• Tag Archives Windows
  • Conflict: Denied Ops


    Source: Electronic Gaming Monthly – March 2008

    I’ll be honest here and say that I am completely unfamiliar with the conflict series of games. Apparently it was popular enough to spawn and least five games in the series as this was the fifth. However, this game also comes from an era where I had mostly stopped paying attention to new releases. I had and still have a PS3 but in the many years I have owned it, it has only ever been used to play blu-ray movies, Netflix and Amazon Prime. It was also used briefly to run Linux before Sony took that capability away. At the time I bought my PS3 it was about the same price as a stand-alone blu-ray player (or close enough).

    But I digress… Conflict: Denied Ops is a fairly generic 1st person shooter that was available on the PS3, Xbox 360 and Windows and was released in 2008. It’s really about as generic as a 1st person shooter can be and the reviews reflect that. Reviews were extremely…average…overall. The story involves a fictional war in Venezuela. There are two characters that a single player can switch between or two players can play co-op. Weapons are rather limited as you can only use the particular weapons favorted by your character and enemy weapons cannot be picked up.

    The good news is that this game can be had dirt cheap in whichever form you want it in. While more than a decade old now, PS3s and Xbox 360s are everywhere and I suspect you could get the Windows version to run without too much trouble though I haven’t tried it. The question is, is it really worth it?

    This ad is from the March 2008 issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly.

  • Monaco Grand Prix (1999)


    Monaco Grand Prix is a formula one racing game that was released for Windows, Nintendo 64, PlayStation and Dreamcast. It is based on the Formula One World Championship but licensing can be an awkward thing in the sports game world and this is a good example. Ubi Soft licensed the name of the Monaco track and named the game after it. However, they did not license the names of the other track so while they are also featured in the game they have different names. Also, none of the driver names nor official cars were licensed but the sponsors were.

    At any rate, the licensing doesn’t matter all that much as long as the game is good. While not spectacular, this game did received average to above average reviews. If you are a fan of the genre then you would have probably derived some fun out of this game. Improvements in technology mean that the more realistic games like this one don’t hold up as well over time though so there are better choices if you want a realistic formula one racing game.


    However, if you do want to give this one a try, you’ll have to track down an original copy as there are no re-releases as far as I know. The PlayStation is probably the best combination of cheap and easy to find and play (at least if you have a PlayStation). The Nintendo 64 version is ok as well but you’ll probably pay more for it. The Dreamcast version got poorer reviews but admittedly I haven’t tried it.

    The above ad is from the July 1999 issue of the Official PlayStation Magazine.

    Source: Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine – Volume 2, Issue 10 – July 1999

  • SpongeBob Squarepants: Battle for Bikini Bottom

    Licensed games usually get a bad rap for a reason, they’re rushed to market, are full of generic ideas and gameplay elements and rarely ever end up being worth the $8 value ticket to whatever movie they’re promoting.  But back on PS2, Xbox and Gamecube came an unlikely entry into the pantheon of great 6th gen platforms: Spongebob Squarepants Battle for Bikini Bottom.  Unlike many of the other examples of licensed games, especially from that era, BfBB had a masterful grasp on what Spongebob was and how to translate that to a fun game that could be enjoyed by all ages, much like the cartoon at the time, which you’ll remember, was explosively popular.


    There are three distinct versions of SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom, all of which were released in 2003. The first and most well known is a 3D platformer that was released for the PlayStation 2, Xbox and GameCube. The second is a 2D platformer released for the Game Boy Advance. The third is a point and click adventure game released for Windows.

    All versions are of course based on the cartoon of the same name. The best version is probably the 3D platformer for the PS2 and other platforms. While licensed games such as these are often mediocre at best and downright awful more often than not, I’ve found that games based on cartoons are often an exception. There a a number of great games based on Disney properties and Looney Tunes among others. This SpongeBob game is also, surprisingly, a decent game.

    While it isn’t anything spectacular and the gameplay is pretty generic for a 3D platformer, the SpongeBob theme adds humor and a uniqueness that makes this one worth playing…at least if you are a SpongeBob fan. The player gets to play three characters including SpongeBob, Patrick and Sandy. The goal is simply to collect various items that are necessary to progress to the next level. Along the way, you will of course face various obstacles and enemies. Each characters has their own special moves and some levels require the use of a certain character and their moves to progress.

    While this game is not particularly innovative or otherwise special, the gameplay is solid and it will certainly appeal to fans of SpongeBob. Those looking for a 2D game with the same theme should also enjoy the GameBoy Advance version. As far as I know, neither has found its way to any kind of virtual console or other modern release so you will have to track down an original or use emulation. As far as the 3D version, all of the ports are about the same so pick your favorite system (Gamecube, PS2 or Xbox).