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Video game reviews

By JONATHAN BOCKMAN

© St. Petersburg Times, published September 16, 2002


MLB Slugfest 2003

MLB Slugfest 2003

System: PlayStation 2

Company: Midway Sports

Price: $49.99

Rating: E

If you like NFL Blitz, Red Card Soccer or NHL Hitz, then you'll love Slugfest. Right when I started playing I knew I liked it.

There are six game modes: Quickplay, Challenge, Season, Tournament, Options and Memory, and Theater. Challenge Mode allows you to play all 30 major league teams. In Season mode, pick a team and lead it to the World Series. There are five skill levels. Some other games are really frustrating because you master all the skill levels, and there aren't any more. But on Slugfest, there is always another skill level waiting after you overcome the last one.

The game loads quickly. While it is loading, the announcers entertain you with one of their funny conversations while the game gives you tips on how to play better. Every once in awhile, the batter will charge the mound when he gets hit. It's funny when you see the pitcher lying there while the batter jogs to first base. It's too bad that player faces don't resemble real players' and that the umpires have a huge strike zone. If a pitch is inside or outside, they'll call it a ball. But anything over the plate, no matter how high or low it is, will be called a strike. But even with the negative factors, I still think this is a great game.

Grade: A+

Stuntman

System: PlayStation 2

Company: Atari

Price: $49.99

Rating: Teen

This game lets you show your skills as a stunt driver. There are six modes: Stuntman, Career, Stunt Arena, Training Games, Load Game, Setup and DVD Extras. In the mode Training Games, you perform precision, speed and stunt tests to show how good a driver you are.

Stunt Arena allows you to build your own stunt track. You can make it a difficult track by adding more ramps and smashables. When you're finished building it, you can drive your track to see how well you can do, or crash your car on purpose just to see it in a huge wreck or in flames. On Stuntman Career, you earn cash and better vehicles as you improve until you end up in Hollywood making movies.

The graphics in the game are mediocre, and you can't win the game in a short time. This isn't my favorite type of game, but if you like taking risks and being adventurous, this game is for you.

Rating: B-

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