Review by holyvision

"Wow!!! Truly Amazing"

Well, getting right into it:

Graphics- 8/10
The graphics are superb, there's no doubt to that. But there are graphical flaws in the game that lower the score for this section. However, Smilebit did do almost everything right when it comes to graphics, including: The character models are excellent, using great textures, having great shadows, and even having perfectly realistic animation. For example, when boosting left or right, the characters almost look as if they are ice skating when they push off of the air. Spectacular. The enemies, of course, are very well rendered. Amazingly so, considering the pure number of them, but when and if you get close to any enemy, you'll see that the textures and geometry are very, very complex. Also, the particle effects are amazing. Whenever you blow something up, and on certain bosses, a very realistic particle effect can be seen. In addition, things like the floating light particles in Naglfar's Pit add something to the gameplay that continues to amaze. The bosses, without naming any names, are also very well rendered. Smilebit did mess some things up, however: Sometimes, especially with Saborouta, the explosions and particle effects can get so massive that slow-down ensues. This can also happen when/if you get to close to certain bosses. During 99% of gameplay, however, there is no slowdown- and when there is, it doesn't hinder gameplay. [Just gives you a bit more time to think about what your're doing ^^] Also, many of the textures are repetitive. The valley rock wall texture is way overused, but I didn't find this to be a problem, because generally you're more focused on those bugs... Oh, yes, and, although this is really superflous, the HUD, or whatever they call it in GV, is very sharp. It looks really nice and doesn't hinder hameplay at all.

Controls 11/10

Yeah, they are that good. The freedom these controls give you really is amazing. At first, as everyone has already said, you will hate the controls. But, once you get the hand of them, you are god. For me, the learning curve was around 1:30, and man, it just hits you. One minute, you're jumping from platform to platfrom cursing this peice of crap game and seeing how many controllers you can break, and then *boom*, you're goin' kung fu on everybody's a$$!!! It's a great feeling, it really is. It kind of funny now-- when teaching my friends to play, I cringe every time I watch them hop around for hours on Valley 2 or something ^^. All joking aside- these controls are the best thing to grace a console for years. I know I sound crazy, but you get emphatuated with the control scheme! I was driving down the highway one day, going underneath an overpass, and the guy in front of me was going slow.. and I just thought to myself, ''Just a tap on the Jet pack, couple boosts forward, nice meteor crash up, aim down and I could take that guy out!!!'' When you play another game, as well, you sit there wishing you could do GV stuff. I was playing Halo recently, in the outdoor segment on ''Seige of the Control Room'' [or whatever it's called] on legendary, and I died a couple of times, then just got to thinking how great it would be to have the GV controls... I would be blastin' those elites like nobody's bussiness. So, in conclusion, playing with this games controls just makes you pissed they hadn't come up with it sooner.

Music/sound 8/10

As far as music, there are some memorable tunes, and it keeps up the pace well. Nothing revolutionary, [Final Fantasy 8] but the music was good enough to be above par. The sound was nice, although the drive gun is really annoying, but again, nothing revolutionary. This game makes particular use of dolby digital surround--as it helps you to locate some noisy critters instead of consulting the map. Not much else to comment on here.

Replay Value 7/10

Yes, the lowest score yet. This one I actually didn't realize until long after I had beaten the game numerous times [hmmm] but there aren't that many good levels. I was on challenge mode, doing fun levels, when I discovered that there were about 2 levels that I enjoy doing just to do. However, it still gets a 7/10 because it is so hard to get first place S rankings. Almost impossible without using a certain character, I might add. And that does keep you coming back.. because you always could have done something that much better. It doesn't have the replay value of many games, like Halo, however, because it has no real multiplayer. Too bad...

Gameplay 10/10

Go SEGA!!! They never fail to get it right! [cough Saturn cough] The gameplay in this is just amazing- you'll have fun watching someone else play [and laughing at their bruised thumbs], showing you just how good the gameplay is. Relatively lame enemies, weapons, and mission objectives don't affect this at all because it is just so much fun to fly around killin' things. To me, this is a lot like ''Nights'', one of the best games ever [for the saturn] but with a gun and in real 3d. Sometimes I wish there was a screen saver for my comp of a computer playing GV.. it's just so much fun to play or watch.. wow.

Overall 9/10

The only reason this didn't get 10/10 is because of the replayability and the Music and occasionally the graphics. Once you get good at the controls... you really will be lobbying [lol] for more game designers to implement unconventional control schemes- because really- do we need another tomb raider?

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 04/10/02, Updated 04/10/02

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