187 Ride Or Die
PlayStation 2/ Xbox
Overview: Blast fools and win the race is the basic objective. Actually, it’s the only objective.
Game Modes: Whip Race (race to win), Minefield (Whip Race with mines), Deathmatch (arean battle), Death Race (at the end of each lap the slowest player blows up), Escort (protect a car), The Hit (destroy a car before it loses you), Bomb (your car will blow up if you drive under the speed limit), Survivor (survive in an arena by killing all opponents), The Lot (escape from a parking lot), Po-Po Chase (highway chase with indestructible police cars)
Multiplayer: Split screen co-op (one driver and one shooter)
Gameplay: Pretty elementary-drive around shooting opponents to survive or finish first in a race. We’ve seen this game style before. Kind of like a gangsta Twisted Metal but with less weapons. It probably won’t have you taking GTA San Andreas out of your system any time soon.
Online: Yes, if you don’t really have a better game to play.
Graphics: Nothing special.
Soundtrack: All hip-hop.
Overall Rating: 6
GameCube/ PlayStation 2/ Xbox
Overview: Madden 06 continues it’s legacy by updating and improving an already great game. New features will have you playing 06, until, well, Madden 07 comes out next year. Pick your team and begin the season.
Game Modes: Franchise (make all management decisions including ticket prices and stadium concessions), NFL Superstar (new mode where you can import a created player from NCAA Football 06 or create a new rookie based on your parents dNA, and your IQ), Tournament, Mini Games, Practice
Multiplayer: Versus or co-op
Gameplay: Madden continues to build from previous iterations. This time around it’s added QB Vision Control because every quarterback has a unique field of vision; throw every pass where you want with precision passing; lock on a receiver; or break a tackle with the Truck Stick (basically the Hit Stick but for the offense). With this much control, it’s becoming more and more realistic. Besides that, Madden is the only video game with a nation-wide tournament to win big money.
Online: Play online and download updated rosters
Graphics: Good, but wait for Xbox 360-it’ll get even better. Stadium and player modeling continues to improve.
Soundtrack: EA Trax with random mix of Foo Fighters to Bump J
Overall Rating: 9
Rainbow Six Lockdown
GameCube/ PlayStation 2/ Xbox
Overview: Tom Clancy novel turned video game. This first-person squad-based video game could have easily been turned into a movie. Lead an elite counter-terrorist task force through fourteen missions.
Game Modes: Campaign or Custom Mission (training, terrorist hunt, sniper game, or lone rush)
Multiplayer: Co-op split screen (supports up to four players), and Xbox Live and System Link (link multiple Xbox systems together) to play various Adversarial modes with up to sixteen players
Gameplay: Since you are part of an elite task force, you also are equipped with the most advanced gear-thermal and night vision, and a heartbeat sensor to detect enemies through walls-as well as a cache of sophisticated weapons. Squad commands are quick to learn although if you’re not careful you can subject your companions to heavy fire and ambushes with bad results. Sometimes enemy AI would glitch, but overall you can navigate your squad with precision once you have the commands under control. No first aid kits to restore you health, so be conscious of enemy fire. Once you’re dead, so is the mission
Graphics: Cut screens give a real cinematic feel, while the gameplay action is on par with other Tom Clancy titles
Soundtrack: Various original tracks-very heavy rockish
Overall Rating: 7
Ghost Recon 2 Summit Strike
Overview: Summit Strike is based on the actions of an elite U.S. Army unit known as the Ghosts. Sounds like Tom Clancy, huh? If you’ve enjoyed past versions, thenn Summit will be no different with its open levels and a wide variety of multiplayer modes. Lead a group of commandos to hunt for a Pakistani terrorist.
Game Modes: Training, Campaign, Quick Mission (which you can choose Mission, Defend, Firefight, Lone Wolf, Recon, and Helo Hunt)
Multiplayer: Split screen; system link play; and Xbox Live
Gameplay: Squad-based third-person shooter. This game could probably train U.S. armed forces. Battle and tactical maneuvering are critical. One shot can kill you ending your campaign. After spending almost an hour on learning the squad commands, you’ll be able to navigate your guys safely and effectively through enemy territory.
Online: Xbox Live has many features-almost too many. Log on and manage your own team, download content, join a competition, and so on.
Overall Rating: 8.5