Weekly Multiplayer Releases: Week of December 11, 2007

Another week of mostly ignorable titles as we draw ever closer to Christmas. The PS3 offers a trio of interesting FPS games and casual-friendly sports titles continue to dominate the Wii’s software library.

unreal tournament 3 ps3Pick of the Week: Unreal Tournament 3
Epic’s latest installment in their long-running, deathmatch-focused FPS series hits the PS3 this week. Besides being one of the few FPS titles available for Sony’s console, Unreal Tournament 3 is also the only one of them which supports bots. Good news for those of you that prefer your multiplayer action in the absence of other people. The same breakneck speed, larger-than-life weaponry, and varied gameplay modes that have endeared the franchise to PC gamers are still intact in this console port. And best of all, the PS3 version will also support fan-made mods. Basically, if you’re still reading this, own a PS3, and haven’t started fragging other players online yet, you clearly have a pretty twisted sense of priorities. Get playing!

the orange box ps3Runner-Up: The Orange Box
Everybody already knows The Orange Box is great, terrible box art aside, because we’ve all played it for the PC and 360. If you still haven’t spent some quality time with the single greatest gaming compilation in history – which includes Half Life 2, Episode 1, Episode 2, Team Fortress 2, and Portal – you literally have no excuse now that it’s on the PS3. And about those reported framerate hiccups that rendered the game “unplayable?” 1up assures us they’ve been corrected in the final code. Don’t worry, diehard detractors, we’re sure Gabe Newell still hates the console.

Hit the jump for the rest of the week’s multiplayer offerings.

Also available this week:

blacksite area 51 ps3BlackSite: Area 51
This Unreal 3 Engine-powered FPS based on the classic arcade game is arriving for the PS3 just shy of a month after its release for the PC and 360. Sadly, this is not a game that lived up to its potential. In fact, Harvey Smith, a game designer that worked on the title, described it as being “f***ed up” during a postmortem in Montreal. Looks like losing online co-op was the least of this game’s problems.

halo 3 dlc heroic map packHalo 3: Heroic Map Pack
Consider this the second runner-up for the week, if we had such a category. The first of what will undoubtedly be many Halo 3 map packs offers up three new maps: Standoff, which takes place in a symmetrical valley; Rat’s Next, described as “an indoor vehicle paradise;” and Foundry, a blank slate that’s perfect for whatever you can dream up in Forge. The three maps will set you back $10, but will ultimately become free next Spring, as we previously reported.

ncaa march madness 08NCAA March Madness 08
The yearly installment of EA’s popular college basketball sim ships this week for the 360, PS3, and PS2. If you’re in to paying full price for yearly incremental updates and roster changes, and are a fan of college basketball, you already know this is the game for you. If not, LOL SPRTS GAMES R 4 NUBS JUSGO OUTSDE N PLAY REEL BBALL ROFL EA IS EVIL!!!!113, etc.

super swing golf season 2Super Swing Golf Season 2
Tecmo’s cartoony golf sequel promises to improve upon the shortcomings of the original. Unfortunately, like most games on the Wii, its multiplayer modes are skewed more towards those found in party games and minigame collections. Those looking for a meatier fantasy-themed golf game would be better served checking out a Hot Shots Golf title. As for you Wii owners, looks like Wii Sports continues to offer the defining multiplayer golf experience on the console.

winter sports ultimate challengeWinter Sports: The Ultimate Challenge
It’s sad to see so many Wii developers, when faced with the unique potential of the platform, opting to create cheap me-too minigame collections rather than attempting something more interesting. Think of Winter Sports as a more realistic, winter-themed version of Wii Sports. Yes, it offers exactly what you’d expect, including bobsled racing and ski jumping, just don’t expect it to hold your attention for more than weekend.

Barry Sells Out His Constituency With Car Auction

The Washington Post February 14, 1993 | COURTLAND MILLOY Inside the Anacostia Chrysler-Plymouth dealership in 1991, Marion Barry’s friends gathered to buy him a car. Children had gone into their piggy banks and elderly women had tapped their shoe box savings, all to purchase the recently convicted former mayor a New Yorker Fifth Avenue.

Yesterday, Barry auctioned off the car. What had been given in the spirit of love and concern he had sold for profit. And because he got $14,200 for a used car worth no more than $11,500, he was hailed by aides as having made a brilliant business decision. go to website capital auto auction

Barry has not made many public decisions since his election to the D.C. Council last year. But what he did with that car indicated dull and foggy thought.

The scene at the Capital Auto Auction was like watching a Valentine being hocked at a pawnshop. A profound lack of gratitude was exceeded only by a crass display of greed: Barry’s aides said he would use the proceeds to buy himself an even more luxurious car.

“He had it for two years and has the right to do whatever he thinks best,” said H.R. Crawford, the former D.C. Council member who helped buy the car for Barry.

But wouldn’t it have been better for Barry to pass on the gift?

He could have used the car to help somebody else. As the representative of Ward 8, the poorest ward in Washington, Barry knows hundreds of people who need a car. Many of them are men who can’t get work because they have no transportation to jobs in outlying areas.

There are also thousands of high school graduates in his ward, shining examples of academic achievement under adverse conditions. For many of them, a car could help them commute to an affordable college.

If Barry wanted another car, he should have bought one with the $70,000-a-year salary that came with his election to the D.C. Council. The used car could have been given away as freely as it had been received.

Barry had received that car because his friends wanted to help him. He was struggling, and in disgrace. He was broke and unemployed. After 12 years as mayor, nobody would give him a real job. So his friends chipped in and gave him a car. Within weeks of being back on his feet, he seems to have forgotten where he came from.

It is unfortunate that many residents see Barry as a victim of a white racist system, but ignore the fact that thousands of other black people were victimized by his systematic neglect as mayor.

Barry, though, cannot afford such self-delusion. In his soul, he must realize that he did more than disappoint people. He hurt them, badly. In his second coming as a politician, he could have symbolized a readiness to heal some of those wounds by at least giving back the car.

Instead he behaved like just another con.

His scheme to unload the vehicle included a news release in which he said that the first 50 bidders would receive “I Bid on Marion Barry’s Car” T-shirts. “Sure to become a collector’s item,” the auctioneer promised.

Barry was actually reveling in his notoriety. He was even scheduled to auction off the car himself, but the stunt was canceled at the last minute. Supposedly, he had to attend a budget hearing yesterday.

But had he showed up at the auction, he would have faced questions about a grand jury probe into the alleged theft of his car.

On Jan. 4, Barry’s first day on the job, the car was reported stolen from in front of the District Building.

What makes a routine auto theft grist for questions has something to do with Barry’s response. He has alternately said he does not know, or did not think he knew the person who was arrested and charged with unauthorized use of the vehicle. this web site capital auto auction

“I’m not driving it,” Barry said of the car after it was returned. He said it was tainted. “There could be anything in there, knowing that there are people out there who want to do some harm to me politically or otherwise.” Of course, that did not stop the auctioneer from billing it as “clean, very clean. You’d think this car had only been driven to church.” This was untrue, but effective.

Within minutes, the car was sold to an Asian woman who did not even know who Barry was. Although she barely spoke English, she had obviously become overly excited by the hype.

Ordinarily, customers get bargains at auto auctions. Had the woman who bought Barry’s car gone to an ordinary used car lot, she could have bought the same car for about $1,000 cheaper.

Barry had done it again. He had turned a gift into a curse. Getting rid of his “haunted” car had been easy. Now all he had to do was get rid of the demons that made it so hard for him to do right.