Review by theblooshuw

"5 Parts Max Payne, 10 Parts Mini-Game, 50 Parts Frustation"

Well, here it is. The game that most Xbox owners have been waiting for (including myself). After all the hype, after all the build-up, we finally get Dead to Rights, brought to us by none other then Namco. Too bad it only lives up to about half the hype. While alot of game is to be had here, you may get more bang for your buck then expected (and thats NOT in a good sense!)

Graphics
Well, considering this is the Xbox, the single most POWERFUL console that has ever been concieved, we should be looking at graphics that should be some of the best out there, but my sights were set to high. What we get, are graphics that are definitly above decent, but not near the level Namco is capable of. I know its a complaint constant with most beat-'em ups/shooters, but the enemy variety is HORRENDUS (you see the SAME bald guy for about 5 levels straight). While, the graphics for these enemies are nice, and they splatter beautifully when nailed with a shotgun, it just doesn't feel like Namco put enough effort into it. I know I've complained about the graphics alot, but once you get used to them, you don't really care, to be honest. I'll give it a thumbs in the middle, but come on Namco! You can do so much better!

Sound
Jack Slate really knows how to speak, or at least his voice actor does. Its near MGS2 quality; no friggin' joke. All of the characters in the game find the time for stupid one-liners though (I didn't find most of them funny). The guns almost make you want to shed a tear, with the way they blast into the night and day, ripping apart polygon flesh nicely. Everything that so much as makes a peep, from tires squealing against the cement, to bombs going off right in front of your face, they all sound SPECTACULAR. The music is very nice too. Namco knew how to vary it around nicely, sometimes not playing any music leading up to a big battle, and the music that would play during that battle would rock the high heaven's. Definite thumbs up. You won't be dissapointed here.

Gameplay
Definite up's and down's here, as the main reason I bought this game, was to expierience the mind blowing gun battles that take place; the only problem is, these are hindered by the pointless, and numerous, mini-games you must endure. I mean, COME ON! If it was that easy to pick a lock, I'd be the #1 cat thief in the world! Or if defusing a bomb was that easy, the Bomb Squad's of America wouldn't have jobs! Another thing that brings the game down, in my mind, is the fighting system. Punch, punch, punch, punch, punch. Thats the combo I GUARANTEE will be the MOST used one. It does the most damage, and is the easiest to pull off. Is it fun? No way, Jose. After 3 events in the Jail Level, I wanted to turn the friggin' game off, and just pray that somehow, I'd be past it once I came back. Believe me, when I say it will become annoying, and will become monotnous. The gun battles saved it for me, despite the fact that the dive move is a WEE bit unmanageable. Thumbs in the middle, believe me, if it wasn't for the gun battles, this would be a thumbs in the GROUND.

Control
These bothered me at first, as it took me a few hours to adjust to them. After a few levels though, I was runnin' and gunnin' with the best of 'em, poppin' baddies left and right. What seems like a bit of a slip-up on the developers part though, is the dive move. To me, this should have been MUCH more manageable. By manageable, I mean, once you start a dive, you aren't stuck going in that direction until you stop the dive. Maybe twist mid-air, pop a bad guy behind you, then roll to your feet. This is a pretty big hindrance to the gamer, and will result in many, many unessacary deaths. Also, when fighting hand-to-hand, the dive is also a cheap way out of losing life. Just dive out of the crowd, and boom, your free, as they can't harm you in mid-air. Then again, the whole fighting system ANNOYS me to death, so I guess that comes with the territory. Besides these gripes, all the controls seem to be quite manageable, and I never really had a problem adjusting to them after an hour or two. Thumbs in the middle, nothing special, but nothing bad.

Final Thoughts
Dead to Rights is undoubtedly one of the most anticipated Xbox games of the quarter, and it may live up to the hype for some, others it may not. For me, it makes it halfway. The gun battle totally rock in my opinion, while the mini-games, and hand-to-hand fighting system reek. Really, its your call. If your looking for a rockin' good time without hindrance, keep looking. But if you don't mind alot of variety, then look no further.

Final Stats
Graphics - 6
Sound - 10
Gameplay - 7
Controls - 6


Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 10/17/02, Updated 10/17/02


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