Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Fast Play; Furious Karting Too Middle-of-the-Road

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Fast Play; Furious Karting Too Middle-of-the-Road

Article excerpt

Byline: Robert McGinty, Times-Union staff writer

Furious Karting is an emotionally ambitious name for an Xbox game. And after a few hours with it, you might feel it's well overstated.

Maybe Miffed Karting would have been better. Or A Little Bit Peeved Karting.

It's not that it's that bad; it's just that it never really rises above mediocrity. It's too serious for cuddly cartoon drivers; it's too nerdy for serious sim drivers. And although it tosses in a storyline to follow that keeps your focus a little bit longer, the long-term challenge of the game becomes something of a boring routine.

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Remember Pitfall Harry, the character kind of loosely based on Indiana Jones (Harry made his first appearance on the Atari 2600 in 1982; Indy showed up in theaters in 1981)?

While movies haven't changed much in 20 years, video games are drastically different. Indiana Jones and the Emperor's Tomb (PC, Xbox, PS2, GC) looks more like the movie than a game. It's great to see a familiar character in a game that just looks cool. As far as the game itself, well, it's pretty stock stuff. Run, jump, swing, fight, open doors. It's not Grand Theft Auto; it's not Pitfall. It's somewhere in the middle.

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Command and Conquer Generals (PC) is the latest in an evolving series. It's probably only a good jumping-in point if you're well-versed in real-time strategy games; it's hard to pick up all the nuances even if you are.

There are three military forces to control -- China, the United States and the G.L.A. (terrorists). Each has a different style with different weapons and motivations. The graphics provide a crystal-clear bird's-eye view of the battlefield, a definite plus. And there are enough missions to keep you busy for the better part of a week. Good stuff.

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Panzer Dragoon Orta takes an old-school name and concept -- the rail shooter, where your movement is on a set path and you concentrate on taking out enemies from the back of a flying dragon -- and dolls it up with some of the coolest graphics seen on the Xbox. …

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