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Everyone's a critic; get in on the action.

What's hot, and what's not? At Game Picker, you decide. Post your game critiques, walkthroughs, shortcuts, codes, cheats, and speed tips for the latest hot titles. Grab some downloads and match up your gaming smarts against foes and friends.

Articles

Feature Article

The Face of Oblivion

Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, sequel to hit 2002 RPG Morrowind, exploits the potential of Xbox 360 beyond the hilt. Imagine the thematic depth and intricate storyline of the original game, with the ability to navigate for miles in any direction, over hills and dales, in castles and across chasms, wielding spells and swords and building up your character into a worthy adversary for the angriest daedroth. more

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Reviews

-PS2

-Xbox

-GameCube

Previews

Xbox


Main Articles Page (articles.html)

The Face of Oblivion

Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, sequel to hit 2002 RPG Morrowind, exploits the potential of Xbox 360 beyond the hilt. Imagine the thematic depth and intricate storyline of the original game, with the ability to navigate for miles in any direction, over hills and dales, in castles and across chasms, wielding spells and swords and building up your character into a worthy adversary for the angriest daedroth.

Um, up for it? Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion is all this and more. RPG enthusiasts will love the intricacy of every aspect of Bethesda's new masterpiece, with its ability to take your hero/heroine/dark elf through seemingly infinite permutations of fight sequences, inventory upgrades, and costume changes. Add to this some majestic graphics and you've got the category killer on Xbox 360 that Microsoft was looking for.

The twists and turns of developing a character alone make this RPG worth the price of admission. As you work through way through challenging encounters, you'll find an equal challenge in deciding exactly what attributes, skills, armor -- heck, what exact style of leather boots you would like to be wearing tomorrow. Level ups abound and propel you through the game as you are motivated to explore and fight to develop your character to fresh heights of talents and granular levels of personal preference. more

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Main Reviews Page (reviews.html)

- PS2

We Love Katamari
Roll up cows, bears, campfires, sumo wrestlers, you name it, in this surreal Namco sequel to a classic puzzler that is in a category by itself. Boffo soundtrack accompanies you as you make a ball out of everything in sight. more

Shadow of the Colossus
Rid the land of a dozen lumbering, ancient giants to free a princess from death's hand. Easy, no? Monstrous adversaries in sublimely rendered environments are the hallmarks of this original and existentially profound Japanese hit. more

Beyond Good and Evil
Cult classic with fantastic storyline, distinctive animation, and a combination of adventure, puzzle, and stealth elements. Armed only with her trusty camera and some nifty martial arts moves, your heroine Jade combats an alien conspiracy. more

Taiko Drum Master
Let's play! Says the Namco narrator as you square off against your buddies in drumming deathmatches to renditions of Toxic, Love Shack, and Tubthumping. The Japanese genius for karaoke applied to drumming. more

- Xbox

Fable
Elegant RPG/action adventure set in a mythical kingdom gone awry. Beautiful graphics, enigmatic puzzles, swathes of swordplay, and a mood supplied by a stunning Danny Elfman score. Too sweet and too short. more

OddWorld: Stranger's Wrath
Bounty hunter with a dark secret seeks two-legged quarry in the wildest Western game you've ever seen. In this first-person shooter, small animals such as squirrels, skunks, and slugs become weapons. And yet, nothing is harmed except your concept of normality. more

Prince of Persia 3
Get in touch with your evil prince. The tormented hero returns in Ubisoft's sequel to platforming classic. Leap from building to building, fighting evil sand demons with your customary panache. more

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
Bioware's RPG hit of the year of 2003. Play a fallen Jedi and a host of NPCS who travel from world to world, gaining skills, outfits, and unexpected adversaries, unraveling the mystery of a young Jedi who went to the dark side. more

Halo 2
It's true, all games should be like this. The epic story of Master Chief's fight against the Covenant, the Flood, and other dark forces, continues with a near perfect combination of righteous combat and immersive environment design. more

Star Wars: Republic Commando
The life of a clone is nasty, brutish, and short. So live it up, as you fight unending war with your squad of Imperial storm troopers against masses of Trade Federation foes: Geonosians, Tradoshans, and droids are all the bumps in your road. more

- GameCube

Resident Evil 4
Matchless survival horror masterpiece from Capcom. Navigate Leon and Ada through hords of zombies and a labyrinthine plot. Expect an unremitting sense of dread and always remember to shoot for the head. more

Super Mario 64 DS
Mario returns with buddies Yoshi, Wario, and Luigi, 3D graphics, and new multiplayer options. But does the next-gen version really resurrect the greatness of the 80s original? more


Previews Page (previews.html)

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Codes and Cheats Page (codescheats.html)

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We Love Katamari Review Page (katamari.html)

- PS2

We Love Katamari

[katamari.jpg image]

Roll up cows, bears, campfires, sumo wrestlers, you name it, in this surreal Namco sequel to a classic puzzler that is in a category by itself. Boffo soundtrack accompanies you as you make a ball out of everything in sight. more

User Review
Surfer dude Katamari is the most inventive interface yet invented for games. Think about it, the rolling action is the entire modality of gameplay and yet it is so addictive. more
kissR This game is a satire of modern consumerist society. The floors of Japanese houses are strewn with pop culture artifacts, and the objective is to clean the environment by rolling them up in a ball. more
demondemon The J-Pop soundtrack is the entire MO of this game. Funky huh-huh says the narrator as you bounce into the garden in pursuit of small animals to roll up. Beach boys, lounge singers, and funksters are all given a J-Pop makeover. more
grrrl My favorite surreal game. The game is a series of isolated objects in space, people, animals, buildings, and thumbtacks, and your goal is to roll them like a wad of tissue paper. As in other works of surrealist art, the depiction of alienated objects in space creates a profound sense of unease. The only solution is humor. more

Shadow of the Colossus Review Page (shadow.html)

- PS2

Shadow of the Colossus

[shadow.jpg image]

Rid the land of a dozen lumbering, ancient giants to free a princess from death's hand. Easy, no? Monstrous adversaries in sublimely rendered environments are the hallmarks of this original and existentially profound Japanese hit. more

User Review
Jumper Art direction. Art direction. One more time – it cannot be overemphasized how much superior this game with its anime aesthetic is to the clunky cartoonish or grimy realist fare churned out by our US studios. The opening cut scene – five minutes long – dares us to admire the majesty of the whole game environment as the hero Wander riding his horse wends his weary way to his fate. more
TheybeGints Surprisingly simple and yet compelling gameplay are the key to the success of Fumito Ueda's new classic. Find the monster, climb the monster, find his weak points, bring him down. Then rinse and repeat. That this simple formula is addictive is a tribute the other variables in the game. more
Wandering This game shows lesser environment designers where to get off. The sheer scale of the 3D kingdom that Wander is required to navigate is mind-boggling, and the ancient buildings, and many vertigo-inducing vistas are a tribute to the overall map design and the skill with which a creative vision is realized. more
Poet I want to comment on the character art and animation in the game. What, there are no characters you say, but each of the colossi (sp?) are incredibly distinctive figures out of ancient Japanese mythological imagination. more

Fable Review Page (fable.html)

- Xbox

Fable

[fable.jpg image]

Elegant RPG/action adventure set in a mythical kingdom gone awry. Beautiful graphics, enigmatic puzzles, swathes of swordplay, and a mood supplied by a stunning Danny Elfman score. Too sweet and too short. more

User Review
Trollface Sweet it was but now gloriously extended in the expansion pack. This game epitomizes many of ethical dilemmas posed by the best RPGs. When the world is going to Hell, will you save it or be part of the problem? In Fable, your character has a moral role to play. more
Bugbite Nice gameplay in this charming RPG. I thought the sword and arrow shooting provided a nice variety of ways of dealing mayhem in the kingdom. Navigation, orientation, movement, controls, and menuing were all superbly handled, showing the developer's prowess in these important facets of the experience. more
tonerow I think the sound FX and soundtrack were superb. An atonal soundtrack graced the different levels, brooding chords struck when trouble loomed, and character/creature noises fantastically diverse. The dialogue sounded like a BBC period drama, with a satisfying variety of yokels offering you advice as you navigate around. more
Janet Adaptivity is always once of my main concerns as I play an RPG – how many paths are provided for users? Ideally you can travel multiple paths through the game, playing it hundreds of different ways. For practical considerations, however, many games punt on true adaptivity. more

OddWorld Review Page (oddworld.html)

- Xbox

OddWorld: Stranger's Wrath

[oddworld.jpg image]

Bounty hunter with a dark secret seeks two-legged quarry in the wildest Western game you've ever seen. In this first-person shooter, small animals such as squirrels, skunks, and slugs become weapons. And yet, nothing is harmed except your concept of normality. more

User Review
Squirrelly The boss of innovative weapon design! I cannot think of a game that has handled the challenge of designing yet another weapon in such interesting ways. Stranger has an exciting armory at his fingertips: want to lure an enemy? Shoot squirrets at him. Want ot trap him? Snare him with bug webs. Or blow him up with boombats or infest him with fuzzles. The list goes on. more
Fuzzle Nice inventive blend of shooter and stealth genres in this one-of-a-kind title. I was particularly interested by the range of tactics rewarded in this game. Crazy testosterone types can go in with both guns er squirrels blazing. Stealthy sorts can sneak around and pick off enemies with traps and lures. It's a game developed for multiple playing modes. more
Boombat Nice thematic play on western themes in this off-center shooter title. The hero is an outsider and bounty hunter to boot, brought in to solve the problems of humble townsfolk. Sounds generic? Well it's not, as the hero has a dark secret and those folksy townspeople prove not to welcome strangers round these parts. more
Stranger Art direction was excellent in execution. The character design was really distinctive, with a very unusual hero motion mechanic (especially after he sprouts two legs). Background graphics and textures really evoked the West but played around with cartoon style and proportions in an interesting manner. more

Prince of Persia Review Page (persia.html)

- Xbox

Prince of Persia 3

[persia.jpg image]

Get in touch with your evil prince. The tormented hero returns in Ubisoft's sequel to platforming classic. Leap from building to building, fighting evil sand demons with your customary panache. more

User Review
Persssssan The elegance of the first console game's platforming design is evident throughout in this new PofP version. The prince gets to swing his way up, down, and around the most vertical city ever imagined, fighting sand demons and other nasties in his path. I never get tired of looking around and identifying a death-defying path through a new level in this game. more
Butter Combat mechanics are a mixed bag in this new version of the game. The good prince has to work very hard to kill opponents while his evil side destroys them with ease. A new speed skill feature circumvents some thumb-mashing but is devilish hard to time correctly. The overall feeling when you're up against it is that you have to fight the movement controls to get the prince to do what you want. more
Artsy I loved the art direction of the first game and hated its reincarnation in game 2. This third game in the series is somewhere in the middle. The prince has lost his youthful verve and developed a thuggish cast. City environments are spectacular in perspectives and vistas but the textures are all muted and a little generic. more
PrinceOFPrinces The designers of this game should earn some kind of industry specific award for sadism, if such an award exists. Entire sequences – twenty or thirty maneuvers, entire fight sequences, need to be replayed when your prince bites the dust, and some fight sequences are insanely hard. Knowing the odds makes the experience doubly fraught. more

Resident Evil Review Page (residentevil.html)

- GameCube

Resident Evil 4

[residentevil.jpg image]

Matchless survival horror masterpiece from Capcom. Navigate Leon and Ada through hords of zombies and a labyrinthine plot. Expect an unremitting sense of dread and always remember to shoot for the head. more

User Review
Zombie1 Suspense gameplay could hardly be bettered in this the best of the RE series. Chilling audio cues are used throughout to indicate that undead foes are near, and yet Leon's third-person/first-person controls always afford him limited view of his foes. Ammo is in short supply too, and foes approach Leon sometimes slow and sometimes in a hurry, often lunging at him after a burst of acceleration. Seat of the pants stuff. more
ShakenStirred The soundtrack to this game is integrated into gameplay in a masterful way. Unsettling noises prevail, mixed together and rising and falling as the Leon gets deeper into trouble. Character dialogue is delivered in a awesome Balkanized gibberish, the appropriate language for deranged mutants. Turn the visuals off and you still feel the threat. more
Zombie2 I'm a big fan of the art direction in this game. Characters and environments are weathered and decaying, with jewel colors and rich textures reserved for deeper levels where evil prevails. Many of the monster designs are deeply disturbing, with heads popping off and mutating when Leon hits the target. Character animation is also unnatural and frightening. more
AdasMom Hats off to the level designer in RE4 for putting Leon through an astonishing series of challenging encounters and levels, repeating some elements while upping the challenge as the game progresses. Leon gets to revisit areas as he traces his way through a labyrinth of truly bad places. more