Game Zone: P.N.03, Jak II, Dance Dance Revolution Max 2

By Jae-Ha Kim and Misha Davenport
Chicago Sun-Times
October 17, 2003

P.N.03 (Capcom, T for Teen, GameCube)

Imagine Lara Croft in outer space. Our equally fashion-forward heroine is saddled with a much less cool name Vanessa Z. Schneider. A lethal mercenary who hate robots, Vanessa’s plan is to wipe out the Computer Arms Management System. We quickly learn they wiped out her entire family. This is where you come in. Make multiple kills and score mondo combo points utilizing Vanessa’s smooth fight moves. Like the headstrong woman she is, Vanessa doesn’t always do what you say. But you wouldn’t want her any other way. As for the throbbing techno music pulsating in the background, it’s not something you’d want to listen to for hours at a time, but it does help give the game a sense of urgency. –Jae-Ha Kim

Jak II  (Sony. T for Teen, PlayStation 2)

One of the most anticipated games for the PlayStation 2 this holiday, “Jak II” doesn’t disappoint. After being sucked into the wormhole, Jak and Daxter find themselves in a strange city ruled with an iron fist by the evil Baron Praxis. Jak gets captured and subjected to experimental injections of a substance called “Dark Echo.” The substance has given him new powers, but at a terrible price — if left unchecked, his new abilities will lead to madness. But Jak has other things on his mind — like revenge. After Dax helps him escape, the pair set out on a mission of extracting retribution from the tyrannical Baron. “Jak II” is a mission-based platform game that offers something for everyone. In addition to standard platform fare of jumping and running, there’s shooting, racing and even a bit of “Crazy Taxi” shuttling of passengers. The graphics are outstanding. The colorful cheeriness of the first game are replaced by a more gritty post-apocalyptic world that suit the plot of this game well. “Jak II” is a definite must-have. –Misha Davenport

Dance Dance Revolution Max 2  (Konami. E for Everyone, PlayStation 2)

“Dance, Dance Revolution Max 2” has players ditching the controller for a giant Twister-like mat with giant arrows up, down and left and right. A wide range of songs can be selected — everything from K.C. & the Sunshine Band’s “Get Down Tonight” to “Take Me Away” by 4 Strings. As the music plays, you step to the beat as arrows onscreen tell you which way to step.          What would gamers do without Konami? In the past month, Konami has gotten them off the couch and outside for some much needed sunshine (“Boktai”) and now the Japanese company succeeds in getting their heart rates up with this aerobic workout disguised as a video game. –Misha Davenport

CHICAGO’S TOP 10

The hottest games sold in Chicago on amazon.com last week:

1. Madden NFL 2004 Xbox

2. NBA Live 2004 PS2

3. The Simpsons: Hit and Run GameCube

4.Madden NFL 2004 PS2

5. Harry Potter: Quidditch World Cup GameCube (advance orders; avail 10/28)

6. Bionicle: The Game PS2

7. Finding Nemo GBA

8. Super Mario Advance 4 GBA

9. Lord of the Rings: Return of the King PS2 (advance orders; avail 11/5)

10.Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2004 Xbox

Biz bytes 

Peter Gabriel recently inked a deal with Ubisoft to provide his song “Burn You Up, Burn You Down” on November’s “Uru: Ages Beyond Myst” game. Why stop there? We think Ubisoft’s “Ape Escape 2” is a perfect match for Gabriel’s “Shock the Monkey.”

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