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Star-Bulletin Features


Sunday, June 10, 2001


[ MAUKA Star MAKAI ]

Video game art

Patience, determination are
key to Acclaim’s racer

VIDEO GAMES



Reviews By Shawn 'Speedy' Lopes
Star-Bulletin



"RC Revenge Pro"
PlayStation 2 (Acclaim)

The latest in a series of radio-control racing titles for Acclaim, RC Revenge Pro for the PlayStation 2 was released earlier this year after much anticipation. The first thing to remember when trying to master this game, however, is patience. Whether you choose to be a fleet F1 racer, a hardy 4x4 or a goliath semi (there are 10 vehicles and five bonus ones to earn, plus RC boat versions of each as well), you must first learn your vehicle's tendencies and become familiar with the hazards of each track.

"Track" may be too limited a term in RC Revenge Pro, actually. Beginning with a futuristic lunar base, each successive level is a fanciful world unto itself. Haunted mansions, savage jungles and H.R. Pufnstuf-inspired landscapes abound. Adding an element of strategy to the mix, special offensive and defensive weapons may be picked up along the way and used against your challengers.

The cars here may not respond as easily here as vehicles in other racing titles, but that's because they drive amazingly like real radio-controlled racers. Naturally, composure and dogged determination pay big dividends.

At first, the courses seem ridiculously unmanageable and the road hazards frustrating and unpredictable. Those well-earned leads are never secure, as a variety of weapons assailed upon you can easily take your racer from first place to last in the blink of an eye. Of course, that's all part of the fun. Once you become familiar enough with the game to anticipate every pitfall, hairpin turn and deployed weapon, the game gets much easier, and the competition becomes considerably more enjoyable.

Got a few wacky ideas for new courses? Go ahead! RC Revenge Pro features an intriguing create-a-track option for nearly infinite possibilities. As far as graphics go, the courses are already pushing incredible. One can only imagine the countless hours it took to dream up the wild, fantastic scenery each consecutive level provides. Keen-eared gamers will also appreciate the detail given to sound effects (gentle rain, rushing water, distinctly individual car motors), although the soundtrack -- though not inappropriate for some of the more lighthearted scenarios -- could use more of an edge.


CHEATS AND CODES

Unlock all tracks: At main menu, press L1, R1, R2, square, circle.
Unlock all cars: At main menu, press L1, L2, R1, R2, circle, square.
Unlock next cup: Press L1, R1, R2, L2.



Video game art

Realism makes big
play in ‘Triple Play’

VIDEOGAMES



Reviews By Shawn 'Speedy' Lopes
Star-Bulletin


"Triple Play Baseball"
EA Sports (PlayStation 2)

AS USUAL, the detail-minded team at EA Sports has created an unusually realistic and very entertaining title in "Triple Play Baseball" for the PS2. Through numerous innovations in play and the use of blueprints from current Major League Baseball stadiums and motion-capture technology (actual MLB players were used, of course), TPB now allows for more flexibility and ranks as one of the most playable baseball titles of all time.

Players are modeled after real-life MLB athletes whose every pertinent strength and weakness are accounted for. As in earlier titles, weapons in each pitcher's arsenal (curve ball, slider, sinker, etc.) are rated by effectiveness, but for once, consistent base hitters aren't simply lumped together with the league's power batters.

True to the laws of physics, mathematical computations account for such variables as wind, air resistance and momentum, making thundering hits careen off into foul territory more often than they reach the stands.

Although this may put off those who play baseball titles only to knock out homers, those who crave more realism will be amazed by what they find in this game. Besides, stratosphere-exploring hits come a dime a dozen in both TPB's rookie mode and Big League Challenge option.


CHEATS AND CODES:

Create a player and name him SLUGGER: Whenever bases are loaded, he'll hit a grand slam.
Create a player and name him STRONG ARM: His pitches will exceed 100 mph.



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