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It's 44 B.C. and Caesar's been offed. So let the Roman bloodletting commence. This history-influenced action game, SHADOW OF ROME, centers around the relationship between solider-warrior Agrippa and the murdered Caesar's retribution-minded nephew, Octavianus. Of Octavianus, old-ass historian Suetonius wrote that he "felt that there was nothing more important for him than to avenge his uncle's death." So, Agrippa is the head-chopping violence-monger, and revenge-seeking Octavianus is the furtive one, slyly listening in the shadows to gain information and assume the lofty position of ruling heir. I love Agrippa's slashing ways but I've grown tired of stealth characters like Octavianus since there've been so many in games the past two years. Admirably, Capcom's got the history pretty much right; the graphics are good; and the chariot races kick butt in a classic Ben Hur-meets-Gladiator way. But playing as Octavianus slows things down. You feel that he's the guy who fiddled when Rome burned.

WINNING ELEVEN 8 INTERNATIONAL is pretty much the most unwaveringly realistic soccer simulation series available, and even the numbers are simply amazing: 57 national teams, 80 Euro club teams, 4,500 players. You can even play the game in Spanish if you like. The nail-biting tension, as in the best hockey games, is palpable, especially when you're able to keep the score low. This year, in addition to more photo-realistic soccer heroes, you'll find you can more accurately control your player as he tries to fake-out the nearest opposition. From the absorbing training modes to the addicting career modes, this is soccer—gritty, exciting and sometimes frustrating. Now, if they would add those nasty melees in the stands, it'd really feel real.

Check out reviews of all the latest and greatest games (updated every week), along with past faves in NYC Guide.

Details

SHADOW OF ROME
For: PlayStation 2
Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Capcom Production Studio 2

WINNING ELEVEN 8 INTERNATIONAL
For: PlayStation 2, Xbox
Publisher: Konami
Developer: Konami TYO


  • Check out reviews of all the latest and greatest games (updated every week), along with past faves in NYC Guide.
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