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'JUST CAUSE'



Published: Sat, October 21, 2006 @ 12:00 a.m.



'JUST CAUSE'

(Eidos) for Xbox 360, Xbox, PlayStation 2, PC.

Genre: Action/Adventure; Rating: M.

Grade: B

"Just Cause" is a heavy blend of James Bond and CIA-style military action that involves overthrows of hostile regimes. You play as Rico, a black-clad mercenary type who must help overthrow a drug cartel on a Caribbean island. If you can get over the U.S. government-sponsored overthrows of smaller regimes, then there's something here to enjoy.

Overall the game is very open-ended, allowing you to travel from one area of the island to the other however you see fit. This can be done by hijacking automobiles or, more stylishly, grappling onto helicopters or planes and parasailing to your next destination.

The game is great on the Xbox 360, since there are no loading times and the visuals are fantastic. Usually you sacrifice one or the other, but not here. "Just Cause" feels a lot like a 007 James Bond game with less tricky gadgets and more of the gunplay, driving/flying scenes and acrobatics you want out of an action/adventure game.

'FIFA 07'

(EA Sports) for Xbox, PlayStation 2, GameCube, Xbox 360, PSP, DS, PC.

Genre: Sports; Rating: E.

Grade: B

Sweet eureka for EA Sports -- it has delivered a new version of one of its sports titles that outdoes its predecessor and makes solid improvements, but yields almost nothing.

Much from "FIFA 06" is updated or changed to make '07 a more complete package. The strength is in the online modes, where updated stats, organization and menus are much better, and in the manager mode, giving you more hands-on abilities to keep your team at the top of the standings.

The most noticeable improvement is on the pitch, where games play out more realistically in terms of pacing.

For several years Konami's "Winning Eleven" soccer franchise has been the pace car for gaming fans. EA Sports, with "FIFA 06" and now "07," has taken huge leaps forward and easily challenges for soccer supremacy.

-- Reviews by Chris Campbell, Scripps Howard




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