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Video Game Reviews

By SCOTT STEINLE
© St. Petersburg Times
published March 31, 2003


Defender

  • System: PlayStation 2
  • Company: Midway
  • Price: $39.99
  • Rating: Teen
  • Grade: B

Nearly every gamer has played or knows about the old Defender arcade game. Now comes the 21st century version.

Defender is about an alien race of bugs called the Manti, who came to Earth and virtually destroyed it. The Manti survive by consuming human DNA and converting humans into mutants. Your mission as one of the Defenders is to wipe out all Manti from the galaxy. One of your objectives is to rescue and protect human colonists on other planets while destroying as many Manti as you can.

You can do this with six different ships that you acquire throughout the game, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. You can modify your ships with credits you get from killing Manti. You get new weapons and health and speed power-ups.

The controls in Defender are great. They are easily learned and fit the game well. The graphics are also very good. Explosions and smoke trails look fairly realistic, but the environments and the ships are outstanding. One drawback to Defender is that it doesn't take long to complete the game. The quality of play in Defender is good. However, no remake can top the original arcade game.

NBA Shootout 2003

  • System: PlayStation 2
  • Company: Sony
  • Price: $39.99
  • Rating: Everyone
  • Grade: D+

They shoot! They miiissss! NBA Shootout 2003 is okay, but it isn't as good as other basketball games.

The game play has many problems. It is relatively slow; even in turbo mode, the players don't run very fast. It is almost impossible to steal the ball without committing a foul. Also, the computer's shots seem to go in the basket a lot easier than yours.

The graphics are not outstanding, either. They are better than PS One graphics, but not as good as some other sports games I've seen for PlayStation 2, such as Madden NFL 2003.

The best feature in the game is the career mode. It allows you to create your own player, team and jersey, then take your player through a basketball career.

-- SCOTT STEINLE, Times correspondent

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