There’s still time to make good on those New Year resolutions, and if yours was to get in shape, you’ll want to check out Nike + Kinect Training. Fine motor skills can get a workout from all the axe swinging and scything in Devil May Cry. Been looking for some romantic listening? Love Charlie from Charlie Wilson may just be the ticket for your next date night.
Nike + Kinect Training (Microsoft)
There are plenty of fitness titles on the market, but Nike + Kinect Training is for the more serious athlete. It combines the expertise of a professional trainer with a customizable program that requires quite a bit of willpower and stamina. You’ll need a decent amount of workout space since many of the moves require sideways leaps and jumps, and you’ll need your whole body to be visible so your movements can be picked up by the sensors. After calibrating the Kinect device, submitting stats, and undergoing an initial fitness assessment, you’re ready to begin. A major selling point of this game are the choices that are offered. With your Nike trainer, you set a fitness goal—get strong to build muscle and power, get toned for lean muscle and definition, or get lean by burning calories to induce weight loss. Then you get a custom, four-week workout that complements your goal with an impressive selection of exercises and fitness games to keep things exciting. The correct technique is emphasized and a rep or exercise does not count if it doesn’t fall into the acceptable range of movement. You get post-workout stats, an achievement piece, and a new assessment after four weeks, so the game is truly customized to meet your needs. If you don’t want a program, you also have the option to do quick workouts with warm-ups and cool-downs included. Nike + Kinect is a great workout and it’s perfect for an exercise enthusiast. Rating: E for everyone. Platform: Xbox 360.—Claire H., grade 10, Floral Park (NY) Memorial High School
Devil May Cry—Vergil’s Downfall (Ninja Theory/Capcom)
The “Devil May Cry” (DMC) series has been around for a while, and I’ve enjoyed playing it for quite some time. So I was definitely looking forward to this new installment of DMC featuring the main character, Dante, and the never-before-told story of his twin brother, Vergil. I was surprised at first that Ninja Theory retooled the game and gave Dante a bit of a makeover. But the heart and soul of the series remains intact, and honestly, making the gameplay a little easier has alleviated some frustrating moments. This game is all about combat, which intensifies as you progress. Dante has angel (left trigger) and demon (right trigger) weapons that allow players to constantly swap weapons, such as swords, handguns, shotguns, axes, and scythes. Battles are fast-paced and require timing and precision, so players’ abilities and skills are constantly challenged. New enemy types are introduced throughout the game, so players need to constantly reconsider their strategies. Dante can use his grappling hook to pull enemies toward him or push himself to them. Most of the game takes place in Limbo, which Dante must fight his way through without getting killed. There really isn’t much of a story here, but then again, this game is all about the fighting. Platform: PlayStation3, Xbox 360, Rated: Mature.—Will P., grade 11, Floral Park (NY) Memorial High School
Love, Charlie, Charlie Wilson (RCA Records)
Charlie Wilson is an experienced artist with a gift that allows him to continue to be a mover and shaker in today’s music world. His latest album, Love, Charlie, is a true testament to his career. This artfully arranged album contains beautiful love songs, all sung in a flirty but cunning style. This album is innovative and refreshing, while maintaining an old-school style that highlights the best that R&B has to offer. At the age of 60, Wilson’s voice is certainly not what it once was, but the depth of his vocals is unprecedented and his range remains strong. This well-rounded album won’t disappoint his fan base and might even lure some new ones into the fold. Tracks to check out are “If I Believe,” “I Think I’m in Love,” “Our Anniversary,” “Turn Off the Lights,” and “Show You.”—Uma N., grade 10, Floral Park (NY) Memorial High School
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