Playing Critic

Playing Critic

Dogma central to riveting "Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse"

“Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse” continues the Japanese role-playing series’ take-no-prisoners approach to incorporating humanity’s varied religious beliefs into a work of fiction in ways the devout would likely see as offensive and heretical.

"Oceanhorn" a polished, playable "Zelda" clone

I’m not going to mince words: “Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas” blatantly rips off the structure, concepts and mechanics of “The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker.”

From the heart motif of the health bar to the main character’s sailboat voyage around his island world, the awkwardly named “Oceanhorn” is a “Zelda” clone through and through.

It's not puzzling why the latest "Ace Attorney" is fun

Imagine, if you will, a world where murder trials seem to happen within a day after a victim is discovered; where prosecutors are allowed to spring surprise witnesses and evidence on the defense in the middle of the trial — and, in fact, are allowed to make countless misrepresentations of the evidence they possess unless the defense catches on; and supernatural practices — including seances and

Put your rhythm skills to the test

You don’t have to be into vocaloid music to enjoy “Hatsune Miku: Project Diva X” — but it helps.

It also helps to be into rhythm games, but that’s not purely necessary. If you pick up a controller and play this one, you might very well walk away with an appreciation of both genres at the end of the day.

No Man's Sky: A whole lot to see, not much to do

All too often, when a game with a seemingly novel premise is first revealed to the public, many in the media — as well as everyday gamers — seem to lose their collective minds and begin to hype that title as the greatest thing ever.

Batman game breaks from the norm

Quite a few games have let players be Batman.

But “Batman — The Telltale Series: Episode One: The Realm of Shadows” is the first I can recall where the time spent as Bruce Wayne, the man behind the mask, is just as meaningful as the time spent punching out thugs.

Vault creator puts limits on your imagination

Vaults, the fallout shelters built by the fictional company Vault-Tec, have always been pivotal to the “Fallout” game universe — and a source of fascination for players.

They’re where the journey almost always begins, supposed bastions of civilization and safety sealed off from the post-apocalyptic nuclear wasteland that is the surface world.

'I Am Setsuna' offers old-school fun

“I Am Setsuna” is a traditional Japanese role-playing game.

A 'Romance' for historic simulation lovers, but a bad date for others

If you’re a gamer who loves nothing more than digging deep into the guts of a historical simulation, where you must balance politics with military might, where battles take place with words as well as with weapons, “Romance of the Three Kingdoms XIII” may be your cup of tea.

Crush everything that gets in your way in 'Carmageddon'

“Carmageddon: Max Damage” is not a game for the easily offended.

This pedestrian-murder simulator melds street racing and demolition derbies in an irreverent, somewhat obscene fashion sure to get someone’s undies in a twist. After all, you can run over nuns, cops, cows, the obese, people in wheelchairs and even dogs. I try to avoid hitting dogs.