Game Zone: Futurama, Silent Hill 3, Downhill Domination

By Jae-Ha Kim and Misha Davenport
Chicago Sun-Times
August 22, 2003

SILENT HILL 3 • Konami PlayStation 2

“Silent Hill 3” features many of the elements that have made the survivor horror series so popular: plenty of jump-out-of-your-seat moments and nightmarish creatures that stay with you even after you have turned off the PlayStation 2.  You play as Heather Morris, a normal teenager who wakes up from a nightmare to find herself thrust into a living one. As you search abandoned malls, eerie hospitals and monster-infested amusement parks, you slowly unravel a mystery that has haunted the town for the two previous “Silent Hill” games. Gameplay consists of exploring various blood-soaked environments, solving puzzles, and shooting, stabbing or whacking things that go bump in the night. The plot and dialogue set this game apart from its predecessors. Its conclusion ties up some loose ends from the previous games and the acting is superb. If you have a few hours to kill and don’t mind sleeping with the lights on, pay a visit to Silent Hill. (Rated M for Mature) –Misha Davenport 

DOWNHILL DOMINATION • Incog Inc. Entertainment PlayStation 2

The first downhill mountain bike racing game for PS2 rocks big time. The soundtrack gets you pumped to trick your way down the detailed mountains. The more impressive and difficult the tricks, the more points you score. The 3-D visuals are lifelike enough to make you feel as if you’re really racing through nature. But don’t get lulled by the beauty, because you’ll find yourself crunched in between a pair of bikers. (Rated: T for teen) –Jae-Ha Kim

FUTURAMA • Vivendi Universal • reviewed for the Xbox

Evil businesswoman Mom now owns 51 percent of Earth, making her supreme ruler. It’s up to the gang at Planet Express–Fry, Leela and Bender–to stop her. Based on the underrated (and now canceled) Fox TV show, the game features the writing and voice talent from the series and its 3-D cell shading mimics the show’s look. While the show was innovative, game levels are repetitive. “Futurama” doesn’t bring anything new to the platform genre save for the show’s humor and wit. For die-hard fans only. (Rated: T for teen) –Misha Davenport

CHICAGO’S TOP TEN

The hottest games sold in Chicago on amazon.com as of Aug. 10

1. Madden NFL 2004 PlayStation 2

2. Madden NFL 2004 Xbox

3. Madden NFL 2004 GameCube

4. Mario Golf Toadstool Tour GameCube

5. Soul Caliber II (Adv. orders) Xbox

6. Soul Caliber II (Adv. orders) PS2

7. Soul Caliber II (Adv. orders) GameCube

8. F-Zero GX GameCube

9. Pokemon Sapphire Gameboy Advance

10. Backyard Baseball Gameboy Advance

Biz bytes 

Either Electronic Arts CEO Larry Probst has a really good crystal ball or he knows something we don’t. At a recent press conference Probst told reporters he expects Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo’s next generation systems will hit the marketplace sometime in 2005.

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