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 The Final Word game review

Quake II -- Hammerhead Ltd/id Software/Activision, Inc.

Well, this came out of the blue to be sure. I've usually been pretty disappointed with a number of the Doom/Quake conversions to console, but for once they finally got it. Sure, I can hear all of you PC gamers screaming for blood, but you know what? Who cares. On a PC this game is really only playable with a 200Mhz+/3-D accelerated PC ($700-$2000 depending on what you bought). This on the other hand uses a $99 console, that you just boot and play.

Aside from some small differences, major level features seem to be present, which I was actually quite please to discover. Graphics were great, and you even get transparent water and particle-looking explosions to boot! Sound was great, both music and SFX. All of the gore was in full effect with exploding bodies, etc. Graphics and play-control were fast, and in all of the time I played, I didn't see any slowdown or graphics drops. Everything about the game was pretty solid. Even the use of the Dual-Shock vibration feature was well done from everything to machine-gun fire and so on.

As far as overall game control goes, the fact that you could set the game to use both analog sticks on the Dual-Shock for all of your movement, leaving the L&R buttons for jump, shoot, and change weapon, was a real plus. I felt I had excellent control over my character... even better than on the PC. My only complaint in this area is that I didn't seem to see anyway to change the actual button mappings to anything other than a collection of presets (this would have been a nice addition). Also, for those of you who just have to have a mouse, it even supports the PlayStation mouse as a controller.

Oh, and let's not forget the all important multi-player modes (Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, and Versus) allowing two-four player combat via the Multi-Tap adapter. Of course this isn't the same as playing on four different computers networked together, but then again sitting side-by-side with your friend when you blow his ass away has a certain appeal of its own.

As with the PC version of this game, it is rated Mature for "Animated Violence/Animated Blood & Gore", and they aren't kidding. But, I can't say I see this game turning anyone into a blood thirsty killer. No more than fantasy RPGs make people demon worshipers.

If you own a PlayStation and enjoy the whole Doom/Quake genre, but don't have the bucks or patience to deal with a PC, then this is the game you've been waiting for. My pick for best PC to console port of the year. And a strong recommendation for permanent status in anyone's PS game collection.

>>>>> 24.5/25 <<<<< R.I.P.
Graphics 5.0
Sound 5.0
Gameplay/Control 4.5
Longevity/Playability 5.0
Overall 5.0
Total 24.5