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Need For Speed Undercover - Widgets

Damn It These Are Dope

May 1, 2009
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Popular as budget-priced, point-and-shoot pocket video cameras have become, this high-definition update was inevitable. One-touch commands are now joined by the ability to film in 720p, store two to eight hours of video in standard/HD quality (stored on 8GB of internal memory) and output via HDMI cable to flat-panel televisions. Amateur Spielbergs can still dump to desktop via USB cable and view shorts on a built-in 2-inch monitor, making it a decent fit for everyday home, if not professional, use. / $299.99

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Normally, we wouldn't give a rat's ass about snap-on cosmetic attachments for your gaming gear. But the option to add custom or prefabricated images including skulls, spirals, Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 themes or shots of dogs pooping, to the G9 laser mouse ($99.99) is too good to resist. Screw the gizmo's high-precision scroll weight, adjustable weight and personalized LED light options. We just adore the idea of a palm rest stamped with Perez Hilton's beaming mug. / $19.99

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Pimp your favorite electronics (iPhone, Wii, laptop, bidet... OK, maybe not the last one) with these stick-on decals, which add imagery provided by leading tattoo artists and graphic designers or favorite bands. From psychedelic patterns to Japanese watercolor motifs and Linkin Park or Nine Inch Nails emblems, the accessories provide a simple way to put an individualized spin on any gadget. Easily removable, you'll also find the little buggers make great conversation pieces at any party or concert. / $15.99-$13.99

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Dragon V2
Take calls to go with a dope Bluetooth 2.0 headset that boasts solid eight-hour battery life, surprising range (around 325 feet; way more than the average rival) and compatibility with PCs, PDAs and mobile phones. Sitting comfortably in your ear, the gizmo does a decent job of filtering out background noise while chatting, and has the power to function walkie-talkie style for two-way communications when paired with another Dragon. Shame it won't help you tone out your chatty-Kathy coworkers' ramblings, though... / $99.00

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Nothing good on the radio? Try the Internet. A tabletop/nightstand-ready alarm clock and receiver that lets you tune in to 15,000+ online stations and podcasts, you can even tonelessly sing along with streaming jingles courtesy of integrated speakers. An LCD display aids with navigation, as do 40 presets, and FM tuner support is further built-in for enjoying traditional terrestrial stations. We don't know what's scarier though: Waking up to the typical hot water heater commercials, or a self-styled virtual shock jock. / $199.99

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Bionic Commando
One word: WTF? Take our advice and save yourself some aggravation-if you still pine for the '88 NES classic, pass on this unwanted 3D spin-off and stick with superb downloadable 2D remake Bionic Commando: Rearmed instead. Intriguing bag of tricks (body-juggling uppercuts, convincing freefall physics, support for swinging off twisted girders and shattered overpasses using a grappling hook arm) aside, it's a mostly misguided attempt. Infuriating level layouts, flighty controls and chintzy one-liners do not a welcome update make... / PC, PS3, Xbox 360

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Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection
The name says it all: Now enjoyable in 720p high-definition, over 40 16-bit classics plus several bonus eight-bit Master System and '80s arcade offerings grace yon value-priced anthology. Relive your truancy-prone high-school days by flexing your thumbs along with titles like Altered Beast, Sonic the Hedgehog, Columns and Ecco the Dolphin. Selections range from iconic (Space Harrier) to addictive (Shinobi III) and must-play (Streets of Rage), largely ensuring a good time. / PS3, Xbox 360

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House Of The Dead: Overkill
A fresh chapter in the popular zombie-squishing light gun series that adopts a tongue-in-cheek grindhouse, B-movie motif. Check the title if clearing fairgrounds and small towns of shambling corpses using shotgun or rifle intrigues, as its gore-soaked co-op action makes for cranium-splattering good times. As franchise vets will quickly note though, exploding limbs and heads in cadaver-infested Bayou City using the motion-sensing Wii remote makes for a pleasingly gruesome, if not altogether original or lengthy escape. Weekend rentals recommended. / Wii

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Need For Speed: Undercover
Switching off cruise control and making police chases paramount again, said cinematic outing-casting you as an undercover cop running races and flirting with the likes of a Christina Milian-provides unexpectedly high-octane thrills. Flooring it in your Bugatti, GT-R or Porsche across massive, open metropolitan environments delivers a convincing sensation of gut-wrenching movement, with the outing's assortment of bite-sized missions a boon for the attention span-deprived. Largely more of the same, it nonetheless steers the series back in a recommended direction. / PC, PS2, PS3, Xbox 360, Wii

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Shooting to thrill, the PS3's answer to Gears of War delivers the usual blend of claustrophobic alleyway engagements, hide-and-seek blast-a-thons around burnt out streets' bonfires and assault rifle-happy duels beneath smog-choked alien skies. But pure pyrotechnic flair elevates its grenade-lobbing and turret-fueled first-person mayhem above the pack, with stark lighting and eardrum-rattling sound effects complementing the game's harrowing, high-def audiovisual presentation. Making Swiss cheese of glowing-eyed enemies may be nothing new, but we're still suckers for a photorealistic head shot. / PS3



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