Game Check

Tech

September 22, 2005|By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SYNDICATE

Incredible Hulk: Ultimate DestructionCodename: Panzers Phase 2Death Jr.Nintendogs

VU Games

[PlayStation2, Xbox, GameCube]

Hulk smashes things. In Ultimate Destruction, quite possibly the best comic-book adaptation to grace a video game, you spend all of your playtime as the green berserker, keeping Dr. Banner relegated to the cut scenes. While it's not the strongest story out there, the game play is frantic, addictive and very satisfying. Borrowing from the free-sprawling Grand Theft Auto series, the Hulk lays waste to almost everything he can put his chlorophyll-colored mitts on. The challenge ramps up as your smasher rumbles through the pretty explosions and destructible environments.

CODENAME: PANZERS PHASE 2

CDV Software

[PC]

This is one Real Time Strategy game that doesn't tread lightly in terms of strategy and combat, and it wraps everything up in a great-looking, armored package. Panzers eschews resource gathering and harvesting in favor of building troops and getting them out to the front --WWII Europe. You'll be in charge of an armored cavalry division and lead forces through a variety of missions in the single-player campaign. In multiplayer, it's all about the combat: You'll build a small fleet of rumbling destruction and face off for a fight to the death. Either way, you're sure to have a blast.

DEATH JR.

Konami

[Sony PSP]

It's always a telling sign when a highly touted title for a new system misses its launch date. That was the fate of Konami's Death Jr., and it still needs a bit more time to come out as the tasty treat everyone expected. The game is combat-intensive to the point of distraction and fatigue. And while you'll enjoy wielding your scythe, the fighting isn't varied enough to sustain the story's momentum. Chances are this title will go to an early grave.

NINTENDOGS

Nintendo

[Nintendo DS]

If any game positively oozes the "cute factor," it would have to be Nintendo's Nintendogs. It's rare nowadays for gaming veterans to be taken with a puppy simulator, which only speaks of the game's widespread appeal. You start the game as a prospective puppy owner and pick your furry pal to feed, bathe and train to adulthood, where you can compete in a variety of dog-show contests. You're bound to become a dog lover after you play with your pixilated pooch on Nintendo's dual screens.

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