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Darren Nakamura avatar 2:33 PM on 07.04.2009  (server time)
Five games to play in celebration of America's independence

If you live in America, then you know how important today is. It is the fourth of July, a day when we Americans celebrate American things, like baseball, apple pie, and illegal Mexican fireworks. Some of you shut-ins are on the Internet right now rather than outside grilling hot dogs and watching explosions. This is either because you are not American (and I'm sorry if that's the case), or you just don't know how to celebrate. Since you're already inside, why not play some video games? Here are five you can play to truly understand what it means to be American.

If there's one thing I know about freedom, it's that freedom isn't free. But you know what is free? America's Army. Yep, if you want to feel American, you are just one free download away from doing what America does best: kicking ass and taking names. Do you see anybody who isn't American (Protip: they are brown)? SHOOT HIM. That'll teach him not to mess with America.

How American are you? Let me just say, no matter how American you are, you are not as American as American McGee. He is so American, his first name is American. As for Alice, I can't think of a more fitting way to celebrate than to play a game made by an American developer (whose lead designer's name, I'm not sure I mentioned, is American), based off of written work by an English author. It's pretty much a metaphor for the American Revolutionary War.

I can't think of anything more American than Independence Day. It not only relates to Will Smith, who is famous for moving from west Philadelphia to Bel Air (both American cities), fighting giant spider robots in the wild wild west (of America), and killing South American drug lords in Miami (a very *actual American* thing to do), but it also serves as a historical piece, detailing America's fight against the tea-sippin' British aliens.

How do true Americans celebrate America Day? By doing what Americans do best: overeating. And the one irreplaceable staple of an Independence Day celebration? Hot dogs. Hot dogs are a mishmash of mystery meats, symbolic of how we don't discriminate in America (unless you are brown, see America's Army section). If you are not going to actually eat hot dogs until your gastrointestinal tract ruptures, you'd better at least do it virtually. And for that, we have WiiWare's Major League Eating.

Lastly, if you are not celebrating America with explosives (originally developed in China), then you are just not doing it right. Now, there were a few fireworks-themed games to choose from (runners-up include Boom Boom Rocket and Fantavision), but I ultimately went with Big Bang Mini because in addition to fireworks, it includes a strong American theme: going to other countries and blowing them up. Levels include Hong Kong (China), Kamakura (Japan), Luxor (Egypt), Savannah (Africa?), New York (clearly a typo), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Paris (France), and Abyss (Atlantis), Big Bang Mini is focused solely on setting off explosives in a hugely patriotic globetrotting gala.

So join me today with these five games in celebration of America. Or, if I've forgotten any, what games are you playing to celebrate America?

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