Scene It? The DVD Game – Harry Potter Edition
Holiday Gift Guide: Scene It? The DVD Game – Harry Potter Edition
THE BACKSTORY The format recalls last year’s James Bond edition, but this time the questions are about everyone’s favorite wizard. Race around the game board answering questions about all four Potter movies (including the new Goblet of Fire, pictured) via film clips, sound bites, or boring ol’ cards.
GIVE IT TO… Both diehard Harry Potter fans, who’ll have fun blasting through the questions, and newbies, who’ll feel challenged (anyone remember Mr. Ollivander?)
FINAL SCORE Though the designers created a clever DVD interface for the game, they forgot to include music from John Williams’ Oscar-nominated soundtracks. No matter: Fun touches — like metal game pieces including Hedwig, the Hogwarts Express, and the Sorting Hat — make up for it. A
50 Cent: Bulletproof
(PS2 and Xbox; Vivendi Universal Games; $49.99)
Holiday Gift Guide: 50 Cent: Bulletproof
THE BACKSTORY In this first-person shooter game, you control rapper 50 Cent (a.k.a. Curtis Jackson) as he travels through the streets of New York City’s gritty drug underworld. Already sounds more exciting than his disappointing movie Get Rich or Die Tryin’.
GIVE IT TO… Adults only! Features like the bloody-great ”bullet time,” which follows the trajectory of a round as it blows apart the enemy’s head, helped secure the game’s ”M for Mature” rating (meaning it should be played by gamers over 17).
FINAL SCORE ”Bulletproof” is an absolute riot, at least partly because of the G-Unit crew — Tony Yayo, Lloyd Banks, and Young Buck — hanging around to help Fiddy against his foes (sample threat: “Yo, son, for real, don’t be pointing that s— at me. Serious”). Added bonus: If you get bored playing the game, you can access exclusive tracks or watch the rapper’s videos. B+
Memoirs of a Geisha Beauty Collection
Holiday Gift Guide: Memoirs of a Geisha Beauty Collection
THE BACKSTORY The film adaptation of novelist Arthur Golden’s sensuous Memoirs, about a girl who rises from poverty to become a glamorous geisha, inspired this line of cosmetics.
GIVE IT TO… Your mom, or any woman who likes to be pampered. She’ll enjoy the face masks, soap sets, shimmer powder, and more.
LOWDOWN Fresh is known for its innovative scents and ingredients, and this special line lives up to that reputation. The Bath With Sake has a light apricot scent, while the Eau de Parfum blends hints of peach, white sandalwood, and rose. A
(PS2 and Xbox; Majesco Sales Inc.; $49.88)
Holiday Gift Guide: Aeon Flux
THE BACKSTORY Tied to the action flick starring Oscar winner Charlize Theron, this videogame follows Aeon, a top operative in the underground rebellion in Bregna, the last city on Earth. Bonus points: Theron does Aeon’s voice work here, and a ticket to the movie (out Dec. 2) is included with the game.
GIVE IT TO… Fans of the cult-y source material, the animated shorts from MTV’s futuristic Liquid Television series. The goth in your family might also appreciate the bleak themes and black outfits.
FINAL SCORE Everything Aeon could do in the series, she can do in the game — run up walls, jump endless distances, and flip over large objects. The soundtrack’s pulsing techno beat adds to the compulsive quality of the game; stopping just isn’t an option. Those who’ve forgotten what the original series looked like are in luck: Bits of it are included in the intro sequence. A-
The Chronicles of Narnia toys
(Hasbro, various prices)
Holiday Gift Guide: The Chronicles of Narnia toys
THE BACKSTORY With the long-awaited film adaptation of C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe comes a slew of toys and collectibles.
GIVE THEM TO… Kids, of course. The plastic action figures (pictured) and the stuffed unicorn may inspire fantasy reenactments. (If you’re shopping for serious collectors, check out NECA’s limited-edition cold-cast resin mini-statues, or Weta Collectibles’ large statues).
FINAL SCORE Though the products spun off from Narnia aren’t particularly creative, there are a lot of them. In addition to the figures, Hasbro also made a Narnia-themed version of Stratego. B
Shout About TV
Holiday Gift Guide: Shout About TV
THE BACKSTORY Split up into two teams, pour some drinks, and scream out answers to questions about TV shows (including The Brady Bunch, pictured). The team with the most points at the end of the game wins — that is, if everybody hasn’t lost their voices by then.
GIVE IT TO… Anyone who got a kick out of its predecessor, last year’s Shout About Movies. (Also available now: Shout About Music and Shout About Country Music.)
FINAL SCORE It’s harder and more frustrating than Shout About Movies (just try remembering a TV actor’s name under pressure!), but also hysterically fun. Unfortunately, there are only three games per disc, so the merriment doesn’t last quite as long as you might like. B