X-Men Legends II: Rise Of Apocalypse, Shadow Of The Colossus, Brothers In Arms: Earned In Blood, Ultimate Spider-Man

X-Men Legends II: Rise Of Apocalypse
Activision
PlayStation 2 / Xbox / GameCube

Overview: X-Men Legends II is a continuation of the first game where players work within the strained alliance between the X-Men and the infamous Brotherhood to save the world from Apocalypse’s grasp.

Gameplay: Before play begins, choose which alliance you want to join and build your own team. Each character has over a dozen powers and upgrades. Take your time and choose a strong army of characters because Apocalypse has some nasty villains on his side. The villains include Mr. Sinister, Omega Red, Archangel, Bastion, Sauron, Deadpool, Mikhail, Sugerman, Zealot, and Lady Deathstrike. As you venture through game, you’ll probably notice a few changes, one being the diverse levels to explore. These levels will require you to use the new swapping system to change up your mutant’s powers, which is a helpful tool added to the game.

Graphics: The 70-plus environments literally pop off your screen, especially if you have a high-definition display. The characters and levels are more detailed and colorful this time around.

Sound: Random mix of theatrical music.

Entertainment: The varied levels and swapping system will keep you interested and allows things to move along at a tolerable speed—because the last thing you want to deal with are menu screens.

Overall Rating: ****—Daxter Lussier

Shadow Of The Colossus
Sony Computer Entertainment
PlayStation 2

Overview: A mere man is on a quest to defeat a variety of gigantic beasts in order to restore life in a young woman.

Gameplay: It’s a third-person action-adventure game set in an open, free-roaming environment. Battle humongous beasts with a sword and a bow and arrow. The story is inventive and original.

Graphics: Environments are picturesque. Beast and human modeling is sharp. Movement can be choppy at times.

Sound: With a good sound system, the beast walking can make your house rumble. Our hero on the other hand whistles and makes one other sound.

Entertainment: At first it’s difficult figuring out how to maneuver our hero, but once a battle ensues with a colossal beast, the game sucks you in.

Overall Rating: ****—Eric Sentianin

Brothers In Arms: Earned In Blood
Ubisoft
PlayStation 2 / Xbox

Overview: Play as Joe “Red Hartsock, who was a paratrooper dropped behind enemy lines before D-Day in Normandy. The story and campaign are based on real-life accounts.

Gameplay: World War II first-person shooter that improves upon its revered predecessor Road To Hill 30.

Graphics: Very cinematic feel. It leaves the feeling that you are in a movie controlling the lead actor.

Sound: Extremely realistic gunshots and voice overs.

Entertainment: After learning how to control your squad, the tactical maneuvering will take some time to master. The enemies are aggressive and the AI is improved. If you find the game easy, put the difficulty setting to Authentic (one shot can kill you).

Overall Rating: *****—Eric Sentianin

Ultimate Spider-Man
Activision
PlayStation 2 / Xbox / GameCube

Overview: Ultimate Spider-Man is based on the actual comic book and not the blockbuster movies. It’s packed with different missions that will give you a chance to explore the city of New York and the Parker’s neighborhood in Queens.

Gameplay: This is a little different from the Spider-Man 2 game. The controls gave me some trouble in the start, and I wish there was a mode where the player could switch between Spider-Man and Venom on their own. Instead, the game will make the switch for you when it finds it necessary. (You have to beat the game before you can play as Spider-Man and Venom whenever you want.) The mix of differennt characters and free-roaming environments make the game more challenging than expected.

Graphics: Ultimate Spider-Man was designed by a 3-D comic inking technology to give it that comic book feel.

Sound: The music is probably what you expect from this type of game. It’s wordless background noise that doesn’t overpower the sound effects.

Entertainment: The game seems to be geared toward a younger audience, but if you’re a Spider-Man superfan, you’ll love this game.

Overall: ***—Daxter Lussier