Galleon (2004, Broken Action Adventure, Xbox) – 6/10 game review

Cast / crew
Game Designer: Toby Gard

Galleon (2004)

Awesome, dashing, charming, heroic sea captain Rhama Sabrier is hired to find a mystical ship but, when he does, a traitorous servant usurps and murders his Master and threatens to, um, well his eyes turn red and he gets incredible powers and that can’t be good. And he’s got an evil beard. So Rhama’s gonna stop him. Hurrah!

6/10

This is a review of a game I have not completed but it’s not really my fault, it’s down to a bug. Literally, there’s a fire-bug late on in the game I need to pick up and hero Rhama simply won’t do it. It is the epitome of the problem with the game: the camera and controls designers hated each other and never ever spoke to the level designers. This is a great game broken by controls that are fiddly, confounding (hehe) and disorienting at best and a camera that insists on looking at everywhere except where you want. It’s such a huge shame as everything else is great. The puzzles and characters are fun and satisfying; the game is spectacular and unusual; Rhama’s splendidly cool and can do loads of stuff. There’s nice sense of humour and nonchalant awesomeness. Rerelease it with God of War controls and it would be an easy eight or nine out of ten.

This game contains violence and sensuality.

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Speed Kings (2003, Game, Xbox on 360) – 5/10

Speed Kings (2003)

Perform breakneck motorcycle street racing at its most dangerous with tricks, speed and jumps and up to four players. Earn rewards including authentic gear by Alpinestars and Shoei and new bikes and tracks as you go through the game.

5/10

Like, seemingly, all bike games, this is outrageously difficult with every possible obstacle strewn on the path to fun. So we have a stack of rules that apply only to your bike, extraordinarily challenging track design, traffic that you couldn’t possibly avoid, and handling that requires ridiculously pinpoint precision of the analogue stick. At one point (in Detroit City), the game designers thought things were too easy and so made two sections of the track take place in total darkness and made sure that neither your own headlight or the headlights of oncoming traffic, both of which were present elsewhere in the game, are turned on. It’s a shame as there’s loads to do and this was clearly supposed to be the Burnout of bike games but someone at Climax forgot to note that Burnout is fun.

This game contains extreme motorcycle accidents with no consequences.

Classified 3+ by PEGI. The game is only suitable for persons who have reached the age of 3 or over.

PlayStation 3 / Xbox 360 Backwards Compatibility Update

My complete BC list.

 

 

Key

  • new The game is new to this list because I have purchased or borrowed it or it has been added to the Xbox 360 BC list.
  • updated The game was already on my list but its status has changed.

 

Backwards Compatibility Lists

Xbox 360 logo

Xbox 360

 

No known issues

Title Widescreen Tested
new BLiNX 2: Matters of Time & Space   Sep 2008
new The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King   Sep 2008

Should play on Xbox 360 with minor issues

Title Widescreen Tested
new BLiNX: The Time Sweeper
Ironically, seems to run a little slowly.
  Sep 2008
new The Lord of the Rings: The Third Age
Coming across treasures chests makes the whole screen flash white.
  Sep 2008

 

Should play on Xbox 360 with noticeable issues

Title Widescreen Tested
new Blood Omen 2: The Legacy of Kain Series
Game does not run in widescreen as it should.
  Sep 2008
new Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
Game does not run in widescreen as it should.
  Sep 2008

 

PlayStation 3 logo

PlayStation 3 (PS3)

Note: this is a list of games tested by me and is not entirely in tune with the official list which tends to be more cautious and somewhat behind the latest software version.

No known issues

Title Product Code Widescreen System
new Brave: The Search for Spirit Dancer SCES 51635 widescreen 2.42
new Conflict: Desert Storm II SLES 51523 widescreen 2.42
new Disney’s Donald Duck PK SLES 50773   2.42
new Kingdom Hearts SCES 50967   2.42
new Okami SLES 54439   2.42
new Robot Wars: Arenas of Destruction SLES 50572 widescreen 2.42
new Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 SLES 55018   2.42
new Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy SLES 51831 widescreen 2.42

 

Should play on Playstation 3 with minor issues

Title Product Code Widescreen System
new Klonoa 2: Lunatea’s Veil
Minor wibbling on some menus (for example, the 50Hz / 60Hz / Test menu) and dialog boxes. Has no effect on gameplay and game looks fantastic.
SCES 50354   2.42
new Kya: Dark Lineage
Minor sound distortion in movies.
SLES 51473 widescreen 2.42
updated Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
Occasional minor slowdown, most noticeable during The Fury boss battle.
SLES 82013   2.42
new Xenosaga Episode II
Optical digital output Dolby Digital 5.1 causes audio crackling.
SCES 82034   2.42

 

Should play on Playstation 3 with noticeable issues

Title Product Code Widescreen System
new The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
No video (audio only) on deliberately (!) unskippable movie clips.
SLES 51252   2.42

PlayStation 3 / Xbox 360 backwards compatibility update

My complete BC list.

 

 

Key

  • new The game is new to this list because I have purchased or borrowed it or it has been added to the Xbox 360 BC list.
  • updated The game was already on my list but its status has changed.

 

 

 

Backwards Compatibility Lists

Xbox 360 logo

Xbox 360

 

Plays on Xbox 360 with some minor issues

Title Widescreen Tested
new Terminator: Dawn of Date
Game doesn’t run in widescreen and has the image squished into a 4:3 area in the middle of the display. Opening movie has occasional sound glitches. Frame-rate occasionally stutters. Heat-haze effects are incorrectly rendered on top of everything else including the HUD. I also wonder what the ugliest lead character in video-game history is; I vote for Kyle Reese.
  August 2008

 

 

 

 

PlayStation 3 logo

PlayStation 3 (PS3)

Note: this is a list of games tested by me and is not entirely in tune with the official list which tends to be more cautious and somewhat behind the latest software version.

No known issues

Title Product Code Widescreen System
new Burnout Dominator SLES 54681 widescreen 2.42
new Ford vs Chevy SLES 53698 widescreen 2.42
new GunGrave: Over Dose SLES 52941   2.42
new Haven: Call of the King SLES 51209   2.42
new James Bond in… Agent Under Fire SLES 50539   2.42
new World Super Police SLES 54080   2.42

 

Should play on Playstation 3 with minor issues

Title Product Code Widescreen System
new Ford Street Racing
Dolby ProLogic II audio option causes crackling in-game
SLES 53639 widescreen 2.42
new GunGrave
Audio stuttering during pre-Start movie (no obvious damage to disc) but not during in-game movies. Slowdown in game but everything remains playable and looks great.
SLES 51236   2.42

Indiana Jones and the Emperor’s Tomb (2003, Third-Person Action, Xbox on 360) – 6/10 game review

Project Director The Collective: VP Production: Douglas Hare
Project Director The Collective: Creative Director, VP: Richard Hare
Project Director The Collective: VP Development: Gary Priest
David Esch: Indiana Jones
Vivian Wu: Mei Ying
Keone Young: Marshall Kai, Ch’in Shi-Huang-Li
Producer LucasArts Entertainment Company: Jim Tso

Indiana Jones and the Emperor’s Tomb (2003)

Indiana Jones is hired by the Chinese government to recover the fragments of a mystic mirror.

6/10

Generally speaking, this is a fairly good and, thanks to bite-size gameplay areas, surprisingly addictive game with controls and a camera that keeps sucking the fun out of the experience. Also Indiana Jones, being a man’s man, won’t be told what to do by anyone, least of all a fat, middle-aged games player. Therefore, Indy frequently has to be repeatedly asked to grab ledges, go up ladders, not fall to his doom, catch onto ropes, stop throwing like a girl, climb out of the water and go through doorways. Every time the game starts to gel or you have to go and pick your hat up after a fight (which is brilliant), it instantly starts to deliver reasons to hate it and turn it off. Still, it’s better than Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skulls.

This game contains extreme melee violence, extreme but not graphic gun violence and mild sensuality.

Medal of Honor: European Assault (2005, WWII First-Person Shooter, Xbox) – 7/10 game review

Cast / crew
Executive Producer: Rick Giolito
Executive Producer: Dan Winters
Lead Designer Single Player: Jon Paquette
Lead Designer Multiplayer: Éric Chartrand
Design Director: Christopher Cross
Writer (Story): John Milius
Writer: John Milius
Writer: Adam Foshko

Medal of Honor: European Assault (2005)

American Lt. William Holt fights the Nazi’s in France, North Africa, Russia and Belgium.

7/10

One thing the Medal of Honor games have never overlooked is reminding us that these games are based on real people in real events in a real war. That is really sobering, as it should be. Generally, this is a very well-designed game so it is a shame to report that the final level is broken (you have to play half-an-hour to get to a point where you die almost instantly over and over and over) and that German soldiers can shoot you regardless of where their gun is pointing. Otherwise, boss Nazi’s, multiple optional secondary objectives, great controls and eye-catching animations are folded, along with an outstanding soundscape, into the superb atmosphere that is the hallmark of the Medal of Honor series. Shame about the broken final level.

This game contains mild swear words and war violence, extended gun violence, melee violence.

Classified 16+ by PEGI. The game is only suitable for persons who have reached the age of 16 or over..
Classified Violence by PEGI. Game contains depictions of violence.

Links

Wreckless: The Yakuza Missions (2002, Driving Action, Xbox) – 7/10 game review

Cast / crew
Producer: Masumi Nagaya
Programmer Lead: Masumi Nagaya

Wreckless: Yakuza Missions, The (2002)

7/10

Graphically marvellous game with extremely busy city streets the action-packed and destructive environment for some insane vehicular action. There’s no guns, no swearing, no blood and no walking unlike many vehicle action games and it is better for it. However, the handling is horrible and makes a challenging game very difficult, sometimes frustratingly so. Make sure you have something soft to throw your gamepad at. Or your Xbox. Or your dog. Or your relatives.