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Video Game Reviews


© St. Petersburg Times, published April 9, 2001

Toy Story Racer

SYSTEM: PlayStation

MAKER: Activision

PRICE: $39.99

Toy Story Racer continues the tradition of cart games that Mario started. This one piles on the challenges, the most fun of which are the battle levels. It's not a bad game for kids who loved the movies.

Grade: B-

Army Men: World War Final Front

SYSTEM: PlayStation


PRICE: $39.99

This series keeps chugging along. The question is, why? This game is a little better than the arcade flop, Green Rogue, but it's just a lot of moving and shooting.

Grade: D+

Championship Motocross 2001, featuring Ricky Carmichael

SYSTEM: PlayStation


PRICE: $39.99

The play in this bike game is as simple as it gets. But it's fast and at least playable. Still, it's not worth all that much time.

Grade: C

Aladdin: Nasira's Revenge

SYSTEM: PlayStation


PRICE: $39.99

Aladdin is a solid action game geared toward kids. It won't challenge older gamers and doesn't do anything particularly original.

Grade: C+

Triple Play Baseball

SYSTEM: PlayStation


PRICE: $39.99

Triple Play has the graphical edge over other baseball games for PlayStation. Other than that, it's pretty standard baseball fare.

Grade: C+

High Heat Major League Baseball 2002

SYSTEM: PlayStation


PRICE: $39.99

High Heat has the opposite problem as Triple Play. While the game play is fun and the spontaneous replays are nice, it's marred by awful graphics. Still, I'll take play over looks any day.

Grade: C+

-- Robb Guido is an avid gamer who lives in Tampa.

* * *

MechWarrior 4: Vengeance

Platform: Windows

Company: Microsoft

Price: $39.99

The latest installment of the now-defunct FASA Interactive's battlebot franchise features impressive graphics and challenging missions, but just a weakly explored story line that seems lifted out of Frank Herbert's Dune.

You are thrown into the role of Ian Drusari, son of a duke in a powerful noble house who loses his home world to a rival clan (sort of like the clash between the Atreides and Harkonnen houses in Dune).

It's up to you to lead a revolution of ragtag warriors against House Steiner and reclaim your birthright (sort of like Paul Atreides and his Fremen warriors in Dune).

But, forget the story; the developers certainly did. MechWarrior 4 is all about the bombastic giant metal machines and opportunities to blow stuff up with same.

On this, the game definitely delivers.

With stunning graphics, you'll travel from deserts to icy wastelands to forests, pitting your Mech against the enemy as many times as it takes to get it right.

The controls have been simplified from past games, which should be appreciated by newcomers to the series.

And, once you've conquered the computer-ready campaign and tire of skirmishing against artificial intelligence, you can challenge opponents over the Internet in multiplayer mode.


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