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Spittin’ Game 

Burnout Paradise
(EA)
Xbox 360
$59.99

Strangely enough, Burnout Paradise isn’t a video game about Austin (rimshot), but the latest entry in the ever kick-ass Burnout series. The fast action and slow-motion car crashes of past games have kept drunk people at my house for countless hours of late-night fun over the years, but EA decided to fiddle with the formula this time, making the game an open-ended, sandbox sort of experience. Though the extensive online play allows you to commit violent acts of road rage upon people thousands of miles away from you, the move away from quick menu-based events takes away some of the party appeal. The single-player mode, however, is infinitely more extensive, with hidden areas to uncover and new events at every intersection of Paradise City. The biggest downside: too much freedom. You make your own path to the finish line, leaving you free to search for shortcuts and create your own route, but if you have a poor sense of direction, like me, you often find yourself dropping from first to last due to wrong turns.

The Simpsons Game
(EA)
Wii
$49.99

Since each level of play is essentially a parody of some other (often better) title, you could argue that The Simpsons Game is basically just the video-game equivalent of Meet the Spartans, but there are two important differences: 1) many of the jokes are actually funny, and 2) you never feel like you’re contracting a learning disability just from watching it. The first actually good Simpsons video game does have a few drawbacks, though: The split screen in co-op mode is confusing at first and the 3-D platforming elements aren’t as well done as, say, Mario Galaxy (but what is or ever will be?). But the bottom line is that the game, with its simple controls and great comedy writing (yes, in a video game), is incredibly playable and fun.

SURF’S
UP>> A PITHY GUIDE TO RIDING THE WEB
darwinawards.com: Tales of human stupidity. Raise your hand if you’ve ever been an idiot. C’mon, now … let’s be honest. At least you haven’t removed yourself from the gene pool, unlike these “honored” individuals. You don’t want to get this award. These stories, most confirmed, will have you wondering if we’re truly evolving. Laugh at another’s misfortune; it’s all you can do.


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