drqshadow dot comdrqshadow dot comdrqshadow dot com

Final Fantasy XII

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories

New Super Mario Bros.

The Geekiest Pastime there is
Welcome to the Q Review Gaming Department. In this area, I get to pretend I'm a member of the EGM or IGN review staff, and you get to make believe that my opinion about Final Fantasy XIV really matters. Basically, it's an active archive of all my Gaming Reviews from Project Wonderboy, Amazon.com and Earth-2.net. For right now, I'm going with a big list on the main page, but as I get more writeups completed, that'll get to be too bulky, so I'll have to eventually split this up by console. There's a chance you may read some spoilers in this section, so if that's not your bag, back out now. Otherwise, feel free to see what I thought of any particular game.

...and by the way, the three newest reviews are listed along the left hand side of this page.

Bad Dudes (Nintendo Entertainment System)
The arcade "smash hit" that I knew, loved and screamed "I'm BADDD" right alongside, finally makes its debut on the old NES. This was one of my earliest video game reviews, from back when I was on-staff at ActionAttackHelicopter, so it's not quite up to snuff when compared with the others.
Bad Dudes
Blinx: The Time Sweeper (Xbox)
A cat with a super-vacuum, a variety of colorful coats, shiny boots, human teeth and the ability to control time. Watch as he hurls himself into another bottomless pit!
Blinx: The Time Sweeper
Conker's Bad Fur Day (Nintendo 64)
Nintendo acknowldges their flaws as a children's-only developer and tries to perform an about-face with this tale of a foul mouthed squirrel and his ascent to the throne. If you're looking for a frustrating, rushed, gimmicky pile of crap, I've got just the game for you.
Conker's Bad Fur Day
Crazy Taxi (Sega Dreamcast)
Sega took over the dying arcade market with this imaginative game centering on adrenaline-addicted taxi cab drivers and their need to drive like complete idiots across the San Francisco landscape. Could they maintain that pace on their new home console, the Dreamcast?
Crazy Taxi
Elemental Gimmick Gear (Sega Dreamcast)
I'm not sure why I was so excited about finally finding this game, because holy lord did it suck. An odd blend of the RPG, Platformer and Action Adventure genres, I'd recommend you avoid this like the plague.
Elemental Gimmick Gear
ESPN Football: NFL 2k5 (Xbox)
Sega made a bold play this year, setting their sights on a market that had traditionally been held in a stranglehold by EA Sports and their monstrous "John Madden Football" franchise. They slashed the price. They bumped up the release date. But did they produce a halfway decent football title?
ESPN Football: NFL 2k5
Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem (GameCube)
One of the earliest games ever released for the Gamecube, Eternal Darkness aimed to dispel any myths that may have gathered in regards to the system's real target market. Where 90% of the N64's titles were apparently aimed at 6-10 year olds, Darkness was meant to be a fresh start for the big red N, hinting at a more mature-themed line that never actually materialized as the years wore on.
Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem
Fable (Xbox)
It took them something like fifteen years to finally produce this game, and when it eventually arrived on store shelves, it sounded an awful lot like a medieval version of Knights of the Old Republic. Does this middle-aged RPG / Action / Adventure / Dating Sim outpace the modern day LucasArts classic? Does it even keep up?
Final Fantasy (Nintendo Entertainment System)
The godfather of all digital role playing games. Screw Ultima, Final Fantasy was the first game to do it right. The kickoff point of my all time favorite series of titles, later replicated and improved upon as part of Final Fantasy Origins on the PSone.
Final Fantasy
Final Fantasy: Origins (PlayStation)
A reworking, rethinking and rejuvination of two classic, groundbreaking old RPGs from the heyday of the Famicom / Nintendo Entertainment System. Packaging enhanced, cleansed versions of Final Fantasy I and Final Fantasy II, this disc showcases Square's earliest explorations and expansions of theme and gameplay; two factors that would go on to define the entire series.
Final Fantasy Origins
Final Fantasy VII (PlayStation)
Possibly the most widely-recognized game of all time. Incredibly influential, as it turned the tide in the Nintendo / Sony war for good, and constantly ranked as one of the greatest games of all time. Is this three-disc wonder worthy of all the praise it receives or is it all hot air?
Final Fantasy VII
Final Fantasy VIII (PlayStation)
The follow-up to one of the most widely-acclaimed titles in history, FFVIII catches a lot of flack for walking in such a decidedly different direction from its peers. What're my thoughts on the matter? Well, let's just say I don't agree with the critics on this one.
Final Fantasy VIII
Final Fantasy XI (PlayStation 2)
Square-Enix's biggest gamble to date, packing the new episode of its legendary series with the PS2 Hard Drive, (and a hundred dollar sale price) going the online route and charging a monthly... friggin... fee. Can the appeal of one of gaming's strongest franchises overcome the price of admission?
Final Fantasy XI
Final Fantasy XII (PlayStation 2)
The last chapter of Square's name-maker to appear on the PS2, FFXII also marks a return to the more solitary single-player lifestyle that had previously defined the series. Maybe I was just jonesin' for a return to those familiar pastures, then, because this is one of the best games I've played in years.?
Final Fantasy XII
FlatOut (Xbox)
Old school destruction derby-style racing bumped up to new levels of carnage, thanks to the unique "eject-o-driver" technology, appearing for the first time in this title. FlatOut's heart is in the right place, but I'm still trying to figure out where its head is buried.
God of War (PlayStation 2)
Needing a hit to get themselves back on the map, Sony digs up buried gold with this super-violent jaunt through Greek mythology. Incredible boss fights and a deep combat system head up a thoroughly exciting original production.
God of War
GoldenEye: 007 (Nintendo 64)
The be-all, end-all of console first person shooters. There would be no Halo if there hadn't been Goldeneye. The ultimate party game, thanks to its strong four player support.
GoldenEye: 007
Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories (Playstation 2)
A rare translation from portable to home console, (isn't it usually the other way around?) Liberty City Stories isn't quite as flawless as its forefathers. While it's cool to revisit the city that started this whole craze, well... I'll just have to explain this in greater detail.
Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (Xbox)
An insanely expansive map, an equally maniacal soundtrack, a few new tricks and a whole new setting are among the additions on this third (and final) jaunt on the current generation consoles for the world's most controversial video game series. What's wrong with this picture? Well, a lot actually...
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (PlayStation 2)
Rockstar's attempt to follow up on the infamy of GTA3. The series goes all 80s on your ass, complete with leg warmers, neon lights and the greatest soundtrack to ever hit your PS2. IGN.com voted this one "the best of 2002," and I'm inclined to agree.
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories (PlayStation 2)
The second prequel in the GTA legacy to debut on the PSP before making the short, value-priced jump to the big screen. Vice City Stories learns all the wrong lessons from its immediate predecessor and almost nothing from its legendary forefathers.
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories
Grandia II (Sega Dreamcast)
This Dreamcast RPG has a story that'll make your head hurt, music that'll make your ears bleed and a battle system that's... actually kinda cool. Elements of Chrono Trigger, Star Ocean and Final Fantasy combine to create a mediocre title at best.
Grandia II
Halo: Combat Evolved (Xbox)
Is this worth the big bucks it's gonna cost you to buy an Xbox? Is the hype full of hot air or the god-honest truth? Well, that'd all depend on your opinion about the First Person Shooter genre. Me, I'm a fan... so...
Halo: Combat Evolved
Halo 2 (Xbox)
The most important release in Xbox history. While it was the first Halo that brought Microsoft's Xbox to the dance, the responsibility of solidifying that position would fall to the sequel. Would a heapin' helpin' of alien-slaughterin' shoot-em-up action and an unparalleled online offering be enough to do the deed?
Halo 2
Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy (PlayStation 2)
The first chapter of what would go on to become one of the PS2's most highly regarded exclusive franchises. Quite a humble, unassuming beginning to what seems to have developed into a much weightier, dramatic trilogy as the years have gone by.
Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy
Jak II (PlayStation 2)
The second chapter in what's come to be known as one of the PlayStation's enduring exclusive franchises, Jak II is in every imaginable way an improvement over its forefather. Yeah, I'm just gonna go right ahead and spoil that for you. A giant leap forward for what was previously an also-ran in the world of the action platformer.
Jak II
Jak 3 (PlayStation 2)
Completing the trilogy on the PS2, Jak 3 picks right up where its overwhelmingly good predecessor left off. Deep, dark, brooding city? Check. Obligatory comedy bits with a talking animal? Check. Spectacular action sequences? Check and check. That's right, a rare double-check! Elaborate, lengthy gameplay...? ...hello...?
Jak 3
Jet Set Radio Future (Xbox)
One of the Dreamcast's mainstays gets a chance to shine on a higher platform in this stylish, sensory onslaught set in the not-too-distant future. If I tried to do any of this shit, I'd be upside down in a gutter somewhere.
Jet Set Radio Future
Katamari Damacy (PlayStation 2)
Namco comes in from out of nowhere with this imaginative, addictive, innocent little gem of a game. Everyday objects have never been this interesting, nor this exciting.
Katamari Damacy
Kingdom Hearts (PlayStation 2)
The game that the entire gaming world seemed to scratch its head over, featuring an odd combination of Disney and Final Fantasy characters, environments and cliches. Can pretty graphics overcome the burden of a piss-poor camera control scheme?
Kingdom Hearts
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (GameCube)
One of the greatest, most important gambles in Nintendo's history. Could Link & Co. help save the GameCube from annihilation in the three-way console war? Is cel-shading the right way to go? I think so.
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker
Max Payne (Xbox)
A translation from the world of the PC-user, Max Payne set out with the intention of capturing the Grand Theft Auto audience, then a PS2 exclusive, for the Xbox market. Which is odd, because it isn't really the same game. At all.
Max Payne
Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence (PlayStation 2)
Perhaps not learning their lesson from their fanbase's outcry against Sons of Liberty's sins, Hideo Kojima and the team at Konami continue to muck around with their previously-successful formula in this prequel to the groundbreaking original Metal Gear Solid.
Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence
Metroid Prime (GameCube)
Alongside Zelda, Samus Aran and Metroid has always been one of the big N's reliable workhorses. Retro Studios came in for the big save with this one, transforming the ultimate SNES side scroller into a sound, beautiful First Person Shooter. It does have its flaws, however.
Metroid Prime
Midtown Madness 3 (Xbox)
A goofy little arcade racer from Microsoft that'll surprise you with its graphics, sound and online play. MM3 lacks the intensity and determination of other racing simulators, which means you're going to have a little more fun driving around town with it.
Midtown Madness 3
Mortal Kombat: Deception (PlayStation 2)
A mixed bag, complete with variations on Chess, Puzzle Fighting, RPGs and the traditional fighting modes, Deception wears an awful lot of hats. Too bad it doesn't wear any of them particularly well.
Mortal Kombat: Deception
NARC (Nintendo Entertainment System)
A daring translation of the photorealistic arcade machine to the strictly graphics-unfriendly Nintendo Entertainment System, capitalizing on the big "Just Say No" kick of the day. Being drug free has never been a more violent experience! This was one of my earliest video game reviews, from back when I was on-staff at ActionAttackHelicopter, so it's not quite up to snuff when compared with the others.
New Super Mario Bros. (Nintendo DS)
The biggest name in gaming makes an attempt to return to his roots with this side-scrolling 2D / 3D portable adventure. Trust me, it sounds a lot more complicated than it really is.
New Super Mario Bros.
NFL Blitz (PlayStation)
Midway's arcade hit, bent and twisted to fit within the early limitations of Sony's PlayStation. The premise is strong, but the execution is weak. Later installments fixed this series up, but that can't really help the problems with this one.
NFL Blitz
Oddworld: Munch's Oddysee (Xbox)
Abe and friends make the big leap from Sony to Microsoft, helping to kick off the Xbox with this beautiful adventure title. If you enjoyed the first two titles in the OddWorld series, this is right up that same alley. Offbeat humor, a fun storyline and killer graphics.
Oddworld: Munch's Oddysee
Onimusha: Warlords (PlayStation 2)
It's like Resident Evil met The Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver, the two dated for a while, enjoyed some wild times, and suddenly had an unplanned pregnancy. You're Samanosuke, a difficultly-named samurai, fighting undead ninjas and shit. Pretty, original and lots of fun.
Onimusha: Warlords
Pikmin (GameCube)
Nintendo turns to its knight in shining armor, Shigeru Miyamoto, in an attempt to kickstart their new console, the GameCube. Could the creator of the majority of Nintendo's legendary titles pull another rabbit out of his hat, or would the big "N"'s golden boy start to dull amidst such rabid competition?
Project Gotham Racing 2 (Xbox)
The premiere racing title for the original Xbox, Project Gotham 2 takes a more universally-appealing, excitable approach to the racing genre that allows it to compete more indirectly with Sony's industry-leading Gran Turismo monster. It's lacking the intense attention to detail of Sony's GT racers, but it's also packed wall to wall with thrills, unique challenges and unprecidented visual realities
R.C. Pro-Am (Nintendo Entertainment System)
One of the earliest console racers to ever go the violent route. Trigger-happy parents might say this was Grand Theft Auto's great great grandpappy. This was one of my earliest video game reviews, from back when I was on-staff at ActionAttackHelicopter, so it's not quite up to snuff when compared with the others.
R.C. Pro-Am
Resident Evil: Director's Cut (PlayStation)
The blocky, poorly voice-acted, unsuspecting game that started the whole "survival horror" craze. If you like B-grade horror movies, difficult camera angles and zombie-killin' goodness, this is the title for you.
Resident Evil: Director's Cut
Resident Evil 2: Dual Shock (PlayStation)
Capcom rocks the boat by releasing an impressive improvement over the original PlayStation zombie massacre. New characters, heavily improved graphics and voice acting, and hours of unlockables. Double the discs, double the action, double the fun.
Resident Evil 2: Dual Shock
Samba de Amigo (Sega Dreamcast)
One of my all-time favorites. Have you ever daydreamed about controlling the actions of a sombrero-adorned, maraca-toting Mexican Monkey with mucho machismo? This is your opportunity. Of course, it's pretty entertaining if you dig musically-based games, too.
Samba de Amigo
Sega GT 2002 (Xbox)
Sega throws their name into the racing mix with this next-gen revisiting of a series that had been previously shelved on the Dreamcast. After a few hours behind the wheel, chances are pretty good you'll understand exactly why it was left for dead in the first place.
Sega GT 2002
Shenmue II (Xbox)
Yu Suzuki, creator of Sega's classics Afterburner, Out Run, Space Harrier, and dozens more, follows up his epic console debut with a slightly less inspiring sequel. I'd probably have given this a better grade if they'd released it on the Dreamcast in the US.
Shenmue II
Silent Hill 2: Restless Dreams (Xbox)
The series that pulled the survival horror genre out of its "blood n guts" rut and gave it a psychological twist. Think about making a special trip to the supermarket for diapers, because this game is going to scare the shit out of you.
Silent Hill 2: Restless Dreams
Star Ocean: Till the End of Time (PlayStation 2)
The follow-up to one of my all-time favorite Action RPGs, and one of the first titles to really benefit from the Square-Enix merger, there's something missing from this wannabe hit. I wanted to love it, I really did.
Star Ocean: Till the End of Time
Star Wars: Jedi Starfighter (Xbox)
LucasArts was always one of my favorites in terms of arcade-style flight simulation and dogfighting. I think I played Tie Fighter until there was a big friggin' rut in the disc and I had blisters on my fingertips. So what's the verdict on their latest rehash, starring new characters...?
Star Wars: Jedi Starfighter
Super Monkey Ball 2 (GameCube)
Man, they must put something in the water over at the Sega offices, because the concepts this place continues to pop out are among the most unique, ingenius, utterly freaking WHACKED OUT things you'll ever see in action. And they're all fun as hell! Here you portray a monkey in a giant, clear plastic hamster ball. And you love it.
Super Monkey Ball 2
Tales of Symphonia (GameCube)
One of the only RPGs available for the big red N's shiny cubic machine. Symphonia puts a lot of emphasis on its battle system, and very little on its storytelling. Which is OK for the arcades, I guess, but if I'm going to be devoting 50+ hours to something... well, I'm gonna want a little more substance.
Tales of Symphonia
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2x (Xbox)
A remodeled, refreshened, resculpted re-release of the best THPS of them all. Microsoft's Xbox took their only exclusive peek at the Tony Hawk franchise with this one, but is it worth a purchase or is it just more of the same...?
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2x
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4 (PlayStation 2)
The legendary series that's defined the extreme sports gaming scene for ages, Tony Hawk 4 introduced new play mechanics that came off as a little bit hokey and under developed. Online play would've been a smooth addition, if everybody on the network wasn't using a "perfect balance" cheat.
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4


Copyright © Q 2006. If you want to link me or repackage my words somewhere else, it's cool... just let me know.
E-Mail Q