Gamestyle Archive intro: As I’ve mentioned, we do have some excel files for several formats (retro, Gamecube, Playstation 2 and Xbox) that contain some of the earliest Gamestyle reviews. These are categorised after format by when they appeared online and after this, the cells contain the author, score and review text.
For whatever reason many of these are incomplete when its comes to the text; some hilariously so. However others do contain an essence of what the review was. The most difficult aspect is actually identifying the title being reviewed from what remains of the text. I think its important to catalogue and archive whatever we can and maybe one day, we can restore full reviews as they become available. So here are some on our wish list.
Scooby-Doo! Night of 100 Frights
Scooby Doo. Loved by many, hated by myself. I could never see the appeal of 4 gormless teenagers running around with their klutz of a dog, solving the same mysteries week after week. The fact that the series is still going strong all over the world and that a film has recently been made of their exploits shows how little I really know about the franchises popularity. So without further ado let
There are few harder tasks in videogaming than taking a license based on a poor film about the Grand Prix lifestyle and creating a racing game. Every system has its fair share of racing games with the majority of them being instantly forgettable but this did not deter Bam Entertainment
Super Monkey Ball
Monkeys in Balls ehh? What will they think of next? A monumental game though, as it is the first Sega title to be the released on the Nintendo GameCube. Not so long ago these two gaming giants were at loggerheads, but since have jumped in bed together. Super Monkey Ball sees you take control of one of four monkeys. Aiai, Meemee, Baby or Gongon, all varying in attributes, but none that make a considerable amount of difference. Your job is to guide these little critters across over 100 levels. The major difference being you do not control the ball, but instead the platform, ala Marble Madness. The game, like many of Sega
Unknown title (believe this is Universal Studios Theme Parks Adventure)
At the launch of every console there is one title that is quite often, rightfully ignored due to the its obvious flaws and shortcomings. Would you on launch day take Incoming over Sonic Adventure when the Dreamcast first hit the shelves? No I didn
Virtua Striker 2002
There are few things that people should actively hate. Government ministers, money-grabbing lawyers, the rise of the Far Right, smug ego-crazy TV hosts, penalty Shoot-outs, Maradona’s cheating hand, and Chris Waddle’s mullet in 1990. Add to that list the original Virtua Striker. From the arcade to the Dreamcast, it just doesn’t play like a football game should do, and in my time I’ve played quite a few football games. Some, like European Super League, just seemed like a good idea that went wrong through poor programming, but Sega’s Virtua Striker appeared to be intrinsically flawed and irredeemably awful.
Now, Amusement Vision have brought an enhanced version of the third edition of VS, and I Just Can’t Wait, No, Really I Can’t. The problems with the earlier versions of the series are still present and correct. Said problems being the feeling that you aren’t totally in control of your players because there isn’t either a change player button or a un button, which in tactical and gameplay terms restricts you a great deal. I suppose that the argument for Virtua Striker is that it’s old-skool football gameplay, I mean there was no run button in Microprose Soccer or Emlyn Hughes International Soccer. But, welcome to the twenty-first century Sega, come and join us and Pro Evolution. We’re playing football, what are you trying to do there?
It’s hard to like Virtua Striker. It’s doing something differently, but that ‘thing’ is the holy game of football, and it doesn’t seem right. The players are little more bright than those on a foosball table. They run away from the ball if they are tackled, leaving you to compensate. Tackling is actually really easy, and players will dive in to get the ball, or walk over the ball and come away with it, or just take out the player in possession. Passing is less easy. Many times the ball will bounce off an opposing player, to your or his benefit, but passing is tricky thanks to the minimalist methods- that is, they go a set distance and can’t be changed. The obligatory dodgy camera doesn’t help by swooping down far too low, so when you’re through on goal but being chased by three defenders they block your passage of vision and won’t be able to avoid their slide tackles. Built into the game engine is a change in formation and tactics- offensive, normal and defensive. But there is less inclination to use them if the AI isn’t up to much. I mean, for England there’s the massive choice of playing 4-4-2 def or 4-4-2 straight. You can, however, select which formations to choose from in the edit mode, but you’d expect a wider choice to be made just from the options screen.
Unfortunately, the AI is rubbish. I sent a great through ball to the French left-winger, only for him to run backwards immediately, turn around and then run onto the pass. The inability to change players at your whim soon frustrates, in offense and defence, as you can’t choose who you want to use to challenge the opponent. The arcade roots are compromised with a substitute mode, effectively useless because it’s so difficult to tell what subs are good and who isn’t, thanks to the ratings system of ever so slightly different coloured bars which have to be interpreted by standing right next to your TV and squnting at the screen. This also affects your motivation for the ‘road to international cup’ option, where you take a squad and have 4 years (split into weeks) to train them up into the winning ticket. As the difference between players is a matter of pixels, what does it matter? A good idea is screwed in practice. There is no commentary used, apart from a Power Stone-esque voice-over which soon becomes incredibly annoying. “Almost”, he says when you miss, “goal goal goal” overexcitedly when you do. When he says “corner kick” you know that you’re firmly in Soccer (and not football) territory. The crowd noise is good, as is the music, triumphant gaming trumpets marking goals and victories, but it
One thing you are always going to find in schools up and down the country is snotty-nosed kids hanging around the always banned bike sheds discussing their favourite things, while simultaneously taunting the glasses wearing, carrier bag holding fat kid. Depending on the generation you grew up in these topics could have ranged from the coolest character in Battle of the Planets to your favourite ring tones (for the new millennium