RatingProject Gotham Racing 3Genre: RacingConsole: Xbox 360 ExclusivePublisher: Microsoft GamesHot: Fantastic looking, easy to play, great online featuresNot: Wanted more vehicles
Project Gotham Racing 3 is one of the first racing games out on the Xbox 360, and with it's stable of 80 "fantasy" cars, next generation graphics, great tracks and online racing, gamers should be excited. Built from the ground up to take advantage of the new Xbox 360 hardware, tracks and vehicles are photo-perfect, and cars handle like their true-life counterpart for that extra realism. Gamers get to fill their custom garages with dozens of cars from top makers like Nissan, Ferrari, RUF, Ford, C12, Zonda, Jaguar, Aston Martin, Saleen, and Lamborghini. The only hard part about racing is choosing which car to drive.
Advanced customization options let gamers tailor each event to their preferences or skill level by having the option to choose a new car, and to set the difficulty level for both the event and the opposing A.I. drivers. There are over 100 tracks in four different cities, plus the legendary Nurburgring test track to race, or design and race new tracks if everything begins to seem the same. Cars do take damage during the race, so expect to see things like fenders hanging off, side mirrors ripped off, and paint transfers. But luckily, damage doesn't effect performance or handling so it may look ugly, but gamers will still be hauling ass.
Online racing gets the support of the extensive Xbox Live features as well as some customized options for PGR 3 gamers, like a scrolling ticker tape of race results, or PGR-TV, an innovative way to watch other online gamers race in real time. A few other nice touches include race crowds who boo when gamers do poorly or drive too aggressively and cheer loudly and take pictures of stylish moves and great driving. Project Gotham Racing 3 makes a great transition from the Xbox to the 360 with this well-rounded, fantastic looking, fun racing game.
RatingFinal Fight: StreetwiseGenre: Action-FightingConsole: PS2, XboxPublisher: Capcom.Hot: fighting dirty, diverse gameplay, edgy city atmosphereNot: getting a bad beat down
Capcom's new Final Fight: Streetwise successfully blends elements from traditional fighting games with mission-based action games to come up with a new action-fighting game that scores points for gritty atmosphere and cool moves. Gamers play as Kyle Travers, one of the leading thugs in Metro City, who's brother has been taken by a rival gang. To help Kyle save his brother, it's up to gamers to build-up Kyle's "street cred" by taking out enemies, winning hardcore fights, and completing side missions to give Kyle an extra edge over his enemies.
Even though missions structure the game, bone-crunching brawling is still at the heart of Final Fight. This is no-holds barred fighting that takes advantage of both hand-to-hand combat that has gamers pulling dirty moves like smashing noses or delivering a nasty groin kicks, to using weapons like knives, guns, steel pipes and pool cues to keep the pain coming and to knockout opponents. During fights, trip the Instinct Mode to increase Kyle's accuracy and attack speed to use a lethal combination of fists and weapons against Kyle's foes. When gamers are on the defense, Counter-Time Mode amps up Kyle's reflexes and it slows down time to let gamers execute cool counter-moves to deflect enemy attacks. The more Kyle wins, the more access he has to important people, information, even additional cash, weapons and manpower that he'll need to get his brother back. Gamers should have a good time overall with Final Fight: Streetwise as there is enough action and diversity to keep the game interesting and fun.