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Luke O'Brien

Home Entertainment, Game On Whip Smart

Whip Smart

It's been 20 years since the first Castlevania bewitched gamers with its gothic horror. Twenty years of vampire hunters going fist to fang with Lord Dracula. With almost two dozen titles in the series, Castlevania is one of the most…
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Home Entertainment, Game On Posterizing EA

Posterizing EA

Aside from that new ball, NBA Live 07 may be the worst product to bear the league's name this year. The new basketball game from Electronic Arts is so glitchy that scores of buyers launched an online petition demanding a…
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Home Entertainment, Game On School Daze

School Daze

By now, you've probably heard about Bully. It's the game that was supposed to finally ruin America's youth. Crusading lawyer Jack Thompson, the self-appointed schoolmarm of the videogame industry, called it a "Columbine simulator" and tried to block stores from…
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Home Entertainment, Game On Coke Dreams

Coke Dreams

In the gangsta pantheon, nobody gets more respect than Tony Montana. Consider all the homages: Not one, but two rappers have named themselves after Montana (Scarface of the Geto Boys and Tony Yayo of G-Unit), and Nas borrowed Montana's slogan…
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Home Entertainment, Game On Cold as Ice

Cold as Ice

Ice hockey isn't for the weak of heart. It's a bruising, fast-paced game, featuring large sticks, razor-sharp blades, and far too many angry Canadians. Of course, hockey's scrappy style is exactly why people love the blue-collar sport. For chrissakes, Stanley…
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Home Entertainment, Game On Road Rage

Road Rage

Have you ever looked into onrushing traffic and imagined how much damage you would cause with a simple crank of the steering wheel? If so, FlatOut 2 is the racing game for you. The latest entry in a genre best…
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Home Entertainment, Game On Ant Wussy

Ant Wussy

In 2004, Jason Hall, the head of Warner Bros.' new videogame division, did something remarkable: He promised to end bad movie tie-ins. By then, gamers had become well acquainted with the suckiness of movie-based games. Ever since Atari's E.T. --…
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Home Entertainment, Game On Cyber Shula

Cyber Shula

The history of football videogames is one of adding layer upon layer of complexity. Tecmo Bowl, the first great football game, had just four plays to choose from. Fast-forward to the latest Madden, and it's more like 400. The logical…
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Home Entertainment, Game On Shark Bites

Shark Bites

Not long ago, videogames were about collecting coins and rescuing the princess. Now you're more likely to gun her down in a drive-by. Or eat her alive. Welcome to JAWS Unleashed. You're a pitiless great white, hungry for human flesh.…
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Home Entertainment, Game On Golazo!

Golazo!

Face paint? Check. NoDoz? Check. Deep wellsprings of violent nationalistic pride? No doubt, mate. Yes, it's time for the World Cup, that quadrennial spectacle that consumes the globe for a month of TV marathons, street parties, and patriotic gestures by…
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Home Entertainment, Game On Wild Pitch

Wild Pitch

Boys are oiling their mitts, men have started playing hooky, and Dick Cheney just one-hopped it like a pussy. Yes, baseball season is in full swing, and our dip-juice cup runneth over. Normally, this is cause for heavy titillation --…
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Home Entertainment, Game On Mob Hit Misses

Mob Hit Misses

Marlon Brando sleeps with the fishes. But before the legendary actor died, he worked one last job. Curiously, it was for a videogame. In The Godfather: The Game, Brando attempts to relive his Oscar-winning role as Don Vito Corleone. From…
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Home Entertainment, Game On Spray-On Soul

Spray-On Soul

Somewhere between the time DJ Kool Herc got the party started in the 1970s and LL Cool J's star turn on MTV Unplugged in 1991, hip-hop went mainstream. First it conquered the 'burbs. Then it went global. Before long, kids…
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Home Entertainment, Game On Ghouls on the Go

Ghouls on the Go

Ask gamers of a certain age about Resident Evil, and a vivid memory springs to mind: They're inching down a long, quiet hallway. Suddenly, a zombie dog crashes through a window. A ghostly howl. Insatiable jaws. Mommy, can you tuck…
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Home Entertainment, Game On <i>Torino</i> It Off

Torino It Off

Ah, the Winter Olympics. The nip of drama in the Alpine air. The purity of amateur competition. Swedish women in full-body spandex. These are all things we enjoy about the winter games. Now for some things we don't: losing to…
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Home Entertainment, Game On Exit the Matrix

Exit the Matrix

Pop-culture pundits generally fall into two camps: those who think entertainment encourages a nation of knuckle-draggers, and those who say it's actually making us smarter. In the case of Atari's The Matrix: Path of Neo, both sides have a point.…
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Home Entertainment, Game On Full Court Pressure

Full Court Pressure

Pity the college basketball coach. He toils endlessly to explain the vagaries of offensive sets and defensive zones. He frets over lineups, injuries, and scouting reports. His job is never safe -- one losing season, and it's back to teaching…
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Home Entertainment, Game On Virtual Quagmire

Virtual Quagmire

No wonder Iraq is a mess. If the battlefield in America's Army: Rise of a Soldier is an accurate picture of what it's like in the Middle East, we should cut and run ASAP. The United States Army's officially licensed…
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Home Entertainment, Game On Street Fighters

Street Fighters

Rockstar Games has a winning recipe: Blend a nuanced story with a rich environment, add a dash of sensational marketing, then drench the confection in blood. What else would you expect from the publisher that gave us Grand Theft Auto?…
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Home Entertainment, Game On Puppy Love

Puppy Love

It's ugly to watch a grown man gush over a puppy. The kissing. The cooing. The "widdle doggie" talk. Embarrassing stuff. So it was with trepidation that I approached Nintendogs, the cuddly dog-rearing sim for Nintendo DS. A million and…
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