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Enter the Matrix


Generally, video games based on movies are straight garbage.  Case in point:  everything.  But, after learning that the Wachowski Brothers had a ton of input on the games, threw in an hour of extra footage from the sequels, and essentially had Jada Pinkett Smith and Anthony Wong star in these games, I was feeling good about its chances.  That, plus I figured there would at least be a lot of gunplay.

When "Enter the Matrix" is good, it's a lot of fun; using philosophies from the first "Matrix" film, it's cool having your heroes dive through the air, whipping out the guns and laying down the havoc.  Further, a fighting engine has been installed that, while not very well done, at least looks cool in slow-motion as your character puts the smack down on rivals.  The extra footage is not great, but we do get more Persephone (Monica Bellucci), more Niobe (Smith), and more of the Oracle, for whatever that's worth.  The sound is quite good and the music is not too bad.

But, 20 levels of this was too many for the designers, who have clearly rushed this project to completion.  As it is, we have numerous level design failures--tons of empty rooms, with no reason for their existence.  Levels are by and large very poorly drawn and designed; you sometimes run into circles because everything looks so uniform.  There are some cool levels, but this is mostly due to the body count on those levels, not the level design being interesting.

It was that kind of year for the "Matrix" franchise; an average game, and two movies that range from above average to a piece of fucking shit.  The game does have some replayability, though, once you get through it and want to play some of the levels over again.

Rating:  eBay


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Bellview Rating System:

"Opening Weekend":  Buy this game right away, and don't ask me any questions as to why that's a good move.  A game experience that will almost guarantee repeated controller abuse, lots of ManScreaming and high resale value, you will assuredly play this bad boy for months on end. 

"$40":  Usually after games have been out for a while, they drop in price slightly, or can be bought for slightly cheaper in combination with other new games.  Usually, that's about $40.  You'll feel good getting the game for this price, since it isn't quite run-out-and-get-it-right-now good, but it has enough game in the box for a few weeks' worth of enjoyment.

"eBay":  This game is not too bad, but you'd be better off buying it used from either or eBay.  You also might let a friend buy this game, let s/he beat it, and then try to buy it from them to make them feel better.  Yes, this does tend to feel like "Sloppy Seconds."

"Rental":  Like my cousin Ron, you should always rent games that you aren't sure about first, to make sure that your $50 is going towards something worthwhile.  For games in this category, this is the maximum amount of money ($5) and/or time (3-5 days) you'll need to either gain satisfaction from the game, or beat the game in its entirety.  Rental-rated games are also sometimes perfect for a weekend when you are going to be at home on your ass, with some time to kill.

"Dogshit":  Games like this should have never been released.  If you play this game for any reason, you will regret every second of the experience.  Further, if you can get this game for free, don't do it, because even for FREE, it will still be a negative experience for you!

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The "fine print":
All material by Justin Elliot Bell for SMR/Bellview/ except where noted
1999-2009 Justin Elliot Bell This site was last updated 01/08/09