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April 11, 2024

  • Poetics of April
    As we enter into the poetics of April, also known as national poetry month, here are four voices from well to lesser known. The Tradition – Jericho Brown Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Brown visited the last American Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP 2024) conference, and I loved his speech and humor. Besides […]
  • Barbara Marie Minney in Perrysburg
    Indie bookstore, Gathering Volumes, just hosted poet and (transgender) activist, Barbara Marie Minney in Perrysburg To celebrate Trans Day of Visibility, Minney read from her poetry book – A Woman in Progress (2024). Her reading depicted emotional and physical transformations especially in the scene of womanhood and queer experiences. Her language is empowering and personally […]
Spring Housing Guide

Holiday Videogame Showcase

Daniel Lucio:

Every holiday season since 1986, when my fragile hands were strong enough to wield a Nintendo controller, this time of year meant one thing: new video games from Santa. This year will hopefully be no different, as I have been a good boy all year long…sort of.

But what to ask for? This year the video game industry has the best fall/winter line up for gamers since the days of the Sega CD. Just kidding, the Sega CD sucked. But seriously, the games coming out this season are some of the best in our lifetime. Video gamers are seeing ‘2’s more than anything this holiday.

Halo 2, enough said. If you don’t already have this title, ask your neighbor about it. Or just send a letter to Santa saying you’re tired of not knowing who the “flood” are.

Nintendo fans can look forward to some multiplayer bounty hunting in the second Metroid Prime 2: Echoes. That’s right; Samus Aran is back in the 3D world after only two years since the release of Metroid: Prime. The game features a huge world, at least as big as the first. But this time Samus must battle between two dimensions…sort of. Basically, you will be utilizing elements of light and dark to make your way through new environments. This means new weapons, like the dark and light beams, and new adversaries.

The game will also feature a familiar villain, for those of you who finished Prime with 100 percent completion–that’s right, Dark Samus.

And of course what Metroid title could be complete without ‘metroids’; this time around they come as light and dark (crispy or extra crispy).

“It’s hot,” said junior Jason Rubley, “…the screw attack is all that is godly.”

The multiplayer feature is the most significant addition to the game as it’s the first in the series. Its split-screen multi-mode capabilities are rather unimaginative, but it makes for good time with some friends.

Speaking of a good time with friends, Nintendo’s Dual-Screen is, in this reporter’s opinion, the cleanest fun some one can have since drunk twister. Just as it sounds, the DS features two screens. The system surpasses all other portables to date in graphic capability, resolution and control. This includes a second touch-sensitive screen that can be doubled as an analog-control.

The system includes the latest in wireless gaming technology and picto-chat software–a text-message like communicating tool. The system comes bundled with a demo of Metroid: Hunters, which makes it a great buy at only $150.

On the darker side of the gaming spectrum resides the highly anticipated Prince of Persia 2: Warrior Within. The best aspect about the first release was its highly unique combative system, and ‘Warrior Within’ is no different.

This time the prince returns home to find out that he has created a time-rift that will lead to his death, so he must utilize the sands of time to destroy them.

The Prince, a bit more matured since his last adventure, now has the ability to wield two weapons at once or just throw one–giving him a range attack.

Players will have some control over time, but developers say that time-control is one of many factors that create a new combat system. These include new enemies, two classes of weapons and a more integral and free-formed fighting control.

The Warrior Within debuts on the second of December and would make the perfect gift for that boyfriend that doesn’t pay enough attention to you in the first place.

At the top of my list for Santa is Half-Life 2. The recently released sequel promises to topple pc first-person shooters just as its predecessor did back in 1998. Back during it E3 preview in 1993, the game won the top award of “Best of E3”; two years later we are left with a product that was worth every delay that Valve could put us through.

From the start of the game it is clear that Valve has not lost its talent for setting the atmosphere. The game takes place in a new urban environment, reminiscent of the Gaza strip or the ghettos of WWII. New weapons and vehicles are collected along the way and almost everything is interactive.

“It’s (expletive) great” said junior Thadius Tyler Greer.

The game includes Counter-Strike, a tactical multiplayer-based game taken based off of the beta of the original. The game’s new multiplayer features new weapons and vehicles as well, and also heavily supports the MOD community. Whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing is up to you.

Of course the graphics for this game are so demanding that you’ll probably have to mug one of Santa’s elves for a new PC or at least a graphics card before you could run the game at full capacity.

Miichael Siebenaler:This holiday season you can make informed choices about which video game items to purchase for friends, family and maybe even yourself.

Consoles

New consoles include the Nintendo DS (due out Nov. 21), a thinner version of the Playstation 2 and an excellent alternative to the game console for preschoolers- the V Smile interactive TV learning system (www.Vtech.com), which sells for around $59.

Simulation Games

The Sims 2 (****) is the sequel to the most popular PC game of all time, is one of the few video games that appeals to almost everyone.

Sims can generate offspring; pass on characteristics to families; retain physical similarities and even give inheritances (based on lifetime relationships and aspiration scores).

Sims 2 is well complimented by the stylish “Urbz: Sims in the City” (***, GameCube, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, PS2, Xbox).

Other worthy PC simulation/problem-solving games include “Zoo Tycoon 2” (****) (you can vote for the Toledo Zoo in their “America’s Favorite Zoo contest” at www.zootycoon.com), “Roller Coaster Tycoon 3” and “John Deere American Farmer” (***1/2).

Simulation game fans and dog lovers will also love “A Dog’s Life” (***1/2, PS2), a funny, open-ended game providing hours of discovery and entertainment. The dog does tricks, digs for bones and umm…does his business.

Role Playing

Great role-playing titles include the popular, non-linear PC game “A Bard’s Tale,” which has two great new versions (***1/2, PS2, Xbox), “Fable” (PC, Xbox) and “Syberia II” (PC, Xbox).

The “Rise of Nations Gold Edition” (****, PC) includes the original game and recent expansion pack “Thrones ‘ Patriots” spanning over 6,000 years of history.

The hilarious PC game “Evil Genius” (***1/2, PC) puts players in the shoes of an evil mastermind bent on dominating the world and defeating super agent Jet Chan. Visit www.howevilareyou.com for more details.

Leisure Suit Larry enters the console market with “Magna Cum Laude” (**1/2, PC, PS2, Xbox).

Sports

High quality sports games with online capabilities like “ESPN 2K5” (***1/2, PS2, Xbox), “Madden NFL 2005”, “NHL 2005”, “FIFA Soccer 2005” and “NBA Live 2005,” which features a new slam dunk contest.

“WWE Smackdown vs. Raw” (**1/2, PS2) and “Tony Hawk Underground 2” (***1/2, GBA, GC, PC, PS2, Xbox) also have online capabilities.

Interactive

Why not get yourself in shape with an interactive home fitness program after playing all those high energy sport games? “Yourself Fitness” (***1/2, PC, Xbox–PS2 version in January) presents personalized training programs with more than 500 different exercises in yoga, flexibility, weight loss and strength-training.

You can also customize your meal planning with over 4,500 recipes. This innovative game is the first in the “Games That Are Good For You” series. Visit their website at www.yourselffitness.com for more information and/or to join their mailing list for helpful newsletter.

Movies

If you like the movies, you may want spin-off games like “Star Wars Battlefront” (***1/2, PC, PS2, Xbox, online capabilities), “Goldeneye: Rogue Agent” (out Nov 17), Spider-Man 2 (****, GC, Mac, Nintendo DS, PC, PS2, Xbox) and X-Men Legends (***, GC, PS2, Xbox).

Check out other high quality movie adaptations like “The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay” (***1/2, M on Xbox plus a new version on PC), “The Incredibles” (***, GBA, GC, PC, Mac, PS2, Xbox), “Spongebob Squarepants: The Movie” (***, GBA, GC, PC, PS2, Xbox) and “The Lord of the Rings: The Third Age” (***1/2, GBA, PC, PS2, Xbox), where your role-playing game experience includes the major events of the excellent film trilogy.

Racing

Great racing titles include “Gran Turismo 4” (out Dec. 14 only on PS2), “Need for Speed Underground 2” (GBA, GC, PC, PS2, Xbox, online) and “Burnout3: Takedown” (***1/2, PS2, Xbox, online), which has a great slow motion crash game mode!

“Test Drive: Eve of Destruction” (***, PS2, Xbox) lets players choose from over 30 cars, including ambulances and buses, each with distinct control elements and features.

The career mode offers a lot of great role playing situations and elements, while the action mode offers single or multiplayer action. The split screen multiplayer option, upgrades and variety of events yields a high replay value.

War/First Person Shooter

You have some great war/battle choices with “Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth” (Dec. 6 on PC), “Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords” (Dec. 6 only on Xbox), and first-person shooter “Tribes: Vengeance” (***1/2, PC).

You won’t be disappointed with the amazing sequel “Halo 2” (****, Xbox, online)and “Ace Combat 5” (****, PS2). Another high-profile sequel, Half-Life 2 (out on PC Nov. 16), will include Counter-Strike: Source. “Men of Valor” (***1/2, PC, Xbox) rises to the top of a slew of Vietnam-related military games.

Check out Doom 3 (***1/2, PC) and “Silent Hill 4: The Room” (***, PC, PS2, Xbox) for action packed scares.

“Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater” (out Nov. 17 – sorry PS2 only) and “Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon 2” (out Nov. 30 on PS2, Xbox, online) offer more combat entertainment.

Be sure to save those gift cards and holiday cash for some potentially great games coming in the first quarter of 2005, most notably Matrix Online (due out January 18).

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