Hardy Plumbing
April 19, 2006

Game Dork



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"Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter" (click for larger version)
The War At Home

New Battles Are More Frustrating Than Fun

All I wanted to do was enjoy a nice, leisurely Sunday of death and destruction. But apparently, I was expecting too much entertainment from a bunch of new and acclaimed war games. So, instead, I wound up playing a game that heaves with the revealing skin of women wrestlers.

I'll get to those women in a moment, don't you fret. But first, hear my chronicle of woe.

My Sunday morning was greeted by "Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter." You may be familiar with the glitzy TV ads that make "Warfighter" appear as if its graphics are almost as realistic as real life. Nay, it doesn't look as crisp as that, but it does have a fancy gleam.

"Warfighter" is simple to grasp. You play as a soldier, and you control three other soldiers in your unit; you tell them where to stand and get shot. An ethnic salad of crazy rebels in foreign lands shoot at you. You shoot back. That's it. The curtain falls.

"Warfighter" isn't a flat amusement, but it's a standard game of tactical combat. There's no wonder in it, no magic. Just sneak, blam, kapow. Next?

Sunday afternoon, my living room was besieged by "Blazing Angels: Squadrons of WWII." If this game were graced with a travel brochure, it would glisten with pictures of buzzing, Nazi planes that you shoot down. Also, tanks and ships waiting to be bombed.

"Blazing Angels" does have wonder. Skies are a-puff with white clouds and black smoke. It is a delight to pan about in your cockpit and fire at the wings of war. Yet, it becomes too hard, too fast. Try defending London from air raids all by yourself, tasked with blowing up 30 planes before Parliament succumbs to Nazis.

I am so very perturbed about Parliament getting shattered on my watch, repeatedly, as if history accounts for nothing.

So Sunday evening gave way to "Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence," a contemporary battlefield starring a spy-guy hero. "Subsistence" is a type of director's cut of an incredible game named "Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater" in which you creep upon evil-doers and kill them to death until they are dead, extra-dead or dead-lite.

But "Subsistence" would not work for me. I pressed the "New Game" button, and nothing happened. I tried again. Nada. I am very tech savvy, and I tried various fixes for quite literally an hour until I decided that when I can't make a game begin, then that game metastasizes into a new game called One-Throw Frisbee.

Sunday night, weary and weak, I sighed onto "Rumble Roses XX." This was to be a mediocre and slow-responsive wrestling game where you get hit, fall down, and you can't get up. But it's defined, more to the point, by its redefinition of sensuous cheese.

You play as fatless, anime-busty women wearing underwear or perhaps a smart display of cow-print chaps. These women walk sexy on catwalks, they pose for photos, they wrap their upper thighs around other women's heads, and the loser gets tickled while you zoom your TV camera angle onto the body part of your choosing.

And that marked the end of Sunday. Aren't you glad this wasn't you, disappointed by soldiers and scamps?

("Blazing Angels: Squadrons of WWII" for Xbox 360 and Xbox — Plays fun until it becomes ridiculously hard. Looks great. Very challenging. Rated "T" for violence and language. Two and one-half stars out of four.)

("Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence" for PS 2 — Plays like a director's cut of "Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater". Looks terrific. Challenging. Rated "M" for blood, gore, partial nudity and violence. Three and one-half stars.)

("Rumble Roses XX" for Xbox 360 — Plays like standard wrestling, but a little sluggish. Looks very good. Challenging. Rated "M" for mild language, partial nudity, sexual themes, and violence. Two and one-half stars.)

("Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter" for Xbox, PS 2 — Plays fun but standard. Looks great. Challenging. Rated "T" for blood, mild language and violence. Three stars.)

NEW TO YOU — USED GAME OF THE WEEK

"Donkey Konga 2" is a fun game that makes gamers bang on bongos, or clap near a microphone, while watching the TV screen, which instructs them when to come in on the beat. It's a nice toy that might help kids learn musical rhythm.

The game is going for less than $20 in used-game stores, though you have to make sure you also buy the bongos for another $15 or so. It's available for GCube, and it's rated "E."

(Ratings: "E" for "Everyone;" "T" for "Teen;" "M" for "Mature 17+")

NEW AND COMING SOON

"Dreamfall: The Longest Journey" continues its sarcastic, story-based adventure of various characters, including a scantily clad woman, who encounter space aliens and other mysteries. It retails for $40 for Xbox. It's rated "M" for language, blood, suggestive themes and violence.

(Ratings: "E" for "Everyone;" "T" for "Teen;" "M" for "Mature 17+")

TOP 5 NEW GAMES

Here are the Top 10 best-selling video games, according to retailer Blockbuster. Games are listed by title, company, gaming system, and rating from the Entertainment Software Rating Board.

1. "Kingdom Hearts 2" (Square Electronics) for PS 2; rated "E 10+" (mild blood, use of alcohol, violence)

2. "Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion" (Bethesda Softworks) for Xbox 360; rated "T" (blood, gore, language, sexual themes, use of alcohol, violence)

3. "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas" (Rockstar) for PS 2; also available for Xbox; rated "M" (blood, gore, intense violence, strong language, strong sexual content, use of drugs)

4. "Kingdom Hearts" (Square Electronics) for PS 2; rated "E 6+" (violence)

5. "Far Cry Instincts Predator" (Ubisoft) for Xbox 360; rated "M" (blood, drug reference, intense violence, strong language, suggestive themes)

TOP 5 RENTAL GAMES

Here are the Top 10 best-renting video games, according to retailer Blockbuster. Games are listed by title, company, the gaming system, and rating from the Entertainment Software Rating Board.

1. "Kingdom Hearts 2" (Square Electronics) for PS 2; rated "E 10+" (mild blood, use of alcohol, violence)

2. "Major League Baseball 2K6" (Visual Concepts) for Xbox; also available for Xbox 360, PS 2, GCube and PSP; rated "E"

3. "The Godfather: The Game" (EA) for PS 2; also available for Xbox; rated "M" (blood, gore, intense violence, strong language, suggestive themes)

4. "Fight Night Round 3" (EA) for PS 2; also available for Xbox 360, Xbox, PSP; rated "T" (blood, mild language, suggestive themes, violence)

5. "NBA Ballers Phenom" (Midway) for PS 2; also available for Xbox; rated "E"

(Ratings: "E" for "Everyone;" "T" for "Teen;" "M" for "Mature 17+")

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