Five consumer picks for Tuesday August 10

The media of today is hard to keep up with -- it comes from so many directions and in so many forms it's next to impossible to keep track of your favorite artists, let alone new ones. Because we're devoted to your convenience, we're going to pick five things each week that rise above the pale, that have some distinction, that, ultimately, we think are worthy of your notice. Feel free to sound off on anything you plan on picking up on release day in the comments.

5. Madden 11 (XBOX 360, PS3, PS2, Wii, PSP, iPhone, iPad) The Madden series of football games is one of the biggest franchises in video games. If that's not abundantly clear based on how many platforms it's coming out on today we don't know what is. That said, its popularity means it's a difficult one to miss, seeing as how you can pick up the thing at 7-11. While the series has been criticized for being redundant, Madden 11 comes with a slew of features to make it a bit more palpable to the everyday human, like a streamlined interface and a new game-flow system that helps pick your plays for you. All and all, Madden 11 is one of the first in the series that manages to be as deep as it is easy to pick up.

4. Various - Sympathy for the Devil There are few people in the universe that can't admit to liking at least a little bit of horror-fiction. For those people, the ones that don't rush out to pick up every single horror book every week, is a collection of short stories about the various forms of the Satan. Writers contributing include Neil Gaiman, Michael Chabon, China Miéville, and countless others. It's a weird collection, and we're expecting weird (and hopefully interesting) results.

3. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game (PS3, XBOX 360 - August 25) The Scott Pilgrim series just finished its comic book run a few weeks ago, the movie is set to come out this Friday -- and sandwiched between is the game based on the movie, which is based on the comic. You still with us? Okay. Generally speaking there is nothing that can make a movie-tie game a worthwhile experience, but "Scott Pilgrim vs The World: The Game" aims to change that. First off, the soundtrack is provided by the excellent chip-tune rocker Anamanaguchi. Second, the game looks like it'd be more at home on a Super Nintendo than on a PS3. Third, it looks a lot like the Teenage Mutant Turtles Arcade Game, which is awesome in our books. All in all, it has a chance to break the mold of bad movie-based games.

2. The Marvels Project Graphic Novel The Marvels Project was an eight-issue series written by Ed Brubaker and illustrated by Steve Epting that detailed the origins of some of Marvel's classic characters in a beautifully illustrated and wonderfully written series. Now that the series is over, it has been collected in a lovely hardcover edition. If you've ever wondered exactly how the Marvel Universe and heroic age got its start, this is a must read. 1. Max Headroom: The Complete Series DVD For any child of the '80s, this should be an obvious pick for the week. It's taken far too long for the dystopian tale of a broadcaster turned self-aware computer to hit DVD. It's the first time cyberpunk hit the masses -- and the result was one of televisions strangest, most forward-thinking shows ever produced.
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Thorin Klosowski
Contact: Thorin Klosowski