This story is over 5 years old.

The Literature Issue

Games Reviews - The Literature Issue

OK. Right off the bat, hands down, no contest, Return to Castle Wolfenstein has the best graphics I’ve seen in any video game ever.
VICE Staff
Κείμενο VICE Staff

Return to Castle Wolfenstein
Publisher: Activision
Developer: Nerve / Id
Platform: PC / Mac OSX
Genre: First Person Shooter
Rating: Mature
Online: Yes OK. Right off the bat, hands down, no contest, Return to Castle Wolfenstein has the best graphics I’ve seen in any video game ever (thanks to the brilliant Quake 3 engine). I played it with an ATI Radeon 64MB 7500 card, with all the shit turned right up, and I was blown away by the level of detail in the textures, the complexity of the models, and the overall design of the game. Nothing comes close. You can talk about your DOA3s or your Waverace Bluestorms, but RTCW kicks everyone’s ass right into the garbage. In the single- player aspect of the game, you play Private Blascowitz, and it’s your mission to escape from Castle Wolfenstein and foil the Nazis’ plans to create supersoldiers out of zombies. It’s kind of a cross between Saving Private Ryan and Raiders of the Lost Ark. The only problem with the one- player game is that it only takes about a week or two to finish and I wasn’t really into playing it again. That’s where the online aspect of the game comes in. Holy shit. There’s room for up to 32 players at once, assuming your server can handle it, and it’s broken down into two types of play: mission-based team play or flag- domination team play (similar to domination in UT). One of the coolest aspects is the character classes. First you choose which side (axis of evil or allies), then the class. You have the soldier who gives you access to all the weapons, you have the medic who lets you revive wounded players on the battlefield, and you have the lieutenant who can call in air strikes. I recommend playing as the lieutenant. Nothing is cooler than seeing a massive explosion take out five guys hiding in a bunker. There’s a beach level which duplicates the opening scene of Saving Private Ryan and it’s the best adrenaline rush you’ve ever had. Also, Nerve just released an official map update online called “Trench Toast.” Go download it from Its a flag- domination map based on WWII-style trench warfare. Jesus Christ. It’s all too much to bear.

Sonic Adventure 2: Battle
Publisher: SEGA
Developer: Sonic Team
Platform: GameCube
Genre: Action
Rating: Everyone
Online: No It’s odd to be sitting here playing a Sonic the Hedgehog game on my Nintendo when there’s no Mario game available for it yet. These are strange times. Perhaps the terrorists really have won. In any case, Sonic for the GameCube is a flawed gem of a game. I’m certainly not above games targeted to younger players. Super Smash Bros. is a perfect example of a game that’s above blowing people up with napalm. However, Sonic Adventure 2: Battle is so fucking easy that no one under the age of 6 will find it remotely challenging. I finished the game in less than two hours my first time out and I was talking on the phone half the time. To be totally positive, I tested it out on my 9-year-old brother, and it took him a day. The game is not without merit. There’s an option of playing as either Sonic or Dark Sonic (with different levels for each) so there’s a lot to do here, although I’d have preferred more Sonic-themed levels and less Tales and Knuckles levels. The graphics are some of the crispest and fastest I’ve seen on the Cube, and some of the texture work really deserves applause. The Sonic’s forest level is a good example of this: It looks incredible, with lots of organic textures, while maintaining a solid frame rate. The worst feature by far is the music. Unless you’re heavily into happy Japanese J-Pop, turn the volume down. The opening tune is probably one of the gayest tracks I have yet to hear in a video game and it gets worse from there. There’s even some dude rapping about the missions you have to complete in each level. It went from being so bad it’s good to being bad again. Kind of like the whole game.