Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles
Nintendo Wii; $49.99
Age rating: Mature
Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles revisits several notable events from the series and adds an original scenario that takes place in South America.
One or two players can take on the zombie hordes, but they have no control over the characters' progression through each level. Their main contribution is shooting the zombies and other monsters that pop up on-screen, and grabbing items before they pass out of view. Players can pick up a variety of weapons or swing a knife when enemies get up close.
The game looks great, and the uncontrollable viewpoint means there's always a chance for something to pop up right in the player's face. It's an effective shooting gallery-style game, though the "camera" does bob about a little too much in some places.
Sony PlayStation 3; $49.99
Age rating: Everyone
In Katamari Forever, the King of All Cosmos has managed to knock himself out, and his son, the Prince, has created a robotic replacement that malfunctioned and destroyed all the stars in the sky - again. Now the Prince and his cousins have to work not only to restore the King's memories and wake him up but also to create a new sky full of stars.
The Prince does this by rolling up as much junk as possible into a ball, often starting with tiny items before graduating to larger ones such as the Katamari ball, which grows exponentially. There's usually a time limit, item limit, or some other stricture on creating the ball, which the King (or RoboKing) judges and places where it needs to go.
The controls use the same two-stick setup as the previous ones, though the Prince can now jump, and can attract items to the Katamari with the use of special items.
Nintendo DS; $29.99
Age rating: Everyone
WireWay has the player fling a little alien from elastic wire to elastic wire, trying to collect stars called Elan.
The alien, Wiley, must make his way through each stage to his partner's ship. Players use the stylus to pull and launch Wiley like a stone from a slingshot. He can be bounced higher into the air if the player smacks him with a pulled wire on his way down, and pinball-like bouncers can send him flying on his way.
The levels have various obstacles, from wildlife to nasty aliens, and some require keys to take down barriers or have other special conditions.
Outside of the main Quest Mode, the Challenge Mode offers two kinds of games. In Flick Trials, players have only a limited number of launches for Wiley. In Strategery, much of the level is bare, and players must fill in the blanks with their own wires and bouncers.