Plugged In

Top games of ‘08 revealed

Scoot over to the Video Games section at wvgazette.com to read my picks for the top games of 2008. There were a ton of great games released last year, but I’m pretty satisfied with my final Top 10 — keep in mind that I only took into account games that I actually played (sorry “Left 4 Dead.”) 

So check it out and let me know what you think. Did your favorite game make the cut? Disagree with my pick for Game of the Year? Leave your comments below.

‘Skate 2′ review online

Grind over to the Video Games section at wvgazette.com to check out my review of EA’s “Skate 2.” I was really impressed with the game, although it’s pretty similar to the original “Skate.” Of course, I really liked that one, as well. If you’re looking for the best skateboarding game on the market, “Skate 2” is it.

As promised earlier in the week, here is the entire set list for “Guitar Hero: Metallica.” The list was released late Friday on the band’s official Web site, Metallica.com. Enjoy:

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Economic woes hit gaming world hard

While video-game sales continue to be strong, the industry itself is not immune from the financial crisis currently gripping the nation. The latest example of that came this week as three of the biggest players in the business — Electronic Arts, Microsoft and Sony — announced massive job cuts.

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‘Guitar Hero: Metallica’ dated

The next installment in the “Guitar Hero” franchise, featuring 2009 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees Metallica, will be available March 29 for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Wii and PlayStation 2 versions will arrive later this spring.

The game features 28 songs from the Los Angeles-based rockers, along with tunes from Slayer, Alice in Chains, Queen and more. I’ll post a full track listing as soon as it’s released.

The music of Bruce Springsteen is set to make its video game debut later this month when a two-track song pack arrives for “Guitar Hero World Tour.”

Coinciding with the release of his latest album, “Working on a Dream,” the track pack will launch Jan. 27 (the day the album hits stores) for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Wii. The songs, “My Lucky Day” off the new record and the Springsteen classic “Born to Run,” will be free to download until Feb. 4. After that, the tracks will cost $3.99 (or 200 Wii points) apiece.

As a longtime Springsteen fan, this announcement is a dream come true. I can only hope that this is the beginning of a long relationship between The Boss and “Guitar Hero” developer RedOctane. Harmonix can have The Beatles — give me a Springsteen-themed “Guitar Hero” and I may never buy another music game again.

Interesting link from The Gazzfather

Doug Imbrogno, ruler of all things Gazz, passed along an interesting article from across the pond.

In the piece, which appears on the BBC’s Web site, Activision boss Mike Griffith is quoted as saying video games are “poised to eclipse all other forms of entertainment” in the coming years. Griffith’s comments were made during his speech at the recently concluded CES in Las Vegas.

While it’s naive for anyone to continue to doubt the popularity of video games, I can’t see gaming overtaking movies and television as America’s top entertainment pastimes. The industry has made some big strides this console generation thanks in large part to the amazing success of the Nintendo Wii, but maintaining that momentum through a new generation of consoles will be the true test. Of course, that’s just my .02.

Anyway, the article is worth a read. Check it out here.

Nintendo DSi for $179.99?

IGN.com, citing sources close to Nintendo, is reporting that the company’s next handheld, the DSi, will ship to the U.S. as early as April 4 and retail for $179.99.

The DSi, announced during E3, features two built-in cameras and an SD Card slot, among other improvements. Nintendo’s current handheld, the ever-popular DS Lite, retails for $129.99.

I’ll keep you updated as soon as any official information is released.

Fans can get a taste of the latest installment in Capcom’s survival horror franchise Jan. 26 when a demo of “Resident Evil 5” arrives on Xbox Live.
The demo is exclusive to the Xbox 360, at least for a week. A PlayStation 3 demo should be available to download on the PSN the first week of February.

The demo offers both single and co-op play through two full sections of the game. It will also let gamers experience a new “Gears of War”-esque control scheme that’s optional in the final product.

“Resident Evil 5” arrives on store shelves Friday, March 13.

Play ball! ‘MLB 09: The Show’ info released

Fans of Sony’s “MLB: The Show” franchise got a nice Christmas/New Year’s present when ESPN recently unveiled the early list of features in “The Show 09.”

Among the highlights are a revamped franchise mode featuring salary arbitration, September call-ups and 40-man rosters (yeah!), a more in-depth Road to the Show, team mascots, a ton of new gameplay and presentation animations, and the ability to record your own taunts and cheers.

Seriously, this is currently my most-wanted game of 2009. “MLB 08: The Show” was the best sports game of last year and it looks like Sony is prepared to up the ante this time around. Is it March 3 yet?