Monday, March 24, 2008

New Turok not exactly what I remember

`Turok' battles soldiers, huge insects and dinosaurs
PS3 and online versions give you nonstop action in an alien jungle

I used to love the original "Turok: Dinosaur Hunter," so I was tickled to try the new "Turok" (Rated M for Mature) on PlayStation 3.

I wasn't disappointed.

You play as Joseph Turok, and you're part of an elite special-forces unit on some strange planet. (OK, I know you've heard this story line before.)

Your mission is to take down your former boss, Roland Kane, who is holed up on a genetically altered planet.

Your ship is shot down and you land in a jungle crawling with Kane's soldiers, as well as huge insects and dinosaurs. Your mission? Stay alive and capture Kane.

Basically, this is nonstop action that actually had me sweating a little. A good soundtrack helps with that.

I liked how you sometimes need to use stealth to kill an enemy with a bow and knife so you wouldn't alert large groups of other enemies in the area, and how you can "train" dinos to attack other human enemies (which can sometimes backfire disastrously, however).

Graphically, this one looked pretty good. I was shocked at how real it looked the first time a dino started literally eating my guy, as I struggled to get him free.

You can play "Turok" online with up to 16 players in a variety of modes. Also, when the game hits stores this week, look for the PS3 version to be patched to provide rumble control and enable 1080i support. A patch for the 360 version will also be available.


Review: `Cooking Mama 2: Dinner With Friends'

In this fun little E-rated game for Nintendo DS, your goal is to digitally create good food for nine judges.Using more than 250 ingredients, you try to cook things like shark fin soup and meatloaf in an effort to earn a gold, silver or bronze medal based on your final product.

In some game modes, Mama shows up to help you avoid mistakes. (I made a lot.) In others, you're on your own. You can also play online with up to three friends.

This game was a nice diversion.


Review: `Boogie'

Music games are all the rage now, and here's another for PlayStation 2 and Nintendo DS. (It was released for the Wii last August.)

"Boogie" (rated E for Everyone) features familiar hits from artists like Kool & The Gang, Michael Jackson and Britney Spears. The good news, for parents, is that it encourages kids of all ages to get up off the couch and move.

Basically, what you do is dance and sing along and let the game record your voice as you make music videos.

We need more fun-for-the-whole-family games like this.


New color for popular DS

The next-generation video-game consoles -- PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Wii -- seem to get the lion's share of publicity these days. But nothing sells like Nintendo's hand-held unit, the DS.

On Sunday, Nintendo will be releasing a new Cobalt/Black version of the portable. This is the seventh color available for the DS and joins Polar White, Coral Pink, Onyx, Crimson/Black and the limited-edition Gold and Metallic Rose.

I'm sure it'll sell.

In 2007, the DS was the best-selling video game system in the United States, where more than 8.5 million gamers bought a unit. Since it launched in November 2004, Nintendo DS has sold more than 17.6 million in the United States.

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