March 2003

Since Nintendo made futuristic racers popular with 1991’s F-Zero for Super Nintendo, game after game has featured hovering cars racing on wildly twisting tracks. The best of these games (most notably WipeOut and Extreme G) have seen sequel after sequel that offer more tracks, more cars and more of the same predictable hover racing.

In light of all these repetitive sequels, the question inevitably arises: "How many futuristic racing games does one person need?" In the case of Majesco’s Hypersonic Xtreme for the PlayStation 2, the answer is "one fewer."

(full article)

What Super Mario Sunshine lacks in gameplay innovation, it makes up for in its solid level design. Running around in the large, colorful worlds of Super Mario Sunshine made me feel like a kid unleashed on a huge new playground, with a near endless supply of things to do. Simply exploring the game’s huge world without a specific goal in mind can be very relaxing and rewarding, and the excitement of finding a new hidden area or making a tough jump in Super Mario Sunshine is just as strong as it was in Super Mario 64. It’s a testament to the game’s design that this sense of wonder manages to shine through despite the faulty mechanics…

(fulll article)

For better or worse, the runaway success of the Grand Theft Auto series has revolutionized the gaming industry. Sony’s The Getaway for PS2 is a good example of some of the better, with a little bit of the worse hampering some of the execution.

(full article)