Game reviews: 'Don King,' 'Rock Band' for Wii | EW.com

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Game reviews: 'Don King,' 'Rock Band' for Wii

The infamously loquacious fight promoter lends his name to 2K Sports' new boxing game. Plus: ''Rock Band'' for the Wii and ''Trauma Center: Under the Knife 2''

DON KING PRESENTS PRIZEFIGHTER
(2K Sports, Xbox 360, Teen)

Behold, the (not entirely) aweriffic combinationosity of Don King’s only-in-America boosterism and the pugistically inclined gamer. Not to besmirchify the boxing promoter’s good name, but it’s no trickeration to say that this diversionally conceived, er, diversion doesn’t inclinate to the heights of fistific pursuits. Okay, talking like that is enough to make a fella plum tuckered out, so I’m switching from the King’s English back to the Queen’s. No amount of personality — not even one as outlandishly outsized as King’s — is going to change the fact that Prizefighter is a thin, watered-down version of EA’s outstanding Fight Night Round 3: same Akon-flavored loading music, same training sessions to build stats, same awkwardly prurient ring girls. But what Prizefighter doesn’t have is FN3’s ergonomically elegant control scheme, which deftly lets you control your boxer using only the joysticks and triggers. Here, you’re back to button-mashing and remembering which combination of X, Y, and the shoulder buttons will yield an uppercut, which is no way to practice the sweet science, not any more. CMarc Bernardin

ROCK BAND
(MTV, Wii, Teen)

Though it’s seven months late, and lacks the online options, the Band remains (mostly) the same. You still use guitar-, drum-, and mic-shaped controllers to follow along with the bouncing on-screen notes, except now your instruments are Wii white, and come with a noticeably sturdier drum pedal. As in the previous iterations, the drums are still the most challenging of the instruments to ”play,” the guitars are still the most fun — and with the right song, the whole thing is more fun than a Van Halen reunion. That said, the loss of online isn’t a big problem, since RB is still best played with bandmates in the same room, while the inability to download new tunes is offset by five added tracks (including the Ramones’ ”Rockaway Beach” and The Police’s ”Roxanne”) and the July 15 release of Rock Band Track Pack Vol. 1, for which you get 20 songs from Weezer, Boston, Kiss, and other rock gods for less than they’d cost to download. A-Paul Semel

TRAUMA CENTER: UNDER THE KNIFE 2
(Atlus; Nintendo DS; Teen)

Forget McDreamy and the love-ridden bunch at Seattle Grace, Trauma Center is back on the DS. A true sequel to the addictive medical-puzzle-game original, Under the Knife 2 follows dashing Dr. Derek Stiles as he battles a new breed of the bio-terror-ific GUILT virus. Dr. Stiles and his faithful nurse Angie play out an even more socially relevant narrative, helping victims of guerilla militants in an African refugee camp. (Rounding out a slew of new characters is Dr. Adel Tulba, a laughably gender-nonspecific, Japanese-looking African.) For internists and general videogame ninnies, the game offer three difficulty levels, so if your patients keep flatlining, you can ease the pressure and not burst a blood vessel in your own eye trying to save them. While having players wield the stylus to perform surgeries and solve the occasional DNA puzzle, Under the Knife 2 doesn’t stray much from its predecessors. Still, not many games are as perfectly suited for the DS as the Trauma Center titles. A-Samantha Xu

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