Jon Fitzsimon

If you are a baseball fan like me, you probably pick up a new baseball game every other year or so due to the frequency of player trades. I chose to pick up MLB 07: The Show for the PS2.

I purchased MLB 2K7 for the 360 and hated it. The graphics, physics and overall playability of the game was horrible. I don’t own a PS3 so I had to get The Show on the PS2. I can easily say that this video game is surprisingly good. The graphics aren’t that great for a 2007 game, but that doesn’t take away from the good game play. There are a plethora of game modes to play to keep you entertained. They have all the normal modes that one is accustomed to, but there is one that really stands out that I enjoyed–“road to the show”.

The “road to the show” mode allows you to create a ball player and play out his career in a new way. You assign attributes to him and build him up with points you get after each game. Depending on how well you do at the plate or with the challenges the coach gives you, you will either get a lot of attribute points, or sometimes none at all. This is by far the best game mode I have ever played in a baseball game. What makes it so good is the fact that it auto-advances to your career players next action in the game. You don’t have to worry about batting or fielding for everyone else, all you have to worry about is your players position. That makes the games go by faster and allows you to knock out seasons a little quicker.

There are a few drawbacks to this game, but that is only because I picked up the PS2 version. The graphics are fairly poor and the loading and saving time make me want to shoot myself. I did run into a few glitches in the game, but the game play, commentary and game physics are usually spot-on. If you are going to pick up a new baseball game this year, pick up MLB 07: The Show.

Quake 4

December 23, 2005

With the launch of a new system, there are usually just a couple of decent games to buy. However, the Xbox 360 has been out for a little under a month, and there are really some quality titles out right now. [i]Quake 4[/i] is definitely one of these.

Let me start this by saying one thing: I have been a hardcore gamer for the past 10 years now, and [i]Quake 4[/i] is the most beautiful game I have ever played. Everything about it is remarkable. The graphics, lighting, and sound effects are all amazing. The game has a real dark and gritty feel to it, which works flawlessly.

You start the game off as a marine who is flown into an alien planet where the ‘Strogg’ live. They are threatening to become more hostile, and you have to stop them before they do. This is really an overused genre, but there is enough action and plenty of twists to keep your attention. The alien enemies that litter the planet are pretty tough. There is a wide range of enemies, so it really doesn’t feel like you are fighting the same guy over and over. The dark gameplay also allowed the developers to thrown in some pretty scary scenes.

There really weren’t that many flaws in [i]Quake 4[/i]. My biggest complaint was with the loading time. We are all used to it, but with the new systems, I didn’t think it would be that bad. I was wrong. The loading time in [i]Quake 4[/i] was horrible. I also came across a couple of glitches that were really annoying. I once died when I fell two feet down a ladder, and another time my character got stuck behind a box, so I had to kill myself to reload the game. But those are some petty things.

Overall, I can’t say enough about [i]Quake 4[/i]. It is the perfect launch title. It mixes great gameplay with unmatched console graphics and a good storyline. The game also has an Xbox Live feature that is always a bonus nowadays. If you have an Xbox 360, you must own this game. And if you are thinking about getting a 360, think about picking [i]Quake 4[/i] up as your first title.

Call of Duty 2

November 28, 2005

[floatleft][/floatleft][i]Call of Duty 2[/i] is one of the few launch titles for the Xbox 360 that I was looking forward to. Besides the sports titles, there are only a handful of games that are actually out right now on the 360. There are a couple of other big-name titles out, such as [i]Quake 4[/i] and [i]Perfect Dark Zero[/i], but I decided to pick up [i]COD 2[/i].

The ‘realistic war’ genre has really blossomed in the past couple of years, and Activison’s [i]Call of Duty[/i] series has really done well. It started back on the PC and now this is the second time around on the consoles. The main point of the game is to defeat the Nazi’s throughout all of World War II. You play as several different characters along the way, including Russians, Brits, and Americans. Playing as different people in different lands breaks up the monotony of playing in the same location and allows the developers to change up the scenery, which is always nice.

[floatright][/floatright]The game itself is very fast paced with non-stop action. There really isn’t a slowdown at all. When you get thrown into a mission, it is a non-stop firefight from beginning to end. There was never a point when I stopped and wondered what I should be doing. All the missions are clear, and they give you a compass which allows you to always keep track of your objectives.

There are a lot of things I really like about the way this game is set up. There are plenty of different guns throughout the story which keeps it interesting, and there is never a real short supply of ammo. Your character has the ability to jump, crouch, crawl, and get in and out of many different environments. This may seem elementary, but there have been plenty of games out there that lack these basic concepts. The controls are standard for a first-person shooter, so you should have no problem adapting to this game. There is no health bar, which I really like. It is kind of like [i]Halo[/i] to the extent that your health regenerates when you’re not getting shot. It makes the game really worry-free and allows you to play without feeling tied down, worrying about health kits and what not.

[floatleft][/floatleft]There are, however, a few drawbacks that I really don’t like. When you aim a gun, it really doesn’t ‘feel’ right, which makes it a little tough to pick people off from a distance. Second, it seems that the game is made for the running-around firefight, which can get kind of hectic-especially since the characters look really similar and you sometimes end up shooting your own guys and walking right past the enemies. Also, the main menu setup is a little silly too and really doesn’t make sense.

[i]COD 2[/i] has an Xbox Live feature that I have yet to check out. They have slayer, team slayer, and CTF. The online experience will definitely make me keep this game and not trade it in once I beat it. Overall, I have really enjoyed playing [i]Call of Duty 2[/i]. If you’re looking for a fast-paced, action-packed game to pick up for the new Xbox 360, I definitely suggest [i]COD 2[/i]. The graphics and computer AI are great, and there are enough missions to really keep your attention. I’m glad that I decided to pick up this game as my first 360 game.