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Spittin’ Game 

Manhunt 2
Nintendo Wii

The thing about Manhunt 2 is that I could write “This game is twisted and sick — an affront to God himself” and they’d probably quote this review in a TV commercial. The Entertainment Software Rating Board demanded some major violence cutbacks for the game to even receive a “Mature” rating, but Manhunt 2 still treats us to criminally insane prisoners committing suicide and men dressed in farm-animal masks torturing strip-club patrons to death.

If you can stomach it, the gameplay (especially with the motion-activated Wii remote commands) is interesting enough to occupy you for a while, but none of the game’s attempts to freak you out are nearly as unsettling as the thought that they actually toned this shit down before it got to you.

Mass Effect
Xbox 360

Absolutely nothing fondles my inner nerd like a Bioware role-playing game. Whether encouraging me to pretend to be a Jedi for 40-plus hours (Knights of the Old Republic) or combining my love of kung-fu movies with my love of Raiden (Jade Empire), nobody encourages me to return to my pre-marriage, wan, anti-social state like Bioware. And Mass Effect plays like a weeklong interactive Star Trek with better special effects (and acting), practically begging me to call in sick.

The game scores points over the KOTOR games with pretty cool voice-acting (Seth Green’s a minor character) and non-turn-based combat. For gamers crossing over to RPG
territory for the first time, the turn-based combat was a real turnoff, but the constant control over all your party members did have a few advantages over the trimmed down Gears of War third-person shooter style Mass Effect employs. It’s hard to find many faults though, when everything from the soundtrack to the writing to the computer-generated graphics is probably better than any sci-fi movie since Serenity.

UP>>A PITHY GUIDE TO RIDING THE WEB Hear ye, hear ye, SA animators: Locally based, an online animation community, will be awarding $7,000 in cash prizes to the winners of its Bumper Blastoff contest, open for entries until January 21, 2008. Follow the link for more details. Not skilled that way? Knock of the “blastoff” portion of the address above to enjoy sweet user-generated toons

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