Resident Evil 4 (GCN)
Action 11 January 2005
The fourth major installment of the cult series of survival horrors created by Capcom. In the game the player assumes the role of ex-cop Leon S. Kennedy, a character well known from the second entry in the franchise. As a special agent responsible for protecting the presidential family, he goes to Europe in order to find the missing daughter of the US president. The trail leads to a small village in Spain. The village is controlled by a mysterious sect and the citizens are infected with a virus which causes mutations. During the game one will face hordes of zombies as well as more demanding bosses, such as giant monsters or the powerful leader of the sect, Osmund Saddler. Resident Evil 4 retains the dark feel of the previous installments and the game contains puzzles, but gameplay mechanics were greatly changed and the new engine allowed the developers to create faster and more dynamic action sequences. The game also contains many quick-time events.
Need for Speed: Most Wanted (2005) (GCN)
Racing 15 November 2005
The ninth installment in a legendary racing game franchise created by Electronic Arts company. After two Underground games, featuring illegal night street races, the franchise went back to its roots, combining ideas from the two most recent titles with classic elements. The player’s goal is to climb to the top of a black list of the most wanted drivers. Again you get to explore a huge virtual city, taking on different racing challenges. These include circuit, sprint, drag, elimination, time trial, speed challenge, and police pursuit. After completing enough of these you can challenge subsequent drivers from the black list. Apart from elements typical for the series, such as licensed cars and diverse soundtrack, the game features complex car customization, both in terms of appearance and performance.
The Sims 2 (GCN)
Simulation 24 October 2005
A sequel to the bestselling human life simulation game – The Sims (2000). The Sims 2 was developed by Maxis Studio (SimCity, EA Land, and others) in cooperation with the Electronic Arts company. Players again take care of virtual characters leading them through their entire lives – from early childhood till elderly age. The main goal is to achieve as high Life Score as possible, which stands for how well a sim leads his/her life. When compared with its predecessor, The Sims 2 offers much more complex character creator and a wider array of available objects. A new, more efficient game engine allowed for presenting the life of the sims in fully 3D graphics.
Need for Speed: Underground 2 (GCN)
Racing 17 November 2004
A sequel to Need for Speed: Underground, a best-selling 2003 game from Electronic Arts, which changed the shape of one of the most popular car racing franchises. The game takes you to a virtual metropolis that thrives after dark. For the first time in the history of the franchise, the city is completely open for exploration. As you ride around its streets you can challenge the drivers you meet on the way or learn more about the favorite locations of the street racing community. The gameplay mechanics did not change much; rather, the developers focused on an even more detailed recreations of licensed cars and car parts used for tuning. The game’s graphics were noticeably improved, featuring all sorts of new visual effects. The soundtrack keeps equally high level, as usually featuring songs by famous artists across a wide spectrum of genres.
The Sims (GCN)
Simulation 14 January 2003
A bestselling life simulator developed by Maxis, a studio that specializes in the genre (they've created SimCity, SimTown and other titles). The Sims enables the player to take care of a virtual family of Sims. During the game the player must take care of various needs of his characters – starting with typically physiological ones (eating, toilet, hygiene etc.), through social relations, to career. The player has great freedom in expanding his family’s house, which can be furnished with various items that will be useful for the Sims. The gameplay mechanics are based on very simple principles and lack any violence, making the game a good title for casual players. A specific humor and large number of funny animations of character’s reactions are worth mentioning.
Resident Evil 2 (1998) (GCN)
Adventure 14 January 2003
The second installment in the best-selling survival horror action-adventure game series. Similarly to the original installment, the game has been developed by the Japanese studio Capcom. The action of Resident Evil 2 is set after the events shown in the first installment – nearly all citizens of Raccoon City have been infected by a mysterious virus, which changed them into bloodthirsty zombies. Once again, the player gets to control two characters – this time around it's Leon, a young police officer and Claire, a journalist. Their task is to save Raccoon City from complete destruction and stop the virus before it spreads all over the world. In Resident Evil 2, gameplay revolves around exploration and solving environmental puzzles – another important aspect of the game is fighting numerous foes using a wide range of weapons, limited by scarce amounts of ammunition. As befits an installment in the Resident Evil series, in order to survive and escape consecutive dangers, the player has to carefully manage the supplies they acquire on their adventure.
Neighbours from Hell (GCN)
Logic 01 November 2004
A very humorous strategy game with adventure game features. In Neighbours from Hell the player is tasked with making the life of his neighbors as miserable as possible. The player assumes the role of a participant of a reality show who is tasked with presenting the toxic relations between the inhabitants of a single block of flats to wider audience. The action is shown from the side perspective and the game consists of fourteen scenarios of different difficulties and types of tasks to complete. Not only must the player set various traps and pull sophisticated pranks on his neighbors (for example by breaking household items), but he must watch for dangers as well. Some flats are guarded by dogs that make completing the task harder. During the game the player is constantly forced to improvise and discover unknown properties of seemingly useless items. The humorous tone of the game is highlighted by nice, cartoonish graphics and a catchy soundtrack. The game uses a simple, intuitive interface.
Resident Evil Zero (GCN)
Adventure 12 November 2002
A side entry in the classic survival horror series from Capcom; originally developed exclusively for Nintendo GameCube console, but later released for Nintendo Wii (under the name Resident Evil Archives: Resident Evil Zero). Story-wise, it is a prequel to the entire series, telling about the special force unit S.T.A.R.S. Bravo Team, which has been sent to Raccoon City, but never reached it. We take control of Rebecca Chambers, a lone survivor of the squad, after a helicopter crash forced her to join forces with former convict Billy Coen. Gameplay isn’t much different from previous games in the series, introducing tagging. We can freely swap between both protagonists, each of which has unique strong and weak points. This feature is crucial for gameplay, with some tasks requiring close cooperation of both characters.
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (GCN)
Adventure 03 November 2003
An action game with RPG elements – The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, developed by Visceral Games in cooperation with EA Redwood Shores, is based on the license of a hit movie by the same name. The game allows the players to assume roles of over a dozen characters known from the silver screen – one can play as Frodo, Gandalf, Aragorn, Legolas, and many others. Player’s task is to destroy The Ring of Power and defeat the Dark Lord Sauron. The gameplay builds on battles against hordes of enemies. All the bloodshed takes place across twelve diverse battlefields – these include Minas Tirith, Fields of Pelennor, The Black Gate and The Path of the Dead. As the story progresses, one can develop particular characters, gaining access to more powerful combos that can be used in all the battles to come. An additional treat, featured in the PC / Windows and home consoles releases of the game, are the cutscenes taken from the third part of The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy, along with the soundtrack composed by Howard Shore. The players can enjoy this experience either in a single player mode, or accompanied by one more player.
Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc (GCN)
Arcade 02 March 2003
The third installment in the series of adventures of the eponymous friendly hero. Released for PC Windows and consoles, the game is an action platformer. Rayman and his friends, Globox and Murfy, have to face the army of Hoodlums. As you play, you explore new, colorful locations, from beautiful, magical places to ruined areas inhabited by hostile creatures. Visually, the game looks better than the second installment — the textures and animations have been improved. The Game Boy Advance release, however, is a 2D platform game utilizing a side view perspective. In this edition, you need to find a cure for Globox, who accidentally swallowed the evil Dark Lum Lord. It is also worth noting that the production is among the visually best ones for Nintendo handhelds.
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory (GCN)
Action 25 March 2005
The third installment in the popular third-person stealth action game series starring special agent Sam Fisher. The game is set in the near future, where a conflict between North Korea and Japan escalates, unintentionally fanned by the United States. This is when our unfailing protagonist steps into action. His task is to reconcile the interests of all countries involved in the conflict. When compared with previous installments in the series, Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory offers a great deal of changes, both in visuals and mechanics. Individual missions are of non-linear structure and you can reach your goal in several different ways, while completing optional objectives along the way. It is also noteworthy that the character can make use of new moves, attacks, and combat techniques, as well as new types of gadgets and weapons. Moreover, there is no shortage of multiplayer modes, starting with the online co-op mode.
Hitman 2: Silent Assassin (GCN)
Action 19 June 2003
The sequel to Io-Interactive's well-received stealth action game from 2000. The game’s story starts in a Sicilian monastery, where the protagonist of the first game, Agent 47, tries to forget about his former deeds by seeking atonement in peaceful life and prayer. Unfortunately, he is soon tracked down by the Russian mafia and forced to get back to work. He quickly learns that he is being manipulated and eventually becomes a target himself, hunted by highly-trained ex-Spetsnaz operatives. Hitman 2: Silent Assassin is a set of 21 new missions set in six main locations all over the world. As you play, you make use of the protagonist’s talents, such as reconnaissance, camouflage, sneaking, and covering his tracks. The game offers a selection of more than 30 diverse weapons, including brand new tools, such as crossbows, poisonous darts, stun ammo, and even chloroform.
Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones (GCN)
Adventure 01 December 2005
Another installment in the highly-rated action adventure game franchise following on the eponymous Prince, who in the past carelessly unsealed the mythical sands of time. After events of the previous part of the game, the protagonist return to his home – Babylon – plunged in the chaos of war. Soon it turns out that the previous actions of the hero led to the birth of his dark alter ego, whose spirit gradually takes over control over the protagonist's will. Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones expands the mechanics implemented in the two previous installments and introduces new improvements to the combat system, as well as some innovative uses for the dagger of time and skills unavailable before, like sneaking. The biggest novelty offered by the game is the possibility of controlling two characters different with personalities, fighting styles, and abilities.
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter (GCN)