GAMES OF THE MONTH | APRIL 2005

VIEWTIFUL JOE 2

Game Cube Pal | 2005

Joe returns! One of the most innovative and enjoyable platformers of recent times gets a sequal.

Following on immediately from the last game (as all great sequels do) Joe and Syliva find themselves in Movieworld. They must fight against the malevolent Black Emperor and a bizarre array of enemies (some seen before) as they attempt to recover the 7 Rainbow Oscars.

New stuff to the game include the ability to play as Silvia and tag her and Joe in and out.Switching of characters is essential in some places. Just as the previous games itís non-stop action with spurious puzzles thrown in to hinder progress.

A new feature in the game is The 36 Chambers; a collection of survival missions. These are unlocked as you progress through the story mode.

The graphics are still outstanding if not being a little better, the music is still cool however the game is not as challenging as the first game.

Viewtiful Joe 2 has also been released on PS2.

The original Viewtiful Joe can be bought on the Game Cube for as little as £9.99 which is a steal. The later released PS2 version can be found for about £14.99.

Viewtiful Joe 2

NiGHTS Into Dreams

Saturn PAL 1995

From Sonic Team comes one of the most unique and acclaimed titles of all time. The experience of this game is

The land of Nightopia; the place where our dreams are played out is under threat from an evil being known as Wizeman. It is feeding on the dream energy of humans and when powerful enough will come into the real world. An aerial acrobat known as NiGHTS is the only hope. With the help of the children they must collect the dream energy and restore Nightopia.

You control 2 characters Claris and Elliot; though in reality it will be a NiGHT for the most part. You fly around a course collecting blue spheres and returning them to the Ideya Capture overloading them releasing back dream energy. Once the courses are complete you will fight a boss.

This game proved that the Saturn was capable on generating excellent 3D graphics. It even had itís own analogue control pad designed specifically for it. The sound track is equally memorable.

Itís been hoped every time Sonic Team made an announcement that NiGHTS was to be remade on Dreamcast or Game Cube but nothing materialised. Minor versions of NiGHTS have appeared as part of Sonic Adventure (DX) and Phantasy Star.

Nights did get a minor update in the form of Christmas NiGHTS; a seasonal add-on. For more info checkout Christmas NiGHTS

NiGHTS Into Dreams

METAL SLUG ADVANCE

Gameboy Advance 2005

SNKís most classic series arrives on GBA. Metal Slug Advance and is a totally new 'Slug' adventure with 5 new missions together with new weapon and tank upgrades.

As with all 'Slug' games you simply progress through each mission destroying everything that comes on the screen rescuing POWs as you go.

Whilst not as sophisticated the big-daddy Neo Geo versions this version comes very close incorporating the cartoon graphical style of the originals and managing to create some great visuals from the GBA.

As a side mission there is a card collecting system. POWs leave behind cards which in turn will yield benefits such as secret areas, different forms of the Metal Slug tank and increases in ammunition. The trick however is to complete the mission with out dying.

Hopefully the first of many ĎSlugí games for the GBA.

Metal Slug 3 has recently been released on X Box, PS2 with Metal Slug 4 and 5 due out in August.

Metal Slug Advance

SKIES OF ARCADIA

Dreamcast Pal | 2001

From Overworks comes one of the Dreamcastís many RPG titles and a true showcase title for the system.

Set in the world of floating islands and ships that travel between them, you play the role of Vyse Ė a young member of The Blue Rogues who are air pirates. The story kicks off when you rescue a young girl called Fina held by on the Armada Flagship of the Valuan Empire. This leads into a quest to locate Moon Stones and stop the empire from harnessing the power of the Rains of Destruction.

The gameplay mostly consists of traveling from location to location, making discoveries and exploring. Throughout these trips will be plenty of battles (plenty of them random) involving people, creatures and ship to ship combat. A magic system is on hand to help.

The visuals in the game are outstanding. There is so much detail in the environments and characters. Colours are rich and vibrant. The game is presented mostly in 3rd person and generally everything moves smoothly.

Once the game gets going it's engaging. I'm not really a fan of RPG but 'Skies' is turning me into one.

Skies was later updated in 2003 for the Game Cube. Skies of Arcadia Legends add more game content, more characters and slightly improved graphics.

Skies of Arcadia

GOLDEN AXE 2: THE REVENGE OF DEATH ADDER

Arcade | System 32

One of the great travesties of the 32-Bit era was this game not coming to any consoles.

The Revenge of Death Adder is the sequel to the timeless classic that is Golden Axe that appeared in the arcades and just about every computer there is.

Through the dark art of emulation this game is now playable...

Checkout the Golden Axe 2 feature (Mega Drive) for more info.

Golden Axe 2: The Revenge of Death Adder

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