Entries tagged with “Games”.

Transparent version of :Image:Nintendo DS Lite...
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The Nintendo DS, with its quirky control set-up and small screens, is perfect for puzzle games, a genre into which Exit fits very neatly. In it you control professional escape artist Mr Esc and any people or dogs he manages to rescue from burning or crumbling buildings, a sinking cruise ship, a tidal wave inundation and various other scenes of lighthearted peril. Using the stylus to guide Mr Esc and his charges around the screen as you try to get everyone to safety, the secret to solving its progressively more complicated puzzles is discovering the right sequence in which to open doors, extinguish fires and slide down ropes. Hindered by agonising moments when the sheer flakiness of the control scheme causes unintended casualties – all too regularly forcing restarts right at the end of a level – as well as the infuriatingly pitched cries for help of your rescuees, Exit is as compelling as it was when originally released on PSP and Xbox Live.

Square Enix, £35

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Mortal Kombat vs.
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Over the years Midway has time and again shown itself to be a brand you can trust to churn out any old rubbish. Although its output of late has smacked of the kind of innovation you can comfortably condense into half a dozen bullet points on a press release, the resulting games have done little to change the publisher’s image. Mortal Kombat Vs DC Universe won’t either. With its usual selection of magical martial artists joined by a lineup that includes Batman, Superman, The Joker and Wonder Woman, the slightly stiff-looking fist-flailing that is the series’ trademark looks rather primitive next to the multilayered subtlety of Soul Calibur or Virtua Fighter. Even its famous fatalities have been tamed, removing most of its earlier spinal cord-ripping excess and leaving behind a declawed and strangely old-fashioned husk of a fighting game that also features comic characters.

Midway, £39.99-£44.99

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LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 27:  (L-R) Nick Foster,...
Image by Getty Images via Daylife

The Prince is back, this time as a wisecracking American in the latest outing of Ubisoft’s tale, that’s about as Middle Eastern as mom’s apple pie and Starbucks. With a renewed emphasis on exploration, stringing together moves as you scuttle across walls and ceilings in search of your next handhold proves so easy it’s second nature. Princess Elika accompanies you – effectively rendering you death proof – catching you when you’re about to fall and popping up to revive you if you get carved up by an enemy. While this and your ease of movement conspire to keep things flowing magnificently, when combined with a lack of nuance or particular difficulty about getting where you’re going, over time it lets the game slide into an unrewarding repetitiveness. As an instantly gripping experience that avoids blockages, the Prince rocks, but his long game is very seriously questionable. nick gillett

Ubisoft, £29.99-£49.99

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Camping Out for Playstation 3 or Nintendo Wii
Image by RW PhotoBug via Flickr

AFP – SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) – US videogame sales were a bright spot on November’s bleak economic landscape, climbing to nearly three billion dollars, according to market research firm NPD Thursday.

Videogame sales so far in 2008 topped 16 billion dollars at the end of November and are on pace to crest 22 billion dollars for all of 2008, according to the industry tracking group.

Sales in November were 10 percent higher than the same month last year, before a financial storm slammed the economy.

“The video games industry continues to set a blistering sales pace,” NPD analyst Anita Frazier said, citing research that showed videogames were “the category consumers are least likely to cut back on this holiday.”

Videogame sales are up 31 percent for the year, driven by demand for titles such as “Gears of War 2″ and “Call of Duty: World at War,” according to NPD.

Videogames crafted for Nintendo’s coveted Wii consoles made up half the top 10 best selling titles.

Wii sales in November were more than double those of Microsoft Xbox 360 consoles and more than five times those of Sony’s PlayStation 3 systems.

Still, each of the rival videogame console makers “had something to brag about” in the robust sales figures, Frazier said.

Videogame sales are being bolstered by an industry trend of expanding the audience beyond “hardcore gamers” by designing offerings for families, girls, seniors, and others aside from young-male fans of shooter titles.

“Economic factors are also at play given that a video game is a relatively inexpensive form of entertainment for the hours of value it provides,” said Frazier.

A freshly released “Fallout 3″ videogame from Bethesda Softworks lets people immerse themselves in the roles of heroes or outlaws in a vivid post-apocalyptic Washington for scores of hours.

At a price of 60 dollars for a copy of the videogame, the cost breaks down to less than a dollar an hour for entertainment as compared with five or so dollars an hour to go to a film.

“It’s clear there can be more multiple victors this generation (of consoles),” Frazier said.

“While price is certainly a strong factor, particularly as the current economic situation continues to prevail, the most important factor that will drive success in 2009 will be the line-up of compelling games that will keep consumers involved in the industry.”

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