Real news from the virtual world:
With so little happening in the video-game industry this week, there's no better time to conduct an Airing of Grievances.
So, in honor of "Seinfeld" patriarch and Festivus creator Frank Costanza, here are the worst games of 2008. No soup for them.
1. "Summer Sports: Paradise Island" (Destineer, for the Wii): How many minigame collections do Wii owners need? "Six Flags Fun Park"? "Shrek's Carnival Games"? "Imagine Party Babyz"?
There are more to come, but I hope none is as slipshod as "Summer Sports," yet another incompetently programmed rush job from the hacks at Destineer.
2. "Wii Music" (Nintendo, for the Wii): In the age of "Rock Band," using the Wiimote to mime playing "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" or "Yankee Doodle" just doesn't cut it.
It's the most ill-conceived and poorly timed game in the stellar career of designer Shigeru Miyamoto, creator of the Mario and "The Legend of Zelda" franchises. He'll come back.
3. "Hail to the Chimp" (Gamecock, for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3): The idea — animals battle for the presidency of the jungle — was perfect for this election year.
But the game itself was a substandard arena brawler in which it was nearly impossible to figure out which critter you were controlling. It felt like the developers came up with a surefire concept, then stopped working.
4. "CrossworDS" (Nintendo, for the DS): I love the elegant, easy-to-use interface that Nintendo came up with for this foray into wordplay. Too bad it left the puzzle design to amateurs (or, more likely, computers).
If you're used to solving the crossword in your daily paper, you'll be surprised by how sloppy and unimaginative the "CrossworDS" brainteasers are.
5. "Lost: Via Domus" (Ubisoft, for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3): We're used to being let down by games based on movies, but TV-based games probably have an even worse record.
We had high hopes that the "Lost" game would reveal more of the island's secrets; instead, since its writers were forced to dance around the series' plotting, "Via Domus" feels like computer-animated Internet fan fiction.
— Disappointments: "Star Wars: The Force Unleashed," "Too Human," "Tom Clancy's EndWar," "Haze," "Alone in the Dark."
— Enough already: "Destroy All Humans! Path of the Furon," "Mercenaries 2: World in Flames," "Saints Row 2," "The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon."
— Worst title: "Infinite Undiscovery." What?
— Not quite there yet: iPhone games, "Spore," "Guitar Hero World Tour."
— Hot Christmas item most likely to be all over eBay by February: "Wii Fit."
— Few and far between: New PlayStation Portable games.
— Worst game based on a movie: "Jumper."
— Worst movie based on a game: "Max Payne."