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TwistedFans Gets the Inside Scoop on Sports Games for the X-Box


Tues, Nov 27, 2001


Issue #25


     We don't know where it came from, but outside the doors of TwistedFans.com's business suite was a box full of new X-Box sports game for our reviewing. After many hours of gaming, we emerged from our tv sets with red eyes pulsating with glee. Here's a short synopsis of new games coming out on the X-Box:

Just Give Key the Damn Ball!
Plot: You are a quarterback whose objective is not necessarily to win your team's games, but to get star WR Keyshawn Johnson the damn ball. Scoring is based solely around how successful you are at getting Key the ball -- regardless of which team you select, Key is always one of your starting wideouts.

The premise is not as bad as you think. We were shut out 40 to nothing by the St. Louis Rams, but somehow still won the game because we accumulated "Keyshawn points" by getting him 10 receptions. A downside of this game is that there is absolutely no running game, with the exception of a few end around plays involving Johnson. In addition, if you fail miserably at getting the football to Key, he occasionally refuses to get on the field. This can only be remedied by repeated resetting of the game and tinkering with the X-Box' memory so that the receiver "forgets your disrespect" (hey, that's what it says in the game booklet).

Help Isaiah Come Back
Plot: Isaiah Thomas, jealous by the comeback of adversary Michael Jordan, feels the need to get back on the hardwood. Leading the Memphis Grizzlies as "Ike," you must help them reach an above .500 record before you can play as any other team or control other players. Goading you on to do your best is your mom, Mrs. Thomas, whose facial image is later superimposed on the body of a strange 8 foot Croatian opponent known only as 'Oedipusovic.' An interesting feature of the game is that it allows you to employ your own brown-nosing sideline reporter to follow you during every break in play. You have a choice of Bryant Gumbel, MNF broadcaster Al Michaels, or Hannah Storm. Alas, Ahmad Rashad is not an option.  

Patrick Roy Hockey
Plot: Hockey Roy-style, you are the skilled and arrogant goalie, tending goal 40 feet away from the actual net. We're not kidding, the game design prevents you from being any closer. However, armed with a shotgun you can stun or take down approaching players as well as those that pass you by. The gun has limited range (you can't kill the opposing goalie), but 4 shots will normally take out any player. You can play at Roy, medium or Eric Lindros mode. In Lindros mode, shooting any player just once will take him down for the whole game.

Where's A-Rod?
Plot: You are Jeremy Ritter, a bounty hunter for Texas Rangers owner Tom Hicks. Your objective is to find disgruntled shortstop Alex Rodriguez, who wishes he was somewhere else. Filled with a slew of characters who give you clues on A-Rod's constantly changing whereabouts, we loved this part rpg, part action adventure game. "Alex is in the piazza," says one mysterious figure with a New York accent. Also interesting is the game's "Boras" feature, whereby you can see and know everything for five seconds if you accumulate the right amount of "agent points." Our suggestion: play the game at "dead or alive mode" and you get a full arsenal of weapons to choose from while trailing A-Rod.

Bury the NASCAR Driver
Plot: You are a forensic examiner at the scene of one of NASCAR's greatest calamities ever. Five drivers have smashed each other into oblivion and the tires from their cars have killed 4 fans. It's your job to collect all the body parts. Then, using an assortment of dental records, clues from family members and a gypsy psychic, you must find out what belongs to who. We recommend the two-player option, which allows you to be either the gypsy psychic or a dumb hick assistant who keeps saying the phrase: "that there was some crash." The assistant may seem annoying and useless at first, but he really makes that grave digging at the end go by really quick.

Indiana Knight
Plot: Great for the college basketball fan. You are coach Bobby Knight, galavanting through the American heartland in search of recruits for Texas Tech. Armed with a fedora, bullwhip, red sweater, and some of that old Indiana charm, you must do everything possible to get your man. The game plays well, but is clearly not for the faint of heart. At one point, we maneuvered our video Bobby to blind the eyes of minority parents with exotic potions so that they would entrust their sons to the character. There are light moments, however, like when we stole the Duke jersey off the back of an old woman and went to the home of a foreign recruit under the guise of "Coach K." Quite frankly, we were expecting something more violent, but this game is apparently NCAA licensed. Rated G.

     On a whole, we found the games to be a nice introduction to the X-Box. Hopefully there will be more like this to come!

Butch Rogaine has lapsed into a coma after 154 hours straight of NASCAR Driver. We hope to have him back for Issue #26.

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