NINJA GAIDEN
(Tecmo—Xbox) 9

The world's best hack-and-slash epic: Basic combos multiply into wall-run back flips and blood-spurt beheadings, the smoothest acrobatics and most graceful gore this side of the Pacific. Counter meatier and meatier varieties of enemies with swords, nunchakus and bow-and-arrow, all while grabbing technique-teaching scrolls and running across walls and—WWJD?—on water. You just won't be able to turn it into wine.

Details

NBA Ballers
For PS2 (review copy), Xbox
Developer: Midway
Publisher: Midway
Rating 8 (out of 10)


SPLINTER CELL: PANDORA TOMORROW
(Ubisoft—Xbox) 10

Armed with the cream of the military-industrial complex, Tom Clancy’s Sam Fisher puts a scowling face on American might that not even Dick Cheney can match. The brand-new multiplayer option makes the game. Choose your two-person team online: Spies break necks and crawl through air ducts in third-person while mercs then hunt in first-person, using another set of sweet weapons and gadgets.


THE SUFFERING
(Midway—PS2, Xbox) 7

As Torque—a musclehead jailed for, but not necessarily guilty of, killing his wife and kids—you mostly splatter classical Stan Winston monsters. If you're in it for the copious blood (why else would you be?) there's no reason not to shotgun monsters and innocent prisoners, confirming your guilt at game's end. Why not encourage players to prove their innocence?

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