Marc Ecko’s Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure
Overview: Cast as Trane—a skilled and athletic young graf writer—you’ll bomb the city of New Radius with two central foes in your path: the oppressive city government with their nasty enforcers called the Civil Conduct Keepers (how sweet), plus a rival gang known as the Vandals (how literal).
Gameplay: Navigating the city can be broken up into three parts: 1) tagging important spots around New Radius, 2) acrobatic movement around the city’s obstacles, and 3) engaging in a li’l brawl or two along the way. Spraypainting is easy enough, though some finesse is required to make your shit look tight. If your throw-ups look like throw-up, your reputation will pay a huge price.
Graphics: The landscapes are raw and realistic, and if you’re a fan of the Marc Ecko franchise (Zoo York, Complex, etc.), you’ll like what you see.
Sound: Voice-overs from P. Diddy, Rosario Dawson, Andy Dick, and Charlie Murphy. Wha-what!
Entertainment: Shit kicking, vandalism, a blazing hip-hop soundtrack, and an overall sense of lawlessness is a proven formula any way you look at it.—Gamey Thomas
* (1.5 out of 5)
Overview: The spirit and magic of the Olympic games placed on a disc and wrapped in plastic.
Gameplay: Competition games had a great start in the classic arcade version of Track And Field. And with all the development of video-game technology, you’d think that someone would be able to create a game with great graphics and realistic gameplay that’s fun to use. Unfortunately, Torino 2006 completely misses the mark of greatness. There’re fifteen events in total—sorry, no figure skating or snowboard halfpipe. The bobsled events seemed fun, but after the start you just lean left and right. After a while, it was more fun to try and make the bobsled fly off the track.
Graphics: On the brighter side of things, the graphics look impressive and the characters are nicely modeled.
Sound: The commentators for each event represent the uninspired nature of this game with their overly simplified comments of “fantastic! and “oh, no!
Entertainment: The game is only twenty bucks, but unless you’re just the most absolutely diehard Olympic-event fan, this game is not for you.—Eric Sentianin
Overview: Basically, you race and blow shit up (not necessarily in that order).
Gameplay: Full Auto’s twist on the typical arcade racer, a la Blowout, is a welcome addition to the genre. Nearly everything in this interactive world is blow-upable, so there’s much more to think about than RPMs and how tight the turns are. Single-mode play tends to drag after a few rounds, but the Xbox Live function makes things very interesting against up to eight fellow drivers. There’s also a handy new addition called an “unwreck meter, which allows you to turn back time in case you missed a shot—or a turn, for that matter.
Graphics: The 720p HD resolution on Xbox 360 ain’t no joke, and the details—from squashed hoods to burnt rubber—are mind-boggling.
Sound: The testosterone-fueled music and sound effects are a bit on the underwhelming side, but the roar of your car’s engine will definitely get you excited.
Entertainment: The automotive response and epic destructiveness are both user-friendly, and it’s a welcome twist to a fatigued genre, but a lack of licensed cars and interesting weaponry keeps things surprisingly tame.—Gamey Thomas
Blazing Angels: Squadrons Of WWII
****(4.5 out of 5)
Overview: A fresh perspective on the WWII action game played from the cockpit of wartime aircraft.
Gameplay: Since the WWII shooter games are so absolutely tired (are tthere any other angles from this era we haven’t seen yet?), Blazing Angels does a great job of making the gameplay feel arcade-like and keeps a high level of realism. Flying isn’t overly sensitive, and the aircraft handle as they should for that era—no F16s here. Ranging from starting your prop-plane by priming the engine to mid-air repairs, Blazing Angels took great pride in making a complete game experience.
Graphics: First, find an Xbox 360 to see the full potential of this game. The cities that span below are immense, and the sky, clouds, gunfire, and smoke never looked so good. Flying simulators can be tricky, but this game keeps your motion sickness in check with an excellent camera system.
Sound: Explosions, fly-bys, and aircraft rattling from gunfire are as they would sound from the cockpit.
Entertainment: Highly entertaining and well thoughtout.—Eric Sentianin