Need for Speed: Most Wanted (2005) (GCN)
Racing 15 November 2005
The ninth installment in a legendary racing game franchise created by Electronic Arts company. After two Underground games, featuring illegal night street races, the franchise went back to its roots, combining ideas from the two most recent titles with classic elements. The player’s goal is to climb to the top of a black list of the most wanted drivers. Again you get to explore a huge virtual city, taking on different racing challenges. These include circuit, sprint, drag, elimination, time trial, speed challenge, and police pursuit. After completing enough of these you can challenge subsequent drivers from the black list. Apart from elements typical for the series, such as licensed cars and diverse soundtrack, the game features complex car customization, both in terms of appearance and performance.
Beyond Good & Evil (GCN)
Adventure 11 December 2003
An action-adventure 3D game, created by Michel Ancel, the father of the iconic Rayman series. The plot of Beyond Good & Evil takes place in an alternative reality, on planet Hyllis, inhabited by a peace-loving nation of humans and humanoid animals. Their world has been attacked by an aggressive Alien species, the DomZ, apparently to claim its resources. The protagonist is a young reporter named Jade who, once involved in the war, begins to reveal a conspiracy and the shocking truth behind the planet's defenders - the Alpha Sections. During her journey, the main character can count only on her camera (photos of rare plants and animals can be sold, earning us money to buy, for example, health restore items), innate investigative abilities and her trusty Dai-jo staff. Beyond Good & Evil features elements of a dynamic action game, including arcade combat, platforming, various vehicles, riddles, and a gripping plot. The locations are colorful, varied, and fully three-dimensional.
The Sims 2 (GCN)
Simulation 24 October 2005
A sequel to the bestselling human life simulation game – The Sims (2000). The Sims 2 was developed by Maxis Studio (SimCity, EA Land, and others) in cooperation with the Electronic Arts company. Players again take care of virtual characters leading them through their entire lives – from early childhood till elderly age. The main goal is to achieve as high Life Score as possible, which stands for how well a sim leads his/her life. When compared with its predecessor, The Sims 2 offers much more complex character creator and a wider array of available objects. A new, more efficient game engine allowed for presenting the life of the sims in fully 3D graphics.
The Sims (GCN)
Simulation 14 January 2003
A bestselling life simulator developed by Maxis, a studio that specializes in the genre (they've created SimCity, SimTown and other titles). The Sims enables the player to take care of a virtual family of Sims. During the game the player must take care of various needs of his characters – starting with typically physiological ones (eating, toilet, hygiene etc.), through social relations, to career. The player has great freedom in expanding his family’s house, which can be furnished with various items that will be useful for the Sims. The gameplay mechanics are based on very simple principles and lack any violence, making the game a good title for casual players. A specific humor and large number of funny animations of character’s reactions are worth mentioning.
Prince of Persia: Warrior Within (GCN)
Adventure 30 November 2004
Sequel to the 2003’s Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, rebooting the story of the hero from the classic 2D platformer from Broderbund Software studio. This time the prince has to deal with consequences of his reckless actions. He managed to turn back time and prevent releasing The Sands of Time, but he did not change his destiny, resulting in Guardian of Time chasing him to seal his fate. He travels to the mysterious island where, according to the legends, the Sands were made; the prince attempts to change the past and prevent their creation, thus saving himself from the fate. Prince of Persia: Warrior Within has a much darker atmosphere, but the gameplay is similar to its predecessor. Our hero must overcome many obstacles and traps, not to mention enemies. Game introduces a new, expanded fighting system, with prince himself becoming stronger and gaining new abilities.
Need for Speed: Underground 2 (GCN)
Racing 17 November 2004
A sequel to Need for Speed: Underground, a best-selling 2003 game from Electronic Arts, which changed the shape of one of the most popular car racing franchises. The game takes you to a virtual metropolis that thrives after dark. For the first time in the history of the franchise, the city is completely open for exploration. As you ride around its streets you can challenge the drivers you meet on the way or learn more about the favorite locations of the street racing community. The gameplay mechanics did not change much; rather, the developers focused on an even more detailed recreations of licensed cars and car parts used for tuning. The game’s graphics were noticeably improved, featuring all sorts of new visual effects. The soundtrack keeps equally high level, as usually featuring songs by famous artists across a wide spectrum of genres.
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (GCN)
Adventure 03 November 2003
An action game with RPG elements – The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, developed by Visceral Games in cooperation with EA Redwood Shores, is based on the license of a hit movie by the same name. The game allows players to assume roles of over a dozen characters known from the silver screen – one can play as Frodo, Gandalf, Aragorn, Legolas, and many others. Player’s task is to destroy The Ring of Power and defeat the Dark Lord Sauron. The gameplay builds on battles against hordes of enemies. All the bloodshed takes place across twelve diverse battlefields – these include Minas Tirith, Fields of Pelennor, The Black Gate and The Path of the Dead. As the story progresses, one can develop particular characters, gaining access to more powerful combos that can be used in all the battles to come. An additional treat, featured by the PC / Windows and home consoles releases of the game, are the cutscenes taken from the third part of The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy, along with the soundtrack composed by Howard Shore. Players can enjoy this experience either in a single player mode, or accompanied by one more player.
Resident Evil 4 (GCN)
Adventure 11 January 2005
The fourth major installment of the cult series of survival horrors created by Capcom. In the game the player assumes the role of ex-cop Leon S. Kennedy, a character well known from the second entry in the franchise. As a special agent responsible for protecting the presidential family, he goes to Europe in order to find the missing daughter of the US president. The trail leads to a small village in Spain. The village is controlled by a mysterious sect and the citizens are infected with a virus which causes mutations. During the game one will face hordes of zombies as well as more demanding bosses, such as giant monsters or the powerful leader of the sect, Osmund Saddler. Resident Evil 4 retains the dark feel of the previous installments and the game contains puzzles, but gameplay mechanics were greatly changed and the new engine allowed the developers to create faster and more dynamic action sequences. The game also contains many quick-time events.
Neighbours from Hell (GCN)
Logic 01 November 2004
A very humorous strategy game with adventure game features. In Neighbours from Hell the player is tasked with making the life of his neighbors as miserable as possible. The player assumes the role of a participant of a reality show who is tasked with presenting the toxic relations between the inhabitants of a single block of flats to wider audience. The action is shown from the side perspective and the game consists of fourteen scenarios of different difficulties and types of tasks to complete. Not only must the player set various traps and pull sophisticated pranks on his neighbors (for example by breaking household items), but he must watch for dangers as well. Some flats are guarded by dogs that make completing the task harder. During the game the player is constantly forced to improvise and discover unknown properties of seemingly useless items. The humorous tone of the game is highlighted by nice, cartoonish graphics and a catchy soundtrack. The game uses a simple, intuitive interface.
Need for Speed Carbon (GCN)
Racing 01 November 2006
The tenth installment in the bestselling racing game series originally launched back in 1995. The game lets you play as the main protagonist of the previous game. He returns to his home city only to find his domestic street racing scene taken over by rivaling gangs. As you take on new racing challenges, you take back your home town one district at a time. The game’s mechanics employ the well-proven solutions introduced by its predecessors, while introducing several new elements at the same time. Those include, first and foremost, canyon duels, which require much attention, as it is possible to run through the traffic barriers and roll down the slope. The other novelty is the team; you can assemble your own crew, and its members can aid you during races, e.g. by blocking your rivals. Additionally, the game features cut-scenes with real actors, several dozen licensed car models, as well as vast car customization options. Regarding the latter, Autosculpt module lets you modify almost any element of the car body.
Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones (GCN)
Adventure 01 December 2005
Another installment in the highly-rated action adventure game franchise following on the eponymous Prince, who in the past carelessly unsealed the mythical sands of time. After events of the previous part of the game, the protagonist return to his home – Babylon – plunged in the chaos of war. Soon it turns out that the previous actions of the hero led to the birth of his dark alter ego, whose spirit gradually takes over control over the protagonist's will. Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones expands the mechanics implemented in the two previous installments and introduces new improvements to the combat system, as well as some innovative uses for the dagger of time and skills unavailable before, like sneaking. The biggest novelty offered by the game is the possibility of controlling two characters different with personalities, fighting styles, and abilities.
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory (GCN)
Action 25 March 2005
The third installment in the popular third-person stealth action game series starring special agent Sam Fisher. The game is set in the near future, where a conflict between North Korea and Japan escalates, unintentionally fanned by the United States. This is when our unfailing protagonist steps into action. His task is to reconcile the interests of all countries involved in the conflict. When compared with previous installments in the series, Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory offers a great deal of changes, both in visuals and mechanics. Individual missions are of non-linear structure and you can reach your goal in several different ways, while completing optional objectives along the way. It is also noteworthy that the character can make use of new moves, attacks, and combat techniques, as well as new types of gadgets and weapons. Moreover, there is no shortage of multiplayer modes, starting with the online co-op mode.
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (GCN)
Adventure 18 November 2003
An action adventure game which is a remake of the 1989's Prince of Persia, one of the most popular platformers of all time, originally developed Broberbund Software. The game was created by Ubisoft Motreal and Jordan Mechner – the father of the original game, who worked on The Sands of Time as consultant and lead designer. The game tells a story of the eponymous Prince who accidentally releases the legendary Sands of Time, a mystical artifact that poses a terrible threat to the world. With the help of the beautiful princess Farah, the protagonist has to make up for his mistake and bring back order to his land by facing various creatures and dangers. Gameplay of Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is seen from the third-person perspective and features fully 3D graphics. During the course of the game, the hero makes use of the supernatural power to control the time. The creators emphasize their effort to recreate the characteristic elements of the original title, like realistic animations and combat system.