The pirate planner

| Jul 24, 2003

The pirate planner

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It does not take money to make money, at least not when you’re a pirate. In “Tropico 2: Pirate Cove,” a new game for PCs from Take 2, you can gin up money from thin air. That is if you have a mighty ship ...

Dracula's open house

| Jul 10, 2003

Dracula's open house

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When you think of James Bond movies, gadgets and martinis come to mind. When you go to a “Matrix” movie, you expect a mixture of multiple realities and dark glasses. When video game players hear the name “Castlevania,” they expect a castle, armies of ...

Choose your weapons

| Jun 19, 2003

Choose your weapons

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“Soul Calibur 2,” Namco’s new fighting game for GameCube, Xbox and PlayStation2, has little new to recommend it. Thank goodness for that. The first “Soul Calibur,” which was only released for Sega’s short-lived Dreamcast game console, was a brilliant spectacle that was fun to ...

| Jun 12, 2003

Internet at light speed

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Here we go again. Just when I thought I was enjoying affordable, high-speed Internet access, along comes yet another new technology that makes my once-fat data pipe look like a swizzle stick. I’m talking fiber. Fiber-optic Internet access (known as Fiber-to-the-Home, or FTTH) has ...

| Jun 5, 2003

Back on the fast track

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Sega’s Sonic The Hedgehog, the video-gaming world’s fastest little blue rodent in tennis shoes, has returned in style. After a string of games that have ranged from old hat to downright disappointing, “Sonic Advance 2” — a new game created by Sega for Game ...

| May 29, 2003

IP telephony: Let your modem do the talking

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Like me, you may have noticed a recent noisy addition to Tokyo’s otherwise drab urban landscape. Clad in garish red or brilliant white, teams of Yahoo BB “parasol troopers” have suddenly landed everywhere, and trying to locate a station exit or street corner free ...

| May 15, 2003

Is your wireless network airtight?

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I’m sitting with my ThinkPad in a Starbucks near Akasaka. The cafe isn’t advertised as a WLAN hot spot, so I’m pleasantly surprised to find myself enjoying high-speed Internet access courtesy of some nearby wireless network. I open up the WLAN properties on my ...

Sony's own silver lining

| May 8, 2003

Sony's own silver lining

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With all of the big games that have come out lately, it’s hard to keep up. It’s now been a couple of months since Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. released an English version of “Dark Cloud 2,” a role-playing game for PlayStation2, but this is ...

Pokemon still Nintendo gems

| Apr 17, 2003

Pokemon still Nintendo gems

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Having sold a combined 4 million copies of the games in Japanese, Nintendo has finally made English versions of “Pokemon Ruby” and “Pokemon Sapphire,” the latest entries in the ongoing Pokemon craze. Pokemon, of course, are not so new. Along with several movies, a ...

| Apr 10, 2003

Sifting online study aids

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Just a few years ago, I was certain I could never get by without Kenkyusha’s New Japanese-English Dictionary and the venerable Nelson close at hand. Today, however, these and other weighty tomes gather dust on a nearby bookshelf, banished to obsolescence by my favorite ...