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Call of Duty3

Publisher: Activision

Platforms: PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii, Xbox 360, PlayStation 2, Xbox

Rating: T – Teen

Game type: Shooter

Rating: **** (out of 5)





• What’s the premise?


Take control American, British, Polish and (thank you, Activision!) Canadian soldiers as part of World War II’s Normandy Breakout campaign to help liberate Paris from the Nazis.





• This game is most similar to …


Last fall’s breakout hit Call Of Duty 2, but with less Russians and more Canucks and Poles.





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


Maybe if they’re a teen, because as they say: “War is hell.” And hell is no place for the kiddies.





• One player or more?


You are not taking full advantage of COD 3 if you aren’t trying some of the varied multiplayer options. Up to 24 players can work together simultaneously online, now with seven different classes of soldier to choose from to add even greater dimension to these missions.





• The (not-so) secret to success is …


Do yourself a favour and practise scooping up the grenades your enemies hurl at you and throwing them back. It’ll save you a lot of wear and tear.





• And in the end?


Finally being able to play a war game that acknowledges the role that Canadians played in the liberation of Europe is pretty freakin’ sweet and the PlayStation 3 and Wii versions both add a neat new dimension with their motion sensitive controllers — from aiming and firing with the Wii remote to grappling with Nazi goons and more on PS3.


No matter what console you choose, though, this is one of the games of the year.








Lumines II

Publisher: Buena Vista Games

Platforms: PSP

Rating: E – Everyone 10+

Game type: Puzzle

Rating: ****





• What’s the premise?


Make groups of four, six or more of the same coloured blocks as you groove out to some phat beats. It’s that easy.





• This game is most similar to …


Hmmmm… what’s that game called? Oh, yeah: TETRIS! But much, much cooler.





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


Sure, as long as they don’t mind the occasional curse word in the sweet tunage.





• One player or more?


Hit that PSP Wi-Fi and mess your friend’s lives up by doing well and speeding up their games.





• The (not-so) secret to success is …


Big bonuses for making multiple-block combos.





• And in the end?


Lumines II features songs by hot artists like Beck, Black Eyed Peas, The Chemical Brothers, Fatboy Slim, Gwen Stefani, Missy Elliot and more to help you get into the groove as you game. There’s never been a sweeter mix of tunes and gaming.







Justice League Heroes

Publisher: Warner Bros. Games

Platforms: PlayStation 2, Xbox, PSP, Nintendo DS

Rating: T - Teen

Game type: Action RPG

Rating: *** 1/2





• What's the premise?


Take control of the world's greatest superheroes - including Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and over a dozen more - to repel an attack on earth by the evil Braniac and his allies. Do well in battle and you can earn points to unlock some fantastic new playable heroes like Hawkgirl, Aquaman and Huntress.





• This game is most similar to…?


X-Men Legends, Marvel Ultimate Alliance - but with only two characters per mission instead of four.





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


There is touch more violence than most younger kids should be exposed to in one sitting, but there's no blood or gore, so it's probably OK.





• One player or more?


The two-player co-op mode is the best time you'll have in the game.





• The (not-so) secret to success is…?


Block. You can't just fly and punch your way through everything. Sometimes you've got to keep the bad guys from punching you repeatedly in the noggin.





• And in the end?


After the four-hero multiplayer mayhem of Marvel Ultimate Alliance, released at almost the same time, JL Heroes seems a tad weak in spite of being pretty darn good. Not being available on the next-gen systems and lacking online play also hurts a game that should rock a little harder given its stunning array of fun DC Comics characters. Hopefully there'll be a four-player, online-compatible sequel soon.







SOCOM - U.S. Navy Seals: Fireteam Bravo 2

Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment

Platforms: PSP

Rating: T - Teen

Game type: Third-person shooter

Rating: *** 1/2





• What's the premise?


Take a two-man team of America's elite special forces deep into enemy territory and execute covert (and sometimes not-so-covert) search-and-rescue, infiltration and other missions.





• This game is most similar to…?


SOCOM - U.S. Navy Seals: Fireteam Bravo, last year's top shooter for the PSP.





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


This one's a little too violent for kids, especially when you can sneak up on your enemies and slit their throats.





• One player or more?


There is a totally wild multiplayer ad-hoc mode where up to 16 players can battle it out - as long as you can find 16 PSP gamers within close proximity who happen to have the game on.





• The (not-so) secret to success is…?


It's all about the sneaky. The less you're seen and the quieter you can take out the bad guys, the better. Unfortunately on the small screen of a handheld, it can be challenging to see the guys with guns before they can see you.





• And in the end?


Three new features keep SOCOM on the top of the heap for PSP shooters:


1.) The crosstalk feature that synchs up with Socom: Combined Assault for the PS2 and actually changes the outcomes of missions on both platforms.


2.) The “local influence” rating, which is increased by treating the villagers nicely and rewards you with tips and black-market weapons.


3.) The “command equity” points for accomplishing all the missions within the missions and can be used to upgrade weapons, supplies and even redeemed for the occasional air strike.





jonathan.kuehlein@metronews.ca

 
 
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