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Thursday, April 17, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 53.0° F  Mostly Cloudy

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Put the pedal to the medal in Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit

I will not lie to you. My favorite racecar games are "vehicle combat" games named Burnout and Wipeout. Those games let you race super-duper fast while firing rockets at rival cars. Do you hear me? Rockets! And so, this is why I am in-like with the brand-new Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit. >More
 Call of Duty: Black Ops is solid solo adventure, nearly flawless online

Call of Duty: Black Ops is a hot war game set in the Cold War. It begins with a mission at the Bay of Pigs (try to assassinate Castro; good luck with that). Then you progress into the muck of Vietnam and all that muddy quagmire. >More
 God of War: Ghost of Sparta and Super Scribblenauts are must-have games for PSP and DS

Companies are in a frenzy right now, releasing as many video games as possible in the lead-up to holiday shopping for the Xbox 360, PS 3 and Wii. But two significant handheld games shouldn't get lost in the shuffle. First, the sadly forgotten Sony PSP has one of its best games ever on the market in God of War: Ghost of Sparta. >More
 Rife with British humor, Fable III is a wondrous and silly thing

If you love British period films, Microsoft has a game for you. Fable III is a charming and silly epic, set in a mythical British-esque fantasyland named Albion, where wenches are cute and frilly, and men in wigs speak in delightful accents, as if they were Ben Kingsley or John Cleese. >More
 Fallout: New Vegas goes back to the post-apocalyptic future

If you've never lived in Nevada, you probably don't know about all the self-described libertarians and frontiersmen who love to shoot guns and gripe about any government involvement in their lives whatsoever. I think of them as Yosemite Sams. They can be grumpy rascals -- entertaining to hang around, unless they're packing heat or furrowing their brows. And now there's a perfect game to please the Yosemite Sams -- Fallout: New Vegas. >More
 Medal of Honor reboot takes the action to Afghanistan

Midway through the Afghanistan war game Medal of Honor, you use a sniper rifle to shoot an Al-Qaeda guy in the head as he stands 911 meters away. Did you catch that reference? Nine-eleven? >More
 Castlevania: Lords of Shadow borrows heavily from God of War, and that's a good thing

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow is a very good game with a dumb name, and it's a gorgeous piece of fantasy fiction to behold. >More
 Dead Rising 2 is a bloodier retread of the original

Dead Rising 2 is quite a disappointment. I thought it was going to be a game where zombies overran glitzy Las Vegas and you had to kill them, because the game-maker kept releasing preview photos and videos that looked all zombie Vegas-y. Nope. >More
 Shattered Dimensions is the most fun Spider-Man in years

Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions is an ambitious superhero game that is much, much better than its stupid, stupid subtitle. The plot: A bad guy breaks into a museum to steal the most literal tablet in the universe. It's called the Tablet of Order and Chaos. You will be relieved to know the Tablet of Order and Chaos controls order and chaos. >More
 Halo: Reach is a solid, old-school Halo shooter

In Halo: Reach, space aliens employ way cooler weapons than humans do. By the year 2552, we humans will apparently, barely have standard-issue machine guns and pistols. But aliens! Man, they will take us down with laser rifles, giant sledgehammers, crystal swords and invisibility cloaks, plus hovercraft. Hovercraft! >More
 Metroid: Other M retools the Metroid Prime franchise

You don't get to call a gun-filled, action video game feminist or motherly every day. But today is the day. In Metroid: Other M, we portray a super-soldier (a bounty hunter, actually) in outer space, blowing away evil beings who are bent on power or anarchy. The feminist part is, we portray Samus, a woman who stands up against a pandering, male military system. >More
 New hockey games NHL 11, NHL Slapshot, and NHL 2k11 put you on the ice

Wow. NHL Slapshot is a serious sleeper this year. It is the best hockey game I've played on the Wii. It's the type of game I will pull out when friends come over for a game party. I think it could become a classic if enough Wii gamers buy it. >More
 Mafia II is a hacky mobster title, with redeeming values

The reason I've never been enraptured by The Sopranos, GoodFellas or other mob fictions is the characters always seem too dumb and cruel to care about, and they say boring things that are supposed to "feel real" simply because they're insulting. The new video game Mafia II likewise features such verbal inanity. >More
 Kane & Lynch 2 is gritty and creative but short

Lynch wakes up in an alley drenched by rain. He was sliced, neck to feet, then knocked out and left for dead, nude and bleeding on filthy pavement. But he wakes up, and his first thought is: I gotta save Kane. >More
 Madden '11 is as smooth and fun as you'd hope, despite the haters

I've been surprised to read comments of some discontented gamers online, writing nasty things about the new Madden NFL '11. I'm not talking about critics; critics love the game. But an incensed minority of gamers complain that the offensive line isn't working properly. (They're wrong about that.) They say that if you run play-action passes, you'll get sacked too much. (Wrong again.) >More
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