Hardy Plumbing
May 03, 2006

Game Dork



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"College Hoops 2K6" (click for larger version)
Athletic Support

College B-ball Game Slam-dunks Other Sports Titles

What a weird turn of events for a new season of sports games. Out of all the new baseball, hockey, and tennis titles on the market, the most fun new title is a college basketball game — and it's not even college basketball season anymore. So let's start with that winner before we move onto the let-downs.

"College Hoops 2K6" — If you're still upset about all the upsets at the NCAA tournament, you can make your own Final Four magic by playing as any of scores of college basketball teams. I don't even like college ball as much as the pros. But this "2K" franchise title is an exciting and realistic outing that lets you dunk, defend, and blind-pass behind your back with ease.

That doesn't mean it's easy, rather it's merely simple to figure out how to take the ball to the hoop. But you'll still get whooped here and there. It's available for Xbox 360, Xbox, and PS 2. It's rated "E." Three and one-half stars out of four.

"Major League Baseball 2K6" — I don't know what it is with some games lately, but they keep freezing during gameplay. It's just as frustrating as when your PC freezes and won't let you do anything until you turn it off and on again. My copy of "2K6" for Xbox 360 keeps doing this, as often as three times an hour.

Pity. Otherwise "2K6" is a decent-looking, easy-to-figure-out baseballer with plenty of fun batting. It's a pleasure to use the joystick to swing your bat. The pitching is stupider; you think you're throwing a fastball one place, but it ends up another. It is cool, though, to see close-ups of fans catching foul balls.

Even so, some other reviewers are having the same freezing problem, so it's apparently not an isolated problem with my disc. It's available for Xbox 360, Xbox, PS 2, and PSP (the PSP version is not buggy but sluggish). It's rated "E." What would have been a three-star review drops to one star.

"NHL 2K6" — How is it that hockey games are getting way worse? "2K6" looks only somewhat better than 1990s games. That's a disgrace. On the PS 2, it's slower-moving and easier to win than most hockey games. It's also available for Xbox 360 and Xbox. It's rated "E." One-half star.

"Top Spin 2" for Nintendo DS — The original "Top Spin" was a most entertaining and realistic-looking game. But that was on the fancy Xbox. The tennis series is now available for the handheld DS system as a very ambitious but disappointing match on the courts.

The players look pretty good, considering this is the DS, which doesn't have the graphics of Sony's PSP. But those extra graphics slow down the tennis playing. It nearly takes ESP to swing your racket before the ball is even headed toward you. And it's pretty easy to beat. It's rated "E." One and one-half stars.

USED GAME OF THE WEEK

"World Series of Poker" is exactly what it sounds like. You can play the various casino games available in Vegas and Monte Carlo, from Texas hold 'em to seven-card stud and a bevy of others.

"Poker" also shows images of other players at the card tables. They give you the evil eye, try to compose a poker face, or just plain out can't hide their giddy and angry emotions. The game is now selling for a good price of about $15 in used-game stores. It's available for Xbox, PS 2, GCube and PSP. It's rated "E 10+" for mild language and simulated gambling.

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

NEW AND COMING SOON

"Gallop Racer 2006" is a unique title in the gaming market. It lets players race horses they select and groom. It retails for $40 for PS 2. It's rated "E."

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

TOP 10 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. "Kingdom Hearts" (Square Electronics) for PS 2; rated "E 6+" (violence)

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

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

5. "Final Fantasy XI Online: Rise of the Zilart; Chains of Promathia; Treasures of Aht Urhgan" (Square Electronic Arts) for Xbox 360; rated "T" (animated blood, mild language, violence)

6. "Battlefield 2: Modern Combat" (Electronics Arts) for Xbox 360; also available for Xbox, PS 2; rated "T" (language, violence)

7. "Tomb Raider: Legend" (Eidos) for Xbox 360; also available for Xbox, PS 2, GCube and PSP; rated "T" (blood, language, suggestive themes, violence)

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

9. "Tomb Raider: Legend" for PS 2

10. "Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter" (Ubisoft) for Xbox 360; also available for Xbox, PS 2; rated "T" (blood, language, violence)

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

TOP 10 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 PS 2; also available for Xbox 360, Xbox, GCube and PSP; rated "E"

3. "Tomb Raider: Legend" (Eidos) for PS 2; also available for Xbox 360, Xbox, GCube and PSP; rated "T" (blood, language, suggestive themes, violence)

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

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

6. "Black" (EA) for PS 2; also available for Xbox; rated "M" (strong language, violence)

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

8. "Tomb Raider: Legend" for Xbox

9. "Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter" (Ubisoft) for Xbox 360; also available for Xbox, PS 2; rated "T" (blood, language, violence)

10. "Major League Baseball 2K6" for Xbox

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

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