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Just like on D-Day, the 82nd Airborne hits a few bumps in “Medal of Honor: Vanguard,” but gets the job done.

The T-rated game from Electronic Arts follows the exploits of the 82nd Airborne Division in World War II. As Frank Keegan, gamers start by parachuting into Sicily in Operation Husky and progress through D-Day and Operation Market-Garden assaults before fighting their way into Germany.

The missions involve assaulting Nazi positions, tracking down missing comrades, busting into bunkers, blasting tanks and locating missing items. It’s all pretty typical stuff.

What sets the game apart and makes it quite fun is its use of the motion-sensitive controllers for Nintendo’s Wii console. It’s the second World War II shooter to take the Wii plunge. As with “Call of Duty 3,” the transition from joysticks to remotes comes off pretty well. Controlling parachute descents, aiming weapons, ducking and jumping are among the actions that work well when using the remotes.

However, the motions can sometimes get tricky. For example, the gesture for reloading is similar to that for turning 180 degrees. Many a time, I died while turning my back on an enemy instead of reloading my weapon. I learned it’s sometimes best to rely on old-school buttons — an option for many commands in the game.

Graphics aren’t the game’s strongest point. They’re serviceable, but anyone who’s already played “Call of Duty 3” on the Wii will wish for more. Backgrounds are rather lackluster, and nearby objects often pixilate. In addition, enemy troops often “overact” when they’re shot — practically doing cartwheels or falling dramatically from windows.

However, all is forgiven once you get a bunch of friends lined up for a shootout in the multiplayer mode. That’s something that was noticeably missing from “Call of Duty 3” for the Wii.

Gamers can connect with others through Nintendo’s online service or simply play side-by-side. Up to four can play on one screen. It’s a lot of fun and can get wild with all those folks pointing and aiming — and yelling — in a single room.

“Medal of Honor: Vanguard” won’t have anyone running out to buy a new high-def TV, but it might convince a lot of folks that they need more Wii remotes.

Platforms: Wii, PlayStation 2 honorvanguard/


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