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April 14, 2006
Rampage: Total Destruction - PS2 Review
Release Date Distributor Developer Players Rating Difficulty
27/4/2006Red AntMidway1-3PGMedium
Save Size Sound Format Vibration 60Hz Mode 50Hz Border Widescreen

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Climbing buildings - it's Rampage.
Ever since I first laid eyes on Rampage in the arcades in the mid 1980's I've been a fan of the series, and always dropped in some cash when I found a cabinet in the local arcades. Be it the fact that you could destroy buildings, eat people or generally cause total mayhem Bally Midway's game was always entertaining. This latest game doesn't change the basic formula at all, it just offers some much improved graphics, better sound, different game modes, and 30 monsters to get to grips with.

Despite the fact that Rampage: Total Destruction includes a nice little intro which explains, somewhat amusingly, how the monsters came into being, there isn't really a story in the game, so we won't even try to make one up - but it's not like it needs one.

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2-player mayhem.
The game is split up into four main game modes. These include Campaign, King of the City, King of the World, and Timed Run. There's some twists, such as the Timed Run sees how quickly you can get through a level, and there's some 2-player thrills in the game modes, but the ultimate goal is the same. Essentially the game sees the return of George, Lizzie and Ralph, as well as 27 entirely new monsters who are hell bent on destroying everything within a series of 10 different cities, which are split up into smaller levels. It's not all plain sailing as the monsters will come under attack from SWAT teams, helicopter gunships, snipers, and a multitude of 'bad' pickups littered inside the buildings.

The big change to this title from previous ones is that it now takes place in a 3D world. It's not full free-roaming however you do now have the opportunity to run on the street, and buildings which could be two deep. It certainly adds a bit more strategy, to the game. Similarly the developers have included plenty of new attacks and combos to unlock and use. The 30 monsters are no longer restricted to basic punch, kick and jump moves, but now have a wide range of attacks used to inflict maximum carnage on the landscapes, and attacking soldiers, tanks and helicopters.

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The explosions are great.
If smashing up objects wasn't enough you can also pick up objects such as cars, busses and other objects in order to throw them. They can be thrown into buildings, or into the distance. The game also includes plenty of power ups including health, rage, score multipliers, damage multipliers, strength increasers, opponent freeze, and speed-ups among others. There are also items that will decrease your energy including toxic sludge, hot chilli peppers and electricity.

One of the great additions to this game, and I really wish more companies would do this, is the inclusion of the original Rampage as well as the 1997 hit sequel Rampage: World Tour both of which have been perfectly replicated.

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Tossing the tank.
There are a couple of complaints which could be raised with Rampage: Total Destruction. Firstly despite the fact that the game is in 3D some aspects seem to be retained in a 2D style. For instance, you can climb up the middle of the building, or the front left or front right, but not in the middle of the sides, or to the back of the building. Also, although the Gamecube version contains support for 4-players PS2 owners are restricted to only three and it seems like an opportunity missed. Likewise there's no option for online gameplay of any kind.

Graphically, I was quite impressed with this game. I thought that being a budget title it would be very much on the average side, and indeed it won't win any technical awards, but the developers have created a title which includes some pretty good character design, and environments. Buildings, while not as colourful or varied as I hoped, are fully destructible with plenty of particles such as glass and bricks breaking away as you smash up the buildings. I must also make mention of the explosions in the game which look spectacular - as you can see the screenshots in this review. The menus are basic, but have that B-grade movie vibe. Sadly, the title is devoid of 60Hz, Widescreen and Progressive Scan modes.

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Character games are great.
Rampage: Total Destruction includes a fairly solid audio track. As well as some lively music, which has that old- school feel to it, the game includes some solid effects, and quite amusing speech in places. Overall Rampage: Total Destruction is a solid audio experience.

I must applaud Midway for releasing Rampage: Total Destruction at a budget price ($US19.99 in America, $AU49.95 in Australia). The company has obviously realised that people want to pay full price for next-generation game, not current generation. This is a fantastic update to a classic series and fans of previous versions will be please to hear that this is the best game in the series by far. Great fun and a worthy purchase.

Review By: Dave Warner

Order your copy now from Gameswarehouse (PAL version) or Amazon (NTSC Version).
GRAPHICSIt's bright, colourful, and has some solid character design.
SOUNDLively, old school game music, solid effects with some fun speech.
GAMEPLAYReally easy to pick up and play, and plenty of fun throughout.
VALUEAt $49.95 with many unlockables this game is fantastic value.
OVERALLRampage: Total Destruction isn't going to win any awards, but it's certainly a game which you could put down as a guilty pleasure. This is the Rampage which we've all been waiting for and Midway have certainly delivered the goods.

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