Games: 6,848 | Reviews: 6,632 | Previews: 8,504 | News: 13,314 | Images: 199,410 | Videos: 13,426
Battlefield 3 GameStop, Inc.
Out of the Park Baseball 11 [PC]





Final Fight: Double Impact is a compilation of two classic arcade games finally made available through the PSN

8.0

Superb
Difficulty:
Hard
Time Spent:
100 or More Hours
The Bottom Line:
"Old-school"

Summary

I can't tell you how excited I was to see Final Fight come out on the PSN. I had never heard of Magic Sword before, but it ended up being just as awesome as Final Fight in many ways. These are both two classic beat 'em up games that are a lot of fun for just about anyone to play. Not to mention that they're co-op.

GAMEPLAY - Final Fight is a game where you just go through a city beating up anything in your past. I was a little disappointed that this was the original SNES version, because I think that version tends to be very difficult. Luckily you're able to keep continuing after losing all your lives. Magic Sword is pretty much the same thing, except that there are ways to upgrade your stats and have a hireling. It almost feels like an arcade side-scroller version of Diablo 2. Both games are awesome, and ones you'll want to play over and over again. - 10/10

STORY - Magic Sword doesn't seem to have much of a story to speak of. You're just climbing this tower-thing, which is like 50 stories tall. Final Fight is all about rescuing Haggar's daughter, who is also Cody's girlfriend, if I remember correctly. Nothing too special, but you have to remember that games back during the time these came out didn't need the greatest stories. - 7/10

GRAPHICS - Again, the graphics for these games at the time they were released were pretty great, even though they don't look too special nowadays. - 7/10

SOUND - Yet another dated aspect to these games. The music is great on both of these, even though the sound effects are pretty cheesy by today's standards. You can only really blame this on age though. - 7.5/10

LENGTH/REPLAY VALUE - These games aren't incredibly long, but they're fun to play if you just feel like beating people up. I've played through Final Fight so many times over the years, and I've never gotten tired of it. I could see myself playing through Magic Sword more than once, even though it's a little harder to stick through since it seems like it's level after level without much variation. - 8.5/10

BOTTOM LINE - These two games are absolutely great. If you enjoy beat 'em up games, you might consider checking these two out. They both show their age, but they are also presented in an arcade form, so it's forgivable. These games should be welcomed additions to your PSN game selection, and be a lot of fun to play when nothing else sounds good. - 8/10




Two strange tastes that taste strange together.

7.5

Great
Difficulty:
Just Right
Time Spent:
10 Hours or Less
The Bottom Line:
"All it's cracked up to be"

Summary

Final Fight: Double Impact is an unlikely combination of two arcade releases from the early 90s, bundled together in a nifty little $10 value package. Though it's hard to not feel like there is a sense of shame in the advertising of this game, like they Capcom marketing team doesn't want you to know that Magic Sword is included in the bundle. "In this great retro package, you get the legendary FINAL FIGHT and another game, vote Hagger for Mayor!" Odd.

Which is a shame, as I liked Magic Sword. Now, don't mistake liking for loving Magic Sword. Magic Sword is not an all-time great release. In fact, Magic Sword is forgettable enough to make it exempt from the butterfly effect. If Magic Sword was never released, Tupac and Biggie Smalls would still have died and Sinead O'Connor would've still torn a photo of the Pope in two. (Whereas the course of history would have significantly been altered with Final Fight; in particular, the world would've been robbed of that great pink Hagger-shark picture.) Platformers and medieval fantasy-based games were more frequent in the early 90s than today. So Magic Sword at least stands out more in 2010, if just for being more far-removed from the days when Conan the Barbarian was a popular entity.

In Magic Sword, you play as Conan's long lost brother, (for the purposes of this review, lets call him "Phonan") and you are trying to beat up some demon dude and smash his orb of death. Doing so entails climbing many floors of his overcompensating giant tower, filled with dungeons, fire-themed dungeons, water-themed dungeons and many more dungeons. Phonan will run, jump and pull off slashing attacks, and you can press both buttons simultaneously for an everything-on-the-screen-dies super attack that drains your health and would normally lead to a lighter, quarter-free wallet at the arcades.

Part of my admiration for Magic Sword is that it's so darned thematically careless; you'll fight your typical medieval dragons and and orcs, but there are also mummies, samurais and evil Easter Island heads. Magic Sword's big, unique hook is that you can use keys found during the game to open dungeons and free a partner that'll launch projectiles behind Phonan's back. While these include predictable fantasy types like the thief, the knight and the Amazonian woman, there is also less suspecting characters like the ninja and the Disney Gargoyle.

Then you play the game co-operatively with a friend, and you have two Phonans, with their own partner, flinging projectiles at the giant screen filled with mummies and gargoyles. The action gets hectic at times, and you'll count your lucky stars this version of Magic Sword has unlimited continues. (Because nothing sucks like running to the change machine for more quarters and finding out the blasted device is jammed.) Magic Sword is also the first arcade game I can think of with a moral choice system; at the end of the game, you get to choice a good or bad ending, and while both lead to a predictable outcome, the bad translation of text is still intact in this Double Impact port. I can also argue that Magic Sword, for better or worse, is longer than most arcade games, and finishing this game will take a stretch of an hour or two. But the action is zany, the bosses are fun, and this version of Magic Sword has all the fun options included in Final Fight port as well.

I should probably talk about Final Fight at some point, eh? Final Fight is an ever-popular beat-em-up that may or may not have been in on its own private joke. In this game, the mayor of Metro City, along with his buddies that just happen to be karate experts, take the law in their own hands to beat up hoodlums and rescue his daughter from a crime lord with mighty mutton chops.

Replaying Final Fight brought me both great moments of bliss and sadness. I was overjoyed because Final Fight is still Final Fight. Pounding a single button to repeatedly punch, kick, throw and piledrive enemies is rather cathartic. This game relieves stress. There are still all of the great odd Final Fight-isms. Health-recovering food still comes out of trash bins, thugs still casually walk out of doors into your fist, and you still have all of the wacky "gangster" types. In the 90s, depicting gangsters while avoiding the brand of racism against African-Americans involved such thug archetypes as: the yellow-dressed punk with the radioactive-logo on his jacket, the skinny biker chick with pink hair, a Native American that bleeds knives when hit, and a family of Andre the Giants. There's a surprising amount of personality in Metro City, whether it's fighting a Shogun warrior in a wrestling ring or gaining health by eating a boss's chewed-out gum off of the floor. This is a fun kind of weird.

At the same time, my heart sinks because I know that people who didn't grow up in the time period, playing games like Final Fight are going to be an enigma. And I know that there is now a large percentage of gamers that fit into this category. I was having a conversation with classmates recently, and almost everyone at the table didn't know who Kurt Cobain was. I imagine THOSE are the kind of people that will have no appreciation for Final Fight. I imagine them asking questions like "why is there only one punch button? Which is weak attack and which is strong attack? Where is the air combo? Why did I just finish this game? Why are all of the main characters dressed like they belong in the Pride parade?" All of the nostalgic charm and simplicity of Final Fight is going to be lost on today's audience.

And yes, Final Fight is a short game, an average playthrough could take an hour. This game was designed to devour quarters, and having unlimited continues means that finishing the game is a matter of attrition rather than a matter of how much allowance you brought to the arcade. But there is fun to be had in knocking the snot out of the likes of people with named like "Damnd" and "Sodom", especially with an ally in tow. Both Final Fight and Magic Sword have pro-co-op options, allowing a friend or random stranger to hop into your game if you so chose to allow it. And both games are immensely more entertaining if you have a fellow muscular man at your side for which to do the Arnold Predator handshake with.

And there are a few other nice little options too. You can elect to play the game with either the original soundtrack of a funky-fly remixed rendition. The visual options are especially delicious for today's widescreen, HD generation. Such visual options include playing in full widescreen with smoothed-out visuals or, in the ultimate irony, using your High Definition screen to mimic the phosphorous glow and curving of an arcade CRT monitor, complete with surrounding artwork from the arcade machine. The people whom made this game are very pro-nostalgia.

Finally, there are a few in-game achievements, because every game today needs an achievement system separate from the official console achievement. Though Final Fight at least is short enough that you'll at least feel inclined to take a stab at most of its achievements. Most of the treats are pieces of artwork, but the centerpiece of the package is an episode of the incredibly cheesy Street Fighter cartoon with the Final Fight cast.

Should you buy Final Fight: Double Impact? Well, if you have a fondness for Final Fight (or if you want to surprise me and say you have a fondness for Magic Sword), then sure. If you're a product of today's gaming generation, then you may be a bit baffled as to where the appeal lies in these two 90s fossils. But even then, its $10, a relatively minor investment for a package that ensures at least a good 2 or 3 hours of entertainment.

3 stars





Same ole game for same old price.

1.0

Abysmal

Summary

Well this game just keeps repeating the last iteration with a handful of tweaks for the same old price year after year. Nothing majorly new here and without GRAPHICS ANIMATIONS representing of the players it starts to get dull and boring. I can get the same outcomes with OOTPBB 6.5a and all that is needed is to download (free) an install the Lahmens yearly compiled stats.

If you don't already own any copies of OOTPBB it's a good TEXT sim, but, if you own 6.5a or newer there's really no need to upgrade to this. The game needs animated graphics badly at least to the tune of Baseball Mogul 2010 which I'm enjoying moreso than OOTPBB now. OOTPBB has merely a floating huge baseball that flies out into the outfield but the text may read INFIELD POP FLY to 2b lmao.

Notice even the pro reviewers here didn't give it the score they gave it last year. So shows the developer really didn't put much into it this year.




Best baseball game ever, period.

10

Editors' Choice
Difficulty:
Just Right
Time Spent:
100 or More Hours
The Bottom Line:
"Instant classic"

Summary

OOTP 11 is another stellar release of the highly touted baseball management game series. I disagree with the reviewer that this year's edition is not a huge update, in fact it is one of the biggest steps forward since the invention of the game. The reviewer fails to mention several big new additions, for example the recoded fielding engine, dynamically evolving leagues, story-lines, team owners or the completely overhauled amateur draft. There are over 50 brand new features in total. Which Madden release gives you that?

All in all this is the perfect game for people who like fantasy baseball or the idea of managing a baseball franchise. It is highly addictive and just plain fun.

There is no other baseball game on the market that comes even close to OOTP 11. The only 'competitor' on the PC, Baseball Mogul, is light-years behind, comparing it to OOTP is like comparing a 1986 Honda to a brand new Porsche. No contest.

If you are a baseball fan, get this game now. It is simply amazing!




Some quality updates to a quality game.

8.0

Superb
Difficulty:
Easy
Time Spent:
20 to 40 Hours
The Bottom Line:
"Best in series"

Summary

I have played three of the baseball text sims out there (OOTP, Baseball Mogul, and Puresim Baseball). These three games are career-oriented games that let you carry your team foward year after year and try to give the player the control a GM and manager would have. These types of games are not 'replay' games that try to replicate a particular season.

Out of these I think OOTP is the best option. when I tried Baseball Mogul several versions ago, the results it came up with seemed pretty wonky. Maybe it has improved, but since it was quite poor when I tried it I haven't bothered going back. Puresim is a pretty good game. The results it produces are quite good, but it lacks many features that OOTP has (this may be a plus for some baseball gamers, but not me).

OOTP puts out believable results, lets you configure almost any type of league you can think of, and tweak many of the rules. The contracts that you can offer your players are quite detailed. The minor league system is fairly robust. You can even play with realistic park factors (i.e. some stadiums are easier to hit HRs in, etc). You can play with fictional players or historical players imported from the Lahman database.

The fielding model in this version is much improved. OOTP supports facegens. These are computer generated models based on photographs. This gives more atmosphere to historical leagues as the players sometimes look quite like their real life counterpart and appear in the correct uniform for the team they are on in OOTP.

There are some things that are less than perfect in the game (trade AI, AI roster management) but they are not game breakers. It just makes it easier to win (that is why I put the difficulty at easy). The game is deep and has lots of things to keep you busy. If Markus at OOTP can improve some of the AI oddities he will have a real gem. Right now it is just a very good game, beating out its competitors in my eyes as the best baseball sim on the market.
7.5

Great
8.5
Star Wars Old Republic GameStop, Inc.
Battlefield 3 GameStop, Inc.