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Ready, get set, be average

December 27, 2007|Pete Metzger | Special to The Times

Like the Wu-Tang Clan said: "Cash rules everything around me." When it comes to video games that certainly is true. It's clear that many games are released just to earn their company a buck. While most of these games are certainly playable and some are even enjoyable, there is nothing amazing or groundbreaking in them.

Like MX vs. ATV Untamed, the new off-road racer.

Sure, this is a fine motocross racing game with good visuals and some nice flourishes, (like the ability to pull some practice laps while the game is loading), but like a C student happy to skate by, there is nothing that inspires "Wow!" like MotorStorm did earlier this year.

Initially there are more ways to race in MX than in MS, and the choices offer nice variety like Freestyle and Endurocross, but in the end, MX doesn't push the genre at all, it's merely happy to be just another racer. (Even the inevitable crashes in MX lack the ability to get the blood pumping, which should be impossible for a racing simulator.)

MX is not bad, but it's also not great. It's just getting by.

Grade: C (Class valedictorian this ain't.)

Details: All platforms; $29.99-$59.99; rated: Everyone (mild violence).

UT3 does one thing well

Unreal Tournament 3 is a game that exists solely for the amazing multiplayer battles gamers have come to expect from the franchise. Like most multiplayer games who tack on a single person campaign mode (most of the time as an afterthought), UT3's single player mode is a series of poorly connected multiplayer modes light on plot that are designed to get the player familiar with the different multiplayer matches contained in this multiplayer game.

Did we mention this is a multiplayer game? Good.

Solo sadness aside, the top-flight images, the expansive, well-designed maps and the silky smooth gameplay make this a great way to blow away strangers from all over the globe via your online connection. Capture the flag, death match, defend the base; you've played them all before, but probably not as well as they are done here.

Grade: Incomplete (UT3 only does one thing, but does it well).

Details: PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 platforms; $59.99; rated: Mature (blood and gore, intense violence, language).

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