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The Operational Art of War II
1999-08-30 Staff
This is simply the worst war game ever.
If you are a hardcore war game player, you'll love this game. It's a great game. But I dare you to introduce someone to war gaming with this.
No tutorial. No getting started. Nothing. Shitty graphics, shitty sound, shitty interface. It seems TalonSoft thinks the only way to attract wargamers is to make the game as esoteric as Unix. I'm at a loss as to why they included any graphics at all. Why not just put some graph paper in the box and let the player plot their own battles?
It's not for beginners! It is for Elitez! Dudez!
While Close Combat III was a much smaller squad based game, it at least had the sense to let players have a get acquainted session before throwing them into actual (simulated) combat. TOAWII has nothing.
If you don't download the patch, you cannot play the big battles unless you fire up a second executable! The online registration for the game is through direct modem dialup only - no Internet connection is supported.
I have a new place that I want a job at; TalonSoft. There I will be able to pass the same 15 year old crappy programming off as new. It will be okay. I am sure I will have to make my share of Star Trek references at the water cooler, but I think I can handle it. I have this crazy idea: I am going to make a background and then make the text over that background readable! "Son you are fired. That shows improvement, and we don't want that. We are trying to hold onto our 5 remaining customers. Nothing new. Nothing new. Nothing new."
Even Falcon 4 has a trainer. Are you going to call that game easier?
What about the reviews? All reviewers love it!!! Of course, these spineless skin-eating pubic-lice have to prove themselves to the war game crowd. "I think it is a big breakthrough that you only have to hold the ALT-K and F8 keys to select a piece."
This game, and all games by TalonSoft, are only hastening the death of wargames. Close Combat has its flaws but at least you could ask someone who has never played a wargame before to give it a try. TalonSoft seems hell bent on reducing the fanbase of wargames. Let's face it, hardcore grognards are like the Shakers - they don't breed. To keep the sect alive, they need to recruit. This was the beginning of computer games, do you remember Chris Crawford and his wargames? Wargames were perfect for early PC's. Low drain on resources and no one minded the computer taking time to think. TalonSoft just wants to keep them there. TOAWII could have been made in 1984. Do not buy this game.

Driver (PSX)
1999-08-25 Staff
Someone explain this to me; why are they even going to finish Grand Theft Auto II now that Driver has been released? Granted, I am only talking about the PlayStation version, but a PC verion is coming. Think everything that is good about GTA meets everything good about Midtown Madness meets everything good about Interstate 76 meets everything good about Road Rash (3do version) plus a heaping helping of a bunch of things even better than that. Plus instant replays. Just when I think I am too jaded to play and enjoy anything, Driver just crushes me. This game is reason enough to buy a Playstation.

Shadow Man
1999-08-25 Staff
The beginning of the game is set in mountainous New Orleans... Huh? I lived there for a bit and the highest point in the parish is where they built up a grave to put an Elk on top of it. It towers 14 ft above sea level.
Acclaim shows unrestrained imagination by naming the netherworld "Deadside" and the real world "Liveside". Who stole Acclaim's Thesaurus? The only terrifying thing about this game is the lead character's striking resemblance to a bulked down Jason "the hacker, phreak, fruit, CEO of Monolith / Liar" Hall. (the demo is 70mb. You are an idiot if you download it. Note: If you don't download it, that doesn't mean mean you're not an idiot.)

Everquest sucks compared to Asheron's Call
1999-08-18 Staff
Currently no review:
But we have our beta log up here.

1999-08-09 Staff
Who cares. Force 21? Is it the Dirty Dozen? Force 10 from Navarone? Nope. But since you brought up movies, lets talk movies.
Blair Witch Project. 4 words. Legend Of Boggy Creek. Do not watch "Return to Boggy Creek". That movie sucks. Not to say Legend of Boggy Creek doesn't suck. But if any movie has captured the spirit of, or ripped off LOBC it is the Blair Witch Project. And what is up with the name of the movie? It sounds way to close to the Alan Parsons Project. Admit it, how many of you were humming "Eye In The Sky" the first time you you heard somone mention TBWP?
The review for this game. Don't buy it, go see "The Sixth Sense". Bruce Willis has a sixth sense. His sixth sense is the sense of picking great screenplays.

Descent 3
1999-07-18 Staff
Let other reviewers praise this games fast action, beautiful graphics and fun multiplayer. I refuse. When I play a space sim based in a future fictional world, I demand that the world is based on known physics, and my personal limited understanding of future worlds.

In the beautiful opening scene of Descent 3, we see a fighter ejected out of a mother ship. There is a problem with this scene. While the bay doors are opened to eject this ship, our character is sitting in a dentist's chair. He doesn't have a helmet on! How is this possible? How can he survive outer space without a pressurized suit? Simple; he can't. I refuse to play a game that dispenses with logic so quickly and easily. I implore you, if you respect science, return Descent 3 now!

(We believe Chet did play Descent 3. It seems his fragile sense of balance cannot handle such a sophisticated game. After trying to play for only thirty minutes he was left retching into the office throw-up bowl followed by 10 minutes of swearing about how AIBO will not eat vomit like his old real dog - ed.)

Bridge Deluxe II With Omar Sharif
1999-07-09 Staff
Omar Sharif is the star of such hit movies as Mysteries of Egypt, Green Ice, Oh, Heavenly Dog! and the 1996 TV hit Gulliver's Travels. So what does this film star add to the game? The backs of each deck have a portrait of the diffrent woman Omar has done. These include, Barbra Streisand,Dyan Cannon,Ingrid Bergman,Punky Brewster and Sophia Loren.

Austin Powers Operation: Trivia
1999-06-16 Staff
Dr. Evil has kidnapped Austin Powers and is holding him hostage at the Electric Psychedelic Pussycat Swingers Club. Dr. Evil could kill Austin and destroy the world - but instead he has designed an overly-elaborate trivia game show in which he and Austin must engage in a battle of wits.

Who signed off on this one? This has to be one of the last acts of the Williams couple.

Now that Roberta Williams has left Sierra to hopefully devote 100% of her time to growing cancer cells, there is a vacuum of suck at Sierra. Who can fill her cloven hoof shaped shoes? What kind of staff could hope to duplicate her ability to produce worthless crap? She is rolling in her soon to be filled grave over the quality of recent Sierra titles such as Half-Life & Tribes.

Sierra, I have found your new hire Right Here! May the roads always be rain slicked wherever Joshua travels.

1999-06-13 Staff
This game has something to do with a blimp named Nautiflyius. That should be reason enough to put this stinker back in the bargain bin. But add in some boring graphics, bad control and a French heritage and you have what the French call Tres Stinkie.

Browsing the development teams bio leads you to some gems:
Jean-Chrysostome Lepercque a.k.a "Grabo". His nickname translates to English as child predator.
Poudras Christophe: Rubic's cube collector.
Micha‘l Guez: Never happy... Excepts when there's mayonnaise !
Joaquim Gomes : Rocker Graphic artist

Don't you just love the French? The only people with worse bios than Monolith.

Midtown Madness
1999-05-30 Staff
What can we say that wouldn't make it sound like we were commenting on an Apollo Kids act? Its all good, with gravy on it.

Aquazone Deluxe
1999-05-24 Staff
For people who are too big of losers to even own virtual cats or dogs, its a virtual fish tank. What makes this deluxe? The not quite French, not quite English, all Canadian company that makes this crap actually has a place to "buy" more fish for your tank. That's right, not bad enough that you shell out $30 for the game, they make you buy extra fish... Who is the loser sending them daily emails so they will create a Julidichromis dickfeldi for him to buy?

Blood II The Nightmare Levels Add-On
1999-05-24 Staff
Why? Sure it's a nightmare; a nightmare for any gamer looking for a halfway decent game. Or it could be the nightmare Jason Hall has every night: boxes and boxes of unsold Monolith games bury him alive.

The demo link won't take you to free software, it's a link to Jason's personal Bio. In it we find out he is... well damn it to hell if he isn't Patrick Swayze in every movie Swayze has ever been in. He's tough, but lovable; he'll kick your ass, sweep up the eyeballs, and get an undergraduate degree in philosophy, but not before he cures the sick, skydives right into the missionary position with a Jewish camp counselor, dirty dances out to the garage and drives a truck right into your heart. All I know is he's dreamy. Really, I can't do it justice. Go read his bio and think, this isn't Romero babbling off the cuff, this is a serious, pre-meditated piece of corporate propoganda.

By the way, I believe Jason makes a case for why it is okay, and even cool, to pirate games. So remember kids, why buy a Monolith game when you can just pirate it? Save that hard earned money for someone who deserves it (any other company in the gaming world).

Baldur's Gate Tales of the Sword Coast Expansion
1999-05-24 Staff
Baldur's Gate has the misfortune of Everquest. If you played Baldur's Gate you probably have moved on to Everquest. I guess this expansion pack would be nice for those days when a nuclear holocaust knocks out all lines of communication, but miraculously leaves the power lines. Dr. Ray Mazurka, where's the Baldur's Gate persistent world?

Armed & Delirious
1999-05-23 Staff
"Armed & Delirious puts you in the shoes of an absent minded grandmother as she attempts to rescue her family from the evil Mad Rabbit."

Wacky! And people wonder why adventure games are dying? This amazingly labored humor, and the bad puzzles in the game, makes Redneck Rampage seem smart.

Jeopardy!/Smart Games 3 Bundle
1999-05-03 Staff
What is the matter with you? Not taking enough abuse for playing fantasy games and bringing your avatar persona to the dinner table? You have to take it one step further and really annoy the hell out of everyone with your "smart games"?

1999-05-03 Staff
Puzzles for those of you who are bored by modern day puzzles such as Taxes and Hollywood Marriages. Why do people play these Myst driven adventure/puzzle games? Are your word slides and Rubick's cubes broken? If you enjoy this game, please stop visiting oldmanmurray, we don't like your kind. You're the ostracized nerdy subculture of our larger ostracized nerdy subculture.

Jack Nicklaus Presents: Golden Bear Challenge
1999-05-03 Staff
No idea. Just want to get the hits from all the people looking for bears involved in watersports.

Grand Theft Auto w/ Mission Pack 1: London 1969
1999-05-03 Staff
Travel back in time, to an era when England was just on the verge of being a 3rd world country. Is there anyone buying this game looking back lovingly to England 1969 as some high water mark of driving, action, or teeth brushing? This version includes the director's cut of the original GTA. Does everyone involved in games want to be in the movie business? And what is the director's cut? The game ends after two levels since the fun has worn off and its just gotten boring?

1999-05-02 Staff
Okay, this is not a new game, but it's a game I finally got around to playing. First, even a year ago the whole amnesia plot was about 100 years old. Isn't there some other way an adventure game can start? Past that, the graphics are cool, and finally some problem solving that makes sense. I admit I am dense. Too many adventure games get tossed after 5 minutes due to the fact I can't figure out how to open the door from the room I just woke up in, or I can't find a key in the dungeon I just woke up in, or I can't find oh you get the idea... The puzzles make sense, and most of the story is pretty damn cool. Erik started playing, but about midway through he peed himself. It was either from fright or waiting for the long load times, either way I was forced to complete the game for him.

1999-05-02 Staff
When Doom came out, it took a few years before a "Doom Killer" came out. During that period some people released some really crappy FPSes that were not based on the engine written by Carmack.. At that time it seemed like only the t-shirt clad Carmack could program 3D for games. Now its the Unreal era and everyone and his brother is developing a 3D engine. The kids over at Accolade decided they could ruin a game if they developed their own engine, and since they were about to become Frenchies, why not? Congrats.

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