Eat Lead:The Return Of Matt Hazard
Joke's on you: although bursting with ironic self-awareness, this half-baked send-up of software industry clichs won't leave anyone laughing but its creators' accountants. More running gag than game, the hackneyed 3D shooter--whose ultra-formulaic and -repetitive gunplay pits a faux old-school video game star against zombies, Russians and sci-fi troopers--proves a weak knee-slapper at best. Genuinely goofy shticks (e.g. an effeminate, huge, sword-waving warrior that only speaks in text bubbles) notwithstanding, asking $50 for the title is its funniest blooper yet.
www.d3publisher.us / PS3, Xbox 360
Motorola W233 Renew
Nowadays, with even us non-hemp-sandal-wearing types having to worry over carbon footprints, it's nice to see electronics manufacturers making it easy to go green. Case in point: this biodegradable cell phone, housed in plastic casing made from recycled water bottles and capable of playing all friendly-like with Mother Nature once returned to the landfill. Offering nine hours' talk time, noise reduction and speaker boost features alongside text-messaging functionality and an integrated music player, we'll take it over Dead tickets any day.
www.motorola.com / $9.99 w/ 2-year contract
Once upon a time, DJs were stuck lugging cumbersome crates of vinyl between gigs. Now, you can just wick-wick-wicka-wild out with a portable music player-cum-mixing system that effortlessly transports from basement to club in a snap. Simplified for use by even the most tone-deaf idiot, the gizmo's multi-touch interface and color display combine with crossfader support to put a recording studio's worth of tricks right in your hand. As for actual party-starting talent, well... that's sold separately.
www.tonium.com / $500
Legends Of Wrestlemania
Revisit the simple pleasures of your adolescent years as all-time favorites from Andre the Giant to King Kong Bundy twist each other's appendages into abstract shapes. A testosterone-drenched presentation and killer combos really put the hurt on, capturing the spirit of the '80s/'90s as stars like Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake and the Iron Shiek rip adversaries a new orifice. From customizable grapplers to historical match recreations and online multiplayer mayhem, it'll have you shrieking a Ric Flair-style war whoop in delight.
www.thq.com / PS3, Xbox 360
As home theater buffs can attest, Blu-ray discs still offer optimum HD movie-watching quality--if you can afford to watch the expensive little punters, that is. Enter one of the cheapest players yet, which puts 1080p viewing and BD Live (online bonus content) within reach of even cash-strapped commoners. While it won't make $20-30 film prices (or $90 boxed sets) any easier to swallow, at least DVD-R/RW, CD-R/RW and MP3 disc compatibility means Internet users can always, ahem, find ways to save.
www.vizio.com / $199.99
Amazon Kindle 2
All about getting brain? Step up your mentals with a new, improved spin on the world's best eBook reader, which suddenly weighs in at a piddling 10.2 ounces and measures just 0.36 inches thick. Not only does an enhanced 16-color grayscale display better emulate the actual ink and paper experience, but it's also able to vocalize text, or read volumes out loud for your enjoyment. Download thousands of bestsellers or classics anytime, anywhere--Stephen King and Charles Dickens FTW!
www.amazon.com / $359.99
The Godfather Ii
Another open-ended underworld adventure that bites Grand Theft Auto's style, albeit one with a compelling strategic metagame attached? Ay, fuhgeddaboutit! Still, predictable turns aside, you can't fault the sheer scope and ambition of said criminal epic, which sees you build a crew, establish rackets and enjoy a brutal mixture of gunplay and hand-to-hand combat. Elegantly capturing the Mafioso flavor of the films that inspired it, there's plenty for players to juggle here, but that's the cost to be the boss.
www.ea.com / PC, PS3, Xbox 360
Guitar Hero: Metallica
Much as we're beginning to tire of these interactive tributes (what's next, Guitar Hero: Stryper?), fans just can't get enough. Beyond Lars Ulrich--a major selling point for digital music lovers, natch--bonuses here include appearances by all band members; tracks from "Enter Sandman" to "Master of Puppets;" factoids and videos; and support for downloadable tunes from Death Magnetic. Featuring cameos by Motorhead and Alice and Chains, closet Stans can get their thrash on via drum, microphone, guitar or bass as always.
www.2ksports.com / PS2, PS3, Xbox 360, WII