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Platform:  Nintendo 64
# of Players:  1-4
Developer:  Koei
Publisher:  Koei
Features:  Rumble Pak compatible
Ratings:  Everyone
Memory Req.:  
The closest thing to Metal Gear Solid for your Nintendo 64." Oh, I wish. The first thing that Winback does to disappoint you is blindly attempt to live up to the standards set by Metal Gear Solid. While this line is going to sell its fair share of copies (it's on the box for god's sake), it's also going to make many happy little weasel children unhappy.

The second thing that the game does wrong is to create a fun, interesting, endearing, all-in-all good story. I don't care about the story; I don't care about the characters. The emotional stoicism of this game is about as bland as a Kevin Costner movie. I think it has something to do with terrorists blowing up a space station or something. Bottom line: I don't care.

I think retro N-64 gamers will be pleased to discover that this game brings back the good 'ol fogging effect that so many games have forgotten. It's nice to be able to reminisce and not be able to see your enemies until they're three feet in front of you all over again. Maybe they used the Shadows of the Empire engine or something.

It's not that the graphics are bad or anything (at least the graphics that you can see). They're bland, uninspired. I don't care about the graphics. Some games are allowed to have dull graphics like Body Harvest, but if you do have dull graphics, you should have something else to fall back on like gameplay.

Of course, Winback's doesn't have that either. The control is actually pretty nice, but the game itself is so incredibly annoying. First of all, the AI makes the enemy AI from Duke Nukem: Zero Hour look like Frederick Nietszche. Of course, they may be dumb as dirt, but they sure as hell can take a beating. I think that it takes about 4 shots to the head to bring down a normal foot soldier and then you'll have to reload in the heat of battle, but don't worry they're too stupid to kill you anyway. Now, that's innovation.

That aforementioned something is its multi-player mode. If it wasn't for the multi-player options, I don't think I would have played the game for more than five minutes. Winback's deathmatch game is one of the best 2-4 games on the N-64. If anything makes this game like Metal Gear Solid, it's this; you're actually battling another person that should be about as smart as you. I'm making a point: Winback-one player... baaaaad. Winback multi-player... gooooooooood. That's the point.

The sound and music don't detract from the gameplay, but they don't do anything to help either. Gunshots, voices and other effects are adequate, but I'll reiterate that there's nothing special about them so I'll stop talking about them.

In fact, I'm getting sick of saying anything about this game. If you do nothing but play multi-player deathmatch games, give it a look. If you're looking for a good one-player game, however, get Jet Force Gemini. Now that's a cool game.

Robert Cirkeljirque

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