Old-school fun and honor

| Jul 29, 2004

Old-school fun and honor

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OK, I’ll admit it again, I am a sucker for well-made old-style games. The “Metal Slug” series is not especially old, but I love the way it has refused to adapt to the brave new world of 3-D gaming. “Metal Slug 3,” a new ...

A hero's work is never done

| Jul 15, 2004

A hero's work is never done

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In “Spider-Man 2” the movie, Peter Parker is constantly late for work, science class and get-togethers. In “Spider-Man 2” the game, we find out why. He is stopping carjackings, saving a construction worker from falling off buildings, helping the police win shootouts and breaking ...

Into you like a diesel truck

| Jun 30, 2004

Into you like a diesel truck

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Richard B. Riddick, a savage killer with see-in-the-dark eyes and ice water running through his veins, wants out of the futuristic penitentiary known as Butcher Bay — the setting of “The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay,” a new offering for the Xbox ...

Puzzle-solving grudge match

| Jun 17, 2004

Puzzle-solving grudge match

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Feeling rather bored with life, Donkey Kong, Nintendo’s 900-pound gorilla, breaks into a toy factory and steals a shipment of mechanical Mario dolls. To return the dolls, players must help Mario chase the big ape through 40 single-screen levels of chutes and ladders. In ...

Sims creator: always unique

| Jun 3, 2004

Sims creator: always unique

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Will Wright, the creator of “The Sims,” may be most accurately described as a cross between Stephen Hawking and Willy Wonka. He has a quirky and ironic sense of humor and a large and loyal following in the gaming world. And he is an ...

Bigger isn't always better

| May 20, 2004

Bigger isn't always better

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When I visited the Pokemon Center near Tokyo Station recently, the line into the store wrapped all the way around the block. There was a one-hour wait to get in. When I asked if the store was always this packed, a clerk said, “It’s ...

Drive-in kitsch delivers big

| Apr 22, 2004

Drive-in kitsch delivers big

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What do American’s know about monsters and monster movies? Before Godzilla, Gamera, or King Ghidorah, there was a giant ape named King Kong who swatted planes down from the Empire State Building. Yes, those last few American-made Godzilla movies may have lacked finesse, but ...

Namco has a hit on its hands

| Apr 8, 2004

Namco has a hit on its hands

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It’s not often that I review games that I can’t pronounce; but on a recent visit to Namco’s corporate offices in Tokyo, I could not get my lips around the name “Katamari Damashii.” Perhaps the problem was that the name is in kanji, which ...

A legend returns better than ever

| Mar 25, 2004

A legend returns better than ever

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Ryu Hayabusa, last hope of the Hayabusa Clan, is one of the video game world’s most famous ninja. Last seen in 1995, in Tecmo’s “Ninja Gaiden Trilogy” for Super Famicom, Hayabusa is one of the few old-school game characters who remains vivid in many ...

| Feb 26, 2004

Spacecraft takes us back to future

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Between the early niche years of “Pong” and the release of “Pac-Man,” video gaming became where people went to play science fiction. Games like “Space Invaders,” “Galaga” and “Scramble” gave players a chance to fly in simplified “Star Wars” adventures in which the game-play ...

| Feb 12, 2004

Classic game builds on game classic

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Nintendo’s Metroid has always been more popular in the United States and Europe than in Japan, but I’m really not sure why. The series follows the adventures of Samus, a female microbe-massacring bounty-hunter/astronaut, in some truly incredible space armor. Samus started her career in ...