Dealing with this summer's gaming dry spell

    Looking to buy some great new video games to play over the summer? Too bad. There aren’t many exciting new games coming out until… well… the eventual release of Grand Theft Auto IV and Halo 3, both slated for the end of 2007 (let‘s pretend that there won‘t be any release delays). This summer will be slow for the gaming crowd.

    If, however, you must spend the bikini season indoors, pick up one of these half-decent titles:

    Spider-Man 3 (multi-platform)

    Yup, America’s favorite webhead is back this summer for his last cinema adventure, and so is another installment of his licensed video game. Movie-based video games don’t have the greatest track records (for a recent example, please see Ghost Rider). But Spider-Man 3 is bucking that trend by letting you play not only along the movie’s storyline, but also along several others that have been pulled from his comic book roots. Spidey’s new black duds will also allow you to use God Of War-type button sequences and killer new combos to pummel foes. And you don’t have to spend lots of time being a good samaritan by rescuing little kid’s balloons, like in Spider-Man 2: The side quests will have meaning. He does whatever a spider can…

    Super Paper Mario (Wii)

    Been craving a certain plumber fix since your wand-waving console came out? Super Paper Mario, which came out April 9, will cure that for you. The spiritual successor to Super Mario RPG, this game is in 2½-D. Mario’s got the power to flip his 2D perspective into a 3D view, which lets him discover new items and solve puzzles. He’s also got sidekicks to boot: new allies called Pixls, Princess Peach, Bowser and Luigi, each with their own abilities. Like the other games in the Paper Mario series, it’s got a light-hearted tone and will probably be pretty linear. But hey — it’s Mario!

    Pokemon Diamond and Pearl (DS)

    I know what you’re thinking — these stupid little cretins just won’t die. There’s a good reason for that: Pokemon is addicting as heck. The new iterations, Diamond and Pearl, are introducing another bevy of monsters to catch, collect and battle. The time element is being re-introduced into Pokemon, so some creatures will only appear at night or during the day. But there’s also something very distinctive about the next generation of this series: You can now play over the DS WiFi service. Finally, we can answer the age-old question of who is the World’s Greatest Pokemon Master….that is, if you still care about that kind of thing. This will be a great one for the inevitable summer road trip.

    To be honest, you’d probably be better off getting some sun this summer. Or go retro and explore your old games. Just don’t count on curing your boredom with the consoles this summer.


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