Control the fall semester


Now that classes have started again, students will be hard-pressed to find enough excuses to… Now that classes have started again, students will be hard-pressed to find enough excuses to skip one. So hit the snooze on that alarm one more time — after all, who is going to beat that game if you aren’t? Your roommate? Doubtful.

“Spy Hunter: Nowhere to Run”

Release Date: Sept. 5

Platform: Xbox, PS2

Genre: Racing/Adventure

So for anyone who is not up to date on the “Spy Hunter” franchise, it goes something like this: Drive sweet car, use sweet weapons to blow stuff up … sweet. The plot to these games is usually: “You are Alex Decker, please use this car and complete these missions by blowing stuff up.”

Right, so you can see the pattern beginning to form. Now the game is being made into a major motion picture starring The Rock, so the plot has changed a little. It is now: “You are The Rock, use wrestling-style moves to lay some hurt down on everyone, then eventually drive a car around or something.”

In the latest franchise, the Interceptor, Decker’s car, has been stolen, and it is up to someone who looks, acts and sounds a lot like The Rock to get it back. If this sounds a lot like “Lassie: Come Home,” that’s because it does.

The player will now be able to leave the car and wander around on foot. Helping The Rock/Decker around are weapons ranging from the regular pistol to land mines. He can also use some hand-to-hand combat to take out his enemies, of which there are many.

The car is in the game somewhere, and according to the game’s official Web site, it will come fully loaded with machine guns, pulse cannons, tire mines, sticky mines and all sorts of stuff that makes Snidely Whiplash look like a no-talent chump.

If the “Spy Hunter” series has led to a lot of past backseat action, then by all means, buy the newest one. But if spending time on the road is a slice of paradise, then get a different game.

“Mario Hoops 3 on 3”

Release Date: Sept. 11

Platform: Nintendo DS

Genre: Sports

In this next team-up between Nintendo and Square Enix, Mario and all of his friends, as well as all of his enemies, decide to take their grievances to the hoop. Players will be able to choose from all of the usual suspects, Keyser Soze not included, and battle it out with turtle shells and explosions.

The goal will not be to score the most points, but to get the most coins. Players will have to perform various tasks to get those coins, and they will get to keep them by making a shot after storing them up.

This game supports up to four players, but fear not, Nintendo has made a shortsighted and stupid mistake. There is no online capability for this game. Don’t look for it, it’s not there. Stop.

If this game seems a little forced, go back to when Square Enix was SquareSoft and play “Chrono Trigger.”

“LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy”

Release Date: Sept. 12

Platform: All of them

Genre: Action

If you are reading this, you are 9. Congratulations.


Release Date: Sept. 19

Platform: Xbox 360, PC

Genre: First-Person Shooter

Sierra Entertainment and Saber Interactive have banded together to develop a tale about Michael Swift, an operative of the U.S. government and official time-traveling extraordinaire. Just seconds from retirement, the government asks him to go on one last mission, and of course like an idiot, he agrees.

After he completes his fourth-dimensional journey he finds himself not in the good old U.S.A. but (gasp) a fascist empire instead. Now Swift must use his time-traveling abilities and old-fashioned firepower to repulse the freedom-hating empire and bring back the country he loved.

The player will have access to time-travel abilities much like in “Prince of Persia” or the original “Max Payne” games, except for a few tweaks. The player will also be able to rewind time and stop time, which will make for some … interesting moments in-game.

The graphics look crisp and the videos look sharp, but like all first-person shooters, it might not take long to get through this game, guns blazing. For anyone with an Xbox 360, think about renting it first.

Or you might find yourself stepping in a big pile of timeshift.

“Just Cause”

Release Date: Sept. 26

Platform: Xbox 360, Xbox, PS2, PC

Genre: Third-person Action

So imagine what would have happened if Che Guevara were born in the United States and became a government operative. If that is too hard, then play “Just Cause” by Eidos Interactive. The game centers on a top-secret government operative who is sent to the country of San Esperito to cause chaos and hopefully a revolution that will topple the president.

His only tools will be a set of deadly weapons, unique skills and a complete lack of morals that make him perfect for the job. In this game, players will have a free hand in the world of San Esperito. Much in the style of “Grand Theft Auto” but more like “Mercenaries,” the player will be able to conduct missions for a number of sides, including drug cartels and the rebels. Eventually the goal is to cause a widespread revolt. Rodriguez can jump from the roofs of moving cars, parasail and dive into water at high speeds to avoid capture and to conduct reconnaissance.

The graphics will of course vary by what system the game is playing on, but the Xbox 360 and the PC releases will have crisp and colorful graphics. The game engine is similar to the games mentioned previously, but the collisions and crashes will look cartoonishly unreal. But for anyone who doesn’t mind knocking a car back 100 feet, go get this game.

After all, you’ll have “Just Cause” in doing so.