On tonight's X-Play, we review Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door. It’s been nearly a year since Nintendo treated us to the Game Boy Advance’s excellent RPG romp, Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga. In what we can only hope will be an annual tradition, Paper Mario appears just in time to wash away that year’s worth of cliché-derived RPG cynicism away, cleansing our palate for the burned villages, demon kings, and dance numbers that are sure to come in 2005. With its rock-solid gameplay, wonderfully self-aware story, and excellent presentation, Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door is an excellent RPG and one of the better GameCube games to date.
Many gamers look upon Myst as some kind of pariah. It sold millions of copies and was largely considered the non-gamer’s game. Anything that popular with the general public couldn’t possibly be good, right? Now that we have a little historical perspective on the matter, X-Play feels it’s safe to say that Myst is definitely part of the gaming canon. Even after spawning several sequels and remakes, nothing has quite captured the magic of the original Myst. Myst VI: Revelation is about as close as we’re going to get to the spirit of that first game. Although there are a few references to Riven and Exile in Myst IV, you don’t need have played them to understand what’s going on. In many ways Revelation plays as a direct sequel to the very first Myst.
We're pretty used to war propaganda at this point, but Eidos has still managed to come up with a game that feels disgustingly one-sided. Shellshock: Nam '67 opens with a simplistic rundown explaining why we went in to help the good southerners against the bad Communists and the idiotic summation, "…by '75 it was all over." Hey, sounds like we won! Then again, this is a title that purports to reveal all the true horrors of Vietnam. Shellshock certainly revels in gunshot wounds and atrocities, but even with better content, it would still be crap.
X-Play has been through enough games to know that if the word "crisis" appears in a game’s title not once, but twice, separated only by a tenuous colon, the situation won’t be resolved without a few thousand rounds of submachine gunfire. Terrorists have taken over a huge building complex, and it’s up to you to take it back in the name of freedom. So, since you’re going to the trouble of saving the place, you think they’d mind if you shot the place up real good in the process? Nah.
Sony knows a good thing when it sees it. And while the gameplay of EverQuest translates poorly to consoles, there's no reason an offline RPG can't further exploit the land of Norrath on the PlayStation 2. Enter Champions of Norrath, which turned a few heads last year. Barely 12 months later, we're already crawling though a build of the sequel, Champions: Return to Arms. Stacking up to the first game seems a safe bet, so tun in tonight to get the skinny on this online action RPG.moreless
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