Spittin’ Game 

Halo 3
Xbox 360
(Microsoft)
$59.99

Halo 3 is going to make a lot of whiney geeks like me cry — but not because it disappoints. It’s awesome to the point of bringing tears to your eyes; it lives up to all those impossible expectations in the way that other hyped life events (your wedding, the birth of your first child) never seem to.

Nearly everything great about the first two games is back (if the original scope-equipped pistol were reinstated I would’ve had to change my pants) PLUS a map editor, PLUS a complete non-cliffhanger storyline, PLUS the ability to freaking replay everything you do so you can relive all those holy-shit multi-player moments. You have what’s probably the ... oh, what do you care, you’ve already stopped reading this to go play some more, haven’t you?

Mario Strikers Charged
Wii
(Nintendo)
$49.99

So Mario Strikers Charged doesn’t really have a lot to do with
soccer. And maybe that’s for the best (Super Mario World didn’t have much to do with plumbing either, you know), because this isn’t exactly Winning Eleven here. Much of Mario’s strategy involves throwing turtle shells at opponents and kicking up to six balls at once, cheesy-anime air-attack style.

But this fast-paced weirdo does just about everything right as a Wii Mario soccer game: The characters are great-looking and uniquely talented; the power-ups/special moves are effective but not cheap or annoying; and the control scheme doesn’t sacrifice playability at the motion-control altar. You won’t be spinning your Wiimote to do bicycle kicks or flicking it to run, but that’s a good thing. You use motion control to tackle opponents and block those multiple-goal shots, but you mostly employ the nunchuk joystick to control your players — a smart move that keeps the game playable above anything else.

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SURF’S UP: A PITHY GUIDE TO RIDING THE WEB

HRC.org: There’s more than just national news and views at the Human Rights Campaign website. Fix your eyes on the lower center of the
homepage where you can “Select your state to see what’s happening in your community.” Several San Antonio and Austin events appear, among them SA’s Welcome OUT Wednesday. Get informed about local laws and browse Texas’s state overview while you’re in the area.


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