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Hammerin' Hero Review

In a game like this, everything's a nail

Hammerin' Hero Screenshot

HIGH Crazy levels and tons of charm.

LOW The game's over before you know it.

WTF Get rid of romance problems... by whacking them with a mallet!!

Midnight Club: Los Angeles Review

Another Sunday Drive through Los Angeles

Midnight Club: Los Angeles Screenshot

HIGH Using one of the nonsensical (but fun) super-powers to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

LOW Losing a car in a pink slip race because of the A.I.'s insane ability to rubber band back into the race even when they're off the map.

WTF Why do these games even bother trying to tell a story?

The Horror Geek presents: Dante's Inferno lands a writer

News of Electronic Arts' God of War-esque Dante’s Inferno first broke last year because a bidding war for the film rights to the unannounced game broke out before the title had even been officially unveiled. Film companies were so excited about the IP that they fought for the right to spend money developing it. Universal eventually emerged victorious and now they’ve hired a scribe to pen the cinematic adaptation of the forthcoming game.

Variety reported on Tuesday that Dan Harris will be handling the writing duties on the project, which finds a character fighting his way through the depths of Hell. A quick trip over to IMDB will show you that Harris wrote X2 and Superman Returns and that he's directing I, Lucifer. Whether or not that bodes well for Dante's Inferno is a matter of personal opinion…

Hammerin' Hero Preview

Hammerin' Hero Screenshot

Developed by none other than Irem (makers of seminal shooter R-Type, personal fave Disaster Report, and others) this little guy and his hammer set out in an adorably irreverent and slightly absurd adventure.

Lego Batman Review

Why so serious?

Lego Batman

HIGH Getting to be The Joker is probably a dream most comic fans have—Lego Batman allows you to cross it off your list of life goals.

LOW Being stuck in an area for half an hour, unsure of how to progress because the game's awful platforming mechanics had me convinced that the jump I knew I needed to make (and failed at multiple times) wasn't the correct one—and it turns out it was.

WTF Killer Moth? The Mad Hatter? They really scraped the bottom of the barrel for some of these villains.

The Horror Geek Presents: Dante's Inferno Teaser Trailer

Awhile back I posted some stories about a Hollywood bidding war that broke out for the movie rights to an unannounced videogame from Electronic Arts based on Dante’s The Divine Comedy. Well, at the SpikeTV Videogame Awards show the other night, EA finally confirmed that the game is indeed coming (it’ll be titled Dante’s Inferno) and they unveiled a teaser promo for the game as well.

There’s not much gameplay on display in the trailer (or really any for that matter…) but it’s still nice to see the game officially confirmed. No release date has been set yet, but it appears that the game is tentatively scheduled for release in 2009.

School for the deaf uses PSPs in the classroom

At the Longwill School for the Deaf in Birmingham, England, students study in both British Sign Language (BSL) and English. According to a Futurelab article, they communicate in these two very different languages with the help of PlayStation Portables.

Last year, the school borrowed some units from the Birmingham East City Learning Centre; the deputy head thought that, among other things, the PSP would be good for teaching sign language to the students' hearing siblings. For instance, an instructor could make sign language videos for the kids to play on their systems, and the kids could practice by signing into their PSPs' integrated video cameras. The PSP has also become a portable notebook for the school's pupils. BSL and English have completely different grammars and sentence structures, and written English is still focused on how words sound. (For a more in-depth analysis of the problems deaf people can have with written English, see What Really Matters in the Early Literacy Development of Deaf Children).

What does the Sony PSP have to do with English literacy? Teachers giving writing assignments can ask students to do a draft of their work by making a video in sign with their PSPs' cameras; then, when they bring their PSPs back to school, they can work on English translation with the teacher's help. As Longwill's deputy head Allison Carter says, "[English writing is] becoming much more manageable for the children and you’re getting a much higher quality of work because they can reflect in their first language." To see more about how Longwill is using technology in the classroom, including images of PSPs in action, see Nathan Monk's Design Diary.

In related (if old) news, you can turn your PSP into a portable Teletype (TTY) device.

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