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‘Hot Pursuit’ gets the motor running

“Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit”

Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii, PC

Genre: Racing

Publisher: EA Games

ESRB Rating: E, for Everyone

Grade: 4 stars (out of 5)

Yes, you could be a Grade a moron and hurtle down the interstate in your car at 130 mph, outrunning cops and crashing into hillsides. or, you could just pick up a controller and do virtually the same thing in “Hot Pursuit,” the latest “Need for Speed” release.

Typically in “Need for Speed” games, players try to outrun the law through various illegal street races. in “Hot Pursuit,” gamers also can choose to play as an officer in the Seacrest County Police Department and select from the same load of fast cars that the racers get.

No matter which side of the law played, the races have an exhilarating feel that surpasses what was experienced in previous “Need for Speed” games. Chalk that up to the creators, who are also responsible for the “Burnout” series of racing games. Those familiar with that franchise will be right at home here.

Offline or online players can compete in various race types, and each side is equipped with numerous gadgets. Spike strips, electromagnetic-pulse weapons (EMPs), helicopter assistance and others give tactical elements to the races beyond the customary short cuts and turbo boosts.

Whether players drive a decked-out Lamborghini to escape capture or fly down the highway in a similarly souped-up ride as the law, “Hot Pursuit”certainly will keep their blood pumping with excitement.

And now, reviews of two games by Microsoft Corp.’s new motion-sensored hardware, Kinect.

adv Hot Pursuit gets the motor running

Kinectimals”

Platform: Xbox 360

Genre: Simulation

Publisher: Microsoft

ESRB Rating: E, for Everyone

Grade: 3 stars

Let’s just say my dog Oliver wants nothing to do with “Kinectimals.” If you have pets and play this game, you’ll soon feel neglectful because you’ll spend so much time catering to your simulated jungle cat’s every need.

In “Kinectimals,” you choose from a collection of jungle-cat cubs and essentially care for the animal like you would a real pet. using the Kinect, you can groom it, pet it, teach it tricks and play games with it. The games all work well, but you’ll notice after a while that the activities mostly consist of throwing items while the cub watches or fetches.

The graphics are solid and the Kinect interactivity works fine. as long as you realize going in that this game is best suited for younger gamers, you’ll be pleased with the outcome.

“Kinect Sports”

Platform: Xbox 360

Genre: Sports

Publisher: Microsoft

ESRB Rating: E, for Everyone

Grade: 3 stars

Sports games are the must-have for any motion-controlled piece of hardware. and while you don’t need a 60,000-person-capacity stadium in which to play “Kinect Sports,” you’ll wish you had the space of one when you understand the full effect of the games this title offers.

Like the PlayStation Move and Wii that came before, Kinect’s “Sports” comes with a base set of games like bowling, table tennis and boxing. But the release also includes some interesting activities like track and field, which will quickly wind you and might wear out your rotator cuff.

The biggest drawback? It’s almost no fun at all to play alone.

It’s not like you won’t work up a sweat playing similar games on the Wii or PlayStation Move, but rarely does a basic package of activities give you a full-body workout like “Kinect Sports” does.

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