Home
 
Choose Your City
Change City

Get ready to duck and cover

<p></p>

Gears Of War the smartest shooter yet









Gears Of War

Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios

Platforms: Xbox 360

Rating: M - Mature 17+

Game type: Shooter

Rating: ***** (out of five)





• What's the premise?


You are Marcus Fenix, ex-soldier and ex-con freed in order to lead an incredibly dangerous mission to stop the alien Locust Horde from eradicating what's left of humanity years after their catastrophic invasion.





• This game is most similar to...?


Probably Halo 2, but GOW is so much more advanced that it's not really a fair comparison.





• Can I let my kid/kid brother play it?


Not unless you want to deeply scar them. There're monsters, extreme violence and more swearing than backstage at a Martha Stewart taping.





• One player or more?


This game is at its best as a multiplayer extravaganza. The two-player co-op mode is fantastic and the multiplayer death matches, especially those at Xbox Live, are completely off the hook.





• The (not-so) secret to success is...?


Duck and cover. The bad guys in GOW are as smart as you are. If you stand in one place and are exposed, they will turn you into a fine red mist faster than you can say "Hey look - big aliens with guns!"





• And in the end?


This game is so well done that you might even forget that it's still one year until the release of Halo 3. Almost.












Marvel Ultimate Alliance

Publisher: Activision

Platforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii, Xbox, PlayStation 2, PSP, GameBoy Advance, PC

Rating: T - Teen

Game type: Action, role playing

Rating: ****





• What's the premise?


Marvel Comics' greatest heroes - including Spider-Man, Wolverine, The Fantastic Four and over two dozen others - must join together to stop the nefarious Masters Of Evil from a plot to gain enough power to rule the universe - or destroy it.





• This game is most similar to...?


X-Men Legends, Justice League Heroes





• Can I let my kid/kid brother play it?


If they're old enough to know that the stories in comic books aren't to be confused with those in newspapers, this game is probably OK for them.





• One player or more?


If you can get three friends to join you, it's a blast to play as a team (try getting one of your pals to be Wolverine so you can scoop him up and do a "fastball special"), but there is something to be said for having four heroes per mission all to yourself.





• The (not-so) secret to success is...?


As fun as it is to try all the different characters (who can resist the chance to be Ms. Marvel, Spider-Woman or Moon Knight?), you should try using the same core team and you'll gain more experience, power ups and other treats.





• And in the end?


It can be a bit cheesy in spots, but MUA is still probably the most fun comic book-based video game ever released.











Splinter Cell: Double Agent

Publisher: Ubisoft

Platforms: Xbox 360, Xbox, PlayStation 2, Nintendo GameCube, PC

Rating: M - Mature 17+

Game type: Action, shooter

Rating: ****





• What's the premise?


Sam Fisher is back in action and on his most dangerous mission yet. After the tragic death of his daughter, Sam figures he's got nothing left to lose and agrees to go undercover inside a terrorist organization called John Brown's Army. There he must tread the fine line between earning the villains' trust and breaking the law.





• This game is most similar to...?


Well, duh, the last four Splinter Cell games.





• Can I let my kid/kid brother play it?


This one's full of gunplay, torture scenes and other such pleasantries. It's probably not such a good one for the kiddies.





• One player or more?


While there is a fun multiplayer versus mode and an interesting co-op challenge mode, the meat of this game in solo.





• The (not-so) secret to success is...?


Knowing who to kill and when. This game's newest and coolest feature is the trust meter that fluctuates between the extremes of the NSA and the terrorist JBA. If you do too many bad things the NSA will consider you a turncoat and take you down, as will the JBA if you don't accomplish enough missions for them and they figure out you're a rat. This feature breaks up the tedium of often-repetitive third-person shooters and makes it really stand out in the crowd.





• And in the end?


Fans of the Splinter Cell series won't be disappointed by this latest edition - it's inventive without being radical and is a fine addition to the Sam Fisher legacy.











LocoRoco

Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment

Platforms: PSP

Rating: E - Everyone

Game type: Platformer

Rating: ****





• What's the premise?


You are the planet, inhabited by all the little LocoRoco, who are suddenly endangered by the invading Moja Corps (I swear I'm not making this up). Using the left and right toggles on your PSP, you rotate the planet to help get all the LocoRocos to safety.





• This game is most similar to...?


Hmmmm... some kind of narcotic? Perhaps a little old-school Mario action?





• Can I let my kid/kid brother play it?


Absolutely - with the caveat that this game, with it's brilliantly catchy Japanese pop tune soundtrack is potently addictive.





• One player or more?


Sadly just one, but you can loan levels to your PSP-wielding friends.





• The (not-so) secret to success is...?


Just have fun. It's not a deathmatch, it's tilt the earth with giggling gooballs.





• And in the end?


LocoRoco is brilliantly simple and astonishingly fun.











ATV Offroad Fury Pro

Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment

Platforms: PSP

Rating: E - Everyone

Game type: Racing

Rating: *** 1/2





• What's the premise?


More wonderful mayhem in the mud with 64 new tracks for you to run wild on in your favourite ATV, motorbike, dune buggy or pickup truck.





• This game is most similar to...?


ATV Offroad Fury Pro.





• Can I let my kid/kid brother play it?


People of all ages can enjoy the sight of a motocross racer flying through the air, sans bike, and into a billboard - only to be back on board his ride moments later.





• One player or more?


You can play wirelessly with your friends and online. Let the smack talk begin.





• The (not-so) secret to success is...?


They're called brakes - don't be afraid to use them from time to time.





• And in the end?


Offroad Fury seems to be a can't-miss franchise now. These games have incredible replay value and are getting deeper in features (tracks, vehicles, mini-games) every time.







jonathan.kuehlein@metronews.ca

 
Consider AlsoFurther Articles