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A map listing homicides or suspected homicides in EBR Parish.
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Current gas prices in BR area.

‘Smash Bros.’ makes brutality adorable

Photo provided by Nintendo -- 'Super Smash Bros. for Wii U' features a few non-Nintendo ringers like Pac-Man and Sonic the Hedgehog.

Every few years, Nintendo rounds up its most popular characters, like Mario, Donkey Kong and Pikachu, and has them beat the daylights out of each other. It’s not exactly blood sport — there are no spine-shattering, “Mortal Kombat”-style fatalities, and everyone walks away smiling. Only Nintendo could make bare-knuckle brawling cute. “Super Smash Bros. for Wii… Continue reading →

Giving the Gift of Gaming: A Buyer’s Guide

Vanamo Media photo by Evan Amos -- For gamers who want to game, choose the PlayStation 4.

With so many options to choose from, picking out the right gaming system for yourself or the gamer in your life can take a Christmas miracle. Do you want cutting-edge graphics? Portability? Kid-friendly fun? Whatever you need, there’s a console that can deliver it this holiday season. 2013 saw the launch of two powerful new consoles: Sony’s… Continue reading →

‘Far Cry 4’ climbs to wild heights

Photo provided by Ubisoft --A scene unfolds in the new video game, 'Far Cry 4,' which offers something new to the franchise -- elephants.

At a time when it seems like many first-person shooter creators have run out of ideas, the keepers of the “Far Cry” franchise have cleverly added elephants that can be employed as makeshift tanks in the latest installment of the freewheeling, out-of-control action series. It’s just one of many inventive flourishes that players will stumble across in… Continue reading →

Epic ‘Dragon Age’ blazes new trails

Photo provided by Electronic Arts --  'Dragon Age: Inquisition' has vistas of eye-popping grandeur but allows for quiet moments between characters.

Take “The Lord of the Rings,” “Game of Thrones,” “The Wheel of Time” and pretty much every other epic fantasy of the last century. Throw in a shelf full of “Dungeons & Dragons” manuals and a library of classic role-playing games dating back to 1981’s “Wizardry” and “Ultima.” Mix vigorously, and you have some idea of what… Continue reading →

‘Call of Duty’ multiplayer tops rote story

Photo provided by Activision -- 'Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare' offers levels built with polish and detail, but too often feel like they’re simply ticking boxes required for a modern first-person shooter.

Kevin Spacey can’t save “Call of Duty” from itself. But perhaps an Iron Man-like “exoskeleton” can. Spacey plays the egomaniacal leader of a private military corporation in the single-player story mode of “Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare” (Activision, for the PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One, $59.99). Despite often choppy animation of… Continue reading →

‘Civilization’ shoots for the stars

Photo provided by 2K Games -- A scene unfolds in the new video game, 'Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth.'

Our planet isn’t in very good shape. The good news, according to “Sid Meier’s Civilization: Beyond Earth” (2K Games, for the PC, $49.99), is that we’ll be able to hang around for another 500 years or so. The bad news: After that, we’d better start looking for a new home. It’s not the freshest sci-fi premise… Continue reading →

‘Sins of the Father’ gets new spices, surprises for 20th anniversary

Photo provided by Pinkerton Road -- Gabriel encounters some 'unhelpful' skeletons when his investigation takes him beyond New Orleans, to Benin, West Africa.

Like any good movie monster, a cult classic is hard to keep down. Just when you think you’ve seen the last of it, it’s back for more. The groundbreaking “Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Father” paired a spooky supernatural murder mystery set in New Orleans with brainy puzzles that put the player in charge of the… Continue reading →

‘Sunset Overdrive’ a fun, mindless romp

Photo provided by Microsoft -- The new video game, 'Sunset Overdrive,' is set in a doomed metropolis that’s been overrun by mutants, robots and mercenaries after the release of a toxic energy drink.

Usually, dumb video games don’t know they’re dumb video games. That’s not the case with the ludicrously self-aware “Sunset Overdrive” (Microsoft, for the Xbox One, $59.99), a vibrant open-world action game set in a doomed metropolis that’s been overrun by mutants, robots and mercenaries after the release of a toxic energy drink.… Continue reading →

‘Fantasia’ not a harmonious composition

Photo provided by Disney/Harmonix -- The video game 'Fantasia: Music Evolved' transforms players into imaginary conductors who must swipe their arms in sync with various tunes.

Before they fizzled out, my chief compliant about those tap-happy “Guitar Hero” and “Rock Band” franchises was that they didn’t really teach players anything about music. They were simply color-coded amusements. Now, here comes “Fantasia: Music Evolved” (Disney, for the Xbox One and Xbox 360, $59.99) to take rhythmic superfluousness to a… Continue reading →

‘Evil Within’ is a nightmarish head trip

This image released by Bethesda Softworks shows the cover art for the video game,

In the video-game world, Shinji Mikami’s name has the same cachet that George Romero and Wes Craven have among moviegoers. Mikami created “Resident Evil,” the 1996 classic usually credited as the first “survival horror” game. He abandoned the series after 2005’s masterly “Resident Evil 4,” and it hasn’t been the same since, rejecting jittery terror for… Continue reading →

Sega's ‘Alien: Isolation’ delivers sci-fi terror

Photo provided by Sega -- The video game 'Alien: Isolation' takes place 15 years after the original film 'Alien.'

Ridley Scott’s “Alien” has inspired dozens of video games since its debut in 1979, but “Alien: Isolation” (Sega, for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC, $59.95) is the first in a while that has aspired to the claustrophobic terror of the original film. Is “Isolation” that bone-chilling and nerve-wracking? Not quite, but… Continue reading →

New ‘Skylanders’ delights, frustrates

Photo provided by Activision -- In the new 'Skylanders Trap Team,' most of the action involves exploring the islands, beating up enemies and collecting loot.

There’s a peculiar kind of tension at work in Activision’s wildly successful Skylanders series. If you just want a dozen or so hours of fun, with fast-paced action and an amusing story, a $75 starter pack will get the job done. But if you want to see every little thing packed into a Skylanders game, be prepared… Continue reading →

‘Shadow of Mordor’ grabs the gold ring

Photo provided by Warner Bros. Entertainment -- A ranger named Talion and his ghostly companion invade an orc fortress in the new video game 'Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor.'

“The Lord of the Rings” has inspired hundreds of video games, but there’s never been a great one based directly on J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic. Until now. “Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor” (Warner Bros., for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, $59.99) is the most satisfying virtual adventure ever set in Tolkien’s world. And one… Continue reading →

Avengers assemble in ‘Disney Infinity 2.0’

Photo provided by Disney Interactive --   Figurines Thor, from left, Iron Man and Black Widow, accompany the new 'Disney Infinity 2.0: Marvel Super Heroes' game.

For kids today, there’s no escaping The Walt Disney Co. Even if Mickey Mouse, “Toy Story” and all the Disney princesses leave you cold, the company also owns Marvel Comics, the Star Wars franchise and the Muppets. The jocks on your block are probably hooked on Disney’s ESPN. The “Infinity” project is Disney’s attempt to link… Continue reading →

Ambitious ‘Destiny’ lacks imagination

Photo provided by Activision -- 'Destiny,' a new science fiction epic from 'Halo' creators Bungie, has several gorgeous, radically different worlds to explore.

Midway through “Destiny,” the new science fiction epic from “Halo” creators Bungie, a smug prince is musing on the hero’s desire to visit a mysterious site on Mars. “You want to turn it into a battleground,” the prince sneers. “How unimaginative.” It’s exactly the thought that nagged me when I was playing “Destiny” (Activision,… Continue reading →

‘Sims 4’ aspires to greatness and fails

Photo provided by Electronic Arts/Maxis -- Unlike their predecessors, the breed of more emotional Sims in 'The Sims 4' are able to multitask and achieve multiple personal aspirations, ranging from finding a soulmate to becoming a best-selling author.

Continue reading →

‘Madden NFL 15’ scores on new consoles

Photo provided by EA Sports -- Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch leaps for yardage in 'Madden NFL 15,' which tosses players into a high-stakes playoff showdown.

If you followed all the offseason NFL headlines — concussions, racial slurs, bullying, domestic violence — you’d think the league was in serious trouble. Instead, it’s more popular than ever, and “Madden NFL 15” (EA Sports, for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, $59.99) is here to remind you why. It tosses you right… Continue reading →

‘Valiant Hearts’ a grim WWI tribute

This video game image released by Ubisoft shows a scene from

The 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War I has been relatively subdued, without much of the ceremony one would expect around such a historic date. Oddly enough, the most stirring tribute I’ve seen has come in the form of a video game — one that fully appreciates the grim ironies of “the war to end… Continue reading →

Nintendo’s ‘Tomodachi’ colorful but dull

Photo provided by Nintendo -- The game 'Tomodachi Life' has been a huge hit in Japan since its release last year.

Japanese imports have a mixed record of success in the United States. Sure, Americans love karaoke and Hello Kitty. Sumo wrestling and fugu, not so much. So while Nintendo has made a fortune selling Mario, Pokemon and dozens of other video-game heroes to us, not everything makes it safely across the Pacific. “Tomodachi Life” (Nintendo, for… Continue reading →

‘EA Sports UFC’ a respectable first round for EA

Photo provided by Electronic Arts -- 'EA Sports UFC'' comes in eighth on Game Informer's Top 10 games list this month.

After the closure of “UFC Undisputed” publisher THQ, it’s been a few years since gamers have been able to set foot in the virtual octagon of the most famous mixed martial arts brand. The ability to grapple with a video game controller is back, this time from an entirely new game publisher… Continue reading →

‘Murdered’ spins a spirited mystery

Photo provided by Square Enix -- The new video game 'Murdered: Soul Suspect' is, in some ways, a refreshingly old-fashioned mystery.

Death is rarely permanent in video games. Whether you’re Mario, Lara Croft or Master Chief, no matter how many times you get “killed,” you can always dust yourself off and leap back into the fray. That’s not the case for Detective Ronan O’Connor, who’s dead from the very start of “Murdered: Soul Suspect” (Square Enix, for… Continue reading →

Ubisoft cracks the code with ‘Watch Dogs’

Photo provided by Ubisoft --The video game thriller 'Watch Dogs' is an open-world game which casts players as Aiden Pearce, a tech-savvy vigilante whose most powerful weapon is a smartphone that can tap into the infrastructure of a well-connected, near-future Chicago.

Since it was dramatically unveiled at the Electronic Entertainment Expo two years ago, the hacking thriller “Watch Dogs” (Ubisoft, for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC, $59.99) has been called many things: a game for the Edward Snowden era, “Grand Theft Auto” meets “Hackers,” overhyped and revolutionary. In… Continue reading →

Nintendo’s ‘Mario Kart 8’ defies gravity

Photo provided by Nintendo -- The video game 'Mario Kart 8' features 32 racetracks: 16 new ones and 16 repurposed from previous games and upgraded to high definition.

“Mario Kart” is one of those rare video game series that truly everyone in the family can enjoy. Little kids love its energy and silliness, while even the grouchiest geezer can figure out how to drive a go-kart. Heck, even Tony Soprano played it. “Mario Kart 8” (Nintendo, for the Wii U, $59.99) lives up to… Continue reading →

Alternate-history Nazis cry ‘Wolfenstein’

Photo provided by Bethesda Softworks -- Resistance fighters battle German troops in Nazi-occupied London in a scene from 'Wolfenstein: The New Order.'

As Indiana Jones once said: “Nazis. I hate those guys.” From classic World War II shooters like the original “Call of Duty” and “Medal of Honor” to this year’s farcical “South Park: The Stick of Truth,” Nazis have made dependable video-game villains. The trend dates back to 1981’s “Castle Wolfenstein,” an Apple II stealth game that… Continue reading →

‘MLB 14’ makes solid contact on PS4

Photo provided by Sony -- The players look more realistic than ever in 'MLB 14: The Show.'

The first edition of a sports game on a new console is like the first game in a new stadium: The place looks great, but management may not yet have worked out the kinks at the ticket lines or the concession stands. “MLB 14: The Show” (Sony, for the PlayStation 4, $59.99) is no exception. In… Continue reading →

‘Child of Light’ a luminous fairy tale

Photo provided by Ubisoft -- 'Child of Light' ranks at No. 2 on Game Informer's Top 10 list of Wii U games for May.

“Child of Light” (Ubisoft, for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii U, PC, $14.99) doesn’t look like any other video game. With its seemingly hand-drawn characters and watercolor backgrounds, it more closely resembles a children’s picture book, the kind your mom would read to you before bedtime. It’s a fitting look, since “Child… Continue reading →

‘Hearthstone’ card game is the real deal

Photo provided by Blizzard Entertainment -- 'Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft' couldn’t be any less like its parent, the massively multiplayer online role-playing behemoth 'World of Warcraft.'

Video game publishers don’t take many risks with their most popular franchises. You know exactly what you are going to get from a new “Call of Duty” or “Madden NFL” game — it will probably be pretty good, but won’t offer any surprises. That’s part of what makes “Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft” (Blizzard Entertainment, for… Continue reading →

‘Kinect Sports Rivals’ a moving experience

Photo provided by Microsoft -- Microsoft hopes its new 'Kinect Sports Rivals' compels Xbox One owners to use Kinect for more than just navigating menus.

When the Xbox One was unveiled last year, Microsoft boasted the Xbox 360 successor would feature an updated — and mandatory — version of its camera-based Kinect sensor with more accurate movement tracking and voice detecting. Then, when the Xbox One was released last November, there were hardly any games that actually… Continue reading →

‘inFamous: Second Son’ makes Seattle super

Photo provided by Sony Computer Entertainment America -- A scene unfolds in Sony's new video game, 'inFamous: Second Son.'

Ah, Seattle, home of a thousand coffee shops, almost as many tech startups and the loudest fans in the NFL. Also, gangs of armed drug dealers, an oppressive paramilitary presence and a handful of superpowered rabble-rousers. Deslin Rowe, the star of “infamous: Second Son” (Sony, for the PlayStation 4, $59.99), is one of those malcontents. He’s… Continue reading →

‘Titanfall’ a beauty and a beast of a game

Photo provided by Electronic Arts/Respawn Entertainment -- A scene unfolds in the frenetic video game, 'Titanfall,'

I fear I won’t survive. My vision is blurred. I’m being chased by a pistol-packing militia member across the rooftops of an abandoned neighborhood. He’s already shot me. One more shot and I might be dead. Then I hear: “Your Titan is ready to drop. Signal when ready.” I point to a… Continue reading →

‘South Park’ Raunchy new game has its humor

Photo provided by Ubisoft -- A scene is featured from the video game 'South Park: The Stick of Truth.'

Remember when “South Park” debuted on Comedy Central in 1997? Remember how shocking the cursing, toilet humor and black comedy seemed? Take that level of shock and multiply it by, oh, 20 and you’ll have some idea of what you should expect from “South Park: The Stick of Truth” (Ubisoft, for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360,… Continue reading →

‘Thief’ delivers some unpolished gems

This image released by Square Enix shows a scene from

Video games are filled with scenarios where the only solution is to blast your way out. That’s why I have a soft spot for “stealth” games like “Metal Gear Solid,” “Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell” and 2012’s brilliant “Dishonored.” There’s something more mentally stimulating about finding ways to outwit your enemies without filling them with lead. In… Continue reading →

Shaq seeking funding for new ‘Shaq Fu’ video game

This photo provided by Indiegogo/Big Deez Productions shows a screenshot of the video game,

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Shaq wants to be back in a video game. Shaquille O’Neal says he’s seeking redemption for “Shaq Fu,” his infamous fighting game originally released in 1994 that’s now considered to be among the worst games ever made. The four-time NBA champion is launching a crowd-funding campaign to create a “Shaq Fu” follow-up titled… Continue reading →

Donkey Kong stumbles in ‘Tropical Freeze’

Photo provided by Nintendo -- A scene unfolds in 'Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze,' which provides all the action that fans of the big galoot are probably looking for.

Donkey Kong: He jumps. He punches. He swings on vines and swims with sharks. He wears a monogrammed necktie. He’s kind of boring. Still, “Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze” (Nintendo, for the Wii U, $49.99) provides all the action that fans of the big galoot are probably looking for. As with its predecessor, 2010’s “Donkey… Continue reading →

‘Wii Fit U,’ ‘Xbox Fitness’ feel the burn

Photo provided by Ubisoft -- 'Just Dance 2014' features the return of the series' 'just sweat' mode, which counts calories as players shake their groove thangs.

While video game consoles can’t help users save money or stop smoking — yet, anyway — there are a few recently released games that can help with the most popular of New Year’s resolutions: exercise. Here’s a look at four titles that offer an alternative to working out at the gym or… Continue reading →

N.Y. man secures Guinness title with 10,607 video games

Photo provided by BRIANNA BLANK -- Michael Thomasson poses in the basement of his suburban Buffalo home, where he stores his collection of video games. Thomasson is featured in the just-released 'Guinness World Records 2014 Gamers Edition,' for having the largest collection of video games, 10,607.

Maybe it was getting his first video game, “Cosmic Avenger,” for Christmas at age 12, and then having to wait an entire year for the hard-to-land Colecovision console to play it on that made Michael Thomasson so determined to get his hands on every video game and system he could find.… Continue reading →

AP critics pick the year’s best video games

Photo provided by 2K Games/Irrational Games -- The character Elizabeth is shown in a scene from the video game '

The top 10 video games of 2013, according to Lou Kesten: 1. “BioShock Infinite” (Irrational Games, for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC): The latest adventure from provocateur Ken Levine asks tough questions about the bloody path of American history. And it doesn’t provide easy answers — indeed, the more you learn about its setting,… Continue reading →

Mario back on the prowl in ‘3D World’

Photo provided by Nintendo -- 'Super Mario 3D World' tops Wii U games for January, according to Game Informer.

While Sony and Microsoft are spending this holiday season asking video-game players to invest in the future — namely, their respective new consoles, the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One — Nintendo is reminding us of the great times it gave us in the past. Remember how much you enjoyed “The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past”… Continue reading →

‘Rivals’ a fast, furious ‘Need for Speed’

Photo provided by Electronic Arts --A scene unfolds in the video game, 'Need for Speed: Rivals.'

LOS ANGELES — It’s no secret the light launch lineup for next-generation consoles leaves a little something to be desired. However, there’s at least one game that’s sure to get next-generation owners’ engines running — and their eyes bugging out. It’s the dazzling street racer “Need for Speed: Rivals” (Electronic Arts, for the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox… Continue reading →

‘Link Between Worlds’ a ‘Zelda’ with depth

Photos provided by Nintendo -- These four screenshots are from the new video game, 'The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds,' from Nintendo.

LOS ANGELES — For nearly three decades, spikey-eared hero Link has captained a boat, mastered a magic flute and flown a giant bird in the name of rescuing Princess Zelda from dastardly foes. In his latest quest, he’s morphing into walls. That may sound like a flat development for the wholly untarnished “Legend of Zelda” franchise, but it’s as… Continue reading →

A look at what next-next-gen games could offer

Photo provided by Valve -- A scene is shown from the teleporting puzzle game 'Portal 2.' Games that bend the rules of space and time were among the topics discussed at the Game Developers Conference Next at the Los Angeles Convention Center Nov. 5-7.

Sony and Microsoft are launching their new super-powered consoles in the coming weeks. However, gamemakers at last week’s Game Developers Conference Next in Los Angeles were already contemplating outside-the-box innovations — from wearable controllers to illuminated living rooms — that might… Continue reading →

Review: ‘Link Between Worlds’ a ‘Zelda’ with depth

Photos provided by Nintendo -- These four screenshots are from the new video game, 'The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds,' from Nintendo.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — For nearly three decades, spikey-eared hero Link has captained a boat, mastered a magic flute and flown a giant bird in the name of rescuing Princess Zelda from dastardly foes. In his latest quest, he’s morphing into walls. That may sound like a flat development for the wholly untarnished “Legend of Zelda” franchise,… Continue reading →

‘Assassin’s Creed IV’ a swashbuckling romp

Photo provided by Ubisoft -- A scene unfolds in 'Assassins Creed IV: Black Flag,' now available for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Wii U.

Pirates have gotten a bad rap in 21st-century pop culture. There are the desperate, haggard pirates tangling with Tom Hanks in “Captain Phillips.” Or the stumbling, soused Capt. Jack Sparrow in “Pirates of the Caribbean.” Or even the freeloading pirates who destroyed the music business. “Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag” (Ubisoft, for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii U, $59.99) tries to restore the kind of glamour that pirates haven’t really known since the early days of Hollywood, when Errol Flynn and Douglas Fairbanks sailed the high seas. And it’s mostly successful, serving up a rich stew of swordplay, naval combat and discovery. The protagonist is Edward Kenway, a strapping young Welshman who’s bored with life on the farm and decides a pirate’s life is for him. After a shipwreck, Edward kills a mysterious assassin and assumes his identity, inadvertently becoming a player in a millennia-old battle between two secret societies. The Assassins, essentially, stand for freedom, while the Templars seek control; you can guess which team a pirate will want to play for. Edward’s story sprawls across the Caribbean of the 1730s, with major stops in Havana; Kingston, Jamaica; and Nassau, the Bahamas. Along with the Assassin-Templar feud, Edward and his merry band also have to contend with British and Spanish troops, slave traders and competing freebooters. There’s a search for a strange place called the Observatory, but you can spend dozens of hours cruising around the islands before aiming toward the endgame. As in previous games in this series, there are almost too many activities to distract you from the core story. You can hunt ocelots and wrestle crocodiles. You can search for treasure or collect sea shanties to sing with your crew. You can take on assassination contracts, either for money or to impress the capital-A Assassins lurking on their own island. “Black Flag” comes into its own, though, when you hit the waves. Over all these years, very few games have tried to capture the thrill of sailing the open seas. (The 10-year-old “The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker,” which Nintendo remade this year in high definition, is a worthy exception.) But once you take the wheel of your own ship, the Jackdaw, you’ll wonder at what you’ve been missing. When you’re navigating under calm skies, it’s beautiful; when the skies darken and rogue waves attack, it’s harrowing. And yes, there are British and Spanish vessels looking to send you to Davy Jones’ locker. The ship-to-ship combat is riveting as you try to maneuver your port and starboard cannons or ram the Jackdaw’s prow directly into your opponent. If you’re near an enemy fort, you also have to contend with mortar fire. And once you’ve crippled the other ship, it’s time to swing on board and cross swords with the survivors. Each engagement demands a combination of reflexes and strategy, and it’s great fun to roam the Caribbean just looking for trouble. “Black Flag” stumbles only when it drags you back into the present day. The meta-story here is that you are an employee of Abstergo Entertainment, a Ubisoft-like company that’s creating a game based on Edward’s adventures. The 21st-century conspiracy involving the Assassins, the Templars and Abstergo has always been the weak part of the “Assassin’s Creed” series, and you’ll be longing to get back to your crew. As long as you’re at the helm of the Jackdaw, “Black Flag” is the great pirate adventure that gamers been waiting for since 1990’s “The Secret of Monkey Island.” It’s audacious, flamboyant, funny and often thrilling. Yo ho ho. ä ON THE INTERNET: http://assassinscreed.ubi.com/ Continue reading →

Batman’s Christmas black-and-blue in ‘Origins’

Photo provided by Warner Bros. -- The Caped Crusader battles Firefly over the streets of Gotham in 'Batman: Arkham Origins.'

It’s Christmas Eve in Gotham City — not the merriest time to be Bruce Wayne. For one thing, he’s probably had enough of the “Jingle bells, Batman smells” carolers. This year, he’s having a particularly blue Christmas, for the nefarious crime boss Black Mask has put a $50 million bounty on his head. Perhaps Bruce… Continue reading →

New ‘Skylanders’ divide and conquer

Photo provided by Activision -- Two robots, Boom Jet and Magna Charge, switch body parts in 'Skylanders Swap Force,' the latest in the Skylander franchise.

As Activision’s Skylanders franchise has exploded in popularity, more parents have asked me: Is it as cool as it looks, or just an insidious plot to separate my kids from their allowances? Who says it can’t be both? Look, collectible toys have been around for most of our lifetimes, whether we’re talking about Barbie fashions,… Continue reading →