By Amy Nicholson
By Stephanie Zacharek
By Calum Marsh
By Stephanie Zacharek
By Inkoo Kang
By Voice Film Critics
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Alan Scherstuhl
NBA LIVE 06 only has ads on the dorma boards on the ends of the court. They're small, and when I see them, I don't feel like I'm being sold out. One of the achievements/gimmicks in this game is the Superstar mode where players like Vince Carter shine like superheroes. It also makes the NBA's humans seem invincible, and that's a little scary. Yet it works, and when the superstars shine, your foes will quickly scowl and moan in defeat. One aside: what's up with announcer Marv Albert? He sounds like he's on Xanax. Is he paid by the opposing team to lull you into submission?
You gotta love LOST IN BLUE for the DS. It's something like Survivor meets The Blue Lagoon, a game that's pretty deep and uses the touch screen as it's never been used before. Sure, there should have been some scary elements of Lost put in the game, but where else are you gonna get to milk a goat?
WE LOVE KATAMARI is a wonderfully peculiar game, the essence of Japanese quirkiness as far as console offerings are concerned. The goal here is to roll katarmaris (think big, tacky matzo balls) over everything that sticks and then send them into the skies so they become stars. I can't tell you why this is so much fun. But if you have a collector compulsion like I do, you'll happily bop to the crazy katamari music and accumulate anything that sticks just as the wacky, animated king bids you to do.
Take The Hulk: Ultimate Destruction, a game that actually portrays the lunking green monolith as a complex and frightening monster, not some dim-witted Frankenstein clone. From the moment you begin to play, tossing 18-wheelers at helicopters, you're struck by his varied abilities, the expansive graphics and the true-to-the-comic cut scenes that are both full of hubris and melodrama. It's one of the year's best games.
Ultimate Spider-Man is certainly no slouch, either. With better writing than The Hulk (Activision employed the comic book writer and artist team) but not quite the astounding gameplay, you feel like you're inside the comic book itself. No, you don't feel flat and two-dimensional. You feel some how free to take on the criminals in New York (where's the Jr. Gotti character, though?). Pumped full of teenage angst, spider silk with unbelievable tensile strength and a big mouth, you'll deal with everyone from Nick Fury to Venom. Plus, the cel-shaded graphics make me want to own some of the original art from this game.
If you want a deep, comic book-inspired RPG that lets you adjust your mutant's abilities to your steely heart's content, X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse might tickle your fancy. You've got 100 enemies, well over a dozen mutant heroes (not Tom Dale Delay, but Wolverine, etc.), and you have to (big shocker) stop the world from begin taken over. If you like a lot of ability-tinkering with your hack and slash, this game gets it right.
The tough geek in me, the one who savored Remnick's King of the World, really wanted Marvel Nemesis, the fighting game based in the Marvel universe, to work. Hey, who wouldn't want to use The Human Torch to punch out The Hulk (especially when he seemed so indestructible in Ultimate Destruction? But this ain't no Soul Calibur. It's not even Rocky Legends. There are just not enough fighting styles and depth of story for this to work, even as a one-on-one punch 'em up. Note to the developers for the sequel: Soul Calibur, Soul Calibur, Soul Calibur.
What if you started killing people? Not because youd had enough of the suck-ass way of the world that had so embittered you. But because . . . well, you dont know why. And its a trend. Good people elsewhere in New York City are whacking their fellowmen. That's the premise of INDIGO PROPHECY, an eerie adventure story that recalls the games Myst (the adventure part) and Johnny Mnemonic (the interactive movie part). Yeah, the controls are a little twitchy at times, but youre really inside the emotion of this mystery (helped along by a disturbing score and decent voice acting). Question is, can you get to the bottom of it? And, do you really dare to?
Speaking of Myst, the last episode of the landmark series has just been released. MYST V: END OF AGES is rife with the brain-crushing, ulcer-inducing puzzles that the series relies so heavily upon. Yet this is a 3D game, and you can explore pretty much everywhere your heart desires. And don't be too afraid of those lanky Bharo folk. They're gonna help you out sooner than you think. Beyond the puzzles, the other Myst signature is still here: graphics that blow you away. In the snow environment, you actually feel like you're part of "Slava's Snow Show," inside one blustery blizzard.
Join My Voice Nation for free stuff, film info & more!