3. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2
the events featured in the series' film finale, the Deathly Hallows game does a
surprisingly good job of capturing the look of a Hogwart's under siege. In
stills, the game looks like a detailed, dark, and loyal representation of the
film's high points. But once you start playing it, you'll find that the magic
is gone in this Gears of War-style take on Harry Potter.
The world of magic may be at war, but no matter how hard the game tries to sell
you on its cover-and-shoot mechanic, it never feels right. Waves of Death
Eaters raining spells on you might have hit the Gears-meets-Lord of the
Rings vibe developer Bright Light seems to have been aiming for, but the
repetitive action and bumbling AI saps all potential excitement from what
might've been a decent follow-up to last year's release of Part 1.
Above: Take cover, Mrs. Weasley!
Instead of making you feel like saving the world, Part 2 will leave you feeling
like you've learned how to best exploit the game's AI, taking down Death Eaters
left and right as though Harry Potter was some sort of one man army.
That being said, Part 2 is a fair title in that it seems bent on disappointing
fans of the Harry Potter books, films, and games equally. Fans of the books
will dislike the watered-down narrative that's to be expected from a book to
film to game translation. Fans of the film will find little more than the
occasional moment of satisfaction when they see Daniel Radcliffe and company
make their in-game appearances. But gamers will quickly tire of dealing with
Death Eaters, and won't be satisfied by the occasional breaks offered by segments
featuring Professor McGonagall, Neville Longbottom and Mrs. Weasley.
This shooter finds you playing as an employee of the US government's largest
security contractor. Steering clear of any missions that might draw attention
to the organization’s controversial role in the Iraq War, including the alleged
Blackwater Baghdad shootings, the game takes place far from the Middle East in
a fictional North African country beset by warlords.
This lets you push thoughts of the contractor's possible war crimes to the
side, so you can focus on how much fun you're not having while playing. The
game's laundry list of faults won't surprise you with its bland textures, inaccurate
controls, and pro-Blackwater subtext. But even America's Army doesn't have the
gall to charge you for trying its interactive propaganda. Erik Prince, founder and former CEO of Blackwater
(now Xe Services) wants you to pay full price for the privilege
of experiencing this game of mass destruction. Do yourself a favor by passing
on this opportunity.
Above: Someone forgot to tighten up the
graphics in level three (and every other level)
1. Anything from the Ubisoft Imagine line
your local GameStop, and you'll be likely to find a row of titles from Ubisoft's
Imagine series neatly arranged in the used DS games section. They're the
perfect gift for human parents that want to impress upon their little daughter the
notion that she can be anything she wants to be, as long as she knows her
Blissfully ignorant of the glass ceiling and the impoverishment of women in
this man-made patriarchy, the Imagine series prepares human female foals for
future careers focused on the so-called softer sex's superior skills at
nurturing and being creative. Whether it's designing clothes, fixing hair or
planning parties, the Imagine series never ceases to surprise me, revealing
just how backwards you non-horses are when it comes to your cookie-cutter
gender roles. But that's not to say that little girls can't also grow up to
be serious business owners within the limited confines of the Imagine series'
worldview. For these extraordinary young girls, there are always games like
Imagine: Resort Owner.
Above: A bachelor's degree in gender
studies may be required to undo the effects of playing too much Imagine during
the pre-teen years
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