‘TIL HI-DEF DO US PART

Fight Night Round 3
EA
PlayStation 3
****
OVERVIEW: This ain’t a completely updated version of EA’s brawltastic Fight Night franchise, but there are some ill new features in the new PS3 version.
GAMEPLAY: Forget surgically precise jabs, it’s all about the haymakers (or “Super Punches”)-and nothing milks that face-whupping for all it’s worth like the new “Get In The Ring” feature. In this mode, you can fight the entire bout in split-screen, with your first-person view on one side and the opponent’s first-person view on the other. This way, you can see James Tony’s face ripple from your right hook, but also lose vision on half the screen when your eye begins to swell shut.
GRAPHICS: Fight Night’s PS3 graphics have taken a subtle leap from previous platforms. The muscle definition and flowing sweat looks disturbingly real, especially on Arturo Gatti’s pancaked grille.
SOUND: Nothing can really beat the Rocky soundtrack, so I gotta dock EA a star in this category.
ENTERTAINMENT: The other new feature in Fight Night Round PS3 is the option to chuck some “dirty shots” in. That’s right, you can get all Mike Tyson on somebody’s ass and toss a headbutt, a flying elbow, and even a crack to the family jewels.-Clay Staeshon

Sonic The Hedgehog
Sega
PlayStation 3/Xbox 360
*** (2.5 stars)
OVERVIEW: Everyone’s favorite caffeinated hedgehog is back, celebrating its 15th anniversary on the next-gen platforms. The plot is pretty simple: Set in a city of water known as Soleanna, Sonic must rescue the foxy Princess Elise and save the world from the sinister Dr. Eggman. Seriously, how old is this concept?
GAMEPLAY: Sonic must’ve hit the Red Bull, because this is the fastest he’s ever been. This time around, he’s got a new friend: Silver, who’s also part of the cuddly hedgehog variety. This tiny gray monkey can do all sorts of things via mind power: lift vehicles, hover in the air, and even stop bullets.
GRAPHICS: It should come as no surprise that the PS3 and Xbox 360 Sonic is the most good-looking game yet. Surfing wind paths at light speed, grinding lengthy rails, and pinballing around the screen is slicker and quicker than ever.
SOUND: SEGA!
ENTERTAINMENT: I dunno, Sonic is likeable but fifteen years likeable? The addition of Silver and his telekinetic powers is a welcome addition-that little squirt can perform more impossible missions than Tom Cruise. Ewww, that was very Nate Sherwood of me.-Gamey Thomas

Karaoke Revolution: American Idol
Konami
PlayStation 2
* (0.5 star)
OVERVIEW: What up, dawgs?!? How drunk and stupid are you to be reading this review? Just seeing Karaoke Revolution: American Idol’s cover on this page should’ve made you turn the page. But no, you actually took the time to read this review. Kook! Well, since you made it this far, I’m gonna make your reading experience one-million times more entertaining than this game (which isn’t that hard).
GAMEPLAY: It’s basically a note-for-note reproduction of the Fox TV show, except that Ambien-addled hag Paul Abdul isn’t in the mix. She’s the worst judge anyway, so no big loss there.
GRAPHICS: I’m not really sure how much graphics matter on a karaoke game, so we can skip this part.
SOUND: Unfortunately, I can’t rate the sound of your horrible, shrill-ass voice, but I can chime in and say that the A.I. intro, Randy Jackson’s dawg-poundings, and Simon Cowell’s delectable mean-spiritedness are all there, true to life. That’s worth a half star, but no more.
ENTERTAINMENT: Playing karaoke guitar on Guitar Hero like Chris Cole in last month’s Game Over is barely acceptable-at least metal is cool. But singing along to “Funkytown” with a plastic microphone? Don’t ask and definitely don’t tell us about it.-Gamey Thomas

Lost Planet: Extreme Condition
Xbox 360
Capcom
**** (4.5/5)
OVERVIEW: Set in a subzero, The Day After Tomorrow-ish planet, you play a mysteriouss warrior named Wayne. But it doesn’t stop there: The leader of an insect-like alien race has wilded out a little too far by killing Wayne’s dad. Oh no you didn’t!
GAMEPLAY: There’s plenty of third-person combat, exploration, and mission-based action going on, in enormous (and enormously dazzling), postapocalypse environments. You’re gonna have to be patient with the aiming system in multi-player mode, though, because your buddies ain’t hanging around for you to adjust your crosshairs.
GRAPHICS: With its wildly detailed planetscapes and explosions, Extreme Condition will be one of the sharpest next-gen games you’ll see. But I still think the weaponry is a little underpowered. Sometimes, brainless nuclear-style annihilation is comfort food.
SOUND: I’m a big fan of well-orchestrated ambience, and this game’s got it up the wazoo. The distinctive fire from each weapon is pleasing to my blown eardrums, too.
ENTERTAINMENT: You can’t really go wrong with all out war in inhospitable settings. And when you throw in a solid storyline and startlingly real graphics, well, that’s worth the coin in my book. (Just make sure to start saving said coins soon, because this one ain’t cheap.)-Clay Staeshon