Completely unconcerned for the fans who found the horror aspect of the Child's Play series the best part, creator/director/writer Don Mancini brings us Seed of Chucky. There is many an adjective available for the film, mostly including variations on sick, twisted, stupid, and fun. The series slow slide into comedy ends here, and even if it's a complete opposite of the films that started it, it's a classic example of horror comedy.
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The touch screen on the DS should give us perfect translations of PC strategy games. In fact, the potential is there to make them even better given the second screen. Unfortunately, if they’re going to be translated like Zoo Tycoon, we’ll never see that happen.
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What is Retro Gaming Hacks you ask? Why, it's a book from O'Reilly.
It's not just any book though. There are multiple sections written by Digital Press members, including myself, Rob O'Hara, and Jess Ragan!
To mark this small milestone in DP world domination, we have two copies to give away on the DP forums. However, the first prize winner will get some extras:
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Super Mario Kart wasn't only an innovative and fresh title back on the SNES. It was a paint-by-numbers piece that every kart racer to follow would use for "inspiration." It was wild fun with warping mode-7 scaling and rotation that showed off what the system could do. However, 13 years is a long time, certainly enough to make the concept stale without change.
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A sadly rare original PSP title, Infected sucks players in with a wild action concept. In a few levels, it falls apart. Then it sucks players back in with an innovative online feature, and then that falls apart. That's the flow of Infected, and it's not possible to recommend it, even though the deranged sense of humor gives players something to work for.
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Timesplitters 2 may be a Player's Choice title, but it's one of the most overlooked games on the Gamecube (and PS2 and Xbox). It's a quick single player ride extended by incredibly in depth multi-player and a create-a-map feature. It's a game people will still be playing in a few years, much like the developer's previous effort Goldeneye.
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I have a huge amount of respect for Roger Ebert. Many people have a hard time understanding why he has become rich stating his opinion. They don't understand how educated that opinion is. At least, we should expect his opinion to be educated. In a recent response to reader mail (third letter down), he's drawn the eye of many gamers by failing to give due respect to the medium.
Continue reading "Roger Ebert and Video Games: A Sign of the Times" »
One of the great new features of the new and improved Xbox Live on the 360 is a downloadable demo. Not only demos of the fun and addicting arcade games, but demos of full 360 games - the games you will be spending $60 on.
So far you can download a demo of: Need for Speed: Most Wanted, Kameo: Elements of Power, NBA Live 06, and Madden NFL 06. These downloads range from 400 MB in size to almost 900 MB. It takes the better part of an hour usually to get one of these. But when you think about it, this is time well spent.
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It's so hard to look at Cinderella Man and not make the comparison to Rocky. Actually, any boxing film is going to draw that comparison, along with Raging Bull. Cinderella Man stands out though since it's based on a true story to give it some weight.
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Even though it was a sweep, the 2005 World Series will be remembered for Game 3. The longest game in the deciding baseball series, that 14-inning struggle kept many fans up late, and likely off work the next day. White Sox fans have a nice, short look at the season, and an hours worth of highlights from the Series on this DVD.
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For longtime fans disappointed with the direction the series has taken in 3-D, they still have handhelds to provide the experience they’re looking for in Sonic titles. On the DS that’s Sonic Rush, a near return to form for Sega’s mascot, and no, it’s still not any easier to play as the character on a Nintendo system. The speed, boss battles, and multi-player have a hard time making up for the level design though.
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Though it feels like a test market product, Peter Jackson's Production Diaries: King Kong is the first time the extra material has been released on DVD before the movie is even out in theaters. Actually, the material has been around since September of 2004 online. The question is then: why do we need this?
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It is really sad to see all the EA Sports titles for the Xbox 360 come up short this season. And Tiger 06 is no exception. For basketball fans there is another game to consider, but not so for football and golf.
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 06 on the Xbox 360 looks amazing. The game is truly breathtaking, especially in HD. The player models have never looked better. Tiger truly looks like Tiger. The modeling and textures for cloth are stunning for sure, but it is the vast courses that really are impressive. The only glitches are slight pop in of shadows, and some stuttering during the introductory flybys. This is barely noticeable, but the pop in is surprising when you think about what the hardware is capable of.
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It's pretty much official. This has been the biggest year for video games EVER. Yes even bigger than last year. Not surprisingly, a lot of the big software has hit in the past few months. Even still, we at Blogcritics.org are going to make sense of the software that's hit over the entire year. No, we haven't played every console game this year (though if someone would like to send us a set, that would be nice), but out of what we've played, these are the dozen titles that stick out from the pack.
Continue reading "Breaking Windows Best Games of 2005" »
While it probably would have worked as a straight action game, Kill.Switch is a unique title in that everything is based around taking cover. It grows old after a while, and years of run and gun video game conditioning can make it tempting, but it's handled intuitively. There's also an interesting backstory that unfolds that makes each stage worth playing through.
Continue reading "PS2 Review: Kill.Switch" »
Burnout Legends suffers from one noticeable problem on the DS: It's called Burnout. If was named Generic Racing Game 1, it would have been tolerable. Sadly, slapped with the label from the best arcade racing franchise arguably ever, it's a disaster.
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Using the DS like it should be used, Trauma Center is a game for Nintendo's handheld unlike anything before it (on any console). Barring a few doctor-oriented games in the past (Microsurgeon on the Intellivision), this is a completely original, wild, and oddly fun escapist video game. It's the type of title made for the DS and only the DS.
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Unlike another companies sports titles on the Xbox 360, 2K Sports has done things right. There's not a single feature missing from this upgraded edition of NHL 2K6, and as an already beautiful game of hockey, there's little else they could expect. You'll be getting the same game you would on the Xbox; everything simply looks a touch better.
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In development since the early days of the Nintendo 64, Kameo is one of those games you would never be surprised to see cancelled. After numerous incarnations and consoles, it's here on the Xbox 360. It's hard to imagine what the limited hardware of the N64 would have done to this fantastical, gorgeous, and jaw droppingly beautiful world. It's nice to know we'll never need to know.
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No one likes to win a battle without a fight. It doesn’t prove anything. NBA 2K6 resoundingly wins round one of the next-gen battle for simulation basketball. And all they had to do was show up at launch. This is because most of NBA Live 06 is just not there in EA’s first baller for the 360.
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There's one thing going for Godzilla: Final Wars. It's not the 1998 American travesty called Godzilla. Final Wars knows this, and few references to that ugly mess are the only real highlights here. It's an attention deficit disorder nightmare of a film, radically altering a concept (admittedly quickly going stale) that's worked for decades.
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For a system starving for RPGs, the PSP has picked up in recent months. PoPoLo Crois, Legend of Heroes, and the game here Kingdom of Paradise make up the genres latest portable entries. This action RPG is a frustrating experience with little guidance. However, the completely original combo concept is enough to raise it above the average level and turn at least the fighting into an involving button masher.
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Following up to what many consider to be the greatest first-person shooter ever made, Half-Life 2 is deep, ambitious, and to put it in a single word, incredible. While there's plenty of gunfire to go around, this sequel to the 1998 PC classic features plenty of puzzle solving action. This mostly revolves around the game's most enjoyable aspect: physics.
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Impossibly beating all odds, destroying every bad memory about the 1976 remake, and setting a new standard for creature features, King Kong is a remarkable film. It's intense, brutal, and draining on every emotion. You're actually tired after leaving the cinema. Peter Jackson's remake is a $207 million gift for every Kong fan in the world, and except for a few ugly spots, it's hard to imagine a better way to resurrect one of cinema's all time greats.
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Gaining almost all of its strength from its incredible visual flair, Tron is a fun, light, and occasionally engrossing film. Every frame is a joy to look at, while the basic adventure happens behind the effects. On a storytelling level it’s a failure and that’s enough to make it a rough recommendation.
Continue reading "UMD Review: Tron" »
Setting itself up with a plausible premise and then destroying it all with an implausible ending, Cry_Wolf digs itself deep without a way to fix everything. The slow beginning is for the better, with plenty of false starts that leave the viewer hanging. It has some great imagery too, but that's not enough to save this one from ending up entirely average.
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Out on the N64 with a wildly inconsistent frame rate, Perfect Dark made some noise because of its developer (Rare) and great weapon set. That continues on the Xbox 360 with the prequel, Perfect Dark Zero. It's in a bigger crowd now though, and the impact isn't quite there, but this is still a well made FPS.
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The third season for the animated Ninja Turtles has some truly classic moments, and it's obvious this is where the show gained some legs. The animation mistakes are rare (they were prevalent in earlier seasons), the humor stronger, and some great new characters added. This DVD set includes a dozen episodes from this season. Other episodes will likely be included in future volumes.
Continue reading "DVD Review: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Volume 3" »
Microsoft stated two years ago that support for Internet Explorer for Mac would end in 2005. It has finally been two years. Two very long and painful years if you ask me.
In a note posted to Microsoft's Mactopia Web site, "Microsoft will end support for Internet Explorer for Mac on December 31st, 2005, and will provide no further security or performance updates." This is already the case, but only unofficially. They will also pull downloads of IE for Mac as of January 31st, 2006.
Continue reading "Microsoft Officially Drops IE For Mac, Recommends Safari" »
Adding more floors to a decrepit building doesn't fix the floors below, so why hasn't THQ/Yuke's learned that more isn't always better?
Continue reading "PS2 Review: Smackdown! vs. Raw 2006" »
Batman Begins - a good game? It was bound to happen someday...
Just talking about games such as Batman and Robin, Batman Beyond, Batman Forever or Batman Forever: The Arcade Game with someone who reviews video games should trigger something in their head which will make them talk about how horrendous those games were for months. Batman video games are sort of like president jokes on a late night show to a video game reviewer. Hell - I could probably base an entire stand-up routine derived from those games.
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Sure, we can call it the best year for gaming ever. That's possibly true. However, no year is perfect, and the industry as a whole provides numerous opportunities to have fun. So, instead of those typical, boring, and cheaply planned out best of lists, let's hand out some awards for the "less fortunate" people, places, and things from the industry we love… some times.
Continue reading "The Worst in Video Games 2005" »
After a disastrous sequel in R: Racing Evolution that Namco is wise to forget, the Ridge Racer series now joins the crowded and strong Xbox 360 racing line up. This is the game for non-car buffs and those who treasure simple gameplay. While the feel is definitely outdated comparatively, the audience for this style is out there, and this is an overly extended fan service for them.
Continue reading "Xbox 360 Review: Ridge Racer 6" »
Hot Shots Part Deux is a perfect example of not only a series that died too soon, but also one of a sequel that eclipses the original. Where the original was slightly locked into parodying Top Gun, Part Deux takes on everything that would fit into the script. Jim Abrahams directs this under-appreciated near-masterpiece of a film parody, and provides more comedy than should be legal.
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One of Ted Turner's more controversial moves, colorizing movies was an idea that was created before the technology was ready. That didn't stop him from purchasing entire movie libraries with full plans to "update" them from black and white. With King Kong, about the only thing it does is make the special effects stand out unnaturally while ignoring everything else.
Continue reading "Movie Review: King Kong (1933) Colorized" »
Fondly remembered for reasons we have all forgotten, this N-Gage translation of Lara Croft's first adventure fails for all the reasons it did back in 1996. Most notably, the controls are simply terrible. It's enough to render this translation unplayable, mostly due to time.
Continue reading "N-Gage Review: Tomb Raider" »
Disturbing 100 million people during its first TV showing, The Day After is one of those movies you don't want to watch, yet can't look away. It's harsh, depressing, and sadly, most likely not realistic enough. This is a brutal depiction of nuclear war, its effects on a small town, and doesn't skip any detail.
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The world needs more mad scientists. They may screw up once in a while and unleash some huge terror that rampages through a major metropolis, but it’s all worth it. Besides, who else could come up with a movie like Konga and label it entertainment besides the criminally insane? And what would we do without it?
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Trying to bring Contra into 3-D doesn't work. It's not a style of game that is easily transferred. That didn't prevent Torus games from loosely trying to mimic a classic in Operation Shadow, a far too typical 3rd-person action title.
Continue reading "N-Gage Review: Operation Shadow" »
is © 2003
by Ken Edwards and Matt Paprocki. Some Rights Reserved
Contact Ken: ken [at] meancode [dot] com
Contact Matt: videogamer [at] bex [dot] net
: The opinions expressed on this website are solely those of the author and do not reflect those of any corporation, business entity, group or club the author has ever been associated with. Feel free to quote anything I say but do me the courtesy of a link back (see Creative Commons license)