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No Deathrow 2


adamsappel
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From IGN:

Our friends at SouthEnd Interactive let us know recently that the original Deathrow did not make enough money to merit a sequel from Ubisoft. Since Deathrow shipped in late 2002, small Swedish developer SouthEnd has kept itself busy providing the multiplayer portion of XIII and has, of late, been working on an ultra-secret new game.

Too bad. This is a cool game, especially multi-player. I would have loved to see a Live sequel.

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SouthPeak did a terrible job of marketing this, but to be honest, I wasn't too suprised as it was a bit of a potential hot potato with the violence & swearing. I've had fun playing it, especially in the right company, but it's far from a must have title. It sold a pathetically small amount, so I'm not suprised there's no sequel due.

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For those that have never played it, Deathrow is a sports game. I can best describe it as a mix of Ultimate, Hockey and Fighting.

 

You have two teams, of four players each. And a "disc", which is a semi-frisbee. The object is to launch the disc through your opponents goal. You can pass, block, defend & shoot, plus one-time the disc, much like a hockey game. You can also brutally attack other players, knocking the disc from their hands, or incapicitating them. There were many games where my team would end up one player short because the opposing team effectively "killed" him.

 

The game definitely deserved it's M rating. There is swearing, drug use and violence in the game. THis is especially prevalent during the pre-game trash talking. But it gives the game so much atmosphere, if you're an adult, you'll easily overlook the crudeness.

 

There are a ton of teams (probably about 12, more than likely more), each with their own strengths and weaknesses. Each team also has 2 arenas, which you unlock with points you've earned during the single player "season". During the season you'll be contacted by companies that want to test out new "drugs" on your players, which could have an effect on their playing abilities. You'll also get the chance to add members to your roster, and train your players, so their skills improve. You can play through the single player game with 3 friends, via split screen or network.

 

There are a ton of unlockables - including teams, arenas, players & game modes. There is a multi-disc game mode that is just FRANTIC.

 

The game supports 8 players via a network connection (up to 8 Xboxes), and 4 player split screen per Xbox. There is fantastic 5.1 sound, and the graphics are very detailed. Each time has their own distinct look, and voices, which help to differentiate them from each other. The only downside is that there was no Xbox Live support. That would easily have made this one of the best games I've ever played.

 

Playing the game by yourself is fun, but where the real fun lies is multiplayer. Me and Cathartic played this game for hours. We'd one-time each other, work on defense, all sorts of strategies. Plus the game can get brutal. SOme teams are so aggressive, they wouldn't even try to score. They'd go straight for our players to incapacitate them. Plus, any person you beat down, remembers you beat them down and will aggressively look for you!

 

As Brian mentioned, the game had POOR marketing. I picked it up the week it came out after reading some reviews on GameRAnkings.com. Some people had it early, and were talking about it, so I made it my mission to find a copy. I got the last copy at my local EBGames. It was well worth it.

 

I know EBGames was selling used copies for about 10$ a few months back. It's worth a look if you're looking for a fun, multiplayer game, that's a bit different from all the other sports games you've played. As I mentioned previously, this is a title I would have picked as my sleeper hit of 2002.

 

I should also mention the game gets it's name from "Death - Throw" not "Death - Row". This is because the disc can be charged, and thrown at HIGH speed, and if it hits the goalie, will knock them out of the way, so you can get the rebound and score. Some arenas have an open goal, so you can get behind the goal, and launch it back and forth between you and your partner, racking up MASSIVE points.

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Sorry, folks. Maybe if it was live compatible I'd feel differently.

 

Well what exactly would Live compatibility do for you Anthony? You seem to be vehement in your dislike for the game and I'm not sure how the ability to play online would help. Thats a serious question. I'd like to hear a bit more about what exactly you didn't like about Deathrow? (ie game mechanics, graphics etc..) Theres never a time I don't lik hearing an opposing point of view but "rented, hated and returned" leaves a little too much to the imagination. ;)

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what is the game play like? Is it similar to playing a hockey game?

Well, you can play it from an above cam (which I don't like really), which sort of gives you an entire view of the action - Or you can play from the Action cam, which is a third person view. I prefer the Action cam, mostly because it make you feel more "in the game".

 

It's very fast paced as well, lots of passing, with some quick shots on the goals. There is a "arc", that shows you how the disc will fly. The longer that arc is kept, the closer to that it will fly. It's kind of hard to describe, and I don't think my desciption of it really does it justice. I'll try and find some screen shots of it, so you can see what I mean.

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There was a demo of the game on one of the OXM discs when the game was released. I'm at work now so I can't tell you which one but it shouldn't be too hard to find it on the OXM website. So if you've got a stack of old demo discs laying around you may be able to try it out yourself.

 

I personally didn't care for the game based on the demo, either. But I admit that I didn't put a whole lot of time into it, either. I had heard lots of good things about the game here, so I popped in the demo, played for about 20 minutes, got my butt kicked repeatedly, and wrote it off as "not for me".

 

However, if it had an online mode I would have invested a lot more time into it in order to play with you folks, and I'm sure it would have clicked with me eventually. Amazing how many times that's happened so far...MechAssault, Midtown Madness, Wolfenstein, Rainbow 6, Pandora Tomorrow...but that's a subject for a different thread, I expect. :)

 

[edit] Just checked the OXM website and that is no help. I'll look it up when I get home tonight.

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Originally posted by FutureVoid@Apr 14 2004, 10:33 PM

Well what exactly would Live compatibility do for you Anthony? You seem to be vehement in your dislike for the game and I'm not sure how the ability to play online would help. Thats a serious question. I'd like to hear a bit more about what exactly you didn't like about Deathrow? (ie game mechanics, graphics etc..) Theres never a time I don't lik hearing an opposing point of view but "rented, hated and returned" leaves a little too much to the imagination. ;)

You're right. Vehement hatred is inaccurate. Heart-breaking disappointment was more my criticism.

 

1) Human opponents can figure out the game, come up with plays or formations, and relay explicit instructions to the other players. Jay could run to the ring and say "over here" and I could pass it to him for a score. The AI in this game was more chaotic and based on luck for me to really get any enjoyment out of it. It became merely an excercise in trying to get the disc where it needed to go and praying someone didn't chokeslam me.

2) Games that swear for the sake of doing so are a turn-off, and that wouldn't have been an issue if it were you guys talking normally instead of reading forced dialogue with F-Bombs. Besides, during the game most of you would probably be giving orders or calling for a pass.

 

A lot of sports games like Segas got things right and these complaints don't count. Deathrow didn't give me that same sense. But to be honest it's been ages since I've played it, so there's no reason for me not to grab a copy next time I'm at Blockbuster and give it another look.

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Thats cool Anthony. Thanks for clarifying the problems you had with the game. Give the problems with the AI I can understand how Live support may have pushed you over the edge. Deathrow is apparently still very popular with XBConnect, though I've never tried it myself it may be worth a look...

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