Atari Roars Again
Godzilla follow-up leads action pack

Two years ago, Atari caught everyone pleasantly off-guard with the completely retro Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Melee fighting game. Such stylish and entertaining treatment for the King of Monsters has augured well for the many movie properties Atari has since embraced.

Ready for fall matches on PlayStation 2 and Xbox is Godzilla: Save the Earth from developer Pipeworks. In addition to bringing the number of Toho monsters up to 18 and increasing the number of cities to be trampled, an original story mode is available for solo play, and up to four people can now compete online.

Another Japanese hit that has done very well for Atari is Dragon Ball Z. This December, Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3, developed by DIMPS, will hit PS2 with a single-player mode that features villains and heroes from the DBZ movies and animated series.

The undercover cop and driver-for-hire underworld returns this summer in a very cinematic way in DRIV3R (PS2, Xbox). To bring an international car-theft ring to its knees, players chase through photo-realistic versions of Miami, Nice, and Istanbul. The game features more than 30,000 intricately detailed buildings, 150 miles of major highways, city streets, alleys, and dirt roads, and more than 50 playable vehicles.

In a major departure for the series, Test Drive: Eve of Destruction from Monster Games for PS2 trades the engineer's clipboard for unrestrained thrills. Derby-racing competitions include suicide races, trailer races, and a figure 8 race with a jump. For anyone yearning to race buses, hearses, or ambulances, this is their game come September.

The governor of California lends his voice and likeness to his alter ego in Terminator 3: The Redemption (GC, PS2, Xbox) from Paradigm Entertainment. Shipping in September, the game features third-person action from the Terminator's perspective in current Los Angeles and a selection of alternate futures only hinted at in the movies. In addition to 15 minutes of footage of Arnold from the most recent film, there are plenty of special Easter egg rewards for Terminator fans.

Getting back to the real world this summer, Shadow Ops: Red Mercury from Zombie for Xbox is a gritty and realistic first-person game that introduces players to the dark world of a CIA special-mission team. Its task, which takes team members around the world, is to track down the black-market source of a sophisticated nuclear-weapon component.

Forgotten Realms: Demon Stone (PS2) from Stormfront Studios is an authentic Dungeons & Dragons fighting and adventure game with an intense story. Players are caught between two demon armies but can switch between warrior, sorcerer, and rogue on the fly while leading a party of three on dangerous quests.

RollerCoaster Tycoon 3, which features 3D graphics for the first time, as well as a coaster cam, will satisfy fans of the fun PC simulation with another fix this Christmas.

Shipping the week of E3 is Transformers for PS2 from Melbourne House. The game marks the 20th anniversary of the brand with a fast-paced single-player third-person action experience featuring immense battles and intense boss fights.

Game trailers courtesy of gametrailers.com

BY GEORGE T. CHRONIS



 
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