A Press Democrat Blog


A fun place to rot your brain

Final Fantasy XIII-2 a time travel success

Early in “Final Fantasy XIII-2,” Square Enix’s time-travel-infused, role-playing game from Japan, a character expresses envy of the game’s era-hopping heroes, saying she’d like nothing more than to find a comfy point in history and just settle down and start a life there. In a way, that’s what the most ardent fans of the long-running series want, too. Every “Final Fantasy” nut has a favorite, usually 1997’s “Final Fantasy VII,” which helped popularize Japanese-style role-playing games in America and sits… Read More »

What to play this weekend (April 30-May 2)

“Super Street Fighter IV” essentially replaces one of last year’s top titles, and adds a bunch of new content at a budget price. Also hitting store shelves, this console generation’s first decent World Cup game what’s sure to be this year’s perviest game packaging.… Read More »

Final Fantasy XIII review

With its movielike pacing and streamlined gameplay, “Final Fantasy XIII” aims to be a role-playing game for folks intimidated by massive, wide-open game worlds and complex combat systems. But should such experiments have come in a game with such a large Roman numeral at the end of its title, and all of the expectations a “XIII” conveys?… Read More »

What to play this weekend (April 16-18)

“Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Conviction” (rated M, $60 on Xbox 360): Former covert operative Sam Fisher, on the run from his former employer, hunts for the killer of his daughter in the new overhaul of Ubisoft’s popular stealth franchise. I got a chance to try this game out at Microsoft’s X10 media event in San Francisco in February and was impressed with what I saw. As someone who often grew frustrated with the trial-and-error stealth gameplay found in past titles… Read More »

Solid first steps

Why the “Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker” tutorial I played rubbed me the wrong way, plus a short list of games with compelling ways of teaching gamers how to play them. This post is an expanded version of the column that ran in Friday’s paper.… Read More »