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United Kingdom

Sun 20th January, 2008

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Kirk commented on Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate Rushes Towards 2 Mil...:

If you add up the sales of all those 3DS systems it's basically obliterating all other systems combined. In fact, at a quick glance, I think the New 3DS LL is doing that all on it's own :-o

The Wii U on the other hand :-o



Kirk commented on Poll: Should Nintendo Follow Microsoft's Lead ...:

Yes, Nintendo should follow Microsoft's lead.

Wii U is still ahead of Xbox One in total sales but on a global basis both the other two consoles are destroying it in monthly sales. At this rate it won't be long till Nintendo is in third place overall and if the support and sales situation is already this bad then just imagine what it's going to be like when the system is in a clear cut third place...

Nintendo really needs to push this system HARD and a price cut is one of the few good moves it could make. Just counting on Smash Bros and Amiibo to turn things around it making its job much harder than it needs to be imo.



Kirk commented on Review: Shantae And The Pirate's Curse (3DS eS...:

Well he made a specific point of commenting on the "sexualization" in this game and actually went so far as to warn parents they might not want to purchase it for their kids in his review, which I suspect is not historically in line with his reviews prior to this whole "any representation of sexualisation in video games is wrong" media bandwagon, so what would you surmise happened here...?

I certainly know what I think has happened given the recent events in the the wider gaming media (and beyond) around this whole sex in video games issue as well as the example [evidence] directly before me in this review.

IF every other game he's ever reviewed or commented on that has any level of sexualisation contains similar highlighting of such sexualisation and warnings to parents then I'll sit here and type that I was wrong and offer a formal apology...



Kirk commented on Review: Shantae And The Pirate's Curse (3DS eS...:


Or maybe he just repeatedly saw and read the news and events that were trending across the all powerful and influential media and social networks right now and subconsciously wanted to follow the crowd; fearful, again subconsciously, that he might be judged to be different to the "norm" [of the moment], against the "rest of us" (who are currently riding the bandwagon), and subsequently ostracised.

Possibly it's even more plausible that this is what happened because he actually works in the video game industry himself and as a journalist no less; where he is even more likely to be "judged" if he doesn't appear to share the same views and opinions of the broader target demographic that themselves are very quick to jump on and evangelise whatever bandwagon is currently trending in pop culture and social media etc.

Maybe he thinks he's acting own his own free mind, coming to his own conclusions and belief systems, but is really just following the will of the mob; which is fickle and likely to jump on some other hot topic bandwagon at any given moment.

"This level of sexism"...

Have you looked at what's actually being shown in this Shantae game?

That's what he's basically warning parents they might want to avoid buying for their children, presumably 10+ year old children as per the ESRB age rating on the game box, in his professional review.

Edit: At least this final note found at the bottom of Rawmeat Cowboy's own review of Shantae was more true the to reality of the situation "This note was added to our review in light of the recent discussion of how sexual/violent content is addressed in reviews." -

Basically, this alludes to the fact that if a bunch of crusaders weren't currently making a hoo-ha about this whole sexualisation in video games thing, pretty much pressuring many journalists to feel like they just have to make a point of basically ANY level of "sexualisation" in games now, then he almost certainly wouldn't have even brought it up because it is in fact a non-issue in this particular game.

That's the REAL TRUTH there imo.



Kirk commented on Nintendo's Quirky amiibo Video Shows How They'...:

I'm still not entirely convinced with the value of the Amiibos in this particular game. They're cool in their own right though, just as nice little collectible Nintendo figurines, so it's not a huge problem. Still; I'd like to see some better and more exciting uses for them in future games. Although, I might be being a little unfair on them because I'm still kinda clueless as to how everything works anyway to be honest.

PS. You know how it keeps saying "Lighting effect added" in video... Well maybe it would have been a nice touch to add some kind of similar lighting effect to the base of the figures or something; so that when you touch them on the pad they do actually light up and glow slightly or whatever. Then faking such and effect in the video to make the process of transferring in your figure look more exciting wouldn't be necessary. Just a thought.



Kirk commented on Review: Donkey Kong Country (Wii U eShop / Sup...:

It's a very solid platform game but to me it doesn't hold up as well as the very best of the best 2D platformers like Super Mario Bros 3 (specifically the Super Mario All-Stars version), Super Mario World and Yoshi's Island imo.

PS: I used to work for Rare and I even worked on the Game Boy Color version of Donkey Kong Country as one of only two artists working on the game at the time. If you ever printed any of the DK Alphabet letters using the Game Boy Printer (just as an example); that was me who drew those. I also animated the Rare logo that draws in as a green line at the start of the game (as another random example); a few pixels at a time :-D Twas all so many years ago lol



Kirk commented on Review: Shantae And The Pirate's Curse (3DS eS...:


If this were simply professional journalistic criticism then you'd surely find similar warnings to parents about potentially offensive sexual content in every game this person has reviewed (where ANY kind and level of sexualisation exists), going back to before it was the currently trending hop topic of the moment in the media and in social circles, and I bet you if you actually go look at all their previous reviews, prior to this whole recent "any kind of sexualisation in video games is bad" media circus, that that's not the case...

I think you aren't understanding the difference between simple professional journalistic criticism, with genuine consistency and integrity, and basically unwittingly spreading sensationalist propaganda based on currently trending and totally exaggerated and erroneous accusations floating around the video games industry right now. One is totally fair and professional and the other is unprofessional and dangerous [to the industry and indeed the broader perception of male gamers in general] imo.

In my opinion the reviewer only mentioned the "issue" with sexualisation in this game because they were unwittingly socially pressured into making an issue/point of it due to recent trends in the gaming media and on various social network sites etc. That's certainly more worrying to me, something people actually need to be made aware of imo (how the media and indeed we are being manipulated to think and say what others want us to think and say), than having some cartoony genie/belly-dancing type characters wearing pretty accurate representations of genie/belly-dancing type attire in this game.



Kirk commented on Review: Shantae And The Pirate's Curse (3DS eS...:



As long as no laws are being violated, or let's be conservative and say even slightly stretched, then creators should be free to create basically whatever they want, without fear of either direct or indirect recrimination, and consumers should be able to consume basically whatever they want, without fear of either direct or indirect ostracisation.

This particular review was not the place to advocate the hot topic of the moment and currently trending "there's too much sex, sexualisation and misrepresentation of females in games" view, that is being spread by sensationalist journalism and social media proliferated propaganda; especially alongside warnings within the review that basically advise that some parents might actually want to avoid buying this game for their kids.

A person would need to believe this game was basically filled with images of semi-naked women or overtly-overly sexual imagery, which would be a massive distortion of reality, if they actually took that warning seriously.

In fact; the game has already been given an Everyone 10+ age rating: "Content is generally suitable for ages 10 and up. May contain more cartoon, fantasy or mild violence, mild language and/or minimal suggestive themes." - ESRB Everyone 10+ age rating description.

The reviewer really didn't need to include their own additional warning; just like they more than likely haven't done a hundred times before in a hundred reviews prior to everyone jumping this whole currently popular "Any kind of sexualisation of females in video games is bad and wrong!" bandwagon.

A bunch of supposedly professional journalists, across the entire industry, are being unwittingly brainwashed into thinking and acting exactly like a bunch of misguided moral crusaders want them to think and act.



Kirk commented on 8 Player Smash Mode Confirmed For Wii U Super ...:

This mode is probably really only good for drunken parties because I can't imagine you could actually try and have a serious competitive battle with that many player jumping around all over the place.

That's not a criticism but just and observation.



Kirk commented on Feature: Five 'New Things' We Want in Super Sm...:

So did you basically get everything you hoped for then?

After watching the recent Smash Bros Direct and quickly skimming your list it looks like you pretty much did, correct?

If so, I'm happy for you all.



Kirk commented on Talking Point: Platinum Games Has Secured a Go...:

I can very clearly see why Platinum's games have all largely flopped at retail but it's a very hard job trying to explain it to those people who can't see it themselves. It's absolutely there though.

The games continue to surprise me with the scores they receive, which always seem a little generous to me and quite forgiving of a lot of visible issues based on what I'm seeing, but the fact that they aren't massive sales successes doesn't shock me in the slightest.

Platinum often makes highly ambitious and solid but flawed games, that almost always have quite a limited (niche) visual appeal and a similarly limited (niche) overall design appeal, if you look at things objectively. It's yet to make the kind of game that I could see selling in the numbers I guess most people in here think it's games deserve.



Kirk commented on Review: Shantae And The Pirate's Curse (3DS eS...:


There's no reason it should get out of hand as long as we are both free to express our perfectly reasonable opinions in response to the actual content of the review.

You might not like what I'm saying but not liking it is very different from it not being true or not being valid.

I know you'd rather I talk about the lovely pixel art or whatever but something bigger happened in this review, something I think is very important to the current state of this industry and indeed to society in general, and I think that's a far more important point to address than some random game's pixel art or whatever.

Like I said; I'm not the one who raised this issue about there being cartoony depictions of basically fully covered contextually accurate boobs in this game (and actually basically told parents this game isn't suitable for their kids, which goes to potential loss of sales). In fact, if I were reviewing the game it wouldn't have even had a single word uttered on the matter. It's was a non-issue that didn't need to be created imo. It was the reviewer who saw fit to create a mountain out of a molehill and I'm now compelled to point out that don't think that mountain needed to be built; both as a game developer and a male gamer; both of which have had some pretty serious and imo erroneous accusations thrown at them in the last few months that are for the most part entirely unwarranted. Now, additionally, it also seems they have to contend with this type of "professional" reviewing where parents are basically being warned away from buying a game that has pretty much the tamest level of "sexualisation" that could even be attributed to said word.

I'm simply providing fair criticism of his criticism of this particular aspect of the game.



Kirk commented on Review: Shantae And The Pirate's Curse (3DS eS...:


I AM a game developer and it certainly is a relevant debate in today's gaming climate and this review definitely brought it up.

I think the content of the review is what created the forum for this debate, when it really shouldn't have even existed in the first place in this particular case imo, and that is exactly my point and the thing I have the problem with.


The fact you think I'm the one making the fool of myself tells me a lot about your rationale on this one.

If the guy didn't want anyone to debate his comment then he shouldn't have made such an erroneous assertion and accusation in his review. But he did and here we are.

Are we not allowed to discuss the content of reviews now? Is that what you are saying?

I mean it's perfectly on topic given the very written words and point raised in his actual review. As much as it would be talk about the sprite art for next five hours back and forth.

Or should we only be allowed to debate the parts of the review that people like you deem acceptable? Should we all just talk about ultimately meaningless drivel, like frame rates and resolutions or how the game should be a tiny bit cheaper, or is this maybe a good time to raise a point about a currently hop topic issue that's been raised in this particular review? One that is of pretty big importance to the future of this entire industry and in some ways goes beyond the industry and into our every day lives. That touches on our basic freedom of expression and right to express our creativity without fear of being unfairly judged and potentially ostracised by the gaming media, gamers and even the wider public.

I'd like to think Nintendo Life's comments section isn't quite a police state.



Kirk commented on Review: Shantae And The Pirate's Curse (3DS eS...:


It's kinda irrelevant that he added "If that doesn't bother you then fine". It's already been implied that some wrong has been committed. He basically said "These guys are guilty of overly sexualising their characters but hey; if you're the type of person that finds that kind of perversion acceptable then...". The accusation and implication is already out there and it can't be taken back.

My problem isn't with people having differing views. It's the implication of the comment and the venue in which it has been expressed.

If the reviewer has a problem with the overly sexual depiction of females in games, as a broad generalisation of this hot topic of the moment, then raise it at the appropriate time and place and don't unfairly single out a game that isn't really guilty of such a crime.

He simply picked the wrong developer to "punish" for the "crimes" of some other random developers and I'm simply calling it out. I believe he unprofessionally wronged these particular game developers and this particular game in his review commentary, to serve his own little socially programmed agenda that's he's probably only half even aware of (whether you understand how that actually fits into this debate or not), and I'm simply calling out that erroneous accusation and unfair judgement.

I think that's fair; he unfairly creates and emphasises potential [false] negatives with their game in his review as I see it, that will probably have an actual effect on a few people reading the review (who now might judge this game and indeed it's designers in a slightly unfair negative light as a result), and I'm quite fairly calling his review out for what I see as a false and unfair accusation.



Kirk commented on Review: Shantae And The Pirate's Curse (3DS eS...:


That's why it's important to be very careful that we judge and criticise those games that do actually objectify and overly sexualise women, rightly so, and at the same time it's totally wrong, unprofessional and unfair to criticise those games that actually really don't.

In this case I think the reviewer was totally and utterly wrong in visibly criticising this game for something it's not really guilty of. Once you throw that kind of accusation out there you can't really take it back. The damage is already done.



Kirk commented on Review: Shantae And The Pirate's Curse (3DS eS...:


So the point is that this game isn't in any way "dangerous" to these kids, it was not necessary in the slightest to make a [negative] point of the fact that these females have boobs [like there's something inherently wrong and corrupting with even showing the basic shape of the female body, even when it's a pretty fair representation of the real world equivalent), and to do so is just a bunch of twisted adults forcing their distorted and impure world views on the innocent children.

Raising any issue of boobs in this review caused an issue that otherwise doesn't really exist and that's what I find offensive; both as a game designer who at some point will possibly have to deal with this kind of unprofessional sensationalistic misplaced and heavily media influenced criticism and social criticism of my games, when I might not have done anything wrong in the slightest, and as a gamer in general who just think creating mountains out of molehills is bad game (no pun intended) and not good at all for the general perception of our industry.

These reviewers are basically assigning negatives to a game that simply don't really exist, if we're being truly fair and reasonable here, and that's unfair misplaced criticism and just bad reviewing imo. All because they're sheepishly following currently popular but totally transient social trends that they probably aren't even fully aware they've allowed themselves to be caught up in and influenced by.

I'm just calling them out for it.



Kirk commented on Review: Shantae And The Pirate's Curse (3DS eS...:


"Everyone thinks even the slightest sliver of skin objectifies sexes and degenerates kids, yet kids only think that way because it's all over the news, and paranoid parents and moral-obsessed white-knights won't shut up about it."


It's those people on their own personal crusades along with a whole lot of recent sensationalistic journalism and a very large group of easily manipulated social media addicts that have created a huge issue where in most cases, the vast vast majority, one simply didn't exist.

Right now if you just happened in on our industry as a casual outside observer you'd genuinely think it was full of sexist misogynists who hate women, objectify them at every opportunity and say they are going to rape them, and apparently it's not just the gamers but the game designers themselves that are guilty of this. Which is a load of total and utter bullsh*t and anyone that's not a total mental case knows that I'm actually speaking the truth here.

So, I ask you; who's really the cause of the troubles in this industry... a mass of hateful, perverted, sick and twisted gamers and game designers or a slightly broken gaming media and the weak minded and the easily manipulated social media masses?

There's certainly something poisoning and corrupting the minds of our kids that we need to afraid of, something that's distorting their innocence and forever warping their world views, and it's not the game creators or gamers...



Kirk commented on Review: Shantae And The Pirate's Curse (3DS eS...:


There's a big difference between me saying that it's wrong to try and indoctrinate us all to one way of erroneous thinking and behaving (by conscious intention or otherwise), where some [non] issue has basically been grossly exaggerated and then disseminated into popular culture and the social conscience by sensationalist journalism and manipulative social media (with the weakest minds immediately jumping on the bandwagon), and people (games developers in this case) being allowed to freely express their perfectly reasonable creative visions without fear of [any level of] recrimination and ostracisation by these easily conditioned mindless sheep.

If we were talking about these games designers basically glorifying porn, violence, racism, sexism, terrorism, or some other adult only or illegal act/behaviour...then there'd be some leg to stand on here but this is a couple of totally cartoony sprites that represent pretty accurate representations of the genie/belly-dancing type characters they are portraying.

What's next; are we going to suggest that somehow kids shouldn't be corrupted by the sight of real genies and belly-dancers? Think of the poor children. Should we ban kids from watching the likes of Aladdin, The Little Mermaid or I Dream of Genie? There's dangerously corrupting images of similarly covered boobs in all those examples. The horror!!!

These "professional" journalists should at least be trying to keep their writing somewhat objective and not trying to peddle their recently acquired social agendas that have only recently become their social agendas because it's suddenly the popular thing to make them so; as a result of a few outspoken people on their own personal crusades, backed up by an influx of ignorant "me too" sensationalistic journalism and a whole lot of people brainwashed by social media. That's more dangerous than some cartoony game characters with slightly rounded but basically fully covered boobs.

If you're genuinely worried about your children's future then you might want to start fighting to addresses some of the genuine issues and problems in this world (there's lots of them), that actually have a real affect on their lives, their wellbeing and their happiness; not artificial, media constructed non-issues like this.



Kirk commented on Review: Shantae And The Pirate's Curse (3DS eS...:


I'm sorry to be judgemental here but if as a parent someone honestly thinks they need to withhold this level of sexualisation from their child then imo I think they have a much bigger problem to worry about in their family than the level of sexualisation in this game.



Kirk commented on Review: Shantae And The Pirate's Curse (3DS eS...:

That's two reviewers I've seen that have now mentioned the boobs in this game and brought it up like it is some kind of ACTUAL issue and I'm finding it very offensive. I expect to see more of this too because there's a lot of easily led people in this world who jump on whatever bandwagon is popular at the moment.

It is abundantly clear that a lot of people have been caught up in this whole sensationalistic journalism and social media influenced movement about sexualisation and the representation of females in videos games and it's leaking across into places where it's just totally unnecessary. In my opinion these boobs were brought up as an issue only because it's currently pop culture to do so and I find it completely forced and offensive. It's got to a point where it's just ridiculous now. This is not actually a serious issue to be singled out like some kind of epidemic, despite all the media hooha around it at the moment, and most certainly not in this case. Stop making it one.

Here's what REAL genie/belly-dancer types wear just to educate the ignorant:

I don't think a few cartoony representations of boobs on some genie/belly-dancing type characters, dressed in those types of costumes, is going to be considered offensive by any young kids in the slightest but I do think highly sensationalist journalism and propaganda being ignorantly spouted out by clearly one of the weak minded socially influenced sheep is offensive.

Stop trying to brainwash us all into thinking and believing that what you have clearly quite effortlessly been brainwashed into thinking and believing, and in turn spouting yourself, by the media and mindless social masses.

PS. Apart from a few personal grips with the actual design and execution of the game, I think this is looking really good.



Kirk commented on Yoshi Circuit From Double Dash!! Makes A Comeb...:

You know; the more I think about it the more I realise I kinda preferred Mario Kart when it was about actual go-karts being raced in tracks that looked like they actually belonged in the actual Mario kingdom.

Now it's starting to look less and less authentic to the Mario universe it's actually supposed to be set in, in fact it's actually looking more and more like it's set in some kind of "real" world with a bit of a Mario theme, and as a result it's starting look less and less appealing to me and just kinda wrong.

I actually prefer the overall look of the recent Namco arcade Mario Kart game to be honest and I think that's much closer to how an authentic Mario Kart game should look and feel (at least from what I've seen in this trailer):



Kirk commented on These GameCube-style Mario Bros. Controllers O...:


Well I think the main point I was making was that I believe Nintendo could have done more with its own Wii U GameCube controllers. It could have added the extra shoulder button and Home and Select buttons. It could have even added an option to switch on wireless (similar to how the Xbox One controller can be used both as a proper wireless and proper wired controller) and use it as basically a Classic Controller, so you could have used it for all Wii U games along with the old GC games etc. It just could have done more than make it a controller that's limited to being used for basically only one thing and none of that would have made it a worse GC controller for Smash Bros.



Kirk commented on These GameCube-style Mario Bros. Controllers O...:

They look better than the actual Nintendo one for Wii U. It's the little things like adding in that second shoulder button and the Home and Select buttons. I'm presuming you can even use them on more than just Smash Bros too.

Now, whomever you may be, make up some crap excuse/defence for why Nintendo couldn't have at least done similarly with it's own Smash Bros GC controllers and actually made them more than just money grabs aimed at gullible tools...



Kirk commented on Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty Wii U Delay Seems to b...:

Just one more example to show that Nintendo goofed when it specced the Wii U system. No wonder it's not seeing third party support when it's just so much hassle for these developers to get their games on the system. No reasonable person can expect that all developers can simply afford the money and manpower to go off and make completely different versions of its games just to support one system when the normal versions works perfectly fine on multiple other platforms without needed to change lots of stuff. Nintendo really should have known better.



Kirk commented on Download: Pokémon Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire...:

Well isn't this a little bit of marketing genius by Nintendo; turning a demo into a kind of rare and exclusive word of mouth meme and special gaming media sponsored event. It's surely going to create much more hype and press than if the demo just became available on the store for everyone on a set date. Probably not fair on those people who aren't lucky enough to receive a code but probably great marketing and a great additional hype generator for the game.



Kirk commented on Video: New Nintendo 3DS Unboxing And Hands On:

It's a pity there always has to be one or two little niggles with these systems (Nintendo just can't see to nail everything), like the slightly yellow tint to the screens with these New models (most noticeable on the whites), the need for a screwdriver to change one of the faceplates, same goes for the awkwardness if you have to switch SD cards, the slightly fugly layout of the ports and stuff on the bottom of the system (personally I'd have put the cartridge slot in the centre and moved the headphone jack and stylus slot to the left side), the lack of a power supply in the box in UK models (so unless you had a previous 3DS system it's an additional "hidden" cost)...

Looks pretty sweet overall though.



Kirk commented on Hardware Review: The New Nintendo 3DS Is The B...:

There's a couple of things I'd tweak, like moving the cartridge slot to the centre and the headphones and stylus slot off to the side instead for a bit more aesthetic balance in the design and removing the awkward screws that are bizarrely on one of the faceplates yet not necessary at all on the other along with a couple of other minor things, but I really want a New 3DS at this point. If only I could afford one and the cost of the games :-(



Kirk commented on Nintendo 64x64: Conker's Bad Fur Day:

A little bit overrated in terms of actual gameplay imo because it was often just a series of collect-a-thons, mini-challenges and puzzles that you often interacted with via simple context sensitive actions, activated by pressing a single button, which when you think about it is kinda just as much fun as pressing a button to watch a cutscene. At least that was how it felt to me a lot of the time. It is however not overrated in terms of how it pushed the N64's graphics for the time or the quality of the music and sound which was just brilliant (despite some slightly dodgy/amateur voice acting at times). I just didn't think it was actually that much fun to play ultimately.



Kirk commented on New Nintendo 3DS Videos Show Off Compulsory Sc...:

It's a real pity they've designed it so that you need a screwdriver for one of the face plates. Not very intuitive for younger kids and a bit of a hassle for most people imo. Still, it's very cool that there are a whole load of changeable face plates to be sure.

Maybe you can just take out the those little screws and do without them...

Or maybe someone can come up with a little nub you can insert in their place that sort of does a similar job, so you can remove the screws entirely and use the little nubs to cover up the holes for a more pleasing aesthetic finish...

OR...maybe someone could even come up with a stylus variation that has a little screwdriver head build into it...

Maybe I should try to invent and sell that solution (one or both of those)...

If only I could be bothered and had the resources to do just that.



Kirk commented on Nintendo 64x64: Perfect Dark:

In many [most] ways this game is technically superior to GoldenEye and it's a genuinely brilliant and seminal FPS game in its own right but I still think that overall GoldenEye is just a little more pure fun for whatever reasons. There's still a crap load of stuff in Perfect Dark that I find impressive even to this day, like the amazing selection of really creative weapons for example, or the fact you could shoot out the lights and it would actually have an effect on the world and the enemies etc.



Kirk commented on Nintendo Confirms GameCube Controller Adapter ...:

Well then...Wouldn't it have made sense to add in the missing shoulder button, the Select and Home buttons, the clickable thumb sticks too and made it properly wireless like the Wavebird?

Then it could have been an ACTUAL alternative to the Wii U Pro Controller and if I were choosing between the two I'd actually pick it.

Otherwise it really is just ANOTHER controller to add to the convoluted mess that is the multiple Wii U controller(s) "solution".



Kirk commented on Feature: The Biggest Wii U Games of 2014 - Fal...:

I'd honestly be more interested in Captain Toad and Art Academy than any other games on that list. I know Smash Bros is going to be great but I've just never really taken to those games so it's not a game I'd personally be particularly excited about playing to be honest. It looks like it will probably be the best Smash Bros game to date though.



Kirk commented on Nintendo 64x64: GoldenEye 007:

It's a 10/10 and that's about the truth of it.

Sure, the graphics are all old and blocky but if you just squint your eyes a little and accept the slightly different controls as a result of making this game work with the old school but still awesome N64 controller, then playing this game is as much fun today as it's ever been.

It's still one of thee very best movie licensed games ever made.