Plugged In

REVIEW: “NBA 2K8″

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The NBA season tips off this week, but the latest edition in 2K Sports’ pro hoops series is already in mid-season form. NBA 2K8 builds on what I considered to be last year’s sports game of the year, NBA 2K, with more signature shot styles and animations, a deeper franchise mode and beefed-up AI.

2K and developer Visual Concepts raised the bar for basketball games with the introduction of Signature Style in NBA 2K7. For this season, they’ve really worked hard to make sure each player not only looks like their real-life counterpart, but plays like them, as well. This is especially evident in the post, where guys like Tim Duncan and Shaq will eat your lunch all day long. I can’t stress enough how much I love the idea and implementation of Signature Style. It really keep the game fresh over the course of the season.

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ANOTHER WEEK, another price drop for the drastically underperforming PlayStation 3. OK, so maybe it only seems like the price of the PS3 is being cut every week. But you can now score an 80GB console for $499 — $100 less than the launch price. Sony has also announced plans to release a stripped-down version of the PS3 for $399.

That new 40GB system will lack any form of backward compatibility, meaning it will not play PS2 or PS1 games. Why would Sony take out a feature that has been standard on PS3s since the system debuted? According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, the final decision to remove backward compatibility was made to drive sales of PS3 games. And people still wonder why the PS3 is being buried in this console generation? C’mon.

HALO 3 STILL RULES: The September sales figures are in and, to the surprise of absolutely no one, Halo 3 was the driving force in helping the gaming industry rake in approximately $1.3 billion for the month. The NPD Group, which tracks video game sales, announced that Halo 3 sold more 3.3 million copies during the first 12 days it was available in the U.S. Halo’s popularity also helped push the Xbox 360 to the top of the console chart.

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REVIEW: Spider-Man, Friend or Foe?

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Looking for that next great epic gaming experience? Spider-Man: Friend or Foe isn’t it.

OK, maybe that’s a little harsh. After all, Friend or Foe isn’t terrible. It’s just boring. But it’s the most simplistic video game I’ve played since Super Nintendo days. Granted, the game is being targeted as a family-friendly title. In that regard, Friend or Foe is a success. (My 3-year-olds love it!) But any gamer looking for a challenge had best look elsewhere.

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ROUND-UP: Video-Gaming Week in Review

I have been a bad boy. During the last two weeks, I’ve spent so much time playing Halo 3 and NBA 2K8 that I’ve neglected my blogging duties. Therefore, as a self-imposed punishment, I’m not going to turn on Xbox 360 FOR AN ENTIRE DAY! That’s right. I’m suspending my Xbox 360 gaming privileges for a whole 24 hours to show how much you, the readers, mean to me. (And just for the record, this decision has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that MLB Power Pros for the Wii is a blast to play. Honest. Nothing at all.) Anyway, on to the news:

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REVIEW: Video walk-through of “Halo 3″ for Xbox

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Join us as “PluggedIn” takes a video walk-through of “Halo 3” for Xbox, as we check out some of the new features and rate the game-play of this highly anticipated Xbox game. I’ll talk you through some scenes from the game.