- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Here are the latest multimedia discs that pay tribute to the early days of science-fiction pop culture.

Destroy All Humans 2, from THQ for Xbox, rated T for teen, $39.99. Gamers take part in a close encounter of the retro kind in this sequel to a third-person action game as they handle an extraterrestrial tasked with stopping the Red Menace.

The first Destroy All Humans introduced Cryptosporidium 137, a feisty Furon from the planet Gorta who led a successful attack on the United States and covertly assumed the role of the president back in the 1950s.

Since the alien’s demise, his clone, Crypto 138, has been unleashed to contend with the free love of the 1960s and stop a Russian threat set to topple the Furon-controlled U.S. government.

The clone has the same hunger for the crazy American way of life as his departed brother and, once again, delivers one heck of a humorous Jack Nicholson impression.

As the player maneuvers the alien through five free-to-roam environments around the world, he collects objects, completes objectives and battles police officers, KGB agents, ninjas and even Yakuza, the Japanese mob.

The frenetic level of the action is enhanced by the often-high humans who understandably freak out at the sight of Crypto. He cannot blast all of them into dust, so he must use other tricks to sneak around the environments.

He has the ability to meld with any human he encounters for a short time. He can read their thoughts, have them follow him, cause anyone near him to perform a trippy dance and, just as in the previous game, simply suck out their brains.

However, if the player prefers just to wipe out mass quantities of mankind, he will be thrilled by the possibilities. Crypto initially is equipped with the stimulating Zap-O-Matic, a jolting and deadly gun. As he collects pieces of Furotech cells and succeeds in missions, he unlocks and enhances his firepower.

Crypto uses a map to find more than 20 missions explained to him by the demanding, holographic version of famed Furon scientist Orthopox-13 and can take part in dozens of side activities. One of the main missions might find the pint-size dynamo infiltrating a drug house while disguised as a female flower child to uncover the whereabouts of hippie Russian sympathizer Bongwater.

Crypto once again gets to board his spaceship, which comes with a standard death ray and has the ability to snatch humans off the streets to be used in genetic experiments. Grabbing the right group of folks enables Crypto to combine their DNA and enhance his powers.

A welcome multiplayer cooperative mode completes the experience and gives a pair of gamers in a split-screen presentation the chance to cause major mayhem in all of the missions.

***

The Forbidden Planet 50th Anniversary Special Edition (Warner Home Video, $26.99) provides nostalgic memories of the 1956 effort while highlighting the work of one of its best-remembered characters, Robby the Robot.

A digitally restored version of the classic highlights the fatal mission of a crew assigned to investigate a colony of scientists on the planet Altair-4 and their encounter with the mysterious Dr. Edward Morbius.

Extras are led by three documentaries that explore the emergence of the science-fiction movie in the 1950s as well as the impact of “Forbidden Planet” on the genre. Viewers also get lost footage, deleted scenes and the full-length episode “Robot Client” from the classic television show “The Thin Man” and the 1958 film “The Invisible Boy,” both of which co-star Robby.

Write to Joseph Szadkowski, The Washington Times, 3600 New York Ave. NE, Washington, DC 20002; or send e-mail ([email protected] washingtontimes.com).


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