By Stephanie Zacharek
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Charles Taylor
By Melissa Anderson
By Inkoo Kang
By Amy Nicholson
By Sam Weisberg
Playing BURNOUT REVENGE, the latest in the crash 'em up Burnout series, almost feels like autocide. You're wiping out so many cars by crashing into them and onto them, GM and Ford should recruit Jack Bauer to go CTU on your butt. While it's not the amazing surprise that Burnout 3: Takedown was, the game still provides the quick chills and thrills of bumper-to-bumper bust upswith an alternative rock 'n roll soundtrack that kicks like the better Lower East Side rock bands. Like each performer at Lach's Anti-hoot, one of the allures here is that each race is pretty short. Add special effects of lurid pyro and twisted metal that Hollywood can't touch, and you've got the second best Burnout to date. (Last year's was a smidgeon better since it felt so new.)
One of the things I've always disliked about wrestling games is that they didn't feel like the humorously melodramatic soap opera they are on TV. Without the interesting fighting or compelling, operatic tales, I certainly didn't feel like a wrestler. WWE DAY OF RECKONING 2 changes that somewhat with an extended story mode. You've climbed up through the ranks to become a top dog, but the doggone title is stolen. You try to retrieve it with the support of your galpal, who happens to be skinny looker Stacy "How Does She Wrestle in Heels?" Keibler. With some of the best graphics seen on the GameCube, some decent (though not perfect) A.I., and a fighting system that makes you care, this is an essential title for the wrestling fan, and for the curious (even if you're not really going to get Stacy Keiblernot even if you're that drooling dog Neil Strauss feigning in Style mode.)Check out reviews of all the latest and greatest games (updated every week), along with past faves in NYC Guide.
187 Ride or Die
There's street cred and then there's street cred. 50 Cent arguably had more cred with Get Rich Or Die Tryin' than with The Massacresimply because he got rich and didn't have to die tryin'. But then there's the desperate try for cred. 187 RIDE OR DIE is an urban racing game with a lot of shooting of AK-47's. For bling, the makers added some story elements by Straight Outta Brooklyn director Matty Rich. The story? Regain turf captured by a rival gang. The game's mainly just racing and shooting, like the makers were on some sort of OCD kick and couldn't do anything else but race and shoot, race and shoot.
Beat Down: Fists of Vengeance
Then, there's BEAT DOWN: FISTS OF VENGEANCE with these too-pretty characters who've been framed by the local mob. They seek redemption via vengeance. Here, the story's intense and varied, but there's a problem with everything from camera angles to the repetitive fighting and the interrogations, which become banal and stupid. It should have been called "Beat Down: Fists of the Dense."
Developer: Bugbear Entertainment
Finally, there's GLIMMERATI for the N-Gage phone, a racing game full of beautiful, rich people. Remember the triple-digit millionaires I mentioned? You're one of them. In Glimmerati, there's no more money to be gained to increase your snivelling power over people and things. It's just racing in super-pimped vehicles for pride (its own kind of power). Because the game is almost old school, I like it. When the words "Your Engine Has Been Tampered With" appear on the screen, I'm pissed off and want to win races. It's kind of like Racing With the Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. The Finnish-makers only mistake: Where's that Lizzie Grubman and her crazy SUV?
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