Bangai-O HD: Missile Fury (XBox 360)

Holy cow, that’s one big ant. Like, amazingly, freakishly gigantic. Something that large could make mincemeat of me in no time, but I have nothing to worry about because it’s trapped behind a barrier and I’m far out of its attack range. I direct a steady stream of missiles into the beast’s head and in seconds my adversary is no more. As I watch the huge insect explode into bits and pieces, the words of my navigator, Dr. Ban, echo in my head: “Don’t miss the item that will appear.” Hmmm, item? Oh, now I see what he’s talking about! An oversized pineapple appears where the ant had been only moments ago. As I move in to grab the fruit I’m suddenly ambushed by hundreds of smaller ants. It’s a trap! I haphazardly speed in all directions, looking for an exit while firing at the wall of arthropods with everything I’ve got, but the swarm is simply too much for me to handle. In the final seconds before my mech is overrun, I notice the item Dr. Ban must have been talking about: napalm. The ants wouldn’t have stood a chance. But it’s too late now. This is the end!


Dead Rising 2: Case Zero (XBox 360)

It doesn’t take long before I figure out why so many zombies are swarming around the van: There’s a man up there and they can’t wait to sink their teeth into him. He notices me and desperately calls for help. I’m wary to stick my neck out for someone else, but I guess it’s his lucky day because I’m feeling generous. Even though there are too many zombies to count, my spiked bat quickly thins the crowd. The man introduces himself as Dick Jones and informs me he runs the town’s pawn shop. He beckons me to follow him. Pawn shop? Hmmm, saving him might have been a smart move after all. We navigate through a sea of undead and reach the storefront. Dick unlocks the door and we hustle inside. Just as I’d hoped, the pawn shop is a treasure trove. I spy all manner of weaponry, a part I need for my motorcycle, and even precious Zombrex. But, living up to his name, Dick won’t let me take anything unless I pay for it. This is the thanks I get for saving his life?! I should’ve just left well enough alone and allowed the zombies to have their feast.

Seisou Kouki Strania (XBox 360)

But seconds after emerging into the bright sunlight a barrage of enemy fire falls upon my mech. I deftly avoid the attack and move into position to return the favor. Look at the size of this warship! It’s about time my opponent showed me a little respect. I was getting tired of taking out small fries. This metallic beast looks like one tough customer. But it doesn’t know who it’s messing with. My laser fire makes surprisingly quick work of my adversary, and soon the craft is carved into a smoking hulk of rubble. I enjoy a momentary respite and peer at the shimmering river snaking through the canyon below journeying forward to my next target.

Street Fighter IV (XBox 360)

Is this guy for real? Ryu’s faced some strange opponents in his day, but Rufus may just take the cake as the oddest of the bunch. He talks a big game, too, and his outfit is awfully bizarre. It’s hard to believe someone with such a massive gut has what it takes to compete against a World Warrior like Ryu. Rufus isn’t backing down, and in fact he seems pretty confident in his abilities. This should be interesting. The round begins and Rufus comes out swinging… and spinning. What a freak! Ryu hangs back for a few moments to gauge his opponent before moving in for the attack. Surprisingly, Rufus puts up more of a challenge than anyone would’ve figured, but he doesn’t have enough ability to match Ryu’s experience and skill. Keep practicing, Rufus, and perhaps one day you’ll be able to compete at this level… and you may want to lay off the snacks, too!

Cars (XBox 360)

A birthday gift from Daddy for a car-obsessed toddler: Cars for the Xbox 360! My son hops into my lap and soon we’re racing around the town of Radiator Springs as Lightning McQueen. Okay, what to do first? We drive around aimlessly for a few minutes then finally stumble upon a racing event. Apparently this stuffy British car ventured over to “our side of the pond” to race the great Lightning McQueen. Well, we’re about to give you what for, buddy. The race begins and we speed off… but my son quickly loses interest after the first lap and climbs out of my lap, making his way over to play with his toy cars. “Hey, don’t you want to sit with Daddy and play the game?” Apparently not. I power off the 360, head over to where my son is sitting, plop down next to him, and we push around the toy cars together. “Vrooom vroom!” He’s right. This is more fun.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (XBox 360)

Somehow, Takai Takai’s turtle is stuck at the top of the screen. All I can see are his legs prancing back and forth. Meanwhile, balloontrip, nocturnedelight, and I are busy battling the Foot Clan soldiers on a bridge. Shredder’s boys are pulling out all the stops and my poor turtle is getting clobbered. I can’t help but laugh at Takai Takai’s turtle and I inquire as to what in the world he’s doing. “I’ve got to conserve my energy,” he answers. I ask him how he managed to get his turtle up there and if I can somehow escape the action with him. Unfortunately, it seems there’s only room  for one turtle. Left with nothing to do except fight, I turn back to the Foot Clan soldiers and do my best to let them taste the sting of my nunchucks. Before long, though, my last life is exhausted and it’s Game Over for me.

Soul Calibur IV (XBox 360)

Incense smoke fills the air of the temple and makes it hard to concentrate upon the battle at hand. Mitsurugi is looking more peeved than ever, and before him stands the strangest combatant he’s ever laid eyes upon. His foe is only half his size, has green skin, and yields an odd sword of light. What the hell is this weird little goblin? Outside the temple soldiers on horseback ride down the hillside toward war, but Mitsurugi doesn’t notice. He’s too focused on just how the heck he’s going to chop this bizarre creature down to size… er, so to speak.

Peggle (XBox 360)

I told my wife I thought she’d like Peggle and persuaded her to give it a try. That was about five hours ago. She’s still playing. Our son has been asleep since before I handed her the controller, and I don’t know how much longer I can stay awake, either. I take a look at the clock and notice it’s almost 3:00 am. Thankfully I don’t have to work tomorrow and it’s so fun to see my wife completely enthralled with a game. She’s doing much better than I had, too, and is breezing through all the stages. But sleep is calling, and I think it’s about time I head upstairs and climb into bed. Goodnight, my sweet Peggle addict!

Ridge Racer 6 (XBox 360)

I make the first turn on my favorite course, Airport Lap. It’s sunset and the sky is adorned with a beautiful orange hue. My car drifts through the curve and I power ahead. “Whoa-ho-ho! Nitrous ready!” The game’s announcer is extremely excited. “Watch out! Someone just fired off some nitrous!” A rival car speeds up behind me from the left. It’s time to take action. I use a can of nitrous and regain the lead. “Woo hoo! Nitrous!” Turn after turn, drift after drift, “nitrous” is the only thing the announcer is concerned with. As the race progresses, planes come and go all around the course, but I’m too focused to take much notice. I speed past the finish line with the help of my last bit of “crazy” nitrous. “Ha! Ha! You did it! First place!” How I love that nitrous-obsessed announcer.

Mass Effect (XBox 360)

As my party and I approach the Presidium on our way to the Wards, we encounter an argument between a Turian officer and a Hanar evangelist. The poor officer seems at wit’s end trying to dissuade the Hanar from continuing to preach without a license. Even though I’ve got more important business to take care of, I decide to step in and see if there’s anything I can do to help. The Hanar claims to have no money but feels it’s wrong to have to pay to spread its message. The Turian, on the other hand, is just trying to do his job and obviously would rather not be dealing with such a trivial issue. After hearing both parties out I decide to pay for the Hanar’s permit and everyone is happy. I linger for just a moment to take in the strangeness of the jellyfish-like Hanar’s appearance before continuing on my way.