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 |   |  Killzone, G1, and Vaio - Plug and Play May 2009
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Killzone, G1, and Vaio - Plug and Play May 2009

The Latest Hype, The Best Gear

Scott Steinberg
May 1, 2009
Sstp_0905_02_z+plugged+prince_of_persia Photo 1/12   |   Killzone, G1, and Vaio - Plug and Play May 2009

Prince Of Persia
For: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
From: UbiSoft,
Twenty years after its original 1989 debut, the legendary Arabian action-adventure - now sporting hand-drawn visuals, a fresh Prince (not Will Smith) and new magically-empowered, foxy co-star Elika - proves engaging as ever. Soar between pillars, cling to cliffs via magic gauntlet and slice scissor-handed, inky-black beasties... pretty much business as usual.

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Tomb Raider: Underworld
For: PC, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii
From: Eidos,
Rating: 1/2
Buxom British archaeologist Lara Croft leaps and twirls more fluidly through ancient temples and undersea caverns, using unarmed strikes and makeshift weapons to clobber foes. Atmospheric sets straight out of an Indiana Jones fantasy aside though, more open-ended level design still falls prey to confusing stage layouts and frustrating platform-hopping.

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Mortal Kombat vs.DC Universe
For: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
From: Midway,
Rating: 1/2
Sub-Zero vs. Catwoman? Not what we call the ultimate battle royale. Still, like catchy pacing and a solid combat system, mid-air slugfests and destructible environments help redeem this comic book crossover's cheesy, toned-down violence. More worrisome: With playable brawlers including Shazam and Wonder Woman, can MK vs. Road Rules really be far off?

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iPod Nano
(4th Generation)
From: Apple, $149.99 (8GB)
Offering more storage for less; a taller/slimmer design; and array of chromatic colors (purple, pink, yellow, green) pulled straight from a pimp's wardrobe, our favorite budget-minded portable audio/video player keeps getting better. Between automatic music recommendation features and motion sensors letting you shake to shuffle songs or play games, we're iEcstatic.

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From: T-Mobile,
$179 (with two-year contract)
Rating: 1/2
Clunky aesthetic aside, you've gotta love this touchscreen-enabled smartphone's 3G (a.k.a. blazing) Internet speeds; QWERTY keyboard; instant Gmail, YouTube and Google Maps access; and Amazon MP3 support for downloading DRM-free songs. Plays audio/video, includes a 3MP camera and (sweet!) lets you download programs on-demand via online outlet the "Android Market."

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Mirror's Edge
For: PC, Xbox 360
From: Electronic Arts,
Enjoy the pleasures of parkour (read: running up walls, vaulting off everyday objects and otherwise turning cityscapes into urban playgrounds) from a new perspective - through futuristic runner Faith's peepers. Jarring camera shifts and controls notwithstanding, breathes new life into futuristic 3D acrobatics and combat. Just BYOB: Barf bag, that is.

Sstp_0905_15_z+plugged+vaio Photo 7/12   |   Killzone, G1, and Vaio - Plug and Play May 2009

Vaio P Series Lifestyle PC
From: Sony,
Rating: 1/2
Floss like a 21st century pimp with this ultra-portable PC, weighing just 1.4lbs, but rocking an 8-inch widescreen display, full keyboard and built-in WiFi, GPS and 3G (wireless broadband) connectivity. Available in several striking colors, it lets geeked-out Don Juans surf for pr0n or find local escort services virtually anywhere on-command.

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Resident Evil 5
For: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
From: Capcom
Like an unfolding train wreck, it's impossible to turn away from the graphic bloodshed here as O.G. series hero Chris Redfield and female co-star Sheva explore scenic Africa. Even more shocking than homicidal mutant villager and chainsaw-waving maniac locals though, trip highlights actually include online co-op play and blinding transitions from shadow to daylight.

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The House Of The Dead: Overkill
For: Wii
From: Sega,
Rating: 1/2
Bullets and zombies: Two great tastes that go well together in said send-up of B-movie horror clichs, an original tale inspired by the arcade shooting gallery staple. Wander fairgrounds and vacant dwellings, punching holes in walking corpses alongside a friend using the motion-sensitive remote. Just beware, as long-term value's frighteningly questionable.

Sstp_0905_22_z+plugged+mirge Photo 10/12   |   Killzone, G1, and Vaio - Plug and Play May 2009

From: Sirius,
Feel there's nothing good on the radio anymore? Get ready to bitch twice over: Behold the first satellite tuner capable of receiving both Sirius/XM broadcasts, and recording 60 minutes of live programming. Jokes aside, we dig hours of uncensored commentary and random playlists. The $19.99/month subscription fee? Meh, not so much...

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Killzone 2
For: PlayStation
From: Sony,
Blam blam, damn! Rat-tat-tat bullet-spitting excitement aside, this sci-fi blaster comes correct less for innovation than sheer intensity and jaw-dropping impact. While featured run-n-gun scenarios are nothing new though, 32-man multiplayer engagements and battles under smog-choked alien skies ensure it'll hit the bulls-eye with any heavy artillery loving PS3 owner regardless.

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Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon
For: Nintendo DS
From: Nintendo,
Turn-based medieval strategy might not be everyone's cup of grog, but deep as the current contender - a revamp of a Japan-only NES classic - proves, at least closet fantasy generals can drink their fill. Introducing touch-screen controls and head-to-head Internet play, look beyond the title's methodical pacing and you'll discover hours of epic adventure.

By Scott Steinberg
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