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Blackwood Evil (2000)
Interesting idea, but ultimately a poor attempt
Blackwood Evil is about a supposedly haunted house in the Blacklands of Texas, and the four people who decide to try to spend a night inside. It's kind of a cool idea, a camera man, reporter, psychic and a relative of the people who supposedly died in the house enter with video cameras to record their findings.
But the problem with the movie is that the actors are very poor. I know its supposed to make the movie more realistic, but it really detracts from the experience when you're groaning at how badly acted it is. Watch the Blair witch project, then watch this and you'll see what i mean. It's hard to get scared when they do such a poor job of making you feel that this is really happening. Some of the effects are cool, like when they discover Travis' body in a bedroom with a pentagram carved in his chest and legs apparently chopped off by an unknown force. But everything leading up to this pretty much sucks, it takes so long to get going that most will likely give up watching before anything good happens.
Road Rash 64 (1999)
The hard-hitting racer returns on the N64
You may remember road rash from the Genesis or whatever way back when, but as far as I'm concerned, this is the best Road Rash title so far.
Road Rash 64 is an over the top arcade style racing game. Basically you take to the road against rival bike gangs, weapons in hand, and do anything you can to reach the finish line before everyone else. This includes beating fellow riders senseless with steel bats, crowbars, spiked clubs and any other matter of deadly weapons. And just wait until the cops get involved.
This all occurs at speeds in excess of 130mp/h. And it only gets faster as you progress through the game's levels where you earn cash to buy new and faster bikes. You are given the option to join one of 2 gangs as you progress - the Rumblers, with the more traditional touring bikes, or the Thrashers, who roll with faster, more modern ninja bikes not unlike stuff from Kawasaki etc.
One of the great things about RR64 is that no two races are ever the same, thanks to the random nature of the riders and vehicles on the road. You'll also have to watch out for the various signs and electric wire poles littered on the sides of the road. One wrong move and you're gonna take a nasty spill. Which is something the AI tends to do a lot, to hilarious effect. Now, the graphics do take a hit in the game, due to all the racers and action on screen, and to keeps things moving smoothly. But they get the job done.
Overall, road rash 64 is a wild ride, and any N64 owner would be crazy not to pick up this game.
Half-Life 2 (2004)
Valve really outdid themselves with this one
What can I say, Half Life 2 is a phenomenal game, through and through. From the moment you first play it, you just know you're in for an epic and rich experience. After a half-decade in development and a leak on the internet that delayed the game's release for about a year, all that time in the cooker really shows. With valve's new source engine, they were able to create environments and graphics never seen before in a game, pretty much every area in the game is amazing to look at in some way, even the gritty, bloodstained alleyways are good looking a lot of the time! With all the objects just lying around in the game world, it really brings a whole new level of interactivity to the player. Then once you get the gravity gun later in the game, the levels really become a playground for you to mess around in.
HL2 is no slouch in the sound department either, all the voice acting comes across as convincing and really immerses you even more into the game's "Cutscenes", which can't really be called that because they play out in real time sequences that don't interrupt the action the way traditional cutscenes do. You can tell valve really invested a lot of time and money into the character designs as well, the facial animations are top-notch and really do the voice acting justice. The music is somewhat more subtle and based on ambiance I guess you could say, except in a few moments where the fast-paced techno tracks really get you pumped up for the action-heavy parts in the game.
Gameplay is what you'd expect from an FPS game. It's fun and easy to get into, with a nice selection of weapons too, which range from Gordon's trademark Crowbar to the always fun Laser guided Rocket Launcher.If you've played the first Half Life, you should have no trouble getting into the game, as the controls are basically the same, and even if you haven't. With the mouse-wheel bringing up a menu from which to choose the different weapons for easier selection, and a lot of the weapons also have secondary fire in addition to the primary use.
Overall, HL2 is a must-buy and shouldn't be missed for any FPS fan or gamer for that matter, you won't be disappointed.