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Greg Hasting's Tournament Paintball Max'd review

AT A GLANCE
  • Virtual paintballs don't bruise
  • Custom arena builder
  • Tries hard to be authentic
  • So-so visuals
  • Quickly becomes repetitive
  • Limited appeal to non-fans

Paintball video games are to shooters what NASCAR is to racing. If you're not already a rabid fan of this particular sub-genre, you're probably going to find the whole thing sort of silly.

But if the quittin' time whistle on Friday is your cue to rush home and don your facemask, your camouflage gear and your reinforced athletic cup (so very crucial), then Greg Hastings' Tournament Paintball Max'd will surely juice up your enjoyment of this real-world, uh, professional sport.



Above: Screen is from the Xbox version of the game. PS2 version may look slightly worse (and will ride up with wear).

Though "Max'd" may be one Mountain Dew Code Red short of "X-TREME!" in the lexicon of annoying catchphrases, the bloodless nature of the game is actually kind of refreshing, and ditto for the short, bite-sized matches. GHTPM's career mode guides you through tournaments of ever-increasing challenge, with victory giving you points to spend on personal stats and reams of what's apparently name-brand paintball gear.

Your AI teammates won't win any medals for their tactical smarts, but at least they're reasonably competent and don't take stupid risks. The game's simple command system allows you to direct your allies' attention to foes hunkered down behind cover, which you'll often need to do in order to spur your team into action. Fortunately, your buddies will also call out the locations of enemies and keep them busy while you sneak around your foe's flank to turn his hindquarters a shade of baboon-butt red.



Above: Screen is from the Xbox version of the game. PS2 version may look slightly worse (and will ride up with wear).

Because paintball markers are inherently less accurate than real guns, the game emphasizes tactics over raw skill or overwhelming firepower. Still, this is the ultimate one-hit-and-yer-dead form of faux warfare, and it can make for tense matches, especially in the online multiplayer modes. The visuals range from merely mediocre to kinda fugly, though, bearing the familiar taint of so many quote-unquote "value" titles.

The biggest head-scratcher about GHTPM is this: why did it take a whole year to get it ported from the Xbox version? But only slightly less perplexing is why, rather than spending a few hours twiddling the sticks of a PS2 controller, most of the game's target audience wouldn't instead heave the ol' butt out of its couch groove and go play some real paintball? The welts and bruises heal eventually. Just don't forget the cup.

More Info

Release date: Sep 26 2006 - PS2 (US)
Sep 26 2006 - PS2 (UK)
Available Platforms: Xbox, PS2
ESRB Rating:
Everyone 10+: Mild Violence

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