By Alan Scherstuhl
By Charles Taylor
By Melissa Anderson
By Inkoo Kang
By Amy Nicholson
By Sam Weisberg
By Stephanie Zacharek
By Chuck Wilson
Along with the dark, moody movie comes the game BATMAN BEGINS from Electronic Arts. This is a decent enough action-adventure game with shadowy, stealth elements. You get to save pretty Katie Holmes, too (but too bad you can't save her from Scientology, which is really scary). Speaking of scary, this game is not. Chris Nolan's movie touches on the nature of fear, and actually has some frightful moments. The game talks a lot about fear, but never inspires it in the gamer when danger is imminent. I'd suggest that all game producers the world over read about fear in books aside from the notes in a screenplay. The first chapter in American Purgatorio is a good start. For something more pop, try The Stand. Next time, please, scare me, make me shudder insanely, make me tremble, just one damn goosebump, I beg of you.
If you mooned over the frantic, electronica-inspired Lumines puzzle game for the PSP, you'll probably become addicted to METEOS for the DS. Meteos is kind of like a Tetrisonly it blasts off. By that I mean, line up the Meteos blocks with your stylus until you fill a column. Whoosh! Up they go, usually with more oomph than that solar sailing thing that Mrs. Sagan invested in and watched fall to the ground. If, however, you've let too many Meteos gather, getting them to launch is hard, like skinny David Spade trying to bench press 400 pounds. There's also a goal here, to save your world, as you zip to different planets in the "Star Trip" mode. It's a nice little extra that'll keep you coming back for more.Check out reviews of all the latest and greatest games (updated every week), along with past faves in NYC Guide.
Nintendo has created a mini-franchise with WarioWare, the blink-quick avalanche of mini games that take three seconds each to play and become increasingly difficult as you go along. The twist in WARIOWARE: TWISTED is a motion sensor in the cartridge. Tilt, rock, and twist the GBA instead of pressing controls. The upside is it's more formidable to play than just mashing buttons. The downside is you'll probably whack someone accidentally when you play in the subway or on the bus. It took me some time to get a hang of how to, say, shave a man's face in three seconds with the motion detector, and I'm not sure the motion detector works that well all of the time. Twisted is not a life altering game. Instead, it's a commendable, if slightly flawed, addition to the WarioWare library.
If you're looking for cutsie windmills or Mimi from the Coney Island Mermaid Parade as some sort of beach candy, BEACH MINI GOLF, thankfully, ain't it. Instead, it's a vexing challenge with some maze-like holes giving you (phew!) 10 strokes to make par. Sure, the aiming function is a little off and the psychics feel like an alien made them for Enceladus, but those things make Beach Mini Golf winsomely wilder and wackier.
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