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You’re in the Game: Xbox Kinect. Plus “Call of Duty: Black Ops” PDF Print E-mail
Lifestyle - Gaming
Written by Luke Hamilton   
Wednesday, 17 November 2010 05:31

'Kinect Adventures'

Microsoft’s Kinect sensor (released November 4 for the Xbox 360 system) is a different beast from the Wii and PlayStation Move. Employing a camera to create controller-free gaming, the Kinect sensor puts you into the game like none of its competitors. There are a few kinks in the system, but the overall product goes a long way toward making me a believer.

While Wii simply picks up the controller’s movements, your entire body and play space are utilized for Kinect games. For example, if a ball is flying at your left side, stepping to the right will dodge it, or if a hurdle is in your running path, you can physically jump over it. And unlike the Wii-too approach of PlayStation Move, Kinect is a genuine step forward for motion-controlled gaming.

 
A Pair of Animation Sensations: “Kirby’s Epic Yarn” and “Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 2” PDF Print E-mail
Lifestyle - Gaming
Written by Luke Hamilton   
Thursday, 04 November 2010 05:47

Kirby’s Epic Yarn

'Kirby's Epic Yarn'

I sold myself on Kirby’s Epic Yarn (released in October for Wii) almost immediately based just on the presentation. With almost every game I play trying to create realistic settings or characters, the pink puff ball’s adventure in yarn form gave me a childlike sense of awe at first sight. What followed is a game with minimal challenge, but it’s enjoyable nonetheless. It is undoubtedly a kiddie game, but you might find it surprising how delightful it can really be.

 
“Castlevania: Lords of Shadow”: Light Shines Through the Shadow PDF Print E-mail
Lifestyle - Gaming
Written by Luke Hamilton   
Monday, 18 October 2010 11:33
'Castlevania: Lords of Shadow'

Since 1986, the action-adventure Castlevania games have featured the Belmont clan battling a stable of classic horror creatures – from skeletons, vampires, and werewolves to iconic characters such as the Grim Reaper and Frankenstein’s monster, all under the lord of the night, Dracula. While the series thrived as a two-dimensional side-scroller, it has for almost 10 years suffered from substandard attempts at 3D gameplay, resulting in poor combat and platforming.

The new Castlevania: Lords of Shadow takes a big step in the right direction. Borrowing heavily from the play style of God of War with a great presentation is one thing, but the story is a powerful light that repels the darkness of doubt.

 
Zombie Annihilation, with Some Frustration: “Dead Rising 2,” for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 PDF Print E-mail
Lifestyle - Gaming
Written by Luke Hamilton   
Wednesday, 06 October 2010 05:08

'Dead Rising 2'

When faced with a zombie apocalypse, you can flee in terror, or you can fight back and have some fun with the flesh-munchers. Dead Rising 2, released in late September, offers the latter approach with flair in Fortune City, a faux Las Vegas. It’s definitely the most delightful zombie romp in video games, but it’ll eat your brains if you’re not careful.

Players step into the shoes of Chuck Greene, a contestant on the zombie-killing game show Terror Is Reality. Competing for prize money to cure to his infected daughter, Chuck is in for a surprise when the confined zombies are released, and he is framed for the terrorist act. He’s got 72 hours to clear his name before the military arrives, and countless zombies and psychopaths stand in his way.

 
A Great Start for a Finale -- "Halo: Reach," for Xbox 360 PDF Print E-mail
Lifestyle - Gaming
Written by Luke Hamilton   
Wednesday, 22 September 2010 07:42

'Halo: Reach'

Halo might be the most important franchise for the Xbox. The 2001 original defined console first-person shooters with its groundbreaking precision controls, keeping Xbox system sales alive during its early years and setting the standard for nearly every modern shooter to date.

What the truly hardcore fans realize, though, is that the original game’s popularity skyrocketed with prequel novels that dug deeper into the tale of humanity’s desperate battle for survival against the aliens known as The Covenant. The key book in all of this was 2001’s Halo: The Fall of Reach. That novel comes to life in the final game in the franchise, Halo: Reach, and developer Bungie has crafted one of the best stories in video games today while adding even more to its trademark multiplayer in what is truly the defining version of Halo.

 
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