Golden Nugget Overview

Get out the virtual ATM card and head on over to virtual Vegas in Golden Nugget for the PlayStation console system. Featuring stills from the actual Golden Nugget Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada and some authentic-looking 3D graphics of the tables and slots. Golden Nugget offers 12 different types of games that include Poker, 7 Card Stud, Texas Hold-em, Video Poker and Pai Gow Poker. Don’t worry, if you don’t consider yourself a “high roller,” there are also five different slot machines in which to lose your digital cash. There’s even an appearance from the original TV Batman — Adam West.

Features
Sixteen different casino games including Slot Machine, Blackjack, and Video Poker
More than 45 minutes of live-action video featuring Adam West
Realistic odds, payoffs, and rules straight from Las Vegas

Resident Evil 1 Review

Games that provide a bit of a scare were far and few between previous to the development of the Resident Evil series. Although Alone in the Dark is probably the first game that can be called a survival horror game, Resident Evil is the game that really led to the creation of the genre. Once Resident Evil became a hit, survival horror games began to grow in number quite rapidly. What is it about Resident Evil that makes it so good? Aside from the high quality graphics, it is the fear factor.

Resident Evil’s storyline is not completely original as it is not unlike that of a horror movie. At its heart, Resident Evil really is just a horror movie that allows players to control the action. This is certainly apparent after the live-action video opening followed by the introduction of the cast of characters using actors. Just as in many movies of this type, the good guys go to investigate a strange occurrence and find themselves in the middle of danger. Most of the enemies here are zombies but there are some other creatures like a large worm-like beast, some killer undead dogs, poisonous snakes and even sharks. Although the story is nothing that has not been done in a movie, it is rather original for a console videogame and it is good enough to keep you playing as you begin to anticipate what is around the next corner and just who is behind all of this.


Action is viewed from a third-person view while the viewing angle jumps between fixed cameras as you move. A majority of the time the camera angle is sufficient and allows for easy movement. Controls are not complicated but moving your character will take a little time to get used to. Since you cannot move and shoot at the same time you will need to get a pattern down of running, then stopping, turning and shooting.

Resident Evil moves along at a fairly slow pace as the game has to stop and quickly load the next location every time you advance through a door. The slow advance through each door is actually a good thing as the anticipation builds and you become more tense knowing that a zombie may be ready to grab a hold of you and eat your flesh before you can react. Another reason the game moves at a slow pace is that players will need to spend more time solving puzzles than fighting the bad guys. Puzzles are fairly easy to solve but may not be obvious right away. Usually you will find an item but won’t yet have found the place where it must go. Also, the main characters can only hold so many items and because you won’t know what item you will need next, you will have to retrace your steps quite a few times. However, you do not need to remember where you found an object as you can store any of your items in a storage box located in the mansion.

The graphics lend themselves to the spooky feeling as well. After all, you’re not exactly going to be scared if the game is bright and filled with color. Most of the game takes place inside of the mansion while some of the action takes place just outside of it. Despite the outdoors being darker, inside is just as creepy as outside. The mansion has an old, early 1900s feel to it and everything in it looks great. Everything is detailed, from the floors to the wallpaper to the antiques located in each room.

Sounds are another extremely important feature to a horror movie as well as a game. Resident Evil does not disappoint in effects and music. When walking from a carpet to a tile floor or to a wood floor, you will notice the different sounds your footsteps make. Most of the time the game will be fairly quiet which only adds to the mysteries located around each corner. Music will play in the background at times and fits the pace of the game perfectly. One area where the game does fail is in the character dialogue. The voice acting is bad while the lines are even worse. Perhaps the characters would not have sounded so bad if their lines were written better but it does not hurt the game too much.

While some players will think the game is not scary at all, most should jump out of their seat a few times their first time through the game. There are many events that you just can’t anticipate happening. Replay value does drop significantly after you play through the game though as nothing will catch you by surprise. However, there are two playable characters that do cause the story to vary slightly at times. If you like horror movies then you really can’t go wrong with Resident Evil. Even if you don’t like horror movies you should probably check this game out just so that you can experience a truly original title.

Graphics graphics
The dark and eerie settings fit the game perfectly. Everything is very detailed as well. In comparison to the PlayStation version, it looks almost identical while just slightly not as sharp.

Sound sound
Sound effects and music set the atmosphere well but the dialogue is very weak.

Enjoyment enjoyment
Overall the game is quite original and will keep you attached to your controller until the end.

Replay Value replay
While the game will have you hooked the first time through, the second time is not nearly as much fun since you know where all of the creatures are at.

Documentation documentation
Explains everything that you should need to know. Some color and more artwork would have been nice.

Rating: 83/100

AFL 98 Overview

AFL 98, short for Australian Football League, features 16 licensed teams with statistics and ratings based on the 1997 season. Guide your favorite team in one of five play modes: Exhibition, Preseason, Full Season, Final 8, and Training. Portraits are available for over 300 athletes, who are brought to digital life with motion-captured animations. View the action from multiple camera angles while listening to play-by-play commentary from spirited broadcaster Bruce McAvaney.

Features
Includes 16 licensed teams
Features five play modes
Listen to play-by-play commentary from Bruce McAvaney

Monopoly CD-ROM Overview

Take a step back in time and join Uncle Pennybags, the Master of Ceremonies, as he welcomes you to Atlantic City in the 1930s. Using the Depression Era as a backdrop for the game (the period when the original board game was created), Hasbro Interactive brings the sounds of the era (ragtime music) to life and offers full 3D animations (over 800) of the properties, tokens, and dealings found within the game.

Up to six players can participate in Westwood Studios’ Monopoly CD-ROM for the Macintosh. LAN, Internet, and hot seat competitions are viable options with the added bonus of being able to customize computer opponents. The game includes a large number of pre-designed AI-controlled players as well as a chat function for online play. For international players, translations, and currency exchanges are performed in real time.

Many “house rules” are provided as customizable game options including collecting fines for Free Parking, hidden cash, auctions, jail, and turn-only transactions, immunity from rent on traded properties, unlimited houses and hotels, and more. Trading of items such as “Get Out of Jail Free Cards,” cash, immunity, and title deed cards are highlighted and tracked by the computer.

Similar Games
Monopoly Star Wars (Hasbro Interactive)

Courier Crisis Synopsis

Courier Crisis puts players in the role of a bike messenger with an attitude who earns money by delivering packages within a time limit. However, the city is full of hazards that must be avoided in order to make the deliveries on time. Players can use a variety of dirty tactics such as punching and kicking pedestrians while performing stunts such as wheelies and bunny hops to get their way out of sticky situations. Action is spread out over 250 missions that span five separate neighborhoods, and players can choose from a variety of BMX and mountain bikes. Three skill levels are available and progress can be saved to a memory card.

Formula 1 – Synopsis

Formula 1 features the tracks, cars, advertising, and excitement from the 1996 Formula 1 season. Murray Walker provides the commentary in his unique style and players can choose from 35 fully customizble drivers before heading out onto one of the 17 tracks. Options include weather conditions, arcade or Grand Prix modes, car dynamics, skill level, and number of rounds. Players can also view the action from a number of view points, including above and behind the vehicle and TV-like presentation.

Colony Wars Overview

As tends to be the case when humanity’s future is extrapolated, two sides are embroiled in an inter-galactic conflict and the outcome will decide the fate of mankind. In this case, it’s a civil war between The Earth Empire and the League of Free Worlds. Humanity, having long since drained the planet Earth of its resources, has ventured out into the far reaches of space, colonizing planets and destroying those who would stand in its way. Sick of the cruel treatment at the hands of the despotic Tzar, the colonies revolt. Taking place a few months after the battle of Beney, players assume the role of a generic, faceless, rookie pilot determined to aid the fight for freedom in any way possible.

An action-oriented space-simulation, Colony Wars charges players with completing 70 different missions that range in scope from patrol, scouting, and escort to all-out offensive campaigns against fleets of frigates and smaller fighters. Depending on your battle prowess (or lack thereof), you’ll take on new and unique missions. Failure will see your mission tree branch off in a direction where your past failures come into play. Successfully completing a mission, however, will allow you to continue on the pre-ordained path.

Your ship is equipped with primary and secondary weapons; the former run the gamut from lasers to EMP and plasma weapons, while the latter consist of missile and torpedo types. The various weapon types differ in effect. For example, some will only destroy shields, while others will damage the enemy craft itself. The numerous ships in which players will find themselves all vary in ability and ratings. Conventional rules apply here, with faster ships that pack less firepower and slower, heavier ships that are armed to the teeth. The camera can be switched between three different views, from a cockpit view to an external and an internal view, providing players with their desired perspective on the action. FMV sequences are interspersed throughout the title and, along with narrated mission briefings, help reveal the title’s story. Colony Wars is also one of the first titles to support Sony’s Dual Analog controller.

BallBlazer Champions Review

BallBlazer Champions looks good and sounds fine, unfortunately the gameplay can’t keep up. Controls are not bad but the action is hard to follow with the ball constantly going in different directions. A button allows you to turn quickly, but it uses energy and rotating without the button makes locating the ball even more difficult. Four different views are available, but all of them are too close to your vehicle, so an overhead view would have been very useful.

Some stadiums also make following the action difficult. Stadiums look really good and each have an impact on the game. It is just that some obstacles can cause frustration when you are trying to move. Another annoyance is that after a goal, the ball launches again without letting you reset to the starting area. This leads to easy goals for the computer because it always knows where the ball is, while you only get an arrow letting you know which direction to rotate.

Action is so fast, with you constantly changing directions in the 3-D environment, it causes headaches and hand cramps after an hour of playing on the standard PlayStation controller. However, since BallBlazer Champions is about fast action, these problems may be part of the experience. Graphically the stadiums and rotofoils look cool, making you feel like part of the action. Sounds are decent but you will be so busy looking for the ball that you may not even notice that an announcer makes some comments.

Overall, BallBlazer Champions is a cool concept; each character has their own rotofoil that can be upgraded to give the game some depth, with plenty of power-ups to add to the action. While the rapid action is the idea behind this futuristic competition, the camera doesn’t position itself well enough.

Graphics

Stadiums look great.

Sound

The effects are entertaining and the announcer is okay.

Enjoyment

The action is fast as well as hard to follow.

Replay Value

The tournament, save feature, and eight playable characters add to the replay value.

Documentation

Documentation provides character profiles.

Myth: The Fallen Lords Overview

In Bungie’s Myth: The Fallen Lords, you’ll control the noble armies of Madrigal in order to defeat the undead Fallen Lords. The game offers a single-player campaign mode with over 15 missions as well as network and Internet support so you can fight it out with a human opponent. A variety of characters characters are available to master including dwarves, warriors, berserks, archers, wizards, and many more. The battlefield can become bloody and gory, but don’t be shy about using the body parts of a dead solider as a weapons. The campaign is accompanied by state-of-the-art cut-scenes.

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Nintendo 64
Command & Conquer / Westwood Studios

(Command & Conquer) PlayStation
Command & Conquer Westwood Studios