GAMER I thought I was looking for some new, nonmayhem-oriented games, and someone recommended Endless Ocean. I read the box and said, "Hmmm. A game where you swim around and look at pretty fish. Yeah. I could do that."
Endless Ocean is a game about scuba diving: you play a young marine biologist tasked with helping to catalog the inhabitants of an imaginary coral reef. Read more »
GAMER I have a confession to make: I don't like first-person shooters. Most of the ones I've played share the following objective: "Shoot the marines-aliens-terrorists-mutants and escape from the bunkerprisontop-secret facilitywarehouse full of crates." I find this a bit boring. I therefore believe myself uniquely suited to hack my way through the dense jungle of Microsoft-sponsored hype with a flaming machete. Read more »
A couple of weeks ago I was facing a stretch without the possibility of any money besides what I had in my pocket. I have experienced this before, and the way I have learned to deal with it is to stay in my apartment, sleep a lot, and eat very little, counting the days. At my age and with my diet of cigarettes and coffee, Internet porn will only go so far. So I have found that the best way to kill the hours when I am conscious has been to play video games. With my meager budget, I set aside what I needed to buy some games and hit the mall. Read more »
GAMER The sequel to the best game of 2005 may not be the best game of 2007, but that's only because Shadow of the Colossus ruined all games for all time by boiling adventuring nerdery down to an unheard-of, almost new-age minimalism. That game ruled. Read more »
GAMER When I grabbed Viva Piñata at the store, I hoped the game would inspire my Xbox 360 to a greatness beyond its current status as a sleek, expensive bookend that plays DVDs. Viva Pinata's premise might be described as Pokemon: Capitalist Edition you are a pinata farmer in charge of creating a garden that will attract a multitude of brightly colored pinatas, which you will have to tend and breed in a totally G-rated way. Read more »
GAMER Every Christmas as a child, I'd dream not about sugarplums but about Nintendo. I mentioned it to Santa at the mall, but alas, there was never one under the tree. So I made friends and used them for their consoles. Sadly, none of them were into The Legend of Zelda, so I did not grow up following the series like many of my generation. Read more »
(Vivendi Universal; Windows XP, PlayStation 2, Xbox, Sony PSP)
GAMER One nice thing about Scarface: The World Is Yours is that although it is a first-person shooteradventure game, there is no sewer level. It doesn't matter what the story line is: at some point, dude is going into a sewer and tromping through ankle-deep water with rats skittering around.
Scarface doesn't bother with that. It's more interested in having you sell cocaine and brutally murder people, like a good game should do. Read more »
GAMER It's no secret. We're in the end times, and at the clarion's call when all of God's children are raptured into heaven, we'll be left to deal with the Antichrist who, by the way, has a job at the United Nations and is working like the devil to see that people get college educations to further support the dark lord and his satanic machinations (which, of course, include sexual equality). Read more »
Call of Duty 3
(Activision; Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii)
Kids! You might be able to convince your parents to buy this game for you based on its historical content. It is virtually impossible to play without learning a bit about World War II. That's a nice side effect.
The latest incarnation of the popular Call of Duty first-person shooter series takes place in 1944 at the Normandy Breakout. American forces have already landed in France and are about to liberate Paris from the Nazis. The game does a great job of giving a bigger picture of the war than is often presented. Read more »
ANY GIVEN FIVE minutes of Battlefield 2 (Electronic Arts) play can resemble the opening scene of Saving Private Ryan. You're riding in an amphibious tank with your squad across enemy waters. Rumbles from explosions start getting louder and closer. Stray bullets hit the tank's armor and the water outside. Suddenly you're on land, the tank stops, and your squad leader yells, "Move!" over your headset. You jump out into utter chaos, bullets flying everywhere, your teammates falling around you. Read more »