Games To Add To Your Collection
Amanda MacKay is the host of GT Weekly, seen on gametrailers.com. GT Weekly showcases the very best videogame media available anywhere, in addition to delivering in-depth reviews and previews, as well as coverage of the gaming industry’s biggest events.
With the sunny days of summer becoming a distant memory, the perfect way to get over any back to school (or work) blahs is to treat yourself to a portable gaming system. They’re smaller and packed with more features than ever before. Best of all, they’re easy to pick up and play when your boss or teacher isn’t looking, ensuring you can get your “game on” all the way into the winter and the arrival of the next gen consoles. Still not convinced?
The hottest handheld on the market right now has to be the DS Lite, the sleeker, sexier version of Nintendo’s dual-screened touch machine. I spend a lot of time with different game journalists and can’t find anyone who has anything bad to say about this system. Even those with the original DS are scrambling to pick one up.
The DS Lite is less than two-thirds the size of the initial DS and more than 20 percent lighter. There are four different brightness settings for perfect gameplay in any lighting condition, with the lowest setting good for 15 hours of gameplay per charge. The dual, three-inch screens feature backlit LCDs that are capable of displaying 260,000 colors. One of the coolest things about the DS is the ability for several users to play multiplayer games with just one DS game card, with a wireless range of up to 100 feet. Of course, you can also connect to the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection for online gameplay.
And talk about portable, the DS Lite only weighs 216 grams and fits easily into any pocket or purse. At just $129.99 it’s guaranteed to make the end of summer (and the start of winter), a little less of a bummer.
Games To Add To Your Collection
Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis (Nintendo) - In the original Mario vs. Donkey Kong, Mario was trying to find all the Mini Marios...but this time, it’s up to them to save the day. Players use the DS stylus and the touch screen to guide Mini Marios through mind-boggling and obstacle-filled levels. In stores September 25th.
Madden NFL 07 (E.A.) – Shaun Alexander, the NFL MVP, graces the cover of the latest edition of everyone’s favorite football franchise, the only game with the official NFL license. Draw your hot routes on the touch screen or call an audible by barking into the DS microphone. In stores now.
The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass (Nintendo) – Get your fingers off those buttons. This Zelda is played entirely with the stylus. Due out sometime this fall, this Zelda features a multiplayer mode where one person plays as Link, while the other plays as the bad guys.
Star Fox Command (Nintendo) – This classic space shooter is renewed thanks to a commander’s view of the mission. Using the touch screen, gamers can draw their routes, then battle enemies they encounter as they take over bases and advance across the map. Up to eight can play over a local wireless connection. In stores August 28th.
Tomb Raider Legend (Eidos) – Lara Croft is back with a vengeance in the best game from the franchise in recent memory. Blow the dust off artifacts using the mic or watch what’s going on above and below water while swimming using the dual screens in this 2D/3D hybrid.
Tony Hawk’s Downhill Jam (Activision) – Sure to be a hit with the massive Tony Hawk fan base, the latest edition has skaters pulling tricks while going full throttle downhill style. There are six different tracks and the game will feature Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection compatibility for as many as four players to go board to board in their quest for speed.
Just A Few Games You Should Already Own
Big Brain Academy (Nintendo) – Part of the new Touch Generations label intended for even the non-gamer, Big Brain Academy is a series of math and logic mini-games designed to exercise your noggin. Up to eight players can compete with one game card to see who has the “biggest brain.” Finally a way for you to prove your brilliance.
Metroid Prime Hunters (Nintendo) – My favorite bounty hunter Samus is back in her first blast-a-thon for Nintendo’s latest portable system. This game really shines in multiplayer mode where up to four gamers from around the world can frag each other online.
New Super Mario Bros. (Nintendo) – Classic Mario. Poor Princess Peach has been kidnapped yet again and of course, only Mario can save her by hopping and bopping his way through Technicolor landscapes. It’s the first new 2D Mario game in over a decade, so 500,000 copies sold in the first month isn’t much of a surprise.
Nintendogs (Nintendo) – Don’t be put off by the cover; this is a game that must be played to be believed. When digital animals act this realistically, all the hassles of owning a real pet seems like a drag. It’s a lot of fun and there are three versions for you to find your new (and virtual) best friend.
And Not To Be Forgotten
But don’t forget about Sony’s PSP (PlayStation Portable). This system was designed for those of us who want more than just games from our handhelds. The multi-talented PSP handles many applications including music, video, photo, Internet and wireless connectivity, with the backbone being of course, great-looking games! With a new, reduced price of $199.99, who says you can’t have it all?
ATV Offroad Fury Pro (Sony) – The most intense off-road racing game is back with 64 new tracks, including favorites from the console versions of the series. But racers are not limited to ATVs, there are over 30 vehicles to race, including MX bikes, buggies and trophy trucks. Shipping October 17th.
Killzone Liberation (Sony) – Inspired by events in the original Killzone for the PS2, this third person action game will give players access to online and offline missions. Up to six players can play via wireless multiplayer connectivity starting on October 31st.
SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Fireteam Bravo 2 (Sony) – The SOCOM franchise delivers this exclusive PSP title, made in association with the U.S. Naval Special Warfare Command, early November. There are more than 40 authentic real world weapons for you and up to 16 of your closest allies to take into combat.
To see all these games in action, log on to the number one source for gaming media www.gametrailers.com. Our video based, in depth previews and reviews will help you decide which games are best for you!