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The King Of Fighters 2006
OVERVIEW: The King Of Fighters 2006 is the long-running franchise’s maiden foray into 3-D fighting.
GAMEPLAY: Happily, the speed and personality of 2006′s 2-D fighter counterparts remains intact-except now the pugilists can sidestep and roll in all directions. You’ve got about 40 classic fighters to pick from, including some cool secret characters like Hanzo Hattori from Samurai Shodown and Fio from Metal Slug. But don’t expect to whoop that ass online-only Japanese players can take advantage of network play.
GRAPHICS: The 3-D element is a nice addition, but 2006′s graphics are only average. The textures on a handful of the fighters are far from supple-where their muscle may be abundant, their polygons are lacking.
SOUND: You can pick American or Japanese voice options.
ENTERTAINMENT: The King Of Fighters 2006 ain’t gonna bend the minds of seasoned fighting-philes, but the franchise’s new third dimension is worth your quarter.-Clay Staeshon
The Fast And The Furious
OVERVIEW: A nitrous-fueled (not Vin Diesel-fueled) drift-racing game inspired by the latest The Fast And The Furious flick, Tokyo Drift.
GAMEPLAY: The game’s driving model encourages “stylized driving” as much as it does traditional speed racing-a very welcome addition to the car-racing genre where steez, not speed, gets you the most points. Players get to barrel through well-defined Tokyo labyrinths via over 120 licensed whips with over 300 body kit options (including Spoon and Vertex).
GRAPHICS: As I alluded to above, the customization options in The Fast And The Furious are almost infinite. You can trick your headlights into “sleepy mode” (half open), install neon street glow, and mold the body kits into anything your tuner heart desires.
SOUND: Take advantage of “Universal’s extensive sound library”! Gotta love those press releases.
ENTERTAINMENT: Customization flexibility, fast pace, and style points are a rubber-smokin’ trio.-Gamey Thomas
OVERVIEW: Essentially a Grand Theft Auto jacker, Saints Row continues the free-roaming, gat-toting urban-mayhem genre.
GAMEPLAY: The developer claims that Saints Row’s world is bigger than Vice City but not quite as big as San Andreas. The gameplay is relatively easy to learn, but the weapon aim is manual, so your drive-bys probably won’t leave many dead behind.
GRAPHICS: In this area, the game is as smooth as silk with no “pop ups” (e.g., no buildings appear abruptly when you’re driving) and high definition of nearly everything involved in the game, plus nice “memory” features like returning to a bullet hole in a wall that you left behind, say, twenty minutes ago.
SOUND: The gun claps, explosions, and cries for mercy are all sadistically realistic.
ENTERTAINMENT: With over 80 vehicle options, online capability, and amazing graphics, Saints Row is a solid GTA competitor, albeit an unoriginal one.-Clay Staeshon
Spy Hunter: Nowhere To Run
OVERVIEW: Hearing that Peter Gunn track in the original Spy Hunter always made me wanna put wheel-spikes on my Mongoose. In the updated version of Spy Hunter, with a movie release of the same name slated for 2007, things are a lot more advanced than mere land-and-water excursions.
GAMEPLAY: Nowhere To Run is your first opportunity to open the doors of the ridiculously cool Interceptor car. And guess who steps out? None other than Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Half of the game will be on foot, so get ready to pull some WWE-inspired hand-to-hand moves like gorilla press slams and spinning back fists. While in the Interceptor, you can cruise amphibiously, but there’s also the option of morphing the car into a motorcycle and a jet ski.
GRAPHICS: Obliterating enemy vehicles will ignite aa pleasing explosion or two, and the Burnout-style camera effects are very handy for capturing those fireballs in slo-mo.
SOUND: This game could be on mute and still be rad.
ENTERTAINMENT: The likeable Rock is a vice as always, the action is frenetic and engaging, and the Interceptor is as ill as ever.-Gamey Thomas
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