Torchlight

If you're a fan of "Diablo," you were no doubt crushed by the news that the next installment is still more than a year away. But, incredibly, a game has arrived that does a pretty excellent job at filling the action RPG hole left in your life. That game is "Torchlight," and for $20 it's one of the best deals you can find on the PC today.

If you're skeptical that a "budget" game could outdo Blizzard's warhorse, "Diablo 2," here are five things that Runic Games managed to improve on...and five things that I better see in "Diablo 3."

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Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

Yesterday we gave you a brief rundown of some of your holiday gift options on the Wii. Today we're covering the Xbox 360, a very different console for a very different audience.

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Wii Holiday Gift Guide

This coming Friday heralds the official start of the holiday buying season and the biggest shopping day of the year. You can bet that there will be a handful of great deals, but we wanted to make sure you had a little direction going in to the holidays, so we're giving you this handy guide. Today we'll be taking on the Wii, but keep checking back, as we'll be covering all the major consoles throughout the week.

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Crystal Spear Remake

There isn't a whole lot you can do with the racing game template. Sure you can add power-ups, tweak the physics, and endlessly improve the graphics, but whatever you do, you've basically just got accelerate, brake, and get to the end fast. Instead of trying to add to the racing genre, "Crystal Spear Remake" strips it down to the most basic fundamentals, and ends ups with solid minimalist fun.

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Super Mario Shampoo

This weekend, in honor of the launch of "New Super Mario Bros. Wii," Nintendo has decked out the Nintendo World Store in Rockefeller Center with objects from the history of the overall'd plumber. My favorite, strange and awesome Mario shampoo, is pictured above, but there are plenty more shots from the event.

Check out the full gallery of the Mario Museum.

If you'd like to take a look yourself, Nintendo is hosting a public launch event for "New Super Mario Bros." at the Nintendo World Store on Saturday (tomorrow) from 3pm to 7pm.

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Doom Classic

There have been a number of shooters since the iPhone launched, but the control limitations of just having a touch pad have made them hit or miss affairs. Recently, though, we saw the release of three strong shooter entries which are definitely worth checking out.

"DOOM Classic" ($6.99)
I was particularly fond of the port of "Wolfenstein 3D" on the iPhone, and John Carmack has brought the same level of quality to "DOOM Classic." It's classic "DOOM," complete with the 4 classic episodes, all the weapons and even some multiplayer options (playable over the same WiFi network). As someone that didn't really play much of the original "DOOM" when it first launched, it's hard to blame my enjoyment with this game on nostalgia. Fact of the matter is, even after all these years "DOOM" still holds up, and Carmack has done a fantastic job bringing it to the platform.

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Silence, as they say, is golden. It's a rule that holds more true in video games than in most media. Quiet isn't necessarily a good thing during the heat of play – you want to hear your enemies approach, some killer tunes, Yoshi's squeal as he devours some witless sentient mushroom. A game is best served by silence in its protagonist, the lead character and, very often, the hero you get to control when you pick up the controller.

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Modern Warfare 2

As it stands, the majority of the modes in "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2" multiplayer do not support Xbox Live's party chat option. In fact, the only ones that do are Free-For-All, No Party Team Deathmatch, Ground War and two of the 3rd person modes. If you're only interested in chatting with friends while playing the other modes, you'll have to manually mute everyone else in your game (including any newcomers), or do this:

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Green Island

The Japanese went even crazier for "Bubble Bobble" than America's arcade masses (there's been a version of it for nearly every platform on the little island!), and Japanese indie title "Green Island" takes one aspect of that classic and applies it in some unusual ways.

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Eliminate

"Eliminate," from "Rolando" iPhone developer ng:moco, is definitely blazing some new ground on the platform, offering up a free-to-play 3D FPS in a market that's over-saturated with simple match-3 puzzle games.

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