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.
Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc (GBA)
Arcade 15 February 2003
The third installment in the series of adventures of the eponymous friendly hero. Released for PC Windows and consoles, the game is an action platformer. Rayman and his friends, Globox and Murfy, have to face the army of Hoodlums. As you play, you explore new, colorful locations, from beautiful, magical places to ruined areas inhabited by hostile creatures. Visually, the game looks better than the second installment — the textures and animations have been improved. The Game Boy Advance release, however, is a 2D platform game utilizing a side view perspective. In this edition, you need to find a cure for Globox, who accidentally swallowed the evil Dark Lum Lord. It is also worth noting that the production is among the visually best ones for Nintendo handhelds.
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.
Doom (1993) (GBA)
Action 28 October 2001
A first-person shooter set in a science fiction realm, created by id Software studio, previously known mainly for the arcade series Commander Keen and the groundbreaking Wolfenstein 3D. Action of Doom takes place in the near future, and players play the part of a cosmic Marine who, for insubordination, is sent to UAC corporation's secret research facility on Mars. When, in the fallout of an interdimensional gate experiment, the base gets overrun by bloodthirsty monsters from outer space, we have to provide reconnaissance and, of course, eliminate all potential threat. In each of nearly 30 levels of the game the player's task is to find an exit, the keys to open it, and to eliminate all encountered monsters using a wide arsenal of both classic and futuristic weapons. The game features a large dose of brutality, claustrophobic atmosphere, and three-dimensional graphic design.
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell (GBA)
Action 05 June 2003
A third-person stealth action game by Ubisoft Montreal, inspired by the works of the famous Tom Clancy and the NetForce novel series. We assume the role of Sam Fisher, a federal agent and an operative of a secret unit within NSA (National Security Agency). The protagonist's task is to perform missions given to him by the agency, usually involving elimination of incredibly dangerous enemies, destroying documents, or infiltrating secret installations. Contrary to such series as Rainbow Six or Ghost Recon, where the emphasis is put on teamwork and commanding a unit, Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell focuses on controlling one character, making it more of a stealth game. There is no shortage of open confrontation opportunities in the title, though. In such scenarios, we can choose from 13 available weapons and other useful gadgets.
Wolfenstein 3D (GBA)
Action 31 March 2002
A 1992 cult shooter game, often called the “forefather” of 3D FPS games. Wolfenstein 3D was developed by the famous studio id Software, also known from such titles as Doom or Quake. You play as William “B.J.” Blazkowicz, an Allied special forces spy, who undertakes dangerous missions on enemy territory. Blazkowicz is sent to Nazi Germany to infiltrate Castle Hollehammer, a secret base where research on creating a super-soldier is conducted. The singleplayer campaign consists of six episodes, starting with getting out of the eponymous Castle Wolfenstein. In the enclosed locations of the game, you face various opponents, from guard dogs, through foot soldiers, to powerful mutants—at the end of every level, you have to fight a mighty boss enemy. The levels are labyrinth-like, and your primary task in each of them is to find the exit key and proceed to the next location.
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (GBA)
RPG 25 September 2002
Dragon Ball Z: Buu's Fury (GBA)
RPG 14 September 2004
A role-playing game and the final installment in the trilogy, the other parts of which are Dragon Ball Z: The Legacy of Goku and Dragon Ball Z: The Legacy of Goku II, developed by Webfoot. The story begins where its predecessor's plot ended — Goku returns to Earth to face his last and most powerful enemy, Majin Buu. However, before the final duel, the protagonist and his allies (including e.g. Vegeta, Gohan, Goten and Trunks) have other adventures, full of spectacular battles with their opponents. It is important to develop your characters — they can not only develop their combat skills, but also unlock better equipment. Unlike the previous installments, Dragon Ball Z: Buu's Fury features new character skill: Speed. The skill is affected first and foremost by the equipment a character uses. Apart from the single player mode, the game also features a multiplayer mode.
Dragon Ball Z: The Legacy of Goku II (GBA)
RPG 17 June 2003
A continuation of the 2002 RPG, created based on the license of the cult-classic manga from Akira Toriyama. The studio responsible for the title is Webfoot, seasoned developer of Dragon Ball’s video game adaptations. The plot continues the story initiated in the first installment, focusing on an imminent end of the world, heralded by Trunks - a visitor from the future. At the beginning of the game, we assume the role of Goku, but the hero quickly falls ill, succumbing to a vicious disease, forcing us to take over other characters: Piccolo, Gohan, Vegeta, and Trunks. The gameplay in Dragon Ball Z: The Legacy of Goku consists of exploring a huge world, completing various main and side quests, and encounters with different adversaries. Our combat skills include a wide range of melee attacks and special abilities, amplified further by the transformation into a “Super Sayan”. Visuals are one of the strong points of the game, and are inspired by the craft of the famous mangaka. Soundtrack contains music that is well-known to every Dragon Ball enthusiast.
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.