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Hoops game lacks speed

<p>Choose your favourite U.S. college hoops squad and hit the hardcourt in search of a spot in the tournament and maybe even a national championship.</p>






NCCA March Madness 08

Publisher: EA Sports

Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation 2

Rated: E — Everyone

Game type: Sports

Rating: *** 1/2 (out of five)





What’s the premise?


Choose your favourite U.S. college hoops squad and hit the hardcourt in search of a spot in the tournament and maybe even a national championship.





This game is most similar to…?


NCAA March Madness 07 (don’t you just hate these obvious ones?).





Is it suitable for younger gamers?


If your young one has any interest in NCAA round-ball action (and really, whose don’t), they’ll be good with this game.





One player or more?


Up to four players can take it to the rack in your living room and you can play one-on-one online.





What’s missing?


Speed. The developers (at EA Sports’ studios in Vancouver) added a fun new post control system so you can attack, or defend, better with your big men. Unfortunately accompanying this feature is a (reportedly deliberate) drop in game speed, taking away one of the hallmarks of NCAA basketball.





The (not-so) secret to success is…?


I like big butts and I cannot lie. The new post system gives you the ability to play a strong game with your back to the basket, so stick your players’ butts out and grind those defenders into the court.





And in the end?


It comes down to this: Would you prefer a hoops game that focuses on size or speed? I’ll take the latter.








Soldier Of Fortune: Payback

Publisher: Activision

Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC

Rated: M — Mature

Game type: Shooter

Rating: *** (out of five)





What’s the premise?


Use many fancy weapons to reduce many heavily armed opponents into red and graphic chunks of meat. Oh, and complete some rather challenging missions.





This game is most similar to…?


Soldier Of Fortune II: Double Helix.





Is it suitable for younger gamers?


Chunks… of… meat…





One player or more?


No in-home multiplayer mode, but up to 12 players can compete online.





What’s missing?


All that carnage is, well, graphic, but a plot would be nice, too. Your character isn’t really well developed, neither are his motivations (other than the obvious: Money).





The (not-so) secret to success is…?


Don’t stare too long. It’s easy to get caught up in the bloodbath, but the missions your character goes on are actually really tough, so listen carefully to your earpiece commands and try not to stand still for too long.





And in the end?


If it’s sick, twisty and nasty shooter action you’re after, Payback’s a killer.




jonathan.kuehlein@metronews.ca

 
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