sore thumbs

By Matt Miller


‘Red Steel 2’ (T)
A game with little resemblance

Don’t let the title fool you — “Red Steel 2” bears little resemblance to the much hyped and much hated first-person hack-‘n-slash game from three years ago that this game pretends to follow up. What we have here is the belated delivery of everything “Red Steel” promised, with so much more. This is the best showcase yet for the mandatory Wii MotionPlus peripheral, which will have you slicing up samurai with perfect precision. In fact, the harder you swing, the more damage you’ll do, so be prepared to walk away from a few boss battles with aching arms.


“Red Steel 2” takes place in a fictional universe, fusing the myths of feudal Japan with the Wild West. It starts you out as a gunslinger, and as first-person shooters go, it quickly becomes one of the best offerings on Wii. But why blast enemies from far away when you can engage them up close with your blade? A few easy tutorials quickly educate you in swordplay, and then you’ll frequently be holstering your revolver in favor of your preferred weapon. The motion controls are responsive, the soundtrack is amazing, and the graphics will frequently make you think the Wii’s been holding back on us with the bland textures it pulls from other games. If you haven’t done so already, trade in “Red Steel” and give its spot on your shelf to “Red Steel 2.”


‘Resonance of Fate’ (T)
Xbox 360

If what you love about RPGs is the intricate combat system, then, by all means, get started leveling up and researching the weaknesses of this game’s many complex foes. If what you love about RPGs is the atmosphere and story, then do yourself a favor and avoid this clichéd steampunk adventure, featuring some of the dopiest characters to ever grind through a dungeon. The battles can offer an enticing challenge, but occasionally, they offer a frustrating challenge, so it would’ve been nice if the narrative gave us an incentive to do anything other than roll our eyes.


‘Prison Break: The Conspiracy’ (T)
Deep Silver
Xbox 360

Is there anything worse than a video game based on a movie? Yes: a video game based on a TV show. Having never seen “Prison Break,” I can’t say for certain that it’ll disappoint longtime fans, but I can guarantee that after playing this game, I won’t be buying the DVDs anytime soon. The game splits your time between brawls in the yard and stealth missions, where discovery means you have to start over. Neither aspect of gameplay functions very well. The atmosphere doesn’t seem like an accurate portrait of prison life, but it definitely feels like hard time.


‘Dante’s Inferno’ (M)
Electronic Arts
PlayStation Portable

It’s been well established that “Dante’s Inferno” is a “God of War” rip-off. So, since “God of War’s” PSP entry was every bit as good as its console counterparts, the same must be true of “Dante’s Inferno,” right? No chance in hell. To make up for lackluster controls, the game makes Dante more powerful. To make up for the overpowered Dante, the game makes the enemies more powerful. So in the end, you’re still fighting overpowered enemies with lackluster controls.


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