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Are you going to buy an Xbox One X This Holiday Season?

Hope to Receive it as a Gift

Game Profile
GENRE: First Person Shooter
PLAYERS:   1-4
November 15, 2001
Halo Wars 2

Halo 5 Guardians

Halo: New 343 Industries Game

Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary

Halo: Reach

More in this Series
Cel Damage
Halo: Combat Evolved
NASCAR Heat 2002
NFL Fever 2002
The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
 Written by Ryan Smotherman  on October 05, 2001

Special: Patrick: "So many games, so little cash.?
Ryan: ?Well then get a job you lazy bum.?

With every console's launch comes the same dilemma, and that's simply choosing which games to purchase with your shiny new system. The Xbox launch will be no exception. There are going to be a slew of titles available for the Xbox in November. With a monstrous 17+ titles to choose from on November 15th, which ones are worthy of your hard earned cash? For the most part, you people out there who have supported the Xbox from day one already know the answer to that. However, there are many people out there that until recently didn't know what the Xbox is, or what games will be available for it from the word go. So, for that reason, Ryan and I are sharing our personal views on the Xbox launch titles, as well as the favorite game pick of all the staff here at Xbox Target. Call it a launch day shopping guide if you will.

Not only will we be expressing our personal views with words, number will also play a key role in this. Each of us will rate our ?personal? anticipation for each game with a number between 1 and 5, naturally, 1 is the lowest and 5 is the greatest. Keep in mind, that due to changes in schedules and shipping times, not all of these games we cover will be available everywhere on Nov 15th, but should be shortly afterwards or even before. Well, enough of my useless bantering. Let's get to the goodies, shall we?

Cel Damage - Electronic Arts
Patrick - 2/5
Cel shading games have become more and more popular as of late it would seem. Jet Grind Radio Future and even the GameCube's Zelda are getting the cel-shaded treatment. The result is a finish that looks strikingly close to Anime. Cel Damage in this respect is looking mighty fantastic. From what I've seen so far, the guys at PI have done a fantastic job on this game so far. Let's see, we have cel-shaded cars with wacky weapons, humorous characters, and loads of multi-player fun. Think of a ?Who Framed Roger Rabbit? version of Unreal Tournament. The cars look and move as they did in that toon movie, however, the object of the game is to frag your opponents in arena-style combat. Yes, it looks like fun, but I am not infinitively rich. This game can hold off for a bit, as DOA3 and Halo are calling my name much louder.

Ryan - 2/5
Look! Another car combat game! Yeah, we really need another one of these. But Cel Damage isn't going to be your regular ?ole run of the mill car frag fest. When compared to games like Twisted Metal: Black and Vigilante 8, Cel Damage seems a lot more happy-go-lucky. Cel Damage takes away a very serious, even evil experience, and gives it a cartoonish feel and look. Demonstrated by the ?Sega Technique?, a.k.a.- cel shaded graphics, the game is just one of the many to use this graphical style, but you know the saying goes, ? Imitation is the greatest form of flattery.? But besides the amazing looking graphics, the game seems to be very entertaining. With off-the-wall characters and fast, frantic gameplay, Cel Damage has a lot of potential to take your big bucks come November, even if EA is publishing it (sorry, I just had to get that in there).

The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind - Bethesda Softworks
Patrick - 4/5
Ah yes, RPG heaven. This isn't going to be your typical RPG people. Morrowind is what they call an ?Open ended? RPG, which simply means that there is a lot of freedom. True, there is a storyline involved, yet the way you progress along is entirely up to you. Do you go right in, and just play through the plotline? Or do you wander off on your own in search of adventure? The choice is yours. So, quite literally, there are hundreds of different paths you can take to complete your goal. This is one game that I am definitely going to check out, and I'm not what you'd call an RPG fan. If you are a fan of RPG's though, do not pass this title up! It is well worth at least a rental on sheer concept alone.

Ryan - 4/5
Now here we have a game with much promise. Morrowind is the continuation of the amazing Elder Scroll series found on the PC. Not only that, but it also seems to be the Xbox's only RPG come November. I guess the game can be called a true RPG, in it you create your own unique character and basically do what you will, no set plot or goals. That's why the game is being labeled open-ended, everything you do has an affect on the game and what direction you take. The series itself has won many gaming awards from a variety of gaming publications, so I have strictest confidence that Bethesda will treat us newly established Xbox boys with a spectacular RPG.

Halo: Combat Evolved - Microsoft
Patrick - 5/5
There isn't a whole lot I can say about Halo, except WOW! This game looks more and more impressive every time I see a new video of it in motion. Everything is in there to make single play exciting and original. The ability to get into and out of vehicles in a massive gaming world is unlike anything I have ever seen before. However, Bungie didn't stop there. There is a whole bunch of multi-player fun too. About the most disappointing fact about Halo is that it won't be online, as MS's online plan won't kick into gear until mid 2002, but, but, after seeing this game played at E3 in May, who cares? The game is playable with up to 16 players across 4 Xbox's in a LAN. Online or not, that equals some serious fun folks. The bottom line is, you got weapons, vehicles, good guys, and some aliens with a bad attitude. What's not to love?

Ryan - 5/5
You know, there is this very common, yet false statement going about, that is that the Xbox has no killer apps. I for one think this is complete and utter bull. Not only does the Xbox have a killer app, it has two, Dead or Alive 3 and Halo. But DOA3 is going to have to wait for another time. I'm here to talk all about Bungie's bread and budda, Halo. Sure, many say it's just another first-person-shooter, but it's far and beyond that in my opinion. Halo is going to take the genre to a whole new height, not just graphically (oh man is it gorgeous), but gameplay wise as well. This is being accomplished with new ideas concerning your weapons and vitality, plus, the inclusion of vehicles is going to add a whole new dimension to the recently dull genre. I'd also expect many other features never before seen in this type of game. I think Halo is definitely going to be the game to look out for on launch day, I'm going to go ahead and label this bad boy one of my must owns. Come on Sony and Nintendo fanboys, you know you wanna play it. (Nintendo Target Editor's Note: Say what? No.)

NASCAR Heat - Infogrames
Patrick - 4/5
NASCAR Heat offers a twist to stock car racing. One of my pet peeves about these sort of racing sims, is that most of them are long races, and all it takes is one mistake on lap 245 in a 250 lap race to go from first to last place. So, for me, I prefer arcade racers. They are short, don't require you to be a race driver by profession, and are all around a lot more fun. However, that is one aspect of NASCAR Heat that appeals to me. There is the Normal mode, in which the game play is more reminiscent of an arcade style game. The steering is a tad more forgiving, and the experience is all about fun. Yet, the game doesn't stop there. There is an expert mode to allow for some of you more die-hard racing junkies to enjoy true-to-life physics and crashes. What about multi-player? Taking on one friend might not be so challenging, but what about 7? That's right. By linking up 2 Xbox machines together, 8 players can duke it out on real courses all at once. With all of those savvy game play modes, better than life graphics, 5.1 digital surround sound for users with the appropriate equipment, and massive multi-player capabilities, NASCAR Heat is looking to be one fun game. I am going to have to give this game a spin, no pun intended.

Ryan - 2/5
Not one, but two NASCAR games will be hitting the Xbox come launch day. So, which one to get? You might think that since I live in Tennessee that I'll like the biggest redneck sport of them all, but that's not the case. I don't really care for the so-called ?sport?, so it's really hard to give an opinion. That is because I don't have one. But for you racing fans, I'd expect a realistic racing experience, complemented with some photo realistic graphics. It is on the Xbox you know.

NFL Fever 2002 - Microsoft
Patrick - 5/5
Right out of Microsoft's development studios comes NFL Fever 2002. I have to be honest here, and say that I am not familiar with the Fever series enough to know what to expect from this game based on past incarnations. However, everything I have seen on this game is making my anticipation soar. Excellent photo-realistic graphics, all the modeled stadiums, players, and great hit detection are all included. This game is looking like it will be a lot of fun. However, I am going to hold off on this game for one simple reason: there are 3 big name NFL games coming to the console. Games from Sega, EA, and Microsoft themselves. I want to see each and every game on the Xbox first before I make a decision on which one to purchase. Right now, I am leaning towards NFL 2K2, simply based on Visual Concept's track record with the series. That might change once I get a chance to play Microsoft's NFL game though, we just have to wait and see.

Ryan - 3/5
The success of Fever 2002 is really up in the air. For one, it has some major competition in EA's Madden 2002 (shiver), and Sega's NFL 2K2 (yay). Secondly, no one really knows how it plays, at least not me. So, it's really hard to recommend this game come launch, you usually have to spend a little time with a football game to know if it's a winner or not. And seeing as this is the first go at this franchise, the quality of it could go either way. I'm predicting a distant third for this game, I'd play it safe and either wait for the reviews, or get NFL 2K2 come early December.

Final Note
That pretty much does it for week one of our look into the launch games for the Xbox. Be sure to check out our preview section for all the previews of games upcoming in the weeks that follow. Also, be sure to check back next week for Part 2 of the Xbox Launch Guide, which is set to star Dead or Alive 3, Shrek, Star Wars: Starfighter, Fusion Frenzy, and Madden 2002.

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