Don't expect a revolution this year, just another step forward for the franchise...
It's not flashy or brilliant, but it'll do just fine for this year.
General first impressions after a few days with the game...
A cool experiment which is free to play, what do we think of it?
- Project Gotham Racing 3 (Xbox 360 - 89.9%)
"Project Gotham Racing 3 for the Xbox360 is here and we will have known it. The feeling of speed and the level of empathy with the in-car view creates an adrenaline rush and is unseen, the visuals, surroundings and cars in high definition are to lick your fingers and the sound is simply realistically raw. Too bad the solo-mode is a bit too short - something people without Xbox Live will be disappointed about - and are the loading times just a bit too long to talk about a true racing revolution. Nonetheless this game is very promising for what will be possible in the future on the Xbox360 and a must-have if you like racing games and are planning to buy Microsoft's next-gen console."
- Football Manager 06 (PC - 84.2%)
"To summarize briefly: Sports Interactive included a database with data from over thousands of players and teams during the season of 2005-2006, they improved the training system, made a number of changes to the gameplay and finally added a few handy tutorials which add greatly to the game's accessibility."
"Alas, I have to judge the game as is – and it’s fantastic stuff. It’s the sort of game non-sports fans can pick up and love. Not only is it the best SSX to date, it also features Apply Some Pressure by Maximo Park. Now that’s got to be worth something."
"Because of the online mode, and because the single-player option is going to take such a long time to complete, Ridge Racer 6 avoids being the slouch some people anticipated. Because the visuals are quite polished and the racing in general is quite satisfying, and since there’s really no solid competition unless you prefer something like Need for Speed: Most Wanted, recommending Namco’s latest is a no-brainer. It won’t change your notions about the franchise, but if you’ve always liked to power slide, rest assured: it’s still fun."
"Leading video games developer and publisher Namco Hometek Inc. today announced Ridge Racer 6 has shipped to retail outlets throughout North America. The premiere racing game for the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, Ridge Racer 6 continues the series' trademark pulse-pounding drift racing action with true next generation graphics, a massive single-player mode and online gameplay modes for the first time in Ridge Racer history. Ridge Racer 6 is rated E for Everyone by the ESRB."
- WRC Rally Evolved (PS2 - 6/10)
"WRC just isn't as good as it so easily could and should be. I'd trade every single Interactive Event, half the stages, all of the unlockable (also: disposable) bonus features and practically all of the cars for a solid career/championship mode and, more pertinently, a damage system that introduced a sense of danger to accompany the urgency of each race."
- Mario Power Tennis (GBA - 8/10)
"As GBA titles go, Mario Power Tennis is a fantastic title to own - not least because it justifies its existence by being the best GBA tennis title by a mile. With a massively entertaining single-player element that features some mind-bogglingly addictive mini-games and excellent visuals it sells itself. It might not play the most incredible game of tennis you've ever come across, but that issue soon gets lost once you find out just how entertaining it is on the whole. Yet another shining example of the kind of simple, addictive brilliance that Nintendo seems to have a monopoly on these days."
"Is Mario Kart DS the perfect Nintendo DS video game? I'd say so. Despite the fact that I haven't gotten the chance to play WiFi Multiplayer, everything else about Mario Kart DS is flawless. The controls are spot-on. The new tracks, combined with the classic ones, are superb. The visuals test the DS's hardware more than most DS games at this point. The music is catchy, the gameplay is addictive...what more could you want from a handheld racing game? If you own a DS and didn't already have this pre-purchased, you need to get on the ball and buy this game now that it's out on the market."
- FIFA 06: Road to FIFA World Cup (6.3/10)
"At the end of the day there are just cheaper, better playing soccer titles than FIFA. Such as Konami’s Pro Evolution Soccer offerings, or better yet FIFA 06 on Xbox. The game plays fine I suppose, but there just could be a lot more put into it, and shoul definitely be passed up until Electronic Arts gets it together for next year."
- Madden NFL 06 (7/10)
"Madden NFL 06 may not be worth the $60 in cash, but it is still a blast. The core gameplay is still all there, and you can always play again others on Live. If anything, you should at least rent to see what you are willing to let go just so you have the visually superior version of the game."
"LMA Manager 2006 is a fine, fine game. Usable, playable, addictive, fun, challenging and accurate are words that come to mind to describe the package, but you could fairly get away with dull and infuriating too – simply because of the time it takes to get between days and matches. Still, a console football fan’s dream – if you have time – or maybe even a PSP to play on between games."
"Overall, Mario Kart DS is an incredible game which raises the bar and sets the standard for handheld – and even console racers. Whether this is the best in the series is an argument that is about to begin, but personally I’m very sure it is, as the new modes and features add so much extra value to the game. The Nintendo DS finally has a truly must-own killer app – and one that I, as well as millions of others around the world, will be playing and enjoying for many years to come."
NEW YORK, NY - November 23, 2005 - 2K Sports, a publishing label of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTWO), announced today that College Hoops 2K6 for the Xbox(r) video game and entertainment system from Microsoft is now available at retailers across North America. 2K Sports' highly acclaimed college basketball franchise returns to deliver the most realistic collegiate experience yet, featuring an enhanced Legacy mode, underclassmen recruiting, high school camps, virtual coaches and an unprecedented five in-game commentators.
"Fans love college basketball because it portrays basketball in its purest state; where solid coaching, strong teamwork and school spirit prevail," said Greg Thomas, president of Visual Concepts, a 2K Sports studio. "College Hoops 2K6 incorporates this by introducing new features that make it the most comprehensive college basketball game, delivering the emotion and drama of the college experience like never before."
Bringing personality to the franchise mode are the coaches and multiple commentators. College Hoops 2K6 breaks new ground by featuring real college coaches, including Roy Williams, Tubby Smith, Jim Boeheim, and Lute Olson. College Hoops 2K6 gives gamers in-depth game coverage, enhanced by insightful commentary from Verne Lundquist as the play-by-play announcer, Bill Raftery for color commentary, Bonnie Bernstein reporting from the sidelines and Greg Gumbel and Clark Kellogg as tournament presenters.
"This is the first time that a video game company has obtained the licensing right to use a large number of college coaches within the body of the video game," said David Kirkpatrick, vice president of non-apparel marketing, The Collegiate Licensing Company. "We think that college basketball fans will revel in the opportunity to have top college coaches walking the sidelines."
In addition, College Hoops 2K6 showcases new features for the franchise such as Player Disposition, the Coach's Clipboard, the High School Camp and many of the elements that made NBA 2K6 a critical success, such as the Strip 'n' Rip System, Shot Stick and V.I.P. System(tm).
* Player Disposition focuses on each player's inherent set of attributes: consistency, focus, and confidence. By utilizing practice drills, scrimmages, and weekly meetings in the game, you try to raise these attributes to their peaks, so that you can heighten your Player Psyche and optimize your players' performances.
* The Coach's Clipboard feature captures the true collegiate atmosphere by stressing the importance of good coaching. The feature gives gamers the ability to give specific direction to their team during timeouts to help coach them to victory. Gamers have total control over individual zone replacements to make the necessary substitutions for improving zone defense efficiency and exploiting an opponent's weaknesses.
* The High School Camp feature lets gamers scout top performing high school players by visiting camps and observing or playing with the top prospects in the country to judge their performance in drills and scrimmages. This feature complements the underclassmen recruiting feature, in which gamers can now recruit high school players at any level and secure interest that will carry over from year to year.
Through the Xbox Live(r) online game service and PlayStation Online, College Hoops 2K6 provides gamers with the most realistic, interactive gaming experience with seamless head-to-head online play. The comprehensive online features also provide stat tracking, buddy list management and online leagues.
College Hoops 2K6 for the Xbox(r) video game and entertainment system from Microsoft is rated "E" for Everyone and available in North American retail stores for $29.99. College Hoops 2K6 for the PlayStation(r) 2 computer entertainment system will be available in stores in early December. College Hoops 2K6 for the Xbox 360(tm) video game and entertainment system from Microsoft is slated for release in early 2006Additional details and features will be available in the near future.
For more information, please visit www.2Ksports.com.
"If you can't figure out by now that Project Gotham Racing 3 is the flagship racing game for the Xbox 360 launch then I don't know what to tell you. From mind blowing graphics and lighting effects and the brilliant experience of speed. The enormous amount of vehicle choices and racing options. Music choices out the whazoo, and stellar sound effects. All the online possibilities with leaderboards and live viewing of races. Add to that an easy to use track editor and you have a real winner here. PGR3 gets the checkered flag in my book, and is a must have in your new Xbox 360 library."
"With Xbox Live play and solid gameplay fundamentals for head-to-head showdowns, Madden NFL 06 will satisfy the casual football game fan. Those with more discerning tastes, or even those who have played Madden for years, will find all the missing options a bit too much to rationalize its $59 price tag. As the only NFL game on the Xbox 360, next August could be a long time to wait for the likely improved version, but we recommend a tryout before signing this one to your Xbox 360 roster."
"Ridge Racer 6's graphics may be pure 360 shininess, but the gameplay is from a generation ago... hell, two generations ago and that's generous. If you're looking for an arcade racer, you're almost certain to be better served by Need for Speed: Most Wanted. If it's something more realistic you're after, Project Gotham will fit the bill just fine, In other words, unless you're specifically looking for another Ridge Racer game, pass this one up."
- NBA Live 06 Review (2.5/5)
"NBA Live 06 knocks the progress of this series back to the Stone Age. It sacrifices everything (dunk contest, Superstar Freestyle moves, Franchise mode) for next-gen graphics, yet ends up looking worse than NBA 2K6 -- which kept all of its features in tact. Remember back in '95, when EA didn't release Madden for PlayStation because Sony's NFL GameDay was a vastly superior product? Maybe they should've done the same thing here, and saved themselves some embarrassment. It plays decently and looks good, but that's not worth some shiny new $400 hardware and a $10 higher software price tag."
- Tony Hawk's American Wasteland Review (4.5/5)
"Again, THAW for Xbox 360 is a phenomenal game…if you haven't picked it up already. Not to beat the flesh off a dead horse, but if you have the Xbox version already, it's not really worth your time or money. It's the same game with better graphics and a better controller. If you totally mark out for visuals and you want to earn some more Accomplishment points, then it might be worth your while. It's still a great title, but unless you don't already have it, it's not an essential purchase."
- NBA 2K6 Review (4/5)
"However, if you already own NBA 2K6 on another system and are happy with what you have, you're only missing eye candy here. As sweet as that candy is, I don't know if you want to pay at least $360 to get a taste. I'm personally very glad 2K Games ported it; the fact that I've shunned my Xbox version's saved games should tell you something about its merits. However, with no gameplay advancements and a high price tag, it's definitely not for everyone."
- Ridge Racer 6 Review (4.5/5)
"In closing, if you want a realistic gaming experience complete with upgradeable cars, real-life streets and authentic car licenses, Ridge Racer 6 is not your game. If you want arcade style racing complete with high-speed corner bending, annoyingly foppish announcers and the most fun driving you can have without smashing the other guy off the road (that's coming in March to 360), then you want to pick up Ridge Racer 6. The split-screen multiplayer is fun, but can slow down at times, while the World Xplorer should keep people occupied for a good while so that they have a fighting chance over Xbox Live. Leave the sim racing to the guys playing PGR 3. If you want to hop right into a solid racing title, look no further than Reiko and Co."
- Madden NFL 06 Review (4/5)
"Although there are a few issues here and there, Xbox 360 owners should pick up a copy of Madden NFL 06 on launch day. Now, that's not to say that Madden fans should run out to buy an Xbox 360 just to play the game. Many hardcore fans will be disappointed by the number of features that were removed from the game, especially the highly entertaining minicamp drills and the deeper elements of the game's Franchise mode. However, if you're the type of player who just wants to play the nicest looking football game in history, buying Madden NFL 06 is a no-brainer."