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Old 03-19-2008, 10:28 AM   #1441
Seraph
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Good review. I really love this game, so much that I blew through the entire thing in only a few days after its release. Definitely one of the best in the series. I'm hooked and the only bad part about this one was that its over and I gotta wait for a AA5 (hopefully, please capcom!)
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Originally Posted by Joe Redifer View Post
I really don't know why they decided that they needed a new lead character as I feel it was completely unnecessary
I disagree. Had this game been another Phoenix/Maya escapade I think it would have started to feel stale. The way they made Phoenix a bum had me so curious I had to buy this game day one to find out.
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Old 03-20-2008, 03:45 PM   #1442
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I played Shenmue 2 the other day, after playing for about 2 hours, I started doing the 4 Wude quest.

First I went to the insane barber, skipped to the shaolin masters school, found the drunk-tard, broke his stones,
went to the park to find the taichi master, fought a tree, and lastly saved the crazy lady from being gang mugged.

Now its time to go back to Man mo temple, but its closed, so with nothing else to do, I decided to go GTA style
and see the very "exiting shenmue world".

I find that there is alot of detail in this world, but not everything is interactive
there are no hidden packages or easter eggs, you follow a girl in a skirt around
but all ryo wants to talk about is Man mo temples, and gambling.

My first activity was to talk to a little kid, asked him where Man mo temple is,
he was so kind, told me to follow him, but I refused and ditched him.

Went inside a random building, it was a pawn shop, I had already pawned all my
VF toys just to pay that guy in room 205 in yan tim apartments,
so I start a conversation, its again about the Man Mo Temple, he gave me directions, and I left.

Went to a restaurant, asked if I can have a job working there, they said find a lucky hit stand instead,
started another conversation, again its about Man Mo Temple, by now its getting
tiresome, its like nobody has anything good to talk about.

So with a few hours left before I collapse and automatically get sent to the inn, I decide to start working as a lucky hit assistant.

Boss gives me 300 yuan, and for like what seems an eternity
I yelled and yelled, until finally an old man comes up and starts playing this pachinko type game,
after 3 rounds I lost, he won.

300-50 = 250, still plenty of money left, but its getting boring, I hate this job,
I try to quit, I press start, but that proves to be futile as it only displays how to play the game.

There is nobody else there, its getting dark, the streets are empty, my constant yelling gets me nowhere, I panic, its been like 5 minutes why can't I quit?!?

I decide this is enough, and power off my dreamcast.

I like this game, it has some kind of charm, but its so... flawed, sigh ...
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Old 03-20-2008, 03:52 PM   #1443
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It's not a sandbox game like GTA, it is a linear RPG. Not sure why you can't get to your destination. You're definitely missing something somewhere.
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Old 03-20-2008, 10:46 PM   #1444
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hey.

Just got done reading all your reviews. took me days, and they're all awesome.

also, I would have been all over that 5 dollar thing. shame on me
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Old 03-21-2008, 02:38 AM   #1445
Joe Redifer
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I wish I could remember what the $5 thing was about. I vaguely remember. I am too lazy to look. Effort is overrated.
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Old 03-23-2008, 12:55 PM   #1446
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Great review of the various console web browsers. Funny stuff and the porn section was classic. Being a late 80's/early 90's computer user, the Amiga HAM reference was awesome.

I don't know why, but I'm one of the losers who bought the Nintendo DS web browser. For some reason, I thought it would be cool. Man, does that thing suck.

Nintendo DS web browser: 1/10
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Old 04-13-2008, 10:28 PM   #1447
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Hot Shots Golf: Out of Bounds
7/10
Playstation 3


Horrible box art makes the game look less fun.

I have always been a huge fan of Hot Shots Golf. Always, even though the only other Hot Shots Golf game I've played was part 3 on the PS2. It served up weird characters and fairly easy gameplay. The graphics weren't too shabby for their time, either. They've since gone on to make Hot Shots games for the PS2 (again) and for the PSP. Now they bring it to the PS3 as Hot Shots Golf: Out of Bounds (even though it is technically Hot Shots Golf 5) and I'm here to tell you about it, so bow to my will.


Animals wander the Safari course. Sometimes you can even hit them with the ball
and they will run away. It'd be great if a zebra came up and crapped on the ball.


Graphics: 8/10
Presented in 720p like most other games of this generation, Hot Shots 5 delivers for the most part. Courses look really nice and contain lots of extra little details. They won't slice your eyeballs up with razor sharpness or insane animation, but it does what it needs to do. I popped in Hot Shots 3 on the PS2 midway through playing this, and to my surprise the PS2 version didn't really look much worse. Sure, it only run in 4:3 480i and there was lots of shimmering when things moved, but the overall models and courses didn't go through leaps and bounds of improvement here. Then there is the problem with the PS3 shadows. See the pic below for a more thorough description.


Look at that crappy shadow. Just look at it! This happens a lot in PS3 games.
The PS3 is extremely weak when handling shadows.


Sound: 3/5
The music is by Kenny G's less talented brother, how good can it be? In fact it sounds like Kenny's bro on a very bad day, as if he mellowed out even more and strived for the ultimate in repetition. The music is dreadful, and only the mountain course which takes nearly an eternity to unlock is worth listening to... and even it gets a bit tiresome around the second or third time you play the course. Fortunately the music can be shut off. Then there is the crowd, horribly acted and always saying the same exact thing again and again with the worst possible fake accents you can imagine. You can turn the crowd off, but the option screen calls them "The Gallery" for some unknown reason. WTF? Because of this, you may not know that they can be turned off. Let's not forget about the caddies... all of them are annoying and keep babbling when you are trying to concentrate when setting up for a difficult putt. They cannot be shut off, unfortunately. The ambient sounds are OK but nothing special. This game is best played with your stereo turned off or perhaps set to another source, as the sound in this game is bad. Custom soundtracks are not supported.


I find the greens pretty hard to read, with a bunch of dots moving all over the place at
different speeds. I'm not sure what the little musical symbols by the character's head means.


Gameplay: 7/10
The game plays like the other Hot Shots games, which is good. It can be kind of addictive at times and you keep wanting to play "just one more". But they just had to try and add something new in the form of the "Advanced Shot" technique. Unfortunately they decided that this technique would suck ass, and they succeeded in making sure that it does in a big way. Basically you're still pressing the button three times to take your shot just as you do the traditional way, but instead you watch your golfer's backswing and press when you think it is time, and then press again as the club hits the ball. This is very hard to judge power on and thus it is really hard to get good shots with unless you are lucky. Fortunately the traditional shot is also available and from what I've seen online, most people still use the traditional method. Developer Clap Hanz definitely wants you to use the Advance Shot technique as they give it more power and cripple the traditional method with less powerful shots. Gay. Having lots of control over your shots is important because except for the first two courses, each course seems to have the wind set on "high" at all times. When it's not set on "high", it's set on "extreme". Oh, and it always blows towards the water. You have a wide selection of characters here once you unlock them, but you are penalized if you want to use another character due to the whole "Loyalty" concept. The more you use a character, the more powerful they become, making it undesirable to ever try anyone else since it takes forever and a day to build up loyalty. It also makes it less fun to play multiplayer at a friend's house since you can't use your character since their version won't be as powered up as the one on your PS3. Each character can choose their clubs, balls and costumes... all of which have to be earned.


I am the chip-in king! Chip-ins are easier than putts in this game.
And yes, this shot went in.


This game features online play, and it's kind of noteworthy. You gather in a large room full of other online players all wandering around with their own Miis. You can chat with a keyboard, but it restricts you to like 12 characters total, so it takes a week just to type out a full sentence. Voice chat is not supported. From here you can choose or create a game to play with up to 8 players. On the course everyone plays at the same time, no turns are taken. That makes the rounds go much faster, thankfully. It is kind of funny to wait a few seconds before teeing just to see 7 other balls flying into the distance all at once. It can also be funny on the green as multiple balls all approach the hole. Players can't interfere with one another, like bouncing their ball off of another player's, for instance. You'll likely be stuck to the earlier courses as they can't be played unless everyone has played them in single player mode, and they can take forever to unlock. The game gets ridiculously hard in the later courses, doing crazy things like penalizing you two strokes for touching the rough, etc. Once I hit the ball right outside of the green, which was the rough, so I got +2. But the green was like 9 feet higher than where my ball was. There was no way to hit it to the green, it just kept rolling back down again and again as I couldn't get the ball high enough in such a short amount of distance. +2 +2 +2 +2 +2 all on top of my already dreadful score as a result. Oh how wonderful! I had to give up, there was literally no other way.


The course designs can kind of suck. Who puts a freakin' town in the middle of a golf course?
I bet the town's name is O.B. City. You'll find many examples similar to this on just about every course.


Wrap up:
If you enjoy playing golf during hurricanes with extreme obstacles blocking your path along with lakes that can't be missed, then this is the game for you. Still, it does have a certain quality to it that just begs to be played.
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Old 04-13-2008, 11:32 PM   #1448
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The golf engine is really well done. The courses are built well and are challenging but not to difficult to make me want to turn my PS3 off or throw the controller against the wall. Once advanced players are unlocked then buildings and such on the course really don't come into play to much as the advanced players have high enough stats that these buildings aren't really a hindrance.
The wind in the game is outrageous and they love to pour it on. I still haven't figured out the side spin. Once I figure this out it will help combat the wind.
The characters voices are completely annoying and I also turn off the gallery. Caddies are annoying and should have come with the option of being turned off.
Online is fun and I enjoy the speed of the game online.
Overall it is a great game and is addictive. I find myself playing past tournaments trying to unlock new clubs and balls.
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Old 04-14-2008, 01:44 AM   #1449
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I've always wanted to get into this series as I loved Mario Golf on GC and GBA. The high difficulty, mandatory install, and wonky online communication will probably cause me to wait for the next PS3 sequel.
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Old 04-14-2008, 05:07 PM   #1450
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I'm curious about a sequel. I see Japan has new players you can download. What would stop them from having courses you can download?
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Old 04-14-2008, 05:10 PM   #1451
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How come the games cover looks like something out of a Triple X BMX game, but the actual game looks like cute anime Pangya golf?
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Old 04-22-2008, 03:54 AM   #1452
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Rad Racer
5/10
Nintendo Entertainment System


Similar in style to most other early NES boxes,
Rad Racer conveys a sense of grandeur and class.


Back in the so-called "8-bit generation" of videogames, I purchased a Sega Master System instead of an NES. Among the games I owned for the SMS was a nice little gem called Out Run. While it certainly couldn't stack up to the arcade visually and aurally, it was a competent conversion given the machine that it was running on and it even had some great music. The hills animated in a choppy manner, but that was really the game's only major flaw. I had heard of a game called Rad Racer on the evil Nintendo system which supposedly their take on Out Run. I looked at screenshots, saw the TV ads and read the instruction booklet that a friend brought to school one day cover to cover. I wanted to play it and compare. I was understandably curious. So a few months later I rented an NES system from a video store with a bunch of games. This was to be my first experience playing the system, ever. Previously I had only watched videotapes of games made by another friend (who did not have Rad Racer). Along with the system I rented World Runner 3D (because it kind of looked like Space Harrier, another SMS game I owned and loved), The Legend of Kage, Tengen Pac Man (a normal NES cart, not a Tengen cart) and of course Rad Racer. I rushed home and was very excited to try these games. But let's focus on solely on Rad Racer (and Out Run, of course).


A typical shot from Rad Racer on the NES.


Here is a shot of Out Run on the SMS for comparison.

Graphics: 6/10
The first thing that stood out to me was that the hills animated very smoothly. They weren't choppy like in the SMS version of Out Run. I thought that was really cool and wondered why Out Run didn't do it this way. However I also noticed that the hills looked kind of weird. It was basically as if the road was curving up and down at its own random discretion. The road's perspective was a bit messy, and I am a big fan of perspective, it was part of everything I drew in high school. Even on a perfect straightaway like the one in the very beginning of the game, if you moved to the left or the right side of the road, the road in the distance would curve inward for no reason at all. Very amateurish, even for the time. The colors looked drab compared to Out Run and the other cars were friggin' huge and plain. The backgrounds had 2 layers of scrolling and that was cool, but it wasn't as well done as World Grand Prix's multi-layer backgrounds on the SMS. Yes, I was comparing everything. There is a 3D mode that can be accessed by pressing the SELECT button at any time (just like World Runner 3D). You need to use anaglyph glasses (red and blue) for it to work, but the screen still flickers back and forth like a Sega 3D game despite not having shutter goggles to compensate. The 3D effect is pretty bad and doesn't work well at all. I couldn't really compare it to the SMS 3D at the time as I hadn't purchased the Sega 3D glasses yet. The animation in the game is fine, though your car sure does seem quite bouncy. Overall it didn't look as nice as Out Run on the SMS, but to be fair Out Run had far more MEGA POWER than Nintendo could ever afford at the time.


The 3D mode didn't work very well and they even
required the glasses be worn backwards, with the
red covering the right eye instead of the left.


Sound: 5/10:
I had also heard about this game having multiple music tracks, just like Out Run. I was excited. I had already heard NES games like Mega Man 2 and Blaster Master on videotape, so I figured that Rad Racer must have great music as well. Perhaps I was being a bit too hasty. At first there wasn't any music at all, just your typical 8-bit racing game noise. Then I realized that you must press DOWN on the d-pad to enable the music. If you keep pressing DOWN, you'll cycle through all of the music tracks available. Unfortunately, none of the music tracks are very memorable. It seemed incompetently composed by a talentless musician. Sega definitely had the better musicians. Each one of Out Run's selectable tunes are memorable and enjoyable even today even when playing the SMS version despite its technically inferior sound hardware compared to the NES.

Here is a short example of the music in Rad Racer, recorded from a real NES - MP3 Format, mono, 1 MB

For comparison, here's an example of Out Run's music, recorded from a real SMS - MP3 Format, mono, 1.4 MB

Gameplay: 5/10
About the only thing gameplay-wise this game has in common with Out Run is that it is a racing game and you race a Ferrari. I was used to Out Run's branching multiple paths, but Rad Racer was a straight shot. Fine, I can deal with that. However the game is extremely difficult and the controls really aren't very well done thanks to the underskilled programmers who did this game. You hold up for a boost and try to make it to the next checkpoint, which you can't really see anywhere. The actual checkpoint markers are tiny little posts on the side of the road that you can only make out if you hit zero on the timer and your car is slowing down as a result. It is easy to accidentally keep switching between music tracks when you turn if you aren't holding the boost. Why they didn't put up a screen before the race to let you choose the music instead of mapping it to a direction key was an obvious oversight by the worthless programmers who surely never went on to greatness. The game would be more enjoyable if the timer wasn't so rigid, but as it is it gets boring even back in its day. Amazingly, there are no emo characters or sappy teenage drama in this game. This actually raises the score a little.


It is way too damn easy to crash in this game.

Wrap up:
I returned the NES to the rental store feeling that I had made the right choice as it was clear to me that the Sega Master System beat Nintendo's own releases with better graphics, better sound and music and better gameplay. The only real advantages Rad Racer had over Out Run were the smoothly animated hills and that you could select from two cars instead of just one (which didn't seem to make much of a difference). Sure, the NES had many more games, but it's not like a 15 year old kid can afford to buy shitloads of games anyway. I would eventually get an NES in 2006. To end the story, I do own Rad Racer for my NES now, and it has been fun to revisit. It was stale in its time and it has aged much worse than Out Run and not many people really discuss, care about or even remember Rad Racer. Too bad Square didn't just stop there and go away.
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Old 04-22-2008, 01:32 PM   #1453
Seraph
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Good review, even if it read more like a comparison to Outrun rather than a review of the game itself. You Sega fanboy you.

I actually played this once when I was little. We had to visit some sick relative of mine who I barley knew in the hospital. Since I was bored to tears I got to go to the "fun room" and play with all the games meant for the sick kids. I only had about a half hour and my choices were Rad Racer or Dick Tracy, I chose Rad Racer.

I really didn't enjoy what I played, party because I had just gotten my brand new SNES and had experinced my freinds copy of F-Zero.
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Old 04-22-2008, 02:20 PM   #1454
Kiryu1985
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great review, can I brainwash you into reviewing Maui Mallard neeeext plz

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Old 04-22-2008, 10:13 PM   #1455
Joe Redifer
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I've never even heard of that game.
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