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Game Bytes

De Blob (for Wii, THQ, $49.99) - An unlikely gelatinous hero saves Chroma City from color-sucking villains in this imaginative third-person platform challenge.

A story involving the I.N.K.T. Corporation versus the Color Underground provides the player a palette to use his bouncy blob to enrich a monochromatic world.

Action involves battling Comrade Black’s paintbot minions, stomping the hues out of them and then restoring color to every part and piece of the city.

Splatter, spray and explode tints and tones like a frenzied Jackson Pollack on buildings and streets in timed levels that require the player roll, bounce, stop on a dime and jump within city locales.

The Nunchuk controls the horned, squishy hero and players slam the Wiimote in the air to make the bulbous fellow jump and attack. Shaking both controllers at the right time will beautify specific landmarks, after the right proportion of colors is collected.

However, city painting is not all there is to this gorgeous title. Navigating obstacle courses (avoid the black ink, spikes and hot plates), freeing Raydians (the citizens of Chroma), intelligent color mixing activities and enjoying some genuinely funny computer-generated scenes all play a part in the all-ages spectacle.

Under multiplayer, up to four fierce artists can paint the town.

WipEout HD (Sony Computer Entertainment America, for PlayStation 3, $19.99) - The latest downloadable game in the burgeoning PlayStation Network library resurrects a frenetic racing franchise now sparkling at 1080p resolution.

The futuristic, high-speed action entails controlling antigravity ships that have design elements in common with “Star Wars” podracers and the Vipers of “Battlestar Galactica,” and testing one’s driving skills around upgraded versions of the best eight tracks from previous games.

Five racing modes, three difficulty levels and a great selection of vehicles culled from 12 race teams allow players to compete within locations as exotic as a snowy mountainside or through underwater tunnels.

Junior pilots can get an assist option to stay on the track while more adventuresome players have the Sixaxis, motion-sensing controller to handle some steering.

Additionally, a full arsenal of weapons makes the races infinitely more intense as does the option to pilot in a first-person perspective - quite the dizzying ride.

The obligatory online multiplayer option gives up to eight drivers options to compete in a single event or 12 race tournaments.

The overall result is a potent mix of flash, dazzle and velocity in a motion-sickness-inducing experience that would make Speed Racer proud.

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