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Sunday, Dec 3, 2006

The Sims 2 Pets Expansion Pack (PC) [Electronic Arts - $24.99 at Amazon]


There are plenty of gamers looking for something a little less frantic than war games and shmups, and what better way to celebrate the holidays than to, say, buy a new kitty cat for the one you love?  What’s even better is that a SimKitty won’t give you hives, or rip your curtains apart, or breed with a stray, though the same can’t necessarily be said for your poor SimOwners.  Pets is a worthy Sims 2 expansion pack, one that takes an awful lot of time in figuring out how to make time for the new inhabitants of your SimHome.  Just, whatever you do, don’t kick your chihuahua.  You may think it’ll make you feel better, but it doesn’t. [Amazon]



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Wednesday, Nov 29, 2006

Nintendo DS [Nintendo - $129.99 at Amazon]


If you need a gift for your gamer that’s going to keep permanent butt-prints from forming in your favorite living room furniture, a portable gaming system is doubtless the way to go.  It’s hard to deny the momentum that the Nintendo DS is carrying with it at this point, but there’s a good reason for that: Nintendo knows how to adapt.  Nintendo has not tried to force their consumers to embrace new technologies (Come on, Sony, UMD?  You can do better than that.) or pay out the ear for their portable gaming.  Instead, they took the Game Boy Advance, added an extra screen, incorporated a stylus, and came up with the perfect little system for the Palm generation.  Innovative game designers are just now starting to figure out how to take advantage of that second screen and the stylus, with inventive entries in the portable gaming canon like Elite Beat Agents, Gunpey, and the ever-entertaining Trauma Center giving the system a unique feel that’s utterly appealing.  Plus, is there a better way to kill five minutes than WarioWare: Touched? [Amazon]


Elite Beat Agents Trailer


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Sunday, Nov 26, 2006

Gears of War (XBox 360) [Microsoft - $59.99]


To endorse one of the next-gen systems this holiday season would be damn near pointless—so much has been written about the Wii, Playstation 3, and even the XBox 360 that it’s nigh impossible at this point to write anything that hasn’t yet been said.  Tech-junkies want the PS3, casual and family gamers want a Wii, and then, there’s a quiet faction of gamers sitting back and smiling while people fight over the two flavors of the month, content in their belief that the XBox 360 will outshine the other two in good time.  The first sign of such dominance?  None other than Gears of War, the end result of what can happen when a system is given a year-long head start over its primary competitors.  Gears of War simply feels like everything a next-generation title should, from the intricacy of the graphics to the brilliantly-designed cooperative play mode to the elements of horror that permeate every single byte, it feels like more than just a game.  Quite simply, it’s exactly what “next-gen” should be. [Amazon]



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