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Old 11-10-2004, 05:47 PM   #931
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After reading your review icarus I want Papers Mario now. I think I will go buy it after I am finished with Halo 2. Good Review :cool guy: .
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Old 11-10-2004, 06:13 PM   #932
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My buddie rented Paper Mario 2, well his sister did, and I have yet to play it, I must play this game.
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Old 11-10-2004, 11:08 PM   #933
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I beat Paper Mario last weekend. It's a great game and adds to the GC's fine library(IMO).
The only music that I really didn't care for was from Glitzville. Quit annoying I found it to be.
But I really enjoyed this game and the 2D platforming with Bowzer and some of the hidden secrets from past Nintendo games.
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Old 11-11-2004, 01:29 AM   #934
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I would really like to see a Vicviper review thread.
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Old 11-11-2004, 02:48 AM   #935
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It's one of the best GC games, which isn't saying too much because.... there's not that many GC games to begin with. Seriously, Nintendo should treat their console the same as their portables. That'd be great because you'd see a tremendous improvement in software substance.

Next review ~ Brave Fencer Musashi (PS).
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Old 11-11-2004, 03:45 AM   #936
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Originally Posted by Icarus4578

Next review ~ Brave Fencer Musashi (PS).
I want this game
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Old 11-12-2004, 12:00 AM   #937
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Aint happenin Red! I'm not nearly as eloquent as you and Icarus when it comes to writing.
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Old 11-12-2004, 12:45 AM   #938
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How fortunate: I received Halo 2 from my brother today, but now I'm sick. I mean, literally, I just got sick about five minutes ago. Why did this happen to me? To MEEEEEE?!?

Vic, G-money, listen, whatever you do, it's cool. Creating good reviews isn't a matter of being eloquent--it's a matter of being a gamer and showing off a little personality. Writing, don't forget, is an art. As such, it is only bound to the rules that you create. Certainly, there's some skill involved but.... pick up a copy of GameFan or another similar game magazine. I'll tell you what -- I can find dozens and dozens of examples of bad grammar, misspelled words and so on. But the writing itself often fulfills a dual purpose. One, it often exhibits personality traits and characteristics, showing distinct tastes, whether you agree or not. Two, it describes the title and/or relevant situation (e.g. a reviewer uses a Japanese RPG as a basis for sounding off on the import market, etc.). It's about content. Sure, they aren't Shakespeare, but neither are any of us. ;)

Remember above all else that writing is just another art. Different writing serves different purposes, that's all.
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Old 11-12-2004, 02:58 AM   #939
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Originally Posted by Icarus4578
How fortunate: I received Halo 2 from my brother today, but now I'm sick. I mean, literally, I just got sick about five minutes ago. Why did this happen to me? To MEEEEEE?!?

Vic, G-money, listen, whatever you do, it's cool. Creating good reviews isn't a matter of being eloquent--it's a matter of being a gamer and showing off a little personality. Writing, don't forget, is an art. As such, it is only bound to the rules that you create. Certainly, there's some skill involved but.... pick up a copy of GameFan or another similar game magazine. I'll tell you what -- I can find dozens and dozens of examples of bad grammar, misspelled words and so on. But the writing itself often fulfills a dual purpose. One, it often exhibits personality traits and characteristics, showing distinct tastes, whether you agree or not. Two, it describes the title and/or relevant situation (e.g. a reviewer uses a Japanese RPG as a basis for sounding off on the import market, etc.). It's about content. Sure, they aren't Shakespeare, but neither are any of us. ;)

Remember above all else that writing is just another art. Different writing serves different purposes, that's all.
Icarus I made a review thread just like what you said but you never tell me what you think about it
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Old 11-12-2004, 12:15 PM   #940
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[...]

Have you ignored my comments? Just because I don't barrage a review thread with posts doesn't mean I don't read it. I make comments whenever necessary, that's all.
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Old 11-15-2004, 04:58 AM   #941
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Brave Fencer Musashi - PS - Rating 3
Or maybe not. Sadly, BFM comes from a time when Square had begun to capitalize on the market of fanboys who would pay full price for one game just to have the satisfaction of playing the demo of another: a great deal of people paid their $50 for the playable demo of Final Fantasy VIII which was included with BFM. Therefore, it would be more accurate to say that it was BFM which was included with the FFVIII demo disc because that's pretty much what Square had in mind. It's only natural that the crowd of Squareheads obstinately believe that this is underrated quality, but BFM is the very definition of contrived, hum-drum action/adventure gameplay. Zelda, it is not. Nor is it in the same ballpark as Landstalker, Alundra, Legend of Oasis, etc. It is, however, the epitomy of mediocrity. Square seems to have cashing-in down to an art form. If only they'd get back to the art of great game design--how I'd love to see that. But what can you do?
Brave Fencer isn't an outright terrible game by any means. It's got at least some semblance of substance behind its rather cheesy facade. You can tell that production values were low on this game--all of the characters look like they are constructed of roughly 20 flat-shaded polygons, at least as far as my immediate impression was concerned. It looks bad. Period. You could probably make better looking characters with only a couple dozen Legos. Wait, that actually might be interesting, and "interesting" is too magnificent a word for incorporation here in a review for a cheap game like this.

Here's a quick summary of the story for you~
Save the world.

Not enough for ya, eh? Just know that it's that tired, generic 'save the world', 'rescue the princess' scheme that I'm certain even a five-year old could come up with, though that's not to insult the intelligence of five-year olds everywhere. Musashi was summoned from "his time" in, what was it, medieval Japan? I don't know -- I didn't keep tabs. As a matter of fact, I had a hard time just playing this borefest without nodding off. Anyway, so yeah... he's summoned to the Allucaneet Kingdom by the princess (before she's abducted) and goes on this little adventure because, it seems apparent, he wants to return to his own time.

As this is an action/adventure, it borrows heavily from the Zelda series. However, probably because it was amongst the very first of this genre in 3D, its disposition is remarkably similar in style to Mario 64. For instance, in Grillin' Village, the focal town of the game, Musashi can jump on a tree and climb up it in exactly the same fashion as Mario can in M64 (however, he cannot do a handstand at the tip ;)). Of course, Musashi isn't trying to be another Mario. The swordplay and adventure elements are of the essence here, and how these things are executed is what ultimately breaks this title in the end.
The plot develops well, to Square's credit--even better than most of the more recent Final Fantasy titles, not that that's some grand achievement. The characters are likeable enough, except that Musashi is a rather unlikeable hero. Whereas actual samurai are supposed to have loads of self-dignity and respect, Musashi often gives the impression that he's a little prick. This is intentional irony on Square's part, of course. He addresses the elder Steward Ribson as simply "geezer," for example, and he likes to make wisecracks. Does this harm the experience? No, not really. The gameplay is often so blatantly pathetic that it actually makes the average story stand out like a rhino on a beach.
As far as the gameplay is concerned, well.... it would be better if I didn't have to go there but, as this is a game review I must do my job, however unfortunate that must be for Square. I can almost hear them cringing, "Pleeeease Icarus, don't bring up the gameplay." (Like they really care.)
Square does a TERRIBLE job exploiting the 3D engine. You aren't given control over the camera, aside from turning the overhead view while in town via the L2/R2 triggers (wooooow). Now, since Square is obviously pimping their 3D locales here, you'd expect them to do a tremendous job exploiting the PS' 3D engine, them being the graphics whores they are. ....Nope, not happening. BFM looks like what would happen if the graphic designers were fired mid-production. How these people are still employed, we may never know. :annoyed: Thankfully, Square doesn't really allow for too much theatrical fluff camera-wise, so you do get some good views. In some locations you'll be in what feels like a full 3D space and in others it's more of a side-scrolling affair. The interaction is problematic in a multitude of ways, the amount of which I will only touch upon. Musashi has two blades at his disposal: Fusion and Lumina. Fusion is the "combo starter," so to speak, because it's easy to chain combos together and, later, as you acquire new techniques, you can begin using new combos. The problem is that it has such a short range that, often, you get hit due to miscalculating Musashi's position in relation to the enemy, thus granting it a free attack. Moreover, jumping is hampered by certain camera angles, angles which Square so lovingly made more annoying than needed be. Jumping is critical in this game, yet you'll miss certain jumps due not to lack of skill but crappy camera angles (and pathetic controls). Perhaps the visual designers over at Square need to have their eyes checked, or perhaps this is just the byproduct of squeezing the production through a small time frame for the sake of outputting that stupid FFVIII demo. I could go on, but I'll spare you.

It's sad, really, because Musashi is just brimming with potential. Think about it: A samurai in an action/adventure game. Sounds like a winning idea, doesn't it? Yeah, well, we'll never know, at least not unless Square or somebody else decides to get it right. Don't get me wrong---I like some of the ideas in this game. It's nice to incorporate the passing of time from day to night. Musashi can even fall asleep at your command (he gets tired, as is displayed by %). People move about in their day-to-day activities accordingly, though some of their activities are rather ....corny. You cannot enter people's houses, only the shops, tavern and inn. Some of the dungeons/puzzles are executed very well, betraying the uneventful play mechanics, causing me to wonder what this game could have been if put in the right hands.

Graphically, this is a very weak effort. There's nothing remarkable here. Perhaps intentionally, the character designs have an amateur, unsophisticated feel. The renderings of the characters and enemies is truly underwhelming, aside from one or two bosses. The battle with the Frost Dragon is perhaps the most memorable event in the game.
Sonically, this isn't gonna blow you away but what's here is acceptable. There are a few pleasant pieces here and there (check the quaint inn music) and some of it is just out there. I'll tell you this much, Tsuyoshi Sekito's debut work clearly outclasses most all of Nobuo's work in FFVIII. The sound effects are tired and weak, and the voice acting during special events is, umm, the exact opposite of professional-sounding. Of special note is the voice acting for Scribe Shanky -- it's fruity fruit flavored. One odd thing I noticed is that when Musashi talks or gets hit he sounds like a kid, like he's supposed to, yet whenever he performs his Dashing Pierce his battle cry sounds like an adult. Go figure.
Man oh MAAAAAAN did Square fumble the ball here. This is truly an uneventful title at best, a lesson in mediocre game design and drousy storytelling. There are some other things which I'm not pointing out and that's only because they're not even worth bringing up. What does it matter if there are a few nice ideas present when the foundation is so weak? Thus, Brave Fencer Musashi takes its rightful place in the echelons of gaming forgettables, proving that no company is immune to mistakes. In this case, it was an intentional mistake done for money. Bad, bad Square. :thumbdn:

Please, do yourself a favor and play quality like Landstalker instead -- action/adventuring the way it was meant to be.
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Old 11-15-2004, 12:31 PM   #942
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Chop it good

Brave Fencer Musashi - PS - Rating 3
Or maybe not. Sadly, BFM comes from a time when Square had begun to capitalize on the market of fanboys who would pay full price for one game just to have the satisfaction of playing the demo of another: a great deal of people paid their $50 for the playable demo of Final Fantasy VIII which was included with BFM. Therefore, it would be more accurate to say that it was BFM which was included with the FFVIII demo disc because that's pretty much what Square had in mind. It's only natural that the crowd of Squareheads obstinately believe that this is underrated quality, but BFM is the very definition of contrived, hum-drum action/adventure gameplay. Zelda, it is not. Nor is it in the same ballpark as Landstalker, Alundra, Legend of Oasis, etc. It is, however, the epitomy of mediocrity. Square seems to have cashing-in down to an art form. If only they'd get back to the art of great game design--how I'd love to see that. But what can you do?
Brave Fencer isn't an outright terrible game by any means. It's got at least some semblance of substance behind its rather cheesy facade. You can tell that production values were low on this game--all of the characters look like they are constructed of roughly 20 flat-shaded polygons, at least as far as my immediate impression was concerned. It looks bad. Period. You could probably make better looking characters with only a couple dozen Legos. Wait, that actually might be interesting, and "interesting" is too magnificent a word for incorporation here in a review for a cheap game like this.

Here's a quick summary of the story for you~
Save the world.

Not enough for ya, eh? Just know that it's that tired, generic 'save the world', 'rescue the princess' scheme that I'm certain even a five-year old could come up with, though that's not to insult the intelligence of five-year olds everywhere. Musashi was summoned from "his time" in, what was it, medieval Japan? I don't know -- I didn't keep tabs. As a matter of fact, I had a hard time just playing this borefest without nodding off. Anyway, so yeah... he's summoned to the Allucaneet Kingdom by the princess (before she's abducted) and goes on this little adventure because, it seems apparent, he wants to return to his own time.

As this is an action/adventure, it borrows heavily from the Zelda series. However, probably because it was amongst the very first of this genre in 3D, its disposition is remarkably similar in style to Mario 64. For instance, in Grillin' Village, the focal town of the game, Musashi can jump on a tree and climb up it in exactly the same fashion as Mario can in M64 (however, he cannot do a handstand at the tip ;)). Of course, Musashi isn't trying to be another Mario. The swordplay and adventure elements are of the essence here, and how these things are executed is what ultimately breaks this title in the end.
The plot develops well, to Square's credit--even better than most of the more recent Final Fantasy titles, not that that's some grand achievement. The characters are likeable enough, except that Musashi is a rather unlikeable hero. Whereas actual samurai are supposed to have loads of self-dignity and respect, Musashi often gives the impression that he's a little prick. This is intentional irony on Square's part, of course. He addresses the elder Steward Ribson as simply "geezer," for example, and he likes to make wisecracks. Does this harm the experience? No, not really. The gameplay is often so blatantly pathetic that it actually makes the average story stand out like a rhino on a beach.
As far as the gameplay is concerned, well.... it would be better if I didn't have to go there but, as this is a game review I must do my job, however unfortunate that must be for Square. I can almost hear them cringing, "Pleeeease Icarus, don't bring up the gameplay." (Like they really care.)
Square does a TERRIBLE job exploiting the 3D engine. You aren't given control over the camera, aside from turning the overhead view while in town via the L2/R2 triggers (wooooow). Now, since Square is obviously pimping their 3D locales here, you'd expect them to do a tremendous job exploiting the PS' 3D engine, them being the graphics whores they are. ....Nope, not happening. BFM looks like what would happen if the graphic designers were fired mid-production. How these people are still employed, we may never know. :annoyed: Thankfully, Square doesn't really allow for too much theatrical fluff camera-wise, so you do get some good views. In some locations you'll be in what feels like a full 3D space and in others it's more of a side-scrolling affair. The interaction is problematic in a multitude of ways, the amount of which I will only touch upon. Musashi has two blades at his disposal: Fusion and Lumina. Fusion is the "combo starter," so to speak, because it's easy to chain combos together and, later, as you acquire new techniques, you can begin using new combos. The problem is that it has such a short range that, often, you get hit due to miscalculating Musashi's position in relation to the enemy, thus granting it a free attack. Moreover, jumping is hampered by certain camera angles, angles which Square so lovingly made more annoying than needed be. Jumping is critical in this game, yet you'll miss certain jumps due not to lack of skill but crappy camera angles (and pathetic controls). Perhaps the visual designers over at Square need to have their eyes checked, or perhaps this is just the byproduct of squeezing the production through a small time frame for the sake of outputting that stupid FFVIII demo. I could go on, but I'll spare you.

It's sad, really, because Musashi is just brimming with potential. Think about it: A samurai in an action/adventure game. Sounds like a winning idea, doesn't it? Yeah, well, we'll never know, at least not unless Square or somebody else decides to get it right. Don't get me wrong---I like some of the ideas in this game. It's nice to incorporate the passing of time from day to night. Musashi can even fall asleep at your command (he gets tired, as is displayed by %). People move about in their day-to-day activities accordingly, though some of their activities are rather ....corny. You cannot enter people's houses, only the shops, tavern and inn. Some of the dungeons/puzzles are executed very well, betraying the uneventful play mechanics, causing me to wonder what this game could have been if put in the right hands.

Graphically, this is a very weak effort. There's nothing remarkable here. Perhaps intentionally, the character designs have an amateur, unsophisticated feel. The renderings of the characters and enemies is truly underwhelming, aside from one or two bosses. The battle with the Frost Dragon is perhaps the most memorable event in the game.
Sonically, this isn't gonna blow you away but what's here is acceptable. There are a few pleasant pieces here and there (check the quaint inn music) and some of it is just out there. I'll tell you this much, Tsuyoshi Sekito's debut work clearly outclasses most all of Nobuo's work in FFVIII. The sound effects are tired and weak, and the voice acting during special events is, umm, the exact opposite of professional-sounding. Of special note is the voice acting for Scribe Shanky -- it's fruity fruit flavored. One odd thing I noticed is that when Musashi talks or gets hit he sounds like a kid, like he's supposed to, yet whenever he performs his Dashing Pierce his battle cry sounds like an adult. Go figure.
Man oh MAAAAAAN did Square fumble the ball here. This is truly an uneventful title at best, a lesson in mediocre game design and drousy storytelling. There are some other things which I'm not pointing out and that's only because they're not even worth bringing up. What does it matter if there are a few nice ideas present when the foundation is so weak? Thus, Brave Fencer Musashi takes its rightful place in the echelons of gaming forgettables, proving that no company is immune to mistakes. In this case, it was an intentional mistake done for money. Bad, bad Square. :thumbdn:

Please, do yourself a favor and play quality like Landstalker instead -- action/adventuring the way it was meant to be.
The game's 'cover' was really cool!
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Old 11-15-2004, 01:01 PM   #943
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I love it when people quote giant ass posts even though they are replying right underneath that post just to say one sentence.
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Old 11-16-2004, 01:45 AM   #944
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Halo 2 - X-Box - Rating 5
It is apparent that the Halo series does for console first-person shooters what Final Fantasy does for console RPGs. And it seems as though things are set on remaining this way for quite some time. Ask any X-Box owner what they think is the greatest game for their system and the answer is almost certainly gonna be Halo/Halo 2. I'd probably say Ninja Gaiden. You can discredit my review if you'd like because I simply don't enjoy this genre and, therefore, my opinions are only as valid as you see fit to allow. However, even I'll admit that Halo 2 is a vast improvement over the original in almost every way.
Halo 2 is like both watching and playing a movie at the same time in a lot of ways. As you progress through stages, certain events unfold that push the plot forward and there are cinemas interlaced throughout. My problem with this isn't that their incorporating a storyline into the action but that I personally could care less about what's happening in the Halo universe. It looks like it's trying to mimic stuff such as the Star Wars Episodes and even a little Lord of the Rings (i.e. trying to be this huge epic). The actual dialogue is iffy and wouldn't be worthy of an episode of Star Trek ~ The Next Generation. For one thing, Master Chief and his crew are usually spewing out corny one-liners--I don't know what gives; it doesn't leave a memorable impression on me. But then again there aren't any characters whom I find appealing in any way. They all look like Star Wars rejects to me. For instance, it is woefully obvious that Oracle is a blatant rip-off of R2D2. You might find it interesting to note that Tartarus is actually a name taken from Greek Mythology: Zeus banished Sisyphus into the Pit of Tartarus. But who cares, right?

"When you take stuff from one writer it's plagiarism; but when you take it from many writers, it's research." ~ Wilson Mizner

The plot doesn't even factor into my rating because, as I've made abundantly clear, I don't rate novels--I rate games. And how good is Halo 2? It's a nice FPS, one of, if not the highest quality FPS of this generation. That covers a lot of grounds. For one thing, the campaign mode is thorough and meticulously designed--whoever designed and rendered the massive assortment of locales should be given a medal. Seriously, I've never witnessed such a wide assortment of locations in a straight-up action game. I give Bungie credit for straying from the tired, uninspired cut-and-paste level layouts of the original; no two levels look the same in Halo 2, and most every one of 'em features various locations. This isn't just for cosmetic purposes, either. The strategy of battle changes, often dramatically, depending on the circumstances. For instance, you could enter a room and there could be a war going on between two parties. So you could grab a Particle Beam Rifle, which acts as a sniper rifle, and start knocking off foes from a safe distance. However, just when you think things are going your way, suddenly, a Kig-Yar (an alien with the features of a deformed chicken/rooster) snipes you and then you pull back and shut the door while you recharge your shield energy. Or, you could choose to risk life and limb by running through the battlegrounds. Or, you could rush into the heat of battle with guns blazing, creating absolute chaos. The choice is yours.

So, if this is indeed the best FPS that I've played this generation then why'd I give Metroid Prime a Rating 7? Because I rated Prime based upon how well it managed to maintain the original Metroid formula. And, if you wanna get technical about it, out of all the Metroid games I've rated, Prime scored the lowest.

If there is one fly in the ointment, and there is, it's the lack of variety as far as enemies is concerned. But there is a bit more to shoot at than the original. You'll see familiar faces and new ones as well, including some boss encounters. However, the final boss is unmemorable at best and Bungie decided to leave more ?'s than !'s in the conclusion so that the Halo fanatics have enough material to write several million fanfics until the inevitable sequel comes their way and imparts even more questions than answers in the name of mystery and suspense.

Further aggrandizing your choices are MC's choice to use two weapons at once, depending on the weapon. Naturally, he can only use one shotgun at a time, but if you want to use a Plasma Rifle, standard or Brute, and a Needler at the same time, hey, that's up to you. Furthermore, there are more vehicles than ever to utilize, thus creating an almost GTA-like scenario. The best vehicles in my book are the Scorpion (bad-ASS!), the Banshee and the Ghost. I cannot stand using those Warthogs because they handle like crap. However, I don't object to using the gun turrent on the back, aside from when I've got some crappy driver who decides that driving off the cliff is the right way to go. I kid you not -- I got killed due to incompetent computer AI. Somebody revoke his driver's license!

Whenever you arrive at a new part of the story, a new caption appears on the bottom of the screen, some of the more notable examples being: "Uncomfortable silence," "Once more, with feeling," or the so-corny-it's-classic "Oh, so that's how it is." Without spoiling anything, I'll say this much: if you thought Doom 3 looked cool, wait until you check out a certain dark area later on. I beat it on Normal difficulty, me not being the diehard FPS gamer that others are, and, being familiar with multiplayer action, I know my limits. The second I set it to a harder setting or step out and face somebody who knows what they're doing (read: my brother) I know I'd get my sorry butt handed to me on a silver platter, not because I'm a bad gamer but simply because I'm not an avid FPS gamer.
The graphics.... look extremely detailed, better than a lot of the CG FMV I've seen in 32-bit games. Problems plague this game, however, and it's rather upsetting that Bungie would allow certain things to just pass. Sometimes during cinemas, characters and objects suddenly appear onscreen out of the blue, textures randomly sport bump-mapping and other details, applying it--literally--while the game is in motion, and there are some framerate stutters, although these are few and far-between and, usually, are reserved for cinemas or while a new section of a stage is loading. Kinda annoying but, hey, I don't really care because I've already played through the Campaign and have no need to go back through it again. One noticeable flaw that makes this a downgrade from the original is that the radar in the original was a map that showed you where you were in relation to your comrades and enemies, showing exactly where you were on the map, whereas here it's just a stupid circle radar that is practically useless. As a direct result I got lost on more than a few occasions, not knowing where to go next. How other reviewers can overlook these flaws, I don't know. :???:
If you're into multiplayer and online shootouts, this should satisfy your every craving, I'm sure. Game variants allow for complete customization of pretty much all aspects of multiplayer action. The funny thing is that I know that I am describing something which pretty much everyone who reads my review already knows because they already own the game. Me? HA! I'm not going to get my ass handed to me, repeatedly, and call it a good time, so you can go and kick somebody's ass in my stead. :kill:
The soundtrack features some typical adrenaline-pumping stuff ranging from full symphonic pieces to all-out rock and even some almost techno sounding beats. The theme for the title screen is unsettling and relaxing, at least for the first several minutes because of the stillness of the piano arpeggiating within the confines of the almost eerily expressionless strings. When first using the Banshee, the guitar riff truly accomplishes its mission of driving up the heat of the moment--you won't want the action to cease. Thus, another improvement over the original is the score and sound effects which are superb for the most part. The voice acting is average at best, sounding very much like the original, only Bungie tries even harder to make it seem like an epic motion picture.
And that concludes my review of Halo 2. It's not as tiresome as the original, even if some stages seem to wander aimlessly onward for an unreasonable amount of time. Bungie improved over the original in almost every way. Does it live up to the hype? I cannot say for certain as I'm no authority when it comes to FPS games, but no matter. Now, if only I could get them to do something about the limited variety of enemies and bosses. Then we'll be cooking baby.

"Boo." ~ Master Chief

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Old 11-16-2004, 02:55 AM   #945
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Halo 2 was the reason the heavens and Earth, and thus life itself, were created in the first place. People have been foretelling about the second coming of the Lord for centuries, but instead of just sending a liaison like he did with Jesus, God Himself came to us all personally this time in the form of Halo 2.

HOW DARE YOU give this game less than 15 out of 10!
Hype = Good game! The more hype, the better the game, obviously.
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