Ideas

Play to win

June 28 - July 5, 2006
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Gulf Weekly Play to win

Armored Cores: Last Raven
PS2
Agetec Inc

The Good
Seemingly endless customisation options.
The Bad
Steep learning curve and punishing difficulty; unwieldy controls make piloting your mech a chore; drab graphics and a generally lifeless presentation; uninspired, tedious mission design.
The Verdict
Armored Core: Last Raven offers very little new content to satisfy series veterans, and is completely inaccessible to everyone else.

Crusty Demons
Xbox
Evolved Games

The Good
An amusing twist on the standard extreme racing game; crashing your bike and/or launching your rider into a wall is fun the first few times.
The Bad
Controls are not very “hand-friendly”; mission difficulty ranges from simplistic to tediously complex; environments are smaller than you’d like; wonky physics means you’ll crash a lot more than you’d like.     
The Verdict
As an idea, Crusty Demons isn’t so bad. As a game, it’s weighed down by frustrating controls and lacklustre presentation.

Soldier Elire
PC
DreamCatcher Interactive

The Good
It’s $20.
The Bad
Crummy, half-hearted stealth mechanics; enemies are consistently tougher, faster, and better shots than you; shooting is even less fun than sneaking around.   
The Verdict
Soldier Elite wants very badly to be a stealth action game, but it lacks any understanding of the subtlety and nuance that are essential to the genre.

NFL Head Coach
PC
EA Sports

The Good
Dozens of hours of gameplay to be found in the career mode; a solid, easy-to-navigate interface; good use of the madden engine for on-field action.
The Bad
Heavy emphasis on micromanagement is going to drive some people crazy; on-field artificial intelligence gets wonky in spots; motivation component is entirely unpredictable; multi-player is not fun.   
The Verdict
Its laborious pacing and artificial-intelligence issues not withstanding, NFL Head Coach is a worthwhile first attempt at a football-management simulation.







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