A-Z: Videogame reviews

More like A to Y, actually. 😂

Game Zone: ESPN NFL Football, Alter Echo, Pokemon Pinball: Ruby & Sapphire

It is the future and if you’re a shaper, you’ve got it made. Using a substance called plast, shapers may create anything they want-like weapons of mass destruction, space-age style. You play as a fledgling shaper named Nevin.

Game Zone: Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Chaos Bleeds, Virtua Fighter 4 Evolution, Soul Caliber II

Fast action, cool animation and plenty of options make this one of the best fighting games, bar none. There may be only 15 characters to select from, but thanks to the 1,500 accessory options (hair, clothes, facial features), there seem to be dozens more.

Game Zone: Futurama, Silent Hill 3, Downhill Domination

Evil businesswoman Mom now owns 51 percent of Earth, making her supreme ruler. It’s up to the gang at Planet Express–Fry, Leela and Bender–to stop her.

Madden NFL 2004: Chicago’s hottest videogame

Cool graphics, easy-to-follow directions and John Madden’s colorful commentary all make this franchise the best football game on the market. The attention to detail–from the players to the stadiums–is amazing. Speaking of which, Soldier Field has never looked so good.

Boot up and play ball!

The All-Star game hits Comiskey, um, US Cellular Field on Tuesday. For those who can’t get enough baseball, we’ve got some of this season’s big hitters and strikeouts … in videogames, we mean. As for the popcorn and peanuts, you’re on your own.

For hot gift ideas, it’s all in the game

It’s not just toys, books, CD box sets and collector’s edition DVDs this holiday season; video games are also a good bet to show up under Christmas trees. While the sluggish economy has dampened many retailers’ spirits, the video game industry is actually celebrating. U.S. sales of game consoles, software and accessories increased by 25 percent from last year and will exceed the $6 billion mark before the year is out.    

Realism takes leap in hoops games

March Madness nears its close this weekend with the matchups of the Final Four men’s college basketball teams, with only one emerging Monday night as the NCAA titleholder. Hoop dreams don’t have to end, though. Thanks to hardworking video game programmers, another season is as nearby as your video game system.

Xplore your options

Videogame players in this country spent nearly $8 billion last year on consoles, software and accessories. That figure is expected to increase dramatically with the introduction of Nintendo’s GameCube and Microsoft’s Xbox, which are giving Sony’s year-old PlayStation 2 a run for its money.  

Game’s not over, system rivals say

The video-game console war between Microsoft’s Xbox and Nintendo’s GameCube heated up this week, with each side declaring itself the winner. Both companies introduced their systems within days of each other in mid-November. Sifting through the rhetoric to actually declare a champion is more challenging than game play on either controller.  

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