Reviews in PELIT 2004

.hack//Infection (Part 1) (Bandai/Atari) offers a simple and repetitive action-RPG-experience in an imaginary online-RPG-world. Not particularly fun. (PELIT 4/04, score: 72)

1080 Avalanche (Nintendo) is a decent update of the N64 original. The racing modes are addictive, but there are a lot better trick based snowboarding games around, like Amped. (PELIT 1/04, score: 84)

Airborne Assault: Highway to the Reich (Panter/Matrix Games) is a next- generation war strategy that goes straight to the classics category, with a medal. (PELIT 2/04, score: 91*)

Alias (Touchstone Television/Acclaim) has two major faults: the fights rely too much on button bashing and the stealth is almost completely optional. (PELIT 4/04, score: 73)

Anarchy Online: Shadowlands (Funcom). A fantastic expansion pack that should finally give Anarchy Online its well-earned place as one of the best games in its genre. Lots of new content, the addition of a perk system and a stylish new UI are pretty much everything one could wish for. (PELIT 1/04, score 91*)

Animal Crossing (Nintendo) demands major effort but, in the long run, it's worth it. A unique game that's a joy to watch and play. (PELIT 9/04, score: 85*)

Arc: Twilights of the Spirits (Cattle Call/Sony) is a good, traditional RPG. It's fun and simple to play, and the epic story is filled with interesting characters. (PELIT 3/04, score: 82)

Arena Wars (ExDream/Ascaron). An excellent first game from a small programming team. Arena wars is a small, but very skillfully made multiplayer strategy that requires the reflexes of a cheetah and the mind of a chess player. (PELIT 10/04, score: 85*)

Armed & Dangerous (Planet Moon). The nice little shooter gets very repetitive towards the end and has surprisingly non-satisfying death animations. The plot, nice graphics and music, plus some imaginative weapons, keep you playing. (PELIT 2/04, score: 81)

Athens 2004 (Eurocom Entertainment Software/Sony) manages to provide just the right balance of traditional button bashing and skill. Great game for a party, especially with a dance mat. (PELIT 8/04, score: 86)

Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance II (Interplay) is quite possibly the best Diablo clone yet. It's great fun while it lasts. Make the next episode less linear (with maybe random maps) and you have a sure winner! (PELIT 1/04, score: 89*)

Battlefield Vietnam (Electronic Arts) could have been more evolutionary, especially as the mods like Desert Combat and Eve of Destruction are so excellent. Good fun, when you get it to work. Shame on you for the buggy, laggy release version! (PELIT 4/04, score: 85)

Battlestar Galactica (Warthog/Vivendi Universal Games ) is smooth, but annoying space combat 3D-shooter. It's too difficult for any human. I guess it is a cylon plot. (PELIT 1/04, score: 75)

Beyond Divinity (Larian Studios). Technically somewhat outdated, but the concept of combining action-adventure and role-playing works well. Excellent playability and a great skill system make Beyond Divinity shine, but what's the deal with the horrible voice acting? (PELIT 9/04, score: 85)

Beyond Good & Evil (PS2) (Ubi Soft) is a very good action-adventure. There's some relatively minor graphics and loading related problems, but nothing too annoying. The city could be much better, though. (PELIT 1/04, score: 89)

Beyond Good & Evil (PC) (Ubi Soft). The only gripe with this excellent soft sci-fi adventure is the lack of subquests. (PELIT 2/04, score 90*)

Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg (Sonic Team/Sega) has a fresh and innovative touch on the cutesy platform genre. Rolling eggs have never been this fun. Some camera issues are annoying, though. (PELIT 1/04, score: 83)

Black Mirror (Unknown Identity/Future Games/Prelusion Games) is an atmospheric thriller adventure, which suffers from heavy linearity. Also, dying a sudden deatht is no fun. (PELIT 6/04, score: 80)

Blitzkrieg: Burning Horizons (Nival/CDV). Yet another dose of very fun WW2 action. It's actually better than its father, mainly due to the absence of monotonic random missions. But why is there no decent Pacific campaign, if the units are there? (PELIT 6/04, score: 88)

Bombastic (Capcom) is an excellent and suprisingly original action puzzle. (PELIT 9/04, score: 90*)

Breakdown (Namco). The authentic first person view and the strong scripted storytelling which it is based on force you to keep playing even after the repetitive gameplay and terrible control problems have caused severe carpet biting. A genuinely strange experience. (PELIT 6/04, score: 77*)

Breed (Brat/CDV). If you make the mistake of claiming that this is better than Halo, I'd expect you to have some support for such claims. Fair(ish) show, nothing more. (PELIT 4/04, score: 79)

Burnout 3: Takedown (Criterion/EA Games). Forget everything you have ever learned from other driving games. The sole purpose is to cause as much mayhem and twisted metal as possible. Hugely enjoyable! (PELIT 9/04, score: 92*)

Burnout 3: Takedown (Criterion Software/EA Games) without a shadow of a doubt the best in the series and even one of the best arcade racing games to come out in years. (PELIT 11/04, score: 92*)

Call of Duty: United Offensive (Activision) feels like over-scripted shooting range. There are too few Kodak-moments among the hordes of spawning Germans. Multiplay gets close to Battlefield 1942, which is good. (PELIT 11/04, score: 82)

Castle Strike (Related Designs/Data Becker/K.E. Media). I really wanted to like this game, because proper castle sieges haven't really been done before this. Unfortunately the actual gameplay is too limited and the battles too chaotic. A missed opportunity. (PELIT 5/04, score: 65)

Castlevania: Lament of Innocence (Konami) sounds nice (music, not the effects) and looks even better. The game really goes down to your spine. The game really makes your spine tingle. It's great fun to destroy and kill things. For a while, at least. (PELIT 3/=4, score: 81)

Catwoman (EA Games). A truly horrible game. At least that's consistent with the movie. (PELIT 9/04, score: 32)

Celtic Kings: The Punic Wars (Haemimont games). Historical storyline, great gameplay and good AI hits like Hannibal Barca! While very similar to its predecessor, Celtic Kings offers hours of addictive gameplay. (PELIT 10/04, score: 87)

Champions of Norrath (Snowblind Studios/Ubi Soft). The story is forgettable, but the fighting and equipment hunting is great fun. The real treat is the ability to play the game with three other people off or online. (PELIT 6/04, score: 84)

Championship Manager Season 03/04 (Sports Interactive/Eidos). The best has gone even better. Changes are not that big, but even more realistic gameplay and 42 leagues guarantees the ultimate football enjoyment. (PELIT 1/04, score: 90)

Chris Sawyer's Locomotion (Chris Sawyer/Atari) is not a real sequel to the legendary Transport Tycoon series. It's more like a cheap collection of Deluxe-version and mods. Great and fun, but still not a whole new Transport Tycoon, which we have been waiting almost ten years. (PELIT 10/04, score: 88)

Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay (Starbreeze/VU Games). The collaboration between Hollywood and the games industry has rarely, if ever, produced anything as slick and original as this. Hopefully, it will also be a commercial success. (PELIT 8/04, score: 86)

Codename: Panzer (CDV) is a very polished and workmanlike gaming product. It is also quite limited combining unrealistic, non-functional gameworld and equipment with very basic RTS-gameplay. Worst of all, it has no Cool!-factor. (PELIT 10/04, score: 82)

Colin McRae Rally 2005 (Codemasters) is lots of fun and the career mode is very nice, but some of the tracks are starting to get a bit old. Also, the environments feel too static with the cast-in-steel trees and road signs. Needs more than a facelift to keep up with the competition. (PELIT 10/04, score: 84)

Colin McRae Rally 4 (Codemasters) is a solid rally game with sophisticated controls. Nothing revolutionary this time. (PELIT 4/04, score: 88)

Conan (Cauldron/TDK). By Crom, a brainless but fun romp through Hyboria with sometimes awkward camera angles and controls. (PELIT 6/04, score: 81)

Conflict Vietnam (SCI) is a mixed bag of war gaming. The team-based strategy-action is sat times frustrating, at times enjoyable.. The map design relies too much on narrow paths which undermines the strategy-based approach. (PELIT 10/04, score: 80)

Counter-Strike: Condition Zero (Turtle Beach Studios/Vivendi) is not the most captivating single player experiment. The excellent bots make it a good trainer. (PELIT 5/04, score: 76)

Counter-Strike: Source (Valve). The Emperor has new clothes, and is better than ever. (PELIT 11/04, score: 90)

Crash Twinsanity (Traveller's Tales/VU Games) is a funny little game. Everything works just fine and the new things are ok. But there's nothing to write your mother about. (PELIT 11/04, score: 68)

Crisis Zone (Namco) is a relatively original and fun lightgun shoot 'em up. Almost everything in the background breaks down nicely when hit. (PELIT 9/04, score: 84)

Crusader Kings (Paradox Entertainment) is classic. It's superb, addictive and will be completed about a year after release. Great game but I have to add great "but" because Paradox seems to use buyers as gametesters. (PELIT 6/04, score: 90*)

CSI: Dark Motives (369 Interactive/Ubi Soft) is an improvement overthe previous game, but it's still far too simplistic and limited. And not CSI enough. (PELIT 8/04, score: 70)

Dance UK: Extra Trax (Broadsword Interactive/Bigben Interactive) has a solid dancingsystem. Too bad there aren't enough songs. (PELIT 8/04, score: 70)

Dancing Stage Unleashed (Konami). Finally Xbox owners get the chance to get down and shake their booty. Most of the stuff on offer is pretty much like in any other dancing game, but the multiplayer game modes through Xbox Live give it a nice competitive edge. (PELIT 4/04, score: 89)

Dead Man's Hand (Humanhead/Atari) is one of the worst shooters ever. The levels are unbelievably staightforward shooting galleries, where enemies just pop up at regular intervals. To be avoided at all costs. (PELIT 5/04, score: 50)

Def Jam: Fight for NY (Aki/EA). Making a fighting game with gangsta rap superstars may seem like a cheap marketing move, but Fight for NY is actually a light-hearted parody about the whole gansta culture. It's surprisingly entertaining. (PELIT 10/04, score: 90)

Delta Force: Black Hawk Down - Team Sabre (Novalogic) can be frustratingly difficult at times, but it still manages to contain some very enjoyable missions. The massive firefights are almost fun enough to make you overlook all the flaws in the AI and the somewhat out-of-date graphics. (PELIT 3/04, score: 80)

Demon Stone (Stormfront Studios/Atari) would be a much better game if there were more levels and none of them were arenas or tubes with infinite enemies. Next time, be reasonable: I want to at least see my character. (PELIT 10/04, score: 70)

Destruction Derby Arenas (Studio 33/Sony) is plagued by odd driving physics and boring tracks. The multi-player modes work quite nicely. (PELIT 2/04, score: 79)

Disgaea - Hour of Darkness (Nippon Ichi Software/Atlus) is a funny and interesting fantasy-themed strategy. The combat system is comprehensive and suitably challenging. (PELIT 6/04, score: 92*)

Dj: Decks & Fx (Sony) is a fun DJ experience for the club mongerers. (PELIT 9/04, score: 80)

Dominions II(Illwinter/Shrapnel Games). An excellent multi-player fantasy strategy game, just a bit rough around the edges. (PELIT 2/04, score: 90*)

Donkey Konga (Namco/Nintendo) is great fun at first but quickly becomes a chore. Replay value is low and the looks are less than exciting. (PELIT 11/04, score: 77)

Donkey Kong Country 2 (Rare/Nintendo) is a classic solid 2D-platformer at its best. Year 2004 that isn't quite enough. (PELIT 9/04, score: 79)

Doom III (id Software/Activision) looks great and keeps things simple. It feels a bit repetitive at times, but once the action moves into Hell, the game starts to feel fresh again. (PELIT 9/04, score: 87)

Dragengard (Cavia/Square Enix). An entertaining yet rather conventional mix of slash-em-up and shoot-em-up genres. Drakengard's saving grace is its compelling storyline and solid gameplay. (PELIT 8/04, score: 77)

Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 2 (Dimps/Atari) is only a slight improvement over the uninspired original. The oversimple fighting mechanics and lack of depth make this (too) a beat'em up only for the fans. (PELIT 1/04, score: 70)

Dragon Ball Z: Taiketsu (Webfoot Tech./Atari) is simply a terrible game, really terrible.. Stay away from it like the plague. (PELIT 5/04, score: 32)

Driv3r (Reflections Interactive/Atari). Next time less shooting and more driving, please. Since Tanner is chasing only car thieves, there is no need to kill hundreds of people just because of a few stolen V8s. (PELIT 8/04, score: 79)

Dungeon Siege: Legends of Aranna (Mad Doc Software/Microsoft) is pretty, sounds good, flows nicely and is fun to play, in theory. In reality, the constant and boring inventory management, the feeling of having no control at all and the poor plot make it average. (PELIT 2/04, score: 80)

Dynasty Tactics 2 (Koei) is a relaxing strategy game with stupendous combos and mashing melees. (PELIT 4/04, score: 80)

Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind Game of the Year Edition (bethesda Sfotworks/Ubi Soft) finally brings the two long-awaited add-on-discs to Xbox. Of the new content Bloodmoon in particular is great fun, Tribunal is a bit too limited in scope and environment. Thankfully some of the most annoying bugs of the original game been have also been fixed. (PELIT 4/04, score: 86)

Eric Young's Squad Assault Westfron) (Freedom Games/Matrix Games) simply isn't fun to play, which is a pity as the campaign mode would probably be just as enjoyable as in Close Combat series. Just about everything from UI to graphics and AI needs throughout polishing. (PELIT 1/04, score: 73)

Escape Velocity Nova (Contraband Entertainment/Atmos/Ambrosia Software) is an interesting space opera in Star Control style. A welcome, yet widely unknown port from the Macintosh world. (PELIT 2/04, score: 83*)

ESPN NBA Basketball 2K4 (Visual Concepts/Sega) looks and feels like real basketball. The passing game is still out of bounds, but NBA 2K4 is clearly the best basketball game available. (PELIT 2/04, score: 89)

ESPN NFL Football 2K4 (Visual Concepts/Sega). The best football game and one of the most realistic sport games of the season. (PELIT 2/04, score: 91)

Everquest Online Adventures (Sony Online Entertainment) takes the core idea of original EverQuest and develops it into a faster-paced and more easily accessible game than the PC version. It's just as addictive as the original game. A little expensive, though.

Evil Genius (Elixir Studios/Vivendi Universal Games) has a wonderful idea, but it promises more than it can deliver. The lack of any brains of the minions and henchmen leads to micro-management which makes playing quite arduous at times. Designing the base is a lot of fun, and the game progresses at a nice pace. Great music, too! (PELIT 11/04, score: 80)

EyeToy: Play 2 (SCEE) is without doubt innovative, but at the same time it?s a mixed bag of gaming. A good party game. (PELIT 11/04, score: 80)

Fable (Lionhead/Big Blue Box/Microsoft) is too short and has too little of everything. The graphics are simply stunning and the atmosphere works on every level. In other words, the little there is, is a whole lot of fun and the game leaves you wanting for more. Lots more! (PELIT 11/04, score: 82*)

Falcon 4, Free Falcon 3 (MicroProse/Free Falcon Team). The simulation that refuses to die. Falcon is deservedly alive, since no other game can come close to simulating a true battlefield experience. FF3 improves most notably the slightly dated graphics engine of the Falcon. (PELIT 9/04, score: 95)

Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel (Interplay) is quite fun, but it feels strangely dumbed down, compared to its sister-game, Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance II. Why so many good features are missing? (PELIT 1/04, score: 78)

Far Cry (Crytek/Ubi Soft). While the big names in the latest generation of first person shooters get delayed once again, an unknown developer from Germany surprises everyone. Far Cry might just be the surprise hit of this spring, with its immersive atmosphere, freedom of action and technical brilliance. A true classic. (PELIT 4/04, score: 94*)

FIFA Football 2005 (EA Sports) is the best FIFA so far and the number one contender, but Pro Evolution Soccer still reigns by far as the undisputed champion. The direction's right, so keep on going! (PELIT 10/04, score: 77)

Fight Night 2004 (NuFX/EA Sports) is an excellent boxing simulation. Some annoying problems occur with the legwork, but nothing major. The knockout animations are a bit too flashy. (PELIT 5/04, score:87)

Final Fantasy X-2 (Square Enix/EA) is an excellent sequel to Final Fantasy X. Although the story is a bit too simple, the non-linear game structure, high-speed battles and wonderful characters make it an entertaining RPG filled with fun, glamour and girl power. (PELIT 3/04, score: 88*)

Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles (Square Enix) is an excellent adventure, which combines role-playing elements with a fast, yet tactical combat system. (PELIT 3/04, score: 90*)

Fire Emblem (Nintendo) is a very good fantasy-strategy-game. The story is quite boring, though. (PELIT 8/04, score: 88)

Firefighter F.D. 18 (Konami) is a delightfully fresh concept but the game implementation isn't so bright. Despite an average 3D-engine and almost invincible fire monsters, sprouting water into flames is occasionally quite satisfactory. (PELIT 6/04, score: 75)

FlatOut (Bugbear/Empire Interactive) looks spectacular, sounds great, and has cars that are a true joy to drive. The destructible environment and the highly-detailed cars add a nice touch to the entire genre. The single player mode could have had more meat on its bones, though. (PELIT 11/04, score: 89*)

Flipnic (Sony/Ubi Soft) is an excellent digital flipper. You can't do this in the real world. (PELIT 5/04, score: 87*)

Forbidden Siren (Sony) offers an original survival horror experience, where you are the hunted instead of the hunter. Although the difficulty is often frustratingly high and the controls are quite awkward, the superb atmosphere is full of hair-raising tension. (PELIT 3/04, score: 83*)

Ford Racing 2 (Razorworks/Empire Interactive) is a decent arcade racer with plenty of Fords and nice graphics. The handling of the cars, however, is far from glorious, and even though there are eight game modes, none of them is exactly thrilling. (PELIT 1/04, score: 70)

Formula One 04 (Studio Liverpool/Sony) is plagued by a poor opponent AI. Driving physics and tracks are fine. Too bad the only internet mode is a relatively dull time trial. (PELIT 9/04, score: 78)

Full Spectrum Warrior (Pandemic Studios/THQ) is an excellent wargame that is surprisingly well suited for the Xbox controller. The production values are top-notch, especially the voice acting. However, the game feels a bit too linear and it certainly lacks replay value. (PELIT 8/04, score: 91*)

Full Spectrum Warrior (Pandemic Studios/THQ) works on PC, too. The US Army mode is missed. (PELIT 11/04, score: 90)

Galleon (Confounding Factor/SCi Games) is versatile, fun, action-packed and full of puzzles that are neither too difficult nor too easy. There are some camera issues, however, and the sword fights tend to get quite messy. Although the graphics are for the most part far from stunning, the game still has an absolutely enchanting atmosphere. (PELIT 6/04, score: 88*)

Gangland (MediaMobsters/Whiptail Interactive) is a missed opportunity. The game has huge potential and lots of great ideas, but its execution could - and should - have been much better. As it is, the game is still fun but only momentarily. (PELIT 3/04, score: 72)

Ghost Master: The Gravenville Chronicles (Spiral House/Empire) works great on consoles. Scaring the living daylights out of hapless mortals is suprisingly satisfying. (PELIT 9/04, score: 89)

Glass Rose (Capcom) is a crappy adventure game. Avoid. (PELIT 4/04, score: 35)

Gran Turismo 4: Prology (Polyphony Digital/Sony) is a fancy demo about upcoming GT4. Wait for the full version of the game unless you are a diehard Turismo fan. (PELIT 6/04, score: 80)

Ground Control 2: Operation Exodus (Massive/VU Games). Currently the best in its genre of mid-hardcore realtime tactics. And it's not just a game, but a well-scripted interactive story as well. (PELIT 8/04, score: 91*)

Halo 2 (Bungie/Microsoft Game Studios) is a true masterpiece and a great work of art. (PELIT 11/04, score: 96*)

Hamtaro Ham-Ham Games (Alphadream/Nintendo). A simple sports game with some RPG aspects. Beautiful and delightful graphics, animations and sounds make a lovely experience. (PELIT 9/04, score: 75)

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (EA Games) offers the same stuff for the third time in a row and that's enough. Potter fans will be happy because Harry, his friends, enemies and the world are all here. (PELIT 8/04, score: 73)

Harvest Moon - A Wonderful Life (Natsume/Ubisoft). A wonderful sequel to the Harvest Moon series. The freedom of choice for your daily tasks as a farmer takes you fast to a new level of playing and keeps you flying there for a delightfully long period of time. (PELIT 5/04, score: 95*)

Hattrick (Extralives AB) is one of the best manager games that I have played for a long time and it's free. Great fun.

Headhunter: Redemption (Amuze/Sega). More things are wrong than right. The gameplay suffers from a poor camera and unrefined controls. (PELIT 10/04, score: 69)

Hidden & Dangerous 2: Sabre Squadron (Take 2). The user interface is still quite abysmal, but the AI has improved to an acceptable level. The soldiers still need more tactical brains and less hand-holding. (PELIT 11/04, score: 83)

Hitman: Contracts (IO Interactive/Eidos) is a stylish addition to the Hitman series with an almost disturbingly dark and twisted theme. Besides that, not much has changed since Silent Assassin. (PELIT 5/04, score: 86*)

Horizons: Empire of Istaria (Artifact Entertainment/Atari). A rather mediocre EverQuest clone with a nice class-system. Would benefit from more original ideas and a load of bug fixes. (PELIT 3/04, score: 75)

Hunter: The Reckoning Redeemer (High Voltage/Vivendi Universal Games/White Wolf) is a pretty and nicely balanced shoot 'em up for up to four players. It's a bit too easy and camera comes too close in multiplayer mode. (PELIT 1/04, score: 81)

Hyper Street Fighter II: The Anniversary Edition (Capcom) collects all official Street Fighter II-versions under the same name. The controls work well and the game plays pretty much arcade-perfectly. Shame about the severe lack of game-play and statistics-related options. (PELIT 2/04, score: 75)

IL-2 Sturmovik: Forgotten Battles: Ace Expansion Pack (Maddox Games/Ubi Soft). As close to perfection as one can realistically get with current PCs. Some bugs and oddities need ironing out, but apart from those, Ace Expansion Pack will be the definitive WW2 airsim for the foreseeable future. (PELIT 4/04, score: 98)

IL-2 Sturmovik: Forgotten Battles: Battle Over Europe (Russian Rocket Games/Just Flight) is a basic well-done add-on disk. (PELIT 5/04, score: 83)

IL-2: Combat Over Europe (Combatplanes/GMX Media). As an unofficial add-on, it doesn't use the new features, maps and planes offered with Aces Expansion Kit. Flying a Battle of Britain over the Finnish coastline or a Spitfire out of LAGG-3 is a travesty. The rest of the content is a little better, but doesn't offer anything not available as free downloads.

Jagged Alliance 2: Urban Chaos (JA2 Mod Squad) is an excellent mod. If the new graphics and sound weren't partly amateurish, this would be just as good as the original. Maybe even better. Great work! (PELIT 4/04, score: 90*)

Jak 3 (Naughty Dog/Sony). Even though Jak 3 is a gathering of different gaming styles from action and platforming to driving and puzzles, it still manages to be a coherent game with plenty of surprises along the way. And Daxter is very funny. (PELIT 11/04, 92*)

James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing (Electronic Arts) has all the same elements as a modern 007 movie. There's nothing new here, but everything works well. (PELIT 3/04, score: 84)

Joint Operations: Typhoon Rising (Novalogic). Is there really any need for yet another militaristic multiplayer 3D-shooter? Novalogic seems to think so and so do we. (PELIT 9/04, score: 90)

kill.switch (Namco) is not as stupid as its name, but it's nothing to write home about. The world needs simple military shooters too, but not that many. (PELIT 4/04, score: 74)

Kirby Air Ride (HAL Laboratories/Nintendo). Ultimate speeding with Kirby the Cute. A racing game like only Nintendo can do, but lacking somewhat in substance and complexity. (PELIT 4/04, score: 75)

Knights of Honor (Sun Flowers/Electronic Arts) promises a lot but offers only mediocrity and dullness. (PELIT 9/04, score: 74)

Kohan 2: Kings of War (Timegate) is a well-done 3D update of the original Kohan games. Intermissions and dialogue are exceptionally horrible. (PELIT 9/04, score: 85)

Korea: The Forgotten Conflict (Plastic Reality/Cenega). The 3D engine is way better than anything Commando has to offer. Everything else is a lot worse. (PELIT 1/04, score: 76)

Legacy of Kain: Defiance (Crystal Dynamics/Eidos) is a beautiful but hollow experience. The puzzles are too simple and the way too easy fights are pointless buttonbashing exercises. Confusing camera doesn't help, either. (PELIT 1/04, score: 76)

Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude (High Voltage/Sierra/VU Games) gets boring after the first girls. There simply isn't enough to do and you end up playing the same mini-games over and over again. (PELIT 11/04, score: 65)

Live for Speed (Scawen Roberts, Eric Bailey, Victor van Vlaardingen) shows what happens when talent meets persistence. The car handling is divine and the amount of detail in everything is simply astonishing. The lack of damage modelling and the lackluster single player races are a definite downside, but they are both understandable given the game's current in-development state. (PELIT 1/04, score: 92*)

Lock On (Eagle Dynamics/Ubi Soft). Finally this superb flight simulator runs smoothly even with higher resolution settings. (PELIT 9/94, score: 92)

Lock On: Air Combat Simulation (Eagle Dynamics/Ubisoft). Such a shame that the first serious simulation of modern air combat since Falcon 4 has been very clearly rushed to the holiday season. Final review to come when the game is finished. (PELIT 1/04)

Lock-On: Air Combat Simulation (Eagle Dynamic/Ubi Soft) has moved from a public alpha to beta testing with the first patch. It's headed in the right direction, but it still needs lots of work. Until then, it's an essential purchase for enthusiasts, but not exactly suited for newcomers. (PELIT 2/04, score: 89)

Lord of the Rings: The Third Age (EA Games). A solid but hardly original role-playing experience. Great for RPG newcomers but not that exciting for veterans of the genre. (PELIT 11/04, score: 79)

Lords of Everquest (Sony Online Entertainment). Kill me now! Levelling is always nice, but simplistic. Formulaic RTS combined with record-breaking, slow unit-building condemn this game to hell. As a punishment. (PELIT 2/04, score: 60)

Lords of the Realm III (Vivendi) could be interesting, but it's very clumsily designed and full of irritating details. Impressions should take a course on user interfaces, and the meaning of easily accessed data. (PELIT 5/04, score: 71)

Mace Griffin: Bounty Hunter (Warthog/Vivendi Universal Games) is like a foul wind from the past - akin to one of those anonymous Quake clones of the last decade. The smooth transition to space is nice, but the space battle itself is just as rotten as everything else. (PELIT 2/04, score: 56)

Madden 2004 (EA Sports). A great football game with an exemplary franchise mode. The owner mode would be a fun game on its own. (PELIT 2/04, score: 90)

Madden NFL 2005 (EA Sports). Madden is the flagship of EA Sports. The production values are as high as ever and this year developers have listened to the fans and made it closer to the real American football than ever before. (PELIT 11/04, score: 94)

Mafia (Illusion Softworks/Gathering) is a brilliant gangster movie with GTA3-style game elements. The PlayStation 2 version suffers from some technical problems, but it's still one helluva game. (PELIT 2/04, score: 79)

Magic the Gathering: Battlegrounds (Secret Level/Atari). A fresh, action-oriented take on the classic card game. It looks and plays like a dream and the game mechanics are easy to learn. Very addictive, very fun and very much recommended. (PELIT 1/04, score: 89)

Manhunt (Rockstar Games) has a great idea and atmosphere, but it's far too repetitive. The PC conversion plays better than the original PS2 version. (PELIT 8/04, score: 78)

Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour (Camelot/Nintendo) isn't a classic like Mario Golf for N64 was. But there's real Nintendo magic in the air, and the game is fun like a dozen drunken monkeys. (PELIT 8/04, score: 80)

Massive Assault: Global Domination Strategy ( Games/Tri Synergy) is great in small doses. It has huge potential, but a few mistakes in the design make it too boring and repetitive. At any rate, it's almost classic. (PELIT 3/04, score: 87)

Max Payne (Möbius/Take Two). On GBA-scale, the conversion is nicely done. On a normal scale, we want more titles like Golden Sun, Advance Wars and co., and less of these stupid C64-like action games. (PELIT 4/04, score: 80)

Maximo vs. Army of Zin (Capcom) is a very traditional 3D platformer. It's smoother and little bit easier than before. Not bad, but there's nothing new here. (PELIT 2/04, score: 80)

Mega Man Zero 2 (Capcom) represents old school 2D shoot-em-up and platform games. It's an entertaining piece of software but sometimes almost too difficult. (PELIT 5/04, score: 81)´

Megaman X7 (Capcom) is very loyal to the old spirit of Megaman, but in the end that's just not enough. Conversing the game from 2D to 3D could have been done better. (PELIT 4/04, score: 66)

Metal Arms: Glitch In The System) (Swingin' Ape Studios/Sierra/VU Games) is a fun third-person shooter, at least if your heart can cope with the ultra-hard difficulty. Original style, traditional gameplay, general unfairness. (PELIT 1/04, score: 85)

Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes (Silicon Knights/Konami) takes a classic and remixes it. The original was not broke(en ymmärrä), so this is not a fixed version. It's an old story that is simply told in a new and improved way. (PELIT 4/04, score: 85)

Metroid: Zero Mission (Nintendo) did it again. That's how a 2D sci-fi action game should be done. It's not only entertainment, it's art too. I like it a lot. (PELIT 5/04, score: 91)

Midway Arcade Treasures (Digital Ecilipse/Midway) is a suberb retro collection, although the overall presentation is below par. Still the overall quality compared to the price is excellent. (PELIT 4/04, score: 85*)

Mission: Impossible - Operation Surma (Paradigm Entertainment/Paramount/Atari) is a puzzle game disguised as a stealthy action. The levels with gadgets and disguises are the only ones that are even vaguely interesting. (PELIT 1/04, score: 68)

MTV Music Generator 3: This Is the Remix (MixMax/Codemasters). For music and rhythm fans, this is a safe bet. Making your own music couldn't be simpler. Only the limitation of vocal samples is a little bit of a letdown. (PELIT 8/04, score: 89*)

MTX Mototrax (Left Field Productions/Activision) is an excellent motocross racer with an extreme twist. The bike handling is a well-balanced mix of arcade and realism. Good results are achieved only with skill, not luck. Online gaming works well too. (PELIT 5/04, score: 85)

MX Unleashed (Rainbow Studios/THQ) is a groovy motorcycle game with massive jumps and tricks. Playing is pure arcade, which is not necessary a bad thing. The rag doll mechanics deserve a special mention as they are very nicely implemented. (PELIT 5/04, score: 76)

NBA Live 2005 (EA Sports). The All Stars weekend is fun, but the main attraction feels kind of mechanical with all these gameplay-affecting sliders, quirky movements, animations and unsatisfying AI. (PELIT 11/04, score: 81)

Neverwinter Nights: Hordes of the Underdark (Bioware/Atari) is a typical add-on disc, but a good one. The single-player adventure is a whole lot of fun and really shows what the game engine can do. More of this, please. (PELIT 2/04, score: 90)

Nexus the Jupiter Incident (Mithis Entertainment/HD Interactive/Vivendi) is a rough diamond. Building the fleet feels very unsatisfying as "buying" new ships would be much more fun than simply "receiving" them. The combat is very enjoyable. (PELIT 11/04, score: 86*)

NFL Street (Electronic Arts) is a stylish and nice looking, simplified game of American football. For fans of the sport and for people who have friends to play with. (PELIT 4/04, score: 82)

NHL 2005 (Electronic Arts) is an excellent hockey game. Again. I wonder what they are planning to include into next year's version? (PELIT 10/04, score: 90)

NHL Eastside Hockey Manager (Sports Interactive Games/Sega) is a great hockey management with detailed tactics. The game engine is not quite as remarkable as in Championship Manager, but it can still deliver the goods in an addictive way. (PELIT 9/94, score: 85)

Nightshade (Sega WOW/Sega) is a decent sequel to a decent beat-em-up adventure. The save-system is a bit too harsh and the basic enemies are too stupid. (PELIT 8/04, score: 78)

Ninja Gaiden (Team Ninja/Tecmo) is an excellent beat'em-up adventure. The fighting is highly satisfying and brainless buttonbashers die quickly. (PELIT 5/04, score: 93)

Obscure (Hydravision Entertainment/MC2 Microids) understands that in creating suspense showing less is actually more. A very atmospheric and entertaining game that unfortunately ends much too soon. Barely six hours of gameplay just isn't enough for a game with a full price-tag. (PELIT 10/04, score: 90)

One Must Fall: Battlegrounds (Diversions Entertainment/GMX media). If you look up "mediocre" in the dictionary, you'llprobably find a screenshot of One Must Fall: Battlegrounds. The graphics are sub-par, playability so-so, original ideas non-existent...but the music is just lovely. (PELIT 3/04, score: 65)

Onimusha 3 (Capcom). Superb graphics and entertaining gameplay make this a must-buy title. The narration could use some work but you're having too much fun to be put off by a few inconsistencies. (PELIT 6/04, score: 89)

Onimusha Blade Warriors (Capcom) is a decent group-beat 'em up. The single player story-mode is short and dull. (PELIT 6/04, score: 74)

Orbiter (Martin Schweiger). A precise and well crafted simulator. It wouldn't hurt to have more tutorials and scripted missions. (PELIT 5/04, score: 85)

Out Run 2 (Sumo Digital/AM2/Sega) is an excellent arcade racing experience. Too bad it's all over too soon. (PELIT 11/04, score: 88)

Pacific Fighters (Maddox Games/Ubi Soft) is a good add-on that can be played as a standalone game too. The new planes are a bit too forgiving, the long distances boring and there are still some annoyances left from the original IL-2 series, but otherwise it's quite excellent. I'm waiting eagerly for third-party campaign generators. (PELIT 11/04, score: 90)

Painkiller (People Can Fly/Dreamcatcher). A very pleasing surprise. The huge boss monsters and the cool endlevel design will make this an FPS worth remembering. (PELIT 6/04, score: 85)

Patrician 3 (Ascaron Entertainment/Atari) is not an action game. It's quite boring and repetitive, but the system gives you more opportunities and more challenges when you're successful. That's why it's very addictive. (PELIT2/04, score: 90)

Perimeter (1 C Studios/Codemasters) is at least different, and quite fun for the most part. It is a bit too sterile, and most units are disappointing: underpowered, slow and without self preservation. (PELIT 6/04, score: 82)

Pikmin 2 (Nintendo) blends the best aspects of puzzle games with a twist of real time strategy. The Pikmins are just as funny as in the first time. One of the few games that still has the famous Nintendo magic. Sheer fun to play and full of excitement. (PELIT 10/04, score: 87)

Pitfall: The Lost Expedition (Edge of Reality/Torus Games (GBA)/Activision) is entertaining, but a pretty average platformer. Pitfall has a good heart and a sense of humour, and that's the reason why this game has a right to exist. (PELIT 4/04, score: 65)

Pokemon Colosseum (Genius Sonority/Nintendo) isn't the Pokemon adventure we were waiting for. There's too little adventure and too much fighting. You get to be both the lover and the fighter while healing Shadow Pokemons. That's great fun, even moving. (PELIT 6/04, score: 77)

Pokemon Pinball: Ruby & Sapphire (Nintendo) is an entertaining game and collecting Pokemons is always fun. But it's all too easy. You don't have to be pinball wizard Tommy to play one game for a hour or so. (PELIT 1/04, score: 80)

Port Royale 2 (Ascaron) is the sequel to a piracy game without piracy. The sea battles are unfair, land battles suck and trading is boring. Caribbean is not medieval Europa and Port Royale 2 is not good as Patrician 3 or the first Port Royale. (PELIT 10/04, score: 77)

Prince of Persia: Sands of Time (Ubi Soft) for GameCube is an exellent game just like all the other versions too. Technical masterpiece with a real heart. It's so beautiful I could cry. (PELIT 4/04, score: 93)

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (Ubi Soft). Fabulously polished and original action adventure. But why has the bonus game been taken away? (PELIT 3/04, score: 92*)

Pro Cast Sports Fishing (Capcom) is a very pretty, but shallow experience. The fishing is a bit too simple. (PELIT 1/04, score: 70)

Pro Evolution Soccer 4 (Konami) is still the King. (PELIT 11/04, score: 91*)

Project Gotham Racing 2 - Paris Booster Pack (Bizarre Creations/Microsoft Game Studios) is a decent enough expansion, but what happened to night and rain? (PELIT 8/04, score: 83)

Project Zero II: Crimson Butterfly (Tecmo). A solid unnerving horror game with some dated gameplay elements. The amount of spine-shivering is overwhelming. (PELIT 6(04, score: 82)

Psi-Ops: The Mindgate Conspiracy (Midway) is an excellent action-adventure, which uses interesting psi-powers to its advantage. The hero is a bit boring. (PELIT 10/04, score: 91)

Puyo Pop Fever (Sonic Team/Sega). Fun gameplay but nothing too new to offer. (PELIT 4/04, score: 70)

R: Racing Evolution (Namco) is a mediocre, arcadish driving game with an unbelievably short lifespan of only a few hours. Ultra-short story mode with boobs as stars? Five tracks? Give me a break. (PELIT 3/04, score:65)

R-Type Final (Irem/Metro3D) is a classic shooter in every sense. It's easy to learn, but difficult to master. One of the best of its kind. (PELIT 5/04, score: 81)

Rainbow Six 3: Athena Sword (Red Storm Entertainment/Ubi Soft). A good add-on for a good game. (PELIT 4/04, score: 82)

Rallisport Challenge 2 (Digital Illusions/Microsoft) is a true joy to play. The tracks are beautiful, the cars are fun to drive, and the multiplayer games on Xbox Live are simply a riot. More tracks would have been nice, though. (PELIT 6/04, score: 91)

Ratchet & Clank 3a> (Insomniac/Sony) is a solid, professionally polished action game with enormous guns and great action. What more could you want? Perhaps a little bit originally, maybe. (PELIT 11/04, score: 90)

Red Dead Revolver (Rockstar San Diego/Rockstar Games) combines traditional spaghetti western elements with modern 3D shooters. Light arcade action works surprisingly well which makes Red Dead Revolver one of the best western games ever. (PELIT 9/04, score: 83)

Resident Evil: Outbreak (Capcom) tries to upgrade the tried and tested Resident Evil formula. The new controls and five different episodes work well, but dull level design and samey puzzles bring it down in the end. (PELIT 9/04, score: 77)

Richard Burns Rally (Warthog/SCi Games) is a challenging - frustrating, even - but ultimately satisfying rally simulation. The car handling is brilliantly conceived, and the tracks are quite beautiful, although a bit monotonous at times. A superb game. (PELIT 8/04, score: 93*)

Richard Burns Rally (Warthog/SCI) is a demanding, yet enjoyable rally game with a realistic driving model and fantastic controls. It feels even better than the great Xbox version. (PELIT 11/04, score: 93)

Rise to Honour (Sony) is a cinematic beat'em-up with lots of cool-looking kung fu and John Woo inspired gun action. It's a pity that the controls are way too simple and straightforward. (PELIT 6/04, score: 74)

Rogue Ops (Bits Studios/Kemco). A mediocre agent game clone with no originality whatsoever. The missions are nice: compact and varied. (PELIT 3/04, score: 78)

Rome: Total War (Creative Assembly/Activision). Meaningful decisions are aplenty in the third Total War game. The battles look so realistic that the age recommendation of 12 no longer seems adequate. Rome has got the makings of a classic should the suicidal behaviour of generals be corrected. Strength and honour! (PELIT 11/04, score: 92)

Sacred (Ascaron/Atari) offers lots of action with some role-playing elements. While fun at first, the action tends to get quite monotonous and boring - mainly due to the controls that are not as slick as they should be. Although the world is huge and quite gorgeous, it is also disappointingly bland. (PELIT 5/04, score: 82)

Saga of Ryzom (Nevrax). A rather generic MMORPG that suffers from a lack of long-term goals and system-wide imbalance regarding skills, classes and basically everything. Most of the time it's quite pretty. (PELIT 11/04, score: 75)

Samurai Warriors (Omega Force/Koei/EA) shows that this is still a successful formula, but it's also showing more age than ever. There are a lot of slowdowns and instances where troops just disappear, and the AI is quite stupid. Still I enjoyed it. (PELIT 8/04, score: 81)

Second Sight (Free Radical/Codemasters) is well written and it's atmospheric action adventure is over too soon. The AI of the hero's companions is awful. (PELIT 9/04, score: 88)

Secret Weapons Over Normandy (Lucasarts/Activision). As a veteran of Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe, I was disappointed by the heavy arcade element. Normandy is a mediocre shooter, but why use a name, that only long time flight-sim enthusiasts will recognize, and they'll be all disappointed? (PELIT 1/04, score: 73)

Sega Bass Fishing Duel (WOW Entertainment/Sega) is a simple and fun fishing game, which suffers from a poor presentation. (PELIT 1/04, score: 73)

Sega GT Online (Sega) offers a huge amount of cars and some nice arcade action, but all in all the game is too easy, and there should have been more tracks to keep things interesting. The multiplayer mode on Xbox Live is disappointingly flawed and more frustrating than fun. (PELIT 4/04, score: 77)

Shadow Ops: Red Mercury (Zombie/Atari) would be a mediocre, straightforward tube shooter, but the inability to save is just unforgivable. I, the player, should have the responsibility for my own enjoyment. (PELIT 8/04, score: 63)

Shellshock Nam '67 (Guerrilla/Eidos) is a little bit boring and repetitive jungle shoot 'em up with quite relentless action on the other hand. The adult material is embracing. (PELIT 9/04, score: 78)

Shining Force: Resurrection of the Dark Dragon (Atlus Software/Sega). A good conversion of the Megadrive classic. Could use a bit more variety and depth, but it's a fine tactical RPG nonetheless. (PELIT 9/04, score: 88)

Shining Soul II (Atlus Software/Sega) A quite nice action-oriented game with light RPG style character development. It's the closest thing to Diablo on a handheld console. (PELIT 9/04, score: 82)

Silent Hill 4: The Room (Konami) is a slow-paced and very, very strange horror action adventure. The Room has its moments, but fails to live up to its potential, especially from about halfway on. (PELIT 9/04, score: 80)

Silent Storm: Sentinel (JoWood/Nival) The best just got better, especially the campaign framework. Two things are needed: randomly generated levels and freely movable/stackable objects. Please, license this thing of beauty out, we still need X-COM remake and Silent Storm with modern weapons. (PELIT 9/04, score: 95)

Sims 2 (Maxis / EA Games). The long-awaited sequel lives up to the heavy expectations. The AI and 3D-engine are quite impressive, and the social antics of the simians provide nearly endless gameplay. Just when you think you've seen it all, the little computer people come up with some unexpected turn of events. (PELIT 10/04, score: 92)

Sims: Ryntää raitille (Electronic Arts) is a fun add-on. Nice to have it in Finnish. (PELIT 4/04, score: 84)

Singstar (Sony) is a superb implementation of Karaoke with fun team play options. Two real microphones make you feel like a real star. Song variety is a little bit limited, though, especially for male voices. Change of key is not possible. (PELIT 5/04, score: 85)

Sly2: Band of Thieves (Sucker Punch/Sony) is a great action platformer with a humorous twist. It's awesome in every aspect. Finnish dubbing and overall easiness is a little bit of a letdown. (PELIT 11/04, score: 90*)

Smash Court Tennis Pro Tournament 2 (Namco). Cursed by name, blessed by a great career mode. It's a shame that it suffers from irritating problems with player movement (dive, dive!). (PELIT 6/04, score: 84)

SOCOM II: U.S. Navy Seals (Zipper Interactive/Sony) is a good team-based shoot 'em up. The one-player missions are quite interesting. The save system is way too harsh, though. The multi-player modes work well. (PELIT 3/04, score: 82)

SOCOM II: U.S. Navy Seals (Zipper Interactive/Sony) is the best PS2 offers in multiplaying in the net. (PELIT 4/04, score: 89)

Soldiers: Heroes of World War II (Best Way/1C Games/Codemasters). Great game! The level of detail is unbelievable, the game is very fun, yet challenging enough, and the direct control and time slowdown are excellent inventions. Nice job! (PELIT 8/04, score: 92*)

Söldner: Secret Wars (Wings/JoWood). Been there, done that, only in better games. Too few players are jogging around in too vast levels, dying either from a sniper bullet or boredom., Do not try to re-invent the wheel, go and make Panzer Elite 2. (PELIT 8/04, score: 70)

Spyro: Hero's Tail (Eurocom/VU Games) offers gaming fun for the whole family, especially for kids. But why is new Spyro an annoying idiot? (PELIT 11/04, score: 72)

Sonic Adventure DX (Sega, PC) is a relaxing yet graphically dated action adventure for the younger set. Plenty of variability. (PELIT 3/04, score: 75)

Sonic Heroes (Sega, X-Box, Gamecube) is fun, blisteringly fast action with varied teambased gameplay. Gets a little bit repetitive in the end, though. (PELIT 3/04, score: 83)

Spawn: Armageddon (Namco/EA Games/Todd McFarlane Productions) is a short, but quite sweet beat 'em up adventure for Spawn fans. There are too many dull locations and some camera problems. (PELIT 3/04, score: 75)

Spellforce: The Order of Dawn (Phenomic/JoWood). Pleasant surprise! Diablo/RTS-combination works very well, even though there is too much just watching as hero walks slowly around. Also, fantasy cliches are way too cliched.

Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy (Eurocom/THQ) is a very good and curiously Zelda-like action-adventure. The populated areas are a bit dull, since people don't move anywhere. There are some minor pop-up-related issues, too. (PELIT 3/04, score: 88)

Spider-Man 2 (Treyarch/Activision) makes both Spider-Man and videogame fans smile. This very entertaining piece of software is true to the Spider-Man character. The game really takes you to Spider-Man's New York. (PELIT 9/04, score: 89)

Star Ocean: Till the End of Time (Tri-Ace/Square-Enix/Ubi Soft) is a good, entertaining RPG with an excellent real-time fighting-system. However, the balance between frustratingly long cut-scenes and overly long dungeons would need more tweaking. (PELIT 11/04, score: 85)

Star Wars: Battlefront (LucasArts) Looks like Pandemic did not care much about subject material. In PC, a quite mediocre but still fun Battlefield clone. The consoles do not have BF, so it is warmly welcomed. (PELIT 11/04, score: PC 80, PS2 81, Xbox 86*)

Star Wars - Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy (Raven Software/LucasArts/Activision) is well-made, though some of the levels are a bit confusing. The roleplaying elements and the free-form mission structure enhance the game greatly. (PELIT 1/04, score: 87)

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is one of the best computer-RPGs ever. The PC version is otherwise well-done, but there are some low resolution textures, and the menus don't scale to a higher resolution. Still, it's a magnificient game that avoids the Star Wars clichés and stands on its own. (PELIT 1/04, score: 94*)

Steel Battalion: Line of Contact (Capcom). The game design with pilot careers and multiplayer campaign is top-notch. Too bad there's something fishy about the network code, and the connection speed requirements are preposterous. (PELIT 5/04, score: 89)

Sudeki (Climax/Microsoft) is a smooth ride all the way through, but the action tends to be much too simple and straightforward. In addition, the stereotypical protagonists are not exactly appealing, which hurts the plot quite a bit. Great graphics and a nice fighting system. (PELIT 9/04, score: 78)

Suffering (Surreal Software/Zoo Digital) is loaded with chilling atmosphere and fabulous details, although the further the plot goes, the more the atmosphere suffers. The stupid enemies and the not-so-smart companions are a bit annoying, but all in all the experience is quite impressive. (PELIT 10/04, score: 80)

Sword of Mana (Square Enix). An easy-going, action-oriented roleplaying game with lots of dialogue and a lousy AI. The character development system is nice, but the lack of a quicksave option is quite annoying. Excellent. (PELIT 4/04, score: 85)

Syberia II (MC2-Microids). A great ending for a great story. Descriptions of the settings were non-existent. Also, maybe next time the inner thoughts and feelings of the characters should be emphasized to avert shallowness. (PELIT 6/04, score: 89)

Syphon Filter: The Omega Strain (Sony) is plagued by a way too simple one-button objectives and half-baked team gameplay. A bit too straight-forward combat system doesn't help either. (PELIT 9/04, score: 72)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Konami) are back. They are still green, they still love pizza and they still like to fight. But as a 3D action game, there's nothing to write home about. (PELIT 5/04, score: 62)

Tenchu: Return from Darkness (K2/Activision) offers a unique kind of stealth action. Fast and furious fights and sudden strikes from the rooftops are paced well with sneaking. The camera is sometimes very annoying and the game is too short, otherwise it's great fun. (PELIT 4/04, score: 83)

The Ur-Quan Masters project is a phenomenal one. A fan project from heaven. And at no cost. Add the intros, outros, and a network super-melee and you've made my millennia. (PELIT 2/04)

Thief: Deadly Shadows (Ion Storm/Eidos) is a great game also for the Xbox. The only problems are the game not running smoothly and the long(ish) loading times. Otherwise, a quality piece of gaming. (PELIT 8/04, score: 88)

Thief: Deadly Shadows (Ion Storm/Eidos) is a worthy successor for a classic game series. The levels are a bit cramped, linear and samey, and the NPC behavior could be more like real human beings, less like Memento characters. (PELIT 6/04, score: 90)

This Is Football 2004 (Sony) is a mediocre, arcadeish football game. An average addition to an average series. (PELIT 4/04, score: 55)

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2005 (EA Sports/EA Sports) is a golf heaven for real golfers. No, I take that back. It's an excellent video game for everyone who likes sports games. Fore! (PELIT 10/04, score: 91)

TOCA Race Driver 2: Ultimate Racing Simulation (Codemasters). Forget about the previous games of the series. This is the real deal. Strikes a very good balance between realism and playability with a phenomenal selection of different racing styles. (PELIT 5/04, score: 92)

Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Jungle Storm (Red Storm/Ubi Soft) is a solid team-based FPS. The graphics are outdated. (PELIT 4/04, score: 82)

Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six 3 (Red Storm/Ubi Soft) is a decent team-based FPS. The single player missions are way too linear. (PELIT 4/04, score: 78)

Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six 3: Black Arrow (Red Storm Entertainment/Ubi Soft) is a very good team-based FPS. Too bad the game system allows highly annoying spawn campers. Multiplayer hostage rescue game modes would be,, , nice, , too. (PELIT 10/04, , sc, ore: 88)

Tom Clancy's Spinter Cell Pandora Tomorrow (Ubi Soft). The good things have gotten better and the bad things are worse than before. The gameplay is exciting and the surroundings are interesting, but the story is even less existent than before and the level design is more straightforward. The multiplayer mode is unbalanced and has too few gametypes to choose from. (PELIT 4/04, score: 90*)

Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow (Ubi Soft). A good PS2 version, but it has lost something of its essence in the conversion process. (PELIT 8/04, score: 84)

Tony Hawk's Underground 2 (Neversoft/Activision) is a sequel, but an excellent one. Funny characters, awesome gameplay and great soundtrack builds an ultimate skateboarding enjoyment. (PELIT 11/04, score: 88)

Tortuga - Pirates of the New World (Ascaron) is a lighter version of Port Royale. Its biggest fault is the sea battle where you can get only one ship, even if you have a ten-sail navy. (PELIT 3/04, score: 75)

Total Annihilation: Units Compilation Pack (TAUCP Team/Cavedog) breaths new life to the old champion. (PELIT 8/04, score: 85)

Total Club Manager 2004 (EA Sports) has so much fluff that the main thing tends to get left out on the sidelines. Otherwise the game is fun enough in its overly dramatic way, although the randomness of it all is slightly irritating. The text commentary could use more emotion and less spreadsheet-like qualities. (PELIT 1/04, score: 75)

Total Club Manager 2005 (EA Sports) is certainly nothing like Championship Manager, but still an enjoyable football management. The game is funny and easy to play, sometimes almost too simple. (PELIT 10/04, score: 83)

TrackMania (Nadeo/Nordic Softsales) is a whole lot of fun, although as a single-player game there is not really much else to do than build, and the game looks rather dated. The track editor is great, and the multiplayer modes are very nice. (PELIT 8/04, score: 85)

Transformers (Melbourne House/Atari) is an excellent shoot 'em-up. The levels are really big and beautiful, the enemies show signs of intelligence and you can destroy them with different tactics. (PELIT 5/04, score: 93*)

Tribes Vengeance (Irrational Games/Vivendi Universal Games) looks and feels a bit old-fashioned, but the good storyline and the three dimensional gameplay manage to keep things interesting. The multiplayer is a bit over-simplified, but it's still great fun. (PELIT 11/04, score: 89)

True Crime: Streets of LA (Gray Matter/Luxoflux/Activision) ought to have been a much better game than it is. The camera movement is awkward, the controls lack the needed finesse and the plot is quite dumb. Christopher Walken is absolutely great.

UEFA Euro 2004 (EA Sports) is a decent football game with real players and official songs, but it's just not the best football game on PC. (PELIT 5/04, score: 74)

Unreal II: The Awakening (Tantalus Interactive/Legend Entertainment/Atari) is a reasonably good port of a reasonably good PC shooter. The graphics suffer from low tv-resolution and the lack of some of the PC version's eye-candy. (PELIT 4/04, score: 77)

Unreal Tournament 2004 (Epic/Atari). It's time to bring out the plasmarifles and hone your reflexes as the most competitive first person shooter is bigger and better than ever before after a very successful facelift. (PELIT 4/04, score: 90*)

Van Helsing (Saffire/VU Games) is just like the movie. Looks excellent, sounds nice, there's a plenty of action and monsters to kill. But after a while it gets boooooooring. (PELIT 6/04, score: 71)

Vietcong Purple Haze (Take 2) offers a somewhat diluted version of the original Vietcong game. The action itself is still great, but the missions feel too separated from each other. The omission of the copter rides is especially a bad idea. (PELIT 10/04, score: 80)

Vietcong Fist Alpha (Pterodon/Illusion Softworks/Take 2) offers a long-awaited second tour of duty for Vietcong fans. It's mostly fun, but the campaign is very short and forced sneaking in the last mission is really frustrating. (PELIT 3/04, score: 80)

Viewtiful Joe (Team Viewtiful/Capcom). The small-time classic is still the same. Fast, furious and frustrating. (PELIT 9/04, score: 83)

Warhammer 40K: Dawn of War (Relic/THQ). After the disappointing single-player campaign, multiplayer mayhem is fast, brutal and surprisingly tactical. Just the way we like it. Not very complex, but there are no dull moments. (PELIT 11/04, score: 85)

Wario Ware Inc.: Mega Party Game$ (Nintendo) resembles the portable original to the point of identical single player mode. The short-lived multiplayer mode is a disappointment. (PELIT 9/04, score: 74)

Warlords IV - Heroes of Etheria (Ubi Soft) The worst game in the series since the days of Warlords I. It looks like a console game, not Warlords, and among the many simplifications some important features like diplomacy were discarded. (PELIT 2/04, score: 76)

Way of the Samurai 2 (Acquire/Spike/Capcom). An interesting concept that sadly comes short in play. There's a lot to do but the story and characters show little personality. (PELIT 8/04, score: 72)

WH40K: Dawn of War) (Relic/THQ). I do not play Warhammer, and I think massmarket RTS's à la Blizzard are simplistic and boring. But Dawn of War is. The. Best. RTS. Ever. The campaign is short and easy, but I love the well-designed tactical system, great graphics and true Warhammer feeling! (PELIT 10/04, score: 91)

Whiplash (Crystal Dynamics/Eidos Interactive) is funinitially. But it soon becomes a tedious platformer with a twisted plot. A few laughs just aren't worth a 20-hour game. (PELIT 3/04, score: 70)

World War Zero: Ironstorm (Rebellion/MC2/Wanadoo) is a nice shooter and has a different atmosphere. The original PC version is better, though. (PELIT 8/04, score: 69)

Wrath Unleashed (The Collective/LucasArts) combines fun light strategy with somewhat cumbersome fighting. The loading pauses break up the mood. Xbox Live support would've been a plus. (PELIT 4/04, score: 82)

WRC 4 (Evolution Studios/Sony) is a very good racing-game. Tougher opponents and internet-gameplay are the major improvements. (PELIT 11/04, score: 89)

WWE: Day of Reckoning (Yuke's/THQ) is a decent enough show-wrestling-game. The running is way too clunky and there is too much button-bashing. (PELIT 11/04, score: 84)

X2: The Threatt (Egosoft/Deep Silver) is very fun as long as you stick with the trading and empire building side of things. The interface is simply awful and the combat A.I. feels flawed, with ships constantly ramming each other. X2's storyline is very disappointing. (PELIT 4/04, score: 89)

X-Plane 7.30 (Laminar Research) suffers from minor graphical glitches, but other than that the flight model is excellent, as before. (PELIT 5/04, score: 82)

* = Recommended by PELIT

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