The Orange Box
There’s no question that this game is worth the money. This may be the best deal in video games since Wii Sports: Five games that could’ve easily been sold in at least three different $60 packages bundled together with no crappy filler. Half-Life 2 you’re probably very familiar with, and it’s actually the weakest here, not because it doesn’t kick ass in the giant-robotic-dogs-and-shooting-zombie-dudes-with-what-looks-like-baked-chickens-on-their-heads sort of way, but just because it’s already been repackaged so many times and the least effort was obviously (and logically) expended advancing its graphics, mechanics, etc. to the 360. But Half-Life 2 Episodes 1 and 2 — basically Half-Life 3 — more than deliver the sweet-ass goods to satisfy your curiosity about what Half-Life should be like on the now-current-gen console. And Team Fortress 2’s cartoon graphics and extreme variety of classes and characters make getting your ass kicked by socially retarded 14-year-olds on Xbox Live way more enjoyable than most games.
Best is Portal, of course, the most bitchin’ theoretical-physics class ever, that takes addictive puzzle games into three dimensions and is sure to be a huge hit among everyone from FPS freaks to that rare casual-gaming weirdo who, for some reason, has a $350 video-game system at home.
The Wii is definitely where Table Tennis belongs. Despite a truly nuanced control scheme, the original Xbox 360 game seemed kind of, well, lame — like the boringest tennis game ever, with way dorkier-looking players. But Table Tennis is much improved by the Wii remote.
Though the game makes no attempt to mirror your motions exactly, only the timing and general direction of them (spin and velocity are determined more by pressing buttons than hand movement), the game is a pretty close approximation to playing actual Ping Pong with your friends (though probably with way less dorky-
A PITHY GUIDE TO RIDING THE WEB
Dvds4vets.org: A bit late notice for Veterans Day, we realize, but no less valuable are contributions to be made through DVDs4VETs, an organization that collects and then distributes donated DVDs to veterans who are unable to acquire entertainment for themselves. Vets can locate nearby distribution sites (there are 10 in SA) on the easily navigable site.