Medal of Honor" war games always delve into realism, minus the buckets of blood that splatter over other war adventures. "Medal of Honor: Airborne" keeps the blood sort of in check once again, while somehow looking even deadlier.
You snipe a guy in the face, and his head jolts back.
You shoot an Italian fascist in the stomach, and he grabs his belly wound while buckling to the ground.
Maybe I’m making this sound more violent than it is. Either way, "Airborne" does take place on dirty, murderous battlegrounds of World War II Europe.
The "Medal of Honor" series is one of the best in gaming lore. Likewise, "Airborne" shouldn’t let you down. You run through muddy towns, invade half-standing buildings and scatter over filth, such as half-blown up lanterns and overturned tables.
The artistry is stellar, finely detailing cracks in bricks and creases in uniforms. It’s quite the achievement.
"Airborne" also offers online multiplayer, and as fans of the series know, multiplayer "Medals" are crazy addictive.
If you need a change of pace, you can kill people instead in "Metroid Prime 3: Corruption," where you play as a bounty hunter in space with a twist: You’re a woman.
Sure, most of the time, you can’t even tell you’re a woman, because you’re covered in a big metal spacesuit. But it’s a curvy spacesuit. And sometimes you can see her blinky eyes.
I consider this a twist, since few video game heroes — let alone soldier-types — are heroines. But "Metroid Prime" games by definition star the unladylike Samus, who again travels on spaceships and planets to root out easy-to-kill villains.
"Corruption’s" 20-hour journey is sometimes fun and sometimes boring. Samus shoots lasers and plasma cannons out of her arm-attached weapons at space pirates who have been planting computer viruses around the galaxy. That’s fine.
And when Samus gets in tight spots, you turn her into a ball and roll her through vents and wall holes. What’s new is you get to shoot through walls and go into a killing-spree mania called "hypermode."
But the joy of this first-person shooting game (with no multiplayer option) is limited because it’s easy, familiar and somewhat repetitive. Newcomers probably would find it cool. It’s not challenging to me, though, so I won’t be playing it much.
If you’re sick of killing this year, you can always turn to "Tiger Woods PGA Tour ’08." It’s fantastically deep. You mold your face, arms and other attributes. You buy better clubs as you go. And you golf on majestic links.
Wii owners may especially enjoy the interactive golfing of "Tiger," although it’s very hard to do the supposed ball fades and special tricks. But you can golf as a man or as a woman. I golf with a female. She’s curvy. No spacesuit. She’s the real deal.
("Medal of Honor: Airborne" retails for $60 for Xbox 360 — Plays very fun. Looks great. Challenging. Rated "T" for blood, mild language and violence. Four stars out of four.)
("Metroid Prime: Corruption" retails for $50 for Wii — Plays fun but also repetitive and dull too often. Looks good. Easy to moderately challenging. Rated "T" for animated blood, violence. Three stars.)
("Tiger Woods PGA Tour ’08" retails for $60 for PS 3 and Xbox 360; $50 for Wii; $40 for PS 2 and PSP; $30 for DS — Plays fun. Looks great. Very challenging. Rated "E." Four stars.)DOUG ELFMANMORE COLUMNS
NEW IS STORIES "MySims" brings the "Sims" experience to the Wii, featuring a virtual town, houses and the typical "Sims" world. The Tuesday release retails for $50 for Wii and is rated "E." "Skate" eschews the Tony Hawk template to make skateboarding more about thumbing joysticks than pushing buttons. You custom-build a skater’s body and attributes, and do the usual crazy stunts, but with many maps, skaters and multiplayer options. The Tuesday release retails for $60 for Xbox 360 and PS 3. It’s rated "T" for blood, gore, crude humor, language, mild violence and tobacco reference. "Blazing Angels 2: Secret Missions of WW II" is a sequel to the fairly entertaining "Blazing Angels," and returns gamers to the skies against zeppelins and planes in Egypt and other exotic locales. The Tuesday release retails for $60 for PS 3 and Xbox 360 and is rated "T" for mild language, violence. "Namco Museum DS" resurrects eight classic arcade games for the DS, including "Galaxian," "Galaga," "Dig Dug II" and a one- to four-player mode of "Pac-Man." The Tuesday release retails for $20 for DS and is rated "E." — By DOUG ELFMAN