Week in Arcade: Orcs Must Die, NBA Jam, Sega Bass Fishing, Space Channel 5

A foursome of digital efforts this week, two Dreamcast hold-overs, the others fresh faces (well, sort of). It’s a $40 week if you’re interested.

NBA Jam: On Fire Edition

No demo, no sale, at least that’s the case right now. If EA wises up or Microsoft fixes their glitch (could be either side at fault), we’ll update impressions.

Orcs Must Die

Fantastic action/tower defense affair where the player is tasked with defending hallways or castle corridors with an utter moron apprentice against the orc horde. Weapons become increasingly sadistic, and blood is not something for the squeamish. Humor is always high, and the core weapons (ranged and melee) can clean up the rest. That said, melee weapons are not meant for the triggers, a clumsy means of issuing orc-ish death. Still, there’s a lot of life in this original spin on a tiring genre, a wonderfully fresh and humorous concept.

Sega Bass Fishing

Well, you can buy this for $10, or pick up the Dreamcast Collection for only $5 and get two more games. Tough call, right? Kooky business decisions aside, Bass Fishing is a pleasing game of arcade fishing, hooking bass satisfying and a fun challenge in later levels. No, it’s not the same without the fishing controller, but the standard 360 pad is an okay substitute. There’s not a lot to do (the sequel, Marine Fishing, would solve that problem), but mechanically it’s a dream.

Space Channel 5: Part 2

Another release pulled from the Dreamcast Collection, which remains the better bargain. This oddball dance/action/memorization sort of defines the Dreamcast experience, incredibly weird and bizarre, yet brazenly original. Space reporter Ulala dances to defeat an alien invasion that is taking over humanity by forcing them to dance. Match the moveset or become one of them, or the civilians are forced to boogie either way. Enhanced 16×9 support for in-game visuals (Fishing too) brings it up to date enough without ruining the original charm.

Criminal Charges Tosses in NY Gay Marriage

AP Online July 12, 2005 | MICHAEL HILL, Associated Press Writer MICHAEL HILL, Associated Press Writer AP Online 07-12-2005 Dateline: ALBANY, N.Y.

A prosecutor dropped all charges Tuesday against a small town mayor who could have faced up to a year in jail for marrying gay couples on the steps of the village hall.

New Paltz Mayor Jason West, then 26, was among the first public officials in the nation to marry same-sex couples, following San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom in February 2004.

He had been charged with 24 misdemeanor counts of violating the state’s domestic relations law after marrying about two dozen gay couples in ceremonies that drew national attention to the village of about 13,000 residents 75 miles north of New York City. go to web site ny gay marriage

Ulster County District Attorney Donald Williams said Tuesday he dropped the charges because he believed a trial would be unnecessary and divisive.

West called the decision a “complete vindication” and said the district attorney had been “wasting taxpayer money for 18 months.”

Gay weddings swept the country starting in San Francisco in early 2004, when Newsom flung open the city’s wedding registry to gay couples. While officials in other locations were ordered to stop issuing marriage licenses to gay couples, Massachusetts’ highest court ruled that same-sex couples were able to tie the knot in that state.

West has maintained he was upholding the gay couples’ constitutional rights to equal protection _ and thus his oath of office _ by allowing them to wed. go to web site ny gay marriage

Top state officials, including Gov. George Pataki and Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, have said same-sex ceremonies violate state law. A number of cases filed on behalf of gay couples testing that interpretation of state law are winding their way through courts.

Williams had earlier dropped similar criminal charges against two Unitarian ministers who wed gay couples in New Paltz after West was sidelined by a civil suit.

MICHAEL HILL, Associated Press Writer