(Since I have to play a fuckton of games on a daily basis and the Mercury has a limited amount of review space, a lot of games fall through the cracks. Consider this my (hopefully weekly) attempt at covering as many of these titles as possible. I'll mostly be choosing stuff that I've been enjoying recently, but if there is anything you want me to specifically review, let me know and I'll try to make it happen.)


Guitar Hero World Tour -- $60 -- Xbox 360, PlayStation 3

Looks like we finally have a winner in the showdown between the two juggernauts of fake rocking: Rock Band. World Tour tries to emulate everything people love about Rock Band, but fails so terribly that I almost feel sorry for it. The guitar portion works as well as it did in past Guitar Hero games -- since it was obviously just ported over to the new title -- but the drumming and vocal sections have terrible timing and the note charts slapped onto the game's tunes simply suck. Combine that with a music selection that caters far too directly to angsty 14-year-old boys, and you get a game that actively angers me just thinking about it.

Verdict: Avoid. Play Rock Band 2 instead.


Fallout 3 -- $60 -- PC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3

Fallout 3 is not as good as the first two Fallout games.

That said, its bizarre combination of developer Bethesda's Oblivion with the series' trademark post-apocalyptic nihilism makes for a pretty rad title. Easily one of the best roleplaying games of this console generation.

Verdict: Buy


Portal: Still Alive -- $15 -- Xbox Live Arcade

Cynical cash-in. Valve simply ported Portal from last year's Orange Box and added 14 new maps that can be had for free if you own the PC release of Portal. As much as I adore Portal, I enjoyed the game for its clever storytelling, not the (admittedly ingenious) puzzles. If you're enamored with opening portals to solve problems or you missed the original release, then you might wanna spend the $15 to download Still Alive, but you won't get much in the way of new content.

Verdict: Only buy if you've never played Portal before.