Did you hear? Dante’s Inferno is getting a book, too. Wait…

With EA’s Dante’s Inferno coming out, Random House has teamed up with the publisher to release a book to help capitalize on it’s impending release. On one hand, I like the fact that the Divine Comedy is getting quite a bit of attention.

On the other, the book cover below is a little too edgy? I wonder how gamers will react when they realize that the book is the actual Longfellow translation of the Divine Comedy instead of a novelization of the game? Even though it says so on the cover, I still think there might be a few surprised souls out there that mistake it for an action packed yarn instead.

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Choice of the Dragon

Choices in games open up avenues of possibilities for players, but how about a game that is made up of only choices? Choice of Games have put together their first online-title, Choice of a Dragon, that plays out like an old-school “Choose Your Own Adventure” or one of TSR’s “Endless Quest” books. It’s all played from the web, so no messy installations are needed here. It’s also a lot of fun if you don’t mind a game played by reading.

The game also keeps track of the consequences of your choices with some nice stats that govern how you, as the dragon, develop over time. Are you a brutal dragon that charbroils foolish knights at a whim, or one that prefers to plot from within the shadows? It’s completely up to you and depending on your strengths, certain decisions may or may not pan out as well as others.

Check it out here!

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BOOOOOOM-SHAKA-LAKA!

EA has revived a classic from the nineties for the Wii with the announcement that NBA Jam is coming out for it. Yes, THAT NBA Jam, the same one which came out in the arcades and consoles in ’93. The arcade version was known for its four way co-op and pit two-on-two teams against each other with helicopter slam dunks, face planting fouls, and catching the players’ basketball on fire if they were…on fire.

It even featured real NBA players, their mugs digitized and animated onscreen, and now that’s coming to the Wii in some kind of form. The official website is up with polls asking who players want to see in the game, but I’ll have to admit to being a little disappointed in not seeing anything for Mutant League Football. Maybe next time? For now, if you need a refresher course on what it might look like, you can catch footage of the original arcade version below.

Maybe you can hire…the A-Team

The first trailer for the upcoming film (June 11th) is out in the wild and it’s filled with plenty of crazy action. Former UFC fighter, Quinton Jackson, has stepped up to the plate with a mohawk as Mr. T’s B.A. Baracus and he actually does look the part. But that’s just another excuse for how possibly awesome this film could be. Liam Neeson as Hannibal? Sold.

Meet the maker of “Earthworm Jim”

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Doug TenNapel is the brain behind a lot of creative works, but he’s best recognized in the gaming space as the mind behind Earthworm Jim, a quirky character who was immortalized in a cartoon series, toys and most prominently an outstanding 1994 game from Shiny Entertainment that was available on the 16-bit Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo.

TenNapel is coming to the Inland Empire in Thursday at noon for a lecture at The Art Institute of California – Inland Empire in room 161 / 162. If you want to find out a little more about him, here’s his Web site.

Review: The Saboteur

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Ugh, yet another World War II game. That was the sentiment a lot of people had when The Saboteur first made its way into our gaming consciousness.

“That’s what we thought when we first sat down to talk about it,” said Tom French, the game’s lead developer. “Do we REALLY want another World War II game?”

It’s not that killin’ Nazis got old — it’s that we kept essentially killing them the same way. Storm the beaches. Blow up a bunker. Disable enemy armor. Pause for dramatic music that makes you think of Saving Private Ryan. All in first-person.

Even the attempts to infuse WWII with traces of the occult or scientific fantasy (like Wolfenstein) generally boiled down to picking up weapons and shooting a lot of Nazis (some demonic, some not) through the eyes of the hero. Like any good soldier, you were asked to steadily march forward, engage the enemy and persevere.

Enter The Saboteur, a sandbox of historical fantasy that functions as the fun and slightly cantankerous antithesis of any other WWII game I’ve run into. Featuring pieces of some Assassin’s Creed and the wildly diverse nature of the GTA games, we finally got a different way to tell a war story.

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