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Rec Room
Videogames

    The new blackThe new black:  This fall, Orange is in
    If you wanted to nitpick, you could say that Half-Life 2: Episode Two is too brief.
    By: MITCH KRPATA


    Phantom tollboothPhantom tollbooth:  Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass proves worth the wait
    Was this going to be yet another instance of the Nintendo folks driving away their core audience in favor of the “casual gamers” market they covet so much?
    By: RYAN STEWART


    Board meetingBoard meeting:  EA’s latest is no cheap Skate
    Competition is a good thing.
    By: MITCH KRPATA


    So long, Master ChiefSo long, Master Chief:  Halo 3 calls it a day
    Halo is the great unifier of the video-game world, bringing together people of all stripes, from hardcore geeks to competitive jocks.
    By: MITCH KRPATA


    Shoot ’em upShoot ’em up:  Stranglehold is a soft-boiled shooter
    There’s a great line in the 1992 John Woo movie Hard Boiled: “Give a guy a gun and he thinks he’s Superman. Give him two and he thinks he’s God!”
    By: MITCH KRPATA


    Samus everSamus ever:  Metroid has a new control scheme, but so what?
    People have been trying to get into Samus Aran’s suit ever since they first discovered that the bad-ass, bounty-hunting hero of the Metroid series was a woman.
    By: MITCH KRPATA


    Locked and loadedLocked and loaded:  The fall promises a double-barreled blast of gaming greatness
    Okay, this is getting ridiculous. It’s already been a strong year for games, with four — four! — game-of-the-year contenders before Labor Day.
    By: MITCH KRPATA


    PigpilePigpile:  Yet another Madden
    With its virtual monopoly on video-game football in place, the Madden franchise has become less essential with each successive iteration.
    By: RYAN STEWART


    Impossible dreamImpossible dream:  BioShock plumbs uncharted depths
    It wasn’t impossible to build Rapture at the bottom of the ocean, Andrew Ryan would say of his creation. It was impossible to build it anywhere else.
    By: MITCH KRPATA


    Soccer riotSoccer riot:  Game time for Mario and his band of hooligans
    Some said it would never happen, but the arrival of a certain global icon has done the impossible and made Americans care about soccer.
    By: MITCH KRPATA


    The furry blue lineThe furry blue line:  Sam and Max are back on the streets
    Of the many evolutionary dead ends in the history of video games, no demise is more lamented than that of the point-and-click adventure.
    By: MITCH KRPATA


    Tenchu Zzz . . .Tenchu Zzz . . .:  The dull life of the modern-day ninja
    What’s cooler than a ninja?
    By: MITCH KRPATA


    Road to nowhereRoad to nowhere:  DiRT never gets going
    Winning isn’t everything; it’s the only thing. Or so they say in the world of sports.
    By: MITCH KRPATA


    Fear factorFear factor:  Resident Evil 4 comes to the Wii
    You are going to die!
    By: MITCH KRPATA


    Battling as usualBattling as usual:  Pokémon Battle Revolution is hardly revolutionary
    After you boot up, the receptionist at Pokétopia tells you that Pokémon: Battle Revolution’s Pokémon battle park has plenty of features.
    By: MADDY MYERS


    Heart of darknessHeart of darkness:  A hitman battles the enemy within in The Darkness
    Jackie Estacado’s 21st birthday turns out to be a nightmare.
    By: MITCH KRPATA


    Dear Lara,Dear Lara,:  A break-up on a bitter Anniversary
    It’s over between us.
    By: MITCH KRPATA


    Storming Sin CityStorming Sin City:  Rainbow Six: Vegas doubles down on the PS3
    Xbox 360 owners can be forgiven for overlooking Rainbow Six: Vegas last Christmas.
    By: MITCH KRPATA


    Shadow playShadow play:  Searching for the real Shadowrun
    “I need a rez!” The elf staggered toward me, blood spurting from his neck. “I need a rez!
    By: MITCH KRPATA


    Snooze cruiseSnooze cruise:  Forza never kicks into high gear
    When you’re commuting by car to your cubicle in real life, it’s unlikely that you’ll launch, say, a rocket-propelled grenade at the Ford Taurus in the lane ahead of you.
    By: MITCH KRPATA


    Calling David JaffeCalling David Jaffe:  Shut up and let Calling All Cars do the talking
    Somebody’s a little sensitive.
    By: MITCH KRPATA


    Second lifeSecond life:  Odin Sphere reanimates the PS2
    Reports of the PlayStation 2’s death have been greatly exaggerated.
    By: MITCH KRPATA


    Swingin’ SpideySwingin’ Spidey:  The movie adaptation is pleasantly mediocre
    The Spider-Man 3 game has been out for a few weeks now, and the feeding frenzy has subsided a bit.
    By: MITCH KRPATA


    One for the price of twoOne for the price of two:  A disappointing Pokémon on Nintendo DS
    It’s difficult to remember a time when Pokémon hadn’t yet captured America’s heart like some kind of parasitic worm, but in fact the franchise didn’t begin till 1996.
    By: MITCH KRPATA


    Space junkSpace junk:  Konami’s Lunar Knights
    We were supposed to have a new Zelda title for the Nintendo DS six months ago. But here it is, May 2007, and we’re still Zelda-less.
    By: RYAN STEWART


    CandylandCandyland:  The US Army wants you . . . to take on-screen violence seriously
    “Hey! Do you like fake violence? Do you think you might like real violence even more? Good! Here’s a .50-caliber machine gun and some money for college.”
    By: BEN RICHARDSON


    Shreddin’ heavenShreddin’ heaven:  Guitar Hero goes to 11 on Xbox 360
    By now, Guitar Hero has achieved a level of cultural penetration that most games can’t even dream of.
    By: MITCH KRPATA


    Optical illusionsOptical illusions:  Paper Mario will flip your dimensions
    There’s a logical contradiction in trying to create three-dimensional environments on a two-dimensional display.
    By: MITCH KRPATA


    Hybrid theoryHybrid theory:  A puzzling handheld Quest
    Let’s take a moment to discuss prejudice.
    By: MITCH KRPATA


    Choke artistChoke artist:  MLB 2K7 is a waste
    In this age of exclusive licenses, the annual iteration of each major sports video-game franchise can often be described as “$50 for a roster upgrade.”
    By: RYAN STEWART


    Border warBorder war:  Terror hits close to home in Ghost Recon
    If you were to do a shot every time someone said the word “ghost,” you’d pass out by the end of the first level.
    By: MITCH KRPATA


    Tone def jamTone def jam:  This Icon is just a con
    Def Jam: Icon is a marketing memo disguised as a video game, a conceptual nightmare that collapses under the weight of brand names and ill-advised “synergy.”
    By: MITCH KRPATA


    Greek epicGreek epic:  God of War II is one last classic for the PlayStation 2
    It was obvious that Kratos’s happiness couldn’t last.
    By: MITCH KRPATA


    Requiem for a game consoleRequiem for a game console:  A look back at the ultimate PlayStation 2 games
    With the release of God of War II this week, the book is all but closed on the PlayStation 2.
    By: MITCH KRPATA


    Ridin’ dirtyRidin’ dirty:  Is MotorStorm the PS3’s killer app?
    What’s to like about MotorStorm?
    By: MITCH KRPATA


    Naval gazingNaval gazing:  Adrift midway between action and strategy
    Is it time yet to declare a moratorium on video games set in World War II?
    By: MITCH KRPATA


    Five more video game injuriesFive more video game injuries:  War wounds
    "As players spend more time with the [Nintendo] Wii, some are noticing that hours waving the game’s controller around can add up to fairly intense exertion — resulting in aches and pains common in more familiar forms of exercise," so writes the Wall Street Journal.
    By: MIKE MILIARD


* *
BLOGS
  Terror campaign
posted at 6:23 PM / 10.24.2007
  More Lust, More Caution: Ang Lee II
posted at 6:11 PM / 10.10.2007
  Cautionary tale: Lee on "Lust"
posted at 4:38 PM / 10.5.2007
  Women with guns
posted at 6:00 PM / 10.2.2007
  Reasons Why "Blackout" Is More Exciting Than "In Rainbows"
posted at 5:14 PM / 10.23.2007
  Freezepop
posted at 5:24 PM / 10.18.2007
  Since it is the "#1 Comedy on Television!"
posted at 2:22 PM / 10.18.2007
  Ashlee Simpson's 80s Prom Birthday Party
posted at 1:37 PM / 10.18.2007


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