By Steven L. Kent
THE BIG VIDEO GAMES of 2006 are out—
just in time for the holidays, of course.
Whether you’re shopping for young gamers,
teens or that overage kid, here’s a look at some
of the games that are going to be big, available
in Costco warehouses and at costco.com.
If there’s a safe bet game for younger players, it’s Lego Star Wars: The Original Trilogy,
the sequel to last year’s smash title. Rated
E10+ (for players ages 10 and up), this game
lets players control Luke, Obi-Wan, Han and
Chewbacca as they save the galaxy in adventures based on the original Star Wars movies.
On the portable side, Nintendogs: Dalmatians should hit the “spot” for Nintendo
DS owners who held out on buying the original Nintendogs until they could get a game
with Dalmatians. This game lets you raise,
train and walk your virtual dog.
Superman fans should keep an eye out
for Superman Returns, a game based on the
One of the most anticipated games this
year is The Legend of Zelda: Twilight
Princess, the darkest and most adult game to
date in Nintendo’s legendary Zelda series.
This time an older Link must deal with a bit
of lycanthropy (he is a werewolf) while saving
In a slightly less fantastic world, Tony
Hawk is looking for the eight best amateur
skaters in the world in Tony Hawk’s Project 8.
With the powerful new game systems coming
out, Activision has ramped up its Tony Hawk
series to all-new levels.
Activision has also released Tony Hawk’s
Downhill Jam for the new Nintendo Wii.
Sims 2 Pets, an expansion pack
for the highly successf ul Sims
2 series from Electronic
The latest in players
THE BIG PLAYERS in the world of video
game consoles keep coming out with
powerful new systems with the latest in
technological advancements. Here’s this
year’s lineup (availability is expected to
The Xbox 360. Xbox 360 is a worthy
heir to the original Xbox, built to play
bigger versions of the kinds of games
you’ve played before. A few blockbuster
games have already appeared on the
system, but the real star of the 360
lineup is Xbox Live Arcade, a service
that offers original and classic games for
fees around the $5 range. The biggest
hit is the all-new Geometry Wars.
Nintendo Wii. With Wii, Nintendo
threw out its old playbook in favor of innovation to play games in a whole new way.
The big news about Wii is its motion-tracking controllers. You control the majority of Wii games by simply flicking your
wrist or moving your
arm. For Wii Tennis,
you simply flick your
wrist backward for
backhand shots and
forward for forehand.
A standard controller is available for
Wii, as well as a thumb-pad add-on.
PlayStation 3. Sony’s new
PlayStation 3 is the most technologically
advanced game system ever. It features
IBM’s highly touted cell processing technology. At the heart of PlayStation 3 is
one chip with seven synergistic brains
that work in tandem to offer more processing power. PlayStation 3 will also
include several other extras, including a
Blu-ray optical disc drive.
Serious players will also want to
check out Sony’s PSP (PlayStation
Portable) and Nintendo’s DS Lite.—SK
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Lego characters save the
universe in the latest video
game from LucasArts.
Arts, lets players create dogs, cats and other
creatures for their virtual characters.
When it comes to sports, Electronic Arts
is ending the year on a strong note. NBA Live
07 has an all-new level of presentation thanks
to the partnership between Electronic Arts
and ESPN. As for Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07,
the game has a more realistic aiming scheme.
For older players
Call of Duty 3, the latest addition to
Activision’s intense World War II combat
series, takes players into occupied France in
the weeks after the D-Day invasion. Look for
action and authenticity, but not an overdose
of blood. The Entertainment Software
Ratings Board rates the Call of Duty games
appropriate for players ages 12 and up.
You will see lots of blood, however, in
Ubisoft’s amazing stealth espionage thriller
Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Double Agent.
Super-spook Sam Fisher goes undercover to
infiltrate a terrorist organization in one of the
finest games of the year. C
Novelist and video games journalist Steven
L. Kent’s latest novel, Rogue Clone, came
out in September. For more about Kent, see
his Web site, www.SadSamsPalace.com.