Thursday, July 31, 2008

Guitar Hero: On Tour

Developer: Vicarious Visions
Publisher: Activision
Release Date: June 22, 2008
System: Nintendo DS
ESRB Rating: E10+
Official Web site

In a nutshell: Keep on rocking in the free world.

0:00 I was a big Guitar Hero fan who turned into a bigger Rock Band fan when Harmonix moved on to their new series. The idea of a version that I can play anywhere is intriguing, even as I worry about the Guitar Grip and the lack of Harmonix involvement.

0:01 This minute was spent opening and setting up the ridiculous the Guitar Grip controller attachment, which bulges almost obscenely out of the GBA slot on my DS Lite. The pick-shaped stylus that's included is a nice touch.

0:02 The introductory screen warns me to take frequent breaks to avoid cramps. This is not encouraging.

0:03 The screen seems upside-down until I realize I'm supposed to hold the guitar grip in my left hand. Feels a bit awkward, but no more awkward than the regular Guitar Hero controllers.

0:04 I start a new Career and choose my favorite frontman, Axel Steel, partly because of his ridiculous name and partly because "he shreds his guitar like it's cheese," according to his bio. Add in a Flying V guitar and we're ready to rock!

Read the full review at Crispy Gamer

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Enemy Territory: Quake Wars

Developer: Underground Development
Publisher: Activision
Release Date: May 27, 2008
Systems: PS3 (reviewed), Xbox 360, PC, Mac, Linux
ESRB Rating: T
Official Web site

In a nutshell: Putting the FPS in RTS.

0:00 I played and loved the first two Quake games, but I couldn't tell you a thing about the Quake universe "mythos," as it were. Here's hoping such knowledge is not necessary to appreciate this game.

0:01 "Enemy Territory: Quake Wars needed to perform an initial installation. This will take 8 to 9 minutes." Of course.

0:09 Now the game is "loading data." A much faster process, but still just as annoying.

0:10 We're off! A bunch of logos appear on the underside of a massive spaceship. "They search the galaxy for the sole item their existence requires. Harvesting... and consuming everything in their path ... and now they have arrived here." Roughly a bajillion more megaships appear in the sky above the Earth. There's a glowing red portal with a metallic ring shaped like the Quad-Damage item from Quake. A bit too cute for my tastes, there. Cut to title.

Read the full review at Crispy Gamer

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Don King Presents: Prizefighter

Developer: Venom Games
Publisher: 2K Sports
Release Date: June 10, 2008
Systems: Xbox 360 (reviewed), Nintendo DS, Wii
ESRB Rating: T
Official Web site

In a nutshell: Only in America.

0:00 My experience with boxing games begins and ends with the Punch-Out!! series, and I've been OK with that -- until today!

0:01 "Endurance!, Excitement! If I can do it, you can do it! They say in America anybody can do it!" Don King's voice is mixed in with a generic rap about the thrill of boxing over a red-and-black title screen. The effect is unique, to say the least.

0:02 The difficulty levels are Amateur, Contender and Champion. I could have been a Contender -- and I am. The Don King rap continues. I swear I just heard a line about a blueberry muffin.

0:04 I guess I'll start with the "Training." Boston's "Long Time" plays over the loading screen for some reason.

0:06 The jump rope training is just a glorified rhythm game with no music. I have to press the buttons that scroll under my jumper's feet. It gets tough pretty quickly, even at the Contender difficulty. "Perfect! You're training like a boxing monster," says my trainer in a voice that sounds like he's been beaten down by the world.

Read the full review at Crispy Gamer

Friday, July 25, 2008

Ace Combat 4: Shattered Skies

Developer: Namco
Publisher: Namco
Release Date: Oct. 23, 2001
System: PS2
ESRB Rating: E
Official Web site

In a nutshell: Skies like a plate glass window.

0:00 I've heard good things about this series but never actually touched it. If it's anything like Sega's Afterburner arcade game, it should be right up my alley.

0:01 "Have so far to go," sings an ethereal voice over scenes of a sea bird flying over the ocean. A jet flies by, knocking some feathers off the innocent avian. More birds, more jets, more shots of the ocean and we quickly reach the title.

0:02 On to the tutorial to learn some aircraft basics. "Amidst the blue skies, a link from past to future. The sheltering wings of our protector..." says a cryptic message during hte loading screen.

0:03 The plane is in autopilot as the game ponderously tells me how to raise and lower the nose of the plane. There's no way to speed up the extremely slow text messages... I just have to wait patiently until the game lets me try it for myself. Argh.

0:05 Interesting... Instead of simply drifting/turning left and right with the analog stick, I have to first rotate the plane and then tip the nose to turn. This is more realistic, I guess, but I feel like it will take some getting used to. I do like the heads-up display, which shows altitude and orientation via a series of simple, green lines on a first-person viewscreen.

Read the full review at Crispy Gamer

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Zoids Assault

Developer: Takara Tomy
Publisher: Atlus
Release Date: Sept. 9, 2008
System: Xbox 360
ESRB Rating: T
Official Web site

In a nutshell: An assault on interesting game design

0:00 I know practically nothing about this apparent Gundam rip-off, so my expectations are about as low as they can be.

0:01 Sweeping music as the camera pans over a desolate landscape. With tents! And pueblos! And trees! Really, the camera spends way too long lovingly panning over nothing much at all. When we finally see the Zoids themselves, they seem like slower, more mechanical, less colorful versions of the "Voltron" robots. I suppose giant robots should be slow and mechanical, but Metal Gear Solid 4 has spoiled me, I guess.

0:02 "8/5/964 in Jamil" is the super-fictional setting. "The ceasefire agreement has been signed. All units stand down," says a voice on the radio, and a bunch of platoons respond with reports of their standing down. On-screen, grainy black-and-white satellite video of some tanks. "I'm glad this war's over. I can't wait to give my kids a big hug!" says a soldier with a heart of gold. One of his comrades tells him he should take a shower first. "Sir, you are the worst-smelling soldier I have ever served with." HA! Then, an abrupt shift to grim political talk. One guy's gonna renounce his politician brother when he gets home, or something. Suddenly, the people talking get fired on. Not that you can see this happening ... the satellite video feed has turned to static. They can't return fire until they get clearance, apparently. This would be much more exciting with better voice acting and video that wasn't just black-and-white snow.

0:05 The video static as we hear the team firing back, without authorization apparently. It sounds like a few Zoids got taken out before they were able to retreat. "What the hell just happened?" That's what I want to know!

Read the full review at Crispy Gamer

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures

Developer: Traveller's Tales
Publisher: LucasArts
Release Date: June 3, 2008
Systems: Nintendo DS (reviewed), every other system ever made.
ESRB Rating: E10+
Official Web site

In a nutshell: So LEGO whip it. LEGO whip it good.

0:00 I played the Wii version for a few hours at an absolutely wild July 4th party, so I think I know what to expect from this DS version.

0:01 "Indiana, f***ing Jones... Indianaaaaaa, mother-f***ing Jones!" Come on everyone, sing along with the title screen.

0:02 So I'm in control of Lego Indy in a three-piece suit, running around what looks like a university and being trailed by another suited guy with an umbrella. The only open door is "Raiders of the Lost Ark." At my college, the rooms had names like "101."

0:04 Seems I can also wander outside, whipping benches and such for little bits of LEGO gold and silver. Even the LEGO shrubs shatter to reveal coinage. One annoyance already: I can't seem to whip in midair.

0:05 With a tap and hold of the A button, the rubble from some destroyed lion statues can be rebuilt into... another statue! I get money for both the destruction and the rebuilding. What a racket!

Read the full review at Crispy Gamer

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Boom Blox

Developer: EA Los Angeles
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Release Date: May 6, 2008
System: Wii
ESRB Rating: E
Official Web site

In a nutshell: The best game ever made about booming Blox.

0:00 This game has Steven Spielberg and some decent critical acclaim behind it, so I don't see how it can go wrong. Then again, so did the new Indiana Jones movie, and that was awful...

0:01 Rectangular, block-shaped cows by in the title screen's background, mooing all the while. An automatic attract mode tells me to "Meet the Blox" and shows block-shaped jungle natives, skeletons, chickens and more. "Throw, Grab & Blast your way to victory." An on-screen remote shows Jenga-like gameplay mixed in with ball-throwing explosions. The level creation tool is shown in a few time-lapse seconds. If only it were so quick in real life.

0:03 I can choose from a gopher, a sheep, a penguin, a chicken, a cow or a dog for my file. They're all equally block-shaped, but the penguin is cutest. Everything but the "Throw 'Em" Training is locked, so I guess I know what I'm starting with...

0:05 "Welcome! It takes good aim and strong throws to blast your way through BOOM BLOX (TM)!!" Two exclamation points look very odd after a trademark insignia.

0:06 Aim with the pointer, then hold the A button to hold the aim, then make a throwing motion and let go of A. This throws a ball that knocks the relatively lightweight blocks around rather realistically. Neat, but I can't seem to get a weak throw, even when I try. They're all "power throws" or "strong throws."

Read the full review at Crispy Gamer

Monday, July 21, 2008


Developer: Nuevo Retro Games
Publisher: Nintendo
Release Date: May 5, 2008
System: Nintendo DS
ESRB Rating: E
Official Web page

In a nutshell: Crosswords + DS = Super Mario Galaxy. Wait a minute...

0:00 I became moderately good at crosswords during my college earth science course. Thank god for the college paper for saving my sanity.

0:01 The DS is held sideways, like a book, which seems perfect for a game like this. I don't feel I really need any "training" to know how to work a crossword puzzle, but I'll humor the game... why not.

0:02 Double-tapping a square on the touch screen zooms in and lets me write the appropriate letter. The clues and the larger puzzle remain on the other screen. A pretty good setup.

0:03 The letters show up in red if they're wrong? I nice concession for beginners, but it would never fly for professional crossworders (Yes, they do exist. You should all go see the movie Wordplay).

0:04 As if the red letters weren't enough, you can also get extra hints! Up to 10 per puzzle! At least the game gives you a time penalty for cheating this way.

0:06 The first, sample 4x4 puzzle is really easy to solve. I like how the game auto-scrolls to the next square after I enter a letter. The on-screen arrows make it easy to move around without ever zooming out, too. So far, the software is excellent as recognizing my bad handwriting much better than the similar Brain Age!

Read the full review at Crispy Gamer

Friday, July 18, 2008

Death Jr. II: Root of Evil

Developer: Backbone
Publisher: Eidos
Release Date: May 27, 2008
Systems: Wii (reviewed), PlayStation Portable
ESRB Rating: T
Official Web site

In a nutshell: Always look on the cute side of death.

0:00 I played about five minutes of the PlayStation Portable original a few E3s ago, and it seemed decent enough. We'll see how the concept holds up for an hour.

0:01 The disclaimer screen is all wavy and grainy, like an old monster movie. The title screen, though, has some cartoony backgrounds and some peppy, minor key background music. I can play as Death Jr. or Pandora, an excellent name for a female sidekick if I've ever heard one.

0:02 The difficulty levels are Lively, Healthy, Sickly and Deathly, the last of which is grayed out. I'm confused... Does it mean the enemies are Sickly, or that I am as the player? We'll see, I guess...

0:03 "You want the special sauce, the super-special sauce or the chunky sauce," asks a uniformed Majestic Burger worker named "Ace" (hey, just like my Mii). Death is the customer, ordering a No. 4 combo with hash browns, hold the onions. Death's pager beeps. "I'M ON BREAK," he yells. Ace runs off to prepare the order just as an explosion rocks the food court. It's... the female jolly green giant? "Hmm, this isn't on the schedule. What department are you from?" asks a confused Death. "These people are not meant to die now!" "Out of my way." The green giantess responds, attacking with a shower of brambles that slowly engulf Death. "How could this happen," he cries to no one in particular.

0:04 Cut back to "earlier that day." A guy in a jar, a pair of twins joined at the head, a diseased-looking girl and... a dead guppy are standing in a clearing, talking about getting their "cocoon." Death Jr. and Pandora are the last ones that haven't found one. Hey, they're just late-bloomers!

Read the full review at Crispy Gamer

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Developer: Bugbear Entertainment
Publisher: Empire Interactive
Release Date: July 12, 2005
Systems: Xbox (Reviewed), PS2, PC
ESRB Rating: T
Official Web site

In a nutshell: Destruction Derby + Motorstorm with a twist of Burnout and GripShift. Have I wowed you with my racing game knowledge yet?
0:00 I've been interested in this game ever since I saw the TV ads that featured drivers being launched out of cars towards targets. Now that's my kind of game.

0:01 This minute spent downloading a BC update for the Xbox 360 so I can play this old game, and watching logos and such.

0:02 Some insipid song with the endlessly repeating chorus, "Girls just want to be bad boys," plays over some grainy video of rally cars driving through dirt busting up and generally flipping out. And title.

0:03 I can choose whether my driver is male or female and whether my steering style is normal or professional. Not that I know the difference. Between the steering styles I mean -- I DO know the difference between the genders.

0:05 I start my career and have my pick of five cars. I spend my $4K billfold on the 134 horsepower, 3503 lb. Bullet, the most powerful, heaviest, most expensive car available. Automatic transmission please -- I can't drive stick.

Read the full review at Crispy Gamer

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Developer: 21-6
Publisher: Garage Games
Release Date: Feb. 13, 2003
System: PC
GameTap Rating: 6+
Official Web site

In a nutshell: The exciting world of throwing balls at stars.

0:00 0:00 The GameTap description said this game is good for "a master of trajectories, able to throw a ball with pinpoint accuracy." That doesn't really describe me, but it sounds like fun, regardless.

0:01 The game takes a full minute to load up. I'm feeling generous, so I'm going to blame my slow computer for this one.

0:02 The latest message on the "Orbz Message Center" is from Dec. 19, 2006, promising "Course Pack 6." The one before that is from July 17, 2004. I guess the DLC didn't really pan out over the years.

0:03 "The object of the game is to shoot your orb at targets located throughout 13 distinct courses in a race to score the most points." Move the mouse to aim, click once to start the power meter, click again to fire. The goal is to hit stars. The help screen also talks about power-ups and such too. I'll figure them out as I go.

0:04 Ah, I didn't need to read the help screen -- there's a tutorial. There are a lot of multi-colored orbs to choose from. I go with "Shameless Plug," which features the logo of developer 21-6. Heh.

Read the full review at Crispy Gamer

Monday, July 14, 2008

Lost Winds

Developer: Frontier
Publisher: Frontier
Release Date: May 12, 2008
System: Wii
ESRB Rating: E
Official Web site

In a nutshell: You are the wind beneath my 2-D platformer.

0:00 A independently-developed 2-D platformer that uses the Wii remote? What's not to be excited about?

0:01 A little, towheaded boy in a brown and red outfit sleeps at the foot of a large tree. Gentle flute music and twittering birds play in the background, with the title hovering about mid-screen.

0:02 "Try waving the Wind cursor over Toku to wake him up." I do, and he does. The wind rustles the leaves and bushes in the background, as well. WHOOSH!

0:03 Some great, vibrant animation as Toku runs left and right and climbs up waist-high cliffs. The environments are lush 3-D, but the controls are decidedly 2-D -- left and right and up and down.

0:04 A land-bridge crumbles as Toku steps onto it, and he falls into a sparkling cave. Still loving the lilting flute music.

0:05 Toku auto-jumps when he comes to an edge. I'm usually not a fan of the auto-jump -- seems a little skill-less to me. But what do I know?

Read the full review at Crispy Gamer

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas 2

Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Publisher: Ubisoft
Release Date: March 18, 2008
Systems: Xbox 360 (reviewed), PS3, PC
ESRB Rating: M
Official Web site

In a nutshell: What happens in Vegas seems to get a lot of people killed...

0:00 The sum total of my Tom Clancy' experience is contained in the 44 minutes I spent with the Ghost Recon 2 demo. This one got heaps of praise, though, so I'm willing to venture out of my comfort zone a bit.

0:01 This minute spent downloading a quick Xbox Live update, watching a bunch of company logos, and watching a loading screen.

0:02 Jump directly to a title screen, with a slowly rotating view of a large, empty hangar in the background. Military-style trumpet music plays like a dirge in the background.

0:03 I can choose from eight faces, all stereotypically ethnic, all pretty ugly. I can add some facial hair and war paint too, but it all looks kind of ridiculous on these misshapen faces.

0:04 The single-player Story mode can be played in "Casual," "Normal" or "Realistic" difficulties. Does that last one mean my character has to go to the bathroom every few hours? Now THAT'S realism! I choose Casual, confident that it will still be way too much for me.

Read the full review at Crispy Gamer

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword

Developer: Team Ninja
Publisher: Tecmo
Release Date: March 25, 2008
System: Nintendo DS
ESRB Rating: T
Official Web site

In a nutshell: Reach out and slash someone.

0:00 I got interested in this game when I first saw a video of the touch-controlled action gameplay. It's what I always envisioned when I first saw the DS.

0:01 "In ancient times, humans lived in peace with Dragons. But then came the Dark Dragon, a malevolent giant that wasted no time plunging the Earth into the abyss of darkness." So the other dragons collected all their power into a fang that was used to make the Dragon Sword, which was gifted to a human who used it to defeat the Dark Dragon. In the millennia since, the dragons have died out, but their spirit remains in the Sword. Old-style art and battle sound effects in background help tell this text-based story.

0:02 Difficulty choices are "Master Kunoichi," "Master Ninja," "Head Ninja" and "Normal." Normal is recommended for first-timers, so I guess I'll choose that.

0:03 An old man with a cane stands by a grave. "I'm sorry I took so long to finally come and visit." He's Muramasa, visiting Kureha. "You and Ryu were inseparable." Ryu! Finally a name I recognize!

0:05 Cut to the foot of a waterfall, where our protagonist, Ryu, is training with Momiji, a white-clad ninja girl. Suddenly I'm in control of Momiji, for some reason. I tap the screen to make her run around, blocking Ryu's attacks automatically as they come. I try to slash the sword with a quick slash of the stylus (as I've seen in trailers) but I can't get a sword in edgewise. HA! Suddenly the training is over and we bow to each other. If that was the tutorial, I'm not impressed.

0:06 Chapter 1, "Forest of Shadows." Momiji tells Ryu to head back to the village, which he does. Momiji picks flowers and the sky turns red. "I sense something... something inhuman!"

0:07 Here's the real tutorial, telling me how to run and attack using the stylus. Many of my attack motions accidentally make Momiji jump, but otherwise the system works pretty well. Fast and responsive.

Read the full review at Crispy Gamer

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Knytt Stories

Developer: Nicklas Nygren
Publisher: Nicklas Nygren
Release Date: Aug. 28, 2007
System: PC
ESRB Rating: Unrated
Official Web site

In a nutshell: It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that double jump.

0:00 I initially found this game on a list of free, independent platform games on MetaFilter. Those are three of my favorite adjectives in that last sentence there!

0:01 The opening menu has some concentric circles of colored, rotating balls with ethereal music in the background. Odd. Tutorial time!

0:02 "Welcome! Try to walk around by pressing the left and right arrow keys." OK, I'll try, but I doubt this is gonna work!

0:03 Whaddya know -- it worked. And the S button worked at making my little character jump. Some more ethereal music comes in amid the rainy, pixelated background. Very minimalist graphics and animation so far. I like it!

0:04 I get some power-ups that let me run faster and climb up/hang on to walls. I like the stickiness of clinging to the edges.

0:05 A double jump item! It's just not a proper platformer without a decent double jump!

0:06 I come across an umbrella to slow falls. Who does this guy think he is, Princess Peach?

Read the full review at Crispy Gamer

Monday, July 7, 2008

Command & Conquer 3: Kane's Wrath

Developer: Electronic Arts LA
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Release Date: June 24, 2008
Systems: Xbox 360 (reviewed), PC
ESRB Rating: T
Official Web Site

In a nutshell: War from above.

0:00 I got literally three missions into the original Command and Conquer before quitting the series for good. I'm really, really bad at real-time strategy games, you see.

0:01 Straight to the title screen, with a red globe and a generic looking super-soldier in the background. Meh.

0:02 The controls screen is a confusing mess, with buttons like "selection modifier" and actions like "decrement from building queue." I hope they hold my hand a little bit.

0:03 Boot Camp sounds like a good place to start. "This mission will teach you the basics of how to utilize the interface and controls." Thank God.

0:04 "Welcome to the training scenario, Commander." Click on the training stations to get training info. Duh!

0:05 OK, I know what a mini-map is. I don't need THAT much hand-holding.

Read the full review at Crispy Gamer

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Iron Man

Developer: Secret Level
Publisher: Sega
Release Date: May 2, 2008
Systems: Xbox 360 (reviewed), PS3, PS2, wii, DS, PSP, PC, mobile, Sega Master System (just kidding)
ESRB Rating: T
Official Web site

In a nutshell: The much awaited follow-up to the classic Iron Man/X-O Manowar game.

0:00 I liked the movie and I like Sega, but I'm still expecting a let-down from this one. It is a movie-based game, after all.

0:01 A gadget-porn pan over a pre-rendered Iron Man suit runs behind the menu screen. Some extremely generic light metal music plays in the background.

0:02 The controls screen mentions that the directional pad is used for something called "power distribution." This sounds way too complex for a game like this.

0:03 Difficulties are "Easy," "Normal," and "Formidable." I'm all for giving interesting names to difficulty levels, but you should go all or nothing. Why not "Puny" and "Nondescript" for the first two?

0:04 In a cave full of crates, Tony Stark works at a kiln. "Alone in a cave, surrounded by weapons. That is a very poignant way to die," says that guy from the movie whose name I can't remember. Tony's friend who helps him break out. You know who I'm talking about! "Ah, there he goes again, give it a rest, Shakespeare," says Robert Downey, Jr., er, I mean Stark. The guy whose name is on the tip of my tongue prattles on philosophically about what make a man a hero while Stark lifts the first Iron Man mask out of the kiln and stares at it, meaningfully.

0:05 Cut over to the Stark computer display that gives my mission objectives: escape from the Ten Rings encampment I'm being held in. How am I seeing this computer display? I'm trapped in a cave. Way to break the fourth wall already.

Read the full review at Crispy Gamer

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Blast Works: Build, Trade, Destroy

Developer: BudCat Creations
Publisher: Majesco
Release Date: June 10, 2008
System: Wii
ESRB Rating: E
Official Web site

In a nutshell: KatamaR-Type? Gradius Damacy?

0:00 I played a demo of this game for about five minutes at last year's E3. It was by far the most original game I played at the entire show.

0:01 A bass-heavy techno beat plays over a simple title screen, with labeled pieces of a cel-shaded plane marking the different options.

0:02 The controls configuration screen shows a total of three buttons: Shoot, Hide Attached Shapes and Pause. Now that's old-school.

0:03 Let's jump on in to the official-sounding Campaign mode. The difficulties are Rookie, Pilot and Ace. Since I'll be flying a ship, I feel like I should at least be a Pilot.

0:04 I know from my experience with the demo that shooting down the opposing ships lets me collect their falling carcasses and attach them to a growing ball around my ship, Katamari-style. It's a good thing I know this, because the game doesn't explain it anywhere that I've seen.

0:05 Right off the bat, I'm finding it hard to tell which enemies are dead, and thus OK to absorb, and which ones are alive, and thus not OK to touch. Some better color-coding or something would help.

0:06 I've already lost all three of my lives. The enemy shots seem to be magnetically attracted to the center of my ship.

Read the full review at Crispy Gamer

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII

Developer: Square Enix
Publisher: Square Enix
Release Date: March 25, 2008
System: PSP
ESRB Rating: T
Official Web site

In a nutshell: A little less conversation, a little more action.

0:00 I'd call myself a fan of Final Fantasy VII, though I'm decidedly not a fanboy. There's an important difference, mainly having to do with cosplay.

0:01 Pan over a beautiful dystopian city as the credits roll. A chopper flies in and someone's running down a corridor. A guy talking in an office. AERIS! OMG! Sephiroth, explosions, an apple, a gun, a swordfight, a horse with armor. More swordfighting, more running, a box labeled "sealed," Aeris kneeling in prayer and... title! Whew! I'm already out of breath.

0:02 Call me a sucker, but the little "bloop" sound effect when moving through the initial menu selector takes me right back to the original FFVII.

0:03 The camera does a long zoom out from a sign for the Shin-Ra Electric Power Company to a bulging tower rising over a dirty, industrial city. "Wutai troops have hijacked the Shinra Express," says a voice over a radio. A helicopter full of SOLDIER, er, soldiers, hovers over the train. "Eliminate them and take control of the train." "Oh yeah!" says Zack, our immaculately coiffed protagonist.

0:05 Zack runs towards the attackers on the roof of the train, blocking bullets with his sword and jumping over an RPG missile in super slow-mo. Just another day at the office. "SOLDIER 2nd class Zack is ON THE JOB!" he says to no one in particular.

Read the full review at Crispy Gamer