Fri, Jul 25, 2003 - Page 19 News List

PC games reviews

By Lin Chieh-yu  /  STAFF REPORTER

Rockman X6/X7

Designer: Capcom

Distributor: EA Taiwan

Platforms: X6 in Chinese for PC, X7 in Japanese for PS2

Taiwan release: X6 currently available, X7 out this month

In the 15 years since the first Rockman game was released, it has established itself as one of the most popular games in Taiwan and Japan, spanning computer and console platforms. It is a simple game, very much like the early Nintendo game Super Mario, although cuter. "It's really a matter of dexterity," said EA Taiwan manager Jack Lin (林守杰). "It is simply a matter of controlling your character, making it run, jump or duck."

With X6, EA has adapted Rockman into a Chinese-language PC platform, and with X7 it is seeking to make an impact on the Japanese PS2 market. In X7, the program has been modified to incorporate 3D graphics for the first time, making the game more complex.

"This changes the game substantially," said Lin, "Now there are three points of perspective, rather than one, as before. The player must keep switching perspective if he is to get through all the stages."

The story lines of X6 and X7 both involve robots run amok, though X7 develops that scenario into a more complex three-sided relationship, giving the story a little more depth.

Day of Defeat

International distributor: Activision

Local distributor: Unalis Technology

Platforms: English for PC

Taiwan release: Next week

Day of Defeat, like Counter-Strike, is based on the game engine first developed for Half-Life. Set during WWII, it seeks to create the conflicts of that period through small unit actions, and with its 3D graphics, surround sound and Internet playability, it offers a very realistic experience.

Eight basic character types are available, from the infantryman common to all game maps, NCO specialists, support troopers, machine gunners, snipers and paratroopers. In addition to character-specific skills, there are also 21 types of weapons to select from. Fifteen detailed game maps provide excellent playability.

"There is a great need for additional realism in the games coming out at the moment," said John Chiang (蔣鏡明), chief editor of Netgame. "So many regular players have become very expert and only by providing more detail can we keep them playing."

In Day of Defeat this can be seen in the factoring in of recoil and the effects of movement on aim, fatigue that follows periods of prolonged action and other details. Greater detail for snipers, the movements made when using a weapon and hand signals are all more detailed than in earlier games. The usual play modes, such as storming a beachhead, capturing the flag and taking a building are all available, and the map allows gamers to play the battle at the end of the movie Saving Private Ryan.

Unlike Counter Strike, which emphasized individual skills, Day of Defeat requires a high level of cooperation between players in order to complete missions.

Pirates of the Caribbean

International distributor: Bethesda

Local distributor: Interwise Multimedia

Platform: English for PC and Xbox

Taiwan release: October

In Sea Dog, released last year by design house Bethesda, the realism of its ocean scenes and the re-creation of the effects of waves and wind during combat achieved by its 3D graphics engine won praise from gamers round the world. The company has built on this basis with Sea Dog 2, which has strengthened the role that trade and the creation of trade routes play in the game. The game, long awaited by Taiwanese afficionados, is, after numerous delays, scheduled for release in Taiwan under the name Pirates of the Caribbean this October.

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