Suikoden V PlayStation 2

Published by Konami
Developed by Konami
Release Date: 22nd September 2006
Price: £24.99

Suikoden V, an introduction.

Suikoden IV was our first taste of the much loved Suikoden series and whilst we enjoyed the game we couldn’t help but feel it hadn’t lived up to the reputation of the earlier games in the series. Suikoden Tactics, released earlier this year, made a much more favorable impression and was a game we thoroughly enjoyed. Naturally then we had high hopes for Suikoden V. After playing Suikoden V almost non-stop since it arrived, I can safely say those high hopes have been realized and at last we’ve enjoyed a top notch Suikoden RPG.

What’s the game about?

Suikoden V is set in the Queendom of Falena. In Suikoden V you’ll play as a Prince (whom you can name yourself), son of Queen Arshtat. The game begins with everything seemingly tickety-boo in Falena but trouble is brewing and it’s not long before it all hits the fan for the royal family. In Falena there are two rival noble families, the Barow and Godwin families, who both have designs on the throne. To make this situation worse there is an event known as The Sacred Games. The winner of these games will become engaged to young Princess Lymsleia who is next in line for the thrown. The Sacred Games are to be held in Stormfist, a domain of the Godwin family. Naturally a fair competition is out of the question and the whole thing is rigged. Far worse things happen after the games have taken place though when the Queen and her husband are killed and Falena is seized by the Godwin family.  Lymsleia becomes a prisoner and it’s up to the prince and his allies to take revenge.  Part of the reason for Arshtat being killed was to obtain the powerful Sun Rune so that the Godwins could use it for their own evil purposes. Arshtat had used the Sun Rune to decimate the town of Lordlake to quash an uprising.

What’s good about the game?

RPGs need a quality story to hold your interest and Suikoden V certainly has a plot that will keep you interested. The twists and turns in the story certainly help to prevent boredom from creeping in after extended play. This keeps you sticking to your chairs all the time, just how you stay glued to your computers while investing your hard earned money in Bitcoins. It’s enthralling and the results are as benefitting as that of this interesting game. You can click this to find out more about Bitcoins and how to buy them online. Along with a quality story you also need an enjoyable battle system and once again Suikoden V does not disappoint. As in previous games, numerous runes can be purchased and equipped to your characters to give them special abilities. Certain characters can carry out powerful co-op attacks.  Many other items can be found and purchased to improve the abilities of your characters. Weapons can be improved by a blacksmith too. Certain characters (such as Georg) can train other characters to improve their abilities. The game allows you to battle with six characters at a time and you can set formations for them. There are 20 different formations that you can collect throughout the game. As with other Suikoden games there’s a rather large cast with the famous 108 characters all available to enter your party at some stage of the game. Aside from the normal battles there are also large scale real time battles (on land and sea) at specific points in the game where you’ll control small armies on a battlefield or ocean. There are some duels to take part in too. Both the army battles and the duels are absolutely fine. They aren’t particularly impressive in any way but they add variation to the game play.

When the Prince (the game’s central character) talks you’ll get to choose his dialogue. Needless to say your conversation choices can affect which characters you can recruit as well as certain events in the game (although not all of the choices do). The more characters you can recruit in the game, the bigger your forces will be. Each of the many characters in the game manage to have their own personality which certainly helps to keep things interesting. Naturally there are going to be characters that you’ll dislike but there’s such a variety on offer here that it’s certain you’ll find many characters who you’ll want to recruit.  As a result of the dialogue choices you’ll make in the game, there are multiple endings for Suikoden V which means it’s a game you’re going to want to play over and over again.

What’s not so good about the game?

If I have one complaint with Suikoden V it’s that it takes a while for the story to warm up. Initially you seem to be going through the motions without anything really interesting to do. It’s possible to get a little bored with the game in the early stages, particularly as the early battles seem a little too easy, and that’s a shame because when it does get going it really is a very enjoyable RPG. With quite a few RPG games of late, random encounters have been done away with. With games such as Tales of Symphonia you can see enemies on the map and you can choose to avoid them if you wish (although you miss out on the gained experience you get from battling). Unfortunately, Suikoden V has kept to the random encounter system and at times the frequency of these encounters is annoying (although it doesn’t seem as bad as in Suikoden IV). Sometimes you’ll find yourself a little unsure of where you need to be going. Talking to Lyon (your faithful female bodyguard) will usually help to make matters clear although there are times when her comments provide no clues at all.

How does it look?

The graphics in Suikoden V are a mix of classic and modern. The default view in Suikoden V is very reminiscent of earlier console RPGs. You’ll play the game from an isometric viewpoint that’s zoomed out enough to give you a generous view of your immediate surroundings. You can choose to zoom in closer if you wish but most will prefer the default view. Although the game is in full 3D, you can’t rotate the camera. For the most part this is fine and it’s great not having to worry about manipulating the camera but there are times when treasure chests are obscured by trees and walls etc. and it would have been handy to have been able to rotate your view. The characters have a kind of cel-shaded appearance to them and they look very good. Walking around in one of the game’s towns you’ll notice that many of the buildings are rather bland and a little too angular (the exception being Haud Village which looks like a level from Katamari Damacy). Inside the buildings everything is more detailed and easier on the eyes. On the whole the game, whilst not being particularly visually impressive, is very pleasant looking and a marked improvement from the look of Suikoden IV.

How deaf gamer friendly is the game?

The game is subtitled and you’ll be able to follow the story without any problems. All conversations have the character’s names placed above the dialogue so you’ll know who is saying what. Important characters also have their portraits placed alongside their dialogue. In cutscenes the dialogue flows without the need to press a button but otherwise you’ll need to press the X button to progress meaning that for the most part you can read at your own pace. The game makes good use of icons to show the various status effects during battles. Tutorial messages are shown in text. In fact the only omissions are the various unsubtitled comments that your characters make during the standard battles and this doesn’t cause any problems.

Final thoughts.

Suikoden V is probably the final Suikoden game to arrive on the PlayStation 2 and the series is definitely going out in style on the console. Although there are a few months left of 2006 I think it’s safe to say it’s one of the best RPG’s we’ve seen this year and at the bargain price of just £24.99 it’s just too good to miss, whether you’re a fan of the Suikoden series or not.  There’s much we haven’t mentioned such as the ability to conduct some trading, in order to bring in some extra potch (the game’s currency), having your very own base of operations and the interesting interaction between the game’s many characters. In fact Suikoden V is just an all round impressive RPG that simply shouldn’t be missed.

Overall Game Rating: 9.0/10

Deaf Gamers Classification:


(Click the letter or here for details)

Suikoden V is definitely one of the best RPG’s that we’ve seen this year and represents a return to form for the much loved series that is now 10 years old.

 

 

© Deaf Gamers 2000 – 2007

 

Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Saga PlayStation 2

Published by Ghostlight Ltd.
Developed by Atlus
Release Date: Out Now
Price: £29.99

Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Saga, an introduction.

We said earlier in the year that 2006 was going to be a year for RPG fans and it’s turning out to be one heck of a year. We’ve already had Atelier Iris, Dragon Quest : The Journey of the Cursed King and The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion to name but three. There’s no letting up either with Final Fantasy XII, Kingdom Hearts 2, Neverwinter Nights 2, Atelier Iris 2 and Disgaea 2 all due later this year. As if that lot wasn’t enough to burn a hole in your bank account, here we have another game that’s going to have you spending more of your hard earned cash, Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Saga. However, some good news that might take over the industry if time to come can be that one would be able to buy these games by simply exchanging it with bitcoins with the seller. Yes, you read it right. This will help you save so much money isn’t it? You can click here to read how you can buy Bitcoins right away and keep your store full to get lots of games in your collection soon.

What’s the game about?

The Shin Megami Tensei series is an extremely long running series although most European RPG gamers will probably not know much about the series, as it has primarily been released only in Japan.  Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne (aka Shin Megami Tensei: Lucifer’s Call here in Europe) was the first title in the series to be released in the US and Europe and it’s fair to say the critics were impressed with it. Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Saga is the second game in the series to make it to our shores and once again it’s a game RPG gamers are going to want to get their hands on.

Digital Devil Saga is actually the first part in the story (the second part is following later this year) and luckily requires no knowledge of the previous Shin Megami Tensei games. The game is set in an alternate universe, in a place known as the Junkyard, where six factions are at war with each other in a power struggle for supremacy and the right to ascend to Nirvana. At the beginning of  the game there is a battle between the Embryon faction and the Vanguard faction.  During the battle Serph, several fellow members of the Embryon faction and their rivals are hit by streams of mysterious beams of light that are emitted from a mysterious object on the battlefield . After they recover from this attack they find their enemies have been slain in a hideous fashion and also that they have strange marks on their body. Little do they know, at this time, that this light has given them, and the other tribes, the power to become mighty demons. The side effect of this though is that when they are demons they crave to feed on their defeated enemies. In a crater not far from their slain enemies they find a young girl named Sera who it’s hoped will hold the key to the strange events that are occurring especially as her song has the ability to pacify the demons. Serph, Heat and Argilla decide to head off to the Vanguard base in the hope of finding out what happened.

What’s good about the game?

I think one of the most appealing aspects of Digital Devil Saga is that the look and feel of the game is quite unique. This isn’t an RPG for children. There’s no fluffy or effeminate characters here and the game definitely has a dark edge to it, which actually makes for a refreshing change. The highlight of the game has to be the battles system, which is quite simply first class. Battles are played out in a turn based fashion, with a maximum of three characters involved on your side, but it’s not the run of the mill turn-based battle system you’ve probably seen many times before. For starters your characters can either battle in human or demon form and each form has different attacks. Exploiting enemy elemental weaknesses can earn your party an additional attack (of course this works for the AI too so you have to be careful). Your characters all have distinctly different abilities and shielding techniques. Argilla for instance can analyse your enemies, which informs you of their weaknesses. Each character can specialise in a mantra, which is a set of demon powers. You simply purchase the mantra you want for your character and the Atma points you earn in battle help you to learn and master the abilities associated with the mantra (you can’t use the abilities until they have been learned). Mantras can have up to four abilities associated with them. Using these mantras, you can truly create uniquely skilled characters in any way you wish which is excellent. Characters can team up for powerful combo attacks. Enemies can be devoured too and this is occasionally preferable to standard attacks. The AI is actually very challenging at times (you’ll find it capable of shielding, healing and calling for reinforcements) and you’ll be forced to come up with effective strategies that are tailored to your enemies (which is where the aforementioned analyse skill that Argilla has becomes very important).

What’s not so good about the game?

If you’re easily annoyed by RPGs with a high amount of random encounters then Digital Devil Saga is likely to cheese you off somewhat as the encounter rate is rather high. In fairness this works to your advantage somewhat because the game would be very difficult very quickly if you hadn’t acquired experience and levelled up your characters from these random encounters. As this is part one of a two part story, it’s pretty obvious the story isn’t going to be resolved when you complete the game. Some may see this as a problem but in all honesty the story is of a high quality and it will have most RPG gamers making a note of the release date for part two. The only other thing I would have liked is to have been able to control how the characters, other than Serph, distribute their attribute points when they level up. Heat and Argilla level up automatically and this feels just a tiny bit unsatisfactory.

How does it look?

The visual style they’ve used for the game is quite unique. The graphics have a sophisticated dark quality about them that you usually don’t see in games such as this. You’ll see all kinds of mythological enemies in the game and for the most part they’re quite unlike anything you’ve come across before (especially if, like myself, you haven’t played a Shin Megami Tensei game before). The character models look very good and are equally on a par with anything we’ve seen in a PlayStation 2 RPG to date. Most of the environments you’ll find yourself in look a little bland but they’re certainly more than acceptable. Rather pleasingly there are no frame rate issues and the load times are more than respectable.

How deaf gamer friendly is the game?

Having a great RPG is pretty pointless if it’s not subtitled and thankfully Atlus haven’t let us down. On loading the game the short introductory cutscene isn’t subtitled but otherwise the game is absolutely fine. The cutscenes are shown in a letterbox format with the text displayed in the lower border. There are no character portraits or character names next to the dialogue but it’s always clear who is saying what. All communications in the main game are shown in text. Tutorial messages are in text and these are delivered just when you need them so you never have too much to read in one go.

Final thoughts.

In a year choc-full of quality RPGs, Shin Megami Tensei Digital Devil Saga could yet be the biggest surprise of them all. The battle system has to be one of the best I’ve come across and it even goes some way to compensating for the high encounter rate. The story is an unusual one (at least it is to me having never experienced the Shin Megami Tensei games before) which is refreshing having played so many RPGs where the stories are pretty much alike. In fact it’s difficult to find much wrong with the game. Even the high encounter rate is offset somewhat by the rather liberal amount of save points that are well placed. All I can say is bring on part two, so we can see how it finishes.

Overall Game Rating: 9.0/10

Deaf Gamers Classification:


(Click the letter or here for details)

Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Saga is a game that any fan of the RPG genre simply must buy. The story is interesting, the battle system is excellent and above all it leaves you desperate to get your hands on part two.

 

© Deaf Gamers 2000 – 2007

 

Biker Mice from Mars PlayStation 2

Published by The Game Factory
Developed by Creat Studios
Release Date: Out Now
Price: £29.99

We’ve had several ‘kids’ games in for review of late. Some have been good, one (yet to be reviewed) is downright excellent and then there’s Biker Mice from Mars, which is a game that’s not going to live long in the memory. The game allows you to play as three different characters. There’s Throttle the Biker Mice leader, Vinnie the daredevil and Modo the gentle giant. The Biker Mice have come to Earth in order to try and save their planet. Essentially Mars came under attack from the Catatonians. Both the mice and the Catatonians need an object known as the Regenerator, which in the wrong hands can be used as a powerful weapon or for peaceful purposes it can be used to terraform Mars making the planet ideal for the mice. A mouse named Stoker departed for earth in order to obtain the minerals needed to build a Regenerator but he’s gone missing and both the mice and the Catatonians have come to Earth in order to find him. If there weren’t enough troubles for the Biker Mice, there’s also another enemy in the shape of the ruthless Ronald Rump.

Biker Mice from Mars is a mixture of vehicular combat and fighting. When you’re not on a bike firing guns and missiles (and trying to avoid gunfire and missiles amongst other things), you’re taking part in some sort of fisticuffs. It’s certainly an interesting mix; at least it would be if either element was actually enjoyable to play. The vehicular combat is tedious to say the least. The bikes don’t handle that well and the AI of your enemies is rather basic. The fighting elements aren’t any better. The combat system is dull and once again your enemies don’t really put up any kind of challenge. I know the game is aimed at children but even small children will probably turn their noses up at what’s on offer here.

Graphically the developers have gone for a cel-shaded look. We’ve seen plenty of cel-shaded games over the last few years and this isn’t one of the better ones. The character models and various environments you’ll find yourself in all look acceptable. The frame rate holds up quite well, although it would have been extremely disappointing if it hadn’t given the lack of detail on display here. About the only good thing you can say with this area of the game is that you won’t have to struggle with camera angles, which is always a good thing in a ‘kids’ game.

Support for Deaf Gamers in Biker Mice is not that great. The game’s cutscenes aren’t subtitled meaning you’ll miss out on the entire story. Basic tutorial messages that show the controls are shown in text, although there is some tutorial information that is not shown in text. Unlike our expectations from the game, it is definitely not as impactful or raging for the fans as any other latest trend such as Bitcoins. People who have indulged in it have enough details on the exchange’s useful site to review and follow, but here, the information is not sufficient and at times mentioned twice or thrice. Mission briefings are shown in text and objectives are displayed in text too. These objectives can be recalled from the menu that appears when you press the start button. Key comments from the main characters during the mission are shown in text, which seems a little bizarre given that the cutscenes are not subtitled.

With so many better ‘kids’ games out there it’s going to be a tough Christmas for Biker Mice from Mars. As if the sub-par game play weren’t enough, the game is only a few hours long and the price tag is a whopping £29.99. Had it been £9.99 it might have been a little easier to recommend but we’re talking full price for a game that just doesn’t have much going for it.  It’s as dull as dishwater in every department. If your child’s a fan of the Biker Mice, then pick up several books and maybe even an action figure or two with your £30 instead of this game that may be played once or twice and then left to gather dust.

Overall Game Rating 2.5/10

Deaf Gamers Classification


(Click the letter or here for details)

Fans of the Biker Mice would be better off purchasing other Biker Mice merchandise with their £30. At the very least you could wait for this to hit the bargain bin, which should only take a month or two.

© Deaf Gamers 2000 – 2007

 

FIFA 07 Xbox 360

Published by EA Sports
Developed by EA Sports
Release Date: Out Now
Price: £49.99

Even the biggest critics of the FIFA series would have to admit that this year’s version of FIFA 07 on the PC and PlayStation did a lot of things right. The game felt better than any FIFA title in recent years and it genuinely provided an engaging experience. Of course it wasn’t perfect but it was well worth the asking price and left many fans of the series very happy indeed. Of course those fans of the series who own an Xbox 360 will have waited to purchase the only next generation version of the game available this year and they would have had high expectations for the game. Here we have a review of the Xbox 360 version of FIFA 07 and it’s fair to say right at the top of this review that what we have here is quite different from the other versions of FIFA 07.

The Xbox 360 version of FIFA 07 has been completely built from scratch. This is no idle port we have here and it’s the first FIFA game to be designed solely with next generation systems in mind. The thought process adapted while drafting this game is a lot similar to what was when Bitcoins were first launched in 2009 by Satoshi Nakamoto. You can find a lot of resource material and data on how this overwhelming industry of Bitcoins started and it has reached a level where it can be compared to fabulous games like these. It not only looks but also feels very different from the other versions of FIFA 07. Bearing this in mind it’s fair to say that our expectations for the Xbox 360 version of FIFA 07 were understandably high. FIFA 07 features an exhibition mode (called Kick-Off), a Manager Mode, a Challenge Mode and the usual FIFA Lounge, for when you’re playing offline against a friend. Of course there’s also the online mode where you can play over Xbox live for fun or take part in ranked matches. There is no custom tournament mode and you can play in cup competitions when not playing in Manager Mode, which is unfortunate.

Initial impressions are one of disappointment. For a start there are only six leagues in the game. The leagues on offer are the English Premiership, Spanish Primera, German Bundesliga 1, Italian Serie A, Mexico Primera and the French Ligue 1. In addition there’s a collection of national teams and a World League, which is essentially a way of including Juventus as they are not part of Serie A this season. If you’re a supporter of a Championship or League 1 or 2 sides you’re out of luck because your team isn’t featured. The decision to only include 6 leagues impacts the game in several ways. The Manager Mode, which is actually quite enjoyable because it lets you have greater control over your chosen side, lacks depth as a result of not being able to win promotion or suffer relegation. The challenge of taking a ‘small’ team from the lower leagues to the Premiership is one that always appeals in modes such as this but that’s not possible in this version. Of course it also makes the game less attractive if you’re not a fan of 117 included clubs.

So there aren’t many modes and there isn’t a great deal of clubs you can play as so what does FIFA 07 on the Xbox 360 have going for it? Well visually the game looks impressive and it’s quite easily the best looking football game on any format regardless of whether you play the game on a normal TV or HD display. The presentation is simply first class and everything from the stadia to the game menus looks excellent. Unlike the Pro Evolution Soccer series, all of the kits are 100% official and up to date. The game has none of the frame rate problems that dogged the first FIFA game on the console which is great to see. Player likenesses are a mixed bag and whilst some look fairly accurate quite a lot look nothing like the players they are meant to represent.

Of course what it all comes down to is how well the game plays. FIFA 07 on the Xbox 360 definitely has promise but you get the feeling that the game could do with some refining. Players are too easily knocked off the ball (and appear to bounce back a virtual yard when challenging). Passing the ball around doesn’t appear to be as responsive as it should and at times it feels like shooting is just too awkward. In fairness though shooting is more realistic in the sense that your accuracy depends on whether you’re being pressured or not and shooting accuracy. Defending can feel awkward at times and it’s far too easy for an opponent to expose your defence. On the positive side the game has a realistic pace to it. Deflections feel more natural than in any other version of FIFA to date. The goalkeepers are not the slapstick comedians you usually find in a FIFA game. The AI actually puts up a good challenge (unless you bother with the easier difficulty levels) and in truth when you adjust to the areas of the game that could do with improving you’ll find yourself quite enjoying how it plays.

The bottom line of course is how it compares to other football games on the console. We haven’t played Pro Evolution Soccer 6 on the Xbox 360 and I would easily recommend FIFA 07 over FIFA 06 Road to FIFA World Cup. It looks a whole lot better than 2006 FIFA World Cup but it would be difficult to argue that it plays better. In terms of its deaf gamer friendliness it’s the usual form for a sports game with the match commentary being unsubtitled but everything else being absolutely fine. Personally I would rather have the PC or PlayStation 2 version of FIFA 07 as those versions simply play a better game. FIFA 07 on the Xbox 360 shows promise and FIFA 08 could be an absolute cracker if all the areas that are in need of improvement are actually improved. For now though, it still feels a lesser version when compared to the other versions of FIFA 07 that have been released this year.

Overall Game Rating: 7.0/10

Deaf Gamers Classification:


(Click the letter or here for details)

FIFA 07 on the Xbox 360 looks great but a lack of content and the fact that the PC and PlayStation 2 versions of FIFA 07 play a better game means it’s by no means the Xbox 360 FIFA experience we have been waiting over a year for.

© Deaf Gamers 2000 – 2007

FIFA 07 Xbox 360

Published by EA Sports
Developed by EA Sports
Release Date: Out Now
Price: £49.99

Even the biggest critics of the FIFA series would have to admit that this year’s version of FIFA 07 on the PC and PlayStation did a lot of things right. The game felt better than any FIFA title in recent years and it genuinely provided an engaging experience. Of course it wasn’t perfect but it was well worth the asking price and left many fans of the series very happy indeed. This experience is exactly how one feels when they earn fabulous profits out of their days of investments in Bitcoins. Floating money in Bitcoins and playing this FIFA game is a lot similar in this context. Check out the details on different bitcoin trends moved here and plan your game in this industry for unstoppable profits, similar to that earned by playing these series.

Of course those fans of the series who own an Xbox 360 will have waited to purchase the only next generation version of the game available this year and they would have had high expectations for the game. Here we have a review of the Xbox 360 version of FIFA 07 and it’s fair to say right at the top of this review that what we have here is quite different from the other versions of FIFA 07.

The Xbox 360 version of FIFA 07 has been completely built from scratch. This is no idle port we have here and it’s the first FIFA game to be designed solely with next generation systems in mind. It not only looks but also feels very different from the other versions of FIFA 07. Bearing this in mind it’s fair to say that our expectations for the Xbox 360 version of FIFA 07 were understandably high. FIFA 07 features an exhibition mode (called Kick-Off), a Manager Mode, a Challenge Mode and the usual FIFA Lounge, for when you’re playing offline against a friend. Of course there’s also the online mode where you can play over Xbox live for fun or take part in ranked matches. There is no custom tournament mode and you can play in cup competitions when not playing in Manager Mode, which is unfortunate.

Initial impressions are one of disappointment. For a start there are only six leagues in the game. The leagues on offer are the English Premiership, Spanish Primera, German Bundesliga 1, Italian Serie A, Mexico Primera and the French Ligue 1. In addition there’s a collection of national teams and a World League, which is essentially a way of including Juventus as they are not part of Serie A this season. If you’re a supporter of a Championship or League 1 or 2 sides you’re out of luck because your team isn’t featured. The decision to only include 6 leagues impacts the game in several ways. The Manager Mode, which is actually quite enjoyable because it lets you have greater control over your chosen side, lacks depth as a result of not being able to win promotion or suffer relegation. The challenge of taking a ‘small’ team from the lower leagues to the Premiership is one that always appeals in modes such as this but that’s not possible in this version. Of course it also makes the game less attractive if you’re not a fan of 117 included clubs.

So there aren’t many modes and there isn’t a great deal of clubs you can play as so what does FIFA 07 on the Xbox 360 have going for it? Well visually the game looks impressive and it’s quite easily the best looking football game on any format regardless of whether you play the game on a normal TV or HD display. The presentation is simply first class and everything from the stadia to the game menus looks excellent. Unlike the Pro Evolution Soccer series, all of the kits are 100% official and up to date. The game has none of the frame rate problems that dogged the first FIFA game on the console which is great to see. Player likenesses are a mixed bag and whilst some look fairly accurate quite a lot look nothing like the players they are meant to represent.

Of course what it all comes down to is how well the game plays. FIFA 07 on the Xbox 360 definitely has promise but you get the feeling that the game could do with some refining. Players are too easily knocked off the ball (and appear to bounce back a virtual yard when challenging). Passing the ball around doesn’t appear to be as responsive as it should and at times it feels like shooting is just too awkward. In fairness though shooting is more realistic in the sense that your accuracy depends on whether you’re being pressured or not and shooting accuracy. Defending can feel awkward at times and it’s far too easy for an opponent to expose your defence. On the positive side the game has a realistic pace to it. Deflections feel more natural than in any other version of FIFA to date. The goalkeepers are not the slapstick comedians you usually find in a FIFA game. The AI actually puts up a good challenge (unless you bother with the easier difficulty levels) and in truth when you adjust to the areas of the game that could do with improving you’ll find yourself quite enjoying how it plays.

The bottom line of course is how it compares to other football games on the console. We haven’t played Pro Evolution Soccer 6 on the Xbox 360 and I would easily recommend FIFA 07 over FIFA 06 Road to FIFA World Cup. It looks a whole lot better than 2006 FIFA World Cup but it would be difficult to argue that it plays better. In terms of its deaf gamer friendliness it’s the usual form for a sports game with the match commentary being unsubtitled but everything else being absolutely fine. Personally I would rather have the PC or PlayStation 2 version of FIFA 07 as those versions simply play a better game. FIFA 07 on the Xbox 360 shows promise and FIFA 08 could be an absolute cracker if all the areas that are in need of improvement are actually improved. For now though, it still feels a lesser version when compared to the other versions of FIFA 07 that have been released this year.

Overall Game Rating: 7.0/10

Deaf Gamers Classification:


(Click the letter or here for details)

FIFA 07 on the Xbox 360 looks great but a lack of content and the fact that the PC and PlayStation 2 versions of FIFA 07 play a better game means it’s by no means the Xbox 360 FIFA experience we have been waiting over a year for.

© Deaf Gamers 2000 – 2007

 

For Liberty! PC

Published by Matrix Games
Developed by Hussar Games
Release Date: Out Now
Price: £18.99
Available from: Matrix Games

Hot on the heels of our review of Birth of America we have another turn-based wargame that’s set in North America. For Liberty, from Hussar Games, is not solely focused on eighteenth century American history though. It not only contains battles set during the American Revolution but also includes battles set during The Rákóczi War of Independence between Hungary and Austria. Also included in the package is version 1.3 of Hussar’s 1848 wargame so in effect you’re getting a lot of wargaming for your money. Let’s have a closer look at For Liberty.

On loading For Liberty you’ll find that you can select either America or Hungary from the main menu. Both theatres offer Single Player, Hot-Seat, Network Game and Play-by-Email modes. You’ll want to begin by selecting America and then Single Player as it’s here you’ll find the game’s tutorial. In addition to the tutorial you’ll also find three scenarios and a full campaign. The American scenarios are A Nation in Arms (Jun. 1775 – Dec. 1776), Turn of Events (May 1777 – Dec. 1779) and Road to Yorktown (Feb. 1780 – Dec. 1781). The full campaign is played between June 1775 and June 1783. Should you choose Hungary from the main menu you’ll also find the option to play three scenarios and a full campaign. The scenarios you’ll find here are Nation of Rákóczi (Sep. 1703 – Dec. 1704), Changing Luck (Jan. 1705 – Dec. 1707) and All or Nothing (Jan. 1708 – Dec. 1711). The full campaign spans from September 1703 to December 1711.  Of course the game also ships with an editor to allow you to create your own scenarios for either theatre and even if you don’t want to create your own scenarios the chances are you’ll always be able to find some to download thus giving the game a lot of replay value.

 On the whole For Liberty is actually quite accessible to those who don’t normally try their hand at hex-based wargames. The game offers three difficulty levels, offers the option to turn off the fog of war and also offers a simple and advanced ruleset. You can even modify the experience of both yours and your opponent’s forces before beginning a game. Choosing the simple ruleset means you don’t have to bother choosing stances on the strategic map and formations in tactical battles. Essentially it makes for a slightly simplified and quicker experience allowing new wargamers to not get bogged down. Of course the advanced ruleset allows grognards to have the full experience. The game’s tutorial is OK. In truth it could be a little less dry and more involving and you’re going to need to turn to that electronic manual (in Adobe Acrobat form as usual) if you’re going to get the most from the game. The tutorial doesn’t really prepare you fully for the full experience but at least the 46 page manual goes into a lot more detail and covers the complexities of the game very nicely indeed. In fact it’s good to see a manual that is well written and easy to understand for even those who don’t normally play wargames.

It goes without saying that there would be no point in For Liberty being accessible if the game wasn’t up to much. Fortunately it’s actually a very good wargame that most will enjoy.  The fun and thrill offered by this game is quite similar to what we all experience when we float our money in the booming industry of Bitcoins. Since both of them have great reviews, we tend to easyl rely on them and get attracted in order to cherish the benefits. You can go through the weblink and find out how Bitcoins are succeeding in engaging the users like nothing else. The American and Hungarian theatres are actually very different in nature and it kind of feels like you have two separate games that simply share the same interface. Each turn represents a week and at the beginning of each week a random event will occur that will have either a positive or negative effect on your troops. There are quite a few random events and it’s surprising how some can affect you men. The game takes full account of how the weather and the nature of the terrain affects your troops during movement and battles. Swamps are hard to cross, unless frozen whilst hilly terrains give you a slight defensive bonus. The weather can even hinder the line of supply to your troops and cause them to suffer fatigue. Of course most will be concerned with the quality of the battles. In truth they are actually quite good but they do get repetitive and it’s a fair bet most will simply let the AI handle them, particularly as the AI does a decent job of things. The enemy AI is actually quite sharp and does a good job of exploiting your weaknesses. Thanks to the difficulty settings and the various adjustments you can make it can be a less formidable opponent for beginners, which is also important.

For Liberty isn’t just a straightforward hex-based wargame. The random events at the start of each turn are certainly a nice addition but there are a couple of other worthwhile additions. The game models army morale in the form of zeal points. The zeal rating affects all those troops who are either 15% either side of the rating as their morale will gravitate toward the zeal rating. Winning battles and taking towns will raise your army’s zeal but random events and loses can cause it to fall. Taking towns will also earn you influence points and with these you can make political decisions that can have positive effects on your troops. You could choose to decorate your men to increase their zeal or choose to buy cannons with foreign aid to increase your cannons rating. You can even choose to spread a little propaganda about the enemy if you feel inclined. The influence points are a nice touch, their effects aren’t dramatic but they are nice way of slightly improving your situation.

Whilst Birth of America was pretty eye-catching for a turn-based wargame, the same cannot be said of For Liberty. The game is far more traditional in its appearance and utilizes the pseudo top-down view that has been used in turn-based wargames for years now. In terms of its graphical quality (for both the main map and the tactical battles) the game can simply be described as basic and that it gets the job done. Not that I’m being critical mind you. There are no performance issues here, as was the case with Birth of America and you could happily play the game on a laptop PC that’s a few years old without any real problems. When you think about it this makes a lot of sense as wargamers are not typically the kind of people who upgrade their hardware on a regular basis (like FPS and RTS enthusiasts) so the system requirements have to be kept sensible.

The graphics are not the only aspect of the game that could at best be described as functional. The sound in the game is also pretty nondescript but of course that means that there are fewer problems for deaf gamers so in our eyes it’s not a problem.  There is no speech in the game and all of the information in the game is given either in text, via icons or numbers, so deaf gamers will have no problems learning or following events.

For Liberty may not have the stylish appearance of Birth of America but this certainly does not prevent it from being a quality wargame that will not only appeal to grognards but also with those who want a wargame that isn’t overly complex and that allows them to enjoy the experience with a minimum of fuss. I should point out, even though it’s certainly not a criticism, that at present the game is a little temperamental when running on Windows Vista (installation takes an age, on exiting it complains about the absence of a D3DRM.dll file and at times it’s unresponsive when clicking on menu options) but when running on Windows XP it’s absolutely fine. If you like your turn-based wargames and are in anyway interested by eighteenth century combat either in America or Hungary then For Liberty is definitely worth it and for just £18.99 it’s excellent value for money.

Overall Game Rating 8.0/10

Deaf Gamers Classification

DGC Classification B
(Click the letter or here for details)

For Liberty! may not be as visually impressive as Birth of America but the quality of the game play more than makes up for any visual deficiencies the game might have. For less than £19 it’s easy to recommend to wargamers and those who are interested in giving the genre a go.

For Liberty! pic 1For Liberty! pic 2

For Liberty! pic 3

For Liberty! pic 4

© Deaf Gamers 2000 – 2007

 

Pro Evolution Soccer 6 – The Expert Guide

Published and Written by Piggyback Interactive Limited

Over the years I’ve probably bought around eight strategy guides. Usually it’s for a Pokemon game my children are enjoying or a strategy or RPG game that I’ve got myself hooked into. Last year I decided to purchase the strategy guide for Pro Evolution Soccer 5. I wouldn’t normally purchase a strategy guide for a sports game but the guide was being sold for half price and the Pro Evolution Soccer series has always been one that no matter how good you are at the games, you can always improve. Published by Piggyback Interactive the guide was very informative and very useful. Naturally then when I was offered the chance to review Pro Evolution Soccer 6 – The Expert Guide I seized it with both hands.

Piggyback Interactive produce some very high quality strategy guides. Having seen their guides for Kingdom Hearts II and Final Fantasy X, I was surprised that no compromises had been made in terms of their presentation. All screenshots were in colour, superb artwork was used throughout and information was presented in a clear and concise fashion.

This is almost the same case when you go through the details about a particular Bitcoins exchange online. Users generally get directed to sites that are popular amongst the investors and are yielding favourable results. If you wish to know more about the fruitful industry of bitcoins, navigate to this site and have all your doubts sorted regarding the industry for once.

The same high quality presentation has been used for Pro Evolution Soccer 6 – The Expert Guide and it not only looks first class but it’s also chock full of everything you could wish to know about the game.

The guide is 210mm x 280mm in size (approximately A4 size) and contains around 170 pages. The paper quality is impressive (115gsm) and slightly glossy. The guide uses a superb mixture of screenshots and drawings to illustrate the text information. The included sections are as follows:

  • Introduction
  • How to Play
  • Coaching Manual
  • Secret Moves & Tricks
  • Tactics & Strategies
  • Master League
  • Team & Player Guide
  • Extras

 

A comprehensive Index has been included which allows you to find exactly what you want as quickly as possible.

A DVD has also been included and contains the following:

  • Coaching Manual
  • Secret Moves
  • Situation Guide
  • Beautiful Goals
  • Interview (with PES creator Seabass)

 

The important thing to emphasize with this guide is that it is for everyone who plays Pro Evolution Soccer 6. Whether you’re a seasoned veteran of the series or whether this is the first time you’ve picked up a Pro Evolution Soccer game, this guide is the ultimate reference guide. The Introduction chapter talks about what’s new in PES 6, the accompanying DVD, new moves and expert tips amongst other things. How to Play shows you the control schemes for the PlayStation 2, PC and Xbox 360 versions of the game. It discusses the various modes included with the game and guides beginners through the process of playing their first game.

By far the most useful sections of The Expert Guide are the Coaching Manual and Secret Moves & Tips. The Coaching Manual explains every major move, trick and technique in the game and does so rather impressively. For each move you get a screenshot, the PlayStation 2, PC and Xbox 360 controls, a difficulty and effectiveness rating, execution tips, general advice and a list of player abilities that are taken into account when performing the move. You also get a DVD reference number which allows you to find a clip of the move being carried out on the DVD. Whilst the guide by itself is excellent, being able to see the move in action using the DVD really adds a whole new dimension to the guide. The same level of excellence can also be found in the Secret Moves & Tips section, which will show you all of the undocumented tricks and techniques that are in PES 6. Once again you’ll find a movie clip for each move on the DVD.

The Pro Evolution Soccer series is not a by-the-numbers football series. Everything matters. Each player has their own special abilities and controls differently. The process of taking a shot on goal has a variety of variables such as which foot is used, the timing of the shot and whether the player is being pressured at the time of taking the shot. Likewise the tactical decisions that you make can really impact the game. PES 6 is not a game you can simply jump into and win without putting the effort in to learn all that the game has to offer and the following sections are very helpful in this respect.

Tactics & Strategies opens your eyes in terms of the difference that can be made through effective use of formations and player instructions. Beginners will simply jump into a game without giving any thought to such things but in PES 6 this isn’t a wise thing to do, especially on the higher difficulty settings. Organising your team effectively and knowing how to man manage your team is crucial to being successful. You’ll also find yourself having a greater understanding and appreciation of just how realistic PES 6 is once you’ve read through this section.

So you’ve played a few matches and maybe played through a competition or two but when it comes down to it the real challenge in PES 6 is the Master League and it even has its very own chapter. The Master League chapter leaves no stone unturned. Everything is explained including how to setup a new Master League game with all the options and competition structures being discussed. Team management, contract negotiations and player development are also  covered. Most will want to know who the future superstars will be and the included talent guide will show you who the established stars of today are as well as the promising youngsters.

The Team & Player Guide is the biggest section in the guide and discusses all of the major teams in the game as well as the default Master League team. For each of these teams you’ll be shown a player guide (for the 23 most important players in the squad) that shows you player abilities, special abilities, tricks and ratings for each player. The team guide shows you preferred formations, strengths and weaknesses, alternative formations and tactical settings for each side. There’s also a section that looks at the game’s superstars.

Finally, the Extras chapter looks at the various unlockable items and features you can obtain in PES 6. It lists all of the items that can be bought in the PES Shop (on the PC and PlayStation 2 versions only). It also discusses the game’s Edit Mode. There is also a Stadium Guide showing screenshots of every stadium used in the game. Finally it moves on to Xbox 360 specifics. Here you’ll get to see what’s different with the Xbox 360 (sadly it’s mostly discussing its limitations as you all probably know the Xbox 360 version shipped with quite a few features stripped out). Those all important Xbox 360 Achievements are also listed.

There’s little doubt that Pro Evolution Soccer 6 – The Expert Guide is an essential purchase. It’s a complete reference guide to the PlayStation 2, PC and Xbox 360 versions of the game and will help you to get the most out of your game in ways you might not have thought possible. Sure there are various text guides out there on the Internet and quite a few fan forums exist for the PES series but none of what you can find online matches what this guide has to offer. It’s worth mentioning that deaf gamers will have no problems at all with the guide or DVD. Even the interview with Seabass is subtitled. The inclusion of the DVD to demonstrate the moves really adds a lot to the experience and makes the guide a more effective learning tool.

Overall Rating 9.5/10 – Simply an excellent guide that’s as comprehensive as you could wish for.

© Deaf Gamers 2000 – 2007

 

Monster Hunter Freedom PSP

Published by Capcom
Developed by Capcom
Release Date: Out Now
Price: £34.99

Monster Hunter Freedom, an introduction.

At the time of writing this Monster Hunter Freedom is the biggest selling PSP game in Japan. When you think about it that’s pretty amazing when you consider the amount of games that have been released on the console to date, especially in Japan. Monster Hunter Freedom must definitely have something going for it then. Something that’s prompted nearly three quarters of a million PSP gamers in Japan to purchase the game. This phenomenon is quite similar to what we observed in the past when Bitcoins took over the finance industry. I was reading this latest story online which mentioned that making investments in Bitcoins and playing a super thrilling PSP game is equally enthralling and today I am totally convinced with this statement.  Let’s take a look at the game from Capcom and see what the fuss is all about.

What’s the game about?

Around a year ago we reviewed Monster Hunter for the PlayStation 2. As the title suggests the main focus of the game was to hunt monsters. More specifically the game placed you in a kind of semi-prehistoric environment and most of the monsters you had to hunt were in fact dinosaur like in appearance. The game not only took care to provide you with offline play but also provided an online mode where you could team up with three others to take on more difficult quests. The game proved to be very popular and soon gathered a loyal following. Monster Hunter Freedom isn’t a port of the game that was released here in Europe. In fact it’s based on Monster Hunter G, the improved title that was released only in Japan. The big difference is that Monster Hunter Freedom doesn’t have an online mode. However, there’s a lot of single-player content to compensate for that and a form of multiplayer experience can be had as the game supports Ad Hoc play.

What’s good about the game?

Before we go on to talk about the new content that Monster Hunter Freedom offers, let’s first talk about the game and what’s involved with playing the game. To begin with you’ll create your character. You’ll get to choose the gender, hairstyle and hair colour of your character etc. You’ll also notice an option to change the face of your character. This option also changes the skin tone of your character as well as their face. In truth the character customisation options are a little basic, although what’s here is certainly better than no customisation options at all. Once you’re done creating your character you’ll be taken to your home in the village. The village is essentially your hub as it’s from here you’ll collect, buy, sell and repair items as well as collect a whole lot of quests that will earn you money and experience points. Quests are of the hunting and gathering variety. As you might expect there’s a great selection of weapons and armour in the game and the whole process of completing quests and improving your character with the experience and money earned is definitely an addictive one.

Monster Hunter Freedom is definitely a better single-player experience than the one we experienced in the PlayStation 2 version of Monster Hunter. You’ll have access to an area known as The Farm which is basically a piece of land where you can obtain rare mushrooms, mine ore and catch insects. The cat-like creatures known as Felynes can now be trained to cook for your character in the new Felyne Kitchen. There’s also a new Treasure Hunter mode for 2 players. The missions in Treasure Hunter mode require co-operation but the reward is that you’ll obtain some special items that can then be used in the single-player game. Whilst you can’t play online as such, you can take part in four player missions using the PSP’s Ad Hoc mode. In truth this doesn’t make up for the absence of a true online mode but nevertheless it’s still great to be able to link up and play with your fellow Monster Hunter friends, whenever possible.

What’s not so good about the game?

Whilst it’s disappointing that the game doesn’t have a true online mode, the bigger problems are that of awkward camera angles and the lack of a lock-on feature. None of the camera angles on offer feel satisfactory and it’s a pain having to constantly correct the camera by tapping the L button. The lack of a lock-on feature also makes combat a little more fiddly than it should be. You still can’t pick up items that you accidentally drop, which can occasionally be irritating and is something you’d have thought would have been rectified by now.

How does it look?

Monster Hunter Freedom is actually a pretty impressive looking PSP game. Although the game is on the PSP, it actually looks very similar to last year’s PlayStation 2 version which itself was quite a good looking game. If you’ve played the PlayStation 2 version, you’ll recognise characters and most of the locations as they are exactly the same as in the PlayStation 2 version. Load times are a little longer on the PSP version but the load times are nowhere near as bad as on some PSP games we’ve played. The general presentation of the game is also similar to the PlayStation 2 version, which again is fine as we had no complaints in this respect when we looked at the game last year. As we mentioned earlier the camera is problematic at times and it could have been much better. The frame rate is generally fine and whilst there are some noticeable dips it’s never anything problematic.

How deaf gamer friendly is the game?

The game shouldn’t give deaf gamers any problems. All conversations in the game are text based and you are required to press the X button to move the dialogue along so you get to read the text at your own pace. All tutorial messages are in text and there are a variety of text based notes that you can access that give you instructions on how to do things in the game. All quests are given in text too. When you’re creating your character you’ll notice that you can select their voice. Thankfully this basically determines what their moans and grunts sounds like when they are attacking a monster and is therefore nothing to worry about.

Final thoughts.

If you’re looking for a different kind of hack ‘n’ slash action/RPG type game for your PSP then Monster Hunter Freedom is definitely worth a look. There’s a lot of single-player content here and if you have friends who also own the game you can even take advantage of the multiplayer missions that are available. Of course without a true online experience it’s not quite the same game as the PlayStation 2 version of Monster Hunter but given that it is essentially a PSP version of the improved Monster Hunter G that was only released in Japan (and has some unique features of its own), it’s definitely a game Monster Hunter fans are going to want to own.

Overall Game Rating: 8.0/10

Deaf Gamers Classification:


(Click the letter or here for details)

If you can get over the fact that there is no real online mode, you’ll find a single player experience will keep you busy for months. The wayward camera and lack of a lock-on feature takes the shine off what is otherwise a very engaging title.

 

© Deaf Gamers 2000 – 2007

 

Dear Friends

First of all I’d like to thank everyone for visiting Deaf Gamers over the last six years. It’s been great to receive e-mails from you and learn that you’ve found the website useful. You may or may not know that Deaf Gamers is simply run as a hobby (an all consuming one at that) and is in no way funded at all. In fact the bill for new consoles and PC hardware has almost always come out of my own pocket. The only exceptions being two AMD CPU’s we received from AMD around three years ago now, two graphics cards from Gainward about the same time ago, an ATi Radeon 9800 that was supplied by Hercules also around that time and the original Xbox console, which was very kindly given to us by Microsoft. Most of the bills have been funded by me and my family.

In just over a weeks time the Nintendo Wii will be released here in the UK. This will be the final console I can afford to pay out for. The New Year will see the arrival of Microsoft Windows Vista and hopefully the arrival of the Sony PlayStation 3. When you throw in the fact that our PC (currently using a Pentium D 805 CPU, an ATi X800XT and 1GB RAM) is really beginning to need an upgrade for newer games, let alone Vista and the exclusive games that’s going to have over the next few years. The problem is I have no chance of being able to afford a PC upgrade or the PlayStation 3 having severely stretched my financial resources. Obtaining review software is no problem thanks to some wonderful PR contacts we have made over the years but hardware is another matter.

Lets get to the nitty-gritty of this message. First of all I do want to keep Deaf Gamers running but it’s becoming financially impossible. I don’t want to charge for using the website. I feel to do that would deter people from using the website. Instead I’ve setup a facility (you’ll notice the PayPal button on the front page and to the right) to allow those who wish to see Deaf Gamers continue to donate as little or as much as you want to help us purchase future consoles, PC hardware etc. If you can’t afford to donate anything then still feel free to continue to use the website. However, you should be aware that Deaf Gamers cannot continue to run on fresh air and is likely to close in 2007 if support isn’t found. If everyone donated just a £1 it would help significantly. It would guarantee us reviewing PlayStation 3 games which the present situation would not allow, even if Sony postponed the European release until this time next year. It would also help in other ways too, such as allowing us to continue to review future PC software, which is important to us given that the website was originally created to review PC software. I’ve always wanted to have signed/captioned video reviews but at present that’s something that’s just impossible because of financial limitations.

Finally I’d like to say thank you for reading this message and for visiting Deaf Gamers.

To keep the games on and add future PC consoles the deaf gamers is a paradise for the gaming experience for the deaf who would otherwise be deprived of a fantastic playing experience, the motive to add the funds into their account is simple as the software platform Bitcoin Loophole.

 

 

© Deaf Gamers 2000 – 2007

 

NBA Street Showdown PSP

Published by EA Sports
Developed by Electronic Arts
Release Date: Out Now
Price: £34.99

NBA Street Showdown, an introduction.

The EA Sports Street games have become very popular over the last few years and the game that started it all off was the 3-on-3 arcade basketball game, NBA Street. Earlier this year we reviewed the third game in the series, NBA Street V3, and we were impressed with the game. NBA Street Showdown sees the series go portable but can it equal the impressive NBA Street V3?

When there is something new that is popular in the market we might be tempted to try it out. The fear of missing out is partially one of the main reasons behind the quick rise in popularity of the trading bots like the Crypto CFD Trader app. But then as people found that these really work they have started gaining momentum.

What’s the game about?

NBA Street Showdown offers Quick Play, King of the Courts, Party Play and Head to Head modes. Quick Play offers you a choice of a pick up game as well as arcade shootout and shot blocker mini-games. Party mode offers a choice of the arcade shootout and shot blocker mini-games for 2-4 people (using just the one PSP). Head to Head offers a choice of pick up game, arcade shootout and shot blocker for two players using the wireless capabilities of the PSP. The main mode though is King of the Courts. Here you’ll create your own player (male or female), create your own team and then take on the other teams as you bid to make it to the top. As you progress you’ll be able to upgrade your player with development points and recruit better players in an attempt to become the best team.

What’s good about the game?

If you have enjoyed the NBA Street series you’ll appreciate having a handheld version of the game. As we’ve mentioned below, it’s not without its faults and indeed there is plenty of room for improvement but for the most part the game gets the job done. The games can still be exciting though and the King of the Courts mode in particular will keep most fans of the series happy. I like the way you can save mid-game which if you’re called away during a game you don’t have to turn the console off and lose your progress which is always a plus on a handheld system. Once again it’s great to have the Party Play feature that allows 2 to 4 players to be able to play against each other using just the one PSP.

What’s not so good about the game?

If the truth be told the game play has suffered from the move to the PSP. The main problem here is the reduced number of buttons that you have on the console. There’s no L2 or R2 for instance (which were essential controls for performing tricks). You’ll have to hold down the L & R buttons in combination with other buttons to perform a lot of moves and, to be quite honest, it takes some getting used to. Needless to say some of the tricks have been removed from the game because of the lack of buttons on the PSP. Movement with the analogue stick just doesn’t feel accurate enough and having been accustomed to how well the game played on the PlayStation 2 (which we gave a deserved 9/10) it doesn’t feel right on the PSP. Occasionally there’s lag between pressing the button for a move and the move actually taking place. It’s nothing major but it’s something that should have been sorted out.

How does it look?

NBA Street Showdown certain looks very good and the presentation of the game on the whole is great. What I will say though is the players do seem to blur quite a bit during play. The response time of the PSP LCD screen is probably at fault here as it’s something we’ve noticed in Ridge Racer and Metal Gear Acid. Still blurring aside the character models and the courts all look very good. Player animations are also quite good too although if you’ve played NBA Street V3 you’ll know pretty much what to expect here.

How deaf gamer friendly is the game?

There are no real problems for deaf gamers with NBA Street Showdown. Like NBA Street V3 there is commentary during games and this is not subtitled but to be honest this isn’t much of loss. Apart from the commentary there’s nothing else that will cause any problems for deaf gamers as all other information is given in text.

Final thoughts.

NBA Street Showdown in some ways is a bit of a disappointment. The game never quite equals the standard of NBA Street V3 although what’s here is certainly adequate and I have no doubts that fans of the NBA Street series will appreciate the game. However, if you’ve played NBA Street V3 then this game will feel like an edited version that’s missing some of the best bits. The control scheme just isn’t as good and the controls do occasionally suffer from lag. Despite the faults though the overall experience is still a good one and the game should please all those who weren’t expecting an exact replica of NBA Street V3.

Overall Game Rating: 7.0/10

Deaf Gamers Classification:


(Click the letter or here for details)

All things considered NBA Street Showdown is a good game. It’s not as good as NBA Street V3, for various reasons, but it’s still worth a purchase if you have to have some NBA Street action on the move.