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Video game review

By ROBB GUIDO

© St. Petersburg Times, published September 18, 2000


Ecco the Dolphin: Defender of the Future

SYSTEM: Dreamcast

PRICE: $49.99

MAKER: Sega

Ecco for Dreamcast is so beautiful and so clever, it almost made me wish I could be a dolphin. The more I swam and tried to solve the riddles of Ecco's vast levels, the more I appreciated what an excellent job Ecco's creators did with this game. It's a bit slow-paced, which may turn off some, but those who like 3-D action will not want to pass up this one.

Grade: A+

Power Stone 2

SYSTEM: Dreamcast

PRICE: $49.99

MAKER: Capcom

Power Stone 2 is the definitive four-player fighting game for Dreamcast. There's so much crazy action in this title that players are likely to lose track of their characters. In addition to 120 items for use in combat, levels are completely dynamic, taking players on a sub ride and even dropping them from the sky. It's best enjoyed with friends.

Grade: A-

NCAA GameBreaker 2001

SYSTEM: PlayStation

PRICE: $39.99

MAKER: 989 Sports

There isn't much difference between NFL GameDay 2001 and NCAA GameBreaker 2001, except that GameBreaker offers 115 college teams, commentary by Keith Jackson and team fight songs streaming from the stands. Personally, I prefer the trick plays of college to the standard formations of the pros.

Grade: B+

Lego Rock Raiders

SYSTEM: PlayStation

PRICE: $19.99

MAKER: Lego Media

It was apparent after blowing right through this game that Rock Raiders was directed at a decidedly younger crowd. Building helpful vehicles and breaking through rock to uncover crystals definitely held my attention. It's just that with only six levels, the game ends before it has a chance to develop.

Grade: C+

WWF Royal Rumble

SYSTEM: Dreamcast

PRICE: $39.99

MAKER: THQ

It's not what this game has, but what it lacks that keeps it from standing out. There are no tag matches, no color commentary and, most unfortunately, no soap opera-like story lines. On the upside, Royal Rumble mode throws as many as nine wrestlers in the ring at once and lets up to four players participate in the action. That alone makes it worth a play.

Grade: B-

Monster Rancher Battle Card: Episode 2

SYSTEM: PlayStation

PRICE: $39.99

MAKER: Tecmo

This game struck me as a blatant imitation of the Pokemon card game for Game Boy, which means anyone who liked that probably will like this one as well. On the other hand, those who aren't into cutesy monster battles probably should steer clear.

Grade: C+

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

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