Gamewatch: Kane & Lynch 2, Ys Seven

Gamewatch

The stadium-sized meteor that crashed last week in EA's Madden NFL 11 pretty much cleared the field, and this week's followups aren't threatening to recover.

First up, the drolly subtitled Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days (PC, Xbox 360, PS3), which involves a couple of hard case types--one a former mercenary, the other a heavily self-medicated psychopath--out to make the wonted buck, this time in the urban tangles of modern Shanghai. Instead of playing as Kane (the sane one with hair), this time you play as Lynch (the bat**** crazy bald one), which means that instead of thinking situations through, you're more of a reactive force of nature--call it "attacking extemporaneously."

At least one UK-based magazine's already given the game an impressive score, but then magazines with early "exclusive" access to these kinds of games usually do.

The other, Ys Seven (PSP), may be the latest in a venerable roleplaying series, but for a change, it's also a PSP original. I've never played a Ys before, but as I understand it, series developer Falcolm is breaking with tradition by releasing on the PSP (and not the PC) first.

Watching this gameplay video of someone playing the Japanese version, I gather you race around isometric 3D areas battling enemies in continuous time, tapping (or mashing) buttons to pull off increasingly complex moves. The boss fights look appreciably patterned, requiring the usual diagnose-and-react approach, and you apparently employ up to two additional computer-managed party members, with the option to switch out which one you're controlling. Also: There's apparently a collector's edition lurking for $49.99, which includes the game soundtrack, a 60-page art book, and a cloth map of the world.

If neither of those grabs you, there's always Deer Drive (DS), some sort of "arcade hunting game" with 30 levels and "tons of animals" to shoot (mountain lions, boars, bears). Or how about Hello Kitty Online (PC), a massively multiplayer version of a Sanrio's heavily accessorized red-bowed bobtail cat.

Then there's Gold's Gym Dance Workout (Wii), the "first dance game specifically dedicated to fitness and weight loss," and in the "yet another online game port" column, Hidden Mysteries: Vampire Secrets (DS), a handheld version of the downloadable "hidden object" Windows adventure game.

And if you'd rather stick with what you know, there's always City of Heroes Going Rogue: Complete Collection (PC), a compendium of this award-winning online super-brawler game's expansions, not some wacky Tea Party fantasy starring Sarah Palin.

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