This game is an absolute blast through the first fifteen missions or so, but after that it becomes a real drag. You are a one man army up against a city rife with gangs. You chase the bad guys down, you jack their cars, and you put holes in them with bullets. You even have your own "Justice Meter" gimmick that, once filled, allows you to heal yourself, your car, or perform nifty slow-mo tricks a la "The Matrix." This is all well and good, but Pursuit Force starts to feel like a one-trick pony after a while.
There's also the issue of the absolutely random and obscene difficulty changes. Some missions are cake, but later on you'll be lucky if it only takes you ten tries to get the job done.
The game looks and sounds good. It also makes you feel like you're driving insanely fast, which is definitely a plus. However, a title that is basically trying to achieve an arcade feel should never make you feel sore, angry and tired because the player makes one mistake that causes them to restart the mission. If there was ever a game that needed an "Easy" option, this is it.
Overall Rating: 7 of 10
One of the more interesting puzzle games this year is Exit available exclusively for the PSP. In Exit you play as Mr. ESC, who is a professional "escapologist." Basically, if caught somewhere and can't find a way out, Mr. ESC knows how. You play as Mr. ESC, where you must guide people away from burning buildings, earthquakes, flooded mall and other dangerous situations. You'll face a time limit in each situation so you can't take large amounts of time on each puzzle. Although Mr. ESC is brave enough to get people out of these situations, he's not immune to the hazards around him like high falls, and fire. The gameplay is enjoyable and finding the survivors you must rescue is easy. To play Exit you don't have to be a serious gamer, anyone can pick up this title and find it enjoyable. Exit provides great challenging fun and is worth a purchase if you love puzzle games.
Overall Rating: 8.5 of 10
Super Princess Peach (NDS)
It is time for yet another chapter in the Mario Brother's Legacy. The evil Bowser has kidnapped Mario and ever present "Player 2", Luigi. Who do we turn to in efforts to save the Super Mario Brothers? Princess Peach. Yes, it is finally Peach's turn in the Nintendo DS spotlight in Super Princess Peach.
Princess Peach has learned to channel four of your favorite stereotypical feminine emotions using DS's touchscreen: Calm, Gloom, Joy, and Rage. When used appropriately, you can burn through bridges with your Rage Vibe, grow tall plants with tears from Gloom, float up to secret areas with Joy, and restore HP with Calm.
It is up to Princess Peach to find and free three Toads in each stage on her way to rescue Mario and Luigi. Collect coins to buy upgraded parasols, unlocked songs, puzzle pieces, and minigames that become available for purchase in the store.
Unfortunately, it's very shallow and too stereotypical. "This is Super Mario Brothers, but easier and for girls," Nintendo seems to be saying.
It is also very pink, and very addicting.
Overall Rating: 8/10
Drakengard 2 (PS2)
Released by Ubisoft and Square Enix, Drakengard 2 is an action role playing game that brings you into a world of magic, knights, and dragons. This sequel is set 18 years after the first title, where you play as Nowe our young hero who was raised by a dragon named Legna. Nowe is a Knight of the seal, charged with protecting the land. You'll soon find out that the Knights are not out to protect the land and Nowe sets out to take on the Knights. The cut scenes are great but the actual game graphics could be better. Drakengard 2 features 12 chapters with numerous missions in each that alternate from ground based action to air-to-air combat. The air-to-air missions do lack interest and are the least interesting aspect of the gameplay.
The controls are fairly simple but flight missions with a Legna takes some getting used to. Overall, the gameplay seems repetitive and rehearsed as fight sequences seem too similar, and no save checkpoints means you have to start from the beginning of a mission.
If you're a fan of the first title you should pick up Drakengard 2 as fans of this series will not be disappointed. Visit the official Drakengard 2 site for updates and information on the game.
Overall Rating: 7 of 10
By William Vitka, and Lyndsey Hahn