cars, tanks, and neon
The only thing you can't blow up are the buildings
themselves. I was a bit miffed about that at first
because I like total interactivity, but then I
realized how that would come across in a post-9/11
world, especially considering that the game is about
the President of the United States waging war against
the world. (Granted, it's about the President of the
United States waging war against the world IN A MECH
SUIT - kinda hard to take that seriously, but it works
for me.) :P
One of the coolest features in the game is that you
can string together chains by blowing up several
things in rapid succession. It's very cool and deeply
satisfying to see your chain count appear on the
screen as everything explodes around you.
Your two main weapons are a regular gun that is of
average power and another gun that will blow most
anything up with one shot. There's another rapid fire
gun that you can either switch to from the beginning
or you get somewhere along the way - I'm not sure
which. That one doesn't have too many bullets though.
In fact, I ran out of bullets for all of my guns
before the end, but not to worry, because you can also
jump and crush enemies with your gigantic mech feet.
It's nice that there's no one "right way" to defeat
the enemies. That gives the game a bit more depth and
strategy. Make no mistake though, this is still very
much a pure action shooter at its core. Honestly, I
don't know how "deep" this game will prove to be
overall, but I do know that stringing chains together
and blowing up everything in sight is a major blast -
literally and figuratively.
The background graphics aren't amazing, but they have
style. I really can't complain, especially considering
how awesome the explosions in the game look and sound.
The controls are perfect - not at all heavy or clunky
like in some mech games.
Having to input a code every time you want to play
this is a pain in the ass, but this game is worth the
trouble. It's definitely one of the biggest surprises
of the year.
FORZA MOTORSPORT: Maybe it's just me, but I wasn't
overly impressed. I dunno, it's possible that the game
is TOO sim-oriented for my tastes. I just think that's
a racing game should be a little more intuitive than
Forza seems to be. No matter what I did, I couldn't
get the hang of the turning.
Also, I'm not a graphics whore by any means, but I
have seen better on Xbox. The game doesn't look BAD,
mind you (far from it), but the graphics didn't blow
me away either.
Gameplay-wise, I had a lot more fun with the Gran
Turismo 4 demo I got earlier this year (believe it or
not, that demo is the ONLY Gran Turismo game I've ever
played). The graphics there didn't knock my socks off
either, but the game was a lot more fun to me than
Forza. Part of it could be because the GT4 demo had an
awesome Grand Canyon track, which is much more
interesting than the bland track showcased in the
I'm sure this'll have a rabid hardcore racing fan
following, but I walked away disappointed. Ultimately,
I suspect this is one of those games where a demo
won't tell the whole tale. Unfortunately, I have very
little interest in seeking out the final product at
ROCKY LEGENDS: I wanted to like the last Rocky game,
but it was way too damn hard to get in any offense (at
least in the demo). This sequel is still very
challenging, but it felt more fair to me, so I ended
up having a much better time with it. In the demo, you
can fight as Rocky, Clubber Lang, and a British guy
that I assume is from the movies. You
can't punch with the analog stick like in Victorious
Boxers or Fight Night, which is not a big deal IMO,
but my fingers DID hurt after mashing buttons for a
while. The graphics are excellent. There are two
locales in the demo - a major boxing arena and this
outdoor area that's either by a dock or a warehouse, I
can't remember which now.
Nice level of detail in
both. It seems that there's no create-a-boxer mode in
the game, which is a shame, because I think that
would've added depth. Rocky was the ultimate underdog,
so it's only appropriate that you get to create your
own underdog. Too bad there's no such feature. Not a
game I'm going to rush into getting, but definitely
something I'll consider when it goes down in price.
ESPN NHL 2K5: I already have the full game, and it's
the best hockey game I've played in ages. It's only
$20, so get it already.
OUTLAW GOLF 2: Seems pretty good. The course in the
demo is this wacky Halloween course. Nice graphics.
The game plays like any other modern golf game, where
you use the analog sticks to swing your club. If I
needed another golf game, I'd consider this. At only
$20, it's a nice deal.
STAR WARS BATTLEFRONT: The Xbox version seems to have
better graphics than the PS2 version, but I haven't
played the PS2 demo in months, so my mind may be
playing tricks on me. Seems like a really cool game if
you're into Star Wars. Like I said when I commented on
the PS2 demo a few months back to a few of my friends,
imagine a cross between SOCOM and Star Wars and you
have a basic idea of what Battlefront is like.
Last month's demos:
DOA ULTIMATE: I'm not a fighting game fan, so I won't be rushing out to buy this (at least not right away), but I did have a lot of fun with it and you really can't go wrong since you get DOA 1, 2, and an enhanced version of 3 (I think) all in the same box. The character graphics are great - very fluid - and the background graphics are awesome. Some of the stages have interactive elements where you call fall into another area entirely. Very cool! I always like that you can choose from different outfits for your fighers. It seems that Tecmo really went out of their way to do an amazing job on this game, so if you like fighters, you should definitely get this.
PHANTOM DUST: Truthfully, because of the heavy
Japanese, I was lost for some of this. However, I
REALLY liked what I saw. The graphics have a nice,
unique style, and this seems like it could be a really
fun game. I'm not sure if this is supposed to be an
action-RPG or what. I was lost on what the power orbs
were supposed to do, so I didn't know which ones to
get or even how to attack enemies half the time. I'd
definitely like to see a U.S. release for this though.
BTW, to unlock it on your disc, hold L and press A,
Up, X, Y, Left, Right, B, B, Down, Down, Y, Left, X,
Right, A, Up, Down
PRINCE OF PERSIA WARRIOR WITHIN: I didn't think the
original PoP demo was all that great, but everyone who
has played the actual game says it's amazing (it even
won a few "game of the year" awards, I believe). I
have a feeling that the same is true of this demo too.
The graphics are fantastic, the locales are awesome,
and the controls are as fluid as can be, but there was
just something missing. I didn't have as much fun with
this as I thought I should've.
OTHER DEMOS: THE INCREDIBLES is a decent mix of
platform and shooter, but it's nothing I'm gonna go
crazy over. CONFLICT VIETNAM seems like an okay
squad-based FPS. Decent graphics, but nothing that'll
make your jaw drop. ESPN NFL 2K5 is probably good, but
I can't stand football games. DUKES OF HAZZARD is one
of the most boring games I've ever played. I wasn't
even sure what I was supposed to be doing.