Thursday, October 12, 2006

Get Twisted Sister's latest: at Gametap

To celebrate its first birthday, GameTap, an online game and entertainment portal, is streaming Twisted Sister's latest CD, "A Twisted Christmas." It's the final album of the celebrated band's 30-year career. The stream is available five days, through next week, before the highly-anticipated CD debuts at retail outlets.

In addition, subscribers of GameTap will get exclusive access to all-new, original GameTap TV shows featuring Dee Snider and the band.

“With GameTap, we’re connecting with fans in a way you just couldn’t back in the 80s and 90s,” said Dee Snider, lead singer of Twisted Sister. “It’s about building buzz for our CD, sharing our story through the videos and interviews, and talking about the games and music we love.”

Along with more than 600 games and 400 shows that GameTap’s network currently offers on demand, starting now and continuing through Christmas, subscribers and Twisted Sister fans will be able to:

* Get inside the band’s head on October 17th, as Dee Snider and Jay Jay French talk about the band’s new album, their 30th anniversary and their 9000th performance on a brand new episode of Quick Hit
* Laugh it up while Dee Snider takes his turn in the hot seat with Space Ghost Coast-to-Coast on November 16th
* Watch an exclusive performance of Twisted Sister’s new song “Heavy Metal Christmas” on the new show GameTap Tracks on November 30th
* Experience the fun as the heavy metal legends get animated by the twisted minds at Soup2Nuts in a special Christmas episode of GameTap TV’s popular series Computer Lab

The CMP Game Group, organizer of the industry-leading
Game Developers Conference (GDC) and producer of the Webby Award-winning, has created, the first website dedicated to unbiased career guidance in the video game industry.

The site provides comprehensive editorial coverage of career and workplace issues and offer resources to get into the game industry, including school and employment listings, tips, and networking support.

Clubhouse Games: Part of Nintendo's "Touch Generation" series this is perfect mindless fun for your DS. Nintendo says it's the perfect thing to play when you're spending an average of 23 minutes waiting on your doctor, or you're sitting at the DMV (that was me last month) in a long line.

Clubhouse games features hit board game titles like backgammon, checkers and bridge. This is video gaming anyone can get into easily. You can also play people using the wireless DS interface. At my buddy's house, I played chess with his neighbor next door -- while his neighbor was next door (Rating: 3.0/5)

Dance, Dance Revolution Supernova: People say videogaming leads to a sedentary lifestyle, right? Wrong. Konami's new PS2 game comes with a big mat you lay down on the floor and get on your feet and dance with.

On screen, you see vibrant 3D backgrounds, more than 70 songs and 100 minutes of music to get your groove on with. You try to keep your feet on beat by touching pads on the mat. It's kind of like Twister, only more interactive. You can even hook up with your EyeToy camera and go online with your moves. There's a simple tutorial mode to help you get started and a workout mode to help your chubby gamers get his or her groove back.

This is a fun addition to any game library (Rating 4.0/5).

NBA '07, The Life Vol. 2: This is actually three games in one. You practice, play and live. You do press conferences, sign an agent and play games -- albeit without play-by-play announcers. I don't see a lot different from the 2006 version, which wasn't the greatest game ever, but I like the new white halo effects which help you find soft spots in the defense and rebound.

The Life's weakest point is ease, it's too easy to beat. You'll find that out as you start your career with a series of mini-games to develop your skills. During gameplay, the white halo will light up for a guy who has the best shot. He almost always makes it if you get the ball to him. Even the best players in the world, the guys from Greece and Argentina (OK, I'm just kiddin'), miss open shots sometimes.

Something else that I could've done without was the emphasis on performing showtime moves. Do three in a row and your teams' levels are all boosted. You become like an all-star team and start creaming your competition. This one got old quick (Rating: 2.5/5).

Danny Phantom, Urban Jungle: My 6-year-old likes this game about a kid Superhero who fights a ghost and large weeds (seriously) in a Mario-style fun-fest for the DS from THQ.

This is a top-rated kid's show that attracts 33 million viewers to Nickelodeon each month. In the game, yo take control of Danny's Fenton Flier and will have to learn a new "Freeze Power" to defeat the evil enemy, dude named Undergrowth, who is trying to turn Danny's real world into a forest. (Rating 3.0/5)

The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy: This game is based on the popular Cartoon Network show of the same name. Of course, it's popular to everyone but me. I've never seen it. Up to four players can play on PS2. You choose one of 15 characters from the show. You can play in "Mission Mode" where you try to reach 45 different goals, sort of Mario-like, or you can just try to beat the cartoon brains out of one of the other characters.

Each character is unique has his or her own set of abilities and I'd imagine in four player mode, for folks who watch the show, this could quite entertaining. Me? I just thought with all of the violence here, however cartoonish, this game should not have gotten an E for everyone rating (Grade: 2.5/5).

Naruto: Clash of Ninja 2: You've played this game before. You're a cartoon character with serious ninja skills and you battle other like-skilled characters, mostly from a side-on view. This is another TV show turned videogame that I've not seen.

The first edition ranked in the top five games for Nintendo's Gamecube every month since it shipped last March, so the sequel has been rushed out to capitalize on the success. The new game has twice as many characters, up to 23, and twice as many environments. You can have four-player battle royales and there are more game choices for single-person play. But even with all the cool training modes and skill development, this still feels like a lot of games I've played before. But it's done quite well (Rating: 3.5/5).

SOCOM: Combined Assault: Sony sent me a demo disc for this upcoming title. It's a sequel to one of the company's best ever game series. There's an all-new four-play cooperative play mode plus improved enemy tactics.

The final version will contain the full online SOCOM 3 online game and the new PS2 title will have 32 player maps and will have crosstalk functionality with the PSP version. This demo got me drooling for more. Looks good.

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