‘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 … 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 →

In ‘Beyond: Two Souls’ the spirit is weak

Photo provided by Sony -- A scene is shown from 'Beyond: Two Souls,'  a promising tale that gets bogged down in thriller cliches.

David Cage doesn’t care if you have fun. The lead designer of “Heavy Rain” and “Indigo Prophecy” has loftier goals for his video games. He wants them to make you feel something, and not just the adrenaline rush you might get from blasting hordes of alien invaders. He wants to make you sad, or nervous, or … Continue reading →

New ‘Grand Theft’ triples the intensity

Photo provided by Rockstar Games -- A scene unfolds in the new video game, 'Grand Theft Auto V.'

I had such a fun weekend. After seeing a movie, I went down to the beach to ride the roller coaster on the pier and go jet skiing in the ocean. Afterward, I got a haircut and bought a new suit, and then I returned home to unwind with some fresh … Continue reading →

‘Madden NFL 25’ takes a victory lap

Photo provided by EA Sports -- An animated version of Redskins' Pierre Garcon, center, catches the football in 'Madden NFL 25.'

John Madden’s name has been synonymous with video-game football since 1988 — which means most current NFL players don’t remember a time when there wasn’t a “Madden” game to teach them the ins and outs of the gridiron. But for anyone who’s been playing all these years, “Madden NFL 25” (EA Sports, for the Xbox 360, … Continue reading →

‘Splinter Cell’ saves the world, sneakily

Photo provided by Ubisoft -- A scene unfolds in the new video game 'Tom Clancys Splinter Cell: Blacklist.'

What does America need to fight terrorists? Pervasive surveillance, missile-firing drones, even torture — everything’s open to debate. “Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Blacklist” (Ubisoft, for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii U, PC, $59.99), like most contemporary war games, has all of the above. But its most effective weapon is one guy: Sam Fisher, the grizzled … Continue reading →

‘Disney Infinity’ invites you to dream big

Photo provided by Disney -- Characters from the films 'Monsters University,' Pirates of the Caribbean' and 'The Incredibles' are featured in the game 'Disney Infinity: The Toy Box.'

In ancient times B.V.G. (Before Video Games), here’s how kids played: Take all your toys — dolls, soldiers, cars, blocks, that thing you got from a cereal box — and dump them on the floor. Forget about logic or plot consistency because the most important goal is to create an entertaining adventure. (My neighborhood is still reeling … Continue reading →

'The Last of Us' revives zombie genre

This video game image released by Sony/Naughty Dog shows a scene from

It's sometimes difficult to think of "The Last of Us" as a game, as opposed to a series of yelps, skipped breaths and sighs of relief. This is not a "fun" game. It is an emotionally and mentally exhausting journey that dips its toe into every zombie movie cliché in the book and, yet, still manages … Continue reading →

'Remember Me' a mind-blowing head trip

Photo provided by Capcom -- The new video game Remember Me is ranked 10th among Xbox 360 games for July by Game Informer magazine.

Amnesia is one of the most resilient plot devices in video games, from early classics like Deja Vu to this year’s BioShock Infinite. It’s so common that, by now, forgetful game protagonists may outnumber their counterparts on daytime soap operas. … Continue reading →

Animal Crossing: New Leaf charms on 3DS

Photo provided by Nintendo -- A scene unfolds in 'Animal Crossing: New Leaf,' which leads the Game Informer Top 10 List this week.

They’re whiney, materialistic, gossipy and co-dependent. If they weren’t so darn cute, I would really hate the little animal people who populate Rooty, a seaside village I inadvertently became mayor of in Animal Crossing: New Leaf, the fourth edition of the adorable Nintendo social simulator that casts players not just as citizens but as managers of … Continue reading →

EA’s sci-fi shooter Fuse lacks spark

Associated Press photo/Electronic Arts -- This video game image released by Electronic Arts shows a scene from 'Fuse.'

If you discovered an energy source as potent as Fuse — a combination of alien and human technology that promises unlimited power — how would you use it? Would you deliver electricity to poor countries? Or try to end humanity’s dependence on polluting fossil fuels? Or just build a decent cellphone battery? Don’t be silly. You’d … Continue reading →

Metro: Last Light digs deep under Moscow

Photo provided by Deep SilverA scene is shown from Metro: Last Light, the sequel to 2010’s Metro: 2033.

What are you doing after the apocalypse? Video-game creators have been asking that question for years, with results ranging from Bethesda’s sublime Fallout 3 to id Software’s forgettable Rage. Ukrainian developer 4A Games fell somewhere in between with 2010’s Metro: 2033, based on the bleak fiction of Russian novelist Dmitry … Continue reading →

‘Blood Dragon’ a blast of pure ‘80s mayhem

Photo provided by Ubisoft -- A scene unfolds in Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, which evokes memories of '80s video games.

Video games came of age in the 1980s, a decade that was also the heyday of cheesy Hollywood action movies. Thirty years later, you don’t have to look hard to see the influence of one medium on the other. The ultraviolent power fantasies that seem so corny today — movies like “Rambo,” “Commando” and “The Delta Force” — … Continue reading →

‘Star Trek’ game sets phasers on dumb

Photo provided by Namco Bandai/ParamountCaptain Kirk, right, and Mr. Spock battle the reptilian Gorn in Star Trek, the eight-hour video game adventure.

“Arena,” a 1967 episode of “Star Trek,” features the original series’ most laughable fight scene, an epic duel between Capt. James T. Kirk and a rubbery lizard-man of the Gorn species. Now Canadian video-game developer Digital Extremes is paying tribute. … Continue reading →

‘Injustice: Gods Among Us’ an heroic triumph

Injustice: Gods Among Us

Who would win in a fight, Superman or Batman? While this argument will live forever on the playgrounds, message boards and comic book stores of the world, players finally have a chance to back up their claims in a one-on-one DC Comics fighting game from the makers of “Mortal Kombat.” Have you spent the last five years … Continue reading →

‘Bioshock Infinite’ reaches new heights

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

Nowadays, it feels as if America is coming apart. The political left and right seem to be drifting further and further away from each other every day, and rhetoric about certain states succeeding from the Union or forming separate societies that hold the values of the founding fathers fills our airwaves. What if those so-called traditionalists actually left … Continue reading →

Brilliant 'BioShock Infinite' takes flight

Photo provided by 2K GamesBioShock Infinite is set in 1912 in Columbia, a city that floats in the sky as a beacon of freedom.

No one in video games likes taking on big political ideas more than Ken Levine. In 2007’s BioShock, Levine and his team at Irrational Games tackled objectivism, building an undersea utopia-gone-bad from the theories of Ayn Rand. In BioShock Infinite (2K Games, for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC, $59.99), Levine aims at … Continue reading →

Lara Croft reinvented in latest ‘Tomb Raider’

Tomb Raider

Despite being one of the most well-known video game characters of all time, for many years Lara Croft was little more than an accent, a pair of pistols and a set of unrealistic measurements that would make Barbie blush. With “Tomb Raider” the series -- and Lara -- undergo a gritty reboot that mixes the gunplay and explosive … Continue reading →

‘Darkstalkers Resurrection’ is scary good

Darkstalkers Resurrection

While the “Street Fighter” series has gone on to become a household name, hardcore fighting gamers have been calling for the return of another of Capcom’s great fighting series, the fast-paced, horror-movie-themed “Darkstalkers.” With the release of “Darkstalkers Resurrection” the werewolves, vampires and creatures of the night that make up the “Darkstalkers” world are getting some well-deserved spotlight. … Continue reading →

Gears spins weak story, frantic gunplay

Photo provided by MicrosoftGears of War: Judgment takes players back in time to the beginning of the war between humans and Locusts.

Blockbuster game franchises like Epic Games’ Gears of War don’t just fade away — even if the primary antagonist, the voracious Locust Horde, was obliterated at the end of the initial trilogy. Not to worry. With Gears of War: Judgment (for Xbox 360, $59.99), Microsoft takes players back in time to the … Continue reading →

'Lego City' builds fun for Wii U

Associated Press photo/Nintendo/TT Fusion -- This publicity photo provided by Nintendo/TT Fusion shows a scene from the video game, 'Lego City Undercover.'

Over the past eight years, those cute little Lego people — minifigs, as they’re known — have virtually traveled to Middle-earth, Hogwarts, Gotham City and a galaxy far, far away in video games developed by TT Games. … Continue reading →

Sci-fi clichés mar beauty of Crysis 3

Photo provided by Electronic ArtsCrysis 3, created by the German studio Crytek, throws two types of enemies at its players, the alien Ceph and the human employees of CELL.

Crysis 3 (Electronic Arts, for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC, $59.99) is a gorgeous game. Its creator, the German studio Crytek, has lived up to its promises that it will set a new benchmark for computer graphics. On a state-of-the-art PC, it’s spectacular. You probably don’t have a state-of-the-art PC, but that’s OK. I played … Continue reading →

‘Dead Space 3’ suffers from identity crisis

This video game image released by Electronic Arts shows a scene from

Sometimes, being a cult hit isn’t enough. Sometimes, the powers that be take a franchise with well-defined identity and, in a bid to broaden its appeal and rake in the dough, slap on a bunch of new features that not only dilute the original flavor, but result in confused chimera of a game. “Dead Space 3” is a … Continue reading →

‘Dead Space 3’ a less scary, solid shooter

Dead Space 3

Isaac Clarke has grown over the first two “Dead Space” games from a troubled systems engineer into a full-fledged action hero, so it would be naive to think that the series would not morph alongside its protagonist. “Dead Space 3” (Electronic Arts, for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC, $59.99) has blossomed into a more polished … Continue reading →