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Platform

Playstation 2

 

Genre

Action

 

Publisher

Ubisoft

 

Developer

Genki

 

ESRB

T (Teen)

 

Release Date

10/09/2003

 

 

- Combo Blocking is really awesome

- License

 

 

- Unimaginative levels

- Bad character models

- Useless CGs

 

 

Reviews: Dynasty Warriors 4 (Playstation 2)

Review: Hunter the Reckoning: Wayward (Playstation 2)

Review: The Mark of Kri (Playstation 2)

 

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Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

Score 6.0 / 10

 

Three years after its theatrical release, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon finally comes to a console. Relive the journey of the legendary sword, the Green Destiny. The game follows the same plot as the movie with Li Mu Bai trying to give the Green Destiny to a friend only to have it stolen during the transfer. The movie does an incredible job of conveying that story but unfortunately the game falls short.

 

crouching-tiger-hidden-dragon-1.jpg (40334 bytes)         crouching-tiger-hidden-dragon-2.jpg (28130 bytes)

 

The graphics are really disappointing. The only good character models are the main characters and the bosses. The enemies you face in the first level will be the enemies you face in the last with only different coloured clothes. That was acceptable for the 16bit days but this is new generation gaming! Also the levels are very bland and boring. Many of the levels are too similar to each other. The game involves quite a bit of backtracking and it doesn't help already dull levels.

 

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The game uses four different types of attacks: Unarmed attack, hard unarmed attack, weapon attack and hard weapon attack. By varying these you can create some pretty cool combos. You can also grab an enemy and depending on the buttons you press and the weapon you're holding you will unleash a cool combo on him. Also with the use of the dash button you can flip off walls and run on them too like the characters in the movie do. Unfortunately this doesn't fit into the flow of the 

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fighting and is just a gimmick that loses its dazzle after one minute. The flow of the game itself is really horrible. The fighting is very choppy and you could face swarms of enemies only to have the next level literally completely empty. The whole game itself seems like a bad Shinobi. The two games are very similar in context with Shinobi having the most polish and flow to it.

 

But CTHD has one main thing going for it in terms of control. It has a feature called Combo Blocking. It's the coolest part of the game and is one of the coolest things I've seen in my life. When an opponent starts an attacking combo on you an icon near you health bar will start pulsing. Basically if you press the block/dodge button to the rhythm your character will block, flip and juke around the attacks. It looks like the wonderfully choreographed fights in the movie done by Yuen Wo Ping. Unfortunately this positive also has a negative. The pulse is always the same no matter what enemy or what weapon you are being attacked by. And also there really is no rhythm as you can just button mash the block/dodge button and you won't get touched. Nonetheless it is a very cool feature.

 

crouching-tiger-hidden-dragon-3.jpg (31528 bytes)          crouching-tiger-hidden-dragon-4.jpg (26713 bytes)

 

The sound is basically the scores ripped straight from the movie. Luckily the sound in the movie rocked so it's a nice bit of nostalgia to hear it again. The sound acting isn't that bad but there's a real shortage of it. The only sound acting is done in the short CGs before and after every level. The CGs are very poor and are only there as a lame attempt to keep you to continue playing. Clips from the movie are given to you after every level you beat with a good grade. I'm a little indifferent on this because while it doesn't hinder the game, it doesn't help it either.

 

Too many negatives do not equal a good finished product. Although Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon isn't a horrible game, it isn't a good one. And with the license of a movie that was such a huge success, an okay game just isnít acceptable.

 

- Stefan Shetty

(November 2nd, 2003)

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