Plugged In

‘Fable II’ reviewed and other stuff

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Hey guys, jump over to the rechristened Video Games section at wvgazette.com to check out my review of “Fable II.” As someone who didn’t really care for the original “Fable,” I was totally blown away by “Fable II.” It’s too early to declare “Fable II” the game of the year (I’m just getting started on “Fallout 3”) but it’s certainly worthy of consideration.

| You may have heard that The Beatles are finally set to make their video game debut. But Harmonix and MTV Games are keeping a tight lid on just what, exactly, a Beatles game would include. It’s not going to be a standalone “Rock Band” release like the “AC/DC Track Pack,” but I can’t imagine gamers would be jumping at the chance to drop another $170-plus on new instruments (there has been talk of a keyboard peripheral) just to play “Hey Jude,” “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds” or whatever other classic Beatles tunes are included.

| It looks like the economic woes plaguing our country are finally beginning to hit the video game industry. Despite another solid sales quarter, mega-publisher Electronic Arts plans to lay off six percent of its work force.

Basketball jones: ‘Live,’ ‘2K9′ reviewed

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Dribble on over to the Plugged In section at wvgazette.com to read my reviews of “NBA Live 09” and “NBA 2K9.” I consider “2K9” the superior game, but I have to give major props to the folks at EA — “Live 09” is really fun. It needs a little polish and some tweaking here and there, but it’s light-years ahead of last year’s game.

‘LEGO: Batman’ reviewed

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Head over to the Plugged In section of wvgazette.com to check out my review of “LEGO: Batman.” If you’re a fan of the Batman comics or the old-school TV show, you’re sure to appreciate the game’s atmosphere and huge list of unlockable characters. It’s a great choice for younger gamers, as well.

‘Halo 3: Recon’ announced

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Remember that cryptic trailer that appeared on Bungie.com a few weeks ago? Say hello to “Halo 3: Recon.”

During the first day of the Toyko Game Show, Bungie and Microsoft debuted an extended (albeit short) version of the trailer that included the game’s title and a few tidbits of information.

“Halo 3: Recon” will serve as a prologue to the events of “Halo 3” and include a new campaign mode and multiplayer maps. The game is on track for a Fall 2009 release.

No other information was announced about the game, but it already has to be considered one of the biggest titles set to drop next year.

Head over to the Plugged In section at wvgazette.com to read my review of “Brothers in Arms: Hell’s Highway.” I really liked the game and I’m not quite sure why it has gotten such relatively low review scores (a Metacritic.com average of 76). The gameplay is solid and the story is as good as you’re going to find in a shooter.

New Nintendo DS on the way

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Nintendo unveiled the next iteration of its DS handheld this week — the DSi.

The DSi’s new features include two built-in digital cameras, an SD card slot and larger screens. The DSi is also a bit thinner than its predecessor, the DS Lite, but is noticably longer and wider (to account for the larger screens.)

The new screens, which are now both touch-sensitive, measure 3.25 inches diagonally as compared to the DS Lite’s 3.0-inch screens.

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The DSi will play all current Nintendo DS games, but the system will not include a slot for Game Boy Advance games.

Nintendo’s “next big thing” will be available in Japan next month (for approximately $180) with a U.S. release scheduled for some time in 2009.