The PS2 is home to more Japanese-developed role playing games than any obsessive fan, let alone a rational gamer with a reasonable budget, could ever dream of playing. Most of them have a quirk that sets them apart from the rest. With Grandia III, it's unquestionably the battle system. But from its spunky teen lead and his winsome female friend, to the land of mysteries and monsters they inhabit, the tale is almost tragically
Bombing down the streets of a heavily populated urban city by the bay, unleashing a concussive hail of rockets on everything you see sure sounds like a staggeringly good time. Sadly, while the execution of this exact scenario in Full Auto seems masterful during your first few races, it quickly degenerates into boringly repetitive, mindless destruction.
We had such high hopes for Full Auto when it was announced, and the preview versions only got us more excited for the maximum quantities of
There's no enemy to overcome, no goal to achieve in Animal Crossing: Wild World. You wake up, do some chores and talk to villagers. That's it. Why it's fun we can't exactly say, but the staggering amount of personalization makes it easy to get sucked up in this super cute world. Right from the start you're given a town. Everyone's village has the same structures but a unique set of townspeople; talking to your neighbors brings you closer and often nets cool items and clues you in to what
Three games in, the Fatal Frame series central gameplay idea remains creepy as Hell: you basically stand there letting macabre, angry ghosts get closer, and then even closer, and then way-the-Hell-too-much closer … Then, rather than busting out holy water, a special ghost-killing sword, or a tank strapped to a fighter plane, you snap their picture with a magic camera. Sure, it's hokey, but it works. There's something about being armed only with a camera, even a mystical, ghost-busting
The original Age of Empires sold a gazillion copies by ushering in the idea of epochs in real-time strategy games (where you slowly move your civilization through a series of technological ages). Since then, Age of Mythology and Age of Empires II each offered incremental changes, and Age of Empires III keeps the streak alive. That's both good and bad: the gameplay is accessible, easy to learn and very polished, but too often Age III has a "been there, done that" feeling.
What does it sound like when you fire a canned ham out of a cannon targeted at a pile of brittle sticks? The answer is a fist against your face, unless you've put hours into Fight Night Round 3. Hang out learning the sweet science long enough and you might earn a PhD in placing punches ... or eating them.
When you're up against the ropes and the slowing of time sounds like a rush of wind past your ears, the desperation seizes you by the heart. If you can defend a handful of punches and get a
RPGs most certainly have their fans. But among those who don't enjoy them, the main complaint seems to be that the battles are boring - you're usually limited to picking options off of a menu, after all. Well, Tales of Phantasia is the game designed to fix that. While it has the look and story of an ultra-traditional RPG, the battles give you direct control over the action. It's a welcome change of pace whether you love or hate turn-based fighting, and it's little surprise that the series has
EverQuest II's second expansion, Kingdom of Sky, dishes out the tasty morsels we've been dying for in Sony's online fantasy role-playing game. Badass new armor models - with the burly stats to back them up - are yours if you can slay some of the deadliest monsters yet. Creepy man-sized insects, intricately designed aviaks, and killer carnivorous plants are among the treats that will grudgingly succumb to your impending killing spree.
A majestic teleportation spire will transport you to the
Playing FIFA Street 2 is like picking a lock, except you've 200 keys, the clock is ticking and the treasure might be in another room. Despite its bewildering combination of key presses and skill moves, you're never sure how to score a goal, or whether to bother at all.
You rarely hit the net unless you've done about three tricks, while some games can be won by ball skills alone. To make things even more complex, other matches can be won by making men fall over.
Confusing? Yes. Rubbish? Not
The good guys have had their day - now it's evil's turn. But as the dark shadow to the popular massively multiplayer online superhero RPG City of Heroes, NC Soft's City of Villains feels very familiar but only slightly sinister.
Like its less evil twin, City of Villains drops players into Paragon City, a metropolis ravaged by crime. Street gangs, giant snakes, and mutated corpses roam the streets, looking for their next victims. The good guys are here too - spandex-clad Longbow operatives