Need for Speed: Most Wanted (2005) (GBA)
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.
The Sims 2 (GBA)
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.
Spider-Man 3: The Game (GBA)
Action 04 May 2007
An action adventure game based on the third Spider-Man movie directed by Sam Raimi. The action is set in the city of New York, recreated with great attention to details. We assume the role of the eponymous superhero, who has to undertake a myriad of various quests. However, the story does not impose any specific path on us, letting us decide the mission order on our own. Spider-Man 3: The Game focuses primarily on combat, where we can perform spectacular strikes with arms and legs as well as use the spider web. Hordes of minor enemies as well as ten famous villains known from the Marvel comic books will stand in our way. An interesting novelty is the fact that in the game we control not only the classic Spider-Man, but also his dark incarnation that came to life as a result of merging with a mysterious space symbiont.
Need for Speed: Underground 2 (GBA)
Racing 16 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.
Spider-Man 2: The Game (GBA)
Arcade 28 June 2004
The second entry in the series of third-person perspective action games about Spider-Man. The plot of the game is based on the movie under the same title. The player assumes the role of Peter Parker, a boy who gained spider superpowers during an accident in a laboratory. His main antagonist is Otto Octavius (in the criminal underworld known as Doctor Octopus), a scientist equipped with mechanical arms controlled by his brainwaves. Depending on the platform, the game has completely different mechanics and was developed by different studios. The main console version offers a fully three-dimensional open world with advanced physics and takes place in a faithfully recreated virtual version of Manhattan. Other versions have simplified mechanics that use features of side-scrolling action games and platform games.
Dragon Ball Z: The Legacy of Goku (GBA)
RPG 14 May 2002
A two-dimensional RPG created by Webfoot studio, based on the cult-classic manga by Akira Toriyama. The player assumes the role of Goku, an undefeated fighter, and re-lives the events seen in the animated series. We begin our journey battling Raditz, and then visit the nether world on the King Kai’s planet. The next stops include encounters with Nappa and Vegeta, and duel with Freezer on Namek. In all, we visit sixteen different locations, completing various main and side quests. These events are rewarded with experience points, which can be used to develop our hero. During combat, we make use of a wide range of attacks and combinations, including the trademark energy wave, known as “kamehameha”. Additionally, the list of available attacks is complemented by the ability to transform into so called “super fighter”. Dragon Ball Z: The Legacy of Goku can be praised for its colorful visuals, inspired by the works of the world-famous mangaka.
Max Payne (GBA)
Action 18 December 2003
Max Payne is a third-person perspective action game developed by the Finnish studio Remedy Entertainment. The protagonist is an undercover DEA agent whose task is to locate the source of Valkyr - a deadly new drug. Personally, Max is also seeking revenge against the murderers of his family. He falls victim to a conspiracy and gets accused of killing his supervisor. The creators were inspired by the crime stories from the 1940s and 1950s, Pulp novels, and the movie, The Matrix. The gameplay focuses on very dynamic sequences of spectacular shootings. An innovative gameplay mechanism is the bullet-time effect which allows the player to slow down the passage of time for a short while in order to perform quick movements, such as jumps or dodges.
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (GBA)
RPG 05 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 the 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 in 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. The players can enjoy this experience either in a single player mode, or accompanied by one more player.
Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow (GBA)
Action 06 May 2003
Another entry in a classic platform series from Konami and a third part of the trilogy developed with Game Boy Advance console users in mind. The main hero of Castelvania: Aria of Sorrow is Soma Cruz, who loses consciousness during the first eclipse of the 21st century and wakes up in a mysterious Medieval castle. It turns out that the eclipse had a lot to do with dark forces, and the solitary protagonist has to find a way out of the fortress, while dealing with legions of various enemies. In terms of game mechanics, the title doesn’t differ much from previous productions from the Castlevania series, combining arcade slasher with RPG features. During the game, our hero can use different types of weapons, attacks and spells gained as we progress through the game. Enemies we face are greatly varied and require equally varied tactics.