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     " This game is loads better than I thought it would be. "

   Title: Deception III: Dark Delusion by Tecmo

   Format: Action/Strategy for Playstation

   Reviewing Monkey: Simi N.

   The Hype: More than 2,000 trap variations, four modes of Play, Improved trap element system, and Multiple Endings!

      What This Monkey Thought...

   Graphics: This game sports some very nice graphics. The cutscenes seen throughout the game are great looking, with realistic looking human faces, and fluid motion. The in-game and rendered intermission graphics are good enough. The characters arenít hugely impressive, but they all are made up of many polygons and have very nice texturing. The real surprise, though, comes in the game menu. You are presented with and image of them walking towards the screen, when you look to see your opponentís stats before you fight them. When I first saw these images I couldnít believe my eyes. The characters here seem to be presented in hi-res. graphics, and have the best texture mapping I have ever seen on the Playstation console. I didnít even know it could get this good. Too bad the characters donít look like this during actual game play. Not that it matters too much since you spend most of your time running away from them, and thus donít see too much of them. 4 out of 5.

   Sound: The sound in this game is nice, crisp, and, most importantly, appropriate. The sound FX mostly comes during gameplay when you activate traps or when enemies attack you. The sounds here are nothing to write home about, but are very suited to the game. The best part of the sound, however, is that when you watch the FMV sequences everybody speaks Japanese and you get English subtitles on the bottom of the screen. I personally think every game should do this. The role of the music in this game is mainly for background to add color to the gameplay. It isnít great music, and it wonít leave you wanting to buy a soundtrack, but it also doesnít get in the way of the game by annoying the crap out of you, which is more than many other games can say. 3 out of 5

   Game Play: The gameplay in Deception III is like no other game I have ever played. Imagine a game where your character has absolutely no offensive capabilities. Further imagine that this game is supposed to be an action title. Pretty hard huh? Well thatís what Deception III is. You play the game all the way through without ever attacking and enemy directly. Instead you use magic to set traps, and lure your enemies in. The trick comes with how you set your traps, and how you get your enemies to succumb to them. Your enemies are not complete idiots, and when they can see danger, they will try to escape. That is where setting up trap combinations comes into play. There is nothing more satisfying than hitting a person with three traps at once. At fist setting trap after trap and luring enemies seems tedious and boring, but after playing for about ten minutes I began to enjoy this new gameplay, and it has gotten more fun the more I play it. 4 out of 5

   Level and Environment Designs: The Environments in this game are adequate. Every level takes place indoors, and the only real differences are the look of the walls, the shape of the room, and the objects, and position of objects in the room. But for this game those differences are key. The designers did a good job of both designing nice areas in which you can absolutely decimate your enemies, as well as making areas where your enemies will find it easy to destroy you. The trick is learning which areas to utilize and which to avoid. 3 out of 5

   Multiplayer: There is absolutely no multiplayer support in this game. Probably because the way the game works multiplayer would have to be done in link-cable mode with two TVs and two Playstations, and there are not too many of us hardcore gamers who are willing to lug our equipment to a friendís house that often. No reason to rate something that doesnít exist.

   Replayability: This game has high replayability. Not only because the game is just plain fun, and not just because it has four different modes of play to engage in. Beyond those, sits the fact that this game has multiple endings and the paths to the different endings are very different from one another, as are the endings themselves. 4 out of 5

   Story/Dramatics: At first the story in this game struck me as extremely boring even to the point of being hard to watch. But after I beat a few levels, the story became more and more interesting. The story is hard to get into at first because there is so much information presented all at once; it is kind of hard to sort out. But as the game progresses, you learn more about the characters and their pasts, making the story more enjoyable. It certainly isnít the best story any game has had, but itís more than good enough to hold interest. 3 out of 5

   Instructions and Learning Curve: The instructions in this game will not make you an expert player. What you learn from the booklet, and in the training are of the game are all of the basics that you will need to get started. The rest is up to you. The only way to get good at this game is to progress through levels facing real enemies (weather in story mode, or "trap license" mode). But in a game like this where strategy is half of the game, it would be a huge disappointment for the game to teach you how to beat every level from the start. Unless of course you are one of those guys who buy the strategy guide at the same time as the game, and just follow the book through, in which case you might find the instructions lacking. But if thatís your bag you deserve to pay more for a guide anyway. 4 out of 5

   Installation and Real System Requirements: Easiest install job on the planet. Only a brain-dead monkey would have troubles with this. Open Playstation, place disk picture side up on the spindle, close lid, press power. If you have to read these twice you may as well go out and buy yourself an expensive dunce capÖone that will last. 5 out of 5

   The Verdict:

       This game is loads better than I thought it would be. Good graphics, and story, and fun and unique gameplay make this title one to own.

   The Good: Nice graphics, Interesting story, Neat levels, and a very unique style of gameplay.

   The Bad: Long load times, NO MULTIPLAYER (how dare they deny us the chance to crush our friends with a giant electrocuting boulder!).

   The Overall Ugly: This game is pretty cool. I think anyone who tries it will be as shocked as I was to find that a game based entirely on defensive play could be so much fun.

   What it's Worth: I would probably pay up to $29.99 for this game.

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