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Down and Dirty Reviews: Xbox -- A - M

It's the all powerful X Box! The system has really made a name for itself, mostly because of all of these great games. Here are the games I had a chance to play so far.

The overall scores are out of 100.

The graphics, sounds, and game play are out of 10.

Score / Name
66
ALTER ECHO (THQ, 2003)
Alter Echo is a very creative action/adventure game thatís packed with a nice list of extras like bonus Trailers and the Making of the game. The storyís characters may seem corny but Iím still fairly curious about this unusual organic world that seems to have a mind of its own. The game still suffers a linear design and the whole living planet can get tiresome after a few hours too so Alter Echo ended up being far from perfect. This is worth a try though, just for something different.
For 1 player only
Rated (T) for Teen
graphics: 7
sound: 6
gameplay: 7
Find Alter Echo on eBay here!

49 AMERICAN CHOPPER (Activision Value/Creat Studios, December 3, 2004)

Activision/Creat Studios made this 3D biking game simple enough for anyone to pick up and play, even if the controls don't handle too well at times. Another thing that stands out here is that if you are to copy any game out there at least it was Grand Theft Auto minus all the car jacking, freedom, and fun. Unfortunately even at its discounted price, American Chopper just doesn't do the hit TV show justice with its generic graphics and basic races. Although it has a few good points about it, the game ultimately fails to be even above average.
For 1 player only
Rated (T) for Teen
graphics: 4
sound: 5
gameplay: 5

Find American Chopper on eBay here!

95
ATARI ANTHOLOGY (Atari/Digital Eclipse, November 16, 2004)
Great game play never gets old! AA is one of those titles that isn't getting a lot of hype and this compilation of oldies can easily get lost in a busy 2004 holiday season especially with heavy hitters like Halo 2 and Metroid Prime 2 out there. That's a real shame because if you love retro throw backs, is one of the best collections I ever played. Atari Anthology is cheap, it is loaded with bonus features, and it comes packed with some of the biggest video games of all time! That a real steal in my opinion!
For 1 to 4 players
Rated (E) for Everyone
graphics: 4
sound: 4
gameplay: 9
Find Atari Anthology on eBay here!

81 BEYOND GOOD and EVIL (Ubisoft, 2003)
If this game has such amazing graphics, controls, sounds, and much more then how come the game didn't do better in sales? I think the main reason behind that is because the game does seem to focus on the game's political story a bit much and that is not a good thing when the most popular titles are usually the most violent and action packed ones. Sure, Beyond good and evil may have a odd bunch of characters and a few quirks other that limit some of the action sometimes but what it loses in action it makes up for in story and pure adventure and that's something the Xbox really needs right now. Since this game is at lower price now, you have no excuse not to pick up this excellent adventure game.
For 1 player only
Rated (T) for Teen
graphics: 9
sound: 9
gameplay: 8
Find Beyond Good and Evil on eBay here!

36
BIG MUTHA TRUCKERS (THQ, June 23, 2003)
Despite the funny name here and the discounted price, Big Mutha Truckers is only fun for a threw rounds then the whole hick theme wears off very quickly whether you're selling your load in a town or driving carelessly but slowly on the open road. Drive pass this mutha.
For 1 player only
Rated (T) for Teen
graphics: 5
sound: 3
gameplay: 5
Find Big Mutha Truckers on eBay here!

77 BLINX 2: Masters of Time and Space (Artoon, December 2004)

Despite some problems with the iffy lock on system, lack lustre presentation and the average story, Blinx 2 is still an overall fun 3D title. I really like the whole time altering system and a view from both sides is interesting as well. The new multi-player is confusing at first and there is no LAN or Xbox Live support either but it was still a welcome feature that can be good for parties. Blinx 2 is a solid platformer and in my opinion it is definitely one of the sleeper hits of 2004.
For 1 to 4 players
Rated (E) for Everyone
graphics: 7
sound: 5
gameplay: 8
Find Blinx 2 on eBay here!

47 BMX XXX (Acclaim, December 2002)
This game is not as bad as I thought it would be but it still had its serious problems. First the adult features are nice and all but it seems to be a after thought and half the jokes are not even that funny. Secondly, the game's objectives are too demanding to be any real fun especially for their target audience. By the way this one is definitely NOT one for the kids because of the strong language and adult themes but hopefully that's pretty obvious. The game ends up being a poor man's Tony Hawk.
For 1 to 2 players
Rated (M) for Mature
graphics: 5
sound: 7
gameplay: 4
Find BMX XXX on eBay here!

Videogames101's 2004 Game of the Year!
97
BURNOUT 3: Takedown (EA Games, 2004)

Although other big driving games like the Gran Turismo are getting the most attention and hype for your gaming dollar, these games just can't compared with the awesome feeling of literally seeing your opponents car getting ripped to shreds after you crash into it. Burnout 3 not only improves on the two amazing prequels in both graphics and sounds but this game adds more control options during a crash so you feel like you are a bigger part of the action. Burnout 3 is just pure evil fun and it is excellent example what video games should be all about!
*Custom Soundtrack compatible
For 1 to 2 players
Rated (T) for Teen
graphics: 10
sound: 7
gameplay: 9
Find Burnout 3 on eBay here!

90
BURNOUT REVENGE (EA Games, 2005)

The popular Burnout series returns again in 2005 and it's another great edition in this crazy racing series. In the game you still compete in various challenges and get rewarded for driving like a nut case but now a lot of cars on the road have less weight to them they now be used as better weapons against special rival vehicles. I was a little disappointed that the famous Crash mode has this unnecessary flash forward look out and start up option that mostly just slows down the game play and overall it just feels too much like the last game as well. Burnout Revenge is still very addictive and it looks and sounds even better believe it or not.
*Custom Soundtrack compatible
For 1 to 2 players
Rated (T) for Teen
graphics: 10
sound: 8
gameplay: 8

Find Burnout Revenge on eBay here!

56 CASTLEVANIA Curse of Darkness (Konami, October 2005)
I was really looking forward to this game since it takes place a few years after the events of CastleVania III: Dracula's Curse for the NES era. Unfotunately, this 3D action CastleVania game is loaded with issues. In it you play as a young but white haired guy named Hector and he used to work for Count Dracula himself. Hector blamed him for Dracula's death and the Count's minions take it out on his girl. Now Hector wants his revenge and he's willing to use his old sinister powers to get it. Over the course of the game you can find and earn new sidekicks called Innocent Devils to help on your deadly mission but it's a shame they are tagging along with you during some boring scenes with the same old reappearing enemies over and over again. Not only does the game play get tedious but the graphics and sound are too bland especially compared to something like God of War. Curse of Darkness may still please CastleVania fans looking for more monster slaying adventure but overall the game just isn't too exciting.
For 1 player only
Rated (M) for Mature
graphics: 5
sound: 6
gameplay: 8
Find Castlevania on eBay here!

84 CAPCOM CLASSICS COLLECTION (Capcom, October 2005)
This is a dream come true for me! 19 classic Capcom games like Ghosts N' Goblin, Street Fighter II, Forgotten Worlds, and many more in one disc and all for the low price of 19.99. Although it's a shame that these games have unlimited continues now, you're also going to need them because a lot of these titles are just way too hard. The arcade edition of Bionic Commando was especially hard to play and it's a shame we couldn't get the NES game instead. The collection is still great value for the money and has a great list of extras so this should keep arcade freaks very happy.
For 1 to 3 players
Rated (T) for Teen
graphics: 6
sound: 6
gameplay: 9

Find Capcom Classics on eBay here!

78 CAPCOM VS. SNK 2 EO (Capcom, 2003)

This 2D one on one brawler as so many options that fans of both companies will go nuts for all the different set ups alone. The announcer may be super annoying and the graphics are not the best I seen for a 2D fighting game but at least you can play this on Xbox Live which is a first for you Street Fighter freaks.
*Xbox Live compatible
For 1 to 2 players
Rated (T) for Teen
graphics: 6
sound: 6
gameplay: 9
Find Capcom vs. SNK 2 on eBay here!

28 CATWOMEN (EA Games, July 2004)

EA Games screwed up the controls here so bad here that's it hard not to miss that important jump and that means you have to go through some overly tedious levels all over again. The bottom-line is that the gameplay so horrible here that I think nobody will cry if this cat gets run over by a car (I bet some of you even know that cars and Halle Berry don't mix from the news, eh?).

For 1 player only
Rated (T) for Teen
graphics: 7
sound: 5
gameplay: 1

Find Catwomen on eBay here!

75 Colin McRae RALLY 2005 (Codemasters, September 28, 2004)
Rally games are not for everyone but if you love the sport this game comes loaded with tons of customizable options, you and your friends can play across System Link and Xbox Live in multi-player, plus CMR '05 is one of the best looking Rally games around. Although Colin McRae Rally 2005 isn't a huge improvement over the 2004 edition and all the constant adjustments can get on your nerves, if you are looking for a very realistic Rally experience, this is still a challenging and high quality title.
*Xbox Live compatible
For 1 to 8 players
Rated (E) for Everyone
graphics: 8
sound: 5
gameplay: 8

Find Colin McRae 2005 on eBay here!

61 CRASH BANDICOOT Wrath of Cortex (Universal, 2002)
I wanted to hate this PS2 port of the originally poorly received Crash 4 but now that the load times are fairly short and the looks have been touched up a bit, Crash WOC may just be the perfect choice for people searching for a easy to play action game. Although the game still could been a lot better then it's Playstation One counterparts, Crash 4 here is still a worth a try.
For 1 player only
Rated (E) for Everyone
graphics: 6
sound: 6
gameplay: 4

Find Crash on eBay here!

19 C.S.I. Crime Scene Investigation (UBIsoft, January 25, 2005)
Despite some good production values in the sound department, CSI is nothing more but a poor attempt to cash in a popular TV show. The game play is way too linear, the graphics are rather ugly for a point and click adventure, and once you completed all 10 missions there is absolutely no replay value here! CSI is so boring that it almost makes you want to kill yourself so you can just like the dead bodies on the game. At least when they find your lifeless body by a controller they will know what exactly did you in. Death by over exposure to crappy game at 5:30pm.
For 1 player only
Rated (M) for Mature
graphics: 2
sound: 5
gameplay: 2

Find CSI on eBay here!

75 DAI SENRYAKU VII (Kemco, Feburary 2005)
The first thing that instantly got my attention about Dai Senryaku VII: Modern Military Tactics here was that the cover main title was in bold Japanese text. How many times do you see that in a North American game? It really makes me wish there were more of these cool Japanese titles translated over here especially when they're this good. This game may have an extremely high learning curve because of all the different vehicles and the presentation could have been a lot better but for those gamers looking for a more cerebral experience on their Xbox should definitely look up Dai Senryaku VII.
For 1 to 4 players
Rated (E) for Everyone
graphics: 4
sound: 3
gameplay: 8
Find Dai Senryaku VII on eBay here!

StarSoldier's Game of the Month!
80
DANCE DANCE REVOLUTION ULTRAMIX (Konami, November, 2003)

This is the first ever time I played a Dance Dance Revolution video game and now I can see why some people go crazy for these games! The game gives you 40 plus sound tracks and you must enter the correct beats as an arrow appears from the bottom of the screen. What makes DDR so unique is that you can use a dance pad controller to play the game which really adds something cool to the world of Xbox games.
*Xbox Live compatible
For 1 to 4 players
Rated (E) for Everyone
graphics: 5
sound: 7
gameplay: 7
Find DDRU on eBay here!

84 DANCE DANCE REVOLUTION ULTRAMIX 2 (Konami, November 18, 2004)
Ultramix 2 has great graphics, it has a huge selection of 70 cool tracks (including a remixed track from Elvis!), and it has tons of multi-player features both off and online to see who the ultimate dancer truly is! The only real problem I can see in these games is that it has the word 'Dance' in it and most men would rather rinse their mouths out with gasoline then go out dancing, eh?" DDR Ultramix 2 isn't the vastly improved sequel I was hoping for but the game is still packed with options and it is still more of a good thing. I better get Custom Soundtrack support for the third one though Konami!
*Xbox Live compatible
For 1 to 16 players
Rated (E) for Everyone
graphics: 7
sound: 9
gameplay: 5
Find DDRU 2 on eBay here!

67 DANCE DANCE REVOLUTION ULTRAMIX 3 (Konami, November 15, 2005)

I love my DDR but there is only so much a player can take! If you are fimilar to the other DDR games then you know the deal here. This is a rymth button masher where you can use a floor mat to enter the patterns and you get to listen to several semi-famous pop or techno songs that Konami could afford. The third edition has a new quest mode to spice things up a bit but this mode is too much like the other modes but only more tedious. Unfortunately that's it new features (still no Custom Soundtrack support) and even though the game is still fun other DDR fans will tire of this quickly.
*Xbox Live compatible
For 1 to 16 players
graphics: 6
sound: 8
gameplay: 5

Find DDR 3 on eBay here!

63 DANCE DANCE REVOLUTION ULTRAMIX 4 (Konami, November 15, 2005)
Well fellow original Xbox owners I have some good news and I have some bad news. First the good news: there is now a fourth edition of the semi-popular DDRU here for the Xbox and it comes with the same floor stomping fun (if you have the floor mat of course) in the previous installments we all know and kind of like. The game comes with a new list of songs (including one from the Pussy Cat Dolls) and modes you would expect so fans may like the extra stuff. Now for the bad news: it looks like this is going to be the last one for our dying console so we better enjoy it while lasts. Normally for a DDR game I would just skip past the story description and go straight for the game play but believe it or not there is one here now. In the game's improved Quest mode you get to travel across a virtual city on a mission to become the best dancer. You can earn points, new stages, unlock secret tracks, and challenge other dancers one on one in clubs and surprisingly this mode can be very fun to play. Unfortunately, the rest of the game feels too recycled from the previous ones and I'm starting to get bored with the lack of evolution here.
*Xbox Live compatible
For 1 to 16 players
graphics: 7
sound: 7
gameplay: 4

Find DDR 4 on eBay here!


75 DEAD OR ALIVE 3 (Tecmo, November 15, 2001)
Tecmo's famous one on one fighter sequel comes exclusively to the Xbox but other that a few new generic characters I don't see too many improvements over the Dreamcast and PS2 prequels. You still have your share of colourful characters like an drunken master or chicks underdressed for battle. Still the game is easily one of the best looking fighting games currently available for the system despite being one of its earlier titles but the game play barely changed from part 2.
For 1 to 2 players
Rated (T) for Teen
graphics: 9
sound: 9
gameplay: 7

Find Dead or Alive on eBay here!


58 DEAD or ALIVE EXTREME BEACH VOLLEYBALL (Tecmo, January 2003)

Everybody knows that the Dead or Alive fighting games try to be serious titles but it's unrealistic yet beautiful looking half naked clicks always take all the spotlight. Now Tecmo skips the fights altogether and has a all women line up competing in 15 days of Volleyball. Not a bad idea, and you better believe the eight girls are bikini-clad so you get some great T n' A action. Sadly, the game play isn't too deep however because you can easily earn money by playing the slot machine all day plus for a Mature rated title Extreme Beach Volleyball is kind of tame.
*Custom Soundtrack compatible
For 1 to 2 players
Rated (M) for Mature
graphics: 9
sound: 6
gameplay: 7
Find Dead or Alive Extrexe Volleyball on eBay here!

55 DEAD or ALIVE ULTIMATE (Tecmo/Team Ninja, November 16, 2004)
Dead or Alive Ultimate isn't really what I would call 'Ultimate'. A better name would have been Dead or Alive Mediocre or maybe it should have been called Dead or Alive Rehash, or better yet how about the name Dead or Alive Average? Those sound like much better names, eh? The game is what it is. DOAU is a slightly enhanced collection of two aged fighting games that may look prettier and be playable online but unlike the girl's chest size here the game play just falls flat.
For 1 to 4 players
Rated (M) for Mature
graphics: 9
sound: 5
gameplay: 5
Find Dead or Alive Ultimate on eBay here!

89 DEF JAM VENDETTA Fight for New York (EA Big/Aki, September 20, 2004)
Although it was a shame that Xbox owners didn't the first game in the series, at least we got this incredible title this time. Def Jam Vendetta Fight for New York is not only the most vicious wrestling on the planet but it also has tons of style and it plays great. Now you fight in the underground wrestling world all you want without ending up on a stainless steel tray.
For 1 to 4 players
Rated (M) for Mature
graphics: 8
sound: 9
gameplay: 8
Find Def Jam Vendetta New York on eBay here!

54 DEFENDER (Midway, 2002)

If that Defender name sounds fimilair it is because the game is well known for being one of the best video games during the early 1980's. Defender for the Xbox is a 3D remake where you take control of a young Asian female and her star ship on a mission to stop an aggression invasion from an advance alien race. This shooting game even has those classic sound effects and human rescuing game play here that made the old one so famous but because this game is in 3D now it just doesn't feel like the original anymore and the new awkward controls don't help much either.
For 1 to 2 players
Rated (T) for Teen
graphics: 7
sound: 6
gameplay: 5
Find Defender on eBay here!

72 DOOM 3 (ID Software/Activision, April 4, 2005)
I really wanted to love Doom3 here. The game has absolutely outstanding visuals and the truly freighting monsters are aggressive and they are even intelligent. Sadly, once that is taken away there just isn't much left to this First Person Shooter. The Xbox controller is filled with buttons so there is no excuse why I can't use a melee attack or that stupid flashlight on the fly instead of being forced to switch around all the time. Another thing that bugged me was that the levels were some of the most generic and repetitive I seen since Goldeneye Rogue Agent. Sure, the Co-op mode, LAN features and Xbox Live support are great but why is there no split screen option as well? Doom3 is still a solid game that will scare the hell out of you but as far as FPS go, this is no Halo2 killer.
*Xbox Link compatible
*Xbox Live compatible
For 1 to 4 players
Rated (M) for Mature
graphics: 9
sound: 6
gameplay: 7

Find Doom 3 on eBay here!

45 DRAGON'S LAIR 3D (UBI Soft/Dragon Stone, November 18, 2002)

The legendary series returns but unlike the 1983 arcade game this is a fully interactive edition of the same story. This action/adventure game would have been something else if it wasn't for some very sloppy controls and horrible camera angles.
For 1 player only
Rated (T) for Teen
graphics: 8
sound: 6
gameplay: 6

Find Dragon's Lair 3D on eBay here!

The Total Recall Dud of the Month!
42 DRIV3R (Atari/Reflections, June 2004)

Driv3r has a lot to lure the public into buying it if you follow the hype. The game comes loaded with three huge real-life cities, the graphics look fairly decent at some angles, and the violent car and gun action is definitely here. The big question is since this game took over 3 years to develop then why are there only a mere 26 missions? It will only take a few days to go through a rather predictable story mode and once that's done; there isn't much reason to play it again either. Add to the fact the game's controls are far too sensitive so casual gamers will be frustrated in no time plus the game is loaded with ugly graphical glitches as well. Driv3r is nothing more than a lemon dressed in a Porsche's body.
*Xbox Live compatible
*Custom Soundtrack compatible
For 1 player only
Rated (M) for Mature
graphics: 7
sound: 5
gameplay: 3

Find Driver 3 on eBay here!

50 ENTER The MATRIX (Atari/Shiny, May 15, 2003)

What should have been a contender for 2003 game of the year ended up being a game filled with some major problems. It doesn't matter how many pills you take here, it won't make all the annoying bugs, glitches, and even crashes go away in Enter the Matrix. Although all three version of ETM are virtually identical, the Xbox edition has even more in-game crash freezes which just screams bad programming. It's a solid 3D action game for fans of the movies because you can do all those cool slow motion effects but everyone else will not be impressed especially when you are only playing lame supporting characters here.
For 1 or 2 players
Rated (T) for Teen
graphics: 3
sound: 6
gameplay: 5
Find Enter the Matrix on eBay here!

82 FABLE (Mircosoft, November 2004)
Although it sure took a long a time to get here (4 years to be exact), Fable is finally here and it is one incredible open ended title. In Fable you start out has a young boy who must learn many skills to becoming a great warrior. Fable plays like a Legend of Zelda title because the fights take place in real time but the coolest part about this game is that your actions really effect the outcome of the game. You have the option of making friends, getting into certain fights or not, and you can even get married here too. Rememeber all that fuss when I gave the kinda fruity Legendary Wings Game of the Month? Well Fable is packed with so many features that you enter a Gay Marriage as well. Of course, you can even brutally kill important characters if you so desire thus justify the game's Mature rating. Fable doesn't take too long to finish and the graphics, although solid, they are not that hot either, still this unlinear adventure is one addictive game that Role Playing fans will surely love.
For 1 player only
Rated (M) for Mature
graphics: 8
sound: 8
gameplay: 9

Find Fable on eBay here!

73 FULL SPECTRUM WARRIOR (THQ, June 8, 2004)
Full Spectrum Warrior is a very innovative war game but it's not going to please anyone looking for an action title. The game requires a lot of planning and awareness for the deadly environments and if you want to go in a bad situation with guns blazing then there is a good chance that your soldiers will be going home in pine boxes. It places a lot of pressure on your shoulders and it gives this title a human element as well. If you want a gritty and tense war simulation where simple mistakes cost lives then FSW feels as real as it gets.
*Xbox Live compatible
For 1 or 2 players
Rated (M) for Mature
visuals: 7
audio: 7
gameplay: 8
Find Full Spectrum Warrior on eBay here!

64 GOLDENEYE Rogue Agent (EA Games, November 17, 2004)

Goldeneye Rogue Agent is not really a bad title. This First Person Shooter is filled some amazing A.I. and the multi-player can be a lot of fun too so it had it fair share of good qualities don't get me wrong. However, this game was also suppose to be the grand follow up to one of most successful video games of all time and you would expect to play one hell of a game not some so-so FPS. RA suffers from a boring bad vs. bad story line, the game play is more annoying then anything else and the graphics still look like they are stuck in the 90's. It doesn't take a secret agent to figure out that Goldeneye Rogue Agent is a disappointing sequel.
*Xbox Live compatible
For 1 to 8 players
Rated (T) for Teen
visuals: 5
audio: 4
gameplay: 7
Find Goldeneye on eBay here!

53 GRABBED by the GHOULIES (Rare, October 2003)

Rare ware finally arrives now the Xbox and it may not be the Donkey Kong Country for this generation, this game still had its fun moments. Join young Cooper on a mission to save his girlfriend and many others kidnapped kids in a haunted mansion filled with deadly creatures. Grabbed by the Ghoulies is quite average as action games go.
For 1 player only
Rated (E) for Everyone
graphics: 6
sound: 4
gameplay: 5
Find Grabbed by the Ghoulies on eBay here!

92 GRAND THEFT AUTO Double Pack (Rockstar Games, November 5, 2003)

Now both of the GTA Playstation2 mega hits finally arrive on the Xbox in this special box set and the games even have sharper looks, faster load times, and you can even use your own sound tracks here as well. A excellent buy especially if you never played these edgy crime based dramas before!
*Custom Soundtrack compatible
For 1 player only
Rated (M) for Mature
graphics: 7
sound: 10
gameplay: 9
Find GTA Vice City on eBay here!

91
GRAND THEFT AUTO San Andreas (Rockstar Games, June 7, 2005)

If you've already played the Playstation2 version of San Andreas then there is no real need to pimp your way through this edition. Even though the Xbox version was released over 7 months after the PS2 game and there are a few minor graphical touch ups thanks to the power of the Xbox, there are still no new missions, no bonus games, or any game play enhancements for that matter. Normally something like that would really bug the hell out of me but I'm not talking about any old game here. Grand Theft Auto San Andreas is literally one of the biggest games ever created and it will take you weeks or even months just to see everything it has to offer. San Andreas may not have the graphical overhaul and other improvements I wanted but if you are one of the few people that have not played this awesome adults-only game (the first ever console video game to earn that honour) you have less of an excuse to go out play it now!
*Custom Soundtrack compatible
*Recalled video game
For 1 player only
Rated (AO) for Adults Only
graphics: 6
sound: 10
gameplay: 9
Find San Andreas on eBay here!

93 GUILTY GEAR X2 #Reload (Majesco, September 2004)
This game is not only loaded with tons of cool fighters and awesome art, but with all the options included here it make really hard to put down the controller. Guilty Gear X2 Midnight Carnival #Reload may be a mouth full and the game can get way too difficult at times but when you get a highly polished 2D fighter with Xbox Live support at a relatively small price of 20 bucks, who cares! This game is so good that is easily one of the best values you can find on the Xbox!
*Xbox Live compatible
For 1 or 2 players
Rated (T) for Teen
graphics: 9
sound: 9
gameplay: 9

Find Guilty Gear on eBay here!

StarSoldier's Game of the Month!

95 HALO (Bungie, November 15, 2001)
I was really expecting some incredible things here from this popular First Person Shooter but after a few hour of playing in the one player game I started to get bored with walking through the nearly endless corridors and the shooting the same enemies over and over wasn't too fun either. The game does get better further into the game and who could forget that this game comes with a very awesome multi-player mode. The multi-player has several different modes plus you also get some excellent graphics with a very unique storyline as well. If you have a Link and Router then why not hook up 4 TV's and have a massive Halo party? If you love FPS games then Halo is a must play!
*Xbox Link compatible
For 1 to 16 players
Rated (M) for Mature
graphics: 9
sound: 9
gameplay: 9
Find Halo on eBay here!

96
HALO 2: Limited Edition (Bungie, November 9, 2004)

We all waited a long time for this but here it is. "Halo 2 is finally here!" After standing in my first 30 minute line up for a video game and 80 bucks later, I was finally able to get my Limited Edition copy of Halo 2. Was it worth it? You better believe it was! The Limited Edition has a bonus DVD with some well done behind the scene information and a cool looking silver case. As for the game itself, if you are a fan of the first Halo you need to get part 2! The game's story expansion, online features, and new weapons and vehicles upgrades just have to be experienced. Even the new multi-player stages have secrets to unlock. If for some reason you didn't like the first Halo game then this isn't going to change your mind since both games are still very similar in design. My friend and I tried the game's new Co-op mode and the first level quickly got us frustrated by the overly dark backgrounds (there is a Flash light option but it only lasts a few seconds so you have to keep turning it on) and I personally hated the fact that the game still has no map. Sure, shooting a bunch of alien invaders is still lots of fun and the graphics are still incredible but it wasn't quite perfect. Still despite a few minor issues here and there, you would still be a fool to miss this game.
*Xbox Link compatible
*Xbox Live compatible
For 1 to 16 players
Rated (M) for Mature
graphics: 9
sound: 9
gameplay: 9
Find Halo 2 on eBay here!

65 HARRY POTTER and the Prisoner of Azkaban (EA Games, June 2, 2004)

There is nothing really wrong with Harry Potter POA here. It's a fun adventure/action game that both kids and adults can pick up and play easily and the graphics and sounds remain true to the film as well. If there one thing holding it back though it is the bare bones puzzle-like game play is so easy that any expert player will be able walk through in just a few hours or days with hardly any effort. There isn't much replay value neither a side from a few mini games and they're not entertaining enough to save the experience. Harry Potter POA is still great as a Zelda-Light title and that alone is good enough for a rental.
For 1 to 2 players
Rated (E) for Everyone
graphics: 6
sound: 7
gameplay: 6

Find Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban on eBay here!


72 HULK (Universal Studios, 2003)
Here we have the big video game now based on hit 2003 movie (or was it a hit, I don't remember?). Hulk the game may have some camera issues but this is still a very action packed licensed title with a few puzzle scenes so anyone can get into it. Hulk is a great smash mouth style video game that isn't too fancy or innovative but that fans of the series will love anyway.
For 1 player only
Rated (T) for Teen
graphics: 7
sound: 7
gameplay: 7

Find Hulk on eBay here!

80 INTELLIVISION LIVES (Crave Entertainment/Real TIme, 2004)
Sure, there is some terrible control set ups here and you better believe these graphics and sounds are horribly outdated but when you get the option of 60 plus games it just opens up so many possibilities. Games like Night Stalker and Shark! Shark! can be fairly addictive and if you don't like those ones then why not just pick from the many others. I also love the fact that I'm playing games that were originally produced on another gaming console. It gives me hope that maybe we will see other compilations based on older former consoles. Just imagine seeing other weird Xbox games like Turbografx Times, Colecovision Classics, or the best of Sega Genesis? Intellivision Lives is a great (not to mention rare) chance for today's gaming audience to play some elusive legends from a different era. I love this concept!
For 1 to 6 players
Rated (E) for Everyone
graphics: 1
sound: 1
gameplay: 9
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76 James Bond 007 EVERYTHING or NOTHING (EA Games, February 17, 2004)

EA Games usually knows how to make a license product work as a game and they did it again here. The game has all the grits and glamour of the movies and the added voice talent is sure welcome too. If there was ever a game that feels like a feature film you're looking at it right here. You want to know the most amazing part about Everything or Nothing though? Although EA was able spend all this money on the huge celebrity talent and the game's amazing presentation, this James Bond game still doesn't play nearly as well as Goldeneye 007, an ancient Nintendo 64 game from 1997. Everything or Nothing is still a solid action game but when a game can be this difficult, it's annoying well the Lock on system isn't effective half the time and the limited Multi-player pales in comparison to a lot popular First Person Shooters. You don't get everything you want but it is still way better then nothing (sorry for the stupid pun).
For 1 to 4 players
Rated (T) for Teen
graphics: 8
sound: 8
gameplay: 6

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69 JET SET RADIO FUTURE (Sega, 2002)
In this weird game you join a rebellious gang of paint spraying, roller blading, menacing making, always grooving teenagers trying to retake their streets from a evil corporation out to banned their basic freedoms. Jet Set Radio Future is the sequel to the first ever Cel Shaded video game ever made, all you have to do is spray paint on buildings and avoid the cops in the process. The game play is a little on the light side but the game cell shading graphics and killer music steal the show.
For 1 to 4 players
Rated (T) for Teen
graphics: 9
sound: 9
gameplay: 6
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35 KABUKI WARRIORS (Crave/Genki, 2002)

If you're looking for a cheap 3D fighter then this may interest you. This game has a cool concept where you get to control some colourful Kabuki performers in a stage fight to the death and you can even trade warriors once the battle is won. Sadly, the main Tour mode is too easy to be any real fun and some of the graphical effects are very unimpressive especially when your beaten opponent sprays the worst looking blood I think I ever seen. Kabuki Warriors may have some unique ideas but this is no Soul Calibur.
For 1 to 4 players
Rated (M) for Mature
graphics: 4
sound: 4
gameplay: 5
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42 KAKUTO CHOJIN (Dream, 2002)
The Xbox needs more high quality fighters but the only thing high end thing about this game is the sharp graphics. Chojin is slow, unoriginal, and it may even be in bad taste for some religions (this game actually got recalled by the way because of its content). Sega's Virtua Fighter 4 has nothing to worry about.
*Recalled video game
For 1 to 2 players
Rated (T) for Teen
graphics: 8
sound: 7
gameplay: 5

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60 KING of FIGHTERS MAXIMUM IMPACT MANIAX (SNK Playmore, July 2005)

KOFMIM isn't one of those games that are going to revolutionize fighting as we know it. The new 3D effects are nice, the Xbox Live support is great for replay value and the great 2D-like game play is still here but it's all been done before and it has been done better. If you are looking for a Soul Calibur-killer this just isn't it. There is no denying though the game is very intense and easy to pick up and play. King of Fighters Maximum Impact Maniax isn't the most polished title on the market but when you actually play it the game whole just screams fun. Think of it as a Cold Play music CD, you know they suck but you can't help playing it.
*Xbox Live compatible
For 1 to 2 players
Rated (T) for Teen
graphics: 8
sound: 7
gameplay: 5

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54 LEGENDS of WRESTLING 2 (Acclaim, December 2002)

Want to relive the glory days of wrestling? In Legends 2 you have the chance to play big name wrestlers like former heavyweight champions Eddie Grerrero and Hulk Hogan, retired wrestlers like Sid Vicious and Bret the Hitman Hart, and you even play as legends that have passed on like Andre the Giant and Owen Hart. Legends 2 has a great concept and I love all the bonus match types and bonus DVD interviews but the overly cartoonish designs and ugly animation ruin what could have a great title.
*Custom Soundtrack compatible
For 1 to 4 players
Rated (T) for Teen
graphics: 5
sound: 6
gameplay: 6
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65 LEGO STAR WARS (Eidos, April 5, 2005)

Sure, Lego Star Wars sounds like a pretty dumb gimmick just so another game developer can release yet another Star Wars game on the Xbox but when it is all said and done the game is actually a pretty good value. You get to see how each episode of the trilogy merge into one another, the game has a good balance of action and puzzle solving plus the game's oddball sense of humour can be pretty funny at times. Although the overly easy difficulty and whole theme are not for everyone, still Lego Star Wars is so good that's it way more fun then actually Legos themselves!
For 1 player only
Rated (E) for Everyone
graphics: 5
sound: 6
gameplay: 5

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85 LORD of the RINGS the Return of the King (EA, October 2003)

Even though this game was released a month before the huge movie, Return of the King the game is still a awesome action title with a lot of effort put into its design. ROTK has superior visuals, high quality music, and it even has very deep game play that will test anybody. If you can get past the sometimes high and tedious difficulty plus its overall short length, this Lord of the Rings game can be very rewarding even if you are a fan or not.
For 1 to 2 players
Rated (E) for Everyone
graphics: 9
sound: 8
gameplay: 8
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Dud of the Month
58 MANHUNT (Rockstars Games, May 17, 2004)

Manhunt is definitely one of the most controversial video games ever made, no question about it, but that doesn't mean it makes for excellent game, unfortunately. The game heavily relies on stealth kills to be played correctly but the simple mechanics of taking out a bunch of dirt bags is laughable compared to tons of other sneaky action video games like Tenchu and Metal Gear. The filming of deaths is a gruesome yet cool concept but the gimmick quickly wears thin after a few a boring levels and some dull story lines. If this were a real movie it would be quickly returned to Block Buster the same day and not because it's disturbing, it's because Manhunt is average in every way.
For 1 player only
Rated (M) for Mature
graphics: 5
sound: 6
gameplay: 5

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75 MARVEL VS. CAPCOM 2: New Age of Heroes (Capcom, May 2003)
Marvel Vs. Capcom 2 was one of best games for the ill fated Sega machine and now we Xbox owners can get the chance to try out this sleeper hit. This great fighting sequel not only as has a lot of cool secrets to unlock but there are over a massive 50 different characters too from both the Capcom and Marvel universes. Add to the fact that this fighting series is well known for its furious action so a fantastic game just got better. M Vs. C 2 starts off with 24 playable characters and just look at this all star line up here! If you're a Marvel fan then maybe some of these names ring a bell? The Incredible Hulk, Spider Man, and many more famous original comic book heroes and villains. On the Capcom side, not only are there are popular Street Fighters like Ryu, Sakura, Zangeif, and others in here, Capcom also included several oddball characters you normally wouldn't find in a one on one fighter like Jill Valentine, the female cop found in Resident Evil who can use Zombies for special attacks and the cute but evil Tron Boone from Mega Man Legends. Despite its old age Marvel Vs. Capcom 2: New age of Heroes is still a excellent 2D fighter with amazing anime style graphics and great action.
*Uncommon Xbox game
For 1 or 2 players
Rated (T) for Teen
graphics: 6
sound: 2
gameplay: 8

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85 MEGA MAN ANNIVERSARY COLLECTION (Capcom, March 2005)

It's a shame that Mega Man Anniversary Collection didn't have the other popular games out there like the Mega Man X series, the 3D Legend games or several others but that just means there could be a sequel in the future. All the titles here may be familiar in design but when it comes to action games, few games have been able to test of time in the game play department like the original Mega Man series have. Perhaps the best part about MMAC is that it's only 20 bucks US, that's even cheaper then PS2 and GameCube versions! If you can stomach some ugly NES graphics from time to time, this collection is great for Mega Man fans new and old.
For 1 to 2 players
Rated (E) for Everyone
graphics: 4
sound: 6
gameplay: 9

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79 METAL SLUG 3 (SNK Playmore, May 2004)

This famous arcade 2D shooter series finally arrives on the DVD generation of consoles and we even get one of the best in the series in part 3 but it's still missing a few things that are keeping it from being perfect. The biggest issue here is the almost unfair difficulty that will most likely scare away any new fans and there are not too many bonus features either if you are looking for replay value. If you are carving some old school shooting action however, this game will be a breath of fresh air for Xbox owners.
*Xbox Live compatible
For 1 to 2 players
Rated (T) for Teen
graphics: 7
sound: 8
gameplay: 8

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70 MIDWAY ARCADE TREASURES (Midway/Digital Eclipise, November 14, 2003)

If you don't remember any of these games from the arcades then maybe you've seen them before in previous Midway compilations for several other game systems. Most Midway compilations on the older Playstation and Sega Saturn systems were only about 6 or 7 games per disc but now Midway is giving us over twenty games in one this time. Before you get too excited, however most of these arcade legends are just like the games you already played on those other collections already. Even a lot of bonus material (like the developer biographies) is exactly the same. Some more bonus extras would have been nice. I was also disappointed that Moon Patrol didn't make the list here even though it can be found in other Midway compilations out there. If you don't care about some déjà vu and you just want to play some golden oldies like Joust, Satan·s Hollow, Smash TV, and Gauntlet again then dive right in. MAT provides tons of fun arcade action at a great price.
For 1 to 4 players
Rated (T) for Teen
graphics: 6
sound: 5
gameplay: 7
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88
MIDWAY ARCADE TREASURES 2 (Midway/Digital Eclipise, November 2004)
The first Arcade Treasures was a good collection of games but this one is even better. Not all the games are winners but it wasn't too long ago when gamers would gladly spend 50 cents per play for games like Mortal Kombat II and Primal Rage and now you can drop a mere twenty bucks and own them forever! If you consider yourself an arcade connoisseur then be sure to check out Midway Arcade Treasures 2.

For 1 to 4 players
Rated (M) for Mature
graphics: 8
sound: 7
gameplay: 9

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33 MORROWIND (2002)
This game won rave reviews on the PC and so far this RPG is only going to be translated to the Xbox and not any of their competition, so why didn't didn't people go nuts for this game, uh? It sucks that's why! After playing the game and going through the boring searching, lame voice overs, and the weak first person fighting (be prepared to slashing at a lot of air here), this game is no Final Fantasy X and what's the deal with the annoying dual movement controls here. OK, the game is huge adventure but you should definitely try before you buy.
For 1 player only
Rated (M) for Mature
graphics: 5
sound: 6
gameplay: 4

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66 MORTAL KOMBAT Deadly Alliance (Midway, 2002)

MK 5 here is a very fun but also a very uneven fighting game with a lot of dead characters like Johnny Cage and Kung Lao making their returns..... again. I did like the increased move list per character and all the different fighting styles which can be switched on the fly, but I didn't like all the goofy animations and the blood was quite over done as well. If you're a fan then this is a solid investment.
For 1 or 2 players
Rated (M) for Mature
graphics: 6
sound: 6
gameplay: 8

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39 MTV's CELEBRITY DEATHMATCH (Big Ape Productions, 2003)

This was a great idea for a video game because you have the option of beating up 15 plus clay-animated celebrity in a fight right to the death! It's too bad there is little that could be done after you only played it for a few hours. MTV Celebrity Deathmatch is great for a rental because of the game's funnier moments but overall this is a horrible purchase.
For 1 or 2 players
Rated (M) for Mature
graphics: 5
sound: 7
gameplay: 3

Find MTV Celebrity Deathmatch on eBay here!


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