Review by Kiris

"Max Payne 2: Maximum Improvement"

I picked up this game very afraid that it wouldn't live up to the standards set by the first of the series, but my fears were unfounded. The first thing I noticed though, was that they have a new person doing Max's voice. I got used to it, but for awhile it did bother me, especially since the guy TRIED to sound like Max's old voice. But other then that, there is really nothing else bad I can think of.

Controls/Format 10/10
The controls and setup of this game are identical to the first one, making it very easy and smooth to play. Also the bullet time has a new feature, which I will talk about later.

Graphics 7/10
Probably the worst thing about this game is the graphics. I mean they aren't bad, they're just OK. But you can tell that this game doesn't take advantage of what the xbox can do.

Gameplay 10/10
SO much better then the first, thanks to the new ''in the zone'' bullet time. This is a feature that is activated when you kill multiple enemies quickly, your bullet time will slow them even more then usual while Max will be faster then usual, and you can actually SEE the bullets, something the first game was lacking. Also is the environments, just about everything can be moved and destroyed, adding a whole new level of fun. There aren't many things more fun then leaping through a pile of boxes in bullet time and surprising the bad guys.

Storyline 8/10
Just like the first game Max is very poetic, and the storyline is good. Though it has twist and turns like the first one, most of them all come at the end of the game, so the first half or so is pretty guessable, which is why this only received an 8.

Replay 8/10
I only gave the first Max Payne a 6 or 7 on this area, but this one has a new feature: Dead Man Walking. If you are alone it's really nothing special, since it just records how long you can survive the 5 stages....whoop-de-doo.
But with a friend you can compete to try to beat their records and try to have the most records on the board, etc. and it can be very fun. **Hint** what is also great is each stage has it's own way to do it to get the best way, you just have to find it.

Overall 9/10
Overall this is a great game, and if you enjoyed the first one you MUST play this, it returns Max into the action in all its splendor.

Rent or Buy?
Unfortunately it's not really worth buying, even the Dead Man Walking gets old after awhile, and a 5-day rental is more then enough to beat the game and enjoy that mode as well.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 12/07/03

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