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Review of Sandio's 3D Game O' Mouse
review | 06/04/07 | Jamie Gergen
While Sandio Technologies promises to revolutionize the way your mouse and game operate together, the learning curve is steep and difficult to overcome. Instead of improving your gaming experience and making you a better player, the 3D Gaming \'O Mouse will instead become an obstacle to overcome, as often as not. While the design works well for RTS camera controls, it falls apart when you move to faster paced titles like First Person Shooters. The inclusion of analog controls on the mouse may very well be a good idea, but not in this iteration, and after some time with the new mouse we simply can\'t recommend it at the $79 price tag.
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The Current Standard: Spin on Video Game Blogs
editorial | 01/05/07 | Chris Martin
Recently, in an interview with Ars Technica, Scott Henson, product unit manager for Microsoft\'s game technology group, made a statement regarding HD-DVD and Sony\'s defunct Betamax. Unfortunately for those of us who read only headlines and move on, the whole story is not being told. And now it\'s being spun by blogs with a hankering for a little more web traffic into a false statement. In this editorial, Chris Martin discusses the spin that blogs like to put on quotes and tries to understand just why blogs have no responsibility to report truth.
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Space Empires V Review
game: Space Empires V
review | 01/04/07 | George Holomshek
Space Empires V doesn\'t exactly revolutionize the world of 4X gaming, but it does offer a multitude of micromanagement options, if that\'s your thing. The space empire building title lets you explore the universe and meet strange races with one of the most extensive diplomacy systems we\'ve ever seen, but is plagued with bugs that often get in the way. If you like micromanaging politics and investigating branching technology trees, Space Empires V might be for you, but only if you can survive the learning curve and a lot of frustration.
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Just Cause Review
game: Just Cause
review | 10/25/06 | Sean Hilliard
You are a rugged, sexy operative ordered to take down a whole country, and no matter how many times you have to jump out of that airplane, hijack that automobile, or jump through the blades of a moving helicopter you\'re going to kill that guy, or save that guy, or find that item! In Just Cause, regime change is the goal, and it\'s up to you, your trusty parachute, and a grappling hook to revolutionize a whole South American state. But before you go getting all hopped up on your School of the Americas delusions of grandeur, be sure to check Sean\'s review. Otherwise, don\'t blame us for the harsh realization that even parachutes can\'t make repetitive mission-based infiltration worth playing...
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Why Gamers Have No Eyes
editorial | 10/24/06 | Aaron Stanton
The National Summit on Video Games, Youth and Public Policy took place this weekend. Researchers from around the country attended to discuss everything from violent media to the legality of government regulation of game ratings. It was sponsored by one of the game industry\'s most politically powerful critics, the National Institute on Media and the Family, which has consistently given the game industry poor marks when it comes to video games and violence. But did anyone from the game media bother to show up? Nope. Aaron Stanton was the lone game journalist at an event that could have real impact on game legislation, and the lack of attention pissed him off. You should read more about it here.
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That Retro Review: ToeJam and Earl
game: ToeJam and Earl
feature | 10/13/06 | Chris Martin
Two of the most beloved aliens of all time - sorry E.T. - ToeJam and Earl have been through a lot together: two sequels, multiple planets, and a lot of tough criticism. But we cast all that aside and look to the past today with the original ToeJam and Earl. What made the game so great? The tunes? The attitude? The Coop play? Try all of the above. The funky beat-boxing aliens have had their fill of Earth, and so has Chris as he\'s guided Earl all the way to level 25, found all 10 spaceship pieces, and thrown tomatoes at Earthings until they pop in this week\'s That Retro Review!
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Saint's Row Review
game: Saint's Row
review | 09/16/06 | Sean Hilliard
Saint\'s Row is unmistakably influenced by Grand Theft Auto, but it manages to improve on the GTA formula in certain aspects. And why not? It took Rockstar almost a decade to get gamers into airplanes for crying out loud. And this is the 21st Century! Shouldn\'t we be able to save without retreating to a hideout? And for all of everyone\'s talk about the GTA games being open-ended, free-roaming adventures, they\'re actually incredibly linear narratives constrained by Hollywood cliches. Join the free-roaming revolution and read Sean\'s review.
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Videogame Violence Causes Subdued Reactions
news | 08/21/06 | Chris Martin
With videogames in the spotlight, and movies and television taking a backseat to criticism for a while at least, Professor Nicholas Carnagey of Iowa State University has conducted a study to see if videogame violence desensitises gamers to other forms of violence. Skeptics might be thinking \"of course\"; any kind of violence over prolonged durations will cause the viewer to be desensitised in the end. Well, studies are showing that it\'s much quicker than expected. You might be shocked from the results.
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Break 'Em All: A New Take on Classic Breakout
game: Break 'Em All
review | 07/19/06 | Laurie Taylor
Break \'Em All for the Nintendo DS, of Brickles, Arkanoid, or Breakout fame from years past returns with a added features like multiplayer for up to 8 people through the DS\'s wireless. Though nothing revolutionary, literally, but something entirely addictive and simple, how does Break \'Em All work in a gaming environment where high priced production mirror those of Hollywood? Lauri Taylor has the answers and the reason you might want to pick this one up.
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Happy 4th of July From GamesFirst.com
editorial | 07/04/06 | Aaron Stanton
Web traffic drops during the summer as gaming news runs dry and warm weather draws people away from their monitors. Fourth of July often represents the summer\'s ultimate low in traffic, and pretty much everyone in the gaming industry takes the day off. If you haven\'t had a chance to spend some time outside in the beautiful weather, now is the perfect day to step outside into the cooling evening, put away the games for a moment, and take in a part of life that doesn\'t run on electricity. Tomorrow we can return to the flash of modern life, but tonight and maybe tomorrow we here at GamesFirst are going to stretch out, light some fireworks, and enjoy a good birthday. We hope you consider doing the same. Happy Fourth of July, everyone.
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Ping Pong Renaissance: Table Tennis Review
game: Rockstar Games Presents Table Tennis
review | 06/07/06 | Shawn Rider
Rockstar\'s latest title isn\'t a murder simulator or hardcore gangsta shooter. It\'s a pleasant game of Table Tennis, and it\'s really well-done. Rockstar Presents Table Tennis comes from their San Diego studio, well known for creating the Smuggler\'s Run and Midnight Club series. If Table Tennis sounds like a major change of speed, that\'s because it is. But when the results are so much fun, we\'re fine with switching gears. Get the full review here from Shawn.
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Atlus Shows Us Trauma Center: Second Opinion
game: Trauma Center: Second Opinion
preview | 05/17/06 | George Holomshek
Atlus looks to recreate the success of their landmark Nintendo DS title, Trauma Center: Under the Knife, with the Wii-specific sequel, Trauma Center: Second Opinion. Using the \"revolutionary\" Wii controller, Second Opinion sticks with the same kind of 21st-Century-Operation gameplay that made the original such a hit. George got a chance to sit down with Atlus and discover more about this highly anticipated sequel.
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E3 2006 Announcements from LucasArts: Euphoria Jones
feature | 05/14/06 | Jeremy Kauffman
Big things are in store for Indiana Jones. In addition to an upcoming fourth movie, the new game, due out in 2007 from LucasArts features a revolutionary AI system named Euphoria. What\'s so cool about Euphoria? Imagine watching Indiana Jones struggle with all his might to maintain his footing on a shakey rope bridge. Eventually he falls, catching himself on the ropes as he\'s thrown over and pulling himself back onto the bridge as the shaking subsides. Now imagine that you\'re standing at E3 and some guy from LucasArts follows up the awesome animation by telling you that none of what you just saw was animated in advance. Did we just blow your mind? Well, put on on a helmet and check out Jeremy\'s full article for more about this mindblowingly cool new game technology.
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A Day With Nintendo and Hands-On With Super Mario Galaxy
preview | 05/11/06 | Chris Martin
It was quite a day at the Nintendo booth at E3 today. With 27 titles, along with the Wii itself to be seen inside the fortress of a booth Nintendo had built, demand was high and lines were long. How long, you ask? Try a line of people with enough manpower that, if they wanted to, could have marched across the hall and held most of the Sony booth hostage. And while this mass of humanity deterred most of the GamesFirst! crew until tomorrow, our man Chris decided to brave the storm. Not only did he manage to come back alive, he even brought back an amusing story and some impressions of Mario\'s latest adventure.
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Pre-E3: Sadness Preview
game: Sadness
preview | 05/07/06 | George Holomshek
Indy Polish developer, Nibris, has given us some very nice screens of their upcoming Wii project, Sadness. Sadness is an unusual game for a few reasons: It\'s entirely in black-and-white, which gives it the feel of a creepy old-school horror movie. The psychological tensions built into the game should help to accentuate that \"Psycho\" quality, and to further intensify the gameplay, Nibris has also disregarded traditional weapons in favor of ad hoc armaments. Players will have to defend themselves with sticks, stones, torches, and shards of glass. George has a complete rundown on why Sadness is on his radar at E3 2006.
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