02/01/06 | PC
| Tristan Mayshark
What with all the VOIP and voice chat in PC games these days, a good headset with stereo speakers and a mic are very much appreciated. Altec Lansing has delivered a solid and inexpensive product with the AHS302i headset, but the comfort factor may be enough to convince many people to go with a more expensive product. Our man Tristan took on the headphones challenge, and now we have to speak a little louder to him. Get the full review right here.
01/30/06 | PC
| Blaine Krumpe
While Legion Arena may have a lot to live up to in the historical strategy genre (like Rome: Total War), the war title from publisher Strategy First and developer Slitherin Soft. does a fairly good job of being its own game. Not as deep as Rome: Total War, but not as frustrating or as difficult, either. If you're looking for something to take you back in time but not drive you insane at the same time, Legion Arena offers a fun experience without the punishment for losing. Legion Arena operates on the concept that, sometimes, too deep a strategy title just isn't fun.
The PSP hacking and homebrew communities are lively places, and there are weekly advances in the effort to add features and content to our PSPs. Sometimes these advances come even too rapidly for us to keep up with, and we can't imagine tackling a book about PSP hacking: How could you write something that won't be totally outdated a few months after its release? The answer is still not clear to us, but we've finally found a PSP book worth reading. Auri Rahimzadeh's Hacking the PSP is the best PSP hacking and modification book we've seen so far. If you're the pulp-and-ink kind of tinkerer, skip the others and head directly for this one. Shawn has the full review here.
The PSP hacking scene is difficult to keep a handle on, even as a web-based magazine, where we can publish articles regularly covering the latest development. In the past month several new tools and utilities have come out that any PSP enthusiast has already read about on any one of a number of good PSP hacking, mod and homebrew websites. So when GF! received two new books about hacking the PSP, we were skeptical that they could possibly be as good as a quality website, but hoped they could at least be more detailed, better organized, and feature more helpful illustrations for some of the basics of PSP hacking. We first looked at Dave Prochnow's PSP Hacks, Mods and Expansions. Boasting on the book's cover includes both a "Money Saving Coupons" emblem and a laundry list of tips that begins with "The Top 10 UMD Movies" and "Which Are the Top 10 Games Worth Buying?" We embarked with a happy outlook: Heck, we didn't even realize there were 10 games worth buying on the PSP... Check out Shawn's review here.
01/24/06 | PSP
| Matt James
SmackDown Vs. RAW 2006 on the PSP is almost identical to its PS2 counterpart: The graphics are quite nice, the control remains enjoyable, and the full depth of play is retained. Including loads of wrestlers, some great WiFi multiplayer, and a management mode that adds a whole new layer to the wrestling game, SmackDown Vs. RAW 2006 is a must-play for portable-gaming wrestling fans. Get the full review from Matt James right here.
01/23/06 | PC
| Shawn Rider
RIP is a fast-action twitch title that is also relatively easy to pick up and play. The simple action is augmented by some strategic upgrade and skill development elements, which gives it a unique feel. For folks who love a fast-paced shooter with hordes of enemies and a dose of thoughtful strategy, RIP warrants a demo download at the least. Get the lowdown on this independently developed import from Russia in Shawn's review.
01/18/06 | PC
| Sarah Wichlacz
Peter Molyneaux's latest game achievement is not plagued by overambitious design goals or over-hyped pre-release promises. The Movies is exactly what it was promised to be: A simulation of the movie industry from the dawn of Hollywood to present day. Manage your employees, send actors to rehab, build a studio and become a major mogul in the movie industry. Plus, it has a cool machinima-friendly filmmaking mode that has already led to some interesting creations. Check out Sarah's review here.
01/15/06 | Book
| Shawn Rider
The A-Z of Cool Computer Games is a robust survey of computer games and gaming history centered on the British gaming experience. As such, this book focuses on, mainly, European and British computers, games, consoles and arcade machines that were popular in the UK in the late 20th Century. For folks who fondly remember their old Speccy this is a trip down memory lane. For those of us across the pond, it's a peek into a wonderful bizarro-land of gaming: An alternate dimension of interactive entertainment that often intersects with our own gaming heritage.
01/14/06 | XB360
| Tristan Mayshark
Dead or Alive is one of the most contentious franchises around: Gamers and non-gamers alike tend to either hate it or love it. But don't let the viscous breasts and panty-flashes overcome the quality fighter that is DOA. The series makes its next-gen debut on the Xbox 360, and it's a mixed bag: The graphics aren't going to prompt anyone to upgrade to HDTV, but the fighting game is at its height. Longtime fans are rewarded with a blending of the best features from previous installments, solid online play, and plenty of things to do, unlock, and earn. Get the full review from Tristan right here.
01/11/06 | XB360
| Aaron Stanton
In a bit of a late look at Microsoft's attempt to neutralize Zelda, we play over Kameo: Elements of Power to see just how good it is. The beautiful design and brilliant particle effects dazzle, but is the gameplay enough to make you want to own it? It is, actually, pulling traditional adventuring elements and combining them with unique Rare flavor and character design. It might not be the beginning of a classic game franchise, but it's certainly worth your time until something better hits the stage.