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K0502 BC-CPT-GAMES 03-18 0520

Reviews of Super Smash Bros. Brawl’ and Rainbow Six Vegas 2’

By Victor Godinez

The Dallas Morning News

(MCT)

SUPER SMASH BROS. BRAWL

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Grade: B

For Nintendo Wii. Rated for ages 13 and up. $49

READY TO RUMBLE: Super Smash Bros. Brawl is a lot of fun in very particular circumstances. This absurd jumble of nearly every Nintendo-created character in history results in a chaotic, fun fighting game for hard-core Nintendo fans playing together.

DEFINITELY A BRAWL: SSBB is not a subtle game. As soon as a fight starts — with up to four participants — your only goal is to be the last man, woman or fuzzy, asexual creature standing. Controlling the action with a regular Wii remote is clumsy and frustrating, but the game also supports standard GameCube controllers, and a lot of gamers will probably prefer that setup.

FIND A FRIEND: You can play multiplayer either in-person or online, although Nintendo’s dogged loyalty to its clumsy Friend Code system hinders the online mode somewhat. If you are a lonely gamer, you can fight through a simple tournament by yourself or trudge through a tedious story mode.

BOTTOM LINE: The graphics are GameCube-quality at best, the single-player mode is dull, and the controls lend themselves to mindless button mashing. But the multiplayer mode and the rainbow of Nintendo characters — ever wanted to see Mario punch Link in the face? — will be worth the price of admission alone for many gamers.

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TOM CLANCY’S RAINBOW SIX VEGAS 2

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Grade: B-plus

For Xbox 360, PS3 and PC (Xbox 360 version tested). Rated for ages 17 and up. $59.99

BACK IN THE SADDLE: The original Rainbow Six Vegas was a superb shooting game that had the misfortune to come out about the same time as Gears of War. So while Rainbow Six Vegas did well, it never achieved the classic status it deserved. This sequel should change that. It incorporates the stealth-vs.-combat aspects that made the original so great and ratchets up the graphics and multiplayer capabilities.

DUCK AND COVER: While the Rainbow Six Vegas games are basically first-person shooters, the series’ signature is the ability to lean up against walls, vehicles and other objects in a third-person view so you can lean out and fire around corners while minimizing your exposure to enemy fire. The other main feature carried over from the original is the ability to direct two computer-controlled squadmates in the single-player game.

ONLINE FIREFIGHT: Because I played the game before the official release, I couldn’t find many other competitors online. But the few matches I did have were chaotic and fun.

BOTTOM LINE: Rainbow Six Vegas 2 is better than the original, and the cover system is so refined that it ought to be a standard feature in every first-person shooter.

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Victor Godinez: vgodinezdallasnews.com

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(c) 2008, The Dallas Morning News.

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