E3 2000 Wrap-Up
A look at Sega's showing at E3 - By BenT and Fragmaster
Neither as ugly as the N64 version or as broken as the PSX one, this looks to be the definitive port of Midway's inexplicably popular arcade dungeon crawl. I say inexplicably because I fail to see what's so wonderful about this game, as it seems to have lost the charm of the original Gauntlets. But whatever floats your boat. As I said, this looks to be a very faithful port, so Gauntlet Legends fans should have something to be happy about in the near future.
NFL Blitz 2001
Just like last year's enjoyable version, but with better graphics and a deeper playbook. Look for it this September.
Ready 2 Rumble Boxing: Round 2
It's Ready 2 Rumble with a couple of new characters, new moves, and new taunts. The style of the character graphics has changed since the original, and to be honest, I thought they looked a little worse. It's hard to tell if this'll be worth picking up since the game was only setup to play 1 or 2 player arcade modes. If the single player aspect of the game is improved over the first revision, this might be worth grabbing.
San Franciso Rush 2049
Another decent arcade port/average racing game... this one's set in the future, complete with gaudy colors and a lowish framerate. Yawn.
While many people are understandably upset about Namco's lack of commitment to the Dreamcast, they tend to overlook that Mr. Driller is a great little game. The goal is to dig into a hole as deep as possible, while maintaining your supply of air and avoiding the ever-present threat of the ceiling caving in. The multicolored ground is composed of many differently-shaped pieces that are interlocked together, so taking note of how these shapes fit together and digging appropriately will save you from the deadly landslides. This makes for some very frantic gameplay, where you often feel that you're mere seconds away from death. Mr. Driller is quite the fun experience, and I look forward to the final.
Roswell Conspiracies: Aliens, Myths and Legends
This one took me by surprise. Roswell Conspiracies is apparently a new kids animated show that'll begin airing in Fall 2000. The show (and game) follows the adventures of Nick Logan and Sh'Lainn Blaze, who are "Detection Agents for the Alliance". Their mission? Protect the Earth from aliens disguised as werewolves, vampires, and other terrifying MYTHS and LEGENDS. (The emphasis is theirs.) Man, aliens are bad enough, but aliens in COSTUMES? These guys are screwed. Anyway, the game is a third-person action/adventure, which has you guiding either character around 40 or so levels. You have to "capture aliens with never before seen high tech weapons" and "avoid human bystanders to avoid being detected". Unfortunately, we saw neither of these potentially fun activities in the E3 demo -- it was very, very early. I mean, the characters sunk up to their knees in the floor, for crying out loud, so I think it's a bit early to make any judgements about this one. Roswell Conspiracies should be out in the fourth quarter, if all goes well.
Spec Ops: Omega Squad
Ripcord has a veritable ton of multiplayer Dreamcast games in the works, but none of them were at the show in Dreamcast form. The one Dreamcast title they did have was Spec Ops: Omega Squad, which is a port of the not-quite-popular PC title. It looks to be single player only, and that's just as well; the game is showing a strong streak of mediocrity. The graphics engine is really slow and bogged down, and the visuals are just pathetic. Control is somewhat sluggish and rather annoying (at first, anyway), so we didn't spend much time playing this. It'll get another chance when we can sit down with the final, but for now we aren't quite looking forward to Spec Ops: Omega Squad.