Silent Hill 1 Review and Synopsis

Synopsis: Silent Hill tells the story of a man searching for his lost daughter in a bleak tourist town. As Harry Mason and his daughter Cheryl were driving down the road, a dark, ominous figure appeared in the vehicle’s headlights. Harry tried to avoid it; he swerved out of the way but lost control of the car and crashed. coming to, Harry stood up from the wreckage and took a look around. It was the spot of their vacation destination, only something was seriously wrong. There were no pedestrians or cars around; he was seemingly alone and his daughter was missing. It was snowing – something seemingly impossible during the summer months and the air was filled with a thick, dense fog.

Much like the Resident Evil series, Silent Hill is played from a third-person perspective in a world emphasizing on elements of horror and fear. It focuses on realistic character controls — Harry runs and acts like an average person; he’ll get tired after constantly running around and begin to breathe heavily. Because most people lack the knowledge of operating firearms, Harry has an inaccurate aim meaning he often misses his target.

Unlike other survival horror games (circa 1999), Silent Hill takes place in a seemingly real town — road signs and park benches are strewn about on each sidewalk and the buildings are modeled with names and window dressings. Instead of rummaging around through biochemical laboratories and big mansions, Harry will search for his daughter through an elementary school, a hospital and the town’s many streets.

While walking down the various roadways, caution must be practiced — horrific creatures are lurking about; hellhounds are ready to pounce on you, flying and seemingly skinned pterodactyls hover around, and little mummified babies with knives are prepared to end Harry’s life. Fortunately, he has been supplied with a pocket radio that emits noise and static when an enemy is approaching — will you run or will you face the unknown terror?

What started off as a vacation has turned into a nightmare…one that Harry may never wakeup from. Enjoy your stay in Silent Hill.

It starts off as an innocent family vacation. Along with his daughter Cheryl, Harry Mason planned a little getaway to a beautiful vacation spot located in the town of Silent Hill. While driving at night, an unknown figure shambles out onto the road and stands in front of Harry’s car; upon noticing it, he began swerving to avoid collision but loses control of his jeep and careens off the road. Recovering from the state of unconsciousness, he realizes his daughter is missing and everyone in the once peaceful town has vanished without a trace. As Harry, it is up to the player to find Cheryl and discover what has happened to the town.

Welcome to Silent Hill.

Silent Hill was to be Konami’s answer to the now (circa 1999) widely popular genre of survival horror games, a genre that was founded by Alone in the Dark and Capcom’s Resident Evil series. While it may be in the same vein as the latter game, their first attempt has taken the genre to a whole new level of dimension and depth.

Within a matter of minutes, a few things are instantly realized about Silent Hill. For one thing, your character isn’t some sort of superhero or ace police officer; he’s just an ordinary everyday person. Harry is average in almost every way — he wears jeans and a brown blazer rather than a suit of Kevlar body armor. He wasn’t blessed with an infinite supply of oxygen; run too much and he’ll begin breathing heavily just like any average person would. The developers did an incredibly great job with the character — we can actually identify with this guy.

Secondly, the atmosphere and surroundings are completely inspired, moody and dark. The snow is falling constantly and unlike a lot of games, the flakes actually hit the ground and disappear. In an attempt to give players a feeling of claustrophobia and a foreboding terror, the fog is so thick that it’s impossible to see more than ten feet into the distance.

Additionally, every nook and cranny of the town has been realistically modeled and detailed giving the impression of being in an actual deserted town. As you maneuver Harry around, you’ll come across abandoned cars and mailboxes — very nice touches to an already impressive amount of detail. The immersion factor is on full blast with Silent Hill because of the previous statement combined with a trule 3D setting; it feels more alive than Resident Evil ever did.

The third thing players will notice is the absolutely amazing, and downright terrifying, soundtrack. In all honesty, the music is hellish — instead of traditional horror film music (transforms, creepy strings), this game makes use of heavily distorted industrial noise and horrifying ambient static. Combined with the aforementioned things, this is one of the aspects that makes the world of Silent Hill such a genuinely intense and scary experience. It throws your nervous system on a weak sheet of ice and keeps it there even after playing.

Because of the survival horror boundaries Silent Hill revolves around, the gameplay is fairly similar to the Resident Evil series; your quest is to save Harry’s daughter by solving complex puzzles and finding clues. Unlike the above game, there is a bit more exploration found within the small town — clues, ammunition and other things are laying around waiting to be picked up. Of course, there are plenty of monsters to deal with; because your character is only an average guy, you can choose to run away from the hideous critters or fight them.

There are four different endings and each time through you’ll discover things missed previously. It all depends on how the game is played; by rushing through, you’ll miss a lot of key items and get a bad ending. If proper effort is taken and exploration and thinking is practiced, the reward will be much greater. Adding incentive to the replay value, there are subtle changes when replaying it (different events and weapons).

The only time Silent Hill stumbles is in the controls department. While not terrible, it will take some time getting used to Harry’s movements. He moves around like a truck; this doesn’t help when running from enemies. Some of the camera angles are a bit iffy, but fortunately, there is a “search” view that allows you to manipulate it a bit.

In the end though, Silent Hill is a truly magnificent work of art. Some Resident Evil fans may be turned off by the persistent 3D world and naturally slower-paced action and gameplay, but for anyone looking for a genuinely terrifying experience combined with a unique, gripping story and immersive atmosphere, this is the game for you.


While the texturing is a bit grainy, the dynamic lighting and fog effects, enemy and character animations, and general atmosphere are gorgeously detailed and realistic. The in-game mapping system is also quite good and offers players a good feel of where they are.


The soundtrack features some really ambient selections as well as some strait-up noise tracks. It is some of the best sounding material I have ever heard in a video game of this caliber (survival horror). The sound effects are also quite impressive and dynamic.


Silent Hill is a highly enjoyable game thanks to realistic character interaction, depth and creepy atmosphere and imagery. The controls can be a pain sometimes but it’s not enough to spoil the experience.

Replay Value

Because there are over four different endings depending on how you play the game, there is quite a bit of replay value. Also, it’s a wise decision to replay the game again to patch up any rough spots of the story you may have missed the first time through.


The manual covers everything from the back-story and characters to how to play the game.

Pokémon Pinball Review

It’s been said that Japanese culture is the “Beta version” of American culture and I’m rarely surprised when any Asian fad manages to find its way across the Pacific. However, the whole Pokémon thing has gotten way out of hand, in my humble opinion. I just don’t get it — little kids raising freakish monsters, who fight and fall at the hands of their trainers. Weird.

In any case, Nintendo has seen fit to release many, many Pokémon games after the insane success of the original Pokémon: Red Version and Pokémon: Blue Version. The latest Game Boy offering from the “Big N” is Pokémon Pinball, which combines the cute cuddliness of all the Pokémon with the frenetic gameplay and physics of classic pinball.

Pokémon Pinball gives you two tables to play on — Red and Blue. Each one contains a good number of bumpers, kick-backs, and graphical goings-on. It’s played just like normal pinball, except you’ve got a “Pokeball” rocketing around the screen instead of a standard silver pinball. When you hit certain targets in the correct order, you’re able to capture a Pokémon that’s located in the middle of the screen. The ultimate goal of the game is to capture all 150 Pokémon — and that’s gonna take a long time. Thankfully, the game has a save feature that preserves your “Pokedex,” and your high scores.

Pokémon Pinball looks pretty good on both the Game Boy and Game Boy Color, and both pinball tables are well-animated with plenty of character. The game is very forgiving, and losing a ball off the side of the table frequently results in a free kickback. Also worth mentioning is that the game comes with a “Rumble Pak” built into it, that’s powered off of an included AAA battery. The resulting effect is actually pretty cool, despite the fact that the feature adds a few bucks onto the final retail price of the game. You’ll agree it’s worth the price of admission after you get the Pikachu Kickback, where the cartridge vibrates wildly as you hear a digitized scream of “PIIII-KAAAA!” blast through your tiny speakers.

The only setback of Pokémon Pinball is that the screen doesn’t scroll up and down the full length of the table — when your ball goes off the screen, there’s a half-second pause as the other half of the table is drawn. It can get to be a pain, especially when your Pokeball is bouncing back and forth between both screens. I refuse to believe that the Game Boy is incapable of scrolling a two-screen display up and down — shame, Nintendo.

In any case, Pokémon Pinball delivers all of the goofy Poke-fun that the pre-teen crowd can’t get enough of, and it’s honestly not a bad game of pinball. If you need some fun on the go, pick this one up — just don’t get a seizure when Pikachu’s cheeks start flashing red.


Cute and colorful – too bad it doesn’t push the limits of the Game Boy Color, though.


Super-happy, bouncy Pokémon music keeps playing in the background.


Very controllable — too bad the screen has to redraw when you kick the ball off the visible part of the table.

Replay Value

With over a hundred Pokémon to catch, you’ll come back to this one time and time again.


A beefy fifty-page tome with plenty of color illustrations and maps. Very cool.

Monster Truck Madness 64 Synopsis

Are you a bit tired of traditional off-road racing? Do you find most vehicles are simply too puny for your tastes? If so, Monster Truck Madness 64 may be just the ticket for those who secretly want to crush their competition instead of merely beating them.

Monster Truck Madness 64 offers a total of 19 trucks to plow through three modes of play: Exhibition, Circuit and Battle Game. Exhibition has you competing against up to three opponents (computer or human) as you cross multiple checkpoints in an attempt to finish first. Although you are free to take shortcuts across the varied terrain, you must pass through each checkpoint in numerical order if you plan on continuing the race.

Also on hand are eight different power-ups to influence play; simply run over an icon found along the road and you’ll have the item ready to use whenever you press the Z button. The power-ups are as follows: homing missiles, shields, shrink bombs, nitros, hovers (allowing your vehicle to temporarily float over water or other difficult terrain), super jumps, invisibility and oil slicks. Only one power-up can be stored at any given time, however.

Exhibition mode also lets players choose the time of the race (day, dusk, night or pitch black) and weather (clear, rain, fog or snow) to find the right combination that best suits their ability or preference. Once players have learned the ropes in Exhibition mode, they’ll be prepared to enter the Circuit, which is a series of ten races (on ten different courses) that has them trying to finish first so they can advance to the next track. Once all ten races are completed, the Circuit mode is over.

The action doesn’t have to end there, however. Monster Truck Madness 64 also features a Battle Game consisting of four multi-player competitions. The four games included are King of the Hill, Chase, Tag, Monster Truck Hockey and Monster Truck Soccer. King of the Hill has players driving up embankments in order to land on a platform in the middle of an arena.

For every second they remain on the platform, ten points are added to their score; for every second they are off the platform, one point is deducted. Sound easy? If another player knocks your truck off the platform, then you’ll automatically lose 50 points! The player who has the highest score at the end of five minutes is considered the winner.

Chase involves one player trying to outrun the law, or in this case, Monster Trucks with police logos. One player chooses to be the “bad guy,” while the remaining players (up to three) attempt to pin him or her before the vehicle reaches the finish line. Tag involves one player becoming a chicken on wheels as he or she desperately tries to touch another vehicle to revert back to normal. The longer a truck avoids being tagged, the more points it will receive during the five minutes of play. The player with the most points at the end of the five minutes is considered the winner.

Rounding out the multi-player games are Monster Truck Hockey and Monster Truck Soccer. Both games involve using your truck to put a giant ball or tire (in lieu of a puck) into one of the two goals on opposite sides of a stadium. The only difference between the events is the surface you’ll be playing on: slippery ice or artificial turf. Up to four players can compete simultaneously for five minutes in both events.

Should either game end in a tie, Sudden Death will kick in (the first one to score wins the game). Monster Truck Madness 64 also offers password support to continue the Circuit mode and allows players to use Rumble Paks for vibration feedback. After all, what good is driving a Monster Truck if you can’t feel its power?

Michelle Kwan Figure Skating Overview

The crowd sits in rapt attention as you attempt your last program of the competition, needing an average of 5.8 from the eight judges. You’ve choreographed the best program you can, set it to your choice of 12 different musical pieces (themes), selected the most dazzling skating outfit you’ve ever used and have donned your Michelle Kwan good luck necklace. All that’s left is to skate the program and land the jumps with near perfection. There, you’ve nailed it! Perfect 6.0s across the board and, just like that, you’re the International World Figure Skating Champion!

Michelle Kwan Figure Skating gives you the chance to do all of the above activities and skate as either Michelle herself, create your own skater from the in-game options, or even scan a picture of yourself and/or your friends and be in the game itself! As the program evolves, you can save the best of the action by clicking on a single camera icon, then enter the pictures in a virtual scrapbook to relive the memories.

The game features a point-and-click interface used in conjunction with an extensive menu system. While on the ice, your only control will be trying to land jumps; the rest of the program is carried out by the computer and depends on successful development and choreography as you practice and hone your routines. Moves run the gamut from poses to whirling jumps, toe picks, and combinations.

In addition to nine specific moves, there is a vast array of outfits and several characteristics available to personalize and customize your skater including 80 dresses, 25 skirts, 20 skate covers, four skin colors, five body sizes, unlimited hair color and accessories such as glitter and straps. So, put Michelle’s good luck necklace around your neck, boot up and hit the ice!

Hit the ice and compete in regional and championship ice skating championships
Skate as Michelle Kwan or place your own photo on a skater
Includes a replica of Michelle’s lucky necklace

Blast Thru Overview

Traditional ball-and-paddle gameplay gets a twist in RockSolid Software’s Blast Thru. With a style similar to classics such as Breakout, the arcade-style action requires keeping a ball in play while moving a paddle back and forth across the bottom of the screen, as you aim at blocks of “bricks” that have a variety of power-up and destructive properties.

As a rule, all blue power-ups released by exploding bricks are helpful, but players must avoid the red-colored items, which make gameplay more difficult. For example, blue power-ups can increase the width of the paddle or add extra points to your score, while red items can make the entire block of bricks start descending down the screen, reduce paddle size, or end the level.

Options include single-player or team play with up to eight players, a choice of random levels or a specific level (up to 40), four difficulty settings (easy, medium, hard, and very hard), music and sound volume, and a Hall of Fame list that tracks the top 20 scores. A level editor provides players with the opportunity to design their own boards.

Solo or team gameplay (up to eight players)
Ball-and-paddle action with exploding bricks that contain blue (good) or red (bad) power-ups or items
Four difficulty settings and a top 20 Hall of Fame tracking list
Level editor allows users to create additional boards

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night Overview (Synopsis and Features)

As Richter Belmont journeyed to Castlevania, he had one thing on his mind: destroy Dracula. His family had been attempting to do this for decades but always wound up failing – he’d be brought back to life by a priest named Shaft. Richter approached his nemesis and destroyed him thinking he had finally done what others before him had failed to do.

Then he vanished without a trace leaving Maria Renard all alone and worried. She set off to find her true love – the night Castlevania was to reappear. Unbeknownst to her, an offspring of the Dracula family was doing the same thing, though he had other plans. Alucard knew that his father wasn’t dead and vowed to put an end to Dracula once and for all. Because of what he is (a vampire), he damned his father for bringing him into the world and making other people suffer; it was time to put an end to it all.

You assume the role of Alucard in Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, an updated 32-bit version of the old 2D side-scrolling classic Castlevania. While it is still a 2D side-scroller, it adds a wealth of new gameplay options and a feeling of depth and role-playing to the mix.

As you progress throughout the castle, Alucard will gain experience for killing enemies. Experience is then transferred into level-ups which gives your character more magic and hit points. Unlike other Castlevania games, your character can pull of special maneuvers, such as Summon Spirit, by executing a button combination on your controller. When one is successfully cast, it will drain your magic points like a real role-playing game.

You will also come across various items, weapons and spheres throughout your journey. Items are stored in an inventory and consist of health, food and keys for locked doors. You can also equip armor and weapons from the inventory screen. Swords are Alucard’s main way of attack, though there are a variety of whips and morning stars to be found.

At times, you will find special weapons that are used by collecting hearts. There is a bottle of holy water that can be thrown at enemies, knives, a bibuti (full screen attack), a clock that freezes time, a throwing axe and more. Like your spells, they each require a certain amount of hearts (which can be collected by destroying candles and pottery) to use. Some only effect certain enemies while others have a global effect.

Alucard can also transform into different things, each of which is required to solve various puzzles. Among his normal vampire self, he can turn into a bat, a wolf, and a shade of mist. To do this, you will first need to find their respective relics and then use them (i.e. the Soul of Bat). Additionally, there are other relics that allow your character to jump higher, uncover items upon the destruction of candles and attack using his shape-shifting beings.

Finally, there are a few familiars to be found within Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. A familiar is something that can help you – a summoned spirit. For example, there is a fairy that constantly heals Alucard and a flying demon that hits out of reach switches. Each one is essential to explore and further your adventure in Castlevania.

Plays Alucard, a descendant of Dracula, on a quest to end the evil one’s curse for good
More than 140 enemy types, from ghoulish spirits to grotesque monsters and beyond
Classic 2D side-scrolling action, rich 32-bit graphical effects

Castlevania Review (1999)

Konami’s long-running series first appeared on the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1987. Count Dracula, Lord of Darkness, has battled the Belmont and Schneider families for centuries ever since on the NES, Game Boy, Super NES and PlayStation. Now, in the middle of the 19th century, a dark shadow has spread across Wallachia, Transylvania. Yes, Drac is back. This time the adventure has come to N64. The simple title may be shared with the original from a decade ago, but this completely new game brings the series into the realm of the third dimension.

Castlevania for the N64 is a mixture of action and adventure. Many 3D updates have been lighter on action compared to their 2D predecessors. Castlevania stays true to its roots with plenty of whip-slingin’ action and platforming perils. Some levels are on the non-linear side, meaning you’ll go back and forth between sections, and feature regenerating enemies. Other levels are straightforward romps with plenty of traps. And, yes, Castlevania’s legendary boss battles can be found here, too.

Two warriors of fate have been chosen to free the people from Dracula’s rule: Reinhardt Schneider and Carrie Fernandez. Each character takes a slightly different path, with a slightly different story, to the battle with the devil himself. Reinhardt Schneider is an heir to the Belmont clan. His main method of attack is the whip. Carrie Fernandez is a young girl with magical powers. Her main method of attack is a homing energy bullet. Additionally, the characters have secondary attacks. Reinhardt’s second attack is a dagger, whereas Carrie’s second attack is a ring smash. Both are short-range attacks.

Items have been a hallmark of the Castlevania series since the beginning. Items come in the categories of attack, HP restoration, status restoration, and other. Destroying torches, examining furniture, and killing enemies will reveal the items.

Typical Castlevania attack items, such as the axe and cross (boomerang), are included. Each attack item uses a certain number of Jewel Points. Small and large red jewels need to be picked up to add to your total Jewel Points. Two HP restoration items, roast beef and roast chicken, are back, too.

The adventure/RPG element of getting money to buy items was first introduced in Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest for the NES and was brought back in Castlevania: Symphony of the Night for PlayStation. Money plays an important role in Castlevania for N64 too. Gold is the currency used, and you can receive it in $100, $300, and $500 amounts by killing enemies. Then by picking up specially placed “contracts,” which first appear on the third level, a mysterious salesman named Renon will sell you items.

In addition to buying roast beef and roast chicken, you can purchase other items. Some of the status restoration items in Castlevania are purifying crystals (cures vampirism), poison cure ampoules (rids your body of poison), healing kits (completely restores HP and status), and sun and moon cards (to move time to sunrise or sunset). You cannot buy weapons, however.

Furthermore, other important items to find are keys (you must acquire them to open doors) and white jewels. The white jewel allows you to save your progress. Several save points are on each level, and they’re usually around when you’d like to find one.

The control in Castlevania is decent but not great. It’s a combination of the sometimes irritating camera, the tricky hanging/pulling up technique, and the looseness when jumping and moving.

The default A-type controller configuration is probably your best option. First, the Control Stick is used for movement. The Z button crouches or slides. The A button jumps, but you must keep it held down when jumping to a ledge. Then with the button held down, you can use the Control Stick to pull yourself up or advance left or right hand over hand. The B button is your main method of attack. Then you can lock-on to an enemy with the R button, which is like a simpler version of the Z-targeting system in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.

If you recall, two other attack methods exist as well. The short-range attack is accomplished with the Left C button and item attacks are used with Bottom C. The Right C button is used to open doors, look at objects, talk to people, and pick-up items. Finally, the Top C button changes the camera perspective. If you keep the button held down, you can look around with the Control Stick. You also can change the camera distance with the Control Pad.

The camera in Castlevania directly follows behind your character from a ground level, back distance. Sometimes the camera automatically swings around at certain points or raises its height when close to objects. But be prepared to press the R button often, which also puts the camera directly back behind your character, and to run and attack from multiple angles.

Both Reinhardt and Carrie start out in the forest and work their way to the Castle of Death. A spoken text introduction sets the scene. From there, a few very brief cinematic sequences will pique your interest. Reinhardt remarks, “Courage, don’t leave me,” as he says a prayer. And Carrie says, “Whatever awaits, I have no regrets.”

They both go from the Forest of Silence to the Castle Wall to the Villa and into the Castle Deep. Once you get into the castle, Reinhardt and Carrie then start to take separate paths that will take you through a few different levels. Once you get inside the Castle Wall is also when the story starts to get good. This is the first Castlevania game since Nintendo liberalized its policies, so expect to see and read much more about religion, demons and death. The story certainly isn’t for kids.

Graphically, Castlevania falls short because many of the system’s most aesthetically impressive games (The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Turok 2 and Star Wars: Rogue Squadron) were released only two months earlier. All the textures have a washed out, grainy look. The character models are bland and simple, but they are animated well, with blowing clothing/capes and realistic movement. Clipping is a minor problem, and fogging is used to cover up noticeable pop-up in large areas. The graphics are most impressive in the areas of texture variety and bosses.

Sound is the Achilles heel of N64 games, but Castlevania breaks that mantra. Used to digitized, low-quality monaural music? Or maybe repetitive techno beats? Forget about it. Full-blown orchestrated music, with realistic-sounding instruments, represents the sound. It nice to hear distinct violins and choir samples in a cartridge game. Sound effects are good as well. You’ll find speech in the introduction and the first time you meet Dracula, but the majority of the story is text-based. Moans, monster groans, mood-inducing sounds, and the rest of the sound effects are what you’d expect.

Castlevania for the Nintendo 64 has made successful jump from 2D to 3D. Yes, the graphics are less than desired and the camera and control can be bothersome. But the quest as a whole — action, platforming, story and challenge — is so satisfying that the problems can be overlooked. Be sure to give it a shot.


Awesome bosses, realistic animation, varied environments, and interesting cinema scenes are the pluses. On the negative side, everything has a low-res grainy look. Furthermore, fogging is used too much, clipping is a minor problem, and detail isn’t high enough.


Orchestrated stereo music on the Nintendo 64? Apparently, it’s possible. Sometimes the musical pieces aren’t very complex, but the quality is high and the mood sets the scene. Sound effects, ranging from lightning strikes to spoken text to enemy sounds, are very good, too.


In addition to being the first Castlevania game on a Nintendo system with a mature storyline, the overall feel and fun factor associated with the game are high, especially once you get a few levels into the game. Imagine old-school Castlevania in 3D, except with less-than-perfect control and camera movement.

Replay Value

The two characters provide slightly different paths with slightly different stories, but only die-hard fans will want to play through twice. The quest may pale in length compared to The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, but it’s fine otherwise.


Manual design is lacking, as the layout isn’t attractive. Information on individual topics, such as story or control, can be too inadequate or too encompassing.

Platform: Nintendo 64

Avery Cardoza’s 100 Slots 2000 Review

Very similar in structure to other Cardoza Entertainment specialty games, Avery Cardoza’s 100 Slots 2000 immediately puts you in the action. Creating the persona of your choice, you can freely roam Cardoza Entertainment’s virtual casino. You determine the size of your bankroll (if only that’s how it was in real life!), your weekly pay, and then it’s off to the slots.

Choose from over 100 different slot machines–no small task, I guarantee. Personally, I recommend starting at the lower-priced machines and slowly moving up through the ranks, assuming you’re able to earn profits. I find slot machines in general to be quite difficult to beat consistently and build up steady winnings, as the odds seem much higher than most card games. Perhaps I just have better luck at cards. The point is, though, it takes considerable time to get decent cash flow going. If you have the time and feel up to it, go for it.

The graphics in Avery Cardoza’s 100 Slots 2000 are average at best. The colorful and entertaining slots are nicely done and don’t distract from game play. The virtual casino, however, is lacking in appearance and not pleasing to the eye.

Selecting a slot from the main screen is a tedious process but, fortunately, the menu bars make the search easier. Through their use, you can find tables quickly and move from one to another smoothly. Also, changing the wager at the slots requires only a mouse-click, making that aspect quite simple as well.

The audio in Avery Cardoza’s 100 Slots 2000 is quite a bit better than other Cardoza Entertainment games I’ve experienced. Each slot has its own sound effects that add a bit to the fun. For example, on the rock and roll slot machine, every time a guitar spins up you hear a chord, each time a drum comes up you hear a drumbeat, and so on. Although minimal, it is a nice touch.

The sheer variety of the tables is quite overwhelming. There are so many from which to choose, a casino enthusiast will truly feel as if he or she has arrived at some sort of quarter-heaven in the sky. If slots aren’t your main focus at a casino, you may want to give this one a pass; but if they are, come on in and try your luck at 100 one-armed bandits.


The slots are pleasing to the eye but the ambience of a casino with realistic surroundings is lacking.


The sound effects are different at each table and add to the variety and entertainment.


For those obsessed with slots, the game is perfect. For others, it may be fun for a while but won’t sustain long term interest.

Replay Value

Gets boring after a while due to the lack of variety in concept, not tables.


The instruction manual and strategy guide is incredibly comprehensive and helpful.

Guitar Freaks (Video Game) Review

While Konami has released a relatively limited number of their Bemani (a name derived from beatmania, their first music simulation game) titles into American arcades, the series in all of its incarnations has managed to provide a real shot in the arm for the coin-op industry.

Konami’s zany musical series is a fun concept that provides a completely unique experience, given all the fabulously strange controls from scratch pads and drums to dance pads and more. All you budding Les Pauls out there can now see what all the fuss is about with Guitar Freaks.

Guitar Freaks might have the goofiest-looking input devices, and you actually strap them on. While they do not play like real guitars, as you might imagine, the simulation these controllers provide is excellent in making you feel both extremely silly and, on occasions, like a big time rock-and-roll star, especially when you throw the guitar’s neck up in the air to let the long electric note sing.

The music selection in Guitar Freaks is varied, and the different styles it offers are quite diverse. Most music types are available here, such as blues, soft rock, hard rock and metal, although they all have a fairly poppy sound despite their label. Still, these songs are fun, which is crucial to any game based around the art of making music.

One of the things that separates Guitar Freaks from other Bemani games is the difficulty level. While all of the Bemani games can be extremely challenging, even impossible on occasions, Guitar Freaks seems to be difficult on even the easiest settings, just because you often need to move the play bar back and forth with exact timing, and achieving that timing is definitely a difficult thing to do.

Success in this game depends on whether you have a natural knack for timing and a sense of rhythm; if you don’t, you probably won’t be able to get into Guitar Freaks easily, just because you’ll always find yourself hitting, no matter how fast your fingers might move, the timing will always remain elusive.

The visuals of Guitar Freaks are fairly limited, which is unsurprising, given that this is generally the way of Bemani games, as they tend to focus more on the music. And that’s fine, as too many muddled graphics would take focus away from the notes, and in this game, complete concentration is necessary. In the end, Guitar Freaks might be average looking, but it only looks as good as it needs to, so that might be a blessing in disguise.

Guitar Freaks is a weird, wacky delightful game that is certainly a great addition for any arcade seeking to bring new customers in. The strange difficulty level might turn some people off, but for those who can really get the timing down, the challenge and fun that Guitar Freaks offers will bring them back time and time again.


Graphics aren’t the game’s focus, and they certainly aren’t the game’s strong suit. Like all Bemani games, the visuals are limited to some flashy nonsense that is fine for the game but doesn’t interfere with play, which is important.


The variety of songs in this game is decent, although the supposedly diverse nature of the music is sort of muddled by an overall poppy feel. It does keep things consistent, however.


Guitar Freaks is undoubtedly a unique arcade experience, but it is also an entertaining game. Sure, you might feel goofy strapping on the guitar, but once you get into the game, you’ll forget all about how silly you look.

Replay Value

Although you need to have some keen timing to be able to do well at this game, it’s certainly fun enough for occasional arcade play.


The game offers a tutorial level that explains the basic controls of the game.

Prince of Persia 3D Review

I’ve played and finished all three games in this series. Several times! The story line and puzzles keep you in suspense with good action too! I would love to see another entry in this series. I would have liked to see a more exciting cinematic on game completion but I thought the rest where really good. The puzzles are challenging and the sword fighting is excellent. The graphics are very good.
One of the great things about the first two games in this series was that the character’s motion was much more natural and realistic than anything else on the market at that time. This game might be a drop below others of its time in the graphics and motion department but the graphics are still very good. To complain about the graphics is like complaining about a new Ford because there is a BMW available on the market. A Ford might not match a BMW but it’s still a great car!
I’ve noticed that some people have complained about controlling the prince. My advice, use the number pad on your keyboard and you shouldn’t have a problem. With a little practice you should not have a problem. If the camera angle is in a bad place, use the Enter key on your number pad to get a good look around (see the game instructions).
If the game seems slow or choppy, lower the resolution and gamma. Play this game in a dark room so you can keep the gamma pretty low.
The gore level (or lack of) was something that disappointed me a bit. When a wall blade killed the prince in POP2 you would see blood on the blade and the wall. The only blood you see in this game is in some of the background scenery and it’s not much. High gore just means that the head is actually separated from the body if the prince walks through a blade. In low gore the head stays attached. There is no blood at all. I don’t really call that gore. I don’t play games just to see gore though so that doesn’t reduce my overall opinion of the game.
One more note, there IS enough time in the last stage to finish. You just have to know how to use your weapons! By the time you get there you should have had enough practice for that. You cannot save in the middle of that level. If you don’t make it you have to start that level over. I’ve done it more than once though so it has to be possible!
In short, great game! Highly recommended!

Verdict: 90/100