Ever since the major video game platforms (the Nintendo Wii U, Sony PlayStation 3, and Microsoft Xbox 360) added motion-controlled gaming, players have been jumping off the couch and moving more than their trigger fingers. But say you're new to the world of games and are more interested in fitness than collecting virtual coins or battling digital aliens. Which console should you buy?
The Archos GamePad is a tablet designed specifically for playing games—one of several others coming out some time this year, including the Wikipad, NVidia's Project Shield, and the Razer Edge Pro. The GamePad combines the features of an Android tablet with the physical controls needed for complex gaming. It does a lot of things competently, but that's not quite enough to make it a must have.
Fans of so-called social games devote hours of time—and often, real-life money—to building their personal alternate lives. There's definitely some emotional investment for many players, too. What recourse do they have when the company that runs the games decides to call it quits?
Just as spring comes along every year, so, predictably, do new additions to certain sports video-games franchises, including baseball and golf games. This genre is great for the whole sports-loving family to play. Here's our take on several new versions of venerable series.
The world of video games has been very action-oriented lately, with a number of strong new titles arriving. Action games focus on fast reflexes and good hand-eye coordination—and they're usually pretty violent, too, so watch the ESRB ratings if your kid is asking for them. Here's our take on four of the top recent action games:
Lego City Undercover. This game is kind of like a kid-friendly version of Grand Theft Auto, with the grit and violence replaced by Lego's cute visuals and charm. But it's still fun for grownups, too. Players take on the role of Chase McCain, a legendary police officer who hunts down lawbreakers, and collect Lego pieces throughout the game that unlock new disguises for Chase. The game implements the Wii U GamePad well: You use it as a map and also as a communicator for "video calls" between characters. It really helps to draw you into the game's universe. Lego fans of all ages will have a great time.
Starting tomorrow, March 26, Xbox Live is holding a sale on downloadable games and content. Both paying and free Xbox Live subscribers can take advantage of the lower prices—most games are 50 percent off, and a few are even free. The sale runs until April 1.
Lara Croft, an iconic video-game character, is a pistol-wielding archaeologist who loves exploring ruins as much as she loves action. This new entry is a reboot of the series—it explores Lara's origins and starts the story all over again. Though the violence isn't gratuitous, this title is too graphic for young ones.
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is a new entry into the fast-paced stealth-action Metal Gear franchise that first debuted in 1987. This game is an action-packed bloodbath that hardcore action gamers and fans of the franchise will likely love—but keep the kids away.
At Sony's PlayStation press conference in New York yesterday, it became official: the next-gen PlayStation 4 gaming console is arriving for the 2013 holiday season. Sony's event was more of a teaser than an unveiling, though: The company never actually showed the new console or named a price. But what we did see was enough to stoke our excitement.
The Sly Cooper game series from Sony Computer Entertainment is set in a fun, cartoony world of anthropomorphic animals. It centers on Sly, a raccoon and a thief. Thieves in Time is the fourth installment and the first new Sly Cooper game since 2005. It's a fun addition and lives up to earlier games in the series.
Skylanders is Activision's very popular video-game line that lets you use a physical toy as an in-game character. At Toy Fair this year, we got a sneak peek at the upcoming Skylanders: Swap Force, the third installment in the game series.
Toy Fair is always magical, but technology is adding even more magic to the mix, especially when it's implemented to make toys smarter and more fun. This year we saw some excellent examples of tech-toy coolness to come, from giants like Mattel but also from innovative companies you may not have heard of—yet.
The Duo Gamer ($40) from Gameloft (a mobile-game maker) is a controller for playing games on smart devices that replaces touch-screen controls with physical controls, making many games easier to play. It works with most iOS devices. The controller is a little too large for convenient portability, but for in-home gaming, it's an improvement over touch-screen controls.
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