Alone at the end of the world

The post-apocalyptic wasteland usually results in two things: Bombed-out remnants of a world gone to hell, and some kind of battle or struggle pitting doomsday survivors against monsters, mutants or other survivors over real estate, property or food.

A new fantasy

The first thing you’re going to notice about Final Fantasy XIII when you pop in the disc is how utterly gorgeous it is. Square Enix has always had top-notch production values and cut-scenes that rival the likes of Pixar in terms of quality of art, direction and intricacy, but FFXIII really takes the cake.

Byte-sized reviews

In a massive space that was almost completely devoid of any video games, Toy Soldiers was a nice surprise at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show. This unassuming little XBLA title takes the oft-ignored setting of the first World War and casts it into the world of child’s playthings—it’s basically WWI as re-enacted by large scale toy dioramas.

The dreaded dead

If you’re a survival horror fan, you probably love Resident Evil. The original game more or less invented the genre as it’s known today (though more action-oriented trends in design are straying further and further from that “classic” definition), and Capcom has generally upped the ante with each core installment in the series.

Into the deep blue sea

As a whole, video games tend to deal with a very narrow array of stories, settings and subject matters. Good versus evil. Kill or be killed. Space marines. Zombies. Hack and slash. Blood. Gore. Whatever.

Byte sized reviews

When you think about the array of XBLA games available for download, hardcore, detailed, real-time strategy probably doesn’t necessarily come to mind. If that’s the case (which it probably is), Darwinia+ isn’t going to change your mind.

The fall of Rapture

The conceit of BioShock has more thought behind it than the typically shallow fare seen in first-person shooters. Set in 1960, the story revolved around an objectivist tycoon that sought to create Rapture, a utopian city on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean.

Work rush

Hitoshi Susumu is a salaryman who’s running late. You might think that he’s running late for an important meeting, or maybe a big conference call or something. But that’s not the case.

God help us!

When I first heard that EA was adapting Dante’s Inferno into a videogame, I knew there was going to be trouble. If the game had been, say, an adventure game or some other endeavor that required at least a little thought, I might be a little more sympathetic. But the development team had something a little cruder in mind.

The world ends with you

If you’ve read anything I’ve ever written about video games (and even if you haven’t) you know that Japanese RPGs have gotten very stale, with derivative stories and bland design.