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Old 12-05-2007, 08:37 PM   #1381
Alexander
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I'm so proud of you, Joe.
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Old 12-05-2007, 08:47 PM   #1382
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Nice review. Honestly I thought you would have gave this game a 7/10. 9/10 is great and I agree with pretty much everything you said. The motion sensing actions are kept to a minimum which I like. Out of all the publishers for the Wii Nintendo seems to realize the most that just because it's there a whole game doesn't need to be overboard with motion sensing controls. There's just enough to make it stand out. The music is good and sound effects fit the game fine. Pro-Logic is nice but 5.1 would have been better.
Personally I will reach 120 stars. Right now I'm at 86. I don't mind playing through the levels again because they are fun. Like you said it's a real videogame. It does a lot to keep me coming back and even playing through previously beaten levels again to find that hidden star. Yeah I don't like every level or even galaxy in the game but most are quite enjoyable.
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Old 12-05-2007, 11:54 PM   #1383
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everyone loves this game, now that I have a wii I have no excuse NOT to play it.
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Old 12-06-2007, 03:18 AM   #1384
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Nice review, Joe. Galaxy is a great game. I hope to see the Wii do more stuff like this.
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Old 12-06-2007, 01:55 PM   #1385
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Thank you Joe for the SMG review, you are truly a god among homeless people.
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Old 12-13-2007, 08:56 AM   #1386
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Among homeless people? I don't get it. Instead of the token "Nice review" (stating the obvious), I'll just say I agree with most everything said. The fuzzy look you referred to is basically like those old Rare renders for DKC2 on up ...over a decade later. While it doesn't really have much in terms of 'classic' compositions, the music really enhances an already extremely enjoyable game that much more and can certainly hold up to other current software on any platform.

Have you played Contra 4 yet? It's pretty cool. Also, I heard the soundtrack for The Dracula X Chronicles on PSP, and while it's good it doesn't quite hold up to the original done by Konami Kukeiha Club. The OutRun 20th Anniversary Box is supreme. One thing I noticed is that the arcade and genesis music sounds quite a bit more fuller and clear, which I like.
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Old 12-21-2007, 04:32 AM   #1387
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NiGHTS - Into Dreams
5/10
Sega Saturn


The game was sold both with and
without the analog controller.


I paid $69.95 at Electronics Boutique the day this game was released. It came with the fancy new analog controller for the world-beloved Sega Saturn video game system. Also in the package was an extremely overhyped game. After all of these years, I still have no clue what this game is about or what the hell is going on. Lots of people talk about it like it was one of the best games for the Saturn, or perhaps even of all time. Sure, the guy who programmed and designed this may be responsible for the legendary Super Thunder Blade on the Sega Genesis, but can he repeat that kind of success here? Unfortunately, he tries.


Fly around in a boring, predetermined path with next to no enemies.

Story: 1/10
I don't think this game has much of a story. At the beginning of a stage you start out as a freakin' child. Literally 1 second later you are molested by a bunch of pixely things and then they drop you. All of this happens for NO REASON WHATSOEVER! Then you walk another 5 or 10 feet and turn into NiGHTS. Suddenly you are able to fly around. I've never had any dreams like this, nor would I want to. You will find yourself hating all of the characters in this game after about 5 minutes.


NiGHTS flies into a building to see if any fun is inside. He finds nothing.

Graphics: 7/10
The polygon graphics are fairly good for the Saturn, and they move at a good frame rate (for the day). They have tons of color and do all sorts of warping effects on purpose unlike the Playstation which warped polygons simply because its hardware was ass. There are even a few transparencies that look nice. But like 94.8% of games that used polygons back in that era, the visuals have not aged well at all. There is also a ton of pop-up/draw in. The game runs in 16:9 and 240p.


The only part of the game which can actually be called "3D" is when you are
walking around as the little dipshit boy or the little bitch girl. The
only thing you can really do in this mode is walk back to the start.


Sound: 9/10
This is really where the game shines, and probably the reason why people think they enjoy playing it. Most of the music is outstanding. There are a couple of lame tunes, but the majority of it is extremely catchy and produced by the Saturn sound chips. There are a few tracks that are played directly off of the CD including a really lame song. The sound effects are pretty good, though there are some normalization issues here and there such as a horrible-sounding "bird chirp" that is far too loud compared to everything else that is going on, as is the train in Frozen Bell. If the clock runs out of time, NiGHTS says something really weird ("Athena"?) before he turns back into the little kid. Overall, the music is the best part of the entire experience.


Sometimes you'll travel "into the screen" such as this underwater scene.
You might as well let go of the controller here. It's nearly useless.


Gameplay: 5/10
The game consists of flying around, collecting blue orbs, taking them to a collection pod and flying through rings. Then you fight a boss. Once you beat the boss, you are sent back to the title screen. That's it! You can try to go for better scores and faster times, but that doesn't add any replayability to an already dull game. And dull it is, as there isn't much to do and you aren't really allowed to explore. The game encourages you to go as fast as possible, so you'd be penalized for exploring even if you could. The game is on rails for 95% of the time, so any exploration is limited to up and down. Your score will increase with the more "links" you get (rings you locate and fly through, etc), but that takes time, so you'll get a low grade no matter what you do just like I did in high school. The boss fights are fairly cool for the most part, though not extraordinarily memorable. You can play with a regular controller or the brand new analog controller, but there isn't much difference in the actual control except your thumb will get fatigued when using the digital pad since you just keep doing loop after loop after loop. The control cannot be described as "good" in either form and the game gets boring after about 10 minutes, maybe 15.


The polygon cleavage and bunny ears on this boss sold over 20,000
copies of the game alone. Hell, that's why I bought it!


Wrap up:
Since the Wii sequel was just released and most feel that it was mediocre at best, I thought I'd take another look at the Saturn original to remind people that NiGHTS is a franchise designed around mediocrity. It certainly is overrated, though it is worth a quick play every 2 or 3 years. I can see why many at Sega did not want to bring NiGHTS back. And why is the name in ALL CAPS except for the letter "i"? Pisses me off. I am a huge Sega fanboy, and this just doesn't cut it.
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Old 12-21-2007, 04:15 PM   #1388
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I really never understood the big deal about this game either, I watched a few clips of it on youtube, and yeah... looks real mediocre
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Old 12-21-2007, 04:23 PM   #1389
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To be honest I kinda felt the same way. Well, it is better than 5 but I can see why Joe give it that score.
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Old 12-22-2007, 09:46 AM   #1390
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I always loved Nights. I guess the bright, colorful aesthetics, as well as the fast-paced gameplay, just did it for me. Also, I had fun exploring the levels as the kids, even though you're not supposed to. Getting a huge link combo is actually the right way to play - you have to balance it with your time remaining, but it's the path to huge scores.

Being that you are not a guy who cares about scores/points in games, Joe, I'm not surprised that the replaying stages for perfection idea here didn't add longevity for you. Nights was always a bit of an aquired taste - like the clap, but better.

Last edited by eastx; 12-31-2007 at 11:12 PM.
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Old 01-09-2008, 10:32 PM   #1391
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Test Drive Unlimited
9/10
Xbox 360


This game is hard to find!

If you don't like racing games, it is unlikely that you're even reading this. Why do I like racing games so much? Well, for one they're not trying to be epic movies like just about every other damn game released these days. Also they're not quite sports games, at least not the racing games I enjoy, and certainly not this one. I really enjoy the non-epic gameplay, and this game is about as "casual" as you can get. It has a free-roaming environment (the island of Oahu in Hawaii) and you can tackle challenges at your leisure. It has well over a thousand miles worth of road and buttloads of challenges. If you are looking for a game with lots to do, here it is.


You can choose an event by simply driving up to the blue icon and pressing A.

Story: 1/10
Not much here, thankfully. You fly into Honolulu after choosing your character, buy a house and a car. From there it is your mission in life to drive and acquire as many vehicles and homes as possible. It's all about the greed. Greed is good. What else in life do you need besides greed?


You can also choose an event by using the map and warping straight to it at any
time. Events don't show up until you've driven by the street they start on or unlock
a new skill level, so you may have to drive to an event using your GPS, but doing so
may unlock even more events on the way that you weren't aware of!


Graphics: 8/10
The game is based on a real location, and while many streets are likely similar to the real thing, it is obvious that not everything is or can be represented (for example, I haven't seen any McDonald's anywhere on the island). Still, it feels like you are in a real location with tons of roads going everywhere. Most of the textures are great, and the time of day changes, though it never becomes nighttime. I can live with that since that is all superficial in this type of game any way. The game runs at a near-constant 30fps and drops an occasional frame here and there. I don't like frame-droppage, but the graphics are good enough and the fact that it really never loads as you are driving around make the sacrifice worth it. There isn't any of the typical Xbox360 v-sync tearing. It's not as smooth as Burnout: Paradise, but it sure looks a lot better (with the exception of the crashes, of course). There are many real cars and bikes in the game, and they are all great representations of the real thing. No car damage, but then again that makes me feel invincible in the free roaming parts and I don't have to worry about something lame like fixing my car. Vehicles that you hit definitely become damaged.


Me in my Saturn Sky. I didn't know Saturn made decent-looking cars.

Sound: 5/10
Not a whole lot going on here. The game defaults to car engine noise, which is fine by me. There are some music tracks built in, and it can be fun running from the cops while Flight of the Bumblebee plays loudly. You can also play the music tracks you have ripped to the 360 hard drive as well. Most of the cars sound different and the sound changes after you get them tuned up as well. The wrecks sound pretty cool as well. There are only a few voices in the game, mostly the police dispatch and hitchhikers. Dolby Digital surround sound is utilized as things happen behind and around you. Nothing too special here, about what you'd expect.


Driving down one of the many freeways. Hawaii sure seems beautiful!
Those same trees and the exact leaves on them exist in real life!


Gameplay: 9/10
I tell ya, I just can't stop playing this game! I keep coming back to it again and again despite getting newer games and even a newer game system since I started playing it. There's just so much to do! You make money by completing events, of course, and then use that money to buy more cars and more homes. Each home can only hold so many cars, but there are some homes which have a 10-car garage! There are tons upon tons of cars to collect, and many events are restricted to a certain brand of car or even a certain model! Sounds like a complete pain in the ass, but it's actually fun trying to collect all of that stuff. Typical events include racing against the clock, racing against evil foes, trying to get the highest average speed, transporting illegal goods from point A to point B in a certain amount of time without attracting the cops (or you will have to pay for the goods), transporting hitchhikers and models who are all in a hotshit hurry and more. Speaking of the models, if you pull up in a Ferrari, she may refuse to get in to your car because she doesn't want to be seen in such a clunker. Pull up in a Saturn and the same model is all too happy to get in! Not all models are like that, only some. You get coupons to buy new clothes and crap like that from the models and hitchhikers to use in your character customization room. It's only worth it to get out of the crap clothes you start the game with, but other than that I just do it for fun. All other events reward you with cash (which comes out of your Xbox360 drive).


You can eventually buy motorcycles as well, and though they seem weird
at first, they are actually pretty damn fun! The police don't care if you
drive the wrong way or speed... only if you bump into other cars.


The game also features a massively open online mode which I tried out for a few days. You can see other online players driving around at random, and if you flash your lights at them (or they you) you can initiate a race and choose any starting and ending point anywhere on the map if the other person or persons accept. You can also select any online match on the map and it will throw you into a lobby where multiple people race. There are also Diners and whatnot where you can create your own races and wait for people to join, etc. The online action works well, but it's not really for me. I do like seeing everyone drive around, though, and listen to them cuss amongst themselves through my sound system (I refuse to wear the nerd headset). Even offline you'll see random cars with names over them driving around. You can flash your lights and race them as well, but they are not online players. The island is incredibly large and there is tons of exploration to do. Yes, you can even drive to Pearl Harbor. I am at Champion level which is the top, and I still haven't beaten every event yet... only a little over half. I want to beat everything. This game is just too addictive!


Straight ahead is a "top model" who you can pick up and give a ride to.
You can also give her a ride in your car. LOLOL at my awesome humor!



Ford Mustang vs random NPC compact car.
Winner = Ford Mustang.


Wrap up:
A truly great game that got overlooked at retail. This game also exists for the PS2 and PSP, but those probably look like ass since their graphics suck compared to the 360. If you don't have a 360 you might as well pick up one of those if you can find it, though everyone will think you are a loser for not having the best version. This game rocks, and I anticipate I'll be playing it for a long time to come!
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Old 01-09-2008, 11:06 PM   #1392
Alexander
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Hm...
I always wanted to play it, but just forgot about it. Maybe I'll track it down.
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Old 01-10-2008, 12:23 AM   #1393
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Never heard of it.
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Old 01-10-2008, 04:08 PM   #1394
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Nice Galaxy review Joe!
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Old 01-12-2008, 07:40 PM   #1395
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I demand that Test Drive Unlimited get more attention, as well as my awesome review of it.
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