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 The Final Word game review

LoadRunner 3-D -- Infogrames

Well, before I get into my rant on modernizing classic games, let me say a few things about this title. The graphics were ok, your standard "3-D" modeled environment. Sound and music were ok as well. The real problem with this game was the play control. I found game-play lacking and I quickly became irritated with the "kick-back" that occurred when I shot a block to make it disintegrate. This one little "feature" had me about ready to toss my controller into the TV screen on a few occasions because it completely destroyed the fast and tight gameplay I was so used to in previous incarnations of the title. But that is just one of many game-play irritants in my opinion. Personally if you're looking for someplace to spend your hard earned money, don't put it here. At best, rent it if you must so that you can gawk (much akin to the way people on the highway slow down to look at an accident), but only if you must.

Now my rant... This game is stereotypical of the current problem with companies "modernizing" classic games. The programmers focus on some "must be 3-D" graphics requirement, and in the process of programming the game, they loose the gameplay... if they ever had it to begin with. To be honest, I was very excited by the idea of this title when I first heard it was going to be released. I am a long standing fan of the series, all the way back to my days of playing it on my Apple //e. But alas, no more... LoadRunner 3-D is a great disappointment, once again, we see that the game industry for the most part has no clue of what "3-D" should mean, thinking instead that glorified 2-D platform games like Pandemonium, and Crash Bandicoot are what it is all about (yes those games were good, but only because they were generally good platform games to begin with, not because they had "3-D" graphics). Many of the fans I speak with frequently lament how they are locked onto a course while playing these games.

What is a 3-D game? Well, 3-D models do not make a game "3-D" among most people I talk to. It's in the environment... Spyro is a 3-D game, Mario 64, Zelda... I could go on. It has gotten so bad in this industry that the mear mention of a classic redo makes me shudder. Let's see, Asteroids, Frogger, Sinistar (not in stores yet but what I've played so far is nothing to write home about), and so on... This is setting a bad precedent since all of these bite big time! So far the only game to successfully pull this off has been Tempest 2000... but then again, it completely captured the original "feel" of the game.

It doesn't have to be this way... 3-D graphics like "frames" on web pages are frequently used as an "end" not a "means." My suggestion to future classic game converters is to throw away that Photoshop mock-up that your in-house artist gave you, and focus on recreating the game-play first. After you have that nailed down, move on to the graphics. The only people you may be impressing with your games are people who want your money for ads in their magazines, and gamers who have never played the original title... and have no sense of what they're missing out on.

>>>>> 8.5/25 <<<<< R.I.P.
Graphics 3.0
Sound 3.0
Gameplay/Control 1.0
Longevity/Playability 0.5
Overall 1.0
Total 8.5